Many exchanges were designed to encourage users to trade as frequently as possible, often with money they don’t have, and resembled casinos more than responsible trading platforms, said Joel Edgerton, chief operating officer at bitFlyer U.S.
“There are too many exchanges that are run like casinos and exploit their customers,” he said.
Edgerton spoke to CoinDesk just over a week after a 20-year-old student, Alexander Kearns, killed himself after falsely believing he had got himself into more than $700,000-worth of debt by trading complex options contracts on Robinhood – an app-based trading platform with a young, retail-oriented following.
It later came to light that the negative balance was a temporary phase in between contract execution – i.e. Kearns wasn’t actually in the red. But Robinhood has come under heavy criticism for allowing amateur traders to access such complex instruments without safeguards to avoid confusion and, in this case, tragedy.
Late last week, Robinhood announced a $250,000 donation to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and vowed to add safeguards to its platform, such as tightening eligibility requirements for complex options trades.
See also: The Chad Index Versus Doomer Internet Money: The Breakdown Weekly Recap
While Binance’s CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao said in response last week that his exchange already implemented a “Responsible Trading” feature, Edgerton, a former head of operations at the insurance arm of French bank BNP Paribas, said the exchange was trying to shield itself from further criticism.
“I would say CZ’s response was mercenary. He is using a kid’s death to pitch his company and Binance is actually part of the problem,” he explained. The platform gets users hooked and their anti-addiction policy “highlights the fact that they built the product to be addictive,” he said.
Any crypto exchange that offered 125x leverage indiscriminately – which Binance began offering in October – isn’t serious about customer protection, Edgerton continued. BitFlyer, which opened a U.S. office in 2017, says it already restricts access to leverage and can flag or even ban users that display troubling trading patterns. The Tokyo-based exchange ranks ninth globally, according to CoinGecko, and is the market leader in Japan.
It was reported last summer a Chinese bitcoin trader killed himself after a 100x position on derivatives exchange BitMEX was liquidated, a loss of about $16.4 million in a single trade. Around the same time, an anonymous student trader said he was having suicidal thoughts after losing thousands of dollars on several leveraged trades on the same platform.
Arthur Hayes, BitMEX’s CEO, has previously defended his business, arguing that in a free market, customers can always move onto other platforms if they worry about being exploited or defrauded.
When contacted by CoinDesk, Binance declined to comment. BitMEX hadn’t responded to a similar request by press time.
See also: BitMEX Sees Biggest Short Squeeze in 8 Months After Bitcoin Surge
Cryptocurrency exchanges have more of a role to play in customer protection, Edgerton said. Regulators worldwide cap leverage for retail investors, both in crypto and in traditional assets, such as equities. Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) halved maximum leverage down to two times the value of the deposit this year.
As such, there’s no reason an exchange should offer 100x leverage on top of highly volatile assets without first checking whether the investor knows what they are doing and that they have the income to cover that level of exposure, argued Edgerton.
“We have a responsibility to provide products that are suitable to our clients,” he added. The Robinhood suicide “is what happens when companies focus on tech and profits rather than doing the right thing for their customers.”
Article link: https://www.coindesk.com/crypto-exchanges-casinos-robinhood-suicide-bitflyer
In this short post I want to set out my case for the moral justifiability of 51% attacks against proof of work cryptocurrencies. In the past, a 51% attack was a theoretical construct that most people didn´t seem to think would be practically achievable or lucrative. This has now changed, as hashpower can be rented on sites like Nicehash and Mining Rig Rentals for a few hours at a time. The attack delivers the attacker two prominent opportunities:
-You can orphan blocks of ¨legitimate¨ miners. This essentially means that whatever work was produced by legitimate miners during your attack became worthless. Mine a secret chain of two hours worth of blocks, release it and you orphaned 2 hours worth of blocks by your competitors. By the time most of the miners have noticed their blocks were orphaned in an attack, their nodes will have been automatically mining on your own chain for a while and it will be too late for them to do anything about it. The amount of money they lost would be equivalent to the amount you had to spend to produce your chain. Because mining is an industry with tight margins, the economic impact on these miners can be very big. The cost may be sufficient in case of a very long attack, to persuade them to quit their endeavor and get a real job.
