As a Bitcoin Miner in the US, You Should be - VBit Mining

[FULL ANALYSIS] Bitcoin exchanges and payment processors in Canada are now regulated as Money Service Businesses

Hello Bitcoiners!
Many of you saw my tweet yesterday about the Bitcoin regulations in Canada. As usual, some journalists decided to write articles about my tweets without asking me for the full context :P Which means there has been a lot of misunderstanding. Particuarly, these regulations mean that we can lower the KYC requirements and no longer require ID documents or bank account connections! We can also increase the daily transaction limit from $3,000 per day to $10,000 per day for unverified accounts. The main difference is that we now have a $1,000 per-transaction limit (instead of per day) and we must report suspicious transactions. It's important to read about our reporting requirements, as it is the main difference since pretty much every exchange was doing KYC anyway.
Hopefully you appreciate the transparency, and I'm available for questions!
Cheers,
Francis
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Text below is copied from: https://medium.com/bull-bitcoin/bitcoin-exchanges-and-payment-processors-in-canada-are-now-regulated-as-money-service-businesses-1ca820575511

Bitcoin is money, regulated like money

Notice to Canadian Bitcoin users

If you are the user of a Canadian Bitcoin company, be assured that:
You may notice that the exchange service you are using has change its transactions limits or is now requiring more information from you.
You can stop reading this email now without any consequence! Otherwise, keep regarding if you are interested in my unique insights into this important topic!

Background on regulation

Today marks an important chapter for Bitcoin’s history in Canada: Bitcoin is officially regulated as money (virtual currency) under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act of Canada (PCMLTFA), under the jurisdiction of the Financial Transaction and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).
This is the culmination of 5 years of effort by numerous Bitcoin Canadian advocates collaborating with the Ministry of Finance, Fintrac and other Canadian government agencies.
It is important to note that there is no new Bitcoin law in Canada. In June of 2014, the Governor General of Canada (representing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II) gave royal asset to Bill C-31, voted by parliament under Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, which included amendments to the PCMLTFA to included Bitcoin companies (named “dealers in virtual currency”) as a category of Money Service Businesses.
Thereafter, FINTRAC engaged in the process of defining what exactly is meant by “dealing in virtual currency” and what particular rules would apply to the businesses in this category. Much of our work was centred around excluding things like non-custodial wallets, nodes, mining and other activities that were not related exchange or payments processing.
To give an idea, the other categories that apply to traditional fiat currency businesses are:
When we say that Bitcoin is now regulated, what we mean is that these questions have been settled, officially published, and that they are now legally binding.
Businesses that are deemed to be “dealing in virtual currency” must register with FINTRAC as a money service business, just like they would if they were doing traditional currency exchange or payment processing.
There is no “license” required, which means that you do not need the government’s approval before you can operate a Bitcoin exchange business. However, when you operate a Money Service Business, you must register and comply with the laws… otherwise you risk jail time and large fines.

What activities are regulated as Money Service Business activity?

A virtual currency exchange transaction is defined as: “an exchange, at the request of another person or entity, of virtual currency for funds, funds for virtual currency or one virtual currency for another.” This includes, but is not limited to:

Notice to foreign Bitcoin companies with clients in Canada

Regardless of whether or not your business is based in Canada, you must register with FINTRAC as a Foreign Money Service Business, if:

How this affects BullBitcoin.com and Bylls.com

The regulation of Bitcoin exchange and payment services has always been inevitable. If we want Bitcoin to be considered as money, we must accept that it will be regulated like other monies. Our stance on the regulation issue has always been that Bitcoin exchanges and payment processors should be regulated like fiat currency exchanges and payment processors, no more, no less. This is the outcome we obtained.
To comply with these regulations, we are implementing a few changes to our Know-Your-Customer requirement and transaction limits which may paradoxically make your experience using Bull Bitcoin and Bylls even more private and convenient!

The bad news

The good news

To understand these regulations, we highly recommend reading this summary by our good friends and partners at Outlier Compliance.

Summary of our obligations

Our responsibilities:
The information required to perform a compliant know-your-customer validation:
Record keeping obligations:

Suspicious transaction reporting

Satoshi Portal is required to make suspicious transactions report to FINTRAC after we have detected a fact that amounts to reasonable grounds to suspect that one of your transactions is related to the commission or attempted commission of a money laundering offence or a terrorist activity financing offence.
Failure by Satoshi Portal Inc. to report a suspicious transaction could lead to up to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $2,000,000, or both, for its executives.
We are not allowed to share with anyone other than FINTRAC, including our clients, the contents of a suspicious transaction report as well as the fact that a suspicious transaction report has been filed.

What is suspicious activity?

Note for bitcoinca: this section applies ONLY to Bull Bitcoin. Most exchanges have much stricter interpretation of what is suspicious. You should operate under the assumption that using Coinjoin or TOR will get you flagged at some other exchanges even though it's okay for Bull Bitcoin. That is simply because we have a more sophisticated understanding of privacy best practices.
Identifying suspicious behavior is heavily dependent on the context of each transaction. We understand and take into account that for many of our customers, privacy and libertarian beliefs are of the utmost importance, and that some users may not know that the behavior they are engaging in is suspicious. When we are concerned or confused about the behaviors of our users, we endeavour to discuss it with them before jumping to conclusions.
In general, here are a few tips:
Here are some examples of behavior that we do not consider suspicious:
Here are some example indicators of behavior that would lead us to investigate whether or not a transaction is suspicious:

What does this mean for Bitcoin?

It was always standard practice for Bitcoin companies to operate under the assumption they would eventually be regulated and adopt policies and procedures as if they were already regulated. The same practices used for legal KYC were already commonplace to mitigate fraud (chargebacks).
In addition, law enforcement and other government agencies in Canada were already issuing subpoenas and information requests to Bitcoin companies to obtain the information of users that were under investigation.
We suspect that cash-based Bitcoin exchanges, whether Bitcoin ATMs, physical Bitcoin exchanges or Peer-to-Peer trading, will be the most affected since they will no longer be able to operate without KYC and the absence of KYC was the primary feature that allowed them to justify charging such high fees and exchange rate premiums.
One thing is certain, as of today, there is no ambiguity whatsoever that Bitcoin is 100% legal and regulated in Canada!
submitted by FrancisPouliot to BitcoinCA [link] [comments]

The idea of a Blizzard cash shop.

As I was strolling around the forums I spit my coffee today.
Some people in crazytown forums actuall wants Blizzard to make a cash shop where you can buy an item and basically customize its mods.
Wich is basically equivalent to Satoshi Nakamoto the bitcoin founder printing bitcoins as he sees fit and then selling them to you.
If satoshi wants bitcoins he needs to mine them like everybody else. Satoshi wrote the arbiting paper that makes this sytem work and be legitimate by the principe of "proof of work".
All this in the hopes of "stopping the chinese farmer", or any other seller here in America.
Well if the item is found, and it took years of farming and associated energy cost, it is his item.
You need to accept that.
What Blizzard can do, is that it if wants to be an intermediate and facilitate the transaction, and thereby comply with all rules and regulations associated with being a money transmitter. Wich Jay Wilson was amateurishly unrepared for.
Had he really been up to the task, and smart about virtual currencies, he would have seen things ahead of the curve and prepare for this, as it was easy to predict back then for somebody that was following the news. He could have coupled his product to the fever of virtual currencies and increase revenues tenfold, if the game would have been up to par with the currency itself, and the system robust and dupe-free. Alot of crappy shitcoins backed by nobodies and air made billions since that time, Blizzard could have even subverted and owned that whole cryptocurrency idea of a virtual currency/rarity if it had the right people at the helm, and even compete with Bitcoin.
So what happened was :pump fake to the people who like trading in D2, pump fake to the people who like PvPing in D2, make it bad, have them leave, create a vacuum, have the D3 fans aggregate themselves so they can subvert the Diablo games and call themselves Diablo fans. Never settle yourself in any camp in particular, find youself no man's land. Get your legs stuck in crybaby cement.
Congrats Jay Wilson, well done. Your lack of foresight and lack of follow through cost the company 10's of billions.

submitted by inventeur_ to Diablo [link] [comments]

US Congressman Tom Emmer announced late Friday that he will introduce a trio of cryptocurrency and blockchain related bills as cryptocurrencies fell lower this weekend after posting significant gains last week

Crypto News

Sources:
https://bitcoinist.com/weiss-ratings-bitcoin-lose-ethereum/ https://www.coindesk.com/brazils-largest-independent-broker-is-launching-a-crypto-exchange/ https://www.ccn.com/brazils-biggest-brokerage-processes-bitcoin-trades-govt-supportive/ https://www.coindesk.com/the-latest-bitcoin-bug-was-so-bad-developers-kept-its-full-details-a-secret/ https://www.coindesk.com/when-blockchains-go-down-why-crypto-outages-are-on-the-rise/ https://cointelegraph.com/news/dubai-department-of-finance-launches-blockchain-based-payment-system-for-uae-govt https://bitcoinist.com/dubai-is-building-a-blockchain-powered-government/ https://www.ccn.com/indian-authorities-round-up-on-bitcoin-scammers-properties-worth-60-million/ https://cointelegraph.com/news/icelands-industry-to-shift-from-crypto-mining-to-pure-blockchain-business-insiders-say https://www.coindesk.com/momentum-is-building-to-block-ethereum-asics/ https://cointelegraph.com/news/icelands-industry-to-shift-from-crypto-mining-to-pure-blockchain-business-insiders-say https://www.coindesk.com/us-congressman-drafts-bills-to-aid-blockchain-development/ https://cointelegraph.com/news/opera-launches-beta-labs-version-of-built-in-crypto-wallet-for-desktop-browser https://cointelegraph.com/news/us-congressman-to-introduce-bills-supporting-blockchain-technology-cryptocurrencies
submitted by QuantalyticsResearch to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Crypto and Security Token Exchange INX to Raise $130 Million in Landmark IPO

Crypto and Security Token Exchange INX to Raise $130 Million in Landmark IPO
https://preview.redd.it/w5xr4bzkvph31.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=e7275c55edd08eb682994fe588f1abd8c371fd0f
News by Coindesk: Marc Hochstein
INX Limited, a crypto exchange startup, plans to raise up to $129.5 million through an IPO, in the first security token sale registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
No, that’s not a typo for “ICO,” the initial coin offerings that tested the limits of securities law during the go-go days of 2017. IPO means IPO here: INX, which is domiciled in Gibraltar, filed a draft F-1 (the SEC’s prospectus form for foreign issuers) with the agency on Monday and will market the tokens to retail and institutional investors through the initial public offering.
As such, it’s a major milestone since to date, token sales have been unregistered. Some issuers confined their marketing to wealthy investors so they’d be exempt from the registration requirement and filed notices with the SEC. Most didn’t even bother to tell the regulators what they were up to, and over the last year, the agency has brought a slew of cases against ICO teams for illegally selling unregistered securities.
Further, INX’s sale would also be one of the very few full-fledged IPOs in the blockchain industry and almost certainly the largest. Last year, mining subscription company Argo Mining raised $32.5 million through an IPO on the London Stock Exchange.

