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Mousetrap? A Twitter user is lured into a situation when his options are: say “goodbye” to a media account that’s been nurtured for months… or bend your knee and submit to Twitter’s well-designed Orwellian intrusion into YOUR vault of privacy and comfort zone, where you keep naively believing in having a right to keep your personal details and sensitive information to yourself. Well done, Twitter. Next time a user changes his profile picture, you will lock the account and politely request credit card details? How can a user quantify the loss of reputation, minute by minute, due to a lie: the account is “citizen erased”, apart from “locked”. What if it is a business account? What if, beside reputation, audience, engagement and revenue is lost just because… just for fun, a user utilised an available function… which is there for a purpose?..
A skirmish in the battle for Privacy has been won. Or was it? Government IDs are no longer needed for SwiftDemand account verification, the activation process has been reduced to 5 minutes from 24 (!) hours.
Q: What was the connection between 23:55 hours and the now-obsolete requirement for a scan of a government-issued ID?
(surprise) A catch is excluded from the e-mail headline (surprise-2): up until recently a user could still claim Swifts, saving up for better days. The new rules are: verification is one step shorter… but compulsory.
When grass was green and our hopes were high.. When DMYF first “met” SwiftDemand (circa March 2018), no proof of ID or photograph was required for each user to receive guaranteed 100 daily Swifts100% free to spend them on various goods and services in SwiftDemand’s shop.
After new “verification” demands appeared, SwiftDemand, in fact, aimed to have in its possession (besides usual “gentleman’s kit” of IP/browser settings/OS/MAC) a comprehensive database of users’ names, shopping interests, phone numbers, home and email addresses, government-issued IDs… and a fucking “here’s what I look now” recent photo. Next, would it be credit card numbers, birth certificates, fingerprints?.. What in the actual fuck.
Needless to say, although we harboured hope for change, SwiftDemand was all-but-dead to our cause. We stopped following its progress, lost interest in browsing the store, froze work on the drafts dedicated to promoting the platform (which we had respect for) and although merely a single visit per week was sufficient to prevent an expiry of accumulated Swifts (the system sends kind reminders), even that felt so-last-year, as we were not planning to comply with the Stalinist verification requirements.
Weekly reminders to login and claim 700 Swifts (anything above that number gets “burnt”) looked so cute, kind and charitable in the past. Just one click (if a user chose to stay logged in), an online shop almost insisting you receive goods and services for free… and a one-click faucet with no captcha!
700 Swifts were enough to make two-three purchases of real value. For 10000-20000 bargains such as PCs, hardware, or even jewellery often appeared.
The only faucet which exhibited any interest in maintaining users’ accounts and loyalty was FreeBitcoin which once sent a “we missed you, here’s 3000 Satoshi…” email.
Q: Why does this kindness begin resembling a mousetrap, or something as sleazy as Big Brother’s love for you? (“slavery is freedom…”)
Q: Why does the system want to know the faces of all those who purchased goods such as…
Q: SwiftDemand, 90% of the services purchased were never delivered and Swifts were never reimbursed. The shop was full of rubbish. Sellers had little to no initiative to sell, except for promotion of their businesses, or plain barter. When ridiculous listings was the first thing a visitor saw was not even funny, unless our theory that the system needed a “break” is correct, the verification demands which exceeded those asked by cryptocurrency exchanges made no sense.
admittedly, we were pleased that our protest was not a total waste of time.
Morale of the story: our efforts probably rippled like a drop of rain amidst roaring battle of Guadalcanal, (a metaphor so idiotic, we will keep it), yet a small step towards liberalisation is undeniable. A selfie is still a must for account verification, so the “Battle for Privacy” reached a stalemate. At times, it seems as if making a big deal out of submitting a selfie is silly.
Food for thought:Is SwiftDemand as noble an organisation as its intentions, stated in the platform’s mission statement? Is the system merely trying to enforce the one user=one account policy to prevent devaluation of the currency (=10% logical and would explain the gradual liberalisation), or is it yet another “fairytale gone bad” blockchain project? Why news which technically represent a step forward feel like a step forward followed by a step back?
Finally, why do the best die young the projects which demonstrate real potential to facilitate global progress either turn into monsters, simply vanish, or fail to make ends meet, while scams prosper feeding on the weaknesses in human nature? If cryptouniverse is Wild West (or rather some Firefly-like space), when will a Clint Eastwood appear to sort shit out?
