Now that Circle is "dead", how can I buy bitcoin ... - reddit

Jack Maller’s Strike App for USA

Hi everyone, this news on Strike was posted more than 2 weeks ago, but I’m afraid it didn’t get enough traction in my opinion.
Original Post on Strike App Supporting On-Chain Txns
Exchanges these days should be called what they are: shitcoin casinos. Gemini, Coinbase, Binance, Bittrex, and all the others that sell pump and dump shitcoins, are our enemies. There’s no two ways around it. Coinbase is running Public Relations in full force to make it seem like they support bitcoin development when they want to provide grants for core developers. In reality, they could care less about the development as long as they get their bottom line, which is to pull in suckers.
Have you heard the phrase, “If you don’t know who the sucker in the room is, it’s you”?
Well you are the sucker every single time if you are trying to trade bitcoin and shitcoins.
It’s time to support bitcoin only companies. That means buying ColdCard hardware wallets that have bitcoin only firmware. That means buying from River Financial (will be largest brokerage in the future), Swan Bitcoin (auto DCA with withdrawals only), CashApp, and Fold (bitcoin back on gift card purchases). Anything less is you not supporting bitcoin adoption.
I’d like to circle back to the point of this post: what Jack Maller’s Strike App has done is make exchanges completely irrelevant. Gone are the insane and wack percentage fees that cause you to miss out on hodling even more precious sats.
Your bank checking account now literally speaks bitcoin. It’s not just a lightning network based app that allows you to pay only lightning network invoices.
You can also just pay for the on-chain transaction fee to your legacy address (1), segwit address (3), or native segwit bech 32 address (bc1).
So when you plan to stack sats in the United States, I highly recommend you skip the outrageous fees and send bitcoin instantaneously to your ColdCard or whatever hardware wallet you own with ease.
Simply deposit the money within the Strike App from your bank checking account, and paste or scan your bitcoin address. Clarify the amount you want to send and tap confirm. I can’t stress this enough - the ONLY fee associated with the purchase is the on-chain transaction fee.
I hope this post gets more traction and that word spreads to keep people from getting suckered.
submitted by ArmegeddonOuttaHere to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

My journey with Kin and some positive/constructive thoughts for Ted and team

It's been a disappointing week for many I’m sure (other than the haters but what's new).
I don't usually share my thoughts on reddit, but with the events that have transpired I just felt it was time to finally contribute to the community I've been glued to since the spring of 2018.
I started purchasing Kin towards the end of 2017 (few months after ICO). Kin first caught my attention after I pulled out of Bitcoin when the bubble had started bursting. In my mind, this was such a unique proposition and I saw no other coin that matched Kin's potential at the time. I had just been a few years out of a top MBA program and studied under some of tech industries' leaders, and to me this was an opportunity of a lifetime.
I loved the vision that Ted had for Kin. It was not just about elevating his own company Kik, but finding a way to level the playing field and elevating all the smaller players in the tech space. It is true that tech strategy has enabled a winner take all economy and has made it unfair for many, and I wanted to see something challenge this dangerous path we all are on. And over the years I kept purchasing Kin believing in its potential and what it stood for.
Unfortunately, I may have acquired way too much with the way the trial has turned out this week. I won't lie I was extremely discouraged and angry to take a significant loss. But I'm not pointing fingers at Ted and I don't think bashing this project has ever been the right response. Being a product manager in tech, I know just how difficult it is to launch straight-forward, incremental products. To actually try something potentially revolutionary and truly disruptive, well that just takes a lot of guts and grit. From a PM and entrepreneurial angle, I have tons of respect for Ted and everyone that has been involved in moving this project forward. That was quite the fight you all put up over the years, and I know a lot of pain involved.
Though it's heavy for me now, I don't think I'll end up regretting the decision to participate in this project. I'd like to think I make decent money moves with logic guiding me and emotions out of it. The decision trees I made for this project still make sense to this day. And I followed the progress and data closely - being a big believer in making data-driven decisions. But admittedly, maybe some of it was hype or emotions that made me not see this clearer. I overlooked the incumbent or "competition". Let's be real here, many of us did. But why do I say I won't have any regrets? Because how often does the common person get to participate in a potential tech revolution from the early stages. I'm not seeing any world-changing companies giving me a chance to put money in the ground stage anytime soon. Still hurts, but like I said I did my calculations and believed I took a shot at something potentially life-changing. That's how I see it.
My timeline has always been that this was likely going to take at least 7 years to figure out (without external intervention). Most major tech companies took that long to figure it out (even Bitcoin took 8 years before it caught on). So it's tough to see that we may be nearing the end of the road without truly knowing what this product can do. But I'm writing this to encourage Ted and team, and hoping they will make the right moves for the project and those who supported it over the years. I remember that former moderators/ambassadors have mentioned that Ted would "take care" of those that have supported Kin. So I figured I would bring it up as Ted goes into the negotiation/"assessing options" phase. I'm not going to pretend what's the right move or what options are available (I'm intrigued by decentralization and open source but not sure if that's even an option). But hopefully it will be made with sound strategy and without emotions for the betterment of everyone involved (even those that came in after the ICO). If Ted truly believes he has the resources to make this work knowing what he's truly up against, then great, I'll keep supporting and patiently observe. But if, the resources are limited, I hope there's some creative solution that can be achieved. I'd like to think the Kin technology is still incredibly valuable and useful, and that it can be used to the benefit of all that supported it. I also don't want to see countries outside the US to run circles around the US in crypto. Basically, I wanted to throw in another train of thought other than the negative sentiments or ideal scenarios to the discussion.
I gotta imagine that this whole journey has been incredibly tough for Ted and team. Having to sell Kik and endure trials of various kinds. No way I could've gone through that, and so you have my respect. I'm guessing the pressure is even higher now, but I hope you don't forget us in the next moves you make, Ted.

TLDR:
(1) One man's journey with Kin, and why my perception has not changed after 3 years.
(2) Encouragement to Ted and team to pull off something that works for everyone.
submitted by calibearr7 to KinFoundation [link] [comments]

