It is no doubt Grayscale’s booming popularity as a mainstream investment has caused a lot of community hullabaloo lately. As such, I felt it was worth making a FAQ regarding the topic. I’m looking to update this as needed and of course am open to suggestions / adding any questions. The goal is simply to have a thread we can link to anyone with questions on Grayscaleand its products. Instead of explaining the same thing 3 times a day, shoot those posters over to this thread.My hope is that these questions are answered in a fairly simple and easy to understand manner. I think as the sub grows it will be a nice reference point for newcomers. Disclaimer: I do NOT work for Grayscale and as such am basing all these answers on information that can be found on their website / reports. (Grayscale’s official FAQ can be found here). I also do NOT have a finance degree, I do NOT have a Series 6 / 7 / 140-whatever, and I do NOT work with investment products for my day job. I have an accounting background and work within the finance world so I have the general ‘business’ knowledge to put it all together, but this is all info determined in my best faith effort as a layman. The point being is this --- it is possible I may explain something wrong or missed the technical terms, and if that occurs I am more than happy to update anything that can be proven incorrect Everything below will be in reference to ETHE but will apply to GBTC as well.If those two segregate in any way, I will note that accordingly.
ETHE is essentially a stock that intends to loosely track the price of ETH. It does so by having each ETHE be backed by a specific amount of ETH that is held on chain. Initially, the newly minted ETHE can only be purchased by institutions and accredited investors directly from Grayscale. Once a year has passed (6 months for GBTC) it can then be listed on the OTCQX Best Market exchange for secondary trading. Once listed on OTCQX, anyone investor can purchase at this point. Additional information on ETHE can be found here.
So ETHE is an ETF?
No. For technical reasons beyond my personal understandings it is not labeled an ETF. I know it all flows back to the “Securities Act Rule 144”, but due to my limited knowledge on SEC regulations I don’t want to misspeak past that. If anyone is more knowledgeable on the subject I am happy to input their answer here.
How long has ETHE existed?
ETHE was formed 12/14/2017. GBTC was formed 9/25/2013.
How is ETHE created?
The trust will issue shares to “Authorized Participants” in groups of 100 shares (called baskets). Authorized Participants are the only persons that may place orders to create these baskets and they do it on behalf of the investor. Source: Creation and Redemption of Shares section on page 39 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here Note – The way their reports word this makes it sound like there is an army of authorizers doing the dirty work, but in reality there is only one Authorized Participant. At this moment the “Genesis” company is the sole Authorized Participant. Genesis is owned by the “Digital Currency Group, Inc.” which is the parent company of Grayscale as well. (And to really go down the rabbit hole it looks like DCG is the parent company of CoinDesk and is “backing 150+ companies across 30 countries, including Coinbase, Ripple, and Chainalysis.”) Source: Digital Currency Group, Inc. informational section on page 77 of the “Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (BTC) Form 10-K (2019)” – Located Here Source: Barry E. Silbert informational section on page 75 of the “Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (BTC) Form 10-K (2019)” – Located Here
How does Grayscale acquire the ETH to collateralize the ETHE product?
An Investor may acquire ETHE by paying in cash or exchanging ETH already owned.
Cash: The investor pays the subscription amount in cash and the Authorized Participant will use that cash to purchase ETH.
ETH: The investor transfers the ETH to the Authorized Participant, which will contribute the ETH in-kind to the Trust.
Source: Creation and Redemption of Shares section on page 40 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
Where does Grayscale store their ETH? Does it have a specific wallet address we can follow?
ETH is stored with Coinbase Custody Trust Company, LLC. I am unaware of any specific address or set of addresses that can be used to verify the ETH is actually there. As an aside - I would actually love to see if anyone knows more about this as it’s something that’s sort of peaked my interest after being asked about it… I find it doubtful we can find that however. Source: Part C. Business Information, Item 8, subsection A. on page 16 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
Can ETHE be redeemed for ETH?
No, currently there is no way to give your shares of ETHE back to Grayscale to receive ETH back. The only method of getting back into ETH would be to sell your ETHE to someone else and then use those proceeds to buy ETH yourself. Source: Redemption Procedures on page 41 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
Why are they not redeeming shares?
I think the report summarizes it best:
Redemptions of Shares are currently not permitted and the Trust is unable to redeem Shares. Subject to receipt of regulatory approval from the SEC and approval by the Sponsor in its sole discretion, the Trust may in the future operate a redemption program. Because the Trust does not believe that the SEC would, at this time, entertain an application for the waiver of rules needed in order to operate an ongoing redemption program, the Trust currently has no intention of seeking regulatory approval from the SEC to operate an ongoing redemption program.
Source: Redemption Procedures on page 41 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
What is the fee structure?
ETHE has an annual fee of 2.5%. GBTC has an annual fee of 2.0%. Fees are paid by selling the underlying ETH / BTC collateralizing the asset. Source: ETHE’s informational page on Grayscale’s website - Located Here Source: Description of Trust on page 31 & 32 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
What is the ratio of ETH to ETHE?
At the time of posting (6/19/2020) each ETHE share is backed by .09391605 ETH. Each share of GBTC is backed by .00096038 BTC. ETHE & GBTC’s specific information page on Grayscale’s website updates the ratio daily – Located Here For a full historical look at this ratio, it can be found on the Grayscale home page on the upper right side if you go to Tax Documents > 2019 Tax Documents > Grayscale Ethereum Trust 2019 Tax Letter.
Why is the ratio not 1:1? Why is it always decreasing?
While I cannot say for certain why the initial distribution was not a 1:1 backing, it is more than likely to keep the price down and allow more investors a chance to purchase ETHE / GBTC. As noted above, fees are paid by selling off the ETH collateralizing ETHE. So this number will always be trending downward as time goes on. Source: Description of Trust on page 32 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
I keep hearing about how this is locked supply… explain?
As noted above, there is currently no redemption program for converting your ETHE back into ETH. This means that once an ETHE is issued, it will remain in circulation until a redemption program is formed --- something that doesn’t seem to be too urgent for the SEC or Grayscale at the moment. Tiny amounts will naturally be removed due to fees, but the bulk of the asset is in there for good. Knowing that ETHE cannot be taken back and destroyed at this time, the ETH collateralizing it will not be removed from the wallet for the foreseeable future. While it is not fully locked in the sense of say a totally lost key, it is not coming out any time soon. Per their annual statement:
The Trust’s ETH will be transferred out of the ETH Account only in the following circumstances: (i) transferred to pay the Sponsor’s Fee or any Additional Trust Expenses, (ii) distributed in connection with the redemption of Baskets (subject to the Trust’s obtaining regulatory approval from the SEC to operate an ongoing redemption program and the consent of the Sponsor), (iii) sold on an as-needed basis to pay Additional Trust Expenses or (iv) sold on behalf of the Trust in the event the Trust terminates and liquidates its assets or as otherwise required by law or regulation.
Source: Description of Trust on page 31 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
Grayscale now owns a huge chunk of both ETH and BTC’s supply… should we be worried about manipulation, a sell off to crash the market crash, a staking cartel?
First, it’s important to remember Grayscale is a lot more akin to an exchange then say an investment firm. Grayscale is working on behalf of its investors to create this product for investor control. Grayscale doesn’t ‘control’ the ETH it holds any more then Coinbase ‘controls’ the ETH in its hot wallet. (Note: There are likely some varying levels of control, but specific to this topic Grayscale cannot simply sell [legally, at least] the ETH by their own decision in the same manner Coinbase wouldn't be able to either.) That said, there shouldn’t be any worry in the short to medium time-frame. As noted above, Grayscale can’t really remove ETH other than for fees or termination of the product. At 2.5% a year, fees are noise in terms of volume. Grayscale seems to be the fastest growing product in the crypto space at the moment and termination of the product seems unlikely. IF redemptions were to happen tomorrow, it’s extremely unlikely we would see a mass exodus out of the product to redeem for ETH. And even if there was incentive to get back to ETH, the premium makes it so that it would be much more cost effective to just sell your ETHE on the secondary market and buy ETH yourself. Remember, any redemption is up to the investors and NOT something Grayscale has direct control over.
Yes, but what about [insert criminal act here]…
Alright, yes. Technically nothing is stopping Grayscale from selling all the ETH / BTC and running off to the Bahamas (Hawaii?). BUT there is no real reason for them to do so. Barry is an extremely public figure and it won’t be easy for him to get away with that. Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust creates SEC reports weekly / bi-weekly and I’m sure given the sentiment towards crypto is being watched carefully. Plus, Grayscale is making tons of consistent revenue and thus has little to no incentive to give that up for a quick buck.
That’s a lot of ‘happy little feels’ Bob, is there even an independent audit or is this Tether 2.0?
Actually yes, an independent auditor report can be found in their annual reports. It is clearly aimed more towards the financial side and I doubt the auditors are crypto savants, but it is at least one extra set of eyes. Auditors are Friedman LLP – Auditor since 2015. Source: Independent Auditor Report starting on page 116 (of the PDF itself) of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here As mentioned by user TheCrpytosAndBloods (In Comments Below), a fun fact:
The company’s auditors Friedman LLP were also coincidentally TetheBitfinex’s auditors until They controversially parted ways in 2018 when the Tether controversy was at its height. I am not suggesting for one moment that there is anything shady about DCG - I just find it interesting it’s the same auditor.
“Grayscale sounds kind of lame” / “Not your keys not your crypto!” / “Why is anyone buying this, it sounds like a scam?”
Welp, for starters this honestly is not really a product aimed at the people likely to be reading this post. To each their own, but do remember just because something provides no value to you doesn’t mean it can’t provide value to someone else. That said some of the advertised benefits are as follows:
Access to trading within a tax advantaged retirement account
Institutions can easily and safely get exposure to crypto in a more legal-friendly manner
Ease of use for those who are not very technologically savvy
Ease of access for someone who doesn’t want to set up a Coinbase account
Perceived trust in institutional platforms over something like Coinbase or Kraken
Degen traders who just want access to the volatility ETHE provides that have no interest in crypto beyond that
So for example, I can set up an IRA at a brokerage account that has $0 trading fees. Then I can trade GBTC and ETHE all day without having to worry about tracking my taxes. All with the relative safety something like E-Trade provides over Binance. As for how it benefits the everyday ETH holder? I think the supply lock is a positive. I also think this product exposes the Ethereum ecosystem to people who otherwise wouldn’t know about it.
Why is there a premium? Why is ETHE’s premium so insanely high compared to GBTC’s premium?
There are a handful of theories of why a premium exists at all, some even mentioned in the annual report. The short list is as follows:
ETHE is NOT redeeming shares and as such doesn’t have an effective arbitrage mechanism
ETHE has a 1 year wait to be sold on the secondary market, again negating the ability to effectively arbitrage the premium
People may simply be willing to pay a premium for the benefits stated above.
Why is ETHE’s so much higher the GBTC’s? Again, a few thoughts:
ETHE hasn’t been around as long, so there is less secondary market supply to go around
ETHE was listed at an insanely high premium to begin with
ETHE might simply be more popular at the moment
Could just be sheer stupidity (investors think ETHE is a 1:1 ratio not 1:11)
Are there any other differences between ETHE and GBTC?
I touched on a few of the smaller differences, but one of the more interesting changes is GBTC is now a “SEC reporting company” as of January 2020. Which again goes beyond my scope of knowledge so I won’t comment on it too much… but the net result is GBTC is now putting out weekly / bi-weekly 8-K’s and annual 10-K’s. This means you can track GBTC that much easier at the moment as well as there is an extra layer of validity to the product IMO.
I’m looking for some statistics on ETHE… such as who is buying, how much is bought, etc?
There is a great Q1 2020 report I recommend you give a read that has a lot of cool graphs and data on the product. It’s a little GBTC centric, but there is some ETHE data as well. It can be found here hidden within the 8-K filings.Q1 2020 is the 4/16/2020 8-K filing. For those more into a GAAP style report see the 2019 annual 10-K of the same location.
Is Grayscale only just for BTC and ETH?
No, there are other products as well. In terms of a secondary market product, ETCG is the Ethereum Classic version of ETHE. Fun Fact – ETCG was actually put out to the secondary market first. It also has a 3% fee tied to it where 1% of it goes to some type of ETC development fund. In terms of institutional and accredited investors, there are a few ‘fan favorites’ such as Bitcoin Cash, Litcoin, Stellar, XRP, and Zcash. Something called Horizion (Backed by ZEN I guess? Idk to be honest what that is…). And a diversified Mutual Fund type fund that has a little bit of all of those. None of these products are available on the secondary market.
Are there alternatives to Grayscale?
I know they exist, but I don’t follow them. I’ll leave this as a “to be edited” section and will add as others comment on what they know. Per user Over-analyser (in comments below):
As asked by pegcity - Okay so I was under the impression you can just give them your own ETH and get ETHE, but do you get 11 ETHE per ETH or do you get the market value of ETH in USD worth of ETHE?
