21 Inc. and Comcast sitting in a tree, d-e-r-p-i-n-g.

asciilifeform: re: ’21’ etci >> ‘The cornerstone of the strategy as presented would have been the release of consumer products that would turn power from wall sockets into bitcoin through the widespread dissemination of bitcoin mining chips.’ << -Somebody- clearly reads the 2013 #b-a logs.

‘Also included in the overview is an email exchange allegedly taking place between Comcast West Coast strategic development managing director Francisco Varela and 21 CEO Matt Pauker in which the cable giant exec evaluates how its customers could benefit from participating in 21’s bitcoin mining operations.’ << Aha, cable boxes.

‘According to the overview, the BitSplit chip’s key innovation was intended to be a hardcoded bitcoin wallet address that would give the user 25% of mining proceeds, with the remaining 75% going to 21. Each device would be built with target applications in mind that would then allow consumers to, in theory, spend any bitcoin earned for online content or digital services.’ ‘By the time its chips were to be embedded into Internet of Things (IoT) devices, 21 projected its cost to produce 1 BTC could be as low as $7.45.’ << Somebody does not grasp difficulty factor ?

‘In the example, one user is able to use his BTC to skip 15 minutes of commercials on online video service Hulu.’ << This is just too many lulz. Essentially, they wanted to pocket 100% of the miner output while throwing occasional bones to the idiot chumpers. It’ll work, too.

trinque: So being a part of the NSA botnet goes from top secret to productized. Brilliant.
asciilifeform: They read the 2013 #b-a log and accepted mircea_popescu’s assertion that they will have problems keeping mining secret. But took everything else and ran with it.

pete_dushenski: It’ll work, too. << I wouldn’t particularly count on it. It’s like the ‘smartwatch‘ idea.
asciilifeform: Why not? Classic, grade-A chumpatron. The actual costs (mains power) are 100% externalized to the chumps. It is precisely the kind of scam which has endurance.
pete_dushenski: Because a few ‘early adopters’ will jump on board, burn their houses down, and the thing’ll fizzle out. Having 10 appliances running full-steam 24-7 will cost $1000/mo in electricity.

asciilifeform: Burn their houses down how? these won’t be packaged as traditional miners, recall. it’ll be in cable boxes, etc. that folks get 1 or 2 of
trinque: So you just end up with a cryptoturd chip built into the Intel processors, and you can’t get other processors.
asciilifeform: and ^

pete_dushenski: I doubt even 25% of mining profits will cover the electricity costs.
asciilifeform: The beauty is that no one will ask the chump if he wants to cover the costs. It’ll be in his cable box, tv, etc. whether he likes, or not
trinque: What consumer asks whats in his wifi router ?ii Yeah.
pete_dushenski: Burn down from having flammables near cable boxes, toasters, etc ?
asciilifeform: No more than today.iii

trinque: And if you really need to ram it through, attach it to some “cybersecurity” bill. State-sanctioned crypto chip that happens to be able to mine.
asciilifeform: It’ll be in his cable box, and if he doesn’t like it, he will have to quit tv. See the ‘halfbakery‘ link, quite the same idea. Circa 2000.
pete_dushenski: By the time they roll these out and get them into any appreciable number of homes, it’ll look like trying to fight the nazis by arming every american with slingshots. “But if we have ENOUGH slingshots and they’re government mandated. And if no one has a choice.”

trinque: Eh I don’t know about that. I’d like to think it, of course.iv
pete_dushenski: Then think it :D

asciilifeform: The only actual problem they will have is fighting over the coin itself. Every other cost of the plan is externalized to captive idiots. For non-U.S. folks – if you subscribe to cable TV, you get the mandatory box. No choice about it. Ditto local net pipe monopolies/duopolies.
pete_dushenski: Ok, so mebbe it doesn’t burn houses down, and mebbe everyone has a half dozen of these chips wedged into their various appliances… I just don’t seeing it mattering ! These things will hash like 500 mh/s.

