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Crypto-Powered: Understanding Bitcoin, Ethereum, and DeFi

Crypto-Powered: Understanding Bitcoin, Ethereum, and DeFi
Until one understands the basics of this tech, they won’t be able to grasp or appreciate the impact it has on our digital bank, Genesis Block.
This is the second post of Crypto-Powered — a new series that examines what it means for Genesis Block to be a digital bank that’s powered by crypto, blockchain, and decentralized protocols.
Our previous post set the stage for this series. We discussed the state of consumer finance and how the success of today’s high-flying fintech unicorns will be short-lived as long as they’re building on legacy finance — a weak foundation that is ripe for massive disruption.
Instead, the future of consumer finance belongs to those who are deeply familiar with blockchain tech & decentralized protocols, build on it as the foundation, and know how to take it to the world. Like Genesis Block.
Today we begin our journey down the crypto rabbit hole. This post will be an important introduction for those still learning about Bitcoin, Ethereum, or DeFi (Decentralized Finance). This post (and the next few) will go into greater detail about how this technology gives Genesis Block an edge, a superpower, and an unfair advantage. Let’s dive in…

Bitcoin: The First Cryptocurrency

There are plenty of online resources to learn about Bitcoin (Coinbase, Binance, Gemini, Naval, Alex Gladstein, Marc Andreessen, Chris Dixon). I don’t wanna spend a lot of time on that here, but let’s do a quick overview for those still getting ramped up.
Cryptocurrency is the most popular use-case of blockchain technology today. And Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to be invented.
Bitcoin is the most decentralized of all crypto assets today — no government, company, or third party can control or censor it.
Bitcoin has two primary features (as do most other cryptocurrencies):
  1. Send Value You can send value to anyone, anywhere in the world. Nobody can intercept, delay or stop it — not even governments or financial institutions. Unlike with traditional money transfers or bank wires, there are no layers of middlemen. This results in a process that is much more cost-efficient. Some popular use-cases include remittances and cross-border payments.
  2. Store Value With nothing but a smartphone, you can become your own bank and store your own funds. Nobody can seize your assets. The funds are digital and stored on a blockchain. Your money no longer needs to be stored at a bank, in a vault, or under your mattress. I covered a few inspiring use-cases in a previous post. They include banking the unbanked, protecting assets from government seizure, mitigating the risk of a bank run, and protection against hyperinflation (like what recently happened in Venezuela).
The fact that there are so few things one can do with Bitcoin is one of its greatest strengths.
Its design is simple, elegant, and focused. It has been 10+ years since Satoshi’s white paper and no one has been able to crack or hack the Bitcoin network. With a market cap of $170B, there is plenty of incentive to try.

Public Awareness

A few negative moments in Bitcoin’s history include the collapse of Mt. Gox — which resulted in hundreds of millions of customer funds being stolen — as well as Bitcoin’s role in dark markets like Silk Road — where Bitcoin arguably found its initial userbase.
However, like most breakthrough technology, Bitcoin is neither good nor bad. It’s neutral. People can use it for good or they can use it for evil. Thankfully, it’s being used less and less for illicit activity. Criminals are starting to understand that transactions on a blockchain are public and traceable — it’s exactly the type of system they usually try to avoid. And it’s true, at this point “a lot more” crimes are actually committed with fiat than crypto.
As a result, the perception of bitcoin and cryptocurrency has been changing over the years to a more positive light.
Bitcoin has even started to enter the world of media & entertainment. It’s been mentioned in Hollywood films like Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse and in songs from major artists like Eminem. It’s been mentioned in countless TV shows like Billions, The Simpsons, Big Bang Theory, Gray’s Anatomy, Family Guy, and more.
As covid19 has ravaged economies and central banks have been printing money, Bitcoin has caught the attention of many legendary Wall Street investors like Paul Tudor Jones, saying that Bitcoin is a great bet against inflation (reminding him of Gold in the 1970s).
Cash App already lets their 25M users buy Bitcoin. It’s rumored that PayPal and Venmo will soon let their 325M users start buying Bitcoin. Bitcoin is by far the most dominant cryptocurrency and is showing no signs of slowing down. For more than a decade it has delivered on its core use-cases — being able to send or store value.
At this point, Bitcoin has very much entered the zeitgeist of modern pop culture — at least in the West.

Ethereum: Programmable Money

When Ethereum launched in 2015, it opened up a world of new possibilities and use-cases for crypto. With Ethereum Smart Contracts (i.e. applications), this exciting new digital money (cryptocurrency) became a lot less dumb. Developers could now build applications that go beyond the simple use-cases of “send value” & “store value.” They could program cryptocurrency to have rules, behavior, and logic to respond to different inputs. And always enforced by code. Additional reading on Ethereum from Linda Xie or Vitalik Buterin.
Because these applications are built on blockchain technology (Ethereum), they preserve many of the same characteristics as Bitcoin: no one can stop, censor or shut down these apps because they are decentralized.
One of the first major use-cases on Ethereum was the ability to mint and create your own token, your own cryptocurrency. Many companies used this as a way to fundraise from the public. This led to the 2017 ICO bubble (Initial Coin Offerings). Some tokens — and the apps/networks they powered — were fascinating and innovative. Most tokens were pointless. And many tokens were outright scams. Additional token reading from Fred Ehrsam, Balaji, and Naval.

