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Weekly Update: $PAR events galore, Parachute Treasure Hunt Winner, Arena Match Roadmap, SelfKey on ETHoutlet... – 18 Oct - 24 Oct'19
Hiya folks! Long time since I shared a weekly update. Let's see if I can catch up with the latest in the next few days. Wish me luck. Here’s your week at Parachute + partners (18 Oct - 24 Oct'19): This week’s Parena saw rageagainst take home a cool 50k $PAR by beating Ryan in a quick finale battle. The ParJar Battle Royale for our newest ParJar Pilot partners was this week. A ton of fun and a lot of $PAR (and $AMGO) tipped out. The official numbers of the $AMGO airdrop is out. The event which happened few weeks back saw 27k new ParJar wallets receiving the drop. Sweet! In this week’s TTR trivias, we saw 25k $PAR given out in MrPromise’s 10 question physics quiz, folks getting bamboozled in Charlotte’s Math trivia (10Qs, 2500 $PAR each), Doc Victor’s Video Games and War quiz seeing a participation frenzy for a 25k $PAR pot for 10 questions. Plus, Benjamin hosted a 10Q, 25k $PAR pot trivia based on the 2nd edition of the Parachute Post that he wrote. Even if you didn’t win, you definitely know more about Parachute and ParJar now. Thanks Ben! Jose is making a Parachute CS map (de_parachute). Awesome! Gamers get ready KellyBoy won 12,500 $PAR in Jason’s first ever raffle. Another first ever this week was Jason’s #WholesomeWed initiative: participants win $PAR for writing “about what they like about where they live”. Higher tips for photos, descriptions, stories, poems. Thank you Andy, Jason, Trojak, Nico B, Jeff Crypto, Gisele, Andhrew666, Reyna, Tavo (Gustavo), Cap, Zion, Lordhades, Marcos, Evangelina, Jose, Doc Victor, Saman, Richi, Shirin, Elena, Charlotte, Borna, Gl1tch, Bose Grace, Naya, Fadlan, Hanabi, dontouchscreen, Martha, Mariuska, Maiden, Jorge, Abdul, Labyb, CF (not Crypto French :p), Rin, Annerys, Mike India, Santhi, Adrian, Alexis, Frank, Glox, Muksin, Shaq Diesel, Alanys, Daniel, Brian, Yoleidis and Alejandro for the pictures! The Parachute Treasure Hunt finally has a winner. Congratulations to Justin Tobin for winning a boatload of crypto! Also, great teamwork by Harry, Edson, Unique, Reuben, Alimam and Doc Vic for getting the 2nd position. Two-for-Tuesday is back! This time in Parachute. This week’s theme was Rap/Reggae/Reggaeton. Super fun as always, Gian! PARachuter lunch. PAR is everywhere #PARroundings. Pic courtesy: Sebastian aXpire announced this week that they were joining the Oracle for Startups ecosystem. This initiative helps startups grow by leveraging Oracle’s PaaS and IaaS platforms. Watch the latest weekly update from Joakim by clicking here. The weekly 20k $AXPR burn can be tracked here. The team also opened up a question form for an AMA next month. Last week, we shared that $BAT is now tradeable/spendable/sendable on 2gether. Read more about it here. The latest feature in the app allows you check price history of cryptos. Neat! Participants of the Crypto Talent competition, don’t forget to check out Salva’s video on foundations of the economy. Founding Partner Luis Estrada will be speaking on AI, Cloud and BigData at the eShow in Madrid next week. Following and chatting options are now live in the WednesdayClub dApp. Noice! The latest WandX update covers developments from the strategic front, especially how the team is navigating the challenges of cross blockchain applications and regulations vis-à-vis Dex’es. As mentioned in the previous updates, XIO will not switch to Binance Chain and will continue to remain on Ethereum. Zachary explained in detail the events that lead to the decision in this article and video. There will still be a token swap but it will be an ERC20:ERC20 token swap to filter out inactive wallets. Details on how to do the swap will be shared in future updates. The first set of XIO incubated startups are also slated to be revealed soon. If you wish to receive regular XIO mailer updates, make sure to register as a Citizen here. Uber cool gif, Jimpanze! This week’s community discussions revolved around utility vs adoption, liquidity pool on Uniswap and multi-collateral XIO. \"First sneak peek at some conceptual UI/UX of $XIO\". Nice! $HYDRO is now tradeable on Liquid with a $BTC and $EUR pairing. Deploying Hydrogen’s PaaS for your fintech needs could lead to massive cost savings. Read more about it here. Dedicated socials and website for the Hydro Labs were launched this week. Plus, a Turkish blog. The team travelled to Montreal for Fintech Forum Canada and to Madrid for the BBVA Open Summit. Ahead of the 2019 Fintech Awards in which Hydro is a nominee, the project was covered in an article by Benzinga. And a cool shoutout from Bank Innovation. Hydrogen is also a finalist in the Most Innovative Banking Technology Provider category of the Banking Technology Awards 2019. Woohoo! Hydro's webinar on financial wellness happened this week. The Hydro 2FA solution is now integrated in the Barginex trading platform. A sweet bugfix bounty of $10k HYDRO got scooped up within a day of announcement. Click here to catch up on the latest ongoings on the dev front at Silent Notary. Tech nerds, have a read of Sentivate founder Thomas Marchi’s thoughts on QUIC, HTTP, UDSP and have a go at his riddle while you’re around. OST’s Pepo app launched on Product Hunt and app stores this week. As influencers continue to join the platform, this week we got a chance to see Meltem Demirors, NiMA Asghari and Dennison Bertram in action on Pepo. The latest upgrade features browsable hashtags. OST Founder Jason Goldberg’s fireside chat with CryptoOracle co-founder Lou Kerner is scheduled for next week. OST-backed Pepo and Hornet are now live on State of the DApps. Ahead of the San Francisco Blockchain Week, which the team will be attending, a new bounty was released for attendees. Tons of $OST up for grabs! There’s also a cool bounty for 1k $OST for promoting your blockchain article. With Halloween right around the corner, Hydro office decorations are on point Click here to watch the Mycro design & development team work on the app’s processes. SelfKey’s $KEY token was listed on ETHoutlet this week. The listing will provide $KEY with an $HKD fiat on-ramp. Additionally, ETHoutlet also joined SelfKey’s Marketplace. ETHoutlet operates a Dealer Exchange (i.e. traders trade with the platform directly instead of P2P) and has a physical store where people can trade OTC by visiting the location. Want to identify an exit scam before it happens? SelfKey crew’s got your back. Check out their article to learn how. Constellation joined the Board of Advisors at the Portland State University this week as part of an accredited Business Blockchain Certificate program which is also the world’s first such university accredited program. Congratulations! BAGS token group had their 6th Bazaar Upcycle event this week. Plus, a ton of $BAGS were given away for trivia and stickers contest. The Arena Match Fall 2019 Roadmap was published. Some of the updates that will go live are – CS:GO ranked matchmaking, replacement of credits with straight cash in/out (with an optional AMGO toggle), enhanced Perks, new UI, on-demand servers etc. Lots in store! Big up to Pynk for winning the Wolves Summit Pitch Competition. Click here and here for pics from the event. Last week we talked about Pynk's feature in BlockMAG published by the Malta Blockchain Summit. Here's the full scoop. Plus, a cool shoutout from Founder Institute. P.S. Pynk is an FI alumnus. Arena Match new dashboard prototype mockup Birdchain announced a copywrite contest this week. Cryptowriters assemble! The team also shared its marketing roadmap. Switch partner McAfeeDex now has 10 portals live with more in line for release. The next updates will contain multi chain support + Onion portal. It is also the 37th most popular ETH-based dApp on DappRadar. Plus, a chance to win 1k $ESH. More media coverage of the McAfeeDex from Bitcoin.com, CoinTelegraph, Blockonomi, The Daily Chain podcast and BLOCKTV this week. Plus, the first decentralised IEO was launched on the Dex. If you missed Fantom’s AMA with CryptoDiffer this week, here’s the transcript to get upto speed. The latest research paper from Fantom's partners at Yonsei University talks about The Economics of Smart Contracts. Have a read when you get a moment. Uptrennd will be introducing a more robust verification system for withdrawals to ensure that the platform stays fair and keeps bad actors away. In addition to the Malta Blockchain Summit, Jeff will also be travelling to CMC’s The Capital and BlockShow this month. In case you get to meet him at these events, chances are you could win some $1UP in the process. Woot! Click here to check out the entries to the video intro contest started last week. Uptrennd now has a Subreddit as well. Starting this week, the crew will be publishing regular TA reports based on community votes. 1UP was voted for the first report. Blockport’s $BPT/$ETH trading pair was discontinued from KuCoin this week as requested by the project. The $BTC pairing will continue to operate on the exchanges. Click here to catch up on the latest district weekly from District0x. And that’s a wrap for this week in Parachuteverse. See you again soon. Cheerio!
Wall Street 2.0: How Blockchain will revolutionise Wall Street and a closer look at Quant Network’s Partnership with AX Trading
AX Trading LLC (AX), a technology-enabled registered broker-dealer and Alternative Trading System (ATS) operator, today announced a strategic partnership withQuant Networka pioneering technology company providing financial and regulatory technology as well as interoperability in financial services, payments and capital markets infrastructure.Through this partnership, Quant Network’s technology, Overledger a blockchain operating system, will enable universal interoperability for regulatory-compliant security tokens and digital assets to be traded on AX ATS, a regulated secondary trading market. AX intends to integrate Overledger to help foster the evolution of traditional capital markets infrastructure to facilitate the mass implementation of interoperable regulated digital assets. With the increased market adoption of digital assets and banking “coins” such as JPMorgan Coin, AX and Quant Network are at the forefront to enable the transferability and movement of digital assets.George O’Krepkie, AX CEO said: “we look forward to partnering with Quant. Their technology will allow our blockchain agnostic security token exchange to communicate seamlessly with issuers, traders, investors, and regulators across different blockchain protocols. This is a key technological breakthrough that will help us bring the benefits of security tokens to Main Street and Wall Street.”It is expected that the first interoperable digital asset offering may commence as soon as January 2020, and that the AX Trading ATS may be ready to enable and list interoperable digital assets and securities in 2020.
An institutional investor is an organization that invests on behalf of the organization's members. They consist of hedge funds, banks, investment banks, pension funds, insurance companies, endowment funds, or any other type of money management firm. Institutional investors account for about three-quarters of the volume on the New York Stock Exchange (which alone handles more than $20 Trillion a year in volume). In the US, Institutional investors own about 80 % of the total market value of the equity (stock) market, which globally is worth more than $73 trillion. Wall Street refers to the institutional investors I mentioned above whereas Main Street refers collectively to members of the general public who are not accredited investors and the overall economy as a whole. Whilst the Equity Market is huge, Institutional investors also invest in other securities which are prime to be tokenised such as Real Estate Market (Globally worth $217 trillion), the Debt Market (Globally worth $215 trillion) and the Derivatives Market (Low end estimates at $544 trillion and high-end estimates at $1.2 quadrillion). All of which makes the current market cap for cryptocurrencies look like a drop in the ocean.
Who are AX Trading?
AX Trading is a SEC-registered broker-dealer and Alternative Trading System (ATS) Operator. They are a member of FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority)and SIPC ( Securities Investor Protection Corporation) regulated authorities. The SEC has some of the most stringent regulations in the world for listing securities and there are fewer than 50 SEC-registered Alternative Trading System Operators in the United States, of which only a handful are currently implementing Digital Assets. Others are awaiting regulatory approval with Coinbase, Circle etc are all looking at getting into this huge market. https://www.coindesk.com/stonewalled-by-finra-up-to-40-crypto-securities-wait-in-limbo-for-launch AX Trading have investors and sponsored brokers including the likes of Credit Suisse, (a multinational investment Bank and Financial services company worth $27.5 billion). AX currently have over 800 Institutional traders (these are not individuals, but corporations such as hedge funds, banks, investment banks, pension funds, insurance companies, endowment funds etc). AX Trading have also partnered with Euronext, the largest Stock Exchange in Europe with a market cap of $4.65 trillion as of 2018, in the creation of Euronext Block which utilises AX Trading.
What is an Alternative Trading System?
An Alternative Trading System (ATS) is an SEC-regulated trading venue which serves as an alternative to trading at a public exchange. ATS account for much of the liquidity found in publicly traded issues worldwide. They are known as multilateral trading facilities in Europe, electronic communication networks (ECNs), cross networks, and call networks AX is the world’s first “Electronic Trading Network” (ETN) where institutional traders can proactively connect and trade with other counterparties in a secure environment. Unlike traditional stock exchanges/ECNs that show orders to everyone and traditional dark pools/crossing systems that show orders — presumably — to no one, AX allows institutional traders to pick and choose WHOM they want to notify and also WHAT information they want to share with them. Institutional investors may use an ATS to find counterparties for transactions instead of trading large blocks of shares on national stock exchanges. These actions may be designed to conceal trading from public view since ATS transactions do not appear on national exchange order books. The benefit of using an ATS to execute such orders is that it reduces the domino effect that large trades might have on the price of an equity.
How does AX Trading Work?
The AX Trading process begins when one trader sends an “initiated” order to AX. The order can be routed to the AX ATS via one of our broker sponsors such as Credit Suisse. The initiated order triggers a “Call Auction” on AX, a period of time when the order will rest in AX to be matched against other orders from auction responders. The Initiator of an AX auction decides who they want to invite to participate in the auction, whether they be all 800+ institutional members or targeted to specific ones, as well as how much info they want to disclose about the order. Based on these instructions, the AX ATS then notifies the members inviting them to participate in the trade. The invited members can then participate in the trade by either placing buy orders of their own or placing sell orders. At the end of the AX auction period, all orders are brought together, and a match is performed. In the traditional, continuous market with displayed bids and offers, traders are often chasing liquidity. In other words, the price may move away from them the more they buy or sell to what is commonly called “market impact.” On AX, the advantage of their call auction model is it brings liquidity — in the form of participant orders to the buyer rather than them chasing liquidity.
