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​EU migrants in Britain will be stripped of benefits after twelve weeks

RT -

The new measures are designed to relay the message to immigrants that they cannot expect “something for nothing”, Cameron announced Tuesday. The Prime Minister also hopes they will address what he describes as a “magnetic pull of Britain’s benefit system”.

The planned policy shift has been announced as the Prime Minister attempts to deflate heated criticism from right-wing Tory factions about the coalition’s probable failure of reaching previously outlined targets on reducing immigration levels.

Labour have dubbed the proposed measures a convenient diversionary tactic cultivated to detract attention from the government’s effective failure on immigration.

These legislative changes, which apply to child tax credit, child benefit and job seeker’s allowance will be implemented in November and are compatible with EU law, according to the government.

“This is about building a different kind of Britain - a country that is not a soft touch, but a place to play your part; a nation where those who work hard can get on,” Mr. Cameron told the Daily Telegraph.

“Carefully and painstakingly we are building an economy that has real opportunities for our young people; an education system that encourages them to do their best; a welfare system that encourages work; and an immigration system that puts Britain first”, he continued.

Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, however, suggested Cameron’s rhetoric was baseless.

“Behind the rhetoric the true picture of this Government on immigration is one of failure, with net migration going up, despite David Cameron’s promise to get it down to the tens of thousands”, she said.

The Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, Jonathan Portes, criticized the coalition’s planned reforms, emphasizing the issue of migrants claiming benefits in Britain was not a serious one.

“Once again the Prime Minister is announcing measures to deal with something that isn’t very much of a problem. It’s interesting to note the Government hasn’t published any statistics on how many EU nationals claiming benefits this will actually affect – everything we’ve seen so far suggests the number is very small”, he said.

The Coalition’s plans to reduce the period for which migrants can claim benefits follow a swathe of measures to limit migrants’ access to NHS treatment, housing and welfare introduced earlier this year.

The previous policies include new regulations forcing EU arrivals in Britain to wait a full three months before they can claim unemployment benefits, and subsequently limiting their access to benefits to six months unless clear job prospects are on the horizon. Cameron’s announcement on Tuesday confirms that a previous six month claim period has now been halved to one of twelve weeks.

The European Commission (EC) has made it clear that it endorses the principle of free movement within the EU, where citizens have the right to work and live in all member states. But the coalition’s planned reforms to migrants’ benefits undermine this principle.

Earlier in 2014, the UK government faced potential legal action from the EC as a result of its efforts to impose restrictions on migrant’s benefits.

Bitcoin Payment Protocol Explained

Bitcoin Magazine -

What do you do with bitcoin? Why, you spend it of course! Or more precisely you pay for something or some service using it. The specific process to pay using bitcoin is called the Bitcoin Payment Protocol and it is codified in a document called BIP70.  A BIP is a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal and is one of the mechanisms used by the Bitcoin “core developers” to improve Bitcoin.  There are all sorts of BIPS on lots of great topics but let’s not get diverted. Go to: https://github.com/bitcoin/bips/  and check them out yourself.

Now back to BIP70 the payment protocol. The description is at: https://github.com/bitcoin/bips/blob/master/bip-0070.mediawiki and is the basis for the technical content  of this article. The abstract of the payment protocol states:

This BIP describes a protocol for communication between a merchant and their customer, enabling both a better customer experience and better security against man-in-the-middle attacks on the payment process.

Note that a man-in-the-middle (sometimes abbreviated MITM) attack is when a customer connects to a merchant, and it turns out that the customer is not really talking to the merchant. Rather the customer is talking to a man sitting in between (in the middle) the customer and the merchant. This “man” can see all of the traffic going between the customer and the vendor and is thus able to get the usernames, passwords and credit card info and all that sort of personal stuff, by imitating the vendor.  With a good imitation the customer will likely be none the wiser. MITM attacks are insidious and technologies (such as the BIP70 payment protocol) to prevent them are important.

