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Crypto Banking Wars: Will Coinbase or Binance Become The Bank of The Future?

Crypto Banking Wars: Will Coinbase or Binance Become The Bank of The Future?
Can the early success of major crypto exchanges propel them to winning the broader consumer finance market?
https://reddit.com/link/i48t4q/video/v4eo10gom7f51/player
This is the first part of Crypto Banking Wars — a new series that examines what crypto-native company is most likely to become the bank of the future. Who is best positioned to reach mainstream adoption in consumer finance?
While crypto allows the world to get rid of banks, a bank will still very much be necessary for this powerful technology to reach the masses. We believe a crypto-native company, like Genesis Block, will become the bank of the future.
In an earlier series, Crypto-Powered, we laid out arguments for why crypto-native companies have a huge edge in the market. When you consider both the broad spectrum of financial use-cases and the enormous value unlocked through these DeFi protocols, you can see just how big of an unfair advantage blockchain tech becomes for companies who truly understand and leverage it. Traditional banks and fintech unicorns simply won’t be able to keep up.
The power players of consumer finance in the 21st century will be crypto-native companies who build with blockchain technology at their core.
The crypto landscape is still nascent. We’re still very much in the fragmented, unbundled phase of the industry lifecycle. Beyond what Genesis Block is doing, there are signs of other companies slowly starting to bundle financial services into what could be an all-in-one bank replacement.
So the key question that this series hopes to answer:
Which crypto-native company will successfully become the bank of the future?
We obviously think Genesis Block is well-positioned to win. But we certainly aren’t the only game in town. In this series, we’ll be doing an analysis of who is most capable of thwarting our efforts. We’ll look at categories like crypto exchanges, crypto wallets, centralized lending & borrowing services, and crypto debit card companies. Each category will have its own dedicated post.
Today we’re analyzing big crypto exchanges. The two companies we’ll focus on today are Coinbase (biggest American exchange) and Binance (biggest global exchange). They are the top two exchanges in terms of Bitcoin trading volume. They are in pole position to winning this market — they have a huge existing userbase and strong financial resources.
Will Coinbase or Binance become the bank of the future? Can their early success propel them to winning the broader consumer finance market? Is their growth too far ahead for anyone else to catch up? Let’s dive in.
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Binance

The most formidable exchange on the global stage is Binance (Crunchbase). All signs suggest they have significantly more users and a stronger balance sheet than Coinbase. No other exchange is executing as aggressively and relentlessly as Binance is. The cadence at which they are shipping and launching new products is nothing short of impressive. As Tushar Jain from Multicoin argues, Binance is Blitzscaling.
Here are some of the products that they’ve launched in the last 18 months. Only a few are announced but still pre-launch.
Binance is well-positioned to become the crypto-powered, all-in-one, bundled solution for financial services. They already have so many of the pieces. But the key question is:
Can they create a cohesive & united product experience?

Binance Weaknesses

Binance is strong, but they do have a few major weaknesses that could slow them down.
  1. Traders & Speculators Binance is currently very geared for speculators, traders, and financial professionals. Their bread-and-butter is trading (spot, margin, options, futures). Their UI is littered with depth charts, order books, candlesticks, and other financial concepts that are beyond the reach of most normal consumers. Their product today is not at all tailored for the broader consumer market. Given Binance’s popularity and strength among the pro audience, it’s unlikely that they will dumb down or simplify their product any time soon. That would jeopardize their core business. Binance will likely need an entirely new product/brand to go beyond the pro user crowd. That will take time (or an acquisition). So the question remains, is Binance even interested in the broader consumer market? Or will they continue to focus on their core product, the one-stop-shop for pro crypto traders?
  2. Controversies & Hot Water Binance has had a number of controversies. No one seems to know where they are based — so what regulatory agencies can hold them accountable? Last year, some sensitive, private user data got leaked. When they announced their debit card program, they had to remove mentions of Visa quickly after. And though the “police raid” story proved to be untrue, there are still a lot of questions about what happened with their Shanghai office shut down (where there is smoke, there is fire). If any company has had a “move fast and break things” attitude, it is Binance. That attitude has served them well so far but as they try to do business in more regulated countries like America, this will make their road much more difficult — especially in the consumer market where trust takes a long time to earn, but can be destroyed in an instant. This is perhaps why the Binance US product is an empty shell when compared to their main global product.
  3. Disjointed Product Experience Because Binance has so many different teams launching so many different services, their core product is increasingly feeling disjointed and disconnected. Many of the new features are sloppily integrated with each other. There’s no cohesive product experience. This is one of the downsides of executing and shipping at their relentless pace. For example, users don’t have a single wallet that shows their balances. Depending on if the user wants to do spot trading, margin, futures, or savings… the user needs to constantly be transferring their assets from one wallet to another. It’s not a unified, frictionless, simple user experience. This is one major downside of the “move fast and break things” approach.
  4. BNB token Binance raised $15M in a 2017 ICO by selling their $BNB token. The current market cap of $BNB is worth more than $2.6B. Financially this token has served them well. However, given how BNB works (for example, their token burn), there are a lot of open questions as to how BNB will be treated with US security laws. Their Binance US product so far is treading very lightly with its use of BNB. Their token could become a liability for Binance as it enters more regulated markets. Whether the crypto community likes it or not, until regulators get caught up and understand the power of decentralized technology, tokens will still be a regulatory burden — especially for anything that touches consumers.
  5. Binance Chain & Smart Contract Platform Binance is launching its own smart contract platform soon. Based on compatibility choices, they have their sights aimed at the Ethereum developer community. It’s unclear how easy it’ll be to convince developers to move to Binance chain. Most of the current developer energy and momentum around smart contracts is with Ethereum. Because Binance now has their own horse in the race, it’s unlikely they will ever decide to leverage Ethereum’s DeFi protocols. This could likely be a major strategic mistake — and hubris that goes a step too far. Binance will be pushing and promoting protocols on their own platform. The major risk of being all-in on their own platform is that they miss having a seat on the Ethereum rocket ship — specifically the growth of DeFi use-cases and the enormous value that can be unlocked. Integrating with Ethereum’s protocols would be either admitting defeat of their own platform or competing directly against themselves.

Binance Wrap Up

I don’t believe Binance is likely to succeed with a homegrown product aimed at the consumer finance market. Their current product — which is focused heavily on professional traders and speculators — is unlikely to become the bank of the future. If they wanted to enter the broader consumer market, I believe it’s much more likely that they will acquire a company that is getting early traction. They are not afraid to make acquisitions (Trust, JEX, WazirX, DappReview, BxB, CoinMarketCap, Swipe).
However, never count CZ out. He is a hustler. Binance is executing so aggressively and relentlessly that they will always be on the shortlist of major contenders.
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Coinbase

The crypto-native company that I believe is more likely to become the bank of the future is Coinbase (crunchbase). Their dominance in America could serve as a springboard to winning the West (Binance has a stronger foothold in Asia). Coinbase has more than 30M users. Their exchange business is a money-printing machine. They have a solid reputation as it relates to compliance and working with regulators. Their CEO is a longtime member of the crypto community. They are rumored to be going public soon.

Coinbase Strengths

Let’s look at what makes them strong and a likely contender for winning the broader consumer finance market.
  1. Different Audience, Different Experience Coinbase has been smart to create a unique product experience for each audience — the pro speculator crowd and the common retail user. Their simple consumer version is at Coinbase.com. That’s the default. Their product for the more sophisticated traders and speculators is at Coinbase Pro (formerly GDAX). Unlike Binance, Coinbase can slowly build out the bank of the future for the broad consumer market while still having a home for their hardcore crypto traders. They aren’t afraid to have different experiences for different audiences.
  2. Brand & Design Coinbase has a strong product design team. Their brand is capable of going beyond the male-dominated crypto audience. Their product is clean and simple — much more consumer-friendly than Binance. It’s clear they spend a lot of time thinking about their user experience. Interacting directly with crypto can sometimes be rough and raw (especially for n00bs). When I was at Mainframe we hosted a panel about Crypto UX challenges at the DevCon4 Dapp Awards. Connie Yang (Head of Design at Coinbase) was on the panel. She was impressive. Some of their design philosophies will bode well as they push to reach the broader consumer finance market.
  3. USDC Stablecoin Coinbase (along with Circle) launched USDC. We’ve shared some stats about its impressive growth when we discussed DeFi use-cases. USDC is quickly becoming integrated with most DeFi protocols. As a result, Coinbase is getting a front-row seat at some of the most exciting things happening in decentralized finance. As Coinbase builds its knowledge and networks around these protocols, it could put them in a favorable position to unlock incredible value for their users.
  4. Early Signs of Bundling Though Coinbase has nowhere near as many products & services as Binance, they are slowly starting to add more financial services that may appeal to the broader market. They are now letting depositors earn interest on USDC (also DAI & Tezos). In the UK they are piloting a debit card. Users can now invest in crypto with dollar-cost-averaging. It’s not much, but it’s a start. You can start to see hints of a more bundled solution around financial services.

Coinbase Weaknesses

Let’s now look at some things that could hold them back.
  1. Slow Cadence In the fast-paced world of crypto, and especially when compared to Binance, Coinbase does not ship very many new products very often. This is perhaps their greatest weakness. Smaller, more nimble startups may run circles around them. They were smart to launch Coinbase Ventures where tey invest in early-stage startups. They can now keep an ear to the ground on innovation. Perhaps their cadence is normal for a company of their size — but the Binance pace creates quite the contrast.
  2. Lack of Innovation When you consider the previous point (slow cadence), it’s unclear if Coinbase is capable of building and launching new products that are built internally. Most of their new products have come through acquisitions. Their Earn.com acquisition is what led to their Earn educational product. Their acquisition of Xapo helped bolster their institutional custody offering. They acqui-hired a team to help launch their staking infrastructure. Their acquisition of Cipher Browser became an important part of Coinbase Wallet. And recently, they acquired Tagomi — a crypto prime brokerage. Perhaps most of Coinbase’s team is just focused on improving their golden goose, their exchange business. It’s unclear. But the jury is still out on if they can successfully innovate internally and launch any homegrown products.
  3. Talent Exodus There have been numerous reports of executive turmoil at Coinbase. It raises a lot of questions about company culture and vision. Some of the executives who departed include COO Asiff Hirji, CTO Balaji Srinivasan, VP & GM Adam White, VP Eng Tim Wagner, VP Product Jeremy Henrickson, Sr Dir of Eng Namrata Ganatra, VP of Intl Biz Dan Romero, Dir of Inst Sales Christine Sandler, Head of Trading Hunter Merghart, Dir Data Science Soups Ranjan, Policy Lead Mike Lempres, Sr Compliance Vaishali Mehta. Many of these folks didn’t stay with Coinbase very long. We don’t know exactly why it’s happening —but when you consider a few of my first points (slow cadence, lack of innovation), you have to wonder if it’s all related.
  4. Institutional Focus As a company, we are a Coinbase client. We love their institutional offering. It’s clear they’ve been investing a lot in this area. A recent Coinbase blog post made it clear that this has been a focus: “Over the past 12 months, Coinbase has been laser-focused on building out the types of features and services that our institutional customers need.” Their Tagomi acquisition only re-enforced this focus. Perhaps this is why their consumer product has felt so neglected. They’ve been heavily investing in their institutional services since May 2018. For a company that’s getting very close to an IPO, it makes sense that they’d focus on areas that present strong revenue opportunities — as they do with institutional clients. Even for big companies like Coinbase, it’s hard to have a split focus. If they are “laser-focused” on the institutional audience, it’s unlikely they’ll be launching any major consumer products anytime soon.

Coinbase Wrap Up

At Genesis Block, we‘re proud to be working with Coinbase. They are a fantastic company. However, I don’t believe that they’ll succeed in building their own product for the broader consumer finance market. While they have incredible design, there are no signs that they are focused on or capable of internally building this type of product.
Similar to Binance, I think it’s far more likely that Coinbase acquires a promising young startup with strong growth.

Honorable Mentions

Other US-based exchanges worth mentioning are Kraken, Gemini, and Bittrex. So far we’ve seen very few signs that any of them will aggressively attack broader consumer finance. Most are going in the way of Binance — listing more assets and adding more pro tools like margin and futures trading. And many, like Coinbase, are trying to attract more institutional customers. For example, Gemini with their custody product.

Wrap Up

Coinbase and Binance have huge war chests and massive reach. For that alone, they should always be considered threats to Genesis Block. However, their products are very, very different than the product we’re building. And their approach is very different as well. They are trying to educate and onboard people into crypto. At Genesis Block, we believe the masses shouldn’t need to know or care about it. We did an entire series about this, Spreading Crypto.
Most everyone needs banking — whether it be to borrow, spend, invest, earn interest, etc. Not everyone needs a crypto exchange. For non-crypto consumers (the mass market), the differences between a bank and a crypto exchange are immense. Companies like Binance and Coinbase make a lot of money on their crypto exchange business. It would be really difficult, gutsy, and risky for any of them to completely change their narrative, messaging, and product to focus on the broader consumer market. I don’t believe they would ever risk biting the hand that feeds them.
In summary, as it relates to a digital bank aimed at the mass market, I believe both Coinbase and Binance are much more likely to acquire a startup in this space than they are to build it themselves. And I think they would want to keep the brand/product distinct and separate from their core crypto exchange business.
So back to the original question, is Coinbase and Binance a threat to Genesis Block? Not really. Not today. But they could be, and for that, we want to stay close to them.
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[Part 1] KAVA Historical AMA Tracker! (Questions & Answers)

ATTN: These AMA questions are from Autumn 2019 - before the official launch of the Kava Mainnet, and it's fungible Kava Token.
These questions may no longer be relevant to the current Kava landscape, however, they do provide important historical background on the early origins of Kava Labs.
Please note, that there are several repeat questions/answers.

Q1:

Kava is a decentralized DEFI project, why did you implement the countries restrictions to run the node? Will there be such restrictions by the time of the mainnet?

Q2:

According to the project description it has been indicated that staking reward (in KAVA tokens) varies from 3 to 20% per annum. But how will you fight with inflation?

We all know how altcoins prices are falling, and their bottom is not visible. And in fact, we can get an increase in the number of tokens for staking, but not an increase in the price of the token itself and become a long-term investor.

  • Answer: Kava is both inflationary with block rewards, but deflationary when we burn CDP fees. Only stakers who bond their Kava receive inflationary rewards - users and traders on exchanges do not get this. In this way, rewards are inflated, but given to stakers and removed value from the traders who are speculating like a tax. The Deflationary structure of fees should help counterbalance the price drops from inflation if any. In the long-term as more CDPs are used, Kava should be a deflationary asset by design if all things go well

Q3:

In your allocation it is indicated that 28.48% of the tokens are in the "Token treasury" - where will these tokens be directed?

