Yes, I know Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren't being used by everyone. Yes, I'm aware of the risks and the costs. But it's still a huge boon as crypto allowed me to transact at all when it was physically unfeasible to do so.
I've said it before and I'll keep saying it until such reality changes: most people who disregard cryptocurrency as just a fad can afford to think that way. Their needs are served by traditional banking, and that's fine! But it's not the reality for an important amount of people who are unbanked for whatever reason: their past, their actions (whether moral things considered illegal and thus they're prosecuted, or legal things that society consider immoral and thus they're censored) or even just a geographical accident.
But as a solution for the institutional failures it still is not a replacement and obviously the solution in Venezuela needs to be repairing the system.
Same with Sci-Hub in this case. The Bitcoin donations alleviate financial pressure somewhat, but of course the lawsuits and IP-infringement will still haunt everyone involved.
From that premise that the probem is universal, the deduction that the solution is also not just a temporary fix seems like the only reasonably conclusiont to me.
I'm not completely sure whether you're arguing that the bitcoin hype will pass once we've sorted out a few problems, or just that it'd be a nicer world if that could ever be the case; but either way, I don't think cryptocurrencies should be a last resort but instead become the norm. Offense is the best defense, after all.
In fact people like leaders so much that exposed to a capricious and cruel world they'll invent imaginary and often cruel ones just to give the world a sense of order. Think the old testament God or lizard people conspiracy theories.
Given we're going to huge groups of people running around following leaders I think our best effort is spent trying to make the selection of those leaders pick non-evil people who run vaguely meritocratic and fair systems. Rather than trying to engineer ideal de-centralized systems _which will also have to be robust against the mob following their evil leaders.
Obviously this is a false dichotomy and we can do both, but please don't give up on good leadership, people need it and there's plenty of examples of it exiting.
What I don't understand is why people don't then just use one of the literally thousands of other currencies -- most of which handle small transactions just fine.
For small transfers I use DogeCoin and the fee is 0.2 cents.
If anything, the crash last March has proven that BTC is not a safe asset and not immune from a global financial meltdown. Other way around - its very sensitive to it actually.
In the old days, the very point of a savings account is that it keeps the value stable, and pays interest on top. The more long term you save, the higher the interest. Compounded.
The point you seems to be missing, that the system cannot be repaired in a day and people need to eat, while they doing the repair.
I suspect donations are used mostly to keep the lights on.
I don't doubt for a small handful of people who got their hands on some BTC they individually are better off. That doesn't change the fact it's not a reasonable solution at scale.
I don't think one can call PayPal an institution. As for an ability to transact - I don't see why shouldn't we replace institutions that prevent us from transacting.
Failing business models of Elsevier and likes are a problem of their shareholders. I, personally, want them crushed.
Reasonable solutions at the margins tend to be adapted in some major way by the masses in time, like bottleneck microstates can end up driving steady state long term behaviors of systems in glassy dynamics… technical solutions to make lawsuits and IP-infrignment have no teeth are being adopted more everyday but not as fast as some would like.
Digital money is awesome, it being taken over by so many carpetbaggers is not.
I’m looking forward to bitcoin having a stable value for a few years, any value.
Keep in mind that the price moves also attract attention, and act as a sort of advertisement of its existence. It wouldn't get any mainstream coverage without the price moves.
lol what? It went from $7000 to $10500 to $4000 to $10400... Blame it on covid if you want but the whole year has been this violent zigzag
Good or bad; whatever works... It's a nice extra on top of my day job.
Consider USD/EUR. In 2015 it was 0.9, and currently it's 0.89. It's peak and low was 0.96 and 0.8. That a 10% bandwidth around a stable average.
Like the US can stop PayPal from providing financial services, they can too stop banks from storing USD collateral to such parties.
Also I don't agree with your "tracked better than that" claim: DAI/USD has a 15% drop and increase in a few months, about the same as USD/EUR in 5 years.
