What I Learned from the Ethereum Classic 51% Attack

Beginning January 5 Ethereum Classic was the victim of a 51% attack allowing the malicious party to successfully double spend tokens to exploit one exchange. I cover a timeline of the events, some learnings, and end with applicable excerpts from the original Bitcoin white paper.

On January 6, the Ethereum Classic organization contradicted rumors of an attack on ETC:

Several hours later they sent a warning to mining pools and exchanges urging extra precaution:

After the initial warning, in cooperation with SlowMist, they confirmed the attack:

The next day on January 7, Coinbase publicly confirmed the attack as well providing details on the deep chain reorgs of ETC:

The attack is acknowledged by Gate.io, one of the exchanges compromised in the attack. They clearly state they will cover the losses for their users:

Another targeted exchange that had thwarted the attack, acknowledged what had happened as well:

Haseeb Qureshi of MetaStable Capital released an excellent description of 51% attacks. I highly suggest you read it:

Finally, the organization that tipped Ethereum Classic off to the attack, released their final report:

Update: The attacker has returned the funds to Gate.io. You can see the transaction here. We don’t know the motivations for returning the ETC. My guess is either the attacker was afraid of getting caught or they simply wanted to expose vulnerabilities to help prevent double spend attacks in the future.

It was amazing to see a cryptocurrency’s leadership, exchanges, mining pools, and researchers come together to address this issue. Typical security breaches offer little information to the public, but the open nature of blockchain encourages immediate assessments of attacks.

Now, onto the learnings:

  1. Understanding a 51% attack and “double spending” is a great way to understand how blockchains actually work. Haseeb’s tweet thread is a great start.
  2. The market does not fear 51% percent attacks. I predicted the attack would not only affect the price of ETC but also Bitcoin. After all, the goal of a blockchain is to maintain consensus. My next two reasons may explain why the market fears not.
  3. Funds in your wallet are safe. 51% attacks are only practical for changing recent transactions. The more blocks between when your wallet received the funds and the present, the more secure your funds are and the harder it becomes for a 51% attack to successfully undo it.
  4. 51% attacks are mostly targeted at exchanges. After all, attackers need a way to sell their double spent tokens to profit. And what better way to do this than on an exchange.
  5. Top blockchains are easier to attack than I thought. Crypto51 estimates that it would take an estimate of $350k to 51% attack Bitcoin for one hour. For a highly capitalized entity like a government, this really isn’t a high bar.
  6. Jeff Bezos could afford to 51% attack Bitcoin for 36 years. And likely even longer than that given Crypto51‘s estimates assume you are renting the mining equipment.
  7. Anyone can visit the scene of a blockchain crime. From the SlowMist report, you can see for yourself one of the wallets the attacker used.
  8. The market encourages these attacks, sort of. Because the price remains stable even when a 51% attack is acknowledged, this allows the malicious actors to retain value when they sell.
  9. Exchanges should come together and create a mining pool that activates when they detect a coin is under attack. This would not only help ensure their protection, but also ensure the protection of the attacked blockchain.
  10. It’s possible a malicious actor is mining a separate Bitcoin chain right now, waiting to unleash it. The alternate chain need not be made public as it is happening.
  11. Every 15 minutes Google makes enough profit to 51% attack the Bitcoin network for one hour.
  12. Google makes $12.5m in revenue per hour which equates to an hourly incentive to keep their systems operating. It costs $355k to 51% attack the Bitcoin network for one hour.

A 51% attack is something that every Proof Of Work consensus algorithm is vulnerable to. Including Bitcoin, as Satoshi Nakamoto discussed in the Bitcoin white paper released in 2008.

Satoshi discusses how the incentive structure of Bitcoin encourages those with a majority amount of computing power to act honestly:

If a greedy attacker is able to assemble more CPU power than all the honest nodes, he would have to choose between using it to defraud people by stealing back his payments, or using it to generate new coins. He ought to find it more profitable to play by the rules, such rules that favour him with more new coins than everyone else combined, than to undermine the system and the validity of his own wealth.

Satoshi goes on to explain the limits of a 51% attack:

We consider the scenario of an attacker trying to generate an alternate chain faster than the honest chain. Even if this is accomplished, it does not throw the system open to arbitrary changes, such as creating value out of thin air or taking money that never belonged to the attacker. Nodes are not going to accept an invalid transaction as payment, and honest nodes will never accept a block containing them. An attacker can only try to change one of his own transactions to take back money he recently spent.

