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Putting $400M of Bitcoin on your company balance sheet

Also posted on my blog as usual. Read it there if you can, there are footnotes and inlined plots.
A couple of months ago, MicroStrategy (MSTR) had a spare $400M of cash which it decided to shift to Bitcoin (BTC).
Today we'll discuss in excrutiating detail why this is not a good idea.
When a company has a pile of spare money it doesn't know what to do with, it'll normally do buybacks or start paying dividends. That gives the money back to the shareholders, and from an economic perspective the money can get better invested in other more promising companies. If you have a huge pile of of cash, you probably should be doing other things than leave it in a bank account to gather dust.
However, this statement from MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor exists to make it clear he's buying into BTC for all the wrong reasons:
“This is not a speculation, nor is it a hedge. This was a deliberate corporate strategy to adopt a bitcoin standard.”
Let's unpack it and jump into the economics Bitcoin:

Is Bitcoin money?

No.
Or rather BTC doesn't act as money and there's no serious future path for BTC to become a form of money. Let's go back to basics. There are 3 main economic problems money solves:
1. Medium of Exchange. Before money we had to barter, which led to the double coincidence of wants problem. When everyone accepts the same money you can buy something from someone even if they don't like the stuff you own.
As a medium of exchange, BTC is not good. There are significant transaction fees and transaction waiting times built-in to BTC and these worsen the more popular BTC get.
You can test BTC's usefulness as a medium of exchange for yourself right now: try to order a pizza or to buy a random item with BTC. How many additional hurdles do you have to go through? How many fewer options do you have than if you used a regular currency? How much overhead (time, fees) is there?
2. Unit of Account. A unit of account is what you compare the value of objects against. We denominate BTC in terms of how many USD they're worth, so BTC is a unit of account presently. We can say it's because of lack of adoption, but really it's also because the market value of BTC is so volatile.
If I buy a $1000 table today or in 2017, it's roughly a $1000 table. We can't say that a 0.4BTC table was a 0.4BTC table in 2017. We'll expand on this in the next point:
3. Store of Value. When you create economic value, you don't want to be forced to use up the value you created right away.
For instance, if I fix your washing machine and you pay me in avocados, I'd be annoyed. I'd have to consume my payment before it becomes brown, squishy and disgusting. Avocado fruit is not good money because avocadoes loses value very fast.
On the other hand, well-run currencies like the USD, GBP, CAD, EUR, etc. all lose their value at a low and most importantly fairly predictible rate. Let's look at the chart of the USD against BTC
While the dollar loses value at a predictible rate, BTC is all over the place, which is bad.
One important use money is to write loan contracts. Loans are great. They let people spend now against their future potential earnings, so they can buy houses or start businesses without first saving up for a decade. Loans are good for the economy.
If you want to sign something that says "I owe you this much for that much time" then you need to be able to roughly predict the value of the debt in at the point in time where it's due.
Otherwise you'll have a hard time pricing the risk of the loan effectively. This means that you need to charge higher interests. The risk of making a loan in BTC needs to be priced into the interest of a BTC-denominated loan, which means much higher interest rates. High interests on loans are bad, because buying houses and starting businesses are good things.

BTC has a fixed supply, so these problems are built in

Some people think that going back to a standard where our money was denominated by a stock of gold (the Gold Standard) would solve economic problems. This is nonsense.
Having control over supply of your currency is a good thing, as long as it's well run.
See here
Remember that what is desirable is low variance in the value, not the value itself. When there are wild fluctuations in value, it's hard for money to do its job well.
Since the 1970s, the USD has been a fiat money with no intrinsic value. This means we control the supply of money.
Let's look at a classic poorly drawn econ101 graph
The market price for USD is where supply meets demand. The problem with a currency based on an item whose supply is fixed is that the price will necessarily fluctuate in response to changes in demand.
Imagine, if you will, that a pandemic strikes and that the demand for currency takes a sharp drop. The US imports less, people don't buy anything anymore, etc. If you can't print money, you get deflation, which is worsens everything. On the other hand, if you can make the money printers go brrrr you can stabilize the price
Having your currency be based on a fixed supply isn't just bad because in/deflation is hard to control.
It's also a national security risk...
The story of the guy who crashed gold prices in North Africa
In the 1200s, Mansa Munsa, the emperor of the Mali, was rich and a devout Muslim and wanted everyone to know it. So he embarked on a pilgrimage to make it rain all the way to Mecca.
He in fact made it rain so hard he increased the overall supply of gold and unintentionally crashed gold prices in Cairo by 20%, wreaking an economic havoc in North Africa that lasted a decade.
This story is fun, the larger point that having your inflation be at the mercy of foreign nations is an undesirable attribute in any currency. The US likes to call some countries currency manipulators, but this problem would be serious under a gold standard.

Currencies are based on trust

Since the USD is based on nothing except the US government's word, how can we trust USD not to be mismanaged?
The answer is that you can probably trust the fed until political stooges get put in place. Currently, the US's central bank managing the USD, the Federal Reserve (the Fed for friends & family), has administrative authority. The fed can say "no" to dumb requests from the president.
People who have no idea what the fed does like to chant "audit the fed", but the fed is already one of the best audited US federal entities. The transcripts of all their meetings are out in the open. As is their balance sheet, what they plan to do and why. If the US should audit anything it's the Department of Defense which operates without any accounting at all.
It's easy to see when a central bank will go rogue: it's when political yes-men are elected to the board.
For example, before printing themselves into hyperinflation, the Venezuelan president appointed a sociologist who publicly stated “Inflation does not exist in real life” and instead is a made up capitalist lie. Note what happened mere months after his gaining control over the Venezuelan currency
This is a key policy. One paper I really like, Sargent (1984) "The end of 4 big inflations" states:
The essential measures that ended hyperinflation in each of Germany,Austria, Hungary, and Poland were, first, the creation of an independentcentral bank that was legally committed to refuse the government'sdemand or additional unsecured credit and, second, a simultaneousalteration in the fiscal policy regime.
In english: *hyperinflation stops when the central bank can say "no" to the government."
The US Fed, like other well good central banks, is run by a bunch of nerds. When it prints money, even as aggressively as it has it does so for good reasons. You can see why they started printing on March 15th as the COVID lockdowns started:
The Federal Reserve is prepared to use its full range of tools to support the flow of credit to households and businesses and thereby promote its maximum employment and price stability goals.
In english: We're going to keep printing and lowering rates until jobs are back and inflation is under control. If we print until the sun is blotted out, we'll print in the shade.

BTC is not gold

Gold is a good asset for doomsday-preppers. If society crashes, gold will still have value.
How do we know that?
Gold has held value throughout multiple historic catastrophes over thousands of years. It had value before and after the Bronze Age Collapse, the Fall of the Western Roman Empire and Gengis Khan being Gengis Khan.
Even if you erased humanity and started over, the new humans would still find gold to be economically valuable. When Europeans d̶i̶s̶c̶o̶v̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ c̶o̶n̶q̶u̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ g̶e̶n̶o̶c̶i̶d̶e̶d̶ went to America, they found gold to be an important item over there too. This is about equivalent to finding humans on Alpha-Centauri and learning that they think gold is a good store of value as well.
Some people are puzzled at this: we don't even use gold for much! But it has great properties:
First, gold is hard to fake and impossible to manufacture. This makes it good to ascertain payment.
Second, gold doesnt react to oxygen, so it doesn't rust or tarnish. So it keeps value over time unlike most other materials.
Last, gold is pretty. This might sound frivolous, and you may not like it, but jewelry has actual value to humans.
It's no coincidence if you look at a list of the wealthiest families, a large number of them trade in luxury goods.
To paraphrase Veblen humans have a profound desire to signal social status, for the same reason peacocks have unwieldy tails. Gold is a great way to achieve that.
On the other hand, BTC lacks all these attributes. Its value is largely based on common perception of value. There are a few fundamental drivers of demand:
Apart from these, it's hard to argue that BTC will retain value throughout some sort of economic catastrophe.

BTC is really risky

One last statement from Michael Saylor I take offense to is this:
“We feel pretty confident that Bitcoin is less risky than holding cash, less risky than holding gold,” MicroStrategy CEO said in an interview
"BTC is less risky than holding cash or gold long term" is nonsense. We saw before that BTC is more volatile on face value, and that as long as the Fed isn't run by spider monkeys stacked in a trench coat, the inflation is likely to be within reasonable bounds.
But on top of this, BTC has Abrupt downside risks that normal currencies don't. Let's imagine a few:

Blockchain solutions are fundamentally inefficient

Blockchain was a genius idea. I still marvel at the initial white paper which is a great mix of economics and computer science.
That said, blockchain solutions make large tradeoffs in design because they assume almost no trust between parties. This leads to intentionally wasteful designs on a massive scale.
The main problem is that all transactions have to be validated by expensive computational operations and double checked by multiple parties. This means waste:
Many design problems can be mitigated by various improvements over BTC, but it remains that a simple database always works better than a blockchain if you can trust the parties to the transaction.
submitted by VodkaHaze to badeconomics [link] [comments]

PayPal vs Square: Which Fintech Stock Is A Better Buy?

The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating digitalization and has led to a spike in online transactions and e-commerce sales. According to PayPal, the penetration of e-commerce as a percentage of retail sales in the first half of 2020 outpaced prior external forecast by 3 to 5 years. Both consumers and merchants are increasingly adopting digital payments as contactless transactions have become increasingly important amid the current crisis.
The rapid penetration of digital payments led to double-digital revenue growth in the second quarter for PayPal and Square. Using the TipRanks Stock Comparison tool, we will place these two fintech payment firms alongside each other to assess which stock offers a more compelling investment opportunity.
PayPal Holdings (PYPL)
PayPal, which was spun off from eBay in 2015, has emerged as the digital payment leader. In the second quarter, PayPal added 21.3 million net new active accounts, reflecting a 137% Y/Y rise and marking the strongest growth in the company’s history thanks to a surge in e-commerce and digital payments. As of the end of 2Q, PayPal had 346 million active accounts with over 26 million merchant accounts.
The company’s 2Q revenue surged 22.2% Y/Y to $5.26 billion. And adjusted EPS rose 49% to $1.07 as the adjusted operating margin expanded 504 basis points to 28.2%. Total Payment Volume or TPV, which indicates payments processed through the PayPal platform, grew about 29% to $222 billion. Venmo, Paypal’s mobile payments platform, witnessed a 52% growth in its TPV to $37 billion.
Following the strong 2Q momentum, PayPal reinstated its 2020 guidance and in fact, raised it. The company expects revenue growth of 20% and adjusted EPS growth of about 25%. It anticipates adding 70 million net new active accounts this year.
To boost its top-line further and promote touchless payments, PayPal launched QR Code technology in 28 markets globally in May. CVS Pharmacy will be the first retail chain to offer its customers the option to use PayPal and Venmo QR codes at checkout in its US stores. The company will also launch Venmo credit card this year.
PayPal has also expanded its Visa Direct partnership globally to accelerate real-time access to funds for small businesses, consumers and partners across its platform. This collaboration enables PayPal to extend global white label Visa Direct payout services through PayPal and its Braintree, Hyperwallet and iZettle platforms.
On Sept. 22, Mizuho Securities analyst Dan Dolev reiterated a Buy rating for PayPal with a price target of $285 as the Mizuho E-Commerce Tracker showed that unique views across key PayPal partner sites (like Etsy, Groupon and Wayfair) remained strong in July and August and also pointed to potential signs of life in the beleaguered travel category.
The Tracker also indicated that PayPal’s unique views continued to grow ahead of partner websites in the last two months, reflecting persistent share gains for the checkout button. Overall, the analyst expects strong July and August e-commerce trends coupled with share gains to bode well for the company’s second-half TPV. (See PYPL stock analysis on TipRanks)
PayPal stock has rallied about 74% year-to-date and could rise further by 17% in the coming months as indicated by the average analyst price target of $219.77. The stock scores a Strong Buy consensus based on 28 Buys, 5 Holds and no Sell ratings.
Square (SQ)
Payment facilitator Square is growing rapidly as consumers and businesses are migrating online at a faster pace amid the pandemic. From February through August 2020, there was a 13.2 percentage point increase in the share of Square sellers accepting online payments and by August, over 40% of all Square sellers were accepting online payments. Also, by August, more than 7 in 10 Square sellers were accepting contactless payments.
The company’s Cash App ecosystem delivered $1.2 billion in revenue in the second quarter, reflecting a whopping 361% Y/Y growth. The Cash App had over 30 million monthly transacting active customers in June. Aside from the accelerated digital migration, Cash App also gained from the impact of Fed stimulus, unemployment checks and tax refunds.
Second-quarter revenue grew about 64% Y/Y to $1.92 billion. But excluding bitcoin revenue, net revenue of $1.05 billion was flat Y/Y. Meanwhile, 2Q adjusted EPS declined 14.3% to $0.18. The strong growth in Cash App revenue was offset by the 17% decline in the company’s core higher-margin Seller business to $723 million. Square’s gross payment volume or GPV fell 15% Y/Y to $22.8 billion.
The Seller segment was impacted by lower volumes as several businesses were forced to close amid the shelter-in-place orders triggered by the pandemic. However, the company stated that the Sellers business improved with each month in the quarter as restrictions eased and more sellers adapted to the contactless platform.
Meanwhile, GPV from online channels grew over 50% and accounted for 25% of the Seller GPV reflecting the rapid adaption of online solutions by the sellers. (See SQ stock analysis on TipRanks)
Recently, the company announced two new features called On-Demand Pay for employees and Instant Payments for employers. These new features will further integrate Square’s Seller and Cash App ecosystems to offer financial services and simplify payroll.
Loop Capital analyst Kenneth Hill has just initiated coverage of Square with a Buy rating and a price target of $169. The analyst sees a great deal of upside ahead in the fintech company, driven by further investment in the business and monetization of the Cash App. Hill also believes that on the Seller side, the SMB network should "hold in well and continue a sustained recovery."
The Street has a cautious Moderate Buy consensus for Square with 14 Buys, 12 Holds and 2 Sells. Square stock has risen a stellar 149% year-to-date, so the average analyst price target of $151.77 indicates a possible downside of 2.5% ahead.
Bottom line
Both PayPal and Square have strong growth prospects in the digital payments world. If we look at the Street’s consensus and further upside potential, PayPal stock appears to be a better choice than Square currently.
To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/paypal-vs-square-fintech-stock-102007024.html
submitted by Brothanogood to stocks [link] [comments]

