Dorion Mode

October 28, 2019

Simple Steps: The Fabled Outlines

Filed under: Ego — Robinson Dorion @ 5:56 a.m.

Following what seemed to be a strong start of mapping my past to the present, I found I had bit off more than I could chew in the time I had allotted imagined to do the chewing. I was assigned to type my hand written article outlines into one post, so that's1 what you find here, laid bare2.

Part of my assumption causing the, "5 articles in total by Sunday," claim was the first flowed relatively well, the following ought flow better, and after all, I'm writing my story not something I have to research. Then I found myself wanting to explain in more detail, take more negative space into consideration and add pictures, i.e. do it better. So then the break pumping started and here we are.

To make it explicit, it may appear fingers are being pointed and blame cast at others. I am 100% responsible for the people I chose to include3 in my life and my intent here is sanity which means to describe what is/was. Names have been named because it's not like any of it was a secret anyways. I'm not claiming perfect memory from events half a decade ago and comments are open for corrections.

I hope it's obvious, but before delving into the content here, a note on the list structure: There are 4 articles outlined, numbered 2-4 in the respective headers, each with its own set of nested lists. Picking an example off the top, point 2.2.2.3 is, "Sit on volcanic island, call globe, sun never sits on lead pool, learn to take good notes."

2. January 2012-January 2014: Diving into EPB, shifting from Schiff Radio to Freedomain Radio, Barmalos -> SVG -> PTY, XA{U,G} -> BTC

  1. Preparing to make the jump.
    1. interview
    2. contract
    3. moving with "strangers", James Guzman and Ashe Whitener, and discovering the joy of having people to talk with and learn from about my interests.
  2. Settling in to the islands.
    1. Barmalos4
      1. overcoming island pace to find a house, scarcity of food on island.
      2. making calls all day everyday was the constant, the refuge that maintained sanity.
      3. tourist trap that confiscated passports
      4. evacuating to St. Vincent.
    2. St. Vincent
      1. Living at Racquet club was a racket.
      2. Ashe and I settle into "wind tunnel" for hunker, James departs for Acapulco.
      3. Sit on volcanic island, call globe, sun never sits on lead pool, learn to take good notes.
  3. Working the bank.
    1. Bank business processes, technology infrastructure woefully underdeveloped.
    2. "Gold backed debit card" more expensive than it was cracked up to be.
    3. How many banks in a bank - describe centralization of asset custody.
    4. Lead pool stale, "Peter Schiff's nostalgia file." "The leads are weak ? The fuckin' leads are weak ?"
    5. I was not well organized, didn't know how to run a computer. Ashe was guide.
    6. Breakthrough: Selling isn't telling, selling is managing the sales process.
    7. "Changing world: helping clients protect purchasing power, collapse immanent!"
    8. Developing business from referral sources.
      1. Competitive edge: streamlined account opening, Private Banker to call that's not an islander.
      2. Offshore Corporate Agents, newsletter writters, etc.
    9. 2012 Gold rally fades into what has turned out to be multi-year pull back.
  4. Freedomain Radio evicts Schiff Radio from mental real estate.
    1. Real Time Relationships, in practice.
    2. Shift to introspection/self knowledge, evaluating childhood, new words to describe weak foundations felt.
    3. The state is a function of the family. Change the society/state by applying values to personal relationships.
    4. Anarchocapitalism displaces minarchism.
    5. Arguments for embracing strong atheism.
  5. St. Vincent visa tightens from 3 to 1 month, stay illegally.
    1. Island paradise turns to island fever by year's end.
    2. Panama is selected, after considering western hemisphere only. Reasoning: offshore banking hub, 6 month tourist visa.
  6. Arrive to Panama, January 2013.
    1. bank was improving
    2. new website built by a broker for free, he5 needed it.
    3. improvement of products: trading platform improved, commission on debit card usage.
  7. Start Freedomain Radio Meet Up Group.
  8. BTC takes shine from gold/EPB during Cyprus bank run of 2013.
    1. client arbing Mt. Gox/Bitstamp spread.
  9. Meet evoorhees and Coinapult, July 2013.
    1. Develop relationship through the autumn.
    2. Ashe joins them at La Bitconf in Buenos Aires.
  10. Paradigm shift: EPB/XA{U,G} -> BTC
    1. AML/KYC pressure grows, unpaid gov't spy, client assumed guilty, has to prove innocence.
    2. Commerzbank fires all Caribbean banking clients due to too much USD volume causing greater regulatory requirements under FED.
      1. More compliance agents than bankers.
    3. Not actually private.
      1. CRM in the clouds, calls/chats on Skype, client email docs in the clear/upload to website.
      2. Get exposure to GPG through Coinapult.
    4. Not actually secure.
      1. Counterparties abound; exposed to leverage via counterparty risk.
      2. Flimsy legal layer of protection.
    5. Begin to understand an alternative.
      1. Conversation with Coinapult people.
      2. Negative space: while Romania mentioned, #bitcoin-assets, trilema never linked6.
      3. Let's talk Bitcoin, Reddit.
  11. Previous paradigm crushed in December with Erik and Peter debating.
    1. Peter counters Austrian theory claiming gold has intrinsic value, Erik demonstrates better grasp on Austrian theory, value is subjective, son.
    2. Peter seemingly falls victim to sales pitch of intrinsic value narrative helps people protect purchasing power, so justifiable, even if incorrect.
    3. Previous passion turns to guilt.
  12. January 2014:
    1. Erik and Ira bought a banking license, plan to hire Ashe to run, he'll hire me.
    2. Coinapult position opens up, I jump.

