52 - You're welcome!

52 - You're welcome!

🇹🇭 Another week here in Bangkok.   V and I are enjoying our time here - visiting new places in the city, working out and meeting people - and it's nice weather!  It is great to be surrounded by so many interesting people and groups - it feels the way that Hong Kong used to be...

I had two Bitcoin meetings this week where I met some really interesting people working on significant projects and, among other things, we discussed the challenges of dealing with the legacy financial system.  It really is the case that the system has been over-burdened with legislation and regulation that is weaponised against the smaller players and certainly against individuals in the population.  

I remember comparing the experience of setting up and running a business in Belgium vs the relatively lighter experience of doing so in HK.  Even so, with hindsight and real-life experience, it becomes clear how much overhead and burden governments everywhere impose on their businesses and citizens.  

There are whole layers of organisation and people in society today, supposedly "for your benefit" and/or the "greater good" but all they do is slow things down and add cost and complexity.  

Be in no doubt that all the KYC nonsense that is imposed introduces cost and risk to everyone and has achieved no proven reduction in "criminal activity" in all the years since it was introduced - yet governments everywhere blindly "follow the international guidelines".  If you are in any doubt - listen here and read academic analysis here - KYC/AML is the least effective and most oppressive regulation ever - until now: see below on ⚠️ upcoming IHR amendments⚠️

Sadly the creeping corruption has metastasised throughout society and the cancer that is government is now doing its worst.

Thankfully, people around the world do seem to be waking up to this fact and they start to ask good questions.   You do have the power to change things; somewhat counter-intuitively this needs to be done bottom-up, working locally with your local community and local groups.  

Our world is not what you think

First up: know that Anarchy is an interesting term - the true meaning of the word has been subverted in modern usage via mainstream media and government propaganda that  disparages it as bad, evil and undesirable.  In fact - the original meaning was quite the opposite - Social Order through absence of Government Tyrants.

Click for source 
Either the State for ever, crushing individual and local life, taking over in all fields of human activity, bringing with it its wars and its domestic struggles for power, its palace revolutions which only replace one tyrant by another, and inevitably at the end of this development there is ... death! Or the destruction of States, and new life starting again in thousands of centers on the principle of the lively initiative of the individual and groups and that of free agreement. The choice lies with you!
- Prince Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921), "The State: Its Historic Role," 1896

The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto

I was really interested to re-discover a document that was written by Timothy C May for the "Crypto '88" conference and several other conferences in 1988 and 89.  He circulated it more widely in May of 1992 - see here.  

"A specter is haunting the modern world, the specter of crypto anarchy.

"Computer technology is on the verge of providing the ability for individuals and groups to communicate and interact with each other in a totally anonymous manner. Two persons may exchange messages, conduct business, and negotiate electronic contracts without ever knowing the True Name, or legal identity, of the other. Interactions over networks will be untraceable, via extensive re-routing of encrypted packets and tamper-proof boxes which implement cryptographic protocols with nearly perfect assurance against any tampering. Reputations will be of central importance, far more important in dealings than even the credit ratings of today. These developments will alter completely the nature of government regulation, the ability to tax and control economic interactions, the ability to keep information secret, and will even alter the nature of trust and reputation.

"The technology for this revolution--and it surely will be both a social and economic revolution--has existed in theory for the past decade. The methods are based upon public-key encryption, zero-knowledge interactive proof systems, and various software protocols for interaction, authentication, and verification. The focus has until now been on academic conferences in Europe and the U.S., conferences monitored closely by the National Security Agency. But only recently have computer networks and personal computers attained sufficient speed to make the ideas practically realizable. And the next ten years will bring enough additional speed to make the ideas economically feasible and essentially unstoppable. High-speed networks, ISDN, tamper-proof boxes, smart cards, satellites, Ku-band transmitters, multi-MIPS personal computers, and encryption chips now under development will be some of the enabling technologies.

"The State will of course try to slow or halt the spread of this technology, citing national security concerns, use of the technology by drug dealers and tax evaders, and fears of societal disintegration. Many of these concerns will be valid; crypto anarchy will allow national secrets to be traded freely and will allow illicit and stolen materials to be traded. An anonymous computerized market will even make possible abhorrent markets for assassinations and extortion. Various criminal and foreign elements will be active users of CryptoNet. But this will not halt the spread of crypto anarchy.

