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KFC6855/环球潮鞋: The Secrets of Replica Sneaker Selling
Following a post from u/donjonne about a HUGE Weibo story on how to actually start your own 1:1 repsneaker empire, I figured as a native Mandarin speaker I gave it a shot and translated the entire article, since I myself am pretty damn intrigued what the guy's speaking.Do note this article is written in March 2017, lots of stuff may have been outdated, and I translated word-for-word with some pruned paragraphs that seems like the fella repeating himself. I absolutely hate the weird flowery prose Mandarin always carry when I work on translations, so apologies if the in-jokes or general writing gets a bit dry. This is my personal tl;dr without the author's boastful claims, so if you're short on time, here's the quick rundown.
How do replica sneakers get sold?
Taobao: Long history with the reputation for being the single biggest online BST hub, with Tmall and Xianyu Second-hands integrated. Lots of fake reviews and seller reputation ratings. The rep game there got outta hand, CEO of Alibaba stepped in and cleaned house, thus everyone moved to... WeChat: Lots more convoluted, no proper tracking and confirmation like a real shopping app and build quality can vary greatly between sneaker models from the same seller. But through word-of-mouth, standout resellers get recommended more organically, of course you need connections to start with. Agents: Your best friend if you're overseas, usually ran by freelancers merely collecting orders, reporting back to resellers and have them directly ship your kicks to your doorstep. Agents can be a single person, or a huge operation i.e. Wegobuy and Ytaopal.
How's the quality tho?
Depends. Some will try to bait-and-switch, some will bond genuine friendships for simply being a return customer. Factories often cut corners to save some dough and end up with a worse rep, so like the purpose of this sub, dig into forums and guide yourself to trustworthy sellers. Author also goes on a tangent and revealed the numbers and figures of selling reps, along with the sheer gold rush he's in now. Read below for more info.
Anything of note?
We're getting ripped off. Real hard, if you're a Mainlander chances are you're being sold 1/3 of the prices we see here. Part of the reason is that the multi-level reselling jacks up the price a lot, so unless you're buying in bulk for the purpose of selling them, good luck finding GET-passable OW AJ1's for less than $70. If you get caught selling, it's fines upwards of ¥50,000 and your license revoked, but nothing too serious beyond that. Author promised more novel shoes get made in the future, like Uggs and non-hypebeast dress shoes or sumthin. With that outta the way, here's the translation for the whole article, hope you'll learn something for it and if there's any mistakes, feel free to point it out in DMs or just in the comments. EDIT 17/05/2020: punctuation mistakes and missing formatting, also thanks for the kind words repfam _______________
GOD'S HAND: The Secrets of Replica Sneaker Selling
Having been in the rep game for around 4 to 5 years, it all started out of sheer curiosity. I spent ¥1099 for Air Force 1's some celebrity wore, only to had my buddy show up on me with a fake pair of the same sneaker only costs ¥300. Not everyone is some rich parents' spoiled brat where a pair of shoes costing a couple grand is considered pocket change, yet everyone has that sense of envy, the need to follow the hype to really stand out from the crowd, so do I honestly. But then again you'd only wear that pair of grails for only a good couple months and it'll be out of the wave, why not I find myself a more wallet-friendly way to do so? Ever since dipping my toe into the replica community, I'm making connections, meeting new friends and getting scammed in every step I make, keeping contacts of my favorite sellers (looking back yeah they're not the best and cheapest isn't it huh). I'm deep in the rabbit hole now, buying so many pairs I'm starting to be able to tell batches at a glance, and where to hunt down that very best batch at the cheapest price. At this point it's natural that I'm thinking of selling these reps and becoming a middleman with the best of the batches under one roof (which is what's following below). Anyone who has dealt with middlemen know that actually tracking down the direct factory outlets are nigh impossible, and the multiple stages of middlemen-ception where bigger but more discreet resellers selling to more minor, smaller middlemen can only make one dream of the sheer profit you can make for being on the very top of the pyramid, that idea has only been a mere blip in my mind. There was once in a bar my fam hollered at me with "Yo you remember that John Doe went to Putian for two years? Dude gave up college and has been filthy stinkin' rich by now!" I was like bah it'll never work out for me, but with the summer break I'd worth giving it a shot and have John Doe on the line. And boy howdy, ain't he wildin' right now with his business. Some say every Nike you see there's 1/3 chance it's straight outta Putian, some say Nike's LC works by handling a pair of dumb shoes to an uninformed factory worker and have him say "fuck kinda shoes are these, looks cool I guess so it's legit?" The only way is to really tear down the whole sneaker and see the markings in UV, and once we're on the point where we can fake inside tags and its barcodes, ask yourself can call out fakes on feet? A promotion for \"discount\" NB's on Weibo Ever seen promos like these? It's what I saw on Weibo today, and you've seen one like it yourself did you? They all look good on the images and you'd be right that they're photos of the real deal, just that of course the shoes you actually get were reps, and for each pair profits are never above ¥100; I sell ya an NB for ¥165, I'd only make ¥50.
REPLICA SNEAKERS: HOW DO THEY GET SOLD?
