Silk Road, Mt.Gox and Secret Service Agents: Top 3 Bitcoin
Silk Road, Mt.Gox and Secret Service Agents: Top 3 Bitcoin
Silk Road Arrests: Bitcoin Dealers, BTCKing and Charlie
Silk Road. All about cryptocurrency - BitcoinWiki
Bitcoin exchanges investigated over possible Silk Road
How blockchain helped bring down the Silk Road -- GCN
Monero - The Elephant in the Room
The state of financial privacy in 2020 Note: You can read this in a friendlier format with images over on Medium - https://medium.com/@johnfoss/the-elephant-in-the-room-34e061f5912a The erosion of personal privacy is gaining momentum since the coronavirus pandemic took hold. Worldwide, there have been numerous calls by governments and social commentators to increase the surveillance of citizens in hope of controlling the virus. Corporations such as Google and Apple, along with countries such as Singapore, Germany, Belgium, USA, and South Korea have been utilizing smartphone data in different capacities to monitor the movements of citizens. Many believe the implementation of new surveillance measures will calcify and become the new norm, setting precedence for further encroachment. Mainstream media has also begun supporting the notion of increased surveillance to serve social and financial needs. A recent Bloomberg opinion piece discussed the need for increased surveillance, pointing out the financial system we operate within is fractured and inefficient when dealing with wide spread social and economic problems. Once again, government over-reach of citizens’ privacy is a considered solution to our problems. Countries such as Sweden (which is expected to go entirely cashless by 2023) have been leading the charge in moving to a cashless world, and in Australia the government is preparing to ban cash transactions over ten thousand dollars in order to increase monitorization. This road to a cashless society is being sped up by the coronavirus pandemic. There is correlation between countries where ‘cash is king’ and a high number of coronavirus infections. Many retail stores are now too afraid to accept cash due to possible virus transmission, with some outright refusing to transact with cash. The erosion of privacy, and the gradual transition from cash to digital financial transactions leads us to murky waters. Will we be able to conduct private financial transactions five to ten years from now? Throughout the past decade, unorthodox individuals turned to Bitcoin in order to transact privately. This led to the inception of popular online darknet markets such as the Silk Road. However, many of the darknet markets proved to be unreliable and short-lived. It soon became apparent to Bitcoin users that Bitcoin is not private, and many of those conducting transactions in relation to darknet markets were identified and prosecuted. Blockchain analytic companies such as Chainanalysis gained traction and suddenly Bitcoin tumblers were found to be ineffective. Blockchain analytic companies take advantage of Bitcoin’s transparent blockchain, analysing data and tracking transaction outputs. The blockchain analytic company then sells this information to cryptocurrency exchanges and government organisations so they can link Bitcoin addresses to specific users. Many Bitcoin advocates tout Bitcoin can be used privately via the use of newer tumbling technologies, however this is a somewhat arduous process with no guarantee of its effectiveness. In December 2019 Chainanalysis demonstrated how they tracked transactions mixed via Wasabi Wallet that were associated with the PlusToken scam. Tumbling also leads to the possibility of coin taint, whereas certain Bitcoin may be perceived to be less valuable because they can be identified as being associated with nefarious activities, and as a result exchange services may confiscate coins when a user attempts to sell them. While Bitcoin holds many desirable characteristics of sound money, many prominent figures within the Bitcoin space have repeatedly discussed on the need for default privacy and fungibility. However, as was seen in previous years’ block size dispute, the issue of privacy will come with great lengthy debate as stakeholders attempt to reach a consensus that does not impact upon the characteristics of Bitcoin. As change within the social and financial landscape continues to accelerate, those seeking financial privacy may turn to Monero. Monero is the elephant in the room. Monero is a cryptocurrency similar to Bitcoin and shares many of the same characteristics of sound money, however it also provides default privacy. Unlike other privacy focused cryptocurrencies, privacy isn’t opt-in, so all transactions and wallet amounts are unknown and indistinguishable from one another. Every unit of Monero is valued equally as no matter its history. This allows Monero to be truly fungible, and eradicates any possibility of coin taint. It has proven this in a number of cases. For example, exchanges have been hesitant to list Monero due to KYC/AML compliance issues it raises because it is impossible to determine transaction history. If Monero provides financial privacy solutions, why is Monero being ignored? Firstly, while most deem privacy to be important, many are yet to find it necessary to adopt privacy technologies. There are many easy to use privacy solutions such as Signal or DuckDuckGo, however these are not widely used as users opt for convenience instead. As surveillance increases and data collected is harnessed to marginalize or punish users, it is like that privacy technologies will become extremely desirable. Additionally, acquiring Monero can be difficult or inconvenient for some, as cryptocurrency exchanges must comply with laws and regulations, and may perceive it to be a risk listing an untraceable cryptocurrency. This also leads to lower liquidity than other cryptocurrencies. Monero remains a community driven project. Public figures such as John McAfee and Crypto Vigilante continue to advocate the use of Monero ahead of Bitcoin. Due to its humble and open-source nature, Monero isn’t widely promoted even though it maintains the third largest cryptocurrency community on Reddit after Bitcoin and Ethereum. In respect to the technology, Monero’s hashrate has steadily been increasing over time, and the number of daily transactions taking place on the Monero blockchain are higher than ever. The Monero Research Lab continues its research in order to improve the protocol. Over the past few years these improvements resulted in reduced transaction fees, and enhanced scalability and privacy. In just a few years from now, it is extremely likely traditional financial systems will not provide the capacity to transact privately. Banks will be required to ask questions regarding why certain transactions took place, and recorded transaction data will be sold to third parties. As the erosion of our privacy continues to accelerate, it won’t be long until Monero gains the use and recognition it deserves, and price reflects this. Monero is what people think Bitcoin is. Feel free to share or publish this article as you wish.
"Satoshi Nakamoto" the mysterious creator of Bitcoin is no other than the CIA
Bitcoin has surged to all time highs, Who created Bitcoin, and why? The creator of Bitcoin is officially a name, “Satoshi Nakamoto” – very few people believe that it was a single male from Japan. In the early days of Bitcoin development this name is associated with original key-creation and communications on message boards, and then the project was officially handed over to others at which point this Satoshi character never appeared again (Although from time to time someone will come forward saying they are the real Satoshi Nakamoto, and then have their posts deleted). Bitcoin could very well be the ‘one world currency’ that conspiracy theorists have been talking about for some time. It’s a kill five birds with one stone solution – not only is Bitcoin an ideal one world currency, it allows law enforcement a perfect record of all transactions on the network. It states very clearly on bitcoin.org (the official site) in big letters “Bitcoin is not anonymous” : Some effort is required to protect your privacy with Bitcoin. All Bitcoin transactions are stored publicly and permanently on the network, which means anyone can see the balance and transactions of any Bitcoin address. However, the identity of the user behind an address remains unknown until information is revealed during a purchase or in other circumstances. This is one reason why Bitcoin addresses should only be used once. Another advantage of Bitcoin is the problem of Quantitative Easing – the Fed (and thus, nearly all central banks in the world) have painted themselves in a corner, metaphorically speaking. QE ‘solved’ the credit crisis, but QE itself does not have a solution. Currently all currencies are in a race to zero – competing with who can print more money faster. Central Bankers who are in systemic analysis, their economic advisors, know this. They know that the Fiat money system is doomed, all what you can read online is true (just sensationalized) – it’s a debt based system based on nothing. That system was created, originally in the early 1900’s and refined during Breton Woods followed by the Nixon shock (This is all explained well in Splitting Pennies). In the early 1900’s – there was no internet! It is a very archaic system that needs to be replaced, by something modern, electronic, based on encryption. Bitcoin! It’s a currency based on ‘bits’ – but most importantly, Bitcoin is not the ‘one world currency’ per se, but laying the framework for larger cryptocurrency projects. In the case of central banks, who control the global monetary system, that would manifest in ‘Settlement Coin’ : Two resources available almost exclusively to central banks could soon be opened up to additional users as a result of a new digital currency project designed by a little-known startup and Swiss bank UBS. One of those resources is the real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system used by central banks (it’s typically reserved for high-value transactions that need to be settled instantly), and the other is central bank-issued cash. Using the Utility Settlement Coin (USC) unveiled today, the five-member consortium that has sprung up around the project aims to help central banks open-up access to these tools to more customers. If successful, USC has the potential to create entirely new business models built on instant settling and easy cash transfers. In interview, Robert Sams, founder of London-based Clearmatics, said his firm initially worked with UBS to build the network, and that BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, ICAP and Santander are only just the first of many future members. the NSA/CIA often works for big corporate clients, just as it has become a cliche that the Iraq war was about big oil, the lesser known hand in global politics is the banking sector. In other words, Bitcoin may have very well been ‘suggested’ or ‘sponsored’ by a banker, group of banks, or financial services firm. But the NSA (as we surmise) was the company that got the job done. And probably, if it was in fact ‘suggested’ or ‘sponsored’ by a private bank, they would have been waiting in the wings to develop their own Bitcoin related systems or as in the above “Settlement Coin.” So the NSA made Bitcoin – so what? The FX markets currently represent the exchange between ‘major’ and ‘minor’ currencies. In the future, why not too they will include ‘cryptocurrencies’ – we’re already seeing the BTC/EUR pair popup on obscure brokers. When BTC/USD and BTC/EUR are available at major FX banks and brokers, we can say – from a global FX perspective, that Bitcoin has ‘arrived.’ Many of us remember the days when the synthetic “Euro” currency was a new artificial creation that was being adopted, although the Euro project is thousands of degrees larger than the Bitcoin project. But unlike the Euro, Bitcoin is being adopted at a near exponential rate by demand (Many merchants resisted the switch to Euros claiming it was eating into their profit margins and they were right!). And to answer the question as to why Elite E Services is not actively involved in Bitcoin the answer is that previously, you can’t trade Bitcoin. Now we’re starting to see obscure brokers offering BTC/EUR but the liquidity is sparse and spreads are wacky – that will all change. When we can trade BTC/USD just like EUUSD you can bet that EES and a host of other algorithmic FX traders will be all over it! It will be an interesting trade for sure, especially with all the volatility, the cross ‘pairs’ – and new cryptocurrencies. For the record, for brokers- there’s not much difference adding a new symbol (currency pair) in MT4 they just need liquidity, which has been difficult to find. So there’s really nothing revolutionary about Bitcoin, it’s just a logical use of technology in finance considering a plethora of problems faced by any central bank who creates currency. And there are some interesting caveats to Bitcoin as compared to major currencies; Bitcoin is a closed system (there are finite Bitcoin) – this alone could make such currencies ‘anti-inflationary’ and at the least, hold their value (the value of the USD continues to deteriorate slowly over time as new M3 introduced into the system.) But we need to pay Here’s some interesting theories about who or whom is Satoshi: A corporate conglomerate Some researchers proposed that the name ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ was derived from a combination of tech companies consisting of Samsung, Toshiba, Nakayama, and Motorola. The notion that the name was a pseudonym is clearly true and it is doubtful they reside in Japan given the numerous forum posts with a distinctly English dialect. Craig Steven Wright This Australian entrepreneur claims to be the Bitcoin creator and provided proof. But soon after, his offices were raided by the tax authorities on ‘an unrelated matter’ Soon after these stories were published, authorities in Australia raided the home of Mr Wright. The Australian Taxation Office said the raid was linked to a long-running investigation into tax payments rather than Bitcoin. Questioned about this raid, Mr Wright said he was cooperating fully with the ATO. “We have lawyers negotiating with them over how much I have to pay,” he said. Other potential creators Nick Szabo, and many others, have been suggested as potential Satoshi – but all have denied it: The New Yorker published a piece pointing at two possible Satoshis, one of whom seemed particularly plausible: a cryptography graduate student from Trinity College, Dublin, who had gone on to work in currency-trading software for a bank and published a paper on peer-to-peer technology. The other was a Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, Vili Lehdonvirta. Both made denials. Fast Company highlighted an encryption patent application filed by three researchers – Charles Bry, Neal King and Vladimir Oksman – and a circumstantial link involving textual analysis of it and the Satoshi paper which found the phrase “…computationally impractical to reverse” in both. Again, it was flatly denied. THE WINNER: It was the NSA The NSA has the capability, the motive, and the operational capacity – they have teams of cryptographers, the biggest fastest supercomputers in the world, and they see the need. Whether instructed by their friends at the Fed, in cooperation with their owners (i.e. Illuminati banking families), or as part of a DARPA project – is not clear and will never be known (unless a whistleblower comes forward). In fact, the NSA employs some of the best mathematicians and cryptographers in the world. Few know about their work because it’s a secret, and this isn’t the kind of job you leave to start your own cryptography company. But the real smoking Gun, aside from the huge amount of circumstantial evidence and lack of a credible alternative, is the 1996 paper authored by NSA “HOW TO MAKE A MINT: THE CRYPTOGRAPHY OF ANONYMOUS ELECTRONIC CASH” The NSA was one of the first organizations to describe a Bitcoin-like system. About twelve years before Satoshi Nakamotopublished his legendary white paper to the Metzdowd.com cryptography mailing list, a group of NSA information security researchers published a paper entitled How to Make a Mint: the Cryptography of Anonymous Electronic Cash in two prominent places, the first being an MIT mailing list and the second being much more prominent, The American Law Review The paper