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The official blog of the Digital Cash Alliance

Bitcoin: Let It Fork!

(Reblogged from Freedom's Phoenix with permission of the author.)

There has been a lot of commotion in the Bitcoin world lately. A few of the core developers (an informal group that maintain the program) made a big splash by saying that the "block size" (a technical issue) had to be increased or else horrible problems would ensue. They're calling their plan "Bitcoin XT."

What I Learned

At first, I simply didn't want to be bothered with this. Just about everything that passes across a plasma screen these days is sold as a major, life-threatening crisis. I ignore as much of it as I can.

But after hearing a bit more about this issue from several friends, I decided to look into it a bit further.

The first thing that caught my attention was that this idea was being sold with fear. That, to me, is a huge red flag. If you want to sucker humans – if you want make intelligent people act stupidly – fear is your tool; every serious manipulator of humans knows this. So, this fact turned me off from the Bitcoin XT idea right away.

Next, I learned that one of the two guys driving this has been speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations about Bitcoin going mainstream. Seriously? Bitcoin is cypherpunk technology; it is inherently outside the mainstream. (Does Sid Vicious take tea with the queen?) Bitcoin was created by radicals and bears their nature. To make Bitcoin acceptable to the powers that be is to kill it. Period.

So, the fact that this idea comes from people who want to turn Bitcoin into a guv-friendly payment system – to neuter it and kill it – drove me even farther away. If I had wanted status-quo tech, I'd never have looked at Bitcoin in the first place.

Thirdly, someone told me that the guys driving this wanted to make themselves "benevolent dictators." Hearing that, I immediately started laughing. Then I checked and found out that it was true and that they were saying so overtly. You can find the comment, "[W]e will be benevolent dictators," here. That cemented it for me. In addition to everything else, these guys want to run a technocratic dictatorship. And not only that, but they had the arrogance to say so in public. Wow.

Be afraid, surrender your values, and accept dictatorship… that always ends well, doesn't it?

So...

So, to all of this, I reply: Fork off.

Yes, I know that sounds like I'm playing cute word games, but I really mean it. I want them to pull their hard fork. I want them to break off and go away.

Take your fear, your compromise, and your dictatorship with you, and be gone. Fork off and take as many with you as will follow. It will be a great lesson, and more importantly, it will be a great cleansing. I welcome it… I seek it.

And if these people do split the Bitcoin blockchain into two parts (this is called a "hard fork"), here are some things that I expect to happen:

The fair weather venture capitalists will have panic attacks, as their dreams of Zuckerberg Heaven start to evaporate.

Mainstream media will breathlessly report – for the 20th time – that Bitcoin is dead… but this time for sure!

Regulators will have no clue what to do and will then pile into Bitcoin XT, turning it into just another PayPal.

The exchange rate… might… drop! Ye gods! It could be the end of the world!

The heart of the Bitcoin world will keep right on doing what they're doing.

So, yes, I want the fork. It's about time to shake out the people who are clogging up the works. Let the price fall for a while. Let the agents of the status quo go over to Bitcoin XT and leave the rest of us alone.

Now, please bear in mind that I'm under no illusion that Bitcoin is perfect. Changes may indeed be required. But anyone who seriously utters the phrase "benevolent dictator" or who pounds us with fear, or who wants to "go mainstream," excludes himself or herself from being taken seriously in the world of Bitcoin.

The agents of the status quo should fork off. And the sooner the better.

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Nosy Snoops Spy on You

You are being spied upon. There are a number of words that people use in talking about programmes that governments operate to snoop on the people they pretend to serve. Domestic surveillance is an artful term, implying not only a close watch being kept, but also that the people being watched are under suspicion.

Under suspicion of what? Of being free people who don't wish to be inspected, spied upon, watched, tagged, numbered, taxed, regulated, beaten, placed in custody, raped, murdered, or otherwise treated badly, of course. You are already guilty of three felonies today, didn't you know? There are so many laws, and the law and order crowd has been so gushingly enthusiastic that you cannot avoid breaking several laws every day. Of course, most of the time, nobody takes action, but isn't it a relief to know that you are being spied upon, so that at any time your actions can be turned into crimes, you can be arrested, beaten, raped in jail, cavity searched, and treated like dirt? Doesn't that make you feel wonderful?