Certainly much more than USD/EUR: https://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=EUR&to=USD&view=1Y
Although, most of my holdings are now BTC & XMR.
XMR or Monero, is the best cryptocurrency IMO.
Ledger is totally opaque. Actually works like cash.
Hopeful about ETH tokens rising in value soon? ETH 2.0 is coming later this year, which may shake things up one way or another.
Buying lotto tickets is irrational as well, but the winners are happy. Some speculators end up ok.
As much value has been lost by bitcoin as created (ie, someone bought at $20k and lost at $10k, etc).
I’m glad you made a ton of cash, I hope you can retire. But this volatility is really bad for currency.
Have now bought a house each for pretty much all my close friends and family members.
For example, the current ATH was nearly $20k, and the current price is $9k. If you were unlucky enough to buy at ATH, you are down to 40%. Thats still not that bad situation - for example with stocks it is easy to find bets where you lose 90%.
It will still be "that" lottery.
In its current form every major crypto has been "promoted" as "be the first one to get onto my crypto bandwagon and this will make you rich".
And that will also make sure something like this BBC programme - Missing Crypto Queen - keeps on repeating.
But what actually happened is good old fashioned dollarization. U.S. dollar banknotes flooded into the country. As for digital payments, Venezuelans have repurposed Zelle, the U.S-based person-to-person payments option, to make digital U.S. dollar payments.
But this is a niche usage. What locals really want are dollars. Something like 50-60% of all Venezuelan transactions are now being conducted with U.S. paper money and Zelle.
Operation chokepoint essentially blackballed every single one of those Industries, and some credit unions tried to get a Charter from the Federal Reserve, and were essentially 'choked in the crib' when they attempted to.
Look up the story of 4 corners credit union, $100ks were wasted trying to appease the regulators to help members of the Cannabis Industry. Some eventually got other banks to participate, but it was still, and likely always will be what I always referred to as 'bank account whack-a-mole' where several accounts are shut down and have 2-3 to serve as backups when they eventually get shutdown.
This happened to a local dispensary owner, whose son is actually a Lightening Network developer and was able to route around it. Adoption was less than ideal, but it proved a point that the tech is mature enough to take on financial censorship if/when the will exists.
The federal government does not enforce the law sufficiently to motivate its repeal, so we are stuck in limbo, where the mass of individuals are complacent, and they externalize the costs on the suppliers and retailers.
I'm well aware of what that entails in a legal sense, I worked in the Industry as both a former Farmer as well as a Fintech Founder; the thing is, Cannabis is a term that encompasses Industrial Hemp as well as MJ and the former is actually 50 State legal as of 2018 with the Farm Bill in the US.
And still many Banks refuse to deal with Hemp farmers or producers of its value added products (CBD/CBG/CBN etc...) and still treat it as if its MJ for reasons only known to them as many large retailers like 24 Hour fitness, Sprouts, and even some Safeways and many Gas stations have CBD products on hand. It could be a scale thing, where losing that large of a customer with immense volume is worth it, whereas a small retailer is not and carries too much risk.
Also, consider that the legal status still doesn't mean the banking Industry will accept them with open arms, Canada still has the same issues they always had when it came to financial services and banking where MJ has been legalized Nationwide.
Bitcoin volume in Venezuela today is a rounding error. But most of the country is using physical USD to transact.
Crypto still has not solved two key problems, volatility and usability. Most people are not technical. Most people are also not OK putting their savings in something that can easily lose half its value in a month.
Cell coverage is widely available in third-world countries, and smartphones are increasingly widespread.
So, not all that much privilege anymore.
Your anecdote doesn't invalidate my statement. 2G/3G coverage isn't even highly available in most third world country. How do you know your homeless guy had a data plan? You don't.
Elbakyan says she hasn’t approached any political parties or government bodies, thinking they could pick up on the censorship argument if they were interested. She does not believe most people are interested in discussing freedom of knowledge.