3. January 2014-March 2015: Launched for a ride with Coinapult, taking ownership of personal relationships.

Q1 2014
  1. Day Quitting Bank
    1. Meeting with Ira, Erik and Ashe to discuss bank, out on town with new Coinapult hires.
    2. In bed for 3 days, emotional reset, how much unprocessed emotion am I holding in body ?
  2. Describe Coinapult
    1. Market making/arbitraging fiat interfaces
    2. brokering/merchant processing
    3. email/sms interfaces
  3. Transformation and First projects:
    1. Move to Ubuntu from Windows.
    2. GPG via thunderbird plugin.
    3. send transactions regularly in support role.
    4. document on boarding experience by writing new employee handbook.
    5. responsible for choosing CRM, business requires open source, on premise.
  4. Storm clouds evident:
    1. Charlie Shrem7 picked up by USG.
    2. Goxxed, despite knowing better.
  5. FDR meet up pays: Meet JFW, talks about weak RNGs in first conversation.
Q2 2014
  1. LOCKS imagined to be killer app.
    1. Major focus on website development.
  2. Ticker drift bug causes need to rewrite orderbook.
    1. symptoms of move fast and break things abound.
  3. Move from sales to website copy writing, marketing, QA.
    1. experience power/appreciate technical ability.
    2. Become bridge between business dev and technical teams.
  4. Establish permanent Panamanian residence.
  5. Coinapult employees harassed at border, property confiscated.
  6. Start Talk Therapy : have a professional listen to you, ask questions you don't want to ask.
Q3 2014
  1. LOCKS/website flop.
  2. After 2+ years of attempts at real conversations with parents is met with continued hostility, I tell them off.
    1. They must change if they want to earn their way back into my life.
    2. Everyone in my life is my choice, but how strong is my evaluator ?
    3. "Are they implying what I'm inferring ?"
  3. Living alone for first time, personal responsibility stakes are raised.
  4. Coinapult lays off in-house counsel.
  5. Bridge loan/convertible note + employee option plan.
  6. Friendship with Ashe strengthens as we move apart.
    1. Bank business w/ Erik/Ira is abandoned.
    2. Ashe wants out of EPB, would've worked for Coinapult on incentives only, no salary. They don't hire him.
  7. The Bit Drop waste abandoned.
  8. SMS launch, I do much of testing and documentation.
Q4 2014
  1. Coinapult returns to trading/market making/arbitrage
  2. Pivot to aim at high volume brokerage rather than masses.
  3. Missed Thanksgiving family reunion, first Christmas without family, Co-workers and friends become surrogate family.
Q1 2015
  1. Office landlord tries to raise the rent 50%, liquidate office.
  2. By January know I need a break, 6 days/week since start, first in office last to leave most days. Make plans to unplug in February.
    1. By now, much of business communication depends on me being present, make moves to prepare for off time in late February.
  3. Unplug from Coinapult and Internet generally final week of February. Start handwritten journaling habit.
  4. January 2015 : Bitcoin blocksize war boiling.
    1. Find TMSR: #bitcon-assets, http://trilema.com, http://qntra.net, http://loper-os.org, http://thedrinkingrecord.com, http://contravex.com, etc.
    2. Difficult to understand, but understand it's important.
  5. March 2015 Coinapult denied Series A funding round from wall street investors.
  6. Too volatile to press on, clean wind down to ensure all customers made whole, final paycheck, talks of alternative investors.
  7. The following week 150 BTC spent away from company control.
Q2 2015
  1. Coinapult sold to group in Panama, customers made whole, unaware of situation of previous investors.
  2. Ira Miller and Guilherme Polo (Coinapult CTO) spin off Deginner and negotiate technical support and development contract for Coinapult; plan to rewrite brokerage, exchange and wallet software as opensource.
  3. I take job with them as support engineer.
  4. Coinapult shifts from ~12 employees to four with outsourced engineering.
  5. Integrates with Crypto Capital.