outlines a system very much like Bitcoin in which secure financial transactions are possible through the use of a decentralized network the researchers refer informally to as a Bank. They list four things as indispensable in their proposed network: privacy, user identification (protection against impersonation), message integrity (protection against tampering/substitution of transaction information – that is, protection against double-spending), and nonrepudiation (protection against later denial of a transaction – a blockchain!). It is evident that SHA-256, the algorithm Satoshi used to secure Bitcoin, was not available because it came about in 2001. However, SHA-1 would have been available to them, having been published in 1993. Why would the NSA want to do this? One simple reason: Control. As we explain in Splitting Pennies – Understanding Forex – the primary means the US dominates the world is through economic policy, although backed by bombs. And the critical support of the US Dollar is primarily, the military. The connection between the military and the US Dollar system is intertwined inextricably. There are thousands of great examples only one of them being how Iraq switched to the Euro right before the Army’s invasion. In October 2000 Iraq insisted on dumping the US dollar – ‘the currency of the enemy’ – for the more multilateral euro. The changeover was announced on almost exactly the same day that the euro reached its lowest ebb, buying just $0.82, and the G7 Finance Ministers were forced to bail out the currency. On Friday the euro had reached $1.08, up 30 per cent from that time. Almost all of Iraq’s oil exports under the United Nations oil-for-food programme have been paid in euros since 2001. Around 26 billion euros (£17.4bn) has been paid for 3.3 billion barrels of oil into an escrow account in New York. The Iraqi account, held at BNP Paribas, has also been earning a higher rate of interest in euros than it would have in dollars. The point here is there are a lot of different types of control. The NSA monitors and collects literally all electronic communications; internet, phone calls, everything. They listen in even to encrypted voice calls with high powered microphones, devices like cellphones equipped with recording devices (See original “Clipper” chip). It’s very difficult to communicate on planet Earth in private, without the NSA listening. So it is only logical that they would also want complete control of the financial system, including records of all electronic transactions, which Bitcoin provides. Could there be an ‘additional’ security layer baked into the Blockchain that is undetectable, that allows the NSA to see more information about transactions, such as network location data? It wouldn’t be so far fetched, considering their past work, such as Xerox copy machines that kept a record of all copies made (this is going back to the 70’s, now it’s common). Of course security experts will point to the fact that this layer remains invisible, but if this does exist – of course it would be hidden. More to the point about the success of Bitcoin – its design is very solid, robust, manageable – this is not the work of a student. Of course logically, the NSA employs individuals, and ultimately it is the work of mathematicians, programmers, and cryptographers – but if we deduce the most likely group capable, willing, and motivated to embark on such a project, the NSA is the most likely suspect. Universities, on the other hand, didn’t product white papers like this from 1996. Another question is that if it was the NSA, why didn’t they go through more trouble concealing their identity? I mean, the internet is rife with theories that it was in fact the NSA/CIA and “Satoshi Nakamoto” means in Japanese “Central Intelligence” – well there are a few answers for this, but to be congruent with our argument, it fits their profile. Where could this ‘hidden layer’ be? Many think it could be in the public SHA-256, developed by NSA (which ironically, was the encryption algorithm of choice for Bitcoin – they could have chosen hundreds of others, which arguably are more secure): Claims that the NSA created Bitcoin have actually been flung around for years. People have questioned why it uses the SHA-256 hash function, which was designed by the NSA and published by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). The fact that the NSA is tied to SHA-256 leads some to assume it’s created a backdoor to the hash function that no one has ever identified, which allows it to spy on Bitcoin users. “If you assume that the NSA did something to SHA-256, which no outside researcher has detected, what you get is the ability, with credible and detectable action, they would be able to forge transactions. The really scary thing is somebody finds a way to find collisions in SHA-256 really fast without brute-forcing it or using lots of hardware and then they take control of the network,” cryptography researcher Matthew D. Green of Johns Hopkins University said in a previous interview. Then there’s the question of “Satoshi Nakamoto” – if it was in fact the NSA, why not just claim ownership of it? Why all the cloak and dagger? And most importantly, if Satoshi Nakamoto is a real person, and not a group that wants to remain secret – WHY NOT come forward and claim your nearly $3 Billion worth of Bitcoin (based on current prices). Did the NSA create Satoshi Nakamoto? The CIA Project, a group dedicated to unearthing all of the government’s secret projects and making them public, hasreleased a video claiming Bitcoin is actually the brainchild of the US National Security Agency. The video entitled CIA Project Bitcoin: Is Bitcoin a CIA or NSA project? claims that there is a lot of compelling evidences that proves that the NSA is behind Bitcoin. One of the main pieces of evidence has to do with the name of the mysterious man, woman or group behind the creation of Bitcoin, “Satoshi Nakamoto”. According to the CIA Project, Satoshi Nakamoto means “Central Intelligence” in Japanese. Doing a quick web search, you’ll find out that Satoshi is usually a name given for baby boys which means “clear thinking, quick witted, wise,” while Nakamoto is a Japanese surname which means ‘central origin’ or ‘(one who lives) in the middle’ as people with this surname are found mostly in the Ryukyu islands which is strongly associated with the Ry?ky? Kingdom, a highly centralized kingdom that originated from the Okinawa Islands. So combining Nakamoto and Satoshi can be loosely interpreted as “Central Intelligence”. Is it so really hard to believe? This is from an organization that until the Snowden leaks, secretly recorded nearly all internet traffic on the network level by splicing fiber optic cables. They even have a deep-sea splicing mission that will cut undersea cables and install intercept devices. Making Bitcoin wouldn’t even be a big priority at NSA. Certainly, anonymity is one of the biggest myths about Bitcoin. In fact, there has never been a more easily traceable method of payment. Every single transaction is recorded and retained permanently in the public “blockchain”. The idea that the NSA would create an anarchic, peer-to-peer crypto-currency in the hope that it would be adopted for nefarious industries and become easy to track would have been a lot more difficult to believe before the recent leaks by Edward Snowden and the revelation that billions of phone calls had been intercepted by the US security services. We are now in a world where we now know that the NSA was tracking the pornography habits of Islamic “radicalisers” in order to discredit them and making deals with some of the world’s largest internet firms to insert backdoors into their systems. And we’re not the only ones who believe this, in Russia they ‘know’ this to be true without sifting through all the evidence. Nonetheless, Svintsov’s remarks count as some of the more extreme to emanate from the discussion. Svintsov told Russian broadcast news agency REGNUM:“All these cryptocurrencies [were] created by US intelligence agencies just to finance terrorism and revolutions.”Svintsov reportedly went on to explain how cryptocurrencies have started to become a payment method for consumer spending, and cited reports that terrorist organisations are seeking to use the technology for illicit means. Let’s elaborate on what is ‘control’ as far as the NSA is concerned. Bitcoin is like the prime mover. All future cryptocurrencies, no matter how snazzy or functional – will never have the same original keys as Bitcoin. It created a self-sustained, self-feeding bubble – and all that followed. It enabled law enforcement to collect a host of criminals on a network called “Silk Road” and who knows what other operations that happened behind the scenes. Because of pesky ‘domestic’ laws, the NSA doesn’t control the internet in foreign countries. But by providing a ‘cool’ currency as a tool, they can collect information from around the globe and like Facebook, users provide this information voluntarily. It’s the same strategy they use like putting the listening device in the chips at the manufacturing level, which saves them the trouble of wiretapping, electronic eavesdropping, and other risky methods that can fail or be blocked. It’s impossible to stop a cellphone from listening to you, for example (well not 100%, but you have to physically rewire the device). Bitcoin is the same strategy on a financial level – by using Bitcoin you’re giving up your private transactional information. By itself, it would not identify you per se (as the blockchain is ‘anonymous’ but the transactions are there in the public register, so combined with other information, which the NSA has a LOT OF – they can triangulate their information more precisely. That’s one problem solved with Bitcoin – another being the economic problem of QE (although with a Bitcoin market cap of $44 Billion, that’s just another day at the Fed buying MBS) – and finally, it squashes the idea of sovereignty although in a very, very, very subtle way. You see, a country IS a currency. Until now, currency has always been tied to national sovereignty (although the Fed is private, USA only has one currency, the US Dollar, which is exclusively American). Bitcoin is a super-national currency, or really – the world’s first one world currency. Of course, this is all great praise for the DOD which seems to have a 50 year plan – but after tens of trillions spent we’d hope that they’d be able to do something better than catching terrorists (which mostly are artificial terrorists)
Hi everyone! I’m back with the fifth monthly Bitcoin news recap. I seriously can’t believe all of this stuff happened in ONE month. For those unfamiliar, each day I pick out the most popularelevant/interesting stories in bitcoin and save them. At the end of the month, I release them in one batch, to give you a quick (but not necessarily the best) overview of what happened in bitcoin over the past month. You can see recaps of the previous months on Bitcoinsnippets.com If you're on mobile and can't see the links below, check the web version. A recap of Bitcoin in May 2017
Hello! My name is Slava Mikhalkin, I am a Project Owner of Crowdsale platform at Platinum, the company that knows how to start any ICO or STO in 2019. If you want to avoid headaches with launching process, we can help you with ICO and STO advertising and promotion. See the full list of our services: Platinum.fund I am also happy to be a part of the UBAI, the first educational institution providing the most effective online education on blockchain! We can teach you how to do ICO/STO in 2019. Today I want to tell you how to sell and transfer cryptocurrencies. Major Exchanges In finance, an exchange is a forum or platform for trading commodities, derivatives, securities or other financial instruments. The principle concern of an exchange is to allow trading between parties to take place in a fair and legally compliant manner, as well as to ensure that pricing information for any instrument traded on the exchange is reliable and coherently delivered to exchange participants. In the cryptocurrency space exchanges are online platforms that allow users to trade cryptocurrencies or digital currencies for fiat money or other cryptocurrencies. They can be centralized exchanges such a Binance, or decentralized exchanges such as IDEX. Most cryptocurrency exchanges allow users to trade different crypto assets with BTC or ETH after having already exchanged fiat currency for one of those cryptocurrencies. Coinbase and Kraken are the main avenue for fiat money to enter into the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Function and History Crypto exchanges can be market-makers that take bid/ask spreads as a commission on the transaction for facilitating the trade, or more often charge a small percentage fee for operating the forum in which the trade was made. Most crypto exchanges operate outside of Western countries, enabling them to avoid stringent financial regulations and the potential for costly and lengthy legal proceedings. These entities will often maintain bank accounts in multiple jurisdictions, allowing the exchange to accept fiat currency and process transactions from customers all over the globe. The concept of a digital asset exchange has been around since the late 2000s and the following initial attempts at running digital asset exchanges foreshadows the trouble involved in attempting to disrupt the operation of the fiat currency baking system. The trading of digital or electronic assets predate Bitcoin’s creation by several years, with the first electronic trading entities running afoul of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in late 2004. Companies such as Goldex, SydneyGoldSales, and Ozzigold, shut down voluntarily after ASIC found that they were operating without an Australian Financial Services License. E-Gold, which exchanged fiat USD for grams of precious metals in digital form, was possibly the first digital currency exchange as we know it, allowing users to make instant transfers to the accounts of other E-Gold members. At its peak in 2006 E-Gold processed $2 billion worth of transactions and boasted a user base of over 5 million people. Popular Exchanges Here we will give a brief overview of the features and operational history of the more popular and higher volume exchanges because these are the platforms to which newer traders will be exposed. These exchanges are recommended to use because they are the industry standard and they inspire the most confidence. Bitfinex Owned and operated by iFinex Inc, the cryptocurrency trading platform Bitfinex was the largest Bitcoin exchange on the planet until late 2017. Headquartered in Hong Kong and based in the US Virgin Island, Bitfinex was one of the first exchanges to offer leveraged trading (“Margin trading allows a trader to open a position with leverage. For example — we opened a margin position with 2X leverage. Our base assets had increased by 10%. Our position yielded 20% because of the 2X leverage. Standard trades are traded with leverage of 1:1”) and also pioneered the use of the somewhat controversial, so-called “stable coin” Tether (USDT). Binance Binance is an international multi-language cryptocurrency exchange that rose from the mid-rank of cryptocurrency exchanges to become the market dominating behemoth we see today. At the height of the late 2017/early 2018 bull run, Binance was adding around 2 million new users per week! The exchange had to temporarily disallow new registrations because its servers simply could not keep up with that volume of business. After the temporary ban on new users was lifted the exchange added 240,000 new accounts within two hours. Have you ever thought whats the role of the cypto exchanges? The answer is simple! There are several different types of exchanges that cater to different needs within the ecosystem, but their functions can be described by one or more of the following: To allow users to convert fiat currency into cryptocurrency. To trade BTC or ETH for alt coins. To facilitate the setting of prices for all crypto assets through an auction market mechanism. Simply put, you can either mine cryptocurrencies or purchase them, and seeing as the mining process requires the purchase of expensive mining equipment, Cryptocurrency exchanges can be loosely grouped into one of the 3 following exchange types, each with a slightly different role or combination of roles. Have you ever thought about what are the types of Crypto exchanges?
