Believe it or not, today's blog may be related to the two previous days' blogs. But what possible relationship could Bitcoin and for that matter, crypto-currencies in general have to CERN or to Argentina and the recent visits of Mr. Tillerson and Mr. Bezos there, to check out the "nature".
Well, when Mr. M.A. sent the following article to me, he did so with some very suggestive high octane speculation of his own. He suggested that, perhaps, there might be a connection between CERN and crypto-currency mining. Why? Well, because there is a bunker in Switzerland which was built by the Swiss military as a command headquarters during the Cold War, and which now functions as a private corporate facility, surrounded by intense security, to guard crypto-currency encryption keys, the very things that drive blockchain:
The article itself points out the reason for all the security:
It’s odd to think of a virtual currency needing physical storage, but just like your most precious photos, cryptocurrencies need some kind of material container. A bitcoin vault doesn’t store actual bitcoin units. Technically, what’s being stored are private, cryptographic keys. These keys form a pair with public-facing keys and provide access to the balance of coins stored on the bitcoin network. Gaining unauthorized access to someone’s private key is akin to stealing their gold bar. The security protocol in the bunker is designed to ward off attacks from “well-funded terrorist groups or hackers.”
Stories of hackers finding their way through even the best-secured bitcoin accounts are legion, and—given that bitcoin was designed to make banks obsolete—it’s ironic that bank-like methods have to be used to keep cryptocurrencies safe.
If someone gets hold of your private key, there’s no way to claw the funds back or demand a refund. That’s why firms that store bitcoin like this one, called Xapo, are a juicy target—and why the bunker requires paranoiac levels of security.
But why would Mr. M.A. suggest a potential link to CERN? While his email was rather sketchy in details, I had to admit, as I allowed my own penchant for high octane speculation to run amok, he may have a point, for three basic reasons: (1) mining crypt-currencies requires a lot of electricity, something which CERN has in abundance; (2) mining crypto-currencies also requires a lot of computing power, something which CERN also has in an abundance rivaled probably only by the vast computing power of intelligence and signals-intercept agencies; and the real kicker is (3) CERN may be engaged in secret data analysis and correlation experiments, as I have speculated on numerous occasions. But it is also a sovereign entity, and could equally use that power as a means of very covert funding. Enter crypto-currencies, for as I've also pointed out on this site, stories have recently emerged that some very nefarious groups are using crypt-currencies to fund their operations and activities. So Mr. M.A.'s speculation may not be all that much of a stretch. (Hmmm... Switzerland, Templars, lots of money, Templar space satellites.... hmmm....)
But then, squatting in the middle of this article, something else caught my attention, and my jaw hit the floor. Recall that yesterday I blogged about the appearance of Mr. Jeff Bezos in Patagonia, tweeting about glaciers and saving the planet and space. Mr. Bezos, as most people know, is a billionaire, the founder of Amazon, owner of the Washington Post, and Amazon and the CIA are in turn related (and not just indirectly through the Post). Amazon is a huge database, if one wants to look at it a certain way, sitting on top of mountains of raw data of inestimable value to intelligence.
Mr. Bezos' presence in Argentina is coincident with U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson's, and again, Mr. Tillerson's Argentinian junket began, not in Buenos Aires with a meeting with President Macri, but in San Carlos di Bariloche where, ostensibly, he was to give a speech to a nature preserve and meet with a Fullbright scholar.
Uh huh. Sure. Glaciers, Fullbright scholars, and nature preserves.
So what was squatting in the middle of the article?
Sit down, and have a couple of fingers of Jack Daniels, because this one is a stunner, and full of implications:
Xapo’s founder is the Argentinian entrepreneur Wences Casares, the “patient zero” of bitcoin among Silicon Valley’s elite. It was Casares who gave tech luminaries like Bill Gates and Reid Hoffman their first bitcoins. Carlos Rienzi, Xapo’s head of security, chose the vault, and he designed the private suite and its security protocols.(Emphasis added)
That's right: the owner of this bunker, and one of the "founders" of Bitcoin, according to this article, and therefore, someone who sits on top of the Bitcoin op, is an Argentine "entrepreneur".
Now let's search for Senor Cesares. Wikipedia says this about him:
He is the founder and CEO of Xapo, a bitcoin wallet startup based in Palo Alto, California. Xapo is said to be the largest custodian of bitcoin in the world. Xapo has raised $40 million from leading Silicon Valley venture capital firms.
Casares sits on the board of PayPal and, as part of his non-profit activities, he serves on the board of Endeavor, a non-profit organization that promotes high-impact entrepreneurship in emerging markets and that was instrumental in his early success. He also served on the board of Kiva, a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty worldwide.
Originally from Patagonia, Argentina, Casares launched that country's first Internet Service Provider, Internet Argentina S.A. in 1994, a company he would go on to sell in order to found the Argentine online brokerage Patagon in 1997. Patagon established itself as Latin America's first comprehensive Internet financial services portal and expanded its online banking services to the United States, Spain, and Germany. Patagon was acquired by the Spanish bank, Banco Santander for $750 million which became Santader Online worldwide.
Oh... gee... look! He's from Patagonia in Argentina!
And oh... gee...look: he has online banking services connected to Spain, the USA, and Germany!
And... wow... look again! It's all being coordinated from a bunker!
Now the question is, who else, and what else, is he connected with?
And gee, this all sort of makes me wonder, with blockchain encryption, if crypto-currencies aren't a perfect way to launder all sorts of missing money, and while doing so, manipulating their prices as well, kill two birds with one stone, so to speak...
See you on the flip side...