One-stop shop

The target audience is largely institutional investors, even though like the INX token itself, crypto trading on the exchange will be available to the general public, provided they go through anti-money-laundering and know-your-customer screening.
“When fully operational, we expect to offer professional traders and institutional investors trading platforms with established practices common in other regulated financial services markets, such as customary trading, clearing, and settlement procedures, regulatory compliance, capital and liquidity reserves and operational transparency,” says the draft prospectus.
In this way, INX will be competing with a number of institutionally-focused, regulated trading platforms launching this year — although INX stands out in the breadth of digital assets it plans to list.
“Our vision is to establish two trading platforms and a security token that provide regulatory clarity to the blockchain asset industry. We plan to achieve this [in part] by differentiating between security and non-security blockchain asset classes and providing trading opportunities for each class,” says the prospectus, later adding:
“In the future, we intend to establish a platform for the trading of derivatives such as futures, options and swaps.”
This means the exchange will be in the same space as not only Overstock’s tZERO (security tokens) but also Coinbase Prime and Fidelity Digital Assets (spot cryptocurrencies) — and eventually Intercontinental Exchange’s Bakkt (derivatives).

Hybrid token

Although it is a security, INX’s token could also be described as a utility token, since holders will have the option of using it on the INX Exchange to pay transaction fees.
This is perhaps ironic since, during the ICO boom, many issuers argued that their tokens were not securities because they had a utility, such as the right to use a platform developed with proceeds from the sale.
At the same time, token investors will get a share of INX’s profits, though they won’t be equity holders.
Rather, they will stand in line ahead of shareholders to get repaid, in the event of a liquidation. In this way, the token is akin to preferred stock.
“It is the Company’s intention that the INX Token holders’ claim for breach of contract will be senior to the rights of the holders of the ordinary shares of the Company in liquidation,” the document says.
The securities will be represented as ERC-20 tokens on the ethereum blockchain.

Red tape

Since crypto assets are such a new and unprecedented phenomenon that does not map easily to old categories, several different regulatory agencies have claimed jurisdiction over different parts of the industry.
For INX, this has meant getting sign-off from multiple agencies. Before it can proceed with the token sale, INX still has to get the SEC to deem its prospectus “effective.”
The prospectus includes disclosures that are standard for publicly listed companies, but rare if not unheard-of in the shadowy world of crypto, such as the executives’ employment contracts.
That’s just for the fundraising. For the exchange to actually open for trading, several other approvals still must be obtained.
Since INX will be listing security tokens, it will have to first become a broker-dealer, which requires a separate registration with the SEC and acceptance into FINRA, a self-regulatory organization (SRO), and an alternative trading system (ATS), which requires filing additional forms with the SEC.
On top of securities-related approvals, to operate as a crypto exchange where investors can buy and sell bitcoin and the like, INX will need money transmitter licenses from the individual states where it does business.
Wall Street image via Shutterstock
submitted by GTE_IO to u/GTE_IO [link] [comments]

Why I choose Bitcoin Cash over Bitcoin

A few days ago I posted my doubts and criticism about BTC vs BCH, but now I have made my mind up after a lenghty research yesterday and today, I have chosen BCH.
Disclaimer: I have already owned BCH before that.
So I was already on board BCH, but I had my doubts about it, and certainly the noise the other side makes, it made me doubt myself whether I made the best choice or not. After all it's about money, and the first thing that comes into a person's mind is that it worries about losing it. So if BCH would have been inferior to BTC then there would have been a strong chance of losing that money, through the price doing down like with the other fake coins Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Diamond, etc...
Because from an investment standpoint I shouldn't care about sides, I just want the one that has a better future and more potential in it. So if I would have found out that BTC is better I would have sold my BCH for BTC obviously, I would have no sentimental attachment to either of them, I just want to be on the right side. Eventually hedge, but hedging is like the game of uncertain people, and there is no uncertainty here, all the evidence shows one side to be much better than the other. It's not even like 70-30, it's more like 99-1.
Now I did a lenghty research, read all the comments on my posts, and compared them to the claim BTC makes on their websites and influential BTC people have stated, asked questions, used logic, and it's now objectively clear to me that BCH is the right side to be on.
   

FEES

I was already doubtful about BTC, that is why I have switched to BCH about a year ago, I saw their shady activities, but the final nail in the coffin was probably the massive FEE problem, that started last November and ended in February. That made me totally dislike BTC.
However now that the fees are normal in BTC, I had a doubt in my mind that what if they are right? What if the fee spike was just a coordinated attack on BTC, and now that it's over, BTC is just as good as BCH.
I mean if the fees are normal now, and about the same last I looked (maybe BTC is like 20% more expensive but still low like 60 cents), it gives some credibility back to BTC.
There are theories that the coordinated attack was a conspiracy against BTC, but then again BTC has it's own conspiracies too, so why not just ignore the conspiracy theories and look at the facts.
The fact is that it doesn't matter what it was, the mere fact that it happened, and it crippled the network for 4 months, shows that BTC has serious flaws. And it can happen again. So it doesn't matter who did it, it happened, and the network was crippled.
Now if a network can be crippled like that, and if you want this network to host a global payment system, then we will have huge problems.
BCH can defend against such attack much more effectively because it costs more to fill up a 32MB block than a 1MB block, 32x harder. Plus a 32MB block is so small that anyone can handle that right now, even if a 4 month period attack would happen against BCH, and it would be 32x more costly, so it would be harder to pull off.
However if a bigger budgeted attacker would attack again BTC with a 32x budget, then it would cripple BTC for 10 YEARS!!! That would literally make Bitcoin literally die.
   

Non Mining Nodes

One aspect that the BTC people say is that non miner "full nodes" are sacrosanct, and that we need them to keep miners in check, but I haven't heard any coherent answers as to why.
I have read the whitepaper twice, once today and once yesterday, and it states there clearly what the real truth is. You should definitely download and archive the whitepaper because some people tried to rewrite it, Orwellian style, so grab the original one here:
https://blockchair.com/bitcoin/whitepaper
[Download it and save it on your own computer SHA256: b1674191a88ec5cdd733e4240a81803105dc412d6c6708d53ab94fc248f4f553, these Orwellian trolls might try to gaslight you eventually and rewrite the past!]
The whitepaper mentions 3 times that:
The system is secure as long as honest nodes collectively control more CPU power than any cooperating group of attacker nodes.
Subsequently:
The proof-of-work also solves the problem of determining representation in majority decision making. If the majority were based on one-IP-address-one-vote, it could be subverted by anyone able to allocate many IPs. Proof-of-work is essentially one-CPU-one-vote. The majority decision is represented by the longest chain, which has the greatest proof-of-work effort invested in it. If a majority of CPU power is controlled by honest nodes, the honest chain will grow the fastest and outpace any competing chains.
This is word for word how the whitepaper says it. So this alone disproves the full node myth, it's complete nonsense. The miners have total control, and the nodes don't matter. Satoshi designed a 1 CPU 1 vote system, where every node is a miner node. He could not forecast large farm ASIC miners, but then again that isn't resolved by just running non miner nodes.
Furthermore the full node system doesn't have any collective benefit only individual one, which we will get into next, and it might even be a drag:
Instead of going from A->D, you have to go to A->B->C->D with a full node system, adding extra inefficiency and latency. Keep in mind, this is not a medieval pidgeon relay messaging system, the information travels at the speed of light, so there is no need for extra relays, in fact adding extra relays just creates extra latency.
You eventually have to communicate with a miner, so what is the point in having extra "bus stops" along the way? It's just a waste of resources.
We do need many miners to secure the network, and instead of wasting resources on non-mining nodes, they should just spend that on mining if they really want decentralization.
   

SPV Wallets

Another claim that they make is that SPV wallets are insecure. Which is somewhat true, but out of perspective. For general users SPV wallets are totally fine. And I don't think SPV security is lower than what anyone except a billionaire who keeps all his coins in 1 address (very stupid) would need.
This explained well in the whitepaper in the page 5/ paragraph 8 "Simplified Payment Verification" section. The SPV is probabilistically secure, because it fetches blocks that are already agreed upon, so unless a big conspiracy is taking place, miners rewriting the chain, this gives people a probabilistic security.
Most SPV wallets are well implemented so they use the best tools to keep your coin history reasonably accurate, so they fetch data from multiple random servers and compare against it. Certainly Electrum/Electron Cash does this well.
One thing I might add is that it's good to use a VPN too with SPV wallets, in case your are personally targeted by a criminal, so your IP address is randomized too for extra security, so you won't download honeypot blocks that are specifically targeting your IP.
But other than that SPV is just reasonably secure, and by that I mean that it's probably below 0.1% that your coin history can be deceitful, and even then if you wait for 10-15 confirmations and shuffle your VPN IP address around enough times, you can be absolutely sure that the history is accurate.
So their fear is overblown and they are just fearmongering on this, the same way people fearmonger about asteroid impact or alien invasion, it's just not reasonable.
   

Lightning Network

Now as you can see already that a lot of these claims have been utterly debunked, and they don't have coherent arguments to address the rebuttals, in fact in most cases they resort to ad hominems and insults (which I have experienced, just for asking questions). But the coup de grace happens when you realize how inefficient LN is. And for that here are some references, it's mostly technical:
And perhaps it's explained in more simpler terms in youtube videos but the point is that there is real scientific proof that the LN will have awful consequences for the decentralization of BTC, and it inserts and unnecessary middleman into the mix that is a massive point of failure.
It essentially creates a KYC regulated bank network on top of a settlement layer, and the governments around the world will have total control over that. Well the LN nodes are essentially money transmitters because they directly facilitate the transfer of money, so AML/KYC/Tax reporting/Surveillance will happen by default on these nodes. And given that LN can't be a decentralized system but a hub & spoke system, due to the need to keep your wallet online at all times, it will literally become a 3rd party custodian based banking system, literally.
So all of the essence of Bitcoin [word for word quote from the whitepaper]:
A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.
Will literally cease to exist, and it reverts BTC back into a government regulated banking system, literally.
   
