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[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 2/2)

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Around here nobody talks about the argument that increased regulation of the internet would help stop child predators. Is that true, and if so where do you fall on the Net Neutrality vs law enforcement spectrum? No I don't think that's true at all. Child predators have been around much longer than the internet, and I would argue child abuse was more prevalent 50+ years ago when children were seen and not heard and it wasn't talked about. The dark web hasn't created more predators, it has just given them a new place to gather and hang out.
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused.
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That's so interesting, thanks for the AMA! Can you remember any other thing that a child could do in order to protect himself from being abused? What other characteristics do the abusers hate in potential victims? That seems to be the main one. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
What do folks talk about in the child predator forums? Do they like give each other advice on how to improve their craft? Yes, quite literally. The give each other tips on how not to get caught, how to edit out incriminating details in videos, how to drug children, techniques for convincing kids not to tell etc
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Given your insight into how predators operate, do you have any advice for parents on protecting their kids? I'll cut'n'paste a response i gave to someone else about this, because it was something that really stuck out to me:
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
Has the exponential increase in Bitcoin value affected darknet dealers in any profound way? I can imagine that some drug dealers were sitting on quite a large sum of Bitcoin when the value shot up. Crypto purists hate to admit it, but bitcoin would not be where it is today without Silk Road. It was sitting at less than a dollar when Silk Road began and the markets showed a robust use case for cryptocurrency and as the markets grew, so did the demand for bitcoin. It also provided real-life use data for those who were not interested in drugs but who weren't sure if it had practical application. When SR went down, Bitcoin was at about $650 and it continued to grow as adoption became more mainstream. There are many many stories of drug dealers (and at least one faux-hitman!) who gained most of their wealth not by selling the drugs, but by the growth in value of their bitcoin holdings
Since you have a lot of experience with them online. Do you think pedophiles(not child abusers) should be treated as criminals, or as people suffering from a mental illness? Contact offenders should be treated as criminals, because they are criminals. They have abused or hurt someone. Same with those who support the creation and dissemination of child abuse materials.
Pedophiles who do not act on their urges should be given as much help as humanly possible.
Are there any mysterious or suspicious pages or communities that you haven’t been able to access? Anything that seems especially weird? there are a lot of Russian communities that I can't access, mostly because I don't speak Russian. Some of the more technical hacking communities have entry barriers that I'm not technical enough to score an invite to
How much these bad people really exist out there? Hundreds? Thousands? More? It depends what you mean by bad. If you mean people who use the dark web to buy drugs (who I do not consider bad) then there are many many thousands. There are also thousands of people who deal in stolen information to make money.
Unfortunately there are also thousands of child predators and the dark web has provided a "safe space" for them to come together to share materials and "tips". I hope this is where most of the resources of law enforcement are concentrated
Ehy mine is a rare question: what do you know about art on dark web? I'm talking about the black market made of stolen important pieces from museums, art used as value to money laundry and other criminal affairs I'm an artist and what I know is people don't think too much about the dark side of art and probably they need to open their eyes about I really haven't come across much in the way of that. Some of the markets have an "art" section, but that is mostly blotter art
How accurate are the legends? Any legends in particular? For a lowdown copied from a post I made in another forum:
1Red Rooms  The one that is most persistent is the myth of the "Red Room" - live streaming of torture/rape that ends in the murder of the victim and which people can pay to watch, or even bid to type in commands for the torturer to carry out (highest bid wins!). The most famous was the “ISIS Red Room” pictured above, where people could provide instructions to torture captured terrorists - you can read what happened here.
People have this idea of Hostel with webcams exist all over the dark web, but you just need an invite to get into them. It's ridiculous. They don't exist. They certainly wouldn't exist on Tor. But people are desperate to believe and they always come back with "You can't prove they don't exist, people are crazy, therefore they must exist." Picture my eyes rolling here.
2.Hitman sites
I don't think many people are taken in by the hitmen sites anymore, though the press loves playing up the fact that there are sites offering up hitman services. But every single one of them has turned out to be a scam, especially Besa Mafia, the one that did the most marketing. Again, you can read about it at the same link as above.
3.Exotic animals  People are always asking where they can find markets for exotic animals. Obviously the illegal trade in exotic animals exists, and some communications and transactions may well take place over Tor, but there are no markets like the drug markets where you can go and look at a picture and then put a tiger or ocelot or something into your basket and buy it with bitcoin.
SO WHAT DOES HAPPEN ON THE DARK WEB?
1.People buy and sell drugs.
The drug markets are more busy than ever. You have probably heard of Silk Road, the most famous online drug market that got busted a few years ago and the owner sent to prison for two consecutive life terms? A lot of people thought that was the end of drugs being sold on the dark web. In fact, dark web sales of drugs have tripled since the shutdown of Silk Road.
The reason people buy drugs this way is that for many they offer a safer alternative for people who are going to do drugs anyway. There is no possibility of any violence. The vast majority of the time a buyer knows exactly what they are getting, because of the feedback and rating system. That's not the case in a nightclub, or even friends-of-friends, where you just blindly accept that the pill, powder or tab is what the seller says it is.
2.People buy and sell other illegal things
Mostly they buy and sell stolen credit cards and financial information, fake IDs (though lots of these are scams), personal information, “dumps” of hacked data and fraud-related items. For a long time, a seller was making a fortune selling fake discount coupons that really worked.
3.People access and create childporn  Unlike the other markets, the CP market is generally not for money, but rather they are groups who swap vile images and videos for free. The worst of the worst is called “hurtcore’. Thankfully, most of the people behind the worst sites have been arrested and put in jail.
4.People talk about stuff
There are plenty of sites, forums and chatrooms where people talk about all sorts of things - conspiracies, aliens, weird stuff. They take advantage of the anonymity.
5.People anonymously release information
Whistleblowers use the dark web to release information and make sure their identities won't be compromised. You will find Wikileaks, for example, on the dark web.
6.People surf the web anonymously
The number 1 thing people use the dark web for is just to surf the web completely anonymously. Not everybody wants to be tracked by advertisers.
I have a question: what are the odds of the casual Darkweb drug buyer - not buying mega loads all the time - the occasional purchase - what are the risks of being busted? Kinda figuring pretty low. But you’re the expert. What do you think? Obviously there is always a risk, but the risk is very low. It is rare for personal amounts to be seized. Even if a package is seized, there's usually no resources to follow it up. Many people report simply receiving a letter from Customs saying they have seized what they believe is contraband and the person has a choice of going to claim it or it will be destroyed. Even if LE does knock on the door there is plausible deniability: "I don't know who sent that stuff to me".
So yeah, rare, but it does happen. You might be the unlucky one
How do you find things on the dark web without search engines? There are a lot of entry sites, set up with links to the most popular places. You can generally get a link to one of them by browsing places like reddit. From there it is a matter of checking out different places, people will put links in forums etc.
I also use a Pastebin where people paste sites they have made/found, and a Fresh Onion site, which crawls all the newly-populated .onion addresses
Hi. there!! Thank you for answering questions. Mine is very simple. How do sellers get the drugs to people? Regular mail? That's always puzzled me bc I'd assume USPS, UPS, fedEx or any other mail carrier would catch at least some goods. If people are ordering drugs, particularly in powder form, for personal use, they can be flattened, sealed in MBB (moisture barrier baggies) and sent in a regular business envelope, indistinguishable from billions of other envelopes going through the postal system every day. The chances of a particular package being intercepted is very low.
Some people take the extra precaution of having the person taking delivery of the drugs different to the person/household that is ordering them.
How did you move from being a corporate lawyer to researching and writing about dark web? 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
I've always wanted to check out the dark web, what is a normal day for you look like on there? Can you give me any tips on how to safely surf the dark web? A normal day looks like me sitting at my desk writing things on my computer. When I'm researching a book or a case I venture away from my computer to trials and to interview people (at least I did pre-COVID)
There is nothing inherently unsafe in surfing the dark web. All the usual precautions you take surfing the clearweb apply. Don't visit any child exploitation sites - it will be pretty obvious that's what they are by the names/descriptions before you log in.
It is only when you want to do more than surfing - e.g. buying drugs etc - that you need to do a LOT of homework or you will absolutely get scammed
Is there anything good about the dark web? It depends what you are into. A lot of academic research has concluded that the darknet markets provide a safer way for people to buy and use drugs, due to the ratings of vendors, services that independently test and report back on batches of drugs, doctor on staff ready to answer questions, no violence in transactions etc.
News sites provide a dark web option so that whistleblowers can safety provide information and upload documents that get stripped of any identifying metadata before being available.
It bypasses firewalls and allows for secure communications under hostile regimes
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How does this make you feel about the idea of the decriminalization of drugs? I've always been for full legalization of drugs, and studying the darknet markets just proved I was right.
I was invited to an experts roundtable in Portugal about drugs and cybercrime a few years ago and the Portugal model of decriminalisation has been a great success
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Hey, you are still answering. Been reading this thread for 1-2 hours now. Thank you so much for all the good work and info! Always been intrigued by this topic, downloaded tor once to explore a bit but couldn’t and deleted it right away, to be on the safer side. Great insights. Thanks! I've been writing it for about 14 hours. Going a bit loopy
How was working on Casefile? What's the production process like? Which episodes did u do?? I have listened to... all of them.... I absolutely LOVE working for Casefile. I am a freelancer, so I source and write my own cases and then sell the scripts to Casefile. I've done at least a dozen, but some of my most popular are Amy Allwine, Mark & John, Ella Tundra, Leigh Leigh, Rebecca Schaeffer...
As for the production process, once I have sold the script to them, a staff member edits them and then they are passed on to Casey to narrate. After that, they go to Mike for sound editing, music etc. They are the best team ever
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Oh, Leigh Leigh was so well written!! How do you choose which stories to write? Do you just pick true crime you're interested in? Thank you! I have a huge list of potential episodes. Any time I come across an interesting crime on reddit, or in the news or wherever I make a note of it. Then I just pick one when it comes time to write a new script.
Sometimes I've been personally involved (e.g. Amy Allwine), gone to trials etc. Those are always the best ones
Hi Eiley, your twitter just reminded me of this AMA :) What are your thoughts on bitcoin? And would you prefer to be paid in crypto or fiat? OOOOH, I know that name! Love & Light to you!
I like Bitcoin and I wish I had a whole lot of it and like many many people, I wish I had kept the first crypto I bought at something like $4 a coin :D I do not have a whole lot of it but I do have a little bit. I like the philosophy behind it and in theory it should change the world. However the reality is that the vast majority of it is concentrated in a very few hands which allows for market manipulation and stops it being useful as a post-fiat currency.
As long as I'm getting paid, I'm pretty happy!
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I too remember your name Pluto! Such a decent human ❤ he is!! True OG right there <3
Is the dark web subject to more racism than its counterpart, the world wide web? There are some white power sites and that sort of thing and the chans are even more uncensored than the clearweb ones (4chan, 8chan) but to be honest they are the same cesspools in different spots. Drug forums don't seem to be very racist. I've seen worse on Twitter
Have you seen any consequential political or social organizing being carried out on the dark web? Not directly, but the dark web helped facilitate the Arab Spring uprising in 2010 by allowing activists to remain anonymous and to access blocked websites and social media. Wikileaks, obviously. Some white supremacy organizations seem to use it to coordinate attacks, but they are not places I'm keen to hang out in.
What’s the most expensive thing for sale you’ve seen on the dark web? What was surprisingly inexpensive? I can't remember specific listings, but there were sometimes sales of things like coke by the kilo, so that sort of thing I guess.
LSD could easily be found for $1/tab and one huge dealer gave it away for free if it was for personal use
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1. I’m going to ask a couple in hopes that one will catch your interest! I know you’re anonymous on the dark web, but even so, have you ever felt worried about your safety? I actually made the decision to be upfront and honest about who I am on the dark web, so I use the name OzFreelancer (which is easily traceable to my real name) on all the dark web sites where i went looking for interviews. The people there had the option of talking to me or not, so they had no reason to want to harm me.
2. I’ve found your comments about your relationship with Yura fascinating. Did y’all develop a friendship? Did you build any other relationships that stand out in your mind? Since you were straightforward about being on the dark web for stories, did people seem reluctant to communicate, or were they excited for the opportunity to divulge a secret? We do have a friendship of sorts, it is really quite weird. I do hope to met him one day. I met all of the senior staff of Silk Road other than the Dread Pirate Roberts himself and keep in touch with some. Some people wanted nothing to do with me of course, but many more were happy to talk to me. i think sometimes it was a relief to them to be able to talk to one person who they knew was who they said they were.
3. On violent forums, did users ever express remorse, guilt, shame, or anything indicative of some recognition that what they were viewing/seeking was awful? Do you see doxxing teams on the dark web working together to uncover info, or is the info already there through previous hacks/breaches, and someone just accesses and releases it? Sorry if any of those don’t make sense! I’m not familiar with the dark web lingo but am so intrigued by your work. Not really. I think if they were contributing to the forums, they were comfortable with who they were and what they were doing. Many of the "regular" pedophiles expressed revulsion about Lux and hurtcore sites though
these have probably been asked before but has there ever been a time where you where genuinely been scared for your life and whats the most messed up thing you've witnessed did you have any help? Yeah both things have been answered in this thread, so I'll cut'n'paste
