Blockchain iOS Wallet has more bugs than a conferencing room at the IMF

Is anyone actually using the Blockchain mobile wallet anymore? Or better yet, does anyone at bother to test their wallet app before fat fingering the publish button?

Tonight I had the pleasure of discovering that the latest iOS version of the Blockchain Mobile Wallet has a dangerously defective QR code scanner. What’s so bad about it, you ask? Continue reading

Libertarian Paradise Or Just Another Bitcoin Scam?


Bitcoin has been hit by yet another multi-million dollar scam – this time in Chile.

Atlas Shrugged, a book by Ayn Rand, details individuals who left America for their own free market paradise, inspired a real-life Galt’s Gulch, Galt’s Gulch Chile. It turns out the only thing investors and land purchasers were volunteering for at Galt’s Gulch Chile was to be defrauded. Continue reading

Will You Be The Next Victim Of A Bitcoin Scam?

The current landscape of the cryptocurrency industry offers a diverse array of new services (fin-åhnce 2.0) for the consumer. Bitcoin is a project still very much in its infancy, and so there is a great deal of risk when dealing with these new products and people.

Bitcoinica, Mt. Gox, Coinabul, Intersango, Linode, Bitcoin Savings & Loans Trust are all businesses that have or are currently being accused of losing customer funds. Sometimes to the tune of $500 million, which is like half of urban Detroit’s worth (sorry, urban Detroit). As anybody who has perused Bitcoin forums will read, scams and poor customer service are an industry standard, it seems. Continue reading

BTC-E Flash Crash August 18th 2014

BTC-E Bitcoin price hit a low of $309 in early morning trading today.

A little over 7500 coins have traded hands on BTC-E in the last 15 minutes, which is right around the exchange’s daily volume traded. What’s going on? Something smells fishy in Russia… or is it Romania?

The question remains — why would anyone dump on the BTC-E market? Perhaps an algo gone awry, but everyone knows BTC-E is worthless for FIAT, a true roach motel, so any trading activity would ultimately be consummated in a withdrawal of BTC or LTC back to the traders’ wallet. Was this a vapid attempt at market manipulation to drag the Chinese Dragon?

Other markets are reacting to the sell off, with both Bitstamp and Huobi seeing a collective 5,000 BTC sold off between themselves in parallel with BTC-E.

Did Jon Koppenhaver beat up pornstar Christy Mack and live to tweet about it?

“War Machine” aka Jon Koppenhaver is on the loose, suspected of beating his girlfriend Christy Mack into a pulp. And all the while he’s been Tweeting on social media.

So why haven’t the police caught him? Surely Twitter knows the IP address of his recent tweets.

Surely somebody in an internet cafe would have recognized him. He stands out like sore thumb:

Or perhaps he is using his mobile phone, which as everyone knows, cannot be tracked by anyone. (

We must find Koppenhaver and ask him for his tools of encryption! Or more accurately, is “War Machine” actually Satoshi Nakamoto?

Christy Mack’s testimony on Twitter


So here is the story.

In the early morning hours of August 8, 2014, around 2am, Christy Mack was allegedly beaten in her home by a Jon Koppenhaver, known in MMA circles as War Machine.

The story was leaked around 5pm later that day by TMZ. TMZ (trash), in a lazily written piece, making few facts clear:

“According to police, War Machine was involved in a 3-person altercation early Friday morning at their home in Vegas. Two of the combatants sustained severe, but non life threatening injuries … and were taken to a hospital. One of the victims is described as the fighter’s “significant other.”

“When officers arrived on the scene we’re told they determined that War Machine was the “primary suspect” — but police have not been able to find him all day.”

Read post here:

Please note in the police account two persons “were taken to a hospital”. We presume by ambulance.

What we can also take from the TMZ article is that the police were unable to find Koppenhaver all day…interesting language considering Koppenhaver, by the time TMZ went to print, was a fugitive on the loose.

A couple of contradictions come up in Christy Mack’s statement. For instance, according to her, Koppenhaver sent her male friend away. She writes:

“Without a single word spoken, he began beating my friend; once he was finished, he sent my friend away and turned his attention to me.”

Apparently, this male friend, at some point, was taken to the hospital. It is unknown where and how. It is also unknown if, considering the beating Mack sustained must have endured at least half an hour but likely longer, if this male would have been able to contact the authorities or if he did. Either way, according to Mack’s statement, it appears this male left the scene of his own free will, and thus had the strength to alert the authorities. He could have saved her from having to forge her own dramatic escape:

“Naked and afraid he would catch me, I kept running through the neighborhood knocking on doors. Finally, one answered and I was brought to the hospital and treated for my injuries.”