  • Answer: Investors in financing rounds prior to the IEO have entered into long-term lock-up agreements in-line with their belief in Kava’s exciting long-term growth potential and to allow the projects token price to find stability. Following the IEO, the only tokens in circulation will be those sold through the IEO on Binance and the initial Treasury tokens released.
  • No private sale investor tokens are in circulation until the initial release at the end of Q1 2020 and then gradually over the [36] months The initial Treasury tokens in circulation will be used for a mixture of ecosystem grants, the expenses associated with the IEO as well as initial market making requirements as is typical with a listing of this size. Kava remains well financed to execute our roadmap following the IEO and do not envisage any need for any material financings or token sales for the foreseeable future.

Q4:

Such a platform (with loans and stable coins) is just the beginning since these aspects are a small part of many Defi components. Will your team have a plan to implement other functions, such as derivatives, the dex platform once the platform is successfully launched?

  • Answer: We believe Kava is the foundation for many future defi products. We need stable coins, oracles, and other infrastructure first that Kava provides. Once we have that, we can apply these to derivatives and other synthetics more easily. For example, we can use the price feeds and USDX to enable users to place 100x leverage bets with each other. If they both lock funds into payment channels, then they can use a smart contract based on the price feed to do the 100x trade/bet automatically without counter party risk. In this way, Kava can expand its financial product offerings far beyond loans and stable coins in the future.

Q5:

There are several options for using USDX on the KAVA platform, one of which is Margin Trading / Leverage. Is this a selection function or a compulsory function? Wondering since there are some investors who don`t like margin. What is the level of leverage and how does a CDP auction work?

  • Answer: This is a good #Q . Kava simply provides loans to users in USDX stable coins. What the users do is completely up to them. They can use the loans for everyday payments if they like. Leverage and hedging are just the main use cases we foresee - there are many ways people can use the CDP platform and USDX.

Q6:

Most credit platforms do not work well in the current market. What will you do to attract more people to use your platform and the services you provide? Thank you

  • Answer: Most credit platforms do not work well in the current market? I think that isn't correct at least for DeFi. Even in the bear market, MakerDao and Compound saw good user growth. Regardless, our efforts at Kava to build the market are fairly product and BD focused. 1) we build more integrations of assets and expand financial services to attract new communities and users. 2) we focus on building partnerships with high quality teams to promote and build Kava's core user base. Kava is just the developer. Our great partners like Ripple, Stakewith.Us, P2P, Binance - they have the real users that demand Kava. They are like our system integrators that package Kava up nicely and present it to their users. In order to grow, we need to deepen our partnerships and bring in new ones around the world.

Q7:

KAVA functions as a reserve currency in situations where the system is undercollateralized. In such cases new KAVA is minted and used to buy USDX off the market until USDX becomes safely overcollateralized.

Meaning, there will be no max supply of KAVA?

  • Answer: Yes, there is no max supply of Kava.

Q8:

Why Kava?

  • Answer: ...because people are long BTC and the best way to go long BTC without giving up custody is Kava's platform. Because it is MakerDao for bitcoin. Bitcoin has a 10x market cap of ETH and Maker is 10x the size of Kava. I think we're pretty undervalued right now.

Q9:

How do you plan to make liquidity in Kava?

  • Answer: Working with Binance for the IEO and as the first exchange for KAVA to trade on will be a huge boost in increasing the liquidity of trading KAVA.

Q10:

Most crypto investors or crypto users prefer easy transaction and low fees, what can we expect from KAVA about this?

  • Answer: Transaction fees are very low and confirm if seconds. The user experience is quite good on Tendermint-based blockchains.

Q11:

How do I become a note validator on KavA?

Q12:

It is great to know that KAVA is the first DEFI-supported project sponsored by Binance Launchpad, do you think this is the meaning that CZ brings: Opening the DEFI era, as a leader, you feel like how ?

  • Answer: We are the first DeFi platform that Launchpad has supported. We are a very strategic blockchain for major crypto like BNB. Kava's platform will bring more utility to the users of BNB and the Binance DEX. It feels good of course to have validation from the biggest players in the space like Cosmos, Ripple, CZ/Binance, etc.

Q13:

Since decentralized finance applications is already dominating, how do you intend to surpass those leading in the market?

  • Answer: The leaders are only addressing ethereum. BTC, XRP, BNB, ATOM is a much larger set to go after that current players cannot.

Q14:

What does Ripple play in the Kava's ecosystem, since Ripple is like a top tier company and it’s impressive that you are partnered with them?

  • Answer: Ripple is an equity investor in Kava and a big supporter of our work in cross-chain settlement research and implementations. Ripple's XRP is a great asset in terms of users and liquidity that the Kava platform can use. In addition, Ripple's money service business customers are asking for a stable coin for remittances to avoid the currency heading risk that XRP presents. Ripple will not use USDC or other stable coins, but they are open to using USDX as it can be XRP-backed.

Q15:

Considering the connectivity, Libra could be the biggest competitor if KAVA leverages interchain for efficiency.

  • Answer: With regard to USDX, it is important to understand the users interacting with the Kava blockchain have no counterparty that people could go after for legal actions. A user getting a USDX loan has no counterparty. The software holds the collateral and creates the loan. The only laws that would apply are to the very users that are using the system.

Q16:

Wonder how KAVA will compete with the tech giants

  • Answer: Libra is running into extreme issues with the US Senate and regulators. Even the G7-G20 groups are worried. Its important to understand that Libra is effectively a permissioned system. Only big companies that law makers can go after are able to run nodes. In Kava, nodes can be run by anyway and our nodes are based all over the world. It's incredibly hard for a law maker to take down Kava because they would need to find and legally enforce hundreds of business in different jurisdictions to comply. We have an advantage in this way over the larger projects like Libra or Clayton.

Q17:

In long-term, what's the strategy that KAVA has for covering the traditional finance users as well? Especially regarding the "stability"

  • Answer: Technical risk is unavoidable for DeFi. Only time will tell if a system is trustworthy and its never 100% that it will not fail or be hacked. This is true with banks and other financial systems as well. I think for DeFi, the technical risk needs to be priced in to the expected returns to compensate the market. DeFi does have a better user experience - requiring no credit score, identity, or KYC over centralized solutions.
  • With our multi-collateral CDP system, even with it overcollateralized, people can get up to 3x leverage on assets. Take 100 USD in BTC, get a USDX loan for 66 USDX, then buy $66 BTC and do another loan - you can do this with a program to get 3x leverage with the same risk profile. This is enough for most people.
  • However, it will be possible once we have Kava's CDP platform to extend it into products that offer undercollateralized financial products. For example, if USER 1 + USER 2 use payment channels to lock up their USDX, they can use Kava's price feeds to place bets between each other using their locked assets. They can bet that for every $1 BTC/USD moves, the other party owes 3x. In this way we can even do 100x leverage or 1000x leverage and create very fun products for people to trade with. Importantly, even in places where margin trading is regulated and forbidden, Kava's platform will remain open access and available.

Q18:

In long-term, what's the strategy that KAVA has for covering the traditional finance users as well? Especially regarding the "stability"

  • Answer: Kava believes that stable coins should be backed not just by crypto or fiat, but any widely used, highly liquid asset. We think in the future the best stablecoin would be backed by a basket of very stable currencies that include crypto and fiat or whatever the market demands.

Q19:

Compound, maker they're trying to increase their size via the competitive interests rates. THough it shows good return in terms of growth rate, still it's for short-term. Wonder other than financial advantage, KAVA has more for the users' needs?

  • Answer: Robert, the CEO of Compound is an investor and advisor to Kava. We think what Compound does with money markets is amazing and hope to integrate when they support more than just Ethereum assets. Kava's advantage vs others is to provide basic DeFi services like returns on crypto and stable coins today when no other platform offers that. Many platforms support ETH, but no platform can support BTC, XRP, BNB, and ATOM in a decentralized way without requiring centralized custody of these assets.

Q20:

The vast majority of the cryptocurrency community's priorities is symbolic pricing. When prices rise, the community rejoices and grows. When they fall, many people begin to cast in a negative way. How will KAVA solve the negative problem when the price goes down? What is your plan to strengthen and develop the community to persuade more people to look at the product than the price?

  • Answer: We believe price is an important factor for faith in the market. One of Kava's key initiatives was selecting only long-term partners that are willing to work with kava for 2 years. That is why even after 6 months, 0 private investor or kava team tokens will be liquid on the market.
  • We believe not in fast pumps and then dumps that destroy faith, but rather we try and operate the best we can for long-term sustainable growth over time. It's always hard to control factors in the market, and some factors are out of our control such as BTC price correlations, etc - however, we treat this like a public company stock - we want long-term growth of Kava and try to make sure our whole community of Kava holders is aligned with that the best we can.

Q21:

Do you have any plans to attract non-crypto investors to Kava and how? What are the measures to increase awareness of kava in non-crypto space?

  • Answer: We are 100% focused on crypto, not the general market. We solve the problems of crypto traders and investors - not the average grandma who needs a payment solution. Kava is geared for decentralized leverage and hedging.

Q22:

Adoption is crucial for all projects and crypto companies, what strategy are you gonna use/follow or u are now following to get Kava adopted and used by many people all over the world?

Revenue is an important aspect for all projects in order to survive and keep the project/company up and running for long term, what are the ways that Kava generates profits/revenue and what is its revenue model?

  • Answer: We have already partnered with several large exchanges, long-term VCs, and large projects like Ripple and Cosmos. These are key ways for us to grow our community. As we build support for more assets, we plan to promote Kava's services to those new communities of traders.
  • Kava generates revenue as more people use the platform. As the platform is used, KAVA tokens are burned when users pay stability fees. This deflates the total supply of Kava and should in most cases give rise to the value of KAVA like a stock-buyback in the public markets.

Q23:

In order to be success in Loan project of Cryptocurrency, I think marketing is very important to make people using this service without any registration. What is main strategy for marketing?

  • Answer: Our main strategy is to build a great experience and offer products that are not available to communities with demand. Currently no DeFi products can serve BTC users for example. Centralized exchanges can, but nothing truly trustless. Kava's platform can finally give the vast audiences of BTC, BNB, and ATOM holders access to core DeFi services they cannot get on their own due to the smart contract limitations of those platforms.

Q24:

Currently, some project have policies for their ambassadors to create a contribution and attract recognition for the project! So the KAVA team plans to implement policies and incentives for KAVA ambassadors?

  • Answer: Yes, we will be creating a KAVA ambassador program and releasing that soon. Please follow our social media channels to learn about it in the coming weeks.

Q25:

Currently there are so many KAVA tokens sold on exchanges, why is this happening while KAVA is going to IEO on Binance? Are those KAVA codes fake or not?

  • Answer: For everyone's safety, please understand Kava tokens do not exist yet and they will only exist starting with the Binance IEO. Any other token listings or offerings of Kava are not supported by Kava Labs and I highly discourage you all from trying to get them there. It is most likely a big scam. Please only trust Binance for this.

Q26:

KAVA have two tokens, the first is called Kava - a governance and staking token; the second is called USDX - an algorithmically managed crypto-backed stable coin. What are the advantages of USDX compared to other stablecoins such as: USDT, USDC, TUSD, GUSD, ...?

  • Answer: USDX is one of the few stablecoins to be fully backed by crypto-assets. This means that we do not deal with fiat to back the value, and thus we don't have some of the issues when it comes to storing fiat funds with banks and custodians. This also makes our product fully digital and built for the future of crypto growth.

Q27:

As a CEO, does your background in Esports and Gaming industry help anything to your management and development of KAVA Labs?

  • Answer: Esports no. But having been a multi-time venture-backed foundeCEO and have gone through the start-up phase before has made creating and running a 2nd company easier. Right now Kava is still small, Fnatic had over 80 employees. It was at a larger scale. I would say developing software is much more than doing the hardware at fnaticgear.com

Q28:

Why did Kava choose to launch IEO on Binance and not other exchanges like: Kucoin, Houbi, Gate, ....?

  • Answer: Kava had a lot of interest from exchanges to partner with for IEO. We decided based on a lot of factors such as userbase, diverse exposure across multiple regions and countries, and an amazing team that provides so much insight into so many communities such as this one. Binance has been a tremendous partner and we also look forward to continuing our partnership far into the future.

Q29:

Currently if Search on coinmarketcap has 3 types of stablecoins bearing the USDX symbol (but these 3 stablecoins are no information). So, what will KAVA do to let users know that Kava's USDX is another stablecoin?

  • Answer: All these USDX have no volume or listings. We will be on Binance. I am not worried.

Q30:

In addition to the Token Allocation for Binance Launchpad, what is the Token Treasury in the Initial Circulating Supply?

  • Answer: This is controlled by Kava Labs, but with the big cash we have saved from fundraising, we see no reason why these tokens would be sold on the market. The treasury tokens are for use in grants, ecosystem growth initiatives, development, and other incentive programs to drive adoption of the platform.

Q31:

How you will compete with your competitors? Currently i don't see much but for future how you will maintain this consistency ? No doubt it is Great and Unique project, what is the main problem that #KAVA is currently facing?

  • Answer: Because our industry is just starting out, I don't like to think of them as our direct competitors. We are all working to grow the size of the pie rather than get a larger slice from a small pie. The one thing that we believe will allow us to stand apart is the community we are building. Being able to utilize our own community along with Cosmos and our other partners like Binance for the IEO, we have a strong footing to get a lot of early users onto our platform. Also, we are also focusing on growing Kava internationally particularly Asia. We hope to build our platform for an even larger userbase than just the west.

Q32:

How do you explain your project to a random person who has never heard of your project?

  • Answer: non-crypto = Kava is a lending platform for users of cryptocurrencies.
  • crypto = Kava is a cross-chain DeFi platform for loans and stablecoins backed by BTC, BNB, XRP, ATOM and other major cryptocurrencies.

Q33:

Will KAVA team have a plan on implementing DAO module on your platform since its efficiency on autonomy, decentralization and transparency?

  • Answer: All voting is already transparent on the Kava blockchain. We approved a number of proposals on our test net.

Q34:

how to use usdx token :only for your platform or you have plan to use usdx for payment ?

  • Answer: Payments is a nice use case, but demand for crypto payments is still small. We may choose to focus here later if demand for crypto payments increases. Currently it is quite small with the bulk of use remaining in trading and speculative use cases.

Q35:

Do you have plans to spread KAVA ecosystem across other continents. if yes, what are the strategies and how can I as a community member contribute to making it possible?

  • Answer: We are already across many continents - I don't think we are in antarctica yet. Africa might be light on nodes as well. I think as we grow on major exchanges like Binance, new node operators will get interested and help decentralize Kava further.

Q36:

Maker's CDP lending system is on top in this market and its Dominance is currently sitting on 64.90 % , how kava will compete will maker and compound?

  • Answer: adding assets like bitcoin which have more value and more users than ETH. It's a bigger market that Maker cannot compete with Kava in.