-The more important opportunity is that you´re able to double spend your coins. This is potentially, incredibly lucrative. How lucrative it is tends to depend primarily on the inflation rate of a cryptocurrency. A low inflation rate means relatively little ¨work¨ is done to maintain the security of the system. A high inflation rate on the other hand, turns the cryptocurrency into a very poor long-term investment. As a consequence, most cryptocurrencies face declining inflation rates, that delay the problem of their ultimately unsustainability into the future. The bank of international settlements explains this issue here
When it comes to the moral justification of a 51% attack, we first have to ask ourselves why proof of work is morally unjustifiable. There are two main reasons for this:
-Proof of work has an enormous environmental impact, that ensures future generations will have to deal with the dramatic consequences of climate change. There is no proper justification for this environmental impact, as it delivers no clear benefits over existing payment systems other than the ability to carry out morally unjustifiable actions like blackmail.
-Proof of work is fundamentally unsustainable, because of the economic burden it places on participants in cryptocurrency schemes. Cryptocurrencies can´t produce wealth out of thin air. The people who get rich from a cryptocurrency becomes rich, due to the fact that other people step in later. In this sense we´re dealing with a pyramid scheme, but the difference from regular pyramid schemes lies in the fact that huge sums of wealth are not merely redistributed, but destroyed
, to sustain the scheme. The cost of the work to sustain the scheme is bigger than you might expect, because the reality is that relatively little money has entered bitcoin. JP Morgan claims that for the crypto assets at large, a fiat amplifier of 117.5 is present, as a purported $2 billion in net inflow pushed Bitcoin’s market capitalization from $15 billion to $250 billion. You have to consider that the Digiconomist estimates that $2.6 billion dollar leaves the Bitcoin scheme on an annual basis, in the form of mining costs to sustain Bitcoin. The vast majority of retail customers who entered this scheme ended up losing money from it. In some cases this lead to suicides.
The fact that proof of work is morally unjustifiable doesn´t directly lead to a moral justification for a 51% attack. After all a sane society would use government intervention to eliminate the decentralized ponzi schemes that are cryptocurrencies. There are a few things that need to be considered however:
-Governments have so far failed in their responsibility to address the cryptocurrency schemes. Instead you tend to see officials insist that proof of work might suck and most cryptocurrency is a scam, but ¨blockchain technology¨ will somehow change the world for the better. Most libertarians who saw these schemes emerge insisted that it´s stupid to participate in them because the government would eventually ban them and round up the people who participated in them. This didn´t happen because of the logistical difficulty of suppressing these schemes (anyone with an internet connection can set one up) as well as the fact that suppressing them would lend credence to the anti-government anarcho-capitalist ideology on which these schemes are based. Goverments might say ¨these schemes facilitate crime, ruin the environment and redistribute wealth from naive individuals to scammers¨, but anarcho-capitalists would insist that governments have grown so tyrannical that they want to ban you from exchanging numbers on computers.
-Because cryptocurrency is fundamentally an online social arrangement, governments have very limited influence over the phenomenon. Binance seeks to become a stateless organization, not subject to the jurisdiction of any particular government. Just as with regular money laundering and tax evasion that hides in small nations that can earn huge sums of money by facilitating these practises, governments are dependent on the actions of individuals to address these practices. Whistleblowers released the panama papers and the tax evasion by German individuals through Swiss bank accounts. Through such individuals, the phenomenon could be properly addressed. In a similar manner, cryptocurrency schemes will need to be addressed through the actions of individuals who recognize the damage these schemes cause to the fabric of society.
