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Today's Pre-Market News [Monday, June 17th, 2019]

Good morning traders and investors of the wallstreetbets sub! Welcome to the new trading week and a fresh start! Here are your pre-market news this AM-

Today's Top Headlines for Monday, June 17th, 2019

STOCK FUTURES CURRENTLY:

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LAST WEEK'S MARKET MAP:

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TODAY'S MARKET MAP:

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LAST WEEK'S S&P SECTORS:

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TODAY'S S&P SECTORS:

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TODAY'S ECONOMIC CALENDAR:

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THIS WEEK'S ECONOMIC CALENDAR:

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THIS WEEK'S UPCOMING IPO'S:

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THIS WEEK'S EARNINGS CALENDAR:

($CGC $ADBE $KR $ORCL $KMX $DRI $LZB $AOBC $JBL $CMC $WGO $RHT $SFUN $PSN $HX $SCS $MEI $CHKE $KFY $AMSWA $ALYA)
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THIS MORNING'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS CALENDAR:

()
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N/A.

THIS AFTERNOON'S POST-MARKET EARNINGS CALENDAR:

()
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NONE.

EARNINGS RELEASES BEFORE THE OPEN TODAY:

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EARNINGS RELEASES AFTER THE CLOSE TODAY:

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NONE.

FRIDAY'S ANALYST UPGRADES/DOWNGRADES:

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FRIDAY'S INSIDER TRADING FILINGS:

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TODAY'S DIVIDEND CALENDAR:

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THIS MORNING'S MOST ACTIVE TRENDING TICKERS:

  • ARRY
  • PFE
  • QURE
  • FB
  • DIS
  • PYX
  • CHWY
  • JACK
  • CR
  • ACAD

THIS MORNING'S STOCK NEWS MOVERS:

(source: cnbc.com)
Pfizer – The drugmaker is buying Array Biopharma for $48 per share in cash, or $11.4 billion, including debt. That’s a 62% premium over Array’s Friday close. Array specializes in treatments for diseases where there is a large unmet need, as well as cancer drugs.

STOCK SYMBOL: PFE

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Boeing – Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg told reporters at the Paris Air Show that it will take time to win back the confidence of its customers following the two fatal crashes involving the 737 Max jet. He also said the company had failed to communicate properly with regulators and customers about problems with a cockpit warning system.

STOCK SYMBOL: BA

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Lockheed Martin – Lockheed executive Greg Ulmer said he is not concerned that the proposed merger of Raytheon and United Technologies would affect the F-35 program or put pressure on its profit margins. Ulmer is program manager for the F-35.

STOCK SYMBOL: LMT

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Walt Disney – Disney was downgraded to “in-line” from “outperform” at Imperial Capital on a valuation basis, with the stock up nearly 26% since the “outperform rating was put in place in November.

STOCK SYMBOL: DIS

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Deutsche Bank – Deutsche Bank plans to create a so-called “bad bank” to hold billions in non-core assets, according to Reuters. The move is said to be in conjunction with an overhaul of the bank’s trading operations.

STOCK SYMBOL: DB

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Alibaba – Alibaba is proposing an eight-for-one stock split, in a move designed to increase flexibility in capital raising. The proposal will be brought up at the China e-commerce giant’s July 15 annual meeting.

STOCK SYMBOL: BABA

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Deere – R.W. Baird upgraded Deere to “outperform” from “neutral.” Baird said the bad weather which has driven up the price of corn and other commodities will also spur demand for farm equipment.

STOCK SYMBOL: DE

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Keane Group – Keane and rival oilfield services firm C&J Energy announced an all-stock merger of equals, valuing the combined company at $1.5 billion excluding debt.

STOCK SYMBOL: FRAC

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Goldman Sachs – Goldman will combine four of its units that invest in private companies into one new operation, according to The Wall Street Journal. The paper said the newly created unit would be nearly as big as KKR and about one third the size of Blackstone.

STOCK SYMBOL: GS

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Target – Target said its registers are back online after outages over the weekend that prevented shoppers from making purchases on Saturday, and some from using credit cards on Sunday. The retailer said neither incident was caused by a cyberattack.

STOCK SYMBOL: TGT

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Papa John’s – Papa John’s dismissed KPMG as its auditor and hired Ernst & Young. Earlier this year, KPMG had said the pizza chain did not maintain effective control over its financial reporting.

STOCK SYMBOL: PZZA

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FedEx – China’s state news agency Xinhua said the country’s investigation into FedEx should not be seen as retaliation for trade tensions between the U.S. and China. China launched a probe over parcels intended for telecom giant Huawei delivered to the wrong address.

STOCK SYMBOL: FDX

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Symantec – Symantec was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” at Mizuho Securities, citing the cybersecurity software maker’s valuation after the stock fell 31 percent since the beginning of 2018.

STOCK SYMBOL: SYMC

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Keurig Dr Pepper – BMO Capital upgraded the beverage maker’s stock to “outperform” from “market perform,” saying the stock’s valuation discount to its non-alcohol peers is now too large to ignore.

STOCK SYMBOL: KDP

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DISCUSS!

What is on everyone's radar for today's trading day ahead here at wallstreetbets?

I hope you all have an excellent trading day ahead today on this Monday, June 17th, 2019! :)

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An extensive guide for cashing out bitcoin and cryptocurrencies into private banks