Las Vegas Police have commented on the investigation.
They’ve indicated Koppenhaver might be going to San Diego. San Diego Police Department have made no comment on the matter and are apparently not on the look out for Koppenhaver. Las Vegas Police Department (LVPD) has an arrest warrant out for Koppenhaver:

1 count battery resulting in substantial bodily harm
1 count battery by strangulation
2 counts battery with substantial bodily harm
1 count open and gross lewdness
1 count assault with deadly weapon
1 count coercion/threat with force

All the while, Christie writes:

“I would like to thank everyone for their support through this rough time. I am healing fast and well, and I appreciate all of the prayers and visits I have received over the past few days. After many months of fear and pressure to keep this man happy, although I fear for my life, I feel that I can no longer put myself in this situation. The cheating by him nearly every day, and almost weekly abuse is now more than I can stand. There is a $10k reward for the capture of Jonathan Koppenhaver at this time. Please report any information to your local police.”

Thank you.
-Christy Mack”

She also has a fund for her medical expenses. She so far has raised $35,000.

Cash vs. Plastic vs. Bitcoin: What’s Best For The Environment?

By Justin O’Connell

What is best for the environment? Cash, plastic or bitcoin? The data is not perfectly clear, but some things are known.

Credit cards are typically made with polyvinyl chloride. Like all conventional plastics, PVC consumes oil – approximately 4.25 grams of petroleum to manufacture the 5-gram credit card. When multiplied by 1.6 billion (the number of credit, debit, and ATM cards produced in America in 2007), 45,000 barrels of oil a year is needed just to make the cards. These figures don’t even include the billions of gift cards, loyalty cards, and store charge cards issued yearly.

PVC, furthermore, is rarely accepted by curbside recycling programs and it can produce harmful dioxins when incinerated. So, most of these cards end up in the dump. Some organizations recommend alternative materials for short-term consumer products like credit cards. We usually cut up our credit cards when they expire after two to four years, which means they don’t last long.

Paper money is not perfect either, as a $5 bill lasts merely 16 months before it wears down to such an extent that it must be taken out of circulation. Other denominations can last longer. The paper money we use is made from a blend of cotton and linen-products that may be renewable but their cultivation requires lots of land and resources. Conventional cotton farming, in particular, uses a lot of water, pesticides and fertilizers.

Because paper money materials are not freshly harvested, dollar bills are made from recycled, low-quality waste fibers that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

But what about coins? What environmental impact, if any, do they have? Extracting metals is environmentally taxing and energy-intensive, consisting of mining, and milling and smelting (smelting a kilogram of copper takes 109 megajoules, as compared with 60 megajoules for a kilogram of PVC.) The Mint used 41,000 tons of metals to make America’s change last year.

What about the newest medium of exchange, bitcoin? Bloomberg rhetorically asked “How can a virtual currency, existing in digital form on computer hard drives, demand real power and real fuel, and have real-world environmental costs?”

The answer is bitcoin mining. Mining is a key component of how bitcoins are created, a process whereby powerful computers create bitcoins by solving processor-intensive equations.

As the Bloomberg article states:

…as [bitcoin] is created, real-world value is used up. About 982 megawatt hours a day, to be exact. That’s enough to power roughly 31,000 U.S. homes, or about half a Large Hadron Collider. If the dreams of Bitcoin proponents are realized, and the currency is adopted for widespread commerce, the power demands of bitcoin mines would rise dramatically.

If that makes you think of the vast efforts devoted to the mining of precious metals in the centuries of gold- and silver-based economies, it should. One of the strangest aspects of the Bitcoin frenzy is that the Bitcoin economy replicates some of the most archaic features of the gold standard. Real-world mining of precious metals for currency was a resource-hungry and value-destroying process. Bitcoin mining is too.

What the Bloomberg article fails to state about bitcoin is that mining will be needed for 125 years about. Thereafter the bitcoin ecosystem will look much different than the one of today, and one thing is for sure: mining won’t be needed to create bitcoins, but instead to secure the network.

Also worth noting is the fact that, on the flat lava plain of Reykjanesbaer, Iceland, near the Arctic Circle, you can find geothermal bitcoin mines, representing an alternative mode of bitcoin mining kinder to the environment.

“The computers that do the work eat up so much energy that electricity costs can be the deciding factor in profitability,” Nathaniel Popper wrote in The New York Times. “There are Bitcoin mining installations in Hong Kong and Washington State, among other places, but Mr. Abiodun chose Iceland, where geothermal and hydroelectric energy are plentiful and cheap. And the arctic air is free and piped in to cool the machines, which often overheat when they are pushed to the outer limits of their computing capacity.”

