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Complete Guide to CoinBase
Coinbase - The reference platform for investing in cryptocurrencies: here is the complete guide. Coinbase is currently the most famous website or web platform for trading cryptocurrencies. This is not a classic Exchange but a real Broker that allows you to buy, sell and convert many of the main cryptocurrencies - Bitcoin and Ethereum among others - using traditional currency such as the Euro. In this complete guide to Coinbase we will try to explain all its features in detail. Founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam, it was born as a simple online Bitcoin wallet. Over time it has transformed into a cryptocurrency trading site that now reaches over 33 countries. Being a broker, registering on the site requires all the necessary steps (KYC) to verify the user who holds the account. By signing up via the following secure link you can immediately earn 10 Dollars which will be credited to you by Coinbase. Complete Guide to CoinBase Coinbase as well as an intermediary for the purchase and sale of over 15 cryptocurrencies directly in Euro, also provides a real exchange (crypto exchange site) called Coinbase Pro (ex-GDax): The exchange behaves as a normal stock trading site with purchases and sales in real time with obviously much lower commissions when compared with those of classic trading platforms. What Coinbase Pro offers. Coinbase can receive crypto from other exchanges and specifically generates more permanent online wallets that will always remain at your disposal. To all intents and purposes, Coinbase's main task is to act as an archive for its cryptocurrencies for all those who do not want to try their hand at decentralized wallets. The transfer between Coinbase and Coinbase Pro, for example, will be quick and free (but this does not apply to other exchanges) thus allowing all those who wish to trade between the main cryptocurrencies to be able to avoid expensive passages on other exchanges. Coinbase Pro allows you to exchange a range of cryptocurrencies with each other higher than that of its brother site but at a much lower cost. While on Coinbase the exchange between cryptocurrencies involves the payment of a maximum commission of 2%, on Coinbase Pro the rates fluctuate between 0.15 and 0.25%. Values that will tend to decrease as the volumes traded increase. The Coinbase account will also allow you to operate on Coinbase Pro. However, an additional request for user verification via Webcam may occur. All these levels of security are obviously necessary to protect customers and comply with the stringent regulations of the various countries in which the company operates. Thanks to the guide, let's see what the interface shows us. In this complete guide to Coinbase we also want to clarify the visual aspect. Once inside the site you will find yourself in the Dashboard or Home Page which will show from top to bottom the value of your Portfolio with its historical graph, the list of cryptocurrencies that you decide to keep under observation, a box that shows the 5 heaviest cryptocurrencies in your Portfolio (a pie chart is also available) and a second box with the latest transactions. In the center of the page there is also the link to register with Coinbase Earn. By subscribing to the waiting list, you will have the opportunity to receive an invitation that will make you earn additional cryptocurrencies simply by following some very short video courses lasting a few minutes. In addition to the Home Page, there is the Prices page with the listing of all the cryptocurrencies available on Coinbase and a very long list of those not available. By selecting the star on the right you can decide which ones to always keep in the foreground on the home page. Clicking on one of them will open a new screen that will offer a large amount of technical and historical information on the crypto in question as well as a fair number of constantly updated news. Your funds are well organized. The Portfolio page will report the amount of the balance in Euro of all the cryptocurrencies deposited on Coinbase. Here you can send and receive crypto to external wallets. By clicking on Overview you will be sent back to the Prices page just described. The Safe item, on the other hand, allows you to set aside cryptocurrency at a higher level of security. Finally, a brief description of the "Make Transactions" item visible at the top right and present in almost all Coinbase pages. By clicking on it in any position you find it on the site, a small screen will open with the items "Buy, Sell, Convert". To purchase, you will first need to associate a payment method to your account. The Credit Card would be the most immediate choice due to its rapidity in crediting if it were not for the high commissions required by Coinbase. We therefore recommend that you be patient and use a normal Sepa standard bank transfer to credit the funds. Selling your cryptocurrencies on Coinbase, depositing them in your Euro account, is simple and immediate as well as foolproof thanks to the Preview that will always be shown before confirming the transaction. This will involve the payment of a commission between 0.99 and 2.99 Dollars. Rather high fees due to its wallet nature. For those who love trading, we obviously recommend moving to the Pro version. The site offers a complete and comprehensive technical support page: https://support.coinbase.com/ We conclude this complete guide to Coinbase with a note on the mobile versions. There are two versions of for smartphones: a standard one called Coinbase Bitcoin Wallet and a personal one called Coinbase Wallet. This second app allows you to transfer your cryptocurrencies from Coinbase Standard to an encrypted wallet on your smartphone (Coinbase Wallet). The substantial difference is the following: Coinbase Standard is an online wallet and therefore subject to the remote risk of an external cyber attack while Coinbase Wallet stores the encryption key locally on the phone. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.coinbase.android https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.toshi We remind trading enthusiasts of the availability on our blog of the article dedicated to Exodus Wallet. If you liked this article and would like to contribute with a donation: Bitcoin: 1Ld9b165ZYHZcY9eUQmL9UjwzcphRE5S8Z Ethereum: 0x8D7E456A11f4D9bB9e6683A5ac52e7DB79DBbEE7 Litecoin: LamSRc1jmwgx5xwDgzZNoXYd6ENczUZViK Stellar: GBLDIRIQWRZCN5IXPIKYFQOE46OG2SI7AFVWFSLAHK52MVYDGVJ6IXGI Ripple: rUb8v4wbGWYrtXzUpj7TxCFfUWgfvym9xf By: cryptoall.it Telegram Channel: t.me/giulo75 Netbox Browser: https://netbox.global/PZn5A https://www.coinbase.com/join/rosa_fj https://coinbase.com/earn/eos/invite/6r5m2fwn https://coinbase.com/earn/oxt/invite/tkdjy946
Welcome to RIALTO.AI Ask Me Anything thread. This thread has been launched for our supporters to submit questions. RIALTO.AI will answer the questions monthly. September's Session will stay unlocked until September 25. Ten most upvoted questions will be answered on September 29, this month exceptionally due to a conference in Barcelona October 3-5. We kindly ask you to follow these guidelines:
Submit one question per post. In case of multiple questions in the thread, the initial will be answered.
To avoid retelling, we invite you to read answers of the previous session before submitting your questions:
August 2017 _________________________________________________________________________________________ Thanks to everyone who participated in September AMA Session. Here are the answers to ten most upvoted questions:
1. mattftw1337 14 points: As we’ve already seen, the asset pool will likely appreciate due to the market appreciating. Upon payout, will the appreciation also be paid out as well as dividend profit to reset the pool back to a value of $7.5m? The digital asset pool was funded in cryptocurrencies and was denominated in cryptocurrencies at the inception point. The performance, therefore, is also measured in cryptocurrencies and the excess return is converted and denominated in cryptocurrencies as well, more specifically Ether. 2. rockalick 14 points: You mentioned in a tweet a while back you estimated 80–120BTC profit in the first month. What would be your updated figure? The tweet (https://twitter.com/RialtoAI/status/880419628387897345) was an estimation of the market potential and total available volume at the time, under the assumption of full utilization of the digital asset pool. We are not issuing any return projections or pledges at any point but we will enable access to partial weekly trading data via the dashboard and detailed performance statistics will be published quarterly in performance reports. 3. Redtimetraveller 13 points: In your answer to Q10 in August’s thread, you have answered the second part of the question but not the first part. The white paper mentions that holding XRL is only a proof of membership in the digital asset pool. The role of the pool is not clear in the future creation of an exchange by Rialto.AI thus the first part of the question remains unanswered. I am going to ask the question differently though. How will the digital asset pool be involved in the future creation of an exchange? The single access point, which will enable purchasing of cryptocurrencies through the RIALTO.AI, is planned to work as the gateway with quotes from RIALTO.AI connected exchanges. An exchange of cryptocurrencies is straightforward, as the buyer sends the preferred cryptocurrency, RIALTO.AI on the other side executes a trade for a fee, and as cryptocurrencies will be exchanged almost simultaneously, only a small portion of the digital asset pool will be required for clearing and netting of balances. 4. RedArmanino 11 points: In this recent interview with Fred Ehrsam, the Coinbase Co-Founder states that for the last couple months Wall Street market makers have been signing up with GDAX: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eoYET6mhzQk (relevant info is between 2:45 and 3:00 minute mark). It appears you missed a huge opportunity with GDAX already, as current BTC spread (for example) is only $0.01. Question: Why aren’t you all over Bitfinex and other exchanges where spreads are currently wider, where you can deploy that $7.5 Million and start generating return of capital now for tokenholders?! In the August AMA you stated that you don’t expect to use more than 50% of the Digital Asset Pool in the next 3 months. Pardon my French, but wtf?! You could easily use all $7.5 Million market making right now! Bitfinex alone trades over $200 Million worth of Bitcoin on the 24 hour. Starting to feel like y’all getting beat to the punch. Please feel free to express any critics but in a professional manner. Impolitely addressed questions will be disregarded in next sessions. Based on our professional judgement, the deployment of full capital to all exchanges, without the sufficient testing and background checks, would drastically increase the risk and affect the performance ratios in the long term. 5. VertigoXRP 8 points: Could you elaborate on some technicals of the AI algoritm, without too much depth I would be interested in knowing how the AI mitigates risks like flash crashes, ddos outage et cetera. We are getting many inquiries regarding specifics of our trading algorithms. We have to follow the best industry practices in order to protect our proprietary strategies, therefore we cannot provide you with the answers to stated questions. 