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The Irishman; thuggery as seen through a Bitcoin lens.

Rather than providing access to the cash in one's pocket wallet, a bullet to the head is ineffective against a brain-wallet.
Rather than providing access to the cash in one’s pocket wallet, a bullet to the head is ineffective against a brain-wallet.

It is now possible to mitigate the risks of thuggery by viewing capital assets through a Bitcoin lens. With virtual convertible currencies, especially Bitcoin when proper key management protocols are followed, physical force becomes uneconomical when capital cannot be lifted off one’s corpse as “loot” becoming part of the Gangster’s “booty”. Brain-wallets become a defense against thieves putting a bullet in your brain, mitigating the risk of physical attack. Creating a unique situation where brains beat brawn.

When viewed through a Bitcoin lens, one quickly sees that obscurity of identity and location has become the most effective defense of our data. This is not a great revelation in itself, the revolution is in the mobility, liquidity, and unconfiscatability of virtual assets like Bitcoin, IF pseudo-anonymity has been maintained. That secrecy is a survival mechanism has been demonstrated by the truly powerful who, for this very reason, historically protect their anonymity at all costs. As those wielding power behind every throne well know: PRIVACY IS SELF-DEFENSE!

The reason for this is based on a principle of Tai Chi Masters; a bullet can’t hurt a cloud, the best way to avoid a bullet is to avoid having the barrel of the gun pointed at you, and if it is directed your way then all it can target are countless droplets of water, (i.e. a cloud cluster of wallets)! This tactic is becoming even more feasible through the Lightning network, with its 2nd layer onion routing of payments that record transactions off the main chain of block confirmations. Once the closing of Lightning channels is obscured when the Schnorr signatures and Taproot upgrades are made to Bitcoin’s code, then these protocol changes will enabling those signatures to look like any other block transaction. Making even the fact that Lightning protocols have been used undetectable. Further transaction privacy is enabled when both the public and private “channeling” of capital is NOT publicly recorded on the transparent public ledger UNTIL the channel is closed. This brings with it decreased transaction costs and time delays, along with the added protection against chain analysis de-anonymizing Bitcoin addresses.

Lightning channels can almost be thought of as “storm clouds of capital” that have been building up an electrostatic charge. One that will issue a bolt of Lightning when the “open circuit is closed”, transferring the obscured potential energy of the cloud to the transparent financial waters of the Bitcoin ledger.

Transactional anonymity and financial privacy have been recognized as the fountainheads of freedom long before our modern digital world began eroding personal privacy through its ever-present surveillance infrastructures.

It was the personally identifiable information of Hoffa’s associates that made him a security sinkhole to those with power. Those hidden figures, still not known to this day, removed Hoffa from the playing field. As those with power were defending their power, which would’ve diminished greatly if their identities were brought into the limelight, then and likely now too. It was because he knew who the ultimate beneficial owners were, (those operating behind the scenes through multiple protective shell entities), that he became a threat to them that had to be eliminated, because “it is what it is…

What one know can be more important than Who one is, or What one has!

This euphemism, “it is what it is“, was used by the characters in The Irishman as a means of expressing resignation to fundamental realities; those with great power will exercise that power (at any cost) in order to protect their power. Any threat that risks exposure of the identity of those with power becomes the greatest possible danger to that power. True power is implemented without even exposing that one is exercising it. This principle is applied by Banksters, Gangsters, Corporations, and Politicians alike; those power brokers that trade in data, in recognition of the fact that knowledge is more powerful than money. For those in control of the printing presses, preservation of power matters more than capital created out of thin air as credit…

Viewing the risk of thuggery through a Bitcoin lens fixes this. We discover that the greater potential force of any majority (whether enforced by a Thug with a gun, badge, policy, or a statute), is ineffective against an unidentifiable adversary using a non-corporeal asset.

The economics of violence have changed. The return on the investment in physical force is no longer viable.

Trace Mayer

With Bitcoin there is

  • no target to place in the sights of a gun,
  • no one to put the cuffs on, or
  • to summon into court,
  • no seizable asset as a reward for doing so, and
  • no unlimited supply of credit issued by unpredictable centralized decree, with nothing but a promise backing it,
  • a fixed and predictable supply of BTC, backed by electricity and computing power spent on proof of work ,
  • controlled in issuance by incorruptible code, rather than corruptible and very fallible humans.

This combination of factors is changing the way humans are now able to govern themselves. This asteroid of disruptive financial technology is easily observable when viewed through a Bitcoin lens. It is already impacting international financial waters by making thuggery less effective than ingenuity. When it comes to protecting virtual currencies, brains matter more than brawn. The resulting tidal wave of monetary change has not reached the commercial shores of main street and Wall street operators, yet it is coming and there is no stopping this idea whose time has come. The Nation-State monopolies on money have been broken, the free open-source nature of Bitcoin makes it a genie that cannot be put back into the bottle. The honey badger of money will only become bigger, stronger and more fierce if they try.

