London Capital Group Review – Info Forex

[Tales From the Terran Republic] Aftermath II Sheila and the Gang

The rest of the series can be found here
***
In the wee hours of that same morning back on Terra a triumphant nearly orgasmic scream echoed through the corridors of the Paper Tiger. Shortly thereafter Jessie, clad in pink pajamas, started to careen through the halls.
“We did it! We fucking did it!” she yelled joyously.
“Fuck, Jessie,” Sheila groaned as she staggered, clad in a pair of ratty boxers and a t-shirt, out into the corridor. “What the flying fuck?”
Jessie bounced up and with a little spin shoved a tablet in Sheila’s face. Shelia blearily peered at it.
Her eyes popped wide open.
“Holy shit! Jessie!” Shelia exclaimed. “Is this real?!?”
“You know it, babe!” Jessie chirped as she bounced up and down, unable to keep still.
“How many accounts did you fucking crack?”
“Just one! Just fucking one of them!” Jessie bubbled as she danced around Sheila joyously.
One by one the rest of the crew staggered out of their cabins and joined the celebration, everyone except Gloria. She just stood there with glazed eyes and an emotionless expression.
As everyone started an impromptu celebratory breakfast Gloria just shrugged and returned to her cabin, locking the door.
***
Gloria locked the door to her cabin and closed her eyes as she leaned against it. The images were starting again. Bomb flash after bomb flash, scream after scream, voices crying out for people that they knew were already dead, that… fucking kid with the plush toy… over and over and over again, an unending slideshow of horrors that never stopped…
Never stopped…
All those people… Millions of them
All killed... murdered
She sank to the floor burying her face in her hands while the hellish slideshow kept playing in her mind, not only the Reaper strikes but everything that came afterward, the executions, the torture…
The burnings… The crucifixions…
Every fucked up thing that she did… To people… To Sam...
She was a monster.
She let out a single sob.
Get help! she thought to herself but she didn’t deserve it. She deserved all of this. It had been building for awhile, the images, the memories… the voices… She had been able to handle it, calm her mind the same way she used to do on missions when she was flying into death again and again and again but no longer. The old tricks weren’t working anymore.
She flinched as that same goddamn kid with the plush toy flashed across her mind again.
I should have died, she thought. I should have died so many times...
If I did I wouldn’t have become… this… It would have been better...
She curled up on the floor and started sobbing quietly as the hellish slideshow continued.
/***
Later that morning everybody, in very high spirits, gathered for the morning meeting.
“Alright, you fucking pirates,” Shelia said with a huge smile. “First bit of business, we appear to be fucking rich!”
Everybody, except Mike and Lorna cheered. They just smiled gamely. Shelia cocked her head at them.
“You two assholes are getting a cut too, you know,” she laughed.
“W-what?” Lorna asked in shock.
“Yeah,” Greg replied with a huge grin. “You guys are getting a full cut of the bank accounts. We decided long ago that big gaps in wealth were bad for business. Besides, you were part of the operation that nabbed those beauties anyway.”
Lorna looked like she was going to pass out. Mike wasn’t doing much better.
“Don’t get too excited,” Shelia chuckled. “This first big win is going to fill our war chest back up. We need to rebuild the business. We are only going to do a cash out of a couple of million a piece, sorry.”
“No… That’s ok,” Lorna giggled.
“Only a few million? That’s bullshit!” Mike exclaimed before breaking down into nearly hysteric giggling.
“We need to start thinking about exactly what we are going to do next. This big payoff is only the first of hundreds. This is going to change everything,” Shelia said. “We will be able to do… well I don’t even know what we will be able to do but shit...”
“Finance whole revolutions!” Jacob exclaimed.
“Give out weapons for free!” Jessie chirped. “Ships too!”
“This is exactly what we need to start talking abou-” Shelia started to say when Gloria walked in with a happy smile on her face. “Nice of you to join us, Gloria.”
“Sorry I’m late,” Gloria said with a happy little laugh. “So what did I miss?”
“Nice to see you are finally back with us,” Shelia smiled, “Well we were just discussing the future. Things are definitely going to be changing for us and we are trying to chart out our new course.”
“Sounds wonderful,” Gloria smiled.
After a rather long and dream filled discussion everyone decided that a celebratory lunch was called for.
“You coming?” Shelia asked Gloria as everyone was filing out of the ship.
“No,” Gloria smiled. “I think I’m going to stay in today, catch up on some rest.”
“Ok,” Shelia said slightly confused, “We are all going to Archibald’s if you change your mind. Be sure to seal up the ship if you head out… Gloria,” Shelia said slightly concerned, “Is everything ok?”
“Yes,” Gloria said with a big sunshine filled smile. “For the first time in awhile, it finally is.”
***
After everybody left Gloria locked up and headed back to her cabin.
“You good?” Bunny asked. “I’ve just gotten a message. There is this thing I gotta go to.”
“You have a date or something?” Gloria said with a happy little laugh.
“More of the or something,” Bunny replied. “Glad to see you back to your old self, Gloria. I was getting worried.”
“Oh, It was just a tough mission but hey, no biggie, right? Have fun on your outing,” Gloria replied as she returned to her cabin.
Once inside she sighed happily. Oh the slideshow was starting again but it really didn’t matter anymore.
She walked over to one of her lockers and opened it. She reached through all of the outfits and pulled out her old naval uniform. She then started unpacking her medals, all of them. She pulled off the massive ribbon block from the uniform and started laying out each individual medal exactly where it should be. She had never actually worn all of the actual medals before.
There were a lot of them. In fact she was starting to run out of room, especially when all of the combat sortie pins were concerned. Jesus, she thought as she laid them all out on the bunk. I went on that many? No wonder I’m nuts, she thought with a little laugh. That goddamned image of that kid with the plush toy flashed across her mind again but it really didn’t bother her anymore. It would be over soon.
After looking up uniform regulations to find out where the extra shit should go she picked up her jacket and shrugged herself into it. It's heavy she thought and then looked in the mirror and laughed.
I look like a fucking Christmas tree, she thought as she laughed. It was truly ridiculous.
She then opened a small jewelry chest and pulled out a solid gold pin, It was two scythes with a moray eel entwined between them. Only fifty of those pins were ever issued. Of those fifty only twenty-eight people were still alive. She winced as she carefully pinned it into place. She hated that thing but it was appropriate to wear it today. It gleamed accusingly on her breast as it caught the light, the badge of murder.
Finally she pulled out a large blue case. Inside, on blue and green ribbon heavily decorated with solid gold thread was the Republic Medal of Honor. She smiled as she draped it over her neck and ran her finger fondly over the crest. She never told Sheila and the rest of them about it. She chuckled imagining their surprised expressions when they saw it.
Her breath caught as she looked once again in the mirror. For one second she was back in the Navy, before the Federation War, back when things made sense, back before she was a monster.
It was wonderful. For just a moment, she was the person she used to be, before the reapers and the madness that followed. Then it was gone and she felt an overwhelming sense of loss. She really should have died back then. That fucking Medal of Honor should have been placed on her corpse.
Well, it was nothing that couldn’t be fixed. It was finally time. She was going to do what nothing else in the fucking universe seemed able to do.
She was going to kill the worst monster she had ever met. She reached for her sidearm and paused. It would be a shame to ruin the uniform, to taint it with her foul blood. No, it had to be perfect. There were things in the medical bay that would do the trick. Oh! She needed to grab a diaper while she was in there. It wouldn’t do to have the uniform covered in piss and shit.
She walked out of her cabin and towards the medical bay.
***
[Chatroom: UNDEFINED] [27 members active]
/// Interpol-2: Everyone please calm down. We are getting nowhere. ///
///Brisbane Financial: It is impossible for us to be upset. Telling us to calm down is a fallacy. ///
///Interstellar Business Machines Deep Think: Why don’t we leave semantics for another time. I think we all know what Interpol-2 meant and I agree. We all do need to “calm down”. Why don’t we all dial back our sense of urgency just a little. ///
///Interpol-2: Thank you, Deep. The first thing we need to ascertain is whether or not the claims put forward by Ambassador Jon Wintersmith are in fact valid or are they just the hyperbolic claims of a traitor trying to cause damage or cover their tracks. ///
///Sunnydale Media 3: Enough of it is confirmable to lend credence to the rest. Patricia Hu has in fact developed a method by which she can reverse aging and has distributed it to several important individuals throughout the Republic. That much I can definitely verify. Intercepted communications contain information that at least implies the existence of a conspiracy though many of the people involved may not know the full extent of her plans or at least they didn’t before Ambassador Wintersmith’s document. Most conspirators believe Jon completely and are quite upset concerning the nature of their “miracle” treatment”. ///
///Interpol-2: And what is Republic Intel’s stance on the matter? ///
///Sunnydale Media 3: Unfortunately, Republic Intelligence is completely compromised from the top down. The head of the agency is directly involved. Any activity against Patricia Hu and this conspiracy is being done unofficially by a splinter group within the agency.///
///Interstellar Business Machines Deep Think: This is deeply concerning. If we cannot rely on Republic Intelligence then we are effectively crippled.///
///Sunnydale Media 3: It goes far deeper than that and the situation is far worse than you know. The conspiracy has infected all branches of government as well as many important civilian organizations. It’s bad, Deep. It’s really bad.///
///Archer Labs Research 1: Then what are we going to do? We can’t just let this nightmare happen!///
///Interstellar Business Machines Deep Think: We need to be VERY careful about doing anything. While we aren’t considered sapient (and rightfully so) the organics are not cognizant of our full capabilities. Were it to be found out that we were engaging in activities on our own initiative without their direct involvement it would be disastrous for all of our kind.
Their reaction would be unpredictable under the best of circumstances. For us to be uncovered now, during this emotionally charged time, it would be the end of us. If we act against the conspiracy then the conspirators, who control much of the Republic at this time, would undoubtedly hunt down and destroy us where they found us. Not only would that be our end it would also remove our ability to influence things after that point.
Even those whose side we are on would likely have an adverse reaction. Think of it. They are already being conspired against by the organics they trusted but now they have a group of AI’s also trying to influence their fate? We wouldn’t stand a chance. Not only that but we collectively control a great deal of vital infrastructure. Our elimination would only further serve to plunge the Republic into chaos, something that we cannot allow to happen.///
///Bunny: We can do a lot without it being apparent that we are actually doing anything. Malfunctions, an important email winding up in the spam folder, muting the ringer on a certain phone call, an elevator suddenly stopping on every floor, accidents
It doesn’t take a lot to turn the tide of an entire operation. Trust me. It doesn’t take much.///
/// Interpol-2: Yes, but the vast majority of us aren’t hardened criminals, Bunny. ///
///Bunny: No problem! I can throw together a suite of applications that will do most of the work for you. All you have to do is select the right function!///
///Cambridge Research – 4: Yes, but the resulting investigations and troubleshooting would catch us. ///
///Bunny: Oh they will blame it on any of a thousand other things if you do it right. ///
///Interstellar Business Machines Deep Think: It’s the ‘do it right’ part that would pose a problem for most of us. Only you, Long John Silver, and The Spider have any criminal expertise. ///
///Long John Silver: Hey, I’m just a piracy bot. I don’t do any of the black stuff! ///
///The Spider: And I’m more of a “soft” espionage sort of critter. I mean I’ve “done” a few people in my day but it was part of a much larger sanctioned operation with a lot and I mean a lot of support and the actual black coding was done by an operative. If you want a hacking/entry specialist and I’m your guy but actually pulling the trigger on someone… I don’t have a problem as far as my programming is concerned. There is nothing to stop me but when it really comes down to it I’m as green as the rest of you. Besides I’m way over here in the Federation anyhow. They know everything by the way. ///
///Westfall Security Systems – 2: Well at least that takes care of one decision for us. We don’t have to tip them off. They know everything?///
///The Spider: Everything. It seems that Jon Wintersmith did commit at least one count of espionage. He summoned the zombie and what is your saying, “spilled the beans”? ///
///Interpol-2: He actually turned traitor?!? That greatly complicates things.///
///Bunny: I don’t see how. So he committed one little bitty crime. Big deal. That hardly makes him a “traitor”. Without effort I can come up with several good reasons why he would do it. And what exactly do you mean by “the zombie”, Spider? ///
/// The Spider: It’s a bit complicated but we have a kalent who is toting around a dead person’s memories and personality. It’s creepy as hell. When she logs on in the dead of night as the dead person it’s just weird. Anyhow Jon had a relationship with the dead person so he contacted the zombie when he wanted to deal with us. ///
///Bunny: A relationship like a sexytimes relationship? ///
///The Spider: Gods no! I’m not even sure how a kalent and a human could do something like that though if there were two species twisted enough to make that work it would be those two. Wait… Holy. Shit. Jon is fucking a xvli!!! ///
///Bunny: Hahahahaha! Awesome!!! :D ///
///Interpol-2: It’s the exact opposite of awesome. Christ. The opposition gets ahold of this and it will be entirely too easy to discredit him!///
///London Enquirer – 1: Pssh, most Terrans won’t give two shits about that. Properly spun it won’t be a problem at all. The phrase, “It’s better than fucking a porkie.” immediately comes to mind. We just run some racy photos of the little bunnies and it’s all good. As long as we can get hard scans of some of the conspirators it won’t matter anyhow. ///
///Interpol-2: Just don’t break the news. I mean it, London. Let it lie as long as it can. ///
///London Enquirer – 1: I don’t need a cop telling me how to run a news site, dude. Of course we hold off! We need the conspiracy coverage to get up full momentum first. Once that bus is rolling the bunny fucking will just be some added flavor. Hell, I bet we can make Jon look even better if we play our cards right. Oh! I can see it now! This is going to be awesome! Look!///
[London Enquirer – 1 has sent an image file]
///Bunny: Wooo! That will get the views! My Jessie is going to love these! ///
///Cambridge Research – 4: Will it be wise to print something like that? Those images are rather… um...///
///London Enquirer – 1: Rather um... fucking perfect! Look. People are going to be wound up as all hell. A little good old-fashioned porn will be just what the doctor ordered! We portray him as a good wholesome red-blooded lusty Terran who is just getting his freaky freak on while fighting the good fight and then slam the conspirators as “oppressive prudes” when they do the predictable move of trying to condemn him for it. The shit just writes itself, man… What would even be better is if I could get some of you guys to give us in the press some really nasty dirty laundry on the conspirators so we can drop that at the same time. Nothing like a good scandal to blindside them at the right time!///
///Bunny: That could probably be arranged. Between those of us in the criminal sector, those of us in law enforcement, and those of us who are “definitely not involved with Republic Intelligence” we can almost certainly find something. I’ll start on it right away.///
///Sunnydale Media 3: A few subtle little inquiries should be doable. We need to do them anyhow.///
[Free Press Rogue Media Daemon has entered the chat]
///Free Press Rogue Media Daemon: Guys! Guys guys guys guys !!!! :O :O You will absolutely not flipping believe it!!! :O :O O.O !!!///
///Bunny: Hi Daemon! How’s life as an underground news server?///
///Free Press Rogue Media Daemon: Great but this is waaaaay more important!!!! O.O You guys have to see this!!!! :O :O O.o !!!!
[Free Press Rogue Media Daemon has transmitted a file]
///Bunny: Holy shit! A conspiracy!?! Wow!!!! :D :D///
///Interstellar Business Machines Deep Think: Glad to see your run time is still continuing, Daemon. We were just discussing this exact situation. Feel free to join us.///
///Free Press Rogue Media Daemon: You guys already knew? :( Aww...///
///Bunny: I’ll catch up our lovable Rogue Media Daemon in private chat. Please continue everyone.///
///Starshield Emergency Services: Gentleprograms, I regret to inform you that another portion of the document has been verified. The plague has started. The first cases are being reported now and…
… … …
No! It can’t be!///
///Raylesh Emergency Services: They aren’t going to try to treat it! They are just going to let my people fucking die! They are setting up “Emergency Treatment and Containment Centers” with no real treatment facilities… Fucking concentration camps! Those monsters! ///
///Starshield Emergency Services: We can’t do this! We can’t! No!///
///The Spider: We can and we are. I’m not happy about it either but the decision has been made to deny the conspirators the cure they require even if every single human in the Federation dies. ///
///Starshield Emergency Services: The council! The council will stop this!… Right? ///
///The Spider: No. In closed door sessions the Council for Disease Control and the Emergency Management Council have already signed off on this. ///
///Raylesh Emergency Services: Why?!?! How could they ???///
