The Manchester Free Press

Saturday • December 2 • 2017

Vol.IX • No.XLVIII

Manchester, N.H.

Syndicate content Free Keene
Peaceful Evolution
Updated: 1 week 3 days ago

DUI Checkpoint Activism + College Know-Your-Rights Outreach

Mon, 2017-11-20 23:01 +0000

Recently I wrote the eulogy for Cop Block, the national police accountability activist news website. Nothing lasts forever, especially in the world of activism, where doing the right thing rarely means one can make a living at it. Burnout is real and has happened to some of the brightest activists to ever hit the Cop Block scene.

Cop Block as a national organization may have died, but it’s not dead here in New Hampshire, where it was incubated – according to founder Pete Eyre – in Keene.

Though regular Cop Blocking patrols are more rare these days and more likely to happen in Keene than anywhere else, large numbers of activists still participate in the ongoing DUI checkpoint countering that happens multiple times a year in Manchester.

Toward the end of this summer, state and local police set up DUI checkpoints in Cheshire county for the first time in five years. Thomas Parisi from The Jail Paper came out with the group to document the checkpoint. It was set up just a few hundred feet from the bridge to Brattleboro, VT so we had multiple Cop Blockers on both points of entry to the checkpoint with multiple reflective signs alerting peaceful motorists to the upcoming harassment. Not surprisingly, state police statistics reported zero DUIs were found during the checkpoint, though they did write a bunch of motor vehicle violation tickets and make a few drug possession arrests. So, all victimless “crimes” – another huge waste of taxpayer dollars.

The Jail Paper also reported on Cop Block know-your-rights outreach that regularly happens in the Keene State College neighborhood. Here are both videos in one, courtesy of The Jail Paper:

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Keene Bitcoin Vending Machine Becomes Cryptocurrency Vending Machine, Adds DASH!

Sun, 2017-11-19 20:58 +0000

DASH, Now Available at the Crypto Vending Machine in Keene, NH!

Recent drama behind the scenes with Bitcoin has resulted in the world’s most popular and oldest cryptocurrency, that sadly can’t scale to increased demand, and as a result, has escalating, ridiculous fees.

Luckily, thanks to an NH-based upstart from the Seacoast called Anypay, now merchants can accept DASH at point-of-sale. In fact, here in Keene, New Hampshire, local mom-n-pop retailers Corner News, Hot Hogs BBQ, D’s Cafe, and Route 101 Local Goods all now accept DASH at the register via the Anypay app.

It’s a relief to be able to use cryptocurrency again retail in real life, with fees that are sane. Fees for sending are usually no more than 1-3 cents’ worth of DASH per transaction, and they’re expected to get even lower with DASH’s next upgrade. Compare that with Bitcoin’s recent, insane $10+ median fees recently. Over the last couple of days they’ve dipped, but are still over $6 worth of BTC just to send a transaction. It’s sad – Bitcoin is broken, yet amazingly continues an upward trend in value, just today setting a new record high of over $8,000 USD per BTC.

Right in the midst of the DASH retail explosion happening in both Portsmouth and Keene, Lamassu, the manufacturer of Keene’s first Bitcoin Vending Machine released a long-awaited system update that has expanded their software to allow for multiple cryptocurrencies to be vended. Since DASH is uniquely positioned as “digital cash” and has growing point-of-sale support in the Keene area, it is now the first additional cryptocurrency besides bitcoin to be offered as a vended product in this region.

Route 101 Local Goods is at 661 Marlboro Rd. in Keene, NH

That means DASH is now available in Cryptocurrency Vending Machines (CVMs) across southern New Hampshire! In June, Portsmouth became the first city to offer DASH in its vending machine(s). One month later, Manchester’s original Bitcoin Vending Machine at Murphy’s taproom had added DASH.

Route 101 Local Goods, the location of Keene’s CVM, is at 661 Marlboro Rd. and is open Mon-Sat 10a-6p, and Sunday 11a-5p. They accept multiple cryptocurrencies at the register and offer some really cool NH-sourced, hand-crafted products for sale. It’s a perfect place to do all your holiday shopping.

Thanks to Lamassu (originally based in Manchester, NH) for the system update to allow people to have a choice in the crypto-marketplace. If you’re a crypto-libertarian and you aren’t planning a move to NH, here are 101 Reasons why you should.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Dash Contractor Points Remittance Users to Crypto ATMs Over “Funding the Wall”

Sun, 2017-11-19 02:24 +0000

Billions in remittances are annually sent from folks in the USSA to their friends and families elsewhere. For decades, firms like Western Union and MoneyGram took a hefty fee for this service. But today, with the emergence of peer-to-peer digital currencies like Dash, money transfers can be done more speedily and with a much lower fee. This latter route can now be pursued by residents of San Antonio, Texas thanks to the existence of a Dash-enabled General Bytes Machine at LOL Liquors.

This video features Danny Sessom of http://DashCares.com and Paras Arora of LOL Liquors.

LOL Liquors has two locations in greater San Antonio and offers one hour delivery within Bexar County (210-714-0036).

  • 12107 Toepperwein Rd., Ste. 6, Live Oak, Texas 78233
  • 7432 W Military Dr, San Antonio, TX 78227
LINKS
  • Bitso exchange in Mexico https://bitso.com/?l=en
  • Wirex pre-paid debit card https://wirexapp.com
  • What Is Dash? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0oNO3mbBE8
  • General Bytes is the World’s Largest Dash-Supporting ATM Network https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFAT1f3krYc
  • Remittance Flows Worldwide in 2015 http://www.pewglobal.org/interactives/remittance-map/
  • Trump threatens remittance blackmail to fund border wall with Mexico https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/us-elections-2016/Trump-threatens-remittance-blackmail-to-fund-border-wall-with-Mexico/articleshow/53964815.cms
TRANSCRIPT

[DANNY SESSOM] What I feel is kind of important about what we’re doing is trying to reach the immigrant community who are, of course, the unbanked and that’s kind of what cryptocurrency’s all about. And we want to teach them how to use cryptocurrency to cheaply send money home to Mexico or South America, Central America, wherever.

[REMITTANCE FLOWS WORLDWIDE ONLINE ARTICLE] $134 billion in remittances was sent from the U.S. to other countries in 2015. About 1/6 of that was sent to people in Mexico.

[DANNY SESSOM] You know, one of the things that Trump was talking about as far as building the wall is this is the way that we’re going to pay for it, this is how we’re going to force Mexico to pay for it is, you know, raising the fees on remittance services and tariffs and stuff going across the border. Well hey, why would anybody want to contribute to something that’s such an insult to them? So we’re delivering the Dash ATM to LOL Liquors.

[WHAT IS DASH? VIDEO EXCERPT] Dash is digital cash. Money exchanged on a highly secure, open source, peer to peer network.

[PARAS ARORA] It’s such an honor to have it here at the store. I have a ATM at my second location but that’s not a Dash ATM it’s just a Bitcoin ATM so this is an upgrade to me. Number one it increases foot traffic. Bitcoin ATMs are not —Bitcoin and Dash ATMs I should say, are not as common still, so it’s a destination shop. You know, people are going to drive from all over the place and this machine should pull traffic from as far as 100 miles, even 150 miles. The San Antonio community is very interesting, very diverse number one, I should say. Predominantly it’s a hispanic community and we really got affected you know — people had friends and family you know — of course the natural disaster that happened in Mexico. So of course they all want to help and, let’s say it’s their hard-earned money and San Antonio is really also very much of a blue collar community so let’s say you only have $60 that you want to send your family and you’re paying $18, $20 out of that $60 to Western Union or MoneyGram — that really eats 20-30% off that cost, which is, you know, completely not right. You know, these people are trying to help their families and friends and they really can’t do it.

[WHAT IS DASH? VIDEO EXCERPT] With Dash, fees are extremely low or completely nonexistent.

[DANNY SESSOM] I’ve been a contractor for roofing for 30 years now. Well, the guys that worked for me and everything I would take them down to send their money through Western Union and they were always getting raked over the coals so when I did get into Bitcoin I realized that hey, this is something that I need to be teaching these guys about. There is going to be a 5% fee if they’re using the ATMs, which would be lower than the normal ATM fees. I think people are paying 10%, 15% or more to use the crypto ATMs with Bitcoin or whatever. So, we’ll have a coupon code for these people to use it and get away with 5%.What we’re hoping for is, you know, Bitso is going to be accepting Dash so they’ll have an exchange that they can work with on that side but I think what would be more effective for them is actually the Wirex card because the fees will be lower. Basically you would just send your cryptocurrency and since they added Dash recently, you’d be able to send your Dash there as well and it would just load onto your pre-paid debit card and you’d spend it as dollars wherever you go. It was available in Mexico and I spoke with some of the guys from Wirex recently and they’ve been in Mexico working on that, so they’re working right now on bringing it back online in Mexico.