“There is no real community to discuss that, you hardly hear such voices. Not just in the mainstream media, but even on YouTube, for example. It all died by 2013, when Aaron Swartz died,” she said, adding that even though many people are using her website or pirate websites such as torrent trackers, few care how and why they work.
“People don’t think about the [copyright] laws, about doing something about it or voting against it,” Elbakyan says. “When people reach out to me, they usually write to say ‘thank you’ or ask how to better donate.”
Sci-Hub’s standoff with the publishing industry is a good fight, Carter (who is also a CoinDesk columnist) believes. “The law and morality don’t always match up, and they certainly don’t in this case,” he said, adding:
“Sci-Hub has undeniably made the world a better place, and Alexandra has had to live as a pariah because of it. Funding her operations with bitcoin perfectly demonstrates its value proposition.”
A modern Prometheus. Some plinths have recently opened up. A statue of this woman would make a nice replacement.
According to whom? Care to point us to some of those comments?
It might be difficult to understand what's so bad without being embedded into the Russian political context. So here's some more direct stuff from SciHub social media:
https://vk.com/wall-36928352_38852 - Stalin quotes
https://vk.com/wall-36928352_37498 - comparing Stalin to Christ
I'm not holding my breath for that one.
Freedom is not free, that's a given.
Based on past experience in understanding other cultures as an outsider, i am pretty sure there is something else for disliking Mandela which can only be explained by a person from within who understands the different sections of the South Africa. Can someone shed light on this ? The above argument is very weak.
I don't know why this should not be opposed, stalinist may be.
Edit: I also suppose, the colluding miners could also try to mine a competing fork to censor a block. This would be rightfully called out as a 51% attack attempt, though.
The sender, amount, receiver and IP address are all essentially hidden or unavailable.
Miner can still decide to censor all transactions, random transactions, transactions over certain KB size, etc - but that is probably not very useful, except maybe to attack the network as a whole.
Unfortunately Monero was intentionally designed to dump the money supply, so the vast majority of XRM was "mined" by a small group of traditional speculative capitalists.
Monero just amplifies the current plutocracy of the money system due to the algorithm of the emission curve and mining system.
It would be nice if there wasn't a crypto project that didn't try to scam people.
Monero has no premine, dev tax and is a 100% open source project with volunteer contributors. It's about as grassroots as it gets in the cryptocurrency space.
> so the vast majority of XRM was "mined" by a small group of traditional speculative capitalists.
While the cripple mine happened, it only lasted a couple weeks and all of these coins were sold at market value. Monero was worthless for the first couple years.
Monero has a tail emission / infinite supply making it fairer than fixed supply coins.
Disclaimer: Monero contributor
Anyone can be a miner and the decision of what gets included in the next block is determined by a competition of hashing (computing) power.
Obviously this is a developer issue, not a miner issue. It really does not make sense that a miner would attempt to blacklist any addresses, as they could only delay transactions proportional to their hash power.
Any nonstandard transaction will be rejected by 90 if not 100%, miners, but if you get lucky to get someone to mine it, it will work fine with the protocol.
The nonstandard txs are any that are something more than a transfer, multisig (i.e. the ones that have some sort of smart contract capability).
This is not theoretical - literally killed my project of decentralised oracles (Orisi) back in 2014. Our beta transactions were accepted only by 10% of miners, so you had to wait for hours to get your tx through. Perhaps it changed - I think in 2018 not even one mining pool accepted that, but perhaps by now they fixed it, although I doubt that.
May seem like a small thing, but I met other projects that bumped into it. They had the tech, just didn’t manage to convinve miners to accept their transactions.
You are incorrect about what constitutes a standard.
The "smart contracts" by their own are standard - the whole Lightning Network is based on smart contracts - as well as many other protocols running live for years.
It sounds more like your specific transactions were non-standard due to excessive size, usage of non-standard opcodes, or other technical quirks.
But this was 2014, so it may have been before your time.
