Small reviews of (I think) all incremental games I've ever played on Android
I don't know if this will be useful to anyone. So I write a line or two about every game I play, and decided to find all the incremental in my game journal and post them here. It starts with the latest games I've played and I think goes back to several years back. One thing I've realized is I have such a love-hate-hate relationship with this genre since I think I've hated 90% of the games and 100% of myself after each incremental phase. I usually angrily stop playing them for a while and restart them again, so this is more or less a journal of addiction, I suppose. THE BEST GAMES I'VE PLAYED ARE THESE (no order):
Honorable Mention: Eggs, Inc The rest: more or less hated it Additional comment if you decide to scan through it, I complain a lot, so it is perfectly reasonable and normal to think, "why the fuck are you even playing these games, idiot??". ------ Time Idle RPG This game was confusing. It tells me the game's resources is time, where you get 1 of it every second, but that's not really something as unique as I assumed. It would have been cool if time as resources meant you used it to deal with something related to time. Maybe time travel? Maybe slowing and speeding time? Instead time as resource buys you stuff like a library. And then you buy a camp or something. Honestly, I wasn't really feeling it. 2 Path of Idling The biggest cardinal sin for me when it comes to incremental is when a game has a lot of features and it just completely throws them all at you instantly. The joy of a great incremental is how things slowly open up and each new achievement feels progress. The game is a RPG game and these are the things that opened up for me in the first few hours. Combat which includes normal fighting, dungeon, raid, boss, PVP (locked, but it just needs an ascend, which I haven't done) Skills Hero upgrades which include Passive (strength, defence, stamina, intelligence), Train, and a huge Tree Town which you can buy workers who get you various things like gold, orbs, knowledge, etc. You can upgrade stuff here. Quest that also includes Perks and Skill quests. Gear which 5 equipment slots, plus craft plus trade plus smelt Also gear for your Pet, which is also another tab! Now, here is the thing. Because I have all of this pretty much instantly, I don't really know which ones are helping me go past a well. How is adding 10 points in strength helping me? Should I have added five in strength instead and five in defence? I have already bought 20 or so upgrades in the Tree, but I have no idea if I am made the optimal choice. There is no real excitement with getting new gear. And so on. The dev has added a lot of features, now it's time to rework the game, and have the features take their time. 2 Idle Slayer The game is like a super simple platformer. Your character is running and any enemy it hits, it automatically slays it. There is no HP, and all enemies die in one shot. Your only active play is jumping occasionally to grab coins or hit the flying enemies. Also, you have a run skill that has a cool down. With the coins, we get new weapons that give us more coins. Enemies give us souls which is used for the prestige system that provides us with an interesting skill tree which provides a lot of choices on the path you want to do in terms of upgrades. So far excellent, however, the game has an extremely serious issue of pacing. The game initially progresses so fast that in the first hour or so, you get almost all the weapons aside from the last two, which then grinds down to a snail pace. You can upgrade your past weapons, but they never really get into play again. Reaching high levels of past weapons sometimes gave me upgrades of that weapon of 10,000% but they still did nothing to my overall coin per second. I think the pacing needs to be fully reworked. It would have been nice to get new weapons after certain prestige cycles, so that every new weapon feels like we have passed a significant wall. The best part of an incremental game for me is to face a wall, and when I finally break it, I feel powerful again for a while. This game feels like this though, powerful powerful powerful powerful WALL........break it....WALL. And so on. I'm still playing it as I want to get some of the skills, but I feel like it could have been so much better. 4 Exponential Idle A very back to the foundation kind of incremental. The premise is that you are a student and working on a formula. There is a neat story where as you progress in the game, your character progresses through university. Each upgrade gives you more and more automation until I reached a stage where I would check back once every 2 or 3 days, click a 2nd layer prestige reset, and close it. Meaning the game was something like 5 seconds of game player every 2 days. I just opened it for this review and realized I had reached the end game. The story wraps up and it tells me "You can take a rest. Travel a bit. Go outside!" NO, DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO GAME. 3 Factoid Factoid & Spark should have the same review as they are almost the same game with only small differences. The games are the most basic kind of incremental, where you buy something with resources, until you get the next thing which gives you more of the resources. Both give you upgrades to speed things up, and finally prestige and it's own prestige upgrades. That's it. It's nice little change of pace from all the recent incremental that sometimes do too much, but obviously due to the very simple nature of it, it does eventually feel pointless, specially after you more or less open up everything and the prestige upgrades just keep repeating. 3 Spark Factoid & Spark should have the same review as they are almost the same game with only small differences. The games are the most basic kind of incremental, where you buy something with resources, until you get the next thing which gives you more of the resources. Both give you upgrades to speed things up, and finally prestige and it's own prestige upgrades. That's it. It's nice little change of pace from all the recent incremental that sometimes do too much, but obviously due to the very simple nature of it, it does eventually feel pointless, specially after you more or less open up everything and the prestige upgrades just keep repeating. 3 Antimatter Dimensions Easily top 5 incremental on mobile. Does everything perfectly. You progress nicely, and when new features open it, not only is it rewarding but more importantly, it keeps adding new dimensions (lol) to the game. I'd at the end game as I write this, and I realize that there was no point in the game where it felt stale. Each new prestige layer made the game feel fresh and almost like a new incremental game. 5 Melvor Idle It seems this game was mainly aimed at Runescape players, which is probably why it didn't click for me. It also run extremely slow on my phone which also played a part in me not really getting into. 2 A Girl Adrift The animation is really pretty and is a nice change of pace for incrementals, but I didn't really like the too much active play. Really had to keep going back and forth to different areas to do the fishing which got too repetitive for me. You travel to different areas of the map to catch fish, which you get points and then you upgrade stuff, but I didn't really find any real excitement about the upgrades because I kept having to go back to previous areas to fish similar creatures. 3 Archer: Danger Phone I'm really annoyed how terrible of a game this was. Two things I like, the TV show "Archer" and incremental games, and it's done in the most lazy manner. The game is the worst aspect of idle games where it's just a straight path of clicking the next upgrade with absolutely zero decision making. Every once in a while there is a mini game where Archer gets to shoot others but it's done in the most basic form of early 2000s flash games, where the animation budget is probably 3 dollars. Same static background and both enemies and Archer have just two animation frames. The absolute laziness of it is almost insulting to the player, because it feels like we aren't even worth the effort. There is an Archer story in the game which develops really fast, which is the only positive part, but no voice acting is again another evidence that the creators of the game weren't given any budget for this. 1 Home Quest This game is way too slow. You have to collect materials to build your settlement but everything takes time, so you click for a few seconds, and then you have to leave the game. Which I'm fine with, but the problem isn't the idle part of it, it's how the idle part of it combines with constant checking of the game which annoys me. I like an idle game where you forget to start the game for a day, you come up to a lot of resources, but this is a game which needs you to check back in every 30 minutes or an hour to really get anywhere. I felt that the micromanagement was getting worse as I progressed (without any actual thing to do when I am active in the game) that made me give up. 2 Idle Industry This is probably an interesting game, but I gave up because the one thing I really disliked was the amount of resources and manufacturing that very quickly opens to you. You can buy raw materials, and you can either sell these raw materials or turn them into finished goods and sell them either. And each of these has several upgrade options (increase selling price, increase production, etc). Without even really getting too deep into the game, I have around 20 raw materials and around 30 finished products. A satisfying part of this genre is to have things slow open up for you, which gives me a decent feeling of satisfaction. But the money I got would quickly open up new products, so I would just jump ahead and purchase more expensive ones, and after a while I had a lot of materials and products at zero, and was instead focusing on latter ones. 2 Masters of Madness Somewhat neat atmosphere and visuals, but too much active clicking. Click, upgrade to get more per clicks, get minions to get you some points without clicking, typical clicker, but with the added benefit of almost no idling. I like idling incrementals but clickers is a hard no from me. 1 Soda Dungeon 2 Basically similar to the first one, as far as I could tell. I did "finish" it but maybe I shouldn't have, since it really is the same thing from early on, specially once you get all the heroes and you kind of sort out which characters work best, then it's just the same. But because it was somewhat short and no real wall, it was at least easy to stick to it to the end. 2 Bacterial Takeover Played for a decent amount and was actually more interesting that I thought, given the buttload of ad incentives. You create and upgrade bacteria, attack planets, and eventually go into a blackhole to prestige. Most of the game was good, but the part that killed it for me was the prestige system. Once you prestige, planets get super easy to attack, which becomes a lot of active play. I realized that each prestige was taking me at least 30 minutes to get to where I was, and it was just meaningless clicking. It got to a point where I was putting off prestige because it seemed like it would be a hassle so I stopped. 2 LogRogue Cute graphics. The hero sort of hopping to hit the tiny monsters is cute to look at, but how long can you look at it and do nothing before you realize that it's boring? I suppose this is a game where it's just not for me. I don't like to have my phone open on a game and just watch it like a crazy person and do nothing. My rule is simple for incrementals. While the app is open, be active, if there isn't any choices to make, close the app while resources build up or whatever. I don't like it being open while I do nothing. 3 A Kittens Game Incremental games are so strange. I get in and out of the phases. I loved this for so long and so obsessively that I wanted to only play incremental games. And then, just like that, I was wondering why the fuck I was wasting my time with this. Has happened countless times before. But still probably the best incremental ever. 5 A Dark Room An incremental cult classic of sorts but I don't find it really matches the genre. There is a bit of incremental at the beginning with people huts and stuff but then its just a ascii exploring game, which wasn't interesting to me. 2 Little Healer Saw it mentioned in the Reddit incremental forum in one of the posts and thought it was a healer themed incremental which sounded neat. But it's like being a healer in a raid in World of Warcraft without any if the extras. Just a couple of bars representing your team mates and you healing them while they fight the boss. I didn't even like playing the healer in WoW so no way would I play this game. 1 Clickie Zoo Started playing for a few days until I realized there a beta released with the dev reworking the game completely from scratch and releasing it as "Idle Zoo Tycoon". So, played that instead but this seemed like a game I would enjoy anyway. 4 Idling to Rule the Gods The UI and one drawing if your character is really ugly enough to be distracting to me. The game, seemed interesting and I eventually was into it, but seems like a game that has been constantly being updated, which is not always a good thing, because features are obviously updated regularly to it, making the whole thing a bit bloaty. I guess, this is the problem with this game for me, it's too fat. Also, one main part of the game is that your character creates Shadow Clones up to a maximum limit. Which is fine except the clones can't be made in offline mode. This might not be a big deal in its original web browser game but that doesn't work as well in a mobile format. 2 Realm Grinder This is one of the really popular incremental and it's fanbase seems to love it for it's depth, but to be honest, I don't play these games for the depth, I play it for the simple dopamine rush of doing the same thing over and over again. It relaxes. Although, I didn't even get to the depth part because I dislike games where it rushes in the beginning. I constantly bought buildings, got spells, and got upgrades without even looking at the description. Apparently, later on, we can get complicated race upgades, which seems not what I'm looking for in such a genre. 2 Spaceplan A short (!!) incremental with an actual story (!!!). That's two cool points for it but unfortunately, the game mechanics of increment genre isn't so good. It's a space game with nice visuals and a great ending (cool music set to cool graphics) but the game itself wasn't really that fun. This same exact game would have been better in a different genre (maybe something like "Out There"?) 3 Zombidle Felt like idle games again and this is the kind of examples that kept me away. Too much clicking and seems like advancement will start to get irritating since it relies on IAPs 2 Eggs, Inc While I was playing it, Eggs, Inc was probably my favorite Android game I had ever played. But like most incremental games, there comes a moment when I suddenly stop and think, what am I doing? Because there is something fascinating about Incrementals. Their addictiveness is in a way the whole point. An incremental is less of a game and more an act of electronic addictiveness. What's the point? Eggs, Inc is a very well made and fun incremental but even the best in its genre is still pointless. 4 Castle Clicker Supposedly a mix of incremental and city building but didn't really find out since the clickings were way to much. I know this is supposed to be the genre but I like the incremental part more than the tapping part. This seemed to be a good way to hurt your fingers. 