Use Cashshuffle With BCH

What is Cashshuffle and why is it important? How does Cashshuffle work?

Privacy

One hears it often regarding privacy. A popular app introduces a clever or convenient feature that requires the use of personal information. A new revelation becomes public on the abuses of government surveillance or violations of privacy. These are the circumstances lead people to say, “I ain’t got nothin’ to hide“.

Pseudo-Anonymous

Satoshi Nakamoto called Bitcoin pseudo-anonymous. This is because transactions occur and create records with addresses that don’t include names. By looking at the public blockchain ledger, one can see the balance and activity for any given address, but not the name of the owner associated with the address (BCH Rich List). The combination of blockchain analysis tools and KYC and AML compliant companies have made the blockchain nearly completely public.

But BCH in particular is concerned about being a currency. This is important because, currency must be fungible. A currency is not fungible if the history of transactions makes one element of the currency more or less valuable than another element. For example, if some BCH was used in a crime, then a person may not desire that particular BCH as much as some BCH that had a clean history, because possessing the ‘tainted’ coins may bring unwanted attention to the current owner.

Enter Cashshuffle

Bitcoin community awareness on the privacy issue existed before I even discovered Bitcoin. Therefore, developers suggested and implemented various solutions to this privacy problem. A solution for BCH that I recently heard about is the CashShuffle tool. CashShuffle mixes coins from various participating wallets automatically.

CashShuffle is available on Electron Cash and is coming soon to the Bitcoin.Com wallet and hopefully more wallets soon.

For this article, I downloaded Electron Cash for the Mac. After downloading and opening the Electron Cash wallet, all of the expected and usual prompts occur. The wallet prompts you to name your wallet, write down your backup phrase and create a password for the wallet.

Screen Shots

Cashshuffle wallet being initialized
Create your new wallet.
Cashshuffle wallet in action
Electron Cash starts shuffling coins.
Coins have been shuffled (dark theme).

iOS App

I usually use BCH to make purchases on line. Therefore, the app for my desktop will probably be my primary wallet. However, there is an iOS client available in the App Store. This is dope – it means that I can easily access my private coins for spending when I am out and about. It increases the utility of BCH to have tools like this available. I am liking this wallet a lot, yo!

If you got value from the article or have questions regarding CashShuffle, email me or let me know in the comments below. Thanks!

Earn Tokens, Pay No $

I have been a Coinbase user for a couple of years now and just learned of a cool program Coinbase offers: Coinbase Earn. Coinbase Earn says you can: “Earn Crypto While Learning About Crypto”. Since launching in December 2018 and has taken me so long to discover this program, I want to share the knowledge by posting about it to spread the word the best I can!

The Coinbase Earn product allows users to learn about select cryptocurrencies and the needs they address. As of this writing, there are earn and learn courses for are 3 cryptocurrencies: BAT, ZEX, and ZRX. Also, as of this writing, a waiting list exists for enrolling in the program for each cryptocurrency. I put myself on the waiting list for all 3. I will update this post after I have finished each of the courses. Also, this post will update if any new courses become available.

On the waiting list to earn cryptocurrency

To find this product, go to Coinbase and scroll to the bottom of the page. Press on the link for ‘Earn’ and you will be taken to the Coinbase Earn product. You are then presented with a choice of cryptocurrencies to learn about. Even though this author was unable to immediately take any of the courses all is not lost. The cool thing is that short videos are available to preview on each of the cryptocurrencies.

The preview videos highlight the need that each particular cryptocurrency addresses. For instance: one of the videos notes that the Brave browser id faster, more secure, more private. One of the videos notes that 70% of the revenue generated by ads goes the user that views the ad! I am a huge fan of Brave. You can read more about Brave here. I highly recommend downloading the Brave browser.

One more note: the videos are short and entertaining.

Screen shot from Coinbase Earn Product video on BAT

Project Dragonfly: Is it Limited to China, or is it a Test Run?

Or……………………….
is censorship by Google already happening all over the globe?

