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Putting $400M of Bitcoin on your company balance sheet
Also posted on my blog as usual. Read it there if you can, there are footnotes and inlined plots. A couple of months ago, MicroStrategy (MSTR) had a spare $400M of cash which it decided to shift to Bitcoin (BTC). Today we'll discuss in excrutiating detail why this is not a good idea. When a company has a pile of spare money it doesn't know what to do with, it'll normally do buybacks or start paying dividends. That gives the money back to the shareholders, and from an economic perspective the money can get better invested in other more promising companies. If you have a huge pile of of cash, you probably should be doing other things than leave it in a bank account to gather dust. However, this statement from MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor exists to make it clear he's buying into BTC for all the wrong reasons:
“This is not a speculation, nor is it a hedge. This was a deliberate corporate strategy to adopt a bitcoin standard.”
Let's unpack it and jump into the economics Bitcoin:
Is Bitcoin money?
No. Or rather BTC doesn't act as money and there's no serious future path for BTC to become a form of money. Let's go back to basics. There are 3 main economic problems money solves: 1. Medium of Exchange. Before money we had to barter, which led to the double coincidence of wants problem. When everyone accepts the same money you can buy something from someone even if they don't like the stuff you own. As a medium of exchange, BTC is not good. There are significant transaction fees and transaction waiting times built-in to BTC and these worsen the more popular BTC get. You can test BTC's usefulness as a medium of exchange for yourself right now: try to order a pizza or to buy a random item with BTC. How many additional hurdles do you have to go through? How many fewer options do you have than if you used a regular currency? How much overhead (time, fees) is there? 2. Unit of Account. A unit of account is what you compare the value of objects against. We denominate BTC in terms of how many USD they're worth, so BTC is a unit of account presently. We can say it's because of lack of adoption, but really it's also because the market value of BTC is so volatile. If I buy a $1000 table today or in 2017, it's roughly a $1000 table. We can't say that a 0.4BTC table was a 0.4BTC table in 2017. We'll expand on this in the next point: 3. Store of Value. When you create economic value, you don't want to be forced to use up the value you created right away. For instance, if I fix your washing machine and you pay me in avocados, I'd be annoyed. I'd have to consume my payment before it becomes brown, squishy and disgusting. Avocado fruit is not good money because avocadoes loses value very fast. On the other hand, well-run currencies like the USD, GBP, CAD, EUR, etc. all lose their value at a low and most importantly fairly predictible rate. Let's look at the chart of the USD against BTC While the dollar loses value at a predictible rate, BTC is all over the place, which is bad. One important use money is to write loan contracts. Loans are great. They let people spend now against their future potential earnings, so they can buy houses or start businesses without first saving up for a decade. Loans are good for the economy. If you want to sign something that says "I owe you this much for that much time" then you need to be able to roughly predict the value of the debt in at the point in time where it's due. Otherwise you'll have a hard time pricing the risk of the loan effectively. This means that you need to charge higher interests. The risk of making a loan in BTC needs to be priced into the interest of a BTC-denominated loan, which means much higher interest rates. High interests on loans are bad, because buying houses and starting businesses are good things.
BTC has a fixed supply, so these problems are built in
Some people think that going back to a standard where our money was denominated by a stock of gold (the Gold Standard) would solve economic problems. This is nonsense. Having control over supply of your currency is a good thing, as long as it's well run. See here Remember that what is desirable is low variance in the value, not the value itself. When there are wild fluctuations in value, it's hard for money to do its job well. Since the 1970s, the USD has been a fiat money with no intrinsic value. This means we control the supply of money. Let's look at a classic poorly drawn econ101 graph The market price for USD is where supply meets demand. The problem with a currency based on an item whose supply is fixed is that the price will necessarily fluctuate in response to changes in demand. Imagine, if you will, that a pandemic strikes and that the demand for currency takes a sharp drop. The US imports less, people don't buy anything anymore, etc. If you can't print money, you get deflation, which is worsens everything. On the other hand, if you can make the money printers go brrrr you can stabilize the price Having your currency be based on a fixed supply isn't just bad because in/deflation is hard to control. It's also a national security risk... The story of the guy who crashed gold prices in North Africa In the 1200s, Mansa Munsa, the emperor of the Mali, was rich and a devout Muslim and wanted everyone to know it. So he embarked on a pilgrimage to make it rain all the way to Mecca. He in fact made it rain so hard he increased the overall supply of gold and unintentionally crashed gold prices in Cairo by 20%, wreaking an economic havoc in North Africa that lasted a decade. This story is fun, the larger point that having your inflation be at the mercy of foreign nations is an undesirable attribute in any currency. The US likes to call some countries currency manipulators, but this problem would be serious under a gold standard.
Currencies are based on trust
Since the USD is based on nothing except the US government's word, how can we trust USD not to be mismanaged? The answer is that you can probably trust the fed until political stooges get put in place. Currently, the US's central bank managing the USD, the Federal Reserve (the Fed for friends & family), has administrative authority. The fed can say "no" to dumb requests from the president. People who have no idea what the fed does like to chant "audit the fed", but the fed is already one of the best audited US federal entities. The transcripts of all their meetings are out in the open. As is their balance sheet, what they plan to do and why. If the US should audit anything it's the Department of Defense which operates without any accounting at all. It's easy to see when a central bank will go rogue: it's when political yes-men are elected to the board. For example, before printing themselves into hyperinflation, the Venezuelan president appointed a sociologist who publicly stated “Inflation does not exist in real life” and instead is a made up capitalist lie. Note what happened mere months after his gaining control over the Venezuelan currency This is a key policy. One paper I really like, Sargent (1984) "The end of 4 big inflations" states:
The essential measures that ended hyperinflation in each of Germany,Austria, Hungary, and Poland were, first, the creation of an independentcentral bank that was legally committed to refuse the government'sdemand or additional unsecured credit and, second, a simultaneousalteration in the fiscal policy regime.
In english: *hyperinflation stops when the central bank can say "no" to the government." The US Fed, like other well good central banks, is run by a bunch of nerds. When it prints money, even as aggressively as it has it does so for good reasons. You can see why they started printing on March 15th as the COVID lockdowns started:
The Federal Reserve is prepared to use its full range of tools to support the flow of credit to households and businesses and thereby promote its maximum employment and price stability goals.
In english: We're going to keep printing and lowering rates until jobs are back and inflation is under control. If we print until the sun is blotted out, we'll print in the shade.
BTC is not gold
Gold is a good asset for doomsday-preppers. If society crashes, gold will still have value. How do we know that? Gold has held value throughout multiple historic catastrophes over thousands of years. It had value before and after the Bronze Age Collapse, the Fall of the Western Roman Empire and Gengis Khan being Gengis Khan. Even if you erased humanity and started over, the new humans would still find gold to be economically valuable. When Europeans d̶i̶s̶c̶o̶v̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ c̶o̶n̶q̶u̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ g̶e̶n̶o̶c̶i̶d̶e̶d̶ went to America, they found gold to be an important item over there too. This is about equivalent to finding humans on Alpha-Centauri and learning that they think gold is a good store of value as well. Some people are puzzled at this: we don't even use gold for much! But it has great properties: First, gold is hard to fake and impossible to manufacture. This makes it good to ascertain payment. Second, gold doesnt react to oxygen, so it doesn't rust or tarnish. So it keeps value over time unlike most other materials. Last, gold is pretty. This might sound frivolous, and you may not like it, but jewelry has actual value to humans. It's no coincidence if you look at a list of the wealthiest families, a large number of them trade in luxury goods. To paraphrase Veblen humans have a profound desire to signal social status, for the same reason peacocks have unwieldy tails. Gold is a great way to achieve that. On the other hand, BTC lacks all these attributes. Its value is largely based on common perception of value. There are a few fundamental drivers of demand:
Means of Exchange: if people seriously start using BTC to buy pizzas, then this creates a real demand for the currency to accomplish the short-term exchanges. As we saw previously, I'm not personally sold on this one and it's currently a negligible fraction of overall demand.
Criminal uses: Probably the largest inbuilt advantage of BTC is that it's anonymous, and so a great way to launder money. Hacker gangs use BTC to demand ransom on cryptolocker type attacks because it's a shared way for an honest company to pay and for the criminals to receive money without going to jail.
Apart from these, it's hard to argue that BTC will retain value throughout some sort of economic catastrophe.
BTC is really risky
One last statement from Michael Saylor I take offense to is this:
“We feel pretty confident that Bitcoin is less risky than holding cash, less risky than holding gold,” MicroStrategy CEO said in an interview
"BTC is less risky than holding cash or gold long term" is nonsense. We saw before that BTC is more volatile on face value, and that as long as the Fed isn't run by spider monkeys stacked in a trench coat, the inflation is likely to be within reasonable bounds. But on top of this, BTC has Abrupt downside risks that normal currencies don't. Let's imagine a few:
A critical software vulnerability is found in the BTC codebase, leading to a possible exploitation.
Xi Jinping decides he's had enough of rich people in China hiding their assets from him and bans BTC.
Some form of bank run takes hold for whatever reason. Because BTC wallets are uninsured, unlike regular banks, this compounds into a Black Tuesday style crash.
Blockchain solutions are fundamentally inefficient
Blockchain was a genius idea. I still marvel at the initial white paper which is a great mix of economics and computer science. That said, blockchain solutions make large tradeoffs in design because they assume almost no trust between parties. This leads to intentionally wasteful designs on a massive scale. The main problem is that all transactions have to be validated by expensive computational operations and double checked by multiple parties. This means waste:
BTC was estimated to use as much electricity as Belgium in 2019. It's hard to trace where the BTC mining comes from, but we can assume it has a huge carbon footprint.
A single transactions is necessarily expensive. A single transaction takes as much electricity as 800,000 VISA transactions, or watching 50,000 hours of youtube videos.
There is a large necessary tax on the transaction, since those checking the transaction extract a few BTC from it to be incentivized to do the work of checking it.
Many design problems can be mitigated by various improvements over BTC, but it remains that a simple database always works better than a blockchain if you can trust the parties to the transaction.
I keep hearing "Deflation before massive inflation"
So what can we do about it? Any ideas are welcome. It has a lot of "what if's"... It depends how tax and law play out with it.Historically speaking:
Commodities and things people use every day become expensive,
Luxury goods fall in value.
Inflation wipes out all savings, there is often a rush to spend money while it has value. "Bank runs" and "Bank Bail in's" where the bank will limit your withdraws to prop up the bank temporarily. Sure here the FDIC may insure it, but its nothing if your money is losing value by the hour and it takes months to get it actually into your hands. And many countries have issues with a person holding cash..."You're automatically a drug dealer! >your money is now drug money! >Asset forfeiture" ...I cant count how many times this happens.
People yell " physical gold and silver!" ... yeah, those do hold value well, however the gov does tax that at 26-30% when sold, and will often ban its use in dire times. ....huge grey / pirate area.
Mining stock is the same in the tax range, and nearly anything you "resell", imposed taxes and royalties can be added leaving you high and dry.
Precious metal holdings have been banned in the past, even here in the USA...aka Government confiscation.
Nationalization of Precious metals mines have happened.
Edit: I now realize there are many ways stocks can play out.
Real Estate will raise in value hugely, However so will the taxes, longer contracts at fixed rates benefits the lendee.
Things that you use, if you can stock or invest in it.
-I stock bulk diesel for my cars while following historical averages to buy cheap.