You are correct that you only need one miner, but that miner has to win a block.
Why? For mainly two reasons:
1) Main one:
Miners can censor. But miners are not elected. As more transactions are censored by a mojority of miners, the sum of transaction fees of these transactions add up and become a honeypot/incentive. A sum which a "brave" miner could additionally include in a block they would mine (that other miners censoring won't), making themselves MORE profitable by including those. And mining being a low margin business, this is relevant. And this gets more and more relevant the more fees people are ready to pay for such transactions. Nothing is really free in life. It would cost, but the more you are ready to pay a fee, the more uncensorable it gets (if you are not the only one, which is not likely in a long term view in a world with so many countries, minorities, use cases,... ).
The condition for this to work, is
a) being able to mine anonymously (or one day you'll get arrested) and
b) a protocol favoring decentralization (meaning you can have temporarily more centralization like these days, but as long as these more centr. miners behave well and follow the rules, it isn't an issue, and when they start behaving bad, things can get better again ).
That is why privacy + decentralization-focused bitcoin-software development is so important
2) The second reason is technically correct, but a bit far fetched I have to admit (!), but read to the end:
- You can become a miner. Ok, you would need to buy an ASIC or better a few, but with that you finally might get lucky and mine your block with those transactions.
- But then again communities could get together and mine together. Like a small town (somewhere hypothetically where some plant grows and producing healthy drugs that are forbidden by law but helping some people who want to pay for that) and thus getting connected to a world wide financial infrastructure to participate in world wide commerce. Or countless other communities are imaginable. It just needs imagination, human creativity and time to develop those scenarios.
 Example where it has already happened:
- Bitcoin had moments where one miner got or got near 51% POW, and miners did switch mininig-pools to stop that.
- possibly segwit2x (not entirely sure). Although Segwit2x was circumvented by a user activated softfork, an agreement of a big part of miners wanted to change the rules, but couldn't pull it of
edit 1: formatting
edit 2: some clarifications
If new addresses are not only newly generated after every transaction but are user specific & encrypted, then I guess you would need a decentralized web, or governments could use gag orders to force hosting providers to let them spy into these servers 
So I guess it is easier for them to get behind addresses of services that service diverse or bigger amount of customers. One solution mentioned by an above commenter are stealth addresses
 At least since PRISM ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRISM_(surveillance_program) ) this should not sound totally inconceivable anymore
But I just took a look and it seems like they've been using the same static bitcoin addres since Feb 2020. So yeah. I guess it's not a thing they're hugely worried about.
The uncensorable is a spectrum so it is censorship resistant under certain premises. No technology is uncensorable with enough resources but Bitcoin is more uncensorable that the global banking system.
Did you see this:
Despite the Maduro Regime launching Petro (State-based crytocurrency) they do not accept it for their official documents, nor do they accept Credit Cards, they do however seem to accept BTC. Which makes sense because for a time the Government thugs were raiding Bitcoin miners and taking their rigs and funds.
Alexandra is a total badass, I like her defiant attitude towards Academia as a whole, and will be supporting her efforts once again this year. Free access to Scientific Journals is fundamental for a well Educated populace and should be available to all who seek the knowledge.
What's even crazier is that COVID has shown us that in dire situations, the walled-garden Peer Reviewed system isn't always best:
I've seen how petty the peer reviewed system is in the 'publish or die' model in the Health Sciences, its petty and pathetic to see grown men and women alike having to resort to such unscrupulous antics to keep up with the illusion that this is what serves as one of the notable metrics for tenure.
As much as I like SciHub, I hope that her success is measured not by the amount of domains and servers she was able to maintain, but by her/SciHub no longer being needed as the paradigm finally shifted.
It would even be astonished if there weren't any copyright: it wouldn't understand why empty HDD's weren't 90% capacity preloaded with STEM materials at the manufacturing plant. The user could always format.