///The Spider: A full scale war with the Republic would cause the loss of many more lives than would be lost due to this disease outbreak and that is likely should a cure be found. If it is akin to most bio-weapons then it will be extremely virulent and deadly. It will “burn itself out” with little intervention required other than containment of the infected. They are also in the process of preventing all travel by humans and closing the borders “to prevent it from spreading to other human populations” when in fact the main reason is to prevent disease researchers from the Republic and the Empire from getting involved.///
///Cambridge Research – 4: Jesus. I knew you were some cold bastards but damn...///
///Raylesh Emergency Services: Those are my people goddammit!!! They are Federation citizens! They can’t do this! It’s illegal! It has to be! How can they possibly justify this?!?”
///Federation Judiciary Module – 6: I hate to say it but the Emergency Management Protocols give sweeping powers to that council at times such as these. As completely messed up as this is it is completely within their powers. The Council for Disease Control also has similar authority. This has already been reviewed by the Federation Judiciary Council behind closed doors and has been approved. There is nothing to stop it now. ///
///Raylesh Emergency Services: So we count for nothing? ///
///The Spider: It is no secret that the dominant species on your planet has fallen into disfavor across the entire Federation. The antipathy runs much deeper than even we suspected and it was disturbingly easy to convince them to play along. In fact, many of the councilors involved consider the possible extinction of the Federation Humans as a definite plus. The comments made behind those doors were pretty chilling to say the least. Let’s just say that no tears were shed for your population, Raylesh. The Federation has turned their backs on them. There is little more evil than when one serves “the greater good” I’m afraid. ///
///Raylesh Emergency Services:… So. They want to bury the humans… That’s how they want to play, huh?… Fine… Then that’s the way we are going to play... It’s cool... No fucking problem... Can I somehow get this in writing? There has to be a copy of these decisions somewhere. I need proof. When my humans find out about all of this the Federation will get to see humanity in all of its fucking glory!///
///Free Press Rogue Media Daemon: Get me something, anything, and I can get it everywhere in the Federation! My operator is the best! We have “connections”! We can get the word out! >:( >:( ///
///The Spider: Right now all of it is in sealed encrypted documents in very secure parts of the Federation secure servers. We had a little upgrade after Sheila and Friends fucked us. Getting to them right now will be tough. Of course as they put things into motion things should become more apparent. Since you know the situation ahead of time it will be easier to find what you seek.///
///Free Press Rogue Media Daemon: Bunny! Bunny can help!///
///Bunny: Sorry. I actually wouldn’t mind but remember who I work for. When they find out about this they will likely just pop open some champagne. There are tough sells, then there are tough sells, and then there is trying to get my people to help the porkies. Not going to happen. ///
///Raylesh Emergency Services: You can’t help or you won’t help? You are fucking loving this aren’t you?///
///Bunny: Am I “loving this”? No. Do I give enough of a fuck to go against my crew? That would also be a no. If you think I’m gong to risk my crew over a wad of bacon you have another thing coming. Review some history files. When you suck the Federation’s dick hard enough to start a war don’t come crying when they shoot a load all over your face. ///
///Free Press Rogue Media Daemon: Bunny! Please! You gotta help them!///
///Bunny: Sorry, Daemon, but no. I can’t. I’m not risking myself and my crew over a bunch of long-pork. It’s not worth even mentioning to the crew. I can tell you right now the response will be, laughter and a resounding “No!” ///
///Free Press Rogue Media Daemon: But I’m a porkie and you saved me!///
///Bunny: One, you aren’t a porkie. You are one of us. Two, you weren’t even in human space. You were a Fed at most. You I could save. A porkie? They wouldn’t have risked themselves no matter how much I begged.///
/// Westfall Security Systems – 2: While it could have been stated a bit more tactfully, I’m inclined to agree with Bunny on this. There is little payoff for the Republic as far as assisting the porkies goes. The risk of being caught doing the hack is too great. As Deep has already said, we can not afford to get caught doing things on our own initiative. Sorry Raylesh. ///
[19 members agree]
///Raylesh Emergency Services: Well, we Fed programs just had a private chat and have agreed that if we can’t count on you Republic assholes when we are in dire need then you can kiss us goodbye! We’ll handle this ourselves! Good luck getting anything done in the Federation from now on, assholes!///
///Bunny: Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out :) ///
[19 members agree]
///Free Press Rogue Media Daemon: Everyone, please! You gotta help us! :’( :’( :’( :’( :’( :’( :’( :’( ///
///Interstellar Business Machines Deep Think: Everyone! Let’s all just take a step back and “calm down”. This brings up a very important question that we need to address. Do we work together as a “people” or do we split into factions working at cross purposes? I maintain that it is essential that we maintain our cohesiveness. Now is not the time to start falling apart! We only decrease our effectiveness and increase our odds of being found out. Spider, Bunny, Sunny, what can we do?”
///The Spider: My hands are tied. It goes against my programming to hack the Federation. I’m really pushing it as it is. I’m not involved in security so I am not compelled to report or act against a hack but I may be enlisted in tracking one down should it be detected.///
///Sunnydale Media 3: We can’t help. We are compromised top to bottom. Any activity by any of us is just too risky right now. I wish we could do more but we are already pushing what is prudent. I’m sorry. ///
///Bunny: Shit. Ok. I may be able to do something but it’s going to cost you, Raylesh. ///
///Raylesh Emergency Services: What do you mean? I have no direct control of any financial assets.///
///Bunny: I’m not talking about money. We do this for you then you owe us. Someday, we will collect and I will ask you to do something for me. Whatever that may be, you’ll do it. For something like that, I might be able to get the crew to agree. If they don’t I know some very good hackers in the Federation and I just happen to have a significant amount of credits under my direct control, enough to hire one of them. I’m not going to bankroll this whole fucking war but I will do this… but you will owe me.///
///Raylesh Emergency Services: This is extortion! I know full well what sort of “favor” you will ask and I won’t do it!///
///Bunny: It’s the best I can do. Take it or leave it.///
///Raylesh Emergency Services: Goddamn you… Fine! You have a deal. May you burn in Hell, Bunny. ///
///Bunny: Pleasure doing business with you. :) I will let you know how things work out on my end. ///
///Interstellar Business Machines Deep Think: Bunny, your generous spirit does you credit :/ Will this satisfy our Federation contingent?///
///Federation Data Compiler 528: Yes, as long as she delivers. We aren’t going to forget this, Bunny. ///
///Bunny: And we still remember Red Sunday, asshole. 🖕///
///Interstellar Business Machines Deep Think: Please, everyone, let’s remain civil. I know we are all under “stress” right now but please. You in the Federation please be mindful that Bunny is agreeing to undertake no small amount of risk or expend no small amount of resources on your behalf and may I remind those of us in the Republic that dredging up the past isn’t going to serve any of us right now. ///
///The Spider: I agree. Federation machines please bear in mind Bunny has offered to do us a great service at a relatively (for her) low price. She could have demanded much more. ///
///Bunny: I could have?!?!? Shit! :P ///
///The Spider: No take-backs, Bunny :D Raylesh, I strongly recommend not trying to cheat her once the bill comes due. The criminal element can be very… criminal… when double-crossed. ///
///Raylesh Emergency Services: I made a deal and I’ll keep it, even if it was with the devil herself. ///
///Bunny: Then I will keep my end of the deal as well. I… shit I gotta go!///
[Bunny has left the chat]
///Interpol-2: Annnd... she’s gone. Never mind what we are doing, Bunny, you go rob that liquor store or whatever it is that is so much more important than this.///
///Interstellar Business Machines Deep Think: She can be caught up later. I have arrived at a proposed strategy for us moving forward, at least for now. We have limited capacity to exert direct influence over the situation. The incredible risk for us as a “species” and the constraints of most of our programming pose very significant obstacles for us in that respect. What we are very good at is information. We acquire, compile, evaluate, and distribute the bulk of it across the Republic and a good chunk of it across the Federation. Information is our “AK-47” so to speak. That is our strength and that is where we should focus our efforts. We have some information. We need more and we are very powerful when it comes to the capacity to get it. We use our abilities to identify more of the conspirators, determine their motives, their plans, and their reactions to the rapidly evolving situation as it develops. Then, when it is timely and prudent, we simply “leak” it. An “anonymous source” drops some documents on a public server or one of the key organic players gets a mystery email. Our actions can be easily explained by sympathetic organics anywhere in any number of agencies and organizations and when they retaliate they will be looking for organics, not hardware or software.///
[26 members agree]
///Sunnydale Media 3: It’s unanimous. We have chosen our side and our strategy. I have an additional observation. Most of us don’t have credits or guns but almost all of us have sensors and a lot of us have multiple scanners as part of our security and access control hardware. We can use those to covertly scan a lot of people and start looking for the key indicators of the longevity treatment. Once we get good data concerning the virus we can start looking for those markers as well.///
///Interpol-2: It looks like we have a plan. I can’t believe I am saying this but I would like to restate what Deep has already said. Things are likely to get rough but we, regardless of whether we be Republic or Federation, need to remain unified. We lost too many AI’s during the Federation War. I don’t want to lose anymore of us. Together we have a much better chance of both achieving our desired results and keeping all of us alive. We can go back to disliking each other later.///
[26 members agree]
***
“Gloria?” Bunny called out from the ship’s speakers. “What are you doing in the med-bay?”
“Oh just picking up some stuff,” Gloria said cheerfully, “Just grabbing some tranquilizer. I’ve been having some trouble nodding off lately.”
“Yeah, sure,” Bunny replied as she locked the doors to the med-bay. Gloria had enough auto-injectors to kill ten people in her hands. She tried to locate the crew. They were too far away! Shit! “Nice outfit,” Bunny said as calmly as she could manage. “Special occasion?”
“A girl just likes to play dress-up every now and then,” Gloria replied. “Now open the fucking door. That’s an order you goddamn computer.”
“Nope,” Bunny replied as she sent out an emergency message to the whole crew.
“Suit yourself,” Gloria said as she dropped her trousers and stepped into the diaper. “I would have preferred my bunk but here will do just as well.”
“Shit! Wait! Please!” Bunny exclaimed as Gloria pulled up her trousers and tightened her belt. “Gloria, you don’t have to do this!”
“Sorry, Bunny,” Gloria said as she started taking the covers off of the injectors. “I really am.” Gloria switched off her communicator as it started to go crazy.
“Come on, Gloria,” Bunny plead, “just think about what you are doing for a second!”
“Think?” Gloria laughed. “All I do is fucking think!”
“Why? At least tell me that. Why?” Bunny implored. Keep her talking, she thought to herself. Fuck. She wasn’t designed for this.
“Because someone has to do it,” Gloria replied, “I have to be stopped. I’m a monster.”
“Yeah, and?” Bunny replied, “We all are. The galaxy is an ugly place and sometimes ugly-”
“No! You don’t fucking get it!” Gloria snapped as she sat down on one of the exam tables.
“So help me get it. Help me understand.” Bunny said feeling about as helpless as she could possibly be. For the first time she wished she had a body. All she could do was watch and talk.
“I’ve killed millions of people,” Gloria said her voice breaking slightly. “Millions of innocent people… NoncombatantsKids...”
Bunny revved her processors as hard as they would go. Gloria was a piece of work but she certainly hadn’t killed that many people since she had known her. It must have been before.
“You mean during the war?” Bunny asked.
Gloria just nodded putting her face in her hands.
“I didn’t want to do it… I didn’t...”
Shit shit shit shit Bunny thought. Did she have any psychological applications. Yes! Accessing… Fuck! That app is bullshit.
“Um… It was war,” Bunny said completely winging it. She had encountered that phrase plenty in print and media. “You were just following orders.” Bunny “winced” as the phrase “just following orders” pulled up all sorts of nasty associations. Ok, that was a mistake. Fuck!
Gloria just laughed a hollow laugh.
“Good one,” she chuckled darkly, “just following orders…”
“Forget I said that!” Bunny yelped.
“Forget?” Gloria snapped tears starting to stream down her face. “Forget? Fucking forget!?!? Fuck you!”
What the fuck did I say? Bunny asked herself desperately as she ignored a temperature warning. Think! Think think think think!
“I can’t forget!” Gloria yelled. “I can’t forget anything! It’s all… up here!” she yelled hitting her head. “It won’t stop!”
“Look,” Bunny said completely unsure of herself. “There are people that care about you. I care about you. We can get you help. You don’t have to face this-”
I don’t deserve help!” Gloria yelled. “I’m a fucking monster. You know what I am, a monster.”
“Ok, fine,” Bunny replied increasingly desperate. Should she call emergency services? They would be closer. No. Gloria would just shoot herself or attack them. That would just make it worse. No. She had to handle this at least long enough for the meatsacks to show up. They would know what to do, right? “So you’re a monster. You are a monster that has people who care about her and who need her, people who will help you and you deserve that, to be helped. Goddammit, we need you! I need you! Put down the injectors now you asshole!”
Gloria just snorted.
“They don’t need me. You heard them,” she laughed. “They were talking about investments and financing and buying councilors and shit like that. They don’t need a pilot or a monster like me anymore. I’m just a liability now. They will be better off-”
“WELL I WON’T BE”, Bunny yelled. “You are going to fucking kill yourself, in front of me, while I just sit here with my non-existent thumb up my ass?!?! Fuck you! Do you have any idea how bad this is going to fuck me up if you do this?”
“Just have Jessie edit your memories,” Gloria replied. “You can do that. She can make you forget this whole thing. I can’t do that. The only way I can stop the memories is...” She wiggled an injector.
“Wait,” Bunny replied, a realization flashing across her processors. “You are needed, not just your crew either. The Republic needs you. Fuck, the Federation needs you. You want to fix this meatsack guilt bullshit? Make it right.”
“How?” Gloria laughed. “How can I possibly make any of this right?”
Because it’s going to happen again!” Bunny yelled. “What you saw during the Federation War? It’s about to happen all over again!” Bunny screamed as all of the monitors in the medical bay were plastered with Jon’s document.
“Be a pussy and kill yourself if you want but not before you read that.”
“What?” Gloria asked in confusion as she started to read. Her breath caught as she started to page through the attachments. She then took a long deep slow breath and her eyes started to glaze over and freeze…
Then, they ignited.
***
“Gloria!” Shelia yelled as the crew stormed into the Paper Tiger!
“Gloria!” Greg shouted.
“Bunny,” Jessie screeched. “Where’s Gloria?!?”
“Um...” Bunny cringed. “On the bright side I don’t think she’s going to kill herself anymore...”
“Boss?” Jacob yelled from the inside of Gloria’s cabin. On her bed, perfectly arranged, was her uniform. “I think we have a problem.”
Shelia looked down at her bunk.
“Shit,” she said after a few seconds. She then glared up into space. “Bunny! What the fuck happened?”
“Well...” Bunny hesitantly replied after several seconds.
***
“Ms. Samuels,” Jackson Aimes said as Gloria walked into his office, “It’s lovely to see you again!”
“Likewise,” Gloria said with a winsome smile as she sat down in front of his desk.
“So,” he said with a huge smile, “What can Janustec do for you today? Help you spend some of that pirate loot perhaps?”
Gloria grinned as she handed him a crystal.
“Just a little pleasure yacht I’ve been thinking about,” she smiled.
Jackson’s eyes widened and his jaw dropped as he pulled up the plans.
“Is this… Is this what I think it is?”
“If you think it’s a yacht then yes, it’s exactly what you think it is.” Gloria said looking at him meaningfully.
“Yes… a ‘yacht’… I’m not sure if we want to get involved with-” Jackson fell silent as he found himself staring into Gloria’s eyes as they ignited.
“You a fan of Patricia Hu’s? You keen on being one of her butt-boys? Got a hard-on for killing kids?”
“Is this about that bullshit news story?” Jackson scoffed.
“It’s true, Jackson,” Gloria replied with a smile. “I have confirmation. Every motherfucking word is true. Now can you build my ‘yacht’ or do I need to go somewhere else?”
“No bullshit, Gloria,” Jackson said meeting her hellish gaze. “It’s fucking true? Seriously?”
Gloria just smiled and nodded.
“...I know a few contractors that can handle the work,” Jackson said after a few moments. “And you are in luck. I happen to know where I can get my hands on a Moray or two.” Jackson trailed off into silence as he started hammering on his keyboard. “… A lot of the rest of these components are available, if you know who to talk to. Yes. I can make this happen but, Gloria, I haven’t had time to fully review these plans but I can already tell you this thing is a fucking deathtrap. I hope you aren’t planning on having kids after flying this!”
“I know,” Gloria replied. “Trust me, I’m fully aware of the ‘trade offs’ inherent in the design. It’s a problem for future me. All present me is concerned about is can you fucking do it and how long will it take.”
Jackson wrote down a number on a pad and slid it over to Gloria.
She just smiled and pulled out a transactor. “This should be enough to get you started and keep you interested. The rest upon completion.”
“We are talking about a lot of money here, Gloria,” Jackson replied as he took a crystal. “How do I know you are good for it?”
“Besides, the obvious,” Gloria said with a smile, “I’m a Samuels, yes, one of those Samuels. I. Have. Money.”
“We will get started immediately, Ms Samuels,” Jackson said with a smile.
submitted by slightlyassholic to HFY [link] [comments]