I have always understood that the ETHE issued directly through Grayscale is issued without the premium. As in, if I were to trade 1 ETH for ETHE I would get 11, not say only 2 or 3 because the secondary market premium is so high. And if I were paying cash only I would be paying the price to buy 1 ETH to get my 11 ETHE. Per page 39 of their annual statement, it reads as follows:
The Trust will issue Shares to Authorized Participants from time to time, but only in one or more Baskets (with a Basket being a block of 100 Shares). The Trust will not issue fractions of a Basket. The creation (and, should the Trust commence a redemption program, redemption) of Baskets will be made only in exchange for the delivery to the Trust, or the distribution by the Trust, of the number of whole and fractional ETH represented by each Basket being created (or, should the Trust commence a redemption program, redeemed), which is determined by dividing (x) the number of ETH owned by the Trust at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the trade date of a creation or redemption order, after deducting the number of ETH representing the U.S. dollar value of accrued but unpaid fees and expenses of the Trust (converted using the ETH Index Price at such time, and carried to the eighth decimal place), by (y) the number of Shares outstanding at such time (with the quotient so obtained calculated to one one-hundred-millionth of one ETH (i.e., carried to the eighth decimal place)), and multiplying such quotient by 100 (the “Basket ETH Amount”). All questions as to the calculation of the Basket ETH Amount will be conclusively determined by the Sponsor and will be final and binding on all persons interested in the Trust. The Basket ETH Amount multiplied by the number of Baskets being created or redeemed is the “Total Basket ETH Amount.” The number of ETH represented by a Share will gradually decrease over time as the Trust’s ETH are used to pay the Trust’s expenses. Each Share represented approximately 0.0950 ETH and 0.0974 ETH as of December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
Some very important points that most people do not understand about Bitcoin
Point 1) Most people do not understand that you can't send money over internet, but only information. Bitcoin is the first digital settlement layer. When I send a picture to someone on Facebook messenger, I don't actually send a picture. I send information about the pictures structure, and the picture gets restructured on the client side (the cellphone) of the user I send it to. Copy of the information is being sent, not the picture itself. So you can't send money over internet, it is not possible, only information. If I have a bank account at some bank, and I send $50 dollars to another person in the same bank by using the banks website, then a transaction happens between two people within the same infrastructure, which is the banks back-end system and database. So the banks system just subtracts $50 dollars from one person and adds $50 dollars to another person. But no money has moved, only information has been edited. But if I send money to someone that uses another Bank, then this bank has its own infrastructure which is independent of the first. So Bank1 tells Bank2 that they have a user that wants to send money to a user of the other bank. So Bank1 subtracts $50 from User1, and Bank2 adds $50 to User2, but now Bank1 owes Bank2 $50, why? Because you can't send money over internet. So they have to settle the difference between them with some kind of a settlement system, (cash, gold or a third party like a central bank). This difference can be the result of many transactions between many users and can be millions of dollars of worth, the settlement can be done periodically for example every 6 months. With Bitcoin, because of how the system works, it is almost as if you can send value over internet for the first time, even though you don't really send value, you still send information, but since the infrastructure is global, it is like the first example, it is as if the world has (one large bank infrastructure), that is fully automated and which no one controls. This alone makes Bitcoin extremely valuable, because it is a trust less digital settlement layer which is extremely secure and not dependent on one particular nation or organisation. Point 2) There can never be more than 21 million Bitcoin. This is very hard for people to grasp. Because what do you mean there can never be more than 21 million bitcoin? It sounds like a game, such a scam... People do not understand that Bitcoin is not normal software. In normal software the developers can change the code as they want and publish the code when they want. They do not understand that Bitcoin is a software that is not like a normal software. You can't actually change the number even if the number is programmed in. Which of-course most people will deny, because it makes no sense for most people. They do not understand that even though it is theoretically possible to change it, it is practically almost impossible. It is theoretically possible for me to convince half of Sweden to burn half of their money, but practically impossible. Just because something is theoretically possible, doesn't mean that it will happen within a time frame, or even in your lifetime. In order for the 21 million supply to change, most people in the Bitcoin community needs to agree on it, which is practically impossible. Miners have to change to the new protocol and so on. Not going to happen. When gold treasures were lost in the past, someone else could find them. Gold practically never completely disappears, it is a chemical element. With Bitcoin, once it is lost it is practically lost forever (put aside quantum computing for now and other theoretical unforeseeable events). 21 million is only the upper theoretical limit. Bitcoin will be more and more scarce as time goes by. Gold is not like this. Gold has an inflation rate of 1,5% every year. The reason it is constant is because even if the stock gets bigger, the flow into the stock also gets bigger because of better mining capabilities, so you can look at it as constant inflation of 1.5% every year. With Bitcoin, not only do the stock to flow ratio go up every halvening, and the flow into bitcoin not only decreases with time, but almost goes into negative because of lost coins every year. This is completely insane and people do not understand this. If you combine this almost deflationary nature of Bitcoin with extreme bullish market sentiment then you will realize that no one knows what is going to happen in the future because wrapping your head around all this and to come to a conclusion about the Bitcoin price will make you sound absolutely delusional to most people. Point 3) People think that $100,000 bitcoin is wishful thinking and that there is not enough money in the world for Bitcoin to be worth millions of dollars. Which I can assure you is false. Bitcoin can even be worth $50 million dollars per coin, which would make 2 satoshi 1 dollar. Even if one Bitcoin transaction would cost 10 000 Satoshi. You might say, that's not possible, whats the point if one transaction is so expensive. Again, you don't need to actually do a transfer of money, as in the first example of point 1, virtual transactions on bank level can happen, or on Coinbase. You can send 100 satoshi to someone and pay 1 satoshi in fee "on the bank level", not on chain, banks or exchanges then will settle the difference as they want. At least with Bitcoin you have the option to be you own bank, even if that will cost you more, you still have the option. This is already happening in front of your eyes. Banks like Dutch ING, Deutsche bank, are already working on custody services for cryptocurrencies. And even exchanges want to operate as banks and exchanges like Coinbase are working to get license for this. This is already happening and it is the correct move forwards, a mix between the legacy banking system and cryptocurrencies. You can already spend your Bitcoin with Coinbase Visa Card or similar services. Most people are too lazy and stupid to operate like us with their own wallets, it is a fact well known. In terms of the price, money inflow is not the same as market cap. Take for instance the following simple scenario. I own 100% of the shares of my own company and I decide to sell 10% of the company for 1 million USD, which will value my whole company at 10 million USD, so 1 million flow into my company leads to 10x market cap of 10 million USD. For Bitcoin to have 21 trillion market cap, Bitcoin does not need 21 trillion of money inflow. Bitcoin price is dependent on market sentiment, if the market sentiment is such that very few people want to sell their coins because the price keeps going up then you might have 100x market cap of the money inflow. So 1 billion USD in money inflow translates to 100 billion USD in market cap. The multiplier can be 10x, 2x or 50x, all depends on market sentiment and time period. So an inflow of 10 trillion USD in 10 years might lead to 100 trillion USD market cap of BTC and 5 million USD per Bitcoin. Bitcoin value have no roof, the price might actually just keep going up and up and up and up and up. We have never had something that is absolutely scarce, and global, and seen as an alternative form of money, when the rest of the world keeps bubbling up. There is no limit on the BTC price because the whole world works with a bubbly system, and the way Bitcoin is price discovered, is a guaranteed insane BTC price in the future. Even $100 million USD per Bitcoin in 50 years before I am dead is possible. Point 4) Fiat does not need to die, and Bitcoin does not need to take over in order for Bitcoin to have "ridiculous price". No financial crisis is needed. Actually what you want is things to just continue as they have done in the last 10 years. No too extreme events. Just "small events" here and there. You can't change human nature, it is inevitable. Bitcoin is so ingrained into our world that there is no way back. There will be people with whole Bitcoin, and people without. Just like people with gold and stock investments and real estate, and people without those things. No insane events, this is all normal. Point 5) Bitcoin has won as the financial cryptocurrency. No flippening will happen. The only flippening will be with gold and fiat currencies. If I wanted to, I could have developed a system like PayPal in 1 month time, and it would be able to do 5000 transactions per second because I would use MySQL and SSD, but no one would use my service because they would not trust me because they have no idea who I am and what my service is, and there is no one to send money too, so the network is not there. Bitcoin has won because security and network effect is way more important than transactions per second. Transactions per second will be dealt with on bank level, exchange level, or layer 2 solutions. This is already clear to me. Bitcoin has won. Point 6) In order to understand Bitcoin and what will happen in the future, you have to be able to see things that are not in front of you. You can't compare Bitcoin to Tulip mania, or even Gold. Because something like Bitcoin has never existed before and you have to think about it's properties and try to understand it with human nature and with how the world works and how everything keeps increasing, and Bitcoin is the thing that does not increase in supply. You will eventually accept the unnatural thought of Bitcoin never stopping going up in value, which is something that is hard to come to terms with, because it feels unnatural, "and it could not possibly be so". Point 7) The Gini coefficient of Bitcoin is not a big deal. I used to think that it was unfair that some people had 1,000 BTC, 10,000 BTC, or even 50,000 BTC. And I was afraid that they might dump their coins into the market and crash it. I have now realised that these people are smart people and they think like me, and they won't just dump their whole BTC holding on the market as that might be a very bad move for them. It is like when a majority holder of a company, like Jeff Bezos and Amazon, understands that he can't sell all of his shares in one go as that would effect Amazon stock value too much and would not be smart. It is best to sell when the price goes up, but then when they sell the BTC will just be eaten up by other people, and they will be at a loss in the longer term. And the other thing is that perhaps there is no other smart place to put that fiat money, Bitcoin might just be the best place to keep those amounts of money. Someone with a very large holding has two options. He can either sell his BTC, in which case the price would go down but the Bitcoin would be spread out between potentially thousands of new users, or he might decide to never sell. If he decides to never sell, it is as if those Bitcoins are lost forever and that is good for the Bitcoin price and Bitcoin in general. If he decides to sell then Bitcoin will be divided more equally among many users which is also a good thing for Bitcoin because that increases the network effect, and after he sells he no longer has the power to drive the price down, but now he sits on a very large fiat holding, he might even buy back at a higher price and drive the price higher. I know that if I had 10,000 BTC, I would sell 1,000 BTC and buy a house and a car and whatever I wanted, and sell another 1,000 BTC to diversify into some other assets. And keep 8,000 BTC because I don't know of anywhere else to put that kind of money into good work. I believe in Bitcoin so as an investor it makes sense to keep it here. I probably would never sell because I would never need anything else after the initial 1,000 BTC sell. Bitcoin is like a black hole that sucks in the Earths monetary resources over time. Most people that bought really early and were smart enough to hold all the way to these prices will only sell what they need to sell and keep the rest in BTC. Some of them might want to speculate and try to time the ATH, only to buy back in with most of the fiat they sold. Which means that even if money goes out of the market, it only goes out of the market temporarily, only to get back in at hopefully lower prices. And so the market grows, and grows and grows over time. Point 8) Bitcoin has intrinsic value. When people like Peter Schiff say that gold has intrinsic value because gold can be used in electronics and aviation and therefore gold has value but Bitcoin has no value because it has no intrinsic value, you have to take a pause and do some critical thinking. Can you imagine 16th century pirates looking to find a gold treasure worth an insane amount because they knew gold had value because of electronics and aviation? This is clearly absurd. Gold has been used as money for thousands of years and electronics and aviation was not even a thing 150 years ago. Gold has value because it is globally scarce. Bitcoin is absolutely verifiable scarce. Bitcoin has intrinsic value because of it's monetary policy and because you can carry millions of dollars of value by remembering only 24 words in your head, and carry that value wherever you want and no one can stop you, that is intrinsic value. People had a hard time understanding that a website like Facebook could be worth billions of dollars, because it was not physical, it was "just a website". Even a website like Google search is not physical and still it has immense value. It is valuable information and it provides a good service, and that has value, it does not have to be physical and tangible.
I earned about 4000% more btc with my android tablet than with a $250 ASIC mini rig setup using GekkoScience Newpac USB miners!