Hey guys.
Merry Xmas !
I am coming back to you with a follow up post, as I have helped many people cash out this year and I have streamlined the process. After my original post, I received many requests to be more specific and provide more details. I thought that after the amazing rally we have been attending over the last few months, and the volatility of the last few days, it would be interesting to revisit more extensively.
The attitude of banks around crypto is changing slowly, but it is still a tough stance. For the first partial cash out I operated around a year ago for a client, it took me months to find a bank. They wouldn’t want to even consider the case and we had to knock at each and every door. Despite all my contacts it was very difficult back in the days. This has changed now, and banks have started to open their doors, but there is a process, a set of best practices and codes one has to follow.
I often get requests from crypto guys who are very privacy-oriented, and it takes me months to have them understand that I am bound by Swiss law on banking secrecy, and I am their ally in this onboarding process. It’s funny how I have to convince people that banks are legit, while on the other side, banks ask me to show that crypto millionaires are legit. I have a solid background in both banking and in crypto so I manage to make the bridge, but yeah sometimes it is tough to reconcile the two worlds. I am a crypto enthusiast myself and I can say that after years of work in the banking industry I have grown disillusioned towards banks as well, like many of you. Still an account in a Private bank is convenient and powerful. So let’s get started.
There are two different aspects to your onboarding in a Swiss Private bank, compliance-wise.
*The origin of your crypto wealth
*Your background (residence, citizenship and probity)
These two aspects must be documented in-depth.
How to document your crypto wealth. Each new crypto millionaire has a different story. I may detail a few fun stories later in this post, but at the end of the day, most of crypto rich I have met can be categorized within the following profiles: the miner, the early adopter, the trader, the corporate entity, the black market, the libertarian/OTC buyer. The real question is how you prove your wealth is legit.
1. Context around the original amount/investment Generally speaking, your first crypto purchase may not be documented. But the context around this acquisition can be. I have had many cases where the original amount was bought through Mtgox, and no proof of purchase could be provided, nor could be documented any Mtgox claim. That’s perfectly fine. At some point Mtgox amounted 70% of the bitcoin transactions globally, and people who bought there and managed to withdraw and keep hold of their bitcoins do not have any Mtgox claim. This is absolutely fine. However, if you can show me the record of a wire from your bank to Tisbane (Mtgox's parent company) it's a great way to start.
Otherwise, what I am trying to document here is the following: I need context. If you made your first purchase by saving from summer jobs, show me a payroll. Even if it was USD 2k. If you acquired your first bitcoins from mining, show me the bills of your mining equipment from 2012 or if it was through a pool mine, give me your slushpool account ref for instance. If you were given bitcoin against a service you charged, show me an invoice.
2. Tracking your wealth until today and making sense of it. What I have been doing over the last few months was basically educating compliance officers. Thanks God, the blockchain is a global digital ledger! I have been telling my auditors and compliance officers they have the best tool at their disposal to lead a proper investigation. Whether you like it or not, your wealth can be tracked, from address to address. You may have thought all along this was a bad feature, but I am telling you, if you want to cash out, in the context of Private Banking onboarding, tracking your wealth through the block explorer is a boon. We can see the inflows, outflows. We can see the age behind an address. An early adopter who bought 1000 BTC in 2010, and let his bitcoin behind one address and held thus far is legit, whether or not he has a proof of purchase to show. That’s just common sense. My job is to explain that to the banks in a language they understand.
Let’s have a look at a few examples and how to document the few profiles I mentioned earlier.
The trader. I love traders. These are easy cases. I have a ton of respect for them. Being a trader myself in investment banks for a decade earlier in my career has taught me that controlling one’s emotions and having the discipline to impose oneself some proper risk management system is really really hard. Further, being able to avoid the exchange bankruptcy and hacks throughout crypto history is outstanding. It shows real survival instinct, or just plain blissed ignorance. In any cases traders at exchange are easy cases to corroborate since their whole track record is potentially available. Some traders I have met have automated their trading and have shown me more than 500k trades done over the span of 4 years. Obviously in this kind of scenario I don’t show everything to the bank to avoid information overload, and prefer to do some snacking here and there. My strategy is to show the early trades, the most profitable ones, explain the trading strategy and (partially expose) the situation as of now with id pages of the exchanges and current balance. Many traders have become insensitive to the risk of parking their crypto at exchange as they want to be able to trade or to grasp an occasion any minute, so they generally do not secure a substantial portion on the blockchain which tends to make me very nervous.
The early adopter. Provided that he has not mixed his coin, the early adopter or “hodler” is not a difficult case either. Who cares how you bought your first 10k btc if you bought them below 3$ ? Even if you do not have a purchase proof, I would generally manage to find ways. We just have to corroborate the original 30’000 USD investment in this case. I mainly focus on three things here:
*proof of early adoption I have managed to educate some banks on a few evidences specifically related to crypto markets. For instance with me, an old bitcointalk account can serve as a proof of early adoption. Even an old reddit post from a few years ago where you say how much you despise this Ripple premined scam can prove to be a treasure readily available to show you were early.
*story telling Compliance officers like to know when, why and how. They are human being looking for simple answers to simple questions and they don’t want like to be played fool. Telling the truth, even without a proof can do wonders, and even though bluffing might still work because banks don’t fully understand bitcoin yet, it is a risky strategy that is less and less likely to pay off as they are getting more sophisticated by the day.
*micro transaction from an old address you control This is the killer feature. Send a $20 worth transaction from an old address to my company wallet and to one of my partner bank’s wallet and you are all set ! This is gold and considered a very solid piece of evidence. You can also do a microtransaction to your own wallet, but banks generally prefer transfer to their own wallet. Patience with them please. they are still learning.
*signature message Why do a micro transaction when you can sign a message and avoid potentially tainting your coins ?
*ICO millionaire Some clients made their wealth participating in ETH crowdsale or IOTA ICO. They were very easy to deal with obviously and the account opening was very smooth since we could evidence the GENESIS TxHash flow.
The miner Not so easy to proof the wealth is legit in that case. Most early miners never took screenshot of the blocks on bitcoin core, nor did they note down the block number of each block they mined. Until the the Slashdot article from August 2010 anyone could mine on his laptop, let his computer run overnight and wake up to a freshly minted block containing 50 bitcoins back in the days. Not many people were structured enough to store and secure these coins, avoid malwares while syncing the blockchain continuously, let alone document the mined blocks in the process. What was 50 BTC worth really for the early miners ? dust of dollars, games and magic cards… Even miners post 2010 are generally difficult to deal with in terms of compliance onboarding. Many pool mining are long dead. Deepbit is down for instance and the founders are MIA. So my strategy to proof mining activity is as follow:
*Focusing on IT background whenever possible. An IT background does help a lot to bring some substance to the fact you had the technical ability to operate a mining rig.
*Showing mining equipment receipts. If you mined on your own you must have bought the hardware to do so. For instance mining equipment receipts from butterfly lab from 2012-2013 could help document your case. Similarly, high electricity bill from your household on a consistent basis back in the day could help. I have already unlocked a tricky case in the past with such documents when the bank was doubtful.
*Wallet.dat files with block mining transactions from 2011 thereafter This obviously is a fantastic piece of evidence for both you and me if you have an old wallet and if you control an address that received original mined blocks, (even if the wallet is now empty). I will make sure compliance officers understand what it means, and as for the early adopter, you can prove your control over these wallet through a microtransaction. With these kind of addresses, I can show on the block explorer the mined block rewards hitting at regular time interval, and I can even spot when difficulty level increased or when halvening process happened.
*Poolmining account. Here again I have educated my partner bank to understand that a slush account opened in 2013 or an OnionTip presence was enough to corroborate mining activity. The block explorer then helps me to do the bridge with your current wallet.
*Describing your set up and putting it in context In the history of mining we had CPU, GPU, FPG and ASICs mining. I will describe your technical set up and explain why and how your set up was competitive at that time.
The corporate entity Remember 2012 when we were all convinced bitcoin would take over the world, and soon everyone would pay his coffee in bitcoin? How naïve we were to think transaction fees would remain low forever. I don’t blame bitcoin cash supporters; I once shared this dream as well. Remember when we thought global adoption was right around the corner and some brick and mortar would soon accept bitcoin transaction as a common mean of payment? Well, some shop actually did accept payment and held. I had a few cases as such of shops holders, who made it to the multi million mark holding and had invoices or receipts to proof the transactions. If you are organized enough to keep a record for these trades and are willing to cooperate for the documentation, you are making your life easy. The digital advertising business is also a big market for the bitcoin industry, and affiliates partner compensated in btc are common. It is good to show an invoice, it is better to show a contract. If you do not have a contract (which is common since all advertising deals are about ticking a check box on the website to accept terms and conditions), there are ways around that. If you are in that case, pm me.
The black market Sorry guys, I can’t do much for you officially. Not that I am judging you. I am a libertarian myself. It’s just already very difficult to onboard legit btc adopters, so the black market is a market I cannot afford to consider. My company is regulated so KYC and compliance are key for me if I want to stay in business. Behind each case I push forward I am risking the credibility and reputation I have built over the years. So I am sorry guys I am not risking it to make an extra buck. Your best hope is that crypto will eventually take over the world and you won’t need to cash out anyway. Or go find a Lithuanian bank that is light on compliance and cooperative.
The OTC buyer and the libertarian. Generally a very difficult case. If you bought your stack during your journey in Japan 5 years ago to a guy you never met again; or if you accumulated on https://localbitcoins.com/ and kept no record or lost your account, it is going to be difficult. Not impossible but difficult. We will try to build a case with everything else we have, and I may be able to onboard you. However I am risking a lot here so I need to be 100% confident you are legit, before I defend you. Come & see me in Geneva, and we will talk. I will run forensic services like elliptic, chainalysis, or scorechain on an extract of your wallet. If this scan does not raise too many red flags, then maybe we can work together ! If you mixed your coins all along your crypto history, and shredded your seeds because you were paranoid, or if you made your wealth mining professionally monero over the last 3 years but never opened an account at an exchange. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ I am not a magician and don’t get me wrong, I love monero, it’s not the point.
Cashing out ICOs Private companies or foundations who have ran an ICO generally have a very hard time opening a bank account. The few banks that accept such projects would generally look at 4 criteria:
*Seriousness of the project Extensive study of the whitepaper to limit the reputation risk
*AML of the onboarding process ICOs 1.0 have no chance basically if a background check of the investors has not been conducted
*Structure of the moral entity List of signatories, certificate of incumbency, work contract, premises...
*Fiscal conformity Did the company informed the authorities and seek a fiscal ruling.
For the record, I am not into the tax avoidance business, so people come to me with a set up and I see if I can make it work within the legal framework imposed to me.
First, stop thinking Switzerland is a “offshore heaven” Swiss banks have made deals with many governments for the exchange of fiscal information. If you are a French citizen, resident in France and want to open an account in a Private Bank in Switzerland to cash out your bitcoins, you will get slaughtered (>60%). There are ways around that, and I could refer you to good tax specialists for fiscal optimization, but I cannot organize it myself. It would be illegal for me. Swiss private banks makes it easy for you to keep a good your relation with your retail bank and continue paying your bills without headaches. They are integrated to SEPA, provide ebanking and credit cards.
For information, these are the kind of set up some of my clients came up with. It’s all legal; obviously I do not onboard clients that are not tax compliant. Further disclaimer: I did not contribute myself to these set up. Do not ask me to organize it for you. I won’t.
EU tricks
Swiss lump sum taxation Foreign nationals resident in Switzerland can be taxed on a lump-sum basis if they are not gainfully employed in our country. Under the lump-sum tax regime, foreign nationals taking residence in Switzerland may choose to pay an expense-based tax instead of ordinary income and wealth tax. Attractive cantons for the lump sum taxation are Zug, Vaud, Valais, Grisons, Lucerne and Berne. To make it short, you will be paying somewhere between 200 and 400k a year and all expenses will be deductible.
Switzerland has adopted a very friendly attitude towards crypto currency in general. There is a whole crypto valley in Zug now. 30% of ICOs are operated in Switzerland. The reason is that Switzerland has thrived for centuries on banking secrecy, and today with FATCA and exchange of fiscal info with EU, banking secrecy is dead. Regulators in Switzerland have understood that digital ledger technologies were a way to roll over this competitive advantage for the generations to come. Switzerland does not tax capital gains on crypto profits. The Finma has a very pragmatic approach. They have issued guidance- updated guidelines here. They let the business get organized and operate their analysis on a case per case basis. Only after getting a deep understanding of the market will they issue a global fintech license in 2019. This approach is much more realistic than legislations which try to regulate everything beforehand.
Italy new tax exemption. It’s a brand new fiscal exemption. Go to Aoste, get residency and you could be taxed a 100k/year for 10years. Yes, really.
Portugal What’s crazy in Europe is the lack of fiscal harmonization. Even if no one in Brussels dares admit it, every other country is doing fiscal dumping. Portugal is such a country and has proved very friendly fiscally speaking. I personally have a hard time trusting Europe. I have witnessed what happened in Greece over the last few years. Some of our ultra high net worth clients got stuck with capital controls. I mean no way you got out of crypto to have your funds confiscated at the next financial crisis! Anyway. FYI
Malta Generally speaking, if you get a residence somewhere you have to live there for a certain period of time. Being stuck in Italy is no big deal with Schengen Agreement, but in Malta it is a different story. In Malta, the ordinary residence scheme is more attractive than the HNWI residence scheme. Being an individual, you can hold a residence permit under this scheme and pay zero income tax in Malta in a completely legal way.
Monaco Not suitable for French citizens, but for other Ultra High Net worth individual, Monaco is worth considering. You need an account at a local bank as a proof of fortune, and this account generally has to be seeded with at least EUR500k. You also need a proof of residence. I do mean UHNI because if you don’t cash out minimum 30m it’s not interesting. Everything is expensive in Monaco. Real Estate is EUR 50k per square meter. A breakfast at Monte Carlo Bay hotel is 70 EUR. Monaco is sunny but sometimes it feels like a golden jail. Do you really want that for your kids?
Dubaï
  1. Set up a company in Dubaï, get your resident card.
  2. Spend one day every 6 month there
  3. ???
  4. Be tax free
US tricks Some Private banks in Geneva do have the license to manage the assets of US persons and U.S citizens. However, do not think it is a way to avoid paying taxes in the US. Opening an account at an authorized Swiss Private banks is literally the same tax-wise as opening an account at Fidelity or at Bank of America in the US. The only difference is that you will avoid all the horror stories. Horror stories are all real by the way. In Switzerland, if you build a decent case and answer all the questions and corroborate your case in depth, you will manage to convince compliance officers beforehand. When the money eventually hits your account, it is actually available and not frozen.
The IRS and FATCA require to file FBAR if an offshore account is open. However FBAR is a reporting requirement and does not have taxes related to holding an account outside the US. The taxes would be the same if the account was in the US. However penalties for non compliance with FBAR are very large. The tax liability management is actually performed through the management of the assets ( for exemple by maximizing long term capital gains and minimizing short term gains).
The case for Porto Rico. Full disclaimer here. I am not encouraging this. Have not collaborated on such tax avoidance schemes. if you are interested I strongly encourage you to seek a tax advisor and get a legal opinion. I am not responsible for anything written below. I am not going to say much because I am so afraid of uncle Sam that I prefer to humbly pass the hot potato to pwc From here all it takes is a good advisor and some creativity to be tax free on your crypto wealth if you are a US person apparently. Please, please please don’t ask me more. And read the disclaimer again.
Trust tricks Generally speaking I do not accept fringe fiscal situation because it puts me in a difficult situation to the banks I work with, and it is already difficult enough to defend a legit crypto case. Trust might be a way to optimize your fiscal situation. Belize. Bahamas. Seychelles. Panama, You name it. At the end of the day, what matters for Swiss Banks are the beneficial owner and the settlor. Get a legal opinion, get it done, and when you eventually knock at a private bank’s door, don’t say it was for fiscal avoidance you stupid ! You will get the door smashed upon you. Be smarter. It will work. My advice is just to have it done by a great tax specialist lawyer, even if it costs you some money, as the entity itself needs to be structured in a professional way. Remember that with trust you are dispossessing yourself off your wealth. Not something to be taken lightly.
“Anonymous” cash out. Right. I think I am not going into this topic, neither expose the ways to get it done. Pm me for details. I already feel a bit uncomfortable with all the info I have provided. I am just going to mention many people fear that crypto exchange might become reporting entities soon, and rightly so. This might happen anyday. You have been warned. FYI, this only works for non-US and large cash out.
The difference between traders an investors. Danmark, Holland and Germany all make a huge difference if you are a passive investor or if you are a trader. ICO is considered investing for instance and is not taxed, while trading might be considered as income and charged aggressively. I would try my best to protect you and put a focus on your investor profile whenever possible, so you don't have to pay 52% tax if you do not have to :D
Full cash out or partial cash out? People who have been sitting on crypto for long have grown an emotional and irrational link with their coins. They come to me and say, look, I have 50m in crypto but I would like to cash out 500k only. So first let me tell you that as a wealth manager my advice to you is to take some off the table. Doing a partial cash out is absolutely fine. The market is bullish. We are witnessing a redistribution of wealth at a global scale. Bitcoin is the real #occupywallstreet, and every one will discuss crypto at Xmas eve which will make the market even more supportive beginning 2018, especially with all hedge funds entering the scene. If you want to stay exposed to bitcoin and altcoins, and believe these techs will change the world, it’s just natural you want to keep some coins. In the meantime, if you have lived off pizzas over the last years, and have the means to now buy yourself an nice house and have an account at a private bank, then f***ing do it mate ! Buy physical gold with this account, buy real estate, have some cash at hands. Even though US dollar is worthless to your eyes, it’s good and convenient to have some. Also remember your wife deserves it ! And if you have no wife yet and you are socially awkward like the rest of us, then maybe cashing out partially will help your situation ;)
What the Private Banks expect. Joke aside, it is important you understand something. If you come around in Zurich to open a bank account and partially cash out, just don’t expect Private Banks will make an exception for you if you are small. You can’t ask them to facilitate your cash out, buy a 1m apartment with the proceeds of the sale, and not leave anything on your current account. It won’t work. Sadly, under 5m you are considered small in private banking. The bank is ok to let you open an account, provided that your kyc and compliance file are validated, but they will also want you to become a client and leave some money there to invest. This might me despicable, but I am just explaining you their rules. If you want to cash out, you should sell enough to be comfortable and have some left. Also expect the account opening to last at least 3-4 week if everything goes well. You can't just open an account overnight.
The cash out logistics. Cashing out 1m USD a day in bitcoin or more is not so hard.
Let me just tell you this: Even if you get a Tier 4 account with Kraken and ask Alejandro there to raise your limit over $100k per day, Even if you have a bitfinex account and you are willing to expose your wealth there, Even if you have managed to pass all the crazy due diligence at Bitstamp,
The amount should be fractioned to avoid risking your full wealth on exchange and getting slaughtered on the price by trading big quantities. Cashing out involves significant risks at all time. There is a security risk of compromising your keys, a counterparty risk, a fat finger risk. Let it be done by professionals. It is worth every single penny.
Most importantly, there is a major difference between trading on an exchange and trading OTC. Even though it’s not publicly disclosed some exchange like Kraken do have OTC desks. Trading on an exchange for a large amount will weight on the prices. Bitcoin is a thin market. In my opinion over 30% of the coins are lost in translation forever. Selling $10m on an exchange in a day can weight on the prices more than you’d think. And if you trade on a exchange, everything is shown on record, and you might wipe out the prices because on exchanges like bitstamp or kraken ultimately your counterparties are retail investors and the market depth is not huge. It is a bit better on Bitfinex. It is way better to trade OTC. Accessing the institutional OTC market is not easy, and that is also the reason why you should ask a regulated financial intermediary if we are talking about huge amounts.
Last point, always chose EUR as opposed to USD. EU correspondent banks won’t generally block institutional amounts. However we had the cases of USD funds frozen or delayed by weeks.
Most well-known OTC desks are Cumberlandmining (ask for Lucas), Genesis (ask for Martin), Bitcoin Suisse AG (ask for Niklas), circletrade, B2C2, or Altcoinomy (ask for Olivier)
Very very large whales can also set up escrow accounts for massive block trades. This world, where blocks over 30k BTC are exchanged between 2 parties would deserve a reddit thread of its own. Crazyness all around.
Your options: DIY or going through a regulated financial intermediary.
Execution trading is a job in itself. You have to be patient, be careful not to wipe out the order book and place limit orders, monitor the market intraday for spikes or opportunities. At big levels, for a large cash out that may take weeks, these kind of details will save you hundred thousands of dollars. I understand crypto holders are suspicious and may prefer to do it by themselves, but there are regulated entities who now offer the services. Besides, being a crypto millionaire is not a guarantee you will get institutional daily withdrawal limits at exchange. You might, but it will take you another round of KYC with them, and surprisingly this round might be even more aggressive that the ones at Private banks since exchange have gone under intense scrutiny by regulators lately.
The fees for cashing out through a regulated financial intermediary to help you with your cash out should be around 1-2% flat on the nominal, not more. And for this price you should get the full package: execution/monitoring of the trades AND onboarding in a private bank. If you are asked more, you are being abused.
Of course, you also have the option to do it yourself. It is a way more tedious and risky process. Compliance with the exchange, compliance with the private bank, trading BTC/fiat, monitoring the transfers…You will save some money but it will take you some time and stress. Further, if you approach a private bank directly, it will trigger a series of red flag to the banks. As I said in my previous post, they call a direct approach a “walk-in”. They will be more suspicious than if you were introduced by someone and won’t hesitate to show you high fees and load your portfolio with in-house products that earn more money to the banks than to you. Remember also most banks still do not understand crypto so you will have a lot of explanations to provide and you will have to start form scratch with them!
The paradox of crypto millionaires Most of my clients who made their wealth through crypto all took massive amount of risks to end up where they are. However, most of them want their bank account to be managed with a low volatility fixed income capital preservation risk profile. This is a paradox I have a hard time to explain and I think it is mainly due to the fact that most are distrustful towards banks and financial markets in general. Many clients who have sold their crypto also have a cash-out blues in the first few months. This is a classic situation. The emotions involved in hodling for so long, the relief that everything has eventually gone well, the life-changing dynamics, the difficulties to find a new motivation in life…All these elements may trigger a post cash-out depression. It is another paradox of the crypto rich who has every card in his hand to be happy, but often feel a bit sad and lonely. Sometimes, even though it’s not my job, I had to do some psychological support. A lot of clients have also become my friends, because we have the same age and went through the same “ordeal”. First world problem I know… Remember, cashing out is not the end. It’s actually the beginning. Don’t look back, don’t regret. Cash out partially, because it does not make sense to cash out in full, regret it and want back in. relax.
The race to cash out crypto billionaire and the concept of late exiter. The Winklevoss brothers are obviously the first of a series. There will be crypto billionaires. Many of them. At a certain level you can have a whole family office working for you to manage your assets and take care of your needs . However, let me tell you it’s is not because you made it so big that you should think you are a genius and know everything better than anyone. You should hire professionals to help you. Managing assets require some education around the investment vehicles and risk management strategies. Sorry guys but with all the respect I have for wallstreebet, AMD and YOLO stock picking, some discipline is necessary. The investors who have made money through crypto are generally early adopters. However I have started to see another profile popping up. They are not early adopters. They are late exiters. It is another way but just as efficient. Last week I met the first crypto millionaire I know who first bough bitcoin over 1000$. 55k invested at the beginning of this year. Late adopter & late exiter is a route that can lead to the million.
Last remarks. I know banks, bankers, and FIAT currencies are so last century. I know some of you despise them and would like to have them burn to the ground. With compliance officers taking over the business, I would like to start the fire myself sometimes. I hope this extensive guide has helped some of you. I am around if you need more details. I love my job despite all my frustration towards the banking industry because it makes me meet interesting people on a daily basis. I am a crypto enthusiast myself, and I do think this tech is here to stay and will change the world. Banks will have to adapt big time. Things have started to change already; they understand the threat is real. I can feel the generational gap in Geneva, with all these old bankers who don’t get what’s going on. They glaze at the bitcoin chart on CNBC in disbelief and they start to get it. This bitcoin thing is not a joke. Deep inside, as an early adopter who also intends to be a late exiter, as a libertarian myself, it makes me smile with satisfaction.
Cheers. @swisspb on telegram
submitted by Swissprivatebanker to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Un-Tethered: The Assets That (probably) Don't Exist