What I see when I see a student with ADHD

I have ADHD.
I was diagnosed at age 12. What happened is I got to middle school, and my life fell apart. It came on like a typhoon. Things seemed alright as I started, but I still remember that October when my family went to sixth-grade check-in.
My twin sister went first. The meeting lasted about four minutes. She and my parents left with smiles all around and talk of getting In N Out on the way home. Then it was my turn.
Every teacher I had stood in a circle. They seemed...different. One by one, they went around and told me that I was shit. Some were nicer than others, but everyone had the same message to convey:
Doesn't complete his homework all the way
Distracts others trying to learn
Unable to follow along in class
Not sure if he can keep up
I then heard my grades: C-, D+, C+, A in PE, C, and an F in Social Studies.
I don't remember being ashamed or embarrassed or anything. I remember being confused. I had gone to school every day and tried hard and thought I was doing what the teacher asked. Nope. Guess I wasn't.
Nobody had much advice for me. They just wanted me to know that I sucked. And that my parents should understand so. I don't know if my parents freaked out or punished me or what. But they weren't happy.
The last to go was my social studies teacher, Sven.
He asked me if I knew how to read.
I politely nodded my head.
But he wasn't sure. He talked about all the symptoms he had seen from me. To counter, I pulled a grad-level book on the Cold War off a shelf and read a page aloud while trying not to cry. People were even more confused.
Some estimate that a child with ADHD will receive 20,000 more negative comments before the age of 12 than a non-ADHD child will. I can't speak to that exactly, but I can say that this was not the only time I've had a room full of people upset with me for reasons I never saw coming. It doesn't get much easier.
Sven caught up to us as we walked to the car. He was cagey with his reasoning, but he told us that there might be something up with my brain. He recommended I get tested by a psychiatrist and see what she had to say. I've since come to my conclusions where he got such an idea.
The testing was fun. I've always liked tests. Didn't mention it, but they also thought I couldn't read in 2nd grade. Lol. That one went away after I took a standardized exam and scored in the 99th percentile of the nation in reading. I thought standardized tests were fun, you see.
I moved a bunch of colored balls into colored holes and tried to remember what color things were after 10 minutes and everything else you might expect. I didn't know what I was even doing, but I felt I could hang.
Three weeks later, I got my results. The only part I remember is that my psychiatrist noted that in her entire career, she had never met someone who scored higher on specific tasks and yet lower on others. My chart looked like OJ Simpson’s polygraph.
I could keep going, and in another article, I will. But this is how I got diagnosed. And the key to all of it was Sven. Everything makes perfect sense after the fact, but only when you realize that a single teacher served as the link that completes the narrative. I do not know where I am today without him.
I got lucky that this story takes place in 2003, and at a private school with teachers who genuinely cared about me. For reasons a lawyer in the comments needs to help me understand better, public school teachers seem loath to alert students of disabilities of any kind. This includes ADHD but also things like autism, dyslexia, and mood disorders. Things that seem apparent to me in a way that makes it seem impossible that no other teacher in the past 13 years hasn’t also picked up on them.
That means many students go through primary schooling while having no idea they have a problem at all. When I mention to a student they might have ADHD, they are first confused, but then some memories come back. The first is that someone, usually a sports or music coach, had once told them the same thing. The other is that they remember a lot of teachers saying weird stuff they didn't understand at the time. Stuff like, "You’re so talented. I just wish you could be better focused. Have you talked to anyone about why you could be having trouble?" To me, those sound like hints from a teacher who has been told by her bosses not to put the school at risk.
I am not a teacher. I'm a private consultant and can pretty much say whatever I want. I am also not a doctor - people would die - but I am a concerned adult who has taken courses in spotting learning disabilities. I'm also someone who will do absolutely anything to make sure his students have the best chance for success now and in the future. I'm also someone who asked both my ADHD-psychiatrist (hi!) and ADHD-therapist (hi!!!!!) if I had the right to tell students if I suspected something; they both went, Ya, dude. Totally.
So I try to be Sven. I try to pay attention to what my students do and say and provide feedback that can help them. I'd like to note what that feedback is here to make sure people don't miss it because my pieces go on for way too long.
If you are a high school student who suspects he or she has ADHD, your best course of action is to talk with your parents and look into being tested by a professional psychiatrist who specializes in the topic. These tests are expensive, and mental health insurance in America sucks balls. But this is the fastest, most straightforward route to getting the help you need.
Option two is to try and work with/through your public high school to get them to pay for it. This site has some good info. My guess is that this method will suck. Public schools don't have a lot of funding and will not want to spend it on you. That's not your problem. You will almost certainly need your parents to back you up on this one and sit through a lot of boring meetings. I assume a lot of people will tell you a lot of reasons why they can't help you. Your response every time should be some version of, "Sure. But I need help with this. And I'm not going to stop until I get the support I need. So what do I do from here?" Then you blankly stare at them and refuse to leave until they get you at least to the next step. I'm not sure how well this will work. If you do attempt or have attempted this method, please DM me or contact my Email with your experience. I want to know if this is even worth my student's time.
If you can not afford traditional testing or do not feel your parents would support such testing, your best option is to wait until the day you turn 18 and then register for a telehealth company specializing in ADHD. The one I use and recommend is HelloAhead.com. They're neat. They do not take traditional insurance, but their rates are much lower than most doctors. They are cheap enough that I feel an average 18-year old who wants help could find a way to afford it on his or her own. The downside with these sites is the waiting times can be long. Took me like five months. Other such sites are popping up, and while I can't vouch for them, they all seem to offer a similar service.
Those paragraphs are what I want every student here to know. I'm much more comfortable having a trained doctor tell you what the deal is than I am trying to do it myself.
But I have to see something if I want to be Sven. The question then is, how do I see it? For spotting ADHD, it's shockingly simple. And I'll get to the real reason at the end. But for now, here is what I see when I see a student with ADHD.
The best way I can describe their lives is "endless chaos"
The chaos isn't always bad! Rarely it's fun chaos, but often it's just chaos chaos. This chaos exists in both physical and mental forms.
Physical: Their shit is such a mess. Everything. Most of the work we do is digital, so I see the Google Doc version of their mind. Folders make no sense. Things are labeled inaccurately or not at all. Schools get combined, or separated, or forgotten altogether. It is not a single type of error, but instead a collection of small mistakes and poor decisions that make the work impossible to corral. I have some kids that are messy or lazy, but this is different. It's like if the original folder system I built for them was an amoeba in a petri dish. Leave that dish out for a weekend and come back. The patterns will be remarkably similar to the organizational gore that they then try to utilize.
Mental: There's always a story. "I was late because my car has a flat tire, and the guy was late, so I had to take an Uber." "I didn't know my music essays were due a month early because the form only mentioned there being a recital." "My friend is mad at me, but it's only because she didn't tell me we were the first group presenting, so I spent more time preparing our project".
These stories make sense at first. But after a few weeks, they start to pile up. Then I become the one hearing a story about why they didn't do what I wanted, and I stop being so forgiving.
ADHD is a neurological disorder. Not a mental illness. It's closer to diabetes than it is bi-polar. "ADHD" is a fairly garbage name for the condition because A) it has a stigma, and B) it isn't even accurate. Both attention deficit and hyperactivity are symptoms of ADHD, but they are not the problem itself. It would be like calling clinical depression "low energy and excessive guilt disorder". ADHD is actually an issue involving improper dopamine regulation in the brain combined with under-activity of the brain's executive function component.
The executive function center is the part of your brain that is in charge of making sure all the other parts of your brain play nice and communicate. When the executive function center breaks down...those other parts don't. The result is a failure to plan or coordinate + a need for impulsive stimulation, thus resulting in endless chaos.
This is what I’ll ask you if you DM me, btw. Is your life endless chaos? Sometimes do you like the chaos? Sometimes do you get bored and create the chaos yourself just to see what might happen? But when that chaos stops being so fun, can you make it stop?
They're very, very intelligent
You've probably heard about the "gifted ADHD genius" thing before. I don't think it exists.
My theory has always been that the "gifted ADHD child" is a victim of survivorship bias.
The research states that ADHD has either no or a negative correlation with intelligence.
There is also a startling overlap with ADHD and incarceration.
This means that students who still manage to succeed despite their disorder tend to have advantages that keep them in the game. Namely that they're smart as hell. The other saving grace is that they come from secure support networks that prevent them from unraveling completely. I've heard from such students that their mom or dad works tirelessly to keep their life in order and to make sure they're getting things done. I do not think it is a coincidence that when ADHD students leave for college, things often fall apart.
The fact that there are ADHD kids that others know and still like makes some think ADHD isn't so bad or comes with natural cognitive advantages. Those same people do not become friends with the ADHD dumb kids who would disprove those perceptions. Do you remember that kid in elementary school who was his own worst enemy? He never had friends, and everyone was kind of afraid to even talk with him? He was kind of a bully but mostly just awful? He invited you to his house one time, but your mom wouldn’t let you go? That is my best guess of what a dumb kid with ADHD is like. It sounds cold writing it, but you know which kid I'm talking about right now. Where do you think that kid is today?
I end up with the smart ones—the ones with parents who care. And God damn are these kids smart. They're brilliant, and funny, and likable, and charming. They have something different about them that makes them undeniable. And it's not just me. I worry I play them up too much in my mind, but then I chat with a teacher or coach of theirs. It's always the same thing: Oh, she's brilliant. She can be so frustrating sometimes, tho.
They can be so frustrating sometimes, tho
The word is frustrating. Now bad. Not nasty. Not unlikeable. Frustrating.
I have some students I just don't like that much (no, not you). What tends to be the common theme with them is that they don't have much interest in my help and display a work ethic to match. On the other spectrum are the world beaters (totally you). These kids kick ass and not only follow my advice but often take that advice to the next level in ways that awe and inspire me.
And then there are the kids I think have ADHD. They don't do stuff all the time. They don't finish an essay, or they forget to spell check like I asked, or they write about something that has nothing to do with the outline we built the week before. That's not necessarily the frustrating part. You kids are 17; you make mistakes. Early on, I try to spot these mistakes and point them out. Even the students who don't like me seem to get my point after enough prodding and the problem goes away.
With these kids, the problem does not go away. Or if it does, another problem pops right back up to replace it. It makes me feel like there's nothing I can do. It would be easier if the student was just a brat. Then I could either become a brat myself or mentally check out because "hey man, your future”.
I need a name for kids I suspect have ADHD…"MaybeHD"?
Ya. That’s super funny. Say it out loud and try not to laugh.
But these MaybeHD kids do like me. And they do want to get into school. And they do feel bad when I get upset with them. I end up in long, drawn-out conversations with them about why this is important and why they need to make specific work a priority to get into the schools they want to go to. Then they nod meekly and head home. Then they come back next week, and it's the same story.
Frustrating.
They are randomly awesome at the weirdest things
I love weird talents. Things that no one offers up immediately, but then you're chatting, and it comes up naturally. "Oh ya, I love animals! I raise baby pigs in my backyard!"
"You do?"
"Ya!"
At some point, the MaybeHD kid read something or watched a Youtube video that he or she liked. Then they wanted to try it. Six months later, they're making 4k a month selling custom bathrobes on Etsy. There's rarely any logic.
"Do you like baths? Or making clothing?
"Not really. I just thought it looked fun, so I bought a sewing kit and started making things."
There is a noted link between ADHD and entrepreneurship. I see it with my MaybeHD students. They have an insatiable drive and passion for following up on curiosities that other students don't possess. Passion is the wrong word. They have obsessions with mastering concepts in a way that feels beyond their control. The obsession itself drives them to be great.
The literature on the subject is cloudy. But there exists a term in ADHD circles called "Hyperfocus". If you know what "flow" is, it's kind of like that. Only more intense and less controllable. I often see the remnants of past hyperfocuses in their stories. They used to run that pig farm. They used to sell bathrobes. They used to be really into getting good grades at school. But then one day, just as quickly as they picked the skill up, they dropped it. They can seldom tell me why.
Their priorities are completely out of whack
The downside of hyperfocus is that it can be so all-encompassing that other priorities fall by the wayside. One of my favorite students ever is named Elleway. We chatted in our first meeting, and I was instantly intrigued by her background. She said she had designed and prototyped a unit that would automatically roll under parked electric cars for hands-free charging. I hear a lot of impressive stuff in my job, and a lot of it ends up being not that impressive. But then Elleway showed me the prototype video she made back when she was a high school freshman and it blew my mind.
https://youtu.be/Y5Ap2uMbWL4
Can you do that? I sure as hell can't. She wasn't even an engineer. She calmly explained that she had partnered with several older male engineers who had helped turn her idea into reality. Then she had done all the promotional and marketing work herself. Then she got second out of 300 students at a young entrepreneur contest held at Columbia University. Shortly after, a tech CEO came up to her and asked if she would like to work with him to file a patent for the invention. She agreed and is now a trademark holder.
That was all in our first 10 minutes. She then went on to share the half dozen corporations she had worked for. And the three businesses she started. And the graphic design work she made for her website. She told me how she was a Nationally ranked fencer until she lost interest. She was now merely a Nationally ranked golfer.
Then I saw she had a 2.9 GPA and thus zero shot at getting into NYU like she hoped.
I did not initially think Elleway had ADHD. I thought she was a pathological liar. It seemed impossible to me that this same girl who had already taken a grip on the world was then unable to keep up her grades in math. That just isn’t how any -any- of my other ultra high-achieving students behave. Then Elleway showed me pictures of her casually hanging out with Andrew Yang. And then her LinkedIn With a lot of people who do not accept your request unless they want to. I had to figure out what the hell led to all this.
Elleway’s patent and ambition to work on it had taken up all her time. She was so singularly focused on doing what she cared about that the world behind her didn't seem to exist. She was hyperfocused on a goal, but once she reached it, she woke up to a reality that punished her for ignoring everything else.
That's the longing writer's version of the story. The more popular one is that she didn't give a shit about school, was warned repeatedly about the consequences, and ignored them. She got what she deserved. That’s the version the rest of the world had for her.
It goes back to frustrating. I've gotten kids into NYU that don't show a fifth the potential that Elleway did. Those kids went to all the camps their parents paid for and entered competitions with a tech doorbell or something lame, and they're just fine. But MaybeHD students are often world-beaters in ways that make them seem so special. They talk endlessly not just about what they're into but how they figured it all out and why it is all so important to them. I believe them, and I want to fight for them. So I give them as much assistance as I possibly can. But then they don't do the increasingly easy tasks I ask for them to complete. Then they suffer the consequences.
Elleway didn't get into NYU. She didn't get in much of anywhere. It eats me up inside, and I feel like I failed her. I don't know how many other people in my position would feel the same way. That's why I have to be Sven.
This is getting long, and I'm getting depressed. Here's the TL: DR of what I see when I see a student with ADHD
...
Me. I see me. And it can hurt really bad knowing what a condition like ADHD does to a young person's life.
My life is endless chaos. I've been out of food for nine days. My house looks like Badger from Breaking Bad bought a loft in Palo Alto. I am still writing this at 3:25 AM when I have to be up for work at nine. My cat has started doing this thing where she sleeps in her food bowl when it gets empty. It's equal parts adorable and humiliating.
I'm smart as shit. I know it. I made up half-ideas. That article is absolute fire. I got published on Cracked.com five times in 2011 when that meant something. I went to Tulane on a half-ride merit scholarship, used to win creative writing contests, and have done a bunch of other writery stuff that made people stand up and go, "Woah".
But I only made it to college because my mom carried me there, kicking and screaming. She packaged my life together, and I held on for the ride. Then I got to school and made it two months before she got an Email alerting her that Tulane was planning to revoke the remaining $70,000 of my $80,000 scholarship due to my grades. I barely scraped by and survived. But the shame and frustration in her voice when she read me that letter over the phone haunts me to this day.
I analyze handwriting. And I turned a Reddit account into a successful business in four months. And I collect college T-shirts from schools my students go to. And I own Bitcoin I bought in 2011 for $4.50 each. And I'm teaching myself piano with a video game. And I'm exercising with a video game. And I'm ranked 42nd in Northern California at Super Smash Bros Ultimate. And I’ve tried the nachos at over 100 Taquerias in the Bay Area. And I own a really cute cat.
But I've spent 15* hours this week writing this instead of a sequel to that Costco piece. I have one coming where I edit my Common App essay from 2009. It's a great idea and a great article. One that will drive significantly more business to my site than this piece will. Hell, I predict this piece is likely to lose me business because I come off like a mess in it. But it's what I want to write, so I feel like I have no choice.
*The 15 hours is a guess. I have no idea how long it takes me to write and edit these things. I start typing and X hours later look up and realize how hungry I am and how much I need to pee. The writing controls me.
I see myself in my MaybeHD students. I see their unfettered curiosity and flair for taking as much good from the world as possible. I see their infectious enthusiasm and ability to quickly forgive others because they know too well how it feels to want forgiveness themselves.
Yet I also see their inattention to detail, their weak excuses, and their general confusion that makes me realize they couldn't fix some problems if their lives depended on it. I see their sadness and shame when those mistakes pile up. I see when the chaos stops being fun, and they want out, but they don't know how. I don't know what I, as their consultant, can do. But as Sven, I can recommend they go talk to someone else...
Hey, so, I was considering hiring you and all...but you seem kind of bad. Why should I trust you?
Because a couple of years ago, I got back on my medication and turned my life around. You aren't reading this if I don't reach out for help and trust a trained psychiatrist to guide me. There are no groups of friends in Delaware or Connecticut comparing their half-ideas lists. There sure as shit isn't a CollegeWithMattie.com.
I still have ADHD. But one of the greatest things about ADHD is that it is -without rival- the most treatable form of mental illness or dysfunction known to man. It is not curable, but there are endless medical and non-medical options available for those willing to reach out and get the help they need. My story is that it was only by getting re-medicated that I then could learn and use coping mechanisms that allow me to achieve the type of life I've always wanted.
Christ, 4,400 words. You know, I'm also submitting this for a class I'm in. That's why all the backlinks are to actual sources instead of links herding you into my website. Hi Amy! That's one more thing. ADHD people are hyper-efficient...Kind of.
Alright. If you're still here reading this, you might be suspecting some things about yourself. My DMs are open if you want to chat, but again, I am not a doctor. I will say that right now, as you prepare to head to college, is a really good time to get this all figured out. College is a giant reset button on your life. Figure these problems out now so that by the time you head off for your next chapter, you will have given yourself the best possible chance to succeed.
Endless chaos.
Here is the bold part again:
If you are a student in high school who suspects he or she has ADHD, your best course of action is to talk with your parents and look into being tested by a professional psychiatrist who specializes in the topic. These tests are expensive, and mental health insurance in America (still) sucks balls. But this is the fastest, most straightforward route to getting the help you need.
Option two is to try and work with/through your public high school to get them to pay for it. This site has some good info. My guess is that this method will kind of suck. Public schools don't have a lot of funding and will not want to spend it on you. That's not your problem. You will almost certainly need your parents to back you up on this one and sit through a lot of boring meetings. I assume a lot of people will tell you a lot of reasons why they can't help you. Your response every time should be some version of, "Sure. But I need help with this. And I'm not going to stop until I get the support I need. So what do I do from here?" Then you blankly stare at them and refuse to leave until they get you at least to the next step. This will suck and I'm not sure how well it will work. If you do attempt or have attempted this method, please DM me or contact my Email with your experience. I want to know if this is even worth my student's time.
If you can not afford traditional testing, or if you do not feel your parents would support such testing, your best option is to wait until the day you turn 18 and then register for a telehealth company that specializes in ADHD. The one I use and recommend is HelloAhead.com. They're neat. They do not take traditional insurance, but their rates are much lower than most doctors. They are cheap enough that I feel an average 18-year old who wants help could find a way to afford it on his or her own. The downside with these sites is the waiting times can be really long. Took me like five months. Other such sites are popping up, and while I can't vouch for them, they all seem to offer a similar service.
Update: The lines aren't that long anymore! Monday was Elleway's 18th birthday. She sent me a screengrab of her upcoming Ahead appointment in early September. She told me she spent the entire day crying because all her friends were going off to great schools and that she was stuck at home. I've told Elleway that I plan to help her reapply to NYU this year. I doubt I will ever want to see another student succeed as much as I will with her.
submitted by CollegeWithMattie to ApplyingToCollege [link] [comments]

Marketing Strategies and Practices for Block chain Projects and Startups.