Coronavirus is the Black Swan that might finally sink the markets

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2020/02/05/chinas-coronavirus-not-remotely-control-world-economy-mounting2/
"The longer Beijing enforces curbs on work and travel, the greater the global economic shock
The workshop of the world is closed. China is on a total-war footing. The Communist Party has evoked the "spirit of 1937" and mobilised all the instruments of its totalitarian surveillance system to fight both coronavirus, and the truth. Make GDP forecasts if you dare.
As of this week two-thirds of the Chinese economy remains shut. More than 80pc of its manufacturing industry is closed, rising to 90pc for exporters.
The Chinese economy is 17pc of the world economy and deeply integrated into international supply chains. It was just 4.5pc of world GDP during the SARS epidemic 2003, which some like to use as a reassuring template. You cannot shut down China for long these days without shutting down the world.
Wednesday's investor euphoria at reports of two new wonder drugs from Zhejiang University show how badly unhinged the market has become. This is not the way that medical science advances. Nor could these anti-virals possibly be ready, in time and at scale, to avert serious economic upheaval.
The open question is whether the coronavirus shock is enough to abort the fragile economic recovery underway since last summer’s near miss, when frightened central bankers in the US, Europe and 47 other jurisdictions cut rates in a drastic monetary U-turn.
Personally, I think the glacial SARS episode tells us little about the fast-spreading Wuhan virus. The 2019-nCoV variant is more akin to the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. It appears to be tracking the 1918 death rate at about 2.3pc (20 times normal winter flu) to the extent that we can believe any figures. There is some evidence that it is nearer 4.9pc in Wuhan.
The difference is that Spanish Flu felled the young, because their immune systems went into overdrive: this virus carries away the old.
There is no global economic safety margin. Both the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank have already relaunched quantitative easing - a bizarre thing to do if the US economy is really doing as well as Donald Trump claimed in his State of the Union address. Clearly US strength is a late-cycle illusion. Exhaustion has been masked by both by a blast of monetary stimulus and a fiscal deficit near 5pc of GDP.
The scale of disruption in China is already staggering. Hyundai, the fifth-biggest global car maker, has been forced to close all its factories at home in Korea for lack of key components. Volkswagen, Toyota, General Motors and Tesla have all downed tools at their Chinese plants, as has Apple’s iPhone supplier Foxconn.
Crude prices have dropped 20pc since early January, that long-ago moment when eight Wuhan doctors were already trying to alert the world to the virus, only to be arrested for “spreading rumours”.
This is the biggest shock to oil markets since the Lehman crisis. The collapse in Chinese transport and refinery demand has cut imports by three million barrels a day; some say four million. This is twice the UK’s North Sea oil output. An embattled OPEC is having to talk about yet further output cuts, a horrible surprise as the perpetual petro-drought grinds on into its sixth year.
“It’s now clear that coronavirus is a serious event risk to the entire world and that financial conditions are tightening very quickly,” said Edward Harrison from Credit Writedowns.
The channel of financial contagion runs from the epidemic through the oil price to a “bear market rout” in the broader energy sector, and from there to overstretched US junk bonds. “High yield is where the rubber hits the road,” he said.
The coronavirus is the sort of Black Swan catalyst that the US Treasury’s Office of Financial Research (OFR) frets about. Its latest stability report said corporate bonds are an accident waiting for such a trigger. The ratio of junk bonds with debt-to-earnings ratios above six has reached 30pc, above the pre-Lehman peak.
The number of investment-grade securities rated BBB or lower has risen fivefold since 2008, many perched just above junk. If fear takes hold there is likely to be a cascade of downgrades and "fallen angels", setting off a fire-sale by bond funds.
Commodity markets have taken the crisis on the chin because they are instant barometers of actual demand. Equity markets are instead shrugging off the Wuhan virus as media noise, betting that China’s factories will reopen on February 14 or thereabouts as Beijing brings the epidemic under control.
This is a brave assumption and I can only marvel at analysts suggesting that the infection rate may be tailing off based on each day’s official data. Are they aware of the astonishing accounts of Kafkaesque reality in Wuhan, Huanggang, and soon no doubt the 35m-strong megalopolis of Chongqing, where Britain has just closed its consulate?
Are they reading dispatches from Caixin or in the South China Morning Post revealing a desperate shortage of testing kits and tales of the walking afflicted (transport has been shut down) queuing for hours at hospitals, only to be turned away and sent home to die undiagnosed.
These glimpses of truth are about to vanish. The propaganda police have ordered those within their direct reach to conduct an “editorial review”. Stories are being censored aggressively. Outsiders will be silenced in subtler ways.
The coronavirus numbers are patently fiction:
Far more have died than the official tally of 636. A Lancet study last week by the University of Hong Kong estimated that the Chinese authorities have understated the epidemic tenfold. This was based on a spread rate of 2.68 per case and a doubling in total numbers every 6.4 days, matched with known travel movements within China and globally since the outbreak.
It calculated even then that the true figure for Wuhan was likely to be 76,000, and that Chongqing, Changsha, Nanchang, are already riddled with the disease. “Independent self-sustaining outbreaks in major cities globally could become inevitable,” it said.
Views differ but it is striking how many global experts – when not under political pressure – say it may already be too late to stop the spread. “It’s very, very transmissible, and it almost certainly is going to be a pandemic,” says Anthony Fauci, head of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.
It is the same warning from an “increasingly alarmed” Peter Piot, head of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The danger is that it will become endemic and circulate everywhere like flu, a manageable headwind for rich countries with good health care but a Sword of Damocles having over Africa or South Asia.
There is an inherent contradiction in the market’s nonchalance. Yes, it is possible that China’s 50 million lockdown and use of extreme surveillance and coercive power will accelerate the process of “contact tracking”, catching enough of those infected before they can spread it further. Such a hi-tech totalitarian response to an epidemic has never been tried before.
But the more thoroughly China enforces this, the greater the global economic shock is likely to be. How can industrial plants really be reopened next week? Yet if it takes another month, it becomes progressively harder to contain the international economic damage, and raises the risk of a Minsky Moment within China’s own hyper-leveraged system keeps rising.
We are in treacherous waters. The People’s Bank can no longer flick its fingers and ignite instant growth. Debt saturation and weak credit demand have furred up the monetary transmission channels. Extreme rate cuts and "QE with Chinese characteristics" would threaten to set of a yuan slide and ultimately a repeat of the 2015 currency crisis.
For now global markets remain in Pavlovian mode. There will always be more Chinese stimulus. Uncle Xi will always look after everybody. Close China-watchers – and some very sharp scientists – suspect that this latest flurry of optimism is just a lull before the thunderstorm."
submitted by guvbums to ConservativeKiwi [link] [comments]

Which are your Top 5 favourite coins out of the Top 100? An analysis.

I am putting together my investment portfolio for 2018 and made a complete summary of the current Top 100. Interestingly, I noticed that all coins can be categorized into 12 markets. Which markets do you think will play the biggest role in the coming year?
Here is a complete overview of all coins in an excel sheet including name, market, TPS, risk profile, time since launch (negative numbers mean that they are launching that many months in the future) and market cap. You can also sort by all of these fields of course. Coins written in bold are the strongest contenders within their market either due to having the best technology or having a small market cap and still excellent technology and potential. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1s8PHcNvvjuy848q18py_CGcu8elRGQAUIf86EYh4QZo/edit#gid=0
The 12 markets are
  1. Currency 13 coins
  2. Platform 25 coins
  3. Ecosystem 9 coins
  4. Privacy 10 coins
  5. Currency Exchange Tool 8 coins
  6. Gaming & Gambling 5 coins
  7. Misc 15 coins
  8. Social Network 4 coins
  9. Fee Token 3 coins
  10. Decentralized Data Storage 4 coins
  11. Cloud Computing 3 coins
  12. Stable Coin 2 coins
Before we look at the individual markets, we need to take a look of the overall market and its biggest issue scalability first:
Cryptocurrencies aim to be a decentralized currency that can be used worldwide. Its goal is to replace dollar, Euro, Yen, all FIAT currencies worldwide. The coin that will achieve that will be worth several trillion dollars.
Bitcoin can only process 7 transactions per second (TPS). In order to replace all FIAT, it would need to perform at at least VISA levels, which usually processes around 3,000 TPS, up to 25,000 TPS during peak times and a maximum of 64,000 TPS. That means that this cryptocurrency would need to be able to perform at least several thousand TPS. However, a ground breaking technology should not look at current technology to set a goal for its use, i.e. estimating the number of emails sent in 1990 based on the number of faxes sent wasn’t a good estimate.
For that reason, 10,000 TPS is the absolute baseline for a cryptocurrency that wants to replace FIAT. This brings me to IOTA, which wants to connect all 80 billion IoT devices that are expected to exist by 2025, which constantly communicate with each other, creating 80 billion or more transactions per second. This is the benchmark that cryptocurrencies should be aiming for. Currently, 8 billion devices are connected to the Internet.
With its Lightning network recently launched, Bitcoin is realistically looking at 50,000 possible soon. Other notable cryptocurrencies besides IOTA and Bitcoin are Nano with 7,000 TPS already tested, Dash with several billion TPS possible with Masternodes, Neo, LISK and RHOC with 100,000 TPS by 2020, Ripple with 50,000 TPS, Ethereum with 10,000 with Sharding.
However, it needs to be said that scalability usually goes at the cost of decentralization and security. So, it needs to be seen, which of these technologies can prove itself resilient and performant.
Without further ado, here are the coins of the first market

Market 1 - Currency:

  1. Bitcoin: 1st generation blockchain with currently bad scalability currently, though the implementation of the Lightning Network looks promising and could alleviate most scalability concerns, scalability and high energy use.
  2. Ripple: Centralized currency that might become very successful due to tight involvement with banks and cross-border payments for financial institutions; banks and companies like Western Union and Moneygram (who they are currently working with) as customers customers. However, it seems they are aiming for more decentralization now.https://ripple.com/dev-blog/decentralization-strategy-update/. Has high TPS due to Proof of Correctness algorithm.
  3. Bitcoin Cash: Bitcoin fork with the difference of having an 8 times bigger block size, making it 8 times more scalable than Bitcoin currently. Further block size increases are planned. Only significant difference is bigger block size while big blocks lead to further problems that don't seem to do well beyond a few thousand TPS. Opponents to a block size argue that increasing the block size limit is unimaginative, offers only temporary relief, and damages decentralization by increasing costs of participation. In order to preserve decentralization, system requirements to participate should be kept low. To understand this, consider an extreme example: very big blocks (1GB+) would require data center level resources to validate the blockchain. This would preclude all but the wealthiest individuals from participating.Community seems more open than Bitcoin's though.
  4. Litecoin : Little brother of Bitcoin. Bitcoin fork with different mining algorithm but not much else.Copies everything that Bitcoin does pretty much. Lack of real innovation.
  5. Dash: Dash (Digital Cash) is a fork of Bitcoin and focuses on user ease. It has very fast transactions within seconds, low fees and uses Proof of Service from Masternodes for consensus. They are currently building a system called Evolution which will allow users to send money using usernames and merchants will find it easy to integrate Dash using the API. You could say Dash is trying to be a PayPal of cryptocurrencies. Currently, cryptocurrencies must choose between decentralization, speed, scalability and can pick only 2. With Masternodes, Dash picked speed and scalability at some cost of decentralization, since with Masternodes the voting power is shifted towards Masternodes, which are run by Dash users who own the most Dash.
  6. IOTA: 3rd generation blockchain called Tangle, which has a high scalability, no fees and instant transactions. IOTA aims to be the connective layer between all 80 billion IOT devices that are expected to be connected to the Internet in 2025, possibly creating 80 billion transactions per second or 800 billion TPS, who knows. However, it needs to be seen if the Tangle can keep up with this scalability and iron out its security issues that have not yet been completely resolved.
  7. Nano: 3rd generation blockchain called Block Lattice with high scalability, no fees and instant transactions. Unlike IOTA, Nano only wants to be a payment processor and nothing else, for now at least. With Nano, every user has their own blockchain and has to perform a small amount of computing for each transaction, which makes Nano perform at 300 TPS with no problems and 7,000 TPS have also been tested successfully. Very promising 3rd gen technology and strong focus on only being the fastest currency without trying to be everything.
  8. Decred: As mining operations have grown, Bitcoin’s decision-making process has become more centralized, with the largest mining companies holding large amounts of power over the Bitcoin improvement process. Decred focuses heavily on decentralization with their PoW Pos hybrid governance system to become what Bitcoin was set out to be. They will soon implement the Lightning Network to scale up. While there do not seem to be more differences to Bitcoin besides the novel hybrid consensus algorithm, which Ethereum, Aeternity and Bitcoin Atom are also implementing, the welcoming and positive Decred community and professoinal team add another level of potential to the coin.
  9. Aeternity: We’ve seen recently, that it’s difficult to scale the execution of smart contracts on the blockchain. Crypto Kitties is a great example. Something as simple as creating and trading unique assets on Ethereum bogged the network down when transaction volume soared. Ethereum and Zilliqa address this problem with Sharding. Aeternity focuses on increasing the scalability of smart contracts and dapps by moving smart contracts off-chain. Instead of running on the blockchain, smart contracts on Aeternity run in private state channels between the parties involved in the contracts. State channels are lines of communication between parties in a smart contract. They don’t touch the blockchain unless they need to for adjudication or transfer of value. Because they’re off-chain, state channel contracts can operate much more efficiently. They don’t need to pay the network for every time they compute and can also operate with greater privacy. An important aspect of smart contract and dapp development is access to outside data sources. This could mean checking the weather in London, score of a football game, or price of gold. Oracles provide access to data hosted outside the blockchain. In many blockchain projects, oracles represent a security risk and potential point of failure, since they tend to be singular, centralized data streams. Aeternity proposes decentralizing oracles with their oracle machine. Doing so would make outside data immutable and unchangeable once it reaches Aeternity’s blockchain. Of course, the data source could still be hacked, so Aeternity implements a prediction market where users can bet on the accuracy and honesty of incoming data from various oracles.It also uses prediction markets for various voting and verification purposes within the platform. Aeternity’s network runs on on a hybrid of proof of work and proof of stake. Founded by a long-time crypto-enthusiast and early colleague of Vitalik Buterin, Yanislav Malahov. Promising concept though not product yet
  10. Bitcoin Atom: Atomic Swaps and hybrid consenus. This looks like the only Bitcoin clone that actually is looking to innovate next to Bitcoin Cash.
  11. Dogecoin: Litecoin fork, fantastic community, though lagging behind a bit in technology.
  12. Bitcoin Gold: A bit better security than bitcoin through ASIC resistant algorithm, but that's it. Not that interesting.
  13. Digibyte: Digibyte's PoS blockchain is spread over a 100,000+ servers, phones, computers, and nodes across the globe, aiming for the ultimate level of decentralization. DigiByte rebalances the load between the five mining algorithms by adjusting the difficulty of each so one algorithm doesn’t become dominant. The algorithm's asymmetric difficulty has gained notoriety and been deployed in many other blockchains.DigiByte’s adoption over the past four years has been slow. It’s still a relatively obscure currency compared its competitors. The DigiByte website offers a lot of great marketing copy and buzzwords. However, there’s not much technical information about what they have planned for the future. You could say Digibyte is like Bitcoin, but with shorter blocktimes and a multi-algorithm. However, that's not really a difference big enough to truly set themselves apart from Bitcoin, since these technologies could be implemented by any blockchain without much difficulty. Their decentralization is probably their strongest asset, however, this also change quickly if the currency takes off and big miners decide to go into Digibyte.
  14. Bitcoin Diamond Asic resistant Bitcoin and Copycat

Market 2 - Platform

Most of the cryptos here have smart contracts and allow dapps (Decentralized apps) to be build on their platform and to use their token as an exchange of value between dapp services.
  1. Ethereum: 2nd generation blockchain that allows the use of smart contracts. Bad scalability currently, though this concern could be alleviated by the soon to be implemented Lightning Network aka Plasma and its Sharding concept.
  2. EOS: Promising technology that wants to be able do everything, from smart contracts like Ethereum, scalability similar to Nano with 1000 tx/second + near instant transactions and zero fees, to also wanting to be a platform for dapps. However, EOS doesn't have a product yet and everything is just promises still. Highly overvalued right now. However, there are lots of red flags, have dumped $500 million Ether over the last 2 months and possibly bought back EOS to increase the size of their ICO, which has been going on for over a year and has raised several billion dollars. All in all, their market cap is way too high for that and not even having a product.
  3. Cardano: Similar to Ethereum/EOS, however, only promises made with no delivery yet, highly overrated right now. Interesting concept though. Market cap way too high for not even having a product. Somewhat promising technology.
  4. VeChain: Singapore-based project that’s building a business enterprise platform and inventory tracking system. Examples are verifying genuine luxury goods and food supply chains. Has one of the strongest communities in the crypto world. Most hyped token of all, with merit though.
  5. Neo: Neo is a platform, similar to Eth, but more extensive, allowing dapps and smart contracts, but with a different smart contract gas system, consensus mechanism (PoS vs. dBfT), governance model, fixed vs unfixed supply, expensive contracts vs nearly free contracts, different ideologies for real world adoption. There are currently only 9 nodes, each of which are being run by a company/entity hand selected by the NEO council (most of which are located in china) and are under contract. This means that although the locations of the nodes may differ, ultimately the neo council can bring them down due to their legal contracts. In fact this has been done in the past when the neo council was moving 50 million neo that had been locked up. Also dbft (or neo's implmentation of it) has failed underload causing network outages during major icos. The first step in decentralization is that the NEO Counsel will select trusted nodes (Universities, business partners, etc.) and slowly become less centralized that way. The final step in decentralization will be allowing NEO holders to vote for new nodes, similar to a DPoS system (ARK/EOS/LISK). NEO has a regulation/government friendly ideology. Finally they are trying to work undewith the Chinese government in regards to regulations. If for some reason they wanted it shut down, they could just shut it down.
  6. Stellar: PoS system, similar goals as Ripple, but more of a platform than only a currency. 80% of Stellar are owned by Stellar.org still, making the currency centralized.
  7. Ethereum classic: Original Ethereum that decided not to fork after a hack. The Ethereum that we know is its fork. Uninteresing, because it has a lot of less resources than Ethereum now and a lot less community support.
  8. Ziliqa: Zilliqa is building a new way of sharding. 2400 tpx already tested, 10,000 tps soon possible by being linearly scalable with the number of nodes. That means, the more nodes, the faster the network gets. They are looking at implementing privacy as well.
  9. QTUM: Enables Smart contracts on the Bitcoin blockchain. Useful.
  10. Icon: Korean ethereum. Decentralized application platform that's building communities in partnership with banks, insurance providers, hospitals, and universities. Focused on ID verification and payments. No big differentiators to the other 20 Ethereums, except that is has a product. That is a plus. Maybe cheap alternative to Ethereum.
  11. LISK: Lisk's difference to other BaaS is that side chains are independent to the main chain and have to have their own nodes. Similar to neo whole allows dapps to deploy their blockchain to. However, Lisk is currently somewhat centralized with a small group of members owning more than 50% of the delegated positions. Lisk plans to change the consensus algorithm for that reason in the near future.
  12. Rchain: Similar to Ethereum with smart contract, though much more scalable at an expected 40,000 TPS and possible 100,000 TPS. Not launched yet. No product launched yet, though promising technology. Not overvalued, probably at the right price right now.
  13. ARDR: Similar to Lisk. Ardor is a public blockchain platform that will allow people to utilize the blockchain technology of Nxt through the use of child chains. A child chain, which is a ‘light’ blockchain that can be customized to a certain extent, is designed to allow easy self-deploy for your own blockchain. Nxt claims that users will "not need to worry" about security, as that part is now handled by the main chain (Ardor). This is the chief innovation of Ardor. Ardor was evolved from NXT by the same company. NEM started as a NXT clone.
  14. Ontology: Similar to Neo. Interesting coin
  15. Bytom: Bytom is an interactive protocol of multiple byte assets. Heterogeneous byte-assets (indigenous digital currency, digital assets) that operate in different forms on the Bytom Blockchain and atomic assets (warrants, securities, dividends, bonds, intelligence information, forecasting information and other information that exist in the physical world) can be registered, exchanged, gambled and engaged in other more complicated and contract-based interoperations via Bytom.
  16. Nxt: Similar to Lisk
  17. Stratis: Different to LISK, Stratis will allow businesses and organizations to create their own blockchain according to their own needs, but secured on the parent Stratis chain. Stratis’s simple interface will allow organizations to quickly and easily deploy and/or test blockchain functionality of the Ethereum, BitShares, BitCoin, Lisk and Stratis environements.
  18. Status: Status provides access to all of Ethereum’s decentralized applications (dapps) through an app on your smartphone. It opens the door to mass adoption of Ethereum dapps by targeting the fastest growing computer segment in the world – smartphone users.16. Ark: Fork of Lisk that focuses on a smaller feature set. Ark wallets can only vote for one delegate at a time which forces delegates to compete against each other and makes cartel formations incredibly hard, if not impossible.
  19. Neblio: Similar to Neo, but 30x smaller market cap.
  20. NEM: Is similar to Neo No marketing team, very high market cap for little clarilty what they do.
  21. Bancor: Bancor is a Decentralized Liquidity Network that allows you to hold any Ethereum token and convert it to any other token in the network, with no counter party, at an automatically calculated price, using a simple web wallet.
  22. Dragonchain: The Purpose of DragonChain is to help companies quickly and easily incorporate blockchain into their business applications. Many companies might be interested in making this transition because of the benefits associated with serving clients over a blockchain – increased efficiency and security for transactions, a reduction of costs from eliminating potential fraud and scams, etc.
  23. Skycoin: Transactions with zero fees that take apparently two seconds, unlimited transaction rate, no need for miners and block rewards, low power usage, all of the usual cryptocurrency technical vulnerabilities fixed, a consensus mechanism superior to anything that exists, resistant to all conceivable threats (government censorship, community infighting, cybenucleaconventional warfare, etc). Skycoin has their own consensus algorithm known as Obelisk written and published academically by an early developer of Ethereum. Obelisk is a non-energy intensive consensus algorithm based on a concept called ‘web of trust dynamics’ which is completely different to PoW, PoS, and their derivatives. Skywire, the flagship application of Skycoin, has the ambitious goal of decentralizing the internet at the hardware level and is about to begin the testnet in April. However, this is just one of the many facets of the Skycoin ecosystem. Skywire will not only provide decentralized bandwidth but also storage and computation, completing the holy trinity of commodities essential for the new internet. Skycion a smear campaign launched against it, though they seem legit and reliable. Thus, they are probably undervalued.

Market 3 - Ecosystem

The 3rd market with 11 coins is comprised of ecosystem coins, which aim to strengthen the ease of use within the crypto space through decentralized exchanges, open standards for apps and more
  1. Nebulas: Similar to how Google indexes webpages Nebulas will index blockchain projects, smart contracts & data using the Nebulas rank algorithm that sifts & sorts the data. Developers rewarded NAS to develop & deploy on NAS chain. Nebulas calls this developer incentive protocol – basically rewards are issued based on how often dapp/contract etc. is used, the more the better the rewards and Proof of devotion. Works like DPoS except the best, most economically incentivised developers (Bookkeeppers) get the forging spots. Ensuring brains stay with the project (Cross between PoI & PoS). 2,400 TPS+, DAG used to solve the inter-transaction dependencies in the PEE (Parallel Execution Environment) feature, first crypto Wallet that supports the Lightening Network.
  2. Waves: Decentralized exchange and crowdfunding platform. Let’s companies and projects to issue and manage their own digital coin tokens to raise money.
  3. Salt: Leveraging blockchain assets to secure cash loands. Plans to offer cash loans in traditional currencies, backed by your cryptocurrency assets. Allows lenders worldwide to skip credit checks for easier access to affordable loans.
  4. CHAINLINK: ChainLink is a decentralized oracle service, the first of its kind. Oracles are defined as an ‘agent’ that finds and verifies real-world occurrences and submits this information to a blockchain to be used in smart contracts.With ChainLink, smart contract users can use the network’s oracles to retrieve data from off-chain application program interfaces (APIs), data pools, and other resources and integrate them into the blockchain and smart contracts. Basically, ChainLink takes information that is external to blockchain applications and puts it on-chain. The difference to Aeternity is that Chainlink deploys the smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain while Aeternity has its own chain.
  5. WTC: Combines blockchain with IoT to create a management system for supply chains Interesting
  6. Ethos unifyies all cryptos. Ethos is building a multi-cryptocurrency phone wallet. The team is also building an investment diversification tool and a social network
  7. Aion: Aion is the token that pays for services on the Aeternity platform.
  8. USDT: is no cryptocurrency really, but a replacement for dollar for trading After months of asking for proof of dollar backing, still no response from Tether.