Traditional Cryptocurrency Exchange: These are the type that most closely mimic traditional stock exchanges where buyers and sellers trade at the current market price of whichever asset they want, with the exchange acting as the intermediary and charging a small fee for facilitating the trade. Kraken and GDAX are examples of this kind of cryptocurrency exchange. Fully peer-to-peer exchanges that operate without a middleman include EtherDelta, and IDEX, which are also examples of decentralized exchanges.
Cryptocurrency Brokers: These are website or app based exchanges that act like a Travelex or other bureau-de-change. They allow customers to buy or sell crypto assets at a price set by the broker (usually market price plus a small premium). Coinbase is an example of this kind of exchange.
Direct Trading Platform: These platforms offer direct peer-to-peer trading between buyers and sellers, but don’t use an exchange platform in doing so. These types of exchanges do not use a set market rate; rather, sellers set their own rates. This is a highly risky form of trading, from which new users should shy away.
To understand how an exchange functions we need only look as far as a traditional stock exchange. Most all the features of a cryptocurrency exchange are analogous to features of trading on a traditional stock exchange. In the simplest terms, the exchanges fulfil their role as the main marketplace for crypto assets of all kinds by catering to buyers or sellers. These are some definitions for the basic functions and features to know: Market Orders: Orders that are executed instantly at the current market price. Limit Order: This is an order that will only be executed if and when the price has risen to or dropped to that price specified by the trader and is also within the specified period of time. Transaction fees: Exchanges will charge transactions fees, usually levied on both the buyer and the seller, but sometimes only the seller is charged a fee. Fees vary on different exchanges though the norm is usually below 0.75%. Transfer charges: The exchange is in effect acting as a sort of escrow agent, to ensure there is no foul play, so it might also charge a small fee when you want to withdraw cryptocurrency to your own wallet. Regulatory Environment and Evolution Cryptocurrency has come a long way since the closing down of the Silk Road darknet market. The idea of crypto currency being primarily for criminals, has largely been seen as totally inaccurate and outdated. In this section we focus on the developing regulations surrounding the cryptocurrency asset class by region, and we also look at what the future may hold. The United States of America A coherent uniform approach at Federal or State level has yet to be implemented in the United States. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network published guidelines as early as 2013 suggesting that BTC and other cryptos may fall under the label of “money transmitters” and thus would be required to take part in the same Anti-money Laundering (AML) and Know your Client (KYC) procedures as other money service businesses. At the state level, Texas applies its existing finance laws. And New York has instituted an entirely new licensing system. The European Union The EU’s approach to cryptocurrency has generally been far more accommodating overall than the United States, partly due to the adaptable nature of pre-existing laws governing electronic money that predated the creation of Bitcoin. As with the USA, the EU’s main fear is money laundering and criminality. The European Central Bank (ECB) categorized BTC as a “convertible decentralized currency” and advised all central banks in the EU to refrain from trading any cryptocurrencies until the proper regulatory framework was put in place. A task force was then set up by the European Parliament in order to prevent and investigate any potential money laundering that was making use of the new technology. Likely future regulations for cryptocurrency traders within the European Union and North America will probably consist of the following proposals: The initiation of full KYC procedures so that users cannot remain fully anonymous, in order to prevent tax evasion and curtail money laundering. Caps on payments that can be made in cryptocurrency, similar to caps on traditional cash transactions. A set of rules governing tax obligations regarding cryptocurrencies Regulation by the ECB of any companies that offer exchanges between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies It is less likely for other countries to follow the Chinese approach and completely ban certain aspects of cryptocurrency trading. It is widely considered more progressive and wiser to allow the technology to grow within a balanced accommodative regulatory framework that takes all interests and factors into consideration. It is probable that the most severe form of regulation will be the formation of new governmental bodies specifically to form laws and exercise regulatory control over the cryptocurrency space. But perhaps that is easier said than done. It may, in certain cases, be incredibly difficult to implement particular regulations due to the anonymous and decentralized nature of crypto. Behavior of Cryptocurrency Investors by Demographic Due to the fact that cryptocurrency has its roots firmly planted in the cryptography community, the vast majority of early adopters are representative of that group. In this section we cover the basic structure of the cryptocurrency market cycle and the makeup of the community at large, as well as the reasons behind different trading decisions. The Cryptocurrency Market Cycle Bitcoin leads the bull rally. FOMO (Fear of missing out) occurs, the price surge is a constant topic of mainstream news, business programs cover the story, and social media is abuzz with cryptocurrency chatter. Bitcoin reaches new All Timehigh (ATH) Market euphoria is fueled with even more hype and the cycle is in full force. There is a constant stream of news articles and commentary on the meteoric, seemingly unstoppable rise of Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s price “stabilizes”, In the 2017 bull run this was at or around $14,000. A number of solid, large market cap altcoins rise along with Bitcoin; ETH & LTC leading the altcoins at this time. FOMO comes into play, as the new ATH in market cap is reached by pumping of a huge number of alt coins. Top altcoins “somewhat” stabilize, after reaching new all-time highs. The frenzy continues with crypto success stories, notable figures and famous people in the news. A majority of lesser known cryptocurrencies follow along on the upward momentum. Newcomers are drawn deeper into crypto and sign up for exchanges other than the main entry points like Coinbase and Kraken. In 2017 this saw Binance inundated with new registrations. Some of the cheapest coins are subject to massive pumping, such as Tron TRX which saw a rise in market cap from $150 million at the start of December 2017 to a peak of $16 billion! At this stage, even dead coins or known scams will get pumped. The price of the majority of cryptocurrencies stabilize, and some begin to retract. When the hype is subsiding after a huge crypto bull run, it is a massive sell signal. Traditional investors will begin to give interviews about how people need to be careful putting money into such a highly volatile asset class. Massive violent correction begins and the market starts to collapse. BTC begins to fall consistently on a daily basis, wiping out the insane gains of many medium to small cap cryptos with it. Panic selling sweeps through the market. Depression sets in, both in the markets, and in the minds of individual investors who failed to take profits, or heed the signs of imminent collapse. The price stagnation can last for months, or even years. The Influence of Age upon Trading Did you know? Cryptocurrencies have been called “stocks for millennials” According to a survey conducted by the Global Blockchain Business Council, only 5% of the American public own any bitcoin, but of those that do, an overwhelming majority of 71% are men, 58% of them are between the ages of 18 and 35, and over half of them are minorities. The same survey gauged public attitude toward the high risk/high return nature of cryptocurrency, in comparison to more secure guaranteed small percentage gains offered by government bonds or stocks, and found that 30% would rather invest $1,000 in crypto. Over 42% of millennials were aware of cryptocurrencies as opposed to only 15% of those ages 65 and over. In George M. Korniotis and Alok Kumar’s study into the effects of aging on portfolio management and the quality of decisions made by older investors, they found “that older and experienced investors are more likely to follow “rules of thumb” that reflect greater investment knowledge. However, older investors are less effective in applying their investment knowledge and exhibit worse investment skill, especially if they are less educated and earn lower income.” Geographic Influence upon Trading One of the main drivers of the apparent seasonal ebb and flow of cryptocurrency prices is the tax situation in the various territories that have the highest concentrations of cryptocurrency holders. Every year we see an overall market pull back beginning in mid to late January, with a recovery beginning usually after April. This is because “Tax Season” is roughly the same across Europe and the United States, with the deadline for Income tax returns being April 15th in the United States, and the tax year officially ending the UK on the 6th of April. All capital gains must be declared before the window closes or an American trader will face the powerful and long arm of the IRS with the consequent legal proceedings and possible jail time. Capital gains taxes around the world vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but there are often incentives for cryptocurrency holders to refrain from trading for over a year to qualify their profits as long term gain when they finally sell. In the US and Australia, for example, capital gains are reduced if you bought cryptocurrency for investment purposes and held it for over a year. In Germany if crypto assets are held for over a year then the gains derived from their sale are not taxed. Advantages like this apply to individual tax returns, on a case by case basis, and it is up to the investor to keep up to date with the tax codes of the territory in which they reside. 2013 Bull run vs 2017 Bull run price Analysis In late 2016 cryptocurrency traders were faced with the task of distinguishing between the beginnings of a genuine bull run and what might colorfully be called a “dead cat bounce” (in traditional market terminology). Stagnation had gripped the market since the pull-back of early 2014. The meteoric rise of Bitcoin’s price in 2013 peaked with a price of $1,100 in November 2013, after a year of fantastic news on the adoption front with both Microsoft and PayPal offering BTC payment options. It is easy to look at a line going up on a chart and speak after the fact, but at the time, it is exceeding difficult to say whether the cat is actually climbing up the wall, or just bouncing off the ground. Here, we will discuss the factors that gave savvy investors clues as to why the 2017 bull run was going to outstrip the 2013 rally. Hopefully this will help give insight into how to differentiate between the signs of a small price increase and the start of a full scale bull run. Most importantly, Volume was far higher in 2017. As we can see in the graphic below, the 2017 volume far exceeds the volume of BTC trading during the 2013 price increase. The stranglehold MtGox held on trading made a huge bull run very difficult and unlikely. Fraud & Immoral Activity in the Private Market Ponzi Schemes Cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes will be covered in greater detail in Lesson 7, but we need to get a quick overview of the main features of Ponzi schemes and how to spot them at this point in our discussion. Here are some key indicators of a Ponzi scheme, both in cryptocurrencies and traditional investments: A guaranteed promise of high returns with little risk. Consistentflow of returns regardless of market conditions. Investments that have not been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Investment strategies that are a secret, or described as too complex. Clients not allowed to view official paperwork for their investment. Clients have difficulties trying to get their money back. The initial members of the scheme, most likely unbeknownst to the later investors, are paid their “dividends” or “profits” with new investor cash. The most famous modern-day example of a Ponzi scheme in the traditional world, is Bernie Madoff’s $100 billion fraudulent enterprise, officially titled Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. And in the crypto world, BitConnect is the most infamous case of an entirely fraudulent project which boasted a market cap of $2 billion at its peak. What are the Exchange Hacks? The history of cryptocurrency is littered with examples of hacked exchanges, some of them so severe that the operation had to be wound up forever. As we have already discussed, incredibly tech savvy and intelligent computer hackers led by Alexander Vinnik stole 850000 BTC from the MtGox exchange over a period from 2012–2014 resulting in the collapse of the exchange and a near-crippling hammer blow to the emerging asset class that is still being felt to this day. The BitGrail exchange suffered a similar style of attack in late 2017 and early 2018, in which Nano (XRB) was stolen that was at one point was worth almost $195 million. Even Bitfinex, one of the most famous and prestigious exchanges, has suffered a hack in 2016 where $72 million worth of BTC was stolen directly from customer accounts. Hardware Wallet Scam Case Study In late 