Garth Kiser

Blockchange.info

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Jun 122014
 

BlockChangeSmallWe have created a new website dedicated to blockchain technologies(Bitcoin). From now on all of our content related to that topic will be published there. PursuingNothing.com will continue to be used for personal content.

www.blockchange.info

May 162014
 

In mid-February we bought 8 Darkcoins(DRK) for about 30 cents each, a tiny investment in a fledgling cryptocurrency. Just one among hundreds of emerging coins, DRK sparked our curiosity because of its focus on anonymity, complete with a built-in “laundering” feature called Darksend planned for the next release.

indexWe thought anonymity to be important based on our perceived fracturing of the bitcoin community. Among its current developers and enthusiasts are those who want to see the currency go mainstream by forming good relationships with corporate and government interests, and those who see those interests as an ultimately evil threat.

Therefore we see two major directions that the market may move forward:

#1: A third-party wallet(not endorsed by the Bitcoin Foundation) with advanced anonymity features will be widely adopted, like Darkwallet.

#2: A privacy-centered coin will rise to share the top cryptocurrency position. The white market will be served by bitcoin, and the dark market by some other coin.

DRK has just released Darksend as promised and climbed several thousand percent in the process. Based on its first-mover advantage, we now strongly believe that DRK will fill the dark market role.

 

Apr 142014
 

IMAG0861On March 11th we bought some Blackcoins at a cost of about half a cent each from a cryptocurrency exchange website called CryptoRush. The total purchase amounted to a few dollars.

Days later CryptoRush lost some $70,000 its users’ Blackcoins and remains in peril of a total collapse. But we were safe, having followed our Rule #1:

Never Leave Cryptocurrency In An Exchange.

It took just minutes to download a small piece of Blackcoin software, use it to generate a public/private keypair, backup and encrypt the private key, then transfer the Blackcoins out of the exchange and into our own full control. Those few minutes spent on security have now paid off many times over……and growing.

We watched with mild interest as our Blackcoins doubled in value a day later to one cent……then doubled again…….all the way to three cents by the end of the week. An initial investment costing no more than a simple fast food meal from the dollar menu…….was now worth several meals.

“I’ve got a good feeling about those Blackcoins”, I said to Sarah repeatedly over the next three weeks. Daily trading volume increased into the tens of thousand of dollars as the value rose to four cents, dropped to two cents, rose back to four.

Then the phenomenon began on April 11th. Two days and several million dollars of trading later those Blackcoins were worth 50 fast food meals! Our mild interest had grown with the value. Now I had to ask myself, why did I buy Blackcoins in the first place, and why did they increase so much?

I was first led to Blackcoin due to a very active community supporting it on message boards and social media. From there it took only minutes of reading before I decided to buy. The coin was relatively scarce, had unique proofing algorithms, fast transaction times, and it was interest bearing.

The magic touch for Blackcoin came from a payment processing startup called Coinkite. They manufacture point-of-sale devices for businesses to accept cryptocurrency, and debit cards for customers to pay with cryptocurrency. The big question regarding this new company is, what coins will their payment system accept? Until April 9th only Bitcoin and Litcoin were in the works, but then came the announcement that Blackcoin had also been chosen and would be integrated by early this summer.

With many interesting new coins coming online each week, we can only invest a very few dollars into each of them, with the bulk of our investment reserved for the more established cryptocurrency projects. As for brand new ideas such as Blackcoin, we have only a couple hundred dollars of investment spread over several dozen projects. Although I spend a great deal of time researching to find these small investments, success still comes down to some measure of simple lottery luck……..but each day we have more well-picked tickets put in the draw.

Blackcoin Website

Blackcoin on Cryptsy

 

Mar 122014
 

 

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Photo via The Free Network Foundation

The Bitcoin protocol is a monumental leap towards a peer-governed future, but what happens when the Internet goes down? This is a common question, and a very valid one.

Any large-scale Internet outage or blockage would surely be very bad for any software that relies on blockchain verifications. Right now cryptocurrencies are the only major use of blockchain technology, but usage will soon see explosive growth as new applications are being realized each day.

The question is, what happens to such a distributed verification systems when certain parts of the network become isolated? Imagine a widespread global conflict in which all satellites and undersea cables are sabotaged. The Internet’s distributed nature is designed so that connected computers will remain so, but no longer would they remain connected to computers outside of their region.

In such a scenario, blockchain verifications would only take place regionally, with the result being that each region develops forked versions of the blockchain. When the regions became connected again there would be no global consensus possible for any transactions that took place during the disconnected period, and therefore such transactions would only be recognized regionally. This is obviously unacceptable for any global digital currency.

