Volatility - Bitcoinity.org

Where is Bitcoin Going and When?

Where is Bitcoin Going and When?

The Federal Reserve and the United States government are pumping extreme amounts of money into the economy, already totaling over $484 billion. They are doing so because it already had a goal to inflate the United States Dollar (USD) so that the market can continue to all-time highs. It has always had this goal. They do not care how much inflation goes up by now as we are going into a depression with the potential to totally crash the US economy forever. They believe the only way to save the market from going to zero or negative values is to inflate it so much that it cannot possibly crash that low. Even if the market does not dip that low, inflation serves the interest of powerful people.
The impending crash of the stock market has ramifications for Bitcoin, as, though there is no direct ongoing-correlation between the two, major movements in traditional markets will necessarily affect Bitcoin. According to the Blockchain Center’s Cryptocurrency Correlation Tool, Bitcoin is not correlated with the stock market. However, when major market movements occur, they send ripples throughout the financial ecosystem which necessary affect even ordinarily uncorrelated assets.
Therefore, Bitcoin will reach X price on X date after crashing to a price of X by X date.

Stock Market Crash

The Federal Reserve has caused some serious consternation with their release of ridiculous amounts of money in an attempt to buoy the economy. At face value, it does not seem to have any rationale or logic behind it other than keeping the economy afloat long enough for individuals to profit financially and politically. However, there is an underlying basis to what is going on which is important to understand in order to profit financially.
All markets are functionally price probing systems. They constantly undergo a price-discovery process. In a fiat system, money is an illusory and a fundamentally synthetic instrument with no intrinsic value – similar to Bitcoin. The primary difference between Bitcoin is the underlying technology which provides a slew of benefits that fiat does not. Fiat, however, has an advantage in being able to have the support of powerful nation-states which can use their might to insure the currency’s prosperity.
Traditional stock markets are composed of indices (pl. of index). Indices are non-trading market instruments which are essentially summaries of business values which comprise them. They are continuously recalculated throughout a trading day, and sometimes reflected through tradable instruments such as Exchange Traded Funds or Futures. Indices are weighted by market capitalizations of various businesses.
Price theory essentially states that when a market fails to take out a new low in a given range, it will have an objective to take out the high. When a market fails to take out a new high, it has an objective to make a new low. This is why price-time charts go up and down, as it does this on a second-by-second, minute-by-minute, day-by-day, and even century-by-century basis. Therefore, market indices will always return to some type of bull market as, once a true low is formed, the market will have a price objective to take out a new high outside of its’ given range – which is an all-time high. Instruments can only functionally fall to zero, whereas they can grow infinitely.
So, why inflate the economy so much?
Deflation is disastrous for central banks and markets as it raises the possibility of producing an overall price objective of zero or negative values. Therefore, under a fractional reserve system with a fiat currency managed by a central bank – the goal of the central bank is to depreciate the currency. The dollar is manipulated constantly with the intention of depreciating its’ value.
Central banks have a goal of continued inflated fiat values. They tend to ordinarily contain it at less than ten percent (10%) per annum in order for the psyche of the general populace to slowly adjust price increases. As such, the markets are divorced from any other logic. Economic policy is the maintenance of human egos, not catering to fundamental analysis. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is well-known not to be a measure of actual growth or output. It is a measure of increase in dollars processed. Banks seek to produce raising numbers which make society feel like it is growing economically, making people optimistic. To do so, the currency is inflated, though inflation itself does not actually increase growth. When society is optimistic, it spends and engages in business – resulting in actual growth. It also encourages people to take on credit and debts, creating more fictional fiat.
Inflation is necessary for markets to continue to reach new heights, generating positive emotional responses from the populace, encouraging spending, encouraging debt intake, further inflating the currency, and increasing the sale of government bonds. The fiat system only survives by generating more imaginary money on a regular basis.
Bitcoin investors may profit from this by realizing that stock investors as a whole always stand to profit from the market so long as it is managed by a central bank and does not collapse entirely. If those elements are filled, it has an unending price objective to raise to new heights. It also allows us to realize that this response indicates that the higher-ups believe that the economy could crash in entirety, and it may be wise for investors to have multiple well-thought-out exit strategies.

Economic Analysis of Bitcoin

The reason why the Fed is so aggressively inflating the economy is due to fears that it will collapse forever or never rebound. As such, coupled with a global depression, a huge demand will appear for a reserve currency which is fundamentally different than the previous system. Bitcoin, though a currency or asset, is also a market. It also undergoes a constant price-probing process. Unlike traditional markets, Bitcoin has the exact opposite goal. Bitcoin seeks to appreciate in value and not depreciate. This has a quite different affect in that Bitcoin could potentially become worthless and have a price objective of zero.
Bitcoin was created in 2008 by a now famous mysterious figure known as Satoshi Nakamoto and its’ open source code was released in 2009. It was the first decentralized cryptocurrency to utilize a novel protocol known as the blockchain. Up to one megabyte of data may be sent with each transaction. It is decentralized, anonymous, transparent, easy to set-up, and provides myriad other benefits. Bitcoin is not backed up by anything other than its’ own technology.
Bitcoin is can never be expected to collapse as a framework, even were it to become worthless. The stock market has the potential to collapse in entirety, whereas, as long as the internet exists, Bitcoin will be a functional system with a self-authenticating framework. That capacity to persist regardless of the actual price of Bitcoin and the deflationary nature of Bitcoin means that it has something which fiat does not – inherent value.
Bitcoin is based on a distributed database known as the “blockchain.” Blockchains are essentially decentralized virtual ledger books, replete with pages known as “blocks.” Each page in a ledger is composed of paragraph entries, which are the actual transactions in the block.
Blockchains store information in the form of numerical transactions, which are just numbers. We can consider these numbers digital assets, such as Bitcoin. The data in a blockchain is immutable and recorded only by consensus-based algorithms. Bitcoin is cryptographic and all transactions are direct, without intermediary, peer-to-peer.
Bitcoin does not require trust in a central bank. It requires trust on the technology behind it, which is open-source and may be evaluated by anyone at any time. Furthermore, it is impossible to manipulate as doing so would require all of the nodes in the network to be hacked at once – unlike the stock market which is manipulated by the government and “Market Makers”. Bitcoin is also private in that, though the ledge is openly distributed, it is encrypted. Bitcoin’s blockchain has one of the greatest redundancy and information disaster recovery systems ever developed.
Bitcoin has a distributed governance model in that it is controlled by its’ users. There is no need to trust a payment processor or bank, or even to pay fees to such entities. There are also no third-party fees for transaction processing. As the ledge is immutable and transparent it is never possible to change it – the data on the blockchain is permanent. The system is not easily susceptible to attacks as it is widely distributed. Furthermore, as users of Bitcoin have their private keys assigned to their transactions, they are virtually impossible to fake. No lengthy verification, reconciliation, nor clearing process exists with Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is based on a proof-of-work algorithm. Every transaction on the network has an associated mathetical “puzzle”. Computers known as miners compete to solve the complex cryptographic hash algorithm that comprises that puzzle. The solution is proof that the miner engaged in sufficient work. The puzzle is known as a nonce, a number used only once. There is only one major nonce at a time and it issues 12.5 Bitcoin. Once it is solved, the fact that the nonce has been solved is made public.
A block is mined on average of once every ten minutes. However, the blockchain checks every 2,016,000 minutes (approximately four years) if 201,600 blocks were mined. If it was faster, it increases difficulty by half, thereby deflating Bitcoin. If it was slower, it decreases, thereby inflating Bitcoin. It will continue to do this until zero Bitcoin are issued, projected at the year 2140. On the twelfth of May, 2020, the blockchain will halve the amount of Bitcoin issued when each nonce is guessed. When Bitcoin was first created, fifty were issued per block as a reward to miners. 6.25 BTC will be issued from that point on once each nonce is solved.
Unlike fiat, Bitcoin is a deflationary currency. As BTC becomes scarcer, demand for it will increase, also raising the price. In this, BTC is similar to gold. It is predictable in its’ output, unlike the USD, as it is based on a programmed supply. We can predict BTC’s deflation and inflation almost exactly, if not exactly. Only 21 million BTC will ever be produced, unless the entire network concedes to change the protocol – which is highly unlikely.
Some of the drawbacks to BTC include congestion. At peak congestion, it may take an entire day to process a Bitcoin transaction as only three to five transactions may be processed per second. Receiving priority on a payment may cost up to the equivalent of twenty dollars ($20). Bitcoin mining consumes enough energy in one day to power a single-family home for an entire week.

Trading or Investing?

The fundamental divide in trading revolves around the question of market structure. Many feel that the market operates totally randomly and its’ behavior cannot be predicted. For the purposes of this article, we will assume that the market has a structure, but that that structure is not perfect. That market structure naturally generates chart patterns as the market records prices in time. In order to determine when the stock market will crash, causing a major decline in BTC price, we will analyze an instrument, an exchange traded fund, which represents an index, as opposed to a particular stock. The price patterns of the various stocks in an index are effectively smoothed out. In doing so, a more technical picture arises. Perhaps the most popular of these is the SPDR S&P Standard and Poor 500 Exchange Traded Fund ($SPY).
In trading, little to no concern is given about value of underlying asset. We are concerned primarily about liquidity and trading ranges, which are the amount of value fluctuating on a short-term basis, as measured by volatility-implied trading ranges. Fundamental analysis plays a role, however markets often do not react to real-world factors in a logical fashion. Therefore, fundamental analysis is more appropriate for long-term investing.
The fundamental derivatives of a chart are time (x-axis) and price (y-axis). The primary technical indicator is price, as everything else is lagging in the past. Price represents current asking price and incorrectly implementing positions based on price is one of the biggest trading errors.
Markets and currencies ordinarily have noise, their tendency to back-and-fill, which must be filtered out for true pattern recognition. That noise does have a utility, however, in allowing traders second chances to enter favorable positions at slightly less favorable entry points. When you have any market with enough liquidity for historical data to record a pattern, then a structure can be divined. The market probes prices as part of an ongoing price-discovery process. Market technicians must sometimes look outside of the technical realm and use visual inspection to ascertain the relevance of certain patterns, using a qualitative eye that recognizes the underlying quantitative nature
Markets and instruments rise slower than they correct, however they rise much more than they fall. In the same vein, instruments can only fall to having no worth, whereas they could theoretically grow infinitely and have continued to grow over time. Money in a fiat system is illusory. It is a fundamentally synthetic instrument which has no intrinsic value. Hence, the recent seemingly illogical fluctuations in the market.
According to trade theory, the unending purpose of a market or instrument is to create and break price ranges according to the laws of supply and demand. We must determine when to trade based on each market inflection point as defined in price and in time as opposed to abandoning the trend (as the contrarian trading in this sub often does). Time and Price symmetry must be used to be in accordance with the trend. When coupled with a favorable risk to reward ratio, the ability to stay in the market for most of the defined time period, and adherence to risk management rules; the trader has a solid methodology for achieving considerable gains.
We will engage in a longer term market-oriented analysis to avoid any time-focused pressure. The Bitcoin market is open twenty-four-hours a day, so trading may be done when the individual is ready, without any pressing need to be constantly alert. Let alone, we can safely project months in advance with relatively high accuracy. Bitcoin is an asset which an individual can both trade and invest, however this article will be focused on trading due to the wide volatility in BTC prices over the short-term.

Technical Indicator Analysis of Bitcoin

Technical indicators are often considered self-fulfilling prophecies due to mass-market psychology gravitating towards certain common numbers yielded from them. They are also often discounted when it comes to BTC. That means a trader must be especially aware of these numbers as they can prognosticate market movements. Often, they are meaningless in the larger picture of things.
  • Volume – derived from the market itself, it is mostly irrelevant. The major problem with volume for stocks is that the US market open causes tremendous volume surges eradicating any intrinsic volume analysis. This does not occur with BTC, as it is open twenty-four-seven. At major highs and lows, the market is typically anemic. Most traders are not active at terminal discretes (peaks and troughs) because of levels of fear. Volume allows us confidence in time and price symmetry market inflection points, if we observe low volume at a foretold range of values. We can rationalize that an absolute discrete is usually only discovered and anticipated by very few traders. As the general market realizes it, a herd mentality will push the market in the direction favorable to defending it. Volume is also useful for swing trading, as chances for swing’s validity increases if an increase in volume is seen on and after the swing’s activation. Volume is steadily decreasing. Lows and highs are reached when volume is lower.
Therefore, due to the relatively high volume on the 12th of March, we can safely determine that a low for BTC was not reached.
  • VIX – Volatility Index, this technical indicator indicates level of fear by the amount of options-based “insurance” in portfolios. A low VIX environment, less than 20 for the S&P index, indicates a stable market with a possible uptrend. A high VIX, over 20, indicates a possible downtrend. VIX is essentially useless for BTC as BTC-based options do not exist. It allows us to predict the market low for $SPY, which will have an indirect impact on BTC in the short term, likely leading to the yearly low. However, it is equally important to see how VIX is changing over time, if it is decreasing or increasing, as that indicates increasing or decreasing fear. Low volatility allows high leverage without risk or rest. Occasionally, markets do rise with high VIX.
As VIX is unusually high, in the forties, we can be confident that a downtrend for the S&P 500 is imminent.
  • RSI (Relative Strength Index): The most important technical indicator, useful for determining highs and lows when time symmetry is not availing itself. Sometimes analysis of RSI can conflict in different time frames, easiest way to use it is when it is at extremes – either under 30 or over 70. Extremes can be used for filtering highs or lows based on time-and-price window calculations. Highly instructive as to major corrective clues and indicative of continued directional movement. Must determine if longer-term RSI values find support at same values as before. It is currently at 73.56.
  • Secondly, RSI may be used as a high or low filter, to observe the level that short-term RSI reaches in counter-trend corrections. Repetitions based on market movements based on RSI determine how long a trade should be held onto. Once a short term RSI reaches an extreme and stay there, the other RSI’s should gradually reach the same extremes. Once all RSI’s are at extreme highs, a trend confirmation should occur and RSI’s should drop to their midpoint.

Trend Definition Analysis of Bitcoin

Trend definition is highly powerful, cannot be understated. Knowledge of trend logic is enough to be a profitable trader, yet defining a trend is an arduous process. Multiple trends coexist across multiple time frames and across multiple market sectors. Like time structure, it makes the underlying price of the instrument irrelevant. Trend definitions cannot determine the validity of newly formed discretes. Trend becomes apparent when trades based in counter-trend inflection points continue to fail.
Downtrends are defined as an instrument making lower lows and lower highs that are recurrent, additive, qualified swing setups. Downtrends for all instruments are similar, except forex. They are fast and complete much quicker than uptrends. An average downtrend is 18 months, something which we will return to. An uptrend inception occurs when an instrument reaches a point where it fails to make a new low, then that low will be tested. After that, the instrument will either have a deep range retracement or it may take out the low slightly, resulting in a double-bottom. A swing must eventually form.
A simple way to roughly determine trend is to attempt to draw a line from three tops going upwards (uptrend) or a line from three bottoms going downwards (downtrend). It is not possible to correctly draw a downtrend line on the BTC chart, but it is possible to correctly draw an uptrend – indicating that the overall trend is downwards. The only mitigating factor is the impending stock market crash.