It isn't like spying on people is new or a secret. How do you think empires are maintained? In Étienne de la Boétie's day, the evil, violent, bloodthirsty psychopath who was dictator of France (the king, as they say) had to do it the old-fashioned way, by hiring some people to spy on others. Nor was such behaviour new in his day, but, rather, typical of all dictatorships going back into ancient history.

Today, of course, the national governments don't have to hire anyone. They simply demand the information from private telephone providers and if even one of them objects, they ruin the guy running the company. Or they ask for the information from giant computer companies like Google and Google happily, eagerly turns over information. Goodness, Google eagerly goes out and collects information with its "street view" cameras alongside antennae to pick up wifi signals and cell phone signals and everything else they can lay hands upon, because they admire the spies, they have contracts from spy agencies, and they like destroying privacy. Not that Yahoo or any of the other majors is any better.

How should you proceed? We think de la Boetie had a pretty good set of ideas on this topic.

"You live in such a way that you cannot claim a single thing as your own; and it would seem that you consider yourselves lucky to be loaned your property, your families, and your very lives. All this havoc, this misfortune, this ruin, descends upon you not from alien foes, but from the one enemy whom you yourselves render as powerful as he is, for whom you go bravely to war, for whose greatness you do not refuse to offer your own bodies unto death. He who thus domineers over you has only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than is possessed by the least man among the infinite numbers dwelling in your cities; he has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you. Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you? The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own? How does he have any power over you except through you? How would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you? What could he do to you if you yourselves did not connive with the thief who plunders you, if you were not accomplices of the murderer who kills you, if you were not traitors to yourselves? You sow your crops in order that he may ravage them, you install and furnish your homes to give him goods to pillage; you rear your daughters that he may gratify his lust; you bring up your children in order that he may confer upon them the greatest privilege he knows: to be led into his battles, to be delivered to butchery, to be made the servants of his greed and the instruments of his vengeance; you yield your bodies unto hard labor in order that he may indulge in his delights and wallow in his filthy pleasures; you weaken yourselves in order to make him the stronger and the mightier to hold you in check. From all these indignities, such as the very beasts of the field would not endure, you can deliver yourselves if you try, not by taking action, but merely by willing to be free. Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces."

You don't need the surveillance state to make your life better. You can stop serving the tyranny of unjust men by protecting yourself. One simple action you can take today is to learn how to use e-mail encryption. Another simple action you can take is to use a virtual privacy network to connect to the Internet. You no longer have the option not to be spied upon, but you can at least make it harder to figure out who you are when you visit web sites and engage in trade and commerce. You can at least make it harder to read your e-mails by not sending them in clear text.

There are many other things you can do to reduce the extent to which you serve the system. Here at the Digital Cash Alliance we believe in your freedom and your privacy as worthwhile goals to pursue. We can help you pursue those goals.

Chaos and Central Planning

no birds

In 2007, the International Panel on Climate Change wrote, in part, "we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled nonlinear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible." Think about that statement for a bit, please.

We came across that particular quote in an essay by one of the five identifiable founders of Greenpeace, Dr. Patrick Moore, Ph.D., found here.

Moore extrapolates from this statement two important points. First, the fact that a coupled nonlinear chaotic system makes long-term prediction of future climate states impossible means that the ideas behind anthropogenic causes of global warming pose serious difficulties in making public policy. Public policies that are supposedly going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other sources of warming may or may not reduce warming in the future. Indeed, Moore indicates considerable evidence that there has been no statistically meaningful warming in the past 18 years, during which time about a third of all human-caused carbon dioxide emissions have taken place.

Second, the fact that the International Panel on Climate Change has stated so clearly their understanding that they cannot predict future climate states over the long term means that they themselves know that their proposed policies are questionable. What they propose to do may or may not bring about the changes they seek, and they cannot possibly predict future climate states over the long term. Here, in essence, is the hubris of the entire concept of scientific socialism.

It is, after all, not only the global climate which is a coupled nonlinear chaotic system, but many other aspects of life. The global economy is a coupled nonlinear chaotic system. Let's parse that phrase just a bit, first, and then examine what it means in practice.

A coupled nonlinear chaotic system would be distinct from an uncoupled, linear, ordered system. So let's examine what each of these terms means.

