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Proposal: The Sia Foundation
A common sentiment is brewing online; a shared desire for the internet that might have been. After decades of corporate encroachment, you don't need to be a power user to realize that something has gone very wrong. In the early days of the internet, the future was bright. In that future, when you sent an instant message, it traveled directly to the recipient. When you needed to pay a friend, you announced a transfer of value to their public key. When an app was missing a feature you wanted, you opened up the source code and implemented it. When you took a picture on your phone, it was immediately encrypted and backed up to storage that you controlled. In that future, people would laugh at the idea of having to authenticate themselves to some corporation before doing these things. What did we get instead? Rather than a network of human-sized communities, we have a handful of enormous commons, each controlled by a faceless corporate entity. Hey user, want to send a message? You can, but we'll store a copy of it indefinitely, unencrypted, for our preference-learning algorithms to pore over; how else could we slap targeted ads on every piece of content you see? Want to pay a friend? You can—in our Monopoly money. Want a new feature? Submit a request to our Support Center and we'll totally maybe think about it. Want to backup a photo? You can—inside our walled garden, which only we (and the NSA, of course) can access. Just be careful what you share, because merely locking you out of your account and deleting all your data is far from the worst thing we could do. You rationalize this: "MEGACORP would never do such a thing; it would be bad for business." But we all know, at some level, that this state of affairs, this inversion of power, is not merely "unfortunate" or "suboptimal" – No. It is degrading. Even if MEGACORP were purely benevolent, it is degrading that we must ask its permission to talk to our friends; that we must rely on it to safeguard our treasured memories; that our digital lives are completely beholden to those who seek only to extract value from us. At the root of this issue is the centralization of data. MEGACORP can surveil you—because your emails and video chats flow through their servers. And MEGACORP can control you—because they hold your data hostage. But centralization is a solution to a technical problem: How can we make the user's data accessible from anywhere in the world, on any device? For a long time, no alternative solution to this problem was forthcoming. Today, thanks to a confluence of established techniques and recent innovations, we have solved the accessibility problem without resorting to centralization. Hashing, encryption, and erasure encoding got us most of the way, but one barrier remained: incentives. How do you incentivize an anonymous stranger to store your data? Earlier protocols like BitTorrent worked around this limitation by relying on altruism, tit-for-tat requirements, or "points" – in other words, nothing you could pay your electric bill with. Finally, in 2009, a solution appeared: Bitcoin. Not long after, Sia was born. Cryptography has unleashed the latent power of the internet by enabling interactions between mutually-distrustful parties. Sia harnesses this power to turn the cloud storage market into a proper marketplace, where buyers and sellers can transact directly, with no intermediaries, anywhere in the world. No more silos or walled gardens: your data is encrypted, so it can't be spied on, and it's stored on many servers, so no single entity can hold it hostage. Thanks to projects like Sia, the internet is being re-decentralized. Sia began its life as a startup, which means it has always been subjected to two competing forces: the ideals of its founders, and the profit motive inherent to all businesses. Its founders have taken great pains to never compromise on the former, but this often threatened the company's financial viability. With the establishment of the Sia Foundation, this tension is resolved. The Foundation, freed of the obligation to generate profit, is a pure embodiment of the ideals from which Sia originally sprung. The goals and responsibilities of the Foundation are numerous: to maintain core Sia protocols and consensus code; to support developers building on top of Sia and its protocols; to promote Sia and facilitate partnerships in other spheres and communities; to ensure that users can easily acquire and safely store siacoins; to develop network scalability solutions; to implement hardforks and lead the community through them; and much more. In a broader sense, its mission is to commoditize data storage, making it cheap, ubiquitous, and accessible to all, without compromising privacy or performance. Sia is a perfect example of how we can achieve better living through cryptography. We now begin a new chapter in Sia's history. May our stewardship lead it into a bright future.
Today, we are proposing the creation of the Sia Foundation: a new non-profit entity that builds and supports distributed cloud storage infrastructure, with a specific focus on the Sia storage platform. What follows is an informal overview of the Sia Foundation, covering two major topics: how the Foundation will be funded, and what its funds will be used for.
The Sia Foundation will be structured as a non-profit entity incorporated in the United States, likely a 501(c)(3) organization or similar. The actions of the Foundation will be constrained by its charter, which formalizes the specific obligations and overall mission outlined in this document. The charter will be updated on an annual basis to reflect the current goals of the Sia community. The organization will be operated by a board of directors, initially comprising Luke Champine as President and Eddie Wang as Chairman. Luke Champine will be leaving his position at Nebulous to work at the Foundation full-time, and will seek to divest his shares of Nebulous stock along with other potential conflicts of interest. Neither Luke nor Eddie personally own any siafunds or significant quantities of siacoin.
The primary source of funding for the Foundation will come from a new block subsidy. Following a hardfork, 30 KS per block will be allocated to the "Foundation Fund," continuing in perpetuity. The existing 30 KS per block miner reward is not affected. Additionally, one year's worth of block subsidies (approximately 1.57 GS) will be allocated to the Fund immediately upon activation of the hardfork. As detailed below, the Foundation will provably burn any coins that it cannot meaningfully spend. As such, the 30 KS subsidy should be viewed as a maximum. This allows the Foundation to grow alongside Sia without requiring additional hardforks. The Foundation will not be funded to any degree by the possession or sale of siafunds. Siafunds were originally introduced as a means of incentivizing growth, and we still believe in their effectiveness: a siafund holder wants to increase the amount of storage on Sia as much as possible. While the Foundation obviously wants Sia to succeed, its driving force should be its charter. Deriving significant revenue from siafunds would jeopardize the Foundation's impartiality and focus. Ultimately, we want the Foundation to act in the best interests of Sia, not in growing its own budget.
The Foundation inherits a great number of responsibilities from Nebulous. Each quarter, the Foundation will publish the progress it has made over the past quarter, and list the responsibilities it intends to prioritize over the coming quarter. This will be accompanied by a financial report, detailing each area of expenditure over the past quarter, and forecasting expenditures for the coming quarter. Below, we summarize some of the myriad responsibilities towards which the Foundation is expected to allocate its resources.
Maintain and enhance core Sia software
Arguably, this is the most important responsibility of the Foundation. At the heart of Sia is its consensus algorithm: regardless of other differences, all Sia software must agree upon the content and rules of the blockchain. It is therefore crucial that the algorithm be stewarded by an entity that is accountable to the community, transparent in its decision-making, and has no profit motive or other conflicts of interest. Accordingly, Sia’s consensus functionality will no longer be directly maintained by Nebulous. Instead, the Foundation will release and maintain an implementation of a "minimal Sia full node," comprising the Sia consensus algorithm and P2P networking code. The source code will be available in a public repository, and signed binaries will be published for each release. Other parties may use this code to provide alternative full node software. For example, Nebulous may extend the minimal full node with wallet, renter, and host functionality. The source code of any such implementation may be submitted to the Foundation for review. If the code passes review, the Foundation will provide "endorsement signatures" for the commit hash used and for binaries compiled internally by the Foundation. Specifically, these signatures assert that the Foundation believes the software contains no consensus-breaking changes or other modifications to imported Foundation code. Endorsement signatures and Foundation-compiled binaries may be displayed and distributed by the receiving party, along with an appropriate disclaimer. A minimal full node is not terribly useful on its own; the wallet, renter, host, and other extensions are what make Sia a proper developer platform. Currently, the only implementations of these extensions are maintained by Nebulous. The Foundation will contract Nebulous to ensure that these extensions continue to receive updates and enhancements. Later on, the Foundation intends to develop its own implementations of these extensions and others. As with the minimal node software, these extensions will be open source and available in public repositories for use by any Sia node software. With the consensus code now managed by the Foundation, the task of implementing and orchestrating hardforks becomes its responsibility as well. When the Foundation determines that a hardfork is necessary (whether through internal discussion or via community petition), a formal proposal will be drafted and submitted for public review, during which arguments for and against the proposal may be submitted to a public repository. During this time, the hardfork code will be implemented, either by Foundation employees or by external contributors working closely with the Foundation. Once the implementation is finished, final arguments will be heard. The Foundation board will then vote whether to accept or reject the proposal, and announce their decision along with appropriate justification. Assuming the proposal was accepted, the Foundation will announce the block height at which the hardfork will activate, and will subsequently release source code and signed binaries that incorporate the hardfork code. Regardless of the Foundation's decision, it is the community that ultimately determines whether a fork is accepted or rejected – nothing can change that. Foundation node software will never automatically update, so all forks must be explicitly adopted by users. Furthermore, the Foundation will provide replay and wipeout protection for its hard forks, protecting other chains from unintended or malicious reorgs. Similarly, the Foundation will ensure that any file contracts formed prior to a fork activation will continue to be honored on both chains until they expire. Finally, the Foundation also intends to pursue scalability solutions for the Sia blockchain. In particular, work has already begun on an implementation of Utreexo, which will greatly reduce the space requirements of fully-validating nodes (allowing a full node to be run on a smartphone) while increasing throughput and decreasing initial sync time. A hardfork implementing Utreexo will be submitted to the community as per the process detailed above. As this is the most important responsibility of the Foundation, it will receive a significant portion of the Foundation’s budget, primarily in the form of developer salaries and contracting agreements.
Support community services
We intend to allocate 25% of the Foundation Fund towards the community. This allocation will be held and disbursed in the form of siacoins, and will pay for grants, bounties, hackathons, and other community-driven endeavours. Any community-run service, such as a Skynet portal, explorer or web wallet, may apply to have its costs covered by the Foundation. Upon approval, the Foundation will reimburse expenses incurred by the service, subject to the exact terms agreed to. The intent of these grants is not to provide a source of income, but rather to make such services "break even" for their operators, so that members of the community can enrich the Sia ecosystem without worrying about the impact on their own finances.
Ensure easy acquisition and storage of siacoins
Most users will acquire their siacoins via an exchange. The Foundation will provide support to Sia-compatible exchanges, and pursue relevant integrations at its discretion, such as Coinbase's new Rosetta standard. The Foundation may also release DEX software that enables trading cryptocurrencies without the need for a third party. (The Foundation itself will never operate as a money transmitter.) Increasingly, users are storing their cryptocurrency on hardware wallets. The Foundation will maintain the existing Ledger Nano S integration, and pursue further integrations at its discretion. Of course, all hardware wallets must be paired with software running on a computer or smartphone, so the Foundation will also develop and/or maintain client-side wallet software, including both full-node wallets and "lite" wallets. Community-operated wallet services, i.e. web wallets, may be funded via grants. Like core software maintenance, this responsibility will be funded in the form of developer salaries and contracting agreements.
Protect the ecosystem
When it comes to cryptocurrency security, patching software vulnerabilities is table stakes; there are significant legal and social threats that we must be mindful of as well. As such, the Foundation will earmark a portion of its fund to defend the community from legal action. The Foundation will also safeguard the network from 51% attacks and other threats to network security by implementing softforks and/or hardforks where necessary. The Foundation also intends to assist in the development of a new FOSS software license, and to solicit legal memos on various Sia-related matters, such as hosting in the United States and the EU. In a broader sense, the establishment of the Foundation makes the ecosystem more robust by transferring core development to a more neutral entity. Thanks to its funding structure, the Foundation will be immune to various forms of pressure that for-profit companies are susceptible to.
