Hey guys, my name is Tolik and I'm new to Nano. I would like to tell you a bit about myself, and then about some ideas that I would like to share with you :) I'm a content creator form Israel, and I have about 65k subscribers over my 3 channels. I'm also the first Israeli partnered on Twitch and been doing that for 8 years now. Had a lot of fun with it for the first few years, playing my favorite games and earning good money, and eventually burning out hating the game that got me all my following. Our (Israeli) community exploded on youtube, but to make the most of it you need to make mindless trendy content, playing trendy and pretty childish games. I did that for a while, but it was too hard for my mind and I ended up burning out hard stepping away for a long while. Back in 2013 I first stumbled upon the world of crypto and realized the potential of the blockchain and the implementation of that technology in our world. Not enough to buy enough to get rich, but I never even considered that it could get to the volumes it got to now. In 2017 when it exploded, I realized I had some leftover coins from 2013-14 and cashed out a few thousand dollars, with the pain it could have been millions if I was a little more aware. Oh Well. A few years ago, I got into the world of self-development and got a new perspective on life. Doing only what I love and grooming a small but good community on youtube, not caring about trends, views, and money in my pocket. A few days ago, a colleague of mine started to promote some unknown coin to his child viewers, basically, the premise is a coin that you could mine on your phone. Immediately I had some red flags popping off my mind, especially because he promoted some shady CSGO gambling sites that I didn't even want to look into. He of course had his promotion code for registering to the gambling site, and using the mentioned crypto (downloading the app). If you can mine it on your phone, what would stop you using an expensive setup and just dominate the market? The fact that he advertised it as a get rich scheme, and the fact that it's a referral pyramid network, does not seem safe. After looking into it I did not see any promise, especially after I found so many altcoins with big communities that his crypto didn't have, information that did not add up, and a bunch of weird stuff going on. Because I started researching the crypto world (after so many years not being aware of what happened to it), youtube started suggesting me videos about it, one of them was u/SonderDev 's nanoPaint (Sorry I made SpongeBobs eye red) and started doing some research on nano and the technology. For 3 days I devoured all the info I can, reading most of the posts here on reddit, and joining on Discord and TG. I again felt that butterfly feeling in my gut, the one I felt so many years ago when I found out about bitcoin (and some other rare occasions). So much potential, and I kind of feel I am already late to the party, and yet, my mind can't stop thinking about what is possible. Now to the good stuff! Donations(tips) to streamers and content creators were always a huge part of our revenue. But we had a lot of problems with it - High fees, making small donations pretty much impossible, and the fear of someone charging you back and having you pay the fees for every donation that got charged back. I had someone give me about $2k for the span of two months with small donations, ended up charging all that money back, and having me pay $10 for each of his donations, even if they were under that amount. PayPal is pretty crazy. Also, If you consider something like Patreon (a monthly donation for a project or a creator you like for benefits) they also charge extra for their fee, and people can still charge you back, even though they will handle it, you still give them the benefits. Twitch takes a huge cut for subscribers (user pays $4.99 and I get as little as $1.70) and youtube are getting about 30% for their cut. See where I'm going with this? As proof of concept, a simple donation website/app could be made. You send the creator any amount of nano, it pops up on the screen for everyone to see. People would love the idea to impact the stream with as little money the creator allows. That would start up a conversation, people would start seeing the technology in action, how fast and feeless everything is going. Not to mention an integrated service could be made that is similar to delegate.it (allows users to do tasks for nano/fiat) in this instance, the tasks could be - follow the creator on Twitter, Instagram, like his posts and whatever else he decides, and it could be cheap, because people would be doing it to pop up on stream and help the creator, not for the actual fiat amount of the nano given. killing 3 birds with one stone. Promoting nano, allowing everybody a voice to a degree they choose, and promoting himself to his viewers. If this works, we could either go to one of the 2 biggest platforms (StreamLabs and StreamElements (who are Israeli and I know the 2 founders personally)) and they would integrate it to their already build system, or develop something to solely promote nano. We could reach out to smaller streamers that have small dedicated communities, not many donations and revenue coming in and allow them to use our system to promote their content and interact with their viewers. A few more ideas I have in mind for a project like that: For the donations (tips) • Having different donation alerts for different QR codes that you scan. Similarly to what NanoPaint accomplishes, we could have a different QR code to scan for an alert that the user chooses to show up. • Coloring the Camera frame - similarly to NanoPaint, drawing pixels on the frame of the camera of the streamer, changing it in real-time for nano. • Having text to speech for the alert • Have your donation impact the streamer in AR (putting something on his face or head). Crowd Funding • Donation goal that will make a purchase only if it gets there - setting up an X day goal to buy a new GPU for example, and having people contribute to it, and if it's reached, it automatically makes the order from amazon or wherever (having the data safe with our service), and if it's not - fully refunding the users. It could be a daily goal for pizza or whatever they choose. It will allow integration with businesses that would work with us. • Stream goals - if we get to X Nano this stream, 24 hour stream tomorrow! If we won't, get your nano back! Would encourage people to participate even if they are not sure the goal will be met, have the assurance that the full amount would be refunded if it did not get there. • Challenges - starting a bounty challenge, for example, have an Ace in CSGO (kill all 5 enemies) and get X amount of nano. If you didn't, money goes back. the crowd could vote on it having more interaction and validating if the challenge is complete. Voting • Have people engage with polls in real-time with nano, could scan their option to vote, and even get refunded if their option did not win, encouraging them to vote for their favorite option, even if it seems unlikely to win. User Battles • Having people start a challenge of a game, in an app or on the web, or perhaps even something random like gambling, and having it appear on stream for everybody to witness. Maybe even challenging the streamer for a nano incentive or someone else who watches. Chat • Having an on-screen chat that changes the colors and design of the people who donated with nano, and linked their account. more incentive to donate. Stream Sponsors • Having a rotating banner on-screen at all times, allowing users to pay nano to show their banner. As an auction or a price set from the creator. Most of these ideas occurred to me as I was writing this post, and I'm sure we could think of better ones with some effort. Some of them are already implemented on the websites that were mention above, however, having the power and speed of the nano is a game-changer IMHO. So why am I writing this post? First, just to share with you and get to know you better, maybe spark an idea or a motivation for anyone to do something good for nano. Second, money is tight now, moved back to my parents due to the pandemic, hard to find a decent job as we have more than %20 of the people in Israel looking for a job and as I mentioned before the content I make is not very profitable. I can't afford to invest money in this idea, and I lack the skills to do it myself. So maybe if it's good someone else could. If, however, someone would be inclined to help make this a reality, I would appreciate any comments, suggestions, investment of time, or money in testing this out. I have a dedicated community with thousands of people that will be aware of nano if we'll do it, years of experience in this field, and not to mention that I'm in good relations with most of the other content creators and platforms here in Israel, and some international. Discord: ToLy#2657 Feel free to DM me at any time :) Nice to meet you, and thank you for reading.
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Popular iPhone and iPad Apps Reportedly 'Snooping' on Pasteboard Data
This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 39%. (I'm a bot)
Last March, MacRumors received an anonymous tip claiming that Apple would announce new iPad, iMac, and iPod models with three consecutive days of press releases the following week, and that information proved to be two-thirds accurate with new iPad Air and iPad mini models announced on Monday, March 18 and an iMac refresh on Tuesday, March 19. Apple did announce a new product on the Wednesday, but it was new AirPods, not a new iPod. Now, the same anonymous tipster has informed MacRumors that Apple plans to announce new MacBook Air models next week. A few days ago, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple plans to launch updated MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models with scissor keyboards in the second quarter of 2020, following in the footsteps of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. Apple has announced new or refreshed products in March for the last five consecutive years, so there is precedence. The current MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro are still equipped with butterfly keyboards that can suffer from issues.