DR7800-AUS

HF(shortwave) Modem(photo via P4dragon.com)

To combat this scenario the Bitcoin Foundation and all other interested parties should collaboratively build and maintain a global network of solar-powered mobile blockchain servers connected to HF modems. These units would be stored in undisclosed locations, connected to the Internet, designed to automatically begin transmitting the blockchain via HF modem in the event of an Internet failure.

It must be assumed that these units would be targeted by sophisticated weapons during warfare, including conventional explosives and frequency jamming systems. Please comment with any technical corrections and/or ideas how these units would be designed and secured.

Mar 042014
 

coinAnyone who bought Auroracoins or Mazacoins a week ago has doubled their money MANY times over. Only few thousand dollars worth of these coins were exchanged each day last week, but today their combined trading volume is nearly $5 million. The total value of all Auroracoins in existence now exceeds $1 billion, making it the third most valuable cryptocurrency among thousands of competitors.

Volatility is absolutely normal in this market, with many bubbles fueled by hype alone, but extreme cases like Auroracoin and Mazacoin demand a closer look. Does such a rise have to do with some perceived value? What makes these coins unique among the competitors. I believe their rise to be related to the fact that they are intended to be regional cryptocurrencies. Auroracoin is being developed for the population of Iceland, while Mazacoin is for a native American tribe called the Traditional Lakota Nation. Half of all Auroracoins and Mazacoins that will ever exist were created in advance and are being held by the coin developers. They have promised to distribute these coins to the entire population of Iceland and all Lakota tribal members.

So assuming that the perceived value of these coins lies in their regional nature, this begs another question; why are people placing value on regional coins? What seems to be the most obvious answer, nationalism, isn’t relevant here since the investment in these coins is so large. We can safely assume that the majority of the Icelandic and Lakota populations simply don’t have the resources to fuel this rise all by themselves. This speculation is coming mainly from outside these regions.

I believe the answer lies in the fact that people don’t like to put all their eggs in one basket, that many heads are better than one. Relying entirely one one massively popular cryptocurrency like Bitcoin just feels risky. Investors realize this fear and speculate accordingly that regional cryptocurrencies will be eventually be adopted in their intended regions. Likewise, they bet on market specific cryptocurrencies like Devcoin for the open-source software community, or Potcoin for marijuana buyers and sellers. Furthermore. people tend to feel an emotional connection to a coin based upon their specific region or interests. The best example of this phenomenon is Dogecoin, which over the course of a month went from a joke to millions in daily trading volume.

If you think such a diverse cryptocurrency market could never be user-friendly enough for the  mainstream, then consider the emerging concept of decentralized exchange. There are several such projects in the works, such as Mastercoin, which aims to do so utilizing the same underlying technology that makes cryptocurrency possible. In such a system, we would be able to easily exchange different types of cryptocurrencies with no third-party involvement.

Feb 182014
 

IMAG0001Pillars of civilization are decentralizing at a rapid pace, our future becoming less clear with each passing day. There are those among us who reject this great unknown, and those like myself who will fight for even the slightest possibility of a future that is not forever inhibited by the great repulsive forces of centralization.

One hundred years ago they called them anarchists, a borderless force to be reckoned. According to “propoganda of the deed“, political and commercial leaders of the world were assassinated at an astonishing rate.

The anarchist movement was eventually crushed by the powers that be, and while much deadly force was indeed used to do so, violence was not the primary tool used to pacify the anarchists.

Used intentionally or not, that primary tool was commercial imperialism. The doors of”free trade” were forcefully opened throughout the world during the early 20th century, primarily by the United States. Not only was the anarchist movement quelled, but the Unitied States remains the most powerful Centralist force in the world to this day.

This solution against anarchism was painfully simple. The masses were distracted with a middle-class income for a generation while the Centralists laid low, gathering strength, reorganizing and plotting their next big move. Now they’re back with a vengeance, as is evident in events such as the 2008 financial collapse and the bank bailouts that followed.

Likewise, the trusty opposition has also returned to the stage, but they were merely laying low too, plotting their next move. They’re smarter this time, and not called anarchists anymore, but equally nasty new names like “techno-libertarians”. They remember how the Centralist powers wormed back into favor with the masses so many years ago, and now they’re ready to use those same wormy methods against them.

The masses shall experience prosperity once again. And this time that prosperity will persist because it shall be found through the sustainable means of decentralization. This time around the technological tools are at hand to finally maintain the upperhand. The centuries-old battle against the greedy Centralist minority does not seem likely to end in our forseeable future, but then again, our future is less clear each day.

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