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Author: Robert Jakob
To: System undo crew
Subject: Re: [unSYSTEM] DarkFi: The Coming Storm
Sounds dope, man. What's next? How can we help?

On Thu, Oct 21, 2021 at 2:41 PM Alec Spier <alec.spier@???>

> respect
> *Sent:* Thursday, October 21, 2021 at 7:30 AM
> *From:* "Amir Taaki" <amir@???>
> *To:* unsystem@???
> *Subject:* [unSYSTEM] DarkFi: The Coming Storm
> Greetings comrades,
> Our team is happy today to share with this list the first news of our
> project that has been under development for the last 4 years.
> # Introduction
> It's 2013. The director of the FBI gives a speech titled "The Going
> Dark Problem". Solemnly he warns of an emerging crisis within law
> enforcement. Since the Snowden disclosures, increasing public awareness
> of surveillance has encouraged the wide ranging use of encryption
> technologies - what he calls the tech tool of choice for criminals.
> > Unfortunately, the law hasn’t kept pace with technology, and this
> disconnect has created a significant public safety problem. We call it
> "Going Dark" > - James Comey, FBI director
> The speech highlighted a risk emerging online: mass popularization
> of encryption threatens to create a permanent online zone that is
> impenetrable to law enforcement. We maintain these dark zones remove
> the barriers for a truly democratic society to realize itself. Recent
> developments in DAOs and DeFi represent an exciting step towards this
> future.
> Additional breakthroughs in cryptography such as zero-knowledge proofs
> are awakening a new era of challenge and upheaval. This document gives
> an overview of these advances and introduces our project: DarkFi.
> DarkFi is not a corporate startup. It's a democratic economic
> experiment, an operating system for society.
> # Societycide & the Megamachine
> The situation has escalated since Comey first documented the "Going Dark
> Problem" in 2013. The logic of state expansion together with infinite
> money printing and industrialism have submerged society into a constant
> state of war. Power and the state apparatus control, oppress and surveil
> society while big tech wraps us in a digital prison.
> This state of war has been called a "societycide". Society is
> increasingly deprived of its moral and political nature. People have
> been transformed into the fascist's herd-like masses.
> Internet technology is centered around extracting profit from users
> for low value work (clicking ads). This leads to huge data harvesting
> operations and the construction of a surveillance mega-machine. This
> encourages docility and consumption rather than active individuated
> usership. It is an architecture of oppression structured on user control.
> Newer and better artificial intelligences are constantly being honed
> to wage war on the resistance and force the remaining people into giant
> megacities. With the arrival of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC)
> and universal basic income (UBI), centralized power is rapidly seeking
> to close off all competing economic arenas. The corporate state seeks
> to monopolize economic life. China's social credit scoring has been an
> instructive experiment that Western states seek to emulate.
> What remains in this impoverished world is a new sinister form of
> fascism and a dead society that has lost its moral and political fabric.
> Such a dead society is unable to self-organize or act with initiative.
> The mega-machine constantly searches for innovative methods to extract
> oil from the ground, fish from the oceans and lifeblood from society,
> even as these resources are depleted to crisis levels.
> For 20 years we worked on free software. It was a movement with
> incredible vitality and creativity, exploring ideas long before
> proprietary industry would dare touch them. But being a full time free
> software developer was a tough situation. We created tremendous value
> but were mostly without resources. We did not have a way to capture back
> some of the value we were creating. Being unable to capture value meant
> our expansion was limited and continually resource constrained. So these
> brilliant concepts that were pioneered could never be realized and
> society lost the full benefits of a free technology that could have been.
> The free software movement possessed world class developers with a
> community of strong believers. But the movement simply lacked resources
> due to there being no economic model.
> # Tokenization
> Through the power of tokenization, we now have an alternative.
> Programmable money enables a rich set of techniques to
> develop economic networks.
> Token engineering and DAOs are shattering the basic structure of the
> old world. The old world is corporate, hierarchical, and rigid. This
> new world is rich, intense and creative.