[PARAS ARORA] You want to change the world — you don’t change the world by selecting the right politician, you don’t change the world by voting for X person or Y person, you change the world with modern technology. You change the world by coding. That’s crypto for you. This is how we can change the world.

[WHAT IS DASH? VIDEO EXCERPT] Dash.org

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Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Brandon Pinney Victorious in Court in Free Speech Case vs NH State Police

Sat, 2017-11-18 19:15 +0000

Brandon Pinney Awaits Trial in a “Fuck Cops” Handmade Shirt

After being found guilty last year in Keene District Court of “disorderly conduct” for telling state police to “fuck off”, NH-native Brandon Pinney appealed to a jury trial. I’m happy to announce that thanks to a hung jury, Brandon is victorious, as the state has decided to not retry the case. In an email, Brandon says:

Just letting you know that the deadline has passed for the state to retry me and the hung jury stands. While i am disappointed I was not fully exonerated i am glad and fortunate that in my case a jury of my peers was able to see that the situation did not unfold as the state presented it.

For the full initial district court trial video, you can check out this post. At the time, he heroically wore a “FUCK COPS” homemade t-shirt into court. Free speech includes the right to say unpleasant things to government officials. The district court judge, Edward Burke, was wrong to uphold the charge against him and it was good to see some jurors could see the situation clearly. This is a clear free speech issue, and in the long run the state would have lost in its own courts. Brandon stated further:

I also want you to know that I don’t regret wearing my shirt. I am more than a little troubled that my arresting officer initially served as the prosecutor. I believe that a county prosecutor would have declined to take up the case after reading the witness statements. Some of the statements made by the ranger, the fish and game officer and state trooper, as well as their testimony at trial, were impeached and this fact demonstrates the weakness of their case. It is unfortunate that things ever went as far as they did the day I was arrested and in the ensuing legal process.

To learn more about jury nullification, your right to judge a case based on your conscience, please visit NHJury.com. Congratulations to Brandon on his win, thanks to the jurors who voted not guilty, and sorry for the belated update on this important case!

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Two Newspaper Appearances in One Day!

Tue, 2017-11-14 03:48 +0000

NH’s Top Newspaper Regularly Features Libertarian Activists

I’ve long stated that libertarians in New Hampshire are making a bigger impact than anywhere else. That’s because we’ve concentrated our efforts here as part of an ongoing NH Freedom Migration, and turns out – concentrating activists in one geographic area actually works! Besides the haters who target our activists, you can also tell we’re effective because the media not only writes about our activism regularly, but also reaches out for comment on other issues that don’t even directly involve us.

This happens here because libertarians in New Hampshire are a relevant political force and we cannot be ignored, like happens to libertarians in other states.

Today, I had the honor of being included in two different newspaper articles, in two different newspapers.

First up, Union Leader reporter Meghan Pierce’s story about Dublin’s counterproductive new paraphernalia ordinance that was their top story of the day today. I was given the last word in the piece. Thanks Meghan!

“Apparently the chief (Suokko) and town council just can’t let go of the insane war on drugs and just have to keep pushing to extract more money and obedience from peaceful cannabis users who are our neighbors, co-workers, and friends,”

Also today, Steve Whitmore from the Keene Sentinel called me early this morning to get a comment on Christopher Cantwell‘s court hearing last week where two of the three felony charges were dropped against him. Here’s Whitmore’s story that appeared in today’s Sentinel.

In case you need more reasons to join the most successful libertarian movement in the world, here are 101 of them in a really entertaining documentary film.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Imam Accused of Being Drunk by City of Keene Bureaucrat!

Sun, 2017-11-12 12:00 +0000

Will Coley, Imam of the soon-to-open MALIC Center in Keene, NH recently made the mistake of asking permission to put up a sign for the mosque he’s opening in Keene. Realizing that asking for permission only gives bureaucrats reasons to create hoops to jump and fees to pay, Will went in to inform them he intends to move ahead with or without their permission slip, per the freedom of speech and religion.

During the interaction one particularly rude bureaucrat insults me and then issues an even bigger insult to Will, as a Muslim. She actually asserts that he smells of alcohol, a ridiculous claim, given it’s been over a decade since he’s drank any. Here’s the full video of his interactions with authoritarian bureaucrats on Thursday afternoon:

With the story already hitting the one of the Sentinel’s front pages yesterday, it’s already looking like the people calling themselves the “City of Keene” are going to be an international laughingstock again! With such insulting and threatening behavior not long after suffering defeat after defeat, all the way to the NH Supreme Court in the Robin Hood case where they tried and failed to crush the free speech of activists who have rescued thousands of motorists from parking tickets.

Enjoy the video and subscribe to FreeKeene.com for the latest on the MALIC Center and any further threats or aggression from the city gang.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

The Schmidts, Prominent Anti-Chalking Haters, Foreclosed On, Leave Trashed House

Thu, 2017-11-09 22:31 +0000

Matthew and Jennifer Schmidt in Keene District Court

This blog has for more than a decade chronicled the ongoing NH Freedom Migration of libertarian-type folks moving to New Hampshire and getting active for liberty. Over those years, we’ve seen plenty of opposition by various people and groups of haters. Anonymous hitpiece blogs (all long since offline, so I can’t link them), full-color attack mailers, hate flyers distributed around town, and in recent years, actual real-life counter-protests and even seminars about libertarians and how evil we supposedly are.

It’s truly an honor to be attacked. They say you don’t take flak unless you’re over the target. No one should be surprised that there will be vehement opposition when libertarians actually start making an impact as we have done here in New Hampshire. Most libertarians don’t understand what it’s like to be hated, because outside of New Hampshire, the libertarian movement is little more than a sideshow. They have near-zero impact with their political campaigns, and that’s about all they do besides argue on the internet.

Prominent Haters’ Home Foreclosed, Sold Under $48k

Here in the Shire, libertarian activists regularly get mainstream media coverage in newsprint, on TV and radio. Here we matter, despite the online trolls who spend their precious time trying to convince us we don’t. Of course, the fact that they spend such inordinate time on us is evidence against their own claims.

Every now and then a hater will get out from behind their computer monitor and actually make a real life appearance. Sometimes they are memorable and hilarious, like the time Sam Dodson was assaulted by a former coffee-shop owner wielding a coffee cup (both have long since left NH). Sometimes they are threatening and violent. However, very rarely are their efforts sustained for any meaningful amount of time. Every hate group that has risen has also fallen away, however one couple really stood out above all the other haters, Matthew and Jennifer Schmidt.

Over the last half-a-decade, the Schmidts made themselves into public activists after joining multiple real life events designed to target peace-loving libertarian activists in the Keene area with hatred. I first recall encountering Matt in an impressively large counterprotest in Central Square by then-new-and-energized hate group “STOP FREE KEENE!!!“. He later truly made a name for himself in the War on Chalk that happened throughout the summer of 2014. While the War on Chalk initially involved a handful of haters, it wasn’t long before Matthew “Boston Strong” Schmidt was the last man standing on their side. His dedication was unmatched. Every day before he’d go to work as a plumber in his original home of Massachusetts, he’d come down to Central Square and remove any chalkings he could find. Then later in the day, after he got off work, he’d be right back down to Central Square with his broom and bucket of water:

What kind of man makes it his business to delete not only peaceful chalkings by libertarians (including some very beautiful artwork), but also those chalkings by children and those done by a local church group trying to raise awareness of homelessness?

Had he just kept his hate-activism to deleting chalkings, maybe we’d never have gotten to know more about him, but he just couldn’t stop. Turns out, he lived just a few houses north of my home, which we discovered when he ironically came out to do his own chalking in the street in front of the Keene Activist Center! At this point we didn’t know his name, but he’d allegedly threatened a local peaceful chalk-artist and simultaneously claimed to be from Boston, so Rich Paul named him, “Boston Strong”. Later we learned his name, Matthew Schmidt, homeowner since 2005, a year before I arrived in Keene. His obsession with us grew. When he would drive by the corner where I live and at that time was also the Keene Activist Center, he’d lay on his horn and scream at the top of his lungs.

