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Crypto-Powered - The Most Promising Use-Cases of Decentralized Finance (DeFi)
A whirlwind tour of Defi, paying close attention to protocols that we’re leveraging atGenesis Block. https://reddit.com/link/hrrt21/video/cvjh5rrh12b51/player This is the third post ofCrypto-Powered— a new series that examines what it means forGenesis Blockto be a digital bank that’s powered by crypto, blockchain, and decentralized protocols. Last week we explored how building on legacy finance is a fool’s errand. The future of money belongs to those who build with crypto and blockchain at their core. We also started down the crypto rabbit hole, introducing Bitcoin, Ethereum, and DeFi (decentralized finance). That post is required reading if you hope to glean any value from the rest of this series. 97% of all activity on Ethereum in the last quarter has been DeFi-related. The total value sitting inside DeFi protocols is roughly $2B — double what it was a month ago. The explosive growth cannot be ignored. All signs suggest that Ethereum & DeFi are a Match Made in Heaven, and both on their way to finding strong product/market fit. So in this post, we’re doing a whirlwind tour of DeFi. We look at specific examples and use-cases already in the wild and seeing strong growth. And we pay close attention to protocols that Genesis Block is integrating with. Alright, let’s dive in.
Stablecoins are exactly what they sound like: cryptocurrencies that are stable. They are not meant to be volatile (like Bitcoin). These assets attempt to peg their price to some external reference (eg. USD or Gold). A non-volatile crypto asset can be incredibly useful for things like merchant payments, cross-border transfers, or storing wealth — becoming your own bank but without the stress of constant price volatility. There are major governments and central banks that are experimenting with or soon launching their own stablecoins like China with their digital yuan and the US Federal Reserve with their digital dollar. There are also major corporations working in this area like JP Morgan with their JPM Coin, and of course Facebook with their Libra Project.
Stablecoin activity has grown 800% in the last year, with $290B of transaction volume (funds moving on-chain).
USDC($1B): This is the most reputable USD-backed stablecoin, at least in the West. It was created by Coinbase & Circle, both well-regarded crypto companies. They’ve been very open and transparent with their audits and bank records.
DAI ($189M): This is backed by other crypto assets — not USD in a bank account. This was arguably the first true DeFi protocol. The big benefit is that it’s more decentralized — it’s not controlled by any single organization. The downside is that the assets backing it can be volatile crypto assets (though it has mechanisms in place to mitigate that risk).
Three of the top five DeFi protocols relate to lending & borrowing. These popular lending protocols look very similar to traditional money markets. Users who want to earn interest/yield can deposit (lend) their funds into a pool of liquidity. Because it behaves similarly to traditional money markets, their funds are not locked, they can withdraw at any time. It’s highly liquid. Borrowers can tap into this pool of liquidity and take out loans. Interest rates depend on the utilization rate of the pool — how much of the deposits in the pool have already been borrowed. Supply & demand. Thus, interest rates are variable and borrowers can pay their loans back at any time.
So, who decides how much a borrower can take? What’s the process like? Are there credit checks? How is credit-worthiness determined?
These protocols are decentralized, borderless, permissionless. The people participating in these markets are from all over the world. There is no simple way to verify identity or check credit history. So none of that happens. Credit-worthiness is determined simply by how much crypto collateral the borrower puts into the protocol. For example, if a user wants to borrow $5k of USDC, then they’ll need to deposit $10k of BTC or ETH. The exact amount of collateral depends on the rules of the protocol — usually the more liquid the collateral asset, the more borrowing power the user can receive. The most prominent lending protocols include Compound, Aave, Maker, and Atomic Loans. Recently, Compound has seen meteoric growth with the introduction of their COMP token — a token used to incentivize and reward participants of the protocol. There’s almost $1B in outstanding debt in the Compound protocol. Mainframe is also working on an exciting protocol in this area and the latest iteration of their white paper should be coming out soon.
There is very little economic risk to these protocols because all loans are overcollateralized.
Buying, selling, and trading crypto assets is certainly one form of investing (though not for the faint of heart). But there are now DeFi protocols to facilitate making and managing traditional-style investments. Through DeFi, you can invest in Gold. You can invest in stocks like Amazon and Apple. You can short Tesla. You can access the S&P 500. This is done through crypto-based synthetics — which gives users exposure to assets without needing to hold or own the underlying asset. This is all possible with protocols like UMA, Synthetix, or Market protocol. Maybe your style of investing is more passive. With PoolTogether , you can participate in a no-loss lottery. Maybe you’re an advanced trader and want to trade options or futures. You can do that with DeFi protocols like Convexity, Futureswap, and dYdX. Maybe you live on the wild side and trade on margin or leverage, you can do that with protocols like Fulcrum, Nuo, and DDEX. Or maybe you’re a degenerate gambler and want to bet against Trump in the upcoming election, you can do that on Augur. And there are plenty of DeFi protocols to help with crypto investing. You could use Set Protocol if you need automated trading strategies. You could use Melonport if you’re an asset manager. You could use Balancer to automatically rebalance your portfolio. With as little as $1, people all over the world can have access to the same investment opportunities and tools that used to be reserved for only the wealthy, or those lucky enough to be born in the right country.
You can start to imagine how services like Etrade, TD Ameritrade, Schwab, and even Robinhood could be massively disrupted by a crypto-native company that builds with these types of protocols at their foundation.
As mentioned in our previous post, there are near-infinite applications one can build on Ethereum. As a result, sometimes the code doesn’t work as expected. Bugs get through, it breaks. We’re still early in our industry. The tools, frameworks, and best practices are all still being established. Things can go wrong. Sometimes the application just gets in a weird or bad state where funds can’t be recovered — like with what happened with Parity where $280M got frozen (yes, I lost some money in that). Sometimes, there are hackers who discover a vulnerability in the code and maliciously steal funds — like how dForce lost $25M a few months ago, or how The DAO lost $50M a few years ago. And sometimes the system works as designed, but the economic model behind it is flawed, so a clever user takes advantage of the system— like what recently happened with Balancer where they lost $500k. There are a lot of risks when interacting with smart contracts and decentralized applications — especially for ones that haven’t stood the test of time. This is why insurance is such an important development in DeFi.
Insurance will be an essential component in helping this technology reach the masses.
Decentralized Exchanges (DEX) were one of the first and most developed categories in DeFi. A DEX allows a user to easily exchange one crypto asset for another crypto asset — but without needing to sign up for an account, verify identity, etc. It’s all via decentralized protocols. Within the first 5 months of 2020, the top 7 DEX already achieved the 2019 trading volume. That was $2.5B. DeFi is fueling a lot of this growth. https://preview.redd.it/1dwvq4e022b51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=97a3d756f60239cd147031eb95fc2a981db55943 There are many different flavors of DEX. Some of the early ones included 0x, IDEX, and EtherDelta — all of which had a traditional order book model where buyers are matched with sellers. Another flavor is the pooled liquidity approach where the price is determined algorithmically based on how much liquidity there is and how much the user wants to buy. This is known as an AMM (Automated Market Maker) — Uniswap and Bancor were early leaders here. Though lately, Balancer has seen incredible growth due mostly to their strong incentives for participation — similar to Compound. There are some DEXs that are more specialized — for example, Curve and mStable focus mostly only stablecoins. Because of the proliferation of these decentralized exchanges, there are now aggregators that combine and connect the liquidity of many sources. Those include Kyber, Totle, 1Inch, and Dex.ag.
These decentralized exchanges are becoming more and more connected to DeFi because they provide an opportunity for yield and earning interest.
As it relates to making payments, much of the world is still stuck on plastic cards. We’re grateful to partner with Visa and launch the Genesis Block debit card… but we still don’t believe that's the future of payments. We see that as an important bridge between the past (legacy finance) and the future (crypto). Our first post in this series shared more on why legacy finance is broken. We talked about the countless unnecessary middle-men on every card swipe (merchant, acquiring bank, processor, card network, issuing bank). We talked about the slow settlement times. The future of payments will be much better. Yes, it’ll be from a mobile phone and the user experience will be similar to ApplePay (NFC) or WePay (QR Code).
But more importantly, the underlying assets being moved/exchanged will all be crypto — digital, permissionless, and open source.
Someone making a payment at the grocery store check-out line will be able to open up Genesis Block, use contactless tech or scan a QR code, and instantly pay for their goods. All using crypto. Likely a stablecoin. Settlement will be instant. All the middlemen getting their pound of flesh will be disintermediated. The merchant can make more and the user can spend less. Blockchain FTW! Now let’s talk about a few projects working in this area. The xDai Burner Wallet experience was incredible at the ETHDenver event a few years ago, but that speed came at the expense of full decentralization (can it be censored or shut down?). Of course, Facebook’s Libra wants to become the new standard for global payments, but many are afraid to give Facebook that much control (newsflash: it isn’t very decentralized). Bitcoin is decentralized… but it’s slow and volatile. There are strong projects like Lightning Network (Zap example) that are still trying to make it happen. Projects like Connext and OmiseGo are trying to help bring payments to Ethereum. The Flexa project is leveraging the gift card rails, which is a nice hack to leverage existing pipes. And if ETH 2.0 is as fast as they say it will be, then the future of payments could just be a stablecoin like DAI (a token on Ethereum). In a way, being able to spend crypto on daily expenses is the holy grail of use-cases. It’s still early. It hasn’t yet been solved. But once we achieve this, then we can ultimately and finally say goodbye to the legacy banking & finance world. Employees can be paid in crypto. Employees can spend in crypto. It changes everything.
Legacy finance is hanging on by a thread, and it’s this use-case that they are still clinging to. Once solved, DeFi domination will be complete.
At Genesis Block, we’re excited to leverage these protocols and take this incredible technology to the world. Many of these protocols are already deeply integrated with our product. In fact, many are essential. The masses won’t know (or care about) what Tether, USDC, or DAI is. They think in dollars, euros, pounds and pesos. So while the user sees their local currency in the app, the underlying technology is all leveraging stablecoins. It’s all on “crypto rails.” https://preview.redd.it/jajzttr622b51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=fcf55cea1216a1d2fcc3bf327858b009965f9bf8 When users deposit assets into their Genesis Block account, they expect to earn interest. They expect that money to grow. We leverage many of these low-risk lending/exchange DeFi protocols. We lend into decentralized money markets like Compound — where all loans are overcollateralized. Or we supply liquidity to AMM exchanges like Balancer. This allows us to earn interest and generate yield for our depositors. We’re the experts so our users don’t need to be. We haven’t yet integrated with any of the insurance or investment protocols — but we certainly plan on it. Our infrastructure is built with blockchain technology at the heart and our system is extensible — we’re ready to add assets and protocols when we feel they are ready, safe, secure, and stable. Many of these protocols are still in the experimental phase. It’s still early.
At Genesis Block we’re excited to continue to be at the frontlines of this incredible, innovative, technological revolution called DeFi.
--- None of these powerful DeFi protocols will be replacing Robinhood, SoFi, or Venmo anytime soon. They never will. They aren’t meant to! We’ve discussed this before, these are low-level protocols that need killer applications, like Genesis Block. So now that we’ve gone a little deeper down the rabbit hole and we’ve done this whirlwind tour of DeFi, the natural next question is: why?
Why does any of it matter?