What is a Security Token?
Security Tokens are different than Utility Tokens or Cryptocurrencies. A security token is a digital representation of a traditional security. It may represent shares in a company, interest in a fund, real estate, art collectables, or essentially any asset a party can own. Anthony Pompliano wrote an article explaining tokenised securities in more detail which you can see here
Security Tokens are digital assets subject to federal security regulations. In layman terms, they are the intersection of digital assets (tokens) with traditional financial products — a new technology improving old things.If cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are considered “programmable money” then you can consider Security Tokens a version of “programmable ownership.” This means that any asset with ownership can and will be tokenized (public & private equities, debt, real estate, etc).
The Tokenisation of assets is thereforeinevitable, because it is a better way torecord,exchangeandmonitorasset ownership for all parties involved. The amounts at stake representmany hundreds of trillions of US dollars
What are the benefits of a security token?
Lower Fees — having Smart Contracts and compliance programmed into the token itself removes the need for middlemen, reducing costs. Post Trade businesses such as clearing houses would also no longer be required further reducing costs.
24/7 markets — Currently the major US stock markets trade between 9:30am and 3pm during weekdays only. Trading can be done 24/7 and globally whilst remaining compliant.
Fractional Ownership — This greatly increases liquidity for previously illiquid assets. Real estate, Artwork, even assets such as Oil Refineries are already in talks about being tokenised through Overledger. If you have an asset such as an oil refinery worth billions of dollars, then naturally this limits the market should you ever want to sell it. However with fractional ownership you could own a tiny percentage of it and receive profits from the oil refinery based upon the percentage you own, which exponentially increases the number ofpotential buyers, increasing liquidity.
Rapid Settlement — Currently it takes 3 working days to settle a securities trade, this can be reduced to minutes by having the asset and fiat represented on a blockchain and handled through smart contracts.
Automated compliance — Security tokens are programmable, and rules and regulations are hard-coded into the architecture of the token to ensure they always remain compliant. This means that they can be traded globally and still ensure they respect the relevant countries regulations that the participants are located in.
The benefits that a blockchain provide such as transparency, security, immutability, high availability. Regulators can also run a node and verify compliance in real time.
Security Token Issuance Platforms
Security token issuance platforms allow issuers to issue Security tokens that represent the security such as Shares in their company etc in return for capital. This is known as a Primary Market. Importantly it’s not just the issuance that they look after, it’s the whole life cycle of a digital security to ensure they remain continuously in compliance as they are traded etc. They also provide reporting to the issuer so they can see who owns the tokens and what dividends to pay out. Securitize are one of the leading security tokens issuing platforms. They have created the DS Protocol, a blockchain agnostic protocol for security tokens which manages the whole lifecycle of a digital security, ensuring it remains continuously in compliance. They have issued a number of security tokens on the Ethereum network as well as recently working with IBM to tokenise the Corporate Debt Market (worth $82 Trillion). On the back of this they joined Hyperledger, an open source project which includes Enterprise blockchains such as Hyperledger Fabric which IBM is heavily involved with. https://tokenpost.com/Quant-Network-Securitize-and-others-join-Hyperledger-blockchain-project-1544 They recently also became the first SEC-registered transfer agent, which means Securitize can now act as the official keeper of records about changes of ownership in securities. There are many companies in this sector which are utilising various blockchains, Other examples include:
Harber — R Token protocol for Ethereum
Polymath — ST20 protocol for Ethereum
Blockstate — a security token issuance platform recently announced plans to migrate a number of ERC-20 tokens from the public Ethereum blockchain to the permissioned blockchain R3 Corda
Whilst the issuance platforms above generally also include their own exchange where the token can be traded on, secondary markets such as those offered through traditional stock exchanges and Alternative Trading Systems provide significantly more liquidity. Traditional Stock Exchanges have been very active in blockchain with some going through proof of concepts, to those like SIX SDX Digital Exchange which is due to launch later this year. They are using various blockchains and cover the full process from Issuance, Trading and Post Trade / Settlement services. I have briefly outlined which blockchain they are using / testing with along with source to read more about it below:
Switzerland’s Stock Exchange — SIX Digital Exchange issue, trading, settlement, custody — Corda — Source
Largest Stock Exchange in Germany — Deutsche Borse Franfurt Stock Exchange — Corda — Source and Source
South Korea’s Stock Exchange — Korea Exchange — Hyperledger Fabric — Source and Source
Japan’s Stock Exchange — Tokyo Stock Exchange — Hyperledger Fabric — Source which the consortium has now grown to 44 companies. Tokyo Stock Exchange are also testing JP Morgan’s Quorum for voting on the blockchain — Source
London Stock Exchange Group — Hyperledger Fabric — Source . They are also invested in Nivaura which utilises Ethereum — Source
Largest Stock Exchange in Europe — Euronext — Permissioned Ethereum via Liquidshare — Source as well as recently investing in Tokeny a blockchain based project based on public version of Ethereum — Source
Situated at the end of the post-trading process, CSDs are systemically important intermediaries. They thereby form a critical part of the securities market’s post-trade infrastructure, as they are where changes of securities ownership are ultimately registered. CSDs play a special role both as a depository, involving the legal safekeeping and maintenance of securities in a ‘central depository’ on behalf of custodians (both in materialised or dematerialised form); as well as for the issuer, involving the issuance of further securities by issuers, and their onboarding onto CSDs’ platforms. CSDs are also keeping a number of other important functions, including: dividend, interest, and principal processing; corporate actions including proxy voting; payment to transfer agents, and issuers involved in these processes; securities lending and borrowing; and, provide pledging of share and securities. Blockchain technology will enable real-time settlement finality in the securities world. This could mean the end of a number of players in the post-trade area, such as central counterparty clearing houses (CCPs), custodians and others. Central Security Despositories (CSD) will still play an important role according to reports: “CSDs could have an important role to play in a blockchain-based settlement system. As ‘custodians of the code, CSDs could exercise oversight of, and take responsibility for, the operation of the relevant blockchain protocol and any associated smart contracts.” Euroclear Report Another group of 30 central securities depositories (CSDs) in Europe and Asia are researching possible ways to “join hands” in developing a new infrastructure to custody digital assets. The CSDs will attempt to figure out how to apply their experience in guarding stock certificates to security solutions for crypto assets. “A new world of tokenized assets and blockchain is coming. It will probably disrupt our role as CSDs. The whole group decided we will be focusing on tokenized assets, not just blockchain but on real digital assets.” You can read more about how blockchain will affect CSD’s here Examples of CSD’s in blockchain
SIX Digital Exchange and Deutsche Borse are utilising Corda as explained in the trading venues section
DTCC the largest in the US process 1.7 Quadrillion US Dollars of securities every year and are planning on moving their Trade Information Warehouse to Axoni’s AXCore Blockchain (Based on permissioned version of Ethereum) later this year — Source
Canada CDS are using the Quartz blockchain from Indian IT Services Company Tata Consultancy Services — Source
Euroclear in collaboration with the European Investment Bank (EIB), Banco Santander, and EY are developing a blockchain solution — Source
French CSD’s too soon go live on Setl Blockchain — Source and Source
Russia’s National Settlement Depository is launching a blockchain project using D3ledger (based off Hyperledger) — Source
The Importance Of Interoperability
The evolution of DLT and the wide adoption across industries and across different market segments is resulting in many different ledgers networks, but the ultimate promise of DLT can only be realized when all ledger networks can seamlessly interoperate. — from the recent DTCC whitepaper with Accenture Some challenges and constraints related to the market infrastructure ecosystem remain open and will need to be addressed in the future to sustain the development of DLT platforms for trading and the post-trade process.At this stage, the questions of interoperability and standardization across these DLT (probably permissioned) platforms remain open and we may see a list of platforms offering no scope for interconnection. This will prevent them from fulfilling the key “distribution” criterion of DLT.Another related challenge that may determine whether or not the technology is adopted is the ability to provide Delivery versus Payment (DvP) settlement, in particular in central bank money. Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning that settlement can also be facilitated in commercial bank money. —https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/lu/Documents/technology/lu-token-assets-securities-tomorrow.pdf
It’s clear from the above that interoperability will be crucial in order to unlock the true potential of Distributed Ledger Technology. Issuance platforms will seek to interoperate with as many secondary exchanges as possible to provide maximum liquidity for issuers. Issuance platforms and secondary exchanges are each using a wide range of different blockchains that all need to interoperate as part of the trade process. CSD’s will also need to have interoperability between other CSD’s as well as to the secondary exchanges (again each using different blockchains).
Enter Quant Network’s Overledger
Quant Network’s blockchain operating system, Overledger, provides interoperability between any current and future distributed ledger technology as well as easily connecting Off Chain / Legacy networks as well as plans to connect directly to the Internet. Within 10 months it has proven it can provide interoperability with the full range of DLT technologies from all the leading Enterprise Permissioned blockchains such as Hyperledger, R3’s Corda, JP Morgan’s Quorum, permissioned variants of Ethereum and Ripple (XRPL) as well as the leading Public Permissionless blockchains / DAGs such as Bitcoin, Stellar, Ethereum, IOTA and EOS as well as the most recent blockchain to get added Binance Chain. All without imposing restrictions on connected chains, being Internet scalable and able to easily integrate into existing networks / infrastructure. https://preview.redd.it/8p6hi942t0m31.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=b0536ea9981306feb8bd95788c66e9a5727a4d58 Overledger a blockchain operating system, will enable universal interoperability for regulatory-compliant security tokens and digital assets to be traded on AX ATS, a regulated secondary trading market. AX intends to integrate Overledger to help foster the evolution of traditional capital markets infrastructure to facilitate the mass implementation of regulated digital assets. With the increased market adoption of digital assets and banking “coins” such as JPMorgan Coin, AX and Quant Network are at the forefront to enable the transferability and movement of digital assets https://www.quant.network/blog/redefining-wall-st-with-decentralised-capital-market-infrastructure-the-possibilities-of-quant-networks-overledger-technology-in-regulated-capital-markets Overledger enables Universal Interoperability where digital assets can move across blockchains so that they can interact with smart contracts on different blockchains. It does this by locking the asset on one blockchain and then representing it on another blockchain either by creating a representing token or representing it via metadata. This will enable all of these different parties such as Issuance platforms, Exchanges, CSD’s, traders etc to move the digital asset from their respective blockchain onto AX Trading’s platform for secure, immediate and immutable trading to take place. Potentially it would even allow Digital Assets / Securities to settled on a public permissionless blockchain such as the recently connected Binance Chain in a completely safe, secure and compliant way. https://preview.redd.it/a3o9qxq5t0m31.png?width=443&format=png&auto=webp&s=78d7a7e7d47213bbb354336ba9d5ad92c1c2254a Regulators would be able to run a node and view transactions in real time ensuring that compliance is being kept. Potentially they could also benefit from using Quant Networks Multichain Search capability http://search.quant.network/ to be able to fully track assets as they move across blockchains.
George O’Krepkie, AX CEO said: “we look forward to partnering with Quant. Their technology will allow our blockchain agnostic security token exchange to communicate seamlessly with issuers, traders, investors, and regulators across different blockchain protocols. This is a key technological breakthrough that will help us bring the benefits of security tokens to Main Street and Wall Street.”
AX Trading have also partnered with Securrency (who have previously tokenised over $260 million in real estate assets). Securrency provide a protocol that enables security tokens to remain in compliance regardless of what blockchain the token is on. Due to the layered approach that Overledger has adopted from the learnings of TCP/IP, this protocol can be easily integrated on top of Overledger to enable security tokens to move across blockchains as well as ensuring they remain in compliance with regulations programmed into the token. https://youtu.be/vSQ2fu9iZGs
Delivery vs Payment (DvP)
A DvP transaction involves the settlement of two linked obligations, namely the delivery of securities and the payment of cash. DvP avoids counterparties being exposed to principal risk, i.e. the risk that the seller of securities could deliver but would not receive payment or that the buyer of securities could make payment but would not receive delivery.Following this requirement, a DvP securities settlement mechanism has to ensure that the delivery of securities and the payment of cash are linked in a way where one leg (obligation) of the securities trade is conditioned to the final settlement of the other leg (obligation) of the trade. Thereby final settlement is defined as “the irrevocable and unconditional transfer of an asset or financial instrument, or the discharge of an obligation by the FMI or its participants in accordance with the terms of the underlying contract”. —STELLA — a joint research project of the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan
We have seen how Overledger can provide interoperability for the securities to move across Issuers platforms, integrate with Stock exchanges, Central Security Depositories and AX Trading. Now we need to be able to ensure that payment is guaranteed and in a way that offers immediate settlement which is irrevocable. To do this we need to represent FIAT on the blockchain so that it can interact with smart contracts and settle transactions on the blockchain.
J.P.Morgan is the largest bank in the United States and ranked by S&P Global as the sixth largest bank in the world by total assets as of 2018, to the amount of $2.535 trillion. J.P. Morgan was the first U.S. bank to create and successfully test a digital coin representing a fiat currency. The JPM Coin is based on blockchain-based technology enabling the instantaneous transfer of payments between institutional clients. With J.P.Morgan’s $2.6 trillion balance sheet, expertise in blockchain and global payments network, J.P. Morgan can seamlessly and securely transfer and settle money for clients around the world. J.P. Morgan are supervised by banking regulators in the United States and in the international jurisdictions in which it operates.
How does JPM Coin work?
