[CoinDesk]MtGox collapses and shuts down

Peter R's theory on the collapse of MtGox and its effect on the price of bitcoin

Peter R's theory on the collapse of MtGox and its effect on the price of bitcoin submitted by bangel to NSL [link] [comments]

I'm Mark Karpelès, ex-CEO of bankrupt MtGox. Ask me anything.

Dear community,
Many of you know or remember me, especially recently since the MtGox bankruptcy has been allegedly linked with Bitcoin price drops in December 2017 to February 2018. Since taking over the most active Bitcoin exchange in 2011, I ran MtGox until filing for civil rehabilitation on February 28th 2014 (which became bankruptcy less than 2 months later) because a large amount of Bitcoins went missing. Since then, four years have passed, and MtGox is still in bankruptcy today. I’ve been arrested, released under bail after a little less than one year, and am now trying to assist MtGox getting into civil rehabilitation.
I did my best trying to grow the ecosystem by running the biggest exchange at the time. It had big problems but still managed to hang in there. For a while. A quite long while, even, while the rest of the ecosystem caught up. At the end of the day, the methods I chose to try to get MtGox out of its trouble ended up being insufficient, insufficiently executed, or plain wrong.
I know I didn't handle the last, stressful days of the outdrawn and painful Gox collapse very well. I can only be humble about that in hindsight. Once again, I’m sorry.
Japanese bankruptcy law has a particularly nasty outcome here, and I want to address this up front. As creditors claims were registered, those claims were registered in the valuation of Japanese Yen on the bankruptcy date. That's the only way Japanese bankruptcy law can work (most bankruptcy laws around the world operate this way for that matter). This means that the claims can be paid back in full, and there will still be over 160,000 bitcoin and bitcoin cash in assets in the Gox estate. The way bankruptcy law works is that if there are any assets remaining after the creditors have been paid in full, then those assets are distributed to shareholders as part of the liquidation.
That's the only way any bankruptcy law can reasonably work. And yet, in this case, it produces an egregiously distasteful outcome in that the shareholders of MtGox would walk away with the value of over 160,000 bitcoin as a result of what happened.
I don't want this. I don't want this billion dollars. From day one I never expected to receive anything from this bankruptcy. The fact that today this is a possibility is an aberration and I believe it is my responsibility to make sure it doesn’t happen. One of the ways to do this would be civil rehabilitation, and as it seems most creditors agree with this, I am doing my best to help make it happen. I do not want to become instantly rich. I do not ask for forgiveness. I just want to see this end as soon as possible with everyone receiving their share of what they had on MtGox so everyone, myself included, can get some closure.
I’m an engineer at heart. I want to build things. I like seeing what I build being useful, and people being happy using what I build. My drive, from day one, has been to push the limits of what is technically possible, and this is the main reason I liked and have been involved with Bitcoin in the first place. When I took over MtGox, I never imagined things would end this way and I am forever sorry for everything that’s taken place and all the effect it had on everyone involved.
Hopefully, I can make what I’ve learned in this experience useful to the community as a whole, so there can at least be something positive in the end.
Ask me anything you like.
EDIT: With this coming to all there have been an overwhelming number of messages, questions etc. I will continue responding for a little while but probably won't be able to respond to new questions (it is starting to be late here and I've been spending the last few hours typing). Thank you very much to everyone.
submitted by MagicalTux to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

I'm Mark Karpelès, ex-CEO of bankrupt MtGox. Ask me anything.

Dear community,
Many of you know or remember me, especially recently since the MtGox bankruptcy has been allegedly linked with Bitcoin price drops in December 2017 to February 2018. Since taking over the most active Bitcoin exchange in 2011, I ran MtGox until filing for civil rehabilitation on February 28th 2014 (which became bankruptcy less than 2 months later) because a large amount of Bitcoins went missing. Since then, four years have passed, and MtGox is still in bankruptcy today. I’ve been arrested, released under bail after a little less than one year, and am now trying to assist MtGox getting into civil rehabilitation.
I did my best trying to grow the ecosystem by running the biggest exchange at the time. It had big problems but still managed to hang in there. For a while. A quite long while, even, while the rest of the ecosystem caught up. At the end of the day, the methods I chose to try to get MtGox out of its trouble ended up being insufficient, insufficiently executed, or plain wrong.
I know I didn't handle the last, stressful days of the outdrawn and painful Gox collapse very well. I can only be humble about that in hindsight. Once again, I’m sorry.
Japanese bankruptcy law has a particularly nasty outcome here, and I want to address this up front. As creditors claims were registered, those claims were registered in the valuation of Japanese Yen on the bankruptcy date. That's the only way Japanese bankruptcy law can work (most bankruptcy laws around the world operate this way for that matter). This means that the claims can be paid back in full, and there will still be over 160,000 bitcoin and bitcoin cash in assets in the Gox estate. The way bankruptcy law works is that if there are any assets remaining after the creditors have been paid in full, then those assets are distributed to shareholders as part of the liquidation.
That's the only way any bankruptcy law can reasonably work. And yet, in this case, it produces an egregiously distasteful outcome in that the shareholders of MtGox would walk away with the value of over 160,000 bitcoin as a result of what happened.
I don't want this. I don't want this billion dollars. From day one I never expected to receive anything from this bankruptcy. The fact that today this is a possibility is an aberration and I believe it is my responsibility to make sure it doesn’t happen. One of the ways to do this would be civil rehabilitation, and as it seems most creditors agree with this, I am doing my best to help make it happen. I do not want to become instantly rich. I do not ask for forgiveness. I just want to see this end as soon as possible with everyone receiving their share of what they had on MtGox so everyone, myself included, can get some closure.
I’m an engineer at heart. I want to build things. I like seeing what I build being useful, and people being happy using what I build. My drive, from day one, has been to push the limits of what is technically possible, and this is the main reason I liked and have been involved with Bitcoin in the first place. When I took over MtGox, I never imagined things would end this way and I am forever sorry for everything that’s taken place and all the effect it had on everyone involved.
Hopefully, I can make what I’ve learned in this experience useful to the community as a whole, so there can at least be something positive in the end.
Ask me anything you like.
EDIT: With this coming to all there have been an overwhelming number of messages, questions etc. I will continue responding for a little while but probably won't be able to respond to new questions (it is starting to be late here and I've been spending the last few hours typing). Thank you very much to everyone.
submitted by MagicalTux to btc [link] [comments]

Does anyone else miss the good old days of Gavin & Andreas?

Today we have $10 bitcoin fees. 200k backlog of transactions. Paying a $1 fee is now considered "spam". I remember when bitcoin was a sunny outlook and the sky was the limit.
Now I see the failure to scale as much of a problem as the MtGox collapse. It may delay mass adoption by some number of years.
The price is going up, which is great, but I see Bitcoin's stalemate on the technology side of the house as the main barrier at this point.
Developers and Miners both want bitcoin to succeed. I remember how BTCGuild "fixed" the last fork in 2013. Back then Devs and Pools knew how to work together.
Why do they have to stay stuck in this asinine stalemate? Bitcoin's governance model was to have miners create blocks. Majority rules, 51% is king. The mechanism is already set. All that should be required is merchants/payment processors/etc commit to actually supporting the real Bitcoin, AKA the "longest" chain.
Bitcoin today needs to grow some balls and stick with the model as designed. Sure give me Segwit, but give us bigger damn blocks too! Anyone with half brain knows 1mb, even 2mb is too small.
This really is common sense stuff. And unfortunately common sense seems to be a rarity these days. Bitcoin's second chance IPO is here. Lets not fuck it up again (throws karpeles the finger)!
Sincerely,
A bitcoin believer and miner since 2011
submitted by jwBTC to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Why the "Trustee" sold YOUR BTC/BCH now in quiet and on open Markets..?

Dear Creditors! Finita la Commedia with the trustee's claims to act in the best interests of Mt.Gox creditors. RIP.
We need to URGENTLY act collectively on this revelation in a manner that will make SURE creditors interests are upheld in this bankruptcy process and justice is made. As the matters stand now we are drifting in the wrong direction.

Current State

1. Mt.Gox trustee sells 35,841 Bitcoin and 34,008 Bitcoin Cash for a total of 42,988,044,343 JPY (~405,167,934 USD).
This is because the total amount of claims that have been accepted until now is 45,609,593,503 JPY with YOUR bitcoin price fixed by the trustee in 2014 at 50,058.12 JPY (~471 USD). All this because the trustee wanted to be "in compliance with Japanese Bankruptcy Laws." not taking into account the reality of deflationary crypto assets.
After the current sell-of by the trustee, he has a total of 44,952,982,218 JPY in fiat assets almost enough to pay all the accepted claims of creditors by fixed price of 50,058.12 JPY (~471 USD) per BTC.
2. All Bitcoin Cash and other forks that belongs to creditors has just been unilaterally confiscated by the trustee's decision in favor of Mark Karpeles and other Gox shareholders with the following decision on page 12 par. II.3 of latest meeting report:
"It is my understanding that the cryptocurrencies split from BTC of the bankruptcy estate belong to the bankruptcy estate."
Do you see where this is drifting?
3. Moreover, the trustee in the last creditors meeting report on page 12 paragraph II.2 Says:
"I plan to consult with the court and determine further sale of BTC and BCC." https://www.mtgox.com/img/pdf/20180307_report.pdf
With the trustee now playing a role of amateur shady surprise trader on open markets, we are in a worse situation then we have thought. Just FYI, this "trader" have panic sold 18,000 (50%) of all BTC he sold at near bottom prices at around February 5 crashing the market even further. If this is not a blatant market manipulation then this is utter incompetence. See this: https://twitter.com/matt_odell/status/971432146656202752
So at the current trajectory the trustee is planning to give ~24,750 user victims of Mt.Gox fiasco ~45 billion JPY (~430 Million USD) and Mark Karpeles with other Gox shareholders the remaining 166,344 Bitcoin with 168,177 Bitcoin Cash with the remaining forks!
Is this justice? Does this scenario suit US? NO!
All this bogus conduct is justified by the trustee "to be in compliance" with existing outdated Japanese bankruptcy laws.
Common sense, justice, moral values, honor or any other value besides what's in the outdated "Japanese bankruptcy law" does not play any role here. These people dragging feet for years while letting Mark Karpeles get away with the biggest scam in crypto history. Remember the "it's only technical" explanations while continuing to accept deposits from his own users while he perfectly well knows that his company is INSOLVENT?
Now it got to the point that this masterpiece Mr. Karpeles claims that because the remaining fiat value of btc left is much higher today then the value of all the btc his company possessed in 2014 it is somehow makes Mt.Gox "solvent". Huh? Didn't he loose more than 75% of all crypto assets he held and this state remains to this day? Yes? Then his company is INSOLVENT! Period.
Any other type of bogus calculation to make a thief rich and proud of himself on the misery of tenth's of thousands of users whose trust he has abused is nothing short of preposterous and should be challenged in the supreme court at the very least!

Proposals

So what can be done? I propose the following:
A. Prepare what ever necessary legal proposal to change the bankruptcy law in Japan to take into account the new reality of deflationary monetary assets/currencies.
The Japanese bankruptcy law as it stands today is one sided, outdated and not reflecting on the reality of existence of appreciating (deflationary) assets like crypto, some stocks, real estate in a growing market.
We need a specific change that when the bankruptcy deals with holding appreciating assets then the initial asset exchange rate to JPY ($483) will be used as an "assessment" price only to determine the Pro-Rata % amount of each creditors portion of the assets at the time of bankrupt entity's collapse.
The "actual" exchange rate will be determined by the assets price at the time of liquidation of those assets for JPY or distribution.
In this case the creditors will receive their rightfully owned percent of the assets in the time of distribution/conversion. This is the only just way to avoid a scenario when a bankrupt insolvent entity suddenly claims to become "solvent" during the process of bankruptcy proceedings because of prematurely determining the exchange rate of the assets before hand.
B. Prepare what ever needed application to Japans supreme court to freeze any distribution to Mt.Gox shareholders until the necessary amendments to the bankruptcy law are passed.
C. Stop the Mt.Gox trustee trader from selling more BTC in a surprise and anonymous manner. Until the final ruling by the supreme court about the belonging of the crypto assets held by the trustee either to Mt.Gox creditors or shareholders is decided. The Mt.Gox Trustee has no right to sell or trade with these assets as he sees fit.
D. Prepare a lawsuit against MtGox/sharehoders for unjust enrichment/conversion and get a preemptive lien/garnishment against the distribution that might go to them. (proposed by jespow).
E. We as Mt.Gox creditors are not organized in due manner to effectively enforce our interests. We need one UNIFIED representative body to act on our behalf in this bankruptcy saga.
I propose we set up for all creditors a voting process through which we will be able to elect "Mt.Gox creditors representative counsel". People we absolutely trust to think and act in accordance with the best interests of the creditors. These people can be big creditors (for example, Josh Jones CEO and Founder of Bitcoin Builder), Other people that are not creditors but have proven themselves over the years to be on the side of the creditors like Jesse Powell jespow the CEO and owner of Kraken, he has done a lot over the years to help us. You can read his proposals on here: https://www.reddit.com/mtgoxinsolvency/comments/7dyr74/re_inquiries_about_mtgox_disbursements_and/
Unless we step up our organizational game it's game over. I think the best and easiest for creditors would be communicating by email:
E1. We have a list of all the creditors from the list of acceptance or rejection for all claimants posted by the Mt.Gox trustee.
E2. We need to get from trustee or build an email list of all the creditors to send them periodic communication like monthly news, voting proposals, status updates, password for forum, etc. All this managed by trusted party like Kraken preferably or with oversight by them with unsubscribe option.
E3. We need more than 50% of the creditors to join this list preferably to claim we have the majority of creditors support in courts. Best for this process to be all inclusive not requiring any mandatory financial contributions because of the fact that many investors got themselves into debt and financial hardships by Gox fiasco. If a creditor that was not active until now, can't help financially but can commit his support by voting or pledging some financial support once the successful distribution of BTC is made then this is a big win.
E4. We probably need a new forum. Best would be to allow only the original email addresses of Mt.Gox creditors to set up accounts there to avoid trolls signing up and ruining or influencing our decision making. Also new accounts could be set up for trusted people after review by the moderator and marked as such. Example: Lawyer, People the creditors hire for different jobs, etc.
All of the above together with monthly or weekly updates can create a positive momentum and keep this issue afloat with a lot of new organizational ideas coming in and helping improve our overall chance as creditors to win this battle for the benefit of all of us and the crypto community!
Please keep your comments and info constructive! Suggest names for possible representative council members, ping users, post ideas, let's get this brainstormed.
Pinging for input:
jespow -- Kraken CEO
andypagonthemove --Coordinating Mtgoxlegal.com
P.S. I apologize for the long post. Thank you for your time & contribution!
submitted by -kvb to mtgoxinsolvency [link] [comments]