Digital Gold Rush

Just as tokens grew in popularity in 2017–2018, so did online marketplaces where these tokens could be bought, sold, and traded. This was a fledgling asset class — the merchants selling picks, axes, and shovels were finally starting to emerge.
I had a front-row seat — both as an investor and token creator. This was the Wild West with all the frontier drama & scandal that you’d expect.
Binance — now the world’s largest crypto exchange —was launched during this time. They along with many others (especially from Asia) made it really easy for speculators, traders, and degenerate gamblers to participate in these markets. Similar to other financial markets, the goal was straightforward: buy low and sell high.
That period left an embarrassing stain on our industry that we’ve still been trying to recover from. It was a period rampant with market manipulation, pump-and-dumps, and scams. To some extent, the crypto industry still suffers from that today, but it’s nothing compared to what it was then.
While the potential of getting filthy rich brought a lot of fly-by-nighters and charlatans into the industry, it also brought a lot of innovators, entrepreneurs, and builders.
The launch and growth of Ethereum has been an incredible technological breakthrough. As with past tech breakthroughs, it has led to a wave of innovation, experimentation, and development. The creativity around tokens, smart contracts, and decentralized applications has been fascinating to witness. Now a few years later, the fruits of those labors are starting to be realized.

DeFi: Decentralized Finance

So as a reminder, tokens are cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies can carry value. And value is a lot like money. Because tokens are natively integrated with Ethereum, it’s been natural for developers to build applications related to financial services — things like lending, borrowing, saving, investing, payments, and insurance. In the last few years, there has been a groundswell of developer momentum building in this area of financial protocols. This segment of the industry is known as DeFi (Decentralized Finance).
In Q2 of 2020, 97% of all Ethereum activity was DeFi-related. Total DeFi transaction volume has reached $11.5B. The current value locked inside DeFi protocols is approaching $2 Billion (double from a month ago). DeFi’s meteoric growth cannot be ignored.
Most of that growth can be attributed to exciting protocols like Compound, Maker, Synthetix, Balancer, Aave, dYdX, and Uniswap. These DeFi protocols and the financial services they offer are quickly becoming some of the most popular use-cases for blockchain technology today.
This impressive growth in DeFi certainly hasn’t come without growing pains. Unlike with Bitcoin, there are near-infinite applications one can develop on Ethereum. Sometimes bugs (or typos) can slip through code reviews, testing, and audits — resulting in loss of funds.
Our next post will go much deeper on DeFi.

Wrap Up

I know that for the hardcore crypto people, what we covered today is nothing new. But for those who are still getting up to speed, welcome! I hope this was helpful and that it fuels your interest to learn more.
Until you understand the basics of this technology, you won’t be able to fully appreciate the impact that it has on our new digital bank, Genesis Block. You won’t be able to understand the implications, how it relates, or how it helps.
After today’s post, some of you probably have a lot more questions. What are specific examples or use-cases of DeFi? Why does it need to be on a blockchain? What benefits does it bring to Genesis Block and our users?
In upcoming posts, we answer these questions. Today’s post was just Level 1. It set the foundation for where we’re headed next: even deeper down the crypto rabbit hole.
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Have you already downloaded the app? We're Genesis Block, a new digital bank that's powered by crypto & decentralized protocols. The app is live in the App Store (iOS & Android). Get the link to download at
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Spreading Crypto: In Search of the Killer Application

Spreading Crypto: In Search of the Killer Application
This is the second post of our Spreading Crypto series where we take a deep dive into what it’ll take to help this technology reach broader adoption.
Mick exploring the state of apps in crypto
Our previous post explored the history of protocols and how they only become widely adopted when a compelling application makes them more accessible and easier to use.
Crypto will be no different. Blockchain technology today is mostly all low-level protocols. As with the numerous protocols that came before, these new, decentralized protocols need killer applications.
So, how’s that going? Where is crypto’s killer application? What’s the state of application development within our industry? Today we’ll try to answer those questions. We’ll also take a close look at decentralized applications — as that’s where a lot of the developer energy and focus currently is. Let’s dive in.

Popular Crypto Applications

The most popular crypto applications today are exchanges like Coinbase and Binance — each with tens of millions of users. Other popular crypto exchanges include Kraken, Bitstamp, Gemini, and Bitfinex. In recent years, new derivatives platforms have emerged like FTX and Deribit.
The most popular crypto applications today are primarily focused on trading, speculation, and finance. This class of applications dwarfs all other types of applications in terms of users and growth. That’s either a sign of strong product/market fit, or we just haven’t yet discovered other good use-cases. Or a mix of both.
Beyond the fact that the most popular crypto applications are all used for speculation, another common thread is that they are all centralized.
A centralized application means that ultimate power and control rests with a centralized party (the company who built it). For example, if Coinbase or Binance wants to block you from withdrawing your funds for whatever reason (maybe for suspicious activity or fraud), they can do that. They have control of their servers so they have control of your funds.
Most popular applications that we all use daily are centralized (Netflix, Facebook, Youtube, etc). That’s the standard for modern, world-class applications today.

Decentralized Applications

Even though the most popular crypto applications are all centralized, most of the developer energy and focus in our industry is with decentralized applications (dApps) and non-custodial products.
These are products where only the user can touch or move funds. Not even the company or developer who built the application can access or control or stop funds from being moved. Only the user has control.
These applications allow users to truly become their own bank and have absolute control of their money.
They also allow users to perform blockchain transactions and interact directly with decentralized protocols. Some of the most popular non-custodial products include Ledger, MetaMask, and MyCrypto (#ProudInvestor).
While the benefits of this type of application are obvious (user has full control of their funds), it comes with a lot of tradeoffs. We will cover that later in this post.