Q37:

Currently, the community is too concerned about the price. As prices rise, the community rejoice and grow, when falling, many people start throwing negatively. So what is KAVA's solution to getting people to focus on the project rather than the price of the token?

What is your plan to strengthen and grow the community to persuade more individuals to look at the product than the price?

  • Answer: We also share similar concerns as price and price direction is always a huge factor in the crypto industry. A lot of people of course are very short-term focused on flipping for bigger profits. One of the solutions, and what Kava has done, is to make sure that everything structured is for the long-term. So that makes sure that our investors and employees are all focused on long-term gains and growth. Locking vesting periods are part of that alignment. Another thing is that we at Kava are very transparent in our progress and development. We will be regularly posting updates within our own communities to allow our users and followers to keep up with everything we're up to. Please follow us or look at our github if you're interested!

Q38:

How did Kava get on Piexgo?

  • Answer: We did not work with Piexgo. We have not distributed tokens to any exchange other than Binance. I cannot speak to what is going on there, but I would be very wary of what is happening there.

Q39:

Why was the 1st round price so much lower than the current price

  • Answer: It is natural to worry that early investors got better pricing and could dump on the market. I can assure you that our investors are in this for the long-term. All private sale rounds signed 2 year contracts to run validators - and if they don't they forfeit their tokens. You can compare our release schedule to any other project. We have one of the most restricted circulating supply schedules of any project EVER and its because all our investors are commiting to the long-term success of the project and believe in Kava.
  • About the pricing itself - it is always a function of traction like for any start-up. When we made our public announcement about the project in June, we were only a 4 man team with just some github code. We could basically run a network with a single node, our own. Which is relatively worthless. I think our pricing of Kava at this time was justified. We were effectively a seed-stage company without a product or working network.
  • By July we made severe progress on the development side and the business side. We successful launched our first test net with the help of over 70 validator business partners around the world. We had a world-wide network of hundreds of people supporting us with people and resources at this point and the risk we would fail in launching a working product was much lower. At this point, the Kava project was valued at $25M. At this point, we had many VCs and investors asking for Kava tokens that we turned away. We only accepted validators that would help us launch the network. It was our one and only goal.
  • Fast forward to today, the IEO price simply reflects the traction and market demand for Kava. Our ecosystem is much larger than it was even a month ago. We have support from Ripple, Cosmos, and Binance amongst other large crypto projects. We have 100+ validators securing our network with very sophisticated high-availability set-ups. In addition, our ecosystem partners have built products for Kava - such as block explorers and others are working on native integrations to wallets and exchanges. Launchpad will be very big for us. Kava is a system designed to cater to crypto traders and investors and in a matter of days we distributed via Binance Launchpad and put in the hands of 130+ countries and tens of thousands of users overnight. It doesn't get more DeFi than that.

Q40:

What is the treasury used for?

  • Answer: Kava's treasury is for ecosystem growth activities.
  • Investors in financing rounds prior to the IEO have entered into long-term lock-up agreements in-line with their belief in Kava’s exciting long-term growth potential and to allow the projects token price to find stability. Following the IEO, the only tokens in circulation will be those sold through the IEO on Binance and the initial Treasury tokens released. No private sale investor tokens are in circulation until the initial release at the end of Q1 2020 and then gradually over the [36] months The initial Treasury tokens in circulation will be used for a mixture of ecosystem grants, the expenses associated with the IEO as well as initial market making requirements as is typical with a listing of this size. Kava remains well financed to execute our roadmap following the IEO and do not envisage any need for any material financings or token sales for the foreseeable future.

Q41:

Everyone have heard about the KAVA token, and read about it. But it would be great to hear your explanation about it. What is the Kava token, what is it's utility? :)

  • Answer: The Kava token plays many roles. KAVA is the native staking token of the Kava blockchain and is used for securing the network. KAVA is delegated to validators, basically professional node operators that run highly-available servers to secure the Kava blockchain. The top 100 validators by weight of staked KAVA earn block rewards that range from 3-20% APR based on the total amount staked in the network. These rewards are split between the validators and the KAVA holders.
  • When users of the platform repay their loans, they must a stability fee (a percentage of the loan) in KAVA tokens. These tokens are burned by the system, effectively deflating the total supply overtime as more users use the CDP system.
  • KAVA is also the primary token used in governance of the platform. KAVA token holders can vote on key system parameter changes and upgrades such as what assets to support, how much USDX in total can be loaned by the system, what the debt-to-collateral ratio needs to be, the stability fees, etc. KAVA holders have a very important responsibility to govern the system well.
  • Lastly, Kava functions as a "Lender of Last Resort" meaning if USDX ever gets undercollateralized because the underlying asset prices drop suddenly and the system manages it poorly, KAVA is inflated in these emergency situations and used to purchase USDX off the market until USDX reaches a state of being over collateralized again. KAVA holders have incentive to only support the good high quality assets so risk of the system is managed responsibly.

Q42:

No matter how perfect and technically thought-out a DeFi protocol is, it cannot be completely protected from any unplanned situations (such as extreme market fluctuations, some legal issues, etc.)

Ecosystem members, in particular the validators on whom KAVA relies on fundamental decision-making rights, should be prepared in advance for any "critical" scenario. Considering that, unlike the same single-collateral MakerDAO, KAVA will be a multi-collateral CDP system, this point is probably even more relevant here.

In this regard, please answer the following question: Does KAVA have a clear risk management model or strategy and how decentralized is / will it be?

  • Answer: Simialar to other CDP systems and MakerDAO we do have a system freeze function where in cases of extreme issues, we can stop the auction mechanisms and return all collateral.

Q43:

Did you know that "Kava" is translated into Ukrainian like "Coffee"? I personally do love drinking coffee. I plunge into the fantasy world. Why did you name your project "Kava" What is the story behind it? What idea / fantasy did your project originate from, which inspired you to create it?

  • Answer: Kava is coffee to you.
  • Kava is Hippopotamus to Japanese.
  • Cava is a region in Spain
  • Kava is also a root that is used in tea which makes your mouth numb.
  • Kava is also crow in Hindi.
  • Kava last but not least is a DeFi platform launching on Binance :)
  • We liked the sound of Kava it was as simple as that. It doesn't have much meaning in the USA where I am from. But it's short sweet and when we were just starting, Kava.io was available for a reasonable price

Q44:

What incentives does a lender get if a person chooses to pay with KAVA? Is there a discount on interest rates on the loan amount if you pay with KAVA? Do I have to pass the KYC procedure to apply for a small loan?

  • Answer: There is no KYC for Kava. Its an open blockchain software platform where anyone with a computer can connect to it and use it.

Q45:

Let's say, I decided to bond my cryptocurrency and got USDX stable coins. For now, it`s an unknown stable coin (let's be honest). Do you plan to add USDX to other famous exchanges? Also, you have spoken about the USDX staking and that the percentage would be higher than for other stable coins. Please be so kind to tell us what is the average annual interest rate and what are the conditions of staking?

  • Answer: Yes we have several large exchanges willing to support USDX from the start. Binance/Binance-DEX is one you should all know ;)
  • The average annual rates for USDX will depend on market conditions. The rate is actually provided by the CDP fees users pay. The system reallocates a portion of those fees to USDX users. In times when USDX use needs to grow, the rates will be higher to incentivize use. When demand is strong, we can reduce the rates.

Q46:

Why should i use and choose Kava's loan if i can use the similar margin trade on Binance?

  • Answer: If margin is available to you and you trust the exchange then you should do whatever is cheaper. For a US citizen and others, margin is often not available and if it is, only for a few asset types as collateral. Kava aims to address this and offer this to everyone.

Q47:

The IEO price is $ 0.46 while the price of the first private sale is $ 0.075. Don't you think that such price gap can negatively affect the liquidity of the token and take away the desire to buy a token on the exchange?

  • Answer: It is natural to worry that early investors got better pricing and could dump on the market. I can assure you that our investors are in this for the long-term. All private sale rounds signed 2 year contracts to run validators - and if they don't they forfeit their tokens. You can compare our release schedule to any other project. We have one of the most restricted circulating supply schedules of any project EVER and its because all our investors are commiting to the long-term success of the project and believe in Kava.
  • About the pricing itself - it is always a function of traction like for any start-up. When we made our public announcement about the project in June, we were only a 4 man team with just some github code. We could basically run a network with a single node, our own. Which is relatively worthless. I think our pricing of Kava at this time was justified. We were effectively a seed-stage company without a product or working network.
  • By July we made severe progress on the development side and the business side. We successful launched our first test net with the help of over 70 validator business partners around the world. We had a world-wide network of hundreds of people supporting us with people and resources at this point and the risk we would fail in launching a working product was much lower. At this point, the Kava project was valued at $25M. At this point, we had many VCs and investors asking for Kava tokens that we turned away. We only accepted validators that would help us launch the network. It was our one and only goal.
  • Fast forward to today, the IEO price simply reflects the traction and market demand for Kava. Our ecosystem is much larger than it was even a month ago. We have support from Ripple, Cosmos, and Binance amongst other large crypto projects. We have 100+ validators securing our network with very sophisticated high-availability set-ups. In addition, our ecosystem partners have built products for Kava - such as block explorers and others are working on native integrations to wallets and exchanges. Launchpad will be very big for us. Kava is a system designed to cater to crypto traders and investors and in a matter of days we distributed via Binance Launchpad and put in the hands of 130+ countries and tens of thousands of users overnight. It doesn't get more DeFi than that.
  • TLDR - I think KAVA is undervalued and the liquid supply of tokens is primarily from the IEO so its a safer bet than other IEOs. If the price drops, it will be from the overall market conditions or fellow IEO users not due private sale investors or team sell-offs.

Q48:

Can you introduce some information abouts KAVA Deflationary Fee Structure? With the burning mechanism, does it mean KAVA will never reach its max supply?

  • Answer: When loans are repaid, users pay a fee in Kava. This is burned. However, Kava does not have a max supply. It has a starting supply of 100M. It inflates for block rewards 3-20% APR AND it inflates when the system is at risk of under collateralization. At this time, more Kava is minted and used to purchase USDX off the market until it reaches full collateralization again.
  • TLDR: If things go well, and governance is good, Kava deflates and hopefully appreciates in value. If things go wrong, Kava holders get inflated.

Q49:

In your opinion what are advantage of decentralized finance over centralized?

  • Answer: One of the main advantages is not needing to pay the costs of regulation and compliance. Open financial software that is usable by anyone removes middle men fees and reduces the barrier for new entrants to enter and make new products. Also DeFI has an edge in terms of onboarding - to get a bank account or an exchange account you need to do lots of KYC and give private info. That takes time and is troublesome. With DeFi you just load up your funds and transact. Very fast user flows.

Q50:

Plan, KAVA how to raise capital? Kava is being supported by more than 100 business entities around the world, including major cryptocurrency investment funds like Ripple and Cosmos, so what did kava do to convince investors to join the project?

  • Answer: We have been doing crypto research and development for years. Ripple and Cosmos were partners before we even started this blockchain with Kava Labs. When we announced Kava the DeFi platform they knew us already to do good work and they liked the idea so they support us.
submitted by Kava_Mod to KavaUSDX [link] [comments]

Quant Network partners with AX Trading to bring Digital Assets to Wall Street

US-Based AX Trading, a partner of Euronext (the leading pan-European exchange in the Eurozone and the sixth largest in the world with a market cap of $4.65 trillion), intends to integrate with Quant Network for digital asset interoperability. In addition to being SEC regulated AX Trading have huge reach into European market as well.
George O’Krepkie, AX CEO said: “We look forward to partnering with Quant. Their technology will allow our blockchain agnostic security token exchange to communicate seamlessly with issuers, traders, investors, and regulators across different blockchain protocols. This is a key technological breakthrough that will help us bring the benefits of security tokens to Main Street and Wall Street.”
From an article in 2013, Nasdaq and AX Trading Look at Block Trade Alternative To HFT: "The average market capitalization of stocks on the site is $1.8 billion, while the average order size is approximately 85,000 shares and average trade size is approximately 48,000 shares. The average daily volume on an initiated order is 800,000 shares a day."
In 2016 AX Trading launched the much improved AX Trading Network. “We are the world's first Electronic Trading Network (ETN), where institutional traders can proactively connect and trade with one another in a secure environment. We will go live with over 800 institutional traders involved in our trading platform.“
It is expected that the first interoperable digital asset offering may commence as soon as January 2020, and that the AX Trading ATS will be ready to enable and list interoperable digital assets and securities.
Recently Quant Network announced that they’ve been working with Binance to provide interoperability to Binance Chain through their Overledger operating system, bringing enterprise use cases to new decentralised finance infrastructure. Binance Chain users will benefit from being able to transact assets across Corda, Hyperledger and Ripple as well as Bitcoin, Stellar and Ethereum public blockchains.
submitted by mr_sonic to QuantNetwork [link] [comments]

Quant Network partners with AX Trading to bring Digital Assets to Wall Street

US-Based AX Trading, a partner of Euronext (the leading pan-European exchange in the Eurozone and the sixth largest in the world with a market cap of $4.65 trillion), intends to integrate with Quant Network for digital asset interoperability. In addition to being SEC regulated AX Trading have huge reach into European market as well.
George O’Krepkie, AX CEO said: “We look forward to partnering with Quant. Their technology will allow our blockchain agnostic security token exchange to communicate seamlessly with issuers, traders, investors, and regulators across different blockchain protocols. This is a key technological breakthrough that will help us bring the benefits of security tokens to Main Street and Wall Street.”
From an article in 2013, Nasdaq and AX Trading Look at Block Trade Alternative To HFT: "The average market capitalization of stocks on the site is $1.8 billion, while the average order size is approximately 85,000 shares and average trade size is approximately 48,000 shares. The average daily volume on an initiated order is 800,000 shares a day."
In 2016 AX Trading launched the much improved AX Trading Network. “We are the world's first Electronic Trading Network (ETN), where institutional traders can proactively connect and trade with one another in a secure environment. We will go live with over 800 institutional traders involved in our trading platform.“
It is expected that the first interoperable digital asset offering may commence as soon as January 2020, and that the AX Trading ATS will be ready to enable and list interoperable digital assets and securities.
Recently Quant Network announced that they’ve been working with Binance to provide interoperability to Binance Chain through their Overledger operating system, bringing enterprise use cases to new decentralised finance infrastructure. Binance Chain users will benefit from being able to transact assets across Corda, Hyperledger and Ripple as well as Bitcoin, Stellar and Ethereum public blockchains.
Associated links:
submitted by mr_sonic to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Thoughts on the current downturn

From https://forums.prohashing.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&p=23082#p23082:
---------------------------------------------

The current downturn in the cryptocurrency markets itself isn't very surprising. There have been many bubbles before, and there will be at least one more bubble after this. What surprises me about this cycle is how quickly the market has collapsed. Whereas previous cycles fell slowly after the long middle period where prices stalled, this time the bottom fell out in the course of a week. This post will review the consequences of the new market reality.

