The following are Neal Rauhauser’s comments from the website Hashtalk.org which was shut down by its owner, Josh Garza the CEO of GAW Miners. The site was briefly reincarnated as Hashtalk.ch before Garza closed it down again on June 15th.
GAWCEO is Josh Garza, the conman who pulled off a huge Ponzi scam through GAWMiners and is currently being investigated by the SEC as well as other Federal agencies. Colonel32 is an alias used by BadBitCoinOrg to shill for Garza. Neal worked for BadBitCoinOrg supposedly to help ferret out schemes and scams in the digital currency world but he pushed Garza’s schemes and enabled the scam. The operator of BadBitCoinOrg is alleged to have been an employee of Garza. Included in these comments is the one that got Neal fired as a writer for CryptoCoinsNews. Neal actually suggested retalliation and legal action against an online news site for reporting news.
Posts by Neal Rauhauser
@daleb haha so very clever, daleb. I want XPY to go back up to $10 or so, then I have enough to buy a nice target shooting gun Right now I can only afford a SuperSoaker(™)
@Colonel32 At some point we’re going to start hearing the phrase “PCI compliant”. PCI is short of payment card industry, it’s the standards governing credit and debit cards. GAW will have some auditor types crawling all over them, which is all good.
I can do a portion of the work examining the “attack surface” – how much of the system shows in public, employee social media exposure, review of some aspects of internal systems. This leaking Google Group is something I would have caught right away. If they really need a system to use among staff and it has to permit vendors access as well, Sgrouples is a much better choice, as it offers nice compartmentalization without the security model getting under foot.
The bigger picture is that GAW needs to compartmentalize systems due to the threats they face. The machines that are used for email and chatting here should not even have a network path to the back end. They really need something like Alien Vault’s Unified Security Manager if they don’t already have it – this is an intrusion detection framework.
At this point I’m just an outside observer who is used to high threat environments and reading other people’s leaked email spools. At some point in the near future GAW will have to communicate what they are doing in terms of incident response, I’m curious to see what that looks like.
@a4xmining 150k is a lot, unless you’re somehow in business, like a firing range.
I’d like a matching carbine/pistol with shared mags for where I live now, but the best defense here is shoveling an extra 30 yards of sidewalk for my neighbor who bought her house in the 1960s, and in the summer I’m a regular patron of the lemonade stand across the street.
@boracayroomsfb I was at Occupy D.C. the first night, at Zucotti when Occupy Wall Street was evicted, and at Occupy D.C. the day the tents came down. The camps are long gone and a whole new crop of twentysomethings are marching for #BlackLivesMatter, but I see a lot of the faces and tactics I remember when they were just being developed back in 2011/2012.
This country has lost its way. 44% of adults not working full time, 85% of those people want to, and the response is “Fuck you, I got mine?” That is a ticking bomb. There’s a kid I know, 23 years old, this person has never done anything more serious than waiting tables, despite the college degree. I saw an article the other day – 50% unemployment for the kids that age. That’s an even bigger ticking bomb, because they don’t have a lot of preconceptions and they’ll call bullshit when they smell it.
I hope I am wrong, but I fear one day soon when those crowds start to gather it will get violent, and then we’re going to find what a hollow, exhausted state we’ve got.
@Dent We don’t need more gun laws, just enforce the ones we’ve got. There are issues between rural and urban areas, those need attention.
But given the haves/have nots divide I think a lot of gun owners are going to be shocked if/when ammo supplies dry up. And if not that, how much can an unemployed guy afford to practice? For me, I stopped shooting when I got sick in 2007, unless friends happen to invite me along.
Everyone has been so wrapped up in today’s revelations, which seem to be little more than a poorly configured Google Group. I think it would benefit everyone if we take a measured look at how this came to be, and then step back and put it all in context.
GAW is doing something that no other altcoin has done. I don’t care for the blockchain selected, I think some modeling of how the currency will work would be much better than wild guesses, but the foundations are there for XPY more than almost all of the others. The problems GAW experiences with CoinFire and the other troll culture watering holes connected to Bitcoin and Litecoin are NOT UNIQUE. Just consider:
Twitter is now requiring SMS verification of accounts registered via Tor. Many of us think this is a prelude to broad SMS verification. The first and foremost motivation for this change is the Islamic State, who are deft propagandists. Once Twitter and Facebook shut them out, they will moderate what assets they keep, they’ll fragment to many other smaller platforms, and their ability to drive the narrative will cease.