BUTTERFLY LABS BUTT BOY BAND BACK: THE STORY BEHIND SCAMMBR
They say birds of a feather flock together and apparently that now includes butterflies. I recently came across a new crypto/hardware company, AMMBR, doing an ICO that contains at least 7 former members of the infamous Butterfly Labs company in varying capacities. Interestingly enough, my curiosity was peaked piqued as a family member who was involved with BFL mentioned this project on Facebook and I automatically knew there had to be a connection to BFL because that family member knows practically nothing about cryptocurrency. Unfortunately, it seems he has not learned from his mistakes and is still participating in shady, possibly illicit activities, along with many of his former butts! I’m now going to connect the dots for you to the people associated with SCAMMBR to show beyond a reasonable doubt that they are a quasi-reincarnation of BFL. If you go to their website, www.ammbr.com, you can see their team members. Here are some of note: 1.) FORMER BFL Chief Technology Officer: Nasser Ghoseiri Nasser was the Iranian living in France and one of the three named defendants in the case brought against BFL by the FTC which BFL lost. BFL CONNECTION: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2014/09/ftcs-request-court-halts-bogus-bitcoin-mining-operation SCAMMBR CONNECTION: Senior IT Consultant https://www.linkedin.com/in/nasser-ghoseiri-940419a/ 2.) FORMER BFL VP of Marketing: Jeff Ownby Jeff is the infamous character who pulled the trick of buying Buttcoin.org surreptitiously and then chanigng the negative articles to positive. Jeff isn’t listed on the official site, but he’s always worked behind the scenes from my experience as he was never listed as a BFL employee either. While he doesn’t list BFL on his LinkedIn profile, it’s fairly obvious when you read his experience at ForceStream. BFL CONNECTION: https://www.coindesk.com/buterfly-labs-accused-buying-blog-hide-negative-search-results SCAMMBR CONNECTION: VP of Marketing https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffownby/ https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/ammbrtech#section-board-members-and-advisors 3.) FORMER BFL Marketing Manager: Jurie Pieterse Jurie is Jeff’s right-hand man and took over my position after it changed hands once since I left. Wherever Jeff goes, Jurie seems to follow, even on one of their new ventures: https://coinclaim.io/team BFL CONNECTION: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=150803.7895 (ALSO NAMED IN COURT DOCUMENTS FROM FTC CASE TRANSCRIPTS) SCAMMBR CONNECTION: Chief Marketing Officer https://www.linkedin.com/in/juriepieterse/ 4.) FORMER BFL PRODUCT DESIGN CONSULTANT: Jason Aspinall Jason was brought in at BFL when the redesign of the BitForce series needed to be done due to heat issues and for a variety of other design issues. BFL CONNECTION: https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1306470/gov-uscourts-mowd-117531-42-7.txt SCAMMBR CONNECTION: Electro-Mechanical Design & Testing Engineer https://www.linkedin.com/in/chilled/ 5.) FORMER BFL PCB DESIGNEMANUFACTURER: Ankur Patel BFL used Ankur Patel and his company PCB Overnight for their boards in the miners. These boards suffered numerous problems and could not be produced in the quantity needed. BFL CONNECTION: http://www.ftclaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/FTCButterflyDissolveTRO.pdf SCAMMBR CONNECTION: Head of PROCUREMENT https://www.linkedin.com/in/ankur-patel-21552921/ Guess who else is on the team? After checking out their team page, I saw a photo with a few familiar faces. Wanna know who they are? SCAMMBR TEAM NOTABLE FIGURES IN PIC: 1.) Third from the left is The Infamous Josh Zerlan, aka Inaba, akau/NitroWolf, aka BagO’Dicks, former VP of Product Dev at BFL, and now apparently consulting or a part of SCAMMBR according to the “Projects” section of his LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/josh-zerlan-a4140478/ 2.) Four spots to the right of Josh is The Infamous Dave “The Knife” Mcclain, aka "THE MOLE", former BFL Account Manager, who seems to be a part of it as well as he is pictured on their website with their team in a photo which also includes Josh. Not sure what he does there as he has little understanding of cryptocurrency or just about any technical development since the VCR. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! SCAMMBR was originally founded in 2017. (SOURCE: https://tokenmarket.net/blockchain/blockchain/assets/ammb) (SOURCE: https://www.coinopsy.com/dead-coins/ammb) However it had two main issues which found itself on the dead coin list until it was recently resurrected, one being lack of interest/exchange listings and the other being a major security vulnerability in the smart contract, and the third being that anything BFL touches turns to shit. ISSUE ONE: According to the Coinopsy link above, among other interesting reasons, they proclaimed that: “Ammbr was founded in 2017 and is not trading on any exchanges. Was added to the dead coins list due to the fact they did not reach any exchanges after one year and they canceled the ICO.” ISSUE TWO:THE SCAMMBR SMART CONTRACT BUG: (SOURCE:https://medium.com/coinmonks/an-inspection-on-ammbr-amr-bug-a53b4050d52) While this bug affected many ERC-20 contracts, on July 8th, 2018, “John Wick Security Lab revealed highly risky transactions inAMMBR(AMR)contract. It contains an integer overflow bug that could be made use of by hackers calling batchTransfer(), resulting in transferring out tokens without limits.” This can be seen in this tweet by SCAMMBR where they had to change the smart contract: https://twitter.com/ammbrplatform/status/1011124298868776960?lang=en WE'RE NOT DONE YET! SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST! After doing further research on the SCAMMBR website, because nothing BFL is involved with is ever like it seems, I found some suspect/fake/front companies and astroturfing. AMMBRPlatform By all accounts, that sub is highly suspected of astroturfing by shills, employees and their families. Very few posts concern the actual project and the mods are mostly absent. All of the posts repeat the same lines or hashtags, but no comments. Mod u/Jory- doesn't post much in cryptocurrency subs, while u/AMMBRPlatform has never posted. https://snoopsnoo.comJory- BLACKBIRD WALLET IS THE BFL BITSAFE: This is one of my favorite finds as it didn't occur to me until after doing most of my research, but then it clicked suddenly that I knew the design. BITCOINTALK: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4685822.msg%msg_id% SCAMMBRTECH posted on Bitcointalk on 7/16/18 regarding a new mobile wallet that has yet to come to market, the Blackbird Hardware Wallet. I had never heard of it and apparently, they wanted $299 for it from their shop. Which is...ridiculous. But let's compare the Blackbird Wallet to the BFL Bitsafe that was never released: PHOTO FROM BLACKBIRD WALLET WEBSITE: SOURCE: https://blackbirdwallet.io/ https://imgur.com/a/QxGMcPX PHOTO OF BFL BITSAFE THAT WAS NEVER RELEASED FROM BFL WEBSITE: SOURCE: https://web.archive.org/web/20160405172202/http://www.butterflylabs.com/bitcoin-hardware-wallet/ https://imgur.com/a/CsVXDbZ So there you have it folks. Fuck these guys. I spent way to much time on this shit.
An extensive guide for cashing out bitcoin and cryptocurrencies into private banks
Hey guys. Merry Xmas ! I am coming back to you with a follow up post, as I have helped many people cash out this year and I have streamlined the process. After my original post, I received many requests to be more specific and provide more details. I thought that after the amazing rally we have been attending over the last few months, and the volatility of the last few days, it would be interesting to revisit more extensively. The attitude of banks around crypto is changing slowly, but it is still a tough stance. For the first partial cash out I operated around a year ago for a client, it took me months to find a bank. They wouldn’t want to even consider the case and we had to knock at each and every door. Despite all my contacts it was very difficult back in the days. This has changed now, and banks have started to open their doors, but there is a process, a set of best practices and codes one has to follow. I often get requests from crypto guys who are very privacy-oriented, and it takes me months to have them understand that I am bound by Swiss law on banking secrecy, and I am their ally in this onboarding process. It’s funny how I have to convince people that banks are legit, while on the other side, banks ask me to show that crypto millionaires are legit. I have a solid background in both banking and in crypto so I manage to make the bridge, but yeah sometimes it is tough to reconcile the two worlds. I am a crypto enthusiast myself and I can say that after years of work in the banking industry I have grown disillusioned towards banks as well, like many of you. Still an account in a Private bank is convenient and powerful. So let’s get started.