2017, an unfortunate character on Reddit, going by the name of “moody rocket” relayed his story of an intricate scam in which his newly acquired hardware wallet was compromised, and his $34,000 life savings were stolen. He bought a second hand Nano ledger into which the scammers own recover seed had already been inserted. He began using the ledger without knowing that the default seed being used was not a randomly assigned seed. After a few weeks the scammer struck, and withdrew all the poor HODLer’s XRP, Dash and Litecoin into their own wallet (likely through a few intermediary wallets to lessen the very slim chances of being identified). Hardware Wallet Scam Case Study Social Media Fraud Many gullible and hapless twitter users have fallen victim to the recent phenomenon of scammers using a combination of convincing fake celebrity twitter profiles and numerous amounts of bots to swindle them of ETH or BTC. The scammers would set up a profile with a near identical handle to a famous figure in the tech sphere, such as Vitalik Buterin or Elon Musk. And then in the tweet, immediately following a genuine message, follow up with a variation of “Bonus give away for the next 100 lucky people, send me 0.1 ETH and I will send you 1 ETH back”, followed by the scammers ether wallet address. The next 20 or so responses will be so-called sockpuppet bots, thanking the fake account for their generosity. Thus, the pot is baited and the scammers can expect to receive potentially hundreds of donations of 0.1 Ether into their wallet. Many twitter users with a large follower base such as Vitalik Buterin have taken to adding “Not giving away ETH” to their username to save careless users from being scammed. Market Manipulation It also must be recognized that market manipulation is taking place in cryptocurrency. For those with the financial means i.e. whales, there are many ways in which to control the market in a totally immoral and underhanded way for your own profit. It is especially easy to manipulate cryptos that have a very low trading volume. The manipulator places large buy orders or sell walls to discourage price action in one way or the other. Insider trading is also a significant problem in cryptocurrency, as we saw with the example of blatant insider trading when Bitcoin Cash was listed on Coinbase. Examples of ICO Fraudulent Company Behavior In the past 2 years an astronomical amount of money has been lost in fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings. The utmost care and attention must be employed before you invest. We will cover this area in greater detail with a whole lesson devoted to the topic. However, at this point, it is useful to look at the main instances of ICO fraud. Among recent instances of fraudulent ICOs resulting in exit scams, 2 of the most infamous are the Benebit and PlexCoin ICOs which raised $4 million for the former and $15 million for the latter. Perhaps the most brazen and damaging ICO scam of all time was the Vietnamese Pincoin ICO operation, where $660million was raised from 32,000 investors before the scammer disappeared with the funds. In case of smaller ICO “exit scamming” there is usually zero chance of the scammers being found. Investors must just take the hit. We will cover these as well as others in Lesson 7 “Scam Projects”. Signposts of Fraudulent Actors The following factors are considered red flags when investigating a certain project or ICO, and all of them should be considered when deciding whether or not you want to invest. Whitepaper is a buzzword Salad: If the whitepaper is nothing more than a collection of buzzwords with little clarity of purpose and not much discussion of the tech involved, it is overwhelmingly likely you are reading a scam whitepaper. Signposts of Fraudulent Actors §2 No Code Repository: With the vast majority of cryptocurrency projects employing open source code, your due diligence investigation should start at GitHub or Sourceforge. If the project has no entries, or nothing but cloned code, you should avoid it at all costs. Anonymous Team: If the team members are hard to find, or if you see they are exaggerating or lying about their experience, you should steer clear. And do not forget, in addition to taking proper precautions when investing in ICOs, you must always make sure that you are visiting authentic web pages, especially for web wallets. If, for example, you are on a spoof MyEtherWallet web page you could divulge your private key without realizing it and have your entire portfolio of Ether and ERC-20 tokens cleaned out. Methods to Avoid falling Victim Avoiding scammers and the traps they set for you is all about asking yourself the right questions, starting with: Is there a need for a Blockchain solution for the particular problem that a particular ICO is attempting to solve? The existing solution may be less costly, less time consuming, and more effective than the proposals of a team attempting to fill up their soft cap in an ICO. The following quote from Mihai Ivascu, the CEO of Modex, should be kept in mind every time you are grading an ICO’s chances of success: “I’m pretty sure that 95% of ICOswill not last, and many will go bankrupt. ….. not everything needs to be decentralized and put on an open source ledger.” Methods to Avoid falling Victim §2 Do I Trust These People with My Money, or Not? If you continue to feel uneasy about investing in the project, more due diligence is needed. The developers must be qualified and competent enough to complete the objectives that they have set out in the whitepaper. Is this too good to be true? All victims of the well-known social media scams using fake profiles of Vitalik Buterin, or Bitconnect investors for that matter, should have asked themselves this simple question, and their investment would have been saved. In the case of Bitconnect, huge guaranteed gains proportional to the amount of people you can get to sign up was a blatant pyramid scheme, obviously too good to be true. The same goes for Fake Vitalik’s offer of 1 ether in exchange for 0.1 ETH. Selling Cryptocurrencies, Several reasons for selling with the appropriate actions to take: If you are selling to buy into an ICO, or maybe believe Ether is a safer currency to hold for a certain period of time, it is likely you will want to make use of the Ether pair and receive Ether in return. Obviously if the ICO is on the NEO or WANchain blockchain for example, you will use the appropriate pair. -Trading to buy into another promising project that is listing on the exchange on which you are selling (or you think the exchange will experience a large amount of volume and become a larger exchange), you may want to trade your cryptocurrency for that exchange token. -If you believe that BTC stands a good chance of experiencing a bull run then using the BTC trading pair is the suitable choice. -If you believe that the market is about to experience a correction but you do not want to take your gains out of the market yet, selling for Tether or “tethering up” is the best play. This allows you to keep your locked-in profits on the exchange, unaffected by the price movements in the cryptocurrency markets,so that you can buy back in at the most profitable moment. -If you wish to “cash out” i.e. sell your cryptocurrency for fiat currency and have those funds in your bank account, the best pair to use is ETH or BTC because you will likely have to transfer to an exchange like Kraken or Coinbase to convert them into fiat. If the exchange offers Litecoin or Bitcoin Cash pairs it could be a good idea to use these for their fast transaction time and low fees. Selling Cryptocurrencies Knowing when and how to sell, as well as strategies to inflate the value of your trade before sale, are important skills as a trader of any product or financial instrument. If you are satisfied that the sale itself of the particular amount of a token or coin you are trading away is the right one, then you must decide at what price you are going to sell. Exchanges exercise their own discretion as to which trading “pairs” they will offer, but the most common ones are BTC, ETH, BNB for Binance, BIX for Bibox etc., and sometimes Tether (USDT) or NEO. As a trader, you decide which particular cryptocurrency to exchange depending on your reason for making that specific trade at that time. Methods of Sale Market sell/Limit sell on exchange: A limit sell is an order placed on an exchange to sell as soon as (also specifically only if and when) the price you specified has been hit within the time limit you select. A market order executes the sale immediately at the best possible price offered by the market at that exact time. OTC (or Over the Counter) selling refers to sale of securities or cryptocurrencies in any method without using an exchange to intermediate the trade and set the price. The most common way of conducting sales in this manner is through LocalBitcoins.com. This method of cryptocurrency selling is far riskier than using an exchange, for obvious reasons. The influence and value of your Trade There are a number of strategies you can use to appreciate the value of your trade and thus increase the Bitcoin or Ether value of your portfolio. It is important to disassociate yourself from the dollar value of your portfolio early on in your cryptocurrency trading career simply because the crypto market is so volatile you will end up pulling your hair out in frustration following the real dollar money value of your holdings. Once your funds have been converted into BTC and ETH they are completely in the crypto sphere. (Some crypto investors find it more appropriate to monitor the value of their portfolio in satoshi or gwei.) Certainly not limited to, but especially good for beginners, the most reliable way to increase your trading profits, and thus the overall value and health of your portfolio, is to buy into promising projects, hold them for 6 months to a year, and then reevaluate. This is called Long term holding and is the tactic that served Bitcoin HODLers quite well, from 2013 to the present day. Obviously, if something comes to light about the project that indicates a lengthy set back is likely, it is often better to cut your losses and sell. You are better off starting over and researching other projects. Also, you should set initial Price Points at which you first take out your original investment, and then later, at which you take out all your profits and exit the project. That should be after you believe the potential for growth has been exhausted for that particular project. Another method of increasing the value of your trades is ICO flipping. This is the exact opposite of long term holding. This is a technique in which you aim for fast profits taking advantage of initial enthusiasm in the market that may double or triple the value of ICO projects when they first come to market. This method requires some experience using smaller exchanges like IDEX, on which project tokens can be bought and sold before listing on mainstream exchanges. “Tethering up” means to exchange tokens or coins for the USDT stable coin, the value of which is tethered to the US Dollar. If you learn, or know how to use, technical analysis, it is possible to predict when a market retreatment is likely by looking at the price movements of BTC. If you decide a market pull back is likely, you can tether up and maintain the dollar value of your portfolio in tether while other tokens and coins decrease in value. The you wait for an opportune moment to reenter the market. Market Behavior in Different Time Periods The main descriptors used for overall market sentiment are “Bull Market” and “Bear Market”. The former describes a market where people are buying on optimism. The latter describes a market where people are selling on pessimism. Fun (or maybe not) fact: The California grizzly bear was brought to extinction by the love of bear baiting as a sport in the mid 1800s. Bears were highly sought after for their intrinsic fighting qualities, and were forced into fighting bulls as Sunday morning entertainment for Californians. What has this got to do with trading and financial markets? The downward swipe of the bear’s paws gives a “Bear market” its name and the upward thrust of a Bull’s horns give the “Bull Market” its name. Most unfortunately for traders, the bear won over 80% of the bouts. During a Bull market, optimism can sometimes grow to be seemingly boundless, volume is rising, and prices are ascending. It can be a good idea to sell or rebalance your portfolio at such a time, especially if you have a particularly large position in one holding or another. This is especially applicable if you need to sell a large amount of a relatively low-volume holding, because you can then do so without dragging the price down by the large size of your own sell order. Learn more on common behavioral patterns observed so far in the cryptocurrency space for different coins and ICO tokens. Follow the link: UBAI.co If you want to know how do security tokens work, and become a professional in crypto world contact me via Facebook to get all the details: Facebook