Along with the Islamic State, the ugliest bit of nonsense from the troll universe that affects the U.S., namely GamerGate, is liable to get stamped out using the same methods. I suspect that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 will be repealed, and when forum operators are held responsible for the culture of their venues, the indecency that drives GamerGate will be relegated to the unpoliced (thus far) realm of Tor hidden services.
Josh Garza has his trolls, I have mine. Go ahead, Google my name, you’ll find page after page of fabricated drivel from a guy named Robert Stacy McCain. All I have to say in my defense is that you should Google his name, append the keyword ‘racist’, and check his profile at the Southern Poverty Law Center. The most recent episode in the endless tied of stupid was my fourth frivolous lawsuit in the last four years. I’m smiling as I type that because thanks to the Texas Citizens Participation Act, the State Court of Appeals handed me a precedent setting victory and the plaintiff is going to get stuck with a seven digit sanction for this stunt.
The overall themes here are:
The protections CDA Section 230 provided when the web was three were wise at the time. Now the web is twenty one and the cyber-cesspools need to be drained. They contribute nothing to the ‘marketplace of ideas’ our founding fathers wanted to protect when they drafted the 1st Amendment.
Image board culture is fundamentally an idiocracy, the free speech absolutists of the world can always find anecdotal evidence to support their views, but in reality the “say anything” ethos has contributed as much as it ever will. Leaving it unrestrained will only bring us more GamerGates, more revenge pornography, more swatting of livestreamers, and all the rest of the ghetto grade drama that flows from such venues.
Check me on this, but I think that some recent legislation passed which extends the RICO act to cover offenses under the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act, typically referred to as the CFAA. If this is the case, the source of the behavior which has been directed at GAW, which clearly has an underlying financial motivation, will be much more easily prosecuted.
Witnessed in isolation, the events of this week regarding GAW are confusing. When put in context with the other changes happening in the world, it’s clear that indecency and stupidity have had their moment in the sun, and the time for change is now.
If the denizens of this discussion forum want things to get better, that will happen when we organize ourselves to MAKE it better. Wall Street has massive lobbying abilities, but grassroots groups can and do make changes. The arc that GAW is on takes it towards deals with existing large financial ventures, which is a much easier path than the government free fantasy world that seems to be the basis of the worldview of many of the GAW detractors.
So, the Federal Election Commission already permits Bitcoin fundraising. Who will take on the job of not just adding Paycoin to the mix, but of also advocating for the policies we need to be successful?
If this is really just an open Google Group I don’t think GAW has a lot of recourse. This is precisely the same thing that happened to a fringe right political thing called Groundswell back in 2013, and there have been a much of less noticeable but similar events.
Mmmm … intrusion forensics. It’s what’s for dinner
I went looking around, it would appear that this isn’t a mailer problem, it’s a Josh Garza PC problem, assuming this thread is legit. See at the top where it’s got text information that looks like the folder layout for an inbox?
@Dent The adoption fund presumably has some specific milestones that have to be met before it comes into play. I would guess things like “having a working debit card” and “having Gyft or a similar service operational” would be part of that.
Don’t confuse a pledge with money in the bank. GAW still had to sell miners and stuff to keep their forward momentum.
@bearishtrader An associate of mine named Barrett Brown was just sentenced to 63 months in federal prison for sharing via IRC a link to a pastebin someone else posted. This happened in conjunction with the Stratfor intrusion back in 2012.
The relevant statute for this crime will be TItle 18 § 1030, also known as CFAA – the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act. This law is a crock overall, it’s got crazy penalties for stuff, and it doesn’t do much to tamp down real problems. Basically the DOJ tries to treat every hacker they catch as a kingpin. They’re just not set up to handle network threats.
If there are credit card numbers in the mail spool they’ll add access device related charges on top of the intrusion. Barrett was facing 105 years initially – there were credit cards in the link and they got used to send about a million dollars in fraudulent donations to some non-profits, who then got zinged $35 per chargeback. It was a real fiasco.
