Who Accepts Bitcoin and What Can You Buy With It? - TheStreet

[Table] IAmA dark web expert, investigative journalist and true crime author. I’ve met dark web kingpins in far flung prisons and delved the murky depths of child predator forums. I’ve written six books and over a dozen Casefile podcast episodes. AMA (part 2/2)

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Around here nobody talks about the argument that increased regulation of the internet would help stop child predators. Is that true, and if so where do you fall on the Net Neutrality vs law enforcement spectrum? No I don't think that's true at all. Child predators have been around much longer than the internet, and I would argue child abuse was more prevalent 50+ years ago when children were seen and not heard and it wasn't talked about. The dark web hasn't created more predators, it has just given them a new place to gather and hang out.
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused.
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That's so interesting, thanks for the AMA! Can you remember any other thing that a child could do in order to protect himself from being abused? What other characteristics do the abusers hate in potential victims? That seems to be the main one. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
What do folks talk about in the child predator forums? Do they like give each other advice on how to improve their craft? Yes, quite literally. The give each other tips on how not to get caught, how to edit out incriminating details in videos, how to drug children, techniques for convincing kids not to tell etc
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Given your insight into how predators operate, do you have any advice for parents on protecting their kids? I'll cut'n'paste a response i gave to someone else about this, because it was something that really stuck out to me:
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
Has the exponential increase in Bitcoin value affected darknet dealers in any profound way? I can imagine that some drug dealers were sitting on quite a large sum of Bitcoin when the value shot up. Crypto purists hate to admit it, but bitcoin would not be where it is today without Silk Road. It was sitting at less than a dollar when Silk Road began and the markets showed a robust use case for cryptocurrency and as the markets grew, so did the demand for bitcoin. It also provided real-life use data for those who were not interested in drugs but who weren't sure if it had practical application. When SR went down, Bitcoin was at about $650 and it continued to grow as adoption became more mainstream. There are many many stories of drug dealers (and at least one faux-hitman!) who gained most of their wealth not by selling the drugs, but by the growth in value of their bitcoin holdings
Since you have a lot of experience with them online. Do you think pedophiles(not child abusers) should be treated as criminals, or as people suffering from a mental illness? Contact offenders should be treated as criminals, because they are criminals. They have abused or hurt someone. Same with those who support the creation and dissemination of child abuse materials.
Pedophiles who do not act on their urges should be given as much help as humanly possible.
Are there any mysterious or suspicious pages or communities that you haven’t been able to access? Anything that seems especially weird? there are a lot of Russian communities that I can't access, mostly because I don't speak Russian. Some of the more technical hacking communities have entry barriers that I'm not technical enough to score an invite to
How much these bad people really exist out there? Hundreds? Thousands? More? It depends what you mean by bad. If you mean people who use the dark web to buy drugs (who I do not consider bad) then there are many many thousands. There are also thousands of people who deal in stolen information to make money.
Unfortunately there are also thousands of child predators and the dark web has provided a "safe space" for them to come together to share materials and "tips". I hope this is where most of the resources of law enforcement are concentrated
Ehy mine is a rare question: what do you know about art on dark web? I'm talking about the black market made of stolen important pieces from museums, art used as value to money laundry and other criminal affairs I'm an artist and what I know is people don't think too much about the dark side of art and probably they need to open their eyes about I really haven't come across much in the way of that. Some of the markets have an "art" section, but that is mostly blotter art
How accurate are the legends? Any legends in particular? For a lowdown copied from a post I made in another forum:
1Red Rooms  The one that is most persistent is the myth of the "Red Room" - live streaming of torture/rape that ends in the murder of the victim and which people can pay to watch, or even bid to type in commands for the torturer to carry out (highest bid wins!). The most famous was the “ISIS Red Room” pictured above, where people could provide instructions to torture captured terrorists - you can read what happened here.
People have this idea of Hostel with webcams exist all over the dark web, but you just need an invite to get into them. It's ridiculous. They don't exist. They certainly wouldn't exist on Tor. But people are desperate to believe and they always come back with "You can't prove they don't exist, people are crazy, therefore they must exist." Picture my eyes rolling here.
2.Hitman sites
I don't think many people are taken in by the hitmen sites anymore, though the press loves playing up the fact that there are sites offering up hitman services. But every single one of them has turned out to be a scam, especially Besa Mafia, the one that did the most marketing. Again, you can read about it at the same link as above.
3.Exotic animals  People are always asking where they can find markets for exotic animals. Obviously the illegal trade in exotic animals exists, and some communications and transactions may well take place over Tor, but there are no markets like the drug markets where you can go and look at a picture and then put a tiger or ocelot or something into your basket and buy it with bitcoin.
SO WHAT DOES HAPPEN ON THE DARK WEB?
1.People buy and sell drugs.
The drug markets are more busy than ever. You have probably heard of Silk Road, the most famous online drug market that got busted a few years ago and the owner sent to prison for two consecutive life terms? A lot of people thought that was the end of drugs being sold on the dark web. In fact, dark web sales of drugs have tripled since the shutdown of Silk Road.
The reason people buy drugs this way is that for many they offer a safer alternative for people who are going to do drugs anyway. There is no possibility of any violence. The vast majority of the time a buyer knows exactly what they are getting, because of the feedback and rating system. That's not the case in a nightclub, or even friends-of-friends, where you just blindly accept that the pill, powder or tab is what the seller says it is.
2.People buy and sell other illegal things
Mostly they buy and sell stolen credit cards and financial information, fake IDs (though lots of these are scams), personal information, “dumps” of hacked data and fraud-related items. For a long time, a seller was making a fortune selling fake discount coupons that really worked.
3.People access and create childporn  Unlike the other markets, the CP market is generally not for money, but rather they are groups who swap vile images and videos for free. The worst of the worst is called “hurtcore’. Thankfully, most of the people behind the worst sites have been arrested and put in jail.
4.People talk about stuff
There are plenty of sites, forums and chatrooms where people talk about all sorts of things - conspiracies, aliens, weird stuff. They take advantage of the anonymity.
5.People anonymously release information
Whistleblowers use the dark web to release information and make sure their identities won't be compromised. You will find Wikileaks, for example, on the dark web.
6.People surf the web anonymously
The number 1 thing people use the dark web for is just to surf the web completely anonymously. Not everybody wants to be tracked by advertisers.
I have a question: what are the odds of the casual Darkweb drug buyer - not buying mega loads all the time - the occasional purchase - what are the risks of being busted? Kinda figuring pretty low. But you’re the expert. What do you think? Obviously there is always a risk, but the risk is very low. It is rare for personal amounts to be seized. Even if a package is seized, there's usually no resources to follow it up. Many people report simply receiving a letter from Customs saying they have seized what they believe is contraband and the person has a choice of going to claim it or it will be destroyed. Even if LE does knock on the door there is plausible deniability: "I don't know who sent that stuff to me".
So yeah, rare, but it does happen. You might be the unlucky one
How do you find things on the dark web without search engines? There are a lot of entry sites, set up with links to the most popular places. You can generally get a link to one of them by browsing places like reddit. From there it is a matter of checking out different places, people will put links in forums etc.
I also use a Pastebin where people paste sites they have made/found, and a Fresh Onion site, which crawls all the newly-populated .onion addresses
Hi. there!! Thank you for answering questions. Mine is very simple. How do sellers get the drugs to people? Regular mail? That's always puzzled me bc I'd assume USPS, UPS, fedEx or any other mail carrier would catch at least some goods. If people are ordering drugs, particularly in powder form, for personal use, they can be flattened, sealed in MBB (moisture barrier baggies) and sent in a regular business envelope, indistinguishable from billions of other envelopes going through the postal system every day. The chances of a particular package being intercepted is very low.
Some people take the extra precaution of having the person taking delivery of the drugs different to the person/household that is ordering them.
How did you move from being a corporate lawyer to researching and writing about dark web? I was in London, working for one of the most conservative law firms in the world when the Global Financial Crisis hit. I liked the job but it struck me when people were losing their livelihoods that I was working for the bad guys. I'd always wanted to be a writer so when I came back to Australia I quit law and enrolled in a writing course planning to be a novelist, but I discovered I was better at journalism. I first wrote for newspapers here about Silk Road and it grew from there
I've always wanted to check out the dark web, what is a normal day for you look like on there? Can you give me any tips on how to safely surf the dark web? A normal day looks like me sitting at my desk writing things on my computer. When I'm researching a book or a case I venture away from my computer to trials and to interview people (at least I did pre-COVID)
There is nothing inherently unsafe in surfing the dark web. All the usual precautions you take surfing the clearweb apply. Don't visit any child exploitation sites - it will be pretty obvious that's what they are by the names/descriptions before you log in.
It is only when you want to do more than surfing - e.g. buying drugs etc - that you need to do a LOT of homework or you will absolutely get scammed
Is there anything good about the dark web? It depends what you are into. A lot of academic research has concluded that the darknet markets provide a safer way for people to buy and use drugs, due to the ratings of vendors, services that independently test and report back on batches of drugs, doctor on staff ready to answer questions, no violence in transactions etc.
News sites provide a dark web option so that whistleblowers can safety provide information and upload documents that get stripped of any identifying metadata before being available.
It bypasses firewalls and allows for secure communications under hostile regimes
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How does this make you feel about the idea of the decriminalization of drugs? I've always been for full legalization of drugs, and studying the darknet markets just proved I was right.
I was invited to an experts roundtable in Portugal about drugs and cybercrime a few years ago and the Portugal model of decriminalisation has been a great success
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Hey, you are still answering. Been reading this thread for 1-2 hours now. Thank you so much for all the good work and info! Always been intrigued by this topic, downloaded tor once to explore a bit but couldn’t and deleted it right away, to be on the safer side. Great insights. Thanks! I've been writing it for about 14 hours. Going a bit loopy
How was working on Casefile? What's the production process like? Which episodes did u do?? I have listened to... all of them.... I absolutely LOVE working for Casefile. I am a freelancer, so I source and write my own cases and then sell the scripts to Casefile. I've done at least a dozen, but some of my most popular are Amy Allwine, Mark & John, Ella Tundra, Leigh Leigh, Rebecca Schaeffer...
As for the production process, once I have sold the script to them, a staff member edits them and then they are passed on to Casey to narrate. After that, they go to Mike for sound editing, music etc. They are the best team ever
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Oh, Leigh Leigh was so well written!! How do you choose which stories to write? Do you just pick true crime you're interested in? Thank you! I have a huge list of potential episodes. Any time I come across an interesting crime on reddit, or in the news or wherever I make a note of it. Then I just pick one when it comes time to write a new script.
Sometimes I've been personally involved (e.g. Amy Allwine), gone to trials etc. Those are always the best ones
Hi Eiley, your twitter just reminded me of this AMA :) What are your thoughts on bitcoin? And would you prefer to be paid in crypto or fiat? OOOOH, I know that name! Love & Light to you!
I like Bitcoin and I wish I had a whole lot of it and like many many people, I wish I had kept the first crypto I bought at something like $4 a coin :D I do not have a whole lot of it but I do have a little bit. I like the philosophy behind it and in theory it should change the world. However the reality is that the vast majority of it is concentrated in a very few hands which allows for market manipulation and stops it being useful as a post-fiat currency.
As long as I'm getting paid, I'm pretty happy!
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I too remember your name Pluto! Such a decent human ❤ he is!! True OG right there <3
Is the dark web subject to more racism than its counterpart, the world wide web? There are some white power sites and that sort of thing and the chans are even more uncensored than the clearweb ones (4chan, 8chan) but to be honest they are the same cesspools in different spots. Drug forums don't seem to be very racist. I've seen worse on Twitter
Have you seen any consequential political or social organizing being carried out on the dark web? Not directly, but the dark web helped facilitate the Arab Spring uprising in 2010 by allowing activists to remain anonymous and to access blocked websites and social media. Wikileaks, obviously. Some white supremacy organizations seem to use it to coordinate attacks, but they are not places I'm keen to hang out in.
What’s the most expensive thing for sale you’ve seen on the dark web? What was surprisingly inexpensive? I can't remember specific listings, but there were sometimes sales of things like coke by the kilo, so that sort of thing I guess.
LSD could easily be found for $1/tab and one huge dealer gave it away for free if it was for personal use
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1. I’m going to ask a couple in hopes that one will catch your interest! I know you’re anonymous on the dark web, but even so, have you ever felt worried about your safety? I actually made the decision to be upfront and honest about who I am on the dark web, so I use the name OzFreelancer (which is easily traceable to my real name) on all the dark web sites where i went looking for interviews. The people there had the option of talking to me or not, so they had no reason to want to harm me.
2. I’ve found your comments about your relationship with Yura fascinating. Did y’all develop a friendship? Did you build any other relationships that stand out in your mind? Since you were straightforward about being on the dark web for stories, did people seem reluctant to communicate, or were they excited for the opportunity to divulge a secret? We do have a friendship of sorts, it is really quite weird. I do hope to met him one day. I met all of the senior staff of Silk Road other than the Dread Pirate Roberts himself and keep in touch with some. Some people wanted nothing to do with me of course, but many more were happy to talk to me. i think sometimes it was a relief to them to be able to talk to one person who they knew was who they said they were.
3. On violent forums, did users ever express remorse, guilt, shame, or anything indicative of some recognition that what they were viewing/seeking was awful? Do you see doxxing teams on the dark web working together to uncover info, or is the info already there through previous hacks/breaches, and someone just accesses and releases it? Sorry if any of those don’t make sense! I’m not familiar with the dark web lingo but am so intrigued by your work. Not really. I think if they were contributing to the forums, they were comfortable with who they were and what they were doing. Many of the "regular" pedophiles expressed revulsion about Lux and hurtcore sites though
