My personal experience with Innosilicon A10 Pro (6G) 500Mh ASIC ethash miner
EDIT : This is about the 5G version, not the 6G. Hello, Since there is not much consumers tests online about the Innosilicon A10 (Ethmaster) Pro (5G) at 500Mh, I decided to share my personal experience through an "anonymous" account. I bought it around April 2020, arrived in May but for personal reasons I was only able to turn it on this summer :( The A10 costs me 3242 € + 70 € power supply (Innosilicon 1400W Power Supply) + shipping. I will not reveal where I bought it because this is not an ad, but it was through an european ASIC miner reseller. I know Ethereum 2.0 is coming and I'm aware this is a gamble. I would not advise you to buy it now, especially knowing Eth 2.0 is really coming now, DeFi is pushing at the gates and I heard rumors there is a 750Mh version coming up. So, it is my first ASIC miner, I did some ZEC mining with a 4 x 1080Ti mining rig two years go.
EDIT : EthToDoge pointed out in the comments that the A10 isn't an ASIC technically speaking The A10 is basically a box crammed full of laptop GPUs and some custom firmware and made to look like the Bitcoin ASICS. [Check out the comments for more information]
The A10 mining chains reboots itself every 9 hours on average. When the A10 reboots, it goes into an autotuning mode which can take up to 2 hours, but usually around 1h. When in autotuning, it starts at 0Mh and goes to it's full speed after the autotuning, not mining much during this phase because the autotuning mode causes a lot of invalid shares, up to 20% and going down to 3% when tuning is completed. The chains temperature are around 63°C, I don't know if this is the reason of the reboot. I'll try later on to get a better air flow. I fixed the temperature issue I had by placing in a better ventilated location, temperature is now around 53°C but that didn't fixed the reboot issue. miner web interface, you can see the hashrate drop due to the random reboot Performancesettings I tried balanced and factory modes, and I didn't saw much differences in the reported speed. In a near future I'll have a try with theperformancemode but I will monitor the power consumption when trying since the A10 warns me to pay attention to that when I want to enable performancemode in the web interface. The performance mode consumes around 10% to 15% more electricity than the factory mode, without noticing any difference in the hashrate or stability. I didn't had proper tools to measure the power consumption, my A10 was plugged in an UPS and it's load went from 43% usage to 55% so I'm assuming the difference is the extra power consumption. Changing performance settings causes the miner to go into autotuning. Autoupdate The firmware check is working, but I didn't manage to use the autoupdate. I had no problem to manually download the firmware and upload it, so not really a problem. My device:
Type A10L Controller Version g1 Build Date 15th of July 2020 06:13 AM Platform Version a10l_20200715_061347
EDIT : I upgraded to the new firmware a10l_20200901_053652 but that didn't fixed the reboot issue.
Ok, A little backround. I know hardware and networking. I can build just about any config of a computer. I understand overclocking and undervolting. I can invest around 2,700 for initial investment. So do I buy hardware to build a GPU miner with at least 6 cards or more? Probably RX580 as they are cheap and I have one in my rig. More on that later. Or do I a Asic miner like this I understand a GPU miner is multiple coins and not Bitcoin, and Asic is nothing but Bitcoin. I've done the math on the Asic miner and the ROI in about 3 months with a net gain of about ~10,000 USD a year @ .13 cents per Watt. I've had a hard time finding a solid or semi way of calculating the earnings for a GPU miner. Not only because it is many coins or dedicated to one coin, but there our other variables involved. However I have more control of the hardware if it fails. I dipped my toe into mining with my own rig that has a RX580 fatboy and a AMD Phenom ii x4 955 black edition. I overclocked the GPU and undervolted the CPU to reduce heat since it was hitting 62 cel. The GPU gets 12.5 sol/s and the CPU was getting ~322 h/s. All this added up to ~170 watts and a net of .00218322 BTC/Month. This was all done using Cudo as it was easy to find and setup just to test. This was just a test to see how it would work. I wouldn't use Cudo to full scale as it is a pool and the transfer to a Wallet is pretty steep in relationship to earns. I understand that in a pool you get your share based upon how much of the "work" you did to get find block. So do I build or buy? With that much computation power do I need to join a pool? What software is best for pool or alone? I am comfortable with CLI as long as it's well documented, but would like a remote GUI. Also what is the best wallet with the best fees for transactions. Currently using uphold since I use Brave. I think I covered as much as I could, if you have any questions let me know. Any advice would be great. If I should post this else where let me know please or I could just cross post it. TIA. Be safe, stay safe! Edit: Words and BTC earning was WAY off then I first typed this.
Written bySatoshisAngels Published by read.cash On August 5th 2020, Satoshi’s Angels hosted an AMA for CoinEx on “How BCH and Avalanche Are Bringing Financial Freedom to 6 Billion People” on a Chinese platform Bihu. During the 100-minute event, Haipo Yang of ViaBTC and CoinEx, and Emin Gun Sirer of AVA Labs shared their in-depth views on such topics as different consensus mechanisms, community governance, IPFS, Defi. And Haipo explained why he wants to fork BCH. This is the full text. You can check out the full AMA here (mostly in Chinese with some English translation). https://preview.redd.it/x790bw58axf51.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=03c8af942f8f14d98d5dd693adf9e2a50448d61d Cindy Wang (Satoshi’s Angels): There are news saying that you are to fork BCH. Is it a marketing makeover? Are you serious about it? Haipo Yang: It’s definitely not a marketing makeover. But the details are not decided yet. Over the past three years, the BCH community has gone through multiple discussions from reducing block time, changing mining algorithms, adding smart contracts, etc. But none of these disputes have been well settled. BCH is a big failure in terms of governance. A lack of good governance has made it fall in disorder. It is too decentralized to make progress. You may know that the first BCH block was mined by ViaBTC. And we gave a lot of support to it indeed. But we didn’t dominate the fork. The Chinese community in particular thought I had a lot of influence, but it was not true. I think the whole community is very dissatisfied with Bitcoin ABC, but it is difficult to replace them or change the status quo. So I am thinking of creating a new branch of BCH. The idea is still in early stage. I welcome anyone interested to participate and discuss it with me. Wang: Professor Emin, what’s your attitude to fork? Do you think it’s a good timing to fork BCH? Emin Gun Sirer: I am a big fan of BCH. It adheres to the original vision of Satoshi Nakamoto. I like the technical roadmap of BCH. But just like what Haipo mentioned, BCH lacks a good governance mechanism. There are always something that can cause BCH community to divide itself. But I think it’s not enough to just have a good governance mechanism. There are many good proposals in the community but failed to be adopted in the end. I think BCH needs social leadership to encourage discussion when there are new proposals. Wang: We are all curious to know How Avalanche got its name? I know that Avalanche doesn’t mean well in Chinese. But in English, it’s a very powerful word. Avalanche represents a series of algorithms piling together like a mountain. When decisions slowly form, the ball (nodes in the network) on top of the mountain starts going down the hill on one side, and it gets bigger and bigger, and like an avalanche and it becomes unstoppable, making the transaction final. Wang: Prof. Emin, I know that you are a big blocker. Have you ever considered implementing Avalanche based on BCH? Why create another chain? Sirer: Of course I considered that. Satoshi Nakamoto consensus is wonderful, but the proof-of-work mechanism and Nakamoto consensus base protocols have some shortcomings, such as network latency, and it is hard to scale. Avalanche, instead, is totally different, and is the new biggest breakthrough in the past 45 years. It is flexible, fast, and scalable. I’d love to implement BCH on top of avalanche in the future, to make BCH even better by making 0-conf transactions much more secure. Wang: As an old miner, why did CoinEx Chain choose to “abandon” POW, and turn to POS mechanism? Haipo: Both POW and POS consensus algorithms have their own advantages. POW is not just a consensus algorithm, but also a more transparent and open distribution method of digital currency. Anyone can participate in it through mining. POW is fairer. For a POS-based network, participants must have coins. For example, you need to invest ICO projects to obtain coins. But developers can get a lot of coins almost for free. In addition, POW is more open. Anyone can participate without holding tokens. For example, as long as you have a computer and mining rigs, you can participate in mining. Openness and fairness are two great features of POW. POS is more advanced, safe and efficient. POS is jointly maintained by the token holders, and there is no problem of 51% attacks. Those who hold tokens are more inclined to protect the network than to destroy the network for their own interests. To disrupt the network, you need to buy at least two-thirds of the token, which is very difficult to achieve. And when you actually hold so many coins, it’s barely possible for you to destroy the network. POW has the problem of 51% attack. For example, ETC just suffered the 51% attack on August 3. And the cost to do that is very low. It can be reorganized with only tens of thousands of dollars. This is also a defect of POW. In addition, in terms of TPS and block speed, POS can achieve second-level speed and higher TPS. Therefore, CoinEx Chain chose POS because it can bring a faster transaction experience. This is very important for decentralized exchanges. Both POW and POS have their own advantages. It’s a matter of personal choice. When choosing a consensus mechanism, the choice must be made according to the characteristics of the specific project. https://preview.redd.it/upbayijaaxf51.jpg?width=1055&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=703e3b6a493a76f86bc9045e784d174bde9d3c42 Wang: Ethereum is switching to ETH 2.0. If they succeed, do you think it will lead the next bull market? Sirer: If Ethereum 2.0 can be realized, it must be a huge success. But I doubt it can be launched anytime soon considering that it has been constantly delayed. And even if it comes out, I am not so sure if it will address the core scaling problem. And the main technology in Ethereum 2.0 is sharding. Sharding technology divides the Ethereum networks into small parallel groups, but I think what will happen is everyone wants to be in the same “shard” so the sharding advantages might not be realizable in Ethereum 2.0. Avalanche supports Ethereum’s virtual machine, and Avalanche can realize 1 second level confirmation, while with sharding finalizing confirmation takes 5–6 seconds at best. Avalanche approach to make Ethereum scale is superior to Ethereum 2.0. There are many big players behind Ethereum 2.0, and I wish them success. But I believe that Avalanche will be the fastest and best Smart Contract platform in the crypto space, and it is compatible with Ethereum. Wang: Why is Avalanche a real breakthrough？ Sirer: Avalanche is fundamentally different from previous consensus mechanisms. It’s very fast with TPS surpasses 6500, which is three times that of VISA. Six confirmations can be achieved in one second. Compared with the POW mechanism of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, Avalanche’s participation threshold is very low. It allows multiple virtual machines to be built on the Avalanche protocol. Avalanche is not created to compete with Bitcoin or fiat currencies such as the US dollar and RMB. It’s not made to compete with Ethereum, which is defined as the “world’s computer”. Avalanche is positioned to be an asset issuance platform to tokenize assets in the real world. Wang: How do you rank the importance of community, development, governance, and technology to a public chain? Sirer: These four are like the legs of a table. Every foot is very important. The table cannot stand without strong support. A good community needs to be open to welcome developers and people. Good governance is especially important, to figure out what users need and respect their voices. Development needs to be decentralized. Avalanche has developers all over the world. And it has big companies building on top of Avalanche. Yang: From a long-term perspective, I think governance is the most important thing, which is the same as running a company. In the long run, technology is not important. Blockchain technology is developed based on an open source softwares that are free to the community. Community is also not the most important factor. I think the most important thing is governance. Decentralization is more about technical. For example, Bitcoin, through a decentralized network method, ensures the openness and transparency of data assets, and the data on the chain cannot be tampered with, ensuring that the total amount of coins has a fixed upper limit. But at the governance level, all coins are centralized at some degree. For example, BCH developers can decide to modify the protocol. In a sense, it is the same as managing a company. Historically, the reasons for the success and failure of companies all stem from bad governance. For example, Apple succeeded based on Steve Jobs’s charisma, leadership and the pursuit of user experience. When Jobs was kicked out, Apple suffered great losses. After Jobs returned, he made Apple great again. Issues behind Bitmain is also about governance. Simply put, governance requires leaders who have a longer-term vision and are more capable of coordinating and balancing the resources and interests of all parties to lead the community. In the blockchain world, many people focus on technology. In fact, technology is not enough to make great products. User experience is most important. Users don’t care about the blockchain technology itself, but more concerned about whether it is easy to use and whether it can solve my problem. We need to figure out how to deliver a product like Apple. The pursuit of user experience is also governance in nature. And governance itself lies in the soul of key leaders in the community. Realize tokenization of assets in. https://preview.redd.it/14jf1bvcaxf51.jpg?width=1082&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=c312912142c38de986f42912086e205354162190 Wang: Speaking of asset tokenization, I would like to ask Haipo, do you think the market for assets on the chain is big? Yang: It must be very big. We need to see which assets can be tokenized. Assets that can be tokenized are standardized assets, sush as currencies and securities.
In terms of currency, Tether has issued over 10 billion U.S. dollars. Many people think that’s too much. But I think this market is underestimated. The market for stablecoins in the future must be hundreds of billions or even trillions, especially after the release of Facebook’s Libra. Even US dollar might be issued based on the blockchain in the future.
At present, the settlement of USD currency is through the SWIFT system. But the SWIFT system itself is only a clearing network, a messaging system, not a settlement network. It takes a long time for clearing and settlement, and it is not reliable. But both USDT and USDC can quickly realize cross-border transfers in seconds and realize asset delivery. Even sovereign currencies are likely to be issued on the blockchain. I believe RMB also has such a plan.
Equity and securities markets are the largest market. But they have strict requirements for market access.
