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Stakenet (XSN) - A DEX with interchain capabilities (BTC-ETH), Huge Potential [Full Writeup]
Preface Full disclosure here; I am heavily invested in this. I have picked up some real gems from here and was only in the position to buy so much of this because of you guys so I thought it was time to give back. I only invest in Utility Coins. These are coins that actually DO something, and provide new/build upon the crypto infrastructure to work towards the end goal that Bitcoin itself set out to achieve(financial independence from the fiat banking system). This way, I avoid 99% of the scams in crypto that are functionless vapourware, and if you only invest in things that have strong fundamentals in the long term you are much more likely to make money. Introduction
Stakenet is a Lightning Network-ready open-source platform for decentralized applications with its native cryptocurrency – XSN. It is powered by a Proof of Stake blockchain with trustless cold staking and Masternodes. Its use case is to provide a highly secure cross-chain infrastructure for these decentralized applications, where individuals can easily operate with any blockchain simply by using Stakenet and its native currency XSN.
Ok... but what does it actually do and solve? The moonshot here is the DEX (Decentralised Exchange) that they are building. This is a lightning-network DEX with interchain capabilities. That means you could trade BTC directly for ETH; securely, instantly, cheaply and privately. Right now, most crypto is traded to and from Centralised Exchanges like Binance. To buy and sell on these exchanges, you have to send your crypto wallets on that exchange. That means the exchanges have your private keys, and they have control over your funds. When you use a centralised exchange, you are no longer in control of your assets, and depend on the trustworthiness of middlemen. We have in the past of course seen infamous exit scams by centralised exchanges like Mt. Gox. The alternative? Decentralised Exchanges. DEX's have no central authority and most importantly, your private keys(your crypto) never leavesYOUR possession and are never in anyone else's possession. So you can trade peer-to-peer without any of the drawbacks of Centralised Exchanges. The problem is that this technology has not been perfected yet, and the DEX's that we have available to us now are not providing cheap, private, quick trading on a decentralised medium because of their technological inadequacies. Take Uniswap for example. This DEX accounts for over 60% of all DEX volume and facilitates trading of ERC-20 tokens, over the Ethereum blockchain. The problem? Because of the huge amount of transaction that are occurring over the Ethereum network, this has lead to congestion(too many transaction for the network to handle at one time) so the fees have increased dramatically. Another big problem? It's only for Ethereum. You cant for example, Buy LINK with BTC. You must use ETH. The solution? Layer 2 protocols. These are layers built ON TOP of existing blockchains, that are designed to solve the transaction and scaling difficulties that crypto as a whole is facing today(and ultimately stopping mass adoption) The developers at Stakenet have seen the big picture, and have decided to implement the lightning network(a layer 2 protocol) into its DEX from the ground up. This will facilitate the functionalities of a DEX without any of the drawbacks of the CEX's and the DEX's we have today. Heres someone much more qualified than me, Andreas Antonopoulos, to explain this https://streamable.com/kzpimj 'Once we have efficient, well designed DEX's on layer 2, there wont even be any DEX's on layer 1' Progress The Stakenet team were the first to envision this grand solution and have been working on it since its conception in June 2019. They have been making steady progress ever since and right now, the DEX is in an open beta stage where rigorous testing is constant by themselves and the public. For a project of this scale, stress testing is paramount. If the product were to launch with any bugs/errors that would result in the loss of a users funds, this would obviously be very damaging to Stakenet's reputation. So I believe that the developers conservative approach is wise. As of now the only pairs tradeable on the DEX are XSN/BTC and LTC/BTC. The DEX has only just launched as a public beta and is not in its full public release stage yet. As development moves forward more lightning network and atomic swap compatible coins will be added to the DEX, and of course, the team are hard at work on Raiden Integration - this will allow ETH and tokens on the Ethereum blockchain to be traded on the DEX between separate blockchains(instantly, cheaply, privately) This is where Stakenet enters top 50 territory on CMC if successful and is the true value here. Raiden Integration is well underway is being tested in a closed public group on Linux. The full public DEX with Raiden Integration is expected to release by the end of the year. Given the state of development so far and the rate of progress, this seems realistic. Tokenomics 2.6 Metrics overview (from whitepaper)
Ticker: XSN. Currency type: Coin.
Consensus: Minting Proof of Stake, Trustless Proof of Stake.
XSN is slightly inflationary, much like ETH as this is necessary for the economy to be adopted and work in the long term. There is however a deflationary mechanism in place - all trading fees on the DEX get converted to XSN and 10% of these fees are burned. This puts constant buying pressure on XSN and acts as a deflationary mechanism. XSN has inherent value because it makes up the infrastructure that the DEX will run off and as such Masternode operators and Stakers will see the fee's from the DEX. Conclusion We can clearly see that a layer 2 DEX is the future of crypto currency trading. It will facilitate secure, cheap, instant and private trading across all coins with lightning capabilities, thus solving the scaling and transaction issues that are holding back crypto today. I dont need to tell you the implications of this, and what it means for crypto as a whole. If Stakenet can launch a layer 2 DEX with Raiden Integration, It will become the primary DEX in terms of volume. Stakenet DEX will most likely be the first layer 2 DEX(first mover advantage) and its blockchain is the infrastructure that will host this DEX and subsequently receive it's trading fee's. It is not difficult to envision a time in the next year when Stakenet DEX is functional and hosting hundreds of millions of dollars worth of trading every single day. At $30 million market cap, I cant see any other potential investment right now with this much potential upside. This post has merely served as in introduction and a heads up for this project, there is MUCH more to cover like vortex liquidity, masternodes, TOR integration... for now, here is some additional reading. Resources
Summary: Everyone knows that when you give your assets to someone else, they always keep them safe. If this is true for individuals, it is certainly true for businesses. Custodians always tell the truth and manage funds properly. They won't have any interest in taking the assets as an exchange operator would. Auditors tell the truth and can't be misled. That's because organizations that are regulated are incapable of lying and don't make mistakes. First, some background. Here is a summary of how custodians make us more secure: Previously, we might give Alice our crypto assets to hold. There were risks:
Alice might take the assets and disappear.
Alice might spend the assets and pretend that she still has them (fractional model).
Alice might store the assets insecurely and they'll get stolen.
Alice might give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force.
Alice might lose access to the assets.
But "no worries", Alice has a custodian named Bob. Bob is dressed in a nice suit. He knows some politicians. And he drives a Porsche. "So you have nothing to worry about!". And look at all the benefits we get:
Alice can't take the assets and disappear (unless she asks Bob or never gives them to Bob).
Alice can't spend the assets and pretend that she still has them. (Unless she didn't give them to Bob or asks him for them.)
Alice can't store the assets insecurely so they get stolen. (After all - she doesn't have any control over the withdrawal process from any of Bob's systems, right?)
Alice can't give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force. (Bob will stop her, right Bob?)
Alice can't lose access to the funds. (She'll always be present, sane, and remember all secrets, right?)
See - all problems are solved! All we have to worry about now is:
Bob might take the assets and disappear.
Bob might spend the assets and pretend that he still has them (fractional model).
Bob might store the assets insecurely and they'll get stolen.
Bob might give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force.
Bob might lose access to the assets.