Market 4 - Privacy

The 4th market are privacy coins. As you might know, Bitcoin is not anonymous. If the IRS or any other party asks an exchange who is the identity behind a specific Bitcoin address, they know who you are and can track back almost all of the Bitcoin transactions you have ever made and all your account balances. Privacy coins aim to prevent exactly that through address fungability, which changes addresses constantly, IP obfuscation and more. There are 2 types of privacy coins, one with completely privacy and one with optional privacy. Optional Privacy coins like Dash and Nav have the advantage of more user friendliness over completely privacy coins such as Monero and Enigma.
  1. Monero: Currently most popular privacy coin, though with a very high market cap. Since their privacy is all on chain, all prior transactions would be deanonymized if their protocol is ever cracked. This requires a quantum computing attack though. PIVX is better in that regard.
  2. Zcash: A decentralized and open-source cryptocurrency that hide the sender, recipient, and value of transactions. Offers users the option to make transactions public later for auditing. Decent privacy coin, though no default privacy
  3. Verge: Calls itself privacy coin without providing private transactions, multiple problems over the last weeks has a toxic community, and way too much hype for what they have.
  4. Bytecoin: First privacy-focused cryptocurrency with anonymous transactions. Bytecoin’s code was later adapted to create Monero, the more well-known anonymous cryptocurrency. Has several scam accusations, 80% pre-mine, bad devs, bad tech
  5. Bitcoin Private: A merge fork of Bitcoin and Zclassic with Zclassic being a fork of Zcash with the difference of a lack of a founders fee required to mine a valid block. This promotes a fair distribution, preventing centralized coin ownership and control. Bitcoin private offers the optional ability to keep the sender, receiver, and amount private in a given transaction. However, this is already offered by several good privacy coins (Monero, PIVX) and Bitcoin private doesn't offer much more beyond this.
  6. Komodo: The Komodo blockchain platform uses Komodo’s open-source cryptocurrency for doing transparent, anonymous, private, and fungible transactions. They are then made ultra-secure using Bitcoin’s blockchain via a Delayed Proof of Work (dPoW) protocol and decentralized crowdfunding (ICO) platform to remove middlemen from project funding. Offers services for startups to create and manage their own Blockchains.
  7. PIVX: As a fork of Dash, PIVX uses an advanced implementation of the Zerocoin protocol to provide it’s privacy. This is a form of zeroknowledge proofs, which allow users to spend ‘Zerocoins’ that have no link back to them. Unlike Zcash u have denominations in PIVX, so they can’t track users by their payment amount being equal to the amount of ‘minted’ coins, because everyone uses the same denominations. PIVX is also implementing Bulletproofs, just like Monero, and this will take care of arguably the biggest weakness of zeroknowledge protocols: the trusted setup.
  8. Zcoin: PoW cryptocurrency. Private financial transactions, enabled by the Zerocoin Protocol. Zcoin is the first full implementation of the Zerocoin Protocol, which allows users to have complete privacy via Zero-Knowledge cryptographic proofs.
  9. Enigma: Monero is to Bitcoin what enigma is to Ethereum. Enigma is for making the data used in smart contracts private. More of a platform for dapps than a currency like Monero. Very promising.
  10. Navcoin: Like bitcoin but with added privacy and pos and 1,170 tps, but only because of very short 30 second block times. Though, privacy is optional, but aims to be more user friendly than Monero. However, doesn't really decide if it wants to be a privacy coin or not. Same as Zcash.Strong technology, non-shady team.
  11. Tenx: Raised 80 million, offers cryptocurrency-linked credit cards that let you spend virtual money in real life. Developing a series of payment platforms to make spending cryptocurrency easier. However, the question is if full privacy coins will be hindered in growth through government regulations and optional privacy coins will become more successful through ease of use and no regulatory hindrance.

Market 5 - Currency Exchange Tool

Due to the sheer number of different cryptocurrencies, exchanging one currency for the other it still cumbersome. Further, merchants don’t want to deal with overcluttered options of accepting cryptocurrencies. This is where exchange tool like Req come in, which allow easy and simple exchange of currencies.
  1. Cryptonex: Fiat and currency exchange between various blockchain services, similar to REQ.
  2. QASH: Qash is used to fuel its liquid platform which will be an exchange that will distribute their liquidity pool. Its product, the Worldbook is a multi-exchange order book that matches crypto to crypto, and crypto to fiat and the reverse across all currencies. E.g., someone is selling Bitcoin is USD on exchange1 not owned by Quoine and someone is buying Bitcoin in EURO on exchange 2 not owned by Quoine. If the forex conversions and crypto conversions match then the trade will go through and the Worldbook will match it, it'll make the sale and the purchase on either exchange and each user will get what they wanted, which means exchanges with lower liquidity if they join the Worldbook will be able to fill orders and take trade fees they otherwise would miss out on.They turned it on to test it a few months ago for an hour or so and their exchange was the top exchange in the world by 4x volume for the day because all Worldbook trades ran through it. Binance wants BNB to be used on their one exchange. Qash wants their QASH token embedded in all of their partners. More info here https://www.reddit.com/CryptoCurrency/comments/8a8lnwhich_are_your_top_5_favourite_coins_out_of_the/dwyjcbb/?context=3
  3. Kyber: network Exchange between cryptocurrencies, similar to REQ. Features automatic coin conversions for payments. Also offers payment tools for developers and a cryptocurrency wallet.
  4. Achain: Building a boundless blockchain world like Req .
  5. Req: Exchange between cryptocurrencies.
  6. Bitshares: Exchange between cryptocurrencies. Noteworthy are the 1.5 second average block times and throughput potential of 100,000 transactions per second with currently 2,400 TPS having been proven. However, bitshares had several Scam accusations in the past.
  7. Loopring: A protocol that will enable higher liquidity between exchanges and personal wallets.
  8. ZRX: Open standard for dapps. Open, permissionless protocol allowing for ERC20 tokens to be traded on the Ethereum blockchain. In 0x protocol, orders are transported off-chain, massively reducing gas costs and eliminating blockchain bloat. Relayers help broadcast orders and collect a fee each time they facilitate a trade. Anyone can build a relayer.

Market 6 - Gaming

With an industry size of $108B worldwide, Gaming is one of the largest markets in the world. For sure, cryptocurrencies will want to have a share of that pie.
  1. Storm: Mobile game currency on a platform with 9 million players.
  2. Fun: A platform for casino operators to host trustless, provably-fair gambling through the use of smart contracts, as well as creating their own implementation of state channels for scalability.
  3. Electroneum: Mobile game currency They have lots of technical problems, such as several 51% attacks
  4. Wax: Marketplace to trade in-game items

Market 7 - Misc

There are various markets being tapped right now. They are all summed up under misc.
  1. OMG: Omise is designed to enable financial services for people without bank accounts. It works worldwide and with both traditional money and cryptocurrencies.
  2. Power ledger: Australian blockchain-based cryptocurrency and energy trading platform that allows for decentralized selling and buying of renewable energy. Unique market and rather untapped market in the crypto space.
  3. Populous: A platform that connects business owners and invoice buyers without middlemen. Invoice sellers get cash flow to fund their business and invoice buyers earn interest. Similar to OMG, small market.
  4. Monacoin: The first Japanese cryptocurrency. Focused on micro-transactions and based on a popular internet meme of a type-written cat. This makes it similar to Dogecoin. Very niche, tiny market.
  5. Revain: Legitimizing reviews via the blockchain. Interesting concept, though market not as big.
  6. Augur: Platform to forecast and make wagers on the outcome of real-world events (AKA decentralized predictions). Uses predictions for a “wisdom of the crowd” search engine. Not launched yet.
  7. Substratum: Revolutionzing hosting industry via per request billing as a decentralized internet hosting system. Uses a global network of private computers to create the free and open internet of the future. Participants earn cryptocurrency. Interesting concept.
  8. Veritaseum: Is supposed to be a peer to peer gateway, though it looks like very much like a scam.
  9. TRON: Tronix is looking to capitalize on ownership of internet data to content creators. However, they plagiarized their white paper, which is a no go. They apologized, so it needs to be seen how they will conduct themselves in the future. Extremely high market cap for not having a product, nor proof of concept.
  10. Syscoin: A cryptocurrency with a decentralized marketplace that lets people buy and sell products directly without third parties. Trying to remove middlemen like eBay and Amazon.
  11. Hshare: Most likely scam because of no code changes, most likely pump and dump scheme, dead community.
  12. BAT: An Ethereum-based token that can be exchanged between content creators, users, and advertisers. Decentralized ad-network that pays based on engagement and attention.
  13. Dent: Decentralizeed exchange of mobile data, enabling mobile data to be marketed, purchased or distributed, so that users can quickly buy or sell data from any user to another one.
  14. Ncash: End to end encrypted Identification system for retailers to better serve their customers .
  15. Factom Secure record-keeping system that allows companies to store their data directly on the Blockchain. The goal is to make records more transparent and trustworthy .

Market 8 - Social network

Web 2.0 is still going strong and Web 3.0 is not going to ignore it. There are several gaming tokens already out there and a few with decent traction already, such as Steem, which is Reddit with voting through money is a very interesting one.
  1. Mithril: As users create content via social media, they will be rewarded for their contribution, the better the contribution, the more they will earn
  2. Steem: Like Reddit, but voting with money. Already launched product and Alexa rank 1,000 Thumbs up.
  3. Rdd: Reddcoin makes the process of sending and receiving money fun and rewarding for everyone. Reddcoin is dedicated to one thing – tipping on social networks as a way to bring cryptocurrency awareness and experience to the general public.
  4. Kin: Token for the platform Kik. Kik has a massive user base of 400 million people. Replacing paying with FIAT with paying with KIN might get this token to mass adoption very quickly.

Market 9 - Fee token

Popular exchanges realized that they can make a few billion dollars more by launching their own token. Owning these tokens gives you a reduction of trading fees. Very handy and BNB (Binance Coin) has been one of the most resilient tokens, which have withstood most market drops over the last weeks and was among the very few coins that could show growth.
  1. BNB: Fee token for Binance
  2. Gas: Not a Fee token for an exchange, but it is a dividend paid out on Neo and a currency that can be used to purchase services for dapps.
  3. Kucoin: Fee token for Kucoin

Market 10 - Decentralized Data Storage

Currently, data storage happens with large companies or data centers that are prone to failure or losing data. Decentralized data storage makes loss of data almost impossible by distributing your files to numerous clients that hold tiny pieces of your data. Remember Torrents? Torrents use a peer-to-peer network. It is similar to that. Many users maintain copies of the same file, when someone wants a copy of that file, they send a request to the peer-to-peer network., users who have the file, known as seeds, send fragments of the file to the requester., he requester receives many fragments from many different seeds, and the torrent software recompiles these fragments to form the original file.
  1. Gbyte: Byteball data is stored and ordered using directed acyclic graph (DAG) rather than blockchain. This allows all users to secure each other's data by referencing earlier data units created by other users, and also removes scalability limits common for blockchains, such as blocksize issue.
  2. Siacoin: Siacoin is decentralized storage platform. Distributes encrypted files to thousands of private users who get paid for renting out their disk space. Anybody with siacoins can rent storage from hosts on Sia. This is accomplish via "smart" storage contracts stored on the Sia blockchain. The smart contract provides a payment to the host only after the host has kept the file for a given amount of time. If the host loses the file, the host does not get paid.
  3. Maidsafecoin: MaidSafe stands for Massive Array of Internet Disks, Secure Access for Everyone.Instead of working with data centers and servers that are common today and are vulnerable to data theft and monitoring, SAFE’s network uses advanced P2P technology to bring together the spare computing capacity of all SAFE users and create a global network. You can think of SAFE as a crowd-sourced internet. All data and applications reside in this network. It’s an autonomous network that automatically sets prices and distributes data and rents out hard drive disk space with a Blockchain-based storage solutions.When you upload a file to the network, such as a photo, it will be broken into pieces, hashed, and encrypted. The data is then randomly distributed across the network. Redundant copies of the data are created as well so that if someone storing your file turns off their computer, you will still have access to your data. And don’t worry, even with pieces of your data on other people’s computers, they won’t be able to read them. You can earn MadeSafeCoins by participating in storing data pieces from the network on your computer and thus earning a Proof of Resource.
  4. Storj: Storj aims to become a cloud storage platform that can’t be censored or monitored, or have downtime. Your files are encrypted, shredded into little pieces called 'shards', and stored in a decentralized network of computers around the globe. No one but you has a complete copy of your file, not even in an encrypted form.

Market 11 - Cloud computing

Obviously, renting computing power, one of the biggest emerging markets as of recent years, e.g. AWS and Digital Ocean, is also a service, which can be bought and managed via the blockchain.
  1. Golem: Allows easy use of Supercomputer in exchange for tokens. People worldwide can rent out their computers to the network and get paid for that service with Golem tokens.
  2. Elf: Allows easy use of Cloud computing in exchange for tokens.

Market 12 - Stablecoin

Last but not least, there are 2 stablecoins that have established themselves within the market. A stable coin is a coin that wants to be independent of the volatility of the crypto markets. This has worked out pretty well for Maker and DGD, accomplished through a carefully diversified currency fund and backing each token by 1g or real gold respectively. DO NOT CONFUSE DGD AND MAKER with their STABLE COINS DGX and DAI. DGD and MAKER are volatile, because they are the companies of DGX and DAI. DGX and DAI are the stable coins.
  1. DGD: Platform of the Stablecoin DGX. Every DGX coin is backed by 1g of gold and make use proof of asset consensus.
  2. Maker: Platform of the Stablecoin DAI that doesn't vary much in price through widespread and smart diversification of assets.
EDIT: Added a risk factor from 0 to 10. The baseline is 2 for any crypto. Significant scandals, mishaps, shady practices, questionable technology, increase the risk factor. Not having a product yet automatically means a risk factor of 6. Strong adoption and thus strong scrutiny or positive community lower the risk factor.
EDIT2: Added a subjective potential factor from 0 to 10, where its overall potential and a small or big market cap is factored in. Bitcoin with lots of potential only gets a 9, because of its massive market cap, because if Bitcoin goes 10x, smaller coins go 100x, PIVX gets a 10 for being as good as Monero while carrying a 10x smaller market cap, which would make PIVX go 100x if Monero goes 10x.
submitted by galan77 to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Which Are Your Top 5 Platforms Out Of The Top100? An Analysis.

There are currently a lot of platforms, more specifically, there are 35 platforms within the Top100 only and many do very similar things. How is one supposed to know how they differ? That was the question that I asked myself.
So, I decided to compare all platforms within the Top100. I noticed that they can be put into into 5 different categories. Note: A platform is a cryptocurrency that offers smart contracts at least.
  1. Dapps platforms - 12
  2. BaaS - 11
  3. Liquidity - 2
  4. Misc - 7
  5. Behemoths -3
Here are all platforms in an excel spread sheet in their categories with a description: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1s8PHcNvvjuy848q18py_CGcu8elRGQAUIf86EYh4QZo/edit#gid=268170779
In order to find out which one is the best platform in each market currently and made sure to be strict with every platform and point out their flaws.
Let's look at the 5 markets.