Whether a stock is listed on A-shares or in the American markets, it’s hard to obtain them. I believe that the blockchain can completely release the demand through decentralization. It can allow any tiny company or even a project to issue, circulate and finance a token. There may be only tens of thousands of stocks currently traded globally. There are also tens of thousands of tokens in the crypto space. I believe that millions or more of assets will be traded and circulated in the future. This can only be realized through decentralized technology and organization. The market for assets tokenization will be huge. And at present, the entire blockchain technology is still very primitive. Bitcoin and Ethereum only have a few or a dozen TPS, which is far from meeting market demand. This is why CoinEx is committed to building a decentralized Dex public chain. Wang: Avalanche’s paper was first published on IPFS. What do you think of IPFS? Sirer: I personally like IPFS very much. It is a decentralized storage solution. Yang: There is no doubt that IPFS solves the problem of decentralized storage, and can be robust in the blockchain world, and can replace HPPT services. But there are still three problems:
IPFS is not for ordinary users. Everybody needs BCH and BTC, but only developers need IPFS, which is a relatively niche market;
IPFS is more expensive than traditional storage solutions, which further reduces its practicality. In order to achieve decentralization, more copies must be stored, and more hardware devices must be consumed. In the end, these costs will be on to users.
There may be compliance issues. If you use IPFS to store sensitive information, such as info from WikiLeaks, it may end up threatening national security. I doubt that decentralized storage and decentralized public chains can survive under the joint pressure of global governments.
The IPFS project solves certain problems. But from the perspective of application prospects, I am pessimistic. Wang: What do you think of Defi? Yang: I want to talk about the concept first. Broadly speaking, the entire blockchain industry is DeFi in nature. Blockchain is to realize the circulation of currency, equity, and asset value through decentralization. So in a broad sense, blockchain itself is DeFi. In a narrow sense, DeFi is a financial agreement based on smart contracts. DeFi, through smart contracts, can build applications more flexibly. For example, before we could only use Bitcoin to transfer and pay. Now with smart contracts, flexible functions such as lending, exchange, mortgage , etc. are available. The entire blockchain industry is gradually evolving under the conditions of DeFi. DeFi will definitely get greater development in the future. Sirer: I think Defi will definitely have a huge impact. DeFi is not only an innovation in the cryptocurrency field, but also an innovation in the financial field. Wall Street companies have stagnated for years with no innovation. Avalanche fits different DeFi needs, including performance and compliance. In the future, not only will Wall Street simply adopt DeFi, but DeFi will grow into a huge market that will eventually replace the traditional financial system. Questions from the community: 1. How does Avalanche integrate with DeFi? Sirer: At present, all DeFi applications on Avalanche have surpassed Ethereum. What can be achieved on Ethereum can be achieved on Avalanche with better user experience. We are currently connecting with popular DeFi projects such as Compound and MakerDao to add part of or all of their functions. At present, Avalanche is working on decentralized exchange (DEX). The current DEXs are limited by speed and performance but when they are built on top of Avalanche it will be real-time and very fast. 2. How many developers does BCH have? Yang: I think it does not matter how many developers there are. What matters is what should be developed. I watched Jobs’ video the other day, and it inspired me a lot. We are not piecing together technology to see what technology can do. It’s we figure out what we want first and then we use the technology we need. The entire blockchain community worship developers. Such as they call Vitalik “V God”. It’s not necessary to treat developers as wizards. Developers are programmers, and I myself is also a programmer. ViaBTC has a development team of over 100 people, including core members from Copernicus (a dev team formerly belonged to Bitmain). Technically we are very confident to build faster, stabler, and better user experience products.
What’s the difference between a 15 BTC and 35 BTC farm?
Hello Bitfriends I’m a long term holder from years ago, and have about 35 BTC under my control. I want to use the 35 Bitcoins to build a Mining farm business. My research leads me to believe that at this budget, I’m best to fit out a 20 foot or 40 foot shipping container with electrical infrastructure, rent some land in an area with existing electrical infrastructure and cheap electricity and fill them with ASIC miners. This will likely be overseas from my current country, and preliminary research leads me towards countries with lower political risk like Canada. I am in the early stages of information gathering and planning, and would like to open my Mining farm some time between 2020 and 2023, with the long term objective of raising money and eventually building these Mining farms in multiple countries, diversifying our risk while generating bitcoins for myself and shareholders. I am a big bitcoin bull and believe in the project long term. I have owned and managed small businesses before, but have no experience in the world of building data-centres. I like the economics of running a Mining Farm, and want to get my hands dirty, learn how they work, how to build them, and get “in the game”. Does anyone have experience or has been in my place before that can help me navigate from where I am to where I want to go? Questions: • If you were in my position, would you jump right in and start up a mine ASAP - once cheap power and stable geopolitical area is located? or would you try and wait to sell the bitcoins for fiat at the next bubble peak? Or possibly after the capitulation after the next peak - I read that after some time in 2018 lots of new/inefficient miners capitulated and needed to sell their rigs due to the drop in price during which ‘strong’ miners scooped up lots of cheap discounted mining rigs • What’s the difference between a 15 BTC Mining Farm, and a 35 BTC Mining Farm (Assuming that’s the total budget - including travel, legal, mistakes, capex, opex, everything) • How would you do something like this. What type of people are essential to get as part of my “team”? I would be prepared to ‘learn on the job, and spend 1-2 years out at the site learning how to set up and maintain the Mining Farm, but I would need to learn from someone. Should I go to existing miners and ask them for help/guidance, or hire an electrical engineer, or someone with experience and get him on the payroll/some equity in the business (also contribution of capital would be ideal). Or should I find people/companies that build data centres as their usual business and try to get them to help? • Am I a fool to think that it’s possible to mine profitably at this scale, and should I just hodl these coins and get a by the hour job? /s Thanks for reading, and let me know if you have any questions or can help. TLDR: I'm a noob who wants to start mining with 35 BTC as starting capital, despite having never mined before and being non technical. I want to learn the 'trade' and business of building bitcoin data centers without getting rekt.
19 GPU Build with ASUS B250 Mining Expert - 470MH/s
Its my dream to achieve and build a mining rig of this extent. Allow me to describe this journey of mine to the GPU mining community. Kudos to all! Feel free to ask me questions and I would love to help you out.
2017 - Bull Market - Dipped my toes into the GPU mining market. Spent nearly 3k USD, 6x GTX 1060 3GB & 2x GTX 1070ti.
I exited this market back at the very end of the bull run and never touched Bitcoin until 2019. I began to plan my future, created an investment portfolio where I finally included Bitcoin back into my high risk asset class. The resurgence of Bitcoin mining begans :)
2019 - Sold my Ryzen 7 1700 & MB for ASUS B250 Mining Expert with 19 GPU build in mind
RX5700 GPU mining rig vs ASIC miner A10 for Ethereum mining !?
https://preview.redd.it/9txedwr1wy251.jpg?width=1920&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=e91116819600b605ffca6ce830fdd582d3965466 I want to clear out the air about Ethereum mining. The GPU mining vs Asic mining, is Ethereum now Asic mining Algorithm. Can RX5700 most efficient Graphic cards for ETH mining Compete with Asic miner A10. For the last day i have been working on some stats and ROI for 2 types of investment for 12xGPU RX5700 MineBox 12 mining rig and Innosilicon A10 ETH ASIC miner. My goal was to let the data speak about it self and then make a decision what is better investment for ethereum mining GPU or ASIC. Im compering 2 most efficient miners :
ASIC miner Innosilicon A10 , costs 3000usd(specs. 500mh/s at 860w)
Miner price is about the average would it cost to you 12xGPU mining rig might cost you 100-300 cheaper if you would build one yourself. Innosilicon A10 would cost you lot more if you would like to import it out of China. Price would be closer to 3500euro + you would need to buy power-supply for it. I have created google spreadsheet and inserted the GPU data and performance by the current currencies price and mining profitability. Included also my thoughts about advantages and disadvantages using GPU or Asic miner: https://preview.redd.it/mojtvv7yvy251.jpg?width=1234&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=f3384599287ea15a4b6f92ffb973a4019330bdca Opinion based on mining profit data. We can see that MineBox 12 ROI if electric price is free or very cheap is faster then ASIC miner A10. And even at 0.10c a kw/h at current Ethereum price there is only 80day difference on Equipment payback time. But the biggest thing is for example when your miners are paid back your investment. You still are available to resell your MineBox 12 hardware for other use case or just mine different coins. Where with Innosilicon A10 you can throw it into bin as soon as ETHASH coins are not profitable to mine. This is the biggest downside of Asic miners. So to answer your question is ETH asic mining coin. My answer would be Yes ASIC miners are slightly more profitable , BUT they are not worth the risk you are getting by buying one. Also you can see clearly that GPU miners has lot more advantages then Asic miners. The difference on ETH miners are not so noticeable then like it was Bitcoin GPU vs ASIC mining. There is still profit to be made with GPUs mining ETH. If ETH switches to new POW ProgPOW , again another benefit for GPU rigs as the same GPUs are quite efficient mining ProgPow. Buying and Asic miner there is to much risk, saying from experience. Have lost a lot of money, my last adventure bought 5xAntminer S17 back in November and 4 of them hashing boards stopped working after 1st week. Not counting the previous purchases Antminer D3 etc.. Let me guys know what you think about this, would your rather use ASIC miner for mining ETH of GPU miner? video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgVl7pDkkwg&feature=youtu.be
Is worth start mining with the actual situation of the cryptocurrency market?
I've been watching the market for over 3 years now. For those years I've been a student with no money to invest, and now that I'm almost out of the university and I have some money I wanna finally start on this world. For some weeks now I've been working on a planning for building a 6 GPU mining rig, all theoretical earnings calculated with NiceHash & WhatToMine. The actual theoretical profits for this one are like 250 EU month (1.40€/day per GPU) with AMD RX 5700 , having an electricity cost of o.o79EUkWH. I've compared all the actual GPUs on the market, and that's the best one I could find in terms of ROI (I start to get profits after 1 year and 1 month). I've seen some posts talking about much better profits & less ROIs but I couldn't find a better profit for a GPU rig, maybe I'm doing something wrong! To see if the theoretical numbers are right I tested them with an RTX 2060 on my own personal computer and I had a profit of 1.20 EUR /day when the theoretical profit for that GPU was about 0.80 EUR /day. So, after all those weeks comparing, thinking about a long term Investment plan and searching for LOTS of information i conclude that it's worth spending a total of 3000 EUR into mining. Now I wanna ask you guys, with the actual situation of bitcoin (going up and up) and the difficulty raising over time...is it worth investing all that money on GPU mining right now? I'm afraid about investing the money and start to see a massive decrease in my profits, either for bitcoin going down or the difficulty going up nonstop. Also, I've not exposed all my plan, but doing it this way (mining with NiceHash and with 6 AMD RX 5700) is a nice plan or there is something with better profitability/ ROI? Maybe mining myself small cryptos and then exchange them to bitcoin, etc... All knowledge is welcomed. Btw, I'm a computer science engineer, that's why I wanna start on mining instead of trading stocks, because I know how computers work and I think that my knowledge on Pc & GPUs could help me on doing this efficiently. And sorry for my "not so good English", it's my 3rd language! Thanks all. EDIT: I could also buy the GPUs & equipment for the rig on a 2nd hand market, which would totally lower the total price of the rig, reaching ROI faster and if something goes not as expected, have less losses. Ofc buying at a 2nd hand is somehow risky but maybe worthy!
