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Which India did we leave?


I am a Pakistani born Canadian living in USA. Since my birth I was told about the people across the border who’re holding onto your Juglar Vien ( Shahrug ) i.e Kashmir. Growing up perception started to change especially when I moved to Canada to study & interacted with lot of Indians who became my best buddies. I played for an Indian Cricket team, did business & assignments with them too.

This is where the confusion started – If we can live with peace here why did we split up ? From time to time, thought started that what if partition won’t have happened. But I only met Hindus from India so maybe they’re just being nice but if you look from a financial point of view, it made sense. At least we won’t be spending more on weapons than development. Jokes of an unbeatable cricket team compromised of Pakistani Bowlers & Indian Batsmen were common. Indian movies are widely watched & Pakistani singers make Indians dance. Also Muslims got split into 3 countries weakening their strength but numbers don’t dictate the strength. Look at how britishers ruled us.

So then what was that which our forefathers saw & we can’t. Muslims in 1947 were split into pro & anti partition. Muslims which remained pro partition had a strong argument in favor of two-nation theory while the Muslims against had their own side of story. It was a painful partition but here we’re now but what was the India then ? I thought that what

One doesn’t have to put a flag in his chest or prove he is Indian. People who were against partition were the folks who believe they want to live in secular India and to be honest, I would’ve bought that too, but the current situation says other ways. There’s a difference being a minority because of religion. My Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said “ A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian “ when his opponent Harper was pushing for two tier citizenship where one person citizenship can be revoked if he has committed act of terrorism against the country but this rule won’t apply if you’re only Canadian or like 2nd 3rd generation Canadian. While it was a popular motto for the majority that why would a foreigner who just became Canadian and go against the country should be allowed to stay Canadian, but the difficult stance that once a person is Canadian he isn’t distinguished based on anything and every citizen is equal. Trudeau Canadian won defeating the hate mongering Harper. 

There’s no if-buts-then. Either India is a safe place or every one or for every one excluding one faith

We’ve fake news today so information around what actually happened 70 years ago becomes even more confusing. As an Indian comedian said to a Pakistani “ In your books, you won 65, in our books we won. Tum bhi Khush Hum bhi khush “ . To be honest hearing stories are confusing. On one hand scars from the survivors of 1947 massacre leave you stunned that how can these two do this to each other but on the other hand, friendships & desire to reunite from the elders warm your heart. 

When Faiz poem “ Hum daikhain gay” is sang in India or Ram Prasad Bismil acclaimed “ Sarfaroshi Key Tamana “ in Lahore, question  become even more confused 

Which India did we leave ? The one that shunned the basic human rights based on their faith or the one that stood up against the discrimination based on faith. 

Minorities in Pakistan are on the rise but we’re way far from where we should’ve been. Even worse incidents have made the headlines where a Muslim was tied by ropes and beaten to death for not saying “Jai Shri ram”. Its equivalent to ISIS pushing a non-muslim to say “Allah O Akbar”. 

Anytime I met Muslims from India, they generally make sure that I know that they’re happy in India and partition was a mistake, but then a quote comes in my mind by architect of Pakistan.

“Muslims who’re opposing Pakistan would have to prove their patriotism to India for the rest of their lives – MA Jinnah 1945”

Does a Muslim have to carry Indian flag while Hindu can get away with a Saffron Flag because religion comes before nationalism. Would a Muslim carrying ISIS flag can get a pass by displaying a religious extemist terrorist organization ?

I’ve always admired India for their multiculturalism. Yes there are incidents here & there but I won’t expect anything else from a country with such a massive population with limited resources. Shining India was very appealing for folks across the border who in their heart said why are we not part of it? While India hosts the world #1 cricket league which is preferred by any cricket player, we’re literally requesting ANYONE to visit us. 

Current protests & its impact on the gov to overturn their decision to exclude a community based on their faith is a litmus test for confused folks like me. Since the situation is pretty mercurial at least I’ll get the answer to which India did we leave!

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2019-12-22T21:43:44+00:00December 22nd, 2019|

51% attack – Biggest Flaw of decentralized proof of work network

Biggest selling point of bitcoin & cryptocurrencies is decentralization & open contributor network (mining) where any one can contribute to the network hash power to reap the benefits, it does opens up the opportunity to bad actors who can take over the network & bend it accordingly. Once they’ve the control of network, they can pretty much do anything they want. These kinds of attacks are not easy in bigger networks such as bitcoin but smaller networks are very much vulnerable to it.

Imagine a single financial institute having control of the entire world ledger where they can manipulate the information & enforce new rules. They can send fake deposits that appear real or deprive any one of their balance.

Yesterday, Ethereum Classic suffered a 51% attack where approximately 1 Million worth of ETC tokens were fraudently transferred on the network. This fraud in specific is “double-spent”, where a single transaction is spent more than once. You can think of it as counterfeit currency that looks 100% as original. This devalues the existing token value since now you’ve more supply that was produced illegitimacy & negatively impacting the tokenomics.

Bitcoin so far has been safe from such 51% attach though there were many potential opportunities. It however has impacted coins with much smaller market cap, because it’s easy to control it. Again, take an example of taking over a small company vs large company. You can purchase a small company stake for much cheaper over large company. Protections in case of small networks are generally small as well.