Bitcoins are holding up well
Perhaps the biggest shock of this cycle is how the price of bitcoins has held up so well compared to that of other coins. In June 2017, when we were deciding whether this pool could be a profitable business and how many people we should hire if it could be. We determined that the average case where the coins would settle was bitcoins at $1574, ETH at $110, and LTC at $30. ETH and LTC have already surpassed the average case decline we had projected, while BTC is holding above twice the projected bottom.

The reason for BTC holding up so well isn't obvious. Almost every other coin is superior to BTC in some way. For example, LTC and BCH are much cheaper to send money with, ETH is used for contracts, and Monero has anonymity.

I don't think that bitcoins will hold up for much longer. I think that the capitulation to $980 is still ahead, and the price after capitulation will be $1500 or so. The BTC network still hasn't reckoned with the lack of a realistic plan to increase its block size. At some point, the lightning network is going to be shown as a technical marvel that works well when people are running nodes, but that it's too difficult for ordinary users and that money transmission regulations will not permit most businesses to run nodes. The Core developers are still pressing on with their effort despite the money transmission regulations.

Right now, growth is being driven by people willing to experiment. Eventually, the lightning network will run out of hobbyists to adopt it and its growth will cease, because normal businesses like us won't touch it due to the legal risks. At that point, people will realize that there is no "Plan B" for Bitcoin, and perhaps that will cause capitulation and force the Core to reevaluate their path forward.


We should reevaluate how coins are valued
Another change in this crash from the previous crashes is the complete lack of news to explain it. During the $32 -> $2 downturn, it was quite possible that nobody would ever adopt cryptocurrencies. During the $266 -> $69 downturn, many believed that Mt. Gox's unreliability and instability would lead to the death of the industry. During the $1160 -> $160 bubble, China banned bitcoins every week. But during the past two weeks, there has been no news of any importance.

In particular, ETH prices are absurd. I really don't understand how people think that ETH is priced anything close to its real value. Gas prices continue to rise and people think it's worth 6% of what it was a year ago? If I were paid in dollars, I would be changing them to ETH as fast as I could right now.

Since these prices don't make sense with what many people and I think are the fundamentals, then we need to reevaluate our views on how coins are valued. It's quite possible that the idea that things like transaction capacity and features [i]don't actually matter[/i].

There was one news article that caught my attention a while back. It proposed that, during 2017, a lot of the buyers into coins came from "ordinary people" who knew very little about cryptocurrencies. These people talked about coins at parties and bought what their friends bought. Someone like me, who spends most of his time at home writing code for this business, who is not married, and who has fewer friends than the average person, would not have been exposed to enough instances to make a connection if it were true that someone talked about bitcoins at every social event. I'd also venture that many of the people discussing bubbles in Internet forums also engage in less socializing than the average person, so reading theories about what happened from them leads to inaccurate conclusions.

During the next bubble, I'm going to more strongly consider social issues rather than technical issues and see whether that increases the accuracy of my predictions.


IPOs of mining manufacturers were too slow
One way to predict that this would not be a quick recovery into another bubble like the first 2013 collapse was to look at the IPOs from the mining manufacturers. Businesses don't issue IPOs when they have plenty of money - why would you give up potential profits to get money now if you don't need it? Instead, executives at the companies were really smart and saw that the writing was on the wall. Their problem was that they moved too slowly to sell their stakes. I don't think that the IPOs will be able to raise sufficient capital at this point and they will probably be cancelled. Bitmain or one of the other big mining manufacturers will likely go out of business.

Mining manufacturing is an interesting business because there is zero demand for your product during times like these. The industry basically resets every few years with new companies. The bitcoin difficulty just fell 15% during the last period, and the market is flooded with the miners that were just shut down. Why would anyone buy a new miner when all these old miners are being given away at any cost?

It doesn't make sense that anyone would ever invest in these IPOs or in the rumored Coinbase IPO. All of these stocks are 100% dependent on the cryptocurrency market recovering. If cryptocurrencies settle at these prices indefinitely, Coinbase will be unable to support its operations and will collapse, so you'll lose a lot more money than if you invested in coins (which have no chance of ever being completely worthless anymore.) If cryptocurrencies increase in value, they will go up by 100-1000x and Coinbase's stock will go up by 5x or 10x. In both cases, buying an IPO in the cryptocurrency world never makes as much sense as buying the coins themselves. Either buy coins or buy stocks in some unrelated industry to diversify.


"Manipulation" is a buzzword people use to explain things they don't like
Whenever prices fall, people start complaining about "manipulation." They experienced a huge drop, so the people selling must have been "manipulating" the market to cause them to lose money. The latest theory is that Bitfinex is not being honest with its Tether reserves. Bitfinex clearly violated the law by serving US customers and not shutting down when it was insolvent, but there isn't any evidence that Tether is going to fail due to fraud.

Note that Tether may fail due to banks discontinuing Tether's accounts, but that is different than fraud where a misrepresentation is being made.

I don't believe that the cryptocurrency markets are "manipulated" like most people think. There are some scams, especially those where people create ICOs and don't deliver a product. I doubt that the SEC will bring any charges against Bitfinex, and most of these complaints about "manipulation" are simply people complaining because they lost money.


Businesses will start to fail
Now I can get to the consequence that I think is the most important to understand in predicting how the next cycle plays out.

One of the reasons that the next bubble is a while away is because there have not yet been a lot of businesses that have failed. One of the unfortunate aspects of cryptocurrency, and one that significantly delays its development, is how the bubble cycle causes good ideas to fail. For example, the ETCDEV team, which contributed to Ethereum Classic development, recently folded due to bankruptcy. While I don't hold much love for people who are willing to overlook something as heinous as the DAO theft, the ETCDEV team did seem like it would be a significant contributor to developing ETC, and that won't happen now.

In fact, it's more likely that honest, ethical businesses will fail during this coming down cycle than scammers and fraudsters. It doesn't cost much to be a scammer - you just register some fake accounts and announce a new project, then disappear with all the money. Operating an honest business is expensive. It will cost us $15,000 just to comply with the 1099-MISC regulations next month. That's why, as prices fall, we should expect disreputable people to start to again outnumber law-abiding citizens in this industry. We can already see that happening as people with criminal records like Craig Wright, Roger Ver, and Charlie Shrem are dominating the conversation more and more.

As prices fall, businesses will need to make a decision. Many of them will decide to "pivot" - which essentially means that the company is shutting down and is creating a new firm in a different industry. This was common in 2015. Remember that the level at which a company should quit working in cryptocurrencies is not determined by whether they are making money, but by whether they are making as much money as they could in another field. Most of the time, companies that "pivot" don't return to whatever they were doing before, because they either find the "pivot" field to be lucrative, in which case it makes sense to keep at it, or they go bankrupt in that field too and close down permanently.

They key issue with these "pivots" and outright bankruptcies is that talent leaves the industry and is permanently gone. It takes at least 6 months for a programmer to join a project and become familiar with a codebase, during which time that person's productivity is significantly reduced. The cost of training a new hire is often as much as that person's salary for an entire year, given that other people in the company need to slow down to train the new person. When people leave a company, they don't just come back if times get better. They get new jobs, with new responsibilities, and that knowledge is lost.

Suppose that there is a company that has created an amazing Ethereum-based marketplace that will eventually gain millions of simultaneous customers. The marketplace reaches completion, but in the downturn the company is forced to shut down until the market turns around again, because all their customers are gone. Even if the owner of the company retains the software and is available and willing to restart when the next bubble begins, years have passed and new employees are needed. It will take 6 months to get all the employees hired, another 3 to get them minimally trained, another 1 to upgrade all the development environments, packages, and tools that became obsolete during the stoppage to get everything up to current standards, and another 2 to redo the website design to do the same thing with different colors and designs because the Internet for some reason changed its mind on what makes "attractive" webpages again.

If the downturn lasts two years, then this project could have been out [i]three years earlier[/i] if it weren't for the bubbles. Not only that, but the project's suspension itself contributed to the long duration of the bubble cycle. There would have been more activity in cryptocurrencies if this system had been available.

This effect is why I believe that as prices decline, the length of the upcoming downturn will increase significantly. Over the next weeks and months, we're going to start to hear of promising projects fail, and that's going to reduce the value of coins, cascading into other projects' feasibility, and creating a ripple effect of "pivots" and bankruptcies.

This is why I think that the first 2013 bubble had a much different outcome than the second 2013 bubble. In the first 2013 bubble, prices never collapsed after the long period of stability, and businesses were able to keep moving forward during that time. During the second 2013 bubble, prices collapsed after that period of stability that ended in August 2014, and one can look back at news articles form the day listing failures and "pivots" that occurred in the subsequent months.

If it weren't for bubbles, the industry would be years ahead of where it is now. The smartphone, for example, rose from unknown to market saturation in 10 years. After 10 years, where are cryptocurrencies, which also arose in 2008? About 6 or 7 years behind where they could be, because every bubble requires a reset with new companies, given that most of the work from the previous bubble is wasted.


There will be a next bubble
Finally, there will definitely be a next bubble - of that, I'm 100% certain. If you're not sure of that, then consider a scenario where you live in a world that already uses cryptocurrencies for all transactions. One day, a government decides that it's going to create its own currency, which it will be able to inflate at will, and which will take hundreds of times longer to conduct transactions with.

Do you think people would use that currency?
submitted by MattAbrams to BitcoinMarkets [link] [comments]

Bitcoin as the Ultimate Haven from Hyperinflation: A Country By Country Analysis Of Worldwide Fiat Currency Inflation