Let’s break down the concept of a payment protocol.  First, a “payment” is the transfer of value from one individual to another. Second, a “protocol” is a specific process or sequence of messages that must take place in a particular order. As part of the process certain “conditions” might need to be validated for the process to run to successful completion. Sometimes a condition is not met and the process aborts or returns an error message, but the protocol itself should be able to handle all of these conditions, making it a “robust” protocol.

A payment protocol is a sequence of messages between the customer and the vendor, in a particular order, with an expected set of responses, or acknowledgements that are part of the messages.  Let’s look at a particular set of messages that I will call the “passing in the hallway protocol” (PITHP). If you work in a building and happen to pass by colleagues, it might go something like:

  1. Sandy says:  Hey Sharon, how’s it going?
  2. Sharon says: Hi Sandy, fine fine, and you?
  3. Sandy says: “same old, same old”

and we’re done, exciting ayee?

That simple “passing in the hallway protocol” was a sequence of messages passed from one person to another in an expected order. Of course things might not go as expected in which case additional condition handling messages might be needed.

  1. Sandy says: “Hey Judy, how’s it going?”
  2. Judy says: “Hi Sandy, did you get me that status report yet?”
  3. Sandy says: “Yes, I sent it yesterday, but let me check, darn email is acting up”
  4. Judy says: “I need it by close of business today.”
  5. Sandy says: “No prob. I’ll resend it.”

The code that implements the protocol must deal with all the various types of exceptions and conditions that can happen. ALL of them.

There is very informative illustration in BIP70:

Note that the customer sends messages to the merchant, however two other entities come into play. First the bitcoin wallet application itself, and the bitcoin network. You read the illustration from top to bottom which denotes the specific sequence  of messages.  The diagram however does not specify all of the possible options that the code must handle. For example, if the merchant server does not respond with a “PaymentRequest” message then the customer must do something such as repeat the “pay now?” message or abort the whole transaction.

Let’s walk through the diagram in plain english:

The customer clicks on a “pay now” button which sends a message to the merchant server. The merchant server requests a payment from the wallet application (belonging to the customer). The wallet application asks the customer, “are you sure you want to authorize this payment?” To which the customer clicks, “OK”, sending a message to the wallet application. The wallet sends the payment to the merchant and possibly at the same time it initiates a transaction to the Bitcoin network. The Bitcoin network does its transaction thing, causing the merchant to receive bitcoin. The merchant server acknowledges the payment sending a message to the wallet, and finally (optionally) the wallet sends a message back to the customer.

A very thorough, yet quite understandable, explanation of the details of the payment protocol was authored by Mike Hearn and is available at:  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=300809.0   There are a LOT more details to the payment protocol I would simply suggest keeping in mind that the point of the protocol as stated in the BIP70 abstract, is to make for a better and more secure customer experience. As more wallets and merchants provide more complete support for the payment protocol, we will all benefit.


The post Bitcoin Payment Protocol Explained appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

West watches as Libya burns

Deutsche Welle World News -

A giant fuel depot is burning in Tripoli. Western countries have evacuated their embassies and are getting their citizens out of the country. The international community seems helpless in the face of a looming civil war.

CoreOS Stabilizes Cloud Container Linux Operating System

LXer -

The open-source CoreOS Linux operating system hit a major milestone on July 25, issuing its first stable release. CoreOS is an Andreessen Horowitz-backed startup that offers the promise of a highly available operating system platform that is fully integrated with the Docker container virtualization technology.

St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport evacuated over bomb threat

RT -

Though the evacuation of Pulkovo, servicing the northern ‘capital’, was confirmed to RT by press secretary Anna Fedoseeva, the airport’s virtual flight board on its website was showing no changes to the airport’s operations.

After a while operations at the airport were fully restored, according to the operator company the “Air gate of the northern capital,” ITAR-TASS reported. The company’s statement said that the message regarding the bomb threat was received at 13.30 GMT, and the operation was restored at 16.02 GMT.

Сейчас в Пулково. Сообщения об эвакуации перемежаются с сообщениями о начале регистрации рейса в Вену. pic.twitter.com/9Q65B4rVQ9

— Кафка-каратель (@kafka_chan) July 29, 2014

Несанкционированное собрание пассажиров и не думает расходиться pic.twitter.com/CXFbnA6ZY1

— Кафка-каратель (@kafka_chan) July 29, 2014

Moscow’s southern Domodedovo Airport received a similar call saying that an explosion is being prepared in Terminal B. However, there is no such terminal at Domodedovo.