If there was more than one person involved and the investigators find a trail of “overt acts” – that means records of person A asking person B to do a certain thing, it can’t be inferred, then they will pile a conspiracy charge on. If involved in planning it’s maybe Title 18 § 2 Principals, if they get involved after the intrusion it would be Title 18 § 3 Accessory After The Fact.
This is going to be a really interesting incident response, I’m curious to see how they were firewalling the front office/mail stuff from the backend.
@btcmillionaire All startups are functionally bankrupt. Bill show up, they get paid late at the last minute, the finance people figure out which vendors are slack, the limits get pushed.
What worries me is when startups become dysfunctionally bankrupt. Lack of supplies required to do work which is billed? Lack of payroll for founders, that happens, but anyone hired hourly and working in the trenches must be covered, or they’ll bolt at the worst possible moment.
I saw stuff like that on a startup I did back in 2001/2002. Unpaid bills, bad notices … then poof $600k first round funding closed.
@Colonel32 I’ve read a couple of mail spools over the years, and I’ve dealt with my share of intrusions. Since there is so much money involved in this they will get FBI to pay attention, but the overall handling of the event concerns me.
If this were my mess, I’d consider publishing hashes of the actual emails, which would head off any fabrication, which seems like it might already be happening. Doing this permits people to validate stuff they do get, without GAW being the ones putting it out in the public eye. This would put a stop on journalists sourcing stories on those messages that don’t match real content.
Is this the normal mailer for GAW? I have never looked a them closely, but seems like Hostgator ought to be on top of not having a mailer cracked. Could be this leak is someone in the company being spearphished.
Trying 18.104.22.168… Connected to gaw.com. Escape character is ‘^]’. 220-gator3135.hostgator.com ESMTP Exim 4.82 #2 Wed, 04 Mar 2015 15:50:41 -0600 220-We do not authorize the use of this system to transport unsolicited, 220 and/or bulk e-mail.
@HoboDog 5.56x45mm AR-15 with some nice optics. Belongs to someone else, I’ve always favored the cheap/indestructible AK-47 for a long gun. If I was gonna buy something these days it would be a pistol/carbine combo that uses same mags, chambered for 9mm or .40 S&W.
Well kids, it’s Sunday, and as I recall from nosing around looking at GAW people, our fearless leader is a church going man.
So, if some maintenance or an upgrade this weekend went sideways, which can happen without it being an intrusion or fraud (remember the coin-swap outage & acquisition?) then maybe we should just chill until the Garzas have attended services, gone for Sunday dinner at a local eatery, and made their way home?
There really needs to be a coin evaluation standard that is not driven by the arbitrage crowd, who focus on trade volume at the expense of all the other metrics, which are the ones that matter for long term viability.
We have proof of work, proof of stake, proof of bandwidth(work), etc. NuBits offers a currency and a stakeholder share, there are probably other schemes I’ve not yet seen.
Some blockchains are just ledgers, some contain Turing complete capabilities and can support distributed applications, the most commonly cited application being smart contracts.
I’d like to see some sort of ‘standard model’ for coins – a simple column of characteristics, so we can line them up side by side and see how they compare. TorCoin is addressing a lot of interesting problems in terms of privacy of work, once some solves this problem, and it will get solved, it’s a game changer.
XPY is doing good in some areas – bridging from cryptocurrency to the real world, drawing in actual businesses, so the reason to be involved will be the velocity of the currency, rather than the manipulation and speculation that plague the other altcoins. As I understand it, XPY is a PeerCoin fork, and as such it’s going to need a forklift upgrade of the blockchain in order to support these must-have features like smart contracts.
I hope that someone on the PayCoin team has the roadmap for XPY blockchain 2.0 and they are quietly grinding on this problem. Once the first round of business stuff is in place – say by mid-summer, I would like to see an invite to participate in a pre-production test. I’d like to make some real XPY by putting up wallets and server stuff, and trying my best to break it
There is a serious white paper on TorCoin, thirteen pages worth. It’s got three Yale researchers and Rob Jansen from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory – the place from which Tor originated. It’s got footnotes, citations, all the stuff needed for peer review. These guys are in no way originating a P&D scam.
I’m not going to horse around with coin arbitrage, but I run a Tor relay farm, and once they have something that works I’ll install it on my relays.