A. What is required to open an account in a Private bank when you made your fortune through crypto.
There are two different aspects to your onboarding in a Swiss Private bank, compliance-wise. *The origin of your crypto wealth *Your background (residence, citizenship and probity) These two aspects must be documented in-depth. How to document your crypto wealth. Each new crypto millionaire has a different story. I may detail a few fun stories later in this post, but at the end of the day, most of crypto rich I have met can be categorized within the following profiles: the miner, the early adopter, the trader, the corporate entity, the black market, the libertarian/OTC buyer. The real question is how you prove your wealth is legit. 1. Context around the original amount/investment Generally speaking, your first crypto purchase may not be documented. But the context around this acquisition can be. I have had many cases where the original amount was bought through Mtgox, and no proof of purchase could be provided, nor could be documented any Mtgox claim. That’s perfectly fine. At some point Mtgox amounted 70% of the bitcoin transactions globally, and people who bought there and managed to withdraw and keep hold of their bitcoins do not have any Mtgox claim. This is absolutely fine. However, if you can show me the record of a wire from your bank to Tisbane (Mtgox's parent company) it's a great way to start. Otherwise, what I am trying to document here is the following: I need context. If you made your first purchase by saving from summer jobs, show me a payroll. Even if it was USD 2k. If you acquired your first bitcoins from mining, show me the bills of your mining equipment from 2012 or if it was through a pool mine, give me your slushpool account ref for instance. If you were given bitcoin against a service you charged, show me an invoice. 2. Tracking your wealth until today and making sense of it. What I have been doing over the last few months was basically educating compliance officers. Thanks God, the blockchain is a global digital ledger! I have been telling my auditors and compliance officers they have the best tool at their disposal to lead a proper investigation. Whether you like it or not, your wealth can be tracked, from address to address. You may have thought all along this was a bad feature, but I am telling you, if you want to cash out, in the context of Private Banking onboarding, tracking your wealth through the block explorer is a boon. We can see the inflows, outflows. We can see the age behind an address. An early adopter who bought 1000 BTC in 2010, and let his bitcoin behind one address and held thus far is legit, whether or not he has a proof of purchase to show. That’s just common sense. My job is to explain that to the banks in a language they understand. Let’s have a look at a few examples and how to document the few profiles I mentioned earlier. The trader. I love traders. These are easy cases. I have a ton of respect for them. Being a trader myself in investment banks for a decade earlier in my career has taught me that controlling one’s emotions and having the discipline to impose oneself some proper risk management system is really really hard. Further, being able to avoid the exchange bankruptcy and hacks throughout crypto history is outstanding. It shows real survival instinct, or just plain blissed ignorance. In any cases traders at exchange are easy cases to corroborate since their whole track record is potentially available. Some traders I have met have automated their trading and have shown me more than 500k trades done over the span of 4 years. Obviously in this kind of scenario I don’t show everything to the bank to avoid information overload, and prefer to do some snacking here and there. My strategy is to show the early trades, the most profitable ones, explain the trading strategy and (partially expose) the situation as of now with id pages of the exchanges and current balance. Many traders have become insensitive to the risk of parking their crypto at exchange as they want to be able to trade or to grasp an occasion any minute, so they generally do not secure a substantial portion on the blockchain which tends to make me very nervous. The early adopter. Provided that he has not mixed his coin, the early adopter or “hodler” is not a difficult case either. Who cares how you bought your first 10k btc if you bought them below 3$ ? Even if you do not have a purchase proof, I would generally manage to find ways. We just have to corroborate the original 30’000 USD investment in this case. I mainly focus on three things here: *proof of early adoption I have managed to educate some banks on a few evidences specifically related to crypto markets. For instance with me, an old bitcointalk account can serve as a proof of early adoption. Even an old reddit post from a few years ago where you say how much you despise this Ripple premined scam can prove to be a treasure readily available to show you were early. *story telling Compliance officers like to know when, why and how. They are human being looking for simple answers to simple questions and they don’t want like to be played fool. Telling the truth, even without a proof can do wonders, and even though bluffing might still work because banks don’t fully understand bitcoin yet, it is a risky strategy that is less and less likely to pay off as they are getting more sophisticated by the day. *micro transaction from an old address you control This is the killer feature. Send a $20 worth transaction from an old address to my company wallet and to one of my partner bank’s wallet and you are all set ! This is gold and considered a very solid piece of evidence. You can also do a microtransaction to your own wallet, but banks generally prefer transfer to their own wallet. Patience with them please. they are still learning. *signature message Why do a micro transaction when you can sign a message and avoid potentially tainting your coins ? *ICO millionaire Some clients made their wealth participating in ETH crowdsale or IOTA ICO. They were very easy to deal with obviously and the account opening was very smooth since we could evidence the GENESIS TxHash flow. The miner Not so easy to proof the wealth is legit in that case. Most early miners never took screenshot of the blocks on bitcoin core, nor did they note down the block number of each block they mined. Until the the Slashdot article from August 2010 anyone could mine on his laptop, let his computer run overnight and wake up to a freshly minted block containing 50 bitcoins back in the days. Not many people were structured enough to store and secure these coins, avoid malwares while syncing the blockchain continuously, let alone document the mined blocks in the process. What was 50 BTC worth really for the early miners ? dust of dollars, games and magic cards… Even miners post 2010 are generally difficult to deal with in terms of compliance onboarding. Many pool mining are long dead. Deepbit is down for instance and the founders are MIA. So my strategy to proof mining activity is as follow: *Focusing on IT background whenever possible. An IT background does help a lot to bring some substance to the fact you had the technical ability to operate a mining rig. *Showing mining equipment receipts. If you mined on your own you must have bought the hardware to do so. For instance mining equipment receipts from butterfly lab from 2012-2013 could help document your case. Similarly, high electricity bill from your household on a consistent basis back in the day could help. I have already unlocked a tricky case in the past with such documents when the bank was doubtful. *Wallet.dat files with block mining transactions from 2011 thereafter This obviously is a fantastic piece of evidence for both you and me if you have an old wallet and if you control an address that received original mined blocks, (even if the wallet is now empty). I will make sure compliance officers understand what it means, and as for the early adopter, you can prove your control over these wallet through a microtransaction. With these kind of addresses, I can show on the block explorer the mined block rewards hitting at regular time interval, and I can even spot when difficulty level increased or when halvening process happened. *Poolmining account. Here again I have educated my partner bank to understand that a slush account opened in 2013 or an OnionTip presence was enough to corroborate mining activity. The block explorer then helps me to do the bridge with your current wallet. *Describing your set up and putting it in context In the history of mining we had CPU, GPU, FPG and ASICs mining. I will describe your technical set up and explain why and how your set up was competitive at that time. The corporate entity Remember 2012 when we were all convinced bitcoin would take over the world, and soon everyone would pay his coffee in bitcoin? How naïve we were to think transaction fees would remain low forever. I don’t blame bitcoin cash supporters; I once shared this dream as well. Remember when we thought global adoption was right around the corner and some brick and mortar would soon accept bitcoin transaction as a common mean of payment? Well, some shop actually did accept payment and held. I had a few cases as such of shops holders, who made it to the multi million mark holding and had invoices or receipts to proof the transactions. If you are organized enough to keep a record for these trades and are willing to cooperate for the documentation, you are making your life easy. The digital advertising business is also a big market for the bitcoin industry, and affiliates partner compensated in btc are common. It is good to show an invoice, it is better to show a contract. If you do not have a contract (which is common since all advertising deals are about ticking a check box on the website to accept terms and conditions), there are ways around that. If you are in that case, pm me. The black market Sorry guys, I can’t do much for you officially. Not that I am judging you. I am a libertarian myself. It’s just already very difficult to onboard legit btc adopters, so the black market is a market I cannot afford to consider. My company is regulated so KYC and compliance are key for me if I want to stay in business. Behind each case I push forward I am risking the credibility and reputation I have built over the years. So I am sorry guys I am not risking it to make an extra buck. Your best hope is that crypto will eventually take over the world and you won’t need to cash out anyway. Or go find a Lithuanian bank that is light on compliance and cooperative. The OTC buyer and the libertarian. Generally a very difficult case. If you bought your stack during your journey in Japan 5 years ago to a guy you never met again; or if you accumulated on https://localbitcoins.com/ and kept no record or lost your account, it is going to be difficult. Not impossible but difficult. We will try to build a case with everything else we have, and I may be able to onboard you. However I am risking a lot here so I need to be 100% confident you are legit, before I defend you. Come & see me in Geneva, and we will talk. I will run forensic services like elliptic, chainalysis, or scorechain on an extract of your wallet. If this scan does not raise too many red flags, then maybe we can work together ! If you mixed your coins all along your crypto history, and shredded your seeds because you were paranoid, or if you made your wealth mining professionally monero over the last 3 years but never opened an account at an exchange. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ I am not a magician and don’t get me wrong, I love monero, it’s not the point. Cashing out ICOs Private companies or foundations who have ran an ICO generally have a very hard time opening a bank account. The few banks that accept such projects would generally look at 4 criteria: *Seriousness of the project Extensive study of the whitepaper to limit the reputation risk *AML of the onboarding process ICOs 1.0 have no chance basically if a background check of the investors has not been conducted *Structure of the moral entity List of signatories, certificate of incumbency, work contract, premises... *Fiscal conformity Did the company informed the authorities and seek a fiscal ruling.
B. The tax issue I am not a tax specialist, but I can say that this year I have seen it all. Again I am not judging. You made $100m hodling, and still wouldn’t pay your taxes ? Your decision.I personally advise everyone to pay their taxes, but also to be generous, to give to charities. I mean you eventually made it. Good for you. What about you contribute to make the world a better place now? I will stop patronizing you. It’s just my 2cts, and it’s your money.
For the record, I am not into the tax avoidance business, so people come to me with a set up and I see if I can make it work within the legal framework imposed to me. First, stop thinking Switzerland is a “offshore heaven” Swiss banks have made deals with many governments for the exchange of fiscal information. If you are a French citizen, resident in France and want to open an account in a Private Bank in Switzerland to cash out your bitcoins, you will get slaughtered (>60%). There are ways around that, and I could refer you to good tax specialists for fiscal optimization, but I cannot organize it myself. It would be illegal for me. Swiss private banks makes it easy for you to keep a good your relation with your retail bank and continue paying your bills without headaches. They are integrated to SEPA, provide ebanking and credit cards. For information, these are the kind of set up some of my clients came up with. It’s all legal; obviously I do not onboard clients that are not tax compliant. Further disclaimer: I did not contribute myself to these set up. Do not ask me to organize it for you. I won’t. EU tricks Swiss lump sum taxation Foreign nationals resident in Switzerland can be taxed on a lump-sum basis if they are not gainfully employed in our country. Under the lump-sum tax regime, foreign nationals taking residence in Switzerland may choose to pay an expense-based tax instead of ordinary income and wealth tax. Attractive cantons for the lump sum taxation are Zug, Vaud, Valais, Grisons, Lucerne and Berne. To make it short, you will be paying somewhere between 200 and 400k a year and all expenses will be deductible. Switzerland has adopted a very friendly attitude towards crypto currency in general. There is a whole crypto valley in Zug now. 30% of ICOs are operated in Switzerland. The reason is that Switzerland has thrived for centuries on banking secrecy, and today with FATCA and exchange of fiscal info with EU, banking secrecy is dead. Regulators in Switzerland have understood that digital ledger technologies were a way to roll over this competitive advantage for the generations to come. Switzerland does not tax capital gains on crypto profits. The Finma has a very pragmatic approach. They have issued guidance- updated guidelines here. They let the business get organized and operate their analysis on a case per case basis. Only after getting a deep understanding of the market will they issue a global fintech license in 2019. This approach is much more realistic than legislations which try to regulate everything beforehand. Italy new tax exemption. It’s a brand new fiscal exemption. Go to Aoste, get residency and you could be taxed a 100k/year for 10years. Yes, really. Portugal What’s crazy in Europe is the lack of fiscal harmonization. Even if no one in Brussels dares admit it, every other country is doing fiscal dumping. Portugal is such a country and has proved very friendly fiscally speaking. I personally have a hard time trusting Europe. I have witnessed what happened in Greece over the last few years. Some of our ultra high net worth clients got stuck with capital controls. I mean no way you got out of crypto to have your funds confiscated at the next financial crisis! Anyway. FYI Malta Generally speaking, if you get a residence somewhere you have to live there for a certain period of time. Being stuck in Italy is no big deal with Schengen Agreement, but in Malta it is a different story. In Malta, the ordinary residence scheme is more attractive than the HNWI residence scheme. Being an individual, you can hold a residence permit under this scheme and pay zero income tax in Malta in a completely legal way. Monaco Not suitable for French citizens, but for other Ultra High Net worth individual, Monaco is worth considering. You need an account at a local bank as a proof of fortune, and this account generally has to be seeded with at least EUR500k. You also need a proof of residence. I do mean UHNI because if you don’t cash out minimum 30m it’s not interesting. Everything is expensive in Monaco. Real Estate is EUR 50k per square meter. A breakfast at Monte Carlo Bay hotel is 70 EUR. Monaco is sunny but sometimes it feels like a golden jail. Do you really want that for your kids? Dubaï
Set up a company in Dubaï, get your resident card.