The airport is operating and no evacuation will be carried out, the organization’s press service told RT.

Police are trying to establish the identity of the callers.

In May, there were two anonymous calls regarding an alleged impending explosion at Pulkovo. Both times the airport was evacuated, but fortunately no explosions followed.

St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo is the third busiest airport in Russia after Moscow’s Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo Airports.

Calls with fake bomb threats became much more common in Russia after the Domodedovo Airport suicide bombing on January 24, 2011, which killed at least 37 people and injured 180 more.

The attacker was later identified as Magomed Yevloyev, a 20-year-old from the North Caucasus, a member of the faction of the Caucasus Emirate led by terrorist Doku Umarov. The attack was aimed "first and foremost" at foreign citizens, the group said.

At least seven foreigners were killed in the bombing, one person each from Britain, Germany, Austria, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

Since that incident a complete security check has been introduced for those entering Domodedovo Airport and the number of officers working with sniffer dogs and police staff has been increased.

Ukrainian nationalist group blocks Russian gas stations, demands free gas

RT -

Employees of the gas stations informed OSCE observers that Right Sector demanded they provide monthly donations of up to three tons of petrol – to be used by the Ukrainian army.

At one of the stations, the OSCE observers have been informed about Right Sector members blocking the facility for three to four days,” the organization’s report says, according to RIA Novosti. The document mentions that a similar seizure of another station lasted for several hours.

Right Sector has reportedly threatened the gas stations’ staff with more attacks with the ultimate goal of ousting the company from Ukraine altogether.

Lukoil has confirmed to RT that the work of its gas stations have been blocked by Right Sector in Ivano-Frankovsk. The company says the activists from the ultranationalist party seized three out of the six stations Lukoil has in the city.

They only make their demands in word, they do not support them by any written orders,” a source in Lukoil told RT.

The company said it is not going to issue any official statement yet for security reasons, as Lukoil’s leadership fears the Ukrainian government might not be able to influence Right Sector.

The oil company is assuming that actions by the Right Sector constitute “interference with lawful business activities” and thus are punishable by Ukrainian law.

Right Sector was formed as a coalition of right-wing organizations during the Maidan protests in Kiev in November 2013. Its activists later were behind the most violent clashes with police.

Right Sector became a party in March 2014 and its leader, Dmitry Yarosh, ran for president in the May 25 election, but received less than 1 percent of the vote.

Members of the group have joined pro-Kiev military units fighting anti-government forces in Eastern Ukraine.

Last week, the International Criminal Police Organization put Yarosh on its wanted list.

That was done in response to Russia’s request in April. Moscow has accused Yarosh of “public incitement to terrorist and extremist activities involving the use of the mass media.

Yarosh is notorious for his warmongering rhetoric targeting Russia. In March he threatened to blow up oil pipelines running from Russia to Europe through Ukraine, as a means of “depriving the enemy of resources.”

Submit your application to the Raspberry Pi Education Fund

Raspberry Pi -

Got a great idea or project to teach kids about computing?

Need some help raising the finance to make it a reality ?

We have some good news: the Raspberry Pi Education Fund is finally open for applications. As a reminder, thanks to all the Raspberry Pis bought by the community of the past 2 years, we have been able to put together a £1 million education fund to help fulfil our charitable mission.

Applications are invited from organisations looking to fund projects that encourage young people to learn about computing or illustrate how computing can be used enhance education in STEM or the creative arts.  You can find more details on the eligibility criteria and submit your application here.

Coding Marathon at the Cambridge Centre of Computing History sponsored by Raspberry Pi Foundation

Go on, what are you waiting for? This is your chance to make a difference.

Mark Ruffalo reads Eugene Debs

Socialism OnLine! -

URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuGp-0G1p4M

Mark Ruffalo reads Eugene Debs. Actor Mark Ruffalo reads union leader Eugene Debs' famous "Canton, Ohio" speech. Part of a reading of Voices of a People's History of the United States (Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove) at All Saints Church in Pasadena, CA on Feb 1, 2007.