Requirements: 1.) Android Device with access to Google Play Store. *I haven't tried yet but you may be able to use tis on Android TV devces as well by sideloading. If anyone has success before I try, let me know! -Note, I did this with a Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 so its a newer more powerful device. If your android is older, your profts will most likely be less than what I earned but to give a projected range I also tested on my Raspberry Pi 4 running a custom LineageOS rom that doesn't allow the OS to make full use of the Pi's specs and I still got 500 h/s on that with Cloud boost, so about 60% of what my Tab 6 with MUCH Higher Specs does. **Hey guys. Before I get started i just wanted to be clear about one thing. Yes I have seen those scammy posts sharing "miracle" boosts and fixes. I have a hard time believing stuff online anymore. But this is honestly real. Ill attach photos and explain the whole story and process below. Thanks for taking the time to read and feel free to share any thoughts, concerns, tips, etc* So last week I finally got started with my first mini rig type mining build. I started getting into crypto about a year ago and it has taken me a long time to even grasp half of the projects out there but its been fun thus far! Anyways my rig was 2 GekkoScience Newpac USB miners, a Moonlander USB miner to pair with an FPGA i already had mining, a 10 port 60W 3.0 USB hub and 2 usb fans. The Newpacs actually are hashing at a combined 280 g/s which is actually better than their reported max hash rate when overclocked. Pleasant surpise and they are simple!! I just wanted to get a moonlander because my fpga already mines on Odocrypt for DGB and I just wanted to experience Scrypt mining and help build the DGB project. The Newpacs are mining BTC though. After I got everything up and running i checked my payout daily average after 1 week. I averaged .01 a day TOTAL between all three miners with them all perforing ABOVE SPEC!!! I had done research so i knew I wouldnt earn much. More than anything i just wanted to learn. But still. I was kinda surprised in a negative way. Yesterday I actually earned less than .01 Frustrated I went back to scouring the web for new ideas. About a year ago, when II was starting, I saw an app on my iphone called CryptoBrowser that claimed to mine btc on your phone without actually using phone resources using a method of cloud mining. I tried it for a week and quit because I earned like .03 after a ton of use and seemed scammy. Plus my iphone actually would get very hot when doing this so I quit using it as it seemed like a possible scam with all the cryptonight browser mining hacks and malware out there. Anyways I was on my Galaxy Tab S6 and saw that CryptoBrowser released a "PRO" edition for 3.99 on Google Play. I bought it for Sh*ts and giggles and booted it up. It came with what they called "Cloud Boost" Essentially this is a button you press and it multiplys the estimated hashrate that it gives you device by the number shown on the boost button. (With the purchase of PRO you get one free x10 boost. You can purchase additional boosts to use with other android devices but those are actually pretty pricy. Another x10 boost was like $25 if i remember correctly). I played with it for about an hour to see if it actually worked like it said it would this time. To my surprise, as i was browsing, my device didnt increase in temperature AT ALL!!!!! I checked my tast manager to confirm and it was indeed true, my memory and usage barely went up. it was giving me an estimated range of 80-105 on the hashrate. Once i pushed the x10 boost button, that went to 800-1150 h/s. I switched my screen to not go to sleep, plugged it to the charge and let it run on the browser page, hashing. When you push the boost button, it runs for 3 hours at the boosted speeds. After that it goes back to normal but if you press the button again, it boosts everything again. There is no limit to how many times you use it. After checking what I earned after 24 hours, I HAD MADE .40 in BTC!!!!! I JUST EARNED OVER 4000% MORE THAN MY $280 MINING RIG EARNED ME!!!! I was blown away. Maybe this was a fluke? I did it again next day. Every 3 hours or so I would push the button again but thats all. Sure enough, .35 that day. Also, it realy BTC. I requested a payout and although it took like 12 hours for them to send me an email stating they had just sent it, I actually did recieve the state amount of BTC within 24 hours in my personal wallet. The fees to send are SUPER LOW!. Like .01 Below I will list the steps I took, along with an explanation of thier "Mining" process on Androids. Reminder, this ONLY WORKS ON ANDROIDS. Also DO NOT use cryptobrowser on a physcal laptop or desktop. I ran it on an old laptop for three days last year and it fried it. It does actually use your hardware on those platforms to mine and it is not efficnet at all as I suspect they prob steal over half of your power for themselves using the REAL RandomX protocol via browser mining which is EXTREMELY INEFFICIENT DONT TRY IT!! -----How To Do This Yourself: Cryptotab Browser states the program works on Android devices by estimating what it thinks the hashrate would be for your device specs and siimulates what you would mine in a remote server however you still earn that estimated coin amount. It is not a SHA-256 process or coin that they say is mining, rather it is XMR and they swap that and pay it out to you in BTC Bitcoin. However I know damn well my Tab S6 doesnt hash 80-105 h/s on RandomX because I have done it with a moodified XMRig module i ported to Android. I got 5 h/s a sec if I was getting any hashes at all. But thats besides the point as I still was making money. Now, when you press that cloud boost button it immediately boosts that hash rate it estimates by the number on the cloud boost. As stated above, you can purchase more boosts and gift them or use them on extra android devices that you may have. Again, they are pricey so I'm not doing that plus it would just mean that I have another device that I have to leave on and open. The boosts come in x2, x4, x6, x8 and x10 variants. Again, they have unlimited uses. Here is the link to grab yourself CryptoBrowser Pro from CryptoTab. This IS A REFERRAL LINK! This is where I benefit from doing tis tutorial. Like i said, I want to be transparent as this is not a scam but I'm also not doing this out of the love of my heart. Their referral system works in that people that use the donwload the app using your link are your stage 1 referrals. Anytime they are mining, you earn a 15% bonus. So say they mine $.30 one day. You would get paid out an additional $.045 in your own balance (it does not come out of the referred user balance fyi so no worries). Then lets say that referred miner also gets their own referrals. I would get a 10% bonus on whatever THOSE people mine. This goes on and on for like 8 tiers. Each tier the bonus percntage essential halves. So again, I stand to benefit from this but it also is stupid to not make this visible as its WAY CHEAPER, EASIER AND MORE PROFITABLE TO GET BTC USING THIS METHOD THAN IT IS USING ASICS!! THIS EARNS ALMOST AS MUCH BTC AS AN ANTMINER S7 DOES RUNNING 24/7 ONLY WITHOUT THE HUGE ELLECTRICTY BILL AND COSTS!!!!) Thats it. Again, if you have concerns, let me know or if you have suggestions, other tips, etc... mention those as well!!! https://cryptotabbrowser.com/8557319 Links to Picture Proof http://imgur.com/gallery/P13bEsB
So a couple of weeks ago this woman DM'd me asking me if I wanted to invest. She works for this company called FXprimeoptions. Basically I deposit the company a minimum of $200. After the money is transferred to my account the manager uses it to trade and multiply the amount of money in the account. So I was like YOLO I'll do it...but not for $200. I talked to her and told her I was "broke". She then told me she'll bring the minimum down to $50 for me so I was like okay. But here's the thing that confuses me. The company only allows deposits and withdrawals in Bitcoin. But whatever I bought $50 worth if BTC and sent it and blah blah blah it's in my account and all is going well. She told me in 7 days I could withdraw. So I waited 7 days and each day the money increased a good amount, and on the 7th day it was at $892!....But if I want to Withdraw the money I have to pay $178. I just think it's crazy how i made $700+ profit just by doing nothing. The amount of increase on my balance was crazy and it smells like a scam, but I just want to make sure it is.The lady is super nice and everything but idk. I hope someone can help me out and all answers are greatly appreciated!
I like the credit card debt. The interest is from 20% to 80%, reflecting the real cost of risk and, the time preference, and the money devaluation (but see below for money unit creation). Some people don't pay back, some do. It increases in volume slightly, but it is not galloping, so some pay back, and the issuer can have an average profit. They lend money and hope that the debtor can and wants to pay back. Most loans are regulated some way. Like student loans - the debtor has not shown any capacity to pay back, still they are given to everybody. Clearly, the risk is paid for by someone else, and that could be you! The same with mortgages, the state is heavily involved. The low interest rate is the result of money creation, and it distorts all calculations, to their benefit, not yours. All interest today can be regarded as usury - because it is not earned money they lend out, the lender does not defer their spending of rightfully earned money. Most is created by fractional reserve banking, a practise that was made legal a couple of hundred years ago, before that, it was regarded as a crime. When it came to light among the bankers in Venezia, the depositors got furious and broke the bankers bench, they literally went bankrupt, their bank/bench was left in pieces in the agora. This is all hidden, and the initial scam is the central bank: A broke banker colluded with the broke state, the broke banker lent nonexisting money to the state on the condition that the state deposited the same nonexisting money in the bank. Now the bank had reserves, and could start taking deposits, and lending out to the public. From nothing. Now the state/bankers depend on perpetuating this. The money unit number has to increase all the time. It is not to your advantage, it is for the purpose of the bankers. They need the ability to create more units, by writing a higher number on their own account and multiplying it with fractional reserve. Bitcoin puts a stop to this, because you can not write that higher number into your own account. But they have gold! Well do they huh? With every failed state we see that there is no gold. The only reason for a state to have gold, is for the fallen leaders to run away with a bar or two when they are chased out of the place. Do they facilitate payments in an efficient way to the benefit of the customers? Well they have clumsy systems, and since there are infighting, we have different fiats. It is almost impossible for the user to see all the hidden costs. The spread in exchange for instance. One way to look at it, is the size of the world profits that is in banking. It is somewhere between 20% and 30% of all value creation. We have miniscule city states that do nothing more than finance, and they are the most prosperous places. So getting hold of a few coins and relax knowing that you have something in reserve for a rainy day, that is not stealing from future adopter, it is not unfair, that is how money should work, and did work, before the fiats.
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At the point when you take a gander at online surveys from individuals who guarantee to be clients of IQ Option, make sure to think about them while taking other factors into consideration since many are unmistakably from contenders or individuals with ulterior thought processes. At the point when perused with a basic eye, the general pattern of apparently legitimate surveys of IQ Option from clients is by [all accounts impartial to positive.](mailto:[email protected]) IQ Options Review 2020; Is IQ Option a Scam? https://preview.redd.it/akcp67z8xyk41.jpg?width=700&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=c67768edebfca581dbac000efb6904f6cb516114 While doing this survey and looking into others' suppositions on the web, we found various grumblings from individuals considering the website a trick. 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Re-Launching The Borderless, Unkillable Crypto-Fiat Gateway, DAIHard. Enter or Exit Crypto via Any Fiat and Any Payment Method, Anywhere in the World, Without KYC. All you need is a little Dai.
Some of you might recall recall our initial facepalm failed launch about 3 months ago (post-mortem here). Well, we're back--this time with an audit and some new features. This version of DAIHard should should die a little harder this time ;)
After shopping around a bit in the auditor space, we decided to go with Adam Dossa--the very same Adam Dossa that actually found our launch vulnerability and responsibly disclosed it to us! You can see his report here. By the way, Adam has been a gem: friendly, professional, timely, and flexible. Definitely keep him in mind if you need an audit!
Following is an updated version of our original launch post. If you've already read that, you might want to skip to the heading What's New in v0.9.2. Or you can go straight to the app or go to our info site for more info! Here is a legitimate concern most of us are familiar with:
To enter or exit the crypto economy, we rely on centralized exchanges such as Coinbase, which track their users, impose limits, and are tightly coupled to their jurisdiction and its banking system. And for all we know, any day now regulations could start tightening these controls further (*we've actually seen some of this play out in the two months since our first launch post). In light of this, can we say in any meaningful sense that crypto is anonymous, limtiless, borderless, immune to regulation, and (most importantly) unstoppable?
To really address this concern, we need a completely decentralized gateway between fiat and crypto: something that extends the benefits of crypto to the very act of moving between the old and new economies. But the design of such a platform is far from obvious. (Localethereum comes close, but as discussed under Unkillable, it doesn't quite cut it. And Bisq is decentralized, but has significant UX hurdles.) We believe we've found a solution. We are proud to present:
DAIHard v0.9.2 - Almost Definitely Not Broken This Time
If you want to jump right in, we recommend first watching our latest usage demo (7 min), then diving in and giving it a shot with a small amount of Dai. (Try it on Kovan first if mainnet is too scary!) DAIHard extends many of the promises of crypto (borderless, anonymous, limitless, unstoppable) into the exchange mechanism itself, allowing anyone, anywhere to bypass centralized exchanges and the control they impose. More concretely, DAIHard is a platform, run on smart contracts, for forming one-off crypto/fiat exchanges with other users, in which:
The method of fiat transfer is open-ended, but agreed upon up-front (for example: bank transfer, cash handoff, transfer of online credit, cash drop...).
You and the counterparty can communicate via end-to-end encrypted chat to coordinate the fiat transfer (i.e. communicate bank account number or reveal a cash drop location).
Crucially, in the last phase, the Seller can choose to burn the Dai instead of releasing it to the Buyer (but he can't get it back). This credible threat of burn is what makes the platform reliable in the absence of a centralized group of arbitrators or moderators. For more on this see the DAIHard Game Theory medium article (10 min read).
You Need either xDai, or both Dai and Ether, to Use The Tool (At Least For Now)
If you want to buy Dai on DAIHard, you must already have Dai--1/3 of the amount you want to purchase--to put up as a burnable deposit. For example, if you only have 10 Dai now, you can only commit to buying 30 Dai, and must complete that trade before using the newly bought Dai to open up a bigger offer (for up to 120 Dai that time). Most tragically of course, this means that if you don't already have some crypto, you can't use this tool to get crypto--this is why we avoid calling DAIHard an onramp specifically. This comes from the fact that both parties must have "skin in the game" for the game theory to work, and a smart contract can only threaten to burn crypto. We have some ideas on how to address this drawback in the not-too-distant future, which we'll write about soon. For now it's time to launch this thing and get some users!