-The very nature of a 51% attack means that it primarily punishes those who set up and facilitate the cryptocurrency scheme in the first place. The miners who pollute our environment to satiate their own greed are bankrupted by the fact that their blocks are orphaned. The exchange operators are bankrupted due to double-spend attacks against the scams that they facilitate. When this happens, the cryptocurrency in question should lose value, which then destroys the incentive to devote huge sums of electricity to it.
Finally, there´s the question of whether 51% attacks are viable as a response to cryptocurrency. There´s the obvious problem you run into, that the biggest and oldest scams are the most difficult to shut down. In addition, cryptocurrencies that fell victim to an attack tend to move towards a checkpoint system. However, there are a few things that need to be considered here:
-51% attacks against small cryptocurrencies might not have a huge impact, but their benefit is nonetheless apparent. Most of the new scams don´t require participants to mine, instead the new schemes generally depend on ¨staking¨. If people had not engage in 51% attacks, the environmental impact would have been even bigger now.
-51% attacks against currencies that implement checkpointing are not impossible
, if the checkpoints are decentrally produced. What happens in that case is a chain split, as long as the hostile chain is released at the right time. This would mean that different exchanges may get stuck on different forks, which would still allow people to double spend their cryptocurrency.
-There are other attacks that can be used against proof of work cryptocurrencies. The most important one is the block withholding attack. It´s possible for people who dislike a cryptocurrency to join a pool and to start mining. However, whenever the miner finds a valid solution that would produce a block, he fails to share the solution with the pool. This costs money for the pool operator, but it can be lucrative for the actor if he also operates a competing pool himself. In the best case it leads to miners moving to his pool, which then potentially allows him to execute a 51% attack against the cryptocurrency.
-It´s possible to put up a 51% attack bounty, allowing others to do the work for you. This works as following. You make transaction A : 100 bitcoin to exchange X, for a fee of 0.001 BTC. Once this transaction has been included in a block, you immediately broadcast a conflicting transaction with another node: You´ŕe sending those 100 bitcoin to your own wallet, but you´re also including a 50 bitcoin fee for the miners. The miners now have a strong incentive to disregard the valid chain and to start mining a new chain on an older block that can still include your conflicting transaction. Provided that pool operators are rational economic agents, they should grab the opportunity.
-Selfish mining in combination with a Sybil attack allows someone to eclipse the rest of the network, while controlling less than 51% of the hashrate. Your malicious nodes will simply refuse to propagante blocks of your competitors, thereby giving you more time to release your own block. Selfish mining will always be possible with 33% of the hashrate and as far as I can tell there are no pathways known currently to make the scheme impossible for people with 25% of the hashrate. This potentially makes a 51% attacks lucrative without having to carry out double-spend attacks against exchanges. Although double spending is a form of theft, it´s not clear to me whether a selfish mining attack would get you into legal trouble or not.
The dreaded 51% attack is a morally justifiable and potentially lucrative solution to the Nakamoto scheme
The war against the Yeerks was over, both the Andalites and Humans races enjoyed a time of blossoming peace, trade, and prosperity. The Humans faired well in the aftermath of the war, Earth being spared mass commitment or damage, and little loss of life. The Andalites were advanced, but weakened, from the long war against the now defeated and subjugated parasitic slug-like race of Yeerks. The part deer, part scorpion, part human looking Andalite race was slowly recovering from the war and wearily exploring new opportunities for trade with its new "friend", the Humans.
The Andalites are a powerful race, with some of the best technology in their explored corner of the galaxy. A warrior species at heart, Andalites are well developed for combat, with 4 eyes, 2 of those eyes on bendable stalks, 4 strong legs, a deadly fast tail with a scorpion blade, and a bright mind. Though fairly gentle hearted by nature, the Andalite's 100 million or so members nonetheless appreciate the role of the warrior more than almost anything, other than maybe family, being that they live in close knitted groups in their outdoor homes called "scoops".