6. kkkk_x 7 points: https://www.reddit.com/RialtoAI/comments/6yhx9q/rialto_valuation/?ref=share&ref_source=link I did some numbers. Makes me think the markets are off by a distance or I am. Can you point out where is this going wrong? So the trading pool is currently 9mil USD as of 6 Sep, 2017: Assumptions: -Ripple gateway should be fast enough for at least 5 transactions per hour(complete arbitrage as well as portfolio rebalancing cycles) -As mentioned in the AMA, Rialto AI should reach 4 exchanges, 4 assets to trade with and one ripple gateway by October, 2017; although we aren’t considering potentially 5–10 more echanges which may cut the list for Rialto AI -Assuming average 1% (0.8% after costs(potentially lower for bigger volume) and slippage risk) opportunity for all of 6 combinations possible for any 2 exchanges per asset all the time -Conservative assumption: arbitrages would always be equal to 1% (0.8% net), nothing more nothing less! -Average 20k USD liquidity on each side (Ask for the cheaper one and bid for the expensive one) -Wouldn’t be risking more than 50% of the pool -We aren’t considering PNL coming from either market making or AI bots -P/E multiple for company valuation: 10 PNL (PROFIT AND LOSS) Average PNL per asset per trade= 20k USD* 0.8%= 160 USD Average PNL per asset per hour= 5160 USD= 800 USD Total PNL per hour= 4 (No. of Assets) 800 USD= 3200 USD Total PNL per day= 243200 USD= 76,000 USD Total PNL per month= 2.4 mil USD Total PNL per year= 28.8 mil USD Total projected marketcap: 288 mil USD Total funds deployed < 1mil USD This means the markets are off by 10X, using some of relatively more conservative estimates of just 4 assets and 4 exchanges, not deploying more than 10% of the capital at any point! *Where is it going wrong?Also, I have seen this reddit being virtually dead! Critics welcomed!!Edit: Some of the assumptions would seem aggressive, others conservative, please point out if you feel so. We cannot provide evaluations on our market capitalization but would point out one flawed assumption that the market discrepancies occur linearly, rather the majority of trading is done at the time of above-average volatility indicator, therefore, linear extrapolation of trading performance is flawed. 7. eenymeeny_mo 10 points: Can we get more details for the timing of how the repayments determined? For instance, if I buy additional coins the day beforet the payout, do I receive the entire payout value of the coin, or only the value accumulated while I have the coin. If the prior, is there any added incentive to hold the coins for the whole duration. Without this it seems like the value of the coin will have similar drops to how Byteball always tanks after the monthly airdrop. Thanks for insight on this point. We received several requests to change this process and are indeed evaluating different strategies for withdrawal (average holding periods etc.) that would affect the token price in the most stable manner. Until the further change, which would be announced before the year-end, the use of record date remains. 8. Baelishx 7 points: What are your plans for the OMG you received/will receive from the airdrop for holding a large amount of ETH? Any chance you’ll be following what the Golem team did and distribute some to XRL holders? https://twitter.com/golemproject/status/905334102949335040 Received OMG will be included in the digital asset pool. 9. icecandle84 6 points 18 days ago : Would Rialto.ai inform its supporters prior to selling the technology/algorithms/IP to a 3rd party? Any third party usage of the IP and its terms would be disclosed publicly. 10. adiafero 5 points: Hi, I think rialto project its great and really promising. My question is, how are you thinking to market this project? I understand that you are having programmed conferences where to show the product. But, i dont see any marketing strategy other than that. As example, what about expanding the community on channels like reddit, etc? I think this project should have at least 10k followers not 300 :) The number of our followers is increasing on a monthly basis, just for the illustration: we have over 6,000 email subscribers and over 3,700 followers on Twitter. The corporate image has been renewed which is the first step towards the recognition in the industry. In months to come, we will attend two important conferences Blockchain Solutions Forum in Barcelona October 2–5, 2017 and FinTech Connect Live in London December 6–7, 2017 where we will present ourselves as exhibitors and speakers which we will cover and share with our public. We will also use the media coverage of the conferences as well as publish a series of interviews and podcasts. The plan is also to increase and enhance the contribution on social media like Youtube and Medium.
Battle Over Bitcoin: China Backs US Startup Coinbase And US Falls Behind In Virtual Currencies.
Indeed, virtual currencies are nothing new to the Chinese. For example, more than 100 million people on the social platform QQ have used the Q coin for more than 10 years. And after China’s state-run China Central Television, or CCTV, ran a half-hour-long documentary on bitcoins, downloads of apps for processing and “mining” bitcoins soared in the world’s second largest economy. Bitcoin, long the plaything of the Western ubernerd, now appears poised to grow substantially in China and other markets, like the euro zone, where government meddling in native currency valuations has left many distrustful of the money in their bank accounts. Americans don’t have this problem -- yet. And that may be a problem in itself. According to bitcoin proponents, if the U.S. tries to ignore the nascent currency, writing it off as a financial fad with less value than the seemingly stable dollar, Americans risk ceding to the Chinese and others control of the future of what could be the most disruptive force in monetary exchanges since the credit card. In turn, the dollar and the ability of the U.S. to navigate global currency conflicts could be seriously weakened. “Here’s the bottom line: Bitcoin has much higher popularity outside the U.S. and much higher potential outside the U.S.,” observed Andreas M. Antonopoulos of the Bitcoin Foundation. “If you go to an American and say, ‘Hey, there’s this new thing, bitcoin,’ they say, ‘Well, what’s wrong with the dollar?’ That question is different in other countries.” Bitcoins are a finite, Web-based currency created in 2009 by a group of hackers working under the nom-de-Internet Satoshi Nakamoto. Exactly 10,952,975 bitcoins are in circulation, all of which have been purchased on exchange networks or mined. The currency is mined using software that processes transactions on the bitcoin network, adding groups of transactions, called blocks, to the chain. Miners are paid about 25 bitcoins per block. That digital money can then be used to purchase a variety of goods online, from legitimate software to heroin on the infamous virtual black-market Silk Road. Bitcoin surged in value to $266 last month, thrusting the currency into the mainstream spotlight as investment poured in from sources as diverse as the hapless Brothers Winklevoss (of Facebook infamy) and Union Capital Ventures principal Fred Wilson (an early investor in Zynga, Twitter, and Kickstarter). Suddenly, everyone was talking about buying bitcoins. But the bubble burst in late April, and in the U.S. at least, bitcoin faded from the news. That was not the case in China, where Antonopoulos said downloads of bitcoin clients have eclipsed those in the U.S. Bitcoins are mined in several steps. After downloading a bitcoin client, such as Coinbase (which serves as a wallet in which to store the bits of code that constitute the digital money), miners often join pools where they share computing power to decode algorithms in which bitcoins are hidden. The concept of bitcoins and bitcoin mining is cryptic for many people, even some otherwise forward-thinking American investors. The irony is that, for now, American startups are leading the bitcoin charge, and the U.S. government was the first to issue guidance on using the currency as payment -- a seemingly tacit recognition of bitcoin’s validity as legal tender. Why China Poses A Threat Feng Li, the IDG partner who chose to fund Coinbase, said the Chinese have yearned for access to a virtual currency since the central government cracked down on the use of Q coins. Q coins were introduced in March 2002 by Tencent Holdings Ltd. (HKG:0700), the parent company of the country’s most popular instant-messaging service, QQ , and they currently average an annual transaction value of more than 1 billion yuan ($163 million). That value is growing at about 15 to 25 percent each year. Q coins, purchased with yuan, are predominantly used to buy virtual products and services in QQ and its related online games and social media. Originally, Tencent regulations prevented Q coins from being traded between users or converted back to yuan, but allowed users to trade points and purchase Q coins with their game accounts, then use the black market to convert them into cash. That caused concerns at the People’s Bank of China, China’s central bank. In January 2007, converting game points to Q coins was banned, and Tencent reiterated that Q coins constitute a product, not a currency, which seemed to satisfy the concerns. “There has already been proof with the Q coin,” Feng said of the Chinese likeliness to start using bitcoin. “It’s been very well circulated and very well adopted.” Already, shops on Taobao -- the Chinese equivalent to eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY), owned by Alibaba.com Ltd. (HKG:1688) -- accept bitcoins as payment for goods, as does the similar service, Tencent’s PaiPai.com. The Chinese are