It's pretty simple. Before we had to trust Alice. Now we only have to trust Alice, Bob, and all the ways in which they communicate. Just think of how much more secure we are! "On top of that", Bob assures us, "we're using a special wallet structure". Bob shows Alice a diagram. "We've broken the balance up and store it in lots of smaller wallets. That way", he assures her, "a thief can't take it all at once". And he points to a historic case where a large sum was taken "because it was stored in a single wallet... how stupid". "Very early on, we used to have all the crypto in one wallet", he said, "and then one Christmas a hacker came and took it all. We call him the Grinch. Now we individually wrap each crypto and stick it under a binary search tree. The Grinch has never been back since." "As well", Bob continues, "even if someone were to get in, we've got insurance. It covers all thefts and even coercion, collusion, and misplaced keys - only subject to the policy terms and conditions." And with that, he pulls out a phone-book sized contract and slams it on the desk with a thud. "Yep", he continues, "we're paying top dollar for one of the best policies in the country!" "Can I read it?' Alice asks. "Sure," Bob says, "just as soon as our legal team is done with it. They're almost through the first chapter." He pauses, then continues. "And can you believe that sales guy Mike? He has the same year Porsche as me. I mean, what are the odds?" "Do you use multi-sig?", Alice asks. "Absolutely!" Bob replies. "All our engineers are fully trained in multi-sig. Whenever we want to set up a new wallet, we generate 2 separate keys in an air-gapped process and store them in this proprietary system here. Look, it even requires the biometric signature from one of our team members to initiate any withdrawal." He demonstrates by pressing his thumb into the display. "We use a third-party cloud validation API to match the thumbprint and authorize each withdrawal. The keys are also backed up daily to an off-site third-party." "Wow that's really impressive," Alice says, "but what if we need access for a withdrawal outside of office hours?" "Well that's no issue", Bob says, "just send us an email, call, or text message and we always have someone on staff to help out. Just another part of our strong commitment to all our customers!" "What about Proof of Reserve?", Alice asks. "Of course", Bob replies, "though rather than publish any blockchain addresses or signed transaction, for privacy we just do a SHA256 refactoring of the inverse hash modulus for each UTXO nonce and combine the smart contract coefficient consensus in our hyperledger lightning node. But it's really simple to use." He pushes a button and a large green checkmark appears on a screen. "See - the algorithm ran through and reserves are proven." "Wow", Alice says, "you really know your stuff! And that is easy to use! What about fiat balances?" "Yeah, we have an auditor too", Bob replies, "Been using him for a long time so we have quite a strong relationship going! We have special books we give him every year and he's very efficient! Checks the fiat, crypto, and everything all at once!" "We used to have a nice offline multi-sig setup we've been using without issue for the past 5 years, but I think we'll move all our funds over to your facility," Alice says. "Awesome", Bob replies, "Thanks so much! This is perfect timing too - my Porsche got a dent on it this morning. We have the paperwork right over here." "Great!", Alice replies. And with that, Alice gets out her pen and Bob gets the contract. "Don't worry", he says, "you can take your crypto-assets back anytime you like - just subject to our cancellation policy. Our annual management fees are also super low and we don't adjust them often". How many holes have to exist for your funds to get stolen? Just one. Why are we taking a powerful offline multi-sig setup, widely used globally in hundreds of different/lacking regulatory environments with 0 breaches to date, and circumventing it by a demonstrably weak third party layer? And paying a great expense to do so? If you go through the list of breaches in the past 2 years to highly credible organizations, you go through the list of major corporate frauds (only the ones we know about), you go through the list of all the times platforms have lost funds, you go through the list of times and ways that people have lost their crypto from identity theft, hot wallet exploits, extortion, etc... and then you go through this custodian with a fine-tooth comb and truly believe they have value to add far beyond what you could, sticking your funds in a wallet (or set of wallets) they control exclusively is the absolute worst possible way to take advantage of that security. The best way to add security for crypto-assets is to make a stronger multi-sig. With one custodian, what you are doing is giving them your cryptocurrency and hoping they're honest, competent, and flawlessly secure. It's no different than storing it on a really secure exchange. Maybe the insurance will cover you. Didn't work for Bitpay in 2015. Didn't work for Yapizon in 2017. Insurance has never paid a claim in the entire history of cryptocurrency. But maybe you'll get lucky. Maybe your exact scenario will buck the trend and be what they're willing to cover. After the large deductible and hopefully without a long and expensive court battle. And you want to advertise this increase in risk, the lapse of judgement, an accident waiting to happen, as though it's some kind of benefit to customers ("Free institutional-grade storage for your digital assets.")? And then some people are writing to the OSC that custodians should be mandatory for all funds on every exchange platform? That this somehow will make Canadians as a whole more secure or better protected compared with standard air-gapped multi-sig? On what planet? Most of the problems in Canada stemmed from one thing - a lack of transparency. If Canadians had known what a joke Quadriga was - it wouldn't have grown to lose $400m from hard-working Canadians from coast to coast to coast. And Gerald Cotten would be in jail, not wherever he is now (at best, rotting peacefully). EZ-BTC and mister Dave Smilie would have been a tiny little scam to his friends, not a multi-million dollar fraud. Einstein would have got their act together or been shut down BEFORE losing millions and millions more in people's funds generously donated to criminals. MapleChange wouldn't have even been a thing. And maybe we'd know a little more about CoinTradeNewNote - like how much was lost in there. Almost all of the major losses with cryptocurrency exchanges involve deception with unbacked funds. So it's great to see transparency reports from BitBuy and ShakePay where someone independently verified the backing. The only thing we don't have is:
ANY CERTAINTY BALANCES WEREN'T EXCLUDED. Quadriga's largest account was $70m. 80% of funds are in 20% of accounts (Pareto principle). All it takes is excluding a few really large accounts - and nobody's the wiser. A fractional platform can easily pass any audit this way.
ANY VISIBILITY WHATSOEVER INTO THE CUSTODIANS. BitBuy put out their report before moving all the funds to their custodian and ShakePay apparently can't even tell us who the custodian is. That's pretty important considering that basically all of the funds are now stored there.
ANY IDEA ABOUT THE OTHER EXCHANGES. In order for this to be effective, it has to be the norm. It needs to be "unusual" not to know. If obscurity is the norm, then it's super easy for people like Gerald Cotten and Dave Smilie to blend right in.
It's not complicated to validate cryptocurrency assets. They need to exist, they need to be spendable, and they need to cover the total balances. There are plenty of credible people and firms across the country that have the capacity to reasonably perform this validation. Having more frequent checks by different, independent, parties who publish transparent reports is far more valuable than an annual check by a single "more credible/official" party who does the exact same basic checks and may or may not publish anything. Here's an example set of requirements that could be mandated:
First report within 1 month of launching, another within 3 months, and further reports at minimum every 6 months thereafter.
No auditor can be repeated within a 12 month period.
All reports must be public, identifying the auditor and the full methodology used.
All auditors must be independent of the firm being audited with no conflict of interest.
Reports must include the percentage of each asset backed, and how it's backed.
The auditor publishes a hash list, which lists a hash of each customer's information and balances that were included. Hash is one-way encryption so privacy is fully preserved. Every customer can use this to have 100% confidence they were included.
If we want more extensive requirements on audits, these should scale upward based on the total assets at risk on the platform, and whether the platform has loaned their assets out.
There are ways to structure audits such that neither crypto assets nor customer information are ever put at risk, and both can still be properly validated and publicly verifiable. There are also ways to structure audits such that they are completely reasonable for small platforms and don't inhibit innovation in any way. By making the process as reasonable as possible, we can completely eliminate any reason/excuse that an honest platform would have for not being audited. That is arguable far more important than any incremental improvement we might get from mandating "the best of the best" accountants. Right now we have nothing mandated and tons of Canadians using offshore exchanges with no oversight whatsoever. Transparency does not prove crypto assets are safe. CoinTradeNewNote, Flexcoin ($600k), and Canadian Bitcoins ($100k) are examples where crypto-assets were breached from platforms in Canada. All of them were online wallets and used no multi-sig as far as any records show. This is consistent with what we see globally - air-gapped multi-sig wallets have an impeccable record, while other schemes tend to suffer breach after breach. We don't actually know how much CoinTrader lost because there was no visibility. Rather than publishing details of what happened, the co-founder of CoinTrader silently moved on to found another platform - the "most trusted way to buy and sell crypto" - a site that has no information whatsoever (that I could find) on the storage practices and a FAQ advising that “[t]rading cryptocurrency is completely safe” and that having your own wallet is “entirely up to you! You can certainly keep cryptocurrency, or fiat, or both, on the app.” Doesn't sound like much was learned here, which is really sad to see. It's not that complicated or unreasonable to set up a proper hardware wallet. Multi-sig can be learned in a single course. Something the equivalent complexity of a driver's license test could prevent all the cold storage exploits we've seen to date - even globally. Platform operators have a key advantage in detecting and preventing fraud - they know their customers far better than any custodian ever would. The best job that custodians can do is to find high integrity individuals and train them to form even better wallet signatories. Rather than mandating that all platforms expose themselves to arbitrary third party risks, regulations should center around ensuring that all signatories are background-checked, properly trained, and using proper procedures. We also need to make sure that signatories are empowered with rights and responsibilities to reject and report fraud. They need to know that they can safely challenge and delay a transaction - even if it turns out they made a mistake. We need to have an environment where mistakes are brought to the surface and dealt with. Not one where firms and people feel the need to hide what happened. In addition to a knowledge-based test, an auditor can privately interview each signatory to make sure they're not in coercive situations, and we should make sure they can freely and anonymously report any issues without threat of retaliation. A proper multi-sig has each signature held by a separate person and is governed by policies and mutual decisions instead of a hierarchy. It includes at least one redundant signature. For best results, 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7. History