> In the classical corporate model, you have a consumer-producer
> dichotomy. This distinction does not exist in crypto. The focus is on
> community and squad wealth. Rather than a company exploiting users for
> profit and protecting their property, the owners and producers are the
> community themselves.
> The value of a project is directly proportional to its community. Tokens
> capture the value generated by a community and circle that value back to
> the community itself. The ability of projects to foster participation,
> enthusiasm and engagement is therefore crucial. Communities foster
> autonomy through discourse, negotiation and narrative. This in turn
> leads to democratic transformations of the individual, fashioning them
> for the values of self-governance and self-development.
> Nowhere is this social evolution more apparent than in DAOs. DAOs are a
> new governance primitive that enable latent democratic forces to
> assemble and organize themselves before power and capital forces can
> narrow them ideologically. This enables the exploration of unrealized
> liberation zones. The users are stakeholders that can participate
> directly in governance decisions. They can decide on development
> targets, features, salaries, capital allocation and investments.
> The ideal of politics is to multiply public spaces. Crypto is therefore
> deeply political. Politics concerns taking decisions regarding the
> collective interests of society such as well-being, security and
> freedom. In this sense politics and direct democracy are synonymous.
> The old model of technology is anti-political because it removes
> ownership from people and places it into the hands of monopoly. The old
> model encourages passivity and indifference by design, reducing people
> to consumers. This is essentially the orientation of modern technology.
> Its arc extends back 5000 years to the origin of civilization itself.
> The Wikipedia entry for civilization reads:
> > Civilization concentrates power, extending human control over the rest
> of nature, including over other human beings.
> History has swung back and forth in the struggle between democratic
> society and the state civilization system. At times this has broken
> out into open conflict, while in other times has led to an uneasy
> peace. Conflict between civilizational forms has accelerated in the
> modern era. Society is under siege by automated weaponry, surveillance
> apparatus and psychological operations which seek to undermine the moral
> and political freedom of people.
> # Autonomous Political Formations
> Totalitarianism cannot be defeated through compliance. Compliance
> only emboldens regimes of power. Totalitarian terror is let loose when
> opposition has died down and the rulers are no longer afraid. Compliance
> feeds totalitarians and never leads to normality. Resistance is
> essential to counter the rise of totalitarian rule.
> Parallel societies offer pockets of freedom that nurture ideologies of
> resistance and form the basis of a new society. They can be societies
> oriented around technology, economy, education or culture.
> With DAOs and DeFi we can bring to life the democratic nation where
> multiple cultures, ethnicities and political formations coexist with a
> confederalist structure.
> DAOs + DeFi = Autonomous Political Formations
> With APFs multiple parallel nations can exist online free from external
> coercion. These nations are owned by their community. Decisions flow
> from the bottom.
> # Multi-Chain
> There is a story of money that goes like this: it's the dawn of
> history. People are trading their surplus goods. You have an apple. She
> has an orange. Trade necessitates a medium of exchange. Money emerges.
> We've all heard this story. Except that it's a myth. This never occurred
> in history.
> In Ancient Mesopotamia there were sophisticated banking networks long
> before money existed. These networks offered all the modern operations
> associated with a bank, such as loan operations, deposits, forex, and
> debt settlement. Babylon, the cradle of human civilization, was home
> to the flourishing banking center of the region and an active futures
> market. Money emerged out of this system of credit networks. Deposit
> slips and futures contracts were traded in the form of clay tokens that
> could be broken. It was only much later with the emergence of the
> Persian empire that the gold and silver bimetallic money was standardized.
> The lesson history teaches us is this: economic networks are primary.
> It is the transfer of value within networks that gives money its
> meaning, not money itself. Money inherits different properties from the
> financial networks they exist within.
> In 2010, the concept of universal sound money was central to Bitcoin's
> emergence. As crypto has grown, we have seen the emergence of other
> asset classes. First, we saw the rise of blockchains with their own
> unique features such as Monero. Ethereum was the first to generalize
> this architecture, which was followed by the growth of ERC20 and the
> initial ICO boom. But the nature of crypto has changed fundamentally.