Bitcoin as the Ultimate Haven from Hyperinflation: A Country By Country Analysis Of Worldwide Fiat Currency Inflation
https://cryptoiq.co/bitcoin-as-the-ultimate-haven-from-hyperinflation-a-country-by-country-analysis-of-worldwide-fiat-currency-inflation/
Bitcoin was created during the Great Recession that started in 2008, when the governments of the world printed trillions of dollars to bail out banks and corporations. Satoshi Nakamoto intended Bitcoin to be a decentralized form of money that could not be printed by governments at will. In the the Genesis Block Satoshi included the message “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of the second bailout for banks.”
Fiat currencies continue to be the dominant form of global currency, but it seems logical that, if fiat currencies were to hyperinflate and collapse, Bitcoin would become the dominant global currency.
This is because Bitcoin can be sent instantly anywhere in the world and is cryptographically secure. It is easy enough to integrate Bitcoin into any e-commerce store or physical store, and the customers of the future will be able to send Bitcoin from their smartphones via QR codes. Therefore, if fiat currency becomes obsolete, Bitcoin could seamlessly take its place and keep the global economy running.
There has been plenty of hype that fiat currencies are collapsing, but this article will explore the current state of major fiat currencies in the world to ascertain the true situation. This is important information since the rate of fiat currency inflation by country is an important factor that will determine Bitcoin adoption rates and ultimately Bitcoin’s price.
United States’ Inflation Rate
The United States is perhaps the best place to start an analysis of global fiat inflation, since the USD is the world’s dominant fiat currency and perhaps the most stable long term. That being said, there is 2-3 percent annual inflation in the United States.
If we split the difference at a 2.5 percent annual inflation rate, it means $100,000 stored in a bank will lose a whopping $22,400 of value over the course of 10 years, corresponding to 22.4 percent inflation per 10 years. Therefore, even in the United States, saving money long term seems impractical, and this essentially forces people to risk their savings by investing in the hopes that the money earned from investing will outpace inflation.
It appears inflation will only worsen in the United States since the national debt is approaching $22 trillion, with a budget deficit of $1 trillion per year and growing. This situation will likely lead to increased money printing, which would increase the inflation rate. Therefore, saving money in USD long term does not make financial sense. Bitcoin is an alternative way to store money long term, although Bitcoin has yet to mature and can be extremely volatile from year to year.
Euro (EUR) Inflation Rate Is 37.5 percent Relative To USD During The Last 10 Years
One of the primary global currencies besides the USD is the Euro (EUR). For the rest of this global analysis, fiat currencies will be compared to the USD exchange rate to determine inflation, but it must be kept in mind that the USD itself is inflating at the rate of 2 to 3 percent per year.
When the EUR launched in 1999, the exchange rate was one USD per 0.85 EUR. By 2002 the EUR weakened to 1.16 EUR per USD. The EUR then entered a period of vigorous strengthening, and the exchange rate fell to 0.64 EUR per USD by 2008. The Great Recession caused the EUR to begin weakening versus the USD long term, and currently each USD is worth 0.88 EUR. This represents 37.5 percent inflation relative to the USD in roughly 10 years.
Back to the storing money in a bank analogy, $100,000 of EUR stored over the past 10 years would have lost the EUR inflation rate + the USD inflation rate. With this sort of inflation rate it seems dangerous to store money in EUR long term.
It gets worse. The EUR is one of the top global fiat currencies, and there are many currencies doing worse than the EUR.
United Kingdom’s Pound Has 65 Percent Inflation Relative to USD in 11 Years
The United Kingdom (UK) is one of nine European Union (EU) countries that does not use the EUR, and eventually, the UK will leave the EU via the Brexit. However, the native Great Britain Pound (GBP) has done far worse than the Euro, with the exchange rate going from 0.48 GBP per USD in 2007 to 0.79 GBP per USD currently. This is 65 percent inflation relative to the USD during the past 11 years.
Canada’s Inflation Rate Is 45.2 Percent Relative to USD During the Last 7 Years
The United States’ neighbor to the north is similar to the United States in many respects. It is a fully developed and industrialized first world country. However the native fiat currency, the Canadian Dollar (CAD), has been experiencing severe inflation since the Great Recession. In 2011 1 USD was worth 0.95 CAD, and now the exchange rate is 1.36 CAD per USD. This represents 43.2 percent inflation relative to the USD since 2011, and of course, the USD has an underlying inflation rate as well of 16.2 percent during the last 7 years.
Even in the first world country of Canada, it is becoming impossible to save cash for retirement or even for short-term goals like buying a house, forcing people to invest in the risky stock market.
Mexico’s Inflation Rate Is 97.6 Percent Relative to the USD During Past 10 Years
Since the 2008 financial crisis, the exchange rate of the Mexican Peso (MXN) has gone from 10.12 MXN per USD to 20 MXN per USD. This represents 97.6 percent inflation relative to the USD, and USD inflation means the true Mexican inflation rate is well over 100 percent per 10 years. This sort of inflation rate ensures that people have to work their entire lives and can never retire, and overall, this sort of inflation can cause the entire economy of Mexico to struggle. Bitcoin seems like an obvious alternative to holding MXN long term.
It is quite shocking that a country bordering the United States has such high inflation, yet the mainstream media never mentions it.
Russia Has 194 Percent Inflation Relative to USD Since the 2008 Great Recession
Russia is a global superpower, with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $1.58 trillion versus the United States’ $19.39 trillion GDP. Despite being a superpower, the native currency of Russia, the Russian Ruble (RUB), has gone from 23.48 RUB per USD in 2008 to 69.08 RUB per USD currently. This yields a 194 percent 10 year inflation rate relative to the USD. Clearly, the Great Recession that started in 2008 is a common point when fiat inflation accelerated in many countries around the world.
Japan’s Inflation Rate Is 46 Percent Relative to USD Over the Past 7 Years
Japan is a first-world country and has one of the most important stock markets in the world. The GDP of Japan is ranked number three in the world at nearly $5 trillion. However, its inflation rate is far higher than the United States, at least since 2011. In 2011, the exchange rate was 76 JPY per USD, but it has now risen to 111 JPY per USD, a 46 percent inflation rate relative to the USD over the past 7 years. This is actually almost exactly the same as Canada’s inflation rate.
China’s Inflation Is Only 14.4 Percent Relative to USD Since 2013, but China Tightly Controls the CNY
China is the second ranking economy in the world with a $12 trillion GDP. Its position as the number one trading partner of the United States gives it power to manipulate the exchange rate of its native currency the Chinese Yuan (CNY). The CNY actually strengthened greatly versus the USD until 2013, when China relaxed its control over the CNY exchange rate to make it more competitive in the global import and export markets. Chinese control over the CNY and therefore, control over the profitability of Chinese imports, is a primary reason for the “trade war” between China and the United States.
Since allowing the CNY to lose value relative to the USD, the exchange rate has gone from 6.04 CNY per USD in 2013 to 6.91 CNY per USD currently, a 14.4 percent inflation relative to the USD in 5 years. China is an outlier and has one of the lowest inflation rates relative to the USD.
Switzerland Has One Of The Lowest Inflation Rates At Less Than 5 percent Relative To The USD In 7 Years
Switzerland has remained independent of the European Union and does not use the EUR. Instead, it uses the Swiss Franc (CHF). The CHF actually strengthened greatly relative to the USD during the Great Recession, but the trend reversed in 2011. There was a rapid devaluation of the CHF relative to the USD from 0.76 CHF per USD to 0.94 CHF per USD during 2011. In The 7 years since then, the CHF has roughly five percent inflation relative to the USD and sits at 0.99 CHF per USD currently.
That being said, it cannot be forgotten that the USD itself is experiencing 2.5 percent inflation per year, so even countries that have low inflation rates relative to the USD have a significant inflation rate overall.
India Has Seen 79 Percent Inflation Relative to USD Since the Great Recession Began
India has the sixth highest GDP in the world at $2.6 trillion, and the second highest population at 1.34 billion. Since the Great Recession began, the Indian Rupee (INR) has gone from 39.18 per USD to 70.14 INR per USD, a 79 percent inflation relative to the USD in 11 years. Unfortunately, India is slowly making Bitcoin more illegal and could fully outlaw it, so citizens may have to break the law in the future in the event that inflation accelerates and Bitcoin becomes a preferred way to store money.
Indonesia Has 76 Percent Inflation Relative to the USD in Seven Years
Indonesia has a population of 265 million, not far behind the United States, but its GDP is 20 times less than the United States at $1 trillion. Part of the reason Indonesia’s economy is weaker may be that the native fiat currency, the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) has gone from 8,250 per USD in 2011 to 14,550 IDR per USD currently. This is 76 percent inflation relative to the USD in 7 years, around the same rate as India. However, Indonesia has banned Bitcoin as of 2018, which would make it difficult for citizens to use Bitcoin in the event inflation spirals out of control.
Brazil Has 152 percent Inflation Relative To USD In Past Seven Years, Despite Being the Strongest Economy In South America
Brazil has the most powerful economy in South America with a $2 trillion GDP. However, South America as a whole is experiencing out of control hyperinflation, and Brazil seems to be feeling the effects. The Brazilian Real (BRL) has gone from 1.55 per USD in 2011 to 3.91 BRL per USD currently. This is 152 percent inflation relative to the USD in 7 years. There does not appear to be any inflation safe haven in South America, and this could make South America a Bitcoin adoption hotspot.
Venezuela Has Ridiculous Inflation Around One million percent Per Year; Bolivar Collapsing
The end game of fiat currency inflation, if left unchecked, is currency collapse. A classic example of currency collapse is the situation in Venezuela, where the Cafe Con Leche Index suggests 400,000 percent inflation per year, although if a shorter term average is used it is 1 million percent per year or more. It would be shocking if the native fiat currency of Venezuela, the Sovereign Bolivar (VES), is still usable one year from now. Bitcoin is legal in Venezuela, and there is plenty of news which indicates people are abandoning the VES for Bitcoin.
South Korea Has Zero Inflation Relative to the USD
South Korea is considered a powerful economy relative to most of the world, with a GDP of $1.5 trillion despite the country’s small size. The South Korean Won (SKW) has essentially zero inflation relative to the USD long term aside from an exchange rate shock during the 2008 Great Recession. That being said, inflation is still a reality in South Korea since the USD has average inflation of 2.5 percent per year.
Australia Has 53 Percent Inflation Relative to the USD in Seven Years
Australia essentially has a continent to itself, but it is not isolated from the global fiat inflation crisis. The AUD actually strengthened massively versus the USD from 2001 to 2011. However, the trend reversed, and the exchange rate has gone from 0.93 AUD per USD in 2011 to 1.42 AUD per USD currently. This is 53 percent inflation relative to the USD in seven years.
Israel Has Zero Inflation Relative To USD Long Term
Israel is in the Middle East but does not have strong connections to the economy of the rest of the Middle East and, apparently, a different monetary policy than most of the rest of the world. Israel is only comparable to the United States, South Korea, and perhaps Switzerland when it comes to fiat currency since the Israeli New Shekel (ILS) has practically zero inflation relative to the USD long term although there are shorter term oscillations. Like the other countries listed with zero USD relative inflation, inflation still exists because the USD itself is inflating.
In total, there are 180 fiat currencies in the world, and here, we’re covering just 16 of them. We could keep going, but the trend is already clear. Even in major countries with powerful economies, inflation has become a serious issue, with some major countries experiencing 50-200 percent inflation relative to the USD over the past decade, and those numbers don’t even take in the 2.5 percent per year USD inflation underlying them.
It is possible that worldwide fiat inflation will accelerate due to the growing global debt crisis. That’s especially true if an economic recession occurs since that would force a rapid increase in money printing.
So we’re in a global situation that needs to be actively monitored. Even if the status quo is maintained long term, most of the world’s population cannot realistically save money for the future because it’s going to lose value over time. This is a major shift from our parents’ generation when saving money was the smart thing to do.
The good news is Bitcoin is waiting on the sidelines. It’s ready to become the global currency if fiat currency collapses worldwide. Even if fiat does not totally collapse, perhaps once Bitcoin matures and becomes more stable, it will be a good option for saving money long term since its value is independent of fiat inflation.
submitted by turtlecane to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Coinmarketcap Data Analysis: People are mostly just buying coins with cheap prices and large circulating supplies

I downloaded the coinmarketcap.com data for the top 100 cryptocurrencies as of a couple hours ago (source) and did some charts of which coins gained the most in the last 7 days. Note: These are not weighted averages but I doubt that makes any difference.
Top 100 CMC coins by price Here we're sorting by price-per-coin from the most expensive coins (BTC, BCH, DASH, ETH) to the least expensive (KIN, XP, BCN, DOGE). There's a pretty clear trend here that the expensive coins are up a little bit, but the cheaper the coin is the more likely it is to be up a huge amount.
Top 100 CMC coins by circulating supply This is sorted by the total number of coins in circulating supply, from fewest (GBYTE, GNO, BTCD, DGD) to the most (KIN, XP, BCN, DOGE). There's an even clearer trend here that the coins with smaller total supplies are up a little bit, but the more coins circulating the more likely that coin is to be up by a lot.
Top 100 CMC coins by market cap This is the top 100 coins by the value of their total market capitalization from lowest (WTC, POE, BLOCK, ITC) to highest (BTC, XRP, ETH, BCH). This time there's basically no trend. The coins with the highest market caps are up just about as much as the lowest market cap coins, and it's fairly random inbetween.
I'm neither a statistician nor a market analyst but this looks like pure market irrationality to me. The best recent predictor here for market performance of a coin is simply the size of its circulating supply, which is essentially a meaningless decision about where to put a decimal place. Satoshi could have just as easily capped bitcoin at 21 billion coins instead of 21 million, and maybe if he did the BTC market cap would be much higher because people would perceive it as "seeming cheap".
We're in a bull market and nearly everything has been up, so there's a lot of FOMO and throwing money at anything that moves. If this was the stock market I would knowingly tap the side of my monocle and say "Oh ho, fundamental valuations will catch up to you in the end, and then you'll be sorry you didn't do your due dilligence." In crypto, however, I've seen little evidence so far that fundamental valuation ever catches up to anybody.
submitted by JKadsderehu to CryptoMarkets [link] [comments]