51% attacks will always be a reality in any Proof of Work consensus mechanism. The question always will be whether the cost of carrying out an attack is prohibitively expensive and is there enough of an incentive to keep would be attackers honest.

Though the cost prohibition and incentive structure begin to break down when the attacker does not care about the health of a cryptocurrency’s network, the value of the token, and only wishes to harm others who rely on it. As our reliance increases on a given cryptocurrency, an attack like that increasingly makes more and more sense. It’s a brave new world.

In 2018

In 2018 I made a concerted effort to focus my attention on the slow moving trends behind the constant events of the news cycle. That’s where you stay the most informed. The Economist, Peter Zeihan, and Benedict Evans, among others, helped me with this. Below I cover things that were top of mind for me in 2018, which I think will help you put our world in perspective.

Facts

  • The U.S. is the world’s top oil producer for the first time since 1973, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia. –AP News
  • U.S. GDP was 60% higher than China in 2017. U.S. GDP per capita was 575% higher than China in 2017. – World Bank
  • Since 1960, child deaths have plummeted from 20 million a year to 6 million a year. – Gates Notes
  • Since 1960, the fertility rate has fallen by half, which is why Deutsche Bank projects world population will peak in 2055. – Gates Notes, CNBC
  • 137,000 people escaped extreme poverty every day between 1990 and 2015. – Gates Notes
  • In the U.S. more than 90% of all retail sales still happen in physical stores. E-commerce is just getting started. – Bloomberg
  • Amazon has low single digit percentage share of US retail. Gas stations are a bigger business than all of e-commerce. – Benedict Evans
  • Out of the 5bn phones in use globally, 3.5bn are smartphones — 28% of people are under 14; 28% Google Android; 20% feature phones; 11% iPhone; 8% Chinese Android, which does not have access to the Google Play store; 7% of people are over 14 with no phone. – Benedict Evans
  • The Tesla Model 3 is the highest selling car by revenue. – Clean Technica
  • 10 million years ago a supernova took place 100 light years from Earth; if it had taken place 30 light years away life on Earth would not exist. – Brad Gibson

Trends

  • The internet has directly connected every person on the planet. Gatekeepers can no longer control the message. This explains the election of Trump despite no major newspaper endorsing him. It explains why Joe Rogan can reach 1.5 billion people a year with a completely independent show.
  • Liberalism, in the classical sense of the word, is a “universal commitment to individual dignity, open markets, limited government and a faith in human progress brought about by debate and reform.” It needs a renewal. – The Economist
  • The world economy is becoming less competitive. For example, in the U.S. roughly 600 out of 900 sectors became more concentrated between 1997 and 2012. – The Economist
  • In the U.S. the popular will of the people contributes less to who is elected, with rural votes having more power than urban ones. – The Economist
  • Members of congress over the last several decades increasingly vote along party lines. –PLOS One
  • We are witnessing the break down of the international system the U.S. created post WWII. Trump is a symptom, not a cause. – Peter Zeihan
  • Though it’s in vogue to say the U.S. is over the hill as the EU or China take its place, Zeihan argues that from an economic and defensive standpoint the U.S. has nothing to worry about. The rest of the world, however, will have to come to terms with a more disinterested U.S., which will cause global instability over the coming decades. –Peter Zeihan
  • Despite the curtailing of political and civil freedoms, the past 25 years have been the freest in Russian history. – The Economist

Clarifications

  • Many people are enamored with Nordic-style social-welfare policies that they associate with socialism. However, those countries are not socialist; they are free-market economies with high rates of taxation that finance generous public services. The “socialist” part of those countries would be unaffordable without the dynamic capitalist part many people dislike. – The Economist
  • IBM and other companies developing “blockchains” is nonsensical. Bitcoin and Ethereum derive their value from their distributed and decentralized nature; one or even several companies managing a “blockchain” is just a database. – Benedict Evans
  • Many people think the “world is getting worse.” By which metric? We live in the healthiest, wealthiest, most peaceful, most equitable time in human history. There are many things that need to be improved, but the past was much worse. – Gates Notes
  • Building a wall on the Mexican border would actually increase illegal immigration. – Peter Zeihan
  • Facebook doesn’t sell your data to advertisers. They sell ad placement and allow advertisers to target you in that ad space. That is a huge difference. – Motherboard
  • Apple can read your iMessages: “If you have iCloud Backup turned on, your backup includes a copy of the key protecting your Messages.” – Apple
  • Apple products used by Chinese citizens are not protected from government access. – Apple
  • Signal is the most secure messaging app period. It is open source and the keys never leave the device. Even when the U.S. government requests access, Signal does not have the ability to share your messages. – Signal
  • Long term the market always goes up. Don’t worry about market volatility — keep investing and keep saving for retirement. – no gradient

