by Nozomi Hayase, Consortium News:
In the cryptocurrency’s decentralized network, Nozomi Hayase says those who seek to conspire in secret have no place to hide, as Bitcoin aids WikiLeaks’ mission to keep governments transparent and honest.
George Orwell is reputed to have said, “In a time of universal deceit, speaking truth to power is a revolutionary act.” Over a decade ago in the spring of 2010, WikiLeaks burst onto the global stage with the publication of the “Collateral Murder” video that depicted the U.S. military gunning down Iraqi civilians and Reuters journalists on a street in New Baghdad.
In the second half, Max continues his interview with the former head of the North Carolina Democratic party about the latest in the fight for net neutrality and a platform for the Democratic party.
by Kenneth Schortgen, The Daily Economist:
One of the biggest questions in the cryptocurrency market has always been how could a de-centralized digital currency facilitate lending in a similar fashion to how central banks do using sovereign currencies? Some companies like GoldMint are in the process of trying to create lending facilities using the old ‘Pawn Shop’ method out of their gold backed cryptocurrency, but as yet this paradigm only works for resource backed cryptos.
Now on Nov. 26 a company known as SALT Lending announced that they are ready to provide the platform to facilitate lending using unbacked cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as their collateral.
In a world drowning in debt, consumers and institutions can borrow and lend against any collateral: Houses, stocks, gold, watches, diamonds, government bonds — the possibilities are endless.
But there is one asset class the traditional lenders won’t touch with a ten-foot pole: cryptocurrencies and other crypto assets. And yet, because of their digital and transparent nature, these assets would be the easiest to collateralize.
Read More @ TheDailyEconomist.com
by Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds:
All of which brings us to the “crazy” idea of backing fiat currencies with cryptocurrencies, an idea I first floated back in 2013, long before the current crypto-craze emerged.
Exhibit One: here’s your typical central bank, creating trillions of units of currency every year, backed by nothing but trust in the authority of the government, created at the whim of a handful of people in a room and distributed to their cronies, or at the behest of their cronies.
And this is a “trustworthy” currency?
Exhibit Two: central banks can’t become insolvent, we’re told, because they can create as much currency as they want, whenever they want. And this is a “trustworthy” currency?
Exhibit three: and here’s what happens when trust in the currency is lost due to excessive currency issuance: the currency goes from 10 to the US dollar to 5,000 to $1 and then to 95,000 to $1, on its way to 2,000,000 to $1:
Yes, this was once a “trustworthy” currency.
While many people expect China to issue a gold-backed currency some day, they overlook the inconvenient reality that China is creating far more fiat currency than it is adding in gold reserves. They also overlook that gold-backed means nothing if the currency isn’t convertible into gold.
If it isn’t convertible, it isn’t gold-backed. Claiming there’s gold somewhere in a vault doesn’t make a currency gold-backed, as the central bank can devalue the currency it issues at will. Gold-backed means the currency is pegged at X units of currency to 1 unit of gold, and X units of currency can be exchanged for 1 unit of gold.
All of which brings us to the “crazy” idea of backing fiat currencies with cryptocurrencies, an idea I first floated back in 2013, long before the current crypto-craze emerged: Could Bitcoin (or equivalent) Become a Global Reserve Currency?(November 7, 2013)
Since there is no real-world commodity backing the digital currency, its value must be based on scarcity and its ubiquity as money. The two ideas are self-reinforcing: there must be demand for the digital money to create scarcity, and the source of demand is the digital currency’s acceptance as money that can be used to buy commodities, goods, services and (the ultimate test) gold.
Speaking of gold, correspondent Liberty Philosopher recently posed a scenario that was new to me: if gold continues losing value, could central banks dump their gold in favor of cryptocurrencies?
