There’s no doubt that cryptocurrency in its current form is bad news for our planet. But while much attention has been paid to crypto’s carbon footprint and electrical use, its impact on e-waste hasn’t received similar scrutiny, until now.

A new study out this month in the journal Resources, Conservation and Recycling has come up with a methodology to estimate how much waste bitcoin, the market leader in crypto, generates each year. The researchers state that this is due to the short lifespan of bitcoin mining devices, such as the specialized ASIC computer chips whose sole purpose is to mine bitcoin.

ASIC chips are constantly being replaced for newer, more power-efficient ones by miners, according to the Guardian, and are typically are only in use for 1.29 years. This, undoubtedly, leads to a whole lot of waste. In fact, the researchers put a number on it.

“As a result, we estimate that the whole bitcoin network currently cycles through 30.7 metric kilotons of equipment per year,” the researchers wrote. “This number is comparable to the amount of small IT and telecommunication equipment waste produced by a country like the Netherlands.”

While most of us know that a kiloton is no joke—it’s more than 2.2 million pounds–it can be a bit hard to imagine all that e-waste. The researchers state that each bitcoin transaction generated at least 272 grams of e-waste (.59 pounds). The Guardian broke it down: That’s about two iPhone 12 Minis worth of e-waste.

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There were 112.5 million bitcoin transactions in 2020.

In other words, that’s millions upon millions of iPhone Minis worth of waste per year. If you didn’t feel bad for our planet before—e-waste can release toxic chemicals and heavy metals into the soil, while improper recycling can cause air and water pollution—I hope you do now.

The ASIC chips could in theory be used again if bitcoin prices and profits increase, but there are many barriers that prevent miners from using them again. One factor is the cost from storing the hardware, the researchers point out. Additionally, the longer bitcoin mining devices are stored, the less likely they will ever be profitable.

Nonetheless, the e-waste problem can get worse very fast. It all depends on the price of bitcoin. The researchers state that considering the peak bitcoin price levels in 2021, which reached more than $60,000, e-waste could grow to more than 64.4 metric kilotons in the midterm.

Tackling bitcoin’s e-waste problem would require swapping the current mining process out for a more sustainable alternative, such as proof of stake, the paper points out.

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Launched in 2018 as “Strike” and later relaunched with a new name and mainnet in December 2020, Perpetual Protocol is a decentralized exchange (DEX) designed for leveraged trading, short positions and low levels of slippage. It uses a virtual automated market maker (vAMM) and collateralization vault to settle trades and enable trading in perpetual contracts, which are futures without expiry.

DEXs are seeing a pickup in the activity. For instance, derivatives DEX dYdx has registered a trading volume of more than $4.3 billion in the past 24 hours, surpassing the Nasdaq-listed centralized crypto exchange Coinbase’s $3.7 billion. Perpetual Protocol has facilitated trades worth $258 million so far today, amounting to a near 10-fold rise from Sunday’s tally of $16.16 million, CoinGecko data shows.

Synergia Capital’s Denis Vinokourov told CoinDesk that the great rotation into all things DeFi has begun, and the sub-sector could see a prolonged bull run. Spartan Capital’s general partner and head of research, Jason Choi, tweeted that overregulation would be a bullish catalyst for DeFi, while ByteTree Asset Management’s Market Insights published last week said “investors should look to DeFi for long-term alpha.”

That said, the breakout from the bearish channel may remain elusive if the macro picture turns bleak again. Bitcoin fell sharply in the first half of the last week along with S&P 500 on fears that the crisis at the Chinese property giant Evergrande Group may become a systemic problem for global markets.

While equities stabilized in the latter half of the week, China’s property market turmoil may not be over yet. “The Evergrande collapse only shows a dangerous reality in several Chinese sectors: excessive indebtedness without real income or assets to support it,” Daniel Lacalle, chief economist for Tressis SV, said in his opinion post at Mises Institute. “The hope that the government will fix everything contrasts with the magnitude of the financial hole.”

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Major crypto options exchanges, including industry leader Deribit, are due to settle billions of dollars’ worth of bitcoin options contracts on Friday. Analysts don’t expect the monthly expiration to have a notable impact on bitcoin, which is under pressure this week due to macro risks and regulatory concerns.

Tang explained that if bitcoin breaks above $50,000, traders who sold calls in anticipation of a bearish move or consolidation may resort to hedging – buying the cryptocurrency in the spot or futures market to mitigate losses arising from the short call position. That could put upward pressure on the cryptocurrency, accelerating gains.