To determine the actual cost of these payment methods is not simple, and has not been achieved in this article. Many questions remain…For instance, as but one example, What kind of strain do electronic payments have on global data centers and third-party processing offices? Until we have this sort of information, it is tough to make an informed conclusion.

Not only the raw materials and transport issues must be considered, but also the impacts of manufacturing the final products.

To be sure, it is those pesky credit cards which have allowed Americans to rack up debt buying useless things. What affect has this enabling had on our environmental footprints? Cash – fiat money – allows governments to quantitatively ease (make up monetary policy) by printing, for all intents and all purposes, limitless amounts of money, enabling a wide-range of historically environmentally destructive actions.

“Entropy is Inevitable” Dark Wallet T-shirts have arrived.

“Entropy is Inevitable”
Support privacy and freedom of speech with this tri-color Dark Wallet T, silkscreened by hand in San Marcos, California.
Only 50 shirts have been made, 33 are currently available.

Price: $20 in Bitcoin, limit 3 per person

Shipping: $5 in North America, $18 outside of North America (includes tracking #)

Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, XL, XXL

Ordering: Contact to order a T.

All delivery / customer information will remain encrypted and deleted using secure-delete after shipment.

Giving Back:
All sales will accumulate in the 1DARKK address:


10% of all Bitcoin revenue will be donated transparently to the Dark Wallet project at: 31oSGBBNrpCiENH3XMZpiP6GTC4tad4bMy

An online shop will be available soon(ish)™

Shirts are printed on high-quality black Canvas shirts. Canvas is similar to American Apparel but a bit lighter-weight. Fit is on the slimmer side.

Version: GnuPG/MacGPG2 v2.0.22 (Darwin)
Comment: GPGTools –


New York’s Superintendent of Financial Services Clearly Doesn’t Get Bitcoin

New York State Department of Financial Service’s (NYSDFS) recent unveiling of their planned regulations for bitcoin sparked lively discussions on internet forums, mostly on the part of bitcoiners, damning the regulations and plans for a so-called “BitLicense.”

The most vocal in the community seemed in unanimous agreement that bit-specific regulations were an over-reach and would hurt the US bitcoin business landscape, in particular New York. This includes the controversial Bitcoin Foundation, which lessened the learning curve of regulator’s and intelligence agencies when it came to bitcoin and, perhaps, quickened the rate at which such regulations could be developed.

New York first brought to light the “BitLicense” concept in fall 2013, introducing the regulatory regime as a means to protect consumers and root out wrongdoing without stifling innovation by virtual-currency businesses in New York.
All companies that store or exchange virtual currencies for cash would have to obtain a license from the state under rules proposed by Benjamin Lawsky, New York’s superintendent of financial services ,who once held an AMA on Reddit.

“Setting up common-sense rules of the road is vital to the long-term future of the virtual currency industry, as well as the safety and soundness of customer assets,” Lawsky said in the statement, virtually the only peep on the internet I could find in favor of a such regime.
A preliminary version of excerpts of the regulations, unfortunately for the state of New York and Lawsky, evoke classic “lol” moments. For instance, in section 200.8(b):

Each Licensee shall be permitted to invest its retained earnings and profits in only the following high-quality, investment-grade permissible investments with maturities of up to one year and denominated in United States dollars:
(1) certificates of deposit issued by financial institutions that are regulated by a United States federal or state regulatory agency;
(2) money market funds;
(3) state or municipal bonds;
(4) United States government securities;
(5) United States government agency securities

BitLicenses businesses, therefore, cannot invest or hold their ANY of their profit in bitcoin, ONLY in so-called “high-quality” US Dollar related assets. On Reddit, one individual commented:

You will be told this regulation is to protect the business (and therefore, its consumers) from Bitcoin exchange rate fluctations, but if Bitcoin businesses are forbidden from holding their profits Bitcoin, then what are those businesses forced to do?
Sell their Bitcoin – driving down prices, reducing demand.

This part of the regulation has one purpose, and that is to prevent the rise of Bitcoin as a reserve currency. It simply makes no sense that a BITCOIN BUSINESS cannot hold ANY of its earnings in Bitcoin.

This was written by the banks, for the banks.

Important to note, for the safety of consumers, are some of the fundamental reasons bitcoin has germinated and sprouted as it has – in a manner commanding of the planet’s attention. Lest we forget bitcoin, and for that matter New York, do not exist in a vacuum, an examination of the facts surrounding bitcoin’s technology are in order, and for that we can turn to very recent events. Scant a reason befalls me to setup the following recent events with their historical precedents. They speak for themselves, quite frankly, to even the very layman.