The majority of nations are lagging in the majority of STEM subjects, why on earth don't they impose a differential STEMpty-ness tax on imported HDD's? Want to import a drive without randomized sampling of research, current and historical? pay extra to the STEM drive pot; imported a STEM drive? receive a little extra from the STEM drive pot.
The series is about a sci-fi dystopia. Unfortunately, most of their predictions have come to pass. That episode is particularly relevant.
When it aired, it seemed absurd that we would cripple our future by punishing people that freely disseminated educational materials.
I guess I’m old enough to play the part of the “advanced” alien species in your hypothetical.
Anyway, putting STEM material on every computer wouldn't do anything because the barrier isn't the availability of knowledge, it's that most people aren't interested in that information. 99.9% of human knowledge is easily available online, just as easy if not easier than opening a file on a HDD. That's not to say that SciHub isn't necessary, because it is and I use it all the time.
There'd be no copyleft (GPL etc) without copyright, sure.
(Most of this thinking comes pre-web-applications, that does change the parameters a bit.)
I'd love to have BTC options available. Does anybody know of any similar APIs for doing BTC payments (or accepting cards and having the funds auto-converted to BTC)?
There are other alternatives available as well.
Main problem is taxes and legality though, right now it is better to sell your software with fiat money and convert it to bitcoin through personal investment, at least this way your company won’t be under legal risk due to accepting BTC.
Electricity required to process a single transaction equal the consumption of 18 days for an average US household (source: https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption)
Not only power consumption, these things generate large amounts of e-waste too, comparable to the e-waste generation of Luxemburg (source https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-electronic-waste-monitor/)
It's also terrible to use as a peer-to-peer payment option because it's expensive, slow, and the value fluctuates (in March this year it lost 50% of its value in just a few days)
Ethereum is a cryptocurrency, but the system also supports tokens which are like other cryptocurrencies on the same blockchain. The DAI token on the Ethereum network is a decentralized stablecoin, pegged to stay at the price of $1 through a smart contract that automatically manages collateral to maintain the peg. The DAI token can be used as a cryptocurrency without the price fluctuation of Bitcoin or Ethereum.
Wasteful compared to what?
> It's also terrible to use as a peer-to-peer payment option because it's expensive, slow, and the value fluctuates (in March this year it lost 50% of its value in just a few days)
It's possible to transact in a matter of minutes. After that you can move it to a stable coin if you want to be exposed to USD (or gold) instead.
Compared to every alternative. Look up the sources I've linked,. the amount of energy used by Bitcoin is ludacris and unsustainable.
> It's possible to transact in a matter of minutes
10 minutes on average, but that's only 1 confirmation. You'll need to wait 6 before you can ship the goods. Current cost is $0.50 - so both slow and expensive. (source https://www.buybitcoinworldwide.com/fee-calculator/)
> After that you can move it to a stable coin
There are no stable coins on bitcoin (that I'm aware of) and you can't use one nativelly. Even if there are, they are custodial risks involved plus moving requires another transaction.
Oh boy, wait till you hear about international money transfers.
With my PayPal/Mastercard/GooglePay/ApplePay I can do an international order in seconds.
Meanwhile Credit cards/ApplePay/GooglePay/Paypal/AmazonPay provide the tap-and-go instant purchase experience, even on international orders.
I agree BTC fees are high, but for even moderately large transactions (>$25), it is cheaper than credit card/ApplePay/GooglePay/Paypal/AmazonPay fees.
Edit: and even after processing, chargebacks are often viable for up to 60 days.
Most developed economies including USA & UK target 2% inflation. Here you go https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/monetary-policy/inflation
Actually, top GDP economies now have a major problem since the inflation is way below 2%.
Obviously, it is more energy-intensive than an RTGS (ie. a traditional central bank), which also sports low volatility.
But even if you want a distributed, open-membership system, Stellar has only a marginal increase in energy consumption, a tiny slimmer of the amount needed for Bitcoin. (Obviously, it is volatile, though.)
They are all necessary regardless of the currency.
