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Bob The Magic Custodian
Summary: Everyone knows that when you give your assets to someone else, they always keep them safe. If this is true for individuals, it is certainly true for businesses. Custodians always tell the truth and manage funds properly. They won't have any interest in taking the assets as an exchange operator would. Auditors tell the truth and can't be misled. That's because organizations that are regulated are incapable of lying and don't make mistakes. First, some background. Here is a summary of how custodians make us more secure: Previously, we might give Alice our crypto assets to hold. There were risks:
Alice might take the assets and disappear.
Alice might spend the assets and pretend that she still has them (fractional model).
Alice might store the assets insecurely and they'll get stolen.
Alice might give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force.
Alice might lose access to the assets.
But "no worries", Alice has a custodian named Bob. Bob is dressed in a nice suit. He knows some politicians. And he drives a Porsche. "So you have nothing to worry about!". And look at all the benefits we get:
Alice can't take the assets and disappear (unless she asks Bob or never gives them to Bob).
Alice can't spend the assets and pretend that she still has them. (Unless she didn't give them to Bob or asks him for them.)
Alice can't store the assets insecurely so they get stolen. (After all - she doesn't have any control over the withdrawal process from any of Bob's systems, right?)
Alice can't give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force. (Bob will stop her, right Bob?)
Alice can't lose access to the funds. (She'll always be present, sane, and remember all secrets, right?)
See - all problems are solved! All we have to worry about now is:
Bob might take the assets and disappear.
Bob might spend the assets and pretend that he still has them (fractional model).
Bob might store the assets insecurely and they'll get stolen.
Bob might give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force.
Bob might lose access to the assets.
It's pretty simple. Before we had to trust Alice. Now we only have to trust Alice, Bob, and all the ways in which they communicate. Just think of how much more secure we are! "On top of that", Bob assures us, "we're using a special wallet structure". Bob shows Alice a diagram. "We've broken the balance up and store it in lots of smaller wallets. That way", he assures her, "a thief can't take it all at once". And he points to a historic case where a large sum was taken "because it was stored in a single wallet... how stupid". "Very early on, we used to have all the crypto in one wallet", he said, "and then one Christmas a hacker came and took it all. We call him the Grinch. Now we individually wrap each crypto and stick it under a binary search tree. The Grinch has never been back since." "As well", Bob continues, "even if someone were to get in, we've got insurance. It covers all thefts and even coercion, collusion, and misplaced keys - only subject to the policy terms and conditions." And with that, he pulls out a phone-book sized contract and slams it on the desk with a thud. "Yep", he continues, "we're paying top dollar for one of the best policies in the country!" "Can I read it?' Alice asks. "Sure," Bob says, "just as soon as our legal team is done with it. They're almost through the first chapter." He pauses, then continues. "And can you believe that sales guy Mike? He has the same year Porsche as me. I mean, what are the odds?" "Do you use multi-sig?", Alice asks. "Absolutely!" Bob replies. "All our engineers are fully trained in multi-sig. Whenever we want to set up a new wallet, we generate 2 separate keys in an air-gapped process and store them in this proprietary system here. Look, it even requires the biometric signature from one of our team members to initiate any withdrawal." He demonstrates by pressing his thumb into the display. "We use a third-party cloud validation API to match the thumbprint and authorize each withdrawal. The keys are also backed up daily to an off-site third-party." "Wow that's really impressive," Alice says, "but what if we need access for a withdrawal outside of office hours?" "Well that's no issue", Bob says, "just send us an email, call, or text message and we always have someone on staff to help out. Just another part of our strong commitment to all our customers!" "What about Proof of Reserve?", Alice asks. "Of course", Bob replies, "though rather than publish any blockchain addresses or signed transaction, for privacy we just do a SHA256 refactoring of the inverse hash modulus for each UTXO nonce and combine the smart contract coefficient consensus in our hyperledger lightning node. But it's really simple to use." He pushes a button and a large green checkmark appears on a screen. "See - the algorithm ran through and reserves are proven." "Wow", Alice says, "you really know your stuff! And that is easy to use! What about fiat balances?" "Yeah, we have an auditor too", Bob replies, "Been using him for a long time so we have quite a strong relationship going! We have special books we give him every year and he's very efficient! Checks the fiat, crypto, and everything all at once!" "We used to have a nice offline multi-sig setup we've been using without issue for the past 5 years, but I think we'll move all our funds over to your facility," Alice says. "Awesome", Bob replies, "Thanks so much! This is perfect timing too - my Porsche got a dent on it this morning. We have the paperwork right over here." "Great!", Alice replies. And with that, Alice gets out her pen and Bob gets the contract. "Don't worry", he says, "you can take your crypto-assets back anytime you like - just subject to our cancellation policy. Our annual management fees are also super low and we don't adjust them often". How many holes have to exist for your funds to get stolen? Just one. Why are we taking a powerful offline multi-sig setup, widely used globally in hundreds of different/lacking regulatory environments with 0 breaches to date, and circumventing it by a demonstrably weak third party layer? And paying a great expense to do so? If you go through the list of breaches in the past 2 years to highly credible organizations, you go through the list of major corporate frauds (only the ones we know about), you go through the list of all the times platforms have lost funds, you go through the list of times and ways that people have lost their crypto from identity theft, hot wallet exploits, extortion, etc... and then you go through this custodian with a fine-tooth comb and truly believe they have value to add far beyond what you could, sticking your funds in a wallet (or set of wallets) they control exclusively is the absolute worst possible way to take advantage of that security. The best way to add security for crypto-assets is to make a stronger multi-sig. With one custodian, what you are doing is giving them your cryptocurrency and hoping they're honest, competent, and flawlessly secure. It's no different than storing it on a really secure exchange. Maybe the insurance will cover you. Didn't work for Bitpay in 2015. Didn't work for Yapizon in 2017. Insurance has never paid a claim in the entire history of cryptocurrency. But maybe you'll get lucky. Maybe your exact scenario will buck the trend and be what they're willing to cover. After the large deductible and hopefully without a long and expensive court battle. And you want to advertise this increase in risk, the lapse of judgement, an accident waiting to happen, as though it's some kind of benefit to customers ("Free institutional-grade storage for your digital assets.")? And then some people are writing to the OSC that custodians should be mandatory for all funds on every exchange platform? That this somehow will make Canadians as a whole more secure or better protected compared with standard air-gapped multi-sig? On what planet? Most of the problems in Canada stemmed from one thing - a lack of transparency. If Canadians had known what a joke Quadriga was - it wouldn't have grown to lose $400m from hard-working Canadians from coast to coast to coast. And Gerald Cotten would be in jail, not wherever he is now (at best, rotting peacefully). EZ-BTC and mister Dave Smilie would have been a tiny little scam to his friends, not a multi-million dollar fraud. Einstein would have got their act together or been shut down BEFORE losing millions and millions more in people's funds generously donated to criminals. MapleChange wouldn't have even been a thing. And maybe we'd know a little more about CoinTradeNewNote - like how much was lost in there. Almost all of the major losses with cryptocurrency exchanges involve deception with unbacked funds. So it's great to see transparency reports from BitBuy and ShakePay where someone independently verified the backing. The only thing we don't have is:
ANY CERTAINTY BALANCES WEREN'T EXCLUDED. Quadriga's largest account was $70m. 80% of funds are in 20% of accounts (Pareto principle). All it takes is excluding a few really large accounts - and nobody's the wiser. A fractional platform can easily pass any audit this way.
ANY VISIBILITY WHATSOEVER INTO THE CUSTODIANS. BitBuy put out their report before moving all the funds to their custodian and ShakePay apparently can't even tell us who the custodian is. That's pretty important considering that basically all of the funds are now stored there.
ANY IDEA ABOUT THE OTHER EXCHANGES. In order for this to be effective, it has to be the norm. It needs to be "unusual" not to know. If obscurity is the norm, then it's super easy for people like Gerald Cotten and Dave Smilie to blend right in.
It's not complicated to validate cryptocurrency assets. They need to exist, they need to be spendable, and they need to cover the total balances. There are plenty of credible people and firms across the country that have the capacity to reasonably perform this validation. Having more frequent checks by different, independent, parties who publish transparent reports is far more valuable than an annual check by a single "more credible/official" party who does the exact same basic checks and may or may not publish anything. Here's an example set of requirements that could be mandated:
First report within 1 month of launching, another within 3 months, and further reports at minimum every 6 months thereafter.
No auditor can be repeated within a 12 month period.
All reports must be public, identifying the auditor and the full methodology used.
All auditors must be independent of the firm being audited with no conflict of interest.
Reports must include the percentage of each asset backed, and how it's backed.
The auditor publishes a hash list, which lists a hash of each customer's information and balances that were included. Hash is one-way encryption so privacy is fully preserved. Every customer can use this to have 100% confidence they were included.
If we want more extensive requirements on audits, these should scale upward based on the total assets at risk on the platform, and whether the platform has loaned their assets out.