Dangerous and Scary To Use
In rare cases, a user may have to burn Dai and face a loss on the entire trade amount. The necessity of this ever-present risk is explained in detail in DAIHard Game Theory. However, a cautious, rational user can gather information (possibly via our [subreddit](daihard)!) about how people have used the tool, successfully and unsuccessfully. They can then create a buy or sell offer with wisely chosen settings based on what has worked for others. Other cautious, rational users can find this offer and commit to the trade if they dare. We expect the vast majority of committed trades should involve rational, cautious users, and should therefore resolve happily. Still, inevitably there will be sloppy trades that result in burns. As the tool is used, we'll be keeping a close eye on the frequency of burns and keeping you guys updated (perhaps via a "System Status" utility similar to the one found on MakerDao's explorer). In the end, though, we expect the risk in using DAIHard to be comparable to the risk of using any exchange or DNM: ever-present but low enough for the platform to be useful as whole. So, while DAIHard will never shut down and can't perform an exit scam, the bad news is it's not risk-free. Users will have to approach DAIhard with the same level of caution they would with any new exchange (albeit for different reasons and with a different approach). So what's the good news?
The Good News
While these drawbacks are significant, they enable some remarkable features that no other crypto/fiat exchange mechanism can boast.
(Correction: Bisq seems to have a decentralized arbitration system) We are aware of no other crypto/fiat exchange platform that is truly unkillable. Bisq and localethereum comes close, but both localethereum relies on centralized processes of arbitration. This means their fraud-and-scam-prevention system can be sued, jailed, or otherwise harrassed--and if that part stops working, it doesn't matter how decentralized the rest of the system was. DAIHard, in contrast, gives the users the power to police and punish each other, via the aforementioned credible threat of burn. This is simple game theory, and the rules of this game are etched permanently into the DAIHard Factory and Trade contract code: impervious to litigation, regulation, and political pressure. This Factory contract has no owner and no suicide or pause code. It cannot be stopped by us or anyone else. Like Toastycoin, this thing was immortal the moment it was deployed (even more immortal than RadarRelay, for example, which does rely on an ownership role). Both DAIHard and Toastycoin (and probably whatever we build next) will last for as long as a single Ethereum node continues mining, and it will remain easy to use as long as someone can find the HTML/JS front-end and a web3 wallet. (The HTML/JS front-end (built in Elm, by the way, with the lovely elm-ethereum!) is currently hosted on Github pages, which is centralized--but even if Github takes down the page and deletes the code, it's a minor step to get the page hosted on IPFS, something that is on our near-term roadmap in any case)
No KYC, No Limits
It's smart contracts all the way down, so DAIHard never asks any nosy questions--if you have Metamask or some other web3 wallet installed and set up, with some ETH and Dai (or just xDai), you can immediately open or commit to a trade. You don't even need a username! (In fact, we're so inclusive, even machines are allowed--no CAPTCHA here!) You're limited only by the collateral you put up, so if you have 10,000 Dai you could open up a buy offer for 30,000 Dai (or a sell offer for 10,000 Dai) right now. We do reccommend trying the tool out first with a small amount of Dai... But we're not your mom! Do what you want!
It simply doesn't matter where you are, because DAIHard doesn't need to interface with any particular jurisdiction or payment system to work. DIAHard works by incentivizing people (or robots?) to navigate the particular real-world hurdles of bank transfers, cash drops, or other fiat transfer methods. These incentives work whether you're in America, Zimbabwe, or the Atlantic; they work whether the fiat is USD, EUR, ZAR, seashells, or Rai Stones; and they work whether your counterparty is a human, an organization, a script, or a particularly intelligent dog with Internet access.
Any Fiat Type, and Highly Customizeable
Here are some examples of the types of trades you might create or find on DAIHard.
Sell 5 xDai for $5 USD, sent via TransferWise.
Sell 200 Dai for $180 USD, granted they bring the cash to you by tomorrow afternoon in Central Park, NYC.
Buy 20 Dai with a $30 gift card for Amazon AWS that you were never going to use.
Sell 20 Dai in exchange for a $20 Steam game.
While in Vietnam, sell 200 Dai to someone for €180 anytime in the next two weeks, provided they deposit it into your German bank account.
While in Germany, sell 20 Dai to someone in exchange for them refilling your pre-paid Vietnamese phone plan.
Buy 500 Dai for $550 via PayPal, but wait 3 weeks for before the Dai is released (so the paypal transaction can't be reversed).
As the DAIHard community grows, users will doubtless find much more creative ways to use the system, and we will discover together which types of trades are reliable and which are more risky. Because users can set their own prices and phase timeout settings, we expect the risky trades to charge a premium or have longer time windows, while the reliable ones rapidly multiply at close to a 1:1 price ratio, with quick turnaround times.
Extensible (with profit) by Third Parties
Not satisfied with our interface? Do you have some nifty idea for how to display and organize user reputation? Or maybe some idea for how trades could be chained togeher? Maybe you'd like to design a notification system for DAIHard? Maybe you just want a different color scheme! Well, you won't need our permission to do any of this. Any tool that watches the same Factory contract will share the pool of trades, regardless of which tool actually creates the trade. This means we don't even have to fight over network effects! And if you look closely at our fee structure, you might notice that only half of the 1% DAIHard fee is "hardcoded" into the Factory contract. The other half is set and charged by our interface. What does this mean for you? If you go out and make a better interface, you can essentially replace half of our 1% fee with your own fee--it's up to you whether it's smaller or larger than the replaced 0.5%. The reason for this is to explicitly welcome other developers to extend what we've built. For as long as our team is the only one improving the platform, a threat to us is a threat to future upgrades. But if others begin extending the DAIHard platform too, then DAIHard will not only be unstoppable as it is today, but also grow unstoppably.
(For Real This Time) This Is a Big Fucking Deal
DAIHard is a turning point in crypto and a breakthrough in decentralized markets, and is an irreversible augmentation of the Ethereum platform. What we've built is a gateway to crypto completely devoid of centralized components--rendering entry and exit to crypto unkillable, flexible, borderless, and private. Centralized exchanges, and the control they impose, can now be bypassed by anyone with Dai and a web3 wallet.
What's New in v0.9.2
There have been many changes made since our first failed launch, but there are two rather important ones: xDai support and reputation tools.
DAIHard is now operational on xDai, a sidechain whose native token (xDai) is pegged to the Dai (and therefore $1). Add the xDai network to your Metamask (or just install Nifty Wallet), then switch to the xDai network in your wallet, to try it out. xDai has some pretty incredible benefits, compared to vanilla Ethereum:
Price: On xDai, a single DAIHard trade costs on the order of $0.01 to run start-to-finish, rather than the accumulated $2.40 (with the best-case-scenario 1gwei gas price) you'll spend on vanilla Ethereum.
Speed: Trade actions mine much faster, and don't require ERC20 'approve' transactions, making the whole process way snappier.
Gas priced in xDai: the main benefit here is that you only need one token (xDai) rather than two (Dai and Eth). Also, it's just nice having the gas cost expressed in (essentially) USD!
We now have a few reputation tools. First, on any open trade, there is a widget showing the number of releases, aborts, and burns the given address has been involved in as that role (buyer or seller). Clicking on this expands the widget to show more detailed information, and also provides a link to a page that lists each trade this user has been or is involved in.
We have tons of ideas on how to improve the product--too many, in fact, to commit to any before we get a good chunk of user feedback. Here are some of our favorite ideas:
A "QuickTrade" page, offering Trade Templates as an alternative to the current Create Offer page.
Big Exciting Features
Bootstrapping people with no DAI via other mechanisms and community outreach.
Partial commits to trades. eg. Place a 10,000 DAI trade and allow it to be picked up in blocks larger than 500 DAI at a time.
More chains, get this thing working on Bitcoin via Rootstock, on Ethereum Classic and Binance Chain.
A lot of the above features will be prioritized more clearly as we get user feedback, and we will be posting fairly frequent updates and articles on our info site. If you don't want to miss anything, note the subscribe widget and sign up!
Technical: Upcoming Improvements to Lightning Network
Price? Who gives a shit about price when Lightning Network development is a lot more interesting????? One thing about LN is that because there's no need for consensus before implementing things, figuring out the status of things is quite a bit more difficult than on Bitcoin. In one hand it lets larger groups of people work on improving LN faster without having to coordinate so much. On the other hand it leads to some fragmentation of the LN space, with compatibility problems occasionally coming up. The below is just a smattering sample of LN stuff I personally find interesting. There's a bunch of other stuff, like splice and dual-funding, that I won't cover --- post is long enough as-is, and besides, some of the below aren't as well-known. Anyway.....
Yeah the exciting new Lightning Network channel update protocol!
Solves "toxic waste" problem. In the current Poon-Dryja update protocol, old state ("waste") is dangerous ("toxic") because if your old state is acquired by your most hated enemy, they can use that old state to publish a stale unilateral close transaction, which your counterparty must treat as a theft attempt and punish you, causing you to lose funds. With Decker-Russell-Osuntokun old state is not revoked, but is instead gainsaid by later state: instead of actively punishing old state, it simply replaces the old state with a later state.
Allows multiple participants in the update protocol. This can be used as the update protocol for a channel factory with 3 or more participants, for example (channels are not practical for multiple participants since the loss of any one participants makes the channel completely unuseable; it's more sensible to have a multiple-participant factory that splits up into 2-participant channels). Poon-Dryja only supports two participants. Another update protocol, Decker-Wattenhofer, also supports multiple participants, but requires much larger locktimes in case of a unilateral close (measurable in weeks, whereas Poon-Dryja and Decker-Russell-Osuntokun can be measured in hours or days).
It uses nLockTime in a very clever way.
No, it does not solve the "watchtower needed" problem. Decker-Russell-Osuntokun still requires watchtowers if you're planning to be offline for a long time.
What might be confused is that it was initially thought that watchtowers under Decker-Russell-Osuntokun could be made more efficient by having the channel participant update a single "slot" in the watchtower, rather than having to consume one "slot" per update in Poon-Dryja. However, the existence of the "poisoned blob" attack by ZmnSCPxj means that having a replaceable "slot" is risky if the other participant of the channel can spoof you. And the safest way to prevent spoofing somebody is to identify that somebody --- but now that means the watchtower can surveill the activities of somebody it has identified, losing privacy.
Requires base layer change --- SIGHASH_NOINPUT / SIGHASH_ANYPREVOUT. This is still being worked out and may potentially not reach Bitcoin anytime soon.
Determining costs of routes is somewhat harder, and may complicate routefinding algorithms. In particular: every channel today has a "CLTV Delta", a number of blocks by which the total maximum delay of the payment is increased. This maximum delay is the maximum amount of time by which an outgoing payment can be locked, and needs to be reduced for UX purposes. Decker-Russell-Osuntokun will also add a "CSV minimum", a number of blocks, which must be smaller than the delay of an HTLC going through the channel. Current routefinding algos are good at minimizing a summed-up cost (like the "CLTV Delta") so the "CSV minimum" may require discovering / developing new routefinding algos.
Due to the "CSV minimum" above, existing nodes that don't understand Decker-Russell-Osuntokun cannot reliably route over Decker-Russell-Osuntokun channels, as they might not impose this minimum properly.
Multipart payments / AMP
Splitting up large payments into smaller parts!
There are at least three variants of multipart payments: Original, Base, and High.
Original is the original AMP proposed by Lightning Labs. It sacrifices proof-of-payment in order to allow each path to have a different payment hash. This is done by having the payer use a derivation scheme to generate each part's payment preimage from a seed, then having the split the seed (using secret sharing) to each part. The receiver can only reconstruct the seed if all parts reach it.
Base simply uses the same payment hash for all routes. This retains proof-of-payment (i.e. an invoice is undeniably signed by the receiver, including a payment hash in the invoice; public knowledge of the payment preimage is proof that the receiver has in fact received money, and any third party can be convinced of this by being shown the signed invoice and the preimage). The receiver could just take one part of the payment and then claim to be underpaid by the payer and then deny service, but claiming any one part is enough to publish the payment preimage, creating a proof-of-payment: so the receiver can provably be made liable, even if it took just one part, thus the incentive of the receiver is to only take in the payment once all parts have arrived to it.
High requires elliptic curve points / scalars. It combines both Original and Base, retaining proof-of-payment (sacrificed by Original) and ensuring cryptographically-secure waiting for all parts (rather than the mere economically-incentivized of Base). This is done by using elliptic curve homomorphism to addition of scalars to add together the payer-provided preimage (really scalar) of Original with the payee-provided preimage (really scalar) of Base.
Better expected reliability. Channels are limited by capacity. By splitting up into many smaller payments, you can fit into more channels and be more likely to successfully reach the payee.