Topic(s): Geography:  Vote Up/Down

Ukraine's pipelines will loose 50% of value when South Stream starts - Naftogaz head

RT -

After the Russian–led South Stream project is complete and working at full capacity, the value of Ukraine’s GTS may fall as much 50 percent from the present estimate of $25-$35 billion, RIA Novosti quotes the head of the company.

We have no wish to lose it, and it’s unreasonable," Kobolev said on a Ukrainian local TV channel.

Construction of the South Stream pipeline in Bulgaria and Serbia was suspended following pressure from the EU to comply with competition law. After a while construction resumed.

"They [Gazprom] are ready to invest their own 15 billion euro in South Stream construction … This gas pipeline will take away from the Ukrainian transit potentially up to 60 billion cubic meters. Currently the transit carries 86 billion cubic meters," Kobolev said.

Previously 110-120 billion cubic meters was fed through Ukraine, but now the Nord Stream pipeline has taken a share of it, Kobolev explained, and concluding that once South Stream is operational Ukraine could be in a very difficult situation.

The Ukrainian GTS needs an upgrade as soon as possible, Kobolev added.

On July 24 Ukraine’s Parliament rejected the second reading of a bill that would allow EU and US companies to buy up to 49 percent of the oil and gas company Naftogaz and co-manage the national pipelines.

After that Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said he was resigning, but on Monday he said he reversed his decision and returned to the office. He said that Rada will reconsider the bill to outline operators of the GTS involving US and European investors at the next extraordinary meeting on July 31.

Ukraine is Russia’s major gas conduit to Europe. Currently the Ukraine pipeline delivers 175 million cubic meters of gas daily from Russia to neighboring European countries, which is about half of Russia’s total gas supplies to the EU or 15 percent of total EU natural gas consumption.

Australian police issue arrest warrants for citizens fighting in Syria

RT -

Khaled Sharrouf and Mohamed El-Omar, Australian citizens of Arab descent, are now wanted back home on terrorism charges, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported Tuesday.

“As soon as they set foot on Australian soil, they will be taken into custody,” Australian Federal Police counter-terrorism chief Neil Gaughan told ABC in an interview.

The photograph of Sharrouf and El-Omar was published last week in a Twitter account of the al Qaeda-linked offshoot Islamic State. The pictures depicted the heads of five soldiers from the Syrian Army’s 17th Division murdered by jihadists in Syria's Raqqa province. Late last week pictures of El-Omar holding severed heads were published in a Twitter account allegedly belonging to Sharrouf.

Mohamed Elomar llegó de Australia y se unió a uno de los grupos terroristas más sanguinarios de Medio Oriente: pic.twitter.com/9fEA6IXiIR

— Corcho Jorge MatiasΨ (@corcho1316) July 25, 2014

Sydney-based Sharrouf and El-Omar left traveled to Syria late last year, ABC reported, where they joined Al Qaeda-linked Islamists forces fighting the Syrian government troops. Reportedly, they took part in fighting in both Syria and Iraq as members of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS/ISIL

Mohamed El-Omar is a nephew of one of Australia’s most well-known terrorists, The Australian reported in May.

Five years ago a man with a similar name, Mohamed Ali El-Omar, along with five other perpetrators, was tried and jailed as a result of Australia's longest running terrorist trial in 2007-09. The defendants were accused of conspiring to commit acts of terrorism on Australian soil in the so-called Pendennis plot between July 2004 and November 2005.

The six men were purchasing guns, explosives and chemicals to carry out a violent attack. El-Omar, a butcher by trade, was sentenced to a maximum term of 28 years in prison.

Aussie jihadi "Khaled Sharrouf" is fighting for the Islamic State in Syria and boasts about it on twitter. pic.twitter.com/t4RAkueC6j

— American Jihad Watch (@Watcherone) July 26, 2014

The Australian government has become increasingly concerned about evidence that the country’s citizens are actively participating in terrorist activities in the Middle East. Earlier this month a suicide bomber who killed five people in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, was allegedly recognized as 18-year-old Australian citizen Adam Dahman.