The Andalites were fairly proud race, and some may call them arrogant about their abilities, technology and their species. They did not think all that much of the Human race and what they could bring to the table, and were naturally suspicious due to the Yeerks betrayal of the Andalites in the past. The Humans, however, proved themselves to be very able at waging war, with a paltry 5 human teenagers and 1 Andalites cadet managing to topple the powerful Yeerk empire with well-timed guerrilla attacks and smart thinking, combined with illegally gifted Andalite morphing technology from the war-price Andalite hero Elfangor.
The Human race lost approximately 90,000 souls from the Yeerk infiltration of Earth. The slug-like Yeerks, who takes over their host's brains and bodies, can perfectly mimic a person and use their memories and brains to help them do so. Thousands of people were killed by their controlling Yeerks who rathered go out fighting then be starved to death from lack of their precious Kandrona rays generators. While few Humans were killed during the actual "war", there were some deaths from the Animorphs guerrilla fighters vs infested humans and free Human vs Yeerk forces. Tens of thousands of civilians were also killed during suicidal bombing attacks on Yeerk infestation centers by the small teenaged Human guerrilla force and their Andalite companion.
The Humans proved themselves to be tenacious, determined, adaptive, quick learning, and good in a fight. Surprising everyone, the Human race managed to beat back an invasion from a species most Humans had no idea existed. Humans did not just beat back the invasion, they managed to take over a pool ship, and transferred its command codes to the Andalite, allowing them to snap up a major yeerk fleet and the Yeerks top ranking general. With the Yeerk high command in turmoil, their top generals all dead or captured due to Humans, and in some cases civil-war between other yeerks, the Andalites were able to use the stolen Yeerk command data and a promise of morphing out of their bodies to subdue the Yeerks and blockade their homeworlds.
Humans were new to the galactic scene, but already were making waves, Human body morph permissions and foodcourt establishments on the Andalite homeworld promised Humans a big bargaining chip in trade with the Andalites. The Andalites did not have mouths themselves but could morph to human to experience taste, and it was becoming a booming trade, helping secure technology transfer deals to the Humans benefit. The technology transfers were coming somewhat slowly, but, Humans were already making giant leaps and their first faster than light spaceship was already under construction. Humans also reversed engineered some captured yeerk technology, circumventing the Andalites refusal to trade weapons tech.
The Andilites were somewhat wary of the Humans, while most Andalite civilians loved that Humans and Andalite cooperate well together and wanted good relations, Andalite command was less warm to the upstart and primitive race of humans. Andalites viewed human technology to be laughable, with every piece of human tech shocking Andalites with how old school it is, how dangerous it is, or how Humans even managed to get that far yet. Andalites high command viewed Humans as unpredictable, self-serving, primitive, and very weak looking creatures. Humans only had 2 legs, and 2 eyes, and looked as if they could barely stand up, lacking any tail! Humans were helplessly weak and had no real advantage to their bodies, the only reason yereks even wanted Humans was that they were too weak to resist, had fairly good senses and hands to handles technology, and had a supermassive 6 billion hosts bodies available. The one thing Andalite command hated the most about Humans, however, was that they could be competition.
Humans, as stated before, are in a laughably primitive state compared to Andalites or any other spare fairing civilization, such as the Skirt-Naa or the Leer. Most Andalites would be surprised to learn that a Human even knew about black holes. Most Andalite would be surprised that Humans invented books before the computer, as if the idea of powerless instantly accessible data was simple to think of. Most Andalites would be surprised to learn that Humans went from their first flight, to their moon, in just 60 years, 3 times faster than the Andalites. And most Andalites would be a bit nervous, more so than surprised, to find out that Humans went from having a man walk on their moon to discovering and inventing a Zero-space faster than light communication device in 50 years, right around the middle of the invasion of Earth by the yeerks.