Drive adoption of Sia
Although the overriding goal of the Foundation is to make Sia the best platform it can be, all that work will be in vain if no one uses the platform. There are a number of ways the Foundation can promote Sia and get it into the hands of potential users and developers. In-person conferences are understandably far less popular now, but the Foundation can sponsor and/or participate in virtual conferences. (In-person conferences may be held in the future, permitting circumstances.) Similarly, the Foundation will provide prizes for hackathons, which may be organized by community members, Nebulous, or the Foundation itself. Lastly, partnerships with other companies in the cryptocurrency space—or the cloud storage space—are a great way to increase awareness of Sia. To handle these responsibilities, one of the early priorities of the Foundation will be to hire a marketing director.
The Foundation Fund will be controlled by a multisig address. Each member of the Foundation's board will control one of the signing keys, with the signature threshold to be determined once the final composition of the board is known. (This threshold may also be increased or decreased if the number of board members changes.) Additionally, one timelocked signing key will be controlled by David Vorick. This key will act as a “dead man’s switch,” to be used in the event of an emergency that prevents Foundation board members from reaching the signature threshold. The timelock ensures that this key cannot be used unless the Foundation fails to sign a transaction for several months. On the 1st of each month, the Foundation will use its keys to transfer all siacoins in the Fund to two new addresses. The first address will be controlled by a high-security hot wallet, and will receive approximately one month's worth of Foundation expenditures. The second address, receiving the remaining siacoins, will be a modified version of the source address: specifically, it will increase the timelock on David Vorick's signing key by one month. Any other changes to the set of signing keys, such as the arrival or departure of board members, will be incorporated into this address as well. The Foundation Fund is allocated in SC, but many of the Foundation's expenditures must be paid in USD or other fiat currency. Accordingly, the Foundation will convert, at its discretion, a portion of its monthly withdrawals to fiat currency. We expect this conversion to be primarily facilitated by private "OTC" sales to accredited investors. The Foundation currently has no plans to speculate in cryptocurrency or other assets. Finally, it is important that the Foundation adds value to the Sia platform well in excess of the inflation introduced by the block subsidy. For this reason, the Foundation intends to provably burn, on a quarterly basis, any coins that it cannot allocate towards any justifiable expense. In other words, coins will be burned whenever doing so provides greater value to the platform than any other use. Furthermore, the Foundation will cap its SC treasury at 5% of the total supply, and will cap its USD treasury at 4 years’ worth of predicted expenses. Addendum: Hardfork Timeline We would like to see this proposal finalized and accepted by the community no later than September 30th. A new version of siad, implementing the hardfork, will be released no later than October 15th. The hardfork will activate at block 293220, which is expected to occur around 12pm EST on January 1st, 2021.
Addendum: Inflation specifics The total supply of siacoins as of January 1st, 2021 will be approximately 45.243 GS. The initial subsidy of 1.57 GS thus increases the supply by 3.47%, and the total annual inflation in 2021 will be at most 10.4% (if zero coins are burned). In 2022, total annual inflation will be at most 6.28%, and will steadily decrease in subsequent years.
We see the establishment of the Foundation as an important step in the maturation of the Sia project. It provides the ecosystem with a sustainable source of funding that can be exclusively directed towards achieving Sia's ambitious goals. Compared to other projects with far deeper pockets, Sia has always punched above its weight; once we're on equal footing, there's no telling what we'll be able to achieve. Nevertheless, we do not propose this change lightly, and have taken pains to ensure that the Foundation will act in accordance with the ideals that this community shares. It will operate transparently, keep inflation to a minimum, and respect the user's fundamental role in decentralized systems. We hope that everyone in the community will consider this proposal carefully, and look forward to a productive discussion.
Meet Brock Pierce, the Presidential Candidate With Ties to Pedophiles Who Wants to End Human Trafficking
thedailybeast.com | Sep. 20, 2020. The “Mighty Ducks” actor is running for president. He clears the air (sort of) to Tarpley Hitt about his ties to Jeffrey Epstein and more. In the trailer for First Kid, the forgettable 1996 comedy about a Secret Service agent assigned to protect the president’s son, the title character, played by a teenage Brock Pierce, describes himself as “definitely the most powerful kid in the universe.” Now, the former child star is running to be the most powerful man in the world, as an Independent candidate for President of the United States. Before First Kid, the Minnesota-born actor secured roles in a series of PG-rated comedies, playing a young Emilio Estevez in The Mighty Ducks, before graduating to smaller parts in movies like Problem Child 3: Junior in Love. When his screen time shrunk, Pierce retired from acting for a real executive role: co-founding the video production start-up Digital Entertainment Network (DEN) alongside businessman Marc Collins-Rector. At age 17, Pierce served as its vice president, taking in a base salary of $250,000. DEN became “the poster child for dot-com excesses,” raising more than $60 million in seed investments and plotting a $75 million IPO. But it turned into a shorthand for something else when, in October of 1999, the three co-founders suddenly resigned. That month, a New Jersey man filed a lawsuit alleging Collins-Rector had molested him for three years beginning when he was 13 years old. The following summer, three teens filed a sexual-abuse lawsuit against Pierce, Collins-Rector, and their third co-founder, Chad Shackley. The plaintiffs later dropped their case against Pierce (he made a payment of $21,600 to one of their lawyers) and Shackley. But after a federal grand jury indicted Collins-Rector on criminal charges in 2000, the DEN founders left the country. When Interpol arrested them in 2002, they said they had confiscated “guns, machetes, and child pornography” from the trio’s beach villa in Spain. While abroad, Pierce had pivoted to a new venture: Internet Gaming Entertainment, which sold virtual accessories in multiplayer online role-playing games to those desperate to pay, as one Wired reporter put it, “as much as $1,800 for an eight-piece suit of Skyshatter chain mail” rather than earn it in the games themselves. In 2005, a 25-year-old Pierce hired then-Goldman Sachs banker Steve Bannon—just before he would co-found Breitbart News. Two years later, after a World of Warcraft player sued the company for “diminishing” the fun of the game, Steve Bannon replaced Pierce as CEO. Collins-Rector eventually pleaded guilty to eight charges of child enticement and registered as a sex offender. In the years that followed, Pierce waded into the gonzo economy of cryptocurrencies, where he overlapped more than once with Jeffrey Epstein, and counseled him on crypto. In that world, he founded Tether, a cryptocurrency that bills itself as a “stablecoin,” because its value is allegedly tied to the U.S. dollar, and the blockchain software company Block.one. Like his earlier businesses, Pierce’s crypto projects see-sawed between massive investments and curious deals. When Block.one announced a smart contract software called EOS.IO, the company raised $4 billion almost overnight, setting an all-time record before the product even launched. The Securities and Exchange Commission later fined the company $24 million for violating federal securities law. After John Oliver mocked the ordeal, calling Pierce a “sleepy, creepy cowboy,” Block.one fired him. Tether, meanwhile, is currently under investigation by the New York Attorney General for possible fraud. On July 4, Pierce announced his candidacy for president. His campaign surrogates include a former Cambridge Analytica director and the singer Akon, who recently doubled down on developing an anonymously funded, $6 billion “Wakanda-like” metropolis in Senegal called Akon City. Pierce claims to be bipartisan, and from the 11 paragraphs on the “Policy” section of his website it can be hard to determine where he falls on the political spectrum. He supports legalizing marijuana and abolishing private prisons, but avoids the phrase “climate change.” He wants to end “human trafficking.” His proposal to end police brutality: body cams. His political contributions tell a more one-sided story. Pierce’s sole Democratic contribution went to the short-lived congressional run of crypto candidate Brian Forde. The rest went to Republican campaigns like Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, John McCain, and the National Right to Life Political Action Committee. Last year alone, Pierce gave over $44,000 to the Republican National Committee and more than $55,000 to Trump’s re-election fund. Pierce spoke to The Daily Beast from his tour bus and again over email. Those conversations have been combined and edited for clarity. You’re announcing your presidential candidacy somewhat late, and historically, third-party candidates haven’t had the best luck with the executive office. If you don’t have a strong path to the White House, what do you want out of the race? I announced on July 4, which I think is quite an auspicious date for an Independent candidate, hoping to bring independence to this country. There’s a lot of things that I can do. One is: I’m 39 years old. I turn 40 in November. So I’ve got time on my side. Whatever happens in this election cycle, I’m laying the groundwork for the future. The overall mission is to create a third major party—not another third party—a third major party in this country. I think that is what America needs most. George Washington in his closing address warned us about the threat of political parties. John Adams and the other founding fathers—their fear for our future was two political parties becoming dominant. And look at where we are. We were warned. I believe, having studied systems, any time you have a system of two, what happens is those two things come together, like magnets. They come into collision, or they become polarized and become completely divided. I think we need to rise above partisan politics and find a path forward together. As Albert Einstein is quoted—I’m not sure the line came from him, but he’s quoted in many places—he said that the definition of insanity is making the same mistake or doing the same thing over and over and over again, expecting a different result. [Ed. note: Einstein never said this.] It feels like that’s what our election cycle is like. Half the country feels like they won, half the country feels like they lost, at least if they voted or participated. Obviously, there’s another late-comer to the presidential race, and that’s Kanye West. He’s received a lot of flak for his candidacy, as he’s openly admitted to trying to siphon votes away from Joe Biden to ensure a Trump victory. Is that something you’re hoping to avoid or is that what you’re going for as well? Oh no. This is a very serious campaign. Our campaign is very serious. You’ll notice I don’t say anything negative about either of the two major political candidates, because I think that’s one of the problems with our political system, instead of people getting on stage, talking about their visionary ideas, inspiring people, informing and educating, talking about problems, mentioning problems, talking about solutions, constructive criticism. That’s why I refuse to run a negative campaign. I am definitely not a spoiler. I’m into data, right? I’m a technologist. I’ve got digital DNA. So does most of our campaign team. We’ve got our finger on the pulse. Most of my major Democratic contacts are really happy to see that we’re running in a red state like Wyoming. Kanye West’s home state is Wyoming. He’s not on the ballot in Wyoming I could say, in part, because he didn’t have Akon on his team. But I could also say that he probably didn’t want to be on the ballot in Wyoming because it’s a red state. He doesn’t want to take additional points in a state where he’s only running against Trump. But we’re on the ballot in Wyoming, and since we’re on the ballot in Wyoming I think it’s safe—more than safe, I think it’s evident—that we are not here to run as a spoiler for the benefit of Donald Trump. In running for president, you’ve opened yourself up to be scrutinized from every angle going back to the beginning of your career. I wanted to ask you about your time at the Digital Entertainment Network. Can you tell me a little bit about how you started there? You became a vice president as a teenager. What were your qualifications and what was your job exactly? Well, I was the co-founder. A lot of it was my idea. I had an idea that people would use the internet to watch videos, and we create content for the internet. The idea was basically YouTube and Hulu and Netflix. Anyone that was around in the ‘90s and has been around digital media since then, they all credit us as the creators of basically those ideas. I was just getting a message from the creator of The Vandals, the punk rock band, right before you called. He’s like, “Brock, looks like we’re going to get the Guinness Book of World Records for having created the first streaming television show.” We did a lot of that stuff. We had 30 television shows. We had the top most prestigious institutions in the world as investors. The biggest names. High-net-worth investors like Terry Semel, who’s chairman and CEO of Warner Brothers, and became the CEO of Yahoo. I did all sorts of things. I helped sell $150,000 worth of advertising contracts to the CEOs of Pepsi and everything else. I was the face of the company, meeting all the major banks and everything else, selling the vision of what the future was. You moved in with Marc Collins-Rector and Chad Shackley at a mansion in Encino. Was that the headquarters of the business? All start-ups, they normally start out in your home. Because it’s just you. The company was first started out of Marc’s house, and it was probably there for the first two or three months, before the company got an office. That’s, like, how it is for all start-ups. were later a co-defendant in the L.A. County case filed against Marc Collins-Rector for plying minors with alcohol and drugs, in order to facilitate sexual abuse. You were dropped from the case, but you settled with one of the men for $21,600. Can you explain that? Okay, well, first of all, that’s not accurate. Two of the plaintiffs in that case asked me if I would be a plaintiff. Because I refused to be a part of the lawsuit, they chose to include me to discredit me, to make their case stronger. They also went and offered 50 percent of what they got to the house management—they went around and offered money to anyone to participate in this. They needed people to corroborate their story. Eventually, because I refused to participate in the lawsuit, they named me. Subsequently, all three of the plaintiffs apologized to me, in front of audiences, in front of many people, saying Brock never did anything. They dismissed their cases. Remember, this is a civil thing. I’ve never been charged with a crime in my life. And the last plaintiff to have his case dismissed, he contacted his lawyer and said, “Dismiss this case against Brock. Brock never did anything. I just apologized. Dismiss his case.” And the lawyer said, “No. I won’t dismiss this case, I have all these out-of-pocket expenses, I refuse to file the paperwork unless you give me my out-of-pocket expenses.” And so the lawyer, I guess, had $21,000 in bills. So I paid his lawyer $21,000—not him, it was not a settlement. That was a payment to his lawyer for his out-of-pocket expenses. Out-of-pocket expenses so that he would file the paperwork to dismiss the case. You’ve said the cases were unfounded, and the plaintiffs eventually apologized. But your boss, Marc Collins-Rector later pleaded guilty to eight charges of child enticement and registered as a sex offender. Were you aware of his behavior? How do you square the fact that later allegations proved to be true, but these ones were not? Well, remember: I was 16 and 17 years old at the time? So, no. I don’t think Marc is the man they made him out to be. But Marc is not a person I would associate with today, and someone I haven’t associated with in a very long time. I was 16 and 17. I chose the wrong business partner. You live and you learn. You’ve pointed out that you were underage when most of these allegations were said to take place. Did you ever feel like you were coerced or in over your head while working at DEN? I mean, I was working 18 hours a day, doing things I’d never done before. It was business school. But I definitely learned a lot in building that company. We raised $88 million. We filed our [form] S-1 to go public. We were the hottest start-up in Los Angeles. In 2000, you left the country with Marc Collins-Rector. Why did you leave? How did you spend those two years abroad? I moved to Spain in 1999 for personal reasons. I spent those two years in Europe working on developing my businesses. Interpol found you in 2002. The house where you were staying reportedly contained guns, machetes, and child pornography. Whose guns and child porn were those? Were you aware they were in the house, and how did those get there? My lawyers have addressed this in 32 pages of documentation showing a complete absence of wrongdoing. Please refer to my webpage for more information. [Ed. Note: The webpage does not mention guns, machetes, or child pornography. It does state:“It is true that when the local police arrested Collins-Rector in Spain in 2002 on an international warrant, Mr. Pierce was also taken into custody, but so was everyone at Collins-Rector’s house in Spain; and it is equally clear that Brock was promptly released, and no charges of any kind were ever filed against Brock concerning this matter.”] What do you make of the allegations against Bryan Singer?[Ed. Note: Bryan Singer, a close friend of Collins-Rector, invested at least $50,000 in DEN. In an Atlantic article outlining Singer’s history of alleged sexual assault and statutory rape, one source claimed that at age 15, Collins-Rector abused him and introduced him to Singer, who then assaulted him in the DEN headquarters.] I am aware of them and I support of all victims of sexual assault. I will let America’s justice system decide on Singer’s outcome.