Blockchain, the amazing solution for almost nothing

Article from Jesse Frederik at the Correspondent
Highlights:
At its core, blockchain is a glorified spreadsheet (think: Excel with one table). In other words, a new way to store data. In traditional databases there’s usually one person who’s in charge, who decides who can access and input data, who can edit and remove it. That’s different in a blockchain. Nobody’s in charge, and you can’t change or delete anything, only view and input data.
Nakamoto thought that everyone would be able to work equally hard to solve the puzzles. But some companies have exclusive access to specialised hardware, cheap electricity and space, which makes them much better able to fulfil this role. What was envisioned as decentralised has become centralised again, because of the advantages of scale.
Out of over 86,000 blockchain projects that had been launched, 92% had been abandoned by the end of 2017, according to consultancy firm Deloitte.
Firstly: the technology is at loggerheads with European privacy legislation, specifically the right to be forgotten. Once something is in the blockchain, it cannot be removed. For instance, hundreds of links to child abuse material and revenge porn were placed in the bitcoin blockchain by malicious users. It’s impossible to remove those.
The presumed hackers of Hillary Clinton’s email were caught, for instance, because their identity could be linked to bitcoin transactions. A number of researchers from Qatar University were able to ascertain the identities of tens of thousands of bitcoin users fairly easily through social networking sites. Other researchers showed how you can de-anonymise many more people through trackers on shopping websites.
The fact that no one is in charge and nothing can be modified also means that mistakes cannot be corrected. A bank can reverse a payment request. This is impossible for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. So anything that has been stolen will stay stolen. There is a continuous stream of hackers targeting bitcoin exchanges and users, and fraudsters launching investment vehicles that are in fact pyramid schemes. According to estimates, nearly 15% of all bitcoin has been stolen at some point.
Solving all those complex puzzles requires a huge amount of energy. So much energy that the two biggest blockchains in the world – bitcoin and Ethereum – are now using up the same amount of electricity as the whole of Austria. Carrying out a payment with Visa requires about 0.002 kilowatt-hours; the same payment with bitcoin uses up 906 kilowatt-hours, more than half a million times as much, and enough to power a two-person household for about three months.
OK, so with bitcoin, banks can’t just remove money from your account at their own discretion. But does this really happen? I have never heard of a bank simply taking money from someone’s account. If a bank did something like that, they would be hauled into court in no time and lose their license. Technically it’s possible; legally, it’s a death sentence.
Of course scammers are active everywhere. People lie and cheat. But the biggest problem is scams by data suppliers. (for instance: someone secretly registers a hunk of horse meat as beef), not by data administrators (for instance: a bank makes money disappear).
A blockchain is a database – it’s not a self-regulating system that checks all data for correctness, let alone one that calls a halt to unauthorised building works. The same rules apply for blockchain as for any database: if people put garbage into it, what comes out is also garbage.
Or as Bloomberg columnist Matt Levine wrote: “My immutable unforgeable cryptographically secure blockchain record proving that I have 10,000 pounds of aluminium in a warehouse is not much use to a bank if I then smuggle the aluminium out of the warehouse through the back door.”
Data should reflect reality, but sometimes reality changes and the data stays the same. That’s why we have notaries, supervisors, lawyers – actually, all those boring people that blockchain thinks it can do without.
But wasn’t that the whole point of blockchain, that you could do without these trusted third parties? So what are they doing here?
If you ask me, they’re building a completely normal, run-of-the-mill database, but extremely inefficiently. Once you’ve cut through all the jargon, the report turns out to be a boring account of database architecture. They write about a distributed ledger (that’s a shared database), about smart contracts (that’s an algorithm) and about proof of authority (that’s the right to veto whatever is entered in the database).
“I work with code, so people see me as a magician,” he said proudly. It was always rather surprising to him – a magician? He spends half his time yelling at his screen in frustration, while he programmes strips of duct tape to repair creaky PHP script from years and years ago.
What Tim meant was that ICT is like the rest of the world – a big old mess.
And that’s something that we – outsiders, laypeople, non-tech geeks – simply refuse to accept. Councillors and managers think that problems – however large and fundamental they are – evaporate instantaneously thanks to technology they’ve heard about in a fancy PowerPoint presentation. How will it work? Who cares! Don’t try to understand it, just reap the benefits!
According to a recent survey carried out by consultancy firm Deloitte, 70% of business executives said they had a lot of expertise in the field of blockchain. The greatest advantage of blockchain, according to them, is its speed. That's a bit stupid, because even fanatics see speed as a problem, not a feature.
This is the market for magic, and that market is big. Whether it’s about blockchain, big data, cloud computing, AI or other buzzwords.
submitted by makeitwain to Buttcoin [link] [comments]

What is Bitcoin Cash and some exchanges to try out!

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) came about in August 2017 after a hard fork and a split in the Bitcoin blockchain. Bitcoin Cash is a direct result of the constant debates and many opinions about the future of Bitcoin’s scalability and mass adoption.

Bitcoin vs. Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin’s blockchain has grown exponentially in recent times. This means that many more users are using the cryptocurrency, which is slowing down the network.
The limited Bitcoin block size of 1 MB means that blocks are filling up quickly, resulting in a long queue of unconfirmed transactions. As a result, at peak times, transactions have become slow and expensive.
Bitcoin cash, on the other hand, was initially created with an 8MB block, which was later on increased in size to 32MB. This change allows for more transactions to be processed in each block mined.
Many see this as a step forward in terms of how best to scale the network.
Bitcoin Cash opposers remain adamant that it’s simply a short-term fix that doesn’t solve the problem in the long run. Also, they claim there’s no implementation of ideas such as Segwit to help effectively break transactions down into smaller, more manageable pieces.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Sometimes referred to as Bcash, is a fork of Bitcoin (BTC). When a fork occurs on a Blockchain, the currency is basically duplicated.
This means that anyone with Bitcoins in his possession at the time the fork occurred, got credited with the same amount of Bitcoin Cash.

Buying Bitcoin Cash in 3 Simple Steps

Step 1: Get a Bitcoin Cash Wallet

Before you can buy Bitcoin Cash, you’ll need a Bitcoin Cash wallet to store it in. Hardware wallets that support Bitcoin Cash include industry leaders Ledger and TREZOR.
Both Ledger and TREZOR provide functions for you to use Bitcoin Cash as you would any other cryptocurrency. Both have also introduced the ability to claim your funds if you already owned Bitcoin at the time of the Bitcoin Cash hard fork.
Additionally, there are a variety of software wallets you can use to store Bitcoin Cash as well.
Exodus provides a great user experience with a seamless coin exchange service known as Shapeshift built in.
Edge is a mobile wallet for iOS and Android that supports multiple cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin Cash. It also has a variety of features allowing you to buy cryptocurrencies and exchange them from within the app.
Electron Cash is a clone of the awesome Electrum wallet for Bitcoin. If you’re used to Electrum, then you’ll have no problem jumping on board with its sister technology.
Other wallets that support BCH include Keepkey, BTC.com, Bitpay, and Coinomi. You can view all available wallets on the official Bitcoin Cash website.
Once you have your wallet, you will need your Bitcoin Cash address. It’s a long string of letters and numbers that start with either a “1” or a “3” — similar to normal Bitcoin addresses.
Since many people got confused and started sending Bitcoins to Bitcoin Cash wallets and vice versa, a new format was invented for Bitcoin Cash. The format, called “Cash Address” is 42 characters long and starts with a “p” or a “q”. Here’s an example:
qpm2qsznhks23z7629mms6s4cwef74vcwvy22gdx6a
Keep in mind that Cash Addresses are just a representation of original Bitcoin Cash addresses. This means that the same address can be represented in two different ways (normal format or Cash Address format).
Not all wallets support Cash address format.

Step 2: Find a Bitcoin Cash Exchange

Most Bitcoin exchanges will also allow you to buy Bitcoin Cash, here are top ones around.
Buy Bitcoin Cash Through eToro
eToro allows users from around the world to buy and sell Bitcoin Cash with a variety of payment methods.
eToro is more aimed towards investing in BCH for making a profit in fiat currency (i.e. Dollars, Euros, etc.) rather than actually using it. That being said, eToro does give you access to your coins and allows you to send coins from eToro to other people.
If you use eToro for investment only, you don’t actually need a Bitcoin Cash wallet as you won’t be withdrawing the coins.
*75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. CFDs are not offered to US users. Cryptoassets are highly volatile unregulated investment products. No EU investor protection.
Buy Bitcoin Cash Through Coinmama
Coinmama, one of the oldest exchanges around, allows you to buy Bitcoin Cash with a credit card, debit card or SEPA transfer. Coinmama accepts users from almost all countries around the world.
Buy Bitcoin Cash Through CEX.io
CEX.IO, based in London, is a trusted, experienced name in the industry, having been around since 2013. You can choose from a selection of cryptocurrencies on the site, including Bitcoin Cash.
The exchange has a brokerage service (easier to use, more expensive) and a trading platform (cheaper but more complex).CEX accepts credit cards, debit cards, wire transfers and SEPA.
Buy Bitcoin Cash Through Coinbase
Coinbase is a reputable Bitcoin exchange that supplies a variety of other services including a wallet, a trading platform (Coinbase Pro) and a Bitcoin debit card.
If you’re a beginner, it’s probably best to use the brokerage service which is a bit more expensive, but easier to use. Advanced users can use Coinbase Pro to buy Bitcoin Cash with lower fees.
Coinbase accepts debit cards and wire transfers.
Buy Bitcoin Cash Through Bitstamp
Bitstamp, the oldest exchange around, supports the trading of BCH to Bitcoin and direct purchases with US dollars or Euros. There’s also an option to buy Bitcoin Cash with your credit card at a higher price.
If you know your way around Bitcoin trading platforms it’s best to use that service and not the credit card service since you’ll save substantially on fees.
Other options to purchase Bitcoin Cash include Bitfinex, Cryptmixer, Kraken, Poloniex, HitBTC, and more (you can view all available exchanges on Bitcoin Cash’s website).

Step 3: Transfer the BCH to your wallet

As usual, I recommend that you never leave money on an exchange.
Once you’ve finished buying your Bitcoin Cash, move it to your own wallet (the one you chose in step 1). You can then follow the status of your transaction using a Bitcoin Cash block explorer.
Once you receive three confirmations for your Bitcoin Cash, you can safely say you’ve completed the process.

Conclusion

It’s apparent that Bitcoin Cash has still not gained full acceptance by large parts of the cryptocurrency community. It still sits firmly in second place to its older brother in terms of both price and usage.
Bitcoin Cash has the advantage of being the first major split that has garnered acceptance. Most forks after it didn’t receive nearly enough attention from the community or the media.
However, with internal conflicts inside its founding team and accelerated Bitcoin development for scalability solutions, I’m not sure if there’s an actual use case for Bitcoin Cash other than price speculation.
submitted by MonishaNuij to MonMonCrypto [link] [comments]

SQ: An undervalued hype stock?

SQ: An undervalued hype stock?
They're not just a POS business, they are building infrastructure to be the financial institution of a tech-driven world. They have their own Venture Capital firm that gives out loans to SMBs and screens their historical transactions to gauge the risk and interest rates. Capital can be accessed the same business day instead of going formally to a bank with your papers and giving out a standardized interest rate to all businesses and waiting so many days for capital. The FDIC recently approved Square's bank charter application. All this to me suggests regulation accepting the grand network of financial tools in a world that has been skewing more and more towards technology.They're working on making it a multi-faceted company that will meet all of your business needs. e.g. small loans, payment processing, payroll, restaurant logistics; the all-in-one ecosystem that is intuitive and easy to use and impossible to leave.
Earnings per share this year = 950%
Earnings growth nxt yr = 245%
Future ROE = 63.5%; The return on equity is a measure of the profitability of a business in relation to the equity.SQ became profitable this year for the first time.
Square has two ecosystems:
1- POS
2- Cash App
Imagine combining both, using cash app to purchase stocks, receive dividends, receive tips, receive pay check.

Why invest in SQ?
This company can takeover the world literally with internet currencies. During these times of printing so much money can devalue our currency so much.
The collapse of fiat currency is almost impossible but if ever something like that happens; SQ will be a world champion compared to all its financial peers.

https://preview.redd.it/1gapxa0qcpd51.png?width=1142&format=png&auto=webp&s=2d51010439b1523a46e52b8915adfbc870d84f40
As we can see, Bitcoin revenue segment has been going up huge and will be going higher because of covid19. Yes, transactions will fall because less consumer spending but BTC will rise ( as seen in the past days) therefore SQ is in a good position because of recessions. This is why I believe there is a good chance that SQ will post a profit this Q.

Revenue has been growing immensely every Q.
https://preview.redd.it/t13le2prcpd51.png?width=1155&format=png&auto=webp&s=35376a7d989867438758b9e8691698c2ca73feae

https://preview.redd.it/47n5pegtcpd51.png?width=913&format=png&auto=webp&s=00aa7ee5f0baefa32047e16246dd9bd0cd5c8d24

China GDP = dark blue; Mobile payment transactions = purple;
In only 5 years, the transactions are 3x the GDP of China. This is an immense growth potential that SQ will be first in line to take in that growth.

Competitors only for cash app? Venmo & Zelle"Cash App's rising performance is in part thanks to its ability to monetize its growing user base: It brought in $30 in annualized revenue per monthly active customer, excluding Bitcoin, in December 2019, up from less than $15 in December 2017, Ahuja said. However, the revenue gained from P2P transactions alone likely isn't enough to successfully monetize a platform — Cash App has managed to monetize from several services while some of its competitors have struggled to do so, strengthening Square's already important subscriptions and service-based revenue segment.“ Basically, this means that these companies are struggling to keep up with SQ because cashapp is incredibly quick to create new services for customers. Secondly, it is better to invest with SQ just because you access two different ecosystems. These two ecosystems can be combined, which will change the world and disrupt banks.