   
There are other arguments too, but these are the main ones, and researching them thoroughly and understanding the issues made me lose all my doubts about Bitcoin Cash and all my faith in Bitcoin.
It can't be any more clear to me now that Bitcoin Cash is the true version of Bitcoin, the real vision of Satoshi and the genuine implementation of it, with all the technical genius-ity that Satoshi had laid out in the whitepaper which is still relevant.
Satoshi laid out everything in the whitepaper, and all of it is implemented geniusly in Bitcoin Cash except for paragraph 7 on page 4 "Reclaiming Disk Space" which talks about block pruning, I am not sure if this is Xthin Blocks or Compact Blocks or Thin Blocks (please explain in the comment section), otherwise it should be implemented, it would be a much better way for scaling than LN.
But other than that BCH is technically superior. Now I don't know whether better things win in politics, but in engineering, if your design is shitty, it will inevitably fall apart. You can't have a skyscraper built on quicksand, it's inevitable disaster.
So look, BCH is obviously risky, it has less users, less merchants; but because it has a solid foundation and probably the 3rd biggest community after ethereum, it has maaaaaaaaaaaaassive opportunity in it to become the best cryptocurrency (because ethereum has the same or worse issues than BTC).
There is no question now whether BCH is better, the only question now is, how long will it take for people to realize this.
 
So I choose to stay with BCH, and now I am 101% supportive of it! Long Live Bitcoin Cash!!
submitted by alexander7k to btc [link] [comments]

Application of FinCEN’s Regulations to Certain Business Models Involving Convertible Virtual Currencies

https://www.systems.cs.cornell.edu/docs/fincen-cvc-guidance-final.pdf
FinCEN Guidance report may have implications for mixing protocols/services for Bitcoin (such as Wasabi wallet).
4.5.1. Providers of anonymizing services for CVCs Providers of anonymizing services, commonly referred to as “mixers” or “tumblers,” are either persons that accept CVCs and retransmit them in a manner designed to prevent others from tracing the transmission back to its source (anonymizing services provider), or suppliers of software a transmittor would use for the same purpose (anonymizing software provider).
4.5.1(a) Anonymizing services provider An anonymizing services provider is a money transmitter under FinCEN regulations. The added feature of concealing the source of the transaction does not change that person’s status under the BSA.
Relevant to Monero because the providers (or users) of the opt-in tumble/mixing services for Bitcoin may run into some legal trouble if this report is anything to go by. Would further solidify Monero's necessary existence.
Also
4.5.2. Providers of anonymity-enhanced CVCs [convertible virtual currencies]. A person that creates or sells anonymity-enhanced CVCs designed to prevent their tracing through publicly visible ledgers would be a money transmitter under FinCEN regulations depending on the type of payment system and the person’s activity.62 For example:
(a) a person operating as the administrator of a centralized CVC payment system will become a money transmitter the moment that person issues anonymity enhanced CVC against the receipt of another type of value
(b) a person that uses anonymity-enhanced CVCs to pay for goods or services on his or her own behalf would not be a money transmitter under the BSA. However, if the person uses the CVC to accept and transmit value from one person to another person or location, the person will fall under the definition of money transmitter, if not otherwise exempted.
(c) a person that develops a decentralized CVC payment system will become a money transmitter if that person also engages as a business in the acceptance and transmission of value denominated in the CVC it developed (even if the CVC value was mined at an earlier date). The person would not be a money transmitter if that person uses the CVC it mined to pay for goods and services on his or her own behalf.
submitted by Galwoa to Monero [link] [comments]

The 1MB simply can't survive, and signalling for Segwit2X is a trap for other miners

In this post, I set out a simple sequence of logic which shows that firm believers in 1MB blocks are almost certainly going to lose their investment in Bitcoin.
I’ll also show that choosing to mine Segwit2X is a higher risk strategy than mining Bitcoin Cash, and that BCH is almost certain to be the dominant chain.
I will only use simple sentences, with links to evidence to support my statements.
  1. Demand for Bitcoin has exploded over the past year (Bitcoin price over past year)
  2. This has severely stretched Bitcoin’s capacity: median transaction fees have increased by more than 37 times in the past twelve months (from $0.123 to $4.661 ) and typical confirmation times are now 7 times longer than they were a year ago (from 22 minutes to 159 minutes)
  3. The market has proven that is it is willing to invest in cryptocurrencies which are not Bitcoin. At one point this year, more than 60% of money invested in cryptocurrency was not in Bitcoin
  4. If Bitcoin does not scale, one of the 1259 other cryptocurrencies will. Brand power does not last forever.
  5. Bitcoin’s current scaling roadmap (23 months old, written by CTO of Blockstream) has focused on scaling through the use of “non-bandwidth”, off-chain solutions (with Lightning Network specifically mentioned).
  6. Blockstream have stated their future revenue will come from off-chain scaling solutions, and as a company, they have no incentive to damage their business model by scaling Bitcoin in other ways.
  7. Since the LN white paper release (21 months ago), the Lightning Network has yet to be delivered, and there is still no visibility on when it will be released
  8. Even if LN is released, it has been proven that LN will not work as advertised, and that it will actually promote centralised hubs over decentralisation
  9. In countries like the US, Lightning Channel providers will have to register as “money transmitters”, making them (and the network) subject to regulation and censorship
At this point, it’s worth taking a breath, and seeing where we are...
We have a cryptocurrency with incredible brand loyalty and value, but which is also relying on technology that is starting to weaken in comparison to competitors. Cryptocurrency investors have already proven that they’re willing to invest in coins which are not Bitcoin. The company who wrote the scaling roadmap for Bitcoin naturally have an incentive to scale Bitcoin with one of their own products. They haven’t managed to deliver this product. Even if they do, it’s been proven to not work as originally advertised, and will actually increase centralisation and exposure to regulation. There currently isn’t a visible or viable scaling solution for the Segwit Bitcoin 1MB chain.
This brings us to what is happening over the next ten days.
  1. In about 10 days, Bitcoin will fork into the Segwit1X and Segwit2X chains), with Segwit2X offering a small capacity upgrade (2MB blocks)
  2. However, this is no longer a two-horse race. Player Three has entered the game.
  3. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has a default 8MB block size, but more importantly, it has a revised POW algorithm that allows it to operate with very little hash rate (although not very elegantly)
  4. In order for Bitcoin to operate, hashrate is required.
  5. Large drops in hashrate mean that less blocks are mined per hour.
  6. Since the 1MB blocks are already full, with fewer blocks per hour, network capacity is affected even more significantly (Bitcoin’s mempool since hashrate started to be shared with BCH)
So we now have three cryptocurrencies, which are competing for the same hashrate. What do miners do?
We know that miners are selfish - they only want to make billions, and protect the millions they’ve already invested. Miners will make the choice that makes them the most money. This is not an attack, it is how Bitcoin was designed. Blockstream are behaving in the same way; they’re trying to shape Bitcoin into using the technology which will make them the most money.
With the upcoming fork, miners (providers of hashrate) have four choices. They can:
At this point, you have to put yourself in a miner’s shoes, and ask yourself what you’d do. You’ve sunk millions into this, and could potentially make billions. Which choice do you make?
For either Segwit1X or Segwit2X to survive, they require a majority of hashrate in order to ensure that the chain has enough capacity to meet demand. If it doesn’t have enough capacity, investors will (as they have in the past) invest in other cryptocurrencies instead.
As a miner, you cannot directly control whether a majority happens or not, because the other miners are your competitors. You can’t directly control them.
Signalling intent is one way of trying to work out what everyone else is doing, to try and ensure alignment and consensus before the date at which it becomes crucial.
  1. If signalling intent can be believed, Segwit1X will simply not survive
  2. If signalling intent cannot be believed, neither Segwit1X or Segwit2X will survive, because hashrate will be divided across the chains.
In both of those scenarios,the 1MB chain does not survive. There’s no other way to say it simply, and if you’re still a 1MBer at this point, I’m afraid there’s simply nothing else to convince you. I sincerely hope you haven’t over-invested.
That said, there’s still a question about whether Segwit2X will survive. It needs a majority of hashrate to transfer over, and current signalling suggests that this will happen.
However, the people signalling are your competitors.
It is in their interest for you to be mining something that they are not.
Segwit2X is only safe to mine as a majority, and the people telling you it’s safe to mine are your competitors. Do you trust them? Do they trust you?
Of the three chains, the only one that is guaranteed to survive, no matter what, is Bitcoin Cash.
Mining Bitcoin Cash is the only way to guarantee that you, as a miner, will continue to make money. For us, as Bitcoin investors, I think the choice is pretty obvious.
...
inb4 emergency Blockstream POW fork
submitted by blockthestream to btc [link] [comments]