TAOBAO Taobao has always been the single biggest hub for BST. Run by the faceless middlemen, sold by the page visits, and reviewed by the bots. And stores with inflated trust scores were used as a front, once costing hundreds of yuan to buy now go for the tens of thousands. As Taobao is taking action to curb counterfeits to make way for legitimate resellers, these fronts are getting more expensive by the day, since then people took it to WeChat later on. Ask anyone who ran a Taobao store, and they'd tell you "you'll never make a cent unless you're selling fakes". A pair of (fake) shoes take some ¥100 to make, and can be sold as a legit like the thousands of yuan you see on their listings, you'd get away with dozens of fakes sold this way, where you can properly guage and adjust said price to match your profit margins. Once the rep game got popular and the snowball kept rolling, the problem got too big for Ma Yun to not ignore it and he went full banhammer on every rep seller. With every media outlet roasting Taobao's ass, everyone wises up to the knowledge that almost every sneaker you see could be fakes. The stigma lived on, and no one would touch any store where its place of origin writes "Putian". When life gives you lemons, you make a whole damn lemonade stand and just circumvent the whole damn thing by appearing that you're not from Putian. Problem solved. As you check your shipping details, it always seems to travel from Shangai, Shenzen, Quanzhou or even goddamn Xiamen of all places, even overseas. Proxy services are very popular due to China's stringent laws When sneakers are labeled as being shipped from Hong Kong, of course the sellers gonna say "it's from Hong Kong" but in fact it's shipping from Shenzhen, and the seller's excuse is that the sneakers are going through HK's borders from Shenzen then to the buyer's location. Even if you bought fakes in Tmall however, it won't be as bad as the ones sold as legit retails in Taobao. There's just too many of these rip-offs anyway! Had a reseller came to me to buy 10 pairs of sneakers, I make ¥10 each pair, but he sold it as retails and went on to make ¥500 each. Of course I'd panicked a jacked a prices a bit so I could have my own slice of extra profit to ¥20 each pair, said the factories jacked the prices themselves as an excuse. Hoe's mad I guess WECHAT While profit margins are no higher than Taobao, they still range around a dozen yuan on bulk. For all the actual friends I have in WeChat, I'd never believe them not having owned a replica sneaker in their whole life, blah blah blah "factory direct", "wholesale prices" my ass, who really can head to the factories and buy direct these days? Rep resellers buying bulk from those factories are truly the "direct from factory" purchases. Resellers then selling the reps to middlemen and agents, that's another step. Said middlemen then resell these reps to quote-on-quote "middlemen". (NB: may have been the very resellers we see on the sub) And it goes on and on and then, to you, the customer.The so-called A-grade reps you see on WC, let's say we buy it from the factory at ¥200 (for example, the real deal won't be this cheap) and sell to the end-user for ¥400~¥500, it does in fact look decent. Heck, retails may get "called out" in forums and reps may sneak under the radar. Chat and forum opinions aren't good indicatiors for a rep's actual quality. Thus you may wonder why buy retails at this point? No one would really hit the New Balance outlets at their local Wanda mall and ask the teeny-bop promoter lady if their kicks are legit anyway, so wouldn't this been the dream job you've wanted, right? SMALL-TIME AGENTS These sort of agents are mostly handling orders from overseas to cater the westerners, mainly Russian, SE-Asian, North/South American countries etc., and will never be some solo project as they always come in groups of a few dozen staff members. These agent groups can also hire decently well-spoken college students to help converse customers in English and pay them good pocket change, which is eerily similar to how Forex scams work before, but this time they're doing legit businesses for a change. Sort of. FREELANCE AGENTS The most common agent you may come across can be your close friends, they get instant payouts for attracting their local classmates to collect orders for reps, and this wannabe hustler reports them back to the resellers to ship to school dorms directly.
REPLICA BUILD AND QUALITY
Replicas reach far, far and wide. You could see your neighborhood cleaner aunt wearing 990v4s, motorbike taxi riders wearing Duck Camo AM90's, your kind old uncle next door exercising in Flyknit Racers and so on. NB, Nike, Converse, Ascis, Kappa; any brand you wanted they got it. ¥100 to ¥500 is what the factories charge, but after it hits resellers with a ¥200 hike, the illusion what seems to be a shoe that'll last breaks down as it wears out after a few wears. Bad stitching? Poorly-tumbled faux-leather? Off-moulded shape? I'd believe you but you sure you can tell if the EVA is fake by just looking on it? Is the gluing pattern underneath it visible even? A good deal of local boutiques sell ¥120 replicas at official retail prices like ¥599, a good ¥400 profit. Putian factories are split into "heavy" and "light" industries. The heavy industries builds the sneaker as a whole from scratch, while the light industries were like CKD vehicles, where parts are purchased and assembled together instead. and quality of each part of the sneaker depends among factories. Lots of them try to cut corners to save every extra cent, which explains the decreasing quality of recent sneakers you see now. Larger factories has always been delivering consistently decent sneakers, as customers who contacted them are much picker and won't slash prices along with quality out of the blue. The stitching (and Nike Air units/Boost soles even!) is close enough to pass off as retails. Some of the more badass factories can make a batch of 100 brand new replicas for you, just hand in a donor retail pair and they'll get to work.The old dogs in Putian has been around for ages, runs most of the resellers you know and love. They buy reps from the factory direct at ¥140, sell to resellers at ¥160 and have the resellers push ¥180, at these prices the shoes are just not enough to satisfy demand. I've gave it an estimate if the factory got his order to 30 dozen pairs of reps, with each pair a ¥20 profit, we're looking at ¥7,000 a day or ¥20,000 a month in gross profit. Of course, the Sales and Commerce Assoc. will still take a heavy hand on counterfeit sneakers till today, basically a few sellers every month get caught in the counterfeit business. The offenders walk into the office, sit down, had "the talk" yet again and pay a good ¥30k~¥50k fine and had their licenses taken away, for just awhile. Factories themselves get raided very seldom, maybe a every 6 months only a single factory gets caught per year. Putian has become the leading worldwide repsneaker operation for the entire world, and outputs around 50% the actual worldwide sneaker market, an estimated ¥20bn yearly. The Nikes and Adidases you wear now has an "OEM" for that. You may have bought a brand sneaker [in China], but it may very well be a fake regardless, to be fair the quality itself is indistinguishable anyway.
