I have been making money online since 2015. There are so many ways that I can't remember them all, but here is a list of most of them - including the most significant ones. Hope this helps you somehow. As I'm from Canada, many of these (but not all) are for Canadians. From highest-earning to lowest, for your convenience:
Instead of telling the whole story of each method, and since you care most about the highest-earning opportunities, let's discuss those and if anyone has questions about something not mentioned in this post - don't hesitate to ask, I'm happy to explain.
This is by far my biggest earner. Basically, back in mid 2017, I realized that the crypto market was starting another bull run. I had previously learned that it was possible to make money advertising for companies by adding their custom signature to my account profile so that each post contains links to their website/products underneath it. They paid a lot more back then, because Bitcoin was only valued at around $700-1,000 when I started. This forum also doesn't care about having multiple accounts - in fact, it's fully allowed. Some people have hundreds of accounts. Therefore, I quickly searched the web for people selling their accounts... and bought a bunch of decently-ranked ones such that I was able to post full-time essentially, making up to $5/post which only takes a minute or two. The best campaign I joined is one called DeepOnion, which paid almost $30,000 in about 1 month!!! All I had to do is make 10 posts a week per account, and they deposited their coin to my wallet. After it was added to an exchange, the price quickly rose and one night my portfolio value went from $3,000 to over $20,000. I sold literally at the peak! I also made money from Bitcoin paying campaigns (they pay in BTC as opposed to their token/coin). Another big score was a campaign called ATLANT, where I made well over $20,000 ...however, didn't sell my tokens and now they are worth a fraction of that. Oh well. With the above said, I don't recommend doing this anymore, as the forum is filled with 3rd world spammers who realized that it was possible to make big money a couple of years ago, and now they have bots spamming constantly and applying to campaigns and such. I haven't posted there in a long time, probably over 6 months, because it wasn't worth it anymore. It was great while it lasted.
Notice how most of my earning comes from crypto? :p Well, I found a high-ranking Reddit post about Bitcoin that was ranked in the top 3 on Google for multiple good long-string keywords. In other words, many people (I'm talking hundreds) were finding it on a daily basis. I got my comment to the top spot, which includes an affiliate link and so over 5,000 people ended up signing up and I made a lot from it. My estimate is about $10,000 USD equivalent (pays in BTC daily), although could be more.
This is the same deal as Slickdeals, as explained below. However, after SD banned my accounts, since I had a high-karma Reddit account, I realized that my clients might be interested in advertising in "deals" subreddits (mostly Amazon, although it varied). Sure enough, they were and I got paid up to $300 for a single post in popular subreddits.
This is an app that pays you to lose weight. There are a few different types of challenges, including personal, individual and team challenges. The personal challenge is the one I am currently focusing on, as I bet $125/mo over 12 months ($1500), and if successful, stand to win $4,900 or $3,400 profit. I started at 360 pounds, and must weigh out at 180 pounds or less after 1 year to win. (I know, it's lots of weight to lose, but there is tons of money at stake.) If you join using my referral link, you get $40 added to your prize and I also get $40. By the way, most people who join make a mistake of betting too much or too little. For example, you might get the same winnings by betting $100/month or $500/month, because the algorithm caps out at a certain amount. With that said, use this calculator to get the exact amount that you should bet to maximize your ROI (click on "Calculate a Healthy Wager"). I didn't know about this before signing up, and ended up betting more than I had to make the same amount (although only $12).
I had a startup similar to Groupon, and had made a few Slickdeals accounts because of that. One day while driving, it occurs to me that people might be willing to have me post on SD using my account since the traffic is so high. Well, I drove straight to the library and posted my Skype contact on about 30 threads on Warrior forum, and that same night I was getting contacts from China and it never stopped. This was way back in 2015, and I had 3 accounts and made $20 per post. I was doing about 1 post/day and sometimes getting $5 to do upvotes as well. All-in-all, after contracting out someone on Fiverr to automate the whole thing, my accounts ended up getting banned and that was that.
During the hoverboard craze of 2015, I made a couple of rudimentary sites and managed to sell about 12 in total, making about ~$100 profit per sale, and selling the sites for $750 and $250 respectively for about $2,000 in total profit. This is the first time I used YouTube as a marketing medium, specifically paid product placement, which you can see here. This video sold 4 boards & I sold the site for $250, and the board cost about $350, so it was a good deal in the end. Well, that about sums up my online earning history. I'm sure there are (many) other ways I've earned a buck, but simply don't remember them all. Again, don't hesitate to ask any questions you may have and I am more than happy to answer. Thanks for reading. Edit: it's great to see that this post is interesting to many people My best suggestions to make fast, easy money are the following:
Growing Hydroponic Lettuce this is a new one to me, but I recently started growing lettuce and not only is it super enjoyable, but it's much more cost-effective than buying it from the store. Checkout this video which shows how. All that is needed is a container with some 2 or 3 inch holes, some "net cups" to hold the lettuce in, and some liquid nutrients which are available on Amazon.
Coinberry (non-ref) I literally signed up, verified my account and got the bonus within an hour. There is a 3 day hold to withdraw funds, but it's an easy $20 and they also give an extra $10 "customer appreciation bonus" after your first deposit, so you get $30 total.
HealthyWage (non-ref) If you need to lose weight anyway, then you might as well get paid while doing so. I recommend doing a minimum amount of weight-loss over 6 months, to make it easier on yourself. When you signup with my link, we both get $40.
Dietbet no ref link, but this is a really good earner. I make about $200/month with it by playing in 9 games simultaneously.
Honeygain (non-ref) this one is entirely passive, and I highly recommend it. Simply download the app and you make money for browsing online, without doing anything else. I make about $50/year with just my phone. When you signup with my link, we both get $5.
Crypto.com (non-ref) this is a legit cryptourrency site that gives you $50 when you sign up & deposit $250. I know it's legit, because I just signed up a few days ago and already got my bonus. Simply buy their crypto in the app with your credit card & stake it for 6 months, and they give you $50.
@ the trolls saying "No one uses Bitcoin Cash", let's look at the last 60 blocks...
I'm just gonna count blocks over 100kb: 584744 200 kb, 548 transactions 584742 187 kb, 461 584739 139 kb, 429 584738 690 kb, 1,698 584737 200 kb, 561 584735 131 kb, 411 584730 225 kb, 630 584729 101 kb, 344 584728 191 kb, 523 584727 238 kb, 518 584726 358 kb, 843 584723 153 kb, 437 584722 357 kb, 1,128 584719 311 kb, 927 584718 643 kb, 54 584715 127 kb, 419 584713 263 kb, 810 584712 499 kb, 1388 584710 242 kb, 749 584709 306 kb, 863 584708 198 kb, 557 584707 151 kb, 431 584706 571 kb, 1,537 584704 188 kb, 600 584703 129 kb, 352 584702 489 kb, 1,497 584700 267 kb, 767 584699 206 kb, 544 584698 116 kb, 347 584694 787 kb, 2,159 584691 228 kb, 551 So, out of the last 60 blocks, ten-hour's worth, 32 are more than 100 kb, with 19 of them being over 200 kb and 10 being over 300 kb. If we had a 1mb blocksize limit, this would already be extremely alarming levels of activity, meaning that we are too close to the blocksize cap, and this looks similar to what BTC looked like in roughly 2015 / 2016, back when Mike Hearn was ringing the alarm bells about the need to raise the BTC blocksize, and the Core crowd had just taken over control of the Bitcoin Core Github due to Wladimir and realized they could therefore do anything they wanted to BTC as long as they convinced the BTC community that it was in their best interests. Using this position of authority and control of both Bitcointalk.org and bitcoin, they implemented censorship so that their push to change the direction of bitcoin would be effective, they pushed out mods from bitcoin that weren't on board with them. You might also note that the BCH price is currently about the same as what BTC was back in 2016 when it had this level of activity, shortly before the 2016 Halvening. At this time BTC was worth $400 and after the halvening quickly shot to $700, and increased during the 2017 bull-run. But it was during the 2017 bull run that it finally happened, the limit of the blocksize was completely reach. Blocks were 1 mb and maxed out, and the only way to get your transaction through next block was to pay ridiculous fees. I myself paid a $5 fee that was stuck for an entire week, and a friend of mine paid a $50 fee that was stuck for 2 hours. Mike Hearn was making noise and ringing the alarm bells for the need for a bigger block cap all the way back in 2015, he knew this would happen, and the Core devs, today known as Blockstream, iced him out of BTC development, ignored his Github pushes, and attacked his character behind his back like guttersnipes. So he left. Cryptocurrency lost one of its greatest developers. They did the same to Gavin Andresen, the man that Satoshi Nakamoto himself entrusted with caring for the bitcoin project. He has since left as well. Make no mistake, the Core devs are enemies of bitcoin as a concept, they have hijacked the project, completely changed its direction and are currently painting it into a corner while lulling their community and stoking tribalistic anger at all competitors. https://imgur.com/pLE0a5P.png This "no one uses bitcoin cash" line is going to die very soon, because it looks like it will not be long before BCH surpasses BTC on transactions. And I predict right now that their new line will be that these are simply spam transactions and not legitimate activity. Even though we all know that paying a transaction fee means a transaction is legit, it's a use of the system, regardless of intent. There is no such thing as a spam transaction that pays a miner's fee. Anyone claiming no one uses BCH is a liar or a shill, let this be the end of that idiotic claim.
Understanding Tether: Why it accounts for a substantial part of the crypto market cap and why its the #1 outstanding issue in crypto markets today
In this post I will go in-depth on:
How Tether got to be what it is today
Why Tether's market cap is a lot more than 0.5% of the total market cap for crypto you see on CoinMarketCap
Tether printing timing
What could happen to the market if Tether is found to not be backed by reserves
Tether is incredibly important to the cryptocurrency market ecosystem and I've noticed far too few people understand what is going on. Very little actual discussion of the 2nd biggest crypto by volume happens here and whenever someone starts a discussion they most often got slapped for "FUD". Tether themselves recently hired the major New York based PR firm 5W to spread positive information online and take down critics, I'm sure some of their operatives are probably on Reddit. But its absolutely critical you understand the risks behind Tether and especially now with the explosion in reserve liability, breakdown in relationship with banks and their auditor and recently announced subpoena.
What exactly is Tether and what happened so far?
Tether is a cryptocurrency asset issued by Tether Limited (incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and a sister company of Bitfinex), on top of the Bitcoin blockchain through the Omni Protocol Layer. It is meant to give people a "stablecoin", for example a merchant who accepts bitcoin but fears its volatility could shift bitcoin into tether, which can be easier to do than exchanging bitcoin for dollars. Recently they've also added an Ethereum-based ERC20 token. Tether Ltd claims that each one of the tokens issued is backed by actual US dollar (and more recently Euro) reserves. The idea is that when a business partner deposits US dollars in Tether’s bank account, Tether creates a matching amount of tokens and transfers them to that partner, it is NOT a fractional reserve system. Tether makes the two following key promises in its whitepaper on which the entire premise is build:
Each tether issued will be backed by the equivalent amount of currency unit (one USDTether equals one dollar). Professional auditors will regularly verify, sign, and publish our underlying bank balance and financial transfer statement.
Tether is centralized and dependent on your trust of Bitfinex/Tether Limited, and that the people behind it are honest people. For the new entrants to this market it will be greatly beneficial understand the timeline of Tether and their connection to Bitfinex. A brief timeline:
Bitfinex operators Phil Potter and CFO Giancarlo Devasini set up Tether Limited in the British Virgin Islands, but told the public that Bitfinex and Tether are completely separate. Throughout 2015 and 2016, the amount of Tether stays relatively flat.
In August 2nd, 2016, the second-largest digital currency exchange heist in history happened, when Bitfinex lost nearly 120,000 bitcoin. Bitfinex never revealed full details of the hack, but BitGo (the security company that had to sign off on the transactions) claims its servers were not breached.
Just 4 days after the hack Bitfinex “socializes” its losses from the theft by announcing a 36 percent haircut for almost all of its customers. In return, customers receive BFX tokens, initially valued at $1 each.
Two weeks after the hack Bitfinex announces it has hired Ledger Labs, to investigate the theft and perform a financial audit of its cryptocurrency and fiat assets. The public nevers sees the results of the investigation, and months later, Bitfinex admits it never actually hired Ledger Labs to perform an audit to begin with.
In May 2017, after long standing calls for an actual audit, Bitfinex hires Friedman LLP to "complete a comprehensive balance sheet audit."
November 7, 2017: Leaked documents dubbed “Paradise Papers” reveal Bitfinex and Tether are run by the same individuals.
November 19, 2017: Tether is hacked, with 31 million USDT suddenly disappearing. Tether Limited reacts to this by creating a hard fork.
December 4, 2017: Right after hiring the PR firm 5W to help improve their image, Bitfinex hires law firm Steptoe & Johnson and threatens legal action against critics.
December 6, 2017 - CFTC issues a subpoena to Tether and Bitfinex. This news isn't made public until the end of January.
December 21, 2017 : Without making any formal announcement, Bitfinex appears to suddenly close all new account registrations. Those trying to register for a new account are asked for a mysterious referral code, but no referral code seems to exist.