asciilifeform: The added cost, of the hardware, is negligible. jurov: AFAIK it’s so everywhere, nobody does streaming available for own hardware, I have asked.
trinque: One must beware declaring victory early.v

jurov: “Content protection.” (From customer, I guess)
asciilifeform: Depends on what you think of as ‘matters’. e.g., does it matter if USG becomes largest hash force ?
pete_dushenski: Mattering to hashrate, mattering to bitcoin. Sure, but this is hardly the way to go about it. Even if it’s all they’ve got left.

asciilifeform: After this, the natural thing to do from Hitler’svi point of view is – to go after conventional miners. Extralegally, if necessary.
pete_dushenski: Bitcoin declares victory until proven otherwise ;) It’s equally likely that ‘conventional miners’ will begin to curry favour with local governments.
asciilifeform: In USA, police raids for ‘house was hot, you must have been growing dope.’ Abroad – ‘gas main exploded, sorry.’ -This- is what ‘currying favour with governments’ looks like.

pete_dushenski: Actually, sane local govs are undoubtedly already currying favour with miners. The stupid ones, the govs intent on slitting their own throats, sure.
trinque: The declaration of a thing is not what makes it so. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor_Norton

pete_dushenski: Depends entirely who it is making the declarative statements. Random derp =! Bitcoin.
trinque: “Bitcoin is Bitcoin” has no tactical content. Of course bitcoin is bitcoin. And water is water.
pete_dushenski: Bitcoin, TMSR~vii

trinque: What’s done with either, who owns it, is the meat.
asciilifeform: USG is correctly leveraging its only strengths – subterfuge, on captive audiences, backed by threat of brute force.

pete_dushenski: So let’s do the math. Let’s say that these things are hashing at even 1 GH/s. And that they manage to deploy 10 mn units within 12 months from today.
asciilifeform: Let’s imagine that the only participating firm is comcast

pete_dushenski: Ok. Does that change the 10 mn figure ?
asciilifeform: According to ‘bloomberg’, 22 mil. as of feb ’15. And that’s -subscribers-. Many have >1 box. (Modem, multiple TV tuner boxen, etc).

pete_dushenski: Ok, so half of all subscribers in first year, one box per. aggressive but let’s try it out.
asciilifeform: Ok.

pete_dushenski: So by this time in 2016 the USG has 10 mn gh/s at its disposal.
trinque: No. They have that plus every computer they already had at their disposal.

trinque: Why half? They upgrade codecs, ‘new signal is not compatible,’ want cable – gotta accept (phree!!111!!) new box.
asciilifeform: 100%. And they can do this as often as they want

pete_dushenski: ;;nethash
gribble: 366925659.104

asciilifeform: And who said just 1 chip per box. Why not 20 ? It’s claiming 0.22watt/GH. What, can’t add 5W to box ? Customers will quit tv?viii I can even see the cable becoming ‘phreee’
trinque: Who will claim the NSA doesn’t already have a metric shitload of potential hashing power to apply to this problem ? The consumer product could just be cover for it

asciilifeform: The elegance is that nothing is kept secret. There are no shadowy factories.
trinque: Well what I’m saying is they do both. Sure “oh this is all from those newfangled crypto boxes.” And they start using their SSL chewing boxes, or what have you.

asciilifeform: It’ll be a great ‘hash laundry’ yes.ix
trinque: The idea that the whole USG is the decrepit post office is laughable.
asciilifeform: I said precisely this, in ’13.
trinque: People would like it to be so. Better if goliath has bad knees or whatever. As people would like their declarations alone to move reality.x

pete_dushenski: Best USB miner I recall was, what, 3 gh/s, maybe 5 gh/s. So ok let’s go with 20 gh/s per box, just for shits and giggles. Then we’re at 200 mn gh/s in a year from now.
asciilifeform: And what other player will catch up with this, do you suppose, and how ?
pete_dushenski: Let’s say hashrate increases 3-fold in next 12 months and we see that 200 mn gh/s is…xi
pete_dushenski: ;;calc 366*3/200
gribble: 5.49

asciilifeform: What is the basis for this prediction ? I meant, for the prediction of increase.
pete_dushenski: Basis is 1/10 of increase of 2014. Seems reasonable to me.
trinque: It’s worth noting that anyone making declarations that come true is using his *power* to make them so. Not his magic words.