Read More @ OfTwoMinds.com
by Joseph P. Farrell, Giza Death Star:
As the reader might have gathered, I’ve been focused on space matters and “oribitally high octane speculation” this week, because the stories concerning space are just downright bizarre, and if one looks closely, one sees a pattern that “confirms” some of my high octane speculations of recent years. By way of a bit of context, some of those speculations have concerned themselves with what I argued in some of my books (Covert Wars and Breakaway Civilizations and Covert Wars and the Clash of Civilizations) is a completely hidden system of finance, set up after World War Two and entirely off the books, being used to fund exotic research projects with a UFO-space related theme. My argument has been that in the immediate aftermath of World War Two, with a growing “UFO problem” that the national security establishment would have wanted, and needed, a vast “mega-Manhattan Project” on steroids to research technologies that could give humanity a parity or near-parity performance capability to the UFOs that were confronting it, and demonstrating an ability to interfere with human defense systems, particularly nuclear and thermonuclear ones. Such a project would have required massive funding over a prolonged period of time, and hence the need for such a completely “hidden system of finance.”
Approaching this problem from a very different point of view, my friend and colleague Catherine Austin Fitts documented massive amounts of missing money in the federal budget – in the trillions of dollars – being created by a variety of wealth-harvesting schemes. The funds were so outrageous she concluded that the amount of money far exceeded any funding for merely covert operations, and had to be going to something much bigger, i.e., a secret space program. And both of us have entertained speculation that some of this money might simply be going – here it comes – off world in the form of some sort of tribute or tithe. In short, both of us have entertained the possibility that some sort of interplanetary commerce might be under way, and both of us have even entertained the idea that the emergence of crypto-currencies might be a component of this system.
Well, today’s article, shared by Mr. M.D., seems in the main to corroborate those suspicions to some degree:
Note the following:
Roman Koshlyak, a former Facebook software engineer and current CEO of Troider, an experimental content publishing platform, has created a petitionasking NASA, an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government, to “create Bitcoin wallets for Curiosity and Opportunity and put private keys on Mars.”
“Curiosity is a car-sized robotic rover exploring Gale Crater on Mars as part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission… since landing on August 6, 2012,” according to Wikipedia. Opportunity is much older, landing in 2002, but remains on Mars, undertaking explorations.
If the rovers are provided with a private key, sending bitcoins to that address would count as sending it to Mars with the first such transaction being a historical and culturally revolutionary event, for man would have, for the first time, sent money to outer space, from earth.
Accessing that money from Mars would be a different story. There are no humans on the planet and there is no internet in outer space. (Emphasis added)
And then there’s this:
If such colony is established, basic commerce would need to arise, requiring its own currency. A traditional bank account might work, but an internet connection to earth would be scarce. The limit is the speed of light. That takes between 6-44 minutes for a two-way communication, depending on the relationship between the orbits of Earth and Mars.
To overcome such limitations, Bitcoin and likewise digital currencies may be the initial means of value transfer between the two planets as it can be easily transported to earth or mars without requiring any intermediary. The Martians can create their own private wallets or coins, with keys hidden under laminated scratchable bars, without requiring advanced tampering technology or huge transfers of cash, thus fully facilitating commerce while rarely connecting to the bitcoin network. Eventually, they might simply create their own digital currency, tradable both on earth and Mars. (Emphasis added)
Now I’ve blogged before about the increasingly apparent lack of security and integrity in such systems, and this past week have even pointed out that scientists are concerned about “ET’s” potential ability to “hack Earth”. Is this nascent and emergent interplanetary commerce and financial system the center of their concerns? It would seem at least a feasible possibility (among many others).
But I’ve also blogged earlier this week about the plans to put a 4G mobile phone network on the Moon. Such, indeed, would be necessary for human presence on that planet, and if one is to “mine asteroids” and other celestial bodies, a similar means of interplanetary financial clearing and commerce will have to be built.
Read More @ GizaDeathStar.com
by John Rubino, Dollar Collapse:
One of the flaws in the revolutionary mindset is a tendency towards overconfidence. Combine absolute belief in a new idea with a couple of early wins and you get an absurd level of cockiness. This leads the would-be revolutionary to underestimate the challenges involved in getting from there to ultimate victory.
Why? Because those early successes happened when hardly anyone was paying attention. Once the threat is recognized, the Empire usually strikes back with intent, and the revolution turns out to be a lot harder, and a lot less certain, than it seemed.