Capacity on mutiple of your channels can be used to pay. Currently if you have 0.05BTC on one channel and 0.05BTC on another channel, you can't pay 0.06BTC without first rebalancing your channels (and paying fees for the rebalance first, whether the payment succeeds or not). With multipart you can now combine the capacities of multiple of your channels, and only pay fees for combining them if the payment pushes through.
Wumbo payments (oversized payments) come "for free" without having to be explicitly supported by the nodes of the network: you just split up wumbo payments into parts smaller than the wumbo limit.
Multipart will have higher fees. Part of the feerate of each channel is a flat-rate fee. Going through multiple paths means paying more of this flat-rate fee.
It's not clear how to split up payments. Heuristics for payment splitting have to be derived and developed and tested.
Payment points / scalars
Using the magic of elliptic curve homomorphism for fun and Lightning Network profits! Basically, currently on Lightning an invoice has a payment hash, and the receiver reveals a payment preimage which, when inputted to SHA256, returns the given payment hash. Instead of using payment hashes and preimages, just replace them with payment points and scalars. An invoice will now contain a payment point, and the receiver reveals a payment scalar (private key) which, when multiplied with the standard generator point G on secp256k1, returns the given payment point. This is basically Scriptless Script usage on Lightning, instead of HTLCs we have Scriptless Script Pointlocked Timelocked Contracts (PTLCs).
Enables a shit-ton of improvements: payment decorrelation, stuckless payments, noncustodial escrow over Lightning (the Hodl Hodl Lightning escrow is custodial, read the fine print), High multipart.
It's the same coolness that makes Schnorr Signatures cool. ECDSA, despite being based on elliptic curves, is not cool because the hash-the-nonce operation needed to prevent it from infringing Schnorr's fatherfucking patent also prevents ECDSA from using the cool elliptic curve homomorphism of addition over scalars.
Requires Schnorr on Bitcoin layer.
Actually, we can work with 2p-ECDSA without waiting for Schnorr. We get back the nice elliptic curve homomorphism by passing the ECDSA nonce through another cryptosystem, Paillier. This gets us the ability to do Scriptless Script. I think it has only 80-bits security because of going through Paillier though.
Basically the conundrum is: we could implement 2p-ECDSA now, hope we never have to test the 80-bit security anytime soon, then switch to Schnorr with 128-bit security later (which means reimplementing a bunch of things, because the calculations are different and the data that needs to be exchanged between channel participants is very different between the 2p-ECDSA and Schnorr). Reimplementing is painful and is more dev work. If we don't implement with 2p-ECDSA now, though, we will be delaying all the nice elliptic curve goodness (stuckless, noncustodial escrow, payment decorrelation) until Bitcoin gets Schnorr.
Elliptic curve discrete log problem is theoretically quantum-vulnerable. If we can't find a qunatum-resistant homomorphic construction, we'll have to give up the advantages (payment decorrelation, stuckless payments, noncustodial escrow over Lightning) we got from using elliptic curve points and go back to boring old hashes.
Ensuring that payers cannot access data or other digital goods without proof of having paid the provider. In a nutshell: the payment preimage used as a proof-of-payment is the decryption key of the data. The provider gives the encrypted data, and issues an invoice. The buyer of the data then has to pay over Lightning in order to learn the decryption key, with the decryption key being the payment preimage.
Enables data providers to sell data. This could be sensors, livestreams, blogs, articles, whatever.
There's no scheme to determine if the data provider is providing actually-useful data. The data-provider could just stream https://random.org for example. This is a potentially-impossible problem. Even if the data-provider provides a "sample" of the data, and is able to derive some proof that the sample is indeed a true snippet of the encrypted data, the rest of the data outside of the sample might just be random junk.
No more payments getting stuck somewhere in the Lightning network without knowing whether the payee will ever get paid! (that's actually a bit overmuch claim, payments still can get stuck, but what "stuckless" really enables is that we can now safely run another parallel payment attempt until any one of the payment attempts get through). Basically, by using the ability to add points together, the payer can enforce that the payee can only claim the funds if it knows two pieces of information:
The payment scalar corresponding to the payment point in the invoice signed by the payee.
An "acknowledgment" scalar provided by the payer to the payee via another communication path.
This allows the payer to make multiple payment attempts in parallel, unlike the current situation where we must wait for an attempt to fail before trying another route. The payer only needs to ensure it generates different acknowledgment scalars for each payment attempt. Then, if at least one of the payment attempts reaches the payee, the payee can then acquire the acknowledgment scalar from the payer. Then the payee can acquire the payment. If the payee attempts to acquire multiple acknowledgment scalars for the same payment, the payer just gives out one and then tells the payee "LOL don't try to scam me", so the payee can only acquire a single acknowledgment scalar, meaning it can only claim a payment once; it can't claim multiple parallel payments.
Can safely run multiple parallel payment attempts as long as you have the funds to do so.
Needs payment point + scalar
Non-custodial escrow over Lightning
The "acknowledgment" scalar used in stuckless can be reused here. The acknowledgment scalar is derived as an ECDH shared secret between the payer and the escrow service. On arrival of payment to the payee, the payee queries the escrow to determine if the acknowledgment point is from a scalar that the escrow can derive using ECDH with the payer, plus a hash of the contract terms of the trade (for example, to transfer some goods in exchange for Lightning payment). Once the payee gets confirmation from the escrow that the acknowledgment scalar is known by the escrow, the payee performs the trade, then asks the payer to provide the acknowledgment scalar once the trade completes. If the payer refuses to give the acknowledgment scalar even though the payee has given over the goods to be traded, then the payee contacts the escrow again, reveals the contract terms text, and requests to be paid. If the escrow finds in favor of the payee (i.e. it determines the goods have arrived at the payer as per the contract text) then it gives the acknowledgment scalar to the payee.
True non-custodial escrow: the escrow service never holds any funds.
Needs payment point + scalar.
Because elliptic curve points can be added (unlike hashes), for every forwarding node, we an add a "blinding" point / scalar. This prevents multiple forwarding nodes from discovering that they have been on the same payment route. This is unlike the current payment hash + preimage, where the same hash is used along the route. In fact, the acknowledgment scalar we use in stuckless and escrow can simply be the sum of each blinding scalar used at each forwarding node.
Privacy! Multiple forwarding nodes cannot coordinate to try to uncover the payer and payee of each payment.
I will tell you exactly what is going on here, this is critical information to understand if you are going to make money in this space. How prices work, and what moves them - and it's not money invested/withdrawn.
/edit: Hi /all. While I have your attention, I want to take 5 seconds of your time and bring some exposure to something that is threatening our existence as the human race. If you aren't interested, please skip down to the main article. I'm talking about finding a way to live sustainably on this planet, regenerative agriculture, where we get our food from, and how we can make sure that our kids and grandkids have something left once we leave. Please consider reading up on Permaculture, sustainable living, Forest gardening, Backyard Chickens, etc. Consider following what I did and do it for yourself. This all used to be a useless lawn. Bored for a night? Go watch "Sustainable" on Netflix. Look into people like Geoff Lawton, Mark Shepard, Sepp Holzer, these people are going to save us. Want to make a small change yourself? Grow a tomato plant on your balcony in a pot. Reduce transport of the tomatoes you eat, and make ~$50 per plant in saved money. Want to do something bigger? Plant a fruit tree in your backyard. Maybe two. Maybe a raspberry bush. You are now part of saving the human race. If everyone reading this planted a fruit tree, or even some wild flowers, we could save the bees. While you are at it, planting a fruit tree has been shown to be one of the best investments on the planet. There's pretty much no investment on the planet that is more financially lucrative (while still being nearly bullet-proof safe) than planting a fruit tree. You can get a tree at an end of sale auction for literally 5-10 bucks, and that tree will produce THOUSANDS of dollars of fruit for you in it's lifetime. Go spend $200 bucks at an end of season sale, plant 10-20 trees (if you have room), and that $200 will be worth tens of thousands of dollars of saved money. Do it right, set it up right and it's almost no work because you offload the work to nature - as it has done for the last few billion years. Go learn how, let me show you how. If you do it right, it's zero work after you have planted and wood-chipped, and all you do is pull dollars off a tree. Original post starts below. I apologize for the shilling of Permaculture, but I think loss of topsoil will impact us all if we don't reverse it soon. We need soil, we need bees, we need food. We need to stop buying December Bananas in Canada. We need to start supporting local permaculture sustainable farms. We need to do this or we may not make it, and our grandkids stand no chance. I also expended the "now what happens" section, to explain how these pullbacks are a good thing, make crypto more stable, and why we keep seeing larger ceilings after every pullback... this stuff is really important for you to make money on this thing, if that's your goal.... I've made a similar post in a few spots, and this is something that is absolutely critical for people to understand... what impacts price, and what is going on lately. Price has only a very minor correlation with money invested, and a major correlation with opinion. ... and Humans are an emotional bunch. So what drives price of any commodity, crypto, gold, pizzas, whatever? The money invested in it, right? Kind of, but not really. What if I told you that you could theoretically raise bitcoin from $15k to $20k by spending $1, and lower it from $25k to $1k by spending the same $1? Crazy right? AN EXAMPLE This is going to start out slow, I want to make sure I get everyone on the same page before I pick things up and lift the curtain. Stick with me here.... This is an example to help illustrate why prices aren't driven by money invested, but rather consensus and opinion. Lets imagine the following exists (we will use bitcoin as an example, but this is how everything on the planet works) Lets say Bitcoin is currently priced at $10k (the last sale). From $11k to $99k, every $1k there is someone with a sell order of 1 full bitcoin. From $9k to $1 dollar, every $1k on the way down there is someone with a buy order of 1 full bitcoin. So, right now if you wanted to buy bitcoin you have several options... meet the lowest seller's price of $11k, or, put your own buy order up, above the highest buyer's bid order (overcut them). If you decide to just place an order, the price doesn't change. If you decide the buy the $11k bitcoin, now bitcoins value is $11k, with a new lowest sell offer of $12k, and a highest buy bid of $10k. Someone else comes in an overcuts the buy bid and puts 1 BTC for sale for $11k. No trades are made until someone matches a buy/sell. Okay, that's kindergarten stuff, most people here understand that. So how much money drove the price up in this situation? $11k, and BTC price raised 11/10, 1.10, or 10% from the last sale. Now the entire marketcap of BTC raised 10% (last sale multiplied by circulating supply). So it takes $11k to drive a 10% increase, right? Not at all. Lets look at what happens when news is released. News comes out that Warren Buffet thinks bitcoin is a scam, a bubble, and he wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole because he only invests in things he understands and he doesn't understand crypto. People panic everywhere, and believe "this guy is smart, I'm overvaluing this thing". Suddenly people don't want to buy this scam anymore, and the buy orders for $11k, $10, and $9k are taken down. At the same time, the people wanting to sell start to panic and just want out. The guy at $32k (who just had that offer up "just incase it moons") drops down to $11k sell order. The guy at $12k, who was the lowest, now undercuts him to $10k. The other buyers see the sellers undercutting and think that if these people want out, why am I buying in. The $8k guy pulls his offer, and so do the $7k, $6k and $5k guys. The highest offer is now $4k. The sellers panic further and the $14k guy undercuts the $10k guy and puts up a $9k sell. The $15k, 17k and 11k guys all see this flurry of panic and now a storm undercutting is triggered, to $8k, $7k, and $6k. The $8k order pulls his again and goes down to $5k. The price on the buy and sell orders has moved around a ton, but no sales have actually happened yet. Technically, BTC is still "worth" $11k, and the market cap reflects that. All this horseshit has happened, and it only happened in 10 seconds, but the price hasn't moved yet. The $27k guy wakes up and checks his phone. He had a $27k offer just incase the price moved also, and he also only has a tiny infinitesimal fraction of a BTC. Well, he decides "he's out" and fills $1 worth of the part of the $4k guys buy offer. The latest price information is now updated, and BTC fell from $11k to $4k price per BTC with the movement of a single dollar. This is exaggerated example, but this is what moves price. Not money in vs money out. The ONLY THING that moves price is perception. OPINION FLOW AND NOT MONEY FLOW Now the above example only happens if everyone simultaneously believe the same thing... this the asset they are holding is a steaming turd. What happens in reality is there's no black and white, it's shades of gray. It's flow in vs flow out. But again, not flow MONEY, but rather OPINIONS. If 66% of the holders of something all of a sudden unanimously decide that their asset is overvalued, then they panic sell. Even if 33% of the people decide they are going to buy up as much as these panic sellers sell, if the panic is strong enough, and they are slitting eachother's throat to sell, then the buyers just happily sit and let them do that, and time their buys in. Very little money has to actually change hands in order for this price to crash, all that matters is the FLOW OF OPINION has to be swift and violent, and in majority. The sellers will leapfrog eachother on the way down, faster than the buyers scoop up their sales, and the net result is a crashed price. Note, this happens both ways... fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) as well as overhyped FOMO (Fear of missing out). So now what happens? Time goes by and all holders opinions of their asset hasn't changed. They still think it's worth $11k and they got great deals scooping up what these sellers were selling. The weak hands have left the market and have been replaced with holders. Overall, now a higher percentage of holders believe in the product they are holding and are unwilling to sell for the panic prices of the last week. Panic sellers were also replaced by new money, people who have wanted in for a while and are now in on their perceived ground floor. Also, people who bought BTC at $1 ten years ago and have been looking for an exit