Telegram Michael Mathias 2021-06-04 Friday (pdf)
CCH: comments CryptoChemist.net
With the formation of the GRN Association, the time has come for more of the truth of the past to be revealed. Together, over these last three years, we endured a very difficult period. But we have surmounted this adversity, and we now begin a whole new phase of growth and development. Nonetheless, to move forward with our full faith and strength, it’s important that everyone in our community understands what happened in the past and why.
In the previous section, I introduced three negative events that occurred in our ecosystem. In this section, I will discuss the innumerable consequences of those events. Despite the negativity of some of these outcomes, I don’t consider us to be victims of these events. The facts remain that choices were made by each of us, and these were the results of those decisions. By understanding and accepting the consequences of our choices, we will be fortified with the strength and wisdom to make better choices as we move forward.
I referred to those three events as “hijackings” because the perpetrators took control by force, and in each case diverted their target from its intended path.
- The hijacking of $12 million by a Polish credit card processor for NetLeaders
- The hijacking of the same $12 million by Polish authorities
- The hijacking of the NetLeaders marketing program by a group of leaders
Each of those events ultimately caused irreparable damage to our ecosystem.
However, what was far more devastating than the result of any of the individual events was the catastrophic damage that resulted in the aftermath of the combination of all three events. Ultimately, the “vehicle” that was diverted from its path by these hijackings was our ecosystem.
In June 2018, at the two-year mark from when it first began, our ecosystem was arguably significantly ahead of competing ecosystems that went on to have multi-billion-dollar valuations today. This was based on a range of growth metrics and included ecosystems like Crypto.com, which I mentioned previously was seeking to address similar strategic objectives).
One wonders where our ecosystem could be today if it was simply allowed to pursue its path of growth without interruption, without intervention and without the destruction caused by these hijackers.
Unfortunately, we will never know.
What is very clear is that without the creation of what ended up being a $12 million “honey pot” for the Polish regulators, there would have been far less incentive for them to intervene in the way they did. For example, the hundreds of interviews conducted by the secret police would certainly have never happened without this clandestine $12 million “budget” – which had been placed into the hands of the Polish authorities by a greed-filled executive team at a Polish credit card processor seeking to maximize their acquisition price. It’s not hard to understand why the Polish regulators took little to no action against clearly fraudulent businesses, yet “doubled-down” and accelerated their pursuit of a legitimate and legally operated NetLeaders business. The $12 million that was illegally delivered to their bank account apparently made all the difference. From the moment those funds were commandeered by Polish authorities, our ecosystem has been continuously bullied, harassed and discriminated against without any valid or legal basis.
Not only did these funds provide a comfortable budget for their “investigations”, but they also financed a range of surreptitious activities designed to destroy our ecosystem. $12 million provides an assortment of direct incentives for the parties involved. And if they are successful in destroying our ecosystem, they will receive the bonus of deciding how those funds will be distributed (at least what’s left after they deduct all their operational expenses). Consequently, there are elements within the Polish power structure that are highly motivated bring our ecosystem to its knees and take GRN down to zero. Not only could they then be able to justify the violations they committed to secure the funds in the first place, but they could then spread the graft to powerful comrades throughout their government (increasing their political clout) – as well as divide up some of the plunder for themselves. Of course, a small portion of the spoils could also be presented to “victims” (which they had worked so hard to create) for the purpose of making a press release.
If all of this sounds like fiction, it’s time for you to wake up. There is a well-financed group that has been relentlessly attacking our ecosystem for the past three years. Social media smear campaigns, aggressions by a legion of paid internet trolls and extensive fake news coverage are just some of their subversive tactics.
Don’t believe that a government agency would do such things?
Read these articles:
“Smear Campaign Against Cryptocurrency Sponsored by Poland’s Central Bank”
“Polish Central Bank Paid YouTubers for Dirty Anti-Bitcoin Campaign”
Think that corruption in the Polish government is not a problem?
“Banking corruption scandal throws Polish politics into turmoil”
“What the KNF scandal means for Polish finance”
Believe that justice is still available through the Polish judicial system?
The Netherlands, Germany and the EU Commission concluded it is not.