A Buyer purchases JPM coins in advance which get represented on the Permissioned Quorum blockchain ($1 =1 JPM Coin). Quant Network’s Overledger could then provide interoperability to lock those tokens on Quorum and represent those onto another blockchain / AX Trading’s Network. By being able to represent securities and FIAT on the same blockchain (even though the underlying assets are on different blockchains) this provides instant finality / settlements to occur. Once the seller receives the JPM coin in exchange for the securities they have sold they will be able to redeem them for USD. It also doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to have a JP Morgan account to redeem them, you could imagine in the future that the Bank instead redeems the JPM Coin and credits the users account. Similarly the buyer of the security token redeems the represented token and unlocks the security token on the original blockchain. You can read more about JP Morgan’s Coin here as well as its use cases
J.P Morgan is betting that its first-mover status and large market share in corporate payments — it banks 80 percent of the companies in the Fortune 500 — will give its technology a good chance of getting adopted, even if other banks create their own coins.“Pretty much every big corporation is our client, and most of the major banks in the world are, too,” Farooq said. “Even if this was limited to JPM clients at the institutional level, it shouldn’t hold us back.”
Overledger enables different securities tokens / digital coins representing FIAT currencies to be brought together from the various permissioned / permissionless blockchains onto one platform where trading / settlement can take place. Overledger is the only technology that can do this today across the leading permissioned and permissionless blockchains as well as existing networks, all in a secure, scalable and easy to integrate way. https://preview.redd.it/ngt7q7hdt0m31.png?width=738&format=png&auto=webp&s=60166bdc0fcdf72a502e3472a09de5ddb5e1eb69 Quant Network are working with AX Trading to bring more digital assets, securities and tokenised assets to their existing 800 institutional traders in an already live and connected FINRA and SEC regulated exchange. AX Trading is not just about trading securities but other digital assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and potentially even Quant in the Future. https://preview.redd.it/ibecorcft0m31.png?width=1286&format=png&auto=webp&s=94540cf49654e36a8155f424c2a4bdb5fd549558 This is a multi-trillion dollar market with huge global enterprises, traditional exchanges and global banks are all adopting DLT at a rapid pace and going into production at scale in a matter of months, examples include the NYSE Bakkt launching Bitcoin futures later this month, Swiss Stock Exchange ($1.6 Trillion market Cap) is due to launch their digital exchange running on Corda (SDX) by the end of the year. The DTCC are due to launch their Trade Information Warehouse which processes $10 Trillion of cleared and bilateral derivatives by the end of the year. JP Morgan who transfer $6 Trillion every day are due to launch their JPM coin at the end of year and AX Trading is due to offer their first digital asset by January 2020. Quant Network’ Overledger enables the bridging of traditional finance infrastructure with the new decentralised finance infrastructure DeFi of the future, helping to redefine Wall Street and Capital Markets. https://medium.com/@CryptoSeq/wall-street-2-0-17252ffd8919
How Did I Discover Cryptocurrency and Why I Choose BitcoinCash
How Did I Discover Cryptocurrency and Why I Choose BitcoinCash. One of the first questions always asked in the Crypto sphere is how did you learn about Bitcoin? Then followed up by which coin or coins do you hold? The answer to this first question is not as easy to answer as you would think. Right before the split between Bitcoin and BitcoinCash I met someone very involved in the community we were discussing how I became a libertarian which naturally lead us to a discussion about economic freedom, Ross Ulbricht and then Bitcoin. The following day I ran home and researched Silk Road and Ross Ulbricht. Five minutes later, I had signed the petition. My interest was piqued, I started to do my own research in regards to Bitcoin. I bought several books but all that did was confuse me more. I started watching YouTube videos and remember thinking to myself “who are these people” and “are they even speaking English” but I kept researching determined to learn about economic freedom, I just couldn’t grasp how someone could gain economic freedom with online money. Fast forward to the Bitcoin/BitcoinCash fork, I knew this was a big deal but I didn’t know what was going to happen. So I called my friend and set up another time to meet, well this time I was prepared I had my notes laid out from the books I had read and I was pretty proud of myself after all Bitcoin is not easy to understand with words like nodes, Raspberry Pi's (what does pie have to do with economic freedom), miners, QR's, checkpoints, lightning (still waiting) and why only 21 million and do I have to buy a full coin? I mean this list goes on (after all I am much older than the usual crypto enthusiast) little did I know I had already entered the rabbit hole and from the look I received from my friend he knew it. So after 2 days that was it, I needed to get my hands on Bitcoin. As soon as I got home I joined Coinbase and I saw a few coins listed and thought Bitcoin is really expensive and I can get 4 times the amount with this coin called Litecoin so I put in a buy order for that, Etherum and BitcoinCash. I had never been a huge fan of Social Media but at this time I decided I needed to join Twitter to see what others were experiencing and oh God what a jolt to the senses that was. Everyone tweeting why this and that coin is bad and this person is bad and that person is good, Crypto Twitter can be a shit show especially in the beginning and being new to both Twitter and Crypto my brain was in overload. I followed my friend on Twitter and just started to pay attention to him and basically began stalking his feed and Youtube channel but I never really engaged (I truly felt like a stalker). But I was learning my way around and who did what in their relative fields. As everyone knows Coinbase can be very frustrating because it seems like forever before you have access to your coins and the whole time I’m thinking what have I done? So a month went by and I finally received an email saying my funds are now available in Coinbase I opened up that app and to my surprise, my money had just quadrupled. I had learned while investing once you make back your initial investment sell that portion and that is exactly what I did! But the damage had been done I was hooked and immediately took that initial investment and bought every altcoin I could get my hands on via Binance, which can seriously do some damage to your wallet. I still really did not know what to do with Cryptocurrency, there were all these wallets, but why were they needed if all it did was sit there like digital gold. So I started to engage with people on Twitter to discover what others were doing, I didn’t have any followers so outside of a few likes here and there I would never really get any feedback. I asked my friend about this and he started to respond to me and soon after that, others started to respond to me, then I was included in threads and I had my first Crypto Twitter follower, he was no joke and little did I know at that time how much of an influence this person would have in my Twitter and Crypto life. But Crypto Twitter will have to be its own story. As I started to learn how to navigate my way through Crypto Twitter and began to understand the correct questions to ask I began to get the answers I needed. These questions amounted to where/who accepts crypto and why is this coin better than that coin? The people that came forward were the BitcoinCash community, I couldn’t understand why was it only the BitcoinCash people that would respond to me, after all, there are so many coins out there? But these were the people that had a passion for what they were doing and believed in that passion, from the CEO to the developers down to the end user. It was like a breath of fresh air to find people passionate about rewarding hard work and not caring about who you are and which country you are from along with giving back to communities that are far less fortunate by no fault of their own they just don’t have access to resources that are available to Western Nations, Europe, and Asia. I discovered the philanthropic work was incredible and still to this day I still am overwhelmed by how much the BitcoinCash community does and feel very fortunate to be a part of it. Downloading wallet after wallet, I discovered some were easy some were difficult and well some were just ridiculous. I started to tag random developers on Twitter and honestly was surprised when they responded to me and offered their help after all these are really busy people why would they take the time to help one person. The reason is simple they want Cryptocurrency to be a success and they understand how difficult it is, especially for an older person who just got her first smartphone 2 years earlier. After learning about the importance of 12-word seed phrases how a QR code works and legacy addresses I now felt comfortable enough to begin introducing people to cryptocurrency and more importantly BitcoinCash. Little did I know how difficult this would be, I mean who doesn’t want money even if it’s free. After months of interaction on Twitter and other platforms, I decided I needed to do something besides just talking about Crypto I needed to shout it from the rooftops. I desperately wanted to find others around me that I could share my experiences with so I created a Meetup in my area and began talking about it at work with my friends and family I just started telling everyone I ran into have you heard about BitcoinCash? “No” here let me show you” inevitably I started to hear oh that’s for drug dealers or it’s a scam. So now I thought how do I get past this obstacle that CNN and Fox News has put in front of me? I became more determined than ever to beat them at their own game. I had another hurdle to jump, so my path now came to what is an everyday product I can buy with Bitcoincash? Well, there are tons you just have to find them, and since my area of the country is about 10 years behind the rest of the country this was very difficult. But one thing I do a lot is travel and I was about to buy a plane ticket so I found CheapAir.com which accepts BitcoinCash, so I used that and discovered how easy it is, I can literally lay in bed find a flight and/or a hotel and right there without turning on the lights or getting up for my credit card number. What about overcoming only drug dealers use it (which my stepmom throws in my face almost every day) so for Christmas I purchased her some beauty products with BitcoinCash. I am constantly scouring the internet looking for more ways to spend Crypto instead of government-funded cash. My meetups started out with 2 people 1 of which was my dad to 12 strong and growing (which does not include my dad). That may not seem like many but those 12 people have become strong and confident users of Cryptocurrency and one of them even accepts BitcoinCash for his business. My story does not end here, and with every day there is a change with some great, some good and some not so good stories. Keep your eyes out for updates to my never ending and exciting Crypto life.
The Crypto King Report January 8th: KuCoin Picks 6/6 (Today’s Pick: PURA) NEW ICO Picks (2 New Ones!) BNTY (600%), KCS (500%), DRGN (400%), DBC (150%), ELIX (100%), SNOV (70%), TRX, POWR, ADX (NEO link), ENJ(Wallet), NEO, PAY, ICX, STRAT, XEM, ARDR, and CONFERENCES
The Crypto King Report January 8th: KuCoin Picks 6/6 (Today’s Pick: PURA) NEW ICO Picks (2 New Ones!) BNTY (600%), KCS (500%), DRGN (400%), DBC (150%), ELIX (100%), SNOV (70%), TRX, POWR, ADX (NEO link), ENJ(Wallet), NEO, PAY, ICX, STRAT, XEM, ARDR, and CONFERENCES I appreciate all my loyal followers! For tips and strategy hours before being posted to the message boards follow on Reddit, Instagram: JaketheCryptoKing and Twitter: JbtheCryptoKing. And now on Discord: https://discord.gg/JfkWfUy (join the group to reach me directly and see posts early!). If the title is a foreign language to you read my Cryto-101 post and let’s go from there: https://redd.it/7m48ne . See posts first in the new Subreddit: TheCryptoKingdom. Remember in trading minutes matter, hours are eternities. Did you see SNOV yesterday!? We are officially 6/6 on KuCoin picks and as promised I have another one for you guys today! None of the KuCoin picks have even shown signs of pulling back. KCS will continue its dominance as KuCoin is one of the few exchanges accepting new traders (referral link below). Another very positive thing for us KuCoin early entrants is that Binance and Bittrex have suspended allowing new traders. That means guys like you are flocking to alternative exchanges (like KuCoin) to get involved in the crypto world. KuCoin has increased their daily volume every single day for the past 2-week, their twitter eagerly displays this info, and they updated their servers to handle significantly higher trading capacity. More money flowing into altcoins means the market caps will increase accordingly. Look for our moons to continue mooning. Remember moonshots are not to be day traded, they will likely end up on major exchanges which is when they will have their true moon. You could have made 70-100% on DRGN or KCS my first week posting moonshots, but if you held them, you would have made 400%. I have increased my portfolio % in moonshots as they’ve been outperforming all other sectors of crypto. This allows me to HOLD while still finding new moonshots! Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. If you do not diversify and HOLD forever, eventually you will become the hog, and get slaughtered. Traders try to make 10-20% per year, bonds earn 5% on a good year. We are earning 20-200% a day on moon shots daily. I fully support being invested in them, as I am, but this is the riskiest part of the entire crypto world. I would highly recommend removing a % of your profits from your current moonshots and either rotating them into other moonshots you have smaller holdings in, or investing in the 2 below ICOs. This does 2 important things, 1. It locks up your funds for 1 month so you don’t suffer fluctuations in the alt market, and 2. Provides you a discount for a coin that will probably be listed as a moonshot in 2 months because at 4x ICO value it will still be undervalued when compared to the total market! So now everyone’s favorite part (as it is mine too considering we’ve been making 50% on anything held 24hrs, 100% on anything held 48hrs, and 150%-200% on anything held 72hrs). Let’s hear it for SNOV, ELIX, DBC, BNTY, DRGN, and KCS. Not only has the moonshot list had huge gains, we have had other 100%ers in the last 10 days. XRP, BNB, NXT (80% if you were late to the party), ENJ, NEO, ICX, and XEM. We have had a very successful week, make sure you don’t forget to tip the dealeresearcheRedditer who is putting in all this effort to share winners with you! Today’s Moonshot KuCoin Pick: PURA (The early bird gets the worm, get in early!) Referral link for KuCoin: https://www.kucoin.com/#/?r=1cH1M PURA is a coin predominantly traded on KuCoin. It is also one of the few that is down a decent % from yesterday with no news to support this drop. With so many alts correcting I suspect PURA will have corrected by the time I finish writing this post, or by late tomorrow afternoon. It’s trading at 4000Satoshis at 9am (as I am writing this), I expect 5500-8000 Satoshis to be approached if not surpassed by the end of day Monday (based on sell walls a spike to just under 8000Satoshis is my best estimate). There are minimal sell walls and this one should be off to the races once a few big buyers are holding. In September PURA updated their systems to have INSTAPAY, PRIVATEPAY, MASTERNODES and FAIRMINING. Unlike the ridiculously slow BTC, ETH and LTC network PURA lets you send coins instantly (seconds literally). This is what makes INSTAPAY so impressive. What about Privatepay? It lets you send the crypto using a private wallet. MASTERNODES allow anyone to mine PURA on their computer creating a larger PURA network. With a wallet already out, a mining platform set up, one of the smallest market caps on KuCoin (98million), and ways to send crypto instantly and privately I expect PURA to rival many of the larger cap coins. If PURA makes it to a larger exchange I see an easy 3x here. If PURA hits $1billion as a market cap which is very achievable within months of arriving at a larger exchange this coin will be a 10xer. Finding coins that can appreciate 10x with an exchange listing and minimal news is a very difficult thing to find. PURA is it. We are 6/6 on the moonshots so far…will we make it 7/7 as of Tuesday?! SNOV was my pick yesterday and it appreciated nicely. It is still a favorite of mine with room to grow. Yes, we’ve all experienced a nice gain and I always follow my rule, pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. However, we have to compare SNOV to other recent moonshots. Anyone who has sold a moonshot to date has lost out as my first 2 picks KCS and DRGN are up the higest %s. This demonstrates that HOLDING is as important as monitoring important times to buy and sell. I’ve added $$ (well BTC) to KuCoin as the opportunities here are much more significant than on Binance and Bittrex with new $$ and traders flowing in and new coins being listed regularly there are endless possibilities. 