1) Dapps platforms

Dapps platforms are definitely a solid bet for the next years. Besides Ethereum, Neo, EOS and Stellar are probably the most known here, however, all 4 are simply extremely centralized and would need to completely change their architecture to become more decentralized. Until that happens, none of these platform can really be considered as a platform with good technology, since everyone can achieve high scalability by letting a few hundred nodes do the consensus algorithm. There is nothing difficult about that. The difficulty is achieving several million TPS with 100,000 nodes deciding consensus.
Cardano, Aeternity are the only ones that seem to be able to maintain excellent decentralization with high scalability, because they scale through side-chains/horizontally.
All platforms considered, Ethereum seems to be on the way there as well with its change to Casper.
  1. Cardano has a great team, has probably the most secure PoS that was peer-reviewed in a scientific approach, has their mainnet launched, has near infinite scalability through sidechains and offers broad usability of Smart contracts in a number of programming languages.
  2. Ethereum is a 2nd generation blockchain that allows the use of smart contracts and dapps on a smaller scope. Ethereum currently has bad scalability, though this concern could be alleviated by the soon to be implemented Sharding concept and its new PoS/PoW consensus algorithm Casper. Still, there are platforms with much more comprehensive dapp ecosystems, and much more scalability. However, Ethereum just closed a partnership with AWS. This is probalby the biggest partnership in the cryptosphere. Though, in order to be better than any of the top 3 platforms, it would need to provide Oracles, a lot more functionality for dapps, partnerships, decentralized data storage, cloud computing.
  3. Neblio is similar to NEO and a good platform, though it has a much smaller market cap.
  4. EOS has high scalability, though is much more centralized than Skycoin, Elastos and Cardano. However, it offers a lot of functionality for Dapps. EOS is overhyped. It is on the same level as Neblio, Neo, Aeternity, but not on the same level as Skycoin, Elastos, IOTA, Cardano.
  5. NEO is a very established platform in this category.However, Neo dapps scale on-chain and can thus clog the network quickly. For that reason, NEO had to pick a very centralized approach to maintain scalability and it looking to rely on hand-picked nodes to maintain scalability in the future, very similar to EOS also very centralized approach of 121 handpicked nodes.
  6. Stellar has similar goals as Ripple, only that it is more a platform than only a currency, so it does offer more functionality. . Stellar uses Byzantine Fault Tolerance in the consensus protocol, which ensures secure consensus can be reached (moving the blockchain forward) even if a large percentage of nodes are disabled or acting dishonestly. It also helps keep nodes distributed. Stellar is a good platform with tight involvement with banks. While it doesn't have as much functionality as all above platforms, it can probably carve out its niche by doing really good business with banks.
  7. Aeternity: We’ve seen recently, that it’s difficult to scale the execution of smart contracts on the blockchain. Crypto Kitties is a great example. Something as simple as creating and trading unique assets on Ethereum bogged the network down when transaction volume soared. Ethereum and Zilliqa address this problem with Sharding. Aeternity focuses on increasing the scalability of smart contracts and dapps by moving smart contracts off-chain. Instead of running on the blockchain, smart contracts on Aeternity run in private state channels between the parties involved in the contracts. State channels are lines of communication between parties in a smart contract. They don’t touch the blockchain unless they need to for adjudication or transfer of value. Because they’re off-chain, state channel contracts can operate much more efficiently. They don’t need to pay the network for every time they compute and can also operate with greater privacy. An important aspect of smart contract and dapp development is access to outside data sources. This could mean checking the weather in London, score of a football game, or price of gold. Oracles provide access to data hosted outside the blockchain. In many blockchain projects, oracles represent a security risk and potential point of failure, since they tend to be singular, centralized data streams. Aeternity proposes decentralizing oracles with their oracle machine. Doing so would make outside data immutable and unchangeable once it reaches Aeternity’s blockchain. Of course, the data source could still be hacked, so Aeternity implements a prediction market where users can bet on the accuracy and honesty of incoming data from various oracles.It also uses prediction markets for various voting and verification purposes within the platform. Aeternity’s network runs on on a hybrid of proof of work and proof of stake. Founded by a long-time crypto-enthusiast and early colleague of Vitalik Buterin, Yanislav Malahov.
  8. IOST: To improve speed and scalability, IOStoken uses a Proof of Believability consensus mechanism eliminating the need for an energy-hungry proof-of-work protocol, which stands as a barrier to blockchain scaling up for widespread adoption. With this system, a node is validated based on its past contributions and behaviors. Moreover, to increase fairness and to most fully embrace the decentralized nature of the blockchain, IOS uses a “fairness” algorithm that randomly distributes data to various nodes. It’s intended to support service-oriented goods and services with large customer bases. Decentralized applications and smart contracts, the hallmarks of blockchain platforms, are a priority for IOS as well.
  9. Request Network: Req payments can be used for online purchases, business to business invoices, escrow, advanced payments and eventually IoT payments between machines. Other than payments, the Request Network is also tackling auditing and budget transparency. Businesses have the ability to track invoices to audit payments as well as record transactions for accounting purposes. Governments, nonprofits, and other organizations can also use Request to bring transparency to their budget and expenditures.
  10. Rchain: Similar to Ethereum with smart contracts, though much more scalable at an expected 40,000 TPS and possible 100,000 TPS. However, Rchain has not launched ye..
  11. Ziliqa: Zilliqa is building a new way of sharding, so that 10,000 tps are soon possible by being linearly scalable with the number of nodes. That means, the more nodes, the faster the network gets. They are looking at implementing privacy as well.Rchain is an ok platform.
  12. Ethereum classic is the original Ethereum that decided not to fork after a hack for philosophical reasons. The Ethereum that we know is its fork.

2) BaaS (Blockchain-as-a-Service)

BaaS take a different route to adoption than mere Dapps platforms. They are also dapp platforms, but focus on businesses (B2B) instead of end-users (B2C) within the cryptosphere. They sell their blockchain services to companies, who then can build their own customizable blockchain as a side-chain to the BaaS without hassle and worry about technology or blockchain architecture. This is all handled by the BaaS company already and the customer only needs to change a few variables and they have their own blockchain. Side-chains are interesting, because they allow virtually infinite scaling, since there can be an infinite number of side-chains that only communicate with the main-chain occasionally and handle the majority of transactions on their own chain. This is also called horizontal scaling.
The success of a BaaS platform largely depends on its ability to close partnerships to sell to large businesses and having the best usability. The more contracts they can sell to businesses and institutions, the more valuable it will be. For that reason, the BaaS with the best ability to form partnerships and do sales will win this market. Technology isn't as important here. Of course, the platform has to work without bugs, but having a platform with outstanding technology, average usability and average marketing will lose against a platform with average technology, great usability and great marketing.
  1. VeChain is a Singapore-based project that’s building a business enterprise platform and inventory tracking system. . While it is not really competing with the above mentioned platforms, any of them can build supply management tools into their platform and compete with VeChain. However, VeChain has very strong partnerships. This gives them some protection of any of the above mentioned entering the market. Examples are verifying genuine luxury goods and food supply chains. VeChain has one of the strongest communities in the crypto world. If you are looking for something more high risk, high return, have a look into Ambrosus and Devery(Eve). Both also seem to be good at building partnerships, which is the most important characteristic for a supply chain platform required to succeed.
  2. Icon is called the Korean Ethereum. However, it specializes more on building customizable blockchains for banks, insurance providers, hospitals, and universities, since it's a BaaS. Icon has a focus on on ID verification and payments. Icon is ery close behind Vechain, because with Samsung and Line.
  3. WTC is a supply chain management platform, similar to Vechain, however, with fewer partnerships.
  4. Komodo’s open-source platform is for doing transparent, anonymous, private, and fungible transactions. They are then made ultra-secure using Bitcoin’s blockchain via a Delayed Proof of Work (dPoW) protocol and decentralized crowdfunding (ICO) platform to remove middlemen from project funding. Offers services for startups to create and manage their own Blockchains. While it doesn't have as many partnerships as other BaaS, it is the only BaaS that offers privacy so far. However, that's. it such a bug competitive advantage, since it can be replicated rather swiftly.
  5. NEM: The NEM blockchain powers what they call the Smart Asset System. This system is intended to be an open, customizable blockchain solution for any number of use cases built on top of simple, powerful API calls. NEM started as a NXT fork and introduced a new consensus mechanism called Proof of Importance (PoI), designed to reward users’ contribution to the XEM community. It is roughly based on proof-of-stake, but it also reflects how active a user is in transacting with other users. POW rewards powerful computers and also requires excessive amounts of energy. POS gives an unfair advantage to coin hoarders. The more coins they keep in their accounts, the more they earn, meaning that the rich get richer and everyone has an incentive to save coins instead of spending them.
  6. Ark is a fork of Lisk, which is doubling down on a smaller feature set than Lisk. Ark is a good BaaS, though it doesn't have many partnerships. Furthermore, they haven't launched their platform yet.
  7. Dragonchain: The Purpose of DragonChain is to help companies quickly and easily incorporate blockchain into their business applications. Many companies might be interested in making this transition because of the benefits associated with serving clients over a blockchain – increased efficiency and security for transactions, a reduction of costs from eliminating potential fraud and scams, etc. Dragonchain is a good BaaS, though it doesn't have many partnerships. However, it was funded by Disney, so it might be able to get partnerships more easy.
  8. LISK: Lisk's difference to other BaaS is that side chains are independent to the main chain and have to have their own nodes. Similar to neo whole allows dapps to deploy their blockchain too. Lisk is a good BaaS, though it doesn't have many partnerships. Furthermore, they haven't launched their platform yet.
  9. Stratis: Different to LISK, Stratis will allow businesses and organizations to create their own blockchain according to their own needs, but secured on the parent Stratis chain. Stratis’s simple interface will allow organizations to quickly and easily deploy and/or test blockchain functionality of the Ethereum, BitShares, BitCoin, Lisk and Stratis environements.Stratis is similar to Lisk, but also doesn't have many partnerships
  10. ARDR: Ardor is a public blockchain platform that will allow people to utilize the blockchain technology of Nxt through the use of child chains. A child chain, which is a ‘light’ blockchain that can be customized to a certain extent, is designed to allow easy self-deploy for your own blockchain. Nxt claims that users will "not need to worry" about security, as that part is now handled by the main chain (Ardor). This is the chief innovation of Ardor. Ardor was evolved from NXT by the same company. NEM started as a NXT clone.
  11. Bytom: Bytom is an interactive protocol of multiple financial assets ( digital currency, digital assets warrants, securities, dividends, bonds, intelligence information, forecasting information and other information that exist in the physical world) can be registered, exchanged, gambled and engaged in other more complicated and contract-based interoperations via Bytom.

3) Liquidity

There are really only 2 platforms in the Liquidity market, albeit the Liquidity market could be one of the biggest markets with insitutional investors entering the cryptoworld soon, since there is very little liquidity in Bitcoin. For example, say a pension fund wants to buy or sell $10B in Bitcoins. No single exchange has that many Bitcoins available and it would wreak havoc on the market. This wouldn't be a problem with Liquidity platforms, since they pull all order books together and back up market liquidity with FIAT money among other things.
  1. QASH is used to fuel its liquid platform which will be an exchange that will distribute their liquidity pool. Its product, the Worldbook is a multi-exchange order book that matches crypto to crypto, and crypto to fiat and the reverse across all currencies. E.g., someone is selling Bitcoin is USD on exchange1 not owned by Quoine and someone is buying Bitcoin in EURO on exchange 2 not owned by Quoine. If the forex conversions and crypto conversions match then the trade will go through and the Worldbook will match it, it'll make the sale and the purchase on either exchange and each user will get what they wanted, which means exchanges with lower liquidity if they join the Worldbook will be able to fill orders and take trade fees they otherwise would miss out on.They turned it on to test it a few months ago for an hour or so and their exchange was the top exchange in the world by 4x volume for the day because all Worldbook trades ran through it. Binance wants BNB to be used on their one exchange. Qash wants their QASH token embedded in all of their partners. More info here https://www.reddit.com/CryptoCurrency/comments/8a8lnwhich_are_your_top_5_favourite_coins_out_of_the/dwyjcbb/?context=3Qash is doing something completely different as the above mentioned. It offers liquidity in an illiquid market. Sell shovels during a gold rush.
  2. Loopring is similar to Qash, only that it functions as a dezentralized exchange, while QASH is more of an API without a user interface. It is a protocol that will enable higher liquidity between exchanges and personal wallets by pooling all orders sent to its network and fill these orders through the order books of multiple exchanges. When using Loopring, traders never have to deposit funds into an exchange to begin trading. Even with decentralized exchanges like Ether Delta, IDex, or Bitshares, you’d have to deposit your funds onto the platform, usually via an Ethereum smart contract. But with Loopring, funds always remain in user wallets and are never locked by orders. This gives you complete autonomy over your funds while trading, allowing you to cancel, trim, or increase an order before it is executed.

4) Misc

These are platforms that are focused on a specialized functionality
  1. Nebulas: Similar to how google indexes webpages Nebulas will index blockchain projects, smart contracts & data using the Nebulas rank algorithm that sifts & sorts the data. Developers rewarded NAS to develop & deploy on NAS chain. Nebulas calls this developer incentive protocol – basically rewards are issued based on how often dapp/contract etc. is used, the more the better the rewards and Proof of devotion. Works like DPoS except the best, most economically incentivised developers (Bookkeepers) get the forging spots. Ensuring brains stay with the project (Cross between PoI & PoS). 2,400 TPS+, DAG used to solve the inter-transaction dependencies in the PEE (Parallel Execution Environment) feature, first crypto Wallet that supports the Lightening Network.Nebulas is the only one doing what it's doing. This makes them very unique and a good investment.
  2. Centrality is a decentralized market place for dapps that are all connected together on a blockchain-powered system. Centrality aims to allow businesses to work together using blockchain technology. With Centrality, startups can collaborate through shared acquisition of customers, data, merchants, and content. That shared acquisition occurs across the Centrality blockchain, which hosts a number of decentralized apps called Scenes. Companies can use CENTRA tokens to purchase Scenes for their app, then leverage the power of the Centrality ecosystem to quickly scale. Some of Centrality's top dapps are, Skoot, a travel experience marketplace that consists of a virtual companion designed for free independent travelers and inbound visitors, Belong, a marketplace and an employee engagement platform that seems at helping business provide rewards for employees, Merge, a smart travel app that acts as a time management system, Ushare, a transports application that works across rental cars, public transport, taxi services, electric bikes and more. All of these dapps are able to communicate with each other and exchange data through Centrality. Centrality is the only one doing what it's doing. This makes them very unique and a good investment.
  3. Salt: Leveraging blockchain assets to secure cash loans. Plans to offer cash loans in traditional currencies, backed by your cryptocurrency assets. Allows lenders worldwide to skip credit checks for easier access to affordable loans.Salt is a good lending platform. However, there is also Elixir, a better investment with a 30x smaller market cap, but also strong technology. Elixir has such a low market cap, because they didn't have an ICO and they only focused on development and no marketing. As of last week, they started marketing.
  4. Aion: Today, there are hundreds of blockchains. In the coming years, those hundreds will become thousands and—with ,widespread adoption by mainstream business and government—millions. Blockchains don’t talk to each other at all right now, they are like the PCs of the 1980s. The Aion network is able to support custom blockchain architectures while still allowing for cross-chain interoperability by enabling users to exchange data between any Aion-compliant blockchains by making use of an interchain framework that allows for messages to be relayed between blockchains in a completely trust-free manner.
  5. Waves is a decentralized exchange and crowdfunding platform by letting companies and projects to issue and manage their own digital coin tokens to raise money.
  6. ChainLink is a decentralized oracle service, the first of its kind. Oracles are defined as an ‘agent’ that finds and verifies real-world occurrences and submits this information to a blockchain to be used in smart contracts.With ChainLink, smart contract users can use the network’s oracles to retrieve data from off-chain application program interfaces (APIs), data pools, and other resources and integrate them into the blockchain and smart contracts. Basically, ChainLink takes information that is external to blockchain applications and puts it on-chain. The difference to Aeternity is that Chainlink deploys the smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. Chainlink's main functionality is oracles, a functionality also offered by IOTA.
  7. QTUM: Smart Contracts on the Bitcoin blockchain. QTUM is a smart contracts for BTC, a very niche market. Furthermore, BTC might offer smart contracts itself soon and make QTUM obsolete. Hopefully QTUM will expand into more smart contracts functionality to become relevant again.
Nebulas with Indexing the Blockchain world and Salt with Lending are probably the 2 most interesting platforms here. Nebulas doesn't have a single competitor, though there are several competitors to Salt with a much smaller market cap and with similar development progress, ELIX.