There are ways to structure audits such that neither crypto assets nor customer information are ever put at risk, and both can still be properly validated and publicly verifiable. There are also ways to structure audits such that they are completely reasonable for small platforms and don't inhibit innovation in any way. By making the process as reasonable as possible, we can completely eliminate any reason/excuse that an honest platform would have for not being audited. That is arguable far more important than any incremental improvement we might get from mandating "the best of the best" accountants. Right now we have nothing mandated and tons of Canadians using offshore exchanges with no oversight whatsoever. Transparency does not prove crypto assets are safe. CoinTradeNewNote, Flexcoin ($600k), and Canadian Bitcoins ($100k) are examples where crypto-assets were breached from platforms in Canada. All of them were online wallets and used no multi-sig as far as any records show. This is consistent with what we see globally - air-gapped multi-sig wallets have an impeccable record, while other schemes tend to suffer breach after breach. We don't actually know how much CoinTrader lost because there was no visibility. Rather than publishing details of what happened, the co-founder of CoinTrader silently moved on to found another platform - the "most trusted way to buy and sell crypto" - a site that has no information whatsoever (that I could find) on the storage practices and a FAQ advising that “[t]rading cryptocurrency is completely safe” and that having your own wallet is “entirely up to you! You can certainly keep cryptocurrency, or fiat, or both, on the app.” Doesn't sound like much was learned here, which is really sad to see. It's not that complicated or unreasonable to set up a proper hardware wallet. Multi-sig can be learned in a single course. Something the equivalent complexity of a driver's license test could prevent all the cold storage exploits we've seen to date - even globally. Platform operators have a key advantage in detecting and preventing fraud - they know their customers far better than any custodian ever would. The best job that custodians can do is to find high integrity individuals and train them to form even better wallet signatories. Rather than mandating that all platforms expose themselves to arbitrary third party risks, regulations should center around ensuring that all signatories are background-checked, properly trained, and using proper procedures. We also need to make sure that signatories are empowered with rights and responsibilities to reject and report fraud. They need to know that they can safely challenge and delay a transaction - even if it turns out they made a mistake. We need to have an environment where mistakes are brought to the surface and dealt with. Not one where firms and people feel the need to hide what happened. In addition to a knowledge-based test, an auditor can privately interview each signatory to make sure they're not in coercive situations, and we should make sure they can freely and anonymously report any issues without threat of retaliation. A proper multi-sig has each signature held by a separate person and is governed by policies and mutual decisions instead of a hierarchy. It includes at least one redundant signature. For best results, 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7. History has demonstrated over and over again the risk of hot wallets even to highly credible organizations. Nonetheless, many platforms have hot wallets for convenience. While such losses are generally compensated by platforms without issue (for example Poloniex, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, Gatecoin, Coincheck, Bithumb, Zaif, CoinBene, Binance, Bitrue, Bitpoint, Upbit, VinDAX, and now KuCoin), the public tends to focus more on cases that didn't end well. Regardless of what systems are employed, there is always some level of risk. For that reason, most members of the public would prefer to see third party insurance. Rather than trying to convince third party profit-seekers to provide comprehensive insurance and then relying on an expensive and slow legal system to enforce against whatever legal loopholes they manage to find each and every time something goes wrong, insurance could be run through multiple exchange operators and regulators, with the shared interest of having a reputable industry, keeping costs down, and taking care of Canadians. For example, a 4 of 7 multi-sig insurance fund held between 5 independent exchange operators and 2 regulatory bodies. All Canadian exchanges could pay premiums at a set rate based on their needed coverage, with a higher price paid for hot wallet coverage (anything not an air-gapped multi-sig cold wallet). Such a model would be much cheaper to manage, offer better coverage, and be much more reliable to payout when needed. The kind of coverage you could have under this model is unheard of. You could even create something like the CDIC to protect Canadians who get their trading accounts hacked if they can sufficiently prove the loss is legitimate. In cases of fraud, gross negligence, or insolvency, the fund can be used to pay affected users directly (utilizing the last transparent balance report in the worst case), something which private insurance would never touch. While it's recommended to have official policies for coverage, a model where members vote would fully cover edge cases. (Could be similar to the Supreme Court where justices vote based on case law.) Such a model could fully protect all Canadians across all platforms. You can have a fiat coverage governed by legal agreements, and crypto-asset coverage governed by both multi-sig and legal agreements. It could be practical, affordable, and inclusive. Now, we are at a crossroads. We can happily give up our freedom, our innovation, and our money. We can pay hefty expenses to auditors, lawyers, and regulators year after year (and make no mistake - this cost will grow to many millions or even billions as the industry grows - and it will be borne by all Canadians on every platform because platforms are not going to eat up these costs at a loss). We can make it nearly impossible for any new platform to enter the marketplace, forcing Canadians to use the same stagnant platforms year after year. We can centralize and consolidate the entire industry into 2 or 3 big players and have everyone else fail (possibly to heavy losses of users of those platforms). And when a flawed security model doesn't work and gets breached, we can make it even more complicated with even more people in suits making big money doing the job that blockchain was supposed to do in the first place. We can build a system which is so intertwined and dependent on big government, traditional finance, and central bankers that it's future depends entirely on that of the fiat system, of fractional banking, and of government bail-outs. If we choose this path, as history has shown us over and over again, we can not go back, save for revolution. Our children and grandchildren will still be paying the consequences of what we decided today. Or, we can find solutions that work. We can maintain an open and innovative environment while making the adjustments we need to make to fully protect Canadian investors and cryptocurrency users, giving easy and affordable access to cryptocurrency for all Canadians on the platform of their choice, and creating an environment in which entrepreneurs and problem solvers can bring those solutions forward easily. None of the above precludes innovation in any way, or adds any unreasonable cost - and these three policies would demonstrably eliminate or resolve all 109 historic cases as studied here - that's every single case researched so far going back to 2011. It includes every loss that was studied so far not just in Canada but globally as well. Unfortunately, finding answers is the least challenging part. Far more challenging is to get platform operators and regulators to agree on anything. My last post got no response whatsoever, and while the OSC has told me they're happy for industry feedback, I believe my opinion alone is fairly meaningless. This takes the whole community working together to solve. So please let me know your thoughts. Please take the time to upvote and share this with people. Please - let's get this solved and not leave it up to other people to do. Facts/background/sources (skip if you like):
The inspiration for the paragraph about splitting wallets was an actual quote from a Canadian company providing custodial services in response to the OSC consultation paper: "We believe that it will be in the in best interests of investors to prohibit pooled crypto assets or ‘floats’. Most Platforms pool assets, citing reasons of practicality and expense. The recent hack of the world’s largest Platform – Binance – demonstrates the vulnerability of participants’ assets when such concessions are made. In this instance, the Platform’s entire hot wallet of Bitcoins, worth over $40 million, was stolen, facilitated in part by the pooling of client crypto assets." "the maintenance of participants (and Platform) crypto assets across multiple wallets distributes the related risk and responsibility of security - reducing the amount of insurance coverage required and making insurance coverage more readily obtainable". For the record, their reply also said nothing whatsoever about multi-sig or offline storage.
In addition to the fact that the $40m hack represented only one "hot wallet" of Binance, and they actually had the vast majority of assets in other wallets (including mostly cold wallets), multiple real cases have clearly demonstrated that risk is still present with multiple wallets. Bitfinex, VinDAX, Bithumb, Altsbit, BitPoint, Cryptopia, and just recently KuCoin all had multiple wallets breached all at the same time, and may represent a significantly larger impact on customers than the Binance breach which was fully covered by Binance. To represent that simply having multiple separate wallets under the same security scheme is a comprehensive way to reduce risk is just not true.
Private insurance has historically never covered a single loss in the cryptocurrency space (at least, not one that I was able to find), and there are notable cases where massive losses were not covered by insurance. Bitpay in 2015 and Yapizon in 2017 both had insurance policies that didn't pay out during the breach, even after a lengthly court process. The same insurance that ShakePay is presently using (and announced to much fanfare) was describe by their CEO himself as covering “physical theft of the media where the private keys are held,” which is something that has never historically happened. As was said with regard to the same policy in 2018 - “I don’t find it surprising that Lloyd’s is in this space,” said Johnson, adding that to his mind the challenge for everybody is figuring out how to structure these policies so that they are actually protective. “You can create an insurance policy that protects no one – you know there are so many caveats to the policy that it’s not super protective.”
The most profitable policy for a private insurance company is one with the most expensive premiums that they never have to pay a claim on. They have no inherent incentive to take care of people who lost funds. It's "cheaper" to take the reputational hit and fight the claim in court. The more money at stake, the more the insurance provider is incentivized to avoid payout. They're not going to insure the assets unless they have reasonable certainty to make a profit by doing so, and they're not going to pay out a massive sum unless it's legally forced. Private insurance is always structured to be maximally profitable to the insurance provider.
The circumvention of multi-sig was a key factor in the massive Bitfinex hack of over $60m of bitcoin, which today still sits being slowly used and is worth over $3b. While Bitfinex used a qualified custodian Bitgo, which was and still is active and one of the industry leaders of custodians, and they set up 2 of 3 multi-sig wallets, the entire system was routed through Bitfinex, such that Bitfinex customers could initiate the withdrawals in a "hot" fashion. This feature was also a hit with the hacker. The multi-sig was fully circumvented.