Lightning Network Will Likely Fail Due To Several Possible Reasons

ECONOMIC CASE IS ABSENT FOR MANY TRANSACTIONS
The median Bitcoin (BTC) fee is $14.41 currently. This has gone parabolic in the past few days. So, let’s use a number before this parabolic rise, which was $3.80. Using this number, opening and closing a Lightning Network (LN) channel means that you will pay $7.60 in fees. Most likely, the fee will be much higher for two reasons:
  1. BTC fees have been trending higher all year and will be higher by the time LN is ready
  2. When you are in the shoe store or restaurant, you will likely pay a higher fee so that you are not waiting there for one or more hours for confirmation.
Let’s say hypothetically that Visa or Paypal charges $1 per transaction. This means that Alice and Carol would need to do 8 or more LN transactions, otherwise it would be cheaper to use Visa or Paypal.
But it gets worse. Visa doesn’t charge the customer. To you, Visa and Cash are free. You would have no economic incentive to use BTC and LN.
Also, Visa does not charge $1 per transaction. They charge 3%, which is 60 cents on a $20 widget. Let’s say that merchants discount their widgets by 60 cents for non-Visa purchases, to pass the savings onto the customer. Nevertheless, no one is going to use BTC and LN to buy the widget unless 2 things happen:
  1. they buy more than 13 widgets from the same store ($7.60 divided by 60 cents)
  2. they know ahead of time that they will do this with that same store
This means that if you’re traveling, or want to tip content producers on the internet, you will likely not use BTC and LN. If you and your spouse want to try out a new restaurant, you will not use BTC and LN. If you buy shoes, you will not use BTC and LN.
ROAD BLOCKS FROM INSUFFICIENT FUNDS
Some argue that you do not need to open a channel to everyone, if there’s a route to that merchant. This article explains that if LN is a like a distributed mesh network, then another problem exists:
"third party needs to possess the necessary capital to process the transaction. If Alice and Bob do not have an open channel, and Alice wants to send Bob .5 BTC, they'll both need to be connected to a third party (or a series of 3rd parties). Say if Charles (the third party) only possesses .4 BTC in his respective payment channels with the other users, the transaction will not be able to go through that route. The longer the route, the more likely that a third party does not possess the requisite amount of BTC, thereby making it a useless connection.”
CENTRALIZATION
According to this visualization of LN on testnet, LN will be centralized around major hubs. It might be even more centralized than this visualization if the following are true:
  1. Users will want to connect to large hubs to minimize the number of times they need to open/close channels, which incur fees
  2. LN’s security and usability relies on 100% uptime of relaying parties
  3. Only large hubs with a lot of liquidity will be able to make money
  4. Hubs or intermediary nodes will need to be licensed as money transmitters, centralizing LN to exchanges and banks as large hubs
What will the impact be on censorship-resistance, trust-less and permission-less?
NEED TO BE LICENSED AS MONEY TRANSMITTER
Advocates for LN seem to talk a lot about the technology, but ignore the legalities.
FinCEN defines money transmitters. LN hubs and intermediary nodes seem to satisfy this definition.
Application of FinCEN's Regulations to Persons Administering, Exchanging, or Using Virtual Currencies
“…applicability of the regulations … to persons creating, obtaining, distributing, exchanging, accepting, or transmitting virtual currencies.”
“…an administrator or exchanger is an MSB under FinCEN's regulations, specifically, a money transmitter…”
"An administrator or exchanger that (1) accepts and transmits a convertible virtual currency or (2) buys or sells convertible virtual currency for any reason is a money transmitter under FinCEN's regulations…”
"FinCEN's regulations define the term "money transmitter" as a person that provides money transmission services, or any other person engaged in the transfer of funds. The term "money transmission services" means "the acceptance of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency from one person and the transmission of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency to another location or person by any means.””
"The definition of a money transmitter does not differentiate between real currencies and convertible virtual currencies.”
FinCEN’s regulations for IVTS:
"An “informal value transfer system” refers to any system, mechanism, or network of people that receives money for the purpose of making the funds or an equivalent value payable to a third party in another geographic location, whether or not in the same form.”
“…IVTS… must comply with all BSA registration, recordkeeping, reporting and AML program requirements.
“Money transmitting” occurs when funds are transferred on behalf of the public by any and all means including, but not limited to, transfers within the United States or to locations abroad…regulations require all money transmitting businesses…to register with FinCEN."
Mike Caldwell used to accept and mail bitcoins. Customers sent him bitcoins and he mailed physical bitcoins back or to a designated recipient. There is no exchange from one type of currency to another. FinCEN told him that he needed to be licensed as money transmitter, after which Caldwell stopped mailing out bitcoins.
ARGUMENTS AGAINST NEED FOR LICENSING
Some have argued that LN does not transfer BTC until the channel is closed on the blockchain. This is not a defence, since channels will close on the blockchain.
Some have argued that LN nodes do not take ownership of funds. Is this really true? Is this argument based on a technicality or hoping for a loophole? It seems intuitive that a good prosecutor can easily defeat this argument. Even if this loophole exists, can we count on the government to never close this loophole?
So, will LN hubs and intermediary nodes need to be licensed as money transmitters? If so, then Bob, who is the intermediary between Alice and Carol, will need a license. But Bob won’t have the money nor qualifications. Money transmitters need to pay $25,000 to $1 million, maintain capital levels and are subject to KYC/AML regulations1. In which case, LN will have mainly large hubs, run by financial firms, such as banks and exchanges.
Will the banks want this? Likely. Will they lobby the government to get it? Likely.
Some may be wondering about miners. FinCEN has declared that miners are not money transmitters:
https://coincenter.org/entry/aml-kyc-tokens :
"Subsequent administrative rulings clarified several remaining ambiguities: miners are not money transmitters…"
FinCEN Declares Bitcoin Miners, Investors Aren't Money Transmitters
Some argue that LN nodes will go through Tor and be anonymous. For this to work, will all of the nodes connecting to it, need to run Tor? If so, then how likely will this happen and will all of these people need to run Tor on every device (laptop, phone and tablet)? Furthermore, everyone of these people will be need to be sufficiently tech savvy to download, install and set up Tor. Will the common person be able to do this? Also, will law-abiding nodes, such as retailers or banks, risk their own livelihood by connecting to an illegal node? What is the likelihood of this?
Some argue that unlicensed LN hubs can run in foreign countries. Not true. According to FinCEN: "“Money transmitting” occurs when funds are…transfers within the United States or to locations abroad…” Also, foreign companies are not immune from the laws of other countries which have extradition agreements. The U.S. government has sued European banks over the LIBOR scandal. The U.S. government has charged foreign banks for money laundering and two of those banks pleaded guilty. Furthermore, most countries have similar laws. It is no coincidence that European exchanges comply with KYC/AML.
Will licensed, regulated LN hubs connect to LN nodes behind Tor or in foreign countries? Unlikely. Will Amazon or eBay connect to LN nodes behind Tor or in foreign countries? Unlikely. If you want to buy from Amazon, you’ll likely need to register yourself at a licensed, regulated LN hub, which means you’ll need to provide your identification photo.
Say goodbye to a censorship-resistant, trust-less and permission-less coin.
For a preview of what LN will probably look like, look at Coinbase or other large exchanges. It’s a centralized, regulated and censored hub. Coinbase allows users to send to each other off-chain. Coinbase provides user data to the IRS and disallows users from certain countries to sell BTC. You need to trust that no rogue employee in the exchange will steal your funds, or that a bank will not confiscate your funds as banks did in Cyprus. What if the government provides a list of users, who are late with their tax returns, to Coinbase and tells Coinbase to block those users from making transactions? You need Coinbase’s permission.
This would be the antithesis of why Satoshi created Bitcoin.
NEED TO REPORT TO IRS
The IRS has a definition for “third party settlement organization” and these need to report transactions to the IRS.
Though we do not know for sure yet, it can be argued that LN hubs satisfies this definition. If this is the case, who will be willing to be LN hubs, other than banks and exchanges?
To read about the discussion, go to:
Lightning Hubs Will Need To Report To IRS
COMPLEXITY
All cryptocurrencies are complicated for the common person. You may be tech savvy enough to find a secure wallet and use cryptocurrencies, but the masses are not as tech savvy as you.
LN adds a very complicated and convoluted layer to cryptocurrencies. It is bound to have bugs for years to come and it’s complicated to use. This article provides a good explanation of the complexity. Just from the screenshot of the app, the user now needs to learn additional terms and commands:
“On Chain”
“In Channels”
“In Limbo”
“Your Channel”
“Create Channel”
“CID”
“OPENING”
“PENDING-OPEN”
“Available to Receive”
“PENDING-FORCE-CLOSE”
There are also other things to learn, such as how funds need to be allocated to channels and time locks. Compare this to using your current wallet.
Recently, LN became even more complicated and convoluted. It needs a 3rd layer as well:
Scaling Bitcoin Might Require A Whole 'Nother Layer
How many additional steps does a user need to learn?
ALL COINS PLANNING OFF-CHAIN SCALING ARE AT RISK
Bitcoin Segwit, Litecoin, Vertcoin and possibly others (including Bitcoin Cash) are planning to implement LN or layer 2 scaling. Ethereum is planning to use Raiden Network, which is very similar to LN. If the above is true about LN, then the scaling roadmap for these coins is questionable at best, nullified at worst.
BLOCKSTREAM'S GAME PLAN IS ON TRACK
Blockstream employs several of the lead Bitcoin Core developers. Blockstream has said repeatedly that they want high fees. Quotes and source links can be found here.
Why is Blockstream so adamant on small blocks, high fees and off-chain scaling?
Small blocks, high fees and slow confirmations create demand for off-chain solutions, such as Liquid. Blockstream sells Liquid to exchanges to move Bitcoin quickly on a side-chain. LN will create liquidity hubs, such as exchanges, which will generate traffic and fees for exchanges. With this, exchanges will have a higher need for Liquid. This will be the main way that Blockstream will generate revenue for its investors, who invested $76 million. Otherwise, they can go bankrupt and die.
One of Blockstream’s investors/owners is AXA. AXA’s CEO and Chairman until 2016 was also the Chairman of Bilderberg Group. The Bilderberg Group is run by bankers and politicians (former prime ministers and nation leaders). According to GlobalResearch, Bilderberg Group wants “a One World Government (World Company) with a single, global marketplace…and financially regulated by one ‘World (Central) Bank’ using one global currency.” LN helps Bilderberg Group get one step closer to its goal.
Luke-Jr is one of the lead BTC developers in Core/Blockstream. Regulation of BTC is in-line with his beliefs. He is a big believer in the government, as he believes that the government should tax you and the “State has authority from God”. In fact, he has other radical beliefs as well:
So, having only large, regulated LN hubs is not a failure for Blockstream/Bilderberg. It’s a success. The title of this article should be changed to: "Lightning Will Fail Or Succeed, Depending On Whether You Are Satoshi Or Blockstream/Bilderberg".
SIGNIFICANT ADVANCEMENTS WITH ON-CHAIN SCALING
Meanwhile, some coins such as Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash are pushing ahead with on-chain scaling. Both are looking at Sharding.
Visa handles 2,000 transactions per second on average. Blockstream said that on-chain scaling will not work. The development teams for Bitcoin Cash have shown significant on-chain scaling:
1 GB block running on testnet demonstrates over 10,000 transactions per second:
"we are not going from 1MB to 1GB tomorrow — The purpose of going so high is to prove that it can be done — no second layer is necessary”
"Preliminary Findings Demonstrate Over 10,000 Transactions Per Second"
"Gigablock testnet initiative will likely be implemented first on Bitcoin Cash”
Peter Rizun, Andrew Stone -- 1 GB Block Tests -- Scaling Bitcoin Stanford At 13:55 in this video, Rizun said that he thinks that Visa level can be achieved with a 4-core/16GB machine with better implementations (modifying the code to take advantage of parallelization.)
Bitcoin Cash plans to fix malleability and enable layer 2 solutions:
The Future of “Bitcoin Cash:” An Interview with Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet:
"fixing malleability and enabling Layer 2 solutions will happen”
However, it is questionable if layer 2 will work or is needed.
GOING FORWARD
The four year scaling debate and in-fighting is what caused small blockers (Blockstream) to fork Bitcoin by adding Segwit and big blockers to fork Bitcoin into Bitcoin Cash. Read:
Bitcoin Divorce - Bitcoin [Legacy] vs Bitcoin Cash Explained
It will be interesting to see how they scale going forward.
Scaling will be instrumental in getting network effect and to be widely adopted as a currency. Whichever Coin Has The Most Network Effect Will Take All (Or Most) (BTC has little network effect, and it's shrinking.)
The ability to scale will be key to the long term success of any coin.
submitted by curt00 to btc [link] [comments]