If you are a blockchain startup, open source project or decentralized protocol and believe that you don’t need the right kind of marketing to succeed, think again.
Marketing” has traditionally been a weakness in the early lives of many tech startups for a variety of reasons. Most startups are often led by young or inexperienced CEOs or project leaders who come from a strong engineering or product mindset. These founders either don’t understand or don’t appreciate the value of marketing, and certainly that comes from a lack of experience or education on the subject. Most blockchain companies/projects founders are no different.
At the root of this situation lies a common and fundamental misconception: not knowing the true meaning and functions of marketing agency in mumbai .

Marketing Mistakes

Wrongfully, marketing is prematurely equated to shouting about a product prior to having it ready for the market to try. Others think that marketing is about hiring a PR firm, polishing a website, publishing a blog post, promoting on social media, designing a great logo with new colors and fonts, or producing videos about your product and Society Activation in Mumbai.
Unfortunately, during the ICO frenzy days, the term marketing has been bastardized around excessive usage of the above named activities. Therefore, marketing has received a bad rap in blockchain circles because it has been equated to pumping bad ICOs where the marketing consisted of purely unchecked promotion.
In the past few months, I have had several conversations with founders of blockchain related projects and companies who clearly didn’t seem to understand, let alone appreciate the value and priority they should be giving to doing a better job at marketing. When I challenged them on their marketing, or broached the topic, the responses ranged along the following flavors:
· We’re not ready for marketing until the next product is released and announced
· We have it in the budget for next year to hire a PR firm
· I’ve been doing videos that will air as advertising later
· We prefer to deliver first, and then talk about what we have done
· Marketing is expensive and we don’t have the budget now
· We hired a design firm and redoing our website with a new visual identity
· We don’t need marketing, we focus on our community on Reddit
All of the above are the wrong answers, and point to not understanding the various parts of marketing.

Marketing is a Process

So let’s start with the basics and further discuss what marketing is, or is not about. First, there are 3 parts to marketing:
· Product marketing – explaining what the product does (features/benefits), and how it is differentiated from others. Goal: Positioning the product.
· Corporate marketing – positioning the company and communicating its messages in a variety of means. Branding and Marketing Communications is a big part of it. Goal: Generate Awareness and Preference.
· Customer marketing (sometimes labelled as field marketing, direct marketing or content marketing) – getting in front of your target market to generate adoption, leads and sales. Goal: Generate Adoption and Loyalty.
The kind of marketing that is often deficient in blockchain companies or projects is Marketing Communications, i.e. how to strongly and clearly message in a few words what your project, company or product do for the usecustomer. But this must be done as a continuum. Messaging is not a single shot of sound bites around a launch event. To make it even more effective, it must be customized to the specific audience you are trying to reach: customers, investors, employees, media, influencers, partners, etc.
The process of creating the messaging is a complex exercise that has several layers designed to answering the WHY, WHAT and HOW of your value proposition. Many companies nail the WHY (Elevator pitch), but don’t follow through with the WHAT (Competitive positioning and Core value proposition), or the HOW (Product/Solution messaging and Technology differentiation).
Marketing is a process that evolves along a series of objectives, from Awareness, to Consideration, to Trials, and then Loyalty. Different tools are effective for each one of these steps. For example, thought leadership focuses on the awareness aspect and trying to shape the market by educating it. The brand leadership helps to influence the prospect’s perception towards you. You want to gradually progress from letting your target market care, understand, believe, then act to try your product and merchant onboarding agency in mumbai .
Here is the right order of progression for the following activities:
  1. Brand Strategy
  2. Positioning Statement
  3. Messaging Elements
  4. Visual Identity
Sadly, a common mistake I see is starting with the visual identity and thinking that it is branding. Often, that is the result of being led by an inexperienced CMO or one that came from the PCommunications side, or when the organization has hired a brand design firm instead of a brand strategy firm. Most brand design houses (and some PR companies) will tell you they will take care of your messaging and branding, but that is the tail wagging the dog. Brand strategy takes a very unique skill, and there are few brand strategy experts that do a great job with it. One brand strategy firm with whom I have had experience working with, is Brandsinger.
In a nutshell, if you are not occupying a position in the minds of users/customers (and the prospective market), then your brand value is zero. Someone else will come and articulate their value proposition better than you, and will subsequently occupy that position. If you are first to deliver a product, it may not matter. You need to be first in occupying that specific position in the minds of your target market. The battle is a battle of the minds, as rightfully spelled out in the seminal book on that topic Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind, a classic book that I have perhaps read over 20 times (over a course of 25 years), and almost memorized and put into practice accordingly. The sequel to that book, – Marketing Warfare, is also a must read marketing classic from the legendary Ries and Trout, the two authors of that series of work.

Blockchain Examples

Let’s give it some blockchain and cryptocurrency flavours.
Bitcoin occupied first the digital money position and still does to this point. Ethereum exploited a weakness in Bitcoin,- its ease of programmability and development platform potential, and it currently owns that position. All other (newer) blockchains have to attack Bitcoin or Ethereum as the reference points. Most of them have to raise the volume and intensity of their marketing in order to make an assault on these established leaders. It is always more expensive to attack than it is to defend a position.
ZCash and Monero have exploited the privacy niche. Coinbase occupies the safety ladder in cryptocurrency exchanges. Binance is trying to attack it with a me-too strategy focused on scale, and they are extending their brand with new services. LoomX has been good at becoming a Layer 2 leader for Ethereum. Take any other segment. For example, when you think file storage, you probably think Storj or Filecoin because that’s the position they are occupying. When you think prediction markets, you probably think of Augur or Gnosis. And when you think of stablecoins, Maker comes to mind.

Back to Basics

For those of you who know me from the blockchain market only (over the past 6 years roughly), you may not know that I’ve previously spent a long career in sales and marketing with a variety of positions and experiences in direct sales, field marketing, corporate marketing and several startups as founder and default chief marketer. More specifically, since I exited the operational world via my last startup in April 2013, I’ve written extensively about startup marketing in the early years of this blog. All of it still applies, as I focused on explaining the basics of market positioning, marketing strategy, messaging, brand strategy, and related marketing topics.
There is no point re-inventing marketing for the blockchain sector. So, I’m going to link to some basics that I’ve already written about. Here, I collected the 12 most pertinent blog posts into a single one that links to them: Startup Marketing Compendium of 12 Posts on Positioning, Branding, Messaging and more. Then I wrote one more, The Biggest Blind Spot of a Startup CEO is Ignoring Their Brand.
So please go read that series, and if you need help implementing some of that, don’t start by hiring a PR agency. Rather, take an introspective view, and hire the right marketing person first.
Another common weakness with blockchain companies is they fail to tell their stories in non-technical terms to the market. It is not enough to excite the developers.
And don’t just focus entirely on social media publishing. Unless you have 1 Million+ Twitter followers in your target audience, promoting on social media will only make a dent in your awareness goals.
Remember, marketing is not just writing a press release. It is not shouting from the rooftops. It takes finesse, planning, thought, accuracy, targeted actions, and iterations to get it right.
And timing is so important. Sometimes the marketing is way ahead of delivery, and sometimes it is way behind it, but when the timing and sequence are right, that’s when the magic of results happens.
Allow me repeat this: marketing is a process. Learn it, acquire experience in it, practice it, but don’t be amateurish about it.
About Us.
We are a local marketing and sales agency that help small/medium sized businesses and Start up. Established for over 10 years, our clients vary in size and cover a wide variety of business sectors. we see ourselves as active members of the local community helping local businesses by providing a variety of field marketing, btl marketing , door to door marketing, brand promotion, social media marketing, telemarketing, web and printed based marketing materials.
Contact Us.
Get in touch with us, we would love to discuss your marketing needs.
We love a good coffee and a challenge, so would be happy to meet up with you face to face.
submitted by parth770 to u/parth770 [link] [comments]

Free $10 in BTC at BlockFi crypto lending platform

BlockFi is one of the most well-known crypto lending platforms. It works similar to Celsius: they offer loans in fiat currencies backed by crypto, but you can also earn interest on your (stable)coins.
The company is backed by Peter Thiel, who is one of the founders of PayPal and one of the first investors in Facebook. So it's definitely a legit company :)
If you sign up through their referral programme you get $10 free in Bitcoin if you deposit and hold $100 worth of crypto in your BlockFi account during 30 days. This can also be done using a stablecoin (USDC or GUSD), so this way you have no risk of crypto decreasing in value. You can withdraw your deposit and bonus without any fees.
Steps:
  1. Sign-up through this link: https://blockfi.com/?ref=deafb869 non-ref link without bonus: https://blockfi.com
  2. Verify your account
  3. Deposit at least $100 worth of crypto into your BlockFi account. I recommend using the stablecoin USDC if you don't want to be exposed to crypto price fluctuation.
  4. You will receive the $10 bonus BTC after holding your deposit for 30 days on the nearest Interest Payment Day, which is the first day of the month.
  5. BlockFi allows one free crypto withdrawal per month and one free stablecoin withdrawal per month (see here, bottom of the page), so you can withdraw both your stablecoin and your free BTC without paying any fees.
Terms:
Proof of them paying: https://imgur.com/a/idVtOZF
If you're new to crypto, some extra information:
About stablecoins
Sending cryptocurrencies to and from BlockFi
submitted by blxyy to beermoneyuk [link] [comments]

The Bitcoin Conspiracy (an enthusiast's perspective)