Spend one day every 6 month there
Be tax free
US tricks Some Private banks in Geneva do have the license to manage the assets of US persons and U.S citizens. However, do not think it is a way to avoid paying taxes in the US. Opening an account at an authorized Swiss Private banks is literally the same tax-wise as opening an account at Fidelity or at Bank of America in the US. The only difference is that you will avoid all the horror stories. Horror stories are all real by the way. In Switzerland, if you build a decent case and answer all the questions and corroborate your case in depth, you will manage to convince compliance officers beforehand. When the money eventually hits your account, it is actually available and not frozen. The IRS and FATCA require to file FBAR if an offshore account is open. However FBAR is a reporting requirement and does not have taxes related to holding an account outside the US. The taxes would be the same if the account was in the US. However penalties for non compliance with FBAR are very large. The tax liability management is actually performed through the management of the assets ( for exemple by maximizing long term capital gains and minimizing short term gains). The case for Porto Rico. Full disclaimer here. I am not encouraging this. Have not collaborated on such tax avoidance schemes. if you are interested I strongly encourage you to seek a tax advisor and get a legal opinion. I am not responsible for anything written below. I am not going to say much because I am so afraid of uncle Sam that I prefer to humbly pass the hot potato to pwc From here all it takes is a good advisor and some creativity to be tax free on your crypto wealth if you are a US person apparently. Please, please please don’t ask me more. And read the disclaimer again. Trust tricks Generally speaking I do not accept fringe fiscal situation because it puts me in a difficult situation to the banks I work with, and it is already difficult enough to defend a legit crypto case. Trust might be a way to optimize your fiscal situation. Belize. Bahamas. Seychelles. Panama, You name it. At the end of the day, what matters for Swiss Banks are the beneficial owner and the settlor. Get a legal opinion, get it done, and when you eventually knock at a private bank’s door, don’t say it was for fiscal avoidance you stupid ! You will get the door smashed upon you. Be smarter. It will work. My advice is just to have it done by a great tax specialist lawyer, even if it costs you some money, as the entity itself needs to be structured in a professional way. Remember that with trust you are dispossessing yourself off your wealth. Not something to be taken lightly. “Anonymous” cash out. Right. I think I am not going into this topic, neither expose the ways to get it done. Pm me for details. I already feel a bit uncomfortable with all the info I have provided. I am just going to mention many people fear that crypto exchange might become reporting entities soon, and rightly so. This might happen anyday. You have been warned. FYI, this only works for non-US and large cash out. The difference between traders an investors. Danmark, Holland and Germany all make a huge difference if you are a passive investor or if you are a trader. ICO is considered investing for instance and is not taxed, while trading might be considered as income and charged aggressively. I would try my best to protect you and put a focus on your investor profile whenever possible, so you don't have to pay 52% tax if you do not have to :D
C. The cash out itself So you have accumulated patiently a good amount of wealth. For some of us who have been involved in crypto since 2010, it took years. Remember when BTC was stuck at 200$ for months? I personally feel like it was yesterday. There is no way you screw up your wealth by cashing out in a hurry or with low security standards. Here is how the cash out takes should place.
Full cash out or partial cash out? People who have been sitting on crypto for long have grown an emotional and irrational link with their coins. They come to me and say, look, I have 50m in crypto but I would like to cash out 500k only. So first let me tell you that as a wealth manager my advice to you is to take some off the table. Doing a partial cash out is absolutely fine. The market is bullish. We are witnessing a redistribution of wealth at a global scale. Bitcoin is the real #occupywallstreet, and every one will discuss crypto at Xmas eve which will make the market even more supportive beginning 2018, especially with all hedge funds entering the scene. If you want to stay exposed to bitcoin and altcoins, and believe these techs will change the world, it’s just natural you want to keep some coins. In the meantime, if you have lived off pizzas over the last years, and have the means to now buy yourself an nice house and have an account at a private bank, then f***ing do it mate ! Buy physical gold with this account, buy real estate, have some cash at hands. Even though US dollar is worthless to your eyes, it’s good and convenient to have some. Also remember your wife deserves it ! And if you have no wife yet and you are socially awkward like the rest of us, then maybe cashing out partially will help your situation ;) What the Private Banks expect. Joke aside, it is important you understand something. If you come around in Zurich to open a bank account and partially cash out, just don’t expect Private Banks will make an exception for you if you are small. You can’t ask them to facilitate your cash out, buy a 1m apartment with the proceeds of the sale, and not leave anything on your current account. It won’t work. Sadly, under 5m you are considered small in private banking. The bank is ok to let you open an account, provided that your kyc and compliance file are validated, but they will also want you to become a client and leave some money there to invest. This might me despicable, but I am just explaining you their rules. If you want to cash out, you should sell enough to be comfortable and have some left. Also expect the account opening to last at least 3-4 week if everything goes well. You can't just open an account overnight. The cash out logistics. Cashing out 1m USD a day in bitcoin or more is not so hard. Let me just tell you this: Even if you get a Tier 4 account with Kraken and ask Alejandro there to raise your limit over $100k per day, Even if you have a bitfinex account and you are willing to expose your wealth there, Even if you have managed to pass all the crazy due diligence at Bitstamp, The amount should be fractioned to avoid risking your full wealth on exchange and getting slaughtered on the price by trading big quantities. Cashing out involves significant risks at all time. There is a security risk of compromising your keys, a counterparty risk, a fat finger risk. Let it be done by professionals. It is worth every single penny. Most importantly, there is a major difference between trading on an exchange and trading OTC. Even though it’s not publicly disclosed some exchange like Kraken do have OTC desks. Trading on an exchange for a large amount will weight on the prices. Bitcoin is a thin market. In my opinion over 30% of the coins are lost in translation forever. Selling $10m on an exchange in a day can weight on the prices more than you’d think. And if you trade on a exchange, everything is shown on record, and you might wipe out the prices because on exchanges like bitstamp or kraken ultimately your counterparties are retail investors and the market depth is not huge. It is a bit better on Bitfinex. It is way better to trade OTC. Accessing the institutional OTC market is not easy, and that is also the reason why you should ask a regulated financial intermediary if we are talking about huge amounts. Last point, always chose EUR as opposed to USD. EU correspondent banks won’t generally block institutional amounts. However we had the cases of USD funds frozen or delayed by weeks. Most well-known OTC desks are Cumberlandmining (ask for Lucas), Genesis (ask for Martin), Bitcoin Suisse AG (ask for Niklas), circletrade, B2C2, or Altcoinomy (ask for Olivier) Very very large whales can also set up escrow accounts for massive block trades. This world, where blocks over 30k BTC are exchanged between 2 parties would deserve a reddit thread of its own. Crazyness all around. Your options: DIY or going through a regulated financial intermediary. Execution trading is a job in itself. You have to be patient, be careful not to wipe out the order book and place limit orders, monitor the market intraday for spikes or opportunities. At big levels, for a large cash out that may take weeks, these kind of details will save you hundred thousands of dollars. I understand crypto holders are suspicious and may prefer to do it by themselves, but there are regulated entities who now offer the services. Besides, being a crypto millionaire is not a guarantee you will get institutional daily withdrawal limits at exchange. You might, but it will take you another round of KYC with them, and surprisingly this round might be even more aggressive that the ones at Private banks since exchange have gone under intense scrutiny by regulators lately. The fees for cashing out through a regulated financial intermediary to help you with your cash out should be around 1-2% flat on the nominal, not more. And for this price you should get the full package: execution/monitoring of the trades AND onboarding in a private bank. If you are asked more, you are being abused. Of course, you also have the option to do it yourself. It is a way more tedious and risky process. Compliance with the exchange, compliance with the private bank, trading BTC/fiat, monitoring the transfers…You will save some money but it will take you some time and stress. Further, if you approach a private bank directly, it will trigger a series of red flag to the banks. As I said in my previous post, they call a direct approach a “walk-in”. They will be more suspicious than if you were introduced by someone and won’t hesitate to show you high fees and load your portfolio with in-house products that earn more money to the banks than to you. Remember also most banks still do not understand crypto so you will have a lot of explanations to provide and you will have to start form scratch with them! The paradox of crypto millionaires Most of my clients who made their wealth through crypto all took massive amount of risks to end up where they are. However, most of them want their bank account to be managed with a low volatility fixed income capital preservation risk profile. This is a paradox I have a hard time to explain and I think it is mainly due to the fact that most are distrustful towards banks and financial markets in general. Many clients who have sold their crypto also have a cash-out blues in the first few months. This is a classic situation. The emotions involved in hodling for so long, the relief that everything has eventually gone well, the life-changing dynamics, the difficulties to find a new motivation in life…All these elements may trigger a post cash-out depression. It is another paradox of the crypto rich who has every card in his hand to be happy, but often feel a bit sad and lonely. Sometimes, even though it’s not my job, I had to do some psychological support. A lot of clients have also become my friends, because we have the same age and went through the same “ordeal”. First world problem I know… Remember, cashing out is not the end. It’s actually the beginning. Don’t look back, don’t regret. Cash out partially, because it does not make sense to cash out in full, regret it and want back in. relax. The race to cash out crypto billionaire and the concept of late exiter. The Winklevoss brothers are obviously the first of a series. There will be crypto billionaires. Many of them. At a certain level you can have a whole family office working for you to manage your assets and take care of your needs . However, let me tell you it’s is not because you made it so big that you should think you are a genius and know everything better than anyone. You should hire professionals to help you. Managing assets require some education around the investment vehicles and risk management strategies. Sorry guys but with all the respect I have for wallstreebet, AMD and YOLO stock picking, some discipline is necessary. The investors who have made money through crypto are generally early adopters. However I have started to see another profile popping up. They are not early adopters. They are late exiters. It is another way but just as efficient. Last week I met the first crypto millionaire I know who first bough bitcoin over 1000$. 