has demonstrated over and over again the risk of hot wallets even to highly credible organizations. Nonetheless, many platforms have hot wallets for convenience. While such losses are generally compensated by platforms without issue (for example Poloniex, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, Gatecoin, Coincheck, Bithumb, Zaif, CoinBene, Binance, Bitrue, Bitpoint, Upbit, VinDAX, and now KuCoin), the public tends to focus more on cases that didn't end well. Regardless of what systems are employed, there is always some level of risk. For that reason, most members of the public would prefer to see third party insurance. Rather than trying to convince third party profit-seekers to provide comprehensive insurance and then relying on an expensive and slow legal system to enforce against whatever legal loopholes they manage to find each and every time something goes wrong, insurance could be run through multiple exchange operators and regulators, with the shared interest of having a reputable industry, keeping costs down, and taking care of Canadians. For example, a 4 of 7 multi-sig insurance fund held between 5 independent exchange operators and 2 regulatory bodies. All Canadian exchanges could pay premiums at a set rate based on their needed coverage, with a higher price paid for hot wallet coverage (anything not an air-gapped multi-sig cold wallet). Such a model would be much cheaper to manage, offer better coverage, and be much more reliable to payout when needed. The kind of coverage you could have under this model is unheard of. You could even create something like the CDIC to protect Canadians who get their trading accounts hacked if they can sufficiently prove the loss is legitimate. In cases of fraud, gross negligence, or insolvency, the fund can be used to pay affected users directly (utilizing the last transparent balance report in the worst case), something which private insurance would never touch. While it's recommended to have official policies for coverage, a model where members vote would fully cover edge cases. (Could be similar to the Supreme Court where justices vote based on case law.) Such a model could fully protect all Canadians across all platforms. You can have a fiat coverage governed by legal agreements, and crypto-asset coverage governed by both multi-sig and legal agreements. It could be practical, affordable, and inclusive. Now, we are at a crossroads. We can happily give up our freedom, our innovation, and our money. We can pay hefty expenses to auditors, lawyers, and regulators year after year (and make no mistake - this cost will grow to many millions or even billions as the industry grows - and it will be borne by all Canadians on every platform because platforms are not going to eat up these costs at a loss). We can make it nearly impossible for any new platform to enter the marketplace, forcing Canadians to use the same stagnant platforms year after year. We can centralize and consolidate the entire industry into 2 or 3 big players and have everyone else fail (possibly to heavy losses of users of those platforms). And when a flawed security model doesn't work and gets breached, we can make it even more complicated with even more people in suits making big money doing the job that blockchain was supposed to do in the first place. We can build a system which is so intertwined and dependent on big government, traditional finance, and central bankers that it's future depends entirely on that of the fiat system, of fractional banking, and of government bail-outs. If we choose this path, as history has shown us over and over again, we can not go back, save for revolution. Our children and grandchildren will still be paying the consequences of what we decided today. Or, we can find solutions that work. We can maintain an open and innovative environment while making the adjustments we need to make to fully protect Canadian investors and cryptocurrency users, giving easy and affordable access to cryptocurrency for all Canadians on the platform of their choice, and creating an environment in which entrepreneurs and problem solvers can bring those solutions forward easily. None of the above precludes innovation in any way, or adds any unreasonable cost - and these three policies would demonstrably eliminate or resolve all 109 historic cases as studied here - that's every single case researched so far going back to 2011. It includes every loss that was studied so far not just in Canada but globally as well. Unfortunately, finding answers is the least challenging part. Far more challenging is to get platform operators and regulators to agree on anything. My last post got no response whatsoever, and while the OSC has told me they're happy for industry feedback, I believe my opinion alone is fairly meaningless. This takes the whole community working together to solve. So please let me know your thoughts. Please take the time to upvote and share this with people. Please - let's get this solved and not leave it up to other people to do. Facts/background/sources (skip if you like):
The inspiration for the paragraph about splitting wallets was an actual quote from a Canadian company providing custodial services in response to the OSC consultation paper: "We believe that it will be in the in best interests of investors to prohibit pooled crypto assets or ‘floats’. Most Platforms pool assets, citing reasons of practicality and expense. The recent hack of the world’s largest Platform – Binance – demonstrates the vulnerability of participants’ assets when such concessions are made. In this instance, the Platform’s entire hot wallet of Bitcoins, worth over $40 million, was stolen, facilitated in part by the pooling of client crypto assets." "the maintenance of participants (and Platform) crypto assets across multiple wallets distributes the related risk and responsibility of security - reducing the amount of insurance coverage required and making insurance coverage more readily obtainable". For the record, their reply also said nothing whatsoever about multi-sig or offline storage.
In addition to the fact that the $40m hack represented only one "hot wallet" of Binance, and they actually had the vast majority of assets in other wallets (including mostly cold wallets), multiple real cases have clearly demonstrated that risk is still present with multiple wallets. Bitfinex, VinDAX, Bithumb, Altsbit, BitPoint, Cryptopia, and just recently KuCoin all had multiple wallets breached all at the same time, and may represent a significantly larger impact on customers than the Binance breach which was fully covered by Binance. To represent that simply having multiple separate wallets under the same security scheme is a comprehensive way to reduce risk is just not true.
Private insurance has historically never covered a single loss in the cryptocurrency space (at least, not one that I was able to find), and there are notable cases where massive losses were not covered by insurance. Bitpay in 2015 and Yapizon in 2017 both had insurance policies that didn't pay out during the breach, even after a lengthly court process. The same insurance that ShakePay is presently using (and announced to much fanfare) was describe by their CEO himself as covering “physical theft of the media where the private keys are held,” which is something that has never historically happened. As was said with regard to the same policy in 2018 - “I don’t find it surprising that Lloyd’s is in this space,” said Johnson, adding that to his mind the challenge for everybody is figuring out how to structure these policies so that they are actually protective. “You can create an insurance policy that protects no one – you know there are so many caveats to the policy that it’s not super protective.”
The most profitable policy for a private insurance company is one with the most expensive premiums that they never have to pay a claim on. They have no inherent incentive to take care of people who lost funds. It's "cheaper" to take the reputational hit and fight the claim in court. The more money at stake, the more the insurance provider is incentivized to avoid payout. They're not going to insure the assets unless they have reasonable certainty to make a profit by doing so, and they're not going to pay out a massive sum unless it's legally forced. Private insurance is always structured to be maximally profitable to the insurance provider.
The circumvention of multi-sig was a key factor in the massive Bitfinex hack of over $60m of bitcoin, which today still sits being slowly used and is worth over $3b. While Bitfinex used a qualified custodian Bitgo, which was and still is active and one of the industry leaders of custodians, and they set up 2 of 3 multi-sig wallets, the entire system was routed through Bitfinex, such that Bitfinex customers could initiate the withdrawals in a "hot" fashion. This feature was also a hit with the hacker. The multi-sig was fully circumvented.
Bitpay in 2015 was another example of a breach that stole 5,000 bitcoins. This happened not through the exploit of any system in Bitpay, but because the CEO of a company they worked with got their computer hacked and the hackers were able to request multiple bitcoin purchases, which Bitpay honoured because they came from the customer's computer legitimately. Impersonation is a very common tactic used by fraudsters, and methods get more extreme all the time.
A notable case in Canada was the Canadian Bitcoins exploit. Funds were stored on a server in a Rogers Data Center, and the attendee was successfully convinced to reboot the server "in safe mode" with a simple phone call, thus bypassing the extensive security and enabling the theft.
The very nature of custodians circumvents multi-sig. This is because custodians are not just having to secure the assets against some sort of physical breach but against any form of social engineering, modification of orders, fraudulent withdrawal attempts, etc... If the security practices of signatories in a multi-sig arrangement are such that the breach risk of one signatory is 1 in 100, the requirement of 3 independent signatures makes the risk of theft 1 in 1,000,000. Since hackers tend to exploit the weakest link, a comparable custodian has to make the entry and exit points of their platform 10,000 times more secure than one of those signatories to provide equivalent protection. And if the signatories beef up their security by only 10x, the risk is now 1 in 1,000,000,000. The custodian has to be 1,000,000 times more secure. The larger and more complex a system is, the more potential vulnerabilities exist in it, and the fewer people can understand how the system works when performing upgrades. Even if a system is completely secure today, one has to also consider how that system might evolve over time or work with different members.
By contrast, offline multi-signature solutions have an extremely solid record, and in the entire history of cryptocurrency exchange incidents which I've studied (listed here), there has only been one incident (796 exchange in 2015) involving an offline multi-signature wallet. It happened because the customer's bitcoin address was modified by hackers, and the amount that was stolen ($230k) was immediately covered by the exchange operators. Basically, the platform operators were tricked into sending a legitimate withdrawal request to the wrong address because hackers exploited their platform to change that address. Such an issue would not be prevented in any way by the use of a custodian, as that custodian has no oversight whatsoever to the exchange platform. It's practical for all exchange operators to test large withdrawal transactions as a general policy, regardless of what model is used, and general best practice is to diagnose and fix such an exploit as soon as it occurs.
False promises on the backing of funds played a huge role in the downfall of Quadriga, and it's been exposed over and over again (MyCoin, PlusToken, Bitsane, Bitmarket, EZBTC, IDAX). Even today, customers have extremely limited certainty on whether their funds in exchanges are actually being backed or how they're being backed. While this issue is not unique to cryptocurrency exchanges, the complexity of the technology and the lack of any regulation or standards makes problems more widespread, and there is no "central bank" to come to the rescue as in the 2008 financial crisis or during the great depression when "9,000 banks failed".