these have probably been asked before but has there ever been a time where you where genuinely been scared for your life and whats the most messed up thing you've witnessed did you have any help? Yeah both things have been answered in this thread, so I'll cut'n'paste
The only time I've felt even slightly in danger despite all this nosing around in there was when I helped uncover a hitman scam. The owner of Besa Mafia, the most profitable murder-for-hire site in history, came after me when I started writing about him. He made loads of threats ("you don't know who I am, but I know who you are and where you live") but that wasnt scary, as I had access to the backdoor of his site thanks to a friendly hacker and knew he didn't really want to hurt anybody.
It took a bit of a darker turn when he told the people who had signed up to work as hitmen on his site - and who he made video themselves burning cars with signs on them to advertise how legit his site was, then never sent them the promised money for doing so - that I was the owner of the site who had ripped them off. That could have become ugly, but luckily even the thugs weren't dumb enough to believe him.
The only other time I've been a bit nervous was when Homeland Security wanted to have a "friendly" meeting with me on one of my trips to the US to attend a trial. They were friendly, but scary too.
The most frightening experience I've ever had is coming face to face with Lux, the owner of Pedoempire and Hurt2theCore, the most evil and reviled person on the entire dark web. He was responsible for procuring and hosting Daisy's Destruction, the most repulsive video ever made, created by Peter Scully, whose crimes were so bad, the Philippines are considering reinstating the death penalty especially for him.
It wasn't frightening because Lux was frightening - he was anything but. It was frightening because he looked so inoffensive and normal.
It was frightening because he was living proof that monsters walk among us and we never know.
[deleted] It is absolute crap for browsing the clearweb, and a lot of sites detect that it is odd traffic and you have to solve their CAPTCHAs before doing the most basic things
I’m sure you’ve seen some really bad stuff, do you regularly talk to a therapist to help? I've never seen a therapist (they don't really seem to be a thing in Australia they way they are in the US), but I have been known to unload on my partner and my dog
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Yo, speaking as an Aussie, they absolutely are a thing, you can get them covered thru medicare, and I recommend it if you possibly can! Bro, therapy is awesome. I'm not against therapy as a thing, but I've honestly never been so traumatised that I feel I need it. Also I had a bad experience with a psychologist after I watched my partner die in an accident - they suggested I find God, and I noped out of there
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Therapist is an American term- we call them psychs. And the one who told you to find God was terrible and out of line. Yeah she didn't last long before I was over it. Also a doctor decided I needed Xanax, which was also a bad move, because what I really needed was to grieve and Xanax doesn't let you do that properly
Do you find any good things on the dark web? Happy stuff that gives people hope? Or just the trash? I like the psychonaut communities. They just want peace, love and mungbeans for everybody
Have you heard of "The Primarch System" rumor of the dark web? Sounds downright silly to me. But I'm curious if anyone who spends time on the deep web actually takes it seriously, or if as an idea it is connected to anything serious at all. Nah, up there with the Shadow Web and Mariana's Web. There's always people who want to find out where the "deeper" "more secret" "really dark" stuff is. To them I say what, hurtcore isn't dark enough for you?
Doesn't delving the murky depths of child predator forums categorize you with the child predators in the eyes of an investigating law enforcement agency? Do you have some sort of amnesty due to your journalism, or is that something you worry about having to explain away? Has your presence there ever caused some sort of a scare? No, I never went into any of the sites that had actual photos or videos (you can't un-see that shit), but did spend a lot of time in pedophile discussion forums. I also went to a hurtcore hearing and saw screenshots in the police files, as well as listening for two days to videos being described frame-by-frame and private communications between the site owner and the sadists.
Besides drugs and sex crimes, what else is going on in the dark web? Are there other interesting nooks and crannies? I often post screenshots of bizarre sites I find on my Twitter. However, the main uses for the dark web are drugs, digital/fraud goods and child exploitation
I have one, it might be rather boring though, but here goes. On these "child predator forums" are they actually forums devoted to stalking children and do they share social media profiles of children among themselves? That would be kik ids, snapchat and facebook ids, instagram, stuff like that, info that would allow online access and that may have been chosen for suitability? Creepy question I know, but anyway I would be interested to hear your answer. I came here from TrueCrime, you referred to these things in your post on that sub. I suspect I already know the answer yet would like to hear your take on it. Yes, they provide information and tips on how to approach children, how to ensure they won't tell, how to sedate them in some instances, where to find child exploitation material, how to remove metadata and any identifying characteristics in photos and videos before sharing and so on.
They don't tend to share socia media, as that is the sort of thing that can be traced easily. They do talk about how to approach kids on social media and on the worst forums how to blackmail children into stripping/meeting etc
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So you're saying they have a more general approach rather than identifying individual children on the internet? Again a creepy question because what I suggest is that a child's social media could be used and circulated on the dark web as potential information to gain access by anonymity, even if it was just online access only. I actually wonder as I have recently read of the anonymity of apps like ''kik messenger'' and how the police are often unable to get any information from the communications as they remain encrypted and off the server and require little if any valid ID to make an account. No doubt photos from social media are uploaded as part of the materials they have. I haven't seen anything where they get together and try to track down a specific child, but I'm sure some predators do this. Most are more likely to abuse children in their orbit - family, kids of friends, or they work where they have access to children
I heard there are forums to download books but it was really dangerous, Is it true? I'm just a poor guy who wants to finish the young Jack sparrow series Whenever you download anything from a pirate site you run the risk of infection
What do you think of QAnon? Wackjob conspiracy
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Who should the conspiracy theorists actually be worried about if they actually care about thwarting pedophilia? The vast, vast majority of child abuse takes place within the child's personal orbit - relatives, family friends, parents of their own friends, people involved in their activities (coaches, leaders, etc)
So, those people
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Also how to we get people to stop believing in QAnon? Outside my area of expertise, sorry
do you personally believe there was/is any truth to the "defense" (story) that DPR was a title handed down to different admins for the original silk road, or was it just a convenient defense? do you have any theories as to who satoshi nakamoto is? besides the original SR, are there any other darkweb markets that you think have a good enough story to turn into a book? eg sheep market? i've seen you talk a little about the child predator forums, and (as with h2tc) noted are mainly populated by males. i'm curious if you've ever encountered females on such forums/websites (eg. btfk) No. There was a time that I believed the person posting on the forums as DPR changed, but the ownership and administration of the market I believe never changed hands. Variety Jones is claiming a part ownership (which may or may not be true) but I believe that is so he can run a Fourth Amendment argument
So many theories have some credibility to them, but no one theory ticks all the boxes. Highly recommend the 3-part youtube deep dive by Barely Sociable
I'm not sure any one market has the story that Silk Road had, but I would like to write a definitive history that encompasses the most compelling features of all the markets. Backopy of BMR apparently got away clean. The admins of Atlantis got wind of a security issue and closed shop, trying to warn DPR. AlphaBay ended in Alexander Cazes death in a Bangkok prison cell. Then everyone flocked to Hansa, which by that time was being run by law enforcement. Evolution ended in the most brazen exit scam, followed by a bizarre cloak'n'dagger situation played out right here on reddit. The WSM/DDW follow-the-money case. And these are just some that come right off the top of my head. I just need a publisher to provide me an advance I can live off while I write it!
There were a very few people on the forums who identified as female (obvs anyone can be anyone on a dark web forum) and there have been one or two arrests of women in relation to dark web child pornography. Peter Scully's female assistant who carried out some of the torture was originally one of his victims, turned into a sadist.
What’s the one lingering unanswered question you have about SR? I am hanging out for Joel Ellingson to go to trial so that I can find out once and for all whether redandwhite, lucydrop and Tony76 are one and the same person.
There are several people who I got to "know" by their handles who I wonder about from time to time, but mostly I hope they are safe and well and i don't want to track them down or expose them
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Eileen, I am fangirling PRE-TTY hard right now. Talking SR and Tony76 with you is how I imagine it feels to talk to a royal correspondent about Prince Andrew 😅 Ellingson being all three would be a very neat end to an otherwise insane story. Part of me wants to pin Oracle in with that trio too but that’s mostly a desperate attempt from me to add another layer to the madness. I miss the twists and turns that came with the rise and fall of SR. From your own experience - would you agree with the idea that more than one person staffed the DPR account? Thanks for the reply! Ha! You have no idea what it is like when I find someone who really knows about this stuff and can have informed conversations about it. I latch onto them and don't let go. The very BEST was meeting up with DPR's three deputies (SSBD in Australia, Inigo in US and Libertas in Ireland) so I could actually have conversations with people who knew more than I did! Variety Jones was cool too, but the conversation couldn't flow too freely thanks to him being incarcerated in Bangkok prison at the time.
I think others sometimes posted from the forum account, but Ulbricht kept a vice-like grip on his market account
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I can imagine it’s so satisfying and exciting to get those tidbits of info that piece the jigsaw together. The bedlam that played out over the forum in the aftermath was a cloud of paranoia and adrenaline that kept me refreshing pages for days. Would love to hear accounts from SSBD, Inigo and Libertas from this time. One last question: what were your thoughts when the Chloe Ayling story first broke? I assumed it was a publicity stunt. I don't think that any more. I guess I can't blame her for milking her kidnapping for publicity in the aftermath, though I don't think she does herself any favors the way she goes about it sometimes
Sorry if this has been covered before but in your research, mainly related to child abuse, where are these children coming from? Children in their care/ family? Kidnapped? The vast majority of child abuse is carried out by someone within their social circle - family and acquaintances. However, the hurtcore stuff was often carried out in third world countries on orphans or where desperate families gave up their children to "benefactors" who they believed were going to provide food an education
What Casefile episodes have you written? I became obsessed with it and ripped through all the episodes and now nothing will fill that void. Thanks for your efforts! Casefile – the murder of Amy Allwine
Casefile – Blue Skies, Black Death
Casefile – Ella Tundra
Casefile – Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs
Casefile – Motown Murders
Casefile – Rebecca Schaeffer
Casefile – Sian Kingi
Casefile – John & Mark
Casefile – Shauna Howe
Casefile – Chloe Ayling
Casefile – Johnny Altinger
Casefile – Killer Petey
Casefile – The Santa Claus Bank Robbery
Casefile – Martha Puebla
Casefile – Leigh Leigh
Is there any way parents can keep their kids safe from this without being helicopter parents? I'll cut'n'paste a response i gave to someone else about this, because it was something that really stuck out to me:
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
What does it take in terms of degrees and experience to get into this business? Nothing official. I was a lawyer, but that had no bearing on what I do now (I did corporate law). I didn't have any official credentials when I began as a freelance journalist, though later I got a diploma of professional writing and editing. Anyone can be an author, provided they can write
If you could take a guess from your findings, what would be some speculative statistics on these abuse/torture sites? How many people (tens of thousands?) are involved? Do they generally come from the same places in the world or are they seemingly geographically random (based on victim ethnicity, or language spoken, perhaps)... what are some quantifying stats to wrap our heads around how prevalent this shit is? Most dark web users come from western countries, just because infrastructure supports it. The sites often have tens of thousands of registered users, but a lot of them would be people for whom curiosity got the better of them and who signed up then left. Active users more like in the thousands, hyper-active users the hundreds.
One of the things that makes life difficult for law enforcement is that most of these sites don't operate on a commercial basis - people aren't making money from them, so there is no cryptocurrency chain to follow. They operate on a sharing basis and to get access to the more private parts of the sites, a user has to upload "fresh" material and/or prove they are actively abusing a child. Hurt2theCore used to get users to have the children hold up signs or have the site name or a username written on their bodies with a marker. This stopped law enforcement from getting access to those parts (like the "producers lounge") of the sites unless they were able to take over an account of a user who already had access. Even then, the rules of the hurtcore sites would require constant new proof in order to maintain access.
Some sites allowed people to buy access, such as one called "Welcome to Video" and then were taken down by law enforcement carrying out blockchain analysis of the Bitcoin transaction that led to the owner when they cashed out to fiat without moneylaundering precautions
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Do you think LE uses deep fakes to simulate a picture to gain access? Is that possible? It is definitely possible, but I don't know whether they are doing it as they are understandably secretive about their methods. I know it is deeply problematic, as even fake child porn is still illegal (even cartoon stuff, including some Hentai in some countries). But they have used questionable methods before, most notably running the dark web's largest site, Playpen, for over a year in order to identify contact offenders
the below is another reply to the original answer
Am I hearing you that many people are NOT doing this for financial gain? Just to do it and share it?? Child exploitation, yes, it is mostly a sharing community. Some people make some money out of it, but it is not like drugs where a lot of people are making a LOT of money
On the subject of abused kids... did you ever help the kids in any way? I never met any of the kids. I never saw any of the photos and videos. I don't know who any of the kids are.
Daisy has been taken into care and her identity changed. I hope she is doing okay
What exactly does the dark web look like? You hear about it often, but don’t know if it looks like Google Chrome, Safari, or just a page full of code. It looks like a normal browser and operates just like a normal browser. It's just that it can access sites that your normal browser can't.
e.g. http://thehub5himseelprs44xzgfrb4obgujkqwy5tzbsh5yttebqhaau23yd.onion/index.php is the URL of a dark web forum. If you plug it into your normal browser you will get an error. If you plug it into the Tor browser you will get the registration page for The Hub
How do you keep yourself from hating all humanity? I am happy to report that, even on the dark web, the good people outnumber the bad
Hi! First off I'd like to say that I find what you do quite fascinating and would love to do something like that in the future. My question is in regards to art and other forms of artistic expression on the dark web. Is it true that the dark web is a place where you can also find awesome things such as art and literature? Not really, because all that stuff is readily available on the clearweb. There are sites like the Imperial Library of Trantor, which is a pirate site for books, where you can read thousands of books for free, but that's really no different to The Pirate Bay. Some people share their LSD art, but again, nothing you won't find on the clearweb
submitted by 500scnds to tabled [link] [comments]