Time Symmetry Analysis of Bitcoin

Time is the movement from the past through the present into the future. It is a measurement in quantified intervals. In many ways, our perception of it is a human construct. It is more powerful than price as time may be utilized for a trade regardless of the market inflection point’s price. Were it possible to perfectly understand time, price would be totally irrelevant due to the predictive certainty time affords. Time structure is easier to learn than price, but much more difficult to apply with any accuracy. It is the hardest aspect of trading to learn, but also the most rewarding.
Humans do not have the ability to recognize every time window, however the ability to define market inflection points in terms of time is the single most powerful trading edge. Regardless, price should not be abandoned for time alone. Time structure analysis It is inherently flawed, as such the markets have a fail-safe, which is Price Structure. Even though Time is much more powerful, Price Structure should never be completely ignored. Time is the qualifier for Price and vice versa. Time can fail by tricking traders into counter-trend trading.
Time is a predestined trade quantifier, a filter to slow trades down, as it allows a trader to specifically focus on specific time windows and rest at others. It allows for quantitative measurements to reach deterministic values and is the primary qualifier for trends. Time structure should be utilized before price structure, and it is the primary trade criterion which requires support from price. We can see price structure on a chart, as areas of mathematical support or resistance, but we cannot see time structure.
Time may be used to tell us an exact point in the future where the market will inflect, after Price Theory has been fulfilled. In the present, price objectives based on price theory added to possible future times for market inflection points give us the exact time of market inflection points and price.
Time Structure is repetitions of time or inherent cycles of time, occurring in a methodical way to provide time windows which may be utilized for inflection points. They are not easily recognized and not easily defined by a price chart as measuring and observing time is very exact. Time structure is not a science, yet it does require precise measurements. Nothing is certain or definite. The critical question must be if a particular approach to time structure is currently lucrative or not.
We will measure it in intervals of 180 bars. Our goal is to determine time windows, when the market will react and when we should pay the most attention. By using time repetitions, the fact that market inflection points occurred at some point in the past and should, therefore, reoccur at some point in the future, we should obtain confidence as to when SPY will reach a market inflection point. Time repetitions are essentially the market’s memory. However, simply measuring the time between two points then trying to extrapolate into the future does not work. Measuring time is not the same as defining time repetitions. We will evaluate past sessions for market inflection points, whether discretes, qualified swings, or intra-range. Then records the times that the market has made highs or lows in a comparable time period to the future one seeks to trade in.
What follows is a time Histogram – A grouping of times which appear close together, then segregated based on that closeness. Time is aligned into combined histogram of repetitions and cycles, however cycles are irrelevant on a daily basis. If trading on an hourly basis, do not use hours.
  • Yearly Lows (last seven years): 1/1/13, 4/10/14, 1/15/15, 1/17/16, 1/1/17, 12/15/18, 2/6/19
  • Monthly Mode: 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 4, 12
  • Daily Mode: 1, 1, 6, 10, 15, 15, 17
  • Monthly Lows (for the last year): 3/12/20 (10:00pm), 2/28/20 (7:09am), 1/2/20 (8:09pm), 12/18/19 (8:00am), 11/25/19 (1:00am), 10/24/19 (2:59am), 9/30/19 (2:59am), 8/29,19 (4:00am), 7/17/19 (7:59am), 6/4/19 (5:59pm), 5/1/19 (12:00am), 4/1/19 (12:00am)
  • Daily Lows Mode for those Months: 1, 1, 2, 4, 12, 17, 18, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30
  • Hourly Lows Mode for those Months (Military time): 0100, 0200, 0200, 0400, 0700, 0700, 0800, 1200, 1200, 1700, 2000, 2200
  • Minute Lows Mode for those Months: 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, 09, 09, 59, 59, 59, 59
  • Day of the Week Lows (last twenty-six weeks):
Weighted Times are repetitions which appears multiple times within the same list, observed and accentuated once divided into relevant sections of the histogram. They are important in the presently defined trading time period and are similar to a mathematical mode with respect to a series. Phased times are essentially periodical patterns in histograms, though they do not guarantee inflection points
Evaluating the yearly lows, we see that BTC tends to have its lows primarily at the beginning of every year, with a possibility of it being at the end of the year. Following the same methodology, we get the middle of the month as the likeliest day. However, evaluating the monthly lows for the past year, the beginning and end of the month are more likely for lows.
Therefore, we have two primary dates from our histogram.
1/1/21, 1/15/21, and 1/29/21
2:00am, 8:00am, 12:00pm, or 10:00pm
In fact, the high for this year was February the 14th, only thirty days off from our histogram calculations.
The 8.6-Year Armstrong-Princeton Global Economic Confidence model states that 2.15 year intervals occur between corrections, relevant highs and lows. 2.15 years from the all-time peak discrete is February 9, 2020 – a reasonably accurate depiction of the low for this year (which was on 3/12/20). (Taking only the Armstrong model into account, the next high should be Saturday, April 23, 2022). Therefore, the Armstrong model indicates that we have actually bottomed out for the year!
Bear markets cannot exist in perpetuity whereas bull markets can. Bear markets will eventually have price objectives of zero, whereas bull markets can increase to infinity. It can occur for individual market instruments, but not markets as a whole. Since bull markets are defined by low volatility, they also last longer. Once a bull market is indicated, the trader can remain in a long position until a new high is reached, then switch to shorts. The average bear market is eighteen months long, giving us a date of August 19th, 2021 for the end of this bear market – roughly speaking. They cannot be shorter than fifteen months for a central-bank controlled market, which does not apply to Bitcoin. (Otherwise, it would continue until Sunday, September 12, 2021.) However, we should expect Bitcoin to experience its’ exponential growth after the stock market re-enters a bull market.
Terry Laundy’s T-Theory implemented by measuring the time of an indicator from peak to trough, then using that to define a future time window. It is similar to an head-and-shoulders pattern in that it is the process of forming the right side from a synthetic technical indicator. If the indicator is making continued lows, then time is recalculated for defining the right side of the T. The date of the market inflection point may be a price or indicator inflection date, so it is not always exactly useful. It is better to make us aware of possible market inflection points, clustered with other data. It gives us an RSI low of May, 9th 2020.
The Bradley Cycle is coupled with volatility allows start dates for campaigns or put options as insurance in portfolios for stocks. However, it is also useful for predicting market moves instead of terminal dates for discretes. Using dates which correspond to discretes, we can see how those dates correspond with changes in VIX.
Therefore, our timeline looks like:
  • 2/14/20 – yearly high ($10372 USD)
  • 3/12/20 – yearly low thus far ($3858 USD)
  • 5/9/20 – T-Theory true yearly low (BTC between 4863 and 3569)
  • 5/26/20 – hashrate difficulty halvening
  • 11/14/20 – stock market low
  • 1/15/21 – yearly low for BTC, around $8528
  • 8/19/21 – end of stock bear market
  • 11/26/21 – eighteen months from halvening, average peak from halvenings (BTC begins rising from $3000 area to above $23,312)
  • 4/23/22 – all-time high
Taken from my blog: http://aliamin.info/2020/
submitted by aibnsamin1 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

A better name for 'Decred' to broaden the reach of our superior vision

This is a detailed proposal I planned to have put up for vote on Politeia. But was told it would need a more detailed plan of execution (budget, marketing, devs etc) which is beyond my expertise. I invite everyone in the DCR community to read it and contribute to make it a reality.
Intro:
Warm greetings to everyone! I am a DCR supporter with a background in law and media. For years I was a news reporter in one of China's largest television networks, during that time I have accumulated a solid understanding of mass communication and presentation.
I fell down the Bitcoin rabbit hole in 2017 and has not look back since. But I believe DCR is a superior store-of-value and a decentralised organism capable of long-term adaptability thus securing the long term financial sovereignty and organisation of people around the world.
Problem:
However, there is a growing sense in the community that Decred has a name recognition barrier to overcome. That was expressed by the DEX developers saying the concern they have is 'getting the word out there'(Decred in Depth May 15th), a concern echoed by many others. The community also appears to be debating and experimenting with various outreach strategies. I have confidence in our vision, developers and contributors. However, they are not the only factors determining the success of a project. When it comes to the expansion of name recognition, adoption and network effects, the competition is fierce and likely winner takes most or even all (see Matthew effect, "Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them." Bible Matt 13:12 ).
If we do not present our project in the most approachable way possible, I do believe we are at risk of missing out on the golden window of adoption, and the project might never really catch on. That would be a big shame because the world would never be able to adopt our superior vision of Bitcoin sound money, and if the governance issues of bitcoin does flare up further down the road, there is a risk of it being corrupted, neutralised or captured by some predatory governments and the international fiat financiers, and they will never allow something like Bitcoin to develop among the masses again, if that happens, Decred would not be large enough to deter them either.
Reasons for Proposal:
I would like to lay out reasons why the name 'Decred' is not a good name for our project and is holding us back at the moment. I obviously have great respect all the design and planning that has gone before and my fellow Decredees already working on design projects will be incentivised to vote against my proposal. But I am offering constructive criticism and we all want the project to succeed and do not want proposals to just validate whatever we have been doing before. So I hope you would consider this carefully and objectively.
I suggest that the name of our project 'Decred' should be reviewed and rebranded.
Firstly, the name 'Decred (decentralized credits)' is manifestly tech and developer centred, it reflects the perspective and values of the brilliant minds that conceived our project. I understand the monumental importance of decentralization, but for the newcomer the word is hard to grasp.
When introducing the name of a project, we want to communicate what would register as substance that can be easily grasped by people. 'Bitcoin' emphasizes that it is digital and has value. The word 'Coin' is easily understood as substance, 'Coin' is a classic word communicating value that appeals to the most primordial circuits of our brains as something you want( to hold in your hand), something of value, something that jingles in your pocket, something shiny that you want to accumulate and collect.
In contrast, the "De" in Decred gives a notion of negation and negativity, not of substance and affirmation, as is common in the English language (for example: devalue, dethrone, debunk, devolve, dejected). I fully appreciated that to us insiders 'de' signifies 'decentralized' and is of enormous substance and value, but that is not apparent to the newcomer and even implies the opposite.
Secondly, 'Cred (as in credit)' is also very intangible compared to 'Coin', credit only developed later in human economy and do not register with the same force as 'Coin' in our neural circuitry that identifies value. In our day and age, the word 'credit' also has a negative connotations (for example: credit bubble, credit card fraud, credit crunch, credit crisis). In short, credit is associated with volatility and fragility, which is very contrary to the nature of our robust project that values reliability and long-term adaptability.
So with all due respect, "Decred" is not a good name to communicate what we stand for. Compared to 'Bitcoin', it does not meet people where they are (we want people to come for the profit and stay for the vision and tech, most people are like that, for better or for worse), 'Decred' is a bit too self-obsessed with putting what's under-the-hood of the project right upfront in the name, it is not at all obvious what 'Decred' means to a curious person who wanders into cryptoland. In addition, "Decred" bears an unwelcome resemblance to the word "Discredit" which is also another minus.
We should focus more on how the name of our project makes people feel, rather than emphasising function and features that newcomers are unlikely to grasp easily. The majority of people make decisions based on how it makes them feel, not on utility and reason alone. Bitcoin understands this, it struck a more visceral part of the human psyche, people want 'Coins' that can go up in value, but in fact that hopeful speculation and hopium was the Trojan's horse for the masses to adopt a more decentralized, censorship-resistance and secure form of monetary system. Our project should do the same, starting with the name.
Thirdly, I would like to put forward my idea about what should replace the name "Decred'. There can be little doubt that Decred is building on the brilliance and vision of Bitcoin (PoW, 21 million supply cap, transparency and decentralization). In a way, our project aims to be more 'Bitcoin' than Bitcoin, PoW+PoS improves security, the governance mechanism + treasury ventures to where Bitcoin has not gone before, which is building decentralization and transparency in the governance and evolutionary process of the project itself.
Our project lead Jacob Yocom-Piat, whom I really respect, shared how he discovered a 'central planning committee' running things in Bitcoin and believed it was contrary to the spirit of Bitcoin, that helped give birth to the name 'Decred'.
Therefore I believe the 'De' in Decred is a further doubling down of the principle of decentralization ('like it or not, we are taking this all the way, Bitcoin!') , it is a protest. 'Cred' could also be a reaction against the more tangible name 'Coin' signifying that we are moving further beyond it in the digital economy with 'decentralised credits'. However, as I have already laid out above, it is not an approachable name from the perspective of the new adopter. Decred is in essence a reactionary name, and is not optimal for presenting a project that is already digital, intangible and hard to grasp.
History shaped the name 'Decred' and that is a beautiful thing, we would not be here without it. But I suggest it is time to move beyond by taking a step back. We do not want to be going against the grain of two things: 1) human nature and the learning curve towards the tangible and affirmative as opposed the the negational and negative. 2) the already established network effect of the name recognition of 'Bitcoin'. Going against these two grains will make it unnecessarily harder for our outreach, thus hamstringing adoption, instead we should go with the grain and ride the wave of already established network effects by tapping into people's familiarity with the word 'Bitcoin' .
Therefore I propose the new name of our project should at least include the word 'Bitcoin" followed by a word to describe the unique way our project has taken Bitcoin forward.
Bitcoiner Dan Held mention in his blog how: "Bitcoin is the Apex predator of money" https://www.danheld.com/blog/2019/1/6/planting-bitcoinspecies-14 I truly believe that title actually belongs to our project. With our treasury, potential consensus rule changes through politeia and extra security compared to Bitcoin, we will evolve our way up the monetary food-chain because we are robust and superiorly adaptable. As Chris Buriske says: "In #crypto, so long as you have good governance, you can have any feature you want."
Thus, I further suggest our rebranded name be: Bitcoin Evolution (Bitcoin E/BTE). I believe this faithfully reflects our ethos of being true to the spirit of Bitcoin while also being future-proof and adaptable (Although the vote in this proposal itself is not a referendum on Bitcoin Evolution, I will explain at the end).
For people looking into our project, trying to figure out what we are about, 'Bitcoin Evolution' really speaks for itself.
The famous Bitcoin educator Andreas Antonopoulos once said that "the next Bitcoin is Bitcoin". I take it to mean that the idea of Bitcoin is larger than the specific chain Satoshi Nakamoto started himself. If that's true, it is justified for a later project that takes the spirit of Bitcoin even further to adopt the name Bitcoin E. E means Evolution.
Also on the off chance that we turn out to be more wrong about Bitcoin's governance than we think and Bitcoin's rough consensus works out just fine (no more hard forks, successfully implements privacy, no VC corruption etc). Then Bitcoin will become the indisputable 'gold standard' and likely take most of the pie, in that case if our name highlights our similarity to Bitcoin and our governance model also hold its own, we will likely end up doing better than sticking to our protest name 'Decred'. This is from a risk management perspective that we might want to consider.
Also on the off chance that we turn out to be more wrong about Bitcoin's governance than we think and Bitcoin's rough consensus works out just fine (no more hard forks, successfully implements privacy, no VC corruption etc). Then Bitcoin will become the indisputable 'gold standard' and likely take most of the pie, in that case if our name highlights our similarity to Bitcoin and our governance model also hold its own, we will likely end up doing better than sticking to our protest name 'Decred'. This is from a risk management perspective that we might want to consider.
Possible Objections:
I am happy to engage with any question or objections in the comments sections. But allow me to first anticipate some objections I foresee here.
Q1) "Rebranding now will undo too much of the work we have done before. It is too late."
A1: By all the indicators that matter, we are still very early. With the upcoming bull market in this money printer go brrr macro economics setting, a new wave of new investors will be flooding into the crypto sphere in the next 2-3 years, and they will be coming for Bitcoin. By not going against the grain of the established Bitcoin name, the attention Bitcoin Evolution will receive down the years would far outweigh what loss we incur from rebranding. Short term pain, long term gain.
Q2) "Won't we be making an opportunistic gambit and look like scammy or weak projects like Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Diamond and Bitcoin Gold ? What if we attract all the wrong people and destroy our community culture?"
A2: I believe regardless of others think, our rebranding is not an opportunistic gambit. Bitcoin Diamond, Gold and etc are forks of Bitcoin that misses the point of what BTC was about. We are not a fork of Bitcoin (and we aim precisely to avoid contentious hard forks). Nevertheless, the spirit of Bitcoin is faithfully implemented in our chain.
We preserve the immutability and robustness of BTC and take the decentralization principle to its full logical conclusion, which is for it to permeant development and community decision -making. One can say we are the true heirs of Bitcoin and we should carry the mantle proudly if we really believe in our vision.
I also do not believe "Bitcoin Evolution" will attract all the wrong people. We will have a huge influx for sure, and that will put us under pressure. But unlike Bitcoin 'Cash' Gold or Diamond', people will coming to us will understand we have the long term and adaptability in mind, 'evolution' suggests it is a long game. The quick buck at all costs bunch will not find ours to be the most enticing name.
I also have faith in our incredible community of communicators and educators to bring new people onboard to our long term mindset.
In addition, when we rebrand, the people who know Decred well and support it will not abandon ship just because they don't like the new name.
The people who are already critical of Decred will no doubt seize the opportunity to attack and insinuate. Haters gonna hate. We did not care before and should not start fretting. I invite all to focus on all the new and curious adopters and explorers who will be flocking to us because of the Bitcoin name, and rightly so.
Q3) "If the fundamentals are sound, won't the project catch on even if the name 'Decred' is unrelatable? Just a matter of time right?"
A3: No. The history of other network effects has shown, the success of a project depends on many factors, it is not just a simple framework of a sifting mechanism eventually singling out the best tech and best ideas.** Sometimes it is not the best idea that wins, but the idea that is good enough at the right time and the right place wins.*\* Think of the internet protocol TCP/IP. We have to have the right ideas at the right time and meet growth goals at an appropriate speed to break out of bottlenecks and achieve network adoption.
With Bitcoin there is the added risk of entrenched centralised establishments exploiting the weaknesses in its governance to neutralised it, if they succeed, we will likely not get a second chance. We should not leave that to chance and refine our project in as many ways as possible.
I believe precisely because we have sound fundamentals of decentralized governance, that when time is ripe to consider a rebrand, we will meet the need together and start this conversation to get the job done. But the project won't automatically catch on by itself, we need to explore and make decisions together to improve it.
In conclusion:
In our name, let us not present to the world what we are against (centralisation), but what we are for(Adaptive future-proof Bitcoin with all its classic strengths). Let us go with the grain of human nature and the network effects of name recognition and not unnecessarily strive against it.
I believe just like a teenager transitioning into adulthood, we are coming of age in a new era of growth and self-awareness. And sometimes, growth means taking a step back to recalibrate and orient ourselves.
What you are voting on:
I hope to ignite a constructive discussion about a serious plan to rebrand for the better. I do not ask for any funding as it is not up to me to implement anything, I just hope my insights can help us on the journey of changing the world for the better with our superior vision of an unstoppable decentralised organism. The How, Who and When questions concerning rebranding should be explored by the community together.
If you Vote 'Yes' you are not necessarily saying we are just going to rebrand to "Bitcoin Evolution" or even a new name with "Bitcoin" in it. Voting 'Yes' means you see the merits of my arguments and want to seriously consider rebranding and turning the page from the current name 'Decred'.
I have been engaging with the Chinese Decred community but I am not known to the community at large, so I understand there will be a lot of questions and scepticism and I welcome all constructive feedback.
I also want to pay my deep respects to all the developers, contributors and everyone who has dedicated their time and passion to our project. Let's keep building together!
If you appreciate the work I put into this, feel free to make a voluntary donation:
DCR: DsWgLiEBw5YAHqrfZpYQjgPYhAT2DkdD6m9
BTC: 3GtuhwsoY2BYjqbaf2tCdjZbZw2Zn4H48P
You can follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/decredinator
Peace, decredinator
submitted by Decredinator to decred [link] [comments]