It was Wednesday, July 18, and Gomes was addressing a team of Google employees who were working on a secretive project to develop a censored search engine for China, which would blacklist phrases like “human rights,” “student protest,” and “Nobel Prize.”

theintercept.com

The project is named ‘Project Dragonfly’. It was strictly secretive and guarded at Google and according to whistleblower Yonatan Zunger. Project Dragonfly bypassed the standard inspection by the security and privacy teams. When the privacy team completed its review, the findings revealed important concerns:

Zunger and his colleagues produced a privacy report that highlighted problematic scenarios that could arise once the censored search engine launched in China. The report, which contained more than a dozen pages, concluded that Google would be expected to function in China as part of the ruling Communist Party’s authoritarian system of policing and surveillance. It added that, unlike in Europe or North America, in China it would be difficult, if not impossible, for Google to legally push back against government requests, refuse to build systems specifically for surveillance, or even notify people of how their data may be used.

theintercept.com

This privacy report by Zunger and his colleagues makes two assumptions that may be untrue.

Assumptions

  1. The Chinese government accumulates evidence for prosecutions.
  2. Google is a company that shields it’s users from abuses of governments

Starting with number one: Does the Chinese government think it needs ‘evidence’ of actions against the Chinese state before it will take actions against its citizens or are accusations treated as evidence? To answer that, inspect the reaction to a letter published criticizing the Chinese President Xi Jinping. The Chinese government kidnapped relatives of a Chinese blogger after he tweeted a link to the letter:

On Friday, New York-based blogger Wen Yunchao, also known as Bei Feng, said his brother and parents were also taken away in southern Guangdong province, after he tweeted a link to the letter.

Washington Post (sometimes fake news)

Now, is Google a company that will protect its users from overreaching governments? Well, Google previously pulled out of China due to censorship, however, Google headed back to China with a censorship engine and government approved apps. This indicates that the pull out may have been more of a technological setback/limitation than a moral stance.

Google is a corporation made of people of course, and some bravely blew the whistle on the search engine’s unethical practices. However, the project goes forward because a critical mass of managers and employees at Google do not care about the destiny of Chinese citizens.

For me, this is a good enough reason to stop using Google. The company is secretive and unrepentant in its compliance with Chinese authoritarian laws.

There are other reasons to abandon Google and all of its’ services.

  1. Google (and other social media companies) silence American blogger critical of China’s government.
  2. Google complies with demands for user data in 94% of cases.
  3. Did the CIA create Google?

Although most of Google’s services work great and are super convenient, Google is not a passive actor and filters its’ search results in a manipulative way:

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said Pro-Trump articles or content about immigration laws gets flagged as hate speech, and not a single right-leaning site appeared on the first page of the search results. He called for an independent third-party group to look into the matter.

upi.com

This behavior is unrequested by the user and therefore reduces the utility of the search engine (this is an intentional bug). In a similar way, Google may introduce a ‘bug’ into gmail that flags some users emails as ‘spam’. Because Google has outed themselves as being open to censorship, this next step should be expected from the company.https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/how-the-cia-made-google-e836451a959e

Because of the revelations discussed in this post, this authors of this website no longer use Google services.

Instead farawaystars.com authors and contributors use:

  1. Brave Browser
  2. Protomail
  3. Duck Duck Go
  4. iOS mobile devices
  5. Other organic means including social media and forums to drive traffic to farawaystars.com

Because of #5, please bookmark farawaystars.com.

😀

Stop! Police!

Stop, or you may be shot

Just discovered this shortcut for Siri (iPhone users only).

Police

This shortcut has attracted media attention, in fact, here is an article about it.

When the ‘Police’ shortcut is activated, the following things happen:

  • music is paused
  • phone set to ‘Do Not Disturb’
  • phone screen is dimmed
  • your location is determined
  • a text messages is sent to a selected address
  • a video is taken (may select front or rear camera and video quality)
  • the video is saved to a photo album on the phone
  • a text with the video is sent to a selected address
  • there is an option to upload to Dropbox and/or iCloud Drive

Last summer, I took my son to a local fire station. It is less than a half mile from my home, which is in a fairly nice suburb. The station is on the bigger side and had a regular fire truck, a fire engine, and a hazardous material truck. Attached to the fire station is a police station.