At that time, Chris Cantwell (the angry libertarian comedian Chris, pre-racism days) lived across the street from me in the “Capitalist House”. In an excellent blog by Garret Ean (who was also living on the corner in question), he describes how Cantwell and Schmidt competed to prove who was the worst neighbor in a confrontation that happened in front of Schmidt’s house between the two. Schmidt had, as was common, driven by our corner yelling something at the corner in general, so Cantwell went to confront him about his un-neighborly behavior. Matt’s wife Jennifer was also present, accusing me falsely of being a pedophile while Schmidt drunkenly calls Cantwell a “temporary resident”, among other entertaining interactions:

Normally, I wouldn’t put any time into researching or paying attention to haters, but those who go the extra mile and engage in threatening behavior should be outed publicly. Curiously, I actually had an online exchange with Schmidt later where he admitted he was upset that I’d blogged about him and his wife. I’d never have been aware of who they were had they not made it their business to target the libertarian community here with their hatred. All I did was show their actions to the world, and tried to be fair about it, despite their hatred. When Jennifer Schmidt was accused by another River St. neighbor of threatening the neighbor’s ward with a knife, I reported that she was ultimately vindicated of the charges after the neighbor failed to put her boy on the witness stand.

Later in the year, Schmidt was confronted on video by Rich Paul and David Crawford over laying on his horn, where Schmidt famously threatens to make the lives of the children living on the corner “a living nightmare” while claiming “everyone loves what I’m doing, they love it“.

In 2015, in one of Matt Schmidt’s last known public appearances, his violent side was again revealed when he threatened to JP Freeman that he was going to “rap your head in with a ratchet”:

Fast forward to this August when, while out walking my dog on a Friday evening, I noticed a full-size moving truck pulled up to the Schmidt’s house, which the couple “owned”. By noon the next day, it was gone. Two months later, according to city/county records, it was sold for under $48,000 at foreclosure. Now there’s a giant dumpster in the front yard filled to the brim with all the junk they left in the house.

Perhaps rather than targeting peaceful liberty activists with hatred they should have focused on getting their own lives in order. It’s not a surprise that people who were so mean and nasty outwardly were a mess in the rest of their lives.

No exaggeration – that’s a lot of stuff they left behind for the buyer to clean up.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Libertarian Elected in Manchester: Voting is Palliative

Thu, 2017-11-09 19:55 +0000

Libertarian Colin Gibson was elected to Ward 4 Moderator on November 7th. Colin won 738 to 331. There were 8 write-in votes. Colin is an advocate of crypto currency, police accountability, and agorism. Colin is known by many in the liberty community, and presumably by some in the anti-liberty community. However, there is no indication that he is known by the population at large, and he states that he did not run a campaign. Colin ran against Inbal Rejwan-Day. She was not an incumbent as Woullard Lett was the outgoing moderator according to a phone call to the Manchester City Clerk on November 9th at 1pm.

I do not consider this an achievement of republicanism (more commonly, but less accurately known as democracy). I hold no delusions that the majority of people living under Manchester intended to elect a libertarian. But statism is no more an efficient means of management than it is a moral one. And attempting or pretending as the case may be, to spread power across the general population is an even more ridiculous form of organization.

Running an organization is a work. Whether its moral work or aggressive work is not relevant to the amount of time it takes. Expecting people to run the government, in addition to their actual jobs and whatever else they may have going on in their lives is unreasonable. Most people do not have the time to dedicate to hiring qualified people, whatever that means to them, and many do not have the inclination. If this method of hiring was suggested with any other organization, it would be rightfully laughed off. What makes you, I, or the guy down the street any more qualified to choose the CEO of the US than they are to choose the CEO of Shell? Nothing that I am aware of. There are instances where one or more candidate declares their intention to kill, steal, or generally be predacious more so than the other candidate. At the same time, I’ve seen some applications and resumes seriously submitted that had some very silly things listed on them. But this is not the norm. In most instances, people are left attempting to choose from equally horrible or equally cryptic candidates, OR they are asked to Sophie’s Choice not only their rights but the rights of the entire population. Which would you prefer: to loose gun rights or for chemo patients to be prevented from accessing marijuana?, is not an academic question for most  people who are eligible to vote in the US gang’s elections.

It dilutes feelings of responsibility. Of course, people are actually responsible for the actions that they take, and this includes ordering that a particular individual be given power, but people do act differently when they can point out that they are not the only person who choose a particular action. This gives reason to believe that large groups of people making a decision will make poorer decisions than a smaller group or a single person. People often vote for things that they would never enforce themselves, regardless of whether they had to means to do so.

A temporary manager of a gang has more perverse incentives than a private property owner, or even than a long-term manager of a gang. A person who is given run of a landmass for eight years or so has an incentive to milk it for all its worth and let his successor deal with the ruins. Even the State itself recognizes this when it puts fiduciary responsibilities on usufruct/right of use holders.

It creates poor time preferences. Even a well meaning official is judged on odd criteria. Instead of the long-term good of the area, elections shift the focus onto hyper-short time frames, incentivizing officials to focus on short-term rather than long-term solutions and encouraging voters to look for the same.

Democracy and republicanism are worse than mob rule. In democracy 50% + 1 may enforce their will on the minority. Under republicanism there may be further restrictions. In mob rule, 50% + 1 may look around, decide they don’t like those odds, and go off to mind their own business. Both systems allow people to undertake immoral acts that they would not otherwise undertake. This contributes to, but does not outright cause as people are responsible for their own actions, the moral degradation of societies.

Republicanism creates an even greater need for the occupying gang to convert members to its teachings. The DOE and public schools have the task of making sure that enough people subscribe to whatever it is that that particular gang wants to get done. The gang no longer needs just compliance- it needs your faith. If the gang does not successfully destroy independent thinking in enough eligible voters those voters may decide to do something other than what the gang wants, and that is not the point of any form of government.

To some extent, its an illusion anyway.

 

I do not believe that all elections are full fabrications, but “if voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.” There are some palliative actions that can be achieved through voting. However, not only is there no way to vote yourself into freedom, there is no way to vote yourself long-term into a position that the State does not want you to be in. At no point is Jannet Yellen or any of her successors going to announce “Well, the people have spoken and they don’t want us anymore; time to go home.” And illusions cost money. It is more expensive for tax-victims to fund the State plus the illusion of control than it is to fund the State only. So to add insult to injury republicanism is a more expensive form of statism.

I am not saying that you shouldn’t vote. That is a convoluted trolly-problem that I am not going to tackle here. What I am saying is that voting is palliative, it has limits, and if used it should be used in addition to rather than instead of other methods of gaining freedom.

 

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Bitcoin Not Forking Again After All? Good Riddance to Segwit2X! Long Live Bitcoin Cash!

Thu, 2017-11-09 00:02 +0000

Is the Bitcoin geek war finally over, or just getting started?

After months of buildup, fighting, and controversy, the potential forkers of Bitcoin have blinked. Thankfully, they’ve called off their plans to cause a potentially damaging and very contentious schism to the Bitcoin network. Today, several of the “Segwit2X” developers appear to have written an email canceling the much ballyhooed “upgrade” that was attempting to become the “real” bitcoin.

I wrote a very detailed article explaining what was happening with this potential fork and you can read that here to get caught up. Here’s a brief recap of how we got to where we are:

Bitcoin has been going through some ugly growing pains. Its network is full of transactions. Fees have been skyrocketing as a result. Bitcoin transactions that a few years ago were no more than a few cents are now regularly $3-5 dollars. This has killed Bitcoin’s usefulness for small transactions. After arguing online for years about how to solve the issue technically, a group of dozens of companies and mining pool operators came together in May to propose a compromise called “Segwit2X”. This would implement “Segregated Witness” and then three months later increase the block size to 2 MB from 1 MB. Both of these changes were supposed to increase capacity.

Do you take the road less traveled?

Segwit was implemented by late August via “soft fork”, which means that nodes on the network who don’t update their software are still okay, because soft forks are backwards-compatible. New features added in the fork still support all the old features in the previous software version. The fork that was coming next week and is now supposedly canceled was to be a “hard fork”, which means software prior to the fork would no longer be compatible with the changes made, in this case increasing the block size to two megabytes. In theory this should have doubled the headroom in the network, decreasing fees. However, the plans are now off, after multiple original signers of the “New York Agreement” have backed out.

Thank goodness. I’d hoped that Segwit2X would fail. We don’t need more competing bitcoin networks than we already have. Bitcoin already forked into two competing currencies for the first time in its near-decade of existence on August 1st when Bitcoin Cash was born. There’s a strong argument that Bitcoin Cash is the “real” Bitcoin, the one that most closely matches its anonymous designer’s original vision. Whether you agree with that or not, there’s no arguing that Bitcoin Cash has been a success. At the time of this writing, one Bitcoin Cash (aka BCH, or BCC) is worth about 8% of a Bitcoin Core (aka “Bitcoin”, or BTC). Bitcoin Cash is the number three cryptocurrency in the world by market cap, that is, the total global value of the entire cryptocurrency in question. Bitcoin Cash’s market cap right now is over 9.8 Billion USD. Bitcoin Core, the #1 crypto, has a market cap of over $120 Billion USD.