A Bitcoin Tale: the currious case of those not meant to be in Ƀ

Adoption: Bitcoin isn't for anyone, and why that's ok

Last year while Ƀ was still in the low 2000s ($), I recommended a relative of mine to invest what he could afford to loose.
He bought in after some typical lengthy exchange hassle, in the late 3000s ($).
Seeing his stash grow quick, getting greedy, he took out a mortage in his house and eventually bought his last Bitcoins in the late 8K-9Ks.
Typical for that bullrun was getting a large deposit stuck on an exchange meant you lost a run up over a few weeks of some 30-40%. I told him to use one of the "instant" exchanges such as Bitcoin Suisse for large amounts, but he overheard it and went on Kraken. Where, as you might know, anything and everything seem to get stuck (worthy of its name of the apocalyptic all-swallowing seamonster).
Then come late December. I tell him to sell everything he initially invested, and keep the rest in BTC for fun. He says,
"well.. I don't really care about if it goes down (the long term trend is up). This is long term investment. It will come back up".
Then through the altcoin pumps, I get a mail from him saying he invested in Ripple, because "..it can be used by banks in the future, and there's a big upside". So my sympathy for him, went out as quick as a flush of the toilet. Realising what kind of thinking he prescribes to in reality.
I did want to warn him, but as he didn't pick up the phone through numerous calls, I thought better to leave him harvest his own crypto experience.
Then come last week and I finally get an email saying he sold ALL with a "little loss". Better for his mental health and family. Me, dumbfounded, how you can throw away a 3-4x of initial investment and end up with a loss. Concluding Bitcoin in that sense isn't for everyone.
Meaning, there have been a bunch of "mee too" investors, trying to hitch a ride on to the BTC express. But not really grasping what it is about, they are prone to sell out once BTC seems to shake in it's foundational pump. Oddly, this is also what happened to many people early, that should be well versed in trading. Take Tone Vays. He sold out all his Bitcoins after the MtGox collapse in price. Yet, to great wonder, still advises n00bs on trading strategies.
All this begs the fundamental question:
Would you still buy Bitcoin even if it's price would be going down (vs fiat) or staying flat. Long or short term?
For me, the answer is a YES. How about it? You'd rather go back into fiat and risk having a deposit haircut?
The morale of this story is maybe adotion doesn't need to be for all: not everyone deserves to be part of Bitcoin.
But: Ofcourse it's for everyone.
Just, many will not understand it and just eventually aclimatise just as they did with paypal.
We are still in the earliest phase, but it's noticeable that Ƀ throws out people that don't belong like a wild stallion with a redneck trying to hold on.
Try to hold on to something that doesn't want you on it's back
submitted by duderino88 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

[Anno 2014]However, exchanges are able to create paper bitcoin and as demonstrated by the leaked MtGox data, non-existent fiat currency was created in MtGox's database and used to run up the price of Bitcoin before the MtGox collapse.

Quote:
"Bitcoin has not developed an options or derivatives market yet. However, exchanges are able to create paper bitcoin and as demonstrated by the leaked MtGox data, non-existent fiat currency was created in MtGox's database and used to run up the price of Bitcoin before the MtGox collapse. Bitcoin will likely become subject to the same manipulations and worse."
"An exchange can add a Litecoin to an account in a database and then a user can sell that Litecoin. The litecoin may not exist and the exchange may have to buy the litecoin, to cover a withdrawal. An exchange with withdrawal limits or withdrawal fees, engaged in heavy manipulation, may be solvent indefinitely. An exchange, suffering insolvency may silently and secretly haircut a fraction of users balances and there is no indication to the user that it even occurred. There is no way to prove that reports of stolen funds are real, instead of an anonymous attack on honest exchanges by dishonest competitors."
...A project from 2014 over at Bitcointalk wrote that.
The same line could be used now, 4 years later just with Tether.
submitted by BobUltra to Buttcoin [link] [comments]

Even If Bitcoin Was Just $1 It Would Still Function Perfectly As A Currency, Stop Worrying About The Price

Even If Bitcoin Was Just $1 It Would Still Function Perfectly As A Currency, Stop Worrying About The Price

https://preview.redd.it/fknwmx1w96221.jpg?width=890&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=4adc81ddf527365d626431ea9da438b50ea4c60d
http://genesisblocknews.com/even-if-bitcoin-was-just-1-it-would-still-function-perfectly-as-a-currency/
Most people in the crypto space are fascinated at the price of Bitcoin and stare at the charts all day, in the same way deer are fascinated by headlights. Crypto users, and even the mainstream media, thinks that when the price of Bitcoin goes up that somehow means Bitcoin gets bettehealthier, and when the price goes down that means Bitcoin is getting weaker or about to die. Such people do not understand the point or purpose of Bitcoin, which is to be decentralized peer to peer money. People that closely watch the price of Bitcoin think the purpose of Bitcoin is to be an investment, and while it is true that Bitcoin can be an investment, that is not the purpose of Bitcoin. The idea that Bitcoin’s sole purpose is to be an investment is a contagion in the crypto space that must be eradicated.
The truth is, Bitcoin works perfectly as a decentralized form of money no matter what the price is. Bitcoin could even be $1 and the network would function perfectly fine, and people would still be able to buy goods and services instantly and securely with Bitcoin. Indeed, Bitcoin went as low as 1 cent on Mt. Gox in late 2010, and it is not like Bitcoin died; Bitcoin flourished after that point.
Even if Bitcoin was worth $1 each, it would still be better than fiat currency like the USD, since Bitcoin’s price has no relevance to its true value. The value of Bitcoin stems from its decentralization, and Bitcoin’s impregnable cryptographic security ensures that decentralization will not be infringed upon. No government or entity can control or print Bitcoin, no matter how much they want to. Bitcoin exists on every computer that runs a Bitcoin node, and cannot be destroyed unless every node is destroyed at once, an impossible task. Bitcoin can only be generated via mining, and the maximum supply of Bitcoins will never exceed 21 million. This is unlike fiat currencies which can be printed at will, and printing fiat effectively steals money from everyone else in the world that holds that fiat. Money printing and the resulting fiat devaluation is a primary reason as to why most of the people in the world cannot accumulate wealth. If Bitcoin was adopted as the primary global currency, people would be able to save money without getting robbed every day by the government printing press.
Ultimately, Bitcoin is a superior form of money, and will inevitably become the primary global currency. This is because the USD, the fiat currency which is the cornerstone of the entire global fiat system, will inevitably reach a state of critical hyperinflation due to the out of control United States debt which now exceeds USD 21 trillion. The government is stuck between a rock and a hard place. If they decrease the debt by slashing the budget, the economy will collapse. If they keep the budget the same, the debt issuance and money printing needed to sustain the budget will definitely cause the USD to exponentially devalue at some point in the not so distant future, which would collapse the economy.
If Bitcoin somehow crashes to unimaginable numbers, like $100 or $1, it would still be the currency everyone flocks to when the USD and all other fiat currencies totally become worthless. Therefore, true Bitcoiners need not worry, Bitcoin’s day will come no matter what its price is in the near future. You can stop staring at the charts now.
submitted by turtlecane to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