Blockchain in the Public Sector – Webcast Q&A

Blockchain in the Public Sector – Webcast Q&A
Link to our website: https://block.co/blockchain-in-the-public-sector-webcast-qa/
Block.co fourth webcast titled "Digital Transformation of the Public Sector & The Upcoming Legislation of Blockchain Technology in Cyprus” was an immense success. We gathered some of the best experts in the field, Deputy Minister Kyriacos Kokkinos, Jeff Bandman, Steve Tendon, and Christiana Aristidou to share their experience and discuss with us the latest updates regarding Blockchain in the Public Sector.
In its fourth series of webcasts, Block.co gathered 281 people watching the event from 41 different countries, for a two-hour webcast where guests answered participants’ questions. Following the impressive outcome and response we received from the audience, Block.co’s team has done its best to address all the questions for which public information is available.
Below is a list of the questions that were made and were not answered due to time constraints during the webcast. For the remaining questions from our audience, the team will reach out to our distinguished guests to receive their comments and feedback. Please note, that the below information is only for informational purposes!
Question 1:
How can asset tracing be accomplished with bitcoins and cryptocurrency? And how can this be regulated?
Block.co Team Answer:
Digital Asset tracing may be accomplished with cryptocurrency intelligence solutions such as Cipher Trace and the ICE cryptocurrency intelligence program. FATF (Financial Action Task Force) embarked on a program of work from summer 2018 to June 2019 to strengthen and update the provisions dealing with virtual assets and virtual asset service providers. FATF updated Recommendations in October 2018 and Guidance in June 2019 include several new obligations that apply to VASPs. The so-called “Travel Rule” FATF announced in October 2019 agreed on the assessment criteria for how it will assess countries’ compliance with the new global standards. Under the Travel Rule, the transmitter’s financial institutions must include and send information in the transmittal order such as Information about the identity, name, address, and account number of the sender and its financial institution Information about the identity, name, address and account number of the recipient. The ”Travel Rule” is effectively being applied to cryptoasset transfers when there is a virtual asset service provider (VASP) involved. The scope of focus has broadened from “convertible” virtual assets to any virtual asset. Countries should make sure businesses can freeze crypto wallet or exchange accounts for sanctioned individuals.
Question 2:
Which kind of software or technical knowledge is required to develop cryptocurrency?
Block.co Team Answer:
It depends on the type of cryptocurrency you wish to create, as well as the preferred functionality and features, and characteristics of the token or coin (i.e. will it be pre-mined, what type of hashing or cryptographic algorithm will be used (i.e. proof of work (POW) or proof of stake (POS) or a hybrid of both), etc. Likewise, it is useful to utilize a programming language that is broadly used and supported by a vast and active development community; more data could be found here: more information could be found here: top programming languages in 2015/2016, published by IEEE here, and TIOBE. Hypothetically, you can utilize any programming language to make cryptocurrency digital money, however, the most widely recognized are C, C++, Java, Python, Perl. The beauty of cryptocurrencies is that you can literally have access to the entire Bitcoin and Ethereum open-source programming scripts, and create your alternate coin (altcoin).
Question 3:
Hello all, I want to know about the current status of the European Union Blockchain initiative in currency or public identity.
Block.co Team Answer:
Please refer to the European Services Blockchain Infrastructure (EBSI) website.
Question 4:
Mining is also the process of confirmation of transactions in the Bitcoin Blockchain. What is the process of confirmation of transactions in the Blockchain of an Organization? How do we call it?
Block.co Team Answer:
That would depend on the specific consensus algorithm used for the confirmation of transactions. The consensus algorithm is part of the blockchain protocol that defines the rules on how consensus is reached on that blockchain. In order to participate, entities on the blockchain must obey and follow the same consensus algorithm. Make sure to check our glossary for more information.
Question 5:
How does a small business implement blockchain into its current non-blockchain software systems? Who do they hire to install it?
Block.co Team Answer:
It is easy when there are APIs to connect the various software. For more information, you can check Block.co API.
Question 6:
What is your opinion on digitizing developing economies like India by using AI and blockchain?
Block.co Team Answer:
Watch a very interesting webinar on the matter by Mr. Prasanna:
Question 7:
Blockchain technologies have been around since 2008. What would you say has been the biggest obstacle in widespread adoption?
Block.co Team Answer:
In our opinion, the biggest obstacles are volatile cryptoasset prices, complicated UIs, undefined blockchain technology standards. Moreover, the legislation around the technologies is still now being developed and does not offer legal certainty for broader adoption.
Question 8:
Limitations to Blockchain Usability in the Public Sector?
Block.co Team Answer:
Blockchain in the Public Sector, like any other innovative concept with big potential, cannot be a solution to every problem. Users and developers are still figuring out technological and managerial challenges. From a technological perspective, some aspects such as platform scalability, validation methods, data standardization, and systems integration must still be addressed. From a managerial point of view, the questions include business model transformation, incentive structure, and transaction scale, and maturity. Read more here.
Question 9:
How can these blockchain initiatives be practical for the African context
Block.co Team Answer:
As long as the internet infrastructure is in place, these blockchain initiatives may have the same benefits for the African region.
Question 10:
What are some compelling use cases you’ve seen lately, and how do they serve to further legitimize blockchain as a solution?
Block.co Team Answer:
You can see the global trends from all around the world when it comes to further legitimization as a solution, with China leading the way. Read more here.
Question 11:
How does digital currency manage the issue of money laundering?
Block.co Team Answer:
Depends under which context you are looking at the term digital currency. A digital currency usually refers to a balance or a record stored in a distributed database, in an electronic computer database, within digital files or a stored-value card. Some examples of digital currencies are cryptocurrencies, virtual currencies, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), and e-Cash. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an intergovernmental body established in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to fight money laundering. Since 2001 FATF is also looking into terrorism financing. The objectives of FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. FATF is a “policy-making body” that works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas. FATF monitors progress in implementing its Recommendations through “peer reviews” (“mutual evaluations”) of member countries. It is the global watchdog for anti-money laundering & counter-terrorist finance. In June 2019, it updated its guidance paper for Virtual Assets Service Providers (VASPs) regarding the transfer of digital assets. There was an insertion of a new interpretive note that sets out the application of the FATF Standards to virtual asset activities and service providers. To apply FATF Recommendations, countries should consider virtual assets as “property,” “proceeds,” “funds,” “funds or other assets,” or other “corresponding value.” Countries should apply the relevant measures under the FATF Recommendations to virtual assets and virtual asset service providers (VASPs). Read more about the FATF recommendations here).

https://preview.redd.it/58tt7mt1pld51.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=d24811c4864ebf02cb9aacc8d6b877a1fbc3756b
Question 12:
To what extent can blockchain be used to improve the privacy of healthcare?
Block.co team Answer:
Please refer to our previous webcast, blog, and articles for more information.
Question 13:
What is Blockchain technology in Shipping?
Block.co team Answer:
The shipping sector has been in the hold of phony maritime institutes charging exorbitant fees via agents, issuing certificates to candidates who do not have the imperative attendance, or those candidates who just pay the fees for the course and ask for the certificate. In view of these fake accreditations, the possibility exists that someone could be harmed or killed, and we could face any number of potential ecological disasters. Having the option to easily verify the genuine origin of a certificate by an approved maritime center is foremost for shipping companies to fast-track their operation and streamline their labor.
Question 14:
Different uses of blockchain other than cryptocurrency?
Block.co team Answer:
Please refer to our blog and glossary.
Question 15:
Upcoming trends in Blockchain concerning Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations in the Public and Private sectors.
Block.co Team Answer:
Regarding the application of blockchain technology to media copyrights, please see Block.co use case proposal during the Bloomen Ideathon.

https://preview.redd.it/48zc8j38pld51.png?width=3622&format=png&auto=webp&s=79987d1dc7eb8d0c8e32dbce8680b17801d0d244
Question 16:
How to create a decentralized blockchain?
Block.co Team Answer:
An excessive number of individuals feel that blockchain is some supernatural innovation that makes up a decentralized system. In truth, this innovation only enables decentralization. Which means, it permits cryptocurrency to work in a decentralized way. Yet, it doesn’t give any guarantees that it will work that way. Along these lines, it’s really, some outer variables that decide genuine decentralization. Technology, itself never really guarantees it. That is the reason it’s a mistake to expect that if it’s a blockchain — it’s decentralized. From a technical perspective, both blockchains, centralized, and decentralized are comparative, as they take work on distributed peer to peer to network. This implies every node is individually responsible to verify and store the shared ledger. Both Blockchains utilize either a proof-of-work or proof-of-stake mechanisms to make a solitary record and they have to give upper and lower limits on the security and productivity of the system. For more information please refer to our infographic.
Question 17:
Dubai government Blockchain implementation progress?
Block.co Team Answer:
You can see more information here.
Question 18:
How Blockchain and IoT can be integrated to secure data being transmitted through IoT devices.
Block.co Team Answer:
You can read more about it here.
Question 19:
How can the Nigerian government use Blockchain to effectively implement its existing launched eGovernment master plan?
Block.co Team Answer:
Perhaps it can draw its attention to the initiatives of Dubai, Estonia, and Malta to prepare an implementation framework.
Question 20:
What impact is blockchain going to have in today world of business especially in the financial sector
Block.co Team Answer:
Please refer to our recent article titled Benefits of Blockchain Technology in the Banking Industry.
Question 21:
Is Blockchain Technology affect individuals?
Block.co Team Answer:
The social effect of blockchain innovation has just started to be acknowledged and this may simply be a hint of something larger. Cryptocurrencies have raised questions over financial services through digital wallets, and while considering that there are in excess of 3,5 billion individuals on the planet today without access to banking, such a move is surely impactful. Maybe the move for cryptocurrencies will be simpler for developing nations than the process of fiat cash and credit cards. It is like the transformation that developing nations had with mobile phones. It was simpler to acquire mass amounts of mobile phones than to supply another infrastructure for landlines telephones. In addition to giving the underprivileged access to banking services, greater transparency could also raise the profile and effectiveness of charities working in developing countries that fall under corrupt or manipulative governments.
An expanded degree of trust in where the cash goes and whose advantages would without a doubt lead to expanded commitments and backing for the poor in parts of the world that are in urgent need of help. Blockchain technology is well placed to remove the possibility of vote-apparatus and the entirety of different negatives related to the current democratic procedure. Obviously, with new innovation, there are new obstacles and issues that will arise, yet the cycle goes on and those new issues will be comprehended with progressively modern arrangements. A decentralized record would give the entirety of the fundamental information to precisely record votes on an anonymous basis, and check the exactness and whether there had been any manipulation of the voting procedure.
Question 22:
As Andreas Antonopoulos often says in his MOOC: ”is a blockchain even needed?” Ie. Are there better methods?
Block.co Team Answer:
In combination with nascent technologies, IoT, distributed computing, and distributed ledger technologies, governments can provide inventive services and answers for the citizens and local municipalities. Blockchain can provide the component to create a safe framework to deal with these functions. In particular, it can provide a safe interoperable infrastructure that permits all smart city services and capacities to work past presently imagined levels. On the off chance that there were better techniques, they would be researched.
Question 23:
Would any of this be also applicable to the educational sector (as part of the general public sector), and if so in which way?
Block.co Team Answer:
Yes, please refer to our Webcast on Education and our blog post.
Question 24:
Will we be able to get a hold of this recording upon completion of the meeting?
Block.co Team Answer:
Yes, here is a link to the recording of our webcast Blockchain in the Public Sector.
Question 25:
Was wondering if there are any existing universal framework in governing the blockchain technology?
Block.co Team Answer:
The short answer is NO, as this framework is currently being prepared in collaboration with the various Member States.
We would like to thank everyone for attending our webcast and hoping to interact with you in future webinars. If you would like to watch the webinar again, then click here!
For more info, contact Block.co directly or email at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]).
Tel +357 70007828
Get the latest from Block.co, like and follow us on social media:
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submitted by BlockDotCo to u/BlockDotCo [link] [comments]