I keep coming across comments, especially in this sub, from people claiming that Bitcoin was created by the CIA or some government agency as part of the plan for the NWO and cashless society. I want to share my experience and try to clear up the confusion surrounding this topic.
I first got involved with Bitcoin in late 2016 when I heard about it and got some while at a libertarian festival. Back then it was still very popular among the agorist community and was being promoted as THE silver bullet that was going to disrupt the global fiat banking system.
Putting preconceptions aside, a new user might ask, "what's so special about Bitcoin? We already have digital currencies."
Well, you only need to read the first page of the whitepaper to discover what the original intent of Bitcoin was. It most definitely was not intended to be a tool for central banks to subjugate the world to a centralized global currency. Quite the opposite in fact. Read the full whitepaper here.
When I first learned about Bitcoin, it forced me to learn about economics, then the Federal Reserve, then one by one the dominoes fell and down the conspiracy rabbit hole I went. In 2017 (actually it started a few years earlier, but I wasn't paying attention back then) there was a very heated debate in the Bitcoin community regarding scaling.
I'll try to break it down simply:
In the very early days, when Bitcoin was just a project being worked on by a few very technical people, no one knew about it. All it took was a handful of people running the software on their laptops to mine new coins. Since there was not much computing power on the network, it meant there could easily be a spam attack where a malicious user could join the network and generate many gigabytes of spam transactions that would overload and crash the network. To prevent this, Satoshi implemented a limit of 1MB per block, to protect the network until there was enough computing power to be able to handle larger blocks.
This measure worked, and Bitcoin grew exponentially.
Satoshi vanished in 2010, after WikiLeaks attracted unwanted attention to the project by accepting Bitcoin donations. He left clear instructions for his successors that the 1MB block size limit was meant to be increased once the network could support high levels of user traffic. At the time, there still was not much use, so it wasn't until around 2014 that blocks started hitting the 1MB cap and all of a sudden users had to compete (by paying higher transaction fees) in order to get their transaction mined into the next block.
Up until then, sending a Bitcoin transaction would cost $0.0001 (hundredth of a penny) or less, no matter if you were sending $0.10 or $1,000,000. Now, since block space was limited, fees started to rise, as miners would only include the transactions with the highest fees. Over the next couple years, transaction fees went up dramatically, at times reaching as high as $100 to send a single transaction.
The solution was obvious - raise the block size limit.
But this led to a heated debate, and this is where the conspiracy became obvious to those who were paying attention. Since Bitcoin was decentralized and open source, anyone could contribute, but certain people controlled the commit access to the github repo, and it became apparent that those individuals had been compromised, as any and all mention of increasing the block size was met with fierce resistance.
There was a misinformation campaign to discredit anyone arguing for larger blocks. The argument was that larger blocks would mean users could not run the software on their low-power personal devices and laptops; that by increasing the block size it would lead to mining centralization. Well, if you read the whitepaper linked above, you'll see that Satoshi predicted this. He knew mining would eventually be left to "specialized server farms" while normal users could use what he termed Simplified Payment Verification (SPV) wallets.
But this point was consistently shot down in the community, and especially on /bitcoin. There was a MASSIVE censorship campaign in the bitcoin subreddit that continues to this day where anyone who questions the official narrative or even asks a basic technical question is immediately banned. /bitcoin today is nothing but a cesspit of price memes and misinformation. Go to /btc for the uncensored discussions (but beware of trolls).
In 2017 the debate was finally settled, sort of. Now known as "Bitcoin Core" (the name of the official Bitcoin software), the developers implemented a change known as SegWit (Segregated Witness) which fundamentally altered the way the software validates transactions. It was implemented as a "soft fork" rather than a "hard fork".
I'll explain the difference.
In a fork, the network comes to a consensus on new rules that all participants must follow. In a hard fork, the changes are non-backwards compatible, so all users must update their software or else be left behind on a dead network. Hard forks happen all the time in software development, but in the case of SegWit, the developers refused to make any non-backwards compatible changes for fear it might alienate users. Again, another unfounded fear. "We can't ever upgrade the technical capabilities of the network (such as the block size) because some people might not go along with it."
All kinds of mental gymnastics were performed to justify their refusal to increase the block size, and there was nothing anyone could do about it except fork as an independent project. The 1MB block limit is now essentially set in stone for BTC. So in August 2017, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard forked by increasing the block size limit to 8MB, along with some other changes.
Fast forward to December 2017 and Bitcoin was at its all time high of nearly $20,000. But fees were also astronomical and because of the 1MB block size limit, a huge backlog formed, and some people had to wait days or even weeks for their transaction to confirm. If anyone was trying to cash out into fiat and didn't want to pay a $100 transaction fee, by the time their transaction got confirmed the price had already crashed.
This event was largely responsible for the bear market of 2018. Everything that happened was predicted by those who knew what was going on.
A company called Blockstream had essentially wrestled control of Bitcoin from the original developers and shut them out or gained control over them, and started working on turning Bitcoin into a settlement layer for their product called Lightning Network.
LN is a complicated topic that I don't want to get into, but essentially it's a framework that recreates all the same problems inherent in the banking system that Bitcoin was meant to solve. Blockstream's goal is to profit from creating, and then "solving" those problems by charging users fees for all kinds of custodial services.
In my personal opinion, it's obvious that the original Bitcoin project has been hijacked and repurposed into a tool for the central banks. The propaganda is being pushed in some conspiracy circles that Bitcoin was created BY the central banks in order to discourage people from researching the true history. What is now commonly called "Bitcoin" is not the original project, but a Trojan horse.
The project that most closely follows the original design is Bitcoin Cash, and that is where almost all organic development is happening, and personally I feel that it's picking up steam lately as more people wake up to what's happening in the economy right now. Unfortunately most people are still unaware of how fundamentally broken BTC is now and so as new users run toward cryptocurrency to escape the dollar collapse, most will fall straight into the trap and be stuck with BTC that they won't be able to use without paying exorbitant fees and/or submitting to the very same tracking system they are trying to get away from.
This is a very deep rabbit hole but I think I've written enough for now. I hope this info helps people make sense of what's going on with Bitcoin. I know it's confusing enough even without so much deception taking place so hopefully this helps.
Read the Bitcoin FAQ over on /btc.
submitted by PM_ME_YOUR_ALTCOINS to conspiracy [link] [comments]

Summer promotion: $20 free at BlockFi crypto lending platform (until Aug 14)

BlockFi is one of the most well-known crypto lending platforms. It works similar to Celsius: they offer loans in fiat currencies backed by crypto, but you can also earn interest on your (stable)coins.
The company is backed by Peter Thiel, who is one of the founders of PayPal and one of the first investors in Facebook. So, BlockFi is definitely a legit company :)
They currently have a summer referral promotion: you get $20 free in Bitcoin if you deposit and hold $500 worth of crypto in your BlockFi account until September 14. This can also be done using a stablecoin (USDC or GUSD), so this way you have no risk of crypto decreasing in value.
Steps:
  1. Sign-up through this link: https://blockfi.com/?ref=deafb869 non-ref link without bonus: https://blockfi.com
  2. Verify your account
  3. Deposit at least $500 worth of crypto into your BlockFi account. I recommend using the stablecoin USDC if you don't want to be exposed to crypto price fluctuation.
  4. You will receive the $20 bonus BTC on September 15 by end of day.
  5. BlockFi allows one free crypto withdrawal per month and one free stablecoin withdrawal per month (see here, bottom of the page), so you can withdraw both your stablecoin and your free BTC without paying any fees.
  6. You can also get $50 per referred friend if you invite people yourself so be sure to post your referral link here!
*Complete terms: https://try.blockfi.com/refer-a-friend-q3-offe
Proof of them paying: https://imgur.com/a/idVtOZF
If you're new to crypto, some extra information:
About stablecoins
Sending cryptocurrencies to and from BlockFi
submitted by blxyy to beermoneyuk [link] [comments]

Weekly FIREUK Blog posts

UK FI blogger posts from the last 7 days
Reddit app allows sideways navigation to view across the table
FI Blogger Last Posted Latest Post Posts This Week
Financing Freedom Fri, 10 Jul 2020 Bitcoin value ‘increasingly understood’ by Millennials 1
Money By Choice Fri, 10 Jul 2020 Why are my investment returns lower than expected? 1
Monevator Fri, 10 Jul 2020 Weekend reading: Corona-crisis, round two 3
Tuppennys Fireplace Fri, 10 Jul 2020 Investing Habits for the Financially Frugal 2
Simple Living In Somerset Fri, 10 Jul 2020 fancy fintech’s fishy fun 1
MedFI Fri, 10 Jul 2020 Emergency Fund 2.0 1
Life after the daily grind Fri, 10 Jul 2020 Brainwashed 1
averagemoneyman Fri, 10 Jul 2020 The Basics You Need to Know to Start Investing 2
Gentleman's Family Finances Fri, 10 Jul 2020 Do you include your home in your net worth? 4
{ in·deed·a·bly } Thu, 09 Jul 2020 Instinct 1
7 Circles Thu, 09 Jul 2020 The DIY Financial Advisor 5 – Practicalities 4
MoneyGrower Thu, 09 Jul 2020 Honey – referral and sign up codes 2
The Young Money Blog Thu, 09 Jul 2020 Why I’m taking some time out 1
Banker on FIRE Thu, 09 Jul 2020 The Really Boring (And Highly Effective) Way To Get Rich 2
Money Bulldog Wed, 08 Jul 2020 Is It Worth Booking a Holiday in 2020? Or Even 2021? 2
Mouthy Money Wed, 08 Jul 2020 Eat-out vouchers and a VAT cut for hospitality to get Brits out and about, and the economy moving 3
Plan On F.I.R.E Wed, 08 Jul 2020 The Magic of Mortgage Refinancing 3
The FIRE Shrink Wed, 08 Jul 2020 The Financial Dashboard – June 2020 2
Fire And Wide Wed, 08 Jul 2020 Optimisation – Playing The FIRE Triangle: Part IV 1
The Humble Penny Tue, 07 Jul 2020 SIDE HUSTLE IDEAS UK: Selling on Amazon vs eBay? 1
Sparkle Bee's Journey to FI Tue, 07 Jul 2020 The Virus 2
Disease called Debt Tue, 07 Jul 2020 Easy and Simple Ways to Make your Company Way More Profitable in 2020 1
Sassenach Saving Sun, 05 Jul 2020 Lockdown Easing 1
The FI Fox Sun, 05 Jul 2020 Why everyone should start a blog 1
Hustle Escape Sun, 05 Jul 2020 The Psychology of Anchoring and Adjustment 2
One Million Journey Sun, 05 Jul 2020 Portfolio Update #19 June 2020 – 100,347€ 1
theFIREstarter Sun, 05 Jul 2020 don’t faint it’s a blog post 1
Money-Side-Up Sun, 05 Jul 2020 How To Negotiate A Salary During A Recession: Simple Strategies To Help You Succeed 1
Money Mage Sun, 05 Jul 2020 June 2020 Savings Report 1
firemusings Sat, 04 Jul 2020 Time to Change the Car (Part 1) 1
Playing with Fire Sat, 04 Jul 2020 ‘Hi, I’m the new girl!’ Expat financial mistakes learnt the hard way. 1
FIRE v London Sat, 04 Jul 2020 June 2020: Disadvantage month 1
Saving Ninja Sat, 04 Jul 2020 Savings Report #24 – Moving Country is Hard! 1
A Way to Less Sat, 04 Jul 2020 Monthly Spending – June 2020 1
fiukmoney.co.uk Fri, 03 Jul 2020 June ’20 – Net Worth and monthly update #22 £569,037 (+£13,570) 89% FI 1
Full list of blogs included in checker - here
For list consideration - Submission form
submitted by reckless-saving to FIREUK [link] [comments]

Free $10 at BlockFi crypto lending platform

BlockFi is one of the most well-known crypto lending platforms. It works similar to Celsius: they offer loans in fiat currencies backed by crypto, but you can also earn interest on your (stable)coins.
The company is backed by Peter Thiel, who is one of the founders of PayPal and one of the first investors in Facebook. So, BlockFi is definitely a legit company :)
If you sign up through their referral programme you get $10 free in Bitcoin if you deposit and hold $100 worth of crypto in your BlockFi account during 30 days. This can also be done using a stablecoin (USDC or GUSD), so this way you have no risk of crypto decreasing in value.
Steps:
  1. Sign-up through this link: https://blockfi.com/?ref=deafb869 non-ref link without bonus: https://blockfi.com
  2. Verify your account
  3. Deposit at least $100 worth of crypto into your BlockFi account. I recommend using the stablecoin USDC if you don't want to be exposed to crypto price fluctuation.
  4. You will receive the $10 bonus BTC after holding your deposit for 30 days on the nearest Interest Payment Day, which is the first day of the month.
  5. BlockFi allows one free crypto withdrawal per month and one free stablecoin withdrawal per month (see here, bottom of the page), so you can withdraw both your stablecoin and your free BTC without paying any fees.
Terms:
Proof of them paying: https://imgur.com/a/idVtOZF
If you're new to crypto, some extra information:
About stablecoins
Sending cryptocurrencies to and from BlockFi
submitted by blxyy to beermoneyuk [link] [comments]

So, I have a bit of a quandary....Can I get some objective insight, please?