Bitpay in 2015 was another example of a breach that stole 5,000 bitcoins. This happened not through the exploit of any system in Bitpay, but because the CEO of a company they worked with got their computer hacked and the hackers were able to request multiple bitcoin purchases, which Bitpay honoured because they came from the customer's computer legitimately. Impersonation is a very common tactic used by fraudsters, and methods get more extreme all the time.
A notable case in Canada was the Canadian Bitcoins exploit. Funds were stored on a server in a Rogers Data Center, and the attendee was successfully convinced to reboot the server "in safe mode" with a simple phone call, thus bypassing the extensive security and enabling the theft.
The very nature of custodians circumvents multi-sig. This is because custodians are not just having to secure the assets against some sort of physical breach but against any form of social engineering, modification of orders, fraudulent withdrawal attempts, etc... If the security practices of signatories in a multi-sig arrangement are such that the breach risk of one signatory is 1 in 100, the requirement of 3 independent signatures makes the risk of theft 1 in 1,000,000. Since hackers tend to exploit the weakest link, a comparable custodian has to make the entry and exit points of their platform 10,000 times more secure than one of those signatories to provide equivalent protection. And if the signatories beef up their security by only 10x, the risk is now 1 in 1,000,000,000. The custodian has to be 1,000,000 times more secure. The larger and more complex a system is, the more potential vulnerabilities exist in it, and the fewer people can understand how the system works when performing upgrades. Even if a system is completely secure today, one has to also consider how that system might evolve over time or work with different members.
By contrast, offline multi-signature solutions have an extremely solid record, and in the entire history of cryptocurrency exchange incidents which I've studied (listed here), there has only been one incident (796 exchange in 2015) involving an offline multi-signature wallet. It happened because the customer's bitcoin address was modified by hackers, and the amount that was stolen ($230k) was immediately covered by the exchange operators. Basically, the platform operators were tricked into sending a legitimate withdrawal request to the wrong address because hackers exploited their platform to change that address. Such an issue would not be prevented in any way by the use of a custodian, as that custodian has no oversight whatsoever to the exchange platform. It's practical for all exchange operators to test large withdrawal transactions as a general policy, regardless of what model is used, and general best practice is to diagnose and fix such an exploit as soon as it occurs.
False promises on the backing of funds played a huge role in the downfall of Quadriga, and it's been exposed over and over again (MyCoin, PlusToken, Bitsane, Bitmarket, EZBTC, IDAX). Even today, customers have extremely limited certainty on whether their funds in exchanges are actually being backed or how they're being backed. While this issue is not unique to cryptocurrency exchanges, the complexity of the technology and the lack of any regulation or standards makes problems more widespread, and there is no "central bank" to come to the rescue as in the 2008 financial crisis or during the great depression when "9,000 banks failed".
In addition to fraudulent operations, the industry is full of cases where operators have suffered breaches and not reported them. Most recently, Einstein was the largest case in Canada, where ongoing breaches and fraud were perpetrated against the platform for multiple years and nobody found out until the platform collapsed completely. While fraud and breaches suck to deal with, they suck even more when not dealt with. Lack of visibility played a role in the largest downfalls of Mt. Gox, Cryptsy, and Bitgrail. In some cases, platforms are alleged to have suffered a hack and keep operating without admitting it at all, such as CoinBene.
It surprises some to learn that a cryptographic solution has already existed since 2013, and gained widespread support in 2014 after Mt. Gox. Proof of Reserves is a full cryptographic proof that allows any customer using an exchange to have complete certainty that their crypto-assets are fully backed by the platform in real-time. This is accomplished by proving that assets exist on the blockchain, are spendable, and fully cover customer deposits. It does not prove safety of assets or backing of fiat assets.
If we didn't care about privacy at all, a platform could publish their wallet addresses, sign a partial transaction, and put the full list of customer information and balances out publicly. Customers can each check that they are on the list, that the balances are accurate, that the total adds up, and that it's backed and spendable on the blockchain. Platforms who exclude any customer take a risk because that customer can easily check and see they were excluded. So together with all customers checking, this forms a full proof of backing of all crypto assets.
However, obviously customers care about their private information being published. Therefore, a hash of the information can be provided instead. Hash is one-way encryption. The hash allows the customer to validate inclusion (by hashing their own known information), while anyone looking at the list of hashes cannot determine the private information of any other user. All other parts of the scheme remain fully intact. A model like this is in use on the exchange CoinFloor in the UK.
A Merkle tree can provide even greater privacy. Instead of a list of balances, the balances are arranged into a binary tree. A customer starts from their node, and works their way to the top of the tree. For example, they know they have 5 BTC, they plus 1 other customer hold 7 BTC, they plus 2-3 other customers hold 17 BTC, etc... until they reach the root where all the BTC are represented. Thus, there is no way to find the balances of other individual customers aside from one unidentified customer in this case.
Proposals such as this had the backing of leaders in the community including Nic Carter, Greg Maxwell, and Zak Wilcox. Substantial and significant effort started back in 2013, with massive popularity in 2014. But what became of that effort? Very little. Exchange operators continue to refuse to give visibility. Despite the fact this information can often be obtained through trivial blockchain analysis, no Canadian platform has ever provided any wallet addresses publicly. As described by the CEO of Newton "For us to implement some kind of realtime Proof of Reserves solution, which I'm not opposed to, it would have to ... Preserve our users' privacy, as well as our own. Some kind of zero-knowledge proof". Kraken describes here in more detail why they haven't implemented such a scheme. According to professor Eli Ben-Sasson, when he spoke with exchanges, none were interested in implementing Proof of Reserves.
And yet, Kraken's places their reasoning on a page called "Proof of Reserves". More recently, both BitBuy and ShakePay have released reports titled "Proof of Reserves and Security Audit". Both reports contain disclaimers against being audits. Both reports trust the customer list provided by the platform, leaving the open possibility that multiple large accounts could have been excluded from the process. Proof of Reserves is a blockchain validation where customers see the wallets on the blockchain. The report from Kraken is 5 years old, but they leave it described as though it was just done a few weeks ago. And look at what they expect customers to do for validation. When firms represent something being "Proof of Reserve" when it's not, this is like a farmer growing fruit with pesticides and selling it in a farmers market as organic produce - except that these are people's hard-earned life savings at risk here. Platforms are misrepresenting the level of visibility in place and deceiving the public by their misuse of this term. They haven't proven anything.
Fraud isn't a problem that is unique to cryptocurrency. Fraud happens all the time. Enron, WorldCom, Nortel, Bear Stearns, Wells Fargo, Moser Baer, Wirecard, Bre-X, and Nicola are just some of the cases where frauds became large enough to become a big deal (and there are so many countless others). These all happened on 100% reversible assets despite regulations being in place. In many of these cases, the problems happened due to the over-complexity of the financial instruments. For example, Enron had "complex financial statements [which] were confusing to shareholders and analysts", creating "off-balance-sheet vehicles, complex financing structures, and deals so bewildering that few people could understand them". In cryptocurrency, we are often combining complex financial products with complex technologies and verification processes. We are naïve if we think problems like this won't happen. It is awkward and uncomfortable for many people to admit that they don't know how something works. If we want "money of the people" to work, the solutions have to be simple enough that "the people" can understand them, not so confusing that financial professionals and technology experts struggle to use or understand them.
For those who question the extent to which an organization can fool their way into a security consultancy role, HB Gary should be a great example to look at. Prior to trying to out anonymous, HB Gary was being actively hired by multiple US government agencies and others in the private sector (with glowing testimonials). The published articles and hosted professional security conferences. One should also look at this list of data breaches from the past 2 years. Many of them are large corporations, government entities, and technology companies. These are the ones we know about. Undoubtedly, there are many more that we do not know about. If HB Gary hadn't been "outted" by anonymous, would we have known they were insecure? If the same breach had happened outside of the public spotlight, would it even have been reported? Or would HB Gary have just deleted the Twitter posts, brought their site back up, done a couple patches, and kept on operating as though nothing had happened?
In the case of Quadriga, the facts are clear. Despite past experience with platforms such as MapleChange in Canada and others around the world, no guidance or even the most basic of a framework was put in place by regulators. By not clarifying any sort of legal framework, regulators enabled a situation where a platform could be run by former criminal Mike Dhanini/Omar Patryn, and where funds could be held fully unchecked by one person. At the same time, the lack of regulation deterred legitimate entities from running competing platforms and Quadriga was granted a money services business license for multiple years of operation, which gave the firm the appearance of legitimacy. Regulators did little to protect Canadians despite Quadriga failing to file taxes from 2016 onward. The entire administrative team had resigned and this was public knowledge. Many people had suspicions of what was going on, including Ryan Mueller, who forwarded complaints to the authorities. These were ignored, giving Gerald Cotten the opportunity to escape without justice.
There are multiple issues with the SOC II model including the prohibitive cost (you have to find a third party accounting firm and the prices are not even listed publicly on any sites), the requirement of operating for a year (impossible for new platforms), and lack of any public visibility (SOC II are private reports that aren't shared outside the people in suits).
Securities frameworks are expensive. Sarbanes-Oxley is estimated to cost $5.1 million USD/yr for the average Fortune 500 company in the United States. Since "Fortune 500" represents the top 500 companies, that means well over $2.55 billion USD (~$3.4 billion CAD) is going to people in suits. Isn't the problem of trust and verification the exact problem that the blockchain is supposed to solve?