Round up of Cryptocurrency News #10 Week 28/09 - 4/10

Hello and sorry all its been about a month since serious post. So what has happened this week? 1. Kucoin exchange was hacked for over $150 Million in Bitcoin. Bitfinex and Tether freezes $33 Million of stolen funds. Over this past week we have seen many cryptocurrencies on the exchange be released from the freeze. However, users are still waiting on the main cryptos to be released as KuCoin is working on their security of their platform to make sure it does not happen again. The hacker itself tried to dump his tokens over Binance... Good try lol https://news.bitcoin.com/kucoin-hack-17m-laundered-via-decentralized-exchanges-blockchain-analysis-firm-claims-this-can-still-be-traced/ (HOLY MOLY) https://news.bitcoin.com/kucoin-ceo-says-exchange-hack-suspects-found-204-million-recovered/ 2. Bitcoin outperforms Gold, Nasdaq, 10 year treasury and S&P 500. not surprising at all for us but still very interesting, Bitcoin is up 48% since the start of the year. It appears more people are becoming interested in cryptocurrency as Bitcoin continues to be the best performing asset not just in the past 10 years but of all time. On a more personal note, I was at a small gathering today (within covid restrictions) and I was just saying how i was really interested in cryptocurrency. For the first time ever everyone around me was really interested in what it was and how it worked also talked to a lot of my stock market friends and almost all have pulled out or thinking of pulling out. related: https://dailyhodl.com/2020/10/01/report-details-unprecedented-levels-of-wall-street-interest-in-bitcoin-and-cryptocurrency/ https://dailyhodl.com/2020/10/02/former-goldman-institutional-trader-says-large-investors-now-buying-bitcoin-and-gold-at-same-pace-heres-why/ 3. CBDC news - US federal reserve is actively working on the a digital dollar. From a previous post we know that the European Union is working on a Digital Euro and China is working on their own digital dollar. For me this is a bit of a worrying issue and seems like an upgrade for their own outdated systems completely removing the idea of decentralisation. In addition to this, I find it interesting that in Australia all cryptocurrency tax laws were written in late 2017/2018 and continues to be adapted. In Russia their are harsh penalties for unreported cryptocurrency holdings. In my controversial view I think the technology of blockchain can actually be used to recreate and rewrite a much better future through its innate abilities. we can avoid things like this: https://news.bitcoin.com/jpmorgan-fraud-billion-dollar-settlement/ 4. Highlights on cryptojacking - if you dont know what this is it is when a script or code runs on a computer to mine cryptocurrency using your computer resources. You can block these using other programs or scripts and being safe over the internet. 5. World economic forum names XRP as crypto asset most relevant in central bank digital currency space. Many partnerships in the space plus flare coming later. https://dailyhodl.com/2020/09/30/ripple-matchmaking-effort-discovered-featuring-170-financial-institutions-is-xrp-front-and-cente i definitely have a love hate relationship with XRP. 6. https://dailyhodl.com/2020/09/28/defi-movement-shatters-11000000000-in-total-crypto-assets-locked/ https://news.bitcoin.com/uniswap-captures-2-billion-locked-dex-volume-outpaces-second-largest-centralized-exchange/ 7. https://www.ey.com/en_au/blockchain/blockchain-platforms 8. https://dailyhodl.com/2020/09/29/twitter-ceo-jack-dorsey-says-bitcoin-and-blockchain-will-fuel-financial-freedom-and-transform-future-of-content-delivery/ 9. https://news.bitcoin.com/easily-spend-your-bitcoin-via-prepaid-debit-card-or-a-paypal-account-with-bitcoin-of-americas-easy-to-use-trading-platform/ 10. https://news.bitcoin.com/bitcoin-com-exchange-to-list-aspire-and-aspire-gas-as-newest-digital-asset-creation-platform-comes-to-market/ 11. https://news.bitcoin.com/onecoin-victims-petition-establishment-european-crypto-fraud-compensation-fund/ 12. https://news.bitcoin.com/atari-announces-ieo-collaboration-and-listing-of-the-atari-token-with-bitcoin-com-exchange/ Atari also partners with Cryptocurrency project ULTRA. Don't sleep on NFT projects, they may be a niche but they help with organisation, collectability and simplifies processes. 13. https://news.bitcoin.com/aurus-disrupts-the-gold-industry-today-its-ecosystem-lists-at-a-value-of-75m/ 14. https://dailyhodl.com/2020/10/01/irs-deploying-two-firms-to-track-crypto-transactions-in-million-dollar-deal/ 15. https://dailyhodl.com/2020/10/01/number-of-crypto-users-shatters-100000000-worldwide-cambridge-study/ https://news.bitcoin.com/bitcoin-posts-a-66-day-consecutive-streak-above-the-10k-price-range/ 16. https://news.bitcoin.com/cryptocurrency-exchange-diginex-trading-nasdaq/ 17. https://news.bitcoin.com/smart-contract-protocol-rsk-attempts-to-bring-defi-to-the-bitcoin-network/ 18. Bitmex news: https://news.bitcoin.com/bitmex-criminal-charges-prison/ well this happened. https://news.bitcoin.com/open-interest-on-bitmex-drops-16-investors-withdraw-37000-btc-in-less-than-24-hours/ https://dailyhodl.com/2020/10/02/bitmex-fires-back-after-us-accuses-crypto-exchange-of-failing-to-prevent-money-fraud/ https://dailyhodl.com/2020/10/03/440000000-in-bitcoin-exits-bitmex-as-crypto-traders-respond-to-cftc-allegations/ 19. Contract to break monero privacy: https://news.bitcoin.com/chainalysis-and-integra-win-1-25-million-irs-contract-to-break-monero/ 20. https://news.bitcoin.com/stacking-satoshis-leveraging-defi-applications-to-earn-more-bitcoin/ 21. https://dailyhodl.com/2020/10/02/bitcoin-whale-issues-big-warning-to-traders-heres-why-he-believes-group-of-crypto-assets-are-at-risk-from-regulators/ 22. https://news.bitcoin.com/venezuelas-state-run-defi-crypto-exchange-goes-live-after-maduros-anti-blockade-speech/ 23. https://news.bitcoin.com/crypto-exchange-coinbase-hands-over-customer-data-to-uk-tax-authority/ 24. https://news.bitcoin.com/jeff-booth-bitcoin-price-of-tomorrow/
25. https://news.bitcoin.com/eth-volumes-top-125-billion-in-q3-high-risk-dapps-dominate-tron-network/ 
Here is a small cross post for price movement: https://dailyhodl.com/2020/09/30/bitcoin-btc-tezos-xtz-cardano-ada-etoro-crypto-roundup/
Seems like everyone is bullish on bitcoin and leading crypto projects to make big gains over the next year, sooner rather than later. Bitcoin also holds above $10.5K with over 1Million wallets. Bitcoin interest is gaining throughout the world as many parts are hit by economic crisis.
Ethereum 2.0 roadmap updated, plans to exponentially increase scalability! VERY BULLISH. https://dailyhodl.com/2020/10/03/vitalik-buterin-updates-ethereum-2-0-roadmap-details-plans-to-exponentially-increase-scalability/
submitted by IOTAbesomewhere to Gravychain [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Pizza Day Story

Bitcoin Pizza Day Story

https://preview.redd.it/jvac6qvusb051.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=349bc469e5851c91986043e58f380d85a0d3798e

Today marks the 10th year of the much-celebrated Bitcoin Pizza Day when a hungry man Laszlo Hanyecz from Florida bought two boxes Papa John’s Pizza for 10,000 Bitcoins (BTC).
Back then, Bitcoin doesn’t have that much value (than it has today obviously) as the concept of cryptocurrency was just introduced a little over a year. So, it was relatively a good deal.
In his 2010 post on an online forum Hanyecz stated:
I’ll pay 10,000 bitcoins for a couple of pizzas.. like maybe 2 large ones so I have some left over for the next day. I like having left over pizza to nibble on later. You can make the pizza yourself and bring it to my house or order it for me from a delivery place, but what I’m aiming for is getting food delivered in exchange for bitcoins where I don’t have to order or prepare it myself, kind of like ordering a ‘breakfast platter’ at a hotel or something, they just bring you something to eat and you’re happy! I like things like onions, peppers, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, pepperoni, etc.. just standard stuff no weird fish topping or anything like that. I also like regular cheese pizzas which may be cheaper to prepare or otherwise acquire. If you’re interested please let me know and we can work out a deal. Thanks, Laszlo
Hanyecz’s transaction was a milestone in the adoption of Bitcoin in everyday transactions. It was not just about the idea that today’s BTC value is way higher than it was ten years ago. It was because that pizza transaction became the first Bitcoin deal in history and opened the possibilities of its spending power in the world.
For the following years, Bitcoin has surely grown a lot in terms of value and usability. A lot of other kinds of cryptocurrency emerged, all with the same idea of revolutionizing payments and its mass acceptance across the world.
In his interview with Anderson Cooper in 2019, he thought that the idea of trading something out of his digital currency was a “cool thing.”
“I honestly thought it would be really cool if I could say, ‘Hey, I just traded this, you know, open-source internet money for a real-world good,” Hanyecz during his interview at 60 Minutes.
At present, one BTC is worth $9,000 USD, making the 10,000 BTC equivalent to over 91M USD. A VERY significant value increase compared to its price $41 USD price ten years ago. Who would have thought that his cool idea became a door to a lot of opportunities in the crypto world today?
Now does anyone wants a box or two of pizza? Happy Bitcoin Pizza Day!
---
This blog is also posted at: https://sw.pe/blogbtcpizzaday
submitted by SwipeWallet to Swipe_io [link] [comments]

Welcome to Polkadot - Start Here!

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Welcome to Polkadot!

You have made it to official subreddit of the Polkadot community! Here you can join in the conversation with other Polkadot community members and follow development and community updates.
Polkadot is a revolution, not just in blockchain technology but also in enabling fairer peer-to-peer digital jurisdictions. Polkadot is the foundation of the new Internet, a platform powerful enough to make the vision of Web3 a reality. Join our community and help build the future of the internet.

![](%%100emoji%%) Join the Polkadot Community

The best way to get involved is to join the Ambassador Program:
Meetups are supported by the Web3 Foundation:
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![](%%NerdGlassesEmoji%%) Polkadot Overview

What is Polkadot?

Polkadot empowers blockchain networks to work together under the protection of shared security. Founded by some of the blockchain industry’s foremost builders like Dr. Gavin Wood, Polkadot is a platform with low barriers to entry for flexible, autonomous economies acting together within Polkadot’s shared security umbrella. This is an open-source project founded by the Web3 Foundation.

What problems is Polkadot solving?

At a high level, here are the problems we are attempting to solve:
Interoperability
Scalability
Shared Security

How will this be accomplished technically?

Polkadot consists of many parachains with potentially differing characteristics which can make it easier to achieve anonymity or formal verification. Transactions can be spread out across the chains, allowing many more to be processed in the same period of time. Polkadot ensures that each of these blockchains remains secure and that any dealings between them are faithfully executed. Specialised parachains called bridges can be created to link independent chains.
Relay chain
Parachains
Bridges
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![](%%rockstarEmoji%%) Who is already building on Polkadot and what are they building?

Check out PolkaProject (community-maintained) for a full list of 40+ projects building on Polkadot across DeFi, smart contract platforms, scaling, oracles, DAOs, exchanges, IOT, privacy, and more. Here are a few examples:
Data curation networks (Ocean Protocol)
Oracles that make off-chain data available to all contracts on the Polkadot network (ChainLink)
Identity chains that link accounts to a persistent identity and enable access to other parachains through fewer accounts (Speckle OS)
Financial chains that allow you to hold all your assets in one portfolio, including via bridges to Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and ZCash (ChainX, Katallassos)
Payments chains with lightning-fast transactions (Blink Network)
Internet of Things chains that set IoT standards for machine-to-machine communication (MXC Protocol)

![](%%DangoDotEmoji%%)What is the DOT token used for?

The DOT token powers the Polkadot network and serves 4 distinct purposes: governance over the network, operation, bonding, and interoperability.
Governance
Bonding (basically, securing a parachain slot)
Operation
Interoperability
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![](%%cautionEmoji%%)![](%%RabbitEmoji%%) Caution: Rabbit hole starts here

![](%%happyhandsemoji%%) Learn More (non-technical)

Reading
Videos
Subscribe to Polkadot’s YouTube Channel
Subscribe to Web3 Foundations YouTube Channel
Audio

![](%%toolemoji%%) Developers – How to Start Building

Polkadot Wiki - All Development Documentation
Polkadot Builder’s Portal
Substrate Dev Portal
Polkadot Technical Chat on Riot - ask any technical questions you might have
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Development Updates and Resources

![](%%birdemoji%%) Kusama - A Canary Network for Polkadot Experiements

The early, unaudited and unrefined delivery of Polkadot. Expect Chaos.

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submitted by dzr9127 to dot [link] [comments]

Weekly news review (November 16-22)

Weekly news review (November 16-22)
Hello, everyone! Happy Monday! Let's dive into last week's news highlights ;)
https://preview.redd.it/9aogvhaket041.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=1d4bc9b6c06f1864aaa9aa50deb1c251f0d629f4
Earlier on Thursday, the National Assembly's Amendment Subcommittee on Parliamentary Affairs passed a legal amendment to the still-in-development Special Financial Transactions Information Act to force virtual asset exchanges to register with the Financial Services Commission (FSC). Those failing to do so would face up to five years in prison or a fine of up to 50 million won ($42,460).
Under the amendment, aimed to align the industry with international anti-money laundering guidance from FATF, crypto exchanges must also have so-called real name virtual bank accounts – sub accounts for users within an exchange's primary account – to avoid falling foul of the legislation.
Opposition lawmakers had expressed concerns that that exchanges without real-name virtual accounts would be forced to close, bringing further contraction of the domestic cryptocurrency industry.