Are you an investor in cryptocurrency? If you are, and you haven't heard of Tether ($USDT) then I highly urge you to sit up and take notice. Things are about to get a little crazy in crypto-land, to the tune of up to $2 billion dollars of assets turning into vapor. This would dwarf last weeks $500M+ hack of Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck.
Tether is a cryptographic token owned by the Tether Corporation. They haven't fully disclosed this, but it seems likely that the corporation is actually operated by the same folks behind the popular exchange Bitfinex. Tether was deployed as a "StableCoin" so that traders wanting to hold their money in a stable asset (but not USD) could easily do so within exchanges. $1 Tether ($USDT) is supposed to always be equal to $1 USD. In order to achieve this valuation, every amount Tether releases in digital currency should be backed by exactly equivalent real USD in their accounts. Reportedly, most exchanges literally hard-code the $1 USDT to $1 USD exchange rate on their order books, instead of letting the value float based on supply and demand.
By trading into an asset with low volatility like Tether, one could ride out a bear market, hold dry powder for an ICO, take a vacation from crypto-investing or any number of reasons one would want to be temporarily "out" of a market position.
If you look at the chart on CoinMarketCap, it seems pretty stable, right?
And, sure, it is. Remember, every $USDT is mimicking a USD held in reserve, as investors who want to withdraw a "StableCoin" into USD should be able to do so, right? The money has to be there.
Logic follows that if the market cap of Tether is $2.2 billion, as seen above, then somewhere the Tether Corporation is holding that much money in USD.
LOL, yeah right.
To create new $USDT at the rate we're seeing, Tether would need to be receiving tens of millions of dollars of institutional funding every single week, sometimes every day. Wallets with an enormous amount of Tether are being discovered on a near-weekly basis -- literally created out of thin air.
Why would that many sophisticated investors invest so much into an off-shore, previously hacked, dubiously operated company? No major institutional investors I could find have announced any partnership with Tether. In addition to that major question mark, Tether has currently turned off most forms of redeeming USDT into USD directly into a bank account. You can, of course, easily sell your Tether to someone else on a exchange -- swapping Tether between traders but never redeeming it directly from the Tether bank account.
Over $2B of Tether capital, printed at opportune times, can do quite a bit to prop up the price of Bitcoin. And Bitcoin price correlates with AltCoin price. To some degree, Tether is propping up a small but significant piece of the entire cryptocurrency market.
If Tether were any other currency, like Monero ($XMR) for example, then this wouldn't be such an issue. People believe in the value of $XMR because they believe in the teams, the product, the developer community, and the network effect. Tether has a completely different psychology; Tether is "stable" and a safe haven on an exchange. If it continues to print Tethers at will and if the general public believes there are assets to the tune of $1 for $1, it could potentially never collapse even if the assets in the Tether vault don't exist.
But the crypto market is moving beyond the general public, and crypto investors are becoming more sophisticated. These investors want to ensure that if they store their assets in Tether, there's something to back it up. As the market cap of Tether skyrocketed in the final months of 2017 calls for an audit into their balance sheet began to mount.
Demands for Tether to hire a third party auditor heated up in November of 2017. After enormous pressure, they caved and hired Friedman LLP to conduct a full audit and prove they had the assets they said they had. After months of promising to release an audit and silence, CoinDesk reports on January 27th that Friedman and Tether have "dissolved" their relationship. Here, I believe, is where the market psychology begins to unravel.
If (when) Tether fails to provide a concrete and believable reason for this relationship with an auditor to unravel so spectacularly and unexpectedly, consumers could lose confidence in the entire thing. A quick look at the Tether subreddit does little to inspire confidence. If exchanges were to stop the BTC/USDT trading pair... over two billions dollars worth of assets might become illiquid, with regular traders holding much of that amount.
I don't know when this will happen, and I can't say with absolute certainty that Tether doesn't have the billions in assets they claim they do. All I can do is raise a yellow flag for those reading this post.
submitted by CryptBo to Tether [link] [comments]

Auditchain

Auditchain is leading the development of the world’s first decentralized continuous audit and real time financial reporting protocol ecosystem for digital asset and enterprise assurance and disclosure. Auditchian enables continuous external validation of enterprise system and control, financial data and disclosure control environments by a network of CPAs and Chartered Accountants.
The DCARPE Alliance is an accounting, audit and financial reporting consortium consisting of CPAs, Chartered Accountants, enterprise software providers and developers who are contributing resources to the development and driving adoption of the DCARPE Assurance and Disclosure Protocol. Auditchain enables enterprises to provide stakeholders with the highest levels of assurance through decentralized consensus-based enterprise external validation.
AUDT and its benefits
AUDT is the leading Auditchain platform token. He will be needed to translate all the proposals submitted to the platform.
The AUDT Token permits these outstanding qualities:
1 Allows to get more reliable and safe reporting for companies.
2 The AUDT token is considered to be the base currency and utility for the service and provision of payments of corporate conclusions. This token unlocks network services that provide the most sublime degree of transparency for traders and stakeholders.
3 Ensures perfect comparability between personal and social networks.
4 Tariffs for companies are likely to be reduced to zero due to the distribution of profits and the role of the company in the Auditchain decentralized ecosystem.
5 The holders of the AUDT token contains the probability of being reviewed by an audit specialist and the detail of economic work that guarantees the highest degree of transparency in real time
The project main aim is that Companies will no longer need to look for independent auditors who may not always be qualified and worry about the results, professionalism and disclosure of confidential information to third parties. All this will be implemented on one platform and will be done with the help of AUDT tokens and checked by a network of certified accountants.
Analysis AUDT Token
The AUDT Token is the base currency and utility for enterprise application service, assurance and disclosure payments. AUDT unlocks network services that provide the highest levels of transparency to investors and stakeholders at a fraction of the cost of traditional audit and reporting.
Today the initial placement of tokens on the exchange starts https://exmarkets.com/launchpad at the price of one token 0.20 USD and to take part in it, you will need to register on the site, make a deposit in the currency Bitcoin, Ethereum, USDC or EUR and purchase the required amount.
The total supply of AUDT at the genesis block will be 250,000,000 which includes (i) 160,000,000 to be sold in the TGE, (ii) 25,833,333 to be distributed to the team, (iii) 25,833,333 reserved and distributable to advisors, (iv) 25,833,333 reserved and distributable to partners and providers of applications and services to the Auditchain network and (v) 12,500,000 reserved and distributable in connection with bounties. See “Token Allocation”. In addition to the initial AUDT token supply and subject to block times, consensus proposals and improvements, approximately 12,500,000 additional AUDT tokens will be rewarded to all Federated and Non-Federated nodes per year which amounts to approximately 237 AUDT tokens per block. Below is a chart of the infation curve which results in the debasement of the initial supply of 250,000,000 AUDT at the initial rate of 5% per annum which is disinfationary.
More Information : WEBSITE: https://auditchain.com/
submitted by DenisGra to ICOAnalysis [link] [comments]

Today's Pre-Market News [Monday, June 17th, 2019]

Good morning traders and investors of the StockMarket sub! Welcome to the new trading week and a fresh start! Here are your pre-market news this AM-

(CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FULL SOURCE!)