In addition to fraudulent operations, the industry is full of cases where operators have suffered breaches and not reported them. Most recently, Einstein was the largest case in Canada, where ongoing breaches and fraud were perpetrated against the platform for multiple years and nobody found out until the platform collapsed completely. While fraud and breaches suck to deal with, they suck even more when not dealt with. Lack of visibility played a role in the largest downfalls of Mt. Gox, Cryptsy, and Bitgrail. In some cases, platforms are alleged to have suffered a hack and keep operating without admitting it at all, such as CoinBene.
It surprises some to learn that a cryptographic solution has already existed since 2013, and gained widespread support in 2014 after Mt. Gox. Proof of Reserves is a full cryptographic proof that allows any customer using an exchange to have complete certainty that their crypto-assets are fully backed by the platform in real-time. This is accomplished by proving that assets exist on the blockchain, are spendable, and fully cover customer deposits. It does not prove safety of assets or backing of fiat assets.
If we didn't care about privacy at all, a platform could publish their wallet addresses, sign a partial transaction, and put the full list of customer information and balances out publicly. Customers can each check that they are on the list, that the balances are accurate, that the total adds up, and that it's backed and spendable on the blockchain. Platforms who exclude any customer take a risk because that customer can easily check and see they were excluded. So together with all customers checking, this forms a full proof of backing of all crypto assets.
However, obviously customers care about their private information being published. Therefore, a hash of the information can be provided instead. Hash is one-way encryption. The hash allows the customer to validate inclusion (by hashing their own known information), while anyone looking at the list of hashes cannot determine the private information of any other user. All other parts of the scheme remain fully intact. A model like this is in use on the exchange CoinFloor in the UK.
A Merkle tree can provide even greater privacy. Instead of a list of balances, the balances are arranged into a binary tree. A customer starts from their node, and works their way to the top of the tree. For example, they know they have 5 BTC, they plus 1 other customer hold 7 BTC, they plus 2-3 other customers hold 17 BTC, etc... until they reach the root where all the BTC are represented. Thus, there is no way to find the balances of other individual customers aside from one unidentified customer in this case.
Proposals such as this had the backing of leaders in the community including Nic Carter, Greg Maxwell, and Zak Wilcox. Substantial and significant effort started back in 2013, with massive popularity in 2014. But what became of that effort? Very little. Exchange operators continue to refuse to give visibility. Despite the fact this information can often be obtained through trivial blockchain analysis, no Canadian platform has ever provided any wallet addresses publicly. As described by the CEO of Newton "For us to implement some kind of realtime Proof of Reserves solution, which I'm not opposed to, it would have to ... Preserve our users' privacy, as well as our own. Some kind of zero-knowledge proof". Kraken describes here in more detail why they haven't implemented such a scheme. According to professor Eli Ben-Sasson, when he spoke with exchanges, none were interested in implementing Proof of Reserves.
And yet, Kraken's places their reasoning on a page called "Proof of Reserves". More recently, both BitBuy and ShakePay have released reports titled "Proof of Reserves and Security Audit". Both reports contain disclaimers against being audits. Both reports trust the customer list provided by the platform, leaving the open possibility that multiple large accounts could have been excluded from the process. Proof of Reserves is a blockchain validation where customers see the wallets on the blockchain. The report from Kraken is 5 years old, but they leave it described as though it was just done a few weeks ago. And look at what they expect customers to do for validation. When firms represent something being "Proof of Reserve" when it's not, this is like a farmer growing fruit with pesticides and selling it in a farmers market as organic produce - except that these are people's hard-earned life savings at risk here. Platforms are misrepresenting the level of visibility in place and deceiving the public by their misuse of this term. They haven't proven anything.
Fraud isn't a problem that is unique to cryptocurrency. Fraud happens all the time. Enron, WorldCom, Nortel, Bear Stearns, Wells Fargo, Moser Baer, Wirecard, Bre-X, and Nicola are just some of the cases where frauds became large enough to become a big deal (and there are so many countless others). These all happened on 100% reversible assets despite regulations being in place. In many of these cases, the problems happened due to the over-complexity of the financial instruments. For example, Enron had "complex financial statements [which] were confusing to shareholders and analysts", creating "off-balance-sheet vehicles, complex financing structures, and deals so bewildering that few people could understand them". In cryptocurrency, we are often combining complex financial products with complex technologies and verification processes. We are naïve if we think problems like this won't happen. It is awkward and uncomfortable for many people to admit that they don't know how something works. If we want "money of the people" to work, the solutions have to be simple enough that "the people" can understand them, not so confusing that financial professionals and technology experts struggle to use or understand them.
For those who question the extent to which an organization can fool their way into a security consultancy role, HB Gary should be a great example to look at. Prior to trying to out anonymous, HB Gary was being actively hired by multiple US government agencies and others in the private sector (with glowing testimonials). The published articles and hosted professional security conferences. One should also look at this list of data breaches from the past 2 years. Many of them are large corporations, government entities, and technology companies. These are the ones we know about. Undoubtedly, there are many more that we do not know about. If HB Gary hadn't been "outted" by anonymous, would we have known they were insecure? If the same breach had happened outside of the public spotlight, would it even have been reported? Or would HB Gary have just deleted the Twitter posts, brought their site back up, done a couple patches, and kept on operating as though nothing had happened?
In the case of Quadriga, the facts are clear. Despite past experience with platforms such as MapleChange in Canada and others around the world, no guidance or even the most basic of a framework was put in place by regulators. By not clarifying any sort of legal framework, regulators enabled a situation where a platform could be run by former criminal Mike Dhanini/Omar Patryn, and where funds could be held fully unchecked by one person. At the same time, the lack of regulation deterred legitimate entities from running competing platforms and Quadriga was granted a money services business license for multiple years of operation, which gave the firm the appearance of legitimacy. Regulators did little to protect Canadians despite Quadriga failing to file taxes from 2016 onward. The entire administrative team had resigned and this was public knowledge. Many people had suspicions of what was going on, including Ryan Mueller, who forwarded complaints to the authorities. These were ignored, giving Gerald Cotten the opportunity to escape without justice.
There are multiple issues with the SOC II model including the prohibitive cost (you have to find a third party accounting firm and the prices are not even listed publicly on any sites), the requirement of operating for a year (impossible for new platforms), and lack of any public visibility (SOC II are private reports that aren't shared outside the people in suits).
Securities frameworks are expensive. Sarbanes-Oxley is estimated to cost $5.1 million USD/yr for the average Fortune 500 company in the United States. Since "Fortune 500" represents the top 500 companies, that means well over $2.55 billion USD (~$3.4 billion CAD) is going to people in suits. Isn't the problem of trust and verification the exact problem that the blockchain is supposed to solve?
To use Quadriga as justification for why custodians or SOC II or other advanced schemes are needed for platforms is rather silly, when any framework or visibility at all, or even the most basic of storage policies, would have prevented the whole thing. It's just an embarrassment.
We are now seeing regulators take strong action. CoinSquare in Canada with multi-million dollar fines. BitMex from the US, criminal charges and arrests. OkEx, with full disregard of withdrawals and no communication. Who's next?
We have a unique window today where we can solve these problems, and not permanently destroy innovation with unreasonable expectations, but we need to act quickly. This is a unique historic time that will never come again.
How To End The Cryptocurrency Exchange "Wild West" Without Crippling Innovation
In case you haven't noticed the consultation paper, staff notice, and report on Quadriga, regulators are now clamping down on Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges. The OSC and other regulatory bodies are still interested in industry feedback. They have not put forward any official regulation yet. Below are some ideas/insights and a proposed framework.
Typical securities frameworks will cost Canadians millions of dollars (ie Sarbanes-Oxley estimated at $5m USD/yr per firm). Implementation costs of this proposal are significantly cheaper.
Canadians can maintain a diverse set of exchanges, multiple viable business models are still fully supported, and innovation is encouraged while keeping Canadians safe.
Many of you have limited time to read the full proposal, so here are the highlights:
Effective standards to prevent both internal and external theft. Exchange operators are trained and certified, and have a legal responsibility to users.
Regular Transparent Audits
Provides visibility to Canadians that their funds are fully backed on the exchange, while protecting privacy and sensitive platform information.
Establishment of basic insurance standards/strategy, to expand over time. Removing risk to exchange users of any hot wallet theft.