2 Endless Era This RPG clicker game is like other such games but with horrible GUI and animations. Tap tap tap. It's my fault for downloading such games. Why would I ever think this would be fun??? 1 Idle Quote An incremental game with a unique twist. This time we get to make up quotes! The first negative about the game and this irritates me a lot is most of the quotes are fake. A quick search on Google and this proves it. Quotes are generally attributed to Buddha or Ghandi or shit like that and it's usually fake like most quotes on the internet. This kills the major possible advantage of the game because I thought coming up with arbitrary words would at least give me some quotes to learn. Aside from the this, the game isn't fun either because it slows down very quickly meaning you combine words very slowly at a certain stage of the game and then it becomes a boring grind. 2 Monster Miser An incremental game with almost no graphics. We just see character portraits of monsters which we buy and then upgrade until we buy the next monster. Eventually we prestige which gives us multipliers. The only game choice is choosing between two monsters with each new monster with unique benefits. Annoyingly there is a max limit which I wish didn't exist because I wanted to prestige so much that I would be over powerful in upgrading like that "Idle Oil Tycoon". Still, pointless but reasonably fun. 3 Pocket Politics An incremental take on politics sounds fun but it's so generic that it could have been about anything. A Capitalist idle game or a cooking idle game, it wouldn't matter. IAP was also the usual shitty kind. 1 Time Clickers A shooter incremental sounds like a cool twist but it's not a FPS like I imagined it would be. I'm just stuck in a room and I was shooting blocks. Upgrades didn't give me any enjoyment since I was shooting fucking blocks. 1 Tap Tap Fish - Abyssrium I thought this was going to be relaxing incremental but the ridiculous and generic IAPs and all the social integeration spoil it. Too much time is spent in them asking you to buy or share or tweet or post or give them a blowjob. And there is nothing relaxing about that. 2 Cartoon 999 Incremental game about comic book writers, but not the marvel DC kind, it seemed to be the webcomic one and I think it's a Korean developer so all the characters and injokes made no sense to me. The whole thing was just targeted to a very specific audience. 2 Dungeon Manager Incremental games need to be simple but this is beyond simple, it's just upgrade a fighter to level 5, go to next dungeon character, do the same, and just continue without any of the delicious balancing of upgrades like other idle games. 2 Final Fortress Incremental games are already pointless but when it's super heavy on IAP than its also annoying, but when it always has bugs that doesn't register my offline earnings, then it just needs a uninstall in its face. The zombie skin was also crappy. 1 Mana Maker Here is how I know this clicker isn't very good. It doesn't make me hate all clickers and my life and mobile gaming in general for being so addictive and pointless. So fail, sorry. 2 Infinity Dungeon The usual incremental RPG that I should probably never play again. Starts simple enough and then gets more or a chore as you play. 1 Another incremental game which I had promised myself not to play anymore because they are so pointless and repetitive and endless. Well, this wasn't infinite and had a goal at 999 level so I thought it was good but while the humor was cute, the game did become very repetitive. Every 10 levels the slimes changed but after every 100 levels the whole thing restarted and while the monsters got stronger, I seemed to get even stronger. So the game became easier as I progressed and there was no more challenge. By level 800, I gave up. 2 Tap Dungeon RPG Okay, I'm running out of ways to complain about those incremental RPG games that all have similar problems. It starts off reasonably fast and fun but soon it seems like I am in a data entry job. Doing the same thing over and over again with little changes. 1 Dungeon 999 F: Secret of Slime Dungeon Another incremental game which I had promised myself not to play anymore because they are so pointless and repetitive and endless. Well, this wasn't infinite and had a goal at 999 level so I thought it was good but while the humor was cute, the game did become very repetitive. Every 10 levels the slimes changed but after every 100 levels the whole thing restarted and while the monsters got stronger, I seemed to get even stronger. So the game became easier as I progressed and there was no more challenge. By level 800, I gave up. 2 Tap Dungeon RPG Okay, I'm running out of ways to complain about those incremental RPG games that all have similar problems. It starts off reasonably fast and fun but soon it seems like I am in a data entry job. Doing the same thing over and over again with little changes. 1 Tower of Hero You start on the first floor of the tower and keep fighting your way up by summoning your heroes (by clicking) and recruiting other fighters, get upgrades, level up, and then, ugh, here is the typical incremental RPG part, restart, get items, and do it ALL over again. There is something fun about restarting and getting slowly stronger each time but it also feels so pointless after a while. Such a pointless genre now that I have played a billion of such titles, heh. 3 Pageboy Yet another incremental RPG which I have no idea why I downloaded because I'm sick of the genre. I played a pageboy to a knight who does the fighting while I collect the lot. I collect the loot, buy stuff for the knight, and eventually I restart to do the same thing again and get better items but this game I didn't even RESTART! Because fuck it! Fuck it! 2 Idle Warriors The story is cute. Human population is regressing while monster population is on the rise. So the humans start enslaving monsters to mine for them! The brave warriors beat the crap out of monsters, kidnap the bosses, and enslave them. The animation of monsters slaving away while speech balloons above them talk about their wife and children is funny. But the game itself is another RPG incremental which I should start staying away from. These games are like a chore for me nowadays because I'm doing the same crap again and again. The blame is probably on me because it seems like a reasonably solid game. But hey, fuck it, I PERSONALLY didn't enjoy it. 2 Tap! Tap! Faraway! Any game that is remotely like Tap Titan scares me. They are addictive at first and very fast moving but after every restart gets more and more annoying. It soon turns into a time eating activity with the player having to redo the initial levels to get relics to get better items to progress further to restart to get relics to and so on until the player realizes how much time he is putting in the game for a repetitive activity. 2 Auto RPG Now that is a title the game developers didn't spend too much time on. RPG battles are automatic but I can help out by clicking like a mad man. I started with one hero but would get additional members in my party as the story progressed. Party members receive skills as as they level up and while all the skill usage is automatic, it did give me a sense of progression which is extremely important in a RPG and which I think is usually lacking in incremental games. It usually starts feeling useless but in this game at least there are new maps, new members, and an actual end sight! There is an infinity stage once the last boss is defeated but I am glad the infinity stage happens AFTER the end and it's not the game itself. 4 Merchant Hire a hero and send on to battle. The battles is done automatically and takes time, starts with something short like 10 seconds with each battle taking longer. The loot is raw materials which can be used to craft equipment which also takes real life time with better items taking longer. The crafted items can either be sold or equipped to the hero to make him be able to fight stronger monsters. I was worried I would hate the longer crafting and fighting times because I hate games which I have to watch for a task to finish but even though the durations for longer, I had more to do. However, I don't know what would have happened in the end game because I gave up on it. New maps were exactly like the first map just with different heroes but the progression was similar in each level which felt that I was doing the exact same thing all over again but with longer task times. 2 Idle Oil Tycoon This is the best idle game I played. It's graphics aren't just minor, they are none existent. It's just numbers, so basic that my sister thought I was on a stock market app. It's such a simple concept. Invest, get oil, upgrade then like other idlers restart to get a bonus and do the full thing all over again. When I finished the game, I played the unlimited mode which I played until the unlimited mode couldn't handle the numbers anymore. 5 Soda Dungeon This kind-of Idle Dungeon was great. I started with weak ass fighters who would fight on my behalf while I collected the loot. I then got to use the lot to upgrade the sofa bar to recruit more adventurers. Not sure why it was a sofa bar. Maybe they wanted to make it a family game and not have alcohol? Sounds weird but the sofa element in a RPG game sounds weirder. The game only hit a brick for me when, like most other incremental games, there is no real closure. Once I thought I bet the big bad guy, it just goes on, harder but similar enough with no end in sight. Eventually, we have to stop playing right, but it always feels a bit like a let down when I don't feel like I have finished the game. 4 10 Billion Wives Kept Man Life The two games from this company, 10 Billion Wives and Kept Man Life, have similar strengths and weaknesses. I liked the silly premises from both. In 10BM, I had to get married as much as I could, using the loves I collect to marry more expensive wives! In KML, I'm a boyfriend who doesn't work and I have to please my career gf so she would take care of me. Both start reasonably fast and I was willing to grind through difficult parts but the end game is like a brick wall. Passing through it to get all the achievements is pretty much impossible unless one puts in way too many hours. And it's a shame because I really wanted to get all the achievements to see all the tiny little extra stuff. 3 Adventure Capitalist One of the better incremental games, but now that I am out of the short lived incremental fan phase, I realized how dumb the genre is. Tap, tap, tap, upgrade, do this a million times, reset, and do it all over again like a moron. The game does deserve credits for me acting like a moron and playing it for so long but I also cheated and got free cash and then if occupying became even more pointless. 3 The Monolith A combination of an incremental and a civilization building game seemed like an excellent idea and in some ways, it was, specially how we get to upgrade through the ages from cavemen to futuristic. But no offline feature means that the resets aren't enticing. 2 USSR Simulator An incremental game that has a great theme (USSR!) but absolutely horrible to enjoy, even though I did stick to it. After a certain upgrades, the game just turned into me popping in the game, clicking an upgrade and then forgetting about the game for a few days. 2 RPG Clicker They should call these games tappers not clickers. We are not clicking anything on a touchscreen device. Anyway, tap tap tap level up buy weapons tap tap and uninstall. 1 Logging Quest Logging Quest 2 [Review is for the original and its sequel] There is not much of a difference between the game. I actually played them both at the same time because the actual game is offline. You choose your hero, send them to a dungeon, and then come back to the game after a while to see how well they did. I thought an offline RPG like this might be interesting but then, if you don't really play a game, how much fun can it be? 1 Another pointless incremental. I was in an incremental phase and got so many incremental games that I know realize were absolutely pointless. Hit a tree, buy upgrades, get a new hero, and continue hitting a tree. Not much offline it seems which is what I like about incrementals. 1 Galaxy Clicker A space incremental that should have been a lot of fun. You get to upgrade your spaceship and buy new ones and explorer new planets. But first of all, the interface is so ugly that it makes playing the game less enjoyable. And a lot of things I didn't really get no matter how much I would play like the full exploring planets. The spaceships were nice, so it could have been fun. 2 Megatramp A pretty pointless incremental kind of game. You are a tramp and then you can collect money to buy upgrades to make more money, with no strategy needed, nor any effort needs to be made to hurt your brain cells. 1 Inflation RPG It supposed to be some kind of incremental RPG, I think, which has you resetting and getting more powerful and then fighting monsters to get insane levels. It is very unique but I couldn't get into it. 2 Widget RPG Are you fucking with me? This is button bashing rpg in the most extreme manner. You get a widget, so you don't even have to open the game and distract yourself from the button bushing. Just click the button and the game plays behind the scenes and gets you experience, loot, and kills. It's a ridiculous idea that is fun for a few minutes to see what they come up with but there is only so much button bashing you can do. 2 Capitalist Tycoon I downloaded this game because I was in an incremental/idle game phase and really enjoyed AdVenture Capitalist. But this game is nothing like that. On the surface, it seems similar, buy small investments, make money, buy bigger investments, and so on. But with this game, there is no offline mode, and you keep having to wake up managers, AND the goal is to see how much you make in one year. Bah. I prefer the incremental approach which makes you build and build and build, not try to rush it in just a year. 2 Clicking Bad An incremental clicking game that is themed after Breaking Bad. It is a fun idea it's a very simple game with little to do aside from the obvious of upgrading and upgrading. The only twist might be to balance out making lots of money selling drugs and not attracting the law but even that is only a small challenge at the start. Eventually, you will get enough upgrades to bring the law risk so down that it makes no impact on the game play. 2 Zombie Tapper A super basic incremental clicker game with a zombie team. Click click click to eat brains, use brains (?) to buy zombies to do the brain eating for you and then buy upgrades for your zombies, and buy new zombies and it all feels very pointless. 1 Bitcoin Billionaire I started to enjoy incremental games, but it needs to have a good offline mode, because I don’t want to just play a game where I keep tapping. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t play. I played it, and I played a lot of it, because I could reset the game (like most incremental games) and it gives you a small benefit where you could finish the full game a bit faster (it gives you bonus income). So, I kept finishing and resetting, and each time the start to finish would shorten, so I thought I would reach a stage where I could finish each start-to-finish in an instant! It didn’t happen. I got bored first. 3 Tap Titan An addictive tapping game. Just tap on the creatures, level up, get new skills, hire heroes, and then reset and to it all over again to progress further. It’s an incremental game where it depends on resets to progress, but no real offline bonus, so you have to be playing online. Which got boring, so I installed an app that does the tapping for me, which is actually a stupid way to play the game, but this isn’t an attempt to prove to anyone my intelligence. Anyway, thankfully something went wrong and my progress got deleted, WHICH WAS A GOOD THING, because the game was extremely addictive. 4 God Squad I’ve realized most incremental games are stupid. Tap on monsters to kill, collect gold, buy Roman Gods, level them up, fight other monsters, and then get bored. 1