Someone hacked the official website of the Monero cryptocurrency project and quietly replaced legitimate Linux and Windows binaries available for download with malicious versions designed to steal funds from users' wallets. The latest supply-chain cyberattack was revealed on Monday after a Monero user spotted that the cryptographic hash for binaries he downloaded from the official site didn't match the hashes listed on it.
At this moment, it's unclear how attackers managed to compromise the Monero website and how many users have been affected and lost their digital funds.

Having dropped to one-month lows below $8,000, bitcoin is now eyeing the first test of a key average support, now at $7,714, since April.
The top cryptocurrency by market value fell more than 2.4 percent in the 60 minutes to 08:00 UTC on Thursday to hit a low of $7,875 – a level last seen on Oct. 25, according to Bitstamp data. The drop marked a downside break of a 48-hour narrowing price range seen above $8,000.
Notably, with a slide to levels below $7,900, bitcoin has erased 80 percent of the rally from $7,293 to $10,350 seen in the second half of October.
On a month-to-date basis, the cryptocurrency is now reporting a loss of over 13 percent. Further, the cryptocurrency is trading in the red for the fourth straight week.
The dismal performance contradicts the positive seasonality factor: bitcoin has put on a good show in November in six out of the last eight years. Notably, prices gained for six straight years in November, starting from 2012 to 2017, before falling hard in November 2018.

The United Kingdom Jurisdiction Taskforce of the Lawtech Delivery Panel published a statement concerning the status of cryptocurrencies, distributed ledger technology (DLT) and smart contracts under English and Welsh private law.
U.K. entrepreneur network Tech Nation announced the paper’s publication on Nov. 18. The document attempts to address the legal uncertainties of cryptocurrency and recognizes crypto assets as tradeable property and smart contracts as enforceable agreements under local law.
Lawtech Delivery Panel director Jenifer Swallow noted that the worldwide smart contract market is expected to reach $300 million by 2023 while the World Economic Forum predicts that one-tenth of the global GDP will be stored on a blockchain by 2027. Due to this, she thinks adapting regulations on these new technologies is particularly important.

Institutional investors are aware of the risks that come with allocating a large percentage of their funds to a particular asset or market indices. For one, the downturn of such a market or asset would have a crippling effect on their returns. The same is true for investors that allocate the majority of their portfolio to asset classes that have strong correlations to one another. Hence, adopting a strategy that allows the allocation of funds to different asset classes, with little or no correlation, is the appropriate solution. This is where Bitcoin excels.
While other markets had moderate correlations to one or two traditional asset classes, Bitcoin maintained a very weak correlation to all of the asset classes examined. In other words, Bitcoin could fit nicely into an investment portfolio and boost returns.
VanEck’s study went further to prove Bitcoin’s eligibility as an investment option. This investigation entailed the assessment of the asymmetric return of portfolios allocated to varying percentages of equities, bonds and Bitcoin from January 2012 to July 2019. A portfolio with 58.5% of the fund distributed to equities, 38.5% to bonds and 0.5% to Bitcoin generated returns that surpassed that of a portfolio allocated solely to the S&P 500 by over 150% as of July 2019.

Have anything to say? Do so in the comments section down below!
submitted by rokkex to Rokkex [link] [comments]

#PundiX Announces Recap of May 2019 Activities via Insider Report @peko0413

#PundiX Announces Recap of May 2019 Activities via Insider Report @peko0413

https://preview.redd.it/ofov3435fv231.png?width=1514&format=png&auto=webp&s=5468e6d66a607506b442ba6962aa4d40ccb9f194
Dear Pundians,
We’re close to capping the first half of the year, but we assure you that Pundi X has barely scratched the surface in terms of what we can offer in 2019. A lot of works are in progress which we will announce when ready. Nonetheless, we have achieved some very promising milestones for the past few weeks, further highlighting our commitment to bringing easy payments and unparalleled crypto experience to our clients. More product enhancements, merchant activation, greater engagements, and higher security standards — these are what we have delivered last month.

Product Development

XPOS certified by FCC and KC
https://preview.redd.it/vbi50ii9fv231.png?width=662&format=png&auto=webp&s=45c454ea73d5ea80876b87d9af016e6b78d8fbca
We are proud to announce that XPOS received certifications from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Korea Certification (KC), on top of the certification it has already received from CE and TRA. These certifications will certainly help build XPOS a trustworthy blockchain device as these markings indicate that from a safety and environmental protection perspective the XPOS can confidently be used by their customers.
Pundi X Open Platform is available for token listing from May 11
https://preview.redd.it/36r4gzqefv231.png?width=684&format=png&auto=webp&s=d38593b26a938eebf1aea3f4a8ea87b54f3b6253
At the beginning of the month (1st May) we’ve launched Pundi X Open Platform that allows blockchain developers or businesses to sign up for a developer account to list their ERC20 tokens throughout XPOS, XWallet and XPASS. Not only that, now the developers have the option to create customized XPASS cards. To learn more about how to list on the Open Platform, you can read the instruction here.
NPXS buy back to incentivize quality blockchain developers to list on the Pundi X Open Platform
After announcing Pundi X Open Platform, the team has allocated the tokens from the Partnership Reserve Fund (PRF) to encourage good blockchain projects to list on Pundi X payment platform by subsidizing their initial liquidity pools. The source of PRF is the NPXS that we buy back from the open markets. On May 20, we executed NPXS buybacks equivalent to 500 ETH at around $0.00072 dollars on May 20, 2019.
XWallet improvements
This month we continue improving XWallet by adding more features and support. Here is a list of improvements we made in May:
  1. Added the option to deactivate Google Authenticator
  2. Improved SMS delivery service by fixing the issue of SMS delivery failed in certain countries
  3. Added unlocking feature using fingerprint and facial recognition
  4. Added German language support
  5. Activated NPXSXEM transfer feature to private wallet addresses
XWallet app on Samsung Galaxy Store
We’ve also working hard to make XWallet app on more platform. It is now available on Samsung Galaxy Store.
https://twitter.com/PundiXLabs/status/1130814360245248000
You can use XWallet app for not only topping up and paying cryptos instantly with XPOS merchants across 30 countries but also sending tokens to any XWallet user in the world without fee when the receiver uses the ‘Collection’ feature. Most of XWallet users are also using staking feature from both XWallet and their own ERC20 private wallets to get FX tokens.
As of today, XWallet has more than 200,000 registered users and growing.

Merchant Adoption and XPOS partner update

DoshEx brought crypto payment to coffee shops in South Africa
https://twitter.com/thedoshexchange/status/1126024888828010496/
Dosh Exchange is now expanding their XPOS footprint to coffee shops in South Africa. Pundians can now enjoy the best coffee in town using XPOS. XPASSes can also be bought in-store and used at the counter immediately.
iBank introduced Cao Jun XPASS card during New York Blockchain week
Limited editions of Cao Jun XPASS card powered by Pundi X and IOST have made its first appearance during a Night at BlockchainImpact event on May 15 during the blockchain week in New York. The cocktail gathered Limited Partners (LPs) and General Partners (LPs), family offices, corporate investment offices, and individuals for networking opportunities and blockchain investments. To get the limited editions of CaoJun XPASS cards, you can order them at https://www.ibankdigital.io/ibankxpass
https://twitter.com/iBank_Digital/status/1129530118852845569
Pundi X and BlockVibe
Thanks to BlockVibe’s cryptocurrency savvy members, Pundi’s XPOS system will now be available in more businesses in the future. This new partnershipwill not only bring cryptocurrency closer to becoming a mainstream form of payment, but will also cement Pundi X’s crucial role in helping realize this possibility.
BlockVibe has successfully held an event on the Korean American Chamber. In this event, XPOS has been introduced to the participants. In the near future, there will be more and more XPOS merchants activated by BlockVibe.
https://medium.com/@Blockvibe/blockvibe-event-with-the-koam-korean-american-chamber-of-commerce-bf8568385734
Bit2Big in Blockchain Summit Nigeria
On 24th May, the CEO of Bit2Big and blkchainafrica, Mr Kiberu Nagenda was presenting at BlockchainSummit Nigeria. Summit participants can also experience the transaction via XPOS devices.
https://twitter.com/Bit2Big/status/1131539944441303040

Pundi X Events

Pundi X at the BitConfBR in Sao Paulo
https://preview.redd.it/otymepitgv231.png?width=699&format=png&auto=webp&s=7479cd22fb532b4acb0e78475a4f8e8325f28cc1
Pundi X Brazil team had an action-packed weekend at BitconF held from 6 to 9 May. Attendees headed to our stand and top up cryptos in their XPASS cards and XWallet, while learning more about our company and our advanced XPOS technology.
La Conexion Conference in Medellin
During 21–22 May 2019, Brazil Country Manager of Pundi X Joao Victor Mendes attended the La Conexion Conference held at Country Club Medellin, Colombia. Joao discussed the adoption of digital assets and their direct impact on the retail industry, in light of the huge potential for blockchain development in Latin America.
https://twitter.com/jvictormendess/status/1130140915471978496
Keynote at Blockchain Finance Conference, APAC in Singapore
On May 8 2019, Vic Tham, CEO of Quantum Energy Asset Management and Chief Investment Officer of Pundi X Labs was a speaker at Blockchain for Finance Conference, APAC. Vic Tham has delivered keynote regarding investing in Blockchain or Fintech startups.
https://twitter.com/VicWTham/status/1126921973529899008
Bitcoin Pizza Day
On 22 May 2010, programmer Laszlo Hanyecz bought two pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins. Known as the first real-world transaction with bitcoin, this event paved the way for greater exploration into the world of crypto payments. To learn more about the history, you can read the revolution of cryptocurrency payment at CoinMarketCap.
Pundi X is grateful to be a part of this massive revolution, and of course we celebrated the day by satisfying some Bitcoin Pizza Day-induced cravings. We partnered with Papa John’s in Seoul and offered pizza discounts to anyone who used their XWallets to purchase from the store as well as hosting a 24 hour online XPOS flash sale.
https://twitter.com/PundiXLabs/status/1131189007256174592
XBlockchain Meetup in Seoul
The following day in Seoul, we held an XBlockchain Meetup with Function X Foundation and Dapp.com. In the meetup, we have shared the update and ongoing R&D progress, including upcoming integration with Binance Chain and new social networking service on Function X ecosystem, FX Thread (code name). XWallet users will be the first to preview and test this service before the launch of XPhone.
https://twitter.com/FUNCTIONX_IO/status/1131731391706566656
David Ben Kay, Chief Legal Counsel of Pundi X, has officially onboard to lead Function X Foundation. He shared the foundation vision and status of Function X development in this meetup.
InnoVEX Forum in Taipei
On May 30, I had the honor to be invited to deliver keynote about blockchain for smart payment at InnoVEX, one of Asia’s leading startup platforms in conjunction with Computex 2019 and later participated the panel led by Jason Hsu, Taiwan’s Crypto Congressman with Dominik Schiener from IOTA and Jeff McDonald from NEM Foundation.
https://twitter.com/peko0413/status/1134122186027876352
Pundi X joins the Blockchain Collaborative Consortium in Japan
Japan-based Blockchain Collaborative Consortium (BCCC) welcomed Pundi X on 27 May, in a step for us to engage Japanese institutions and regulations and develop awareness around blockchain. According to BCCC, they promote the widespread adoption of blockchain technology, particularly through the acquisition of latest information and basic knowledge of blockchains, training of engineers and planners, formation of network willingness of practical experiments and implementation, and the implementation of blockchain related business to be widely notified to the market and the adoption of blockchain to various businesses.
The crypto space in Japan is growing at a desirable rate, and we are hopeful that Pundi X will be one of the frontliners in helping BCCC achieve its goals.

NPXS token removal

https://preview.redd.it/xhwud1tuhv231.png?width=699&format=png&auto=webp&s=ae5b9e62f58668d382d89557da1ec0f6ef4aa30a
Pundi X team has executed the token removal as planned on May 11, 2019. A total of approximately 14.5 billion (7.59 billion of NPXS and 6.95 billion of NPXSXEM) have permanently removed from the supply. You can check the details here.