Taking a step back, this coin is liable to serve as a proof of concept, it’s proof of work with some specific additions to support the Tor environment. I think it’s more likely we’ll see this rendered into smart contracts on a cryptocurrency blockchain that chooses something like Ethereum, or the Eris Ltd. derivatives of Ethereum.
So, the coin’s origin is as good as it gets in terms of legitimacy. No idea what’s driving the trading of the coin, that’s a job for someone else to research – maybe @Colonel32 will look, if he doesn’t get to it, someone else should.
@Gotterdammerung I’m not saying TorCoin (sp? proper caps? I haven’t looked yet) isn’t a solution, what i meant is this:
There are a LOT of pumper coins out there that are going nowhere. If TorCoin doesn’t have the privacy features of DarkCoin, if it doesn’t have the speed, privacy, and smart contracts found in Ethereum or its offshoot, the mix of tools from Eris Ltd, it’s a theory that will never become a workable reality.
@Gotterdammerung Tor really needs a micropayment system to encourage more relay operators. If there is a coin that was launched to do this, that would be a good thing. I’d rather see one of the coins with some market cap & liquidity being used, but privacy is paramount and Bitcoin doesn’t do that at the level those people need.
I will go investigate this and report back today or tomorrow …
@Colonel32 I think in general businesses accepting XPY would be the best way to get things moving. If it’s only $1/XPY but it’s got acceptance and velocity, things will improve. Right now it seems to me it’s largely a sealed system.
@kdmine Theft by deception is a defined legal name for a type of crime in some jurisdictions, I think most every one has a law against the concept of theft via subterfuge. The amount, complexity, and distances involved in these doublers have kept them safe from law enforcement thus far. I’d love to see a bunch of them burn.
Paycoin has been languishing at 5% of the intended floor for a couple of weeks now. I am glad that GAW is no longer telegraphing deals being made and I’m debating reducing my blended cost by picking up a few dozen more XPY.
We are living in some interesting times in terms of the global financial system. I never thought we’d see two digit oil prices again after 2008, but here we are with $53 WTI being a pleasing price recovery for producers. I am surprised that Greece is still part of the Euro experiment, but it seems they won’t be for much longer. Recall all the chaos when tiny Cyprus had bank troubles? Greece is orders of magnitude larger.
The Bitcoin market is getting cleaned up and consolidated, so many players can’t stand $250 BTC, but what happens when Greece defaults on their sovereign debt? I think this coupled with the Russia/Ukraine conflict might lead us into a ‘financial contagion’ for Europe’s fiat. What role will Paycoin play in such things?
If a country implements capital controls, can a cryptocoin be used to circumvent this? We saw that in an unorganized fashion with Cyprus and Bitcoin back in 2012? Things have evolved since then. If I can turn rubles into coins and spend them on services I need that’s better than looking at a bank balance which is functionally stranded by government policy.
I’m expressing this poorly, I know, but I hope to trigger some discussion from this starting point …
If Paycoin were backed by gold, the price would immediately converge to whatever fraction of an ounce of gold a single coin was pegged to match. The relationship between a real physical asset like gold and a cryptocurrency is interesting. But, why would any entity holding a very trusted commodity bind its fate to a mature coin, let alone one line Paycoin, which is just on the verge of changing from theory to reality?
Cryptocurrencies are their own thing, and dwelling on parallels to things we do know obscures some of the potential.
More than gold, I’m curious what would happen if an entity like the Permian Basin Trust were to launch a coin of its own, exchangeable for a certain amount of production in a given time period. The same thing goes for renewable energy production and there is a potentially very interesting hedge there. Mature hydroelectric facilities in remote locations face terrible rates for their baseload generation, as low as $0.0025 (yes, 1/4th cent) per kwh.
Someone near a hydroelectric facility could purchase some of the mining gear being discarded due to poor yield they could make a go of it thanks to their low electrical rates. These places tend to be cooler as well, which means less burden on HVAC.
Right now we put miners in datacenters, with business continuity requirements that are far greater than a mining pool needs. Since there isn’t much long term storage of information in such a system, flood/fire/tornado is less of a concern – just need to insure the physical equipment against full loss, rather than production loss.
Electricity is $0.02/kwh in Niagara Falls if you get NYPA’s business development rate. There is an electrical cost vs. jobs created calculation they perform. So … who wants to hire some New Yorkers for customer service jobs, presumably connected to some sort of cryptocurrency venture? Who has miners that make no sense at datacenter electrical rates, but which would be viable in an above ground facility on the shore of Lake Erie, set up to use the lake itself as a heat sink?