Libertarianism + Crypto

If the most popular applications tend to be centralized (inside and out of crypto), why is so much of our community focused on building decentralized applications (dApps)? For the casual observer, that’s a reasonable, valid question.
“Not your keys, not your coins.”
This meme is endlessly repeated among longtime crypto hodlers. If you’re not in complete control of your crypto (i.e. using non-custodial wallets or dApps), then it’s not really your crypto.
Engrained in the early culture of Bitcoin has always been a strong distrust for centralized authority and power — including the too-big-to-fail government-backed financial system. In the midst of the Financial Crisis, Satoshi Nakamoto included this headline in Bitcoin’s genesis block: “Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.” There has always been a close connection between libertarianism & cryptocurrency.
So it’s no surprise that much of the crypto developer community is spending their time building applications that are non-custodial or decentralized. It’s part of the DNA, the soul, the essence of our community.

Personal Experience

When I was at Mainframe, we built Mainframe OS — a platform that developers use to build and launch decentralized applications (dApps). I’m deeply familiar with what’s possible and what’s not in the world of dApps. I have the battle scars and gray hair to prove it. We’ve hosted panels around the various challenges. We’ve even produced videos poking fun at how complicated it is for end-users to interact with.
After having spent three years in the trenches of this non-custodial world, I no longer believe that decentralized applications are capable of bringing crypto to the masses.
While I totally understand and appreciate the ethos of self-sovereignty, independence, and liberty… I think it’s a terrible mistake that as a community we are spending most of our time in this area of application development. Decentralized applications will not take crypto to the masses.
Mainframe OS

Overwhelming Friction

The user friction that comes with decentralized applications is just too overwhelming. Let’s go through a few of the bigger points:
  1. Knowledge & Education: Most non-custodial products do not abstract away any of the blockchain complexity. In fact, they often expose more of it because the most loyal users are crypto nerds. Imagine how a normie n00b feels when she starts seeing words like seed phrases, public & private keys, gas limits, transaction fees, blockchain explorers, hex addresses, and confirmation times. There is a lot for a user to learn and become educated on. That’s friction. The learning curve on this is just too damn high.
  2. User Experience: It is currently impossible to create a smooth and performant user experience in non-custodial wallets or decentralized applications. Any interaction that requires a blockchain transaction will feel sluggish and slow. We built a messaging app on Ethereum and presented it at DevCon3 in Cancun. The technical constraints of blockchain technology were crushing to the user experience. We simply couldn’t create the real-time, modern messaging experience that users have come to expect from similar apps like Slack or WhatsApp. Until blockchains are closer in speed to web servers (which will be difficult given their decentralized nature), dApps will never be able to create the smooth user experience that the masses expect.
  3. Loss of Funds Risk: There is no “Forgot Password” functionality when storing your own crypto in a non-custodial wallet. There is no customer support agent you can ping. There is no company behind it that can make you whole if you make a mistake and lose your money. You are on your own. One wrong move and your money is all gone. If you lose your private key, there is no way to recover your funds. This just isn’t the type of customer support experience people want or are used to.
Onyx Messaging App

What Our Industry Has Wrong

Decentralized applications will always have a place in the market — especially among the most hardcore crypto people and parts of the world where these tools are essential. I’m personally an active user of many non-custodial products. I’m a blockchain early-adopter, I like to hold my own money, and I’m very forgiving of suboptimal UX.
However, I’m not afraid to say the poop stinks. Decentralized applications simply cannot produce the type of product experience that mainstream consumers expect.
If the goal is growth and adoption, as a community I believe we’re barking up the wrong tree. We are trying to make fetch happen. It isn’t gonna happen. Our Netscape Moment is unlikely to arrive as long as we’re focused on decentralized applications.
\"Mean Girls\" movie
There’s a reason why the most popular consumer applications are centralized (Spotify, Amazon, Instagram, etc). There’s a reason why the most popular crypto applications are centralized (Coinbase, Binance, etc).
The frameworks, tooling, infrastructure, and services to support these modern, centralized applications are mature and well-established. It’s easier to build apps that are fast & performant. It’s easier to launch apps that are convenient and on all form-factors (especially mobile). It’s easier to distribute and promote via all the major app store channels (iOS/Android). It’s easier to patch, update, and upgrade. It’s easier to experiment and iterate.
It’s easier to design, build, and launch a world-class application when it is centralized! It is why we’ve chosen this path for Genesis Block.
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Have you already downloaded the app? We're Genesis Block, a new digital bank that's powered by crypto & decentralized protocols. The app is live in the App Store (iOS & Android). Get the link to download at
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Riddim Remix Stems Thread (2.0 Edition)