embracing bitcoins in other ways. The first bitcoin fund began to raise money in June, with the goal of raising 20 million yuan. The fund’s investment threshold is 10,000 yuan, and it will mature in four years. Q coin’s popularity isn’t the only reason bitcoin has appeal in China. As it turns out, China is the perfect place for bitcoin mining. While much of the developed world is well into the transition from personal computers to mobile devices, China’s PC market is still thriving, which provides the necessary computing power to run a successful business converting electricity into mined coins. Price caps on electricity already create wasteful use of energy in China, so running a code-crunching computer for hours on end isn’t as costly an investment as it would be in the U.S. And so-called “gold-mining” or “gold-farming” businesses already exist in China’s cybersphere. None of that will come as a surprise to any “World of Warcraft” player: Gamers in Chinese urban sweatshops are known to sit in front of glowing blue screens for hours, slaughtering players in the game for their spoils or mining gold deposits found in the sprawling milieu of Blizzard Entertainment’s international blockbuster. Those treasures are then sold to players in the game for real money. China has a heavily controlled currency, which also makes bitcoin attractive. “The more controlled the currency is, the harder the transactions are, the more friction there is in the national currency, the more appealing the coin is,” Antonopoulos said, noted that the most appealing place to use bitcoin would be a country whose economy is a veritable train wreck -- like Zimbabwe, except that the southern African nation lacks the necessary technology. “I would say China is perfect,” he said. “It’s got the penetration, it’s got the smartphones, it’s got the Internet and the people are familiar with virtual currencies. And, it’s got the not-as-appealing national currency.” Regulation In The U.S. Guidance issued in March by the U.S. Treasury Department said that companies issuing or exchanging online cash, including bitcoin, would be subject to the same scrutiny as traditional firms such as the Western Union Co. (NYSE:WU) to prevent money laundering. Less than two months later, the Department of Homeland Security proved that edict had teeth. Federal officials obtained a warrant Tuesday to seize an account tied to Mt.Gox, the Tokyo-based exchange company that handles about 80 percent of all bitcoin trades. Authorities accused Mt.Gox’s U.S. subsidiary, Mutum Sigillum LLC, of failing to register as a money-services company with the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. An account held by the online-payments firm Dwolla was subsequently seized. Many feared the warrant execution could cast a chill over the bitcoin industry as a sector centered on a borderless, decentralized money came under the scrutiny of the federal government. That proved not to be the case, Coinbase’s Ehrsam said. “For bitcoin to go mainstream, or as it goes mainstream, it will be used in a higher and higher amount of transactions,” he said, adding that Coinbase is registered as a money-services firm. “There’s no way there will be all this money flowing through an unregulated system.” Chris Larsen -- the CEO of OpenCoin, a fellow San Francisco-based payment platform that processes most national currencies as well as bitcoin and its own virtual cash, Ripple -- agreed. “They definitely are regulating them, [and] we actually think that’s a really good thing for the industry,” he told IBTimes. “I thought the guidance was a good idea. One of the things the guidelines seem to make clear for the first time is that a virtual currency could be used for goods and services.” The Price Of Regulation But such regulation is a slippery slope, said Jerry Brito, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Perhaps it begins with measures to prevent money-laundering, he said. But what measures would the government take to prevent the untraceable currency from being used for child pornography or human trafficking? “Bitcoin has the potential to be a disruptive technology that would be beneficial to the economy, and we don’t want to kill off that potential to get at the other potential for bad stuff,” he observed. Brito, who plans to speak next month at a conference on virtual currencies organized by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, added: “We’re already the first country to enforce money-laundering laws against bitcoin. But the U.S. would be shooting itself in the foot if it went too far [with regulations] and either outlawed bitcoin or made the legal guidelines impossible to comply with.” Will China Step In? So far, Chinese bitcoin merchants have little to fear. For many, the CCTV segment on bitcoin seemed to be a signal from Beijing, which heavily controls the channel’s content, that the currency is worth exploring. Some of those interviewed speculated that the Communist Party wants to see bitcoin stockpiled in China, allowing the government to invest in it if, or when, the dollar is shaken from its perch as the world’s reserve currency. It remains to be seen whether -- or, more likely, when -- China will intervene in the trade of bitcoin in its own economy. But for the U.S. to experience widespread adoption of the currency, which is considered a necessary step for gaining a grasp on the bitcoin market, limited government control will have to allow the money, like the Internet that birthed it, to develop organically.
I think the Berlin Wall Principle will end up applying to Blockstream as well: (1) The Berlin Wall took *longer* than everyone expected to come tumbling down. (2) When it did finally come tumbling down, it happened *faster* than anyone expected (ie, in a matter of days) - and everyone was shocked.
Centralization is a double-edged sword. So far, centralization (and intertia, and laziness, and caution) has been favoring Blockstream. But if and when a congestion crisis comes, then the tide is gonna turn pretty quickly - and Blockstream's monopoly in terms of "code running on the network" is gonna evaporate quicker than anyone expected. How will this happen? Like this: Bitcoin is going to go into a crisis - not just the current agonizing slow-motion swamp of centralized fascist governance, but a real-time honking red alert involving a clogged-up network, with people freaking out screaming from the rooftops that millions of dollars in transactions are in limbo due to some pointless fucked-up 1 MB "blocksize limit". And at that point, people are going to get rid of the damn piece of broken cripple-code, immediately. End of story. Slow to crumble, fast to collapse Up till now, the Bitcoin governance crisis has been like slowly sinking into a swamp of quicksand. But once a real-time congestion crisis actually hits (and online forums become dominated by posts screaming "my transaction is stuck in limbo!!!"), then all the previous bullshit and bloviating from economic idiots about "fee markets" and "soft hard forks" or whatever other nonsense will be instantly forgotten. And at that point, there will be only 2 things that can happen:
Either Bitcoin dies, and $7 billion dollars in investor wealth evaporates into thin air; or
The simplest and safest "good enough" on-chain scaling upgrade gets rolled out ASAP - ie, we will get bigger blocks so fast it will make your head spin.
You don't need Blockstream - they need you When push comes to shove, people are going to remember pretty damn quick that open-source code is easy to patch. People are going to remember that you don't have to fly to meetings in Hong Kong or on some secret Caribbean island ... or post on Reddit for hours ... or spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on devs ... in order to simply change a constant in your code from 1000000 to 2000000. Eventually, we are going to remember what vote-with-your-CPU consensus looks like Remember all those hours you wasted on reddit? Remember all that time you wasted in some hidden downvoted sub-thread debating with some snarky little toxic troll who'd wandered over from a censored Milgram experiment forum full of brainwashed circlejerkers and foot-stomping fascists whose only adrenaline rush and power trip in life had evidently been when they would run around bloviating gibberish like "fee markets!" or "Austrian!" to the self-selected bunch of ignorant submissive sycophants who hadn't been banned from r\bitcoin yet? Well, when the real crisis hits, all that trivial online drama isn't going to matter any more. When the inevitable congestion crisis finally comes, it's only going to take a couple of mining pools plus a couple of exchanges to make a simple life-or-death business decision to un-install Blockstream's artificially crippled code and instead install code that has actually been upgraded to deal with the reality of mining and the marketplace - and then we're all going to see what actual vote-with-your-CPU consensus really looks like (instead of vote-with-your-sockpuppet pseudo-consensus on Reddit). This upgraded code could be Classic, or Unlimited, or even a modded version Core - it doesn't really matter. Code is code and money is money, and when push comes to shove, investors and miners aren't going to give a damn what some overpaid economic idiot from Blockstream said at some meeting in Hong Kong once, or what some fascist poisonous astroturfing shill-bot posted a million times on Reddit. Things usually move slow in Bitcoin-land - except when they move fast For an example of how fast the tide can turn, just look at a couple of major events from the past two days: (1) Coinbase is suddenly saying that:
Bitcoin looks a lot like hard-to-use antiquated assembly code - and Ethereum looks like an easy-to-use modern programming language;
Blockstream with its toxic, opaque and oppressive culture is scaring away all the new devs - who are flocking to alt-coins like Ethereum which has a healthy, transparent and welcoming culture.
Of course the good devs are flocking to Ethereum now. Any smart dev can see from a mile away that it would be suicide to try to contribute to Core/Blockstream - Blockstream don't want any new coders or new ideas, they are insular and insecure and they feel downright threatened by new coders with fresh ideas. They've shown this over and over again, eg:
when they repeatedly freaked out and went nuclear and refused to compromise whenever any dev made a simple safe scaling proposal, like 20 MB blocks, or 8 MB blocks, or 4 MB blocks, or 2 MB blocks, or Adaptive Blocks, etc etc.
scaring all the good devs and a lot of investors into alt-coins.