Lots of room for innovation in this space, once you discard preconceptions.
The strategic and tactical concerns DO need steering by someone who knows what they are doing. I’ve worked on Capitol Hill a bit, right now about 25% of all Congressional staff get policy news from a system I built, but I am at most a writer/organizer for such an effort, not a strategist.
What cryptocoin supporters CAN do is build the grassroots media reach required to support such efforts. This community could expand, pick hashtags for messaging about regulatory issues, and drive conversation. That includes not just U.S. citizens, it’s open to the world, as a portion of the cryptocoins business will run via American businesses.
Most of what is seen here in terms of policy and regulation is JG assuring us that Paybase is compliant. We don’t hear the specifics that the regulators want to see, and that is fine as it is both a tactical AND strategic advantage. If the compliance details aren’t know the CoinLiar trolls can’t take scraps of information and confuse the unwary. Strategically, this is a hard problem, and Paybase does not need to be educating the competition.
What is missing is any talk of influencing the regulatory process itself. Right now I think only Bitcoin has enough structure behind it to do this. The other cryptocurrencies are simply not broad enough. That’s a thumbnail assessment, I’d be happy to be proven wrong with links in comments
The advantage that cryptocurrencies have, which the banking sector lacks, are enthusiastic user communities. It only takes a handful of grassroots activists to change the results of a U.S. House race, and if properly handled I suspect a community of the size found here could adjust the results of Senate races to their liking.
There will either be an industry wide association that gets behind this task, or it will be dictated to us by banks, with Western Union and other remittance processors trying to hamstring us every step of the way.
As I said above, show some links to counter my idea that public policy influence isn’t being handled correctly.
I saw some chatter this morning, checked CoinSwap, and I see $XPY is down around $1 USD. My purse isn’t large – just 60 XPY – and I’m considering buying another 60, which would leave me with a blended cost of around $4 USD each. If the Honors program only works 20% well as expected, I will be a happy guy.
I do have a question about flight to quality during troubled times. I think a lot of people are going fiat in an effort to escape volatility, but I am wondering if NuBits can play a similar role, at least for those of us who aren’t in the market working with the purchase price of a house. This coin is pegged to USD and it offers a ‘dual mode’ of currency(coins) and equity(voting shares). I got a little on Poloniex, just checking out how wallets & transactions work. Has anyone else explored this?
Overall, Greece faces a deadline to refinance their debt at the end of the month. We saw how crazy stuff got when Cyprus banks went under in mid-2013, Greek sovereign debt is a couple orders of magnitude larger. A few years ago it was noted that the three largest French banks had exposure to Greek bonds in excess of their deposits, implication being a default there would instantly make them insolvent. Things are going to get much, much worse before they can start getting better.
Has anyone seen an effort to model and/or simulate how a cryptocurrency would behave in the wild?
I have just been reading about NuBits and they have a very interesting white paper. Rather than a single unit of value, they are offering a NuBit, pegged to the USD, and then a share like entity that pays dividends in PeerCoin.
Paycoin is doing well in terms of appearance, uptake, backers, etc, but I really wonder about the volatility of coins overall. The NuBits white paper suggests that broad uptake is not a cure for volatility, and if they are right Paycoin is going to have to evolve to match. It seems like Paycoin could do this by adjusting the rules about wallets, or maybe the Orion controllers, which seem to have a place to part 50 XPY in each, but the code is not yet functional.
I would really like to find some academic papers on this issue and maybe a downloadable model, but that might be a bit much to ask at this point.
This is all just kind of odd in a small world way.
Garza got a $40k grant to provide wireless internet to Ashfield, MA.
I have worked as a plant engineer for wireless ISPs since 2000, so I’m very familiar with the business.
I lived literally just over the hill from Ashfield in 2008, in Buckland. That’s an ugly environment for microwave relays – lots of hills, lots of forests on top of hills. Gotta get up high to get into the area, hard to make customer connections /w cheap 2400MHz gear, gotta get 900MHz gear which was quite a bit more expensive to obtain. I am not at all surprised that $40k couldn’t be parlayed into a working connection for the town.