Edward Lorenz writes in his book "The Essence of Chaos" that a linear system is one in which alterations of an initial state will result in proportional alterations in any subsequent state. You could map a linear system in two dimensions by writing an equation for a line that represents the system. For example, the equation 2x = y describes a line among points such as (1, 2) (2, 4) (4, 8) where the first value in each case is the location along the x-axis and the second value is the location along the y-axis. You can see immediately that each of the y values is twice as big as the corresponding x value. You have a straight line, proceeding from (0,0), the origin, up and to the right in the first quadrant of a Cartesian coordinate system. The equation also works with negative numbers, so the same line proceeds down and to the left from the origin, at the same angle. Linear. In a straight line.

You might take an example from cooking. If you have a recipe for chocolate chip cookies and you buy two packages of chocolate chips you can double the ingredients and the recipe will probably turn out okay. However, in institutional cooking, one learns that some things do not scale indefinitely. If you take a recipe that works well for making a meal for four people and multiply all the ingredients by 100, you do not get a meal for 400 people, you get a huge mess. Chemistry can be non-linear. So is life.

Consider, for example, a simple harmonic oscillator. You can write the equation for that simple oscillation as the equation of a line. But when you examine the true equation for the motions of a pendulum, you find that it has significant non-linearity. There are aspects of the behaviour of the pendulum that can be modelled using a linear equation, but doing so requires that you artificially discard aspects of its true behaviour from the model.

You can think, if you wish, of linear approximations of complex systems as analogies. By making an analogy from the complex to the simple, and using the mathematics you understand to examine what you know about the simple, you can imagine that the complex system is somewhat better understood. But, in reality, you are engaged in wishful thinking. The saying "life is like a box of chocolates" is a simile, making an analogy between the box of chocolates and a person's life. With respect to the idea that "you never know what you'll get," as Forrest Gump was fond of saying, the analogy holds true. However, life is not chocolate coated, is best lived outside boxes, and has all kinds of features that are not modelled by the analogy.

So the general statement about reality is that it is nonlinear. A nonlinear system is one in which alterations of an initial state need not produce proportional alterations in any subsequent states. You might find a partial differential equation that approximates a nonlinear system, but there are certainly systems which are not effectively modelled by any single equation.

Coupling occurs when two or more systems that are themselves chaotic are synchronised by a coupling factor. One see the exponential divergence which occurs in nearby trajectories of chaotic systems and finds the idea of chaotic systems evolving synchronously to be surprising, but it seems to occur quite often. Coupling, however, is not necessarily a permanent feature, and over the course of time, synchronised chaotic systems can become uncoupled for a time, and also re-couple later on.

So, then, what of chaos generally? Let's turn again to Lorenz: Chaos may be described as when the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future. Very tiny alterations in initial conditions can dramatically alter outcomes, so that what appears to be an identical set of initial conditions but is only approximately identical can result in vastly different final conditions.

An example of a chaotic system is a double-pendulum. Here, watch one in action: double pendulum animated gif

Chaotic behavior exists in essentially all natural systems, such as weather, climate, living systems, and economies. We can certainly study the behaviour of chaotic systems. Mathematical models have been constructed which can be useful in such studies. There are also analytical tools like recurrence plots and Poincaré maps.

What we cannot do, what the mathematics says very clearly we cannot do, is make long term predictions of the outcomes of policies. We not only do not know, we cannot know, how changes in conditions starting today will turn out in, say, fifty or one hundred years. We can make plans, we can set guidelines, and we can affect the world around us, but we cannot be confident that the long term results we seek are going to be obtained.

Are we better off, individually or collectively, if human activities are planned, constrained, and limited by a central planning operation? Leave aside whether that central planning group is elected or self-chosen, whether it is a dictatorship of the people or a dictatorship of some one person, whether it embraces input from divers sources or whether it only cares about official measurements, would we get better results from people free to choose their own courses of action, free to discover market clearing prices without censorship or imposition, or would we get better results from having all choices first evaluated by a committee, or a dictator?

The answer is very clear. We cannot get good results from central planning. We also know that the central planners are able to evaluate their own mathematics, and they know that they cannot provide good results. We also know that their position as central planners is used to their advantage and to the advantage of those who pay them off with bribes, campaign contributions, and lobbying activities. We know that the system is broken and unable to manage our lives better than we ourselves can manage on our own. The people running the system know those facts, too.