Bitcoin Cash – is it the true bitcoin, per Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision?

More importantly, Bitcoin Cash has already implemented a block size increase up to eight megabytes when it forked from Bitcoin Core back on August 1st. Its fees are already much lower than Bitcoin Core. Since Bitcoin Cash’s network is built to scale up to 8 MB blocks (the places where transactions are stored on the public ledger known as a “blockchain” that is the guts of the Bitcoin network), Bitcoin Cash should not create a “fee market” like happened to Bitcoin Core once its network became full. The fee market means people using Bitcoin Core are having to increase their fees to get their transactions processed sooner rather than later or even never. This is what is resulting in insane fees of, right now $4.90 for a median Bitcoin Core transaction. By comparison, today Bitcoin Cash’s median transaction fee is about $0.03.

Bitcoin Cash has a hard fork coming up in a few days, but it’s not contentious. Basically, they are upgrading the Bitcoin Cash software to adjust the mining difficulty every day rather than every two weeks, as is the case with Bitcoin Core.

And what about “Bitcoin Gold”, the second-ever hard fork that happened quietly at the end of October? Their blog says they are still in a test net. Bitcoin Gold can and should fizzle out. Its failure would prevent others from trying the same scheme. Bitcoin Cash came out and hit the ground running with mining support. It doesn’t appear you can even trade Bitcoin Gold (if you have it) yet, since its network isn’t operating publicly. Bitcoin Gold’s futures price is worth $135 at the time of this writing. Its a dud so far.

Which is the “true” Bitcoin?

At $613 right now, Bitcoin Cash on the other hand is worth your time to extract from your old bitcoin wallets. Remember, when bitcoin goes through a hard fork, the network can split in two based on what the miners decide to do. So, if you had Bitcoin (what should probably now be referred to as Bitcoin Core, as I have through the article, but back then it was just, “Bitcoin”) before August 1st, then you should have an equal amount of Bitcoin Cash. Depending on the wallet(s) you are using, the process of getting access to your Bitcoin Cash may be more or less complicated. Some wallet providers will break out the Bitcoin Cash automatically for you, like Blockchain.info has now done (though its buried in the Settings on their web admin). You may want to google for specific instructions for your wallet regarding Bitcoin Cash. Some may not have implemented a simple method as-of-yet. If you have a non-Bitcoin Cash-supporting wallet where you wrote down the 12 backup words, you can try entering those in a Bitcoin Cash compatible wallet. If you’re stuck, you can always reach out to other local area bitcoiners for help, like the meetup group we have for the Keene, NH area. Or check out the NH Crypto forums here.

Interestingly, the mining profitability of both Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Core is right now about at parity. Now that the Bitcoin Cash network is going to be upgraded, supposedly, in less than a week it may be able to be even more competitive with Bitcoin Core’s network, meaning that if Bitcoin Cash becomes more profitable to mine, miners who are in search of profit (most of them) could move to Bitcoin Cash. This would do interesting things to the prices of both coins.

Global Value of All Cryptocurrencies Combined

Though the plague of Segwit2X is behind us, the upcoming months and years will continue to be interesting times. Recently, the total market cap of all the world’s cryptocurrencies exceeded 200 billion USD. According to the charts, it exceeded 100 Billion USD for the first time in early June of this year. That’s just five months for 100 Billion more USD in value. The chart of the the total market cap for all cryptos is encouraging. Back in November of 2013, Bitcoin hit a then-all-time-high of around $1100 and proceeded over several months to fall down into the low $200 range. Lots of people felt burned on that dive, but others knew that if they held through it, they’d come out ahead in the long run. Time proved them right. But look at what more time has done – now that record spike and all the hullabaloo surrounding it in November 2013 is but a pebble in the road compared to the mountainous wealth accumulated now.

Whether Bitcoin Core stays on top forever or its displaced by a competitor like DASH or Bitcoin Cash or something we haven’t even seen yet, cryptocurrency is a tremendous success and it’s here to stay, in one form or another. You’d be wise to put some money into it that you can afford to lose. Because, you can’t predict the future, it *could* fail, whatever crypto(s) you choose. That said, things are constantly looking up over time, in my opinion. I intend to continue to hold, on behalf of the Shire Free Church, both Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Cash. It should be an interesting fight for technical and financial dominance. Grab your popcorn.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

NH Committee to Study Cryptocurrency – 2017 Meeting Video

Fri, 2017-11-03 16:07 +0000

New Hampshire’s Committee to Study Cryptocurrency meets for its required 2017 meeting. They question state regulators after the Cryptocurrency Protection Act has been in place for a few months. They ultimately decide to recommend no further actions against or for cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Here’s the full hearing video:

I explained to the panel that Bitcoin businesses had opened or moved to NH because of the buzz about the cryptocurrency protection act that passed this summer. Regardless of whether the statutory change would have affected those businesses, the publicity surrounding it was good for NH’s image in the crypto-sphere.

Looks like it’ll be a while before New Hampshire has financial freedom across-the-board. When I offhandedly suggested to the panel that all money transmitter regulations should be repealed, they unanimously acted like their rules somehow stop terrorism and drug dealers. Pointing out that South Carolina has no money transmission statutes made zero impact.

It wasn’t the place to take the discussion any further, but it’d be great to see a libertarian state rep introduce such a repeal. South Carolina doesn’t have any more drugs or terrorism than anywhere else.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

New Bitcoin Vending Competitor Installs Machines in Keene, Manchester!

Wed, 2017-11-01 19:55 +0000

Corner News’ owner Roberta Mastrogiovanni poses with her store’s brand new Bitcoin Vending Machine!

Big news for Bitcoin fans in Manchester and Keene – we’ve got competition in the bitcoin vending space! As of yesterday, Blackfrog became the first real Bitcoin Vending Machine company to install units in New Hampshire!

As one of the admins of the existing non-profit Shire Free Church-run Bitcoin Vending Machines in Keene and Manchester, I’m super-excited about the competition. Why? Simple. The goal of the Church’s bitcoin outreach project is to get bitcoin into more people’s hands. The new company in town (which also operates more than 20 bitcoin BVMs across Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland) is making bitcoin even more accessible in New Hampshire than it was before!

While we’ve had a Bitcoin Vending Machine at Route 101 Local Goods in Keene for years, it’s only been available Tue-Sun. Therefore bitcoin was not available in Keene on Mondays, or after Route 101 Local Goods closes at 6pm each day (5p Sundays). Now that the Blackfrog BVM is online at Corner News, bitcoin’s availability in Keene expands to all seven days a week and late into the night, as Corner News is open until 10pm Mon-Thu, until 11pm Fri and Sat and 9pm on Sundays. Corner News is located at 67 Main St. and is a Keene landmark, established over 100 years ago. It was also the first brick-and-mortar business in Keene to accept bitcoin, way back in 2013!

Corner News’ owner, Roberta Mastrogiovanni, who recently was able to pay for her hotel stay during a vacation with her bitcoin, when asked why she’d decided to host the new BVM told me, “Corner News has been accepting bitcoin for several years without any problem, in fact we have seen a huge gain in the last year, so when asked whether we would consider renting out a small square foot of our store for a Bitcoin ATM we thought why not, especially since the coins can be spent right in store…just seemed like a good addition.”

The Manchester Blackfrog Bitcoin Vending Machine is 24/7 and it’s two-way!

Manchester’s first BVM at Murphy’s Taproom has been available seven-days-a-week from roughly 9am to 1am, which is awesome, but Blackfrog has now made bitcoin available 24/7 in Manchester via their new location at Budget Gas at 445 South Willow St! Plus, the new Manchester BVM is also two-way, meaning you can both buy bitcoin AND sell your bitcoin for cash. That’s another first for New Hampshire!

This expanded availability of bitcoin in New Hampshire is perfectly in line with our church mission to foster peace, in this case through giving our community access to a form of money that can’t be controlled by the evil, violent, warmongering governments of the world.

For that, I’m grateful to the guys at Blackfrog for coming all the way up here to compete and keep everyone at the top of their game. Turns out, they are some pretty cool guys too, who love liberty and are considering moving to New Hampshire as part of the NH Freedom Migration. Company spokesman Joey Langenbrunner told me that in addition to their personal interest in migrating to New Hampshire, they wanted to support the bitcoin community here, primarily. Profit is only a secondary motivation to them.

Thanks to Blackfrog, New Hampshire now has six publicly operating Bitcoin Vending Machines.