-Rotating food stock
-Extra maintenance items, including the big things like a roof on your home if its coming time. Not joking I have a spare water heater and backup heating options, along with minor parts and filters to fix them. Same with cars and engines, (spark plugs, filters (all different filters), oil, cheap sensors that usually go bad and are only 4-10$ each, 1-2 extra alternator per vehicle, belts, mowing belts, bearings, grease, ... and I've literally had to use everything on that list and reorder.)
Things that directly pay you back or are insurance. Saving money is making money.
-Security, Locks, Alarms, Cameras, people steal.
A deep freezer for instance can stock food you use and buy on sale.
Solar energy and solar heating supplements energy you use anyways
Rainwater can be collected and used rather than buying from a source.
A cooking gadget vs eating out.
Tools and learning to fix things vs hire.
House insulation.-Better insulative windows, and sealing.
Bidet on toilet (lol serious though...)
Your education can be a huge one, not just for prepping but also in your work.
Things that prevent rot, fire, flood / humidity, or failure. Humidity is a silent killer to many preps. (water sump pumps, dehumidifiers, leak prevention, fire extinguishers / sprinklers, )
Things that last and can be resold on the street if need be. This list can be huge, you have to balance it with liquidity, what you use but can also sell before it goes bad / fails.
Honestly and unpopularly, Things that can avoid tax when the price inflates out of control and you wish to sell. The numbers can be so distorted in both price and taxing of income. Eggs for instance, in many countries from Weimar Republic of Germany to Venezuela, increased 15,000%+, So that $15,000 egg / $150,000 dozen that you sold from your chickens gets taxed in the highest tax bracket? (which can go into the 90% range if rules aren't changed for the massive inflation) Taxes usually try raising during this and many companies flee the country, add robots / machines, or downsize as the result of more taxes making work and jobs even more of an issue. .. honestly history shows the whole thing being a cluster-duck in so many ways. Alternative currencies pop up, actual trades happen and go unreported, crime even shifts when things get too bad, again with Venezuela, I read that criminals were moving to other countries because the people were too poor to even make anything robbing! You can also have a business where you write off so many things that you would use anyways. The numbers get... err... odd, play the game.
It is usually around 10 years of chaos before things start "stabilizing." and even then, so much damage has occured.
This is a serious thing that has happened to once prosperous people / civilizations in the past...don't think you're exempt, especially when the numbers are at historical limits in many countries. Invest in yourself and what you use regularly.
Blockchain technologies could boost UK economy by £57 billion by 2030 — PwC
Link to InformationAge link:https://www.information-age.com/blockchain-technologies-a-boost-57-billion-uk-economy-by-2030-123492102/ Blockchain technologies could boost the UK economy by £57 billion over the next decade and the global economy could see a $1.7 trillion boost Analysis by PwC has found that blockchain technologies could have the potential to boost the UK economy or GDP by £57 billion over the next decade. PwC economists have assessed how the technology is currently being used and gauged its potential to create value across every industry, from healthcare, government and public services to manufacturing, finance, logistics and retail. Steve Davies, global blockchain leader at PwC, said: “Blockchain has long been associated with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, but it has much more to offer, particularly in how public and private organisations secure, share and use data. “As organisations grapple with the impact of Covid-19, we have seen an acceleration in many disruptive trends. Our analysis shows the potential for Blockchain to support UK organisations in how they rebuild and reconfigure their operations, underpinned by improvements in trust, transparency and efficiency.” The report has identified four key application areas of blockchain technologies and assessed their potential to generate value using economic analysis and industry research. The analysis suggests a tipping point in 2025 as blockchain technologies are expected to be adopted at scale across the global economy.
1. Tracking and tracing products
Tracking and tracing products and services — or provenance — emerged as a new priority for many companies’ supply chains during the pandemic and offers the largest economic potential. It is forecast to boost the UK economy by £30 billion by 2030. Blockchain’s application can be broad ranging from heavy industries, such as mining, through to fashion labels, helping respond to the rise in public and investor scrutiny around sustainable and ethical sourcing.
2. Payments and financial services
Payments and financial services, including use of digital currencies, or supporting financial inclusion through cross border and remittance payments, £13 billion boost by 2030.
3. Identity management
Identity management, including personal IDs, professional credentials and certificates to help curb fraud and identity theft, £8 billion boost by 2030.
4. Contracts and dispute resolution
Application of blockchain in contracts and dispute resolution £3 billion boost by 2030, and customer engagement £1.8 billion boost by 2030, including blockchain’s use in loyalty programmes further extends its potential into a much wider range of public and private industry sectors. According to the PwC, the success of this blockchain revolution will depend on a supportive policy environment, a business ecosystem that is ready to exploit the new opportunities that technology opens up, and adoption across industry sectors.
The biggest beneficiaries from blockchain technologies could be public administration, education and healthcare sectors in the UK. PwC economists expect these sectors to benefit to the tune of £22 billion by 2030, by capitalising on the efficiencies blockchain will bring to the world of identity and credentials. Meanwhile, there will be broader benefits for the business services £15 billion, wholesale and retail £13 billion, and communications and media £5.3 billion sectors by 2030. They will benefit from using blockchain to engage consumers and meet demand for provenance and traceability.
Asia on the rise thanks to blockchain
Blockchain is forecast to boost the global economy by $1.7 trillion by 2030, and, across all continents, Asia will see most economic benefit. In terms of individual countries, blockchain could have the highest potential net benefit in China ($440 billion by 2030) and the USA ($407 billion by 2030). Five other countries — Germany, Japan, UK, India, and France — are estimated to benefit by more than $50 billion by 2030. Davies added: “One of the biggest mistakes organisations can make with implementing emerging technologies is to leave it in the realm of the enthusiast in the team. It needs c-suite support to identify the strategic opportunity and value, and to facilitate the right level of collaboration within an industry. Establishing proof of concept uses which can be scaled up if successful will enable businesses to identify the potential usages of Blockchain, while building confidence and trust in its ability to deliver.”
Energy overhead warning
The report warns that if blockchain’s economic impact potential is to be realised, its energy overhead must be managed. Growing business and government action on climate change, including commitments to Net Zero transformation, will mean that organisations need to consider new models for consolidating and sharing infrastructure resources, to reduce reliance on traditional data centres, and their overall technology-related energy consumption.
Syscoin Platform’s Great Reddit Scaling Bake-off Proposal
https://preview.redd.it/rqt2dldyg8e51.jpg?width=1044&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=777ae9d4fbbb54c3540682b72700fc4ba3de0a44 We are excited to participate and present Syscoin Platform's ideal characteristics and capabilities towards a well-rounded Reddit Community Points solution! Our scaling solution for Reddit Community Points involves 2-way peg interoperability with Ethereum. This will provide a scalable token layer built specifically for speed and high volumes of simple value transfers at a very low cost, while providing sovereign ownership and onchain finality. Token transfers scale by taking advantage of a globally sorting mempool that provides for probabilistically secure assumptions of “as good as settled”. The opportunity here for token receivers is to have an app-layer interactivity on the speed/security tradeoff (99.9999% assurance within 10 seconds). We call this Z-DAG, and it achieves high-throughput across a mesh network topology presently composed of about 2,000 geographically dispersed full-nodes. Similar to Bitcoin, however, these nodes are incentivized to run full-nodes for the benefit of network security, through a bonded validator scheme. These nodes do not participate in the consensus of transactions or block validation any differently than other nodes and therefore do not degrade the security model of Bitcoin’s validate first then trust, across every node. Each token transfer settles on-chain. The protocol follows Bitcoin core policies so it has adequate code coverage and protocol hardening to be qualified as production quality software. It shares a significant portion of Bitcoin’s own hashpower through merged-mining. This platform as a whole can serve token microtransactions, larger settlements, and store-of-value in an ideal fashion, providing probabilistic scalability whilst remaining decentralized according to Bitcoin design. It is accessible to ERC-20 via a permissionless and trust-minimized bridge that works in both directions. The bridge and token platform are currently available on the Syscoin mainnet. This has been gaining recent attention for use by loyalty point programs and stablecoins such as Binance USD.
Syscoin Foundation identified a few paths for Reddit to leverage this infrastructure, each with trade-offs. The first provides the most cost-savings and scaling benefits at some sacrifice of token autonomy. The second offers more preservation of autonomy with a more narrow scope of cost savings than the first option, but savings even so. The third introduces more complexity than the previous two yet provides the most overall benefits. We consider the third as most viable as it enables Reddit to benefit even while retaining existing smart contract functionality. We will focus on the third option, and include the first two for good measure.
Distribution, burns and user-to-user transfers of Reddit Points are entirely carried out on the Syscoin network. This full-on approach to utilizing the Syscoin network provides the most scalability and transaction cost benefits of these scenarios. The tradeoff here is distribution and subscription handling likely migrating away from smart contracts into the application layer.
The Reddit Community Points ecosystem can continue to use existing smart contracts as they are used today on the Ethereum mainchain. Users migrate a portion of their tokens to Syscoin, the scaling network, to gain much lower fees, scalability, and a proven base layer, without sacrificing sovereign ownership. They would use Syscoin for user-to-user transfers. Tips redeemable in ten seconds or less, a high-throughput relay network, and onchain settlement at a block target of 60 seconds.
Integration between Matic Network and Syscoin Platform - similar to Syscoin’s current integration with Ethereum - will provide Reddit Community Points with EVM scalability (including the Memberships ERC777 operator) on the Matic side, and performant simple value transfers, robust decentralized security, and sovereign store-of-value on the Syscoin side. It’s “the best of both worlds”. The trade-off is more complex interoperability.
Syscoin + Matic Integration
Matic and Blockchain Foundry Inc, the public company formed by the founders of Syscoin, recently entered a partnership for joint research and business development initiatives. This is ideal for all parties as Matic Network and Syscoin Platform provide complementary utility. Syscoin offers characteristics for sovereign ownership and security based on Bitcoin’s time-tested model, and shares a significant portion of Bitcoin’s own hashpower. Syscoin’s focus is on secure and scalable simple value transfers, trust-minimized interoperability, and opt-in regulatory compliance for tokenized assets rather than scalability for smart contract execution. On the other hand, Matic Network can provide scalable EVM for smart contract execution. Reddit Community Points can benefit from both. Syscoin + Matic integration is actively being explored by both teams, as it is helpful to Reddit, Ethereum, and the industry as a whole.
Total cost for these 100k transactions: $0.63 USD See the live fee comparison for savings estimation between transactions on Ethereum and Syscoin. Below is a snapshot at time of writing: ETH price: $318.55 ETH gas price: 55.00 Gwei ($0.37) Syscoin price: $0.11 Snapshot of live fee comparison chart Z-DAG provides a more efficient fee-market. A typical Z-DAG transaction costs 0.0000582 SYS. Tokens can be safely redeemed/re-spent within seconds or allowed to settle on-chain beforehand. The costs should remain about this low for microtransactions. Syscoin will achieve further reduction of fees and even greater scalability with offchain payment channels for assets, with Z-DAG as a resilience fallback. New payment channel technology is one of the topics under research by the Syscoin development team with our academic partners at TU Delft. In line with the calculation in the Lightning Networks white paper, payment channels using assets with Syscoin Core will bring theoretical capacity for each person on Earth (7.8 billion) to have five on-chain transactions per year, per person, without requiring anyone to enter a fee market (aka “wait for a block”). This exceeds the minimum LN expectation of two transactions per person, per year; one to exist on-chain and one to settle aggregated value.