This got much longer than I thought it would....
I'm applying for a job with an international NPO in the tech industry. To call them "privacy focused" would not be overstating things. It's entirely what they do. I found out about them because it's entirely what they do. Their work is used extensively, although by no means exclusively, by criminals. It's designed for political activists, dissidents, anyone who might have need of tech that comes pre-loaded with all the right tools, can run on damn near any machine and is basically impervious to forensic analysis. It's just been sort of hijacked by people who use it to buy and sell real and counterfeit drugs, both outright illicit and pharmaceutically manufactured; people who steal and sell identities, forged identity documents, social security numbers, credit card data, RFID skimmers in every flavor to steal said data, credit histories, tax returns, counterfeit cash in all the major denominations, stolen/cracked/keygen'd software, hardware, you name it. There are people who will no shit use stolen credit cards to buy you whatever you want and have it delivered to your front door - or wherever else you want it to go - for a fraction of what it costs. If it has value somewhere or is worth something to someone, there are circles in which it's available to buy, sell, trade, or steal. And a large chunk of the people buying and selling these insanely illegal and illicit products are using this NPO's tech to do it.
I have no way of knowing how they feel about that fact. They can't possibly Not know....right?? A simple reddit search of their name immediately brings up like 7 different subreddits that all revolve around these illegal activities. Only one of which contains their name in the . It's super popular. Which brings me to my issue.
Those activities are precisely how I know about their existence. Those criminals are my friends and cohorts. I'm not one for fraud, frankly, but I'm hardly a passive observer in those spaces. I regularly teach people who stumble into those spaces how to more effectively use these tools to stay under the radar.
How do I explain to these people that I know their work and am familiar enough with it's bugs and glitches to be worth investing in, first of all, despite having zero technical qualifications. But more importantly, how do I sidestep the question, "So, how did you come to be so proficient in this particular collection of tools, given your complete and total lack of technical qualifications?" I'm sure they'll ask it more politely than that. But they Will ask it. They can't Not. It's not something people just randomly stumble across and then spend the next several years of their life playing with just for kicks. It's too specific for that. People who use it, need it. And I do not live in a place where it makes sense for me to know it as well as I do unless I'm doing something illegal with it. Which, as it happens, I am. Not to mention...I have zero paper trail for the years I've been paying my bills in cash (because ComEd and the mortgage company don't take bitcoin...yet).
It's crossed my mind to just disclose my activities.
Don't worry. I immediately remembered how many felonies I've committed or been privy to others committing and promptly discarded that plan. Or more accurately, I remembered that I actually Can't remember how many felonies I've committed or been privy to others committing thanks entirely to this tech. Like I said, I have no idea how they feel about people using their work like we do. They may find it reprehensible and disgraceful and call the Feds. I doubt it. Remember, privacy-focused. I'm disinclined to think they'd be very big fans of the Feds, just sort of on principle. Even still. I worry they won't respond well to the truth.
It's also occurred to me to simply point out that they are, in fact, actively developing tech designed for those who have a rather extreme need for privacy, and that while I have very much appreciated the time and dedication they've put into their work, so much so that the opportunity to work for them has very much been the reason I've been pulling myself together and actively working on such professional things as a resume and a portfolio, I feel that to disclose what it was I needed to go to such lengths to secure my privacy for would effectively render such measures obsolete.
I figure if I can get this out of the way in my cover letter and supply a small portfolio of my work showing my competence, if nothing else, that might be the best way to come at it. I don't think I could handle it if they showed an interest in me and interviewed me and then told me they couldn't hire me because I've been abusing their work for years. At least if they just don't respond at all to my submission, I can pretend it was my portfolio and lack of technical qualifications that prevented me from getting the job, you know?
Thoughts? Suggestions? Advice? Help?
submitted by AltruisticMzAnthrope to CoverLetters [link] [comments]

In 2012 a Possessed Couch Told Me To Murder My Friends

Part 1, Part 2
As I walked through the IKEA showroom I felt distressed. I wanted to sit down, I needed to sit down, but all of the couches around me looked like they would cause me severe back pain. They were lit up with fancy lights and smelled faintly of disinfectant, the whole showroom felt like the world’s fanciest hospital. I desperately searched among the rows for something that would make me comfortable, but my search seemed hopeless. I walked around aimlessly, until, as if by divine intervention, I noticed a maintenance room in the corner of the showroom.
As I opened the door a cloud of smoke escaped the abyss that hid beyond. The darkness before me beckoned, ‘Come here Tiger,’ it whispered. I walked into the hallway. The door behind me closed.
As I journeyed through the corridor the smoke grew more intense, but so did my certainty that I would find what I was looking for. At first it was only my footsteps that echoed through the darkness, but as I walked on I could hear a far off radio playing. A familiar song by the Stones grew louder as I approached a room at the end of the hall. Yet the music was soon joined by sobs. Someone was crying.
A fluorescent light bulb crackled in and out of life, yet it was strong enough to illuminate the small room. A dark haired man in a worker’s uniform sat by the edge of a familiar couch as he finished off stitching the last bits of its flowery upholstery. He wept as he pulled out the thread and needle. His face was caked in grime, but the tears created two clear lines down his cheeks. When he saw me he wiped away his tears and got up. The man composed himself, lit a cigarette and walked over to me. He gave the couch one last look, but it wasn’t a look of sorrow, it was a look of pride. The man looked back at the couch as if he had just walked his daughter down the isle. Then he motioned towards it. ‘Come here Tiger, I’ve been waiting for you,’ the couch growled with sex in its tone.
I stepped towards the couch. The electricity in the air was back and stronger than before. ‘I can make your wildest dreams come true Tiger. I can make you believe in a heaven. All you have to do is fuck me.’
I reached out for the couch, all of my nerve endings tingled with anticipation. I was millimeters away from nirvana. The universe had its gaze set on me and was about to reveal all of its secrets but then-
My hand started to shake. It was gentle at first but soon the convulsions spread through my arm. Within moments I was down on the floor, my body throwing itself from side to side uncontrollably. The light bulb grew bright with a deafening scream. The world was crumbling at its axis. POP! The room was plunged into darkness.
“James? James, wake up,” Karl’s shadow stood above me. It was early morning; the room was still dim with dawn. Karl held two cigarettes in his hands, “We should go have a cigarette, friend.”
I was horribly dazed; his words didn’t make a lick of sense. The only thing that seemed understandable was the voice in the back of my head, ‘Don’t listen to him Tiger, he wants to take me away from you. Don’t let him get between our love.’ I stirred on the couch. My fingers were deep in the upholstery. “I don’t feel like smoking right now Karl.”
Karl didn’t move. “James, we have to take the couch outside. It doesn’t belong in this house anymore. You and me should also have a cigarette, we need to talk.”
‘He wants to hurt me Tiger, don’t let him hurt me, do something. He has to be stopped.’ I yawned and tried to look as sleepy as possible but Karl’s eyes stayed on me. “Mind if I nap for like fifteen more minutes?” I asked.
“James,” he started. His voice was cold, “We need to take the couch outside. We need to talk.”
I waited for the voice in my head to tell me what to do but it fell quiet. I was abandoned. “Okay, fine, no better way to start a morning than a bit of furniture moving and a smoke.” I lumbered off of the couch, put on my pants and reached for one end of the couch.
“What’s wrong with your hand?” Karl asked. I looked down. My fingers were covered in a thick layer of red, as if I had spent the whole night eating Cheetos. They were also bloated; my nails looked comically small nestled in between thick puffs of red flesh.
I waited for the couch to tell me what to do, but it still kept quiet. “I dunno, spent a good amount of time outside without gloves,” I finally said. Karl looked over at my other hand, my perfectly normal hand that didn’t spend the night inside of the couch, but he didn’t say anything. We carried the couch outside in silence.
It was oddly warm outside. There were still small piles of snow spread through the yard but the neighborhood looked more like a muddy war zone rather than a winter wonderland. The couch remained silent until we dropped it off in the middle of the backyard. ‘There’s a knife in the kitchen, Tiger,’ it whispered.
Karl lit up his cigarette and offered me the lighter. “I forgot my coat, give me a sec,” I said. I walked back into the apartment to fetch it. I went past the kitchen.
When I walked out of the apartment Karl was standing far off from the couch. He didn’t register me walking out; his attention was purely focused on the mysterious furniture. Something was going on behind those small eyes of his. My bloated hand was shoved deep into the coat of my pocket. ‘You know what to do Tiger,’ the voice whispered, ‘He wants to take me away from you, but you can stop him. Be my hero Tiger, be my hero and I will bring you incomprehensible pleasure.’ I walked towards Karl. I was shaking. “Want to sit?” I finally asked, dragging his attention away from the couch.
Karl motioned towards the lawn chair, “You can sit if you want to.” He lit up my cigarette. ‘One clean cut Tiger, he won’t see it coming, one clean cut through his throat.’ I didn’t sit. Karl’s eyes drifted back towards the couch. “There is something wrong with that couch James,” he started.
“I was nervous yesterday. Maarja’s parents have always been very critical of me. They think I am strange. Whenever I meet them they talk to me like I have escaped from a mental asylum, like there is something wrong with me. But yesterday was different James. Yesterday they made an effort. Maarja’s mother complimented me on my tie and her father was willing to look in my eyes while we talked. During lunch he asked me about my financial plans. I told him about Bitcoin,” Karl smiled, “Maarja’s father became very excited. He heard about crypto-currency from his coworkers, but he did not understand it. I explained it to him. He was so impressed that he asked to see how everything works. He invited himself over to our apartment. Things were going well. I saw him smile. I thought things would continue going well.” Karl paused, his eyes drifted back to the couch. “Things did not go well.”
“When we arrived at the apartment Maarja and her mom stayed outside for a cigarette. I went inside with Maarja’s father to show him the computer rig. He has heard enough about crypto to know that it is going to lift off. I wanted him to see that in a couple of years I would be able to provide for a family. I wanted to ask him if he would… You know…” Karl’s voice dropped to a whisper, “Let me marry his daughter.” He took another puff and shook his head, “But we didn’t get past the living room.”
“As soon as he saw the couch he stopped. He stood there, frozen, looking at the furniture. I tried talking to him but it was as if he didn’t hear me. For almost a minute he stared at the couch and then he jumped on it and started…” Karl trailed off; he looked back at the couch. An expression of utter disbelief danced around his face but he struck it down. Karl looked square into my eyes, “Maarja’s father jumped on the couch and started to hump it.”
Even through the numbness of my fingers I could feel the pointed edge of the kitchen knife. ‘Do it Tiger, do it for me. Don’t let him tell you his lies. Kill the freak. One clean cut. The loud whore inside is still asleep; she’ll be easier to get rid of. Do it Tiger, do it so we can be together forever.’ I cleared my throat, “Humping?” I asked?
“Humping,” Karl replied, “He humped the couch with all his energy. I tried to get him to stop but he wouldn’t listen to a word I said. He just kept on pressing himself against the couch like it was some long lost lover. I left when he started to take off his pants.
“I went outside to get Maarja and her mom. I told them something was wrong with Maarja’s dad and that they needed to come inside right away. At first they didn’t understand, they kept on asking questions. Could they not finish their cigarettes? What was specifically wrong? Why was I so panicked? They were oblivious, but as soon as I mentioned the couch. James, as soon as I mentioned the couch something sparked in Maarja’s mom’s eyes. She ran inside of the apartment, cigarette still in her hand and dragged him out.
“Remember how angry she was when she caught you and Saale the night after the party? Remember how we would joke about how crazy she was about the couch? James, the anger I saw yesterday was nothing compared to that. Maarja’s mother was furious. She slapped and hit Maarja’s dad until he was out of the apartment. She threatened him with divorce. She kicked and punched the man and then locked the door on him so he couldn’t come back.
“She said that Maarja’s dad was obsessed with the couch when they started dating, that the scars on his face are from rubbing against the cushioning. The only way that Maarja’s mom and her grandma managed to get her dad back to normal was by hiding the couch while he went out to do his military service. After he came back he kept on searching for it, he kept on demanding that the couch be returned, but over the years he gave up. That’s why Maarja’s mom wanted us to burn the couch when she saw it. That’s why she demands we burn it now.
“There’s something wrong with that couch James. I sat on it last night while you and Maarja were talking outside. There is something horribly rotten about that couch. As I sat there I could feel it probing in my brain, trying to grab onto something, it was as if the couch was trying to find pain that it could use; pain that it could feed off of. We have to burn it.”
‘SLIT HIS THROAT!’ The voice boomed in my head, ‘SLIT HIS THROAT AND THEN SLIT HER THROAT AND THEN COME TO ME!’ I could feel my arm getting ready. I could already see the blood streaming through his beard. I kept on trying to remind myself that Karl is my friend, that I didn’t want to hurt him, but every fiber of my being was being dragged towards murder. I took a step back. “Can… Can we burn it after New Years?”
“Are you okay?” Karl’s face suddenly turned concerned, “You look pale James.” I took another step backward. ‘A SINGLE SLICE TIGER, HE WON’T SEE IT COMING.’
“I…” my legs turned to jelly, I leaned up against the wall. I wanted to take my hand off the knife, I desperately wanted to be as far away from a weapon as I could be, but my hands refused. Murder jumbled my mind, images of death and pleasure and the couch filled my vision. “I don’t think I’m okay.”
Karl took a step forward. He planted his hand on my shoulder. ‘JUST DO IT YOU COWARD, JUST DO IT! DON’T LET HIM GET IN THE WAY OF OUR LOVE!’ He sighed, “Is this about Saale?”
“Yes,” I found myself saying, “The couch smells like her. I… I’m such a mess Karl. I don’t know how to get over this. I just want to be back. I want to be in high-school again and I want the four of us to be together again and I want to drink every night and…” I realized I was crying again. ‘Coward,’ the voice whispered.
Karl looked at me, visibly feeling awkward. His brow furrowed as he tried to figure out what to say. “We can still drink every night,” he finally said, offering up a weak smile. I couldn’t even manage a smile back. He frowned and thought for a bit more before he spoke again. “James, life is sometimes bad and sometimes it is good. Things will not change, Saale will not come back, but if you wait long enough things will get better. You will forget, you will feel better. I am not good with words, but I am good with waiting. Me and Maarja will wait with you until you are better.”
My hand slipped out of my pocket. It was empty. “Thank you Karl,” I said. ‘You’re a coward,’ the voice reminded me. The pieces started to fall together. The voice, the rat, the dreams, Maarja’s dad; there was something wrong with that couch. It needed to go. Yet there was still a part of me that couldn’t handle seeing it burn. I needed time to prepare. “You’re right about the couch. There’s something off about it but… Could we wait until after midnight to burn it?”
Karl studied me. “Why?”
“It’s silly, I know, but I think getting rid of the place where me and Saale had our first night would be a good start to the New Year, like a way to let things go.” Karl considered this idea for a bit and then nodded. It felt like a burden was lifted.
Maarja joined us outside after a couple of minutes with coffee. The warmth of the cup felt soothing on my irritated skin. Being with the two of them felt soothing to my irritated soul. Suddenly things started to brighten. Saale and me would never be back together, hell, maybe I would never see her again, and that thought stung but while I was in the company of Karl and Maarja it felt manageable. We set up plans for the rest of the day; by the looks of it our last day of 2012 would be filled with walks through old places, kebabs and booze. We sat down in the kitchen for some pre-drinking.
I put the knife where it belonged when no one was looking. The time that it had spent in my pocket felt like a fever dream. Anything related to the couch felt like a distant memory. The whole morning the voice had been silent, as if it had just satiated itself with calling me a coward and decided to abandon me. I returned the favor; even though it was right outside of the window I didn’t look at the couch a single time the entire morning. It was dead to me. In fact, I started to doubt whether it was ever alive to begin with.
Yet as we headed out to town I couldn’t help myself. I looked back at the couch. It stood defiantly in the middle of the backyard, snow and mud all around it. This was not the same dusty couch Karl and me had dragged out of the garage. It was comfy looking, clean, even sleek. As Karl and Maarja walked on I could see the upholstery rumple into a wink. ‘We’re not done Tiger,’ the voice faintly whispered in my mind, ‘Not by a long shot.’ I ignored it and went out with my friends.
We traced through our high-school drinking holes. Tallinn’s nightlife was always shifting around. Waiters and bartenders from Australia would sit at home, save up their money and run into the Baltics to buy a bar. The bar would be a financial trash fire and in under a year they would go broke. Yet the money that the expats blew on their dreams burnt bright, the names and owners of the bars might have changed but the memories that we made within those walls stayed. We went through the shisha bar where I would always celebrate my birthdays, the Karaoke place where Karl blew all of our minds, the hole-in-the-wall where our band had its first gig. We hoped from memory to memory until we ended up in the grand melting pot: Hellhunt park.
By day Hellhunt was a pub with a park terrace. By night Hellhunt was a pub with an adjoining noise complaint. As soon as the terrace closed down teens from every corner of the city would crowd the benches of the park and drink. Even though most of our drinking began at Maarja’s place we would often stumble through here. Hellhunt was the place where our social circle would stretch.
“They will be closing it down soon,” Karl said, looking at the mingling crowd of underage drunks. “Neighbors are complaining about the noise.”
“Screw the neighbors!” Maarja drunkenly yelled at the windows. She was outpacing both of us, it wasn’t even ten o’clock and she was already drunk enough to forget the whole night. “If you don’t like the noise just come outside! Come drink with us!” Maarja yelled her offer to the windows. No one paid attention to her. Yelling was a regular occurrence in Hellhunt.
Maarja stumbled her way over to the bench where Karl and me were sitting and collapsed between us. “You guys hear about Tinder?” That night was the drunkest I had ever seen her.
“Tinder?” I asked.
“It is an application for your phone where you choose strangers to have sex with,” Karl said.
Maarja scoffed so hard she fell on my shoulder. “It’s a love app! It’s where strangers, strangers like James here, find love! What an exciting time to be single, you’re just given a list of people and you go ‘Beep! Boop!’ Next thing you know you’re married!” Maarja lifted her head. She looked in my eyes as an air of utter seriousness and rum drifted off her, “But I swear to god James, if you get married before me I’ll slit your throat.” She burst out into a stream of giggles, managing to spill her drink in the process. “Whoops! Looks like momma needs more jet-fuel.” Maarja staggered up to her feet and started falling down in the direction of the pub.
Karl got up and managed to catch her before she fell over, “I will come with you. James? You want anything?” I still had half a plastic cup of vodka sprite. The two lovebirds went into the pub and left me alone with the crowd.
I started to think about that Tinder thing that Maarja was talking about. Maybe she was right, maybe it was a good time to be single. I was in the country with the highest models per capita, I was a foreigner, I haven’t been in a serious relationship for six months. There was something about having two breakdowns in the past two days that flooded the obsession out of me. I started searching the crowd for someone I would have swiped right on. That’s when I saw her.
She was standing at the edge of a circle of people. Some dude with dreadlocks was telling some story and she was listening. Her hazel eyes drifted around. They caught mine. For a split second we held each other’s gaze. Then Saale broke into a sprint. I ran after her.
The Old Town of Tallinn is a lot less beautiful when you sprint through it. You can’t appreciate the medieval buildings when you’re in a mad dash, the cobbled streets definitely don’t help either. I ran after Saale as the city turned into a blur around me. My head spun as I ran past the buildings; old school field trips, karaoke, drunken trips to McDonalds, all those thoughts rumbled about. Yet above all of them there was one solitary thought that reigned supreme; I had to catch Saale. She ran with comical intensity, bumping into drunken crowds as she tried to get away from. It was as if an animal was chasing her. Seeing that panic in her face whenever she looked behind to see if I was gaining on her started to crack something in me. We ran out from the old town towards the two big malls. Crossing the road Saale nearly got hit by a tram. Something in me broke. I stopped.
The absurdity of it all hit me at once. I was literally chasing her. She didn’t want to talk to me. She wouldn’t talk to me. For a couple minutes I stood still, letting the celebrating crowds walk past me like I was a lamppost. I was wavering between rage and despair. I chose the latter and trudged my way back to Hellhunt.
Karl and Maarja were still sitting on the same bench. He was nursing another beer whilst Maarja was chugging on water insisting that she is just getting hydrated to do more drinking later on. It wasn’t rare to lose your friends at Hellhunt for thirty minutes; they didn’t ask where I disappeared to. They could tell something was off though. I tried to act cool, pretend that everything was fine but it wasn’t. I couldn’t stay there. I needed to go back to Maarja’s and just be alone.
“What? You can’t leaveeee! It’s New Years eveee!” Maarja groaned, she kept on touching my face as if that would put me in a more festive mood.
“Do you want us to come home too? I am sure we can see the fireworks from the back yard,” Karl finally said, “I think Maarja might benefit from lying down.” Maarja protested. She was basically sober after all.
“No I think I need to be alone right now.”
Karl studied me for a bit but finally nodded. “We will be back after the fireworks. There are some games on my computer if you get bored.” I appreciated the sentiment but I wasn’t in a mood for videogames.
Karl gave me the keys and I made my way back to Maarja’s place. I moved past the crowds heading towards the center. I prayed I wouldn’t bump into Saale again.
I rushed past the couch sitting in the backyard. I know couches don’t have eyes but I knew it was watching me. It was silently waiting for me to slip.
There was a half drank bottle of moonshine on the living room floor from our pre-drinking. Just like any nineteen-year-old European boy the prospect of booze to dull my sadness leaped out at me. I tried to wash out the sting of rejection with the alcohol and for a while it helped, it dulled the pain, but the drunker I got the more my eyes started to slide towards the window. The couch just sat out there in the backyard, mud all around it, awaiting execution.
‘I told you we weren’t done’ it whispered, ‘Come outside Tiger.’
I took another pull of moonshine. I realized I needed a cigarette.
-MJL
(Final part)
submitted by MikeJesus to nosleep [link] [comments]