“Netherlands will extradite no one to Poland under European Arrest Warrant”
“German court refuses to extradite German citizen to Poland because of the state of the Polish judicial system”
“European report finds waning of democracy in Poland”
“EU Commission sues Poland for undermining independence of judges”
It appears that the government of this former Communist country is corrupted at the highest levels. The problem worsened with the recent capture of the country’s judicial system by the current political party, a move that has been widely criticized by other nations and actively censured by the EU Commission. The ruling party seems intent on nationalizing (i.e., monopolizing) the country’s banking infrastructure and all related financial areas, including cryptocurrencies.
They appear to be falling back on old habits of extreme centralization, which they subjected their people to during the reign of Communism from 1947-1989.
One Bad Decision
If you haven’t figured it out already, the “bad decision” made within our ecosystem was the decision to adopt an MLM-type marketing program. Yes, it was a form of decentralized marketing and provided rewards for people who referred license sales. And yes, network marketing is a legitimate form of decentralized marketing. It provides a system of incentives for sales leaders that is capable of building substantial businesses. However, it was likely that this format of marketing was too controversial when paired with the fast-evolving world of fintech.
I continue to believe that there are forms of decentralized marketing that can work within the blockchain industry, such as affiliate programs and customer referral programs. And these can be especially effective if the incentives are paid through smart contracts and are transparently trackable on a blockchain.
By accepting that group of leaders who insisted on an MLM-style marketing program, a proverbial can of worms was opened. None of the ecosystem founders was experienced in that realm or understood what was required. We essentially allowed ourselves to get played. Nevertheless, once the decision was made, all of us wanted to do whatever was needed to make the ecosystem a success. Even with all the distraction that came with live events (none of which any of the ecosystem founders had experience with), we always listened to the requests and feedback of these top leaders and tried our best to deliver what was needed to push the ecosystem forward. Honestly, anyone who knows me well will tell you that I have a fairly shy demeanor and am a very private person. These events were not my idea of a good time, and I know firsthand that none of the other ecosystem founders relished those stage events. But all of us dutifully worked to make sure they were successful for the benefit of the community.
It’s shocking what a huge bias there is against MLM companies. Seriously, consider the Herbalife case – that company was over 30 years old when it was challenged in the US as a pyramid scheme by an activist hedge fund manager. The company went through a five-year challenge before it was victorious in the end. But how amazing that a 30+ year company had to endure such an attack. Now think about what a startup version of Herbalife would face.
Another point of irony is that it was this group of marketing leaders pushed so hard to add every kind of option that would allow NetLeaders to accept credit card. Makes sense. Increase the number of ways to pay, and you will likely increase sales. One of the top leaders even had his sister help the NetLeaders staff add and maintain all the payment options. And I clearly remember the intense upheaval caused among the Polish leaders when John made the decision to remove that Polish credit card processor (6 months after it stopped paying the company for the charges processed). Those marketing leaders went nuts.
I look back and can’t help but think about how much was done to support those top leaders, in the hope of securing their loyalty and leadership during critical times. Yet when the difficulty came, not only were they not providing leadership in the crisis, but they were the really the primary source of the problem.
In thinking back about the reaction from these leaders in Barcelona, it starts to feel a lot like the “the Lady doth protest too much, methinks”. Possibly it was even a premediated ambush on their part. I don’t know. But it does seem that this group doesn’t stick around anywhere for more than about a year. Apparently, two years for humans is the equivalent of 100 years for “RugLeaders”. Wish that fact could have been known before the “bad decision” was made.
Other facts are now obvious: they lied, they left, they dumped, and then they cowered.
In the final analysis, I do believe a form of decentralized marketing like the original affiliate program may have grown slower, but would have likely grown more sustainably. Would be fascinating to know what would have happened in a parallel universe had the ecosystem just stuck with the original affiliate program.
The Cascade of Negative Repercussions
Ok, now back to what happened AFTER those three negative events:
- NetLeaders Lawyers: Legal relationships in over 20 countries around the world had been secured by the NetLeaders team, and within weeks of the release of the Polish seizure news, all of those relationship were terminated by the respective law firms and cited the Polish seizure news as the reason. All of these law firms had been (correctly) undeterred by the British Columbia cease and desist letter, but the seizure news had a material impact on them and caused them to terminate their contracts.