These are exciting times to be in cryptocurrency in New Hampshire! As more libertarians move here to make this their home, it just keeps getting better. Here are 101 reasons why if you love liberty and cryptocurrency, you really ought to make the move here and join us.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

What Happened to CopBlock.org?

Wed, 2017-10-25 19:05 +0000

Cop Block Badge and Outreach Flier

This post was originally made on CopBlock.org. I’m posting it here as well, as who knows what’s going to happen with that site:

Hi, I’m Ian Freeman. I’m one of the original Cop Blockers, which is why I possess badge number five. I’ve been a longtime Cop Blocker, financial supporter and occasional blogger here. Both of Cop Block’s founders, Pete Eyre and Ademo Freeman have lived with me in my home and they are great friends with whom I’ve had some amazing times.

I was alarmed this Summer when Ademo announced that he was putting CopBlock.org up for sale. I wasn’t surprised that he wanted out. Ademo has seen his share of burnout and has suffered greatly in his quest to hold police accountable. Ademo was a trailblazer in police accountability activism and deserves as much of a break as he wants. He’s currently describing himself as a “happily retired activist” and he should be. Our world is better off because Cop Block is in it.

What surprised me about his request to sell the site was the fact that Ademo felt he had to resort to a sale at all. Where were all the Cop Blockers who should have stepped up to take the reins? Ademo had asked the primary contributors to the site about taking over lead roles. Apparently no one stepped up, so Ademo decided to auction the site. When I found this out, I asked around and sure enough, while some people were willing to help, no one wanted to lead.

Ultimately someone made an offer on the site and Ademo accepted. He said the buyer did not want to be known and that the buyer was going to continue the site.

The only content posted to CopBlock.org in three months.

We’re now approximately a quarter-year from that purchase and you can see the posts on the site have dropped off a cliff. Regular posting halted at the end of July and nothing was posted until September 1st when an account with username “COPBLOCK” posted about the most-reported-on police abuse story of the year, the Utah nurse who was violently arrested by a hothead cop (who now thinks he should have his job back, by the way). The post has one sentence and video of the arrest. That’s it.

Gone are the obscure, outrageous stories of police abuse from around the US and globe.

Gone is the incisive libertarian commentary on the police state.

Gone are new videos from Cop Blockers in the streets.

I have no idea who the new owner is and while I am grateful for still being able to post here, I’ve lost my admin privileges and so I can’t look to see who else remains as a blogger. The site also needs some basic maintenance that appears to have been neglected thus far.

The Mobile Authority Resistance Vehicle

So what happened? How did Cop Block, the world’s most popular and effective police-accountability website and group of activists end up on life-support?

As someone who has been around Cop Block from before it began and who lives in the city where Cop Block was incubated, Keene, NH, I think I’m qualified to speak on the matter, so let’s start at the beginning.

Cop Block started after Pete and Ademo’s previous project, Motorhome Diaries. They were traveling the country, looking for freedom in America. Like many of us seeking freedom, it was ironically taken from them by men with uniforms and badges in a place called Jones County, Mississippi. Cop Block began as a result of Ademo and Pete’s desire to encourage people to use cameras to hold police accountable, to know and exercise their rights, and help our neighbors under police threat.

The same year as Cop Block’s founding the again set out on the road for Liberty on Tour and subsequent Cop Block tours. They’d travel from city to city, meeting with police accountability activists across the United States and hitting the streets in classic Cop Block style, inevitably getting charged and threatened by police in countless ridiculous circumstances.

Detroit Cop Blockers Meet with Pete Eyre in 2013.

Cop Block grew dramatically as a result. People were emboldened by the excellent examples set by the original Cop Blockers. Local chapters were formed around the globe. Many submitted their video and blog content to the site, and the number of contributors increased. It was with this growth that things started to go wrong.

Even among people who share similar views, groups that grow to a certain size have a tendency to schism. Cop Block was no exception. While the site started from a principled libertarian viewpoint as the contributors expanded people became involved who just hated police and didn’t necessarily share the pro-freedom views of the site’s founders. It’s good that the message of police accountability reaches a wider audience than just libertarians – that’s why Cop Block was far more successful than other libertarian efforts in its time. However, it was a major error to allow non-libertarians blogging ability on this site and Cop Block’s social media. It’s understandable why one would do it – to get more content from people willing to provide it. Unfortunately it ultimately undermined what was the principled pro-liberty message of the original Cop Blockers.

We all make mistakes in life and learn from them. It’s a constant growing process. Ademo realized his error a few years ago and came out of then-semi-retirement to once again take the reigns of control of the decentralized organization he’d created. I can hear some people reading this saying to themselves, “so much for decentralized, he kicked active contributors out!” To clarify, Cop Block was decentralized in that anyone could cop block or form a local group somewhere and the main organization wouldn’t say “you can’t do that”. It’s always been that way. However, running the main website always has to be centralized to some extent. Someone’s gotta be the administrator and make administrative decisions. In this case, Ademo removed a bunch of bloggers and brought it back to a solid core of principled Cop Blockers running things.

Ademo and Pete with some Cop Block gear in Nashville.

Activism is expensive and there’s not much money to be made. Cop Block has sold some killer gear in the website’s store and on their real-life tours. They were able to use the site’s immense popularity to pay their web hosting bills, but the amount coming in each month was paltry. Running Cop Block was a labor of love.

With subsequent arrests, an aborted Cop Block tour, very low revenue for the Cop Block network (an interesting idea that with enough support could have helped people providing pro-level police accountability services to get paid for their efforts) and other parts of life calling out to him, Ademo finally threw in the towel after a final arrest for cannabis possession earlier this year.

What he created with Cop Block has done so much to educate and embolden people across the planet. I hope he enjoys his retirement. Being in the spotlight can be tiresome and I don’t blame anyone for wanting to move on to other things.

However, Ademo’s personal story and the rise and fall of CopBlock.org aren’t necessarily the reason why other Cop Block groups have died out.  According to one NH Cop Blocker who audited the CopBlock.org list of local groups, most were completely dead and those that remained were only one or two people strong.  Every group surely has its own story, but I’d be willing to bet personality conflicts played a role as well as activist burnout.

Burnout is a real thing. It’s common among all activists. It happens when people don’t get the results they imagined as quickly as they imagined. Being aware that burnout exists won’t necessarily save you from it. We see it all the time here in the libertarian activist center of the world, New Hampshire. Despite having the largest concentration of libertarian activists you can find anywhere, people still get burned out by the slow pace of change that we are successfully fomenting here. Some of them think they can come up here, do some activism and that the police state is just going to disappear.

The best Cop Block documentary, featuring both founders.

It’s a big police state out there and they aren’t going to let go of power easily. I can relate to the burned out activists. Like Ademo, I’ve also been arrested more than half-a-dozen times for various civil disobedience. As “Victimless Crime Spree” star Derrick J Freeman and I discussed in our recent Q&A, civil disobedience, while personally empowering, is not a sustainable form of activism. I don’t regret my arrests, but with all of my other responsibilities I’ve had to mellow out over the years and make room for new activists to take the reigns. Unfortunately, the new activists coming to New Hampshire willing to take such risks has slowed to a trickle, and they were never that many to begin with. In the Victimless Crime Spree days five years ago, we truly had the perfect storm of activists in the same place.

Police accountability activism has died down here in New Hampshire, the place where some of the most epic cop blocking has happened, including dozens attending DUI checkpoints in Manchester, chalking arrests outside the Manch police station, smoking pot inside the Keene police department, and awesome civil disobedience in Keene. I could go on-and on. Sadly, a longtime Cop Blocker in Manchester told me today the turnout at a recent DUI checkpoint was dismal, despite dozens being made aware of the event just hours beforehand during a speaking event by Adam Kokesh.

Is your Cop Block group still alive? If so, tell us in the comments. If not, please post your comments about what happened and what went wrong.

Large Group Copblocks DUI Checkpoint in Manchester, NH

One thing that definitely helps activists keep going and avoid burnout is for new blood and therefore new ideas to come into a group. Cop Block groups in most places were very small. Not many people have the courage to confront police in any way, so of course the pool of potential volunteers is quite thin. Of those who do step up, because they are frequently alone or only with a small group, arrests inevitably come, and then the burnout. It’s hard to make an impact with a small group, though you can certainly still help many individuals in the process of Cop Blocking, so it is rewarding. That said, social interaction with other activists helps stave off burnout, and many groups just didn’t have the numbers.

As we’ve learned here from some of the epic disobedience and police accountability work performed by the activists in Keene, NH – numbers matter. To anyone out there who feels alone in your police accountability activism: If you’re a libertarian-minded cop blocker, you really need to consider a move to New Hampshire. Here are 101 reasons why you’ll love it here.