$10 free in BTC at BlockFi (similar to Celsius)

BlockFi is one of the most well-known crypto lending platforms. It works similar to Celsius: they offer loans in fiat currencies backed by crypto, but you can also earn interest on your (stable)coins.
The company is backed by Peter Thiel, who is one of the founders of PayPal and one of the first investors in Facebook. So, BlockFi is definitely a legit company :)
If you sign up through their referral programme you get $10 free in Bitcoin if you deposit and hold $100 worth of crypto in your BlockFi account during 30 days. This can also be done using a stablecoin (USDC or GUSD), so this way you have no risk of crypto decreasing in value.
Steps:
  1. Sign-up through this link: https://blockfi.com/?ref=deafb869 non-ref link without bonus: https://blockfi.com
  2. Verify your account
  3. Deposit at least $100 worth of crypto into your BlockFi account. I recommend using the stablecoin USDC if you don't want to be exposed to crypto price fluctuation.
  4. You will receive the $10 bonus BTC after holding your deposit for 30 days on the nearest Interest Payment Day, which is the first day of the month.
  5. BlockFi allows one free crypto withdrawal per month and one free stablecoin withdrawal per month (see here, bottom of the page), so you can withdraw both your stablecoin and your free BTC without paying any fees.
Terms:
Proof of them paying: https://imgur.com/a/idVtOZF
If you're new to crypto, some extra information:
About stablecoins
Sending cryptocurrencies to and from BlockFi
submitted by blxyy to beermoneyuk [link] [comments]

$10 free in BTC at BlockFi (similar to Celsius)

BlockFi is one of the most well-known crypto lending platforms. It works similar to Celsius: they offer loans in fiat currencies backed by crypto, but you can also earn interest on your (stable)coins.
The company is backed by Peter Thiel, who is one of the founders of PayPal and one of the first investors in Facebook. So, BlockFi is definitely a legit company :)
If you sign up through their referral programme you get $10 free in Bitcoin if you deposit and hold $100 worth of crypto in your BlockFi account during 30 days. This can also be done using a stablecoin (USDC or GUSD), so this way you have no risk of crypto decreasing in value.
Steps:
  1. Sign-up through this link: https://blockfi.com/?ref=deafb869 non-ref link without bonus: https://blockfi.com
  2. Verify your account
  3. Deposit at least $100 worth of crypto into your BlockFi account. I recommend using the stablecoin USDC if you don't want to be exposed to crypto price fluctuation.
  4. You will receive the $10 bonus BTC after holding your deposit for 30 days on the nearest Interest Payment Day, which is the first day of the month.
  5. BlockFi allows one free crypto withdrawal per month and one free stablecoin withdrawal per month (see here, bottom of the page), so you can withdraw both your stablecoin and your free BTC without paying any fees.
Terms:
Proof of them paying: https://imgur.com/a/idVtOZF

If you're new to crypto, some extra information:
About stablecoins
Sending cryptocurrencies to and from BlockFi
submitted by blxyy to beermoneyuk [link] [comments]

I've reached the extent that I think I can tell this story. This is my experience with the cult