CryptoDiffer teamHello, everyone!We are glad to meet here:Max Freeman (@maxfreeman4), Project Lead at Epic CashYoga Dude (@Yogadude), PR&Marketing at Epic CashXenolink (@Xenolink), Advisor at Epic Cash Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash Thanks Max, we are excited to be here! Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash Hello Everyone! Thank you for having us here! Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash Thank you to the CryptoDiffer team and CryptoDiffer community for hosting us! CryptoDiffer teamLet`s start from the first introduction question:Q1: Can you introduce yourself to the community? What is your background and how did you join Epic Cash? Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash Hello! My background is Marketing and Business Development, I’ve been in crypto since 2011 started with Bitcoin, then Monero in 2014, Ethereum in 2015 and at some point Doge for fun and profit. I joined Epic Cash team in September 2019 handling PR and Marketing. I saw in Epic Cash what was missing in my previous cryptos — things that were missing in Bitcoin and Monero especially. Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash Hello Cryptodiffer Community, I am not an original co-founder nor am I a developer for the Epic Cash project. I am however a community member that is involved in helping scale this project to higher levels. One of the many beauties of Epic Cash is that every single member in the community has the opportunity to be part of EPIC’s team, it can be from development all the way to content producing. Epic Cash is a community driven project. The true Core Team of Epic Cash is our community. I believe a community that is the Core Team is truly powerful. EPIC Cash has one of the freshest and strongest communities I have seen in quite a while. Which is one of the reasons why I became involved in this project. Epic displayed some of the most self community produced content I have seen in a project. I’m actually a doctor of medicine but in terms of my experience in crypto, I have been involved in the industry since 2012 beginning with mining Litecoin. Since then I have been doing deep dive analysis on different projects, investing, and building a network in crypto that I will utilize to help connect and scale Epic in every way I can. To give some credit to those people in my network that have been a part of helping give Epic exposure, I would like to give a special thanks to u/Tetsugan and u/Saurabhblr. Tetsugan has been doing a lot of work for the Japanese community to penetrate the Japanese market, and Japan has already developed a growing interest in Epic. Daku Sarabh the owner and creator of Crypto Daku Robinhooders, I would like to thank him and his community for giving us one of our first large AMA’s, which he has supported our project early and given us a free AMA. Many more to thank but can’t be disclosed. Also thank you to all the Epic Community leaders, developers, and Content producers! Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash I’m Max Freeman, which stands for “Maximum Freedom for Mankind”. I started working on the ideas that would become Epic in 2018. I fell in love with Bitcoin in 2017 but realized that it needs privacy at the base layer, fungibility, better scalability in order to go to the next level. CryptoDiffer team Really interesting backgrounds I must admit, pleasure to see the team that clearly has one vision of the project by being completely decentralized:) Q2: Can you briefly describe what is Epic Cash in 3–5 sentences? What technology stands behind Epic Cash and why it’s better than the existing one? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash I’d like to highlight the differences between Epic and the two highest-valued privacy coin projects, Monero and Zcash. XMR has always-on privacy like Epic does, but at a cost: Its blockchain is over 20x more data intensive than Epic, which limits its possibilities for scalability. Epic’s blockchain is small and light enough to run a full node on cell phones, something that is in our product road map. ZEC by comparison can’t run on low end devices because of its zero knowledge based approach, and only 1% of transactions are fully private. Epic is simply newer, more advanced technology than prior networks thanks to Mimblewimble We will also add more algorithms to widen the range of hardware that can participate in mining. For example, cell phones and tablets based around ARM chips. Millions of people can mine Epic that can’t mine Bitcoin, and that will help grow the network rapidly. There are some great short videos on our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQBFfksJlM97rgrplLRwNUg/videos that explain why we believe we have created something truly special here. Our core architecture derives from Grin, so we are fortunate to benefit on an ongoing basis from their considerable development efforts. We are focused on making our currency truly usable and widely available, beyond a store of value and becoming a true medium of exchange. Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash Well we all have our views, but in a nutshell, we offer things that were missing in the previous cryptos. We have sound fiscal emission schedule matching Bitcoin, but we are vastly more private and faster. Our blockchain is lighter than Bitcoin or Monero and our tech is more scalable. Also, we are unique in that we are mineable with CPUs and GPUs as well as ASICs, giving the broadest population the ability to mine Epic Cash. Plus, you can’t forget FUNGIBILITY 🙂 we are big on that — since you can’t have true privacy without fungibility. Also, please understand, we have HUGE respect to all the cryptos that came before us, we learned a lot from them, and thanks to their mistakes we evolved. Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash To add on, what also makes Epic Cash unique is the ability to decentralize the mining using a tri-algo model of Random X (CPU), Progpow (GPU), and Cuckoo (ASIC) for an ability to do hybrid mining. I believe this is an issue we can see today in Bitcoin having centralized mining and the average user has a costly barrier of entry. To follow up on this one in my opinion one of the things we adopted that we have seen success for , in example Bitcoin and Monero, is a strong community driven coin. I believe having a community driven coin will provide a more organic atmosphere especially when starting with No ICO, or Premine with a fair distribution model for everyone. CryptoDiffer team Q3: What are the major milestones Epic Cash has achieved so far? Maybe you can share with us some exciting plans for future weeks/months? Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash Since we went live in September of 2019, we attracted a very large community of users, miners, investors and contributors from across the world. Epic Cash is a very international project with white papers translated into over 30 languages. We are very much a community driven project; this is very evident from our content and the amount of translations in our white papers and in our social media content. We are constantly working on improving our usability, security and privacy, as well as getting our message and philosophy out into the world to achieve mass adoption. We have a lot of exciting plans for our project, the plan is to make Epic Cash into something that is More than Money. You can tell I am the Marketing guy since my message is less about the actual tech and more about the usability and use cases for Epic Cash, I think our Team and Community have a great mix of technical, practical, social and fiscal experiences. Since we opened our YouTube channels content for community submissions, we have seen our content translated into Spanish, French, German, Polish, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Russian, and other languages Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash Our future development roadmap will be published soon and includes 4 tracks: Usability Mining Core Protocol Ecosystem Development Core Protocol Epic Server 2.9.0 — this release improves the difficulty adjustment and is aimed at making block emission closer to the target 60 seconds, particularly reducing the incidence of extremely short and long blocks — Status: In Development (Testing) Anticipated Release: June 2020 Epic Server 3.0.0 — this completes the rebase to Grin 3.0.0 and serves as the prerequisite to some important functional building blocks for the future of the ecosystem. Specifically, sending via Tor (which eliminates the need to open ports), proof of payment (useful for certain dex applications e.g. Bisq), and our native mobile app. Status: In Development (Testing) Anticipated Release: Fall 2020 Non-Interactive Transactions — this will enhance usability by enabling “fire and forget” send-to-address functionality that users are accustomed to from most cryptocurrencies. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a Scaling Options — when blocks start becoming full, how will we increase capacity? Two obvious options are increasing the block size, as well as a Lightning Network-style Layer 2 structure. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a Confidential Assets — Similar to Raven, Tari, and Beam, the ability to create independently tradable assets that ride on the Epic Blockchain. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a Usability GUI Wallet 2.0 — Restore from seed words and various usability enhancements — Status: Needs Assessment Anticipated Release: Fall 2020 Mobile App — Native mobile experience for iOS and Android. Status: In Development (Testing) Anticipated Release: Winter 2020 Telegram Integration — Anonymous payments over the Telegram network, bot functionality for groups. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a Mining RandomX on ARM — Our 4th PoW algorithm, this will enable tablets, cell phones, and low power devices such as Raspberry Pi to participate in mining. Status: Needs Assessment Anticipated Release: n/a The economics of mining Epic are extremely compelling for countries that have free or extremely cheap electricity, since anyone with an ordinary PC can mine. Individual people around the world can simply run the miner and earn meaningful money (imagine Venezuela for example), something that has not been possible since the very early days of Bitcoin. Ecosystem Development Atomic Swaps — Connecting Epic to other blockchains in a trustless way, starting with ETH so that Epic can trade on DeFi infrastructure such as Uniswap, Kyber, etc. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash From the Community aspect, we have been further developing our community international reach. We have been seeing an increase in interest from South America, China, Russia, Japan, Italy, and the Philippines. We are working on targeting more countries. We truly aim to be a decentralized project that is open to everyone worldwide. CryptoDiffer team Great, thank you for your answers, we now can move to community questions part! Cryptodiffer Community You have 3 mining algorithms, the question is: how do they not compete with each other? Is there any benefit of mining on the GPU and CPU if someone is mining on the ASIC? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash The block selection is deterministic, so that every 100 blocks, 60% are for RandomX (CPU), 38% for ProgPow (GPU), and 2% for Cuckoo (ASIC) — the policy is flexible so that we can have as many algorithms with any percentages we want. The goal is to make the most decentralized and resilient network possible, and with that in mind we are excited to work on enabling tablets and cell phones to mine, since that opens it up to millions of people that otherwise can’t take part. Cryptodiffer Community To Run a project smoothly, Funding is very important, From where does the Funding/revenue come from? Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash Yes, early on this was realized and in order to scale a project funds are indeed needed. Epic Cash did not start with any funding and no ICO and was organically genesis mined with no pre-mine. Epic cash is also a nonprofit community driven project similar to Monero. There is no profit-driven entity in the picture. To overcome the revenue issue Epic Cash setup a development fund tax that decreases 1% every year until 2028 when Epic Cash reaches singularity with Bitcoin emissions. Currently it is at 7.77%. This will help support the scaling of the project. Cryptodiffer Community Hi! In your experience working also with MONERO can you please clarify which are those identified problems that EPIC CASH aims to develop and resolve? What’s the main advantage that EPIC CASH has over MONERO? Thank you! Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash First, I must admit that I am still a huge fan and HODLer of Monero. That said: ✅ our blockchain is MUCH lighter than Monero’s ✅ our transaction processing speed is much faster ✅ our address-less blockchain is more private ✅ Epic Cash can be mined with CPU (RandomX) GPU (ProgPow) and Cuckoo, whereas Monero migrated to RandomX and currently only mineable with CPU Cryptodiffer Community
the feature ‘Cut Through’ deletes old data, how is it decided which data will be deletes, and what are the consequences of it for the platform and therefore the users?
On your website I see links to download Epic wallet and mining software for Linux,Windows and MacOs, I am a user of android, is there a version for me, or does it have a release date?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
This is one of the most exciting features of Mimblewimble, which is its extraordinary ability to compress blockchain data. In Bitcoin, the entire history of a coin must be replayed every time it is spent, and comprehensive details are permanently stored in the blockchain. Epic discards spent transaction inputs and consolidates outputs, storing neither addresses or amounts, only a tiny kernel to allow sender and receiver to prove their transaction.
The Vitex mobile app is great for today, and we have a native mobile app for iOS and Android in the works as well.
Cryptodiffer Community $EPIC Have total Supply of 21,000,000 EPIC , is there any burning plan? Or Buyback program to maintain $EPIC price in the future? Who is Epic Biggest competitors? And what’s makes epic better than competitors? Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash We respect the older generation coins like Bitcoin. But we have learned that the supply economics of Bitcoin is very sound. Until today we can witness how the Bitcoin is being adopted institutionally and by retail. We match the 21 million BTC supply economics because it is an inelastic fixed model which makes the long-term economics very sound. To have an elastic model of burning tokens or printing tokens will not have a solid economic future. Take for example the USD which is an inflating supply. In terms of competitors we look at everyone in crypto with respect and also learn from everyone. If we had to compare to other Mimblewimble tech coins, Grin is an inelastic forever inflating supply which in the long term is not sound economics. Beam however is an inelastic model but is formed as a corporation. The fair distribution is not there because of the permanent revenue model setup for them. Epic Cash a non-profit development tax fund model for scaling purposes that will disappear by 2028’s singularity. Cryptodiffer Community What your plans in place for global expansion, are you focusing on only market at this time? Or focus on building and developing or getting customers and users, or partnerships? Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash Since we are a community project, we have many developers, in addition to the core team. Our plans for Global expansion are simple — we have advocates in different regions addressing their audiences in their native languages. We are growing organically, by explaining our ideology and usability. The idea is to grow beyond needing a fiat bridge for crypto use, but to rather replace fiat with our borderless, private and fungible crypto so people can use it to get goods and services without using banks. We are not limiting ourselves to one particular demographic — Epic Cash is a valid solution for the gamers, investors, techie and non techie people, and the unbanked. Cryptodiffer Community EPIC confidential coin! Did you have any problems with the regulators? And there will be no problems with listing on centralized exchanges? Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash In terms of structure, we are carefully set up to minimize these concerns. Without a company or investors in the picture, and having raised no funds, there is little scope to attack in terms of securities laws. Bitcoin and Ethereum are widely acknowledged as acceptable, and we follow in their well-established footprints in that respect. Centralized exchanges already trade other privacy coins, so we don’t see this as much of an issue either. In general, decentralized p2p exchange options are more interesting than today’s centralized platforms. They are more censorship resistant, secure, and privacy-protecting. As the technology gets better, they should continue to gain market share and that’s why we’re proud to be partnered with Vitex, whose exchange and mobile app work very well. Cryptodiffer Community What are the main utility and real-life usage of the #EPIC As an investor, why should we invest in the #EPIC project as a long-term investment? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash Because our blockchain is so light (only 1.16gb currently, and grows very slowly) it is naturally well suited to become a decentralized mobile money standard because people can run a full node on their phone, guaranteeing the security of their funds. Scalability in Bitcoin requires complicated and compromised workarounds such as Lightning Network and light clients, and these problems are solved in Epic. With our forthcoming Mobile Mining app, hundreds of millions of cell phones and tablets will be able to easily join the network. People can quickly and cheaply send money to one another, fulfilling the long-envisioned promise of P2P electronic cash. As an investor, it’s important to ask a few key questions. Bitcoin Standard tokenomics of disinflation and a fixed supply are well proven over a decade now. We follow this model exactly, with a permanently synchronized supply from 2028, and 4 emission halvings from now until then, with our first one in about two weeks. Beyond that, we can apply some simple logical tests. What is more valuable, money that can only be used in some cases (censorable Bitcoin based on a lack of fungibility) or money that can be used universally? (fungible Epic based on always-on privacy by default). Epic is also poised to be a more decentralized and therefore resilient network because of wider participation in mining. Epic is designed to be Bitcoin++ Privacy, Fungibility, Scalability Cryptodiffer Community Q1. What are advantages for choosing three mining algorithms RandomX+, ProgPow and CuckAToo31+ ? Q2. Beam and Grin use MimbleWimble protocol, so what are difference for Epic? All of you will be friends for partners or competitors? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash RandomX and ProgPow are designed to use the entirety of a CPU / GPU’s unique processing capabilities in a way that other types of hardware don’t work as well. You can run RandomX on a GPU but it doesn’t work nearly as well as a much cheaper CPU, for example. Cuckoo is a “memory hard” algorithm that widens the range of companies that can produce the hardware. Grin and Beam are great projects and we’ve learned a lot from them. We inherited our first codebase from Grin’s excellent Rust design, which is a better language for community participation than C++ that Beam currently uses. Functionally, Mimblewimble is similar across the 3 coins, with standard Confidential Transactions, CoinJoin, Dandelion++, Schnorr Signatures and other advanced features. Grin is primarily ASIC-targeted, Beam is GPU-targeted, and Epic is multi-hardware. The biggest differences though are in tokenomics and project structure. Grin has permanent inflation of 60 coins per block with no halvings, which means steady erosion of value over time due to new supply pressure. It also lacks a steady funding model, making future development in jeopardy, particularly as the per coin price falls. Beam has a for-profit model with heavy early inflation and a high developer tax. Epic builds on the strengths of these earlier mimblewimble projects and addresses the parts that could be improved. Cryptodiffer Community Some privacy coin has scalability issues! How Epic cash will solve scalability issues? Why you choose randomX consensus algorithem? Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash Fungibility means that you can’t distinguish one unit of currency from another, in example Gold. Fungibility has recently become a hot issue as people have been noticing Bitcoins being locked up by exchanges which may of had a nefarious history which are called Tainted Coins. In example coins that have been involved in a hack, darknet market transactions, or even processing coin through a mixer. Today we can already see freshly mined Bitcoins being sold at a premium price to avoid the fungibility problem Bitcoin carries today. Bitcoin can be tracked by chainalysis and is not a fungible cryptocurrency. One of the features that Epic has is privacy with added fungibility, because of Mimblewimble technology, Epic has no addresses recorded and therefore nothing can be tracked by chainalysis. Below I provide a link of an example of what the lack of fungibility is resulting in today with Bitcoin. One of the reasons why we chose the Random X algo. is because of the easy barrier of entry and also to further decentralize the mining. Random X algo can be mined on old computers or laptops. We also have 2 other algos Progpow (GPU), and Cuckoo (ASIC) to create a wider decentralization of mining methods for Epic. Cryptodiffer Community I’m a newbie in crypto and blockchain so how will Epic Cash team target and educate people who don’t know about blockchain and crypto? What is the uniqueness of Epic Cash that cannot be found in other project that´s been released so far ? Yoga Dude Pr&Marketing at Epic Cash Actually, while we have our white paper translated into over 30 languages, we are more focused on explaining our uses and advantages rather than cold specs. Our tech is solid, but we not get hung up on pure tech talk which most casual users do not need to or care to understand. As long as our fundamentals and tech are secure and user friendly our primary goal is to educate about use cases and market potential. The uniqueness of Epic Cash is its amalgamation of “whats good” in other cryptos. We use Mimblewimble for privacy and anonymity. Our blockchain is much lighter than our competitors. We are the only Mimblewimble crypto to use a unique cocktail of mining algorithms allowing to be mined by casual miners with gaming rigs and laptops, while remaining friendly to GPU and CPU farmers. The “uniqueness” is learning from the mistakes of those who came before us, we evolved and learned, which is why our privacy is better, we are faster, we are fungible, we offer diverse mining and so on. We are the best blend — thats powerful and unique Cryptodiffer Community Can you share EPIC’s vision for decentralized finance (DEFI)? What features do EPIC have to support DEFI? Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash We view Epic as ideally suited to be the decentralized digital reserve asset of the new Private Internet of Money that’s emerging. At a technology level, atomic swaps can be created to build liquidity bridges so that wrapped Epic tokens (like WBTC, WETH) can trade on other networks as ERC20, BEP2, NEP5, VIP180, Algorand and so on. There is more Bitcoin value locked on Ethereum than in Lightning Network, so we will similarly integrate Epic so that it can trade on networks such as Uniswap, Kyber, and so on. Longer term, if there is market demand for it, thanks to Scriptless Script functionality our blockchain has, we can build “Confidential Assets” (which Raven, Tari, and Beam are all also working on) that enable people to create tokenized assets in a private way. Cryptodiffer Community If you could choose one celebrity to promote Epic-cash, who that would be? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash I am a firm believer that the strength of the project lies in allowing community members to become their own celebrities, if their content is good enough the community will propel them to celebrity status. Organic celebrities with small but loyal following are vastly more beneficial than big name professional shills with inflated but non caring audiences. I remember the early days of Apple when an enthusiastic dude named Guy Kawasaki became Apple Evangelist, he was literally going around stores that sold Apple and visited user groups and Evangelized his belief in Apple. This guy became a Legend and helped Apple become what it is today. Epic Cash will have its OWN Celebrities Cryptodiffer Community How does $EPIC solve scalability of transactions? Current blockchains face issues with scalability a lot, how does $EPIC creates a solution to it? Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash Epic Cash is utilizing Mimblewimble technology. Besides the privacy & fungibility aspect of the tech. There is the scalability features of it. It is implemented into Epic by transaction cut-through. Which means it allows nodes to remove all intermediate transactions, thus significantly reducing the blockchain size without affecting its validation. Mimblewimble also does not use addresses like a BTC address, and amount of transactions are also not recorded. One problem Monero and Bitcoin are facing now is scalability. It is evident today that data is getting more expensive and that will be a problem in the long run for those coins. Epic is 90% lighter and more scalable compared to Monero and Bitcoin. Cryptodiffer Community what are the ways that Epic Cash generates profits/revenue to maintain your project and what is its revenue model ? How can it make benefit win-win to both invester and your project ? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash There is a block subsidy of 7.77% that declines 1.11% per year until 0, where it stays after that. As a nonprofit community effort, this extremely modest amount goes much further than in other projects, which often take 20, 30, even 50+ % of the coin supply. We believe that this ongoing funding model best aligns the long term incentives for all participants and balances the compromises between the ends of the centralized/decentralized spectrum of choices that any project must make. Cryptodiffer Community Q1 : What are your major goals to archive in the next 3–4 years? Q2 : What are your plans to expand and gain more adoption? Yoga Dude Pr&Marketing at Epic Cash Max already talked about our technical plans and goals in his roadmap. Allow me to talk more about the non technical 😁 We are aiming for broader reach in the non technical more mainstream community — this is a big challenge but we believe it is doable. By offering simpler ways to mine Epic Cash (with smart phones for example), and by doing more education we will achieve the holy grail of crypto — moving past the fiat bridges and getting Epic Cash to be accepted as means of payment for goods and services. We will accomplish this by working with regional advocacy groups, community interaction, off-line promotional activities and diverse social media targeting. Cryptodiffer Community It seems to me that EpicCash will have its first Halving, right? Why a halving so soon? Is a mobile version feasible? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash Our supply emission catches up to that of Bitcoin’s first 19 years after 8 years in Epic, so that requires more frequent halvings. Today’s block emission is 16, next up are 8, 4, 2, and then finally 0.15625. After that, the supply of Epic and that of BTC stay synchronized until maxing out at 21m coins in 2140. Today we have a mobile wallet through the Vitex app, a native mobile wallet coming, and are working on mobile mining. Cryptodiffer Community What markets will you add after that? Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash Well, we are aiming to have ALL markets Epic Cash in its final iteration will be usable by everyone everywhere regardless of their technical expertise. We are not limiting ourselves to the technocrats, one of our main goals is to help the billions of unbanked. We want everyone to be able to mine, buy, and most of all USE Epic Cash — gamers, farmers, soccer moms, students, retirees, everyone really — even bankers (well once we defeat the banking industry) We will continue building on the multilingual diversity of our global community adding support and advocacy groups in more countries in more languages. Epic Cash is More than Money and its for Everyone. Cryptodiffer Community Almost, all cryptocurrencies are decentralized & no-one knows who owns that cryptocurrencies ! then also, why Privacy is needed? hats the advantages of Private coins? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash With a public transparent blockchain such as Bitcoin, you are permanently posting a detailed history of your money movements open for anyone to see (not just legitimate authorities, either!) — It would be considered crazy to post your credit card or bank statements to Twitter, but that’s what is happening every time you send a transaction that is not private. This excellent video from community contributor Spencer Lambert https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0blbfmvCq\_4 explains better than I can. Privacy is not just for criminals, it’s for everyone. Do you want your landlord to increase the rent when he sees that you get a raise? Your insurance company to raise your healthcare costs because they see you buying too much ice cream? If you’re a business, do you want your employees to see how much money their coworkers make? Do you want your competitors to trace your supplier and customer relationships? Of course not. By privacy being default for everyone, cryptocurrency can be used in a much wider range of situations without unacceptable compromises. Cryptodiffer Community What are the main utility and real-life usage of the #EPIC As an investor, why should we invest in the #EPIC project as a long-term investment? Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash Epic Cash can be used as a Private and Fungible store of value, medium of exchange, and unit of account. As Epic Cash grows and becomes adopted it can be compared to how Bitcoin and Monero is used and adopted as well. As Epic is adopted by the masses, it can be accepted as a medium of exchange for store owners and as fungible payments without the worry of having money that is tainted. Epic Cash as a store of value may be a good long term aspect of investment to consider. Epic Cash carries an inelastic fixed supply economic model of 21 million coins. There will be 5 halvings which this month of June will be our first halving of epic. From a block reward of 16 Epic reduced to 8. If we look at BTC’s price action and history of their halvings it has been proven and show that there has been an increase in value due to the scarcity and from halvings a reduction of # of BTC’s mined per block. An inelastic supply model like Bitcoin provides proof of the circulating supply compared to the total supply by the history of it’s Price action which is evident in long term charts since the birth of Bitcoin. EPIC Plans to have 5 halvings before the year 2028 to match the emissions of Bitcoin which we call the singularity event. Below is a chart displaying our halvings model approaching singularity. Once bitcoin and cryptocurrency becomes adopted mainstream, the fungibility problem will be more noticed by the general public. Privacy coins and the features of fungibility/scalability will most likely be sought over. Right now a majority of people believe that all cryptocurrency is fungible. However, that is not true. We can already see Chainalysis confirming that they can trace and track and even for other well-known privacy coins today such as Z-Cash. Cryptodiffer Community
You aim to reach support from a global community, what are your plans to get spanish speakers involved into Epic Cash? And emerging markets like the african
How am I secure I won’t be affected by receiving tainted money?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash Native speakers from our community are working to raise awareness in key markets such as mining in Argentina and Venezuela for Spanish (Roberto Navarro called Epic “the holy grail of cryptocurrency” and Ethiopia and certain North African countries that have the lowest electricity costs in the world. Remittances between USA and Latin American countries are expensive and slow, so Epic is also perfect for people to send money back home as well. Cryptodiffer Community Do EPICs in 2020 focus more on research and coding, or on sales and implementation? Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash We will definitely continue to work on research and coding, with emphasis on improved accessibility (especially via smartphones) usability, security and privacy. In terms of financial infrastructure will continuing to add exchanges both KYC and non KYC. Big part of our plans is in ongoing Marketing and PR outreach. The idea is to make Epic Cash a viral sensation of sorts. If we can get Epic Cash adopters to spread the word and tell their family, coworkers and friends about Epic Cash — there will be no stopping us and to help that happen we have a growing army of content creators, and supporters. Everyone with skin in the game gets the benefit of advancing the cause. Folks also, this isn’t an answer to the question but an example of a real-world Epic Cash content — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtAVEqKGgqY a challenge from one of our content creators to beat his 21 pull ups and get 100 epics! This has not been claimed yet — people need to step up 🙂 and to help that I will match another 100 Epic Cash to the first person to beat this Cryptodiffer Community I was watching some videos explaining how to send and receive transactions in EpicCash, which consists of ports and sending links, my question is why this is so, which, for now, looks complex? Let’s talk about the economic model, can EpicCash comply with the concept of value reserve? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash In V3, which is coming later this summer, Epic can be sent over Tor, which eliminates this issue of port opening, even though using tools like ngrok.io, it’s not necessarily as painful as directly configuring the router ports. Early Lightning Network had this issue as well and it’s something we have a plan to address via research into non-interactive transactions. “Fire and Forget” payments to an address, as people are used to in Bitcoin, is coming to Epic and we’re excited to develop functionality that other advanced mimblewimble coins don’t yet have. We are committed to constant improvement in usability and utility, to make our money system the ease of use leader. We are involved in the project (anyone can join the Freeman Family) because we believe that simply by choosing to use a form of money that better aligns with our ideals, that we can make a positive change in the world. Some of my thoughts about how I got involved are here: https://medium.com/epic-cash/the-freeman-family-e3b9c3b3f166 Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash Huge thanks to our friends Maks and Vladyslav, we welcome everyone to come say hi at one of our friendly communities. It is extremely early in this journey, our market cap is only 0.5m right now, whereas the 3 other mimblewimble coins are at $20m, $30m and $100m respectively. Epic is a historic opportunity to follow in the footsteps of legends such as Bitcoin and Monero, and we hope to become the first Top 5 privacy coin project. Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash Would like to Thank the Cryptodiffer Team and the Cryptodiffer community for hosting us and also engaging with us to learn more about Epic. If anyone else has more questions and wants to know more about EPIC , can find us at our telegram channel at https://t.me/EpicCash . Yoga Dude Pr&Marketing at Epic Cash Thank you, CryptoDiffer Team, and this wonderful Community!!! Cryptodiffer TEAM Thank you everyone for taking your time and asking great questions Thank you for your time, it was an insightful session Spread the love
Building my first rig with 6 GPUs using an Asus B250 MB, looking for advice
New member so please be gentle. I have been micro mining for a few months now (with my GTX 1060 and my new RTX 2080 ti) and want to step up my game a notch. I have my sites set on building the following system with the specs listed below so far. Any input on why I should not use a specific item or why I should use a certain item would be greatly appreciated! 1. Kingwin Bitcoin Miner Rig Case W/ 6, or 8 GPU Mining Stackable Frame x 1: I have expansion in mind with this frame. It's stackable and ounces I ROI my first rig I plan on tossing a second level on to it. This frame is currently selling for around $50. Kingwin Bitcoin Miner Rig Case W/ 6, or 8 GPU Mining Stackable Frame 2. ROSEWILL Gaming 80 Plus Gold 1600W Power Supply (HERCULES-1600S) x 1: The heart of any rig, the power! I like this one for it's 1600W and it's price. Currently running around $200. ROSEWILL Gaming 80 Plus Gold 1600W Power Supply (HERCULES-1600S) 3. ASUS B250 MINING EXPERT Motherboard x 1: This motherboard is being used with expansion in mind. I want to start with 6 GPUs then build on that. Currently running around $140. ASUS MINING EXPERT Motherboard (B250) 4. VOLADOR PCI-E Riser 1x to 16x Powered Riser Adapter Card (USB3) x 6: Standard USB 3.0 risers. They come in a six-pack for about $20. VOLADOR PCI-E Riser 1x to 16x Powered Riser Adapter Card (USB3) 5. XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX Edition (RX-580P8DFD6) x 6: Currently cheaper than the Sapphire below. These are currently running around $170. XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX Edition (RX-580P8DFD6) 5-ALT. Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 580 8GB (11265-05-20G) - BACKUP CHOICE GPU: This is what I was looking at first then I found the cheaper XFX Radeon's above. These are currently running around $180. Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 580 8GB (11265-05-20G) 6. CPU: Currently I do not have any CPUs in mind to use for this rig. I know I don't need a beefy CPU for running Windows. I plan on ONLY mining with GPUs in this rig. Suggestions are welcome! 7. Memory: Currently I do not have any memory in my sites. Suggestions are welcome! 8. Harddrive: I plan on using a simple 128GB USB thumb drive for the hard drive right now. Possibly something like an SSD if needed, but plan on using USB flash drive to start. Pros/Cons suggestions welcome! I think I my video my endeavor and show everyone how fun/frustrating it all was. Catching all the pitfalls in hopes of helping others out etc. But first I need to have a plan and that's what this is. I need to do some lite research, get a good shopping list, make a payment plan, and an ROI schedule. Any feedback that the community could give me would be very helpful because I only know about 80% of what I need to know to build this rig. The 20% is the overclocking, bios issues (MB and gpu), and general knowledge of building a mining rig. I expect there to be pitfalls and parts I didn't think of until I start the build.