“The Australian government came out very strongly on Friday criticizing the type of behavior that those two gentlemen are allegedly involved in, [saying] that they should not set foot back in Australia,” Gaughan told ABC. "If they do, we can assure the Australian community that we have first instance warrants for their arrest.”

Fears of Australian jihadists returning home are being used by the Australian government to adopt new, more severe intelligence legislation.

Just last week, Australia’s Attorney General, George Brandis, said the authorities were monitoring the activities of Australian citizens believed to have fought overseas – while they are abroad and when they return home.

“There is evidence that they are trained in terrorist tradecraft to perform acts of domestic terrorism in the event that they return either to their home countries or go elsewhere after they have been in theater,” Brandis told ABC. “So that is a new and very alarming development.”

Brandis added: “No Australian should ever think is that this is a problem that exists on the other side of the world.”

“Because while it may take shape on the other side of the world, the number of Australians who are participating in this war fighting in Syria and Iraq shows that this is a problem that exists and germinates within our suburbs, within the suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne and Brisbane,” Brandis said.

Vocabulary Context Is The Reason Bitcoin Isn’t Deflationary

Bitcoin Magazine -

I hope to set a Bitcoin Magazine record for most succinct argument here, as my profession has an uncomfortable obsession with efficiency. I study economics because I like teaching at the University level, and because I want to improve the field. Here’s how the community can help.

Coin enthusiasts often struggle at convincing economists and academics that Bitcoin is interesting, and that’s largely because the community is misusing many economic ideas.

At the forefront of this is the misuse of the notion of a deflationary currency. Deflation is a decrease in the prices of goods, and yes as prices fall each unit of money is worth more in terms of how much it buys. This is not something that is unique to Bitcoin, it’s a property of any type of money.

When we refer to changes in the price of one currency (or an aspiring one like Bitcoin) in terms of another ($), we should be referring to either depreciation or appreciation:  Bitcoin has been strongly appreciating (gaining relative value) against the dollar since its birth. So coinheads have been eager to hold on to their Bitcoin not because of deflation, a change in the price of goods, but because of its eager history of appreciation against the almighty dollar.

Second off, let’s all remind ourselves that Satoshi’s paper only mentions the word currency once in regards to physical currency like fiat. He refers to the protocol as a payment system, which is of course different from a currency. A currency is a store of value (among other purposes), and we all need to be honest with ourselves that Bitcoin, while striving to achieve this, still has much to prove in this area.

Economists love the idea of comparative advantage: the skill that you are relatively better at than your neighbor. Bitcoin’s comparative advantage largely lies in its low transaction costs making it a severe threat to traditional payment networks. For the time being, fiat’s comparative advantage is still stability: that’s why we see coin quoted in world currencies in the first place.

Not all economists dismiss this topic; young professionals like my collaborators and I recognize that the system is perhaps the greatest monetary/social experiment of our time, and much of the empirical analysis is on its way to peer review.

The post Vocabulary Context Is The Reason Bitcoin Isn’t Deflationary appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

ISIS spread makes Europe a ‘tinder box’

RT -

RT: How is it even legal for an international terrorist organization like ISIS to openly rally on the streets of a European city?

William Engdahl: That is a very good question and I think the Dutch government has some answers to give to that question. What we are dealing with when we look at ISIS, and I have been in conjunction with a new book that I am just finishing, called "America’s holy wars", [about] the symbiotic relationship between US Intelligence and these various jihadists groups around the world, especially the Muslim Brotherhood. The ISIS is a creation of US Intelligence in Iraq, and now the global caliphate that they have proclaimed, the Islamic State. It is not a synthetic operation, it has been supported covertly by the US, by the Obama Administration and all indications are simply that Syrian and international Muslim Brotherhood etc. disguise themselves as this new creation called ISIS. But they are getting their marching orders, their arms, US weapons, and it’s a vehicle for destabilizing not only Arabic Middle East and beyond, but also Europe, and that is something to realize that there are large Muslim communities throughout Europe. In Germany there are at least 7 million [people] proclaiming the Muslim faith and there are jihadist organizations trying to recruit young Muslims as they are doing in Holland with those Dutch demonstrations of ISIS.

