Finance War No More

September 18th, 2014   Submitted by Tyrone Johnson

SilentVaultSince World War One the United States has engaged in wars of aggression and military occupation in Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. To this day the US military occupies 56 bases in Germany, 113 facilities in Italy, and 84 in Japan. They have an armed force in the “demilitarized zone” on the Korean peninsula, and hundreds of bases in at least 70 different countries.

“These facilities include a total of 845,441 different buildings and equipments. The underlying land surface area is in the order of 30 million acres. According to Gelman, who examined 2005 official Pentagon data, the US is thought to own a total of 737 bases in foreign lands. Adding to the bases inside US territory, the total land area occupied by US military bases domestically within the US and internationally is in the order of 2,202,735 hectares, which makes the Pentagon one of the largest landowners worldwide (Gelman, J., 2007).”

The US government spends hundreds of billions of dollars every year on military activities, to buy equipment and supplies, to deploy forces around the globe, to conduct surveillance from drones, aircraft, and satellites, and to “command and control” all these various people and things all over the world. Some recent estimates suggest that a trillion dollars or more has been lost or mis-allocated by the US military.

How is it possible to finance all these wars, all these military bases, all this activity? Quite simple, really.

In December 1913, then-president Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act into law, enabling the government to borrow as much as it wants. Lately, it has borrowed trillions of dollars.

As an anarchist I am against war, and I want nothing to do with it. It takes at least one government, and typically more than one, to have a war. Anarchists have never dropped nuclear bombs on cities, have not decimated populations with artillery strikes, have never committed genocide, and don’t need euphemisms about collateral casualties, because anarchism doesn’t kill civilians in war. But as a humanitarian I want more than to know that my political philosophy isn’t militaristic. I also want to have no part in financing wars. It turns out that it’s rather difficult to avoid military finance. There are so many taxes on so many things that it’s difficult not to participate in some way, at some level, in the system that collects money and makes war possible.

Several hundred years ago, author Etienne de la Boetie wrote about ending tyranny by withdrawing support from the tyrant. You don’t need to place your hands upon him and push him over, according to de la Boetie, you simply stop supporting him. The tyrant doesn’t have enough eyes to spy upon everyone, he needs you and your neighbors to rat each other out. The tyrant doesn’t have enough fists to beat everyone up and keep them in line, he needs police and an army or perhaps some brown shirt thugs to do that sort of work. Most of all, the tyrant needs money to pay for these things.

In the mid-90s, a number of technologies were developed by people like David Chaum, Doug Jackson, Bernard von NotHaus, and others to create alternative monetary systems. Some of these were very much in line with the ideas of FA Hayek’s essay, “The Denationalisation of Money.” For example, certain ideas of Chaum were used by Digibank to create a system of digital bearer instruments that prevent double-spends. Jackson created E-gold.com which made gold, silver, platinum, and palladium available in digital form for buying and selling. Von NotHaus created Liberty Dollar, which was a paper, silver, and digital currency.

As someone very interested in alternatives to government-issued paper currencies, I found these experiments fascinating. The success of one or more of these currency systems would have presented an enormous opportunity to avoid the bloody consequences inherent in the mainstream banking system. For a time it looked as though E-gold would be very successful. It began growing on an exponential curve in the period from 2001 to 2006. Unfortunately, that growth generated a great deal of interest by law enforcement organisations. The system reacted to protect itself. Jackson was accused of money laundering, and over a period of years became convinced to plead guilty to at least one felony charge. Naturally, doing so prevented the company from obtaining money transmitter licences. After April 2007, E-gold was a bust.

The situation with Liberty Dollar was similar in many respects. Von NotHaus did not plead guilty, however a jury in North Carolina found him guilty of a charge that amounts to felony counterfeiting. For various reasons he still has not been sentenced, and it is difficult to appeal a conviction prior to sentencing. Since September 2007, the Liberty Dollar has been kaput.

Other very interesting experiments took place. For example, a former mainstream banker, James Turk, created a digital gold storage system called GoldMoney.com. The GoldMoney system was based on the Channel Island of Jersey, had gold storage in London, and provided for high levels of “know your customer” compliance, with copies of passports and such for new user accounts. For a time, GoldMoney also provided for transfers between user accounts, so it could be used as a medium of exchange. However, presumably due to fears of government intervention, GoldMoney closed this feature of its system. It remains a remarkably successful gold storage facility, but it is no longer a medium of exchange.