Coinbase just revealed their new listing checklist, let's check how Nimiq does

https://listing.coinbase.com/policy#coinbase-mission-values
Open Financial System
Open financial system is defined as being available to everyone and not controlled by a single entity.
✔︎ Pretty easy
Innovation or Efficiency Gains
New or improved technology which helps solve a problem, creates a new market, addresses an unmet market need, or creates value for network participants.
✔︎ Again, pretty easy, Nimiq is bringing a huge leap forward in terms of accessibility and integration of cryptocurrencies.
Economic Freedom
A measure of how easy it is for members of a society to participate in the economy. The technology enables individuals to have more control over their own wealth and property, or the freedom to consume, produce, invest, or work as they choose.
✔︎ Basic requirement of any real cryptocurrency, easily fulfilled by Nimiq.
Equality of Opportunity
This technology is accessible to use by anyone with a smartphone or access to the internet. It contributes to the broader mission of building the on-ramps to Finance 2.0.
✔︎ Nimiq is the most accessible crypto on the market right now, you don't even have to install something to begin using it or mining it.
Decentralization
The network is public, decentralized, and enables trustless consensus.
〜 The architecture of Nimiq is decentralized however the hashrate is clearly not right now.
Security & Code
Assessment of engineering and product quality.
✔︎ Nimiq team has done everything it could to ensure the quality control of the code.
Source Code
Open-source code, well-documented peer-review, and testing by contributors separate from the initial development team on GitHub, etc.
〜 Of course Nimiq is open-source but the documentation is still weak, the good thing is that it's being redone.
Prototype
There is a working alpha or beta product on a testnet or mainnet.
✔︎ Well, the Nimiq Network is live.
Security & Code
Demonstrable record of responding to and improving the code after a disclosure of vulnerability, and a robust bug bounty program or third party security audit.
✔︎ Nimiq team has set a bug bounty program and has been very transparent on the issue of the 25th.
Team
Assessment of short-term operating expectations and decision making.
✔︎ You can even see them on video hehe.
Founders and Leadership
Able to articulate vision, strategy, use cases or drive developmental progress. Has a track record of demonstrable success or experience. If information is available, Coinbase will apply "know your client" standards to publicly visible founders or leaders.
✔︎ The profiles of the team are all known and easily checked.
Engineering
Assessment of the engineering team and their track record of setting and achieving deadlines.
✔︎ They released the product which is a damn good track record in a sector full of vaporwares.
Business & Operations
History of interacting with the community, setting a reasonable budget and managing funds, and achieving project milestones. Thoughtful cash management is a key driver of the project's long term viability.
✔︎ There has been some "lean" periods in terms of communication but overall the team has never stopped interacting with us. When it comes to cash management the dev team should be a model for everyone else with its last transparency report.
Specialized Knowledge and Key People
The project leadership is not highly centralized or dependent on a small number of key persons. Specialized knowledge in this field is not limited to a small group of people.
〜 Let's be honest: it is right now, that said the project protocol isn't even 6 months old.
Governance
Assessment of long-term operating expectations and decision making.
✔︎ Nimiq has a foundation.
Consensus Process
There is a structured process to propose and implement major updates to the code, or there is a system or voting process for conflict resolution.
✔︎ Well it's like Bitcoin, node operators decide whether they want or not to follow an update.
Future Development Funding
There is a plan or built-in mechanism for raising, rewarding, or allocating funds to future development, beyond the funds raised from the ICO or traditional investors.
✔︎ Yes, see the intended use of fund.
White Paper
Justifies the use case for a decentralized network and outlines project goals from a business and technology perspective. While a white paper is important for understanding the project, it is not a requirement.
〜 There is the "high level" whitepaper of the ICO however it doesn't really explain in detail how Nimiq works.
Scalability
Assessment of a network's potential barriers to scaling and ability to grow and handle user adoption.
✔︎ Like pretty much every project, that's what Robin is currently working on by the way.
Roadmap
Clear timeline with stages of development, reasonable project milestones, or built-in development incentives.
✔︎ We should have the roadmap soon™️.
Network Operating Costs
The barriers to scaling the network have been identified, or solutions have been proposed or discussed. The resource consumption costs for validators and miners are not the main deterrents to participation.
✔︎ Yes, the team has been considering second layer solutions like Lightning Network or Liquidity Network.
Practical Applications
There are examples of real-world implementation or future practical applications.
✔︎ The new Nimiq shop is a great example of it.
Type of Blockchain
The asset is a separate blockchain with a new architecture system and network, or it leverages an existing blockchain for synergies and network effects
✔︎ Both in fact, Nimiq is a whole new blockchain built from scratch in Javascript and Rust + it's using HTLC/atomic swap to interact with Ethereum.
Regulation
Can Coinbase legally offer this asset?
✔︎ I'm not a lawyer but I guess it can
US Securities Law
The asset is not classified as a security using Coinbase's Securities Law Framework.
〜 Hard to say, they have this checklist and the fact that some NIM were given against NET which were distributed through an ICO makes it kind of blurry
Compliance Obligations
The asset would not affect Coinbase or Coinbase's ability to meet compliance obligations, which include Compliance Obligations, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) program and obligations under government licenses in any jurisdiction (e.g. Money Transmitter Licenses).
✔︎ Conversion from NET to NIM went through a KYC specifically for that.
Integrity & Reputational Risk
Would listing the asset be inconsistent with Coinbase policy?
✔︎ I don't see why.
User Agreement
The asset, network, application or fundamental nature of the project does not constitute a Prohibited Business under Appendix 1 of the user Agreement.
✔︎ I read it and it's doesn't.
Liquidity Standards
How liquid is this asset?
〜 Weak liquidity right now.
Global Market Capitalization
How does the market capitalization compare to the total market capitalizations of other assets?
〜 Weak capitalization.
Asset Velocity
Trade velocity, or turnover, is a significant part of market capitalization. This is a measure of how easily the asset can be converted to another asset.
〜 Again, weak velocity.
Circulation
For service or work tokens, new supply is created through consensus protocols. If the supply is capped, then a material amount of the total tokens should be available to the public.
✔︎ It's available.
Global Distribution
Where is this asset available to trade?
✔︎ HitBTC/Tradesatoshi/LAtoken/BTC-alpha/Nimex.
Total # of Exchanges
The number of exchanges that support the asset.
✔︎ 5.
Geographic Distribution
The asset is not limited to a single geographic region and is available to trade on decentralized exchanges.
✔︎ It's tradable everywhere and I guess you can count Agoras as a DEX.
Fiat and Crypto Pairs
Fiat and crypto trading pairs exist.
〜 Fiat pairs don't.
Exchange Volume Distribution
If secondary markets exist, then volume should be relatively distributed across exchanges.
✔︎ It is.
Demand
What is driving demand for this asset and does it lead to stronger network effects?
✔︎ The Nimiq community I guess and of course it does.
Consumer Demand
Customer demand is carefully considered, however, any asset which is created from a fork, airdrop, or automated token distribution is subject to a separate set of criteria.
〜 It would be presumptuous to say there is a customer demand for Nimiq right now.
Developers and Contributors
Growing developer base and measured progress as defined by the number of repositories, commits, and contributors.
✔︎ Nimiq has already a flourishing developper base.
Community Activity
Dedicated forums are available where developers, supporters, users, and founders can interact and build a community and offer transparency into the project. The team provides regular updates or is responsive to feedback.
✔︎ Yes it has.
External Stakeholders
There are investments from venture firms or hedge funds which have experience working with crypto companies or projects. The project has corporate partnerships, joint ventures, or dedicated consortiums.
〜 It doesn't as far as I know.
Change in Market Capitalization
The market capitalization has grown after the network has activated, demonstrating increased demand for the asset after the project's launch.
〜 Sadly not.
Nodes
Growing # of nodes on the underlying blockchain. The project has a globally distributed node network, meaning operating nodes are not contained in a single country or geographic region.
✔︎ You can even check them on a map on https://miner.nimiq.com/
Transactions, Fees & Addresses
Growing # of transactions and fees paid over time. Growing # of asset or token holders, which is an indicator of asset distribution.
✔︎ Check the stats
Economic Incentives
Are the economic structures designed to incentivize all parties to act in the best interest of the network?
✔︎ It's a PoW coin so yes.
Type of Token
It is a service, work, or hybrid token. Tokens backed by fiat or other physical assets are categorized as US securities and will not be considered at this time.
✔︎ It's not backed by anything but the work done to generate them.
Token Utility
There is utility from obtaining, holding, participating, or spending the token. The team identifies a clear and compelling reason for the native digital asset to exist (i.e. the main purpose is not fundraising).
✔︎ Nimiq is a general payment protocol.
Inflation (Money Supply)
There is an algorithmically programmed inflation rate which incentivizes security and network effects. Or, if the total supply is capped, then a majority of the tokens should be available for trade when the network launches.
✔︎ You can check the inflation curve here.
Rewards and Penalties
There are mechanisms (such as transaction fees) which incentivize miners, validators, and other participants to exhibit 'good' behavior. Conversely, there are mechanisms which deter 'bad' behavior.
✔︎ Yes
Security
There is a focus on stringent security protocols and best practices to limit scams, hacks, and theft of funds.
✔︎ The smart-contract of the ICO was audited and they didn't lose the fund yet so I guess it's secure haha.
Participation Equality
Best efforts by the team to allow a fair distribution of tokens (i.e. setting initial individual purchase caps to limit the risk of small number of investors from taking a majority of the supply).
✔︎ The number of NIM distributed through NET is only 7% in any case.
Team Ownership
The ownership stake retained by the team is a minority stake. There should be a lock-up period and reasonable vesting schedule to ensure the team is economically incentivized to improve the network into the future.
✔︎ See the vesting schedule
Transparency
The team should be available and responsive to questions or feedback about the product, token sale, or use of funds across multiple forums.
✔︎ See the transparency report.
Total Supply The team should sell a fixed percentage of the total supply, and participants should know the percentage of total supply that their purchase represents, or have a clear understanding of the inflation rate.
✔︎ All informations are available freely online.
Ethics or Code of Conduct
White paper or project website should have an ethical or professional code of conduct.
✔︎ Check it here
Conclusion: 44 ✔︎ and 12 〜.
submitted by --Talleyrand-- to Nimiq [link] [comments]