The only time I've felt even slightly in danger despite all this nosing around in there was when I helped uncover a hitman scam. The owner of Besa Mafia, the most profitable murder-for-hire site in history, came after me when I started writing about him. He made loads of threats ("you don't know who I am, but I know who you are and where you live") but that wasnt scary, as I had access to the backdoor of his site thanks to a friendly hacker and knew he didn't really want to hurt anybody.
It took a bit of a darker turn when he told the people who had signed up to work as hitmen on his site - and who he made video themselves burning cars with signs on them to advertise how legit his site was, then never sent them the promised money for doing so - that I was the owner of the site who had ripped them off. That could have become ugly, but luckily even the thugs weren't dumb enough to believe him.
The only other time I've been a bit nervous was when Homeland Security wanted to have a "friendly" meeting with me on one of my trips to the US to attend a trial. They were friendly, but scary too.
The most frightening experience I've ever had is coming face to face with Lux, the owner of Pedoempire and Hurt2theCore, the most evil and reviled person on the entire dark web. He was responsible for procuring and hosting Daisy's Destruction, the most repulsive video ever made, created by Peter Scully, whose crimes were so bad, the Philippines are considering reinstating the death penalty especially for him.
It wasn't frightening because Lux was frightening - he was anything but. It was frightening because he looked so inoffensive and normal.
It was frightening because he was living proof that monsters walk among us and we never know.
[deleted] It is absolute crap for browsing the clearweb, and a lot of sites detect that it is odd traffic and you have to solve their CAPTCHAs before doing the most basic things
I’m sure you’ve seen some really bad stuff, do you regularly talk to a therapist to help? I've never seen a therapist (they don't really seem to be a thing in Australia they way they are in the US), but I have been known to unload on my partner and my dog
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Yo, speaking as an Aussie, they absolutely are a thing, you can get them covered thru medicare, and I recommend it if you possibly can! Bro, therapy is awesome. I'm not against therapy as a thing, but I've honestly never been so traumatised that I feel I need it. Also I had a bad experience with a psychologist after I watched my partner die in an accident - they suggested I find God, and I noped out of there
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Therapist is an American term- we call them psychs. And the one who told you to find God was terrible and out of line. Yeah she didn't last long before I was over it. Also a doctor decided I needed Xanax, which was also a bad move, because what I really needed was to grieve and Xanax doesn't let you do that properly
Do you find any good things on the dark web? Happy stuff that gives people hope? Or just the trash? I like the psychonaut communities. They just want peace, love and mungbeans for everybody
Have you heard of "The Primarch System" rumor of the dark web? Sounds downright silly to me. But I'm curious if anyone who spends time on the deep web actually takes it seriously, or if as an idea it is connected to anything serious at all. Nah, up there with the Shadow Web and Mariana's Web. There's always people who want to find out where the "deeper" "more secret" "really dark" stuff is. To them I say what, hurtcore isn't dark enough for you?
Doesn't delving the murky depths of child predator forums categorize you with the child predators in the eyes of an investigating law enforcement agency? Do you have some sort of amnesty due to your journalism, or is that something you worry about having to explain away? Has your presence there ever caused some sort of a scare? No, I never went into any of the sites that had actual photos or videos (you can't un-see that shit), but did spend a lot of time in pedophile discussion forums. I also went to a hurtcore hearing and saw screenshots in the police files, as well as listening for two days to videos being described frame-by-frame and private communications between the site owner and the sadists.
Besides drugs and sex crimes, what else is going on in the dark web? Are there other interesting nooks and crannies? I often post screenshots of bizarre sites I find on my Twitter. However, the main uses for the dark web are drugs, digital/fraud goods and child exploitation
I have one, it might be rather boring though, but here goes. On these "child predator forums" are they actually forums devoted to stalking children and do they share social media profiles of children among themselves? That would be kik ids, snapchat and facebook ids, instagram, stuff like that, info that would allow online access and that may have been chosen for suitability? Creepy question I know, but anyway I would be interested to hear your answer. I came here from TrueCrime, you referred to these things in your post on that sub. I suspect I already know the answer yet would like to hear your take on it. Yes, they provide information and tips on how to approach children, how to ensure they won't tell, how to sedate them in some instances, where to find child exploitation material, how to remove metadata and any identifying characteristics in photos and videos before sharing and so on.
They don't tend to share socia media, as that is the sort of thing that can be traced easily. They do talk about how to approach kids on social media and on the worst forums how to blackmail children into stripping/meeting etc
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So you're saying they have a more general approach rather than identifying individual children on the internet? Again a creepy question because what I suggest is that a child's social media could be used and circulated on the dark web as potential information to gain access by anonymity, even if it was just online access only. I actually wonder as I have recently read of the anonymity of apps like ''kik messenger'' and how the police are often unable to get any information from the communications as they remain encrypted and off the server and require little if any valid ID to make an account. No doubt photos from social media are uploaded as part of the materials they have. I haven't seen anything where they get together and try to track down a specific child, but I'm sure some predators do this. Most are more likely to abuse children in their orbit - family, kids of friends, or they work where they have access to children
I heard there are forums to download books but it was really dangerous, Is it true? I'm just a poor guy who wants to finish the young Jack sparrow series Whenever you download anything from a pirate site you run the risk of infection
What do you think of QAnon? Wackjob conspiracy
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Who should the conspiracy theorists actually be worried about if they actually care about thwarting pedophilia? The vast, vast majority of child abuse takes place within the child's personal orbit - relatives, family friends, parents of their own friends, people involved in their activities (coaches, leaders, etc)
So, those people
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Also how to we get people to stop believing in QAnon? Outside my area of expertise, sorry
do you personally believe there was/is any truth to the "defense" (story) that DPR was a title handed down to different admins for the original silk road, or was it just a convenient defense? do you have any theories as to who satoshi nakamoto is? besides the original SR, are there any other darkweb markets that you think have a good enough story to turn into a book? eg sheep market? i've seen you talk a little about the child predator forums, and (as with h2tc) noted are mainly populated by males. i'm curious if you've ever encountered females on such forums/websites (eg. btfk) No. There was a time that I believed the person posting on the forums as DPR changed, but the ownership and administration of the market I believe never changed hands. Variety Jones is claiming a part ownership (which may or may not be true) but I believe that is so he can run a Fourth Amendment argument
So many theories have some credibility to them, but no one theory ticks all the boxes. Highly recommend the 3-part youtube deep dive by Barely Sociable
I'm not sure any one market has the story that Silk Road had, but I would like to write a definitive history that encompasses the most compelling features of all the markets. Backopy of BMR apparently got away clean. The admins of Atlantis got wind of a security issue and closed shop, trying to warn DPR. AlphaBay ended in Alexander Cazes death in a Bangkok prison cell. Then everyone flocked to Hansa, which by that time was being run by law enforcement. Evolution ended in the most brazen exit scam, followed by a bizarre cloak'n'dagger situation played out right here on reddit. The WSM/DDW follow-the-money case. And these are just some that come right off the top of my head. I just need a publisher to provide me an advance I can live off while I write it!
There were a very few people on the forums who identified as female (obvs anyone can be anyone on a dark web forum) and there have been one or two arrests of women in relation to dark web child pornography. Peter Scully's female assistant who carried out some of the torture was originally one of his victims, turned into a sadist.
What’s the one lingering unanswered question you have about SR? I am hanging out for Joel Ellingson to go to trial so that I can find out once and for all whether redandwhite, lucydrop and Tony76 are one and the same person.
There are several people who I got to "know" by their handles who I wonder about from time to time, but mostly I hope they are safe and well and i don't want to track them down or expose them
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Eileen, I am fangirling PRE-TTY hard right now. Talking SR and Tony76 with you is how I imagine it feels to talk to a royal correspondent about Prince Andrew 😅 Ellingson being all three would be a very neat end to an otherwise insane story. Part of me wants to pin Oracle in with that trio too but that’s mostly a desperate attempt from me to add another layer to the madness. I miss the twists and turns that came with the rise and fall of SR. From your own experience - would you agree with the idea that more than one person staffed the DPR account? Thanks for the reply! Ha! You have no idea what it is like when I find someone who really knows about this stuff and can have informed conversations about it. I latch onto them and don't let go. The very BEST was meeting up with DPR's three deputies (SSBD in Australia, Inigo in US and Libertas in Ireland) so I could actually have conversations with people who knew more than I did! Variety Jones was cool too, but the conversation couldn't flow too freely thanks to him being incarcerated in Bangkok prison at the time.
I think others sometimes posted from the forum account, but Ulbricht kept a vice-like grip on his market account
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I can imagine it’s so satisfying and exciting to get those tidbits of info that piece the jigsaw together. The bedlam that played out over the forum in the aftermath was a cloud of paranoia and adrenaline that kept me refreshing pages for days. Would love to hear accounts from SSBD, Inigo and Libertas from this time. One last question: what were your thoughts when the Chloe Ayling story first broke? I assumed it was a publicity stunt. I don't think that any more. I guess I can't blame her for milking her kidnapping for publicity in the aftermath, though I don't think she does herself any favors the way she goes about it sometimes
Sorry if this has been covered before but in your research, mainly related to child abuse, where are these children coming from? Children in their care/ family? Kidnapped? The vast majority of child abuse is carried out by someone within their social circle - family and acquaintances. However, the hurtcore stuff was often carried out in third world countries on orphans or where desperate families gave up their children to "benefactors" who they believed were going to provide food an education
What Casefile episodes have you written? I became obsessed with it and ripped through all the episodes and now nothing will fill that void. Thanks for your efforts! Casefile – the murder of Amy Allwine
Casefile – Blue Skies, Black Death
Casefile – Ella Tundra
Casefile – Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs
Casefile – Motown Murders
Casefile – Rebecca Schaeffer
Casefile – Sian Kingi
Casefile – John & Mark
Casefile – Shauna Howe
Casefile – Chloe Ayling
Casefile – Johnny Altinger
Casefile – Killer Petey
Casefile – The Santa Claus Bank Robbery
Casefile – Martha Puebla
Casefile – Leigh Leigh
Is there any way parents can keep their kids safe from this without being helicopter parents? I'll cut'n'paste a response i gave to someone else about this, because it was something that really stuck out to me:
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
What does it take in terms of degrees and experience to get into this business? Nothing official. I was a lawyer, but that had no bearing on what I do now (I did corporate law). I didn't have any official credentials when I began as a freelance journalist, though later I got a diploma of professional writing and editing. Anyone can be an author, provided they can write
If you could take a guess from your findings, what would be some speculative statistics on these abuse/torture sites? How many people (tens of thousands?) are involved? Do they generally come from the same places in the world or are they seemingly geographically random (based on victim ethnicity, or language spoken, perhaps)... what are some quantifying stats to wrap our heads around how prevalent this shit is? Most dark web users come from western countries, just because infrastructure supports it. The sites often have tens of thousands of registered users, but a lot of them would be people for whom curiosity got the better of them and who signed up then left. Active users more like in the thousands, hyper-active users the hundreds.
One of the things that makes life difficult for law enforcement is that most of these sites don't operate on a commercial basis - people aren't making money from them, so there is no cryptocurrency chain to follow. They operate on a sharing basis and to get access to the more private parts of the sites, a user has to upload "fresh" material and/or prove they are actively abusing a child. Hurt2theCore used to get users to have the children hold up signs or have the site name or a username written on their bodies with a marker. This stopped law enforcement from getting access to those parts (like the "producers lounge") of the sites unless they were able to take over an account of a user who already had access. Even then, the rules of the hurtcore sites would require constant new proof in order to maintain access.
Some sites allowed people to buy access, such as one called "Welcome to Video" and then were taken down by law enforcement carrying out blockchain analysis of the Bitcoin transaction that led to the owner when they cashed out to fiat without moneylaundering precautions
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Do you think LE uses deep fakes to simulate a picture to gain access? Is that possible? It is definitely possible, but I don't know whether they are doing it as they are understandably secretive about their methods. I know it is deeply problematic, as even fake child porn is still illegal (even cartoon stuff, including some Hentai in some countries). But they have used questionable methods before, most notably running the dark web's largest site, Playpen, for over a year in order to identify contact offenders
the below is another reply to the original answer
Am I hearing you that many people are NOT doing this for financial gain? Just to do it and share it?? Child exploitation, yes, it is mostly a sharing community. Some people make some money out of it, but it is not like drugs where a lot of people are making a LOT of money
On the subject of abused kids... did you ever help the kids in any way? I never met any of the kids. I never saw any of the photos and videos. I don't know who any of the kids are.
Daisy has been taken into care and her identity changed. I hope she is doing okay
What exactly does the dark web look like? You hear about it often, but don’t know if it looks like Google Chrome, Safari, or just a page full of code. It looks like a normal browser and operates just like a normal browser. It's just that it can access sites that your normal browser can't.
e.g. http://thehub5himseelprs44xzgfrb4obgujkqwy5tzbsh5yttebqhaau23yd.onion/index.php is the URL of a dark web forum. If you plug it into your normal browser you will get an error. If you plug it into the Tor browser you will get the registration page for The Hub
How do you keep yourself from hating all humanity? I am happy to report that, even on the dark web, the good people outnumber the bad
Hi! First off I'd like to say that I find what you do quite fascinating and would love to do something like that in the future. My question is in regards to art and other forms of artistic expression on the dark web. Is it true that the dark web is a place where you can also find awesome things such as art and literature? Not really, because all that stuff is readily available on the clearweb. There are sites like the Imperial Library of Trantor, which is a pirate site for books, where you can read thousands of books for free, but that's really no different to The Pirate Bay. Some people share their LSD art, but again, nothing you won't find on the clearweb
submitted by 500scnds to tabled [link] [comments]