UPDATE 2: I give up. Mixstep got obliterated and I'm not in the mood to go around looking for file sharing sites to host these on. Sometime soon I might upgrade a Google drive account for more space to fit all of these in there, but that's it for now.
UPDATE: The thread is closed for now until I make a new archive. DBREE got fucking obliterated because apprently some cunt uploaded Endgame spoilers and Disney intervened. I’m kinda short on time (due to stuff at school) at the moment and I’ll get on it as soon as I can. Also, fuck the Reddit app, I tried to make this announcement in there and it deleted all the entries after The Visit (SpaceGhost VIP). If anybody can fill me in on the ones that are missing (only one I can remember off the top of my head were the stems for Murder Music), I’d appreciate it.
Hey guys, since the original thread got archived, here’s a new, updated version for all of you guys to download stems from and remix! You know the drill.
50 Carrot - 3rd Bass
5ohman - Sneaky Snitch
Acaustik - Array
AD & SenoDubz - Bankai
AD, Curzed & Subfiltronik - Evil Ryu
Airvalue - Dikke Taarte
Akira & Subfiltronik - Black Knight
Algoreythm - Cosmic Death
Allesnik - Piggies
AOWL - Realm
Artix! - Megaman NEW
Ayonikz - Forest Adventure NEW
BadKlaat - Buh
BadKlaat - Freq Skank
Baska & Kinetic - Let The Boy Watch
Batikz & Heavy Kill - Riddim Monster Mutherfvck
Batikz - Cumbia Peposa NEW
BDKDZ - Smell
Bitcoin & Bigchop - Serbian
Blankface & BloodThinnerz - Future Fusion
Blasta Dubz & Susanoo - Insanity
Boarcrok & Boogie T. - D.F.G.N
Bong - Hostile Enforcement
Brexi - Legendary NEW
Brikz - Monster
Brikz, R2D2 & Cosmonaut - Brains
Bryzergold & Meta - Vegafornia
Bukez Finezt - Duck Trumpet
Chaimba - I Don't Need You
CHMST - Jump On It!
CHMST - System Error
CHMST - Trampoline
CrossDubz & Sixela - Area 51 NEW
CrossDubz - Riddim Alarm NEW
D-Jahsta - Slug Bass [Big Up Helldivider & Exolit!] NEW
D-Jahsta - System
DarkElixir - Headslung [Big Up Madcore!]
DirtySnatcha - Ghetto Blastin
DirtySnatcha - Swerve
DirtySnatcha - This Is Dubstep NEW
Dr Proctor - Sinkhole
Dr Proctor & Synista - Celestial Vermin
Draco - Dragonz
ekko - Ice Up [Big Up ekko!] NEW
ekko - p90 [Big Up ekko!] NEW
Element - Retro
Emilian Wonk - Toxic Abe's
ENiGMA Dubz - Badness
Enimpa - Frogs On Acid
Enimpa & JG Dubz - Boss Flow
Fayte - Frostmourne
Fayte - Nightmare
Flexa - The Real Skywalker
Flick - Greymon
Flick - Zurg
Flix - Squeez
Fugitives - G Mode
Gangar - Ghidorah NEW
Gangar - Lobotomy
Genetix - Hostile Enforcement
Getter - Fallout
Gitlo - I'ma Dog
Gitlo - Planet Radio
Glockz - Lovro
Glockz - Nightmare
Gnaw & Syfon - Rupee Riddim
Grym - Elevated
Guadaña - Satania Dubz
Guadaña & Mohno - Vestilis Obsidere
Guru - Block Rockin NEW
Havvik - Blood Cells
Helldivider & Exolit - Bene Tleilax NEW
Helldivider & Exolit - void. NEW
Help7 - Saiyan Pride
Herobust & MONXX - Giant Squiddim
Iconics - Madness
IOZE - Badges [Big Up IOZE!] NEW
IOZE - Monday Mornings [Big Up IOZE!] NEW
IOZE - Take This [Big Up IOZE!] NEW
IOZE - Tracksuit Slaviddim [Big Up IOZE!] NEW
Infekt - Objector [Big Up Infekt!]
Infekt - Raptor 2015
Invictous - Mexico
Jam PRD - Planet Earth [Big Up Nacha and SHRQ!] NEW
JPhelpz - Biggup King
Jub - Golden Rings
Kanashi - Baphomet VIP [Big Up Kanashi!] NEW
Kill Rex - Adventure Time NEW
Kozik - Turtle [Big Up Madcore!]
Krazex - Vader
Krxnik - Riddim Killa
Kurai & Guadaña - Healing Protocol
Kyper - Haise NEW
L3mmy Dubz - Serial Killer
Laem - Celestia
Laem - Mr Pop
LazyFlex - Space Terrors
LazyFlex - Swag NEW
London Nebel - Death Rattle
London Nebel - Riddim.FM
Lower & Atex - Scope
Lower - Alien OG NEW
LunarDash - Fritz The Cat
LV - Weapon
Madcore - Artifacts [Big Up Madcore!]
Madcore - Awakening [Big Up Madcore!]
Madcore - Babylon [Big Up Madcore!]
Madcore - My Life [Big Up Madcore!]
Madcore - Thugs
Madcore & R2D2 - Get High [Big Up Madcore!]
Martz & Emilian Wonk - Real Riddim Hours
Meta - Badmon (SpaceGhost Remix)
Midnight Tyrannosaurus - Statue Planet Scandal!
Mohno - Emeralds
Mohno - Modern Talking
Mohno - When Fate Plummeted [Big Up Mohno!]
MONXX - Scary Riddim & Nice Sprites
Moonboy - Alien Invazion NEW
Moonboy - Blasta
Moonboy - Gunnas ft. MagMag
Mr. Yukk - Destroyer
Naito - Mori [Big Up Mohno!] NEW
Naito - Sukochi [Big Up Mohno!] NEW
NostraDubz - Robot NEW
P0gman - Blunt
P0gman - Glocks Blast
P0gman - They Know
P0gman - ZERØ
Pharma & CrossDubz - Crablante NEW
Plazid - Screwdriver
Plazid - Wheres My Riddim?
Poisonous - Man
Ponicz - Get Gully
Ponicz - Hold Up
Presoak - Soaker NEW
Pryme - The Black Knight
R4KE - Covenanter VIP
R4KE - Sector Dub [Big Up R4KE!] NEW
R4KE - Translunar NEW
Rem - Rock Lee
R!SK & Hawkinz - Tha Heat [Big Up Naut and Mohno!] NEW
Rulo - Buho
Samplifire - Hold Up NEW
Shikh & Susanoo - Shuriken Kage Bunshin no Jutsu
Shirako & Draco - Molag Bal
Shockz - Alienstep
Shozen - Space Case
SHRQ - Mario Dub
SHRQ - OG Krunch [Big Up SHRQ!] NEW
Skinzmann - Ion Cannon
Sledge - Blood Riddim
Sledge - Hell
Sledge - Possession Jutsu
Sledge - Say It
Sledge - Surgeon [Big Up object61!] NEW
SpaceGhost, Brikz & Mammoth - The Visit (SpaceGhost VIP)
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Monero Moon Prize