Most of these financial services that DeFi offers already exist in the real world. So why does it need to be on a blockchain? Why does it need to be decentralized? What new value is unlocked? Next post, we answer these important questions. To look at more projects in DeFi, check outDeFi Prime,DeFi Pulse, orConsensys. ------ Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
I was going through old emails today and came across this one I sent out to family on January 4, 2018. It was a reflection on the 2017 crypto bull market and where I saw it heading, as well as some general advice on crypto, investment, and being safe about how you handle yourself in cryptoland. I feel that we are on the cusp of a new bull market right now, so I thought that I would put this out for at least a few people to see *before* the next bull run, not after. While the details have changed, I don't see a thing in this email that I fundamentally wouldn't say again, although I'd also probably insist that people get a Yubikey and use that for all 2FA where it is supported. Happy reading, and sorry for some of the formatting weirdness -- I cleaned it up pretty well from the original email formatting, but I love lists and indents and Reddit has limitations... :-/ Also, don't laught at my token picks from January 2018! It was a long time ago and (luckliy) I took my own advice about moving a bunch into USD shortly after I sent this. I didn't hit the top, and I came back in too early in the summer of 2018, but I got lucky in many respects. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Jan-4, 2018 Hey all! I woke up this morning to ETH at a solid $1000 and decided to put some thoughts together on what I think crypto has done and what I think it will do. *******, if you could share this to your kids I’d appreciate it -- I don’t have e-mail addresses, and it’s a bit unwieldy for FB Messenger… Hopefully they’ll at least find it thought-provoking. If not, they can use it as further evidence that I’m a nutjob. 😉 Some history before I head into the future. I first mined some BTC in 2011 or 2012 (Can’t remember exactly, but it was around the Christmas holidays when I started because I had time off from work to get it set up and running.) I kept it up through the start of summer in 2012, but stopped because it made my PC run hot and as it was no longer winter, ********** didn’t appreciate the sound of the fans blowing that hot air into the room any more. I’ve always said that the first BTC I mined was at $1, but looking back at it now, that’s not true – It was around $2. Here’s a link to BTC price history. In the summer of 2013 I got a new PC and moved my programs and files over before scrapping the old one. I hadn’t touched my BTC mining folder for a year then, and I didn’t even think about salvaging those wallet files. They are now gone forever, including the 9-10BTC that were in them. While I can intellectually justify the loss, it was sloppy and underlines a key thing about cryptocurrency that I believe will limit its widespread adoption by the general public until it is addressed and solved: In cryptoland, you are your own bank, and if you lose your password or account number, there is no person or organization that can help you reset it so that you can get access back. Your money is gone forever. On April 12, 2014 I bought my first BTC through Coinbase. BTC had spiked to $1000 and been in the news, at least in Japan. This made me remember my old wallet and freak out for a couple of months trying to find it and reclaim the coins. I then FOMO’d (Fear Of Missing Out”) and bought $100 worth of BTC. I was actually very lucky in my timing and bought at around $430. Even so, except for a brief 50% swing up almost immediately afterwards that made me check prices 5 times a day, BTC fell below my purchase price by the end of September and I didn’t get back to even until the end of 2015. In May 2015 I bought my first ETH at around $1. I sent some guy on bitcointalk ~$100 worth of BTC and he sent me 100 ETH – all on trust because the amounts were small and this was a small group of people. BTC was down in the $250 range at that point, so I had lost 30-40% of my initial investment. This was of the $100 invested, so not that much in real terms, but huge in percentages. It also meant that I had to buy another $100 of BTC on Coinbase to send to this guy. A few months after I purchased my ETH, BTC had doubled and ETH had gone down to $0.50, halving the value of my ETH holdings. I was even on the first BTC purchase finally, but was now down 50% on the ETH I had bought. The good news was that this made me start to look at things more seriously. Where I had skimmed white papers and gotten a superficial understanding of the technology before FOMO’ing, I started to act as an investor, not a speculator. Let me define how I see those two different types of activity:
Investors buy because the price is less than the value they see in the investment. Speculators buy because they think that someone will pay more in the future than they are paying now.
Investors trade on information (The white paper was really well-written, had a clear technical advantage over other alternatives, and addresses a need that I can understand and value.) Speculators trade on sentiment. (Buy the rumor! Sell the news!)
Investors usually look at the investment and themselves and can describe why they purchase in those terms (ABC-Coin provides (service) that isn’t addressed yet and matches (requirements) for an investment.) Speculators usually describe why they bought something in terms of how other people think (I think that other people think that the price will rise, so I want to get ahead of that.)
Investors don’t necessarily check the price every day. The can, and very often I do, but it isn’t required because fundamentals don’t often change on a dime. Speculators need to be glued to a price feed, because sentiment very often changes on a dime.
Investors like ideas, people, business plans, and market opportunities. Good ones are like Spock. Speculators like trends. They are tribal.
Investors have a longer time horizon than speculators. In cryptoland, the notion of a “longer” time horizon is still laughably small (months) compared to traditional markets, but it certainly isn’t weeks or days or hours, which is whre speculators often live.
So what has been my experience as an investor? After sitting out the rest of 2015 because I needed to understand the market better, I bought into ETH quite heavily, with my initial big purchases being in March-April of 2016. Those purchases were in the $11-$14 range. ETH, of course, dropped immediately to under $10, then came back and bounced around my purchase range for a while until December of 2016, when I purchased a lot more at around $8. I also purchased my first ICO in August of 2016, HEAT. I bought 25ETH worth. Those tokens are now worth about half of their ICO price, so about 12.5ETH or $12500 instead of the $25000 they would be worth if I had just kept ETH. There are some other things with HEAT that mean I’ve done quite a bit better than those numbers would suggest, but the fact is that the single best thing I could have done is to hold ETH and not spend the effort/time/cost of working with HEAT. That holds true for about every top-25 token on the market when compared to ETH. It certainly holds true for the many, many tokens I tried to trade in Q1-Q2 of 2017. In almost every single case I would have done better and slept better had I just held ETH instead of trying to be smarter than Mr. Market. But, I made money on all of them except one because the crypto market went up more in USD terms than any individual coin went down in ETH or BTC terms. This underlines something that I read somewhere and that I take to heart: A rising market makes everyone seem like a genius. A monkey throwing darts at a list of the top 100 cryptocurrencies last year would have doubled his money. Here’s a chart from September that shows 2017 year-to-date returns for the top 10 cryptocurrencies, and all of them went up a *lot* more between then and December. A monkey throwing darts at this list there would have quintupled his money. When evaluating performance, then, you have to beat the monkey, and preferably you should try to beat a Wall Street monkey. I couldn’t, so I stopped trying around July 2017. My benchmark was the BLX, a DAA (Digital Asset Array – think fund like a Fidelity fund) created by ICONOMI. I wasn’t even close to beating the BLX returns, so I did several things.
I went from holding about 25 different tokens to holding 10 now. More on that in a bit.
I used those funds to buy ETH and BLX. ETH has done crazy-good since then and BLX has beaten BTC handily, although it hasn’t done as well as ETH.
I used some of those funds to set up an arbitrage operation.
The arbitrage operation is why I kept the 11 tokens that I have now. All but a couple are used in an ETH/token pair for arbitrage, and each one of them except for one special case is part of BLX. Why did I do that? I did that because ICONOMI did a better job of picking long-term holds than I did, and in arbitrage the only speculative thing you must do is pick the pairs to trade. My pairs are (No particular order):
I also hold PLU, PLBT, and ART. These two are multi-year holds for me. I have not purchased BTC once since my initial $200, except for a few cases where BTC was the only way to go to/from an altcoin that didn’t trade against ETH yet. Right now I hold about the same 0.3BTC that I held after my first $100 purchase, so I don’t really count it. Looking forward to this year, I am positioning myself as follows:
ETH will still be my core holding. It is the “deepest in the stack” crypto investment that I have. “Deep in the stack” is a programming term that gets at the idea that most software is built on other software. If you just think about your notebook, you have your OS, and programs run on that. But even inside the OS there is a stack. The bottom of your stack is the kernel, and on top of that are the drivers, protocols, and other layers that allow the programs to talk to the OS, the hard drive, the screen, the mouse, your printer, etc. You can change your mouse or printer easily. Changing things deeper in the stack becomes harder and harder. ETH is deep in the crypto stack, so is very hard to dislodge – Around 60 of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap run on top of Ethereum, so getting rid of Ethereum is something that would take a long time to do.
DNT, QTUM, ZRX, and OMG are all, to varying degrees, “deep in the stack” tokens that, once established, will be very hard to dislodge.
That said, I am peeling away some of my holdings into USD right now, because big changes are afoot and they are going to cause market disruptions. I’m going to come right out and admit that this is speculative, but I’m also going to back it up with some non-speculative facts.
The SEC has been sending out hundreds of subpoenas to cryptocurrency organizations over the past 3-4 months. These subpoenas are simply asking for information and nobody has been charged with any crimes or misdoings, but it is clear that the SEC is getting together information so that they can begin to regulate cryptoland. When that happens, other countries will follow, and that means:
Some tokens will be deemed outright scams and people will be prosecuted.
Some tokens will be deemed securities and will be regulated.
Some tokens will not be deemed scams or securities and will continue as they have.
Looking at this, it is clear to me that the tokens that escape prosecution and regulation should do better, but the short-term impact will be brutal and ugly. It would not surprise me at all to see a 50% drop in overall market cap within Q1-Q2, with Q1 being more likely.
Cryptoland has always been a bit nuts, but it is more nuts now than I have ever seen it. Back in 2011-2014 it was a freaks-n-geeks show where people were all about the technology and I would sit around for a 3-day weekend installing a *nix VM on my Windows machine so that I could compile the most recent source and run a CUDA SHA-256 routine rather than thrash my CPU. If that doesn’t make sense to you, you wouldn’t have even thought about being involved.
Now, people see Bitcoin advertisements in their Facebook feed and think “I gotta get on the BTC train!” before going to Coinbase and buying some with a credit card. They don’t know anything about crypto, and they are getting eaten alive – It is no coincidence that BTC peaked after the Thanksgiving holidays when people sat around the table and Janice got Uncle Mike and Cousin Bob all excited as she talked about going to Cancun for Christmas because of her crypto winnings. Huge amounts of fiat got transferred from newbies to BTC whales during this period, and once the whales were done, BTC had dropped from $20,000 to $12,000. It’s now back at $15,000, but for people who bought at a higher level, this sucks. As a result many have moved from BTC to ETH, with the single biggest money flow in crypto in December being the BTC à ETH flow. As a result, it’s no coincidence that ETH is at all-time highs now. The thing is, though, that even most people that moved from BTC to ETH really have no idea what they are doing. They are acting on buzzwords and emotion. They are speculators and are going to get crushed.
The stock market is quite high right now, but people are starting to worry that it is too high and that we are going to enter into a period of inflation again. This has caused gold to go up a lot the last quarter and is likely also responsible a bit for the rise in cryptos. If this view is correct, then cryptos stay stronger than if that pressure wasn’t there. If wrong, then cryptos will swing down as money exits cryptoland for more traditional markets.
I am spending most of my time and money on the arbitrage effort. The nice thing about arbitrage is that it works as the markets go up, and it works as the markets go down. When markets are too volatile, however, arbitrage can get very messy and dangerous, with each trade generating a loss instead of a profit, so I am working right now to tune the algorithms to take into account rate-of-change and add in some circuit breaker triggers. Once this is done I will expand those operations.
I am getting much more serious about systems security.
I have a Nano Ledger and recommend that anyone with >$1000 of crypto have one. The Trezor is also supposed to be good, but I haven’t used it.
I will set up a dedicated *nix notebook that is used for nothing except my crypto work. All it takes is one keylogger to get on your PC/Mac and your crypto is gone. What is on your Nano Ledger will be OK, but they will sweep out your exchange account or Coinbase account faster than you can type. A standard Linux installation with Chrome and nothing else is as about as secure as you can get in the civilian world.
If you don’t use LastPass or a similar password manager yet, you need to do that. Your password to LastPass should be at least 16 characters long and should not have a recognizable English word in it. If you think that “Iluvu4evah” is a secure password, you’re wrong.
Hackers know that “4”=”for” and “u”=”you”. Writing a script to substitute those in is trivial if they want to write the script, but it’s much easier for them to download one of the many, many programs out there that already do this.
If your password contains any string of numbers from anything that can be associated with you at any time in your life, it is insecure. Take those numbers out of the character count because they are an insignificant barrier to cracking your account.
The good news is that you probably won’t be targeted, but if you ever mention online that you are doing anything significant in crypto, that chance increased enormously.
*Never* talk with *anyone* about how much you have in crypto. You’ll notice that I haven’t here. There is no reason to tell even a family member how much you have unless you are sharing a tax form. Sure, you may trust them, but all it takes if for someone to overhead someone else mention at a party that a relative got into crypto a long time ago and made a bunch of money. That person can also then be subjected to the $10 hack and force you to send all your crypto to them.