Blockstream has backed themselves into a corner At this point, people are starting to realize that Blockstream is a led by desperate and incompetent dead-enders. (There are some great coders over there such as Pieter Wuille - and Greg Maxwell is also a great Bitcoin coder, but he is toxic as a "leader".) Blockstream can't do capacity planning, they can't do threat assessment, they can't innovate, they can't prioritize, and they can't communicate. In the end, they're only destroying themselves - by censoring debate, and ostracizing existing innovators (eg, Mike Hearn and Gavin Andresen) - and scaring away potential new innovators. Remember, Blockstream != Bitcoin It's important to remember that Blockstream cannot destroy Bitcoin - any more than Mt Gox could. Once Blockstream is thoroughly discredited in the eyes of the Bitcoin community and the media, as "the company that almost strangled the Bitcoin network by trying to force blocks to be smaller than the average web page" - it's gonna be time for honey-badger jokes all over again. Blockstream's gargantuan conflicts-of-interest will be their downfall Blockstream is funded by insurance giant AXA - a company whose CEO is the head of the friggin' Bilderberg Group. (He's scheduled to move from CEO of AXA to CEO of HSBC soon. Out of the frying pan and into the fire.) AXA doesn't even want cryptocurrency to succeed anyways, because half of the 1 trillion dollars of so-called "assets" on their fraudulent balance sheet is actually nothing more than toxic debt-backed worthless derivatives garbage. (AXA has more derivatives than any other insurance company.) In other words, AXA's balance sheet will be exposed as worthless and the company will become insolvent (just like Lehman Brothers and AIG did in 2008) once real money like Bitcoin actually becomes dominant in the world economy - which will "uber" and knock down the whole teetering $1.2 quadrillion derivatives casino. Hmm... AIG... a giant insurance group whose alleged "assets" turned out to be just a worthless pile of toxic debt-backed derivatives on the legacy ledger of fantasy fiat, AIG who triggered the 2008 financial near-meltdown... Who does AIG remind me of... Oh yeah AXA... So let's put AXA in charge of paying for Bitcoin development! What could possibly go wrong?!? Blockstream's owners HATE Bitcoin Never forget:
This is the probably the most gigantic CONFLICT OF INTEREST in the history of economics. And it's something to think about, as we sit here wondering for years why Blockstream is not only failing to scale Bitcoin - but it's also actively trying to SABOTAGE anyone ELSE who tries to scale Bitcoin as well. So, be patient - and optimistic Viewed from one perspective, the fact that this blocksize battle has dragged on for years can be very depressing. But, viewed from another perspective, the fact that it's still going on is positive - because, for example, nobody really dares to say anymore that "blocks should be 1 MB" - since repeated studies have shown that the current hardware and infrastructure could easily handle 3-4 MB blocks, and Core/Blockstream's own precious SegWit soft-fork is going to need 3-4 MB blocks anyways. Plus, the only "strengths" that Blockstream had on its side actually turn out to be pretty weak upon closer scrutiny (money from investors like AXA who hate cryptocurrency, censorship from domain squatters who only know how to destroy communities, snark from sockpuppets who can't argue their way out of a wet paper bag on uncensored forums). In fact, if you were part of Blockstream, you'd be pretty demoralized that a rag-tag bunch of big-blocks supporters has been chipping away at you for the past few years, creating new forums, creating new coins, creating new products and services, exposing the economic ignorance of small-block dead-enders - and all the while, Blockstream hasn't been able to deliver on any of its so-called scaling roadmap. If it hadn't been for a few historical accidents (cheap energy behind the Great Firewall of China, plus the other "linguistic" firewall that has prevented many people in the Chinese-speaking community from seeing how much of the community actually rejects Blockstream, plus the other accidental fact that bigger blocks involve generalizing Bitcoin, which mathematically happens to require a hard fork), then Blockstream would not have been able to control Bitcoin development as long as it has. Yeah, they have done routine maintenance stuff and efficiency upgrades, like rewriting libsecp256k, which is great, and much appreciated - and Pieter Wuille's SegWit would be a great refactoring and clean-up of the code (if we don't let Luke-Jr poison it by packaging it as a soft-fork) - but the network also needs some simple, safe scaling. And the network is going to get simple, safe scaling - whenever it decides that it really, really wants it. And there's nothing that Blockstream can do to block that.
These 25 top-voted posts from r/btc this week show that users and miners are working on real solutions to help Bitcoin move forward, while Core/Blockstream are obstructing progress and losing support. Please help spread this information (including translating for the Chinese-speaking community)!
Antpool Will Not Run SegWit Without Block Size Increase Hard Fork
Leaders of Core had a childish little selfish tantrum about wanting to work on what cool stuff they wanted to build and wouldn't listen. It would have been relatively safe and easy to introduce the 2mb HF if it was progressed collectively and collaboratively with good will by all parties. All of this could have been avoided long ago. There is one person who is very influential who we know to be adamant about blocks being confined to 1mb.
Hardfork in July 2017 will be too late. If you read the statement by Peter "I don't have a clue about economics" Todd you might start to puke. “Unfortunately Bitcoin simply doesn't scale well" How about you start to tell what exactly doesn't scale you fuckhead? P.S.: The blockchain is growing indefinitely, if you don't like that fact you should choose something else than cryptocurrencies or come up with a better way.
This is classic narrowmindedness on PT's part. He'd also be the first one to say that the internet is not sustainable as it produces exponentially more and more data. These guys are fucking idiots and really have no idea what they are talking about, all they see is "BLOAT!" and "TOO BIG FOR CURRENT NODES!" then react accordingly without even thinking about the fact that Bitcoin's usefulness mitigates these limiting factors almost entirely.
People are starting to realize how toxic Gregory Maxwell is to Bitcoin, saying there are plenty of other coders who could do crypto and networking, and "he drives away more talent than he can attract." Plus, he has a 10-year record of damaging open-source projects, going back to Wikipedia in 2006.
There are limits on routing table sizes, but they are not top-down-specified-in-a-standards-document protocol limits. They are organic limits that arise from whatever hardware is available and from the (sometimes very contentious!) interaction of the engineers keeping the Internet backbone up and running.
We've long established that the 1mb limit (or their refusal to remove it) has absolutely nothing to do with technical concerns. It's a political matter, whose raison d'être we can only infer. Time to stop the bullshit and the [s]quabbling. Chinese miners wake up! Time to try something new. It quite literally can't be worse than what's going on right now.
Bitcoin has become embroiled in debate over the block size - an important topic for the health of the network, but not something that should halt progress in a young and rapidly developing field. The developer community in Bitcoin feels fairly dormant. Bitcoin never really made it past the stage of simple wallets and exchanges. Bitcoin’s “leadership” is ... toxic. Greg Maxwell, technical leader of Blockstream which employs a solid chunk of Core developers, recently referred to other Core developers who were working with miners on a block size compromise as “well-meaning dips***s.”
This was a good sobering read. It is also worth noting that Coinbase was left with little choice but to broaden its offerings given the current state of Bitcoin usability ... When BS hijacked BTC away from being money, it screwed a lot of business and usage plans. ... Praise be to the free market and the market place of ideas.
REPOST from 12/2015: "If there are only 20 seats on the bus and 25 people that want to ride, there is no ticket price where everyone gets a seat. Capacity problems can't be fixed with a 'fee market'; they are fixed by adding seats, which in this case means raising the blocksize cap." – Vibr8gKiwi
By the way, this shows that a certain other trending OP from today: Why all the disinformation? Full blocks DO NOT matter, what matters is transaction fees. Currently $0.05 ...is total bullshit. But that other OP was posted in an echo-chamber of censorship (r\bitcoin). That is dangerous (for them), because it allows them to enjoy the illusion that they are right - when in reality, they are wrong, because they are ignoring the fact that full blocks DO matter: because the overflow goes elsewhere (into fiat, into alts, etc.).
Bitcoin exchange and wallet service Coinbase is adding support for ether, the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network. ...
This is quite significant. I would interpret this as a loss of confidence in Blockstream to provide what customers need in a timely manner. While Blockstream wastes time figuring out how to stuff all the world's transaction data into their beloved tiny blocks, the market will move on to solutions that can actually scale and can scale NOW.
Opinions on Gavin over there are variously: 1 - Why aren't you coding for Core? 2 - Which agency do you work for? 3 - Haha classic suxxor A very telling series of questions that the false agenda has fermented and sunk in.
It's actually kind of brilliant ! Think about it: no need for super dangerous hard forks, and not even soft forks. No new code needed, no testing, nothing. All it took was 2-3 years of endless stalling, organizing some fake conventions, a bit of character assassination and demonization here and there, nothing major. Done. It was actually very well-thought-out. Congratulations and hat off to nullcadam3us and all their drones.
Bitcoin is a giant, global "Consensus-tron" based on a fundamental meta-rule: "51% Consensus based on Greed / Self-Interest" ("Nakamoto Consensus"). Blockstream/Core is trying change this meta-rule, to make it "95% Consensus" ("Extreme Consensus") - the MOST CONTENTIOUS change conceivable in Bitcoin The main characteristic of Bitcoin is that it is basically a kind of global "consensus-producing machine" or "Consensus-tron" - which runs based on a fundamental meta-rule of "51% Consensus + Greed / Self-Interest" - also called "Nakamoto Consensus". Recently, Blockstream has started trying to quietly change this fundamental meta-rule of Bitcoin based on "51% Consensus + Greed / Self-Interest" ("Nakamoto Consensus"). Instead, they have proposed a totally different meta-rule based on "95% Consensus" - which they like to call "Strong Consensus", but a better name would probably be "Extreme Consensus", to show what an extreme change it would be.
Every binary vote has an opposite side. 95% consensus is actually 5% consensus of the opposing team. Would you like a 5% consensus system? No? Then you wouldn't like a 95% consensus system. That's why 50% is the only valid threshold -- because it's the only one that makes both sides equal.
Continuing on this road , soon Coinbase and Circle will probably allow to send and receive Ether, and Coinbase and Bitpay will offer the option to pay in Ether. At that point Gregonomic fee pressure will go out of the window. The first mover led the ground work, but it's not an exclusive advantage. Bitcoin needs to wake up from the Blockstream-induced coma !!!