"Just as the technology of printing altered and reduced the power of medieval guilds and the social power structure, so too will cryptologic methods fundamentally alter the nature of corporations and of government interference in economic transactions. Combined with emerging information markets, crypto anarchy will create a liquid market for any and all material which can be put into words and pictures. And just as a seemingly minor invention like barbed wire made possible the fencing-off of vast ranches and farms, thus altering forever the concepts of land and property rights in the frontier West, so too will the seemingly minor discovery out of an arcane branch of mathematics come to be the wire clippers which dismantle the barbed wire around intellectual property.

"Arise, you have nothing to lose but your barbed wire fences!"

I highly recommend listening to this thoughtful discussion of the document and its implications - between Max Hillebrand and Robert Breedlove.

Click to listen - start at 5m20

More in this issue

  • A few photo memories from around Bangkok this past week
  • Update on my projects - NOSTR deep dive..
  • Links to inform and educate you - a very important one at the end
  • Closing thoughts - how did you miss this one?

Update on my projects - NOSTR deep dive..

This week I have been diving into Nostr - below are a few thoughts and pointers

Click for github source and many useful links

Nostr doesn't rely on any trusted central server, hence it is resilient; it is based on cryptographic keys and signatures, so it is tamperproof; it does not rely on P2P techniques, and therefore it works.

To use it you run a client - either in your browser or as native app on computer or phone/tablet.  To publish something, you write a post, sign it with your key and send it to multiple relays (servers hosted by someone else, or yourself). To get updates from other people, you ask multiple relays if they know anything about these other people. Anyone can run a relay. A relay is very simple and dumb. It does nothing besides accepting posts from some people and forwarding to others. Relays don't have to be trusted. Signatures are verified on the client side.

This is amazingly simple and scales surprisingly well.  There are now hundreds of active developers working on all sorts of projects - extending the protocol via NIPs (Nostr Improvement Proposals).  Click here to see them.   For example, an interesting one is NIP-65 - recall last week's discussion with Mike Dilger.

All of the above is being well lubricated by Lightning payments that participants are using to pay for services and also as bounty for developing features.  Birth of a new economy in action.   See also here: Nostr Resources

No need to create accounts

One of the most interesting things about the PKI model of public and private keys  that Nostr uses is that you can easily "sign up" to use applications and services without the need to create username/password on these services.  

Habla.news is one such example that could help transform blogging and long-form publications.  It offers a simple way to publish blog articles without any need to take out subscriptions or give away user credentials.  Over time this will be based on the evolving value-for-value payment mechanisms (for both producers and consumers) that are being battle-tested and refined in the Nostr environment  daily.

Click to explore a new Blogging paradigm

Another interesting example is Kollider - this is a derivatives exchange (they will also do Spot) with browser-based lightning wallet that allows easy access to "synthetic stablecoins".  Things like this will likely form part of the alterrnative monetary systems and people will want to have some form of currency that has stable value and/or to easily hedge both up and down volatility of Bitcoin.

Click to find out more

The big one will be when Github has one or more viable decentralised alternatives.   Be in no doubt that Microsoft's ownership of Github is not benevolent.   Jack Dorsey has a bounty of 1.2 BTC out for the team that will deliver this - to be judged by the community.     The underlying protocol of git is already fully decentralised and battle-tested - what is needed is a way to decentralise all of the issue management, discussions and pull-requests etc - something for which Nostr is already proving well suited to enable.

Exciting times.  I have got to recommend this Podcast by Marty with Myles Snider - timestamps for interesting topics also below:

Click to watch, list and learn

11:41 - The business opportunity of Nostr 14:11 - What makes a good relay? 18:41 - Nostr+LN is the real web 3.0 28:55 - Myles's background 32:00 - Proof of Stake is bad for the soul 38:54 - Finding LN 45:01 - Kollider 1:02:08 - Ordinals 1:13:03 - Bullish on lightning 1:30:12 - Nostr wishlist 1:37:18 - Wrapping up

For a full list of interesting links and suggestions - do follow Intuitive Guy - click image below for a recent daily update.