Why Bitcoin remains a marginal vehicle for store of value (at best) vs. Gold

There is no doubt that times like these necessitate asset diversification.
Some candidates include Bitcoin (“BTC”) and Gold (“XAU”). We have an on-going debate with one of my best friends about Bitcoin.
He is a firm believer in BTC due to (i) the printing of money by central banks, (ii) the lost of faith in governments and (iii) the technological advantage over traditional gold
[Original post with charts: https://bankeronwheels.com/bitcoin-a-marginal-vehicle-for-store-of-value/ ]
I think of BTC as an electronic version of gold:
Lindy effect – which is most likely to survive?
If you store value, the most important aspect is for the asset class to survive. Made popular by Nicholas Taleb, the Lindy effect states that the future life expectancy of some non-perishable things like a technology or an idea is proportional to their current age, so that every additional period of survival implies a longer remaining life expectancy.
Gold has been around for centuries and will be around in the next decades. As with Bitcoin, the currency may be around or could be replaced by a more efficient one (e.g. from transaction perspective). If you consider some of your savings as a means to secure a future for you and your kids then Gold is much more likely to fulfill this objective – although one needs to be reminded that this both asset classes don’t generate any income and as such can be used as diversifiers and potentially partially rotated into more risky assets when the market turns.
Price stability
If we assume that currently the main use for both is the store of value (BTC is only marginally used as transactional currency) then price stability is key. Gold prices are more stable and largely correlated to (i) real rates (ii) strength of USD and (iii) macro outlook. Arguably, Gold is less prone to price manipulation as one of the most traded assets (daily volumes can be as high as the total market cap of BTC).
It goes without saying that BTC can provide you with better returns as it’s more speculative in nature. The purpose of this blog however is to analyse assets from a savings allocation perspective and thus taking into consideration the risk you’re taking.
Insurance against market crash
While both BTC and XAU increased in value along with other risk assets prior to the crisis, the subsequent drop was much more significant for BTC while XAU only experienced marginal losses due to forced liquidations from investors highlighting the speculative nature of BTC.
As such Gold provides a good insurance policy as long as the crash in not excessively severe in nature – in 2008 Gold has initially dropped in value due to liquidations before rallying.
Another potential diversifiers that act as insurance for equity portfolios are government bonds. Treasuries have also experienced some volatility due to liquidations but are different to BTC and XAU as the FED controls the short term maturity asset yields and now even considering controlling the longer end of the curvesimilar to other countries like Japan or Australia
Doom scenario(s)
Both assets have major issues since Gold can’t be easily transported/accessed in case of a major natural disaster and BTC will miserably fail when electricity is down (earthquake, tsunami etc). Electronic Gold suffers from the same shortcoming hence physical gold has an edge here
Possible Near term Prospects
The technology behind BTC is very powerful. I’d also agree that conceptually is the best form of money that has ever been invented. Regarding BTC, in the end my friend and I will probably meet somewhere in the middle . A marginal part of the receivers of US fiscal measures may invest the cash in BTC. I have seen a large group of anti-establishment people on the West Coast while cycling from Vancouver to San Francisco last summer and there is a likelihood that these people will drive the BTC price up in the near term. However, due mainly to the price stability issue and perceived complexity I am yet to see a significant part of population that would allocate a sizeable part of their savings in BTC. And this brings me to my last point – skin in the game. So far, my friend only allocated a small amount of his net worth to BTC…
[As originally posted with charts on https://bankeronwheels.com/bitcoin-a-marginal-vehicle-for-store-of-value/ ]
submitted by bankeronwheels to Gold [link] [comments]

Bitcoin options are breaking records, and exchanges are competing for this segment. We will tell you what these tools are and how they work

Bitcoin options are breaking records, and exchanges are competing for this segment. We will tell you what these tools are and how they work
Bitcoin options are breaking records, and exchanges are competing for this segment. We will tell you what these tools are and how they work
The cryptocurrency market is constantly evolving, integrating with the traditional and inheriting complex financial products such as futures and options.
Some types of fixed-term contracts are already firmly established in the bitcoin industry. This is noticeable by the activity of traders on the CME.
However, the situation with options is somewhat different. These derivatives are difficult to understand among ordinary market participants and are not yet so popular.
Nevertheless, there is a demand for such tools, as evidenced by the growth dynamics of this market segment and interest from platforms such as Binance and Bitfinex.
Bitcoin options have already been offered on CME, LedgerX and Bakkt, which are regulated and oriented primarily on whales. Among the unregulated sites, the leader is Deribit, followed by FTX and OKEx.
ForkLog magazine figured out what options are and what types of options are. We will talk about the features of these tools and the current state of affairs in the segment. In this article you will also find comments by leading market experts on the role of options in the industry.

What are options and how do they work?

An option is a financial contract concluded between two parties — the holder and the seller. The first receives the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell a certain amount of the underlying asset at the strike price (strike price) on a specific date (expiration date).
The seller undertakes to buy or sell the asset at the request of the option holder. The latter pays the seller at the time of purchase of the contract a certain amount of money — the so-called premium.
The rights and obligations of the holder and seller differ significantly. The former has the right to choose whether to exercise the option or not. The seller is obliged to fulfill the terms of the contract at the request of the holder.
Parameters such as the type of underlying asset, expiration date, strike price are fixed at the time of issue of the contract, after which they cannot be changed.
Like futures, options are derivative financial instruments and derivatives. This means that they can be based on various underlying assets (BA) — stocks, indices or cryptocurrencies.
Like the options already existing in traditional finance for all major assets, there are contracts based on BTC and ETH on the cryptocurrency market. They are very interesting financial products“, said Su Zhu, head of Three Arrows Capital, in a conversation with ForkLog.
Options are used both for hedging risks and for speculative trading. For example, a speculator confident in the growth of the underlying asset buys a call option. If the BA price rises above the strike, the trader can use his contract to buy a discounted asset.
Derivatives such as options allow users to hedge risks and generate revenue. Derivatives play a key role in the traditional financial market. These tools are needed so that the cryptocurrency market continues to grow and develop, being filled with new participants“, said Aaron Gong, vice president of Binance Futures.

Practical use of options

Consider the simplest example of options hedging. Suppose there is a company manufacturing tomato paste, sauces and ketchups. There is a farmer supplying this company with tomatoes. He acts in conditions of fierce competition, close to perfect.
It is extremely important for a company to buy raw materials cheaper to minimize production costs and remain profitable. The farmer, in turn, hopes for a long-term cooperation with the company so as not to lose a major client.
The company offers the farmer an option, assuming the right to buy 10 tons of tomatoes of the next year’s crop at the current price — say, $1,000 per ton. To exercise this right, the company pays the farmer an option premium of 3% of the total transaction amount of $10,000, that is, $300.
The farmer will have to, at the request of the company, sell the appropriate quantity of goods at the above price and at a specified time.
A year later, the crop was high, which led to a decrease in the market value of tomatoes to $800 per ton. The company decides not to exercise its right to purchase raw materials for $10,000, as other farmers can buy the same 10 tons of tomatoes for only $8,000.
Thus, having lost only $300 as a premium on an option, the company is insured against price risk. Buying raw materials at a significantly lower market price is more than worth the price of the option contract.
Let’s imagine another scenario: the crop turned out to be unimportant and the price of scarce tomatoes jumped to $1200 per ton. Then the company will certainly take advantage of the right to purchase tomatoes for $1000. Thus, the result is any case.
It is easy to guess that the options can be used by miners to hedge the risks of adverse changes in the price of the extracted asset. For example, expecting a decrease in the price of BTC, miners can use options that give them the right to sell cryptocurrency in the future at a price higher than the breakeven point.
Miners are already very active in options markets. And, probably, they will remain active“, Su Zhu said.
Su Zhu is confident that in the long term, options will make the cryptocurrency spot market more liquid and attractive to a wide range of participants. He added that the growing popularity of such contracts among miners could significantly reduce sales pressure.
Options give miners the opportunity to fix the price of coins mined in the future. Miners can better manage their production costs and protect themselves from market volatility“, said Aaron Gong, expressing confidence that the popularity of options will continue to grow.
According to him, such tools open up new opportunities and may be of interest to speculators, funds and long-term cryptocurrency holders.
“Institutional investors are also showing growing interest in options and other derivatives. Last week it was reported that the famous Wall Street trader Paul Tudor Jones allocated a few percent from his Tudor BVI fund for bitcoin futures. This is a positive signal, which means that more and more institutions are interested in the cryptocurrency market“, Gong added.
However, option strategies are not suitable for every market participant — effective work with these tools requires certain experience, Co-founder of CoinIndex.agency Julia Sporysh is sure:
Of course, in order to use this effectively, the miner must have an experienced trader (option strategies are some of the most difficult on the market) — or they will have to unite and work through specialized trading companies. This market exists, although it is not for the general public.
Also, according to her, options may be of interest to funds and retail traders who have gained a hand in speculative trading.
Options are an independent and good speculative tool. And if you have positions in futures or in the spot market, it’s just the time to explore new opportunities“, added Yulia Sporysh.

Types of options

There are two main types of options — option call and option put. The first gives the right to the contract holder to purchase a certain amount of the underlying asset from the seller (they also say — the inscription) at the strike price on a certain date in the future. This type of option was used in the tomato example.
The put option, on the contrary, gives the buyer of the contract the right to sell the underlying asset at a fixed price. The latter may be higher than the market at the time of expiration, which is beneficial to the trader.
Market participants use the call, predicting an increase in the price of BA, and put — expecting it to decline.
More complex strategies use combinations of these two types of contracts.
There is also the term “covered option”. For example, an option call is covered if the seller has the amount of the underlying asset corresponding to the terms of the contract.
Options may also differ in the style of execution — American or European.
European-style options require the holder to execute the contract exclusively on the expiration date. Such options, in particular, are presented at CME and Bakkt.
American style implies the possibility of contract execution at any time prior to the date of expiration. Options of both styles are traded all over the world, their names have no relation to geographic location.
There are less standardized, exotic options. However, the popularity and importance of such instruments in the financial market is not so great.
Parameters and conditions for trading certain options are described in the specifications for them, which indicate the expiration date, strike price and other elements of the contract.

Premium, strike price and cash option

The option premium is the amount of money paid by the buyer to the seller. The premium is equal to the value of the contract and, in fact, represents a fee for the risk of adverse changes in the value of the underlying asset.
The option premium is formed by two components:
Intrinsic value — the amount that the buyer would receive if the contract were currently executed. It depends on the ratio of the price of the underlying asset and the strike.
Time value — depends on the time remaining until expiration. Usually, the less time it takes to execute a contract, the lower the premium.
As a rule, high price volatility contributes to premium growth, and vice versa. A deal with a close strike price in relation to the current one has much greater chances of closing in profit and, therefore, the premium for such an option will be relatively high.
The strike price is the price fixed in the option at which the buyer of the call option can buy (or sell, if this is a put option) the underlying asset. In turn, the seller of the contract is obliged to sell or buy BA.
Money is an indicator of the ability to receive funds from the exercise of the right to exercise a derivative. In the context of options, cash can be calculated by comparing the spot price of the BA and the strike price of the option. Thus, three options are possible:
• “in the money” option: in the case of a call — if the spot price is higher than the strike (then the intrinsic value of the contract is positive), in the case of a put, on the contrary, if the BA price is lower than the strike;
• option “on money” (or “with one’s own”) — equal strike to current stock quotes, intrinsic value equal to 0;
• the option “out of money” (“without money”) — the exercise of the option is not economically feasible; in such a situation, the current price of the underlying asset is lower than the strike price of the call option or, conversely, the spot price of the BA is higher than the strike price in the case of a put.

Option strategies

There are many option trading strategies. Four basic approaches can be distinguished.
Long call — buying a call option, the investor expects an increase in the price of the underlying asset above the strike on the expiration date of the contract. Then he will be able to buy an asset at a discount to the market price and thus earn on the difference. If the price drops below the strike, the buyer risks only the premium paid for the option.
Long put — is a kind of alternative to a short position in the spot market. The buyer of the put option hopes to make money, assuming that the price of the BA falls below the strike at the time of expiration. In this scenario, the investor may sell the asset at a higher price than the market price.
Also, through a put option, an investor can limit the risk of a fall in the price of an asset that has a long position open. According to Su Zhu, miners may use the “protective put” strategy, in whose activity a substantial and prolonged drop in the price of mined cryptocurrency is undesirable. Through such tools, miners can provide profitable or even break-even activity.
Short call — the investor acts as the seller of the contract, counting on a decrease in the price of BA below the strike on the date of expiration. However, the higher the price of the asset, the more losses the inscription bears. Thus, the risk of the seller of the contract is unlimited, and the profit potential is limited by the premium on the sale of the call.
Short put — the seller of such an option expects a premium on it, being firmly convinced that the price of the BA will be higher than the strike.
Combinations of these basic strategies may underlie more sophisticated options trading approaches, such as:
protective put — purchase of a put option for an available asset;
covered (secured) call — an investor sells a call option to an existing BA or which will be acquired simultaneously with the sale of the option; the strategy reduces the risk of owning an asset, since a fall in its price is partially offset by a premium;
straddle — a kind of bet on volatility, which implies the purchase of a call and put option on the same asset with the same expiration date and the same strike price;
strangle — almost the same as straddle, differs only in different strike prices.