Surprises

  • Why don’t more people in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space talk about the BitTorrent protocol? It was blockchain before blockchain, released seven years before the Bitcoin white paper was released. It’s a protocol that allows nodes on a network to share a file and prevents nodes from sharing the wrong file.
  • Why the Elon Musk hate? Does he say and do stupid things sometimes, absolutely. But zoom out. He has created the first successful American car company since Chrysler. Tesla’s vehicles are the safest the U.S. government has ever tested. He’s making space transportation cheaper. And, he’s pushing humanity towards renewable energy to combat climate change.

Quotes

  • “Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them.” – Alfred North Whitehead
  • “Justifying a solution because ‘it’s better than nothing’ results in something that is not better-than-nothing, but stands in the way of good solutions.” – Tomer Asher
  • “The world is not a meritocracy, but merit still matters. The world isn’t fair, but being fair still matters. The world is unkind, but being kind still matters, perhaps more than anything.” – Ed Helms

no gradient in 2018

Founded on September 26 2017, 2018 has been the first full year of operation for no gradient. Let’s see what went down.

Viewership in 2018

  • 9,632 site views
  • 5,711 site visitors
  • 1,211 YouTube podcast views (1,296 all time, 1,324% increase)
  • 2,309 podcast downloads (2,742 all time, 433% increase)
  • 169 hours watched by viewers on YouTube (173 all time, 4,125% increase)
  • 2 Patreon supporters

Content Posted in 2018

Top Posts

Top Episodes

Predictions

In 2018, two of my predictions proved correct. Five proved incorrect. Bringing my predictions scoreboard to 3 out of 12, for a batting average of .250.

Correct

Incorrect

Developments

Struggles

  • Traffic to no gradient is entirely reliant on my reddit submission gaining traction. Viewership to no gradient is very low on regular basis.
  • Even when posts do well on reddit, this converts to few email subscribers or followers on Twitter and Facebook. All of which would help create a more consistent readership of no gradient.

Ahead

  • Notable names on the no gradient podcast. I would love to get an over the hill b or c list celebrity with some name recognition to come on the show. Give them a low stakes way to riff in public and hopefully bring no gradient new viewership.
  • More guest contributors. There are many people I know with gold inside them without an outlet. I hope to encourage more people to come on and share.
  • More investigative posts with original research like Yang2020 Presidential Campaign and how not to Accept Cryptocurrency.

Make Peace with the Distance

People hate distance; that is, they are predisposed to want to close the gaps of difference amongst themselves that announce and protrude in everyday encounters with each other. In other words, as human beings, we hold ubiquity not only as the standard to which all acts are measured, but as the highest end to which all acts are ordered. This unyielding desire for ubiquity becomes manifest in two ways: either by pushing others into it, or else by redirecting our own actions to meet it. But it is important to note that this twofold character of de-distancing need not be cognitive, i.e., thematic to internal reflection. In fact, it is so pervasive to and throughout our being that most of the time it either goes unnoticed, or else it gets passed off and disguised as something else. But in either case, the ensuing destruction is no less devastating.

One might find oneself engaged in a certain activity deemed worthwhile for the simple reason that it brings with it a beloved joy. But this joy becomes quickly qualified, not by its holder, but by others. The greater the distance between this activity and the current state of ubiquity, the more this joy becomes leveled down and ultimately destroyed, which brings the inevitable abandonment of the activity altogether. Do not let the things that you love be torn apart by others: make peace with the distance.

David C. Abergel is a philosopher studying at Marquette University.

Yang2020 Presidential Campaign and how not to Accept Cryptocurrency

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Update: The Yang2020 campaign appears to no longer be accepting cryptocurrency donations. A partner of mine filled out the form in December 2018 and never heard back. If you have any information please contact me here.