Tools to simplify using Syscoin Bridge as a service with dapps and wallets will be released some time after implementation of Syscoin Core 4.2. These will be based upon the same processes which are automated in the current live Sysethereum Dapp that is functioning with the Syscoin mainnet.
The Syscoin Ethereum Bridge is secured by Agent nodes participating in a decentralized and incentivized model that involves roles of Superblock challengers and submitters. This model is open to participation. The benefits here are trust-minimization, permissionless-ness, and potentially less legal/regulatory red-tape than interop mechanisms that involve liquidity providers and/or trading mechanisms. The trade-off is that due to the decentralized nature there are cross-chain settlement times of one hour to cross from Ethereum to Syscoin, and three hours to cross from Syscoin to Ethereum. We are exploring ways to reduce this time while maintaining decentralization via zkp. Even so, an “instant bridge” experience could be provided by means of a third-party liquidity mechanism. That option exists but is not required for bridge functionality today. Typically bridges are used with batch value, not with high frequencies of smaller values, and generally it is advantageous to keep some value on both chains for maximum availability of utility. Even so, the cross-chain settlement time is good to mention here.
Ethereum -> Syscoin: Matic or Ethereum transaction fee for bridge contract interaction, negligible Syscoin transaction fee for minting tokens Syscoin -> Ethereum: Negligible Syscoin transaction fee for burning tokens, 0.01% transaction fee paid to Bridge Agent in the form of the ERC-20, Matic or Ethereum transaction fee for contract interaction.
Zero-Confirmation Directed Acyclic Graph is an instant settlement protocol that is used as a complementary system to proof-of-work (PoW) in the confirmation of Syscoin service transactions. In essence, a Z-DAG is simply a directed acyclic graph (DAG) where validating nodes verify the sequential ordering of transactions that are received in their memory pools. Z-DAG is used by the validating nodes across the network to ensure that there is absolute consensus on the ordering of transactions and no balances are overflowed (no double-spends).
Unique fee-market that is more efficient for microtransaction redemption and settlement
Uses decentralized means to enable tokens with value transfer scalability that is comparable or exceeds that of credit card networks
Provides high throughput and secure fulfillment even if blocks are full
Probabilistic and interactive
99.9999% security assurance within 10 seconds
Can serve payment channels as a resilience fallback that is faster and lower-cost than falling-back directly to a blockchain
Each Z-DAG transaction also settles onchain through Syscoin Core at 60-second block target using SHA-256 Proof of Work consensus
Z-DAG enables the ideal speed/security tradeoff to be determined per use-case in the application layer. It minimizes the sacrifice required to accept and redeem fast transfers/payments while providing more-than-ample security for microtransactions. This is supported on the premise that a Reddit user receiving points does need security yet generally doesn’t want nor need to wait for the same level of security as a nation-state settling an international trade debt. In any case, each Z-DAG transaction settles onchain at a block target of 60 seconds.
Syscoin 3.0 White Paper (4.0 white paper is pending. For improved scalability and less blockchain bloat, some features of v3 no longer exist in current v4: Specifically Marketplace Offers, Aliases, Escrow, Certificates, Pruning, Encrypted Messaging)
16MB block bandwidth per minute assuming segwit witness carrying transactions, and transactions ~200 bytes on average
SHA256 merge mined with Bitcoin
UTXO asset layer, with base Syscoin layer sharing identical security policies as Bitcoin Core
Z-DAG on asset layer, bridge to Ethereum on asset layer
On-chain scaling with prospect of enabling enterprise grade reliable trustless payment processing with on/offchain hybrid solution
Focus only on Simple Value Transfers. MVP of blockchain consensus footprint is balances and ownership of them. Everything else can reduce data availability in exchange for scale (Ethereum 2.0 model). We leave that to other designs, we focus on transfers.
Future integrations of MAST/Taproot to get more complex value transfers without trading off trustlessness or decentralization.
Zero-knowledge Proofs are a cryptographic new frontier. We are dabbling here to generalize the concept of bridging and also verify the state of a chain efficiently. We also apply it in our Digital Identity projects at Blockchain Foundry (a publicly traded company which develops Syscoin softwares for clients). We are also looking to integrate privacy preserving payment channels for off-chain payments through zkSNARK hub & spoke design which does not suffer from the HTLC attack vectors evident on LN. Much of the issues plaguing Lightning Network can be resolved using a zkSNARK design whilst also providing the ability to do a multi-asset payment channel system. Currently we found a showstopper attack (American Call Option) on LN if we were to use multiple-assets. This would not exist in a system such as this.
Web3 and mobile wallets are under active development by Blockchain Foundry Inc as WebAssembly applications and expected for release not long after mainnet deployment of Syscoin Core 4.2. Both of these will be multi-coin wallets that support Syscoin, SPTs, Ethereum, and ERC-20 tokens. The Web3 wallet will provide functionality similar to Metamask. Syscoin Platform and tokens are already integrated with Blockbook. Custom hardware wallet support currently exists via ElectrumSys. First-class HW wallet integration through apps such as Ledger Live will exist after 4.2. Current supported wallets Syscoin Spark Desktop Syscoin-Qt
News Heading into Thursday July 23rd 2020 NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT YOLO THE VARIOUS TICKERS WITHOUT DOING RESEARCH. THE TIME STAMPS ON THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES MAY BE LATER THAN OTHERS ON THE WEB. THE CREATOR OF THIS THREAD COMPILED THE FOLLOWING IN A QUICK MANNER AND DOES NOT ATTEST TO THE VERACITY OF THE INFORMATION BELOW. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR VETTING YOUR OWN SOURCES AND DOING YOUR OWN DD.
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Montage Resources Divesting Wellhead Gathering Infrastructure for $25 Million, Announces Preliminary Second Quarter 2020 Production Performance, Lowers Full Year 2020 Capital Spending Guidance. Montage Resources trims full-year capex forecast (MR)
Urgent Advice Needed - Issues Refunding Money to a Client, Possible Money Laundering?
Hey everyone, so buckle up, this is a story. I'm a freelance translator with my name and contact info out on several sites to connect translators to clients. So, when I got an email from my customer, L, I didn't think anything of it when she asked me to translate a research paper from German to English. Prior to even opening the document she sent me, I told her I wanted a contract signed - nothing major, just run of the mill stuff. You know, to make sure both of us were protected. It entailed a 50% deposit for me (this paper was 46 pages and I have a policy that past X amount of words, I need a deposit for any time spent on a project. It's non-refundable, so I get paid even if the project gets canceled). She refused both of those things. Like most people, I'm in a pretty tough spot right now. I knew I shouldn't have even continued speaking with her, but with my fee agreed upon, I was looking at almost $10,000 for the entire projected when all three phases were complete. After refusing to sign a contract and agree to a deposit, she told me, and this is a direct quote "the money will be our contract". I was willing to operate on good faith, so I told her I'd get to work when the payment processed. The amount we agreed on for Phase One was 1150.00, but she sent me - via her "sponsor", some random account in Arizona, even though she claims to be overseas - 7,176.00. There was no warning, no notice telling me that they were sending me more than we agreed, or that the payment would be coming from Arizona. I contacted L and asked for clarification. She told me it was for payment for the next 2 phases due to start in the fall. I accepted that and kept working. I finished the project 2 weeks before it was due and sent her the final document. Two days later, she sends at email telling me that the final 2 phases have been postponed and she needs the extra 6 grand or so back, asap. Well, things happen, whatever. So I asked her how she wanted it returned to her. This is where shit gets weird. First, she tells me she wants it done via Zelle, which is connected directly to my bank. She sends me a contact and asks for all of the money to be sent at once. I tell her that since it's a new recipient, I can only send $500 and there's monthly limits on my account as to how much I can send in a 30 day period. Now, her name is Lara, that's the only person I've been talking to directly. But the name on the Zelle account was Caldon H. I thought that was the name of her sponsor. She proceeds to ignore my telling her about sending limits and demands a refund. I explain to her again, with screenshots from my banking app backing me up, that I'm limited by sending limits. I tell her that I'll repay her in $500 installments until all the surplus funds are returned. Not fast enough. She then demands I use Cashapp. Oiy. This was a mess. I did reading and research on the app, since I'd never heard of it before and was alarmed to say the least. But she was sending text after text, email after email demanding a status update. She sends me another account to transfer the money to: Linda. So, so far we have Lara, Caldon, Linda. Keep count of those names. I ask who Linda is, no answer, just more demands. Cashapp, true to fashion, fails. I'm unable to add so much as a dollar to my account to send "Linda" and while I wrestle with this and try and find support to contact - HAH - I get payment requests via Cashapp and yet more emails and texts from Lara. I explain to Lara, once again with screenshots showing that the app isn't working despite my linking both my debit card and checking account to it. She ignores that. Linda sends more payment requests. I tell her, hey this isn't working. What about Venmo? Paypal? She ignores that and demands wire transfer. She sends account info for someone named Mark. I ask who Mark is, no response. I attempt to send the wire transfer via my banking website and the bank legit tells me that that account does not accept wire transfers. What... So, more screenshots and then I ask her to double check account and routing numbers. She gets back to me with "the information is correct. Be patient when entering numbers." As if it's my fault. So I try it again and it fails, again. After that I contact my bank directly and speak with their support line. We do the whole song and dance and they tell me that everything is kosher on my end, but the issue lies with the information I was given, confirming my suspicions. I send her another email explaining everything, that I'd spoken directly with bank support. She tells me, once again, that the fault is mine and to just go to the post office and get money orders in $1000.00 amounts, leaving the recipient blank... Yeah you read that right. Leave it blank. Overnight it via Fedex to some guy named James, in Georgia. Arizona, Georgia, Germany. James, Caldon, Linda, Matthew, Lara. I tell her point blank, I can't go to the post office. I'm in Idaho and COVID cases are skyrocketing. I'm high risk, so is my partner and one of my two roommates. Like, die for sure, high risk. I try a wire transfer via Western Union instead. At this point, this has been going on for a week. I've been getting 4am texts and 6am phone calls for a week. She's on me for about 10-12 hours a day. I'm a full-time student on top of this, with one more semester of undergrad. But classes have taken a back seat so I can deal with this. Western Union holds the transfer under review and tells me that it will take 6 business days to show up in James' account. I tell Lara and assume that we're on the final leg of this mess. Surprise, WU cancels the wire transfer. I call support and they tell me it's issues with the account I'm sending money to. I tell Lara and she starts getting snappy. We try wire transfers for the last time, this time to someone named Matthew Green, different Matthew than the first, in Dallas. It fails. I spend $60 trying to send them. My bank calls ME and says they're concerned about fraud. I tell them I'm trying to send money and confirm info I was given. Once again, everything is fine with me, but it's issues with the account Lara wants me to send money to. I tell her and once again she changes her track. She demands, again, money orders, same rules as last time and I tell her no, again and explain why. She ignores that and tells me to do Cashapp, again. We spend an entire day with me telling that I'm not comfortable with Cashapp. It's not dependabe, it doesn't work. There's no support for me to contact if things go wrong - which of course it will - and she insists. She ignores my concerns and insists. I tell her, fine, but I want a written and signed statement from you that you are demanding this and that I'm not responsible if things get messed up and you never get the money. She signs a statement and the I try again. Same issues. I tell that, in another long email. By this point, it's been 2 weeks. I'm stressed, drained and tired of her weird behavior. I tell her that I've been understanding and patient with her. I've tried to help her fix her mistake of sending too much money too soon. That we never agreed on that much money and reminding her that SHE refused to sign a contact that would have protected us both. I tell her, Paypal or Venmo. No cashapp, no wire transfers (which I'm out $60 trying to send fyi). Paypal or venmo. If she doesn't have an account, find someone that does. She sends me a Paypal account url for someone named Micheal. A new name. I ask who Micheal is, who are these people? Why are they all over the US? She ignores that, demands the money. I try to send payments, but I can't send more than $5 to MIcheal at a time. I tell Lara and she blames me. Says I'm not doing it right. I'm supposed to send payments in multiple transactions of varying amounts, small to large. "No Tracking info", whatever that means. I tell her, look, I can't send you anything. Check your account info, I'm tired of this BS. She sends the same info again, nothing about her contacting support for once. I try again. It fails, same issues. I contact support myself and they tell me - - you guessed it, my account is solid. Hers is not. She is why the money isn't going through. I tell her that and suggest Venmo. At this point, I can't think of anything else and I'm planning on contacting my bank to ask advice, but my last request for Venmo was made at 11:30pm MST. I'd been dealing with this since 8am MST. I was tired, done. I sent that email and screencaps and turned my phone off for the night. I get up this morning, make my coffee and check my work email. I get an email form Lara saying that I'm the reason the payments are failing "once again" and "following my instructions, now. Send it via Venmo, no tracking info. Do it now." I decide to be a sport one last time. I try Venmo. It fails. I'm writing this post to ask for what other steps, legally, I need to take to protect myself. Once again, she didn't sign a contract. I've saved all emails and texts, and all of them show they we agreed on 1150.00 as payment for this job. They show that I've tried to return the money to her over the course of 2 weeks. She refuses to let me speak to Coldon, Linda, Matthew Green, Matthew M, James (who she claims died yesterday), or Micheal Brown. She answers none of my questions. She sends aggressive emails and so many texts that I had to block her number on my phone. I'm completely at a loss. The longer this goes on, the less legit it seems and I need some advice. I plan to speak to my bank today and ask if they can refund the money to the account that paid me. I can't get info on that account from Lara, no routing or account numbers. So my hopes are slim. I have no idea if Lara has any legal recourse or ground to stand on, since she refused to sign a contract and all attempts to return the money to her have failed. As I said, I've saved all emails and texts showing that I tried to work with her. Any ideas? Anything would help. I want this to be over and done with. UPDATE: I contacted the fraud department at my bank, explained everything and they said that we see that you've attempted to return the money multiple times and none of it has worked. They said I have 2 more options: "If they really want that money, offer to send a personal check. We'll start a research claim in the meantime and that will take up to 10 business days to either be resolved, or you will be contacted by a member of the Research Claims department." I asked what my options are if they refuse a personal check and the banker said "Then you've done everything you can. Wait for the research claim to be resolved or to be contacted. You've done everything you can up to this point and we can see that clearly." Lara has refused a personal check, demanding a cashier's check instead. I told her "My bank advised me to only send personal checks, not cashier's check. There must be a name and a legit address. I will not leave it blank." She asked me to send it via bitcoin. My reply: No. I have filed a research claim with the fraud department of my bank to get to the bottom of this. They will resolve it as they see fit. That will be my last communication with her.