Conclusions

Options are complex financial instruments, their mechanism of work is unlikely to be mastered immediately by most novice traders. Nevertheless, these derivatives may seem interesting to experienced market participants and, in particular, to miners.
The following advantages and disadvantages of options can be distinguished. Of the advantages of these contracts, we note:
- flexibility of use in speculative trading;
- the ability to use many combinations and trading strategies;
- a good tool for hedging risks;
- the ability to use in any trend — upward, downward, sideways.
Disadvantages:
- the difficulty of understanding the mechanism of work, especially for novice market participants;
- asymmetric conditions and, accordingly, risks for the buyer and seller;
- the complexity of trading strategies;
- the volatility of an option premium, which depends on the proximity of the expiration date and price dynamics in the spot market;
- low liquidity.
Different industry players have different cryptocurrency options. Some consider them promising tools useful for miners, funds, retail traders and the market as a whole. Others are convinced that such derivatives are archaism.
Nevertheless, options are gradually taking root in the cryptocurrency market. This is evident in the dynamics of trading volume and open interest. In addition, more and more exchanges are trying to add support for these contracts, which contributes to increased competition and further development of the industry.
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Why Bitcoin remains a marginal vehicle for store of value (at best) vs. Gold

There is no doubt that times like these necessitate asset diversification.
Some candidates include Bitcoin (“BTC”) and Gold (“XAU”). We have an on-going debate with one of my best friends about Bitcoin.
He is a firm believer in BTC due to (i) the printing of money by central banks, (ii) the lost of faith in governments and (iii) the technological advantage over traditional gold
[Original post with charts: https://bankeronwheels.com/bitcoin-a-marginal-vehicle-for-store-of-value/ ]
I think of BTC as an electronic version of gold:

Lindy effect – which is most likely to survive?

If you store value, the most important aspect is for the asset class to survive. Made popular by Nicholas Taleb, the Lindy effect states that the future life expectancy of some non-perishable things like a technology or an idea is proportional to their current age, so that every additional period of survival implies a longer remaining life expectancy.
Gold has been around for centuries and will be around in the next decades. As with Bitcoin, the currency may be around or could be replaced by a more efficient one (e.g. from transaction perspective). If you consider some of your savings as a means to secure a future for you and your kids then Gold is much more likely to fulfill this objective – although one needs to be reminded that this both asset classes don’t generate any income and as such can be used as diversifiers and potentially partially rotated into more risky assets when the market turns.

Price stability

If we assume that currently the main use for both is the store of value (BTC is only marginally used as transactional currency) then price stability is key. Gold prices are more stable and largely correlated to (i) real rates (ii) strength of USD and (iii) macro outlook. Arguably, Gold is less prone to price manipulation as one of the most traded assets (daily volumes can be as high as the total market cap of BTC).
It goes without saying that BTC can provide you with better returns as it’s more speculative in nature. The purpose of this blog however is to analyse assets from a savings allocation perspective and thus taking into consideration the risk you’re taking.

Insurance against market crash

While both BTC and XAU increased in value along with other risk assets prior to the crisis, the subsequent drop was much more significant for BTC while XAU only experienced marginal losses due to forced liquidations from investors highlighting the speculative nature of BTC.
As such Gold provides a good insurance policy as long as the crash in not excessively severe in nature – in 2008 Gold has initially dropped in value due to liquidations before rallying.
Another potential diversifiers that act as insurance for equity portfolios are government bonds. Treasuries have also experienced some volatility due to liquidations but are different to BTC and XAU as the FED controls the short term maturity asset yields and now even considering controlling the longer end of the curvesimilar to other countries like Japan or Australia

Doom scenario(s)

Both assets have major issues since Gold can’t be easily transported/accessed in case of a major natural disaster and BTC will miserably fail when electricity is down (earthquake, tsunami etc). Electronic Gold suffers from the same shortcoming hence physical gold has an edge here

Possible Near term Prospects

The technology behind BTC is very powerful. I’d also agree that conceptually is the best form of money that has ever been invented. Regarding BTC, in the end my friend and I will probably meet somewhere in the middle . A marginal part of the receivers of US fiscal measures may invest the cash in BTC. I have seen a large group of anti-establishment people on the West Coast while cycling from Vancouver to San Francisco last summer and there is a likelihood that these people will drive the BTC price up in the near term. However, due mainly to the price stability issue and perceived complexity I am yet to see a significant part of population that would allocate a sizeable part of their savings in BTC. And this brings me to my last point – skin in the game. So far, my friend only allocated a small amount of his net worth to BTC…
[As originally posted with charts on https://bankeronwheels.com/bitcoin-a-marginal-vehicle-for-store-of-value/ ]
submitted by bankeronwheels to InvestmentEducation [link] [comments]

Why Bitcoin remains a marginal vehicle for store of value (at best) vs. Gold

There is no doubt that times like these necessitate asset diversification.
Some candidates include Bitcoin (“BTC”) and Gold (“XAU”). We have an on-going debate with one of my best friends about Bitcoin.
He is a firm believer in BTC due to (i) the printing of money by central banks, (ii) the lost of faith in governments and (iii) the technological advantage over traditional gold
[Original post with charts: https://bankeronwheels.com/bitcoin-a-marginal-vehicle-for-store-of-value/ ]
I think of BTC as an electronic version of gold:
Lindy effect – which is most likely to survive?
If you store value, the most important aspect is for the asset class to survive. Made popular by Nicholas Taleb, the Lindy effect states that the future life expectancy of some non-perishable things like a technology or an idea is proportional to their current age, so that every additional period of survival implies a longer remaining life expectancy.
Gold has been around for centuries and will be around in the next decades. As with Bitcoin, the currency may be around or could be replaced by a more efficient one (e.g. from transaction perspective). If you consider some of your savings as a means to secure a future for you and your kids then Gold is much more likely to fulfill this objective – although one needs to be reminded that this both asset classes don’t generate any income and as such can be used as diversifiers and potentially partially rotated into more risky assets when the market turns.
Price stability
If we assume that currently the main use for both is the store of value (BTC is only marginally used as transactional currency) then price stability is key. Gold prices are more stable and largely correlated to (i) real rates (ii) strength of USD and (iii) macro outlook. Arguably, Gold is less prone to price manipulation as one of the most traded assets (daily volumes can be as high as the total market cap of BTC).
It goes without saying that BTC can provide you with better returns as it’s more speculative in nature. The purpose of this blog however is to analyse assets from a savings allocation perspective and thus taking into consideration the risk you’re taking.
Insurance against market crash
While both BTC and XAU increased in value along with other risk assets prior to the crisis, the subsequent drop was much more significant for BTC while XAU only experienced marginal losses due to forced liquidations from investors highlighting the speculative nature of BTC.
As such Gold provides a good insurance policy as long as the crash in not excessively severe in nature – in 2008 Gold has initially dropped in value due to liquidations before rallying.
Another potential diversifiers that act as insurance for equity portfolios are government bonds. Treasuries have also experienced some volatility due to liquidations but are different to BTC and XAU as the FED controls the short term maturity asset yields and now even considering controlling the longer end of the curvesimilar to other countries like Japan or Australia
Doom scenario(s)
Both assets have major issues since Gold can’t be easily transported/accessed in case of a major natural disaster and BTC will miserably fail when electricity is down (earthquake, tsunami etc). Electronic Gold suffers from the same shortcoming hence physical gold has an edge here
Possible Near term Prospects
The technology behind BTC is very powerful. I’d also agree that conceptually is the best form of money that has ever been invented. Regarding BTC, in the end my friend and I will probably meet somewhere in the middle . A marginal part of the receivers of US fiscal measures may invest the cash in BTC. I have seen a large group of anti-establishment people on the West Coast while cycling from Vancouver to San Francisco last summer and there is a likelihood that these people will drive the BTC price up in the near term. However, due mainly to the price stability issue and perceived complexity I am yet to see a significant part of population that would allocate a sizeable part of their savings in BTC. And this brings me to my last point – skin in the game. So far, my friend only allocated a small amount of his net worth to BTC…
[As originally posted with charts on https://bankeronwheels.com/bitcoin-a-marginal-vehicle-for-store-of-value/ ]
submitted by bankeronwheels to Commodities [link] [comments]

CRYPCORE'S STABLECOIN FUNCTIONS AS RELIABLE SOURCE OF INVESTMENT

CRYPCORE'S STABLECOIN FUNCTIONS AS RELIABLE SOURCE OF INVESTMENT

https://preview.redd.it/c4e59xtv4rj41.jpg?width=869&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=3e31395c3368e4895de070bcf92d4ac4da42b33e
Cryptocurrency volatility has always been a major characteristics that most traders find beneficial while for others, it is observed as intensely inconvenient. The peculiar characteristics of price swings cannot allow cryptocurrency to be a perfect medium for payments and exchange, because it's price value is unpredictable and changes more than twice in a given month. Researchers have taken up action to develop creative means to handle this problem of volatility and a new kind of cryptocurrency named "STABLECOIN" was developed to be the solution desired by crypto traders. Stablecoins are digital currencies utilized as means of exchange and store of value because it's value remains stable. Developed to be a cryptocurrency implies that stablecoin operates on a standard level that is not controlled by central authority, thus provides anonymity, security, decentralized features and efficiency coupled with low volatility characteristics of fiat money. Despite stablecoin features of displaying characteristics pertaining to conventional cryptocurrencies, the price level of stablecoin won't be determined by abstract factors which leads to variability. Instead, stablecoins are pegged to rate and value of commodities with price stability such as gold , ore, silver and many more. The benefits and increasing number of stablecoins continues to gain momentum and fame which serve as catalyst to maximize the adoption of cryptocurrencies as a medium of daily transactions and payment. Therefore, stablecoins helps traders and business owners to possibly avoid volatile market swings, mitigating risks that leads to loss of monetary value of users funds. However, stablecoin has been shown to have some disadvantages which is unappealing to businesses and trading activities. Unlike convectional cryptocurrencies, stablecoins cannot be used as an investment asset because stablecoins are highly dependent on assets it is bonded to. For example, an asset worth 50 USD purchased with stablecoin will remain 50 USD in the future. Another issue is trust, due to the nature of centralized banking system, most individuals believe that stablecoins pegged to fiat money cannot provide sufficient anonymity for their owners. These challenges have hindered the use of stablecoins by traders and business owners, thus Crypcore was developed to provide necessary solutions to the challenges faced by modern day stablecoins. CRYCORE ECOSYSTEM Forked from Monero, Crypcore is designed on cryptographically secure and anonymous crytponote protocol, wherein Crypcore ecosystem integrates a reliable solvency equation, flexible cryptocurrency exchange and efficient crytponote protocol to build a coin with stable price. The Crypcore stablecoin will not operate as a convectional cryptocurrency stablecoin but as a dynamic stablecoin which offers innovative means in securing price stability in mainstream markets. Before going further, let me briefly explain about cryptonote protocol and solvency equation for benefits of those unaware. CRYPTONOTE PROTOCOL Cryptonote protocol is developed as an application layer that handles issues related to Bitcoin protocol. It was first introduced in 2012, some famed coins such as bytecoin and Monero utilize it due to it's advantage of being more efficient than bitcoin protocol. Cryptonote offers these coins benefit of providing more high level of privacy than other cryptocurrencies. Crypcore developers aims to provide more anonymity standards to their end users, which is why they leveraged the version of cryptonote protocol forked from Monero and therefore, possess features related to Monero in all aspects. SOLVENCY EQUATION The solvency equation integrated into Crypcore exchange spearheads pricing of Crypcore units. Use of solvency equation ensures that Crypcore stablecoin (CRYP) will not be pegged unlike traditional cryptocurrency stablecoins, instead price of CRYP is regulated when Crypcore exchange utilize crypto collateral to process transactions which increases stability of CRYP and eliminates price swings. Cryptonote protocol and solvency equation are important factors that helps to maintain growth of Crypcore ecosystem. The developers have also created other unique features to support the development of Crypcore which includes ; Crypcore mining, Crypcore wallet, Crypcore exchange and Crypcore blockchain. CRYPCORE BLOCKCHAIN Mainly consist of cryptonote protocol and block explorer. This two components of Crypcore blockchain provides low transaction fees, high speed, security and transparency for any type of transactions performed within Crypcore ecosystem. CRYPCORE WALLETS Crypcore wallet is designed to be accessible and non-complex for easy understanding. The wallets are secure and developed with counter measures against hacks, thus competent for securing funds of users. CRYPCORE EXCHANGE The exchange serve an important role in regulating prices of CRYP. Using the exchange solvency equation as explained earlier coupled with fees charged within Crypcore exchange will be used in managing price of Crypcore stablecoin. Fees acquired are used to increase collateral, then strategy of averaging is implemented which increases the value of CRYP to meet up with price swings, significantly provides good profit for owners. This implies that in contrast to conventional stablecoins, CRYP will be a good source of investment. Crypcore exchange is created with high quality security systems to protect funds against frauds and hacks while debit card integrated feature will enable traders to purchase cryptocurrencies conveniently. CONCLUSION Crypcore ecosystem establishes more opportunity for cryptocurrency enthusiasts to benefit from advanced crypto trading included with issued dynamic stablecoin that gives out profit to holders, regardless of the market volatility. For more details : Website: https://crypcore.com/ Whitepaper: https://crypcore.com/crypcore\_whitepaper\_version\_1.pdf Telegram: https://t.me/crypcore\_group Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Crypcore-106479097438958 Twitter: https://twitter.com/crypcore1 Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/usecrypcore My Bitcointalk Username : Johnson Knight Bitcointalk Profile URL : https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=2326370;sa=summary Wallet Address : 0x56D391aD6C5Fe4b4faee3FCF9C7D32D9BD2feeCA
submitted by Cryptosaurus94 to CryptoCluster [link] [comments]

Weiss Rating: Ethereum: B - Bitcoin C+ (no A's given)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Weiss Ratings Issues First-Ever Rating Agency Grades on 74 Cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin Gets C+ (“Fair”). Ethereum Is B (“Good”). PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL — Weiss Ratings, the nation’s leading independent rating agency of financial institutions, releases today the nation’s first-ever grades on cryptocurrencies by a financial rating agency. Weiss gives Bitcoin a C+ (meaning “fair”) and Ethereum a B (“good”). None of the cryptocurrencies covered currently get a grade of A (“excellent”). In total Weiss currently covers 74 cryptocurrencies.
A grade of A or B can also be interpreted as the investment rating equivalent of “buy.” At the same time, investors should not be overly alarmed by a C rating. It is a passing grade, and for investors, implies the equivalent of “hold.” Grades of D” and E” are the equivalent of “sell.” However, investment decisions should not be made solely based on ratings. They are meant as a tool in the context of a broader risk management strategy.
What makes Weiss’ entry into cryptocurrency ratings significant is its history of independence and accuracy in other investment sectors, as noted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, among others.
“Despite extreme price volatility, cryptocurrencies have a bright future and the potential to deliver unusually large profits to investors,” said Weiss Ratings founder Martin D. Weiss, Ph.D. “However, the market is hectic and confusing for investors. They need the clarity that only robust, impartial ratings can provide.”
The Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings evaluate price risk, reward potential, blockchain technology, adoption, security, and other factors. “Due to rapid changes in the data,” explains Weiss, “upgrades and downgrades are more frequent than in other sectors we cover.”
Below is a sampling of Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings, selected randomly to illustrate a variety of strengths and weaknesses:
Bitcoin (rated C+) gets excellent scores for security and widespread adoption. But it is encountering major network bottlenecks, causing delays and high transactions costs. Despite intense ongoing efforts that are achieving some initial success, Bitcoin has no immediate mechanism for promptly upgrading its software code. Ethereum (B), the second most widely adopted cryptocurrency, benefits from more readily upgradable technology and better speed, despite some bottlenecks. Novacoin (D) and SaluS (D) are weak in terms of both technological innovation and adoption. Steem (B-) enjoys a relatively good balance of moderate strength in nearly all the key factors considered along with a social network feature. “All else being equal, as a cryptocurrency overcomes its individual challenges, it’s likely to be upgraded promptly,” Weiss adds.
Weiss Ratings, which began in 1971, rates 55,000 institutions and investments. Unlike Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, Fitch and A.M. Best, Weiss never accepts compensation of any kind from the entities it rates.
To purchase the full list plus weekly updates, including all upgrades and downgrades, go here.
submitted by nichlaes to ethtrader [link] [comments]

