Ongoing Effort to Free Ross Supported by 100 Eminent Organizations and Individuals

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Ongoing Effort to Free Ross Supported by 100 Eminent Organizations and Individuals

Ross Ulbricht’s clemency petition is closing in on 160,000 signatures stemming from individuals asking U.S. President Donald Trump to pardon Ulbricht. In addition to the vast number of signatures, roughly 100 eminent organizations and well known figures have supported Ulbricht’s effort, many of whom have written a statement on Ulbricht’s behalf in order to speak out against his draconian double-life prison sentence for creating a website.

Also read: Strong Evidence Suggests a Single Entity Mined More Than 1 Million Bitcoin

Close to 160,000 Signatures and Widespread Support for Ross Ulbricht

Ross Ulbricht is serving a double-life sentence, plus forty years in prison without the chance of parole. The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest back in 2015 and Ulbricht has spent a number of years behind bars. Since Ulbricht was sentenced, a great number of individuals and organizations have supported him over the years and just recently his family created a petition asking Trump to grant Ulbricht clemency.

Free Ross Effort Supported by 100 Eminent Organizations and Individuals

At the time of writing, the petition has gathered a whopping 158,602 signatures and the family hopes to reach 200,000 soon. Scrolling through the commentary shows people who have signed the petition believe that Ulbricht’s sentencing was unfair to give to a person who just created a website where others sold drugs. Ulbricht’s punishment for operating the Silk Road marketplace is far harsher than even murderers and many other darknet creators have received much lesser sentences.

Free Ross Effort Supported by 100 Eminent Organizations and Individuals

Moreover, with Ulbricht receiving a great number of signatures from people who support his cause, there’s also a wide range of statements addressed to Trump stemming from prominent businesses, well known political activists, celebrities and crypto luminaries.

Free Ross Effort Supported by 100 Eminent Organizations and Individuals

For instance, the assistant secretary of housing under U.S. President George H.W. Bush details in her statement that she would like to see Ross free as soon as possible. “I am but one of the thousands – growing to millions – of people who intend to see Ross Ulbricht walk free, putting an end to a saga that began in 2013 and that constitutes one of the worst examples of prosecutorial abuse the United States has suffered yet,” Catherine Austin Fitts’ statement explains. The popular political party in the United States that promotes free markets and individual freedoms, the Libertarian Party, also would like to see Trump grant Ulbricht clemency. The political party states:

The Libertarian Party has requested President Trump grant a full pardon to Ross Ulbricht.

The Ulbricht Trial and Sentencing Was a ‘Shocking Miscarriage of Justice’

There are countless influential people supporting Ross who have made specific statements on his behalf. The world-renowned scholar, historian and political activist Noam Chomsky calls Ulbricht’s sentence a “shocking miscarriage of justice.” Television personality and show host John Stossel says “No American is safer because Ross Ulbricht is in jail for life — He is just one more casualty of our futile war against drugs.” The popular actor Keanu Reeves notes that Ulbricht’s cruel sentencing affects us all. “The Silk Road and trial of Ross Ulbricht involve many important and complex issues that impact the life of Mr. Ulbricht and us all,” Reeves highlights in his statement.

Free Ross Effort Supported by 100 Eminent Organizations and Individuals

The Republican U.S. Senator from Maine, Eric Brakey, reveals in his declarative support for Ross that he believes Ulbricht was treated unfairly by our criminal justice system. “[It is] terrible to learn that the Judge considered pending charges during sentencing that were later dismissed — This is not how our criminal justice system is supposed to work,” Senator Brakey added. The former Governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura, feels the same way and thinks that most online articles concerning this case “present false or misleading information.” The CEO of the financial publication Business Insider believes Ulbricht’s sentence will also cost U.S. taxpayers.

“Ulbricht’s life sentence won’t deter others from giving Americans access to the drugs they want — It won’t ‘protect’ society,” Henry Blodget noted. It won’t ‘serve justice’ in some moral or cosmic sense. It will just waste another life behind bars and cost non-incarcerated taxpayers about $2 million over Ulbricht’s 50-year remaining life expectancy.”

The widespread support for Ulbricht continues to show that many people adamantly disagree with Ulbricht’s sentencing and would like to see him walk away a free man. The list of well known organizations and influential people is filled with many more statements from people like Reason’s EIC Nick Gillespie,’s CEO Roger Ver, film director Alex Winter, angel investor Tim Draper, libertarian author Lew Rockwell, and political commentator Tom Woods.