Your password to LastPass (Or equivalent.) should look something like this -> 6k0jQMoziX&D#4W8
Yes, it’s a headache. Imagine your headache, though, were you to open your account one day and find all of your money gone.
Looking at my notes, I have two other things that I wanted to work into this email that I didn’t get to, so here they are:
Just like with free apps and other software, if you are getting something of value and you didn’t pay anything for it, you need to ask why this is. With apps, the phrase is “If you didn’t pay for the product, you are the product”, and this works for things such as pump groups, tips, and even technical analysis. Here’s how I see it.
Technical analysis (TA) is something that has been argued about for longer than I’ve been alive, but I think that it falls into the same boat. In short, TA argues that there are patterns in trading that can be read and acted upon to signal when one must buy or sell. It has been used forever in the stock and foreign exchange markets, and people use it in crypto as well. Let’s break down these assumptions a bit.
i. First, if crypto were like the stock or forex markets we’d all be happy with 5-7% gains per year rather than easily seeing that in a day. For TA to work the same way in crypto as it does in stocks and foreign exchange, the signals would have to be *much* stronger and faster-reacting than they work in the traditional market, but people use them in exactly the same way. ii. Another area where crypto is very different than the stock and forex markets centers around market efficiency theory. This theory says that markets are efficient and that the price reflects all the available information at any given time. This is why gold in New York is similar in price to gold in London or Shanghai, and why arbitrage margins are easily <0.1% in those markets compared to cryptoland where I can easily get 10x that. Crypto simply has too much speculation and not enough professional traders in it yet to operate as an efficient market. That fundamentally changes the way that the market behaves and should make any TA patterns from traditional markets irrelevant in crypto. iii. There are services, both free and paid that claim to put out signals based on TA for when one should buy and sell. If you think for even a second that they are not front-running (Placing orders ahead of yours to profit.) you and the other people using the service, you’re naïve. iv. Likewise, if you don’t think that there are people that have but together computerized systems to get ahead of people doing manual TA, you’re naïve. The guys that I have programming my arbitrage bots have offered to build me a TA bot and set up a service to sell signals once our position is taken. I said no, but I am sure that they will do it themselves or sell that to someone else. Basically they look at TA as a tip machine where when a certain pattern is seen, people act on that “tip”. They use software to see that “tip” faster and take a position on it so that when slower participants come in they either have to sell lower or buy higher than the TA bot did. Remember, if you are getting a tip for free, you’re the product. In TA I see a system when people are all acting on free preset “tips” and getting played by the more sophisticated market participants. Again, you have to beat that Wall Street monkey.
If you still don’t agree that TA is bogus, think about it this way: If TA was real, Wall Street would have figured it out decades ago and we would have TA funds that would be beating the market. We don’t.
If you still don’t agree that TA is bogus and that its real and well, proven, then you must think that all smart traders use them. Now follow that logic forward and think about what would happen if every smart trader pushing big money followed TA. The signals would only last for a split second and would then be overwhelmed by people acting on them, making them impossible to leverage. This is essentially what the efficient market theory postulates for all information, including TA.
OK, the one last item. Read this weekly newsletter – You can sign up at the bottom. It is free, so they’re selling something, right? 😉 From what I can tell, though, Evan is a straight-up guy who posts links and almost zero editorial comments. Happy 2018.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ELECTRONEUM’S MODERATED BLOCKCHAIN Q: What is a Moderated Blockchain? A: Electroneum’s new Moderated Blockchain (a type of permissioned blockchain that is at the qualitative level of IBM’s Hyperledger or Facebook’s announced Libra open ledger network) that has been uniquely and cleverly developed to provide Electroneum with a minimal but sufficient level of interference. This will allow the highly skilled engineering staff to supervise the distributed ledger which is maintained by a list of trusted validators. And this allows the tech team to detect anomalies or irregularities that could come from hackers attempting to breach our security, and immediately stop them preventing a double-spend or 51% attack. Because Electroneum controls the list of trusted validators, this empowers them to guarantee, and that is similar to IBM’s hyper ledger or that of Facebook’s Libra blockchain. Q: Why did you move to a Moderated Blockchain? A: To improve the functionality of Electroneum at the exchanges, allowing them to confirm deposit transactions faster and to protect the network from 51% attacks, and also Electroneum can decide to where the block rewards are rerouted ensuring that they are used to help improve the lives of the poorer in underdeveloped countries. Q: What is the role of blockchain in a permissioned network? A: It is essentially an immutable history of financial transactions. Electroneum’s Moderated Blockchain, which is a type of permissioned blockchain, unlike other decentralised cryptocurrency networks, can guarantee a tamper-proof system of transactional records. Q: What motivation would someone have to trade on a permissioned blockchain when their transaction could get rolled back, or worse still, never get confirmed? A: With Electroneum’s new Moderated Blockchain reorganisations can still occur but never will an irregular transaction actually be fully confirmed and then overwritten. Q: Is there any risk of manipulation with a moderated blockchain? A: There is a risk of manipulation if an authenticator key is leaked. However, the extent would be negligible and therefore not affect users, exchanges or miners. We developed a system to closely monitor the behaviour of both the network and miners to ensure any foul play is immediately crushed. Q: How is Electroneum’s Moderated Blockchain different to other decentralised blockchains? A: We have the authority to decide who mines the blocks and therefore, we can increase the likelihood that they are trusted validators. Q: Why doesn’t Electroneum move to a fully centralised blockchain? A: Our unique and cleverly created Moderated Blockchain is meant to have minimal interference to remove the risks and add protection whilst remaining decentralised to the point wherein the unlikely event that a meteor was to wipe out all of the Electroneum staff out of the face of the Earth by a meteor, ETN would not cease to exist. This because those nodes currently mining our blockchain or anybody else for that fact could swap out the codes and fork the network to take over control and guarantee the permanence of the cryptocurrency thus shielding our users from losses. Q: What is Proof of Responsibility or PoR? A: Proof of Responsibility, or PoR for short, is a new mining paradigm which obligates the miners to two primary responsibilities which are: 1) Maintain the integrity of the payment network, and 2) Spend the block rewards they receive responsibly to help poor people in line with Electroneum’s humanitarian agenda. Q: How does PoR compare to PoW or Proof of Work? A: PoR saves a lot of time and energy compared to PoW because instead of working with block validators overtime to prove or not that they’re reliable miners, we save time and potential adverse issues by hand-picking the miners ourselves. SECURITY AND 51% ATTACKS OR DOUBLE SPENDS Q: What is a 51% attack? A: It is when someone takes over 50% control of the hashing power of a cryptocurrency. Hackers usually use this to benefit themselves with double spends, which is a hard loss for the exchanges as well as users in many cases. Q: What IS an example of a 51% attack? A: You may know 51% attacks better from both Bitcoin Cash in 2018 and Ethereum Classic in 2019, where hackers acquired more than 50 percent of the hashing power on those networks and getting away with a significant loot. Q: What is hashing power? A: This is the rate with which the mining rigs solve mathematical problems. Q: Why doesn’t Electroneum require large amounts of hashing power anymore? A: The Electroneum network difficulty automatically adjusts to maintain the target block time of two minutes. Regardless of the magnitude of the hashing power in Electroneum’s network will be kept to a two-minute target block time. Q: Is Electroneum now insusceptible to a 51% attack? A: We’re no longer susceptible to a 51% attack – making us one of the most secure blockchains in existence today. Q: What if someone hack one authenticated miner? A: In the unlikely event that hackers were to succeed in breaching the security of an authenticated miner, the authentication key of that miner would not be accessible to the hacker in itself because of the unique way our blockchain team has come up to shield it from being discovered. The hacker, therefore, would not be able to affect the network because they would be unable to mine sequential blocks. And because of the uniqueness of the Moderated Blockchain, our moderating network layer would immediately detect the breach and rescind the rights of that miner. Q: What if two or more hacks? A: If one hack is highly unlikely due to two security breaches being necessary, two hacks are exponentially harder to achieve. But if it were to happen, the keys they may have stolen limit the hash rate of the miner. This means that if somebody were to take the code and run it on the highest-powered mining machine, it would still produce the same hash rate as it would in the lowest powered mining rig making it impossible for them to control over 50% of the network’s hash rate because of the way our Moderated Blockchain is set up. This also ensures the NGOs can run an Electroneum mining node on hardware with which their tech teams are familiar. Q: How do you judge how responsible the miners are? A: We look at how many blocks they are mining compared to how many blocks they are expected to mine going by the hashing power allotted to them. Q: What happens after a mining node has been shut off? A: Simply, it stops mining and needs to be restarted and then retype or re-enter the authentication key. NEW TRUSTED MINERS Q: Who are the miners? A: We have chosen vocational NGOs as trusted mining partners who are also trustworthy organisations. We have done due diligence to ensure they are transparent, honest, and aligned with our vision to work within the developing world. We have made sure that they also want to accompany us in our goal to expand our Gig Fair project, which is aimed at helping provide people in the poorest regions of the world with an income opportunity and the opportunity to attain skills and means to generate an income that will empower them to live better. The NGOs that we’ve selected are trusted brands that have proven track records in helping people. Cryptocurrency is at its early stages and is met with skepticism by many people and entities around the world as well as in the developing world. So, our mission is to educate these NGOs about cryptocurrency so that they can, in turn, convey the message of the benefits of crypto, particularly ETN, to people in the developing world and make them feel more confident to use crypto, which ultimately will help spur crypto’s mass adoption. Q: Why are these NGOs anonymous (initially)? A: Because they themselves have decided to remain anonymous over concerns of how cryptocurrency could reflect on their organisations. Q: What do NGOs do for the project? A: They validate the blocks and rewarded for this and take the proceeds to help people? Q: Where are the NGO’s and Charities located? A: For now, locations of the NGOs are being kept undisclosed for security reasons until they themselves decide they if they want to make public that information. Q: Five million ETN or about $22,500 at the then valuation was paid out daily before. How much is being paid out now? A: Because the block rewards have been reduced by a whopping 75% creating scarcity which is a good thing to extend longevity, currently just over 1.2 million ETN or about $5,300 is being paid out in block rewards. Q: Can we see who is mining and how much they are mining? A: The block rewards will still be visible on the blockchain explorer and those with sufficient technical knowledge will be able to see the different miners signing blocks with different mining keys. But Electroneum is not forcing the NGOs to reveal their identities because they are still going through a learning curve and when they understand crypto and experience the benefits first-hand, they will more than likely reveal themselves. Q: Where are their mining rigs stored? A: We have suggested that mining rigs be run in the cloud to ensure uptime; however, ultimately, it is up to the NGOs themselves decide where their equipment is hosted. It is essential to point out that we have reduced energy and hash rates by a millionfold as such a standard rack-mounted server that you would find in any business today is sufficient to run an Electroneum mining node. Q: Who setup their mining rigs? A: At this stage, all mining rigs have been set up by the Electroneum team as this is the first foray for NGOs into the cryptocurrency mining space. Q: Who is managing their mining rigs? A: The mining rigs are self-sufficient and need very little if any, technical support, however, a moderator layer monitors the new Moderated Blockchain to ensure the mining rigs are online and benefit the network. If we were to detect a mining rig going offline, we would inform the NGO and provide assistance where required. Q:How will NGOs use their ETN (from mining blocks)? A: The NGOs, initially, almost certainly convert the ETN to USD or other currencies because they have always used fiat to deliver their donations and assistance because that is what they are used to doing. Once they see the benefits and value of ETN they may start using it on the ground to amongst the people they help. We have deliberately targeted NGOs that are in regions that were we are imminent to enable airtime top-ups directly with ETN from within the Electroneum mobile app. FUTURE PROGRESS & CORPORATE PARTNERSHIPS Q: How will this initiative affect corporate partnerships moving forward? A: Because the network is more secure, Electroneum as a platform will be more attractive as a platform in the eyes of potential partners. Q: How will it help to grow our on-the-ground initiatives? A: The NGO’s we’re working with will be in the regions we’re targeting on the ground. So, this will be contributing to the eco-system, the NGO’s will be able to spend their ETN on education through the Gig Economy too. Q: Can new NGOs apply to mine? A: I If you know or are an NGO that focuses on vocational training and education, and that it is within the developing world, then we would love to hear from you via our community forum. Q: How will the 75% reduction in the block reward benefit the community? A: Reducing the block rewards means ETN ‘s expands the longevity of the coin by making ETN scarcer and thus lengthening the duration of the emission of coins.