This is so painfully obvious. The users do not want a "fee market". Blockstream is absolutely hell-bent on giving us one, despite there being no need for a "fee market" at this point in time. Therefore the free market will do its job and provide an alternative to Bitcoin, and the users will move to the alternative where they will get what they actually want.
Bitcoin users are speaking out, and they want bigger blocks. Compare these 2 OPs: r\bitcoin: "Full blocks DO NOT matter, what matters is transaction fees" (100 upvotes) vs btc: "Capacity problems can't be fixed with a 'fee market'; they can only be fixed by raising the blocksize cap" (200 upvotes)
The block size issue has turned me off to bitcoin entirely, I no longer evangelize, no longer buy or use them. Blockstream has destroyed all the good-will I had for Bitcoin. Once the block sizes are larger, and continue rising with use, I'll be interested again. until then, Bitcoin can wallow in the fail
Damn fucking straight, the larger block side has been compromising for over a year and they have refused to compromise from day one. Now is not the time to compromise, now is the time to sweep them aside as they have brought nothing to the table. These devs shouldn't even be given the time of day considering their open contempt for larger blocks and the miners should be finding devs that will give them what they need, rather than trying to negotiate with asshats that refuse to negotiate.
"It's truly funny how blockstream are dead against 2mb of block data using traditional transactions along with linear signature validation... but blindly think that 2.85mb of segwit + confidential payment codes + other features is acceptable." And also funny that their roadmap allows for 5.7mb blocks when blockstream decide its ok for the hard fork.. yet they cant explain what network bandwidth restrictions are currently preventing 2mb now but weirdly and suddenly not an issue for 5.7mb next year...
It's a matter of ego and politics. From a computer science standpoint, Adam Back wanted the 2-4-8 mb scaling originally, which would have been completely safe (and smart). Segwit is required for the Lightning Network and some other things Blockstream wants to centralize and profit from. No better way to get something you need in there than making it necessary for scaling and saying it's the best solution. Segwit is a backwards approach compared to the easier and cleaner solution of increasing the blocksize
maaku7: "I don't know anyone who is actually working on a hard fork right now (although I'm sure someone is). Keep in mind very few core developers were at the HK meeting and that 'agreement' is mostly not acceptable to those who were not there." The Hongkong Farce. Great job Core and Chinese/Georgian 'miners'!
HF will never happen unless miners switch client. The problem is miners still trust Adam & Co. The day Mike Hearn left, he told me: "Both Adam Back and Gregory Maxwell are extremely skilled manipulators, timewasters and both of them have been caught lying red handed. I strongly suggest you just ignore both of them. I do not plan to take part in Bitcoin related discussions further". From my experience, Adam will tell you whatever you want to hear, but do something different behind your back. Just look at his presentations he gave to the miners and others, they are full of lies and inaccuracies. This isn't rocket science. I just can't understand why people keep buying bullshit from a guy who's not even a core dev, but president of a company that only benefits from making sure Bitcoin itself is crippled so people are forced offchain.
That was known opinion by Mark [Friedenbach, maaku7]. He said right after HK that it is not Core's agreement, that individual developers there were not representatives for Core. And that the HF block limit increase is not an option. I don't know what are miners still expecting and waiting for.
There's more than enough developer talent in the Bitcoin space to ensure a hard fork comes off successfully, but the Core developers have divided the community with lies to make it more difficult to pull off. Instead of helping achieve it, they have created community-wide FUD.
My opinion is that we can't have Blockstream at all involved in Bitcoin any longer. If you keep them involved, even after a blocksize increase, we will suffer in the future. Similar to malware, you have to remove it.
Hearn describes in the interview how people in the developer scene do not truly want the cryptocurrency to be decentralized.
“They say they want so, but that’s not what they want. Bitcoin is a young, unripened Democracy, in which a group of developers hold the power. And this group is desperately trying to prevent a real vote on the future of Bitcoin.” ... “[They] won’t vote against Core, because [they’ve] been told voting is dangerous,” Hearn elucidates. “The miners are not per se against proposals to increase the capacity, such as something like Bitcoin Classic wants. The miners refuse to vote. At this point, some developers, including myself, lost interest, because we realized it no longer was a debate about the block size. Suddenly it was trying to convince Chinese people democracy is a good thing.”
~ Mike Hearn
Sadly, he sounds like the voice of reason in a world gone mad.
I think the Berlin Wall Principle will end up applying to Blockstream as well: (1) The Berlin Wall took longer than everyone expected to come tumbling down. (2) When it did finally come tumbling down, it happened faster than anyone expected (ie, in a matter of days) - and everyone was shocked.
When push comes to shove, people are going to remember pretty damn quick that open-source code is easy to patch. People are going to remember that you don't have to fly to meetings in Hong Kong or on some secret Caribbean island ... or post on Reddit for hours ... or spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on devs ... in order to simply change a constant in your code from 1000000 to 2000000.
This is so true. I mean, look at the logic. If $0.01 is not enough, and everyone sets it at $1.00, then it is still not enough because the number of transactions at the 'higher' price is still too many and blocks are still full with transactions being ignored.
The core devs (Wladimir and Maxwell) do not care about the price of bitcoin. They do not care to give investors a clear indication of what capacity will be in the near or mid future. This is contrary to the fact that everything else is known. Roger Ver is right. Investors (Hodlers) are a large part of what makes bitcoin valuable. Without a clear indication of what capacity is going to be in the future there is no clear indication of what the worth of Bitcoin actually is.
Unfortunately, I know of multiple companies with more than 100,000,000 users that have put their bitcoin integration on hold because there isn't enough current capacity in the Bitcoin network for their users to start using Bitcoin. Instead they are looking at options other than Bitcoin.
Gregory Maxwell (nullc) & /bitcoin have deleted my posts They have also banned me from any discussion on their subreddit. I was simply posting that Gregory Maxwell (nullc) is lying when he says "the Chinese Bitcoin community stands behind us". This is false, they do not. In fact, a respected member from the Chinese Bitcoin community said this: "Do you know that what you are doing is harming bitcoin by spreading misinformation? I'm from China. I can just tell you the common sense in the Chinese Community of Bitcoin. No one likes BlockStream now! People in China all know that it is Greg Maxwell who is blocking bitcoin by limiting block size. I dare say, your company can never develop any business in China in the future."
Jihan of Antpool, great response in regards to Chinese Bitcoin discussion on /bitcoin I was banned from:
Maxwell, When you talking about "in fact", it smells like no fact. You are spreading very serious rumors about the mining network situation. Antpool has been connected to Relay Network and also testing a new network called Falcon after being invited. The total network orphan rate has been keeping lower and lower in the past months, which is an evidence that the network is working in a much better situation. Antpool in the past April have only 1 orphaned block, which is an evidence that there is no selfish mining situation - a selfish mining attack will generate higher orphan rate on both competitors and attackers. On the https://poolbench.antminer.link/, you can find ... the performance of a mining pool. (This is a third party site, this is fact.) Antpool and other mining pools had made the position clear as water since in the Hong Kong meeting, that SegWit+HF [is] coming as package. If you just realized right now, ... the communication problem inside Core, you cannot blame anyone else. We will not activ[ate] the SegWit until seeing the promised (by "individuals" yes I know Maxwell could not be represented) HF code being released in Bitcoin Core. If everything is progressed according the HK Consensus, the SegWit will not be stalled. The SegWit as a very th[o]rough improvement/change [and] will need to be carefully tested and reviewed after its release, at least for several months. During which time the HF can be proposed, defined, implemented and released. While the max blocksize limit lifting can be activated later, but as the code is already contained in the release, most of the economic nodes in the network will be compatible with the coming blocksize bumping up. Bitcoin is a worldwide economy infrastructure and it requires working together and moving forward. Greg, you need to have some self control from talking like a human flesh fascist propaganda machine, trying to attack anyone who disagree with you. Please don't tag those concerns as "pro-altcoin". (Another evidence of your problematic speaking style.) The concerns are genuine concerns. Some of the concerns coming from people who hold very large stake of Bitcoin since early time. Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency in the town. I also see some small blockers are very active in the competing coin development. You cannot use this methods to distinguish people at all. Then stop judging people's intention and unrelated behavior but focus on the problem itself. The only thing I have to add is that you can't wait for Mr. Maxwell and his company to deliver their promise. It is a toxic arrangement and we need to focus on looking past them, repairing the damage and working towards the future. When there are too many lies and scandal involved, you have to cut your losses and walk away. Investors around the world will be confident once we start making firm moves. Positive press from Forbes will help repair confidence with investors. Either way, thank you! We are all committed to working together.
In successful open-source software projects, the community should drive the code - not the other way around. Projects fail when "dead scripture" gets prioritized over "common sense". (Another excruciating analysis of Core/Blockstream's pathological fetishizing of a temporary 1MB anti-spam kludge)
The essence of Gavin's point reminded me of the things the Agile Manifesto was meant to address. ... The behaviour of Blockstream is like the most pathological cases of capital-E Enterprise software development I've seen.
Why is it not recognized that ANY block size limit is a hack on a hack Bitcoin will NOT work right until the size limit hack is removed entirely. The limit is being leveraged to justify many actions. All of which would be moot if the limit did not exist.