My growing collection of info about NEO

It can be very time consuming to keep up to date on a single blockchain project let alone multiple ones. If you just heard about NEO a few weeks ago it would be impossible catch up on past occurrences due to high volume of Reddit posts and articles made on the project. I’m going to try and simplify the past, present and future as much as I can into one well thought-out post. I hope I can be helpful to anyone who has been investigating like myself. I will include sources with all of my research.
https://imgur.com/a/NBI7S (img for mobile backround)
Key notes from the White Paper http://docs.neo.org/en-us/
Digital Assets
Digital assets are programmable assets that exist in the form of electronic data. With blockchain technology, the digitization of assets can be decentralized, trustful, traceable, highly transparent, and free of intermediaries. On the NEO blockchain, users are able to register, trade, and circulate multiple types of assets. Proving the connection between digital and physical assets is possible through digital identity. Assets registered through a validated digital identity are protected by law.
Digital Identity
Digital identity refers to the identity information of individuals, organizations, and other entities that exist in electronic form. The more mature digital identity system is based on the PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) X.509 standard. In NEO, we will implement a set of X.509 compatible digital identity standards. This set of digital identity standards, in addition to compatible X.509 level certificate issuance model, will also support Web Of Trust point-to-point certificate issuance model. Our verification of identity when issuing or using digital identities includes the use of facial features, fingerprint, voice, SMS and other multi-factor authentication methods.
Smart Contracts
The NeoContract smart contract system is the biggest feature of the seamless integration of the existing developer ecosystem. Developers do not need to learn a new programming language but use C#, Java and other mainstream programming languages in their familiar IDE environments (Visual Studio, Eclipse, etc.) for smart contract development, debugging and compilation. NEO's Universal Lightweight Virtual Machine, NeoVM, has the advantages of high certainty, high concurrency, and high scalability. The NeoContract smart contract system will allow millions of developers around the world to quickly carry out the development of smart contracts.
Economic Model
NEO has two native tokens, NEOand NeoGas NEO represents the right to manage the network. Management rights include voting for bookkeeping, NEO network parameter changes, and so on. The minimum unit of NEO is 1 and tokens cannot be subdivided. GAS is the fuel token for the realization of NEO network resource control. The NEO network charges for the operation and storage of tokens and smart contracts, thereby creating economic incentives for bookkeepers and preventing the abuse of resources. The minimum unit of GAS is 0.00000001.
Distribution Mechanism
NEO's 100 million tokens are divided into two portions. The first portion is 50 million tokens distributed proportionally to supporters of NEO during the crowdfunding. This portion has been distributed.
The second portion is 50 million NEO managed by the NEO Council to support NEO's long-term development, operation and maintenance and ecosystem. The NEO in this portion has a lockout period of 1 year and is unlocked only after October 16, 2017. This portion WILL NOT enter the exchanges and is only for long-term support of NEO projects. The plans for it are as below:
▪ 10 million tokens (10% total) will be used to motivate NEO developers and members of the NEO Council
▪ 10 million tokens (10% total) will be used to motivate developers in the NEO ecosystem
▪ 15 million tokens (15% total) will be used to cross-invest in other block-chain projects, which are owned by the NEO Council and are used only for NEO projects
▪ 15 million (15% total) will be retained as contingency
▪ The annual use of NEO in principle shall NOT exceed 15 million tokens
GAS distribution
GAS is generated with each new block. The initial total amount of GAS is zero. With the increasing rate of new block generation, the total limit of 100 million GAS will be achieved in about 22 years. The interval between each block is about 15-20 seconds, and 2 million blocks are generated in about one year. According to this release curve, 16% of the GAS will be created in the first year, 52% of the GAS will be created in the first four years, and 80% of the GAS will be created in the first 12 years. GAS will be distributed proportionally in accordance with the NEO holding ratio, recorded in the corresponding addresses. NEO holders can initiate a claim transaction at any time and claim these GAS tokens at their holding addresses.
Consensus mechanism: dBFT
The dBFT is called the Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerant, a Byzantine fault-tolerant consensus mechanism that enables large-scale participation in consensus through proxy voting. The holder of the NEO token can, by voting, pick the bookkeeper it supports. The selected group of bookkeepers, through BFT algorithm, reach a consensus and generate new blocks. Voting in the NEO network continues in real time, rather than in accordance with a fixed term.
Cross-chain assets exchange agreement
NeoX has been extended on existing double-stranded atomic assets exchange protocols to allow multiple participants to exchange assets across different chains and to ensure that all steps in the entire transaction process succeed or fail together. In order to achieve this function, we need to use NeoContract function to create a contract account for each participant. If other blockchains are not compatible with NeoContract, they can be compatible with NeoX as long as they can provide simple smart contract functionality.
Cross-chain distributed transaction protocol
Cross-chain distributed transactions mean that multiple steps of a transaction are scattered across different blockchains and that the consistency of the entire transaction is ensured. This is an extension of cross-chain assets exchange, extending the behavior of assets exchange into arbitrary behavior. In layman's terms, NeoX makes it possible for cross-chain smart contracts where a smart contract can perform different parts on multiple chains, either succeeding or reverting as a whole. This gives excellent possibilities for cross-chain collaborations and we are exploring cross-chain smart contract application scenarios.
Distributed Storage Protocol: NeoFS
NeoFS is a distributed storage protocol that utilizes Distributed Hash Table technology. NeoFS indexes the data through file content (Hash) rather than file path (URI). Large files will be divided into fixed-size data blocks that are distributed and stored in many different nodes
Anti-quantum cryptography mechanism: NeoQS
The emergence of quantum computers poses a major challenge to RSA and ECC-based cryptographic mechanisms. Quantum computers can solve the large number of decomposition problems (which RSA relies on) and the elliptic curve discrete logarithm (which ECC relies on) in a very short time. NeoQS (Quantum Safe) is a lattice-based cryptographic mechanism. At present, quantum computers do not have the ability to quickly solve the Shortest Vector Problem (SVP) and the Closest Vector Problem (CVP), which is considered to be the most reliable algorithm for resisting quantum computers.
Reasons for choosing dBFT over PoW and PoS:
With the phenomenal success of Bitcoin and its increasing mainstream adoption, the project’s unbounded appetite for energy grew accordingly. Today, the average Bitcoin transaction costs as much energy as powering 3.67 average American homes, which amounts to about 3000 times more than a comparable Credit Card settlement.
This mind boggling amount of energy is not, as it is commonly believed, being wasted. It is put to good use: securing the Bitcoin network and rendering attacks on it infeasible. However, the cost of this security mechanism and its implications for an increasingly warming and resource hungry planet led almost the entire crypto industry to the understanding that an alternative has to be found, at least if we’re interested in seeing blockchain technology gaining overwhelming mainstream adoption.
The most popular alternative to PoW, used by most alternative cryptocurrency systems, is called Proof-of-Stake, or PoS. PoS is highly promising in the sense that it doesn’t require blockchain nodes to perform arduous, and otherwise useless, cryptographic tasks in order to render potential attacks costly and infeasible. Hence, this algorithm cuts the power requirements of PoS blockchains down to sane and manageable amounts, allowing them to be more scalable without guzzling up the planet's energy reserves.
As the name suggests, instead of requiring proof of cryptographic work, PoS requires blockchain nodes to proof stake in the currency itself. This means that in order for a blockchain node to be eligible for a verification reward, the node has to hold a certain amount of currency in the wallet associated with it. This way, in order to execute an attack, a malevolent node would have to acquire the majority of the existing coin supply, rendering attacks not only costly but also meaningless, since the attackers would primarily harm themselves.
PoS, as well as PoW, simply cause the blockchain to fork into two alternative versions if for some reason consensus breaks. In fact, most blockchains fork most of the time, only to converge back to a single source of truth a short while afterwards.
By many crypto enthusiasts, this obvious bug is very often regarded as a feature, allowing several versions of the truth to survive and compete for public adoption until a resolution is generated. This sounds nice in theory, but if we want to see blockchain technology seriously disrupt and/or augment the financial sector, this ever lurking possibility of the blockchain splitting into two alternative versions cannot be tolerated.
Furthermore, even the fastest PoS blockchains out there can accomodate a few hundred transactions per second, compare that to Visa’s 56,000 tx/s and the need for an alternative becomes clear as day.
A blockchain securing global stock markets does not have the privilege to fork into two alternative versions and just sit and wait it out until the market (or what’s left of it) declares a winner. What belongs to whom should be engraved in an immutable record, functioning as a single source of truth with no glitches permitted.
After investigating and studying the crypto industry and blockchain technologies for several years, we came to the conclusion that the delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance alternative (or dBFT) is best suited for such a system. It provides swift transaction verification times, de-incentivises most attack vectors and upholds a single blockchain version with no risk of forks or alternative blockchain records emerging - regardless of how much computing power, or coins an attacker possesses.
The term Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) derives its name from the Byzantine Generals problem in Game Theory and Computer Science, describing the problematic nature of achieving consensus in a distributed system with suboptimal communication between agents which do not necessarily trust each other.
The BFT algorithm arranges the relationship between blockchain nodes in such a way that the network becomes as good as resilient to the Byzantine Generals problem, and allows the system to remain consensus even if some nodes bare malicious intentions or simply malfunction.
To achieve this, Antshare’s version of the delegated BFT (or dBFT) algorithm acknowledges two kinds of players in the blockchain space: professional node operators, called bookkeeping nodes, who run nodes as a source of income, and users who are interested in accessing blockchain advantages. Theoretically, this differentiation does not exist in PoW and most PoS environments, practically, however, most Bitcoin users do not operate miners, which are mostly located in specialized venues run by professionals. At Antshares we understand the importance of this naturally occurring division of labor and use it to provide better security for our blockchain platform.
Accordingly, block verification is achieved through a consensus game held between specialized bookkeeping nodes, which are appointed by ordinary nodes through a form of delegated voting process. In every verification round one of the bookkeeping nodes is pseudo-randomly appointed to broadcast its version of the blockchain to the rest of the network. If ⅔ of the remaining nodes agree with this version, consensus is secured and the blockchain marches on. If less than ⅔ of the network agrees, a different node is appointed to broadcast its version of the truth to the rest of the system, and so forth until consensus is established.
In this way, successful system attacks are almost impossible to execute unless the overwhelming majority of the network is interested in committing financial suicide. Additionally, the system is fork proof, and at every given moment only one version of the truth exists. Without complicated cryptographic puzzles to solve, nodes operate much faster and are able to compete with centralized transaction methods.
https://www.econotimes.com/Blockchain-project-Antshares-explains-reasons-for-choosing-dBFT-over-PoW-and-PoS-659275
OnChain
It is important to note the technical difference between Onchain and NEO. Onchain is a private VC-backed company with over 40 employees. NEO is a public platform with different community-led groups contributing to this public project. There exists NEO council comprised of the original NEO creators, employees from Onchain, full time NEO council members and there is also the first Western based group called City of Zion. This confusion is likely the source of the rumour about Antshares and Alibaba having a connection. Onchain and NEO are separate entities who are intimately related via cross-chain communications and similar designs.
Onchain, a Shanghai-based blockchain R&D company, first started developing Antshares in February of 2014 which will eventually become the foundation of DNA. Onchain was founded by CEO Da HongFei and CTO Erik Zhang in response to the attention from private companies garnered by the development of Antshares, China’s first public blockchain. In contrast to the weeks-old start-ups launching ICOs that is happening currently in the blockchain world, it took them 22 long months of R&D to even begin providing services to their first customers. Finally, in April 2016, the first whitepaper on consensus protocol from China was born — the dBFT (delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance) protocol.
2016 was a busy year for Onchain and they really picked up the pace that year. Other than continuing the development of Antshares, brushing shoulders with Fortune 500 companies, Onchain became the first Chinese blockchain company to join Hyperledger — an open source blockchain project started by the Linux Foundation specifically focusing on the development of private and consortium chains for businesses. It is here where the Da HongFei and Erik Zhang, entered the hyperbolic time chamber that is now known as Fabric, a platform by Hyperledger for distributed ledger solutions, and has consequently helped them to develop many aspects underpinning the design of DNA.
In June of 2016, during the first of many future partnerships with Microsoft China, Onchain founded Legal Chain specifically targeting the inadequacies of the digital applications within the legal system. In 2005, (Digital Signature Act) was passed into national law which permitted an effective digital signatures to gain the same legal rights as a real signature.
In company with Microsoft China, they are also aiming to integrate the technology with Microsoft’s face and voice recognition API function to kick start this digital revolution within the legal system. At the same time, a partnership was formed with FaDaDa, a third-party platform for electronic contracts that has processed over 27 million contracts to date, to provide secure evidence storage with DNA. If that’s not enough, they were also voted as KPMG’s top 50 Fintech Company in China and established a relationship with the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry which led to the recent tour to Japan. Finally, at the end of 2016 they announced a partnership with Alibaba to provide attested email service for Ali Cloud with Legal Chain where it provides a proof-of-existence for a blockchain-powered email evidence repository for enterprise-level use.
Fosun Group, China’s largest private conglomerate, have recently invested into Onchain in order to apply DNA across all of its businesses. Currently, Fosun International has a market cap of 102.98 billion dollars on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and that is only its international branch.
The role of Onchain so far is reminiscent of Ethereum’s EEA in addition to a stronger emphasis of governmental cooperation. Onchain has identified the shortcomings of present laser focus of hype on public platforms such as NEO and Ethereum and addressing that with DNA. DNA envisions a future where a network of assorted, specifically designed blockchains serving private enterprises, consortiums, government and the public communicating with each other forming an interconnected blockchain network.
This is the goal of DNA — infiltrating every little inefficient niche that had no better alternatives before the invention of blockchain. What is especially critical to remember during this explosive time of hype driven partly by the obscene degree of greed is that not every little niche that blockchain can fill will be holding its own little ICO for you to “go to the moon on your rocket powered lambos”. Some of those efficiencies gained will simply be consumed by companies privately or by public systems such as the legal system.
https://hackernoon.com/neo-onchain-and-its-ultimate-plan-dna-4c33e9b6bfaa
http://www.onchain.com/
https://github.com/DNAProject/DNA
https://siliconangle.com/blog/2016/10/20/onchain-partners-with-alibaba-for-blockchain-powered-email-evidence-repository/
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-fosun-blockchain/chinas-fosun-invests-in-local-version-of-bitcoin-tech-blockchain-idUSKCN1B30KM
City of Zion (CoZ)
City of Zion (CoZ) is a global community of open source enthusiasts, with the shared goal of helping NEO achieve its full potential. CoZ primarily operates through the community Slack and CoZ Github, central places where the community shares knowledge and contributes to projects.
CoZ is neither a corporation, nor a consulting firm or a devshop / for-hire group.
Members
https://imgur.com/a/Gc9jT
CoZ aims to be low barrier of entry, the process is straightforward:
  1. Join the channel #develop.
  2. Fork or create a project.
  3. Publish as open source.
  4. After a couple of contributions a CoZ council member will invite you to the proper channel for your contributions.
  5. Receive rewards and back to 3.
Unit testing - Ongoing effort to implement code coverage for the core
Integration testing - Tools for automated testing, performance metrics and functionality validation on private test nets
Continuous integration - Automated multi-platform testing of all pull requests at GitHub.
Deployment pipeline - Automated tools and processes to ensure fast and reliable updates upon code changes
New C# implementation (NEO2) - Improve code quality, speed & testability
Roadmap
https://imgur.com/a/4CDhw
dApps competition
https://cityofzion.io/dapps/1
10 prizes of 1350 GAS, with 500 GAS to be used for smart contract deployment. Currently 19 dApps registered. Deadline is 16 of November 11:59 EST.
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B4wu5lNlukwybEstaEJMZ19kbjQ
Traveling
August 8th to August 12th:
From August 8th to August 12th, 2017, the NEO core team, led by founder & CEO Da Hongfei will travel to Japan to explore the forefront of Japan's Blockchain innovation. This trip represents the first in a series of trips around the world with the goal to foster international cooperation's and to keep up with the fast pace in Blockchain innovation. Starting in Japan, the NEO core team will visit famous local Blockchain research institutions and active communities to engage in bilateral communication. NEO will meet with Japanese tech-celebrities to gain insights about the latest developments in the Japanese Blockchain and digital currency community. Additionally, Japanese local tech media will conduct an interview allowing NEO to present its development status and its latest technological innovations.
https://www.reddit.com/NEO/comments/6ry4s9/japan_the_neo_core_team_starts_out_on_an/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgTQ32CkxlU
https://www.reddit.com/NEO/comments/6ssfx1/neo_meetup_in_tokyo_august_10th_2017_2100h/
19th August, 2017
Blockchain X Series - NEO example applications
20th August, 2017
NEO and Microsoft Azure host a blockchain programming training in Shanghai
23rd August, 2017
INNOxNEO Blockchain Open Nights: 2nd Meeting
24th August, 2017
NEO Meetup in Taipei
https://www.reddit.com/NEO/comments/6wbebneo_taipei_meetup_long_post/
13th September, 2017
INNOxNEO Blockchain Open Nights: 3rd Meeting
14th September, 2017
NEO Shanghai Meetup with NEO team
24th September, 2017
NEO Blockchain Programming Day - Hangzhou Station
27th September, 2017
INNOxNEO Blockchain Open Nights: 4th Meeting
27th September, 2017
First London NEO Developer Meetup!
4th October, 2017
First San Francisco NEO Developer Social!
14th-16th October, 2017
GNOME.Asia Summit 2017, Chongqing, China
21st October, 2017
NEO JOY, Exploring Blockchain application, Nanjing, China
26th October, 2017
Inaugural Global Fintech & Blockchain China Summit 2017
Networks proves itself with the first ICO
ICOs, on other platforms such as Ethereum, often resulted in a sluggish network and transaction delays. While NEO’s dBFT consensus algorithm is designed to achieve consensus with higher efficency and greater network throughputt, no amount of theoretical calculations can simulate the reality of real-life conditions.
--Key Observations--
Smart Contract Invocations:
A total of 13,966 smart contracts invocations were executed on the NEO network over this time period, of which, nearly all called the RPX smart contract method mintTokens. A total of 543,348,500 RPX tokens were successfully minted and transferred to user accounts, totalling 10,097 smart contract executions.
Refunded Invocations:
A total of 4182 refund events were triggered by the smart contract method mintTokens. (Note: RPX has stated that these refunds will be processed within the next two weeks.)
Crowdsale statistics:
A successful mintTokens execution used around 1043 VM operations, while an execution that resulted in a refund used 809 VM operations. Within the hour and six minutes that the token sale was active, a total of 12,296,409 VM operations were executed. A total of 9,575 unique addresses participated in the RPX ICO. Half of these, approximately 4,800 unique addresses, participated through CoZ’s Neon wallet. The top 3 blocks with the most transactions were block 1445025 (3,242 transactions), block 1444902 (2,951 transactions), and block 1444903 (1609 transactions).
Final Thoughts
At the moment, the consensus nodes for the NEO network are operated by the NEO Council in China. By Q1 2018, NEO Council aims to control less than two-thirds of the consensus nodes.
We are pleased to note that the NEO network continuted to operate efficiently with minimal network impact, even under extreme network events. Block generation time initially slowed down to 3 minutes to process the largest block, but quickly recovered to approximately 25 seconds. Throughout the entire RPX ICO, consensus nodes were able to achieve consensus and propagate new block transactions to the rest of the network. In closing, while we consider this performance to be excellent, NEO Council and City of Zion areworking closely together on upgrades, that will increase the throughputs of the NEO network.
Hyperledger
Members and governance of Hyperledger:
Early members of the initiative included blockchain ISVs, (Blockchain, ConsenSys, Digital Asset, R3, Onchain), well-known technology platform companies (Cisco, Fujitsu, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, NEC, NTT DATA, Red Hat, VMware), financial services firms (ABN AMRO, ANZ Bank, BNY Mellon, CLS Group, CME Group, the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), Deutsche Börse Group, J.P. Morgan, State Street, SWIFT, Wells Fargo), Business Software companies like SAP, Systems integrators and others such as: (Accenture, Calastone, Credits, Guardtime, IntellectEU, Nxt Foundation, Symbiont).
The governing board of the Hyperledger Project consists of twenty members chaired by Blythe Masters, (CEO of Digital Asset), and a twelve-member Technical Steering Committee chaired by Christopher Ferris, CTO of Open Technology at IBM.
http://www.8btc.com/onchain-hyperledger
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperledger
“As a leading open-source contributor in China’s blockchain community, Onchain shares the same values as the Linux Foundation and the Hyperledger project intrinsically. We believe international collaboration plus local experience are key to the adoption of distributed ledger technology in China; we are also very excited to see other Chinese blockchain startups join Hyperledger and look forward to adding our combined expertise to the project.” Da Hongfei, Founder and CEO of Onchain
https://hyperledger.org/testimonials/onchain
Important Articles
Distribution technology DNA framework went through the national block chain standard test On May 16th, the first China block chain development competition in Hangzhou announced that Onchain, became the first through the national standard test block system.
http://www.51cto.com/art/201705/539824.htm?mobile
Da Hongfei and OnChain working relationship with Chinese Government
https://finance.sina.cn/2017-04-13/detail-ifyeifqx5554606.d.html?from=wap
http://www.gz.chinanews.com/content/2017/05-28/73545.shtml
The Chinese government is reportedly preparing to allow the resumption of cryptocurrency trading in the country in the coming months, with the required anti-money laundering (AML) systems and licensing programs in place.
https://coingeek.com/cryptocurrency-trading-poised-to-make-a-return-in-china-report/
Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry - Working with OnChain and NEO
http://www.8btc.com/onchain-ribenjingjichanyesheng
Notice NEO will be invited to attend the INNO x Austrade China-Australia chain high-end exchange
AUSTRADE - The Australian Trade and Investment Commission is the official government, education and investment promotion agency of the Australian Government
https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/LmXnW7MtzOX_fqIo7diU9A
Source for NEO/OnChain Microsoft Cooperation:
http://www.8btc.com/onchain-microsoft
Da Hongfei quotes
"There is no direct cooperation between Alibaba and NEO/Onchain, other than their mailbox service is using Law Chain to provide attested email service. In terms of Microsoft, yes we have cooperation with Microsoft China because NEO is built with C# and .NET Core, and NeoContract is the first in the world to support writing smart contract with C#"
https://www.reddit.com/NEO/comments/6puffo/we_are_da_hongfei_and_erik_zhang_founders_of_neo/dksm5ga/
"We have pretty good communication with government, with regulators. They don't have any negative impression with NEO and they like our technology and the way we deal with things. Regulation is not an issue for us"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpUdTIQdjVE&feature=youtu.be&t=1m16s
“Before they started cleaning up the market, I was asked for information and suggestions” “I do not expect the government to call me in the short-term and say, ‘Let’s use NEO as the blockchain technology infrastructure of China.’ But in the medium term? Why not? I think it’s possible.”
https://medium.com/@TheCoinEconomy/neo-founder-da-hongfei-advised-china-on-ico-exchange-ban-says-govt-4631b9f7971
-Upcoming Roadmap-
Decentralization of consensus nodes
▪ P2P Network optimization (2017Q4) – Network optimizations to ensure fast block generation after decentralization.
▪ Voting Algorithm Optimization (2017Q4) – Adjustments in voting algorithm to prevent identified attack vectors.
▪ Candidate List Website (2018Q1) – Published list of candidates so that voters know who they are voting for.
▪ NEO Council Consensus Node < 2/3 (2018Q1) – NEO Council shall operate less than two thirds of consensus nodes by the end of quarter 1, 2018.
Universal Data Format for Wallet/Node Prog.
▪ NEP2 – Private Key Encryption/Decryption (2017Q4) - Method for encrypting and encoding a passphrase-protected private key.
▪ NEP3 – Universal Data Format (2017Q4) – Standard data format to allow easier wallet and node programming.
https://neo.org/en-us/blog/details/65
Promotion/Ecosystem
▪ Globally Legal Token-raising Framework (2017Q4) – Following government interest to regulate ICO’s, NEO will complete a framework to raise tokens legally in all major markets by the end of 2017.
▪ NEO DevCon 1 (2017Q4) – First NEO Development Conference! More details at later date.
▪ CoZ Funding (2017Q4) – Continuous funding plan for CoZ covering next 5 years.
▪ Seed Projects (2017Q4) – First seed projects to be cross-invested with the dedicated NEO pool.
https://neo.org/en-us/blog/details/65
https://github.com/neo-project
Repositories - 14
People - 5
Contributors- 12
https://github.com/CityOfZion
Repositories - 35
People - 14
Contributors- 22
https://github.com/DNAProject/DNA
Repositories - 4
Contributors - 17
Donations welcome: ASdNxSa3E8bsxCE9KFKBMm3NA43sYJU9qZ
submitted by NEOcryptotrader to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Coinmarketcap Data Analysis: People are mostly just buying coins with cheap prices and large circulating supplies

