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Meet Brock Pierce, the Presidential Candidate With Ties to Pedophiles Who Wants to End Human Trafficking
thedailybeast.com | Sep. 20, 2020. The “Mighty Ducks” actor is running for president. He clears the air (sort of) to Tarpley Hitt about his ties to Jeffrey Epstein and more. In the trailer for First Kid, the forgettable 1996 comedy about a Secret Service agent assigned to protect the president’s son, the title character, played by a teenage Brock Pierce, describes himself as “definitely the most powerful kid in the universe.” Now, the former child star is running to be the most powerful man in the world, as an Independent candidate for President of the United States. Before First Kid, the Minnesota-born actor secured roles in a series of PG-rated comedies, playing a young Emilio Estevez in The Mighty Ducks, before graduating to smaller parts in movies like Problem Child 3: Junior in Love. When his screen time shrunk, Pierce retired from acting for a real executive role: co-founding the video production start-up Digital Entertainment Network (DEN) alongside businessman Marc Collins-Rector. At age 17, Pierce served as its vice president, taking in a base salary of $250,000. DEN became “the poster child for dot-com excesses,” raising more than $60 million in seed investments and plotting a $75 million IPO. But it turned into a shorthand for something else when, in October of 1999, the three co-founders suddenly resigned. That month, a New Jersey man filed a lawsuit alleging Collins-Rector had molested him for three years beginning when he was 13 years old. The following summer, three teens filed a sexual-abuse lawsuit against Pierce, Collins-Rector, and their third co-founder, Chad Shackley. The plaintiffs later dropped their case against Pierce (he made a payment of $21,600 to one of their lawyers) and Shackley. But after a federal grand jury indicted Collins-Rector on criminal charges in 2000, the DEN founders left the country. When Interpol arrested them in 2002, they said they had confiscated “guns, machetes, and child pornography” from the trio’s beach villa in Spain. While abroad, Pierce had pivoted to a new venture: Internet Gaming Entertainment, which sold virtual accessories in multiplayer online role-playing games to those desperate to pay, as one Wired reporter put it, “as much as $1,800 for an eight-piece suit of Skyshatter chain mail” rather than earn it in the games themselves. In 2005, a 25-year-old Pierce hired then-Goldman Sachs banker Steve Bannon—just before he would co-found Breitbart News. Two years later, after a World of Warcraft player sued the company for “diminishing” the fun of the game, Steve Bannon replaced Pierce as CEO. Collins-Rector eventually pleaded guilty to eight charges of child enticement and registered as a sex offender. In the years that followed, Pierce waded into the gonzo economy of cryptocurrencies, where he overlapped more than once with Jeffrey Epstein, and counseled him on crypto. In that world, he founded Tether, a cryptocurrency that bills itself as a “stablecoin,” because its value is allegedly tied to the U.S. dollar, and the blockchain software company Block.one. Like his earlier businesses, Pierce’s crypto projects see-sawed between massive investments and curious deals. When Block.one announced a smart contract software called EOS.IO, the company raised $4 billion almost overnight, setting an all-time record before the product even launched. The Securities and Exchange Commission later fined the company $24 million for violating federal securities law. After John Oliver mocked the ordeal, calling Pierce a “sleepy, creepy cowboy,” Block.one fired him. Tether, meanwhile, is currently under investigation by the New York Attorney General for possible fraud. On July 4, Pierce announced his candidacy for president. His campaign surrogates include a former Cambridge Analytica director and the singer Akon, who recently doubled down on developing an anonymously funded, $6 billion “Wakanda-like” metropolis in Senegal called Akon City. Pierce claims to be bipartisan, and from the 11 paragraphs on the “Policy” section of his website it can be hard to determine where he falls on the political spectrum. He supports legalizing marijuana and abolishing private prisons, but avoids the phrase “climate change.” He wants to end “human trafficking.” His proposal to end police brutality: body cams. His political contributions tell a more one-sided story. Pierce’s sole Democratic contribution went to the short-lived congressional run of crypto candidate Brian Forde. The rest went to Republican campaigns like Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, John McCain, and the National Right to Life Political Action Committee. Last year alone, Pierce gave over $44,000 to the Republican National Committee and more than $55,000 to Trump’s re-election fund. Pierce spoke to The Daily Beast from his tour bus and again over email. Those conversations have been combined and edited for clarity. You’re announcing your presidential candidacy somewhat late, and historically, third-party candidates haven’t had the best luck with the executive office. If you don’t have a strong path to the White House, what do you want out of the race? I announced on July 4, which I think is quite an auspicious date for an Independent candidate, hoping to bring independence to this country. There’s a lot of things that I can do. One is: I’m 39 years old. I turn 40 in November. So I’ve got time on my side. Whatever happens in this election cycle, I’m laying the groundwork for the future. The overall mission is to create a third major party—not another third party—a third major party in this country. I think that is what America needs most. George Washington in his closing address warned us about the threat of political parties. John Adams and the other founding fathers—their fear for our future was two political parties becoming dominant. And look at where we are. We were warned. I believe, having studied systems, any time you have a system of two, what happens is those two things come together, like magnets. They come into collision, or they become polarized and become completely divided. I think we need to rise above partisan politics and find a path forward together. As Albert Einstein is quoted—I’m not sure the line came from him, but he’s quoted in many places—he said that the definition of insanity is making the same mistake or doing the same thing over and over and over again, expecting a different result. [Ed. note: Einstein never said this.] It feels like that’s what our election cycle is like. Half the country feels like they won, half the country feels like they lost, at least if they voted or participated. Obviously, there’s another late-comer to the presidential race, and that’s Kanye West. He’s received a lot of flak for his candidacy, as he’s openly admitted to trying to siphon votes away from Joe Biden to ensure a Trump victory. Is that something you’re hoping to avoid or is that what you’re going for as well? Oh no. This is a very serious campaign. Our campaign is very serious. You’ll notice I don’t say anything negative about either of the two major political candidates, because I think that’s one of the problems with our political system, instead of people getting on stage, talking about their visionary ideas, inspiring people, informing and educating, talking about problems, mentioning problems, talking about solutions, constructive criticism. That’s why I refuse to run a negative campaign. I am definitely not a spoiler. I’m into data, right? I’m a technologist. I’ve got digital DNA. So does most of our campaign team. We’ve got our finger on the pulse. Most of my major Democratic contacts are really happy to see that we’re running in a red state like Wyoming. Kanye West’s home state is Wyoming. He’s not on the ballot in Wyoming I could say, in part, because he didn’t have Akon on his team. But I could also say that he probably didn’t want to be on the ballot in Wyoming because it’s a red state. He doesn’t want to take additional points in a state where he’s only running against Trump. But we’re on the ballot in Wyoming, and since we’re on the ballot in Wyoming I think it’s safe—more than safe, I think it’s evident—that we are not here to run as a spoiler for the benefit of Donald Trump. In running for president, you’ve opened yourself up to be scrutinized from every angle going back to the beginning of your career. I wanted to ask you about your time at the Digital Entertainment Network. Can you tell me a little bit about how you started there? You became a vice president as a teenager. What were your qualifications and what was your job exactly? Well, I was the co-founder. A lot of it was my idea. I had an idea that people would use the internet to watch videos, and we create content for the internet. The idea was basically YouTube and Hulu and Netflix. Anyone that was around in the ‘90s and has been around digital media since then, they all credit us as the creators of basically those ideas. I was just getting a message from the creator of The Vandals, the punk rock band, right before you called. He’s like, “Brock, looks like we’re going to get the Guinness Book of World Records for having created the first streaming television show.” We did a lot of that stuff. We had 30 television shows. We had the top most prestigious institutions in the world as investors. The biggest names. High-net-worth investors like Terry Semel, who’s chairman and CEO of Warner Brothers, and became the CEO of Yahoo. I did all sorts of things. I helped sell $150,000 worth of advertising contracts to the CEOs of Pepsi and everything else. I was the face of the company, meeting all the major banks and everything else, selling the vision of what the future was. You moved in with Marc Collins-Rector and Chad Shackley at a mansion in Encino. Was that the headquarters of the business? All start-ups, they normally start out in your home. Because it’s just you. The company was first started out of Marc’s house, and it was probably there for the first two or three months, before the company got an office. That’s, like, how it is for all start-ups. were later a co-defendant in the L.A. County case filed against Marc Collins-Rector for plying minors with alcohol and drugs, in order to facilitate sexual abuse. You were dropped from the case, but you settled with one of the men for $21,600. Can you explain that? Okay, well, first of all, that’s not accurate. Two of the plaintiffs in that case asked me if I would be a plaintiff. Because I refused to be a part of the lawsuit, they chose to include me to discredit me, to make their case stronger. They also went and offered 50 percent of what they got to the house management—they went around and offered money to anyone to participate in this. They needed people to corroborate their story. Eventually, because I refused to participate in the lawsuit, they named me. Subsequently, all three of the plaintiffs apologized to me, in front of audiences, in front of many people, saying Brock never did anything. They dismissed their cases. Remember, this is a civil thing. I’ve never been charged with a crime in my life. And the last plaintiff to have his case dismissed, he contacted his lawyer and said, “Dismiss this case against Brock. Brock never did anything. I just apologized. Dismiss his case.” And the lawyer said, “No. I won’t dismiss this case, I have all these out-of-pocket expenses, I refuse to file the paperwork unless you give me my out-of-pocket expenses.” And so the lawyer, I guess, had $21,000 in bills. So I paid his lawyer $21,000—not him, it was not a settlement. That was a payment to his lawyer for his out-of-pocket expenses. Out-of-pocket expenses so that he would file the paperwork to dismiss the case. You’ve said the cases were unfounded, and the plaintiffs eventually apologized. But your boss, Marc Collins-Rector later pleaded guilty to eight charges of child enticement and registered as a sex offender. Were you aware of his behavior? How do you square the fact that later allegations proved to be true, but these ones were not? Well, remember: I was 16 and 17 years old at the time? So, no. I don’t think Marc is the man they made him out to be. But Marc is not a person I would associate with today, and someone I haven’t associated with in a very long time. I was 16 and 17. I chose the wrong business partner. You live and you learn. You’ve pointed out that you were underage when most of these allegations were said to take place. Did you ever feel like you were coerced or in over your head while working at DEN? I mean, I was working 18 hours a day, doing things I’d never done before. It was business school. But I definitely learned a lot in building that company. We raised $88 million. We filed our [form] S-1 to go public. We were the hottest start-up in Los Angeles. In 2000, you left the country with Marc Collins-Rector. Why did you leave? How did you spend those two years abroad? I moved to Spain in 1999 for personal reasons. I spent those two years in Europe working on developing my businesses. Interpol found you in 2002. The house where you were staying reportedly contained guns, machetes, and child pornography. Whose guns and child porn were those? Were you aware they were in the house, and how did those get there? My lawyers have addressed this in 32 pages of documentation showing a complete absence of wrongdoing. Please refer to my webpage for more information. [Ed. Note: The webpage does not mention guns, machetes, or child pornography. It does state:“It is true that when the local police arrested Collins-Rector in Spain in 2002 on an international warrant, Mr. Pierce was also taken into custody, but so was everyone at Collins-Rector’s house in Spain; and it is equally clear that Brock was promptly released, and no charges of any kind were ever filed against Brock concerning this matter.”] What do you make of the allegations against Bryan Singer?[Ed. Note: Bryan Singer, a close friend of Collins-Rector, invested at least $50,000 in DEN. In an Atlantic article outlining Singer’s history of alleged sexual assault and statutory rape, one source claimed that at age 15, Collins-Rector abused him and introduced him to Singer, who then assaulted him in the DEN headquarters.] I am aware of them and I support of all victims of sexual assault. I will let America’s justice system decide on Singer’s outcome.