pete_dushenski: ;;calc 1/5.49*100
gribble: 18.2149362477
pete_dushenski: So the USG’d have 18% in this scenario.xii

danielpbarron: Can’t it only end up benefitting bitcoin to have more hashing power? (Regardless of who is adding it?).
trinque: Not if it’s all remotely diddlable.
danielpbarron: What is to diddle? Is block valid or isn’t it ?

asciilifeform: Not if 51%, or 51% with a few helpers, or if all put to gavincoin, or, or..
danielpbarron: Who cares if put to gavincoin; I won’t buy them.
asciilifeform: Price will be waterfalled up. Possibly even pegged to USD. Doesn’t that ultimately help bitcoin too ?

asciilifeform: Whether one cares – is a matter of taste. But let’s suppose the conscript miners are for proper BTC. The buggers get a seat at the table.xiii
danielpbarron: USG would have to further inflate the dollar to do that.
trinque: “Victory is inevitable” is what you tell the soldiers, sure. That is not how generals speak to each other.

asciilifeform: see mircea_popescu’s essay about ‘They are fine with being late to parties, they know they can steal the cake whenever.
pete_dushenski: In any event, if the USG ends up with 18% of hashrate, albeit briefly, and throwing the kitchen sink at the the thing in the process, it would be about time they did something so productive.

danielpbarron: I thought the point of that essay was that bitcoin is the grand exception — the cake that can’t be taken.
asciilifeform: A good 1/3 of the cake is still sitting on the table.xiv

pete_dushenski: And there’s 7 billion mouths who want a bite.
trinque: Of vastly varying sizes
danielpbarron: I don’t have a problem with USG getting 1/3 of all the bitcoin; the can only spend it once.

pete_dushenski: Let ‘em fight it out.
asciilifeform: Only a few mouths with teeth
trinque: ^

pete_dushenski: Each has 3 teeth, do they share them to make a bigger bite ?
asciilifeform: MP will probably suggest that Cn, Ru, etc. will follow suit with -their- tv boxes.
pete_dushenski: And would he be wrong ?xv

jurov: And where USG gets the extra terawatt? (10mn appliances*100 watt)
asciilifeform: From TV junkies who get it from same place as before.
jurov: But I keep hearing how the grid is in shabby condition.xvi
asciilifeform: (USA is not pegged for generating capacity, though grid is a little strained.)

danielpbarron: The TV box miner must operate at a net loss (I get it the chump bears that cost, but eventually the wealth runs out ie: chump runs out of money.)
pete_dushenski: All I know is that ’21 inc’ sure as fuck isn’t disrupting my sleep ad libitum.xvii

asciilifeform: Shabby condition of transmission lines. But the 5-10W pales in comparison to the seasonal cycle when the ac units switch on. And each house eats an extra 5-10kW.
jurov: Actually is the 100W heat needs to be A/C’d out, it may end up 300-400watt per one box!

asciilifeform: Not suggesting that ‘something is to be done111!!!111!1′ about this but I find it interesting that the buggers read the log and eventually learn something.
pete_dushenski: Except “better late than never” isn’t in this case.
asciilifeform: Let’s suppose ‘everyone’ – Ru, Cn – participates. and supposing the ‘race is to the swift’ – who leads?

danielpbarron: 51% attack is the most credible threat, and even then they can’t FIATize bitcoin (they can’t break the rules).
asciilifeform: If they’re very creative, they’ll have it rolled in with the ‘tax-deductible’ photovoltaic panel thing.

pete_dushenski: Showing up to the train station when the steam engine is but a distant memory and the caboose is over the horizon, with no other train on the schedule, means you either start building your own train (blockchain teckmologee)xviii but or you STFU and go back to working the land.
trinque: Lol working the land.xix

asciilifeform: Doublespend isn’t ‘fiatization’ ?
danielpbarron: Who would accept a transaction from USG ? And why should I feel sorry for them ?

asciilifeform: pete_dushenski: I’m trying to understand your counter here. is it that USG pocketing the last 1/3 of BTC is not annoying? Or that double-spends are not a problem ? Or… what ?
pete_dushenski: Who leads ? I dunno. Doesn’t Israel have some chip fab facilities ? Other than that, China.