Here, for example, are the forecasts of the International Monetary Fund about global growth, something you would think they would study carefully. Try to imagine, while looking at this chart of how they predicted world economic growth would proceed, that you are looking at a time series of sincere predictions, rather than a random set of lines. IMF revisions of world growth

They continue to pretend to produce good results through central planning because it benefits them and their cronies for them to do so. But don't be fooled. They certainly are not.

How, then, should you choose to proceed? If central planners are engaged in fraud, if their plan for you and the economy is never going to work, what should you do? You should make your own plans for your own benefit.

You are best suited to determine for yourself what is best for you. You don’t need the central planners, the Federal Reserve, the government, or any of their systems. Consider, for examples (these examples were used very wisely some two thousand years ago) the lilies of the field and the birds of the air which neither toil, nor spin. Nor do they pay taxes, nor do they read government reports, nor do they pay attention to laws. Yet they find everything they need.

Agorism is a libertarian philosophical approach to making your life better as you see fit. It suggests that you use counter-economic tools, such as free market money, digital cash, virtual privacy networks, the underground economy, and that you reject mainstream society’s limitations, rules, regulations, and obligations.

You Can Issue Money

Our technology lets you issue your own money. Now.

The technology of the Digital Cash Alliance makes it possible for you, as an individual, as a business, or as a non-profit group, to issue your own money. Within our technology are tools to allow wallet users to exchange the money you issue for other kinds of money (including Bitcoin, Litecoin, gold, and silver), to use your money at in-wallet merchants, to have escrow facilities to secure money exchanges, and to message other people within their wallets about anything using encrypted chat messaging and conference rooms.

Do you want to issue your own money? Are you tired of the problems with national currencies, with capital controls, with censorship of free markets? Take control of your economic destiny, today. Our technology lets you issue your own money, right now.

Finding monetary freedom.

Recently, Digital Cash Alliance adviser Paul Rosenberg wrote, "...Big Brother is on the greatest roll in all of history. No Pharaoh, no Caesar, no commissar ever had anything approaching the surveillance and manipulation capacities of modern rulers. And in support of it all stand Jane and Joe Average, ever-compliant, who simply don't want to know. Give them the slightest excuse to close their eyes, and they will. This kind of thing doesn't often end well."

It doesn't have to be that way, for you. If you have been paying attention to, say, the warnings from Edward Snowden, or the warnings from Wikileaks, or what has been said by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, or those things said by William Binney, Perry Fellwock, Russ Tice, Mark Klein, Thomas Tamm, Thomas Drake, Joseph Nacchio, James Bamford, William Hamilton Martin, Tim Weiner, or, really, any of the dozens to hundreds of other whistleblowers, politicians, and people generally, then you know that you aren't especially safe from government surveillance.

Maybe you respond by encrypting your emails. Maybe you respond by using encrypted voice communications like Twinkle or Mumble. Maybe you respond by using end-to-end encrypted chat like Jabber (XMPP). And all of these responses are good. Certainly you should use these technologies.

You should also go into your web browser and turn off geolocation. You should add NoScript and AdBlock software plugins or similar to your web browser, too. You should use a security certificate awareness plugin like Cert Patrol.

But there are two really important things that you should do which may seem complicated, difficult, or even not worth the bother. First, you should masque your IP address by using a Virtual Privacy Network. You cannot get the same results with TOR alone, and you should be aware of the many real difficulties with TOR. Second, you should safeguard your economic privacy by using an off-the-blockchain, secure, private, anonymous form of digital cash, such as those based on the Voucher-Safe technology offered here on our site.

We sell Virtual Private Network services from what we regard as the best in the business, Paul Rosenberg's own Cryptohippie. We also offer a free wallet app based on XMPP which uses very secure protocols to completely safeguard your economic transactions. You should get involved in both these areas of activity.

There are other retailers of VPN services. There are other alternatives for private digital cash. By all means, do your homework, look over the choices. But if you want to be free, you need privacy, anonymity, and communications that are not monitored.

Choose freedom. Choose digital cash, today!

Finding monetary freedom.

Recently, our founder Kevin Wilkerson wrote, "Begging tyrants for freedom is not only a dead end, but also an exercise in moral cowardice and demonstrated practical futility. If you lack monetary freedom, the responsibility is yours, not the government's."