The Human race works well with Andalites, both feeling a kindred with one another easily. Even before the invasion of Earth, a pair of teenage Humans would frequently surprise the to-be War price Elfangor when he was a cadet. Elfangor would be constantly surprised at how the soft, weak, and unsteady looking human body could take an amazing amount of punishment and still recover. and could be surprisingly strong and capable with their powerful and well-adapted arms and hands. Even the Humans unstable-looking 2 legs could be rather effective in giving the Human mobility in terms of running, jumping, and dodging. The young Elfangor found that both of his Human charges, kidnapped from their home planet, were rather determined. In fact, both of them had a key part to play in setting the stage for the eventual invasion of Earth. One for good, and one for evil. Truth be told, chances are the yeerks would have come either way, but, even 2 Human teenagers can have a huge impact on the galaxy many years down the road.
Peace now reigned, but it was to be short-lived, the Kelbrid bordered Andalite space, and may have killed an Andalite prince and former Animorph. Prince Aximilli, Elfangors younger brother, had survived the war on earth as a cadet and sole Andalite on the Animorphs team, and sole Andalite on earth, in general, most of the time. As a new prince and war hero, "Ax" was given the task of hunting down a rouge Yeerk force in a powerful "blade-ship" class cruiser. Ax's Andalites cruiser broke a treaty to stay out of each others space that was brokered with the Kelbrid, and after entering Kelbrid space Ax's cruiser was inspecting a craft it found via boarding party when the ship opened fire on Ax's vessel. Ax's ship had no choice but to run, and was subject to further attack, with only 1 survivor saved to tell the tale of Ax's capture on the strange ship they encountered during the search for the Blade ship.
The Andalite could not risk a war by entering Keldbrid space, even though they knew their hero was likely captured on a potentially Kelbrid ship. With 1 primary Animorph in addition to all the handicapped child auxiliary Animorphs killed, due to various suicide attacks at the end of the Yeerk war, 3 out of the 4 remaining Animorphs go on a mission to save their friend Ax, and all of them, the 3 rescuers and Ax, are killed in a suicide attack by the would-be rescuers, after learning their friend Ax was twisted into an abomination of a new sort, and that they were outclassed and under-prepared. The last known transmission from the Animorphs leader on the rescue mission was, "Ram the blade ship." There is only one confirmed Animorph left alive from the over 20 prime and auxiliary Animorphs during the war with the Yeerks, the intuitive tree hugger, Cassie. All known Animorph deaths have occurred due to suicide attacks, with the exception of one, and the possible exception of a second, (depending on if a suicide wish was granted to ease an evil traitor Animorphs pain of being stuck in rat morph to his arch-rival Animorphs who hovered on the edge of good and going too far down the path of becoming a monster herself. Nobody knows if she granted his death wish.)
With all known Animorphs dead, save for 1, and the Andalite war prince Ax believed dead, tensions rise in the command rooms for both Andalites and Humans, especially for the Andalites, who territorial space bordered the Kelbrid. The mission to rescue Aximilli lost Humanity its best heroes, and the Andalites lost their greatest war hero for good this time, the little brother of war-prince Elfangor was dead, as was almost the entire Animorphs team. Even Arborn, a fellow cadet and friend of Elfangor who was trapped in Taxxon morph, was dead, shot by a poacher on earth, after the war with the Yeerks ended. All the heroes who beat back the Yeerk invastion of the galaxy, with the exception of the tree hugger Cassie, were now dead, and not even the powerful time warping Ellimist would be able to bring them back this time, not being allowed in his comic game of chess to do them any other favors. The Andalites now had to worry about the fallout of the incursions into Kelbrid space, and both races would have to explain their Heros mysterious disappearances to its people using lies and tall tales.