To use Quadriga as justification for why custodians or SOC II or other advanced schemes are needed for platforms is rather silly, when any framework or visibility at all, or even the most basic of storage policies, would have prevented the whole thing. It's just an embarrassment.
We are now seeing regulators take strong action. CoinSquare in Canada with multi-million dollar fines. BitMex from the US, criminal charges and arrests. OkEx, with full disregard of withdrawals and no communication. Who's next?
We have a unique window today where we can solve these problems, and not permanently destroy innovation with unreasonable expectations, but we need to act quickly. This is a unique historic time that will never come again.
Bitcoin options are breaking records, and exchanges are competing for this segment. We will tell you what these tools are and how they work
Bitcoin options are breaking records, and exchanges are competing for this segment. We will tell you what these tools are and how they work The cryptocurrency market is constantly evolving, integrating with the traditional and inheriting complex financial products such as futures and options. Some types of fixed-term contracts are already firmly established in the bitcoin industry. This is noticeable by the activity of traders on the CME. However, the situation with options is somewhat different. These derivatives are difficult to understand among ordinary market participants and are not yet so popular. Nevertheless, there is a demand for such tools, as evidenced by the growth dynamics of this market segment and interest from platforms such as Binance and Bitfinex. Bitcoin options have already been offered on CME, LedgerX and Bakkt, which are regulated and oriented primarily on whales. Among the unregulated sites, the leader is Deribit, followed by FTX and OKEx. ForkLog magazine figured out what options are and what types of options are. We will talk about the features of these tools and the current state of affairs in the segment. In this article you will also find comments by leading market experts on the role of options in the industry.
What are options and how do they work?
An option is a financial contract concluded between two parties — the holder and the seller. The first receives the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell a certain amount of the underlying asset at the strike price (strike price) on a specific date (expiration date). The seller undertakes to buy or sell the asset at the request of the option holder. The latter pays the seller at the time of purchase of the contract a certain amount of money — the so-called premium. The rights and obligations of the holder and seller differ significantly. The former has the right to choose whether to exercise the option or not. The seller is obliged to fulfill the terms of the contract at the request of the holder. Parameters such as the type of underlying asset, expiration date, strike price are fixed at the time of issue of the contract, after which they cannot be changed. Like futures, options are derivative financial instruments and derivatives. This means that they can be based on various underlying assets (BA) — stocks, indices or cryptocurrencies. “Like the options already existing in traditional finance for all major assets, there are contracts based on BTC and ETH on the cryptocurrency market. They are very interesting financial products“, said Su Zhu, head of Three Arrows Capital, in a conversation with ForkLog. Options are used both for hedging risks and for speculative trading. For example, a speculator confident in the growth of the underlying asset buys a call option. If the BA price rises above the strike, the trader can use his contract to buy a discounted asset. “Derivatives such as options allow users to hedge risks and generate revenue. Derivatives play a key role in the traditional financial market. These tools are needed so that the cryptocurrency market continues to grow and develop, being filled with new participants“, said Aaron Gong, vice president of Binance Futures.
Practical use of options
Consider the simplest example of options hedging. Suppose there is a company manufacturing tomato paste, sauces and ketchups. There is a farmer supplying this company with tomatoes. He acts in conditions of fierce competition, close to perfect. It is extremely important for a company to buy raw materials cheaper to minimize production costs and remain profitable. The farmer, in turn, hopes for a long-term cooperation with the company so as not to lose a major client. The company offers the farmer an option, assuming the right to buy 10 tons of tomatoes of the next year’s crop at the current price — say, $1,000 per ton. To exercise this right, the company pays the farmer an option premium of 3% of the total transaction amount of $10,000, that is, $300. The farmer will have to, at the request of the company, sell the appropriate quantity of goods at the above price and at a specified time. A year later, the crop was high, which led to a decrease in the market value of tomatoes to $800 per ton. The company decides not to exercise its right to purchase raw materials for $10,000, as other farmers can buy the same 10 tons of tomatoes for only $8,000. Thus, having lost only $300 as a premium on an option, the company is insured against price risk. Buying raw materials at a significantly lower market price is more than worth the price of the option contract. Let’s imagine another scenario: the crop turned out to be unimportant and the price of scarce tomatoes jumped to $1200 per ton. Then the company will certainly take advantage of the right to purchase tomatoes for $1000. Thus, the result is any case. It is easy to guess that the options can be used by miners to hedge the risks of adverse changes in the price of the extracted asset. For example, expecting a decrease in the price of BTC, miners can use options that give them the right to sell cryptocurrency in the future at a price higher than the breakeven point. “Miners are already very active in options markets. And, probably, they will remain active“, Su Zhu said. Su Zhu is confident that in the long term, options will make the cryptocurrency spot market more liquid and attractive to a wide range of participants. He added that the growing popularity of such contracts among miners could significantly reduce sales pressure. “Options give miners the opportunity to fix the price of coins mined in the future. Miners can better manage their production costs and protect themselves from market volatility“, said Aaron Gong, expressing confidence that the popularity of options will continue to grow. According to him, such tools open up new opportunities and may be of interest to speculators, funds and long-term cryptocurrency holders. “Institutional investors are also showing growing interest in options and other derivatives. Last week it was reported that the famous Wall Street trader Paul Tudor Jones allocated a few percent from his Tudor BVI fund for bitcoin futures. This is a positive signal, which means that more and more institutions are interested in the cryptocurrency market“,Gong added. However, option strategies are not suitable for every market participant — effective work with these tools requires certain experience, Co-founder of CoinIndex.agency Julia Sporysh is sure: “Of course, in order to use this effectively, the miner must have an experienced trader (option strategies are some of the most difficult on the market) — or they will have to unite and work through specialized trading companies. This market exists, although it is not for the general public.” Also, according to her, options may be of interest to funds and retail traders who have gained a hand in speculative trading. “Options are an independent and good speculative tool. And if you have positions in futures or in the spot market, it’s just the time to explore new opportunities“, added Yulia Sporysh.
Types of options
There are two main types of options — option call and option put. The first gives the right to the contract holder to purchase a certain amount of the underlying asset from the seller (they also say — the inscription) at the strike price on a certain date in the future. This type of option was used in the tomato example. The put option, on the contrary, gives the buyer of the contract the right to sell the underlying asset at a fixed price. The latter may be higher than the market at the time of expiration, which is beneficial to the trader. Market participants use the call, predicting an increase in the price of BA, and put — expecting it to decline. More complex strategies use combinations of these two types of contracts. There is also the term “covered option”. For example, an option call is covered if the seller has the amount of the underlying asset corresponding to the terms of the contract. Options may also differ in the style of execution — American or European. European-style options require the holder to execute the contract exclusively on the expiration date. Such options, in particular, are presented at CME and Bakkt. American style implies the possibility of contract execution at any time prior to the date of expiration. Options of both styles are traded all over the world, their names have no relation to geographic location. There are less standardized, exotic options. However, the popularity and importance of such instruments in the financial market is not so great. Parameters and conditions for trading certain options are described in the specifications for them, which indicate the expiration date, strike price and other elements of the contract.
Premium, strike price and cash option
The option premium is the amount of money paid by the buyer to the seller. The premium is equal to the value of the contract and, in fact, represents a fee for the risk of adverse changes in the value of the underlying asset. The option premium is formed by two components: • Intrinsic value — the amount that the buyer would receive if the contract were currently executed. It depends on the ratio of the price of the underlying asset and the strike. • Time value — depends on the time remaining until expiration. Usually, the less time it takes to execute a contract, the lower the premium. As a rule, high price volatility contributes to premium growth, and vice versa. A deal with a close strike price in relation to the current one has much greater chances of closing in profit and, therefore, the premium for such an option will be relatively high. The strike price is the price fixed in the option at which the buyer of the call option can buy (or sell, if this is a put option) the underlying asset. In turn, the seller of the contract is obliged to sell or buy BA. Money is an indicator of the ability to receive funds from the exercise of the right to exercise a derivative. In the context of options, cash can be calculated by comparing the spot price of the BA and the strike price of the option. Thus, three options are possible: • “in the money” option: in the case of a call — if the spot price is higher than the strike (then the intrinsic value of the contract is positive), in the case of a put, on the contrary, if the BA price is lower than the strike; • option “on money” (or “with one’s own”) — equal strike to current stock quotes, intrinsic value equal to 0; • the option “out of money” (“without money”) — the exercise of the option is not economically feasible; in such a situation, the current price of the underlying asset is lower than the strike price of the call option or, conversely, the spot price of the BA is higher than the strike price in the case of a put.