Blockchain Bites: Dorsey Challenges Coinbase, Nasdaq Lists Diginex, Ethereum Miners Profit The Australian government is investing big in modern technology, Nasdaq saw its first crypto exchange operator listing and revenues are surging for Ethereum miners amid increased network activity. Australia modernizes Australia will commit A$800 million (US$575 million) to invest in digital technologies as part of its coronavirus recovery plan, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Tuesday. The federal plan will see US$256.6 million for a digital identity solution, $419.9 million to fully implement the Modernising Business Registers (MBR) program, $22.2 million for small businesses training to utilize digital technologies and two blockchain pilot programs totalling $6.9 million. “The Plan supports Australia’s economic recovery by removing out-dated regulatory barriers, boosting the capability of small businesses and backs the uptake of technology across the economy,” Morrison said in the announcement. Nasdaq launch Blockchain services firm Diginex has become the first crypto exchange operator to list on Nasdaq. The stock went live Thursday morning under the EQOS ticker symbol, a nod to the firm’s EQUOS.io trading platform. CoinDesk’s Nathan DiCamillo reports Diginex’s back-door listing came through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). Diginex CEO Richard Byworth said he expects a mix of global retail and institutional investors to buy shares. Over time, he expects the majority of Diginex shareholders to be U.S. investors because of the Nasdaq listing. Dorsey responds Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted his disapproval of Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong’s mission statement to keep his company free and clear of politics. Dorsey argued that by the very act of being a crypto exchange, Coinbase was always already engaged in politics. “Bitcoin (aka ‘crypto’) is direct activism against an unverifiable and exclusionary financial system which negatively affects so much of our society. Important to at least acknowledge and connect the related societal issues your customers face daily. This leaves people behind,” Dorsey tweeted. Armstrong made waves this week – in and out of crypto – when saying Coinbase, and its employees, should keep work and activism separate. Election predictions Putting stake to their claims, many crypto-political gamblers have cast their vote predicting who might win the contentious U.S. presidential election. CoinDesk markets editor Lawrence Lewitinn looked at the data following this week’s first presidential debate and found many are betting incumbent President Donald Trump will lose in November. While bettors on decentralized betting platforms like Augur and futures markets on FTX aren’t as bullish on the challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, he does have the odds. “Thus what’s true at the time of publication can change on a dime. It is now fewer than five weeks until Election Day. Buckle up!” Lewitinn warns. Mining profits HIVE Blockchain has reported its best-ever quarter, as the mining firm raked in record fees from the frenzied activity in decentralized finance (DeFi) over the summer. The Toronto-listed mining company released its unaudited results Thursday, saying it mined a total of 32,000 ether (ETH) and 121,000 ethereum classic (ETC) in the second fiscal quarter ending Sept. 30. Per CoinDesk’s price data, that comes to nearly $11.8 million for mining ether, and a further $664,000 for ethereum classic – approximately $12.4 million at time of writing. The figures represent a near 30% increase from the 25,000 ETH that HIVE mined in the first quarter and a 50% increase in the same quarter in 2019. Stealth launch In the latest effort to smooth a path for buttoned-up investors, Talos, an institutional-grade conduit to the crypto ecosystem, is emerging from stealth mode to serve brokers, custodians, exchanges and over-the-counter (OTC) trading desks. The platform started out in 2018 and is backed by an impressive list of investors including Autonomous Partners, Castle Island Ventures, Coinbase Ventures and Initialized Capital. Over the past year or so, Talos has been quietly onboarding a core group of capital market participants, so that the platform can make its debut in a revenue-generating state.
TL;DR: Twitter has a horrible execution history and negative surprises on the most recent earnings call, but company has real long term value that has yet to be unlocked. The bet here is that TWTR has run up based on pin action from SNAP, but fundamentals and peer comparison cloud the picture. I read this post calling for a short on Twitter and it became a bit of a WSB ear worm. I generally agreed with OP's assessment, but he was a bit short on DD and most of my thoughts are based on biases against the company's horrible execution/monetization history and a general disdain for Jack Dorsey wanting to move to Africa for a year rather than focusing on the TWO companies that have made him a billionaire. I thought about it, researched some short term puts (high premium as expected given recent run up into all time high today, earnings Thursday) and basically ATM puts are running $2.76 for $51's expiring Friday or $3.36 if I want to give myself the extra week (ELECTION MADNESS!) for an extra swing at the payoff. My initial thought is that Twitter has run up with SNAP and PINS after SNAP crushed earnings. I had started to look at PINS for an earnings play but didn't get to it before SNAP sent them all (and FB) off to the races. With that said, Twitter has a history of disappointing and I'm not aware of anything they've done recently to better monetize the site. I also haven't done any DD on them in forever after getting stuck long a few times and having to wait a quarter or so twice for what should have been a short term trade. So, thanks to OP Justaryns, here's some follow on DD. Now I'm more conflicted. Financials. Strong balance sheet. Company had $7.8 Billion cash on hand end of June, adding $1 Billion of that during the first six (crash/shutdown) months of the year. Only $831 Million of current liabilities and total debt is $4.1 Billion. Market Cap is less than 4x book value. No issues here. Income statement is a bit more hokey. They took a major charge last quarter for a "non-cash tax deferred asset". That messed up a slow but steady growing trendline. How much so? Check the CNBC graphic: 2Q: Whoops Also during the last quarter, Twitter had a massive hack where some moron tried to use the accounts of famous people to try and sell (Edit; The currency that we doth not speak its name). No word on which autist here did that. The problems continued into the last few weeks, when Twitter had a massive outage that the President blamed cited the Babylon Bee as Biden protection. That's more of a reminder that headline and political risk remains in all communication services stocks, and tomorrow we'll get a better reminder as the CEO's of Twitter, Facebook, and Microsoft testify before a Congress that hates them more than their own voters. So Twitter has execution problems, political risk, and a CEO that is still trying to decide what he wants to be when he grows up. Yet it's had a massive run up as pin action from SNAP. Does it have further room to run? Chart comparisons suggest it could. Relative Performance of SNAP, PINS, TWTR, and FB This is where I get heartburn on the short. Over the past year, PINS and SNAP have had over a 150% return. FB, much more established and with a market cap 20 times that of Twitter, has still given a respectable 46% return. Twitter is up 73%, which is a lot...until you compare it to peers like SNAP and PINS. Further, analysts are sour on Twitter, with 32 of 41 giving hold or underperform ratings, and a stock price 20% below current prices. I tend to consider them a contra-indicator, in that they move after sentiment does, usually not before. CNBC analyst summary So, I'm torn. If Dorsey can demonstrate he has finally decided to execute a business plan and fix the recurring technical/security issues, there's real value to unlock here. Short term....I'm probably willing to take a gamble that he hasn't, and buy a few puts. What say y'all? Related Positions: 6 FB 275 Nov 20 calls. No positions yet on TWTR.
Instead of honest democracy or free-market meritocracy, we truly live under rule by parasites. (This term is not meant to be derogatory but to be apt. I suppose many, if not most of us, would opt to be one of the parasites, if given the choice.) Trying to describe how the financial and political elites receive unearned wealth and power can get complicated very quickly. To find a simple but rigorous theory to cover most major features of the beast requires looking at it the right way. By and large, how it works is that:
The elites use state power to prop up the values of money, debt, and other financial assets artificially, to benefit those who issue them, i.e. themselves. When some over-valued asset eventually must crash, the entire economy suffers the loss of jobs, business and savings.
Example: The Bank Account Public illusion. A commercial-bank 'deposit' is as good as money. You will get all your money back, any time you want. Reality. 'Deposits' are really loans to the bank which lends them to borrowers, some of whom may never pay them back. Another danger is that savers may ask for their money at any time, while loans by the bank tend to have longer-term maturities. How to bridge myth and reality. An truly free-market system would drive banks to communicate expectations openly. A simple example could be having 'depositors' expect to lose money if the bank makes bad loans. The problem with such an honest system, of course, is that top politicians and bankers wouldn't benefit much, since people would likely put much less money in banks. The confidence trick. The government props up the illusion, while it can. Classic tools over the centuries include allowing banks to collude by rescuing each other in a crisis, bailing banks out with public money, and providing deposit insurance. If this gives bankers the incentives to take too much risk, bankers redeem themselves by being a lender to the government. Since both sets of elites benefit, what problem is there? (In recent decades investment banks and money market funds have formed a shadow banking system which plays an equivalent role. While the last US commercial-bank bust happened in the 1980s' savings-and-loan crisis, the last shadow-bank variety occurred in 2007-8.) Analysis. While credit is indeed crucial to economic growth, to use government power to prop up the values of loans to banks, and then to rely on bureaucrats and their rules to limit risk-taking by bankers is a distortion of the credit market. It is the driver of much human misery. Central planning, somehow, always benefits the few at the expense of the many, even if it claims to do just the opposite.
Example: Government Bonds Public illusion. The 'full faith and credit' of the government stands behind the IOU it issues to you. Your IOU is as good as money. Reality. Since much public debt is almost as trusted as money, incurring this debt is almost as good as printing money. Politicians thus have an incentive to maximize the issuance of debt to receive free political capital, even if this destabilizes their own system in the long run. Public debt all over the world goes only up. Even though powerful governments can keep their debt bubbles going for a century or more, those incentives mean that their IOUs will eventually lose value, one way or another. How to bridge myth and reality. Even aside from the moral problems of 'money' creation and putting burden on people who can't yet vote, public debt should at least be allowed to sink or swim in the capital markets. If a government incurs too much debt, savers would be incentivized to punish it by demanding a higher yield, and politicians would in turn be incentivized to cut back borrowing. The confidence trick. When savers get too wary of public debt, the central bank steps in to buy it with freshly printed money, thus propping up the value of these IOUs. This is done in the name of 'monetary policy,' either by buying public debt directly as 'open market' operations, or, more frequently, by supplying banks with cheap new money so they will buy it. Most of the time, savers can't fight city hall, and will thus tend to buy and hold IOUs, further limiting the downside risk of their values. This entire system thus amounts to a bubble. Analysis. It doesn't matter how powerful a government is -- Public debt always crashes eventually. The dominant global empires of Spain, the Netherlands, and Britain were destroyed by this crash in their days. (In the case of Britain the relevant 'public debt' took the form of paper pound sterling that was officially an IOU for a fixed amount of gold.) No one believes US debt is really payable with anything close to the purchasing power savers and foreign central banks used to buy it, although by the time its value can no longer be propped up, most politicians and voters who have benefited from issuing it will have been gone.
Example: Money Public illusion. Central banks issue and destroy currency to manage economic output for the benefit of the public. At least in the West, proper management has resulted in low and constant inflation that has justified the public's evident trust in currency's value. Reality. The real job description of the central bank is to safeguard the state-bank alliance. It holds power over the most central asset, money, in order to discourage both politicians and bankers from issuing assets too fast and thus endangering the system. The goal is well-paced harvesting of the fruits of real work. Over the decades, prices only move in one direction: up. How to bridge myth and reality. Unfortunately, there is no way to remove the incentives to abuse the issuance of money while the state or a banking cartel has any role in the issuance. The confidence trick. The problem of holding up the public's trust in currency was solved in a simple fashion by the classical gold and silver standards in their day, while the authorities had enough precious metals to back their paper. Today, the central bank needs to keep the return on 'safe' assets (e.g. short-term Treasuries, insured deposits) above the return on non-state-issued assets, i.e. gold, silver and Bitcoin. (Recent books like 'Gold Wars' and 'The Gold Cartel' have come up with good evidence of central-bank suppression of precious metal prices by trading derivatives.) In this it seems to succeed most of the time, but fail spectacularly at other times. It also needs to keep the return on 'safe' assets below the return on risky assets like stocks, over the long term. The goal of both operations is to use state power to force savers to take risks and help prop up the bubble economy. (Ever wonder why financial crisis always seems to come back?) When you hear of 'tightening' or 'loosening' the money supply, this control is what's really going on. So, it's not that the public trusts currency; most feel they have no choice. Analysis. It's not, as most mainstream economists claim, that state-controlled money is required for modern economic growth. The Italian Renaissance and Scottish 'free-banking' era were counter-examples. It's really the other way round. The real productivity of the modern world gives value to the financial assets issued by the elites, and thus help sustain their financial inflation, at least until the perverse incentives destabilizes the system anyway. In the Middle Ages, money was physical gold and silver -- when there was no wealth to extract, the state couldn't create its financial inflation.