small passive income while browsing the web

Introduction
If you were on the internet in the late 1990s, you might remember companies like "AllAdvantage" that promised to pay you to browse the web. You could install a program that tracked your browsing and showed you targeted ads at the top of the screen, then "AllAdvantage" would give you a cut of the ad revenue you generated.
These schemes largely disappeared after the dot-com crash. But Brendan Eich, the creator of the JavaScript programming language and cofounder and former CTO of Mozilla, thinks his company Brave Software has found a way to revive that old idea.
What is it?
Brave makes a browser based on Google Chrome that blocks tracking scripts and other technologies that spy on your online activity. As a result, it also blocks many web ads; if you visit any website using the Brave browser, you won’t see any ads. But Brave will give users the option to see ads that Eich says will respect your privacy. The ads will appear as desktop notifications, he says, not as replacements for the ads the Brave browser blocks. So you still won’t see ads on any website, but you might see them on the right lower corner of your screen. If you choose to see these ads, you’ll get 70 percent of the revenue they generate.
Eich hopes Brave can solve two of the web's most vexing problems the privacy and revenue problem by turning the traditional digital advertising model on its head. Today, ad networks pay sites for ad space and web browsers like Brave and Chrome deliver content from those publishers to users. Brave is trying to put the browser in the center of the advertising experience. Instead of paying publishers directly, ad networks would pay Brave, which will pass part of the money to users and keep a cut for itself.
By handling advertising in the browser on your device, Brave says it will be able to target ads without sending your data to the cloud, and protect your privacy. When you interact with an ad on Brave, the browser sends notice to the company's servers, but doesn't include any identifying information. Eich sees four sets of winners: browser makers get paid; users get paid, and get more privacy; advertisers can target pitches without running afoul of European privacy regulations; and publishers can survive in a world where many users are installing ad blockers.
Publishers and ad networks might bristle at the idea of putting browser makers in the middle of their business. But in recent years browsers have taken a more active role in shaping the web, instead of merely displaying a website’s content. Chrome now blocks ads on a small number of sites with particularly egregious advertising practices, while browsers like Firefox and Safari have added privacy protections. Meanwhile, browser plugins are giving users more control over their experience. There are Chrome extensions, for example, that let you change Facebook's color scheme, or change the way images are displayed on Pinterest. And of course there are extensions that block all ads.
Trying to win advertisers and publishers to a new model isn't Brave's only challenge. It also needs users. Eich says Brave has 15 million users and is growing.
Brave will give users a 70 percent cut of its advertising revenue, which Eich estimates could work out to about $10 a month. Brave will pay users with its own bitcoin-style "cryptocurrency” called Basic Attention Tokens or BAT, which has traded for as little as 24 cents over the past 12 months, according to CoinMarketCap. You can exchange the BAT you have received for viewing ads into USD, EUR, GBP, CHF and many more currencies.
The company offers a service through the cryptocurrency exchange Uphold to allow users to change, sell and buy BAT or donate it to publishers, and for publishers to exchange the BAT they receive for dollars. Advertisers like HomeDepot or recent campaigns included brands such as Verizon, Newegg, Chipotle, and PayPal/Honey, in addition to earlier campaigns by Amazon, Harry’s Razors, Intel, CBS, KIND snacks, Logitech, Lenovo, Grubhub, Belkin, Quickbooks, Evernote and some of cryptocurrency related companies, will be able to buy ads either with BAT or with traditional currencies.
Eich says Brave opted to create its own tokens using the Ethereum cryptocurrency platform in part to avoid regulatory requirements, such as verifying users' identifies, that partners like Uphold are better equipped to handle.
Estimated revenue? (depending on the country you live in the revenue can be higher or lower)
I made around 3oo$ so far this year using 3 devices, just for viewing some ads.
5 months so far july is not included if you calculate it down for 1 device, 100$/5months = 20$ a month just for viewing ads, you would need to buy risky stocks worth of 2000$ to get the same amount per month.
can only recommend everyone to try it, not every country has the same number of advertisers so you probably get the most out of it when you live in the USA.
If you are interested here is a quick guide how to set it up to get the max amount out of Brave:
Quickstartguide:
1 Download brave here
2 Activate the reward system (gif link below)Gif link
3 go into the settings an deactivate auto contribution and activate 5 ads per hour (image link below)image link
4 Create an Account on Uphold and connect it with your BraveBrowser.
Now you are good to go and can make some money on something you do anyway.
I hope this helps some folks in the community to make some extra bucks.
edit1:you can find more infos and support here:brave_browser & BATProject or www.brave.com
edit2:the earnings are depenging on the number of devices you are using and were you are living. Best paying countries: United States (69) United Kingdom (39) Canada (36) Australia (35) New Zealand (26) Germany (21) Ireland (21) France (18)( the number next to the country are the companies that are running ads on brave for this particular country, the more companies the more revenue )
you can find a full list with all countries and campaigns here: https://brave.com/transparency/
edit3:You don't need to browse to a certain website to receive ads, just browse as you are used to, play browser games, watch videos on youtube or do whatever you want.Sometimes Ads appear on the startpage looks like that https://i.imgur.com/5tohhRc.jpg and after some time on the right lower corner a clickable pop-up appears looks like that->https://i.imgur.com/CTGdVsu.png
edit4:If you want to import your bookmarks and settings from your old browser:on the right top corner of the browser is a button ->https://i.imgur.com/oi8EAri.jpg click it > than on settings > and than you got the option to import bookmarks and settings from your old browser.
If you want to sync brave between devices and for backups:type brave://flags/ into the adressbar and than brave sync into the search bar and acticate itif its enabled it should look like this https://imgur.com/a/tCMDgDjthan just click on sync ->https://i.imgur.com/oi8EAri.jpg
here is a guide ->https://support.brave.com/hc/en-us/articles/360021218111-How-do-I-set-up-Sync
edit5: Don't keep your BAT from free token grants to long in your browser, always send your bat to an external wallet or exchange like uphold, only tokens from free token grants have an expire date if they dont get used they go back to the bat pool. you can find more infos about this here -> https://support.brave.com/hc/en-us/articles/360018305731-Why-does-my-BAT-have-an-expiration-date-
submitted by OnlyReveal6 to beermoneyglobal [link] [comments]