Project Team The EOSex team brings together professionals from the fields of the blockchain, finance, IT, and law, backed by solid financial support, to create a fast, secure, open, self-governing, high-performance, transparent, community-based global digital asset trading platform. Technical Team: Our core technical team is comprised of exceptional individuals from well-known companies such as Facebook, Huobi.pro, ZGB.com, and Tencent, while our security team comes from the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Our CTO, Leo Yang, has over 12 years of in-depth experience across all of the above-mentioned fields. Indeed, our technical team has already proven fully capable of developing cutting-edge technologies, having successfully developed Liquidity-Box, having created on-chain trading pairs in just one week, having implemented EOSBET Dice. There can be little doubt that EOSex is in good hands with such an experienced and capable team. Operating Team: Our operating team is truly global, comprised of nationals from over 10 different countries and regions. Our operating consultants come from industry heavyweights, such as Dji and TRX. Our CMO, Vicky He, is well-established in the blockchain field, having worked on a number of successful blockchain projects, and using her extensive marketing experience. COO, Ruch Lee, has worked with Citibank in its Investment Department and is a serial entrepreneur. CEO, Sean M. King, is a well-known blockchain leader in the Asian region, is active in developing blockchain projects across Asia, including serving as Waves Platform Community Manager for Taiwan. With such an experi- enced and diverse operating team, EOSex is well on its way to becoming a global platform for trad- ing in quality digital assets. Legal Team: CEO, Sean M. King, has over 20 years of legal experience in the Asian region and served as Senior Steering Committee Member for Taiwan’s Blockchain Self-regulatory Organization, and was a member of the Working Group under the SRO that drafted the Code of Conduct for all digital exchanges in Taiwan to abide by. Core Team: Sean M. King: CEO Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sean-m-king-a333611/ •Experienced country manager and entrepreneur •20+yrs experience in law (PE, M&A, JV) and finance (hedge funds) in the Asian region •A key community leader in blockchain and cryptocurrency, par- ticularly in Asia •Startup mentor and leader in the Asian startup community •Member of Taiwan Blockchain SRO Senior Steering Committee (Including Digital Exchanges Working Group) •Special Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Advisor to Taiwan Con- gress The Exchange for the EOS Community RUCH LEE: COO Linkedin:https://www.linkedin.com/in/ruch-lee-7a5089152/ •master’s degree in financial engineering from Technical Univer- sity of Berlin •Worked for Citibank Investment Department, Led a USD1billion fund •Served as CEO for his own mid-sized startup •Invested in several successful ICOs between 2015 and 2018, e.g., NEO, ADA, OMG •Currently also operating a cryptocurrency quant hedge fund LEO YANG: Software Architect Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/leo-yang-36969a172/ • Fluent in multiple programming languages(Java/Node.js/Gol- ang) • 12 years of project management experience and extensive team management experience • Familiar object-oriented programming concepts and function- al programming • Enjoys working on open source architectures and other cutting-edge technologies Other Team Members: Daniel Chen: Blockchain Project Manager Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daniel-chen-901a39164/ • Core early community member of Monero • Independent Monero mining pool operator •Unique knowledge of blockchain protocols, also well-experi- enced in Golang, C++, JAVA Eric Hoo: (Hong Kong) Product Manager Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/eric-hoo-4024aab7/ • City University of Hong Kong • Co-Founder of Tankura online platform • Extensive experience using technology for business growth and customer retention International Marketing Team： Lok Pan: (Australia) Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lok-pan-83480416a/ •Honours Degree, UNSW •Worked on two successful ICO campaigns in Australia Hasan Basri CENK(Turkey): Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hbcenk/ •Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurship from Özyeğin University •Extensive experience in the blockchain field Oleh Khoroshko (Russia): Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/oleh-khoroshko •Serial entrepreneur, former police officer. •Currently, the CEO of Agrostockexchange.io, an ambitious project aimed at solving the problem of global food security. •Crypto enthusiast since 2015. As a member of Bountyhive.io team, helped to launch their own token to the global cryptocurrency market for more than 70+ projects (The most famous of them today are Dropil, Bittwatt, Robotina, Bob’s Repair, CyClean, 4NEW, Bitcoinus, Mossland, Kora). •Strengths: Strategic planning, Project management, Fiscal legalization. Advisor Tarek Hamed(Marketing Advisor) Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tkhamed/ -Involved in crypto-currency since 2013, which is the “Silk Road”, which would lead to Bitcoin and the first explosion of growth for the industry. -Early investor of Ethereum -Founder of Coins Source Inc., which was a pioneer in the digital currency space, providing project rankings, alt-coin news, developer vetting using the Trust Index, which later became an industry standard. -Active member on Bitcointalk.org forums and within largest crypto com- munities on Telegram and Discord. -Served as advisor on multiple token projects. #Eosex #eos https://www.eosex.com
Australian banks are freezing bank accounts that send money to cryptocurrency exchanges. Solution: Going forward, only use disposable bank accounts to send fiat to cryptocurrency exchanges. That way, if they close the disposable bank account, no big deal.
Bitcoin tensions rise as investors claim banks freezing their accounts December 30 2017 Bitcoin investors are claiming Australia's banks are freezing their accounts and transfers to cryptocurrency exchanges, with a viral tweet slamming the big four and an exchange platform putting a restriction on Australian deposits. Cryptocurrency trader and Youtuber Alex Saunders called out National Australia Bank, ANZ, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking Corporation on Twitter for freezing customer accounts and transfers to four different bitcoin exchanges - CoinJar, CoinSpot, CoinBase and BTC Markets. Bitcoin, a currency once known for its use by criminals trading online through a ‘Silk Road’ for drugs and weapons, has become a popular investment option. After hundreds of shares and responses to the social media posts calling the banks' alleged behaviour “disgusting” and “appalling” with some threatening to move their accounts, some users said their activities with the cryptocurrency had still been described as a "security risk" by their financial institutions. Banks were remaining tight-lipped on whether bitcoin activity was causing specific accounts to be closed or frozen, though its understood none had company-wide policies banning cryptocurrency investment activity. Yet the terms and conditions in some cases do reference Bitcoin. http://www.smh.com.au/business/bitcoin-tensions-rise-as-investors-claim-banks-freezing-their-accounts-20171229-p4yy3z.html https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-30/australian-banks-reportedly-freeze-accounts-bitcoin-users In the US, it's easy to get a free online bank account (Ally.com , CapitalOne360.com , Marcus.com , personalsavings.americanexpress.com , banking.barclaysus.com , etc), attach it to your primary bank account, and do transfers via ACH/EFT. That way, if they close your disposable bank account, it's no big deal.
The Top 9 Interesting Bitcoin Facts You Need To Know
Part of the reason people don’t want to use Bitcoin is that they don’t know enough about it. Well, our mission here at CoinSutra is to get everyone on the same page with regard to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. 1. The first Bitcoin purchase was for pizza. Did you know why May 22 is celebrated as Bitcoin Pizza Day? Initially, when bitcoins were mined they were virtually worthless as it cost literally cents to buy a BTC. But it was until 22 May 2010, when someone purchased something with bitcoins. Seven years ago on this day, someone bought Piazzas with bitcoins and this purchase was a big deal because no retailer was accepting bitcoins at that time for goods and services. On 22 May 2010, two Papa John’s Pizzas were exchanged by Laszlo Hanyecz for 10,000 BTC. This was the first official documented purchase of goods using bitcoins. At that time, the worth of 10,000 BTC was $41. At the time of writing this article, the worth of 10,000 BTC is around $25.8 million.
The inventor of Bitcoin is a mystery.
Yes, that’s correct! The inventor of Bitcoin is still unknown. Since the inception of Bitcoin in 2009, there have been several speculations about who the father of Bitcoin is. The Bitcoin whitepaper was made open to the public under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto. The identity of “Satoshi” is still a mystery yet to be solved. Amidst this confusion, there are some people like Craig Wright, an Australian entrepreneur, who in May 2016 claimed to be the inventor of Bitcoin. However, this guy, later on, turned out to be just another scammer. He with his partner tried to pump a forked version of Bitcoin called Bitcoin cash and made a lot of innocent users lose their hard earned money. None the less, he bought a Limbo with all the scam money. Some even suggest that Samsung, Toshiba, Nakamichi, and Motorola together created Bitcoin. “Satoshi Nakamoto”: Samsung and Toshiba —- Satoshi Nakamichi and Motorola —- Nakamoto This anonymity has led to comments like“Bitcoin is a Ponzi Scheme,“ yet this buzz has not stopped BTC from growing. Because the purpose of Bitcoin is to be a decentralized method of exchanging money, this anonymity is very healthy for the platform.
Bitcoin is untraceable & Bitcoin is NOT untraceable.
When making Bitcoin transactions, your name/identity is not used in any form. Only your public address is available. But… The Bitcoin blockchain is a permanent ledger which is transparent. If anyone knows your Bitcoin public address, they can see how many bitcoins you hold and what transactions you have made. It’s how the FBI was able to bust the owner of Silk Road. If users of Bitcoin want to hide their public address or IP, it can be done by using services like Bitmixer.io or a VPN. That said, this just makes it difficult to trace; difficult, but not impossible.
If you lose your Bitcoin private key, you lose your bitcoins.
James Howells, an IT guy, lost 7,500 bitcoins in November 2013. While he was cleaning his desk at home, he threw away his hard disk containing the private keys of bitcoins which he had mined in 2010. The realization dawned on him when he read the news of a Norweigan man who made a fortune by buying BTC at a low price. He searched and searched, but could not find his hard disk. At present, the worth of 7,500 BTC is approximately $19.4 million. Without the private key, the funds are lost forever no one can use them. Until this point in time, it is estimated that around 25% of all bitcoins have been forever lost.
Bitcoins don’t grow on trees. Just like money, bitcoins also don’t grow on trees.
But unlike traditional paper money, you can’t touch, feel, or print bitcoin. Bitcoins are mined on the blockchain network, and they come into existence when miners successfully mine Bitcoin blocks. At present, the mining power of Bitcoin’s network is 300 times more powerful than the world’s top 5 supercomputers combined.
There will only ever be 21 million bitcoins.
Bitcoin’s supply is finite. There will only ever be 21 million bitcoins. At present, 16.3 million have already been mined and are being traded. The last bitcoin will be mined in 2140. After that, no new bitcoins can be mined.
You can buy a lot of stuff with Bitcoin. People always ask what you can buy with bitcoins.
But the real question should be: What can’t you buy with bitcoins? Here are just a few of the goods and services offered: Coffee at Starbucks Funeral items in the US Space travel with Virgin Galatic Order food with Bitcoin E-commerce with Purse.io Book a flight for BTC Buy a Tesla Car To find out more places where you can spend your bitcoins, see CoinSutra’s guide on “Where Do I Spend Bitcoin?“.
Since 2008, Bitcoin has consistently been making a profit (except for 1 year).
Year Price at the Start of Year Price at the end of Year Growth in % 2010 $0.0015 $0.31 20566% 2011 $0.31 $6.18 1893.5% 2012 $6.18 $13.44 117.5% 2013 $13.44 $751 5487.8% 2015 $285 $435.7 52.8% 2016 $435.7 $952.5 118.5% 2017 $952.5 $2586 (To date) 171.57% Yes, I deliberately missed one year: 2014. In that year, Bitcoin prices plummeted, incurring a 62% loss to investors. That happened mostly because of the MtGox hack in 2014. After that, the price dropped from $751 to $285. The fear of a blockchain hack engulfed investors, but it was not the blockchain which was compromised. MtGox had several fatal and exploitable flaws. But every other year, the price of Bitcoin has steadily increased.
Bitcoin can’t be banned. Due to the nature of Bitcoin, there is constant talk about “banning” it. This hostility towards Bitcoin is because it works outside the jurisdiction of the traditional banking system.
However, the fundamental design is such that it can’t be banned, only regulated. As long as you have an internet connection and a Bitcoin wallet, you can engage in Bitcoin. Nevertheless, many countries have tried to ban it, like Bangladesh, Bolivia, Thailand, and Vietnam (among many others). But there are some countries like Australia, Russia, Japan, and Venezuela which have made Bitcoin an official legal tender and are regulating it. However, some countries like India and even the USA are unclear of their official policy regarding cryptocurrencies. Try as they might, Bitcoin can’t be pushed away just because it threatens the financial power structure. This is the real beauty of Bitcoin. Facts You Need To Know About Bitcoin Bitcoin is considered by many as the most revolutionary breakthrough of the 21st century after the internet. Numerous cryptocurrencies have come and left after Bitcoin. Some called themselves “rivals of Bitcoin” while some complemented Bitcoin. This is proof that Bitcoin and the blockchain are here to stay. If you know more exciting facts about Bitcoin that I have missed in this article, then do let me know in the comments!!!