- Polish Marketing Team: Virtually all marketing activities immediately ceased once the news began circulating in the Polish media. The Polish marketing leaders became fearful as word spread of impending interviews being conducted by the secret police.
- DasCoin Board Members: The Chairperson of the DasCoin Board died in early September of 2018. By November 2018, two of the remaining three non-executive directors resigned over the media coverage of the Polish situation.
- Global Marketing Team: As news of a seizure spread worldwide, there was a huge impact on morale and confidence within the NetLeaders marketing organization. Advocates began to focus on marketing the products and services of other organizations. Most were uncomfortable about putting their reputations on the line given the widespread coverage of the Polish seizure.
- Ecosystem Community: After the seizure news, there was a devastating impact on the confidence and morale of the entire community. The seizure news seemed to crush the spirit of some of the strongest and most faithful marketing teams. Over the course of
this crisis period, the marketing network went from adding nearly 10,000 new accounts in a month, to adding under 1000 per month.
- Cryptocurrency Industry: Once the seizure story ran in worldwide press, it was extremely difficult to interact with the greater cryptocurrency community. Building partnerships for our ecosystem was also extremely challenging, and avenues of value creation were being thwarted by a perception that our ecosystem was some kind of scam.
- Sell-off in GRN and the Approach of Crypto Winter: The market for GRN began its decline at the Barcelona event in early July, and became progressively worse in September and October as the Polish media coverage began to spread. It also didn’t help that the entire market for crypto started to enter a bear market in early November that would come to be known as “Crypto Winter”.
- Arbitrage Foisting: During this period, certain vulnerabilities within the internal exchange were being used by a band of traders in a months-long arbitrage exploit that resulted in punishing losses before the core issue was finally addressed.
Attack of the “Professionals”
As the news of Polish “seizure” spread throughout the world, it became apparent to a number of contractors, advisors, attorneys and consultants working in the ecosystem that “blood was in the water”. Amidst the ensuing chaos, they each chose their respective lines of attack, seeking to opportunistically maximize their personal gain while the ecosystem was at its weakest. Addressing the regulatory situation in Poland required the addition of an entirely separate group of attorneys and advisors. Over the most intense period (the first 12 months that followed the hijacking), the majority of these “professionals” figured out insidious ways to prey on the ecosystem companies involved. Some of them even went so far as to commit crimes against certain ecosystem companies as they pursued their angles of attack. With few exceptions, the net effect of the efforts of these service providers was the creation of confusion and the depletion of resources.
Civil War Within the Ecosystem
Once the seizure news from Poland became known by key executives in Serbia, there was an immediate shift in their behavior. Over the next two months, the situation became progressively worse. Finally, it culminated in a strange set of actions by four of the ecosystem’s top executives, each of whom was the 100% shareholder of a service entity. All four of these companies played important operational roles in the ecosystem, and each company possessed a considerable amount of power (in realms that included support, operation of network services, delivery of development services). Sensing the weakness of the ecosystem caused by the Polish seizure news and the surrounding collateral damage, these four executives worked together on an attempt to extort money from the ecosystem: the group demanded that $15 million in Bitcoin be sent to a wallet address they provided, and threatened that if it wasn’t received within 48 hours, they would “bring down the entire network.” Due to the decentralized architecture of our network, this was not even possible for them to do (though they did control several master node servers within the network and were in technical control of the core development team). Nothing was ever sent to them. Instead, twelve members of the core development team resigned en masse from one of the companies and were flown from Belgrade to Amsterdam where they stayed for 3 weeks to fortify the most critical elements of the system. The four rogue executives did have control over support and development employees, two office complexes in Belgrade and seven of the network’s master nodes – access to those offices was lost, many of their companies’ employees were laid off and the seven servers were terminated in the aftermath of their extortion attempt. Needless to say, this entire series of events was extremely disruptive to the network infrastructure, and led to extensive operational adjustments.