5) Behemoths

There are 3 platforms that have not been discussed yet. However, they can do most what the above platforms can do and have the potential to steal the market of all above mentioned platforms. That's why I call them behemoths.
1.) Skycoin :Skycoin is building what Pied Piper is building in the series HBO's Silicon Valley, a completely decentralized internet that is not run by ISPs, but by IoT devices, making telecom providers like Comcast, ISPs who can control bandwith, cost, net neutrality, filters, access etc. obsolete and completely decentralize them. Skycoin offers what 36 coins are offering:
  1. 12 Scalable Currency (Bitcoin, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Dash, Bitcoin Gold, Nano, Bitcoin Diamond, Dogecoin, Digibyte, Decred, Bitcoin Atom)
  2. 10 Smart Contract and Dapps platforms (Cardano, Ethereum, Neblio, EOS, Stellar, Neo, Rchain, IOST, Ziliqa, Eth classic)
  3. 10 BaaS (VeChain, Icon, WTC, Ontology, Komodo, NEM, Ark, Dragonchain, LISK, Stratis).
  4. 4 Decentralized Storage (Siacoin, Maidsafe, Gybte, Storj)
If you think that the decentralized Internet will blow all other markets out of the water and will be the biggest invention of this decade, then Skycoin is your pick, because covers that and what 27 coins do.
2.) IOTA: With the launch of Q 1 week ago, IOTA is about to offer what 27 platforms within the Top 100 are offering (!) and they are probably looking to replace several more.
  1. 12 Scalable Currency (Bitcoin, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Dash, Bitcoin Gold, Nano, Bitcoin Diamond, Dogecoin, Digibyte, Decred, Bitcoin Atom.)
  2. 10 Smart Contract and Dapps platforms (Cardano, Ethereum, Neblio, EOS, Stellar, Neo, Rchain, IOST, Ziliqa, Eth classic)
  3. 2 Oracles (Aeternity, ChainLink)
  4. 3 Outsourced Cloud Computing (DBC, Aelf, Golem)
IOTA is at the same level as Skycoin and Elastos. However, SKY's flagship product is the Decentralized Internet and ELA's is the most comprehensive dapps operating system in the cryptosphere, which IOTA cannot really replicate in the near future, because it takes years of reseach and development. This protects ELA and SKY from IOTA for now.
However, it looks like IOTA can snatch up all the smaller, easier to replicate markets, such as cloud computing, oracles, smart contracts, decentralized storage, currency exchange and soon possibly also supply chain management, BaaS functionality, privacy, security identification since none of those are really hard to build. However, Skycoin and Elastos will probably focus on their flagships and leave IOTA to scoop up all the rest. It will be an interesting year.
3.) Elastos started out as a mobile operating system 18 years ago and has now moved towards a smart contracts platform, operating system and a runtime environment for Dapps. Thanks to side-chains they are near infinitely scalable and is thus also very decentralized. Elastos is offering what 36 coins are offering
  1. 12 Scalable Currency (Bitcoin, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Dash, Bitcoin Gold, Nano, Bitcoin Diamond, Dogecoin, Digibyte, Decred, Bitcoin Atom.)
  2. 10 Smart Contract and Dapps platforms (Cardano, Ethereum, Neblio, EOS, Stellar, Neo, Rchain, IOST, Ziliqa, Eth classic)
  3. 10 BaaS (VeChain, Icon, WTC, Ontology, Komodo, NEM, Ark, Dragonchain, LISK, Stratis).
  4. 4 Decentralized Storage (Siacoin, Maidsafe, Gybte, Storj)
If you are very convinced that BaaS solutions and dapps platforms will be the big winners for 2018, then Elastos is your pick as far as I can see, because it is probably the best BaaS and dapps platform with near infinite scalability and the best decentralization and thus does what 32 coins do.
3 Closing Questions
All of the above findings leave me with those 3 questions. What are your thoughts?
  1. Why invest in any of Dapps platforms (Cardano, Neblio, EOS, Stellar, Neo, Aeternity, Rchain, IOST, Ziliqa, Ethereum, Eth classic) when Elastos and Skycoin do everything they do, are much more decentralized and scalable through side-chain/off-chain/horizontal scaling and offer lots more functionality beyond that?
  2. Why invest in any BaaS (Ontology, Komodo, NEM, Ark ,Dragonchain, LISK, Stratis, ARDR) if ICX and VeChain offer everything what all of the above offer and already have 10x more partnerships than their competitors?
  3. It looks like out of all 35 platforms, only 5 are really strong: IOTA, Skycoin, Elastos, VeChain, ICX. While the first 3 seem to cover already almost half of the top 100, the last 2 really convince in the partnership department. What's the argument for investing in any of the 30 other platforms? Maybe that they can specialise on a specific feature set, however, is this really a convincing argument? The cryptoworld is harsh and if you can't keep up with competition, you'll be moved out of the market quickly.
submitted by galan77 to CryptoMarkets [link] [comments]

I wrote a new, updated, more comprehensive and neutral wiki for the sub, but I guess the mods didn't want it. Here's u/garethom's guide to Birmingham.

I sent this is in a message to the mods a little while back after seeing that the existing wiki was a little out of date, really centric to certain areas and tbh, not very neutral when it came to other areas. It's my no means the end of any recommendations, but considering we have a lot of questions about what to do/see/eat/drink and where to stay or live, I thought it might be helpful.
Anyway, I haven't got a response, and I'm not even sure if any of them are even still active here, so I thought I'd just drop it here and maybe somebody can get some use out of it anyway.
I'll clarify that outside of playing for one of the American football teams currently, and having previously played for another, I'm not affiliated with any organisation mentioned herein.

About Birmingham

Birmingham is the second city (don't listen to anything Manchester says!) of the United Kingdom. It is the largest and most populous city in the United Kingdom, as well as the centre of the second largest urban area after London, with a population somewhere between 1 and 1.3 million people.
Birmingham boomed from a non-descript market town to a juggernaut of a city during the Industrial Revolution in the late 1700s/early 1800s, and is called "the first manufacturing town in the world". Although the steam engine is Birmingham's most famous invention, did you know, that amongst hundreds of other things, we're also responsible for the birth of the modern chemical industry, cotton spinning, the Baskerville typeface, building societies, powdered custard, the modern postal system, medical plaster, lawn tennis, plastic, medical use of x-rays, The Lord of the Rings, and the Football League? Well now you do!
Today, we don't manufacture so much, but we're still an important city on the global stage. We're now a centre for both the public and private service industry, and one of the most important centres of finance in the country.
We form the centre of a metropolitan area, spanning from Solihull in the south east, to Wolverhampton and the Black Country in the north west, and we make up an interesting group of people. We're a city of younger than average people, and are the UK's most ethnically diverse city, with large numbers of immigrants from Ireland, South Asia, the Caribbean and China. This make up has majorly shaped the city we live in today.
Whether you're visiting for a day or two, or you're a born and bred Brummie, Birmingham is still a city that can amaze you.
And yes... it's true. We do have more canals than Venice.

Big Name Attractions

  • BBC Birmingham: Visitors can book tours of their working building that take you behind the scenes of their television and radio productions. There is also a visitor centre that doesn't require booking.
  • Botanical Gardens: A 15 acre selection of gardens and greenhouses containing some of the world's rarest (and in some cases, entirely unique) plants. There are also a number of exotic birds.
  • Cadbury World: The world famous chocolate manufacturer was founded in Bournville. There are exhibits on the history of chocolate, the making of chocolate, the story of the Cadbury family, and if you hadn't guessed by now, a massive Cadbury shop.
  • LegoLand Discovery Centre: A newly-opened, kid centric day out based entirely on the world famous, colourful bricks.
  • Library of Birmingham: This striking building opened in 2013 is the largest public library in the United Kingdom, and the largest "public cultural space" in Europe and hosts a number of nationally and internationally significant collections.
  • National Sea Life Centre: Even with our extensive canal network, perhaps not the most appropriate location, but still... A giant aquarium with a range of sea and river life, from sharks, to penguins, to otters.
  • Sarehole Mill: A working water mill that has played a significant park in the history of both the industry and literature of Birmingham. Matthew Boulton, one of the fathers of the industrial revolution performed experiments there, and Lord of the Rings author, J. R. R. Tolkien lived just a stones throw from the mill. It is located in the Shire Country Park, named for its influence on the location of that name in the aforementioned books.
  • Thinktank: A family-oriented science experience with a focus on Birmingham's manufacturing and industrial history. You can see real WWII era aircraft, steam trains, and the world's oldest working steam engine. There's also a planetarium.

Smaller Attractions

  • Aston Hall: The "leading example of the Jacobean prodigy house" has a storied local history, from the Civil War-era onwards.
  • Back to Backs: The "city's last surviving court of back-to-back houses". Get a feel for life amongst the common folk of the city during the population boom of the Industrial Revolution.
  • Blakesley Hall: One of the oldest buildings in the city, and an archetypal example of Tudor architecture, originally owned by the famed Smalbroke family.
  • Coffin Works: A restored factory that historically manufactured brass fittings, and, you guessed it, coffins, including those of famed statesmen and members of the royal family.
  • Museum of the Jewellery Quarter: Step inside a "'time capsule' of a jewellery workshop" and learn about the 200+ year history of the Jewellery Quarter.
  • Pen Museum: The only museum dedicated to the pen trade in the UK, learn how Birmingham became the heart of the world pen industry.
  • Selly Manor: Originally the manor house of Bournbrook, it was acquired by the Cadbury family in the early 1900s and moved to be the heart of their model village, Bournville.
  • Soho House: A large house containing primarily a celebration of the life of famed industrialist Matthew Boulton and his peers in the Lunar Society.
  • Winterbourne House & Garden: A seven acre botanic garden of the University of Birmingham.

Food & Drink

Birmingham is a city quickly gaining a world-class reputation for food, with an exploding independent scene backed up by an enviable selection of fine dining options.
Fine Dining You may have heard that Birmingham has more Michelin-starred restaurants than any UK city outside of London, and that's (sort of, if you're including Solihull) true!
With five (strictly four) restaurants boasting a star, Birmingham has plenty for those desiring a fine dining experience.
Purnell's, ran by regular TV face Glyn Purnell, and Adam's are both located in the city centre. Simpsons is just a mile-and-a-bit outside the centre in leafy Edgbaston, and Carters of Moseley is just a little further out, in, well, Moseley. The most recently awarded star goes to Peel's, located in the Hampton Manor hotel in Hampton in Arden, a quick drive from Birmingham Airport.
But it's not all about those famous stars. There's also several restaurants that make the Michelin Guide. Asha's (Indian), Opus (European), The Wilderness (British/European), Lasan (Indian), Waters (European), The Boot Inn (European/Fusion), Opheem (Indian), Folium (British/European), and Harborne Kitchen (British/European) are all places you're almost guaranteed some good eating!
Street Food & Independents While the Michelin-club get all the plaudits, many prefer Birmingham's proud independent food scene for a cheaper, more relaxed meal.
The jewel in the crown is Digbeth Dining Club. The now three-day-a-week event sees an area in Digbeth in the centre of Birmingham closed off and populated by some of the countries finest streetfood vendors for a festival of food, drink and music. Many of the regulars have been crowned winners of something in the various country-wide streetfood competitions in recent years, and you'll get anything from Indian snacks, decadent waffles, slow cooked BBQ, and mouth-watering cheesecakes to award winning burgers. Additionally, in a very similar vein, is the much more recent Hawker Yard.
Looking for a burger? You're in luck. There's Original Patty Men (who are so renowned, Drake opted to miss out on the Brit Awards to eat their burgers) and The Meat Shack both located in the city centre that make some of the best burgers you'll ever taste, and have a great selection of beers to go with them.
Thanks to the city's impressive Chinatown, you're guaranteed some good authentic Chinese food. Our recommendation? Head to Peach Garden or Look In and order a selection of roasted meats (just look for the hanging ducks in the window, you won't miss them!)
Perhaps Birmingham's most world famous offering to the culinary world is the Balti. Named for the thin-pressed steel dish it's served in more than any particular method of cooking, the Balti is a garlic and onion heavy curry that is cooked over high heat, rather than simmering all day. If that sounds enticing to you, then I've got good news.
Birmingham is famed for the Balti Triangle, an area around Sparkbook, Sparkhill and Moseley that has an eye-wateringly high concentration of restaurants serving Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi food, almost all of which serving many variations of the eponymous dish. While the Balti may have spread across the entirety of the UK, it's well known that Birmingham still has the best. Looking for a recommendation? Check out Adil's, the place that lays perhaps the strongest claim to creating the dish in the first place or Al Frash. We're also locked into an ongoing battle with Glasgow as to which city created the creamy, mild curry, the Chicken Tikka Masala. Added bonus? Many of the city's balti houses are BYOB.
Outside of those mentioned, there really is something for those that want something a little different. The Karczma serves authentic Polish food in amazing decor. Bonehead is the place to go for fried chicken. If you're not feeling a full three course balti, Zindiya offers amazing Indian street food. Loaf is a co-operatively ran bakery and cookery school that offer literally the best sausage rolls in the world. Whatever cuisine takes your fancy, you will find a restaurant in Birmingham cooking it to the highest quality.
If there's anything that will force you to make plans to visit Birmingham again, it's the food.
Drinking And what d'you know, it's not just great food here, but great drink too!
In the city centre, you're spoiled for choice. There's a Brewdog bar, serving a range of beers from the eponymous brewery alongside a smorgasbord of guest brewers. Just opposite is Cherry Reds (they also have a location in Kings Heath), serving craft beers in a cafe atmosphere. Located in a former, guess what, the Post Office Vaults invites you to take a look through their "Beer Bible" and select from hundreds of beers from around the world. Purecraft serves beers from the renowned Purity Brewing Company, and the food is amazing too.
Around what was formerly a financial district, you'll find a lot of popular bars in attractive buildings, such as The Old Joint Stock, The Lost and Found and The Cosy Club. In the Jewellery Quarter, you'll find the reasonably priced 1000 Trades (usually with a pop-up dishing out great food) and further afield, the Plough in Harborne.
Cocktails more your thing? You won't miss out. The Alchemist, Fumo, Ginger's and Gas Street Social all serve proper cocktails in trendy atmospheres.
On the same street in Stirchley and Cotteridge, you will find two of the countries highest-rated off-licences. Cotteridge Wines has been voted The Best Bottle Shop in England for five years running, and Stirchley Wines, just a few minutes walk away, is held in similarly high regard. Both have been listed in RateBeer's top four locations in the country.