Into this context of experiments with alternative monetary systems, their destruction by law enforcement, and a continuing desire in the market for better money, came Satoshi Nakomoto. In 2008, Satoshi distributed a famous white paper about Bitcoin. In 2009, he released the open source software Bitcoin Core which is the basis of the Bitcoin technology. By 2010 he had mostly faded into the background, assigning the important domain names to others and withdrawing from public life. Rumors abound about who Satoshi is, whether a person or a team, what age, what gender. Many people believe that Satoshi took about a million Bitcoin with him when he went away. At current market prices, those Bitcoin would be worth about $500 million.

Bitcoin is open source and decentralized. Rather than using a central server to process payments, as with the E-gold system, Bitcoin uses a distributed array of Bitcoin “miners” who process payments, typically for very small amounts of Bitcoin. Miners add processed data about transactions to what is called “the blockchain,” a public ledger of every Bitcoin transaction.

Bitcoin has inspired dozens of similar currencies, such as Litecoin, Dogecoin, and applications of the blockchain methodology to other concepts such as domain name ownership (Namecoin) and other ownership records. Widespread market acceptance of Bitcoin has made it possible for billion-dollar annual sales corporations such as Overstock.com and Dell to accept Bitcoin. Today, the total amount of Bitcoin in circulation figures in the billions of dollars worth. Its decentralized nature makes it hard to target in the way that E-gold and Liberty Dollar were. There is no single point of failure, no central servers, and no particular individuals to focus upon.

However, Bitcoin has a number of deficits. It does provide a digital bearer instrument. However, its interfaces with the mainstream financial system create enormous risk for a given user. Once an individual’s wallet is tied to a user’s banking information, credit card, social media accounts, or other footprint, it is no longer anonymous. Some recent ventures, such as Coinbase, attempt to perform detailed “know your customer” due diligence on every user in order to attempt to comply with anti-money-laundering laws. Others, such as Trucoin, use social media logins for Facebook and MAC address information from wireless routers to establish the geographical and other particulars of their customers. Apparently, Google created a huge database of wireless routers when they did all that “war driving” for “Street View.” Such databases are available, for a fee, to merchants. Which ought to make you go right to your web browser and change its “about configuration” to turn off geo-location.

Users continue to seek tools that can safeguard their privacy. The more you get involved in technologies that examine or discuss your personal activities, the more cognizant you may wish to be about how those technologies give out your information. Some people seem to be reasonably happy being oblivious about their privacy, but that isn’t necessarily a good idea.

You are probably aware that your cell phone talks to cell towers, without your involvement. You may not be aware that some people have been put in prison because they were convicted based on conversations they had near their cell phones, when those phones were turned off.

If you really want to keep your private conversations private, take the battery out of your phone, and watch the person you are with do the same. Consider the merits of a Faraday cage in the event you worry about unknown transmitters signalling your private conversations.

You are probably aware that e-mails travel circuitous routes, at times. You may not be aware that Edward Snowden’s documents reveal that the NSA captures every e-mail that crosses through routers in the US, which is the vast majority of all e-mails. If you want to keep your e-mail discussions private in any meaningful sense, you should learn public key cryptography, at least to the extent of adding something like the Enigmail plugin to your e-mail client. Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) isn’t perfectly private, but it is far better than sending every e-mail in clear text.

One could go on in this same vein at some length. Now that you are aware of the limitations of the blockchain, you may want to find ways to turn off the public disclosure aspects of your Bitcoin use. Happily, that is now possible.

At the same time that Bitcoin was under development, another group of programmers began working on a very different system. Voucher-Safe allows any digital bearer instrument to be transferred from one user to another, directly. There is no intermediary, there is no public blockchain. With Bitcoin, your payment first goes to at least one Bitcoin miner, who confirms the transaction by publishing it to the blockchain. Bitcoin Core, and most other wallet software provides a tiny payment to the Bitcoin miner for confirming the transaction. With Voucher-Safe wallet payments are made from one wallet to another, directly.