Lightning Network Will Likely Fail Due To Several Possible Reasons

ECONOMIC CASE IS ABSENT FOR MANY TRANSACTIONS
The median Bitcoin (BTC) fee is $14.41 currently. This has gone parabolic in the past few days. So, let’s use a number before this parabolic rise, which was $3.80. Using this number, opening and closing a Lightning Network (LN) channel means that you will pay $7.60 in fees. Most likely, the fee will be much higher for two reasons:
  1. BTC fees have been trending higher all year and will be higher by the time LN is ready
  2. When you are in the shoe store or restaurant, you will likely pay a higher fee so that you are not waiting there for one or more hours for confirmation.
Let’s say hypothetically that Visa or Paypal charges $1 per transaction. This means that Alice and Carol would need to do 8 or more LN transactions, otherwise it would be cheaper to use Visa or Paypal.
But it gets worse. Visa doesn’t charge the customer. To you, Visa and Cash are free. You would have no economic incentive to use BTC and LN.
Also, Visa does not charge $1 per transaction. They charge 3%, which is 60 cents on a $20 widget. Let’s say that merchants discount their widgets by 60 cents for non-Visa purchases, to pass the savings onto the customer. Nevertheless, no one is going to use BTC and LN to buy the widget unless 2 things happen:
  1. they buy more than 13 widgets from the same store ($7.60 divided by 60 cents)
  2. they know ahead of time that they will do this with that same store
This means that if you’re traveling, or want to tip content producers on the internet, you will likely not use BTC and LN. If you and your spouse want to try out a new restaurant, you will not use BTC and LN. If you buy shoes, you will not use BTC and LN.
ROAD BLOCKS FROM INSUFFICIENT FUNDS
Some argue that you do not need to open a channel to everyone, if there’s a route to that merchant. This article explains that if LN is like a distributed mesh network, then another problem exists:
"third party needs to possess the necessary capital to process the transaction. If Alice and Bob do not have an open channel, and Alice wants to send Bob .5 BTC, they'll both need to be connected to a third party (or a series of 3rd parties). Say if Charles (the third party) only possesses .4 BTC in his respective payment channels with the other users, the transaction will not be able to go through that route. The longer the route, the more likely that a third party does not possess the requisite amount of BTC, thereby making it a useless connection.”
CENTRALIZATION
According to this visualization of LN on testnet, LN will be centralized around major hubs. It might be even more centralized than this visualization if the following are true:
  1. Users will want to connect to large hubs to minimize the number of times they need to open/close channels, which incur fees
  2. LN’s security and usability relies on 100% uptime of relaying parties
  3. Only large hubs with a lot of liquidity will be able to make money
  4. Hubs or intermediary nodes will need to be licensed as money transmitters, centralizing LN to exchanges and banks as large hubs
What will the impact be on censorship-resistance, trust-less and permission-less?
NEED TO BE LICENSED AS MONEY TRANSMITTER
Advocates for LN seem to talk a lot about the technology, but ignore the legalities.
FinCEN defines money transmitters. LN hubs and intermediary nodes seem to satisfy this definition.
Application of FinCEN's Regulations to Persons Administering, Exchanging, or Using Virtual Currencies
“…applicability of the regulations … to persons creating, obtaining, distributing, exchanging, accepting, or transmitting virtual currencies.”
“…an administrator or exchanger is an MSB under FinCEN's regulations, specifically, a money transmitter…”
"An administrator or exchanger that (1) accepts and transmits a convertible virtual currency or (2) buys or sells convertible virtual currency for any reason is a money transmitter under FinCEN's regulations…”
"FinCEN's regulations define the term "money transmitter" as a person that provides money transmission services, or any other person engaged in the transfer of funds. The term "money transmission services" means "the acceptance of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency from one person and the transmission of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency to another location or person by any means.””
"The definition of a money transmitter does not differentiate between real currencies and convertible virtual currencies.”
FinCEN’s regulations for IVTS:
"An “informal value transfer system” refers to any system, mechanism, or network of people that receives money for the purpose of making the funds or an equivalent value payable to a third party in another geographic location, whether or not in the same form.”
“…IVTS… must comply with all BSA registration, recordkeeping, reporting and AML program requirements.
“Money transmitting” occurs when funds are transferred on behalf of the public by any and all means including, but not limited to, transfers within the United States or to locations abroad…regulations require all money transmitting businesses…to register with FinCEN."
Mike Caldwell used to accept and mail bitcoins. Customers sent him bitcoins and he mailed physical bitcoins back or to a designated recipient. There is no exchange from one type of currency to another. FinCEN told him that he needed to be licensed as money transmitter, after which Caldwell stopped mailing out bitcoins.
ARGUMENTS AGAINST NEED FOR LICENSING
Some have argued that LN does not transfer BTC until the channel is closed on the blockchain. This is not a defence, since channels will close on the blockchain.
Some have argued that LN nodes do not take ownership of funds. Is this really true? Is this argument based on a technicality or hoping for a loophole? It seems intuitive that a good prosecutor can easily defeat this argument. Even if this loophole exists, can we count on the government to never close this loophole?
So, will LN hubs and intermediary nodes need to be licensed as money transmitters? If so, then Bob, who is the intermediary between Alice and Carol, will need a license. But Bob won’t have the money nor qualifications. Money transmitters need to pay $25,000 to $1 million, maintain capital levels and are subject to KYC/AML regulations1. In which case, LN will have mainly large hubs, run by financial firms, such as banks and exchanges.
Will the banks want this? Likely. Will they lobby the government to get it? Likely.
Some may be wondering about miners. FinCEN has declared that miners are not money transmitters:
https://coincenter.org/entry/aml-kyc-tokens :
"Subsequent administrative rulings clarified several remaining ambiguities: miners are not money transmitters…"
FinCEN Declares Bitcoin Miners, Investors Aren't Money Transmitters
Some argue that LN nodes will go through Tor and be anonymous. For this to work, will all of the nodes connecting to it, need to run Tor? If so, then how likely will this happen and will all of these people need to run Tor on every device (laptop, phone and tablet)? Furthermore, everyone of these people will be need to be sufficiently tech savvy to download, install and set up Tor. Will the common person be able to do this? Also, will law-abiding nodes, such as retailers or banks, risk their own livelihood by connecting to an illegal node? What is the likelihood of this?
Some argue that unlicensed LN hubs can run in foreign countries. Not true. According to FinCEN: "“Money transmitting” occurs when funds are…transfers within the United States or to locations abroad…” Also, foreign companies are not immune from the laws of other countries which have extradition agreements. The U.S. government has sued European banks over the LIBOR scandal. The U.S. government has charged foreign banks for money laundering and two of those banks pleaded guilty. Furthermore, most countries have similar laws. It is no coincidence that European exchanges comply with KYC/AML.
Will licensed, regulated LN hubs connect to LN nodes behind Tor or in foreign countries? Unlikely. Will Amazon or eBay connect to LN nodes behind Tor or in foreign countries? Unlikely. If you want to buy from Amazon, you’ll likely need to register yourself at a licensed, regulated LN hub, which means you’ll need to provide your identification photo.
Say goodbye to a censorship-resistant, trust-less and permission-less coin.
For a preview of what LN will probably look like, look at Coinbase or other large exchanges. It’s a centralized, regulated and censored hub. Coinbase allows users to send to each other off-chain. Coinbase provides user data to the IRS and disallows users from certain countries to sell BTC. You need to trust that no rogue employee in the exchange will steal your funds, or that a bank will not confiscate your funds as banks did in Cyprus. What if the government provides a list of users, who are late with their tax returns, to Coinbase and tells Coinbase to block those users from making transactions? You need Coinbase’s permission.
This would be the antithesis of why Satoshi created Bitcoin.
NEED TO REPORT TO IRS
The IRS has a definition for “third party settlement organization” and these need to report transactions to the IRS.
Though we do not know for sure yet, it can be argued that LN hubs satisfies this definition. If this is the case, who will be willing to be LN hubs, other than banks and exchanges?
To read about the discussion, go to:
Lightning Hubs Will Need To Report To IRS
COMPLEXITY
All cryptocurrencies are complicated for the common person. You may be tech savvy enough to find a secure wallet and use cryptocurrencies, but the masses are not as tech savvy as you.
LN adds a very complicated and convoluted layer to cryptocurrencies. It is bound to have bugs for years to come and it’s complicated to use. This article provides a good explanation of the complexity. Just from the screenshot of the app, the user now needs to learn additional terms and commands:
“On Chain”
“In Channels”
“In Limbo”
“Your Channel”
“Create Channel”
“CID”
“OPENING”
“PENDING-OPEN”
“Available to Receive”
“PENDING-FORCE-CLOSE”
There are also other things to learn, such as how funds need to be allocated to channels and time locks. Compare this to using your current wallet.
Recently, LN became even more complicated and convoluted. It needs a 3rd layer as well:
Scaling Bitcoin Might Require A Whole 'Nother Layer
How many additional steps does a user need to learn?
ALL COINS PLANNING OFF-CHAIN SCALING ARE AT RISK
Bitcoin Segwit, Litecoin, Vertcoin and possibly others (including Bitcoin Cash) are planning to implement LN or layer 2 scaling. Ethereum is planning to use Raiden Network, which is very similar to LN. If the above is true about LN, then the scaling roadmap for these coins is questionable at best, nullified at worst.
BLOCKSTREAM'S GAME PLAN IS ON TRACK
Blockstream employs several of the lead Bitcoin Core developers. Blockstream has said repeatedly that they want high fees. Quotes and source links can be found here.
Why is Blockstream so adamant on small blocks, high fees and off-chain scaling?
Small blocks, high fees and slow confirmations create demand for off-chain solutions, such as Liquid. Blockstream sells Liquid to exchanges to move Bitcoin quickly on a side-chain. LN will create liquidity hubs, such as exchanges, which will generate traffic and fees for exchanges. With this, exchanges will have a higher need for Liquid. This will be the main way that Blockstream will generate revenue for its investors, who invested $76 million. Otherwise, they can go bankrupt and die.
One of Blockstream’s investors/owners is AXA. AXA’s CEO and Chairman until 2016 was also the Chairman of Bilderberg Group. The Bilderberg Group is run by bankers and politicians (former prime ministers and nation leaders). According to GlobalResearch, Bilderberg Group wants “a One World Government (World Company) with a single, global marketplace…and financially regulated by one ‘World (Central) Bank’ using one global currency.” LN helps Bilderberg Group get one step closer to its goal.
Luke-Jr is one of the lead BTC developers in Core/Blockstream. Regulation of BTC is in-line with his beliefs. He is a big believer in the government, as he believes that the government should tax you and the “State has authority from God”. In fact, he has other radical beliefs as well:
So, having only large, regulated LN hubs is not a failure for Blockstream/Bilderberg. It’s a success. The title of this article should be changed to: "Lightning Will Fail Or Succeed, Depending On Whether You Are Satoshi Or Blockstream/Bilderberg".
SIGNIFICANT ADVANCEMENTS WITH ON-CHAIN SCALING
Meanwhile, some coins such as Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash are pushing ahead with on-chain scaling. Both are looking at Sharding.
Visa handles 2,000 transactions per second on average. Blockstream said that on-chain scaling will not work. The development teams for Bitcoin Cash have shown significant on-chain scaling:
1 GB block running on testnet demonstrates over 10,000 transactions per second:
"we are not going from 1MB to 1GB tomorrow — The purpose of going so high is to prove that it can be done — no second layer is necessary”
"Preliminary Findings Demonstrate Over 10,000 Transactions Per Second"
"Gigablock testnet initiative will likely be implemented first on Bitcoin Cash”
Peter Rizun, Andrew Stone -- 1 GB Block Tests -- Scaling Bitcoin Stanford At 13:55 in this video, Rizun said that he thinks that Visa level can be achieved with a 4-core/16GB machine with better implementations (modifying the code to take advantage of parallelization.)
Bitcoin Cash plans to fix malleability and enable layer 2 solutions:
The Future of “Bitcoin Cash:” An Interview with Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet:
"fixing malleability and enabling Layer 2 solutions will happen”
However, it is questionable if layer 2 will work or is needed.
GOING FORWARD
The four year scaling debate and in-fighting is what caused small blockers (Blockstream) to fork Bitcoin by adding Segwit and big blockers to fork Bitcoin into Bitcoin Cash. Read:
Bitcoin Divorce - Bitcoin [Legacy] vs Bitcoin Cash Explained
It will be interesting to see how they scale going forward.
Scaling will be instrumental in getting network effect and to be widely adopted as a currency. Whichever Coin Has The Most Network Effect Will Take All (Or Most) (BTC has little network effect, and it's shrinking.)
The ability to scale will be key to the long term success of any coin.
submitted by curt00 to Bitcoincash [link] [comments]

21 inc. device is NOT a Bitcoin miner - it is a smart contract enabler.