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submitted by ViralMedia007 to FREECoursesEveryday [link] [comments]

small passive income while browsing the web

Introduction
If you were on the internet in the late 1990s, you might remember companies like "AllAdvantage" that promised to pay you to browse the web. You could install a program that tracked your browsing and showed you targeted ads at the top of the screen, then "AllAdvantage" would give you a cut of the ad revenue you generated.
These schemes largely disappeared after the dot-com crash. But Brendan Eich, the creator of the JavaScript programming language and cofounder and former CTO of Mozilla, thinks his company Brave Software has found a way to revive that old idea.
What is it?
Brave makes a browser based on Google Chrome that blocks tracking scripts and other technologies that spy on your online activity. As a result, it also blocks many web ads; if you visit any website using the Brave browser, you won’t see any ads. But Brave will give users the option to see ads that Eich says will respect your privacy. The ads will appear as desktop notifications, he says, not as replacements for the ads the Brave browser blocks. So you still won’t see ads on any website, but you might see them on the right lower corner of your screen. If you choose to see these ads, you’ll get 70 percent of the revenue they generate.
Eich hopes Brave can solve two of the web's most vexing problems the privacy and revenue problem by turning the traditional digital advertising model on its head. Today, ad networks pay sites for ad space and web browsers like Brave and Chrome deliver content from those publishers to users. Brave is trying to put the browser in the center of the advertising experience. Instead of paying publishers directly, ad networks would pay Brave, which will pass part of the money to users and keep a cut for itself.
By handling advertising in the browser on your device, Brave says it will be able to target ads without sending your data to the cloud, and protect your privacy. When you interact with an ad on Brave, the browser sends notice to the company's servers, but doesn't include any identifying information. Eich sees four sets of winners: browser makers get paid; users get paid, and get more privacy; advertisers can target pitches without running afoul of European privacy regulations; and publishers can survive in a world where many users are installing ad blockers.
Publishers and ad networks might bristle at the idea of putting browser makers in the middle of their business. But in recent years browsers have taken a more active role in shaping the web, instead of merely displaying a website’s content. Chrome now blocks ads on a small number of sites with particularly egregious advertising practices, while browsers like Firefox and Safari have added privacy protections. Meanwhile, browser plugins are giving users more control over their experience. There are Chrome extensions, for example, that let you change Facebook's color scheme, or change the way images are displayed on Pinterest. And of course there are extensions that block all ads.
Trying to win advertisers and publishers to a new model isn't Brave's only challenge. It also needs users. Eich says Brave has 15 million users and is growing.
Brave will give users a 70 percent cut of its advertising revenue, which Eich estimates could work out to about $10 a month. Brave will pay users with its own bitcoin-style "cryptocurrency” called Basic Attention Tokens or BAT, which has traded for as little as 24 cents over the past 12 months, according to CoinMarketCap. You can exchange the BAT you have received for viewing ads into USD, EUR, GBP, CHF and many more currencies.
The company offers a service through the cryptocurrency exchange Uphold to allow users to change, sell and buy BAT or donate it to publishers, and for publishers to exchange the BAT they receive for dollars. Advertisers like HomeDepot or recent campaigns included brands such as Verizon, Newegg, Chipotle, and PayPal/Honey, in addition to earlier campaigns by Amazon, Harry’s Razors, Intel, CBS, KIND snacks, Logitech, Lenovo, Grubhub, Belkin, Quickbooks, Evernote and some of cryptocurrency related companies, will be able to buy ads either with BAT or with traditional currencies.
Eich says Brave opted to create its own tokens using the Ethereum cryptocurrency platform in part to avoid regulatory requirements, such as verifying users' identifies, that partners like Uphold are better equipped to handle.
Estimated revenue? (depending on the country you live in the revenue can be higher or lower)
I made around 3oo$ so far this year using 3 devices, just for viewing some ads.
5 months so far july is not included if you calculate it down for 1 device, 100$/5months = 20$ a month just for viewing ads, you would need to buy risky stocks worth of 2000$ to get the same amount per month.
can only recommend everyone to try it, not every country has the same number of advertisers so you probably get the most out of it when you live in the USA.
If you are interested here is a quick guide how to set it up to get the max amount out of Brave:
Quickstartguide:
1 Download brave here
2 Activate the reward system (gif link below)Gif link
3 go into the settings an deactivate auto contribution and activate 5 ads per hour (image link below)image link
4 Create an Account on Uphold and connect it with your BraveBrowser.
Now you are good to go and can make some money on something you do anyway.
I hope this helps some folks in the community to make some extra bucks.
edit1:you can find more infos and support here:brave_browser & BATProject or www.brave.com
edit2:the earnings are depenging on the number of devices you are using and were you are living. Best paying countries: United States (69) United Kingdom (39) Canada (36) Australia (35) New Zealand (26) Germany (21) Ireland (21) France (18)( the number next to the country are the companies that are running ads on brave for this particular country, the more companies the more revenue )
you can find a full list with all countries and campaigns here: https://brave.com/transparency/
edit3:You don't need to browse to a certain website to receive ads, just browse as you are used to, play browser games, watch videos on youtube or do whatever you want.Sometimes Ads appear on the startpage looks like that https://i.imgur.com/5tohhRc.jpg and after some time on the right lower corner a clickable pop-up appears looks like that->https://i.imgur.com/CTGdVsu.png
edit4:If you want to import your bookmarks and settings from your old browser:on the right top corner of the browser is a button ->https://i.imgur.com/oi8EAri.jpg click it > than on settings > and than you got the option to import bookmarks and settings from your old browser.
If you want to sync brave between devices and for backups:type brave://flags/ into the adressbar and than brave sync into the search bar and acticate itif its enabled it should look like this https://imgur.com/a/tCMDgDjthan just click on sync ->https://i.imgur.com/oi8EAri.jpg
here is a guide ->https://support.brave.com/hc/en-us/articles/360021218111-How-do-I-set-up-Sync
edit5: Don't keep your BAT from free token grants to long in your browser, always send your bat to an external wallet or exchange like uphold, only tokens from free token grants have an expire date if they dont get used they go back to the bat pool. you can find more infos about this here -> https://support.brave.com/hc/en-us/articles/360018305731-Why-does-my-BAT-have-an-expiration-date-
submitted by OnlyReveal6 to passiveincome [link] [comments]