In 2011, you spoke at the Mindshift conference supported by Jeffrey Epstein. At that point, he had already been convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor. Why did you agree to speak? I had never heard of Jeffrey Epstein. His name was not on the website. I was asked to speak at a conference alongside Nobel Prize winners. It was not a cryptocurrency conference, it was filled with Nobel Prize winners. I was asked to speak alongside Nobel Prize winners on the future of money. I speak at conferences historically, two to three times a week. I was like, “Nobel Prize winners? Sounds great. I’ll happily talk about the future of money with them.” I had no idea who Jeffrey Epstein was. His name was not listed anywhere on the website. Had I known what I know now? I clearly would have never spoken there. But I spoke at a conference that he cosponsored. What’s your connection to the Clinton Global Initiative? Did you hear about it through Jeffrey Epstein? I joined the Clinton Global Initiative as a philanthropist in 2006 and was a member for one year. My involvement with the Initiative had no connection to Jeffrey Epstein whatsoever.
You’ve launched your campaign in Minnesota, where George Floyd was killed by a police officer. How do you feel about the civil uprising against police brutality? I’m from Minnesota. Born and raised. We just had a press conference there, announcing that we’re on the ballot. Former U.S. Senator Dean Barkley was there. So that tells you, when former U.S. Senators are endorsing the candidate, right? [Ed. note: Barkley was never elected to the United States Senate. In November of 2002, he was appointed by then Minnesota Governor Jesse Venture to fill the seat after Sen. Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash. Barkley’s term ended on Jan. 3, 2003—two months later.] Yes, George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis. My vice-presidential running mate Karla Ballard and I, on our last trip to Minnesota together, went to visit the George Floyd Memorial. I believe in law and order. I believe that law and order is foundational to any functioning society. But there is no doubt in my mind that we need reform. These types of events—this is not an isolated incident. This has happened many times before. It’s time for change. We have a lot of detail around policy on this issue that we will be publishing next week. Not just high-level what we think, not just a summary, but detailed policy. You said that you support “law and order.” What does that mean? “Law and order” means creating a fair and just legal system where our number one priority is protecting the inalienable rights of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” for all people. This means reforming how our police intervene in emergency situations, abolishing private prisons that incentivize mass incarceration, and creating new educational and economic opportunities for our most vulnerable communities. I am dedicated to preventing crime by eliminating the socioeconomic conditions that encourage it. I support accountability and transparency in government and law enforcement. Some of the key policies I support are requiring body-cams on all law enforcement officers who engage with the public, curtailing the 1033 program that provides local law enforcement agencies with access to military equipment, and abolishing private prisons. Rather than simply defund the police, my administration will take a holistic approach to heal and unite America by ending mass incarceration, police brutality, and racial injustice. Did you attend any Black Lives Matter protests? I support all movements aimed at ending racial injustice and inequality. I have not attended any Black Lives Matter protests. My running-mate, Karla Ballard, attended the March on Washington in support of racial justice and equality. Your platform doesn’t mention the words “climate change.” Is there a reason for that? I’m not sure what you mean. Our policy platform specifically references human-caused climate change and we have a plan to restabilize the climate, address environmental degradation, and ensure environmental sustainability. [Ed. Note: As of writing the Pierce campaign’s policy platform does not specifically reference human-caused climate change.] You’ve recently brought on Akon as a campaign surrogate. How did that happen? Tell me about that. Akon and I have been friends for quite some time. I was one of the guys that taught him about Bitcoin. I helped make some videogames for him, I think in 2012. We were talking about Bitcoin, teaching him the ropes, back in 2013. And in 2014, we were both speaking at the Milken Global Conference, and I encouraged him to talk about how Bitcoin, Africa, changed the world. He became the biggest celebrity in the world, talking about Bitcoin at the time. I’m an adviser to his Akoin project, very interested in the work that he’s doing to build a city in Africa. I think we need a government that’s of, for, and by the people. Akon has huge political aspirations. He obviously was a hugely successful artist. But he also discovered artists like Lady Gaga. So not only is he, himself, a great artist, but he’s also a great identifier and builder of other artists. And he’s been a great businessman, philanthropist. He’s pushing the limits of what can be done. We’re like-minded individuals in that regard. I think he’ll be running for political office one day, because he sees what I see: that we need real change, and we need a government that is of, for, and by the people. You mentioned that you’re an adviser on Akoin. Do you have any financial investments in Akoin or Akon City? I don’t believe so. I’d have to check. I have so much stuff. But I don’t believe that I have any economic interests in his stuff. I’d have to verify that. We’ll get back to you. I don’t believe that I have any economic interests. My interest is in helping him. He’s a visionary with big ideas that wants to help things in the world. If I can be of assistance in helping him make the world a better place, I’m all for it. I’m not motivated by money. I’m not running for office because I’m motivated by power. I’m running for office because I’m deeply, deeply concerned about our collective future. You’ve said you’re running on a pro-technology platform. One week into your campaign last month, a New York appeals court approved the state Attorney General’s attempt to investigate the stablecoin Tether for potentially fraudulent activity. Do you think this will impact your ability to sell people on your tech entrepreneurship? No, I think my role in Tether is as awesome as it gets. It was my idea. I put it together. But I’ve had no involvement in the company since 2015. I gave all of my equity to the other shareholders. I’ve had zero involvement in the company for almost six years. It was just my idea. I put the initial team together. But I think Tether is one of the most important innovations in the world, certainly. The idea is, I digitized the U.S. dollar. I used technology to digitize currency—existing currency. The U.S. dollar in particular. It’s doing $10 trillion a year. Ten trillion dollars a year of transactional volume. It’s probably the most important innovation in currency since the advent of fiat money. The people that took on the business and ran the business in years to come, they’ve done things I’m not proud of. I’m not sure they’ve done anything criminal. But they certainly did things differently than I would do. But it’s like, you have kids, they turn 18, they go out into the world, and sometimes you’re proud of the things they do, and sometimes you shake your head and go, “Ugh, why did you do that?” I have zero concerns as it relates to me personally. I wish they made better decisions. What do you think the investigation will find? I have no idea. The problem that was raised is that there was a $5 million loan between two entities and whether or not they had the right to do that, did they disclose it correctly. There’s been no accusations of, like, embezzlement or anything that bad. [Ed. Note: The Attorney General’s press release on the investigation reads: “Our investigation has determined that the operators of the ‘Bitfinex’ trading platform, who also control the ‘tether’ virtual currency, have engaged in a cover-up to hide the apparent loss of $850 million dollars of co-mingled client and corporate funds.”] But there’s been some disclosure things, that is the issue. No one is making any outrageous claims that these are people that have done a bunch of bad—well, on the internet, the media has said that the people behind the business may have been manipulating the price of Bitcoin, but I don’t think that has anything to do with the New York investigation. Again, I’m so not involved, and so not at risk, that I’m not even up to speed on the details. [Ed note: A representative of the New York State Attorney General told Forbes that he “cannot confirm or deny that the investigation” includes Pierce.] We’ve recently witnessed the rise of QAnon, the conspiracy theory that Hollywood is an evil cabal of Satanic pedophiles and Trump is the person waging war on them. You mentioned human trafficking, which has become a cause for them. What are your thoughts on that? I’ve watched some of the content. I think it’s an interesting phenomenon. I’m an internet person, so Anonymous is obviously an organization that has been doing interesting stuff. It’s interesting. I don’t have a big—conspiracy theory stuff is—I guess I have a question for you: What do you think of all of it, since you’re the expert? You know, I think it’s not true, but I’m not running for president. I do wonder what this politician [Georgia congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene], who’s just won her primary, is going to do on day one, once she finds out there’s no satanic cabal room. Wait, someone was running for office and won on a QAnon platform, saying that Hollywood did—say what? You’re the expert here. She won a primary. But I want to push on if we only have a few minutes. In 2006, your gaming company IGE brought on Steve Bannon as an investor. Goldman later bought out most of your stock. Bannon eventually replaced you as CEO of Affinity. You’ve described him as your “right-hand man for, like, seven years.” How well did you know Bannon during that time? Yes, so this is in my mid-twenties. He wasn’t an investor. He worked for me. He was my banker. He worked for me for three years as my yield guide. And then he was my CEO running the company for another four years. So I haven’t worked with Steve for a decade or so. We worked in videogame stuff and banking. He was at Goldman Sachs. He was not in the political area at the time. But he was a pretty successful banker. He set up Goldman Sachs Los Angeles. So for me, I’d say he did a pretty good job. During your business relationship, Steve Bannon founded Breitbart News, which has pretty consistently published racist material. How do you feel about Breitbart? I had no involvement with Breitbart News. As for how I feel about such material, I’m not pleased by any form of hate-mongering. I strongly support the equality of all Americans. Did you have qualms about Bannon’s role in the 2016 election? Bannon’s role in the Trump campaign got me to pay closer attention to what he was doing but that’s about it. Whenever you find out that one of your former employees has taken on a role like that, you pay attention. Bannon served on the board of Cambridge Analytica. A staffer on your campaign, Brittany Kaiser, also served as a business director for them. What are your thoughts on their use of illicitly-obtained Facebook data for campaign promotional material? Yes, so this will be the last question I can answer because I’ve got to be off for this 5:00 pm. But Brittany Kaiser is a friend of mine. She was the whistleblower of Cambridge Analytica. She came to me and said, “What do I do?” And I said, “Tell the truth. The truth will set you free.” [Ed. Note: Investigations in Cambridge Analytica took place as early as Nov. 2017, when a U.K. reporter at Channel 4 News recorded their CEO boasting about using “beautiful Ukranian girls” and offers of bribes to discredit political officials. The first whistleblower was Christopher Wylie, who disclosed a cache of documents to The Guardian, published on Mar. 17, 2018. Kaiser’s confession ran five days later, after the scandal made national news. Her association with Cambridge Analytica is not mentioned anywhere on Pierce’s campaign website.] So I’m glad that people—I’m a supporter of whistleblowers, people that see injustice in the world and something not right happening, and who put themselves in harm’s way to stand up for what they believe in. So I stand up for Brittany Kaiser. Who do you think [anonymous inventor of Bitcoin] Satoshi Nakamoto is? We all are Satoshi Nakamoto. You got married at Burning Man. Have you been attending virtual Burning Man? I’m running a presidential campaign. So, while I was there in spirit, unfortunately my schedule did not permit me to attend. OP note: please refer to the original article for reference links within text (as I've not added them here!)