You're absolutely right. Miners have always regulated the size of their own blocks and still do. We see it in the form of excluding zero-fee transactions, SPV mining, spam filtering, etc. They will do the same without a limit. All in the name of maintaining profitability.
Disclaimer:This post is not an endorsement to either buy or sell Bitcoins. I am simply attempting to outline the reasons why there is inherent value in Bitcoins, as well as the risks that come with investing in a crypto-currency. In full disclosure, I personally own and use them, but only a very small portion of my overall portfolio which I would be ok if BTC went to 0 tomorrow. Purpose: I’ve been seeing a lot of doom and gloom (as well as irrational exuberance) in a lot of posts lately, and a lot of people saying this or that with no evidence or fundamentals to back up their claims. So I wanted to put my thoughts and experiences [more about me below] out there in the hopes that people actually serious about utilizing Bitcoins (BTC from here on) might find this information helpful, as well as to connect with and solicit thoughts from anybody else that’s done research on the future of BTC. Also mods: I searched through old posts and the FAQ but couldn’t really find anything like this, so let me know if there is a more appropriate place to post this. I can also add hyperlinked sources to this to make it a reference document if there is interest. Summary/tl;dr: The fundamentals underlying the intrinsic value of Bitcoins haven’t changed. In fact, they continue to improve day-by-day, as merchant and user adoption increases. As long as this trend continues, and certain risk factors - see below - are minimized, BTC will eventually become widely accepted as a currency. That being said, you should never “invest” more money than you are willing to completely lose, or money that you would otherwise need for living expenses. Otherwise, you are gambling. (I put “invest” in quotes because I believe BTC are currently far too speculative to be considered an “investment.” This may change in the future, but the technology is still so new, and there are so many unknowns, that it should not be considered anything more than a speculative investment at this point.) This has happened before and it will happen again: This week hasn’t been good for those holding Bitcoins. In fact, if you invested in BTC anytime in the past year, I’d say it’s been a pretty shitty year, period. But the thing is, we’ve seen this type of thing in financial markets before, almost exactly to a t, and how they tend to play out. There have been various bubbles of all shapes and sizes throughout history, and the run-up in prices earlier this year, was no exception. However, unlike the critics, I believe BTCs are different, as there is significant intrinsic value in the BTC network and BTC as a value store - which I outline below. I also think it’s useless to speculate about the direction of BTC in the short to medium-term (I would argue the price adjustment has been a good thing for the long-term), so to me the only meaningful way to analyze what’s going on is to examine the fundamentals (apologies if a lot of this is basic, but I wanted to cover all the key points as I saw them):
Currency As a Store of Value: A currency has value because the holders of it believe it has value. This might seem like a paradox, but it is how fiat currencies (namely, the USD and every other major currency in the world) function, and BTC is no different. As the number of people owning and using BTC increases, the relative value of BTC will have to grow as the supply is limited to 21million BTC (to use an economics analogy: In this case, we can’t find more seashells, we can only break the ones we have into smaller pieces). What if user adoption were to plateau or decrease? Even if growth were to stop today, and not a single more person in the world were to use BTC than already are, there would still be value assigned to them by those who currently hold, which is reflected in the BTC/USD rate. There is already value there by virtue of the number of people that own it and merchants that accept it. As of me writing this, there are an estimated 1.2million BTC holders on ledgers worldwide. This number is greater than the population of many countries that have their own currency. I believe BTC are past the point where people should question the viability of BTC as a store of value, and instead look at BTC for the value it provides for the following reasons.
Worldwide Transaction Network: In my analysis, this represents the true potential value of BTC. Think of the major credit card companies (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX) - they’re accepted pretty much anywhere right? You can walk into almost any shop throughout the world, and as long as you hold one of these cards, the merchant will trade you his/her goods and services for a portion of what you’ve got in your account. And this is hugely valuable. To the tune of $Billions per year these companies make in profit, all because of the network of merchants that accept them worldwide. But one thing that people might forget is these companies had to grow their merchant network, just like BTC, one at a time. Thus, this to me represents the primary growth potential of BTC. I’ve seen estimates that 10,000 retailers are currently accepting them, and there are some pretty big names in the list (Overstock, Target, eBay via PayPal, CVS). As the number of places that accept BTC increase, so does the intrinsic value. This also has a compounding, even self-fulfilling, effect: as the number of places that accept BTC increases, the value increases, thus more merchants are willing to accept BTC as a currency because it has value…chew on that for a second.
Growing BTC Eco-system: This is represented by the growing number of Bitcoin-related venture startups and websites/wallets/apps that support BTC transactions. There is a network effect here, and as long as people are invested into it, will continue to grow.
Security/Anonymity/Ease of Transaction: I think most of us are familiar with BTC security measures (how important the password to your wallet/account is), how the hashes are generated by an algorithm that cannot be faked (essentially counterfeit-proof), and low transaction costs. These are all pluses that make the currency attractive as a value store, with some caveats listed in the “Risks” section below.
Hedge Against Fiat Currencies: This is a two-edged sword. I think there’s a lot of investment in BTC because of the fear of overactive Central Banks inflating other currencies (again, namely the USD), but as we saw this week, this can work against BTC. I explain more later below.
So I’ve briefly outlined above some pretty clear reasons why there is inherent value in BTC, and the reasons why I personally am optimistic about the long-term future and will continue to use them. That being said, I’ve also identified several primary risk factors that worry me as a long-term investor, ones that all holders of BTC should be aware of. Please, if you know or can think of any others, reply or PM me so I can add them to this list:
Continued market volatility: Price volatility might be good for day-traders, but for a currency, it’s killer. As described above, one of the core elements a currency must have is as a store of value, and if the price fluctuates wildly from day-to-day, merchants (and currency owners) will be less willing to accept it. Who would want to hold currency that’s worth 1/2 of what it was last week? This is also a reason why it’s essential for the currency to have a limited supply (or perception thereof), or else rampant inflation would occur - look at Zimbabwe. The bottom-line is, if the USD (US Dollar) were to drop 25% in one week, like we saw with BTC this week, it would indicate a complete economic collapse was occurring. Faith in the currency would be destroyed, and it would take extreme measures to preserve it. It’s actually kind of a small miracle BTC hasn’t completely collapsed, but I think it’s because (1) there is real value in it, and (2) BTC are not widely used yet. The remedy for this is there has to be either (1) a large holder of the currency that is able to inject or take out some currency to keep the price stable -- if you look at the US Federal Reserve this is one of its two primary mandates, or (2) the number of BTC owners has to reach a saturation “tipping point” where enough people are utilizing the currency for day-to-day transactions, and not for speculative reasons. I don’t believe we’re quite at this point yet, but getting there.
Governmental regulation: This is a big unknown for me, and with recent news that Russia and China have prohibited use of BTCs, presumably in the effort to curb illegal transactions, could become a trend. However, to address people who are concerned about this, I would make the following points:
What is the reason for government regulation? Is it to curb illegal activity transacted in BTC? If this is the case, there is plenty of illegal activity being transacted in US Dollars, Russian Rubles, gold coins, jewelry, etc… What makes BTC special? If the reason is to prohibit a competing national currency, then that is a separate legal issue which will have to be resolved, but probably not until far in the future. In the US, a case like this would almost definitely go to the Supreme Court for clarification.
Which government agency should have regulatory authority? In more democratic societies (than Russia and China) that have a strong rule of law (most of the rest of the western world), government agencies can’t simply do something because they want to (unfortunately the trend is changing even in the US). There has to be a legal jurisdiction or precedence that would allow this, and because crypto-currencies are so new, none has been set. For example, just look at how long it took most state governments to start taxing Amazon purchases. I used to live in Virginia, and they just started in Dec 2013, almost 20 years after Amazon was founded…
How would governments enforce restrictions? Would it be by imposing fines on merchants that accept the crypto-currencies? Legally, how is this different than restricting payment in gold or silver then, or Craigslist transactions?
Ease of use: BTC are not quite easy enough to use where the average person will find it appealing. I think a lot of companies are working to address this (e.g. the hardest part of signing up on Coinbase was remembering my password), so to me this risk is what we can do the most about, but still a concern.
Loss potential: If you forget or lose your password, you’re SOL at this point. But this isn’t really different from losing cash on the street.
Market Cornering(added): There is the possibility a large percentage of the total available BTC are owned by a handful of individuals. For example, it is estimated that Satoshi alone owns ~1 million BTC. In the event that one or more of these owners were to attempt to corner the BTC market there could be extreme price volatility.
Current overall valuation may be a bit high: Back of the napkin calculation follows- Total valuation of BTC = (# of BTC available) x (current price/BTC) Total valuation of BTC = ~13million x $330 = ~$4billion $4 billion of perceived value is probably high for as small as the BTC network currently is. But, this number is reflective of the high growth rate in the number of users/owners and merchants that have accepted BTC. In other words, this may be a fair price. And, by definition, it is technically the actual fair price since it is, after all, an actual currency.