AMD Threadripper 3970x - My adventure so far (Will edit as I go)
I own a gaming community called Unknown Skies gaming (For a little Context) and we are planning a server upgrade. Currently we have a Dell R620 with Dual E5-2690 V2's Running @ 3.3Ghz, has 196GB Ram. The game we host on this rig is called Empyrion Galactic Survival. The reason for the upgrade is currently the server just isnt high end enough to continue supporting our target playerbase of 100 players, and Performance has dipped due to the game being alpha and the devs are not doing much to improve server side efficiency. Back in 7.0 we could host 150 players on this machine, now it struggles with 60... Yeah big change in 2 years. After a lot of research... I can clearly see Intel Xeon Gold 6154 CPUs (2 of them) do not outperform even the R9 3950x according to passmark. The price of these used intel servers is stunningly high on the used market... Dual 18 Core XG 6154 Processors with 128gb ram (Dell R740 I think, feel free to correct me) cost right around 10,000$ USD Used give or take 1000$ or so... And get stomped on by an 800$ Single Socket CPU... Thats new and has a warranty... I get that it doesnt support as much memory... But Dang... So I looked into threadripper... HOLY SHAT!! The 3970x hits 60k+ in passmark... And the ENTIRE system with a custom cooling loop is less than 6 Grand? Thats nuts to me! Amazing Deal! Im sad all my servers and rigs are intel hahahahaha. What we need, What im aiming for, and my thought process - Feel free to leave thoughts and suggestions.. AMD Threadripper 3970x (Because High Per thread throughput matters due to shit code, and more players on a playfield means more cpu usage on that thread, Lots of threads matter as every playfield opens a new PlayfieldServer.exe and is its own instance so the more spread out players are, the more cores you need to spread out workload. 32 cores 64 threads... NICE) Corsair Vengeance LPX 256 GB (8 x 32 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory (Each player uses around 1-3gb ram, 2 on average, goal was 100 Players) ASRock TRX40 TAICHI ATX sTRX4 Motherboard (Thought this was a solid selection given the options I saw) EVGA 1000 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply SHOULD be sufficient with a closed loop water cooler, all SSD's and not requiring a gaming GPU (Plan on a 1050ti / 1050 at most) Case im using is a modified 4U rackmount case with 3x 120mm fans going in the front, radiator behind those. Could NOT find one that I didnt have to modify. Went with El-cheapo option cause imma be drilling it and modding it internally - RosewillServerChassis Server Case Rackmount Case for BitcoinMining4U off ebay I think it will work, and if not I have a file server that would LOVE the home LMAO. So it was well worth the Chance. Water cooling Solution I settled on was a Thermaltake Floe TR4 Edition. I thought about using a Custom Cooling loop, but by the time I priced everything out the way I would do it... It came out to like 500$ ish LMAO. The above cooler From what I can tell should be sufficient, and should fit in the case i chose. Tight fit, but should fit. Im excitedly looking forward to the build :) Anyone have any experience with any of this and care to chime in?
Ive been researching bitcoin mining etc all night now, I semi got into it in 2016 but only made 3 cents a day, so I quit, but I just found NiceHash and wanted to see if this idea I had was realistic or not or I should just give up. I had an idea to build a 5 gpu rig of 580 8gb and run them 24/7. The profitability counter says I would make something around like 65$ a month. I already factored in my power too, it seems like I could make a lot then just keep upgrading. Say I have no power bill? How much do you think 5 580 8gbs would make in a month on nicehash? I was thinking of just getting the profit and upgrade and build more and more. Is this a realistic goal, or is 5 580s just worthless and I should give up on it now.
**What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.** I would like to play the newer games like Cyberpunk and Doom Eternal. I am also planning to buy either an Oculus Rift S or the Valve Index to play Half Life: Alyx. **What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?** ~£1000 but im willing to go higher or lower if the upgrades make a difference **When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.** Maybe in a week or two, but im not sure if i should wait for this whole pandemic to blow over. Has it affected part prices? **What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc\)** I have a keyboard and mouse, as well as a monitor but its an old 60hz smart TV. **Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?** UK **If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated.** Might reuse monitor, but its 60hz. **Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?** I dont know the first thing about overclocking but if the PC is good then i dont see a reason why i would bother, just seems unnecessary. **Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc)** Perhaps an SSD for OS and a few important programs like CAD software, and a 1T HDD? **Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-towefull-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?** As long as it doesnt look like an office computer and isnt made of cardboard, i dont mind. Im not prioritising a flashy spinny light up rig, it would look out of place at worst. **Do you need a copy of Windows included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference?** I would need a version of Windows 10, preferably Home edition unless theres something better about the others? **Extra info or particulars:** Like i mentioned, is it worth upgrading my monitor? I wouldnt mind since i can just give it away to a friend. Also, would you recommend i buy now or wait for the pandemic to die down a bit? Has it impacted prices? I remember a while ago people were saying to not buy any GPU's because of the whole bitcoin mining business putting them all out of stock, is that still a thing? Im out of the loop. Final thing is: Rift S or Index for your particular builds? Thanks for the help.
06-13 08:24 - 'Scams on bitcoin beware' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/FoxShots removed from /r/Bitcoin within 535-545min
''' There are a lot of these scams going around where you invest €100 into a mining rig to get more profit I tried one of these and got scammed €300 and now I’m needing to make the money back as I am short on rent and my landlord is banging on my door every morning waking me and my 5 month old daughter up which is wrong I’m trying to get the police out to this guys house as I got his information. I can link numbers below as it be good to get a cases filed up and sue him Dm me if you got scammed and let’s try match the numbers to build a case ''' Scams on bitcoin beware Go1dfish undelete link unreddit undelete link Author: FoxShots
Have you ever contemplated what you would change or relive if given the opportunity to time travel? I remember this hilarious movie called “Hot Tub Time Machine” that gave some middle aged men that exact opportunity. They were allowed to reinvent themselves and take advantage of missed opportunities that took place during their youth. The movie was as far from reality as you could possibly imagine, but still made me contemplate my life and the decisions I made along the way. If I had a Hot Tub Time Machine, would I be sitting here typing this blog or would I be flying in a helicopter somewhere. I remember being fascinated with helicopters as a child and wanted to fly a Huey like the ones used during the Vietnam era. Of course I was an underachiever during high school and chose a different path in life before I even realized the consequences of my actions. That dream went out the window like so many others to follow. Life is funny; I hated school as a young adult and was more worried about girls and popularity. If I used a Hot Tub Time Machine and went back in time today, I would choose to be a be a book worm. I realize that no one and nothing really matters other than my education while in high school. I should have listened to my mother who told me that all good things will come in time and stop worrying about the unimportant things like fashion, cars, and etc. But, I went down the road like many others and I wish I could redo my entire high school and college career which came later in life. Cryptocurrency has been a hobby/obsession of mine for a few years now and I always tell my wife, “Some guy is driving a Lambo in Miami right now because of Bitcoin.” I actually heard of Bitcoin when its price evaluation was about $300 a coin. I actually played around with attempting to build a mining rig one day and quickly lost interest after spending about 3 hours on a misguided project. I did successfully build a mining rig, but this was after Bitcoin had reached all-time highs of $19,000. What if I was given a Hot Tube Time Machine, would I go back to 2013 and reinvent my future? I would be a millionaire right now and my life would be completely different. As I hope you already realize, money does not bring happiness, but it does make things a hell of a lot easier. But at what cost would changes come. If I used my own little imaginary Hot Tub Time Machine, how many of my children would have been born. Would I have even met much less married my wife. And yes, I still enjoy her company usually, but have to be happily married and honest to understand that joke. There would be even more severe ramification to changing your past that you probably haven’t even thought of yet. What about all the people I have come into contact with over the years? I am sure that changing the past would have changed the future for countless thousands of people, since everyone in the world is removed from each other by only 6 people. This is called Six Degrees of Separation and is worth a quick read. It is a quite interesting theory and makes a lot of since when you think about all the people you have come into contact with during your life. There are many decisions that I made in the past that I wish I could change, but those changes would remove some results of those decisions that I quite enjoy. I feel it is essential that one must become a peace with the choices they have made throughout their life and focus on the future only. You cannot recreate the past for good reason, but the future is a completely different story. Even right now as I am typing I have done something that will affect my future or others. You and I must realize that the clock is ticking and we must take advantage of the time given to us on this earth. We do not need a Hot Tub Time Machine to make us happy, we just need to make wise decisions today and we will be able to enjoy the results tomorrow https://truelifeblogs.com/2020/05/do-i-need-a-hot-tub-time-machine/
I earned about 4000% more btc with my android tablet than with a $250 ASIC mini rig setup using GekkoScience Newpac USB miners!
Requirements: 1.) Android Device with access to Google Play Store. *I haven't tried yet but you may be able to use tis on Android TV devces as well by sideloading. If anyone has success before I try, let me know! -Note, I did this with a Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 so its a newer more powerful device. If your android is older, your profts will most likely be less than what I earned but to give a projected range I also tested on my Raspberry Pi 4 running a custom LineageOS rom that doesn't allow the OS to make full use of the Pi's specs and I still got 500 h/s on that with Cloud boost, so about 60% of what my Tab 6 with MUCH Higher Specs does. **Hey guys. Before I get started i just wanted to be clear about one thing. Yes I have seen those scammy posts sharing "miracle" boosts and fixes. I have a hard time believing stuff online anymore. But this is honestly real. Ill attach photos and explain the whole story and process below. Thanks for taking the time to read and feel free to share any thoughts, concerns, tips, etc* So last week I finally got started with my first mini rig type mining build. I started getting into crypto about a year ago and it has taken me a long time to even grasp half of the projects out there but its been fun thus far! Anyways my rig was 2 GekkoScience Newpac USB miners, a Moonlander USB miner to pair with an FPGA i already had mining, a 10 port 60W 3.0 USB hub and 2 usb fans. The Newpacs actually are hashing at a combined 280 g/s which is actually better than their reported max hash rate when overclocked. Pleasant surpise and they are simple!! I just wanted to get a moonlander because my fpga already mines on Odocrypt for DGB and I just wanted to experience Scrypt mining and help build the DGB project. The Newpacs are mining BTC though. After I got everything up and running i checked my payout daily average after 1 week. I averaged .01 a day TOTAL between all three miners with them all perforing ABOVE SPEC!!! I had done research so i knew I wouldnt earn much. More than anything i just wanted to learn. But still. I was kinda surprised in a negative way. Yesterday I actually earned less than .01 Frustrated I went back to scouring the web for new ideas. About a year ago, when II was starting, I saw an app on my iphone called CryptoBrowser that claimed to mine btc on your phone without actually using phone resources using a method of cloud mining. I tried it for a week and quit because I earned like .03 after a ton of use and seemed scammy. Plus my iphone actually would get very hot when doing this so I quit using it as it seemed like a possible scam with all the cryptonight browser mining hacks and malware out there. Anyways I was on my Galaxy Tab S6 and saw that CryptoBrowser released a "PRO" edition for 3.99 on Google Play. I bought it for Sh*ts and giggles and booted it up. It came with what they called "Cloud Boost" Essentially this is a button you press and it multiplys the estimated hashrate that it gives you device by the number shown on the boost button. (With the purchase of PRO you get one free x10 boost. You can purchase additional boosts to use with other android devices but those are actually pretty pricy. Another x10 boost was like $25 if i remember correctly). I played with it for about an hour to see if it actually worked like it said it would this time. To my surprise, as i was browsing, my device didnt increase in temperature AT ALL!!!!! I checked my tast manager to confirm and it was indeed true, my memory and usage barely went up. it was giving me an estimated range of 80-105 on the hashrate. Once i pushed the x10 boost button, that went to 800-1150 h/s. I switched my screen to not go to sleep, plugged it to the charge and let it run on the browser page, hashing. When you push the boost button, it runs for 3 hours at the boosted speeds. After that it goes back to normal but if you press the button again, it boosts everything again. There is no limit to how many times you use it. After checking what I earned after 24 hours, I HAD MADE .40 in BTC!!!!! I JUST EARNED OVER 4000% MORE THAN MY $280 MINING RIG EARNED ME!!!! I was blown away. Maybe this was a fluke? I did it again next day. Every 3 hours or so I would push the button again but thats all. Sure enough, .35 that day. Also, it realy BTC. I requested a payout and although it took like 12 hours for them to send me an email stating they had just sent it, I actually did recieve the state amount of BTC within 24 hours in my personal wallet. The fees to send are SUPER LOW!. Like .01 Below I will list the steps I took, along with an explanation of thier "Mining" process on Androids. Reminder, this ONLY WORKS ON ANDROIDS. Also DO NOT use cryptobrowser on a physcal laptop or desktop. I ran it on an old laptop for three days last year and it fried it. It does actually use your hardware on those platforms to mine and it is not efficnet at all as I suspect they prob steal over half of your power for themselves using the REAL RandomX protocol via browser mining which is EXTREMELY INEFFICIENT DONT TRY IT!! -----How To Do This Yourself: Cryptotab Browser states the program works on Android devices by estimating what it thinks the hashrate would be for your device specs and siimulates what you would mine in a remote server however you still earn that estimated coin amount. It is not a SHA-256 process or coin that they say is mining, rather it is XMR and they swap that and pay it out to you in BTC Bitcoin. However I know damn well my Tab S6 doesnt hash 80-105 h/s on RandomX because I have done it with a moodified XMRig module i ported to Android. I got 5 h/s a sec if I was getting any hashes at all. But thats besides the point as I still was making money. Now, when you press that cloud boost button it immediately boosts that hash rate it estimates by the number on the cloud boost. As stated above, you can purchase more boosts and gift them or use them on extra android devices that you may have. Again, they are pricey so I'm not doing that plus it would just mean that I have another device that I have to leave on and open. The boosts come in x2, x4, x6, x8 and x10 variants. Again, they have unlimited uses. Here is the link to grab yourself CryptoBrowser Pro from CryptoTab. This IS A REFERRAL LINK! This is where I benefit from doing tis tutorial. Like i said, I want to be transparent as this is not a scam but I'm also not doing this out of the love of my heart. Their referral system works in that people that use the donwload the app using your link are your stage 1 referrals. Anytime they are mining, you earn a 15% bonus. So say they mine $.30 one day. You would get paid out an additional $.045 in your own balance (it does not come out of the referred user balance fyi so no worries). Then lets say that referred miner also gets their own referrals. I would get a 10% bonus on whatever THOSE people mine. This goes on and on for like 8 tiers. Each tier the bonus percntage essential halves. So again, I stand to benefit from this but it also is stupid to not make this visible as its WAY CHEAPER, EASIER AND MORE PROFITABLE TO GET BTC USING THIS METHOD THAN IT IS USING ASICS!! THIS EARNS ALMOST AS MUCH BTC AS AN ANTMINER S7 DOES RUNNING 24/7 ONLY WITHOUT THE HUGE ELLECTRICTY BILL AND COSTS!!!!) Thats it. Again, if you have concerns, let me know or if you have suggestions, other tips, etc... mention those as well!!! https://cryptotabbrowser.com/8557319 Links to Picture Proof http://imgur.com/gallery/P13bEsB
So I just found an old journal from 2007 with a bitcoin wallet address and balance on it, whilst trying to recover the wallet I stumbled upon the fact that bitcoin wasn't invented until 2009 which simply is not possible as I have the dated journal entry and did not live with my father after 2007 and he's the one who introduced me to bitcoin and helped me build my first mining rig. I know this isn't enough to prove the effect to the world but after this I am 100% convinced that I'm not in the same universe that I started out in.