Today's Top Headlines for Monday, June 17th, 2019

STOCK FUTURES CURRENTLY:

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LAST WEEK'S MARKET MAP:

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TODAY'S MARKET MAP:

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LAST WEEK'S S&P SECTORS:

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TODAY'S S&P SECTORS:

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TODAY'S ECONOMIC CALENDAR:

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THIS WEEK'S ECONOMIC CALENDAR:

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THIS WEEK'S UPCOMING IPO'S:

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THIS WEEK'S EARNINGS CALENDAR:

($CGC $ADBE $KR $ORCL $KMX $DRI $LZB $AOBC $JBL $CMC $WGO $RHT $SFUN $PSN $HX $SCS $MEI $CHKE $KFY $AMSWA $ALYA)
(CLICK HERE FOR THIS WEEK'S EARNINGS CALENDAR!)

THIS MORNING'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS CALENDAR:

()
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N/A.

THIS AFTERNOON'S POST-MARKET EARNINGS CALENDAR:

()
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NONE.

EARNINGS RELEASES BEFORE THE OPEN TODAY:

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EARNINGS RELEASES AFTER THE CLOSE TODAY:

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NONE.

FRIDAY'S ANALYST UPGRADES/DOWNGRADES:

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(CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S UPGRADES/DOWNGRADES LINK #2!)

FRIDAY'S INSIDER TRADING FILINGS:

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TODAY'S DIVIDEND CALENDAR:

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THIS MORNING'S MOST ACTIVE TRENDING TICKERS:

  • ARRY
  • PFE
  • QURE
  • FB
  • DIS
  • PYX
  • CHWY
  • JACK
  • CR
  • ACAD

THIS MORNING'S STOCK NEWS MOVERS:

(source: cnbc.com)
Pfizer – The drugmaker is buying Array Biopharma for $48 per share in cash, or $11.4 billion, including debt. That’s a 62% premium over Array’s Friday close. Array specializes in treatments for diseases where there is a large unmet need, as well as cancer drugs.

STOCK SYMBOL: PFE

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Boeing – Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg told reporters at the Paris Air Show that it will take time to win back the confidence of its customers following the two fatal crashes involving the 737 Max jet. He also said the company had failed to communicate properly with regulators and customers about problems with a cockpit warning system.

STOCK SYMBOL: BA

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Lockheed Martin – Lockheed executive Greg Ulmer said he is not concerned that the proposed merger of Raytheon and United Technologies would affect the F-35 program or put pressure on its profit margins. Ulmer is program manager for the F-35.

STOCK SYMBOL: LMT

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Walt Disney – Disney was downgraded to “in-line” from “outperform” at Imperial Capital on a valuation basis, with the stock up nearly 26% since the “outperform rating was put in place in November.

STOCK SYMBOL: DIS

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Deutsche Bank – Deutsche Bank plans to create a so-called “bad bank” to hold billions in non-core assets, according to Reuters. The move is said to be in conjunction with an overhaul of the bank’s trading operations.

STOCK SYMBOL: DB

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Alibaba – Alibaba is proposing an eight-for-one stock split, in a move designed to increase flexibility in capital raising. The proposal will be brought up at the China e-commerce giant’s July 15 annual meeting.

STOCK SYMBOL: BABA

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Deere – R.W. Baird upgraded Deere to “outperform” from “neutral.” Baird said the bad weather which has driven up the price of corn and other commodities will also spur demand for farm equipment.

STOCK SYMBOL: DE

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Keane Group – Keane and rival oilfield services firm C&J Energy announced an all-stock merger of equals, valuing the combined company at $1.5 billion excluding debt.

STOCK SYMBOL: FRAC

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Goldman Sachs – Goldman will combine four of its units that invest in private companies into one new operation, according to The Wall Street Journal. The paper said the newly created unit would be nearly as big as KKR and about one third the size of Blackstone.

STOCK SYMBOL: GS

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Target – Target said its registers are back online after outages over the weekend that prevented shoppers from making purchases on Saturday, and some from using credit cards on Sunday. The retailer said neither incident was caused by a cyberattack.

STOCK SYMBOL: TGT

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Papa John’s – Papa John’s dismissed KPMG as its auditor and hired Ernst & Young. Earlier this year, KPMG had said the pizza chain did not maintain effective control over its financial reporting.

STOCK SYMBOL: PZZA

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FedEx – China’s state news agency Xinhua said the country’s investigation into FedEx should not be seen as retaliation for trade tensions between the U.S. and China. China launched a probe over parcels intended for telecom giant Huawei delivered to the wrong address.

STOCK SYMBOL: FDX

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Symantec – Symantec was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” at Mizuho Securities, citing the cybersecurity software maker’s valuation after the stock fell 31 percent since the beginning of 2018.

STOCK SYMBOL: SYMC

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Keurig Dr Pepper – BMO Capital upgraded the beverage maker’s stock to “outperform” from “market perform,” saying the stock’s valuation discount to its non-alcohol peers is now too large to ignore.

STOCK SYMBOL: KDP

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FULL DISCLOSURE:

bigbear0083 has no positions in any stocks mentioned. Reddit, moderators, and the author do not advise making investment decisions based on discussion in these posts. Analysis is not subject to validation and users take action at their own risk. bigbear0083 is an admin at the financial forums Stockaholics.net where this content was originally posted.

DISCUSS!

What is on everyone's radar for today's trading day ahead here at StockMarket?

I hope you all have an excellent trading day ahead today on this Monday, June 17th, 2019! :)

submitted by bigbear0083 to StockMarket [link] [comments]

Decred Journal – September 2018

Note: you can read this on GitHub (link), Medium (link) or old Reddit (link).

Development

Final version 1.3.0 of the core software was released bringing all the enhancements reported last month to the rest of the community. The groundwork for SPV (simplified payment verification) is complete, another reduction of fees is being deployed, and performance stepped up once again with a 50% reduction in startup time, 20% increased sync speed and more than 3x faster peer delivery of block headers (a key update for SPV). Decrediton's integrations of SPV and Politeia are open for testing by experienced users. Read the full release notes and get the downloads on GitHub. As always, don't forget to verify signatures.
dcrd: completed several steps towards multipeer downloads, improved introduction to the software in the main README, continued porting cleanups and refactoring from upstream btcd.
Currently in review are initial release of smart fee estimator and a change to UTXO set semantics. The latter is a large and important change that provides simpler handling, and resolves various issues with the previous approach. A lot of testing and careful review is needed so help is welcome.
Educational series for new Decred developers by @matheusd added two episodes: 02 Simnet Setup shows how to automate simnet management with tmux and 03 Miner Reward Invalidation explains block validity rules.
Finally, a pull request template with a list of checks was added to help guide the contributors to dcrd.
dcrwallet: bugfixes and RPC improvements to support desktop and mobile wallets.
Developers are welcome to comment on this idea to derive stakepool keys from the HD wallet seed. This would eliminate the need to backup and restore redeem scripts, thus greatly improving wallet UX. (missed in July issue)
Decrediton: bugfixes, refactoring to make the sync process more robust, new loading animations, design polishing.
Politeia: multiple improvements to the CLI client (security conscious users with more funds at risk might prefer CLI) and security hardening. A feature to deprecate or timeout proposals was identified as necessary for initial release and the work started. A privacy enhancement to not leak metadata of ticket holders was merged.
Android: update from @collins: "Second test release for dcrandroid is out. Major bugs have been fixed since last test. Latest code from SPV sync has been integrated. Once again, bug reports are welcome and issues can be opened on GitHub". Ask in #dev room for the APK to join testing.
A new security page was added that allows one to validate addresses and to sign/verify messages, similar to Decrediton's Security Center. Work on translations is beginning.
Overall the app is quite stable and accepting more testers. Next milestone is getting the test app on the app store.
iOS: the app started accepting testers last week. @macsleven: "the test version of Decred Wallet for iOS is available, we have a link for installing the app but the builds currently require your UDID. Contact either @macsleven or @raedah with your UDID if you would like to help test.".
Nearest goal is to make the app crash free.
Both mobile apps received new design themes.
dcrdata: v3.0 was released for mainnet! Highlights: charts, "merged debits" view, agendas page, Insight API support, side chain tracking, Go 1.11 support with module builds, numerous backend improvements. Full release notes here. This release featured 9 contributors and development lead @chappjc noted: "This collaboration with @raedahgroup on our own block explorer and web API for @decredproject has been super productive.".
Up next is supporting dynamic page widths site wide and deploying new visual blocks home page.
Trezor: proof of concept implementation for Trezor Model T firmware is in the works (previous work was for Model One).
Ticket splitting: updated to use Go modules and added simnet support, several fixes.
docs: beginner's guide overhaul, multiple fixes and cleanups.
decred.org: added 3rd party wallets, removed inactive PoW pools and removed web wallet.
@Richard-Red is building a curated list of Decred-related GitHub repositories.
Welcome to new people contributing for the first time: @klebe, @s_ben, @victorguedes, and PrimeDominus!
Dev activity stats for September: 219 active PRs, 197 commits, 28.7k added and 18.8k deleted lines spread across 6 repositories. Contributions came from 4-10 developers per repository. (chart)

Network

Hashrate: started and ended the month around 75 PH/s, hitting a low of 60.5 and a new high of 110 PH/s. BeePool is again the leader with their share varying between 23-54%, followed by F2Pool 13-30%, Coinmine 4-6% and Luxor 3-5%. As in previous months, there were multiple spikes of unidentified hashrate.
Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 98 DCR (+2.4). The price varied between 95.7 and 101.9 DCR. Locked DCR amount was 3.86-3.96 million DCR, or 45.7-46.5% of the supply.
Nodes: there are 201 public listening nodes and 325 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 5% are v1.4.0(pre) dev builds (+3%), 30% on v1.3.0 (+25%), 42% on v1.2.0 (-20%), 15% on v1.1.2 (-7%), 6% on v1.1.0. More than 76% of nodes run v1.2.0 and higher and therefore support client filters. Data as of Oct 1.

ASICs

Obelisk posted two updates on their mailing list. 70% of Batch 1 units are shipped, an extensive user guide is available, Obelisk Scanner application was released that allows one to automatically update firmware. First firmware update was released and bumped SC1 hashrate by 10-20%, added new pools and fixed multiple bugs. Next update will focus on DCR1. It is worth a special mention that the firmware source code is now open! Let us hope more manufacturers will follow this example.
A few details about Whatsminer surfaced this month. The manufacturer is MicroBT, also known as Bitwei and commonly misspelled as Bitewei. Pangolinminer is a reseller, and the model name is Whatsminer D1.
Bitmain has finally entered Decred ASIC space with their Antminer DR3. Hash rate is 7.8 TH/s while pulling 1410 W, at the price of $673. These specs mean it has the best GH/W and GH/USD of currently sold miners until the Whatsminer or others come out, although its GH/USD of 11.6 already competes with Whatsminer's 10.5. Discussed on Reddit and bitcointalk, unboxing video here.

Integrations

Meet our 17th voting service provider: decredvoting.com. It is operated by @david, has 2% fee and supports ticket splitting. Reddit thread is here.
For a historical note, the first VSP to support ticket splitting was decredbrasil.com:
@matheusd started tests on testnet several months ago. I contacted him so we could integrate with the pool in June this year. We set up the machine in July and bought the first split ticket on mainnet, using the decredbrasil pool, on July 19. It was voted on July 30. After this first vote on mainnet, we opened the tests to selected users (with more technical background) on the pool. In August we opened the tests to everyone, and would call people who want to join to the #ticket_splitting channel, or to our own Slack (in Portuguese, so mostly Brazilian users). We have 28 split tickets already voted, and 16 are live. So little more than 40 split tickets total were bought on decredbrasil pool. (@girino in #pos-voting)
KuCoin exchange listed DCBTC and DCETH pairs. To celebrate their anniversary they had a 99% trading fees discount on DCR pairs for 2 weeks.
Three more wallets integrated Decred in September:
ChangeNow announced Decred addition to their Android app that allows accountless swaps between 150+ assets.
Coinbase launched informational asset pages for top 50 coins by market cap, including Decred. First the pages started showing in the Coinbase app for a small group of testers, and later the web price dashboard went live.

Adoption

The birth of a Brazilian girl was registered on the Decred blockchain using OriginalMy, a blockchain proof of authenticity services provider. Read the full story in Portuguese and in English.