Final Thoughts A key feature of this system is that it doesn't matter if you understand it. You still must gamble, or risk your savings being eaten away by inflation. The gamble by the public as a whole is certain to end in loss, since the elites will always destabilize asset values to the point of collapse. The lose-lose proposition works the same way as literal highway robbery -- you can certainly hold on to your money; you just can't keep your life at the same time. That said, there are times when the elites are likely to be forced to devalue their money, and with it all other conventional assets, against gold, silver and Bitcoin, in order to hold on to power. This makes it statistically profitable to hold non-state-issued assets at those times. (An analogy would be standing at the front of the line to redeem deposits for cash during a bank run, or to redeem pound sterling for gold at the Bank of England just before Britain was forced off the gold standard.) Necessarily, only a minority will profit from this bet, but its existence is a healthy incentive that pushes the elites to minimize financial inflation. This devaluation is conceptually the same as 'banana republics' having to devalue their currency against the dollar because they've printed too much. The typical way to do this is to strongly deny any prospect of devaluation until the very moment, devalue as fast as possible (and devalue enough to keep their system stable for a while,) and deny any further devaluations in future. So, it's perhaps no accident that the price movements of gold, silver and Bitcoin have been long and gradual declines most of the time, punctuated by sharp rises over short periods, and rising overall over the long term. The system is an 'open conspiracy.' Instead of secrecy, it relies on a combination of state power and ignorance by the public. The only sustainable path to achieving a healthy and just system is for the public to wake up. But the devaluation of its issued money against non-state monies shows that, in a subtle but profoundly real sense, the system is a paper tiger. Since the power of the modern imperial system depends necessarily on various alliances of self-interest as well as the perception of its support for classically liberal ideals, if enough people, and people in the right places, refuse to be intimidated, or expose its nature, the system must make concessions, and make the world perhaps a little better. This possibility of piecewise progress exists in all corners of the system, at most times. Here, then, is where our hope must be for the future. It will be a long battle indeed, and we must be prepared for the entire duration.
Flurry of dealmaking Bayer (OTCPK:BAYRY) is paying as much as $4B for U.S. biotech firm Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, bolstering its pharmaceuticals division as it continues to reel from its acquisition of crops giant Monsanto (and cancer-related Roundup lawsuits). The latest deal, which includes upfront consideration of $2B and potential milestone payments of up to $2B, is a bet on cutting-edge gene therapy, which offers the potential to cure a wide range of often-rare diseases by editing errors in the body's instruction manual. Drugmakers including Novartis (NYSE:NVS), Roche Holding (OTCQX:RHHBY) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) have also made big bets on the industry, snapping up gene therapy makers. Dunkin' may sell and go private Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin Robbins chains owner Dunkin' Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN) confirmed preliminary talks to be acquired by Inspire Brands after the NYT reported on the negotiations. Inspire would take Dunkin' private at $106.5 per share, valuing the company at $8.8B, or a 20% premium over DNKN's closing price of $88.79 on Friday. While Dunkin' said "there is no certainty that any agreement will be reached," if successful, Inspire would add the new assets to the Buffalo Wild Wings, Arby's Sonic, and Jimmy John's chains that it already owns. DNKN +19% premarket. More M&A: Blackstone to buy Simply Self Storage for about $1.2B. New Canada oil giant Cenovus Energy (NYSE:CVE) has agreed to buy Husky Energy (OTCPK:HUSKF) in a C$3.8B ($2.9B) all-stock deal that will combine two of the largest players in Canada's struggling oil-sands industry. The combined company will have about 750K boe/d production, making it the third-largest Canadian oil and natural gas producer. it would also be the second-largest Canadian-based refiner and upgrader with total North American upgrading and refining capacity of ~660K boe/d. Coronavirus surge, elusive stimulus deal U.S. stock index futures are starting the week on the backfoot, falling nearly 1% overnight, as the nation reported a record of more than 83,000 new COVID infections on both Friday and Saturday. "We're not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas," White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told CNN's State of the Union program. Meadows and Nancy Pelosi also accused each other of "moving the goalposts" on stimulus legislation in back-to-back interviews, dimming chances a deal could be reached before Election Day. Vaccine trials The COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) produces a robust antibody and T-cell immune response in elderly people, the group at highest risk, FT reports. While details of the finding are expected to be published shortly in a clinical journal, sources cautioned that positive immunogenicity tests do not guarantee that the vaccine will ultimately prove safe and effective in older people. AstraZeneca resumed the U.S. trial of its experimental vaccine on Friday after a pause due to safety concerns, while Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) also restarted trials, saying the first batches of its shot could be available in January. Farm purchases under China trade deal "China has purchased approximately 71% of its farm purchases target for 2020," according to an interim report on agricultural trade from the U.S. Trade Representative. "They have purchased $23.6B in agricultural products so far this year, substantially more than the base year of 2017, and should end up being our best year ever in sales to China. It is worth noting that the Phase One Agreement did not go into effect until February 14, 2020, and March is the first full month of its effect... We already are on pace to have all-time high sales to China in beef, pork, corn, and soybeans." Go Deeper: Some are questioning the figures and the timeline. California blackouts PG&E (NYSE:PCG) is pre-emptively cutting power again in northern California, affecting 386,000 homes and businesses in 38 counties, or nearly 1M people. It's the fourth times this year the state’s largest utility had to shut off electricity due to high winds and extreme wildfire danger, which could spark blazes if live wires topple into dry brush. Utilities in Southern California, like Southern California Edison (NYSE:EIX), are also warning of potential blackouts. Potential election chaos As the threat of election-related unrest escalates in the U.S., Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) said it would implement emergency measures reserved for "at-risk" countries to bring down the online temperature. The social media giant plans to limit the "spread of viral content" and lower the bar for "suppressing potentially inflammatory posts" using internal tools previously deployed in Sri Lanka and Myanmar, WSJ reports. The tools would only be used in the event of election-related violence or other serious circumstances, though some employees are concerned it could slow down viral content and unintentionally hide legitimate political discussions. Go Deeper: Facebook will ban U.S. political ads indefinitely after November 3. Samsung chairman and icon dies A chapter has closed for the Samsung conglomerate following the death of Lee Kun-hee, who transformed the South Korean appliance maker into the world's biggest producer of smartphones, TVs and memory chips. He had been incapacitated for years following a 2014 stroke, leaving day-to-day operations to his son, Lee Jae-yong, who goes by Jay Y. in the West. While Lee spends about 95% of his time focused on Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF), the conglomerate's most valuable arm, he formally takes the reins with Samsung on the defensive and struggling to evolve within the tech industry. What else is happening... SAP (NYSE:SAP) tumbles 18% premarket after slashing revenue forecast. Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) steps away from bottling in Australia. Chinese policymakers discuss new five-year development plan. Airbnb (AIRB) approves private share split ahead of IPO. American (NASDAQ:AAL) plans PR events before 737 MAX (NYSE:BA) takes to the skies. AT&T (NYSE:T) job cuts at historical levels; CNN's Zucker may be on the block. Today's Markets In Asia, Japan -0.1%. Hong Kong +0.5%. China -0.8%. India -1.3%. In Europe, at midday, London -0.2%. Paris -0.6%. Frankfurt -2.1%. Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.9%. S&P -0.9%. Nasdaq -0.9%. Crude -2.5% to $38.85. Gold -0.2% at $1902.40. Bitcoin +0.6% to $13099. Ten-year Treasury Yield -3 bps to 0.81% Today's Economic Calendar 8:30 Chicago Fed National Activity Index 10:00 New Home Sales 10:30 Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey
Bitcoin at it's root is protection from suffering due to the poor decisions and actions of others. It correlates with the lack of faith in government to do the right things, and lack in faith in citizens to elect the right leaders.
Bitcoin's design around decentralization, mathematical scarcity, and self-sovereignty are all valuable in a world where theoretically centralization fails. It is leaderless and trustless, not because leadership is bad, or trust is bad - but because faith in these things can tend to fail or let us down - with terrible consequences. It is not difficult to see the failure of leaders all around us. Politically, we see the Chinese Communist Party operating perhaps no much better than President Trump in the efforts against Coronavirus. We continue to see failure of the Federal Reserve economic policy, devastatingly destroying the value of the US dollar (and all other world currencies) over the decades. We continue to see failure in basic economic education, and a spread of socialism and an appeal to handouts - rather than rooting out the problem of inflation. We continue to see a lack of educated consumerism, continuing to buy goods manufactured in China with only regard to price, and total disregard to the poor working conditions and humanitarianism. It is hard to have faith in people around us. In a world without Bitcoin, there is no way to shield yourself from these issues and people in a convenient manner. That is, you suffer from the stupidity of others. But Bitcoin allows you to secure value and money - which is critical to life in our modern world - against poor decision-making of others. This is not to say, people should simply buy Bitcoin and let the world burn. But rather, perhaps while fighting the war against ignorance, be smart and protect oneself from all the collateral damage and unintended consequences of the foolish of which you have little to no real control. Will Bitcoin succeed? Perhaps only as much as leadership fails, and the people's ability to elect very good leaders fails, and at least for me, that's a sure bet as any in today's day and age.