A REVIEW ABOUT GX BLOCKS PLATFORM

Cryptocurrency has gained popularity and attracted attention of investors and enthusiasts because of it's technical features and usefulness as profitable investment tool. Nonetheless, cryptocurrency is not created freely rather large number of computer based miners are able to create Bitcoin and other altcoins through use of vast energy.
In the past years, researchers have revealed that 80% energy consumption is acquired through fossil fuels and it will continue to play a crucial role in the world's development. Regardless of the advantages obtained through fossil fuels, the harmful effects outweighs the benefits against the ecosystem and mankind survival. Moreover, energy used by miners during the process of confirming cryptocurrency transactions, recording and creating new Bitcoin or cryptocurrency units is obtained from coal and thermal plants which leads to increased Co2 emissions, air pollution, rise in global warming and death rates.
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GX Blocks is an example of such latest innovations that intends to apply new strategies and techniques to minimize supply of Co2 emissions and harmful contaminants into the environment, through use of renewable energy units that is clean, safe and affordable for cryptocurrency miners. https://i.ibb.co/NnbZtNb/images-11.jpg
ABOUT GX BLOCKS
Gx Blocks platform runs on blockchain and comes with a Hybrid business model that is risk free as well merged with mobile mining units connected to renewable energy mechanisms.
The platform is incredibly intuitive and user friendly with a structured DLT ecosystem to help users experience profitable mining in cryptocurrency. In GX Blocks, affordable contracts are made available for users to purchase and receive passive income from GXB profit pools. This will be distributed to GXB smart contract holders on monthly basis.
Furthermore, these contracts enables users whether professional or newcomers to easily access innovative blockchain products and excavate desired cryptocurrency which comes without expensive or hidden management charges.
Also, Multi-signature wallet is made available to allow users store their assets, make transactions and purchase cryptocurrencies without complications. The developers integrated a dashboard for users to monitor live data on Megawatts productions and Hash Rate from mining facilities. An exchange interface is merged to the platform to enable users conveniently trade their crypto assets including inter-ledger payments protocol.
Users will experience the benefits of cold staking and masternode hosting. With this, anyone can stake their funds and earn incentives even offline. Leverage of liquid cooling methods enables GX Blocks system to lower total power requirements for mining operations up to 20%, thus users will experience smooth mining operations and make more profit via optimized DC energy efficiency.
At present, the platform operates efficiently through collaboration with three prestigious suppliers namely Bitmain, 3M Science and Beeminer. Partnership with these companies makes GX Blocks to be a sustainable solution that helps to limit relying on fossil fuels or electricity for crypto mining operations as well address challenges faced by several crypto mining platforms and customers.
MORE UPDATES
Currently, GX Blocks launched a bounty campaign for anyone to participate and get rewarded for their successful task. Use this link to get started : https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5257397.0 ​ Some notable reviews about the platform are shown below:
- Domain is registered from 2018-09-11 https://who.is/whois/gxblocks.com
https://i.ibb.co/hch1gmW/EKQmL72.png
- Website Alexa rank : 2,485,469 https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/gxblocks.com
[https://i.ibb.co/bmKqkYg/HykcVnn.png
- Platform 's Confidence: 77%
https://www.scamadviser.com/check-website/gxblocks.com
https://i.ibb.co/QmLVNT6/vzb9VKI.png
GX BLOCKS ROADMAP
2019 - GXB Platform and Tech Specs - Complete Company Establishment - MIT Enterprise Forum Competition 2019 - Business Management Team Established - White Paper and Business Plan Created - GX Blocks Platform Development Start - Documents Submission to Governing Body - Strategic Alliance with Dezavou Associates.
2020 - IT team hired for platform development MVP (Beta - Released in 2 months). - Construction of Liquid Data Center 250 KW - Private Pre - Sale for GX Contracts Started - Public Pre - Sale in Q3 of 2020 - Renewable Energy Sources Selection/ Investments - Autonomous Mobile Mining Solution Testing
2021 - Alpha Version of GXB Dashboard Release - Test Liquid Cooling Methods in Mobile Mining Units - First Voting to Contracts Holders - Power costs cover up to 80% from RES - First full autonomous clean energy plant - Established advisory-partnerships with industry experts in the Legal, Finance & Blockchain Industries.
For more details, use the official links below :
Website: https://gxblocks.com
WhitePaper: https : //gxblocks.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/GX_Blocks_Platform_Q2_2020-1.pdf
GX Pre-Sale link : https://gxblocks.net/collections/gx-blocks-contracts
Telegram: https://t.me/gxblock
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GxBlocks
Facebook: https: // www.facebook.com/gxblocks/
Medium: https://medium.com/@gxblocks
Reddit: /useGxBlocks/
WRITER DETAILS, BTT Profile URL : https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=2326370;sa=summary

BTT Username : Johnson Knight
submitted by Cryptosaurus94 to ICOAnalysis [link] [comments]

How To End The Cryptocurrency Exchange "Wild West" Without Crippling Innovation


In case you haven't noticed the consultation paper, staff notice, and report on Quadriga, regulators are now clamping down on Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges. The OSC and other regulatory bodies are still interested in industry feedback. They have not put forward any official regulation yet. Below are some ideas/insights and a proposed framework.



Many of you have limited time to read the full proposal, so here are the highlights:

Offline Multi-Signature

Effective standards to prevent both internal and external theft. Exchange operators are trained and certified, and have a legal responsibility to users.

Regular Transparent Audits

Provides visibility to Canadians that their funds are fully backed on the exchange, while protecting privacy and sensitive platform information.

Insurance Requirements

Establishment of basic insurance standards/strategy, to expand over time. Removing risk to exchange users of any hot wallet theft.


Background and Justifications


Cold Storage Custody/Management
After reviewing close to 100 cases, all thefts tend to break down into more or less the same set of problems:
• Funds stored online or in a smart contract,
• Access controlled by one person or one system,
• 51% attacks (rare),
• Funds sent to the wrong address (also rare), or
• Some combination of the above.
For the first two cases, practical solutions exist and are widely implemented on exchanges already. Offline multi-signature solutions are already industry standard. No cases studied found an external theft or exit scam involving an offline multi-signature wallet implementation. Security can be further improved through minimum numbers of signatories, background checks, providing autonomy and legal protections to each signatory, establishing best practices, and a training/certification program.
The last two transaction risks occur more rarely, and have never resulted in a loss affecting the actual users of the exchange. In all cases to date where operators made the mistake, they've been fully covered by the exchange platforms.
• 51% attacks generally only occur on blockchains with less security. The most prominent cases have been Bitcoin Gold and Ethereum Classic. The simple solution is to enforce deposit limits and block delays such that a 51% attack is not cost-effective.
• The risk of transactions to incorrect addresses can be eliminated by a simple test transaction policy on large transactions. By sending a small amount of funds prior to any large withdrawals/transfers as a standard practice, the accuracy of the wallet address can be validated.
The proposal covers all loss cases and goes beyond, while avoiding significant additional costs, risks, and limitations which may be associated with other frameworks like SOC II.

On The Subject of Third Party Custodians
Many Canadian platforms are currently experimenting with third party custody. From the standpoint of the exchange operator, they can liberate themselves from some responsibility of custody, passing that off to someone else. For regulators, it puts crypto in similar categorization to oil, gold, and other commodities, with some common standards. Platform users would likely feel greater confidence if the custodian was a brand they recognized. If the custodian was knowledgeable and had a decent team that employed multi-sig, they could keep assets safe from internal theft. With the right protections in place, this could be a great solution for many exchanges, particularly those that lack the relevant experience or human resources for their own custody systems.
However, this system is vulnerable to anyone able to impersonate the exchange operators. You may have a situation where different employees who don't know each other that well are interacting between different companies (both the custodian and all their customers which presumably isn't just one exchange). A case study of what can go wrong in this type of environment might be Bitpay, where the CEO was tricked out of 5000 bitcoins over 3 separate payments by a series of emails sent legitimately from a breached computer of another company CEO. It's also still vulnerable to the platform being compromised, as in the really large $70M Bitfinex hack, where the third party Bitgo held one key in a multi-sig wallet. The hacker simply authorized the withdrawal using the same credentials as Bitfinex (requesting Bitgo to sign multiple withdrawal transactions). This succeeded even with the use of multi-sig and two heavily security-focused companies, due to the lack of human oversight (basically, hot wallet). Of course, you can learn from these cases and improve the security, but so can hackers improve their deception and at the end of the day, both of these would have been stopped by the much simpler solution of a qualified team who knew each other and employed multi-sig with properly protected keys. It's pretty hard to beat a human being who knows the business and the typical customer behaviour (or even knows their customers personally) at spotting fraud, and the proposed multi-sig means any hacker has to get through the scrutiny of 3 (or more) separate people, all of whom would have proper training including historical case studies.
There are strong arguments both for and against using use of third party custodians. The proposal sets mandatory minimum custody standards would apply regardless if the cold wallet signatories are exchange operators, independent custodians, or a mix of both.

On The Subject Of Insurance
ShakePay has taken the first steps into this new realm (congratulations). There is no question that crypto users could be better protected by the right insurance policies, and it certainly feels better to transact with insured platforms. The steps required to obtain insurance generally place attention in valuable security areas, and in this case included a review from CipherTrace. One of the key solutions in traditional finance comes from insurance from entities such as the CDIC.
However, historically, there wasn't found any actual insurance payout to any cryptocurrency exchange, and there are notable cases where insurance has not paid. With Bitpay, for example, the insurance agent refused because the issue happened to the third party CEO's computer instead of anything to do with Bitpay itself. With the Youbit exchange in South Korea, their insurance claim was denied, and the exchange ultimately ended up instead going bankrupt with all user's funds lost. To quote Matt Johnson in the original Lloyd's article: “You can create an insurance policy that protects no one – you know there are so many caveats to the policy that it’s not super protective.”
ShakePay's insurance was only reported to cover their cold storage, and “physical theft of the media where the private keys are held”. Physical theft has never, in the history of cryptocurrency exchange cases reviewed, been reported as the cause of loss. From the limited information of the article, ShakePay made it clear their funds are in the hands of a single US custodian, and at least part of their security strategy is to "decline[] to confirm the custodian’s name on the record". While this prevents scrutiny of the custodian, it's pretty silly to speculate that a reasonably competent hacking group couldn't determine who the custodian is. A far more common infiltration strategy historically would be social engineering, which has succeeded repeatedly. A hacker could trick their way into ShakePay's systems and request a fraudulent withdrawal, impersonate ShakePay and request the custodian to move funds, or socially engineer their way into the custodian to initiate the withdrawal of multiple accounts (a payout much larger than ShakePay) exploiting the standard procedures (for example, fraudulently initiating or override the wallet addresses of a real transfer). In each case, nothing was physically stolen and the loss is therefore not covered by insurance.
In order for any insurance to be effective, clear policies have to be established about what needs to be covered. Anything short of that gives Canadians false confidence that they are protected when they aren't in any meaningful way. At this time, the third party insurance market does not appear to provide adequate options or coverage, and effort is necessary to standardize custody standards, which is a likely first step in ultimately setting up an insurance framework.
A better solution compared to third party insurance providers might be for Canadian exchange operators to create their own collective insurance fund, or a specific federal organization similar to the CDIC. Such an organization would have a greater interest or obligation in paying out actual cases, and that would be it's purpose rather than maximizing it's own profit. This would be similar to the SAFU which Binance has launched, except it would cover multiple exchanges. There is little question whether the SAFU would pay out given a breach of Binance, and a similar argument could be made for a insurance fund managed by a collective of exchange operators or a government organization. While a third party insurance provider has the strong market incentive to provide the absolute minimum coverage and no market incentive to payout, an entity managed by exchange operators would have incentive to protect the reputation of exchange operators/the industry, and the government should have the interest of protecting Canadians.

