Moving Bitcoin from a paper wallet to an exchange

Right now the Bitcoin (BTC) price is skyrocketing! Amazing if you own only a piece of a coin. Maybe you were smart and stored the coins on a cold storage. The most unexpensive and one of the most secure being a paper wallet. I recommend the ones from Bitcoin Paper Wallet. The guy just nails it, super comfortable to set up, easy to print. Lot’s of no fluff info, and he even responded in a day when I thanked him profusely.

So, maybe now you’re thinking it’s time to move those coins to an exchange to profit from the boom, before the inevitable bust, and then buy more once the bust recovers. So you want to move the BTC to an exchange, to cash those lovely Bitcoins out at prime rate, right?

I personally like and use Kraken. Fantastic exchange, just rock-solid. I even invested a tiny bit in their crowd-funding 2 years ago.

To get the Bitcoins from your paper wallet to an exchange you have to sweep the paper wallet. While you could type the private key, I recommend using an app like Coinomi that uses your phone’s camera to scan the QR code your paper wallet probably has.

Install Coinomi on your phone, create a wallet, really write down and verify the recovery phrase!! Please!! And then select Bitcoin, as well as any Bitcoin hard forks you might be privy of. Then go to the Menu on the top left and select your Bitcoin wallet. In the upper right corner select the 3 dots and then choose sweep wallet. Coinomi will ask to access your camera if you just installed the app. Select OK and scan the QR code of your paper wallet.

Great!! Now Coinomi has access to the BTC stored at your address on the paper wallet. Transfer the part of your coins you plan on cashing out to a deposit address on the exchange of your choice. To store the rest please create a new paper wallet. Just for safety.

Good luck and lot’s of profit!


SEO optimization for Shopify stores [Beginners]

I’ve been busy building janori lately. A cool webshop where you can buy vegan chocolate, organic coffee, and delicious snacks produced by regional heroes. The shop is up and running since November 11th, and so far we’re doing fine. Just recently I noticed that we aren’t ranking on Google – at all!

Woe me! I thought, but then went of on an interwebz truffle hunt to find good info on how to optimize my Shopify store. I diligently watched Neil Patel’s course, and some of Brian Deans ouptut. Both are great, and explain the process of SEO well, and gave me a good fundament of what keyword research is, and how it’s done.

But how do I get my actual products, and my site to rank?

I found two videos, that really help: This is the best. Mr. Kanase really breaks it down into totally relatable and actionable steps, that made me feel I can start straight away.

Then I found another one, nearly identical in scope with some extra tips, that also made me see, that SEO wasn’t an exact science, and “every way leads to Rome”. Very good for beginners like me. This really helps not to get stuck in analysis-paralysis.

The basic methodology is to use the Keywords Everywhere plugin in Google Chrome and look up your products name. Then find some keywords that have relatively high search volume, with not soo high competition (search difficulty), and use those in the title, especially the Meta title, and in the description, as well as in the Alt Text of images.

At the same time it’s important to write actually useful, ideally long, product descriptions.That’s a fun writing exercise, if I ever saw one!

I’m just starting to implement the process, and will let you know the progress I made with janori.


syncToy Setup in one step

Tired of syncToy: “Install .NET Framework 2.0.5072 ..” error message when installing? The site you get redirected to, when following the prompt in the dialogue is useless. Maybe like me, you installed 2 or even 3 versions of .NET only to find that none of them works.

Wouldn’t it be great to have everything in one simple package? Like a bundle that contains all the necessary files?

Fear not I prepared exactly this for your comfort and pleasure. All downloads are directly from the MS site and bundled in a neat ZIP.

Here’s a link on Google Drive: link

In case you don’t trust me: here’s the link to syncToy: link, and the link to the .NET framework installer: link


Fixing “Incorrect password” problem when connecting to Wi-Fi on iOS devices

I noticed a few days ago, that my iPhone wouldn’t connect to my WiFi any more. It kept saying “incorrect password” even though the password hadn’t changed.