trinque: I understand why people would want to think of the US as this fat, incapable beast that happened as some fluke. Feels good, gives them what they deserve or whatever.
asciilifeform: It is simply the largest slave empire in history. Sorta like Egypt, or Inca, with nukes.

jurov: Either your estimate expects 100W per household, or usd is not getting any significant piece of cake
asciilifeform: Why 100W ?
jurov: 20 chips

pete_dushenski: ;;calc 0.18*7000000
gribble: 1260000
pete_dushenski: My counter is that calc ^. So within 100 years,xx USG is as deadly as Pirate or Karpeles !

trinque: This is practically the salvation myth. Bitcoin’s here so we can just wait on our salvation. I don’t buy it for a second.xxi
asciilifeform: ‘You will wait for the bus for a very long time if you are the driver.’
trinque: Yeah.

asciilifeform: Within 100 years, we will -all- be as deadly as pirate…
pete_dushenski: Lol right.

___ ___ ___

  1. 21 Inc. is a Silicon Valley-based shartup that’s raised something like $116 mn thus far and likes to pretend to be all shadowy and secretive, raising their profile with derps who mistakenly believe that Silicon Valley is still a going concern. A number of months ago it became clear to me that 21 was loading up on Qualcomm and Intel people and was obviously gunning for the mining space. Time proved this assessment to be accurate. So mystical ! []
  2. This consumer. []
  3. Except yes. Mining is hard, intensive work. Just ask anyone who has done it by hand. If you think your cable runs hot now, and I know mine did back when I had such a thing, figure on it running markedly hotter and harder as it hashes. []
  4. This, for better or for worse, is very much the post-secular worldview manifest. Those brought up with religion, regardless of what it is, are then disavowed at the alter of science, history, and philosophy, whom then wish they could believe in God. I say to them : get out of your own way ! []
  5. This very much depends. Mayweather declaring victory over Pacquiao before the May 2 fight would’ve been premature. Manchester United declaring victory over your daughter’s U11 soccer team before the match even started ? Less so. []
  6. Lizard Hitler ! aka the Rothschildesque meta-boogeyman, deftly and darkly puppeteering the marionettes you see on TV. []
  7. As opposed to the force of nature. This confusion coming from them both having the same name ! []
  8. News flash : they already have ! []
  9. Y’know, like ‘Silk Road’ or ‘Ethereum‘ or whatever. []
  10. Declarations do not equal observations. The observation that the USG can’t even maintain a highway, much less a space program, is readily apparent. Calling the emperor a naked old fool isn’t an exercise in dreamquesting if he is in point of fact a clothesless, aged, and insipid idiot. Observations, however, are always a matter of perspective and therefore subject to time and place. In this instance, not living in the States, even if I live in a NATO country, would seem to bear advantages. []
  11. But seriously, if ’21’ has 200 mn GH/s from Comcast cable boxes in May 2016, I’ll eat my fucking hat. []
  12. Seriously though, 20 mn cable boxes hashing at 20 GH/s each is fairy tale stuff on this timeline. One mn boxes hashing at 10 GH/s each within a year would be impressive and would only yield 10 mn GH/s, which’d be at most a few % of the network and it would still be the best thing Obama’s done in office. []
  13. Not if ‘the table’ is the WoT. For as long as the #b-a WoT exists, Gavin and Hearn et al. get a seat on the floor. And that’s not just me being declarative. That’s how the WoT works and quite specifically what it’s for. []
  14. I dunno about you, but the idea that the United States as a singular and federated entity is going to survive for another 130 years is pretty lulzy to me. Seriously, that much centralisation, that much command economy, that much socialism – with the exception of the 13-16th century Incas, who were pretty damn isolated and therefore sorely lacking from competition for hearts, minds, and pockets. []
  15. Sure, maybe Russia will issue mandatory Elbrii-running cable boxes, and maybe China, that ever-mysterious blackbox will issue their own to their 1 bn TV subscribers. Or maybe neither of them will bother with the covert shenanigans and will properly set-up their mining farms next to their hydroelectric dams and compete like countries with a pair strapped on. Then again, who knows ? []
  16. He’s right, y’know, USian infrastructure is crumbling before our very eyes. Americans aren’t above Iraqi-esque ripping of copper from telephone wires either. It’s going to get worse for them before it gets better. []
  17. That mark of a free man. []
  18. eg. typical techcrunch retardation à la “I’m not so sure about Bitcoin the currency but Blockchain technology is definitely the future.” What can you tell the braindead mongoloids who regurtitate such drivel other than “Get the fuck back in the kitchen and make me a sammich !” ? Seriously, if you claim to have a working noodle, prove it. []
  19. How else are they supposed to eat ? I don’t imagine a klout score is very filling. []
  20. Fine ! 125 years !!1 []
  21. Now we can wait for our salvation ? No. Certainly not. But do we now have the tools to fight for our independent sovereignty from decrepit nation states and their extractive ideology ? Oh yes. Very much so. []