After a month of being closed to new registrations, Bitfinex announces it is reopening its doors, but now requires new customers to deposit $10,000 before they can begin trading.
Friedman LLP completely cut ties with Tether on January 27, 2017.
Most common misconception: Tether is only a small part of the total market cap
One of the most common misconception people have about cryptocurrencies is that the "market cap" amount they see on CoinMarketCap.com is actually the amount of money that is invested in each coin. I often hear people online dismiss any issue with tether by simply claiming its not big enough to cause any effect, saying "Well Tether is only $2.2 billion on CoinMarketCap and the market is 400 billion, its only 0.5% of the market". But this misunderstands what market capitalization for cryptocurrency is, and just how different the market cap for Tether is to every other token. The market cap is simply the last trade price times the circulating supply. It doesn't take into account the order book depth at all. The majority of Bitcoin (and most coins) are held by those who either mined or purchased for a very low price early on and simply held on as very small portions of the total supply was rapidly bid up to their current price. An increase in market cap of X does NOT represent an inflow of X dollars invested, not even close. A 400 billion dollar market cap for crypto does NOT mean that there is 400 billion dollars underwriting the assets. Meanwhile a 2 billion dollar Tether market cap means there should be exactly $2 billion backing up the asset. Nobody can tell for sure exactly how much money has been invested in cryptocurrency market, but analysts from JPMorgan found that there was only net inflow of $6 billion fiat that resulted in $300 billion market cap at the time. This gives us a roughly 50:1 ratio of market cap to fiat inflow. Prominent crypto evangelist Julian Hosp gives the following estimate: "For a cryptocurrency to have a market cap of $1 billion, maybe only $50 million actually moved into the cryptocurrency." For Tether however the market cap is simply the outstanding supply, 2.2 billion USDT is actually equal to 2.2 billion USD. In order to get $50 USDT you have to deposit $50 real U.S. dollars and then 50 completely new tokens will be issued, which never existed before on the market. What is also often ignored is that Bitfinex allows margin trading, at a 3.3x leverage. Bitfinexed did an excellent analysis on how tether is entering Bitfinex to fund margin positions There are $2.2 billion in Tether outstanding and the current market cap of the entire market is $400 billion according to CoinMarketCap. You can actually calculate Tether as a % of total fiat invested in the market according to the JP Morgan estimate, the following table outlines for a scenario of no margin lending and 15/25% of tether being on a 3.3x leverage margin account:
Fiat Inflow/Market Cap Ratio
Tether as % of total market (no margin)
Tether as % of total market (15% on margin)
Tether as % of total market (25% on margin)
JP Morgan estimate (50:1)
Even without any margin lending Tether is underwriting the worth of about 27.5% of the cryptocurrency market, and if we assume only 25% was leveraged out at 3.3x on margin we have a whole 43% of the market cap being driven by Tether inflow. A much better indicator on CoinMarketCap of just how influential Tether is actually the volume, its currently the 2nd biggest cryptocurrency by volume and there are even days where its volume exceeds its market cap. What this all means is that not only is the market cap for cryptocurrencies drastically overestimating the amount of actual fiat capital that is underwriting those assets, but a substantial portion of the entire market cap is being derived from the value of Tether's market cap rather than real money. Its incredibly important that more new investors realize that Tether isn't a side issue or a minor cog in the machine, but one of the core underlying mechanisms on which the entire market worth is built. Ensuring that whoever controls this stablecoin is honest and transparent is absolutely critical to the health of the market.
Two main concerns with Tether
The primary concerns with Tether can be split into two categories:
Tether issuance timing - Does Tether Ltd issue USDT organically or is it timed to stop downward selling pressure?
Reserves - Does Tether Ltd actually have the fiat reserves at a 1:1 ratio, and why is there still no audit or third party guarantee of this?
Does Tether print USDT to prop up Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?
In the last 3 months the amount of USDT has nearly quadrupled, with nearly a billion being printed in January alone. Some people have found the timing of the most recent batch of Tether as highly suspect because it seemed to coincide with Bitcoin's price being propped up. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/31/technology/bitfinex-bitcoin-price.html This was recently analyzed statistically:
Author’s opinion - it is highly unlikely that Tether is growing through any organic business process, rather that they are printing in response to market conditions. Tether printing moves the market appreciably; 48.8% of BTC’s price rise in the period studied occurred in the two-hour periods following the arrival of 91 different Tether grants to the Bitfinex wallet. Bitfinex withdrawal/deposit statistics are unusual and would give rise to further scrutiny in a typical accounting environment.
https://www.tetherreport.com I'm still undecided on this and I would love to see more statistical analysis done, because the price of Bitcoin is so volatile while Tether printing only happens in large batches. Simply looking at the Bitcoin price graph over the last 3 months and then the Tether printing its pretty clear there is a relationship but it doesn't seem to hold over longer periods. Ultimately to me this timing isn't that much of an issue, as long Tether is backed by US dollars. If Bitfinex was timing the prints then it accounts to not much more than an organized pumping scheme, which isn't a fundamental problem. The much more serious concern is whether those buy order are being conducted on the faith of fictitious dollars that don't exist, regardless of when those buy orders occur.
This engagement does not contemplate tests of accounting records or the performance of other procedures performed in an audit or attest engagement. Our procedures performed are not for the purpose of providing assurance...In addition, our services do not include determination of compliance with laws and regulations in any jurisdiction.
They state right from the beginning that this is a consultancy job (not an audit), and that its not meant to be assurance to third parties. Doing a consultancy job is just doing a task asked by your customer. In a consultancy job you take information as true from the client, and you have no mandate to verify whether your customer's claims are true or not. The way they checked is simply asking Tether to provide them the information:
All inquiries made through the consulting process have been directed towards, and the data obtained from, the Client and personnel responsible for maintaining such information.
Tether provided a screenshots of twp bank balances. One of these is in the name of Tether Limited, and while the other is a personal account of an individual who Tether Limited claims has a trust agreement with them:
As of September 15, 2017, the bank held $60,919,810 in an account in the name of an in individual for the benefit of Tether Limited. FLPP obtained an engagement letter for an interim settlement plan between that individual and Tether Limited and that according to Tether Limited, is the relevant agreement with the trustee. FLLP did not evaluate the substance of the letter and makes no representation about its legality.
Even worse is that later on in Note 1, they clearly claim that there is no actual evidence that this engagement letter or trust has any legal merit:
Note 1: FLLP makes no representations about sufficiency or enforceability of any trust agreement between the trustee and the Client
Essentially what this is saying is that the trust agreement may not even be worth the paper it’s printed on. And most importantly… Note 2:
“FLLP did not evaluate the terms of the above bank accounts and makes no representations about the clients ability to access funds from the accounts or whether the funds are committed for purposes other than Tether token redemptions”
Basically Tether gave them a name of an individual with $60 million in their account according to a screenshot, Tether then gave them a letter saying that there is a trust agreement between this individual and Tether Limited. They also have account with $382 million but no guarantee that this account holds to any lien or other commitments, or that it can be accessed. Currently Tether has 2.2 billion USDT outstanding and we have absolutely no idea whether this is actually backed by anything, and the long promised audit is still outstanding.
What happens if its revealed that Tether doesn't have its US dollar reserves?
According to Thomas Glucksmann, head of business development at Gatecoin: "If a tether debacle unfolds, it will likely cause quite a devastating ripple effect across many of the exchanges that see most of their volumes traded against the supposedly USD-backed cryptocurrency." According to Nicholas Weaver, a senior researcher at the International Computer Science Institute at Berkeley: "You could see a spike in prices in tether-only bitcoin exchanges. So, on those exchanges only you will see a run up in price compared to the bitcoin exchanges that actually work with actually money. So you would see a huge price diverge as people see that only way they can turn tether into real money is to buy other cryptocurrency then move to another exchange. That is a bank run." I definitely see the crypto equivalent of a bank run, as people actually try to secure their gains an realize that this money doesn't actually exist within the system:
If traders lose confidence in it and its value starts to drop, “people will run for the door,” says Carlson, the former Wall Street trader. If Tether can’t meet all its customers’ demand for dollars (and its Terms of Service suggest that in many cases it won’t even try), tether holders will try to snap up other cryptocurrencies instead, temporarily causing prices for those currencies to soar. With tether’s role as an inter-exchange facilitator compromised, investors might lose faith in cryptocurrencies more generally. “At the end of the day, people would be losing substantial sums, and in the long term this would be very bad for cryptocurrencies,” says Emin Gun Sirer, a Cornell professor and co-director of its Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Smart Contracts. Another concern is that Bitfinex might simply shut down, pocketing the bitcoins it has allegedly been stockpiling. Because people who trade on Bitfinex allow the exchange to hold their money while they speculate, these traders could face substantial losses. “The exchanges are like unregulated banks and could run off with everyone’s money,” says Tony Arcieri, a former Square employee turned entrepreneur trying to build a legally regulated exchange.
Tether-enabled exchanges will see a massive spike in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices as everyone leaves Tether. Noobs in these exchanges will think they are now millionaires until they realize they are rich in tethers but poor in dollars.
Exchanges that have not integrated Tether will experienced large drops in Bitcoin and alts as experienced investors flee crypto into USD.
There will be a flight of Bitcoin from Tether-integrated exchanges to non-Tether exchanges with fiat off-ramps. Exchanges running small fractional reserves will be exposed, further increasing calls for greater reserves requirements.
The exchanges might slam the doors shut on withdrawals.
Many exchanges that own large balances of Tether, especially Bitfinex, will likely become insolvent.
There will be lawsuits flying everywhere and with Tether Limited being incorporated on a Carribean Island whose solvency and bankruptcy laws will likely ensure they don't ever get much back. This could take years and potentially push away new investors from entering the space.
We can't be 100% completely sure that Tether is a scam, but its so laiden with red flags that at this point I would call it the biggest systematic risk in the crypto space. Its bigger than any nation's potential regulatory steps because it cuts right into the issue of trust across the entire ecosystem. Ultimately Tether is centralizing one of the very core mechanics of the cryptocurrency markets and asking you to trust one party to be the safekeeper, and I really see very little reason to trust Bitfinex given their history of lying and screwing over their own customers. I think that Tether initially started as a legit business to facilitate the ease of moving money and avoiding regulations, but somewhere along the lines greed and/or incompetence took over (something that seems common with Bitfinex's previous actions). Right now we're playing proverbial hot potato, and as long as people believe that Tether is worth a dollar everything is fine, but as some point the Emperor will have to step out from hiding and somebody will point out they have no clothes. In the long term I really hope once Tether collapses we can move on and get the following two implemented which would greatly improve the market for all investors:
Actual USD fiat pairings on the major exchanges for the major currencies
Regulatory rules on exchange reserve requirements
I had watched the Bitconnect people insist for the last 2 years that everything about Bitconnect made perfect sense because they were getting paid daily. The scam works until one day it suddenly doesn't. Tether could still come clean and avoid all of this "FUD" by simply getting a simple review of their banking, they don't even need a full audit. If everything was legit with Tether, it would be incredibly easy to have a segregated bank account with the funds used solely to back up Tether, then have an third party accounting firm simply review the account and a bank reconciliation statement then spend a few hours in contact with the bank to ensure no outstanding liabilities are held on that balance. This is extremely basic stuff, it would take a few hours to set up and wouldn't take a lot of man-hours for a qualified account to do, and yet they don’t do it. Why? Why hire a major PR firm and spend god knows how much money to pay professional PR representatives to attack "FUD" online instead? I think I know why.