RT: Do you think the local authorities will face a public backlash for allowing such a rally to go ahead?

WE: I question the sanity of the Dutch government for allowing it in the first place. One has to think there might be a little bit of a militias' agenda, some circles, perhaps tied to NATO circles that are doing the investigation or non-investigation of the Malaysian MH17 in the eastern Ukraine. There is very bizarre behavior of the Dutch government on that question. We don’t have the answers yet but the very fact that they allow this and the demonstrators were shouting "Death to the Jews" in the streets of a European country, this is really quite a shocking message, a wake-up call [on] what’s going on here.

RT: The group says it's looking for new recruits. Why do you think it would look for them in Europe, and do you think they will succeed?

WE: I think they are succeeding. The fastest growing religious groups in Germany are jihadists or salafist Islamic organizations that are recruiting young people not even of Turkish or Arabic origins. They are recruiting young German kids who are disaffected, have no goal in life, unemployed or facing a bleak future, and they are being recruited to believe in something, to believe in “dying for Allah”, and that is pretty sick way to live in my view.

RT: How much of a danger does this pose to Europe?

WE: It’s a tinder box. Look at the Muslim population in France; look at the Muslim population in Germany. I do not have statistics on Holland, but in every European country there is a significant minority that are immigrants that have come out of the Muslim world. If you get the disaffected youth in these countries and organize them into jihad operations you can really wreak havoc as we saw in France in recent years with the riots outside Paris in the ghetto suburbs. That can cause enormous social polarization because 99,9 percent of Muslims in Germany are peaceful, they want to live their lives in private and want to be left alone and have their children grow up in peace and do better than they did. So it creates a polarization of normal German citizens against Muslim immigrants, and that is not good for anybody.

RT: Could the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict lead to more Muslims joining the ranks of extremist groups like ISIS?

WE: I think it could most certainly and I think it is leading to more recruiting because it is firing up emotions, the atrocities of the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) are committing in Gaza are plastered all over the social media, internet, YouTube, etc. It cannot be denied what has been done - women, children, baby, hospital patients are being murdered.

Somebody Forgot to Tell the Blockchain It’s Over

Bitcoin Magazine -

There are so many headlines about impending doom right now. Russia versus Ukraine, which might drag US and Europe into war. The Syria conflict continues. The Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange finally implodes taking down 850,000 bitcoins with it. Charley Shrem of BitPay under house arrest. Several governments issue warnings about bitcoin investment. The Federal Bank’s continuing to receive unrequested opinions coming, yet again, from Senator Machim; when financial baker JP Morgan ridicules it, their man Machim squawks each time he thinks he can get a headline conveniently ignoring that his allies at JP Morgan were just recently fined 15 BILLION in the last year.  Including the Bernie Madoff pyramid scheme they helped with. All the while the blockchain still toils away silent and oblivious to the headlines.

The Blockchain doesn’t know when solicitous News Anchors give it tabloid treatment. Even CNBC’s News Anchor, Kudlow, has had two years to catch up but is still confused thinking businesses would be crazy to expose themselves to the price volatility of bitcoin. The blockchain can’t laugh at Kudlow’s lack of a five minute research into Bitstamp or Coinbase to learn companies can convert to cash immediately. His diatribes are never corrected by those uncomfortable junior reporters that know the king Kudlow is wearing no clothes but politely forget to tell him.

The blockchain has work to do reconciling accounts and verifying each bitcoin is accounted for. Behind guarded doors at the Federal Reserve The Federal Bank officials force more billions into the banks just to keep them afloat because they know the moment they stop the WORLD economy might fail. They keep us tied to their runaway train because they can’t figure out a way to stop it. The people that made the block chain already know this -and this was the reason they gave birth to the block chain.

