News, Rants and Thoughts
Millions lost within my circle of friends. Foundational principles ignored.
The last #bitsandpieces post I wrote named December of 2017 as the specific month and the year when crypto would be known worldwide. The reasons I gave were stated last post. I could have said "Mark my words" - here is more.
Venezuela and Russia have centralized cryptocoins now. And by centralized, I mean poison. China uses Ripple and Saudi Arabia is going to join that bandwagon. And by Ripple, I mean poison. There are also two other
centralized poison coins in the works that I know of.
when email became commonly accepted, scams were not far behind.
Advertisements to invest and coin scams are off the charts, new exchanges that "do it better" (until they don't), and the ICO game have caused many people to forget the foundational guidelines of being your own bank, ie; holding crypto.
Profits, (ticking numbers on a website) have caused people to forget that exchanges are just people who wrote some code and then they want you to send them crypto. Laws have not even bee written yet to force them to give it back. But, the sheer euphoria of watching those numbers rise causes such joyful bliss that people gladly power down whole Steemit accounts, empty secured wallets, and search the sofa-cushions for pocket change so that they can send it on over to bitgrail, binance or fillintheblank.com because of their 10+ years of trustworthy service... Oh wait...
when the whole basket falls
Several friends have come to me with their story, how they bought into a new fangled this or that with all the gimmicks blazing. Now they are left with only broken egg-shells.
I try to console them...
- "Well at least you have all the Steem you bought" (bright side?) until I look at their SP and see 0.000.
- "Well I know you have a ton of Ethereum" as I look over at the familiar stack of GPU boxes stacked six feet high... "No, I invested that too."
- "What about the Dash I sold you?" and I see them look toward the floor.
Don't get rid of something you have in your hand for a $number.number on a web page.
Even the best .com exchanges get hacked. Some of the oldest, most trusted ones have taken hits. But, two that I know of, have reimbursed their customers fully. But what if they can't next time.
Only the decentralized crypto-coin itself is secure. Only when secured correctly. Only when stored safely.
As prices go up, I make my coins more secure, pulling all holdings off of android devices, and old laptops. I was late in doing so because the value of some coins was tiny. Then they went up one by one, from nothing to thousands. It happened faster than I could create dedicated - off-line - encrypted - devices to hold the coins.
Still other friends have lost private keys. Some have been hacked and even lost email accounts, recovery email accounts, and everything related to their identity. Yes, even access to exchanges with 2FA. The hacker changed the phone number associated... well, you know. It makes me wonder about "vault7" - something I heard about which is like an information leak but more like a treasure trove of hacking tools.
reviewing the foundations - most important of which is self control
Better late than never
Always hold your own private keys.
- generated while off line
- written and stored away from prying eyes
- copied and stored off-line and encrypted
Diversify (not all your eggs in one basket)
- hold some of each crypto that you like
- decide on a maximum for any one holding (no, not 100%)
- never invest more than you are willing to lose
How much should I place on Bittrex, Poloniex, Bitfinex, CoinRocket etc.?
I choose zero because two of the named sites were very poblematic for me
- If you have 100,000 - you should put $1,000 maximum on an exchange.
- If you want to use two exchanges, then $500 on each.
If you are using Windoze or Crapple, none of the above applies. Your computer is compromised at the moment the first electron that hits the bios. (look up uEFI sometime)
This is not financial advice. The large corporations on the internet have access to your accounts. Even if what I just said is not true, why would you risk it? Would you have your house keys hanging in plain sight on a tree outside the house? How about leaving your car running while inside the mall?
Err on the side of caution.
one should own none of these because of this title and the content below
There is a crypto called bitcoin that I mined at one time. First the GPU's stopped producing enough to care about. Then the BFL's I bought turned into book ends, again, unable to produce 0.001 in a month. Then bitcoin became unusable - more costly than Western Union and slower than snail-mail.
But it looks like the coin might be dying because there are way fewer transactions in line to be recognized by the network. I think everyone just gave up on trying to send via this coin. I highly doubt they would try to fix BTC after sisteen months of clogged traffic and disappointing transaction times/fees.
Resource: Blockchain's unconfirmed transactions page.
If they are fixing it. We should still consider using something quicker, with no fees. Eh- hem enter Steem? The audio world upgraded from 8-track-tapes... Time to use the SSD Micro of coins.
This is my own cynical view on BTC. I have not used it since 2016 and I no not plan to go back to it. I have waited many hours for transactions to clear while holding a stranger's money. Face to face trading is what I do. It has to be quick.
Thanks for taking time...
Remember. Your job is to make sure people know that simply putting it "on the blockchain" does NOT mean that it is on the Bitcoin (or another reliable decentralized) blockchain.