Options are derivative instruments that give the purchaser the right to buy or sell the underlying asset at a predetermined price on or before a specific date. A call option gives the holder the right to buy, while the put buyer gets the right to sell. Open interest refers to a number of calls and put option contracts traded but not squared off with an offsetting position. A call buyer is implicitly bullish on the market, while a put buyer is bearish.

The chart shows maximum call option open interest is concentrated at strikes higher than bitcoin’s current market price, also known as out-of-the-money (OTM) calls. Most of the put options are located at lower strikes. So, the majority of options appear set to expire worthless unless bitcoin charts a big move before 08:00 UTC Friday, the designated expiry time on Deribit, where one option contract represents 1 BTC.

Also, there is a notable build-up of call options open interest between $46,000 to $50,000. “The larger expiries were at $46,000, $48,000 and $50,000, creating time decay concerns late last week with spot stagnating in the $47,000 to $49,000,” range, Adam Farthing, chief risk officer at B2C2 Japan, said. “Down here [around BTC’s current price], we only have $44,000 and $40,000 with any size on them (open interest 2,500 and 1,500, respectively), we’ve kind of moved away from the problem down here.”

“As far as the BTC options market is concerned, the trading volume is actually not very large compared to the current market value of BTC,” Allen Wang, head of trading at Babel Finance, said. “In a mature market, the average daily trading volume of options is about five to 20 times the trading volume of the underlying asset itself.

The Sept. 24 expiry risk reversals, which measure the difference between the implied volatility of out-of-the-money (OTM) calls and OTM puts, have come off sharply from -5 to -20 this week. The greater the demand for an options contract, the greater its volatility and its price. Therefore, the decline in risk reversals indicates investors are adding downside protection.

The cryptocurrency fell for the third straight day on Tuesday, penetrating the $40,000 mark for the first time since early August on concerns surrounding Chinese real estate developer Evergrande Group’s debt crisis and fears that the U.S. Federal Reserve will begin to wind down its stimulus program soon. The selling aggravated after U.S. Securities Exchange and Commission Chairman Gary Gensler compared stablecoins to poker chips and reiterated the call to regulate the cryptocurrency industry.

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SHANGHAI — China intensified a crackdown on cryptocurrency trading on Friday, vowing to root out “illegal” activity and banning crypto mining nationwide, hitting bitcoin and other major coins and pressuring crypto and blockchain-related stocks.

Ten Chinese government agencies, including the central bank as well as banking, securities and foreign exchange regulators, said in a joint statement they would work closely to maintain a “high-pressure” clampdown on trading of cryptocurrencies.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said cryptocurrencies must not circulate in markets as traditional currencies and that overseas exchanges are barred from providing services to mainland investors via the internet.

The PBOC also barred financial institutions, payment companies and internet firms from facilitating cryptocurrency trading.

The moves come after China’s State Council, or cabinet, vowed in May to crack down on bitcoin mining and trading as part of efforts to fend off financial risk, sparking a major sell-off of cryptocurrencies.

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The Chinese government will “resolutely clamp down on virtual currency speculation, and related financial activities and misbehaviour in order to safeguard people’s properties and maintain economic, financial and social order,” the PBOC said in a statement on its website.

In response to the latest move, bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, dropped over 6 percent to $42,2167, having earlier been down about 1 percent.

Smaller coins, which typically rise and fall in tandem with bitcoin, also tumbled. Ether fell 10 percent while XRP a similar amount.

“There’s a degree of panic in the air,” said Joseph Edwards, head of research at cryptocurrency broker Enigma Securities in London. “Crypto continues to exist in a grey area of legality across the board in China.”

The move also hit cryptocurrency and blockchain-related shares.

U.S.-listed miners Riot Blockchain, Marathon Digital and Bit Digital slipping between 6.3 percent and 7.5 percent in premarket trading. China-focused SOS dropped 6.1 percent while San Francisco crypto exchange Coinbase Global fell 3.4 percent.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said it was launching a thorough, nationwide cleanup of cryptocurrency mining. Such activities contribute little to China’s economic growth, spawn risks, consume a huge amount of energy and hamper carbon neutrality goals, it said.

It’s an “imperative” to wipe out cryptocurrency mining, a task key to promoting high-quality growth of China’s economy, the NDRC said in a notice to local governments.