In 2011, you spoke at the Mindshift conference supported by Jeffrey Epstein. At that point, he had already been convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor. Why did you agree to speak? I had never heard of Jeffrey Epstein. His name was not on the website. I was asked to speak at a conference alongside Nobel Prize winners. It was not a cryptocurrency conference, it was filled with Nobel Prize winners. I was asked to speak alongside Nobel Prize winners on the future of money. I speak at conferences historically, two to three times a week. I was like, “Nobel Prize winners? Sounds great. I’ll happily talk about the future of money with them.” I had no idea who Jeffrey Epstein was. His name was not listed anywhere on the website. Had I known what I know now? I clearly would have never spoken there. But I spoke at a conference that he cosponsored. What’s your connection to the Clinton Global Initiative? Did you hear about it through Jeffrey Epstein? I joined the Clinton Global Initiative as a philanthropist in 2006 and was a member for one year. My involvement with the Initiative had no connection to Jeffrey Epstein whatsoever.
You’ve launched your campaign in Minnesota, where George Floyd was killed by a police officer. How do you feel about the civil uprising against police brutality? I’m from Minnesota. Born and raised. We just had a press conference there, announcing that we’re on the ballot. Former U.S. Senator Dean Barkley was there. So that tells you, when former U.S. Senators are endorsing the candidate, right? [Ed. note: Barkley was never elected to the United States Senate. In November of 2002, he was appointed by then Minnesota Governor Jesse Venture to fill the seat after Sen. Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash. Barkley’s term ended on Jan. 3, 2003—two months later.] Yes, George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis. My vice-presidential running mate Karla Ballard and I, on our last trip to Minnesota together, went to visit the George Floyd Memorial. I believe in law and order. I believe that law and order is foundational to any functioning society. But there is no doubt in my mind that we need reform. These types of events—this is not an isolated incident. This has happened many times before. It’s time for change. We have a lot of detail around policy on this issue that we will be publishing next week. Not just high-level what we think, not just a summary, but detailed policy. You said that you support “law and order.” What does that mean? “Law and order” means creating a fair and just legal system where our number one priority is protecting the inalienable rights of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” for all people. This means reforming how our police intervene in emergency situations, abolishing private prisons that incentivize mass incarceration, and creating new educational and economic opportunities for our most vulnerable communities. I am dedicated to preventing crime by eliminating the socioeconomic conditions that encourage it. I support accountability and transparency in government and law enforcement. Some of the key policies I support are requiring body-cams on all law enforcement officers who engage with the public, curtailing the 1033 program that provides local law enforcement agencies with access to military equipment, and abolishing private prisons. Rather than simply defund the police, my administration will take a holistic approach to heal and unite America by ending mass incarceration, police brutality, and racial injustice. Did you attend any Black Lives Matter protests? I support all movements aimed at ending racial injustice and inequality. I have not attended any Black Lives Matter protests. My running-mate, Karla Ballard, attended the March on Washington in support of racial justice and equality. Your platform doesn’t mention the words “climate change.” Is there a reason for that? I’m not sure what you mean. Our policy platform specifically references human-caused climate change and we have a plan to restabilize the climate, address environmental degradation, and ensure environmental sustainability. [Ed. Note: As of writing the Pierce campaign’s policy platform does not specifically reference human-caused climate change.] You’ve recently brought on Akon as a campaign surrogate. How did that happen? Tell me about that. Akon and I have been friends for quite some time. I was one of the guys that taught him about Bitcoin. I helped make some videogames for him, I think in 2012. We were talking about Bitcoin, teaching him the ropes, back in 2013. And in 2014, we were both speaking at the Milken Global Conference, and I encouraged him to talk about how Bitcoin, Africa, changed the world. He became the biggest celebrity in the world, talking about Bitcoin at the time. I’m an adviser to his Akoin project, very interested in the work that he’s doing to build a city in Africa. I think we need a government that’s of, for, and by the people. Akon has huge political aspirations. He obviously was a hugely successful artist. But he also discovered artists like Lady Gaga. So not only is he, himself, a great artist, but he’s also a great identifier and builder of other artists. And he’s been a great businessman, philanthropist. He’s pushing the limits of what can be done. We’re like-minded individuals in that regard. I think he’ll be running for political office one day, because he sees what I see: that we need real change, and we need a government that is of, for, and by the people. You mentioned that you’re an adviser on Akoin. Do you have any financial investments in Akoin or Akon City? I don’t believe so. I’d have to check. I have so much stuff. But I don’t believe that I have any economic interests in his stuff. I’d have to verify that. We’ll get back to you. I don’t believe that I have any economic interests. My interest is in helping him. He’s a visionary with big ideas that wants to help things in the world. If I can be of assistance in helping him make the world a better place, I’m all for it. I’m not motivated by money. I’m not running for office because I’m motivated by power. I’m running for office because I’m deeply, deeply concerned about our collective future. You’ve said you’re running on a pro-technology platform. One week into your campaign last month, a New York appeals court approved the state Attorney General’s attempt to investigate the stablecoin Tether for potentially fraudulent activity. Do you think this will impact your ability to sell people on your tech entrepreneurship? No, I think my role in Tether is as awesome as it gets. It was my idea. I put it together. But I’ve had no involvement in the company since 2015. I gave all of my equity to the other shareholders. I’ve had zero involvement in the company for almost six years. It was just my idea. I put the initial team together. But I think Tether is one of the most important innovations in the world, certainly. The idea is, I digitized the U.S. dollar. I used technology to digitize currency—existing currency. The U.S. dollar in particular. It’s doing $10 trillion a year. Ten trillion dollars a year of transactional volume. It’s probably the most important innovation in currency since the advent of fiat money. The people that took on the business and ran the business in years to come, they’ve done things I’m not proud of. I’m not sure they’ve done anything criminal. But they certainly did things differently than I would do. But it’s like, you have kids, they turn 18, they go out into the world, and sometimes you’re proud of the things they do, and sometimes you shake your head and go, “Ugh, why did you do that?” I have zero concerns as it relates to me personally. I wish they made better decisions. What do you think the investigation will find? I have no idea. The problem that was raised is that there was a $5 million loan between two entities and whether or not they had the right to do that, did they disclose it correctly. There’s been no accusations of, like, embezzlement or anything that bad. [Ed. Note: The Attorney General’s press release on the investigation reads: “Our investigation has determined that the operators of the ‘Bitfinex’ trading platform, who also control the ‘tether’ virtual currency, have engaged in a cover-up to hide the apparent loss of $850 million dollars of co-mingled client and corporate funds.”] But there’s been some disclosure things, that is the issue. No one is making any outrageous claims that these are people that have done a bunch of bad—well, on the internet, the media has said that the people behind the business may have been manipulating the price of Bitcoin, but I don’t think that has anything to do with the New York investigation. Again, I’m so not involved, and so not at risk, that I’m not even up to speed on the details. [Ed note: A representative of the New York State Attorney General told Forbes that he “cannot confirm or deny that the investigation” includes Pierce.] We’ve recently witnessed the rise of QAnon, the conspiracy theory that Hollywood is an evil cabal of Satanic pedophiles and Trump is the person waging war on them. You mentioned human trafficking, which has become a cause for them. What are your thoughts on that? I’ve watched some of the content. I think it’s an interesting phenomenon. I’m an internet person, so Anonymous is obviously an organization that has been doing interesting stuff. It’s interesting. I don’t have a big—conspiracy theory stuff is—I guess I have a question for you: What do you think of all of it, since you’re the expert? You know, I think it’s not true, but I’m not running for president. I do wonder what this politician [Georgia congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene], who’s just won her primary, is going to do on day one, once she finds out there’s no satanic cabal room. Wait, someone was running for office and won on a QAnon platform, saying that Hollywood did—say what? You’re the expert here. She won a primary. But I want to push on if we only have a few minutes. In 2006, your gaming company IGE brought on Steve Bannon as an investor. Goldman later bought out most of your stock. Bannon eventually replaced you as CEO of Affinity. You’ve described him as your “right-hand man for, like, seven years.” How well did you know Bannon during that time? Yes, so this is in my mid-twenties. He wasn’t an investor. He worked for me. He was my banker. He worked for me for three years as my yield guide. And then he was my CEO running the company for another four years. So I haven’t worked with Steve for a decade or so. We worked in videogame stuff and banking. He was at Goldman Sachs. He was not in the political area at the time. But he was a pretty successful banker. He set up Goldman Sachs Los Angeles. So for me, I’d say he did a pretty good job. During your business relationship, Steve Bannon founded Breitbart News, which has pretty consistently published racist material. How do you feel about Breitbart? I had no involvement with Breitbart News. As for how I feel about such material, I’m not pleased by any form of hate-mongering. I strongly support the equality of all Americans. Did you have qualms about Bannon’s role in the 2016 election? Bannon’s role in the Trump campaign got me to pay closer attention to what he was doing but that’s about it. Whenever you find out that one of your former employees has taken on a role like that, you pay attention. Bannon served on the board of Cambridge Analytica. A staffer on your campaign, Brittany Kaiser, also served as a business director for them. What are your thoughts on their use of illicitly-obtained Facebook data for campaign promotional material? Yes, so this will be the last question I can answer because I’ve got to be off for this 5:00 pm. But Brittany Kaiser is a friend of mine. She was the whistleblower of Cambridge Analytica. She came to me and said, “What do I do?” And I said, “Tell the truth. The truth will set you free.” [Ed. Note: Investigations in Cambridge Analytica took place as early as Nov. 2017, when a U.K. reporter at Channel 4 News recorded their CEO boasting about using “beautiful Ukranian girls” and offers of bribes to discredit political officials. The first whistleblower was Christopher Wylie, who disclosed a cache of documents to The Guardian, published on Mar. 17, 2018. Kaiser’s confession ran five days later, after the scandal made national news. Her association with Cambridge Analytica is not mentioned anywhere on Pierce’s campaign website.] So I’m glad that people—I’m a supporter of whistleblowers, people that see injustice in the world and something not right happening, and who put themselves in harm’s way to stand up for what they believe in. So I stand up for Brittany Kaiser. Who do you think [anonymous inventor of Bitcoin] Satoshi Nakamoto is? We all are Satoshi Nakamoto. You got married at Burning Man. Have you been attending virtual Burning Man? I’m running a presidential campaign. So, while I was there in spirit, unfortunately my schedule did not permit me to attend. OP note: please refer to the original article for reference links within text (as I've not added them here!)