Handling” a honey badger is by itself a dangerous enough proposition, much like swimming with sharks. But then, we must also add in the unpredictable market swings and the unforgiving nature crypto seas. Considering as well, the inevitable waves of price volatility inherent in a relatively small pool of capital, AND the many bad actors drawn to take advantage of a trustless, unregulated, and unsupervised realm. User error and market manipulation, as well as ever-present thieves, frauds, and government regulators are all very real threats to our virtual assets.

Understandably many will prefer to outsource these risks. Others will prefer to trust only themselves to safely protect their digital data. Doing so will require the acquisition of not only the proper tools (crypto wallet vessels, trading weaponry, and cyber security armory), but also the knowledge and skill required to properly use them. Consideration of all these concerns has led us to curate a collection of 15 tools and 3 subscription services into a Bitcoin Business Toolkit; our contribution towards helping standardize digital defensive strategies, tactics, and tools. Hardening our operational security against all forms of thuggery (physical, contractual, and virtual), by viewing asset protection through the lens of Bitcoin.

This is why we’ve created and recommend this toolkit;

  • to allow us to add a layer of financial identity protection for you when making the purchase through us acting as your proxy buyer’s agent
  • providing ourselves some camouflage protection from the herd regarding our own purchases, despite publicly recommending their use.

We’ve curated this collection to suggest very specific categories of concern, and the tools to address them, that any and every commercial Bitcoin endeavor may want to consider for their own toolbox. While simultaneously helping all these hardware and service providers to stay alive and grow their businesses.

Privacy Matters

Privacy is hard-won, easily lost, and once lost often never regained. Our privacy is fragile and can be lost in many ways and inadvertently expose details that we don’t mean to, i.e. our devices, our location/s, our identities, our wallets, etc. Keeping our privacy regarding any and all of these data points requires not only disciplined operational practices, but also the right software and hardware tools.

Many new hardware tools have become available due to the marketplace’s demands for trusted solutions that will protect our privacy. These may take the form of identity verification keys, offline storage devices for our crypto keys, and both mobile or desktop devices that provide physical shut off switches for the camera, microphone, WiFi, and Bluetooth capabilities.

A problem that currently exists for all Bitcoin Bankers is that many of these privacy solutions are only available for purchase with Fiat payments that require the exposure of our banking information at every website that we use to purchase our hardware for use in managing our private banking arrangements. Information that is tied to our personal identities, bank accounts, and residences which can be used to not only steal our identities and to remove the pseudo-anonymity of our crypto wallets.

A basic Bitcoin Banker’s arrangement should include a trusted password manager and a physical authentication key, with a hardware wallet, a metal paper wallet, and a form of off chain bearer crypto device. The password manager and multi-factor authentication key provide security by requiring one to both know something and have something in order to spend the funds. The hardware wallet acts as a savings account for use to top-off the software wallet “checking accounts”. The metal paper wallet protects against loss of the hardware wallet enabling recovery of funds if it ever becomes necessary. The perpetually offline bearer crypto device becomes a form of long-term investment for HODLing for retirement or estate planning that avoids both probate and inheritance taxes.

This basic Bitcoin Banking toolkit prepares you for becoming an active trader which will require malware protection, a physical mobile authentication key, a privacy-centric mobile device, a perpetually air gapped hardware wallet, and an easily spendable form of crypto bearer bond. The anti-malware protects key logs and clip boards on your devices. The mobile MFA key protects your mobile devices against remote hacking and Sims porting. The privacy phone adds another level of obscurity to your mobile defenses keeping anyone from connecting the device to your identity and from gaining access to the microphone and camera or bluetooth and WiFi antennas. The air gapped hardware wallet keeps the private keys available for reloading the hotwallets while allowing for direct spending on large purchases when desired. The easily accessed bearer bond provides an easy means of providing liquidity that can be easily be reloaded as a form of crypto pre-paid debit card.

All these items work together to compartmentalize and segregate your funds as a form of risk management. While establishing security that protects against remote access armoring-up your devices that are best used only for Bitcoin Banking purposes. Each of the devices requires appropriate operational security practices as every website visited and every time the phone number is shared the surface area exposed to threats increases. Even the strongest armor and most effective weapons require discipline and training in order for them to work as intended. The human element is the weak link in blockchain technology, so the wise will first invest in their own education, both time and money. As is well known, a fool and his money are soon parted and a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Just as you wouldn’t buy a sailboat and venture into the deep blue sea of international waters, it would be a foolish risk to venture into the crypto seas without mentoring under an experienced Captain. The international waters of the crypto seas are unpredictable, unsupervised, and unforgiving of mistakes. There are no take-backs in crypto, prepare accordingly. Trust no one, not even yourself. All information is to be independently verified in this trustless realm.

Sail safe my friends… and remember, calm waters do not make a great Captain. Certainty is unattainable, confidence is the best one can achieve. We are here to help you get there.