Click to see a daily progress report

As you know I do not have a TV and I avoid mainstream media, preferring to take filtered feeds and informed commentary as well as going directly to relevant sources - RSS is your friend here, as we have discussed before.  Quite a bunch of interesting reads and podcasts this week:

On the Bitcoin front I was intrigued to find this interview of Mark Goodwin by Stephan Livera.  Do listen and be surprised.   You may have wondered why (despite bitcoin's tendency to go up in value over time) the main fear of the government comes from Stablecoins that have the potential to be implemented outside of their criminal and corrupt control.  Also it's good to know techniques that may yet be applied to try to weaponise these modes of value ownership and transfer.

Click to listen

Next is a shocking thread by Catilin Long - CEO of Custodia Bank in US.  She and her bank have been wrongly excluded from direct access to the Federal Reserve system and indeed it is hard to believe anything other than the apparent truth that Regulators target the honest players (like Custodia and Kraken) whilst leaving the dishonest ones to flourish (even potentially funding and supporting them) - consider FTX.    She also shared info with the regulators in advance of he FTX collapse indicating potential fraud and they did nothing!

Click to read a story of US Government corruption - reflect on the implications

Listen also to NLW's explainer here.

Click to understand how US regulators exclude honest players and support fraud

Meanwhile in Hong Kong the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) on Monday published draft rules for virtual asset trading platforms and sought public feedback. As part of the new licensing regime set to take effect in June, the SFC plans to require cryptocurrency exchanges to apply for licenses that would allow retail investors to trade certain large-capitalization tokens.   Listen too to NLW's explainer on this - I tend to agree with his assessment.

Click to listen to NLW's assessment on HK situation

...and listen to James' thoughtful evaluation - in much the same vein:

Click to watch and learn

I have got to appreciate this open letter from Cosmo Crixter

An Open Letter to Agustín Carstens, Head of The Bank of International Settlements
Fiat Fails

⚠️  Most Important ⚠️

Without any mainstream coverage or public discussion, the negotiations regarding the proposed amendments to the IHR have been happening this week (February 20-24, 2023).    The WGIHR soap opera is about to begin!

50 Really Bad Amendments
Despite misinformation to the contrary, the negotiations regarding the proposed amendments to the IHR are about to begin this week (February 20-24, 2023). The WGIHR soap opera is about to begin!
Click to understand what is happening without your permission or support

Richard Vobes has similar concerns and shares really actionable suggestions.

Click to watch - links in description under the video

If you have heard that the amendments to the International Health Regulations have been “defeated” and that all you have to worry about is the proposed “Pandemic Treaty,” or if you have heard that some legislators have submitted legislation designed to stop “The Treaty” or “Defund the WHO,” I hope that you and have NOT fallen for the decoys: read James Roguski's article above for details.

🤔 Closing thoughts

We all remember where we were and what we were doing on 911 - just like you may well remember for the JFK assassination as well as the Moon Landings.    What if things were not the way you had been told or had always believed?

For example consider 911.  These were two of the tallest buildings in the world that we are told were felled by a couple of planes that crashed one Wednesday morning - but pause for a moment and think:

Where did the towers go?

😱 Once seen, this cannot be unseen: It is rather obvious that something is amiss with the official story when you look carefully and use some critical thinking - this question was even asked on broadcast news on the day but no proper answer was given and then never again asked.   Listen to Judy Wood explain what really happened and why you might have missed it.  Watch and listen to the eyewitness reporting on the day, from the site.  How could you have missed this?  Psychology at work - and it was not unintentional.

Listen carefully to what she says - look for yourself - wake up
Do you still believe what the government tells you?
Click to read Andrew Johnson's book

Recall also the Report from Iron Mountain from a 1967 US  government panel which concluded that war, or a credible substitute for war, is necessary if governments are to maintain power.

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No one can be told what The Matrix is. No one can be told what The Matrix is.
You have to see it for yourself.
- Morpheus to Neo in The Matrix
Click for Morpheus to explain things to you - once seen you cannot unsee it

You have to see it for yourself.

Anything else?  Feel free to comment below!
You can also email me at: LetterFrom@rogerprice.me

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