1) The Standard Putian's cheapest offering, pretty much trash tier and a certain Taobao sells them the most often :^) 2) The GET Batch A huge improvement from the Standards, and the so-called 1:1 batch from the mouths of others. It's really not, some of the materials itself is not as fine or accurate as the real deal. Tmall often sells these batches, but often get sold as retails. 3) The 1:1 The absolute tip of the high-end replicas. Take it to HuPu.com and only the eagle-eyed few would call you out. Not everyone can get their hands on them, regardless of price. [eg: similar situation to UABat's Union AJ1's] 4) The Retail Nuff said, just retails. (But really, reps cost just 1/5 of the retail price, why bother lol?) A snapshot of KFC6855's wares
HOW TO TELL FAKES
[The author essentially details how to LC NB998's, so this is best skipped as it adds nothing to the article other than repeating the author's point over and over.]
THE REPSNEAKER FUTURE
If you ever think replica sneakers will only remain within the hypebeast sporty trainer radar, oh you'd be surprised. The replica factories are on full steam, churning out Dr. Martens, UGGS, Tod's and a lot more to come. If you're interested, my WeChat: KFC6855 has them on sale right now, guaranteed to keep ya comfy this winter. With all that said, I hope you learnt something from this, and now that you know if you really wanted a retail pair to sleep well at night, just don't get 'em in online stores. There's no glitz and glamor selling counterfeit sneakers, it's just business after all. If you know, you know.
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Mr Azhar underlined that the supplementary budget which was announced on Wednesday didn’t target fiscal and monetary measures but was an economic reforms package to resuscitate and enhance growth and investment. -Economic reforms package to help boost exports, trade and investment State Minister for Revenue Hamad Azhar on Friday said that economic reforms package announced by the PTI government will help in boosting exports, trade and investment. Talking to a private news channel, he said the economic reforms package will prove to be helpful in overcoming the trade and fiscal deficit. Mr Azhar said due to effective economic policies of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, the international investors are desirous of investment in Pakistan. 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A large number of stakeholders hailing from the travel and aviation industry of Pakistan attended the event. -Japanese aircraft take part in pre Aman-19 exercise The Pakistan Navy is hosting the 6th series of AMAN-19 – a Multinational Maritime Exercise – in February 2019 in Karachi, and two Japanese Naval P3C aircrafts of Deployed Maritime Force for Anti-Piracy Enforcement (DAPE) visited the PNS Mehran in Karachi for the pre-AMAN-19 exercise. According to a press statement issued by the navy’s Director General Public Relations (DGPR) on Saturday, the Japanese aircrew participated in various events including search and rescue (SAR) and counter piracy (CP) exercises along with the navy aircrew. The Japanese contingent also visited maritime and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) museums to learn about the historic achievements of the two forces. -‘Chinese, Russian firms keen to invest in PSM’ Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood revealed that three Chinese and three Russian firms have shown interest in investing in Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM). Addressing a ceremony held for the inauguration of International Steels Limited’s new plant, he said that the committee tasked with revival of PSM has drafted its recommendations and the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) will make a decision by March. -China has given Pakistan additional access to its market: Dawood Prime Minister’s Adviser for Trade and Industry Abdul Razzak Dawood on Saturday said the government is working to hammer out national industrial and tariff policies, ARY News reported. Dawood while talking to industrialists in Karachi, said that China has granted Pakistan an additional access to its market. “We are working to slash unnecessary imports and increase exports”. He said unnecessary items will be removed from shelves of super markets and precious foreign exchange will not be spent on such imports. The adviser said the government has taken effective steps to facilitate business in mini budget, which will be approved in next seven day. -Pakistani Teacher Shortlisted for Cambridge’s Most Dedicated Teacher Award Cambridge University Press has shortlisted a Pakistani teacher, Ahmed Saya, for the ‘Most Dedicated Teacher’ award. Ahmed Saya, an A-level teacher from Karachi, is one of the six brilliant minds around the world to be shortlisted for the prize. The competition included entries of 3500+ teachers from over 140 countries for the prestigious award. Cambridge’s official Twitter handle said it was a tough call, but they shortlisted six teachers for this year’s Dedicated Teacher Awards. -Swiss Investor to Open A Chain of Luxury Hotels in Pakistan Swiss International Hotels & Resorts is mulling to open a chain of its luxury hotels in different cities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). The President and CEO of Swiss International Hotels & Resorts, Henri (Hans) WR Kennedie informed this to Chief Minister KP Mahmood Khan during a meeting on Friday. During the meeting, Henri told CM Khan that they were already working on a plan to establish luxury hospitalities in various parts of the province.