JASAVUR dreams of creating a fantastic city called Landhjm. In this city (as in Shangrilà) the inhabitants dedicate themselves to their passions (art, music, writing, videos, images, etc.). They have the income of citizenship with which they satisfy their basic needs. They have Robots (Personal Artificial Intelligence) with which they interact and create fantastic things. As an architect, JASAVUR has to do some research in Landhjm, because the village of Landhjm has a strange futuristic architecture. On the model of the Venus Project avant-garde and futuristic structures are built, each of which functions as a microcosm of that wider universal system. The robots also invite JASAVUR to observe their way of working. Each member of the city and each plan works according to a different set of rules and laws, JASAVUR is authorized to act only in the manner prescribed by the laws that the city follows. The system of rules is UBUNTU. In which everyone in a meritocratic way contributes to the development of the city. An Open Searce system that evolves and creates the perfect system. The economic system is based on Bitcoins. The political and social system is based on the philosophy of UBUNTU. The architectural system is based on The Venus Project (TVP). Landhjm means (Earth = City) (hjm = of oneself) People are challenged to work on three axes - emotion, work and beauty - in order to create a beautiful city, a loving society and a prosperous economy. A futuristic society where creativity is rewarded as much as earning income or spiritual well-being, where self-expression is valued as much as professional competence, where sustainability and inner well-being prevail over materialism and wealth accumulation. In other words, a society in which every man and woman is able to become and be true to themselves as individuals and as free citizens of the city. Thus, the reason for moving to Landhjm, where everybody, at least from an artistic point of view, can learn and develop their talents and aspire to higher levels of creativity. The goal of JASAVUR is to create a city that has no conventional walls between "the beauties of the city" and "the ugly little things". A city that doesn't possess any rules that the master has to follow, but one in which everyone participates and which each of its inhabitants can learn to develop their abilities. But how will the benefits be distributed, and who is responsible for making that work possible? The First Office for Living Architecture The basis of the architecture for Landhjm is the First Office for Living Architecture (FOLA), a modest-sized state-of-the-art facility. For the first time in Human history, a method of direct democracy has been introduced into the living spaces of the inhabitants. All members are immediately capable of participating, in any way they see fit, and where necessary to organize themselves. In the office, each of us has the opportunity to show our work - to reflect on and prepare what we want to have built in Landhjm, through the implementation of the FOLA. Through the FOLA, JASAVUR is able to get a first sight into Landhjm, to observe all the activities and to read the plans and specifications. Through the input of the residents, Landhjm strives to become a dynamic, free and independent city, in which every individual is empowered and capable to be a leader and to share in creating the city. JASAVUR is a cooperative approach to community development. The Ecosystem The essential part of any city is the ecosystem that develops and protects it. And that can only be ensured by a balance of an integrated system of macro-level services, macro-level institutions and social policies, in harmony with the local conditions of each neighborhood. Every individual has a role in creating and managing that ecosystem, which is an integral part of Landhjm, and not an individual enterprise like the Borg, the SSR or the CAP of Landhjm. The plant life has its very own ecological local ecosystem in Landhjm. The plants and flowers in Landhjm are a significant part of the creative spirit, and the realization of JASAVUR's mission. They are the resources that in a way give life to the soul of Landhjm and strengthen it for the advent of the third horizon. The Mother of the City The symbiosis of earth, water, the forests and other green resources that have evolved on Landhjm sustains Landhjm as a living organism. This is why it is the so-called mother of all the cities in the world, which leads to a holistic view and reduces the heat loss by planting trees around the city. Landhjm is in direct relation with the land, that nurtures the city and creates the economic basis of the new civilization. The recognition of this natural connection between the city and its environment is the basis of the JASAVUR municipal model. A city with sustainability as its heart, since the principles that are applied in City Earth are identified by JASAVUR. The principles have been validated through research and will be continually refined. The level of the living and that of the physical environment are going to be our standard of service. JASAVUR will contribute to restoring this level through the implementation of the ecological principles that are also applied in cities. FOLA, an international neighborhood cooperative of practicing architects, architects, engineers and housing designers, has been established to focus exclusively on projects undertaken by residents and for the local residents. At the FOLA house, we have realized how long it is necessary for a residential building to evolve and to learn from the needs and challenges of the social residents. Those living in FOLA houses have found a particular space for the evolution of living, learning and cultivation of their urban ideas, art, behavior, beliefs, institutions, learning and employment opportunities. Also, within the framework of FOLA are committed to the development of a real, engaging nature park in Landhjm, where all the residents can relax and enjoy the fresh air, the hot sun, the birds and flowers. Apart from that, there are other designs and schemes in design and production that must also be considered. The housing site area and the plots of land used for apartments and offices and other buildings are shared between JASAVUR and Landhjm, so as to balance and adapt to the evolution of the city. SEEDIDE is a very influential center for green-oriented science and research. These scientists study the greening processes in a complete organic and physical environment, focusing on the whole food chain and living systems. The resources that they use are fully integrated into their actual constructions. The spatial database makes it possible to search the research studies, and thus data mining projects and mechanisms can be started. These proposals are not even the half of our vision for a sustainable, self-responsible and healthy and lasting Landhjm. The values that make Landhjm a true city: sustainability, self-reliance and solidarity, love, connection to the natural environment, are also shared through our cooperative, inter-dependent body of organizations. ATTACK on the FOLA-STYLE Landhjm shares its citizens' values on respect for the environment, but has a special body of green infrastructure in its corridors. These include Green Schools, which offer Eco-Information rooms, built-in green kitchens, eco-therapy treatment facilities, as well as training centers and education centers for green construction technologies and the applications of eco-properties in homes and in industries . At the city core, the city envisions a new presence for itself, both on and off the land, but above all, being a city that is aligned with its environment and with its people. Landhjm-Life for sustainable Landhjm is a paradise for creative people. Local research studies show that the medium-sized cities, Landhjm and its environs, attract the top engineers and technicians, professionals from all around the world. All aspects of living and working in Landhjm are perfect for rapid urban development. Key activities range from forestry to the fabrication of high-tech materials, advanced transportation technologies to "green cities" in the private homes. There are a number of projects where Landhjm has adapted these very rapidly. What the foundation found in Landhjm's ecology, is a beautiful landscape, springing from the natural mixing of two geological settings. Don't miss the visual and ideological alliance to sustainability to Landhjm! The AI thinks this is a good place to end the text. 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Alright guys, Ive been working on this for a while and a post on here by a guy describing his portfolio here was the final kick in the ass for me to put this together. I started writing this to summarize what Im doing for my friends who are beginners, and also for me to make some sense of it for myself Hopefully parts of it are useful to you, and also ideally you guys can point out errors or have a suggestion or two. I'm posting this here as opposed to investing or canadianinvestor (blech) because they're just gonna tell me to buy an index fund. This first section is a preamble describing the Canadian tax situation and why Im doing things the way that I am. Feel free to skip it if you dont care about that. Also, there might be mistake regarding what the laws are here so dont take my word for it and verify it for yourself please. So here in Canada we have two types of registered accounts (theres actually more but whatver). There is the TFSA "Tax Free Savings Account", and RRSP "Registered Retirement Savings Account" For the sake of simplicity, from the time you turn 18 you are allowed to deposit 5k (it changes year to year based on inflation etc)in each of them. That "room" accumulates retroactively, so if you haventdone anything and are starting today and you are 30 you have around 60k you can put in each of them. The prevailing wisdom is that you should max out the TFSA first and you'll see why in a minute. TFSA is post tax deposits, with no capital gains or other taxes applied to selling your securities, dividends or anything else. You can withdraw your gains at any time, and the amount that you withdraw is added to the "room" you have for the next year. So lets say I maxed out my TFSA contributions and I take out 20k today, on January of next year I can put back in 20k plus the 5 or whatever they allow for that year. You can see how powerful this is. Theres a few limitations on what is eligable to be held in the TFSA such as bitcoin/bitcoin ETFs, overseas stocks that arent listed on NYSE, TSX, london and a few others. You can Buy to Open and Sell to Close call and put options as well as write Covered Calls. The RRSP is pre-tax deposits and is a tax deferred scheme. You deposit to lower your income tax burden (and hopefully drop below a bracket) but once you retire you will be taxed on anything you pull out. Withdrawing early has huge penalties and isnt recommended. You are however allowed to borrow against it for a down payment as a first time home buyer. The strategy with these is that a youngperson entering the workforce is likely to be in a fairly low tax bracket and (hopefully) earns more money as they get older and more skilled so the RRSP has more value the greater your pre-taxincome is. You can also do this Self Directed. Its not relevant to this strategy but I included it for the sake of context. Non registered accounts ( or any other situation, such as selling commercial real estate etc) is subject to a capital gains tax. In so far as I understand it, you add all your gains and losses up at the end of the year. If its a positive number, you cut that number IN HALF and add it to your regular pre-tax income. So if I made 60k from the dayjob and 20k on my margin account that adds up to 70k that I get taxed on. if its a loss, you carry that forward into the next year. Theres no distinction between long term and short term. Also physical PMs are treated differently and I'll fill that part in later once I have the details down. The reason why all that babble is important is that my broker Questrade, which isnt as good as IB (the only real other option up here as far as Im aware) has one amazing feature that no other broker has: "Margin Power" If you have a TFSA and a Margin account with them, you can link them together and have your securities in the TFSA collateralise your Margin account. Essentially, when it comes to the Maintenance Excess of the Margin Account QT doesnt care if its in the TFSA *or* the Margin! You can see how powerful this is. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ So as you can tell by the title, a lot of this is heavily inspired by Chris Cole's paper "The Allegory of the Hawk and the Serpent". You can read it here: https://www.artemiscm.com/welcome#research Between it, his interviews and my mediocre options skills at the time my mind was blown. Unfortunately I didnt know how to do the Long Volatility part until after the crash in March but I've since then had nothing but time to scour the internet and learn as much as I could. The way I interpret this isnt necessarily "what you should have right now", but what abstracted model they were able to backtest that gave them the best performance over the 90 years. Also, a lot of my portfolio I already had before I started trying to build this. As such my allocations dont match the proportions he gave. Not saying my allocations are better, just showing where they are at this time. I'm going to describe how I do Long Volatility at the end rather than the beginning since the way *I* do it wont make sense until you see the rest of the portflio. Physical PMs 22% I'm not sure wether he intended this to be straight up physical gold or include miners and royalty streaming companies so I will just keep this as physical. I consider Silver to be a non-expiring call option on gold, so that can live here too. I am actually *very* overweight silver and my strategy is to convert a large portion of it to gold (mostly my bars) to gold as the ratio tightens up. If youre into crypto, you can arguably say that has a place in this section. If an ETF makes sense for part of your portfolio, I suggest the Sprott ones such as PHYS. Sprott is an honest business and they actually have the metal they say they have. If you have enough, you can redeem your shares from the Royal Canadian Mint. The only downside is that they dont have an options chain, so you cant sell covered calls etc. Simple enough I suppose. One thing to bear in mind, there is a double edged sword with this class of assets. They're out of the system, theyre nobody's business but your own and theres no counter party. That unfortunately means that you cant lever against it for margin or sell covered calls etc. You can still buy puts though (more on that later) Commodity Trend (CTA) 10% https://youtu.be/tac8sWPZW0w Patrick Ceresna gave a good presentation on what this strategy is. Until I watched this video I just thought it meant "buy commodities". A real CTA does this with futures also so aside from the way he showed, there are two other ETFs that are worth looking at. COM - This is an explicit trend following ETF that follows a LONG/FLAT strategy instead of LONG/SHORT on a pile of commodity futures. So if they get a "sell" signal for oil or soybeans they sell what they have and go to cash. COMT- Holds an assortment of different month futures in different commodities, as well as a *lot* of various related shares in producers. Its almost a one stop shop commodities portfolio. Pays a respectable dividend in December If you want to break the "rules" of CTA, and include equities theres a few others that are also worth looking at KOL- This is a coal ETF. The