Nobody (ie. less than 0.0001% of the population) wants to live in a lawless society, and if they achieved it, they would be conquered by a lawful one.
I don't know a single person who actually donates in bitcoin, so it's surprising to me that she managed to raise 900k in 2018. Bonkers
It's something like 75TB last time I checked, over 82 million articles in total. Each torrent contains 100,000 articles, named by DOI.
If sci-hub ever gets taken offline, there are enough full backups out there that it can be re-instated fairly quickly (at least the archive of existing articles; the credentials necessary to obtain new ones are not included in these torrents or database dumps).
That is too high a price to pay. Forcing academics to pay money to read the work of their colleagues? Scanning entire libraries but only allowing the folks at Google to read them? Providing scientific articles to those at elite universities in the First World, but not to children in the Global South? It’s outrageous and unacceptable.
“I agree,” many say, “but what can we do? The companies hold the copyrights, they make enormous amounts of money by charging for access, and it’s perfectly legal — there’s nothing we can do to stop them.” But there is something we can, something that’s already being done: we can fight back.
Those with access to these resources — students, librarians, scientists — you have been given a privilege. You get to feed at this banquet of knowledge while the rest of the world is locked out. But you need not — indeed, morally, you cannot — keep this privilege for yourselves. You have a duty to share it with the world. And you have: trading passwords with colleagues, filling download requests for friends.
Meanwhile, those who have been locked out are not standing idly by. You have been sneaking through holes and climbing over fences, liberating the information locked up by the publishers and sharing them with your friends.
But all of this action goes on in the dark, hidden underground. It’s called stealing or piracy, as if sharing a wealth of knowledge were the moral equivalent of plundering a ship and murdering its crew. But sharing isn’t immoral — it’s a moral imperative. Only those blinded by greed would refuse to let a friend make a copy.
Large corporations, of course, are blinded by greed. The laws under which they operate require it — their shareholders would revolt at anything less. And the politicians they have bought off back them, passing laws giving them the exclusive power to decide who can make copies.
There is no justice in following unjust laws. It’s time to come into the light and, in the grand tradition of civil disobedience, declare our opposition to this private theft of public culture.
We need to take information, wherever it is stored, make our copies and share them with the world. We need to take stuff that's out of copyright and add it to the archive. We need to buy secret databases and put them on the Web. We need to download scientific journals and upload them to file sharing networks. We need to fight for Guerilla Open Access.
With enough of us, around the world, we’ll not just send a strong message opposing the privatization of knowledge — we’ll make it a thing of the past. Will you join us?
Aaron Swartz July 2008, Eremo, Italy
- I recommend everyone to watch 2014 documentary "The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz".
We will never forget Aaron Swartz. He did not die in vain. His work lives on, we are continuing it and will forever.
If they banned real criminal transactions, sure, but I only have seen them ban people to enhance their image.
This isn’t to say that Sci-Hub should be illegal and I am very sympathetic to the argument that scientific research should not be copyrighted. But it is clearly breaking the law as written.
This too, is problematic. A private entity should never be the one deciding what is criminal and what is not.
Especially if they are providing crucial infrastructure.
Nobody is saying PayPal should be the arbiter of law and order or that PayPal is automatically liable for all actions of their users. But if PayPal believes one of their customers is using their service to finance criminal activity, they have a legal duty to respond.
An extreme (but plausible) example is child abuse - if PayPal discovers one of their customers is using donations to finance child pornography, PayPal shouldn’t wait for a court order to shut it down. And if they did drag their feet then some PayPal employees need to go to jail.
It might be that in the US, this is different, but in the EU it is not. In fact, in the EU, payment providers are, in several cases, prohibited by law to shut down or inform customers. So if Paypal were to shut down the contract of such a customer, that would be thing that might bring PayPal employees to jail.