Easier solution to avoid double spent is by having longer confirmation threshold. While speed is an essence & experience, at times recipients are okay with 1-2 confirmations, but in this case they’ve to rely on 6 confirmations in majority cases. If the network is busy, it may take hours or even days for a transaction to clear. Imagine every bill verified at a toll booth through counterfeit currency checker. There is a tradeoff between experience & protection.

Decentralized networks operate on a trust level where every contributor is expected to act in good faith & by design if 51% of the contributor decide to change something, rest have to follow. This is a limitation in any proof-of-work network. If you remove this clause, it pretty much removes the basic promise of proof-of-work network.

Going a bit deep, I’ll try to explain how it actually happens. Miners are the driving force in any proof-of-work (PoW) network. Their goal is to support the network by validating & storing every transaction on the shared network. This shared network is referred to as “blockchain”. If one of the contributors have got the 51% power, means he has simple majority on the network. He can now forge transaction history, add a new fake transaction or reject any upcoming transaction. Consider it as equivalent to a ruling party with simple majority in the parliament who can rewrite anything they want. Actually, worse than that because here you don’t even know who the ruling party is who can come, conquer & leave without any indication of their identity.

This forge or chain manipulation is also referred as “chain reorganization”. Every chain reorganization has two attributes. depth & length. Depth is number of existing blocks which were replaced & length is number of new replaced blocks.

In all honesty, it’s very difficult to carry on similar attack for long so generally they last anywhere between couple of minutes to hours with rare exception of more than 24 hours. Once there is any suspicious activity detected, major merchants or recipients stop accepting transactions on that network till things have figured out. Once the attack is over, blockchain is resynced excluding all the fraudulent transactions.

Victim in this case is the recipient if he delivered the product with the assurance that the funds are legit. Once the blockchain is reverted back to original form, that transaction doesn’t exist anymore. This also has a major impact on the confidence that users have on the network & can be used to manipulate the prices. Imagine you’ve a massive short position that’s not in your favor & you’ve to cover short. You may be better off by attacking the network rather than covering your short due to margin call.

With smaller networks, it’s very cheap to conduct such activity & interestingly in many cases it’s less than 0.1% of the network value that can bring it to knees.

This also may define a new model for valuations where networks would be valued at multiples of cost of 51% attack. I’ll cover cost of such attacks in next post along with the market cap they’ve. Subscribe to my mailing list to be informed.

2019-05-12T18:03:38+00:00January 8th, 2019|

Happy 10th Birthday to Bitcoin Genesis Block !

Today is the 10th anniversary of bitcoin Genesis block!!! Here is the screen shot

The first Bitcoin block of 50 bitcoins was mined on January 3rd, 2009 12:15 PM CST with the following hash.

0x000000000019d6689c085ae165831e934ff763ae46a2a6c172b3f1b60a8ce26f

Here is the link to 1st transaction

Bitcoin Genesis Block

Concept of Bitcoin was introduced by a pseudo entity Satoshi Nakamoto through a white paper on 31st October 2008. This genesis block was mined on the principles laid out in that white paper

On 3rd Jan’09, The London Times ran a cover story entitled “Chancellor on Brink of Second Bailout for Banks”. This title was quoted and embedded into the very first transaction ever to be included in the new Bitcoin blockchain, by Satoshi Nakamoto.  The block containing this transaction is called “The Genesis Block”

The London Times – 3rd Jan’09

This note has been interpreted as both a timestamp and a comment on the instability caused by fractional reserve banking.

First recipient of the bitcoin transaction was Hal Finney, a cyberpunk who created the first reusable proof of work system ( RPOW) in 2004. He was probably the first person to download the software upon release & was transferred the first set of 10 bitcoins from Satoshi on 12th Jan’09. This was the first ever transfer that took place on bitcoin network.

Bitcoin has sparked a movement or a strong debate in existence of programmable money that leads to open & financial financial system.

It’s been a roller coaster ride. I got involved 7 years ago & thought late to the party. 10 years since first bitcoin transaction & I still think we’re early to the party

Industry has been growing daily defying any resistance internally & externally. This is probably the most undisputed financial technology innovation till date. It’s not just the tech, but combines economical, financial, political & philosophical movement.

Biggest strength of bitcoin is that it’s running now for 10 years in a row with 100% uptime, without a single fraudulent transaction that exists today & not deviating from its original monetary issuance schedule. Only 20% more bitcoins will be issued over next 10 years. In comparison, we’ve no clue how much of government issued fiat will exist even in next 12 months. I am really a fan of the transparency, where I can predict with a very high degree of certainty that every 10 mins, a bitcoin block will be created.

So unless the bitcoin network disappear which I find slightly hard to believe at-least over next 10 years or governments start putting a check on their money printing press, there will be a serious competition for storage of value. I suspect majority of the governments will give up on their currency & adopt another currency. It’s similar to languages where major languages have a network effect. With every passing day, confidence is bitcoin is growing & the pedigree that bitcoin has achieved over it’s competitors is unprecedented

Though we’re very far from where we should be, today’s the day to celebrate the bitcoin genesis block’s 10th birthday. Looking forward

#Happy10thGenesisBlock

2019-01-03T17:15:30+00:00January 3rd, 2019|