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1 – Quote of the Week – Who Spoke/Wrote these Words?“One of the best ways to achieve justice is to expose injustice.”
Look for the answer somewhere in this edition of TheMessage
2 – A Deeper Look Inside The Rabbit Hole of Utopia – PART IIIIn Part II we reviewed the heyday of the BBS (Bulletin Board Service) as well as Internet Relay Chat (IRC). In Part III we will focus on the revolutionary changes that came about in the way people shared content and the consequences of those changes. In early 1999, Napster was launched by teenagers who had met each other on a BBS related to hacking by some accounts, and IRC by others. Their goal was clear; make sharing music over the internet easy. Their software utilized Peer-to-Peer technology and took off like wildfire. The growth of their service was explosive even by today’s standards and helped popularize the term “downloading” in many households. At its height, Napster was utilized by more than 70 million users. The calendar year did not close before the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) filed suit on behalf of all five major music labels on December 6, 1999. Eventually the court ordered Napster to pull down all copyright-infringing material and being unable to fully do so, the company shutdown its service on July 1, 2001.
Analysis: The founders of Napster, seeking eventual traditional profits from their service, incorporated the company and in so doing, painted a legal bullseye on their backs for vested interests to target. In legal discovery, communications from one of the founders highlighted a kind of complicity with the copyright-infringement that was rampant on their service. Furthermore, while their software had elements of Peer-to-Peer technology, in that users could share their own content and download from others, the network resources were fully centralized, enabling Napster engineers to attempt to execute the court order and purge their service of infringing content before eventually shutting down. Ultimately, Napster failed because their technology was not fully decentralized, not fully Peer-to-Peer, they exhibited central chokepoints from both a legal and technical perspective.
On July 2, 2001, literally a single day after the Napster central servers were shutdown for good, the first publically available version of the BitTorrent protocol went live. In every way which Napster exhibited fatal flaws during its less than 3 year run, BitTorrent carried the torch with a firmer grip and a longer stride. First, it was an independent and content-agnostic protocol, free from any of the copyright-infringing baggage that the billions and billions of files that would soon be shared using it would carry. Second, it harnessed the awesome power of genuine Peer-to-Peer technology, as “seeders” and “leechers” of files would testify, the bandwidth came from the users themselves, no central servers to target, no central chokepoint to take down. Within 10 years of its release, some reports had BitTorrent traffic representing fully more than half of all internet bandwidth at any given moment in time. The term BitTorrent has become inextricably linked with Peer-to-Peer technology itself and many technically inclined internet users of a certain age, this author included, will lecture you about how the internet simply would not be the same today without the power of BitTorrent.
Think for just a moment how dreadful a place the internet would be if information itself, of a relatively high quality, were not so freely available with a few searches and a little effort. What if when you searched about the “Gulf of Tonkin incident” because you heard that perhaps Vietnam didn’t start the war with the United States, you came across a paywall and were asked to pay $9.99 to learn the historical truth. Just imagine if you decided to research the “USS Liberty incident” because you heard reports that the Israeli military misidentifying the ship as Eqyptian and killing 34 Americans were complete fabrications and Israel knew exactly who it was targeting on that day, but found that reports and in-depth analysis of the events of that day were simply unavailable online because such information was locked up in the vaults of a private corporation and not for sale or distribution.
Can you imagine such an internet for a single moment?
That is how the internet would be with respect to content (Video, Audio, Games, Books) if BitTorrent did not exist. It would be full of holes, paywalls, and dead ends. BitTorrent, and the democratizing nature of content and content distribution represents the very best of the internet in that era. What would happen if this kind of democratizing power were projected unto money itself? That will be the focus of Part IV; the rise of Bitcoin.
3 – Introducing UtopiaLeaks by OrwellJulian Assange is the speaker of this week’s quote, “One of the best ways to achieve justice is to expose injustice.” He is an Australian activist and publisher who founded Wikileaks in 2006. He is currently in Belmarsh prison, in South-East London, England awaiting extradition hearings to the United States, having been indicted for alleged computer intrusion and subsequently charged with violating the Espionage Act of 1917, a United States federal law being utlized to punish national security leakers.
This publisher, in coordination with a collaborating colleague, Orwell, is pleased to introduce to you a P2P, censorship-resistant, whisteblower-friendly, platform for releasing and distributing secretive material exposing wrongdoing. I’ll let Orwell take it from here:
The channel is called “UtopiaLeaks”, in honour of its older brother and is associated with the uNS record “UTOPIALEAKS”. The Channel ID is 8A03C469E1CDA30C6EA3A63FFA0FBA00. All users who care about seeing injustice exposed are highly encouraged to join the channel in order to give it the P2P robustness it deserves. Investigative journalists from around the world are also encouraged to join the channel and to remain connected in order to receive any files that may be dumped into the channel in the future. Initially, only image files may be shared by users from around the world, but future updates and upgrades to the Utopia client software may allow additional document file types as well. Staying connected to the channel is important because the channel only exists as a Peer-to-Peer forum, meaning image files will only receive initial distribution with whomever is connected at the time of release. It will be up to journalists to authenticate and follow-up on any material that finds it way into the channel. The great news is the channel doesn’t simply offer an encrypted file drop, but also an encrypted chat forum for the leaker to answer questions and share insights. In the future, an accompanying Utopia website may also be developed, but for now this channel should be fit for purpose. Please join today and do whatever you can to spread the word!
