Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Criming On The Blockchain

I apologize for the delay in posting but, as you will see, the post I was working on grew rather long.

It seems obvious that doing crimes and writing the receipts to an immutable public ledger is risky, but many criminals have been convinced that there is no risk because cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are anonymous. Although there are cryptocurrencies with anonymous transactions, such as Monero and zCash, they are much more difficult to use and much less liquid than pseudonymous cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. As many criminals have discovered, without an unrealistically intense focus on operational security (opsec), the identity behind the pseudonym can be revealed. An entire industry has evolved to do these revelations, tracing the flow of coins through their blockchains.

Below the fold I discuss the techniques and results of blockchain tracing, based on four main sources:

Thursday, January 18, 2024

A Lesson Learned

You know how backups work great until you really need them? Below the fold, a lesson learned from my recent example of this phenomenon.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Autonomous Vehicles: Trough of Disillusionment

Jeremykemp CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
This is the famous Gartner hype cycle and it certianly appears that autonomous vehicles are currently in the Trough of Disillusionment. Whether they will eventually soar up to the Plateau of Productivity is unknown, but for now it is clear even to practitioners that the hype bubble they have been riding for years has burst.

Below the fold I try to catch up with the flood of reporting on the autonomous vehicle winter triggered by the bursting of the bubble.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Good News For Tether

USDT "market cap"
The good news for Tether is shown in this graph, with two huge surges in "market cap" this year. One of about $15B early in the year, and another of about $6B recently. It looks like the euphoria over the prospect of spot Bitcoin ETFs has solved the Greater Fool Supply-Chain Crisis with the cryptosphere experiencing a massive inflow of around $20B actual dollars. As one might expect from injecting $20B whose only uses are to HODL or to buy cryptocurrency into the market, the result has been a massive bubble in cryptocurrency "prices".

BTC "price"
Bitcoin has gone from about $16K at the start of the year to around $42K recently. Ethereum has merely doubled, from about $1.2K to about $2.4K.

So all is well with the world; Tether gets to keep the interest on another $20B, which at say 4% is an extra $800M/year on their bottom line, and the Bitcoin HODL-ers see their investment gamble return a 160% gain. Is all really well with the world? Follow me below the fold.