So I tried a few things:

  • Forget Wi-Fi network and reconnect -> didn’t work
  • Reset network settings -> Just lost all my Wi-Fi passwords, thank you!
  • Reboot and power cycle iPhone -> didn’t work
  • Force reboot iPhone -> didn’t work
  • Power cycle router -> didn’t work

I was at a loss, searching the numerous result for this problem, that seems to appear quite a lot, brought no useable results. Basically just variations of the steps above, and countless admonitions that Wi-Fi passwords are case sensitive. Well, nothing new here.

Interesting were some users that reported solving the problem when shifting the Wi-Fi channel width from 20 MHz to 40 or 80 MHz.

My D-Link Covr P2500 doesn’t allow me to tweak these settings. It’s a mesh, multi-MIMO router with a powerline extension. Works wonders in our house, but also meant this wasn’t an option for me.

One intermediary step, that was successful, was changing the Wi-Fi password. The phone immediately connected. But this wasn’t an option. We have some IoT and lot’s of guests, so changing the password just so my iPhone could reconnect wasn’t adequate.

What did work is factory resetting the router. I downloaded all my settings. Factory reset the router, and then actually didn’t upload the settings again, since it’s really just the SSID and the password as well as the admin password. I hadn’t used any schedules or such.

After this, the iPhone connected again like a charm. Maybe some profile was left on the router. I still don’t really know.

So when you face that problem, and you have full access to your router. Try factory resetting this and see if it improves.


Why there’s a ‘value’ in value proposition!

Everyone who starts or runs a business, designs or markets a product will come across the necessity to create a value proposition. Something that adds values to the inputs of the business or product to the customer. Ideally that proposition is unique, and helps the business or product stand out. I’ll use the term business to mean both businesses and products from here on, for simplicity and because selling a product is a simple form of a whole business.

When this term comes up, it is often very abstract and diffuse. The business founder feels strongly about her idea and rationalizes the value to the customer. This sometimes gets a bad rap, and founders get told to start with what customers want, what solves their problems, and work backwards from there.

The result of this is what I’d call weak value propositions. This value propositions exist because the founder wants to be in business, or create an enterprise, and finds what looks good, or consults a business idea list or a trend list. While this can be a ‘smart’ choice, the resulting value proposition will have little to offer to help rally customers or employees into meaningful action. These value propositions can be humdrum to hack-ey or worse, downright scam-ey.

And this brings me to the core of this post. A real value proposition results from believing something about the world. From actually having values. These values compel the founder to action. They make writing copy or communicating your goals easy and meaningful.

For instance, Steve Jobs, to further beat a dead horse, valued beauty. He thought that computers have to be beautiful inside and out. That customers would value that, and pay a handsome premium. While this is conventional wisdom now, it certainly wasn’t then. In this regard, he won. His value proposition, coming from a deep believe in how the world should be, proved to be so right, that the resulting company is now so big and valuable, that some argue it should be broken up!

This illustrates the second kind of value propositions. Strong value propositions. Strong because they reflect a real value the founder has. This cannot be faked or rationalized. It comes from an authentic need to help change the world and make it better.

Dear reader, when you think about a value proposition for a business the next time, please stop, take a deep breath and ask yourself, how you’d want that business to impact the world. How it should change it. That will create a powerful start for the best work you ever did.


The immediacy of tools

„The medium is the message“ – this quote by Marshal Mc Luhan has many truths and depths hidden in a surprisingly simple sentence.

I don’t think it starts out that way. In the beginning the medium is a tool, a means to convey an information from source to destination. While it colors, distorts and even dictates some of the delivery it is first and foremost a means to an end.

But since all human endeavor is always self referential as time goes by the effect of the medium becomes more apparent and both the sender and the receiver begin to skew their communication to maximise the effect in the given medium.

This elevates the medium gradually from tool to master. From medium to message.

Simply because we start to experience our world through this tool and through this medium.

The tool becomes our immediate experience of the world. And not the source of using the tool.