We were immediately reminded of E. C. Riegel's statement in A New Approach to Freedom:

"To desire freedom is an instinct. To secure it requires intelligence. It must be comprehended and self—asserted. To petition for it is to stultify oneself, for a petitioner is a confessed subject and lacks the spirit of a freeman. To rail and rant against tyranny is to manifest inferiority, for there is no tyranny but ignorance; to be conscious of one's powers is to lose consciousness of tyranny. Self government is not a remote aim. It is an intimate and inescapable fact. To govern oneself is a natural imperative, and all tyranny is the miscarriage of self government. The first requisite of freedom is to accept responsibility for the lack of it."

The Bitcoin Core protocol and software represents intelligence in action. People who wanted greater monetary choices went about developing code to create Bitcoin. Others have adopted that code for purposes of mining and transacting. Others still have modified that code for creating even more monetary choices. Voucher-Safe, the technology which underlies the Digital Cash Alliance's DCSpark wallet software, goes even further, silencing the blockchain and allowing users to trade bitcoin and litecoin with complete privacy and anonymity.

In a great many online publications we read every day about apparent manipulations in the price of gold and silver. We note that, for example, there are about 230 or more paper gold contracts for every physical gold ounce available for delivery. Who is responsible for this situation? Who could possibly be responsible?

The answer, of course, is everyone who trades on the commodities exchanges in places like New York, London, and Tokyo, to name a few. If you don't think that the price of gold and silver those exchanges indicate could possibly represent a free market in action, then don't buy gold and silver at the prices listed on those exchanges. If you own gold bullion or gold coins, don't agree to sell them at the prices given by those exchanges. Set your own price.

Rebate Gold, which represents actual gold bullion and coins in secure physical storage, isn't priced at the commodity exchange price level. Instead, a 25% premium has been added. Rebate Gold or RGold, is available in the Digital Cash Alliance's DCSpark wallets. So, right away, today, if you feel that gold is not priced properly, you can do something about it by buying RGold. (Note that you can also redeem it at the 25% premium price.)

What if RGold is completely going about it in the wrong way? If you think so, then buy gold in whatever way you choose and issue your own currency. For example, if your company mines gold out of the ground, you probably have a good source of supply. Why not sell it at a price of your own choosing?

Complaining about how the commodity exchanges are rigged is interesting, and we've seen some extraordinary evidence to indicate that there really is a lot of double-dealing and misdirection, possibly even outright fraud. What we don't see is a lot of meaningful action.

Choosing what you use as money for economic transactions is up to you. Choosing when you are satisfied that you have accomplished finality of settlement, when you have actually paid for what you are buying, or when you have actually been paid for what you are selling, is up to you. The Digital Cash Alliance provides effective tools for people who want to buy, sell, exchange, trade, operate as merchants, issue currencies, or even administer their own voucher network.

These tools exist today and are described in detail on this web site. So, the question is no longer "how" but "why not?" Why aren't you using private, anonymous digital cash, today? I cannot think of a single good reason why not.


Announcing the Digital Cash Alliance to promote private, anonymous, digital cash.

The Digital Cash Alliance has begun! For too long, the world has been without digital cash that is as private, anonymous, and useful as physical cash. We believe our technologies solve this problem by allowing issuers to provide wallet users with digital representations of various assets while allowing users to trade in complete privacy.

Our commitment to freedom is evident in our book products found under "products" on our menu system. We provide Copper Ally members of the Alliance with their choice of books from freedom oriented authors in either physical or eBook form. Our commitment to privacy is evident in our Virtual Privacy Network service from Cryptohippie, a leader in online privacy. We also provide technology from SilentVault and from our own team that is designed to prevent monitoring of your private economic transactions.

Our team includes Kevin Wilkerson, our founder; myself, Tyrone Johnson, for marketing and business development; and Justin Terrell for technology development. We also have advisers Jim Davidson and Paul Rosenberg.

RGold and TGold are new currencies made available because of the Digital Cash Alliance. RGold or Rebate Gold is backed by physical gold stored in a secure vault. TGold or Token Gold is a digital currency which represents a claim on the future revenue stream of the Digital Cash Alliance technology. These are described on the links provided.

We are looking forward to working with you and many more customers in the near future.