I’ve been losing sleep. I don’t think I’m particularly special in that regard, I think everyone has been losing sleep these days. A global pandemic tends to do that to people. Yet the thing that has been keeping me awake isn’t the virus. I’ve been losing sleep over an old couch I once crossed paths with. It’s been eight years, I want to believe that I’ve put the past behind me, but being locked in a house for a couple of weeks has made it impossible to not dwell on the past. The memory of the couch started off as a fleeting thought over my morning coffee, but as days have turned into weeks that memory has grown into a distinct vision of madness. What I saw during those three drunken nights in December of 2012 has become an unavoidable part of reality. I can’t rest until I process it. So since we have a nice little Internet campfire going here I figured I would tell you guys a story. Hopefully it will let me put this whole part of my past to rest and maybe it will take your mind off of what is happening outside. So kick back and let me tell you a tale of love and loss, of broken teenage hearts, of surviving in a crumbling world. Let me tell you a story about the couch that tried to seduce me. I was nineteen, hung-over and heartbroken. I was also stuck in a foreign country. Well, to call Estonia a foreign country would be a bit of a long shot, I had lived there for a good five years of my life. It was in Estonia that I lived out most of my teenage years. This was where I had smoked my first cigarette, had my first drink, fell in love for the first time. I was dragged in when I was thirteen by my parents; they had business in Tallinn and wherever they went I went. At eighteen, when my parent’s contracts ran out, I was forced back home. Their business with Estonia was done. Mine was not. By nineteen I was back. As soon as I got off the plane I turned my phone on and checked my messages. She didn’t write to me. My soul, positioned somewhere slightly above my abdomen, twitched in discomfort. It was a familiar twitch, I had felt it in the bus to the airport, I had felt it in the security check, I had felt it when I boarded the flight to Tallinn and as soon as I got off the plane the twitch was back with a vengeance. The discomfort I was feeling in my chest was a realization. It was the realization that I had emptied out most of my already slim bank account on a one-way ticket halfway across the continent to see my old high-school sweetheart who wasn’t interested in seeing me. It was the realization that as much as I consciously knew the trip was a bad idea, I couldn’t resist going. I dragged my feet towards the arrivals hall. When it became obvious that Saale was dodging my messages I panicked. There was no place for me to crash, I had no money for a flight, hell, I had no money for food. As I boarded the plane to Estonia I sent off a panicked text message to my old band-mate: ‘Made horrible mistake. Landing in Tallinn in three hours. Can I crash at yours?’ Within two minutes there was a reply: ‘OK. Will come with Maarja. See you soon.’ Karl wasn’t very chatty, but he was always there when needed. The two of them were waiting for me as soon as I walked out into the arrival hall. They barely changed. Karl was still a giant of man. His long hair had gotten longer and the beard he had rocked since seventeen had gotten thicker, the guy looked like Jesus on steroids if Jesus was really into heavy metal and wore glasses. Next to Karl stood Maarja, she wore a garish yellow coat. The pink streak in her hair she’d been so proud of back in middle school was pinker than ever. “JAAMEEES! YOU’RE BACK!” Maarja yelled in her high-pitched faux-English accent before nearly tackling me to the ground. “It’s been too long honey! Too long!” She hadn’t changed a bit since I left the country. Maarja was still a pint-sized bolt of energy. The two of them made for an odd couple. “Welcome back, Friend,” Karl said after Maarja was done squeezing me. He wasn’t one for physical contact, Karl settled on a simple pat on the shoulder that challenged my entire skeletal structure. The three of us made our way outside to catch a bus to the center. Even after living in Estonia for five years I still wasn’t used to the winters. As soon as we walked out into the sub-zero temperature I felt decidedly like a foreigner. We caught up on the small things while we waited for the bus. Karl and Maarja had officially moved in together, the band that Karl and me started up in high-school had broken up, Maarja was in the process of getting a bachelors degree of psychology and Karl was really into some crypto-currency stuff that went completely over my head. I couldn’t get much out of me; the cold was taking a real toll on my system. Whenever I opened my mouth to talk about my miserable little life I simply ended up chattering my teeth. As soon as we got on the bus I threw myself at the nearest heating vent. “So, James,” Maarja said as soon as we got on the bus, “You still talk to Saale?” When I turned away from the heater to face her she froze, “I mean, we don’t have to talk about, forget I asked.” “Do I look that bad?” While Maarja searched for a diplomatic answer Karl stepped in with his special brand of honesty, “You look very tired and unhappy.” “Well, I am happy to see you guys and I am excited to be here, but, yeah,” I decided to get the conversation out of the way, “We tried two months of long-distance, but Skype only gets you so far. Broke up in late July. After we split we agreed to not talk for a couple of months, to give each other some time to clear the system and all that. Keeping radio silence was hard at first but after a couple of weeks I started to get used to it. I was learning to live without her. Things were starting to straighten up, I even took a stab at dating but when the holidays rolled around the loneliness came back. On Christmas I figured I’d throw Saale a holiday message. She wrote back. We started chatting on a daily basis.” The bus bounced through my old neighborhood. Memories of my drunken youth jumped at me from every corner, most of those memories involved Saale. “Last night we got pretty drunk,” I continued, “Things got flirty. We started talking about what we would do if we weren’t half a continent away from each other. She mentioned her parents were out of town until the end of January on some sort of an anniversary trip. I offered to fly in. She told me I should. Now I’m here.” “She changed her mind?” Karl asked. “She didn’t think I was serious about flying over. Didn’t exactly check with her before I bought the ticket. She flipped out when I got it, told me to get a refund and then hung up on me when I insisted on meeting up. She hasn’t answered any of my messages since.” A part of me felt good to get the story out of my system but saying it out loud just added to the absurdity. I could have not bought the ticket, I could have gotten a refund, I could have not gotten on that plane. Everything could have been avoided, but nineteen year old me leaped at the opportunity for a grand romantic gesture like a hungry animal. “Very strange,” Karl finally said after considering my story. He shot a look over to Maarja, as if she was the ambassador to all women-kind, “Very strange, right?” Maarja shrugged. Maarja’s house was the crown jewel of my high-school social life. It was a three-apartment unit that was built at some point before the world wars. This place was old, as you would walk around the little apartment it would creak, but it made for a perfect party place. Maarja had inherited the apartment from her grandma at sixteen; the Estonians saw child rearing as a fairly independent process. If she couldn’t survive on her own at sixteen she probably couldn’t make it at thirty, a bit of responsibility would prepare her for the frigid world outside. Maarja used her newly found independence to throw the biggest house parties that the neighborhood had ever seen. Maarja’s place was perfect for booze filled gatherings. It was spacious enough to hold any drinking game we could dream up, there was a nice terrace for smoking and the neighbors were either deaf, completely apathetic about teenage drinking or both. As soon as the front door opened I was assaulted by memories. Visions of drunken nights on the floor of the living room, of hung-over mornings of the kitchen; the old apartment breathed with the past. For a split second a wave of gratitude for a youth well spent washed over me, but then I remembered that each of those fond memories had an element I wanted to block out. Most of the fun I had in the apartment had been with Saale by my side. Maarja and Karl still slept on an old mattress on the floor, the walls were still covered with cut outs of boy-bands that Maarja had stuck to the wall in her tweens. The only thing that changed about their bedroom was the addition of a massive computer rig on the table. There were strange ventilators and cooling tubes and blinking lights, the machine looked like something straight out of a sci-fi flick. “That’s my mining rig,” Karl said proudly. I nodded as if I understood what he was talking about. “Where are the rats?” I asked, noticing the empty cage on Maarja’s wardrobe. Back in the day Maarja had two rats, Fritz and The Duchess. She would keep them in the cage most of the time, but whenever the night reached a certain point of drunkenness Maarja would sneak over to her bedroom and come out with the two animals. If you saw Maarja with two rats running up and down her body you knew the night was really going to become a rager. “The Duchess died last week,” Maarja said with a glint of sorrow, “Fritz wasn’t taking it well. Think the little guy was depressed being in the cage all alone, so I’m letting him roam around the house for the time being. Hopefully a bit of freedom will cheer him up.” As if he had heard his name, Fritz peeked out from behind the wardrobe. The albino rat raised his snout in the air, sniffed for a bit and then lumbered off to the living room. The years had taken their toll on Fritz, he no longer moved with the youthful energy I was used to, but the one part of him that I remembered had not changed. Fritz still had balls that were disproportionately giant to his body. As he moved away from us he dragged them behind him with Sisyphean effort. “So, which hostel are you crashing at?” Maarja asked. A lump manifested in my throat. I looked around the cramped apartment. Outside of the mattress there was nowhere for me to sleep. I didn’t have any money for a hostel. “Ah, I’m just kidding. You’re crashing here. We owe you anyway,” Maarja said with good cheer. “For what?” I asked, relieved that I wasn’t homeless. “Financing the booze and cigarettes back in the day, might have ended up a nun if it weren’t for you,” she said with a grin. It was true, throughout high school I had been the main financier of our misadventures, my parents had foreign money and that money went pretty far by Estonian standards. More importantly though; when everyone was sixteen I looked twelve. According to the law of teen streets, the late bloomer provides the dough for those who can buy stuff without ID. “You’ll sleep on the couch, we just haven’t had the time to get it out of the garage. How about you and Karl drag it in while I make some tea?” Even though it was a bright winter day outside the garage was in near darkness. The only thing that illuminated the cramped musty room was a single ray of light shining in through a cracked skylight. The garage was covered in flimsy shelves that buckled beneath the weight of greasy machine parts. In the center of the garage lay a couch shaped object covered with a large, stained cloth. Karl grabbed ahold the cloth and was about to pull it away, but a thought struck him. “James, if I tell you something will you not tell Maarja?” He asked, letting the cloth drop back down to the floor. He looked straight at me; his small eyes were probing me for trustworthiness. “Well, depends on what it is,” I said, “Don’t need help burying a body, right?” “No,” Karl’s intensity broke into a smile, “It is nothing illegal. Just a secret.” He strode towards one of the rickety shelves and plunged his hand deep into its depths. After a moment of rustling he pulled out a small box. He opened it. Even though the garage was dark, and even though the diamond was tiny, you could see a little glimmer. Karl’s eyes shone twice as bright. “Wow man,” I said, realizing how quickly the world was moving on, “Congratulations!” Maarja and Karl would get married and I would be at their wedding alone. As I stood in that garage the thought that I would always be alone gushed dread through my veins. We used to joke about how Saale and me would get hitched before the two of them did. Those jokes felt cruel now. Maarja and Karl would get married and one day Saale would get married too. She would get married to someone who wasn’t me. “I’m really happy for you.” “I want to ask her father soon. He does not like me much, but I think I can show him that I can provide for his daughter. This Bitcoin thing will be big soon James, in a couple of years me and Maarja will be rich.” Karl put the box back into its hiding place. “Promise not to tell her, yes?” “Promise,” I said with as much candor as I could muster, but my mind was elsewhere. My mind was floating disembodied in a bright church, watching my would-be-wife get married to someone else. “James,” Karl’s paw on my shoulder brought me back into reality, “You will be okay. I know you are worried about Saale, but you still have us. We will drink this away.” He smiled. I tried to smile back. “Let’s get this couch, shall we?” He pulled away at the cloth that covered the couch. Enough dust flew off into the air to send us both into a coughing fit. The room danced with dirty particles. Yet from behind the veil of powder I could see it. I could see the couch. The thing was ancient, a couch straight out of the early days of the Soviet Union. Its flowery upholstery was covered in stains that just screamed history. It was as if the piece of furniture had been used for barricades in the defense of Stalingrad and lived to talk about it. Filth filled its rumpled cloth, it stood on firm wooden legs that seemed to have survived multiple generations of being clawed at, it was as if the thing was simply biding its time until its true masters came back to retrieve it. The couch was old, but somehow in that dark garage, in that gust of earthly smoke, there was something alluring about it. It looked ratty but comfortable, even inviting. For a split second I was sure that the couch had winked at me with its cushioning. Then the dust settled and it was just a piece of furniture. Karl grabbed one side of the couch, I grabbed the other and we started to haul the thing towards the living room. We had left the garage, but there was still tension in the air. I was still thinking about Saale getting married to someone who wasn’t me. It was still as if Karl and me were meant to have a serious