Virtual currency mining had been a big business in China before a crackdown that started earlier this year, accounting for more than half of the world’s crypto supply.

The NDRC said it will work closely with other government agencies to make sure financial support and electricity supply will be cut off for mining. The national planning body also urged local governments to come up with a specific timetable and road map to eradicate such activities.

Previous restrictions, issued by local governments, paralyzed the industry as miners dumped machines in despair or sought refuge in places such as Texas or Kazakhstan.

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Cryptocurrency prices plunged Monday morning during a widespread market sell-off sparked by concerns of a potentially catastrophic debt default in China, pushing many of the world’s largest digital currencies to their lowest levels in more than a month.

The world’s largest cryptocurrencies slipped to their lowest prices in more than a month.

Key Facts

The value of the world’s cryptocurrencies plunged to a low of less than $1.9 trillion by 8:45 a.m. EDT on Monday, nearly 11% less than 24 hours prior and reflecting a loss of more than $250 billion, according to crypto-data website CoinMarketCap.

Heading up market value losses, the price of bitcoin dipped 9% to less than $42,669 while ether prices fell nearly 10% to a low of $2,940—marking each of their lowest levels since early August.

In a Monday note, Jonas Luethy of digital asset broker GlobalBlock said the sudden pullback occurred after shares of Chinese real estate giant Evergrande, which has more than $305 billion in liabilities, plunged to their lowest level in 11 years, triggering a stark sell-off as analysts warned the company’s potential collapse could pose risks to the broader market.

Luethy also pointed to increasing regulatory scrutiny as reason for the panic-selling, with Bloomberg reporting over the weekend that Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, is under investigation by U.S. regulators for possible insider trading and market manipulation.

As prices crashed, El Salvador President Nayib Bukele announced the nation took advantage of falling prices and “bought the dip” for a second time this month, spending roughly $6.5 million to boost its cryptocurrency holdings by 150 bitcoins.

Evergrande, China’s second-largest property developer, alerted banks last week that it would be unable to make debt payments due this month, sparking a sharp drop in the Chinese real estate sector. The losses quickly spread to broader markets as experts started warning its default could potentially create a Chinese “Lehman moment,” market analyst Tom Essaye, author of the Sevens Report, wrote in a note last week, referring to the U.S. investment bank that collapsed at the onset of the Great Recession. “There isn’t enough clarity on how Evergrande’s challenges may affect the global economy and that uncertainty is enough to spook markets,” wealth advisor David Bahnsen, of California’s The Bahnsen Group, said in a Monday email.

Key Background

Alongside historic adoption measures, buzz around the digital collectibles known as non-fungible tokens and concerns over heightened inflation have helped the cryptocurrency market pare back losses since regulation in China sparked a nearly 50% crash in early May, though it’s still down nearly 25% from an all-time high four months ago. In a note earlier this month, JPMorgan analysts warned the recently booming market for smaller cryptocurrencies less established than bitcoin likely reflects “froth and retail investor mania,” and pointed out such mania has historically resulted in corrections of nearly 50%.

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This is the original piece, from Wildfire’s days as a Steam Greenlight title, that Epic Hero Battles stole
Image: Wildfire

NFTS (Non-Fungible Tokens) are an environmental disaster and an enormous scam, and perhaps the funniest thing about their persistence is how little effort purveyors of this modern snake oil are putting into it.

Take Epic Hero Battles, for example. A “blockchain-based game” on the “Ethereum network”, it was trying to sell 10,000 NFTs that consisted of a randomly-generated hero and their pet, which could then be put into battle to win either prizes or…more NFTs.

I’m not sure how randomly-generated they would have been, though, because despite the well-worn (and by September 2021 shown to be entirely bullshit) claim that NFTs are all about artists and ownership of their work, for its main page the game’s creators decided to just straight up steal a piece of key art from indie game Wildfire, which came out just last year and is pretty damn good.

After Wildfire’s creator Dan Hindes called the game’s creators out on Twitter (at 52k likes and counting), Epic Hero Battles’ creators removed his art from their page and publicly responded, saying:

Hi guys! I want to tell you about the art that was used on the site. We got it from the web dev, but we didn’t check it, our mistake. This won’t happen again, honestly.

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Ah, an innocent mistake! Or not, since with the theft of Wildfire’s assets out in the open, other folks started going through Epic Hero Battles’ website and Twitter account and found more art that had been stolen.