Re-Launching The Borderless, Unkillable Crypto-Fiat Gateway, DAIHard. Enter or Exit Crypto via Any Fiat and Any Payment Method, Anywhere in the World, Without KYC. All you need is a little Dai.
Some of you might recall recall our initial facepalm failed launch about 3 months ago (post-mortem here). Well, we're back--this time with an audit and some new features. This version of DAIHard should should die a little harder this time ;)
After shopping around a bit in the auditor space, we decided to go with Adam Dossa--the very same Adam Dossa that actually found our launch vulnerability and responsibly disclosed it to us! You can see his report here. By the way, Adam has been a gem: friendly, professional, timely, and flexible. Definitely keep him in mind if you need an audit!
Following is an updated version of our original launch post. If you've already read that, you might want to skip to the heading What's New in v0.9.2. Or you can go straight to the app or go to our info site for more info! Here is a legitimate concern most of us are familiar with:
To enter or exit the crypto economy, we rely on centralized exchanges such as Coinbase, which track their users, impose limits, and are tightly coupled to their jurisdiction and its banking system. And for all we know, any day now regulations could start tightening these controls further (*we've actually seen some of this play out in the two months since our first launch post). In light of this, can we say in any meaningful sense that crypto is anonymous, limtiless, borderless, immune to regulation, and (most importantly) unstoppable?
To really address this concern, we need a completely decentralized gateway between fiat and crypto: something that extends the benefits of crypto to the very act of moving between the old and new economies. But the design of such a platform is far from obvious. (Localethereum comes close, but as discussed under Unkillable, it doesn't quite cut it. And Bisq is decentralized, but has significant UX hurdles.) We believe we've found a solution. We are proud to present:
DAIHard v0.9.2 - Almost Definitely Not Broken This Time
If you want to jump right in, we recommend first watching our latest usage demo (7 min), then diving in and giving it a shot with a small amount of Dai. (Try it on Kovan first if mainnet is too scary!) DAIHard extends many of the promises of crypto (borderless, anonymous, limitless, unstoppable) into the exchange mechanism itself, allowing anyone, anywhere to bypass centralized exchanges and the control they impose. More concretely, DAIHard is a platform, run on smart contracts, for forming one-off crypto/fiat exchanges with other users, in which:
The method of fiat transfer is open-ended, but agreed upon up-front (for example: bank transfer, cash handoff, transfer of online credit, cash drop...).
You and the counterparty can communicate via end-to-end encrypted chat to coordinate the fiat transfer (i.e. communicate bank account number or reveal a cash drop location).
Crucially, in the last phase, the Seller can choose to burn the Dai instead of releasing it to the Buyer (but he can't get it back). This credible threat of burn is what makes the platform reliable in the absence of a centralized group of arbitrators or moderators. For more on this see the DAIHard Game Theory medium article (10 min read).
You Need either xDai, or both Dai and Ether, to Use The Tool (At Least For Now)
If you want to buy Dai on DAIHard, you must already have Dai--1/3 of the amount you want to purchase--to put up as a burnable deposit. For example, if you only have 10 Dai now, you can only commit to buying 30 Dai, and must complete that trade before using the newly bought Dai to open up a bigger offer (for up to 120 Dai that time). Most tragically of course, this means that if you don't already have some crypto, you can't use this tool to get crypto--this is why we avoid calling DAIHard an onramp specifically. This comes from the fact that both parties must have "skin in the game" for the game theory to work, and a smart contract can only threaten to burn crypto. We have some ideas on how to address this drawback in the not-too-distant future, which we'll write about soon. For now it's time to launch this thing and get some users!
Dangerous and Scary To Use
In rare cases, a user may have to burn Dai and face a loss on the entire trade amount. The necessity of this ever-present risk is explained in detail in DAIHard Game Theory. However, a cautious, rational user can gather information (possibly via our [subreddit](daihard)!) about how people have used the tool, successfully and unsuccessfully. They can then create a buy or sell offer with wisely chosen settings based on what has worked for others. Other cautious, rational users can find this offer and commit to the trade if they dare. We expect the vast majority of committed trades should involve rational, cautious users, and should therefore resolve happily. Still, inevitably there will be sloppy trades that result in burns. As the tool is used, we'll be keeping a close eye on the frequency of burns and keeping you guys updated (perhaps via a "System Status" utility similar to the one found on MakerDao's explorer). In the end, though, we expect the risk in using DAIHard to be comparable to the risk of using any exchange or DNM: ever-present but low enough for the platform to be useful as whole. So, while DAIHard will never shut down and can't perform an exit scam, the bad news is it's not risk-free. Users will have to approach DAIhard with the same level of caution they would with any new exchange (albeit for different reasons and with a different approach). So what's the good news?
The Good News
While these drawbacks are significant, they enable some remarkable features that no other crypto/fiat exchange mechanism can boast.
(Correction: Bisq seems to have a decentralized arbitration system) We are aware of no other crypto/fiat exchange platform that is truly unkillable. Bisq and localethereum comes close, but both localethereum relies on centralized processes of arbitration. This means their fraud-and-scam-prevention system can be sued, jailed, or otherwise harrassed--and if that part stops working, it doesn't matter how decentralized the rest of the system was. DAIHard, in contrast, gives the users the power to police and punish each other, via the aforementioned credible threat of burn. This is simple game theory, and the rules of this game are etched permanently into the DAIHard Factory and Trade contract code: impervious to litigation, regulation, and political pressure. This Factory contract has no owner and no suicide or pause code. It cannot be stopped by us or anyone else. Like Toastycoin, this thing was immortal the moment it was deployed (even more immortal than RadarRelay, for example, which does rely on an ownership role). Both DAIHard and Toastycoin (and probably whatever we build next) will last for as long as a single Ethereum node continues mining, and it will remain easy to use as long as someone can find the HTML/JS front-end and a web3 wallet. (The HTML/JS front-end (built in Elm, by the way, with the lovely elm-ethereum!) is currently hosted on Github pages, which is centralized--but even if Github takes down the page and deletes the code, it's a minor step to get the page hosted on IPFS, something that is on our near-term roadmap in any case)
No KYC, No Limits
It's smart contracts all the way down, so DAIHard never asks any nosy questions--if you have Metamask or some other web3 wallet installed and set up, with some ETH and Dai (or just xDai), you can immediately open or commit to a trade. You don't even need a username! (In fact, we're so inclusive, even machines are allowed--no CAPTCHA here!) You're limited only by the collateral you put up, so if you have 10,000 Dai you could open up a buy offer for 30,000 Dai (or a sell offer for 10,000 Dai) right now. We do reccommend trying the tool out first with a small amount of Dai... But we're not your mom! Do what you want!
It simply doesn't matter where you are, because DAIHard doesn't need to interface with any particular jurisdiction or payment system to work. DIAHard works by incentivizing people (or robots?) to navigate the particular real-world hurdles of bank transfers, cash drops, or other fiat transfer methods. These incentives work whether you're in America, Zimbabwe, or the Atlantic; they work whether the fiat is USD, EUR, ZAR, seashells, or Rai Stones; and they work whether your counterparty is a human, an organization, a script, or a particularly intelligent dog with Internet access.
Any Fiat Type, and Highly Customizeable
Here are some examples of the types of trades you might create or find on DAIHard.
Sell 5 xDai for $5 USD, sent via TransferWise.
Sell 200 Dai for $180 USD, granted they bring the cash to you by tomorrow afternoon in Central Park, NYC.
Buy 20 Dai with a $30 gift card for Amazon AWS that you were never going to use.
Sell 20 Dai in exchange for a $20 Steam game.
While in Vietnam, sell 200 Dai to someone for €180 anytime in the next two weeks, provided they deposit it into your German bank account.
While in Germany, sell 20 Dai to someone in exchange for them refilling your pre-paid Vietnamese phone plan.
Buy 500 Dai for $550 via PayPal, but wait 3 weeks for before the Dai is released (so the paypal transaction can't be reversed).
As the DAIHard community grows, users will doubtless find much more creative ways to use the system, and we will discover together which types of trades are reliable and which are more risky. Because users can set their own prices and phase timeout settings, we expect the risky trades to charge a premium or have longer time windows, while the reliable ones rapidly multiply at close to a 1:1 price ratio, with quick turnaround times.