Free Ross Effort Supported by 100 Eminent Organizations and Individuals

Ulbricht is also supported by many organizations such as the American Black Cross, Cato Institute,, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Foundation for Economic Education, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Parallel Polis, Students for Liberty, and more. Essentially, the signatories and statements bolster the evidence that Ross’s investigation, trial, and sentencing were rife with abuse and he did not get a fair trial. The Ulbricht family hopes the thousands of signatures and the 100 proclamations from people will help convince Trump to pardon Ross.

What do you think about all the individuals and organizations that support Ross Ulbricht’s clemency? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Image credits:, and Pixabay.

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Strong Evidence Suggests a Single Entity Mined More Than 1 Million Bitcoin

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Strong Evidence Shows a Single Miner Mined More Than a Million Bitcoin

On April 16, RSK Labs chief scientist Sergio Demián Lerner published a new research study concerning the earliest blocks mined on the Bitcoin network. The report concerning one of Bitcoin’s earliest miners provides strong evidence to suggest that a single miner processed 22,000 blocks. Additionally, Lerner has released a new website called Satoshi Blocks that aims to help crypto enthusiasts visualize mining during the protocol’s earliest days.

Also read: Are You Ready for What Happens If Satoshi’s Coins Move?

New Data Stemming from Bitcoin’s Earliest Miners Hardens Prior Evidence

Years ago, independent researcher and cryptographer Sergio Demián Lerner released one of the most in-depth studies concerning Bitcoin’s earliest mining periods. According to his first study published on April 17, 2013, the vast majority of the initial BTC mined was done by a single miner. Moreover, Lerner produced data sets from his blockchain analysis that tracked the extranonce fields within the coinbase field stemming from the coinbase transactions themselves. At the time Lerner estimated that the miner was able to gather precisely 1,814,400 BTC. In addition to this large number of mined coins, 63% of those coins, or 1.1 million, have never been spent since the day they were created.

Strong Evidence Suggests a Single Entity Mined More Than 1 Million Bitcoin

Fast forward to six years later and Lerner has published another rigorous study that provides an even stronger argument that backs his prior claims. The latest paper, called “The Return of the Deniers and the Revenge of Patoshi,” at first discusses Lerner’s original study and how he originally came to his previous conclusion. Lerner detailed how he found the information in the extranonce field and how certain flaws revealed information in a “non-privacy preserving way.”

Strong Evidence Suggests a Single Entity Mined More Than 1 Million Bitcoin
Lerner calls these patterns shown as blue lines the ‘Patoshi pattern’ after identifying a single miner who accumulated about 1.1M bitcoins during 2009-2010. The Patoshi pattern (blue) and other miner patterns (green). The data can be visualized on Lerner’s new website

Lerner’s paper then discusses the single miner who has been dubbed ‘Patoshi’ and describes how he was able to find the miner’s pattern. Lerner explains how a few people have accepted the existence of the Patoshi pattern, a few years on, yet believe multiple miners may have been synchronized or there was some form of an early mining pool in place since the genesis block. Lerner debunks these arguments with many reasons and by explaining various factors including:

  • 99.9% of all Patoshi blocks are unspent.
  • Each Patoshi block “links” to a block in the pattern set, but not to any of the remaining blocks.
  • There are some time intervals where the Patoshi pattern interrupts abruptly.
  • Mining pools were invented several years later.
  • Mining pools were created to reduce reward variance due to the low individual probability of solving a block, but during 2009 single miners could easily solve blocks frequently.

By the end of 2013, Lerner said he had found proof “beyond any doubt, that the pattern was real, using a completely different method.” His latest study describes how he discovered that all of the blocks mined by Patoshi were identifiable by a depleted range of nonces used in processed blocks to a specific range. From 2014 to early 2019, Lerner didn’t have much more to add to his prior research and there were a few other studies published recently that suggest Patoshi only mined around 700,000 coins. However, Lerner’s latest study “proves with overwhelming probability” that a single miner extracted all of the coins in his Patoshi pattern, which is well over a million BTC. The researcher’s new argument is based on computer clocks because even in the early days miners used a local computer’s clock to timestamp blocks after processing them.

Strong Evidence Suggests a Single Entity Mined More Than 1 Million Bitcoin
According to Lerner, Patoshi paused mining for 10 days. Lerner also suggests that the miner called ‘Patoshi’ gave away approximately 550 BTC to other people in the form of donations

“If you’ve studied the Bitcoin protocol, you’ll know that block timestamps are not necessarily monotonically increasing,” Lerner writes. “This is true from the Bitcoin source code 0.1.0 to the latest version of Bitcoin Core that had an internal miner (before mining pools were created).”