Marketing

Advertising report for September is ready. Next month the graphics for all the ads will be changing.
Marketing might seem quiet right now, but a ton is actually going on behind the scenes to put the right foundation in place for the future. Discovery data are being analyzed to generate a positioning strategy, as well as a messaging hierarchy that can guide how to talk about Decred. This will all be agreed upon via consensus of the community in the work channels, and materials will be distributed.
Next, work is being done to identify the right PR partner to help with media relations, media training, and coordination at events. While all of this is coming up to speed, we believe the website needs a refresher reflecting the soon to be agreed upon messaging, plus a more intuitive architecture to make it easier to navigate. (@Dustorf)

Events

Attended:
Upcoming:
We'll begin shortly reviewing conferences and events planned for the first half of 2019. Highlights are sure to include The North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami (Jan 16-18) and Consensus in NYC (May 14-16). If you have suggestions of events or conferences Decred should attend, please share them in #event_planning. In 2019, we would like to expand our presence in Europe, Asia, and South America, and we're looking for community members to help identify and staff those events. (@Dustorf)

Media

August issue of Decred Journal was translated to Russian. Many thanks to @DZ!
Rency cryptocurrency ratings published a report on Decred and incorporated a lot of feedback from the community on Reddit.
September issue of Chinese CCID ratings was published (snapshot), Decred is still at the bottom.
Videos:
Featured articles:
Articles:

Community Discussions

Community stats:
Comm systems news: Several work channels were migrated to Matrix, #writers_room is finally bridged.
Highlights:
Twitter: why decentralized governance and funding are necessary for network survival and the power of controlling the narrative; learning about governance more broadly by watching its evolution in cryptocurrency space, importance of community consensus and communications infrastructure.
Reddit: yet another strong pitch by @solar; question about buyer protections; dcrtime internals; a proposal to sponsor hoodies in the University of Cape Town; Lightning Network support for altcoins.
Chats: skills to operate a stakepool; voting details: 2 of 3 votes can approve a block, what votes really approve are regular tx, etc; scriptless script atomic swaps using Schnorr adaptor signatures; dev dashboard, choosing work, people do best when working on what interests them most; opportunities for governments and enterprise for anchoring legal data to blockchain; terminology: DAO vs DAE; human-friendly payments, sharing xpub vs payment protocols; funding btcsuite development; Politeia vote types: approval vote, sentiment vote and a defund vote, also linking proposals and financial statements; algo trading and programming languages (yes, on #trading!); alternative implementation, C/C++/Go/Rust; HFTs, algo trading, fake volume and slippage; offline wallets, usb/write-only media/optical scanners vs auditing traffic between dcrd and dcrwallet; Proof of Activity did not inspire Decred but spurred Decred to get moving, Wikipedia page hurdles; how stakeholders could veto blocks; how many votes are needed to approve a proposal; why Decrediton uses Electron; CVE-2018-17144 and over-dependence on single Bitcoin implementation, btcsuite, fuzz testing; tracking proposal progress after voting and funding; why the wallet does not store the seed at all; power connectors, electricity, wiring and fire safety; reasonable spendings from project fund; ways to measure sync progress better than block height; using Politeia without email address; concurrency in Go, locks vs channels.
#support is not often mentioned, but it must be noted that every day on this channel people get high quality support. (@bee: To my surprise, even those poor souls running Windows 10. My greatest respect to the support team!)

Markets

In September DCR was trading in the range of USD 34-45 / BTC 0.0054-0.0063. On Sep 6, DCR revisited the bottom of USD 34 / BTC 0.0054 when BTC quickly dropped from USD 7,300 to 6,400. On Sep 14, a small price rise coincided with both the start of KuCoin trading and hashrate spike to 104 PH/s. Looking at coinmarketcap charts, the trading volume is a bit lower than in July and August.
As of Oct 4, Decred is #18 by the number of daily transactions with 3,200 tx, and #9 by the USD value of daily issuance with $230k. (source: onchainfx)
Interesting observation by @ImacallyouJawdy: while we sit at 2018 price lows the amount locked in tickets is testing 2018 high.

Relevant External

ASIC for Lyra2REv2 was spotted on the web. Vertcoin team is preparing a new PoW algorithm. This would be the 3rd fork after two previous forks to change the algorithm in 2014 and 2015.
A report titled The Positive Externalities of Bitcoin Mining discusses the benefits of PoW mining that are often overlooked by the critics of its energy use.
A Brief Study of Cryptonetwork Forks by Alex Evans of Placeholder studies the behavior of users, developers and miners after the fork, and makes the cases that it is hard for child chains to attract users and developers from their parent chains.
New research on private atomic swaps: the paper "Anonymous Atomic Swaps Using Homomorphic Hashing" attempts to break the public link between two transactions. (bitcointalk, decred)
On Sep 18 Poloniex announced delisting of 8 more assets. That day they took a 12-80% dive showing their dependence on this one exchange.
Circle introduced USDC markets on Poloniex: "USDC is a fully collateralized US dollar stablecoin using the ERC-20 standard that provides detailed financial and operational transparency, operates within the regulated framework of US money transmission laws, and is reinforced by established banking partners and auditors.".
Coinbase announced new asset listing process and is accepting submissions on their listing portal. (decred)
The New York State Office of the Attorney General posted a study of 13 exchanges that contains many insights.
A critical vulnerability was discovered and fixed in Bitcoin Core. Few days later a full disclosure was posted revealing the severity of the bug. In a bitcointalk thread btcd was called 'amateur' despite not being vulnerable, and some Core developers voiced their concerns about multiple implementations. The Bitcoin Unlimited developer who found the bug shared his perspective in a blog post. Decred's vision so far is that more full node implementations is a strength, just like for any Internet protocol.

About This Issue

This is the 6th issue of Decred Journal. It is mirrored on GitHub, Medium and Reddit. Past issues are available here.
Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research.
Feedback is appreciated: please comment on Reddit, GitHub or #writers_room on Matrix or Slack.
Contributions are also welcome: some areas are adding content, pre-release review or translations to other languages.
Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, Dustorf, jz, Haon, oregonisaac, raedah and Richard-Red.
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Statement on regulatory framework for virtual asset portfolios managers, fund distributors and trading platform operators