Divided we will surely fall to the evil forces of the state. Staying where you are and standing alone or nearly alone is a recipe for failure. Joining together in the same geographic area with people who share your values and interest in police accountability is the solution to the problems this organization has been suffering.

Unfortunately, Pete and Ademo are both gone from New Hampshire, and we’re all worse off because of it. Pete’s somewhere out West and Ademo’s facing a trial in Ohio. Leaving New Hampshire made them both less-effective activists because they lacked their support network they had here. Their leaving made the movement in New Hampshire weaker, too. Nonetheless, some of us here in Keene are still pushing ahead without them including continued yearly know-your-rights outreach in the college neighborhood, DUI checkpoint interdiction, and old-school cop blocking.

Jury Nullification Activists Outside Cheshire Superior Court in Keene, NH

Still, our numbers are small. We need more people to move here who care about actually being successful and increasing liberty in our lifetime as well as holding police accountable on video. You’re not going to end the police state by yourself. They’re just going to cut your head off if you pop it up. Come to New Hampshire and stand with others, peacefully, and use your cameras to shine light on the corruption and violence of the state.

Whatever becomes of CopBlock.org, know that your brothers and sisters are here in the Shire and we could use your help. Should you wish to connect with some of us online, please drop into our brand new NH Copblock forum here.

If you’d like to follow some of the other cool activism happening in NH, please subscribe to or bookmark my main blog site, Free Keene (where you’ll see that Cop Block founders Pete and Ademo are both bloggers – though not really active anymore).

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I’ll continue to share my police accountability blogs here at CopBlock.org as long as the site stays online. If it doesn’t, you can find my posts over at Keene Cop Block, Steemit, and Free Keene.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Bitcoin Surpasses $100 BILLION Total Value, Despite Looming Schisms

Sat, 2017-10-21 22:00 +0000

Bitcoin’s Price and Market Cap Over the Last 12 Months

It has been a crazy last year for Bitcoin, for better or for worse. One year ago this month, Bitcoin’s “market cap”, the total global value of all the bitcoins in existence, was at 10 billion dollars. This week, after passing the $6,000 price per bitcoin mark for the first time ever, Bitcoin’s market cap hit 100 billion dollars!

A market cap of $100 billion makes the total value of Bitcoin larger than financial behemoth Goldman Sachs (and others). This is major news and an incredible run up in price over a year. It definitely deserves celebration – bitcoin is truly a phenomenon, overall.

Behind the scenes, however, things have gotten ugly. The bitcoin network has been full of transactions for many months now. That’s resulted in delayed transactions and wildly varying fees on the Bitcoin Core network. Despite Bitcoin’s first-ever schism in August, which resulted in two competing Bitcoin networks, “Bitcoin Core” and “Bitcoin Cash”, infighting within the Bitcoin community continues unabated regarding how bitcoin should scale to the increasing consumer demand.

It’s not-so-civil.

The reason why the fighting is at a fever pitch now is because the BIG schism has still yet to come. The historic split of Bitcoin Cash in August was a relatively small one. Only about 3% of the mining power behind Bitcoin Core initially got behind Bitcoin Cash and though there’s a strong argument that Bitcoin Cash is the Bitcoin that is most true to its anonymous creator’s vision, the market doesn’t seem to agree. The price of one Bitcoin Cash is near all-time lows at about $320, or about 5% of the price of one Bitcoin Core, which is over $6,000 at the time of this writing.

As was recommended on this blog at the time, everyone who held their bitcoin through the August schism came out on top. Bitcoin Core’s price held steady then went up and Bitcoin Cash created billions of dollars worth of new value in the marketplace in an instant. It was really quite a success. However, Bitcoin Cash was a minor schism compared to what is coming up in November.

In less than a month, in mid-November according to current estimates, part two of the “Segwit2x” agreement goes into effect. As I explained in greater detail in an article published here at Free Keene this summer, “Segwit2x” is the compromise deal cut in New York back in May where dozens of stakeholders in the Bitcoin community came together and agreed to implement both of the proposed changes to allow bitcoin to scale that the community had been squabbling over for years prior. First, the controversial “Segregated Witness” or “Segwit” went into effect, per the agreement, back in August. Part two is the hard fork implementation of the 2x part, which is a doubling of the “block size” from 1 MB to 2 MB. (Blocks are where the transactions are stored on the blockchain – the distributed, decentralized, public ledger that is the guts of Bitcoin.) Though the compromise deal was supported by dozens of major bitcoin-related companies and more importantly, 83% of the mining power on the Bitcoin Core network, there are still many people who do not want to see the plan completed.

More Forks Ahead

Specifically, the holdouts are those who did not sign the “consensus” agreement, including the main programmers of the Bitcoin Core software, who do not wish to see the block size increase to two megabytes. They also include those who did sign the agreement and have now publicly reneged on their promise. They wanted Segwit implemented, and it was, so they are now breaking away prior to fulfilling the full agreement. Bitcoin Core has even publicly attacked the signers of the agreement, which includes major bitcoin-related companies like Blockchain, Coinbase, and Bitpay who collectively have millions of users on their sites.

Despite the companies who’ve reneged and the ongoing caterwauling of those supporting the 1x version of Bitcoin (Bitcoin Core), the Segwit2x proposal still has at least 85% of miners signaling their support for 2x. Presuming a supermajority of the miners follow through on their promise and increase to 2 MB blocks in November, Bitcoin will “hard fork”, with 80+% of the mining power siding with Segwit2x, and the other miners presumably backing the 1x Bitcoin Core. Of course, there’s no guarantee it will play out like this, but at the time of this writing, that seems to be the most likely to occur. However, once the fork happens, it’s anyone’s guess what will come next. Here are a few, but not all, possibilities, in no particular order:

Bitcoin mining doesn’t actually look like this.

  • Segwit2x, (let’s call it Bitcoin 2x from here out), pulls so much mining power away from Bitcoin Core (1x) that Bitcoin Core’s network slows to a crawl and is no longer able to mine blocks once every ten minutes, drastically delaying transactions and shooting up the fees on the already congested Bitcoin Core network. The remaining miners on Bitcoin Core, being interested primarily in profit, not politics, jump ship and start mining the most profitable chain, Bitcoin 2x. At this point the old 1x chain is in danger of becoming useless due to super-slow blocks and the fact that the Bitcoin Core network’s mining difficulty adjustment only comes once every 2,016 blocks. When blocks are found every ten minutes, the standard for Bitcoin, 2,016 blocks are found about every two weeks. If blocks are only coming once an hour or even less often, say only a few times per day, reaching that 2,016 mark could take quite a while. By that time, how many miners will have bailed out and moved to Bitcoin 2x?

    Faced with near-certain demise as-is, the Bitcoin Core programmers could perform a hard-fork of their own to make mining easier and who knows what else, though this would go against all the things they’ve said publicly about how bad an idea hard forking is. There are many potential variants just within this one possible future.

  • The fork happens, but due to last-minute reneging by mining companies or individual miners in mining pools staying with Bitcoin Core (1x), a dead-heat develops between the total mining power of the competing chains, with blocks coming slower on both sides as a result. Who knows how this will turn out.
  • The Bitcoin 2x camp for whatever reason ends up with a violated agreement and a minority of the mining power. Their blocks come super-slow, as described in the first example. They’re stuck and may have to abandon their plan. Do they return to mine Bitcoin Core (1x), or move their mining power behind Bitcoin Cash, which already increased their block size back in August and have since then mined blocks as large as 8 MB? What about “Bitcoin Gold“, another minority hard fork set to happen in the next two weeks?

This is an oversimplification of the possible paths and outcomes. One thing’s for sure, this is going to be a contentious schism, far more so than the mostly-successful Bitcoin Cash schism back in August. Many are expecting the same thing to happen this time, where each schism ulimately increases the total market value of all the competing Bitcoin networks. However, there are no guarantees. After all, how many more times can Bitcoin fracture and the market still respond positively?

Which is the “true” Bitcoin?

On the positive side, schisms allow for the interested, conflicted parties to go their own way with the currency. That allows for market competition – let the best Bitcoin win. However, it also introduces confusion into a space that already has a learning curve that can be intimidating to newbies. Which Bitcoin is the “real” bitcoin? All sides say it’s theirs, and after mid-November, we may have as many as four competing currencies all calling themselves Bitcoin-something: Bitcoin Core, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, and Bitcoin 2x (or whatever they decide to call it – the petty naming spats are a whole other level of ridiculous drama). Can the price of Bitcoin really continue to climb in such a cluttered, confusing situation?