As the Andalites desperately tried to predict what the Keldbrid race would do next, Humans continued to advance into making the transition to a galactic civilization. The moon was colonized with bases, thousands of humans now lived there in science and military outposts. Humanity continued to advance, the first "Zero Space" was launched, a second and third launched a few months later. With new each ship made, Humans modified, optimized, and resigned them to be better, faster, and more spaceworthy. Weapons on human spacecraft were still unheard of, but Human leadership was planning on adding those soon, the Human-modified dracon beams taken from the defeated yeerks being renamed "phasers" and given better damage and longer burst rates thanks to Human ingenuity. As the Andalites became to scan their borders fervently, Humans began to learn the art of weaponizing their space-ships with laser weaponry and began exploring captured shield tech and learning how it worked.
Years past, Andalite and Humans are rarely found in each other territory anymore. The Andalites have become recluse, nobody knows why, but they claim its to protect their species identity in these news times of species to species contact. The Humans and Andalites were working together on various business and governmental endeavors when suddenly, the Andalite high command issued orders to cease most contact with Humans, citing cultural identity concerns and the need to slow down and take more time to build trust. Humans were confused, the Andalite military folks could be a bit arrogant, but, Andalites and Humans got on pretty well, and Humans did not understand the sudden pullback in Andalite policy. Secretly, despite all the talk about "trust", Humans began to spy. They wanted to know what exactly was going on with the Andalites, and it did not help for Human leadership to secretly know that Andalite high command was planning on glassing planet Earth in a scorched earth policy during the war to stop the yeerks, and only reluctantly change gears after the Animorphs handed them a whole Yeerk fleet and the top general of the Yeerks.
The Andalites grew more distant, and Humanity watched from afar, using their secret Z-space telescopes to spy on Andalites planets and military movements. The Andalites were not an expansive race, having little desire to conquer new land, they only had 3 planets under their control. 20 years after the war with the yeerks, Humans were in the middle of terraforming Mars, and the moon was a full-fledged base of Humanity, with over 100,000 souls living there in domes and enclosed buildings. Humans had no real military space force, but the moon did contain powerful plasma turrets on its surface, with enough fire-power in its somewhat primitive model to surprise the Andalites, had they bothered to keep tabs anymore. The Andalites knew about the plasma turrets of course, but they did not care too much to check them out, and assumed humans had no real ability other than fighting wars limited to their own planet, and only shadow-based wars at that, believing humans to be unable to stand up to an advanced force of any kind with real numbers supporting them. The Andalites were occupied with something... Else... And Human leadership wanted to know what.
Andalite fleet movement had been detected by Human Z-space spy telescopes, lots of it, and Human leadership knew what it must be... War. They were not sure who the Andalites were gearing up to fight, but, Human leadership suspected it was the Kelbrid, knowing of the secret missions Andalites had taking place in their territory. The Kelbrid were considered to be advanced, powerful, and savage, but were known to keep their agreements, they would likely be very angry about their borders being intruded by Andalites after the agreement they made to stay out of each other's way. The Human leadership know what the signs pointed to, Humans had spent its whole existence fighting and killing, and it knew a fight brewing when it saw one. Humans made upgrades to their z-space spy scopes to take a better look at Andalite territory, what they found, was scary, if not surprising. The Andalites were indeed at war, and losing, badly.
The Andalites were in a panic, one of their worlds was burning, millions of Andalites dead, and the whole system it resided in was lost. The Andalites lost nearly half their fleet in trying to save their third planet and newest acquisition. After downsizing their military only 20 years ago, the newest generation of Andalites was tapped for war and hundreds of new ships were built at a frantic pace. The Andalite cadets knew what was expected of them.