Yes, Square will have to work with banks because of jurisdiction and regulations. But as the regulations ease up, SQ will depend less on banks."Fueled by the improving user metrics, June witnessed Cash App growth of 130% above April/May levels, indicating a steepening adoption curve. Cash App is a peer-to-peer mobile payment app developed by Square that now offers enhanced functionalities such as receipt of direct deposit payments, ACH payments, and stock and bitcoin trading.
The recent momentum, according to the analyst, is tied to government stimulus payments and equity trading.
"Cash App adoption related to these factors, among others, likely offer monetizable second-order benefits such as Cash Card and Instant Deposit adoption," Beck wrote in the note.” https://finance.yahoo.com/news/squares-cash-app-growth-adoption-164046320.html
Technical Analysis:

https://preview.redd.it/mrc169uvcpd51.png?width=1213&format=png&auto=webp&s=068a65d4a696aa6b82c728e2dc11694754fd37c8
We see a wedge at the current price. It is stagnant at the moment because investors are waiting for earnings. If earnings are green, it will go break $134 resistance point. If earnings are bad, it will not break $100 strong support line.
If you are looking for a short-term play, you can buy it now and expect a minimum of 10$ profit per share if earnings are good. If it is bad, I would say it will go down to $105 at the minimum (loss of around $20 per share)
I believe the perfect entry price would be around $110 at the moment.
My personal price target for 2022 is $375.
Disclosure: **I hold a massive amount of ARKK. Planning to add SQ ASAP**
submitted by redbayern7 to Undervalued [link] [comments]

Flatten the Curve. #18. The current cold war between China and America explained. And how China was behind the 2008 Wall Street financial Crash. World War 3 is coming.

China, the USA, and the Afghanistan war are linked. And in order to get here, we will start there.
9-11 happened. Most of the planet mistakenly understood terrorists had struck a blow against Freedom and Capitalism and Democracy. It was time to invade Afghanistan. Yet all of the terrorists were linked to Saudi Arabia and not Afghanistan, that didn't make sense either. Yet they invaded to find Bin Laden, an ex CIA asset against the Soviet Union and it's subjugation of Afghanistan. The land in the middle of nowhere in relation to North America and the West. It was barren. A backwater without any strategic importance or natural resources.
Or was there?
The survey for rare earth elements was only made possible by the 2001 U.S. invasion, with work beginning in 2004. Mirzad says the Russians had already done significant surveying work during their military occupation of the country in the 1980s. Mirzad also toes the line for U.S. corporations, arguing, “The Afghan government should not touch the mining business. We have to give enough information to potential investors.”
Rare Earth Elements. The elements that make the information age possible. People could understand the First Gulf War and the Geopolitical importance of oil. That was easy, but it still didn't sound morally just to have a war for oil. It was too imperialist and so they fell in line and supported a war for Kuwaiti freedom instead, despite the obvious and public manipulation at the UN by Nayirah.
This is some of her testimony to the Human Rights Council.
While I was there, I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators and left the children to die on the cold floor. It was horrifying. I could not help but think of my nephew who was born premature and might have died that day as well. After I left the hospital, some of my friends and I distributed flyers condemning the Iraqi invasion until we were warned we might be killed if the Iraqis saw us.
The Iraqis have destroyed everything in Kuwait. They stripped the supermarkets of food, the pharmacies of medicine, the factories of medical supplies, ransacked their houses and tortured neighbors and friends.
There was only one problem. She was the daughter of Saud Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States. Furthermore, it was revealed that her testimony was organized as part of the Citizens for a Free Kuwait public relations campaign, which was run by the American public relations firm Hill & Knowlton for the Kuwaiti government (fun fact, Hill & Knowlton also have extensive ties with Bill Gates).
So the public was aghast at her testimony and supported the war against the mainly Soviet backed, but also American supported and Soviet backed Saddam Hussein, in his war against Iran, after the Iranians refused to Ally with American interests after the Islamic Revolution.
But that was oil, this was Rare Earth Elements. There was a reason the war was called, Operation Enduring Freedom. This natural resource was far more important in the long run. You couldn't have a security surveillance apparatus without it. And what was supposed to be a war on terror was in actuality a territorial occupation for resources.
Sleeping Dragon China is next, and where there's smoke, there's fire.
Let's go point form for clarity.
• China entered the rare earth market in the mid-1980s, at a time when the US was the major producer. But China soon caught up and became the production leader for rare earths. Its heavily state-supported strategy was aimed at dominating the global rare earth industry.
• 1989 Beijing’s Tiananmen Square spring. The U.S. government suspends military sales to Beijing and freezes relations.
• 1997. Clinton secures the release of Wei and Tiananmen Square protester Wang Dan. Beijing deports both dissidents to the United States. (If you don't understand these two were CIA assets working in China, you need to accept that not everything will be published. America wouldn't care about two political activists, but why would care about two intelligence operatives).
• March 1996. Taiwan’s First Free Presidential Vote.
• May 1999. America "accidently" bombs the Belgrade Chinese Embassy.
• 2002 Price competitiveness was hard for the USA to achieve due to low to non-existent Chinese environmental standards; as a result, the US finally stopped its rare earth production.
• October 2000. U.S. President Bill Clinton signs the U.S.-China Relations Act. China's take over of the market share in rare earth elements starts to increase.
• October 2001. Afghanistan war Enduring Freedom started to secure rare earth elements (Haven't you ever wondered how they could mobilize and invade so quickly? The military was already prepared).
• 2005. China establishes a monopoly on global production by keeping mineral prices low and then panics markets by introducing export quotas to raise prices by limiting supply.
• Rare Earth Elements. Prices go into the stratosphere (for example, dysprosium prices do a bitcoin, rocketing from $118/kg to $2,262/kg between 2008 and 2011).
• In a September 2005. Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick initiates a strategic dialogue with China. This was presented as dialog to acknowledge China's emergence as a Superpower (which China probably insisted on), but it was about rare earth elements market price.
• October 2006. China allows North Korea to conduct its first nuclear test, China serves as a mediator to bring Pyongyang back to the negotiating table with the USA.
• September 2006. American housing prices start to fall.
(At some point after this, secret negotiations must have become increasingly hostile).
• March 2007. China Increases Military Spending. U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney says China’s military buildup is “not consistent” with the country’s stated goal of a “peaceful rise.”
• Mid-2005 and mid-2006. China bought between $100b and $250 billion of US housing debt between mid-2005 and mid-2006. This debt was bought using the same financial instruments that caused the financial collapse.
• 2006. Housing prices started to fall for the first time in decades.
• Mid-2006 and mid-2007. China likely added another $390b to its reserves. "At the same time, if China stopped buying -- especially now, when the private market is clogged up -- US financial markets would really seize up." Council on Foreign Relations-2007 August
• February 27, 2007. Stock markets in China and the U.S. fell by the most since 2003. Investors leave the money market and flock to Government backed Treasury Bills.
I've never seen it like this before,'' said Jim Galluzzo, who began trading short-maturity Treasuries 20 years ago and now trades bills at RBS Greenwich Capital in Greenwich, Connecticut.Bills right now are trading like dot-coms.''
We had clients asking to be pulled out of money market funds and wanting to get into Treasuries,'' said Henley Smith, fixed-income manager in New York at Castleton Partners, which oversees about $150 million in bonds.People are buying T-bills because you know exactly what's in it.''
• February 13, 2008. The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 was enacted, which included a tax rebate. The total cost of this bill was projected at $152 billion for 2008. A December 2009 study found that only about one-third of the tax rebate was spent, providing only a modest amount of stimulus.
• September 2008. China Becomes Largest U.S. Foreign Creditor at 600 billion dollars.
• 2010. China’s market power peaked in when it reached a market share of around 97% of all rare earth mineral production. Outside of China, there were almost no other producers left.
Outside of China, the US is the second largest consumer of rare earths in the world behind Japan.
About 60% of US rare earth imports are used as catalysts for petroleum refining, making it the country’s major consumer of rare earths.
The US military also depends on rare earths. Many of the most advanced US weapon systems, including smart bombs, unmanned drones, cruise missiles, laser targeting, radar systems and the Joint Strike Fighter programme rely on rare earths. Against this background, the US Department of Defense (DoD) stated that “reliable access to the necessary material is a bedrock requirement for DOD”
• 2010. A trade dispute arose when the Chinese government reduced its export quotas by 40% in 2010, sending the rare earths prices in the markets outside China soaring. The government argued that the quotas were necessary to protect the environment.
• August 2010. China Becomes World’s Second-Largest Economy.
• November 2011. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlines a U.S. “pivot” to Asia. Clinton’s call for “increased investment—diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise—in the Asia-Pacific region” is seen as a move to counter China’s growing clout.
• December 2011. U.S. President Barack Obama announces the United States and eight other nations have reached an agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership later announces plans to deploy 2,500 marines in Australia, prompting criticism from Beijing.
• November 2012. China’s New Leadership. Xi Jinping replaces Hu Jintao as president, Communist Party general secretary, and chairman of the Central Military Commission. Xi delivers a series of speeches on the “rejuvenation” of China.
• June 2013. U.S. President Barack Obama hosts Chinese President Xi Jinping for a “shirt-sleeves summit”
• May 19, 2014. A U.S. court indicts five Chinese hackers, allegedly with ties to China’s People’s Liberation Army, on charges of stealing trade technology from U.S. companies.
• November 12, 2014. Joint Climate Announcement. Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping issue a joint statement on climate change, pledging to reduce carbon emissions. (which very conveniently allows the quotas to fall and save pride for Xi).
• 2015. China drops the export quotas because in 2014, the WTO ruled against China.
• May 30, 2015 U.S. Warns China Over South China Sea. (China is trying to expand it's buffer zone to build a defense for the coming war).
• January 2016. The government to abolish the one-child policy, now allowing all families to have two children.
• February 9, 2017. Trump Affirms One China Policy After Raising Doubts.
• April 6 – 7, 2017. Trump Hosts Xi at Mar-a-Lago. Beijing and Washington to expand trade of products and services like beef, poultry, and electronic payments, though the countries do not address more contentious trade issues including aluminum, car parts, and steel.
• November 2017. President Xi meets with President Trump in another high profile summit.
• March 22, 2018. Trump Tariffs Target China. The White House alleges Chinese theft of U.S. technology and intellectual property. Coming on the heels of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, the measures target goods including clothing, shoes, and electronics and restrict some Chinese investment in the United States.
• July 6, 2018 U.S.-China Trade War Escalates.
• September 2018. Modifications led to the exclusion of rare earths from the final list of products and they consequently were not subject to import tariffs imposed by the US government in September 2018.
• October 4, 2018. Pence Speech Signals Hard-Line Approach. He condemns what he calls growing Chinese military aggression, especially in the South China Sea, criticizes increased censorship and religious persecution by the Chinese government, and accuses China of stealing American intellectual property and interfering in U.S. elections.
• December 1, 2018. Canada Arrests Huawei Executive.
• March 6, 2019. Huawei Sues the United States.
• March 27 2019. India and the US signed an agreement to "strengthen bilateral security and civil nuclear cooperation" including the construction of six American nuclear reactors in India
• May 10, 2019. Trade War Intensifies.
• August 5, 2019. U.S. Labels China a Currency Manipulator.
• November 27, 2019. Trump Signs Bill Supporting Hong Kong Protesters. Chinese officials condemn the move, impose sanctions on several U.S.-based organizations, and suspend U.S. warship visits to Hong Kong.
• January 15, 2020. ‘Phase One’ Trade Deal Signed. But the agreement maintains most tariffs and does not mention the Chinese government’s extensive subsidies. Days before the signing, the United States dropped its designation of China as a currency manipulator.
• January 31, 2020. Tensions Soar Amid Coronavirus Pandemic.
• March 18, 2020. China Expels American Journalists. The Chinese government announces it will expel at least thirteen journalists from three U.S. newspapers—the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post—whose press credentials are set to expire in 2020. Beijing also demands that those outlets, as well as TIME and Voice of America, share information with the government about their operations in China. The Chinese Foreign Ministry says the moves are in response to the U.S. government’s decision earlier in the year to limit the number of Chinese journalists from five state-run media outlets in the United States to 100, down from 160, and designate those outlets as foreign missions.
And here we are. You may have noticed the Rare Earth Elements and the inclusion of Environmental Standards. Yes these are key to understanding the Geopolitical reality and importance of these events. There's a reason the one child policy stopped. Troop additions.
I believe our current political reality started at Tiananmen square. The protests were an American sponsored attempt at regime change after the failure to convince them to leave totalitarian communism and join a greater political framework.
Do I have proof? Yes.
China, as far as I'm concerned, was responsible for the 2008 economic crisis. The Rare Earth Elements were an attempt to weaken the States and strengthen themselves simultaneously. This stranglehold either forced America to trade with China, or the trade was an American Trojan horse to eventually collapse their economy and cause a revolution after Tiananmen Square failed. Does my second proposal sound far fetched? Didn't the economy just shut down in response to the epidemic? Aren't both sides blaming the other? At this POINT, the epidemic seems to be overstated doesn’t it? Don't the casualties tend to the elder demographic and those already weakened by a primary disease?
Exactly the kinds who wouldn't fight in a war.
Does this change some of my views on the possibility of upcoming catastrophes and reasons for certain events? No. This is Chess, and there are obvious moves in chess, hidden moves in chess, but the best moves involve peices which can be utilized in different ways if the board calls for it.
Is all what it seems? No.
I definitely changed a few previously held beliefs prior to today, and I would caution you in advance that you will find some previously held convictions challenged.
After uncovering what I did today, I would also strongly suggest reading information cautiously. This is all merely a culmination of ending the cold war, and once I have events laid out, you will see it as well.
At this moment, the end analysis is a war will start in the near future. This will be mainly for a few reasons, preemptive resource control for water and crops, population reduction can be achieved since we have too many people, not enough jobs, and upcoming resource scarcity.
Did you notice my omission of rare earth elements? This is because of Afghanistan. I would wager China or Russia is somehow supporting the continued resistance through Iran. But events are now accelerating with China because the western collation has already begun to build up their mines and start production.
Do you remember when Trump made a "joke" about buying Greenland? Yeah. It turns out that Greenland has one of the largest rare earth mineral deposits on the planet.
Take care. Be safe. Stay aware and be prepared.
This message not brought to you by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Elon Musk, Blackrock, Vangaurd, the Rockefeller Foundation, Rand Corporation, DARPA, Rothschilds, Agenda 21, Agenda 30, and ID 2020.
submitted by biggreekgeek to conspiracy [link] [comments]

The Truth about Warren Buffett?