On The Subject of Fractional Reserve
There is a long history of fractional reserve failures, from the first banks in ancient times, through the great depression (where hundreds of fractional reserve banks failed), right through to the 2008 banking collapse referenced in the first bitcoin block. The fractional reserve system allows banks to multiply the money supply far beyond the actual cash (or other assets) in existence, backed only by a system of debt obligations of others. Safely supporting a fractional reserve system is a topic of far greater complexity than can be addressed by a simple policy, and when it comes to cryptocurrency, there is presently no entity reasonably able to bail anyone out in the event of failure. Therefore, this framework is addressed around entities that aim to maintain 100% backing of funds.
There may be some firms that desire but have failed to maintain 100% backing. In this case, there are multiple solutions, including outside investment, merging with other exchanges, or enforcing a gradual restoration plan. All of these solutions are typically far better than shutting down the exchange, and there are multiple cases where they've been used successfully in the past.

Proof of Reserves/Transparency/Accountability
Canadians need to have visibility into the backing on an ongoing basis.
The best solution for crypto-assets is a Proof of Reserve. Such ideas go back all the way to 2013, before even Mt. Gox. However, no Canadian exchange has yet implemented such a system, and only a few international exchanges (CoinFloor in the UK being an example) have. Many firms like Kraken, BitBuy, and now ShakePay use the Proof of Reserve term to refer to lesser proofs which do not actually cryptographically prove the full backing of all user assets on the blockchain. In order for a Proof of Reserve to be effective, it must actually be a complete proof, and it needs to be understood by the public that is expected to use it. Many firms have expressed reservations about the level of transparency required in a complete Proof of Reserve (for example Kraken here). While a complete Proof of Reserves should be encouraged, and there are some solutions in the works (ie TxQuick), this is unlikely to be suitable universally for all exchange operators and users.
Given the limitations, and that firms also manage fiat assets, a more traditional audit process makes more sense. Some Canadian exchanges (CoinSquare, CoinBerry) have already subjected themselves to annual audits. However, these results are not presently shared publicly, and there is no guarantee over the process including all user assets or the integrity and independence of the auditor. The auditor has been typically not known, and in some cases, the identity of the auditor is protected by a NDA. Only in one case (BitBuy) was an actual report generated and publicly shared. There has been no attempt made to validate that user accounts provided during these audits have been complete or accurate. A fraudulent fractional exchange, or one which had suffered a breach they were unwilling to publicly accept (see CoinBene), could easily maintain a second set of books for auditors or simply exclude key accounts to pass an individual audit.
The proposed solution would see a reporting standard which includes at a minimum - percentage of backing for each asset relative to account balances and the nature of how those assets are stored, with ownership proven by the auditor. The auditor would also publicly provide a "hash list", which they independently generate from the accounts provided by the exchange. Every exchange user can then check their information against this public "hash list". A hash is a one-way form of encryption, which fully protects the private information, yet allows anyone who knows that information already to validate that it was included. Less experienced users can take advantage of public tools to calculate the hash from their information (provided by the exchange), and thus have certainty that the auditor received their full balance information. Easy instructions can be provided.
Auditors should be impartial, their identities and process public, and they should be rotated so that the same auditor is never used twice in a row. Balancing the cost of auditing against the needs for regular updates, a 6 month cycle likely makes the most sense.

Hot Wallet Management
The best solution for hot wallets is not to use them. CoinBerry reportedly uses multi-sig on all withdrawals, and Bitmex is an international example known for their structure devoid of hot wallets.
However, many platforms and customers desire fast withdrawal processes, and human validation has a cost of time and delay in this process.
A model of self-insurance or separate funds for hot wallets may be used in these cases. Under this model, a platform still has 100% of their client balance in cold storage and holds additional funds in hot wallets for quick withdrawal. Thus, the risk of those hot wallets is 100% on exchange operators and not affecting the exchange users. Since most platforms typically only have 1%-5% in hot wallets at any given time, it shouldn't be unreasonable to build/maintain these additional reserves over time using exchange fees or additional investment. Larger withdrawals would still be handled at regular intervals from the cold storage.
Hot wallet risks have historically posed a large risk and there is no established standard to guarantee secure hot wallets. When the government of South Korea dispatched security inspections to multiple exchanges, the results were still that 3 of them got hacked after the inspections. If standards develop such that an organization in the market is willing to insure the hot wallets, this could provide an acceptable alternative. Another option may be for multiple exchange operators to pool funds aside for a hot wallet insurance fund. Comprehensive coverage standards must be established and maintained for all hot wallet balances to make sure Canadians are adequately protected.

Current Draft Proposal

(1) Proper multi-signature cold wallet storage.
(a) Each private key is the personal and legal responsibility of one person - the “signatory”. Signatories have special rights and responsibilities to protect user assets. Signatories are trained and certified through a course covering (1) past hacking and fraud cases, (2) proper and secure key generation, and (3) proper safekeeping of private keys. All private keys must be generated and stored 100% offline by the signatory. If even one private keys is ever breached or suspected to be breached, the wallet must be regenerated and all funds relocated to a new wallet.
(b) All signatories must be separate background-checked individuals free of past criminal conviction. Canadians should have a right to know who holds their funds. All signing of transactions must take place with all signatories on Canadian soil or on the soil of a country with a solid legal system which agrees to uphold and support these rules (from an established white-list of countries which expands over time).
(c) 3-5 independent signatures are required for any withdrawal. There must be 1-3 spare signatories, and a maximum of 7 total signatories. The following are all valid combinations: 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7.
(d) A security audit should be conducted to validate the cold wallet is set up correctly and provide any additional pertinent information. The primary purpose is to ensure that all signatories are acting independently and using best practices for private key storage. A report summarizing all steps taken and who did the audit will be made public. Canadians must be able to validate the right measures are in place to protect their funds.
(e) There is a simple approval process if signatories wish to visit any country outside Canada, with a potential whitelist of exempt countries. At most 2 signatories can be outside of aligned jurisdiction at any given time. All exchanges would be required to keep a compliant cold wallet for Canadian funds and have a Canadian office if they wish to serve Canadian customers.
(2) Regular and transparent solvency audits.
(a) An audit must be conducted at founding, after 3 months of operation, and at least once every 6 months to compare customer balances against all stored cryptocurrency and fiat balances. The auditor must be known, independent, and never the same twice in a row.
(b) An audit report will be published featuring the steps conducted in a readable format. This should be made available to all Canadians on the exchange website and on a government website. The report must include what percentage of each customer asset is backed on the exchange, and how those funds are stored.
(c) The auditor will independently produce a hash of each customer's identifying information and balance as they perform the audit. This will be made publicly available on the exchange and government website, along with simplified instructions that each customer can use to verify that their balance was included in the audit process.
(d) The audit needs to include a proof of ownership for any cryptocurrency wallets included. A satoshi test (spending a small amount) or partially signed transaction both qualify.
(e) Any platform without 100% reserves should be assessed on a regular basis by a government or industry watchdog. This entity should work to prevent any further drop, support any private investor to come in, or facilitate a merger so that 100% backing can be obtained as soon as possible.
(3) Protections for hot wallets and transactions.
(a) A standardized list of approved coins and procedures will be established to constitute valid cold storage wallets. Where a multi-sig process is not natively available, efforts will be undertaken to establish a suitable and stable smart contract standard. This list will be expanded and improved over time. Coins and procedures not on the list are considered hot wallets.
(b) Hot wallets can be backed by additional funds in cold storage or an acceptable third-party insurance provider with a comprehensive coverage policy.
(c) Exchanges are required to cover the full balance of all user funds as denominated in the same currency, or double the balance as denominated in bitcoin or CAD using an established trading rate. If the balance is ever insufficient due to market movements, the firm must rectify this within 24 hours by moving assets to cold storage or increasing insurance coverage.
(d) Any large transactions (above a set threshold) from cold storage to any new wallet addresses (not previously transacted with) must be tested with a smaller transaction first. Deposits of cryptocurrency must be limited to prevent economic 51% attacks. Any issues are to be covered by the exchange.
(e) Exchange platforms must provide suitable authentication for users, including making available approved forms of two-factor authentication. SMS-based authentication is not to be supported. Withdrawals must be blocked for 48 hours in the event of any account password change. Disputes on the negligence of exchanges should be governed by case law.

Steps Forward

Continued review of existing OSC feedback is still underway. More feedback and opinions on the framework and ideas as presented here are extremely valuable. The above is a draft and not finalized.
The process of further developing and bringing a suitable framework to protect Canadians will require the support of exchange operators, legal experts, and many others in the community. The costs of not doing such are tremendous. A large and convoluted framework, one based on flawed ideas or implementation, or one which fails to properly safeguard Canadians is not just extremely expensive and risky for all Canadians, severely limiting to the credibility and reputation of the industry, but an existential risk to many exchanges.
The responsibility falls to all of us to provide our insight and make our opinions heard on this critical matter. Please take the time to give your thoughts.
submitted by azoundria2 to QuadrigaInitiative [link] [comments]

The Privacy Coin Guide Part 1

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

FIRST THERE WAS BITCOIN

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

CRYPTONOTE – RING SIGNATURES AND STEALTH ADDRESSES

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

PROS

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

CONS

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

COINJOIN

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

PROS

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

CONS

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

ZEROCOIN

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

PROS

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

CONS

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

ZEROCASH

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

PROS

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

CONS

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

CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

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

PROS

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

CONS

– Only provides transaction amount privacy when used alone

RING-CT

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

PROS

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

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume

MIMBLEWIMBLE

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

PROS

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

CONS

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

ZEXE

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

NETWORK PRIVACY

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

UPCOMING

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

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

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

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

Sobre Tibia, gold farmers y un caso de ayuda y éxito PT2. Son muy buenos consejos de cómo comenzar a programar profesionalmente

Una vez más, reconocimiento al autor original de los post International-Unit-8
Hello,

I have gotten so many replies and messages since my last post in this thread, that I can't answer them all individually. Previous topic:

https://www.reddit.com/TibiaMMO/comments/h8tu5u/a_great_tip_for_brazilians_venezuelans_and_othe

It has been shared on multiple subreddits so I have no idea where to even post this. But I'd like to come up with a follow-up thread with some more information. The internet is the most powerful tool that mankind has ever invented. You have the ability to reach thousands, millions and even billions of people with just a computer and some internet access.