The New Crypto Order & Escaping Financial Repression

The Vigilante’s View
It is our first issue in months that bitcoin hasn’t hit an all-time high! And it’s the last issue of the year. And what a year for cryptos it was.
To put it in perspective, bitcoin could fall 90% from current levels and it will still have outperformed stocks, bonds and real estate in 2017.
Bitcoin started 2017 at $960.79.
At the time of this writing it is near $13,000 for a gain of 1,250% in 2017.
And, bitcoin was actually one of the worst performing cryptocurrencies in our TDV portfolio in 2017!
Ethereum (ETH) started 2017 at $8. It has since hit over $800 for a nice 10,000% gain in 2017.
That’s pretty good, but not as good as Dash which started the year at $11.19 and recently hit $1,600 for a nearly 15,000% gain.
I hope many of you have participated in these amazing gains! If not, or you are new, don’t worry there will be plenty more opportunities in the years ahead.
It won’t all be just home runs though… in fact, some of the cryptos that have performed so well to date may go down dramatically or collapse completely in the coming years.
I’ll point out further below why Lightning Network is not the answer to Bitcoin Core’s slow speeds and high costs. And, I’ll look ahead to 2018 and how we could already be looking beyond blockchains.
Yes, things are moving so fast that blockchain just became known to your average person this year… and could be nearly extinct by next year.
That’s why it is important to stick with us here at TDV to navigate these choppy free market waters!
New Years Reflection On The Evolution Of Consensus Protocols
Sooner or later crypto will humble you by its greatness. Its vastness is accompanied by a madness that is breathtaking, because you quickly realize that there is no stopping crypto from taking over the world. The moment you think you have everything figured out, is the moment the market will surprise you.
We are for the first time living and witnessing the birth of the first worldwide free market. Throughout this rampage of innovation, we all are implicitly aiming for the best means of harnessing consensus. As we leave this bountiful 2017 and aim at 2018, it is important for us to meditate and appreciate the progress we have made in transforming the world through the decentralization of consensus. It is also important to reflect on the changes in consensus building we have partaken in and those yet to come.
Consensus is the agreement that states “this is what has occurred, and this is what hasn’t happened.”
Throughout the vastness of history, we humans have only really had access to centralized means for consensus building. In the centralized world, consensus has been determined by banks, states, and all kinds of central planners. As our readers know, any centralized party can misuse their power, and their consensus ruling can become unfair. In spite of this, many individuals still praise the effectiveness of consensus building of centralized systems.
People from antiquity have had no other option but to trust these central planners. These systems of control have created still-water markets where only a few are allowed to compete. This lack of competition resulted in what we now can objectively view as slow innovation. For many, centralized consensus building is preferred under the pretense of security and comfort. Unfortunately, these same individuals are in for a whole lot of discomfort now that the world is innovating on top of the first decentralized consensus building technology, the blockchain.
Everything that has occurred since the inception of bitcoin has shocked central planners because for the first time in history they are lost; they no longer hold power. We now vote with our money. We choose what we find best as different technologies compete for our money.
What we are witnessing when we see the volatility in crypto is nothing more than natural human motion through price. The innovation and volatility of the crypto market may seem unorthodox to some, because it is. For the first time in history we are in a true free market. The true free market connects you to everybody and for this reason alone the market shouldn’t surprise us for feeling “crazy.” Volatility is a sign of your connection to a market that is alive. Radical innovation is a sign of a market that is in its infancy still discovering itself.
In juxtaposing centralized consensus building with decentralized consensus building, I cannot keep myself from remembering some wise biblical words; “ And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined.” – Luke 5:37
The centralized legacy financial system is akin to old wineskins bursting to shreds by the new wine of crypto. Decentralized consensus building has no need for central planners. For example, think about how ludicrous it would be for someone to ask government for regulation after not liking something about crypto. Sorry, there is no central planner to protect you; even the mathematical protocols built for us to trust are now competing against one another for our money.
These new mathematical protocols will keep competing against one another as they provide us with new options in decentralizing consensus. As we look unto 2018, it is important that we as investors begin to critically engage and analyze “blockchain-free cryptocurrencies.”
HASHGRAPHS, TANGLES AND DAGS
Blockchain-free cryptocurrencies are technologies composed of distributed databases that use different tools to achieve the same objectives as blockchains.
The top contenders in the realm of blockchain-free cryptos are DAGs (Directed Acyclic Graphs) such as Swirlds’ Hashgraph, ByteBall’s DAG, and IOTA’s Tangle. These blockchain-free cryptos are also categorized as belonging to the 3 rd generation of cryptocurrencies. These technologies promise to be faster, cheaper, and more efficient than blockchain cryptocurrencies.
Blockchains were the first means of creating decentralized consensus throughout the world. In the blockchain, the majority of 51% determine the consensus. The limits of blockchains stem from their inherent nature, whereupon every single node/participant needs to know all of the information that has occurred throughout the whole blockchain economy of a given coin.
This opens up blockchains to issues akin to the ones we have been exposed to in regards to Bitcoin’s scaling. It is important to make a clear distinction in the language used between blockchains and blockchain-freecryptocurrencies. When we speak about blockchains it is more proper to speak about its transactionconsensus as “decentralized”, whereas with blockchain-free cryptocurrencies it is best if we refer to transaction consensus as “distributed.”
Swirlds’ Hashgraph incorporates a radical and different approach to distributing consensus. Swirlds claims that their new approach will solve scaling and security issues found on blockchains. They use a protocol called “Gossip about Gossip.” Gossip refers to how computers communicate with one another in sending information.
In comparison to the Blockchain, imagine that instead of all of the nodes receiving all of the transactions categorized in the past ten minutes, that only a few nodes shared their transaction history with other nodes near them. The Hashgraph team explains this as “calling any random node and telling that node everything you know that it does not know.” That is, in Hashgraph we would be gossiping about the information we are gossiping; i.e., sending to others throughout the network for consensus.
Using this gossiped information builds the Hashgraph. Consensus is created by means of depending on the gossips/rumors that come to you and you pass along to other nodes. Hashgraph also has periodic rounds which review the circulating gossips/rumors.
Hashgraph is capable of 250,000+ Transactions Per Second (TPS), compared to Bitcoin currently only allowing for 7 TPS. It is also 50,000 times faster than Bitcoin. There is no mention of a coin on their white paper. At this moment there is no Hashgraph ICO, beware of scams claiming that there is. There is however a growing interest in the project along with a surge of app development.
IOTAs DAG is known as the Tangle. Contrary to Hashgraph, IOTA does have its own coin known as MIOTA, currently trading around the $3 mark. There are only 2,779,530,283 MIOTA in existence. The Tangle was also created to help alleviate the pains experienced with Blockchain scaling. IOTAs Tangle creates consensus on a regional level; basically neighbors looking at what other neighbors are doing.
As the tangle of neighbors grows with more participants the security of the system increases, along with the speed of confirmation times. IOTA has currently been criticized for its still lengthy confirmation times and its current levels of centralization via their Coordinators. This centralization is due to the fact that at this moment in time the main team works as watchtower to oversee how Tangle network grows so that it does not suffer from attacks.
Consensus is reached within IOTA by means of having each node confirm two transactions before that same node is able to send a given transaction. This leads to the mantra of “the more people use IOTA, the more transactions get referenced and confirmed.” This creates an environment where transactional scaling has no limits. IOTA has no transaction fees and upon reaching high adoption the transactions ought to be very fast.
Another promising aspect about IOTA is that it has an integrated quantum-resistant algorithm, the Winternitz One-Time Signature Scheme, that would protect IOTA against an attack of future quantum computers. This without a doubt provides IOTA with much better protection against an adversary with a quantum computer when compared to Bitcoin.
ByteBall is IOTA’s most direct competitor. They both possess the same transaction speed of 100+ TPS, they both have their own respective cryptocurrencies, and they both have transparent transactions. ByteBall’s token is the ByteBall Bytes (GBYTE), with a supply of 1,000,000; currently trading at around $700. ByteBall aims to service the market with tamper proof storage for all types of data. ByteBall’s DAG also provides an escrow like system called “conditional payments;” which allows for conditional clauses before settling transactions.
Like IOTA, ByteBall is also designed to scale its transaction size to meet the needs of a global demand. ByteBall provides access to integrated bots for transactions which includes the capacity for prediction markets, P2P betting, P2P payments in chat, and P2P insurance. ByteBall’s initial coin distribution is still being awarded to BTC and Bytes holders according to the proportional amounts of BTC or Bytes that are held per wallet. IOTA, ByteBall and Hashgraph are technologies that provide us with more than enough reasons to be hopeful for 2018. In terms of the crypto market, you don’t learn it once. You have to relearn it every day because its development is so infant. If you are new to crypto and feel lost at all know that you are not alone. These technologies are constantly evolving with new competitive options in the market.
As the technologies grow the ease for adoption is set to grow alongside innovation. We are all new to this world and we are all as much in shock of its ingenuity as the next newbie. Crypto is mesmerizing not just for its volatility which is a clear indication of how connected we are now to one another, but also because of the social revolution that it represents. We are experiencing the multidirectional growth of humanity via the free market.
Meanwhile Bitcoin Is Turning Into Shitcoin
It is with a great degree of sadness that I see bitcoin is on the cusp of destroying itself. Bitcoin Core, anyway. Bitcoin Cash may be the winner from all of this once all is said and done.
Whether by design or by accident, bitcoin has become slow and expensive.
Many people point out that IF the market were to upgrade to Segwit that all would be fine. I’ll explain further below why many market participants have no incentive to upgrade to Segwit… meaning that the implementation of Segwit has been a massively risky guess that so far has not worked.
Others say that the Lightning Network (LN) will save bitcoin. I’ll point out below why that will not happen.
Lightning Networks And The Future Of Bitcoin Core
If you’ve been following bitcoin for any length of time, you’re probably aware of the significant dispute over how to scale the network. The basic problem is that although bitcoin could be used at one time to buy, say, a cup of coffee, the number of transactions being recorded on the network bid up the price per transaction so much that actually sending BTC cost more than the cup of coffee itself. Indeed, analysis showed that there were many Bitcoin addresses that had such small BTC holdings that the address itself couldn’t be used to transfer it to a different address. These are referred to as “unspendable addresses.”
In the ensuing debate, the “big blockers” wanted to increase the size of each block in the chain in order to allow for greater transaction capacity. The “small blockers” wanted to reduce the size of each transaction using a technique called Segregated Witness (SegWit) and keep the blocks in the chain limited to 1MB.
SegWit reduces the amount of data in each transaction by around 40-50%, resulting in an increased capacity from 7 transactions per second to perhaps 15.
The software engineers who currently control the Bitcoin Core code repository have stated that what Bitcoin needs is “off-chain transactions.” To do this, they have created something called Lightning Networks (LN), based on an software invention called the “two-way peg.” Put simply, the two-way peg involves creating an escrow address in Bitcoin where each party puts some bitcoin into the account, and then outside the blockchain, they exchange hypothetical Bitcoin transactions that either of them can publish on Bitcoin’s blockchain in order to pull their current agreed-upon balance out of the escrow address.
Most layman explanations of how this works describe the protocol as each party putting in an equal amount of Bitcoin into the escrow. If you and I want to start transacting off-chain, so we can have a fast, cheap payment system, we each put some Bitcoin in a multi-party address. I put in 1 BTC and you put in 1 BTC, and then we can exchange what are essentially cryptographic contracts that either of us can reveal on the bitcoin blockchain in order to exit our agreement and get our bitcoin funds.
Fortunately, it turns out that the video’s examples don’t tell the whole story. It’s possible for the escrow account to be asymmetric. See:. That is, one party can put in 1 BTC, while the other party puts in, say, 0.0001 BTC. (Core developer and forthcoming Anarchapulco speaker Jimmy Song tells us that there are game theoretic reasons why you don’t want the counterparty to have ZERO stake.)
Great! It makes sense for Starbucks to participate with their customers in Lightning Networks because when their customers open an LN channel (basically a gift card) with them for $100, they only have to put in $1 worth of Bitcoin. Each time the customer transacts on the Lightning Network, Starbucks gets an updated hypothetical transaction that they can use to cash out that gift card and collect their bitcoin.
The elephant in the room is: transaction fees. In order to establish the escrow address and thereby open the LN channel, each party has to send some amount of bitcoin to the address. And in order to cash out and get the bitcoin settlement, one party also has to initiate a transaction on the bitcoin blockchain. And to even add funds to the channel, one party has to pay a transaction fee.
Right now fees on the bitcoin blockchain vary widely and are extremely volatile. For a 1-hour confirmation transaction, the recommended fee from one wallet might be $12 US, while on another it’s $21 US. For a priority transaction of 10-20 minutes, it can range from $22-30 US. Transactions fees are based on the number of bytes in the transaction, so if both parties support SegWit (remember that?) then the fee comes down by 40-50%. So it’s between $6 and $10 US for a one hour transaction and between $11-15 for a 15 minute transaction. (SegWit transactions are prioritized by the network to some degree, so actual times may be faster)
But no matter what, both the customer and the merchant have to spend $6 each to establish that they will have a relationship and either of them has to spend $6 in order to settle out and get their bitcoin. Further, if the customer wants to “top off” their virtual gift card, that transaction costs another $6. And because it adds an address to the merchant’s eventual settlement, their cost to get their Bitcoin goes up every time that happens, so now it might cost them $9 to get their bitcoin.
Since these LN channels are essentially digital gift cards, I looked up what the cost is to retailers to sell acustomer a gift card. The merchant processor Square offers such gift cards on their retailer site. Their best price is $0.90 per card.
So the best case is that Lightning Networks are 600% more expensive than physical gift cards to distribute, since the merchant has to put a transaction into the escrow address. Further, the customer is effectively buying the gift card for an additional $6, instead of just putting up the dollar amount that goes on the card.
But it gets worse. If you get a gift card from Square, they process the payments on the card and periodically deposit cash into your bank account for a percentage fee. If you use the Lightning Network, you can only access your Bitcoin by cancelling the agreement with the customer. In other words, you have to invalidate their current gift card and force them to spend $6 on a new one! And it costs you $6 to collect your funds and another $6 to sell the new gift card!
I’m sure many of you have worked in retail. And you can understand how this would be financially infeasible. The cost of acquiring a new customer, and the amount of value that customer would have to stake just to do business with that one merchant, would be enormous to make any financial sense.
From time immemorial, when transaction costs rise, we see the creation of middlemen.
Merchants who can’t afford to establish direct channels with their customers will have to turn to middlemen, who will open LN channels for them. Instead of directly backing and cashing out their digital gift cards, they will establish relationships with entities that consolidate transactions, much like Square or Visa would do today.
Starbucks corporate or individual locations might spend a few USD on opening a payment channel with the middleman, and then once a month spend 6 USD to cash out their revenues in order to cover accounts payable.
In the meantime, the middleman also has to offer the ability to open LN channels for consumers. This still happens at a fixed initial cost, much like the annual fee for a credit card in the US. They would continue to require minimum balances, and would offer access to a network of merchants, exactly like Visa and MasterCard today.
This process requires a tremendous amount of capital because although the middleman does not have to stake Bitcoin in the consumer’s escrow account, he does have to stake it in the merchant’s account. In other words, if the Lightning Network middleman wants to do business with Starbucks to the tune of $100,000/month, he needs $100,000 of bitcoin to lock into an escrow address. And that has to happen for every merchant.
Because every month (or so) the merchants have to cash out of their bitcoin to fiat in order to pay for their cost of goods and make payroll. Even if their vendors and employees are paid in bitcoin and they have LN channels open with them, someone somewhere will want to convert to fiat, and trigger a closing channel creating a cascading settlement effect that eventually arrives at the middleman. Oh, and it triggers lots of bitcoin transactions that cost lots of fees.
Did I mention that each step in the channel is expecting a percentage of the value of the channel when it’s settled? This will come up again later.
Again, if you’ve worked in the retail business, you should be able to see how infeasible this would be. You have to buy inventory and you have to sell it to customers and every part that makes the transaction more expensive is eating away at your margins.
Further, if you’re the middleman and Starbucks closes out a channel with a $100,000 stake where they take $95,000 of the bitcoin, how do you re-open the channel? You need another $95,000 in capital. You have revenue, of course, from the consumer side of your business. Maybe you have 950 consumers that just finished off their $100 digital gift cards. So now you can cash them out to bitcoin for just $5700 in transaction fees, and lose 5.7% on the deal.
In order to make money in that kind of scenario, you have to charge LN transaction fees. And because your loss is 5.7%, you need to charge in the range of 9% to settle Lightning Network transactions. Also, you just closed out 950 customers who now have to spend $5700 to become your customer again while you have to spend $5700 to re-acquire them as customers. So maybe you need to charge more like 12%.
If you approached Starbucks and said “you can accept Bitcoin for your customers and we just need 12% of the transaction,” what are the odds that they would say yes? Even Visa only has the balls to suggest 3%, and they have thousands and thousands of times as many consumers as bitcoin.
The entire mission of bitcoin was to be faster, cheaper and better than banks, while eliminating centralized control of the currency. If the currency part of Bitcoin is driven by “off-chain transactions” while bitcoin itself remains expensive and slow, then these off-chain transactions will become the territory of centralized parties who have access to enormous amounts of capital and can charge customers exorbitant rates. We know them today as banks.
Even for banks, we have to consider what it means to tie up $100,000/month for a merchant account. That only makes sense if the exchange rate of bitcoin grows faster than the cost of retaining Bitcoin inventory. It costs nothing to store Bitcoin, but it costs a lot to acquire it. At the very least the $6 per transaction to buy it, plus the shift in its value against fiat that’s based on interest rates. As a result, it only makes sense to become a Lightning Network middleman if your store of value (bitcoin) appreciates at greater than the cost of acquiring it (interest rate of fiat.) And while interest rates are very low, that’s not a high bar to set. But to beat it, Bitcoin’s exchange rate to fiat has to outpace the best rate available to the middleman by a factor exceeding the opportunity cost of other uses of that capital.
Whatever that rate is, for bitcoin, the only reason the exchange rate changes is new entry of capital into the “price” of bitcoin. For that to work, bitcoin’s “price” must continue to rise faster than the cost of capital for holding it. So far this has happened, but it’s a market gamble for it to continue.
Since it happens because of new capital entering into the bitcoin network and thus increasing the market cap, this results in Bitcoin Core becoming the very thing that its detractors accuse it of: a Ponzi scheme. The cost of transacting in Bitcoin becomes derived from the cost of holding bitcoin and becomes derived from the cost of entering bitcoin.
Every middleman has to place a bet on the direction of bitcoin in a given period. And in theory, if they think the trend is against Bitcoin, then they’ll cash out and shut down all the payment channels that they transact. If they bought bitcoin at $15,000, and they see it dropping to $13,000 — they’ll probably cash out their merchant channels and limit their risk of a further drop. The consumer side doesn’t matter so much because their exposure is only 1%, but the merchant side is where they had to stake everything.
If you’re wondering why this information is not widely known, it’s because most bitcoin proponents don’t transact in bitcoin on a regular basis. They may be HODLing, but they aren’t doing business in bitcoin.
Through Anarchapulco, TDV does frequent and substantial business in bitcoin, and we’ve paid fees over $150 in order to consolidate ticket sale transactions into single addresses that can be redeemed for fiat to purchase stage equipment for the conference.
For Bitcoin to be successful at a merchant level via Lightning Networks, we will have to see blockchain transactions become dramatically cheaper. If they return to the sub-$1 range, we might have a chance with centralized middlemen, but only with a massive stabilization of volatility. If they return to $0.10, we might have a chance with direct channels.
Otherwise, Lightning Networks can’t save bitcoin as a means of everyday transaction. And since that takes away its utility, it might very well take away the basis of its value and bitcoin could find itself truly being a tulip bubble.
One final note: there are a some parties for whom all these transactions are dramatically cheaper. That is the cryptocurrency exchanges. Because they are the entry and exit points for bitcoin-to-fiat, they can eliminate a layer of transaction costs and thus offer much more competitive rates — as long as you keep your bitcoin in their vaults instead of securing it yourselves.
Sending it out of their control lessens their competitive advantage against other means of storage. It comes as no surprise, then, that they are the least advanced in implementing the SegWit technology that would improve transaction costs and speed. If you buy bitcoin on Poloniex, it works better for them if it’s expensive for you to move that coin to your Trezor.
In fact, an exchange offering Lightning Network channels to merchants could potentially do the following…
1) Stake bitcoins in channels with merchants. These coins may or may not be funds that are held by their customers. There is no way to know.
2) Offer customers “debit card” accounts for those merchants that are backed by the Lightning network
3) Establish middle addresses for the customer accounts and the merchant addresses on the Lightning Network.
4) Choose to ignore double-spends between the customer accounts and the merchant addresses, because they don’t actually have to stake the customer side. They can just pretend to since they control the customer’s keys.
5) Inflate their bitcoin holdings up to the stake from the merchants, since the customers will almost never cash out in practice.
In other words, Lightning Networks allow exchanges a clear path to repeating Mtgox; lie to the consumer about their balance while keeping things clean with the merchant. In other words, establish a fractional reserve approach to bitcoin.
So, to summarize, Bitcoin Core decided increasing the blocksize from 1mb to 2-8mb was “too risky” and decided to create Segwit instead which the market has not adopted. When asked when bitcoin will be faster and less expensive to transfer most Bitcoin Core adherents say the Lightning Network will fix the problems.
But, as I’ve just shown, the LN makes no sense for merchants to use and will likely result in banks taking over LN nodes and making BTC similar to Visa and Mastercard but more expensive. And, will likely result in exchanges becoming like banks of today and having fractional reserve systems which makes bitcoin not much better than the banking system of today.
Or, people can switch to Bitcoin Cash, which just increased the blocksize and has much faster transaction times at a fraction of the cost.
I’ve begun to sell some of my bitcoin holdings because of what is going on. I’ve increased my Bitcoin Cash holdings and also increased my holdings of Dash, Monero, Litecoin and our latest recommendation, Zcash.
Other News & Crypto Tidbits
When bitcoin surpassed $17,600 in December it surpassed the total value of the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR) currency.
Meanwhile, Alexei Kireyev of the IMF put out his working paper, “ The Macroeconomics of De-Cashing ,” where he advises abolishing cash without having the public aware of the process.
Countries such as Russia are considering creating a cryptocurrency backed by oil to get around the US dollar and the US dollar banking system. Venezuela is as well although we highly doubt it will be structured properly or function well given the communist government’s track record of destroying two fiat currencies in the last decade.
To say that the US dollar is being attacked on every level is not an understatement. Cryptocurrencies threaten the entire monetary and financial system while oil producing countries look to move away from the US dollar to their own oil backed cryptocurrency.
And all this as bitcoin surpassed the value of the IMF’s SDR in December and in 2017 the US dollar had its largest drop versus other currencies since 2003.
And cryptocurrency exchanges have begun to surpass even the NASDAQ and NYSE in terms of revenue. Bittrex, as one example, had $3 billion in volume on just one day in December. At a 0.5% fee per trade that equaled $15m in revenue in just one day. If that were to continue for 365 days it would mean $5.4 billion in annual revenue which is more than the NASDAQ or NYSE made this year.
Conclusion
I never would have guessed how high the cryptocurrencies went this year. My price target for bitcoin in 2017 was $3,500! That was made in late 2016 when bitcoin was near $700 and many people said I was crazy.
Things are speeding up much faster than even I could have imagined. And it is much more than just making money. These technologies, like cryptocurrencies, blockchains and beyond connect us in a more profound way than Facebook would ever be able to. We are now beginning to be connected in ways we never even thought of; and to some degree still do not understand. These connections within this completely free market are deep and meaningful.
This is sincerely beautiful because we are constantly presented with an ever growing buffet of competing protocols selling us their best efforts in providing harmony within the world. What all of these decentralized and distributed consensus building technologies have in common is that they connect us to the world and to each other. Where we are going we don’t need foolish and trite Facebook’s emojis.
As we close a successful 2017 we look with optimism towards a much more prosperous 2018. The Powers That Shouldn’t Be (TPTSB) can’t stop us. As we move forward note how much crypto will teach you about ourselves and the world. In a radical free market making our own bets will continue to be a process of self discovery. Crypto will show us the contours of our fears, the contours of our greed, and will constantly challenge us to do our best with the knowledge we have.
Remember, randomness and innovation are proper to the happenstance nature of a true digital free market.
Happy New Year fellow freedom lovers!
And, as always, thank you for subscribing!
Jeff Berwick
submitted by 2012ronpaul2012 to conspiracy [link] [comments]