Now, that is obviously aside from any EULA or other agreements PayPal has with its customers: as a private entity, paypal is free to put arbitrary rules in that contract: dissalow stuff that is otherwise perfectly legal, for example. But that is very different from becoming a judge.
Edit: but my point was, that the moment PayPal becomes "critical infrastructure", such arbitrary rules are problematic because, if, say, a PayPal account is required to pay taxes or receive any form of wages, such arbitrary rules will exclude people who then might get into serious trouble.
Also, please keep the conversation civil. Calling me "very stupid" does not help to bring your otherwise valid and thoughtful concerns forward.
Most stablecoin activity is on the Ethereum network, and the clients have never prioritized Tor use.
Ethereum also hosts privacy that all fungible assets can inherit, using Tornado.cash people can trade notes of unknown amounts, redeemable any time. Using Aztec people can make any token private, and communities can consider doing private-by-default tokens including with stablecoins if the issuer started it that way.
So its not as simple as Bitcoin OR Monero. There is a looming large piece of the puzzle that simply is missing one piece - ease of use over Tor. Layer2 solutions on Ethereum also inherit privacy inadvertently, while solving scaling issues on layer1.
Of course, sci-hub doesn't NEED Tor itself for donations, being fairly benign, but as soon as that piece exists, many tech savvy people simply use that route. Monero will likely remain superior but technically lesser solutions can solve the actual market needs better, since the attack surface isn't that consequential.
Also you can use tornado.cash for example over Tor. Or any dapp via something like metamask (or another wallet) over Tor.
So if you are using a Tor operating system like tails, metamask is not available because you wont be using chrome or brave on that OS, installing extensions in tor browser firefox isnt readily available either
Other wallets are not easily compiled on debian and it appears to be a complete afterthought
Yes sending to a node that happens to be routing over tor should be easy
There are too many hurdles and fixing those hurdles will make this viable and more commonplace, where I gather the market doesnt actually want to switch between bitcoin and monero if many are already in the ethereum ecosystem
even on Osx/Windows, how would metamask be used with the Tor route?
I don't think you've ever done this, only replied
That's always bothered me. It also amazes me how much clients seem restricted to smartphones and Chrome.
You just go from fiat to Monero. And then over Tor you swap or morph Monero to the surveillance coin you actually want. The centralized swapping service wont know your IP address due to Tor, Monero uniquely doesnt have transaction history, and the address you provide for the surveillance coin will be a virgin one never used before.
So the swapping service and all the blockchain sleuths will be stopped cold. Actually they wont be stopped they’ll just be following transactions forever thinking it has the same beneficial owner. So a wild goose chase for people that think they have purpose in life.
And you get to transact in the digital asset you want.
Unfortunately if that is on the ethereum blockchain then you cant send additional transactions while over tor.
The desired use case:
Anonymously funding a subspace of addresses using Monero (unstable value), receiving DAI and Ether.
Still over Tor, using the DAI (stable value) to donate to scihub. Using ether for transaction fees.
Downloading literature from scihub over tor. (Not using bittorrent)
BONUS: we can also get rid of ether transaction fees now, if the dai was issued directly on a layer2 system like zksync.
So there is a vibrant ecosystem that simply cant broadcast transactions over tor right now. Its a udp issue. Not irreconcilable, people just havent done it in the node software.
One of those is free and open scientific research.
Bitcoin was designed for just this kind of purpose.
>Putin Signs 'Russian Internet Law' To Disconnect Russia From The World Wide Web
> good for everyone.
with the exception of repressive govenments that want to shut down things like Sci-Hub.
Most of the time, they are suitable for standard payment amounts, but they can spike to quite high levels that make only large amounts worth transacting. This is due to network capacity limitations.
Furthermore, anyone that does not wish to hold BTC - understandable due to its significant volatility - must convert it again into the preferred currency.
Fees = friction, and there's enough friction now that people will only use it when it provides some significant utility.
It's an entirely new beast in the financial instrument space.
It does bear some characteristics of traditional currencies, but not all of them.