What Is KNOWLEDGE BROKER BLUEPRINT: HOW KBB 2.0 METHOD WORKS
KNOWLEDGE BROKER BLUEPRINT BY TONY ROBBINS AND DEAN GRAZIOSI
Knowledge Broker Blueprint is a new winning playbook formula and online business training program created by mastermind legends Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi and their proprietary MindMint software. Knowledge Broker Blueprint is the newest 2020 version of Knowledge Business Blueprint which launched in April 2019 (which had over 200,000 people watching its release and over 16,000 people joined). The KBB 2.0 is set up to focus on three core components; course (education), software (tools) and coaching (mastermind). Dean and Tony are looking to make a lightning strike twice following the success of KBB 1.0. Now with KBB 2.0, they claim to have come back bigger and better than ever to help people start winning at the game of life and business. A “Knowledge Broker” is defined as a person with skill, passion or expertise that shares it with others to create impact and earn profits. Tony and Dean both believe being a Knowledge Broker is the single best thing you can do as an entrepreneur as people are voting with their wallets and paying to learn from professional DOERS instead. That is the central theme of the Knowledge Broker Blueprint Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi put together for the launch of KBB 2.0. While there is still more information coming out about the launch of KBB 2.0, here are all of the top-level details we can share about Knowledge Broker Blueprint to start:
Name: Knowledge Broker Blueprint
Creator: Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi
Date: February 27, 2020 at 8PM EST (sign up starts February 19th)
Event Format: Free omni-present livecast training webinar online
Tagline: The Winning PlayBook
Slogan: “This mission is something that holds a lot of meaning to both of us” ~ Tony and Dean
Host: Tony and Dean and possibly surprise guest (Russell Brunson or Stu McLaren)
Description: How to become a professional Knowledge Broker
Cost: free to attend and watch
Goal: to empower entrepreneurs with expertise and knowledge to share and extract their wisdom with the world to make the new norm all about self-education
What to do Next: Reserve your Spot right now
Tony Robbins has teamed up with Dean Graziosi to launch a new online training program called Knowledge Broker Blueprint. “KBB” claims it will be one of the biggest online business training course launches in history. While more information is surfacing about the winning playbook found within KBB 2.0, our review of Knowledge Broker Blueprint is broken down into three major sections so you can get a complete overview of what it is, how it works, and what to expect. To best understand Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi's Knowledge Broker Blueprint program, our research is in the following format that explores all aspects of KBB 2.0: 1) what is knowledge broker blueprint review 2) who is Tony Robbins 3) Knowledge Broker World Summit Now, before we jump right into the Knowledge Broker Blueprint review, there is one small minor detail worth mentioning – and that is Tony Robbins fondness of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Back during the last bull market cycle for crypto assets, Tony Robbins did share a tweet that helped clear up the confusion around Bitcoin with his millions of followers and fans. Also, in addition to tweeting and writing blog posts about bitcoin to educate his audience, he also featured bitcoin in his #1 New York best-selling book, Money: Master the Game where he talked about proper asset allocation in a book where he interviewed the brightest minds and most brilliant financial innovators in the world. While Knowledge Broker Blueprint isn't focused on bitcoin or cryptocurrencies, it is about business and the future of financial success. This is why Master The Crypto wanted to review Knowledge Broker Blueprint as a fantastic way to self-educate and learn from the right people as the best way to secure success today. Now, let's dive into all of the research and provide meaningful insight and analysis to how Knowledge Broker Blueprint works, who Tony Robbins is and their Knowledge Broker World Summit event coming up in 2020.
WHAT IS THE KNOWLEDGE BROKER BLUEPRINT?
Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi have teamed up to launch the Knowledge Broker Blueprint. It’s a combination of a business development plan and a personal development plan. The Knowledge Broker Blueprint is a live-cast that will take place on February 27. You can opt into the live-cast between February 19 and 26. Some of the key features of the Knowledge Broker Blueprint include:
A business and personal development program introduced by Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi
Guides you through the success secrets of “masterminds” like Oprah, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg
Shares the personal and business strategies used by the professionals
Explains how to leverage their tactics to become a successful “mastermind”
Uses MindMint software to provide you with the tools you need for success
The idea behind Knowledge Broker Blueprint is that you can discover the strategies used by some of today’s most successful individuals. What are these people doing to be successful? Knowledge Broker Blueprint claims to teach you these lessons. The 2020 version of Knowledge Broker Blueprint is officially called Knowledge Broker Blueprint 2.0. It’s the second version of this system.
HOW DOES KNOWLEDGE BROKER BLUEPRINT WORK?
Knowledge Broker Blueprint, also abbreviated to KBB, is an online course consisting of four modules. The creators of KBB are calling it one of the biggest online course launches in history. The initial live cast announcing the launch of Knowledge Broker Blueprint had over 250,000 viewers worldwide. That live cast was hosted by Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi. In the words of the course’s creator, the course “teaches you how to extract your knowledge, skill, hobby or passion (or someone else’s)”, then identity the people willing to pay for that unique skill or knowledge. What type of “thing” do you do more effectively than anyone else? What type of knowledge do you have that people may be willing to pay for? While progressing through the Knowledge Broker Blueprint course, you will use the MindMint software. The software keeps track of your progress. That’s why Knowledge Broker Blueprint is more than just an education program or software system: it’s a combination of both. Together, the education program and software promise to “allow anyone to start or scale a highly impactful and highly profitable mastermind, group, workshop or community.” Some people might think, “I don’t even have any unique skills. I can barely use a computer.” That’s fine! As the creator of Knowledge Broker Blueprint explains: “It doesn’t mater if you don’t have any tech skills or any previous business experience. Everything you need to know is provided in this training program by 3 of the greatest entrepreneurs of our generation.”
WHAT WILL YOU LEARN IN KNOWLEDGE BROKER BLUEPRINT?
Knowledge Broker Blueprint isn’t your typical training course. The entire purpose of the course is to teach you how to leverage your unique knowledge into personal profit. As the name of the course suggests, Knowledge Broker Blueprint will give you the blueprint you need to broker your knowledge. As a “knowledge broker”, you are selling your unique knowledge to the world. What type of information can you leverage today? What kind of unique knowledge or skills do you have that people are willing to pay for? The ultimate goal is to teach you how to run your own mastermind group or mastermind event. The Knowledge Broker Blueprint course gives you all of the tools you need to set up your mastermind group, the market that mastermind group to the world, and maximize profit from that group. Keep in mind that you don’t need to know anything to run a mastermind group. Some people run profitable mastermind groups simply by inviting smarter people to the event. If you could get Oprah Winfrey, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates into one room, don’t you think people would buy a ticket? That’s an extreme example, but that’s the type of thinking behind Knowledge Broker Blueprint.
WHAT’S INCLUDED WITH KNOWLEDGE BROKER BLUEPRINT?
Knowledge Broker Blueprint is a completely online course. You get video tutorials, resources, exercises, downloadable worksheets, and access to a private Facebook group. Here’s what you get with Knowledge Broker Blueprint:
Access to a Private Facebook Group
Four Training Modules:
Lessons within Each Training Module
Training Videos within Each Lesson
Each training video ranges in length from 7 minutes to 30 minutes. However, there are some longer training videos that dive deep into topics like Facebook and YouTube advertisements. The downloadable PDF worksheets, meanwhile, can be printed off before you start a lesson. Fill in the worksheets as you go along. Or, test your knowledge after (or both). It will help you retain the information from the lesson. Each lesson is also followed by a quiz to verify that you retained the knowledge. In other words, there’s a lot of content with Knowledge Broker Blueprint. The hours of video will teach you everything you need to know about creating your own mastermind program. Tony and Dean have packaged years of experience in these videos. They’re distilling their combined 60+ years of industry experience into one concise training program. If you’re willing to put in the work, you can get a lot of priceless information from Knowledge Broker Blueprint.
WHAT IS MINDMINT SOFTWARE?
Knowledge Broker Blueprint 2.0 comes with a software called MintMint. The software walks you through the entire process of setting up an event, including the initial announcement of the event, marketing for the event, planning, execution, and more. Essentially, MindMint has everything you need to ensure your mastermind event goes off smoothly – and profitably. MindMint also organizes event information in one place. You can keep information about the trainers, speakers, attendees together, for example, along with the information about the schedule, key dates, and more. MindMint doesn’t just help plan and organize the event: the software also helps you create a sales funnel for the event. You can get help with everything from your landing page to your final payment page. In summary, here’s what’s included with the MindMint software: Planning Support: Event scheduling, itinerary, attendees, hosts, and more. Announcement Support: Build hype, marketing support, email templates, sales copy, and more Sales Funnel: Landing page, templates, payment pages, marketing, and more. And More: MindMint is an all-in-one software that contains everything you need to know about running your own mastermind event from beginning to end.
KNOWLEDGE BROKER BLUEPRINT MODULES
We mentioned above that Knowledge Broker Blueprint comes with four modules, including Extract It, Fill It, Run It, and Knowledge Broker. Below, we’ll explain what you’ll learn in each of those modules:
1. EXTRACT IT
The first module, Extract It, begins with Tony Robbins explaining some crucial lessons on mindset. How do successful people think? What strategies do successful people do differently on a daily basis? Tony Robbins uses his 40+ years of self-help experience to explain the secret mindsets of successful people. Then, Dean breaks down the most important foundational steps you’ll need to cover before creating a business, including:
Identifying your own expertise
Defining your ideal client
The art of storytelling
A framework for teaching within your mastermind group
A toolbox of exercises for you and your students
How to create your first mastermind group itinerary
2. FILL IT
In the second module, Fill It, Tony and Dean will explain marketing tactics to promote your mastermind group. Dean and other experts will teach you how to become a marketing expert with topics like:
Strategies used by today’s top marketing experts
How to create a successful landing page and sales funnel
An explanation of Dean’s Marketing Wagon Wheel and how to implement it
Lessons on running social media advertising, email marketing, and affiliate campaigns
How to build the perfect order page and application page
Secrets of a successful and profitable launch
3. RUN IT
Run It explains the strategies you need to execute your successful event. You’ve developed your event and marketed it. Now you need to pull it off and amaze attendees. Some of the strategies covered in the third module include:
The ideal mastermind event formula
Virtual event templates, outlines, and checklists
How to create a perfect in-person event
How to prepare for the mastermind event, including a final checklist
4. KNOWLEDGE BROKER
Finally, Knowledge Broker lists three aspects of running your own mastermind group, including:
Facilitating a mastermind for someone else as a knowledge broker
Getting an expert to let you in as a knowledge broker
Putting the foundational pieces in place for a winning business
BONUS PRODUCTS INCLUDED WITH KNOWLEDGE BROKER BLUEPRINT
As an early Knowledge Broker Blueprint adopter, you get access to several bonus lessons, including: Tony Robbins’ Ultimate Edge: Four-part audio system explaining how to create an extraordinary and successful life. Dean’s Inner Circle: Highlights from Dean’s best Inner Circle training lessons. Tony Robbins’ Platinum Bonus: Recordings from experts like Jack Bogle and Peter Mallouk. Russel Brunson’s Mastermind Funnels: Secrets to setting up bulletproof sales funnels. Tony Robbins’ Priming Exercise: How to give yourself a winning mindset.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS) ABOUT KNOWLEDGE BROKER BLUEPRINT
Q: On What Day Will the Knowledge Broker Blueprint Livecast Take Place? A: The Knowledge Broker Blueprint livecast will take place on February 27, 2020. Q: Who is Tony Robbins? A: Tony Robbins is a motivational speaker, author, business consultant, and self-help expert. Robbins rose to prominence in the 1980s and 1990s with infomercials and national bestselling books. Today, he continues to be relevant to seminars and other events. Q: What is the Knowledge Broker Blueprint? A: The Knowledge Broker Blueprint is an online training course that teaches you how to launch your own mastermind event from beginning to end. It explains how to “broker” knowledge: you’re collecting knowledge (either from yourself or others) and selling that knowledge to the world. Q: What is a Mastermind Group? A: A mastermind group is a group or event where you share unique knowledge, skills, or experience with the world. Q: Is Knowledge Broker Blueprint Legit? A: Knowledge Broker Blueprint is marketing itself as one of the biggest online course launches in history. There’s a lot of content here, and the course is certainly legitimate. The fact that Tony Robbins has signed on is a big deal. Q: What is KnowledgeBusinessBlueprint? A: In 2019, the same team launched a similar event called Knowledge Business Blueprint. In 2020, the team is launching a new event called Knowledge Broker Blueprint, although the two share similar strategies. Q: Who is Dean Graziosi? A: Dean Graziosi is an author, investor, entrepreneur, and trainer who grew from poverty to wealth. Today, he teaches others how to replicate that success. Graziosi is leading the Knowledge Broker Blueprint training system in partnership with Tony Robbins. Now, this concludes our comprehensive review of Knowledge Broker Blueprint – but there is much more ground to cover to understand how Dean Graziosi and Tony Robbins came to be the legends they are today in the world of online business and entrepreneurship. Next, let's revisit the incredible life and story of Tony Robbins, the pioneering Mastermind guru behind KBB 2.0.
WHO IS TONY ROBBINS?
Tony Robbins is an American author, life coach, and philanthropist. The Los Angeles-based entrepreneur is best-known for his infomercials, seminars, and self-help books, including the books Unlimited Power (published in 1987) and Awaken the Giant Within (published in 1993). Over the years, Robbins has worked individually with clients ranging from Bill Clinton to Wayne Gretzky to Steve Wynn. By the early 1990s, an estimated 100 million Americans had viewed Tony Robbins infomercials. Many of his books have also become national bestsellers.
TONY ROBBINS: EARLY LIFE AND BIO
Tony Robbins was born in North Hollywood, California on February 29, 1960. He claims to have had a “chaotic” and “abusive” home life throughout his childhood. Robbins is the eldest of three children, and his parents divorced when he was seven. His mother remarried multiple times, including to a former semi-professional baseball player named Jim Robbins, who legally adopted Tony when he was 12. Tony Robbins was born Anthony J. Mahavoric, although he changed his name to Anthony Jay Robbins after being adopted by Jim Robbins. Although he once went under the name Anthony Robbins, he now mostly goes by Tony Robbins. When Robbins was 17 years old, he left home and never returned. He later worked as a janitor, and he never attended college. Robbins began his career promoting events for motivational speaker and author Jim Rohn. In the early 1980s, Robbins developed techniques of neurolinguistic programming (NLP), hypnosis, and firewalking, incorporating these techniques into his seminars. In 1987, Robbins published his first self-help book. In 1988, Robbins released his first infomercial, advertising himself as a “peak performance coach”. Robbins’ career took off shortly after. His infomercials later featured celebrities like Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton and actor Martin Sheen. Robbins claimed to be able to help anyone – from athletes to business people to actors – unlock their maximum potential. By 1991, an estimated 100 million Americans had viewed Robbins’ infomercials. Over the years, Robbins has worked individually with many notable names, including Bill Clinton, Wayne Gretzky, Serena Williams, Hugh Jackman, Pitbull, and Justin Tuck. Robbins is also trusted by some of America’s most notable business names, including Golden State Warriors co-owner Peter Guber and businessmen Steven Wynn and Marc Benioff. In more recent years, he has positioned himself as not just a self-help coach but also has a valuable business consultant.