Announcing the Monero Moon Prize!

I pledge 10,000 Monero to the winner of a competition that begins right now. I will award the prize for completing a task which is very difficult, but not impossible.
The prize of 10,000 Monero will be awarded to the first team or individual to operate a 3D printer on the moon. This 3D printer must use lunar soil as its raw print material and demonstrate that it can reliably produce custom mechanical components.
I have created a set of rules for the competition but I welcome feedback on the details. My desire is that following the competition, the winning team is able to continue to operate the 3D printer on the Moon’s surface and to indefinitely produce parts from lunar soil and sunlight.

The Competition

  1. Safely deliver a payload to the surface of the Moon.
  2. Deploy 3D printer and some method of gathering soil for its continued operation.
  3. Print a series of 3 test parts from lunar soil using an additive manufacturing technique which does not rely on external binding agents from Earth. The printer cannot rely on supplies from Earth for its continued manufacture of parts.
  4. Minor manipulation and/or assembly of parts will be required.
  5. The build volume of the printer must be at least 150x150x150mm with dimensional tolerances to within 0.2mm of specifications. (Note: this level of performance is comparable to mid-priced 3D printers currently available in the home market)
  6. The ultimate tensile strength of the parts must be greater than 10 MPa in any direction (about 1/3 that of common glass).
  7. The winning team must meet these objectives on or before December 19, 2022; or 50 years since man last stepped foot on the Moon. We as a species must not go 50 years before taking our next step towards the Moon’s development.


Exponential Increase in Monero’s Value

The value of cryptocurrencies increases exponentially with adoption. A prize purse of 10,000 Monero is currently worth about $120,000. This meager amount is unlikely to incentivize a lunar mission, considering it costs roughly $15 million to launch a 10-kg payload to the Moon [1]. However, if the market adoption of Monero becomes similar to what Bitcoin enjoys today, then the 10,000 Monero prize purse would be roughly a hundred times more valuable (~$12 million) and enough to recoup the majority of launch expenses.
The size of the prize could also increase through donations or pledges made by additional backers. Any team in the competition could offset their own costs by pursuing corporate sponsorships or pairing their entry for the Monero Moon Prize with another competition like the Google Lunar XPRIZE, where a team must have a robot move 500 m on the Moon’s surface[2]. There are many possibilities for adding incentives to this competition, this is simply a first step.

What is Lunar Soil Made Of?

Glass and metal, mostly[3,4]. Aluminum, titanium, tungsten, and iron. Volatiles like ice and many useful trace elements[5,6,7]. Most soil particles are very fine with sharp angles, turned to powder through billions of years of meteoric impact. Older, more weathered particles have small bits of non-oxidized iron on their surface and imbedded within, making them efficiently heated with microwaves [8,9] and levitate in magnetic fields[10].

What Can Lunar Soil be Made Into?

Just about any solid object you can think of. Researchers have turned lunar soil simulant into gears, bolts, bricks, and bunkers[11,12,13,14,15]. They do this by selectively melting the soil in a desired shape and then cooling it until it hardens. Possible heat sources include lasers, microwaves, and concentrated solar, to name a few.
Many technologies in use by DIY maker communities and additive manufacturers can be extended with little modification to the lunar environment. Candidate technologies include selective sintering and fused deposition modeling. In selective sintering, a laser or other heat source is directed at a bed of powder which is partially melted and allowed to re-harden. Here’s a demonstration of how simple the process can be[16,17].
Fused deposition modeling is a type of 3D printing that you are probably most familiar with. Some material, typically plastic, is heated until it can be extruded out of a small nozzle. This extruded material is used to draw a 2D image on a flat surface. The height of the nozzle is then raised and another 2D image is drawn on top of the old. This process continues through many layers until a laminated 3D shape emerges. This technology was recently applied where small beads of optical glass acted as the raw print material[18], a substance not too different from lunar soil[19,20,21].
We can see from these examples that there are at least a few techniques for printing reliable parts from Moon dust. All major technical hurdles have been passed, now it’s just a matter of application-specific design.

Why a prize?