There are many option trading strategies. Four basic approaches can be distinguished. Long call — buying a call option, the investor expects an increase in the price of the underlying asset above the strike on the expiration date of the contract. Then he will be able to buy an asset at a discount to the market price and thus earn on the difference. If the price drops below the strike, the buyer risks only the premium paid for the option. Long put — is a kind of alternative to a short position in the spot market. The buyer of the put option hopes to make money, assuming that the price of the BA falls below the strike at the time of expiration. In this scenario, the investor may sell the asset at a higher price than the market price. Also, through a put option, an investor can limit the risk of a fall in the price of an asset that has a long position open. According to Su Zhu, miners may use the “protective put” strategy, in whose activity a substantial and prolonged drop in the price of mined cryptocurrency is undesirable. Through such tools, miners can provide profitable or even break-even activity. Short call — the investor acts as the seller of the contract, counting on a decrease in the price of BA below the strike on the date of expiration. However, the higher the price of the asset, the more losses the inscription bears. Thus, the risk of the seller of the contract is unlimited, and the profit potential is limited by the premium on the sale of the call. Short put — the seller of such an option expects a premium on it, being firmly convinced that the price of the BA will be higher than the strike. Combinations of these basic strategies may underlie more sophisticated options trading approaches, such as: • protective put — purchase of a put option for an available asset; • covered (secured) call — an investor sells a call option to an existing BA or which will be acquired simultaneously with the sale of the option; the strategy reduces the risk of owning an asset, since a fall in its price is partially offset by a premium; • straddle — a kind of bet on volatility, which implies the purchase of a call and put option on the same asset with the same expiration date and the same strike price; • strangle — almost the same as straddle, differs only in different strike prices.
Options are complex financial instruments, their mechanism of work is unlikely to be mastered immediately by most novice traders. Nevertheless, these derivatives may seem interesting to experienced market participants and, in particular, to miners. The following advantages and disadvantages of options can be distinguished. Of the advantages of these contracts, we note: - flexibility of use in speculative trading; - the ability to use many combinations and trading strategies; - a good tool for hedging risks; - the ability to use in any trend — upward, downward, sideways. Disadvantages: - the difficulty of understanding the mechanism of work, especially for novice market participants; - asymmetric conditions and, accordingly, risks for the buyer and seller; - the complexity of trading strategies; - the volatility of an option premium, which depends on the proximity of the expiration date and price dynamics in the spot market; - low liquidity. Different industry players have different cryptocurrency options. Some consider them promising tools useful for miners, funds, retail traders and the market as a whole. Others are convinced that such derivatives are archaism. Nevertheless, options are gradually taking root in the cryptocurrency market. This is evident in the dynamics of trading volume and open interest. In addition, more and more exchanges are trying to add support for these contracts, which contributes to increased competition and further development of the industry. Subscribe to our Telegram channel
https://preview.redd.it/sxiftidp8cz41.png?width=1343&format=png&auto=webp&s=645584b9971068f347f80b63016bf229e45b0bbf Hello everyone, thank you for your continued interest and support. In the past two weeks, various tasks of TokenClub have been progressing steadily. The product development and community operation progress this week are as follows: 1. TokenClub Events 1)Binance blockchain live streaming program “Block 101” joins TokenClub APP TokenClub teamed up with Binance “Block 101” to host a series of live broadcast events. In the past two weeks, the big brothers such as the CEO of Feixin, Cobo co-founder Shenyu, and IOST co-founder Terry visited the TokenClub live broadcast room. See live summary. “Block 101” is a live broadcast of dialogues launched by Binance New Media Marketing Team, hosted by Jiayi, Anna, Liuliu, Yingge, Sisi, Qiqi, Doris, etc. Here will invite entrepreneurs in the industry, investment giants, opinion leaders, trading bulls or ordinary people with stories. Every Monday to Friday, with you in the TokenClub live room. https://preview.redd.it/2ftnirwq8cz41.png?width=1080&format=png&auto=webp&s=88f45a13ad522f8d5139a703cbf2f337720907f2 https://preview.redd.it/qubkprdr8cz41.png?width=690&format=png&auto=webp&s=878a619dc582b7c2bb6d660395be4b350cb74983 2)Participate in poster forwarding, draw red envelope prize When Bitcoin halves, TokenClub launches a poster forwarding red envelope campaign. On the day of the event, forward the poster to Twitter and the telegram group, and upload a screenshot to have the opportunity to extract the TCT red envelope award ~ 3)Participate in live streaming interactive questions and win mysterious gift events From May 11th to May 15th, TokenClub launched a live question and prize draw event. During the event, watch the block 101 live broadcast and interact with questions during the live broadcast, you will have the opportunity to get a mysterious gift from TokenClub. https://preview.redd.it/rcx8yett8cz41.png?width=1080&format=png&auto=webp&s=4e2541c0d893e20725c54d76ad96634a79cfb8fd 3)TokenClub’s self-media Bilaoye was invited to participate in AMA a. On May 7th,Bilaoye was invited by UPChain to conduct an AMA with the theme of “Half Countdown, Where Will the Market Go” in the Chains community. AMA article link: http://public.tokenup100.com/page/article.html?articleId=f1db8c6bfaa94886bbdd863ec9908252&from=timeline&isappinstalled=0 b. On May 8th, Bilaoye was invited by Golden Finance to conduct an AMA with the theme “Bitcoin Breaks Over US $ 10,000 and Will Do This in Half”. Review link: https://m.jinse.com/live/topic?id=11813&from=singlemessage&isappinstalled=0 C. On May 14, Bilaoye was invited by Cailu Finance to conduct an AMA with the theme of “Correct Postures for Depositing Money” in the Cailu community.Review link: https://preview.redd.it/47prnpkv8cz41.png?width=1080&format=png&auto=webp&s=5baa2e06ec09ecdd60adb609bac247333059c016 2.TokenClub Live 1) Summary Recently, Feng Yuqing, the director of Yicai Global America, the first Chinese reporter to interview Buffett, the organizer & host of the First Financial New York Forum; a world-renowned financial expert, a professor of finance at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, and the director of the finance department -Cao Huining; ARPA founder Felix, SWFT Blockchain one-stop currency exchange cross-chain platform operation in Greater China & BD leader-Ye Fei, mining big man Binxin Mining CEO “Feige”, contract emperor co-founder Xiaoding, AlchemyPay co-founder Shi Xiang, financial expert & first-line trader Xu Zhe, Huobi Key Account Manager-Xiaotong, Roark Group & Bitribe & 499 Block founder sky, Cobo co-founder Shenyu, DappReview CEO Niu Fengxuan, IOST co-founder Terry; and TokenClub blockchain and cryptocurrency investment strategy senior expert-Zao Shen talks with you about the blockchain ~ On May 6, Block 101 Sisi Dialogue Felix, the founder of the hard-core technical team on the blockchain, ARPA Felix, the theme is “The Wall Street Battle of the Wall Street Elite”. In this live dialogue, the resume is dazzling. , The young man who was free to switch between “Yangchun Baixue” and “earthed gas” from the team’s initial heart chat to his investment strategy to the judgment of the entire currency market, his fanaticism of rock seems to explain a series of “adventure” options- — Longing for a more free and innovative world. https://preview.redd.it/7fahx79x8cz41.png?width=1080&format=png&auto=webp&s=b0282a4fb4730d2898b15326d42e0460a3b92f10 On May 6th, TokenClub invited the one-stop SWFT Blockchain currency exchange cross-chain platform Greater China operation & BD leader-Ye Fei as a guest to “Jingjing at 8 o’clock” live broadcast, bringing us “flash exchange in the future block The theme of “Chain Payment Ecosystem” is shared. Mr. Ye made a detailed interpretation of SWFTC, and revealed the development plan of SWFTC, and exchanged questions and answers with fans enthusiastically. https://preview.redd.it/27thi7cy8cz41.png?width=1080&format=png&auto=webp&s=df20cc7176e671942d85edf6b0790c0b8020663f On May 7th, Block 101 Luna talked to the CEO of the mining industry, who is most familiar with KTV, Kexin Mining, “Fei Ge”. Liu Fei talked to Bin An Luna, he counted his mining “stepping on the pit road” “, Talking about halving the market and investment experience, talking to the second half, wearing a red Polo shirt, he began to persuade everyone to learn more in the KTV in Beijing at night, and recommended books. https://preview.redd.it/4nhtp1sz8cz41.png?width=1080&format=png&auto=webp&s=03b8e1da731eefd1d57f65e3d1fa337e7eaafd66 On May 8, the TokenClub live column-”Professor had an appointment” shared the theme: “BOC crude oil treasure and financial derivatives market”. In this issue, Professor Cao invited the first U.S. Global Director of the United States, the first Chinese reporter to interview Buffett, the organizer & host of the First Financial New York Forum, and Columbia University Master of International Relations Feng Yuqing to share with guests on Chain, digital currency financial derivatives market, etc. have done a detailed exchange analysis. https://preview.redd.it/4zgaxsw09cz41.png?width=1080&format=png&auto=webp&s=a88fc93057a631cc152b225dfb186385abaffbd6 On May 8th, block 101 was led by Binance BD’s head Li Jiayi, who talked about contract emperor co-founder Xiao Dingdang. He is an old code farmer who is known for his futures contract operations. He wrote a 10-year code, and the front end Everyone is familiar with it, and it is hard to say anything on the line of speech. Frankly, he talked from his fortune history to the story of the endless number of contract circles, and shared his trading iron law with everyone: there must be a stop loss; must practice more