How I descended into drug dealing lifestyle making 97.50% profit margin at the age of 17. M/18/AUSTRALIA
When I was 16, I had just starting hearing about TOR and the Silk Road, I didn't know much about it and I never got involved with things like this before. But first let me give you a little bit of information on myself. Ever since I was younger I was obsessed with making money, I was always coming up with new schemes and scams to make money. When I was in grade 6, I made money by selling condoms to all the try hard tough kids in the grade above me that were too chicken shit to go get their own. In year 7 I found an iPhone, disabled it's tracking capabilities and set up a dating profile with a not so well known dating app that didn't cost a cent. The scam was simple, I made a fake profile of chick, grabbed a few pictures off Google images and started messaging creepy old men, proposing if they sent my iTunes card codes in exchange I would send them nudes. They got their nudes, and I got my music. It was simple, I worked out how to download music the next year but by that time I no longer had that phone. Anyway, back on track. When I was 16 I discovered TOR and the Silk Road. In case you don't know what either is, I'll give you a really quick summary. TOR is short for "The onion router" an internet browser offering heavy duty security that, if set up correctly provides anonymity. Think of 'WWW' as a network, it's not the only one, TOR is the same, websites designed for TOR can only be viewed via TOR, however you can still look at normal links. The Silk Road was an online black market where mostly drugs where sold, shipped and delivered to your doorstep, all thanks to the crypto-currency 'Bitcoin' (Google it). Alright, moving on. I was brought up in a middle lower class home. Both my parents didn't smoke, and the most they did was have a glass of wine at dinner. I smoked cigarettes on and off during my youth, never for very long. In Grade 11 was when I really got into them, it was...let's say a cheap and affordable habit. Let me mention I live in Australia, and you normally pay $15-$25 for a pack of smokes. Thanks to the Silk Road I started importing cigarettes from both Moldova and Ukraine. I paid $50 (including multiple currency exchange rate losses) and I got 10 packs of smokes. I sold half of them for $15 each, smoked the other half. By the end of the day, I had 5 packs of smokes, and $75. $50 of that money went into the next carton of smokes I was ordering and then I had $25 left over. I did that for a while, I had quite a lot of people buying smokes off me, and I was accumulating more than I could smoke, I often found myself giving away free packets of cigarettes, to both friends and unsuspecting strangers. It made me feel good, as if I had all the cards in my hands. I loved feeling generous, but at the same time I made sure people didn't try to use me to get things for free or cheap, I was aware of those trying to do so. I felt superior, I had what people wanted and they came to me over their tobacconists and supermarkets. Made me feel better than the people running the businesses. After a while things caught up to me. And I had 2 thousand dollars worth of cigarettes stopped in customs. My dead drop exploded with tax notices. But I had been careful enough for this not to be traced back to me. It was a shock to me, I hadn't encountered this before. I had to think of a way to get around it. It was around this time when I started to smoke cannabis, I loved it. I learnt that it wasn't the deadly life destroying, reefer that had been imprinted into our heads by last generations propaganda. But buying and selling pot was a slow way to make money, but my interest in other drugs was slowly getting bigger. I settled on a fairly new drug called 25-I NBOMe. More commonly refereed to by the media as "Synthetic LSD" This is where I started to make money. Australia is one of the most expensive places to buy drugs in the world. Mostly because where on a island with perhaps the worlds best customs. If I had lived in America or Canada or wherever, then I wouldn't of made this much. But I didn't and that's why I did. I bought 100 tabs of NBOMe, and the highest quality I had ever seen (At those times) 1200ug blotters, the typical stuff was normally half that. I bought 100 tabs for about $50 I sold each individual tab for $20. I wasn't just selling drugs, I was running a service, they weren't just customers, they were clients. If at any time they had any questions they were more than welcome to shoot a text my way and I replied shortly after. If they had questions on how to do it right, or what not to do all they had to do was ask. This was fairly rare, because as soon as they bought the product off me I sent a message to their phone with detailed instructions. My clients liked me, I had some pretty good conversations with some. And everybody seemed to like the service I was offering. Which meant I keep getting repeat business. Not everybody was a polite and professional as me. My 2nd or 3rd day I was meeting this guy in public, in a car park. It was meant to be simple, I walked up, sold them the stuff, they gave me money and drove off. I always handed them the gear first, never asked for the money beforehand. If I lost a few tabs so be it, they were worth a couple of bucks out of my hands. But IN my hands, they were worth a lot more, I was turning $50 notes into $2000, I was spending as fast as I was earning, never saved any, I was too busy wrapped up in my own little world, I didn't buy fancy things, I didn't want to explain to people how I was off so well when I had never even had a job in my life. I spent money on basic things, like buying lunch for myself and friends almost every day. I was having the time of my life. Anyway, this dude turned up in this filthy 4x4 Nissan patrol. I was always careful about the cars I went up to, scouted them out first to make sure they weren't cops. Nobody suspected me of anything, I just looked like a kid walking down the street staring blankly into my phone like every other teenager, that was another reason people liked me so much, they expected me to be some huge scary looking ice-head motherfucker. He took the drugs, got out of his car, grabbed me by the neck I said if they weren't real he'd come back to break my legs. Another time, this guy was SPECIFICALLY asking to meet in the public toilets, inside them. I told him we would meet behind it instead. Anyway, when I get there this mid 20ies guy with a potbelly sticking out of his shirt, he wasn't even a big guy. Anyway he's like "Hey man, let's do it in there" and he turned around and walked in before I could say anything, I followed him and I swear to god I was going to get stabbed and raped. But turns out the guy was just super nervous, either that or he decided I wasn't to his rape taste. He even gave me some shrooms, and offered up a contact for a guy who supplied shrooms, I declined and regretted it later down the track. People started to tell me more and more about how they thought I was going to be rich and successful, nobody could ever pinpoint what they thought I was going to do, but everybody just thought I was going to be rich and famous. And after awhile I starting thinking the same too. This time one of my friends called me, he said he had a mate who wanted to buy $800 worth of tabs (I was already giving them a bulk discount from $1200) Anyway, I rock up there an it was all sus and shit, and my mate came up to the car and I said where the money and he's all like "they think your going to take it and drive off, just come over on the oval. It was stupid I know, We walked a little to an oval to this guy and I'm like hey and he just said "I'm not the guy and gestured to a few people sitting over on some logs. I walked over, and suddenly one of they guys jumped up and grabbed me and held a knife to me. "Gimme the drugs" I handed it over, it wasn't worth getting stabbed and bleed out to death over some drugs". It had been a set up the whole time, so called friend had betrayed me for drugs. I let word get around that I would pay good money to see that pathetic little shit have a taste of his own medicine, I offered a contract on him, I wanted to look the little shit in the eyes before I had him held down and force fed the very same drugs he betrayed me for, the way I saw it, it would of been justice, if he wanted free drugs, he could have them. It wasn't that I was bothered about the drugs, I could of gotten more with another $50, it was the fact that this was somebody I considered to be a friend, who betrayed me for drugs, it was the disrespect from this traitorous scumbag. I would of had him beaten and broken , but in the end what would of been the point. Forgive, but never forget I suppose. One night I was sitting alone and figured I would do some tripping, so I got out some of my product and dropped 2/3 of a tab. I sat down at my computer and watched some Aqua Teen Hunger Force. I was having fun so I decided to have some more, I dropped another half tab. It was a mistake. I overdosed/trainwrecked, I would never wish it upon anybody. Burning in hell eternally would of been better. I lost my memory temporally during the overdose I couldn't remember my name or anything about my life, I could remember how to sleep, I was on the floor having seizures, clawing at my skin. I was begging and praying to god to just kill me...Did I mention I'm a hardcore atheist. I don't know how I survived that night, but somehow I did. The next day I quit smoking, I had 1 cigarette about a month later and I only had a few draws before I stomped it out and spat out the foul taste. I stopped any drugs except pot after that, which I used medicinally for ADHD, and insomnia. I quit dealing completely, I sold a few to some close friends a while later, but that's because I knew them and they were trustworthy, and because I wanted to sell the last of my product and be done with it. I later discovered I had what most people commonly mistakenly call APB (Antisocial personality disorder) but the majority of the population knows as as sociopaths. It's quite hard to explain, but it doesn't bother me, I'm confident, I know how to get what I want, and I like to consider myself exceptionally good at manipulation which has proved to be an invulnerable tool in life. When I Overdosed I experienced something called an ego death, and I like to think about it like this, it's as if your brain is restarted, because that's EXACTLY what it was for me, I forgot everything about my life, my name, my friends, it didn't feel like my body, it felt as if I was watching myself, but I was still there. I remembered everything in the morning, my entire life and the night before, and I felt different. It FELT to me as a 2nd chance to reshape who I was, I might not of been able to do is physically, but I could mentally. I SHAPED myself in to the person I am today, anything you want to do inside your mind, it's just mind over matter, I wasn't pretending to be somebody it was not, I was becoming the person I wanted to be. Money is always on my mind, I'm smoke a fair amount of pot, both by myself and with friends and pretty much every time I get high I get ideas, it really depends on my mood set. And most of these are normal stoner ideas, and are pretty stupid (I Once said we could start a business where everybody could trade their coins for notes eg. $100 worth in coins in exchange for $75 cash. And my mate just look at me and and said, it's called a bank. I felt pretty stupid. I won't go through my good ideas here because they haven't been done and I'm pretty sure I could get good money down the track. After the ego death, things just made sense to me, just everything. The universe mostly, I just feel like I have a much greater connection, I no longer fear death, (No in a crazy way) When I OD'd and had my ego death, it was if I died. I could go on for hours on my philosophical ideas, and if your in to that stuff, we would probably get along. :) I no longer sell any types of drugs, and I would never condone it, to whomever may be reading this it is not a confession of guilt, you may not use it as evidence in a court of law. There is so much more I would of loved to include in this, so please ask ANY questions, as I would love to answer any of them and I will answer anything :)
Whereas DEVCON2 was all about development, and leveraging the network effects of leveraging other projects in the ecosystem, the presentations today were VERY high level talks. There was a massive stark difference between "the old guard" in the Fintech space, and the disruptors that are shaking things up. Take a look at the BOC (Bank of China) and ChinaLedger presentations. They talk about how Distributed computing is dangerous. ChinaLedger go on to say that they need the power to be able to go in and halt transactions, modify smart contracts on the fly, liquidate accounts when they need. While also saying that they will make sure they will do everything to help privacy and use encryption… which only the Government can unlock ("Golden keys"?). It was the most centralised "Blockchain" I have ever heard of. On the flip side I was inspired by the forward thinking of the Consensys presentation, and their long term vision for where to drive the Ethereum platform. They are helping to create open tools and platforms that will be leveragable by a multitude of projects (as demonstrated with Ujo and BHP project "Rai stones"). http://imgur.com/AXHw1Df After the Consensys presentation, my 2nd favourite presentation was by Wanxiang labs "10 years to build a city", talking about how they plan on taking some land and creating from scratch a smart city powered by the blockchain and electric vehicles. While the other old guard are squabbling about how it is going to impact their "business as usual" profits, there were the new projects out there envisioning and disrupting. The BHP presentation was also pretty cool, a great implemenation of using Blockchain to improve a business process. `