From the Orteig Prize sending aircraft across the Atlantic, to the Ansari XPRIZE sending private manned spacecraft to space, to the ongoing Google Lunar XPRIZE where teams are asked to drive a rover 500 m on the Moon, incentive competitions have simply been shown to work. Prizes are an effective way of directing the efforts of others towards a unified goal with potentially universal utility. I do not care who takes the first step in the extraterrestrial manufacturing revolution, just as long as someone takes it.
Prizes are an excellent investment. The prize backers only spend money if the competition garners a favorable result. The teams are compelled to initially spend their own resources to investigate several parallel designs. Incentive competitions have historically seen teams spend a combined $16 for every $1 used to fund the prize[22,23]; this represents a remarkable 16:1 return on your investment in terms of total R&D!
A competition also adds extraneous benefits. Humans tend to be thrilled by competition. They love the challenge, the race against another pack of humans. A need emerges to quickly find a solution and win at all costs.
Good solutions to the most difficult problems have been found under these conditions and frequently within shortened timeframes. We as a species need the ability to extract material resources from extraterrestrial sources as quickly as possible. I believe an incentive competition is a fast, inexpensive, and exciting way for us all to realize that goal.

Who Am I?

I wish to remain anonymous and feel lucky that this right is afforded to me by Monero. I hold a higher degree in a field related to this competition and would be inclined towards continued technical discussions on these topics.
I will send the pledged funds to a multisig wallet held in escrow once that becomes a possibility, but reserve the right to withdraw my funds from the competition before the stated deadline if it appears that no reasonable effort is being made by any team to win the prize.


[3]McKay, David S., et al. "The lunar regolith." Lunar sourcebook (1991): 285-356.
[4]Noble, Sarah. "The Lunar Regolith." (2009).
[5]Duke, Michael B., et al. "Development of the Moon." Reviews in mineralogy and geochemistry 60.1 (2006): 597-655.
[6]Taylor, Jeff, Larry Taylor, and Mike Duke. "Concentrations of Volatiles in the Lunar Regolith." (2007).
[7]Crawford, Ian A. "Lunar resources: A review." Progress in Physical Geography 39.2 (2015): 137-167.
[8]Taylor, Lawrence, et al. "Lunar Dust Problem: From Liability to Asset." 1st space exploration conference: continuing the voyage of discovery. 2005.
[9]Taylor, Lawrence A., and Thomas T. Meek. "Microwave sintering of lunar soil: properties, theory, and practice." Journal of Aerospace Engineering 18.3 (2005): 188-196.
[10]Colwell, J. E., et al. "Lunar surface: Dust dynamics and regolith mechanics." Reviews of Geophysics 45.2 (2007).
[11]Krishna Balla, Vamsi, et al. "First demonstration on direct laser fabrication of lunar regolith parts." Rapid Prototyping Journal 18.6 (2012): 451-457.
[12]Fateri, Miranda, and Andreas Gebhardt. "Process Parameters Development of Selective Laser Melting of Lunar Regolith for On‐Site Manufacturing Applications." International Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology 12.1 (2015): 46-52.
[13]Indyk, Stephen. Structural members produced from unrefined lunar regolith, a structural assessment. Diss. Rutgers University-Graduate School-New Brunswick, 2015.
[14]Lim, Sungwoo, and Mahesh Anand. "In-Situ Resource Utilisation (ISRU) derived extra-terrestrial construction processes using sintering-based additive manufacturing techniques–focusing on a lunar surface environment." (2015).
[15]Goulas, Athanasios, et al. "3D printing with moondust." Rapid Prototyping Journal 22.6 (2016): 864-870.
[16]Kayser, Markus. SolarSinter Project:
[17]Rietema, Menno-Jan. "Design of a solar sand printer." (2013).
[18]Klein, John, et al. "Additive manufacturing of optically transparent glass." 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing 2.3 (2015): 92-105.
[19]Fabes, B. D., and W. H. Poisl. "Processing of glass-ceramics from lunar resources." (1991).
[20]Fabes, B. D., et al. "Melt-processing of lunar ceramics." (1992).
[21]Magoffin, Michael, and John Garvey. "Lunar glass production using concentrated solar energy." Space Programs and Technologies Conference. 1990.
[22]Guthrie, Julian, Branson, Richard, and Hawking, Stephen. How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight. Penguin Press, September, 2016.

Addendum: The Philosophical Rant (It’s a long one…)