How YFI came out of nowhere to become the fastest coin to reach $1B and the fastest coin to ever get listed on Coinbase
Note: As mentioned to the original 624 Reddit subscribers, there will be $YFI based Exclusive Original Content released here by myself and others from time to time. These kinds of interactive Deep Dives with a Q&A with fellow Investors / Beta Testers right afterwards is a rare thing in Crypto, and will only be found with this level of immediacy, social interaction, permanence, depth, and complexity of analysis and feedback on a platform like Reddit. A lot of projects have low innovation, just copying something that someone else has already done, but with small tweaks to things like variables in Smart Contracts. A few rare projects have genuine innovation, providing genuine value to investors and users by providing attractive new products that simplify a lot of things in this space. Even rarer are the Unicorns that not only have innovation, but they have innovation in spades, oozing out of every pore. $YFI is one of these types of Unicorns. The scope of products and rapidity of release of new revolutionary products of this project has been simply unmatched in the short history of Crypto. Since 2009, the world of crypto has never seen anything like this lightning fast pace of development spanning such a wide scope of products - optimized automated yield farming and lending that relentlessly hunts the best yields, crypto insurance on Smart Contracts, a revolutionary Stablecoin idea that essentially makes a USD altcoin "smart" with built-in yield farming capabilities for the first time, to name a few - all built by a genius Smart Contract Builder who provided the world the first Fair Launch token. Key to wrapping your head around the advantages that the yEarn Finance ecosystem has over - well, every single other option out there at this time - are the concepts below:
CeFi vs. DeFi
Smart Contract Stacking
The power of a Talented and Diverse DAO
To discuss these concepts, and to educate beginners, we have to understand what the terms above truly mean. This post doesn't discuss any particular products and their advantages, only the systemic advantages that are available only to $YFI. This project seems to attract the smartest and the highest risk taking of crypto investors, and an important thing in truly understanding all of the risks involved, is that you have to know the terms and concepts first. Even veteran crypto and DeFi users may be thrown for a loop by some of the innovative products and concepts that keep coming out of the YFI Labs. This project is going through an expansion phase, where the scope of everything and the reach of the various released products is increasing (Insurance, A truly pegged Stablecoin, yETH Version 2, ySwap, yLiquidate, etc, etc..) You know that there's some motherforker or twenty that is now just avidly waiting for every piece of code that Andre drops onto GitHub, so that they can be among the first to copy it verbatim then claim it as "their own variation" because they changed some variables and titles. Yawn. From the definitive glossary for the DeFi space - yet another $YFI innovation - I'll list their definitions below. These may not be their final definitions when I finish any V1.1 edits to it, but they're good enough for now, and at least 3 or more YFI Dev Team members have read, reviewed, or edited these definitions. I've also invited my fellow Beta testers to provide comments to my RFC on this subreddit and in the Governance forum (among the documentation volunteers). Yes, this is how early DeFi investors are in the development and maturation of the DeFi space. Anyone reading this right now is so early into DeFi's evolution that the terms used for this space are literally still being finalized by the community. I've given a little bit of a sneak peek into how technical documentation is somehow self-organized in a powerful DAO such as this one. In this example, it starts off with a call for help on Twitter to improve our documentation by tracheopteryx. Interested and qualified volunteers show up (or don't) when such a call is made. Your writers and editors have spent many a moment pondering off into space debating whether this term really means this or that, or if the term was either succinctly described, or fully sufficient. It's a usually thankless and anonymous job, that is critical in providing enough relevant information to its users and investors. [Note: Just like anything you see related to the $YFI project: You can help us improve this documentation - any of it - if you see errors or better ways of describing this information.] All terms are shamelessly plagiarized from myself and my fellow writeeditors - u/tracheopteryx and Franklin - from the draft definitions in our new DeFi glossary: https://docs.yearn.finance/defi-glossary 1. CeFi vs. DeFi CeFi - Centralized Finance. In terms of cryptocurrency, CeFi is represented by centralized cryptocurrency exchanges, businesses or organizations with a physical address, and usually with some sort of corporate structure. These CeFi businesses must follow all applicable laws, rules, and regulations in each country, state, or region in which they operate. DeFi - DeFi, or Decentralized Finance, is at its root a set of Smart Contracts running independently on blockchains such as the Ethereum network. Smart Contracts may or may not interact with other smart contracts and even other blockchains. The goal of DeFi is to enhance profitability of investors in DeFi through automated smart contracts seeking to maximize yields for invested funds. DeFi is marked by rapid innovative progression and testing of new ideas and concepts. DeFi often involves high risk investing sometimes involving smart contracts that have not been audited or even thoroughly reviewed (a review is not as comprehensive as an audit, but may be also be included as part of an audit). Due to this and other reasons, DeFi is conventionally considered to be more risky than CeFi or traditional investing. Comment: DeFi is higher risk, partly because it moves so fast. A lot of yams, hot dogs, and sushi can get lost when you move so fast that you can't even bother to do a thorough audit before releasing code. The cream of the crop projects will all have had multiple audits done by multiple independent auditors. Auditors are expensive. At such an embryonic stage, most projects can't afford to have one audit done let alone 5. But if you can live with that higher risk intrinsic in DeFi and be willing to be a part of "testing in prod," then financial innovation can truly blossom. And if you let your best and brightest members of your community focus only on doing what they do best, then they don't have to bother to try to grow a business like a Bezos, Musk, or a Zuckerberg. Innovative entrepreneurs in this mold such as Andre, don't have to even try to do this business growth on their own because the DAO sets it up so that they don't have to do this.The DAO both grows the business while supporting and allowing these innovators to simply innovate, instead of trying to get nerds to do backroom deals to gain market share and access to new customers. It turns out that nerds are much more productive when you just let them be a nerd in their labs.
Composability - The measure of the usability and ability of a product to be used as a building block (or "money lego") in the construction of other products or domains. A protocol that is simple, powerful, and that functions well with other protocols would be considered to have high composability. Comment: The maturity of the cryptocurrency ecosystem and the evolution of composable building tools in the DeFi space now make new products and concepts available. $YFI would not have been possible only 2 or 3 years ago; the tools and ecosystem simply weren't ready for it yet. This is why only now are you and many other now hearing about YFI. In 2018, Andre began providing free code reviews to Crypto Briefing. Andre had to learn to walk before he could run, and the composable tools needed to work on embryonic ideas in his head were simply not ready or available then. By reading and reviewing so many Smart Contracts he learned to recognize good code from bad code at what was still a very early stage in Smart Contract development in 2018, only 3 years after ETH's launch in July 2015.
Smart Contract Stacking
Smart Contracts - A digital contract that is programmed in a language that is considered Turing complete, meaning that with enough processing power and time, a properly programmed Smart Contract should be able to use its code base and logical algorithms to perform almost any digital task or process. Ethereum's programming languages, such as Solidity and Vyper, are Turing complete. Comment: Smart Contracts have actually gotten smarter since ETH launched in July 2015. It's because Smart Contract builders needed to learn Solidity and how it functions and interoperates before they could spread their wings as designers. With more time and experience under their belts, the early SC builders that stuck to it have gotten much better. In Andre Cronje, we may have been witness to the rise of the next Satoshi or Vitalik of crypto. There is a reason that a couple of days ago, I counted 6 of 41 YF clones - nearly 15% - among the top gainers on the day. Success breeds copycats showing a ton of flattery. A smart contract is so smart, it can be used to be stacked upon other smart contracts such as at Aave or Maker. True innovation takes time, sacrifice, blood, sweat, and tears. It does not come without cost to those doing the innovating. There is not a single project in DeFi, CeFi, or even all of cryptocurrency that can claim the breadth and diversity of innovation and product reach that is found in the $YFI ecosystem. As a tech investor and professional nerd who's been involved at Research Labs and around product development and testing since before the year 2000. Prior to that I've ready widely and keenly to keep up with technological changes and assess investment potential in these disruptive changes nearly my whole life. The amount of innovation shown in this project is breathtaking if you're a Tech or FinTech researcher. It's being released at a ridiculously rapid pace that is simply unmatched in any private or government research lab anywhere, let alone at any CeFi or traditional financial institution one can name. The only comparable levels of innovation shown by this young project is typically only seen during periods of epochal changes such as The Renaissance or times of strife and war, such as World War II. Unless you've been in the industry and working with coders:I don't think those that haven't been around software development and testing can understand, can truly grasp that no one, no group does this.This isn't normal. This rapid-fire release of truly innovative code and intelligent strategies would have to be comparable to some of the greatest creative periods of human ingenuity and creativity. It's truly on par with periods of brilliance seen by thinkers like Newton, Einstein and Tesla, except with software code and concepts in decentralized finance. When the history of FinTech writes this chapter in its history, $YFI may need its own section or chapter. Don't forget all of these financial instruments we take for granted all around us, all had a simple start somewhere, whether it was an IOU system of credit, insurance, stocks, bonds, derivatives, futures, options, and so on...they all started off as an idea somewhere that had to get tested sooner or later "in production." One brilliant aspect of $YFI Smart Contracts is that they're built as a profitable layer atop existing DeFi protocols, extracting further value from base crypto assets and even primary crypto derivatives. $YFI is built atop existing smart contracts to create further value where there was none before, and help maximize gains for long term investors.
The Power of a Talented and Diverse DAO
DAO - Distributed Autonomous Organization. The first DAO was started in 2016. According to Wikipedia's definition, it is an: "organization represented by rules encoded as a computer program that is transparent, controlled by the organization members and not influenced by a central government. A DAO's financial transaction record and program rules are maintained on a blockchain." When implemented well, a DAO allows for real world experiments in decentralized democratic organization and control, with more freedom of action and less regulatory oversight for DAO controlled projects and products when compared to legacy corporate structures and organizations. Comment: yEarn Finance has shown us what a properly motivated and sufficiently powerful DAO can do in a short amount of time. There's many reasons why this project with an already profitable business model is the fastest original project in history to ever reach a $1B marketcap in any market - traditional or crypto - accomplishing this amazing feat in less than two months. There's reasons why this is probably the fastest coin in history to get listed on Coinbase in less than 2 months. The power of a sufficiently talented and diverse development team and community is stunning in its power, speed, and ability to get things done quickly. There are risks aplenty with parts of this project, but $YFI is now seen as a "safe" place in DeFi, because you know you that as far as yield farming you probably couldn't do it better yourself unless you took a chance on unaudited code with anonymous Devs, or you were doing the trading equivalent of throwing darts blindfolded and somehow won, except that you even more improbably kept doing that over and over and winning. Summary: There's reasons why YFI has been called the Bitcoin of DeFi and the Berkshire Hathaway Series A of crypto. I've listed some of the reasons above. The confluence of these 4 factors has helped lead to explosive growth for this project. This isn't financial advice as I'm not a financial pro but make no mistake: as a Crypto OG around crypto since early 2013, who was deeply involved in multiple community projects as an early organizer, and who was a small investor during the DotCom era investing in early giants that went on to be gorillas, I don't say this lightly that the $YFI project is lightning in a bottle and a diamond in the rough. What $YFI allows, when all is said and done, is the rapid fire implementation of great ideas that have gone through a rapid Darwinian evolution, where only the best ideas are implemented. Thoughts and ideas are powerful things. The valuation of this coin and ecosystem has to, itmusttake into account that this nascent financial innovation hub and ecosystem actually works and allows the best of these ideas to actually blossom rapidly. You just don't find too many gems like this.