Background and Justifications
Cold Storage Custody/Management After reviewing close to 100 cases, all thefts tend to break down into more or less the same set of problems: • Funds stored online or in a smart contract, • Access controlled by one person or one system, • 51% attacks (rare), • Funds sent to the wrong address (also rare), or • Some combination of the above. For the first two cases, practical solutions exist and are widely implemented on exchanges already. Offline multi-signature solutions are already industry standard. No cases studied found an external theft or exit scam involving an offline multi-signature wallet implementation. Security can be further improved through minimum numbers of signatories, background checks, providing autonomy and legal protections to each signatory, establishing best practices, and a training/certification program. The last two transaction risks occur more rarely, and have never resulted in a loss affecting the actual users of the exchange. In all cases to date where operators made the mistake, they've been fully covered by the exchange platforms. • 51% attacks generally only occur on blockchains with less security. The most prominent cases have been Bitcoin Gold and Ethereum Classic. The simple solution is to enforce deposit limits and block delays such that a 51% attack is not cost-effective. • The risk of transactions to incorrect addresses can be eliminated by a simple test transaction policy on large transactions. By sending a small amount of funds prior to any large withdrawals/transfers as a standard practice, the accuracy of the wallet address can be validated. The proposal covers all loss cases and goes beyond, while avoiding significant additional costs, risks, and limitations which may be associated with other frameworks like SOC II. On The Subject of Third Party Custodians Many Canadian platforms are currently experimenting with third party custody. From the standpoint of the exchange operator, they can liberate themselves from some responsibility of custody, passing that off to someone else. For regulators, it puts crypto in similar categorization to oil, gold, and other commodities, with some common standards. Platform users would likely feel greater confidence if the custodian was a brand they recognized. If the custodian was knowledgeable and had a decent team that employed multi-sig, they could keep assets safe from internal theft. With the right protections in place, this could be a great solution for many exchanges, particularly those that lack the relevant experience or human resources for their own custody systems. However, this system is vulnerable to anyone able to impersonate the exchange operators. You may have a situation where different employees who don't know each other that well are interacting between different companies (both the custodian and all their customers which presumably isn't just one exchange). A case study of what can go wrong in this type of environment might be Bitpay, where the CEO was tricked out of 5000 bitcoins over 3 separate payments by a series of emails sent legitimately from a breached computer of another company CEO. It's also still vulnerable to the platform being compromised, as in the really large $70M Bitfinex hack, where the third party Bitgo held one key in a multi-sig wallet. The hacker simply authorized the withdrawal using the same credentials as Bitfinex (requesting Bitgo to sign multiple withdrawal transactions). This succeeded even with the use of multi-sig and two heavily security-focused companies, due to the lack of human oversight (basically, hot wallet). Of course, you can learn from these cases and improve the security, but so can hackers improve their deception and at the end of the day, both of these would have been stopped by the much simpler solution of a qualified team who knew each other and employed multi-sig with properly protected keys. It's pretty hard to beat a human being who knows the business and the typical customer behaviour (or even knows their customers personally) at spotting fraud, and the proposed multi-sig means any hacker has to get through the scrutiny of 3 (or more) separate people, all of whom would have proper training including historical case studies. There are strong arguments both for and against using use of third party custodians. The proposal sets mandatory minimum custody standards would apply regardless if the cold wallet signatories are exchange operators, independent custodians, or a mix of both. On The Subject Of Insurance ShakePay has taken the first steps into this new realm (congratulations). There is no question that crypto users could be better protected by the right insurance policies, and it certainly feels better to transact with insured platforms. The steps required to obtain insurance generally place attention in valuable security areas, and in this case included a review from CipherTrace. One of the key solutions in traditional finance comes from insurance from entities such as the CDIC. However, historically, there wasn't found any actual insurance payout to any cryptocurrency exchange, and there are notable cases where insurance has not paid. With Bitpay, for example, the insurance agent refused because the issue happened to the third party CEO's computer instead of anything to do with Bitpay itself. With the Youbit exchange in South Korea, their insurance claim was denied, and the exchange ultimately ended up instead going bankrupt with all user's funds lost. To quote Matt Johnson in the original Lloyd's article: “You can create an insurance policy that protects no one – you know there are so many caveats to the policy that it’s not super protective.” ShakePay's insurance was only reported to cover their cold storage, and “physical theft of the media where the private keys are held”. Physical theft has never, in the history of cryptocurrency exchange cases reviewed, been reported as the cause of loss. From the limited information of the article, ShakePay made it clear their funds are in the hands of a single US custodian, and at least part of their security strategy is to "decline to confirm the custodian’s name on the record". While this prevents scrutiny of the custodian, it's pretty silly to speculate that a reasonably competent hacking group couldn't determine who the custodian is. A far more common infiltration strategy historically would be social engineering, which has succeeded repeatedly. A hacker could trick their way into ShakePay's systems and request a fraudulent withdrawal, impersonate ShakePay and request the custodian to move funds, or socially engineer their way into the custodian to initiate the withdrawal of multiple accounts (a payout much larger than ShakePay) exploiting the standard procedures (for example, fraudulently initiating or override the wallet addresses of a real transfer). In each case, nothing was physically stolen and the loss is therefore not covered by insurance. In order for any insurance to be effective, clear policies have to be established about what needs to be covered. Anything short of that gives Canadians false confidence that they are protected when they aren't in any meaningful way. At this time, the third party insurance market does not appear to provide adequate options or coverage, and effort is necessary to standardize custody standards, which is a likely first step in ultimately setting up an insurance framework. A better solution compared to third party insurance providers might be for Canadian exchange operators to create their own collective insurance fund, or a specific federal organization similar to the CDIC. Such an organization would have a greater interest or obligation in paying out actual cases, and that would be it's purpose rather than maximizing it's own profit. This would be similar to the SAFU which Binance has launched, except it would cover multiple exchanges. There is little question whether the SAFU would pay out given a breach of Binance, and a similar argument could be made for a insurance fund managed by a collective of exchange operators or a government organization. While a third party insurance provider has the strong market incentive to provide the absolute minimum coverage and no market incentive to payout, an entity managed by exchange operators would have incentive to protect the reputation of exchange operators/the industry, and the government should have the interest of protecting Canadians. On The Subject of Fractional Reserve There is a long history of fractional reserve failures, from the first banks in ancient times, through the great depression (where hundreds of fractional reserve banks failed), right through to the 2008 banking collapse referenced in the first bitcoin block. The fractional reserve system allows banks to multiply the money supply far beyond the actual cash (or other assets) in existence, backed only by a system of debt obligations of others. Safely supporting a fractional reserve system is a topic of far greater complexity than can be addressed by a simple policy, and when it comes to cryptocurrency, there is presently no entity reasonably able to bail anyone out in the event of failure. Therefore, this framework is addressed around entities that aim to maintain 100% backing of funds. There may be some firms that desire but have failed to maintain 100% backing. In this case, there are multiple solutions, including outside investment, merging with other exchanges, or enforcing a gradual restoration plan. All of these solutions are typically far better than shutting down the exchange, and there are multiple cases where they've been used successfully in the past. Proof of Reserves/Transparency/Accountability Canadians need to have visibility into the backing on an ongoing basis. The best solution for crypto-assets is a Proof of Reserve. Such ideas go back all the way to 2013, before even Mt. Gox. However, no Canadian exchange has yet implemented such a system, and only a few international exchanges (CoinFloor in the UK being an example) have. Many firms like Kraken, BitBuy, and now ShakePay use the Proof of Reserve term to refer to lesser proofs which do not actually cryptographically prove the full backing of all user assets on the blockchain. In order for a Proof of Reserve to be effective, it must actually be a complete proof, and it needs to be understood by the public that is expected to use it. Many firms have expressed reservations about the level of transparency required in a complete Proof of Reserve (for example Kraken here). While a complete Proof of Reserves should be encouraged, and there are some solutions in the works (ie TxQuick), this is unlikely to be suitable universally for all exchange operators and users. Given the limitations, and that firms also manage fiat assets, a more traditional audit process makes more sense. Some Canadian exchanges (CoinSquare, CoinBerry) have already subjected themselves to annual audits. However, these results are not presently shared publicly, and there is no guarantee over the process including all user assets or the integrity and independence of the auditor. The auditor has been typically not known, and in some cases, the identity of the auditor is protected by a NDA. Only in one case (BitBuy) was an actual report generated and publicly shared. There has been no attempt made to validate that user accounts provided during these audits have been complete or accurate. A fraudulent fractional exchange, or one which had suffered a breach they were unwilling to publicly accept (see CoinBene), could easily maintain a second set of books for auditors or simply exclude key accounts to pass an individual audit. The proposed solution would see a reporting standard which includes at a minimum - percentage of backing for each asset relative to account balances and the nature of how those assets are stored, with ownership proven by the auditor. The auditor would also publicly provide a "hash list", which they independently generate from the accounts provided by the exchange. Every exchange user can then check their information against this public "hash list". A hash is a one-way form of encryption, which fully protects the private information, yet allows anyone who knows that information already to validate that it was included. Less experienced users can take advantage of public tools to calculate the hash from their information (provided by the exchange), and thus have certainty that the auditor received their full balance information. Easy instructions can be provided. Auditors should be impartial, their identities and process public, and they should be rotated so that the same auditor is never used twice in a row. Balancing the cost of auditing against the needs for regular updates, a 6 month cycle likely makes the most sense. Hot Wallet Management The best solution for hot wallets is not to use them. CoinBerry reportedly uses multi-sig on all withdrawals, and Bitmex is an international example known for their structure devoid of hot wallets. However, many platforms and customers desire fast withdrawal processes, and human validation has a cost of time and delay in this process. A model of self-insurance or separate funds for hot wallets may be used in these cases. Under this model, a platform still has 100% of their client balance in cold storage and holds additional funds in hot wallets for quick withdrawal. Thus, the risk of those hot wallets is 100% on exchange operators and not affecting the exchange users. Since most platforms typically only have 1%-5% in hot wallets at any given time, it shouldn't be unreasonable to build/maintain these additional reserves over time using exchange fees or additional investment. Larger withdrawals would still be handled at regular intervals from the cold storage. Hot wallet risks have historically posed a large risk and there is no established standard to guarantee secure hot wallets. When the government of South Korea dispatched security inspections to multiple exchanges, the results were still that 3 of them got hacked after the inspections. If standards develop such that an organization in the market is willing to insure the hot wallets, this could provide an acceptable alternative. Another option may be for multiple exchange operators to pool funds aside for a hot wallet insurance fund. Comprehensive coverage standards must be established and maintained for all hot wallet balances to make sure Canadians are adequately protected.