Reality check: cryptocurrency transactions never guaranteed anonymity. Quite the opposite; the hypothetical Big Brother would not have thought of a better system monitoring financial transactions. There is nothing wrong in that per se.
DMYF is not a rage against the machine project. We do not own a Guy Fawks mask. Promotion of cyberparanoia is not our intention. Staying anonymous online is a utopian concept, but a precautionary desire to ensure a degree of anonymity does not imply that one wants or has anything criminal to hide.
Same principle applies to privacy. Some do not mind taking a shower with no curtains, others do. Some do not mind working at a desk with their manager staring at the screen from behind their back, others hate it. Some may consider purchasing a “WiFi Hacking Handbook” harmless curiosity, others (especially if “others'” budgets are overinflated and disproportional to the amount of real work) may interpret the download as interest in criminal activity (ever downloaded TOR using a “naked” personal device, home network and something like Google Chrome signed in to Google Account, just to check out what TOR is, or, say, access locally forbidden website before going on a business trip? Congratulations, your personal details have been added to some imaginary database of some imaginary organisation no one’s ever heard of).
Anonymity and privacy act as shields against identity theft and other forms of serious cybercrime. Identity theft can cause financial problems and ruin lives. Anyone who’s ever had their bank card cloned, or full card+personal details stolen knows how unpleasant it is.
A passport copy is sufficient for professional criminals to take out credit cards under others’ names, open bank accounts under others’ names and even create copies of IDs (i. e. using stolen templates). Being a victim of a “carder” is unpleasant enough. Full-scale identity theft is disastrous.
DMYF does all sorts of weird stuff. Like trying to expose scammers and warn readers that their investments are at risk. A degree of cautious mistrust is part of the game.
Security of readers’ personal data is more valuable than few hundred DOGE lost to some “cloudmining” ponzi scheme.
Hopefully SwiftDemand are the good guys, but cryptomarket is cryptomarket. Very often, things are not what they seem. When browser infections with mining scripts were rampant, amongst various browser extensions, the one responsible for hijacking a browser was that specific app, “Everybody lies”, as says Dr. House.
When Mike Horowitz gives practically identical speeches about the “financial revolution” and is quoted, its normal. An ex-Wall St. investor, millions made on early purchase into a project. When George Soros and others trash Bitcoin, calling cryptocurrency market a bubble, finally destroying lives of those who invested too much and too late, expecting quick ROIs sufficient for something like a nice short-term profit and an early-2018 holiday… and then creating a cryptocurrency-focused investment fund when the price seemed comfortable enough…. It’s also normal. Because George Soros is George Soros.
Now, who and what is SeiftDemand?..
Time shall tell.
Safety tip: if you keep a copy of your government IDs/utility bills/bank statements on your computers, at least make sure your hard disk is encrypted. Password-protected folders are not enough. Try to avoid keeping copies of documents in your online email inboxes; specifically if 2FA is not enabled. Frequent flyer-business traveller-freelance worker? Beware of public WiFi networks, consider installing a VPN, or anything that encrypts your traffic before a wireless connection is made. Check your Bluetooth settings. Update the software of your router. Better safe than sorry.
Without going much further, let’s just say that these are excellent news for the cryptocurrency market as a whole.
The impact of whatever happens to Binance upon the price of BTC is significant: paraphrasing a popular statement, when Binance sneezes, the market catches a cold. The impact of whatever happens to BTC upon whatever happens to the market as a whole needs no mention.
Currently, the total cryptocurrencies market cap is just over $320 billion. Bitcoin dominates the market at 41% of all transactions.
24 hour volume of Bitcoin transactions is just over $4,5 billion.
Binance was responsible for USD $1,7 billion of 24 hour trade volume on Sunday.
“This is a clear vote of confidence in our country and the work being done in this sector, mainly by the latest policy launched to offer a regulatory framework of DLT operations. It is obvious that Malta has become a natural point of reference on the international sphere and companies such as Binance will continue to look into Malta to further expand their operations or establish a base. Binance’s presence in Malta sustains our vision, that of making Malta ‘The Blockchain Island”, – Silvio Schembri, Malta’s Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy & Innovation.
Meanwhile, as the market was jubilating for a short period of time, the EU has finally concluded its development of a framework on how corporations should handle their clients’ data. Although the privacy-focussed set of regulations is targeted against companies storing clients’ (notably, – EU citizens’, both within the EU and abroad) personal data, it inadvertently affects the cryptocurrency market… how? Well, i. e. all Bitcoin transactions are forever stored on a public ledger…