February — The first ever cryptocurrency exchange, Bitcoin Market, is established. The first trade takes place a month later. April — The first public bitcoin trade takes place: 1000BTC traded for $30 at an exchange rate of 0.03USD/1BTC May — The first real-world bitcoin transaction is undertaken by Laszlo Hanyecz, who paid 10000BTC for two Papa John’s pizzas (Approximately $25 USD) June — Bitcoin developer Gavin Andreson creates a faucet offering 5 free BTC to the public July — First notable usage of the word “blockchain” appears on BitcoinTalk forum. Prior to this, it was referred to as ‘Proof-of-Work chain’ July — Bitcoin exchange named Magic The Gathering Online eXchange—also known as Mt. Gox—established August —Bitcoin protocol bug leads to emergency hard fork December — Satoshi Nakamoto ceases communication with the world
January — One-quarter of the eventual total of 21M bitcoins have been generated February — Bitcoin reaches parity for the first time with USD April — Bitcoin reaches parity with EUR and GBP June — WikiLeaks begins accepting Bitcoin donations June — Mt. Gox hacked, resulting in suspension of trading and a precipitous price drop for Bitcoin August — First Bitcoin Improvement Proposal: BIP Purpose and Guidelines October — Litecoin released December — Bitcoin featured as a major plot element in an episode of ‘The Good Wife’ as 9.45 million viewers watch.
May — Bitcoin Magazine, founded by Mihai Alisie and Vitalik Buterin, publishes first issue July — Government of Estonia begins incorporating blockchain into digital ID efforts September — Bitcoin Foundation created October — BitPay reports having over 1,000 merchants accepting bitcoin under its payment processing service November — First Bitcoin halving to 25 BTC per block
February — Reddit begins accepting bitcoins for Gold memberships March — Cyprus government bailout levies bank accounts with over $100k. Flight to Bitcoin results in major price spike. May —Total Bitcoin value surpasses 1 billion USD with 11M Bitcoin in circulation May — The first cryptocurrency market rally and crash takes place. Prices rise from $13 to $220, and then drop to $70 June — First major cryptocurrency theft. 25,000 BTC is stolen from Bitcoin forum founder July — Mastercoin becomes the first project to conduct an ICO August — U.S. Federal Court issues opinion that Bitcoin is a currency or form of money October — The FBI shuts down dark web marketplace Silk Road, confiscating approximately 26,000 bitcoins November — Vitalik Buterin releases the Ethereum White Paper: “A Next-Generation Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platform” December — The first commit to the Ethereum codebase takes place
January — Vitalik Buterin announces Ethereum at the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami February — HMRC in the UK classifies Bitcoin as private money March — Newsweek claims Dorian Nakamoto is Bitcoin creator. He is not April — Gavin Wood releases the Ethereum Yellow Paper: “Ethereum: A Secure Decentralised Generalised Transaction Ledger” June — Ethereum Foundation established in Zug, Switzerland June — US Marshals Service auctions off 30,000 Bitcoin confiscated from Silk Road. All are purchased by venture capitalist Tim Draper July — Ethereum token launch raises 31,591 BTC ($18,439,086) over 42 days September — TeraExchange launches first U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission approved Bitcoin over-the-counter swap October — ConsenSys is founded by Joe Lubin December — By year’s end, Paypal, Zynga, u/, Expedia, Newegg, Dell, Dish Network, and Microsoft are all accepting Bitcoin for payments
January — Coinbase opens up the first U.S-based cryptocurrency exchange February — Stripe initiates bitcoin payment integration for merchants April — NASDAQ initiates blockchain trial June — NYDFS releases final version of its BitLicense virtual currency regulations July — Ethereum’s first live mainnet release—Frontier—launched. August — Augur, the first token launch on the Ethereum network takes place September — R3 consortium formed with nine financial institutions, increases to over 40 members within six months October — Gemini exchange launches, founded by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss November — Announcement of first zero knowledge proof, ZK-Snarks December — Linux Foundation establishes Hyperledger project
January — Zcash announced February — HyperLedger project announced by Linux Foundation with thirty founding members March — Second Ethereum mainnet release, Homestead, is rolled out. April — The DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) launches a 28-day crowdsale. After one month, it raises an Ether value of more than US$150M May — Chinese Financial Blockchain Shenzhen Consortium launches with 31 members June — The DAO is attacked with 3.6M of the 11.5M Ether in The DAO redirected to the attacker’s Ethereum account July — The DAO attack results in a hard fork of the Ethereum Blockchain to recover funds. A minority group rejecting the hard fork continues to use the original blockchain renamed Ethereum Classic July — Second Bitcoin halving to 12.5BTC per block mined November — CME Launches Bitcoin Price Index
January — Bitcoin price breaks US$1,000 for the first time in three years February — Enterprise Ethereum Alliance formed with 30 founding members, over 150 members six months later March — Multiple applications for Bitcoin ETFs rejected by the SEC April — Bitcoin is officially recognized as currency by Japan June — EOS begins its year-long ICO, eventually raising $4 billion July — Parity hack exposes weaknesses in multisig wallets August — Bitcoin Cash forks from the Bitcoin Network October — Ethereum releases Byzantium soft fork network upgrade, part one of Metropolis September — China bans ICOs October — Bitcoin price surpasses $5,000 USD for the first time November — Bitcoin price surpasses $10,000 USD for the first time December — Ethereum Dapp Cryptokitties goes viral, pushing the Ethereum network to its limits
January — Ethereum price peaks near $1400 USD March — Google bans all ads pertaining to cryptocurrency March — Twitter bans all ads pertaining to cryptocurrency April — 2018 outpaces 2017 with $6.3 billion raised in token launches in the first four months of the year April — EU government commits $300 million to developing blockchain projects June — The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission states that Ether is not a security. July — Over 100,000 ERC20 tokens created August — New York Stock Exchange owner announces Bakkt, a federally regulated digital asset exchange October — Bitcoin’s 10th birthday November — VC investment in blockchain tech surpasses $1 billion December — 90% of banks in the US and Europe report exploration of blockchain tech
January — Coinstar machines begin selling cryptocurrency at grocery stores across the US February — Ethereum’s Constantinople hard fork is released, part two of Metropolis April — Bitcoin surpasses 400 million total transactions June — Facebook announces Libra July — United States senate holds hearings titled ‘Examining Regulatory Frameworks for Digital Currencies and Blockchain” August — Ethereum developer dominance reaches 4x that of any other blockchain October — Over 80 million distinct Ethereum addresses have been created September — Santander bank settles both sides of a $20 million bond on Ethereum November — Over 3000 Dapps created. Of them, 2700 are built on Ethereum
What can the earlier days of Bitcoin teach us about holding Ethereum?
Recently, I was thinking back to my first exposure to crypto, after talking with a couple of my coworkers who shared their own, more recent experience with me. It was late 2013 when I first bought BTC, but I had heard about Bitcoin a couple of years earlier. I thought the idea of internet money that nobody controlled sounded like a scam, so I stayed clear. I couldn't really understand the value proposition and didn't take the time to understand how it works (hindsight is 20/20). That started to change in early 2013. I learned much more about Bitcoin, which at the time was the only blockchain of any consequence, and began to understand the trustless nature of this revolutionary technology and how it would change the world. But what drew me in was the price. For those of you who weren't around then, it's worth taking a minute to open up that chart on Coinbase and see what that bump was in the grand scheme of things. See what now looks like a relatively little blip there in late 2013? That was when Bitcoin went roughly 10x in a month- from a $100 valuation to a $1000 valuation. I signed up for a Coinbase account shortly before Thanksgiving. Over that Thanksgiving, I spent the whole holiday / weekend talking to my family about how revolutionary this technology was- and wow, were they confused and unable to fathom it. To me, it seemed so obvious. Price increases have a way of "revealing" unassailable logic in situations like these. It took a while for Coinbase to approve my account, but I could hardly wait for that. I was on eBay, seeing if I could buy Casascius Coins. They were appealing to me at the time, because they merged an asset that was completely virtual with something that was tangible. My brain had still not fully accepted paying so much money for something that "didnt' exist" in real life. But the speculation was soaring so high on those coins (double the BTC value or more) that I decided to pass. Soon thereafter, I finally got access to Coinbase and bought my first Bitcoin for around $900. And then the price dropped, and it kept dropping. But I kept on buying, knowing that this is how asset markets worked. The price was going down, but for something this revolutionary, it would have to eventually go back up...at least that's what I was hoping. I bought all the way down to prices in the low $400s. And then in June 2014, I abruptly sold them all, at a sizable net loss. Why did I do that? What was going through my mind to make such a rash decision? Well, open that chart back up. The price had cratered down into the $230s and seemed to be stuck at these new lows- it was a winter that started earlier in that year and never ended. And the Mt Gox debacle was completely soul crushing and I really felt that my hopes for the success of a decentralized currency were completely dashed. And back then, there were no other alt coins to FOMO into. It was Bitcoin or (mostly) nothing. Besides, I had a major home purchase underway and decided that my money was better going into that rather than holding Bitcoin. In hindsight, I sold at what turned out to be the close to the bottom of Bitcoin. And then just look at that chart. A slow and steady increase over years, with $1000 only being reached again in March of this year. And as we enter Thanksgiving 4 years later, some of you are going to have these same conversations with your own families about Ethereum. I can tell you what some of them are going to say: "Internet money? I wouldn't invest in something like that. Who controls it? Isn't this just for criminals?" "Smart contracts? Even if they do work, what's the point of having them when you have regular contracts? And why does XYZ service even need to be decentralized?" "This whole thing sounds like a bubble. I hope you don't have much money in this..." So what does all of this teach us about holding Ethereum?
For many of your friends and family next week, it will be the first time they've heard of concepts like smart contracts or even cryptocurrency in any depth, but if Bitcoin is our teacher, it won't be the last. Take the time to explain it, but don't be pushy about it. Plant the seed, walk away, and send articles to them over the course of the next year.
Bitcoin's $1000 moment reminds me of ETH's $420 moment. Many new buyers FOMO'ed in and are still waiting for their returns, with many likely abandoning the path along the way. Most of the actual buyers of Bitcoin in 2013 then were "nerds" who were fascinated by the technology because they were among the few who took the time to understand it and felt comfortable putting large amounts of money into something on the internet. I would suggest that most recent ETH buyers are still in this "nerd" territory, without real mainstream understanding of what it is.
We are in what seems like a "long winter," with ETH stagnant at around $300. But it is unlikely our next big run will take 4 years to develop. I'm thinking a period of 3 to 12 months. The space isn't what it used to be, with massive institutional money coming and a very vibrant and mainstream-accepted development community. Those among you who were smart bought every token they could during the July depression. If that happens again, you know what to do.