The Oracle of Omaha has a reputation as the gentle GOAT, but is there more to this than meets the eye?
Is there something that is often overlooked?
Or is this reputation warranted? (get it...warren, warranted?)
Anyway...Let's begin...

The story begins in 1942, when Warren Buffet bought his first shares at the age of just 11.
This is same year that his father Howard Buffett ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in the Nebraska district.
He won, and became a member of Congress in 1943.
Before this, Howard worked at a small stock brokerage firm.
He was reelected twice. However, in 1952, he decided against seeking another term and returned to his investment business in Omaha, Buffett-Falk & Co., where he worked until shortly before his death in 1964.
But what about Warren Buffett?
In 1951, after graduating from Columbia, where he was taught by Benjamin Graham, Buffett worked for three years at his father's firm as an investment salesman.
In 1954, Buffett accepted a job at Benjamin Graham's partnership, working as a securities analyst.
His starting salary was $12,000 a year - the equivalent of $114,000 today.
However, just two years later, Graham retired and Buffett started his own investment partnership.
He went to his father's acquaintances to raise Capital for his first fund.
These were prominent families in Nebraska with big businesses and political connections.
For example, across the street was the family whose son became the CEO of Coca Cola - that family gave him $10,000 (in the 50′s).

In 2012, the STOCK Act or The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act was signed into law.
The law prohibits the use of non-public information for private profit, including insider trading by members of Congress and other government employees.
Remember, Buffett's father used to be in Congress.
The only people who were, before 2012, allowed to trade on insider information without having criminal charges brought against them were congressmen.
Remember, Buffett's father was a stock market broker prior to being elected and going to Congress, hence he had a comprehensive knowledge of the stock market and clearly had an interest in it.
After all, it was his father who taught Buffett the ropes early on and had him buy his first shares as an eleven year old.

Imagine you are Warren Buffett, and you can:
1). Get insider information to trade on it;
2). Get a six-figure position after College;
3). After a few years, set up your own fund, getting money from wealthy family friends;
4). Pay no dividends to investors and only put a hundred bucks of your own money into the fund;
5). Let the mathematics of compounding work its magic as you bring in more institutional money;
6). Become so connected Politically and connected on Wall Street that you can get special deals, which have practically no risk as you know bailouts are coming. For example, in the 2008 crisis, Berkshire owned stock valued at more than $13 billion in the top recipients of the TARP funds, and Berkshire had at least twice as much dependence on bailed-out banks as any other large investor;
7). Have billions of dollars on hand, remember you ain't paying any dividends to investors, ready for the inevitable economic recession to hit so that you can sweep up cheap assets;
8). Be holier-than-thou (i.e. calling derivatives "financial weapons of mass destruction" when, during the height of the 2008 crisis, Berkshire sold more than $2.5 billion worth of credit default swaps. OR what about Buffett's reputation as the saviour in the Great Recession when Berkshire is the majority owner of Moody's, who played a key role in inflating the crisis in 2008 - via their questionable debt and derivative ratings which inflated the mortgage and subprime market).

What about Buffett's status as the GOAT?
Jim Simons has a far superior track record.
Billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya has even stated that Jeff Bezos is the best investor of our generation, not Warren Buffett.

Buffett has missed out on an entire raft of tech and Berkshire has underperformed the S&P 500 in recent years.
Berkshire's best years are found overwhelmingly in the period before the tech era.
Also, he has been critical of Bitcoin, describing it as "rat poison squared"
Ultimately, Buffett is worth $73 billion, he doesn't need to have an in-depth understanding of new age tech.
Moreover, Buffett has a huge stake in Finance 1.0, why would he give props to Finance 2.0?
Bitcoin as a savings vehicle is misaligned with Berkshire's don't-save-money-invest-it-in-us or consume more of the products of the businesses that Berkshire has a huge stake in, and is also misaligned with Berkshire's Cantillon insider advantages.

It's worth noting that Howard Buffett strongly supported the gold standard because he believed it would limit the ability of government to inflate the money supply and spend beyond its means. Here is a direct quote from Howard:
"I warn you that politicians of both parties will oppose the restoration of gold, although they may outwardly seemingly favor it, unless you are willing to surrender your children and your country to galloping inflation, war and slavery then this cause demands your support. For if human liberty is to survive in America, we must win the battle to restore honest money. There is no more important challenge facing us than this issue -- the restoration of your freedom to secure gold in exchange for the fruits of your labors."
His son Warren, however, hates gold. See the Cantillon Effect as to why.
Some have even argued that Buffett's success can be summarised by the following:
First Deals = Insider Information
Last Deals = Cantillon Effect
What are your thoughts?
Is it true... or false?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UpTUBgUYgc
submitted by financeoptimum to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

A City Built on Fiction

I read this article, was just wondering if there were any informed sots takes on this.
https://news.bitcoin.com/6-billion-akon-city-akoin-cryptocurrency-empower-africans/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BH1nCVG4tSQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnEoX5GsXSQ
So Akon, the prolific Senegalese- American RnB rapper of early aughts fame (hit song "Locked Up")... I guess he got super rich off of signing Lady Gaga early on so he gets a big chunk of her royalties and invested this into other businesses like music labels and wow ok he is "the number-one selling artist for master ringtones in the world." So he got super rich off the music biz,,,but I guess still not a billioniare? i dont remember seeing him on the lists of black american billioniares, iirc there are only 5 or 6 in America with Jay-z and Kanye being two of them? Yeah i checked , akon never made the list.
Any way so he started doing philanthropy in africa , good for him, providing electricity and a charity for underprivileged kids.
whoa hold up he also owns a diamond mine
Akon owns a diamond mine in South Africa and denies the existence of blood diamonds (also known as "conflict diamonds") saying, "I don't believe in conflict diamonds. That's just a movie. Think about it. Nobody thought or cared about conflict diamonds until Blood Diamond was released."[64] However, he has since stated that he does accept that blood diamonds exist, and that he is partial-owner of an African mine that is dedicated to avoiding use of blood diamonds while also donating profits to local communities.
But the interesting SOTSy part is supposedly he was inspired by Black Panther, a marvel product hollywood film created by white execs that sold the dream of a futuristic dream city nation existing in Africa, Wakanda....he was inspired by the fictional Wakanda to create his own city , Akon City, a proposed tourist city with its own crypto:
In 2018, Akon announced he was working with the Senegalese government to build a tourist-city with a cryptocurrency-based economy named Akon City. At the time, it was said that three square miles of land minutes from the Blaise Diagne International Airport and around 50 kilometres from the capital of Dakar was given to Akon by Senegal president Macky Sall. It is said to be currently under development, and will be the first 100% crypto-based city with Akon's own cryptocurrency, Akoin, at the transactional center.[51]
On January 13, 2020, Akon shared on Twitter that the agreements for his city in Senegal have been finalized and the project is underway. He captioned a photo of himself with Senegal president Macky Sall "Looking forward to hosting you there in the future." [52] Akon had been planning the crypto-city since 2018. The city plans on trading exclusively in Akon's digital cash, known as Akoin.[53] The city is five minutes away from the Senegal International Airport.[54]
In June 2020 it was announced that the engineering and consulting firm KE International (the same firm responsible for building MMTC) had been awarded a $6 billion contract to build the city.[55] Phase 1 of construction, which is to be completed in 2023, is to include roads, a hospital, residences, hotels, a police station, a waste facility, a school, and a solar power plant.[55]
so..., some cheesily hyperstitional elements to this construction plan of a dream city, but also the racial aspects to the equation are bizarre - Hollywood using their own propaganda to sell an idpol dream, which inspires a rags to riches neo-capitalist to create a tourist city with crypto as a main selling point, funded by ring tones, blood diamonds, lady gaga. I wonder if there are weird shenanigans behind all the money funding the city, or any occult elements.
submitted by kajimeiko to sorceryofthespectacle [link] [comments]

The Truth about Warren Buffett?

The Oracle of Omaha has a reputation as the gentle GOAT, but is there more to this than meets the eye?
Is there something that is often overlooked?
Or is this reputation warranted? (get it...warren, warranted?)
Anyway...Let's begin...

The story begins in 1942, when Warren Buffet bought his first shares at the age of just 11.
This is same year that his father Howard Buffett ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in the Nebraska district.
He won, and became a member of Congress in 1943.
Before this, Howard worked at a small stock brokerage firm.
He was reelected twice. However, in 1952, he decided against seeking another term and returned to his investment business in Omaha, Buffett-Falk & Co., where he worked until shortly before his death in 1964.
But what about Warren Buffett?
In 1951, after graduating from Columbia, where he was taught by Benjamin Graham, Buffett worked for three years at his father's firm as an investment salesman.
In 1954, Buffett accepted a job at Benjamin Graham's partnership, working as a securities analyst.
His starting salary was $12,000 a year - the equivalent of $114,000 today.
However, just two years later, Graham retired and Buffett started his own investment partnership.
He went to his father's acquaintances to raise Capital for his first fund.
These were prominent families in Nebraska with big businesses and political connections.
For example, across the street was the family whose son became the CEO of Coca Cola - that family gave him $10,000.

In 2012, the STOCK Act or The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act was signed into law.
The law prohibits the use of non-public information for private profit, including insider trading by members of Congress and other government employees.
Remember, Buffett's father used to be in Congress.
The only people who were, before 2012, allowed to trade on insider information without having criminal charges brought against them were congressmen.
Remember, Buffett's father was a stock market broker prior to being elected and going to Congress, hence he had a comprehensive knowledge of the stock market and clearly had an interest in it.
After all, it was his father who taught Buffett the ropes early on and had him buy his first shares as an eleven year old.

Imagine you are Warren Buffett, and you can:
1). Get insider information to trade on it;
2). Get a six-figure position after College;
3). After a few years, set up your own fund, getting money from wealthy family friends;
4). Pay no dividends to investors and only put a hundred bucks of your own money into the fund;
5). Let the mathematics of compounding work its magic as you bring in more institutional money;
6). Become so connected Politically and connected on Wall Street that you can get special deals, which have practically no risk as you know bailouts are coming. For example, in the 2008 crisis, Berkshire owned stock valued at more than $13 billion in the top recipients of the TARP funds, and Berkshire had at least twice as much dependence on bailed-out banks as any other large investor;
7). Have billions of dollars on hand, remember you aren't paying any dividends to investors, ready for the inevitable economic recession to hit so that you can sweep up cheap assets;
8). Be holier-than-thou (i.e. calling derivatives "financial weapons of mass destruction" when, during the height of the 2008 crisis, Berkshire sold more than $2.5 billion worth of credit default swaps. OR what about Buffett's reputation as the saviour in the Great Recession when Berkshire is the majority owner of Moody's, who played a key role in inflating the crisis in 2008 - via their questionable debt and derivative ratings which inflated the mortgage and subprime market).

What about Buffett's status as the GOAT?
Jim Simons has a far superior track record.
Billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya has even stated that Jeff Bezos is the best investor of our generation, not Warren Buffett.

Buffett has missed out on an entire raft of tech and Berkshire has underperformed the S&P 500 in recent years.
Berkshire's best years are found overwhelmingly in the period before the tech era.
Also, he has been critical of Bitcoin, describing it as "rat poison squared"
Ultimately, Buffett is worth $73 billion, he doesn't need to have an in-depth understanding of new age tech.
Moreover, Buffett has a huge stake in Finance 1.0, why would he give props to Finance 2.0?
Bitcoin as a savings vehicle is misaligned with Berkshire's don't-save-money-invest-it-in-us or consume more of the products of the businesses that Berkshire has a huge stake in, and is also misaligned with Berkshire's Cantillon insider advantages.

It's worth noting that Howard Buffett strongly supported the gold standard because he believed it would limit the ability of government to inflate the money supply and spend beyond its means. Here is a direct quote from Howard:
"I warn you that politicians of both parties will oppose the restoration of gold, although they may outwardly seemingly favor it, unless you are willing to surrender your children and your country to galloping inflation, war and slavery then this cause demands your support. For if human liberty is to survive in America, we must win the battle to restore honest money. There is no more important challenge facing us than this issue -- the restoration of your freedom to secure gold in exchange for the fruits of your labors."
His son Warren, however, hates gold. See the Cantillon Effect as to why.
Some have even argued that Buffett's success can be summarised by the following:
First Deals = Insider Information
Last Deals = Cantillon Effect
What are your thoughts?
Is it true... or false?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UpTUBgUYgc
submitted by financeoptimum to StockMarket [link] [comments]

08-12 22:05 - 'Why Bitcoin Will Win: The Bearish Case for Ethereum' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/uncapslock removed from /r/Bitcoin within 207-217min

'''
Hi Everyone! If you were around for the 2017 bull cycle, you might remember me from:
[[link]6
With the advent of DeFi, I wanted to crystalize my thoughts on why Bitcoin will win in the end.

Why Bitcoin Will Win: The Bearish Case for Ethereum

Ethereum is the MySpace of decentralized finance. Hobbled together, scrappy, but provides an exciting glimpse into the future. We should be pleased with the new paradigms discovered through this experiment but should not expect it to be the de facto platform in a decade.
Ethereum has demonstrated intrinsic challenges that are insurmountable without an Ethereum 2. We have witnessed unauditability, scaling difficulties, centralization and high contract fees. Building second-layer solutions to make up for shortcomings is akin to patching cracks in the asphalt with duct tape.
In this piece, I’ll navigate why we should not confuse novelty of features for sustainable value, why Ethereum makes for a poor base layer, and what to expect in the decade ahead.
There will only be one base layer for digital scarcity of humanity and that is Bitcoin.