Experts say Trump firing of 3 officials including Sondland and Vindman is a ‘criminal’ offense Comments | Link Doctor who exposed Sars cover-up under house arrest in China, family confirms Comments | Link A group of Republican senators including Susan Collins tried and failed to stop Trump from firing Gordon Sondland Comments | Link
Texas teen shot dead for defending classmate from bully days earlier, police say Comments | Link A high school student is growing out his hair for his sick sister. When administrators asked him to cut it, he withdrew from school Comments | Link Author Jordan Peterson is recovering from severe tranquiliser addiction in Russia Comments | Link
Scientis developed a nonthermal plasma reactor that leaves airborne pathogens unable to infect host organisms, including people. The plasma oxidizes the viruses, which disables their mechanism for entering cells. The reactor reduces the number of infectious viruses in an airstream by more than 99%. Comments | Link The tainted truth effect: falsely claiming news is fake, false, etc. led individuals to discard authentic information, and impede political memory. Comments | Link Unemployment is sometimes associated with an increase in happiness, new study shows. Although unemployed individuals generally feel less happy, the unemployed without financial problems feel an increase in happiness. The findings suggest that the main benefit of employment is related to income. Comments | Link
The 2020 Election Will Be a War of Disinformation Comments | Link Bill Gates becomes first to buy a £500m hydrogen-powered super yacht Comments | Link A Device That 'Prints' New Skin Right Onto Burns Just Passed Another Animal Trial Comments | Link
Man Falls Through Ice On Mississippi River, Says Google Maps Told Him To Cross Comments | Link Otter chaos: Florida mother ‘alligator wrangled’ an otter that attacked daughter, family dog Comments | Link EPA re-approves key Roundup chemical Comments | Link
If you could see a list of every person's name and face (including strangers) that thought about you sexually at least once, would you want to see it and why? Comments Men who were sexually harassed, assaulted, raped or forced to have sex by females. What happened? Comments [Serious] What is stopping you from killing yourself? Comments
years of network issues... it was servers (and not DNS!!)! Comments Heavy industries: what are some cools things you are doing? Comments “corp.com” is being sold, thousands of systems around the globe at risks Comments
Fruits Highest in Sugar [OC] Comments | Link [OC] I analyzed over 2 billion Reddit comments to see how the frequency of Bitcoin mentions correlates with the price of Bitcoin and to investigate if there is a predictive effect. I plotted the results visually, here's what I found... [OC] Comments | Link [OC] Oscar Winners vs. Betting Favorites in the Last Decade Comments | Link
TIL In 1965, a Ukrainian farmer dug up the lower jawbone of a mammoth. Further excavations revealed the presence of 4 huts, made up of a total of 149 mammoth bones. These dwellings, dating back some 15,000 years, were determined to have been some of the oldest shelters ever built Comments | Link TIL: Smuckers Uncrustables sends all of their discarded crusts to be made into animal feed. Comments | Link TIL Milk Duds were intended to be candy spheres but the machines produced less-than-round candies which the workers called "duds". The "milk" part of the name refers to the large amount of milk in the candy. Comments | Link
Nan Wood Graham and Dr. Byron McKeeby. Models of the painting "American Gothic" 1930s Comments | Link Claude Monet, French Impressionist painter, ca. 1923 Comments | Link A young Sir Ian McKellen (1966). Comments | Link
Thanks to storm Ciara, BA flight BA112 travelled from New York to London overnight in just 4hrs 56mins Comments | Link 1/32 A-10 Warthog - Album in comments Comments | Link Unexpected landing gear view takeoff.... Comments | Link
Ehhh... What’s up Don? Comments | Link Bill introduced himself as Dr. Peter Venkman & talked to my kids every other hole at the ATT Pro Am. Comments | Link Interesting graffiti in Yekaterinburg Comments | Link
The Lemonade Stand: A (Head-canon) story of LibUnity
The Lemonade Stand: a LibUnity story Allies: Miles Clarence Pinnacle II: Sixteen-year-old heir to Pinnacle Products™, dashing, incredibly driven, lazier than a sack of bricks at anything NOT having to do with $$$, not Jewish, skipped a grade and won’t let anyone forget, dirty™ capitalist™ pig™, somehow likes every genre of music at the same time???, American™ dream, SO. FREAKIN. EXTRA., genuinely wants you to follow your dreams and be happy by spending your entire life acquiring wealth, somehow hasn’t gotten punched yet, “patron of the arts” because Salvator Mundi just sold for $450 mil, “buh-buh-buh-buh-BITCOIN!”, wants to be Elon Musk but unironically, raised by 4chan, “God says no, market sells yes”, duality of man, slacks, button-up shirt, vest, Rollie™, sunglasses, the most pretentious shoes you’ve ever seen Leslie (couldn’t afford a middle name mate) Jones: “it’s shite being” British-American, one ethnically crooked tooth, can’t find a consistent ideology, Sex Pistols, petty theft, titty pills, anarchism, fan of the Sex Pistols, sailor mouth Victorian taste, likes incorrectly using British slang, listens to the Sex Pistols, “too nice :)”, makes a really good hummus because it’s not her native food, as “free range kid on free range food,” Oi!, 17 “but I’m not like those other wankers,” the same Sex Pistols shirt everyday even though it has a massive hole in the right arm-pit, always wears union jack bandana, two bits over a meter and a half “tall”, messy brown hair, flower skirt, did she mention she likes the Sex Pistols?, light brown eyes, worn-out chucks, bollocks Mr. Miles Clarence Pinnacle I: America! capitalism, America! sport/s, America! my beautiful family, America! Pinnacle Products™, America! Mrs. Julie Winter Pinnacle: “Sweety have you tried my homemade casserole? All the girls at Bible study loved it! Do you go to Bible study dear? Oh, you should join us next Sunday! Barbara does such a good job at leading discussion about ʰᵒʷ ᴶᵉˢᵘˢ ᵈᵒᵉˢⁿ'ᵗ ᵃᶜᵗᵘᵃˡˡʸ ᵐᵉᵃⁿ ᵃˡˡ ᵗʰᵉ ʳᵃᵈᶦᶜᵃˡ ᵗʰᶦⁿᵍˢ ʰᵉ ˢᵃʸˢ… Belligerents: l e m o n s, first quarter, moral ambiguity, U.S. housing market Scene 1:Sunny American day in a sunny American neighborhood. Fourteen-year-old Miles Clarence Pinnacle II sets up a shabby lemonade stand (seriously Miles, a lemonade stand? Aren’t you a little too old for this?) (“Money’s money baby 😉”) across the street from a construction site, hawking his newest Pinnacle™ Product™ (or as I like to call it, his newest get-rich-quick scheme) (“Hate the man, not the hustle baby 😉”). Whatever, let’s just see how the market reacts to his newest… hustle. Miles:shouting with comical gesticulation Lemonade! Get your lemonade here! Nothing better after a hard day’s work than a nice, tall, refreshing glass of ice cold… ooo, hear those ice cubes tinkling it’s like straight out of a commercial people… and it’s so uh… refreshing, you wouldn’t believe me unless you tried it yourself! And just think gentlemen, this beverage, this… Pinnacle™ of refreshment can be yours, and only yours, for two small payments of $.50. Truly, this miracle of capitalism could only happen in a land as beautiful and free as the U. S. of A. Now, which one of you lucky gentlemen will be the first to try… Construction worker:gathered around an Igloo™ water cooler Go home Miles, your lemonade sucks. Miles:indignant Hey! My lemonade does not suck! It’s a Pinnacle™ Product™! Construction worker: It’s watered down slop is what it is. I’d rather pay five bucks for water than a dollar for your crap. Miles:dumps out half the glass Care to put your money where your mouth is? Construction worker:raises his third cup of water Nah I’m good Miles. Got all the water I need for free. Miles:grumbling Commie cheapskate. Construction worker:laughs and returns to work Miles:looking down the street for another othersuckerscustomers. Notices a young “girl??” nonchalantly approaching and gestures they/them over Hey, hey, hey, you, kid! “Girl” (maybe?):removes quem’s headphones Who, me? Miles: Well I don’t see any other strapping young men… Leslie: … women… Miles: women this side of the sidewalk, do I? Girl:looks around I… guess not? Miles:puts his arm around her shoulder cause what’s personal space, right? You’re absolutely right! What’s your name kid? Leslie:visibly uncomfortable, but Miles hasn’t gotten the customer satisfaction report yet Leslie. Miles: Well my gender-ambiguous friend, you’ve just walked into the opportunity of a lifetime. Leslie:playing along I have? Miles:with dollar signs in his eyes Absolutely! You have the exclusive hono, of having the first glass of my patented™ home m… assembled! glass of Pinnacle Lemonade!™ A once in a lifetime opportunity that can be yours, and only yours, for one small payment of… Leslie:curtly I’ll try it if you shut up. Miles:silently steps aside and hands her a glass Leslie:s i p p Miles:impatiently Well? How is it? You love it? You love it don’t you? You love it so much you’re speechless. Leslie:grimacing It tastes like, like… Miles: the greatest thing you’ve ever… Leslie: Shite. Miles:the five stages of grief But, but… it’s a Pinnacle Product™… Leslie:tosses it out Tastes like watered-down minute-maid mate. Miles:tries it himself and promptly spits it out. Crashes like the housing market onto the stool, sighing dejectedly Huh…, maybe that’s why I haven’t made first quarter. Leslie:☹ Miles:exploiting™ it I won’t be able to make my first bitcoin investment, and this venture capital failure will haunt my portfolio till the end of my days. My credit will take, I’ll be denied a car loan, potentially rendered homeless… Leslie:rolls eyes anarchically Miles:applying for an Oscar Well, thanks for the feedback. I guess I’ll go back to putting the depression in Depression, broke, friendless, hopeless… Leslie:giving into ancap™ tears™ You know, I have a lemon tree in my backyard, I could bring you some fresh lemons to… Miles:rebounding harder than post-WWII American economy Corner the organic market! Leslie you’re a genius! puts arm around her shoulder again Leslie, Leslie, Leslie, I’m so glad the invisible hand of the market that brought us here together today. Leslie:economically confused It did? Miles: As sure as Adam Smith’s law of supply and demand! Leslie: Who’s Adam Smith? Miles: … >:( Leslie:backing away I’ll just, go get those lemons yea? Miles:frozen like the national unemployment rate ha-ha economic memes so funny She doesn’t know who Adam Smith is. She’s as British as overpriced tea but doesn’t know who Adam Smith is. She probably doesn’t know anything about economics. reflects in smuggling and tax evasion No wonder we revolted. Leslie:returns laden with lemons (try saying that three times fast) Ok! I’ve got them! Miles: Now that’s what I call fast food! Leslie:giggles, dropping all the l e m o n s Oh, sorry sorry! Miles:scurrying to collect future profit No, that one’s on me, I’m a capital pun maker. I inherited it from my dad. Leslie:collecting the lemons for common use It’s alright, at least it was funny. Miles:getting kinda lost in your hazel eyes Leslie, ngl So, uh, wanna come inside and get these squeezed? I mean lemons, squeeze the lemons… you know what I mean. Leslie: Do I? Miles:leading her across the street Let’s hope not. C’mon, I’ll introduce you to the folks. Scene 2:Basically, a Bed, Bath and Beyond kitchen catalog, complete with tiled floor, “Live Laugh Love” signs, and several wine bottles. It’s even got a Golden Retriever named Biscuit. But he’s a good boy yesh you are, yesh you are! Oh yea, and Mr. and Mrs. Pinnacle are here. They’re actually really cool people, if a little American. Miles:barging through the front door with Leslie in tow Mom! Dad! I’m home! Dad:putting down the Wall Street Journal Hey-hey-hey sport, how’s the lemonade stand going?” Miles:with all the false confidence of a failing business We’re venturing into new markets! Mom:wipes off hands on a dish rag Oh, and you brought a friend over! Would you care to introduce us Miles? Miles: Oh yea, Mom, Dad this is Leslie, Leslie uh… Leslie:extending her hand Jones, Leslie Jones. It’s nice to meet you sir, thanks for having me. Dad:shakes her hand. Notices the Union Jack bandana around her neck and decides to get cultural Don’t mention it mate! We’re happy to have you, just don’t tax our tea am I right? laughs in protectionist economic policies. Mom: Miles are you and the queen staying for lunch? Or tea, rather? winking at Leslie Leslie:realizes that Americans have even less subtlety than she expected Dad: Untaxed of course. laughs in Marshall Plan Miles: Sorry mom, my partner and I gotta make first quarter. Dad: First quarter, or the first quarter? Leslie:chuckles Dad:finger guns the one person who laughed at his dad joke Miles: A-ha-ha-ha very funny dad. Just wait until ur next batch of Pinnacle Lemonade™ hits the market. Because you know what’s gonna happen? It’s gonna break the market. And you know why? Because it’s gonna be the best one yet. And you know why? Dad: Because you attached more quality than name to a product? Miles:gesturing between himself and Leslie because it was all his idea obviously, We’ve… got a secret ingredient. Dad: Foreign labor? Miles: No. I’m talking about the best marketing ploy since $.99, “organic.” Show ‘em your lemons Leslie. Leslie:blushingly reveals “her” lemons Dad: Wow, those look fresh, and more importantly, free. “Organic” could work, as long as you’re not false advertising our minute-maid again. Do you have a consistent supply? Miles: We sure do, right partner? Leslie: Uh… yea, we sure do. Dad:getting those proud dad gears turnin’ Well then what’re you waiting for son, time is money! Mom: Feel free to use the juicer Miles. Miles:grabs the juicer then opens the back-door Thanks mom! Let’s go out back Leslie and get lemons juiced! (ok I’ll stop) Mom:gushing as any mother of a friendless child would Oh! It was wonderful to meet you Leslie. You’re so striking I’m surprised I haven’t seen you in the neighborhood before. Do you live nearby? Leslie: Uh yea I live around here yea. Mom: Splendid! Then you simply must come to church with us this Sunday! The neighbors are coming over my signature homemade casserole™ and they have two boys you and Miles’ age that... Leslie:briskly Sorry, my mom and I aren’t big on church. Mom:without missing a beat That’s fine dear, you don’t have to be a believer to go. Why don’t you meet us here at 8 tomorrow, and we can take you with us? Leslie: I don’t think… Mom:places her arm around her shoulder, what’s with Americans and physical contact Splendid! Miles dear, you’ll be sure to introduce Leslie to Hans and Alexy tomorrow, won’t you? Miles: It’s Oliksey mom, and no they’re weirdos. Dad: We’re all Americans son. Miles: Fine. But I don’t think they’re Leslie’s crowd, you know? They’re too… foreign. Leslie:indignantly I can judge their character myself, thank you very much. Dad: See that, everybody’s happy except you Miles. Now, don’t you have money to make? Miles:sweeping her out the door C’mon Leslie let’s goooooo. Leslie:flustered at Miles’ hand position You’d better watch those mitts chav! Scene 3:The suburban boonies, an un-mowed backyard. Leslie’s lost count of how many trials and ERRORS Miles has put her through while trying to find the perfect cocktail. She wouldn’t be as pissed if there was actual alcohol in it, but they’re 14 and Miles wants to get into Yale, so he only drinks Old Fashioneds (as if). Miles:handing Leslie a crystal glass new concoction… whaddya think? Leslie:pushes the headphones further into her ears Christ, Miles. Do I have to try another one? Miles: Oh, c’mon please! This one’s the money I’m tellin’ ya. Leslie: That’s what you said about the last three piss jugs you had me drink. Miles: All part of the capitalist process my dear. Now, if you please? Leslie:takes the suspiciously presentable liquid Oh… bollocks. Leslie:s i p p Hm. Hmm! This is really good! Doesn’t taste like shite this time, what happened? Miles: Four-parts water, two-parts lemon-juice (not his), half part ice, half part sugar, half part mint, and a pinch, a PINCH of ginger. My dear Leslie I present to you, the first ever Pinnacle Beverages Lmt. Product, “The Mile High. Is what happened. 