discussion. Neither of us were comfortable. “I lost my virginity on this couch,” I shared, hoping to relax the situation. Karl grinned, accepting the levity, “Gross.” We dragged the couch to the living room and then joined Maarja in the kitchen. Back in the day her kitchen table was the go-to place to gather before drinking and after drinking. We would sit around and shoot the shit and wait for someone to drop off the booze for the evening or the hung-over pizza for the morning. Yet as we sat there, trying to make small talk, one of the chairs was empty and it made all the difference. I couldn’t focus on anything that was being said around me, all I could think about was how Saale used to sit next to me. All I could think about were her long legs on my lap, her long fiery hair, her laughter. “How about we sweeten the evening with a bit of moonshine?” Maarja asked, as she fished a clear bottle out of the kitchen counter, “Karl and me are going to lunch with my parents tomorrow though, so no hangovers.” Karl cheered on the promise of alcohol, but not even drink could lift my spirits. My eyes shifted from Saale’s empty seat to the couch. All I wanted to do was lie down and fall asleep for a thousand years. “Guys, I appreciate the hospitality but I’m really tired. How about we drink tomorrow?” I said. Karl and Maarja looked concerned, this was the first time they had ever seen me refuse booze. “Are you sure you’re okay honey? We can talk about it if you want to,” Maarja suggested. I insisted I was fine; I just needed to get some rest. That didn’t convince her, but she yielded, “Well, we’ll be in my room if you need us.” Her and Karl shuffled off to her bedroom. I laid down on the couch. From the other room I could hear them talk. Maarja talked in concerned whispers whilst Karl spoke at full volume, it didn’t make much of a difference, even after five years of being in the country I still couldn’t understand Estonian. I could hear my name being mentioned though. They were concerned about the emotional wreck that was crashing on their couch. I dragged my friends into my mess. It was all so humiliating; I was far from home, broke and broken. I wanted to die. ‘Easy there Tiger, don’t think like that,’ a faint voice emerged from the back of my head, ‘Things might not seem great right now, but look on the bright side, at least you’re on a comfortable couch.’ The voice was right; the couch was indeed comfortable. ‘All you need is a bit of a distraction to forget about your broken heart. Some booze, some dope, maybe a bit of love and you’ll be good as new.’ It was as if the suave voice turned a switch in my mind. Suddenly the tightness in my chest eased, a burst of joy started to bubble in my abdomen. My fingers started to trace the sides of the upholstery. The voice giggled, ‘That’s the spirit Tiger, just relax, you’re fine as long as you’re here with me.’ The universe felt lighter, my feelings of dread faded away and were replaced with an electric anticipation. I needed a drink to celebrate. I opened the door to Maarja’s bedroom. She was lounging on the mattress reading a psych textbook. Karl was watching bar graphs on the computer. “Hey guys,” I peeked in, “I feel a bit better now, how about those drinks?” They both grinned. We drank. In the moment I didn’t give much thought to the voice in my head, my internal monologue was turned up a notch since the break-up anyway. I was used to hearing thoughts that I consciously didn’t want to consider; the silky voice that was telling me that things would be okay was a welcome distraction. I sunk into the couch and I let the night carry me away. ‘See Tiger? Isn’t it nice to be here? Isn’t life just swell on this little old couch?’ it would say. I nodded along. We drank more. All thoughts of avoiding hangovers were let go; the liquor poured freely. At some point Maarja emerged out of her room with Fritz on her shoulder. We celebrated the tradition of our youth but the rat was sluggish, far too old to crawl around on her body. After a couple of minutes Maarja gave up on playing with the rat. She put him on the ground. Fritz simply walked around the room dragging his testacles behind him like a ball and chain. We drank more. Karl lumbered up to his feet and went to fetch his guitar. Maarja was out having a cigarette. I was far too comfortable on the couch. Having a moment to myself I watched the rat. Fritz had spent the past couple of minutes roaming the living room and sniffing at my backpack. Yet suddenly something caught his attention, he sniffed at the air, his whiskers bouncing in curiosity. Then he looked towards the couch. The old rat sprung to his hind legs and turned towards me. It was as if his beady eyes were locked to the piece of furniture. ‘Oh Tiger, don’t think about the stupid rat. Look, here comes Karl, let’s stop thinking about stupid things and listen to him play.’ Oh and how he could play. To say that Karl lacked warmth would be an understatement, communicating with the guy often felt like having a conversation with a pile of awkwardly stacked encyclopedias, but as soon as he would bring out the guitar he would ooze personality. Somehow, with those hulking fingers of his, Karl had managed to make the strings sing the gentlest of tones. Maarja and me sang along out of key as the night went on. ‘Just like the good old days, Tiger, you’re here and you’re happy. Focus on the positives, focus on the present,’ the voice told me. I followed the advice, until I couldn’t. It was as if a spell had been broken. As soon as I heard those opening chords, as soon as I realized what Karl was playing my stomach sank. It was that Rolling Stones song. Saale and me had danced to it once upon a time. Memories of our first night together came rushing into my mind. The Saale shaped hole in my heart throbbed with pain. I got up to splash some water on my face. Karl shifted his performance into a serenade for Maarja. The tiles in the bathroom were freezing but I was willing to withstand the pain if it meant I could get further away from the song. I stood there, willing to wait it out, but the memories just kept on floating back. I was standing in the same bathroom I stood in the night that I met Saale. I could see traces of a sixteen-year old in my face. The music kept on building. Saale’s lily perfume filled my nostrils. I could remember the fullness of her lips before our first kiss. The images were cascading on top of each other, ripping away at my sanity, ready to plunge me into a panic attack. But then they stopped. The music stopped. I peeked out of the door. Karl had chucked his guitar over to the side. His serenade had given way to a heavy make out session. Him and Maarja were all over each other. “Guys, I’m going to go out for a cigarette,” I announced. The two of them looked up at me dazed and drunk. “Take the keys honey, I think we’re going to bed.” I hoped that the dial tone would block out Maarja’s moans but it didn’t. Not only did I have to listen to a loving couple have sex, I also had to listen to world’s quietest dial tone as I was reminded that Saale did not want to talk to me. I stood out there in the freezing cold smoking one cigarette after another. It was just me, the starless sky and Maarja’s moans. Karl lasted for a quarter a pack before their bedroom quieted down. I tried calling Saale one more time and then went back inside. By the time I stumbled to the couch I could already hear snoring coming from the bedroom. But there was another sound in the apartment, something much quieter, something I almost didn’t notice. Scratching. Luckily I managed to prop myself up against the couch before I sat on him. As I tried to regain my balance I realized just how drunk I was. Fritz was on the couch, furiously scratching into its upholstery. He looked up at the drunken figure hovering over him for a split second and then went back to work. Those little claws scratched with the ferocity of a pup. It was as if Fritz was two years younger. I picked him up by his scruff and tried taking him off the couch. When I lifted him off the ground the rat seemed confused for just a split second before- ‘Aiiieee’ Fritz screamed the world’s tiniest scream and then bit me in the finger. He dropped to the ground and ran beneath a nearby wardrobe. He hid beneath it and watched me. I was too drunk and tired to care. I laid down on the couch and exhaled. ‘Welcome back Tiger, you look tired. Let me keep you company. Yes, life is hard, but if you really appreciate the moment it can be pretty enjoyable. Lie down here, let me keep you hold you. Let’s get to know each other better.’ I could smell floral perfume. I closed my eyes and drifted off to a deep sleep. (Next part)
In 2012 a Possessed Couch Told Me To Murder My Friends
Part 1, Part 2 As I walked through the IKEA showroom I felt distressed. I wanted to sit down, I needed to sit down, but all of the couches around me looked like they would cause me severe back pain. They were lit up with fancy lights and smelled faintly of disinfectant, the whole showroom felt like the world’s fanciest hospital. I desperately searched among the rows for something that would make me comfortable, but my search seemed hopeless. I walked around aimlessly, until, as if by divine intervention, I noticed a maintenance room in the corner of the showroom. As I opened the door a cloud of smoke escaped the abyss that hid beyond. The darkness before me beckoned, ‘Come here Tiger,’ it whispered. I walked into the hallway. The door behind me closed. As I journeyed through the corridor the smoke grew more intense, but so did my certainty that I would find what I was looking for. At first it was only my footsteps that echoed through the darkness, but as I walked on I could hear a far off radio playing. A familiar song by the Stones grew louder as I approached a room at the end of the hall. Yet the music was soon joined by sobs. Someone was crying. A fluorescent light bulb crackled in and out of life, yet it was strong enough to illuminate the small room. A dark haired man in a worker’s uniform sat by the edge of a familiar couch as he finished off stitching the last bits of its flowery upholstery. He wept as he pulled out the thread and needle. His face was caked in grime, but the tears created two clear lines down his cheeks. When he saw me he wiped away his tears and got up. The man composed himself, lit a cigarette and walked over to me. He gave the couch one last look, but it wasn’t a look of sorrow, it was a look of pride. The man looked back at the couch as if he had just walked his daughter down the isle. Then he motioned towards it. ‘Come here Tiger, I’ve been waiting for you,’ the couch growled with sex in its tone. I stepped towards the couch. The electricity in the air was back and stronger than before. ‘I can make your wildest dreams come true Tiger. I can make you believe in a heaven. All you have to do is fuck me.’ I reached out for the couch, all of my nerve endings tingled with anticipation. I was millimeters away from nirvana. The universe had its gaze set on me and was about to reveal all of its secrets but then- My hand started to shake. It was gentle at first but soon the convulsions spread through my arm. Within moments I was down on the floor, my body throwing itself from side to side uncontrollably. The light bulb grew bright with a deafening scream. The world was crumbling at its axis. POP! The room was plunged into darkness. “James? James, wake up,” Karl’s shadow stood above me. It was early morning; the room was still dim with dawn. Karl held two cigarettes in his hands, “We should go have a cigarette, friend.” I was horribly dazed; his words didn’t make a lick of sense. The only thing that seemed understandable was the voice in the back of my head, ‘Don’t listen to him Tiger, he wants to take me away from you. Don’t let him get between our love.’ I stirred on the couch. My fingers were deep in the upholstery. “I don’t feel like smoking right now Karl.” Karl didn’t move. “James, we have to take the couch outside. It doesn’t belong in this house anymore. You and me should also have a cigarette, we need to talk.” ‘He wants to hurt me Tiger, don’t let him hurt me, do something. He has to be stopped.’ I yawned and tried to look as sleepy as possible but Karl’s eyes stayed on me. “Mind if I nap for like fifteen more minutes?” I asked. “James,” he started. His voice was cold, “We need to take the couch outside. We need to talk.” I waited for the voice in my head to tell me what to do but it fell quiet. I was abandoned. “Okay, fine, no better way to start a morning than a bit of furniture moving and a smoke.” I lumbered off of the couch, put on my pants and reached for one end of the couch. “What’s wrong with your hand?” Karl asked. I looked down. My fingers were covered in a thick layer of red, as if I had spent the whole night eating Cheetos. They were also bloated; my nails looked comically small nestled in between thick puffs of red flesh. I waited for the couch to tell me what to do, but it still kept quiet. “I dunno, spent a good amount of time outside without gloves,” I finally said. Karl looked over at my other hand, my perfectly normal hand that didn’t spend the night inside of the couch, but he didn’t say anything. We carried the couch outside in silence. It was oddly warm outside. There were still small piles of snow spread through the yard but the neighborhood looked more like a muddy war zone rather than a winter wonderland. The couch remained silent until we dropped it off in the middle of the backyard. ‘There’s a knife in the kitchen, Tiger,’ it whispered. Karl lit up his cigarette and offered me the lighter. “I forgot my coat, give me a sec,” I said. I walked back into the apartment to fetch it. I went past the kitchen. When I walked out of the apartment Karl was standing far off from the couch. He didn’t register me walking out; his attention was purely focused on the mysterious furniture. Something was going on behind those small eyes of his. My bloated hand was shoved deep into the coat of my pocket. ‘You know what to do Tiger,’ the voice whispered, ‘He wants to take me away from you, but you can stop him. Be my hero Tiger, be my hero and I will bring you incomprehensible pleasure.’ I walked towards Karl. I was shaking. “Want to sit?” I finally asked, dragging his attention away from the couch. Karl motioned towards the lawn chair, “You can sit if you want to.” He lit up my cigarette. ‘One clean cut Tiger, he won’t see it coming, one clean cut through his throat.’ I didn’t sit. Karl’s eyes drifted back towards the couch. “There is something wrong with that couch James,” he started. “I was nervous yesterday. Maarja’s parents have always been very critical of me. They think I am strange. Whenever I meet them they talk to me like I have escaped from a mental asylum, like there is something wrong with me. But yesterday was different James. Yesterday they made an effort. Maarja’s mother complimented me on my tie and her father was willing to look in my eyes while we talked. During lunch he asked me about my financial plans. I told him about Bitcoin,” Karl smiled, “Maarja’s father became very excited. He heard about crypto-currency from his coworkers, but he did not understand it. I explained it to him. He was so impressed that he asked to see how everything works. He invited himself over to our apartment. Things were going well. I saw him smile. I thought things would continue going well.” Karl paused, his eyes drifted back to the couch. “Things did not go well.” “When we arrived at the apartment Maarja and her mom stayed outside for a cigarette. I went inside with Maarja’s father to show him the computer rig. He has heard enough about crypto to know that it is going to lift off. I wanted him to see that in a couple of years I would be able to provide for a family. I wanted to ask him if he would… You know…” Karl’s voice dropped to a whisper, “Let me marry his daughter.” He took another puff and shook his head, “But we didn’t get past the living room.” “As soon as he saw the couch he stopped. He stood there, frozen, looking at the furniture. I tried talking to him but it was as if he didn’t hear me. For almost a minute he stared at the couch and then he jumped on it and started…” Karl trailed off; he looked back at the couch. An expression of utter disbelief danced around his face but he struck it down. Karl looked square into my eyes, “Maarja’s father jumped on the couch and started to hump it.” Even through the numbness of my fingers I could feel the pointed edge of the kitchen knife. ‘Do it Tiger, do it for me. Don’t let him tell you his lies. Kill the freak. One clean cut. The loud whore inside is still asleep; she’ll be easier to get rid of. Do it Tiger, do it so we can be together forever.’ I cleared my throat, “Humping?” I asked? “Humping,” Karl replied, “He humped the couch with all his energy. I tried to get him to stop but he wouldn’t listen to a word I said. He just kept on pressing himself against the couch like it was some long lost lover. I left when he started to take off his pants. “I went outside to get Maarja and her mom. I told them something was wrong with Maarja’s dad and that they needed to come inside right away. At first they didn’t understand, they kept on asking questions. Could they not finish their cigarettes? What was specifically wrong? Why was I so panicked? They were oblivious, but as soon as I mentioned the couch. James, as soon as I mentioned the couch something sparked in Maarja’s mom’s eyes. She ran inside of the apartment, cigarette still in her hand and dragged him out. “Remember how angry she was when she caught you and Saale the night after the party? Remember how we would joke about how crazy she was about the couch? James, the anger I saw yesterday was nothing compared to that. Maarja’s mother was furious. She slapped and hit Maarja’s dad until he was out of the apartment. She threatened him with divorce. She kicked and punched the man and then locked the door on him so he couldn’t come back. “She said that Maarja’s dad was obsessed with the couch when they started dating, that the scars on his face are from rubbing against the cushioning. The only way that Maarja’s mom and her grandma managed to get her dad back to normal was by hiding the couch while he went out to do his military service. After he came back he kept on searching for it, he kept on demanding that the couch be returned, but over the years he gave up. That’s why Maarja’s mom wanted us to burn the couch when she saw it. That’s why she demands we burn it now. “There’s something wrong with that couch James. I sat on it last night while you and Maarja were talking outside. There is something horribly rotten about that couch. As I sat there I could feel it probing in my brain, trying to grab onto something, it was as if the couch was trying to find pain that it could use; pain that it could feed off of. We have to burn it.” ‘SLIT HIS THROAT!’ The voice boomed in my head, ‘SLIT HIS THROAT AND THEN SLIT HER THROAT AND THEN COME TO ME!’ I could feel my arm getting ready. I could already see the blood streaming through his beard. I kept on trying to remind myself that Karl is my friend, that I didn’t want to hurt him, but every fiber of my being was being dragged towards murder. I took a step back. “Can… Can we burn it after New Years?” “Are you okay?” Karl’s face suddenly turned concerned, “You look pale James.” I took another step backward. ‘A SINGLE SLICE TIGER, HE WON’T SEE IT COMING.’ “I…” my legs turned to jelly, I leaned up against the wall. I wanted to take my hand off the knife, I desperately wanted to be as far away from a weapon as I could be, but my hands refused. Murder jumbled my mind, images of death and pleasure and the couch filled my vision. “I don’t think I’m okay.” Karl took a step forward. He planted his hand on my shoulder. ‘JUST DO IT YOU COWARD, JUST DO IT! DON’T LET HIM GET IN THE WAY OF OUR LOVE!’ He sighed, “Is this about Saale?” “Yes,” I found myself saying, “The couch smells like her. I… I’m such a mess Karl. I don’t know how to get over this. I just want to be back. I want to be in high-school again and I want the four of us to be together again and I want to drink every night and…” I realized I was crying again. ‘Coward,’ the voice whispered. Karl looked at me, visibly feeling awkward. His brow furrowed as he tried to figure out what to say. “We can still drink every night,” he finally said, offering up a weak smile. I couldn’t even manage a smile back. He frowned and thought for a bit more before he spoke again. “James, life is sometimes bad and sometimes it is good. Things will not change, Saale will not come back, but if you wait long enough things will get better. You will forget, you will feel better. I am not good with words, but I am good with waiting. Me and Maarja will wait with you until you are better.” My hand slipped out of my pocket. It was empty. “Thank you Karl,” I said. ‘You’re a coward,’ the voice reminded me. The pieces started to fall together. The voice, the rat, the dreams, Maarja’s dad; there was something wrong with that couch. It needed to go. Yet there was still a part of me that couldn’t handle seeing it burn. I needed time to prepare. “You’re right about the couch. There’s something off about it but… Could we wait until after midnight to burn it?” Karl studied me. “Why?” “It’s silly, I know, but I think getting rid of the place where me and Saale had our first night would be a good start to the New Year, like a way to let things go.” Karl considered this idea for a bit and then nodded. It felt like a burden was lifted. Maarja joined us outside after a couple of minutes with coffee. The warmth of the cup felt soothing on my irritated skin. Being with the two of them felt soothing to my irritated soul. Suddenly things started to brighten. Saale and me would never be back together, hell, maybe I would never see her again, and that thought stung but while I was in the company of Karl and Maarja it felt manageable. We set up plans for the rest of the day; by the looks of it our last day of 2012 would be filled with walks through old places, kebabs and booze. We sat down in the kitchen for some pre-drinking. I put the knife where it belonged when no one was looking. The time that it had spent in my pocket felt like a fever dream. Anything related to the couch felt like a distant memory. The whole morning the voice had been silent, as if it had just satiated itself with calling me a coward and decided to abandon me. I returned the favor; even though it was right outside of the window I didn’t look at the couch a single time the entire morning. It was dead to me. In fact, I started to doubt whether it was ever alive to begin with. Yet as we headed out to town I couldn’t help myself. I looked back at the couch. It stood defiantly in the middle of the backyard, snow and mud all around it. This was not the same dusty couch Karl and me had dragged out of the garage. It was comfy looking, clean, even sleek. As Karl and Maarja walked on I could see the upholstery rumple into a wink. ‘We’re not done Tiger,’ the voice faintly whispered in my mind, ‘Not by a long shot.’ I ignored it and went out with my friends. We traced through our high-school drinking holes. Tallinn’s nightlife was always shifting around. Waiters and bartenders from Australia would sit at home, save up their money and run into the Baltics to buy a bar. The bar would be a financial trash fire and in under a year they would go broke. Yet the money that the expats blew on their dreams burnt bright, the names and owners of the bars might have changed but the memories that we made within those walls stayed. We went through the shisha bar where I would always celebrate my birthdays, the Karaoke place where Karl blew all of our minds, the hole-in-the-wall where our band had its first gig. We hoped from memory to memory until we ended up in the grand melting pot: Hellhunt park. By day Hellhunt was a pub with a park terrace. By night Hellhunt was a pub with an adjoining noise complaint. As soon as the terrace closed down teens from every corner of the city would crowd the benches of the park and drink. Even though most of our drinking began at Maarja’s place we would often stumble through here. Hellhunt was the place where our social circle would stretch. “They will be closing it down soon,” Karl said, looking at the mingling crowd of underage drunks. “Neighbors are complaining about the noise.” “Screw the neighbors!” Maarja drunkenly yelled at the windows. She was outpacing both of us, it wasn’t even ten o’clock and she was already drunk enough to forget the whole night. “If you don’t like the noise just come outside! Come drink with us!” Maarja yelled her offer to the windows. No one paid attention to her. Yelling was a regular occurrence in Hellhunt. Maarja stumbled her way over to the bench where Karl and me were sitting and collapsed between us. “You guys hear about Tinder?” That night was the drunkest I had ever seen her. “Tinder?” I asked. “It is an application for your phone where you choose strangers to have sex with,” Karl said. Maarja scoffed so hard she fell on my shoulder. “It’s a love app! It’s where strangers, strangers like James here, find love! What an exciting time to be single, you’re just given a list of people and you go ‘Beep! Boop!’ Next thing you know you’re married!” Maarja lifted her head. She looked in my eyes as an air of utter seriousness and rum drifted off her, “But I swear to god James, if you get married before me I’ll slit your throat.” She burst out into a stream of giggles, managing to spill her drink in the process. “Whoops! Looks like momma needs more jet-fuel.” Maarja staggered up to her feet and started falling down in the direction of the pub. Karl got up and managed to catch her before she fell over, “I will come with you. James? You want anything?” I still had half a plastic cup of vodka sprite. The two lovebirds went into the pub and left me alone with the crowd. I started to think about that Tinder thing that Maarja was talking about. Maybe she was right, maybe it was a good time to be single. I was in the country with the highest models per capita, I was a foreigner, I haven’t been in a serious relationship for six months. There was something about having two breakdowns in the past two days that flooded the obsession out of me. I started searching the crowd for someone I would have swiped right on. That’s when I saw her. She was standing at the edge of a circle of people. Some dude with dreadlocks was telling some story and she was listening. Her hazel eyes drifted around. They caught mine. For a split second we held each other’s gaze. Then Saale broke into a sprint. I ran after her. The Old Town of Tallinn is a lot less beautiful when you sprint through it. You can’t appreciate the medieval buildings when you’re in a mad dash, the cobbled streets definitely don’t help either. I ran after Saale as the city turned into a blur around me. My head spun as I ran past the buildings; old school field trips, karaoke, drunken trips to McDonalds, all those thoughts rumbled about. Yet above all of them there was one solitary thought that reigned supreme; I had to catch Saale. She ran with comical intensity, bumping into drunken crowds as she tried to get away from. It was as if an animal was chasing her. Seeing that panic in her face whenever she looked behind to see if I was gaining on her started to crack something in me. We ran out from the old town towards the two big malls. Crossing the road Saale nearly got hit by a tram. Something in me broke. I stopped. The absurdity of it all hit me at once. I was literally chasing her. She didn’t want to talk to me. She wouldn’t talk to me. For a couple minutes I stood still, letting the celebrating crowds walk past me like I was a lamppost. I was wavering between rage and despair. I chose the latter and trudged my way back to Hellhunt. Karl and Maarja were still sitting on the same bench. He was nursing another beer whilst Maarja was chugging on water insisting that she is just getting hydrated to do more drinking later on. It wasn’t rare to lose your friends at Hellhunt for thirty minutes; they didn’t ask where I disappeared to. They could tell something was off though. I tried to act cool, pretend that everything was fine but it wasn’t. I couldn’t stay there. I needed to go back to Maarja’s and just be alone. “What? You can’t leaveeee! It’s New Years eveee!” Maarja groaned, she kept on touching my face as if that would put me in a more festive mood. “Do you want us to come home too? I am sure we can see the fireworks from the back yard,” Karl finally said, “I think Maarja might benefit from lying down.” Maarja protested. She was basically sober after all. “No I think I need to be alone right now.” Karl studied me for a bit but finally nodded. “We will be back after the fireworks. There are some games on my computer if you get bored.” I appreciated the sentiment but I wasn’t in a mood for videogames. Karl gave me the keys and I made my way back to Maarja’s place. I moved past the crowds heading towards the center. I prayed I wouldn’t bump into Saale again. I rushed past the couch sitting in the backyard. I know couches don’t have eyes but I knew it was watching me. It was silently waiting for me to slip. There was a half drank bottle of moonshine on the living room floor from our pre-drinking. Just like any nineteen-year-old European boy the prospect of booze to dull my sadness leaped out at me. I tried to wash out the sting of rejection with the alcohol and for a while it helped, it dulled the pain, but the drunker I got the more my eyes started to slide towards the window. The couch just sat out there in the backyard, mud all around it, awaiting execution. ‘I told you we weren’t done’ it whispered, ‘Come outside Tiger.’ I took another pull of moonshine. I realized I needed a cigarette. -MJL (Final part)
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