He was involved in Congressman Peter Welch’s campaign in 2006. If I rummage around in my phone I bet I can find half a dozen Welch staffers in there – back in 2010 I built a system called Progressive Congress News, which currently serves policy news to about 25% of all Congressional staff.
This familiarity reduces some of the negativity in that article, at least for me, since I lived in the area, did the same job, and I’m familiar with the character of the people around Congressman Welch.
@nskendrovic I have some $6 XPY, some $12 XPY, and an equal amount that came selling some VPN access tokens I got for a consulting job.
I wish I didn’t have the $12 XPY, because could have used those funds for post Christmas sales. My bad there, more a timing thing than a value thing.
I think everyone needs to reset their time clocks, instead of checking every two hours, check every two weeks. If GAW actually has everything going on that they appear to, there will be a slow, steady grind of results.
@PayX Two of my recent small transactions were bundled with others that had about 40,000(!) Paycoin. A 5,000 coin monthly honors pool is going to reward early adopters/partisans, not resolve the low price across the board.
There was prior mention of a $700/week limit, aimed at the 19% who want to use Paycoin as a substitute for banking. $100,000/$700 then divide by four weeks equals about 35 people with full access.
I am less worried about the price than I am the functionality. Get billpay in place, get debit cards, Paycoin will start moving for reasons other than speculation.
This inter-currency speculation causes money to change hands, but it is just speculation, unless those involved are hedging something in the real world. The market seems far too new, too small volume, and too chaotic for any sort of strategy like that to have taken hold.
Real productivity is what matters. Converting people from using fiat to using cryptocoins, displacing an older technology, that would be actually productive. Creating a product that uses the blockchain of a specific cryptocoin to do something that doesn’t exist yet would be productive.
The pumps, the scams, the thefts, and the incredibly toxic infighting are filling up the discussion space and they might seem important to the social media junkies who make it happen. The real winner in such encounters are the dinosaurs like Western Union, who have time to marshal political capital to crush the nascent cryptocoins business sector.
@shac Block 8045 is enormous, expect to spend a day on it, and there is another one right after it that is also the better part of a day to get. This is annoying, but entirely normal, nothing to do but wait it out.
@nrauhauser I just looked at the “death threat” – it lacks enough specificity to qualify as a threat in the eyes of law enforcement, even if they could identify who made the statement. Attribution in online forums is really tough, unless that person is a total misfit they’re using a foreign VPN or Tor to do stuff like that, and it’s just plain hopeless.
I would mock & deride endlessly anyone who thinks something like that matters, the source could just as well be Coinfire insiders as anyone else, and given that there is money on the line that is precisely the answer any local cop is going to give.
And please publicly humiliate anyone who thinks the FBI is some sooper dooper interstate butthurt response force, they care 9,000% less about stuff like this than the least interested local/state LE you can find.
@msarro The whole death threat thing is an enormous load of horse manure FYI.
There is a site that tracked the happenings in my anti-SLAPP suit last year. The plaintiff and his lawyer both went whining to the court repeatedly, “The anonymous comment on blog X is a death threat, your honor.”
There were never any statements specific enough to qualify as threats, even if they did they are coming from some random Tor exit node, and the site operator is NOT responsible. They went to their local police, too. In each case I talked to the investigating officer. “Wait, you’re going to get a $1,000,000 sanction against this guy? And there is no way to tell who posted that? Well, this is a civil matter then, thanks for solving this problem for me. Case closed.”
So unless someone has an admissible smoking gun email from someone at GAW ordering that person to make that threat, thinking that it’s any other than a minor PR problem for GAW is pretty silly.
“evidence listed in every one of their anti-GAW articles” …. is not evidence, it’s hearsay. I’ve seen about 10,000 pages of junk like that tossed right out of federal court in California last year. The guy who filed that frivolous suit against me in Texas did the same thing to some other people in California, and he got stomped there, too.
This entire situation really sounds like something GAW needs to turn over to a lawyer, and then just not say a word and let the system work.
There are a lot of VPN providers out there. There are a bunch of scammy “VPN comparison” sites out there that either get paid or shake down small providers. The larger providers often have white label OEM agreements – you can be your own provider using PureVPN to do the work and keep between 30% – 50% of the revenue.
All of those providers SAY they don’t log, but when it comes down to it you’ve paid with credit card, you have an account with them that requires an email address, and they’ll comply with a request from law enforcement for information on what you do on the internet.
