The world’s most precious commodity… The days of the “data harvesters” are numbered… How Facebook dies… In the mailbag: “Just tell me where to sign”…

Facebook just got hacked…

We’ve been raising the alarm over the obliteration of digital privacy… and why “going dark” online is crucial.

We got another reminder of why this is so important on Friday, when Facebook (FB) announced that hackers got access to the personal data of 50 million of its users.

Data is the gold of the digital economy…

Cybercriminals steal your data so they can package it and sell it to other criminals, mostly for identity theft.

But it’s not just cybercriminals who want your data.

Data has become the commodity that greases the wheels of the online economy – just as, for centuries, gold was the commodity that greased the wheels of the real-world economy.

You don’t pay a penny for the services Google, Facebook, and Twitter provide. But that doesn’t mean these services are free.

In a form of bartering, you pay to send and receive emails… post photos… instant message your friends… organize events… and thousands of other “free” online services with your personal data.

This data is useless in its raw form. But when you parse or “mine” it using machine learning and artificial intelligence, it yields a God’s-eye view of your habits and behavior that even you can’t see.

With godly insight come godly powers…

Once its secrets have been mined, this data gives whoever controls it the power to “nudge” millions – even billions – of people toward certain outcomes.

For instance, they can nudge you to buy a particular product or service… vote for a particular candidate… or attend a particular political rally.

It’s also making a police state the Soviets and Nazis could only have dreamed of possible.

It’s a grim picture. But, as we showed you last week, this entire model is ripe for disruption.

That’s because the “blockchain” technology behind bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is about to give the internet a privacy upgrade.

Don’t be put off by the jargon…

A blockchain is just a fancy term for a decentralized and encrypted computing network.

We don’t need to get bogged down in the ins and outs of how it all works. The important thing to know is that a blockchain-based internet will favor the data creators over the data harvesters.

Here’s more from Silicon Valley insider Jeff Brown, who heads up our Near Future Report advisory…

Blockchain technology allows us to completely flip the business model. Users will have control over their own data. They will have the ability to opt in or opt out of sharing that data. And those that choose, by their own will, to opt in, will get paid for doing so… in some kind of completely fungible cryptocurrency. In other words, in real money.

The details of how this works vary. But in the case of one private blockchain company I’m invested in, data creators earn 70% of the revenues from their data. The blockchain company earns the other 30%. This kind of model can result in consumers earning hundreds of dollars a month in extra income by opting in and agreeing to “sell” their data.

We’re talking about a fundamental reordering of the online economy…

As the internet gets upgraded in this way, you’ll be able to earn hundreds of dollars by switching from a corporate data harvester – say Facebook or Google – to blockchain-based social media, messaging, and email apps.

This will create a dramatically different kind of internet to the one we’re used to today.

On this new internet, services will be jointly owned by the community of people who use them. No corporate third party will get rich at your expense.

Take blockchain-based blogging platform Steemit…

Think of Steemit as Reddit, but with its own tradable cryptocurrency and payment system.

Here’s how it works…

When you write new posts… or upvote other people’s posts… the network pays you with a crypto called Steem. You can trade your Steem in for dollars or other cryptos at any time.

Colleague Teeka Tiwari first put Steemit on Palm Beach Confidential readers’ radars in November 2016. At the time, one Steemit user Teeka knows of was earning about $70 per post.

That may not sound like a lot. But it’s a heck of a lot more than the zero dollars you get for posting on Facebook, Reddit, or Snapchat. And it’s just the beginning. Teeka…

As the network grows, great content creators will receive even bigger rewards. That will attract more users, which will attract more creators – creating a “virtuous cycle” of growth.

But you don’t have to use Steemit to profit…

Just as you don’t have to wear Nike sneakers to invest in Nike… and you don’t have to eat at McDonald’s to invest in McDonald’s… you don’t have to use Steemit to invest in it.

In addition to Steem, which you earn for posting and upvoting, Steemit issues a second cryptocurrency called Steem Power (SP). This gives you the equivalent of an ownership stake in the Steemit network.

In the two years since Teeka recommended Steem Power, it’s up 785%.

And as more internet users choose to profit from the data they create instead of handing those profits over to Big Tech corporations, there’s plenty more upside ahead.

If you’re considering speculating on Steem Power, remember to do your homework first. And don’t put in more money than you can afford to lose.

In the mailbag, Dan Denning’s Declaration of Digital Rights is still going strong…

Hooray for Dan. I heartily support his proposals. Just tell me where to sign on the dotted line. Unfortunately, I do not currently have time to do much more than that. I’d like to be kept in the loop, however.

Thank you, Dan, for standing up to them. It’s about time people do something about the erosion of our rights. I’ve been wondering when people were going to take a stance. Maybe this is the beginning of something wonderful.

– Charlotte E.

Dan, I like this proposal. One additional idea I would encourage would be something akin to making digital profiles a no-trespass zone for both the government and any curators of the information. But our rights are only good if there is an effective way to enforce these contracts.

– Kevin B.

Please keep me informed, especially on how to be involved. We absolutely need a “Constitutional Convention.” Our representatives do everything but “represent us.” We need:

  1. Term limits

  2. Provisions to fine reps if they don’t hold to budgets

  3. Real debt limits

  4. Real debt reduction

  5. A return to the gold standard

  6. Deficit elimination

  7. No insider trading

  8. Complete and real financial transparency for all elected and unelected officials and employees

  9. Controls on lobbying

  10. Controls on the lobbying revolving door

  11. An audit, then eliminate the Fed

Extreme but NECESSARY.

– Herve K.

My husband and I live in Western New York. We have been shouting to anyone who will listen about the socialist tendencies occurring in both political parties, and loss of our freedoms. More people than you know are aware of the loss of freedoms that is happening in our country.

– Joanne C.

Would you use a blockchain-based social media platform such as Steemit? Or are you happy with Facebook? Write us at [email protected].



Chris Lowe
October 1, 2018
Dublin, Ireland