3 days ago money flooded into BTC as you could see in the BTC price rise. I predicted this 48hrs prior that institutional money would get involved within the next 72hrs, and we had our 20% BTC price climb. What happens immediately following a BTC price climb? The alts respond! I expected SNOV to have overreacted to the BTC climb and was correct. 24hrs prior this coin was trading at 1200Satoshis. SNOV has corrected to the pre BTC price collapse but has yet to excel like the many others located on KuCoin. Sunday’s pick was SNOV, I personally am doubled down by rotating $$ out of stagnant positions in Binance and Bittrex. I am going to continue ride the alt wave all day as SNOV, DRGN, BNTY, ELIX, KCS, and PURA (Today’s Pick!) should all trend north today. I also plan on transferring a decent amount for more KuCoin picks! Diversification is key, but it is important to still HOLD. You can be diversified among moonshots! Monday’s move is to purchase PURA, set a price target of 60,000-70,000Satoshis over the next 72hr period. Leave a very large % in to allow it the opportunity to continue to moon, but make sure to have some crypto available for tomorrow, if not Tuesday’s next moonshot! I believe PURA should have the highest return in the next 72hrs when compared to alternatives on KuCoin. However, SNOV should continue to trend north as new traders flock to KuCoin snapping up cheap shares. BNTY should continue its rise as it gets added to a new exchange and provides actual bounties for digital tasks (so cool!). DRGN is not left to die by Disney and is leading the charge to get on Binance (they also have a production deal coming up!). I am extremely bullish on DRGN even at a 400% increase this week. I expect a Disney associated press release in the next few weeks and a new exchange listing. KCS will win because it is one of the few exchanges still accepting new patrons, AND they give 90% of the trade commission back to KCS holders and as referrals. This type of referral and KCS dividend is unheard of in exchange marketplaces. DBC is downright amazing, combining AI and the blockchain. The moonshots have all increased, yes, but a moon is not a 70% increase. HOLD (and accumulate PURA!). Crypterium and Covesting met their hard caps :/ but the good news is most of you were involved in these ICOs. When an ICO meets its hard cap it is clear there was significant interest and a greater likelihood of mooning immediately after exchange listing. Both the two I am now presenting I expect to reach hard caps in the coming weeks. ICO 1: KYC Legal: KYC Legal (please use the referral as I make no $ spending countless hours researching these ICOs and coins ) referral: https://bookbuild.kyc.legal/?ref=23734776ffa2051a83eb8bc1 The first I am presenting is a new favorite of mine because of the all so dreaded KYC form. Know Your Customer. If you’ve completed an ICO recently you know the form I’m talking about. The form they give you at the end, after you’ve sent your .5eth but before they will release their tokens. Basically stating you understand this market is unregulated, etc. Well a blockchain token has in essence solved this problem. I HATE KYC forms and if the KYC system was set up in a way in which you wouldn’t have to fill out that form repeatedly for every ICO it would be more convenient for all investors and ICO companies. KYC Legal intends to do just that. According to the founder DR, “This is a simple and quick way to complete client identification procedures, which can then be used to verify the client’s identity during various financial operations (so-called KYC (“know your customer”) requirements that financial institutions and companies working with the money of private individuals use to identify and verify counterparties before starting a financial transaction). This niche is completely untapped and I HATE KYC forms enough to think this is a brilliant idea. They are calling it a “Universal alternative to Personal IDs,” on the block chain. Brilliant concept and there are 2 days left to receive the 38% discount from the final price. A 38% gain prior to token sale completion is significant, imagine what will happen when the hard cap is reached and it hits the first exchange. KYC Legal: https://bookbuild.kyc.legal/?ref=23734776ffa2051a83eb8bc1 ICO 2: HOQU Referral: https://www.hoqu.io/?ref_id=7e8ace30413be0fe224fa60d3e57868f According to HOQU directly, “HOQU is a decentralized affiliate platform combining the performance-marketing model with blockchain technology. The aim of the project is to create a decentralized ecosystem, which will be used to build CPA services, ranging from affiliate programs to affiliate networks and related products. HOQU integrates advertisers, networks and affiliates into a single platform, significantly reducing the financial costs for all market participants.” Currently we have decentralized markets for advertisers, networks, and affiliates, HOQU intends to combine all 3 into one platform on the blockchain. This satisfies the need to fulfill a niche market. Not to mention their team is exceptionally active posting on twitter and doing shows across the U.S., currently at a crypto convention in Las Vegas. This is an active team (not a scam hiding in Eastern Europe or Asia) with a niche implementable platform. I see this being a true moon candidate following listing on an exchange! Please use my referral, thank you: https://www.hoqu.io/?ref_id=7e8ace30413be0fe224fa60d3e57868f All below information has been updated on Monday at 1am EST. This will help individuals follow what information has been repeated/edited. Personally I am using funds that were in BTC, ETH, and LTC to buy new alts. BTC spiked 2 days ago making alts exceptionally cheap! I’d recommend adding funds in FIAT, selling BTC, or selling alts you do not have faith in to reallocate to strong January plays (either on Binance, Bittrex, or KuCoin - My new favorite if you’ve been following our %s). As expected today was be a big day for ENJ as their wallet and Minecraft plugin debut are approaching quickly! I believe besides moonshots, STRAT and NEO will be the top performers overall in January. NEO has conferences and guaranteed publicity the entire month and STRAT has a new ICO platform. Make sure to open an account to trade these coins on Binance: https://www.binance.com/?ref=15316928 My 3 favorite conference plays for the next 2 weeks are: WAVES, ARK, and SONM. These 3 are all at events in the next 2 weeks of January (Waves and ARK are at a conference in Miami I will be attending!). The cost of attendance to these conferences start at $1,000 (I will need tips to cover costs !). However, they provide exposure to the top individuals and founders of coins with billions of dollars in market cap. In comparison to other coins speaking at the largest January events WAVES, ARK, and SONM’s price has not appreciated this week in correlation to the others. They are also the smallest market cap coins presenting at these huge conferences. This provides an opportunity to purchase WAVES, ARK, and SONM at an undervalued price. As their conferences in mid-January approach I expect their price to trend north rapidly, peaking on the day of, or day after the conference. These should be focal points if you shy away from moonshots (which you shouldn’t!). TRX (BUY) Lots of individuals were hating on my Reddit 2 days ago about me calling TRX to recover from .16, here we are back above $.21! The price fell over 30% 2 days ago and has almost completely recovered! TRX has a game coming out this month and I expect it to continue to trend North as one of Binance’s cheapest options with a monetized game on the horizon. I do not know if you played Cryptokitties but it crashed the Ether network. TRX is a much faster and less expensive network to process information on. I expect the game this month to be the second that monetizes gaming through cryptocurrency leading to TRX’s short term success. I’d expect another 100-300% returns leading up to the release of a game on their TRX platform. STRAT (BUY and HOLD). I have an interesting update!!! STRAT is developing a Breeze wallet with Tumblebit which makes Bitcoin transactions private through the STRAT network. The biggest problems with BTC is its transparency and it’s speed. STRAT will help alleviate the transparency aspects for those who want to conceal how much they send/receive. A wallet that manages to conceal your BTC holdings (makes it similar to privacy coins). STRAT’s money for advertising has been saved with the anticipation of a high volume publicity campaign upon release of their new wallet and ICO platform. Once funds are spent advertising the STRAT ICO platform, their 2 flagships are announced, and their wallet is functional (all happening this month) I expect the price not only to trend north but more than double if not triple. I wouldn’t be surprised to see 100%-300% returns on a fairly safe crypto investment (normally the riskiest coins provide this monthly). Their twitter confirmed the 2 ICOs coming out in the next few weeks, when the official announcement is made we are looking at 100-200% gains. STRAT is on the cusp of being able to host ICO’s for other companies. This is extremely valuable technology and they’ve announced it will be ready to go this week. Would anyone like to know the going rate of an ICO? 20-40BTC. Per ICO these small companies and their coin holders are making $250k-$600k at the current BTC prices. This is a very big business. They’ve also announced 2 Flagship ICOs that will be available on their STRATIS network in January. The platform to host ICOs goes live this week, and within 2 weeks we find out which ICOs STRAT is hosting, then their wallet and advertising rollout. This should be a very positive 2 weeks for STRAT. As the crypto market continues to expand, the need for new ICO platforms will expand as well. This is my safest, favorite coin for January. ICX (BUY and HOLD) ICX has had about a 50% run this week and continued to perform yesterday. This is again a good opportunity to buy as I am still very bullish on this coin. The price will trend north until the end of the month where the blast off will occur. The Koreans love this little coin so much it is hosting its first blockchain conference in the tallest building in Seoul at the end of January. This will be enormous exposure for a coin which Koreans are already in love with. Their mainnet although once delayed was promised to be released prior to their January conference. Based on big news and Asian trading volume this should continue to trend North. Asians trade more than Americans. Koreans are the highest volume trading country in Asia, and they happen to love ICX. ICX should continue to trend north leading up to their conference in the end of January. This is an accumulate on dips until the January 25th conference. I am not sure we will see many more dips unless BTC has a run to 25k but continue to accumulate, this should trend north toward $20 by the end of January. TNB (BUY) has a BETA version of the Android and IOS wallet being released this month. This is one of the few coins that didn’t take a beating yesterday. Being able to take your funds with you is exceptionally important. Having a good looking interface is equally important. TNB looks to accomplish both tasks this month. It is also one of the cheapest coins on Binance, a plus for those looking for cheap coin acquisitions! I like TNB as a cheap Binance coin with truly significant potential. POWR(BUY), is a semi-finalist in an event coming up on January 9th. This event should provide plenty of exposure for one of the few ICOs supported by a government (Australia). A county that struggles with power grid failure could succeed in implementing the first cryptocurrency related directly to trading power, electricity on the blockchain. I expect a strong 2 weeks from POWR. Expect to see significant returns in the next 72hrs especially if they are not only a semi-finalist but make the finalist list! ENJ (BUY and HOLD), Did you see yesterday’s gains, almost 30% up from the prior day’s dips!? I hope you listened on this one! Enjin is coming out with a Minecraft Plugin and Digital Wallet for your phone. The coin is a token designed specifically for gaming, a quickly expanding realm for digital currency. With a Minecraft Plugin and Digital Wallet being completed shortly this coin should continue to appreciate. They are also running a promotion giving away free ENJ on the Minecraft platform to get users involved. What could be a better boost to your coin value than a working Minecraft Plugin and a brand new wallet? ARDR(BUY) Honestly, Bittrex is beginning to frustrate me. I haven’t received my IGNIS and ARDR has been unable to be sold, bought, or transferred in weeks. I recommend moving $ to KuCoin and enjoying these insane %s. However, currently like many of you I have a large holding in ARDR which I still believe strongly in but would like the opportunity to sell if I choose! Their platform successfully launched Jan 1st. All those NXT you’ve been holding for the free IGNIS are used specifically on the ARDR block chain. With a new platform and coins to be used on it this will be a positive week for ARDR with exceptionally high returns correlated with the new platform and IGNIS’s continued appreciation. I believe ARDR and its new network will experience positive publicity and a successful launch of IGNIS. I would continue to buy and hold as the ARDR network gets rolling. XEM(BUY), They had their pop 2 days ago and has since decreased with the rest of the market! It is time to get XEM on sale prior to their hackathon beginning this week! Each coin has a specific reason for their being undervalued. Catapult, which is version 2.0 of NEM is to be released very soon. Following Catapult is a 4-week hackathon beginning the first week in January. There is nothing better to build awareness and test out their new Catapult network they’ll be releasing this week, then a worldwide hackathon and a new update to their NEM network. XEM will have a pop this week when Catapult goes live, followed by a 4-week awareness rally driven by a worldwide hackathon. ADX (BUY), has had an impressive run but taken a recent dip. It remains a favorite of mine for multiple reasons. One of my favorite parts about ADX is they have a profitable platform already for coin holders. This is essential for every coin. Without a platform for a functioning coin, the coin is just unique code using up electricity. ADX advertised space on EasyJet boarding passes successfully last month and now is selling over 1 million more advertising spaces. This is a profitable coin with a strong future already occurring. ADX wins because NEO wins, Asian markets enjoy trading even more than the U.S. currently. This trend should continue as ADX continues its trend north. Their next partnership or announcement will lead to the next big pop in price, but as far as a coin goes, this is a safe option with stable returns that has a functioning and profitable platform. NEO (BUY and HOLD), is an important hold in all portfolios as it is hands down the Asian Ether. NEO has one of the biggest January’s of any coin and is up over 70% since I recommended it originally. NEO has meetups in Dublin, Hamburg, Amsterdam, and London the first two weeks of January. Everyone sees the upcoming calendar and realizes the next 2 months will provide more exposure than any 12-month period in crypto history. NEO is the latest addition to the buy and HOLD list. They end the month of January speaking at 2 of the largest blockchain conferences in the world. This will be one of the strongest plays for January 2018. PAY (BUY and HOLD I believe they have a strong platform and an upcoming rollout which will allow users to deposit crypto and receive cash at ATMs or use it as a Debit Card. This is an important transition as few enjoy the hassle laden process of transferring back to bank accounts. If you must divest this is one I would divest from. Some Lovely Followers Requested I Provide Addresses for “Thank You’s and Holiday Cheer” Here are 4 address to help provide my girlfriend with presents so I can spend more time researching! What is 5% of the 200% I earned you this week? ETH: Address: 0xdef6b4415635d15b0dc50e7039ef73c33e622f22 LTC Address: LiTtwXUMCMmch5oKUXfrXMqXWnG6jLg3qD BTC Address: 1LFLx3cXD1xiqCrupZJKf8p6pR23JRZWtP DASH Address: Xi9637XDyW2Q6wtRyGLsNXbJHj4UZ2M3kN (cheapest way to send!) KCS Address: 0x56d0a5b42a8313c36d8fe7a37ee3ccade7e4e6e1 XMR Deposit Address:44tLjmXrQNrWJ5NBsEj2R77ZBEgDa3fEe9GLpSf2FRmhexPvfYDUAB7EXX1Hdb3aMQ9FLqdJ56yaAhiXoRsceGJCRS3Jxkn XMR Deposit ID: b72e438346259f2828feaec4b04f0a95034b6364853f6f33d2370f57a37a1753