TONY ROBBINS BIO: WHAT IS HE DOING TODAY?
Although he achieved initial success in the 1980s and 1990s, Tony Robbins continues to be relevant today. In 2015 and 2016, Robbins was listed on the Worth Magazine Power 100 list. In 2014, Robbins made headlines for teaming up with Mia Hamm, Magic Johnson, and Peter Guber to acquire the rights to the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC). Along with the LA Galaxy, LAFC is one of two MLS soccer teams in the Los Angeles area. They entered the league in 2018. In 2016, Robbins got into eSports, purchasing Team Liquid, one of the best-known teams in the industry. In 2019, the top three names on the Worth Magazine Power 100 list included Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, China President and General Secretary Xi Jinping, and United States President Donald Trump. The magazine has ranked the top 100 most powerful people in the world every year since 2010. Tony Robbins also continues to organize seminars through Robbins Research International. Robbins has starred in infomercials since the 1980s. Today, the 59-year old motivational speaker has teamed up with Dean Graziosi to launch a program called the Knowledge Broker Blueprint.
TONY ROBBINS UNLIMITED POWER (1987)
To understand Tony Robbins and his success, it helps to understand his self-help books. Tony Robbins’ first big hit, Unlimited Power, became a national bestseller. The book teaches you how to achieve a successful life. In Unlimited Power, Robbins covers topics like:
How to find out what you really want
“The Seven Lies of Success”
How to reprogram your mind in minutes to eliminate fears and phobias
How to create instant rapport with anyone you meet
How to duplicate the success of others
“The Five Keys to Wealth and Happiness”
The book was well-reviewed, and it remains a classic self-help book even in 2020, 33 years after first being published.
TONY ROBBINS AWAKEN THE GIANT WITHIN (1993)
Six years after publishing Unlimited Power, Tony Robbins published his second self-help hit: Awaken the Giant Within. The book is subtitled, “How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical, and Financial Destiny”. Robbins walks readers through a step-by-step program that teaches fundamental lessons of self-mastery, including how to discover your true purpose, take control of your life, and harness the forces that shape your destiny. Robbins tells you how to manage your emotions, your body, your finances, and your life. To date, Robbins has sold over one million copies of Awaken the Giant Within, and it became a #1 national bestseller soon after launch. Now that Master The Crypto has covered who Tony Robbins is and how Knowledge Broker Blueprint works, let's give an overview of their upcoming event happening in October 2020 that coincides with KBB 2.0.
KNOWLEDGE BROKER WORLD SUMMIT
There are many different ways to learn a new skill, a new trade, or just about anything else. Although the conventional option is to read books, those who are looking for guidance from the expert themselves may want to attend a symposium. One particular program that has received some popularity in recent months is the Knowledge Broker World Summit. According to the program, a knowledge broker is a person with skill, passion, or expertise who shares it with the world for impact and profit. Two individuals head the Knowledge Broker World Summit: Dean Graziosi and Tony Robbins. Graziosi is a best-selling author, entrepreneur, and investor. As for Robbins, is a business chairman and strategist.
KNOWLEDGE BROKER WORLD SUMMIT SPEAKERS
Aside from hearing from Graziosi and Robbins, you’ll also hear from other speakers who can share their knowledge and experience in a conductive manner. For instance, a few of the attendee speakers include:
Peak performance expert and social media icon Ed Mylett
Expert entrepreneur and podcaster Jenna Kutcher
Clickfunnels co-founder Russel Brunson
High-performance coach Brendon Burchard
Leading life coach Marie Forleo
Advance Your Reach CEO Pete Vargas
Additional speakers are being released as well. Those who register for the program and get their tickers will be notified of the new speakers are they are announced.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The Knowledge Broker World Summit is an event that may be able to provide attendees with guidance concerning how to achieve your goals and desires. As the program platform explains it shares education and wisdom on how to achieve abundance, fulfillment, and success. In addition, it provides direction on how attendees can escape the 9-5 grind, how they can create a legacy, and how to discover the “new you.” Keep in mind that while it all sounds promising, it is important to be aware that these are guiding principles. What may work for one individual does not always work for all.
There is also feedback from various individuals on what they “have to say” about the Graziosi and Robbins. It is unknown whether the comments are directed at the program. Nonetheless, the comments on the website are from Serena Williams, Larry King, Richard Branson, and Marie Menounos. Further, the comments are quite positive as well.
Those who are interested in the program have several ticket options available, which are as follows: Option 1: Executive Seating for $323.00. This ticket option comes with 3-day access to the event and general entrance and seating. It also includes exclusive Knowledge Broker merchandise available at the live summit Option 2: Preferred Seating. This ticket option comes with 3-day access to the vent, preferred entrance and seating, and Knowledge Broker merchandise available at the live summit Option 3: VIP. This ticker option comes with 3-day access to the event, VIP entrance and seating, and VIP networking party. It also includes Knowledge Broker merchandise available at the live summit The tickets can be purchased on the platform’s website. Now, let's conclude our Knowledge Broker Blueprint review and get ready for an incredible launch and presentation by two legendary entrepreneurs who are self-educated and bringing their knowledge to the world via KBB 2.0.
FINAL WORD ON KNOWLEDGE BROKER BLUEPRINT
Tony Robbins is a self-help master who rose to prominence in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, he’s a valued business consultant, author, and motivational speaker. The fact that he has partnered with Dean Graziosi to launch Knowledge Broker Blueprint is a big deal. These guys are both household names in the online business industry and have already done this once with the Knowledge Business Blueprint. With KBB 1.0, they learned, grew, and got vital intel and feedback from their members. Now they have revamped everything for the creation of KBB 2.0 and are promising it to be unlike anything you have ever seen in the world of online marketing and entrepreneurialship. As the saying goes with all of Master The Crypto's guides, analysis and insights – there are two things every aspiring successful person must do to achieve success optimally: 1) follow the right people 2) act on the right information Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi are the right people to follow and Knowledge Broker Blueprint is the right information to act on. Their three-step process found within the Knowledge Broker Blueprint course (education), software (tools) and coaching (mastermind) is guaranteed to be dynamic, dynamite and dominant. The Knowledge Broker Blueprint livecast will take place on February 27, 2020. Set your calendars. Be sure not to miss the free live KBB 2.0 event and be prepared to be blown away by two industry giants and their legendary methods for teaching people how to create success, freedom and wealth in life.
Just finished watching The Weekly (it’s kind of a Vice rip-off by the NYT) on Hulu where they went into detail about their story published this week about a « hacker » named Patrick Kessler who claimed to have tens of thousands of hours of Epstein’s private videos. Turns out, Patrick did not released the videos and there is a lot of questions with his credibility, nonetheless, he clearly exposed two lawyers (Bois and Pottinger) for attempting to profit by offering to reach large settlements in which they would take 40%. The article is here: Jeffrey Epstein, Blackmail, and a Lucrative Hotlist Even though it sounds like this guy Kessler is full of shit, I REALLY wish that he wasn’t and at some point these troves of photos and videos get released and a bunch of rich and powerful people get what they deserve for abusing these women. For those who need access to NYT- it is a long article, but here’s the full text: By Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Emily Steel, Jacob Bernstein and David Enrich Nov. 30, 2019 Soon after the sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein died in August, a mysterious man met with two prominent lawyers. Towering, barrel-chested and wild-bearded, he was a prodigious drinker and often wore flip-flops. He went by a pseudonym, Patrick Kessler — a necessity, he said, given the shadowy, dangerous world that he inhabited. He told the lawyers he had something incendiary: a vast archive of Mr. Epstein’s data, stored on encrypted servers overseas. He said he had years of the financier’s communications and financial records — as well as thousands of hours of footage from hidden cameras in the bedrooms of Mr. Epstein’s properties. The videos, Kessler said, captured some of the world’s richest, most powerful men in compromising sexual situations — even in the act of rape. Kessler said he wanted to expose these men. If he was telling the truth, his trove could answer one of the Epstein saga’s most baffling questions: How did a college dropout and high school math teacher amass a purported nine-figure fortune? One persistent but unproven theory was that he ran a sprawling blackmail operation. That would explain why moguls, scientists, political leaders and a royal stayed loyal to him, in some cases even after he first went to jail. Kessler’s tale was enough to hook the two lawyers, the famed litigator David Boies and his friend John Stanley Pottinger. If Kessler was authentic, his videos would arm them with immense leverage over some very important people. Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger discussed a plan. They could use the supposed footage in litigation or to try to reach deals with men who appeared in it, with money flowing into a charitable foundation. In encrypted chats with Kessler, Mr. Pottinger referred to a roster of potential targets as the “hot list.” He described hypothetical plans in which the lawyers would pocket up to 40 percent of the settlements and could extract money from wealthy men by flipping from representing victims to representing their alleged abusers. The possibilities were tantalizing — and extended beyond vindicating victims. Mr. Pottinger saw a chance to supercharge his law practice. For Mr. Boies, there was a shot at redemption, after years of criticism for his work on behalf of Theranos and Harvey Weinstein. In the end, there would be no damning videos, no funds pouring into a new foundation. Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger would go from toasting Kessler as their “whistle-blower” and “informant” to torching him as a “fraudster” and a “spy.” Kessler was a liar, and he wouldn’t expose any sexual abuse. But he would reveal something else: The extraordinary, at times deceitful measures elite lawyers deployed in an effort to get evidence that could be used to win lucrative settlements — and keep misconduct hidden, allowing perpetrators to abuse again. Mr. Boies has publicly decried such secret deals as “rich man’s justice,” a way that powerful men buy their way out of legal and reputational jeopardy. This is how it works. 7 men and a headless parrot The man who called himself Kessler first contacted a Florida lawyer, Bradley J. Edwards, who was in the news for representing women with claims against Mr. Epstein. It was late August, about two weeks after the financier killed himself in a jail cell while awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges. Mr. Edwards, who did not respond to interview requests, had a law firm called Edwards Pottinger, and he soon referred Kessler to his New York partner. Silver-haired and 79, Mr. Pottinger had been a senior civil-rights official in the Nixon and Ford administrations, but he also dabbled in investment banking and wrote best-selling medical thrillers. He was perhaps best known for having dated Gloria Steinem and Kathie Lee Gifford. Mr. Pottinger recalled that Mr. Edwards warned him about Kessler, saying that he was “endearing,” “spooky” and “loves to drink like a fish.” After an initial discussion with Kessler in Washington, Mr. Pottinger briefed Mr. Boies — whose firm was also active in representing accusers in the Epstein case — about the sensational claims. He then invited Kessler to his Manhattan apartment. Kessler admired a wall-mounted frame containing a headless stuffed parrot; on TV, the Philadelphia Eagles were mounting a comeback against the Washington Redskins. Mr. Pottinger poured Kessler a glass of WhistlePig whiskey, and the informant began to talk. In his conversations with Mr. Pottinger and, later, Mr. Boies, Kessler said his videos featured numerous powerful men who were already linked to Mr. Epstein: Ehud Barak, the former Israeli prime minister; Alan Dershowitz, a constitutional lawyer; Prince Andrew; three billionaires; and a prominent chief executive. All seven men, or their representatives, told The New York Times they never engaged in sexual activity on Mr. Epstein’s properties. The Times has no reason to believe Kessler’s supposed video footage is real. In his apartment, Mr. Pottinger presented Kessler with a signed copy of “The Boss,” his 2005 novel. “One minute you’re bending the rules,” blares the cover of the paperback version. “The next minute you’re breaking the law.” On the title page, Mr. Pottinger wrote: “Here’s to the great work you are to do. Happy to be part of it.” Mr. Pottinger also gave Kessler a draft contract to bring him on as a client, allowing him to use a fake name. “For reasons revealed to you, I prefer to proceed with this engagement under the name Patrick Kessler,” the agreement said. Despite the enormities of the Epstein scandal, few of his accusers have gotten a sense of justice or resolution. Mr. Pottinger thought Kessler’s files could change everything. This strange man was theatrical and liked his alcohol, but if there was even a chance his claims were true, they were worth pursuing. “Our clients are said to be liars and prostitutes,” Mr. Pottinger later said in an interview with The Times, “and we now have someone who says, ‘I can give you secret photographic proof of abuse that will completely change the entire fabric of your practice and get justice for these girls.’ And you think that we wouldn’t try to get that?” A victim becomes a hacker Mr. Pottinger and Mr. Boies have known each other for years, a friendship forged on bike trips in France and Italy. In legal circles, Mr. Boies was royalty: He was the one who fought for presidential candidate Al Gore before the Supreme Court, took on Microsoft in a landmark antitrust case, and helped obtain the right for gays and lesbians to get married in California. But then Mr. Boies got involved with the blood-testing start-up Theranos. As the company was being revealed as a fraud, he tried to bully whistle-blowers into not speaking to a Wall Street Journal reporter, and he was criticized for possible conflicts of interest when he joined the company’s board in 2015. Two years later, Mr. Boies helped his longtime client Harvey Weinstein hire private investigators who intimidated sources and trailed reporters for The Times and The New Yorker — even though Mr. Boies’s firm had worked for The Times on other matters. (The Times fired his firm.) By 2019, Mr. Boies, 78, was representing a number of Mr. Epstein’s alleged victims. They got his services pro bono, and he got the chance to burnish his legacy. When Mr. Pottinger contacted him about Kessler, he was intrigued. On Sept. 9, Mr. Boies greeted Kessler at the offices of his law firm, Boies Schiller Flexner, in a gleaming new skyscraper at Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s West Side. Kessler unfurled a fantastic story, one he would embroider and alter in later weeks, that began with him growing up somewhere within a three-hour radius of Washington. Kessler said he had been molested as a boy by a Bible school teacher and sought solace on the internet, where he fell in with a group of victims turned hackers, who used their skills to combat pedophilia. Kessler claimed that a technology executive had introduced him to Mr. Epstein, who in 2012 hired Kessler to set up encrypted servers to preserve his extensive digital archives. With Mr. Epstein dead, Kessler boasted to the lawyers, he had unfettered access to the material. He said the volume of videos was overwhelming: more than a decade of round-the-clock footage from dozens of cameras. Kessler displayed some pixelated video stills on his phone. In one, a bearded man with his mouth open appears to be having sex with a naked woman. Kessler said the man was Mr. Barak. In another, a man with black-framed glasses is seen shirtless with a woman on his lap, her breasts exposed. Kessler said it was Mr. Dershowitz. He also said that some of the supposed videos appeared to have been edited and cataloged for the purpose of blackmail. “This was explosive information if true, for lots and lots of people,” Mr. Boies said in an interview. Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger had decades of legal experience and considered themselves experts at assessing witnesses’ credibility. While they couldn’t be sure, they thought Kessler was probably legit. A chance to sway the Israeli election Within hours of the Hudson Yards meeting, Mr. Pottinger sent Kessler a series of texts over the encrypted messaging app Signal. According to excerpts viewed by The Times, Mr. Pottinger and Kessler discussed a plan to disseminate some of the informant’s materials — starting with the supposed footage of Mr. Barak. The Israeli election was barely a week away, and Mr. Barak was challenging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The purported images of Mr. Barak might be able to sway the election — and fetch a high price. (“Total lie with no basis in reality,” Mr. Barak said when asked about the existence of such videos.) “Can you review your visual evidence to be sure some or all is indisputably him? If so, we can make it work,” Mr. Pottinger wrote. Kessler said he would do so. Mr. Pottinger sent a yellow smiley-face emoji with its tongue sticking out. “Can you share your contact that would be purchasing,” Kessler asked. “Sheldon Adelson,” Mr. Pottinger answered. Mr. Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate in Las Vegas, had founded one of Israel’s largest newspapers, and it was an enthusiastic booster of Mr. Netanyahu. Mr. Pottinger wrote that he and Mr. Boies hoped to fly to Nevada to meet with Mr. Adelson to discuss the images. “Do you believe that adelson has the pull to insure this will hurt his bid for election?” Kessler asked the next morning. Mr. Pottinger reassured him. “There is no question that Adelson has the capacity to air the truth about EB if he wants to,” he said, using Mr. Barak’s initials. He said he planned to discuss the matter with Mr. Boies that evening. Mr. Boies confirmed that they discussed sharing the photo with Mr. Adelson but said the plan was never executed. Boaz Bismuth, the editor in chief of the newspaper, Israel Hayom, said its journalists were approached by an Israeli source who pitched them supposed images of Mr. Barak, but that “we were not interested.” ‘These are wealthy wrongdoers’ The men whom Kessler claimed to have on tape were together worth many billions. Some of their public relations teams had spent months trying to tamp down media coverage of their connections to Mr. Epstein. Imagine how much they might pay to make incriminating videos vanish. You might think that lawyers representing abuse victims would want to publicly expose such information to bolster their clients’ claims. But that is not how the legal industry always works. Often, keeping things quiet is good business. One of the revelations of the #MeToo era has been that victims’ lawyers often brokered secret deals in which alleged abusers paid to keep their accusers quiet and the allegations out of the public sphere. Lawyers can pocket at least a third of such settlements, profiting off a system that masks misconduct and allows men to abuse again. Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger said in interviews that they were looking into creating a charity to help victims of sexual abuse. It would be bankrolled by private legal settlements with the men on the videos. Mr. Boies acknowledged that Kessler might get paid. “If we were able to use this to help our victims recover money, we would treat him generously,” he said in September. He said that his firm would not get a cut of any settlements. Such agreements would have made it less likely that videos involving the men became public. “Generally what settlements are about is getting peace,” Mr. Boies said. Mr. Pottinger told Kessler that the charity he was setting up would be called the Astria Foundation — a name he later said his girlfriend came up with, in a nod to Astraea, the Greek goddess of innocence and justice. “We need to get it funded by abusers,” Mr. Pottinger texted, noting in another message that “these are wealthy wrongdoers.” Mr. Pottinger asked Kessler to start compiling incriminating materials on a specific group of men. “I’m way ahead of you,” Kessler responded. He said he had asked his team of fellow hackers to search the files for the three billionaires, the C.E.O. and Prince Andrew. “Yes, that’s exactly how to do this,” Mr. Pottinger said. “Videos for sure, but email traffic, too.” “I call it our hot list,” he added. Image The Grand Sichuan restaurant in Manhattan. The Grand Sichuan restaurant in Manhattan.Credit...Stephanie Diani for The New York Times A quiet table at the back of Grand Sichuan In mid-September, Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger invited reporters from The Times to the Boies Schiller offices to meet Kessler. The threat of a major news organization writing about the videos — and confirming the existence of an extensive surveillance apparatus — could greatly enhance the lawyers’ leverage over the wealthy men. Before the session, Mr. Pottinger encouraged Kessler to focus on certain men, like Mr. Barak, while avoiding others. Referring to the reporters, he added, “Let them drink from a fountain instead of a water hose. They and the readers will follow that better.” The meeting took place on a cloudy Saturday morning. After agreeing to leave their phones and laptops outside, the reporters entered a 20th-floor conference room. Kessler was huge: more than 6 feet tall, pushing 300 pounds, balding, his temples speckled with gray. He told his story and presented images that he said were of Mr. Epstein, Mr. Barak and Mr. Dershowitz having sex with women. Barely an hour after the session ended, the Times reporters received an email from Kessler: “Are you free?” He said he wanted to meet — alone. “Tell no one else.” That afternoon, they met at Grand Sichuan, an iconic Chinese restaurant in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. The lunch rush was over, and the trio sat at a quiet table in the back. A small group of women huddled nearby, speaking Mandarin and snipping the ends off string beans. Kessler complained that Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger were more interested in making money than in exposing wrongdoers. He pulled out his phone, warned the reporters not to touch it, and showed more of what he had. There was a color photo of a bare-chested, gray-haired man with a slight smile. Kessler said it was a billionaire. He also showed blurry, black-and-white images of a dark-haired man receiving oral sex. He said it was a prominent C.E.O. Soup dumplings and Gui Zhou chicken arrived, and Kessler kept talking. He said he had found financial ledgers on Mr. Epstein’s servers that showed he had vast amounts of Bitcoin and cash in the Middle East and Bangkok, and hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of gold, silver and diamonds. He presented no proof. But it is common for whistle-blowers to be erratic and slow to produce their evidence, and The Times thought it was worth investigating Kessler’s claims. The conversation continued in a conference room at a Washington hotel five days later, after a text exchange in which Kessler noted his enthusiasm for Japanese whiskey. Both parties brought bottles to the hotel, and Kessler spent nearly eight hours downing glass after glass. He veered from telling tales about the dark web to professing love for “Little House on the Prairie.” He asserted that he had evidence Mr. Epstein had derived his wealth through illicit means. At one point, he showed what he said were classified C.I.A. documents. Kessler said he had no idea who the women in the videos were or how the lawyers might go about identifying them to act on their behalf. From his perspective, he said, it seemed like Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger were plotting to use his footage to demand huge sums from billionaires. He said it looked like blackmail — and that he could prove it. ‘We keep it. We keep everything’ Was Kessler’s story plausible? Did America’s best-connected sexual predator accumulate incriminating videos of powerful men? Two women who spent time in Mr. Epstein’s homes said the answer was yes. In an unpublished memoir, Virginia Giuffre, who accused Mr. Epstein of making her a “sex slave,” wrote that she discovered a room in his New York mansion where monitors displayed real-time surveillance footage. And Maria Farmer, an artist who accused Mr. Epstein of sexually assaulting her when she worked for him in the 1990s, said that Mr. Epstein once walked her through the mansion, pointing out pin-sized cameras that he said were in every room. “I said, ‘Are you recording all this?’” Ms. Farmer said in an interview. “He said, ‘Yes. We keep it. We keep everything.’” During a 2005 search of Mr. Epstein’s Palm Beach, Fla., estate, the police found two cameras hidden in clocks — one in the garage and the other next to his desk, according to police reports. But no other cameras were found. Kessler claimed to have been an early investor in a North Carolina coffee company, whose sticker was affixed to his laptop. But its founder said no one matching Kessler’s description had ever been affiliated with the company. Kessler insisted that he invested in 2009, but the company wasn’t founded until 2011. The contents of Kessler’s supposed C.I.A. documents turned out to be easily findable using Google. At one point, Kessler said that one of his associates had been missing and was found dead; later, Kessler said the man was alive and in the southern United States. He said that his mother had died when he was young — and that he had recently given her a hug. A photo he sent from what he said was a Washington-area hospital featured a distinctive blanket, but when The Times called local hospitals, they didn’t recognize the pattern. After months of effort, The Times could not learn Kessler’s identity or confirm any element of his back story. “I am very often being purposefully inconsistent,” Kessler said, when pressed. A Weinstein cameo On the last Friday in September, Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger sat on a blue leather couch in the corner of a members-only dining room at the Harvard Club in Midtown Manhattan. Antlered animal heads and oil paintings hung from the dark wooden walls. The lawyers were there to make a deal with The Times. Tired of waiting for Kessler’s motherlode, Mr. Pottinger said they planned to send a team overseas to download the material from his servers. He said he had alerted the F.B.I. and a prosecutor in the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan. Mr. Boies told an editor for The Times that they would be willing to share everything, on one condition: They would have discretion over which men could be written about, and when. He explained that if compromising videos about particular men became public, that could torpedo litigation or attempts to negotiate settlements. The Times editor didn’t commit. Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger later said those plans had hinged on verifying the videos’ authenticity and on having clients with legitimate legal claims against the men. Otherwise, legal experts said, it might have crossed the line into extortion. The meeting was briefly interrupted when Bob Weinstein, the brother of Harvey Weinstein, bounded up to the table and plopped onto the couch next to Mr. Boies. The two men spent several minutes talking, laughing and slapping each other on the back. While Mr. Boies and Mr. Weinstein chatted, Mr. Pottinger furtively displayed the black-and-white shot of a man in glasses having sex. Both lawyers said it looked like Mr. Dershowitz. ‘You don’t keep your glasses on when you’re doing that’ One day in late September, Mr. Dershowitz’s secretary relayed a message: Someone named Patrick Kessler wanted to speak to him about Mr. Boies. “The problem is that they don’t want to move forward with any of these people legally,” Kessler said. “They’re just interested in trying to settle and take a cut.” “Who are these people that you have on videotape?” Mr. Dershowitz asked. “There’s a lot of people,” Kessler said, naming a few powerful men. He added, “There’s a long list of people that they want me to have that I don’t have.” “Who?” Mr. Dershowitz asked. “Did they ask about me?” “Of course they asked about you. You know that, sir.” “And you don’t have anything on me, right?” “I do not, no,” Kessler said. “Because I never, I never had sex with anybody,” Mr. Dershowitz said. Later in the call, he added, “I am completely clean. I was at Jeffrey’s house. I stayed there. But I didn’t have any sex with anybody.” What was the purpose of Kessler’s phone call? Why did he tell Mr. Dershowitz that he wasn’t on the supposed surveillance tapes, contradicting what he had said and showed to Mr. Boies, Mr. Pottinger and The Times? Did the call sound a little rehearsed? Mr. Dershowitz said that he didn’t know why Kessler contacted him, and that the phone call was the only time the two men ever spoke. When The Times showed him one of Kessler’s photos, in which a bespectacled man resembling Mr. Dershowitz appears to be having sex, Mr. Dershowitz laughed and said the man wasn’t him. His wife, Carolyn Cohen, peeked at the photo, too. “You don’t keep your glasses on when you’re doing that,” she said. Data set (supposedly) to self-destruct In early October, Kessler said he was ready to produce the Epstein files. He told The Times that he had created duplicate versions of Mr. Epstein’s servers. He laid out detailed logistical plans for them to be shipped by boat to the