Introduction
I am hesitant to begin writing about these memories, and for two reasons. The first is out of fear - fear of retaliation. You see, I was taken advantage of by a cult that I escaped a few years ago in the summer of 2018. I wasn’t involved for long - ten months - but that wasn’t the end of the cult’s influence on me, as they cleverly had a previously unaffiliated visitor contact me and try to bring me back during the period afterwards. I believe they are still keeping tabs on be covertly, but this may just be my paranoid nature.
For nearly the entire first year afterwards, I was always looking over my shoulder to see if I was being followed. They definitely have an interest in roping me back into the fold, as you will see how sociopathic these people are. I’m still traumatized, and although I have healed a great deal from these trials, there is still lingering conditioning that causes me panic attacks and anxiety, which exemplifies my schizoaffective disorder. I attribute much of the reason I’m houseless now to the combination of my mental health and trauma caused by this group.
The second reason I am hesitant to begin writing is also out of fear, but this is instead a fear of not being able to deliver on my promise to expose this cult. I know I have the ability to write about my account, but will it be good enough? Will I be throwing these words into the electronic ocean like so many others with little effect on the world? I feel that no matter how hard I try, I will be unable to capture the cult’s devious acts in such a way to convey what it was like for me, a vulnerable individual, to be slowly turned into an obedient slave.
Inadequacy. This is an important piece of my psychology. After watching my mother decay and die for the first nine years of my life, followed by being raised by an abusive, narcissistic father, I have a profound feeling of inadequacy ruling me. I never feel like I am good enough; that I have to self-sacrifice - to the point where I believed I had to be as good as Jesus Christ - in order to achieve a passable level of human adequacy. The cult took advantage of these feelings in spades and left me a shell of who I was previously.
Fortunately, the period of houselessness that has extended the last year or so of my life has been a radically transformative period where I feel able to step out from barriers that previously trapped me. I feel freer than I ever have been, and to be honest, I owe a lot to the cult for pushing me to my breaking point and learning where my boundaries are. In fact, I don’t believe I could have stepped away from the denial of having a feminine side if it weren’t for the ridiculousness of how far I was pushed.
Now, I stand strong, ready to accomplish this mission life has presented me. It is my basic civic duty to tell my story and warn the public about this group and others who prey on vulnerable individuals in an unstable socioeconomic period. They deliberately attract people who are vulnerable for personal or financial reasons. For instance, there was a flat-earther from Belgium who was here illegally that got roped into our group by being attracted to the messages of sovereignty and their abundance of kooky new age beliefs. They even tried to get me to recruit more members using the same strategies they hooked me with - which is standard cult behavior.
This leads right into how I got involved with the cult in the first place. Part of it is my fault, as I was young and naive. I still am, but now I have the wisdom to not throw myself out there for any group to start manipulating. There are many people who can be drawn into their preying behavior, and it is important that I elaborate on how easy it is to get duped, so others don’t follow in my footsteps.
As you will see, the group was bizarre in many ways. I want to start off by saying that I did not join an organization of pee-drinkers who practiced blood-magick on the side of Main Street. Instead, I started working for a nonprofit that promised to change the world, and appeared to have the ability to do that. The weirdness grew exponentially over time, gradually as they conditioned us to accept their way of life.
On my own end, I wanted to join an intentional community; one where everyone involved works towards a singular end as one unit. I longed for the camaraderie and an alternate way of life. I wanted something different than what - as the cult called the common culture - “The Matrix,” or “Babylon” offered. There are such communities, but because of devious groups like this, everyone needs to be cautious when attempting to find them. I still seek to find or create an alternative lifestyle for myself where I can live amongst my brothers and sisters away from the mass-produced consumer culture of the world.
It’s been a hell of a journey, but I am happy where I am now. If anything, the group taught me that self-love is our first love; if the gardener does not take care of themselves, then who takes care of the garden? With my efforts to find such a community as I wanted, it was inevitable that some group would have sunk their teeth into me. I am grateful that I was able to recognize the far-flung insanity that I was trapped in and escape. Now I just need to focus on recovering and helping others who may be searching for the same things I am.
Chapter 1
It all started early in 2017. I was working on reverse networking, like trying to place a letter on someone’s shoes to let them know I exist. I was hoping to find a project I could use my skills as a writer and juggler by broadcasting who I was on our small online community, The Shrug Life Syndicate, on Reddit. I was so desperate to find such a community that fit my ideals and goals that I didn’t even conceive that someone could be watching in order to learn about me.
They first posted a link to their site on our community’s board, when they were still going by the Awakening Sovereignty Collective. To best understand how I perceived them initially, you have to understand that I was lost in what we at the Shrug Life Syndicate call the synchronicity slip stream. An aspect of my schizoaffective disorder, I often get lost in various series of synchronicities that form a coherent narrative that compels me to behave differently than I otherwise would. It is an amazing feature of my mental health for creativity and finding alternative solutions to problems, but it can be debilitating when trying to fit in to the normal world. When the ASC posted, I believed applying on their website was the obvious thing I should do in order to accomplish my cosmic mission.
Well, nothing happened at first, and I forgot about them until several months later until I received an email stating I was hired. This came after a series of strange tasks from anonymous accounts that seemed to be tests to see if I was as capable of a writer as I portrayed myself as being. I remember one test was to see if I could write a sales pitch for “Unicorn Poop,” an edible snack with a humorous twist. I don’t have any proof that these two events are connected, but it definitely tripped my radar as odd that they happened one after another, and nothing ever came from the sales tasks.
Having passed their tests, I began working with them online. It was a slow process, as there wasn’t a lot of work right out the gate, but there was a lot to learn. Their websites were many in number and often confusing. I had difficulty navigating them and almost quit trying within days of getting started. I remember crumbling back into my addictive nature one night as the wailing cries of depression came roaring back with my initial perceived failure.
If I were not partially psychotic, believing the universe was guiding me to the salvation I sought, then that would have been the end of it. Many other people seemed to have given up while I was still new to working for them. If I were to guess, I would say that this was deliberate on their part in order to weed out only people like me, who were in some way desperate to be a part of the group. With only a small number of desperate people finding their way into the clutches of these people, it must be easier to control them as well.
The ASC promised a new way of life for anyone seeking it. They claimed to be a planetary alliance that was helping ecovillages, nonprofits, conscious businesses, and individual change agents. They were working on a cryptocurrency and software suite that would help communities better serve the world. This was at the peak of the bitcoin bubble, where many people unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies were trying to get in on the hype. They touted a number of figures and claims which ultimately turned out to be false or otherwise misrepresentative of the truth, but in the moment I believed everything they were shoveling.
It was easy for them to sell the idea and project as they were all natural sales personalities. I attended a lot of meetings, particularly with the writer’s team, and started to get to know the people behind the project. In the moment, they appeared to be down-to-Earth and relatable, but highly conscious individuals who really cared about the world and were motivated to do the work necessary to make the changes needed for the planet. In hindsight, they really only cared about money, and were playing a part to catch people like me.
The leader was named Dakota, if that was his real name (I believe most of the main group had adopted a second name to hide who they really were). He was a young man claiming to have graduated high school at ten, and he founded a company known as STADA which was facilitating much if not all of the software needs of the ASC. He was brilliant, but I believe most of his brilliance was self-generated through his ability to sell himself as more than he really was. He always acted like a millionaire who was going to change the world, which made it easy for him to sell the project to people like me.
The co-leader was named Lila. She was a cheerful person who always had something positive to add to the conversation. While working with her, I found this to be a powerful part of her personality. It was hard to say no to her, as she had a motherly vibe and she strategically would ask you to do things that left you feeling compelled to help her, for the good of the project. She first won me over by claiming to run a retreat center for circus skills. I only heard of this in the beginning of my journey with the group, so I believe it may have been a bogus means to shift my opinion of them.
The leader of the writer’s team was named Teahna, who was beautiful and knew how to use her womanly charm to influence others. She seemed to be new to the project as well, having recently written her first book, and my time working with her online seemed to be a learning experience for both of us. I believe this was also planned, so that I would have some support learning what I was supposed to be doing on the various websites that seemed to pile up more and more as time went on.
The work was easy at first. There were no assignments or anything like that. It was all pile work - as in, just grab a shovel and get paid for what you move. As a writer, I naturally gravitated to the writers team’s tasks, but I also helped with the education team and the core tasks of the group. Mostly I wrote articles and website content for them, but I also wrote fake twitter bios, social media posts, and began working on their constitution/manifesto before arriving at their headquarters.
I was making good money, both in real dollars and their own cryptocurrency, Equality Keys. They claimed we could trade their currency for real money at any time, which turned out to be a lie. They often only let us exchange it at certain times at a reduced value. But, I was naive enough to believe that the numbers on my screen were real and meant I was doing good. It wasn’t long before I earned upwards of thousands of dollars worth of their currency, which was promised to rise in value as the project continued to grow and evolve.
After a few weeks working with them, they began toying with a name change to Earth Nation. I believe this is a key part of their method of staying under the radar. By changing names and projects frequently, they never gather enough clout to be exposed as the charlatans that they are. They would later create a new project known as Earth Cycle, and there was a tentacle organization we got hooked into after our stay with the main group called Lovecycle. In regards to the latter, I will never forget the name Lovecycle, as that is when the bulk of bizarre and traumatic events occured.
This is around the same time that my girlfriend at the time began helping out as well. We worked together as a writer and artist combo, and they were initially excited to have another person joining to help. There was some friction though, such as bluntly being told they had no need for an artist at this time after they welcomed her onboard, and there were moments where it seemed like they did not want her to be a part of the project. As they turned her and I against each other much later in our odyssey with them, I think this must have been deliberate to sow the seeds of conflict between us. Again, this is classic cult behavior. I regret bringing her into the whole thing, as she is no doubt as traumatized as I am.
What really allowed me to lose myself in the hope of the project was the possibility to do exactly as I dreamed: travel with a caravan, juggle at festivals, help sell whatever my girlfriend and others made, and write gonzo journalism about what Earth Nation was doing. One of the main draws of the group was that they advertised in the meetings about how they had a proposal system, where anyone could come with their plan and it could be voted on to be given resources. They were interested in my idea (how much of that was just gaslighting me to believe I’ve found the perfect gig, I don’t know), and wanted me to do some journalism about my experiences moving to their headquarters just outside Eugene, Oregon - on the other side of the country.
My girlfriend and I were ecstatic at the idea of starting a new life on the west coast. It was the dream we both shared, to abandon the broken world we knew and join something better. We began preparing for the move, sold all of our stuff, and eventually took off from the airport with only three bags to our name. It was a leap of faith, and we were never happier to embrace our dreams and begin to live a much more interesting life.
Chapter 2
We left on October 25th, about a couple months after I first began working for the ASC. It was an amazing trip that we thought would represent our rebirth. I remember arriving at the airport feeling as though I was leaving a part of my past behind. I felt a wave of solemn emptiness and fear over this, but I have since learned such feelings are common with change of this magnitude. Mostly, I felt joy that a new chapter of my life was unfolding before my eyes.
It was a time where it seemed like we had infinite potential right at our fingertips. Who knew what would actually go down over the coming months? We were grateful for the opportunity and happy about the change. My girlfriend even changed her name to Awen to start over fresh as a new person. I still stuck with my birth name, Gregory, but eventually I would start going by the name Rory after having been pressured to by the group.
I remember looking out the window while Awen took pictures of everything we flew over. It was a trip in itself to see the world from such an angle. I was amazed at the number of wind farms in the middle of the country. Likewise, the closer we got to our destination, the more mountainous the ground beneath us became. The change in scenery would pale in comparison with the change in the culture of the west coast - one of the main reasons I now consider Portland my new home.
Landing in Eugene’s airport, we were regaled with Ducks memorabilia. This was a pleasant surprise, as I had forgotten that this was where an old hero from my track days, Steve Prefontaine, used to run. This made me feel hopeful while waiting for Teahna and Prism, the leader of the educational team. I remember pacing the entrance hall of the airport with a giddy smile stretching from ear to ear. This was it, I told myself: I had finally found my new home.
After a long day of airline travel, we were eventually picked up in Prism’s van. We were met with hugs and smiles, which rejuvenated us after the natural stress of the trip. We chatted the entire way back to Triangle Lake, where their headquarters supposedly was. Both Awen and I were antsy while being shaken back and forth while sitting on Prism’s bed for the duration of the drive. I distinctly remember the beautiful colors of the autumn trees as we drove past. This last little bit of our trip took roughly forty-five minutes, but it felt like we were pulling up to the headquarters in an instant.