Trading Cryptocurrency Markets

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Major Exchanges
In finance, an exchange is a forum or platform for trading commodities, derivatives, securities or other financial instruments. The principle concern of an exchange is to allow trading between parties to take place in a fair and legally compliant manner, as well as to ensure that pricing information for any instrument traded on the exchange is reliable and coherently delivered to exchange participants. In the cryptocurrency space exchanges are online platforms that allow users to trade cryptocurrencies or digital currencies for fiat money or other cryptocurrencies. They can be centralized exchanges such a Binance, or decentralized exchanges such as IDEX. Most cryptocurrency exchanges allow users to trade different crypto assets with BTC or ETH after having already exchanged fiat currency for one of those cryptocurrencies. Coinbase and Kraken are the main avenue for fiat money to enter into the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Function and History
Crypto exchanges can be market-makers that take bid/ask spreads as a commission on the transaction for facilitating the trade, or more often charge a small percentage fee for operating the forum in which the trade was made. Most crypto exchanges operate outside of Western countries, enabling them to avoid stringent financial regulations and the potential for costly and lengthy legal proceedings. These entities will often maintain bank accounts in multiple jurisdictions, allowing the exchange to accept fiat currency and process transactions from customers all over the globe.
The concept of a digital asset exchange has been around since the late 2000s and the following initial attempts at running digital asset exchanges foreshadows the trouble involved in attempting to disrupt the operation of the fiat currency baking system. The trading of digital or electronic assets predate Bitcoin’s creation by several years, with the first electronic trading entities running afoul of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in late 2004. Companies such as Goldex, SydneyGoldSales, and Ozzigold, shut down voluntarily after ASIC found that they were operating without an Australian Financial Services License. E-Gold, which exchanged fiat USD for grams of precious metals in digital form, was possibly the first digital currency exchange as we know it, allowing users to make instant transfers to the accounts of other E-Gold members. At its peak in 2006 E-Gold processed $2 billion worth of transactions and boasted a user base of over 5 million people.
Popular Exchanges
Here we will give a brief overview of the features and operational history of the more popular and higher volume exchanges because these are the platforms to which newer traders will be exposed. These exchanges are recommended to use because they are the industry standard and they inspire the most confidence.
Bitfinex
Owned and operated by iFinex Inc, the cryptocurrency trading platform Bitfinex was the largest Bitcoin exchange on the planet until late 2017. Headquartered in Hong Kong and based in the US Virgin Island, Bitfinex was one of the first exchanges to offer leveraged trading (“Margin trading allows a trader to open a position with leverage. For example — we opened a margin position with 2X leverage. Our base assets had increased by 10%. Our position yielded 20% because of the 2X leverage. Standard trades are traded with leverage of 1:1”) and also pioneered the use of the somewhat controversial, so-called “stable coin” Tether (USDT).
Binance
Binance is an international multi-language cryptocurrency exchange that rose from the mid-rank of cryptocurrency exchanges to become the market dominating behemoth we see today. At the height of the late 2017/early 2018 bull run, Binance was adding around 2 million new users per week! The exchange had to temporarily disallow new registrations because its servers simply could not keep up with that volume of business. After the temporary ban on new users was lifted the exchange added 240,000 new accounts within two hours.
Have you ever thought whats the role of the cypto exchanges? The answer is simple! There are several different types of exchanges that cater to different needs within the ecosystem, but their functions can be described by one or more of the following: To allow users to convert fiat currency into cryptocurrency. To trade BTC or ETH for alt coins. To facilitate the setting of prices for all crypto assets through an auction market mechanism. Simply put, you can either mine cryptocurrencies or purchase them, and seeing as the mining process requires the purchase of expensive mining equipment, Cryptocurrency exchanges can be loosely grouped into one of the 3 following exchange types, each with a slightly different role or combination of roles.
Have you ever thought about what are the types of Crypto exchanges?
  1. Traditional Cryptocurrency Exchange: These are the type that most closely mimic traditional stock exchanges where buyers and sellers trade at the current market price of whichever asset they want, with the exchange acting as the intermediary and charging a small fee for facilitating the trade. Kraken and GDAX are examples of this kind of cryptocurrency exchange. Fully peer-to-peer exchanges that operate without a middleman include EtherDelta, and IDEX, which are also examples of decentralized exchanges.
  2. Cryptocurrency Brokers: These are website or app based exchanges that act like a Travelex or other bureau-de-change. They allow customers to buy or sell crypto assets at a price set by the broker (usually market price plus a small premium). Coinbase is an example of this kind of exchange.
  3. Direct Trading Platform: These platforms offer direct peer-to-peer trading between buyers and sellers, but don’t use an exchange platform in doing so. These types of exchanges do not use a set market rate; rather, sellers set their own rates. This is a highly risky form of trading, from which new users should shy away.
To understand how an exchange functions we need only look as far as a traditional stock exchange. Most all the features of a cryptocurrency exchange are analogous to features of trading on a traditional stock exchange. In the simplest terms, the exchanges fulfil their role as the main marketplace for crypto assets of all kinds by catering to buyers or sellers. These are some definitions for the basic functions and features to know: Market Orders: Orders that are executed instantly at the current market price. Limit Order: This is an order that will only be executed if and when the price has risen to or dropped to that price specified by the trader and is also within the specified period of time. Transaction fees: Exchanges will charge transactions fees, usually levied on both the buyer and the seller, but sometimes only the seller is charged a fee. Fees vary on different exchanges though the norm is usually below 0.75%. Transfer charges: The exchange is in effect acting as a sort of escrow agent, to ensure there is no foul play, so it might also charge a small fee when you want to withdraw cryptocurrency to your own wallet.
Regulatory Environment and Evolution
Cryptocurrency has come a long way since the closing down of the Silk Road darknet market. The idea of crypto currency being primarily for criminals, has largely been seen as totally inaccurate and outdated. In this section we focus on the developing regulations surrounding the cryptocurrency asset class by region, and we also look at what the future may hold.
The United States of America
A coherent uniform approach at Federal or State level has yet to be implemented in the United States. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network published guidelines as early as 2013 suggesting that BTC and other cryptos may fall under the label of “money transmitters” and thus would be required to take part in the same Anti-money Laundering (AML) and Know your Client (KYC) procedures as other money service businesses. At the state level, Texas applies its existing finance laws. And New York has instituted an entirely new licensing system.
The European Union
The EU’s approach to cryptocurrency has generally been far more accommodating overall than the United States, partly due to the adaptable nature of pre-existing laws governing electronic money that predated the creation of Bitcoin. As with the USA, the EU’s main fear is money laundering and criminality. The European Central Bank (ECB) categorized BTC as a “convertible decentralized currency” and advised all central banks in the EU to refrain from trading any cryptocurrencies until the proper regulatory framework was put in place. A task force was then set up by the European Parliament in order to prevent and investigate any potential money laundering that was making use of the new technology.
Likely future regulations for cryptocurrency traders within the European Union and North America will probably consist of the following proposals: The initiation of full KYC procedures so that users cannot remain fully anonymous, in order to prevent tax evasion and curtail money laundering. Caps on payments that can be made in cryptocurrency, similar to caps on traditional cash transactions. A set of rules governing tax obligations regarding cryptocurrencies Regulation by the ECB of any companies that offer exchanges between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies It is less likely for other countries to follow the Chinese approach and completely ban certain aspects of cryptocurrency trading. It is widely considered more progressive and wiser to allow the technology to grow within a balanced accommodative regulatory framework that takes all interests and factors into consideration. It is probable that the most severe form of regulation will be the formation of new governmental bodies specifically to form laws and exercise regulatory control over the cryptocurrency space. But perhaps that is easier said than done. It may, in certain cases, be incredibly difficult to implement particular regulations due to the anonymous and decentralized nature of crypto.
Behavior of Cryptocurrency Investors by Demographic
Due to the fact that cryptocurrency has its roots firmly planted in the cryptography community, the vast majority of early adopters are representative of that group. In this section we cover the basic structure of the cryptocurrency market cycle and the makeup of the community at large, as well as the reasons behind different trading decisions.
The Cryptocurrency Market Cycle
Bitcoin leads the bull rally. FOMO (Fear of missing out) occurs, the price surge is a constant topic of mainstream news, business programs cover the story, and social media is abuzz with cryptocurrency chatter. Bitcoin reaches new All Timehigh (ATH) Market euphoria is fueled with even more hype and the cycle is in full force. There is a constant stream of news articles and commentary on the meteoric, seemingly unstoppable rise of Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s price “stabilizes”, In the 2017 bull run this was at or around $14,000. A number of solid, large market cap altcoins rise along with Bitcoin; ETH & LTC leading the altcoins at this time. FOMO comes into play, as the new ATH in market cap is reached by pumping of a huge number of alt coins.
Top altcoins “somewhat” stabilize, after reaching new all-time highs. The frenzy continues with crypto success stories, notable figures and famous people in the news. A majority of lesser known cryptocurrencies follow along on the upward momentum. Newcomers are drawn deeper into crypto and sign up for exchanges other than the main entry points like Coinbase and Kraken. In 2017 this saw Binance inundated with new registrations. Some of the cheapest coins are subject to massive pumping, such as Tron TRX which saw a rise in market cap from $150 million at the start of December 2017 to a peak of $16 billion! At this stage, even dead coins or known scams will get pumped. The price of the majority of cryptocurrencies stabilize, and some begin to retract. When the hype is subsiding after a huge crypto bull run, it is a massive sell signal. Traditional investors will begin to give interviews about how people need to be careful putting money into such a highly volatile asset class. Massive violent correction begins and the market starts to collapse. BTC begins to fall consistently on a daily basis, wiping out the insane gains of many medium to small cap cryptos with it. Panic selling sweeps through the market. Depression sets in, both in the markets, and in the minds of individual investors who failed to take profits, or heed the signs of imminent collapse. The price stagnation can last for months, or even years.
The Influence of Age upon Trading
Did you know? Cryptocurrencies have been called “stocks for millennials” According to a survey conducted by the Global Blockchain Business Council, only 5% of the American public own any bitcoin, but of those that do, an overwhelming majority of 71% are men, 58% of them are between the ages of 18 and 35, and over half of them are minorities. The same survey gauged public attitude toward the high risk/high return nature of cryptocurrency, in comparison to more secure guaranteed small percentage gains offered by government bonds or stocks, and found that 30% would rather invest $1,000 in crypto. Over 42% of millennials were aware of cryptocurrencies as opposed to only 15% of those ages 65 and over. In George M. Korniotis and Alok Kumar’s study into the effects of aging on portfolio management and the quality of decisions made by older investors, they found “that older and experienced investors are more likely to follow “rules of thumb” that reflect greater investment knowledge. However, older investors are less effective in applying their investment knowledge and exhibit worse investment skill, especially if they are less educated and earn lower income.”
Geographic Influence upon Trading
One of the main drivers of the apparent seasonal ebb and flow of cryptocurrency prices is the tax situation in the various territories that have the highest concentrations of cryptocurrency holders. Every year we see an overall market pull back beginning in mid to late January, with a recovery beginning usually after April. This is because “Tax Season” is roughly the same across Europe and the United States, with the deadline for Income tax returns being April 15th in the United States, and the tax year officially ending the UK on the 6th of April. All capital gains must be declared before the window closes or an American trader will face the powerful and long arm of the IRS with the consequent legal proceedings and possible jail time. Capital gains taxes around the world vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but there are often incentives for cryptocurrency holders to refrain from trading for over a year to qualify their profits as long term gain when they finally sell. In the US and Australia, for example, capital gains are reduced if you bought cryptocurrency for investment purposes and held it for over a year. In Germany if crypto assets are held for over a year then the gains derived from their sale are not taxed. Advantages like this apply to individual tax returns, on a case by case basis, and it is up to the investor to keep up to date with the tax codes of the territory in which they reside.
2013 Bull run vs 2017 Bull run price Analysis