In July 2018 Andrew Yang’s campaign made headlines by being the first presidential campaign to accept cryptocurrency contributions. Myself and a partner tested their process for accepting cryptocurrency and discovered a severe deficiency that exposes the Yang2020 campaign to bad actors. Let’s walk through their current contribution process, point out the issue, and recommend better alternatives to ensure Yang2020 and other political campaigns doing this in the future do not expose themselves.

Yang2020 Cryptocurrency Contribution Process

  1. Complete their form by supplying name, address, employment info, and the amount and type (Bitcoin or Ether) of cryptocurrency you will be contributing.
  2. Book a 15 minute call with a member of their compliance team.
  3. On the call confirm you will not share the wallet address they give you and also answer the following questions: Are you an American citizen? Are you donating money free of coercion? How did you hear about Andrew Yang? Is there a specific reason why you prefer to donate cryptocurrency over traditional money?
  4. Via email receive the wallet address to send the contributions to.
  5. Send cryptocurrency to the wallet address.
  6. Via email receive a receipt from the campaign.
  7. Yang2020 transfers the cryptocurrency to their Gemini account where they convert it to US dollars.

During the call the representative of the campaign said:

I’m going to share our public address after the call, I’ll email it over to you and we need to make sure you don’t share that. If you were to share that out and people were to send us unsolicited money then we would kind of be screwed just because how strict the FEC guidelines are we wouldn’t be able to account for it.

I then asked if they were giving a different wallet address to each contributor and was told their team is “doing it on a case by case basis to be on top of who’s donating what.” Concerned, I asked what would happen if another contribution was made after mine to the same wallet address. The rep replied:

Based on what the FEC said all the funds in that wallet would become invalid because we wouldn’t be able to account with any certainty what came from where.

The Issue

After the call, the Ethereum and Bitcoin wallet addresses I received were the same exact ones my partner received. Besides the fact that I was told each contributor would be receiving different wallet addresses, sharing out the exact same wallet address to multiple contributors is bad practice if your goal is to keep track of where funds are coming from. Especially given tracking the source of cryptocurrency payments is much more difficult than payments made with a credit card. Furthermore, this increases the chance that a rogue contribution would be sent, thus making all funds in that wallet “invalid.” Suppose a bad actor wanted to invalidate contributions made by others, all they would have to do would be to send another payment after their initial one. This would be further complicated if some of those funds from the wallet had already been converted to US dollars.

Recommendations for Improving the Process

The simplest way for Yang2020 and other campaigns to accept cryptocurrency is to use a payment processor like Coinbase Commerce or CoinGate. This will save campaigns the trouble of having to manage their own wallets and make it much easier to keep track of donations. The other option is to generate a new wallet address for each individual donation, send the funds to your exchange (Yang2020 used Gemini), and never use the wallet again.

Cryptocurrency greatly reduces barriers to entry by opening finance to anyone with a smartphone, but that doesn’t mean it is a silver bullet. Especially for campaign contributions and other transactions where non-anonymity is vital, at least right now fiat currency is going to be safer. I have no doubt that in time it will be very easy to send cryptocurrency transactions that can easily be verified as coming from a specific individual. And on top of that, it will be much easier to determine that the funds an individual is sending are clean. Until then, we are in an in between stage where we must tread carefully.

The Results are in, the US Financial System is Stable

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Intro

The Federal Reserve recently published its first financial stability report, which summarizes the Fed’s framework for assessing the state of the US financial system and presents the Fed’s current evaluation. This is important because the findings outlined in the Fed report are used in the design of future stress tests on the nation’s largest financial institutions and in setting the amount of liquid assets that banks and other financial institutions must have set aside in the event of an emergency. It is also highly informative about the current health of the US financial system and the vulnerable areas that may warrant future monitoring. The report is intended to increase public understanding of the Fed’s processes and transparency about its current view of the financial system, which informed stakeholders can use to predict and prepare for future actions taken by the Fed.

The Framework

The Fed’s framework for assessing the resilience of the financial system focuses on monitoring the vulnerabilities that can build up over time. Vulnerabilities are unstable aspects of the financial system that may lead to more widespread concerns in the event of a downturn or an adverse “shock”, such as a trade war or a debt crisis in the Eurozone. There are four broad categories of financial vulnerabilities that the Fed outlines in its report:

Elevated valuation pressures: High asset prices relative to fundamentals or historical norms, which is generally caused by high investor risk tolerance. When asset prices are elevated, there is a higher likelihood of large drops in asset prices.