> DeFi has ushered in a new, ecosystem-based thinking that sees not just a
> single coin in isolation but examines networks in a holistic way.
> Previously we use to think about crypto-coins and their blockchain. This
> is Bitcoin, this is Monero, this is Ethereum. The way people reasoned
> about crypto was as self-sovereign atomic entities. But DeFi is enabling
> a new kind of reasoning. We think in terms of ecosystems and endpoints,
> networks and liquidity flows.
> With DeFi we are seeing the sophistication of crypto and the emergence
> of a parallel financial system. Blockchain-specific coins are being
> de-emphasized in favour of instruments and networks. Financial
> engineering allows these networks to interact, to lower volatility and
> transfer assets seamlessly. This is the emergence of a proto-banking
> layer for crypto. With it, crypto has gained a radical advantage.
> Banking is more powerful and more fundamental than money.
> Currently 1% of all Bitcoin exists inside Ethereum and this number is
> rapidly growing. We expect this trend to further continue.
> # Zero-knowledge
> Crypto anarchy is the tactic of using cryptography to create a space of
> freedom which cannot be penetrated by power and capital monopolies with
> coercive force.
> This space of freedom is the nascent seed of a democratic society. These
> social structures are resistant to state control and totalitarian power
> from the start. They are programmed with the code of resistance. They
> are spaces which counter social atomization and promote voluntary
> communal bonds by those who cherish freedom.
> They are dark spaces used by an alliance of democratic forces.
> Zero-knowledge (ZK) is a powerful technology, one that if used
> effectively opens vast frontiers of freedom.
> ZK allows us to create anonymous smart contracts. Anyone can write
> an anonymous program which is called a proof. Even though the data on
> the blockchain is encrypted, the proof makes a statement about what is
> happening with that data. It cannot be cheated and is completely secure.
> It opens up an entirely new design space of anonymous applications that
> previously we could not create. The technology is mature, waiting to be
> taken up and applied.
> Now you might be thinking there is a performance penalty for ZK, but
> actually ZK is fast. It is faster to verify a ZK proof than it is to
> compute the actual non-ZK function itself. And no matter how big is the
> data, the proof is always a constant size.
> For example, we can compress an entire blockchain into a ZK proof.
> Rather than downloading 300 Gb of data on initial sync with the network,
> you can instead download a 22 Kb proof that the current state has been
> correctly computed from genesis. There are already projects offering
> this. This property of ZK is called succinctness.
> Here is a simple program:
> def foo(s, x, y):
> if s:
> return x * y
> else:
> return x + y
> Lets say Alice calculates z = foo(True, 4, 110). To prove z is
> calculated correctly, Alice gives Bob the values of z, s, x, y and then
> Bob runs the function to see he gets the same result as Alice. That's
> not anonymous, as Bob can see the values that are input to the function.
> Instead Alice can use a ZK proof to show she computed the function
> correctly without revealing the input values.
> Using this technique, we can create completely dark financial markets:
> a global decentralized economic network operating fully anonymously.
> ZK is a powerful design space opening up for developers. It is also a
> new computational architecture different to the Von Neumann model that
> we are all familiar with. Certain types of operations are more
> favourable compared to others which takes some getting used to. There is
> a lot of scope and exploration here for advancing the tooling around ZK
> such as compilers which are still very primitive.
> This is the first step toward a new economic model for technology that
> is not based off the exploitation of users.
> # DarkFi
> DarkFi is a base layer for anonymous applications and smart contracts
> that is multi-chain interoperable.
> Find the code here:
> https://github.com/darkrenaissance/darkfi
> DarkFi is an environment with a language for writing zero-knowledge
> smart contracts. The research is still nascent but we already have our
> testnet operational.