I downloaded the coinmarketcap.com data for the top 100 cryptocurrencies as of a couple hours ago (source) and did some charts of which coins gained the most in the last 7 days. Note: These are not weighted averages but I doubt that makes any difference.
Top 100 CMC coins by price Here we're sorting by price-per-coin from the most expensive coins (BTC, BCH, DASH, ETH) to the least expensive (KIN, XP, BCN, DOGE). There's a pretty clear trend here that the expensive coins are up a little bit, but the cheaper the coin is the more likely it is to be up a huge amount.
Top 100 CMC coins by circulating supply This is sorted by the total number of coins in circulating supply, from fewest (GBYTE, GNO, BTCD, DGD) to the most (KIN, XP, BCN, DOGE). There's an even clearer trend here that the coins with smaller total supplies are up a little bit, but the more coins circulating the more likely that coin is to be up by a lot.
Top 100 CMC coins by market cap This is the top 100 coins by the value of their total market capitalization from lowest (WTC, POE, BLOCK, ITC) to highest (BTC, XRP, ETH, BCH). This time there's basically no trend. The coins with the highest market caps are up just about as much as the lowest market cap coins, and it's fairly random inbetween.
I'm neither a statistician nor a market analyst but this looks like pure market irrationality to me. The best recent predictor here for market performance of a coin is simply the size of its circulating supply, which is essentially a meaningless decision about where to put a decimal place. Satoshi could have just as easily capped bitcoin at 21 billion coins instead of 21 million, and maybe if he did the BTC market cap would be much higher because people would perceive it as "seeming cheap".
We're in a bull market and nearly everything has been up, so there's a lot of FOMO and throwing money at anything that moves. If this was the stock market I would knowingly tap the side of my monocle and say "Oh ho, fundamental valuations will catch up to you in the end, and then you'll be sorry you didn't do your due dilligence." In crypto, however, I've seen little evidence so far that fundamental valuation ever catches up to anybody.
submitted by JKadsderehu to ethtrader [link] [comments]