I caught a glimpse of a sign as we pulled into the long driveway: Circle of Children. This would be where we stayed for the first two months. The area was gorgeous. Giant trees covered in green moss extended as far as the eye could see. With the abundance of fern-life, it reminded me of a Jurassic paradise. Out the cracked window of the van, I could hear tree frogs chirping in harmony. It was certainly something out of another world compared to the east coast.
We stopped in front of the main office - the only building with wifi. If I were to graph the amount of access to the internet we had across the ten months we were involved, it would have a steady, negative slope. Of course, while being conditioned by the group, it was barely noticed, as we grew less dependent on the internet as time went on. We were never barred from the outside world - in fact we interacted with it regularly - but the idea of leaving was made so impossibly far outside the bounds of possible choices through a long series of scripted events.
Which is why the entire beginning of our stay at the Triangle Lake Convention Center seemed like something out of a fantasy paradise. Everything, from the overarching narrative we were fed, to the day-to-day interactions, was designed to win us over, gaslight us, and manipulate us emotionally by using our traumas against us. In the aftermath of the whole escapade, I learned that this is the type of manipulation that cults use to prevent members from seeing reason while keeping them docile, obedient work horses for the greater project, whatever it may be.
It is clear to me now that Earth Nation and all tentacle organizations are a purely criminal enterprise - a money-making machine for those at the top of the hierarchical pyramid. Even though we were supposedly a DAO - a decentralized autonomous organization - there were clearly people who were centralized leaders profiting from everything the group did.
And everybody played their roles well upon our arrival. We were greeted with another barrage of hugs as we got out of the van. Everybody was excited to finally meet us in person, as were we to meet them. We chatted with Dakota and Lila for some time outside of the office. They were the exact same as their online personas. In the moment, this gave us a sense that these people were genuine, but in hindsight it serves as a reminder that anyone can create a convincing character and play them whenever they want - even if they choose to never take their deceptive masks off.
We were then shown where we would be staying. Up the hill and to the left we drove until we were in front of Carmen Hall. It was a quaint dorm-style lodging with a large common area and a small kitchenette. Many nights were spent in the common room with the others who were staying in the building. Because we were a couple, we were given the largest room with its own bathroom.
That’s another thing that changed in a downward slope: our living quarters. Over the course of the ten months we were with them, we were downgraded from having our own space, to sharing space, to living in a tent. And again, because of the conditioning, we were fine with the change.
Sometime during the early evening, we went back down to the dining hall and kitchen which was across the way from the main office. Here, we met a variety of characters, including Tuva, a humble appearing guy with a large social network he brought with him to the project, and Daniella, who would turn out to be mommy dearest as she was the sole woman controlling us for the majority of our adventure on the west coast. A Brazillian native, she was as good of a manipulator as she was a cook, and we all enjoyed a wonderful meal on our first night in Oregon.
Before the night was up, we went behind the kitchen to smoke with a man named Grizzly; a wild looking man who mostly kept quiet but had a mouth to use if he needed it. It was the first time we smoked in Oregon and it felt liberating to finally be in a legal state. But, as freeing and fun as being able to smoke whenever we wanted, I believe the abundance of weed we were constantly fed was a means to keep us docile. Daniella always made sure we had some weed, and would frequently smoke with us. I feel I would have been able to say something as things changed if I were not dependent on the constant stream of marijuana.
Afterwards, we went back to Carmen Hall with a couple of members who also stayed there, and Daniella performed a pendulum reading for me and my girlfriend. Holding a crystal on a chain, she “read” the direction it spun as she brought it up in alignment with our chakras. She was spot on and I wanted to say that she had excellent observation skills, but I kept my mouth shut. I didn’t want to offend anyone’s beliefs, especially my girlfriend who considered herself a mystic and bought into the act.
That night we cuddled in our room, smiling as wide as our mouths could. We had done it - we successfully started our new lives and were going to be a part of something we still had yet to fully comprehend. Everything was new and exciting, and while we were overjoyed, we were glad we had each other because things were still scary. If only we had known then how scary things would become.
Chapter 3
The next morning, we showered, dressed, and went down to the kitchen. There was a slight fog in the air, and we saw a family of deer in a clearing off the road. We would see this family of deer several times during out stay at Triangle Lake, which greatly enthused my girlfriend. She said they were a symbol of wisdom, and must be a good sign as we continued to be indoctrinated by the new age beliefs of the group.
We were early, as our daily meetings were at ten and that is when most people started to show up at the office. But Grizzly was there, as he stayed at the nurses station that sat next to the main office. He offered us some dabs, which just further enforced our belief that this was a great group to be a part of. He also offered me a metal six-shooter pipe, which proved to be the main piece I would smoke out of for the entirety of our adventure.
Breakfast consisted of whatever we could scrounge up. There was a huge walk-in freezer in the kitchen that hosted tons of food when we first got there. There were also a wide selection of dry foods such as figs and nuts. That whole selection would dwindle over time, as the group got everything as donations, usually by soliciting the local food pantries and the Eugene mission and much was close to their expiration dates. It was common to open the freezer and find something moldy.
This was the first time I really interacted with Doran. Doran looked a lot like me - complete with similar beard and glasses - but had shorter, curlier, and darker hair. It was joked that “I was another you.” He appeared to be a really kind-hearted person, and we frequently went to him with problems. This is likely planned as well, to have someone to vent the frustrations we were experiencing as the project transitioned to something different than what we signed up for. I opened up to him before I did with other members, even asking for relationship advice as they tried turning Awen and I against each other between, and received what I now consider a long-standing act of being a good ear with standard advice from the group. Still, he was funny and I enjoyed making strange mixtures of food with him.
As it neared ten, we shuffled to the office to have our meeting. The office had two rooms, and we were all huddled in a circle in one of them. This was nice during the coming months as it was also the only room with the heater. These meetings proved to be a main means to program us, as there were many exchanges that could have only been scripted. We would often talk about one thing, but there would be a subtopic that was teased that would change the meaning of the whole meeting in the context that I heard it. Often there would be some crosstalk in the kitchen beforehand, or something during the day that warped my understanding of what was said
We were required to work thirty hours a week in order to receive our basic income of two hundred dollars a month, as per our agreements before moving to the headquarters. However, it wasn’t long before they duped us by saying the basic income would be used to cover our time staying at Triangle Lake. We weren’t able to fight it, because our tongues were tied by the desire to fit in and be accepted by the group. The ways that they changed things were gradual and deliberate, so that you would never really feel like you were getting taken advantage of. It was just a change, which was alright, because there was a world to save and we were the group who was going to get it done.
That was one of the major ways they were able to get away with a lot of the back-pedaling of agreements - they would always have new, unexpected surprises waiting for us. It was gradual, but they introduced several new elements of communal living that required us to sacrifice more of our money and autonomy. They did this by having so-and-so nonchalantly bringing up these concerns in the meetings, then downplaying the resulting effects as something that should be expected, then agreeing with Dakota or Lila.
Keeping track of my hours was a joke. For everything I did, I was told I should have taken less time in order to do. The criticism I received came tongue-in-cheek and constructive at first, but steadily devolved into a series of harsh critiques that would leave me distraught and unable to think clearly. I was still unmedicated back then, and my emotional state was as turbulent as a hurricane. They did similar things to my girlfriend, as Lila took her under her wing, treating her as her child in order to take advantage of her own trauma she had with her mother.
If there was one thing these people really excelled at it is control. They figured us out quickly and efficiently and then used our traumas against us. Our second night there consisted of an informal group of the residents who stayed at Carmen Hall staring into each other’s eyes and then saying out loud what we felt at that moment. I remember staring at Daniella, who was a silhouette with the lamp directly behind her, and asking for healing. Something about the way she stared at me seemed to provoke a sense of trust and I felt that she would be able to help with a lot of the problems.
That’s one way they won over us and got us to do whatever they wanted. They are experts at gaining people’s trust and then they take advantage of that fact. Through these scripted and planned events they were able to warp our realities to the point where we were already robotic slaves right off the bat. We certainly were eager to earn their approval and work our way to a position where we were seen as valuable members of the project.
One of these planned events was Kukui’s birthday, which was just a few days after we got there. Kukui was a groundskeeper who had previously lived in Hawaii and was joked as being a ginger Jesus. He was an incredible person who really cared about the Earth. I have no idea if he was part of the manipulation or if he was there on similar beliefs that this was a group doing immense good in the world.
Early on during the night’s preparation, Dakota and Lila walked up to us and asked if we wanted to go out to eat with them. This struck us as odd that they would abandon Kukui on his birthday, but we didn’t see it as too weird at the time. We struck up a conversation, where it was revealed that Dakota had two EBT cards from different states.
One big hook they sunk into us was the idea that it was us versus the government. They managed to convince us that the institutions of the world were parasitic - which they usually are - but did it in such a way that made us feel like we were in a spiritual war against the bad boogie men of the world. And they managed this by gradually exposing us to more and more deliberate acts of defiance, in order to manifest our own sovereignty against the parasitic government.
It’s what led to us accepting some of their more diabolic schemes. For instance, there was talk about building a village in Ava, Missouri, moving all their people in, and then taking over the mayorship. They chose Missouri for this plan due to the different building codes of the state. In the moment, this seemed like a brilliant plan for expanding the influence of Earth Nation, but in hindsight appears to be a dystopian means to increase their power and continue taking advantage of people.
These were little seeds they planted that made us more comfortable with doing certain things that we otherwise wouldn’t. Awen was particularly uncomfortable with many of the things we did, but eventually they did get her to help out with their schemes. By keeping us under fear and gradually conditioning us, they were able to make us obedient as we were always looking out for our immediate survival.
Fear. That is an emotion I am now excessively familiar with as a result of this cult. While I have battled paranoia all my life, they took those primal emotions and twisted them to the point that I had no idea which way was up. Each day gradually became a battle while being on high alert, as I constantly scrambled to overcome whatever artificial set-backs were planted in my way and keep up with the workload that was presented to me.
My first exposure to this form of emotional manipulation came during Halloween. The night began jovially as Doran wore a plastic bag as a costume and invented a new dance that we all participated in. Daniella was preparing a large meal in the kitchen while we helped and played in rhythm to one another. The dinner we shared was only part of the night’s events that would change my life completely.
After dinner, Awen and I went back to our room and talked about what we wanted to do that night. The rest of the group was still down at the dining hall and preparing for a fun night of festivities. Awen was not opposed to me going, but she was and still is a pagan and wanted to celebrate her ancestors as per the tradition of Samhain. I debated spending the night with her, but the opportunity to spend time with these new people in our life made me curious as to what they would be doing. I will also admit that I was much more controlled by my addictive nature and was excited to drink with them.
So down I went. As I entered the dining hall, I saw that they were drinking tequila and generally having a great time. Naturally, I joined in and took a shot. Jovial times were had, and some time later I was offered another shot, but I did not see them pour this one. This turned out to be a crucial mistake on my part as I would find out that there was something else, something with psychedelic qualities, in the drink. It was not LSD, as I am familiar with the effects of that drug, so I am at a loss for what it could have been.
As the night went on I began to feel funny. It wasn’t until we were in a smoke circle that I began to notice something was wrong. I had trouble forming words and when Grizzly asked me a question all I could muster was a “hi!” This tripped me up and I went inside to go sit down.
This is where my memory starts to get fuzzy. I was mostly left alone as I sat cross-legged on a mat on the floor, but eventually there were three other people sitting around me, with a bottle placed in the center of us. I remember Prism and Josh, a carpenter who was doing some work on the buildings at Triangle Lake, were two of the people surrounding me, but I don’t remember any of the conversation they were having. I just remember getting really spooked at that time and tried to leave.
I don’t know how long it took me to get back to Awen, but I do remember the headlights of a vehicle coming down the hill as I was going up. It was late by the time I made it back in into Carmen Hall, which suggests that I have no memory of what happened after the apparent spin-the-bottle episode. My memory starts to get better as I remember lying there with Awen trying to articulate what was going on, but my words just spiraled into incomprehensible nonsense. She was worried for me, just as I was worried for myself.
The next morning continued on as if nothing ever happened, but I was emotionally jostled for the next few days. Nothing was ever said about what happened the night before, and a part of me was terrified that something happened Because my mother had AIDS, and that is a terror I still battle to this day, I obsessed over the idea that Prism, who was HIV positive, may have done something with me. I’ve since been tested and everything’s fine, but for a while I was terrified that I was raped.
Was that a rational or irrational fear? I’ll never know. What I do know is that they took advantage of my perturbed state by subtly twisting the knife in the following days with their synchronous set-ups, making me feel guilty that I did not choose to spend time with Awen that night, and thus making me work harder than ever before.
Chapter 4 in comments
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