Introduction and overview of the Bitcoin system

In relation to this post:
https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/eupegk/technical_review_of_the_past_10_years_and_how_the/
We put together an introductory overview of the Bitcoin System. As this is intended to help increase public understanding of BTC and thus increase it's adoption. What will you learn from the text:
If you do decide to go through the text would love some feedback. Was it clear? Did you get any value from it? Anything that needs to be expanded on? - we are really excited about this project and hope to make it to the best of our abilities.
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1 Introduction to the Bitcoin System

1.1 Introduction and General Description

There are many definitions and descriptions of Bitcoin. Some describe it as an innovative virtual or crypto currency, some as the system for peer-to–peer electronic cash payment transactions, and some others as decentralized platform and infrastructure for anonymous payment transactions using any type of crypto currency.
In this Report we will adopt the concept that the Bitcoin system is a payment system. It has its own features, its own currency, its own protocols and components, and with all that Bitcoin supports payment transactions. In other words, the core function of the Bitcoin system is to support payments between two parties – the party that makes a payment and the party that receives the payment.
Based on the original concept and the description of the Bitcoin [Bitcoin, 2016], “it is a decentralized digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: transaction management and money issuance are carried out collectively by the network”.
The system is decentralized since its supporting platform blockchain, comprises an infrastructure of multiple distributed servers, mutually linked by an instantaneous broadcasting protocol. Users perform transactions within the open and distributed community of registered users. Digital currency used in the system is not electronic form of fiat currency, but a special form of the currency generated and used only within the Bitcoin system. This concept is based on the notion that money can be interpreted as any object, or any sort of record, that is accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context. Bitcoin system is designed around the idea of using cryptography to control the creation and transfer of money, rather than relying on central authorities.
There are several important requirements when making any type of payment and with any currency. The best example of a “perfect” payment transaction that meets all these requirements is payment using cash over-the-counter. When a consumer pays to a merchant using cash over-the-counter, such transaction satisfies all requirements and expectations of both parties. First, the transaction is instantaneous, as the paper bill is transferred hand-to-hand, from the consumer to the merchant. The transaction is cheap, in fact there is no overhead charge to perform transaction, so the merchant receives the full amount. The transaction is irreversible, what is the property beneficial to merchants. The transaction is legal, as the merchant can verify the legality of the paper bill. And, finally, the transaction is anonymous for the consumer as he/she does not need to reveal his/her identity.
The only “problem” with cash over-the-counter is the cash itself, as using and handling cash has many disadvantages.
Bitcoin concept and system solves all issues and problems with the use of cash, but at the same time provides all advantages when performing transactions using digital and communication technologies. So, paying with Bitcoins is effectively payment transaction that uses “digital cash over-the-counter”. The concept of the Bitcoin system provides all advantages and benefits mentioned above with payments using cash over-the-counter, but eliminates the problems of using cash. That is the reason why Bitcoins are often referred to as “digital cash”.
One of significant features of payments using cash over-the-counter is that there are no third parties to participate or assist in the execution and validation of a transaction. This feature makes Bitcoin transactions very efficient and also very cheap to perform. Other types of todays payment systems, for instance using bank-to-bank account transfers or using bankcards, use many additional intermediate parties and use very complicated background infrastructure to validate and clear payment transactions. These infrastructures are complex to establish and operate, they are expensive, and they are vulnerable to attacks and penetrations by hackers. Bitcoin does not use such complex infrastructures, what is the reason that its transactions are efficient and cheap. An additional problem with third-party transaction players is that transaction parties must put the complete trust in all these parties without any means to verify their functionality, correctness, or security.
Bitcoin system uses public-key cryptography to protect the currency and transactions. Logical relationships between transaction parties is direct, peer-to-peer, and the process of validating transactions is based on cryptographic proof-of-work. When performing a transaction, the net effect is that certain amount of Bitcoins is transferred from one cryptographic address to another. Each user may have and use several addresses simultaneously. Each payment transaction is broadcast to the network of distributed transaction processing servers. These servers collect individual transactions, package them into blocks, and send them for validation.
Each block is cryptographically processed by the large number of so called “miners”. They each attempt to create cryptographic hash value that has special form. This is computationally very difficult and time-consuming task, therefore, it is very difficult to perform and repeat. Individual blocks are validated using cryptographic processing procedures that require substantial amount of work and computing power.
Approximately an hour or two after submitting the transaction for validation, each transaction is locked in time and by cryptographic processing by the massive amount of computing power that was used to complete the block. When the block is validated, it is added to the chain of all previous blocks, thus forming a public archive of all blocks and transactions in the system.
One of the most important problems with uncontrolled digital currency, where there are no third parties to validate and approve transactions, is so called double spending. Since the currency is digital, stored at user’s local workstations, in mobile phones, or on network servers, it can be easily copied and sent to multiple recipients multiple times.
Bitcoin system solves this problem with a very interesting approach. It is the first effective example of the solution for the double-spending problem without the need for assistance of any third party. Bitcoin solves this problem by keeping and distributing an archive of all transactions among all the users of the system via a peer-to-peer distribution network. Every transaction that occurs in the Bitcoin system is recorded in that public and distributed transactions ledger. Since the components in that ledger are blocks with transactions and the blocks are “chained” in time and in a cryptographic sequence, the ledger in the Bitcoin system is called blockchain.
That full blockchain of all transactions that were performed in the Bitcoin system before the specific transaction can be used to verify new transactions. The transactions are verified against the blockchain to ensure that the same Bitcoins have not been previously spent. This approach eliminates the double-spending problem. The essence of the verification procedure for a single transaction in fact is the test of the balance of the sending account. The test is very normal and natural: payment of a certain amount of the currency can be made only of the balance of the outgoing account is equal or larger than the payment amount. Current balance of an account is established by tracing all incoming and outgoing transactions for that account.
The procedure to verify the validity of individual transactions and to prevent double-spending is based on the use of special type of cryptographic protocol called public-key cryptography. With this type of cryptographic systems each user has two cryptographic keys. They are mutually related in the sense that, what ever the one key encrypts, the other key can decrypt. One of the two keys is a private key that is kept secret, and the other key is public key that can be shared with all other users in the system. When a user wants to make a payment to another user, the sender transfers certain amount of Bitcoins from his/her account to the account of the receiver. This action is performed by the sender by creating a payment message, called a “transaction,” which contains recipient’s public key – receiving address and payment amount. The transaction is cryptographically processed by the sender’s private key, the operation called digital signing, and as the result digital signature is created and appended to the transaction.
By using sender’s private key every user in the system can verify that the transaction was indeed created by the indicated sender, as his/her private key can successfully decrypt the content of the digital signature. The exchange is authentic, since the transaction was also cryptographically processed with the recipient’s public key, the operation which is called digital enveloping. This transformation guarantees that the transaction can be accepted and processed only by the holder of the corresponding private key, which is the intended recipient.
Every transaction, and thus the transfer of ownership of the specified amount of Bitcoins, is inserted, then time-stamped, and finally displayed in one “block” of the blockchain. Public-key cryptography ensures that all computers in the network have a constantly updated and verified record of all transactions within the Bitcoin network, which prevents double-spending and fraud.

1.2 The Concept and Features of the Bitcoin System

There are many concepts and even more operational payment systems today in the world. Some are standard paper–based, some are digital and network based. What makes Bitcoin unique and distinctive, compared with all other payment systems that are in use today, are several of its core features.
The first of them is that the system uses its own currency. The reason for using its own currency is to make the system independent of financial institutions as trusted third parties. The unit of the currency is called Bitcoin. The currency is so called crypto currency, because it is generated and used based on execution of certain cryptographic algorithms and protocols. Performing specific cryptographic protocols is in the heart of operations to create new Bitcoins, to transfer them between transaction parties, and to validate the correctness of transactions.
Since appearance of Bitcoins, several new systems were introduced that use cryptography to manage its own currency, so all such currencies represent the category of crypto currencies. Later in this Report, some other digital / virtual currencies will be described that are created and managed using some other principles, so they are not called crypto currency. At the time of writing this Report, all such digital virtual currencies were called with general term tokens, sometimes also digital assets tokens. The reason is that they were created by the process called collateralization and therefore they are related to the value of some categories of real world assets which is expressed in digital tokens units.
The second interesting and important feature of the Bitcoin system is that the logical relationship between the two transaction parties is direct, peer-to–peer, i.e. there are no other parties that participate in the transaction. This is an important feature and benefit / advantage of the system that contributes to its efficiency when compared with the todays complex and expensive financial payment infrastructures and protocols. However, for distribution of transactions to their validators and later to all other members in the Bitcoin system the physical flow of each transaction is very complex and includes many parties.
It should be emphasized that performing transactions as direct, peer-to–peer transfers is one of the key features and the most significant reason for many benefits and advantages of the Bitcoin system. This approach is the key feature of the Bitcoin system as it enables security and anonymity of parties, efficiency in performing transactions, scaling of the system, and instantaneous settlement of payments. Therefore, supporting execution and validation of serious business peer–to–peer transactions is one of the core benefits of the blockchain concept, as it changes the current paradigm of Internet applications and transactions. Currently all Internet applications are organized and performed as client–server transactions. Such transactions are not efficient, do not provide sufficient privacy of participants, have dependencies on third parties and usually are vulnerable due to attacks of functional problems with large centralized application servers.
The next very important characteristic of the Bitcoin system is anonymity of users, their accounts, and transactions. This property means that the identities of the participants in the system are not known even to the partners performing a payment transaction. All other system operations – receiving payments, making payments, validating transactions, etc. are also performed anonymously. Interpreting this property correctly, the anonymity of transaction participants is so called pseudo-anonymity. Namely, in the process of validating transactions, all previous transactions of the sender are traced back to the original initial transaction. If that initial transaction was the purchase of Bitcoins at some Bitcoin Exchange, then the identity of the original owner of Bitcoins is known. Most if not all service providers in the Bitcoin system today require very strict identification of participants for the purpose of enforcing legal and regulated transactions and include certain restrictions of transaction frequency and amounts. This procedure, although understandable from the legal and regulatory point of view, has in fact in essence changed one of the core principles of the original concept of the Bitcoin system – full anonymity of users.
Better solution for fully anonymous payment transactions is so called zero–knowledge protocol, where the identity and authorization to perform Bitcoin transactions, is validated by anyone without revealing any identity information of the parties. The only problem with this approach is revealing the identity of transaction participants to law enforcement authorities in case of illegal transactions. But, such authorities have special authorization under the law and they should be enabled to get identifying information about transaction participants in the process of legal law enforcement procedures. But, all other service providers do not have such status, so if Bitcoin principles are strictly followed, they should not be able to have identifying information about system participants.
This approach and potential improvement of the Bitcoin system implies that the system needs one of the classical security services: role–based authorization. In such arrangement, there would be at least two categories of system participants: those that are authorized to maintain and access identifying information about the participants and those that are only authorized to perform transactions. In the first category are legal authorities, like police, driving license authorities, tax authorities, etc. In the context of the standard Identities Management Systems, such participants are called Identity Providers. All others are Identity Verifiers. Therefore, one of the main conclusions about true anonymity in the Bitcoin system is establishment of a sophisticated and multi-role Identities Management System, where some parties will be authorized Identity Providers and all others will be Identity Validators. Finally, referring back to the infrastructure of the Bitcoin system to perform and validate transactions – blockchain, the conclusion is that what is needed, as one of the most important extensions of the current concept of anonymity of Bitcoins participants, is an Identity Management System based itself on the use of blockchain and without Identity Providers as trusted third parties. Creation, distribution, use and validation of identities are transactions in the system, equivalent to payment transactions, so they should also be performed using blockchain protocol. Such system, that can provide reliable identities of all participants may be called Blockchain Identity Management System.
Another very important feature of the original concept of the Bitcoin system is that it is not controlled by any financial institution, by any regulatory body or by any legal financial authority when it comes to issuing Bitcoins and determining their value. This means that the currency used in the system and all transactions are exempted from any legal and financial rules and regulations. The rules controlling Bitcoin system are built in its code. This property is usually called “rule by the technical code”, as the rules of system operations, built in the code of its operational components, control and rule the operations of the system [UK, 2016], Chapter 3. This property is sometimes described as “control by the community”, i.e. the participating users.
This property implies that the value of Bitcoins is determined solely on the market – based on its supply and demand. This is quite natural approach, as the value of shares of companies are also determined on an open trading market. However, such approach implies that the value of Bitcoin, as crypto currency, is volatile related to fiat currencies. This property represent serious problem to perform payments using Bitcoin. It is well-known that volatile currencies are not suitable for payments. The practice of all the years while Bitcoins are in use has shown that its volatility represents one of the major obstacles for its main purpose – to be used as the payment system. In fact, it was announced that in 2019 the total value of Bitcoin transactions performed was about $ 11 T. However, unfortunately, only about 1.3% of those transactions were payments, all others were trading manipulations on exchanges. Based on that, it may be clearly stated that Bitcoin today is not used as the payment system, but as currency manipulation system. This is one of the main problems with the concept and current implementation and deployment of Bitcoin system and in near future may represent the main reason for its decline in popularity.