The game’s Twitter profile pic? Lifted straight from this artist’s Tumblr post. This big piece of art announcing the game’s roadmap for the future that’s below? Stolen wholesale from this very cool piece of pixel art by Boki Boki.

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Bukele is young, tech savvy, and a budding authoritarian. He has also tethered his political fate to the country’s bitcoin experiment, so he is pulling out all the stops to make it work.

One of those perks is offering $30 worth of free bitcoin to every Salvadoran inside the country who signs up for the Chivo wallet. That’s no small sum in a country where the monthly minimum wage is $365.

Remittances from abroad comprise nearly a quarter of El Salvador’s GDP, and around 70% of the population receives them. The average monthly remittance transfer is $195, and for the households that receive remittances, it makes up 50% of their total income. So the funneling of cash from abroad back home to El Salvador is critical to survival for most of the country.

Around 60% of that cash comes via remittance companies and 38% through banking institutions, according to official data. Fees vary by company, but typically, the smaller the payment, the higher the percentage that goes to fees.

For instance, if García wants to send $10 to his cousin in San Salvador, he will pay $3.24, or a nearly 33% commission to Western Union.

If he uses his Muun self-custodial wallet for the transaction, however, he will pay 10 cents, or a 1% fee. And if García were to pay from a Chivo wallet, which is reserved for Salvadoran nationals living at home or abroad, the transaction would be free. Once his cousin receives the funds, he can then go to any of the 200 new Chivo ATMs the government has rolled out and withdraw U.S. dollars from his virtual wallet.

“Wherever you are now, you can send bitcoin to anyone with a Chivo wallet in El Salvador, and in minutes, they have the value and then they can go to one of the ATMs and take it out in cash without a fee,” said Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer for the Human Rights Foundation.

“That’s drop-dead stunning. It’s an incredible humanitarian improvement.”

The president estimates that money service providers like Western Union and MoneyGram will lose $400 million a year in commissions for remittances should the population adopt bitcoin at scale. Mario Gomez Loazada, who was born and raised in El Salvador, worked as a banker with Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse and now runs a derivates exchange for crypto assets, thinks the figure will be closer to $1 billion.

Western Union did not reply to a CNBC request for comment about whether the company was worried about how this might affect business and if there was any plan to alter the fee structure to adjust for increased competition.

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Five years ago, from her prison cell, trans whistleblower Chelsea Manning sketched out a new way to protect online privacy. Now, she is helping an MIT-affiliated cryptographer bring the next generation of privacy software online.

Chelsea Manning’s long blonde hair catches in a cool summer breeze as she turns the corner into Brooklyn’s Starr Bar, a dimly lit counter-cultural haunt in the heart of the hipster enclave of Bushwick. The 33-year-old best known for leaking hundreds of thousands of top-secret government documents to Julian Assange in 2010, then coming out as a transgender woman, walks past a poster depicting sea turtles, humans and geese merging to form the outline of a dove. Beside the image are the words, “Your Nations Cannot Contain Us.”

Dressed in a black suit and wearing a silver Omega watch, she makes her way to a small wooden table illuminated by a shaft of sunlight. She orders a coke. Contrary to what one might expect, this whistleblower turned trans-icon looks uncomfortable in the hip surroundings. A fan reverently approaches her and welcomes her back. “This is my life,” she says after he leaves, expressing both gratitude for the well wishes, and lamenting the loss of her privacy. “I’m not just famous, I’m in the history books.”

While serving the longest sentence ever doled out to a whistleblower after she used the privacy protecting Tor Network to anonymously leak 700,000 government documents, she used her time in incarceration to devise a better way to hide the tracks of other online users. Knowing that the non-profit Tor Project she used to send files to Wikileaks had become increasingly vulnerable to the prying eyes of intelligence agencies and law enforcement, she sketched out a new way to hide internet traffic using blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin, to build a similar network, without troublesome government funding. The entire plan was hatched in a military prison, on paper.

The privacy network industry, including the virtual-private networks (VPNs) familiar to many corporate users, generated $29 billion in revenue in 2019, and is expected to triple to $75 billion by 2027. Fixing the known weaknesses of these networks is about more than just protecting future whistleblowers and criminals. Private networks are also vital for big businesses who want to protect trade secrets. Manning thinks that not-for-profit efforts like Tor, which relies on U.S. government funding and a worldwide network of volunteers to run its anonymous servers, aren’t robust enough. “Nonprofits are unsustainable,” says Manning casually, sipping from her Coke. “They require constant upholding by large capital funds, by large governments.”