Humans watched the development with great interest, they saw the third planet of the Andalites, Teeassic, burn. None seemed to be left alive, and the fleet around its orbit was devested. Humans watched as the Andalites pulled back to their remaining 2 planets, and build new more defense platforms to ring them. The Kelbrid were clearly a powerful foe, their ships massive in size, though old, and having massive firepower and defense shielding on their ships. Even the mighty Andalites dome ships, with shedder lasers that could punch a hole in a moon, were hard-pressed to stop even 1 Kelbrid battlecruiser. Humans watched as the Kelbrid matched the Andalites with 1 capital ship for every 3 of the Andalites own. The Andalites, while powerful, had clearly met their match, the Kelbrid was stronger than the yeerks and could push the Andalites back with their fierceness. Andalites, however, are brave to the point of ridiculousness, much like Humans, and the Andalites did not hesitate to self-sacrifice to attempt to win the war. Out of honor for their people, the Andalites forces again and again committed themselves to suicide attacks, fights that led to the self-destruction of the vessel they resided on, and just generally INSANE acts of heroism to try to stop the Kelbrid. But it was not enough, and the Andalites found themselves pushed out of open space and huddled around their 2 remaining planets.
All this time, the Andalites pretended nothing was wrong to the Humans. Civilian contact was cut off years ago, and Andalite military command, that acted as the species overall government more often than not, would send less frequent ambassadors, who nonetheless insisted everything was "fine" and the Andalite just wanted to take things slowly with Humans. For a time, Human leadership, consisting of the semi-centralized new earth government, took them at face value but grew less and less accepting of the excuses over time. The Humans did not want to admit to spying, but, it was a non-invasive long-range visual observation method, using holes in space-time, so they did not feel too ashamed of themselves for admitting it. Besides, the Andalites were losing and clearly needed help, badly. After witnessing a failed but close contested attack on the Andalites second planet, Luaminoa, Humans knew the Andalites were risking destruction and felt compelled to do something and say something.
Planet: Earth Year: 2022 Ambassador to the Andalites office, Washington D.C.
An old, haggard-looking Andalite of 160 years walks through the tall and wide door to the Ambassador's office, finding their species could not properly sit down like humans, a comfortable carpet would make due instead of a chair for the Andalite ambassador. The Andalite faces a middle-aged human of 40 years old, the blue-furred Andalite looks at the Human man standing before him, a man with bright blue clears eyes and a smile but sad smile on his face.
"Hello ambassador Theor-Getil-Illii", says the Human, using the Andalites full name rather then the shortened version. The Human did not shake the Andalites hand, knowing they are more fragile appendages than the ones Humans have. , said the Andalite telepathically, with a modest bow of its stalk-eyed head and human-like torso. , asked the Andalite. The small smiled faded off the Human ambassador's face, and in its wake was just sadness. "Theor", using the Andalites shorten named, "What is happening to your people?" The Andalite paused for a moment, seemed slightly taken aback, and responded. "Yes you do", the Human ambassador responded. "Your people are at war, and you are losing". The Andalites 4 eyes, trained on the Human, got big and his body tensed. The Human, not waiting for a response, continued. "We know you are down to 2 of your planets and are in a defensive position around their orbits, and we know about the Kelbrid and what is going on." The Andalite looked at ambassador Paul, and after a moment, asked,
the Andalite asked incredulously. "Well..." said the Human. "They really are more like micro cameras that look through micro holes in Z-space.", the Human explained. "Using just a tiny amount of energy, we can create a high-speed tunnel through Z-space, with nothing in the tunnel but a simple stream of quarks. The force of those quark streams keeps a small rift open that we peak inside of using a tiny camera that picks up on photons that enter the Z-space hole created as the quarks squeeze out of it.", the Human lectured. "This allows us to send tiny mass through Z-space at extremely high speeds, allowing for near-instant observation at the end of the tunnel created by the mass exiting Z-space at the target observation area." Shocked, Theor-Getil-Illii simply started at the Human, for a long time. The Human waited, and after a time, the Andalite seemed to find his thought-speak voice. , the Andalite babbled. , said the Andalite, trying to sound calm.
