The Wallet Inspector’s Promise

There are no shortage of pie-in-the-blockchain promises being spewed forth from the self-appointed leaders in today’s Bitcoin space. “Presenting a revolutionary new way to use smart this to decentralize that”, or some variation thereof. Sound familiar?

Unless you’re so new to Bitcoin that you’ve never heard of BitShares, Ethereum, or Mastercoin, such promises should ring as clear as the Vatican’s bells on Christmas Eve. Anyone who’s “anyone” in North America’s Bitcoin scene is bleating at the top of their lungs about the promises of such innovations. Bitcoin-powered drones acting as Decentralized Autonomous Corporations that execute smart contracts to deliver GPUs from Amazon right to your 10th floor apartment balcony is pretty much the mashed up embodiment of this wet dream. It’s also as likely as flying cars and equally ignorant of reality.

Those of us interested in Bitcoin tend to be idealists. We imagine a brighter future for humanity by separating money and state, and in the process returning transactional privacy to individuals. Now that this appears to be fait accompli (even though it’s far from it), we can’t help but shift our collective sights to the next fantastical image of the future. And presumably, the next one after that as well.

Despite innumerable painful reminders, pie-in-the-blockchain promises are just that: promises. Butterfly Labs promised to ship your ASICs, Mt Gox promised to keep your coins safe, BitFunder promised to let you trade securities, and on and on and on. But would you, in your wildest dreams, pay for (much less blindly pre-order) a $15,000 car from a random manufacturer you’ve never heard of, just because they had a glitzy website, some Pixar doodles, and specs promising both 0-60 in 3.2 seconds and 200 mpg? Hell, especially if they made such audacious claims? As if! You’d only buy such a car, and such promises, from VW or perhaps Honda because you know that both of these companies have public identities with public executives and a long history of delivering the goods. This is normal logic that normal people have. Yet such logic is completely out the window in the Wild West of Bitcoin Greed and Idealism. Everyone with two bitcents to rub together thinks they’re an investor, rendering them gibbled prey to the wolves with slick websites and calculated appeals to idealism. Unbelievably, such wolves are consistently able to raise MILLIONS, even TENS OF MILLIONS of dollars worth of BTC, then walk away as if nothing happened. This is as criminal as it is preventable.

The solution: Due Fucking Diligence.

It’s hard to say how many times the Bitcoin wolves will be able to trick the Bitcoin sheep. Maybe there’s no limit. But time breaks bullshit. The fly-by-night operations and their skeezy operators will come and go, but their proportion in the Bitcoin Economy will continue to dwindle as legitimate players outwit and outlast them.

These are the very embryonic stages of something monumental. Rest assured that Mother Nature will weed out the useless mutants, just like she always does. So before you throw more valuable coins on yet another promising promise (eg. CoinTerra, NeoBee, etc.), consider more than just what’s being promised, consider who’s making the promise. If they’re anonymous or an unknown quantity, you’re “investing” with them in the same way that you “invest” with a wallet inspector.

Trust them at your peril. Because it’s all about trust.

Simpsons Snake - Wallet Inspector


46 thoughts on “The Wallet Inspector’s Promise

  1. You’ve name-dropped Neo in an investment caution, but not provided any specific accusation.

    What promise are you expecting to be broken, what trust vector has not been satisfied?

    Have YOU done due diligence in choosing CoinTerra and Neo as examples?

    More importantly, under your requirements, who DOES qualify for trust? The US government? Wall Street?

    • Bitcoin Pete says:

      TaT, Neo was chosen for its visibility, the availability of its security, and their promising promise to free Cypriots of Euro-based banking. I recognize that you’re associated with their security on Havelock.

      CoinTerra was chosen because they might actually deliver, just maybe. Unlike, say, ActiveMiner.

      As to who qualifies for trust, to each his own. Whether you use WoT, blood relation, or “because I read it in WSJ” as a basis for trust is entirely up to you. I’d merely encourage people to use less of the latter option and more of the former two.

    • Christophe says:

      This comment lends the article even more weight, now that we have the benefit of hindsight.

  2. […] as scarce as trees on Easter Island. It’s no wonder we’ve become such suckers for the wallet inspector’s promises and the scammer’s pupbux. Taglines like “such profit” are too tempting to pass […]

  3. […] of Today’s Lesson: Play smart and beware the wallet inspector, lads. Your ancestors certainly […]

  4. […] emerging Citizens of Bitcoin, however, the ones capable of doing their due fucking diligence, don’t need, much less want, such sheep shearing masquerading as protection. The ones […]

  5. […] someone else’s interpretation of “adequate entropy”. As much as Bitcoiners loooove trusting, let’s not and say we […]

  6. […] Unless it’s teleportation or secure computing4, whatever you’re calling “Bitcoin 2.0″5 is not the next revolution, it’s just the buzzing of another wallet inspector. […]

  7. […] Plus interest. I persuaded him that taking out a loan denominated in BTC is crazier than “investing in securities” denominated in […]

  8. […] saying “we’re more secure than traditional banking” is always and everywhere a wallet inspector’s promise. So for the love of God, stay the fuck away from these guys. […]

  9. […] with their data any more they’re going to trust the guy at the mall who claims to be a wallet inspector. Digital security, like physical security, means trusting as few people as possible and selecting […]

  10. Shannon Code says:

    At Mastercoin we take every security report seriously and I personally investigate each claim. To that end I would ask that any security issues be submitted via the email address. This way we can address concerns the quickest. We also offer bounty rewards to non duplicate / reproducible issues.