Things could be so much different than they are. As a species, we have arrived in our current state through a series of steps so complex that the thing we call reality might as well be an arbitrary selection from the possibilities of what could be.
In this reality, our reality, humans have made a massive misstep that has put our society and our species at risk. This glaring bit of poor judgment is ongoing, yet no action is being taken to resolve the situation.
No machines are being built outside of Earth’s orbit.
Even though we are a space faring species, we have no plans for gathering resources from outside of Earth or for building the extraterrestrial infrastructure that is necessary to take humans to other planets and beyond. We are not amassing the arsenal necessary to ward off extinction from asteroid impacts nor are we building the tools we need to fight runaway global warming through sunshades or the like.
We could be building things, lots of things, outside of Earth’s gravity and be permanently expanding our reach into the Cosmos. We can do all of this with existing technology – low tech by today’s standards – the only requirement is a slight shift of human priority.
I want to try in my own way to fill this gap. I want our reality to be different than it is and I think I know how to do that.
We must encourage the tinkerers and the builders to venture into space. And not just be there and exist in space, but to play in it, interact with it. A compelling challenge like the one that I have outlined would bring adventurers, those wary of traditional ways of doing things who take bold steps into new territory. I want to find the people in this world who want to dip their (virtual) hands into the Moon’s soil and pull out an object born from their imagination.
Following the competition, the winning team will have the ability to make parts indefinitely on the surface of the Moon using soil and sunlight. These parts could be assembled to form the bodies of robots, most notably those of additional printers; containers for material storage; energy collection apparatuses; and a host of other applications, with each addition bringing even greater capabilities for extracting resources and building upon the lunar surface.
Proper preparation could greatly extend the reach of this first lunar base to encourage it to grow organically from resources collected on the Moon. The winning team could build a large collection of printers and robots by sending just a few extra electronics, motors, and Mylar sheets for solar collection. This hardware could be installed into the bodies of printers and robots, all made on the Moon. The added costs of launching a slightly heavier payload would be minimal compared to the potential returns that you could receive from increased operational capability on the Moon.
The creative limits of the winning team will be pushed to find new ways of harnessing the few resources they started with. The lunar soil contains a range of extremely useful materials such as aluminum, iron, copper, titanium, and magnesium; all of which are easily extractable for use in specialized mechanical or electrical components. Small amounts of water can be liberated from the soil as it is melted. This water could be collected and used to drive steam engines as a feasible first step towards low-tech locomotion on the Moon. Simple heating elements could be produced from parabolic solar collectors improvised from Mylar sheets applied to the surface of troughs dug into the soil.
Continued support from Earth via rocket bound payloads could accelerate efforts of expanding upon the efforts of the winning team or their model could be repeated elsewhere on the Moon. From one printer comes many. Each new printer will build redundancy into the system and expand the infrastructure required for extraterrestrial manufacturing. From each new robot comes more soil and food for the growing manufacturing base. With proper preparation, this process can continue indefinitely.

tldr; Let's take Monero to the Moon and then let it return the favor.

Edit 1: I set up the website to post additional information moving forward and propose that we use /moneromoonprize for continued discussion of the competition beyond this thread.
Edit 2: Verification of Funds
address:44aaLQFizmb2FdVKuBxwS5i8hgExwZyXpN7APKPeXmyYEc93ecZsweAJ2Rr4g8FDoPjBkXBrXARL4N3cpKbAWxCyUb8LfFM viewkey:3bc4c7354f7b870985a3698a23bcfbd63e01ece14d08eab16ac2b815157a7c03 key images (available for 24 hrs): 
submitted by outerspacerace to Monero [link] [comments]