😊 Leslie:genuinely impressed This is really good Miles, and I’m not taking the piss I’d pay good money for this, and that means a lot coming from me. Miles:dollars signs for pupils That’s all I needed to hear, which is why… kneels before her Leslie:blushing like a Victorian aristocrat W-What’re you doing you nuttah! Miles:takes her hand Leslie, I’m prepared to offer you 15, no, 20% stock in Pinnacle Beverages Lmt.™. We’ll make millions Leslie, millions with your organic stock and my technical know-how. Mr. Pinnacle (inside):sees his son proposing to the punk queen Looks like he’s making more than a friend out there honey. Leslie:looks away bashfully Oh yea um,… about that. Miles: We’ll be on billboards across the country! Commercials on prime-time television! We’ll give Coca-Cola a run for their money, we’ll…! Leslie:hesitantly Miles… Miles:checking himself, but not for the right things No, no, you’re right. I shouldn’t get ahead of myself. You were an integral part of this operation and I shouldn’t undercut your contribution, which is why I’m preparing to offer you… retches excuse me, 25% of my company from this day forward. All for the small price of an endless supply of fresh lemons. extends his hand Well friend, what do you say? Leslie:looks at his outstretched hand in guilt I… I can’t. Miles:about to cry Please, please don’t make me say 30%, it’ll break my heart. Leslie: I don’t care about your money, Miles. Miles: Great! 5% then! Leslie:shouting I stole the lemons Miles! Mr. Pinnacle (inside):turning back to his coffee I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that. Miles:incredulous Y-you’re right. This deal’s so good it’s basically stealing. Leslie: NO Miles. I stole those lemons from a house down the street. My flat won’t let us grow stuff in our place, so I come here to… you know, bridge the gap. Miles:pridefully You should’ve told me Leslie. Stealing violates the NAP, but lying violates our friendship. Leslie:prejudicely Pfft. Morality comes easy to toffs living in a two-story house in the when you live in a two-story house in the burbs. Miles:sincerely We weren’t born into money Leslie. My dad started as a door to door salesman before opening his own company with my mom. He pulled himself up by his bootstraps with wit, determination, and a modest business loan. Leslie:rolls eyes impoverishly Miles: I don’t know who you are, where you come from, your religion, your political ideology or any of that, and I don’t care. I wanna be your friend, and that should be enough. Leslie:lowering her guard You’d be friends with a two-bit thief like me? Miles:with reassuring confidence With a resourceful, unscrupulous marketing queen like you? As sure as Rothbard’s critique of central banking I would! Leslie: Still don’t know what you’re on about but, spits into hand I swear by Sid Vicious’ guitar strings I’ll be your mate if you’ll be mine. Miles:spits into his hand as well Deal. On one condition. Leslie: What’s that? Miles: No more stealing. Not when you’re with me. We’re a team now, and we help each other out right? Leslie: Fine. Guess now that I’ve got stock in a major beverage company I can only go up from here. Miles: Only pure profit from here partner! Leslie: Then let’s shake on it. Miles/Leslie (simultaneously):shaking hands At 20%, 30%. Miles/Leslie: 15%, 25%. Leslie:grips his hand You’re supposed to meet me halfway you greedy pig! Miles:grips hers back You’re supposed to negotiate better you snotty welcher! Leslie:grips him harder than the Federal Reserve Halfway Miles, before I unionize. Miles:surrenders to worker’s rights Fiiiiiine, 20%, final offer. Leslie: pops his knuckles Miles:takes his hand back yelping ow ow ow ow ok ok, 25% 25%. Leslie:smirks like the cocky Brit she is Pleasure doing business with you Miles. Miles:nursing his credit card hand The pleasures all mine. Leslie: Wait, if I can’t steal, how’re we gonna get more lemons? Miles: Well, if we factor in the increased cost of production and labor, we have no choice but to double the price of lemonade then use the excess earnings to re-invest... Leslie:gathering the remaining batches Yea, yea, yea I get it whatever let’s go. Miles:watching her with non-economic curiosity Right behind you, friend. Epilogue Allies: Ernst Hansel Gorbach: German-“Bavarian, but there’s only one Germany”-American, son of retired U.S. general and stay-at-home mother, “By the Kaiser!”, the most hardcore Lutheran you’ll ever meet, Aryan poster-boy, bit of a killjoy, surprisingly good singer, “Hitler was a cuck,” would simp for Wagner, slacks and tucked-in button-up shirt, 6’ 2”, “no hand-holding till marriage >:(,” 18, virgin (obviously), rugby, race-realist, HOI4, “wish I was home uniting the German tribes rn” Belligerents: Teenage insecurity Scene 1:Back on the cruel streets of American suburbia. Leslie:packing up the stand I can’t believe it. Miles:flipping through themodeststack of money That capitalism works? Leslie: No, that people bought lemonade for two quid. Miles: Exactly! Leslie:scoffs Selfish cock-up. Miles:shrugs It’s not selfish if people buy it. Speaking of which, here’s your cut. Leslie:counts it multiple times in disbelief (and poor math skills) Blimey, is this all for me? Miles: It’s eighteen dollars, Leslie. Leslie: That’s more than I’ve made all my life! I’m rightly chuffed I am, wait till my mum hears about this! Miles:smiling I’m glad Leslie, thanks for doing this with me. Leslie:returning the smile Happy to help Miles! Let me know if you ever wanna do… this… again. Ernst Hansel Gorbach enters stage right. Leslie:turns away bashfully after being rendered breathless by Aryan Prime Ernst “Hans”el Gorbach:stops his bike in front of Miles Picking up the pieces of another failed venture, eh Miles? Miles: Ackchyualy my dear Hanso, you just missed the opportunity of a lifetime. My newest creation was a tremendous success. Hans:looking at the shabby remains of a shabby lemonade stand before finally noticing the weird flat-chest I’m sure it was Miles. Who’s your newest sucker partner? Miles: Oh, this is Leslie, my business partner. Say hello, Leslie! Leslie:turns around slowly, avoiding his gaze while robotically extending her hand H-hi. Hans:gives her the once-over before gingerly shaking her dirty hand How do you do. Leslie:turns away as her cheeks turn into a bed of roses Miles:oblivious Hanso, I’m telling ya’ man. This stuff we made, perfection man, perfection. Hans:authoritative snort Is that true, Leslie? Was the stuff actually good this time? Leslie: Uh, y-yea. It was. Hans:race realist eyebrow raise I see. Well, I guess I’ll have to try it some time. Miles: You can try it after church tomorrow. You coming? Hans: Yea, I’ll be there. Is your friend going too? Miles: Nah, I don’t think… Leslie:blurting I’ll be there! Miles:socially confused But I thought you said… Leslie:turns around That I wouldn’t miss it for the world? You bet your arse I did! Hans:momentarily meets her eyes before casually turning away Right. Guess I’ll see you both there. Miles: Yea, I guess you will. Coming for casserole afterwards? Hans:getting back on his bike Sure. Leslie:hot mess I’ll see you there too! Hans:slow nod Cool. Catch you later Miles. It was good meeting you… uh? Leslie: Leslie. Hans:quietly Leslie. See you tomorrow.
(Oddly I posted this in /bitcoins and it was no idea why as it meets all rules...) Here’s my theory around the last 24 hours and why the next year is going to be one hell of a good ride for Bitcoin... Take a minute and consider how price responded the week Facebook announced Libra... the addition of 2 billion digital wallets, regardless that the focus was not on Bitcoin was a huge positive for us. As the Senate, the Fed.. mainstream media... all poo-poo’d the idea we then saw correlated pullback in price. Recently big names have been jumping ship... further eroding the hope for those +2 billion wallets. Enter the digital dollar discussion.... https://techcrunch.com/2019/10/20/in-a-big-reversal-libra-reportedly-could-peg-its-cryptocurrencies-to-national-currencies/ (Similar article is on Bloomberg behind a paywall if someone can grab it.. ) The timing of this discussion couldn’t be better. Last week the former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission took out a full page ad pushing the eUSD along with this opinion piece. https://www.wsj.com/articles/we-sent-a-man-to-the-moon-we-can-send-the-dollar-to-cyberspace-11571179923 And then we had both the European Central Bank and some at our own Fed begin openly considering or endorsing the idea.. Germany’s finance minister in July stated they could not allow Libra, now he’s pushing for a national German cryptocurrency... https://www.theblockcrypto.com/linked/42244/german-finance-minister-olaf-scholz-wants-to-introduce-digital-euro Members of Congress have formally asked the Fed to get on board.. https://www.coindesk.com/us-congressmen-ask-fed-to-consider-developing-national-digital-currency And now even the Fed admits it is ‘actively debating’ the idea when just two months ago they stated there was no need or interest to do so https://www.coindesk.com/top-fed-official-says-us-central-bank-actively-debating-digital-dollar Even mainstream financial conversation are starting to see the benefits of the eUSD especially as we get closer to the next recession https://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-the-coming-recession-could-force-the-federal-reserve-to-swap-greenbacks-for-digital-dollars-2019-09-06 The people behind LIbra project are now shifting their position and considering not using a ‘synthetic basket’ of currencies but instead peg the Libra directly to national digital currencies. Even better, Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify in form of Congress Oct 23 (Wednesday) and I will place a strong bet that his response to attackers on the Libra project will be what his team just ‘floated’... “Fine, if you launch a digital currency (eUSD) then we will build on top of that and all (most) of your concerns will disappear.....but if you don’t we are moving forward regardless”. We will then spend the next 3-4 months watching the debate in Washington to launch eUSD accelerate 10x... with a lot of movement but in general half commitments and vague statements... until eYuan. China has already stated they are working on their own digital currency and while they backpedaled a bit last month, that was likely due to difficulties on the development side (cause, you know...coding is hard) and not a real change in intention or goals. They want a digital currency that allows them to shift the commerce they control to something other then the USD. They do trillions of business with countries other then the US and so the move has real implications (note the US is actually China’s third largest trading partner exporting $1.6 trillion. In 2018). It not only reduces the power the dollar has over them, it helps blunts the impacts US tariffs have on their economy. Immediately after China’s official announcements, the US will likely act like they’ve been ‘onboard’ to launch the eUSD from the beginning, and are working quickly to get there. These two world leaders, China and US will create far more then Facebooks 2 billion digital wallets... and the new space race to launch a digital currency will have been started for EVERY country in the world. I’d expect the eEuro will announce sometime after China and the US, they tend to need to talk and debate for 2x longer then other countries on major EU policies (which is understandable given their diverse political make-up). Here’s the timeline I see as realistic:
Last Week : Both FB Libra and some in congress and the Fed, ‘Float’ the benefits of eUSD
This Week : Zuckerberg w/ Congress lays out the challenge “IF you build it, THEN we use it, ELSE we build our own”
Next Week : The conversation around the eUSD intensifies as the alternative (not doing something) isn’t realistic
3-4 Months : China officially announces the limited launch of their eYuan
5-6 Months : The US having debated and half committed for months reacts with full commitment
6-9 Months : Every country in the world is either developing their own digital currency or aligning with a partner
And to be clear, Bitcoin doesn’t need to be ‘the’ currency... but it will almost certainly be available in 99% of all digital wallets people use. It might not be in the official Chinese or US wallet but no one will use ‘just those’... and it’s digital so it really doesn’t matter. The eUSD and eYuan will trade on the same exchanges you trade bitcoin today, even better the lines between traditional forex trading and crypto trading will almost immediately blur. The confidence in Bitcoin, and blockchain as a whole will SKYROCKET... Imagine 2billion+ crypto onramps... that don't require fiat deposits because your national currency is already digital. The second greatest thing to happen with Bitcoin price will be an the launch of an ETF.. but I’ll explain why that will happen in the next 12 months as well, in my next post. Btw, this is obviously all just my opinion and I am posting so that others (possibly smarter then myself) can punch holes and refine the theory. So you don’t need to be a dick, just explain where or why my hypothesis breaks down and let’s figure this shit out. -peace out.