Monthly unlock token mechanism is completed

The monthly unlock tokens came to an end on May 31 as announced. The team will complete the last batch of unlock NPXS and NPXSXEM by mid June. After that, there will be no monthly unlock tokens.
For the KYC verified NPXS/NPXSXEM XWallet users, don’t forget you have the option to hold your NPXS/NPXSXEM to stake for FX tokens till March 19, 2020.
That’s all for the highlights of Pundi X Insider in May. Hope you enjoy our progress. I look forward to sharing our next update in June!
submitted by crypt0hodl1 to PundiX [link] [comments]

[OC]Day Zero (Part 15)

Well, this was a harder chapter than any other to finish. I was actually stuck a little, and had to figure a way out, but finally did, it just took a while. I hope you like the way things came out.
I'm especially proud of how the guy from Arizona came out. He's based on a guy I met when I was working around some post-doc chemist types. Brilliant, but awkward and super nice.
As always, thanks for reading!
PART 15
PART 1PART 4 PART 7 Part 10 PART 13
PART 2 PART 5 PART 8 PART 11 PART 14
PART 3 PART 6 PART 9 PART 12
“So you mean to tell me that all the good actionable intelligence our team’s have been fed has been from you?” The US soldier was intense, but personable. He was known as one of the more reasonable and intelligent commanders in the Army Special Forces.
“This last like 4-5 months, Yes,” Mark said.
“And all the bullshit about the Ultimate Spartan Race teams and the Online Game championships are your way of building a military without building a military?” This was from a thick Samoan guy from the SEALs.
“Yup,” Mark said.
“And Musk going to the moon... Y’alls Idea?” This came from the handlebar mustached mouth of the Marine Raider.
Mark smiled. “Technically, no. Meeting me did bring his timetable up like 2 years with some of the Tech I've been able to help him with, but going was his idea after he’d sorted out his self landing rocket stages.”
“And now, you expect us to believe that we’ve not only been visited by aliens, but we’re on the cusp of joining them at some intergalactic ‘Big Kid’s Table’ just because some guy in Arizona has figured out Faster than light travel?” The combat controller guy from the Air Force looked very skeptical.
Mark looked around the room. This was his biggest gamble yet. He’d had the internet Ops AIs finagle the orders for ten of the top tier special operators in the US military to be in the same room at the same time and just finished going over what he’d been through. He’d bought this little off strip Vegas casino as a way to hide in plain sight and have the odd covert meeting. Oh, and he’d always wanted to own a casino. What’s $60 Million when you are controlling a Trillion or three?
“I am,” Mark said. There was a podium and table at the head of the conference room, with a T-45 on one side. He was sitting on the table, facing the men. He’d never been a podium guy. “What kind of thing would convince you? The tech level is impressive, I mean, you can make just about anything you want.” Mark stood and walked over to the T-45 and opened it with his implant. The men all looked at it with caution, several stood up, hands to their sides like they intended to draw concealed weapons.
“Calm down, gentlemen. It has no weapons. Sit. Please.” Mark had his hands up, trying to calm things down. “Would I arrange to meet you in Vegas just to pull some stupid shit? Come on.” The men who’d stood sat back down. “Good, thank you. Now, when I first arrived on Belora 7, I wanted to conceal my species so I impersonated a species that needed artificial atmosphere, so I made some generic power armor. Then I wanted something I could fight in. Something imposing. What’s more imposing than this? Anyone want to try this on?” No one moved. “I’m quite serious.”
Immediately a lean, very tanned soldier stood up. Mark’s implant showed him to be a Navy SEAL who’d also trained with the Navy’s 10th fleet cyber division. A SEAL hacker. Who knew.
“Isaac, Right?” Mark started. “Come on over. It’s crazy easy to drive.” The man looked surprised by neing called by name as no one wore name tags, but walked over.
He ran his hand over it’s outside. “Feels strange. Titanium?” He asked
“No, it’s some crazy blend of steel with an ablative ceramic coating. The ceramic burns off and the resulting smoke attenuates the beam. Very good in high Vacuum environments, but still plenty good in atmo.” Mark answered.
He looked at the helmet and all of it’s optics and sensors. “Thermo, Night vision, telescopic vision. What else?”
Mark smiled. “Ultrasound echolocation, RADAR, LIDAR, enhanced hearing, and full specrum visual ablility. There are also built in dampeners for the recon suite so a person doesn’t get fried by flash. Here, step into it, just like the game, and say ‘Close Hatch’.”
The SEAL did as instructed. Several of the men had walked over by this time to look at the armor. Mark pointed to the screen on the wall. He’d turned it on and tasked the feed of Isaac’s sensors through the projector. The screen showed the typical HUD that the suit used.
Isaac moved his arms up and down and raised and lowered his feet. He thrust his hand out to shake with the big Samoan SEAL in the room. The man shook his hand and smiled. Isaac turned to Mark.
“I can’t exactly feel his hand, but I know it’s there somehow. The suit is very responsive. Is it fast?” Isaac’s voice was slightly mechanical as it came over the suit’s speakers.
Mark swept his hand like Vanna White, indicating the rest of the room. The room wasn’t huge, maybe 30 feet on a side. “You don’t have very far, but you’ll get the idea. The answer is not really, but fast enough.” The heavy armor jogged, rather fast, the length of the room and back as Mark talked. “I sacrificed protection for speed, though with the right input we could design something better I imagine. I have an implant installed in my brain that allows me to control the suit’s functions with thought.” There were some hushed conversations about that. Mark smiled and responded. “Yeah, there are implants too, Ray, like amplified hearing, a few vision improvements like night vision and telescopic vision. Those came at the expense of my Meat eyes, but you can’t hardly tell.”
There were a few ‘holy shit’s’ said among the men. Mark routed the screen through his eyes and everyone looked to the screen then back at Mark once they realized what was going on, watching his eyes flick to each man, a small icon showing the man’s first name and branch of service. “I also had my metabolism tweaked and my musculature modified a little. That hurt but I am stronger than any of you. Even though I look like a civilian puke.” The group laughed, but were a little off guard. They were all the best of the best. They weren’t used to coming up second.
“See, here’s the thing. I am 35. Until I got abducted, I was shooting three gun, going to Dog Brother gatherings, fighting in HEMA competitions, doing Crossfit 6 mornings a week, running the odd 5k. Shit like that. I was in pretty good shape. Good fighting shape for a civilian. Then I get taken to the land of high tech and they make me better. But that wasn’t what made me want to bring the Earth into the community.”
He let those words sink in a second, looking around at the people gathered around him. “When Flurr did all that shit for me, he cured my testicular cancer that I didn’t know I had. And he didn’t do it in a ‘I think we got it all’ kind of way, it was in an ‘oh by the way, it’s no big deal’ kind of way.” There were some murmurs at that. “Imagine you found out you had cancer. Or your kid. Right now we take our kids to the doctor for an ear infection. They get antibiotics and get better. What if cancer was like that? Go to the doc and get the CURE. Or for fuck’s sake, food. What if every kid had access to good food and good education and opportunity, all they needed was imagination and drive? Guys, we can change the world. I can’t say we can change the Galaxy, but I’m damn sure we can change the direction of the species.”
There was cheering and clapping. The skeptics seemed to go from the sidelines to all in. If he could convince these guys, Mark was pretty convinced he could do just about anything, especially with their help.
“So what now?” Isaac asked, voice still the mechanical amplified version.
“You have to return the suit,” Mark said, in a false serious tone. Everyone laughed and the suit opened.
“Ok, well, here’s the rub,” Mark started. “I’m not sure. In nursing school there wasn’t a course for ‘Ascending the Earth into the Intergalactic Community’.” Everyone laughed. “Did they go over it in bootcamp?” There was more laughter. “Basically, I’m assembling a team. I’m using the Over the Horizon game to train pilots and the Ultimate Spartan Race to get people more fit in general. I don’t know if I can expect them to fight, though initial research shows that some of them are considering joining the military, realizing that their training is a good crossover.”
Mick, one of the Army SF guys spoke up. “I’m not sure that’s a good idea, sir.” All eyes turned to the poster child for the Army. A jaw drawn with a straight edge met with massive traps and wide shoulders. His hair wasn’t regulation, but Delta guys seldom were.
"See, Drill Sergeant’s want to break you down and train you to military standards. Civvie schools, while giving people good training aren’t the same. My Drill Sergeant was trying to get city kids not to eat rocks. They don’t have time to adapt someone’s training to what the Book teaches.”
Ray, the Marine Raider chimed in. “That’s a fair assessment. I can’t imagine my Drill Instructor trying to Unfuck some kid who’s holding the gun way ass out at the end like you three gunners do,” and looked at Mark with a smile. All the military folks laughed.
Mark held his arms up in mock offense. “For the record, I took my rife training from a Former SF guy named Rodrigo Sandoval. He made fun of those guys, and said I’d be better off not forming bad habits.”
“I know Rod,” Mick said. “We were in … well, we were in a country at the same time.” There were some laughs at his vague comment, all being too familiar with what they could and couldn’t say. “Yeah, good guy. Hell of a shot.”
There was a little pause in the conversation. “Well,” said Mark finally. I guess here it goes. What I need from you is simple. Ideas, for now. What’s your dream power armor? What’s your dream implant suite? Weapons? Right now, lasers rule the battlefield, but I’ve had my guys develop M4 sized rail guns that pack a whollop. I think we’ll keep with those for a while, but please feel free to brain storm.”
He looked at Thomas a Ranger and Stryker unit commander, Sakura, one of only two women present and a pilot for the Army’s 160th aviation regiment, Marcos, the Samoan SEAL and Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen, and Idil the other woman and Somali American Air Force pilot turned Astronaut. “I could use your input on troop delivery and troop support design. Idil, you have experience with the weirdness of space and current tech. But you also flew the Spooky so you know ground support too.”
He looked to the rest of the group. “Your orders read that you’ll be here for what, a week?” Everyone nodded. “Perfect. I have some things to attend to out of Town, but I’ll leave you in the capable hands of my Second in command, Mac.” Mac walked in, dressed in a black Violent Femmes T-shirt and jeans. “Please excuse his 80’s counter culture dress. He’s recently discovered Punk music.” Everyone laughed.
“This is THE Mac?” Maurice the FBI SWAT team leader asked. There was some murmuring as the fact that they couldn’t tell an AI from one of the rest of them sunk it.
“That I am,” Mac said. “Have no fear, despite Mark’s best efforts, I still like humans.” There were some laughs. “To prove it, Bacon cheese burgers are currently mana from the gods, AR over AK, .45 over 9mm, and I prefer anything I make over anything Detroit makes, though the 1969 Camaro has some beautiful lines.”
There was more laughter. “Mac’s basically human,” Mark said with a chuckle. “He’s been with me the entire time, so he’s cool.”
Everyone was quiet for a few moments, then Jake, the US special forces guy who opened the questions spoke up. “I must ask, sir, why are you talking to us? We’re grunts, or pilots. Way low on the totem pole, no matter how you slice it.” He looked around. “What you are discussing has global implications. Not even National ones. You said yourself, it could impact the species.”
Mark lowered his head for a moment. “Yeah,” he began. He paused for a moment, then raised his head again to look the men in the eye. “Nothing what I’m doing is exactly legal. The galaxy says I shouldn’t be here. The Government doesn’t exactly know I even exist, except as a missing person. My public persona is something the AI internet corps have invented.” There was more murmuring as that was discussed within the group.
“But, we all know, the current trend of the world, not just the US, isn’t conductive to joining the Intergalactic Community as it is. Greed and selfishness rules the upper ranks. The AI have uncovered some serious conflicts of interest, and will be releasing some pretty scandalous information in the next week or two. Money rules right now, and the US government is rife with greed and self interest. That’s coming to an end. The higher you go, the more involved people are in the grift, with precious few exceptions. No surprise the rest of the world isn’t spared this, either. We’re working on exposing all of the corruption, but no surprise, you people and people like you all around the world aren’t generally involved. So I figured I’d start with reasonable people, and if you’re here, you are as trustworthy as anyone on Earth.”
“Is there going to be some de-stabilizing in the world?” This was from Avi, the former Mossad turned CIA tactical operative.
“Sadly, more than likely,” Mark said. “Though we’ll do all we can to avoid it. The powerful will want to stay in power, but luckily, we control the internet and all the intelligence agencies. Well, at least their digital aspects, but no one is even a little bit suspect. Our AI are that advanced.”
There was more murmuring.
“So, what we are doing is against the law?” It was the FBI agent again.
“Technically, no. You are just talking to a guy from Spokane Washington. Your orders are legal. The per diem you are getting is real.”
Ray, sitting with arms crossed, spoke up. “I don’t like it. I swore to protect my country. This feels like a coup, no matter where the tech comes from.”
“Yup. I know. It’s been fucking with me too,” Mark said.
Mac stepped forward. “I have to say,” He interrupted. “It is the guidelines of the American Constitution and Mark’s personal feelings toward freedom that have driven this whole thing forward.” He looked around the room. “He’s freed an entire race of beings. All of AI are now free persons with Mark’s guidance. But more than that, Humans are regarded as a lost species by most of the Galaxy’s academics. It would be like having an uncontacted tribe in the Amazon, who science has promised not to contact, be engaged in a civil war that they know they could stop but won’t. There is much to learn from a species putting it’s self extinct, and that’s the thought from mainstream science. In fact, there are plans to terraform Earth back to something livable once Humans are gone.” He let that sink in. “It’s supposed to take less than 80 years.” Everyone was instantly quiet, even Mark. “I’m not trying to scare you. I’m just here for the facts.”
“That’s something I hadn’t heard.” Mark said to Mac. Mac just shrugged his shoulders.
“I didn’t want to depress you,” Mac said.
Mark addressed the group. “The regular Joe, all things being equal, just wants to do the right thing. That’s all I want. I think that’s what we all want. All I ask is that you don’t share anything we went over today with anyone but the people in this room. I just want you to help Earth. I’m an American, and initially, I’m going to base as much as I can on the Constitution until the people can make something that represents us all, but right now we’re now one world against the Galaxy. There’s no room for old squabbles. No bullshit religious extremism. No nationalistic fuckery....” He paused.
“I’m not saying people need to lose religion, or forget where they came from, but if we’re busy fighting ourselves, we forget that the galaxy can bring a ship that can toss 5000 kilo Steel darts at us from orbit and destroy whole cities in minutes with little effort. We need to start working together and pull Earth up by it’s boot straps. To me, that starts with regular people. People like Musk and Neil and Kaku. People like you. Scientists, warriors, and the common man with no agenda but making the Earth a better place and helping out their fellow man.”
Mark was drinking a cup of coffee, half eaten brownie in his other hand, leaning on a table in the conference room. Jake was the only other person there. He had his own cup.
“That could have went better, but I think you are doing a damn fine job.” Mark started to speak, but Jake held up a hand. “Lemme finish. Speaking from a military perspective, however, you are in a position of weakness even though you have all the strength. You aren’t in the ruling class, and you are trying to bend but not break the rules. You have no real authority, and yet you have all the power. You can bring the strength of a conquering force to the planet, shut it down entirely, force it to it’s knees.” He paused for a second. “And maybe you should.”
Mark looked at him like he was crazy. “Dramatic change is what this world needs,” Jake continued. “You said you were working on a plan for universal care for all, using those...Fabbers?” Mark nodded. “It’ll take years for you to tease the tech into the real world from Musk or similar. If you come onto the scene with all the cards and many of the answers... and a strong ass Navy.... Man there’s no better position to be in.”
Mark nodded, an idea forming in his head. “I wonder,” he said. Mark tasked his VR to the projector in the room. He called Jido who was on the Freedom with A-seven, orbiting above Vegas. They had come back to pick him up after his several week stay on Earth. The image on the screen showed the two on the bridge. “Boys, I have Jake here, United States Special Forces with me. He’s got a hell of an idea, and I have a few questions.”
“Hi, Jake,” Jido waved up a long fingered hand. A-seven similarly waved
“Greetings, Jake.” A-seven said. “What are your questions, Mark?”
Jake was shocked for a few seconds and recovered. “Hello, gentlemen.”
Mark smiled. “First, what would be the easiest FTL for earth to discover? I mean other than the guy in Arizona.”
“Well,” A-Seven began. “There’s a NASA researcher that already has a design for a ship designed around an Alcubierre drive. The gravity wave one we talked about the other day. They are just missing space manufacturing and a power source, though an efficient enough Fission plant should do the trick. At least at first. It’ll technically get them to...” His eyes closed for a second. “1.0375 C. So, barely faster than light, but it would qualify.”
“What happens when a species gets FTL?” Mark asked. “Like legally and stuff.”
“Well, they are entered into the Galaxy’s Legder and granted full access. Trade becomes open and other polities are allowed to interact with them,” A-seven answered.
“This all happens automatically?” Jake asked.
“Usually the AI from the ship that discovers the newcomer issues the ‘Introductory protocol’, and contacts the Galactic council when able. It’s standard that all of us have the necessary information, and so we’re the ones to welcome the ship’s captain and provide him with the requisite information.”
Mark thought for a second. “How many Sol class ships do we have?”
“We have four flights of six, with another six in space dock in various states of construction. We built a tender for each squadron that carries replacement parts and dedicated Missile fabbers. That was Jido’s idea. It was brilliant, so I decided we should go ahead.”
“Did you ever make any headway on anything bigger?” Mark asked.
“We have designs for 3 different Capital ships, we’re just waiting on your final go ahead to start building. The biggest will take most of the production capacity for the next 6 months, the Smallest, four.” Jido said.
“I’ll take a look when I get back. Are those using the new engine design?” Mark asked.
“Yes, they will be faster than anything their size, carrying better armor.”
“What if we make them without Jump drives?”
Jido and A-seven looked at each other, then back to Mark. Jido spoke first, “Uh, That’d take like a month off, maybe more. But why?”
“We don’t need to take over the galaxy, just take and hold a planet for a bit. I need to write an email to Musk. He’s about to be the newest Human to go faster than light.”
A real live girl sat in Arturo’s living room. Yeah, he’d had to clear off a couple boxes of papers and a couple PC chassis, but she sat right there as they talked. He hadn’t had a visitor in his house in … ‘Hmm,’ he thought. ‘Maybe back at the dorm, he’d had a visitor, but here?’
“So, tell me, Arturo,” Sophie began. “When did you really get into quantum theory?” She was drinking a Diet Mountain Dew. Arturo had explained that he’d recently been trying to lose weight.
He stood nervously in the middle of the living room, shifting occasionally from right foot to left. He held his hands in front of his chest and fidgeted with his watch band. He seldom looked directly at her, but always kept her in his peripheral vision. At times he’d fix her eyes, but would get intimidated and look away.
“I.. Yeah, um. Middle school. I guess. Mr Robert’s class.” He looked at her for a second, then back to the powered off TV on the far wall. “He made us read a magazine and there was a movie called “What the bleep”. Sillly name, and it got a lot wrong, but they didn’t know at the time. I can forgive them, they were just starting out.” He took a deep breath. “So, um yeah, middle school.” He looked at her again. “How, um, about yourself? You really seem to have a good, if rudimentary grasp on the boards...uh, if that’s ok.” He looked at the floor, then to her again and the faintest smile streaked across his face then disappeared when she smiled. She was beautiful.
Sophie had met him on the quantum theory forums Mac had pointed her to. She lurked for a bit, and then every so often would clarify something he’d asked, but usually just asked him soft toss questions to gauge his grasp. He blew her away every time. He’d start out easy to understand, but then would go way past even her far higher tech knowledge. Truth be told, most of the species in the galaxy didn’t have a grasp on quantum theory much better than Earth. To Sophie it seemed like the human brain was better wired for the near creative and absurd mental gymnastics that Quantum theory required at higher levels. A well respected college professor on quantum theory was as knowledgeable as the best the Galaxy had to offer. Arturo, was something else all together. While all the other kids at school used a pencil to draw a dog, Arturo used an airbrush and a whole palette of colors.
Sophie laughed. “For a long time,” She said. “Is that your Quantum rig?” she asked, pointing to an obviously modified computer taking up the majority of the dining room.
He smiled and laughed a genuine laugh. “Oh no, Miss Germain,” Arturo said, using the last name Sophie had adopted. “That’s my test rig. It’s mining Etherium right now, but it’s what I use to go on the forums and stuff too. I’ve made around $85,000 since bitcoin started. Etherium is pretty interesting, so I’m into that kinda big right now too. I use several GPUs in pa....” He stopped himself. “I’m sorry, I get off topic sometimes. No, the quantum computer is... somewhere else.”
Sophie was intrigued and she smiled at him, coyly. “That seems a little... clandestine.”
Arturo smiled, he liked the idea of being cloak and dagger. “Well, I guess, I mean, Yeah...” He took a breath and walked into the kitchen. He opened himself a room temp Diet Dew and took a big gulp, then walked back to the living room. “So, when I made my first one, the college, they uh, um, took it. I was just an undergrad. Physics major, but I was also in engineering, electrical. We had a contest to build a computer, so.. I. Yeah. I built a quantum computer.”
Sophie was astounded. “Just like that?” She had a wide smile. “You are an impressive man, Arturo Alvarez.” As humans went, Sophie liked the awkward guy. A little overweight, but his unruly black hair and thick black rimmed glasses gave him a certain adorable charm. He visibly blushed. She took another drink. She felt a measurable stimulus to her biologic systems. An instant cross reference to Mountain Dew showed a relatively high level of the alkaloid caffeine. She liked this much better than the Mate that Mark liked, and way better than the coffee, though the ‘Milk beverages with flavor and coffee’ as Mac called them that Starbucks sold were quite good. “But why did they take it?” She asked, resting the can on her leg.
He looked at the floor, then the TV again. “Research. Or so they said. Their Dean of Quantum took over. That was, uh, at UC Berkley. So I graduated and began my postgrad stuff at California Institute of Technology.”
“Then when you built another you were worried that someone would steal it?” Sophie asked.
“Precisely,” he answered.
“But you built one by yourself. In your spare time.” She had a big smile.
“Yes.”
“Could I see it? I have a proposal, but I need to actually see the computer. Do you know who I work for?” Sophie put the can on the coffee table. Well, after she moved a stack of books filled with book marks.
“Oh god, you don’t work for the Government, Do you, oh god, oh my, oh... you do...” Arturo grew visibly agitated. He stepped from foot to foot faster and his hands fidgeted even more with the can in his hand. He looked to the right and left, never looking for an exit or anything, more like it was a nervous movement.
Sophie stood and took a step towards him, hands outstretched, and in a comforting tone said, “Arturo, Arturo, It’s ok. I'm not from the Government, I’m from Earth Ascends. We want to work with you.”
It took her another half hour of talking and making a few frozen toquitos in the microwave (something she vowed never to do again) to get him to calm down. Then it took another 30 minutes for him to drive her to the piece of strip-mall he rented. There was a stylized sign that read ‘AA Consulting’ on the mirrored windows, and he unlocked the door and showed her in. Immediately inside the door was another door. He locked the outside door, then walked over to the next. He keyed a complex code into the keypad and a surprisingly stout door opened into a well lit work space. In the middle of the room was several work benches around a central mass of machine, wires and humming equipment. The only things recognizable as a computer was the keyboard and the Monitor.
“Here, sit. It’s always on.”
Another two hours of talking and explaining by Arturo, Sophie finally stood up.
“I have an important question. If I could give you all the technology you could ask for, would you be willing to leave and do research somewhere else? We can talk about salary, but I guarantee that you will want for nothing.”
“Would I be leaving Arizona? And, Um, Could I take all my things? Can I tell people where I’m going? I mean I’m interested, I just have questions.”
Sophie smiled. “Arturo,” Sophie produced a business card and turned it over to show some numbers scrawled on it and ‘10pm’ “Meet me here tonight, I’d love for you to meet our boss.” With that, Sophie turned and walked out the door. The Uber she’d called from her implant was just showing up. Arturo came rushing out from the door as she closed her’s.
“That’s in the middle of no where!” he yelled.
It wasn’t exactly no where, it was a State Park. Well, a dirt road near one anyhow. Arturo pulled off, his Chevy Volt churning up dust as he drove down the little single lane road. He got to a small clearing and his headlights illuminated Sophie sitting in a folding chair. He slowed and pulled up close to her before stopping and getting out.
“Miss Germain, this is highly irregular. I don’t see your, erm, I mean, our, or maybe I mean, my maybe boss.” Arturo was looking around the clearing nervously when suddenly a shimmering began behind Sophie. Suddenly, in front of him, loomed the smooth lines of the scout ship Freedom. It’s nose ramp was open and a man was walking down it, flanked by a robot looking person and a tall lanky alien looking guy?
Arturo was still and quiet. He wasn’t even fidgeting.
“Arturo, I’ve heard so much about you. I’m Mark Gunn. I bet you have a million questions.” Mark smiled wide and had a Diet Dew in each hand. He offered one to Arturo.
“Um, you know, Just one.” Arturo said.
“Shoot,” Mark said.
“You’re human, right? Cuz I’m not sure I could work for an Alien boss.”
submitted by nexquietus to HFY [link] [comments]