Wallet Attack #1: “Blockhole” Consulting: There was a highly trusted technology consulting firm with advanced technical prowess in the blockchain realm that was advising several companies in the ecosystem. The trust level with this firm had grown over time to such a point that certain principals had been given private keys to several critical servers (as part of a network disaster recovery plan). These same individuals were also entrusted with the safekeeping of sensitive documents by several ecosystem companies as well as a significant reserve of digital assets by one particular company. However, it was unexpectedly discovered that principals from this firm had attempted to gain access to the ecosystem’s wallet system through unauthorized means. After the incident was investigated, the alliance decided that there had been a very significant breach of protocol and consequently all relationships between ecosystem companies and this consulting firm should be immediately terminated. In early April of 2019, exactly 2 days after these terminations were communicated to the firm, a series of sophisticated attacks was launched against the wallet system over a ten-day period. The nature of the evidence suggested that these attacks leveraged information the consulting firm had acquired while providing its services to its ecosystem clients. The principals of the firm also refused to return any of the documents and digital assets they were holding on behalf of the ecosystem companies.
Wallet Attack #2: Serbian Rogue Developers: Several days after the first set of wallet breaches in April 2019, a second series of attacks (using completely different tactics) was launched against the wallet system. In analyzing these subsequent attacks, all signs pointed to the source being rogue developers from the core technology team in Belgrade. They seemed to have committed an insider breach of the wallet system, in an amount that nearly equaled the damage from the previous set of attacks.
Wallet Attack #3: Serbian Team: Once evidence had been discovered that there were compromised personnel among the Belgrade development team, action had to be taken to migrate the core management of the blockchain network to a different technical team. The transition to a separate technology group based in India was completed over a 3-month period. In the final phase of that transition, an impasse was reached in which the Belgrade team ceased all communication and withdrew all cooperation. A subsequent investigation performed months later by the Indian team would reveal that there had been additional abuse of the system by members of the Belgrade team, including the theft of a significant amount of Bitcoin held in wallet accounts.
Wallet Attack #4: Indian Team: Once core management of the system was transitioned, there was a period of collaboration with the Indian team during which meaningful development progress was made. In addition to playing crucial roles in the transition the core blockchain technology, the maintenance of the network structure and the transfer of the DasWallet platform, they were also instrumental in the launches of Ledgeron (centralized wallet) and Ledgeron Lite (decentralized wallet). However, months into the collaboration with this team, there were several incidents in which significant amounts of digital assets were stolen. Answers didn’t come easily from them about what had occurred, and attempts to investigate the situations were repeatedly deferred.
The Necessity of the Swap to Ethereum: Subsequent revelations would make it apparent that a new core development team would be required. However, given that there were clear indications that the Indian team would not be cooperative, any transition of the Powerchain’s Graphene-based technology would be extremely difficult. Consequently, it was during this period (in July of 2020) that an emergency plan was developed to swap the native GRN currency for GRN ERC20 tokens using a custom-developed token bridge. This swap system was completely developed by a separate team. The Indian team was unaware of the swap plan (until late September 2020) and would not need to play any operational role in the swap process. Given the severity of the incidents of abuse and the likelihood that the abuse would continue (or even become worse), the successful transition to the enhanced protection of the Ethereum network for all GRN holders was seen to be of the utmost importance.
The Aftermath of the Wallet Attacks: As a result of the different attacks on the ecosystem’s centralized wallet systems, significant amounts of digital assets had been stolen. Many of the larger-balance wallet accounts (that had yet to link their accounts to Validator devices) were completely cleared out during the April 2019 attacks. Most of what was stolen during these crimes was then aggressively sold (i.e., dumped) on exchanges using anonymous VPN accounts and/or fake KYC information. The initial sell-off the stolen GRN became the start of a sustained period of negative market dynamics. Only thanks to coins held in a trust wallet (that had been established near the start of the ecosystem) were the GRN balances able to be restored to all affected customer accounts (the only exceptions ended up being the accounts of four ecosystem company founders – John, Terry, Blair and me – who each suffered permanent loss of over 60% of GRN holdings due to the attacks).
Some Bitcoin Still Missing: Unfortunately, the Bitcoin taken from certain wallet accounts has been more problematic. Given that the BTC data provided by the Indian technology team is of questionable accuracy, a new and separate technical team with expertise in Graphene-based blockchain systems is currently analyzing the blockchain and wallet system data to accurately determine the true extent of the BTC losses. This is one area where the GRN Association is likely to play a significant role, both in ensuring justice is carried out in these situations and also related to the possible restoration of some or all of the value that has been stolen from the affected accounts using recovered assets from other ecosystem situations.
