Encryption works. That was one of the lessons I learned from paying attention to the details of the Snowden revelations. But even though encryption works, NSA and GCHQ could still snoop on almost all internet traffic at the time of Snowdens revelations. The way they pulled that off was not by making encryption illegal but rather through all sorts of less obvious ways of undermining internet security. Some examples were bribery of important players in the industry and infiltration of standard bodies to promote insecure encryption solutions. Examples: http://gizmodo.com/nsa-paid-security-firm-10-million-bribe-to-keep-encryp-1487442397 and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual_EC_DRBG.
Some people think everything is fine in the world of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. It is not. We are under attack. Attacks which are in many ways similar to those revealed by Edward Snowden. Here are some examples:
The 1 MB block size limit debate is not a normal debate with some pros and cons being honestly discussed. The 1 MB block size limit is being used deliberate to undermine the functioning of bitcoin.
In an honest debate about pros and cons we wouldn’t see lots of censorship like we do today on both the https://bitcoin.org website and the https://www.reddit.com/r/bitcoin subreddit. Both these places are being used to spread deception and people who argue against are censored and blocked. Here is one recent example: https://forum.bitcoin.com/bitcoin-discussion/now-that-even-coinbase-is-being-censored-from-bitcoin-org-t4313.html. There are many more examples. Censorship even happened at the Scaling Bitcoin conference in Hong Kong. See https://bitco.in/forum/threads/gold-collapsing-bitcoin-up.16/page-109#post-3859. If you want to break free from the deception I suggest using other subreddts like https://www.reddit.com/r/btc/ or https://www.reddit.com/r/bitcoinxt or the forums of bitco.in and bitcoin.com. Most of the people writing in these latter places have taken the red pill. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_pill_and_blue_pill for explanation.
Here is some of the deception being spread on the censored forums:
- Hard forks are dangerous and bad. Wrong. A hard fork is the necessary solution to stop the sabotage created by Blockstream and the present developers of Bitcoin Core.
- Bitcoin XT is an altcoin. Wrong. Bitcoin XT is one of the tools which can be used to accomplish the necessary hard fork away from Bitcoin Core.
- Seqwit and LN will improve bitcoin scalability. Wrong. They are part of the distraction and sabotage created by Blockstream. They create new complexity and are part of the undermining of bitcoin.
- It is important that we have consensus in the community (for example >90% approval) before changing the 1 MB limit. Wrong. A 90% approval rate is the same as a veto right for just 10% of the community. There is nothing wrong with veto rights if that veto right is about allowing the 10% choosing to go their own way but this is a not what this consensus is about. It is about giving the 10% a veto right over where we should all go.
- It is an advantage for miners if fees a forced up by the 1 MB limit. Wrong. A forced increase in transaction fees will push users away to other coins, perhaps making an altcoin the new dominant cryptocurrency. The altcoin might not use SHA-256. That will make all the mining equipment owned by miners more or less worthless. On the other hand if miners remove the 1 MB roadblock there is no doubt the price of bitcoin will sky-rocket. If in doubt, ask the investors who own bitcoin.
Besides deception and censorship we have also seen deliberate killing of new potential bitcoin competitors. Luke Dashjr who has been employed on occasion by Blockstream, and is a co-author of the sidechains paper supported by Blockstream, and supporter of the socalled roadmap in “Capacity increases for the Bitcoin system scaling” (see https://bitcoin.org/en/bitcoin-core/capacity-increases) deliberately attacked at least one new alt-coin (CoiledCcoin) by mining blocks without transactions thereby blocking the confirmation of transaction. That attack killed the fledgling new coin. CoiledCoin had implemented some improvements which were not yet implemented in bitcoin. The signers of https://bitcoin.org/en/bitcoin-core/capacity-increases should be considered part of the sabotage team.
We have also previously seen DDOS attacks on early adopters of Bitcoin XT. Where did they come from?
There are some companies in the bitcoin industry I personally wouldn’t trust at all. Why does a company like BiFury have a Global Chief Communications Officer who is a former White House Communicator? http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20151204005608/en/White-House-Communicator-Jamie-Smith-joins-BitFury. This is important for several reasons including https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/bitfury-to-mass-produce-new-nm-chip-and-sell-to-public-1452010171. Don’t buy from that company if you want bitcoin to succeed.
I think we should use the coming weeks and months to carefully study which industry participants are behaving honest and which are not. The latter are probably allied with the powers that be.
This post has been placed on both my own website at https://bitcoinsteffen.com/the-bitcoin-community-can-learn-important-lessons-from-the-snowden-revelations/ and on https://bitco.in/forum/threads/the-bitcoin-community-can-learn-important-lessons-from-the-snowden-revelations.745/. The latter is best for discussions.