Technical: A Brief History of Payment Channels: from Satoshi to Lightning Network
Who cares about political tweets from some random country's president when payment channels are a much more interesting and are actually capable of carrying value? So let's have a short history of various payment channel techs!
Generation 0: Satoshi's Broken nSequence Channels
Because Satoshi's Vision included payment channels, except his implementation sucked so hard we had to go fix it and added RBF as a by-product. Originally, the plan for nSequence was that mempools would replace any transaction spending certain inputs with another transaction spending the same inputs, but only if the nSequence field of the replacement was larger. Since 0xFFFFFFFF was the highest value that nSequence could get, this would mark a transaction as "final" and not replaceable on the mempool anymore. In fact, this "nSequence channel" I will describe is the reason why we have this weird rule about nLockTime and nSequence. nLockTime actually only works if nSequence is not 0xFFFFFFFF i.e. final. If nSequence is 0xFFFFFFFF then nLockTime is ignored, because this if the "final" version of the transaction. So what you'd do would be something like this:
You go to a bar and promise the bartender to pay by the time the bar closes. Because this is the Bitcoin universe, time is measured in blockheight, so the closing time of the bar is indicated as some future blockheight.
For your first drink, you'd make a transaction paying to the bartender for that drink, paying from some coins you have. The transaction has an nLockTime equal to the closing time of the bar, and a starting nSequence of 0. You hand over the transaction and the bartender hands you your drink.
For your succeeding drink, you'd remake the same transaction, adding the payment for that drink to the transaction output that goes to the bartender (so that output keeps getting larger, by the amount of payment), and having an nSequence that is one higher than the previous one.
Eventually you have to stop drinking. It comes down to one of two possibilities:
You drink until the bar closes. Since it is now the nLockTime indicated in the transaction, the bartender is able to broadcast the latest transaction and tells the bouncers to kick you out of the bar.
You wisely consider the state of your liver. So you re-sign the last transaction with a "final" nSequence of 0xFFFFFFFF i.e. the maximum possible value it can have. This allows the bartender to get his or her funds immediately (nLockTime is ignored if nSequence is 0xFFFFFFFF), so he or she tells the bouncers to let you out of the bar.
Now that of course is a payment channel. Individual payments (purchases of alcohol, so I guess buying coffee is not in scope for payment channels). Closing is done by creating a "final" transaction that is the sum of the individual payments. Sure there's no routing and channels are unidirectional and channels have a maximum lifetime but give Satoshi a break, he was also busy inventing Bitcoin at the time. Now if you noticed I called this kind of payment channel "broken". This is because the mempool rules are not consensus rules, and cannot be validated (nothing about the mempool can be validated onchain: I sigh every time somebody proposes "let's make block size dependent on mempool size", mempool state cannot be validated by onchain data). Fullnodes can't see all of the transactions you signed, and then validate that the final one with the maximum nSequence is the one that actually is used onchain. So you can do the below:
Become friends with Jihan Wu, because he owns >51% of the mining hashrate (he totally reorged Bitcoin to reverse the Binance hack right?).
Slip Jihan Wu some of the more interesting drinks you're ordering as an incentive to cooperate with you. So say you end up ordering 100 drinks, you split it with Jihan Wu and give him 50 of the drinks.
When the bar closes, Jihan Wu quickly calls his mining rig and tells them to mine the version of your transaction with nSequence 0. You know, that first one where you pay for only one drink.
Because fullnodes cannot validate nSequence, they'll accept even the nSequence=0 version and confirm it, immutably adding you paying for a single alcoholic drink to the blockchain.
The bartender, pissed at being cheated, takes out a shotgun from under the bar and shoots at you and Jihan Wu.
Jihan Wu uses his mystical chi powers (actually the combined exhaust from all of his mining rigs) to slow down the shotgun pellets, making them hit you as softly as petals drifting in the wind.
The bartender mutters some words, clothes ripping apart as he or she (hard to believe it could be a she but hey) turns into a bear, ready to maul you for cheating him or her of the payment for all the 100 drinks you ordered from him or her.
Steely-eyed, you stand in front of the bartender-turned-bear, daring him to touch you. You've watched Revenant, you know Leonardo di Caprio could survive a bear mauling, and if some posh actor can survive that, you know you can too. You make a pose. "Drunken troll logic attack!"
I think I got sidetracked here.
Bears are bad news.
You can't reasonably invoke "Satoshi's Vision" and simultaneously reject the Lightning Network because it's not onchain. Satoshi's Vision included a half-assed implementation of payment channels with nSequence, where the onchain transaction represented multiple logical payments, exactly what modern offchain techniques do (except modern offchain techniques actually work). nSequence (the field, but not its modern meaning) has been in Bitcoin since BitCoin For Windows Alpha 0.1.0. And its original intent was payment channels. You can't get nearer to Satoshi's Vision than being a field that Satoshi personally added to transactions on the very first public release of the BitCoin software, like srsly.
Miners can totally bypass mempool rules. In fact, the reason why nSequence has been repurposed to indicate "optional" replace-by-fee is because miners are already incentivized by the nSequence system to always follow replace-by-fee anyway. I mean, what do you think those drinks you passed to Jihan Wu are, other than the fee you pay him to mine a specific version of your transaction?
Satoshi made mistakes. The original design for nSequence is one of them. Today, we no longer use nSequence in this way. So diverging from Satoshi's original design is part and parcel of Bitcoin development, because over time, we learn new lessons that Satoshi never knew about. Satoshi was an important landmark in this technology. He will not be the last, or most important, that we will remember in the future: he will only be the first.
Incentive-compatible time-limited unidirectional channel; or, Satoshi's Vision, Fixed (if transaction malleability hadn't been a problem, that is). Now, we know the bartender will turn into a bear and maul you if you try to cheat the payment channel, and now that we've revealed you're good friends with Jihan Wu, the bartender will no longer accept a payment channel scheme that lets one you cooperate with a miner to cheat the bartender. Fortunately, Jeremy Spilman proposed a better way that would not let you cheat the bartender. First, you and the bartender perform this ritual:
You get some funds and create a transaction that pays to a 2-of-2 multisig between you and the bartender. You don't broadcast this yet: you just sign it and get its txid.
You create another transaction that spends the above transaction. This transaction (the "backoff") has an nLockTime equal to the closing time of the bar, plus one block. You sign it and give this backoff transaction (but not the above transaction) to the bartender.
The bartender signs the backoff and gives it back to you. It is now valid since it's spending a 2-of-2 of you and the bartender, and both of you have signed the backoff transaction.
Now you broadcast the first transaction onchain. You and the bartender wait for it to be deeply confirmed, then you can start ordering.
The above is probably vaguely familiar to LN users. It's the funding process of payment channels! The first transaction, the one that pays to a 2-of-2 multisig, is the funding transaction that backs the payment channel funds. So now you start ordering in this way:
For your first drink, you create a transaction spending the funding transaction output and sending the price of the drink to the bartender, with the rest returning to you.
You sign the transaction and pass it to the bartender, who serves your first drink.
For your succeeding drinks, you recreate the same transaction, adding the price of the new drink to the sum that goes to the bartender and reducing the money returned to you. You sign the transaction and give it to the bartender, who serves you your next drink.
At the end:
If the bar closing time is reached, the bartender signs the latest transaction, completing the needed 2-of-2 signatures and broadcasting this to the Bitcoin network. Since the backoff transaction is the closing time + 1, it can't get used at closing time.
If you decide you want to leave early because your liver is crying, you just tell the bartender to go ahead and close the channel (which the bartender can do at any time by just signing and broadcasting the latest transaction: the bartender won't do that because he or she is hoping you'll stay and drink more).
If you ended up just hanging around the bar and never ordering, then at closing time + 1 you broadcast the backoff transaction and get your funds back in full.
Now, even if you pass 50 drinks to Jihan Wu, you can't give him the first transaction (the one which pays for only one drink) and ask him to mine it: it's spending a 2-of-2 and the copy you have only contains your own signature. You need the bartender's signature to make it valid, but he or she sure as hell isn't going to cooperate in something that would lose him or her money, so a signature from the bartender validating old state where he or she gets paid less isn't going to happen. So, problem solved, right? Right? Okay, let's try it. So you get your funds, put them in a funding tx, get the backoff tx, confirm the funding tx... Once the funding transaction confirms deeply, the bartender laughs uproariously. He or she summons the bouncers, who surround you menacingly. "I'm refusing service to you," the bartender says. "Fine," you say. "I was leaving anyway;" You smirk. "I'll get back my money with the backoff transaction, and posting about your poor service on reddit so you get negative karma, so there!" "Not so fast," the bartender says. His or her voice chills your bones. It looks like your exploitation of the Satoshi nSequence payment channel is still fresh in his or her mind. "Look at the txid of the funding transaction that got confirmed." "What about it?" you ask nonchalantly, as you flip open your desktop computer and open a reputable blockchain explorer. What you see shocks you. "What the --- the txid is different! You--- you changed my signature?? But how? I put the only copy of my private key in a sealed envelope in a cast-iron box inside a safe buried in the Gobi desert protected by a clan of nomads who have dedicated their lives and their childrens' lives to keeping my private key safe in perpetuity!" "Didn't you know?" the bartender asks. "The components of the signature are just very large numbers. The sign of one of the signature components can be changed, from positive to negative, or negative to positive, and the signature will remain valid. Anyone can do that, even if they don't know the private key. But because Bitcoin includes the signatures in the transaction when it's generating the txid, this little change also changes the txid." He or she chuckles. "They say they'll fix it by separating the signatures from the transaction body. They're saying that these kinds of signature malleability won't affect transaction ids anymore after they do this, but I bet I can get my good friend Jihan Wu to delay this 'SepSig' plan for a good while yet. Friendly guy, this Jihan Wu, it turns out all I had to do was slip him 51 drinks and he was willing to mine a tx with the signature signs flipped." His or her grin widens. "I'm afraid your backoff transaction won't work anymore, since it spends a txid that is not existent and will never be confirmed. So here's the deal. You pay me 99% of the funds in the funding transaction, in exchange for me signing the transaction that spends with the txid that you see onchain. Refuse, and you lose 100% of the funds and every other HODLer, including me, benefits from the reduction in coin supply. Accept, and you get to keep 1%. I lose nothing if you refuse, so I won't care if you do, but consider the difference of getting zilch vs. getting 1% of your funds." His or her eyes glow. "GENUFLECT RIGHT NOW." Lesson learned?
Payback's a bitch.
Transaction malleability is a bitchier bitch. It's why we needed to fix the bug in SegWit. Sure, MtGox claimed they were attacked this way because someone kept messing with their transaction signatures and thus they lost track of where their funds went, but really, the bigger impetus for fixing transaction malleability was to support payment channels.
Yes, including the signatures in the hash that ultimately defines the txid was a mistake. Satoshi made a lot of those. So we're just reiterating the lesson "Satoshi was not an infinite being of infinite wisdom" here. Satoshi just gets a pass because of how awesome Bitcoin is.