Security Updates January 20 ,2017

More Databases Targeted By Ransomware Attacks
Ransomware groups that have targeted MongoDB databases and Elasticsearch clusters are expanding their scope to include Hadoop and CouchDB data storage technologies. The Hadoop attacks are leaving behind messages telling admins to do a better job of securing their deployments. The CouchDB attacks have been demanding 0.1 bitcoins to return the data. Paying the ransom is unadvisable because previous attacks have not returned the wiped data.
For more than five years, widely used web content management systems (WordPress, et al.) have offered fertile gardens of vulnerable code for attackers to use to take control of many organizations' computers. Now the attackers have found that data storage systems are ripe for exploitation. There is an easy-to-discern pattern here of entrepreneurial organizations (open source included) attracting huge numbers but putting off security until it is too late to bake it in.
Read more in: - Attackers start wiping data from CouchDB and Hadoop databases - Insecure Hadoop installs next in 'net scum crosshairs
Oracle's Mammoth Security Update
Oracle's first quarterly security patch update for 2017 comprises fixes for 270 vulnerabilities. The majority of the flaws are remotely exploitable. Oracle's E-Business Suite tops the list with 121 fixes, followed by 37 in Oracle Financial Services, and 18 in Oracle Fusion Middleware.
Unfortunately, this is really just an average-sized set of vulnerability fixes for Oracle, with no sign of any trending in a positive direction. The volume and the impact of Oracle's patch dumps, combined with demands for reduced duration of change windows in data centers, often leads to looong times before IT operations actually update servers. A number of forward-looking enterprises are using IaaS services like AWS or Azure to spin up full production copies of systems (with obfuscated data) to shorten patch testing cycles and shorten that vulnerability window.
Read more in: - Oracle's monster security update: 270 fixes and over 100 remotely exploitable flaws - Oracle issues a whopping 270 security fixes - Oracle patches raft of vulnerabilities in business applications
KrebsOnSecurity Publishes Detailed Account of Tracking Down Mirai Author
Brian Krebs has traced the origin of the Mirai botnet, which was used to launch massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against his website last September, to the New Jersey owner of a DDoS mitigation company. The attacks forced the KrebsOnSecurity website offline for several days. Mirai exploits poorly secured Internet of Things (IoT) devices to launch its attacks.
Read more in: - Who is Anna-Senpai, the Mirai Worm Author?
U.S. Air Force's Prattle Would Take Honeypots to the Next Level
The U.S. Air Force's Prattle program aims to "transform... the traditional 'honeypot' method of catching hackers." Rather than simply disguising a honeypot as a network that hackers will try to access, Prattle will provide misinformation that could lead intruders to unimportant parts of the network, delaying them from getting to the sensitive data. They could also provide documents that are fake or that contain digital watermarks.
Honeypots if used properly can be a great proactive security resource. ENISA (the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) have an excellent resource on using honeypots called "Proactive detection of security incidents II - Honeypots" at
Read more in: - Loose lips may better Air Force security with 'Prattle'
Rush to Save Climate Change Data Before New Administration
Scientists, librarians, archivists, and hackers have been working feverishly to preserve climate change data stored on the websites of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The incoming U.S. administration is likely to remove much of the information from the public domain.
Read more in: - Rogue Scientists Race to Save Climate Change Data From Trump
"Old-School" Malware Found Targeting Biomedical Firms' Systems
Malwarebytes researchers have found code on Macs that appears to target biomedical research companies. Dubbed Quimitchin by Malwarebytes and Fruitfly by Apple, the malware appears to have been infecting machines for at least two years. What is particularly curious about Fruitfly is that is contains very old coding functions. It is also built with Linux shell commands. Fruitfly takes screenshots and webcam images and harvests information about devices connected to the infected computer. Apple has released a fix to protect against Fruitfly infections; the update will be automatically downloaded.
Read more in: - Old-School Mac OS Malware Spotted Targeting Biomedical Industry - Mac malware is found targeting biomedical research - 'Ancient' Mac backdoor discovered that targets medical research forms - Newly discovered Mac malware found in the wild also works well on Linux - New Mac backdoor using antiquated code
Sweden is Testing Ambulance Alert System That Interrupts Car Radios
Sweden is testing a system that would interrupt car radios when ambulances are nearby and need to get past. The system, which operates over an FM radio signal, also sends a message to the radio display. The ambulance alert system will give drivers more time to move out of the ambulance's path.
Read more in: - Ambulances to jam car radios in Sweden
Disgruntled Former Employee Extortion Leads To $250,000 Fine
Triano Williams, a former IT administrator at the American College of Education, changed the administrator password on a Google account used by the college before leaving his position. The affected account held email and course material for more than 2,000 students. When the school contacted Google to regain access to the account, they were told the account could be recovered only by the owner, in this case, Williams. When the school contacted Williams, he filed a complaint seeking "a clean letter of reference and payment of $200,000" in exchange for helping recover the account password. The school filed a suit against Williams, which resulted in a default judgment of nearly USD 250,000.
Read more in: - College fires IT admin, loses access to Google email, successfully sues IT admin for $250,000 - Fired IT Employee Demands $200K in Exchange for Unlocking Data
Researchers, Experts Develop Remote Software Update Protocol for Cars
A team of experts and researchers from New York University's Tandon School of Engineering and University of Michigan's Transport Research Institute have developed a protocol that will allow code embedded in vehicle components to be remotely updated. Some major car manufacturers have already implemented systems to update and fix vehicle software over Wi-Fi or cellular connections.
The technical issues around confidentiality/integrity/availability of any over-the-air update protocol are really important. Decisions about what is an acceptable "update" are equally important from a security perspective and from other issues - like fraud. We know mixing new features with vulnerability fixes is a bad idea, but in the consumer industry that has been the norm. We know at least 2 large car manufactures have routinely included software in their products to cheat on emission tests - over the air updates could enable more of that. The auto industry (or if not those companies, their regulators) needs to define standards of practice around OTA updates.
Read more in: - Are software updates key to stopping criminal car hacks?
Webmaster Used Backdoor to Steal Data
A webmaster in the Netherlands built backdoors into sites he created and used the access to steal site visitors' personal data. Dutch police are warning 20,000 people that their email accounts were compromised. The data thief used the information to make purchases, open online accounts, and receive fraudulent money transfers.
Editor's Note
The unfortunate reality is that while theft is relatively uncommon, backdoors are extremely common. A relatively simple audit can uncover issues before code is deployed.
Read more in: - Dodgy Dutch developer built backdoors into thousands of sites - Thousands warned they may be victims of rogue webmaster
US CERT Warns of Possible Zero-Day Attack Targeting Server Message Block
US-CERT is recommending that Windows admins take steps to protect their systems from a possible zero-day exploit targeting a vulnerability in Windows Server Message Block (SMB). Admins are advised to disable SMB v. 1 and block SMB traffic at the network boundary. The US-CERT advisory notes "that disabling or blocking SMB may create problems by obstructing access to shared files, data or devices. The benefits of mitigation should be weighted against potential disruptions to users."
Read more in: - Kill it with fire: US-CERT warns admins to dump Server Message Block - US-CERT Warns of Zero-Day Windows Exploit Owned by Shadow Brokers - Advisory: SMB Security Best Practices
Access Tokens and API Keys Found in Android Apps
Researchers examined thousands of Android apps and found that some contained embedded access tokens and API keys. Of the 16,000 apps analyzed, 2,500 were found to contain hard-coded secret credentials. Roughly 300 of the apps contained credentials for sensitive accounts, including Twitter, Dropbox, Flickr, and Amazon Web Services.
Read more in: - Secret tokens found hard-coded in hundreds of Android apps - Devs reverse-engineer 16,000 Android apps, find secrets and keys to AWS accounts - Access tokens and keys found in hundreds of Android apps
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Beginner's guide: Installing Bitcoin Armory on Windows 7 I simmed until TODAY in Football Manager 2015... - YouTube Selling Bitcoin at a Coin Shop! - YouTube Football Matches that SHOCKED the World - YouTube 25 Disruptive Technology Trends 2015 - 2016

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Beginner's guide: Installing Bitcoin Armory on Windows 7

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