Even if we had another Mt Gox style event (I won't name any exchanges or pegged tokens), it would probably not have the same impact as Mt Gox had. The system is much more diverse and resilient against such events now. There would be a drop, but it would be (hopefully) short lived.
If you just hold long enough, the price is very likely to go up. Possibly substantially up. Maybe even life changing amounts up. You understand the technology and the potential. Don't doubt yourself on your original thesis, like I did with Bitcoin a few years ago. The future picture for ETH has only gotten better in recent months.
So learn from Bitcoin, and don't screw this up for yourselves by taking rash actions- driven by impatience or outsized greed. I am not always one for hyperbole, but I am not exaggerating when I say that you may honestly regret it for the rest of your life.
My 5 Favorite Coins Under $5 Million Market Cap and Why - Full Analysis
*Note: This article was copied from my medium article and then formatted for Reddit. For the best reading experience please read on medium. However, I wanted to format it for reddit so people could read it here on Reddit if they preferred. *
In this article, I will be sharing with you my 5 favorite coins that are currently sitting under a $5 million market cap. Before we get into things, I first want to cover all of my bases and say this is not investment advice. Please do your own research before making any investments. The coins I will be sharing are much riskier investments, so make sure to #DYOR.
Please keep in mind that these are all very risky investments and are not your $100 million + projects. These are high risk and high reward projects that will require you to do your own research. These investments aren't for everybody, but I wanted to share with you my thoughts on these coins.
Please follow me on Twitter for more updates, articles, and my thoughts on various other crypto related topics.
1. EquiTrader (EQT): $3.6 Million Market Cap
This is my favorite project that is currently under a $5 million market cap. EquiTrader is a social platform for traders where they can share their ideas and get rewarded by the community. EQT comes equipped with trading charts, indicators, trading tools and other features which will make it easy to make technical analysis. You will also have the ability to shadow other traders and make automatic trades based on what they do.
Why I Like EquiTrader
There are a lot of reasons why I’m bullish on EQT, the main ones our outlined below:
Perfect Product for Crypto
Having a social platform where traders can share their investment analysis and then get rewarded is a perfect concept for this market. I think that a lot of the major crypto influencers will get on this platform and utilize it, which will then in turn help EQT get bigger. Once the platform is up and running the “crypto OGs” will do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to marketing because it benefits them too. I’m a big fan of any crypto project where their main audience is the crypto market. This is an easy foot in the door and will allow the project to gain traction much quicker. I think EQT will do this as well.
Recently Acquired by a Major Crypto Influencer
It was recently announced that EquiTrader was acquired by Aluna.Social, which is a company owned by Alvin Lee (https://twitter.com/onemanatatime). Having a big player behind the platform will be extremely beneficial once the platform is launched and he can start promoting it. Plus this adds a lot of credibility behind the project as well. I’m a BIG fan of this news.
Many Upcoming Catalysts on Roadmap
Public release of the EQT platform is planned for Q4 of this year and I’d expect a lot of traction to start at this point. In Q1 of 2018 they will release the iOS and Android apps, Q2 the beta of the social trading platform will be released (huge news) and then in Q3 the social trading platform will be released to the public. We have at least a whole year of upcoming catalysts that will all have a major impact on the price.
Currently Only Trading on Coin Exchange
At this point you can only buy EQT on Coinexchange.io. It was listed on Cryptopia previously but when they did a coin swap they were removed. Why is this a good thing? The EQT team is in discussion with Cryptopia to be added now that the swap has been completed. Once this happens I’d expect a major pump. This will happen very soon so the major discount that EQT is currently trading at probably won’t last long.
Proof of Stake: 30% per Year Returns
As mentioned above, they recently did a coin swap and went from a PoW chain to a PoS one where you can get 30% annual returns from staking. This is an awesome return. I have already seen some great returns from staking.
What I Don’t Like
The biggest complaint I have about EQT is the small issue and delay they have had doing the coin swap. Before the coin swap they told everyone to move their coins to CoinExchange.io and the swap would happen automatically, which worked great for those who followed the instructions. However, there are a lot of people that didn’t do this and now they are having to manually swap these coins. This has caused a long delay in terms of being relisted on Cryptopia, which in turn has hurt the price. This isn’t a huge deal, but it is a small complaint I have.
With a lot of catalysts on the roadmap until 2019, the potential of EquiTrader is hard to predict. However, I think a 10x from here, which would make the market cap only $34 million, is a very real possibility within 3 months. Even after a 10x, I still think it could get closer to $75 million before it would be getting close to what I think it should be valued at. As you can see, I think there is a lot of room for EQT to grow and I’m expecting it to do just that.
2. Hush (HUSH): $1.1 Million Market Cap
Hush is a very, very close second when it comes to my top 5 favorite projects under $5 million market cap. This project might have the most potential out of all of the coins in this list too. Hush is an anonymous coin that utilizes the Zerocash protocol that is forked from Zcash. There are quite a few Zcash forks out there, but this is the best one in my opinion (and the cheapest). It is a fairly new coin that launched in July 2017 so there have only been a few months worth of development.
Why I Like Hush
There is a lot to like about Hush and the reasons are explained below.
One of the Best Anon Coins
Hush is a fork of Zcash but without the founders reward, which is the only major knock of Zcash. So without the founders reward it becomes a top notch anon coin tech wise. There are other Zcash forks out there, but none of them are sitting at this low of a market cap, which creates a huge opportunity for Hush. A very similar coin to Hush is ZenCash, which currently sits at a $14 million market cap, is another Zcash fork without some of the features of Hush. Combine all of this with the major pump all anon coins have been going through lately and Hush is looking prime.
One of the members of the Zcash dev team, David Mercer, is now the lead dev for Hush. This is huge. Not only is he the lead dev but he is also working full time on Hush, which means all of the promised features on the roadmap will have a good shot at being completed. Along with the lead dev, there are 6 total team members. The size and talent on this team is practically unheard for a coin with such a small market cap. This is a major reason for me being bullish. I know that this team will get things done, which is all you can ask from a team.
Counterparty on Hush
This is the biggest reason I like Hush so much. They are planning on porting Counterparty to Hush and this will allow people to create Counterparty based assets with the security of Hush. They are also planning on having these assets being compatible with Ethereum smart contracts. These are killer features that make Hush a unique project.
Only Trading on Cryptopia
At this moment the only place to purchase HUSH is on Cryptopia. The Hush team has confirmed they have been in contact with Bittrex and I don’t think it’ll be long before they are added. Take advantage of it being only on Cryptopia before it gets added to other exchanges, once that happens the price is going to take off.
What I Don’t Like
The major knock on Hush is their marketing. They are not putting much effort into spreading awareness. Their reasoning behind this is that they feel like they don’t have a finished product to market yet and that good tech will eventually win out. I like seeing a team that prides themselves on the tech of their project, but at some point they are going to have to start marketing it. Marketing plays a huge role in crypto. With all of that being said, I’m not complaining because it gives me more time to accumulate at these low prices. The only way people find Hush is from actually doing their own research. You won’t find it being shilled much on twitter because no one really knows about it. This will probably be changing in the near future.
The $1.1 million market cap it is currently sitting at is almost funny. I can’t believe it is so low. This coin should be sitting at an easy $10 million market cap SOLELY based off of what the project currently is. Factor in some of the upcoming features such as the Counterparty port and a standalone HUSH messenger and I think Hush could be worth at least $50 million in 6–12 months, if not higher. The reason I say it could be higher is because of the dev team. I’m very confident in the team and believe that in 12 months from now they will be working on features that will blow the current features out of the water.
3. Tokes (TKS): $1.8 Million Market Cap
Coming in at 3rd in my top 5 is a coin called Tokes. I’m a big fan and this is one of my long term plays that I think will be worth a ton in a few years time. This isn’t going to be a 10x coin in 2 months, but in 2 years it very well may be a 100x coin. Keep that in mind while reading. Tokes is a Waves based asset that is geared towards the marijuana business. They are looking to help businesses handle their money and provide a better payment solution for both consumers and businesses. They are also doing a few other really interesting things in this space and I will explain why I like Tokes in the next section.
Why I Like Tokes
Tokes is a coin based around the marijuana business, but it does much more than the other pot coins out there. Tokes is looking to actually solve real world issues in the marijuana business and has partnerships with major players in their area. I will touch more on all of these things, but I want to make ti clear this isn’t just a “pot currency”.
Provides a Fiat Gateway
A major issue for marijuana businesses is that they are forced to operate as a cash-only business due to the federal laws that make banks not want to work with them. This is a major problem within the cannabis industry and Tokes is trying to solve this by creating a fiat gateway. Tokes allows for cash to be converted to TKS and vice versa so that it can stored electronically without the need to carry cash around. They also offer no fiat volatility risk because of their pegging system. This means that the $100,000 of cash they turn into TKS will remain $100,000 when they withdraw it. This is a major issue that is being solved by Tokes and gives their project immediate value and use cases. Keep in mind that this is something they are working on implementing and hasn’t actually been developed yet.
Major Partnerships Secured
Tokes is located in Las Vegas, where marijuana laws are some of the most lenient, and they have been hard at work building relationships and partnerships with the marijuana businesses in that area. Some of their partnerships are as follows:
Pisos: A dispensary in Vegas that is their first partner in their pilot program Herbology Tours: Tokes purchased a 10% ownership stake in this company. More on this in a minute. Cannabis Delivery Startup in California: Payment integration into their mobile app
Tokes purchased a 10% ownership stake in a Las Vegas cannabis tourism company and this has a couple of really cool benefits. First, it gives Tokes a foot in the door with a marijuana company where they can start integrating and testing their system. Second, it’s a great way to get their name out there and start spreading awareness. This will go a long way to help both consumer and business adoption. The last major benefit of this ownership stake is that they will get 10% of all of the revenue from Herbology Tours, which will be used to help grow Tokes. This revenue will also be used as a way to potentially buy and burn coins (more in the next section).
Revenue Used to Burn Coins
Tokes plans on getting into other aspects of the marijuana business and portions of this revenue will possibly be used to buy and then burn the coins, thus decreasing the supply. The revenue that they generate from their 10% ownership stake in Herbology Tours will also be used to burn coins. Im a big fan of coins that burn their own supply and the markets go crazy when this happens (See $TRIG and $DAR). It’s worth noting that they are planning on burning coins with revenue, but it is not 100% concrete yet.
Their roadmap extends all the way into Q4 of 2018, which is good to see. There are also a lot of good things to look forward to and a lot of catalyst that should help the price increase along the way. Check out the roadmap here
What I Don’t Like
The biggest issue I have with Tokes is their supply problem they have. Currently, there are only around 960k in circulation out of the total supply of 50 million (according to Coin Market Cap). The founders currently own the remaining ~40 million tokens. The good news is they are actively trying to solve this issue and release these tokens in a way that won’t hurt the price. One of the main ways they hope to remedy this situation is by putting all of the tokens in a smart contract and distributing it during a 3 year period. You can read more about their plans here.