4. Poorly done salt mining with Deginner.

May 2015
  1. Ashe leaves Panama.
  2. I start spending more time with JFW ; he actually has capacity and curiosity to parse the log and help me process technical concepts, but he's less inclined to grapple with politics.
  3. Development of Deginner tools drags.
  4. Coinapult increasingly difficult to work with8.
  5. Deginner incubator model of $25k worth of cash and equity for software and consulting.
    1. DASH is only client landed, December 2015. I wasn't directly involved, in part because log/blog reading had me very skeptical.
August 2015
  1. I read Absolute OpenBSD9, install on laptop. First real Unix-like install.
  2. I reconnect with Justin Mabanta, fiat finance contact who later brought brokerage motivation.
  3. Find myself stuck in a petrified state of knowing Deginner work isn't worthy, from tmsr reading and discussions with Jacob.
  4. Lack of managerial oversight at "work" allows me to read more, try grappling with what's being said.
  5. Intimidated to interact due to witnessing countless idiots make a fool of themselves/waste time of people I value and fearing my past is sewage in the wine. Also, the two prior business leaps without sufficient due diligence had resulted in progress overall, but in quite the disorienting manner.
  6. Steal from saltmine was not my ethos/understood, which further damaged psyche/self-esteem.
  7. Prior projects, where passionate and 'nuke' driven -> had floor removed.
  8. tmsr quite the learning curve, took "6 months" to heart, much easier10 to spend time reading than engaging ; reading exposes more previously unknown complexity.
December 2015
  1. Deginner development projects never delivered.
  2. Coinapult transitions from Deginner poorly managing servers to bringing JFW on in part-time capacity based on my recomendation. Key management being key.
  3. After a couple months, JFW decides to walk away, our relationship strengthens through the process.
  4. By April 2016, Guilherme Polo left Deginner and Ira transitions to bounty-based model, renamed Git Guild.
  5. May 2016: Justin Mabanta expresses interest in starting a BTC/fiat brokerage with me.