Current Draft Proposal
(1) Proper multi-signature cold wallet storage. (a) Each private key is the personal and legal responsibility of one person - the “signatory”. Signatories have special rights and responsibilities to protect user assets. Signatories are trained and certified through a course covering (1) past hacking and fraud cases, (2) proper and secure key generation, and (3) proper safekeeping of private keys. All private keys must be generated and stored 100% offline by the signatory. If even one private keys is ever breached or suspected to be breached, the wallet must be regenerated and all funds relocated to a new wallet. (b) All signatories must be separate background-checked individuals free of past criminal conviction. Canadians should have a right to know who holds their funds. All signing of transactions must take place with all signatories on Canadian soil or on the soil of a country with a solid legal system which agrees to uphold and support these rules (from an established white-list of countries which expands over time). (c) 3-5 independent signatures are required for any withdrawal. There must be 1-3 spare signatories, and a maximum of 7 total signatories. The following are all valid combinations: 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7. (d) A security audit should be conducted to validate the cold wallet is set up correctly and provide any additional pertinent information. The primary purpose is to ensure that all signatories are acting independently and using best practices for private key storage. A report summarizing all steps taken and who did the audit will be made public. Canadians must be able to validate the right measures are in place to protect their funds. (e) There is a simple approval process if signatories wish to visit any country outside Canada, with a potential whitelist of exempt countries. At most 2 signatories can be outside of aligned jurisdiction at any given time. All exchanges would be required to keep a compliant cold wallet for Canadian funds and have a Canadian office if they wish to serve Canadian customers. (2) Regular and transparent solvency audits. (a) An audit must be conducted at founding, after 3 months of operation, and at least once every 6 months to compare customer balances against all stored cryptocurrency and fiat balances. The auditor must be known, independent, and never the same twice in a row. (b) An audit report will be published featuring the steps conducted in a readable format. This should be made available to all Canadians on the exchange website and on a government website. The report must include what percentage of each customer asset is backed on the exchange, and how those funds are stored. (c) The auditor will independently produce a hash of each customer's identifying information and balance as they perform the audit. This will be made publicly available on the exchange and government website, along with simplified instructions that each customer can use to verify that their balance was included in the audit process. (d) The audit needs to include a proof of ownership for any cryptocurrency wallets included. A satoshi test (spending a small amount) or partially signed transaction both qualify. (e) Any platform without 100% reserves should be assessed on a regular basis by a government or industry watchdog. This entity should work to prevent any further drop, support any private investor to come in, or facilitate a merger so that 100% backing can be obtained as soon as possible. (3) Protections for hot wallets and transactions. (a) A standardized list of approved coins and procedures will be established to constitute valid cold storage wallets. Where a multi-sig process is not natively available, efforts will be undertaken to establish a suitable and stable smart contract standard. This list will be expanded and improved over time. Coins and procedures not on the list are considered hot wallets. (b) Hot wallets can be backed by additional funds in cold storage or an acceptable third-party insurance provider with a comprehensive coverage policy. (c) Exchanges are required to cover the full balance of all user funds as denominated in the same currency, or double the balance as denominated in bitcoin or CAD using an established trading rate. If the balance is ever insufficient due to market movements, the firm must rectify this within 24 hours by moving assets to cold storage or increasing insurance coverage. (d) Any large transactions (above a set threshold) from cold storage to any new wallet addresses (not previously transacted with) must be tested with a smaller transaction first. Deposits of cryptocurrency must be limited to prevent economic 51% attacks. Any issues are to be covered by the exchange. (e) Exchange platforms must provide suitable authentication for users, including making available approved forms of two-factor authentication. SMS-based authentication is not to be supported. Withdrawals must be blocked for 48 hours in the event of any account password change. Disputes on the negligence of exchanges should be governed by case law.
Continued review of existing OSC feedback is still underway. More feedback and opinions on the framework and ideas as presented here are extremely valuable. The above is a draft and not finalized. The process of further developing and bringing a suitable framework to protect Canadians will require the support of exchange operators, legal experts, and many others in the community. The costs of not doing such are tremendous. A large and convoluted framework, one based on flawed ideas or implementation, or one which fails to properly safeguard Canadians is not just extremely expensive and risky for all Canadians, severely limiting to the credibility and reputation of the industry, but an existential risk to many exchanges. The responsibility falls to all of us to provide our insight and make our opinions heard on this critical matter. Please take the time to give your thoughts.
Multicurrency Wallet DEXs will be the standard of the 2020s. The present status quo is an absolute joke.
Before I begin, I'd like to ask you a question. Why are so many of the most established people in crypto among the most closed-minded when it comes to talking about new ideas? Why is the crypto space more concerned with what a clown from Australia is lying about or petty figurehead drama than the hard work and effort of the good and lesser-known among them? Let's talk about altcoins for a minute. It'd be a very tough job to count every single alt that's come in on a hypetrain and died in obscurity. If I were to guess that 95% of them failed, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that it was a conservative estimate and that the number is even higher. Indeed, it would be much easier to count the exceptions to the rule. To name a few - ETH, LTC, XMR, and (quite amusingly) DOGE. Should the stubbornly high failure rate of alts justify writing them all off as garbage? Businesses have an incredibly high failure rate too. It would be foolish - outright silly, even - to say that the grocery store is a fraud and a scam because the aqua-saxophone jazzercise laundromat failed to live up to it's expectations. Maybe not, because this is exactly the way the crypto space is right now. That line of thinking is the de facto standard in the cryptocurrency space right now - "guilty (of being a shitcoin) until proven innocent (by some central authority figure or big exchange who can validate it for us so we don't have to do it ourselves)". To be fair, there was an aggressive torrent of these "goofy laundromats" in 2017 and people are either hungover or shell-shocked from all the broken pipedreams and costly fiction. You'd think that the titans of this industry, particularly those who care more about the cypherpunk essence of Bitcoin than how rich they can get off of it, would be more receptive to the legitimate projects that are working in obscurity to harden the crypto space and it's infrastructure. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case. All too many seem to think that everything that needed to be built has already been built. Considering that all the Bitcoin titans are somewhat newly-minted, the irony is remarkable. No one used to take Bitcoin seriously. The further back in time you go, the more it took lonely effort and independent research to truly grasp its ideas. This is still the case today. Most have heard of it but have no idea what it is or why it's important. Many who are fervently in PMs or traditional investments like stocks and bonds continue to deride it, even though it will go down as the best performing asset of the 2010s by far. Others are a little more aggressive and, despite a lack of knowledge, call it anything from a scam to "rat poison squared". Like anything else, it's foolish to make bold claims atop little to no education. You'd think that treatment would make Bitcoin maximalists do some reflecting. Instead, a sizable number of them decided to emulate the ones who beat up on Bitcoin when it was small and irrelevant. "All you need is Bitcoin. Everything else is trash. I know what I'm talking about because I bought the top of the 2013 bubble and I'm probably immune to future dumps for life". Now let's talk about where cryptocurrency infrastructure falls short. Bitcoin still retains the same cypherpunk essence that it's always had. The same can be said for Bitcoin wallets. They're secure. They allow for anonymous transactions. They run on an immutable blockchain. There is no central authority between a key-holder and their funds. Enter the exchanges. In a way, they were a necessary evil. Without them, adoption would be severely throttled. With them, Bitcoin is compromised. For many, the privacy and anonymity that BTC is supposed to offers has been tossed out. It was the only way it could be retrofitted into a tightly-controlled system that demands KYC. While this has helped to spread adoption, Bitcoin has become more and more traceable. Quite ironically, many of these same exchanges that adopted KYC policies to "ensure accountability from their customers" had no trouble exit scamming. They come and go. The old one gets hacked, or it exit scams, or proves itself to be corrupt and suspicious. A new one comes. This time it will be different. Then the cycle repeats itself. Mt. Gox. Bitfinex. Polo. Bittrex. Binance. They all had their time in the Sun. These exchanges are in many ways the antithesis of the cypherpunk manifesto - vulnerable honeypots directly controlled by a centralized figurehead. Unsurprisingly, they cause a lot of unneeded trouble and give Bitcoin a ton of bad publicity. Example:
Me: "What do you think of Bitcoin?" Co-worker: "Didn't that thing get hacked last week?" Me: "Bitcoin didn't, but a place where it was exchanged was." Co-worker: "I don't trust it. It's only a matter of time til they find out how to type in some numbers to make more show up on a screen blah blah blah."