The only exception to this is Cryptostorm, the group that pioneered the Zero Customer Knowledge VPN concept, which I wrote up for CryptoCoinsNews a few weeks ago.
Simply put, Cryptostorm is an OpenVPN service provider that sells their service via tokens, which look a bit like crypto coins. They load the SHA512 hash of the tokens into their authentication system, you hash your token when you get it, and then it’s pretty much impossible to connect a user back to the purchaser of the token.
Cryptostorm recently released Torstorm, a Tor gateway built into their network, which permits you to access onion addresses just like a regular internet site. Using a VPN provider prior to getting on Tor is a proven method to prevent being traced to your home address even if you do hit a bad site, Cryptostorm is pushing that safety a little bit further.
One of the consulting jobs I did this month paid me twenty annual Cryptostorm tokens for the work I did. I’ve used a few myself, hooked up a few friends, and now I’m going to sell the ten that I have left.
Annual tokens normally sell for $64. I’m pretty confident the honors program is going to kick in next month, so I’m willing to sell the ten I have for 3 XPY each.
You can find me (RealityForger) in #badbitcoin on irc.freenode.net if you’d like to make a purchase.
Yesterday I saw the news that there was going to be an SEC investigation of GAW. This morning someone popped up in chat and said that one of the usual suspects had filed a complaint, but that the SEC is highly unlikely to do anything about a conspiracy theory aimed at a cryptocoin.
If you Google my name you will find a years long stream of character assassination from a neo-Confederate dirtbag named Robert Stacy McCain. Google his name, append the qualifier ‘racist’, and you’ll find the Southern Poverty Law Center’s records on this buffoon. If you visit my personal blog, nealrauhauser on WordPress, you’ll find a ‘First Amendment’ link on the masthead. During December I won a precedent setting case in Texas, having run up a $220,000 legal bill in the process of crushing a frivolous lawsuit from a guy named James McGibney.
McCain & McGibney have a personal relationship, I was not the only person named in the Texas suit, and it appears to have been at least in part a fishing expedition to gather evidence for a RICO suit in Maryland, which another of McCain’s victims is successfully pursuing. It appears the Texas courts are going to award me a $1M sanction to discourage any more frivolous litigation. I believe the RICO suit plaintiff has already extracted at least that much money from some of the defendants who’ve been forced to settle, but these arrangements appear to be sealed, so we’ll never know the details.
I have more experience dealing with trolls, malicious prosecution, and frivolous litigation than most, so I’m going to offer an opinion on how GAW ought to deal with Coinfire & Co. First, let me slip my standard disclaimer in here.
Full disclosure first – I have about 30 XPY, several machines running Paycoin wallets, and a couple of Hashstakers. My other holdings are a pittance, fun money in Coin-Swap. I write for @CryptoCoinsNews but the bulk of my work turns up on Hacked.com, which CCN recently purchased. The sum of my contact with Josh Garza has been one email where he was annoyed about some errors in a story I did for CryptoCoinsNews about the purchase of Coin-Swap. I receive no consideration in any way for posting here.
If someone scribbles a conspiracy theory down on an official form and turns it into a criminal complaint against you, then starts waving the allegations around like they are evidence, this is a form of defamation known as ‘false light’. If the false light does clear and easily explained damage to your business, this is a tort, a civil offense for which one can approach a court to seek assistance in resolving. This is ‘tortious interference’.
The plaintiff who has suffered such injury has to select either state or federal court as the venue for resolving the issue. If there were multiple location diverse defendants federal court would be the correct venue. This seems like a state level case, the question would be whether to file in GAW’s home state, or in Coinfire’s. Garza, as the founder and public face of the company, is certainly a limited purpose public figure in the realm of crypotocurrency, which raises the bar for libel.
The locations should be checked for anti-SLAPP statutes. SLAPP is short for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, a legislative principle in place in about 60% of all states, which provides a citizen exercising 1st Amendment rights the means to crush any well funded opponent who is trying to silence them. I would expect Coinfire to marshall an anti-SLAPP defense, if such a thing is available in the chosen venue, no matter what the details of the case might be. anti-SLAPP tends to slam the brakes on litigation and force the plaintiff to prove they have a winnable case, rather than a grudge, a conspiracy theory, and a fat wallet.