and try more. https://preview.redd.it/90hyrg639cz41.png?width=1080&format=png&auto=webp&s=ded092ee130fa72d7b38e2ee9ca9b4d67d382c71 On May 9th, Zaoshen is coming ~ The sharing theme of this issue is: The Yangtze River will push back and forth, and one wave will be more than one wave. Speaking of the “Houlang” hot event, Zao Shen mainly analyzed the halving market with everyone in detail, to see how many opportunities there are and what strategies to choose. Soul asked: How much money did you make in this wave of quotes? https://preview.redd.it/dwh2ojp49cz41.png?width=1080&format=png&auto=webp&s=466850dcc4d01e49872b144e49369c859256a67c On May 11, Block 101 was discussed by Binance Qiqi Dialogue AlchemyPay co-founder Shi Xiang, the former vice president of Zhongan Technology and the founder of Micro Index shared with you the experience of dealing with overseas regulators: supervision is not actually strong Groups, regulation will strike you because you are worried about doing bad things, but as long as you are willing to actively communicate, regulation usually gives a tolerance period. For more content, please move to the live room. https://preview.redd.it/grgnfkw59cz41.png?width=1080&format=png&auto=webp&s=83afa9faf03d4da0b26fc85f9e0c562127ca9f83 May 12, Exclusive: Huobi Global & Knowing Daniel Interpretation of “Physical Currency, Debt Currency to Encrypted Digital Currency”. The key account manager of Huobi Global has a conversation with financial expert and front-line trader Xu Zhe, talking about physical currency, debt currency and encrypted digital currency. Work is tired enough, the market is already exciting enough, pick Xu Da Tucao various currencies, teach you to return all the money. The value of the young lady’s face is a feeling of emotion. https://preview.redd.it/8vsehsc79cz41.png?width=1080&format=png&auto=webp&s=b305df0b0c51b339ef109d8041da4ae05a7f7fd0 On May 12, Block 101 was founded by Binance Thinking, the founder of Roark Group, Bitribe, and 499Block. Sky, a science and technology man from Tsinghua University and MIT, has the title of “Coin Circle Zheng Kai”. Sky said that starting a business in the blockchain industry is like drifting in the turbulent Amazon River. If you do n’t believe that you will eventually reach the sea, you will be thrown off. Sky believes that Bitcoin is essentially a consensus based on time. Halving is like escaping the monsters, and each level increases the consensus. https://preview.redd.it/gc9mgni89cz41.png?width=1080&format=png&auto=webp&s=2842c60a520c27993f8b4d1c611e112514352482 On May 13th, Block 101 Luna talked to F2Pool and Cobo co-founder Shenyu, and talked about the “new” story of Bitcoin. Leo ’s Godfish talked to us about the monopoly of computing power, mining pool operations, halving and Cobo ’s future development goals. He said that 80–90% of personal assets are Bitcoin, and about 10% of Ethereum and other Strange coins from mining. It is called “the first segment of the coin circle” because “more pits are filled, so in the end each pit becomes a stalk.” https://preview.redd.it/rga6ean99cz41.png?width=1080&format=png&auto=webp&s=243c7aae2d8144621e913f3c8615465eea1d42e4 On May 14, Niu Fengxuan, CEO of DappReview, talked about “how ordinary people make money through Dapp”. Niu Fengxuan graduated from Fudan and Stanford. He is a serious game enthusiast. He has written many in-depth game evaluations and is an early participant of Dapp. He said that many people think that the biggest application of blockchain is speculation, but the technology ultimately serves products and applications. In the long run, if blockchain can really bring changes and innovations to the world technically, then it must be C-side users should feel it in a more friendly way in other fields. https://preview.redd.it/zx38u5qa9cz41.png?width=1080&format=png&auto=webp&s=da5a65164e1ee8a3b91e446bdce8c5c7e905990f On May 15th, Block 101 Yingge talked to IOST co-founder Terry and talked about “The Blockchain Ideal of Princeton Schoolmaster”. Terry told us about his sad history, happy history, and experience and experience of mining from college mining to graduate school to entrepreneurship, talked about the development direction of the blockchain market, and interacted with fans. https://preview.redd.it/uats2yqb9cz41.png?width=1080&format=png&auto=webp&s=aba5587f0a96b0e31b3b205ea0d7a48a03664dd5 On May 16th, senior expert Zao Shen brought a live broadcast on the theme of “Depth Is Insufficient In Operation, How To Play With Crash”. In this live broadcast, in addition to analyzing the macro level of the economy, Zao Shen also focused on sharing The specific operation skills emphasized the principle of buying and selling, and finally commented on the hot events such as the recent Federal Reserve announcement that it will not fall to negative interest rates. 3.TokenClub operation data -Live data: 13 live broadcasts in the past two weeks, with over 600,000 views. TokenClub hosted a total of 835 live broadcasts with a total of 44.25 million views. -Binary trade data: In the past two weeks, guess the rise and fall to participate in a total of 1060 times, the amount of participation exceeded 2 million TCT. At present, it is guessed that the rise and fall function has participated in a total of 1.11 million times, with a cumulative participation amount of 496 million TCT. -Chat data: In the past two weeks, a total of 28,950 messages have been generated. A total of 4.83 milliom messages have been launched since the function was launched. -Mini-game data: The mini-game has participated in a total of 7,830 times in the past two weeks. A total of 1,66 million self-functions have been online. -Cut leeks game data together: Since the game was launched, the total number of user participation in the game was 954,364 TCT total consumption was 6,27 million gift certificate total consumption was 15,53 million and TCT mining output was 160,48. -TokenClub KOL data: Over the past two weeks, the total reading volume of the BTCGrandpa article has been viewed by more than 300,000 people. -Social media data: At present, the number of Weibo official accounts is 17,972 and the number of Twitter followers is 1310, and we have opened the official Medium account this week, welcome to follow. -Telegram official group data: In the past 2 weeks, there were 310 chats in the group, and the total number of Telegram official groups is currently 2971. -Medium data: Medium official account u/TokenClub has published 1 excellent articles, official announcements and updates are published in English, welcome to follow. 4.Communities 1)Overseas community TokenClub held an event for forwarding Twitter and telegram group chats for overseas users. Bitcoin halved in less than two weeks, overseas users are more active in the telegram group, and some friends are more concerned about Binance Block 101 live broadcast, aggregation exchange, TCT usage and other issues, the administrator responded in time.On May 12th, when Bitcoin was halved, TokenClub organized a forwarding Twitter, telegram group chat prize event and participating in a live question asking interactive prize event for overseas users. There are many live broadcast events in the near future. The live broadcast poster information will be released to overseas users as soon as possible. The follow-up TokenClub will translate and broadcast high-quality live broadcast content to Twitter and Medium. Bitcoin halved, overseas users are more active in the telegram group, and some partners are more concerned about block 101 live broadcast, bitcoin future price trend, TCT usage and other issues, the administrator responded in time in the group. https://preview.redd.it/msi423re9cz41.png?width=1080&format=png&auto=webp&s=f0c453445cea34b8cba807e8bfa237dabfe9fb24 2)Domestic community Last Friday, a holiday, the community opened the red envelope rain event, and brought a sincere gift to everyone while relaxing in the holiday. At the same time, it also sent the most sincere blessings to all mothers in the community on Mother’s Day. Thank you for your long-term support and help to the Orange Club community. The third week of the second 100-day fixed investment plan held this week has been awarded. The participation of this event is still quite positive. This week, the bitcoin halving market was also opened in advance. If it starts according to the first day The small partners participating in the fixed investment should now have a certain floating win, so we adopt the correct cycle investment strategy to believe that it can bring unexpected benefits to everyone. On May 9th and May 16th, TCT Fortune Free Academy carried out red envelope party activities as scheduled. In the event, in addition to GF red envelopes, students were reminded that there may be a callback risk after the pie halving, and short-term profits are available. On the evening of May 3rd and May 10th, TCT Fortune Free Academy carried out the 51st and 52nd week sign-in sweepstakes, and rewarded the small TCT partners who had always insisted on signing in. In these two sign-in sweepstakes, the lucky friends received 20–180TCT as a reward. In addition, during the lucky draw, the college friends also actively expressed their opinions on the topic of this year’s bull market. The Leek Paradise Community Conference will continue as usual every Sunday at 20:00. During the conference, members will discuss recent hot topics, including gifts and blessings for Mother ’s Day, and the halving of Bitcoin everyone is paying attention to. At the end, the friends in the group also showed a rare enthusiasm at the first sight. It seems that the market still affects the mood. The members routinely started a red envelope rain to cheer for the participating partners and encourage everyone to maintain patience and confidence. Of course, at the same time, we are encouraging ourselves to see the community meeting next week. Come on! TokenClub volunteer community, sign in red envelopes every day, as long as you sign in every day, you can get good benefits, friends join us quickly! In the past two weeks, the community has conducted active partners. TCT has been listed on Binance、Okex、Gate.io、ZB-M、MXC、Biki、Coinex、BigOne、Coinbene、Cybex、SWFT、Loopring、Rootrex etc. TokenClub website: www.tokenclub.com Telegram：https://t.me/token\_club TokenClub App download QR code https://preview.redd.it/59o55ojn9cz41.png?width=560&format=png&auto=webp&s=b3b3f69f59d6f25c87319d7e9331435e36e27ba7
[uncensored-r/CryptoCurrency] XRB is hyped up vapourware and will never work as advertised. Don't buy into the pump scheme.. if...