Added Difficulties Due to Decentralized Alliance & Other Factors: In addition to the inherent complexity of analyzing the blockchain and wallet data related to the missing BTC, the situation involves the additional difficulty of having to navigate the chain of custody of the assets at the time of each breach incident to determine which of the different entities involved with the ecosystem’s centralized wallet systems held custody responsibility. Due to the nature of the ecosystem’s decentralized alliance of companies, combined with the reality that several of the wallet companies had either been removed or removed themselves over the period of time when the wallet breaches occurred, and the fact that multiple technology teams had been involved with the wallet systems, as well as the fact that there were segments of time when there was unclear and/or overlapping of responsibilities held by the custody parties as well as other segments of time when there was overlapping influence of two technology teams, it is a massively complex set of problems. As most will remember, it was never just one company operating the wallet system in our ecosystem during the past five years: it started with WebWallet (and its custody entity), then transitioned to DasWallet (which was held successively by more than one custody entity), then to Ledgeron and Ledgeron Lite (which also was held successively by more than one custody entity), and then GokuMarket (which also was held successively by more than one custody entity). These transitions in custody entities for the different wallet systems happened for a variety of different reasons, including termination from the ecosystem alliance, shifting regulatory environments and the acquisition of new licensing. Overall, while it’s taking far longer than anticipated to get all the issues figured out, solid progress is being made by the new technology team and the entire situation is expected to get resolved over the next several weeks.
Strategic Alliances. A series of positive steps had been taken to form strategic alliances with various companies outside of the ecosystem during 2018. These were all expansion initiatives that were expected to be integrated into the ecosystem during the next phase of development. Inroads had also been made developing deeper connections with important contacts in the wider blockchain and crypto industry, including sponsorship and participation in select industry events. Unfortunately, all of those efforts were damaged by the negative news circulating from Poland. Existing initiatives were being called into question, and it became increasingly difficult to develop any new strategic alliances.
Kinesis. A prime illustration of this dynamic is Kinesis. At the foundation of the pending alliance with Kinesis was a very strong personal relationship between me and the CEO of Kinesis. We had been connected through our mutual friend who worked with the United Nations, and he and I had spent significant amounts of time together. Collaboration was already underway on multiple projects, and there were much bigger plans in the works. It was a very promising strategic alliance. However, as soon as the collaboration was announced, pressure started building from within the Kinesis community, mainly due to media coverage of the Polish regulatory action. Over the course of several weeks, it became increasingly worse due to social media attacks of the Kinesis community. Ultimately, it was decided that all plans for collaboration between our two ecosystems would need to be put on hold indefinitely.
Institutional Investors. Also during that same period (H2 of 2019), our ecosystem had cultivated interest from a couple of institutional investors, who were intrigued by its history and development plans and were considering investing in several ecosystem companies. Ultimately, both chose to pass. From my perspective, the disintegration of the Kinesis collaboration was the likely cause of withdrawal in both cases, as that collaboration had been featured prominently in the ecosystem pitch at that time.
Good News Dumping. Particularly after the initial set of wallet attacks (April 2019) and the market dumping and price decline that followed, there seemed to be enough cheaply traded coins circulating in the market that it became predictable that there would be a large dumping of coins every time a positive announcement was made within the community. Just like clockwork, every new positive announcement made within the ecosystem was immediately followed by a resounding selloff of a considerable volume of coins and a corresponding decline in price.
Many Dangers of Centralized Exchanges. The constriction in market activity during this time began exposing our ecosystem to vulnerabilities with centralized exchanges. One of the classic rackets of centralized exchanges is to gradually pursue an extortion strategy by requiring certain volume thresholds be met to avoid the assessment of fees. This tactic can then advance to threats of delisting, which can only be alleviated by paying an even larger fee to the exchange. There’s also a range of trading problems (including front-running) that can develop at centralized exchanges. In addition, there can be account-related incidents like missing assets and the unjustified freezing of accounts. And more rare but certainly possible, there can be “rug pull” incidents, like what happened with the CEO of IDAX absconding with all the company’s digital assets.