1.3 Innovative Contributions of the Bitcoin System

Besides an effective procedure to transfer an amount of crypto currency from one user (account) to another user (account), the major and indeed an essential contribution of the concept of the Bitcoin is the solution to the general problem how to establish trust between two mutually unknown and otherwise unrelated parties to such an extent and certainty that sensitive and secure transactions can be performed with full confidence over an open environment, such as Internet. In all current large scale and not only financial systems that problem is solved by using the assistance of third parties. For many (may be even all) current Internet applications and transactions those third parties are integrated and linked into a large, complex, expensive and vulnerable operational infrastructures. Examples of such infrastructures today are bankcard networks supporting global international payments, global international banking networks supporting international financial transfers, Public–Key Infrastructures (PKI), Identity Management Systems, and many others. It is a general consent that such infrastructures are expensive and, more important, vulnerable to external and internal attacks.
In addition to the complexity and vulnerabilities of such current operational supporting infrastructures, another requirement and prerequisite to use their services is that users must put the complete trust in these third parties. Accepting to trust those third–party service providers is the necessary and mandatory prerequisite to use their services.
Therefore, one of the most important contributions of the concept of Bitcoin is that it solves the issue how two parties, mutually unknown to each other in advance and otherwise completely unrelated, can perform sensitive and secure transactions, such as transfer of money – payments, but without assistance of any third party and without the need to place trust in any component of the system.
The practical benefits of solving this problem and the most important consequence of the solution for this problem – Bitcoin system, is that it provides the possibility for one Internet user to transfer not only Bitcoins, but also any other form of digital asset to or shared with another Internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, that everyone knows that the transfer has been performed, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer.
This feature of the Bitcoin system generated many very new, creative and innovative ideas where the concept equivalent to the Bitcoin can be used to perform secure and reliable transactions between users in an open community handling any type of digital asset ([Andreesen, 2014], [Sparkes, 2014], [UniCredit, 2016], [BitID, 2015], [PoE, 2015]). The examples of such applications and transactions range from commercial transitions, real estate transactions, energy trading, electronic voting, medical applications, and many others ([Kounelis, 2015], [Muftic, 2016]). The concept of blockchain as technology supporting validation of all such transactions is therefore called disruptive technology.
As the conclusion in this section, we may give a definition of blockchain:
Blockchain is an innovative concept, implemented as an infrastructure comprising multiple and distributed servers, mutually linked by special broadcasting and synchronization protocols, managing immutable objects with the purpose to enable and protect secure peer–to–peer transactions in a global and open environment.

1.4 Summary of Problems and Potential Solutions

In section 1.2 several problems of the Bitcoin system were mentioned and potential solutions for these problems were outlined. Recently, at the time of writing this Technical Report, several sources, mainly personal blogs and articles, appeared with very interesting opinions and statements regarding some other serious Bitcoin problems. Some of them are problems with the concept of the system, some problems of its design, and some problems of operations. In this section some of these problems are briefly summarized including suggestions for their potential solutions. The source of some problems was the article [Ein, 2018].
Problem 1: Complex Crypto Algorithms
Problem: Bitcoins is crypto currency and cryptographic algorithms used in the current version are very complex, based on the concept of proof–of–work, and require long time, special hardware and a lots of energy to perform
Potential Solution: Potential solution fro this problem is to use cryptographic algorithms that are simpler and therefore more efficient to execute and need less energy
Problems with Potential Solution: Lowering the complexity of crypto algorithms introduces vulnerability to hackers. Therefore, what is needed are strong algorithms and simple to perform for regular users and complex to break by hackers
Problem 2: Indirect Transactions, not Peer–to–Peer
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed, in todays implementation Bitcoin payment transactions are not performed as direct, peer–to–peer transactions. They are performed indirectly, submitted to the Bitcoin network, and recipients receive them indirectly, by downloading validated transactions from the ledger
Potential Solution: Transactions should be performed directly, by transferring them directly between two users
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is validation of transaction for proof of possession of Bitcoins by the sender and for prevention of double-spending. Therefore, what is needed is the protocol to validate peer–to–peer transactions.
Problem 3: Anonymity of Users not provided
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed, in todays deployments of additional system components, mainly exchanges, users are not anonymous
Potential Solution: Blockchain–based Distributed Identity Management System with Role-based Authorizations
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with potential solution is that it depends on trusted third parties with authorized roles. Therefore, what is needed is blockchain-based Identity Management System using hybrid (permissioned and unpermissioned) blockchain
Problem 4: Volatile Value, not suitable for Payments
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed that Bitcoin is payment system, volatile value of the currency makes it inconvenient for payments
Potential Solution: Crypto currency with stable value
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is that the value of Bitcoins is determined on the secondary market, during its trading (cash-in / cash-out). Therefore, what is needed is crypto currency that does not have volatile value
The remaining problems in this section are quoted from [Ein, 2018]:
Problem 5: Negative Environmental Impact
Problem: Mining algorithms and operational facilities (“mining farms”) consume too much electrical energy, based on the “proof-of-work” protocol
Potential Solution: Using mining algorithms that consume less energy, either as simpler / lighter crypto algorithms or using alternative crypto protocols to protect transactions integrity (“proof-of-stake”)
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is that simpler / lighter algorithms open vulnerabilities to hackers while alternative crypto protocols are not backward compatible with the current system
Problem 6: Slow Performance (Delays) / Low Throughput
Problem: Due to blocking and the designed time for protection of transactions (10 minutes) Bitcoin system has very slow performance – transactions are validated in about an hour and transaction processing throughput is about 7 transactions per second
Potential Solution: Using transaction validation algorithms and protocols that do not need blocking of transactions, but transactions should be validated individually
Problems with Potential Solution: There are no serious problems with the proposed potential solution
Problem 7: Limited Number of Bitcoins
Problem: Due hardware and other types of failures, the number of available Bitcoins in the system is constantly reducing
Potential Solution: Potential solution could be to use smaller portions of Bitcoin (“Satoshi”) or introduce hard-fork by splitting the amount of available Bitcoins
Problems with Potential Solution: The problems with the first solution that it is not user-friendly and the problem with the second solution is backwards compatibility.
Problem 8: Real Value of Bitcoins
Problem: The value of Bitcoins is purely psychological and reflects only pure market speculations
Potential Solution: Potential solution could be to peg the value of Bitcoin to local fiat currencies in countries of deployments
Problems with Potential Solution: The problems with the potential solution is that such Bitcoins would be a new class of Bitcoins, not traded on exchanges and not volatile
At the end of this section, it is very interesting to quote two opinions about the future of Bitcoin and blockchain:
[Ein, 2018]: “It seems that Bitcoin will likely cease to have meaningful value*, defeating the whole point and philosophy imagined by Satoshi Nakamoto, the alleged inventor of Bitcoin. Its current value appears to be purely psychological, and the hype seems to be driven by irrational exuberance, greed and speculation. Modern human history has seen many* bubbles*, including the dot-com bubble, the housing bubble and even the tulip bubble. However, when these bubbles exploded, many excellent dot-com companies survived, most houses regained their value and tulips still have meaning and carry value in our lives today. But what will happen when the Bitcoin bubble bursts? What* utility or residual value will Bitcoin have to consumers and businesses? Most likely none*. And this is the real problem with Bitcoin and crypto currencies.*
Bitcoin will likely go down in history as a great technological invention that popularized blockchain yet failed due to its design limitations*. Just like the industrial revolution was fueled by the combustion engine, Nakamoto’s most valuable contribution is the* blockchain polymorphic engine that will further accelerate innovation in the post-information age and immensely affect our lives”.
This quote makes two very important and far–reaching predictions:
(1) Bitcoin, as the payment system will disappear (“. . . will go down in history”), and
(2) The most valuable contribution of the Bitcoin system is blockchain
This article was written in 2018. It is very interesting to notice that at the time of writing this Technical Report, (1) Bitcoin was still “alive” and (2) the concept and deployments of blockchain were in serious trouble.
Based on the principle of positive and creative approach, in the rest of this Technical Report, besides description of all technical details of the Bitcoin system, some potential solutions for its improvement will also be discussed.
However, contrary to the predicted status of Bitcoin, it seems that the predicted status of blockchain, in 2020 was still facing serious problems.
[Barber, 2019]: What's Blockchain Actually Good for, Anyway? For Now, Not Much
“Not long ago, blockchain technology was touted as a way to track tuna, bypass banks, and preserve property records. Reality has proved a much tougher challenge”.

[Lucanus, 2020]: Has Blockchain Failed Before It Even Really Began?

“Just as everyone was getting really excited about its potential, it appears blockchain is dead. For a technology that was supposed to transform and solve seemingly every problem in the world, the enthusiasm is fading pretty quickly”.
At the time of writing this Technical Report, there were many new blockchain – concepts, design and even several deployed and operational instances. Some of them are even very popular, but only among enthusiastic developers. The overall trends with real life deployments, and more and more comments about the capabilities and features of blockchains are appearing with negative connotation. Therefore, seems that even for blockchain some innovative concepts and approaches are needed. They are beyond the scope of this Technical Report and will be addressed in some of our follow-up reports.
submitted by Theus5 to btc [link] [comments]

Introduction and overview of the Bitcoin system

Based on this post I made a bit earlier:
https://www.reddit.com/BitcoinBeginners/comments/euozq4/blockchain_and_btc_technical_review_of_the_past/
We put together an introductory overview of the Bitcoin System. As this is intended for beginners I think this subreddit would be a good place to get some feedback. What will you learn from the text:
If you do decide to go through the text would love some feedback. Was it clear? Did you get any value from it? Anything that needs to be expanded on?
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1 Introduction to the Bitcoin System

1.1 Introduction and General Description

There are many definitions and descriptions of Bitcoin. Some describe it as an innovative virtual or crypto currency, some as the system for peer-to–peer electronic cash payment transactions, and some others as decentralized platform and infrastructure for anonymous payment transactions using any type of crypto currency.
In this Report we will adopt the concept that the Bitcoin system is a payment system. It has its own features, its own currency, its own protocols and components, and with all that Bitcoin supports payment transactions. In other words, the core function of the Bitcoin system is to support payments between two parties – the party that makes a payment and the party that receives the payment.
Based on the original concept and the description of the Bitcoin [Bitcoin, 2016], “it is a decentralized digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: transaction management and money issuance are carried out collectively by the network”.
The system is decentralized since its supporting platform blockchain, comprises an infrastructure of multiple distributed servers, mutually linked by an instantaneous broadcasting protocol. Users perform transactions within the open and distributed community of registered users. Digital currency used in the system is not electronic form of fiat currency, but a special form of the currency generated and used only within the Bitcoin system. This concept is based on the notion that money can be interpreted as any object, or any sort of record, that is accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context. Bitcoin system is designed around the idea of using cryptography to control the creation and transfer of money, rather than relying on central authorities.
There are several important requirements when making any type of payment and with any currency. The best example of a “perfect” payment transaction that meets all these requirements is payment using cash over-the-counter. When a consumer pays to a merchant using cash over-the-counter, such transaction satisfies all requirements and expectations of both parties. First, the transaction is instantaneous, as the paper bill is transferred hand-to-hand, from the consumer to the merchant. The transaction is cheap, in fact there is no overhead charge to perform transaction, so the merchant receives the full amount. The transaction is irreversible, what is the property beneficial to merchants. The transaction is legal, as the merchant can verify the legality of the paper bill. And, finally, the transaction is anonymous for the consumer as he/she does not need to reveal his/her identity.
The only “problem” with cash over-the-counter is the cash itself, as using and handling cash has many disadvantages.
Bitcoin concept and system solves all issues and problems with the use of cash, but at the same time provides all advantages when performing transactions using digital and communication technologies. So, paying with Bitcoins is effectively payment transaction that uses “digital cash over-the-counter”. The concept of the Bitcoin system provides all advantages and benefits mentioned above with payments using cash over-the-counter, but eliminates the problems of using cash. That is the reason why Bitcoins are often referred to as “digital cash”.
One of significant features of payments using cash over-the-counter is that there are no third parties to participate or assist in the execution and validation of a transaction. This feature makes Bitcoin transactions very efficient and also very cheap to perform. Other types of todays payment systems, for instance using bank-to-bank account transfers or using bankcards, use many additional intermediate parties and use very complicated background infrastructure to validate and clear payment transactions. These infrastructures are complex to establish and operate, they are expensive, and they are vulnerable to attacks and penetrations by hackers. Bitcoin does not use such complex infrastructures, what is the reason that its transactions are efficient and cheap. An additional problem with third-party transaction players is that transaction parties must put the complete trust in all these parties without any means to verify their functionality, correctness, or security.
Bitcoin system uses public-key cryptography to protect the currency and transactions. Logical relationships between transaction parties is direct, peer-to-peer, and the process of validating transactions is based on cryptographic proof-of-work. When performing a transaction, the net effect is that certain amount of Bitcoins is transferred from one cryptographic address to another. Each user may have and use several addresses simultaneously. Each payment transaction is broadcast to the network of distributed transaction processing servers. These servers collect individual transactions, package them into blocks, and send them for validation.
Each block is cryptographically processed by the large number of so called “miners”. They each attempt to create cryptographic hash value that has special form. This is computationally very difficult and time-consuming task, therefore, it is very difficult to perform and repeat. Individual blocks are validated using cryptographic processing procedures that require substantial amount of work and computing power.
Approximately an hour or two after submitting the transaction for validation, each transaction is locked in time and by cryptographic processing by the massive amount of computing power that was used to complete the block. When the block is validated, it is added to the chain of all previous blocks, thus forming a public archive of all blocks and transactions in the system.
One of the most important problems with uncontrolled digital currency, where there are no third parties to validate and approve transactions, is so called double spending. Since the currency is digital, stored at user’s local workstations, in mobile phones, or on network servers, it can be easily copied and sent to multiple recipients multiple times.
Bitcoin system solves this problem with a very interesting approach. It is the first effective example of the solution for the double-spending problem without the need for assistance of any third party. Bitcoin solves this problem by keeping and distributing an archive of all transactions among all the users of the system via a peer-to-peer distribution network. Every transaction that occurs in the Bitcoin system is recorded in that public and distributed transactions ledger. Since the components in that ledger are blocks with transactions and the blocks are “chained” in time and in a cryptographic sequence, the ledger in the Bitcoin system is called blockchain.
That full blockchain of all transactions that were performed in the Bitcoin system before the specific transaction can be used to verify new transactions. The transactions are verified against the blockchain to ensure that the same Bitcoins have not been previously spent. This approach eliminates the double-spending problem. The essence of the verification procedure for a single transaction in fact is the test of the balance of the sending account. The test is very normal and natural: payment of a certain amount of the currency can be made only of the balance of the outgoing account is equal or larger than the payment amount. Current balance of an account is established by tracing all incoming and outgoing transactions for that account.
The procedure to verify the validity of individual transactions and to prevent double-spending is based on the use of special type of cryptographic protocol called public-key cryptography. With this type of cryptographic systems each user has two cryptographic keys. They are mutually related in the sense that, what ever the one key encrypts, the other key can decrypt. One of the two keys is a private key that is kept secret, and the other key is public key that can be shared with all other users in the system. When a user wants to make a payment to another user, the sender transfers certain amount of Bitcoins from his/her account to the account of the receiver. This action is performed by the sender by creating a payment message, called a “transaction,” which contains recipient’s public key – receiving address and payment amount. The transaction is cryptographically processed by the sender’s private key, the operation called digital signing, and as the result digital signature is created and appended to the transaction.
By using sender’s private key every user in the system can verify that the transaction was indeed created by the indicated sender, as his/her private key can successfully decrypt the content of the digital signature. The exchange is authentic, since the transaction was also cryptographically processed with the recipient’s public key, the operation which is called digital enveloping. This transformation guarantees that the transaction can be accepted and processed only by the holder of the corresponding private key, which is the intended recipient.
Every transaction, and thus the transfer of ownership of the specified amount of Bitcoins, is inserted, then time-stamped, and finally displayed in one “block” of the blockchain. Public-key cryptography ensures that all computers in the network have a constantly updated and verified record of all transactions within the Bitcoin network, which prevents double-spending and fraud.