New Finance: Technical & Legal rules - BoC He is from bank of China. Entire presentation was him being scared and trying to justify why current Blockchain tech is an unregulated wasteland, and why there needs to be regulation from banks and government. For Fintech they think Blockchain will not be successful without proper regulations Blockchain finance - it is distributed. Storing all of the transactions will take a lot of storage space. What to do once the transaction rates exceed what can be processed. Thinks that public distributed transactions will not be more than a toy like with Bitcoin. For real FinTech they need something different for a high frequency. Thinks that decentralisation should not be the core feature of Blockchains (due to transaction limit). Thinks it should be decentralised, not distributed. Should be done with private consortiums. Needs legal rules and technical rules. They think that self rulemaking currencies (Bitcoin) can not be regulated. So need to stop them, to prevent bad things like money laundering. This is showing the loopholes brought about by Bitcoin. So when using digital currencies, they need certifications and tracking. "We need more regulations and rules to facilitate the healthy development of this space. Only with support of regulations can new technology take off". Me: I totally disagree… (if not already apparent) Blockchain futures & realities - CSDC China Securities Depository and clearinghouse He was much more open minded and forward looking. Is a pep talk for "things are going to change", how are we going to use these new things. He said that he recorded it into English that should be able to be downloaded, would be worth watching if you are into this space. Summary: Genie is out of the bottle, we need to embrace this and think how we are going to put the requirements of securities ("real name transactions") in a decentralised way. And the registration and tracking of assets to real names. People have ideals because they are not happy with reality. Due to this dissatisfaction, people are passionate about trying to make that dream a reality. Need to play by the rules, or the market will be chaos. So now we have facilities law, regulations, etc. This forms the framework of China economic. This is very different from Blockchain. This is at odds to the distributed systems. Seems like we are dissatisfied with this, so trying to reconcile these differences. All securities transactions need to follow "real name" transactions, but want to do this in a decentralised manner. Market cap is 54 trillion (of something in China). GDP is over 70 million They are researching Blockchain, but not just in the lab. Need to find potential applications and use cases for it. If we want to implement Blockchain technologies, we need to see what the hurdles will be, so we can get closer to the ideal. As BoC speaker said, the number of transactions per seconds is HUGE. Daily may reach 10s of millions at its peak. How are we going to handle this with a theoretical framework. Need to start from the reality of China. And the reality is it is a giant country with a huge population, which depends on the capital market. If you just implement within a lab it is okay. But if it is going to be put into the industry, then we need to work with the government. We can't just get rid of the government, it is impossible (REVOLUTION!!). So need to focus on key senarios to tackle, as you can't just apply Blockchain everywhere simultaneously. Or all your efforts will fruitless. How to complement it initially, not replace it. Ten years efforts to build a city (Wanxiang Labs) Me: I reallly liked this presentation. I've been keeping notes for months around building this type of innovative city in Australia. I plan on rewatching this one again later. Going to build a city in 10 years. An energy gathering city in HangZhou 10KM2. Their US company is starting to build new energy vehicle. 900m RMB? 90k people. Deploy the city into the cloud. Intelligent life, traffic & services. Everything will be connected. IoT, Internet, smart living, smart transport. Once this is successful, they plan on launching it across the world. Will publish their learnings. Launching incubators and accelerators. Their own cloud Blockchain as a Service. Many scenarios in this smart city that could utilise Blockchain. Distribution for Solar power. ID & Vehicle registration. Intelligent community services. Can promote a sharing economy throughout the community. Partnering with Microsoft, IBM, Consensys, Ethereum foundation, WeBank, AliCloud Vitalik Buterin keynote Talking of the progress China has made in Blockchain innovation in such a short period of time. He visited China 3 years ago and visited a number of Bitcoin companies and was impressed on the scale of what China had, much more than what was happening in USA. But all the focus was just on cryptocurrencies, not Blockchain technologies, Just mining. 2nd time, he saw some kind of experimentation happening with interesting things (like coloured coins?) 3rd time saw more interest in Blockchains. 4th? time, he did a hackathon with Wanxiang labs (event sponsor), and there were ~30 projects. The growth since then has been rapidly growing. The scale of projects we couldn't have imagined 3 years ago. Was just theoretical, now a lot of ideas are almost reality. e.g. Self-sovereign identity, instant settlement. Hyperledger https://www.hyperledger.org/ Goals. Build an opensource dev focused community of communities to build a hyperledger based solution. Create a family of "etnerprise grade" open source blockchain framework, platform & libraries. Because it is an enterprise opensource project, they need to track contributions, patent details, etc. Is part of the Linux Foundation, which has 16 years of providing governance stucture support for major open source projects. 80 project partners. IBM, Intel, Accenture, JP Morgan, Airbus, ANZ bank, Cisco, etc. 20 of the 80 project partners, are based in China. Apache license v2. A world or many chains. There will not be only one blockchain. There will be many public chians and millions of private chains. Each may use different consensus mechanisms. Major projects are: Fabric: Developed by IBM. PBFT, moving to Raft and other pluggable consensus mechanisms. Written in Go. Sawtooth Lake: Proof of Elapsed Time. Runs on secure enclaves. Written in Python. Hyperledger explorer: GUI for navigating Fabric & swatooth lake. Fabric-py SDK. (Java proposed later). Future: Smart contract engines. Portable identities. Will never see a "HyperCoin". It is about making Hyperledger a standard, and a governance group. IBM keynote - IBM Blockchain & Hyperledger Today if you want to do something in your business on Blockchain it is difficult. Hard to scale, issues with privacy. No Enterprise support. Need tools to write tests for smart contracts. Need good solution patterns. Difficult to scale up, especially around transaction rates. Built Fabric to support "serious business" Permissioned blockchains can't scale. Every node shouldn't execute every transaction. The 2 peers that are interacting are the only ones that should execute. IBM has implemented this internally to resolve invoice disputes with their suppliers. IBM All the slides were in Chinese. Difficult to follow unfortuantely. The (original) Silk Road was important for trade. Blockchain may be just as important for trade in the future People are debating the need of distributed systems being an important thing of Blockchains, is it really necessiary? Blockchain should instead be focused on unblocking instead. IBM will provide an IBM certified docker container. IBM Blockchain. http://www-31.ibm.com/ibm/cn/blockchain/index.html Has a concept of a "shadow chain"? Blockchain Platform @ Microsoft At Devcon1 Microsoft announced Blockchain as a Service. Rolled out DevTest Labs to allow you to spin up public, private, permissioned, and consotrium blockchians quickly. Provisoin with 1 click. Mix & match from best available blockchain tech. Bletchley: Open infrastructure, Enterprise capabilities. Microsoft is not building their own Blockchain. Blockchain has some missing parts (identity, privacy, key management lifecycle, tools). Asked our partners what are the missing parts. A database in itself isn't an application. (re)Announcing: Bletchley v1. 2 parts. Distributed infrastructure layer (Blockapps, R3, bitpay, parity, Eris). There isn't going to be 1 Blockchain to rule them all, so allow you to leverage any of them. Lots of customers were taking a long time trying to spin up private consortiums, and trying to secure them correctly. Used to take 3 weeks, now down to 8 questions and 5 minutes. Spins up a private Ethereum consortium. 4-100s of nodes. Distributed middleware "fabric" layer. Tools that can work across many blockchain technologies. Cryptlets are a way of doing offchain processing. Receive market data based on an event (market price daily closing, CRM event). Need to have trusted execution of the logic, to attest that it was not tampered with. Secure IP protected algorithms. Scale an algorithm for max performance by running it off blockchain in a secure & attested way in the cloud. Oracles may be malicious, or they may be intercepted during transmission. Cryptlets run on a secure host with a secure communication channel in a trust envelope. Marketplace for publishing the cryptlets into a market for others to consume. Azure cloud is twice the size of Amazon & Google COMBINED. Bletchley Cryptlet Fabric. Supports Ethereum, will support more Blockchains. It is middleware that will support many. Secure execution on demand. Standard way of publishing and accessing external resources. BaaS roadmap. DevTest labs, will continue to onboard more. Bletchley v1. Kinakuta to help improve security. Bletchley SDK Longer range implications of Ethereum & other decentralising technologies (Consensys) LOVED this presentation. Simplest view: Next gen database. Blockchain based, maximal replication, Prevents rogue actors Force for universal disintermediation, will distrupt every industry. Previously it was mostly just Bitcoin. Future projects were "BitCoin 2.0", instead of "Blockchain 2.0". So Ethereum project built the most powerful and capable Blockchain platform, both public (permisionless) and private (permissioned) Deeply secure, non-repudiable shared source of truth. Dapp is a set of smart contracts. And a user interface to interact with it. Was important to get an initial version of Ethereum out into the hands of devs, to start thinking how to start building decentralised applications. Ethereum has a vision for scalability, which includes sharding and state channels. Privacy, state channels is one option. Zcash/zk-Snarks is another way. Currently building out an ecosystem of decentralised applications. Building core components: Identity/persona (uPort, metamask). Wallet (uPort wallet). Registries (Regis, ENS). Token Factory. Do private enterprise Blockchains make sense? Yes, large entities can have a complex internal mix of business units, having a shared source of truth can help. If enterprises have their own private consortium Blockchains, will be a harder target to infiltrate and modify databases. Business processes emboided as state transition graphs. If you plan on building your own tools or technology on top of Blockchain tech (public or private), build it on Ethereum so it can be reused in many different places by other entities running their private chains Developed "Balance" for real time compliance, accounting auditing and monitoring. Real time dashboard for companies & regulators. Organisations using certified software wil not be able to break or bend any financial accounting rules. The Blockchain will last for years or decades giving a persistent database. Gives a chance to do persistent portable identity. uPort self-sovereign identity. Blockapps Announcement Is Ethereum for Enterprise. Partnered with Microsoft to announce Blockchain as a Service (BaaS). Over 1k projects have used it, over 300 customers. Being released in Azure China datacentre (mooncake), and other Chinese clouds : Alibaba cloud, tencent cloud, Wancloud. Initial China projects: Minsheng insurance, Wanxiang smart city, Qianhai smart city, Shanghai smart city. China is going to be the country leading the world in Blockchain projects. The Rise of Blockchain Consortia: Uniting the Banking World One of the largest banks in Spain. Banks are just a ledger (a very large ledger). Each bank has its own ledger. They don't trust each others. Which is why you need clearing houses and things like this. What if there was a shared ledger trusted by all banks. "It's not about the coin, its about the ledger. ` New development of ChinaLedger: Forging a powerful tool for Chinese capital market in the FinTech era Was literally the most centralised blockchain I have ever heard of. Please excuse me as I rant inline. ChinaLedger is a consortium. 11 founders established it. Chinese financial institutions and Wanxiang labs. "we created our own Blockchain and tools". Will come up with their own custom software and implementation. Will create a whitepaper and create reference architecture. Partners will use the network to do transactions. Need facilities to be able to freeze or take over acounts, and get access to all data. A need to be able to halt or freeze a transaction or smart contract. A need to be able to halt or freeze a transaction or smart contract. and the facility to liquidate an account or smart conract or manually change the state of a smart contract We need to be able to stop the trading of certain stocks. Let regulators control things. Will be fully in control of the gas. Wants to support 100k/s and 1 ms latency. Then ironically says tries to say they are going to put privacy into this. "Everything will be encrypted and private. Except that CCP & regulators who will have ability to read everything". I'm SURE that won't be abused… http://imgur.com/Qt4qh3O You keep using that word... Blockchain, distributed ledger, privacy, encryption Re-imagining Global Payments (For business) Banks make a LOT of money from bank wires. So they have no incentive to come up with anything better. The person sending the money needs to give 26 pieces of information. Don't know when you'll get the money, what the rate will be. About $20 to send, $20 to receive, plus lose a few percentage through the conversion. Their solution (for business payments). Register for an account, can use online. No fees. Transparent FX rate. Can track the payment. Uses Bitcoin in the middle. Before international calls used to call many $s per minute. Now with VoIP (Skype) you can do it for cents. Same thing will happen to international money transfers. Enabling Global P2P Cash Transfers with Abra (For consumer) https://www.goabra.com/http://www.coindesk.com/abra-remittance-app-us-launch/ Nowadays you can send an IM to anyone else in the world instantly for free. Why can't you do the same thing with money? Can do it locally in some domestic markets, like paytm (india, WeChat pay (China), mpesa (Africa). But not for cross border transactions. iOS & Android. Real digital cash wallet. Send & receive globally. No FX risk. Add cash via bank or in person. As private as paper cash. Abra tellers earn $$ (as a percentage fee). The wallet is stored locally on the phone. So you "physically" control it. (need to back up your private key). Use an Abra teller (someone else using the app) to exchange buy/sell cash for digital cash. Anyone can be a teller. Tellers charge a fee. Teller & user rate each other. When 2 people send money each other via Abra, happens instantly, . No FX volatility. Awaking the Sleeping Giant: The Natural Resource Industry and the Blockchain Note: Hispresentation was in English, but I thought it was extremely considerate that he had his slides translated into Chinese as well. Every slide had simultaneous English & Chinese descriptions so that the attendees using the live translation headsets could follow along easier. If I ever present in another country again, I'll try and plan ahead like he did. Was very thoughtful. Why is BHP interested in the Blockchain? They are the largest mining company in the world (natural resources mining, not Bitcoin mining. Hehe) They are a global distributed organisation. So a distributed Blockchain Project Rai Stones. Sample tracking of geological samples. They are highly valuable resources. Some of the wells cost $100M, and you only get 1 chance to take the sample. They currently only track the samples manually through emails & spreadsheets. They are working with Consensys & Blockapps. Runs on Ethereum & IPFS, on top of Microsoft Azure. 