When you think about renewable energy production, the two most visible proponents are wind and photovoltaic (solar) energy. Especially these two technologies have one problem in common: No one can predict how much electricity will be produced, even just a few minutes away.

This makes alternative energy sources mandatory as a means of compensation. Very few customers would accept if their computer might run, or not run, during the day, depending on how much wind a nearby farm is experiencing.

At the same time the amount of electricity produced is rarely big enough to warrant the transformation to the high voltages (like 440 kV) necessary to ensure long distance transport. Which means most of the green electricity produced needs to be consumed in its’ vicinty.

So while it’s certainly great that we have a growing supply of renewable energy, from the viewpoint of an electricity provider all that counts is the base amount that will always be produced no matter what. The rest has to either be bought or produced via hydropower (somewhat more stable, but seasonal), biogas, nuclear power or gas or even coal fueled power plants.

Sometimes extreme measures have to be taken, to consume the inflated energy supply, when the renewable energy farms are churning out at maximum power (imagine a solar power plant at 2pm on a summer day). Negative electricity prices,pumping water up hydro power plants for later storage, and even running machines without producing anything, or boiling water just for later cooling are reported.

And here is why this means renewables are a great match for crypto currency mining: Crypto mining can be co-located with renewable electricity production sites, as long as a stable internet connection is possible. Thanks to the widespread proliferation of LTE/4G networks more and more areas of the world offer this possibility.  Locating mining farms close to electricity production means the power does not have to pass through the distribution network of the local utility company, which typically charges a small, but not insignifcant, amount per kWh for using its network.

This means rock bottom electricity prices for the miners. Prices as low as USD 3ct/kWh are possible here. Electricity cost is the biggest obstacle to profitable crypto currency mining. Fluctuating supply can partly be buffered with batteries or inexpensive UPSs to keep network infrastructure and control servers alive at all times. The miners are then switched on and off as energy supply fluctuates. This is not ideal for mining, where miners want to have their computers on all the time. But it would be a great way to utilise every drop of energy a wind or solar farm produces. With a little bit of buffering, miners can be switched to standby or activated rapidly meaning no opportunity to mine gets lost.

Crypto currencies like bitcoinClean already incentivise miners that use green electricity sources. If others follow the lead of this particular coin, co-locating mining farms with renewable electricity production sites will make a lot of business sense, in addition to being the sensible thing to do.


Cryptocurrencies and Pollution

Why are cryptocurrencies and pollution linked, as was reported here and here?

Let’s start by reflecting on how a blockchain works. A blockchain is a number of linked data segments, called blocks, that are signed by a cryptographic function. Each new block contains a link, in the form of that cryptographic signature, to the last block before it, so changeing any block means having to recompute and change every block after that.

As a result, a blockchain is as secure, as hard it is to recompute parts of it.

If it’s very easy to compute the cryptographic signature of one block, then recomputing 2, 10 or even 100 blocks is still easy.

So what happens if the blockchain is not secure? Blocks contain transactions. So when Bob sends Alice some coins,this gets written into a block.

If Bob found a way to recompute this block, he could send some coins to Alice,and then recompute the block to send the same coins to Christine. Or simply delete the spent coins, so that Alice doesn’t have access to them any more. Clearly, this is fraud, and a blockchain that makes fraud easy will not gather a lot of users. Except those that are financially suicidal.

So blockchain security is important. Bitcoin addressed this issue by requiring the cryptographic signature to be very hard to compute. And this difficulty would automatically increase the more people started computing it. This means if a lot of people with a lot of computing power calculate the cryptographic signature, it’s really extremely difficult to come up with a one that meets Bitcoins standards.

If an attacker wants to overwrite, say, the last 3 blocks, he needs to have so much computing resources to recalculate these 3 blocks, plus any that have been calculated in the time it takes him to recalculate, or blocks than all the others working on the regular blockchain combined produced in that time. Because one more clever feature of Bitcoin is that only the longest chain, the one with the most blocks, is the valid Blockchain. Any other chain gets discarded as an attempted fraud. This makes sense, since the chain with the most people committing resources to will be the longest. So right now, such an attack is practically impossible to do, even for the biggest suppliers of Bitcoin computing power. Note that I said practically impossible. Because theoretically, it can be done!