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) notes with concern the growing investor interest in gaining exposure to virtual assets via funds and unlicensed trading platform operators in Hong Kong. The SFC has identified significant risks associated with investing in virtual assets and these are set out below. In order to address these risks, the SFC is issuing guidance on the regulatory standards expected of virtual asset portfolio managers and fund distributors. The SFC is also exploring a conceptual framework for the potential regulation of virtual asset trading platform operators.
Background
Technology is transforming the landscape of the financial industry. Distributed ledger technology offers an anonymous way to digitally record ownership of virtual assets and facilitates peer-to-peer trading. A virtual asset is a digital representation of value, which is also known as "cryptocurrency", "crypto-asset" or "digital token". The polymorphous and evolving features of virtual assets mean that they may be, or claim to be, a means of payment, may confer a right to present or future earnings or enable a token holder to access a product or service, or a combination of any of these functions.
Public interest in virtual assets has grown exponentially around the world since the creation of the most widely-known digital token, Bitcoin, in 2008. At its peak in early January 2018, the market capitalisation of Bitcoin and other digital tokens was estimated at more than US$800 billion1. Over 2,000 different digital tokens are currently traded around the world with an estimated total market capitalisation of over US$200 billion. Although the aggregated market capitalisation of digital tokens has fallen substantially from its peak, trading volumes remain substantial. There is also a growing demand for funds which invest in virtual assets.
While virtual assets have not posed a material risk to financial stability2, there is a broad consensus among securities regulators that they pose significant investor protection risks. The regulatory response to these risks varies in different jurisdictions, depending on the regulatory remit, the scale of the activities and their impact on investor interests and whether virtual assets are deemed financial products suitable for regulation.
Under existing regulatory remits in Hong Kong, markets for virtual assets may not be subject to the oversight of the SFC if the virtual assets involved fall outside the legal definition of "securities" or "futures contracts" (or equivalent financial instruments). Therefore, investors who trade in virtual assets through unregulated trading platforms or invest in virtual asset portfolios which are managed by unregulated portfolio managers do not enjoy the protections afforded under the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO), such as requirements which ensure safe custody of assets and fair and open markets. If platform operators and portfolio managers are not regulated, their fitness and properness, including their financial soundness and competence, have not been assessed, and their operations are not subject to any supervision.
Risks associated with investing in virtual assets
Virtual assets pose significant risks to investors. Some of these risks are inherent in the nature and characteristics of the virtual assets themselves and others stem from the operations of platforms or portfolio managers.
Valuation, volatility and liquidity
Virtual assets are generally not backed by physical assets or guaranteed by the government. They have no intrinsic value. There are currently no generally accepted valuation principles governing certain types of virtual assets. Prices on the secondary market are driven by supply and demand and are short-term and volatile by nature. The volatility faced by investors may be further magnified where liquidity pools for virtual assets are small and fragmented.
Accounting and auditing
Among the accounting profession, there are no agreed standards and practices for how an auditor can perform assurance procedures to obtain sufficient audit evidence for the existence and ownership of virtual assets, and ascertain the reasonableness of the valuations.
Cybersecurity and safe custody of assets
Trading platform operators and portfolio managers may store clients' assets in hot wallets (ie, online environments which provide an interface with the internet). These can be prone to hacking. Cyber-attacks resulting in the hacking of virtual asset trading platforms and thefts of virtual assets are common. Victims may have difficulty recovering losses from hackers or trading platforms, which can run to hundreds of millions of US dollars.
Virtual asset funds face a unique challenge due to the limited availability of qualified custodian solutions. Available solutions may not be totally effective.
Market integrity
Unlike regulated stock exchanges, the market for virtual assets is nascent and does not operate under a set of recognised and transparent rules. Outages are not uncommon, as are market manipulative and abusive activities, and these all result in investor losses.
Risk of money laundering and terrorist financing
Virtual assets are generally transacted or held on an anonymous basis. In particular, platforms which allow conversions between fiat currencies and virtual assets are inherently susceptible to higher risks of money laundering and terrorist financing. Where criminal activities are involved, investors may not be able to get back their investments as a result of law enforcement action.
Conflicts of interest
Virtual asset trading platform operators may act as agents for clients as well as principals. Virtual asset trading platforms may facilitate the initial distribution of virtual assets (eg, initial coin offerings), facilitate secondary market trading, or both, as in a traditional exchange, alternative trading system or securities broker. If these operators are not under the purview of any regulator, it would be difficult to detect, monitor and manage conflicts of interest.
Fraud
Virtual assets may be used as a means to defraud investors. Virtual asset trading platform operators or portfolio managers may not have conducted sufficient product due diligence before allowing a virtual asset to be traded on their platforms or investing in a virtual asset for their portfolios. As a result, investors may become victims of fraud and lose their investments.
Existing regulatory regime
The SFC has issued a number of circulars clarifying its regulatory stance on virtual assets3. Where virtual assets fall under the definition of "securities" or "futures contracts", these products and related activities may fall within the SFC's ambit. The SFC also reminded intermediaries in a circular dated 1 June 20184 about the notification requirements under the Securities and Futures (Licensing and Registration)(Information) Rules if they intend to provide trading and asset management services involving crypto-assets.
The SFC has undertaken a series of actions against those who may have breached its rules and regulations when carrying out activities related to virtual assets. These include providing regulatory guidance, issuing warning and compliance letters and taking regulatory action5.
However, many virtual assets do not amount to "securities" or "futures contracts". Moreover, managing funds solely investing in virtual assets which do not constitute "securities" or "futures contracts" does not amount to a "regulated activity" as specified under the SFO. Similarly, the operators of platforms which only provide trading services for virtual assets not falling within the definition of "securities" do not fall within the jurisdiction of the SFC. Notwithstanding the above, if firms are engaged in the distribution of funds which invest in virtual assets, irrespective of whether these assets constitute "securities" or "futures contracts", these firms are required to be licensed by or registered with the SFC.
I. Regulatory approach for virtual asset portfolio managers and fund distributors
In the application of the SFC's regulatory powers, many investors in virtual assets are left unprotected by the conventional approach where financial products are classified as "securities" or "futures contracts". The SFC has decided to adopt a way forward which will bring a significant portion of virtual asset portfolio management activities into its regulatory net. The overarching principles and regulatory standards of the regulatory framework are summarised below.
(a) Virtual asset portfolio managers
(i) Scope of supervision
The following types of virtual asset portfolio managers will be subject to the SFC's supervision:
Firms managing funds which solely invest in virtual assets that do not constitute "securities" or "futures contracts" and distribute the same in Hong Kong These firms will typically require a licence for Type 1 regulated activity (dealing in securities) because they distribute these funds in Hong Kong. The management of these funds will also be subject to the SFC's oversight through the imposition of licensing conditions; and
Firms which are licensed or are to be licensed for Type 9 regulated activity (asset management) for managing portfolios in "securities", "futures contracts" or both To the extent that these firms also manage portfolios which invest solely or partially (subject to a de minimis requirement6) in virtual assets that do not constitute "securities" or "futures contracts", such management will also be subject to the SFC's oversight through the imposition of licensing conditions.
(ii) Regulatory standards
In order to afford better protection to investors, the SFC considers that all licensed portfolio managers intending to invest in virtual assets should observe essentially the same regulatory requirements7 even if the portfolios (or portions of portfolios) under their management invest solely or partially in virtual assets, irrespective of whether these virtual assets amount to "securities" or "futures contracts"8.
For this purpose, the SFC has developed a set of standard terms and conditions (Terms and Conditions) which captures the essence of the Existing Requirements, adapted as needed to better address the risks associated with virtual assets. For example, only professional investors as defined under the SFO should be allowed to invest in any virtual asset portfolios (subject to the de minimis requirement). These Terms and Conditions are principles-based and should generally be appropriate to be imposed on virtual asset portfolio managers as licensing conditions, subject to minor variations and elaborations depending on the business model of the individual virtual asset portfolio manager. Some of the key terms and conditions are set out in Appendix 1, "Regulatory standards for licensed corporations managing virtual asset portfolios".
(iii) Licensing process
Licence applicants and licensed corporations are required to inform the SFC if they are presently managing or planning to manage one or more portfolios that invest in virtual assets9. Upon being so informed, the SFC will first seek to understand the firm's business activities. If the firm appears to be capable of meeting the expected regulatory standards, the proposed Terms and Conditions will be provided to the firm (where applicable) and the SFC will discuss them with the firm and vary them in light of its particular business model so as to ensure that they are reasonable and appropriate.
If a licence applicant does not agree to comply with the proposed Terms and Conditions, its licensing application will be rejected. Similarly, if an existing licensed corporation with a VA portfolio does not agree to comply with the proposed Terms and Conditions, it will be required to unwind that portfolio within a reasonable period of time.
After the licence applicant or licensed corporation has agreed with the proposed Terms and Conditions, they will be imposed as licensing conditions.
Failure to comply with any licensing condition is likely to be considered as misconduct under the SFO. This will reflect adversely on its fitness and properness and may result in the SFC taking regulatory action.
(b) Virtual asset fund distributors
Firms which distribute funds that invest (solely or partially) in virtual assets in Hong Kong will require a licence or registration for Type 1 regulated activity (dealing in securities). As such, these firms are required to comply with the Existing Requirements, including the suitability obligations, when distributing these funds. Given the significant risks posed to investors, further guidance on the expected standards and practices when distributing virtual asset funds is provided in the "Circular to intermediaries on the distribution of virtual asset funds" issued by the SFC on 1 November 2018.
Under this arrangement, if a virtual asset fund available in Hong Kong is not already managed by those firms mentioned under section I(a)(i), these funds will still be distributed by firms mentioned under section I(b), all of which are subject to the SFC's oversight. As such, the management or distribution of these funds would be regulated in one way or another by the SFC.
II. Exploring regulation of platform operators
Separately, the SFC is also setting out a conceptual framework for the potential regulation of virtual asset trading platforms in this statement, with a view to exploring (and forming a view after the exploratory stage) whether virtual asset trading platforms are suitable for regulation. If the SFC is minded to license any virtual asset trading platforms, it is proposed that the standards of conduct regulation for virtual asset trading platform operators should be comparable to those applicable to existing licensed providers of automated trading services.
The SFC considers that the regulatory approach under the conceptual framework (if implemented) could provide a path for compliance for those platform operators capable and willing to adhere to a high level of standards and practices, and set licensed operators apart from those which do not seek a licence.
Some of the world's largest virtual asset trading platforms have been seen operating in Hong Kong but they fall outside the regulatory remit of the SFC10 and any other regulators. Owing to the serious investor protection issues identified and having regard to international developments, the SFC considers it necessary to explore in earnest whether and if so, how it could regulate virtual asset trading platforms under its existing powers.
To conduct a meaningful study of the framework, the SFC will work with interested virtual asset trading platform operators that have demonstrated a commitment to adhering to the high expected standards by placing them in the SFC Regulatory Sandbox11.
In the initial exploratory stage, the SFC would not grant a licence to platform operators. Instead, it would discuss its expected regulatory standards with platform operators and observe the live operations of the virtual asset trading platforms in light of these standards. It will also consider the effectiveness of the proposed regulatory requirements in addressing risks and providing adequate investor protection. The SFC will critically consider whether the virtual asset trading platforms are, in fact, appropriate to be regulated by the SFC in light of the performance of these trading platforms in the Sandbox. Factors to be considered include the adequacy and effectiveness of the proposed conceptual framework; ability to comply with the terms and conditions; investors' interests; as well as local market and international regulatory developments.
It may be a possibility that due to the inherent characteristics of the underlying technology or business models of platform operators, the SFC will conclude that risks involved cannot be properly dealt with under the standards it would expect, and that investor protection still cannot be ensured. In that case, the SFC may decide that platform operators should not be regulated by the SFC. For instance, the SFC is not certain at this stage whether platform operators would satisfy the expected anti-money laundering standards, given that anonymity is the core feature of blockchain, which is the underlying technology for virtual assets. The SFC also has to take into account the rapid evolution of the whole virtual asset industry as well as development in the international regulatory community, including the work being done in International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
The exploratory stage is crucial for the SFC to understand the actual operations of platform operators to determine whether these platforms are suitable for regulation. If the SFC makes a positive determination at the end of this stage, it would then consider granting a licence to a qualified platform operator. In order not to confuse the public about the regulatory status of platform operators, the identity of the Sandbox applicants in this stage and the discussions will be kept confidential.
If the SFC grants a licence to a qualified platform operator, it will impose appropriate licensing conditions and the operator will proceed to the next stage of the Sandbox. This would typically mean more frequent reporting, monitoring and reviews so that through close supervision by the SFC, operators could put in place robust internal controls and address any of the SFC's concerns arising from the conduct of their business. The SFC may also further consider or refine its regulatory and supervisory approach through intensive dialogue with operators when they are operating in the Sandbox. After a minimum 12-month period, the virtual asset trading platform operator may apply to the SFC for removal12 or variation of some licensing conditions and exit the Sandbox. Licensing conditions (and terms and conditions) imposed in this stage would be made public in the usual way.
Details of the conceptual framework are set out in Appendix 2, "Conceptual framework for the potential regulation of virtual asset trading platform operators".
The SFC will keep the development of activities related to virtual assets in view and may issue further guidance where appropriate.
Market participants are welcome to contact the Fintech Contact Point at [email protected] if they have any questions.
Intermediaries Division
Securities and Futures Commission
1 Website of CoinMarketCap: https://coinmarketcap.com/charts/.
2 Report entitled "Crypto-asset markets - potential channels for future financial stability implications" published by the Financial Stability Board on 10 October 2018: http://www.fsb.org/wp-content/uploads/P101018.pdf.
3 These include the Statement on initial coin offerings dated 5 September 2017, Circular to Licensed Corporations and Registered Institutions on Bitcoin futures contracts and cryptocurrency-related investment products dated 11 December 2017, and the press release, "SFC warns of cryptocurrency risks", dated 9 February 2018.
4 Please refer to the Circular to intermediaries on compliance with notification requirements dated 1 June 2018 for details.
5 For details, please refer to the press release, "SFC's regulatory action halts ICO to Hong Kong public", dated 19 March 2018.
6 That is, only virtual asset portfolio managers which intend to invest 10% or more of the gross asset value (GAV) of the portfolios under its management in virtual assets will be subject to the SFC's oversight in this way.
7 This refers to existing legal and regulatory requirements set out under the subsidiary legislation, the Code of Conduct for Persons Licensed by or Registered with the Securities and Futures Commission, the Fund Manager Code of Conduct and guidelines, circulars and frequently asked questions issued by the SFC from time to time (collectively referred to as "Existing Requirements").
8 This is on the premise that virtual assets, as an asset class, have similar features and risk characteristics, whether or not they amount to "securities" or "futures contracts".
9 For the avoidance of doubt, this notification requirement applies even if (i) the licence applicant or licensed corporation manages or plans to manage virtual asset portfolios with an intention to invest less than 10% of the GAV of the portfolio in virtual assets; or (ii) the virtual assets involved have features of "securities" or "futures contracts" as defined under the SFO.
10 Platforms which offer trading of virtual assets that are not "securities" or "futures contracts" are not subject to the purview of the SFC.
11 Please refer to the press release, "Launch of the SFC Regulatory Sandbox", dated 29 September 2017 for details.
12 For example, the licensing condition on ongoing reporting obligations.
The article is from HK SFC
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FAQs

FAQs - All Frequently Asked Questions Posted and Updated Here
Q: I have lost massive sums holding various cryptocurrencies since leading coins such as Ethereum have fallen -88% peak-to-trough so far in 2018 and it looks as if it will fall further given the overpriced nature of Ethereum. Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum said himself that the cryptospace is way too overvalued. That said, why do I want my money tied up on your platform for 9 months? What are the advantages? How much risk am I taking?
A: With Hansecoin, multiple investors will be able to own a piece of the capital gain potential and yield of real estate, some land, an apartment, or an entire apartment complex. The asset provides a floor to the price and increases stability versus speculative tokens.
We are building out the world's first tokenisation platform that will be compliant with regulations. The first project Use Case when secured may deliver underlying yields of 7 to 11.4% or higher, potential capital gains, and provide bonuses and access to future project tokens at an attractive discount versus those joining after the Vesting Period. There is a revolutionary future in its application across multiple asset classes. Notably, this tokenisation approach may become a template for asset backed token projects.
With proof of concept at hand and construction started, the project shall be scaled up as several additional hard asset projects are in the queue and the platform can be white labelled. Our platform offers a replacement tool for the transaction-cost-inefficient closed-end fund structures or venture capital transactions while remaining small, solid, compact and in full regulatory compliance.
Reduced Risk: We are immune to the direction of cryptospace. Even if Ethereum were to go to zero, our token would still be valid and contractually binding. In light of the steep losses in Ethereum and other coins, the participant can stop the hemorrhaging by locking in their cryptocurrencies at a fixed rate in euros for the next 9 months while taking comfort in knowing the above benefits apply, ie, yields, capital gains, bonuses, future project access at a discount, etc. Further, the potential participation in prime residential real estate located a brief commute of 15 minutes from the city center in Tallinn, Estonia carries low risk given the history of otherwise equivalent, yet in terms of quality, design and attractiveness, inferior real estate projects launched in the neighbourhood which still sold out ahead of schedule. Indeed, the demographics of families in formation together with Estonia leading the EU in economic growth is a powerful combination contributing to the breakneck speeds of development in Tallinn.
Estonia has continuously the highest average GDP in the EU (if you compare the current members from 1994 to 2018) and thus is the EU’s fastest growing country. Estonia has been billed as the world’s leading digital nation given its pioneer status of its digital ID card program, the spread of free and ultra high speed WiFi across the country, being the pond from where Skype and Pipedrive sprung, and more. Today, its welcoming position on blockchain technologies, equivalent to that of Switzerland, as well as its e-Residency program is well known. e-Residency enables businesses to transact goods and services regardless of geographic location with the digital signature capacity known from the ID card program. Estonia’s regulators are sincerely collaborative, open for discussion, and evidently working with substantial commitment to create a fair system of regulation, monitoring and enforcement of the current legislation. They are comparatively solution driven so as to remain welcoming to the blockchain community. This explains why Estonia has the highest number of ICOs launched per capita and is ranked #5 worldwide.
From the CEO of CoinMetro, Kevin Murcko: “Although I get approached quite often to advise on ICO projects I rarely bite. Most, while they may be great 'back of napkin ideas' they usually lack substance and their teams, while sometimes quite elaborate, lack the drive, hunger, and experience to take a great idea and turn it into a great business. HanseCoin is different. The company focuses on a very specific use case for tokenization, the Asset-Backed Token, and it puts it to the test.
Not only does it provide a hedge against crypto volatility but it puts that money toward the creation of a regulator-approved platform for tokenizing any hard asset.
As a member of the Supervisory Board, I helped design the tokenization structure and I believe there is a revolutionary future in its application across multiple asset classes.
As As CEO of CoinMetro is it my job to ensure that we are constantly on the lookout for ways to gain market share and add value to not only our platform but the whole of the crypto ecosystem ... Essentially we are talking about an extension of the ICOexpress, call it a 'module', one of many in the works.”