Clocks and Timestamps

Some of the latest evidence Lerner provides also concerns why he strongly believes the single miner extracted close to 1.1M coins, which is even more than the initial 1M BTC discovered by Lerner years ago. For instance, Lerner states that “computer clocks can be unsynchronized from each other,” “timestamps were not updated continuously during mining,” and “block timestamps are adjusted by the Bitcoin software to match the median time of the peers that are connected to a node.” Because of these reasons, the study notes that the same computer will almost never reverse its own timestamps and “the delta between inverted block timestamps indirectly measures the hashrate of the parent block miner.”

Strong Evidence Suggests a Single Entity Mined More Than 1 Million Bitcoin
Lerner’s study shows a few cases of timestamp inversions.

“There are no time inversions between Patoshi blocks — Zero — This result is very relevant considering the Patoshi blocks account for 43% of all the blocks in the first 50k. I’m open to considering other explanations, but for me, this can only mean one thing — There is a single PC clock whose time is stamped in the Patoshi blocks.” Lerner’s paper continues:

A single software that controls how block templates are created — A single miner.

The RSK Labs chief scientist concludes that there is evidence that links the Patoshi patterns to Satoshi but he prefers to stop there and “leave Patoshi alone once for all.” Lerner believes the evidence he provided is reliable but he expects more people to deny the information in forums. Lerner also infers that he has discovered a more precise figure and coded a more accurate pattern-following algorithm which can be viewed on his new site

Do you think the Patoshi pattern belongs to Satoshi? Do you believe a single miner mined over 1.1 million BTC during the network’s earliest days? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Image credits: Shutterstock, Sergio Demián Lerner’s blog, Pixabay, and

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Central Bank Digital Currencies Take Center Stage at IMF Spring Meetings

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CBDCs Take on Major Importance at IMF Spring Meetings

Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) featured prominently when global financial leaders met for this year’s World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF) joint Spring Meetings in the United States. Faced with emerging disruptive technologies like Bitcoin, their discussions also focused on how money and payments are taking on new forms throughout the world. There wasn’t any determined conclusion to the debates, but the IMF’s Christine Lagarde admitted that cryptocurrencies have shaken the established global financial order.

Also read: The Struggle to Buy Bitcoin in Crypto-Starved Botswana

50% Chance Sweden Will Issue CBDC in Next 10 Years

It is not surprising that CBDCs continue to be a topic of interest at the Spring Meetings, held this year in Washington D.C. from April 8-12. Lagarde, the managing director of the IMF, has in the past urged central banks to consider issuing digital currency to make transactions more secure. She argues that state-backed cryptocurrencies could satisfy public policy goals related to financial inclusion, consumer protection, privacy and fraud prevention.

Central Bank Digital Currencies Take Center Stage at IMF Spring Meetings

At the latest round of meetings, central bank officials experimenting with CBDCs, including those from Canada, Sweden, and Uruguay, provided updates on their work while debating the potential features and technological design of such currencies. In one of the panel discussions, titled “CBDC: Should central banks issue digital currencies?,” Swedish central bank deputy governor Cecilia Skingsley revealed that there was a greater than 50% chance the Risbank would issue its own digital currency, e-krona, within the next decade.

“The discussion around CBDCs is very important because of the notion of money and how we organise societies around money,” Skingsley stated. In Sweden, the value of bank notes and coins in circulation now accounts for just 1% of GDP, she revealed. That compares with about 10% in the Eurozone and 20% in Japan. Skingsley said just 1 in 10 people use cash for payments in Sweden, a development which has made the e-krona a possible alternative. She explained:

People now find that digital payments and keeping their money in digital form is much more suitable to their needs. It means that within a couple of years, given current trends, Swedes will no longer have access to central bank money, because notes are the central bank money.

Non-Cash Transactions Soar

Cashless transactions or various kinds have soared around the world in recent years. Bitcoin, for example, was created to challenge the conventional financial system and return the ownership of money to the people, beyond the reach of the state. But this vision has not endeared it to global financial gurus who are steeped in tradition. Unsurprisingly, many national governments have raised concerns about cryptocurrencies and have called for tighter regulation.

To counter these threats, a number of central banks have started to ponder whether and how to adapt CBDCs. About 25% of central banks around the world are now actively exploring the possibility of issuing state-backed cryptocurrencies, even though only a handful of trials have been reported. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and the Central Bank of the Bahamas have both announced advanced plans to conduct blockchain-based CBDC pilots.