The “Bitcoin is money, Ethereum is apps” fallacy

There is a logical fallacy in arguing “Bitcoin is money, Ethereum is apps,” which draws a false equivalence between the value of money and apps. As any self-respecting financier knows, the value lies (quite literally) where wealth is stored.
“Applications are cheap. A store of wealth is expensive.”
Building applications is a solved problem.
We know how to recruit engineers, build organizations and assemble technical solutions. We have a bevy of technologies that provide affordances for user interfaces. We have best practices for effective engineering. We even have strategies for amplifying creativity during brainstorming.
The number of pages on CoinMarketCap.com is a testament to the commonality of applications.
What is not solved is building applications on top of a store of wealth.
In order to build applications on top of a store of wealth, you either appropriate an existing store of wealth and build on top of it (i.e. Plaid) or you build a new store of wealth (Bitcoin).
Building a digital store of wealth is so hard it has taken over half a century and is still not ready. The digital store of wealth is only ready when it stores a nontrivial portion portion of global wealth.
On August 11, 2020, MicroStrategy announced it had acquired 21,454 Bitcoin for $250 million. A single company bought the equivalent of all Bitcoin in Ethereum that day.
Building an application on Ethereum today is the worst of both worlds. It builds on a burgeoning new store of value with a tiny addressable market on top of a limited capacity network already showing strains.
The vast majority of global wealth is still outside of the system, waiting to designate a digital store of value.
Conceding that Bitcoin is the better store of value is conceding Bitcoin will be the disproportionate beneficiary of global wealth entering the system.

So where do applications fit in?

Imagine acquiring a bank. You are given a choice to either acquire the trillion dollars under management and no app or a smooth, slick app but not the financial assets.
It’s easier to make a new application where users are already present rather than move users to a new platform with an existing application. As we’ve seen in the previous section, most users will be on Bitcoin utilizing its value as a store of wealth.
“Applications will be built where wealth is stored.”
What we’ll see is the best ideas from current generation of DeFi applications (elastic supply, governance, fair distribution mechanisms, auditability) built into layer 2 solutions of Bitcoin that itself sits on top of multiple trillions of dollars of global wealth.
Why will this happen? Builders will note applications of value from the small pond of Ethereum and see a market opportunity to natively expose those features to the much larger accounts in Bitcoin, reaping proportionally higher revenue.

Why can’t we use Ethereum as a store of value?

“If native users of a platform are so important, why can’t we just use Ethereum as a store of value? After all, holders of Ethereum have seen much higher appreciation in value since its founding compared to Bitcoin.”
Here we refer back to the [“The Bullish Case for Bitcoin”]2 which lays out the core properties of money of which three critical areas Ethereum is weak against Bitcoin.

Verifiability

As we see in the indefatigable investigation by [Pierre Rochard]3 in his epic quest to audit Ethereum’s supply limit, verifying the total number of Ethereum is not a trivial task.
A number of supply adjustments had been made in node software instead of on-chain transactions, intermediate miner rewards calculated using uncles that are not finalized for a number of blocks, selfdestruct() that leaves ambiguity for token inactivity.
These factors make it impossible to have an objective measure without specifying an asterisk of the nuances appropriated for each method of calculation.
Lack of auditability makes Ethereum a nonstarter for firms desiring a store of value. Without an objective measure of supply comes an impossibility of assessing the value of your asset.
From measurement of the Ethereum supply through scripts, it has been hypothesized that there has been at least one inflation bug that has been exploited: [*[link]7

Scarcity

There is no set limit of Ethereum by design. From inception it was designed to be an inflationary currency which is essential as a utility token executing applications but is fatal for a store of value.
There is an ongoing effort to curtail Ethereum’s inflation to appease to its holders which will be to its detriment as use as an application platform.
This tension between being an appreciating digital asset and utilization as fuel is intrinsic to Ethereum and cannot be removed. When Ethereum prices go up by a factor of ten, only smart contracts that can provide commensurate proportional value will be viable.
“Using Ethereum as a store of value creates a perverse relationship with increasing contract fees that undermine its value as an application network.”
As the price rises further, we will see the majority of use cases today become priced out, adding platform risk where users will now need to worry whether they will be able to get their assets back out in the event of Ethereum appreciation.

Censorship Resistance

It is an open secret that Infura is the defacto backend for Ethereum. Running a full Ethereum node is known and accepted to be an arduous task with astronomical processor requirements.
This problem is getting worse, not better as the system struggles with transaction volume today, much less the several magnitudes of transactions needed in the coming decade.
The solution provided is running Ethereum 2 and implementing applications on a second layer of Ethereum. This shifts the conversation to if building a new base layer or building on a second layer is necessary, what benefit is there to retain Ethereum as a base layer?

A Look Back from 2030

When we look back to 2017–2021, we will remember this period as the primordial era of where creative entrepreneurs came together to experiment with the new paradigm of permission-less smart contracts.
We will see a meaningful portion of global wealth go into Bitcoin by 2024 raising assets under management to a trillion dollars. Companies will convert overseas holdings into Bitcoin to counter inflationary risk for sovereign currencies. Smaller nation-states will start to acquire a reserve of Bitcoin to counter dollar strength to pay off their dollar-denominated debt.
During this time, firms small and large will rush to build applications to service wealth stored in Bitcoin on layer 2 and layer 3 solutions. Many of these applications will be inspired by what is currently built on top of Ethereum but addressing a much larger market.
Through two more halvings by 2030, everyone will have a Bitcoin account providing both a store of value as well as a unified platform that provides the largest installed userbase for financial products. We'll be ending the decade with 10M per Bitcoin, (one magnitude increase each for the three halving periods: 2020-2024, 2024-2028, 2028-2032) with Bitcoin serving as the generational store of wealth for those with the foresight to stack sats and hodl.

Tips for Builders

You’re not late. In fact you’re incredibly early. We’re still building the store of value that will be the foundation to the financial apps that you’ll build. Ethereum is a nice environment for experimenting with new paradigms that are made possible through smart contracts.
But understand that the bulk of your future customers will be onboarding onto a different platform when they do arrive. There will be a bonanza period where we see thousands of companies and millions of retail users adopting Bitcoin.
It’ll be up to you to recognize the arbitrage opportunity to offer product features in native Bitcoin format to beat other products that must employ bridges to access wealth stored in Bitcoin.

About Me

For future writing, [you can follow me on Twitter at @uncapslock]5 .
This article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be investment advice.
'''
Why Bitcoin Will Win: The Bearish Case for Ethereum
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unreddit undelete link
Author: uncapslock
1: www.red*it.co***/Bi*coin/*om**n*s/6h4*1i/why_i*sol*_all_***e*h*reum_*oda**an*_convert*d_i*/ 2: medium.c*m/@*i*a*bo*apati/t*e*bu*l*sh*case-for-*it*oin*6ecc8*de*c* 3: tw*t*e**com/pierre_*o*hard 4: *w*tte*.***/GeistLight/st*tus/1*926*756*3801390** 5: t*itt**.*om/uncap**ock 6: ww**r**di**com*Bitcoin/comments/6h4**i/why\_*\_***d\*al*\_my*_eth*re*m\*today\*and*_*onve*te*\_it/**^1 7: twitter.com/*eistLi*h*/s*a*u*/*29*6475***801390***]^^4
Unknown links are censored to prevent spreading illicit content.
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The Truth about Warren Buffett?

The Oracle of Omaha has a reputation as the gentle GOAT, but is there more to this than meets the eye?
Is there something that is often overlooked?
Or is this reputation warranted? (get it...warren, warranted?)
Anyway...Let's begin...

The story begins in 1942, when Warren Buffet bought his first shares at the age of just 11.
This is same year that his father Howard Buffett ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in the Nebraska district.
He won, and became a member of Congress in 1943.
Before this, Howard worked at a small stock brokerage firm.
He was reelected twice. However, in 1952, he decided against seeking another term and returned to his investment business in Omaha, Buffett-Falk & Co., where he worked until shortly before his death in 1964.
But what about Warren Buffett?
In 1951, after graduating from Columbia, where he was taught by Benjamin Graham, Buffett worked for three years at his father's firm as an investment salesman.
In 1954, Buffett accepted a job at Benjamin Graham's partnership, working as a securities analyst.
His starting salary was $12,000 a year - the equivalent of $114,000 today.
However, just two years later, Graham retired and Buffett started his own investment partnership.
He went to his father's acquaintances to raise Capital for his first fund.
These were prominent families in Nebraska with big businesses and political connections.
For example, across the street was the family whose son became the CEO of Coca Cola - that family gave him $10,000.

In 2012, the STOCK Act or The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act was signed into law.
The law prohibits the use of non-public information for private profit, including insider trading by members of Congress and other government employees.
Remember, Buffett's father used to be in Congress.
The only people who were, before 2012, allowed to trade on insider information without having criminal charges brought against them were congressmen.
Remember, Buffett's father was a stock market broker prior to being elected and going to Congress, hence he had a comprehensive knowledge of the stock market and clearly had an interest in it.
After all, it was his father who taught Buffett the ropes early on and had him buy his first shares as an eleven year old.

Imagine you are Warren Buffett, and you can:
1). Get insider information to trade on it;
2). Get a six-figure position after College;
3). After a few years, set up your own fund, getting money from wealthy family friends;
4). Pay no dividends to investors and only put a hundred bucks of your own money into the fund;
5). Let the mathematics of compounding work its magic as you bring in more institutional money;
6). Become so connected Politically and connected on Wall Street that you can get special deals, which have practically no risk as you know bailouts are coming. For example, in the 2008 crisis, Berkshire owned stock valued at more than $13 billion in the top recipients of the TARP funds, and Berkshire had at least twice as much dependence on bailed-out banks as any other large investor;
7). Have billions of dollars on hand, remember you aren't paying any dividends to investors, ready for the inevitable economic recession to hit so that you can sweep up cheap assets;
8). Be holier-than-thou (i.e. calling derivatives "financial weapons of mass destruction" when, during the height of the 2008 crisis, Berkshire sold more than $2.5 billion worth of credit default swaps. OR what about Buffett's reputation as the saviour in the Great Recession when Berkshire is the majority owner of Moody's, who played a key role in inflating the crisis in 2008 - via their questionable debt and derivative ratings which inflated the mortgage and subprime market).

What about Buffett's status as the GOAT?
Jim Simons has a far superior track record.
Billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya has even stated that Jeff Bezos is the best investor of our generation, not Warren Buffett.
Buffett has missed out on an entire raft of tech and Berkshire has underperformed the S&P 500 in recent years.
Berkshire's best years are found overwhelmingly in the period before the tech era.
Also, he has been critical of Bitcoin, describing it as "rat poison squared"
Ultimately, Buffett is worth $73 billion, he doesn't need to have an in-depth understanding of new age tech.
Moreover, Buffett has a huge stake in Finance 1.0, why would he give props to Finance 2.0?
Bitcoin as a savings vehicle is misaligned with Berkshire's don't-save-money-invest-it-in-us or consume more of the products of the businesses that Berkshire has a huge stake in, and is also misaligned with Berkshire's Cantillon insider advantages.
It's worth noting that Howard Buffett strongly supported the gold standard because he believed it would limit the ability of government to inflate the money supply and spend beyond its means. Here is a direct quote from Howard:
"I warn you that politicians of both parties will oppose the restoration of gold, although they may outwardly seemingly favor it, unless you are willing to surrender your children and your country to galloping inflation, war and slavery then this cause demands your support. For if human liberty is to survive in America, we must win the battle to restore honest money. There is no more important challenge facing us than this issue -- the restoration of your freedom to secure gold in exchange for the fruits of your labors."
His son Warren, however, hates gold. See the Cantillon Effect as to why.
Some have even argued that Buffett's success can be summarised by the following:
First Deals = Insider Information
Last Deals = Cantillon Effect
What are your thoughts?
Is it true... or false?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UpTUBgUYgc
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The deepest report: Bitmain's self-help history

