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, if the most widespread tools don’t leverage them, then people will simply not use them. They’ll just resort to using whatever is easy and available, even if that mean adopting bad practices …
, if the most widespread tools don’t leverage them, then people will simply not use them. They’ll just resort to using whatever is easy and available, even if that mean adopting bad practices instead. It doesn’t matter which protocol you use: If the tools are inadequate, so is your privacy. Just as you can have a bitcoin wallet that is incompatible with CoinJoin and that forces address reuse, you can also have a monero wallet that leaks confidential information about amounts and always constructs “ring-signatures” between every single user and himself. If such a wallet is widespread, spy companies can assume such behavior as common and build de-anonymization heuristics. Of course, altcoin proponents may just build and market tools that actually use the privacy features already present in their clone at the protocol level. But then again they would need just as much time, money and effort that is required for building and marketing tools that actually use the privacy features already present in Bitcoin at the protocol level. A more useful distinction to examine is the one between privacy features that are economically convenient to use and privacy features that are costly to use. The perfect (bad) example would be that of “shielded transactions” in the altcoin Zcash: Since they take way more space inside blocks, and way more computation time to be verified and signed (making this last action almost impossible on a light client), economic incentives push the already-few users of the coin to “unshielded” transactions, which are just an outdated version of the traditional bitcoin ones. As a direct effect, many users will think they have “more privacy” when this process, in fact, makes tracking and deanonymizing far easier. An indirect effect will be that the very few users who do decide to pay the extra cost for “shielded” transactions will find themselves within an even smaller anonymity set, ending up exposed instead of protected. An opposite example would be the Lightning Network on Bitcoin: Since block space is expensive, users often have strong economic incentives to switch to payment channels to save fees, reducing the “timechain footprint” to just opening and closing channels. Ultimately, it’s not surprising at all that some of the most vocal proponents of the “CoinJoin is risky because your account will get flagged” narrative turn out to be also promoters of new, illiquid “privacy” altcoins, which they hope to push to profit from “pump-and-dump” schemes. Same old story: “Bitcoin’s fees are too high: buy my low-fee altcoin!” or “Bitcoin signatures aren’t quantum-proof: buy my quantum-ready altcoin!” or “Bitcoin’s smart contracts aren’t flexible enough: buy my Turing-complete altcoin!” or “Bitcoin is not fungible enough: buy my privacy altcoin!” Are there real solutions and ways to mitigate the threat that regulated exchanges pose to the privacy and the security for Bitcoin users, beyond the red herrings? Yes: many. The ultimate solution, albeit very slow, will eventually come from the evolution of the market. While more and more resources will leave the fiat world to enter Bitcoin over the years, more and more parts of the bitcoin economy will move from fiat gateways to satoshi-denominated trades among users. Gateways will still be important, but gradually less so, making their bargaining power lower and lower over time. Fiercer competition will also help: People will be happy to leave meddling PI-hiring banks who force them to keep shower curtains open if they have alternatives. Another mitigation will come from the evolution of Bitcoin tools. While more and more modern wallets will make it harder to reuse addresses or merge inputs, and easier to coordinate CoinJoin rounds, regulated exchanges will have a harder time forcing their customers to use only old, outdated or inferior wallets instead. Yet another mitigation will come from the adoption of the Lightning Network. Since block space in the base layer will become more expensive, users will be strongly incentivized to route transactions over payment channels instead. It will be harder for regulated exchanges to arbitrarily ban customers due to a probabilistic link between the satoshis they deposited or withdrew on the Lightning Network, especially when the latter will be ubiquitous, thanks to economic incentives. Additional improvements may possibly come from the next protocol upgrades in Bitcoin, especially the one called “cross-input Schnorr signature aggregation.” This upgrade will make coordinating with several different parties within CoinJoin rounds extremely convenient, from an economical perspective. Another hope comes from the idea of decentralized exchanges (DEXes). So far, they suffer from liquidity limitations and their security remains tricky: While the Bitcoin “leg” of any trade can be easily trust-minimized, the fiat leg remains ultimately trust-based, making complex and expensive escrow mechanisms necessary. (In turn, escrow mechanisms tend to prove very difficult to decentralize effectively.) Your privacy is in your hands — just keep calm and be diligent. Don’t submit to dangerous privacy violations. Don’t reuse addresses. Use CoinJoin. Close your shutters when you’re at home. Pull the shower curtains when you’re naked. Put a lock on your personal journal. Use HTTPS when surfing the web. In the end, Bitcoin fixes this. The Astrology of Bitcoin Bitcoin is undoubtedly one of the most interesting developments in both the financial and technological sectors in recent times, presenting a radical alternative to traditional centralised banking, and claiming to act as a digital alternative to gold. As would be expected with such a radical development, it has met with vehement opposition and fervent support in near equal measure, with detractors claiming it is another case of tulip mania, while supporters claim it is the most significant financial development since the adoption of legal tender, forecasting Bitcoin to replace all centralised forms of currency and usher in a new era of decentralised trade and decentralised banking. Aside