I’m not a big fan of the current supply issues, but I think the founders are on the ball on this issue and will figure it our without too many problems. Investment Potential I really like the fact that Tokes solves a real issue by providing a store of value for cannabis businesses and allowing them to move away from cash only operations. This has so much value. Combine that with their current partnerships, pilot program and their upcoming roadmap and Tokes looks like a real good long term investment.
Where Tokes could really see their value skyrocket is after they get a foothold in Las Vegas and establish their name in the cannabis industry, they will be the first company other cannabis companies call once their states become legal. Like I mentioned before, this is a longer term play but could be huge in a few years time. In the short term, I think they could easily get to ~$25 million just based off of continuing to lock in partnerships, releasing their mobile app and solving their supply issues.
4. SmartCash (SMART): $2.5 Million Market Cap
Coming in at 4th on my list is SmartCash. SmartCash is a fork of Zcoin, but it has a some of the same features as Dash along with a few unqiue twists that makes this coin very undervalued. The coin itself was started less than 3 months ago, so the project itself is still very new.
Why I Like SmartCash
Any anon coins right now that haven’t pumped yet are of interest to me. It seems like everyday a new anon coin is pumping and the fact that SmartCash hasn’t yet is appealing. Not only has the coin not pumped yet, but it has a super small market cap and is a better coin than the majority of the other anon coins out there. Aside from it being an anon coin, the following reasons are why I like this project.
Insane Staking with SmartRewards
This is a major reason for this coin being in my top 5. They have a cool feature called SmartRewards which is a way for people that hold their coins in their wallet to get rewarded. The only requirements are that you must have at least 1000 coins and hold them for at least a month, starting on the 25th of each month. For example, you transfer 5,000 coins on September 16th then you would be rewarded on October 25th. Since this coin is so new, there has only been one completed round of payouts so far. During this first round each person eligible made 400% returns. Example, if you had 1,000 coins in there then you would have been paid 4,000 coins!
400% is insane and for this second round of payouts things are a little less extreme. At the time of writing this (halfway through the month) the current estimated payout is going to be 37%, still not bad at all! This numbers goes up as the month goes on and less addresses become eligible. The reason for the drop off is because there are more eligible addresses than the first round. These rewards are funded by taking 15% of all of the coins mined from each block and then on the 25th of each month are distributed to addresses that hold at least 1000 coins. Not only are the returns very good, but this is also a great strategy to lock up coins and keep the price from dropping too much. SmartRewards is a huge reason for me being in this coin and I think it will be very popular once more people find out about it.
Great Funding System I’m a big fan of their funding system and how they split the block reward. Their funding structure is as follows:
Of the 80% allocated to the community, 70% of it goes to the community treasury and 30% of it goes to funding the team. I like the reversed model they have of paying the community the bulk of the rewards and the miners the least. I think this is a good way to get people involved and help grow the coin via community funded projects.
Governance System With a large chunk of all coins mined going towards community treasury it gives the community a lot of coins to use on various proposals that will be voted on by the community. These proposals can be pretty much anything helping the coin grow and the community gets to determine if it is a good idea or not. Each vote is equal to 1 smart cash.
As of writing this, there have been 3 community proposals that have been funded. Those 3 include:
Venezuela Food + Marketing Campaign: 2.8 million SmartCash
As the community gets larger, I’d expect the number and quality of proposals to improve and then we will really get to see the benefits of this funding system.
Instant Transactions via InstantPay
This is a feature that is going to be implemented in the near future and would allow for near instant transactions. This is crucial to have if you are trying to be a coin that is used for everyday purchases, which SmartCash is trying to do.
Not on any Major Exchanges
Currently, the exchange with the largest volume where you can buy SmartCash is Stocks.Exchange and Cryptopia. Whenever Bittrex or Poloniex get around to adding this coin there should be a nice pump. Now is the time to accumulate!
What I Don’t Like
I’m not a fan of coins with a large supply of coins and SmartCash has 5 billion coins as its max supply (451 million circulating). The idea behind having so many coins was to become the everyday coin that is used and its easier if people are paying in a small amounts. I get the idea behind it, but I would still prefer a coin with a smaller supply.
This coin is still fairly new and a lot of people have still never heard of this coin. I think as more people become aware of SmartRewards and the insane monthly returns that people will start to flow into this coin. Couple that with things such as masternodes (coming soon), InstantPay, a functioning governance system, and anonymous transactions and you have a severely undervalued coin at $2.5 million. Short term potential for this coin is at least $10 million market cap, but $25 million within a few months is completely reasonable. This coin has all of the characteristics of coins that are worth hundreds of millions of dollars so I don’t plan on selling this coin for a while.
5. Crypto Bullion (CBX): $1.3 Million Market Cap
Last but not least we have Crypto Bullion, which currently has a market cap of $1.3 million. This coin was originally developed in 2013 but has seen recent improvements that have made it a great dark horse pick. This coin is a 100% proof of stake coin that was originally created as a way to store value with a yearly interest rate of 2%. as mentioned above, it has become way more than this with the new developments that are currently under way. Let’s take a look at why I like this coin.
Why I Like Crypto Bullion
Crypto Bullion will be having a hard fork before the end of the month where they will be implementing quite a few new features that I think takes this coin to the next level. Some of these features are as follows:
Masterbodes are Coming
Once the hard fork occurs, masternodes will be coming to CBX along with Zerocoin anonymity. Once the masternodes have been implented it will make CBX one of the cheapest masternode coins on the market. These masternodes will earn roughly 9% — 18% yearly plus any of the fees they make from transactions. It will cost 2,000 coins to run your own masternode, which is currently around $2,000.
They have a very solid 2017 roadmap leading into 2018 and they are planning on releasing a 2018 roadmap once this one is completed. I would expect a lot of cool new features to be added on the next roadmap. See their roadmap here
New Wallet Being Released
They are currently putting the final touches on a new wallet and getting ready for the hardfork. All of this should be happening by the end of September.
As of right now, there are only around 1 million coins with a very low inflation rate of 2% per year. With staking, you would make around 6% per year in interest. This means the coins are rare and scarce.
What I Don’t Like
From what I have seen, the communication from the dev is subpar and you can be left in the dark at times. Also, even though they have some cool features in the pipeline, they aren’t really bringing anything new to the market.
I think CBX has built itself a nice little niche with becoming a true store of wealth, unlike Bitcoin, and that fact alone should make it worth more than its current market cap. However, with the upcoming hardfork that will bring masternodes and a new wallet we should see a lot more investor interested in this coin. I’m holding this coin until at least a $10 million market cap and probably even longer depending on what kind of developments happen in the meantime.
I’m not going to dive deep into any of these coins below, but they are worth mentioning.
Circuits of Value (COVAL): $4.6 million market cap
Zoin (ZOI): $524k market cap
Terracoin (TRC): $2.5 million market cap
AdShares (ADST): $1.6 million market cap
Linx (LINX): $557k market cap
Wrapping this Up
That is going to bring this article to an end. I hope you enjoyed reading and found a coin or two that might interest you. These 5 coins are all coins that I will be holding for nothing less than 10x each, probably even more. These are not your “safe investment” coins by a long stretch, but if you’re looking for some high risk/high reward coins then these might be of interest to you. I’d love to know what coins you are all fans of that I didn’t put on the list. Please share in the comments below. Thanks for reading and if you enjoyed this article please follow me on medium for more posts!
BAT Community Merch Giveaway] Submit a question for Corey Caplan (CEO) and Adam Knuckey (COO), Co-founders of Dolomite — July 22, 2019
Submit a question for Corey Caplan & Adam Knuckey!
As you may have heard, we have an upcoming Guest AMA with Corey Caplan (CEO) and Adam Knuckey (COO), Co-founders of Dolomite, coming up this Wednesday, July 24th. Click here for details: https://www.reddit.com/BATProject/comments/cf8cp6/upcoming_guest_ama_with_corey_caplan_ceo_and_adam/ To put your name in the ring for a chance to win today's giveaway, drop a question Corey & Adam in the comments down below! Top questions will be used in Wednesday's AMA (with credit to the OP, of course)! The giveaway is open as of right now, 12:00pm EDT, and will close TOMORROW at 12:00pm EDT. ________________________________ About Dolomite: Dolomite aims to make it easy to trade crypto right from your personal wallet. Dolomite is a non-custodial exchange, meaning you never need to deposit your crypto onto the exchange or even into a smart contract, and your assets only leave your wallet once the trade is completed. This keeps your crypto safe from exchange hacks while also eliminating deposit times and withdrawal limits. Dolomite also comes with a built-in portfolio tracker. By entering just your public wallet address, a detailed portfolio overview is generated for you with the value of your holdings over time as well as trades and transactions you've conducted from that wallet complete with cost basis. Other features of Dolomite include:
Live updating portfolio - no more reloading the page waiting for a transaction to appear
The first DEX to natively integrate with Wyre allowing you to seamlessly cash in or out from a bank account or debit card
Off-chain order books allowing for instant and free order placing and cancellation
Front-running prevention through the Loopring Protocol
Market and limit orders, with leveraged trading up to 5x coming before the end of the summer
We are currently in open beta, but once we launch we will have a dedicated market maker to ensure tight spreads and fleshed out order books. Watch the Dolomite promo video, here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0q12XvsT9U__ ________________________________ Corey Caplan - Co-Founder and CEO, Dolomite Corey joined the crypto space around 2015 first as a user, then a trader. By the end of 2017, he was trading daily, and his concern over exchange hacks and fraud led him to explore decentralized exchanges. In early 2018 he and Adam built an Android decentralized exchange for the Loopring Foundation, which led to the creation of Dolomite. Before Dolomite, Corey ran his own software consulting company that was later acquired. He and Adam have been working on projects together since freshman year at Lehigh University, and have started one other company before Dolomite together. Interests include: crypto twitter, reading, and running. Adam Knuckey - Co-Founder and COO, DolomiteAdam entered the crypto space around the end of 2013, at first developing open-source altcoin miners and later as a periodic Bitcoin investor. By the end of 2017, he too was trading daily and shared many of the same concerns as Corey. He worked with Corey on the Loopring Foundation's Android decentralized exchange in early 2018 and joined Corey in creating Dolomite. Before Dolomite Adam had spent time working at UBS in their wealth management Americas division and EY in their computer security division, as well as several years of web development for Lehigh's College of Arts and Sciences. Interests include: Small software development projects, game programming, movie marathons, movie trivia, skiing, and rewatching his favorite shows and movies. ________________________________ See pics from our previous winners here:https://imgur.com/a/PBCx3J4 Be sure to follow us on our various social media for your chance to participate in upcoming giveaways that will be happening every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and Friday!
Monday posts for giveaways will be announced from the official BATProject Subreddit
Please note: Comments from throwaway accounts will not be considered eligible entries. Winners will be contacted directly by the team on the day of the contest to be notified that they have won, and to provide shipping info for the goods. Daily winners will be announced to the community every Friday in the BAT Community Weekly update on Reddit. When you receive your prize, don’t forget to take a picture of the merch next to your device with Brave open, and share it with @BAT_Community on Twitter for the community and world to see!