United States and for one of his associates — a very short Icelandic man named Steven — to deliver them to The Times headquarters at 11 a.m. on Oct. 3. Kessler warned that he was erecting a maze of security systems. First, a Times employee would need to use a special thumb drive to access a proprietary communications system. Then Kessler’s colleague would transmit a code to decrypt the files. If his instructions weren’t followed precisely, Kessler said, the information would self-destruct. Specialists at The Times set up a number of “air-gapped” laptops — disconnected from the internet — in a windowless, padlocked meeting room. Reporters cleared their schedules to sift through thousands of hours of surveillance footage. On the morning of the scheduled delivery, Kessler sent a series of frantic texts. Disaster had struck. A fire was burning. The duplicate servers were destroyed. One of his team members was missing. He was fleeing to Kyiv. Two hours later, Kessler was in touch with Mr. Pottinger and didn’t mention any emergency. Kessler said he hoped that the footage would help pry $1 billion in settlements out of their targets, and asked him to detail how the lawyers could extract the money. “Could you put together a hypothetical situation,” Kessler wrote, not something “set in stone but close to what your thinking.” In one, which he called a “standard model” for legal settlements, Mr. Pottinger said the money would be split among his clients, the Astria Foundation, Kessler and the lawyers, who would get up to 40 percent. In the second hypothetical, Mr. Pottinger wrote, the lawyers would approach the videotaped men. The men would then hire the lawyers, ensuring that they would not get sued, and “make a contribution to a nonprofit as part of the retainer.” “No client is actually involved in this structure,” Mr. Pottinger said, noting that the arrangement would have to be “consistent with and subject to rules of ethics.” “Thank you very much,” Kessler responded. Mr. Pottinger later said that the scenario would have involved him representing a victim, settling a case and then representing the victim’s alleged abuser. He said it was within legal boundaries. (He also said he had meant to type “No client lawsuit is actually involved.”) Such legal arrangements are not unheard-of. Lawyers representing a former Fox News producer who had accused Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment reached a settlement in which her lawyers agreed to work for Mr. O’Reilly after the dispute. But legal experts generally consider such setups to be unethical because they can create conflicts between the interests of the lawyers and their original clients. ‘I just pulled it out of my behind’ The lawyers held out hope of getting Kessler’s materials. But weeks passed, and nothing arrived. At one point, Mr. Pottinger volunteered to meet Kessler anywhere — including Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. “I still believe he is what he purported to be,” Mr. Boies wrote in an email on Nov. 7. “I have to evaluate people for my day job, and he seemed too genuine to be a fake, and I very much want him to be real.” He added, “I am not unconscious of the danger of wanting to believe something too much.” Ten days later, Mr. Boies arrived at The Times for an on-camera interview. It was a bright, chilly Sunday, and Mr. Boies had just flown in from Ecuador, where he said he was doing work for the finance ministry. Reporters wanted to ask him plainly if his and Mr. Pottinger’s conduct with Kessler crossed ethical lines. Would they have brokered secret settlements that buried evidence of wrongdoing? Did the notion of extracting huge sums from men in exchange for keeping sex tapes hidden meet the definition of extortion? Mr. Boies said the answer to both questions was no. He said he and Mr. Pottinger operated well within the law. They only intended to pursue legal action on behalf of their clients — in other words, that they were a long way from extortion. In any case, he said, he and Mr. Pottinger had never authenticated any of the imagery or identified any of the supposed victims, much less contacted any of the men on the “hot list.” Then The Times showed Mr. Boies some of the text exchanges between Mr. Pottinger and Kessler. Mr. Boies showed a flash of anger and said it was the first time he was seeing them. By the end of the nearly four-hour interview, Mr. Boies had concluded that Kessler was probably a con man: “I think that he was a fraudster who was just trying to set things up.” And he argued that Kessler had baited Mr. Pottinger into writing things that looked more nefarious than they really were. He acknowledged that Mr. Pottinger had used “loose language” in some of his messages that risked creating the impression that the lawyers were plotting to monetize evidence of abuse. Several days later, Mr. Boies returned for another interview and was more critical of Mr. Pottinger, especially the hypothetical plans that he had described to Kessler. “Having looked at all that stuff in context, I would not have said that,” he said. How did Mr. Boies feel about Mr. Pottinger invoking his name in messages to Kessler? “I don’t like it,” he said. But Mr. Boies stopped short of blaming Mr. Pottinger for the whole mess. “I’m being cautious not to throw him under the bus more than I believe is accurate,” he said. His longtime P.R. adviser, Dawn Schneider, who had been pushing for a more forceful denunciation, dropped her pen, threw up her arms and buried her head in her hands. In a separate interview, The Times asked Mr. Pottinger about his correspondence with Kessler. The lawyer said that his messages shouldn’t be taken at face value because, in reality, he had been deceiving Kessler all along — “misleading him deliberately in order to get the servers.” The draft retention agreement that Mr. Pottinger had given to Kessler in September was unsigned and never meant to be honored, Mr. Pottinger said. And he never intended to sell photos of Mr. Barak to Mr. Adelson. “I just pulled it out of my behind,” he said, describing it as an act to impress Kessler. As for the two hypotheticals about how to get money out of the men on the list, Mr. Pottinger said, he never planned to do what he carefully articulated. “I didn’t owe Patrick honesty about this,” he said. Mr. Pottinger said that he had only one regret — that “we did not get the information that this liar said he had.” He added, “I’m building legal cases here. I’m trying not to engage too much in shenanigans. I wish I didn’t, but this guy was very unusual.”
A few stories about Brian Krebs: The independent cybercrime journalist who exposes criminals on the internet
First, a bit of introduction before we get into the living drama that is Brian Krebs. Brian Krebs has been a journalist for decades, starting in the late 90s. He got his start at The Washington Post, but what he's most famous for are his exposes on criminal businesses and individuals who perpetuate cyber crime worldwide. In 2001, he got his interest in cybercrime piqued when a computer worm locked him out of his own computer. In 2005, he shifted from working as a staff writer at The Washington Post's tech newswire to writing for their security blog, "Security Wire". During his tenure there, he started by focusing on the victims of cybercrime, but later also started to focus on the perpetrators of it as well. His reporting helped lead to the shutdown of McColo, a hosting provider who provided service to some of the world's biggest spammers and hackers. Reports analyzing the shutdown of McColo estimated that global spam volume dropped by between 40 and 70 percent. Further analysis revealed it also played host to child pornography sites, and the Russian Business Network, a major Russian cybercrime ring. In 2009, Krebs left to start his own site, KrebsOnSecurity. Since then, he's been credited with being the first to report on major events such as Stuxnet and when Target was breached, resulting in the leakage of 40 million cards. He also regularly investigates and reveals criminals' identities on his site. The latter has made him the bane of the world of cybercrime, as well as basically a meme, where criminals will include references like Made by Brian Krebs in their code, or name their shops full of stolen credit cards after him. One of his first posts on his new site was a selection of his best work. While not particularly dramatic, they serve as an excellent example of dogged investigative work, and his series reveal the trail of takedowns his work has documented, or even contributed to. And now, a selection of drama involving Krebs. Note, all posts are sarcastically-tinged retellings of the source material which I will link throughout. I also didn't use the real names in my retellings, but they are in the source material. This took way too long to write, and it still does massively condense the events described in the series. Krebs has been involved with feuds with other figures, but I'd argue these tales are the "main" bits of drama that are most suited for here.
Fly on the Wall
By 2013, Krebs was no stranger to cybercriminals taking the fight to the real world. He was swatted previously to the point where the police actually know to give him a ring and see if there'd actually been a murder, or if it was just those wacky hackers at it again. In addition, his identity was basically common knowledge to cybercriminals, who would open lines of credit in his name, or find ways to send him money using stolen credit cards. However, one particular campaign against him caught his eye. A hacker known as "Fly" aka "Flycracker" aka "MUXACC1" posted on a Russian-language fraud forum he administered about a "Krebs fund". His plan was simple. Raise Bitcoin to buy Heroin off of a darknet marketplace, address it to Krebs, and alert his local police via a spoofed phone call. Now, because Krebs is an investigative journalist, he develops undercover presences on cybercrime forums, and it just so happened he'd built up a presence on this one already.
Guys, it became known recently that Brian Krebs is a heroin addict and he desperately needs the smack, so we have started the "Helping Brian Fund", and shortly we will create a bitcoin wallet called "Drugs for Krebs" which we will use to buy him the purest heroin on the Silk Road. My friends, his withdrawal is very bad, let’s join forces to help the guy! We will save Brian from the acute heroin withdrawal and the world will get slightly better!
Fly had first caught Krebs' attention by taunting him on Twitter, sending him Tweets including insults and abuse, and totally-legit looking links. Probably either laced with malware, or designed to get Krebs' IP. He also took to posting personal details such as Krebs' credit report, directions to his house, and pictures of his front door on LiveJournal, of all places. So, after spotting the scheme, he alerted his local police that he'd probably have someone sending him some China White. Sure enough, the ne'er-do-wells managed to raise 2 BTC, which at the time was a cool $200 or so. They created an account on the premiere darknet site at the time, The Silk Road under the foolproof name "briankrebs7". They found one seller who had consistently high reviews, but the deal fell through for unknown reasons. My personal theory is the seller decided to Google where it was going, and realized sending a gram of dope into the waiting arms of local law enforcement probably wasn't the best use of his time. Still, the forum members persevered, and found another seller who was running a buy 10 get 2 free promotion. $165 of Bitcoin later, the drugs were on their way to a new home. The seller apparently informed Fly that the shipment should arrive by Tuesday, a fact which he gleefully shared with the forum. While our intrepid hero had no doubt that the forum members were determined to help him grab the tail of the dragon, he's not one to assume without confirmation, and enlisted the help of a graduate student at UCSD who was researching Bitcoin and anonymity on The Silk Road, and confirmed the address shared by Fly was used to deposit 2 BTC into an account known to be used for money management on the site. By Monday, an envelope from Chicago had arrived, containing a copy of Chicago confidential. Taped inside were tiny baggies filled with the purported heroin. Either dedicated to satisfied customers, or mathematically challenged, the seller had included thirteen baggies instead of the twelve advertised. A police officer arrived to take a report and whisked the baggies away. Now, Fly was upset that Krebs wasn't in handcuffs for drug possession, and decided to follow up his stunt by sending Krebs a floral arrangement shaped like a cross, and an accompanying threatening message addressed to his wife, the dire tone slightly undercut by the fact that it was signed "Velvet Crabs". Krebs' curiosity was already piqued from the shenanigans with the heroin, but with the arrival of the flowers decided to dive deeper into the сука behind things. He began digging into databases from carding sites that had been hacked, but got his first major breakthrough to his identity from a Russian computer forensics firm. Fly had maintained an account on a now-defunct hacking forum, whose database was breached under "Flycracker". It turns out, the email Flycracker had used was also hacked at some point, and a source told Krebs that the email was full of reports from a keylogger Fly had installed on his wife's computer. Now, because presumably his wife wasn't part of, or perhaps even privy to her husband's illicit dealings, her email account happened to be her full legal name, which Krebs was able to trace to her husband. Now, around this time, the site Fly maintained disappeared from the web, and administrators on another major fraud forum started purging his account. This is a step they typically take when they suspect a member has been apprehended by authorities. Nobody knew for sure, but they didn't want to take any chances. More research by Krebs revealed that the criminals' intuition had been correct, and Fly was arrested in Italy, carrying documents under an assumed name. He was sitting in an Italian jail, awaiting potential extradition to the United States, as well as potentially facing charges in Italy. This was relayed to Krebs by a law enforcement official who simply said "The Fly has been swatted". (Presumably while slowly removing a pair of aviator sunglasses) While Fly may have been put away, the story between Krebs and Fly wasn't quite over. He did end up being extradited to the US for prosecution, but while imprisoned in Italy, Fly actually started sending Krebs letters. Understandably distrustful after the whole "heroin" thing, his contacts in federal law enforcement tested the letter, and found it to be clean. Inside, there was a heartfelt and personal letter, apologizing for fucking with Krebs in so many ways. He also forgave Krebs for posting his identity online, leading him to muse that perhaps Fly was working through a twelve-step program. In December, he received another letter, this time a simple postcard with a cheerful message wishing him a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Krebs concluded his post thusly:
Cybercrooks have done some pretty crazy stuff to me in response to my reporting about them. But I don’t normally get this kind of closure. I look forward to meeting with Fly in person one day soon now that he will be just a short train ride away. And he may be here for some time: If convicted on all charges, Fly faces up to 30 years in U.S. federal prison.