> ZK unlocks an entirely unexplored design space of anonymous
> applications. Previously if you wanted to create an anonymous
> application you had to think how to combine several existing
> cryptographic schemes. Maybe it would be slow or impossible. But with
> ZK, we have a generic cryptographic schema that any programmer can use
> to create anonymous applications.
> We can create anonymous services. Users can interact with DAOs and
> markets where they use credentials. You attach a proof which says that a
> statement is correct. Nothing else about your identity is leaked.
> Services are operated in this manner.
> Here is an example of a smart contract minting a credential:
> https://github.com/darkrenaissance/darkfi/blob/halo2-burn/proof/mint.zk
> We have a chat server on Matrix at: element.dark.fi
> We already have a testnet bridged with Bitcoin and Solana networks. We
> plan to add support for Ethereum and Monero soon. You can run the
> application and send payments.
> Our initial focus will be simple anonymous swaps and a DAO for
> governance. We plan to focus on building out organizational tooling and
> rapidly expand our ecosystem. Join us on this world-building adventure.
> We are seeking political developers and offer competitive salaries. This
> is an opportunity to help build an ecosystem and there will be many more
> projects being launched and funded on DarkFi.
> Every Monday 16:00 CET in #dev on our server, we have an open developer
> meeting over text.
> We are more than tool creators. We build applications and help support
> teams building them. We welcome everyone on our exodus to the promised
> land of opportunity.
> # Let there be dark
> > Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask is an
> > idea. And ideas are bulletproof.
> > - V
> Everybody feels that there will big a huge macro political or economic
> event in the next 5 years. Everybody is deeply discontented with the
> power and capital monopolies ruling over us.
> What is the next system to come along? Here is the answer:
> We should not be thinking about systems. Human beings are not objects in
> a mathematical apparatus. That is the thinking that got us in this
> position.
> What thinking do we need?
> What is happening around you? What are people doing? What are the
> problems they face? What is truth, beauty and goodness? How can we
> empower that face of humanity and nature that we wish to grow?
> Luckily we have been gifted agorist counter-economics, not just as a
> philosophy but as a powerful agent of change. Wield that power, make
> things happen.
> The regulators are coming for us. They see us as children with boots
> too big for our feet. We need to be put back in our place. They do this
> from outside and within. Those crazy anarchists amongst us get shushed,
> given freakish looks, shunned and told off for stirring the pot. Who
> are these people and where did they come from? Certainly in their clean
> corporate cages they would never have risked betting on Bitcoin in
> 2010. Yet here they are attaching themselves to success, making sure
> things are done right.
> The narrative right now is about trivial first world concerns: GameFi,
> ArtFi, SocialMediaFi - the entertainment and celebrity biz.
> But one need only look at what power and capital monopolies seek to
> prevent to understand what is key to liberating the democratic nation.
> They are going to regulate crypto which allows any person to send
> crypto to any person anywhere on the planet. Or to establish private
> organizations that are self-governed. This destroys all proprietary
> models of the power and capital monopolies.
> Crypto will split into two. RegFi will be unusable and bolted down. It
> will be toothless. The other side will be the underground DarkFi. It
> will have bite.
> DarkFi is not a project or a company. We are a community and a movement.
> Counter-economics gives us tools to architect systems that empower
> free communities.
> Crypto-anarchy is the tactic of using cryptography for counter-economics.
> Privacy technologies are emerging stronger than ever and are completely
> unstoppable.
> Combine all this together and we get: DarkFi.
> The darkness is here and will sweep over our digital world. It cannot
> be stopped, since the benefits it brings are too great. All the latent
> potentialities of humanity that are being pushed down will be allowed to
> rise up to the top. This is a great power that must be used respectfully.
> Remember every technological revolution in history had naysayers who
> wanted to put the genie back in Pandora's box. But they were dragged
> kicking and screaming into the future against their will.
> There are no judgments or edicts being made here. Just statements
> of reality.
> Take it or leave it, this is what will happen. Welcome to the agorist
> future.
> Let there be dark.
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