I was going through old emails today and came across this one I sent out to family on January 4, 2018. It was a reflection on the 2017 crypto bull market and where I saw it heading, as well as some general advice on crypto, investment, and being safe about how you handle yourself in cryptoland. I feel that we are on the cusp of a new bull market right now, so I thought that I would put this out for at least a few people to see *before* the next bull run, not after. While the details have changed, I don't see a thing in this email that I fundamentally wouldn't say again, although I'd also probably insist that people get a Yubikey and use that for all 2FA where it is supported. Happy reading, and sorry for some of the formatting weirdness -- I cleaned it up pretty well from the original email formatting, but I love lists and indents and Reddit has limitations... :-/ Also, don't laught at my token picks from January 2018! It was a long time ago and (luckliy) I took my own advice about moving a bunch into USD shortly after I sent this. I didn't hit the top, and I came back in too early in the summer of 2018, but I got lucky in many respects. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Jan-4, 2018 Hey all! I woke up this morning to ETH at a solid $1000 and decided to put some thoughts together on what I think crypto has done and what I think it will do. *******, if you could share this to your kids I’d appreciate it -- I don’t have e-mail addresses, and it’s a bit unwieldy for FB Messenger… Hopefully they’ll at least find it thought-provoking. If not, they can use it as further evidence that I’m a nutjob. 😉 Some history before I head into the future. I first mined some BTC in 2011 or 2012 (Can’t remember exactly, but it was around the Christmas holidays when I started because I had time off from work to get it set up and running.) I kept it up through the start of summer in 2012, but stopped because it made my PC run hot and as it was no longer winter, ********** didn’t appreciate the sound of the fans blowing that hot air into the room any more. I’ve always said that the first BTC I mined was at $1, but looking back at it now, that’s not true – It was around $2. Here’s a link to BTC price history. In the summer of 2013 I got a new PC and moved my programs and files over before scrapping the old one. I hadn’t touched my BTC mining folder for a year then, and I didn’t even think about salvaging those wallet files. They are now gone forever, including the 9-10BTC that were in them. While I can intellectually justify the loss, it was sloppy and underlines a key thing about cryptocurrency that I believe will limit its widespread adoption by the general public until it is addressed and solved: In cryptoland, you are your own bank, and if you lose your password or account number, there is no person or organization that can help you reset it so that you can get access back. Your money is gone forever. On April 12, 2014 I bought my first BTC through Coinbase. BTC had spiked to $1000 and been in the news, at least in Japan. This made me remember my old wallet and freak out for a couple of months trying to find it and reclaim the coins. I then FOMO’d (Fear Of Missing Out”) and bought $100 worth of BTC. I was actually very lucky in my timing and bought at around $430. Even so, except for a brief 50% swing up almost immediately afterwards that made me check prices 5 times a day, BTC fell below my purchase price by the end of September and I didn’t get back to even until the end of 2015. In May 2015 I bought my first ETH at around $1. I sent some guy on bitcointalk ~$100 worth of BTC and he sent me 100 ETH – all on trust because the amounts were small and this was a small group of people. BTC was down in the $250 range at that point, so I had lost 30-40% of my initial investment. This was of the $100 invested, so not that much in real terms, but huge in percentages. It also meant that I had to buy another $100 of BTC on Coinbase to send to this guy. A few months after I purchased my ETH, BTC had doubled and ETH had gone down to $0.50, halving the value of my ETH holdings. I was even on the first BTC purchase finally, but was now down 50% on the ETH I had bought. The good news was that this made me start to look at things more seriously. Where I had skimmed white papers and gotten a superficial understanding of the technology before FOMO’ing, I started to act as an investor, not a speculator. Let me define how I see those two different types of activity:
Investors buy because the price is less than the value they see in the investment. Speculators buy because they think that someone will pay more in the future than they are paying now.
Investors trade on information (The white paper was really well-written, had a clear technical advantage over other alternatives, and addresses a need that I can understand and value.) Speculators trade on sentiment. (Buy the rumor! Sell the news!)
Investors usually look at the investment and themselves and can describe why they purchase in those terms (ABC-Coin provides (service) that isn’t addressed yet and matches (requirements) for an investment.) Speculators usually describe why they bought something in terms of how other people think (I think that other people think that the price will rise, so I want to get ahead of that.)
Investors don’t necessarily check the price every day. The can, and very often I do, but it isn’t required because fundamentals don’t often change on a dime. Speculators need to be glued to a price feed, because sentiment very often changes on a dime.
Investors like ideas, people, business plans, and market opportunities. Good ones are like Spock. Speculators like trends. They are tribal.
Investors have a longer time horizon than speculators. In cryptoland, the notion of a “longer” time horizon is still laughably small (months) compared to traditional markets, but it certainly isn’t weeks or days or hours, which is whre speculators often live.
So what has been my experience as an investor? After sitting out the rest of 2015 because I needed to understand the market better, I bought into ETH quite heavily, with my initial big purchases being in March-April of 2016. Those purchases were in the $11-$14 range. ETH, of course, dropped immediately to under $10, then came back and bounced around my purchase range for a while until December of 2016, when I purchased a lot more at around $8. I also purchased my first ICO in August of 2016, HEAT. I bought 25ETH worth. Those tokens are now worth about half of their ICO price, so about 12.5ETH or $12500 instead of the $25000 they would be worth if I had just kept ETH. There are some other things with HEAT that mean I’ve done quite a bit better than those numbers would suggest, but the fact is that the single best thing I could have done is to hold ETH and not spend the effort/time/cost of working with HEAT. That holds true for about every top-25 token on the market when compared to ETH. It certainly holds true for the many, many tokens I tried to trade in Q1-Q2 of 2017. In almost every single case I would have done better and slept better had I just held ETH instead of trying to be smarter than Mr. Market. But, I made money on all of them except one because the crypto market went up more in USD terms than any individual coin went down in ETH or BTC terms. This underlines something that I read somewhere and that I take to heart: A rising market makes everyone seem like a genius. A monkey throwing darts at a list of the top 100 cryptocurrencies last year would have doubled his money. Here’s a chart from September that shows 2017 year-to-date returns for the top 10 cryptocurrencies, and all of them went up a *lot* more between then and December. A monkey throwing darts at this list there would have quintupled his money. When evaluating performance, then, you have to beat the monkey, and preferably you should try to beat a Wall Street monkey. I couldn’t, so I stopped trying around July 2017. My benchmark was the BLX, a DAA (Digital Asset Array – think fund like a Fidelity fund) created by ICONOMI. I wasn’t even close to beating the BLX returns, so I did several things.
I went from holding about 25 different tokens to holding 10 now. More on that in a bit.
I used those funds to buy ETH and BLX. ETH has done crazy-good since then and BLX has beaten BTC handily, although it hasn’t done as well as ETH.
I used some of those funds to set up an arbitrage operation.
The arbitrage operation is why I kept the 11 tokens that I have now. All but a couple are used in an ETH/token pair for arbitrage, and each one of them except for one special case is part of BLX. Why did I do that? I did that because ICONOMI did a better job of picking long-term holds than I did, and in arbitrage the only speculative thing you must do is pick the pairs to trade. My pairs are (No particular order):
I also hold PLU, PLBT, and ART. These two are multi-year holds for me. I have not purchased BTC once since my initial $200, except for a few cases where BTC was the only way to go to/from an altcoin that didn’t trade against ETH yet. Right now I hold about the same 0.3BTC that I held after my first $100 purchase, so I don’t really count it. Looking forward to this year, I am positioning myself as follows:
ETH will still be my core holding. It is the “deepest in the stack” crypto investment that I have. “Deep in the stack” is a programming term that gets at the idea that most software is built on other software. If you just think about your notebook, you have your OS, and programs run on that. But even inside the OS there is a stack. The bottom of your stack is the kernel, and on top of that are the drivers, protocols, and other layers that allow the programs to talk to the OS, the hard drive, the screen, the mouse, your printer, etc. You can change your mouse or printer easily. Changing things deeper in the stack becomes harder and harder. ETH is deep in the crypto stack, so is very hard to dislodge – Around 60 of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap run on top of Ethereum, so getting rid of Ethereum is something that would take a long time to do.
DNT, QTUM, ZRX, and OMG are all, to varying degrees, “deep in the stack” tokens that, once established, will be very hard to dislodge.
That said, I am peeling away some of my holdings into USD right now, because big changes are afoot and they are going to cause market disruptions. I’m going to come right out and admit that this is speculative, but I’m also going to back it up with some non-speculative facts.
The SEC has been sending out hundreds of subpoenas to cryptocurrency organizations over the past 3-4 months. These subpoenas are simply asking for information and nobody has been charged with any crimes or misdoings, but it is clear that the SEC is getting together information so that they can begin to regulate cryptoland. When that happens, other countries will follow, and that means:
Some tokens will be deemed outright scams and people will be prosecuted.
Some tokens will be deemed securities and will be regulated.
Some tokens will not be deemed scams or securities and will continue as they have.
Looking at this, it is clear to me that the tokens that escape prosecution and regulation should do better, but the short-term impact will be brutal and ugly. It would not surprise me at all to see a 50% drop in overall market cap within Q1-Q2, with Q1 being more likely.
Cryptoland has always been a bit nuts, but it is more nuts now than I have ever seen it. Back in 2011-2014 it was a freaks-n-geeks show where people were all about the technology and I would sit around for a 3-day weekend installing a *nix VM on my Windows machine so that I could compile the most recent source and run a CUDA SHA-256 routine rather than thrash my CPU. If that doesn’t make sense to you, you wouldn’t have even thought about being involved.
Now, people see Bitcoin advertisements in their Facebook feed and think “I gotta get on the BTC train!” before going to Coinbase and buying some with a credit card. They don’t know anything about crypto, and they are getting eaten alive – It is no coincidence that BTC peaked after the Thanksgiving holidays when people sat around the table and Janice got Uncle Mike and Cousin Bob all excited as she talked about going to Cancun for Christmas because of her crypto winnings. Huge amounts of fiat got transferred from newbies to BTC whales during this period, and once the whales were done, BTC had dropped from $20,000 to $12,000. It’s now back at $15,000, but for people who bought at a higher level, this sucks. As a result many have moved from BTC to ETH, with the single biggest money flow in crypto in December being the BTC à ETH flow. As a result, it’s no coincidence that ETH is at all-time highs now. The thing is, though, that even most people that moved from BTC to ETH really have no idea what they are doing. They are acting on buzzwords and emotion. They are speculators and are going to get crushed.
The stock market is quite high right now, but people are starting to worry that it is too high and that we are going to enter into a period of inflation again. This has caused gold to go up a lot the last quarter and is likely also responsible a bit for the rise in cryptos. If this view is correct, then cryptos stay stronger than if that pressure wasn’t there. If wrong, then cryptos will swing down as money exits cryptoland for more traditional markets.