Q: How are you compliant? Many ICOs fail to be even minimally compliant.
A: First, this is not a typical ICO but this structure represents the next evolutionary stage in asset financing in the cryptospace. We are one of if not the world’s first actual asset backed token (ABT) ICO backed by real estate. Together with our counsel and our partners from Coin Metro, we have stayed in lock-step with the regulators here in Estonia to ensure that regardless of future regulatory decisions made, due to the versatility of the project structure, it will remain compliant without that adversely affecting the business. Our token remains a utility token as demonstrated by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as it is neither a security, a debenture, nor a money market instrument. Still, we are prepared to issue a security token in the future should it become a suitable option and make sense to our expansion. Albeit that from our discussion with the relevant authorities it seems unlikely today Estonia may well pass legislation in this regard. Most importantly, leading companies are connected to our platform and its first project: we have Capital Mill, a leading developer and asset manager, as the real estate project manager, Uusmaa Kinnisvarabüro, the oldest and largest brokerage firm in Estonia as the residential sales agent, SWECO Projekt as the engineering company, 1Partner, a leading valuation company, as our appraiser, Telora AS as our supervisor, Studiomark as our architectural firm, and leading Estonian construction firms allowing the project to be built on time and in suitable quality for the residential clients.

Q: Is VPAT compliant? Does VPAT obey regulation? What about the other tokens PPT and VBT?
A: VPAT is an island, disconnected, and not tradable. Is it non-transferrable thus not a security. VPAT is heavily vetted and all VPAT holders are registered via AML/KYC with CoinMetro. Should our Issuing Company decide to issue another token (PPT, etc), that token may become tradeable and subject to regulatory law at that point.
There is an inherent difference and segregation of the VPAT from the potential PPT or VBT tokens. At the end of 9 months, the VPATs are burned, swapped, or extended and only then are PPTs issued. VPAT holders get various bonuses and preferred issuance of PPTs.
The VPAT is a centralised virtual token which results in a receipt issued to the VPAT participants (like a voucher). It is not an Ethereum based ERC distributed token unlike the PPT which may become subject to the legal, technical and regulatory environment.
As always, we will comply with any future legal, technical, and regulatory law set forth.

Q: What are the advantages of your platform?
A: Our platform offers a replacement tool for a variety of transaction cost inefficient transaction structures. The unwieldy closed-end funds of yesteryear simply front load developments with heavy hand costs for management and distribution. They typically start at around 10 million euros. Friends & family and crowd funding asset capital raises are typically limited to 1.5 – to at best 2 ¼ million euros. Our platform enables a far more efficient and less costly way for anyone who wishes to tokenise a project and raise capital between 1.5 and 10 million euros for their hard asset project, including but not limited to real estate. Blockchain simplifies and facilitates transactions by removing redundant layers.

Q: Future plans to expand?
A: An asset backed tokenisation does not end with standard real estate. This can also be done with other associated hard assets such as factories which include identifiable, traceable and productive machinery and equipment. Indeed, the founders and their partners are themselves invested in industrial assets, farming and agritech. We believe that such capital intensive segments are ideal candidates for subsequent, larger asset backed tokenisation capital raises when the concept with its technology and documentation is proven.
Eventually, HanseCoin, subject to project success, markets and regulation, may even become an issuing house with an investment advisory license. We will also enable others to white label our product since a number of projects have expressed deep interest. Indeed, as stated in the above article, a number of notable voices in the blockchain space such as Multicoin Capital partner Kyle Samani have said, "Using blockchains, you can securitize any asset for 1/100th the cost.” According to Prof. Stephen McKeon of the University of Oregon, "We will undoubtedly see tokenized real estate securities in 2018." An analyst at Apex Token Fund went on to explain, "A new level of liquidity is created when tokenizing traditional assets. This liquidity makes it faster and easier to rebalance a portfolio as the market changes."

Q: Please explain unpaid taxes to the Estonian government as raised here: https://www.reddit.com/CoinMetro/comments/9lyjie/comment/e7g8ws6
A: First, Tiskre Residentsid paid its October land taxes. The company had EUR 3,407.31 land tax to pay which EMTA demands on Oct 1, and we had scheduled to pay them alongside TSD declaration by Oct 10. Notably, we paid it today ahead of time. There is no tax debt and we would expect this to be reflected with the usual delay at sources such as ‘Inforegister’.
Second, Reval Grundwert is a family venture which arranges services to group entities including concept and implementation design, engineering and supervision, planning, family investment. A previous accountant miscalculated and misrepresented two smaller tax filings for which she taken to account and court. The restatement and reconciliation is underway with EMTA.

Q: How do you securitize the asset? Is it asset backed at the beginning?
A: The VPAT token is issued and provides a receipt as noted in the info memo. Funds are employed for the project platform infrastructure/software development and to secure the use case. The owners contribute the land into the asset company at a EUR 459,810 or a 15.4% discount to appraised market value to effectively sponsor the platform development for the Use Case even ahead of the full raise and the potential PPT issuance. The externally appraised value only reflects a sale as is: no potential, no expected value increases, it is considered conservative. Initially, the Issuer provides a deposit to the Asset Company owners in lieu of the irrevocable undertaking to, in the future, enter into the contracts. The deposit in this instance covers 90% of the fixed asset price. All-in the relevant discount to fair market value is thus 23.8% which should be considered a substantial buffer.
From the closing of the hard floor raise through the VPAT, the Issuer by securing itself with the future documentation in escrow, irrevocable undertakings locked in, and a pledge over the asset company's shares, is collateralised throughout its infrastructure development phase. Even the VPAT is an asset backed token.
Note, in the unlikely event that the tokenisation were to fail with no regulatorily compliant tokenisation at hand or the Issuer to fail in its development, the Issuer would accelerate the share pledge against the Asset Company. The asset could be sold and even a fire sale should suffice to cover the Issuer's relevant risk exposure, a restructuring, rescission, or new development in light of the aformentioned large discount.
In case of questions please do not hesitate to ask.

Q: How long do actual building developments take? [USE CASE]
A: In a simplified form and besides weather conditions etc., individual buildings and their build out time depend on the building types of which there are 2 in sector 1 (one apartment, one row house), another one in sector 2 (simpler row houses) and again two types in sector 3 (apartment buildings) plus a kindergarten on the plot between 2 and 3. Some of them such as in sector 1 individually take between 6 and 7 months to build core and shell, and subject to the client package requirements (three pre-defined), the interior furnishing and fittings takes between 1 and 1.5 months. The row houses in sector 2 can be erected within 5-6 months, then interiors and the furnishing as above plus landscaping (seasonal). The affordable housing in sector 3 could be built in the same time frame for the simpler apartment buildings and about 11 months for a grouping of three which are best erected as an ensemble.
A time schedule has been defined by the accredited, experienced external project management firm with owners, engineers, architects, interior architects and reputable construction companies which shows the targeted build out rhythm with overlapping and parallel build-outs. You can find this information in the project model section p.30 onwards. If you have specific questions do not hesitate to contact us and we shall be glad to go through this in applicable detail with you.
If you look at the plots and the drone videos listed for the asset company you can see that infrastructure (road, electricity, gas, water, sewage and street lighting) has been built out already alongside sector 3 and 2. Key information and extensive descriptions are also at hand in the info memo.

Q: Are all incoming ETH converted to EUR immediately?
A: Yes, though subject to market conditions. For example, the time it took to get sufficient confirmations was considerably longer in December 2017 when the crypto market was spiking. Until our minimum target of 2.281671m EUR is received, the deposit required to secure the projects initial use case, all incoming ETH is converted to EUR. Once this amount is surpassed, Hansecoin reserves the right to hold qualities of ETH as it sees fit based in its internal risk management policies.

Q: What happens if the soft cap for your asset raise is not met?
A: I presume you are referring to the hard floor of EUR 3.275 M as a fall-back rather than the soft or target cap. Were that hard floor fail to be reached, the software and platform infrastructure development would have to be carried on by HanseCoin preferably with its community in parallel to progressing with the road map, however, after an extension window of e.g. another 10, 15 or even 30 days were to run out before reaching the hard floor, and if no restructuring of the agreements with the asset owners could be agreed upon (deposit levels, timing), the development would have to carry on without securing the use case. The latter would remain an obligation of the owners to develop without HanseCoin. In turn, in such an unlikely event, HanseCoin would have to secure another Use Case for which it has two more assets at hand in the same attractive area, one in a comparable development stage and one at an earlier stage. Both would allow for collateralisation and lower deposit levels so that a replacement would be a suitable option. As stated in the info memo if less (as in not enough to entertain any of the other options) is raised until a future PPT issuance on the basis of the Hansecoin platform, the VPAT may have to be rescinded.
Notably, the aforementioned time frame and cascade of options should, from our perspective, allow HanseCoin sufficient capacity to attain sufficient commitment from VPAT partners and progress with the Asset Company on mutually agreeable terms.

Q: What if you can't get approved to go on with the development, or when the approval is getting delayed an unreasonable (>1y?) amount of time?
A: The risk of development of the tokenisation to become regulatorily compliant is mitigated as follows: HanseCoin will file alongside its efforts to create the PPTs, its application to attain an investment firm license in Estonia allowing it to act as fund manager. This puts it on the safe side if considerations of certain tokens as securities were to become effective. The board and supervisory board of HanseCoin assisted by counsel and auditors will take all necessary steps and employ their professional experience to meet the requirements and become licensed in the defined regulatory process. As indicated in the roadmap, CoinMetro as an exchange requires substantially more comprehensive licensing for a variety of their additional services to be rendered in the future and is seeking theirs with a view to having them in place by end of Q2 2019.
If the technical development of the tokenisation were to be delayed beyond the date of regulatory compliance, HanseCoin with the VPAT has the option to seek an extension to complete whatever technical matters would have to be resolved, albeit that the economic interest at hand should mitigate that. HanseCoin is keen to issue, list, and expand their tokenisation platform approach to a wide audience of potential participants and process a variety of underlying hard assets, as only then it is successful. The interest of HanseCoin's founders and team are aligned with the VPAT holders. We will push the development with determination and daily grind. As such we believe that a delay as you indicated beyond a month or even three months over the Vesting Period whilst technically possible is highly unlikely.

Q: What can HanseCoin offer me that I already do not have access to? I can already directly invest in property or buy equity in residental property via crowdfunding websites etc. What I cannot do as a U.K. citizen is easily invest in overseas property, does HanseCoin fix that problem? In addition will HanseCoin give people in emerging markets easy access to say, European and American property? What kind of restrictions might I face if , as a U.K. citizen, I wanted to buy an ABT for a U.S. property?
A: You can own a piece of real estate in any jurisdiction via our platform, ie, fractional ownership. As we onboard new projects, some will be European. The US comes with certain restrictions that may make onboarding US based projects an issue. At this time, the projects of interest are non-US. We will be sure we are compliant with any projects we approve.
Re crowd funding, on our home page at Hansecoin.com, scroll down and read:
Let’s talk about The Gap.