to cash profits have now been replaced by either long term holders, or by these new people who are thrilled to have finally entered, and they are looking to hold long. So what happens on pullbacks? The number of people waiting to jump off the ship has decreased. The new ground floor is established. Are we done? Who knows, this could go on for another year, but what matters is that people who want off are getting off and people that want on are getting on. People who have panic sold and never believed in this in the firstplace... people who have wanted out for 10 years... they have been replaced by people who are now getting in on THEIR GROUND FLOOR, and are going to be holding long. The market is suddenly increasingly more stable today than it was yesterday, even though prices are down. This is a good thing. This is why crypto keeps bouncing back from pullbacks and reaches new higher ceilings and floors each time. Old money who wanted out, and new panic holders, they are gone. They are replaced with adopters, holders, believers in this technology. These people aren't selling anytime soon, because they believe that this thing is going to revolutionize the world. Every crash brings more of these people in, and removes more panic sellers out. Moving forward Now news releases start coming out about how stock ETFs are being created, NASDAQ index funds, bank support, government support. Companies are using this tech, and companies who use blockchain for transportation are putting non-blockchain companies out of business. The people on the outside looking-in feel they are missing out. They now start coming in and buying. They start overpricing eachother on their buy orders, and eventually it gets close enough to a sell order that someone decides they are just going to meet the sell price. The sale goes through. Sellers (HODLERs) see this action, and they start pulling sell orders off the table almost as fast as they fill. Sure some trades go through, and incoming money is driving the price up as market orders are filled. But what's also happening is people are seeing this flurry of volume, and sellers are pulling sell orders and placing them higher. Junk coins and pump and dump scam coins are dying by the millions. In their ashes, good solid technology projects whose coins have fundamental economic reasons for growth, these are rising. Corporate partnerships continue forming. The real world continues to create actual use cases. Companies start storing more and more corporate information on blockchain. Public companies use blockchain to store scientific research (See Canadian Research Council announcements), and blockchain acts as a Library of Alexandria. People can travel out of country without any monetary exchange, using their chosen cryptocurrency to buy the things they need abroad. The world is slowly actually USING this technology. Money is coming in, but more importantly, OPINION IS CHANGING. Literally nothing could have happened in terms of fundamentals, partnerships, etc... this can all be driven entirely emotional, so long as it's wide-spread and strong. Infact, the market could THEORETICALLY rebound in this way from $4000/BTC to $1 MILLION PER BITCOIN by the sale of ONE PENNY. $4000 sound low? Does that number make you uncomfortable? We may go that low. We may not. If we do, I'm not panicking and selling, I'm buying more. SO WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN THE LAST FEW MONTHS? and where are we going? A lot of new money has come in from Nov-Jan, and they don't really know what they are investing in. Sure some of them have done great research and are smart investors but most people aren't and isntead they are buying Symbols and Names and trading on speculation. They are treating their favorite coins like a sports team, and will follow them irrationally off a cliff. These new people came in and invested in cryptocurrency because their OPINION was heavily influenced in Nov, Dec, Jan, from media. They saw this money making machine called crypto. They were willing to pay huge, ride the wave up, keep buying, etc. They were "ground floor adopters" and were going to get rich. They outnumber the old money by A LOT. Their OPINION MATTERS. It matters the most. To keep this in perspective, they are also a VAST MINORITY of "new money" that will enter the game in the next decade. This cycle will continue over and over and over. Their opinion rose nearly unbounded and price rose accordingly. Market cap rose from 10B to 750B, and it could have been VERY LITTLE actual money that did this. How much did it need to be though? Literally ONE PENNY, theoretically. All that matters in moving price is MOMENTUM OF OPINION. I believe it has been estimated that as low as 6B USD was responsible for the bull rush. These people then started hearing "Bubble", "Scam", Fake news about governments banning. They don't understand how technology wins, always. Crypto is beyond government control. If they could have stopped Bitcoin they would have done it already. WHO IS DRIVING ALL THIS? Most investment opportunities go first to "accredited investors". You need to have multimillions in order to get in on the ground floor for most stock IPOs, and we're seeing that start to happen with coin ICOs. Bitcoin was a joke for the first few years, while lunatics picked it up. At this point, it was really too late to get in "early", and who would have wanted to anyways, it was all still a joke. So Wallstreet, banks, governments have generally watched on the sidelines as average Joes who were crazy enough to be early adopters and toss $100 on fake internet money slowly became millionaires. Not only that, but the idea of blockchain started to become understood. The power and value in it became understood. Not only as a way to track "monetary value" but for many other applications as well. Platforms were created, business uses brainstormed, products started being made. This thing started taking off, and wasn't a joke anymore. But regardless, big money wasn't in on the ground floor. They have stakeholders opinions to think of, and what do they say to investors when they lose all their money on magic internet points? But they have woken up now. This thing has "popped" many times now and keeps recovering. This thing won't die. could they have been wrong all along? If they want in, how do they get in? They are no dummies, they have been controlling the world their whole lives? Look at the media experiment that Trump is doing? He is testing just how we work... you can do literally anything and we remember it for like 30 seconds, until the next news story comes out. We change opinions very easily. We are swayed very easily. We are their puppets. Media controls the world. They know their way in. They have ONE WEAPON against cryptocurrency. YOUR OPINION OF IT. And they know it. Media. That's why FUD is so powerful and needs to be respected. It's why we need to read more than titles on news articles. We need to question what we read, whether it's good news or bad news. We need to think about "what are the motives of the person saying this to me". Does the government have a conflict of interest when they state that crypto is gambling? Do they have skin in the game? What about wall street? Does WEISS ratings possibly have incentive to come out with poor ratings? Do banks have incentive to lock accounts in order to "protect" customers from "unsafe investments" when their entire business model revolves around holding as much of your money as possible and making money off it? Do you think banks have any super secret hidden interest in preventing you from storing your money elsewhere? I'm not sure, maybe you can critically think about that. Just understand that this goes both ways. When crypto is booming and Fox news is showing people how to buy $4 ripple on prime time, you may want to start putting in some stop loss orders. When the suicide hotline is stickied at the top of /cryptocurrency and everyone is panic selling, you may want to start picking up some firesale deals. So, the question is this... Is crypto undervalued or overvalued at it's price today? Where is the price going long term? I'm not talking about it's use case, I'm talking about in the court of public opinion, where is THAT going? Because THAT is what is going to drive price in the future. Without a crystal ball, this is of course impossible to know. Do your own research and form your own opinion. It could very well be that the technology having a use-case will in and of itself drive opinion, and thus price. But make sure you understand that it's not the technology itself, it's not the value of the business itself, it's not the use case itself that will drive price, it is the publics OPINION of that thing which drives price. They are intertwined, but they are NOT the same thing. TLDR: VERY VERY little money has to move around in order to swing prices drastically, up or down. Money in and out doesn't drive price, OPINION does. How do you let the news you read impact your opinion?How are you being played (on both sides, shilling and FUD). Something is only worth what people think it's worth. Often that's based on reality, value, business, money, but often it's entirely emotional. Structure your portfolio in a balance, intelligent way, using risk methodology.. Invest money you are willing to lose. Support legitimate technology and teams who are actively driving their product to completion, coding, and marketing. Stop trying to make money overnight in pump and dump scams, or pyramid schemes. Every day, take one coin, do a deep dive on it, learn it inside and out. Look into their team and their past. Do that every day for a year, and you just learned 365 coins inside and out. Ask yourself the following key questions: Have those members consistently jumped ship on previous projects? Is that where you want to invest in? Is their team capable of executing on their vision? Are they trying to solve world hunger, and their team is a few 16 year olds in a garage? How active is their github? Are they adding chunks of code regularly, or is a ghost town? Are they marketing their product at all? Or is marketing the only thing they are doing? What are the economics of their coin itself? Is it required to be used to gain access to their technology? Are there burns? How premined is it, and what portion do the founders hold? What about their vision? Are they trying to solve a problem that needs to be solved? What are the economics of that problem and how much money does the solution potentially save clients? These are all questions you should be asking when you give your money to someone else. We're a lot more stable than we were - a correction was bound to happen. Too much early money wanted to cash in profits. These people have been replaced by new money who is holding on their own ground floor. The whole industry in general is still in very early stages. Rest assured that anyone reading this is still very much an early adopter. Just make sure you are investing in actual technology, and supporting capable teams, and not buying air. Buy the Googles and Amazons of Crypto, not the pets.com or flooz.com of cryptos. Happy investing everyone. /EDIT: some have asked to donate some crypto. Do me a favour instead, sub to my YouTube channel (link at top) watch my videos how to get started properly, and plant your own trees and establish food sovereignty for your family and your community, and help save the bees, save our topsoil, and sequester carbon to reverse global warming. My goal is to get a gardener back into every home on the planet. THAT is how we heal this world.
Why we won't have a long term bear market, and how to systematically pick your future investments in crypto
With so much uncertainty right now it would be a good time to take some time to go over what happened recently and how to invest moving foward. We've seen a peak bubble at around 850 billion total market cap in the first week of January, consolidated down to $750 billion and have now just experienced a 40% correction.
What's happening now and how bad will it get?
First of all you should realize that there is a January Dip that happens every year, when we see a roughly 20-30% decline around mid January. This year its been much more severe though for several additional factors that have compounded on top. Different theories exist on why this happens (its actually the mirror opposite of the "January Effect" that happens in the US stock market), but the two major theories are: 1) Asian markets pull into fiat because of Asian New Year spending needs 2) People in the US sell in January to defer their capital gains tax liability an extra year While this cyclic event has lead to a healthy correction in the last few years, this year we got these new factors making more fear as well:
We had a new breed of speculators come in during the NovembeDecember timeframe after media made cryptocurrency mainstream following the Bitcoin 10K landmark. While cryptocurrency markets have always had too much hype, the latest rise wasn't just over-enthusiasm in fundamentally sound cryptocurrencies like Monero and Ethereum, but mass inflows of fiat into vaporware and complete nonsense without any use case. Many people came in to essentially gamble on symbols on an exchange, and are thus short term oriented and quick to sell on any slight downturn, which such further adds to selling pressure.
So in essence we got a storm of scary news along with the usual cyclic downturn. Currently I don't see this as being a systematic crash like Mt.Gox was that would lead to a long term bear market because the fundamental ecosystem is still intact, and I suspect that after about a month we should consolidate around a new low. All the exchanges are still operational and liquid, and there is no breakdown in trust nor uncertainty whether you'll be able to cash out. What range the market trades in will all depend how Bitcoin does, right now we've already broken below 10K but I'm seeing a lot of support at around $8000, which is roughly where the long term MA curve settles. We don't know how bad it will get or what the future will bring, but as of right now we shouldn't be in a bear market yet. What should you do if you recently entered the market? If you did buy in the last few months at or near ATH, the very worst thing you can do now is sell in panic and lose your principal. You shouldn't have more money in crypto than you can afford to lose, so it shouldn't be a problem to wait. You have to realize that 30% corrections in crypto are relatively common, just last fall we had a 40% flash correction over more China fears. Unless there is a systematic breakdown like we had during Mt.Gox, the market always recovers. The other worst thing you can do is unload into Tether as your safety net. If there is one thing that could actually cause a long term destruction of trust within the cryptocurrency investment ecosystem, its Tether having a run up on their liabilities and not having enough reserve to cover the leverage. It would not only bring down exchanges but lead to years of litigation and endless media headlines that will scare off everybody from putting fiat in. I don't know when the next Mt.Gox meltdown will occur but I can almost guarantee it will involve Tether. So stay away from it. What should long term investors do? For long term holders a good strategy to follow each year is to capture profit each December and swallow the capital gains taxation liability, park a reserve of fiat at Gemini (whose US dollar deposits are FDIC-insured) and simply wait till around late January to early February to re-enter the market at a discount and hold all year until next December. You can keep a small amount in core coins in order to trade around various Q1 opportunities you anticipate. Others may choose to simply do nothing and just keep holding throughout January which is also a perfectly fine strategy. The cyclical correction usually stabilizes toward late January and early February, then we see a rise in March and generally are recovered by end of April. Obviously this decision whether to sell in December to profit on the dip and pay tax liability or to just hold will depend on your individual tax situation. Do your own math sometime in November and follow suit. Essentially revaluate your positions and trim your position sizes if you don't feel comfortable with the losses.