In late 2016 cryptocurrency traders were faced with the task of distinguishing between the beginnings of a genuine bull run and what might colorfully be called a “dead cat bounce” (in traditional market terminology). Stagnation had gripped the market since the pull-back of early 2014. The meteoric rise of Bitcoin’s price in 2013 peaked with a price of $1,100 in November 2013, after a year of fantastic news on the adoption front with both Microsoft and PayPal offering BTC payment options. It is easy to look at a line going up on a chart and speak after the fact, but at the time, it is exceeding difficult to say whether the cat is actually climbing up the wall, or just bouncing off the ground. Here, we will discuss the factors that gave savvy investors clues as to why the 2017 bull run was going to outstrip the 2013 rally. Hopefully this will help give insight into how to differentiate between the signs of a small price increase and the start of a full scale bull run. Most importantly, Volume was far higher in 2017. As we can see in the graphic below, the 2017 volume far exceeds the volume of BTC trading during the 2013 price increase. The stranglehold MtGox held on trading made a huge bull run very difficult and unlikely.
Fraud & Immoral Activity in the Private Market
Ponzi Schemes Cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes will be covered in greater detail in Lesson 7, but we need to get a quick overview of the main features of Ponzi schemes and how to spot them at this point in our discussion. Here are some key indicators of a Ponzi scheme, both in cryptocurrencies and traditional investments: A guaranteed promise of high returns with little risk. Consistentflow of returns regardless of market conditions. Investments that have not been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Investment strategies that are a secret, or described as too complex. Clients not allowed to view official paperwork for their investment. Clients have difficulties trying to get their money back. The initial members of the scheme, most likely unbeknownst to the later investors, are paid their “dividends” or “profits” with new investor cash. The most famous modern-day example of a Ponzi scheme in the traditional world, is Bernie Madoff’s $100 billion fraudulent enterprise, officially titled Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. And in the crypto world, BitConnect is the most infamous case of an entirely fraudulent project which boasted a market cap of $2 billion at its peak.
What are the Exchange Hacks?
The history of cryptocurrency is littered with examples of hacked exchanges, some of them so severe that the operation had to be wound up forever. As we have already discussed, incredibly tech savvy and intelligent computer hackers led by Alexander Vinnik stole 850000 BTC from the MtGox exchange over a period from 2012–2014 resulting in the collapse of the exchange and a near-crippling hammer blow to the emerging asset class that is still being felt to this day. The BitGrail exchange suffered a similar style of attack in late 2017 and early 2018, in which Nano (XRB) was stolen that was at one point was worth almost $195 million. Even Bitfinex, one of the most famous and prestigious exchanges, has suffered a hack in 2016 where $72 million worth of BTC was stolen directly from customer accounts.
Hardware Wallet Scam Case Study
In late 2017, an unfortunate character on Reddit, going by the name of “moody rocket” relayed his story of an intricate scam in which his newly acquired hardware wallet was compromised, and his $34,000 life savings were stolen. He bought a second hand Nano ledger into which the scammers own recover seed had already been inserted. He began using the ledger without knowing that the default seed being used was not a randomly assigned seed. After a few weeks the scammer struck, and withdrew all the poor HODLer’s XRP, Dash and Litecoin into their own wallet (likely through a few intermediary wallets to lessen the very slim chances of being identified).
Hardware Wallet Scam Case Study Social Media Fraud
Many gullible and hapless twitter users have fallen victim to the recent phenomenon of scammers using a combination of convincing fake celebrity twitter profiles and numerous amounts of bots to swindle them of ETH or BTC. The scammers would set up a profile with a near identical handle to a famous figure in the tech sphere, such as Vitalik Buterin or Elon Musk. And then in the tweet, immediately following a genuine message, follow up with a variation of “Bonus give away for the next 100 lucky people, send me 0.1 ETH and I will send you 1 ETH back”, followed by the scammers ether wallet address. The next 20 or so responses will be so-called sockpuppet bots, thanking the fake account for their generosity. Thus, the pot is baited and the scammers can expect to receive potentially hundreds of donations of 0.1 Ether into their wallet. Many twitter users with a large follower base such as Vitalik Buterin have taken to adding “Not giving away ETH” to their username to save careless users from being scammed.
Market Manipulation
It also must be recognized that market manipulation is taking place in cryptocurrency. For those with the financial means i.e. whales, there are many ways in which to control the market in a totally immoral and underhanded way for your own profit. It is especially easy to manipulate cryptos that have a very low trading volume. The manipulator places large buy orders or sell walls to discourage price action in one way or the other. Insider trading is also a significant problem in cryptocurrency, as we saw with the example of blatant insider trading when Bitcoin Cash was listed on Coinbase.
Examples of ICO Fraudulent Company Behavior
In the past 2 years an astronomical amount of money has been lost in fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings. The utmost care and attention must be employed before you invest. We will cover this area in greater detail with a whole lesson devoted to the topic. However, at this point, it is useful to look at the main instances of ICO fraud. Among recent instances of fraudulent ICOs resulting in exit scams, 2 of the most infamous are the Benebit and PlexCoin ICOs which raised $4 million for the former and $15 million for the latter. Perhaps the most brazen and damaging ICO scam of all time was the Vietnamese Pincoin ICO operation, where $660million was raised from 32,000 investors before the scammer disappeared with the funds. In case of smaller ICO “exit scamming” there is usually zero chance of the scammers being found. Investors must just take the hit. We will cover these as well as others in Lesson 7 “Scam Projects”.
Signposts of Fraudulent Actors
The following factors are considered red flags when investigating a certain project or ICO, and all of them should be considered when deciding whether or not you want to invest. Whitepaper is a buzzword Salad: If the whitepaper is nothing more than a collection of buzzwords with little clarity of purpose and not much discussion of the tech involved, it is overwhelmingly likely you are reading a scam whitepaper.
Signposts of Fraudulent Actors §2
No Code Repository: With the vast majority of cryptocurrency projects employing open source code, your due diligence investigation should start at GitHub or Sourceforge. If the project has no entries, or nothing but cloned code, you should avoid it at all costs. Anonymous Team: If the team members are hard to find, or if you see they are exaggerating or lying about their experience, you should steer clear. And do not forget, in addition to taking proper precautions when investing in ICOs, you must always make sure that you are visiting authentic web pages, especially for web wallets. If, for example, you are on a spoof MyEtherWallet web page you could divulge your private key without realizing it and have your entire portfolio of Ether and ERC-20 tokens cleaned out.
Methods to Avoid falling Victim
Avoiding scammers and the traps they set for you is all about asking yourself the right questions, starting with: Is there a need for a Blockchain solution for the particular problem that a particular ICO is attempting to solve? The existing solution may be less costly, less time consuming, and more effective than the proposals of a team attempting to fill up their soft cap in an ICO. The following quote from Mihai Ivascu, the CEO of Modex, should be kept in mind every time you are grading an ICO’s chances of success: “I’m pretty sure that 95% of ICOswill not last, and many will go bankrupt. ….. not everything needs to be decentralized and put on an open source ledger.”
Methods to Avoid falling Victim §2 Do I Trust These People with My Money, or Not?
If you continue to feel uneasy about investing in the project, more due diligence is needed. The developers must be qualified and competent enough to complete the objectives that they have set out in the whitepaper.
Is this too good to be true?
All victims of the well-known social media scams using fake profiles of Vitalik Buterin, or Bitconnect investors for that matter, should have asked themselves this simple question, and their investment would have been saved. In the case of Bitconnect, huge guaranteed gains proportional to the amount of people you can get to sign up was a blatant pyramid scheme, obviously too good to be true. The same goes for Fake Vitalik’s offer of 1 ether in exchange for 0.1 ETH.
Selling Cryptocurrencies, Several reasons for selling with the appropriate actions to take:
If you are selling to buy into an ICO, or maybe believe Ether is a safer currency to hold for a certain period of time, it is likely you will want to make use of the Ether pair and receive Ether in return. Obviously if the ICO is on the NEO or WANchain blockchain for example, you will use the appropriate pair. -Trading to buy into another promising project that is listing on the exchange on which you are selling (or you think the exchange will experience a large amount of volume and become a larger exchange), you may want to trade your cryptocurrency for that exchange token. -If you believe that BTC stands a good chance of experiencing a bull run then using the BTC trading pair is the suitable choice. -If you believe that the market is about to experience a correction but you do not want to take your gains out of the market yet, selling for Tether or “tethering up” is the best play. This allows you to keep your locked-in profits on the exchange, unaffected by the price movements in the cryptocurrency markets,so that you can buy back in at the most profitable moment. -If you wish to “cash out” i.e. sell your cryptocurrency for fiat currency and have those funds in your bank account, the best pair to use is ETH or BTC because you will likely have to transfer to an exchange like Kraken or Coinbase to convert them into fiat. If the exchange offers Litecoin or Bitcoin Cash pairs it could be a good idea to use these for their fast transaction time and low fees.
Selling Cryptocurrencies
Knowing when and how to sell, as well as strategies to inflate the value of your trade before sale, are important skills as a trader of any product or financial instrument. If you are satisfied that the sale itself of the particular amount of a token or coin you are trading away is the right one, then you must decide at what price you are going to sell. Exchanges exercise their own discretion as to which trading “pairs” they will offer, but the most common ones are BTC, ETH, BNB for Binance, BIX for Bibox etc., and sometimes Tether (USDT) or NEO. As a trader, you decide which particular cryptocurrency to exchange depending on your reason for making that specific trade at that time.
Methods of Sale
Market sell/Limit sell on exchange: A limit sell is an order placed on an exchange to sell as soon as (also specifically only if and when) the price you specified has been hit within the time limit you select. A market order executes the sale immediately at the best possible price offered by the market at that exact time. OTC (or Over the Counter) selling refers to sale of securities or cryptocurrencies in any method without using an exchange to intermediate the trade and set the price. The most common way of conducting sales in this manner is through LocalBitcoins.com. This method of cryptocurrency selling is far riskier than using an exchange, for obvious reasons.
The influence and value of your Trade
There are a number of strategies you can use to appreciate the value of your trade and thus increase the Bitcoin or Ether value of your portfolio. It is important to disassociate yourself from the dollar value of your portfolio early on in your cryptocurrency trading career simply because the crypto market is so volatile you will end up pulling your hair out in frustration following the real dollar money value of your holdings. Once your funds have been converted into BTC and ETH they are completely in the crypto sphere. (Some crypto investors find it more appropriate to monitor the value of their portfolio in satoshi or gwei.) Certainly not limited to, but especially good for beginners, the most reliable way to increase your trading profits, and thus the overall value and health of your portfolio, is to buy into promising projects, hold them for 6 months to a year, and then reevaluate. This is called Long term holding and is the tactic that served Bitcoin HODLers quite well, from 2013 to the present day. Obviously, if something comes to light about the project that indicates a lengthy set back is likely, it is often better to cut your losses and sell. You are better off starting over and researching other projects. Also, you should set initial Price Points at which you first take out your original investment, and then later, at which you take out all your profits and exit the project. That should be after you believe the potential for growth has been exhausted for that particular project.
Another method of increasing the value of your trades is ICO flipping. This is the exact opposite of long term holding. This is a technique in which you aim for fast profits taking advantage of initial enthusiasm in the market that may double or triple the value of ICO projects when they first come to market. This method requires some experience using smaller exchanges like IDEX, on which project tokens can be bought and sold before listing on mainstream exchanges. “Tethering up” means to exchange tokens or coins for the USDT stable coin, the value of which is tethered to the US Dollar. If you learn, or know how to use, technical analysis, it is possible to predict when a market retreatment is likely by looking at the price movements of BTC. If you decide a market pull back is likely, you can tether up and maintain the dollar value of your portfolio in tether while other tokens and coins decrease in value. The you wait for an opportune moment to reenter the market.
Market Behavior in Different Time Periods
The main descriptors used for overall market sentiment are “Bull Market” and “Bear Market”. The former describes a market where people are buying on optimism. The latter describes a market where people are selling on pessimism. Fun (or maybe not) fact: The California grizzly bear was brought to extinction by the love of bear baiting as a sport in the mid 1800s. Bears were highly sought after for their intrinsic fighting qualities, and were forced into fighting bulls as Sunday morning entertainment for Californians. What has this got to do with trading and financial markets? The downward swipe of the bear’s paws gives a “Bear market” its name and the upward thrust of a Bull’s horns give the “Bull Market” its name. Most unfortunately for traders, the bear won over 80% of the bouts. During a Bull market, optimism can sometimes grow to be seemingly boundless, volume is rising, and prices are ascending. It can be a good idea to sell or rebalance your portfolio at such a time, especially if you have a particularly large position in one holding or another. This is especially applicable if you need to sell a large amount of a relatively low-volume holding, because you can then do so without dragging the price down by the large size of your own sell order.
Learn more on common behavioral patterns observed so far in the cryptocurrency space for different coins and ICO tokens.
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submitted by UBAI_UNIVERSITY to u/UBAI_UNIVERSITY [link] [comments]

More Bitcoin jerking in the aftermath of closing of the Mt.Gox Bitcoin exchange.