In the last few days there have been many articles criticizing the new 21 inc. device as "an inefficient miner". Lots of comments like that on /bitcoin too. If you think the same, you have completely missed the point of 21 inc. device. It is NOT a bitcoin miner. Imagine it does not generate bitcoins at all. Could you write an article criticizing the device if it did not generate ANY bitcoins?
You seem to forget (or not realize) that this device's main function is making smart contracts on the Bitcoin blockchain. To use the Bitcoin blockchain the device has to pay transaction (miner) fees, therefore, it needs to have a tiny amount of bitcoins for that.
There are several ways to go about doing that:
  1. The device owner could buy a small amount of bitcoins and send them to the device. This would turn off most of the people, because buying bitcoins is a huge hassle, it takes several days, requires the owner to scan and upload various documents, etc. This would not work, because people are too lazy.
  2. The device could already have some bitcoins on it when shipped to the buyer. This would make 21 inc. a money transmitter and would open up a regulatory nightmare where 21. inc would have to spend all their 120 million on lawyers and application fees. This would not work, because of AML / KYC / other regulations.
  3. The device could mine bitcoins itself. This is exactly what 21 inc. device does. Don't look at the dollar value of those bitcoins mined, because it's irrelevant. 10 cent per day may be minuscule in monetary value, but it is enough to pay transaction (miner) fees for 5 smart contracts per day. This is the only purpose of the mining part of the device - to create bitcoins to use for smart contracts' transaction (miner) fees.
submitted by shadowrun456 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

States put heat on Bitcoin. (WSJ - 6/26 - article cut & Paste for w/o Subscription)

By ROBIN SIDEL and ANDREW R. JOHNSON State regulators are warning virtual-currency exchanges and other companies that deal with bitcoin that they could be closed down if their activities run afoul of state money-transmission laws, according to people familiar with the matter.
According to people familiar with the situation, banking regulators in California, New York and Virginia in recent weeks have issued letters telling the companies that they need to follow the state rules or prove that the rules don't apply to them.
The warnings fall short of formal "cease and desist" orders, which would demand that the companies immediately stop engaging in their business, these people said.
Still, the moves show that state regulators have moved beyond merely scrutinizing virtual currencies and now are taking steps to prevent people and companies from using them for illegal activities. Federal regulators already are cracking down on virtual currencies.
Similar actions are expected from other states in coming weeks and months, according to people familiar with the matter. California, New York and Virginia are three of the 48 states that require the companies to obtain money-transmission licenses to operate. South Carolina and Montana don't have such rules.
The money-transmission rules vary among states, but most require detailed financial data, business strategy and information about the company's management. States also typically require companies to put up a bond that could run as high as several million dollars.
Bits and Pieces
Read about Bitcoin's evolution.
The actions aren't related to the announcement last week that Mt. Gox, the largest bitcoin trading exchange, has halted withdrawals of customer funds in U.S. dollars. The Tokyo company said it was making system improvements.
Unlike dollars or euros that are backed by a central bank, bitcoin users can create the units in a process called "mining." Users also can trade the currency on a number of exchanges or swap it privately.
The state actions come three months after federal regulators issued guidelines placing virtual-currency exchanges under the same comprehensive anti-money-laundering requirements as traditional money-transmission businesses such as Western Union Co. Since then, a handful of bitcoin exchanges have registered with the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
The California Department of Financial Institutions has issued at least three warnings to bitcoin-related companies in recent weeks, according to people familiar with the actions. One of the recipients is the Bitcoin Foundation, an industry-backed group that promotes the digital cash.
Patrick Murck, general counsel for the Bitcoin Foundation, said it is a nonprofit organization and doesn't engage in money transmission. The group is formulating its response to the letter it received from regulators last week.
A spokeswoman for the California banking department declined to comment on the warning letters, saying the communications are confidential and "the goal is safety and soundness and compliance with the laws that DFI enforces."
California is particularly important to the bitcoin community because many of the startup companies that are tied to the virtual currency are based there. California and New York are known for having stricter money-transmission laws than other states.
Bloomberg News Bitcoin supporter Peter Vessenes
"Bitcoin businesses are spending a lot of time and energy figuring out how to stay out of California," said Peter Vessenes, chief executive of CoinLab, a Bainbridge Island, Wash., company that has registered as a money-services business with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. CoinLab is waiting to launch any exchange-related services until it gets its "state licensing strategy sorted," said Mr. Vessenes, who also is chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation.
The New York Department of Financial Services issued a similar letter to BitInstant, a New York company that allows customers to buy and sell bitcoins. The company earlier this month alerted customers on its website that it wasn't accepting cash deposits "as we make steps to transition to our new website."
Charlie Shrem, chief executive of BitInstant, couldn't be reached for comment. The company has registered as a money-services business with federal regulators.
"Virtual currency firms inhabit an evolving and sometimes murky corner of the financial world," Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of New York's Department of Financial Services, said in an interview.
"The extent and nature of their operations morph constantly, so it's important for regulators to ask the hard questions and stay ahead of the curve in order to root out dangerous or illegal activity," he said.
In Virginia, a company called Tangible Cryptography suspended the purchase of the currency through its service called FastCash4Bitcoins after receiving a letter from state regulators who received a complaint that the company was operating as an unlicensed money transmitter, according to a notice on its website. Company representatives couldn't be reached for comment.
Tangible Cryptography said on its website that its activity is exempt from licensing requirements and that the commission's initial assessment contained factual errors.
"While we respond to the commission's notice, the prudent action is for the company to suspend all new transactions," the company said.
A spokesman for the Virginia Bureau of Financial Institutions declined to comment on whether it has issued similar notices to other companies.
Write to Robin Sidel at [email protected] and Andrew R. Johnson at [email protected]
A version of this article appeared June 26, 2013, on page C1 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: States Put Heat on Bitcoin.
submitted by siamesefightingfish to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Bitcoin gets another day in court- I had to testify for 30 minutes

I invested in Bitcoin in June of 2012 and I've done pretty well since then. Today I was posting bond for a friend of mine who was booked on a drug-related charge and I sold some BTC to cover the bond. I had to produce statements from MtGox in order to show how I obtained the money. I was grilled by the prosecution for about 30 minutes regarding Bitcoin. The prosecution had looked up some stuff in Bitcoin and they were trying to argue that I might have obtained the money by illegitimate means (i.e. laundering money), but their arguments were dismissed pretty quickly by the judge. Mind you that pretty much nobody in the court room, including the defense, had any idea what Bitcoin was when we started.
Some of the questions I was asked by the prosecution: 1. Is it true that Bitcoin is not regulated by any state? 2. You are aware that MtGox is not a registered money transmitter? 3. Bitcoin is not a real currency in the sense you can't use it in Wal-Mart, is that correct? 4. Your MtGox account is not an investment account, such as a traditional mutual fund, stock or options, correct? 5. Is it true that Bitcoin is not the official legal tender of any country or jurisdiction? 6. Is it your understanding that Bitcoin is not regulated by FinCEN? 7. Do you realize gains from the rise or fall of the current Bitcoin price? 8. Do you know how Bitcoin mining works? 9. Do you mine Bitcoins? (there are many other questions in the span of 30 minutes, but these were the ones that stood out)
My answers: 1. Yes, it's a decentralized currency so there is no country or state that controls it. 2. Objection by defense and sustained. 3. Is that relevant? (the judge said that he's going to determine if it's relevant and I should just answer the question) ... Yes, you can't use it in Wal-Mart. It's not a traditional currency in that sense. 4. It's not a traditional investment account, but it's no different from investing in currency. (the judge and the prosecution went back and forth here about how one can invest in DollaYen, DollaEuro and they agreed that it's an investment) 5. Objection by the defense (asked and answered) and sustained. 6. Yes. Objection by the defense, but it was overruled and I had already answered the question. 7. Yes. It works just like any other investment: you buy in at a certain price and you sell at a different price. If I have profit, then that's a capital gain. 8. Yes. 9. No.
Statements by the prosecution (most of them dismissed by the judge): 1. Bitcoin is used for money laundering and other illegal activities. 2. Bitcoin is not a real currency. He went on about how it's not regulated, it's not real currency and it's used for illegal activities such as money laundering, but the judge dismissed it saying that it's irrelevant. They also tried to suggest that money obtained from Bitcoin is not traceable, but the judge agreed with the defense that the statements from MtGox are sufficient to prove where the money came from. The judge also made statements that this seems to be in line with any other investment and it should be accepted as a legal source for the bond.
Closing statement from the defense (this was the best part): "Some people like to keep their money in the bank, some keep it under the mattress and some invest it in geeky stuff like Bitcoin. (the whole courtroom, including the judge, erupted in laughter) However, that's not grounds for rejecting the bond. It is entirely reasonable that the witness, who is x-years-old, not married, has no children, has no mortgage and makes x amount of money per year is capable of producing the bond amount."
All and all, it was pretty fun to be up there and testify in defense of both my friend and Bitcoin. I'll try to get the court transcripts and post them up here, it was pretty entertaining to see the prosecution struggle with Bitcoin.
submitted by btcthinker to Bitcoin [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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US Bitcoin traders who identify as users are under siege. Do you have the same issue in your country?