Note: New Reddit look may not highlight links. See old look here. A copy is hosted on GitHub for better reading experience. Check it out, contains photo of the month! Also on Medium
dcrd: Significant optimization in signature hash calculation, bloom filters support was removed, 2x faster startup thanks to in-memory full block index, multipeer work advancing, stronger protection against majority hashpower attacks. Additionally, code refactoring and cleanup, code and test infrastructure improvements. In dcrd and dcrwallet developers have been experimenting with new modular dependency and versioning schemes using vgo. @orthomind is seeking feedback for his work on reproducible builds. Decrediton: 1.2.1 bugfix release, work on SPV has started, chart additions are in progress. Further simplification of the staking process is in the pipeline (slack). Politeia: new command line tool to interact with Politeia API, general development is ongoing. Help with testing will soon be welcome: this issue sets out a test plan, join #politeia to follow progress and participate in testing. dcrdata: work ongoing on improved design, adding more charts and improving Insight API support. Android: design work advancing. Decred's own DNS seeder (dcrseeder) was released. It is written in Go and it properly supports service bit filtering, which will allow SPV nodes to find full nodes that support compact filters. Ticket splitting service by @matheusd entered beta and demonstrated an 11-way split on mainnet. Help with testing is much appreciated, please join #ticket_splitting to participate in splits, but check this doc to learn about the risks. Reddit discussion here. Trezor support is expected to land in their next firmware update. Decred is now supported by Riemann, a toolbox from James Prestwich to construct transactions for many UTXO-based chains from human-readable strings. Atomic swap with Ethereum on testnet was demonstrated at Blockspot Conference LATAM. Two new faces were added to contributors page. Dev activity stats for May: 238 active PRs, 195 master commits, 32,831 added and 22,280 deleted lines spread across 8 repositories. Contributions came from 4-10 developers per repository. (chart)
Hashrate: rapid growth from ~4,000 TH/s at the beginning of the month to ~15,000 at the end with new all time high of 17,949. Interesting dynamic in hashrate distribution across mining pools: coinmine.pl share went down from 55% to 25% while F2Pool up from 2% to 44%. [Note: as of June 6, the hashrate continues to rise and has already passed 22,000 TH/s] Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 91.3 DCR (+0.8), stake participation is 46.9% (+0.8%) with 3.68 million DCR locked (+0.15). Min price was 85.56. On May 11 ticket price surged to 96.99, staying elevated for longer than usual after such a pump. Locked DCR peaked at 47.17%. jet_user on reddit suggested that the DCR for these tickets likely came from a miner with significant hashrate. Nodes: there are 226 public listening and 405 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 45% on v1.2.0 (up from 24% last month), 39% on v1.1.2, 15% on v1.1.0 and 1% running outdaded versions.
Obelisk team posted an update. Current hashrate estimate of DCR1 is 1200 GH/s at 500 W and may still change. The chips came back at 40% the speed of the simulated results, it is still unknown why. Batch 1 units may get delayed 1-2 weeks past June 30. See discussions on decred and on siacoin. @SiaBillionaire estimated that 7940 DCR1 units were sold in Batches 1-5, while Lynmar13 shared his projections of DCR1 profitability (reddit). A new Chinese miner for pre-order was noticed by our Telegram group. Woodpecker WB2 specs 1.5 TH/s at 1200 W, costs 15,000 CNY (~2,340 USD) and the initial 150 units are expected to ship on Aug 15. (pow8.com – translated) Another new miner is iBelink DSM6T: 6 TH/s at 2100 W costing $6,300 (ibelink.co). Shipping starts from June 5. Some concerns and links were posted in these twothreads.
A new mining pool is available now: altpool.net. It uses PPLNS model and takes 1% fee. Another infrastructure addition is tokensmart.io, a newly audited stake pool with 0.8% fee. There are a total of 14 stake pools now. Exchange integrations:
Upbit added DCKRW and DCUSDT pairs. A user reported that DCR deposits and withdrawals are now available.
CoinEx announced the launch of DCBTC and DCBCH pairs.
Bleutrade added DCUSDT pair. Note their reply to our tweet. It was the first exchange to list Decred minutes after launch.
Brazilian exchange OmniTradeadded DCBRL fiat pair following a poll. Worth noting that it is one of the first to integrate Trezor sign-in.
There are reports that DCR was added to Abucoins and Tor Exchange but we don't know much about them.
OpenBazaar released an update that allows one to trade cryptocurrencies, including DCR. @i2Rav from i2trading is now offering two sided OTC market liquidity on DCUSD in #trading channel. Paytomat, payments solution for point of sale and e-commerce, integrated Decred. (missed in April issue) CoinPayments, a payment processor supporting Decred, developed an integration with @Shopify that allows connected merchants to accept cryptocurrencies in exchange for goods.
michae2xl: Voto Legal: CEO Thiago Rondon of Appcívico, has already been contacted by 800 politicians and negotiations have started with four pre-candidates for the presidency (slack, source tweet)
Blockfolio rolled out Signal Beta with Decred in the list. Users who own or watch a coin will automatically receive updates pushed by project teams. Nice to see this Journal made it to the screenshot! Placeholder Ventures announced that Decred is their first public investment. Their Investment Thesis is a clear and well researched overview of Decred. Among other great points it noted the less obvious benefit of not doing an ICO:
By choosing not to pre-sell coins to speculators, the financial rewards from Decred’s growth most favor those who work for the network.
One project that stands out at #Consensus2018 is @decredproject. Not annoying. Real tech. Humble team. #BUIDL is strong with them. (@PallerJohn)
Token Summit in New York, USA. @cburniske and @jmonegro from Placeholder talked "Governance and Cryptoeconomics" and spoke highly of Decred. (twitter coverage: 12, video, video (from 32 min)) Campus Party in Bahia, Brazil. João Ferreira aka @girino and Gabriel @Rhama were introducing Decred, talking about governance and teaching to perform atomic swaps. (photos) Decred was introduced to the delegates from Shanghai's Caohejing Hi-Tech Park, organized by @ybfventures. Second Decred meetup in Hangzhou, China. (photos) Madison Blockchain in Madison, USA. "Lots of in-depth questions. The Q&A lasted longer than the presentation!". (photo) Blockspot Conference Latam in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (photos: 1, 2) Upcoming events:
The Long-Term Bullish Case for Decred by Ben Davidow (medium.com)
Hardware Companies Are Launching Dedicated ASIC Miners for Decred (btcmanager.com)
Iterative Capital partner Chris Dannen and journalist Ben Schiller speak with Marco and Jonathan from Decred at Consensus 2018 (soundcloud)
Decred Review: What is DCR, the Decred Community & Possible Challenges by BitBoy Crypto (youtube)
Decred Founder: Bitcoin Paved Way, Phase 2 Will Shock You! (Marco Peereboom) by Pure Blockchain Wealth (youtube)
Decred & Blocknet: Revolutionary governance for every community feat. JZ at Consensus 2018 (youtube)
Decred coin - Will it be better than Bitcoin? by Bitassist (youtube)
Community stats: Twitter 39,118 (+742), Reddit 8,167 (+277), Slack 5,658 (+160). Difference is between May 5 and May 31. Reddit highlights: transparent up/down voting on Politeia, combining LN and atomic swaps, minimum viable superorganism, the controversial debate on Decred contractor model (people wondered about true motives behind the thread), tx size and fees discussion, hard moderation case, impact of ASICs on price, another "Why Decred?" thread with another excellent pitch by solar, fee analysis showing how ticket price algorithm change was controversial with ~100x cut in miner profits, impact of ticket splitting on ticket price, recommendations on promoting Decred, security against double spends and custom voting policies. @R3VoLuT1OneR posted a preview of a proposal from his company for Decred to offer scholarships for students. dcrtrader gained a couple of new moderators, weekly automatic threads were reconfigured to monthly and empty threads were removed. Currently most trading talk happens on #trading and some leaks to decred. A separate trading sub offers some advantages: unlimited trading talk, broad range of allowed topics, free speech and transparent moderation, in addition to standard reddit threaded discussion, permanent history and search. Forum: potential social attacks on Decred. Slack: the #governance channel created last month has seen many intelligent conversations on topics including: finite attention of decision makers, why stakeholders can make good decisions (opposed to a common narrative than only developers are capable of making good decisions), proposal funding and contractor pre-qualification, Cardano and Dash treasuries, quadratic voting, equality of outcome vs equality of opportunity, and much more. One particularly important issue being discussed is the growing number of posts arguing that on-chain governance and coin voting is bad. Just a few examples from Twitter: Decred is solving an imagined problem (decent response by @jm_buirski), we convince ourselves that we need governance and ticket price algo vote was not controversial, on-chain governance hurts node operators and it is too early for it, it robs node operators of their role, crypto risks being captured by the wealthy, it is a huge threat to the whole public blockchain space, coin holders should not own the blockchain. Some responses were posted here and here on Twitter, as well as this article by Noah Pierau.
The month of May has seen Decred earn some much deserved attention in the markets. DCR started the month around 0.009 BTC and finished around 0.0125 with interim high of 0.0165 on Bittrex. In USD terms it started around $81 and finished around $92, temporarily rising to $118. During a period in which most altcoins suffered, Decred has performed well; rising from rank #45 to #30 on Coinmarketcap. The addition of a much awaited KRW pair on Upbit saw the price briefly double on some exchanges. This pair opens up direct DCR to fiat trading in one of the largest cryptocurrency markets in the world. An update from @i2Rav:
We have begun trading DCR in large volume daily. The interest around DCR has really started to grow in terms of OTC quote requests. More and more customers are asking about trading it.
Like in previous month, Decred scores high by "% down from ATH" indicator being #2 on onchainfx as of June 6.
David Vorick (@taek) published lots of insights into the world of ASIC manufacturing (reddit). Bitmain replied. Bitmain released an ASIC for Equihash (archived), an algorithm thought to be somewhat ASIC-resistant 2 years ago. Threepure PoWcoins were attacked this month, one attempting to be ASIC resistant. This shows the importance of Decred's PoS layer that exerts control over miners and allows Decred to welcome ASIC miners for more PoW security without sacrificing sovereignty to them. Upbit was raided over suspected fraud and put under investigation. Following news reported no illicit activity was found and suggested and raid was premature and damaged trust in local exchanges. Circle, the new owner of Poloniex, announced a USD-backed stablecoin and Bitmain partnership. The plan is to make USDC available as a primary market on Poloniex. More details in the FAQ. Poloniex announced lower trading fees. Bittrex plans to offer USD trading pairs. @sumiflow made good progress on correcting Decred market cap on several sites:
speaking of market cap, I got it corrected on coingecko, cryptocompare, and worldcoinindex onchainfx, livecoinwatch, and cryptoindex.co said they would update it about a month ago but haven't yet I messaged coinlib.io today but haven't got a response yet coinmarketcap refused to correct it until they can verify certain funds have moved from dev wallets which is most likely forever unknowable (slack)
About This Issue
Some source links point to Slack messages. Although Slack hides history older than ~5 days, you can read individual messages if you paste the message link into chat with yourself. Digging the full conversation is hard but possible. The history of all channels bridged to Matrix is saved in Matrix. Therefore it is possible to dig history in Matrix if you know the timestamp of the first message. Slack links encode the timestamp: https://decred.slack.com/archives/C5H9Z63AA/p1525528370000062 => 1525528370 => 2018-05-05 13:52:50. Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research. Your feedback is precious. You can post on GitHub, comment on Reddit or message us in #writers_room channel. Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, Richard-Red, snr01 and solar.