I could go on, but those are the major value and risk factors I see. If you have anything to add, please feel free. So, in the context of everything I said above, I’d like to talk about what happened this week in particular: I believe this week’s price movement (as of me writing this, has been a 25% drop) is a result of several factors:
Capitulation: I don’t have the ability to do Technical Analysis on BTC right now, but just eyeing the 1-year chart, it looks like $400 was a key support point for the price of BTC. Once it broke through that, psychological barriers were broken and selling cascaded.
And that’s it. That’s all I can find about Bitcoins in the news. The value fundamentals I listed have not changed one bit, and if anything, the rate of user adoption has increased as more people are learningwhatit is. Which is why I’m excited about the future of BTC. It’s a product that I use and like, and see tremendous value for. This week’s sell-off just means I can buy more. About me: In a past life, I was an equity research analyst responsible for due diligence, fundamental/technical analysis, and making recommendations to the PM on which stocks a certain mutual fund should buy or sell. This meant reading through a lot of annual reports, financial statements, 10-K, 10-Q, shareholder calls, etc… My primary influences were Warren Buffett, Philip Fisher, and Ben Graham. If you recognize these names, you’ll probably guess that I was a value investor1 , and you’d be right. The fundamental premise behind value investing, for those that don’t know, is that you can find companies that are trading at a discount to their “true” intrinsic value, and thus can make money by buying the stock at a low price and selling when the market has realized the fair value of the company and the price has subsequently gone up. This is essentially how Warren Buffett built Berkshire Hathaway and became the world’s richest man (for a short period); his strategy has since greatly evolved, but this was the core philosophy he used for a long time. 1 Utilizing this strategy, our fund bought a significant stake in AAPL when the price per share was less than the amount of cash per share the company currently held (split adjusted something like ~$2 per share when we bought). It hasn’t all been a bed of roses, we’ve made some not-so-great investments, but that’s a story for a different time :) Edit: Paragraphs within bullets? How do you do them?
Yale University Has Invested in Two Cryptocurrency Funds
The “herd” of institutional investors that cryptocurrency bulls such as Mike Novogratz have perennially said is just over the horizon is finally making an appearance, as reports have emerged that one of the world’s largest university endowments has invested in two cryptocurrency funds. Yale University Endowment Makes Cryptocurrency Play Citing an anonymous source familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports that Yale University, the Ivy League school whose endowment is the second-largest in higher education, has invested in Paradigm, a cryptocurrency fund founded by Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam, former Sequoia Capital partner Matt Huang, and Pantera Capital veteran Charles Noyes. Including Yale’s investment, Paradigm has raised $400 million to invest in the cryptocurrency space, making it one of the largest such investment funds alongside Pantera, Polychain Capital, and Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). Concurrently, CNBC reports that David Swenson — Yale’s “Warren Buffet” — invested university money in Andreessen Horowitz’s $300 million cryptocurrency fund, which the firm announced in June. Notably, a16z said at the time that it does not intend to be a fair-weather investor. “We have an ‘all weather’ fund. We plan to invest consistently over time, regardless of market conditions. If there is another ‘crypto winter,’ we’ll keep investing aggressively,” the firm said at the time. Yale’s endowment currently stands at $29.4 billion, a record high, following a return of 12.3 percent during the fiscal year that ended on June 30. A majority of those assets, 60 percent, are directed at alternative investments. Over the past decade, the university has returned an average of 7.4 percent, beating the 5.5 percent average university endowment return by a sizable margin, according to the Yale Daily News. Earlier this year, John Lore, founder of Capital Fund Law Group, suggested that academic institutions had begun to invest in cryptocurrency on a “limited basis for strategic reasons,” though he declined to name the endowments. It’s not clear how much capital Yale contributed to Paradigm and a16z — and it should also be noted that the endowment has not confirmed the news publicly — but the size of the investment might not matter. Ari Paul, chief investment officer at cryptocurrency hedge fund BlockTower Capital and a former portfolio manager at the University of Chicago’s endowment, said in April that he thought it was “inevitable” that endowments would dip their toes into the cryptoasset space, a move that he said would convince other institutions to make similar bets. “We’re in a bear market until new buyers are enticed,” he said. “Even a small dollar amount is legitimizing. If that happens, every family office says, ‘Oh, Yale’s in. That gives us the excuse.’” Paul’s forecast is beginning to come true, at least per the reports. The next major step will be when, rather than entrust capital to digital asset investment funds, university endowments and pensions themselves begin investing directly in the cryptocurrency market. A key hurdle toward realizing this has been the shortage of regulated cryptocurrency custodians, particularly among the respected Wall Street banks with whom endowments are comfortable working. However, as CCN reported, three of the largest investment banks in the U.S. — Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley — are said to have been building out custody products for cryptoassets. Meanwhile, Bakkt — the cryptocurrency wing of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) — will begin offering physical warehousing for bitcoin in November, allowing institutions to easily trade BTC in a regulated environment overseen by one of the world’s largest exchange operators. Billionaire macro trader Mike Novogratz, a longtime bitcoin bull who has nevertheless pared back his short-term price forecast in recent weeks, gave a speech in late 2017 titled, “The Herd is Coming,” in which he argued that institutional investors are not far off from making a significant crypto play. Throughout the current bear market, he has maintained that, although the cryptocurrency market has heretofore been driven by retail enthusiasm, the next rally will be fueled by institutions. As CCN reported yesterday, Wall Street strategy firm Fundstrat recently conducted a recent poll of cryptocurrency investors which found that, perhaps contrary to popular perception, institutional investors are more bullish on bitcoin than their retail counterparts. According to the survey, a majority of institutions expect the flagship cryptocurrency to end 2019 above $15,000, an increase of about 130 percent from its present level below $6,600. Source: CCN
What’s On Crypto – News Week In Review | April 8th to 16th
32,000 Indians signed a petition against the ban on cryptocurrency. On Thursday, April 5, the central bank of India decided to ban transactions with crypto-currencies: financial institutions are obliged to stop the activity related to crypto-currencies for three months. On the same day, India’s crypto community compiled a petition addressing its central bank and prime minister, calling not to stifle the developing technology, but to create a legislative framework that would allow it to develop and exert a beneficial influence on the country’s economy. To date, more than 32,000 Indians signed a petition on change.org. Authors of the document draw attention to the fact that local crypto-exchange exchanges try to strictly adhere to established norms and many are already strengthening the standards of KYC. Also, the petition mentions the Central Bank’s plan to issue its own cryptocurrency. The protesters noted that the current CEO of Microsoft and Google are of Indian origin and, under a favourable environment, could create local Internet companies, hinting that the next generation of “technical geniuses” could go their way. Similar risks were also appealed to by Chinese crypto-entrepreneur, criticizing the prohibitive policies of his country and saying that China might miss the “new Amazon”. Earlier, in December, a petition to protest the announced restrictions amounted to the citizens of South Korea, and recently it became known that the Tax Administration, Ministry of Justice and the country’s financial regulators are discussing the possibility to lift the ban on the holding of the ICO. The mayor of Seoul noted, that after “terrible resistance” from the side of society, the government “seriously thought about” possible loosening. The Shanghai police interrupted the blocking conference. On Thursday, April 12, China had to host the Global Fintech & Blockchain China Summit 2018. However, around noon local time, the police interrupted morning session, ordering all participants and organizers to leave the event. The official reasons for the intervention are currently being specified, but according to the assumptions that appeared in the media and the Chinese social network Weibo, an ICO project was announced in the conference program, the investors of which lost a lot of money. They filed a complaint with the police. The organizing company, PTP International, denied these rumors, saying that the event was in full compliance with Chinese laws: “We are still investigating the reasons for the suspension, and at the moment the police refers to the security threat. We are thinking about possible compensation for the participants in the meeting. The conference was held in accordance with the Chinese regulations and did not include any ICO presentations, “PTP International said. The Golem computing platform has launched the core network. Golem, who collected 820,000 airs during the ICO in 2016 ($ 8.2 million at that time and about $ 340 million today), two years later presented a beta version of the main network, which in white paper isdescribed as “Copper Golem” – the first phase of the project. In the current format, a service based on the Ethereum block system allows computers to “rent” the unused energy of the CPU and create computer-generated images (CGIs) using the Blender software (including animation, visual effects, interactive 3D applications and video games). The interface directly associated with Blender allows you to purchase processing power for the Golem-GNT token. This release of the “Copper Golem” is designed to test the work of technology in real market conditions for real money. Golem software connects the providers of computing power with “customers” and sends small tasks to the provider, which will later be merged into P2P networks and presented as a single image, explains Golem CEO Julian Zavistovsky. In 2016 Golem represented one of the first generations of Ethereum-applications: “To underestimate the complexity of what we want to create is typical for software development in general, and especially for the blockbuster,” Zavistovsky says, explaining the protracted