4 – CRP Wheel of Random – Invite-Only 350 CRP Mega RoundThe private, password-protected channel has been established under the uNS record “FREECRP”. While there have been reports of some users not yet seeing the channel or the option to join, TheMerchant is pleased to report that more than 20 users have already joined the channel. Any invited user not able to join by Sunday will be accommodated since the event itself will be live-streamed. Recall that this event is being held in celebration of the much anticipated major update, 7 weeks in the making, which was released on February 4th of 2020. These Invite-Only Mega Rounds will be held at TheMerchant’s discretion from time to time in celebation of major events and milestones on the Utopia network. It is hoped that we will have reason to hold these events many more times during this year of 2020. Please see the details below for information on the rewards, the criteria for invitation and the list of users invited to celebrate.
Please Note: the following users are eligible for invitation, but because they are not authorized contacts of TheMerchant, have not been able to receive their invitation to join via PM.
Scorpion, m3tal, MrHarr1son, MeineKleineDorf, chelezo, Noname, DrVooDoo, Showmetheway, 123456789, cjh, shengwusuolian, ghostille, Aren, m108, xinyicom, ╣╖╗╠╖└╬, Hvoinui, Pixel, xescapex, imnotallright, eA2, AipotuR
If they wish to join while maintaining the privacy of their Public Key, they are invited to make their intention clear either at TheMegaphone or at TheMarket. Otherwise, they are encouraged to add TheMerchant’s Public Key to their contacts list soon: 0093DEFD354D78D4F035CF04A935DD211A9765B8779C68D30A9DA0B3EB06554F
100 CRP x 1 Spin
75 CRP x 1 Spin
50 CRP x 1 Spin
25 CRP x 3 Spins
10 CRP x 5 Spins
There will be a total of 11 spins for a combined sum of 350 CRP in rewards.
The invitation criteria used for this and future Mega Rounds of the CRP Wheel of Random which *enhance eligibility* are as follows:
A) Active participation in public chat (including non-English) channels where a helpful and positive attitude toward fellow users of Utopia is demonstrated
B) Subscribing to TheMarket, TheMegaphone & TheMessage and demonstrating active participation
C) Having a uNS record registered that resembles your alias/account name
D) Active participation in contests held by TheMerchant
E) TheMerchant reserves the right to use his discretion in qualifying additional users of Utopia (e.g. tempting 1984 to join us again!)
5 – Personal Note from The PublisherHere’s where to find the “Rabbit Hole” that is Utopia for those who may be reading on the surveillance landscape of the clearnet: https://u.is
TheMerchant Public Key: 0093DEFD354D78D4F035CF04A935DD211A9765B8779C68D30A9DA0B3EB06554F
Request contact authorization from TheMerchant to receive uMail versions of TheMessage and to purchase CRP, the future of private P2P commerce.
TheMarket Channel ID: E95109799EC5047783C867F6AF6D4568
Utopia’s leading forum for the exchange of both CRP and uNS records. Zero-Profit Escrow Service is available from TheMerchant to help establish trust.
TheMessage Channel ID: BE91B84B9565C8429D214EBB10753E83
The first weekly publication on all things Utopia. Subscribe to TheMessage and get connected.
TheMegaphone Channel ID: 3277D61A3CF7BAEE951C0C6607532FB8
TheMerchant’s ECHO feed; his personal and uncensored voice, amplified and protected by Utopia. Turn on TheMegaphone!
Wirex CEO Pavel Mateev took to the stage afterward to discuss some of the challenges his company has faced in working to bridge the gap between cryptocurrency and traditional fiat currencies over the last five years. Pavel also took some time to outline Wirex’s intent to expand its services beyond Europe — to North America, Asia, and even Africa.
Cutting-edge electronic point-of-sale device company, Kappture, presented their alpha integration of Nano into its merchant devices. The integration will mark the forward-thinking company’s first venture into offering users the opportunity to pay with cryptocurrency. With highly regarded institutions such as Saïd Business School and the University of West London among the users of the EPoS system, this integration will represent a significant step forward in the discovery of natural use cases of secure and decentralized cryptocurrency — with the ultrafast and fee-less transactions of Nano leading the way.
The much-anticipated unveiling of the Appia payment ecosystem capped the days' proceedings. Appia is a crypto agnostic service providing, amongst many other things, signed payment requests for strong customer protection. Built on the new Manta protocol, Appia focuses on security, privacy, and multi-channel capability. Appia will help simplify the process of both paying with cryptocurrency as a consumer and accepting it as a merchant.
First of all, Camo BANANO Phase 1 as described here and available for now allows for confidential transactions, but not for real privacy yet. At the current stage, Camo BANANO is the equivalent of opening 20 BANANO accounts on your BANANO Vault and using all 20 accounts to do transactions, meaning that any person you’d interact with only knows 1/20th of your stack. Camo BANANO allows to make this process easier (as kind of a manual mixer) and thereby in its Phase 1 adds confidentiality to BANANO transactions as proof of concept.
Camo BANANO will, however, be further developed, and Phase 2 of Camo BANANO requires adding a new block type to the BANANO protocol, finally allowing for sum-of-squares private transactions.