Excessive borrowing by businesses and households: Too much borrowing can make businesses and households unstable. Falling incomes or asset values will then lead to deep spending cuts affecting overall economic activity and defaults on loan payments will impact financial institutions’ and investors’ performance.

Excessive leverage within the financial sector: In the event of an adverse shock, highly levered financial institutions are less capable of absorbing losses. This in turn reduces their ability to lend and may force them to sell off assets to offset losses.

Funding risks: The possibility that investors will run on the financial system by withdrawing funds. When a run occurs, financial institutions that do not hold enough liquid assets may have to sell assets quickly, forcing prices down and incurring losses.

The report notes that these vulnerabilities can interact with one another, having cascading effects across the financial system. For example, a severe drop in asset prices and income that impedes a business’ ability to pay back its debts could lead to high default rates, causing losses for investors and financial institutions that may be more difficult to absorb if the banks are highly levered. This could then lead to banks selling off assets, further exacerbating asset price declines.

The Fed’s Findings

Given the Fed’s framework and the broad categories of vulnerabilities, the high level view of the Fed’s findings are as follows:

  • Asset valuations are high relative to historical standards and investors exhibit high risk tolerance.
  • Household borrowing has grown in line with income, but corporate debt relative to GDP is high and there are signs that credit standards have been deteriorating.
  • Financial institutions are well capitalized, leverage is below pre-crisis levels.
  • Funding risks are low. Bank assets are liquid and banks rely more on higher quality capital (core deposits) to fund loans than before the crisis.

Overall, the report paints a positive picture of the US financial system’s health. While there are some vulnerabilities present, as there will be in any economy, the Fed does not deem them to pose a serious threat to the country’s financial stability. After providing a high level overview of the framework and the current assessment of the nation’s financial stability, the Fed report goes into detail on the various vulnerabilities outlined in its framework. Here, we examine some of the most interesting findings.

Asset Valuation Pressures
Not too much of what the Fed had to say about elevated valuations was very surprising or concerning. It does point out that current metrics show that corporate debt, leveraged loans (a riskier form of debt), equities, commercial real estate, farmland and residential real estate are all overvalued. However, while valuations are high relative to historical averages, they are still lower than before the crisis and seem to be somewhat in line with what can be expected during a normal business cycle. There will be a correction at some point, but this really only impacts investors in the short term. What’s more, the resilience of other aspects of the financial system reduces the likelihood that a drop in asset prices has a significant impact on the health of the financial system.

One piece of this section that was interesting, however, is the Fed’s conclusion that spreads on high yield corporate debt remain low despite signs that credit risks are increasing (though they have widened considerably in the weeks since the report’s publication). Spreads on high yield bonds reflect the compensation that investors require for the added default and liquidity risk of high yield debt versus investment grade debt. The fact that spreads remain low in the presence of rising credit risks and deteriorating lending standards may present a market inefficiency as investors are not being compensated for the excess risk they are taking.

Borrowing by Households and Investors
Household debt does not seem to pose much of a threat to US financial stability, with debt mostly growing in line with income. While the report notes that some households still struggle with debt and that student loan delinquencies are still above their long run trend (though decreasing lately), the findings seem mostly positive.

Among businesses, however, the Fed report highlights some troubling credit trends. Business sector debt as a percentage of GDP is high relative to historical trends. There are signs that credit standards are deteriorating for many business loans, with a high level of new loans issued to high leverage firms. In fact, the report notes that the leverage of some firms is near its highest level in 20 years and that firms with high leverage, low earnings and low cash holdings have increased their debt burden the most. However, this is contrasted by the fact that default rates remain at the low end of their historical range. In general, the deteriorating credit standards are a sign that the economy is strong and lenders believe low default rates will persist for the foreseeable future. Of course, lenders have been wrong before and in the event of a slowdown this could present more cause for concern.

Another interesting development highlighted by the Fed report is in the distribution of investment grade debt. The share of investment grade bonds near junk status (otherwise known as high yield) has reached near-record levels. This is important because in the event of a downturn, deteriorating business fundamentals could cause this outsized share of business debt to be downgraded to junk status. Many investment funds have mandates that prohibit them from holding junk bonds, so broad downgrades to junk status would force funds to sell off this risky debt, putting further downward pressure on bond prices.