Extensible (with profit) by Third Parties
Not satisfied with our interface? Do you have some nifty idea for how to display and organize user reputation? Or maybe some idea for how trades could be chained togeher? Maybe you'd like to design a notification system for DAIHard? Maybe you just want a different color scheme! Well, you won't need our permission to do any of this. Any tool that watches the same Factory contract will share the pool of trades, regardless of which tool actually creates the trade. This means we don't even have to fight over network effects! And if you look closely at our fee structure, you might notice that only half of the 1% DAIHard fee is "hardcoded" into the Factory contract. The other half is set and charged by our interface. What does this mean for you? If you go out and make a better interface, you can essentially replace half of our 1% fee with your own fee--it's up to you whether it's smaller or larger than the replaced 0.5%. The reason for this is to explicitly welcome other developers to extend what we've built. For as long as our team is the only one improving the platform, a threat to us is a threat to future upgrades. But if others begin extending the DAIHard platform too, then DAIHard will not only be unstoppable as it is today, but also grow unstoppably.
(For Real This Time) This Is a Big Fucking Deal
DAIHard is a turning point in crypto and a breakthrough in decentralized markets, and is an irreversible augmentation of the Ethereum platform. What we've built is a gateway to crypto completely devoid of centralized components--rendering entry and exit to crypto unkillable, flexible, borderless, and private. Centralized exchanges, and the control they impose, can now be bypassed by anyone with Dai and a web3 wallet.
What's New in v0.9.2
There have been many changes made since our first failed launch, but there are two rather important ones: xDai support and reputation tools.
DAIHard is now operational on xDai, a sidechain whose native token (xDai) is pegged to the Dai (and therefore $1). Add the xDai network to your Metamask (or just install Nifty Wallet), then switch to the xDai network in your wallet, to try it out. xDai has some pretty incredible benefits, compared to vanilla Ethereum:
Price: On xDai, a single DAIHard trade costs on the order of $0.01 to run start-to-finish, rather than the accumulated $2.40 (with the best-case-scenario 1gwei gas price) you'll spend on vanilla Ethereum.
Speed: Trade actions mine much faster, and don't require ERC20 'approve' transactions, making the whole process way snappier.
Gas priced in xDai: the main benefit here is that you only need one token (xDai) rather than two (Dai and Eth). Also, it's just nice having the gas cost expressed in (essentially) USD!
We now have a few reputation tools. First, on any open trade, there is a widget showing the number of releases, aborts, and burns the given address has been involved in as that role (buyer or seller). Clicking on this expands the widget to show more detailed information, and also provides a link to a page that lists each trade this user has been or is involved in.
We have tons of ideas on how to improve the product--too many, in fact, to commit to any before we get a good chunk of user feedback. Here are some of our favorite ideas:
A "QuickTrade" page, offering Trade Templates as an alternative to the current Create Offer page.
Big Exciting Features
Bootstrapping people with no DAI via other mechanisms and community outreach.
Partial commits to trades. eg. Place a 10,000 DAI trade and allow it to be picked up in blocks larger than 500 DAI at a time.
More chains, get this thing working on Bitcoin via Rootstock, on Ethereum Classic and Binance Chain.
A lot of the above features will be prioritized more clearly as we get user feedback, and we will be posting fairly frequent updates and articles on our info site. If you don't want to miss anything, note the subscribe widget and sign up!
Why we won't have a long term bear market, and how to systematically pick your future investments in crypto
With so much uncertainty right now it would be a good time to take some time to go over what happened recently and how to invest moving foward. We've seen a peak bubble at around 850 billion total market cap in the first week of January, consolidated down to $750 billion and have now just experienced a 40% correction.
What's happening now and how bad will it get?
First of all you should realize that there is a January Dip that happens every year, when we see a roughly 20-30% decline around mid January. This year its been much more severe though for several additional factors that have compounded on top. Different theories exist on why this happens (its actually the mirror opposite of the "January Effect" that happens in the US stock market), but the two major theories are: 1) Asian markets pull into fiat because of Asian New Year spending needs 2) People in the US sell in January to defer their capital gains tax liability an extra year While this cyclic event has lead to a healthy correction in the last few years, this year we got these new factors making more fear as well:
We had a new breed of speculators come in during the NovembeDecember timeframe after media made cryptocurrency mainstream following the Bitcoin 10K landmark. While cryptocurrency markets have always had too much hype, the latest rise wasn't just over-enthusiasm in fundamentally sound cryptocurrencies like Monero and Ethereum, but mass inflows of fiat into vaporware and complete nonsense without any use case. Many people came in to essentially gamble on symbols on an exchange, and are thus short term oriented and quick to sell on any slight downturn, which such further adds to selling pressure.
So in essence we got a storm of scary news along with the usual cyclic downturn. Currently I don't see this as being a systematic crash like Mt.Gox was that would lead to a long term bear market because the fundamental ecosystem is still intact, and I suspect that after about a month we should consolidate around a new low. All the exchanges are still operational and liquid, and there is no breakdown in trust nor uncertainty whether you'll be able to cash out. What range the market trades in will all depend how Bitcoin does, right now we've already broken below 10K but I'm seeing a lot of support at around $8000, which is roughly where the long term MA curve settles. We don't know how bad it will get or what the future will bring, but as of right now we shouldn't be in a bear market yet. What should you do if you recently entered the market? If you did buy in the last few months at or near ATH, the very worst thing you can do now is sell in panic and lose your principal. You shouldn't have more money in crypto than you can afford to lose, so it shouldn't be a problem to wait. You have to realize that 30% corrections in crypto are relatively common, just last fall we had a 40% flash correction over more China fears. Unless there is a systematic breakdown like we had during Mt.Gox, the market always recovers. The other worst thing you can do is unload into Tether as your safety net. If there is one thing that could actually cause a long term destruction of trust within the cryptocurrency investment ecosystem, its Tether having a run up on their liabilities and not having enough reserve to cover the leverage. It would not only bring down exchanges but lead to years of litigation and endless media headlines that will scare off everybody from putting fiat in. I don't know when the next Mt.Gox meltdown will occur but I can almost guarantee it will involve Tether. So stay away from it. What should long term investors do? For long term holders a good strategy to follow each year is to capture profit each December and swallow the capital gains taxation liability, park a reserve of fiat at Gemini (whose US dollar deposits are FDIC-insured) and simply wait till around late January to early February to re-enter the market at a discount and hold all year until next December. You can keep a small amount in core coins in order to trade around various Q1 opportunities you anticipate. Others may choose to simply do nothing and just keep holding throughout January which is also a perfectly fine strategy. The cyclical correction usually stabilizes toward late January and early February, then we see a rise in March and generally are recovered by end of April. Obviously this decision whether to sell in December to profit on the dip and pay tax liability or to just hold will depend on your individual tax situation. Do your own math sometime in November and follow suit. Essentially revaluate your positions and trim your position sizes if you don't feel comfortable with the losses.
How to construct your portfolio going forward
Rather than seeing the correction as a disaster see it as a time to start fresh. If you have been FOMO-ing into bad cryptos and losing money now is a time to start a systematic long term approach to investing rather than gambling. Follow a methodology for evaluating each cryptocurrency Memes and lambo dreams are fun and all, but I know many of you are investing thousands of dollars into crypto, so its worth it to put some organized thought into it as well. I can't stress enough how important it is to try and logically contruct your investment decisions. If you follow a set methodology, a checklist and template you will be able to do relative comparisons between cryptocurrencies, to force yourself to consider the negatives and alternative scenarios and also sleep comfortably knowing you have a sound basis for your investment decisions (even if they turn out to be wrong). There is no ideal or "correct" methodology but I can outline mine: 1) Initial information gathering and filtering Once I identify something that looks like a good potential investment, I first go to the CoinMarketCap page for that symbol and look at the website and blockchain explorer.
Critically evaluate the website. This is the first pass of the bullshit detector and you can tell from a lot from just the website whether its a scam. If it uses terms like "Web 4.0" or other nonsensical buzzwords, if its unprofessional and has anonymous teams, stay away. Always look for a roadmap, compare to what was actually delivered so far. Always check the team, try to find them on LinkedIn and what they did in the past.
Read the whitepaper or business development plan. You should fully understand how this crypto functions and how its trying to create value. If there is no use case or if the use case does not require or benefit from a blockchain, move on. Look for red flags like massive portions of the float being assigned to the founders of the coin, vague definition of who would use the coin, anonymous teams, promises of large payouts...etc
Check the blockchain explorer. How is the token distribution across accounts? Are the big accounts holding or selling? Which account is likely the foundation account, which is the founders account?
Read the subreddit and blogs for the cryptocurrency and also evaluate the community. Try to figure out exactly what the potential use cases are and look for sceptical takes. Look at the Github repos, does it look empty or is there plenty of activity?
2) Fill out an Investment Checklist I have a checklist of questions that I find important and as I'm researching a crypto I save little snippets in Evernote of things that are relevant to answering those questions:
What is the problem or transactional inefficiency the coin is trying to solve?
What is the Dev Team like? What is their track record? How are they funded, organized?
Who is their competition and how big is the market they're targeting? What is the roadmap they created?
What current product exists?
How does the token/coin actually derive value for the holder? Is there a staking mechanism or is it transactional?
What are the weaknesses or problems with this crypto?
3) Create some sort of consistent valuation model/framework, even if its simple I have a background in finance so I like to do Excel modeling. For those who are interested in that, this article is a great start and also Chris Burniske has a great blog about using Quantity Theory of Money to build an equivalent of a DCF analysis for crypto. Here is an Excel file example of OMG done using his model. You can download this and play around with it yourself, see how the formulas link and understand the logic. Once you have a model set up the way you like in Excel you can simply alter it to account for various float oustanding schedule and market items that are unique to your crypto, and then just start plugging in different assumptions. Think about what is the true derivation of value for the coin, is it a "dividend" coin that you stake within a digital economy and collect fees or is it a currency? Use a realistic monetary velocity (around 5-10 for currency and around 1-2 for staking) and for the discount rate use at least 3x the long term return of a diversified equity fund. The benefit is that this forces you to think about what actually makes this coin valuable to an actual user within the digital economy its participating in and force you to think about the assumptions you are making about the future. Do your assumptions make sense? What would the assumptions have to be to justify its current price? You can create different scenarios in a matrix (optimistic vs. pessimistic) based on different assumptions for risk (discount rate) and implementation (adoption rates). If you don't understand the above thats perfectly fine, you don't need to get into full modeling or have a financial background. Even a simple model that just tries to derive a valuation through relative terms will put you above most crypto investors. Some simple valuation methods that anyone can do
Metcalfe's Law which states that the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2). So you can compare various currencies based on their market cap and square of active users or traffic.
Another easy one is simply looking at the total market for the industry that the coin is supposedly targeting and comparing it to the market cap of the coin. Think of the market cap not only with circulating supply like its shown on CMC but including total supply. For example the total supply for Dentacoin is 1,841,395,638,392, and when multiplied by its price in early January we get a market cap that is actually higher than the entire industry it aims to disrupt: Dentistry.
If its meant to be just used as just a currency: Take a look at the circulating supply and look at the amount that is in cold storage or set to be released/burned. Most cryptos are deflationary so think about how the float schedule will change over time and how this will affect price.