And here comes the downside, the price, of this security: All that computing power requires electricity to run on. How much is a hotly disputed topic. Some say, that right now it’s more than all of Ireland, while others contend that it’s probably 1/10th of that amount. Which is still a lot of electricity, if you think about it.

The people who provide all this computing power are called miners, and get a reward if they are the first to discover a cryptographic signature that meets the requirements and submit the signed block. This reward is currently worth a little less or slightly more than $100,000 (it’s 12,5 Bitcoin) depending on Bitcoins’ price at that moment.

Electricity is mostly produced with fossil fuels. The worldwide energy mix consists of 87{bebb06f271259ca942a7887f5eb25673b4b02ba69cbc6ed6f7a39064dc6657a8} fossils, mostly coal, and some natural gas. According to the Shell 2014 energy report.

So producing a lot of electricity means producing a lot of pollution. CO2, short chain carbon hydroxides, heavy metals, fine particle pollution, you name it.

While Bitcoin has a lot of transaction volume today, about 4,5 billion USD worth in any single day, it’s still a far cry from fulfilling the potential of everyday use peer to peer cash.

If it should fulfill that role, this would mean even more pollution, as a bigger network would mean more people providing computing power and more difficulty in computing the cryptographic signatures.

How can we avoid that pollution? How can we align the desire to build a decentralized future of our money supply, with the demand to leave this planet healthier and better than we found it?

The next section will highlight some proposed solutions:

  • Proof of Stake

Ethereum is the most popular cryptocurrency that plans to implement Proof of Stake, or PoS as crypto-insiders typically write. PoS means blocks can be calculated with minimal computing power, but only by those who hold coins (called having a stake). Basically, who gets to create the next block is decided by a kind of lottery, where every coin held represents a ticket.

Proof of Stake drastically reduces the amount of energy required by the network.

However, as Ethereum shows, it’s notoriously fickle to implement, and has somephilosophical and mathematical challenges that have not been fully adressed.

  • Directed Acyclic Graph coins

A Directed Acyclic Graph is a fancy name for a network that has a direction (is Directed) and at no point creates loops (is Acyclic). It can be depicted somewhat like this:


A directed acyclic graph

As you can see the graph starts on the right, and is directed (to the left), plus there are no loops or meshes in there.

Directed Acyclic Graphs or short DAGs were first proposed as an alternative to a traditional blockchain by IOTA. Lately other coins like Nano or ByteBall have taken up the idea and tailored it to their specific needs.

DAGs promies some significant advantages: Transactions cannot be reversed or overwritten after a very short amount of time. No mining or expensive cryptographic signatures, like in Bitcoin, are necessary, making transactions effectively free.

Since the network can work massively parallel, it can handle more and more transactions per second as the network scales and grows.

Through the lens of pollution: The lack of mining, in the sense of Bitcoin, where computers try to find cryptographic signatures that meet very demanding and stringent criteria, is completely, or to a very large degree, eliminated, making these coins extremely energy efficient.

Instead, the trust is generated by having a few trusted “witnesses” or “captains of industry” that are trusted to confirm the odd block here and there. These are either selected by the developers, or voted on by users. And this is the crux of DAG coins. If just some of these witnesses are malign, the currencies are extremely vulnerable.

Since none of the DAG coins scaled to the size of Bitcoins network, they didn’t receive as much scrutiny. Whether or not these coins will past the test of time and scale remains yet to be proven.

  • Lightning Network

Bitcoin faced crippling transaction bottlenecks repeatedly. Basically, only about 250-500 transactions can fit into one Bitcoin block. And one block is generated on average every 10 minutes. This results in anything between 4-8 transactions per second. Visa supports and needs to handle up to 1,700 transactions per second.

Since Bitcoin miners get paid for including transactions into a block, they choose the highest paying transactions in times of high demand. Bitcoin transaction fees are currently arround $10 for a single transaction on average.