How Did I Discover Cryptocurrency and Why I Choose BitcoinCash
One of the first questions always asked in the Crypto sphere is how did you learn about Bitcoin? Then followed up by which coin or coins do you hold? The answer to this first question is not as easy to answer as you would think. Right before the split between Bitcoin and BitcoinCash I met someone very involved in the community we were discussing how I became a libertarian which naturally lead us to a discussion about economic freedom, Ross Ulbricht and then Bitcoin. The following day I ran home and researched Silk Road and Ross Ulbricht. Five minutes later, I had signed the petition. My interest was piqued, I started to do my own research in regards to Bitcoin. I bought several books but all that did was confuse me more. I started watching YouTube videos and remember thinking to myself “who are these people” and “are they even speaking English” but I kept researching determined to learn about economic freedom, I just couldn’t grasp how someone could gain economic freedom with online money. Fast forward to the Bitcoin/BitcoinCash fork, I knew this was a big deal but I didn’t know what was going to happen. So I called my friend and set up another time to meet, well this time I was prepared I had my notes laid out from the books I had read and I was pretty proud of myself after all Bitcoin is not easy to understand with words like nodes, Raspberry Pi's (what does pie have to do with economic freedom), miners, QR's, checkpoints, lightning (still waiting) and why only 21 million and do I have to buy a full coin? I mean this list goes on (after all I am much older than the usual crypto enthusiast) little did I know I had already entered the rabbit hole and from the look I received from my friend he knew it. So after 2 days that was it, I needed to get my hands on Bitcoin. As soon as I got home I joined Coinbase and I saw a few coins listed and thought Bitcoin is really expensive and I can get 4 times the amount with this coin called Litecoin so I put in a buy order for that, Etherum and BitcoinCash. I had never been a huge fan of Social Media but at this time I decided I needed to join Twitter to see what others were experiencing and oh God what a jolt to the senses that was. Everyone tweeting why this and that coin is bad and this person is bad and that person is good, Crypto Twitter can be a shit show especially in the beginning and being new to both Twitter and Crypto my brain was in overload. I followed my friend on Twitter and just started to pay attention to him and basically began stalking his feed and Youtube channel but I never really engaged (I truly felt like a stalker). But I was learning my way around and who did what in their relative fields. As everyone knows Coinbase can be very frustrating because it seems like forever before you have access to your coins and the whole time I’m thinking what have I done? So a month went by and I finally received an email saying my funds are now available in Coinbase I opened up that app and to my surprise, my money had just quadrupled. I had learned while investing once you make back your initial investment sell that portion and that is exactly what I did! But the damage had been done I was hooked and immediately took that initial investment and bought every altcoin I could get my hands on via Binance, which can seriously do some damage to your wallet. I still really did not know what to do with Cryptocurrency, there were all these wallets, but why were they needed if all it did was sit there like digital gold. So I started to engage with people on Twitter to discover what others were doing, I didn’t have any followers so outside of a few likes here and there I would never really get any feedback. I asked my friend about this and he started to respond to me and soon after that, others started to respond to me, then I was included in threads and I had my first Crypto Twitter follower, he was no joke and little did I know at that time how much of an influence this person would have in my Twitter and Crypto life. But Crypto Twitter will have to be its own story. As I started to learn how to navigate my way through Crypto Twitter and began to understand the correct questions to ask I began to get the answers I needed. These questions amounted to where/who accepts crypto and why is this coin better than that coin? The people that came forward were the BitcoinCash community, I couldn’t understand why was it only the BitcoinCash people that would respond to me, after all, there are so many coins out there? But these were the people that had a passion for what they were doing and believed in that passion, from the CEO to the developers down to the end user. It was like a breath of fresh air to find people passionate about rewarding hard work and not caring about who you are and which country you are from along with giving back to communities that are far less fortunate by no fault of their own they just don’t have access to resources that are available to Western Nations, Europe, and Asia. I discovered the philanthropic work was incredible and still to this day I still am overwhelmed by how much the BitcoinCash community does and feel very fortunate to be a part of it. Downloading wallet after wallet, I discovered some were easy some were difficult and well some were just ridiculous. I started to tag random developers on Twitter and honestly was surprised when they responded to me and offered their help after all these are really busy people why would they take the time to help one person. The reason is simple they want Cryptocurrency to be a success and they understand how difficult it is, especially for an older person who just got her first smartphone 2 years earlier. After learning about the importance of 12-word seed phrases how a QR code works and legacy addresses I now felt comfortable enough to begin introducing people to cryptocurrency and more importantly BitcoinCash. Little did I know how difficult this would be, I mean who doesn’t want money even if it’s free. After months of interaction on Twitter and other platforms, I decided I needed to do something besides just talking about Crypto I needed to shout it from the rooftops. I desperately wanted to find others around me that I could share my experiences with so I created a Meetup in my area and began talking about it at work with my friends and family I just started telling everyone I ran into have you heard about BitcoinCash? “No” here let me show you” inevitably I started to hear oh that’s for drug dealers or it’s a scam. So now I thought how do I get past this obstacle that CNN and Fox News has put in front of me? I became more determined than ever to beat them at their own game. I had another hurdle to jump, so my path now came to what is an everyday product I can buy with Bitcoincash? Well, there are tons you just have to find them, and since my area of the country is about 10 years behind the rest of the country this was very difficult. But one thing I do a lot is travel and I was about to buy a plane ticket so I found CheapAir.com which accepts BitcoinCash, so I used that and discovered how easy it is, I can literally lay in bed find a flight and/or a hotel and right there without turning on the lights or getting up for my credit card number. What about overcoming only drug dealers use it (which my stepmom throws in my face almost every day) so for Christmas I purchased her some beauty products with BitcoinCash. I am constantly scouring the internet looking for more ways to spend Crypto instead of government-funded cash. My meetups started out with 2 people 1 of which was my dad to 12 strong and growing (which does not include my dad). That may not seem like many but those 12 people have become strong and confident users of Cryptocurrency and one of them even accepts BitcoinCash for his business. My story does not end here, and with every day there is a change with some great, some good and some not so good stories. Keep your eyes out for updates to my never ending and exciting Crypto life.
Current State & The Future Of Digital Assets From Ariel Ling, BitMax COO.
Ariel Ling, co-founder and COO of BitMax, has shared her thoughts on the current state of digital assets and what to expect in the next years, what retail investor should take into account when buying any cryptocurrencie and the key factors that drive the value of the token/coin. Ariel Ling, BitMax COO Why, when and how have you started your crypto journey? I started my crypto journey at the beginning of 2018 when my long-time friend, the co-founder and CEO of BitMax.io, Dr. George Cao “pulled” me out of the traditional Wall Street and asked me to join him in launching this exciting venture. Three main drivers are 1) to learn more about blockchain technology and its transformational applications in different industries; 2) to leverage in-depth traditional finance expertise to improve overall crypto trading and exchange market structure for better efficiency and transparency; 3) to have a chance to work with a talented and driven team who share similar vision, passion and conviction to build a top global digital asset trading platform as well as a wonderful organization from good to great! If your friend will ask you: should I consider cryptocurrencies as investment opportunity? What will be your answer? Will you recommend any specific digital asset? Coming from traditional finance perspective, I would explain my thoughts process from three angles — 1) types of crypto or digital assets as the foundation for understanding; 2) whether they, are more for short-term trading or mid-term investment 2) what are elements for investment valuation and decision-making so our friends can assess and make decision for themselves. First, in general there are three types of digital assets:
Major currency / coin-type like Bitcoin, ETH, XRP, Litecoin, etc. and stable coins;
Security-type tokens representing some equity or debt rights of underlying projects;
Utility tokens for usage on specific blockchain platform or network.
Each type represents different type of opportunity and risk. Second: is digital asset good for trading or investment? due to the nascent nature and very short history of market development with most of retail investors’ participation and lack of proper regulatory framework globally, there are quite some market manipulation, speculation and fraud activities in the current market, causing significant volatility and investors loss across all types within very short period of time. This made it very hard for any investors to assess the real valuation and momentum drivers behind those large swings. So at this point, I would think with its high volatility and risk, digital asset in general is more of very short-term trading product than investment vehicle. From liquidity perspective, major currency/coin-type will have more market depth across exchanges, hence more suitable for short-term trading-focused strategies. Third, from traditional investment perspective, it is critical to assess digital asset investing from valuation and fundamental perspectives, such as business model, future growth, economic return vs. person’s risk tolerance and investment objectives. For major coins, especially Bitcoin itself with its longest history among all the digital assets, have started to provide certain payment function similar to fiat currencies in certain countries. Hence, there are more interesting dynamics to the Bitcoin investing based on one’s view of Bitcoin usage over mid-term horizon and the relative valuation vs its production (mining cost) especially with the price down to 3,500–3,650 USD. For security-type or utility tokens, the performance over short-to-medium term really comes down to combination of intrinsic value of underlying blockchain projects and token economics. Similar to Internet in 1990s, blockchain technology projects are still at the early stage of development and looking for meaningful and applicable use cases to bring real economic benefit from the economics and business model perspective, so it becomes very difficult to apply traditional finance valuation and assess the real intrinsic value of those projects. Recent market crash has brought many of those tokens down to near zero value. So the investment in those tokens are extremely high risk and everyone should be really careful and prudent in the evaluation of any specific projects for the decision-making and risk protection. What is the story behind BitMax? Who are the foundefounders? When it was founded? Q1 2018, Dr. George Cao and I founded Global Digital Mercantile (GDM), global operator of digital asset platforms, including BitMax.io based on Singapore for overseas markets and North America’s trading platform aiming for the first half of 2019. BitMax.io started public beta testing mid July, 2018, and was officially launched later mid August. On November 18th , we launched our mining mechanism, the industry very first transaction-mining & reverse-mining mechanism, which has made us the industry leading third-generation cryptocurrency exchange — after first generation of traditional exchanges like Binance, Gemini, Coinbase, etc. and 2nd generation of transaction-mining ones like FCoin, Bitthumb, etc. Just a quick introduction of my partner. Dr. Cao studied Computer Science in the University of Science and Technology of China, and earned his PhD degree from the University of Chicago. Dr. Cao was the Founder and the Chief Investment Officer of Delpha Capital Management, LLC., New York, specializing in trading equity, ETFs and commodity future products in all major exchanges across the globe. He is also the founder and managing partner of Whitestone Investment Group, a New York based venture fund that invests in a large variety of startup companies that are in the high tech, fintech, big data and medical area. Before founding Delpha Capital, Mr. Cao worked at the Equity Division of Barclays Capital in both the New York and London offices. During that period, he oversaw equity electronic trading in the U.S., European and Asian markets. Prior to Barclays, he researched and traded U.S. equity as a Portfolio Manager at Knight Capital Group. For me, I have built more than 18-year extensive experience in strategic planning, business development, financial risk management and regulatory implementation across major trading asset classes (Equity, FX, and Fixed Income) at several top global banks. Previous to jumping into digital asset trading, I ran USD liquidity and investment product for top financial institutions and corporate clients at tier-one global investment bank. Before that, I ran US Broker Dealer as COO and head of Business Development for Germany 2nd largest bank. Earlier from 2007 to 2012, I was global equity trading COO across Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital, building out trading franchise and market making businesses globally. I have four degrees — graduated top of class from Nankai University with two Bachelor degrees in Finance and English Literature and got my MBA from NYU and Master of Mass Communication from University of Georgia. Where is Bitmax located? Are you a distributed team or do you have an office to work together? How many people work for Bitmax? Our global team of 50 members are based off two main location — New York with 20 members, including all the founding members, and Beijing with 30 members. Would you be so kind to introduce briefly the core team members? Both George and I are very proud of our 10-member founding team. Similar to us, they are all from Wall Street top firms like Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg, and top high-frequency hedge funds with deep experience in the fields of financial engineering research and development of large-scale quant trading infrastructure. Our educational background span across multiple prestigious institutions including Columbia University, University of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon University, and New York University in the United States, as well as Peking University and Tsinghua University in China. So one special thing about BitMax.io is that very few exchanges in the crypto trading space are built by solid team like ours with strong traditional finance mindset and trading background. You’ve started BitMax during market downtrend in pretty competitive environment. What is your value proposition? Why traders should switch to BitMax? I think BitMax.io is actually very special in this market, and our team is very proud of what we have built in the short period of six months. There are at least three reasons I think traders should chooseBitMax.io:
It’s our real-word professional trading experience and expertise;
It’s is our platform, resilient, high volume quantitative-trading platform;
It’s is our top-quality customer-centric strategy.