The deepest report: Bitmain's self-help history
The original intention of this article is to let readers understand the causes and consequences of Bitmain internal fighting, but after writing it, I found that it is not so much internal fighting as it is a long history of self-help.
The story is very long. Let's adjust the timeline to the eve of December 17, 2018. That was one of Bitmain's most critical moments and the beginning of a series of subsequent stories.
1. Self-immolation In September 2018, Bitmain's financial department warned management that the company's cash flow has become very tight and operating costs must be reduced to allow the company to continue. The blockchain unicorn, which is valued at more than 15 billion U.S. dollars, is crippled in the run and struggling to break the corner.
In 2017, Bitmain made a profit of 1 billion US dollars In the first half of 2018, Bitmain made a profit of 1 billion US dollars Three rounds of financing, a total of 800 million US dollars Net assets should exceed 3 billion U.S. dollars In September 2018, Bitmain had tight cash flow and was on the verge of bankruptcy
A simple comparison, it is not difficult to see that Bitmain's ability to make money is incredible, and its ability to burn money is even more extreme.
How does Bitmain burn money? Do you pour cash into gasoline and burn it, or hire a lot of employees to stuff the banknotes one by one into the shredder? The actual situation is closer to the latter.
The following data can help readers quickly learn Bitmain's money burning skills.
At the beginning of 2018, the entire cryptocurrency market has entered a bear market, but Bitmain's monthly operating costs have been rising wildly. Operating costs have risen from 10 million US dollars at the beginning of the year to 50 million US dollars at the end of the year.
Large-scale expansion of the R&D team is one of the main reasons. The HR who once worked at Bitmain revealed that the company once hired more than 50 employees a day and nearly 500 employees a month. Even so, it was criticized for its slow recruitment speed. The cash consumption in this area is approximately $250 million.
Operating costs are just the tip of the iceberg. Excessive chip trial production can become a classic case of project management courses. Readers who pay attention to Cryptocurrency mining can easily find that Bitmain is still working hard to clear the inventory of Antminer S9 in 2019. As the co-CEO, Ketuan Zhan did not listen to the advice or even warnings of the Finance Department, insisting on the implementation of Excessive chip trial production, resulting in a large accumulation of inventory and tight capital turnover. Another CEO, Jihan Wu, once revealed that the loss of Excessive chip trial production to the company was approximately US$1.5 billion.
Large-scale expansion of the R&D team is one of the main reasons. The HR who once worked at Bitmain revealed that the company once hired more than 50 employees a day and nearly 500 employees a month. Even so, it was criticized for its slow recruitment speed. The cash consumption in this area is approximately $250 million.
The BM1393 chip incident is even more incredible. Chip expert Ketuan Zhan invested a lot of money on a failed chip, and finally failed again. From 2017 to 2018, Bitmain has failed Trial production of mining machine chips at least 4 times, including 16nm, 12nm and 10nm chips, of which 16nm Trial production failed twice, thus losing at least US$1.2 billion.
It is rumored that Bitmain still holds a billion U.S. dollars worth of cryptocurrency in a state of floating loss. In view of the rebound in the market in 2020, we will not comment temporarily, waiting for the correct answer from the cryptocurrency market. But the losses pointed out in the previous article are all irreversible.
2. Sole power
In September 2018, Bitmain's management realized the seriousness of the problem. It turned out that the company's money could be squandered. As a result, the management began to discuss self-help plans, and the most reasonable and effective way was obviously to lay off employees.
The probation period for newly hired employees at Bitmain is half a year, and the probationary salary is 100% of the official salary, there is no difference. Once layoffs are made, new employees who have not passed the probationary period will be the main layoff targets. The department managed by Ketuan Zhan will face large-scale layoffs. The layoff plan is strongly opposed by Ketuan Zhan. Bitmain can only temporarily abandon the layoffs and replace it with continuous reductions. For marketing and travel expenses, a budget committee was established to strictly approve every expenditure. At the same time, employee benefits, such as reimbursement of taxi expenses, breakfast supply, snacks and drinks, etc., have also been abolished, and even the tradition of giving employees 400 yuan worth of BTC/BCH every month has been stopped.
In the face of huge cash flow pressure, trivial savings is obviously of no avail. Soon, the management again discussed the layoff plan, and it has reached the point where it has to be laid off.
In December 2018, Jihan Wu began to organize all entrepreneurial veterans and business backbones to persuade Ketuan Zhan to agree to layoffs, but Ketuan Zhan still insisted not to layoffs. The persuasion process was very unsuccessful. After many meetings and intense debates, Bitmain executives were caught in a dilemma of wasting time with Ketuan Zhan.
In this process, the shortcomings of the dual CEO system began to appear, and the relationship between the two CEOs gradually deteriorated.
On the night of December 16th, Ketuan Zhan reconvened the management meeting, and more than 30 managements who were present were asked to hand over their mobile phones. At this time, Jihan Wu was on a business trip in Hong Kong and was busy with listing related work.
In the meeting, Ketuan Zhan's core content was three items:
(1) Bitmain cannot have two CEOs, only one CEO and must be Ketuan Zhan. Ketuan Zhan said that he met an old leader during a business trip. He hadn't seen each other for many years. The old leader suggested that the company can only have one CEO, and it must be him. Ketuan Zhan feels that this is a kind of fate, an opportunity given by God.
(2) Ketuan Zhan believes that the company's cash flow problems, the biggest responsibility is the inability of the financial department. To prove his point, Ketuan Zhan announced Bitmain's financial data at the meeting. In the evening, employees in Taiwan began to post messages on social media, saying that the company's capital chain was broken and the top management was split.
(3) If Ketuan Zhan is not supported, the option will be cancelled and the equity will be voided.
Hearing about this, Jihan Wu, who lives in Hong Kong, sent a WeChat message to the management who are attending the meeting.

https://preview.redd.it/zkj2d44tqid51.jpg?width=1080&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=9251c1f7308e155d7911d5969e71091a5ad5e14a
On the afternoon of December 17, 2018, Jihan Wu returned to Beijing to negotiate with Ketuan Zhan all night, and finally reached a consensus in the early morning. Bitmain co-founder Yuesheng Ge announced the results of the negotiations. Jihan Wu and Ketuan Zhan ceased to serve as CEOs, and Haichao Wang served as CEO. Jihan Wu voluntarily backed down and Ketuan Zhan served as chairman.
The "12.17 Incident" had a very bad impact on Bitmain, especially the disclosure of Bitmain's financial status, which caused vendors to start dunning. The loan that had just been negotiated with the Bank of Beijing was cancelled the next day. Jihan Wu's resignation as CEO caused an uproar in the industry, and it became a hot topic among Cryptocurrency mining, blockchain practitioners, and investor communities. The media focused their interpretation on Bitmain's series of incidents, and generally looked down upon its ongoing Hong Kong IPO, believing that the high-level changes had already signaled the failure of the IPO in advance.
On Christmas December 24, 2018, Bitmain finally began to implement the layoff plan. This long-delayed “correct decision” was achieved after a stalemate for nearly three months. The AI ​​teams in Beijing, Singapore, Taiwan, and Shanghai have laid off more than 50% of their employees. The Israeli R&D center was closed and Shenzhen New Species Technology Co., Ltd., which had been acquired for only ten months, was dissolved, and all employees were laid off. Copernicus, Bitmain's top blockchain development team, was not spared and was wiped out in this layoff. Copernicus and some of the laid-off employees joined the new company Matrixport co-founded by Jihan Wu and Yuesheng Ge, headquartered in Singapore.
3. Past events when starting a business
After the "12.17 Incident", Jihan Wu gradually faded out of Bitmain's management affairs and turned his attention to the IPO and new company. And this is one of Jihan Wu's major mistakes, he began to let Ketuan Zhan manage Bitmain alone.
In fact, as early as 2013, Jihan Wu planted hidden dangers.
Jihan Wu, an investment banker, was the earliest translator of the Bitcoin white paper. He began to get involved in the cryptocurrency mining industry in 2012. The disappearance of Kaomao and Nangua Zhang's ticket skipping led Jihan Wu to decide to develop his own chip.
In 2013, Jihan Wu established his own mining machine company. Together with Yuesheng Ge, who was only 20 years old, he found Ketuan Zhan, an integrated circuit designer of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, to create the protagonist of this article, and later the digital Cryptocurrency mining giant, Bitmain.
Jihan Wu promised Ketuan Zhan that every time a mining machine chip was successfully developed, he would give some shares to the Ketuan Zhan team. At that time, the company founded by Ketuan Zhan was on the eve of falling apart. In order to regroup the team, Ketuan Zhan promised to share half of his shares with the team members. Unfortunately, this is just a bad check. With the rapid development of Bitmain and higher and higher valuations, the expanding Ketuan Zhan almost monopolized all the shares.
Like many startups, Bitmain encountered many difficulties in its early days, and many jobs had to be done by the boss. For example, in the chip design and production process in the second half of 2013, Bitmain was caught in a dilemma of insufficient funds. Jihan Wu personally raised funds and met with TSMC’s sales to persuade TSMC to accept the production needs of a start-up company. Jihan Wu also participated in the selection of the thermodynamic parameters of the heat sink in the Antminer S1.
In 2014, Jihan Wu discovered that this company was independently operated by Ketuan Zhan, which had huge problems. Forcing Jihan Wu to continue to participate in company management.
At that time, Bitmain's mining machine chips had just achieved a certain lead in the standard design process. Jihan Wu believes that the next step must be to develop full customization technology, but Ketuan Zhan plans to invest resources in the research of mobile payment chips.
Ketuan Zhan met a mysterious person from the Party Central Security Bureau who claimed to be able to manipulate the Party Central Committee’s decision-making process for the next generation of mobile payment cryptography standards, but this direction is likely to lead to the fact that Bitmain has just gained the lead in the mining machine market. Regained.
Jihan Wu said that as a graduate of the School of Economics, with a little memory of his high school stage and the knowledge reserve of a computer technology amateur, he retrieves various materials and papers every day, learns theories related to full customization, and goes to Ketuan Zhan conducts persuasion work there.
Fortunately, in the direction of full customization technology, Ketuan Zhan finally listened to Jihan Wu's opinion. Bitmain quickly integrated the technical experts from the United States and Russia introduced by Jihan Wu, which greatly improved the design level of chips and complete machines.
In 2015, Jihan Wu suggested that Ketuan Zhan consider the direction of artificial intelligence. But Ketuan Zhan is not here, he prefers the CPU direction. After staying asleep at night, coupled with in-depth analysis by the Bitmain investment team, Ketuan Zhan finally agreed with this direction. It is a pity that after the Tianshi Chen brothers made major breakthroughs in theory and practice, Bitmain officially invested in the relevant direction, and it was still a step behind.
In the two years from 2016 to 2017, Bitmain's business performance has achieved rapid development, becoming a unique super unicorn in the blockchain industry. According to Froth & Sullivan, in 2017, Bitmain Technology Holdings was the second largest fabless chip design company in China and the tenth largest fabless chip design company in the world, and the fourth largest fabless ASIC chip design company in the world, accounting for 74.5% of global cryptocurrency market share.
However, the huge crisis has long been buried in the early days of entrepreneurship.
Ketuan Zhan's decision on major directions revealed his weakness of extremely lack of business understanding. But every mistake he made was blocked by the company's core employees. His overconfidence in his management ability led to the gradual intensification of conflicts, and the management differences between the two founders became more serious.
4.The giant gets lost
The contradiction between the two broke out on December 17, 2018. Ketuan Zhan used extreme means to force the management to compromise with him by canceling the option, so as to achieve the goal of sole control of the company. Jihan Wu returned to Beijing from Hong Kong overnight and negotiated with Ketuan Zhan all night. In the end, the two resigned as CEO. Jihan Wu retired. Ketuan Zhan has the exclusive rights of chairman in exchange for the implementation of the layoff plan.
Jihan Wu's voluntary retreat has intensified Ketuan Zhan's management to do whatever he wants.
A Bitmain employee commented on Ketuan Zhan's management skills, summed up in two letters-SM.
After becoming the sole helm of the company, Ketuan Zhan quickly "rectified" the department in charge of Jihan Wu as the chairman of the board. He guided the sales of mining machines at the dinner, and pointed out that the sales performance is not due to the sales staff. Ability is strong, but the company provides opportunities. Take two sales leaders as examples, saying that if the company hadn't given the opportunity, they would still be losers. In addition, Ketuan Zhan also instructed the sales staff on how to toast and imparted the wine table culture and experience.
After the meal, Ketuan Zhan came to the conclusion that the quality of Bitmain sales staff was too poor, and Huawei’s blood needs to be injected to drive the company’s progress. Soon, the marketing and sales director from Huawei officially took over Bitmain, opening the era of brand premium for Antminer.
In order to further understand and guide the sales work, Ketuan Zhan asked to meet the customers with the sales staff. During the negotiation process, Ketuan Zhan had a heated discussion with customers on the issue of Chinese and Western medicine, and had also forced the sales staff to be able to ship 10,000 machines due to insufficient production capacity.
Although the requirements for sales personnel are strict, Ketuan Zhan has provided a lot of convenience for "Mainland Ark". In addition to selling mining machines at a more favorable price, Bitmain's mining machines are also hosted in Ming Wang at a higher price than the market price. Mine. It is reported that both Ketuan Zhan and Ming Wang are shareholders of Ark.
The new sales strategy of Huawei's executives has also brought very obvious changes to Bitmain. The self-righteous brand premium reduces the price-performance ratio of Antminer, causing competing products to eat away at Bitmain's market share. Later, Bitmain found that the strategy was wrong and started to cut prices, and found that the mining machine market was saturated and the purchase demand of miners had decreased.
More dangerous than the sales strategy is that the technical advantages of Antminer are being chased by competing products, and even overtaken. At the same time, the two mining pools under Bitmain also lost their first and second positions. The AI ​​business, which Jihan Wu placed high hopes and Ketuan Zhan personally supervised, became a laughing stock in the industry. Not only did it fail to make a profit, it almost brought down Bitmain.
Blindly introducing senior executives from Huawei to occupy important positions completely destroys the company's internal cultural foundation. The bureaucracy within Bitmain began to corrode from high-level employees to ordinary employees. Ketuan Zhan is not aware of this. He is still keen on recruiting Huawei employees, imitating Huawei's organizational structure and strategy, letting HR do sales and R&D personnel to do HR.
The organizational structure adjustment in October 2019 was the fuse for Ketuan Zhan to completely anger Bitmain management. This time, Ketuan Zhan completely marginalized Bitmain’s veteran employees, and suddenly promoted some of the “airborne soldiers” who had just joined the company to the position of person in charge, which caused the former person in charge to report to the new employees. The two managers who were originally equal The hierarchy becomes the subordinate relationship, the operation and development of different business lines are merged into a large department, the upward reporting process becomes more cumbersome, and the relationship between employees becomes delicate.
5. Headwind
On October 29, 2019, Jihan Wu urgently held a staff meeting. Prior to this, the legal representative of Beijing Bitmain has been changed to Jihan Wu, including the parent companies Hong Kong Bitmain and Cayman Bitmain. Jihan Wu stood in the lobby of Building 25, B1, announcing that Ketuan Zhan has been relieved of all duties. Any employee in the Bitmain Group shall no longer execute Ketuan Zhan’s instructions and participate in any meetings convened by Ketuan Zhan. If there is any violation, the company will demotion and expel the company based on the severity of the circumstances. If losses are caused to the company, the company will be held accountable.
Jihan Wu's speech is very long, which can be summarized as follows:
(1) Ketuan Zhan has been relieved of all duties. Also expelled from the original Huawei company HR Zhi Wang introduced by Ketuan Zhan at the end of 2018. Zhi Wang’s reputation on Bitmain was extremely poor and was ridiculed by employees as "nine thousand years" (In ancient China, the emperor was called "ten thousand years old", and the prince was "eight thousand years old." However, in the Ming Dynasty, there was an eunuch who caused harm to the country and the people. He called himself "nine thousand years old", meaning that he was only A little lower than the emperor's level).
(2) Ketuan Zhan's ability to control the company's option incentive plan has disappeared, and it is no longer possible to cancel employees' options at will.
(3) The organizational structure adjustment plan led by Ketuan Zhan was suspended.
(4) We are optimistic about the future of AI business, but the premise is that the main business can continue to make profits in order to support the company's continued investment in AI business.
In the speech, Jihan Wu also told employees the whole story of the "12.17 Incident" and bluntly said that the company is not in good condition. If no measures are taken, Bitmain is likely to go bankrupt in three quarters and he must come back to save the company.
At this time, Ketuan Zhan, who was on a business trip in Shenzhen, finally experienced the situation of Jihan Wu in the "12.17 Incident".
After the official return, Jihan Wu began to clearly point out the company's various problems in operation and management, and went deep into each business line to understand the situation. In the mining machine sales department meeting, employees spoke enthusiastically, reflecting on the difficulties and opinions encountered in the work, the marketing and sales director from Huawei asked with a surprised look, "Why didn't these issues be reported to me before?", and soon , The director was interviewed and "voluntarily resigned."
On November 2, 2019, Jihan Wu announced a salary increase for all employees. Bitmain’s last salary increase dates back to 2018. In principle, Bitmain has two salary increases every year.
On November 7, 2019, Ketuan Zhan spoke on social media for the first time, describing his hardship in starting a business, and condemning Jihan Wu for “stabbing a knife in the back”. At the end of the article, he also set himself a KPI for 2020, that is, the mining machine market share will reach 90%, and the AI ​​business will earn 1 billion.
But Ketuan Zhan's majestic plan did not make Bitmain employees feel emotional, but ridiculed him instead. Employees exposed that he insulted employees, advocated Chinese medicine, believed in Buddhism, drank in meetings, practiced Qigong...
However, there is less than half a year before the halving of Bitcoin production, and the cryptocurrency market shows no signs of recovery, which makes Bitmain management very anxious.
On January 6, 2020, Bitmain ushered in another round of layoffs, with a layoff ratio of about 1/3. This time the layoffs have caused many employees who have just increased their salaries to feel very grieved. On the one hand, they were looking forward to Jihan Wu's return. On the other hand, the compensation for this layoff was less than 18 years.
Ketuan Zhan, who has been unable to enter the Bitmain office area, once again spoke on social media and firmly opposed to layoffs. We do not need to lay off staff and we cannot commit suicide.
During the Spring Festival, Covid-19 broke out. Mainland China has begun to extend the Spring Festival holiday and advocate working from home. Under the chain reaction caused by Covid-19, most companies have chosen to cut salaries or even lay off employees. In the first two months of 2020, China's exports fell by 17%, U.S. stocks were broken four times in a row, Bitcoin plunged 40% in 24 hours on March 12, 2020, and crude oil futures fell by 300% on April 20, 2020...
Obviously, Jihan Wu can't predict, but this layoff seems to be the right decision again. In addition, from January to April 2020, Bitmain's revenue exceeded US$400 million amid the spread of Covid-19 and the collapse of the financial market.
6. Fight to the death
When Jihan Wu tried to get the company back on track, Ketuan Zhan was not helpless. On April 28, 2020, Ketuan Zhan finally rolled back the legal representative of Beijing Bitmain to before October 28, 2019 by repeatedly submitting administrative reconsiderations, and restored his status as a legal representative.
On the morning of May 8, 2020, a piece of news about Bitmain quickly appeared on the real-time hot search rankings, and even dominated the headlines of the day. At window 52 on the second floor of the Haidian District Government Affairs Center, when Ketuan Zhan, the legal person of Beijing Bitmain Company, was receiving the business license, a group of unidentified people snatched the business license from the industrial and commercial administrative staff. A source at the scene said that the number of unidentified people in the group was about 60 people, of which Luyao Liu was directing at the scene.
This is a skillful piece of news. It first leads readers to think that Ketuan Zhan is a victim, using 60 people to grab business licenses as the focus. The masses accused Jihan Wu of lawlessness, but ignored whether the government affairs center could have 60 personnel. As for Hong Kong Bitmain to have the right to appoint a representative to obtain a business license, this is a deeper level of thinking.
The follow-up report restored the real situation at the scene. Only more than ten people were present, and both sides were equipped with security personnel. Bitmain employees also broke the news in the circle of friends, claiming that Ketuan Zhan's bodyguard had injured Bitmain's authorized person, and said in a threatening tone, "Be careful!"
However, the subsequent plot reversal did not have much effect. Jihan Wu's reputation has been greatly affected. From a bloody soldier who rescued the company in trouble to a lawless criminal, it can be said to be a world of war. do not.
Ketuan Zhan, who succeeded in the first battle, began to counterattack Bitmain continuously. On the afternoon of June 3, 2020, Ketuan Zhan led a team to pry open the back door of the Beijing Bitmain office and formally occupied the deserted Beijing headquarters.
On June 4, 2020, Ketuan Zhan called on Bitmain employees to resume work and promised to expand the company's market value to more than US$50 billion within three to five years. After that, Ketuan Zhan began to contact employees by phone, trying to acquire the options in the hands of employees at a valuation of 4 billion US dollars.
Subsequently, Ketuan Zhan recalled Huawei's executives and issued a series of personnel appointments and removals. As of June 9, 2020, Ketuan Zhan has successively eliminated CFO Luyao Liu, and Wenguang Wang, the head of the mining center. Luyao Liu is responsible for controlling Bitmain's IPO plan. He also appointed Yanwu Ma as the HR director, Gang Ren as the head of the mining center, Yonggang Sun as the head of the supply chain, Ling Gu as the financial director, and Bin Zhu as the head of the mining machine business department. Bin Zhu is the senior executive of Huawei who was interviewed and left as mentioned in the previous article. During his tenure, he reduced Antminer’s 90% market share to 50%, and received a large number of complaints from miners. Internal employees once speculated that he might be Compete against the spies sent by the company.
In addition to recalling senior executives of Huawei, Ketuan Zhan also urged employees to return to work. They can receive a bonus of 10,000 yuan when they return to work on the same day, which is only half the next day. Ketuan Zhan showed a very kind side. Every time the elevator door is opened, Ketuan Zhan's hot gaze can be met, shaking hands, taking photos, and receiving money. As there is no personnel information, Ketuan Zhan does not know whether the person receiving the money is a Bitmain employee, and these people did not resume work the next day.
The effect of gentleness was not good, Ketuan Zhan began to force employees to return to work. Seeing that there are still very few respondents, Ketuan Zhan threatened employees through SMS, phone calls, EMS, emails and other harassment, issued multiple threats such as termination of contract, suspension of payment of social insurance, suspension of wages, and even used personal information saved by employees to form a group of employees. Domicile threats, requiring employees to perform "work handover", trying to force employees to return work computers, etc.
On June 10, 2020, the media revealed that Ketuan Zhan had controlled Bitmain's Shenzhen factory and prohibited employees from delivering normal shipments to paid customers, which caused difficulties in the operation of the Bitmain mining machine department.
On June 13, 2020, Hong Kong Bitmain, the parent company of Beijing Bitmain, issued a statement accusing Ketuan Zhan of signing a "Sales Agency Agreement" with the Ark Data Technology Co., Ltd. in which it holds shares, in an attempt to embezzle Beijing Bit's assets.
On June 17, 2020, the media revealed that Ketuan Zhan started selling 14,000 T17+ series mining machines at low prices.
On June 20, 2020, Hong Kong Bitmain officially suspended the supply of chips to the Shenzhen factory.
On July 13, 2020, in the "A Letter to All My colleagues in the Shenzhen Factory" released by Bitmain in Hong Kong, more details were added on the series of Ketuan Zhan's actions in June.
The legal person Feng Zhou of the Shenzhen plant is related to Ketuan Zhan. After being relieved of Ketuan Zhan's post, Jihan Wu flew to Shenzhen to have a long talk with Feng Zhou. Jihan Wu believes that Feng Zhou is the right person to manage the factory and help the company overcome difficulties, and decides to leave Feng Zhou to continue to manage the factory.
This wrong decision staged a story of a farmer and a snake. When Ketuan Zhan began to counterattack Bitmain, Feng Zhou was also quickly instigated and began to assist Ketuan Zhan in seizing customer machines and transferring 17,000 T17 mining machines in the warehouse. Hainan Continental Ark Data Technology Co., Ltd., which is held by Ketuan Zhan, sold them at a low price.
In order to protect the interests of customers, Jihan Wu had to make a compromise and paid the payment for some goods to a bank account controlled by Ketuan Zhan in exchange for delivery. However, after the other party received a payment of 109 million, the delivery stopped. On July 8, 2020, 5600 mining machines have been overdue.
At the same time, the factory defaulted on suppliers’ accounts payable as much as 200 million yuan. Bank acceptance bills issued by the factory, exceeding 36 million yuan, will expire on July 17, and more than 34 million yuan will expire on July 23. It is understood that Ketuan Zhan, after receiving the bank's dunning call, made it clear that he would not repay the loan, which would destroy the company and the entire group's credit in financial institutions.
7、 This is not the end
So far, the power struggle between the founders of Bitmain has been more than half a year. The office building already occupied by Ketuan Zhan is still empty, and most employees choose to work from home. Some chip developers returned to the office with the acquiescence of Jihan Wu and continued to maintain research and development to reduce the impact of infighting on technological iteration and competitiveness.
This giant ship that once stood on top of the supercomputer chip is crashing into the iceberg due to the madness of the former helm. Ketuan Zhan's madness and Jihan Wu's compromise made mistakes again and again. Bitmain tried to save himself many times, but was unable to get out of the black hole.
If the time goes back to that day in 2013, would Jihan Wu and Yuesheng Ge still choose to dial Ketuan Zhan?
submitted by paulcheung1990 to Bitcoincash [link] [comments]