The Voucher-Safe technology divides the global population up into Voucher Publishers, Voucher Issuers, Voucher Users, and Wallet Publishers. SilentVault is an example of a Wallet Publisher. They make available two sorts of wallets, one which is basically a web app, operating under its own java virtual machine environment, the other a plugin for the Spark Jabber/XMPP open source chat client.

Silent Bitcoin Trust and Silent Silver Trust are examples of Voucher Issuers. Issuers hold Bitcoin, silver, or some other asset, and issue vouchers that represent the asset. Each issuing trust has its own rules for audits and compliance with the approaching-infinity number of regulations regarding financial instruments worldwide.

Voucher Users include anyone with a Voucher-Safe wallet. Since the Voucher-Safe wallet standard is open source, anyone can build and publish a wallet. The wallet software is also open source and complies with open source licence standards. However, the contents of the wallet are accessed using public key cryptography, with the wallet’s private key always stored on your computer, never on a remote server.

That fact means that what you do with your wallet and its contents is your business. Nobody involved in the Voucher-Safe system will ever ask you, “What’s in your wallet?” What you have in your wallet shouldn’t be anyone else’s business.

Indeed, some years ago an Austrian banking specialist, Peter Zipper used to make presentations for a bank called the Anglo Irish Bank. He would note that many Americans talk openly about their mortgages, their salaries, how much money they spent on their current automobile. He would comment about how unknown that behavior was in Austria. “Austrians talk about pastry,” he would say. Which is probably a better approach for people who want to have some economic freedom and privacy in a world where paid informants turn over databases of Swiss bank accounts to tax authorities.

So, what’s in it for the anarchist? Economic privacy is its own reward, of course. The more you have privacy in your economic affairs, the less you have to concern yourself with regulators and tax authorities who want to interfere with what you are doing. But, it goes much further than your own particular freedoms.

With economic privacy, you can effectively avoid contributing to the wars going on all around the world. If you think those wars are a good thing, that NATO is fighting against Russian aggression, or that the US is fighting against Islamic terrorist networks, then you might be very content in the mainstream banking system. But if you think those wars are unjust, that they represent chaos unleashed, that the people profiting from the wars are going to insist on more wars, that the “Legacy of Ashes” that Eisenhower lamented, and the unwarranted influence of the military industrial complex that he warned against are issues you should be concerned about, you might want to do things a little differently.

You might choose to enter the SilentVault and finance war no more.

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23 Responses to “Finance War No More”

  1. GenghisNo Gravatar says:

    The problem with all of these schemes is that they require a trusted third party. Therein lies the problem.

    Accept reality, trade in baskets of currencies and invest in the real precious metals, lead and brass. A mental map that doesn’t match reality is worse than useless.

    Financial security is not achievable. Don’t buy insurance, deal with the fear. Be self reliant and have a needed skill.

    Nothing lasts forever, bad times or good. Be prepared and prosper.

  2. VanmindNo Gravatar says:

    This article started out great and then developed a serious case of digital diarrhea.

  3. Genghis says that there is a problem with trusting third parties. That’s certainly true. People buying bitcoin from Trucoin using credit cards certainly have a good number of third parties involved in their transaction. From our research, we gather that Coinbase does extensive “know your customer” validation on all its customers, presumably sharing information with state agencies. So, there are endless ways to involve third parties, and have troubles.

    On the other hand, as Larry Niven notes in “Destiny’s Road,” if you don’t ever trust anyone, you necessarily limit what you can accomplish. Which is why many people choose to distribute their assets in various ways – amongst banks and credit unions, in various types of financial assets, in more than one kind of commodity, not putting all their eggs in any one basket.

    Genghis promotes this idea, suggesting commodities such as lead and brass, which are very useful for making bullets. I like metal jackets on my lead, which helps keep the barrel cleaner, longer. Lead fouling is so annoying.

    Not only do I agree with what Genghis says, “Financial security is not achievable,” I would go further. No security is achievable. There is no safety, ever, at all. Or, to quote an old friend, “all security is an illusion. If the illusion takes place in your mind, you are endangered by it. If you project the illusion of your security into the minds of others, it serves you well.”

    Being self-reliant is a good idea. Of course, division of labour has long worked out for economic activities. And “have a needed skill” is good advice, whether you know in advance what skills would be most profitable or not.