As a bitcoin trader myself, I follow all the news of us trader arrests. These fall into two categories. First, the user did something otherwise unlawful such as trafficking drugs or committing money laundering and was charged with "operating an unlicensed money servicing business" and "conspiracy for agreeing to distribute controlled dangerous substances". In these types of cases I agree that the user should be punished for conspiracy to distribute drugs and money laundering. The second type of case that is becoming far more prevalent now is where the bitcoin user has simply made sales and purchases of bitcoin for his or her own account. These users are still charged with "Operating an unlicensed money services business."
This I do not agree with at all because FIN-2008-G008 declared that "When a broker or dealer in currency or other commodities accepts and transmits funds solely for the purpose of effecting a bona fide purchase or sale of currency or other commodities for or with a customer, such person is not engaged as a business in the transfer of funds, and is not acting as a money transmitter as that term is defined in our regulations.8 In such circumstances, the transmission of funds is a fundamental element of the actual transaction necessary to execute the contract for the purchase or sale of the currency or the other commodity. The transmission of funds is not a separate and discrete service provided in addition to the underlying transaction. It is a necessary and integral part of the transaction."
This determination was reiterated in subsequent guidance FIN-2013-G001 & response FIN-2014-R002. Simply put a bitcoin user who only purchases or sells bitcoin of his own account to or from a customer is not a money transmitter.
Most simple bitcoin traders operate under this guidance and are simply flabbergasted when confronted with charges for operating an "unlicensed money services business" or "operating an unlicensed bitcoin exchange". When the government makes their case the conveniently only quote the portion of the rule that states " An exchanger is a person engaged as a business in theexchange of virtual currency for real currency, funds, or other virtual currency". [FIN-2013-G001] Except that it is clearly explained in FIN-2008-G008 that "When a broker or dealer in currency or other commodities accepts and transmits funds solely for the purpose of effecting a bona fide purchase or sale of currency or other commodities for or with a customer, such person is not engaged as a business in the transfer of funds, and is not acting as a money transmitter as that term is defined in our regulations." This is carried forward and reiterated in FIN-2013-G001 where it states "In 2008, FinCEN issued guidance stating that as long as a broker or dealer in real currency or other commodities accepts and transmits funds solely for the purpose of effecting a bona fide purchase or sale of the real currency or other commodities for or with a customer, such person is not acting as a money transmitter under the regulations. However, if the broker or dealer transfers funds between a customer and a third party that is not part of the currency or commodity transaction, such transmission of funds is no longer a fundamental element of the actual transaction necessary to execute the contract for the purchase or sale of the currency or the other commodity. This scenario is, therefore, money transmission. Examples include, in part, (1) the transfer of funds between a customer and a third party by permitting a third party to fund a customer’s account; (2) the transfer of value from a customer’s currency or commodity position to the account of another customer; or (3) the closing out of a customer’s currency or commodity position, with a transfer of proceeds to a third party. Since the definition of a money transmitter does not differentiate between real currencies and convertible virtual currencies, the same rules apply to brokers and dealers of e-currency and e-precious metals.
A simple way to think about the definition of a money transmitter is that a money transmitter typically collects funds from one customer and transmits those funds to another customer via its agents in a remote location. So A western Union agent for example collects $100 from Bob Smith in Iowa and deposits this money into its Bank of America Account. Peggy Sue in Ohio goes to a western union agent where the agent prints out a check from western union or gets an ach credit into its business checking account from Bank of America and pays out a portion of the received funds to Peggy Sue. Western Union is transmitting money by accepting it from agent A and transmitting it to agent B for further credit to Peggy Sue. So let's think about this in terms of bitcoin. Bitcoin is a centralized ledger of funds for each public key or "account". If I have 0.05 bitcoin in account 1001 and I want to pay my landlord 0.05 bitcoin rent,I send the bitcoin to account 1002. All this does is make a notation on the blockchain that account 1001 now has 0 bitcoin and account 1002 now has 0.05 bitcoin. This is simplified a bit so you programmers out there don't cringe over the details of constructing a bitcoin transaction, inputs, and outputs. Suffice it to say, that sending my landlord who is standing next to me, 0.05 bitcoin, does not make me a money transmitter any more than paying him with my VISA card. In fact in both cases we could consider VISA or bitcoin a money transmitter since they take funds from person A and transmit them to person B via their agents. In VISA's case the party's banks are the agents, while in bitcoin's example the agents could be the wallet program on each phone or computer that reads the person's wallet or account balance.
Circle back to our friendly traders under siege. No, not the criminals slinging drugs, they knowingly committed their actions. I'm speaking about the bitcoin users, only selling or purchasing bitcoins from their own account to or from a customer. These traders haven't committed an offenses at all according to fincen's directions. What does the government do? Do they engage in a public information campaign to inform these traders of their rights and responsibilities? Do they create a new MSB category for digital currency and define rules and responsibilities for a virtual currency trader? No, instead they try to mislead traders in these cases where a secondary offense such as drug trafficking hasn't been committed. "You have got to be kidding me. Right?" No, I'm really not. If you start reading into these cases you'll find literally hundreds of examples of agents encouraging traders to send bitcoin to a trader in Africa for example so that trader can disburse local currency to a friend. Agents buying bitcoin for less than $10,000 USD without ID and considering this illegal behavior in the indictment! Remember a user doesn't need to report any transaction unless it exceeds $10,000 USD if it is part of his trade or business. If an auto worker who is a casual user that only trades bitcoin 3 times a year sold his for Christmas money to a friend, he wouldn't even need to report the $15,000 sale. But most traders who trade on a daily basis or do it for a living will need to file either an IRS 8300 or a Fincen CTR. Such agents who approach these casual traders entice them with inflated rates and use such phrases as "I'm going to make you rich!'". And they often ask questions about limits and regulations that don't apply to the bitcoin user. They consider all responses as violations of the money transmitter regulations that aren't supposed to apply.
So what is a trader to do? You have two choices. You can follow the law literally as most have done and have countless agents come and test you...and then worry about being arrested on charges that don't even apply to you except when acting unlawfully when strongly encouraged or even elicited under duress in some cases by government agents. Or you can falsely claim you are a money transmitter and follow those rules.
On my own personal journey I decided in October of 2014 to register with Fincen because I saw that one of my suppliers had done so on his website. I asked him about it and he said it was a precautionary measure. I asked around and I was told by many that I had to select money transmitter and other and write in bitcoin trader because there was no selection for bitcoin trader. This in spite of not being a money transmitter. After I had registered I received a call from a man in "Internal Revenue" in Boston about my registration. He asked me about my bitcoin trading and then he said he had to consult with a supervisor. About 15 minutes later he returned my call and told me, "You are not a money transmitter, so I don't need anything from you." A couple months after that, I received a call from Key Bank's compliance office in Cleveland. They had detected my registration as a money transmitter with Fincen and wanted to ask me a few questions. After questioning me, the lady told me that she previously worked for fincen and that I was not an MSB. Key bank had me sign an affidavit that I wouldn't perform any money services businesses activities such as cashing checks for profit, transmitting money, issue money orders, or create gift cards. This compliance officer understood that I was not an exchange in any way and that I only purchased and sold bitcoin of my own account. She understood I didn't hold funds for customers to trade with each other of their own accord like Bitstamp, Kraken, or Gemini.
In the years that would follow, I would have many bank accounts shut down due to this registration as a money transmitter. Most banks simply looked and said, you are a money transmitter. After all, you registered as one. I called Ficen and asked if I could un-register. "No, you cannot". The banks wouldn't even listen to the facts and make a decision. The only other business to actually study my investment model and grant me user status was Gemini. They also agreed I was a user. I think years later they came under pressure to terminate all localbitcoins accounts because many were terminated and at the end of those, mine was too. Was it a coincidence? Or could one of my customers have sabotaged me? It is possible for a user to lie about his wallet address and give out one belonging to a site such as Alphabay. I had one customer do this to me when I was selling him coin from Alphabay. Coinbase questioned me about the transaction and I informed them that someone I was sending money give that wallet out as his own. They reinstated my account since I had years of history with them and it was only one transaction. After that I was careful not to send to customer wallets directly from coinbase. I guess my point is here, if you don't register as a money transmitter they want to harass and prosecute you; but if you do register as a money transmitter they still want to harass and shut down your business. I have recently been engaged in conversations with Fincen by email and by phone and other traders. I haven't been able to speak with many compliance people who are knowledgeable about bitcoin. When I do, for example I've spoken with BitAML on this subject, they agree with me about being a user as a trader. Other compliance people won't even answer my emails or call me back. Now I'm on the verge of either retiring or going the whole money transmitter route and even following the $3,000 ID requirement that only applies to money orders, traveler's checks, and money transfers, but not virtual currency. So my question to you is, do you have the same kinds of problems in your country? Is it better, or worse where you are? Tell me your stories. From my perspective now at least, it seems like the USA has the most malfeasance and harassment of the simple bitcoin traders, excluding those who commit crimes.
Thanks for reading
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FinCEN Releases Rules Classifying Bitcoin Exchanges, Buyers And Miners As Money Transmittors Bitcoin Mining BITCOIN EARNING SITES 2020 MOBIT7.COM BITCOIN INVESTMENTS EARN MONEY ONLINE Bitcoin's Regulatory Nightmare Is About to Get More Frightening How To Make Money By Mining Bitcoin

Trading using Bitcoin does not violate any of FINCEN’S regulations as long as it does not facilitate trading in contraband items or money laundering. Bitcoin commerce is thriving in the US. Money Service Businesses (MSB) that transact more than $1,000 in Bitcoin have to register in individual states to operate smoothly. A 21-year-old bitcoin trader from California is being prosecuted for allegedly committing numerous counts of illegal money transmission and money laundering. According to a statement from the Department of Justice in the Southern District of California, Jacob Burrell Campos was arranged to be held without bail at a hearing on Friday in connection to the charges. MTA Not Applicable to Bitcoin in Pennsylvania. In a memo titled “Money Transmitter Act Guidance for Virtual Currency Businesses,” the Pennsylvania DoBS clarified that the Money Transmitter Act (MTA) did not apply to cryptocurrency exchanges.. The clarification focused on the precise definitions encompassed in the MTA, which focused on what constitutes money and when is an MTA license required. Before a crypto company can get a money transmitter license, it must request a Limited License Agreement Order. The order documents the company’s acceptance that the DBS only regulates the company’s fiat transactions. However, Alabama’s cryptocurrency regulations may be about to change. As a money transmitter, businesses can work with traditional currencies or virtual options, such as Bitcoin, to help complete transactions for customers on a daily basis. However, as lucrative as a money transmitter business may be, there are steep hurdles to running a successful operation, including obtaining a money transmitter license.

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FinCEN Releases Rules Classifying Bitcoin Exchanges, Buyers And Miners As Money Transmittors

Although not the first digital currency ever proposed, nor the first challenger to fiat money, bitcoin is the first to have captured the broad imagination of speculators, coders, regulators ... EARN MONEY FROM HOME MOBIT7.COM BITCOIN EARNING SITES 2020 Link : https://mobit7.com/?ref=illdisposed MOBIT7 PROFITABLE INVESTMENT Register and become a part... FinCEN Releases Rules Classifying Bitcoin Exchanges, Buyers And Miners As Money Transmittors ... Down FinCEN's Regulation of ... You Need To Know About Money Transmitter Licensing ... So for this video, I decided to move away from trading bitcoin and talk more about how to make money by mining bitcoin. ( basically using your computer, to r... Skip navigation Let’s say you want to start a Bitcoin company in the U.S., chances are you’re going to need a Money Transmitter License, or rather 51 of them, because 47 states three territories and the ...

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