8 thoughts on “21 Inc. and Comcast sitting in a tree, d-e-r-p-i-n-g.

  1. Mitchell says:

    Cuttin’ through the BS, PD keeps it tha realest.

    • Not denying that they were or have, merely exploring what the USG might do for Act II. What do you think they’ll do ?

    • mh says:

      First of, if they “were or have” then the past-tense is suggesting they no longer “are or is”. If that is the case, then I would have expected the equal (presumably growing) size of hashing power to have disappeared from the network, as appeared somewhere around summer 2013 (if I am understanding Mircea correctly). I’m not sure that it has?

      I do agree with you that USA as we know it won’t last. I give it a few decades. The financial crisis we’re all “waiting” around for, peaking its head sooner than later will make this come into fruition. The divide in that country is too large to keep going like so. Texans eventually want to be Texans, and not married with capital of corruption in D.C. It only makes sense.

      As to exploring what they might do? I think you’re crediting them too much ingeniousness. There’s plenty of black budget, money going into something that is available to the deep state players. I can follow the logic in the debate, and the hegelian dialectic behind the approach of solving the couch-potato’s “problems”.
      But already we see huge data-centers such as in Utah, and there are many more around (that one is just one of the most prominent) where the activity within is largely unaccounted for. It would hardly be an exercise to put money into such a ‘project’, and likely not even a strenuous exercise. Of course, like most other of these activities it can/is done through contractors. (the Academi’s, Booz’s, Leidos’ and also more opague and hidden providers.)

      But it’s all conjecture from my side.

    • But already we see huge data-centers such as in Utah, and there are many more around (that one is just one of the most prominent) where the activity within is largely unaccounted for.

      Well, storage =! hashing and keeping records of every byte on the Internet seems to already be consuming most every ounce of the NSA’s bandwidth, both mental and physical. They really have their work cut out for them here. Hashing would be another project altogether, and not a minor one.

      It would hardly be an exercise to put money into such a ‘project’, and likely not even a strenuous exercise.

      Don’t underestimate the size of the project (think Hoover Dam, sending man to moon), the ineptness of the USG (think old man with underwear around ankles), and the divisive power of Bitcoin (think religion). Not a strenuous exercise ? There’s literally nothing that isn’t a strenuous exercise for a legally quagmired, heavily populated, and geographically dispersed socialist state.

      Of course, like most other of these activities it can/is done through contractors. (the Academi’s, Booz’s, Leidos’ and also more opague and hidden providers.)

      The thing with contractors is that they have no incentive to play nicely with the state once they’ve been paid. They’re above the law and are capable of swallowing even the largest budgets whole, spitting out only enough death threats to stay on top. Remember Iraq ? Remember the missing billion ? No wait, it was a trillion. What goes into private contractors is never to return, much less in the form of tangible revenue for the state.

      It’s not so simple for a fractured state to mine at scale. China can point the Three Gorges Dam at the problem, sure, but what’s the US gonna do ? Well, they might try this Comcast cable box nonsense, but it’s not hard to see how badly this will go too.

  2. […] the home appliance front, this is known as the “Internet of Things,” which is to say that your devices are monitoring your every move and transmitting its […]

  3. […] there appears to be little to no chance that American-led efforts at mining using cable boxes, light bulbs, and toasters will balance this […]

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