Central Bank Digital Currencies Take Center Stage at IMF Spring Meetings

The Case for Central Bank Digital Currencies

In Canada, a central bank digital currency is steadily and carefully taking shape. Speaking at the IMF Spring Meetings, Bank of Canada deputy governor Timothy Lane illustrated the costs and benefits, risks and opportunities of issuing CBDCs. One of his key contributions centered on the relationship between interest rates and a central bank digital currency. Lane elaborated:

Some people have suggested that CBDC should be interest-bearing, including that it should allow the possibility of negative interest. Partly, that also would be the reason for introducing it, which is the idea that if you want to provide more money for policy stimulus you could breakthrough the zero lower bound.

However, Lane added that “for this whole thing to be viable the public would actually have to be convinced that this is something they want to hold. I suppose this is part of the primary motivation [for issuing CBDCs].”

Both the World Bank and IMF appear resolute on virtual money. The Bretton Wood institutions announced an in-house experimental blockchain token of their own, aptly named Learning Coin. The idea is for staffers to have a hands-on approach to learning about blockchain technology. Through a purpose-built mobile phone app, employees can read curated content and watch videos related to blockchain in exchange for earning the valueless Learning Coin, which can only be redeemed in-house.

Special Drawing Rights

But the concept of a unique unit of exchange isn’t exactly new to the IMF. In 1969, the organization created what it called Special Drawing Rights (SDR) – an asset that almost functions as a currency. SDR is used for transactions between central banks and the IMF; more or less what some countries are trying to achieve with large value, blockchain-based interbank payment experiments, for example, Jasper I & II in Canada, Khokha in South Africa, and Stella I in Europe. Similarly, at least six international banks have revealed plans to issue stablecoins backed by fiat currency, on IBM’s World Wire, to allow for faster and cheaper cross-border remittances and payments.

Central Bank Digital Currencies Take Center Stage at IMF Spring Meetings

There are some similarities in both systems. The value of the SDR is based on a basket of five currencies – the U.S. dollar, the euro, the Chinese renminbi, the Japanese yen, and the British pound sterling. Stablecoins derive their value from fiat currency. Canada’s Timothy Lane indicated that it will take a little more time for central bank digital currencies to become useful for cross-border payments as that requires greater regulatory collaboration. Others are simply encouraged that the CBDC discussion has remained open and topical at the IMF conferences.

“It’s clear that the government and private sector are both very interested in learning more about CBDC and what the future of digital payments might look like,” Ashley Lannquist of the World Economic Forum told “It’s commendable that the IMF and World Bank Group have decided to embrace and feature dialogues on central bank digital currency, setting an important example for other international organizations.”

What do you think about the IMF’s position on central bank digital currencies? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Token Analyst Monitors Exchange Inflows to Help Predict Market Movements

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There’s a wide array of on- and offchain signals that can be used as indicators by cryptocurrency traders. When combined, they paint a detailed picture of the current state of the markets, and suggest which way they may move next. Token Analyst is a service that focuses on exchange inflows and outflows, in a bid to determine which way the money is moving.

Also read: The Struggle to Buy Bitcoin in Crypto-Starved Botswana

Follow the Flow of Cryptocurrency

The cryptocurrency markets exist in a constant state of flux, which can make it hard to cut through the noise and identity the important trading signals. Token Analyst is a market monitoring tool that takes a different approach to the usual Coinmarketcap clones. Rather than focusing on digital asset prices, it’s more concerned with their onchain movements to and from major exchanges such as Binance, Bitfinex, and Bitstamp.

Token Analyst Monitors Exchange Inflows to Help Predict Market Movements

The platform reveals the net change in BTC and ETH over a 24-hour period for each platform, and also offers a subscription-based service for more serious traders interested in viewing real-time exchange inflows. The Hobbyist package is priced at $99 while the Pro package, at $499, includes more advanced features. For the casual and the curious, however, there’s plenty of information that can be sourced from Token Analyst without the need to spend a cent. This includes:

  • BTC and ETH daily onchain volume
  • Live feed of onchain transactions for major ERC20 tokens
  • 24-hour transaction count for selected ERC20 tokens
  • Significant whale transactions

This latter feature covers the BTC and ETH chains, comprising notification of transactions of $500K or more, with a blockchain explorer link provider for further scrutiny.

Token Analyst Monitors Exchange Inflows to Help Predict Market Movements

Token Analyst works well when combined with a pricing tool such as’s Markets, which provides real-time information on thousands of cryptocurrencies. Through comparing the movements of major digital assets onchain with the price moves that occur on exchanges, it’s possible to gain a fuller picture of the cryptoconomy and an insight into where the market may be headed next, be it up or down.

What other tracking sites do you use to gain a better understanding of the cryptocurrency markets? Let us know in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to third party companies or any of their affiliates or services. is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any third party content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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