The leader of Ukraine just stole billions of dollars from his countrymen. If the blockchain was in charge of it, we could see where it went. You can’t move that kind of money quickly without everybody being able to track it. But the news reporters missed that. When Ukraine put limits on its population to not withdraw funds, to stop bank runs, all of them were in danger. The Block chain would protect them from that too. Where was CNBC reporting that one? The people are now asking for bitcoin donations for blankets and food to protect them from the oncoming Russian onslaught. Do the free people of the world want to stand still wishing there was something they could do?  Or will they spend 10 minutes, buy some bitcoin, scan in the QR code in the article linked and send them money to help? They will have it in 20 minutes from right now thanks to the block chain and Coinbase.com. Try to do that with a bank.

It just keeps quietly reconciling the ledger, on schedule, every 10 minutes, like clockwork. It’s still issuing 25 new bitcoins each time it’s reconciled just as it has done for a year and will continue to do for three more when it’s schedule to lower that amount. Hackers will still try to steal it. Hucksters will still try to hustle people out of it. Because it has value, bad guys will use it to trade for bad things just like they have for millennia for anything of value.

When the bitcoin price crashed temporarily in 2011, 2012, and 2013 and now in 2014 – economists, news reporters, bloggers, and many companies were pronouncing it dead. But they didn’t understand the block chain. It doesn’t die. Ten minutes after they submitted their opinion, the block chain reconciled the last block of transactions and computers around the world continued to mine another block of currency into the system. People still traded with it, and it went on to prove itself defiant of their predictions. Somebody forgot to unplug the block chain and turn the lights out. We know this because:

Bitcoin hasn’t gone into seclusion.

Bitcoin hasn’t issued any press releases.

Bitcoin hasn’t checked the polls.

Bitcoin didn’t flood the market with new money to keep its value up.

Bitcoin didn’t huddle with the G8 or G20 in emergency sessions.

It didn’t concern itself with job loss, unemployment, interest rates or popularity contests.

It didn’t read the tabloid news. It didn’t hire a lawyer, or summon a new PR team.

The longer it operates, the more people notice and believe in the power of the blockchain. Ask the people of Ukraine how they are going to get money now. The public tend to believe the point of view of news channels and know all about the 430 million dollars in bitcoin that seems to have been stolen over a few years. While it makes headlines, 180 BILLION a year is lost through credit card fraud alone. The blockchain doesn’t care that 99.7% of the reported fraud from is from credit cards in one year. Its paltry .03% makes headlines and senators call to ban it? Does the good senator have a “Bat-phone” with one button connecting to JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon?

As history has proven without exception, wars come, the famine will follow, banks will collapse, the politicians are always voted out of office, or thrown out, a country’s boundaries are redrawn; yet the blockchain will still be going – oblivious to these matters. As long as the internet exists somewhere in the world, the blockchain will continue on schedule. The idea, now turned into invention won’t die, it won’t be un-invented. You can’t kill an idea whose time has come. More and more people are just now realizing this for the first time. It is likely inevitable that deep down in some primitive part of our brains, many people instinctively just… understand what this may mean. Currencies backed by shifting politics will fall when the political winds shift, just as they always have in the history of civilization; all they need is one little push. Gold and silver transcended boundaries and politics. Perhaps the blockchain will as well. While central banks and government can confiscate gold and silver, bitcoins have a nasty way of retaining value down to infinite decimal places when needed. It might be the digital sand running through their fingers when they squeeze.

Perhaps these news reporters might learn from history and hold off on the obituaries that might come back to embarrass them. When people repeatedly hear these predictions, the boy who cried wolf may come to mind. It seems that an increasingly amount of people understand the power behind the blockchain and already know what it will be doing in 10 minutes, 10 days, 10 months, and 10 years. Some people’s perception about the value of digital currencies might change temporarily, but increasing numbers of them eventually come to the understanding that it isn’t going anywhere. Somebody forgot to tell the blockchain to take his ball and go home, the game is over or so they say.

Not to worry, the blockchain doesn’t get its feelings hurt. It doesn’t have time to, there’s work to do – sometime within the next 10 minutes.

The post Somebody Forgot to Tell the Blockchain It’s Over appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.


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