For those of you who don't know, the Mt.Gox Bitcoin exchange closed, taking millions of dollars worth of bitcoins from suckers investors.
The "this is a good thing" jerking has already been detailed to an extent here in /cirlebroke and there are plenty in /Bitcoin who think the collapse is a good thing like this post here, here, here, here, here, etc.
But somehow /Bitcoin has boldly climbed the peaks of jerkeverest to new unheard of heights.
This is the top post in /Bitcoin from a well known figure in the Bitcoin world, Erik Voorhees.
Hello friends,
MtGox is gone. So let's prepare ourselves.
On Tuesday, and for the rest of the week, all hell will break lose in the media. It will be blamed on MtGox, it will be blamed on Bitcoin, it will be blamed on the "bug," and it will, more than anything, be blamed on the "lack of regulation." Pundits and "experts" of all types will weigh in on the calamity. It will be world news in a matter of hours. Get ready, because it will be an ugly week.
For all of you who lost money, my heart goes out to you. Some people lost a little, some lost a fortune. It will make people sick, and depressed, and full of grief. Personally, I had over 550 BTC in Gox. I will never get any of that back. If misery loves company, then we'll be enjoying a grand feast today.
I should have known better, of course. I take responsibility for leaving those funds with an entity that had proven incompetence repeatedly. I chose to ignore even my own warnings, for nothing more than the sake of convenience.
Gox is still at fault, to be sure, but I have learned the lesson. I hope it is not such an expensive lesson for others. And for all you observers, please take a moment to consider it as well.
Be mindful, however, that the wrong lessons are not learned, for that would be the true tragedy, indeed.
Let me suggest that the lesson is not that Bitcoin is broken. Bitcoin is fine.
Similarly, the lesson is not that security is impossible. Those who know what they are doing, can achieve it and help others to do so.
The lesson is not that nobody can be trusted. There are countless good men and women in this community who are worthy of trust, and some of the very best people I've ever met.
And finally, the lesson is not that we ought to seek out "regulation" to save us from the evils and incompetence of man. For the regulators are men too, and wield the very same evil and incompetence, only enshrined in an authority from which it can wreck amplified and far more insidious destruction. Let us not retreat from our rising platform only to cower back underneath the deranged machinations of Leviathan.
The proper lesson, if I may suggest, is this: We are building a new financial order, and those of us building it, investing in it, and growing it, will pay the price of bringing it to the world. This is the harsh truth. We are building the channels, the bridges, and the towers of tomorrow's finance, and we put ourselves at risk in doing so.
We are at risk from accidents. We are at risk from fraud, from corruption, and from evil. We are at risk from journalists seeking headlines and from politicians seeking power and glory. We are at risk from the very market we are trying to build - a market which cares not about our portfolio, our ambitions, or our delicate sympathies. For all these risks, devastation will befall us repeatedly. Some of us will be discouraged. Some will be ridiculed and insulted. Some will be tricked, or swindled. Some of us will be crushed or caged. We will be set upon by all manner of antagonists, repeatedly, for a long time.
So why do we do it? Why do we build these towers that fall down upon us? Why do we toil and strain and risk our precious time, which is the only real wealth we possess?
Because the world needs what we're building. It needs it desperately. If that matters to you, as it does to me, then hold to that thought.
You will see through the smoke, and your wounds will heal.
So shake it off, brothers, for this won't be the last calamity endured before the win.
Tonight, my heart is with you all.
Tomorrow, my head is down. My eyes are open. And I am building.
Toward peace and freedom,
-Erik Voorhees
Like seriously, holy shit.
submitted by sirboozebum to circlebroke [link] [comments]

Evolution of Exchanges

Swap.Online delves into the background of centralized and decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges. As decentralization is our name for the game, we would primarily like to find out whether it was inevitable or not.

From Childhood to the Golden Age: DCEs and CEXs

The first centralized cryptocurrency exchanges had two main pre-historical roots of origin. Ideologically, they originated from the e-commerce exchange services of the early 2000s. Digital Currency Exchanges, or DCEs, were particularly popular in the U.S. and Australia. GoldAge Inc., E-Gold Inc., Liberty Reserve were frequently seen in the headlines mostly due to legal issues, as the U.S. SEC, as well as the Australian ASIC failed many times over to figure out whether the e-gold exchange was a form of banking, money laundering, non-licensed remittances or illegal entrepreneurship. These services exchanged fiat money on different digital currencies (1MDC, E-Gold, eCache etc.) and, in a way, fulfilled the demand of New World and EU citizens for anonymous transactions of digital and fiat money.
But, in fact, the first significant cryptocurrency exchange arose from a surprising source… The website of the online game “Magic: The Gathering Online”. This game’s name refers to a magical world, where the currency system is represented in the form of cards. Jed McCaleb, the programmer from San Francisco and future contributor for Ripple and Stellar, developed the Mt.Gox project with the purpose of trading these cards like traditional stocks. In January 2007, he purchased the domain name mtgox.com, but in 2008, he abandoned the project as a premature venture. One year later, he used this domain to advertise his own online game. In the year of 2010, he read about the concept of Bitcoin and decided to launch the Mt.Gox exchange and exchange rate service allowing to trade Bitcoin freely. The project was released on July 18, 2010.
Rapid commercial growth started when the product was sold to the French-Japanese developer Mark Karpeles in January 2011. It was the year 2011 when Mt.Gox demonstrated the main security challenges that traditional centralized exchanges will encounter all along their development path in the future. These included direct thefts from the platform’s wallets, attacks with multiple ‘ask’ orders, malefactor invasions resulting in price drops (one day, in the spring of 2011, 1 BTC was worth less than 0.01 USD) etc. By the way, the dramatic collapse of February 2014, with more than 750K BTC lost and the $65M civil suit in Tokyo court were still to come. During the years 2012–2013, every 3 of 4 Bitcoins in the world was sold via Mt.Gox, and it was a real success story.
The years 2011–2012 gave birth to the bulk of top centralized cryptocurrency exchanges. BTCC was founded in June 2011 as the first exchange for the Chinese market. At the same time, American developer Jesse Powell had spent a month visiting Mt.Gox offices to offer assistance in the aftermath of the first hack. He was unsatisfied with the level of business organization, and that was how Kraken was founded in July 2011. The infamous BTC-e platform for exchanging rubles for BTC was also launched in July 2011. In late 2011, the largest American exchange BitInstant was founded and started selling Bitcoin via WalMart and Walgreen. 2012 became the year of origin for Bitfinex, Coinbase (first Ethereum marketplace) and LocalBitcoins.

Pros and Cons of Centralized Exchanges

We are now six or seven years away of those days. Today, hundreds of centralized exchanges are offering the services of exchanging BTC, ERC-20 and another cryptos. We can even hardly classify them. Usually, specialists speak about three mainstream types of centralized exchanges.
Trading platforms. They connect buyers and sellers to each other, allowing them to publish trading orders and take some transactional fees (most commonly 0,3 per cent from the taker of the liquidity). For example, Cex.io, BitFinex, BitStamp belong to this group. Usually, these platforms are characterized by a complicated interface, which is not suitable for newbies.
Cryptocurrency brokers. If a trading platform is a local market where you buy goods from their producers, the broker is a small player on the market. They sell coins at definite prices while setting high fees, but allow acquiring cryptos in a simpler manner. Moreover, most of them support a broad range of payment tools. Coinbase, Coinmama, Coinhouse are among the most popular brokers.
Peer-to-peer-services. They simply allow their users to publish announcements about operations with cryptos. The buyer and the seller directly negotiate the prices. It is even possible to find one selling crypto for cash in your neighborhood. The most remarkable example here is LocalBitcoins.
As one can see, now the range of services offered is truly broad. By the way, there is a list of common complaints regarding centralized exchanges both from traders and crypto theoreticians.
Safety. Even a single point of centralization can lead to the massive theft of users’ funds and keys. More than a million BTCs have been stolen by the time of writing of this article.
Regulation. If the center (or even one of the centers) of a CEX is physically located in some country, the position of this country’s government on ICOs and crypto related issues becomes crucial for the future of the project. Legal restrictions in this sector are now imposed in the U.S., China, South Korea, India etc. When your exchange is centralized, the officials can arrest your cryptos for no reason. Moreover, the administration of the exchange can be involved in fraud with your private information and money.
Speed. We have conducted some particular research on the speed of popular CEXs (Binance, Huobi, Poloniex, see p. 11). The results are sad: you can wait dozens of minutes waiting for the pending of your transaction.
KYC/AML. There is nothing to talk about in this regard, we suppose. If you must send someone your photo, a scanned copy of your ID or even proof of income wanting nothing in return but to withdraw your own funds, it is not OK.

Decentralization: The Solution

Decentralization, as the initial meaning and internal essence of blockchain, smart-contracts and cryptocurrencies, was first italicized by Satoshi Nakamoto and even Nick Szabo in 1990–2000-s. The rise of CEXs resulted in an obvious contradiction, because blockchain-based currencies are being operated via centralized mechanisms just like Visa or MasterCard, but much slowly. Is it normal? Where is the next stage of evolution or, does it even exist in the first place?
The answer was the main point of arguments in the crypto community during the year of 2017. In February, Vitalik came out with the suggestion about the nature of blockchain’s decentralization: “Blockchains are politically decentralized (no one controls them) and architecturally decentralized (no infrastructural central point of failure), but they are logically centralized (there is one commonly agreed state and the system behaves like a single computer)”.
The only possible expression in the commercial implementation of ‘architectural decentralization’ is the decentralized exchange of cryptocurrencies.
And the most advanced technology in this case is that of the Atomic Swaps — the direct peer-to-peer instant cross-chain transaction.
CEXs were the natural and inevitable stage of development for cryptocurrency exchanges. By the way, the DEXs are coming: we found them (namely IDEX, EtherDelta and Waves DEX) on the list of the top-100 exchanges on Coinmarketcap.
So, the Swap.Online team is on the right track. Get ready for ERC-20 ⇔ BTC, ETH ⇔ BTC, USDT ⇔ BTC, EOS ⇔ BTC trading directly from your browser with neither middlemen nor a centralized infrastructure.
See you on the mainnet on August 27, 2018,
Swap.Online Team
submitted by noxonsu to SwapOnline [link] [comments]

Core/Blockstream is *not* Bitcoin. In many ways, Core/Blockstream is actually similar to MtGox. Trusted & centralized... until they were totally exposed as incompetent & corrupt - and Bitcoin routed around the damage which they had caused.

Core/Blockstream can't/won't grow any more.
Bitcoin is growing - and the only way it can continue to grow is for Core/Blockstream to get out of the way.
Core/Blockstream doesn't have any solutions for the graphs below - but that's their problem, not Bitcoin's:
https://blockchain.info/charts/n-transactions?showDataPoints=false×pan=all&show_header=true&daysAverageString=7&scale=0&address=
https://tradeblock.com/bitcoin/historical/1w-f-txval_per_tot-01071-blksize_per_avg-01071
Just click on these historical blocksize graphs - all trending dangerously close to the 1 MB (1000KB) artificial limit. And then ask yourself: Would you hire a CTO / team whose Capacity Planning Roadmap from December 2015 officially stated: "The current capacity situation is no emergency" ?
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/3ynswc/just_click_on_these_historical_blocksize_graphs/
Core/Blockstream has no solutions to these problems - because they don't want to solve them:
Lesser known reasons why Core developers want to keep block size small, in their own words
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/473i0h/lesser_known_reasons_why_core_developers_want_to/
https://medium.com/@elliotolds/lesser-known-reasons-to-keep-blocks-small-in-the-words-of-bitcoin-core-developers-44861968185e
But Bitcoin does have solutions right now. For example, one solution is already installed and running on over a thousand nodes:
Be patient about Classic. It's already a "success" - in the sense that it has been tested, released, and deployed, with 1/6 nodes already accepting 2MB+ blocks. Now it can quietly wait in the wings, ready to be called into action on a moment's notice. And it probably will be - in 2016 (or 2017).
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/44y8ut/be_patient_about_classic_its_already_a_success_in/?ref=search_posts
So, remember to be precise in your phrasing and your thinking:
"Bitcoin" isn't dying.
"Core/Blockstream" is dying.
That's all that's happening here.
Yes it could get ugly for a while.
The death of Core/Blockstream could get as ugly as the death of MtGox.
In both cases, people trusted a centralized institution which thought that it could control Bitcoin forever.
And then that centralized institution was revealed to everybody as incompetent and corrupt and rotten to the core.
People who had placed their trust in that centralized institution got hurt bad - but the people who hadn't trusted that institution, came out fine.
If you're part of the crowd that's been complaining about Core/Blockstream for these many months - that's the same as being part of the crowd that was complaining about about MtGox for many months.
Consider yourself one of the informed. Just like the people who didn't trust MtGox, the people who don't trust Core/Blockstream will emerge unscathed after this crisis is past.
But people who trust Core/Blockstream are gonna get hurt:
The Nine Miners of China: "Core is a red herring. Miners have alternative code they can run today that will solve the problem. Choosing not to run it is their fault, and could leave them with warehouses full of expensive heating units and income paid in worthless coins." – tsontar
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/3xhejm/the_nine_miners_of_china_core_is_a_red_herring/
As long as people continue to trust Core/Blockstream, the network will start to get clogged, and the price could crash - or just stay flat, as Bitcoin's expected price rise due to the halving, collapsing fiat financial markets, NIRP (negative interest rate policy from governments and banks) etc. gets cancelled out by Core/Blockstream's stalling and incompetence.
3 months performance of Dow Jones, NASDAQ, S&P500, FTSE 100 (UK), DAX (Germany), Nikkei (Japan), Shangai Composite (China), Gold, and Bitcoin (cross-post from /BitcoinMarkets - original post by brg444)
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/45u8cf/3_months_performance_of_dow_jones_nasdaq_sp500/
Once Core/Blockstream's failure/refusal to scale causes enough damage to make the majority of people understand that Core/Blockstream is not Bitcoin - then people will wake up and reject Core/Blockstream's failure/refusal to scale.
And remember, scaling for the next few years is easy: just change a 1 to a 2 in the code. Or set it to some average or median based on the previous blocks.
BitPay's Adaptive Block Size Limit is my favorite proposal. It's easy to explain, makes it easy for the miners to see that they have ultimate control over the size (as they always have), and takes control away from the developers. – Gavin Andresen
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/40kmny/bitpays_adaptive_block_size_limit_is_my_favorite/
There are plenty of simple scaling solutions solutions like this available (Classic, BitPay's Adaptive Block Size Limit).
Core/Blockstream thinks it can dominate Bitcoin by throwing around money and lies while they ignore users' needs - and certain people appear to be gullible enough to actually trust them (e.g. Chinese miners signing meaningless loyalty statements at 3 AM at some roundtable in Hong Kong).
But Satoshi carefully designed the incentives of Bitcoin so that it will always route around that kind of centralization and corruption.
As an investor, you're the one in control. The miners only provide a commodity (timestamping of transactions), and the devs only provide code (which is open-source, so it can easily be modified to suit our needs).
Forkology 301: The Three Tiers of Investor Control over Bitcoin
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/3t4kbk/forkology_301_the_three_tiers_of_investor_control/
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Abitco.in%2Fforum+spinoff
You still have X bitcoins on the Blockchain and there isn't a damn thing Core/Blockstream or the Chinese miners can do to change that.
submitted by ydtm to btc [link] [comments]

OHCC Exchange Partnership and the fractional exchanges that support it. Your exchange may be counterfeiting cryptocurrency!