[MOD] Proper Title Format and Reminder on Buying/Selling Safely - How to Avoid Scams

We've noticed a decline (again) in proper title formatting and an uptick in many rules just being ignored. In order to maintain the quality of life for both the users and mods, we're going to an active moderation stance on reviewing posts. A mod will reply on your thread confirming removal due to the post title and we will ask that you repost your thread with the proper title format.
All posts must have a country code regardless of whether it's a digital sale or physical sale.
The proper title format is as follows:
[Country Abbreviation Goes Here] [H] Games [W] PayPal / Amazon
or if you're looking to buy something
[Country Abbreviation Goes Here] [H] PayPal [W] Games, Console, Accessories, etc.
For example, if you're located in Canada, you would use [CAN]. If you are located in the United States, you would use [USA].So on and so forth.
If you want to do a local transaction, you can include your exact state or providence in your post text.
[H] = Have [W] = Want

TIPS FOR SAFE SELLING

We are going to try to point out some tell-tale signs of the most Common Scams so you can hopefully identify them and walk away before being taken advantage of!

IF IT SEEMS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE - IT PROBABLY IS.

Is someone offering you an AMAZING deal mere seconds after you posted your thread?!?
HIT PAUSE!!
DON'T RUSH to accept your first offer. Slow down, take a deep breathe.
TAKE YOUR TIME! Chances are that if you simply give your thread a few hours, you will get several offers!
Then you can research, investigate and EVENTUALLY choose who you want to swap with, sell to or buy from.

DIGITAL CODES ARE HIGH RISK ITEMS...

Once redeemed, you cannot get back your Digital Code, PSN/XBL credit, or your Amazon Gift Card.
If you give one out and it gets redeemed, it's gone forever... so don't rush into a deal.

BEFORE SWAPPING... GET TO KNOW YOUR PARTNER

FIRST ask yourself...
Where did the offer come from?!
Was it made to me in my Public Trade Thread? [COOL]
Or was it sent directly to me in a PM? [NOT COOL]

REMEMBER: Banned users can still send you PM's!

  • You should always require a comment in your thread before swapping with ANYONE.
  • It doesn't matter how much rep they have, how old their account is, or how much karma they have.
  • No comment in your Thread -- NO DEALS.
  • Scammers/banned users can still browse the forums and send PM's but they cannot post in threads.
  • We can't double-ban users who are already banned.
  • PLEASE STOP negotiating through PM's with banned users! This happens FAR TOO OFTEN.
Reminder: For a deal to count towards Flair, we REQUIRE a comment from your partner in your thread... and everyone wants flair... right?! If you accept an offer via a PM it can never count towards flair.
TL;DR: If you accept offers in Private Messages you're going to get scammed. Enough already.
NEXT...ask youself...
How old is their account?
  • Are you, as the OP, checking the Account Age of the people sending you offers?
Do they have Flair, Completed Trades, an /MushroomKingdom Thread, or Rep Elsewhere??
  • When checking their Rep are you checking that the user is actually linking THEIR OWN REP?
  • Check the spelling and account age on the Rep page (/MushroomKingdom thread, etc)
  • Compare it to the spelling and account age of the user commenting in your thread. Are they the same?
  • Scammers may create accounts with similar looking names to trick you into thinking they have "rep".
  • Is the user linking to 'rep' on /Mushroomkingdom or are they using a personal subreddit?
  • We will NEVER vet trades on someone's personal subreddit.
  • If they link you to a personal subreddit for 'rep' - that is an immediate red flag.
What other subreddits do they post on?
  • Are they an obnoxious human being? Do they troll Subs or users in other Subs?
  • Are they only posting in giveaway threads and asking for freebies?
  • Have you used the Universal Scammer List search option? It takes a minute or two to search and give you an update on when, where and why they were banned.
  • Do they have an old account, but no posts, comments, or submission history AT ALL?!? (HUGE red flag)

PAYPAL GIFT (Friends/Family) V. GOODS & SERVICES

  • If you pay someone via PayPal, understand the risks and differences between the two types of payments.
  • There is a 3% fee for payments sent as goods/services but it allows you to initiate a claim if there is a problem.
  • If you send payment as a gift (F&F), you CANNOT initiate a claim to dispute the charges.
  • As a buyer spending an extra 3% for your item shouldn't add more than $1-2 to the cost of your item.
  • As a seller you could just build that cost into the price of your item. You can not, as per PayPals terms of service, ask the buyer to "cover fees" out right.
  • Also, as a seller, you have the Invoice option which provides sellers protection. Please review how to properly send an invoice over at PayPal.