CryptoNick is deleting all of his BitConnect videos, and so are his buddies. Please never forget what he and his cohorts did to so many people, and how much money those people lost in the process thanks to CryptoNick, Trevon James, and Craig Grant! (26500 points, 3087 comments)
Listen up folks, if you "did", or still do promote cryptocurrency related scams, you will be called out on it via this sub-Reddit. We don't care about you, or your ill-gotten gains, we care about the general well-being of our community first and foremost. (17879 points, 1294 comments)
So no one else finds it a bit odd that Verge is actually going up in price in a bear market, after a hack attack, after being outed for paying McAfee to promote it, and after the 1 developer begged for money from his own community to allegedly help pay his taxes? (2550 points, 875 comments)
I will tell you exactly what is going on here, this is critical information to understand if you are going to make money in this space. How prices work, and what moves them - and it's not money invested/withdrawn. (20144 points, 1459 comments)
CryptoNick is deleting all of his BitConnect videos, and so are his buddies. Please never forget what he and his cohorts did to so many people, and how much money those people lost in the process thanks to CryptoNick, Trevon James, and Craig Grant! by DestroyerOfShitcoins (26500 points, 3087 comments)
I will tell you exactly what is going on here, this is critical information to understand if you are going to make money in this space. How prices work, and what moves them - and it's not money invested/withdrawn. by Suuperdad (20144 points, 1459 comments)
Listen up folks, if you "did", or still do promote cryptocurrency related scams, you will be called out on it via this sub-Reddit. We don't care about you, or your ill-gotten gains, we care about the general well-being of our community first and foremost. by DestroyerOfShitcoins (17879 points, 1294 comments)
4781 points: hanzyfranzy's comment in Bitcoin breaches $4000 in 15 minutes. What is happening 😳
4368 points: andyalxatydotcom's comment in Trevon James has over $1,000,000 in his Steem wallet, so I am posting this image as evidence as a record for the internet to remember forever, just in case he tries to tell the courts he lost all his money in BitConnect too like Craig Grant is claiming.
4287 points: mikelo22's comment in +1(800)273-8255 - U.S. National Suicide Hotline
4034 points: FSev's comment in +1(800)273-8255 - U.S. National Suicide Hotline
3700 points: arsonbunny's comment in Bittrex holding my about $100.000 hostage with no response to support ticket/email for almost three months
3628 points: eNte19's comment in Enjoy the massacre. It could be a once in life opportunity.
CryptoNick is deleting all of his BitConnect videos, and so are his buddies. Please never forget what he and his cohorts did to so many people, and how much money those people lost in the process thanks to CryptoNick, Trevon James, and Craig Grant! (26506 points, 3085 comments)
Listen up folks, if you "did", or still do promote cryptocurrency related scams, you will be called out on it via this sub-Reddit. We don't care about you, or your ill-gotten gains, we care about the general well-being of our community first and foremost. (17883 points, 1292 comments)
So no one else finds it a bit odd that Verge is actually going up in price in a bear market, after a hack attack, after being outed for paying McAfee to promote it, and after the 1 developer begged for money from his own community to allegedly help pay his taxes? (2548 points, 875 comments)
I will tell you exactly what is going on here, this is critical information to understand if you are going to make money in this space. How prices work, and what moves them - and it's not money invested/withdrawn. (20147 points, 1459 comments)
CryptoNick is deleting all of his BitConnect videos, and so are his buddies. Please never forget what he and his cohorts did to so many people, and how much money those people lost in the process thanks to CryptoNick, Trevon James, and Craig Grant! by DestroyerOfShitcoins (26506 points, 3085 comments)
I will tell you exactly what is going on here, this is critical information to understand if you are going to make money in this space. How prices work, and what moves them - and it's not money invested/withdrawn. by Suuperdad (20147 points, 1459 comments)
Listen up folks, if you "did", or still do promote cryptocurrency related scams, you will be called out on it via this sub-Reddit. We don't care about you, or your ill-gotten gains, we care about the general well-being of our community first and foremost. by DestroyerOfShitcoins (17883 points, 1292 comments)
4785 points: hanzyfranzy's comment in Bitcoin breaches $4000 in 15 minutes. What is happening 😳
4364 points: andyalxatydotcom's comment in Trevon James has over $1,000,000 in his Steem wallet, so I am posting this image as evidence as a record for the internet to remember forever, just in case he tries to tell the courts he lost all his money in BitConnect too like Craig Grant is claiming.
4284 points: mikelo22's comment in +1(800)273-8255 - U.S. National Suicide Hotline
4036 points: FSev's comment in +1(800)273-8255 - U.S. National Suicide Hotline
3695 points: arsonbunny's comment in Bittrex holding my about $100.000 hostage with no response to support ticket/email for almost three months
3628 points: eNte19's comment in Enjoy the massacre. It could be a once in life opportunity.
In this article of Smilo Explained we are going to explain more about the infamous 51% attacks of the blockchain space. We decided to create a separate article on this matter since it is one of the most impactful attacks in the blockchain space and very topical over the last few weeks with several attacks happening. https://preview.redd.it/lsnwjlmr7o221.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=aad5525a6181288287829d89d87feb416f028f31 Some blockchain projects are more prone to 51% attacks than others, this is especially true for blockchains using the popular Proof of Work (PoW) consensus mechanism. This PoW algorithm is an economic measure to deter various attacks on the network by requiring some work from the service requester, usually in the form of processing time by a computer. However, it is possible to attack PoW blockchains when you control more than 51% of the total hashing power. Considering this, smaller blockchains with a relatively low total hashing power combined with the PoW consensus mechanism could easily fall victim to this attack. Take Bitcoin as an example, in the first few years when Bitcoin (and blockchain) was less popular, it was relatively easy to buy more than 51% of the total hashing power and attack the network. However, due to the fact that no individual really paid attention to this flaw, Bitcoin was able to slowly grow a considerable amount of relatively decentralised hashing power over time, thus securing the network. Nowadays, this flaw is quite well-known and due to this there is a rising amount of attackers who try to better themselves by attacking other blockchains. There are even websites giving rough estimates of the costs involved in creating a 51% attack such as https://www.crypto51.app/. Let’s take a closer look at some of the projects which have suffered from a 51% attack lately.
The first specific case of a 51% attack which we are going to discuss is the one that took place this week, the 2nd of december, on the cryptocurrency called Vertcoin. During the attack, the attackers tried to double spend the currency to better themselves. Coinbase engineer Mark Nesbitt stated that the double spending amounted could have resulted to over a $100,000 loss on the Vertcoin network.
“Vertcoin (VTC) experienced 22 deep chain reorganizations, 15 of which included double spends of VTC. We estimate that these attacks could have resulted in theft of over $100,000. The largest reorganization was over 300 blocks deep.”
According to the Crypto 51 webapp, the attack would only cost about 125 dollar per hour at the time of the attack. With an average block time of 2m and 40s this means the attack took approximately 14 hours and would only cost about 1750 dollars.
A few weeks ago, AurumCoin also fell victim to a 51% attack. During the attack, one of the few cryptocurrency exchanges who had listed AurumCoin, Cryptopia, lost more than 15 million Aurum coins (which was worth over half a million USD at the time of the attack). AurumCoin claims not to be responsible for the attack and they shifted the blame to Cryptopia, insisting it was hacked. Cryptopia, on the other hand, has not yet acknowledged that they have been hacked.
With a market cap of around 10 million USD, AurumCoin was definitely one of the easier targets. The attacker sent over 500.000 USD worth of AurumCoin to cryptopia to exchange them for another cryptocurrency. Once this transaction went through, the attacker allegedly used more than 51% of the hashing power to reverse the transaction as though it never really happened. Besides, the last commit on AurumCoin’s Github originates from 2015, which indicates that the developers might have abandoned their project. Moreover, having an average hashrate of just about 80PH/s didn’t help them either. For about 800 USD per hour, one can easily rent more than enough mining power on NiceHash to attack AurumCoin’s network.
According to various reports, it seems like AurumCoin needed twenty confirmations at the time of the attack to send or receive any funds. So, could Cryptopia be responsible for this hack? Well, Cryptopia stated that they do not have any control over the time in which these confirmations are completed. Meaning that, Cryptopia does not seem to have any influence on AurumCoin transactions. According to the exchange, they are unable to reverse or alter these kind of confirmations, and thus the transactions. In their support section they make the following statement;
“Cryptopia does not perform these ‘Confirmations’ or have any control over the time in which these Confirmations are completed. The Confirmations are completed by miners on the Blockchain. Transactions with higher fees will are far more likely to be added to a block first.”
AurumCoin’s case is just one of the examples which shows the negative consequences for both the coin and the exchange hosting them.
Bitcoin Gold suffered from a similar attack, though on a larger scale. An amount of 12.239 BTG was deposited to an account on the crypto exchange Bittrex, which was according to the online publication Bitcoinist around 18 million USD at the time of the attack.
To go more in depth on how the attacker proceeded with his attack, the following information was posted by BitcoinGold as a statement on their website.
“The attackers address is known by this transaction:ee798dd31beda909c9ca7f843bc58b48dfb40b0f6db83ccd10e892e9c3154ce7(Originally marked as Confirmed, now marked as Unconfirmed) The deposit was made as part ofthis block #529022(Originally marked as mainchain, now marked as Orphaned. It was mined by honest miners.) and was confirmed over the course of nearly six hours on mainchain with 21 additional blocks mined, up to and includingthis block #529043. (Originally marked as mainchain, now marked as Orphaned. It was mined by honest miners.) Some time after the 20th block, which satisfied the 20-confirmation requirement for Bittrex, the attacker was able to trade their BTG on Bittrex and withdraw other crypto. The attacker then released 23 (or more) secretly mined blocks to the mainchain, superseding the existing 22 blocks, and replacing their previous transfer of 12.239 BTG to Bittrex with a transfer of those same 12.239 BTG to themselves. Below is the new transaction (double-spend) of the original 12239 BTG, sent to their own address instead of Bittrex:8b8ad1deb88c9b9e36c62e96ff52833d4ca1632076b1092a5848de788181aaaf It was included inthis block #529022, which was first mined by the attackers in secret and not broadcast to the network until nearly 6 hours later. When it was finally broadcast along with 22 or more other secretly-mined blocks, for a total of over 23 blocks, it established the “longest chain” and took over as mainchain, causing the previously seen blocks to become “Orphaned.”
Bittrex delisted Bitcoin Gold shortly afterwards. As a result Bitcoin Gold was forced to upgrade their proof of work to make it, according to them, a less attractive and harder to attack network, even though the possibility to become victim of such an attack still lingers. Besides, they advised all exchanges to raise their confirmation requirements to give time to react on unusually large deposits of BTG — the double-spend attacks were clear outliers in size.
Expenses for the attack
Husam Abboud, a managing partner and co-founder at Brazil-based PDB Capital, has calculated that an average investment of 200.000 USD respectively is necessary for a 51% attack on bitcoin gold.
“Bitcoin Gold, a much smaller network (1/20 the size of Bitcoin Cash network), since the fork, has switched to become ASIC resistant hashing with Equihash algorithm, — same as zCash — It is currently more secure against 51% attack from Bitcoin miners, but vulnerable to attacks from Zcash and other Equihash miners.”
As researched by Investopedia, if for example a zCash miner with +8% of Nethash would switch to mine BitcoinGold, he is already at +51% BTG nethash. This would brings the cost of 51% attack on BTG to 580 ZEC/day which equals around 200.000 USD
A common attack
Similar situations occurred this year with Monacoin and Verge among others, showing that these attacks are not uncommon. Counter measures are being taken by exchanges and networks alike such as increasing the number of confirmations required for making a transaction and ASIC resistant networks. Nevertheless, exchanges have very few defences to this attack, as no number of confirmations can make receiving deposits of the network under attack fully safe, when the attacker has over 51% of the hashing power. Some of the measures might reduce the risk of such an attack, though seem not as efficient as hoped, as even networks that have implemented them, are still being attacked.