In recent weeks, particularly since the Crimean Crisis heated up, de-dollarization discussions have countered western talks of sanctions on Russia, with namely Russia and China leading the campaign. But it appears the idea has caught fire. France has noted de-dollarization as an important step towards modernizing the global financial system after US authorities a couple weeks ago fined BNP Paribas, a US bank, $9 billion for ignoring certain US sanctions. Michael Sapin, France’s finance minister, called for a “rebalancing” of currencies in international trade. According to the finance minister, what’s happened to BNP Paribas should “make us realize the necessity of using a variety of currencies.”

“We [Europeans] are selling to ourselves in dollars, for instance when we sell planes…Is that necessary? I don’t think so. I think a rebalancing is possible and necessary, not just regarding the europ but also for the big currencies of the emerging countries, which account for more and more of global trade,” Sapin said.

ZeroHedge ran a headline last week that BRIC nations have essentially become an “anti-dollar alliance.” The Russian Central Bank’s governor met with Vladimir Putin to report an upcoming ruble-yuan swap deal with the People’s Bank of China and Kremlin on how to proceed with a new trade alliance going around the water. That was announced lately with a “mini-IMF,” formed by BRIC nations, Russia and China. 40 central banks are betting the yuan will in the future play a greater role in international trade.

Approximately 50% of cross-border loans and deposits are done in US dollars. According to a recent global survey $5 trillion was traded each day in foreign exchange markets. The dollar was one side of 87 percent of all trades. This role is crucial to maintain the American consumers standard of living, but nothing lasts forever – especially reserve currencies. Moreover, major US banks – the ones which caused the crisis Lawsky claims he works to prevent from happening again – are currently more profitable than ever.

With so much risk held by US dollar-holders, and his predisposition to protect consumers, how has Ben Lawsky arrived at the conclusion that trapping consumers in the US dollar is in anybody’s best interest? It is probably a long, winding biography, but certain things are known.
Lawsky’s agency has been a particularly vindictive one. Under Lawsky, the NYSDFS accused Standard Chartered of being a “rogue institution,” masking over 60,000 transactions for Iranian banks and corporations. Lawsky alleged greed, calling the 150-year old bank “a front for prohibited dealings with Iran – dealings that indisputably helped sustain a global threat to peace and stability.” The bank countered, stating it “strongly rejects the position and portrayal of facts by the agency.”

The bank was cooperative despite Lawsky’s agency’s strong, bull-headed language, stating the bank was reviewing its “historical US sanctions compliance and is discussing that review with US enforcement agencies and regulators.”

The NYSDFS accused senior executives of suppressing complaints, noting a 2006 complaint in which the bank’s chief executive for the Americas wrote bosses in London that the transactions had “the potential to cause very serious or even catastrophic reputational damage to the group.”

The response was hostile: “Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we’re not going to deal with Iranians.” According to Lawsky’s department, it examined over 30,000 internal memos, e-mails and other documents in its nine-month investigations. Lawsky’s office won a $340 million fine in court.

But did the senior banking executive have a point? What jurisdiction does Lawsky’s office in targeting a London bank? What was the motivation? To protect consumers? Iranians have historically been a cooperative people in international trade, and many of the sanctions lofted at the country arise out of American jingoism. In other words, a truism, that not all Iranians are terrorists…
Nonetheless, Lawsky’s office earned a considerable sum in its pursuit of Standard Chartered, and now it’s turned its focus to bitcoin, leading the world in government legislation for total monitoring, and ultimately managing, of the bitcoin-frontier.
What drives Ben Lawsky?

The only place Lawsky’s regulations make sense, in terms of “protecting the consumer”, is at the interface of fiat and bitcoin – the exchanges. But the scope of these regulations go much further, wherein lies a massive problem for Ben Lawsky, New York and bitcoiners who wish to do business in New York or with New York persons. These regulations even prevent exchanges, like BitStamp, from holding their earnings in euros, despite that the company serves european customers. BitLicenses, in my reading, imply a company incorporated outside of New York, would also need to apply for a BitLicense to do business in New York.

All of this, ultimately, does very little to protect consumers. This is a matter of protecting power for power’s sake. Bitcoin undermines the history of cooperation between banks and government and the transparency regulators have enjoyed while peeking into the financial history of individuals. If the regulations are not much changed by the time they are printed in The New York State Register, Ben Lawsky’s NYSDF will be targeting the global bitcoin market. Much like his office has targeted international banks, his office could potentially go after bitcoin companies, which have done business with New Yorkers, located throughout the world.