"Satoshi Nakamoto" the mysterious creator of Bitcoin is no other than the CIA
Bitcoin has surged to all time highs, Who created Bitcoin, and why? The creator of Bitcoin is officially a name, “Satoshi Nakamoto” – very few people believe that it was a single male from Japan. In the early days of Bitcoin development this name is associated with original key-creation and communications on message boards, and then the project was officially handed over to others at which point this Satoshi character never appeared again (Although from time to time someone will come forward saying they are the real Satoshi Nakamoto, and then have their posts deleted). Bitcoin could very well be the ‘one world currency’ that conspiracy theorists have been talking about for some time. It’s a kill five birds with one stone solution – not only is Bitcoin an ideal one world currency, it allows law enforcement a perfect record of all transactions on the network. It states very clearly on bitcoin.org (the official site) in big letters “Bitcoin is not anonymous” : Some effort is required to protect your privacy with Bitcoin. All Bitcoin transactions are stored publicly and permanently on the network, which means anyone can see the balance and transactions of any Bitcoin address. However, the identity of the user behind an address remains unknown until information is revealed during a purchase or in other circumstances. This is one reason why Bitcoin addresses should only be used once. Another advantage of Bitcoin is the problem of Quantitative Easing – the Fed (and thus, nearly all central banks in the world) have painted themselves in a corner, metaphorically speaking. QE ‘solved’ the credit crisis, but QE itself does not have a solution. Currently all currencies are in a race to zero – competing with who can print more money faster. Central Bankers who are in systemic analysis, their economic advisors, know this. They know that the Fiat money system is doomed, all what you can read online is true (just sensationalized) – it’s a debt based system based on nothing. That system was created, originally in the early 1900’s and refined during Breton Woods followed by the Nixon shock (This is all explained well in Splitting Pennies). In the early 1900’s – there was no internet! It is a very archaic system that needs to be replaced, by something modern, electronic, based on encryption. Bitcoin! It’s a currency based on ‘bits’ – but most importantly, Bitcoin is not the ‘one world currency’ per se, but laying the framework for larger cryptocurrency projects. In the case of central banks, who control the global monetary system, that would manifest in ‘Settlement Coin’ : Two resources available almost exclusively to central banks could soon be opened up to additional users as a result of a new digital currency project designed by a little-known startup and Swiss bank UBS. One of those resources is the real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system used by central banks (it’s typically reserved for high-value transactions that need to be settled instantly), and the other is central bank-issued cash. Using the Utility Settlement Coin (USC) unveiled today, the five-member consortium that has sprung up around the project aims to help central banks open-up access to these tools to more customers. If successful, USC has the potential to create entirely new business models built on instant settling and easy cash transfers. In interview, Robert Sams, founder of London-based Clearmatics, said his firm initially worked with UBS to build the network, and that BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, ICAP and Santander are only just the first of many future members. the NSA/CIA often works for big corporate clients, just as it has become a cliche that the Iraq war was about big oil, the lesser known hand in global politics is the banking sector. In other words, Bitcoin may have very well been ‘suggested’ or ‘sponsored’ by a banker, group of banks, or financial services firm. But the NSA (as we surmise) was the company that got the job done. And probably, if it was in fact ‘suggested’ or ‘sponsored’ by a private bank, they would have been waiting in the wings to develop their own Bitcoin related systems or as in the above “Settlement Coin.” So the NSA made Bitcoin – so what? The FX markets currently represent the exchange between ‘major’ and ‘minor’ currencies. In the future, why not too they will include ‘cryptocurrencies’ – we’re already seeing the BTC/EUR pair popup on obscure brokers. When BTC/USD and BTC/EUR are available at major FX banks and brokers, we can say – from a global FX perspective, that Bitcoin has ‘arrived.’ Many of us remember the days when the synthetic “Euro” currency was a new artificial creation that was being adopted, although the Euro project is thousands of degrees larger than the Bitcoin project. But unlike the Euro, Bitcoin is being adopted at a near exponential rate by demand (Many merchants resisted the switch to Euros claiming it was eating into their profit margins and they were right!). And to answer the question as to why Elite E Services is not actively involved in Bitcoin the answer is that previously, you can’t trade Bitcoin. Now we’re starting to see obscure brokers offering BTC/EUR but the liquidity is sparse and spreads are wacky – that will all change. When we can trade BTC/USD just like EUUSD you can bet that EES and a host of other algorithmic FX traders will be all over it! It will be an interesting trade for sure, especially with all the volatility, the cross ‘pairs’ – and new cryptocurrencies. For the record, for brokers- there’s not much difference adding a new symbol (currency pair) in MT4 they just need liquidity, which has been difficult to find. So there’s really nothing revolutionary about Bitcoin, it’s just a logical use of technology in finance considering a plethora of problems faced by any central bank who creates currency. And there are some interesting caveats to Bitcoin as compared to major currencies; Bitcoin is a closed system (there are finite Bitcoin) – this alone could make such currencies ‘anti-inflationary’ and at the least, hold their value (the value of the USD continues to deteriorate slowly over time as new M3 introduced into the system.) But we need to pay Here’s some interesting theories about who or whom is Satoshi: A corporate conglomerate Some researchers proposed that the name ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ was derived from a combination of tech companies consisting of Samsung, Toshiba, Nakayama, and Motorola. The notion that the name was a pseudonym is clearly true and it is doubtful they reside in Japan given the numerous forum posts with a distinctly English dialect. Craig Steven Wright