How to construct your portfolio going forward
Rather than seeing the correction as a disaster see it as a time to start fresh. If you have been FOMO-ing into bad cryptos and losing money now is a time to start a systematic long term approach to investing rather than gambling. Follow a methodology for evaluating each cryptocurrency Memes and lambo dreams are fun and all, but I know many of you are investing thousands of dollars into crypto, so its worth it to put some organized thought into it as well. I can't stress enough how important it is to try and logically contruct your investment decisions. If you follow a set methodology, a checklist and template you will be able to do relative comparisons between cryptocurrencies, to force yourself to consider the negatives and alternative scenarios and also sleep comfortably knowing you have a sound basis for your investment decisions (even if they turn out to be wrong). There is no ideal or "correct" methodology but I can outline mine: 1) Initial information gathering and filtering Once I identify something that looks like a good potential investment, I first go to the CoinMarketCap page for that symbol and look at the website and blockchain explorer.
Critically evaluate the website. This is the first pass of the bullshit detector and you can tell from a lot from just the website whether its a scam. If it uses terms like "Web 4.0" or other nonsensical buzzwords, if its unprofessional and has anonymous teams, stay away. Always look for a roadmap, compare to what was actually delivered so far. Always check the team, try to find them on LinkedIn and what they did in the past.
Read the whitepaper or business development plan. You should fully understand how this crypto functions and how its trying to create value. If there is no use case or if the use case does not require or benefit from a blockchain, move on. Look for red flags like massive portions of the float being assigned to the founders of the coin, vague definition of who would use the coin, anonymous teams, promises of large payouts...etc
Check the blockchain explorer. How is the token distribution across accounts? Are the big accounts holding or selling? Which account is likely the foundation account, which is the founders account?
Read the subreddit and blogs for the cryptocurrency and also evaluate the community. Try to figure out exactly what the potential use cases are and look for sceptical takes. Look at the Github repos, does it look empty or is there plenty of activity?
2) Fill out an Investment Checklist I have a checklist of questions that I find important and as I'm researching a crypto I save little snippets in Evernote of things that are relevant to answering those questions:
What is the problem or transactional inefficiency the coin is trying to solve?
What is the Dev Team like? What is their track record? How are they funded, organized?
Who is their competition and how big is the market they're targeting? What is the roadmap they created?
What current product exists?
How does the token/coin actually derive value for the holder? Is there a staking mechanism or is it transactional?
What are the weaknesses or problems with this crypto?
3) Create some sort of consistent valuation model/framework, even if its simple I have a background in finance so I like to do Excel modeling. For those who are interested in that, this article is a great start and also Chris Burniske has a great blog about using Quantity Theory of Money to build an equivalent of a DCF analysis for crypto. Here is an Excel file example of OMG done using his model. You can download this and play around with it yourself, see how the formulas link and understand the logic. Once you have a model set up the way you like in Excel you can simply alter it to account for various float oustanding schedule and market items that are unique to your crypto, and then just start plugging in different assumptions. Think about what is the true derivation of value for the coin, is it a "dividend" coin that you stake within a digital economy and collect fees or is it a currency? Use a realistic monetary velocity (around 5-10 for currency and around 1-2 for staking) and for the discount rate use at least 3x the long term return of a diversified equity fund. The benefit is that this forces you to think about what actually makes this coin valuable to an actual user within the digital economy its participating in and force you to think about the assumptions you are making about the future. Do your assumptions make sense? What would the assumptions have to be to justify its current price? You can create different scenarios in a matrix (optimistic vs. pessimistic) based on different assumptions for risk (discount rate) and implementation (adoption rates). If you don't understand the above thats perfectly fine, you don't need to get into full modeling or have a financial background. Even a simple model that just tries to derive a valuation through relative terms will put you above most crypto investors. Some simple valuation methods that anyone can do
Metcalfe's Law which states that the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2). So you can compare various currencies based on their market cap and square of active users or traffic.
Another easy one is simply looking at the total market for the industry that the coin is supposedly targeting and comparing it to the market cap of the coin. Think of the market cap not only with circulating supply like its shown on CMC but including total supply. For example the total supply for Dentacoin is 1,841,395,638,392, and when multiplied by its price in early January we get a market cap that is actually higher than the entire industry it aims to disrupt: Dentistry.
If its meant to be just used as just a currency: Take a look at the circulating supply and look at the amount that is in cold storage or set to be released/burned. Most cryptos are deflationary so think about how the float schedule will change over time and how this will affect price.
Once you have a model you like set up, you can compare cryptos against each other and most importantly it will require that you build a mental framework within your own mind on why somebody would want to own this coin other than to sell it to another greater fool for a higher price. Modeling out a valuation will lead you to think long term and think about the inherent value, rather than price action. Once you go through this 3-step methodology, you'll have a pretty good confidence level for making your decision and can comfortably sit back and not panic if some temporary short term condition leads to a price decrease. This is how "smart money" does it. Think about your portfolio allocation You should think first in broad terms how you allocate between "safe" and "speculative" cryptos. For new investors its best to keep a substantial portion in what would be considered largecap safe cryptos, primarily BTC, ETH, LTC. I personally consider XMR to be safe as well. A good starting point is to have between 50-70% of your portfolio in these safe cryptocurrencies. As you become more confident and informed you can move your allocation into speculative small caps. You should also think in terms of segments and how much of your total portfolio is in each segment:
You should also think about where we are in the cycle, as now given so much uncertaintly its probably best to stay heavily in core holdings and pick up a few coins within a segment you understand well. If you don't understand how enterprise solutions work or how the value chain is built through corporations, don't invest in the enteprise blockchain solutions segment. If you are a technie who loves the technology behind Cardano or IOTA, invest in that segment. Think of your "circle of competence" This is actually a term Buffet came up with, it refers to your body of knowledge that allows you to evaluate an investment. Think about what you know best and consider investing in those type of coins. If you don't know anything about how supply chains functions, how can you competently judge whether VeChain or WaltonChain will achieve adoption? This where your portfolio allocation also comes into play. You should diversify but really shouldn't be in much more than around 12 cryptos, because you simply don't have enough competency to accurately access the risk across every segment and for every type of crypto you come across. If you had over 20 different cryptos in your portfolio you should probably think about consolidating to a few sectors you understand well. Continually educate yourself about the technology and markets If you aren't already doing it: Read a bit each day about cryptocurrencies. There are decent Youtubers that talk about the market side of crypto, just avoid those that hype specific coins and look for more sceptical ones like CryptoInvestor. If you don't understand how the technology works and what the benefits of a blockchain are or how POS/POW works or what a DAG is or how mining actually works, learn first. If you don't care about the technology or find reading about it tedious, you shouldn't invest in this space at all.
Summing it up
I predicted a few days ago that we would have a major correction in 2018 specifically in the altcoins that saw massive gains in Decemebeearly January, and it seems we've already had a pretty big one. I don't think we'll have a complete meltdown like some are predicting, but some more pain may be incoming. Basically take this time to think about how you can improve your investment style and strategy. Make a commitment to value things rather than chasing FOMO, and take your time to make a decision. Long term investment will grant you much more returns as will a systematic approach. Take care and have fun investing :) Edit March 2018: Lol looking back I'm regretting starting the title with "Why we won't have a long term bear market" now, I was more karma whoring with that catchy title than anything. We recovered up to 11K from this post, but then crashed again hard later in February-March because of a slew of reasons from Tether subpeona to unforseen regulatory issues.
Happy Tipping Tuesday! Now that this sub is the main Bitcoin sub in terms of activity, it's time for everyone to get some Education and some free Bitcoin. Post here and get free bits! Bitcoin Cash will defeat the legacy banking oligarch system!
As someone who cares about Liberty and freedom, I have instinctively understood the importance of Bitcoin for spreading economic freedom across the globe. Being sick of the legacy too-big-to-fail central bank fiat bailout scam systems where they print the money from thin air, I saw Bitcoin as a tool that can really liberate humanity and help us reach our ultimate potential. The fact is economic freedom improves this world, and the stakes are very large. We are fighting an oligarch banking system that prints money out of thin air, holding back humanity's potential with their scam system that only works to enslave and not liberate humanity. In the past people fought for liberty and gave their lives on bloody battlefields. Today we fight troll wars on social media, but the stakes are quite similar, if not multiplied in this new technological age. By supporting Bitcoin and Satoshi's vision of a worldwide honest cash system, its one of the only ways to help lift humanity up to our ultimate limitless potential. The oligarch's saw this threat which is why we are under heavy attacks. They stole Bitcoin and the ticker, and crippled the system with high fees, unreliable transactions, and Trojan horse tech, but Bitcoin Cash adapted, survived, and lives on as the common sense continuation of the money ledger. It turns out that its not so easy to stop an idea whose time has come. Bitcoin Cash is the true Bitcoin that follows Satoshi's vision of common sense and on-chain scaling. BCH is The Manifestation of the Honey Badger. Trolls will point to market cap and say BCH is losing and not the real Bitcoin. However they fail to understand the nature of the war we are fighting. Bitcoin is all about breaking oligarchy, as nChain's paper explains. We are fighting against a banker oligarch takeover of Bitcoin. Since they print money from thin air, they have us outgunned when it comes to market capitalization/price. This is what the trolls do not understand. To think that the oligarch bankers that control the money monopoly would not try to attack the Bitcoin system would be naive. It appears they have pumped the BTC-Core price to outrun Bitcoin Cash the real Bitcoin as soon as their trojan segwit tech was deployed. They likely will use segwit, strangled blocks, and Lightning Network as the strangler fig to usurp the system changing it to fiat legacy banking system 2.0. What they don't want people to realize is that Bitcoin was always the underdog against fiat systems. Just because they usurped the name and BTC ticker for their fiat 2.0 system it does not mean they are winning the war. Its a clever tactic sure, but BCH is still the #1 cryptocurrency by market cap in the world, they have shifted some shells around in trickery, but Bitcoin-BCH is still fighting as the underdog against the oligarchs as it always has. Not only this but the numerous problems in Lightning are acting as a bottleneck for development on Core. All this while BCH development is soaring with things like memo.cash, blockpress.com, cashshuffle protocol, chainbet protocol, SLP token protocol, colored coins, tokeda, and much more. Now that we have solved the scaling issue we can finally build again. All this while numerous services like Dell, Steam, Reddit, Rakuten, Stripe, Circle, Microsoft, Fiverr, Satoshidice, Changetip, Expedia, and many more stopped accepting Bitcoin Core, while Coinbase, Bitpay, coins.ph, satoshidice, tippr, purse.io, dark web all are adding BCH support. They thought they could use censorship to shut us up. But now we are seeing that free speech is more popular than censored cult subreddits. We are battling some powerful oligarch interests. But they have vastly underestimated the spirit of the Honey Badger. There is a reason there is so much COINTELPRO trolling and dirty tricks being done to Bitcoin Cash and its supporters. There is a reason they need to use vote manipulation, shaming and bullying tactics, censorship, and dirty tricks to try to get us to shut our mouths. The truth is they are terrified of Bitcoin Cash and Satoshi's vision, which is why they need to use such tactics. They are doing whatever they can to pen the Honey Badger up in sheer desperation and terror that it will soon break loose ripping them limb from limb and devouring them whole. I would like to mention that the recent turmoil in the BCH community over a November fork with different factions fighting each other is on a lot of people's minds. Some newbs may also be wondering about what is going on. They may be falling into the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt that is being pushed by a lot of Core trolls, as well as some genuine members of the BCH community. I would like to point out that these disputes are actually healthy. We don't want a system where one person or group controls things. We want a system where people are fighting for control. Its an economic incentive system with different factions competing. This is what keeps Bitcoin robust and was the genius of Satoshi's design. We don't need to worry about the troll wars because we have Nakamoto consensus as the whitepaper says:
They vote with their CPU power, expressing their acceptance of valid blocks by working on extending them and rejecting invalid blocks by refusing to work on them. Any needed rules and incentives can be enforced with this consensus mechanism"
Want to start fresh after the crypto crash? Here is a comprehensive guide on how to invest and prosper over the long term.
Well its happened, the crypto market just experienced the worst crash since 2014, the bubble has burst. The idiocy of newbies FOMO-ing into anything with low nominal value lead to endless twitter timelines like this, and now nobody has any idea where the market settles. What do you do now? In the following weeks it will be a good time to rethink your investment approach and how you arrive at your decisions. Just buying whatever is shilled on Twitter or Reddit and jumping from one crypto to another isn't going to work like it did these last two months. The good news is that we're finally back closer and closer to our long term moving average which is much more healthy for entrants, the bad news is that the fear might continue compounding if outstanding issues are not dealt with. Tether is the big concern for me personally for reasons I've stated many times, but some relief in the short term may come if the SEC and CFTC meeting on February 6th goes well. Nobody really knows where the bottom is but I think we're now past the "irrational exhuberance" stage and we're entering a period of more serious inspection where cryptos will actually have to prove themselves as useful. I suspect hype artists like CryptoNick and John McAfee will fall out of favor. But perhaps most importantly use this as a learning experience, don't try to point fingers now. The type of dumb behavior that people were engaging in that was rewarded in a bull market (chasing pumps, going all in on a shillcoin, following hype..etc) could only ever lead to what we are experiencing now. Just like so many people jumped on the crypto bandwagon during the bull run, they will just as quickly jump on whatever bandwagon is to be used to blame for the deflation of the bubble. Nobody who pumped money into garbage without any use case will accept that they themselves with their own investing behavior were the real reason for the gross overvaluation of most cryptocurrencies, and the inevitable crash. So if you're looking for a fresh start after the massacre (or just want to get in now), here is a guide:
Part A: Making a Investment Strategy
This is your money, put some effort into investing it with an actual strategy. Some simple yet essential advice that should apply to everyone, regardless of individual strategy:
Slow down and research each crypto that you're buying for at least a week.