Once you have a model you like set up, you can compare cryptos against each other and most importantly it will require that you build a mental framework within your own mind on why somebody would want to own this coin other than to sell it to another greater fool for a higher price. Modeling out a valuation will lead you to think long term and think about the inherent value, rather than price action. Once you go through this 3-step methodology, you'll have a pretty good confidence level for making your decision and can comfortably sit back and not panic if some temporary short term condition leads to a price decrease. This is how "smart money" does it. Think about your portfolio allocation You should think first in broad terms how you allocate between "safe" and "speculative" cryptos. For new investors its best to keep a substantial portion in what would be considered largecap safe cryptos, primarily BTC, ETH, LTC. I personally consider XMR to be safe as well. A good starting point is to have between 50-70% of your portfolio in these safe cryptocurrencies. As you become more confident and informed you can move your allocation into speculative small caps. You should also think in terms of segments and how much of your total portfolio is in each segment:
You should also think about where we are in the cycle, as now given so much uncertaintly its probably best to stay heavily in core holdings and pick up a few coins within a segment you understand well. If you don't understand how enterprise solutions work or how the value chain is built through corporations, don't invest in the enteprise blockchain solutions segment. If you are a technie who loves the technology behind Cardano or IOTA, invest in that segment. Think of your "circle of competence" This is actually a term Buffet came up with, it refers to your body of knowledge that allows you to evaluate an investment. Think about what you know best and consider investing in those type of coins. If you don't know anything about how supply chains functions, how can you competently judge whether VeChain or WaltonChain will achieve adoption? This where your portfolio allocation also comes into play. You should diversify but really shouldn't be in much more than around 12 cryptos, because you simply don't have enough competency to accurately access the risk across every segment and for every type of crypto you come across. If you had over 20 different cryptos in your portfolio you should probably think about consolidating to a few sectors you understand well. Continually educate yourself about the technology and markets If you aren't already doing it: Read a bit each day about cryptocurrencies. There are decent Youtubers that talk about the market side of crypto, just avoid those that hype specific coins and look for more sceptical ones like CryptoInvestor. If you don't understand how the technology works and what the benefits of a blockchain are or how POS/POW works or what a DAG is or how mining actually works, learn first. If you don't care about the technology or find reading about it tedious, you shouldn't invest in this space at all.
Summing it up
I predicted a few days ago that we would have a major correction in 2018 specifically in the altcoins that saw massive gains in Decemebeearly January, and it seems we've already had a pretty big one. I don't think we'll have a complete meltdown like some are predicting, but some more pain may be incoming. Basically take this time to think about how you can improve your investment style and strategy. Make a commitment to value things rather than chasing FOMO, and take your time to make a decision. Long term investment will grant you much more returns as will a systematic approach. Take care and have fun investing :) Edit March 2018: Lol looking back I'm regretting starting the title with "Why we won't have a long term bear market" now, I was more karma whoring with that catchy title than anything. We recovered up to 11K from this post, but then crashed again hard later in February-March because of a slew of reasons from Tether subpeona to unforseen regulatory issues.
Fraud cheque causing my account to close while over seas
I copied this post from scams but if anyone knows how to deal with this since I already called them to handle this since it wasn't me. I don't understand who would deposit a cheque in my name? So this started on 05/18/2020 I was working in Thailand and definitely would love to be back the States right now. Anyway, so there was a notification and email saying I have a deposit of $100,000 that was posted on that day and I later on found out that Navy Federal Credit Union stopped my account for Suspicious Activity because someone mailed in a physical check with payable to me signed...? How? I'm in thailand I explained to them and now I'm stuck here without a bank account and the only payment I get is through Wire transfeSwift Transfer and as a veteran this screwed me big time because i'm in a foreign country and I cannot receive my VA disabilities or if stimulus check happens. I work as a contractor in Thailand for investors, oil rigs, and as well as a paymaster for myself and my two partner who does investment but it's funds from stocks and no physical cheques. I do get paid a good amount of money for each job and it ranges from 250k-800k because I arrange purchase of hotels, and i work as contractor for oil rigs as well since I was a Heavy Equipment operator in the corps. As for trading i've been doing it quite a while but sold my stocks and bitcoin and yes i paid tax on these. So now i'm trying to resolve this issue saying that it wasn't me idk who it is maybe it's one of the investor groups but these deals are contracted and the bank has the contract which doesn't make sense why a physical check with my name and it was endorse mailed in to Navy Federal. Has anyone had this happen to them? Because now when I do make big amount of money I feel like they might close it down again even though I have contracts proving i am part of this job just to bring them and help them buying and promoting business etc.... Now let's not involved my job with this scam. The check that was physically mailed to Navy Federal came from the U.S. and I do not get paid by USA or do I associate myself with employment there right now except for my VA disability check and maybe stimulus, I get paid by German company, Thai, or Indonesia by Wire transfer or Swift no paperchecks at all. But yeah can anyone please explain or give me some ideas on how some retard mailed a check payable to my name with my signature when I can't send mail out of the country? this check was signed by me. Okay sorry I'm just alittle jumpy since I'm very concern becuase I am in the dark about this and I've never experience this before and i'm just scared being stuck out here homeless or something. Anyway let me explain the situation that happened clearly. Someone Physically mailed a check to Navy Federal for deposit into my account without my knowledge for 100k endorsing the check with a signature(not mine) through U.S. postal without my knowledge. My investor and who ever sent the check has no contact with each other so who tf in the right mind would do this? because the investor is here with me, and he has duestch bank in germany so he does not need to send any kind of physical check since he will pay me in Swift transfer electronically and before he pays I have to inform navy federal and my tax attorney for obviously tax reason. But this physical cheque idk from who(I will find out tonight thailand time from navy fed),my employment for this contract does not involve any kind of physical check and the US bank is not involved in anyway that involves my employment with these investors so I see no benefit of someone sending me this check at all and forging it at that, keep in mind I cannot send mail out right now from thailand with the coronavirus but this mail was sent within the US which I am not currently residing in. Now in my current situation, I will get paid by my investor because I am helping him with the bank here, and helping him connect with people to invest in a hotel and I get a commission for promoting and setting up ads and popularity of this hotel. As for right now I am surviving with my VA military disability to pay my Bill's and stimulus check from the first wave and money I saved up before I EAS out of the military. And when I do get paid it will be and only be wire transfer(electronically) from my investors account with full documentation of where the funds are from, the contract of my employment and my attorney will be involved as well. But right now I don't have money to spend on this stupid situation for a lawyer about this fraud check case, I'm just trying to make a living but somebody has to screw me over from across the world. As for this investor himself, he knows I am good with bitcoin and investing in stocks, so he wants to help me build up an LLC for me but want me to invest by using my commission from this job and he will jump in once I show results and have his full support. But like I said right now I'm basically working for free until I fulfill the contract of helping him and yes he has a legitimate company, and I get paid in a week which how bad of a luck do I have? This happened before I get paid, and with that commission I open my business for investment for myself and yes I will get license as well later to be a broker. The commission I am getting will be taxed, and will be notified accordingly. But this isn't the issue, the issue is somebody send a damn fraud check without my knowledge, forging my signature and tried to deposit this and I don't even know a reason for this. I just want some advice on why and what will benefit who ever it is who did this. I hope this cleared it up the situation alittle Update 2: Last night I got an email notifying me "Make Request in Person or in Writing We're sorry we couldn't help you today. Your request can be submitted in writing or with an appropriate ID at one of our Navy Federal branches. Written requests can be submitted by mail to Navy Federal, P.O. Box 3000, Merrifield, VA 22119-3000. If your request is sent via express or overnight delivery, send to 820 Follin Lane, Vienna, VA 22180-4907. Didn't contact us? Call 1-888-xxx-xxxx. If international, call collect number." I called them what this is about because I thought it was an update on my investigation. But here's the catch... they ask me "Was that you who called earlier today?" I said no that wasn't me at all I didn't call at all so they informed me that someone tried to call using a 312 area code, they knew my Name obviously, my date of birth, and my full ssn but they didn't get my codeword right so I was safe and I told them specifically that I am in thailand and cannot call using any other number except the one I have. I will now wait and see what will happen next. I as well updated my VA disabilities so these guys can't try anything funny.
In 2009 the first block of Bitcoins was mined for a 50 Bitcoins reward. The same year there was the first Bitcoin hard fork which gave us Namecoin.
The first exchange appeared in 2010. It was bitcoinmarket.com which doesn’t exist anymore. The same year it was hacked for the first time. This unpleasant event showed the most obvious flaws in the system though. It was rather important to understand all the possible drawbacks, and right up to this moment a lot of efforts are taken to prevent accidents like these.
2010 was also a year when investors appeared. A lot of people are looking for an opportunity to invest in crypto now, but it has taken some time to learn that crypto can actually be an investment.
2011 was a year of cryptocurrencies’ debuts. Swiftcoin appeared, and as a result of the second Bitcoin hard fork Litecoin came to the Crypto World.
In 2011, a physicist by training, 29-year-old Ross William Ulbricht, registered the Internet community called Silk Road on the anonymous Tor network. It has become one of the largest drug trafficking sites in the world. While the site was working, it managed to serve about a million customers, and the turnover of illicit substances exceeded $200 million. Almost all the payments were made in Bitcoins. In October 2013, the FBI closed the Silk Road and arrested 144,000 bitcoins, which at that time was about $100 million.
In 2012 people started talking about Bitcoin. It was even mentioned in some TV shows.
2012 was marked by the birth of XRP.
By 2013 there were around 10 cryptocurrency assets.
In 2013 arguments about cryptocurrency regulation started. Countries had to find a way to deal with new technologies. Germany, Thailand, and China prohibited the use of cryptocurrencies. At the same time Canada launched the very first Bitcoin ATM.
2014 is famous for the biggest cryptocurrency exchange hack. 850 000 BTC was stolen when the Mt.Gox exchange was hacked.
In 2015 several new cryptocurrencies appeared. The Ethereum ecosystem was introduced. Thanks to Ethereum we use smart contracts now.
In 2015 the number of Bitcoin ATMs increased, and Argentina started to accept crypto as a payment for taxi rides.
In 2015 all the ICOs started. Augur was the first to do this.
Starting from 2015 more and more cryptocurrencies appeared. As a result we have 200 000 tokens running on smart contracts now.
In 2017 Japan decided to legalize Bitcoin as a payment method. In Norway Bitcoin became an authorized investment and payment.
2017 is famous for the appearance of the most adorable blockchain project, CryptoKitties. It is not a currency, but an asset. The main thing that distinguishes CryptoKitties from all the other tokens is the uniqueness. Usually tokens are interchangeable. The value of your assets is expressed primarily in the number of tokens you have. The value of each CryptoKitty is different. What kinds of CryptoKitties you have is important. So, your only CryptoKitty may cost more than three CryptoKitties of another user. Nonetheless, CryptoKitties are in fact ERC-721 tokens built on the Ethereum blockchain. Everything is administered by smart contracts, and ETH is used for all transactions. CryptoKitties became very famous. Since December 2, new kitties appeared every 15 minutes. They became a powerful tool in showing people how to use blockchain technologies in a fun way. CryptoKitties were so attractive that at a certain moment in 2017 they congested the Ethereum network.
15 November 2018 was the time when BCH hard fork happened. It was a result of the inner conflict between two camps: Roger Ver and Jihan Wu on the one side, and Craig Steven Wright and Calvin Ayre on the other side. This discord was caused by different versions of software. The whole thing culminated in creating BCH with 32 MB block size limit and BSV (Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision) with 128 MB block size limit.
2018 was time for European countries to come together and discuss cryptocurrency regulation.