Nym Technologies founder Harry Halpin sips on a “homojito” at Brooklyn’s LGBTQ-friendly Starr Bar, as he and Chelsea Manning discuss their nascent partnership, formalized in July.

By January 2017, she was seven-years into a 35-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth, home to the likes of former Army Major Nidal Hasan, who killed 14 fellow soldiers in 2009. As President Barack Obama prepared to leave office, he granted Manning an unconditional commutation of her sentence. Newly tasting freedom, she was contacted by Harry Halpin, the 41-year-old mathematician who worked for World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee at MIT from 2013 to 2016 helping standardize the use of cryptography across web browsers.

Halpin asked Manning to look for security weaknesses in his new privacy project, which eventually became Nym, a Neuchâtel, Switzerland-based crypto startup. Halprin founded Nym in 2018 to send data anonymously around the Internet using the same blockchain technology underlying Bitcoin. To date, Nym has raised some $8.5 million from a group of crypto investors including Binance, Polychain Capital and NGC Ventures. The firm now employs 10 people and is using its latest round of capital to double its team size.

Halpin was impressed by Manning’s technical knowledge. More than just a famous leaker who happened to have access to secret documents, Manning struck Halpin as someone with a deep technological understanding of how governments and big business seek to spy on private messages.

“We’ve very rarely had access to people who really were inside the machine, who can explain what they believe the actual capabilities of these kinds of adversaries are, what kinds of attacks are more likely,” says Halpin. “She’ll help us fix holes in our design.”

Born in Oklahoma on December 17, 1987, Manning had her first exposure to network traffic analysis in high school. She and her Welsh mother Susan had moved to Haverfordwest, Wales in 2001, when Manning was 13. In a computer class there, in 2003, she first learned to circumvent blocks put in place by the school to prevent students downloading certain files—and got caught pirating music by Linkin Park, Jay-Z and others. The headmaster had been watching remotely. “It was the first moment where it dawned on me, ‘Oh, this is a thing. You can do this.’”

By 2008 Manning’s interest in what’s called network traffic analysis first brought her to The Onion Router (Tor), a volunteer network of computers that sits on top of the internet and helps hide a user’s identity. The non-profit organization leveraged something called onion routing which hides messages beneath layers of encryption. Each message is only decipherable by a different member of the network, which routes the message to the next router, ensuring only the sender and receiver can decipher it all. Ironically, the network colloquially known as the Dark Web, and used by Manning to send classified documents to WikiLeaks, was developed by the U.S. government to protect spies and other government agents operating online.

Much of Manning’s consulting work comes with mutually binding non-disclosure agreements that make it difficult for her to market her business.

At around the same time Manning discovered Tor, she joined the U.S. Army. As a young intelligence analyst her job was to sort through classified databases in search of tactical patterns. After becoming disillusioned with what she learned about the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, she plugged into her computer, put in her headphones, and loaded a CD with music from another of her favorite musicians: Lady Gaga. Instead of listening to the album though, she erased it and downloaded what would eventually be known as the largest single leak in U.S. history, ranging from sensitive diplomatic cables to video showing U.S. soldiers killing civilians, including two Reuters journalists.

In prison she studied carpentry, but she never stopped exploring her earlier vocation. “I’m a certified carpenter,” she says. “But when I wasn’t doing that, I would read a lot of cryptography papers.” In 2016, she was visited in prison by Yan Zhu, a physicist from MIT who would later go on to become chief security officer of Brave, a privacy-protecting internet browser that pays users in cryptocurrency in exchange for agreeing to see ads.

She and Zhu were concerned with vulnerabilities they saw in Tor, including its dependence on the good will of governments and academic institutions. In 2020 53% of its $5 million funding came from the US government and 27% came from other Western governments, tax-subsidized non-profits, foundations and companies. Worse, in their opinion, the technology to break privacy was being funded at a higher rate than the technology to protect it.

“As the dark web, or Tor, and VPN, and all these other services became more prolific, the tools to do traffic analysis had dramatically improved,” says Manning. “And there’s sort of been a cold war that’s been going on between the Tor project developers, and a number of state actors and large internet service providers.” In 2014 the FBI learned how to decipher Tor data. By 2020 a single user reportedly controlled enough Tor nodes to steal bitcoin transactions initiated over the network.