Don't buy something just because it has risen.
Don't exit a position just because it has declined.
Invest only as much as you can afford to lose.
Prepare enter and exit strategies in advance.
First take some time to think about your ROI target, set your hold periods for each position and how much you are actually ready to risk losing. ROI targets A lot of young investors who are in crypto have unrealistic expectations about returns and risk. A lot of them have never invested in any other type of financial asset, and hence many seem to consider a 5-10% ROI in a month to be unexciting. But its important to temper your hype and realize why we had this exponential growth in the last year and how unlikely it is that we see 10x returns in the next year. What we saw recently was Greater Fool Theory in action. Those unexciting returns of 5-10% a month are much more of the norm, and much more healthy for an alternative investment class. You can think about setting a target in terms of the market ROI over a relevant holding period and then add or decrease based on your own risk profile. Example: Calculating a 2 year ROI target Lets say you want to hold for 2 years now, how could you set a realistic target to strive for? You could look at a historical 2 year return as a base, preferably during a period similar to what we're facing now. Now that we had a major correction, I think we can look at the two year period starting in 2015 after we had the 2014 crash. To calculate a 2 year CAGR starting in 2015:
Total Crypto Market Cap
Jan 1, 2015:
Jan 1, 2017:
Compounded annual growth return (CAGR): [(18/5.5)1/2]-1 = 81% This annual return rate of 81% comes out to about 4.9% compounded monthly. This may not sound exciting to the lambo moon crowd, but it will keep you grounded in reality. You can aim for a higher return (say 2x of that 81% rate) if you choose to take on more risky propositions. I can't tell you what return target you should set for yourself, but just make sure its not depended on you needing to achieve continual near vertical parabolic price action in small cap shillcoins because that isn't sustainable. Once you have a target you can construct your risk profile (low risk vs. high risk category coins) in your portfolio based on your target. Risk Management Everything you buy in crypto is risky, but it still helps to think of these 3 risk categories:
Core holdings - This is the exchange pairing cryptos and those that are well established. These are almost sure to be around in 5 years, and will recover after any bear market. The Coinbase pairs (Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum) are in this class of risk, and I would also argue Monero.
Medium Risk Speculative - These would be cryptos which generally have a working product and niche, but higher risk than Core. Things like ZCash and Ripple, relatively established history but still uncertainty over long term viability.
High Risk Speculative - This is anything created within the last few months, ICOs, low caps, shillcoins...etc. Most cryptos are in this category.
How much risk should you take on? That depends on your own life situation for one, but also it should be proportional to how much expertise you have in both financial analysis and technology. The general starting point I would recommend is:
50-70% for newbies in Low Risk Core, then you can go down to 30% as you gains confidence and experience
Always try to keep at least a 1/3rd in safe core positions
Don't go all in on speculative picks.
Some more core principles on risk management to consider:
Diversify across sectors and rebalance your allocations periodically.
Consider using dollar cost averaging to enter a position. This generally means investing a X amount over several periods, instead of at once. You can also use downward biased dollar cost averaging to mitigate against downward risk. For example instead of investing $1000 at once in a position at market price, you can buy $500 at the market price today then set several limit orders at slightly lower intervals (for example $250 at 5% lower than market price, $250 at 10% lower than market price). This way your average cost of acquisition will be lower if the crypto happens to decline over the short term.
Don't have more than 5-10% of your net worth in crypto.
Have the majority of your holdings in things you feel good holding for at least 2 years. Don't use the majority of your investment for day trading or short term investing.
Remember you didn't actually make any money until you take some profits, so take do some profits when everyone else is at peak FOMO-ing mode.
Have some fiat in reserve at a FDIC-insured exchange (ex. Gemini), and be ready to add to your winning positions on a pullback. This should be part of your entry strategy.
Consider what level of loss you can't accept in a position with a high risk factor, and use stop-limit orders to hedge against sudden crashes. Set you stop price at about 5-10% above your lowest limit. Stop-limit orders aren't perfect but they're better than having no hedging strategy for a risky microcap in case of some meltdown. Only you can determine what bags you are unwilling to hold.
You can think of each crypto having a risk factor that is the summation of the general crypto market risk (Rm), but also its own inherent risk specific to its own goals (Ri). Rt = Rm +Ri The market risk is something you cannot avoid, it is essentially the risk that is carried by the entire market over things like regulations. What you can minimize though the Ri, the specific risks with your crypto. That will depend on the team composition, geographic risks (for example Chinese coins like NEO carry regulatory risks specific to China), competition within the space and likelihood of adoption and other factors, which I'll describe in Part 2: Crypto Picking Methodology. Portfolio Allocation Along with thinking about your portfolio in terms of risk categories described above, I really find it helpful to think about the segments you are in. OnChainFX has some segment categorization but I generally like to bring it down to:
Think about your "Circle of Competence", your body of knowledge that allows you to evaluate an investment. Your ability to properly judge risk and potential is going to largely correlated to your understanding of the subject matter. If you don't know anything about how supply chains functions, how can you competently judge whether VeChain or WaltonChain will achieve adoption? If you don't understand anything about the tech when you read the Cardano paper, are you really able to determine how likely it is to be adopted? Consider the historic correlations between your holdings. Generally when Bitcoin pumps, altcoins dump but at what rate depends on the coin. When Bitcoin goes sideways we tend to see pumping in altcoins, while when Bitcoin goes down, everything goes down. You should diversify but really shouldn't be in much more than around 12 cryptos, because you simply don't have enough competency to accurately access the risk across every segment and for every type of crypto you come across. If you have over 20 different cryptos in your portfolio you should probably think about consolidating to a few sectors you understand well.
Part B: Crypto Picking Methodology (Due Dilligence)
Do you struggle on how to fundamentally analyze cryptocurrencies? Here is a 3-step methodology to follow to perform your due dilligence:
Step 1: Filtering and Research
There is so much out there that you can get overwhelmed. The best way to start is to think back to your own portfolio allocation strategy and what you would like to get more off. For example in my view enterprise-focused blockchain solutions will be important in the next few years, and so I look to create a list of various cryptos that are in that segment. Upfolio has brief descriptions of the top 100 cryptos and is filterable by categories, for example you can click the "Enterprise" category and you have a neat list of VEN, FCT, WTC...etc. Once you have a list of potential candidates, its time to read about them:
Critically evaluate the website. If it's a cocktail of nonsensical buzzwords, if its unprofessional and poorly made, stay away. Always look for a roadmap, compare to what was actually delivered so far. Always check the team, try to find them on LinkedIn and what they did in the past.
Read the whitepaper or business development plan. You should fully understand how this crypto functions and how its trying to create value. If there is no use case or if the use case does not require or benefit from a blockchain, move on.
Check the blockchain explorer. How is the token distribution across accounts? Are the big accounts selling? Try to figure out who the whales are (not always easy!) and what the foundation/founder account is based on the initial allocation.
Look at the Github repos, does it look empty or is there plenty of activity?
Search out the subreddit and look at a few Medium or Steem blogs about the coin. How "shilly" is the community, and how much engagement is there between developer and the community?
I would also go through the BitcoinTalk thread and Twitter mentions, judge both the length and quality of the discussion.
You can actually filter out a lot of scams and bad investments by simply keeping your eye out on the following red flags:
allocations that give way too much to the founder
guaranteed promises of returns (Bitcooonnneeeect!)
vague whitepapers filled with buzzwords
vague timelines and no clear use case
Github with no useful code and sparse activity
a team that is difficult to find information on
Step 2: Passing a potential pick through a checklist
Once you feel fairly confident that a pick is worth analyzing further, run them through a standardized checklist of questions. This is one I use, you can add other questions yourself:
Crypto Analysis Checklist
What is the problem or transactional inefficiency the coin is trying to solve?
What is the Dev Team like? What is their track record? How are they funded, organized?
How big is the market they're targeting?
Who is their competition and what does it do better?
What is the roadmap they created and how well have they kept to it?
What current product exists?
How does the token/coin actually derive value for the holder? Is there a staking mechanism or is it transactional?
Is there any new tech, and is it informational or governance based?
Can it be easily copied?
What are the weaknesses or problems with this crypto?
The last question is the most important. This is where the riskiness of your crypto is evaluated, the Ri I talked about above. Here you should be able to accurate place the crypto into one of the three risk categories. I also like to run through this checklist of blockchain benefits and consider which specific properties of the blockchain are being used by the specific crypto to provide some increased utility over the current transactional method:
Benefits of Cryptocurrency
Decentralization - no need for a third party to agree or validate transactions.
Transparency and trust - As blockchain are shared, everyone can see what transactions occur. Useful for something like an online casino.
Immutability - It is extremely difficult to change a transaction once its been put onto a blockchain
Distributed availability - The system is spread on thousands of nodes on a P2P network, so its difficult to take the system down.
Security - cryptographically secured transactions provide integrity
Simplification and consolidation - a blockchain can serve as a shared ledger in industries where multiple entities previously kept their own data sources
Quicker Settlement - In the financial industry when we're dealing with post-trade settlement, a blockchain can drastically increase the speed of verification
Cost - in some cases avoiding a third party verification would drastically reduce costs.
Step 3: Create a valuation model
You don't need to get into full modeling or have a financial background. Even a simple model that just tries to derive a valuation through relative terms will put you above most crypto investors. Some simple valuation methods that anyone can do: Probablistic Scenario Valuation This is all about thinking of scenarios and probability, a helpful exercise in itself. For example: Bill Miller, a prominent value investor, wrote a probabilistic valuation case for Bitcoin in 2015. He looked at two possible scenarios for probabalistic valuation:
becoming a store-of-value equal to gold (a $6.4 trillion value), with a .25% probability of occurring
replacing payment processors like VISA, MasterCard, etc. (a $350 million dollar value) with a 2.5% probability
Combining those scenarios would give you the total expected market cap: (0.25% x 6.4 trillion) + (2.5% x 350 million). Divide this by the outstanding supply and you have your valuation. Metcalfe's Law Metcalfe's Law which states that the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2). So you can compare various currencies based on their market cap and square of active users or traffic. We can alter this to crypto by thinking about it in terms of both users and transactions: For example, compare the Coinbase pairs:
Daily Transactions (last 24hrs)
Active Addresses (Peak 1Yr)
Metcalfe Ratio (Transactions Based)
Metcalfe Ratio (Address Based)
Generally the higher the ratio, the higher the valuation given for each address/transaction. Market Cap to Industry comparisons Another easy one is simply looking at the total market for the industry that the coin is supposedly targeting and comparing it to the market cap of the coin. Think of the market cap not only with circulating supply like its shown on CMC but including total supply. For example the total supply for Dentacoin is 1,841,395,638,392, and when multiplied by its price in early January we get a market cap that is actually higher than the entire industry it aims to disrupt: Dentistry. More complex valuation models If you would like to get into more fleshed out models with Excel, I highly recommend Chris Burniske's blog about using Quantity Theory of Money to build an equivalent of a DCF analysis for crypto. Here is an Excel file example of OMG done by Nodar Janashia using Chris' model . You should create multiple scenarios with multiple assumptions, both positive and negative. Have a base scenario and then moderately optimistic/pessimistic and highly optimistic/pessimistic scenario. Personally I like to see at least a 50% upward potential before investing from my moderately pessimistic scenario, but you can set your own safety margin. The real beneficial thing about modelling isn't even the price or valuation comparisons it spits out, but that it forces you to think about why the coin has value and what your own assumption about the future are. For example the discount rate you apply to the net present utility formula drastically affects the valuation, and it reflects your own assumptions of how risky the crypto is. What exactly would be a reasonable discount rate? What about the digital economy you are assuming for the coin, what levers affects its size and adoption and how likely are your assumptions to come true? You'll be a drastically more intelligent investor if you think about the fundamental variables that give your coin the market cap you think it should hold.
Summing it up
The time for lambo psychosis is over. But that's no reason to feel down, this is a new day and what many were waiting for. I've put together in one place here how to construct a portfolio allocation (taking into consideration risk and return targets), and how to go through a systematic crypto picking method. I'm won't tell you what to buy, you should always decide that for yourself and DYOR. But as long as you follow a rational and thorough methodology (feel free to modify anything I said above to suit your own needs) you will feel pretty good about your investments, even in times like these. Edit: Also get a crypto prediction ferret. You won't regret it.
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