problems with it are that a lot of the holdings dont have much to do with coal. One of them is a tractor company. A lot of the companies are Chinese so theres a bit of a red flag. Obviously Thermal Coal, the kind used for heating and powerplants isnt in vogue and wont be moving forward...but coking coal is used for steel manufacturing and that ain't going anywhere. The dividend is huge, pays out in December. A very very small position might be worth the risk. Uranium- I'm in URA because thats the only way for me to get exposure to Kazatoprom (#1 producer), which is 20% of the holdings. The other 20% is Cameco (#2 producer)and then its random stuff. Other than that I have shares in Denison which seems like its a good business with some interesting projects underway. I'm still studying the uranium space so I dont really have much to say about it of any value. RSX- Russia large caps. If you dont want to pick between the myriad of undervalued, high dividend paying commodity companies that Russia has then just grab this. It only pays in December but it has a liquid options chain so you can do Covered Calls in the meantime if you want. NTR- Nutrien, canadian company that was formed when two others merged. They are now the worlds largest potash producer. Pretty good dividend. They have some financial difficulties and the stocks been in a downtrend forever. I feel its a good candidate to watch or sell some puts on. I'm trying to come up with a way to play agriculture since this new phase we're going to be entering is likely to cause huge food shortages. EURN and NAT- I got in fairly early on the Tanker hype before it was even hype as a way to short oil but I got greedy and lost a lot of my gains. I pared down my position and I'm staying for the dividend. If you get an oil sell signal, this might be a way to play that still. Fixed Income/Bonds 10% Now, I am not a bond expert but unless youre doing some wacky spreads with futures or whatever... I dont see much reason to buy government debt any more. If you are, youre basically betting that they take rates negative. Raoul Pal of Real Vision is pretty firm in his conviction that this will happen. I know better than to argue with him but I dont see risk/reward as being of much value. HOWEVER, I found two interesting ETFs that seem to bring something to this portfolio IVOL- This is run by Nancy Davis, and is comprised of TIPS bonds which are nominally inflation protected (doubt its real inflation but whatever) overlayed with some OTC options that are designed to pay off big if the Fed loses control of the long end of the yield curve, which is what might happen during a real inflation situation. Pays out a decent yield monthly TAIL- This is a simpler portfolio of 10yr treasuries with ladder of puts on the SPX. Pays quarterly. Equities 58% (shared with options/volatility below) This is where it gets interesting, obviously most of this is in mining shares but before I get to those I found some interesting stuff that I'm intending to build up as I pare down my miners when the time comes to start doing that. VIRT- I cant remember where I saw this, but people were talking about this as a volatility play. Its not perfect, but look at the chart compared to SPY. Its a HFT/market making operation, the wackier things get the more pennies they can scalp. A 4% dividend isnt shabby either. FUND- This is an interesting closed end fund run by Whitney George, one of the principals at Sprott. He took it with him when he joined the company. Ive read his reports and interviews and I really like his approach to value and investing. He's kind of like if Warren Buffett was a gold bug. Theres 120 holdings in there, mostly small caps and very diverse...chicken factories, ball bearings all kinds of boring ass shit that nobody knows exists. Whats crucial is that most of it "needs to exist". Between him, his family and other people at Sprott they control 40% or so of the shares, so they definitely have skin in the game. Generous dividend. ZIG- This is a "deep value" strategy fund, run by Tobias Carlisle. He has a fairly simple valuation formula called the Acquirer's Multiple that when he backtested it, is supposed to perform very well. He did an interview with Chris Cole on real Vision where he discusses how Value and Deep Value havent done well recently, but over the last 100 years have proven to be very viable strategies. If we feel that theres a new cycle brewing, then this strategy may work again moving forward. I want to pause and point out something here, Chris Cole, Nassim Taleb and the guys at Mutiny Fund spend a lot of effort explaining that building a portfolio is a lot like putting together a good basketall team. They need to work together, and pick up each others slack A lot of the ETFs I'm listing here are in many ways portfolios in and of themselves and are *actively managed*. I specifically chose them because they follow a methodology that I respect but I can't do myself because I dont have the skill, temperament or access to. The next one is a hidden gem and ties into this. I'm not sure how much more upside there is in this one but man was I surprised. SII- Sprott Inc. I *never* see people listing this stock in their PMs portfolios. A newsletter I'm subscribed to described this stock as the safest way to play junior miners. Their industry presence, intellectual capital and connections means that they get *the best* private placement deals in the best opportunities. I cant compete with a staff like theirs and I'm not going to try. I bought this at 2.50, and I liked the dividend. Since then they did a reverse split to get on the NYSE and like the day after the stock soared. When it comes to mining ETFS I like GOAU and SILJ the best. None of their major holdings are dead weight companies that are only there because of market cap. I dont want Barrick in my portfolio etc. SGDJ is a neat version of GDXJ. Aside from that my individual miners/royalty companies are (no particular order) MMX SAND PAAS PGM AUM AG MUX RIO- Rio2 on the tsx, not rio tinto KTN KL Options/Volatility: varies So this is where we get to the part about options, Volatility and how I do it. I started out in the options space with The Wheel strategy and the Tastytrade approach of selling premium. The spreads and puts I sell, are on shares listed above, in fact some of those I dont hold anymore. Theres tons of stuff on this in thetagang and options so I wont go into a whole bunch (and you shouldnt be learning the mechanics from me anyway) but theres one thing I want to go over before it gets wild. If I sell a Cash Secured Put, from a risk management perspective its identical to just buying 100 shares of the underlying security. You are equally "Short Vol" as well, it just that with options its a little more explicit with the Greeks and everything. But if I use my margin that I was talking about earlier, then I can still collect the premium and the interest doesnt kick in unless Im actually assigned the shares. But if I sell too many puts on KL or AG, and something happens where the miners get cut down (and lets be real, they all move together) my margin goes down and then I get assigned and kaboom...my account gets blown up So what I need to do, is balance out the huge Short Vol situation in my portfolio, be net Long Vol and directly hedge my positions. Since the overwhelming majority of my equities are all tied to bullion this is actually a very easy thing to do. Backspreads https://youtu.be/pvX5_rkm5x0 https://youtu.be/-jTvWOGVsK8 https://youtu.be/muYjjm934iY So I set this up so the vast majority of my margin is tied up in these 1-2 or even 1-3 ratio put spreads that *I actually put on for a small credit*, and roll them every once in a while. I run them on SLV, and GDX. I keep enough room on my margin so I can withstand a 10% drawdown before it sets off the long end of the spreads and then I can ride it out until it turns around and we keep the PM bull market going. Theres another cool spread I've been using, which is a modified Jade Lizard; if already hold shares, I'll sell a put, sell a covered call, and use some of the premium to buy a longer dated call. Ive been running this on AG mostly. I have a few more spreads I can show you but Im tired now so it'll have to wait for later. As I said multiple times, I do intend to trim these miners later but now isnt the time for that IMO. I'm also monitoring this almost full time since I have an injury and have nothing better to do until I heal :p
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Exploring the Boundaries of Environmental and State-Corporate Crime in Bolivia, Peru, and Mexico(self) 1 [Book] International Human Rights Law (3rd edn) Edited by Daniel Moeckli - Oxford University Press(self) 4 [Book] Participatory Heritage, Edited by Henriette Roued-Cunliffe , Andrea Copeland(self) 4 [BOOK] Political Representation in Southern Europe and Latin America Before and After the Great Recession and the Commodity Crisis - André Freire, Mélany Barragán, Xavier Coller, Marco Lisi, Emmanouil Tsatsanis(self) 4 [BOOK] Latin America and Policy Diffusion From Import to Export - Osmany Porto de Oliveira, Cecilia Osorio Gonnet, Sergio Montero, Cristiane Kerches da Silva Leite(self) 0 [Book] Sexual behaviour in Britain: The National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (1994)(self) 1 [book] Studien zur Hirnpathologie und Psychologie - Pick, Arnold(self) 4 [Other] Special Issue, Blockchain innovation and public policy, Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy: Volume 9 Issue 2(self) 4 [BOOK] baby jails: the fight to end the incarceration of refugee children in america/ jstor account??(self) 1 [Journal] Special Issue: Blockchain innovation and public policy, Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, Volume 9, Issue 2(self) 1 [Book] Blackstone's EU Treaties and Legislation 2019-2020 (20th ed)(self) 3 [article] Deep Graph Kernels(self) 5 [Book] Routledge Handbook of the South Asian Diaspora - By Joya Chatterji, David Washbrook(self) 4 [Book] Growth and distribution(self) 1 [BOOK] The Radical Left in Europe in the Age of Austerity - Babak Amini(self) 4 [Book] Political Myth by Christopher Flood (Routledge) (2002)(self) 2 [Article] Robotic Assisted Radical Cystectomy vs Open Radical Cystectomy: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis + Niranjan J Sathianathen et al(self) 1 [Book] Folk Art Potters of Japan Beyond an Anthropology of Aesthetics (Routledge) by Brian Moeran(self) 1 [book] Revolution: How the Bicycle Reinvented Modern Britain(self) 5 [BOOK] Radical Left Movements in Europe - Magnus Wennerhag, Christian Fröhlich, Grzegorz Piotrowski(self) 4 [BOOK] Party System Change, the European Crisis and the State of Democracy - Marco Lisi(self) 5 [BOOK] Routledge Handbook of Contemporary European Social Movements. Protest in Turbulent Times - Cristina Flesher Fominaya, Ramon A. Feenstra(self) 4 [Book] Attorney-Client Privilege in International Arbitration(self) 1 [Article] An Alternative Ontology of Food Beyond Metaphysics by Lisa Heldke. Published in Radical Philosophy Review, Vol 15, Issue 1, 2012(self) 1 [Book] Bello, Walden 2005 Dilemmas of Domination: The Unmaking of the American Empire. Zed Books, 2005.(self) 1 [Article] Owning the PastOwning the Past Reply to Stokes(self) 1 [Article] Owning the PastOwning the Past Reply to Stokes(self) 1 [Book] McQuire, Scott. Crossing the Digital Threshold. Brisbane: Australian Key Centre for Cultural and Media Policy, Faculty of Humanities, Griffith University, 1997.(self) 3 [Book] Request: Migration and the Refugee Dissensus in Europe: Borders, Security and Austerity by Nicos Trimikliniotis.(self) 9 [Article] Masculinity in videogames: the gendered gameplay of Silent Hill(self) 1 [BOOK] 'Truth games : lies, money, and psychoanalysis' by John Forrester, Harvard University Press, 2000(self) 1 [Book] Osterloh, Jörg, und Clemens Vollnhals. NS-Prozesse Und Deutsche Öffentlichkeit: Besatzungszeit, Frühe Bundesrepublik Und DDR.(self) 2
2/6 Disclaimer: This is my editing, so there could be some misunderstandings. Anyone who wants to read everything should go to the 'spec' of Paracosm discord. IMHO, Hans's philosophy and motivation is worth sharing widely. Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전7:57 People are more motivated then ever Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전8:02 the point is that the IF is not going to be there forever - its not meant to having a self sustainable ecosystem is very important for the maturity of the protocol Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전8:03 No it's not if IF would cease to exist tomorrow - it would be finished by the people working for the IF anyway I am 100% sure and if i would have to do it alone ... Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전8:05 we can all do it together - and we are actually doing it already hornet and goshimmer have VERY close ties they are really good friends and very capable coders its an honor to work with them Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전8:06 [when do you reckon the shift to binary will take place?] its being merged in goshimmer tomorrow :smile: Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전8:14 [about Multiverse] the last statements of popov was that it "might work" he still has some concerns i guess he still tends to think the chances of it not working as bigger than the chances of it working I am 100% sure it works - but maybe its on me to prove that with a fully functional prototype. Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전8:17 My goal is to show a prototype being able to process 10 million tps by the mid of this year - we will see if I can pull this off maybe time will be rare, considering the parallel work on coordicide maybe I should aim for end of 2020 instead Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전8:19 of course it includes sharding that whole point of IOTA is sharding and a completely new form of sharding Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전8:19 [why 10m TPS?] its just a random number some kind of goal post so you can process the entirety of bitcoins history in 1minute and 30 seconds? would be a nice thing Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전8:21 coordicide and multiverse would essentially use the same sharding principles I hope that we can share more on that soon Oh its quite concrete we are starting to write math papers about it already Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전8:23 FPC is perfectly fine for sharding you have to forget the discrete sharding world of blockchains where you just make n copies of the same thing its very different Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전8:30 I would LOVE to share that with you but maybe just wait a but longer - we will be more open about this pretty soon let's just say that we still have some aces in our sleeves Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전8:49 nope I am completely new in crypto but I am pretty sure that some people might "know me from before" if they would know what I did before Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전8:57 dude the IF has reached a stage where it would survive without anbybody I could drop dead tomorrow and the IF would continue, same goes for David or anybody else Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전9:00 all the corporates and everything ... it might not be fully reflected in the price yet but IOTA has a really really bright future Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전9:01 I think we are starting to see a pretty bullish sentiment around IOTA lately I only hope that its due to our increased transparency with a clear roadmap and everyhting, and not just some random fluke in the prices It would just feel much more "rewarding" to be a consequence of our efforts :joy: Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전9:05 i am buying more IOTA every month : was very happy about the low prices but I can understand that if you just "have to believe" and have no insight about the actual progress, then these prices can feel more concerning than a "bargain" Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전9:13 Do you really expect a guy working on IOTA to not be bullish about the tech and everything? I am not in IOTA for the moneyzzz Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전9:18 if you are asking for investment advice, then I am most probably the worst person to ask as my trades in crypto have always been horrible Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전9:20 I didn't have the chance to be around in the ICO days so I need to take what's left Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전9:27 I don't know man - everybody that I know is not willing to sell Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전9:35 Yassin is the proof that "reputation" is worth something A man of honor - my deepest respect to you man People who stick to their word and can be trusted are sadly a rare thing in today's world Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전9:39 I anyway think that we have way too much tribalism in crypto people should really stop praising "people and projects" and instead start to praise ideas and concepts Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전9:43 I mean I get the whole concept of having a single currency and shit, but if the tech is bad? I mean this is the first time in the history of humans that we can "design" the very foundation of our social and economical layer why would we not go for the best available tech? bitcoin was "a breakthrough" when it was released and it helped to kickstart a whole field of research but its clearly not the best possible solution Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전9:47 ultimately the best tech will win just look at bitcoins dominance its fading long term sure it was time for a correction from the 2017 run of alts Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전9:47 but the overall trend is pretty clear bitcoins days are numbered Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전9:54 maybe I can leak one thing about IOTA's sharding solution without giving away too much: Every single node can individually decide how much data it wants to process - so you can have very very resource-constrained nodes like sensors and stuff in the same network as nodes with hundreds of cores and they will be able to work together seamlessly there will essentially be no "minimum hardware requirements" for a node (of course you have "some" requirements to even be able to run some kind of logic) Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전9:56 We are on the forefront of research when it comes to VDF's but its not really related VDFs would maybe be a way to replace PoW in the future as a rate control mechanism Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전9:58 you don't need big nodes you can be as big as you want to be but naturally some nodes will have more power than others Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전10:01 possible - the whole mana system is based on "reputation", if you run a reliable cluster of nodes that people are willing to use, then you can earn mana and since mana decides how many transactions you can issue, you can of course "allow others to use your resources" for money so operating a reliable node cluster could be sth that people might do "for a living" in the future maybe it would be best to build up a reputation already today Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전10:03 if you have funds in the network, then you will generate more than enough mana to have enough "shares" in the network to use it for free but if anybody wants to just piggyback on the network without holding tokens, then he might have to pay a "fee" Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전10:05 if you want to send a lot of data transactions, then you better have some tokens I mean its just fair, right? you don't have any stake in the network but you wanna use it? then pay for it but people who have funds in the network can use it for free Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전10:07 i think ultimately the community will provide a plugin for the nodes, where you can "automatically" rent your excess reputation for some income Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전10:08 [what would the income be ?] tokens IOTA Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전10:09 by the people who want to use the network more than what their token holding would allow them to so they rent "mana" from the people who have it Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전10:10 the internet took off when flat-rate emerged and prices became predictable the same is true for crypto Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전10:11 thats why companies like IOTA so much ... it creates a platform that has "predictable" prices any mining based crypto will never be able to offer the same Beeing feeless is not just a "funny feature", its the key to mass adoption Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전10:14 If I run a node and have funds in the network, then why would I pay anybody anything? I am supporting the network already by using it Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전10:16 Yeah we are using "mana 2" now which is also the one that is implemented in the goshimmer mana package the formulas are going to change a bit tho we had like 16 different versions of mana with all very different implications on game theory and code Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전10:18 but serguei is the expert when it comes to game theory and we are pretty confident that we have chosen the correct survivor Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전10:19 [The mana implementation does seem like the slipperiest slope] it uses a few economic theories from the early 20th century (from silvio gesell) by having smth like a "demurrage function" so the rich dont get richer its software - if any design decision turns out to be problematic, you patch it Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전10:20 [So it’s hard to maintain a high mana] its not like you have to live with it for thousands of years like in our current FIAT system if you make it right from the start, the rich will never become that powerful that they could even dare to fork Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전10:22 you are "RENTING" out your excess resources that doesn't mean that you will broadcast everything unseen If somebody tries to use your node to perform an attack you will just ignore it of course you might "lose the fees" that they would be willing to pay you to perform this attack, but ultimately you will have to decide what is more valuable to you the few cents of IOTA you earn or your "reputation / mana" Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전10:25 the nodes will perform all of the sanity checks, so they don't "accidently" take part in an attack of course the point is that its a voting system based on mana if I use your node to "issue a transaction", then I maybe pay you for issuing this tx but your "opinion on that tx" is independent of that Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전10:29 actually I even think that the whole coordicide principles especially in connection with the sharding are very much in line with cfb's initial vision - and I am actually a bit sad that he never really dared to honestly look into them Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전10:29 I was even thinking about "naming" the multiverse "cfbs vision" once maybe its more (pauls's vision) than cfbs vision paul handy was one of the other early developers of IOTA btw. and a very very smart person I have to say a lot of the ideas that we are currently pursuing go back to his line of thinking Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전10:32 the infamous "ontology principles" the ultimate goal is to be able to run "anything" on the tangle - not just value transfers but literally anything, event remotely related to DLT's I envision IOTA being a general purpose DLT platform pretty much like TCP/IP was for the internet Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전10:36 I introduced "broadcasts" a few days ago as a new concept that is the equivalent of UDP messages Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전10:49 I think that one of the things where cfb and me disagree regarding the "vision of IOTA" is that he think thats we should "finalize" the protocol as soon as possible (or "set it in stone" as he likes to call it), so hardware manufacturer can start to build hardware, whereas I think that it makes much more sense for it to be something like an "open evolving standard" that is so flexible that you can literally build whatever the fuck you want based on this protocol. The internet wouldn't have been the internet, if it would have "just" been for sending scientific messages between researchers. I can not anticipate and know what humans might do with DLT in the future, so limiting myself to "only value transfers" is IMHO the wrong decision. for something to be successful, it needs to be able to "model" everything that could possibly exist Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전10:51 IOTA will be able to run "anything" on top of it - even "virtual instances of other cryptocurrencies" and its not going to be some quirky slow emulation - it would most probably even be faster and more reliable than when being implemented without it Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전10:52 similar to "INTEL inside" you will most probably see sth like "Tangle inside" soon Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전10:54 "any application" running on top of the tangle (MAM, DID, Qubic, Matrix ... you name them) would ALWAYS have to be able to process IOTA value transfers THAT's what will give the token a value Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전10:55 if everybody can already "speak the same language" anyway, then people will also use that language to communicate which means that people will use the IOTA token to transfer value so we don't need to "force ourselves" on others - they will come by themselves because its the only thing that makes sense Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전10:57 [so Hans, $10 EOY still ?] if btc stays where it is? hard to achieve i'd say most probably not it always takes some time for people to "wake up" dunno maybe it goes fast most weak hands are gone in IOTA Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전11:00 But seriously guys ... the price of course is interesting but if we are able to pull this off, then this will be the start of a new form of society it will affect everything the way we interact .... even the way we behave towards each other I am not even sure if you need to be "rich" in that kind of society Star trek sounds like a nice vision Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전11:20 [once IOTA is completely implemented, its gonna be a matter of energy consumption optimization race I guess?] ultimately, yes whatever crypto is going to be the "cheapest" one to "operate" will win Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전11:22 BUT that is at the same time "expressive" enough to not have "niches" for weird competitors, that claim to be even a "little bit better" in one of the aspects it needs to be the best possible solution that humans are most probably able to come up with Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전11:23 if even the smallest something can be improved, then it should become part of the core rather than a competing project not having miners and being able to "upgrade" whenever it is necessary, is what will give IOTA power not setting stuff in stone today Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전11:29 I guess what fascinates me the most about IOTA is that people have a different kind of philosophy - in crypto people are usually sharing the mindset of "let's destroy the banks ... or .... the FED ... or whoever they consider to be their enemy IOTA for me is not so much about "destroying somebody else" rather than "creating something new" Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전11:30 But the "mindset and motivation" makes all the difference And I feel like large parts of the community "understand and share" that vision Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전11:34 there are plenty of "problems" where DLT is not the right answer but there are most probably also quite a few that we haven't even thought about, yet that go way beyond just "finance" Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전11:38 [Has IF any plans for anonymous transactions Hans?] it's current not our main point of research but I would say ultimately yes the fact thats its feeless make "mixing" funds a very feasible solution But even on top of that (like zero knowledge proofs and stuff) If there is a use case, then you should be able to do it with IOTA. that's what I mean with "general purpose DLT" platform whatever is possible should be doable with the protocol - not "just" IoT value transfers Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전11:42 everything you could most probably think of the same way as TCP/IP allows you to play computer games, send emails, or watch streams Hans Moog [IF]어제 오전11:48 tomorrow I start merging the first ledger-related stuff into the development branch from the outside it will most probably look like any other day : but starting to work on the "final version" which is supposed to be ready end of Q1 is a big milestone for us 2 months left Hans Moog [IF]어제 오후12:04 100% agree - let's finish this shit! we have "talked" for quite a while - the coming months, we will have to show what we "have"
Things I have to disagree with Yang on as a conservative, and why it’s important we have our disagreements
Before I go on, here’s a little background on me: I was a former Trump supporter and am currently a registered Republican. In 2016, I supported Rand Paul, then Ted Cruz up until the primary (I am currently converting to Catholicism so I value Cruz’s Catholic background), and then Donald Trump in the general (but not much, I was vacillating between him and Johnson). I continue to be a pretty strong conservative. My economic views are left leaning, and my social views are right leaning. I came across Yang in February 2018 when I saw him mentioned offhandedly somewhere on the Internet, and I went to his website to take a look (it hasn’t changed much at all, except for all of the new pages for policies, volunteering and events). I was instantly enamored by his forward thinking policy plans, perceptiveness in the threat of automation, and the intelligence and sensibility behind his character. Honestly, I thought he had no chance- after all, he was nothing but a website at this point in time- but I kept interest and told some friends and family about him. As I began to see his interviews and as his campaign fleshed out, I joined the Yang Gang in earnest. As a result, a lot of my economic conservatism softened out as I understood the impact of UBI, access to healthcare, and the role of economic support in shaping our communities and dealing with our social issues. However, I am still a conservative at heart, and despite how much I love the Yang campaign and have worked to spread the message far and wide, I disagree with him on various fronts.