Regulatory Impact on Business Directions
DasPay/AlliancePay: The negative regulatory perception created in Poland directly affected our ability to work through the likely issues that would need to be resolved to deliver the planned AlliancePay product on a commercial scale.
DAS33: This platform was launched just as the most severe Polish action was being taken in early September of 2018. So it did not affect the launch of Das33, but regulatory action figured prominently in decisions about the Das33 business model from that point forward. Ultimately, it was concluded that no further regulatory risk could be taken on this project by the ecosystem companies until the Polish situation was resolved.
DasMarket: We then shifted our focus to developing marketplace solutions. There were very limited potential strategic partners available. We decided to collaborate with GokuMarket and worked hard to align interests on several marketplace solutions. Some solid progress was made for a period of several months with this group that resulted in a card offering, a variety of marketplace offerings and wider utility for GRN. (Eventually, several significant points of misalignment developed and the relationship was ultimately terminated.)
5 Oppositional Groups
There are five groups that have played roles in the negative dynamics of our ecosystem.
1. The Centralized Establishment
This first group is very large and very powerful. It includes a lot of different factions from all over the world, including governments, central banking systems and large international corporations. To this group, we represent values and philosophical ideals that are diametrically opposed to theirs, and therefore we pose a direct existential threat. In addition, there are several members of this group that are particularly interested in destroying our ecosystem because of incidents involving the Polish credit card processing company and the hijacking of $12 million. These include Polish regulatory agencies, Polish prosecutors and European & American investment banking interests related to the Polish merchant processing company and its acquirers. They all remain highly motivated to ensure that our ecosystem is permanently destroyed. They possess substantial resources as well as significant economic incentives – which can only be realized if they are able to successfully delegitimize our ecosystem. Consequently, they have been working hard behind the scenes to destroy our ecosystem, mainly by funding of social media smear campaigns, manufacturing & distributing fake news as well as attempting to influence various members of government agencies. There are existing court proceedings underway that will now be supported by the GRN Association on behalf of all GRN holders. Additional cases involving elements of the Centralized Establishment are expected to be aggressively pursued by the GRN Association.
2. The “Professionals”
This group is comprised of the various individuals and groups providing professional services to companies within our ecosystem as well as to elements of the Centralized Establishment. The word “professionals” is in quotes because the members of this group operate under the guise of professionalism, but are actually corrupt and actively engage in criminal behavior. Included in this group are various types of consultants, attorneys, advisors, developers and vendors. These “professionals” have stolen millions of dollars of digital assets through all manner of lies, deception, dishonesty, misrepresentation, illegal access, extortion, embezzlement and misappropriation. The actions of many of them ever since their original crimes have been aimed at delegitimizing our community in the hope that their crimes will remain hidden and they will avoid all legal consequences. They think that if they can destroy GRN by convincing people it is a scam, there won’t be an avenue for the community to pursue justice, and they will get away with their crimes. They are mistaken. While the “professionals” committed their crimes against different individual companies within the ecosystem, the primary harmed party throughout all of their lawlessness has been the members of our community; the holders of GRN. With the formation of the GRN Association, the cases against the “professionals” have enhanced legal standing and can now be pursued expeditiously.
3. The “RugLeaders”
Ironically, this group was intended to be the most loyal and dedicated group in our ecosystem. They are the original marketing leaders of this ecosystem and they received tremendous rewards for building our community. However, at the first signs of adversity, their true character was revealed. Rather than stand strong and help lead us through a challenging period, these “leaders” chose to abandon us. And they not only quit and left our ecosystem, but they also dumped all their coins on their way out. To deflect any blame and evade all accountability for their despicable behavior, they have systematically attacked our ecosystem ever since. This group has arguably done the most damage (out of all these five groups) by engineering and executing on their horrendous “rug pull”. They are itinerant career MLMers who have already moved on to their 4th deal since leaving NetLeaders. These hopeless prevaricators persistently lied to virtually everyone in our community. By their actions, they clearly had no real intention to build something of substance or value (and certainly nothing long term). Whenever you might wonder why there is such hatred and scorn for the MLM industry, look no farther than our very own “RugLeaders”. Their habitual sociopathic behavior, compulsive need to feed their insatiable greed and complete lack of empathy or remorse understandably enrages many people.