How To End The Cryptocurrency Exchange "Wild West" Without Crippling Innovation


In case you haven't noticed the consultation paper, staff notice, and report on Quadriga, regulators are now clamping down on Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges. The OSC and other regulatory bodies are still interested in industry feedback. They have not put forward any official regulation yet. Below are some ideas/insights and a proposed framework.



Many of you have limited time to read the full proposal, so here are the highlights:

Offline Multi-Signature

Effective standards to prevent both internal and external theft. Exchange operators are trained and certified, and have a legal responsibility to users.

Regular Transparent Audits

Provides visibility to Canadians that their funds are fully backed on the exchange, while protecting privacy and sensitive platform information.

Insurance Requirements

Establishment of basic insurance standards/strategy, to expand over time. Removing risk to exchange users of any hot wallet theft.


Background and Justifications


Cold Storage Custody/Management
After reviewing close to 100 cases, all thefts tend to break down into more or less the same set of problems:
• Funds stored online or in a smart contract,
• Access controlled by one person or one system,
• 51% attacks (rare),
• Funds sent to the wrong address (also rare), or
• Some combination of the above.
For the first two cases, practical solutions exist and are widely implemented on exchanges already. Offline multi-signature solutions are already industry standard. No cases studied found an external theft or exit scam involving an offline multi-signature wallet implementation. Security can be further improved through minimum numbers of signatories, background checks, providing autonomy and legal protections to each signatory, establishing best practices, and a training/certification program.
The last two transaction risks occur more rarely, and have never resulted in a loss affecting the actual users of the exchange. In all cases to date where operators made the mistake, they've been fully covered by the exchange platforms.
• 51% attacks generally only occur on blockchains with less security. The most prominent cases have been Bitcoin Gold and Ethereum Classic. The simple solution is to enforce deposit limits and block delays such that a 51% attack is not cost-effective.
• The risk of transactions to incorrect addresses can be eliminated by a simple test transaction policy on large transactions. By sending a small amount of funds prior to any large withdrawals/transfers as a standard practice, the accuracy of the wallet address can be validated.
The proposal covers all loss cases and goes beyond, while avoiding significant additional costs, risks, and limitations which may be associated with other frameworks like SOC II.

On The Subject of Third Party Custodians
Many Canadian platforms are currently experimenting with third party custody. From the standpoint of the exchange operator, they can liberate themselves from some responsibility of custody, passing that off to someone else. For regulators, it puts crypto in similar categorization to oil, gold, and other commodities, with some common standards. Platform users would likely feel greater confidence if the custodian was a brand they recognized. If the custodian was knowledgeable and had a decent team that employed multi-sig, they could keep assets safe from internal theft. With the right protections in place, this could be a great solution for many exchanges, particularly those that lack the relevant experience or human resources for their own custody systems.
However, this system is vulnerable to anyone able to impersonate the exchange operators. You may have a situation where different employees who don't know each other that well are interacting between different companies (both the custodian and all their customers which presumably isn't just one exchange). A case study of what can go wrong in this type of environment might be Bitpay, where the CEO was tricked out of 5000 bitcoins over 3 separate payments by a series of emails sent legitimately from a breached computer of another company CEO. It's also still vulnerable to the platform being compromised, as in the really large $70M Bitfinex hack, where the third party Bitgo held one key in a multi-sig wallet. The hacker simply authorized the withdrawal using the same credentials as Bitfinex (requesting Bitgo to sign multiple withdrawal transactions). This succeeded even with the use of multi-sig and two heavily security-focused companies, due to the lack of human oversight (basically, hot wallet). Of course, you can learn from these cases and improve the security, but so can hackers improve their deception and at the end of the day, both of these would have been stopped by the much simpler solution of a qualified team who knew each other and employed multi-sig with properly protected keys. It's pretty hard to beat a human being who knows the business and the typical customer behaviour (or even knows their customers personally) at spotting fraud, and the proposed multi-sig means any hacker has to get through the scrutiny of 3 (or more) separate people, all of whom would have proper training including historical case studies.
There are strong arguments both for and against using use of third party custodians. The proposal sets mandatory minimum custody standards would apply regardless if the cold wallet signatories are exchange operators, independent custodians, or a mix of both.