If you're on this subreddit, chances are you're already playing Tibia and you already have a computer and internet access. It doesn't need to be the best internet, but as long as websites will load (eventually) you are good to go.

In this topic I will go more in-depth on web development and software engineering. If you have a very slow internet connection, you may want to look into web development instead of software development. An application/software is much heavier (larger file size) than a website. And most developer jobs require that you send and download files, back and forth, between you and your company's server. So if you feel like your internet is too slow to send a lot of files - do not worry! There are plenty of jobs.

First, I will go through some more details on how to learn web development and software development. After that, I will list a few other kinds of jobs that you can do remotely. These types of jobs can be done from anywhere in the world as long as you have internet access.



Part 1: Some languages you should learn

What is web development? Well, it can be a lot of things. You perhaps make websites for shops/restaurants/hair dressers/dentists, or you work for a big company and work on their web application, like Outlook, Discord or Spotify (which can all be accessed via a browser: their web app). You can also work with design and user experience, instead of programming. Being a web developer can mean so many different things, it's impossible to name them all. But most web developers are just developers: they program. They make websites, and they either sell the websites to companies (as a consultant) or you work full/part-time for a company.

I can not provide in-depth information about every single thing, but I can give you some pointers. The very basics any web developer should know is this:

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) - it's what almost all websites use as a foundation. This is not a programming language, but it is a markup language. If you want to build websites, you pretty much have to know this language. Don't worry though, it is easy. Not so much to learn. You can learn all about it in a few weeks.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) - it's what will add colors and shapes to your website. If you want to focus more on design (also known as front end development) then this is where you want to gain a lot of knowledge.

Python - A very simple language to learn. This language is very often the first programming language that developers start using. You can use it for a lot of things. This language is used in the back of a lot of websites. Google has been using Python for years and still is. It's great for web scraping and making web requests. If you want a language to practice your algorithms, then this language is awesome.

PHP - This used to be a very popular language, but not so much these days. However, it is very good to know how this works because it's very simple to learn and also very functional in some cases. If you want to transmit or withdraw information from a database to your website, then this (in combination with SQL) is a great way to do so. Whenever you make a login system or a contact form, the data must be sent somehow to a recipient or a database. PHP will help you do that. It is a server-side language, which means it will run in the back of the website.

SQL - To be able to communicate with databases (for example: save data, update data, or insert data) you can use different languages for that. But SQL is probably the most widely used language for this. It is basically just a bunch of commands that you tell your website or app to do. If you have a web shop for example, you will need a database to store all your product information in. You can for example use MySQL as your database and then use the SQL language to extract data from your database and publish it as a list of products on your website.

JavaScript - Perhaps the most powerful language at the moment. Anyone who is good at JavaScript will be able to learn most other modern programming languages. In recent years, the demand for good JavaScript developers has skyrocketed. It's because more applications are becoming web based, and JavaScript is probably among the most useful languages to use. You can use it for so many things. Previously JavaScript was only being run on the client side of the website (that means in the user's browser). But in recent years, there has been massive development of this language and you are now able to build servers, connect to databases and do very powerful web applications using just this language. A great tutorial for JavaScript was made by Tony Alicea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bv_5Zv5c-Ts This video is "just" 3.5 hours, but it's the intro. There is a much longer version of it, and you can download it for free if you search for it. Just find it as a torrent and watch it. It's probably the best tutorial I have seen for JavaScript.

C# - It's pronounced as "C Sharp". This language has been dominating the software engineering market for decades at this point. Everyone loves it. It's relatively easy to learn and you can build a lot of stuff in C#. It's very much like JavaScript, but focuses more on application development rather than website development. I would however try to avoid learning this language if you have very slow internet, since you will most likely be sending a ton of files back and forth. But if application (computer & phone) is your thing, then this language is great. There are so many tutorials on this, but there is 1 channel on YouTube which teaches a lot of the basics in C# (and many other languages) and that channel is called ProgrammingKnowledge. Sure, his C# videos may be old now but most of it is still relevant and useful. You will learn a lot by watching his videos. It's always good to start from the beginning and then when you're familiar with that, you can learn more about the recent updates in C#. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2A8tcb_YyY&list=PLS1QulWo1RIZrmdggzEKbhnfvCMHtT-sA

Java - This is pretty much 90% identical to C# as I wrote above. Widely used, relatively easy to learn the basics and there's plenty of jobs. If you like making android apps, this language is for you.



Part 2: Technologies and useful tools

To become a web developer you will need a few tools. You need a text editor, a FTP client, a SSH client and some other things. Also a good browser.

Text editor: Visual Studio Code, Atom, Sublime Text, Brackets - There are many different text editors but at the moment, I highly recommend Visual Studio Code. It has so many built-in features it's honestly the only thing you may need.Don't forget to install Notepad++ as well - this very basic editor is so handy when you just quickly need to edit some files.

File archiving: WinRar, 7-Zip - You need some way of archiving projects and send it to your customer or employer. These are basic tools anyone should use. I personally use Winrar.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol): FileZilla - This tool will allow you to connect to your website's file manager and upload your files to it. There are many tools for connecting to an FTP server but this is the most popular one, it's simple and it works great.

VPS (Virtual Private Server): Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud - If you want to practice building web applications or want to host your own website as a fun project, it's great to use a VPS for that. Both Amazon and Google offers 365 days of free VPS usage. All you need is a credit card. However, they will not charge you, as long as you stay below the free tier limit. A VPS is basically a remote computer that you can connect to. I highly recommend that, if you have a slow internet connection. Those VPS-servers (by Amazon and Google) usually have 500mbit/s internet speed, which is faster than most countries in the world. You simply connect to them via Remote Desktop, or by SSH. Depending on what type of server you are using (Windows or Linux).

SSH (Secure Shell): Solar-PuTTY, PuTTY - If you for example have a web server where you store applications and files, a great way to connect to it is by using SSH. PuTTY is pretty much the standard when it comes to SSH clients. But I really love the version created by SolarWinds. When you download that one, do not enter your personal details. Their sales people will call you and haunt you! Haha.

File Searching: Agent Ransack - When you have many files and try to locate a specific document or file, you may want to use something like Agent Ransack. Much faster than the traditional search feature in Windows and it is much more accurate.

IDE / Code Editor: Visual Studio - Great tool to use when you want to create applications in C# for example. Do not confuse this with Visual Studio Code. These are two very different tools. This tool (Visual Studio) is more designed for Windows applications. Not just websites. I only recommend getting it if you plan to make programs for Windows.

Web host & domain: NameCheap, Epik, SiteGround - If you develop websites on your own, or maybe want to create a portfolio website, you will need a domain name and web hosting. I have personally used all of these 3 and they are very cheap. NameCheap has some of the cheapest domains and great web hosting for a low price. Their support is also great. Same with SiteGround. And if you want to buy a domain anonymously (with Bitcoin for example), then you can use Epik. Low prices and great customer service on all these 3 websites.

Web Server: XAMPP, Nginx - If you plan to practice PHP, you will need to have a web server on your local computer. If you have Windows, I would highly recommend installing XAMPP (Apache). It is very easy to use for beginners. If you're on Linux, I would recommend Nginx. Also check our PhpMyAdmin if you want to quickly setup a MySQL database locally.Bonus tip: If you use Visual Studio Code to create websites in HTML, CSS and JavaScript: then install the extension "live server" and you can run your applications on a live server without setting it up yourself. Tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzE0yqwbdgU

Web Browser: Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge Insider, Google Chrome - You need one of the latest web browsers to create websites these days. Since I prefer privacy over functionality, I've always loved Firefox. But recently, Microsoft has been improving its new version of Edge a lot (based on Chromium) and it's also very popular. If you want all your personal details to be saved and have good tools for web development, then use Google Chrome. Don't forget to utilize the built-in developer tools. You can access it in any of these browsers by pressing F12.



Other things you may want to look into:

Web services, SSL certificates, Search Engine Optimization, Databases, API, Algorithms, Data Structures



Part 3: Learning platforms

https://www.youtube.com/

https://www.w3schools.com/

https://leetcode.com/

https://stackoverflow.com/



If you want to learn in-depth about algorithms, data structures and more. Then you can take a look at the curriculum of the top-tier universities of USA. Such as: UC Berkeley, Harvard and MIT. These courses are very hard and are specifically for people who want to become experts in software engineering. You can enroll some of them for free, like the one on Harvard. And by having a such diploma (which costs $90 extra) can get you a lot of job opportunities. You can enroll those courses if you want, but it can have a fee. But just take a look at what they are studying and try do their exercises, that is 100% free. Get the knowledge. It's mostly on video too! These course below are the very same courses that many of the engineers at Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Uber, AirBnb, Twitter, LinkedIn, Microsoft, etc. has taken. It's what majority of people in Silicon Valley studied. And it's among the best classes that you can take. These course are held by some of the world's best professors in IT.



UC Berkeley: CS 61a & CS 61b:

https://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~cs61a/fa19/

Video playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_LryzvBxFw&list=PL6BsET-8jgYVAaK0jGVTWr9R5g7kSMQ8i

https://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~cs61b/fa19/

Videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNBSbBTFx8nFahcQyZOYOgQ



Harvard University: CS50 (free enrollment --- 90$ to get a certificate).

https://online-learning.harvard.edu/course/cs50-introduction-computer-science



MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology): 6.006

https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/6-006-introduction-to-algorithms-fall-2011/

Held by Erik Demaine. One of the best - if not THE best - professor at MIT. Just look at this resume. It's almost 50 pages long! https://erikdemaine.org/cv.pdf



Part 4: Finding jobs

https://www.linkedin.com/

https://marketing.hackerrank.com/

https://www.glassdoor.com/index.htm

Facebook groups for web developers, freelancing, remote work, etc.

Portfolio / Code Sharing / Source Control:

https://github.com/



Part 5: Other types of jobs you can work with (remotely) - with/without coding experience

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Translations (Spanish/Portuguese, etc.)

Affiliate Marketing (look into Clickbank.com - and use Facebook Ads to promote products)

Design (web design, photo design, etc.)

Copywriting (write sales letters for companies)

Database manager (monitor and administrate a company's database)

YouTube - make YouTube videos to gain views. Views = Money.

Dropshipping (use Shopify.com for example) and sell products in a webshop. Benefit with dropshipping is that you don't personally store the products.