A part of Bitcoins’ core development team became so dissatisfied with the slow and contentious improvement process of Bitcoin, that they create Bitcoin Cash as a result.

Bitcoin Cash enlarged a block to 8x the size of Bitcoin to have 8x the transaction throughput and included a host of other improvements.

Another developer proposed Lightning Network for Bitcoin as way to scale. Lightning would basically have next to unlimited transactions per second for extremely low fees. In Lightning transactions are no longer written into blocks, but cleared inside payment channels between peers. Just the opening and the closing of payment channels are written to the blockchain and incur a transaction fee. If Bob wants to pay Alice and doesn’t already have a payment channel with her, he can route his coins along payment channels until they get to Alice. Very much like domain names get resolved on the internet. The transaction fees would be so low, that even long routes would still be orders of magnitude cheaper and faster than traditional Bitcoin transactions.

Lightning Network has quickly established itself as Bitcoins promise of a bright future, but so far is not ready for public deployment yet.

Also some serious criticism about payment channels has been raised.

  • bitcoinClean

bitcoinClean is a Bitcoin child, a so called hard fork, like Bitcoin Cash. This means that every holder of Bitcoin is also a holder of bitcoinClean. It was released on April 18th, 2018 and allows blocks to be 8x the size of Bitcoin, to allow more transactions.

It also introduces a new concept to cryptocurrencies: The requirement that only renewable energy is used to fuel the computers that generate the cryptographic signatures.

It’s approach to ensure that is ingenious: Since no technical solution to verify the energy supply of miners exist, it relies on a social solution.

Miners need to publish proof that their computers are powered by renewables, and renewables only. Other miners can then inspect and vote on this proof.

If the proof garners enough votes the miner can start to compete for blocks and get his share of the rewards.

Bitcoins’ blockchain allows any kind of data to be stored inside blocks, and some promising ideas have already used this to store anything from contracts to records of service.

bitcoinClean stores the votes miners cast on each other’s proof on the blockchain, which means votes are transparent to read and secured by the same technology that secures Bitcoins’ transactions.

bitcoinClean’s developers find, that while the energy demand for computing power is still the same as with Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, redirecting that demand to renewables is actually better than reducing the energy consumption.

Increased demand leads to a better and increased supply, and more innovation.

Many of the renewable energy production techniques are still in their infancy and are plagued by scaling issues and technological problems.

Increased demand might just be what’s needed to help ensure a decentralised and ecological future for our energy supply, as well as our monetary supply.


Bitcoin Block Date Calculator

Didn’t you always want to know at what date a specific Bitcoin block would come?

Or what block number a specific date corresponds to?

Now, I know, block time isn’t always the same. This can never be exact science.

However, block time has been pretty consistent on average over the last few years.

So I created a Bitcoin Block Date calculator, which you can download here.

It’s quite rough yet, as I didn’t know how to grab the current block from the net, yet.

If anyone has an idea for improvement, don’t be shy and leave a comment or send an E-Mail.


Regulating Cryptocurrencies – Why? and How?

“Cryptos are awesome, but they need to be regulated!!” I heard this sentence so often, and from so many different, smart people.

It was nauseating. Cryptocurrencies were created so that central authority regulation was NOT, and I repeat, NOT needed.

That was the idea behind Satoshi Nakamotos original Bitcoin. It was created in the tradition of crypto-anarchists.

I personally believe that the reason so many people use something so cumbersome, volatile and cutting edge as Bitcoin for a store of value, or to transact, is because they don’t trust the central authorities anymore and are looking for a way out.

If cryptocurrencies should be successfully regulated, their whole reason for existence would be instantly erased.

I fear however, that governments will outlaw any cryptocurrency that doesn’t supply KYC/AML to the full extent required by individual country laws, if governments ever find a way to do so reliably.

This would be a very sad day for all of us.

Until then, let’s use the freedom we have, and let’s fight to keep it. By innovating, by spreading the knowledge and by educating others.