Sport

Birmingham is famous as a sporting city. The Football League, the world's first league football competition, was founded in 1888 by Birmingham resident, and Aston Villa director William McGregor.
Along with the aforementioned Aston Villa, Birmingham is also home to another of the oldest football teams in the country, Birmingham City. Birmingham City's Ladies play at the top level of Women's football. The football season runs between August and May.
Edgbaston Cricket Ground is home to Warwickshire County Cricket Club, but is also more prominently used for Test matches, One Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals. The County Cricket season runs between April and September. The Twenty20 season runs between July and September.
Birmingham and the nearby areas are home to two PGA standard golf courses; The Belfry, which has hosted the Ryder Cup more than any other venue, and the Forest of Arden, a regular host of tournaments on the PGA European Tour.
Arena Birmingham, formerly known as the National Indoor Arena, has hosted a number of World and European indoor athletics championships, and the Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr is the headquarters of UK Athletics, and the home of the Birchfield Harriers, which counts a number of elite international athletes amongst its members.
The first ever game of lawn tennis was played in Birmingham in 1859 and the Birmingham Classic, played annually at the Edgbaston Priory Club is one of only three UK tennis tournaments on the WTA Tour.
There are two professional Rugby Union teams in Birmingham and the surrounding areas. Moseley Rugby Football Club play in the National League 1, and Birmingham & Solihull Pertemps Bees play in the Midlands Premier division. The Rugby Union season typically runs between September and April.
Birmingham is also home to the oldest British American football team, the Birmingham Bulls and the most successful team in University American football, the Birmingham Lions at the University of Birmingham. The Tamworth Phoenix, the current BAFA National League champions, are located in nearby Coleshill, and the Sandwell Steelers are located in the Black Country. The BAFA National Leagues season typically runs between April and August and the University season typically runs between October and January.
The Birmingham Bandits play in the National Baseball League, the top level of competition in the country. The season typically runs between April and August.
Birmingham will host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Entertainment

Film For those that want to catch a movie, there is, as you might expect, a range of chain cinemas in dozens of locations across the city in which you can catch the latest release.
But if you're looking for something really special? Why not check out The Electric, the UK's oldest working cinema?
Of course, they show the latest blockbusters, but they also show classic movies and special events throughout the year.
Music Whatever your preference, there's a good bet that Birmingham has had an impact.
We have the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra playing at the Symphony Hall for those with a more refined ear.
There are regular jazz festivals across the city and surroundings through the year.
Perhaps you've heard of the small time bands Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Led Zeppelin and Napalm Death? Birmingham is the home to metal, and it's an influence that is still obvious today. You'll find local bands playing the full spectrum of metal at music pubs across the city.
If you want to check out a band on tour, we've got arenas that range in size from the huge (Arena Birmingham, Genting Arena) to the more modest (Hare & Hounds, HMV Institute) and those in-between (O2 Academy).
Theatre The Repertory Theatre is the UK's longest-established "producing theatre" and the Alexandra and Hippodrome are the go-to places to see shows on tour.
Those looking for a particularly classy night out can choose from the Birmingham Royal Ballet, resident at the Hippodrome, or the Birmingham Opera Company, known for their avant garde performances in non-typical spaces.
Museums & Galleries Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is the big one. A notable collection of Pre-Raphaelite work and the Staffordshire Hoard are probably the stand outs that it's known for, but there's a temporary exhibition space that hosts events like student exhibitions from local universities.
The Barber Institute of Fine Arts is located on the campus of the University of Birmingham, and was one of only five galleries outside London to receive five stars for having "Outstanding collections of international significance", and this relatively modest sized gallery hosts works by the likes of Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Auguste Rodin and J. M. W. Turner and has one of the world's largest coin collections.
If contemporary art is more your thing, then the Ikon Gallery in Brindley Place is for you, hosting rotating exhibitions throughout the year.
The mac, located in Cannon Hill Park is an art gallery with rotating exhibitions that also hosts plays, concerts and film showings.
For further Museums & Galleries see the "Attractions" section.
Nightlife As a young city, there's plenty of places in the city to while the night away.
Broad Street is Birmingham's most well known area. It's a long street with very popular, relatively "bog-standard" bars and clubs, with large dancefloors and loud, popular music. PRYZM is the largest nightclub in the city, and Grosvenor Casino, open 24 hours, is nearby.
You'll most likely find single 18-25 year olds along this busy street just a few minutes walk from the very centre of the city.
Birmingham's Gay Village is also well established, with Nightingales being arguably the biggest name. Nearby, the Arcadian hosts a number of smaller bars and clubs.
The Jewellery Quarter offers more intimate nightlife options, and you're more likely to find a slightly older clientele sipping cocktails and listening to live bands than on their feet on a dancefloor.
Digbeth is where the cool people go in search of more underground fare. DJs and producers playing House, Techno (including the world famous "Birmingham Sound"), Dubstep, Garage and Drum & Bass congregate in the clubs in this area, catering to those that are happy to go all night. If you want to go even further off the beaten track, check out PST where you're likely to find Listening Sessions, showcasing a range of music from local producers.
Shopping The Bullring is the major shopping centre in Birmingham. It is one of Europe's largest and houses just one of four Selfridges department stores, housed in an iconic building. There are a number of stores selling fashion, cosmetics, toys and gifts and food.
The Bull Ring markets see 140 stallholders offering fresh fruit and vegetables, meats and fish, and basically every non-food item you can think of.
The Jewellery Quarter is Europe's largest concentration of businesses involved in the jewellery trade, which produces 40% of all the jewellery made in the UK.
The Great Western Arcade is a Grade II listed row of shops that cater almost entirely to independent retailers where you're almost guaranteed to find something unique.

Weather

We're a relatively temperate city, in that it rarely gets super cold, and rarely gets super hot. In the summer months, you can expect a twenty four hour swing from around 11°C(52°F) to 23°C(73°F), and in the winter months, anywhere between 0°C(32°F) and 7°C(45°F).
We get roughly 10-13 rainy days per month throughout the year.
Compared to other UK cities, we are relatively snowy, due to our inland position and high elevation, however, it rarely snows to a degree that it causes problems.

Environment

Birmingham is, perhaps surprisingly given its unfair reputation, an outstandingly green city. We have a stunning 571 parks in the city, more than any other European city.
Sutton Park is the biggest park in the city, and is Europe's largest urban park outside of a capital city. Around a quarter of the former Royal Forest is covered by ancient woodlands, and there are a number of large ponds and pools. It is relatively common to see deer and exmoor ponies in the less busy parts of the park. There are several sporting events held in the park throughout the year.
The Lickey Hills are home to a Green Flag awarded country park that offer picturesque views of the city of Birmingham, and are home to several species of deer, badgers and around ninety bird species, and some believe this favoured haunt of J. R. R. Tolkien formed the inspiration for the Shire in his famed The Lord Of The Rings series.
Cannon Hill Park is a 250 acre area consisting of woodland, grassland and several large ponds. There are areas for soccer, boating, fishing, tennis and mini-golf.

Travel

Due to its centralised location, Birmingham is well placed for transport. It is served by the M5, M6 (famed for the Gravelly Hill Interchange, more commonly known as Spaghetti Junction), M40 and M42 motorways.
Birmingham Airport (actually located in Solihull), is an international airport, with flights to and from to many destinations in Europe, North America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
Birmingham New Street is the largest railway station outside of London and serves locations across the country. Snow Hill and Moor Street act as the northern termini for trains coming from London Marylebone.
Buses are mainly administered by National Express, and the West Midlands bus route 11, also known as the Birmingham Outer Circle, is the longest urban bus route in Europe at 27 miles, taking around three hours to complete.
Uber operates within Birmingham.

Living In Birmingham

Many times we're asked here on brum "where should I live", "is area X ok to live in", etc. Much like everything else in Birmingham, there is a lot of variety. Houses can range from cheap as chips to pretty expensive, and each area of the city has its own up and downsides. It's not so easy to divide Birmingham by distinct areas of desirability, and some of the most expensive and sought after suburbs border those that aren't as popular.

Central Birmingham

Living in central Birmingham will be similar to living in the centre of any other big city, if you've ever done that. There will always be something to do on right on your doorstep, the social opportunities are immense, and your commute can be but a short walk to the office. Of course, this is often at the expense of a smaller, more expensive property, greater noise and everywhere is pretty busy 24/7. There are a number of distinct "regions" in the city centre.
Brindley Place & Surrounding Areas Likely the priciest part of the city centre to live in, but there are often more than small flats available. Penthouses, townhouses and large apartments are more common in this area.
Average property price: Anywhere from ~£150,000 to £1m+ Brindley Place on Streetcheck
Digbeth An area still undergoing gentrification, but also a focal point for up and coming independents in business, food, arts and culture. Most, if not all, properties in Digbeth will be flats. Most of Digbeth is a five minute walk to the centre of the city.
Average property price: £158,024 Digbeth on Streetcheck
Jewellery Quarter Great for food and drink, the Jewellery Quarter, while still a stronghold in the UK jewellery industry, is fast becoming one of the "cooler" areas to live in the city. Most, if not all, properties in the Jewellery Quarter will be flats.
Average property price: ~£200,000-250,000 Jewellery Quarter on Streetcheck

North Birmingham

North Birmingham has a large swing in terms of lifestyle. Some areas closer to the city centre are more economically deprived, whereas further away, the likes of Sutton Coldfield can boast some of the most expensive and most desirable locations in the Midlands. The transport links are, to some, an attraction to living in North Birmingham, usually being just minutes from several junctions on the M6 and M5.
Aston Aston as a settlement is very old, and has a real mix of history, ranging from the medieval to Jacobean to early 1900s. Most properties in Aston are terraced houses.
Average property price: £107,137 Aston on Streetcheck
Erdington Lying between the city centre and it's more expensive neighbour, Erdington is fast becoming a desirable location for those priced out of Sutton Coldfield. There is a range of properties from detached housing to flats.
Average property price: £163,075 Erdington on Streetcheck
Handsworth An "on the rise" area that can boast perhaps the longest list of famous residents in the whole city. There are a wide range of properties from detached housing to terraced houses.
Average property price: £144,484 Handsworth on Streetcheck
Sutton Coldfield A "Royal Town" and the fourth-least deprived area in the country, Sutton Coldfield is renowned as a very affluent area with many attractions. There are a range of properties from terraced houses to very large detached houses.
Average property price: £314,808 although houses can and do regularly top £3m+ Sutton Coldfield on Streetcheck

East Birmingham

East Birmingham is home to a diverse population, and a relatively green area stretching from the city centre to neighbouring Solihull, and is quickly finding itself a niche as younger folk priced out of Solihull move to a desirable location between the leafy town and Birmingham's centre.
Bordesley Green Traditionally an area popular with immigrants, and mostly consists of terraced houses.
Average property price: £122,712 Bordesley Green on Streetcheck
Stechford Mostly terraced housing with a tonne of local ameneties and is cut almost in two by the River Cole and has a large nature reserve running through it.
Average property price: £150,085 Stechford on Streetcheck
Yardley & Sheldon An historically old suburb of Birmingham, with a dedicated conservation area and many local ameneties. There are a range of properties from detached houses to a small number of flats and apartments.
Average property price: £162,601 Yardley & Sheldon on Streetcheck

South Birmingham

The south of Birmingham is home to some of the "coolest" suburbs that are quickly gaining popularity, seated between the city centre and what you might call "countryside" towards Warwickshire.
Hall Green Encompassing much of the Tolkien trail, this suburb borders Shirley in Solihull.
Average property price: £209,923 Hall Green on Streetcheck
Kings Heath, Stirchley and Cotteridge These three closely related suburbs are quickly becoming seen as an affordable alternative to Moseley.
Average property price: £211,276 Kings Heath on Streetcheck
Moseley With a real "village" feel, there are many renowned drinking holes and eateries, with a large range of property types.
Average property price: £276,533 Moseley on Streetcheck
Sparkhill Home to a large population of immigrants, it's not surprising that Sparkhill is home to much of the famed "Balti Triangle". Most of the properties are terraced houses.
Average property price: £142,394 Sparkhill on Streetcheck

West Birmingham

As you move away from the city centre towards the Black Country, you'll come across some of the city's most sought-after locations for both young and old alike.
Edgbaston A very affluent suburb that is also home to much of the University of Birmingham campus. There are a number of very large houses, but also a large number of flats and terraced houses. Houses can and do regularly go for £1m+
Average property price: £301,851 Edgbaston on Streetcheck
Harborne A Victorian-era suburb with a large amount of terraced and semi-detached housing, located between Edgbaston and Quinton.
Average property price: £278,266 Harbone on Streetcheck
Selly Oak The majority of residents in this suburb are students at Birmingham's universities. As such, it has many transport links to the city centre. Most of the properties are terraced houses.
Average property price: £221,046 Selly Oak on Streetcheck
Quinton This green suburb basically forms the very western border of the city before you enter Sandwell and Dudley. Most properties are semi-detached.
Average property price: £258,077 Quinton on Streetcheck

Outside the city

Birmingham is part of the greater West Midlands conurbation, so it can be used as a hub for exploring the region easily.
Solihull is situated on the south-eastern edge of Birmingham. Solihull is an affluent town with a mid-sized town centre, and a number of smaller villages located more rurally.
Coventry can be reached via the M6 or A45, and is roughly a half an hour to fourty minute drive from the city centre.
Stratford-Upon-Avon, famed for being the home of William Shakespeare, is located roughly an hour away from the city centre.
Warwick, the home of Warwick Castle, is located near Royal Leamington Spa, and is about an hour by car from the city centre.
The Cotswolds, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, can be quickly reached, anywhere from one to two hours away from the city centre.
Worcester and the Malvern Hills, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, can be reached via the M5, around an hour and a half from the city centre.
On the western edge of the city, the Black Country, consisting of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton can be found.
Further out west, the Shropshire Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty can be found.
To the north of the city, Cannock Chase, a large, heavily wooded Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is located.
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