‘As long as exchanges are willing to provide customers with assets in response to the deposit of a reversible currency, there’s no reason for attackers to stop this behavior. Expect to see more of these attacks. Exchanges that support these assets will continue to suffer losses, with the ultimate result that exchanges will be forced to delist these assets. In such an environment, it’s hard to find a compelling argument for why these assets should have value.’ Mark Nesbitt
The Smilo network solves this problem with its Smilo BFT+ consensus mechanism. This consensus mechanism circumvents 51% attacks by having one valid blockchain and one valid block created by one chosen speaker. Next to 51% attacks, Smilo’s consensus is also far less vulnerable to a number of other attacks, making it a saver option for both users and exchanges. Smilo will always require more than 66% consensus with the Smilo BFT+ algorithm, a node will never add a block to his chain when this block has been declined. Moreover, even when more than 66% of the nodes approve a block, but Node A declined the block, Node A will not add the block to his chain, nor will the follow up blocks add this block to the chain. All Smilo Clients (like the API, full wallets, etcetera) are able to verify both blocks and transactions, providing a two-factor authentication for light clients. Clients can validate if it is connected to “Good actors” or “Bad actors”, depending on the blockchain hash, and therefore decide to send a transaction to a Good or Bad actor. Since Smilo BFT+ Blacklists ‘Bad actors’, each Bad Actor will become an orphan/bad chain (fork). Besides, considering the fact you need 10.000 Smilo to act as a node, an attacking entity needs to own an immense amount of Smilo to start with, which makes it impractical as it will prove a great financial loss for the attacker. This makes Smilo 99.9% secure against sibling attacks. For example: 250 nodes are securing the network: - 84 nodes are ok! - 166 nodes are bad! 166 * 10.000 = 1.66 million Smilo (>66% of the actors) Even if the attacker pulls it off to create a bad block, the 84 good nodes will not add this block (because it is invalid). The next speaker in line (or the third, or the fourth, or the fifth) will create a correct block which will be added to the nodes. Since our full-clients validate nodes and blocks by themselves, they will not send any transactions to the wrong fork. This results in a fork which will only survive for as long as the bad actors are turned on. Be part of the Smilo hybrid blockchain movement! Join our Telegram, Twitter and follow us on other social media for the latest updates! Medium | LinkedIn | Facebook | Reddit For more information about the Smilo Platform check out our; Website | Video | Whitepaper | Onepager | Whitelist
Hello! My name is Irina Shevchuk, I am a designer at Platinum where we create best ICO and STO promotion ever! We know how to launch STO in 2019 and will help your project to get in the list of best security tokens 2019! Visit our site to learn more about our up-to-date services! Platinum.fund Well, promoting wasn’t enough for us, so we decided to create the UBAI, the first online university developing practical courses on blockchain. Get familiar with Ethereum, its founding principles and major improvements/limitations upon the initial Bitcoin Blockchain! Did you know that due to the nature of the cryptographic community from which cryptocurrencies have been developed, it is only natural that the adoption of cryptocurrencies in the digital sphere has dwarfed that in the traditional business world? Cryptocurrency adoption has firmly permeated the online gaming sphere with offerings such as Experience points (XP) for purchasing incentives in games and educational content, as well as GameCredits (GAME), which aims to be a universal currency for gamers worldwide and STORM, a kind of Blockchain Mechanical Turk, a crowdsourcing Internet marketplace. In the online gambling space, Funfair (FUN) aims to be the go-to currency for all online gaming, and Edgeless (EDG) supposedly offers a gambling experience with no edge for the house, a project all gamblers would surely welcome and support. Cryptocurrency projects have already provided use cases for conventional businesses and enabled existing commercial operations to improve their performance with the implementation of Blockchain technology. Thus far, Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency that has most readily made inroads into the public consciousness. Microsoft, for example, has begun to accept Bitcoin payments in Windows and XBox stores, and Expedia has teamed up with Coinbase to allow Bitcoin to be used to book hotel rooms. Much like Iconomy in the crypto asset management sphere, NapoleonX (NPX), is allowing crypto investors to buy into Decentralized autonomous funds which focus on conventional markets. As we have already covered, one of the main reasons that Blockchain technology is causing so much excitement is because of the great number of ways the technology might be developed and applied in business. The Canadian-Russian boy genius named Vitalik Buterin first envisaged the next stage in Blockchain technology as a scripting language for Bitcoin. But this particular idea failed to reach a consensus with the community. That is what stimulated development of a totally new platform with a more general type of language. Initial development on the Ethereum project began in Spring 2014 with the core team of Vitalik Buterin, Mihai Alisie, Anthony DiIorio, and Charles Hoskinson, working through the Swiss company EthSuisse. Subsequently, the Ethereum Foundation was created in the run up to the July 2014 crowd sale. Then, the Ethereum project’s currency Ether was distributed to participants who purchased the token with Bitcoin. The initial questions about the security of the project were proven to be warranted after an infamous entity called the DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) led to the loss of $50 million of the $150 million dollars raised in the Ethereum crowdsale. The Ethereum Blockchain then underwent a very contentious hard fork resulting in the Ethereum, ETH, we know today being separated from its parent chain, Ethereum Classic, ETC. By the end of 2016, the Ethereum Blockchain had forked twice more resulting in increased DDoS protection, that de-bloated its Blockchain, and thwarted further spam attacks by hackers. The true cost of the financial crisis for the world economy is still being calculated and may never actually be known, but conservative estimates put the cost at approximately $20,000 per America citizen. Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous creator of the most famous and infamous digital currency, sought to create a means of transmitting value that did not require a trusted third party to oversee the transaction or guarantee the value. By using distributed ledger technology on the Blockchain he laid the foundation for a trustless decentralized financial system that did not rely on central banks to mediate transactions. This is a “peer-to-peer version of electronic cash…. sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution”. With no trusted third party, each individual becomes a self-sovereign, one-person-bank, responsible for his or her own transactions and security. The Ether token’s authenticity is guaranteed by its Blockchain, which is a continuously growing list of records connected and secured using cryptography. Like Bitcoin, the Ethereum Network is an open and distributed ledger that records transactions between two people in a confirmable and permanent way. The Ether token is superior to bitcoin in that its blocktime is approximately 15 seconds compared to 10 minutes with Bitcoin. Mining generates new coins at a usually consistent rate, and the average transaction cost in December 2017 was $0.33 compared to $23 for Bitcoin. As alluded to above, Ethereum initially aimed to become both a decentralized internet and a decentralized app store supporting a new kind of app (dapp). In order for the network to function correctly, a novel piece of code “ether” was created in order to pay for the computational power needed to run an application on the Ethereum network. Ether is a digital bearer asset like BTC, and does not need a third party to verify or mediate transactions. “ERC-20 Token: The Ethereum Request for Comment -20 token is standard set of rules used for smart contracts on the Ethereum Blockchain for executing new tokens. It defines a uniform set of rules on how a new token will function within the Ethereum Blockchain. The creation of this token has made it very easy for start-up companies to create their own token within the Ether ecosystem. That was a very significant advancement that caused the 2017 ICO boom in newly issued tokens. Monero: This fork of Bitcoin is focused on privacy and decentralization. It obfuscates the sender and recipient’s addresses, as well as the amount of the transaction. The original Monero (the name is Esperanto for “coin”) author, Nicolas van Saberhagen, sought to make mining rewards more egalitarian as an additional benefit of being part of the Monero ecosystem. The very private nature of the Monero architecture, which mixes sender “ring signatures” with many others, makes the deciphering of the destination and recipient address increasingly difficult. This has made the Monero cryptocurrency the go-to coin for illicit transactions on the Dark web. There is, however, another way to look at this. Although Monero’s intensely private nature and deliberate obfuscation of transaction destinations and sources is undoubtedly used for criminal and corrupt purposes, the exact opposite effect may occur if its privacy characteristics are placed within the context of third world countries where corruption is already rife. In developing countries, it has proven much easier for people to obtain devices with an internet connection than it is for them to open a bank account. With 2 billion people worldwide without a bank account, much of them in Sub-Saharan Africa, privacy coins like Monero could play a key role in distributing aid to the needy without having to deal with any potentially corrupt and inefficient organizations or state institutions standing in between. Ripple: Ripple is well-known as one of the very first big Blockchain projects. In fact, its predecessor, RipplePay dates all the way back to 2004. The modern version of the Ripple payment protocol (conceived by Jared McCaleb and built by Arthur Britto and David Schwartz) enables instant peer-to-peer transfer of money. The protocol and the facility to avoid the banking system, results in drastically reduced fees and transaction times compared to international transfers by conventional banking methods. Ripple is currently known as the cryptocurrency of the financial services industry, with major involvement by Santander, American Express and RBS, amongst many others. Ripple has also teamed up with Moneygram to speed up the process of cross-border payments. Ripple is aiming to send money across national lines “as quickly as information” in the words of its CEO Brad Garlinghouse. The almost laughable inefficiencies and delays in sending money to friends or loved ones in foreign countries is a major pain point for banking customers the world over. Now, with the implementation of Blockchain technology through Ripple’s XRapid initiative in partnership with Moneygram, international transfer times will go from being measured in days to being measured in seconds. NEO: This is often described as the “Chinese Ethereum”. NEO is similar to Ethereum in that it is a Blockchain platform that is designed to be a scalable platform for the construction of decentralized applications. The NEO Blockchain project was founded by Da Hongfei in 2014. Like Ether (ETH) in the Ethereum network, the NEO token is the base asset of the NEO Blockchain. But unlike Ether, it is indivisible, and it accrues a GAS token when stored in a wallet. The GAS token can be used to pay transaction fees on the NEO Blockchain. The NEO cryptocurrency was rebranded from Antshares in 2017, and has started to produce highly successful ICOs on its platform, most notably Ontology (ONT) and RPX which will make use of the NEP-5 token. In the immediate aftermath of rebrand from Antshares, the all-encompassing vision of NEO 2.0 was laid out as follows: “We hope the platform can be used for different front-end scenarios, such as the Digital asset wallet, Forum, Voting, Profile management and Mobile applications. The platform also features an open API that can be used for integration with other systems.” One of the main alterations made to the NEO project was the addition of more up-to-date digital identity management protocols which employed Public Key Infrastructure(PKI)X.509 digital identity standards. NEO’s verification of identity when issuing digital identities includes fingerprint, voice and facial feature authentication methods. IOTA’s code architecture is not in the same mold of Bitcoin or Ethereum, both of which could be described as existing on and making use of a Blockchain to order their transaction history. IOTA, and its token, the MIOTA, are embedded in a code structure called “The Tangle” which is a form of Direct Acyclic Graph data architecture. This particular architecture enables the code to function with no fixed block and each transaction carries its own proof of work. These types of transactions are enabled by “storing the most recent transactions in a fast cache, and by using checkpoints such that older transactions cannot be references. Thus, the system can be made as fast as Bitcoin, or faster”. IOTA’s main use case is for the transmission of information and value between Internet of Things enabled devices, in an automated manner. This project is truly one oriented toward the future, when many more IoT devices will be online, and there is a great need for such devices to communicate and transact without any human intervention. One weak point in DAG code architecture is that much less than a 51% attack is sufficient to compromise the network. It would be theoretically possible to bring about double spending on a DAG network with a 34% attack. TenX (PAY) TenX was founded in 2014 as part of a PayPal incubator program. It sought to bridge the gap between Blockchain assets and everyday commerce, providing an efficient solution for the liquidity problems of many cryptocurrencies. The project will eventually be centered around a debit card that makes use of the COMIT protocol that enables many different Blockchains to interact with one another without having to issue a different token. That could be another milestone event in the crypto ecosystem. The project roadmap presented to investors began with the ICO in July 2017. They famously raised $34 Million in the first 7 minutes. The roadmap will conclude when they obtain their banking license in the middle of 2020. At that point they also aim to issue FIAT tokens fully backed and issued by a government. So far, the TenX project is on course to meet its stated targets. They brought out their highly rated IOS and web apps at the end of 2017. This serves as a fantastic example of how a well-run ICO can help both the investors and the startup streamline the capitalization process to the benefit of all parties involved. Influence upon Traditional Merchants around the world. Due to the inherent volatility of cryptocurrency, the adoption of crypto payment methods by traditional businesses has generally been slower than in the online sphere. Although some major companies have in fact begun to come around to the idea of integrating digital currencies into their methods of accepting payments, the volatility of crypto is still a serious impediment for most. Microsoft