work on the project. According to white paper, the following, more progressive versions should be “Clay Golem”, “Stone Golem” and “Iron Golem”. Simultaneously with the release of the main network, the team announced the launch of a bounty program that will encourage developers to report on detected bugs. Gemini launches trading blocks for bitcoin and ether and can introduce a patented system that increases the security of transactions. On Thursday, at 9:30 am North American Eastern Time, the currency exchange, owned by the bitcoin-billionaires of the Winklevoss brothers, launched trading in blocks for the two leading crypto-currencies. The new option is designed primarily for institutional investors: the minimum threshold is 10 bitcoins and 100 airs. Bidding blocks are designed to provide an “additional source of liquidity”, allowing for large transactions outside the main book of orders. Also, due to the new function, buying or selling a large amount of cryptocurrency will not have a significant impact on its rate. As explained in exchange, “any user can place an order, indicating the type of transaction (purchase or sale), the amount, the minimum amount of filling and price limits.” Marketmakers will receive only information about the amount of the transaction, the minimum volume and the upper limit: if they decide to execute the transaction, the block will be filled. “In accordance with our obligations to maintain fair, transparent and regulated trading, block orders in electronic form will be instantly transferred to participating market makers, which will ensure the best execution of the transaction and setting prices for the participants of the program,” reads the website of the exchange. Also this week, Winklevoss IP, LLC received a patent to create a system that increases the security of transactions. Authors Andrew Laucius, Cem Paya and Eric Wiener describe “software for secure transaction processing in the cloud computing system”. The new development uses a combination of standard cryptographic techniques, including hash functions and digital signatures, and presumably can be applied on the Gemini exchange. The stakes of Basecoin and Carbon have successfully completed investment rounds. Intangible Labs, the creators of the “steel coin with the algorithmic central bank” Basecoin, collected $ 125 million during the tokenail on the SAFT system from March 22 to April 3 (according to the experts’ assumptions, this particular ICO format recently attracted the SEC’s attention). The organizers reported to the SEC on attracting this amount from 225 investors. Basecoin intends to avoid the inherent volatility of the crypto currency due to its provision with other digital assets: the oracles will monitor the prices of these assets, and the protocol should regulate the number of tokens so that the price of Basecoin remains stable. In addition to the “basecoins”, the startup is developing “basic bonds” and “basic shares” – crypto-currencies, which will support Basecoin, helping the protocol to manage the “money supply”. The project is supported by many large funds, including Andreessen Horowitz, Pantera Capital, PolyChain Capital and Digital Currency Group. Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam took Basecoin to significant projects for the ecosystem: “It is obvious to me that the developers of the crypto-industry are interested in … a stable coin, ” Ehrsam said during the Token Summit II in San Francisco. On Thursday the completion of the seed round of funding announced another project of stablcoin is Carbon, which raised $ 2 million from such funds as General Catalyst, Digital Currency Group, FirstMark Capital, Plug and Play Ventures and The Fund. Like Basecoin, Carbon rejects the Tether reinforcement model for Fiat, replacing it with algorithmic monetary policy. “If we create a mechanism that is currently used by the Federal Reserve Bank, but we will make it decentralized, we will not need to trust the central government. We can just trust the code, “explained Carbon co-founder Connor Lin. The Carbon system includes two tokens: the stebblecoin itself, whose price should be $ 1, and a “credit token” that fluctuates in value, offsetting changes in demand. When the price of stebblecoin falls, an auction is held, during which anyone can give his token, thereby reducing the money supply and raising the price, and get a “credit token” instead. Later, when the price rises above $ 1 and the offer increases, holders of “credit tokens” will receive new steebles and this entire process is fully implemented by the algorithm. Start bitcoin cloud mining
I know that we're all excited about the decentralized nature of Bitcoin, but doesn't it seem contrary to our enthusiasm that there are a small number of CENTRALIZED companies which are independently setting the price of each Bitcoin? I'm primarily thinking of Coinbase, but also BitStamp, BTCChina, CampBX, and BTC-E. There is no transparency about how these companies are setting the price of each Bitcoin. In regards to CoinBase, the CEO's background is with Goldman Sachs. That doesn't necessarily scream "honesty and transparency" to me. It should actually cause all of us to run in the other direction, no? Fred Ehrsam still has an ongoing relationship with Goldman Sachs to this day, as he helped co-author their recent paper on Bitcoin. Even in Fred Ehrsam's interview with Kevin Rose, he specifically refused to answer the question about how they set the price of each Bitcoin! He would not answer that question! As we saw with Mt. Gox, they were just arbitrarily setting whatever price they thought would help get them out of their fractional reserve situation. Now granted, the current exchanges seem to be way more professional than Mt. Gox and are probably not operating under a fractional reserve situation, but regardless, the one mystery question remains: How are these companies going about setting the price of each Bitcoin? It's clear that these companies are controlling the price of each Bitcoin. Isn't that completely contrary to the decentralized nature of Bitcoin that we all embrace so overwhelmingly? Shouldn't the price be set by the market instead of these companies? It's particularly odd that the price of one Bitcoin on Coinbase has remained remarkably stable over the last month -- almost down to the penny. Even Apple's stock on the NASDAQ has had more volatility than Bitcoin, which strikes me as extremely peculiar. It's as if Coinbase is simply "testing the waters" with an arbitrary price point, and then holding the price there for now to see what happens. Thoughts?
Do you think that bitcoins will first gain adoption for transaction in low price (high volume) products and high price (low volume) products before moving to the mid price (mid volume) products?
Any new technology typically requires a 10X benefit over existing technology to gain widespread adoption, if there is already a similar product available (example: autonomous cars vs normal cars). Current transaction costs using credit cards of the order of 2-3%. To use bitcoins, currently I think the transaction costs (frictional costs of knowing how to use bitcoins, exchanging USD for bitcoins, getting apps to store your bitcoins, knowing how to store your keys safely, finding merchants who are willing to accept bitcoins) etc are pretty high, way more than 2-3% for a normal transacation. I know that bitcoin transactions are supposed to be free. But from a consumer point of view, even though I maynot be paying in $, I am paying a lot more in time to learn about these new technologies. Potential use cases:
An interesting thing that I learnt today is that at the low price market, the transaction costs are much higher. Fred Ehrsam mentioned here https://youtu.be/22Cr_CD2lJw?t=1408, that for low price transactions the cost of transaction is much higher ~20c for a 1$ transaction, with is 20% of the cost of transaction. So say you buy lots of apps, you could potentially learn about bitcoins and make a killing. Perhaps there is no individual consumer who would buy lots of apps, but say there is a wholeseller of apps, they could buy these apps in bitcoins, and then sell these to end customers in USD.
For very high cost transactions say for 10000$, a 2-3% transaction cost comes down to 200-300$. So I would think that to save on a 200-300$ transaction, people would be willing to learn about the new technologies surrounding bitcoins to save on that transcation cost. Fred also mentions that bitcoin is not necessarily free but has around 1% “net” transaction costs. So you could save around 100-200$ on the above transcation, and more if the price of the product is higher.
Do you think that we will see widespread consumer adoption in these use cases rather than in the mid-segment, where there is neither a lot of volume or a lot of cost savings to justify investing in bitcoins?
Thank you MEW ( MyEtherWallet ) (89 points, 32 comments)
The #2 reason to be invested in Ethereum (87 points, 26 comments)
Which burden do you want to carry: Going to PoS with an anti-Ethereum hacker holding (1)5 % of the Ethers? Or having an anti-principle fork in the history of the network which prevented exactly that? (81 points, 95 comments)
A new Bitcoin crisis: Bitcoin is suffering from a brain drain, accelerating Ethereum's brain gain (71 points, 22 comments)
Fred Ehrsam is the co-founder of Coinbase. Previously, Ehrsam worked as a trader in the Securities Division at Goldman Sachs, and in Portfolio Analytics at BlackRock. He holds a degree in Computer Science from Duke University. Recognition. In 2014, Ehrsam was named one of TIME’s 30 People Under 30 Changing the World. Fred Ehrsam, the co-founder of Coinbase has decided to take a break from the company's day-to-day operations. Read more... Fred Ehrsam: “Investors Put Their Money Where Their Mouth Is By Betting on Bitcoin As a Technology Trend” January 20, 2015 By JP Buntinx Leave a Comment Today’s big news is not about the Bitcoin price for a change, but rather about CoinBase closing a US$75m financing round, the highest amount to date for any Bitcoin start-up company. [ septembre 17, 2020 ] Figure Launches First Digital Fund Services Offering on Blockchain Blockchain [ septembre 17, 2020 ] Bitcoin Daily: Two Spoofed Webites Steal Crypto Bitcoin [ septembre 17, 2020 ] Parents face the anxiety and ripple effects of pandemic schooling as COVID-19 cases inch up Ripple Fred Ehrsam is the co-founder of crypto exchange Coinbase and the co-founder of blockchain-focused venture capital firm Paradigm. Ehrsam started his professional career as a trader for Goldman Sachs.
Bitcoin New ATH!! And why I don't care about Litecoin Price anymore
Bitcoin is the currency of the future. No Banks taking a cut. Educate yourselves and don't let the banks deceive you. If you would like to support this chann... This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue. Watch Queue Queue Interesting interview with Trace er providing Bitcoin price analysis in the light of upcoming block reward halving. 2017. THIS IS AN EXTRACT FROM ORIGINAL VIDEOCLIP THAT CAN BE FOUND. Interesting ... This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue. Watch Queue Queue Coinbase Co-founder Fred Ehrsam break silence on Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin future on platform!! - Duration: 5:55. Kamal Glover 123,825 views. 5:55. Litecoin to $250 & New Litecoin Bitcoin ...