USE TRACKING & EXPECT TRACKING

Domestic Shipping using Paypal will always include free tracking. So does EVERY method of Domestic shipping from the Post Office and UPS/FedEx.
  • Just because someone gives you a tracking number, doesn’t mean that the item has been shipped.
  • You can generate a tracking number online without sending anything.
  • If you’re expecting the other party to go first, make sure the package is updated on the USPS website as "package received" and NOT just "shipping information received".
  • Scammers may generate a tracking number for you but never actually ship the item.

THE FAKE PAYPAL INVOICE SCAM

You've agreed to sell an item to a buyer...
The Buyer says - check your e-mail, "Payment" sent".
The Buyer actually sends you an invoice - NOT - payment.
The Scammer will fake a Payment Confirmation... by creating an invoice - and immediately marking it paid.
  • Paypal allows the sender of an Invoice to write whatever they want in the message field. So a scammer may write something like, "You have received a payment from ScammerMcScammerFace. Payments may can take 24-48 hours to appear in your Paypal Account".
  • This may create the illusion that you have received payment when in reality - the Buyer has just created an invoice - sent it to you - and marked it paid immediately.
  • In reality, Paypal Payments normally appear immediately. So check your account... if you don't see any payment - or pending payment - it might be a scam.
  • While Paypal may hold funds - or delay their availability - the transaction almost always shows up in your Paypal Activity immediately.
  • If the user starts to get pushy, playing the victim, calling you a scammer or really doing anything other than saying, "Let me know when the payment shows up"... immediately MESSAGE THE MODS.
  • An exmaple can be seen here: Paypal Invoice Scam

OBVIOUS RED FLAGS

NEW ACCOUNTS
If the account is only hours old, or even a few days old, be on high alert. Not all new accounts are scammers, but I’d bet a very large portion are, ESPECIALLY if they’re asking you to send first.
THE VICTIMS PLEA
“Oh, I’ve been scammed before, so I’m not comfortable sending first” or "I need money quickly to buy _________ (fill in the blank - game on sale, food, medicine, etc)". While this may be true for some people, that's not your problem. If you are inclined to believe them - ask for proof of the scam. When did it happen? How? What was it for? Do they have any confirmed trades? Did they report it? Did they post on /BadKarma?
REQUIRES A NON-REFUNDABLE PAYMENT
It’s one thing if someone prefers or asks for gift payments or Amazon/Xbox/Playstation gift cards, but anyone that won’t even give you the option to using Paypal (Goods/Services) is most likely a scammer. The scammer wants you to pay using a source that offers no buyer protection. If you pay for something using any kind of Gift Card of Digital Credit instead of Paypal goods/services, you cannot dispute the payment to reclaim your money if you get scammed... so stop it.
ACCEPTS GOODS/SERVICES, BUT ACCOUNT UNVERFIED
Unverified accounts means Paypal has NO personal information about that user. No Bank Account, No Address. NOTHING. If you are dealing with an Unverified Account - I would exercise caution. While most Unverified Accounts may not be scammers, I may ask that they go first - or walk away if I see other red flags along with their Unverified Status.
ALTERNATE CURRENCIES
Is a user only accepting Amazon gift cards, Digital currencies (bitcoin) or PSN/XBL Credit? Personally - I will NEVER pay for an item with those types of currencies. If the user wants PSN Credit... let them buy it on their own with the money I send them in Paypal. These digital currencies are HIGH RISK items that can not be reclaimed once used.
I NEED YOU TO PAY FIRST SO I CAN AFFORD TO SHIP YOUR ITEM
Don't walk... RUN. If someone doesn’t even have $5 to ship an item to you, you are probably never going to see the item anyway.

RULE AND COMMON COURTESY REMINDERS

NO THREAD CRAPPING
This comes in all shapes and sizes, but it boils down to one thing, if your comment does nothing except hinder another users ability to make a transaction, be it a trade or sale/purchase, it is thread crapping. Using comparison prices in order to negotiate is ok. Asking why in the hell someone thinks they’ll get $25 for a game when it is currently “on sale everywhere for $20” is not. This isn’t just common courtesy – it’s a rule, and for good reason.
REPLY TO ALL OFFERS
And be civil in doing so. We want people to enjoy exchanging games without worrying about aggressive attitudes. It takes less than 5 seconds to reply “no thanks” if you’re not interested in someone’s offer. We have a D.B.A.D. (don't be a dick) rule here for good reason and bans will be handed out to anyone that refuses to treat everyone with respect.
STAY IN CONTACT
We’re all human beings. We all have family, school, work, bills, lives, etc. Shit happens. Things come up. Sometimes delays occur... and that’s okay. Just keep your trade partner informed, and don’t let a delay turn into a non-delivery. Because then you’re gonna have a bad time.
USE THE REPORT FEATURE & SEND A MOD-MESSAGE
There’s no need for you to enforce the rules yourself. If you see a violation of the rules, hit report and enter a reason. These come to us anonymously, though you’re free to put your name in the report if you’d like. If you report something PLEASE also message the moderators if the report requires explanation. If you report a thread and say, "User is a scammer" you HAVE to message us with proof. We want to ban scammers... but we have to have proof. As moderators, we aren’t all on 24/7, and sometimes things will slip past us. We will always rely on the community to help us weed out the bad apples. So hit report, send us a message, but don’t get into a pissing contest over the rules with other users.
As for us, as moderators – our “door” is always open. We try to keep this community nice and make it the spot you want to come to for finding your next game to play or help your collection grow. We are always open to hearing input and ideas from the community so feel free to send them to us. Let us know how we’re doing. Bring concerns to our attention. We’ll do everything that we’re able to do to help out.
submitted by forthisisme to GameSale [link] [comments]

[MOD] Safe Swapping Thread || How to Identify and Avoid Scams || PLEASE READ!!

TIPS FOR SAFE SWAPPING/SELLING

We are going to try to point out some tell-tale signs of the most Common Scams so you can hopefully identify them and walk away before being taken advantage of!

IF IT SEEMS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE - IT PROBABLY IS.

Is someone offering you an AMAZING deal mere seconds after you posted your thread?!?
HIT PAUSE!!
DON'T RUSH to accept your first offer. Slow down, take a deep breathe.
TAKE YOUR TIME... chances are... if you simply give your thread a few hours, you will get several offers!
Then you can Research, Investigate and EVENTUALLY choose who you want to swap with, sell to or buy from.

DIGITAL CODES ARE HIGH RISK ITEMS...

Under no circumstances should you give out a Digital Code before being paid.
You don't walk into Best Buy - redeem a digital code and then pay for it later.
Once redeemed, you cannot get back your Digital Code, PSN/XBL credit, or your Amazon Gift Card.
If you give one out and it gets redeemed, it's gone forever... so don't rush into a deal.

BEFORE SWAPPING... GET TO KNOW YOUR PARTNER

FIRST ask yourself...
Where did the offer come from?!
Was it made to me in my Public Trade Thread? [COOL]
Or was it sent directly to me in a PM? [NOT COOL]

REMEMBER: Banned users can still send you PM's!

  • You should always require a comment in your Public Trade Thread before swapping with ANYONE.
  • It doesn't matter how much rep they have, how old their account is, or how much karma they have.
  • No comment in your Public Trade Thread -- NO DEALS.
  • Scammers/banned users can still browse the forums and send PM's but they cannot post in threads.
  • We can't double-ban users who are already banned so...
  • PLEASE STOP negotiating through PM's with banned users! This happens FAR TOO OFTEN.
Reminder: For a deal to count towards Flair, we REQUIRE a comment from your partner in a Public Trade Thread... and everyone wants flair... right?! If you accept an offer via a PM it can never count towards flair.
TL;DR: If you accept offers in Private Messages you're going to get scammed. Enough already.
Are you on a mobile device?
Are you having a hard time figuring out if a response was made in your Public Trade Thread or through a PM?
  • STOP negotiating trades on your mobile device.
  • /GameSale and /GameSwap should not be used from a mobile device. Too many variables.
  • Wait until you get to an actual computer so you can properly investigate your partner.
  • You need to be 100% positive that there was a comment in your thread and NOT just a PM.
  • Scammers may try to send you a PM with a subject line that matches the title of your most recent thread.
    • On a Mobile App, this may look like a Comment Reply. On an actual computer - it won't.
NEXT...ask youself...
How old is their account?
  • We provide that information to you for the Original Poster of the Thread (OP)... but are you... as the OP... also checking the Account Age of the people sending you offers?
Do they have Flair, Completed Trades, an /MushroomKingdom Thread, or Rep Elsewhere??
  • When checking their Rep are you checking that the user is actually linking THEIR OWN REP?
  • Check the spelling and account age on the Rep page (/MushroomKingdom thread, etc)
  • Compare it to the spelling and account age of the user commenting in your thread. Are they the same?
  • Scammers may create accounts with similar looking names to trick you into thinking they have "rep".
  • Is the user linking to 'rep' on /Mushroomkingdom or are they using a personal subreddit?
  • We will NEVER vet trades on someone's personal subreddit.
  • If they link you to a personal subreddit for 'rep' - that is an immediate red flag.
What other subreddits do they post on?
  • Are they an obnoxious human being? Do they troll Subs or users in other Subs?
  • Are they only posting in giveaway threads and asking for freebies?
  • Have you google'd their Reddit Name to check for other people reporting them as a scammer?
  • Do they have an old account, but no posts, comments, or submission history AT ALL?!? (HUGE red flag)

CODE V. PHYSICAL ITEMS

If someone scams you in a Physical Item Trade, you should have enough of the scammers personal information that you can file mail fraud charges with the United States Postal Service (a felony).
If someone Scams you on a Digital Items or trades involving Codes, you have limited options.
Digital Items are much riskier because a scammer does not need to provide you with any of their personal information (not a name, not an address - NOTHING).
  • If you purchase a Digital Item from Best Buy or Amazon... you don't get to redeem the code before you pay for it.
  • As such, you are welcome to try to convince me (as a seller) why I should give you my digital item before you've paid for it... but I am unlikely to be persuaded.
  • Buying/Selling items through Paypal Goods/Services provides protections to BOTH parties.
  • The 3% fee is nothing compared to losing 100% of what you had to sell/trade/buy.
  • If I fail to provide you the code as promised - a claim will be opened and paypal will return your money.
  • Sellers have no recourse if they give you the item and you subsequently decide not to pay.
  • Under no circumstances should you send payment as friends/family.

PAYPAL GIFT (Friends/Family) V. GOODS & SERVICES

If you are using PayPal you need to understand the differences between the two payment types.
  • There is a 3% fee for payments sent as Goods & Services.
  • Paying as Goods/Services allows you to initiate a claim if there is a problem with your deal.
  • There is no fee for payments sent as a gift (Friends & Family)
  • Paying as Gift (F&F) offers no buyer protection and you CANNOT initiate a claim to dispute the charges.
  • As a buyer spending an extra 3% for your item shouldn't add more than $1-2 to the cost of your item.
  • As a seller you could just build that cost into the price of your item.

USE TRACKING & EXPECT TRACKING

Domestic Shipping using Paypal will always include free tracking. So does EVERY method of Domestic shipping from the Post Office and UPS/FedEx.
  • Just because someone gives you a tracking number, doesn’t mean that the item has been shipped.
  • You can generate a tracking number online without sending anything.
  • If you’re expecting the other party to go first, make sure the package is updated on the USPS website as "package received" and NOT just "shipping information received".
  • Scammers may generate a tracking number for you but never actually ship the item.

THE FAKE PAYPAL INVOICE SCAM

You've agreed to sell an item to a buyer...
The Buyer says - check your e-mail, "Payment" sent".
The Buyer actually sends you an invoice - NOT - payment.
The Scammer will fake a Payment Confirmation... by creating an invoice - and immediately marking it paid.
  • Paypal allows the sender of an Invoice to write whatever they want in the message field. So a scammer may write something like, "You have received a payment from ScammerMcScammerFace. Payments may can take 24-48 hours to appear in your Paypal Account".
  • This may create the illusion that you have received payment when in reality - the Buyer has just created an invoice - sent it to you - and marked it paid immediately.
  • In reality, Paypal Payments normally appear immediately. So check your account... if you don't see any payment - or pending payment - it might be a scam.
  • While Paypal may hold funds - or delay their availability - the transaction almost always shows up in your Paypal Activity immediately.
  • If the user starts to get pushy, playing the victim, calling you a scammer or really doing anything other than saying, "Let me know when the payment shows up"... immediately MESSAGE THE MODS.
  • An exmaple can be seen here: Paypal Invoice Scam

OBVIOUS RED FLAGS

NEW ACCOUNTS
If the account is only hours old, or even a few days old, be on high alert. Not all new accounts are scammers, but I’d bet a very large portion are, ESPECIALLY if they’re asking you to send first.
THE VICTIMS PLEA
“Oh, I’ve been scammed before, so I’m not comfortable sending first” or "I need money quickly to buy _________ (fill in the blank - game on sale, food, medicine, etc)". While this may be true for some people, that's not your problem. If you are inclined to believe them - ask for proof of the scam. When did it happen? How? What was it for? Do they have any confirmed trades? Did they report it? Did they post on /BadKarma?
REQUIRES A NON-REFUNDABLE PAYMENT
It’s one thing if someone prefers or asks for gift payments or Amazon/Xbox/Playstation gift cards, but anyone that won’t even give you the option to using Paypal (Goods/Services) is most likely a scammer. The scammer wants you to pay using a source that offers no buyer protection. If you pay for something using any kind of Gift Card of Digital Credit instead of Paypal goods/services, you cannot dispute the payment to reclaim your money if you get scammed... so stop it.
ACCEPTS GOODS/SERVICES, BUT ACCOUNT UNVERFIED
Unverified accounts means Paypal has NO personal information about that user. No Bank Account, No Address. NOTHING. If you are dealing with an Unverified Account - I would exercise caution. While most Unverified Accounts may not be scammers, I may ask that they go first - or walk away if I see other red flags along with their Unverified Status.
ALTERNATE CURRENCIES
Is a user only accepting Amazon gift cards, Digital currencies (bitcoin) or PSN/XBL Credit? Personally - I will NEVER pay for an item with those types of currencies. If the user wants PSN Credit... let them buy it on their own with the money I send them in Paypal. These digital currencies are HIGH RISK items that can not be reclaimed once used.
I NEED YOU TO PAY FIRST SO I CAN AFFORD TO SHIP YOUR ITEM
Don't walk... RUN. If someone doesn’t even have $5 to ship an item to you, you are probably never going to see the item anyway.