First of all, as I mentioned in the last question, architected by a group of Wall Street veterans, BitMax.io builds upon the core value of blockchain, transparency and reliability, and delivers high-quality client services and trading experience through its innovative trading platform. Second, our quant-driven tech platform. Our development members were all from high frequency and quantitative systematic trading shops. They definitely make sure the platform was resilient and it can actually handle billions of volume during the design and build. The platform resilience and scalability were fully being tested when we launched the transaction mining and reverse-mining. The first day, we actually had, within the first 24 hours, the trading volume of 1.6 billion in notional; and our system didn’t flinch, didn’t slow down, and didn’t shut down. This is very rare in any of today’s exchanges where you can frequently see the slowdown, the crash, and very slow user responses, especially with transaction mining exchanges. Third, what we are extremely proud of and all the users can see, is our 24/7 customer services built upon the core Wall Street client-centric concept. Besides our customer support team who never sleep, George actually stands behind the platform almost 24/7 answering questions from the customers, seeking solutions for their issues, and providing the most responsive customer service for the entire crypto trading space. BitMax CEO, George Cao, is often seen in official Telegram group answering different questions. We constantly remind our team: customer first. When we design a product, when we launch a system, and when we look at user needs, we all look from customers’ perspective, from how we can protect the users. When we look at primary listing, we only select the high-quality projects because we want our users to have the best investment and trading experience on BitMax.io. Are you satisfied with the current results of BitMax? Is transaction mining model giving expected volume? What is the % of traders using this model? We are very pleased with current business development and delivery results from client acquisition and trading perspectives. On the business development side, we completed the global setup for both 50-member team organization and comprehensive legal entity structure from Asia to North Americas in 2018, which laid down foundation and paved way for 2019 business expansion especially with US. Since our platform launch in mid Aug, we successfully started Industry FIRST transaction mining and reverse-mining exchange and built out the most active global communities and users within four months in the bear market, with registered users more than 95k; average daily active traders more than quadrupled since the start of transaction mining; average daily trading volume of $465mm through the month of January and February in 2019. Those are extremely promising under this tough market condition. From the composition of trading volumes, there are two parts — transaction mining which grows exponentially; second is organic, the regular trading which has experienced healthy increase as well because of all the listing activities and all the incentives we have. The regular trading takes about 5% of total trading volume, which is very good for an exchange which was launched in August and running right into the bear market. What are the key factors that drive the value of the token/coin? From traditional finance /investment view token economics is really a balance act between business / economic model and exchange market force, driven by three factors: intrinsic value and sustainability, supply and demand, and liquidity and depth. First, from a traditional finance perspective, we need to look at the intrinsic value, the economic valuation behind a project. How does this project make money? Do they really have fundamentals? Do they really have a viable business model? Do they really have a solid user base for future growth? For example, our exchange business model is very simple. We are exchange; People trade on our platform. The more they trade, the more transaction fee the exchange collect — the revenue source. The exchange will last when people keep trading on the platform and the transaction revenue generated covers the operating cost of running an exchange. Second, it is the supply and demand of token on the market — who will buy and for what purpose; who will sell and under what scenarios. For major currency coins like Bitcoin, people might buy and sell for potential investment or use in actual payment processing. For other types of token, it is more driven by short-term trading pattern and profit taking. So it is extremely important to set up certain token mechanism to support the equilibrium of supply and demand like how Central Banks manage the supply of currency in circulation through monetary policies. Third, when the market force comes in, it comes down to the liquidity and depth. Exchange is about liquidity and market depth. That means there has to be enough of trading volumes at each pricing level for each token. For BitMax.io, we have very sophisticated market making model that is similar to Designated Market Maker model of New York Stock Exchange. We focus on providing liquidity and maintaining a fair and orderly market for those token listings who agree to engage our market making services. Every exchange is looking for good projects in order to become a premiere market for this new asset. Can you name some projects that impressed you recently (even if you are not discussing possible listing with them)? BitMax.io has strict listing requirements in order to identify high-quality projects for our users. Very proud that we have listed five industry star projects in the last several weeks, with more in the pipeline. All of them have the following attributes that made them successful — viable and profitable business model, growing user bases, strong community support, and comprehensive funding sources. One of the shining examples is European project named LTO Network listed mid Jan. Its price has been steadily rising since then, as more and more people get to know their business model and more project support comes into the market place to buy the tokens — It uses blockchain technology to streamline a lot of legal processing for one of EU governments, which is very easy to understand its economic value from a revenue perspective. This is simply what people need to see eventually, clean and clear from business economic model perspective. Let’s imagine a crypto market in 5 or 10 years. Can you make any prediction what the market will look like? What customers will expect from exchange in 5–10 years? Based off my long-time experience in traditional trading, especially how equity market evolved last twenty years, I would imagine maturing market structure and entrance of institutional investors are key mandatory and healthy development of digital asset market. First, As the market develops and expands globally, traditional institution participation is a must, in order to upgrade and strengthen the overall market structure and maturity, making it more transparent and resilient, and most importantly enabling the real broad-base adoption of digital assets. Most institutional investors, such as mutual fund, pension fund and other financial institutions, hold the majority of world investment assets, not individual retail investors. Only when those big guys join the market, will there be real revolutionary improvement and expansion of the digital asset just like any other financial markets. Second, I would expect the market to become more structured with major building blocks for transparent trade life cycle processing and separate risk analytics supporting services. Current crypto trading market is very fragmented with exchanges taking on different roles of trading, wallet management, custodian, etc. Also the lack of clear and consistence regulation on market structure has led to many aspects of market inefficiency — inconsistent liquidity and depth, wide spread, high transaction cost, high volatility, speculation, etc. This definitely hampers the broader adoption of digital assets from institutional investors. Forward looking, multi-tier structure under some level of regulatory framework with clear guidance is required for future maturing market. Similar to security market, there should be at least three layers of different and independent roles: the role of broker dealer to handle the client relationship with good KYC/ AML processes, retail clients, other financial institutions, blockchain players and to take client order as agent or dealer; the role of exchange to focus on listing and trading — liquidity provision and order matching; the role of clearing house to provide clearing and settlement and custodian on custody of assets with proper control and independence. It is very clean and clear with good check and balance in place. What are the key challenges for 2019? During our 2018 business planning, we clearly view 2019 to continue being full of challenges with market uncertainty from both asset price and valuation as well as regulatory development globally. In prep for that and further growth of our platform, we have laid out the following four main strategic objectives and they are all well underway:
To launch North America trading platform for high networth and institutional clients. With North America being heavily regulated market, there are two aspects of our plan — First is to leverage a trust structure to facilitate the major coin trading with fiat, and the second is broker-dealer license application with potential for securitized tokens pending regulatory guidance in place.
To enhance BitMax.io platform and reach global top-tier exchange. We will continue listening to our users and working hard to enhance user interface and experience by upgrading website vs. other competitors for better client retention.We will continue leading product innovation among the competitors with margin trading (successfully launched in mid Feb) and then derivative to attract new clients.
Relent focus on implementation and expansion of current business lines — listing, Market Making, marketing advisory services to grow current revenue base; and further seek new revenue opportunity through North America platform while maintaining cost discipline.
we are always on the lookout in terms of exchange alignments, acquisition target, and any business partnership from different aspects of the value chain.
When do you expect a market recovery or next bull run? What are the factors that will influence the start of the market recovery? With current market crash or correction, there are two possibilities from trading perspective — recovery depending on whether this is a V down or U curve. The U curve occurs when the market collapses, it takes a longer time for market to find the bottom and struggle to rise up. The V down is like a quick collapse — dropping down very fast and reaching the bottom, and then, with some catalyst event, either catalyst from market structure, or catalyst from the market expansion itself, suddenly it gives a boost and bounces right back up. For market recovery, besides all the investment and economics elements I’ve discussed above, I believe one critical factor is the regulatory development especially clear guidance from key regulatory bodies of those major financial markets such as US, UK, EU, etc. on those key building blocks I mentioned in the maturing market structure. Once those in place, more traditional institutional investors will be ready to get in and hence boost the liquidity and valuation of the digital assets. That is the new beginning of digital assets being accepted as part of Main Street investment globally.
•Korean exchange Bithumb has been allegedly hacked for 3 million EOS (USD 12.5 million) and 20 million XRP (worth USD 6.2 million).
CRYPTOCURRENCY TRADING SERVICES
•Japanese exchange Coincheck launches a new OTC service allowing traders to purchase 50 or more BTC in a single transaction. •Binance announces Binance Singapore, a fiat-to-crypto exchange to support SGD (Singapore Dollar) onramps. The platform is slated to launch sometime this April. •Indian exchange Coindelta ceases operations as a result of regulation that has affected cryptocurrency businesses in the country. •BitMEX refunds traders who lost funds as a result of positions being closed due to auto-deleveraging. •Huobi lists Dogecoin (DOGE) and accompanies the newly listed token with a 10M DOGE giveaway. •Korean exchange Bithumb has been allegedly hacked for 3 million EOS (worth $12.5 million USD) and 20 million XRP (USD 6.2 million).
•Founders of Vancouver based Vanbex Group Inc and Etherparty Smart Contracts Inc are being accused of fraud as a result of an USD 30 million ICO that took place in 2017. The pair allegedly took crowdsale funds which was intended to fund that platform which never materialized. Vanbex has since released a statement denying all allegations. •The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), releases a framework that outlines considerations which will help token issuers determine whether a digital asset would classify as a security. •In what would be Canada’s largest cryptocurrency forfeiture, a Toronto Judge orders a previously identified drug dealer, Matthew Phan, to forfeit USD 1.4 million worth of Bitcoin. •The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issues its first ever no-action letter to token issuer Turnkey Jets.
•Coinsquare announces the intention to launch the first ever stablecoin backed by the Canadian dollar dubbed “eCAD”.
•The Cyberspace Administration of China has approved 197 companies on its list of registered blockchain service providers. Of the 197 companies, major tech giants Baidu (Baidu Blockchain Engine), Alibaba (Alibaba Cloud BaaS) and Tencent (Tencent Blockchain as a Service) made the list.
•The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) releases a job posting aiming to hire an Attorney Advisor specializing in cryptocurrency.
•@ErikVoorhees - “The US dollar has fallen to 1/5000th of a Bitcoin” •@elonmusk – “Dogecoin might be my fav cryptocurrency. It’s pretty cool” •@krugermacro – “Everybody outside crypto is talking about bitcoin today. From banks to funds to family offices to brokers.”
I wrote a 30,000 ft. "executive summary" intro document for cryptos. Not for you, for your non-technical parents or friends.
This document was originally written for my dad, an intelligent guy who was utterly baffled about the cryptocurrency world. The aim was to be extremely concise, giving a broad overview of the industry and some popular coins while staying non-technical. For many of you there will be nothing new here, but recognize that you are in the 0.001% of the population heavily into crypto technology. I've reproduced it for Reddit below, or you can find the original post here on my website. Download the PDF there or hit the direct link: .PDF version. Donations happily accepted:
This document is purely informational. At the time of writing there are over 1000 cryptocurrencies (“cryptos”) in a highly volatile, high risk market. Many of the smaller “altcoins” require significant technical knowledge to store and transact safely. I advise you to carefully scrutinize each crypto’s flavor of blockchain, potential utility, team of developers, and guiding philosophy, before making any investment  decisions. With that out of the way, what follows are brief, extremely high-level summaries of some cryptos which have my interest, listed in current market cap order. But first, some info: Each crypto is a different implementation of a blockchain network. Originally developed as decentralized digital cash, these technologies have evolved into much broader platforms, powering the future of decentralized applications across every industry in the global economy. Without getting into the weeds,  most cryptos work on similar principles: Distributed Ledgers Each node on a blockchain network has a copy of every transaction, which enables a network of trust that eliminates fraud.  Decentralized “Miners” comprise the infrastructure of a blockchain network.  They are monetarily incentivized to add computing power to the network, simultaneously securing and processing each transaction.  Peer-to-peer Cryptos act like digital cash-- they require no third party to transact and are relatively untraceable. Unlike cash, you can back them up. Global Transactions are processed cheaply and instantly, anywhere on Earth. Using cryptos, an African peasant and a San Francisco engineer have the same access to capital, markets, and network services. Secure Blockchains are predicated on the same cryptographic technology that secures your sensitive data and government secrets. They have passed seven years of real-world penetration testing with no failures. 
The first cryptocurrency. As with first movers in any technology, there are associated pros and cons. Bitcoin has by far the strongest brand recognition and deepest market penetration, and it is the only crypto which can be used directly as a currency at over 100,000 physical and web stores around the world. In Venezuela and Zimbabwe, where geopolitical events have created hyperinflation in the centralized fiat currency, citizens have moved to Bitcoin as a de facto transaction standard.  However, Bitcoin unveiled a number of issues that have been solved by subsequent cryptos. It is experiencing significant scaling issues, resulting in high fees and long confirmation times. The argument over potential solutions created a rift in the Bitcoin developer community, who “forked” the network into two separate blockchains amidst drama and politicking in October 2017. Potential solutions to these issues abound, with some already in place, and others nearing deployment. Bitcoin currently has the highest market cap, and since it is easy to buy with fiat currency, the price of many smaller cryptos (“altcoins”) are loosely pegged to its price. This will change in the coming year(s).
Where Bitcoin is a currency, Ethereum is a platform, designed as a foundational protocol on which to develop decentralized applications (“Dapps”). Anyone can write code and deploy their program on the global network for extremely low fees. Just like Twitter wouldn’t exist without the open platform of the internet, the next world-changing Dapp can’t exist without Ethereum. CurrentDapps include a global market for idle computing power and storage, peer-to-peer real estate transactions (no trusted third party for escrow), identity networks for governments and corporations (think digital Social Security card), and monetization strategies for the internet which replace advertising. Think back 10 years to the advent of smartphones, and then to our culture today-- Ethereum could have a similar network effect on humanity. Ethereum is currently the #2 market cap crypto below Bitcoin, and many believe it will surpass it in 2018. It has a large, active group of developers working to solve scaling issues,  maintain security, and create entirely new programming conventions. If successful, platforms like Ethereum may well be the foundation of the decentralized internet of the future.