55k invested at the beginning of this year. Late adopter & late exiter is a route that can lead to the million. Last remarks. I know banks, bankers, and FIAT currencies are so last century. I know some of you despise them and would like to have them burn to the ground. With compliance officers taking over the business, I would like to start the fire myself sometimes. I hope this extensive guide has helped some of you. I am around if you need more details. I love my job despite all my frustration towards the banking industry because it makes me meet interesting people on a daily basis. I am a crypto enthusiast myself, and I do think this tech is here to stay and will change the world. Banks will have to adapt big time. Things have started to change already; they understand the threat is real. I can feel the generational gap in Geneva, with all these old bankers who don’t get what’s going on. They glaze at the bitcoin chart on CNBC in disbelief and they start to get it. This bitcoin thing is not a joke. Deep inside, as an early adopter who also intends to be a late exiter, as a libertarian myself, it makes me smile with satisfaction. Cheers. @swisspb on telegram
INTRODUCTION Basically, the Ixinium is a simple solution/remedy to the current, persistent money-market currency problems. The advent of the utilization of crypto-currency seemed to have the potential of solving all these problems, but eventually, it hasn't (although crypto has reduced the problems to a significant extent). Also, for about a decade now, the 'ledger' technology known as block-chain (a tool for transparency, seamlessness, easy information sharing and enhanced security) has brought about a landslide 'step up' in the digital-currency market and has given rise to a butterfly effect, such that many innovations and ideas has been birthed by the application of block-chain's potentials in almost all industries of the world's market. http://ixinium.io/ Block-chain was expected to fulfil a lot of promises it seemed to have made at it's advent. Bitcoin, for example, is a crypto-currency built on the block-chain. For a long time, it was expected to address challenges being experienced in the digital-currency market, but unfortunately, it didn't meet these prospects. Ixinium (currency, token) has been created to solve the basic problems in the digital-currency market. The problems Ixinium has come to address (The Essence of Ixinium) The Ixinium crypto-currency, which is a unique currency is helping to solve the problems that has hindered any digital/electronic currency from being widely accepted as a financial exchange medium. Some of the problems are highlighted below: Problem of Fiat-currency: Fiat is a currency issued by the government and is not backed by physical commodities such as silver or gold, etc. The issue with Fiat is that it is inflexible (not liquid), not convertible and irredeemable. It also risks loosing it's value at any time in case of inflation. http://ixinium.io/ Problems in the finance market: Over the years, there have been various crises in the finance market such as crises, financial bubbles, sovereign defaults, etc. Problems of stablecoins: Stablecoins, are expected to be resistant to volatility (inconsistency) of price because they are often pegged to fiat currencies like the Pounds. Nonetheless, this is not the case all the time. Structural/functional crypto-currency problems: This is the greatest issue affecting the crytocurrency market. The problems may include price exploitation, non-uniformity of price, Cyber (internet) crimes, delays in transactions, among others. BENEFITS OF THE IXINIUM CRYTOCURRENCY (SOLUTIONS BY IXINIUM) As earlier stated, Ixinium profers solutions to most if not all the difficulties being faced by the crypto market that has hindered it from experiencing expansive acceptance Very stable: Ixinium is designed to be highly stable being that it is backed by premium metals. The Ixinium cryptocurrecncy has a fully reserved/durable value. Price volatility is highly minimized by Ixinium. Decentralized Network: Without decentralization, the internet is messy. Internet activities becomes difficult or uninteresting when being managed centrally. With decentralization, no third party (trust) is needed. Speed: It will enhance or facilitate very fast, safely secure transactions/transfers of any value (high or low), for either local or international transactions. Ixinium works with powerful cryptographic tools that secures financial data and activities. There is no requirement for a central system. http://ixinium.io/ IXINIUM AND BLOCKCHAIN Ixinium operates on the STELLAR block-chain. Stellar is a system or Network that connects commercial institutions, systems of payments and persons. It functions to make transfer of money fast, trustworthy and totally free. It is so fast that transactions can be done within 2-5 seconds. So fast! Isn't it? Conclusively, Ixinium is designed to possess all the features/attributes that any currency, be it physical or digital/electronic, is meant to have, so as to be expansively received/accepted as a medium of universal exchange. It is to be operated on the Stellar block-chain network. It provides openness and speed; high auditability and decentralization. It is highly consistent and steady. Author: Adaora2323 My xlm Address: GCVOVZBKBUYMOJXHBAMIQFJEXFGPSYMSLWKPNV2MDOAOJCANE4UCEVTP
I would like to remind you that we are a non-commercial community and that we do not advertise on our forum, Telegram Chat / Channel, etc. We have been asked to place ads more than once, but we always refuse. The official position of our community - if the service accepts Monero as a payment, then it has the right to create a topic on the forum and keep it up to date, as well as to be present in our chat room, in order to provide support to its customers if necessary. If you like our work, donations are welcome (wallets at the end of this post). --- Sup-sup Monteros! Here is report from XMR.RU-team! The whole XMR.RU team is thankful to you for your support and donations that help to disseminate relevant information about Monero. The following articles were translated into Russian and posted not only on XMR.RU but also on Bitcointalk, Forum.Bits.Media, different crypto-chats etc. If for some reason you would like to read the original article in English, then open the article you are interested in and at the end of each article you will find a link to the source:
-- Don't forget to check and subscribe to Monero Russian Community! Few of you maybe understand Russian, but I think it is not difficult to subscribe to the channel and put a couple of likes, and this will help to spread Monero among Russian-speaking users in the future. --- Who we are? Group of Monero enthusiasts from Ukraine and Russia. What are we doing? We spread the word about Monero for the whole CIS. You can support us. XMR: 42CxJrG1Q8HT9XiXJ1Cim4Sz18rM95UucEBeZ3x6YuLQUwTn6UWo9ozeA7jv13v8H1FvQn9dgw1Gw2VMUqdvVN1T9izzGEt BTC: 1FeetSJ7LFZeC328FqPqYTfUY4LEesZ5ku --- Here you can see for what all donations are spent on. ;-) Cheers!
Dear younger-self, Congrats on your 18-year birthday, December kid. Enjoy the birthday party - trust me - it will be a blast! You’re (finally) grown-up, and as you know, a year with many changes are looming. Finishing high school and starting university is a big change. But trust me, you’ve no idea about the overwhelming amount of changes coming over the next few years. (Did you realize that the university is 1.5-hour transport from your home? Fuck transport. Seriously. Good luck with your moving-out in August!). I had doubts if I should even write this letter. The last 12 years of my life have been absolutely amazing. Absolutely. I hope there are no butterfly effects from this - I wouldn’t want to cheat you from the next 12 years. But at the same time, I wanted to reassure you: everything is going to be (more than) okay, and you’re going to exceed any expectation you had for life. Your life right now is pretty great. You’re doing great in school, you’re happy, you’re having friends and you’re having a lot of fun day-to-day. Yes, your girlfriend just broke up with you - but let’s face it - you liked the idea of having a girlfriend, but she’s ugly and unintelligent. She just did what you (well, we?) should have done months before. But pause for a second. You’re on fucking autopilot. You have an amazing drive & intellect, but you’re on autopilot. You’re doing what other people expect you to do. Yes, you have friends - but you’re the second wheel. They’re not really your friends. Why are you hanging out with these friends? Yes, your grades are great and you will be awarded the highest grade average of everyone in the high-school that year. But it’s just “random” without a direction. Why are you getting the highest grades? Yes, you’re having fun - but you could have more fun if you asked what you really want. You’re on autopilot. During the Christmas vacation, you will stumble upon the most life-altering thing you’ve ever tried. You will find an online community called “The Game” - an online community for men wanting to become better at seducing women. This will bring you on a life-altering journey, where the most important lesson is: everything you do should be part of a larger plan. A larger goal. That doesn’t mean you cannot watch a movie because it’s not part of a plan. But instead of just watching a movie, it should be a conscious choice that you need to recharge your energy. Also, you need to stop underestimating how important social intelligence is. The “less smart” but “party guys” at high-school? Well, they’re going to be the most successful ten years after (well, besides you, of course ;) ). Removing the autopilot I still remember the first time I tried to remove the autopilot and wrote down the most outrageous goals I could imagine:
I want to have sex with 100+ girls!