In the attached police station garage, one vehicle commanded my attention. It was a flat black (armored?) hummer that looked like it could drive over and through brick walls. I found myself amazed that a vehicle like this could be useful in the community I live in! Apparently, the SWAT teams use that vehicle.

This is an example of the ‘militarization’ of the police.

There is a Lobby for Police Militarization
meme from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/democracychronicles/

The militarization of the police presents a contradiction for gun rights activists that insist on ‘backing the blue’ (which is a common position). Supporters of the 2A know that guns are needed as a last defense against an oppressive government. Well…the police are going to be the ones that enforce any oppression from the government. So why would one ‘back the blue’ when that is clearly arming a potential threat?

Police militarization highlights a contradiction for gun grabbers, as well, in my opinion. How can one simutaneously be in favor of gun control, acknowledge that the cops are targeting and harrassing minorities, understand that the police are arming themselves like an invading army, and then decide that the best course of action is to just let these people be the only ones with guns?

I believe that in order for police to protect and to serve, as is their stated purpose and motto , the police officers and police departments must be accountable to the citizenry. The Siri shortcut, Police, is a tool that citizens now have to hold police accountable for their actions. 😉

Easily Use Protonmail with Your Own Domain Name and Siteground Hosting

How does it make you feel to know that in your ‘user data’ that a company stores likely takes many gigabytes? check yours here

What is your reaction to the knowledge that each of your personal emails with a certain company has been inspected, analyzed, and preserved in order to better create a profile of your personality and to document the changes in your priorities and interests over time?

Do you approve of the fact that the same company presents modified search results to you based on the profile it has crafted for you?

Does a person that wants privacy from strangers have something to hide? 

Is it ok for a company to cooperate with a tyrannical government in silencing and oppressing its citizens?

The Creepy Line Trailer

The time is now to ditch Google.

Perhaps it is due to just how good capable Google’s software is that has brought me to this point. A fairly recent update to the email service reveals options for quick replies to emails that are creepily context aware. The thought of every email that I write being read, analyzed, understood, and saved forever really popped to the forefront of my thoughts when I saw that feature. The uneasiness that feature gave me combined with news of Project Dragonfly directs me to find an alternative for email, calendars, alternate phone numbers, and many more services that Google provided so well.

As luck would have it, a suitable and awesome competitor presented itself for email: Protonmail.

“ProtonMail uses Zero-Access Encryption, which means it is technically impossible for us to decrypt user messages. Zero-Access Encryption applies to all messages in your mailbox, even messages which did not come from other ProtonMail users.” This ensures the emails are not read by bots and then analyzed for ways to manipulate you into buying goods and services. Because of this, there is a charge to store anything over 500MB of data in your emails, Protonmail’s product is not you.

Protonmail also has a neat feature that allows you to use your own domain name for your email address and it works very much like Google Apps does. 

You will need your own domain name to do this. This tutorial uses SiteGround.

  • Purchase your domain name if you don’t already have one.
  • Purchase at least a Plus plan with Protonmail.
  • Click on Settings (gear icon on the top bar menu)
  • Click on Domains (globe icon on the side menu)
  • Now you will need to enter information about your domain, verify ownership, and configure your email security settings.
  • Protonmail has a wizard that will guide you through these steps, the icon is a magic wand.
  • see below:
the wizard is available by pressing the magic wand under the ‘Actions’ menu
  • Work your way through the menu, each tab has specific instructions provided by Protonmail.
  • see below:
each tab, as you click on it, will present instructions to setup your various email settings and security
  • To add a DNS record in Siteground, enter the cPanel and select ‘Advanced DNS Zone Editor’
  • see below:
select this in the cPanel
  • For the hostname field, just enter your domain name, this is a little unclear in the instructions as it varies for each hosting provider.
  • see below:
Siteground’s cPanel area to add a DNS record
  • To edit your MX records, select ‘Advanced MX Editor’ in the cPanel
  • see below:
select this in the cPanel
  • Select ‘Remote Mail Exchanger’ as shown below
  • see below:
select ‘Remote Mail Exchanger’ and enter the record as instructed by Protonmail’s wizard

At the end of this process you will soon be able to receive Protonmail’s encrypted emails at your domain name email address!

Donate to Protonmail to help them in their mission:

Donate to Protonmail.