Cyreenik Says

June 2021 issues

Climate change is the latest variant on Conspiracy Theory

"Don't invoke conspiracy when simple incompetence can explain what happens."

This is a saying that has been around a while, and has relevance in a lot of scenarios. One of the older versions of conspiracy theory, that was popular when I was growing up during the Cold War, was to blame Soviet Communist agents when bad things happened.

The variant on this which has become popular over the last year is to blame climate change when something awful happens. A current example of this is the Champlain Towers South condo building collapse this month in Miami, Florida. This was a complete surprise when it happened, and now people and the media are looking for explanations. One popular explanation is modern conspiracy theory, as in, climate change. This 29 Jun 2021 The Guardian article, Miami condo collapse prompts questions over role of climate change by Oliver Milman, is an example. From the article, "The shocking collapse of a 12-storey building in the Miami area last week has raised questions as to the role played by the climate crisis,"

Having something bad happen as a simple surprise bothers a lot of people, the result is that there is always a tendency to look for some deeper, more sinister explanation. These days that deeper sinister explanation is often climate change.

Cryptocurrencies aren't anonymous

One of the goals in creating cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin was to come up with a monetary system that wasn't manipulated by the government that created the system.

It now seems that that goal has not been achieved.

The ransomware hackers who went after Colonial Pipeline accepted their payment in bitcoin. It now seems the government was able to locate those bitcoins and confiscate a lot of them. (but not all of them) This implies that anonymity is not going to be an inherent part of the cryptocurrency systems. LoL! This makes me think of tracking the serial numbers on dollar bills -- but in this Colonial Pipeline and bitcoin case this turned out to be practical.

So in practice cryptocurrencies will remain anonymous... as long as no one too influential tries hard to track them. They can be used for money-laundering as long as the people being harmed by the activities the money-laundering is paying for are just ordinary folk.

This 7 Jun 21 WSJ article, U.S. Retrieves Millions in Ransom Paid to Colonial Pipeline Hackers -- Law-enforcement officials recover roughly $2.3 million in digital currency paid after cyberattack that led to closure of East Coast fuel conduit, by Dustin Volz, Sadie Gurman and David Uberti, talks about ransomware bitcoins being recovered by the US government.

From the article "Investigators seized about 64 bitcoin, valued at roughly $2.3 million, from a virtual wallet—the alleged proceeds from the ransom hack carried out by a suspected Russian-based criminal gang on Colonial Pipeline Co., the Justice Department said."

This 11 Jun 21 WSJ article, How the FBI Got Colonial Pipeline’s Ransom Money Back by David Uberti, talks about how the seizure was accomplished.

From the article, " A May 27 transfer of nearly 64 bitcoins landed at a virtual address to which the FBI gained access, providing an opportunity to get a warrant and pounce."



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