OHCC Exchange Partnership
OHCC is the behind-the-scenes trading that goes on between the big three chinese exchanges - OKCoin, Huobi, and BTC China. Many of the players in this partnership deal with long/short loan trading and freely join their reserves via a trust agreement. The owners of these exchanges were unsatisfied with the meager income they earn from transaction fees, so they came up with a solution. During this current Chinese National holiday til the 8th of october, all banks are closed, this would be the perfect time to unleash the plan to the market..
They noticed that everytime favorable news came out, huge market moves would happen, so, the exchange owners would create counterfeit fiat on each exchange in order to foster optimism about the future market for the buyers on the exchange. Whenever the markets were to go bad, they would to do the opposite. In order to amplify downwards movement on the exchanges, “war bots” were created that push the markets down in an aggressive manner, causing margin calls and generating profit for their trading partners.
http://i.imgur.com/9Q0xTet.png
Employing traders with large fractional reserves, OHCC uses these fictitious funds in order to garner more real money deposits via leading recharge code sellers. In order to prevent the loss of the counterfeited currency, collusion between exchange owners must be done at the same moment. BTCChina decided that due to losses of funds in the past caused by bad encryption and bugs in the system, they needed to partner together and now think that the best hope to regain funds is to bring the price down to zero, in order to buy as much coin as possible and refill said reserves. Their counterparties in other exchanges agreed that they will aso use the same means, in order to collude and gain profits on their own reserve accounts. It is made to look that everyone is competing on the surface, but in private there is a mutual understanding within the industry that those who remain silent will receive the benefits of silence.
Yesterday's Litecoin crash, combined between all the exchanges had turnovers as high as 20 million coins moved, way more than the sum of all the transactions made within the past week and the day before the transaction currency trading market volume closed at 35 million LTC, while the total LTC in circulation is only 31 million! This means that regardless of how much money you have to buy the dips, many will be put into the bottomless black hole.
Public reserve is intended to ensure that the exchanges cannot fake these funds and ensure that that each is at 100 percent reserve, which is to have a completely open Bitcoin wallet address for both the cold and hot wallet, to ensure that they do not create counterfeited currency.
Not open exchange reserves
Yes, the above story is happening around us. Many players excessive dependence on trading platform, the coins stored in the platform, and trading platform does not fulfill its obligations disclosed reserves. Caused a trading platform for profit making counterfeit money to manipulate the market and malicious trick users into real money.
So, how should users involved in this market protect themselves?
1) Do not store in Bitcoin and other platforms! If you're long-term bullish market, then Bitcoin, and Litecoin should be stored in their wallet. Some platforms will be committed borrowing interest, do not because of the platform for the petty and the coins and other bits on the platform, and finally you get the benefits far outweigh the losses!
You just put the coins and other bits emerged, the trading platform will mention now facing pressure. Such power can be reduced more or less of them false.
OpenBlock
MultiBit
2) Use legal weapons to protect themselves, and urge the public to prepare gold trading platform. If you feel your rights have been infringed, the user should actively protect their legitimate rights and interests with legal weapons. False trading trading platform is an offense, the player must zero tolerance.
3) Vote with their feet, leaving no open exchange reserves, to publicly exchange reserves to deal. Now open reserve all transactions:
chbtc
796 Futures has a open reserve for both hot and cold wallet as well as all member wallets
Peatio
No public exchange reserves should be open as soon as possible to prepare gold proved reserves include the number of hosted prove cold wallet address and user renminbi. You must ensure that the trader is not real money in exchange for false then the exchange of digital databases.
The method proved reserves See: proof-of-solvency
Ending OHCC Exchange
http://i.imgur.com/njub1Nr.jpg
The largest Bitcoin exchange MTGOX previously collapsed with bankruptcy and no funds for partners seem to be recoverable. With their collapse the crazy behavior of the Willy bot still vivid in our memories. So what will be the final outcome of OHCC exchange? Will OHCC Exchange will become the second MTGOX? To be honest, the editors do not know the fate of the players involved, as it is in their own hands.
submitted by trixisowned to BitcoinMarkets [link] [comments]

Peter R’s Theory on the Collapse of Mt. Gox

TL/DR: A young man had a secret. To keep it hidden, he kept digging until the hole was a billion dollars deep. This is a speculative tale of a great bitcoin theft from MtGox in 2011 and the efforts that this man undertook to fix it. The tale explains the bitcoin bear market of 2011, the explosive rally of 2013, delayed fiat withdrawals, malled transactions, and a bot named Willy.
By the time you realize that real life has begun, you are already three moves in.”—Author unknown
It was June 19, 2011. Mark, a 26 year-old young man—a boy really—was ecstatic. He had recently purchased MtGox—a small, online exchange for trading virtual tokens—and business was booming. These virtual tokens were called bitcoins and Mark loved them.
Bitcoins were an obscure curiosity: a peer-to-peer electronic cash system that allowed users to store and exchange credits with any other user in the world, nearly instantly, and without the assistance of a third-party or the permission of an authority. All that was needed was a 78-digit secret number—a key if you will.
In order for his customers to withdraw their bitcoins over the internet, MtGox stored some of these keys on its online server. The remaining keys were stored on USB drives and backed up on paper to prevent theft should the server be compromised.
But theft was hardly a concern. In October of 2010, bitcoins were trading for $0.10 and the half a million bitcoins held by MtGox was worth only $50,000. But still Mark took precautions, diligently moving bitcoins to offline storage and leaving only what was necessary for customer withdrawals online. He truly wanted both his business and bitcoin to succeed.
By April, the bitcoin price had risen to $1 and by June it had exploded to $30. Between June 1 and June 15, an additional one million bitcoins were sent to MtGox and immediately sold, crashing the price back to $10. It was a hectic time, with hundreds of customers needing help, visits from the FBI related to the Silk Road black market, and stress related to the recent market crash. Young Mark was becoming a victim of his own success: there simply wasn’t enough time to get everything done. On this very day in June 2011, the keys to the recently-deposited 1,000,000 BTC were still sitting on his server.
Later this day, a group of hackers gained access to MtGox servers and executed fake trades that the world could see, driving the nominal price of bitcoin near $0. Mark was frantic. He quickly regained control of the servers and learned the dark truth: the million bitcoins that had recently flooded in earlier that month were gone. Mark admitted publically to the hack, rewound the false trades, but kept the truth of the missing coins a secret.
How could this 26-year old explain to his customers that he had lost their bitcoins? And if the world found out, would this kill the thing he loved so dearly? Would he go to jail? Or worse yet, would someone kill him? Mark decided that he would do what he thought was right: he would slowly earn back the lost bitcoin with MtGox trading fee profits and eventually make his customers whole again. He still had over 500,000 BTC left—he moved 424242.42424242 BTC between bitcoin addresses and convinced the community that MtGox was solvent. As long as withdrawals didn’t exceed deposits over a long period of time, no one would ever find out the truth. Or so he thought.
Meanwhile, the bitcoin thieves slowly mixed their coins with other coins, obfuscating the chain of ownership, and then re-selling these coins on MtGox using sock-puppet accounts. Mark tried to stop them, but there was no way he could know for sure which accounts were fraudulent—he even accused innocent people of bitcoin laundering. The constant selling of these stolen bitcoins drove the price down to $2 in November 2011. Mark faithfully used all of the MtGox profits to purchase coins back during this decline. But he would never use customer funds—that was a line he swore not to cross.
The selling of these stolen bitcoins continued at a diminished rate over 2012, and Mark continually purchased coins using the MtGox trading fees. The bitcoin economy was growing and new exchanges were opening up across the world. His bitcoin reserves weren’t building fast enough but the price of bitcoin kept rising (along with the dollar value of the missing bitcoins). He was worried that other exchanges would suck coins out of Gox and reveal his secret. He decided he needed to take decisive action: for the first time, he used customer funds to purchase real bitcoins. These large purchases by Mark further increased demand and ignited the great rally of spring 2013 when the bitcoin price shot from $20 to $266. Mark had reduced his liability in bitcoins, but in dollar terms the coins that were still missing were worth more than ever before.
On May 15, 2013 the US Department of Homeland Security seized millions of dollars from the MtGox Dwolla bank account. MtGox dollar reserves were already depleted at this point, and with the recent seizure, Mark could no longer make good on customer withdrawals in US dollars.
Under the guise of “banking problems,” MtGox slowed US dollar withdrawals to a trickle in the summer of 2013. Customers became increasingly worried and began to bid up the price of bitcoin on MtGox, as this was the only way to escape with their funds. MtGox had little fiat and very little bitcoins, but it learned one thing: as the price differential between Gox and BitStamp grew, the outwards flow of bitcoin slowed dramatically.
And so Willy was born. Willy was a bot, discovered by Wall Observers from bitcointalk.org and named by Opet on Bonavest's trading show, who would consistently purchased bitcoins at regular intervals between November 2013 and February 2014. Evidence that Willy belonged to Mark was revealed when both web and API trading at Gox was disabled for a brief period of time, exposing Willy as the only one left buying.
Willy served two purposes: he drove the price of bitcoin on the MtGox exchange high, thereby slowing and sometimes reversing the outward flow of real BTC, and he reduced the number of GoxBTC held by clients. Of course, this meant that Willy eventually became the owner of a huge number of GoxBTC (that were of course no longer backed by real BTC).
By December, the situation at MtGox was grim. In a desperate attempt to attract more funds, Mark offered reduced trading fees under the guise of celebrating their 1,000,000th customer. This partially worked, but Mark knew it was too late. If MtGox collapsed, it must appear that he didn’t know about the theft until now—for it was better to appear incompetent than criminal.
It was time to cover his tracks.
He purposely mixed immature coins into bitcoin withdrawals to delay the outward flow of coins, and later began malling his own transactions. He added the Gox malleability weakness not as a bug, but as a feature, so that it would seem plausible that outsiders had recently stolen the coins without his awareness. No coins were actually lost to malleability.
The MtGox coin supply dwindled to 2,000 BTC and on February 7, 2014. He had no choice but to disable bitcoin withdrawals. The end was near.
The problem Mark faced was that his customers had $150,000,000 credited to their accounts, yet the MtGox bank account only contained $38,000,000. He could blame the missing bitcoins on transaction malleability, but how could he explain where the fiat money went?
He shifted Willy into reverse and cranked the throttle. Willy relentlessly dumped bitcoins into the open bids. The price fell further and further, eventually dropping well below the BitStamp price. But still not enough people were buying! He needed his customers to buy the GoxBTC. Willy kept dumping coins until finally the price dropped below $100. MtGox even acquired new USD bank wires from customers looking to purchase the cheap coins. By this time, the majority of Gox customers had converted their dollars into bitcoins.
On February 28, 2014, Mt Gox filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo, reporting 6.5 billion yen in liabilities, 3.8 billion yen in assets, and 750,000 of customer bitcoins missing. Willy had failed to completely close the fiat solvency gap and Mark finally admitted to having lost the coins.
Now we watch the rest of the story unfold. A story of how an oversight during a hectic period, an untimely theft, and an attempt to cover it up, lead to the greatest loss in the history of bitcoin.
Cross-posted from: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=497289.0
submitted by Peter__R to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

who else feels that the Rocket count down just started ?

i have a good felling from my reading to the charts and news and discussions that we just starting from getting out this deep beer market very soon maybe few days and the rocket engine is switched on and the takeoff count down is just started and remember what you afraid to happen on 2013 and earlier years is already happens in 2014 it can't never be worth than - mtgox Bankruptcy - china ban(s) and this bitcoin monster still alive with more users / companies / innovation flooding to the system it do not collapse but just getting bigger and bigger and stronger than ever .
now the smart money " big investors / banks / market makers" is just waiting on the doors for BitLicense to open its doors which will happen in few days and i am sure that it will be positive according to the last speech of Lawsky about BitLicense in DC .
also the weak hands is just gone from bitcoin market after they just report their loss on their TAX papers for year 2014 and now only the stronger hands holds .
so please lock your seat pearl and enjoy your trip to Mars, 2015 will never be like any other previous year and try not to get hart attack when you see the bitcoin price much over 100,000 USD on 2015 .
call me mad , call me a dreamer , but only time will tell and i am sure i am not alone .
submitted by inbtcwetrust to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