Ben Lawsky, ultimately, has mis-identified the problem which bitcoin creates. That is, the main problem with bitcoin is not money laundering or consumer fraud, but, rather, that our fundamental understanding of money and financial regulation, has been challenged. The idea of bitcoin goes a far way to put him out of a job. Maybe that’s the problem.

Young People Would Rather Bank With Google Or Amazon Than Big Banks

The bank branch might be a thing of the past.

While people would traditionally go in and meet face-to-face with a bank teller, as we’ve all done, there’s a new gig in town: self-checkout.

Today, lines are forming for self-checkout banking. Only this process is much easier than the self-checkout of the grocery store because it’s online. And it’s not just bitcoin that is attempting to get the job done.

Young people are gravitating towards a world in which the bank-tellers chair behind the glass is vacant, meaning no need for actual bank branches. As Buzzfeed’s Matt Zeitlin states, “more Minority Report than It’s A Wonderful Life.”

In a recent survey from Accenture, Zeitlin notes, 39% of 18 to 34 year-olds would consider switching to a branchless bank, while 71% of people in the US and Canada view their banking relationship as only a “transaction,” something Accenture defines as “simple transactions like paying bills, checking account statements, and so on.”

This depersonalization of retail banking services, as Accenture views it, offers opportunities for other types of companies – or perhaps innovations – to take market share from traditional banks.

The survey finds “nearly half of customers would likely bank with a company they currently do business with but does not currently offer banking services.” According to Accenture, this is a potentially ominous sign.”

More than 72% of young people in the US and Canada would look to bank with a well-known, non-bank company.

Square and PayPal were listed as the most favored non-traditional bank options, but technology stalwarts like Apple (could this be why Apple won’t allow bitcoin in its App store?), Google and Amazon did get more than 25% support.

Google is indeed already in the payment space, while Amazon lends to some merchants. Neither, to be sure, have publicly entered full-fledge into the space.

Why Not?

Regulatory burdens. Tech companies seeking to enter into traditional financial services would have to lend themselves to all sorts of compliance costs, of which exorbitant legal fees would be foremost. Unless of course they find themselves fined by a regulatory agency.

Even companies that only offer wealth management and investment advising must go through a litany of proper regulatory approvals which could last up to two years.

In 2012, the regulatory environment had grown so dismal, not a single nationally chartered bank was created in the US.

As Buzzfeed notes, “while money has poured into Bitcoin startups, the complex, volatile online cryptocurrency is a tiny fraction of the traditional banking and payments system, and Bitcoin’s biggest venture capital investors lament the regulatory burden of financial services companies.”

But the “Too Big To Fail” (TBTF) banks – and even those which are not TBTF – have seen their competition change due to swiftly evolving technology and evolving consumer demands.

Banks have slowed building new branches, and are looking towards the internet as the new frontier for banks. Bankrate found, in a recent survey, that over 20% of Americans and 38% of young people had not visited a bank in the past six months. Chase, which has 5,600 branches and curates the second largest branch network has stopped building branches altogether, after witnessing an increase in online log-ins of 28% and a 3%, and a 4% decrease in customer service calls and in-branch visits since 2010.

“Look, you’d be an idiot not to think that the Googles and Apples… When I go to Silicon Valley…they all want to eat our lunch, I mean, every single one of them,” JPMorgan Chase’s chief executive officer Jamie Dimon said at a presentation in February.

Earlier this month, The Laureate Trust announced that it expects Bitcoin to surpass Paypal in USD transaction volume later in the year.

If PayPal is the future of traditional banking, then bitcoin is the future of PayPal, or so it might seem. As Edmund Moy, former director of the US Mint – which oversees the US’s production of gold and silver products, including bullion and numismatic coins – recently, said “bitcoin is a revolution in payment systems.” It could be that, soon outpacing the Google’s and Apple’s of the world, bitcoin becomes the millennial preferred choice of transfer.

Dark Wallet T-Shirt Design

Hello fellow crypto enthusiasts! I am excited to announce today that we will be getting a limited edition run of T-shirts printed, to commemorate the Dark Wallet implementation. Right now, we’ve got 4 designs, and need your help to figure out which ones to print! Please take a moment to review the designs and vote on the poll below. Bonus points if you comment with your T-shirt size in the comments section.

T-Shirts will be printed on high-quality black American Apparel shirts, which are slightly slim fit.

Dark Wallet T-Shirt Poll
Which T-Shirt Should We Print?
  • - ( 12 votes )
  • - ( 3 votes )
  • - ( 3 votes )
  • - ( 3 votes )
  • - ( 0 votes )
Enter the code

Tri-color (Red+White+Teal Blue)

Teal Blue