Ripple is significantly more centralized than most crypto networks, designed as a backbone for the global banking and financial technology (“fintech”) industries. It is a network for exchanging between fiat currencies and other asset classes instantly and cheaply, especially when transacting cross-border and between separate institutions. It uses large banks and remittance companies as “anchors” to allow trading between any asset on the network, and big names like Bank of America, American Express, RBC, and UBS are partners. The utility of this network is global and massive in scale. It is extremely important to note that not all cryptos have the same number of tokens. Ripple has 100 Billion tokens compared to Bitcoin’s 21 Million. Do not directly compare price between cryptos. XRP will likely never reach $1k,  but the price will rise commensurate with its utility as a financial tool. In some sense, Ripple is anathema to the original philosophical vision of this technology space. And while I agree with the cyberpunk notion of decentralized currencies, separation of money and state, this is the natural progression of the crypto world. The internet was an incredible decentralized wild west of Usenet groups and listservs before Eternal September and the dot-com boom, but its maturation affected every part of global society.
Cardano’s main claim to fame: it is the only crypto developed using academic methodologies by a global collective of engineers and researchers, built on a foundation of industry-leading, peer-reviewed cryptographic research. The network was designed from first-principles to allow scalability, system upgrades, and to balance the privacy of its users with the security needs of regulators. One part of this ecosystem is the Cardano Foundation, a Swiss non-profit founded to work proactively with governments and regulatory bodies to institute legal frameworks around the crypto industry. Detractors of Cardano claim that it doesn’t do anything innovative, but supporters see the academic backing and focus on regulation development as uniquely valuable.
Stellar Lumens (XLM)
Stellar Lumens and Ripple were founded by the same person. They initially shared the same code, but today the two are distinct in their technical back-end as well as their guiding philosophy and development goals. Ripple is closed-source, for-profit, deflationary, and intended for use by large financial institutions. Stellar is open-source, non-profit, inflationary, and intended to promote international wealth distribution. As such, they are not direct competitors. IBM is a major partner to Stellar. Their network is already processing live transactions in 12 currency corridors across the South Pacific, with plans to process 60% of all cross-border payments in the South Pacific’s retail foreign exchange corridor by Q2 2018. Beyond its utility as a financial tool, the Stellar network may become a competitor to Ethereum as a platform for application development and Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”). The theoretical maximum throughput for the network is higher, and it takes less computational power to run. The Stellar development team is highly active, has written extensive documentation for third-party developers, and has an impressive list of advisors, including Patrick Collison (Stripe), Sam Altman (Y Combinator), and other giants in the software development community.
Iota was developed as the infrastructure backbone for the Internet of Things (IoT), sometimes called the machine economy. As the world of inanimate objects is networked together, their need to communicate grows exponentially. Fridges, thermostats, self-driving cars, printers, planes, and industrial sensors all need a secure protocol with which to transact information. Iota uses a “Tangle” instead of a traditional blockchain, and this is the main innovation driving the crypto’s value. Each device that sends a transaction confirms two other transactions in the Tanlge. This removes the need for miners, and enables unique features like zero fees and infinite scalability. The supply of tokens is fixed forever at 2.8*1015, a staggeringly large number (almost three thousand trillion), and the price you see reported is technically “MIOT”, or the price for a million tokens.
The most successful privacy-focused cryptocurrency. In Bitcoin and most other cryptos, anyone can examine the public ledger and trace specific coins through the network. If your identity can be attached to a public address on that network, an accurate picture of your transaction history can be built-- who, what, and when. Monero builds anonymity into the system using strong cryptographic principles, which makes it functionally impossible to trace coins,  attach names to wallets, or extract metadata from transactions. The development team actively publishes in the cryptography research community. Anonymous transactions are not new-- we call it cash. Only in the past two decades has anonymity grown scarce in the first-world with the rise of credit cards and ubiquitous digital records. Personal data is becoming the most valuable resource on Earth, and there are many legitimate reasons for law-abiding citizens to want digital privacy, but it is true that with anonymity comes bad actors-- Monero is the currency of choice for the majority of black market (“darknet”) transactions. Similarly, US Dollars are the main vehicle for the $320B annual drug trade. An investment here should be based on the underlying cryptographic research and technology behind this coin, as well as competitors like Zcash. 
Zero fees and instantaneous transfer make RaiBlocks extremely attractive for exchange of value, in many senses outperforming Bitcoin at its original intended purpose. This crypto has seen an explosion in price and exposure over the past month, and it may become the network of choice for transferring value within and between crypto exchanges. Just in the first week of 2018: the CEO of Ledger (makers of the most popular hardware wallet on the market) waived the $50k code review fee to get RaiBlocks on his product, and XRB got listed on Binance and Kucoin, two of the largest altcoin exchanges globally. This is one to watch for 2018. 
Developed as a single answer to the problem of supply-chain logistics, VeChain is knocking on the door of a fast-growing $8 trillion industry. Every shipping container and packaged product in the world requires constant tracking and verification. A smart economy for logistics built on the blockchain promises greater efficiency and lower cost through the entire process flow. Don’t take my word for it-- VeChain has investment from PwC (5th largest US corporation), Groupe Renault, Kuehne & Nagel (world’s largest freight company), and DIG (China’s largest wine importer). The Chinese government has mandated VeChain to serve as blockchain technology partner to the city of Gui’an, a special economic zone and testbed for China’s smart city of the future. This crypto has some of the strongest commercial partnerships in the industry, and a large active development team.
“Investment” is a misnomer. Cryptos are traded like securities, but grant you no equity (like trading currency).
It is impossible to double-spend or create a fake transaction, as each ledger is confirmed against every other ledger.
Some utility token blockchains use DAG networks or similar non-linear networks which don’t require mining.
In practice, these are giant warehouses full of specialized computers constantly processing transactions. Miners locate to the cheapest electricity source, and the bulk of mining currently occurs in China.
Centralized second-layer exchange websites have been hacked, but the core technology is untouched.
Consensus Network EP36: Buy, Borrow and Die: Bitcoin Style
Catch the full episode: https://www.consensusnetwork.io/podcastepisodes/2019/10/5/ep36-buy-borrow-and-die-bitcoin-style-1 Buck: Welcome back to the show everyone. Today my guest on Wealth Formula Podcast is Zack Prince. He's Founder and CEO of BlockFi. BlockFi bridges the gap between blockchain and the basic financial products that you're used to including interest-bearing accounts and loans. Zack, welcome to Wealth Formula Podcast. I think you we might have had you on before as a Consensus Network replay but first time on Wealth Formula Podcast specifically, so welcome. Zac: Yeah, excited to be here, Buck. Thanks for having me. And it's good to chat with you again Buck: Yeah so remind me how you got into this you know Bitcoin stuff in the first place, I mean you were as I understand you were a traditional finance guy right so where did the blockchain part come in? Zac: Sure so I was I was working at a company in the FinTech world that provided data and technology solutions to institutional investors that wanted to participate in some of the new online lending platforms, whether they were real estate platforms or consumer lending platforms, and I kind of became the FinTech guy amongst my friend group and people would ask me you know should I invest in these real estate deals on fund rise or buy loans from Lending Club and I started writing a blog to share the information more efficiently with my friends basically and I started expanding a little bit writing about Robo advisory and some other things that were going on in the FinTech space and that's what led me to Bitcoin, and this is back in early 2015. I didn't start BlockFi until 2017 because I started following the market in the background, still working in traditional financial services in FinTech and then in early 2017 it started to feel like mainstream adoption was starting to happen in the crypto ecosystem. I'm started going to some meetups in New York City because at a certain point my wife said Zac, you're talking about crypto all the time and you're talking to me about it and I don't want to talk about it so you should find some other people to talk about this with. And the meetup composition started to change and in 2016 when I started going to these meetups it was the early crypto adopters you know libertarians, computer scientists and then in early 2017 I started to see some venture capitalists, some guys who had just left their job at Wall Street still wearing a suit, some more entrepreneurs and it was a really exciting time in the ecosystem, things like the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance were getting announced which had participation microsoft and a lot of other you know fortune 500 companies and I had started to believe in it. I was drinking the kool-aid a little bit so I decided to find a way to get involved in the space full-time and that's what led me to start BlockFi. Buck: So I have to imagine that the response you got from the traditional finance people around that time when you started talking about the blockchain space and when you started being more and more involved with that was probably not a very positive response initially or did you did you experience some of that sort of you know rejection initially to what you were doing? Zac: Yeah absolutely. But you know throughout my career this is now kind of the third emerging technology industry that I've worked in. I was originally an advertising technology starting like you know 15 years ago and I was in FinTech specifically the online lending side of FinTech which in its early days was called peer-to-peer lending and now in crypto. So having to do a lot of education explain it you know why something isn't crazy and it might work and here's why and here's the value proposition and here's what it is, I've gotten very used to that and comfortable with it. But yeah there were a lot of people who are like you know I've heard Bitcoin is only used by drug dealers and money launderers. I've heard that I'm supposed to care about blockchain and not Bitcoin. And you know at BlockFi we’re providing financial products into the market so it's a heavily regulated business so we also had to communicate with regulators. We had to explain to state regulators, federal regulators why what we were doing with Bitcoin and other cryptos than when you're doing these same types of things with assets that they're more familiar with. Buck: So when you were talking to people back in, I don't know I guess 2016/17 and it's not a long time ago, it's only two years ago, but I have to imagine that the response or the you know the approach that people take to you when you speak to investors is very different. Has it become more mainstream in that regard for you know for big money investors? Zac: It's absolutely become more mainstream you know the end of 2017 Q3/Q4. Point was going on that parabolic run it started to get covered everywhere, I mean it was on CNBC every day it was in Bloomberg New York Times Wall Street Journal. If you were paying attention to the financial industry and markets you heard about Bitcoin at that time if you hadn't heard about it before. So from a baseline of awareness perspective it got a lot better and then in 2018 you had a number of positive developments for the sector including one that I think is probably the most noteworthy which is that Bitcoin futures were listed on the CME the institutional investor perspective that's massive. You now have a well regulated well known super trustworthy venue where you can get exposure to this asset class, you also had companies like Grayscale bringing products to the market which are accessible to certain types of investors and their low bridge accounts and you started to see some adoption from companies like FinTech companies like Robin Hood and Square making Bitcoin available on their platforms. So the conversation has absolutely changed a lot and it's become less about whether or not this is something that's going to continue to exist whether or not it's something that was just a bubble and is going to die and now it's more about ok how is it going to get used how big could it get what are the interesting applications of it and what could have potentially disrupt in the traditional financial ecosystem. Buck: So you know we had obviously following this you know pop in 2017, you know I actually like you kind of really got into this early 2017 so timing was pretty good I guess now regards. Good or bad depending how you look at it but I was there before before the parabolic move. And then we have you know then we followed this up with a crypto winter and and you know who knows if we're done with it, I guess we certainly are much better off than we were. You know a unit buddy it's funny Zac I don’t know if you remember this but I was about to, we'll talk about BlockFi specifically in a minute but, I was about to use BlockFi for borrowing because I like this idea of borrowing you know collateralized debt and collateralized debt on assets and buying something else. So I was about to do it and then Bitcoin lost a clip and I was like literally and I remember I was just emailing with somebody somebody over there and I was like sorry dude I guess I just sold it, I just sold all that Bitcoin I had and you sent one email back to me and it said “capitulation” but it you know and so now we're looking back at these we go down from 3,000 back up you know been sort of flirting around this 10,000 and it seems like we're kind of maybe that we're stuck there, maybe we're kind of out of winter, maybe we're in a holding pattern but it seems like to me that since that two years not only is the awareness increase but the development of the ecosystem itself is so much further advanced than it was in 2017. Is this an unusual case where the technology and maybe even the infrastructure is actually outpacing the price? Zac: You know it's really hard to say. I would argue that in some ways it's typical. In other industries that showed a lot of promise where investors could you know participate maybe a little bit ahead of the adoption curve you saw crazy price run ups with the tech bubble and you know ‘99-2000 being the one that's kind of top of mind in recent memory and then on the other side of things, are we behind where the price should be now? It's really hard to say because this is kind of like a commodity type asset built on a payment network and valuing that is challenging and there's not a perfect model for for doing it today. It's not as easy as something that's cashflow producing but I'm incredibly bullish. I'm on record as saying at the beginning of this year that Bitcoin has only had one year in its 10-year existence where it had a lower low than the year before and parted this year around the low price for 2018 and I predicted that we would in the year had a higher price than where we started the year pretty soon and now we're up and you know around 300 percent from where we started the year. As that happens in investing is people frequently look at things on a year-to-year performance basis and when people are looking at Bitcoin even if all we do is stay around 10 K from here when they're looking at how Bitcoin performed rather than other relative to other assets at the end of 2019 it's probably going to look fantastic. And you also have an event coming up and in the summer of next year called The Halvening where basically the supply that's produced by miners is going to get cut in half and so if you believe in the stock the flow type models of valuation for Bitcoin that is usually a very big driver of price appreciation. Buck: I believe May of 2020, right? Zac: That's right. Buck: In May of 2020. Can you just talked a little bit about that just so people know because people hear about it, I've been talking about it but I don't think that it really explained it. Zac: Yeah and you know I'm not I'm not a computer scientist so I can explain it in a you know in a very simple… Buck: No one else here is either. Zac: So basically the way that new Bitcoin is created is through this process called mining. And it's analogous to mining gold except instead of finding a place in the earth where gold exists and then getting your trucks and mining equipment and digging it out of the ground, the way bitcoin is mined is using this computer program and there is now specialized computer hardware that's built specifically and optimized for mining Bitcoin. And you have this network of machines around the world where the input is energy into the mining hardware and the output is new Bitcoin and those miners are what provides the power for the payment network a Bitcoin to run and when we say that there is this event called The Halvening, what that basically means is that the output that's built into the Bitcoin program that the miners are receiving as their payment for contributing energy to the network, is going to get cut in half. So the miners are