This Australian entrepreneur claims to be the Bitcoin creator and provided proof. But soon after, his offices were raided by the tax authorities on ‘an unrelated matter’ Soon after these stories were published, authorities in Australia raided the home of Mr Wright. The Australian Taxation Office said the raid was linked to a long-running investigation into tax payments rather than Bitcoin. Questioned about this raid, Mr Wright said he was cooperating fully with the ATO. “We have lawyers negotiating with them over how much I have to pay,” he said. Other potential creators Nick Szabo, and many others, have been suggested as potential Satoshi – but all have denied it: The New Yorker published a piece pointing at two possible Satoshis, one of whom seemed particularly plausible: a cryptography graduate student from Trinity College, Dublin, who had gone on to work in currency-trading software for a bank and published a paper on peer-to-peer technology. The other was a Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, Vili Lehdonvirta. Both made denials. Fast Company highlighted an encryption patent application filed by three researchers – Charles Bry, Neal King and Vladimir Oksman – and a circumstantial link involving textual analysis of it and the Satoshi paper which found the phrase “…computationally impractical to reverse” in both. Again, it was flatly denied. THE WINNER: It was the NSA The NSA has the capability, the motive, and the operational capacity – they have teams of cryptographers, the biggest fastest supercomputers in the world, and they see the need. Whether instructed by their friends at the Fed, in cooperation with their owners (i.e. Illuminati banking families), or as part of a DARPA project – is not clear and will never be known (unless a whistleblower comes forward). In fact, the NSA employs some of the best mathematicians and cryptographers in the world. Few know about their work because it’s a secret, and this isn’t the kind of job you leave to start your own cryptography company. But the real smoking Gun, aside from the huge amount of circumstantial evidence and lack of a credible alternative, is the 1996 paper authored by NSA “HOW TO MAKE A MINT: THE CRYPTOGRAPHY OF ANONYMOUS ELECTRONIC CASH” The NSA was one of the first organizations to describe a Bitcoin-like system. About twelve years before Satoshi Nakamotopublished his legendary white paper to the Metzdowd.com cryptography mailing list, a group of NSA information security researchers published a paper entitled How to Make a Mint: the Cryptography of Anonymous Electronic Cash in two prominent places, the first being an MIT mailing list and the second being much more prominent, The American Law Review The paper outlines a system very much like Bitcoin in which secure financial transactions are possible through the use of a decentralized network the researchers refer informally to as a Bank. They list four things as indispensable in their proposed network: privacy, user identification (protection against impersonation), message integrity (protection against tampering/substitution of transaction information – that is, protection against double-spending), and nonrepudiation (protection against later denial of a transaction – a blockchain!). It is evident that SHA-256, the algorithm Satoshi used to secure Bitcoin, was not available because it came about in 2001. However, SHA-1 would have been available to them, having been published in 1993. Why would the NSA want to do this? One simple reason: Control. As we explain in Splitting Pennies – Understanding Forex – the primary means the US dominates the world is through economic policy, although backed by bombs. And the critical support of the US Dollar is primarily, the military. The connection between the military and the US Dollar system is intertwined inextricably. There are thousands of great examples only one of them being how Iraq switched to the Euro right before the Army’s invasion. In October 2000 Iraq insisted on dumping the US dollar – ‘the currency of the enemy’ – for the more multilateral euro. The changeover was announced on almost exactly the same day that the euro reached its lowest ebb, buying just $0.82, and the G7 Finance Ministers were forced to bail out the currency. On Friday the euro had reached $1.08, up 30 per cent from that time. Almost all of Iraq’s oil exports under the United Nations oil-for-food programme have been paid in euros since 2001. Around 26 billion euros (£17.4bn) has been paid for 3.3 billion barrels of oil into an escrow account in New York. The Iraqi account, held at BNP Paribas, has also been earning a higher rate of interest in euros than it would have in dollars. The point here is there are a lot of different types of control. The NSA monitors and collects literally all electronic communications; internet, phone calls, everything. They listen in even to encrypted voice calls with high powered microphones, devices like cellphones equipped with recording devices (See original “Clipper” chip). It’s very difficult to communicate on planet Earth in private, without the NSA listening. So it is only logical that they would also want complete control of the financial system, including records of all electronic transactions, which Bitcoin provides. Could there be an ‘additional’ security layer baked into the Blockchain that is undetectable, that allows the NSA to see more information about transactions, such as network location data? It wouldn’t be so far fetched, considering their past work, such as Xerox copy machines that kept a record of all copies made (this is going back to the 70’s, now it’s common). Of course security experts will point to the fact that this layer remains invisible, but if this does exist – of course it would be hidden. More to the point about the success of Bitcoin – its design is very solid, robust, manageable – this is not the work of a student. Of course logically, the NSA employs individuals, and ultimately it is the work of mathematicians, programmers, and cryptographers – but if we deduce the most likely group capable, willing, and motivated to embark on such a project, the NSA is the most likely suspect. Universities, on the other hand, didn’t product white papers like this from 1996. Another question is that if it was the NSA, why didn’t they go through more trouble concealing their identity? I mean, the internet is rife with theories that it was in fact the NSA/CIA and “Satoshi Nakamoto” means in Japanese “Central Intelligence” – well there are a few answers for this, but to be congruent with our argument, it fits their profile. Where could this ‘hidden layer’ be? Many think it could be in the public SHA-256, developed by NSA (which ironically, was the encryption algorithm of