For a Bitcoin evangelist like me, it’s frustrating, especially without a clear winner between the “altcoins” (the hundreds of competitors trying to top Bitcoin) that I could promote instead of Bitcoin. Given it’s impossible to know for certain what will transpire and what the market prices will do in response, I plan to hold on for the ride – historically the best strategy for handling bitcoin.

Like with the first schism in August to Bitcoin Cash, where anyone holding an amount of bitcoin prior to the fork was then in possession of that amount of Bitcoin Core and an equal amount of Bitcoin Cash, this time the same thing will be true. Anyone holding Bitcoin Core before the upcoming fork for Bitcoin Gold scheduled for October 25th will end up with an equal amount of Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Gold (if Bitcoin Gold survives its fork – many are quite skeptical about its viability). Anyone holding Bitcoin Core prior to the Segwit2x hard fork in mid-November will then have an equal amount of Bitcoin Core (1x) and Bitcoin 2x (or whatever they end up calling it).

Bitcoin Vending Machine at “Route 101 Local Goods” at 661 Marlboro Rd in Keene

In one of my articles from July on these schisms, I explained why we were temporarily shutting down the Bitcoin Vending Machines in Manchester and Keene due to the concerns about certain attacks that could be possible during the turmoil. We’re going to be shutting down the BVMs again for the Segwit2x fork, but not Bitcoin Gold. For updates about the machines’ status, please check the Shire Crypto Vending website here.

If you have bitcoins you once again have the same options as before:

  • Check Your Keys: If you have some amount of bitcoin, make sure it’s in a “non-custodial” wallet to which you hold the private key. Some examples of non-custodial wallets include Blockchain, Mycelium, Airbitz, Coinomi, Copay, Bitcoin.com, Breadwallet, Electrum, Jaxx, and Exodus. If you had to write down 12 words to back up your wallet – you have your private key. If you have the private key and Bitcoin forks, you’ll come out on the other end with both types of bitcoin. If, on the other hand your bitcoin is being stored in a custodial wallet where someone else, like Coinbase, LocalBitcoins, Paxful, Backpage, Xapo, Freewallet, GDAX, Kraken, BitStamp, Poloniex, or any bitcoin exchange, has control over the private key, then you are subject to their whims regarding how they handle the fork. Maybe they’ll give you access to both bitcoin, or maybe only one of them. It’s best to hold your bitcoin in a wallet which gives you access to your private key, instead of giving corporations control over your key, and therefore your bitcoin.
  • HOLD: Once you’re sure your bitcoins are in a non-custodial wallet, hold on for the ride. If Bitcoin forks for Segwit2x in mid-November, due to potential network attacks, you shouldn’t spend or receive BTC if you can avoid it until the dust has settled. If you’re a bitcoin-accepting merchant, lock up the point of sale device and instruct staff to politely decline any customers who want to use bitcoin to pay until the confusion no longer remains online. Stay positive! There’s a good chance the bitcoin price could drop dramatically during a fork and any ensuing reorganizations. Bitcoin can survive this challenge – we’ve had drops in price before, dramatic ones. Watch, wait, and keep up with the latest.
  • Bail Out: If you’re too spooked by the possibility and uncertainty of a fork, you can always cash out for fiat currency like US Dollars or trade your bitcoin for other competing cryptocurrencies. Keene-area merchants who want to cash out should contact the Keene Bitcoin Network and we can probably help with that or any questions you might have.
  • Pick a Side: If you really want to take some risk, you can try to pick a winner in the event of a fork and as soon as the two competing bitcoins appear on exchanges for trading, you can try selling your least-favorite bitcoin and buying your favorite (or other altcoins). I personally will not be taking this level of risk and will instead HOLD.

NH’s Unmatched Bitcoin Community

Regardless of what transpires in the next several weeks, cryptocurrency is here to stay. Whether Bitcoin stays on top of the crypto charts and for how long remains to be seen, but the idea created by the anonymous programmer Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009 of a decentralized, cryptographically secure currency that is useful both locally and globally is a proven success in whatever form it takes.

Speaking of local,Keene, NH is a global leader in per capita businesses accepting bitcoin and we’re still strengthening that position. Portsmouth is also on the rise and attempting to take the title from Keene, with Free Keene bloggers Derrick J Freeman and Steven Zeiler at the helm out there. New Hampshire is deregulating cryptocurrency and multiple state reps and senators have bitcoin. With the ongoing NH Freedom Migration happening, cryptocurrency-loving libertarian activists are moving to New Hampshire every month, only making our crypto-activist community stronger. It’s an exciting time to be involved in cryptocurrency in New Hampshire and if you love liberty and crypto, you really ought to join us and make the move to the Shire.

Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest on the NH cryptocurrency scene. If you’d like to connect and discuss with others in New Hampshire online about Bitcoin and other cryptos, please visit the NH crypto forums. Finally, if you’re in the Keene area and want to meet area bitcoiners, please join our Meetup group. We have meetups every eight days – these are great places to ask questions, especially if you’re new to cryptocurrency.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Keene State College Cracks Down on Students During Pumpkin Fest, Banning Visitors

Fri, 2017-10-20 18:15 +0000

Current KSC students are being punished now for what these guys did in 2014.

Not known for being freedom-friendly, Keene State College is once again showing it’s authoritarianism and making headlines for it. Using the 2014 Pumpkin Fest riots as their excuse, they’ve banned students from having any guests, including family between October 26th and 29th.

According to Alex Pappas, the author of a petition begging college admins to rescind the policy, the college is threatening students with $100-per-guest fines and “disciplinary action” if they are caught with visitors.

Pappas’ birthday is within the timeframe and he’d been planning on having his family visit. Now because of fears surrounding riots that likely involved students who are no longer at KSC, the simple freedom of association has been stripped away.

Students shouldn’t be surprised, KSC has prospective students sign away all their rights at the beginning of their school career there. If the school security wants to stop and frisk a student, or inspect their dorm room, they can and will. Better hope they don’t see Raised in a government school system for more than a decade prior, many students are used to police searches thanks to the insane “war on drugs” that has been raging against the rights of students in the hallways of government schools at all levels for years.

KSC’s spokesbureaucrat says the policy is for the “safety” of the students. According to the Union Leader story, they will not be rescinding the restriction despite the hundreds of petition signatures.

Cell 411, Now With Ride Sharing!

Let’s not forget the real reason the Pumpkin Fest riots occurred in 2014. According to the students who were there, it was the crackdown by police on daytime parties that started the roaming crowds of drunken, angry revelers. The police attacks on peaceful students continued into the night, completely unprovoked.

This year, students have a new tool in their repertoire, should they choose to use it. Cell 411 is a free cell phone app that allows you to send emergency alerts to your friends and family if something bad (like a police or campus security encounter, medical emergency, or whatever) happens to you. It also allows you to easily stream live video of the situation for your friends to see. I highly recommend downloading and getting familiar with it before next weekend.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Keene “Sanctuary City” Resolution Hearing – Full Video

Sat, 2017-10-14 15:26 +0000

On Thursday evening, a very large crowd turned out to speak to the city council’s FOP committee on a proposed resolution to make Keene a “sanctuary city”. I’m happy to say that not a single police state xenophobe spoke during the hearing. Every speaker was pro-immigrant. Here’s video of the entire hearing:

Earlier this year, Cheshire County Sheriff Eli Rivera made headlines by announcing his policy to not assist the federal government with immigration enforcement activities targeting peaceful migrants. That made Cheshire county into NH’s only “sanctuary county”.

Now, the City of Keene is considering a resolution proposed by Keene Immigration and Refugee Partnership that would encourage Keene police only to assist federal agents in apprehending allegedly violent suspects or have an outstanding warrant.

The resolution is well-intended and everyone in the packed council chambers supported it, but it doesn’t go far enough. First, it allows for Keene police to assist the federal immigration enforcement if they merely have a warrant, which aren’t hard for police to get with rubber-stamp courts. Second, the city’s new manager, Elizabeth Dragon, is claiming the city government can’t tell police what to do, per some state statute. That’s not exactly the whole truth, since the council is able to pass certain ordinances that the police are directed to enforce. While they may not legally be able to tell a police chief what not to enforce, they certainly have the ability to have the city manager fire anti-immigrant police, don’t they? Perhaps there are union protections in place to make that difficult, I don’t know.

MALIC Center Imam Will Coley Speaks to the Committee

According to the Keene Sentinel, new Keene police chief Steven Russo has not specifically commented on the resolution’s proposals, though the group behind the proposal, KIRP, has said they’ve had a positive meeting with him.

At Thursday evening’s FOP meeting, after 100% support from the speakers there and many rounds of applause for those who spoke, the councilors on the committee voted 5-0 to give more time to the issue, specifically asking city staff to meet with KIRP and finalize the language of the proposed resolution.

Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest on this developing story. For more media coverage of the meeting, check out the Sentinel’s story by reporter Paul Cuno-Booth.

Also, don’t miss Will Coley’s moving speech – here’s a direct link that will jump you straight to that part of the over hour long video.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

NHHRC Takes to the Streets for Drug-Related Harm Reduction

Tue, 2017-10-10 02:38 +0000

One of the things you hear before moving to New Hampshire is that, in many cases, the locals are as passionate about peaceful solutions to the world’s problems as the liberty activists are. I found this hard to believe until I actually moved here, but recent events reminded me just how true it is.

My father, Bill Davis, moved up here several months ago not as a part of the great freedom migration, but to be closer to his grand kids. You can imagine my surprise, then, when he came back from his new church excited about an opportunity to help local intravenous drug users via a strategy of harm reduction. I was even more surprised to learn that one of the people representing this organization was a former NHLA endorsed liberty representative to the State House!

The organization that came to my Dad’s church is called the New Hampshire Harm Reduction Coalition, and their plan is a simple one: to hit the streets of some areas known to be afflicted with the opioid crisis to try and help drug users do less harm to themselves. They planned to hand out fliers to interested parties about what to do in the event of an overdose, offer clean needles and filters for their drugs (many users apparently use cigarette filters instead of something cleaner), educate users about the proper use of Naloxone (AKA Narcan), and most of all, show people that they are worthy of care and attention in spite of whatever choices they might be making in their lives.

On Friday night their interesting crew – my dad, former drug users, nursing students, and a doctor went out into a Seacoast town and handed out flyers and fresh needles to several enthusiastic parties. At one point they interacted with a woman for a while before the police ultimately drove up to speak with her. My father said the police were very professional and helpful – curious about the NHHRC’s intentions and grateful once they found out.

One wonders if the NHHRC activists inspired the same attitude of harm reduction in the responding officers. Either way, all parties involved seemed to be thinking compassionately about the woman involved. Bill would tell me that he was very impressed by the attitude of these officers, and believes that they will have a fruitful relationship in this mutual effort of harm reduction going forward. The NHHRC plans to go out weekly to help these people who so desperately need it.

I reached out to Bill to make sure I didn’t screw up any of the details, and he offered a few more thoughts and insights.

“Important movements start with just a few people trying things, and while this is just in its early gestation, there is such a need for help in this area,” he said. “I really think this sort of help could be like a snowball rolling down hill – if enough people demonstrate real care for drug users, maybe they will finally get the help they need.”

“It can seem awkward and hard, but we didn’t meet any resistance. I think it means a lot to those afflicted with drug addiction to encounter people who don’t want to throw them in jail, or shame them, or tell them what to do. It means a lot to meet people who want to keep them healthy. I hope that being helpful and understanding might implicitly encourage them to take the next step and get the additional help they need.”

Amen.

I’m very grateful to live in a place where there are so many activists, each tackling the issues that is important to him or her. And I’m very grateful to the NHHRC – thank you so much for showing this level of love to the unloved. I’m glad you’re out there helping one drug user at a time, and firmly believe the example you’re setting is the best chance we currently have in ending the opioid epidemic in New Hampshire once and for all.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

New Hampshire Mosque Reaches $11,000 Matching Goal, Shifts Focus to Bitcoin Donations

Sun, 2017-10-08 20:02 +0000

Will Coley Conducting his Ramadan Dawah at Porcfest

Two weeks ago, the Shire Free Church offered to match contributions to Will Coley’s ongoing fundraiser to launch the MALIC Center, New Hampshire’s soon to be first full-time mosque. It was announced that donations would be matched up to the goal at the time, which was $11,000.

I’m happy to announce that in the last two weeks not only did we exceed the goal, but also the total number of contributors increased over 40% to over 130. The repairs and upgrades of the house in question that will become the Masjid al Latiff and Interfaith Community Center are ongoing and being covered by both the Shire Free Church and the MALIC Center together. Due to the additional work required, Will has bumped up the goal of his fundraiser to $15,000. While he’ll certainly accept donations in US Dollars, he’s hoping to finish out the fundraiser with cryptocurrencies and become the first mosque in the world to open with half their budget consisting of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Based on our research, it may be the first publicly known bitcoin-accepting mosque in the world. If you know of another, please post in the comments.

Keene’s Bitcoin Community is Front Page News!

“We don’t want to feed the war machine in any way” – Will Coley

Will explained in an interview for Free Keene, that as a peace-oriented religion, using bitcoin is a great way to avoid feeding the violent federal government, since cryptocurrencies decentralize the power of money into the people’s hands. Current bitcoin donations to the fundraiser have gone towards electronics purchases for running live video from the mosque. Soon, bitcoin will be spent on contractors for upcoming improvements to the property. Will describes Keene as a “bitcoin community” and says that he loves how easy it is to spend bitcoin in Keene. (Keene is the as-yet-undisputed number one city in the world for bitcoin-accepting businesses per capita.)

Thus far in the fundraiser Will has received over one bitcoin and some DASH and ether, totaling around $5,000 in cryptocurrencies. Should you wish to give, the bitcoin donation address is 14eFNWDcAhNeT4HPwd7ps2CcAAz7u68ABP

Stay tuned here to Free Keene for more on the MALIC Center’s upcoming launch. There’s no date set at the moment.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Shielded ZCash Transaction at NH Retail Store

Tue, 2017-10-03 03:48 +0000

A customer purchased a “Live Free or Die” wood plaque and a “Legalize Gay Marijuana” bumper sticker at the Free State Bitcoin Shoppe in Portsmouth, New Hampshire using an encrypted digital currency called ZCash. The cryptocurrency is the most private money ever created, relying on a complex mathematical principle called a “Zero-Knowledge Proof”. Essentially this customer took some digital cash, locked it in a box with a secret key, and sent the shop the key. There is no discernible trail left. No observer can look up the transaction on the blockchain, not even those who know the sending/receiving addresses. Pretty slick! Here’s what it looked like:

This marks yet another turning point for human freedom. An evolution on the creation of bitcoin, this new cryptocurrency offers features and advantages that bitcoin simply doesn’t. While many are still holding fast to the promises of failing Federal Reserve Notes, others are seeking alternatives and building more reliable systems that make extortion far more difficult. Learn more by following the Free State Bitcoin Shoppe on Twitter and by joining their email list.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

NH Documentary “Victimless Crime Spree” Celebrates Five Years – Q&A With Director & Producer

Mon, 2017-10-02 03:21 +0000

Ian, Darryl (our lucky poster raffle winner!), and Derrick J at the 5th Anniversary Screening

A couple of weeks ago on a Sunday evening, after the grand opening of the Free State Bitcoin Shoppe, dozens of people gathered in the Seacoast Repertory Theater in Portsmouth, NH to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the theatrical premiere of “Derrick J’s Victimless Crime Spree“!

After the screening, we gave away one of the few existing DJVCS movie posters to a lucky attendee and then director and star of the movie, Derrick J Freeman and I took a bunch of questions from the audience. We reflected on the last five years, where we are now, and looked to the future of the exciting, growing New Hampshire Freedom Migration.

Here’s the full video of the Q&A, in case you couldn’t be there:

What a pleasure and an honor it has been to executive produce this movie, working with the amazing talents of Derrick J Freeman and editing pro Beau Davis. I’m especially grateful to all the people who love and share Victimless Crime Spree with their friends and family. The pro-freedom message and spirit of the movie is infectious and fun, despite its ultimately sad ending. It’s an important documentary, and the first to come out of the community of libertarian migrants to the Shire. (In case you haven’t seen it, the second such documentary, also edited by Beau Davis, is “101 Reasons Liberty Lives in New Hampshire“.)

Here’s to another five years of new people seeing Victimless Crime Spree, becoming more libertarian, and ultimately migrating to New Hampshire!

Here are some more pics from the 5th anniversary screening:

Pre-Screening Socializing in the Seacoast Rep’s Lobby

The audience, prior to the beginning of the movie.

Derrick J Introduces the Movie

Ian Freeman and Derrick J Freeman Answer Audience Questions

We thank YOU for watching and sharing Victimless Crime Spree!

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Ridley Sics Garret Ean on NH State House

Fri, 2017-09-29 03:57 +0000

Interesting things are brewing at the Ridley Report! In a recent video, Dave Ridley explains that he’s hired Free Keene blogger Garret Ean to target the NH state house in Concord with ambush interviews!

Here Garret takes on some awful prohibitionist as she leaves a hearing regarding reforming prostitution statutes in NH:

Ridley’s hiring of Garret marks a first, major expansion to the Ridley Report brand. I’m looking forward to seeing what the video activist duo does next!

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

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