going to have the same you know relative input but the amount that they're receiving is going to get cut in half for that input. This should, if the demand side for Bitcoin remains equal, it should drive up the price and historically Bitcoin has had three of these Halvening events in its lifetime so far I believe and around each Halvening you have seen you know six months before or six months after a pretty material run up in price. Buck: Yeah so it also goes along with that sort of that the entire idea that Bitcoin unlike you know other assets including gold is it's a deflationary asset ultimately and and that's one of the things that makes that happening really significant. Apart from and I have one more question before we get to block five which is apart from the Halvening, you know thing that's happening, what is maybe the biggest development or upcoming thing that's coming up that makes you the most bullish on the future of Bitcoin or blockchain in general? Zac: Sure so I think I wouldn't actually point to any one specific thing, I would point to two broad trends. So one is institutional adoption and participation in the asset class and the other is better ramps for retail participation into the asset class and just focusing here you know on the US market because it really is an international story but just in the US market. In September we should have Bakkt launching their futures platform. Bakkt is owned by ICE, the Intercontinental Exchange, and there's a big core difference between their futures and the current futures that are available on the CME in that futures on Bakkt platform are going to be physically settled so that means that actual Bitcoin is going to be needed to facilitate the trading on Bakkt’s platform which does not happen on CMEs exchange so that's that should be a very positive catalyst in terms of demand for physical Bitcoin that could have an impact on the price. Also on the institutional side this year I believe earlier this year, the first pension fund made an investment into an asset management vehicle that was focused on investing in Bitcoin and private equity opportunities in the Bitcoin and blockchain sector. So that will be a trend. Buck: Which pension fund was it? Zac: It was in North Carolina so I think it was like the North Carolina Firefighters and the group that raised the money from them was Morgan Creek Digital it’s actually invested in BlockFi by Anthony Pompliano Twitter and Mark Yusko so that's on the institutional side. And then on the retail side you've seen FinTech companies like Square and Robin Hood offer Bitcoin trading to their users. But soon you will also have companies like TD Ameritrade E-Trade and others offer Bitcoin to their users sometimes be a partnership sometimes because they've built it directly. You also at some point might see progress made in terms of an ETF getting approved that would give retail investors in the US market exposure to Bitcoin in a really easy and familiar way. All of those things are tremendously positive catalysts and the caliber of people working on them only continues to increase. Talent was attracted into the sector very, very rapidly these days. Buck: You know one question that leads me to is that all of this is happening with Bitcoin for the most part. Are alt coins in your opinion is that market coming back or is that something that we're gonna see probably select you know group of tokens projects emerge and then the rest will kind of just get left in the dust, what do you think? Zac: I mean I'll tell you exactly what I'm doing with my portfolio and then I'll provide a bit more color. So my asset allocation in the crypto side of my investing is I'm like 90% Bitcoin 5% Ethereum and 5% B&B; which is the Binance right. So I'm super bullish on Bitcoin. I think that you know there's a chance that Ether makes a comeback specifically I think that a lot of the stable coins that have been launched have been built on Ethereum if you're not familiar with stable coins it's basically the concept of a dollar but on a blockchain which could be really really powerful because it creates the opportunity for the delivery of US dollar denominated financial services at a global scale not using the traditional banking rails. And then B&B; I mean Binance is the biggest and most successful exchange they have a history of innovating, creating new products, going fast and so I'm taking a bit of a flyer with them but I'm 90% Bitcoin. I don't think that I'm not bullish on any of the other all coins frankly I struggle to see you know the big upside I have heard whispers in the community that there's kind of like a new wave of altcoins 3.0 might emerge, you know could see some some good returns similar to what some of the ICOs did in 2017 but it's not an area of focus for me. So that's my view. Buck: Yeah let's talk about BlockFi. Remind us exactly what BlockFi is. Zac: Sure so we're a wealth management platform for crypto investors. Today we have two products that we offer. One product is analogous to a savings account from a traditional bank where you're able to earn interest on your holdings except on BlockFi, the assets instead of being dollars are bitcoin and Ether and we don't have FDIC insurance so it's not exactly the same risk profile as a savings account at a bank, but conceptually you're able to hold Bitcoin and an account with BlockFi and earn interest on it paid in Bitcoin every month. That's one product that we have. The second product that we have which you are alluding to earlier offers our clients the ability to borrow dollars secured by the value of their cryptocurrency and it's analogous to a securities backed loan or a liquidity access line in the traditional world except instead of securities we're taking Bitcoin or other digital assets as collateral and lending it rates as low as four point five lending USD that rates as low as four point five percent a year. Buck: I wanna pick these apart a little bit if you don't mind. In terms of this savings account first of all is it just bitcoin or is it bitcoin, Ethereum? Zac: We actually support three assets in the interest account currently Bitcoin, Ether and GUSD which is the stable coin from Gemini. Buck: Got it. And talk about the interest because it's not one flat interest rate right it's different depending on how much cryptocurrency actually is held? Zac: Correct so there's a tiered interest rate structure. Currently on Bitcoin for balances up to ten Bitcoin, we offer a six point two percent annual yield and for balances above ten Bitcoin it's a 2.2 percent annual yield. On Ether, for balances up to two hundred Ether it's a 3.3 percent annual yield and balances above two hundred Ether is 0.5% annual yield and for GUSD the stable coin it's an eight point six percent interest rate with no tier so yeah those are the different rates. Buck: Why did, I mean was it just a matter of like an issue with people dumping like a thousand Bitcoin and trying to get six you know 6% of that, was it just too hard to you know make that a long-term part of the business model or why did the higher levels end up changing to a lower rate? Zac: Sure so I wanted to function of market conditions and to it's a function of supply and demand. So we launched the interest account in March of this year. We were just starting to come out of the bear market and one of the things that happened as we switched from being in a bear market to being in a bull market is the futures switched from being in backwardation to contango which basically means that our institutional borrowers the groups that we lend to that enable us to pay the rate to depositors had less of a need they had less demand to borrow and they were willing to pay lower rates to borrow crypto than they were when we were building and planning to launch this product. The second thing that happened is we were surprised to the upside in terms of the level of interest that we received from depositors and especially depositors with very large sums of cryptocurrency. So to give you an example you know within a day or two of making the product available publicly, we had a number of groups that were depositing 5, 10, 15, 20 million dollars worth of Bitcoin and so the supply-demand that we have to manage is, the amount that we have on deposit relative to the size of this market that will borrow Bitcoin size of the market that will borrow Bitcoin is partially a function of market sentiments partially a function of number of trading venues and the liquidity profile and it's partially a function of you know BlockFi’s efforts in terms of sales and client development relationship management. So the supply side got a little bit ahead of the demand side on deposit and how much there was available to borrow so we made a few tweaks. We want to keep the 6%, 6.2% rate on Bitcoin available to as many people as possible for as long as possible so that's why we went with the tiered structure where we made it available on balances up to 10 and reduced it for balances above that. Buck: Got it and the interest on that, when you say 6.2 percent that six point like it's all denominated in Bitcoin, you're not paying cash out right? Zac: Correct so to use round numbers to provide an easy example you start on January first with a hundred Bitcoin in an account, by the subsequent January first you will have 106 point 2 Bitcoin in your account. Buck: Yeah and that that's kind of neat too because then you're you know you're also getting potentially the upside of that you know I mean they made 6% but if you if you're really bullish on the market you could be potentially looking at a lot more than 6% on your money. How about in terms of the, is there like a you know do you do it sort of a month-to-month or six month or month you know year-long contracts for these things? Zac: It's month-to-month. So the rates are subject to change on a monthly basis. We provide notifications at least a week in advance before the end of one month on what the rates will be for the subsequent month and people are able to you know withdraw any time without penalty. We reserve up to 7 days to process withdrawals but we've never taken more than one business day to process a withdrawal so they're pretty quick but not instant for security reasons and yeah it's pretty flexible. Buck: How about the lump in the lending side how does how does that work? So now I've got like 10 Bitcoin and so I would deposit that I guess and you guys I understand that maybe that that goes into like a Gemini account or something, is that still how it works? Zac: Correct so we have a partnership with Gemini for custody. So when you log into a BlockFi account you'll have a deposit address. When you send Bitcoin to that deposit address it actually goes directly into storage with Gemini. Gemini was the first custodian in the crypto sector to receive insurance against cyber hacks on their platform. They were also the first custodian to get to complete a SOC 2 compliance audit and they have a really long track record of custody billions of dollars worth of crypto without ever having any issues. So it goes directly to Gemini and then you're able to interact with block-wise platform to take any actions that you might deem necessary. So you can view your interest payments you can withdraw you can deposit more you can also take out a loan. So in terms of taking out a loan, if you have ten Bitcoin that's worth roughly a hundred thousand US dollars at this point in time, you can borrow up to fifty percent of that value in a US dollar loan which can be funded be a wire or stable coin and then the structure of those loans is that you make interest-only payments on the amount that you borrowed throughout the duration and you can prepay at any time without penalty. Buck: And what's the typical you said it was four point six. Zac: We have interest rates as low as four point five. The interest rates on borrowing USD vary according to your initial loan to value ratio. So if you have a hundred thousand dollars worth of Bitcoin we actually have three loan-to-value ratio options. You can borrow at a 50 percent initial loan-to-value ratio which would mean you're borrowing 50k, the interest rate on that will be eleven point two five, if you borrow thirty five percent of the value so 35k the interest rate is seven point nine, and if you borrow twenty five percent of the value of the interest rate is four point five percent per year. Buck: Got it. In terms of you know the technical, so you basically pay that on a month-to-month basis and then in terms of contracts, are those also month-to-month loans or how does that work? Zac: Those are one-year term loans well now it's the ability to renew without repaying the principal at the end of the term at current rates and our rates for those loans have always come down so far. So it's a one-year term loan BlockFi committed for a year at that rate your payments stay the same but you can prepay at any time without penalty. Buck: Right. When do you do when would you do an actual sort of I guess a cap will call like what loan-to-value because you can go up to say you're borrowing at you know you're borrowing at the lowest rate you know you're at 4.5% you're borrowing see you know just for round numbers 100 Bitcoin you borrowed or you said 10 Bitcoin hundred thousand dollars but you only borrowed twenty-five thousand dollars at four point five percent, what if Bitcoin you know loses 50 percent of its value then what happens? Zac: Well you wouldn't have a margin call based on on that example. If your loan to value ratio hits 70 percent that's when we have a margin call and the way the margin call works is our clients have the option to either post more collateral, pay down the loan using USD or some of the collateral that's posted for the loan or take no action. If they take no action there's a 72-hour window where we'll wait to see if the price recovers, if it does then no action is required, if the price keeps going down further then we will initiate a partial collateral sale to rebalance that LTV to a healthy level at the end of that window. Buck: So in terms of the clients that you see doing this kind of stuff, I mean who are you seeing borrowing because you don't have a cap I mean you can on the borrow side, I mean and the rates don't really change like if you're depositing a hundred Bitcoin you're getting the same rate differences as somebody who's depositing ten for borrowing right? Zac: That's right. Buck: So who are the people who are putting I mean what are these businesses that are putting are using these loans who are the typical clients? Zac: Sure so it's a mix of retail and corporate. On the retail side we actually did a survey recently on use cases and the number one use case about a third of our borrowers expressed is that they were using the funds that they borrowed to start a business, which we were really excited about. So the other popular use cases were investing in real estate, investing in other types of traditional assets like stocks and bonds, home improvement, larger purchases, vacations were all used cases, paying down higher cost debt was another use case, and then on the corporate side the loans are used for operating capital. So we have some mining companies that borrow from BlockFi. Other types of companies who you know maybe have crypto denominated inventory like exchanges or crypto ATM businesses our frequent borrowers from BlockFi and our loan sizes rearranged from you know as low as five thousand dollars all the way up to seven figures. So it's a pretty diverse group of borrowers. Buck: So recently it sounds like you guys partnered with another company called Casa. What is Casa and I guess how does that benefit both companies? Zac: Sure. So Casa is a leader in fighting self sovereign storage solutions for cryptocurrency owners so if you're alone that owns Bitcoin and to use a gold analogy. If you want to own gold but you keep it in your vault or in your backyard you want to have physical possession of it yourself if you want to do that same type of custody with Bitcoin. Casa has a solution that makes that really easy. Our partnership with Casa provides mutual benefits to clients on either side. So Casa clients are able to receive some discounts in terms of accessing BlockFi products and vice-versa BlockFi clients are able to receive discounts in terms of accessing kasam products and over time we'll build some things in to the user experience specifically on Casa’s platform that will make it you know a bit more seamless to interact with BlockFi products while you're on their platform. In general that partnership strategy is something that you'll see more of we think there are in the ecosystem that are specializing in areas that BlockFi's not focused on and doing things where we can provide benefits to clients on both sides is a win-win for us then and our clients. Buck: Last thing I want to ask you about, last time I spoke to you, you had talked about the idea of potentially Bitcoin backed credit cards meaning like you know getting Bitcoin back instead of miles or dollars back. You guys any closer to that, because I definitely want one of those cards. Zac: I'm so glad you brought it up. We're definitely closer, but we're not you're not going to have the card until like Q3 of next year probably. It's getting worked on, these things you know for better or worse they take a long time launching a credit program is no small feat you know we're working on it. We've identified some of the key partners that we'll be working with to bring that product to market it is going to happen and I share your sentiment like I wish I had it now. Buck: Yeah seriously that'd be great. Well listen it was great talking you. So it's BlockFi.com and it's spelled like block and then fi and tell us you know tell us the process of doing is pretty simple okay how long does it take to apply for these things… Zac: Yeah I mean nothing takes any time really. So you could come in and start earning interest and get a loan from us all in under five minutes. And we also have a client service team that's super responsive in in terms of communication however you want to communicate with them, over email, over the phone, over text message so you know don't don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're also on twitter. My twitter handle is BlockFiZac and our company twitter handle is @therealBlockFi so we're very active on those platforms and happy to chat with you there as well. Buck: Zac Prince, thank you very much for being on Wealth Formula Podcast today. Zac: Thanks for having me, Buck, I appreciate it. Buck: We’ll be right back.
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