1.2 The Concept and Features of the Bitcoin System

There are many concepts and even more operational payment systems today in the world. Some are standard paper–based, some are digital and network based. What makes Bitcoin unique and distinctive, compared with all other payment systems that are in use today, are several of its core features.
The first of them is that the system uses its own currency. The reason for using its own currency is to make the system independent of financial institutions as trusted third parties. The unit of the currency is called Bitcoin. The currency is so called crypto currency, because it is generated and used based on execution of certain cryptographic algorithms and protocols. Performing specific cryptographic protocols is in the heart of operations to create new Bitcoins, to transfer them between transaction parties, and to validate the correctness of transactions.
Since appearance of Bitcoins, several new systems were introduced that use cryptography to manage its own currency, so all such currencies represent the category of crypto currencies. Later in this Report, some other digital / virtual currencies will be described that are created and managed using some other principles, so they are not called crypto currency. At the time of writing this Report, all such digital virtual currencies were called with general term tokens, sometimes also digital assets tokens. The reason is that they were created by the process called collateralization and therefore they are related to the value of some categories of real world assets which is expressed in digital tokens units.
The second interesting and important feature of the Bitcoin system is that the logical relationship between the two transaction parties is direct, peer-to–peer, i.e. there are no other parties that participate in the transaction. This is an important feature and benefit / advantage of the system that contributes to its efficiency when compared with the todays complex and expensive financial payment infrastructures and protocols. However, for distribution of transactions to their validators and later to all other members in the Bitcoin system the physical flow of each transaction is very complex and includes many parties.
It should be emphasized that performing transactions as direct, peer-to–peer transfers is one of the key features and the most significant reason for many benefits and advantages of the Bitcoin system. This approach is the key feature of the Bitcoin system as it enables security and anonymity of parties, efficiency in performing transactions, scaling of the system, and instantaneous settlement of payments. Therefore, supporting execution and validation of serious business peer–to–peer transactions is one of the core benefits of the blockchain concept, as it changes the current paradigm of Internet applications and transactions. Currently all Internet applications are organized and performed as client–server transactions. Such transactions are not efficient, do not provide sufficient privacy of participants, have dependencies on third parties and usually are vulnerable due to attacks of functional problems with large centralized application servers.
The next very important characteristic of the Bitcoin system is anonymity of users, their accounts, and transactions. This property means that the identities of the participants in the system are not known even to the partners performing a payment transaction. All other system operations – receiving payments, making payments, validating transactions, etc. are also performed anonymously. Interpreting this property correctly, the anonymity of transaction participants is so called pseudo-anonymity. Namely, in the process of validating transactions, all previous transactions of the sender are traced back to the original initial transaction. If that initial transaction was the purchase of Bitcoins at some Bitcoin Exchange, then the identity of the original owner of Bitcoins is known. Most if not all service providers in the Bitcoin system today require very strict identification of participants for the purpose of enforcing legal and regulated transactions and include certain restrictions of transaction frequency and amounts. This procedure, although understandable from the legal and regulatory point of view, has in fact in essence changed one of the core principles of the original concept of the Bitcoin system – full anonymity of users.
Better solution for fully anonymous payment transactions is so called zero–knowledge protocol, where the identity and authorization to perform Bitcoin transactions, is validated by anyone without revealing any identity information of the parties. The only problem with this approach is revealing the identity of transaction participants to law enforcement authorities in case of illegal transactions. But, such authorities have special authorization under the law and they should be enabled to get identifying information about transaction participants in the process of legal law enforcement procedures. But, all other service providers do not have such status, so if Bitcoin principles are strictly followed, they should not be able to have identifying information about system participants.
This approach and potential improvement of the Bitcoin system implies that the system needs one of the classical security services: role–based authorization. In such arrangement, there would be at least two categories of system participants: those that are authorized to maintain and access identifying information about the participants and those that are only authorized to perform transactions. In the first category are legal authorities, like police, driving license authorities, tax authorities, etc. In the context of the standard Identities Management Systems, such participants are called Identity Providers. All others are Identity Verifiers. Therefore, one of the main conclusions about true anonymity in the Bitcoin system is establishment of a sophisticated and multi-role Identities Management System, where some parties will be authorized Identity Providers and all others will be Identity Validators. Finally, referring back to the infrastructure of the Bitcoin system to perform and validate transactions – blockchain, the conclusion is that what is needed, as one of the most important extensions of the current concept of anonymity of Bitcoins participants, is an Identity Management System based itself on the use of blockchain and without Identity Providers as trusted third parties. Creation, distribution, use and validation of identities are transactions in the system, equivalent to payment transactions, so they should also be performed using blockchain protocol. Such system, that can provide reliable identities of all participants may be called Blockchain Identity Management System.
Another very important feature of the original concept of the Bitcoin system is that it is not controlled by any financial institution, by any regulatory body or by any legal financial authority when it comes to issuing Bitcoins and determining their value. This means that the currency used in the system and all transactions are exempted from any legal and financial rules and regulations. The rules controlling Bitcoin system are built in its code. This property is usually called “rule by the technical code”, as the rules of system operations, built in the code of its operational components, control and rule the operations of the system [UK, 2016], Chapter 3. This property is sometimes described as “control by the community”, i.e. the participating users.
This property implies that the value of Bitcoins is determined solely on the market – based on its supply and demand. This is quite natural approach, as the value of shares of companies are also determined on an open trading market. However, such approach implies that the value of Bitcoin, as crypto currency, is volatile related to fiat currencies. This property represent serious problem to perform payments using Bitcoin. It is well-known that volatile currencies are not suitable for payments. The practice of all the years while Bitcoins are in use has shown that its volatility represents one of the major obstacles for its main purpose – to be used as the payment system. In fact, it was announced that in 2019 the total value of Bitcoin transactions performed was about $ 11 T. However, unfortunately, only about 1.3% of those transactions were payments, all others were trading manipulations on exchanges. Based on that, it may be clearly stated that Bitcoin today is not used as the payment system, but as currency manipulation system. This is one of the main problems with the concept and current implementation and deployment of Bitcoin system and in near future may represent the main reason for its decline in popularity.

1.3 Innovative Contributions of the Bitcoin System

Besides an effective procedure to transfer an amount of crypto currency from one user (account) to another user (account), the major and indeed an essential contribution of the concept of the Bitcoin is the solution to the general problem how to establish trust between two mutually unknown and otherwise unrelated parties to such an extent and certainty that sensitive and secure transactions can be performed with full confidence over an open environment, such as Internet. In all current large scale and not only financial systems that problem is solved by using the assistance of third parties. For many (may be even all) current Internet applications and transactions those third parties are integrated and linked into a large, complex, expensive and vulnerable operational infrastructures. Examples of such infrastructures today are bankcard networks supporting global international payments, global international banking networks supporting international financial transfers, Public–Key Infrastructures (PKI), Identity Management Systems, and many others. It is a general consent that such infrastructures are expensive and, more important, vulnerable to external and internal attacks.
In addition to the complexity and vulnerabilities of such current operational supporting infrastructures, another requirement and prerequisite to use their services is that users must put the complete trust in these third parties. Accepting to trust those third–party service providers is the necessary and mandatory prerequisite to use their services.
Therefore, one of the most important contributions of the concept of Bitcoin is that it solves the issue how two parties, mutually unknown to each other in advance and otherwise completely unrelated, can perform sensitive and secure transactions, such as transfer of money – payments, but without assistance of any third party and without the need to place trust in any component of the system.
The practical benefits of solving this problem and the most important consequence of the solution for this problem – Bitcoin system, is that it provides the possibility for one Internet user to transfer not only Bitcoins, but also any other form of digital asset to or shared with another Internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, that everyone knows that the transfer has been performed, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer.
This feature of the Bitcoin system generated many very new, creative and innovative ideas where the concept equivalent to the Bitcoin can be used to perform secure and reliable transactions between users in an open community handling any type of digital asset ([Andreesen, 2014], [Sparkes, 2014], [UniCredit, 2016], [BitID, 2015], [PoE, 2015]). The examples of such applications and transactions range from commercial transitions, real estate transactions, energy trading, electronic voting, medical applications, and many others ([Kounelis, 2015], [Muftic, 2016]). The concept of blockchain as technology supporting validation of all such transactions is therefore called disruptive technology.
As the conclusion in this section, we may give a definition of blockchain:
Blockchain is an innovative concept, implemented as an infrastructure comprising multiple and distributed servers, mutually linked by special broadcasting and synchronization protocols, managing immutable objects with the purpose to enable and protect secure peer–to–peer transactions in a global and open environment.

1.4 Summary of Problems and Potential Solutions

In section 1.2 several problems of the Bitcoin system were mentioned and potential solutions for these problems were outlined. Recently, at the time of writing this Technical Report, several sources, mainly personal blogs and articles, appeared with very interesting opinions and statements regarding some other serious Bitcoin problems. Some of them are problems with the concept of the system, some problems of its design, and some problems of operations. In this section some of these problems are briefly summarized including suggestions for their potential solutions. The source of some problems was the article [Ein, 2018].
Problem 1: Complex Crypto Algorithms
Problem: Bitcoins is crypto currency and cryptographic algorithms used in the current version are very complex, based on the concept of proof–of–work, and require long time, special hardware and a lots of energy to perform
Potential Solution: Potential solution fro this problem is to use cryptographic algorithms that are simpler and therefore more efficient to execute and need less energy
Problems with Potential Solution: Lowering the complexity of crypto algorithms introduces vulnerability to hackers. Therefore, what is needed are strong algorithms and simple to perform for regular users and complex to break by hackers
Problem 2: Indirect Transactions, not Peer–to–Peer
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed, in todays implementation Bitcoin payment transactions are not performed as direct, peer–to–peer transactions. They are performed indirectly, submitted to the Bitcoin network, and recipients receive them indirectly, by downloading validated transactions from the ledger
Potential Solution: Transactions should be performed directly, by transferring them directly between two users
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is validation of transaction for proof of possession of Bitcoins by the sender and for prevention of double-spending. Therefore, what is needed is the protocol to validate peer–to–peer transactions.
Problem 3: Anonymity of Users not provided
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed, in todays deployments of additional system components, mainly exchanges, users are not anonymous
Potential Solution: Blockchain–based Distributed Identity Management System with Role-based Authorizations
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with potential solution is that it depends on trusted third parties with authorized roles. Therefore, what is needed is blockchain-based Identity Management System using hybrid (permissioned and unpermissioned) blockchain
Problem 4: Volatile Value, not suitable for Payments
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed that Bitcoin is payment system, volatile value of the currency makes it inconvenient for payments
Potential Solution: Crypto currency with stable value
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is that the value of Bitcoins is determined on the secondary market, during its trading (cash-in / cash-out). Therefore, what is needed is crypto currency that does not have volatile value
The remaining problems in this section are quoted from [Ein, 2018]:
Problem 5: Negative Environmental Impact
Problem: Mining algorithms and operational facilities (“mining farms”) consume too much electrical energy, based on the “proof-of-work” protocol
Potential Solution: Using mining algorithms that consume less energy, either as simpler / lighter crypto algorithms or using alternative crypto protocols to protect transactions integrity (“proof-of-stake”)
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is that simpler / lighter algorithms open vulnerabilities to hackers while alternative crypto protocols are not backward compatible with the current system
Problem 6: Slow Performance (Delays) / Low Throughput
Problem: Due to blocking and the designed time for protection of transactions (10 minutes) Bitcoin system has very slow performance – transactions are validated in about an hour and transaction processing throughput is about 7 transactions per second
Potential Solution: Using transaction validation algorithms and protocols that do not need blocking of transactions, but transactions should be validated individually
Problems with Potential Solution: There are no serious problems with the proposed potential solution
Problem 7: Limited Number of Bitcoins
Problem: Due hardware and other types of failures, the number of available Bitcoins in the system is constantly reducing
Potential Solution: Potential solution could be to use smaller portions of Bitcoin (“Satoshi”) or introduce hard-fork by splitting the amount of available Bitcoins
Problems with Potential Solution: The problems with the first solution that it is not user-friendly and the problem with the second solution is backwards compatibility.
Problem 8: Real Value of Bitcoins
Problem: The value of Bitcoins is purely psychological and reflects only pure market speculations
Potential Solution: Potential solution could be to peg the value of Bitcoin to local fiat currencies in countries of deployments
Problems with Potential Solution: The problems with the potential solution is that such Bitcoins would be a new class of Bitcoins, not traded on exchanges and not volatile
At the end of this section, it is very interesting to quote two opinions about the future of Bitcoin and blockchain:
[Ein, 2018]: “It seems that Bitcoin will likely cease to have meaningful value, defeating the whole point and philosophy imagined by Satoshi Nakamoto, the alleged inventor of Bitcoin. Its current value appears to be purely psychological, and the hype seems to be driven by irrational exuberance, greed and speculation. Modern human history has seen many bubbles, including the dot-com bubble, the housing bubble and even the tulip bubble. However, when these bubbles exploded, many excellent dot-com companies survived, most houses regained their value and tulips still have meaning and carry value in our lives today. But what will happen when the Bitcoin bubble bursts? What utility or residual value will Bitcoin have to consumers and businesses? Most likely none. And this is the real problem with Bitcoin and crypto currencies.
Bitcoin will likely go down in history as a great technological invention that popularized blockchain yet failed due to its design limitations. Just like the industrial revolution was fueled by the combustion engine, Nakamoto’s most valuable contribution is the blockchain polymorphic engine that will further accelerate innovation in the post-information age and immensely affect our lives”.
This quote makes two very important and far–reaching predictions:
(1) Bitcoin, as the payment system will disappear (“. . . will go down in history”), and
(2) The most valuable contribution of the Bitcoin system is blockchain
This article was written in 2018. It is very interesting to notice that at the time of writing this Technical Report, (1) Bitcoin was still “alive” and (2) the concept and deployments of blockchain were in serious trouble.
Based on the principle of positive and creative approach, in the rest of this Technical Report, besides description of all technical details of the Bitcoin system, some potential solutions for its improvement will also be discussed.
However, contrary to the predicted status of Bitcoin, it seems that the predicted status of blockchain, in 2020 was still facing serious problems.
[Barber, 2019]: What's Blockchain Actually Good for, Anyway? For Now, Not Much
“Not long ago, blockchain technology was touted as a way to track tuna, bypass banks, and preserve property records. Reality has proved a much tougher challenge”.

[Lucanus, 2020]: Has Blockchain Failed Before It Even Really Began?

“Just as everyone was getting really excited about its potential, it appears blockchain is dead. For a technology that was supposed to transform and solve seemingly every problem in the world, the enthusiasm is fading pretty quickly”.
At the time of writing this Technical Report, there were many new blockchain – concepts, design and even several deployed and operational instances. Some of them are even very popular, but only among enthusiastic developers. The overall trends with real life deployments, and more and more comments about the capabilities and features of blockchains are appearing with negative connotation. Therefore, seems that even for blockchain some innovative concepts and approaches are needed. They are beyond the scope of this Technical Report and will be addressed in some of our follow-up reports.
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