2019 was not a good year for XRP. In June wallets that were hosted on Gatehub were hacked and 23 200 000 XRP was stolen. Upbit exchange did not have a great year either. It was hacked and lost 10 000 ETH.
https://preview.redd.it/r28fh1lixwg41.jpg?width=997&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=0647df98dca5d5ad973649787415a0f56c27f360 There were a lot of attempts to create a digital currency. Not all of them were successful. Finally, Bitcoin appeared and changed the world’s perception of the concept. It came a long way and became a whole industry. It is developing constantly involving more and more people on the way. The list of new cryptocurrencies is expanding rapidly. For the next decade there are still some problems to solve, but nonetheless the future of cryptocurrency seems to be extremely exciting.
In the past weeks I heard a lot pros and cons about IOTA, many of them I believe were not true (I'll explain better). I would like to start a serious discussion about IOTA and help people to get into it. Before that I'll contribute with what I know, most things that I will say will have a source link providing some base content.
The pros and cons that I heard a lot is listed below, I'll discuss the items marked with *. Pros
Many users claim that the network infinitely scales, that with more transactions on the network the faster it gets. This is not entirely true, that's why we are seeing the network getting congested (pending transactions) at the moment (12/2017). The network is composed by full-nodes (stores all transactions), each full-node is capable of sending transactions direct to the tangle. An arbitrary user can set a light-node (do not store all transactions, therefore a reduced size), but as it does not stores all transactions and can't decide if there are conflicting transactions (and other stuff) it needs to connect to a full-node (bitifinex node for example) and then request for the full-node to send a transaction to the tangle. The full-node acts like a bridge for a light-node user, the quantity of transactions at the same time that a full-node can push to the tangle is limited by its brandwidth. What happens at the moment is that there are few full-nodes, but more important than that is: the majority of users are connected to the same full-node basically. The full-node which is being used can't handle all the requested transactions by the light-nodes because of its brandwidth. If you are a light-node user and is experiencing slow transactions you need to manually select other node to get a better performance. Also, you need to verify that the minimum weight magnitude (difficulty of the Hashcash Proof of Work) is set to 14 at least. The network seems to be fine and it scales, but the steps an user has to make/know are not friendly-user at all. It's necessary to understand that the technology envolved is relative new and still in early development. Do not buy iota if you haven't read about the technology, there is a high chance of you losing your tokens because of various reasons and it will be your own fault. You can learn more about how IOTA works here. There are some upcoming solutions that will bring the user-experience to a new level, The UCL Wallet (expected to be released at this month, will talk about that soon and how it will help the network) and the Nelson CarrIOTA (this week) besides the official implementations to come in december.
We all know that currently (2017) IOTA depends on the coordinator because the network is still in its infancy and because of that it is considered centralized by the majority of users. The coordinator are several full-nodes scattered across the world run by the IOTA foundation. It creates periodic Milestones (zero value transactions which reference valid transactions) which are validated by the entire network. The coordinator sets the general direction for the tangle growth. Every node verifies that the coordinator is not breaking consensus rules by creating iotas out of thin air or approving double-spendings, nodes only tells other nodes about transactions that are valid, if the Coordinator starts issuing bad Milestones, nodes will reject them. The coordinator is optional since summer 2017, you can choose not implement it in your full-node, any talented programmer could replace Coo logic in IRI with Random Walk Monte Carlo logic and go without its milestones right now. A new kind of distributed coordinator is about to come and then, for the last, its completely removal. You can read more about the coordinator here and here.
These are blockchain-based cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin) that has miners to guarantee its security. Satoshi Nakamoto states several times in the Bitcoin whitepaper that "The system is secure as long as honest nodes collectively control more CPU power than any cooperating group of attacker nodes". We can see in Blockchain.info that nowadays half of the total hashpower in Bitcoin is controlled by 3 companies (maybe only 1 in the future?). Users must trust that these companies will behave honestly and will not use its 50%> hashpower to attack the network eventually. With all that said it's reasonable to consider the IOTA network more decentralized (even with the coordinator) than any mining-blockchain-based cryptocurrency You can see a comparison between DAG cryptocurrencies here
Some partnerships of IOTA foundation with big companies were well known even when they were not officialy published. Some few examples of confirmed partnerships are listed below, others cofirmed partnerships can be seem in the link Partnerships with big companies at the pros section.
So what's up with all alarming in social media about IOTA Foundation faking partnerships with big companies like Microsoft and Cisco? At Nov. 28th IOTA Foundation announced the Data Marketplace with 30+ companies participating. Basically it's a place for any entity sell data (huge applications, therefore many companies interested), at time of writing (11/12/2017) there is no API for common users, only companies in touch with IOTA Foundation can test it. A quote from Omkar Naik (Microsoft worker) depicted on the Data Marketplace blog post gave an idea that Microsoft was in a direct partnership with IOTA. Several news websites started writing headlines "Microsoft and IOTA launches" (The same news site claimed latter that IOTA lied about partnership with Microsoft) when instead Microsoft was just one of the many participants of the Data Marketplace. Even though it's not a direct partnership, IOTA and Microsoft are in close touch as seen in IOTA Microsoft and Bosch meetup december 12th, Microsoft IOTA meetup in Paris 14th and Microsoft Azure adds 5 new Blockchain partners (may 2016). If you join the IOTA Slack channel you'll find out that there are many others big companies in close touch with IOTA like BMW, Tesla and other companies. This means that right now there are devs of IOTA working directly with scientists of these companies to help them integrate IOTA on their developments even though there is no direct partnership published, I'll talk more about the use cases soon.
We are excited to partner with IOTA foundation and proud to be associated with its new data marketplace initiative... - Omkar Naik
IOTA's use cases
Every cryptocurrency is capable of being a way to exchange goods, you pay for something using the coin token and receive the product. Some of them are more popular or have faster transactions or anonymity while others offers better scalablity or user-friendness. But none of them (except IOTA) are capable of transactioning information with no costs (fee-less transactions), in an securely form (MAM) and being sure that the network will not be harmed when it gets more adopted (scales). These characteristics open the gates for several real world applications, you probably might have heard of Big Data and how data is so important nowadays.
Data sets grow rapidly - in part because they are increasingly gathered by cheap and numerous information-sensing Internet of things devices such as mobile devices, aerial (remote sensing), software logs, cameras, microphones, radio-frequency identification (RFID) readers and wireless sensor networks.
It’s just the beginning of the data period. Data is going to be so important for human life in the future. So we are now just starting. We are a big data company, but compared to tomorrow, we are nothing. - Jack Ma (Alibaba)
There are enormous quantities of wasted data, often over 99% is lost to the void, that could potentially contain extremely valuable information if allowed to flow freely in data streams that create an open and decentralized data lake that is accessible to any compensating party. Some of the biggest corporations of the world are purely digital like Google, Facebook and Amazon. Data/information market will be huge in the future and that's why there so many companies interested in what IOTA can offer. There are several real world use cases being developed at the moment, many of them if successful will revolutionize the world. You can check below a list of some of them.
Not having your wallet set up properly (min weight 14, etc.)
Problems that could be easily avoided with a better understand of the network/wallet or with a better wallet that could handle these issues. As I explained before, some problems during the "congestion" of the network could be simply resolved if stuff were more user-friendly, this causes many users storing their iotas on exchanges which is not safe either. The upcoming (dec 2017) UCL Wallet will solve most of these problems. It will switch between nodes automatically and auto-reattach transactions for example (besides other things). You can have full a overview of it here and here. Also, the upcoming Nelson CarrIOTA will help on automatic peer discovery for users setup their nodes more easily.
IOTA Vulnerability issue
On sept 7th 2017 a team from MIT reported a cryptographic issue on the hash function Curl. You can see the full response of IOTA members below.
Funds were never in danger as such scenarios depicted on the Neha's blogpost were not pratically possible and the arguments used on the blogpost had'nt fundamentals, all the history you can check by yourself on the responses. Later it was discovered that the whole Neha Narula's team were envolved in other concurrent cryptocurrency projects Currently IOTA uses the relatively hardware intensive NIST standard SHA-3/Keccak for crucial operations for maximal security. Curl is continuously being audited by more cryptographers and security experts. Recenlty IOTA Foundation hired Cybercrypt, the world leading lightweight cryptography and security company from Denmark to take the Curl cryptography to its next maturation phase.
It took me a couple of days to gather the informations presented, I wanted it to make easier for people who want to get into it. It might probably have some mistakes so please correct me if I said something wrong. Here are some useful links for the community.
This is my IOTA donation address, in case someone wants to donate I will be very thankful. I truly believe in this project's potential. I9YGQVMWDYZBLHGKMTLBTAFBIQHGLYGSAGLJEZIV9OKWZSHIYRDSDPQQLTIEQEUSYZWUGGFHGQJLVYKOBWAYPTTGCX
This is a donation address, if you want to do the same you might pay attention to some important details:
Create a seed for only donation purposes.
Generate a address and publish it for everyone.
If you spend any iota you must attach a new address to the tangle and refresh your donation address published before to everyone.
If someone sends iota to your previous donation address after you have spent from it you will probably lose the funds that were sent to that specific address.
You can visualize how addresses work in IOTA here and here.
This happens because IOTA uses Winternitz one-time signature to become quantum resistent. Every time you spend iota from a address, part of the private key of that specific address is revealed. This makes easier for attackers to steal that address balance. Attackers can search if an address has been reused on the tangle explorer and try to brute force the private key since they already know part of it.
**Last updated: May 30, 2018: Updated wallet info with release of Trinity. This 4 part series from the IOTA foundation covers most of the technical FUD centered at IOTA. https://blog.iota.org/official-iota-foundation-response-to-the-digital-currency-initiative-at-the-mit-media-lab-part-1-72434583a2 Also the official IOTA faq on iota.org answers nearly all of these questions if you want to hear the answers directly. Purpose of Writing Since posting FUD is so ridiculously low-effort in comparison to setting the record straight, I felt it necessary to put a log of copy-pastas together to balance the scales so its just as easy to answer the FUD as it was to generate it. So next time you hear someone say "IOTA is centralized", you no longer have to take an hour out of your day and spin your wheels with someone who likely had an agenda to begin with. You just copy-paste away and move on. It's also worth mentioning IOTA devs are too damn busy working on the protocol and doing their job to answer FUD. So I felt a semblance of responsibility. Here they are. These answers are too my understanding so if you see something that doesn't look right let me know! They are divided into the following categories so if you are interested in a specific aspect of IOTA you can scroll to that section. 1) WALLET 2) COMMUNITY 3) INVESTING 4) TECHNICAL
IOTA was hacked and users funds were stolen!
First, IOTA was not hacked. The term “hacked” is thrown around way too brazingly nowadays and often used to describe events that weren’t hacks to begin with. Its a symptom of this space growing way too fast creating situations of the blind leading the blind and causing hysteria. What happened: Many IOTA users trusted a certain 3rd party website to create their seed for their wallets. This website silently sent copies of all the seeds generated to an email address and waited till it felt it had enough funds, then it took everyones money simultaneously. That was the ”hack”. https://blog.iota.org/the-secret-to-security-is-secrecy-d32b5b7f25ef The lesson: The absolute #1 marketed feature of crypto is that you are your own bank. Of everything that is common knowledge about crypto, this is at the top. But being your own bank means you are responsible for the security of your own funds. There is no safety net or centralized system in place that is going to bail you out. For those that don’t know (and you really should if you’ve invested in anything crypto), your seed is your username-pw-security question-backup email all rolled into one. Would you trust a no-name 3rd party website to produce your username+pw for your bank account? Because thats essentially what users did. The fix: Make your seed offline with the generators in the sidebar or use dice. This is outlined in the “how to generate wallet and seed” directly following. The trinity and carriota wallets will have seed generators within them upon their release.