You've all likely met someone like this and brushed them off as closed-mined, but they're exactly the type of person this industry needs to convince to further adoption. It will be next to impossible to do so with the way things are right now. In order for Bitcoin to survive, it needs exchanges that are built to the same code that it was. The solution, therefore, is to "port" the cypherpunk essence of Bitcoin to the exchanges. Immutability. Anonymity. Privacy. No central authority of figurehead. With all that said, let's talk about DEXs. I started a thread on here a few months back when Binance announced that they were giving Americans the boot. I got a ton of answers. It shows that, among the hardcore at least, there is a desire to go in a new direction. Loopring, IDEX, and Bisq were among the more popular choices. It's a step in the right direction. However, these DEXs are still rather inaccessible - especially to outsiders. Performance wise, they're on the slower side of things. Due to these setbacks, they suffer from low volume. This is where some recent developments in multicurrency wallets with embedded DEXs from lesser-known projects will come out of obscurity and catch everyone by surprise. Among them - I'd like to mention Stakenet Wallet and KMD's Atomic DEX. Both of them, now seemingly weeks away from launch, will allow for atomic swaps between a wide variety of coins directly from a private wallet. Stakenet goes a step further by offering atomic swaps running atop Lightning Network. Why does this matter? These two platforms will be to exchanges what the inception of Bitcoin was to currency. Finally, after almost 9 years, Bitcoin not only has an exchange that truly honors its essence, but it's starting to see healthy competition between them. To elaborate further on why this is very important.. No KYC. No accounts. No sending Bitcoin to an exchange and waiting around for it to show up. No downloading multiple wallets. No exchange figureheads. No withdrawal freezes. In Stakenet's case, the decentralized MN network that runs it's DEX will also act as a massive LN payment processor (routing, watchtowers) that provides a ton of liquidity for it while allowing Bitcoin to scale. "Lightning swaps" will provide every LN-based coin the ability to be instantly swapped to purchase anything in BTC. Stakenet will also feature a DEX aggregator that will pool together the orderbooks of numerous DEXs into one easily-accessible spot, boosting traffic to the many DEXs that are harder to reach and furthering their adoption along. Simply download a wallet like you would any other app and you're ready to get started. It's so much easier and more convenient. I don't see how or why CEXs and all their ilk (figurehead drama, geoblocking, exchange hacks, wash trading, currency manipulation, exit scams, etc) could remain relevant in the environment to come. Regulation will not save us. Decentralization will. As long as one person learned something from this, it was all worth it. I welcome the opinions of everyone in this space.
Growth of BTC Millionaires Now Matches Bitcoin’s Early Years: New Data
The number of Bitcoin (BTC) addresses containing more than 1,000 BTC ($8.3 million) is growing at the same pace in 2019 as before 2014, new data shows.
Woo “super bullish” on wallet trend
Uploaded to social media by Bitcoin statistician Willy Woo on Oct. 11, a chart of Bitcoin address growth by balance shows the network is now repeating a trend from its earliest years. https://preview.redd.it/87ak0ot1sjs31.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=adef11f876694b167d49649b75d505033744ba6d Source: charts.woobull.com “The rate of growth of 1000BTC addresses now matches the early growth in Bitcoin's network,” he summarized. Woo was expanding on original data from blockchain analysis resource Glassnode. According to him, fresh desire for major Bitcoin balances at vastly higher prices than five years ago speaks to wealthier individuals coming into the space. If those generating addresses with over 1,000 BTC at that time were doing so out of technical curiosity, the incentives in 2019 are purely financial. Woo concluded:
“IMO we're likely in a new renaissance of Bitcoin, this one is powered by capital influx of high net worth investors, while the early one was from the tech savvy who were bootstrapping the network. Super Bullish.”
Bitcoin rich list highs
The data suggests the trajectory of balances topping 1,000 BTC picked up at the start of 2019 after a period of flat growth, which began in late 2013 just prior to the implosion of major exchange, Mt. Gox. As Cointelegraph reported last month, the number of addresses containing more than $100,000 has also hit an all-time high. At press time, 3,070 address held more than 1,000 BTC each, representing just 0.01% of the total, according to BitInfoCharts’ Bitcoin Rich List. It should also be noted that many of the richest addresses — specifically the top four — belong to exchanges such as Binance, which hold Bitcoins belonging to millions of users.
Daily analysis of cryptocurrencies 20191026 (Market index 53 — Neutral state)
https://preview.redd.it/xj2wp250wuu31.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=d3073dd2fc0ce4e69fcdcf8452d793d47ab66af7 Chinese Encryption Law To Come Into Force Next January China has passed the Encryption Law during the 14th session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) on Oct 26, which will take effect on January 1, 2020. Libra’s Threat To Central Banks Raises Questions About Its Launch According to AMBCrypto, Beatrice Weder di Mauro, President of the Centre for Economic Policy Research, is the latest think-tank professional to shed some light on Libra’s positive impact. In a recent interview with CNBC, di Mauro admitted that Libra may not receive a green light from lawmakers, adding that it had however managed to sow the seed for the introduction of another global digital currency. YI Huanhuan: There Will Be National-Level Digital Bank, Digital Asset Exchange, Digital Investment Bank And Digital Asset Management Services Beijing Financial Association Research Institute Dean Yi Huanhuan commented on this politburo study session. YI has made nine predictions on governments’ action and industrial trend based on XI’s remarks. 1. The Cyberspace Administration will likely oversee this [blockchain] field; 2. To establish a national association of blockchain; 3. A large number of blockchain pilots will appear first in the financial industry, and then in government administrations; 4. Chinese national digital currency will play an important role in the world; 5. There will be state level digital banks, digital asset exchanges, digital investment banks and digital asset management; 6. The global blockchain network standards are likely to be set by China; 7. China will generate a large number of world-class leaders, entrepreneurs, and scholars in blockchain; 8. The performance of blockchain will be improved significantly in the next three to five years; 9. Mathematics, cryptography, and computational theory will become the most popular subjects. Former Deputy Of BOC Governor: China has high blockchain visions, but should be careful with the trading risks and speculations Former Deputy Governor Of Bank Of China WANG Yongli shared his thought with CoinNess that China shows its ambition of establishing a leading global position in blockchain by researching and developing blockchain technology and applications. However, the blockchain technology is on an initial development stage. He urges investors to be careful with the trading risks and speculations as the definition of blockchain hasn’t been clarified, and there are existing issues like “decentralisation, security, high energy consumption” to be solved. Video Lessons Targeting Blockchain Technology Go Live On CCPPD’s Platform Following the news that XI Jinping, Chinese President and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, addressed the importance of blockchain in making technological breakthroughs at the eighteenth group learning event organized by the Political Bureau of the Central Committee Oct 24, the Xuexi.cn platform led by the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, or CCPPD, announced Oct 26 the launch of the video lessons targeting the blockchain technology. The videos with a total of 25 lessons mainly include the preliminary introduction to the blockchain technology, the consensus agreement, Bitcoin, Ethereum and smart contracts, blockchain performance improvement, blockchain security, the basic knowledge of big data, in-depth analysis of blockchain instances, as well as the concrete programming code examples.
Encrypted project calendar（October 26, 2019）
KAT/Kambria:Kambria (KAT) Kambria will host the 2019 Southern California Artificial Intelligence and Data Science Conference in Los Angeles on October 26th with IDEAS.BTC/Bitcoin:CoinAgenda Global Summit will be held in Las Vegas from October 26th to 28thHorizen (ZEN):26 October 2019 (or earlier) ZEN 2.0.19 Upgrade Zen 2.0.19 upgrade at block #610000, which is expected around October 26.IOTA (MIOTA):26 October 2019 Taipei Workshop “Sam Chen, our Software Engineer, will explain how to use IOTA C Client library & will demonstrate 3 IoT projects running on ESP32 at…”Streamr DATAcoin (DATA):26 October 2019 Data Union Demonstration “This Saturday, Streamr will hold the first demonstration of data unions, with a community built plugin for users to crowdsell…”
Encrypted project calendar（October 27, 2019）
ICON (ICX):27 October 2019 Money 20/20 USA Event Money 20/20 USA in Las Vegas from October 27–30.Aeternity (AE):and 5 others 27 October 2019 CoinAgenda ConferenceCoinAgenda conference in Las Vegas from October 26–28.