    “Nothing lasts forever, bad times or good. Be prepared and prosper.” All very good advice. A thoughtful comment, certainly, filled with good ideas.

    Bitcoin is not for everyone. SilentVault is not for all bitcoin. It is another system for making digital bearer certificates available for trade and commerce.

    Vanmind’s comment is also interesting, and I appreciate the compliment about the first part of the essay. Where I chose to take the essay is, of course, my responsibility, and my choice.

  4. autonomicNo Gravatar says:

    If you’re going to hide from government (behave illegally) anyway, why not invest in moonshine? At least you would have the alternative in hand to become oblivious if maintaining invisibility (at least the illusion of it) becomes too burdensome.

  5. autonomicNo Gravatar says:

    The drunk ghost.

  6. Why would you think that people who don’t like to expose every single transaction they make to public view (publication on the block chain) are behaving illegally? Or, what kind of anarchist are you to think that seeking individual privacy and freedom constitutes wrongdoing?

    Mind you, many of my ancestors in the Ozark Mountains were involved in moonshine, since no government on Earth has any proper authority to tax the natural products of fermentation and distillation. Only psychopathic enthusiasts of the mass-murdering state would think that distilling alcohol is criminal. You have to be a hateful troll to enthuse about tax authorities hassling hill people. But, then, we can see that you are.

    • autonomicNo Gravatar says:

      I am an anarchist who know how to read. I wonder about you. I not only do but approve of many illegal activities. Pointing out that something is illegal is no indication of approval or agreement with the legal process. In fact, being against legal process is what defines anarchy.

  7. Your earlier comment indicated that all hiding from government was behaving illegally. That seems mistaken, to me. Perhaps your attitude that anyone who doesn’t love to be seen by government should get drunk until they cannot see straight caused my confusion about your intentions, philosophy, and personality. It seems possible, now, that you are not necessarily a pro-government troll. And, who knows, maybe your personality will improve.

  8. AdminusNo Gravatar says:

    I am looking forward to anything decentral, albeit it will also breed a new category of real criminals, which will take shelter behind the decentral curtain.

    But I am prepared to take the challenge. Even central places like e-gold, pecunix, liberty reserve etc. were able to make you poorer.. So, caution is needed, always, no matter how central or decentral your peers are.

  9. Adminus writes, “I am looking forward to anything decentral, albeit it will also breed a new category of real criminals, which will take shelter behind the decentral curtain.”

    There’s every reason to suppose that contraband activities such as drug dealing, moonshining, gambling, prostitution, gun sales, and so forth are possible with any new currency system. One of the most clear-cut reasons to suppose that new financial tools may be used for trade and commerce in banned materials and activities is that these activities already exist, already use existing financial tools, already use mainstream currencies. What has happened is possible.

    By design, the Voucher Safe technology platform on which SilentVault’s wallets are built makes it impossible to know who is using a particular wallet, who is using how much of which currency, who is doing what with their own assets, who has stored what in each wallet, etc. There is no provision in these technologies to track IP addresses, usage activity, log-in locations, or any of the myriad of things a state might demand.

    SilentVault cannot identify which merchant sites are owned and operated by members of ethnic or religious minorities, for example. Naturally, that makes the regimes of the authoritarian mode unhappy, which is a point in favour of building and deploying these tools.

    Adminus continues, “But I am prepared to take the challenge.”

    Good!

    “Even central places like e-gold, pecunix, liberty reserve etc. were able to make you poorer.. So, caution is needed, always, no matter how central or decentral your peers are.”

    That’s certainly true, and I am very positive about the concept of caution. I don’t think broad acceptance of SilentVault is going to occur overnight, but is going to take time as people find ways to make good use of it for their own purposes. Of course, bitcoin took a few years after 2009 to gain widespread acceptance, too. People were reasonably sceptical and cautious, and checked out Bitcoin Core and other aspects of the bitcoin technology very thoroughly in 2010 and 2011.

    Bitcoin enthusiasts may remember the June 2011 price spike. In January 2011, bitcoin had been trading at about 30 cents. In June, it spiked up briefly to over $28. A year later it was trading at $5,50 or so. Then in January 2013 it climbed past forty dollars to the bitcoin. Obviously, by November 2013, there was very widespread interest in bitcoin, as signified by its price tag in excess of US$1K. We are not yet a year further on and there are many dozens of variations of the crypto-currency concept, millions of users, and an enormous number of businesses developing in this sector.