Customer support

more...? Banking, economics, etc.



You can find information about all of the things I have mentioned by using YouTube or Google search.

Hope it helps.



And I hope that in 1 year, there will be at least some new web developers in Brazil, Venezuela and other countries in South America.
submitted by jesuskater to memezuela [link] [comments]

List of beer money opportunities in Ireland and most countries worldwide

Please DO NOT post articles promoting these.

The list will consist of 4 parts.

Part 1: Surveys, studies, watching videos, playing games etc.

Swagbucks | Click here to get 300 SB points (3$) when signing up. Note that you need to earn 300 SB within the first 30 days of signing up to get your bonus. * Payout options: PayPal, Amazon gift cards and more. * Swagbucks payment proofs 1 / 2 * Surveys, polls, download offers, sign up offers, cashback when shopping etc. * Tips to earn more: * Click here to add the SwagButton to earn cashback on websites you visit. * Go to the "Discover" section and do offers such as download/install games. They usually pay between 50 to 2000 SB (0.50$ to 20$). * Get 1000 SB for subscribing to Disney + for a year (equivalent of $10) and many more. * Offers change regularly. You should never get bored and have small tasks to do every day.
Survey Time | Click here to sign up * Payout options: PayPal, Amazon gift card and Bitcoin * SurveyTime Payment proofs 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 * The average length of each survey is roughly 10 minutes and you will usually earn 1$ (sometimes 0.50$ but they inform you before). * You get paid instantly (within minutes with PayPal).
OfferNation | Click here to sign up * Sign up bonus: $0.25 * Payout options: PayPal and Skrill * Points proof | PayPal payment proof | Email payment proof * Wide range of surveys * You might need to send a utility bill or any document with your name on it. It is to prevent fraud. I had to do that myself, I just sent them my broadband utility bill. * You get paid almost instantly as you can cash out from $1
Prolific | Click here to sign up * Payout option: PayPal * Payment proof 1 / Payment proof 2
I've had many more studies but I'm not going to write them all down, it's just to let you know what kind of studies you can expect.
ySense | Click here to sign up * Payout options: PayPal, Amazon gift cards and more. * Similar to Swagbucks.
InstaGC | Click here to sign up * Sign up bonus: 10 points * Payout options: PayPal and Bitcoin * PayPal payment proof / Email payment proof * Similar to Swagbucks.
GG2U | Click here to sign up * Sign up bonus: $1 * Payout options: PayPal, Bitcoin * Similar to Swagbucks.
Gain.gg | Click here to sign up * Sign up bonus: 100 coins * Payout options: Cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethererum, Litecoin and more). * Similar to Swagbucks.
TimeBucks | Click here to sign up * Sign up bonus: $1 * Payout options: PayPal, Payeer and Bitcoin * Similar to Swagbucks.
ZoomBucks | Click here to sign up * Sign up bonus: 500 points * Payout options: PayPal, Amazon gift cards and more. * Similar to Swagbucks.
GrabPoints | Click here to sign up * Sign up bonus: 500 points * Payout options: PayPal, Amazon gift cards and more. * Similar to Swagbucks.
FeaturePoints | Click here to sign up * Sign up bonus: 50 points * Payout options: PayPal, Visa gift card, Amazon gift cards, Bitcoin and more * Enter the code 9BGX93 to get 50 points if you download the app directly from your mobile phone. * Similar to Swagbucks.
PrizeRebel | Click here to sign up * Payout options: PayPal, Amazon gift cards and more * Similar to Swagbucks.
Market Agent | Click here to sign up * Payout options: PayPal, Skrill and Bank transfer * Surveys
TestingTime | Click here to sign up * Payout options: PayPal, Direct deposit * Test new products & services and earn up to €50 per hour. * I haven’t had any luck yet with this site but maybe you’ll be lucky! * They should send you an email whenever a product or service needs to be tested.

Part 2: Mobile apps only

AttaPoll (Android and IOS) | https://attapoll.app/join/lygpl * Payout options: PayPal, Revolut, Ethereum * AttaPoll payment proof * Short surveys. Usually take between 1 to 10 minutes.
Poll Pay (Android and IOS) | Android | iPhone * Sign up bonus: 0.23€ when using this code N6D2DC84BB * Payout options: PayPal, App Store/iTunes and Spotify Premium * Poll Pay payment proof * Short surveys. Usually between 5 to 10 minutes.
Money App (Android and IOS) | http://moneyapp.org/app * Sign up bonus: 200 Credits when using this code 71YNBT * Payout option: PayPal * Surveys, installing/playing games, signing up to sites etc.
CashKarma (Android and IOS) | https://cashkar.ma/nP0H05HOz8 * Sign up bonus: 300 Karma points. Go to the top right corner of the app and enter weaselbusters * Payout options: PayPal, Google Play, Xbox Live and Steam * Surveys, installing/playing, signing up to sites etc.
BeMyEye (Android and IOS) | https://bemyeye.com/earn-money/ * Sign up bonus: 1€ when you enter this code j5z6pk and complete your first mission. * Payout options: PayPal and Bank transfer * This app allows you to earn money by completing missions. They include taking pictures at specific locations in your area, answering questions and following instructions given to you by the app.
StreetBees (Android and IOS) | Android | iPhone * Sign up bonus: 1€ when you enter this code 8572TF * Payout option: PayPal * Stories (these are basically surveys, but they show as if someone was asking you questions on a messaging app)
Givvy app (Android and IOS) | Android | iPhone
BigCash (Android and IOS) | Android | iPhone * Sign up bonus: 70 coins when you enter this code nwzh7k5z after installing the app * Payout options: PayPal, Amazon gift card etc. * Earn points by watching videos, checking in every day, surveys etc.
BuzzBreak (Android only, coming soon to IOS) | http://bit.ly/2vpqKU6 * Sign up bonus: 500 points when entering referral code B22603141 after you start using the app. * Earn cash by simply reading the news, checking in every day and play games. * I would advise you to only use this if you plan on reading the news from this app. Watching videos and playing games for the purpose of earning points is not really worth it, unless you have a lot of free time.

Part 3: Passive income for Windows/Linux/Mac OS and mobile apps

HoneyGain (Windows, Mac OS and Android) | Click here to sign up and claim your first $5 * Payout option: PayPal * Install their software on your computer and leave it running in the background. * This software basically shares some of your Internet traffic. * Completely passive because once installed and signed in, you will start earning and it will load up as soon as your start up your computer.
PacketStream (Windows, Linux and Mac OS) | Click here to sign up * Payout option: PayPal * Same concept as HoneyGain
Money SMS (Android only) | Click here to download * Sign up bonus: 0,25€ when using this code MZ2GLM24 * Payout option: PayPal * Money SMS payment proof * App to download on your mobile where you receive up to 2 texts per day. You will earn 0.02€ per text. * These are very random texts and you don't need to read them. There are days I don't receive any texts at all and times I receive 2 texts at a time every day. * It's totally passive as you only need to download the app and wait.
McMoney (Android only) | From your mobile phone, go to https://mcmoneyapp.com/ Click on Download APK and install the app. * Sign up bonus: $0,25 when using this code V6TM2KP5 * Payout option: PayPal * Same concept as Money SMS * They pay $0.05 per text (twice more than Money SMS but I personally run both on my mobile).
LoadTeam (Windows only) | Click here to sign up and get your first $0.20 * Payout option: PayPal * You will need to download their software on your computer and leave it running. * This app basically "harvests" your computer's idle power. * Note that your computer could run slow if you don't change the settings on their software. * Tip: I would advise to use this only if you use your computer at the same time. Leaving this particular software running for the purpose of simply earning money might not be worth it. * Once you install it, you can see how much money you could potentially make as it all depends on your computer's performance.
eBesucher (Windows, Linux and Mac OS) | Click here to sign up * Payout options: PayPal and bank transfer * Autosurf that launches random advertised websites on your browser. You can also earn points by reading emails they send you but then it wouldn't be a passive income. I personally just let the Autosurf running. * The main purpose of an Autosurf is for new websites to bring traffic. * You will need to download their software on your computer and leave it running. * Simply hit "Start" once the software is installed.

Part 4: Ireland only - Surveys and Scanning groceries for cashback

Mobrog | Click here to sign up * Payout options: PayPal and Skrill * Mobrog payment proof * Surveys. Note that your reward will usually show the next day.
Shop and Scan | Click here to sign up * Payout options: One4all, Amazon, Penneys, Zalando, Clarks and more. * Shop and Scan payment proof | Shop and Scan points earned proof (past 30 days) * Earn cash back when scanning your groceries. * Once you sign up, you will receive a barcode scanner by post with a book. * Every time you go shopping (once a week), scan the items you bought, take a picture of your receipt and upload them to their site through their app. * Uploading a receipt = 60 points * Scanning and uploading your groceries = 140 points * That's a total of 2€ every week. (Doesn't sound like much but that's a free 8€ per month spending no more than 5 minutes each time). * Once they are in contact with you via email with the full application to join, I would really appreciate if you could enter the panel number 916062 into your application to confirm the referral.
Redclive | Click here to sign up * Payout option: Cheques sent by post * Redclive payment proof email | Redclive payment proof * This is my favorite Irish survey site. They pay 1€ for every 5 minutes spent. * The only downside is that you need to reach 50€ to receive your cheque. Once you reach that amount, they will send you a cheque automatically by post and that takes 2 to 3 weeks.
IrishOpinions | Click here to sign up * Payout options: Amazon, Tesco, Penneys, TK Maxx and more. * IrishOpinions payment proof email | IrishOpinions payment proof Tesco gift card * Same as Redclive. They don’t pay as well but you can cash out once you reach 10€
Toluna | Click here to sign up * Payout options: PayPal, Spotify and Homesense * Surveys and play games like memory cards and MatchMania (similar to candy crush).
Acumen Panel | Click here to sign up * Payout options: AllGifts.ie voucher * Acumen payment proof email | Payment proof AllGifts.ie voucher * Surveys. They pay as much as Redclive (1€ for every 5 minutes spent) but I don't get many surveys from them. I've had one survey from them very recently that took me about 10 minutes for 250 points (2.5€).
Media Opinions Ireland | Click here to sign up * Payout options: One4all and iTunes. * Daily short survey. I don’t get many other surveys from them.
submitted by weaselbusters to beermoneyie [link] [comments]

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