The following post by ethswagholder is being replicated because some comments within the post(but not the post itself) have been openly removed. The original post can be found(in censored form) at this link: np.reddit.com/ CryptoCurrency/comments/7qbixo The original post's content was as follows:
XRB rai blocks has massive issues which will never get resolved. The developers have been making promises to resolve these node/exchange issues for almost a year now. The latest promise is that "it will be resolved early next week" but anyone who isn't blind to the obvious facts can wager that it will definitely not get resolved. This is the XRB cryptopia de-listing message, which also talks about these sync issues. This was almost a year back. The XRB shills want to pretend the cryptopia delisting was only due to death threats from third world captcha farmers, but the issues were simply because the coin has huge issues even back then. The Cryptopia node simply kept crashing and for days the coins were not accessible. The wallet on cryptopia exchange site said frozen for several days, and suddenly one day they would enable deposits and withdrawals, but in a couple of hours it would go down again. This kept happening time and again... people sent their coins to cryptopia, but they never arrived in the wallets. Withdrawals, same story, disabled. They tried reaching Cryptopia support who in their capacity also tried to fix this issue and get the wallets running, but again it would go down in next to no time. Rise and repeat. People were waiting for the withdrawals and deposits for weeks on end, and after a while even they got fed up with the lack of support. Then naturally, the blame game started and the accusations fell on Cryptopia. And ofcourse, some people reacted badly with death threats etc.. Cryptopia talks about of all these problems including death threats and network issues in their delisting message. It is not down only to "Death threats", but a chain of events culminating in the threats... Now fast forward 8-9 months since then, and what do you have? All exchanges are still not working. Bit Grail owner publicly stated he is being insulted, called a scammer, and he was given the twitter abuse by the community too, when all he did was say the truth that there are HUGE issues which are outside both his and developers control... Merca tox is down for god knows how many days, there is constant reports that Mercatox has scammed, pursue legal action, etc. At this point, from abuse and legal threats, to death threats... it is not a giant leap.. especially when people believe they are losing money. There is a major issue with the coin. It cannot be resolved in a suitable manner that will enable smooth functioning of exchanges. No exchange will be able to run seamlessly like they are supposed to, because of severe limitations of the network and nodes. When there is small 100k volume, this is not a problem, when the volume scales, this will always result in huge back log of support tickets, deposits not working, withdrawals not working, blame game, finally legal threats... the cycle goes on.. There was a full cycle of these threats with Cryptopia and now very close to the legal/death threat phase of Merca tox and Bit Grail. If you read the XRB subs/twitter, many are abusing the owners of Bit Grail, someone wanted to visit Bit Grail office. They want to "sue" Merca Tox The "great" community.. even that can turn bad in no time, when money is involved.. You can never predict what people will do when they are waiting for several weeks for their coins. Its almost preposterous to think it would be any other way, but heck, coin went on KuCoin and same outcome. Surprise surprise. Notice how it is always blamed on the "shitty" exchanges alone by XRB shills. The same issues with Rai Exchange as well. Today Rai Exchange actually posted that "they have troubles integrating Litecoin"Source.. Hahaha ... If they can't integrate Litecoin, how the bloody hell will they integrate XRB the exchange killer? It is obvious the whole episode this is nothing but an elaborate scheme played to pump the coin from #200 in CMC to #15... Anyone thinking Binance the biggest exchange is gonna touch this toxic coin is out of his mind. It won the vote, but actually listing it is a different matter altogether. Adding such a crappy coin will harm Binance's reputation; especially after seeing KuCoin suffer. Even if they actually list it, and the same issues happens once again, it will be obvious to everyone that there is huge flaws in the system. The whitepaper and technology is great, but if implementation is impossible then there is no hope. The value will come tumbling down. These issues were brought to the developers as early as March 2017. They cannot be fixed unless there are serious changes made to the concept of raiblocks. If there is no solution, all investors may be sitting on highly combustible vapour. You need to understand the history of this issue and for how long it has been happening, and can't simply brush it aside crucial issues unsolved for almost a year now as "third world death threats"... or exchange issues which "will be resolved". If the developers were smart they will be on an island sipping their cocktails after the massive pump. No one has ever seen the lead developer, apart from his Linked In profile. He has never done any interview or even a video, outside of reddit AMAs. There is no reason to believe they have not pulled a Joost with their money (worth approx. $100m) after a successful hype driven pump campaign, instead of working on issues that cannot be resolved. Right now the coin has little bit of value left, if you are smart with your investments, you will know what to do.. If you can actually deposit that into an exchange, that is... If anyone tries informing their echo chamber subs about these issues, the posts get deleted faster than this coin's transaction times. Abuses get hurled along with the customary "Thxn, just bought more" Lol.. Those echo chambers actually believe this coin will "replace Bitcoin". They fail to realise that hundreds of coins have come and gone trying to replace bitcoin (each with a different tricky idea) while Bitcoin has not moved an inch from the top spot. This one and its toxic community of shills will learn a hard lesson not to buy every random reddit pumped coin especially when everyone else has done accumulating it.
4 Sub-$10 Million Market Cap Coins Worth Keeping An Eye On
1. Spectrecoin ($XSPEC) – $8.6 Million
What is Spectrecoin?
Utilizing a “range of proven cryptographic techniques” to achieve anonymous, untraceable, and un-linkable transactions, Spectrecoin is a secure Proof-of-Stake cryptocurrency enabling rapid P2P transactions and network privacy. Specifically, Spectrecoin is pulling out all the stops in order to protect user identity through their integration of:
Built-in Tor: Derived from the original software project moniker—The Onion Router—Spectrecoin is fully integrated with Tor, protecting real IP addresses at all times through the directing of traffic through a worldwide (and free) overlay network of more than 7,000 relays.
Anonymous coin creation: Deploying dual key stealth technology (a dual coin system), Spectre authorizes users to generate ‘anonymous coins’ known as SPECTRE for private and anonymous transactions as an alternative to their normal, everyday coin—XSPEC—for traditional transactions (most similar to Bitcoin).
Ring signatures: Through the execution and implementation of ring signatures, Spectrecoin user transaction history is wiped altogether, allowing users to exchange and transfer public coins, XSPEC, and SPECTRE.
At its core, Spectre’s dual coin system sanctions four fundamental types of privacy and anonymity transactions, XSPEC > XSPEC, XSPEC > SPECTRE, SPECTRE > SPECTRE, and SPECTRE > XSPEC, providing a plethora of transaction options for every type of user. And finally, if you’re looking for the TLDR (too long, didn’t read), Spectrecoin notes the best way to understand SPECTRE is to think of Bitcoin + Proof-of-Stake.v3 + anonymous transactions (similar to Monero) + Tor (for IP obfuscation).
Why You Should Keep an Eye On XSPEC
Unlike several other privacy coins which merely provide a Tor proxy—availing users to potential malicious exit nodes—Spectrecoin is fully integrated with Tor, a reliable and tested network providing one of the largest pools of IP addresses for confidentiality and untraceability. Coupled with staking, set at a 5% minimum per year, Spectrecoin offers a unique proposition (the only one in blockchain) for users looking to earn rewards while remaining anonymous by staking anonymous coins while generating more, fresh anonymous ones. Furthermore, for those looking for affirmation of Spectrecoin’s commitment to anonymity, not even the developers know each other’s real names—something that would have made walking away from a lacklustre ICO (which only raised 16 BTC at $600/700 per BTC) all too easy. Spectre has emphasized organic growth without an excessive and aggressive marketing push, opting instead for a working product and timely improvements to meet the ever-changing privacy arms race. And, with their funding gap set around £19,000, users can take solace in knowing the project isn’t an outright cash grab asking for millions to further tenuous goodwill—like far too many projects in the cryptosphere. At time of writing, XSPEC is listed on CoinMarketcap at US$0.41 or 5,970 Satoshis. Finally, if you’re wondering how Spectrecoin stacks up to other privacy coins, such as Monero, PIVX, and Zcash, check out this comparison chart.
2. FundRequest ($FND) – $1 Million
What is FundRequest?
In an age where open source software is an integral component for institutional, government, and nonprofit function and growth, there unfortunately remains a hindering factor—a cohesive, transparent, and styled request and transaction flow. Cue FundRequest, a decentralized marketplace for open source collaboration and catalyst for global open source sharing and circulation, empowering organizations, government, and other entities to:
Trustlessly transact via the blockchain and smart contracts to ensure all contracts created are self-resolving, tracked, and validated in a fair manner,
Incentivize organizations and developers to act in good faith through governance protocols and crypto economics,
Lower costsfor upkeep, while reducing friction for large-scale usage and adoption of open source technology,
Boost transparency for organizations looking to better understand average development and issue costs (ultimately resulting in a more efficient market), and
Integrate with third-party platforms (and vice versa), who are looking to benefit from already completed works.
Need to brush up on what exactly ‘open source’ means? The Open Source Initiative describes the concept of ‘open source’ as a tool which “enables a development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process.” For example, a requesting organization (referred to as the funder) will allot set funds—stored in a smart contract (i.e., escrow)—in order to tackle an open source issue, which is then picked up and solved by a developer (the solver). In order to eliminate malicious behavior, FundRequest requires solvers to “have skin in the game,” by staking proportional valued funds, all released and claimed once the issue is solved. Simply put, FundRequest is the go-to facilitating and incentivization platform (similar to Airbnb and Uber) for funding, claiming, and rewarding open source commits and contributions, leading to an enriched and more collaborative open source ecosystem.