4. The “Holey” Warriors
There is an entire group of opposition built on misunderstandings and misinformation. Ironically, many within this group were formerly strong proponents of our ecosystem, but their feelings of disenchantment and betrayal have turned them into fierce enemies. They fight against the ecosystem under the banner of what they believe is righteousness and justice. However, there are critical “holes” in their understanding of what has transpired within our ecosystem and why it happened. Some of them are part of a splinter group within our community that organized the migration of several hundred accounts to IDAX in the fall of 2019. That group was upset about the outcome of the AlliancePay initiative and intended to take some form of collective action outside of the ecosystem. However, in December of 2019, while the group was still in a planning stage, it was confirmed that the CEO of IDAX was missing. Unfortunately, the CEO was the only one at IDAX with the private keys to the company’s digital wallet accounts. IDAX is now out of business because the CEO never surfaced, and consequently none of the GRN held at IDAX has been recovered. Among those affected were many who were justifiably upset about their losses, but they seemed to misdirect their anger by shifting blame onto the ecosystem.
The nickname comes from the fact that their resulting behavior is like that of religious extremists who seek fulfillment in “the next world” and therefore make destructive choices in their current world (like participating in bombings). These “holey” warriors take their polemics to the channels of social media, and despite their representations of upholding righteousness for the benefit of GRN holders, they end up damaging the brand for everyone holding GRN (precisely, the group they claim to be helping). This is not wise behavior on several levels – but especially since the formation of the PowerDAO creates an opportunity for the community to vote to restore some of the coins to those affected by the IDAX incident. Hopefully, once they possess more of the truth, these warriors will choose to conclude their war and resume support for the ecosystem. I believe the core of this group is made of up very sincere and good-hearted people.
There is one additional small faction within this group who are less sincere in their intentions. These opportunistic characters are shills and grifters who pose as vigilantes in the hope of eventually promoting their next gig. They envy the size and passion of our community and seek to gain influence under the guise of defending their rights (though their true motives are usually difficult to hide).
5. The Keyboard Mercenaries
This group is comprised of digital “soldiers of fortune.” These “joyful” souls are willing to do all kinds of digital dirty work – for a price. They are “trolls” for hire who are paid to hate. These anonymous digital warriors will work tirelessly to send out a brand of “sunshine” that is customized to the needs of their benefactors. Their services are typically rendered in between gaming sessions while clad just in underwear and surrounded by empty pizza boxes in their parents’ basement. These digital warriors have proliferated due to the increasingly toxic nature of our social media channels. Many among this mercenary Troll Patrol have been directly sponsored by groups within the Centralized Establishment. Throughout the world, trolls-forhire are being increasingly used by Communist and former-Communist governments. (Apparently, they consider them to be a cheaper and easier to expend than the other forms of “Useful Idiots” deployed within their regimes.) Despite their profuse toxicity, trolls are usually harmless and can be easily ignored (and should be). My advice to anyone who may choose to interact with a troll is to be respectful, civil and polite – resist descending into the cesspool. (While some of them are actually programmed “bots”, the majority are human beings who have chosen hate as a profession – they need a hug more than a confrontation.)
Our Purpose in Coming Together
While at the start I declared that this chain of events started with “one bad choice” (of the ecosystem adopting an MLM marketing program), it’s an oversimplification to assign qualitative judgement on that choice. After all, everyone’s involvement in this community is a direct result of that choice. Without that “one bad choice”, we would have never come together.
And while it may have been the mechanism of the chosen marketing program that facilitated everyone’s participation in this ecosystem, it was the vision of what we intended to create that was (and is) the true reason you got involved. From the start, you saw potential in the emerging dynamics of blockchain technology, and you became excited. You believed there were great possibilities for expansion, and you made the decision to get involved.
Deep in our hearts, I think each of us knows that there’s a reason why this community came together the way it did. And there’s an important purpose we will serve by continuing together on this path. In the end, I believe it will be revealed how the adversity created by “one bad choice” actually ended up setting the foundation for “one amazing victory!”