On The Subject Of Insurance
ShakePay has taken the first steps into this new realm (congratulations). There is no question that crypto users could be better protected by the right insurance policies, and it certainly feels better to transact with insured platforms. The steps required to obtain insurance generally place attention in valuable security areas, and in this case included a review from CipherTrace. One of the key solutions in traditional finance comes from insurance from entities such as the CDIC.
However, historically, there wasn't found any actual insurance payout to any cryptocurrency exchange, and there are notable cases where insurance has not paid. With Bitpay, for example, the insurance agent refused because the issue happened to the third party CEO's computer instead of anything to do with Bitpay itself. With the Youbit exchange in South Korea, their insurance claim was denied, and the exchange ultimately ended up instead going bankrupt with all user's funds lost. To quote Matt Johnson in the original Lloyd's article: “You can create an insurance policy that protects no one – you know there are so many caveats to the policy that it’s not super protective.”
ShakePay's insurance was only reported to cover their cold storage, and “physical theft of the media where the private keys are held”. Physical theft has never, in the history of cryptocurrency exchange cases reviewed, been reported as the cause of loss. From the limited information of the article, ShakePay made it clear their funds are in the hands of a single US custodian, and at least part of their security strategy is to "decline[] to confirm the custodian’s name on the record". While this prevents scrutiny of the custodian, it's pretty silly to speculate that a reasonably competent hacking group couldn't determine who the custodian is. A far more common infiltration strategy historically would be social engineering, which has succeeded repeatedly. A hacker could trick their way into ShakePay's systems and request a fraudulent withdrawal, impersonate ShakePay and request the custodian to move funds, or socially engineer their way into the custodian to initiate the withdrawal of multiple accounts (a payout much larger than ShakePay) exploiting the standard procedures (for example, fraudulently initiating or override the wallet addresses of a real transfer). In each case, nothing was physically stolen and the loss is therefore not covered by insurance.
In order for any insurance to be effective, clear policies have to be established about what needs to be covered. Anything short of that gives Canadians false confidence that they are protected when they aren't in any meaningful way. At this time, the third party insurance market does not appear to provide adequate options or coverage, and effort is necessary to standardize custody standards, which is a likely first step in ultimately setting up an insurance framework.
A better solution compared to third party insurance providers might be for Canadian exchange operators to create their own collective insurance fund, or a specific federal organization similar to the CDIC. Such an organization would have a greater interest or obligation in paying out actual cases, and that would be it's purpose rather than maximizing it's own profit. This would be similar to the SAFU which Binance has launched, except it would cover multiple exchanges. There is little question whether the SAFU would pay out given a breach of Binance, and a similar argument could be made for a insurance fund managed by a collective of exchange operators or a government organization. While a third party insurance provider has the strong market incentive to provide the absolute minimum coverage and no market incentive to payout, an entity managed by exchange operators would have incentive to protect the reputation of exchange operators/the industry, and the government should have the interest of protecting Canadians.

On The Subject of Fractional Reserve
There is a long history of fractional reserve failures, from the first banks in ancient times, through the great depression (where hundreds of fractional reserve banks failed), right through to the 2008 banking collapse referenced in the first bitcoin block. The fractional reserve system allows banks to multiply the money supply far beyond the actual cash (or other assets) in existence, backed only by a system of debt obligations of others. Safely supporting a fractional reserve system is a topic of far greater complexity than can be addressed by a simple policy, and when it comes to cryptocurrency, there is presently no entity reasonably able to bail anyone out in the event of failure. Therefore, this framework is addressed around entities that aim to maintain 100% backing of funds.
There may be some firms that desire but have failed to maintain 100% backing. In this case, there are multiple solutions, including outside investment, merging with other exchanges, or enforcing a gradual restoration plan. All of these solutions are typically far better than shutting down the exchange, and there are multiple cases where they've been used successfully in the past.

Proof of Reserves/Transparency/Accountability
Canadians need to have visibility into the backing on an ongoing basis.
The best solution for crypto-assets is a Proof of Reserve. Such ideas go back all the way to 2013, before even Mt. Gox. However, no Canadian exchange has yet implemented such a system, and only a few international exchanges (CoinFloor in the UK being an example) have. Many firms like Kraken, BitBuy, and now ShakePay use the Proof of Reserve term to refer to lesser proofs which do not actually cryptographically prove the full backing of all user assets on the blockchain. In order for a Proof of Reserve to be effective, it must actually be a complete proof, and it needs to be understood by the public that is expected to use it. Many firms have expressed reservations about the level of transparency required in a complete Proof of Reserve (for example Kraken here). While a complete Proof of Reserves should be encouraged, and there are some solutions in the works (ie TxQuick), this is unlikely to be suitable universally for all exchange operators and users.
Given the limitations, and that firms also manage fiat assets, a more traditional audit process makes more sense. Some Canadian exchanges (CoinSquare, CoinBerry) have already subjected themselves to annual audits. However, these results are not presently shared publicly, and there is no guarantee over the process including all user assets or the integrity and independence of the auditor. The auditor has been typically not known, and in some cases, the identity of the auditor is protected by a NDA. Only in one case (BitBuy) was an actual report generated and publicly shared. There has been no attempt made to validate that user accounts provided during these audits have been complete or accurate. A fraudulent fractional exchange, or one which had suffered a breach they were unwilling to publicly accept (see CoinBene), could easily maintain a second set of books for auditors or simply exclude key accounts to pass an individual audit.
The proposed solution would see a reporting standard which includes at a minimum - percentage of backing for each asset relative to account balances and the nature of how those assets are stored, with ownership proven by the auditor. The auditor would also publicly provide a "hash list", which they independently generate from the accounts provided by the exchange. Every exchange user can then check their information against this public "hash list". A hash is a one-way form of encryption, which fully protects the private information, yet allows anyone who knows that information already to validate that it was included. Less experienced users can take advantage of public tools to calculate the hash from their information (provided by the exchange), and thus have certainty that the auditor received their full balance information. Easy instructions can be provided.
Auditors should be impartial, their identities and process public, and they should be rotated so that the same auditor is never used twice in a row. Balancing the cost of auditing against the needs for regular updates, a 6 month cycle likely makes the most sense.

Hot Wallet Management
The best solution for hot wallets is not to use them. CoinBerry reportedly uses multi-sig on all withdrawals, and Bitmex is an international example known for their structure devoid of hot wallets.
However, many platforms and customers desire fast withdrawal processes, and human validation has a cost of time and delay in this process.
A model of self-insurance or separate funds for hot wallets may be used in these cases. Under this model, a platform still has 100% of their client balance in cold storage and holds additional funds in hot wallets for quick withdrawal. Thus, the risk of those hot wallets is 100% on exchange operators and not affecting the exchange users. Since most platforms typically only have 1%-5% in hot wallets at any given time, it shouldn't be unreasonable to build/maintain these additional reserves over time using exchange fees or additional investment. Larger withdrawals would still be handled at regular intervals from the cold storage.
Hot wallet risks have historically posed a large risk and there is no established standard to guarantee secure hot wallets. When the government of South Korea dispatched security inspections to multiple exchanges, the results were still that 3 of them got hacked after the inspections. If standards develop such that an organization in the market is willing to insure the hot wallets, this could provide an acceptable alternative. Another option may be for multiple exchange operators to pool funds aside for a hot wallet insurance fund. Comprehensive coverage standards must be established and maintained for all hot wallet balances to make sure Canadians are adequately protected.

Current Draft Proposal

(1) Proper multi-signature cold wallet storage.
(a) Each private key is the personal and legal responsibility of one person - the “signatory”. Signatories have special rights and responsibilities to protect user assets. Signatories are trained and certified through a course covering (1) past hacking and fraud cases, (2) proper and secure key generation, and (3) proper safekeeping of private keys. All private keys must be generated and stored 100% offline by the signatory. If even one private keys is ever breached or suspected to be breached, the wallet must be regenerated and all funds relocated to a new wallet.
(b) All signatories must be separate background-checked individuals free of past criminal conviction. Canadians should have a right to know who holds their funds. All signing of transactions must take place with all signatories on Canadian soil or on the soil of a country with a solid legal system which agrees to uphold and support these rules (from an established white-list of countries which expands over time).
(c) 3-5 independent signatures are required for any withdrawal. There must be 1-3 spare signatories, and a maximum of 7 total signatories. The following are all valid combinations: 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7.
(d) A security audit should be conducted to validate the cold wallet is set up correctly and provide any additional pertinent information. The primary purpose is to ensure that all signatories are acting independently and using best practices for private key storage. A report summarizing all steps taken and who did the audit will be made public. Canadians must be able to validate the right measures are in place to protect their funds.
(e) There is a simple approval process if signatories wish to visit any country outside Canada, with a potential whitelist of exempt countries. At most 2 signatories can be outside of aligned jurisdiction at any given time. All exchanges would be required to keep a compliant cold wallet for Canadian funds and have a Canadian office if they wish to serve Canadian customers.
(2) Regular and transparent solvency audits.
(a) An audit must be conducted at founding, after 3 months of operation, and at least once every 6 months to compare customer balances against all stored cryptocurrency and fiat balances. The auditor must be known, independent, and never the same twice in a row.
(b) An audit report will be published featuring the steps conducted in a readable format. This should be made available to all Canadians on the exchange website and on a government website. The report must include what percentage of each customer asset is backed on the exchange, and how those funds are stored.
(c) The auditor will independently produce a hash of each customer's identifying information and balance as they perform the audit. This will be made publicly available on the exchange and government website, along with simplified instructions that each customer can use to verify that their balance was included in the audit process.
(d) The audit needs to include a proof of ownership for any cryptocurrency wallets included. A satoshi test (spending a small amount) or partially signed transaction both qualify.
(e) Any platform without 100% reserves should be assessed on a regular basis by a government or industry watchdog. This entity should work to prevent any further drop, support any private investor to come in, or facilitate a merger so that 100% backing can be obtained as soon as possible.
(3) Protections for hot wallets and transactions.
(a) A standardized list of approved coins and procedures will be established to constitute valid cold storage wallets. Where a multi-sig process is not natively available, efforts will be undertaken to establish a suitable and stable smart contract standard. This list will be expanded and improved over time. Coins and procedures not on the list are considered hot wallets.
(b) Hot wallets can be backed by additional funds in cold storage or an acceptable third-party insurance provider with a comprehensive coverage policy.
(c) Exchanges are required to cover the full balance of all user funds as denominated in the same currency, or double the balance as denominated in bitcoin or CAD using an established trading rate. If the balance is ever insufficient due to market movements, the firm must rectify this within 24 hours by moving assets to cold storage or increasing insurance coverage.
(d) Any large transactions (above a set threshold) from cold storage to any new wallet addresses (not previously transacted with) must be tested with a smaller transaction first. Deposits of cryptocurrency must be limited to prevent economic 51% attacks. Any issues are to be covered by the exchange.
(e) Exchange platforms must provide suitable authentication for users, including making available approved forms of two-factor authentication. SMS-based authentication is not to be supported. Withdrawals must be blocked for 48 hours in the event of any account password change. Disputes on the negligence of exchanges should be governed by case law.

Steps Forward

Continued review of existing OSC feedback is still underway. More feedback and opinions on the framework and ideas as presented here are extremely valuable. The above is a draft and not finalized.
The process of further developing and bringing a suitable framework to protect Canadians will require the support of exchange operators, legal experts, and many others in the community. The costs of not doing such are tremendous. A large and convoluted framework, one based on flawed ideas or implementation, or one which fails to properly safeguard Canadians is not just extremely expensive and risky for all Canadians, severely limiting to the credibility and reputation of the industry, but an existential risk to many exchanges.
The responsibility falls to all of us to provide our insight and make our opinions heard on this critical matter. Please take the time to give your thoughts.
submitted by azoundria2 to QuadrigaInitiative [link] [comments]

CRO Investments story

Watch more here: https://youtu.be/oNFcc6X21vM
Well, if you ask me about my vision of CRO technology, let me tell you something you may know. 10 years ago, no one knows much about cryptocurrency and no one knows that bitcoin will be at it’s value today. Crypto was formed and developed to become a medium of exchange using crypto graphic algorithms to secure transactions to verify transactions and to hide the party’s transaction information. With the outstanding advantages, the use of cryptocurrencies brings more convenience than using cash because of the ability to secure information and data. It is a convenient means of payment and it not controlled by a bank or government. Therefore, we will reduce the dependence of national monetary policies. During my younger day, I’ve always been curious about how technologies are being created, move and change. I always believes cryptocurrencies will create a great impact in this world. I want to create my own currency. Not only that, I also want to create exchanges, credit cards, cash machines so that people can use it all over the world. Our coin to be able to exchange, use it for entertainment to travel or anything that you can name on it. I want it to be on visa and master-card. So that you can travel around the world to use it. Most important and the beauty of my coin, I want it to generate income to the holder of my coin. But how? In the end, I and my team created CRO investments. CRO investments is the leading blockchain investment firm and one of the largest institutional owners of crypto staking. Our mission is to act as the catalyst for widespread blockchain adoption. CRO investments is always ready to encourage active customers and partners. Therefore, the company has created a profitable and affordable marketing plan for each investor. Along with owning CRO airdrop, you can own your referral system with up to 15 levels and earn unlimited income with three types of commissions based on the partner’s staking. We also have CRO wallet — CRO pay — CRO POS machine which is linked to our system around the world and we will have more to come in the near future. CRO coin will be listed on crypto exchanges very soon. We are developing and creating more and more for a mission to be on the world top 100 cryptocurrency with the highest value that you can not imagine. I believe CRO coin will be a high performing coin which will make the transaction flows between crypto users and merchants accepting crypto seamless, cost-efficient and secure. The trand of moving from cash to cryptocurrencies is becoming extremely strong. With the financial potential, technology quintessence, and long term development plan, CRO currency will become the number one payment method in the world completely replacing cash in the near future.
submitted by croinvestments to u/croinvestments [link] [comments]

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