I am spending most of my time and money on the arbitrage effort. The nice thing about arbitrage is that it works as the markets go up, and it works as the markets go down. When markets are too volatile, however, arbitrage can get very messy and dangerous, with each trade generating a loss instead of a profit, so I am working right now to tune the algorithms to take into account rate-of-change and add in some circuit breaker triggers. Once this is done I will expand those operations.
I am getting much more serious about systems security.
I have a Nano Ledger and recommend that anyone with >$1000 of crypto have one. The Trezor is also supposed to be good, but I haven’t used it.
I will set up a dedicated *nix notebook that is used for nothing except my crypto work. All it takes is one keylogger to get on your PC/Mac and your crypto is gone. What is on your Nano Ledger will be OK, but they will sweep out your exchange account or Coinbase account faster than you can type. A standard Linux installation with Chrome and nothing else is as about as secure as you can get in the civilian world.
If you don’t use LastPass or a similar password manager yet, you need to do that. Your password to LastPass should be at least 16 characters long and should not have a recognizable English word in it. If you think that “Iluvu4evah” is a secure password, you’re wrong.
Hackers know that “4”=”for” and “u”=”you”. Writing a script to substitute those in is trivial if they want to write the script, but it’s much easier for them to download one of the many, many programs out there that already do this.
If your password contains any string of numbers from anything that can be associated with you at any time in your life, it is insecure. Take those numbers out of the character count because they are an insignificant barrier to cracking your account.
The good news is that you probably won’t be targeted, but if you ever mention online that you are doing anything significant in crypto, that chance increased enormously.
*Never* talk with *anyone* about how much you have in crypto. You’ll notice that I haven’t here. There is no reason to tell even a family member how much you have unless you are sharing a tax form. Sure, you may trust them, but all it takes if for someone to overhead someone else mention at a party that a relative got into crypto a long time ago and made a bunch of money. That person can also then be subjected to the $10 hack and force you to send all your crypto to them.
Your password to LastPass (Or equivalent.) should look something like this -> 6k0jQMoziX&D#4W8
Yes, it’s a headache. Imagine your headache, though, were you to open your account one day and find all of your money gone.
Looking at my notes, I have two other things that I wanted to work into this email that I didn’t get to, so here they are:
Just like with free apps and other software, if you are getting something of value and you didn’t pay anything for it, you need to ask why this is. With apps, the phrase is “If you didn’t pay for the product, you are the product”, and this works for things such as pump groups, tips, and even technical analysis. Here’s how I see it.
Technical analysis (TA) is something that has been argued about for longer than I’ve been alive, but I think that it falls into the same boat. In short, TA argues that there are patterns in trading that can be read and acted upon to signal when one must buy or sell. It has been used forever in the stock and foreign exchange markets, and people use it in crypto as well. Let’s break down these assumptions a bit.
i. First, if crypto were like the stock or forex markets we’d all be happy with 5-7% gains per year rather than easily seeing that in a day. For TA to work the same way in crypto as it does in stocks and foreign exchange, the signals would have to be *much* stronger and faster-reacting than they work in the traditional market, but people use them in exactly the same way. ii. Another area where crypto is very different than the stock and forex markets centers around market efficiency theory. This theory says that markets are efficient and that the price reflects all the available information at any given time. This is why gold in New York is similar in price to gold in London or Shanghai, and why arbitrage margins are easily <0.1% in those markets compared to cryptoland where I can easily get 10x that. Crypto simply has too much speculation and not enough professional traders in it yet to operate as an efficient market. That fundamentally changes the way that the market behaves and should make any TA patterns from traditional markets irrelevant in crypto. iii. There are services, both free and paid that claim to put out signals based on TA for when one should buy and sell. If you think for even a second that they are not front-running (Placing orders ahead of yours to profit.) you and the other people using the service, you’re naïve. iv. Likewise, if you don’t think that there are people that have but together computerized systems to get ahead of people doing manual TA, you’re naïve. The guys that I have programming my arbitrage bots have offered to build me a TA bot and set up a service to sell signals once our position is taken. I said no, but I am sure that they will do it themselves or sell that to someone else. Basically they look at TA as a tip machine where when a certain pattern is seen, people act on that “tip”. They use software to see that “tip” faster and take a position on it so that when slower participants come in they either have to sell lower or buy higher than the TA bot did. Remember, if you are getting a tip for free, you’re the product. In TA I see a system when people are all acting on free preset “tips” and getting played by the more sophisticated market participants. Again, you have to beat that Wall Street monkey.
If you still don’t agree that TA is bogus, think about it this way: If TA was real, Wall Street would have figured it out decades ago and we would have TA funds that would be beating the market. We don’t.
If you still don’t agree that TA is bogus and that its real and well, proven, then you must think that all smart traders use them. Now follow that logic forward and think about what would happen if every smart trader pushing big money followed TA. The signals would only last for a split second and would then be overwhelmed by people acting on them, making them impossible to leverage. This is essentially what the efficient market theory postulates for all information, including TA.
OK, the one last item. Read this weekly newsletter – You can sign up at the bottom. It is free, so they’re selling something, right? 😉 From what I can tell, though, Evan is a straight-up guy who posts links and almost zero editorial comments. Happy 2018.
The Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) goes mainstream in China first
Since 2014, China’s central bank has been working on a project called “DC/EP”: Digital Currency/Electronic Payments. In the past few months, China’s DCEP had been a hot topic all around the world. Many people assumed that China will start pilots in 2-3 months. At this stage, the release of DCEP is still highly anticipated. In 2020, DCEP may usher in a truly comprehensive landing. It is reported that China’s central bank has now launched a formal pilot program. The pilot project will go out of the central bank system and be led by the People's Bank of China while the four major state-owned commercial banks and the three major telecom operators will jointly participate in the project. It is said that the pilot project will be launched in Shenzhen and Suzhou. DCEP can not only be used as an inter-bank settlement tool, but also can be applied in various scenarios such as transportation, education, and medical treatment, reaching C-end users and generating frequent applications. If the pilot had gone successfully, DCEP will expand the landing regions and application scenarios in 2020, thus quickly enter the payment system under the governmental support. The full implementation of DCEP, on the one hand, can be used as a payment and settlement tool which can strengthen the supervision of fund transfers, improve financial stability, and enhance anti-corruption and anti-money laundering capabilities. On the other hand, it can also replace traditional digital currencies such as Bitcoin to a certain extent, reduce the threshold for foreigners to use electronic money in China, and improve the convenience for Chinese consumers when they go abroad. In addition, from the beginning of its release to widespread use by the public, DCEP will definitely experience a process of popularization and application. Payment technology-related services and manufacturers will gain new development opportunity, such as payment institutions with C-end (personal) payment service experience, companies with a large number of B-end (enterprise) merchant resources, commercial banks, payment system developers, etc.. But there is still reason to believe that a large number of unicorn companies will be emerged in these fields in 2020.
Big breakthroughs will be made in “Blockchain+”
In the year of 2019, we have seen quite a few good blockchain technology landing applications. Internet giants such as BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent) have accelerated construction and promotion of the application scenarios of the blockchain and the BAAS platform. China’s President Xi Jinping has called for the country to accelerate its adoption of blockchain technologies as a core for innovation. With the gradual maturity of technology and the support of national policies, Blockchain + will accelerate its rapid development in 2020. It will be integrated in all walks of life, and there will be large-scale commercial outbreaks.
The appearance of the Chinese national Digital Currency Exchange
The digital currency exchanges, which have always been on the top of the food chain, didn’t have a good time in 2019. In the second half of 2019, the market for digital currencies continued to be sluggish. Issues such as low transaction volume, frequent security incidents, and tightening regulations once pushed the exchange in the teeth of the storm. Since October 2019, China continued to implement strict regulations on digital currency transactions. Many people started to worry that exchanges will come to an end, just like the P2P online loan platform. But, it is not going to happen. On the contrary, it is likely that digital currency exchanges will thrive in 2020. As the China’s DCEP carries forward, there is a great possibility that it will be released within 2020. Also, it is said that the ambiguous attitude of China government towards digital currency exchanges is because the government is still in its investigation. National exchanges are in urgent need upon the release of DCEP.
Bitcoin halving may not usher in a bull market
“Halving” has been a hot word in 2019 for cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Many ordinary users and cryptocurrency trading institutions have convinced that the third round of bitcoin halving in 2020 will bring a new bull market since the bear market in 2018. The first having of Bitcoin came on November 28, 2012. The block reward had dropped from 50 to 25 Bitcoin. In 2013, the price of Bitcoin went from around $20 at the beginning of the year to a peak of $265, with a maximum increase of 1200%. On July 10, 2016, Bitcoin was halved for the second time. Following the second having, in 2017, Bitcoin increased from $1457 to a historical peak of $20,000. The third Bitcoin halving will come on May 14, 2020, and the Bitcoin block reward will be halved from 12.5 to 6.25 Bitcoin. The first two Bitcoin halvings have brought the soaring of the price of Bitcoin. Will the bull market come following the third halving? Will the third halving make the price of Bitcoin skyrocket again? Let us have a look at the first two halvings before we make an conclusion. In March, 2013, the new Cypriot president announced that the country’s banking system would have to get new funds by seizing a percentage of the accounts of all depositors. A few days later, Cyprus’ inhabitants went wild and some of them turned to Bitcoin. As a consequence, the digital currency’s value started changing very quickly, rising from $30 to $265 in a few days. Bitcoin soared to enormous heights in 2017 to over $20,000 for a single digital coin. Most of the people have agreed that the soaring was was linked with the Ethereum token issuance mechanism. Blockchain projects can issue their own tokens based on the Ethereum ERC20 system to raise funds from ordinary public investors. Since the early ICO investment has achieved good returns. Many investors and their funds entered the market, thus opening the 2017 super bull market. In summary, every big rise in Bitcoin is not necessarily related to the halving of Bitcoin output. There are related economic and political factors behind its soaring. Therefore, halving the output of Bitcoin in 2020 may not be able to stimulate a new round of bull market.
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Newbs might not know this, but bitcoin recently came out of an intense internal drama. Between July 2015 and August 2017 bitcoin was attacked by external forces who were hoping to destroy the very properties that made bitcoin valuable in the first place. This culminated in the creation of segwit and the UASF (user activated soft fork) movement. The UASF was successful, segwit was added to bitcoin and with that the anti-decentralization side left bitcoin altogether and created their own altcoin called bcash. Bitcoin's price was $2500, soon after segwit was activated the price doubled to $5000 and continued rising until a top of $20000 before correcting to where we are today. During this drama, I took time away from writing open source code to help educate and argue on reddit, twitter and other social media. I came up with a reading list for quickly copypasting things. It may be interesting today for newbs or anyone who wants a history lesson on what exactly happened during those two years when bitcoin's very existence as a decentralized low-trust currency was questioned. Now the fight has essentially been won, I try not to comment on reddit that much anymore. There's nothing left to do except wait for Lightning and similar tech to become mature (or better yet, help code it and test it) In this thread you can learn about block sizes, latency, decentralization, segwit, ASICBOOST, lightning network and all the other issues that were debated endlessly for over two years. So when someone tries to get you to invest in bcash, remind them of the time they supported Bitcoin Unlimited. For more threads like this see UASF
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