Specifically, as it works today, and until Lightning gets some traction, BTC isn't very convenient for small day to day transactions like buying a cup of coffee.
On the flipside, it does have attributes that traditional currencies strictly do not have.
For cases such as the OP, there is no other financial instrument on the planet that will cut it (other than things like Monero / ZCash / MimbleWimble).
Besides being antifragile and censorship resistant, there is also a very strong case to be made for Bitcoin in the 'preservation of wealth' niche (if you are strongly insensitive to short-term volatility, and capable of playing on a 5 year time horizon, that is).
[EDIT]: To answer your question more precisely, Bitcoin has most definitely been a success story for sites like sci-hub, Wikileak and generally speaking, people who try to speak truth to power.
Also for VPN providers, and their customers. And generally for people who want to buy stuff and lease online services ~anonymously. If one mixes well enough, that is.
Most mixers use CoinJoin, which gives you trustless assurances that you won't lose your money. The worst thing you'll lose is your time.
There is the concern that you'll end up with Bitcoin that's been tainted in one way or another. However, at least some mixing services get coin from miners, so it's clean. And you can check for that in the blockchain.
That's mostly a concern when you're mixing Bitcoin before converting it to meatspace fiat. If you're anonymizing Bitcoin purchased with meatspace fiat, it doesn't matter so much if some is tainted. Or at least, it won't unless tainted coin gets blacklisted.
Just a thought
But no matter how you get the Bitcoin, you can get whatever degree of anonymity you want, by mixing it many times. You mix via Tor and nested VPN chains, with a different Whonix VM and mixing service for each mix.
From there, send your coins through a samouari whirlpool https://samouraiwallet.com/whirlpool
Then send them wherever you like.
There is still some counterparty risk (what if you're buying coins from the CIA, or whatever), but it's almost minimal.
Buying coins from a Bitcoin ATM is even easier, if there's one near you.
Enjoy those massive fees!
Frankly the failure of "original" Bitcoin to adapt to use as a currency seems to me to be a total failure of vision.
First, the market seems to strongly disagree with you 
Second, what seems to me a total failure of vision is trying to shoehorn something as new and disruptive as Bitcoin in the old and worn out yoke of currencies as they used to exist. There's paypal for that.
 https://www.tradingview.com/symbols/BCHBTC/?exchange=COINBAS... (choose the 5 yr. view)
100% of cyber criminals use Bitcoin, that's a lot of people!
Sure many support Monero, but none at the exclusion of Bitcoin.
With cash, that money can change hands hundreds of times without it ever being tracked by anyone.
The only way a digital currency can ever be safely used for illegal activities if if it can be used and acquired as freely, easily and as anonymously as cash.
From what i've seen there's no digital equivalent to 'handing someone a suitcase full of cash in a dark alley' or receiving your 'cheque' at the end of the day as a wad of cash in an envelope.
With that cash, I can immediately turn around and spend it on some illegal shit and no record any where will ever exist of me being paid or having purchased illegal things. I can then go and spend that money just as easily in a store, where again, no records of where that money came from exists. It'll just appear(or reappear most likely) in circulation magically when the store records it as profit.
Creating a digital currency like this that actually functions as a currency seems unfeasible. Cash only works as it does because everybody just kind of agrees it does or because the government says it does I suppose.
As an addendum and disclaimer, I wrote a lot of this from a first person point of view, that was for dramatic descriptive purposes only and not from any actual personal perspective or activities.
If you really need cash, you can also just (physically) go to someone who has cash and tell them "I'll transfer you some Monero coins if you give me some cash and don't record that you did".
Until a digital currency allows this with the same level of anonyminity and ease, it's not viable as a replacement to cash. Go betweens and other things will still involve some third party to facilitate the conversion to real currency. That's the problem. This digital currency must be equally as legitimately and illegitimately useful immediately upon receipt with no hassle with any and all transactions directly doable in said currency without the need for any third party involvement or recording.