I disagree heavily with his stance on abortion. In my religious and secular views, I do not view abortion as a right. Although I tolerate contraceptives and believe greatly in sexual health and awareness, abortion- especially in later weeks of pregnancy- crosses the line for me. Roe v Wade should be overturned and not codified into law. In its place, I do support UBI, access to healthcare, improvements in sex ed and access to contraceptives- all of which would reduce abortion. I also support paid maternity leave, and improvements to our foster care system so that a pregnancy doesn’t have to be terminated.
I also disagree heavily on his stance on 16 year olds gaining the right to vote. I’m a senior in high school, and I can’t even trust my fellow 18 year olds to make those decisions. Civics is usually only taught by your senior year of high school, so 16 year olds would be voting without even having a civics education. I think this plan is absolutely ludicrous, and we should revert the voting age to 21.
I’m also in heavy disagreement with Yang’s support of court stuffing. The judiciary is, arguably, the most potent of the three branches of government and should not be messed with. It is supposed to be an impartial body of the nations best legal minds who interpret our laws within the context of the Constitution. Court stuffing essentially eliminates this precedent entirely. I’m also in disagreement with term limits for the Supreme Court. As our Justices gain experience on the bench, they become not only more accountable and visible to the public (eg Ginsburg, Thomas, Scalia) but also more competent at their work.
Yang’s approach to gun control is somewhat acceptable, however my greatest issue is with licensing. In general, the government should not have a say in regards to what we can have to defend ourselves. I support the idea that some people shouldn’t have guns, but ONLY at the discretion of a court of law. I also think we should emphasize gun training much more- subsidize and emphasize it- so that lawful and morally just citizens have the ability to aptly defend themselves and others whilst not putting others at risk with their weapons.
It doesn’t appear Yang has a strong stance on energy independence. I honestly think Yang should emphasize this more in the context of our foreign policy and economic security. Building off of the nuclear idea, as well as finding new ways to make fossil fuels cleaner and more efficient, should be a part of that (carbon capture, “clean coal”, finding new fuels, natural gas, making fracking/shale mining safer).
As a securities trader in my spare time, a financial transaction tax would be BRUTAL. 0.1% on all trades and transactions is a LOT- especially given most trade fees are less than that. Over time, this adds up to a lot, and could kill investment in slower-moving markets where 0.1% could be the day’s gains. In the context of the trillions that flow through the derivatives and options markets each year, this becomes a massive burden for our financial industry. A reduction in the tax could work if revenue for the UBI is still needed, but we should explore other ways to raise money in less sensitive fields.
The regulation of social media is going to be an impossible- and questionable- task. We should be striking at the heart of where hate and violence come up: economic or social insecurity, a lack of community or belonging, or negative cultural influences. I’ve been there before, and while I’ve been fortunate enough to lift myself out of that dark stage in my life (thanks to the Yang Gang!), many others still have that sense of insecurity in our society or in their personal lives. The internet is a free place, for better or worse, and we’re only ever going to get better results by attacking the core problem.
DC and Puerto Rico are unfit to become states. As for DC, they compensate for their lack of representation by the amount of political influence there. DC’s representative is HUGELY influential in Congress, and DC is also very wealthy on top of that. As for Puerto Rico, it would be way too hard to integrate them as a state and it’s probably better for them to be sovereign.
I support Voter ID as a means to prevent voter fraud SO LONG AS the process to get one is easy and very accessible for anybody.
The Electoral College as it stands must be preserved and understood as one of the primary counters against the tyranny of the majority. By giving states the vote, we ensure that- especially as urbanization takes hold- every part of America gets to be heard. That means that rural states won’t be overshadowed by the urban ones, and the small man still has a seat at the table. This is at the core idea of what we are- the United STATES- and as one of the most geographically and culturally diverse countries on Earth, it would be egregious to simplify our decisions down to a popular vote. In every case, the people who live in states like Wyoming and South Dakota get snuffed out and their values and issues go unheard, as if they were already under the cultural, economic, and social influence of the bigger states. While we may sometimes get a President who didn’t earn the popular vote, that makes it ever so important that our candidates pay attention to ALL of America- not just California, New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida.
I own Bitcoin and I’ve owned it since 2013 (I guess I’m lucky, right?). Cryptocurrency ought to remain free and anonymous and secure, and I don’t believe in regulating it extensively. The more we regulate it, the more it loses its purpose and vision, not only as a commodity, but also as a means of exchange.
And that’s about it, out of Yang’s 105 or so policies, those are really the only ones I have a gripe about. I guess it goes to show how far reaching Yang’s message is. I’m not irreverent of Yang- I’m a long-standing and enthusiastic member of the Yang Gang- but I still have my disagreements! Even still, I think it’s important that we have disagreements with our candidates. Being able to disagree with our candidates and leadership on issues demonstrates that we still have our own values and convictions as individuals that allow us to make our own unique contribution to politics. Having these disagreements, but still being able to respect a candidate or even extensively support one, is essential to a healthy democracy. Without them, we lose the value behind it. I’d like to hear what disagreements you may have with Yang, so we can expand the discourse behind his campaign and empower it even more, to show the diverse set of ideas and values behind the Yang campaign.
I've heard that founder of MakerDAO is not strictly against KYC. I have a message to whole community and specifically to a founder of MakerDAO Rune Christensen. I will explain using concrete examples why having KYC in MakerDAO is a grave mistake and it will lead to MakerDAO fork. Many people in the first world never actually understand why financial privacy and financial inclusion is important. Even people (in the first world) who seemingly supportive of such ideas are not able to provide any concrete examples of why it's actually important. Unfortunately, I was born in a "wrong" country (Uzbekistan) and I experienced first hand what financial exclusion actually means. I know first hand that annoying feeling when you read polite, boilerplate rejection letter from financial institution based in first world. So I had to become practical libertarian. I'm going to give you concrete examples of financial discrimination against me. Then I'm going to explain fundamental reasons why it happens. And finally, I'm going to explain my vision for DAI. Back in 2005, I lived in Uzbekistan. I had an idea to invest in US stocks. I was very naive and I didn't know anything about investing, compliance, bank transfers, KYC etc. All I knew is nice long term charts of US stocks and what P/E means. I didn't contact any US brokerage but I checked information about account opening and how to transfer money there. I approached local bank in Uzbekistan and asked how to transfer money to Bank of New York. Banker's face was like - WOW, WTF?!?! They asked me to go to private room to talk with senior manager. Senior manager of local bank in Uzbekistan asked me why I wanted to transfer money to US. They told me that it's absolutely impossible to transfer money to US/EU and pretty much anywhere. I approached nearly every local bank in the town and they told me the same. In 2012, I already lived in Moscow and acquired Russian citizenship. I got back to my old idea - investing in US stocks. I called to many US brokerages and all of them politely rejected me. Usually when I called I asked them if I can open an account with them. They told me to hold on line. After long pause, I was able to speak with "senior" support who politely explain me that Russia in their list of restricted countries and they can't open an account for me. Finally, I was able to open an account with OptionsXpress. Next challenge was to convince local Russian bank to transfer money to US. Back then in 2012, I was able to get permission to do so. So you might say - is this happy end? Fast forwarding US brokerage story to 2017, OptionsXpress was acquired by Charles Schwab. I was notified that my OptionsXpress account will be migrated to Charles Schwab platform. In 2017, I already lived in the Netherlands (but still having Russian citizenship). I wasn't happy with my stupid job in the Netherlands. I called Charles Schwab and asked if I quit my job in the Netherlands and have to return to Russia, what will happen with my account. Schwab told me that they will restrict my account, so I can't do anything except closing my account. So even if I was long term customer of OptionsXpress, Charles Schwab is not fully okay with me. Going back to 2013, I still lived in Russia. I had another idea. What if I quit my job and build some SAAS platform (or whatever) and sell my stuff to US customers. So I need some website which accept US credit cards. I contacted my Russian bank (who previously allowed me to transfer money to OptionsXpress) about steps to make in order to accept US credit cards in Russia. I've been told explicitly in email that they won't allow me to accept US credit cards under any circumstances. Back then I still believed in "the free west". So I thought - no problem, I will just open bank account abroad and do all operations from my foreign account. I planned vacation in Hong Kong. And Hong Kong is freest economy in the world. Looks like it's right place to open bank account. I contacted HSBC Hong Kong via email. Their general support assured me that I can open bank account with them if I'm foreigner. I flew to Hong Kong for vacation and visited HSBC branch. Of course, they rejected me. But they recommended me to visit last floor in their HQ building, they told me that another HSBC branch specializes on opening bank accounts for foreigners. I went there and they said minimum amount to open bank account is 10 mil HKD (1.27 mil USD). Later I learned that it's called private banking. When I relocated to the Netherlands, I asked ABN Amro staff - what's happen with my bank account if I quit/lose my job in the Netherlands and have to return back to Russia. I've been told that I can't have my dutch bank account if I go back to Russia even if I already used their bank for 2+ years. I still had idea that I would like to quit my job and do something for myself. The problem is that I'm Russian citizen and I don't have any residency which is independent from my employment. So if I quit my job in the Netherlands, I have to return back to Russia. I wanted to see how I would get payments from US/EU customers. I found Stripe Atlas, it's so exciting, they help you to incorporate in US, and even help with banking, all process of receiving credit card payments is very smooth. But as usual in my case, there is a catch - Russia in their list of restricted countries. Speaking of centralized compliance-friendly (e.g. KYC) crypto exchanges. This year I live and work in Hong Kong. Earlier this year, I thought it would be nice to have an account at local crypto exchange in Hong Kong so I can quickly transfer money from my bank account in Hong Kong to crypto exchange using FPS (local payment system for fast bank transfers). What could go wrong? After all Hong Kong is freest economy in the world, right? I submitted KYC documents to crypto exchange called Weever including copy of my Hong Kong ID as they requested. They very quickly responded that they need copy of my passport as well. I submitted copy of my Russian passport. This time they got silent. After a few days, they sent me email saying that Russia is on the US Office of Foreign Assets Control sanction list, so they just require me to fill a form about source of the funds. I told them that the source of my funds is salary, my Hong Kong bank can confirm that along with my employment contract. They got very silent after I sent them a filled form. After a week of silence I asked them - when my account get approved? They said that their compliance office will review my application soon. And they got very silent again. I waited for two or three weeks. Then I asked them again. And I immediately got email with title - Rejection for Weever Account Opening. And text of email was:
We are sorry to inform you that Weever may not be able to accept your account opening application at this stage.
