Lair Of The Multimedia Guru


Too many gpg keys ?

The key iam using everyday is really becoming old. OTOH the new key iam using for signing my git commits isnt really good as a general key as it needs to be available on the machiene i work on to sign rebased commits and all that. So its more “my git development box” key than mine.
And i have that cute little ledger that has a gpg plugin. So i thought, thats something i should look into. Yeah, or maybe i shouldnt have done that.
It supports ed25519 and cv25519. So i created one and signing worked, decryption failed with a gpg: public key decryption failed: Card error. So i tried again with default options which generates the encryption key apparently on the host backs it up and uploads. That worked fine, it asked for a password to encrypt the backup, signing worked decryption worked, all was fine, or was it? I had set the ledger to require a button before decryption and it didnt. Hmm, i started to have a odd feeling. I disconnected the ledger and tried again, yes it still decrypted it. Was it caching the key or passphrase ? i killed gpg-agent, it still decrypted it. It took me a moment before i fully believed it but yes there was a unencrypted private key where a stub should have been pointing to the ledger.
More testing showed that the ledger works fine with RSA and NISTP256 keys for decryption and RSA and ED25519 for signing. Though it is not able to generate NISTP256 keys, or at least not when i tried, these need to be copied onto. RSA upto 4096 can be generated on the thing if one has patience. CV25519 seems not to work no matter what i tried even though it seems to be supposed to be supported.
Now, i have setup mine (and the public keys are below if you want to send me something secret) but the whole experience leaves me with afterthoughts about wanting to use this. The way this failed and the thing that the source code sometimes speaks of “ed2559” and sometimes of “ed255519” leaves me with some desire for a different device for storing my key on in the long run. Not that any of this is pointing to any real security issues once one got a working key on it and made sure no plain copies remain.


Filed under: Crypto — Michael @ 23:43


Why crypto?

Why Crypto?

With the IPFS support in FFmpeg and the discussions surrounding it. Several people stated their dislike for crypto, for NFTs and stated how its harmful and full of scams.
I disagree, Or rather I think people are seeing the “What” today but are missing the “Why” tomorrow.

Why Crypto?!

For me what i see in crypto is giving power over assets back to the people.
Today, everything is a fight of government vs people. Free speech vs censorship. Privacy vs logging and spying. Self defense vs. outlawing tools to defend oneself. And in the future with advances in gene editing control over ones own body will increasingly also get added. But back today and also with money the people are slowly loosing control to the government. Cash is slowly replaced by fully controllable and logable transactions, money printing and taxes are generally fully controlled by the government already. What you can invest in as a “non accredited” investor also is tightly controlled.
Lets look at money printing alone. That on average causes a 50% loss of value in stable currencies like the USD or EUR every 20 years. That means money literally has a half life time of 20 years in stable western economies. And that doesn’t even account for the recent money printing activities of the last years. You may have noticed inflation recently maybe ? Thats the result not of a war its simply because of all the extra money that was created.
Now with crypto, the government has no control over the inflation anymore. Bitcoin might be worth a lot or a little but is not decaying like USD does. And gold even gold inflates as new gold is mined.
And while with cash, any money you own you can give anyone you choose, as cash disappears and is replaced by government controled digital forms of the USD. You also will loose the ability to do with it what you want. OTOH with crypto you can send it to any wallet. And you can set nearly arbitrary rules with smart contracts. It simply returns the power over wealth and assets back into the peoples hands.

Will it go up

I dont know and I don’t really care. Most of the crypto i have originated from payment for a little FFmpeg work very long ago, ive exchanged some of this in other coins and other crypto stuff but i never took it out of crypto and i have no intend to ever.


Theres 2 things about NFTs, the NOW and the Future
NOW, NFTs are used as a way to raise money, many of the bigger projects are shady. Its expected, the more a project promises the more people want it but also the more its all a lie. I would not be surprised if many of these will go to practically 0 value. Then there are the NFTs from honest people who want to start a business and try to use it for getting initial capital some of these pass 100% of the decisions what to do with the collected money to votes by the NFT holders. There are also art and collectible NFTs and a big overlap between all this. I don’t know what will become of all this. The idea to raise money and then have the investors be 100% in control of the business sounds not fundamentally bad to me. Will this survive regulation? I do not know …
And then theres the FUTURE. NFTs can represent anything, a specific car, a specific house, a specific contract you have with an insurance.
In such a world one could sell, buy, exchange and rent houses, cars, contracts in a 100% secure, 100% undisputed and very simple way. Using the “blockchain” to represent all real world assets is an intriguing future, it has interesting potential. I don’t know if that is something that will ever happen but it surely would be a revolution for alot of things.

Filed under: Crypto — Michael @ 14:26

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