    Speaking of digital gold currencies, do you remember GoldMoney.com? It was an entry around 2001 in the space pioneered by e-gold. You may recall an offshoot called NetAgio.com which handled some gold and silver sales for fiat currencies into and out of GoldMoney. I visited their page today to discover that they are now integrating bitcoin into the mix. Couldn’t help laughing about “All the benefits of the UK banking system.” Yes, and all the rectal-examination “know your customer” disadvantages, too, I’d say. lol

    • VanmindNo Gravatar says:

      The fact that big-hitter bitcoin evangelists are mostly spooks hoping for another avenue by which to crawl inside everyone’s colon might be true enough, but it’s hardly news to share how newbies insist so often that they know about all the latest technologies & stuff. Consumer gullibility defines the Information Age precisely because so many people pretend to be all informed & junk — it’s simply another push closing the trap door to the matrix.

      Also, e-gold was no pioneer, and goldmoney.com isn’t something that anyone needs to “remember” because the company remains active. As this avatar has stated dozens of times over the years, their site simply became chicken-sh*t about things other than warehousing services and Turk now deserves mostly ridicule.

      Picture a half-wit “Austrian” like Jeff Tucker. Oh no, no no no, they’d tell you, econometrics and related mathematics are mostly just smokescreens designed to confuse and fool people into the false impression that economics is less about common sense than it actually is, but on the other hand you must be impressed by all these fancy new e-currency algorithms — why, it’s the New Economics is what it is. Ha. Comedy write thyself. Next someone will claim that Mises’ regression theorem gives bitcoin value — oh, wait a minute …

      Do more legwork, everyone, get things straightened out. Trust no fictional character peddling fictional merchandise, and laugh at those who cry that “a pseudonym isn’t the same as being fictional.”

      As if that isn’t enough to help all you avatars recognize the obvious, none of it even takes into consideration the inherent unsoundness of any “because we say so” currency. This particular swindle is all about a future NWO cashless society and the “this represents as valid an alternative as any startpage or tor” useful idiots who got everyone there. N-e-w-b-i-e-s.

  10. While the company Goldmoney remains active, it is no longer allowing its users to make payments from one account to another. According to GoldMoney people don’t want to make person-to-person payments in large enough amounts, nor often enough, to “justify regulatory compliance.” GoldMoney ceased to be useful as a payment solution for merchants or users as of January 2012. So, yes, people who are actually interested in an alternative medium of exchange might well have forgotten about Goldmoney.

    Goldmoney founder James Turk claims to have invented digital gold currency in response to a banking crisis in 1974 or so. But what did he do with his invention? He didn’t put it into operation, he put it into a patent application. He may or may not have relevant patents from the USA government covering some aspects of a digital gold currency from his 1993 filings. But he did not get into the business of operating a digital gold currency until 2001, five years after e-gold pioneered the business.

    E-gold certainly was a pioneer, actually operated a business, and provided tens of thousands of users a working digital gold currency with significant anonymity for account holders. By way of contrast, GoldMoney went out of its way to comply with every conceivable government regulation on several continents, crawled up the orifices of every user with KYC/AML nonsense, and was known to close accounts for various perceived violations of regulations. E-gold inspired innovations, like 1MDC, provided for billions of dollars a year in transactions, worked as a micro-currency, established diversified gold storage in London, Zurich, and Dubai, and was a pioneer, whether you think they deserve any credit or not.

    Bitcoin has value because people in the market say it has value. It has value because it is convenient, consistent, divisible, durable, and accepted. It is convenient because of its widespread availability and because of the very large number of applications and platforms developed for its use. It is consistent because of the large number of implementations of its open source code for mining, payment processing, and payment confirmation. It is divisible into small amounts – small enough that this publication makes micro-bitcoin payments to contributors. It is durable because of the very large number of computers processing the Bitcoin core software, where the bitcoins exist in enormously redundant databases that are mutually consistent and synchronised. Bitcoin has value because it is accepted by merchants and individuals as a medium of exchange.