Why You Should Keep an Eye On FND
With an estimated US$60 billion-plus in savings per year for organizations and institutions, thanks to open-source software and technology adoption, FundRequest is set to act as the glue which connects all dispersed and integral parts and actors. Traditional software, prohibitive costs, and predatory vendor practices are proving not to be conducive towards maximal technological growth and development, as most people and organizations just simply can’t afford or maintain it. Plus, with a clear push by both private and public sectors to leverage community-based software for development and distribution over the last decade, it’s expanding at rapid pace. In 2018, it’s approximated over 50% of European and North American companies utilize open source software for “crucial applications,” along with over 50% of American government organizations. This is no small industry. GitHub alone boasts over 24 million users (more than 8 times their user base five years ago), and it’s estimated that in the EU and United States combined, there’s over 160 million persons working as freelancers and independent contractors in what’s known as the “gig economy.” And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, with over 60% of online gig economy workers accounted for in Asia. As of August 1st, FND’s price sits at right around US$0.03 or 472 Satoshis. Finally, for open source projects and ERC-20 token projects looking to increase development capacity, consider checking out FundRequest for potential partnerships. Already in their short tenure, FundRequest has partnered with:
Redefining convenience, simplicity, and compatibility, and short for the “Crypto One-Stop Solution’ exchange and platform, COSS is the native token and liquidity attraction tool of the Singapore-based exchange, boasting some of the most popular altcoins on the market while enabling users to receive weekly payouts in “dust” for all traded tokens. Specifically, COSS is looking to provide more than just a simple, fast, and secure cryptocurrency trading exchange—they’re building a borderless, digital economical system to bring cryptocurrencies to the masses via:
Digital wallet with integrated cash flow: allowing users to seamlessly transfer and store crypto funds between the exchange and wallet within a single application.
ICO platform: enabling projects to fund and their ICO on the COSS exchange to increase popularity, volume, and trading value.
Ultimately, COSS is looking to shake up the cryptocurrency exchange ecosystem through improved user experience, heightened product and feature functions, and a comprehensive foundation for employers, startups, companies, and traders to build towards a more accessible and mainstream cooperative blockchain community.
Why You Should Keep an Eye on COSS
With the rapid and gargantuan successes enjoyed by both Kucoin and Binance in 2018, crypto exchanges employing user-friendly token incentivization models are becoming a go-to for users looking to generate passive income while diversifying their crypto portfolio. However, unlike other cryptocurrency exchanges which have lowered their daily fee splits to nominal amounts, COSS has stayed true towards user rewards, keeping their daily percentage at 50%—paying out the respective dividends via a decentralized autonomous organization, ultimately guaranteeing an immutable percentage. In order to stay competitive in the present-day blockchain ecosystem, COSS’s whitepaper notes a minimum of 3-5 new features implemented per quarter. In the past several months, below are just several of their most notable achievements:
Partnership with Blockchain Terminal (BCT): Easing the transition for institutional investors to trade and transact on crypto exchanges.
NEO Listing: Trading pairs for NEO/BTC, NEO/ETH, NEO/USD, and NEO/COSS.
Preparation for COSS 2.0: The hiring of a team of over thirty developers in preparation of COSS 2.0, which is set to roll out dynamic withdrawal fees, sophisticated trading tools, dust conversion, public and private APIs, new wallet, institutional accounts, and more.
And, if you’re looking to know what COSS’s endgame here is, their goal is to shift completely towards a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) in the future, where governance and decision making is outlined in code and run by a peer-to-peer network. Currently, COSS’s price is listed at US$0.06 or 935 Satoshis on Coinmarketcap. Finally, if you’re curious about COSS’s fee sharing, check out the COSS fee share calculator, which provides an accurate picture of your monthly exchange fee earnings relative to the amount of COSS owned. One Reddit user recently posted, and provided a screenshot, showing the COSS annual dividends to be at nearly 10% per year.
4. Lamden ($TAU) – $6.9 Million
What is Lamden?
Named after the Sherpa language word meaning “to guide,” Lamden is staying true to its name by easing the creation and deployment of dapps and custom blockchains. At its core, Lamden is providing a suite of developer tools mimicking “modern development processes in such tech stacks as Node.js or Python.” Simply put, Lamden is supplying the building blocks for experienced and amateur blockchain developers alike, enabling organizations and enterprise to skirt the energy and time costs of hiring and training expensive blockchain developers—ultimately speeding up efficiency and reducing overhead costs. Lamden is broken up into three fundamental sections, which all are in furtherance of project depth and the deployment of hyperfast blockchains for developers to not only experiment with, but test and deploy across other blockchain systems and platforms:
Saffron: a general tool sanctioning the deployment of private chains on an internal network, partitioning blockchains into individual use cases (e.g., an enterprise having their own web app), and bringing them together to interact when needed. Lamden CEO Stuart Farmer noted that from blockchain generation, to installment, all the way to deployment, an entire deployment cycle can be completed within a frame of just ten minutes!
Flora: a central repository for smart contract templates and packages, blockchain discovery tool, and private chain naming services, where developers are able to engage with one another, feed off one another’s innovations, and rapidly deploy and distribute smart contracts.
Clove: a payment network trustlessly facilitating communication between blockchain apps while handling payment channel swap processes, avoiding blockchain bloat and acting similarly to a telephone network.
Furthermore, Lamden supports the Ethereum network and Bitcoin-based blockchains at present, and boasts zero transaction fees and free chain-to-chain payments in exchange for chain allocation a specific amount of bandwidth for confirming payment channel transactions—meaning that its users are able to transact for free as a result of corporate entities bearing the network load and processing.
Why You Should Keep an Eye On TAU
Having released their ‘Cilantro’ testnet alpha in February 2018, Lamden has since hit the ground running, rolling out their first version of Clove soon after and tackling the necessary tune-ups and improvements in preparation of their mainnet launch in Q4 2018. Lamden’s mainnet is set to utilize a unique combination of Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) and the BFT Protocol, and will scale to process nearly 10,000 transactions per second. Moreover, in April 2018, Lamden announced the creation of LamDEX, their own decentralized cryptocurrency exchange and platform, where users will be able to stake their TAU—the native token of the Lamden platform—to act as a market maker, allowing for a cohesive back and forth across the TAU pair at prices faintly above and below market cost, ultimately generating rewards. With a rather daunting and tedious task ahead for anyone looking to utilize and incorporate existing smart contracts—which involves the manual searching for such on GitHub (a general repository website)—Lamden is truly adding value to blockchain and application development through their smart contract repository. Unlike GitHub, Lamden supports dependencies, versioning, and security, all essential elements for a quality package manager. Doing so adds not only convenience, but practicality to smart contract packages and implementation, and stands to save enterprise and organizations both exorbitant developer costs and time. If you’d like to learn more about Lamden’s developer tool suite, check out this complete overview from their blog. At the time of writing, Lamden’s price according to Coinmarketcap is US$0.04 or 699 Satoshis. To get a better picture of Lamden and their blockchain development tools ecosystem, check out this explanatory YouTube video from their channel. Final Thoughts Risk is inevitable when investing in crypto and blockchain projects. However, as long as you are cognizantly defining parameters for absorbing such risk, then diversifying your portfolio with smaller capped projects can be an effective way to realize value. Whether you’re looking for a user-friendly exchange to purchase crypto directly with fiat from (and earn dividends for loyalty) or wanting to execute anonymous and secure transactions with a P2P coin, the aforementioned projects are all bringing value to the crypto sphere through their overhaul of ineffective traditional mechanisms and institutions. Make sure to stay calm and collected during this bear market, associate yourself with quality projects that you think are bringing actual value to severely flawed industries, and remember, having a little gamble in you never hurts (as long as it’s properly accounted for). Source: https://www.investinblockchain.com/sub-10-million-coins/ B0x: Gustafio
[Daily BAT Discussion] Counting Cows - February 24, 2018
February 24, 2018 Hey BAT farmers! Welcome to the Daily BAT Discussion! Yesterday's Market Movements - Sideways Movement We saw another slight, steady run-up yesterday on low volume, but had a dip at the end of the day, leaving us around the price where we started at 3400 sats ($0.36). Check out CryptoJennie's weekly update on everything around the ad and BAT scene this week! Also it was just announced earlier that Brendan Eich will be speaking at the Mobile World Congress about blockchain! Have a safe, yet awesome weekend everyone! Tutorials Here are some guides for new people getting into crypto, especially BAT. Invest responsibly!
Daily Discussion Rules Remember, the permitted topics of discussion include, but are not limited to:
latest BAT/crypto news
ideas for BAT promotion
interesting BAT stories
moon and lambo talk (memes, dreams, rocket machines)
therapy sessions (during crypto recessions)
other coins/tokens as they relate to BAT (such as, "Hey guys, do you think coin-X is better than BAT?")
For now, dailies won't be stickied. So if you can, please upvote! Disclaimer: All content on BAT Dailies are not affiliated with the official Brave or BAT team, and are solely run and provided by the BAT community unless otherwise stated.
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