The old Andalite ambassador read Aximillis report, but could hardly believe it, let alone allow its impact to truly wash over him. However, the truth of Human now started to dawn him, and his body grew cold as his smart mind did the calculations and he thought to himself. The Andalite looked again at the Human, , the Andalite said slowly and half-mindedly> The Human nooded, understanding how the Andalite must feel, "Yes, we know we are the type to advance quickly compared to the most races we have learned of, it's just in our nature.", the Human said slightly sadly, "We just hope for the best", Paul said. Looking at the quite Andalite, Paul said, "Now, have you considered asking us for help? We would be willing to aid you, freely." Theor took a moment to think about that statement, before responding, Theor-Getil-Illii replied, borrowing the Human phrase to express a problem.
, Theor asked while taking a deep breath. "Certainly", said Paul. Theor started. Theor continued. Theor finished off. Theor said in thought-speak. Theor bristled. , ended the Andalite firmly. The Human ambassador looked on, knowing this would be a tough job, but one he would have to do.
"What if we offered you a million soldiers right now?" Paul asked. "Well trained, and we could even provide weaponry and supplies for them." Paul looked at the old Andalite. "We could even give you 3 million soldiers, armed and with some armored support, within 3 months time," Paul said. "China has already agreed to give a million soldiers today on the spot, and the United States and its alliances can provide 2 million after we formalize things a bit," Paul explained. "You could station them on Luaminoa, to use in defense in case of a troop based invasion.", Paul finished. The old Andalite stared, thought briefly, and said, Ambassador Paul nodded, but countered, "But you could still use the help when they try to take the planet as their own by troop invasion.", he said plainly. The Andalite ambassador countered, "Your people would all die." Ambassador Paul looked Theor in his 2 main eyes on his head, and said, "Yes, we know, but we are willing to do it to help you anyway. Out of friendship between the kin we know we have between our races.
The Andalite ambassador stood there that night, attempting to fall asleep in the middle of a moon-lit grass field, isolated and protected by security agents from the worlds cooperative governments for official Andalite guests to sleep in. No deal with struck today, just talk, the Andalite asked for an early recess to think and contact Andalite command. Theor-Getil-Illii would have preferred a tree to sleep by, in the half-asleep trance manner his forest and plains based species were accustomed to. The open field would have to do, however, not that his mind was letting him sleep. <3 million soldiers, in less than 3 months time?", he wondered to himself. The entire Andalite military force consisted of about 18 million Andalites, and that is even after the addition of female soldiers and higher than normal recruiting. A huge portion of the Andalite population was involved in the military in some way. It was like that in the time of the Yeerks, but now even more so, as the Kelbrid was a terrible enemy, and were using the entrance of 2 ships of Andalite belonging as a reason to continue to ignore any peace treaty and keep on the attack. Andalites understood their anger but believed this war to be a vast overreaction on the part of the Kelbrid.
3 million soldiers, the Andalite ambassador thought to himself, as he drifted off to sleep. It would be enough to nearly double the ground forces on their second world. It was a tempting offer, if the reports of humans being good ground-based soldiers were true. Allegedly Humans were tenacious ground-based combatants, who would not give up a fight easily and would use strategy and tactics as well as a wide variety of primitive but effective weaponry. Theor did the math, <3 million soldiers, out of over 6 billion people. That leaves them with 5 billion 997 million left, bare minimum.> Theor let the shock of that information wash over him. 3 million soldiers is a lot to Andalites sensibilities, and since yeerks were dependent on host bodies to do anything, it was a lot to the yeerks also. But to Humans, 3 million soldiers was a drop in the bucket, as Humans say it. It barely took a scratch out of their numbers. , the old Andalite thought to himself as he fell asleep. Humans had a vast population, and could make for very effective military use, should they be able to use weapons and have good mobility and senses. And they were primitive, vastly outmatched by all the other races in terms of technology, and bodies that could little to no damage to most creatures as well. And yet, somehow, Human minors, with the ability to morph from the Andalite Elfangor, were able to adapt and engineer the defeat of the Yeerks through guerrilla warfare. Theor-Getil-Illii slept while still pondering what to do about the Humans offer of soldiers and aid...
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