How to generate wallet and seed
1) Download official trinity wallet here 2) follow the instructions on the app. 3) Do not run any apps in conjunction with the trinity app. Make sure all other apps are completely closed out on your device.
Are you sure a computer can’t just guess my seed?
An IOTA seed is 81 characters long. There are more IOTA seed combinations than atoms in the universe. All the computers in the world combined would take millions billions of years just to find your randomly generated one that’s located somewhere between the 0th and the 2781st combination. The chance for someone to randomly generate the exact same seed as yours is 1 / (2781). If you can’t fathom the number 27 ^ 81, this video should help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8YIdmwcubc
Download Bolero and run! Bolero is an all-in-one full node install package with the latest IOTA IRI and Nelson all under a one-click install! https://github.com/SemkoDev/bolero.fun/releases "If you want to help the network then spam the network. If you really want to help the network then create a full node and let others spam you!"
No questions or concerns get upvoted, only downvoted!
That’s just the nature of this business. Everyone in these communities has money at stake and are extremely incentivized to keep only positive news at the top of the front page. There is nothing you're going to do about that on this subreddit or any crypto subreddit. It's just a reddit fact of life we have to deal with. Everyone has a downvote and everyone has an upvote. But what can be done is just simply answer the questions even if they are downvoted to hell. Yea most people wont' see the answers or discussion but that one person will. every little bit counts. I will say that there are most certainly answers to nearly every FUD topic out there. Every single one. A lot of the posts I'm seeing as of late especially since the price spike are rehashed from months ago. They are often not answered not because there isn't an answeexplanation, but because regulars who have the answers simply don't see them (for the reason listed above). I can see how it's easy for this to be interpreted (especially by new users) as there not being an answer or "the FUDsters are on to something" but thats just not the case.
IOTA Devs do not respond appropriately to criticism
When critiquers provide feedback that is ACTUALLY useful to the devs, then sure they'll be glad to hear it. So far not once has an outside dev brought up something that the IOTA devs found useful. Every single time it ends up being something that was already taken into consideration with the design and if the critiquer did an ounce of research they would know that. Thus you often find the IOTA devs dismissing their opinion as FUD and responding with hostility because all their critique is really doing is sending the message to their supporters that they are not supposed to like IOTA anymore. Nick Johnson was a perfect example of this. The Ethereum community was co-existing [peacefully]with IOTA’s community (as they do with nearly all alt coins) until Nick wrote his infamous article. Then almost overnight Ethereum decided it didn’t like IOTA anymore and we’ve been dealing with that shit since. As of today, add LTC to that list with Charlie’s (even admitting) ignorant judgement of IOTA. 12/17/2017: Add John McAfee (bitcoin cash) and Peter Todd (bitcoin) to the list of public figures who have posted ignorantly on IOTA.
A lot of crypto communities certainly like to hate on IOTA...
IOTA is disrupting the disrupters. It invented a completely new distributed ledger infrastructure (the tangle) that replaces the blockchain and solves all of its fundamental problems (namely fees and scaling). To give you an idea of this significance, 99% of the cryptocurrencies that exist are built on a block chain. These projects have billions of dollars invested into them meaning everyone in their communities are incentivized to see IOTA fail and spread as much FUD about it as possible. This includes well known organizations, public figures, and brands. Everyone commenting in these subreddits and crypto communities have their own personal money at stake and skin in the game. Misinformation campaigns, paid reddit posters, upvote/downvote bots, and corrupt moderators are all very real in this space.
All IOTAs that will ever exist were sold at the ICO in 2015. There was no % reserved for development. Devs had to buy in with their personal money. Community donated back 5% of all IOTA so the IOTA foundation could be setup.
No inflation schedule? No additional coins? How is this sustainable?
Interestingly enough, IOTA is actually the only crypto that does not run into any problems with a currency cap and deflationaryism. Because there are zero fees, you will always be able to pay for something for exactly what it's worth using IOTA, no matter how small the value. If by chance in the future a single iota grows so large in value that it no longer allows someone to pay for something in fractions of a penny, the foundation would just add decimal points allowing for a tenth or a hundreth or a thousandth of an iota to be transacted with. To give you some perspective, if a single IOTA equals 1 penny, IOTA would have a 27 trillion dollar market cap (100x that of Bitcoin's today)
IOTA is not for P2P, only for M2M
With the release of the trinity wallet, it's now dead simple for anyone to use IOTA funds for P2P. Try it out.
Companies technically don’t have to use the IOTA token
Yes they do Worth clarifying that 0 iota data transactions are perfectly fine and are welcomed since they still provide pow for 2 other transactions and help secure the network. In the early stages, these types of transactions will probably be what give us the tps/pow needed to remove the coordinator and allow the network defend 34% attacks organically. But... if someone does not want to sell or exchange their data for free (0 IOTA transaction), then Dominic is saying that the IOTA token must be used for that or any exchange in value on the network. This is inherently healthy for the ecosystem since it provides a neutral and non-profit middle ground that all parties/companies can trust. If one company made their own token it wouldn’t be trusted since companies are incentivized by profits and nothing is stopping them from manipulating their token to make them more money. Thus, the IOTA foundation will not partner with anyone who refuses to take this option off the table.
All these companies are going to influence IOTA development!!
These companies have no influence on the development of IOTA. They either choose to use it or they don’t.
Internet of things is cheap and will stay cheap
Internet of things is one application of IOTA and considered by many to be the 4th industrial revolution. Go do some googling. IOTA having zero fees enables M2M for the first time in history. Also, if a crypto can do M2M it sure as shit can do M2P and P2P. M2M is hard mode.
Investing in a project in its early stages was something typically reserved for wealthy individuals/organizations before ICO’s became a thing. With early investing comes much less hand holding and more responsibility on the user to know what they are doing. If you have a hard time accepting this responsibility, don’t invest and wait for the technology to get easier for you. How many people actually knew how to use and mine bitcoin in 2009 before it had all its gui infrastructure? IOTA is a tangle, the first of its kind. NOT a copy paste blockchain. As a result wallets and applications for IOTA are the first of their kind and translating the tangle into a nice clean user-friendly blockchain experience for the masses is even more taxing.
Why is the price of my coin falling?!
This may be the most asked question on any crypto subreddit but it's also the easiest to explain. The price typically falls when bad things happen to a coin or media fabricates bad news about a coin and a portion of investors take it seriously. The price increases when good things happen to a coin, such as a new exchange listing or a partnership announced etc.. The one piece that is often forgotten but trumps all these effects is something called "market forces". Market forces is what happens to your coin when another coin gets a big news hit or a group of other coins get big news hits together. For example, when IOTA data marketplace released, IOTA hit a x5 bull run in a single week. But did you notice all the other alt coins in the red? There are a LOT of traders that are looking at the space as a whole and looking to get in on ANY bull action and will sell their other coins to do so. This effect can also be compounded over a long period of time such as what we witnessed when the bitcoin fork FOMO was going on and alt coins were squeezed continuously to feed it for weeks/months. These examples really just scratch the surface of market forces but the big takeaway is that your coin or any coin will most certainly fall (or rise) in price at the result of what other coins are doing, with the most well known example being bitcoin’s correlation to every coin on the market. If you don't want to play the market-force game or don't have time for it, then you can never go wrong buying and holding. It's also important to note that there are layers of investors. There's a top layer of light-stepping investors that are a mixture of day traders and gamblers trying to jump in and jump out to make quick money then look for the next buying (or shorting) opportunity at another coin. There's a middle layer of buyers and holders who did their research, believe in the tech and placing their bets it will win out in the long run. And the bottom layer are the founders and devs that are in it till the bitter end and there to see the vision realized. When a coin goes on a bull run, always expect that any day the top layer is going to pack up and leave to the next coin. But the long game is all about that middle layer. That is the layer that will be giving the bear markets their price-drop resistance. That is why the meme "HODL" is so effective because it very elegantly simplifies this whole concept for the common joe and makes them a part of that middle layer regardless if they understand whats going on or not.
How is IOTA free and how does it scale
IOTA is an altruistic system. Proof of work is done in IOTA just like bitcoin. Only a user’s device/phone must do pow for 2 other transactions before issuing one of its own. Therefore no miners and no fees. And the network becomes faster the more transactions are posted. Because of this, spamming the network is encouraged since they provide pow for 2 other transactions and speed up the network.
IOTA is centralized
IOTA is more decentralized than any blockchain crypto that relies on 5 pools of miners, all largely based in China. Furthermore, the coordinator is not a server in the dev’s basement that secretly processes all the transactions. It’s several nodes all around the globe that add milestone transactions to show the direction of the IF’s tangle within the DAG so people don’t accidentally follow a fork from a malicious actor. Anyone with the know-how can fork the tangle right now with a double-spend. But no one would follow their fork because the coordinator reveals which tangle is the legit IF one. If the coordinator wasn’t there (assuming low honest-transaction volume), there would be no way to discern which path to follow especially after the tangle diverges into forks of forks. Once throughout of honest transactions is significant enough, the “honest tangle” will replace the coordinated one and people will know which one to follow simply because it’s the biggest one in the room. Referencing the coordinator is also optional. Also, if you research and understand how IOTA intends to work without the coordinator, it’s easier to accept it for now as training wheels. I suggest reading pg 15 and on of the white paper analyzing in great depth how the network will defend different attack scenarios without a coordinator. For the past several months, IOTA foundation has been using St Petersburg college’s super computer to stress test IOTA and learn when they can turn the coordinator off. There will likely be a blog about the results soon. This is another great read covering double spends on IOTA without a coordinator: www.tangleblog.com/2017/07/10/is-double-spending-possible-with-iota/ This too: http://www.reddit.com/Iota/comments/7eix4a/any_iota_guru_that_can_explain_what_this_guy_is/dq5ijrm Also this correspondence with Vitalik and Come_from_Beyond https://twitter.com/DavidSonstebo/status/932510087301779456 At the end of the day, outstanding claims require outstanding evidence and folks approaching IOTA with a “I’ll believe it when I see it” attitude is completely understandable. It’s all about your risk tolerance.
Masked authenticated messages exist right now so data can be transferred privately. Very important for businesses.
Centralized coin mixer is out that foundation runs. Logs are kept so they can collect data and improve it Folks can copy the coin mixer code and run it themselves. Goal is for mixer to be decentralized and ran by any node.
How do nodes scale? How on earth can all that data be stored?
Full nodes store, update and verify from the last snapshot, which happens roughly every month. Its on the roadmap to make snapshotting automatic and up to each full node’s discretion.With automatic snapshots, each full node will act as a partial perma-node and choose when to snapshot its tangle data. If someone wants to keep their tangle data for several months or even years, they could just choose not to snapshot. Or if they are limited on hard drive space, they could snapshot every week. Perma-nodes would store the entire history of the tangle from the genesis. These are optional and would likely only be created by companies who wish to sell historical access of the tangle as a service or companies who heavily use the tangle for their own data and want to have quick, convenient access to their data’s history. Swarm nodes are also in development which will ease the burden on full nodes. https://blog.iota.org/iota-development-roadmap-74741f37ed01
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