Using two lined pieces of composition paper from the prison commissary, Manning drew a schematic for Zhu of what she called, Tor Plus. Instead of just encrypting the data she proposed to inject the information equivalent of noise into network communications. In the margins of the document she even postulated that blockchain, the technology popularized by bitcoin, could play a role. In the notes below she wrote the words: “New Hope.”

Manning was prohibited from having guests in prison she didn’t know before. Fortunately, she’d met MIT physicist Yan Zhu, at a party shortly before being locked up, and drew up these documents during a visit in 2016.

Then, this February Halpin woke her up late one night with an encrypted text message asking her to take a look at a paper describing Nym. Developed completely separately from Manning’s jailhouse sketch, the paper detailed an almost identical system disguising real messages with white noise. A hybrid of the decentralized Tor that relies on donor support, and a corporate owned VPN that requires trusting a company, this network promised the best of both worlds. Organized as a for-profit enterprise, Nym would pay people and organizations running the network in cryptocurrency. “The next day I cleared my schedule,” she says. By July she’d signed a contract with Nym to run a security audit that could eventually include a closer look at the code, the math, and the defensive scenarios against government attacks.

Unlike Tor, which uses the onion router to obscure data sent on a shared network, Nym uses what’s called a mix network, or mixnet, that not only shuffles the data, but alternates the methods by which the data is shuffled making it nearly impossible to reassemble.

“Imagine you have a deck of cards,” says Manning. “What’s really unique here is that what’s being done is that you are taking essentially a deck of cards, and you are taking a bunch of other decks of cards, and you are shuffling those decks of cards as well.”

And, as it, turns out, not every government is comfortable using a privacy network largely funded by the U.S. government. Despite Halpin’s commitment to build a network that doesn’t require government funding to operate, in July Nym accepted a 200,000 euro grant from the European Commission, to help get it off the ground.

“Knowing that Wikileaks had become increasingly vulnerable to prying eyes from intelligence agencies and law enforcement, she sketched out a new way to hide internet traffic using blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin.”

“The problem is that there was never a financial model that made any sense to build this technology,” says Halpin. “There was no interest from users, venture capital, and big companies. And now you’re seeing what we consider a once in a lifetime alignment of the stars, where there’s interest in privacy from venture capital. There’s an interest in privacy for users. There’s interest in privacy from companies. And most of the interest from the venture capital side and the company side, and the user side has been driven by cryptocurrency. And this was not the case even five years ago.”

Even Tor itself is exploring how to use blockchain to create the next generation of its software. After receiving 26% of its total donations in cryptocurrency last year, the Tor Project received a $670,000 grant from advocates of the zcash cryptocurrency and sold a non-fungible token (NFT) representing the first .onion address for $2 million in May, 2021. Now, Tor’s cofounder, Nick Mathewson says the Seattle-based non-profit is exploring some of the same techniques developed by cryptocurrency companies to create Tor credentials that let users develop a reputation without revealing their identity. What he calls an “anonymous blacklistable credential.”

“If you’ve got a website, and somebody does something you don’t like, you can ban them,” says Mathewson. “You can ban the person who did that activity without ever finding out what other activities they did or figuring out who you banned.”

Though Mathewson is interested in the possibility of using blockchain to upgrade Tor itself, he warns that making privacy infrastructure for-profit could lead to more money being spent on marketing than product development. “Our mission is to encourage the use of privacy technology,” says Mathewson. “I don’t really care whether that privacy tool is the one I made or not.”

Ironically, the same cryptocurrency culture Halpin says brought so much attention from investors, deterred Manning from getting involved earlier. Though she counts herself among the earliest bitcoin adopters, claiming to have mined cryptocurrency shortly after Satoshi Nakomoto activated it in 2009, she sold her bitcoin last year for decidedly non-monetary reasons.

“I am not a fan of the culture around blockchain and cryptocurrency,” she says. “There’s a lot of large personalities that are very out there like your Elon Musk’s and whatnot,” she says. “And it’s very, like, ‘Oh, we’re going to get rich off of blockchain.’ It’s very nouveau riche. Like a new-yuppies-bro-culture that’s surrounded it. It has gotten a little bit better in some corners. But I think that culture is what I’m talking about. It’s like Gordon Gekko, but blockchain.”

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