choice for Bitcoin – they could have chosen hundreds of others, which arguably are more secure): Claims that the NSA created Bitcoin have actually been flung around for years. People have questioned why it uses the SHA-256 hash function, which was designed by the NSA and published by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). The fact that the NSA is tied to SHA-256 leads some to assume it’s created a backdoor to the hash function that no one has ever identified, which allows it to spy on Bitcoin users. “If you assume that the NSA did something to SHA-256, which no outside researcher has detected, what you get is the ability, with credible and detectable action, they would be able to forge transactions. The really scary thing is somebody finds a way to find collisions in SHA-256 really fast without brute-forcing it or using lots of hardware and then they take control of the network,” cryptography researcher Matthew D. Green of Johns Hopkins University said in a previous interview. Then there’s the question of “Satoshi Nakamoto” – if it was in fact the NSA, why not just claim ownership of it? Why all the cloak and dagger? And most importantly, if Satoshi Nakamoto is a real person, and not a group that wants to remain secret – WHY NOT come forward and claim your nearly $3 Billion worth of Bitcoin (based on current prices). Did the NSA create Satoshi Nakamoto? The CIA Project, a group dedicated to unearthing all of the government’s secret projects and making them public, hasreleased a video claiming Bitcoin is actually the brainchild of the US National Security Agency. The video entitled CIA Project Bitcoin: Is Bitcoin a CIA or NSA project? claims that there is a lot of compelling evidences that proves that the NSA is behind Bitcoin. One of the main pieces of evidence has to do with the name of the mysterious man, woman or group behind the creation of Bitcoin, “Satoshi Nakamoto”. According to the CIA Project, Satoshi Nakamoto means “Central Intelligence” in Japanese. Doing a quick web search, you’ll find out that Satoshi is usually a name given for baby boys which means “clear thinking, quick witted, wise,” while Nakamoto is a Japanese surname which means ‘central origin’ or ‘(one who lives) in the middle’ as people with this surname are found mostly in the Ryukyu islands which is strongly associated with the Ry?ky? Kingdom, a highly centralized kingdom that originated from the Okinawa Islands. So combining Nakamoto and Satoshi can be loosely interpreted as “Central Intelligence”. Is it so really hard to believe? This is from an organization that until the Snowden leaks, secretly recorded nearly all internet traffic on the network level by splicing fiber optic cables. They even have a deep-sea splicing mission that will cut undersea cables and install intercept devices. Making Bitcoin wouldn’t even be a big priority at NSA. Certainly, anonymity is one of the biggest myths about Bitcoin. In fact, there has never been a more easily traceable method of payment. Every single transaction is recorded and retained permanently in the public “blockchain”. The idea that the NSA would create an anarchic, peer-to-peer crypto-currency in the hope that it would be adopted for nefarious industries and become easy to track would have been a lot more difficult to believe before the recent leaks by Edward Snowden and the revelation that billions of phone calls had been intercepted by the US security services. We are now in a world where we now know that the NSA was tracking the pornography habits of Islamic “radicalisers” in order to discredit them and making deals with some of the world’s largest internet firms to insert backdoors into their systems. And we’re not the only ones who believe this, in Russia they ‘know’ this to be true without sifting through all the evidence. Nonetheless, Svintsov’s remarks count as some of the more extreme to emanate from the discussion. Svintsov told Russian broadcast news agency REGNUM:“All these cryptocurrencies [were] created by US intelligence agencies just to finance terrorism and revolutions.”Svintsov reportedly went on to explain how cryptocurrencies have started to become a payment method for consumer spending, and cited reports that terrorist organisations are seeking to use the technology for illicit means. Let’s elaborate on what is ‘control’ as far as the NSA is concerned. Bitcoin is like the prime mover. All future cryptocurrencies, no matter how snazzy or functional – will never have the same original keys as Bitcoin. It created a self-sustained, self-feeding bubble – and all that followed. It enabled law enforcement to collect a host of criminals on a network called “Silk Road” and who knows what other operations that happened behind the scenes. Because of pesky ‘domestic’ laws, the NSA doesn’t control the internet in foreign countries. But by providing a ‘cool’ currency as a tool, they can collect information from around the globe and like Facebook, users provide this information voluntarily. It’s the same strategy they use like putting the listening device in the chips at the manufacturing level, which saves them the trouble of wiretapping, electronic eavesdropping, and other risky methods that can fail or be blocked. It’s impossible to stop a cellphone from listening to you, for example (well not 100%, but you have to physically rewire the device). Bitcoin is the same strategy on a financial level – by using Bitcoin you’re giving up your private transactional information. By itself, it would not identify you per se (as the blockchain is ‘anonymous’ but the transactions are there in the public register, so combined with other information, which the NSA has a LOT OF – they can triangulate their information more precisely. That’s one problem solved with Bitcoin – another being the economic problem of QE (although with a Bitcoin market cap of $44 Billion, that’s just another day at the Fed buying MBS) – and finally, it squashes the idea of sovereignty although in a very, very, very subtle way. You see, a country IS a currency. Until now, currency has always been tied to national sovereignty (although the Fed is private, USA only has one currency, the US Dollar, which is exclusively American). Bitcoin is a super-national currency, or really – the world’s first one world currency. Of course, this is all great praise for the DOD which seems to have a 50 year plan – but after tens of trillions spent we’d hope that they’d be able to do something better than catching terrorists (which mostly are artificial terrorists)