has led the way by incorporating Bitcoin payment systems into the Window Store, as well as adding the ability for game players to purchase credit on the Xbox live network with Bitcoin. Overstock began accepting Bitcoin payments on January 9th, 2014, and saw a significant uptick in orders immediately. They received 900 new orders for $126,000 worth of BTC. Electronic retailer NewEgg, and online gaming site Zynga, also now take Bitcoin payments. There are even certain Subway outlets in South America that have started to accept Bitcoin as a method of payment too. On a far smaller scale, Coingate has partnered with Prestashop, to take Europe to the verge of a widescale cryptocurrency payment method. Merchants of any size need only apply for a Coingate account, and then have a crypto payment module installed, in order to accept payment in Bitcoin, BCash, Ether, Litecoin and nearly 50 other cryptocurrencies. The price is locked in immediately at the time of the transaction, which solves the volatility issue, and the whole process can be completed without the merchant having to deal in anything other than Euros. CryptoCredit card projects Monaco and TenX help to bridge the gap between the worlds of fiat and crypto, allowing a card holder to spend their cryptocurrency anywhere in the world. Decentralization & Our Financial World In the Financial World, decentralization would radically alter the roles of, and creation of value by, our modern day ‘too-big-to-fail’ financial institutions. The capping of the supply of most major cryptocurrencies is itself an idea nothing short of revolutionary, in the truest sense of the word. All developed economies are oriented around a Central Bank that, through the system of fractional reserve banking, has power to create loans or investments and accept deposits, but is only required to hold reserves equal to 10% of its total liabilities. This in effect empowers central banks to print money as they see fit, a mechanism which gives central banks massive power in contemporary society. Any move toward decentralized ledgers, and any number of finite decentralized currencies, would upset the balance of power between central banks and the individual in a way that has never occurred before. The role of central banks in the economy, and the traditional means of solving common financial problems by having the central bank manipulate the money supply, for example, would need to be radically rethought. Consider the recently used machinations such as quantitative easing, negative interest rates, etc. These are present-day “solutions” that would no longer be able to be applied to the economic and financial problems they are attempting to solve. If Blockchain technology was meaningfully deployed in the political arena it is conceivable that political corruption and vote-rigging could be severely curtailed or even eradicated. By providing a clear, transparent and incorruptible method of vote recording and counting, voter fraud and election rigging could be eliminated. The political climate could be detoxified and faith could be restored in both fledgling and established democracies. The idea of being able to present a publicly available digital ledger would allow journalists to maintain lists of sources that would be able to be shared between peers without compromising the source’s identity. The possibilities for the application of the Blockchain founding principles are truly revolutionary and just may be the largest leap forward for society since the computerization of the work force or the globalization of trade. The Cryptocurrency Ecosystem Overstock is a large e-commerce company that has successfully adopted a Blockchain solution for its business needs. The Silk Road was one of the most widely known early beneficiaries of the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. Purpose of Cryptocurrencies -Ethereum was developed after the original creator’s suggested changes to Bitcoin were not implemented by the community. -Ethereum is a completely separate cryptocurrency. -DAO Hack & the Ether Token. -Monero, Ripple, NEO, Stellar & Iota. -Microsoft has begun to accept Bitcoin on the Xbox live network store. If there is a wide-scale expansion of the mechanism of asset-tokenization we could see stocks, bonds, synthetic instruments and commodities being brought on-chain in the future. This would allow traditional assets to be easily integrated with smart contracts, and facilitate their interaction. This would cut down transaction times, and even more importantly, dramatically slash legal fees to a fraction of what they are today. It can cost up to $1,000 an hour or more to hire corporate lawyers to preside over a deal, draft contracts, or give advice on the intricacies of high finance. So, the potential savings involved for big businesses, if smart contracts and asset tokenization became the norm, is an amazing thing to think about at this time. The ASX is the first exchange in the world to implement a solution that would change the settlement of equities transactions from two days, to mere minutes. This radically changes how traders on both the buy and sell side, as well as companies, would be able to trade their securities, manage their risk and leverage their positions. Learn more on the role ICO tokens play as a part of Blockchain backed solutions. What is a crypto token? How do security tokens work? How to market an ICO? Follow the link to get more useful information: UBAI.co Contact me via Instagram and Facebook and I’ll consult you about all Platinum services and the UBAI courses: Instagram Facebook
The deconstruction of money: Prosperity when wealth ceases to exist
Here's a question to ponder: How do you conjure 300 billion dollar out of thin air? The answer, if you hadn't guessed it yet, is cryptocurrency. People used to laugh at this phenomenon, but they're not laughing anymore. They're feeling the same emotions about this phenomenon that I felt four years ago: They're worried and excited at the same time. Bitcoin is a first, but not just in one domain. It's a first in most of its defining characteristics. We have witnessed the emergence of a means of exchange whose rate of inflation is predictable. Nobody can create more than 21 million Bitcoin, we can merely find ourselves disagreeing about the definition of a Bitcoin, which is starting to happen. Despite its scarcity, Bitcoin has no intrinsic value. We're now beginning to discover that this doesn't matter, something most economists and academics had not anticipated. Just as an artist can earn money by shitting in a can, you can earn money by producing virtual currency. What we don't know yet is how far this phenomenon can grow. As of speaking, it gobbles up 0.1% of the world's electricity. As a means of doing anonymous transactions, it's pretty much useless compared to the alternatives that have succeeded Bitcoin. In the worst case scenario, Bitcoin is like Microsoft or Facebook, in the sense that its network effect and early mover advantage allow it to eliminate all competition. This results in the dystopian scenarios I have frequently discussed before. In a more realistic scenario however, Bitcoin ceases to grow eventually. This makes more sense to me. Consider this: Would you invest in something that has grown in value 100-fold over the past two years? You would probably be wise enough to recognize that other investment options have more growth potential left. If enough people understand this, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we assume that people buy Bitcoins to get rich quick, they'll stop buying them when it becomes clear it won't allow them to get rich. As a result, its value will eventually crash. Note the difference between Bitcoin and Windows here. We're not using Windows because we think it has growth potential. We're using Windows because everyone else uses Windows and thus it's easier for us to communicate. You don't genuinely buy Bitcoin because you want to use it. You buy Bitcoin because you expect others will want to buy it from you at a higher price. To put this in simpler terms: If we use something merely because we expect its use will grow in the future, it can't come to dominate the market it's in. To own Bitcoin means to forever have a sword of Damocles hanging over your head. You bought it because you expect its value to rise. At the same time, you are aware that it suffers from existential threats: Government intervention, a superior alternative taking over, a rush for the exit that the network can't process, a 51% attack, an unanticipated protocol flaw, an early adapter who wants to cash out. You're willing to take those risks when you expect its value may rise 100-fold. You're no longer willing to take those risks when you expect its value might double in the next ten years. The innate instability of Bitcoin ensures it will forever remain a niche phenomenon. Here's a question to ponder: Why buy Bitcoin, if you and your friends can invent your own coin that you distribute among yourselves? If I had to choose between entering a country where all the land is owned by a small minority or entering a country where I can still freely stake a claim to my own land, I would choose the latter option. People throughout history have understood this principle, which is why small communities came up with their own currency systems. The general trend throughout history has been that these alternative currency systems were destroyed by those who felt threatened by them. It's a little known fact that whenever local currencies emerge that seem to replace a government issued currency, governments tend to respond by shutting them down. It happened in Germany in 1931, it happened to the Liberty dollars in the United States and it happens in more situations, when the alternative currency becomes a threat. Of course, alternative currencies rarely become a genuine threat to the status quo. The reason is because people can generally create new units out of thin air. Whatever institute issues the alternative currency has no means to prohibit you from doing so. Today, we know that this is no longer a valid issue, due to cryptocurrency. As a result, this controlled issuance allows people to interpret alternative currencies as having a genuine value, based on the expectation that they will be able to find someone to sell it to when they feel the need to. What this means is a fantastic development for those of us who fear the extreme inequality we witness today. The nature of wealth is that it tends to accumulate. Those who are wealthy have the means to become wealthier, whereas those of us without wealth have no such means. Then eventually, when wealth has accumulated to extreme degrees, the elite has found itself in possession of most of the world's fertile land and natural resources. Then, those with their backs against the wall tend to rise up in revolt and exterminate the aristocracy. Today, after the invention of cryptocurrency, revolutions work differently. When we see that the game is rigged against us, that you own everything there is to own, we cease acknowledging your protocol and set up our own. We don't participate in games that we can't win. We're unable to ignore land ownership, if you cling onto the land, you risk ending up beneath the guillotine. We're perfectly able however, to stop pretending that a Bitcoin is something more than a series of ones and zeros in a digital database. This outcome is already unfolding. Why is Bitcoin losing its dominant position in the ecosystem? Because people realize that the game is rigged against them. Most people are simply not dumb enough to spend 10,000 dollar to buy one bitcoin. Smart people look for other opportunities. How does a revolution look? Consider what happened a few weeks ago, when Bitcoin ended up clogged and a competing protocol, Bitcoin Cash, suddenly grew enormously in value. This revolution was prematurely aborted, but the underlying issues have not been addressed. Bitcoin is still bumping up against its transaction capacity, wealth is still monopolized in the hands of a shrinking group, a single Bitcoin still has an intimidatingly high value to all but a small group of wealthy people who have no intention to actually use the currency. As a result, hedge-fund managers and trust fund kids are now buying first class tickets to board the Titanic. Understand the following principle: The unequal distribution of a currency undermines its use value. A currency owned by a small group of wealthy people is subject to dramatic price fluctuations. The stock market suffered a sudden dramatic collapse in 1929, during an era when wealth inequality was at its most extreme. The reason is simple. If the distribution of an asset is extreme in its inequality, it becomes impossible to estimate the fair value of the asset. This is the problem that Bitcoin inevitably suffers. The wealth inequality of Bitcoin increases over time, as hackers are able to steal Bitcoins, while those who find themselves wealthy all of a sudden tend to exit the scheme. As this unequal distribution grows worse, the instability of Bitcoin grows worse too. Economists have long known that wealth inequality and speculative bubbles go hand in hand. We see high prices right now for Bitcoin, but this is merely because nobody wants to exit at the moment. As soon as people want to leave the scheme, they'll find it's simply not possible at current prices. I expect that Bitcoin could see its price drop by 90% or more, over a period of days. People will find themselves unable to leave the scheme during such a period, because the transaction capacity on the network is limited. When Bitcoin falls apart, people will see that the underlying technology has more genuine potential than this particular faulty implementation. As a result, another redistribution of wealth will take place. One important thing to understand is that currencies gain value because of broad use. Broad use is accomplished, by broad distribution. In its early days, everyone could mine bitcoins and everyone could use faucets where they were handed out for free. As a result, a core community emerged. Note that the broad distribution that creates value does not have to contradict the unequal distribution that creates its high price. Value and price are not always well correlated. In regards to Bitcoin however, the more important point is that the currency grew in price by inheriting both characteristics: It's widely distributed, but most of the coins are actually held by a small minority. This small minority thus has a lot of wealth, on paper. They won't be able to actualize their wealth, if they tried to cash out the value of Bitcoin would take a plunge. You will find that Bitcoin's role as a speculative bubble will be replaced by various competing technologies, but its role as a digital currency will be replaced by currencies that are broadly distributed. As an example of how this will work in the future, consider Clams. Clams are a digital currency with an egalitarian and wide distribution. Anyone who owned a range of currencies ended up owning Clams. This has proved to be free money, for people who paid attention. The project was abandoned by its developer, but it demonstrated the way forward for others. There are now various Bitcoin forks, that hand out their coins to entire swathes of the population, while handing out extra coins to its own developers. Those developers do end up profiting off their invention, simply because the wide distribution creates interest in the coin. In contrast to what you might think, these various new currencies don't have to die out. In contrast to offline currencies, digital currencies can be extremely easily exchanged for one another. Merchants are able to accept coins they have never heard of for products they sell, simply because