I want to weight less than 80kg!
I want to run a marathon!
I want to be economically independent - meaning I should have at least 3 million USD!
I want to travel to see every continent!
I remember looking at these goals, laughing at them, not believing they could happen. The last ~11.5 years I’ve been pursuing these goals & learned a lot on the way. Having sex with 100+ girls. I know. I know. You’ve had sex with 2 girls, both ugly as fuck. You’re hilariously awkward around girls. You’re not the guy who “gets the girl”. Having sex with 100+ girls might seem a bit outrageous. A bit like a starved boy standing in a candy store. But there’s nothing wrong with standing in that candy-store and buying everything. As long as you’ve fucking earned it. Less than 3 years from reading this, you will have changed. I remember my “peak pick-up night”. Sober, in a night-club, I managed to get phone numbers from 5 girls, kiss 6 girls and ending the night with a “triangle kiss” with 2 girls with everyone at the club looking at you. All beautiful girls. But what happens when the starved boy in the candy-store has eaten a lot of candy? He slows down. He picks his favorites. He finds a flavor he likes. I’ve not fucked 100 girls. I’m closer to 100 than 50. But (luckily) you pick up amazing relationships along the way, and you learn that longer close relationships triumphs one-night stands. Any day. Today I can get girls any-time I want. But I very often prioritize work and sleep, over sex. But being in control over this aspect of your life is amazing. The only regret I have in terms of girls is that I didn’t apply the “never lie” rule earlier. Today, I never lie to anyone. Even, defined broadly, as in leaving out important details is considering lying to me. Leave people better than when you found them. Be respectful. Never lie to get sex. The crazy part, is this will give many more sexual opportunities than lying. I want to weight less than 80kg! Weighing 105kg is not good. You’re enormous. Weighing 105kg is bad for two reasons: 1) You’re not getting the pretty girls, because you’re ugly as fuck (and while we’re at it, replace those glasses with contacts NOW - glasses does NOT fit your face) 2) This one is important. You’re scared of death. This doesn’t change by the way. The only comforter I have is that everyone is freaking scared of death. The whole concept of “not existing” is scary-as-fuck. No explanation can change this. It’s not uncommon for people to get therapy for “death anxiety”. Don’t worry - you don’t need therapy. In 2019, however, there are openings. Longevity experts believe it’s possible to add decades to our expected lifespan in our lifetimes. The life expectancy for the richest part of the population is already above 90. You need to read the book “The singularity is near”, which argues that technology is improving exponentially, which might be a way to escape death. Is this a naive search for the “fountain of youth”? Of course, it is! And is it going to work out? Of course, the chances are (extremely) minimal. But it’s more than 0.00%, so it’s your best bet. Besides cryonics. But that’s not the main point. You want to live as long as possible, measured in healthy life-span. It’s better to live to 95 years and then die, than 80 years. Avoiding smoking (like grand-dad), alcohol abuse (like mom - yes, she’s an alcoholic - it’s not normal to drink that much white-wine), being obese (like dad - yes, he’s in amazing shape but he’s 10kg overweight), isolation (like grand-mom lives) and accepting death without aggressive treatments (like grand-mom 2 will do). Being obese will be your biggest weakness - take it seriously. I want to run a marathon! You never tried to run more than 5kg, so this was the craziest goal you could come up with? Well, I’m writing this after attending my third marathon (this time in Warsaw). You’re going to run on average 2 half-marathons every month as a casual Sunday exercise. Enjoy. I want to be economically independent Quit that dream of becoming a software developer at an enterprise company. With your crazy energy and bulldozer-like personality, that’s not going to end well. Luckily Microsoft declined you after 3 interviews when you cocky-as-fuck applied on your third semester at university. Becoming economically independent requires you to either 1) become a “C-level executive at a big company”, 2) become an entrepreneur or 3) make a series of very lucky investments. Being the personality you are, we can easily eliminate the C-level executive. You’re many things. A well-rounded and “politically smart” person, you’re not. You’re going to be offered a position at Boston Consulting Group, but really, skip everything management consulting, as well. During your 4-year long job-career, you’re going to suck at having jobs. You’re going to manage to get yourself fired 5+ times in “developer roles” within the first week at the job. The record was after 11 hours at a company, where you called your boss an “idiot” in front of his boss. No regrets. He was an idiot. That gig only paid 10.000 USD a month anyway. At 23 years old, you’re not the most diplomatic person around... You’re going to have one job you really love at a 50-person big company. But that’s because you have a boss that “unleashes you”, and somehow manages to make sure you don’t crash into too many walls. I’m still proud of what we managed to accomplish here. At 25 years old, you’re forced with a tough choice. At this time you’re a “digital nomad”, profiting roughly 15.000 USD per month. You’re outsourcing development work to multiple companies, and can live anywhere in the world. But, this won’t become a billion-dollar company (unfortunately, ambitions grow..). You choose the opportunity. At the time of writing this, I’m not rich yet. But I’ve had the chance 2 times. The first time, was above startup which got to 45 employees before going bankrupt. The second time, you sold the vast majority of your hundreds of Bitcoins at very bad times. Right now, I’m on my third attempt. I’m building a company that is 16 months old. We’re 15 full-time employees and is about to raise a seed round. If we succeed, the company valuation will be north of 10 million USD. Not bad. The goal is to become a billion-dollar company. A unicorn. I want to travel to see every continent! I’m reaching 50 countries, and I’ve been to most continents. The trick is to work remotely, for shorter periods at a time. I try to work remotely for one week, every month. This gets tiring at times, but then the frequency can be decreased and replaced with longer trips. (Oh, and trust me, living in both Hong Kong and the Philippines - best decision ever! The only regret was not to be single in both places ;-) ) The future seems fucking bright, right? But trust me, it comes with very hard work. EVERYTHING comes with a sacrifice. Over the next 12 years: - You’re not going to spend lots of time with friends. - You’re not going to spend lots of time with your family. The fact you see mom the day before she dies is pure luck. You had just spent 3 months in Asia coming home the day before. - You’re not going to start a family, or get children. - You’re going to watch very few new movies & play very few new computer games. Also, not everything is going to be perfect. It’s very hard to balance things. Just some quick top-of-mind examples: - Remember I told you I just attended my third marathon? I didn’t prioritize actually preparing for the marathon, so I had to quit after 35km. - You’re going to have a very hard time actually “connect with girls” and start a serious relationship. You’re always going to have “the grass is always greener” in the back of your mind. - You’ve gone bankrupt with a company and managed to lose 1.5 million USD of investor money There are no regrets about my choices. Nothing comes automatically. Take learning to date girls took just as much of my time and focus - mostly on hard rejections or fearing approaching the girl - as studying at university. But when all comes to all, I’m EXTREMELY happy about the decision to remove the autopilot and the conscious choice to go for these girls. Work harder, be more ambitious, read more books & stop lying to anyone. The next 12 years (and hopefully continued!) will be the best years anyone ever experienced.
Among the more frequently mentioned G+ alternatives at the Google+ Mass Migration community, and others, is MeWe with over 250 mentions. The site bills itself as "The Next-Gen Social Network" and the "anti-Facebook": "No Ads, No Political Bias, No Spyware. NO BS. It is headed by professed Libertarian CEO Mark Weinstein. As the site reveals no public user-generated content to non-members, it's necessary to create an account in order to get a full impression. I thought I'd provide an overview based on recent explorations. This report leads of with background on the company, though readers may find the report and analysis of specific groups on the site of interest.
Founder & CEO Mark Weinstein. Co-Founder & Chief Scientist, Jonathan Wolfe (no longer with company). Weinstein previously founded SuperFamily and SuperFriends, "at the turn of the millennium". Weinstein's MeWe biography lists articles published by The Mirror (UK), Huffington Post, USA Today, InfoSecurity Magazine, Dark Reading, and the Nation. His media appearances include MarketWatch, PBS, Fox News, and CNN. He's also the author of several personal-success books. His Crunchbase bio is a repeat of the MeWe content.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee: Inventor of the World Wide Web.
Jack Canfield: Legendary Founder, Chicken Soup For The Soul.
John Friedman: Founding Partner, Easton Capital.
Cullen Hoback: Director, Terms and Conditions May Apply.
Dianne Morrison: Partner, MorrisonMcNabb, LLC.
Colin Sebastian: Director, Equity Research/Internet, RW Baird.
Brett Shevack: CEO, Brand Initiatives; Former Vice Chair, BBDO.
Marci Shimoff: author, Happy for No Reason.
Sherry Turkle: Professor, MIT; author Alone Together.