Wealth Formula Episode 187: Ask Buck Part: Part One

Catch the full episode: https://www.wealthformula.com/podcast/187-ask-buck-part-part-one/
Buck: Welcome back to the show everyone and let's get on with the Ask Buck component of today's show. As a reminder this is part one of two. The next one will be airing next week, but we have lots of questions. I want to make sure we give adequate time and yet not bore the lights out of you by making this into a two-hour show. So the first question from Jeffrey Cattell. Jeffrey asked, hey Buck I had a question about investing with an LLC and mortgages. I had heard that purchasing rental properties inside an LLC limits you to getting a commercial mortgage. Can you discuss the differences between commercial and conventional mortgages and how buying within an LLC affects your options.
Yes I can certainly give it a try and of course remember I am not an attorney and I am not an adviser these are my opinions and there are things that I've done etc so don't hold me to it, I'm just giving you my perspective. So let me start out by reminding you a little bit about you know the different kinds of mortgages and they're kind of obvious right I mean there are two really two kinds of mortgages there's two residential there's a commercial mortgage. Now residential mortgages I mean that's the kind that you get for your house that's the kind that you might get for a 1 to 4 unit house or duplex or triplex or quad but you can get a second or third mortgage etc but those are all considered residential mortgages. Pricing is obviously best when it's the first one and it's your primary home but these other residential mortgages that you get as a second or third etc are generally favorable in terms of pricing and amortization and all that stuff as well. Now if your property is already owned by an entity such as an LLC or you're buying it in the name of an LLC by definition you are no longer in the residential category because you're declaring to everybody in the world that this is an investment property in which case you must obtain a commercial mortgage which the major difference between the two frankly is just that the commercial mortgages are more expensive and have less favorable terms than residential ones. So how can you potentially get around this okay. So I let me give you an example and again this is not advice but I'm gonna talk about experience and the experience of others around me so I've had a couple of houses that I own in Chicago one of them that I lived in for a few years and now I rent them all. I bought those houses in my name and therefore at the time we got mortgages and the mortgages are in my name, my wife and my name in this case, but after they were purchased in personal name and mortgages were issued, I then transferred them over especially after obviously when I moved down and I rented the place out into an LLC. So they are now deeded to an entity each shows actually deeded to a separate entity. The process that used to do this is called a quitclaim deed. So if you want to ask your attorney about doing something like this is called a quitclaim deed. Now theoretically and I emphasize the theoretical here if you do this your mortgage could be called. Why? Because in your mortgage usually it's gonna tell you you you know you you know this is a mortgage on you and that if you make these kinds of changes you gotta let them know. In practice though what I have found and this is the part where I keep emphasizing I am not giving you advice is that everyone does this right everyone does a quitclaim deed everyone does it. My dad has been doing this for 50 years and has never had a problem. I'm doing it now and these are major banks they even know about it they don't seem to care. Anyway as long as the mortgage gets paid it seems like no one cares. So bottom line is what most people do what I've done for these smaller properties, buy them in your own name quitclaim deed, so you can't but in your own name get the good better mortgage and then quitclaim. Am I advising you to do that? No. I'm not advising you on anything just what I do what I've done what my dad's done and a lot of people I know have done. Okay all right so that is the first question. Now I'm going to move over to an audio question because some of you weren't chicken. Just kidding I'm kidding about that but audio questions are fun they're fun to hear from people so let's see the so I got have a question here from Garth. Okay Garth here we go.
Garth: Hello Dr. Joffrey this is Garth in Portland Oregon. I understand the definition of accredited investor which I am not one but I've also heard a term sophisticated investor and I'm wondering if that is different than accredited investor and if so what do I need to do to get that title? Thanks.
Buck: Thanks for the question Garth. So the question really is what is a sophisticated investor? Well first of all why does this matter in the first place it's all accredited sophisticated stuff? Well the answer that, for private placements in real estate a certain kind of offering is frequently used called a Regulation D offering, it's the typical structure. Regulation D, a Regulation D offering allows you to move forward with a private offering without pushing it through the SEC for formal classification as the security. Now why would you not want to file with the SEC? Well there's two reasons really cost in time, it's expensive. But the bigger issue in terms of real estate is a very practical one it's the element of time. So if you're doing an SEC filing and you know on an offering it's gonna take you at least a year to get that through the SEC and contrast that with the fact that when you get a building under contract and you know one of the properties that we do an investor club for example, usually you got some under contract you raise capital you close the building and all that it's happening within three months, so you only usually have a very short period of time, you don't have time to send that to the SEC and let them mess around with it. And the SEC in reality knows this so this is not a new new thing this regulation D, it's been around forever you know but so they provide this as an exception to the rule they say if you're not going to file with the SEC you can still do this legally but it has to be under this kind of exemption Reg D and these are limited, these will be limited to investors that are either accredited which we've talked about before, you make $200,000 a year for two years with a reasonable expectation of doing it again the next year, $300,000 if filing jointly and/or a net worth of $1,000,000 outside of your personal residence. That is an accredited investor. What's a sophisticated investor? Well that's the problem right? So that's that's not very clear, it's not very clear at all and it's a little nebulous and when it's not clear frankly often that becomes the area of abuse. There's no clear definition of a sophisticated investor. Sophisticated investors are supposed to be financially savvy. They're supposed to have experience and knowledge and acumen that makes them more qualified to make decisions about these types of more sophisticated investments than your average Joe. But the problem is that it's essentially up to the fundraiser to determine if an individual is sophisticated or not. Now I have seen situations where people join say a real estate gurus organization and immediately upon paying for the course they are somehow deemed sophisticated and start investing in other students deals within that ecosystem, a bit shady if you ask me but it is what it is. Now that's not to suggest that you in particular are not sophisticated because if you're listening to this show there's a very good chance you are sophisticated, you may you know just understand the language well and you may understand real estate well you may own a bunch of real estate and you want to invest passively in a real estate syndication and in those cases you might be sophisticated, you know. I mean it is a little bit random because you know I run into people who are making you know doctors who are making five hundred thousand dollars a year but they've only made it for eighteen months and so therefore they're not accredited, right? So then you have to make some judgment calls but anyway bottom line is sophisticated is subjective but I think the biggest problem for this terminology is that there really is no safe harbor in my opinion at least that makes it really really difficult to deal with from the side of the operator and therefore in our group in general for investor club it's very rare when we will you know not require the true accredited definition and the reality is most major syndicators won't even consider sophisticated investors who are not accredited for this reason, it just becomes one of those situations you don't want to put yourself in trouble. Okay so let's go to the next question or a couple questions from the same individual so that's fine too, okay from Ron.
Ron: I have a question about Bitcoin. Where do the new bitcoins come from in short I know we are accurate we have and they create blocks in those blocks we store transactions and the miners get a fee for building a block that's 12 Bitcoin I believe so are those 12 bitcoins also getting into relation we'll end up with those 21 million bitcoins in the end or is there something else? So that's my question can you help me with that. Thank you.
Buck: Sure Ron pretty straightforward I mean without getting into too much technical the new Bitcoin you mentioned you know the whole mining basically the new Bitcoin come from doing the mathematical work to solve these complex mathematical problems that's what these supercomputers do those are the miners and then there's a competition whoever gets the answer first as you mentioned gets rewarded with this fee, they get rewarded with Bitcoin and that's weird those Bitcoin are actually generated so that's what it means to mine Bitcoin and you're also right they'll never be more than 21 million Bitcoin you know so that's one of the true values of Bitcoin is that it is a finite thing there’ll never be more than 21 million so the fact that some go out of circulation to get lost etc it's deflationary in that regard. The last thing I guess I would point out is you know what happens after mining is complete with 21 million well basically miners get paid for exchanges transfers etc at that point but it'll be interesting to see how that all turns out at that point. All right I think Ron has another question here and I think it's related.
Ron: Hello there Buck. Ron again here with a question, a what-if scenario. What if my thousand dollar worth of Bitcoin explodes and all of a sudden it's 1 million and I started with storing it on my Ledger Nano S. Is that still a good way to go when it's about a million or maybe 10 million or do I need to have some other methods in place due to spread risks or to be safe? Please let me know. Thank you. Bye bye.
Buck: Alright well a good question you know what Ron is talking about is the Ledger Nano S which is a hardware wallet it basically is something that's stored offline. Now listen that's what makes it so resistant to you know any kind of hacking right so you're not it's you're not online if you're not online no one can get to you, you know a hacker and Russia can't get to you, you know. But so if you suddenly end up with a million dollars of Bitcoin or more the reality is that in terms of the ledger it's just as bulletproof as before. I think the issue becomes when people have you know when they get like several million dollars a Bitcoin or Bitcoin million you know multi millionaires and billionaires or whatever then you know I may become a little nerve-racking just to have this little ledger around here right you may want to have you might want to have a little bit more protection than that in which case you might consider some kind of a custodian service like Gemini etc, but that's you know that's not necessary because one of the things about Bitcoin one of the appeals is that itself the ability to self custodian this stuff right you don't need a bank for this. And so I guarantee you that people are walking around with millions of dollars on their ledgers. Now I will point out that you know Ledger Nano S is just one Hardware wallet and you can get a lot more sophisticated and complicated type things you can even get a like a multi signature wallet Hardware wallet would that would require you know multiple people's keys in order to get to the cryptocurrency which you know I mean if you end up with a ton of money in crypto currency that's you know that's probably something that you might want to do. Okay next question from John Jillette.
Hi Buck love your podcast been extremely helpful in increasing my financial intelligence. There's been talk about impending financial crisis from well-known economist Dent, Rickards and Schiff. What do you believe in the percentage chance that we go into a 2008 like financial crisis in the next couple years? Also as the recession is always coming how much dry powder do you recommend having at this point in the cycle scoop up deals when there's “blood in the streets”? Good question John the problem in my view with those guys that you talked about Harry Dent, Jim Rickards, Peter Schiff all super smart guys right and Harry Dent was on the show recently, is that they've all been predicting the same darn thing for at least four or five years now, right? I mean and it hasn't happened and when there is some sort of pull back because as you said there's always gonna be a recession at some point why is it after you blood in the street, you know? The bottom line is that you know Harry Dent in our last show even said you know I said dude it's hard to predict when right yeah it's hard to predict one I absolutely admit that. So what do you do then because let me give you an example of the counter risk to this whole you know this whole world of fear-mongering, and I'm not saying those guys are just doing that on purpose for that reason, I mean I do think that you know if your whole thing is like the world is coming to an end and you need to buy gold and your major business is selling gold then you know it's a little bit hard to swallow sometimes but let me give you an example of what could happen. So six years ago because you know I said before that Peter and you know all these guys have been talking about for five years at least about how you know everything's going to hell. Six years ago there was a company that we work with now called Western Wealth Capital and Investor Club and they have an investor who has put in twenty five thousand dollars and every deal for the last six years and they have a really unique model of people within our group know a lot about it. The total of seven hundred fifty thousand dollars was invested out-of-pocket during that period of time but the principle is now worth four million dollars. Now those are pretty exceptional numbers right that comes out to you know an annualized return of about a hundred percent and I'm not saying that that is you know what's going to happen in the future, but what I would skew to consider is what if we'd been listening to that advice for five years now? If this person had done that would they have done well? Okay well obviously not because you know if you stopped investing because of because of fear then you didn't make any money. Is it a guarantee that they would have lost money? Absolutely not. I mean listen these deals are really solid they go in there and they start to de-risk these things right away by driving up net operating income and maybe you know maybe wouldn’t have made as much money, but would it have lost a bunch of money? Well personally I just don't I don't think so. Now listen I'm not saying there will not be a recession. As I said eventually there will be. The problem is that we cannot time it and we cannot really quantify the magnitude. As much as people would love to talk about this blood and the street thing I mean the major mainstream economists and ITR Economics who I like don't think it's gonna be that big, they think it's gonna be stuck to the manufacturing and industrial sectors. So what do we do? So what do I do? I should say that I stick to quality assets and quality areas, I create value the moment you know that and then we create value in those assets the moment we acquire them, right? So that helps that whole value add concepts helps de-risk any project by dynamically decompressing cap rates. So think about it you you know you you buy something at a certain cap rate all the sudden you're driving in net operating income and you dynamically decompress your cap rates you have a better margin over your debt burden your risk is significantly lowered and if you can get all of your money out of the deal with a refinance all of your risk is gone okay. So now if there is a downturn and you're in one of these things you want to be in a position where you can ride out the storm with assets you already own and then, and then, this is the important part, lean into the downturn right lots of people freeze up when things go south or but the right thing to do is to be greedy when others are scared. So by continuing to deploy on a regular basis my personal belief is that you can volume average your way through a downturn and get capital preservation and then hopefully pick up some really cheap assets, ride them back up and hopefully it you know you end up in really good shape. That's my own approach to this. I'm not sitting around waiting for zombies to you know erupt out of the ground and start you know only accepting silver dollars, you know from a monster box. I'm just that's just not I just don't see it. As for the current financial climate I'd say the banks are, and I think again most economists would tell you that the banks are in a lot better shape than they were in 2008. I don't think that there's necessarily anything that looks like 2008. I think GDP has grown at a record for a record length of time it's been sluggish but on the other hand you know so in other words there will be some kind of recession eventually but why does it need to be blood in the streets? See we have to remember that before 2008 there was such thing as a recession that you just hear about like three months after it happened right it doesn't always have to be cataclysmic. Now you know talking about these guys you know Peter Schiff himself talks about you know the nature of this crisis that he sees happening and what he describes it as, is a dollar crisis. And if it's a dollar crisis what that means is it's gonna result in inflation. Now inflation is good for real estate. Conversely you've got Harry Dent who's talking about a deflationary recession which I have a harder time believing because of how it affects our own ability to pay you know Treasury holders, US Treasury holders, but you know even Harry thinks in his scenario that well you might as well you know own multifamily real estate because the demographics would suggest that that would be a safe place to be now Harry's a demographics guy. Now listen who knows what'll really happen just because Harry said that and Peter said that and I said this it could be completely something different, but if you do nothing and keep all your money in a bank you're guaranteed to lose money with inflation in my opinion because again I don't think it's gonna be deflationary I've been over that before. And as for dry powder it’s always good to have some obviously right I mean it's always good to have some, so it's hard to quantify how much. The way I have done it is I use as you may know I'm sure you know by now I am an advocate for Wealth Formula Banking because I like the option of you know being able to borrow etc. now for this purpose I use Wealth Formula Banking because it's it's sort of a source of liquidity for me that I can access very quickly that it's out of the banking system but how much dry powder I keep, generally relies on my contribution to the Wealth Formula Banking policy every year. So it's one of the things that sort of keeps me honest right I have to put a certain amount every year in there all the way up to the paid up perdition's and so that's basically circulating as my you know almost like a bond portfolio of liquidity in case I need it, so that's how I do it. But that being said, I'm also in a situation where I am very incentivized to invest rather than to keep my money around or invest in anything that's not real estate so I probably could do a better job with keeping a little bit more dry powder around. Anyway right now, so Wealth Formula Banking that's where my dry powder is and like I said that's where it keeps me disciplined, but I do not have a crystal ball and I don't really I'd really don't foresee myself anything horrible happening so I mean if I did if I was sure of it I'd probably I'm sure I would just you know have a bunch of money sitting around but I don't see any serious indication of that frankly. You know and I should point out I saw today you know Ray Dalio came out and said even about the stock market that he's bullish still right on the stock market, right? I'm not saying I'm bullish on the stock market but the point is there's some still some big names not really like hiding out in shorting markets at this point. So anyway I don't know that I even came close to answering your question but I talked a lot so let's see here. Next question Jason got an audio question.
Jason: Buck, this is Jason Beck from The Rock Arkansas. Wanted to see if you had come across any good ways to utilize raw land investments for a tax-advantaged purpose. I've got some land that is timber and some more land that is pasture that we keep some horses on. I want to see if you had seen anybody utilize either various schedules on their tax returns or creation of entities to try to gain some tax advantage from those type of investments?
Buck: Yeah the big one that comes to mind Jason is conservation easements. Now you know as soon as I say that a lot of people think oh that's that one thing that's kind of like that the IRS hates and they write articles about to try to scare people off of them and that's actually not totally the case the thing that IRS really hates are the syndicated conservation easements even those you know they're totally lawful but what I'm talking about is conservation easements on your own land which really are not controversial for the most part at all. So basically here's how that works okay. Effectively what you do in a conservation easement is you commit your land you still keep it you don't give it but you're giving up certain rights, you remember like yeah if you do any kind of real estate you know there's land rights there's ground rights all that kind of stuff. Anyway, in this case you're giving up the right to develop the land and or or in some cases if it's a mining situation, giving up the right to drill on the land. And if you do that what's interesting is that and what's powerful is that you can if you’ve done it appropriately get a valuation on your lands maximum value if it were to be used for that other purpose. Well let's give a give you an example so it's not so nebulous in other words say the alternative of keeping your horse pasture land was to build a multi-million dollar resort and you had all the plans you had architectural drawings etc. In that case you could theoretically get a valuation of how much that resort would be valued at and take the deduction for the amount of the valuation that you got instead of the value that your land currently has. So as you can imagine that could be an enormous potential tax benefit and so I would probably look into that for sure there's some very famous people who use that, Ted Turner CNN that's why he's got so many Buffalo, people say Donald Trump that's one of the reasons why he has so many golf courses but of course we don't see his tax return so we don't know that for sure. Anyway I know the guy you should speak with and I have already sent you a connection via email.
Okay next question when evaluating a private placement opportunity I should say I don't I for some reason I don't have a name on this one so I apologize, but when evaluating a private placement opportunity, how important is it to you that the general partner has their own personal money invested in the deal? Well the answer is it depends okay. Let's take Ken McElroy for example let's take Western Wealth Capital and those guys for example Ken's be a better example because Western Wealth Capital I know got a couple of million dollars in every deal but let's take Ken. In the past you know where he was I've invested in as a limited partner in companies deals where you know I neither Ken was putting any money in and does that bother me not really. Why? Well listen I know Ken's model and he doesn't really get rewarded unless the asset performs. I also know Ken personally and know that he works hard, has a lot of integrity and takes pride in his work. He's got a tremendous track record and I also know that it takes a lot of work to do what he does, so not getting rewarded financially until the you know property starts to really perform the way he pro formas it out is a type of sweat equity because what you're talking about ultimately is skin in the game. Does the operator have skin in the game? And the question really I think is better termed you know does the operator have skin in the game? Because the skin in the game can also come in the form of sweat equity. Now if Ken in his case doesn't get paid unless investors get paid, I would definitely consider that skin in the game knowing how much work that is. Now the problem these days in my opinion is that there is you know there's everybody and their mother is a syndicator. And you know what I'm talking about right? So you've got all these people I was in here, I'm a full-time software engineer we're 50 hours a week and oh yeah and I just went to a guru course and I'm you know I'm taking down a twenty five million dollar asset would you like to join me? Those people are everywhere now and in those kinds of deals personally I would never invest anyway. However, if you do you should demand heavy skin in the game through cash why because you don't you know you don't know what they're gonna do, they don’t have a huge track record, they've got full-time jobs this isn't just about plugging in a property manager and taking your cut that's BS you know but honestly I would stay away from those deals all together personally you don't want to be part of someone's learning curve.
All right let's see next question I have this via email here, I'm gonna read it. Okay so the next question is from Kenny. Kenny French is asking he says hi Buck I'm a podcast listener and Western Wealth Capital investor as well. I'm currently working with Rod Zabriskie to set up Wealth Formula Banking life insurance policy. So far everything has been going pretty smoothly with one exception. One of the features that I really like about the life insurance policy is it offers a way to have money grow that is protected from creditors and it really gives me a peace of mind to know that I will have a good chunk of money set aside for my family that can't or at least is very difficult for creditors or anyone else to touch. In looking how to hold that policy in a trust LLC personally etc I found out that California, where I live, that's where I live too, has terrible protections for life insurance policies. They only exempt a very small amount less than $20,000 presumably of cash values what we're talking about there, but from the little bit of research I did it looks like a Nevada trust may be the way to go, either way I think this would make for a good podcast topic to do a bit of a dive into so that's why I'm reading that and I got Kenny's okay to do this. So I thought was a good question. So what I did is I actually ran this by Doug Lodmell of Lodmell and Lodmell. Doug is of course my asset protection attorney, very smart guy, all-around good guy. I also want to put a plug in for him if you go to wealthformula.com and you go to there's basically some where you can click there and Doug did this really good webinar on asset protection from sort of the very basic to the more complex and he's just really really good so I would highly recommend you consider using him if any of this stuff is relevant to you. So here's the deal, and here's effectively the answer I've got from Doug: life insurance in many states is already a protected asset, so part of the issue is you got to check in your own state like Kenny did, as in some states like Kenny he's talking about California life insurance turns into pretty much just like an asset like any other asset and it has to be put into an asset protected vehicle. But because it is life insurance, there is an additional consideration of what happens when the policy pays out and how that affects the estate and for that reason there's also an additional choice which is an ILIT which stands for irrevocable life insurance trust. So the issue is that life insurance obviously has a death benefit which could impact the size of your estate and this must be a primary driver for where you hold it. If the death benefit will create or increase in estate tax, then the policy should be held by either an ILIT or another type of gift type trust like a dynasty trust. If the death benefit will not affect the estate tax because the total estate is below the exemption then I would suggest using an asset protection trust asset protection structure to hold the insurance if you are not in a state with good protections. He says it also matters if the insured is using life insurance as a savings vehicle and will need it for their retirement, as often we do with these kinds of things. If so then it is better in an asset protection plan. So I know that was a lot. So first of all if you know you're one of these if you have one of these plans I mean Kenny brings up a very good point you you sure look into this if you're looking for the asset protection component of this too. A few thoughts here okay, first of all you know the first thing to do is check your state and see what kind of protections you have. Next you know the ILIT is certainly an option right I mean it's it's just it's not very expensive it is a couple thousand dollars and you can use that, the problem with that it's difficult to to borrow out of. The next thing to consider is okay how big is that life insurance policy right? If it's three four million bucks, may not be a big deal especially if the rest of your estate is sitting outside of your estate or you've got a plan to have it outside of your estate then you can still figure out you know how to keep you know your estate stuff below you know whatever I think it's probably gonna sunset down to five and a half million or something like that for estate taxes. So in that regard, it seems to me that the smart thing to do would be to use like an asset protection trust which is you know certainly an option that that Doug can help you with, and frankly the nice thing about that is that you know you've got the protection from the creditors and it's still available for retirement. Now if you've got a great big you know death benefit on there, the next step really and actually this step that I've got is a dynasty trust, that was a Nevada dynasty trust and I've got one of those. In that situation though you are getting a trustee involved so you're not directly controlling it. Now I can tell you from personal experience that it's actually relatively not that difficult, you know to work with the trustee, but it does make it a little bit more difficult you know to get the cash available for the insured to use so that's the one thing to consider. Now Doug makes the point that you can also in some situations take an asset protection trust that automatically converts to a dynasty trust at death so then it's really the most flexible tool for most people so that might be the way to go. I think based on what I'm hearing and that's actually different from what I did but you know it was before I met Doug but I might have done like an asset protection trust that converted into a dynasty trust later that might have been what I would have done. Anyway complicated question complicated answer and that's kind of where I'll leave it because I've got a little headache from that last one at this point. So that's it for this week and that is just like half the questions we've got. We've been going on for a while. So that's it for me this week on Wealth Formula Podcast for Ask Buck Part One and we'll be back next week with part two.
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