Since we've all been goxxed now is the time to buy those $50-60 coins floating around and profit from everybody else's misery. Or you could wait for Gox to come back online and crash down the price even further but good luck trying to do any trading there to buy coins, the trading engine is already broken I don't expect the new one to work flawlessly due to epic 3yr history of GOXXING BTC-E.com To pay into this exchange, you need a BTC-E code, PM or Okpay. Take pics of your ID and utility bill and pay the $10 to Okpay for 'quick verification'. You can pay bitcoins directly into your Okpay account for initial funding or wait and see how long it takes for reg verification. Now either wire money, or instant money transfer (MoneyPolo, Contact-sys, Unistream) to fund your account or find an Okpay exchanger somewhere. Or Ukash/CashU. Just because contact-sys is Russian doesn't mean there aren't sending points in every country in the world. BTC-E codes you buy on #bitcoin-otc from verified gpg authenticated traders with good ratings, or on bitcointalk.org forums in the currency exchange forums. Perfect Money is a shady HYIP digital currency run by Russians much like Liberty Reserve. You sign up for free, and load your account with wires (if verified) or you use an exchanger. This is what talkgold.com is for to find legit exchangers. I use wm-center.com to wire WU/Moneygram and get PM. Click on 'Interkassa' payment method in BTC-E and select Perfect Money. Instant load. You can also obviously dump Litecoins you bought on Vircurex to fund the account, or a gagillion PPcoins Bitfloor.com Fastest way to deposit is through CapitalOne P2P or cash deposit https://bitfloor.com/docs/#funding-deposit Be aware Bitfloor is insolvent due to owing 25k bitcoins that were stolen last year but they have a repayment schedule that may or may not bankrupt them. Use at own risk but most ppl trade there everyday with no problems. Bitstamp.net Great exchange in Slovakia? I think. You have to pay with Euro SEPA wire, then for some stupid reason they convert the money to USD. You can pay in here using transferwise.com if you're from UK, or XEtrade and other Forex online money transfer companies. Google 'free money transfer fx' and review your options. Most don't charge you anything if over a certain amount of money. They take your internet billing or other local payment, convert to EUR and send SEPA for you if you request it. If they don't then check with Bitstamp what a SWIFT wire costs (probably nothing, I think they use Latvian banks that charge no receiving fees). If you want a bank account in Latvia then sign up here: http://www.rietumu.com/ if you have a local corporation or business where you live you can, maybe a personal account too. You can always incorporate a dirt cheap Delaware LLC or Oregon LLC from anywhere in the world and use it to open up worldwide bank accounts. Bitcoin-24.com Takes direct wires, all sorts of other methods: https://bitcoin-24.com/fees You can also use Liqpay if you have a USD or EUR card. Sign up to liqpay.com, then they block a small verification amount you have to sign into internet banking (for the card) to check. It's usually $1.something or less. After that you are verified to load $1-100 or so, but I'd just try $50 at first. Any more than that and Liqpay will seize the funds and ask for your bank to authorize a fax they send which no bank will do because of privacy reasons, so pointless to load anymore money. Liqpay may also call you to verify card details this is normal. Liqpay is meant for Russians and CIS countries to use like Ukraine so due to epic fraud of credit cards don't expect to load too much this way unless you find a Liqpay exchanger, but what's the point when you can just wire money to bitcoin-24 anyways. Vircurex.com Good exchange, had some problems due to DDoS but so did all exchanges. They only accept BTC, altcoins and VouchX for payment. You buy Vouchx here: https://www.aurumxchange.com/ or from somebody on Bitcointalk, or IRC (with rep). You can buy a bunch of litecoins anywhere to fund this exchange such as the bitcointalk forums or IRC. Warning: the so-called official twitter account is fake, don't use it. Cavirtex.com Can only fund if in Canada, they accept cash deposit and internet billing. Price has been steady at ~$90 all day though no panic selling. LibertyBit.com https://www.libertybit.com/funding various easy methods, new exchange in Canada that takes intl wires and shockingly Interac deposits (easily frauded). Bitcoin China https://btcchina.com/ fast growing exchange, you pay in with Alipay or Tenpay both Chinese methods that westerners can't use or figure out due to no translation. You can probably use Alipay if you find and exchanger to load it, they do exist. **Edit they now support Liberty Reserve deposit and withdrawal Check english forums to see if anybody exchanging Alipay or taking wires. CampBX.com Accepts money orders, and CapitalOne P2P payments. Also accepts Dwolla but you need to be verified. Bitcoin-central.net Just had a major outage due to instawallet hack, appears to be back online. You get your own quasi-bank account when you verify here much like how ecardone.com (liberty reserve) does banking so can transfer to other users legally with vouchers. You can buy a voucher p2p on Bitcointalk forums or IRC or send a bankwire. VirWoX.com You can pay with Paypal to get Second Life "Linden Dollars" then convert to BTC, or at least you used to be able to. I have no idea if this is still the case I've never used them. Or course there's all the fixed price exchangers https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Trade and https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?board=53.0 for everything from Moneypak to Skrill. You can also risk buying coins on Silk Road with moneypak ==============R U L E S ================================
Learn to use #bitcoin-otc, you'll thank me later. It has the most buying/sell options. Use localbitcoins.com too if you can to avoid bullshit exchange problems
ALWAYS USE 2-FACTOR ID ON EVERY EXCHANGE
Always use 2-factor ID on the email you used to sign up for the exchange
Don't click any links in BTC-E.com chat trollbox!!!
Don't click any links PM'd to you on BTC-E.com from other users
Enjoy buying all the way down the crash once Gox comes back online and the great sell off begins! Hold them for a year and they'll be worth 10x as much just like the 2011 crash. Bonus points if you speculate on Litecoin, rumor has it Gox will be trading them when they come back online but again, this is MtGox we are talking about so the site could implode on the zerg rush of people trying to get into their accounts or trading engine could sell all your coins for $0.0001 again like they did in 2011. Great successez!
I think this is the sector that that has the biggest opportunities for the first half of 2016. There are some interesting events unfolding and I'm trying to figure out how to get positioned.