    People who actually find the mathematics interesting and want to understand bitcoin might find this other essay useful:
    http://actiontheory.liberty.me/2014/09/19/bitcoin-magic-fraud-or- sufficiently-advanced-technology

    Cash is great. I use it often. Gold and silver coins are great. I have many and use them for some kinds of purchases. Digital currencies are great. They are useful in a variety of ways. Luddite views about technology are silly, and always will be.

    • VanminNo Gravatar says:

      Ha, as if. “Luddite” is the angle that “thin client” criminals have been trying since certain people were sysops of 1980s BBS operations. No, it’s simply that so many newbies pretend to know something about technology (“OMG these encryption algorithms are as important to sound money as mathematics is to economics itself”). Combine that with the “Whig” theory of history, and it all makes for an easy “cashless society” e-con.

      To paraphrase the con: “You don’t want to be left behind, do you? Act now!”

      That’s SOP for NWO fraudsters.

      And no, e-gold was no pioneer. And yes, for years now this avatar has been explaining Turk’s cowardice about GoldMoney as a potential medium of exchange. Hey, all you avatars out there, do better legwork.

  11. Wow, the 1980s and bulletin board systems. I can remember being given a very rude reception from some Compuserve admin types on a discussion list when I happened to mention sending my first e-mail in 1978. I guess being on USEnet from an MCI mail account in 1983 still qualifies me as a newbie. Whee! Longevity in all things, I say.

    Act, don’t act, get involved, get left aside, study the technology, learn about self-financing and self-extending networks, or do just as you please. I’m not at all concerned about people who want to do nothing. There are always a large number of them.

    Markets follow a life cycle. A small number of people are innovators, a larger number are early adopters, and most people are part of the mainstream who come later still, or are very late adopters who don’t care to try new things. People who like new things in one area are capable of waiting out developments in another. I still don’t own an iPhone. “Each one to his own taste,” to use a saying from French that I like very much.

    If you don’t want to play with bitcoin, don’t. I don’t mind at all. There are millions of people who have joined as early adopters, so the market for bitcoin is going to be very, very large. Some of the people involved in that market are bound to be pleasant and easy to get along with.

    • VanmindNo Gravatar says:

      Ha, so in other words you’re a comparative newbie. Ever have a paying job where you worked with punch cards and VAX? Didn’t think so. Ever build your own computer from a 1970’s DIY kit? Didn’t think so. Hell, even the usenet claim is likely to be a lie.

      Bitcoin is already dead. Only the ones still holding tulip bulbs are crying that “Everyone’s getting on board so make sure you don’t miss the boat.”

      Hey, all you avatars out there, remember: one of the disinfo agent tactics that you hear about is to “push down” a thread by starting a brand new comment every time instead of responding directly to existing comments. Is the Tyrone Johnson avatar a plant? Possibly working for the spooked up Dinkelpuss twins? Maybe for that spook Mark Greenberg?

      Oh, but maybe y’all can trust a “pseudonym” genius. Ha, such gullibility.

  12. VanmindNo Gravatar says:

    From a certain web site: “Tyrone Johnson is SilentVault’s key person for marketing and business development.”

    So there you have it. Sleazy marketing-disguised-as-opinion with a chance of spooky showers.

    • VanmindNo Gravatar says:

      Oh, but suddenly, practically overnight, bitcoin popularity soared from ten or twenty thousand to “millions of users.” Riiiiiiiiiiiight.

      Marketing scum. Attention, avatars: don’t get left holding the bag of tulip bulbs.

  13. There is always a great deal of fun in these discussions with angry avatars of hate. For example, the issue of how many people have bitcoin. Estimates do vary, widely. A reasonably good February 2014 estimate indicates at least hundreds of thousands and probably not more than 1.2 million at that date. You can find that estimate here:
    https://bitscan.com/bitnews/item/how-many-people-really-own-bitco ins-and-why-does-it-matter

    Mind you, I gave a bunch of reasons why e-gold was actually a pioneer, actually generated an exponential growth curve of users, and inspired considerable innovation, only to be told, by the angry mean-spirited hateful troll “e-gold was no pioneer” because evil troll avatar says so. Meh.

    The most fun idea in the thread so far is this silliness of “thin client.” Of course, SilentVault isn’t a thin client, so repetitive claims about it being one are as idiotic as repetitive claims that e-gold was “no pioneer.” No doubt the mindless won’t bother to look into their claims before spewing them again and again.