Exactly the same situation I had with one crypto exchange in Europe back in 2017. Luckily I have accounts at other crypto exchanges including Gemini, one of most compliance obsessed exchange in the world. Although I don't keep my money there because I can't trust them, who knows what might come into head of their compliance officer one sunny day. By the way, I'm living and working outside of Russia for quite a few years. The situation with crypto exchanges is much worse for those who still living in Russia. I give you a few other examples of financial discrimination is not related to troubles with my Russian citizenship. Back in 2018, I still lived in the Netherlands. I logged in into my brokerage account just to buy US ETFs as I always do - SPY and QQQ. I placed my order and it failed to fill. I thought it's just a technical problem with my brokerage account. After a few failed attempts to send buy orders for SPY and QQQ, I contacted their support. What they told me was shocking and completely unexpected. They said I'm not permitted to buy US ETFs anymore as EU resident because EU passed a law to protect retail investors. So as a EU resident I'm allowed to be exposed to more risk by buying individual US stocks but I'm not allowed to reduce my risk by buying SPY because ... EU wants to protect me. I felt final result of new law. By the way, on paper their law looks fine. And the final example. It's a known fact that US public market become less attractive in recent decades. Due to heavy regulatory burden companies prefer to go public very late. So if successful unicorn startup grows from its inception/genesis to late adoption, company's valuation would be 3-5 orders of orders of magnitude. For example, if valuation of successful company at inception is 1 Mil USD, then at its very latest stage it's valuation would be 10 Bil USD. So we have 10'000 times of growth. In the best case scenario, company would go public at 1 Bil USD 5-10 years before reaching its peak 10 Bil USD. So investors in private equity could enjoy 1000 fold growth and just leave for public only last 10 fold growth stretched in time. In the worst case scenario, company would go public at 10 Bil USD, i.e. at its historical peak. But there are well known platforms to buy shares of private companies, one of such platforms is Forge Global. You can buy shares of almost all blue chip startups. You can even invest in SpaceX! But as always, there is a catch - US government wants to protect not just US citizens but all people in the world (sounds ridiculous, right?). US law requires you to have 1 Mil USD net worth or 200'000 USD annual income if you want to buy shares of non-public company. So if you are high-net worth individual you can be called "accredited investor". Funny thing is that the law intends to protect US citizens but even if you are not US citizen and never even lived in US, this law is still applies to you in practice. So if you are "poor loser", platforms like Forge Global will reject you. So high-net worth individuals have access and opportunity to Bitcoin-style multi-magnitude growth every 5-10 years. Contrary to private equity markets, US public markets is low risk/low return type of market. If you have small amount of capital, it's just glorified way to protect yourself from inflation plus some little return on top. It's not bad, US public market is a still great way to store your wealth. But I'm deeply convinced that for small capital you must seek fundamentally different type of market - high risk/high return. It's just historical luck that Bitcoin/Ethereum/etc were available for general public from day one. But in reality, viral/exponential growth is happening quite often. It's just you don't have access to such type of markets due to regulatory reasons. I intentionally described these examples of financial discrimination in full details as I experienced them because I do feel that vast majority of people in the first world honestly think that current financial system works just fine and only criminals and terrorists are banned. In reality that's not true at all. 99.999% of innocent people are completely cut off from modern financial system in the name of fighting against money laundering. Here is a big picture why it's happening. There are rich countries (so called western world) and poor countries (so called third world). Financial wall is carefully built by two sides. Authoritarian leaders of poor countries almost always want full control over their population, they don't like market economy, and since market forces don't value their crappy legal system (because it works only for close friends of authoritarian leader) they must implement strict capital control. Otherwise, all capital will run away from their country because nobody really respects their crappy legal system. It only has value under heavy gun of government. Only friends of authoritarian leader can move their money out of country but not you. Leaders of rich countries want to protect their economy from "dirty money" coming from third world. Since citizens of poor countries never vote for leaders of rich countries nobody really cares if rich country just ban everyone from poor country. It's the most lazy way to fight against money laundering - simply ban everyone from certain country. Actually if you look deeper you will see that rich countries very rarely directly ban ordinary people from third world. Usually, there is no such law which doesn't allow me to open bank account somewhere in Europe as non-EU resident. What's really happens is that US/EU government implement very harsh penalties for financial institutions if anything ever goes wrong. So what's actually happens is that financial institutions (banks, brokerages etc) do de-risking. This is the most important word you must know about traditional financial system! So if you have wrong passport, financial institution (for example) bank from rich country just doesn't want to take any risks dealing with you even if you are willing to provide full documentation about your finances. It's well known fact that banks in Hong Kong, Europe, US like to unexpectedly shutdown accounts of thousands innocent businesses due to de-risking. So it's actually de-risking is the real reason why I was rejected so many times by financial institutions in the first world!!! It's de-risking actually responsible for banning 99.999% of innocent people. So governments of rich democratic countries formally have clean hands because they are not banning ordinary people from third world directly. All dirty job is done by financial institutions but governments are well aware of that, it's just more convenient way to discriminate. And nobody actually cares! Ordinary citizens in rich countries are never exposed to such problems and they really don't care about people in third world, after all they are not citizens of US/EU/UK/CH/CA/HK/SG/JP/AU/NZ. And now are you ready for the most hilarious part? If you are big corrupt bureaucrat from Russia you are actually welcome by the first world financial institutions! All Russian's junta keep their stolen money all across Europe and even in US. You might wonder how this is possible if the western financial system is so aggressive in de-risking. Here is a simple equation which financial institution should solve when they decide whether to open an account for you or not: Y - R = net profit Where: Y - how much profit they can make with you; R - how much regulatory risk they take while working with you; That's it! It's very simple equation. So if you are really big junta member from Russia you are actually welcome according to this equation. Banks have special name for serving (ultra) high-net worth individuals, it's called private banking. It's has nothing to do with the fact that bank is private. It's just fancy name for banking for rich. So what's usually happen in real world. Some Estonian or Danish bank got caught with large scale money laundering from Russia. European leaders are ashamed in front of their voters. They implement new super harsh law against money laundering to keep their voters happy. Voters are ordinary people, they don't care about details of new regulations. So banks get scared and abruptly shutdown ALL accounts of Russian customers. And European voters are happy. Modern money laundering laws are like shooting mouse in your house using bazooka! It's very efficient to kill mouse, right? Now imagine world without financial borders. It's hard to do so because we are all get so used to current status quo of traditional financial system. But with additional effort you can start asking questions - if Internet economy is so global and it doesn't really matter where HQ of startup is located, why they are all concentrated in just a few tiny places like Silicon Valley and ... well, that's mostly it if you count the biggest unicorns! Another question would be - why so many talented russian, indian, chinese programmers just go to the same places like San Francisco, London and make super rich companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple to get even richer? If all you need is laptop and access to internet, why you don't see any trade happening between first and third world? Well actually there is a trade between first and third world but it's not exactly what I want to see. Usually third world countries sell their natural resources through giant corporations to the first world. So it's possible to get access to the first world market from third world but this access usually granted only to big and established companies (and usually it means not innovative). Unicorns are created through massive parallel experiment. Every week bunch of new startups are created in Silicon Valley. Thousands and thousands startups are created in Silicon Valley with almost instant access to global market. Just by law of large numbers you have a very few of them who later become unicorns and dominate the world. But if you have wrong passport and you are located in "wrong" country where every attempt to access global market is very costly, then you most likely not to start innovative startup in the first place. In the best case scenario, you just create either local business or just local copy-paste startup (copied from the west) oriented on (relatively small) domestic market. Obviously in such setup it's predictable that places like Silicon Valley will have giant advantage and as a result all unicorns get concentrated in just a few tiny places. In the world without financial barriers there will be much smaller gap between rich and poor countries. With low barrier of entry, it won't be a game when winner takes all. Whole architecture of decentralized cryptocurrencies is intended to remove middle man and make transactions permissionless. Governments are inherently opposite to that, they are centralized and permissioned. Therefore, decentralized cryptocurrencies are fundamentally incompatible with traditional financial system which is full of middle mans and regulations (i.e. permissions). Real value of crypto are coming from third world, not the first world. People are buying crypto in rich countries just want to invest. Their financial system and their fiat money are more or less already working for them. So there is no immediate urgency to get rid of fiat money in the first world. So the first world citizens buying crypto on centralized KYCd exchanges are essentially making side bet on the success of crypto in third world. Real and natural environment of cryptocurrencies is actually dark OTC market in places like Venezuela and China. But cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have a big limitation to wide adoption in third world - high volatility. So the real target audience is oppressed (both by their own government and by first world governments) ordinary citizens of third world countries yet they are least who can afford to take burden of high volatility. Right now, Tether is a big thing for dark markets across the world (by the way, dark market doesn't automatically imply bad!). But Tether soon or later be smashed by US/EU regulators. The only real and working permissionless stable cryptocurrency (avoiding hyped word - stablecoin) is DAI. DAI is the currency for post-Tether world to lead dark OTC market around the world and subvert fiat currencies of oppressive third world governments. Once DAI become de-facto widespread currency in shadow economy in all of third world, then it will be accepted (after many huge push backs from governments) as a new reality. I'm talking about 10-20+ years time horizon. But if MakerDAO chooses the route of being compliance friendly then DAI will lose its real target audience (i.e. third world). I can not imagine US/EU calmly tolerate someone buying US stocks and using as a collateral to issue another security (i.e. DAI) which is going to be traded somewhere in Venezuela! You can not be compliance friendly and serve people in Venezuela. Facebook's Libra was stupidest thing I've seen. It's extremely stupid to ask permission from the first world regulators to serve third world and create borderless economy. Another stupid thing is to please third world governments as well. For example, Libra (if ever run) will not serve Indian, Chinese, Venezuelan people. Who is then going to use stupid Libra? Hipsters in Silicon Valley? Why? US dollars are good enough already.
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