Iran surrendered its nuclear material to lift the sanctions on it going into the oil trade. The moment the are lifted they're expected to add 500k bpd to world supply with the majority heading to China/India (link)
Russia is building oil rigs for Iran in the Persian Gulf (link) and delivering weapons systems to them (link)
Russia and Iran agreed to conduct their trade using the Ruble & Rial instead of the dollapetrodollar system... this hasn't typical gone well for those attempting to ditch this system but I don't know how it will play out. Maybe a FOREX play... (link)
The US lifted the export ban on oil with the first tanker setting sail yesterday. $COP was the first one there selling the oil to Vitol with another being filled at the moment. $COP also pulled out of Russia selling its portion of a large plant they operated there. The ban was originally put in place in the 70's to combat the fuel shortage/gas lines at the time. (link)
Russia named the US among threats to its national security (link)
A gigantic portion of the Russian GDP depends on oil/gas exports (link)
Russia is bombing the snot out of ISIS oil trucks but I can't find a reliable figure on the quantity this represents (link)
My guess is all parties involved need to continuing to drill baby drill
I'm thinking a good play would be $EPD as they have the pipeline system for shipping WTI to the coast for shipping. The bad news is it's a MLP which makes taxes a bitch. It does pay a hefty dividend as a passthrough but again it's a bitch during tax time. It's taking a beating this year and is at a good buying level. Another option could be $ETE which should also far more upside but again, it's an MLP. $KMI may be the better option as a former MLP now traded like a normal corp. I've got a friend who is an analyst who says stay away from $KMI but fuck him. The shale producers are in a tough spot but it leaves an opportunity for some consolidation in the sector with the good ones being acquired. High debt, low availably of credit and low oil prices are bad news for these guys. Shale producers need $40-$50 a barrel to pay the high-yield bonds they used for financing. $COP may be a good pickup given the news above as well. Step 1: Collect the information Step2: ??? <--- We are here Step 3: Profit Open forum time, where do you think the best opportunities are in the sector moving forward? As is tradition EDIT: We've also had contango going on in oil the the majority of the year, something has to give. Signs seem to point to lower which make some think it'll go higher... Oil price is based on supply/demand & market sentiment... a few headlines here and there could set prices on the rebound
PSA: Scam Alert! Gi2c aka Laowai Career Center is huge scam operation that cheated me and others and they delete all the complaints from the internet and Facebook!
I found this and the Abroad review links 2 years too late! Maybe this is worth a read; https://eslwatch.info/en/eslwatch-forum/china/756-old-russian-gi2c-scam-artist-is-back-laowai-career-center-new-china-job-scam.html. If you sent them a "refundable" deposit, just try to get it back NOW before they shut down or change their name again. They screwed me under the Gi2c flag 2 years ago. They conned me into quitting my $48K job in Fresno to come make "real money" in China with a public Forex trading company where after I completed an internship, I would earn six figures. They sent me a photo from Global Times newspaper of their 2 dozen interns already earning 6 figures with that company. But after I spent a small fortune moving and settling in Beijing where apartments are $1,500 a month and foreigners have to pay 3 months in advance, I arrived with a positive attitude to begin my new Forex trading career and am slammed on my second day in China with the news that "cooperation with that employer ended two days before your arrival". Instead of calling me to tell me that news they deliberately waited for me to come to China because they knew I would have demanded a refund! The GF of the Russian owner then told me she would get me in with another "big finance company but it would take a week or so". Two weeks later I am told I should teach English, until they can find me a more suitable job. I guess I believed them because I wanted to. Just like I believed all the reviews and testimonials they showed me. So I agreed to teach English for "no more than 90 days" for $800 a month which did not even cover my living expenses. I then found a better job on my own that paid six times the money, but the Russian owner Yuri told me "I'll pull your visa if you don't finish your teaching contract". I sent him to hell and three days later the China PSB security police came to my apartment and asked to see my passport. Thinking I did nothing wrong I showed it to them and they asked me where I worked. I gave them the name of my new employer and they arrested me saying I was working illegally on an F visa, the one Gi2c arranged for me. I tried to call Yuri while I was being booked at the cop shop but he answered and told me "Sorry smart ass but you have the wrong number!" I then tried to call him back but he had blocked my number. I spent 32 days in a Chinese jail eating cold rice and noodles every day along with "cha" (tea) before I was allowed to pay my fine and go home to Fresno. For almost two years I was too embarrassed to tell this story because I was so fucking dumb to fall into the Gi2C well. Now I see they changed their name to Laowai Career Center. When I got scammed a black guy named Chris D.was the Customer Service rep who was the only one who had any empathy for my situation but he said Yuri instructed him not to give any refund to me "unless he shows up with CCTV news crew". They operate via Skype, We Chat, Facebook, Just Landed and use a shit load of Google Adwords. They got me from an ad at TheBeijinger.com. Don't be fooled people. They are very good at what they do - scamming foreigners who have never been to China before. There is a bunch of stuff about them at scam.com, abroad reviews.com, here http://www.scamorg.com/laowai-career-center-beijing-amp-hangzhou-china-job-scam-a8, here http://www.scamorg.com/getin2china-group-81 and this latest one http://www.opnlttr.com/letteif-laowai-career-center-not-china-job-scam-they-should-answer-these-15-simple-questions. Just aske them those questions and see for yourself. And if you look at the dates on everything you will see they have been doing this fraud a loooooong time and get away with it bu changing their names every year or two.
Anyone else get this email?? WE SELL FULL DATABASE DUMP.SQL OF Bitcointalk .org + BTC-E .COM HERE IS LIST OF WHAT WE HAVE FOR YOU. Maybe You Ask For Why You Must Buy Dump.sql include Mails And Details Personale Users? YOU ASK FOR WHAT?
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If interested in more non news categories, check the flair search on the sidebar. You can suggest ideas or pictures for the scrolling banner. This thread is not a replacement for messages regarding mod issues.
Added some new user flairs that have ethnic and continental focus, check them out. Chinese users specifically are encouraged to identify with flairs. On the right hand side underneath "Subreddit Info" Click "edit" and select flair.
Random fun fact, google search "sino" to see us among the top results.
"What is CIWO?" It is a database sub that contains sourced information on a variety of common topics about Chinese/China. Covers politics, military, history, myths, etc. See the Table of Contents to view the topics.
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