5. Failed brokerage development leads to birth of JWRD Computing.

June 2016-June 2018
  1. Roles : Justin: bring clients and investors ; JFW: all matters technical ; Myself : act as bridge as well as business admin.
  2. Justin said while he could fund himself, preferred to bring in strategic investor, market to his book to start11
  3. I wrote the business plan, focus on HNW clients, stay away from retail, security is top priority, I bring in Jacob.
  4. Initial Plan was to terraform Ira's exchange/brokerage packages12 to our needs, only use what's useful, discard what's not, build what we otherwise need
  5. Justin demonstrated a resourceful network, e.g. introduced us to several of his contacts13 that he thought would invest, but nothing closed.
  6. Our project turned out to be a low priority for Justin as he continued fiat securities business and other venture deals, would be unresponsive for weeks and didn't commit to the technical training we offered him.
  7. Jacob and I understood technical development was taking a long time, Justin had other responsibilities/investments, and when we did talk, he continued to say he was interested and would come up with new potential paths.
  8. I continued networking locally throughout 2016-2018, by June 2018 unresponsiveness reached a breaking point and we began looking for other partners.
  9. In autumn 2016, reconnected with family based on questions I wanted answered and observing positive change from them.
  10. I registered for Chartered Financial Analyst exam during this time, didn't properly study.
June 2018-Present
  1. Based on the Panama networking I'd done and JFW's technical development14, we pivoted to explore opportunities locally.
  2. While we've brought on clients, a relationship development hang up has been lack of publishing/public presence.
  3. JFW has solid outline of essay describing design philosophy/goals of Gales Linux since July 2018, but yet to publish15.
  4. Guide clients in transitioning from fast food computing culture to home cooking computing. Learn command line, minimize complexity in system, compile everything from sauce.
  1. As I was typing, I couldn't help but expand/clarify some points as the thoughts arose. Perhaps I should have asked, but it seemed silly to not capture the improvements here. []
  2. Please pardon there's not proper sourcing and referencing. When I add meat to the bones below references there will be in all their glory ! []
  3. Enumerate goodness. []
  4. They want you to call it Barbados. []
  5. What we ? []
  6. Of course it was my responsibility to find via due diligence. []
  7. Coinapult and Bitinstant grew together, from same Manhattan office. Erik worked Bitinstant prior to Coinapult. []
  8. Ira recommended the most passive person, Gabe Sukenik, from Coinapult v1 to figurehead Coinapult v2 to the new owners. I reckon Ira imagined he'd steer from the outside. Gabe grew some teeth, but didn't know how to use from previous passivity, thus tension. []
  9. OpenBSD was still relatively well regarded in the forum at the time []
  10. In short term []
  11. By then he was running multi-family office, had numerous IPOs in Canadian markets, etc. []
  12. By mid 2017 Ira had abandoned his, I stopped communicating with him and Jacob said he'd take on the development. []
  13. The most serious was Jake Cormack, COO of Cantor Fitzgerald, HK and Justin's partner on several deals. Jake managed GPG key and IRC connection. []
  14. I first installed Gales Linux in autumn 2017 and synced TRB node []
  15. Autumn 2018 shifted to Gales Scheme development in lieu of publishing; January 2019 decided to do a review of system prior to publishing, review of completed June 2019. []

12 Comments »

  1. [...] My series of posts adding meat to the bones of The Fabled Outlines. [...]

    Pingback by RMD Week 1 Plan: Nov 4th-10th, 2019 « Young Hands Club — November 4, 2019 @ 4:18 a.m.

  2. [...] My series of posts adding meat to the bones of The Fabled Outlines. [...]

    Pingback by RMD plan, Nov 11th-Nov15th « Young Hands Club — November 11, 2019 @ 11:20 a.m.

  3. [...] My series of posts adding meat to the bones of The Fabled Outlines. [...]

    Pingback by RMD: Reconciling Plans and Execution « Young Hands Club — December 4, 2019 @ 5:15 p.m.

  4. [...] Work through the fabled outlines article backlog. I think I can get 2.1 and 2.2 out by Friday. (Time [...]

    Pingback by RMD plan, Jan 20-24th, 2020 « Young Hands Club — January 20, 2020 @ 7:39 a.m.

  5. [...] on another ship [↩]At which point in the writing I'm pretty well irritated the bones of my Fabled Outlines lack meat to link to. [↩]If you get caught smoking anywhere else, it's a big fine and they [...]