    I would like to clarify that there is not and has never been any secrets stored on the Omniwallet server in plain text. Decrypted keys are used browser side to sign transactions and the decrypted private key is never sent back up to the server. I think there was a bit of confusion over an API call used in the hackathon that was quickly addressed.

    -Shannon Code
    Mastercoin Security

    • Bitcoin Pete says:

      Hi genecyber,

      I think you missed the article you were aiming for:

      Either way, what, specifically, are you qualifications and experience?

    • Shannon Code says:

      Over 10 years of software development experience, roughly 15 years as a hobbyist security enthusiast.3 years software testing experience. 2 Years experience as an independent security researcher (Working on embedded, web and application security audits for fortune 100 companies)

      We don’t want the security of our users to rest on any one person’s shoulders, my experience with the security bounty concept (crowdsourcing) is there are hundreds of highly qualified researchers just itching to take a crack at any given program. Offering to pay them for that opportunity provides a level of quality that is amazing.

    • Pete D. says:

      Just digging this comment back up from the crypt, I can’t help but chuckle at Shannonizer here. It’s worth noting how much focus he puts on time expended rather than results achieved.

      FTR “I’ve claimed these bug bounties” is a lot more meaningful and persuasive than “We’ve posted this many bug bounties.”

  11. […] expects the sun to rise again just for him. It always has before, neh? So why not find some more wallet inspectors to […]

  12. […] surprising that they were in the red for February and March. This, despite listing known scams like NeoBee and the even lulzier NeoBeeQ. […]

  13. […] no long-term viability. Even their short-term viability is in question at this point. Circle is a wallet inspector of the worst […]

  14. […] with Mastercoin and those other fucktards with MaidSafeCoin, it should be. This is the exact same wallet inspector schtick. “Trust us now, bother us later after we miss all the deadlines and don’t do anything […]

  15. […] but until then, Bitcoin is still the wild west, and as far as I’m concerned, everyone is a wallet inspector until proven otherwise. […]

  16. […] and Government Affairs Committee John Collins. Coinbase is a California based business that "hosts" wallets on the behalf of users while also serving as a payment processor and online retail counter for exchanging between Bitcoin […]

  17. […] because, in separating the signal from the noise, the reader is protected from untold swarms of wallet inspectors. This is something that your national newspapers, Gawker, and the rest of the mainstream media […]

  18. […] It’s a bit of a quagmire to legitimately persuade Bitcoin holders to part with their coins. Illegitimately convincing them is considerably easier, which has everything to do with target demographics. […]

  19. […] are well-documented. Reliability has also been a significant issue with these machines. What wallet inspector? […]

  20. […] while old platforms such a died, neglected by all but the wallet inspectors and their chumps. […]

  21. […] Bitcoin’s sovereign, has no choice but to unrelentingly dispose of any and all pretenders, frauds, and nihilists. We wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we were led by the noses […]

  22. […] Put it up on the board if you haven’t already: is yet another wallet inspector. […]

  23. […] in the wild west days of gold mining – being early,ii holding on to your winnings, dodging wallet inspectors, keeping private keys safe… Many started out on this journey, far fewer survived. Just as it […]

  24. […] but until then, Bitcoin is still the wild west, and as far as I’m concerned, everyone is a wallet inspector until proven otherwise. […]

  25. […] from fiat stock markets and are therefore as uninteresting to me as they are festooned with criminals of every description. […]

  26. […] what makes you think a lightning does ? Don’t try to fill in the gaps in your own skull with wallet inspectors. We all know how that inevitably […]

  27. […] ya, some arriviste niggers thought they could make a quick buck and got scammed, what else is new. At the same time, their bosses are taking their chips off the table while the going is good […]

  28. […] rife with ‘entrepreneurs’ who in point of fact end up being little more than scammy wallet inspectors and lottery winners instead of admitting that their heads dun work so good and that staying rich is […]

  29. […] Plus interest. I persuaded him that taking out a loan denominated in BTC is crazier than “investing in securities” denominated in […]

  30. […] “PGP for Blackberry.” After Myntex deletes the keypair on “Desktop” (talk about counterparty risk!!!!) the Blackberry is snailmailed to clients, mostly in Europe but really all over the world, who then […]

  31. […] love the wallet inspectors you know from college. You can just imagine the lot of ‘em scammers gathering ’round […]

  32. […] “the Ledger” ? I dunno whether that’s another scammy wallet inspector webthingy or a euphemism for Bitcoin’s blockchain but I can’t be bothered to find out […]

  33. Elder Man says:

    Where are my bitcoins?
    The police has to investigate the fraud..
    They are located in Luxembourg,but the server are in the USA.Right?

  34. […] original was published three-and-a-half years ago,i during which time many revolutions within teh […]

  35. […] Matters of Merchant Adoption 2. The Wallet Inspector’s Promise 3. Early Classical Revival Websites Do Not A Bitcoin Bank Make 4. Citizens of Fiat vs. Citizens […]

  36. Hallie says:

    Its really alarming, right? of course every investor needs to have a wallet then all of a sudden all the investments are gone, turns out to be a SCAM. They should be blamed for the reason people doesn’t trust cryptocurrency. Anyway, i’m into counterparty now, any counterparty wallet you can suggest?

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