Criminals are none too happy when they find their businesses and identities on the front page of KrebsOnSecurity. It usually means law enforcement isn't far behind. One such business was known as vDOS. A DDOS-for-hire (also known as a "booter" or a "stresser") site that found itself hacked, with all their customer records still in their databases leaked. Analysis of the records found that in a four-month time span, the service had been responsible for about 8.81 years worth of attack time, meaning on average at any given second, there were 26 simultaneous attacks running. Interestingly, the hack of vDOS came about from another DDOS-for-hire site, who as it turns out was simply reselling services provided by vDOS. They were far from the only one. vDOS appeared to provide firepower to a large number of different resellers. In addition to the attack logs, support messages were also among the data stolen. This contained some complaints from various clients who complained they were unable to launch attacks against Israeli IPs. This is a common tactic by hackers to try and avoid unwanted attention from authorities in their country of residence. This was confirmed when two men from Israel were arrested for their involvement in owning and running vDOS. However, this was just the beginning for this bit of drama. The two men arrested went by the handles "applej4ck" and "Raziel". They had recently published a paper on DDOS attack methods in an online Israeli security magazine. Interestingly, on the same day the men were arrested, questioned, and released on bail, vDOS went offline. Not because it had been taken down by Israeli authorities, not because they had shut it down themselves, but because a DDOS protection firm, BackConnect Security, had hijacked the IP addresses belonging to the company. To spare a lot of technical detail, it's called a BGP hijack, and it basically works by a company saying "Yeah, those are our addresses." It's kind of amazing how much of the internet is basically just secured by the digital equivalent of pinky swears. You can read some more technical detail on Wikipedia. Anyway, we'll get back to BackConnect. Following the publication of the story uncovering the inner workings of vDOS, KrebsOnSecurity was hit with a record breaking DDOS attack, that peaked at 620/Gbps, nearly double the most powerful DDOS attack previously on record. To put that in perspective, that's enough bandwidth to download 5 simultaneous copies of Interstellar in 4K resolution every single second, and still have room to spare. The attack was so devastating, Akamai, one of the largest providers of DDOS protection in the world had to drop Krebs as a pro bono client. Luckily, Google was willing to step in and place his site under the protection of Google's Project Shield, a free service designed to protect the news sites and journalists from being knocked offline by DDOS attacks. This attack was apparently in retaliation for the vDOS story, since some of the data sent in the attack included the string "freeapplej4ck". The attack was executed by a botnet of Internet of Things (or IoT) devices. These are those "smart" devices like camera systems, routers, DVRs. Basically things that connect to the cloud. An astounding amount of those are secured with default passwords that can be easily looked up from various sites or even the manufacturers' websites. This was the start of a discovery of a massive botnet that had been growing for years. Now time for a couple quick side stories: Dyn, a company who provides DNS to many major companies including Twitter, Reddit, and others came under attack, leaving many sites (including Twitter and Reddit) faltering in the wake of it. Potentially due to one of their engineers' collaboration with Krebs on another story. It turned out that the same botnet that attacked Krebs' site was at least part of the attack on Dyn And back to BackConnect, that DDOS protection firm that hijacked the IP addresses from vDOS. Well it turns out BGP Hijacks are old hat for the company. They had done it at least 17 times before. Including at least once (purportedly with permission) for the address 184.108.40.206. Aka, "leet". It turns out one of the co-founders of BackConnect actually posted screenshots of him visiting sites that tell you your public IP address in a DDOS mitigation industry chat, showing it as 220.127.116.11. They also used a BGP Hijack against a hosting company and tried to frame a rival DDOS mitigation provider. Finally, another provider, Datawagon was interestingly implicated in hosting DDOS-for-hire sites while offering DDOS protection. In a Skype conversation where the founder of Datawagon wanted to talk about that time he registered dominos.pizza and got sued for it, he brings up scanning the internet for vulnerable routers completely unprompted. Following the publication of the story about BackConnect, in which he was included in, he was incensed about his portrayal, and argued with Krebs over Skype before Krebs ultimately ended up blocking him. He was subsequently flooded with fake contact requests from bogus or hacked Skype accounts. Shortly thereafter, the record-breaking DDOS attack rained down upon his site. Back to the main tale! So, it turns out the botnet of IoT devices was puppeteered by a malware called Mirai. How did it get its name? Well, that's the name its creator gave it, after an anime called Mirai Nikki. How did this name come to light? The creator posted the source code online. (The name part, not the origin. The origin didn't come 'til later.) The post purported that they'd picked it up from somewhere in their travels as a DDOS industry professional. It turns out this is a semi-common tactic when miscreants fear that law enforcement might come looking for them, and having the only copy of the source code of a malware in existence is a pretty strong indicator that you have something to do with it. So, releasing the source to the world gives a veneer of plausible deniability should that eventuality come to pass. So who was this mysterious benefactor of malware source? They went by the name "Anna-senpai". As research on the Mirai botnet grew, and more malware authors incorporated parts of Mirai's source code into their own attacks, attention on the botnet increased, and on the people behind it. The attention was presumably the reason why Hackforums, the forum where the source code was posted, later disallowed ostensible "Server Stress Tester" services from being sold on it. By December, "Operation Tarpit" had wrought 34 arrests and over a hundred "knock and talk" interviews questioning people about their involvement. By January, things started to come crashing down. Krebs published an extensive exposé on Anna-senpai detailing all the evidence linking them to the creation of Mirai. The post was so big, he included a damn glossary. What sparked the largest botnet the internet had ever seen? Minecraft. Minecraft servers are big business. A popular one can earn tens of thousands of dollars per month from people buying powers, building space, or other things. It's also a fiercely competitive business, with hundreds of servers vying for players. It turns out that things may have started, as with another set of companies, two rival DDOS mitigation providers competing for customers. ProTraf was a provider of such mitigation technology, and a company whose owner later worked for ProTraf had on at least one occasion hijacked addresses belonging to another company, ProxyPipe. ProxyPipe had also been hit with DDOS attacks they suspected to be launched by ProTraf. While looking into the President of ProTraf, Krebs realized he'd seen the relatively uncommon combination of programming languages and skills posted by the President somewhere else. They were shared by Anna-senpai on Hackforums. As Krebs dug deeper and deeper into Anna-senpai's online presence, he uncovered other usernames, including one he traced to some Minecraft forums where a photoshopped picture of a still from Pulp Fiction contained the faces of BackConnect, which was a rival to ProTraf's DDOS mitigation business, and another face. A hacker by the name of Vyp0r, who another employee of ProTraf claimed betrayed his trust and blackmailed him into posting the source of another piece of malware called Bashlite. There was also a third character photoshopped into the image. An anime character named "Yamada" from a movie called B Gata H Hei. Interestingly, under the same username, Krebs found a "MyAnimeList" profile which, out of 9 titles it had marked as watched, were B Gata H Hei, as well as Mirai Nikki, the show from which Mirai derived its name. It continues on with other evidence, including DDOS attacks against Rutgers University, but in short, there was little doubt in the identity of "Anna-senpai", but the person behind the identity did contact Krebs to comment. He denied any involvement in Mirai or DDOS attacks.
"I don’t think there are enough facts to definitively point the finger at me," [Anna-senpai] said. "Besides this article, I was pretty much a nobody. No history of doing this kind of stuff, nothing that points to any kind of sociopathic behavior. Which is what the author is, a sociopath."
I don't have the time or energy to write another effortpost, and as is I'm over 20,000 characters, so here's a few other tidbits of Krebs' clashes with miscreants.
A source and security researcher he was talking to started blabbing about him working with Krebs, and also was selling data to hackers on the side. His example data in his sales post was fucking Brian Krebs'.
**Last updated: May 30, 2018: Updated wallet info with release of Trinity. This 4 part series from the IOTA foundation covers most of the technical FUD centered at IOTA. https://blog.iota.org/official-iota-foundation-response-to-the-digital-currency-initiative-at-the-mit-media-lab-part-1-72434583a2 Also the official IOTA faq on iota.org answers nearly all of these questions if you want to hear the answers directly. Purpose of Writing Since posting FUD is so ridiculously low-effort in comparison to setting the record straight, I felt it necessary to put a log of copy-pastas together to balance the scales so its just as easy to answer the FUD as it was to generate it. So next time you hear someone say "IOTA is centralized", you no longer have to take an hour out of your day and spin your wheels with someone who likely had an agenda to begin with. You just copy-paste away and move on. It's also worth mentioning IOTA devs are too damn busy working on the protocol and doing their job to answer FUD. So I felt a semblance of responsibility. Here they are. These answers are too my understanding so if you see something that doesn't look right let me know! They are divided into the following categories so if you are interested in a specific aspect of IOTA you can scroll to that section. 1) WALLET 2) COMMUNITY 3) INVESTING 4) TECHNICAL
IOTA was hacked and users funds were stolen!
First, IOTA was not hacked. The term “hacked” is thrown around way too brazingly nowadays and often used to describe events that weren’t hacks to begin with. Its a symptom of this space growing way too fast creating situations of the blind leading the blind and causing hysteria. What happened: Many IOTA users trusted a certain 3rd party website to create their seed for their wallets. This website silently sent copies of all the seeds generated to an email address and waited till it felt it had enough funds, then it took everyones money simultaneously. That was the ”hack”. https://blog.iota.org/the-secret-to-security-is-secrecy-d32b5b7f25ef The lesson: The absolute #1 marketed feature of crypto is that you are your own bank. Of everything that is common knowledge about crypto, this is at the top. But being your own bank means you are responsible for the security of your own funds. There is no safety net or centralized system in place that is going to bail you out. For those that don’t know (and you really should if you’ve invested in anything crypto), your seed is your username-pw-security question-backup email all rolled into one. Would you trust a no-name 3rd party website to produce your username+pw for your bank account? Because thats essentially what users did. The fix: Make your seed offline with the generators in the sidebar or use dice. This is outlined in the “how to generate wallet and seed” directly following. The trinity and carriota wallets will have seed generators within them upon their release.
How to generate wallet and seed
1) Download official trinity wallet here 2) follow the instructions on the app. 3) Do not run any apps in conjunction with the trinity app. Make sure all other apps are completely closed out on your device.
Are you sure a computer can’t just guess my seed?
An IOTA seed is 81 characters long. There are more IOTA seed combinations than atoms in the universe. All the computers in the world combined would take millions billions of years just to find your randomly generated one that’s located somewhere between the 0th and the 2781st combination. The chance for someone to randomly generate the exact same seed as yours is 1 / (2781). If you can’t fathom the number 27 ^ 81, this video should help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8YIdmwcubc
Download Bolero and run! Bolero is an all-in-one full node install package with the latest IOTA IRI and Nelson all under a one-click install! https://github.com/SemkoDev/bolero.fun/releases "If you want to help the network then spam the network. If you really want to help the network then create a full node and let others spam you!"
No questions or concerns get upvoted, only downvoted!
That’s just the nature of this business. Everyone in these communities has money at stake and are extremely incentivized to keep only positive news at the top of the front page. There is nothing you're going to do about that on this subreddit or any crypto subreddit. It's just a reddit fact of life we have to deal with. Everyone has a downvote and everyone has an upvote. But what can be done is just simply answer the questions even if they are downvoted to hell. Yea most people wont' see the answers or discussion but that one person will. every little bit counts. I will say that there are most certainly answers to nearly every FUD topic out there. Every single one. A lot of the posts I'm seeing as of late especially since the price spike are rehashed from months ago. They are often not answered not because there isn't an answeexplanation, but because regulars who have the answers simply don't see them (for the reason listed above). I can see how it's easy for this to be interpreted (especially by new users) as there not being an answer or "the FUDsters are on to something" but thats just not the case.
IOTA Devs do not respond appropriately to criticism
When critiquers provide feedback that is ACTUALLY useful to the devs, then sure they'll be glad to hear it. So far not once has an outside dev brought up something that the IOTA devs found useful. Every single time it ends up being something that was already taken into consideration with the design and if the critiquer did an ounce of research they would know that. Thus you often find the IOTA devs dismissing their opinion as FUD and responding with hostility because all their critique is really doing is sending the message to their supporters that they are not supposed to like IOTA anymore. Nick Johnson was a perfect example of this. The Ethereum community was co-existing [peacefully]with IOTA’s community (as they do with nearly all alt coins) until Nick wrote his infamous article. Then almost overnight Ethereum decided it didn’t like IOTA anymore and we’ve been dealing with that shit since. As of today, add LTC to that list with Charlie’s (even admitting) ignorant judgement of IOTA. 12/17/2017: Add John McAfee (bitcoin cash) and Peter Todd (bitcoin) to the list of public figures who have posted ignorantly on IOTA.
A lot of crypto communities certainly like to hate on IOTA...
IOTA is disrupting the disrupters. It invented a completely new distributed ledger infrastructure (the tangle) that replaces the blockchain and solves all of its fundamental problems (namely fees and scaling). To give you an idea of this significance, 99% of the cryptocurrencies that exist are built on a block chain. These projects have billions of dollars invested into them meaning everyone in their communities are incentivized to see IOTA fail and spread as much FUD about it as possible. This includes well known organizations, public figures, and brands. Everyone commenting in these subreddits and crypto communities have their own personal money at stake and skin in the game. Misinformation campaigns, paid reddit posters, upvote/downvote bots, and corrupt moderators are all very real in this space.
All IOTAs that will ever exist were sold at the ICO in 2015. There was no % reserved for development. Devs had to buy in with their personal money. Community donated back 5% of all IOTA so the IOTA foundation could be setup.
No inflation schedule? No additional coins? How is this sustainable?