Q: Can I own Hansecoin if I am a US resident?
A: As referred to in the disclaimers of the info memo and the webpage, HanseCoin with its ongoing private sale and the upcoming public sale in principle is currently not offered to participants who are U.S. residents as regulation so implies and we are not offering securities at this time. Without providing legal advice, a private pre-sale may e.g. allow up to 35 non-accredited investors to participate under certain limitations and exemptions under rule 506 (b), however it may have little bearing on us as the private (pre-)sale of Hansecoin VPAT's would likely be considered a form of general solicitation in the U.S. Thus, in consideration of rule 506 (c) only accredited investors, i.e. those who can verify that they are, may have a path to participate in the private (pre-) sale. May we suggest to consider this with counsel and message us directly so that we can review the matter, in case you are an interested accredited investor. We obviously value your interest and shall be glad to continue the dialogue. It is not unlikely with upcoming regulation in Estonia and the EU as well as HanseCoin progressing to become a regulated investment firm in the near future that future issues including a potential mastercoin could be offered also in the U.S. We certainly would be glad if market rules were to allow truly global coverage.
NEW FAQS FOR RON TO POST ON WEBSITE:

Q: Did I understand correctly, that HanseCoin is a overarching platform for more asset backed token projects? That token PPT token itself is not limited to the current real estate (RE) you are developing? If so, what happens if let's say, the current RE is finished and you start another project, will there then the same process as now, but with a PPT2?
A: HanseCoin is an overarching platform and not limited to one project, albeit that the first project contributed at a significant discount to the platform to support its launch carries itself and the platform build-out. HanseCoin's goal is to efficiently onboard a variety of projects which fit the 'Gap' range for development capital, i.e. small/mid cap project financings for hard assets. We have three projects in the short term pipeline which shall be launched in stages over the next months. The structuring employed in the initial project can, as per current review be rolled out in more than a dozen, potentially more jurisdictions of the current EU-27. Variations of the structure used by HanseCoin render it sufficiently resilient to over time include more hard assets including factory machinery and equipment as well as segments such as rolling stock. However, we start with something small, solid and compact in real estate development where platform and participants in its onboarded project(s) can capitalise on sufficient potential to reap liquidity premiums and reduce transaction cost through tokenisation.

Q: Can I draw a similarity to Coin Metro’s (CM's) ICO express here: Both HanseCoin and ICO Express to onboard external projects? Now you guys lead the real estate (RE) development yourself, but maybe the next project is developed by an external team but uses your platform for tokenization?
A: I would say that we will work closely with CM's on their ICO Express, as there is no need to reinvent the wheel and we believe that they are in the process of setting up an excellent platform. Technically, I would consider us the Asset Financing Module associated with/connected to their platform. Given our understanding of RE in specific and asset financing in general the intention is to process a series of projects and develop the capacity of HanseCoin to assess, validate, wherever needed structure and adapt/improve underlying projects with strong project financing parties (project managers, engineers, architects, banks, brokers, supervisors, construction companies) etc. - we facilitate the RE development or third party projects employing HanseCoin as the project tokenisation platform.
In other asset finance segments, such as factory and machinery, the industries we can work with are widely varied, as Chris just stated, this can be biotech as well as manufacturing, the key is the underlying asset.
For retail solutions the logistics solutions connecting e-commerce and highstreet require substantial investments in hardware, data processing capacity and software. Whilst the line there blurs between pure hard assets and its steering/process technology, the physically distributed logistics aspect is intriguing and we believe we can in the future benefit from tokenisation.

Q: I'm interested in finding out more re contributing to the private sale (amount of funds being raised, minimum contribution size, etc).
A: Pursuant to ongoing discussions with a variety of interested parties including family offices across Germany, Austria and Scandinavia committing to certain amounts we have created a sliding incentive scale for those entering the Private Sale:
During the current phase up till the hard floor for the platform build-out we offer small, yet attractive discounts to early bird participants, whereas larger ticket sizes obtain higher discounts. Parties committing participations of EUR 50,000k receive a discount (as a token amount bonus) of 2.25%, EUR 100,000 equates 2.5% discount/bonus, EUR 200,000 results in 3% discount/bonus and tickets of EUR 500 k and above receive a 4% discount/ bonus.
For those followers here on Telegram the ticket sizes can be amended but discounts/bonus tokens of 1% kick in starting at EUR 10,000 (equivalent in ETH).
For the sake of good order, recently we have done one brief flash sale to reward our hardcore followers, tech contributors and early birds at a significant one time only 5% discount/bonus. We do not envisage it to be repeated.
As the token vesting period ends after latest 9 months and a tradable token is then issued even the lowest rung of discounts is slightly better than many peer products and approaches, certainly better than parking it in money market products. For small to medium size participants, generally, parking liquidity in attractive vehicles with underlying real estate and hard assets in Europe is not such a bad idea at this time. The tokens are available at short notice.
If this is of interest to you please advise which volumes in the above brackets you wish to pursue and we shall open the Private Sale to you.

Q: How does HanseCoin compare to other companies attempting to issue asset backed tokens? Aren’t such tokens securities?
A: Hansecoin has a unique approach in that it has achieved regulatory compliance even with token issuance. Have a look at the Whitepaper. Normally, tokens of this nature will be regulated as securities. So for HanseCoin to stay compliant, we have a regulatorily compliant token (VPAT) for the platform which is already asset backed. It is non-negotiable, non-transferrable, and non-tradeable thus is not a security token. HanseCoin will later issue tokenized securities known as PPTs upon being regulated as an investment firm in lock-step with what EU / Estonian regulators decide.
As noted, Hansecoin is live already. Its original token, the VPAT, is already asset backed and called an ABT. Due to substantial demand from private equity we are in a private sale at the moment. If and when suitable a public sale may be announced.
So, no more weeks of waiting as with so many others. If you are interested to enter into the private sale please register and let us know. [my note: Smartlands has launched their mastercoin which should be a security since it is tradeable but not issuing tokenized securities as of yet.]

Q: How can HanseCoin claim to have first mover advantage compared to, say, Smartlands, when HanseCoin hasn't even finished its capital raise or developed its platform? If my understanding is correct, Smartlands completed their token sale last year and have already developed their core platform
Also, I'm finding the whitepaper diifficult to digest. It’s very wordy. I'm sure the key points could be presented more succinctly.
A: For the sake of good order, Smartlands has placed its token but is not asset backed from the begininng. By the way, it has lost -24.8% from its peak 4 days ago, though through its excellent PR, I believe it is the only coin that has outperformed bitcoin this year, which attests to the power of the asset backed token.
That said, Smartlands does not have any live project. HanseCoin has not made such claims but is the first regulated asset backed token in that it has the underlying asset pledged to it in proportion to the funds raised, and one live project plus three which its shareholders have either secured or control over. The issuance of the HanseCoin PPT token is solely deferred due to and dependent on the current regulation. In order to become independent from that, HanseCoin will file to become a regulated investment adviser in December so that by February it can issue securities and thus tokenised securities no matter what ambiguity may exist then for other token approaches.
In the meantime, those who are holding HanseCoin VPAT tokens whose value is not pegged to any cryptocurrency but to hard assets sidestepped the recent huge drop seen in bitcoin and most all other cryptocurrencies. The average cryptocurrency has now lost over 90% of its value in 2018. Meanwhile, the value of the VPAT is pegged to the euro and the underlying asset.
Besides blockchain related software improvements, the current platform development is predominantly geared to the expansion into 17 EU jurisdictions and related systems compatibility, database design, and applicable interfaces, compliance process designs, linkage with exchanges, as well as research and development into future tokenisation components.
As to the whitepaper, based on requirements of the EFSA (the Estonian regulator), PWC Legal as our counsel, auditors, and tax advisers, we have to reflect the matter comprehensively. The summary pages tend to be important whilst the flow charts are there to assist with visuals.
Whilst you may consider it excessive, we have condensed both the tokenisation and the use case significantly. Some of our team have longstanding careers in investment banking, corporate audit, and structured finance. Any offering circular in asset backed bonds, a closed end fund prospectus or an euqity placement memorandum would run into hundreds of pages and a 8x multiple word count.
Our target was to simplify the sourcing, issuance and distribution of asset financing with benefits to participants and developers alike whilst substantially reducing transaction cost to enable and accelerate that. That is the key proposition of blockchain and only our platform is live and doing that. Having a listed token today is secondary.
Here are some bullet points which focus on the key points to our platform:
· First-mover Advantage - HanseCoin is the world's first regulated blockchain platform to tokenise hard assets;
· Technology - Solid Blockchain technology applied properly greatly lowers transaction costs across the board from project inception to completion thus participants reap high yields;
· Demand - Leading developers and sponsors across Europe wish to onboard their projects onto our platform;
· Regulatory Compliant - Regulatory passporting capacity into the majority of EU markets and capacity to go beyond;
· Client Access to Higher Yield - Development projects bring high yields to people who are not classic development investors at a time of historically low interest rates;
· Risk Mitigation - Excellent diversification opportunity to peg capital to the value of the underlying hard assets.
· Ongoing Transaction & Success Fee Generation - The platform generates ongoing transaction fees per project. The more projects and more participants, the higher the profits which are shared between Participants and the platform.
But the way, together with CoinMetro (www.coinmetro.com) and its CEO Kevin Murcko we will at Slush to present their exchange and our platform as the first solid Asset Backed Token for hard assets to listed on CoinMetro.

Q: How do projects such as https://www.meridio.co compete with HanseCoin?
A: Meridio.co offers fractional ownership which, whilst fine as a concept, does not lend itself to fit the tokenised securities approach EU regulators are starting to take (they have MIFID, AIFM, etc. to work with) and the specific segment of project/asset financing where development capital is actually required, the small and mid cap segment in Europe and beyond (we call it 'the gap' of EUR 1.5 to EUR 10 m of equity participations in projects) is not addressed. HanseCoin already owns shovel ready land and its platform is regulated.

Q: A few questions:
1a. Which tokens do private sale participants receive for their contribution? VPAT, PPT or both?
2a. Are VPAT tokens temporary in nature, having no further use once they have been swapped or burned following the completion of the platform development?
3a. What is the main potential benefit to a participant in acquiring VPAT tokens?
4a. Is PPT the participation token for the first project only or for all future projects supported by the platform? (Or something in between?)
5a. What is the HanseCoin master token?
A:
1a. The private sale participants receive VPATs.
2a. The VPAT is the asset backed token which starts the platform and provides exclusive access to (a) the PPTs prior to them becoming tradable as well as (b) the VBTs. All VPATs are burned, swapped, or extended at the end of the vesting period.
3a. The VPAT provides exclusive access to future tokens including the tradeable PPT, VBTs for bonuses, and potential further privileges which the platform may grant to its early sponsors and participants. The VPAT is also the only path to secure discounted PPT token access.
4a. As of today, the PPT covers the initial project use case. Each additional project will see an appropriate amount of PPTs issued to reflect the initial capital requirement of the underlying asset development project at its inception. During the platform development and regulation phase, additional VPATs will be issued in regard to further projects in the pipeline. The first PPT will be known as HanseCoin 8. Each additional project will countdown from 8 thus the second project will be known as HanseCoin 7, and so forth. Upon the first issuance and listing of a PPT, thus subject to further regulation of tokenised securities, it is envisaged to have VPATs only issued for each private sale phase.
5a. A master coin which represents not just one specific project but the value of HanseCoin as a whole company will be issued at some point when project tokens have gained critical mass in terms of projects, countries/markets covered and distribution. It seems likely that the countdown will fit well with this. The valuation will be dictated by the ongoing projects, projects to be on-boarded, and any white-labelling on the HanseCoin platform. We envisage that all original VPAT holders should have privileged access to an attractive bonus for the master coin which shall be accrued through VBTs during the PPT issuance period. These specific VBTs would vest until the issuance of the master coin. This is an exclusive benefit to the initial VPAT participants.

Q: So are VPAT and PPT *categories* of token rather that the actual tokens themselves? In other words, HanseCoin 8 is *a* PPT not *the* PPT? Also, if private sale participants receive VPATs, then why does hansecoin.coinmetro.com offer "HANS" tokens, which Chris tells me refers to "HanseCoin 8" tokens? Shouldn't coinmetro be offering VPAT tokens at this stage, not PPT tokens?
A: VPAT is a virtual token. PPT will be a compliant tokenized security we issue sometime next year, potentially ahead of the projected 9 month vesting period of the VPAT. The PPT will be compliant, in line with regulations as they are formed.
HANS is the ticker for the VPAT. Only the first phase VPAT currently exists that represents the first use case. HanseCoin 8 is the first use case. HanseCoin 7 will be the second use case, ticking down by one each time a new project is launched.
By the way, there is no such thing as a security token even though STO stands for security token offering. But then, many of the terms used in the cryptospace have been bastardized such as the term 'whitepaper'.

Q: I presume the VPAT for the second project will have a different ticker? What is the ticker for the first PPT (HanseCoin 8)?
A: A ticker will be assigned then by the listing exchange and the symbol is not decided, yet, although it seems reasonable to consider a variation of HANS (which is the ticker for the first VPAT) plus an indicator (technically, the ticker can remain as is whilst the sub-category is defined as an index).
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