CLTV-protected Spilman Channels
Using CLTV for the backoff branch. This variation is simply Spilman channels, but with the backoff transaction replaced with a backoff branch in the SCRIPT you pay to. It only became possible after OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY (CLTV) was enabled in 2015. Now as we saw in the Spilman Channels discussion, transaction malleability means that any pre-signed offchain transaction can easily be invalidated by flipping the sign of the signature of the funding transaction while the funding transaction is not yet confirmed. This can be avoided by simply putting any special requirements into an explicit branch of the Bitcoin SCRIPT. Now, the backoff branch is supposed to create a maximum lifetime for the payment channel, and prior to the introduction of OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY this could only be done by having a pre-signed nLockTime transaction. With CLTV, however, we can now make the branches explicit in the SCRIPT that the funding transaction pays to. Instead of paying to a 2-of-2 in order to set up the funding transaction, you pay to a SCRIPT which is basically "2-of-2, OR this singlesig after a specified lock time". With this, there is no backoff transaction that is pre-signed and which refers to a specific txid. Instead, you can create the backoff transaction later, using whatever txid the funding transaction ends up being confirmed under. Since the funding transaction is immutable once confirmed, it is no longer possible to change the txid afterwards.
Todd Micropayment Networks
The old hub-spoke model (that isn't how LN today actually works). One of the more direct predecessors of the Lightning Network was the hub-spoke model discussed by Peter Todd. In this model, instead of payers directly having channels to payees, payers and payees connect to a central hub server. This allows any payer to pay any payee, using the same channel for every payee on the hub. Similarly, this allows any payee to receive from any payer, using the same channel. Remember from the above Spilman example? When you open a channel to the bartender, you have to wait around for the funding tx to confirm. This will take an hour at best. Now consider that you have to make channels for everyone you want to pay to. That's not very scalable. So the Todd hub-spoke model has a central "clearing house" that transport money from payers to payees. The "Moonbeam" project takes this model. Of course, this reveals to the hub who the payer and payee are, and thus the hub can potentially censor transactions. Generally, though, it was considered that a hub would more efficiently censor by just not maintaining a channel with the payer or payee that it wants to censor (since the money it owned in the channel would just be locked uselessly if the hub won't process payments to/from the censored user). In any case, the ability of the central hub to monitor payments means that it can surveill the payer and payee, and then sell this private transactional data to third parties. This loss of privacy would be intolerable today. Peter Todd also proposed that there might be multiple hubs that could transport funds to each other on behalf of their users, providing somewhat better privacy. Another point of note is that at the time such networks were proposed, only unidirectional (Spilman) channels were available. Thus, while one could be a payer, or payee, you would have to use separate channels for your income versus for your spending. Worse, if you wanted to transfer money from your income channel to your spending channel, you had to close both and reshuffle the money between them, both onchain activities.
Poon-Dryja Lightning Network
Bidirectional two-participant channels. The Poon-Dryja channel mechanism has two important properties:
No time limit.
Both the original Satoshi and the two Spilman variants are unidirectional: there is a payer and a payee, and if the payee wants to do a refund, or wants to pay for a different service or product the payer is providing, then they can't use the same unidirectional channel. The Poon-Dryjam mechanism allows channels, however, to be bidirectional instead: you are not a payer or a payee on the channel, you can receive or send at any time as long as both you and the channel counterparty are online. Further, unlike either of the Spilman variants, there is no time limit for the lifetime of a channel. Instead, you can keep the channel open for as long as you want. Both properties, together, form a very powerful scaling property that I believe most people have not appreciated. With unidirectional channels, as mentioned before, if you both earn and spend over the same network of payment channels, you would have separate channels for earning and spending. You would then need to perform onchain operations to "reverse" the directions of your channels periodically. Secondly, since Spilman channels have a fixed lifetime, even if you never used either channel, you would have to periodically "refresh" it by closing it and reopening. With bidirectional, indefinite-lifetime channels, you may instead open some channels when you first begin managing your own money, then close them only after your lawyers have executed your last will and testament on how the money in your channels get divided up to your heirs: that's just two onchain transactions in your entire lifetime. That is the potentially very powerful scaling property that bidirectional, indefinite-lifetime channels allow. I won't discuss the transaction structure needed for Poon-Dryja bidirectional channels --- it's complicated and you can easily get explanations with cute graphics elsewhere. There is a weakness of Poon-Dryja that people tend to gloss over (because it was fixed very well by RustyReddit):
You have to store all the revocation keys of a channel. This implies you are storing 1 revocation key for every channel update, so if you perform millions of updates over your entire lifetime, you'd be storing several megabytes of keys, for only a single channel. RustyReddit fixed this by requiring that the revocation keys be generated from a "Seed" revocation key, and every key is just the application of SHA256 on that key, repeatedly. For example, suppose I tell you that my first revocation key is SHA256(SHA256(seed)). You can store that in O(1) space. Then for the next revocation, I tell you SHA256(seed). From SHA256(key), you yourself can compute SHA256(SHA256(seed)) (i.e. the previous revocation key). So you can remember just the most recent revocation key, and from there you'd be able to compute every previous revocation key. When you start a channel, you perform SHA256 on your seed for several million times, then use the result as the first revocation key, removing one layer of SHA256 for every revocation key you need to generate. RustyReddit not only came up with this, but also suggested an efficient O(log n) storage structure, the shachain, so that you can quickly look up any revocation key in the past in case of a breach. People no longer really talk about this O(n) revocation storage problem anymore because it was solved very very well by this mechanism.
Another thing I want to emphasize is that while the Lightning Network paper and many of the earlier presentations developed from the old Peter Todd hub-and-spoke model, the modern Lightning Network takes the logical conclusion of removing a strict separation between "hubs" and "spokes". Any node on the Lightning Network can very well work as a hub for any other node. Thus, while you might operate as "mostly a payer", "mostly a forwarding node", "mostly a payee", you still end up being at least partially a forwarding node ("hub") on the network, at least part of the time. This greatly reduces the problems of privacy inherent in having only a few hub nodes: forwarding nodes cannot get significantly useful data from the payments passing through them, because the distance between the payer and the payee can be so large that it would be likely that the ultimate payer and the ultimate payee could be anyone on the Lightning Network. Lessons learned?
We can decentralize if we try hard enough!
"Hubs bad" can be made "hubs good" if everybody is a hub.
Smart people can solve problems. It's kinda why they're smart.
After LN, there's also the Decker-Wattenhofer Duplex Micropayment Channels (DMC). This post is long enough as-is, LOL. But for now, it uses a novel "decrementing nSequence channel", using the new relative-timelock semantics of nSequence (not the broken one originally by Satoshi). It actually uses multiple such "decrementing nSequence" constructs, terminating in a pair of Spilman channels, one in both directions (thus "duplex"). Maybe I'll discuss it some other time. The realization that channel constructions could actually hold more channel constructions inside them (the way the Decker-Wattenhofer puts a pair of Spilman channels inside a series of "decrementing nSequence channels") lead to the further thought behind Burchert-Decker-Wattenhofer channel factories. Basically, you could host multiple two-participant channel constructs inside a larger multiparticipant "channel" construct (i.e. host multiple channels inside a factory). Further, we have the Decker-Russell-Osuntokun or "eltoo" construction. I'd argue that this is "nSequence done right". I'll write more about this later, because this post is long enough. Lessons learned?
Bitcoin offchain scaling is more powerful than you ever thought.
Many people have arguments and question as to the long term validity of bitcoin. Some say that governments will shut down bitcoin, others say the price is being manipulated by whales that will one day dump all their bitcoin and crash the market, there are still others that say 21 million BTC is not enough, and even the smallest unit, one satoshi, will be worth so much it cannot be used in daily commerce. While we can debate each point back and forth for weeks, and having bitcoin from the triple digit days, I have debated online and in person the merits of bitcoin and just the idea of cryptocurreny in general. Today I have decided to put to writing my simple reason why I hodl for my own purpose of reasoning it out, and maybe you can get something out of this too. Pascal's Wager. I was first introduced to Pascal's Wager long before I heard about bitcoin and I will explain the main point of the wager as it was originally applied to religion. Either God exists or does not exist, and you either believe in God or you do not believe. If God does exist, all who believed go to heaven (infinite gain) while all who did not believe go to hell (infinite loss). If God does not exist, all who believe simple lose their time (going to church, praying, etc) while those who do not believe lose nothing. While there are debates over the wager, I take it as there is a small price to pay for potentially infinite gain or loss. Applied to Bitcoin I apply the thinking of Pascal's Wager to bitcoin without knowing all the specific technical and political possibilities and likelihood of global adoption or crash to worthless. Either bitcoin will "Moon" or it will "Bust." It could also stay at the current price forever or go up or down slightly then it's the same as owning something like gold or stocks that move in the single digits every year but I am ignoring this case in my thinking. With that said, the outcome of bitcoin will be binary in nature, worthless or "Moon" and I have some extra money to make a bet. If I choose bitcoin, my loss is limited to what I bought in with, which is the same money I would use to buy stocks, bonds, gold, pizza, or anything, while the upside is similar to a lottery ticket. Unlike lottery tickets, the odds of winning and size of the prize is unknown. So if I buy bitcoin, I can make or lose money, with the possibility of making money at this point about 100x my money if we hit $1,000,000 like some people think, but the money I lose would be money I am okay losing and does will not hurt my finances. The other scenario is that I do not spend money on bitcoin. If I do not buy bitcoin, I can go out to eat more often, save more for retirement, buy nicer clothes, all of which are options that are good and fun in their own right. If bitcoin becomes worthless, I will lose nothing and have more experiences and nicer things because that money was not lost. This last scenario is the one I put the most concern and thought on when deciding to hodl or not. What if bitcoin goes to the moon, as in, global currency adoption moon, and I had some coins when I was younger, but now, maybe decades later, my bitcoin is long gone and I missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime. That is what scares me. Isn't that just FOMO? Yes, maybe I do just have a bad fear of missing out but based on the four possible scenarios for bitcoin, the price now to reap the rewards later is well worth paying with the loss being negligible. Being negligible does not mean I have a single satoshi to my name, but the amount is small enough that it is worth risking, but large enough to matter if we do "Moon." “I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees.” ― Euripides Unrelated to Pascal's wager is the idea of freedom that crypto offers. Central banks and governments control the currency we use on a daily basis and unless you use cash exclusively, banks and payment processing companies have a record of everything that you spend money on and can control you either directly by seizing your bank account, or indirectly by inflation and other policies. This control can simple end up as a lack of privacy to some Orwellian future. Bitcoin, and crypto in general, provide a way to add anonymity to digital lives and thus preserve freedom. I would rather lose money on bitcion than complicity submit to a system others control and that I am powerless over.
Hi Bitcoiners! I’m back with the 30th monthly Bitcoin news recap. For those unfamiliar, each day I pick out the most popularelevant/interesting stories in Bitcoin and save them. At the end of the month I release them in one batch, to give you a quick (but not necessarily the best) overview of what happened in bitcoin over the past month. You can see recaps of the previous months on Bitcoinsnippets.com A recap of Bitcoin in May 2019 Adoption
From a world where political leanings used to be personal, massive public attention and media campaigns now reign supreme. One of the most interesting developments to come out of this change is the rise of political betting. As a way to show faith in certain parties or leaders, this form of betting has drawn in new crowds and given existing speculators yet another avenue in which to engage. Another thing to look for is the betting limit on any individual political wager. If you are sure of an outcome, then you want to find a site that has high limits for these types of bets. In most cases, you will find smaller limits for political bets than traditional sports wagers, as the sites don’t have a team of political experts on staff. A sharp bettor will find the highest limit to go ... Betting; Promotions; Bitcoin; Blogs; Login; Bitcoin Wallet; Bitcoin Faucet; Crypto Market Analysis Jan 17 – Bitcoin Price, ETH, XRP January 17, 2020. 4 Reasons Bitcoin Is the Best Cryptocurrency for the World January 18, 2020. Bitcoin As a Political Movement . Published by Ashwath Balakrishnan at January 18, 2020. Categories . Bitcoin; Tags . bitcoin; Rationalizing Bitcoin’s rise as an ... New bitcoin price bet: Will Bitcoin hit $50,000 or at least $30,000 before Dec 2021? This proposition is leech protected: see decision logic for deta... sanko . 5 Months left to bet. Total Volume 0.7018. 1 Year till outcome. 0. President Trump successfully delays the 2020 election. On July 30th President Trump hinted at delaying the election to curb mail in voter fraud. No matter the reason ... The price of bitcoin touched new highs in 2020 and a number of supporters are optimistic that the crypto asset’s value will drive higher. In addition to this year’s bitcoin price high, around ...
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