Interestingly enough, IOTA is actually the only crypto that does not run into any problems with a currency cap and deflationaryism. Because there are zero fees, you will always be able to pay for something for exactly what it's worth using IOTA, no matter how small the value. If by chance in the future a single iota grows so large in value that it no longer allows someone to pay for something in fractions of a penny, the foundation would just add decimal points allowing for a tenth or a hundreth or a thousandth of an iota to be transacted with. To give you some perspective, if a single IOTA equals 1 penny, IOTA would have a 27 trillion dollar market cap (100x that of Bitcoin's today)
IOTA is not for P2P, only for M2M
With the release of the trinity wallet, it's now dead simple for anyone to use IOTA funds for P2P. Try it out.
Companies technically don’t have to use the IOTA token
Yes they do Worth clarifying that 0 iota data transactions are perfectly fine and are welcomed since they still provide pow for 2 other transactions and help secure the network. In the early stages, these types of transactions will probably be what give us the tps/pow needed to remove the coordinator and allow the network defend 34% attacks organically. But... if someone does not want to sell or exchange their data for free (0 IOTA transaction), then Dominic is saying that the IOTA token must be used for that or any exchange in value on the network. This is inherently healthy for the ecosystem since it provides a neutral and non-profit middle ground that all parties/companies can trust. If one company made their own token it wouldn’t be trusted since companies are incentivized by profits and nothing is stopping them from manipulating their token to make them more money. Thus, the IOTA foundation will not partner with anyone who refuses to take this option off the table.
All these companies are going to influence IOTA development!!
These companies have no influence on the development of IOTA. They either choose to use it or they don’t.
Internet of things is cheap and will stay cheap
Internet of things is one application of IOTA and considered by many to be the 4th industrial revolution. Go do some googling. IOTA having zero fees enables M2M for the first time in history. Also, if a crypto can do M2M it sure as shit can do M2P and P2P. M2M is hard mode.
Investing in a project in its early stages was something typically reserved for wealthy individuals/organizations before ICO’s became a thing. With early investing comes much less hand holding and more responsibility on the user to know what they are doing. If you have a hard time accepting this responsibility, don’t invest and wait for the technology to get easier for you. How many people actually knew how to use and mine bitcoin in 2009 before it had all its gui infrastructure? IOTA is a tangle, the first of its kind. NOT a copy paste blockchain. As a result wallets and applications for IOTA are the first of their kind and translating the tangle into a nice clean user-friendly blockchain experience for the masses is even more taxing.
Why is the price of my coin falling?!
This may be the most asked question on any crypto subreddit but it's also the easiest to explain. The price typically falls when bad things happen to a coin or media fabricates bad news about a coin and a portion of investors take it seriously. The price increases when good things happen to a coin, such as a new exchange listing or a partnership announced etc.. The one piece that is often forgotten but trumps all these effects is something called "market forces". Market forces is what happens to your coin when another coin gets a big news hit or a group of other coins get big news hits together. For example, when IOTA data marketplace released, IOTA hit a x5 bull run in a single week. But did you notice all the other alt coins in the red? There are a LOT of traders that are looking at the space as a whole and looking to get in on ANY bull action and will sell their other coins to do so. This effect can also be compounded over a long period of time such as what we witnessed when the bitcoin fork FOMO was going on and alt coins were squeezed continuously to feed it for weeks/months. These examples really just scratch the surface of market forces but the big takeaway is that your coin or any coin will most certainly fall (or rise) in price at the result of what other coins are doing, with the most well known example being bitcoin’s correlation to every coin on the market. If you don't want to play the market-force game or don't have time for it, then you can never go wrong buying and holding. It's also important to note that there are layers of investors. There's a top layer of light-stepping investors that are a mixture of day traders and gamblers trying to jump in and jump out to make quick money then look for the next buying (or shorting) opportunity at another coin. There's a middle layer of buyers and holders who did their research, believe in the tech and placing their bets it will win out in the long run. And the bottom layer are the founders and devs that are in it till the bitter end and there to see the vision realized. When a coin goes on a bull run, always expect that any day the top layer is going to pack up and leave to the next coin. But the long game is all about that middle layer. That is the layer that will be giving the bear markets their price-drop resistance. That is why the meme "HODL" is so effective because it very elegantly simplifies this whole concept for the common joe and makes them a part of that middle layer regardless if they understand whats going on or not.
How is IOTA free and how does it scale
IOTA is an altruistic system. Proof of work is done in IOTA just like bitcoin. Only a user’s device/phone must do pow for 2 other transactions before issuing one of its own. Therefore no miners and no fees. And the network becomes faster the more transactions are posted. Because of this, spamming the network is encouraged since they provide pow for 2 other transactions and speed up the network.
IOTA is centralized
IOTA is more decentralized than any blockchain crypto that relies on 5 pools of miners, all largely based in China. Furthermore, the coordinator is not a server in the dev’s basement that secretly processes all the transactions. It’s several nodes all around the globe that add milestone transactions to show the direction of the IF’s tangle within the DAG so people don’t accidentally follow a fork from a malicious actor. Anyone with the know-how can fork the tangle right now with a double-spend. But no one would follow their fork because the coordinator reveals which tangle is the legit IF one. If the coordinator wasn’t there (assuming low honest-transaction volume), there would be no way to discern which path to follow especially after the tangle diverges into forks of forks. Once throughout of honest transactions is significant enough, the “honest tangle” will replace the coordinated one and people will know which one to follow simply because it’s the biggest one in the room. Referencing the coordinator is also optional. Also, if you research and understand how IOTA intends to work without the coordinator, it’s easier to accept it for now as training wheels. I suggest reading pg 15 and on of the white paper analyzing in great depth how the network will defend different attack scenarios without a coordinator. For the past several months, IOTA foundation has been using St Petersburg college’s super computer to stress test IOTA and learn when they can turn the coordinator off. There will likely be a blog about the results soon. This is another great read covering double spends on IOTA without a coordinator: www.tangleblog.com/2017/07/10/is-double-spending-possible-with-iota/ This too: http://www.reddit.com/Iota/comments/7eix4a/any_iota_guru_that_can_explain_what_this_guy_is/dq5ijrm Also this correspondence with Vitalik and Come_from_Beyond https://twitter.com/DavidSonstebo/status/932510087301779456 At the end of the day, outstanding claims require outstanding evidence and folks approaching IOTA with a “I’ll believe it when I see it” attitude is completely understandable. It’s all about your risk tolerance.
Masked authenticated messages exist right now so data can be transferred privately. Very important for businesses.
Centralized coin mixer is out that foundation runs. Logs are kept so they can collect data and improve it Folks can copy the coin mixer code and run it themselves. Goal is for mixer to be decentralized and ran by any node.
How do nodes scale? How on earth can all that data be stored?
Full nodes store, update and verify from the last snapshot, which happens roughly every month. Its on the roadmap to make snapshotting automatic and up to each full node’s discretion.With automatic snapshots, each full node will act as a partial perma-node and choose when to snapshot its tangle data. If someone wants to keep their tangle data for several months or even years, they could just choose not to snapshot. Or if they are limited on hard drive space, they could snapshot every week. Perma-nodes would store the entire history of the tangle from the genesis. These are optional and would likely only be created by companies who wish to sell historical access of the tangle as a service or companies who heavily use the tangle for their own data and want to have quick, convenient access to their data’s history. Swarm nodes are also in development which will ease the burden on full nodes. https://blog.iota.org/iota-development-roadmap-74741f37ed01
The underground business of selling Minecraft accounts and how I grew in it (Long Post)
What is value? How is it determined? What gives something value over the internet Value, according to the English Dictionary: Noun
the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something. "your support is of great value"
a person's principles or standards of behavior; one's judgment of what is important in life. "they internalize their parents' rules and values" "society's values are passed on to us as children"
What I am about to tell you could possibly be illegal, I know that the selling of accounts on certain platforms breaks EULA or terms of service. The truth is, value is determined by people not by price. It is a made up concept that can date back to thousands of years ago. Believe it or not, supply and demand determines value. An example of this can be, I have a bracelet, that I view to be very valuable. The reinforcing fact that leads me to believe it has value is because it has diamonds on it, which are considered to be very scarce. You're probably wondering how does money flow through the internet? Well despite the fact we live in a informational technological age. Concepts that have been around since early 2000's such as Paypal, Ebay, and Skrill have been helping money flow virtually. As of 2018, we now have concepts and apps such as Crypto, Venmo, Cashapp, Stripe, and Square. All of these concepts have helped boosted internet trading market demand through the roof. It's amazing how far the internet has gotten us. Enough of this, let's get into my story. It all started when I grew a liking to selling things. I sold candy at my high school (2015) and racked in a good $60 a day while learning in classes. The connection came from my family's cornerstore, which they grew close to the whole sellers around the area. I was getting these bars 1/4th price of retail. Good money to me, since I was only 15. This only lasted for about a year until the school principal caught me and confiscated my work. I had to move my hustle somewhere else. I usually saved up money to buy shoes, Air Jordan's mainly, but that's for another story. At the time, I played lots of Minecraft with friends. I was on a popular server called Hypixel, where you could invite players into your party. I built a reputation on that server for being a quite decent player. This means I was good at combat and mini-games. One particular day, I was in a party with a friend of mine who invited someone with the username "Super" and "1y" to the party. I saw these usernames and thought, "god damn". That's badass. I was completely struck in awe that a username could be so clean. How does someone get a username like this? Most likely they’ve gotten it when the game first came out. Hence the name “OG” (Original) Why does a username like this have value? People like the cleanness and owning it represents a high social level or high status. It's attention grabbing. That's the truth. After a few minutes of convo, he told me to go to the Main Minecraft Trading Site which I will not disclose. This was a third party site meaning it wasn't owned by Mojang. It was legit the wild west. Scams were so common. I setup my own paypal, and paid my pops cash to get money into my paypal account. I copped my first OG, "Pimp" for around $60 in early 2016. Expensive at the time. This was my first act towards an actual business in this game. About a month later, I found someone on the market who would be willing to trade the username "Cash" for "Pimp". We conducted the trade however a few weeks later, I lost possession to the account and found out I've been scammed. He pulled the account. This was my first encounter with a internet scammer. How did he do this? Well when you change the email on an account, an email gets sent to your previous email just in case a "hacker" steals your Minecraft account and changes the email on your account. In that email is a "dispute link" which expires in 30 days but can be usable anytime. When this link is clicked, you pretty much get your account back. He did that, I felt like shit. February 2016, My friend "Super" ended up giving me the account "Cobra" which was insane at the time. Worth about $150. Everyday, after school, I played for around 6-7 hours. I built a good name for myself on the marketplace by interacting with other people and playing with them on Hypixel. I created a guild named Royalty Gang, this was the first ever guild/team that consisted of OG Minecraft names. We later on changed our name to OG nation and our guild grew to around 100+ members. This way of networking became amazing but toxic. We had a skype group which pretty much consisted of it's own marketplace. I gave Cobra back to Super and he got the new name "Love". Ended up buying Harm off of him which was worth $200 at the time. I also ended up buying Hawkeye and Wart for $100 from the owner of Hulk who later exit scammed the marketplace for $300. June 2016, about a few months in, I still had lots of money saved up but I decided to take my game up. There was word that a real OG player who had auto-claimed over 1000 OG names when Minecraft first came out was trying to get rid of his accounts. He owned over 50% of the market supply. He went by the name of WaterSpice. I got Sharp, Honor, Heal, gz, Omega, Fable, Steak, and Sneak off of him for a bulk price of around $1200. This was a huge transaction for a 15 year old like myself. But I had the capital saved up from selling “Harm” for $350 ($150 profit), candy at school (around $50 a day), and Hawkeye and Wart ($200). I placed all of these accounts, except Sharp, on the marketplace immediately and started to get offers. I made a profit of around $450-500. I continued to play daily and build a name for myself. November 2016, I later sold Sharp for $450 profit to a marketplace user when the value of MC accounts risen. My $1,900 MC account: Before I get into this, I got to explain the value of minecraft capes. Capes are usually only obtained by going to a special Minecon event or given out by Minecraft Developers themselves. That being, out of all the 20 million minecraft accounts, this was one of the 20 accounts. The Cobalt cape. This cape was only given to the winners of a tournament of another game that Mojang created called Cobalt. The guy who won the tournament didn’t even play Minecraft much. I got in contact with him around December 2018 and bought his account for $200. Which was a complete steal. I later sold the account for $550 in Jan 2017. By this time, I quit playing. I didn’t come back until mid August 2018 when I found out the Cobalt cape account I sold apparently got locked and value of MC accounts were 3 times from what they were before. I came back, got the Cobalt cape account back for free since I knew info on it that others did not. 3 days after I got the account I sold it for $1,500 in Bitcoin. Why did I include so many particular events in my story? Because these key events shaped me into who I am now and how I do my business. I feel as if it's important that really take into account these events and try to get the best meaning out of them. All in all, I probably made a 2-3 thousand dollars from just being in this game. So many young people, like myself, nowadays are doing not only internet making money techniques but learning networking techniques using the internet like CS:GO skin trading, Fortnite Account selling (Which I will share about my experience on this later) , Clash of Clans account, and the most notorious Social Media OG's. This is only the story of myself, there are so many others who I bet have had a larger run than me. Young people are teaching themselves newer ways to make money and i'm all for it. Let's keep this money flowing! However, hope ya enjoyed! Ask any questions, I will be glad to answer.
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