Ownership & Investment
MeWe is the dba of Sgrouples, a private for-profit early-stage venture company based in Los Angeles, though with a Mountain View HQ and mailing address, 11-50 employees, with $10m in funding over five rounds, and a $20m valuation as of 2016. Sgrouples, Inc., dba MeWe Trust & Safety - Legal Policy c/o Fenwick West 801 California Street Mountain View, CA 94041 Crunchbase Profile. Founded: 2012 (source) Secured $1.2M in seed funding in 2014. 2016 valuation: $20m (source] Backers:
John Friedman, venture capitalist, founder & MD, Easton Capital, New York, NY.
Do you have friends still on Facebook? Share this link with them about Facebook wanting their banking information - tell them to move to MeWe now! No Ads. No Spyware. No Political Agenda. No Bias Algorithms. No Shadow Banning. No Facial Recognition.
MeWe provide several policy-related links on the site:
California Disclosures -- Do Not Track, 3rd-party cookies, and California Privacy Rights.
Your Identity: We protect it to the extent the law allows
Linking to Third-Party Sites: These are your decisions and responsibilities
Security: HTTPS and Encryption
Terms of Service
The ToS addresses:
Allowable Content and Acceptable Use
Who Our Services are For
User Content Ownership
Misuse of Usernames, Page names, Group names
Fake Accounts (pseudonyms allowed, misleading is not)
More on Spam
Our Commitment to Data Security
MeWe Content Data
MeWe Log Data
Your Data Portability
Deleting Your Account -- Right to Erasure
MeWe Secret Chat
MeWe Invitations and "Add Automatically"
Additional Policies for Pages, Groups, and Events Notifications of Requests for Account Information
Guidelines for Law Enforcement Seeking Customer Data (Worldwide)
Ownership In and To the Site and Services
Effective: November 6, 2018.
The FAQ addresses:
What is MeWe (emphasises privacy)
The Politics of MeWe ("absolutely no political agenda")
How can MeWe be free and make money? (additional services/freemium)
Which devices is MeWe available on? (Android, iOS)
What content can I share on MeWe (photos, videos, documents, voice messages, privacy mail, chats, gifs, memes, doodles)
What are some unique features of MeWe?
Who can see the posts I share?
Can I delete my MeWe account and is it easy to do this?
This emphasises that people are social cratures and private people by right. The service offers the power of self expression under an umbrella of safety. It notes that our innermost thoughts require privacy. Under "We aspire...":
MeWe is here to empower and enrich your world. We challenge the status quo by making privacy, respect, and safety the foundations of an innovatively designed, easy-to-use social experience.
Totalling 182 words.
Privacy Bill of Rights
A ten-item statement of principles (possibly inspired by another document, it might appear):
You own your personal information & content. It is explicitly not ours.
You will never receive a targeted advertisement or 3rd party content based on what you do or say online. We think that's creepy.
You see every post in timeline order from your friends, family & groups. We do not manipulate, filter, or change the order of your content or what you see.
Permissions & privacy are your rights. You control them.
You control who can access your content.
You control what, if anything, others can see in member searches.
Your privacy means we do not share your personal information with anyone.
Your emojis are for you and your friends. We do not monitor or mine your data.
Your face is your business. We do not use facial recognition technology.
You have the right to delete your account and take your content with you at any time.
There are a few mentions of MeWe in the press, some listed on the company's website, others via web search.
The following articles are linked directly from MeWe's Press page:
The page also lists a "Privacy Revolution Required Reading" list of 20 articles all addressing Facebook privacy gaffes in the mainstream press (Wired, TechCrunch, Fortune, Gizmodo, The Guardian, etc.). There are further self-reported mentions in several of the company's PR releases over the years.
Facebook Alternative MeWe Raises $5.2M, Los Angeles Business Journal (July 7, 2018) "The latest round, as well as MeWe’s total $10 million in fundraising, was predominantly backed by celebrity investors, such as author Marci Shimoff, Rachel Roy, and Lynda Weinman, founder of Lynda.com, which sold to Linkedin in 2015 for $1.5 billion. Jack Canfield, creator of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series, also invested in MeWe."
Is building a Facebook alternative worth the effort? MeWe thinks soVentureBeat (July 5, 2018) "[T]here are still companies hoping to make their mark in the social networking realm with “Facebook alternatives.” One of those is MeWe, a “next-generation” social network that positions itself as the anti-Facebook: “Your private life is not for sale. No ads. No Spyware. No BS,” its website proclaims." Continues to mention "modest $5.2 million" funding round. Also a "sister product", MeWePRO, a Slack competitor.
Startup MeWe Launches Free, 'No Ads' Social NetworkeWeek (March 16, 2016) "MeWe, a new network engineered with its users' data privacy built in, is betting that a lot of people will say yes to both of those questions. The Mountain View, Calif.-based startup, whose parent company is Sgrouples.com, launched its freely available social network out of beta March 9 with more than 200,000 members already using it.... Sir Tim Berners-Lee, co-architect of the World Wide Web, found out about MeWe on his own and approached the company about getting involved."
Facebook Alternative MeWe closes $5.2M Series A Yahoo/PR Newswire (July 5, 2018). "The investment brings MeWe's total funding to $10 million, to support the engineering of MeWe and the enterprise version MeWePRO.... The company has relied on high net worth individuals for all of its funding including Lynda Weinman, founder of Lynda.com ...; Marci Shimoff, a #1 New York Times bestselling author ...; Rachel Roy...; and Jack Canfield."
Exactis Data Leak 2018: 340 Million Records ExposedInvestorPlace (June 29, 2018) "'Today's cookies can link your mobile phone to your laptop, to your home monitoring devices, and much, much more. Creepy? Scary? Orwellian? Yes, yes, yes,' Mark Weinstein, the privacy expert and founder of social media company MeWe, told MarketWatch. 'So imagine that Exactis, like Facebook, knows everything about you — really.'"
MeWe Raises $3M in FundingFinSMEs (March 9, 2016) "Sgrouples, Inc., the Mountain View, CA-based developer of MeWe, a social network with neither ads nor tracking, raised $3m in funding."
This section is a basic rundown of the user-visible site technology.
The site is not natively accessible from a mobile Web browser as it is overlayed with a promotion for the mobile application instead. Selecting "Desktop View" in most mobile browsers should allow browser-based access.
There are both Android and iOS apps for MeWe. I've used neither of these, though the App store entries note:
MeWe Android 4.4 rating (13.1k ratings). Permissions: Contacts (read), Location (approximate/precise), SMS (receive), Phone (read status & identity), Photos/Media/Files (read, modify, & delete contents), Storage (read, modify, or delete), Camera (take pictures/videos), Microphone (record audio), Device ID & Call Info (read status & identity), and numerous elements under Other.
Crunchbase cites 209,220 mobile downloads over the past 30 days (via Apptopia), an 80.78% monthly growth rate, from Google Play.
Either selecting "View Desktop" or navigating with a Desktop browser to https://www.mewe.com your are presented with a registration screen, with the "About", "Privacy Bill of Rights", "MeWe Challenge", and a language selector across the top of the page. Information requested are first and last name, phone or email, and a password. Pseudonymous identities are permitted, though this isn't noted on the login screen. Returning members can use the "Member Log In" button. The uMatrix Firefox extension reveals no third-party content: all page elements are served from mewe.com, img.mewe.com, cdn.mewe.com, or ws.mewe.com. (In subsequent browsing, you may find third-party plugins from, for example, YouTube, for videos, or Giphy, for animated GIFs.) The web front-end is nginx. The site uses SSL v3, issued by DigiCert Inc. to Sgrouples, Inc.
The onboarding experience is stark. There is no default content presented. A set of unidentified icons spans the top of the screen, these turn out to be Home, Chats, Groups, Pages, and Events. New users have to, somehow, find groups or people to connect with, and there's little guidance as to how to do this.
Generally there is a three panel view, with left- and right-hand sidebars of largely navigational or status information, and a central panel with main content. There are also pop-up elements for chats, an omnipresent feature of the site. Controls display labels on some devices and/or resolutions. Controls do not provide tooltips for navigational aid.
My Cloud - Seamlessly organize all your content in My Cloud; it's your personal cloud. My Cloud offers an interactive dashboard for you to control everything you’ve posted or shared - making it simple to delete or reshare.
Unique profiles - Be yourself, free from any tracking and spying. Customize your profile for every group you create or join.
Voice integration (on any or all content) - Post pictures, videos, or documents and include a voice message. Respond to a shared post or just chat. MeWe’s voice integration works for you and your contacts throughout the entire platform.
Universal tagging - This is a new, convenient way to sort and organize all the content you receive and share, making it easy to find everything, anytime.
Enhanced permission control (patent issued) - Manage permissions on a granular level and decide exactly who sees what. You can also remove yourself from the search directory, make yourself invisible to other members online, and much more.
Much More – join MeWe today and take a look inside! MeWe is the next-gen social networking experience designed for you to have fun, stay in touch, collaborate, organize, and simplify.
A key aspect of any social network is its community. Some of the available or ascertained information on this follows.
Weinstein claims a "million+ following inside MeWe.com" on Twitter. The largest visible groups appear to have a maximum of around 15,000 members , for "Awesome gifs". "Clean Comedy" rates 13,350, and the largest open political groups, 11,000+ members. This compares to Google+ which has a staggering, though Android-registrations-inflated 3.3 billion profiles, and 7.9 million communities, though the largest of these come in at under 10 million members. It's likely that MeWe's membership is on the whole more more active than Google+'s, where generally-visible posting activity was limited to just over 9% of all profiles, and the active user base was well under 1% of the total nominal population.