Of all of the vulnerabilities highlighted in the Fed’s report, those affecting business credit seem to warrant the most continued monitoring.

Leverage in the Financial Sector
Financial institutions were largely vilified for their role in the 2008 financial crisis. They were highly levered and held insufficient assets, both in terms of amount and quality, to cover their liabilities when the downturn in the housing market first hit. Since then, reforms by US government agencies, including the Fed and the SEC, have significantly improved the health of the nation’s financial institutions. The report notes that leverage is generally low. The results of the Fed’s most recent stress tests show that banks would be able to continue their normal lending activity even in the most severe scenarios, which include a steep drop in asset prices, a deep recession and general deterioration of business credit quality.

However, there was one slightly concerning finding. Issuance of collateralized loan obligations(CLOs), a security comprised of a basket of loans, hit $71 billion in the first half of 2018. CLOs are largely backed by a form of risky debt known as a leveraged loan, the quality of which has been deteriorating according to the Fed. So, you have high levels of issuance at the same time that credit standards and credit quality are weakening. If economic conditions worsen, leading to increased default rates, the value of CLOs could fall dramatically. Likely for this reason, the Fed points out that CLOs are a vulnerability it will continue to monitor moving forward.

Funding Risks
There was really nothing to see here in the Fed’s report. Funding risks are low. Banks are relying less on capital that has proved susceptible to runs and more on stable sources of funding such as core deposits. Core deposits are those deposits held by the bank that typically come from local customers that are believed to have low risk of being withdrawn, making them a stable funding source.  Banks also hold a larger number of liquid assets to act as a buffer in accordance with regulatory reforms since the crisis.

Near Term Risks to the Financial Sector
After going in-depth on the various vulnerabilities to the financial system, the Fed report points out some of the notable international developments that could pose a threat in the form of adverse shocks. The main threats pointed out in the report are Brexit, a looming debt crisis in the EU (particularly Italy), problems in China and other emerging economies, trade tensions and geopolitical uncertainty. The importance of China in global economic activity warrants it some extra attention. Growth has been slowing and non financial private debt is now 200% of GDP. The Fed report points out that anything that may impede the ability of Chinese households and businesses to repay their debt could “trigger adverse dynamics.” A downturn that reduces income could increase default rates, further reducing growth and leading to economic and political turmoil in the region. The resulting spillover could reduce global growth and strain the US economy, though the impact would not be nearly as severe in the US as in other regions due to the overall resilience of our financial system as highlighted in the Fed report.

Conclusion

The Federal Reserve’s Financial Stability report shows vast improvements across the US financial system since the 2008 financial crisis. Yes, there are some vulnerabilities within the financial system that could undermine its resilience if left unchecked. Yes, there are some external threats that could affect the broader US economy, such as uncertainty around Brexit, currency crises in emerging markets and global trade tensions. However, the fact that the Federal Reserve is not only aware of these vulnerabilities and threats but has publicly released its findings is an extremely positive sign. The Fed will continue to monitor these vulnerabilities and threats, as will investors, financial institutions and other government agencies, and will be able to take mitigating actions before they can pose a serious risk to the economy. Subsequent financial stability reports, which are expected to be published twice a year, will further inform the status of these vulnerabilities and whether or not any future developments warrant monitoring.

Pat Daly is a regular contributor to no gradient, both as a guest on the podcast and now as a writer.

no gradient 2.0 Debuts at the World Series of Poker

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Justin Dunn- previous podcast guest– debuts the new no gradient look as he competes in the 49th annual World Series of Poker No-Limit Hold’em Championship in beautiful, hot, transactional, Las Vegas, Nevada. Qualifying by winning a smaller tournament, he has survived day one and starts today with 16.5k in chips. We talked game plan and he is in full predator mode telling me “I need to steal what’s on the table before anyone puts any money in by getting them to fold when I sense weakness.” With a short stack, not being aggressive will simply bleed him dry, it’s all in or fall in.

Logan Faerber is the creative genius and illustrator behind the new look, wrapping it up just in time for the shirt to get shipped out to Justin. He recently started his own design firm, Clade Design, and if you need work done, look no further.

You will see the new look rolling out as the podcast album art and on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Patreon, LinkedIn– wherever no gradient is found.

Update: J Dunn went for it and was knocked out on his second day of competition. Best believe no gradient will be sponsoring him next year.

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