    Pingback by Hawai'i Cruisin « Dorion Mode — January 21, 2020 @ 1:39 p.m.

  6. > Coinapult employees harassed at border, property confiscated.

    Has this ever happened to you? Any tips on avoiding this risk?

    Btw great outline, sounds like you've had a wild ride this past decade. Very much looking forward to reading the filled-in version!

    Comment by billymg — January 23, 2020 @ 4:56 p.m.

  7. I guess rather than "tips for avoiding", which boils down to "don't be an idiot", are there any details on Coinapult employee incident that you could share? Things they could have perhaps done differently?

    Comment by billymg — January 23, 2020 @ 11:00 p.m.

  8. > Coinapult employees harassed at border, property confiscated.

    Has this ever happened to you? Any tips on avoiding this risk?

    I guess rather than "tips for avoiding", which boils down to "don't be an idiot", are there any details on Coinapult employee incident that you could share? Things they could have perhaps done differently?

    Though I've tried preparing myself each time, it's never happened to me aside from a time in Boston when they took a closer look at an empty suitcase I had checked (brought it there empty to bring things back south).

    The Coinapult incidents happened in Q2 2014, when they were hot on Erik (which he ultimately settled with them in June 2014) and months after they'd nabbed Charlie. Coinapult and Bitinstant were closely linked. They shared offices in NYC and Coinapult did a lot of trading in the back end for Bitinstant which, to my understanding was more of a store front with the bank accounts. Erik worked for Bitinstant prior to Coinapult.

    In Q1 2015, it also happened to Justin Blincoe (Coinapult COO/CFO, current Shapeshift CFO and Erik's best friend since childhood). He told me they were waiting for him in Denver with devices they'd confiscated in Puerto Rico, Q1 2014. Basically, Coinapult people were on a list. I met a Canadian resident of Panama in 2018 and he told me was stopped and interrogated in 2014 about Coinapult (he'd never heard of the company).

    Perhaps a reason it never happened to me is from January 2014-September 2016, I didn't make any trips back.

    As far as advice, go with things encrypted and be prepared to lose them is my mindset. Have backups and if they ask you to decrypt, don't and let them have the brick. I also always travel in a suit.

    Btw great outline, sounds like you've had a wild ride this past decade. Very much looking forward to reading the filled-in version!

    Thanks :) As far as it being wild, it has mainly flowed from trying to stay honest and true to myself, which I consider a skill that can be hardest at first when you're young and in a dysfunctional environment, but gets easier with practice and cleaning your environment - not to say I don't, to this day, still have my ups and downs.

    The ultimate calculation is when you decide to conform to insanity, you start to kill the sane parts of yourself and then tend to rationalize the killing. No bueno !

    More coming soon, Cheers !

    Comment by Robinson Dorion — January 24, 2020 @ 9:26 p.m.

  9. [...] Work through the fabled outlines article backlog. I'll have 2.1 and 2.2 out by Sat am. I think 2.3 is for sure feasible this week. [...]

    Pingback by RMD plan, Jan 25th-31st, 2020 « Young Hands Club — January 25, 2020 @ 5:00 a.m.

  10. [...] Work through the fabled outlines article backlog. 2.3 is for sure feasible this week. 2.4 is going to be a big one. (Time [...]

    Pingback by RMD plan, Feb 1st-7th, 2020 « Young Hands Club — February 1, 2020 @ 8:34 a.m.

  11. [...] from the Simple Steps series, I'm pickup up where I left off in School Spirit to start filling in The Fabled Outlines. This article primarily paints the backdrop of the picture of the life I lived during my 22nd year, [...]

    Pingback by Simple Steps Part 2: Hopping Caribbean Islands to land in Prospect Point « Dorion Mode — February 1, 2020 @ 11:23 p.m.

  12. [...] Work through the fabled outlines article backlog. 2.3 is for sure feasible this week. 2.4 is going to be a big one. (Time [...]

    Pingback by RMD plan, Feb 8-14th, 2020 « Young Hands Club — February 8, 2020 @ 4:46 p.m.

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