    Thin clients where all the data is stored on the website and the “app” is just a user interface represent a common approach used by mobile apps. The problem with this approach is that if the website gets hacked or the operators prove dishonest, the customers are screwed. See MtGox and other abundant examples.

    Our approach is to require a separate app, which can run safely on a
    mostly insecure device such as a Windows computer or a smartphone,
    because data is stored in the cloud; but also to encrypt the cloud data
    so that the server side cannot access it without the client. We believe
    this design to be the best alternative. And, we offer clients for various operating systems in two flavours: a webapp that runs under a java virtual machine and a Spark plugin that works as a complete Jabber/XMPP client as well as a wallet.

    Yes, of course, I do marketing work. I also write essays. Occasionally, I answer questions from really unpleasant people who have an arrogant worldview.

    • VanmindNo Gravatar says:

      Ha, pretending to hold the high ground after being exposed as a huckster. That’s good enough for the funny papers.

      Guess which avatar understands more about both media of exchange and personal computing. That’s right, it’s the Vanmind avatar. Heck, the Vanmind avatar can even spot an advertisement disguised as an article.

      Who said anything about one specific thin client? Indeed, who would be naive enough to waste a single second looking into the snake oil product that the Tyrone Johnson avatar is peddling? Here is sufficient information: anything corollary to the fraud known as bitcoin is automatically one itself. Surely an essay writer wouldn’t concentrate on one company bobbing amid a make-believe sea change of cryptographic faux-innovation — unless that writer was only pretending to be writing essays.

      NWO: “You all waaaaaaaaant a cashless society.”

      Looks like someone’s handlers are offering inadequate cyber-warfare advice. Hey, all you avatars out there, the NWO will start its meatspace genocide in earnest once enough people clue in to one of the following New Age scams:

      1. A one-world government
      2. A one-world religion
      3. A one-world currency

      Too many people, obviously, still think that institutions like the UN are something other than crime syndicates, and most of those people still cry about “following international law.” So #1 above is not likely to be the first thing about which people unignorant themselves.

      The second is a possibility, although not enough people are even aware of the religion that is encroaching upon them. Think numbers, and patterns of numbers, and fixating on look-look-looking at them so much that the looky-loos start appearing reverent. As the NWO pushes toward its goal of dialectical usurpation of all grammarian interpretations regarding physics and metaphysics, it is setting up a numerological priest caste that will complete the dumbing down and consequent enslavement of mankind by pretending to have god-like knowledge of things which are mere properties of Nature. In other words: nothing is new under that particular “Sun.”

      The one-world currency is where more people might be able to grab a clue. That particular NWO swindle, like the others, is in high gear now, make no mistake. What with NFC and computational “mining” and the like, newbies who stumbled recently into the nascent matrix (recently being the last twenty years or so) are abandoning cash as though they managed to catch a wave toward something new and exciting. That is why they are known as newbies.

      Con artists love newbies. Count on seeing a “free market” in e-currencies get reduced by the end of the 20’s to one single political player that is “the only remaining option which isn’t designed for laundering the proceeds of crime-n-terror.” Instead of concentrating on their own individual freedom, which would make currencies as well as all other things subject to consumer demand instead of regulatory pretense, so-called freedom fighters are busy trying to create a virtual reality for everyone (i.e. trying to be social engineers). Each *coin purchase helps the NWO achieve its matrix-maker goal.

      The question is: who will be first to bring forth the “crowning achievement” in Black Tulip beauty?

  14. Another interesting page on bitcoin users of a particular wallet.
    https://blockchain.info/charts/my-wallet-n-users

  15. It isn’t very hard to hold the high ground when Vanmind’s first comment is derogatory (“digital diarrhea”) and his every subsequent comment is all about personal attacks. Ad hominem isn’t reasoning, Vanmind, it is irrelevant. You don’t know anything about our work, our business model, nor our industry. Good luck finding friends in an uncaring and nasty world of people just like you, since that’s all you see.

    Meanwhile, out in the real world, where slime like Vanmind rarely venture, our latest press release was picked up by a few news outlets. Fun.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/silentvaults-anonymous-bitcoin-mul ti-asset-031500220.html?soc_src=mediacontentstory&soc_trk=tw