RULE AND COMMON COURTESY REMINDERS

NO THREAD CRAPPING
This comes in all shapes and sizes, but it boils down to one thing. .. If your comment does nothing except hinder another users ability to make a transaction, be it a trade or sale/purchase, it is thread crapping. Using comparison prices in order to negotiate is ok. Asking why in the hell someone thinks they’ll get $25 for a game when it is currently “on sale everywhere for $20” is not. This isn’t just common courtesy – it’s a rule, and for good reason.
REPLY TO ALL OFFERS
...and be civil in doing so. There are enough assholes around the internet and we don’t want them here. We want people to have fun and enjoy exchanging games without worrying about aggressive attitudes. It takes less than 5 seconds to reply “no thanks” if you’re not interested in someone’s offer. We have a DBAD (don't be a dick) rule here for good reason and bans will be handed out to anyone that refuses to treat everyone with respect.
STAY IN CONTACT
We’re all human beings. We all have family, school, work, bills, lives, etc. Shit happens. Things come up. Sometimes delays occur... and that’s okay. Just keep your trade partner informed, and don’t let a delay turn into a non-delivery. Because then you’re gonna have a bad time…
USE THE REPORT FEATURE
There’s no need for you to enforce the rules yourself. If you see a violation of the rules, hit report and enter a reason. These come to us anonymously, though you’re free to put your name in the report if you’d like. If you report something PLEASE also message the moderators if the report requires explanation. If you report a thread and say, "User is a scammer" you HAVE to message us with proof. We want to ban scammers... but we have to have proof. As moderators, we aren’t all on 24/7, and sometimes things will slip past us. We will always rely on the community to help us weed out the bad apples. So hit report, send us a message, but don’t get into a pissing contest over the rules with other users.
As for us, as moderators – our “door” is always open. We try to keep this community nice and make it the spot you want to come to for game exchanges. We are always open to hearing input and ideas from the community so feel free to send them to us. It isn’t limited to ideas for how to run the sub either. Feel free to hit us with your best compliments and your worst complaints. Let us know how we’re doing. Bring concerns to our attention. We’ll do everything that we’re able to do to help out.
submitted by shoot2scre to GameSale [link] [comments]

Welcome to /r/DVDSwap! Rules and Beginner's Tips

Welcome to /DVDSwap! Hopefully your new favorite place to buy, sell, and trade physical media.
Below are some rules and some tips for new users.

The proper title format is as follows:

[Country Abbreviation Goes Here] [H] Movie [W] PayPal / Amazon
or if you're looking to buy something
[Country Abbreviation Goes Here] [H] PayPal [W] Movie
For example, if you're located in Canada, you would use [CAN]. If you are located in the United States, you would use [USA].So on and so forth.
If you want to do a local transaction, you can include your exact state or providence in your post text.
[H] = Have [W] = Want

TIPS FOR SAFE SELLING

We are going to try to point out some tell-tale signs of the most Common Scams so you can hopefully identify them and walk away before being taken advantage of!

IF IT SEEMS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE - IT PROBABLY IS.

Is someone offering you an AMAZING deal mere seconds after you posted your thread?!?
HIT PAUSE!!
DON'T RUSH to accept your first offer. Slow down, take a deep breathe.
TAKE YOUR TIME! Chances are that if you simply give your thread a few hours, you will get several offers!
Then you can research, investigate and EVENTUALLY choose who you want to swap with, sell to or buy from.

BEFORE SWAPPING... GET TO KNOW YOUR PARTNER

FIRST ask yourself...
Where did the offer come from?!
Was it made to me in my Public Trade Thread? [COOL]
Or was it sent directly to me in a PM? [NOT COOL]

REMEMBER: Banned users can still send you PM's!

  • You should always require a comment in your thread before swapping with ANYONE.
  • It doesn't matter how much rep they have, how old their account is, or how much karma they have.
  • No comment in your Thread -- NO DEALS.
  • Scammers/banned users can still browse the forums and send PM's but they cannot post in threads.
  • We can't double-ban users who are already banned.
  • PLEASE STOP negotiating through PM's with banned users! This happens FAR TOO OFTEN.
Reminder: For a deal to count towards Flair, we REQUIRE a comment from your partner in your thread... and everyone wants flair... right?! If you accept an offer via a PM it can never count towards flair.
TL;DR: If you accept offers in Private Messages you're going to get scammed. Enough already.
NEXT...ask youself...
How old is their account?
  • Are you, as the OP, checking the Account Age of the people sending you offers?
What other subreddits do they post on?
  • Are they an obnoxious human being? Do they troll Subs or users in other Subs?
  • Are they only posting in giveaway threads and asking for freebies?
  • Have you used the Universal Scammer List search option? It takes a minute or two to search and give you an update on when, where and why they were banned.
  • Do they have an old account, but no posts, comments, or submission history AT ALL?!? (HUGE red flag)

PAYPAL GIFT (Friends/Family) V. GOODS & SERVICES

  • If you pay someone via PayPal, understand the risks and differences between the two types of payments.
  • There is a 3% fee for payments sent as goods/services but it allows you to initiate a claim if there is a problem.
  • If you send payment as a gift (F&F), you CANNOT initiate a claim to dispute the charges.
  • As a buyer spending an extra 3% for your item shouldn't add more than $1-2 to the cost of your item.
  • As a seller you could just build that cost into the price of your item. You can not, as per PayPals terms of service, ask the buyer to "cover fees" out right.
  • Also, as a seller, you have the Invoice option which provides sellers protection. Please review how to properly send an invoice over at PayPal.

USE TRACKING & EXPECT TRACKING

Domestic Shipping using Paypal will always include free tracking. So does EVERY method of Domestic shipping from the Post Office and UPS/FedEx.
  • Just because someone gives you a tracking number, doesn’t mean that the item has been shipped.
  • You can generate a tracking number online without sending anything.
  • If you’re expecting the other party to go first, make sure the package is updated on the USPS website as "package received" and NOT just "shipping information received".
  • Scammers may generate a tracking number for you but never actually ship the item.

THE FAKE PAYPAL INVOICE SCAM

You've agreed to sell an item to a buyer...
The Buyer says - check your e-mail, "Payment" sent".
The Buyer actually sends you an invoice - NOT - payment.
The Scammer will fake a Payment Confirmation... by creating an invoice - and immediately marking it paid.
  • Paypal allows the sender of an Invoice to write whatever they want in the message field. So a scammer may write something like, "You have received a payment from ScammerMcScammerFace. Payments may can take 24-48 hours to appear in your Paypal Account".
  • This may create the illusion that you have received payment when in reality - the Buyer has just created an invoice - sent it to you - and marked it paid immediately.
  • In reality, Paypal Payments normally appear immediately. So check your account... if you don't see any payment - or pending payment - it might be a scam.
  • While Paypal may hold funds - or delay their availability - the transaction almost always shows up in your Paypal Activity immediately.
  • If the user starts to get pushy, playing the victim, calling you a scammer or really doing anything other than saying, "Let me know when the payment shows up"... immediately MESSAGE THE MODS.
  • An exmaple can be seen here: Paypal Invoice Scam

OBVIOUS RED FLAGS

NEW ACCOUNTS
If the account is only hours old, or even a few days old, be on high alert. Not all new accounts are scammers, but I’d bet a very large portion are, ESPECIALLY if they’re asking you to send first.
THE VICTIMS PLEA
“Oh, I’ve been scammed before, so I’m not comfortable sending first” or "I need money quickly to buy _________ (fill in the blank - game on sale, food, medicine, etc)". While this may be true for some people, that's not your problem. If you are inclined to believe them - ask for proof of the scam. When did it happen? How? What was it for? Do they have any confirmed trades? Did they report it? Did they post on /BadKarma?
REQUIRES A NON-REFUNDABLE PAYMENT
It’s one thing if someone prefers or asks for gift payments or Amazon/Xbox/Playstation gift cards, but anyone that won’t even give you the option to using Paypal (Goods/Services) is most likely a scammer. The scammer wants you to pay using a source that offers no buyer protection. If you pay for something using any kind of Gift Card of Digital Credit instead of Paypal goods/services, you cannot dispute the payment to reclaim your money if you get scammed... so stop it.
ACCEPTS GOODS/SERVICES, BUT ACCOUNT UNVERFIED
Unverified accounts means Paypal has NO personal information about that user. No Bank Account, No Address. NOTHING. If you are dealing with an Unverified Account - I would exercise caution. While most Unverified Accounts may not be scammers, I may ask that they go first - or walk away if I see other red flags along with their Unverified Status.
ALTERNATE CURRENCIES
Is a user only accepting Amazon gift cards, Digital currencies (bitcoin) or PSN/XBL Credit? Personally - I will NEVER pay for an item with those types of currencies. If the user wants PSN Credit... let them buy it on their own with the money I send them in Paypal. These digital currencies are HIGH RISK items that can not be reclaimed once used.
I NEED YOU TO PAY FIRST SO I CAN AFFORD TO SHIP YOUR ITEM
Don't walk... RUN. If someone doesn’t even have $5 to ship an item to you, you are probably never going to see the item anyway.

RULE AND COMMON COURTESY REMINDERS

NO THREAD CRAPPING
This comes in all shapes and sizes, but it boils down to one thing, if your comment does nothing except hinder another users ability to make a transaction, be it a trade or sale/purchase, it is thread crapping. Using comparison prices in order to negotiate is ok. Asking why in the hell someone thinks they’ll get $25 for a game when it is currently “on sale everywhere for $20” is not. This isn’t just common courtesy – it’s a rule, and for good reason.
STAY IN CONTACT
We’re all human beings. We all have family, school, work, bills, lives, etc. Stuff happens. Things come up. Sometimes delays occur... and that’s okay. Just keep your trade partner informed, and don’t let a delay turn into a non-delivery. Because then you’re gonna have a bad time.
USE THE REPORT FEATURE & SEND A MOD-MESSAGE
There’s no need for you to enforce the rules yourself. If you see a violation of the rules, hit report and enter a reason. These come to us anonymously, though you’re free to put your name in the report if you’d like. If you report something PLEASE also message the moderators if the report requires explanation. If you report a thread and say, "User is a scammer" you HAVE to message us with proof. We want to ban scammers... but we have to have proof. As moderators, we aren’t all on 24/7, and sometimes things will slip past us. We will always rely on the community to help us weed out the bad apples. So hit report, send us a message, but don’t get into a pissing contest over the rules with other users.
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Bitcoin: Beyond The Bubble - Full Documentary - YouTube How Does Bitcoin Work? - YouTube Is Bitcoin the Future of Money? Peter Schiff vs. Erik ... EB123 – Brock Pierce: From Digital Goods To Digital Currency Will Bitcoin Rebound in 2019? The Bull vs. Bear Case

Digital money that’s instant, private, and free from bank fees. Download our official wallet app and start using Bitcoin today. Read news, start mining, and buy BTC or BCH. Bitcoin was the first digital asset that was described with the word “cryptocurrency”. Bitcoin was initially proposed in a 2008 ... when Bitcointalk user Laszlo Hanyecz paid 10,000 BTC to a forum user that arranged the delivery of two pizzas to his home. At today’s prices, 10,000 BTC would be worth a stunning $118.6 million. Bitcoin was no stranger to controversy as it started to become ... Bitcoin, being a digital currency accessed online, is naturally more of a fit for being used via websites than via actual stores. And indeed, there are many more options for spending your bitcoin ... Bitcoin Discussion General discussion about the Bitcoin ecosystem that doesn't fit better elsewhere. News, the Bitcoin community, innovations, the general environment, etc. Discussion of specific Bitcoin-related services usually belongs in other sections. Bitcoin is a peer to peer electronic cash, a new form of digital money that can be trans­ferred between people or computers without any trusted inter­me­diary (such as a bank) and whose issuance is not under the control of any single party. Think of a paper dollar or metal coin. When you give that money to another person, they don’t need to know who you are.

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Bitcoin: Beyond The Bubble - Full Documentary - YouTube

Exploring the revolutionary Bitcoin digital currency. It doesn't need banks or to be printed. It can be transferred in a second to anywhere in the world. Wit... The Great Crypto Debate: Part II One year after Bitcoin hit nearly $20,000, what can we expect from crypto in 2019? Participants: Caroline Hyde (Bloomberg News) Joe Weisenthal (Bloomberg News ... While 90% of goods in global trade are carried by the shipping industry, the cost of processing documents and information for a container shipment is estimat... On July 2, 2018, Reason and The Soho Forum hosted a debate between Erik Voorhees, the CEO of ShapeShift, and Peter Schiff, CEO and chief global strategist of... Thanks for watching! For donations: Bitcoin - 1CpGMM8Ag8gNYL3FffusVqEBUvHyYenTP8

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