What everyone is missing about Bitcoin

As an early investor in Bitcoin, I have come to the conclusion that in the long run Bitcoin won't work for its originally intended purpose. Understanding this simple fact is a potential source of wealth as it allows you to comprehend what will replace Bitcoin, or at the bare minimum a way to avoid a catastrophic loss of wealth by investing in Bitcoin. I'll explain the most important problem Bitcoin suffers from today.
Bitcoin's value derives at least in part from the guarantee that only 21 million coins will come into existence. If people could change this number, it would significantly undermine the credibility of the currency. To remain decentralized, the protocol needs a method through which it can determine in a decentralized fashion who is allowed to determine which transactions will be acknowledged by the network as valid.
The band-aid solution its inventor came up with was to invent an arbitrary computer puzzle contest. Anyone who comes up with a solution to the puzzle is allowed to declare a number of transactions are valid and receives new coins as a reward and as an incentive for people to participate in the puzzle. If a lot of people manage to solve the puzzle using their mining equipment, the puzzle is made harder to decrease the rate at which new coins are generated.
The inevitable result of this solution is that participants in the Bitcoin scheme will make an investment in solving this computer puzzle roughly equal to the amount of value the newly generated bitcoins have. If a million dollar worth of bitcoins were awarded per day, Bitcoin miners would be willing to spend a million dollar per day on solving the arbitrary computer puzzle underlying the scheme. Most of those dollars will be spent directly on electricity, but some will be spent on other factors such as taxes and personnel cost.
It's remarkable how well this scheme has held up in the years since 2009, but the parameters intrinsic to the protocol ensure it will come to an end. The reason is because the reward awarded to those who solve the puzzle decreases every four years to ensure a finite number of bitcoins will come into existence, while the incentive for bad players to damage the protocol increases as its value grows.
When the block reward decreases, the incentive to secure the network decreases. The incentive to mine remains however, for people who have motives to mine, other than receiving new coins. A credit card company might feel threatened by Bitcoin. Environmentalists might feel threatened by Bitcoin. Governments might want to block certain transactions. Participants in competing cryptocurrencies might have an incentive to damage Bitcoin.
Today it's expensive for these groups to interfere with Bitcoin. Eventually however, you'll receive less than 0.01 Bitcoin per block you mine. The current mining farms won't be able to sustain themselves, unless someone else decides to pay them. It could be bad actors, it could be good actors with a stake in the ecosystem.
However, this doesn't solve the problem, because now somebody else needs to pay indirectly, to secure the network. Actors who want to keep Bitcoin functional, will need to pay money on a continual basis, to keep Bitcoin functional. Actors who want to damage Bitcoin, will only need to pay during a brief period.
A 51% attack that permanently damages Bitcoin's credibility as a payment option can take place within a few hours and undo years of hard work to deliver Bitcoin credibility as a payment option. Right now Bitcoin spends an estimated 3 million dollar per day on electricity. Visa could cough up this money if it felt threatened, but can Bitcoin companies cough up this money on a daily basis, to secure the network?
It's clear that this is not a realistic option. An alternative option, is one where the users pay through transaction fees. How much electricity is needed to secure the Bitcoin network? We don't have a clear answer to this question, but we know the network currently uses 700 KWh per transaction. Assuming we're paying 12 cents per kWh, this means you as a user would have to be paying for 84 dollar worth of electricity per transaction, just to secure your transaction against malicious actors.
This is merely the electricity cost of solving the puzzle. I'm not counting the cost of manufacturing the hardware, cooling the hardware, paying personnel to maintain the Bitcoin mining farms, etcetera. We can imagine a scenario where the cost is distributed over more transactions, but this is no solution. It merely increases the value of the currency and thus the incentive to attack the currency, thereby increasing the money required to defend the protocol from attack.
The reality is that Bitcoin came up with a very expensive answer to the question: Who do we trust when it comes to validating transactions? The answer "anyone willing to throw enough electricity at the problem" is a bad answer, because it means you're requiring people to continually spend large amount of money to secure the network. That price tag will somehow find its way back to the customer who uses the network.
A much more logical answer to the question would be: "We trust people who have a direct stake in the continued functioning of the network." Those who own a large amount of Bitcoin, are people we trust when it comes to making sure transactions are properly processed. If they wanted to damage Bitcoin, they would lose a lot of money themselves.
No company on the planet chooses to let its affairs be decided by those willing to solve difficult puzzles. Imagine the kind of world we would live in, if Shell or Microsoft insisted that the first guy to solve their annual crossword puzzle gets to distribute their budget. Every company on the planet ultimately lets its affairs be decided by those who have an economic interest in the continual proper functioning of the company, who in turn appoint people to manage its daily affairs.
If Bitcoin will ever be used as a payment system, rather than a speculation vehicle, it will be at a tremendous disadvantage to competing payment systems, that don't choose to arbitrarily waste resources in a permanent struggle to determine who is allowed to control the protocol.
Right now, the costs of securing the network are hidden from the customer, in the form of inflation. Competing protocols are able to pass on their savings directly to the customer, in the form of dividends rewarded for their participation. Whatever economic niche Bitcoin may seek to occupy as a payment processor will inevitably be conquered by a competing protocol instead, assuming that participants are rational actors in pursuit of their own economic self-interest.
You might wonder why you don't notice any of this, if it's so expensive to run the Bitcoin network. The answer to this question lies in the inflation the network undergoes. You think that Bitcoin is worth 180 billion dollar today, but it's not. To start with, anywhere around a quarter of coins have actually been lost. The remaining market cap has been brought about through just a few billion dollars worth of investment. If everyone sought to take their paper wealth out, the scheme would collapse.
For this reason, the practical inflation rate of Bitcoin is much higher than the rate you imagine you're dealing with. When 18 million dollar worth of new coins are produced per day, you need new entrants into the scheme to buy those coins from the miners. Current participants in the scheme who became wealthy through Bitcoin generally can't buy those coins, as their wealth is already locked up in Bitcoin. The miners can't keep their bitcoins either, as they need to pay for their costs. To prevent devaluation from the high inflation rate, Bitcoin needs a continual influx of new users. Whenever this influx stops, the price collapses, as has been witnessed many times in the past. If an investment needs a growing influx of new investors to maintain its value, you're dealing with a pyramid scheme. Or, as others have suggested, the term "Nakamoto scheme" might be more suitable.
So how is it possible Bitcoin hasn't fallen apart yet? Well, imagine you own bitcoins. You want your coins to maintain their value, but you don't have money to buy new bitcoins with once they're released onto the market. So what do you do? You use your bitcoins as collateral, to borrow money. This is what a lot of bitcoin users have done. They have bitcoins stored on an exchange somewhere, that are then used as collateral to borrow money with, to buy more bitcoins. They do this, because they expect the price to go up.
But what if this proves to be insufficient to keep the scheme going? Well, in that case, as an exchange operator you can take the next step. If people deposit bitcoins on your exchange, you could use the bitcoins of your customers as collateral, to issue money that can then be used to buy new bitcoins with. This is what seems to be happening, through the Tether scheme. People deposit Bitcoins on Bitfinex to gamble with, which then leads Bitfinex to issue new Tethers, which people use as if they were dollars, to buy more Bitcoins with.
Back in late 2013, something similar happened. The Mt. Gox exchange that ran most of the Bitcoin economy didn't have all the bitcoins its users had deposited any longer. They decided to set up two bots that endlessly traded back and forth with each other, to generate fake volume and thereby attract new people and keep the scheme going despite functioning as a fractional reserve. Analysts believe that this is what triggered the late 2013 price rise.
So, how does the scheme come to an end? There are a number of different ways in which this could happen. Remember that bitcoins have to be mined, but the rate at which new bitcoins are produced gradually decreases. A few years from now, the rate will suddenly drop by 50%, during an event known as the block halving that happens once every four years. The last block halving took place in 2016. In 2020, it will happen again.
For Bitcoin miners, this is a potentially catastrophic event, for a simple reason. If you're spending 80 cents for every dollar worth of Bitcoin you mine, a sudden halving in the number of new bitcoins awarded destroys your business model. If enough of your peers decide to stop mining, the puzzle you're solving is made easier, but this doesn't solve your problem, as the market you were competing for has simply halved. In other words, you now have an incentive to seek to play against the rules. This is perhaps the most important thing to understand: Those who ultimately run the Bitcoin economy have a disincentive to keep the system functional, because their planned obsolescence is programmed into the system.
There are different things you might do as a Bitcoin miner. Because you sell your bitcoins once you acquire them, you have no genuine stake in the proper functioning of the system. If someone's willing to pay you to borrow your mining machines, you might as well rent them out. On the other hand, you could force bitcoin users to start paying money to compensate your expenses. If users don't pay enough transaction fees, you decide to ignore or reverse their transaction. But what if this causes the bitcoin scheme to fail? Well, if you're a smart miner, you have bet against Bitcoin and set up a competing cryptocurrency, perhaps one with permanent inflation. Bitcoin developers are beginning to realize this problem, which is why some of them are now arguing for changes to the way the system works, as they notice the miners seem to try to sabotage the project.
What's the solution to this situation? Well, to start with, Bitcoin is highly unlikely ever to be salvaged. You could try change Bitcoin, but the required changes would have to be so thorough and pervasive that we would never see consensus emerge around them. In other words, Bitcoin is a ticking timebomb, the only recommendable thing is to flee far from it while you still can. I would recommend against trying to figure out the exact moment when the scheme will fail, as markets have a habit of staying irrational for longer than you expect them to.
Finally, we notice that although Bitcoin doesn't properly function, cryptocurrencies do deliver some genuine use. The solution is thus to seek out cryptocurrencies where the incentives are properly aligned. Those who are allowed to decide which transactions are valid should not be chosen through an arbitrary computer puzzle, but rather, should be chosen from those who already have a stake in the system. This is how Proof of Stake cryptocurrencies function. There are many different currencies out there that use a Proof of Stake system, we can expect all of them to grow in value relative to Bitcoin as it runs into the consequences of its flawed design. My personal suggestion would be to take a good look at Gridcoin.
submitted by sauerkrautsourdough to accountt1234 [link] [comments]

You people are seriously not thinking clearly.

This situation is not the end of the world. It is not some massive shift in the world of Bitcoin. It is not MtGox's fault. It is not the high frequency traders fault. It is not even the speculators fault. Merchant acceptance will not save us from these things.
We are dealing with a massive new technology that has the potential to change everything. It will change how money is transferred between countries. It could become the international standard among currency evaluation. It will change how the drug/black market operates. It will change how Governments regulate borders. This is not a speculative stock. This is not a currency useful for day-to-day trading. You cannot be a "bitcoin millionaire" without knowing that if the network got cracked, you'd be worth $0 in minutes.
We have a long, long way to go yet. In order for the above things to happen(and they WILL happen, even if bitcoin gets cracked or made illegal- something else will replace Bitcoin), the market size of Bitcoin needs to increase.
  1. $50k - Early adopters will push it up($0.01->$0.20).
  2. $1 million - People will start using it for small transactions(silk road).
  3. $50 million - Small time illegal activity will flow through it, and people will start to use it to transfer money across borders(See; Argentina post recently).
  4. $1 billion - Mid-level illegal transactions and mid-sized legal transactions will flow through it. Angel and VC Investors(200k - 5 million) will move in in increasing size will both invest and create startups(happening now; this is the step we are on. We will never go back to step 3 unless the Bitcoin network itself is cracked).
  5. $25 billion - Higher level illegal transactions(mob bosses) and larger investors(multi-million sized) start to move in. Governments start to get involved, try to regulate what they can, and create rules for the system. High net worth individuals use it for international currency transfers.
  6. $400 billion - After that, large businesses & investors move in. Becomes the de-facto standard for illegal activity. Government regulation cracks down and becomes more rigid. Some(A few) Bitcoin businesses are shut down by the Government without warning, prompting fear and anger. Small companies regularly use it for international currency transfers.
  7. $1 trillion - After that, International currency movements start to flow through it. Very large investors move in, it is talked about as if it were standardized and common. Businesses learn to follow Government rules and procedures become standardized. Large businesses use it to transfer currencies internationally.
  8. $5-20 trillion - Becomes the de-facto standard of international trade and currency evaluation, replacing the dollar as the global standard. Prices stabilize and shift only a fraction of a percent a day. Can now be used as a real currency for the first time since inception.
Do I know for sure this will happen? Of course not. But the first 4 steps were pretty clear in hindsight. And it makes sense- Why would ANYONE use the dollar for international money transfer post-Bitcoin? It depreciates, it is expensive to move, it is heavily regulated and tracked, it is subject to seizure. It is subject to the whims and mistakes of one government, who are all subject to the whims of their short-sighted voters.
So now how the fuck do you go from a $500 million currency to a $5 trillion currency? It isn't going to be a linear graph- that doesn't make any sense. It isn't going to be a smooth rise- Why would it? If everyone can see a nice, smooth, pretty graph going up, everyone is going to buy into that nice, smooth, pretty graph. It isn't going to be unidirectional- If the price always went up, everyone would buy into the up, and it would overshoot any and every step. It isn't going to happen quickly- Many of these steps take time to build confidence and make mistakes to learn from.
No, it is going to be a very painful up and down process. Because the technology has so much potential, it is going to experience explosive growth. Because it experiences explosive growth, it is going to have dramatic, painful, scary collapses. Then there will be fear. Then it will stabilize, and then it will start growing again. A few months later, it will explode again as it approaches the next big transition.
It takes time for Bitcoin companies to get their systems in order. It takes time for them to earn our trust and for us to weed out the scams and unreliable ones. It takes time for VC and Angel investors to evaluate and plan Bitcoin ventures. It takes time for Bitcoin to adapt to its own growth.
For those who think merchant adoption and currency status are the step we should be on, you are gravely mistaken. The only use that merchant adoption has right now is 1. Getting more people into it/increasing transactions, and 2. making a legal case for why Bitcoin shouldn't be illegal(which would slow us down by 10-25 years).
This is not the last big rise. This is not the last big crash. We aren't even at the bottom of this one. Until the network either gets cracked or replaced, this is going to keep moving forward. There is no going back; We've improved the Gold coin, the Dollar, and the wire transfer all at once. Hang on to your seat, and stop panicking over just another crash.
tl;dr: This is not the last big rise. This is not the last big crash. Stop panicking and focus on the long view.
submitted by JustSomeBadAdvice to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Bitcoin price looping at Mt. Gox. Meanwhile at Mt.Gox BITCOIN EXCHANGE MT. GOX COLLAPSE - MtGox Offline Amid Rumours of THEFT. 75k Bitcoins Missing Bitcoin Transaction Malleability Theory in Practice Peter Vessenes: The Cause Of MtGox 202k Bitcoin Payout Delay

The price of bitcoin on MtGox became completely disengaged from the wider bitcoin market, and plummeted below $100 last Friday; on other exchanges it was above $500. Bitcoin price on Mt Gox exchange collapses Glasgow-born programmer Kolin Burges (left) flew from London to protest outside Mt Gox’s Shibuya headquarters. He is joined by Tokyo-based systems ... Bankruptcy leaves 127,000 creditors nursing losses as Tokyo-based exchange blames ‘weakness’ in its system Today Bitcoin's price collapsed because the currency's oldest exchange, Mt. Gox, cited a structural problem with Bitcoin's algorithm. Is Mt. Gox in the wrong? Skip to content × Entrepreneur Stories; Millionaire Mindset; Influence; Innovation; Culture of Capitalism; Video; Search. Was The Bitcoin Market Manipulated Today? Published February 10, 2014 by AJ Antony Category: Investing Tagged ... SourceQuote: Hours after Japan-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox suddenly halted trading activity, the company’s website is now completely offline. Notably, the news...

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Bitcoin price looping at Mt. Gox.

3. Transferring 23.23 USD from MtGox to BTC-e via Bitinstant (1.49% fee). 4. Receiving 22.89 USD on BTC-e Bitcoin exchange. 5. Buying new Bitcoins for a price of 11.40 USD/BTC getting 2.0037 BTC ... "Bitcoin can't crash because... MTGOX servers wouldn't be able to handle a crash" — webdev84, 8 days before Mt.Gox pulled the plug for 12 hours during the Bitcoin Crash of April 2013, dropping ... Bitcoin Price Mt Gox Site Disappears BITCOIN PRICE , BITCOIN FUTURE in doubt http://youtu.be/eO-yrpQpIT8 What is NAMECOIN BITCOIN'S First Fork http://youtu.b... By Daniel Chechik, Ben Hayak, and Orit Kravitz Chechik A mysterious vulnerability from 2011 almost made the Bitcoin network collapse. Silk Road, MTGox, and p... MtGox Bitcoins to BTC Bitcoins in 50 seconds BITCOIN PRICE , BITCOIN FUTURE in doubt http://youtu.be/eO-yrpQpIT8 What is NAMECOIN BITCOIN'S First Fork http:/...

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