from the financial and technological factors, Bitcoin is also incredibly fascinating from an astrological perspective, with a birth chart that is equally interesting to learn about as the currency itself. Many pieces have been written on the chart of Bitcoin, some from the perspective of “modern astrology”, but also some from the perspective of traditional forms of the art such as Jyotisha or Hellenistic astrology, including a very interesting piece on the application of Zodiacal Releasing to the development and price action of the cryptocurrency. In this piece we will present a thorough analysis of Bitcoins birth chart though a house by house survey, highlighting the real world manifestations of each placement, focusing on the price movement, technology, and public perception of the cryptocurrency. A second article will soon be published detailing the application of Zodiacal Releasing and some other predictive techniques to the development of Bitcoin. We will begin our investigation by examining the foundational strength of the chart, through the lens of the triplicity rulers of the sect light, the lot of fortune, the ascendant, and the medium coeli The triplicity rulers of the sect light can give us a good indicator of the overall strength of the nativity, along with providing us some information on whether early/later life will be the more positive part of the natives life. In the case of Bitcoin, the prognosis here is not a positive one. The first triplicity lord, Jupiter, is in fall, placed in the Capricorn, the sixth house, in the terms of Mars. The second triplicity lord is the Sun, also in the 6th House, albeit in the terms of Jupiter. The participating triplicity lord is Saturn, which is placed in Virgo, (2nd house) in the terms of Mars. None of the planets are particularly well placed, meaning that the nativity has a poor foundation of strength from the perspective of this technique. We can see here an early indication that Bitcoins fate will be subject to many reversals, and the charts foundational strength will be weakened.. This does not, of course, completely deny success to the currency, but it is a strong debilitating factor in the chart, and will give more weight to the negative predictions made for the currency. The Ascendant and Midheaven are also placed in Fire signs, so the judgement on the strength of the triplicity lords of the sect light will extend to these points also, making for a very poor prognosis on the foundational strength of the chart. Aside from these three points, it is important to also examine the Triplicity Rulers of the lot of fortune, as this too has a significant influence over the strength of the nativity. Vettius Valens says that if the rulers of the sect light and other points are poorly placed, well configured triplicity rulers of the lot of fortune can sometimes salvage success for the nativity. In the case of Bitcoin, the triplicity rulers of the Lot are much better placed than the rulers of the sect light, with Venus (secondary ruler), and Mars (Co-operating Ruler) both in exaltation and their preferred sect. The primary triplicity lord, the Moon, is also reasonably well placed, both in the birth chart and on the other days of the Moon. From this we can see that all three triplicity lords of the Lot are all relatively well placed, which will go a long way towards compensating for the glaring weaknesses revealed by the triplicity lords of the sect light. It is written that the triplicity lords of the Lot being well placed can often make the native lucky in life, and attain high rank through fortuitous circumstances. Bitcoin was certainly made at a “fortuitous” time, following on from a global recession, when faith in fiat currency was at a low point. It could be argued that the strength of the Lot is one of the reasons why Bitcoin always seems to bounce back when it seems as if all hope is lost, and that even the most extreme crises experienced by the currency thus far have always been followed sooner or later, by an equally extreme recovery. These techniques serve as a tool for determining both the severity of the difficulties in the life of the native, and also the heights of success indicated by the chart. From our analysis here it can be inferred that the “baseline” condition of Bitcoin will not be very positive, however it may achieve sudden, albeit short lived, success from time to time. A cursory examination of the history of the currency will prove this to be true, as the price of Bitcoin is constantly subject to both rapid increases and decreases in price, with the price fluctuating by up to 20% a day in some cases. For assets such as stocks or precious metals, such fluctuations are virtually non-existent, with even the most extreme fluctuations in price seldom exceeding 10% in a day, generally occurring in times of crisis or global financial upheaval. BTC has the Descending Node in the first house, and this placement has proven to have an incredible influence over the currency, and as with all placements in the first house, has had a profound impact on the nature of the nativity. There are no precise predictions given in any Hellenistic texts for the Descending Node in the first house, with this placement being notably absent from Rhetorius the Egyptians significations for the nodes in the houses. This does not, however, stop us from gaining valuable information from this placement, as we are aware of some core principles of the descending node which we can use to make forecasts for its placement in the houses, even when no specific information is given. In the case of Bitcoin, the “dissipating” and “reducing” effects of the node have manifested through the currency being decentralised and split into countless different pieces, the descending node acting directly on the ascendant here in a most interesting fashion. Free of the limitations of the human form, the descending node has much more leeway here to manifest its effects, and has quite literally dissipated the very being of Bitcoin, offering a striking example of a pure, direct manifestation of the node’s effects. The node is aspected by neither benefics nor malefics, so its effects will not be “filtered” by the influence of any planets. The only planet in aspect is
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