MeWe do not publish active users (e.g., MUA / monthly active users) statistics.
MeWe is principally a group-oriented discussion site -- interactions take place either between individuals or within group contexts. Virtually all discovery is group-oriented. The selection and dynamics of groups on the site will likely strongly affect user experience, so exploring the available groups and their characteristics is of interest. "MeWe has over 60,000 open groups" according to its FAQ. The Open groups -- visible to any registered MeWe user, though not to the general public Web -- are browsable, though sections and topics must be expanded to view the contents: an overview isn't immediately accessible. We provide a taste here. A selection of ten featured topics spans the top of the browser. As I view these, they are:
Health & Fitness
Cars & Motorcycles
Fashion and Beauty
Specific groups may appear in multiple categories. The top Groups within these topics have, variously, 15,482, 7,738, 15,482 (dupe), 7,745, 8,223, 8,220, 1,713, 9,527, 2,716, and 1,516 members. Listings scroll at length -- the Music topic has 234 Groups, ranging in size from 5 to 5,738 members, with a median of 59, mean of 311.4, and a 90%ile of 743.5. Below this is a grid of topics, 122 in all, ranging from Activism to Wellness, and including among them. A selected sample of these topics, with top groups listed members in (parens), follows:
Activism: QAnon+++ (2,572), PATRIOT PREPPERS USA (2,430), Deplorables Republic (2,48), The War Drummer (1,898), Patriots for a United America. (1894), Anonymous (1,700).
Alternative Energy: Reiki, Crystals, and alternative healing (2,114), 💜Starseeds & Empaths💜 (345), Living in Colour (365).
Alternative Lifestyle: Natural Healing and Home Remedies (3,045), Backyard Farming of All Things (2,696), WeTheSheeple (2,251).
Alumni Connections: Google Plus Refugees (271), Google+ Refugees (186), Frog Pond (156), Carlsbad NM High School alumni (57).
Animals: I Love My Dog (4,421), Pussy Shots (4,619).
Astronomy: Spherical Earth Truth, Flat Earth is Wrong (278), Nibiru, Nemesis, Hercolobus, The Destroyer (187).
Biology: Trees (344), Field of Birds (104), Patriots of Australia (51).
Personal Improvement: For Introverts. (1,214), Anarchy, Philosophy, Psychology, and Spirituality (679), Positive Affirmations (447).
Philosophy: In5d Esoteric Metaphysical and Spiritual Database (1,764), Thought Bouncing (1,137), Obtectivists - Galts Gulch - Ayn Rand fans (561).
Poetry: Dead Poest (1,407), Palacio de Poetry (451), Poets Corner (412).
Politics: Donald J. Trump 2016 - Present (11,486), The Conservative's Hangout (8,345), Qanon Follow The White Rabbit (5,600), Drain The Swamp (4,978), Libertarians (4,528), United We Stand Trump2020 (4,216).
Pop Culture: The Loftus Party (116), The Walking Dead: The Stalking Dead (100), Tyler, Texas (71).
Privacy: Join the Open/Privacy Movement (3974), Kingsport tn gun trader (1,157), Safer Computing (555).
To be clear: whilst I've not included every topic, I've sampled a majority of them above, and listed not an arbitrary selection, but the top few Groups under each topic.
Google Plus expats (1,862)
Google+ Refugees (186)
G+ Refugees (101)
my Google+ expatriates
The Google Plus expats group seems the most active of these by far.
It's curious that MeWe make a specific point in their FAQ that:
At MeWe we have absolutely no political agenda and we have a very straightforward Terms of Service. MeWe is for all law-abiding people everywhere in the world, regardless of political, ethnic, religious, sexual, and other preferences.
There are 403 political groups on MeWe. I won't list them all here, but the first 100 or so give a pretty clear idea of flavour. Again, membership is in (parentheses). Note that half the total political Groups memberships are in the first 21 groups listed here, the first 6 are 25% of the total.
Donald J. Trump 2016 - Present (11486)
The Conservative's Hangout (8345)
Qanon Follow The White Rabbit (5600)
Drain The Swamp (4978)
United We Stand Trump2020 (4216)
The Right To Self Defense (3757)
Alternative Media (3711)
Hardcore Conservative Patriots for Trump (3192)
Bastket Of Deplorables4Trump! (3032)
Return of the Republic (2509)
Infowars Chat Room Unofficial (2159)
Donald Trump Our President 2017-2025 (2033)
Berners for Progress (1963)
Sean Hannity Fans (1901)
The American Conservative (1839)
I Am The NRA (1704)
Tucker Carlson Fox News (1645)
We Love Donald Trump (1611)
MAGA - Make America Great Again (1512)
news from the front (1337)
Basket of Deplorables (1317)
Payton's Park Bench (1283)
Convention of States (1282)
Britons For Brexit (1186)
MoJo 5.0 Radio (1180)
MeWe Free Press (1119)
The Constitutionally Elite (1110)
WOMEN FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP (1032)
AMERICANS AGAINST ISIS and OTHER ENEMIES (943)
#WalkAway Campaign (894)
ALEX JONES (877)
The Lion Is Awake ! (854)
We Support Donald Trump! (810)
The Stratosphere Lounge (789)
TRUMP-USA-HANDS OFF OUR PRESIDENT (767)
Official Tea Party USA (749)
Mojo50 Jackholes (739)
Yes Scotland (697)
"WE THE DEPLORABLE" - MOVE ON SNOWFLAKE! (688)
Judge Jeanine Pirro Fans (671)
Ted Cruz for President (650)
No Lapdog Media (647)
Q Chatter (647)
Daily Brexit (636)
Tucker Carlson Fox News (601)
The Trumps Storm Group (600)
QAnon-Patriots WWG1WGA (598)
100% American (569)
Ladies For Donald Trump (566)
Deep State (560)
In the Name of Liberty (557)
Material Planet (555)
Trump NRA Free Speech Patriots on MeWe Gab.ai etc (546)
Magna Carta Group (520)
Constitutional Conservatives (506)
Question Everything (503)
Conspiracy Research (500)
Bill O'Reilly Fans (481)
Conservative Misfit's (479)
Canadian politics (478)
HARDCORE DEPLORABLES (454)
Tampa Bay Trump Club (445)
UK Politics (430)
Bongino Fan Page (429)
Radical Conservatives (429)
RESIST THE RESISTANCE (419)
The Deplorables (409)
America's Freedom Fighters (401)
Politically Incorrect & Proud (399)
CONSERVATIVES FOR AMERICA ! (385)
Political satire (383)
RISE OF THE RIGHT (371)
UK Sovereignty,Independence,Democracy -Everlasting (366)
The Patriots Voting Coalition (359)
End The Insanity (349)
Coming American Civil War! (345)
Constitutional Conservatives (343)
United Nations Watch (342)
A Revival Of The Critical Thinking Union (337)
The New Libertarian (335)
Libertarian Party (official ) (333)
DDS United (Duterte Die-hard Supporters) (332)
American Conservative Veterans (331)
America Needs Donald Trump (326)
The UKIP Debating Society (321)
Coalition For Trump (310)
FRIENDS THAT LIKE JILL STEIN AND THE GREEN PARTY (292)
2nd Amendment (287)
Never Forget #SethRich (286)
Green Party Supporters 2020 (283)
It seems there is relatively little representation from the left wing, or even the centre, of the political spectrum. A case-insensitive match for "liberal" turns up:
104: Conservatives Against Liberal Beliefs C.A.L.I.B (273)
184: Progressive and Liberal Politics (119)
301: Liberalism is a Mental Disorder (33)
302: Resistance Against Liberal Socialism (33)
358: NOT For Liberals (17)
367: Drinking Liberally Houston (14)
400: Stephanie Miller's Sexy Liberal Army (6)
Mainstream political parties are little represented, though again, the balance seems skewed searching on "(democrat|republic|gop)":
391: Saving The Republic: Video News & Opinion (8)
The terms "left" and "right" provide a few matches, not all strictly political-axis aligned:
7: The Right To Self Defense (3757)
80: RISE OF THE RIGHT (371)
150: POLITICS ON THE LEFT (156)
157: 1st Amendment Rights Protected By The 2nd Amendmen (141)
209: On The Left With Jeremy Corbyn (84)
262: Eyes-Left Labour & PP - Social Media (49)
300: Gather Left (33)
385: Defend Washington State Gun Rights (9)
390: Left Coast Conservatives (8)
Socialism and Communism also warrant a few mentions:
121: Revolutionary Socialists United (204)
216: Socialist Thought (79)
220: Stories Of Communism (76)
262: Eyes-Left Labour & PP - Social Media (49)
288: Snuggly Wuggly Socialists (38)
302: Resistance Against Liberal Socialism (33)
And there are some references to green, laboulabor parties:
97: FRIENDS THAT LIKE JILL STEIN AND THE GREEN PARTY (292)
100: Green Party Supporters 2020 (283)
262: Eyes-Left Labour & PP - Social Media (49)
320: Green Party of Ohio Issues & Discussion Group (29)
Whilst there may not be a political agenda, there does appear to be at least a slight political bias to the site. And a distinctive skew on many other topical subjects. Those seeking new homes online may wish to take this into account.
Various typos and tagging corrections. 2018-11-29 - 30
Added G+MM references count for MeWe to lede paragraph. 2018-12-2
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