the underlying infrastructure is managed for them by third parties. So, what credible reason do people have to put their trust entirely in Bitcoin? The answer is simple: None. The herd has discovered Bitcoin, but the herd will consume it and bring about its demise, as the protocol can't scale. But what if I'm wrong? What if Bitcoin can scale? Well, the answer to that question is simple: Bitcoin can't scale. A form of Bitcoin that can scale ceases to be Bitcoin. Bitcoin is characterized by 1 MB blocks, which limits transaction capacity to 3 transactions per second, which is a fraction of what credit card companies can handle per second. If Bitcoin increases its block size, a new currency comes into existence, that needs new software and would leave users who fail to update their software at risk of losing their coins. What about off-chain scaling? Off-chain scaling requires settlement on the 1 MB blockchain. As a result, those who plan to develop off-chain scaling methods admit that Bitcoin would need 133 MB blocks, simply to accomplish the goals they have set for it. The system can't function under those conditions. What happens if Bitcoin does somehow develop off-chain scaling and starts to use 133 Mb blocks? The energy needed to mine Bitcoins increases dramatically. As a result, the number of people who can mine Bitcoin goes down, mining Bitcoin will only be an option for people in places with dramatically low energy prices. In addition, governments would be unlikely to accept having 90% of their national electricity use be devoted to mining Bitcoins. A currency that requires solving pointless computer problems to distribute it is a currency that remains forever a niche phenomenon. There will be no consensus around how to change the protocol, it will endlessly fracture until it renders itself obsolete. Important to understand is that cryptocurrencies don't allow you to hold onto extreme wealth. Consider Bitcoin. In its early days, there were plenty of smart people who saw its potential. But if you're a billionaire, how would you use a currency worth less than your own net worth, to increase your own wealth? The answer is that you can't. Small projects grow the most, but small projects can't fit your wealth inside of them. The effect this has is that the extremely unequal global distribution of wealth we witness today will be rectified. The habit that extreme wealth has is that it doesn't survive dramatic changes to the status quo. Until a few years ago, Bitcoin was the domain of basement dwelling NEETs and angry libertarian gun-nuts. But what we can do, anyone can do. If you live in a community that suffers poverty, you can set up your own currency that you use among each other and by virtue of the fact that you use it, it grows in value. What we have done with Bitcoin, has been done by other people too. If you don't think you can win under our rules, you change the rules and play your own game. There are now numerous currencies out there that have given birth to anonymous millionaires, while many more like me have made smaller fortunes. As I have mentioned before, technology is a self-limiting phenomenon. Technology in its most advanced stages consumes its own niche and as a result leaves us off without the technology. With self-driving cars, the car starts to die out. With lab-grown meat, meat dies out. The Internet, destroyed the concept of possession. Why should I buy a car, if it idles 95% of the time? Why should I visit a hotel, if people can rent out their room to me? Why should I own a book, if the information I seek is accessible under my fingertips? Why should I even own anything? In Sillicon Valley, digital nomads live without any genuine possessions, other than a smartphone, a laptop and the clothing they wear. What has remained off-limits so far, is the concept of wealth itself. The idea of wealth has survived the digital transition, even as everything else has been rendered obsolete. This is now coming to an end. We live in an era, where the concept of wealth is being deconstructed. One important principle in this observation is the issue of scarcity. Things have value, because demand for them is higher than their supply. In Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, houses are practically for sale for free, because the population has declined by a quarter since the fall of the Soviet Union. How can physical space have a price when there is more of it than anyone needs? It can't. It can only have a price when a small elite is allowed to keep it off limits to the rest of us, without making use of it themselves. But now, we face the finalization of the deconstruction of wealth. What does it mean to own anything? How can anything have value, if it is not scarce? Are you still wealthy, if your wealth must remain a secret? If you can't flaunt the fact that you're a millionaire, you can't genuinely be thought of as rich. Cryptomillionaires are men who have wealth they can't genuinely use. Under those conditions, the illusion of power begins to die. We see today that money is a joke. You can print money in your parents' basement and people will treat it as genuine money. The next step is the recognition that wealth is a joke. The society we are entering is one where wealth loses its relevance, until it eventually can't be defined. The very concept itself is ceasing to make sense. It is a nightmare we imposed upon ourselves and now we will no longer believe in it. The history of civilization is the exchange of wealth for fertility. The man accumulates resources, passes those on to his male descendants and the men monopolize young women to disproportionately pass on their own genes to the next generation. This became possible, when the concept of ownership became possible. There exists no inequality, among hunter-gatherers who have no ability to press a claim to resources. In primitive communities where everyone lives near a river dense with fish, some men end up claiming "ownership" over the river and soon enough we witness hereditary castes, monarchs and inherited wealth. In the Kalahari desert, where people depend on animals that run around and Mongongo nuts that can be consumed, there is no property, as there is nothing to claim ownership over. You might claim ownership over a plot of desert, sure, but how will you enforce it? You can't and thus everyone is equal. The concept of wealth had a nice run. It survived from the Neolithic revolution until the digital revolution, when it was rendered obsolete. It transformed young sturdy women with bows in their hands and hair on their legs into airbrushed trophy wives who sell their bodies to the highest bidders. What we know as a human being today is entirely corrupted by thousands of years of civilization, during which a corrupt aristocracy disproportionately passed on its genes and turned life itself into a cynical pursuit of material wealth. Today we are saying farewell to them. Have you ever thought about what we are leaving behind us? In a society where social status is inherited, like in India, you eventually end up with hereditary underclasses who are made to carry around leaking baskets with human excrement on their heads. Alexandra Kollontai became a Marxist after her aristocratic parents prohibited her from marrying a man she met at university, an engineering student of modest means. In the society we are giving birth to, everyone is free to pursue his deepest passions and to make use of his full potential, with no noble birthright standing in between him and his vision. Does this sound absurd to you? Over the top? Ridiculously optimistic? Well consider this: We have already gotten rid of the aristocracy. Western civilization used to be ruled by a hereditary caste that had complete control over society. The mechanization of agriculture in the 19th century and the abolition of the corn laws led to the demise of the aristocracies. The status quo could simply not be maintained. The concept of a republic, a nation not ruled by a king, was once utterly absurd. Books about the future written in the 18th century, like Samuel Madden's "Memoirs of the Twentieth Century", feature tall tales about religious theocracies in Italy and absolute monarchies in France. What none of them anticipated is that the kind of authoritarian systems they were familiar with could not sustain itself under modern conditions. It seemed as absurd to them that people could be ruled by anything other than inbred aristocrats, as it seems to you when I suggest to you that the concept of wealth itself is in the process of being rendered obsolete. Eventually we will develop a form of society, where money and financial transactions themselves are an outdated nuisance, an inefficiency. Consider this: You're traveling by train and find out that you don't have a public transport card. As a result, the automated gates that stay closed unless you check in with a card won't open for you. You're hesitant to jump over them, because a camera records anyone who tries to sneak in. You walk to a machine that allows you to buy a card, then you charge the card with money and check in at the gates before entering the train. Upon entering the train, you notice a man walks around who is tasked with ensuring that everyone bought a card. This is his job, his raison d'être. After the train arrives at its destination, you walk out, forget to check out and hurry back home, here you realize that you forgot to check out and money was automatically deducted from your account. You call the train company, wait ten minutes before someone picks up the phone and ask the lady on the other side of the line to send back the money that was excessively deducted from your card because you failed to check out. Does this sound like an efficient society to you? Consider a simple fact: In most of Western civilization, we house the homeless and provide them medical care because it's cheaper than to have emaciated people wander around in shopping malls who scare off the tourists, steal bicycles and spread tuberculosis. People find themselves wealthier, by sharing some of their wealth with those who are worst off. It's a more efficient manner of running society, that happens to be in everyone's best interest. Economic inequality, is an economic inefficiency. We live in a non-zero sum game. That is, our current situation is unoptimal, the economy as a whole can benefit from having less economic inequality. Now hear another plain fact: Your society punitively taxes your income, because you're not benefiting society by working a lot. If you work a 9 to 5 job, as most of us do, you get up, leave your house, get stuck in traffic, sit for 8 hours, which ensures chronic health problems down the line, then head back home during rush hour again. The reason you end up with a similar amount of money if you worked 32 hours, is because it happens to be in everyone's benefit. If you worked eight hours less every week, long-term unemployment would be prevented, because more people would be able to participate in the labor market. You would be able to pick up your kids from school, rather than sending them to daycare. Unless you're a genius, nobody benefits from you "working hard". That's why you're not earning more money from it. So now you have to ask yourself another question: If society doesn't benefit from your "work", then it's time for you to plan ahead for a future in which it renders your work obsolete. What will you do with your life, when the rat race comes to a stop? What will you do, if the neighbor who watches TV for fourteen hours a day ends up driving the same kind of car as you? If you can't spend your time "getting ahead", then what will you do with your life? That's a question that I want you to ponder. "Life will lose its meaning" You might say. But that's what all weak men believe who can't think outside of the paradigm they were born into. I live in a society where we no longer fight trench wars with neighboring countries or build colonial empires. My life doesn't feel less meaningful as a consequence. I live in a society where I'm not encouraged to go out and fight in defense of some fundamentalist cult. My life does not feel less meaningful. If I won't have to work to sustain myself, I will quite readily find the means to make my life meaningful. If anything, it would become easier for me to have a meaningful life. There's always something that can be done. We don't get to it, because we're forced to earn a living for ourselves. All geniuses begin their career with an excessive amount of free time. How could Darwin come up with the theory of evolution? Because he was free to visit the Galapagos islands. Why do we have seaweed that tastes like bacon in the supermarket here in the Netherlands? Because a guy had it served on his platter while he was on vacation abroad. Steve Jobs spent his twenties sleeping on people's floors, smoking pot, dropping acid and visiting guru's in India. People are not creative when they have hoops held in front of them. Innovation happens when people are left free to fool around. Most people are passionate about something. Even white working class men in early 20th century Western Europe who worked in factories had pigeons they trained and bred for races. When people have free time and more resources than they need to sustain themselves, wonderful things are produced. Those who think we need to be kept busy, have insufficient faith in man's ability to find meaning for himself. If people are nurtered well and treated with kindness, they are able to blossom and begin to improve the world they inhabit. If people turn into television addicted zombies when their chains are removed, it is because they were left injured by society. Dogs used for medical experiments who have their cages opened are hesitant to step out onto the green grass too. I prefer to look at the examples I know, of people who do understand how to deal with this transition. I think back to a woman I knew, who was granted a small fortune because she survived a plane crash unscathed. She travels across Europe in an old Volkswagen van with her boyfriend, I ran into her at a party held by her friends at a squatted countryside manor. She dances in the night and loves without hesitation and her eyes radiate pure joy. It is clear to me that most people are not ready for the transformations that are upon us. They don't want to live at the end of history. They want to head back to what they knew. But at the end of the day, what you are looking at is nothing to be afraid of. It's just green grass.
Technology Other News 24 Aug 2019 Hacker A London judge ordered on Friday the confiscation of bitcoin and other digital currencies worth nearly USD 1 million from a prolific computer hacker Bitcoin Gold is one of the cryptocurrency types. Recently, an anonymous hacker has mounted several “double spend” attacks on the Bitcoin Gold infrastructure. The Bitcoin Gold attack. According to this post of Bitcoin Gold forum, the attack started on May 18. The hacker has successfully managed to amass over $18 million worth of BTG coins. As we reported, the hacker only managed to scam 12.8 BTC, worth $120,000, out of people. Interestingly, Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey is a bitcoin supporter who believes BTC could one day become an internet currency, and his bio simply reads Bitcoin. According to some members of the crypto community, this is all good for bitcoin. Manouevers like these enable hackers to “double-spend” or duplicate vertcoins, a type of cryptocurrency. In this case, the take was minor and only worth $29 dollars USD. The bug, which the Tel Aviv-based firm calls BigSpender, allows a hacker to double spend a user’s funds and possibly prevent them from ever using their wallet again […]
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