GAW should be evaluating this SEC investigation troll to see if the conditions are right for a libel suit against the people behind it. A retainer on a case like this would be in the vicinity of $50k – $100k and costs could run to $250k – $500k by the time its done. If such a case is to proceed it will take a minimum of two years, but an injunction against any further disparagement should be sought at once.
Proper litigation, as opposed to a stunt, is a minimalist PR effort at best. GAW/Garza should admit that this is happening right after the case is filed, then respond with “we do not comment on litigation”, and hold to that until something substantial happens.
ISIL is the Islamic State of Iraq & the Levant, which renamed to Islamic State of Iraq and ash Sham, and then to just plain Islamic State.
The Saudi’s top priority right now is making sure they don’t have any more high ranking officers picked off in cross border raids in the north, while figuring out what to do about the Shiite Houthi who now appear to be in charge in Yemen, on their southwest border.
Libya as a nation is gone, just like Somalia. I don’t think they’re using the terms Tripolitania. Cyrenaica, and Fezzan yet, but that is the situation there. The Russians were miffed at how NATO snuck in there, but I don’t believe they are backing any of the factions. Their attention is focused on Syria, which hosts their only naval supply station in the Med, and they’re a bit worried about the Ukraine, too.
Oil prices skyrocketed and then cratered in 2008, as a large volume producer who needs that revenue the Saudis have to get going at a certain rate. Their power has been as a swing producer, filling in gaps in production from others, but this is slipping away from them due to large fields declining. They have some say in oil prices, but I think not as much as you give them credit for having.
Full disclosure first – I have about 30 XPY, several machines running Paycoin wallets, and a couple of Hashstakers. My other holdings are a pittance, fun money in Coin-Swap. I write for @CryptoCoinsNews but the bulk of my work turns up on Hacked.com, which CCN recently purchased. Nobody pays me to show up here and say this stuff.
Oil has cratered from $100/bbl to $50/bbl in a short amount of time. There is some geopolitical calculus behind this, Saudis and Russians and Iranians and who might win in Syria. There are a lot of young people that got interested in cryptocoins; anyone who wasn’t a post college adult during the crash of 2008 is missing some vital life experience needed to interpret this.
Bitcoin has dropped roughly in parallel with oil prices. I’m not suggesting a cause/effect there, and the seeming correlation might be just an artifact of how much we like to find patterns. Russia banned Bitcoin, the players on the margins are liquidating all there coins and/or shutting down. Old gear is headed for recycling, because it won’t be worth the cabinet space to keep in a datacenter.
This ugly BTC market cleaning is going to continue until enough players have dropped out of the game. Things are clearly going to change over the next few years, but for the moment BTC rules the roost – largest market cap. If BTC gets the sniffles, almost all of the altcoins get Ebola.
I have avoided every altcoin, except a little DOGE I bought for fun. I assume many are scams and the rest are good ideas that ought to be folded into blockchains that are going to have some longevity. I see Paycoin as being one of those, a conclusion based on the presence of Stuart Fraser of Cantor Fitzgerald among the backers. Based on his presence I’ve pretty much written off anyone who is howling Ponzi and pointing at Josh Garza. People with the wealth and work history that Stuart Fraser has do not get wrapped up in such things.
The only things that will push the price back into double digits are going to be real world efforts, and I don’t count the honors program as such, it’s just a necessary defensive move. The day when we start seeing Paybase debit cards will be good, and this recent surprise (to me) effort with Gyft is also positive. When funds are moving through the system, that is how we get paid long term – creating and participating in new things.
Welcome to Q1 2015, try to not get any blood on your shoes as you tiptoe through the mess …
There are some things I would like to see done with Coin-Swap. I’m maybe at the older end of the range for bitcoin adopters, nearly 50, and I’m wrestling with a couple of things.
The BTC numbers are not the fault of the sight, but four leading zeros, a very long tail, and no divider commas make the amounts really hard to keep in one’s head when working through a transaction. We should be able to switch format to using mbits (is that the right term) and I’d like an option to round down & squelch the long tail. after two or three decimals.
If one is logged in, the ticket on the left should bring the coins we hold to the top, rather than making us hunt for them.
When making a transaction, it would be nice if we could see from coin/to coin, and then a representation of value in