1 node at BHP, 1 at their collaborator, 1 at their regulator. 3 roles in the business flow, BHP out in the field, the analysis team, and BHP corp. They create/register a smart contract on the network for each sample. When the person collects the sample, they go to the dashboard, click the checkboxes to say they acquired, that updates the smart contract. They ship it off, so they put in the details of which analysis office it is being sent to, updates state from collected to shipped. Analysis team can log in, see what samples are in transit to them to be analysed. They receive it, give it a unique Id based on their internal process. They get trusted tracking of samples, and real time updates. What if they could automatically operate machines, they could help avoid bad combinations of machines operating at the same time. Like a crane operating on an oil rig, when a helicopter is coming in. Disable a piece of machinery if it is past its allowed usage before routine preventative maintenance. Disabled until it is tested, and certified as okay on the Blockchain. Stop unqualified people from using a tool or vehicle. Ore gets mined and put onto shipping freighters. Need to track Provenance, custodians, entire supply chain. Need to give regulatory data to the regulators in each country the operate in. All the mines in the industry need to submit this public data to gov, it all gets aggregated, and disseminated. But it costs HEAPS to do this. What if they built a consortium chain. They can all publish the public data, ready to be analysed instantly by peers. Could make the entire industry more effienct and transparent by making the consortium not just for the 1 country, but a public one. Give a global transparent view of the entire industry. Would help drop costs of compliance. They started on Ethereum Mainnet & Testnet. Now they are seeing the emergence of many private chains. They will see the bridging between chains. Seen that Ethereum plans on sharding (many chains). Forsees that there will be a global mesh of these Public & Private chains all supporting each other. Cotricity – “a prosumer to business”- virtual energy market on the Ethereum blockchain (Consensys) https://co-tricity.com Energy meets Blockchain Joint venture between Consensys & an energy company in Germany. Energy sector is changing rapidly. Prosumer is someone with generative capacity (eg. Solar panels & battery storage). Normal smart meter collects usage about production & consumption. Tracked on Ethereum. Matches up Prosumers to local community things like Schools. The local environmental and economic benefits of keeping it in the local community. Mechanism design, "reverse game theory". Goal is to effectiveise the energy market and reduce costs. Means creating incentives such that the optimal strategy for every participant results in the realisation of this goal. e.g. Help to smooth out the peak in the morning, give a small reward for not using energy in the morning
Bitcoin one step closer to being regulated in Australia under new anti-money laundering laws
Australia may be the next country to pass laws regulating Bitcoin and digital currencies, in an effort to curb money laundering and terror financing. The laws would give AUSTRAC new powers to police digital currency exchanges (Credit: Reuters) Bitcoin is one step closer to being regulated in Australia, with Parliament expected to this week vote on a bill to strengthen the nation's anti-money laundering laws. The value of the controversial cryptocurrency's hit its all-time high on October 21, with each Bitcoin trading at $7,467 (or $US6,149). That was almost a ten-fold surge from last October, when each unit was worth just $803 (or $US630). But even at that lower price, many people thought the digital currency was "over-valued". The proposed laws If the new laws are passed, the financial intelligence regulator AUSTRAC will be given new powers to police digital currency exchanges — where traders buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. These exchanges like Independent Reserve and BTC Markets would need to be registered under the new regime. It will also become an offence for an "unregistered person" to provide digital currency exchange services. "Businesses that trade digital currencies for money, and vice versa, will be required to enrol and register with AUSTRAC," Justice Minister Michael Keenan said in a Parliamentary speech about the bill in August. Mr Keenan said these businesses would need to "establish, implement and maintain an AML/CTF (anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing) program". In addition, they would have to "report threshold transactions and suspicious matters to AUSTRAC, and keep appropriate records". This is a softer approach compared to China, which banned initial coin offerings (ICOs) last month — a move which led to Bitcoin's value dropping by more than US$1,000 to $US3,226 (on September 14). Digital currencies and crime The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) has been a strong advocate for regulating digital currencies. "Virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, are increasingly being used by serious and organised crime groups," ACIC said in its report on Australian organised crime, released in August. "They are a form of currency that can be sold anonymously online, without reliance on a central bank or financial institution to facilitate transactions." They can be used on darknet marketplaces like Silk Road 3.0 and Valhalla Marketplace to facilitate the sale and trafficking of illicit drugs, firearms, precursor chemicals and child exploitation materials. They are also the currency of choice when it comes to cyber attacks. The hackers behind the Wannacry ransomware attack, which infected nearly 100 countries around the world demanded their ransom be paid with Bitcoin. That was also the case with the Petya cyber attack in June, which targeted the Cadbury chocolate factory in Tasmania. But the buying and selling of Bitcoin and similar virtual currencies is currently unregulated in Australia due to a loophole in existing laws. The loophole is that the term "e-currencies" is defined too specifically in the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act. "E-currencies" are defined as "an internet-based, electronic means of exchange" backed by something physical like a "precious metal" (gold or silver), or "bullion". This problem was pointed out by the Attorney-General's Department's (AGD) submissions in submissions to the Senate. In particular, the AGD said this specific definition does not cover Bitcoin. That is because the digital currency is not backed by physical assets at all — but by a "cryptographic algorithm". "This regulatory gap is also having an impact on the legitimacy and public perception of the digital currency sector, which may impede developments or the use of these currencies in the future," the AGD said. A mixed industry response There is a "legacy stigma" with digital currencies, and that people unfortunately associate Bitcoin with crime, Independent Reserve's director Lasanka Perera said. "These new laws would be good for the industry, it will give more confidence to investors, consumers and businesses to enter the industry," he said. But some digital currency businesses believe that the anti-money laundering bill imposes unduly harsh obligations. "The proposed legislation will have the effect of requiring KYC [Know Your Customer] procedures of our customers for even very small transactions," said Daniel Alexiuc, who runs an online business called Living Room of Satoshi. He said this includes small transactions like "paying your phone bill or buying a banh mi (Vietnamese bread roll) for lunch". Through Mr Alexiuc's website, customers can use Bitcoin and 10 other cryptocurrencies to pay their household bills — as long as they have BPAY facilities like ANZ Bank, Optus and Australia Post. Mr Alexiuc made submissions to the Senate's legal affairs committee arguing that there should be an exemption for payments under $1,000. His concern is, under the proposed laws, he would be required to ask his customers to provide photo identification before they register for an account. "It will kill our retail payment system, and these new laws are completely unfeasible," he said. The law currently does not require digital currency exchanges to conduct an identification check on customers who open accounts However, some of the operators who spoke with the ABC said they, nevertheless, ask for "100 points of ID" from their customers because it is "best practice". The imposition of new regulations on digital currency exchanges may also impose high entry barriers to new entrants. "There is likely to be an ongoing expensive compliance cost, particularly in regards to ongoing transaction monitoring," said BTC Markets' director Jarrod Crane, who is supportive of the proposed laws. However, he conceded that: "If this regulation was around in 2013, we probably wouldn't have been able to start our business."
4/15/14 Video News - China false alarm, Charlie Shrem indicted, Danny Brewster Responds & Gyft loses Walmart
Video: http://www.moneyandtech.com/apr15-news-update/ Here are today's top news stories in Money & Tech: Today's rumored deadline for a China crackdown has resulted in no official word from the People's Bank of China. As promised, BTC China continues to run business as usual, implementing a new deposit voucher system and software that turns any smartphone into a ‘walking bitcoin ATM’, which they are calling the ‘Picasso ATM‘. Picasso users will be able to trade bitcoins for any fiat currency, besides send and receive bitcoins like a normal wallet, meanwhile keeping them stored either on BTC China's exchange or in their secure Picasso wallet. Australia's first bitcoin ATM was unveiled Tuesday morning inside a Westfield mall in central Sydney. The launch comes a week after the National Australia Bank announced it would close vendor accounts involved in bitcoin trade. ATM company ABA Technologies CEO Chris Guzowski remains confident nonetheless, saying "We're very confident that they'll see the prospect of this technology, and we really want to work with them to grow." Following unsuccessful plea talks, prominent bitcoin entrepreneur and former Bitcoin Foundation vice chairman Charlie Shrem, has been formally indicted by a federal grand jury in New York. Shrem faces charges involving allegedly laundering money to users of anonymous online marketplace the Silk Road. His arraignment is expected to take place on April 29th. Neo & Bee CEO Danny Brewster broke his silence on Reddit to address rumors, saying the fraud charges are his greatest concern. Brewster went on to claim that the bitcoins he is holding on behalf of depositors are still safe, and that he has tried to contact the Cyprus Police Criminal Investigation Department for days with no answer, but would be happy to work with them to return those bitcoins to their rightful owners. Mobile gift card provider Gyft announced Monday that it is no longer able to offer customers gift cards for Walmart, and have had to remove them from their list of participating retailers due to circumstances beyond their control. CEO Vinny Lingham reassured that they are doing everything they can to bring Walmart back, encouraging disappointed users to email the US retail giant themselves and quote ”let them know how you feel about it.” Facebook is reportedly just weeks away from obtaining regulatory approval from the Central Bank of Ireland to start a service that would let Facebook users store, exchange and pay money to others via the site. The social media company may also be in deal discussions with a few mobile and online international money transfer startups. As a Financial Times source reported, "Facebook wants to become a utility in the developing world, and remittances are a gateway drug to financial inclusion." Since today is also tax day for our US viewers, we will be sharing an interview with Jake Benson, CEO and co-founder of Libra Tax, to help answer your questions about how to file your bitcoin taxes. Find that video here shortly.
Bitcoin exchanges investigated over possible Silk Road links. Reports suggest that Bitcoin exchanges including Mt. Gox are under investigation over potential ties to the online marketplace Silk Road. Bitcoin was the common currency of Silk Road, that bazaar of contraband whose manager got a life sentence. Russian hackers used bitcoin in their election meddling. The total revenue generated from these sales was 9,519,664 Bitcoins, and the total commissions collected by Silk Road from the sales amounted to 614,305 Bitcoins. These figures are equivalent to roughly $1.2 billion in revenue and $79.8 million in commissions, at current Bitcoin exchange rates...", according to the September 2013 complaint, and There are a few more Bitcoin scandals, including the US$72 million hacking incident of Bitfinex exchange last year, and the arrest of Charlie Shrem, CEO of Bitcoin exchange BitInstant and a founding member of the Bitcoin Foundation, back in 2014, for supplying bitcoins to Silk Road users. Unfortunately, this will probably not be the end of such Investigators followed the missing bitcoin to Mt. Gox, an exchange that handled a large number of bitcoin transactions before it filed for bankruptcy in 2014, Haun said. Upon closer inspection of the blockchain, though, federal investigators found the money went to a Secret Service agent on the Silk Road task force.
Silk Road users adopted Bitcoin as a medium of exchange because it gave them the freedom to operate outside the realms of the traditional banking systems, enabling safe and secure transactions ... Senate Committee Hearing on Bitcoin - November 18, 2013. ... Beyond Silk Road: Potential Risks, Threats, and Promises of Virtual Currencies ... 60 Minutes Australia 5,744,550 views. 27:22. https://bitcoin-mining-simulator.com. This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue Another person has been implicated as the possible mastermind of Silk Road, once the world's largest online marketplace for illegal drugs. ... CEO of now-defunct Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, as the ... Citing Elliot Wave analysis, he suggested that Bitcoin could fall to the $2,000s or even $1,000s by June or July. Alternatively, Ulbricht wrote, those prices could be reached in 2021.