Encrypted project calendar（October 28, 2019）
LTC/Litecoin:Litecoin (LTC) 2019 Litecoin Summit will be held from October 28th to October 29th in Las Vegas, USABTC/Bitcoin:Mt.Gox changes the debt compensation plan submission deadline to October 28ZEC/Zcash:Zcash (ZEC) will activate the Blossom Agreement on October 28thStellar (XLM):28 October 2019 Protocol 12 Upgrade Vote Horizon v0.22.0 has been released, which supports Protocol 12. This gives everyone ample time to prepare for the Protocol 12 upgrade voteCelsius (CEL)and 3 others: 28 October 2019 Litecoin Summit “…The Litecoin Summit offers two fun, jam-packed days with something for everyone.”XFOC (XFOC):The IDAX platform will be online XFOC and will open the XFOC/USDT trading pair at 13:00 on October 28.MEDIUM (MDM):The IDAX platform lists MDM and will open MDM/BTC trading pairs on October 28th at 15:00.ZB/ ZB Blockchain:The “2019 Hamburg Intercontinental Dialogue Conference” hosted by ZB.com will be held from October 28th to November 9th at the Four Seasons Hotel Hamburg, Germany.BQT (BQTX)：28 October 2019 Down for Maintenance BQTX.com will be down for maintenance on the 28th of October from 7 to 12am UTC.
Encrypted project calendar（October 29, 2019）
BTC/Bitcoin:The 2nd World Encryption Conference (WCC) will be held in Las Vegas from October 29th to 31st.ICON (ICX):29 October 2019 Decentralization “As a result, the decentralization schedule of the ICON Network has been changed from September 24, 2019 to October 29, 2019.”Ark (ARK):and 10 others 29 October 2019 WCC 2019 Second annual Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Technology event, World Crypto Conference (WCC), October 29th — October 31, 2019.Insifa (ISF):29 October 2019 Prototype Alpha “We from Insifa have decided to be more open. Our Prototype will be developed in scrum. This means new releases every two weeks.”Enjin Coin (ENJ):29 October 2019 EnjinCraft Stress Test “Join us Oct. 29 at 7:00pm GMT for a stress test. Let’s try to break #EnjinCraft!”IOTA (MIOTA):29 October 2019 IOTSWC Barcelona IOT Solutions World Congress Digitalizing Industries conference in Barcelona from October 29–31.
Encrypted project calendar（October 30, 2019）
MIOTA/IOTA:IOTA (MIOTA) IOTA will host a community event on October 30th at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles on the topic “How to store data on IOTA Tangle.”TRON (TRX):30 October 2019 SFBW19 Afterparty “TRON Official SFBW19 Afterparty from 7–10:30 PM in San Francisco.”Horizen (ZEN):30 October 2019 Horizen Quarterly Update Join our first Quarterly Update on October the 30th at 5 PM UTC/ 1 PM EST. Deeper look into Engineering, BD, Marketing, and more.Aeternity (AE):30 October 2019 Hardfork “The third hardfork of the æternity Mainnet is scheduled for October 30, 2019.”Valor Token (VALOR):30 October 2019 Transaction Fees Resume “It’s September and the SMART VALOR Platform is still waiving transaction fees for all members, until October 30th!”Aragon (ANT):30 October 2019 Singapore Meetup “Aragon on DAOs and DeFi” from 6:30–8:30 PM.Kambria (KAT):30 October 2019 Outliers Hashed Awards Outliers Hashed awards from October 30–31.Ethereum Classic (ETC):30 October 2019 Cohort Demo Day “ETC Labs hosts it’s 2nd Cohort Demo Day. Learn about the companies and project being accelerated through the Ethereum Classic ecosystem.”
Encrypted project calendar（October 31, 2019）
Spendcoin (SPND):31 October 2019 (or earlier) Cross Ledger Mainnet “Cross Ledger Mainnet Release and SPND Token Swap,” during October 2019.Spendcoin (SPND):31 October 2019 (or earlier) Blkchn University Beta “Blockchain University Beta goes live,” during October 2019.Stellar (XLM):31 October 2019 (or earlier) Minor Release “We will have 6 Minor Releases in 2019; one each in February, March, May, June, August, and October.”Bitcoin SV (BSV):31 October 2019 (or earlier) BSV Conference Seoul No additional information.Seele (SEELE):31 October 2019 (or earlier) Public Network Mainne launch has been moved to Oct 31 .Howdoo (UDOO):31 October 2019 (or earlier) Howdoo Live on Huawei Howdoo begins its exciting partnership with Huawei with listing as a featured app starting in October.Chiliz (CHZ):31 October 2019 (or earlier) App Soft Launch Soft launch of Socios App by end of October.Dent (DENT):31 October 2019 (or earlier) Loyalty Program “Afterburner loyalty program launch for all 21,6 Million mobile #DENT users will be in October!”IceChain (ICHX):31 October 2019 (or earlier) Wallet Release IceChain releases wallet during October.Chiliz (CHZ):31 October 2019 (or earlier) New Partnerships New sports and new teams joining Socios (+more updates and events) will be announced in the upcoming weeks.Horizen (ZEN):31 October 2019 Weekly Insider Team updates at 3:30 PM UTC/ 11:30 AM EDT: Engineering, Node network, Product/UX, Helpdesk, Legal, BD, Marketing, CEO Closing thoughts, AMA.PCHAIN (PI):31 October 2019 (or earlier) New Website No additional information.IOST (IOST):31 October 2019 (or earlier) New Game on IOST “Eternal Fafnir, a new role-playing game developed by INFUN is coming to you in Oct.”Achain (ACT)：31 October 2019 Mainnet 2.0 Launch “… The main network is officially scheduled to launch on October 31.”Mithril (MITH)：31 October 2019 Burn “MITH burn will take place on 2019/10/31 2pm UTC+8. “Aergo (AERGO)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) Aergo Lite V1.0 Release AergoLite, which brings blockchain compatibility to billions of devices using SQLite, released during October 2019.TE-FOOD (TFD)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) Complementary Product “Development of a new, complementary product with a new partner, which we hope to be launched in September-October.”Edge (DADI)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) Full Open Source Code base for the network fully open-sourced in September or October.BlockStamp (BST)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) ASIC Miner Prototype In orderr to ensure BlockStamps continued decentralization, we will release a BST ASIC miner for testing.Perlin (PERL)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) SSA Partnership “Perlin has partnered with the Singapore Shipping Association to create the International E-Registry of Ships (IERS)”Skrumble Network (SKM)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) Exchange Release “3rd dApp: Exchange Release,” during October 2019.EDC Blockchain (EDC)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) Blockchain Marketplace “As you already know, our ECRO blockchain marketplace is ready for release, and will open to the global community in October!”BlockStamp (BST)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) ASIC Miner Prototype In orderr to ensure BlockStamps continued decentralization, we will release a BST ASIC miner for testing.XinFin Network (XDCE)：31 October 2019 Homebloc Webinar “XinFin — Homebloc Webinar 2019” from 9–10 PM.Akropolis (AKRO)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) Alpha Release “Delivers the initial mainnet implementation of protocol. All building blocks will be united to one product.”Hyperion (HYN)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) Economic Model The final version of the HYN Economic Model launches in October.
Encrypted project calendar（November 1, 2019）
INS/Insolar:The Insolar (INS) Insolar wallet and the redesigned Insolar Block Explorer will be operational on November 1, 2019.VeChain (VET)：”01 November 2019 BUIDLer Reunion Party BUIDLer Reunion Party in San Francisco from 8–11 PM.uPlexa (UPX)：01 November 2019 Steadfast Storm — PoS/PoW split (Utility nodes ie. master nodes) — Upcoming Anonymity Network much like TOR — Privacy-based DApps — Reduced network fees.Enjin Coin (ENJ)：01 November 2019 MFT Binding “ICYMI: On Enjin Coin’s 2nd anniversary (November 1), Enjin MFTs will be bound to hodlers’ blockchain addresses…”Auxilium (AUX)：01 November 2019 AUX Interest Distribution Monthly interest distribution by Auxilium Interest Distribution Platform for coinholders. Also supports charity.Havy (HAVY)：01 November 2019 Token Buyback “Havy tokens buyback, Only in 1 exchange between Idex, Mercatox & Hotbit. The exchange depends on the most lower sell wall.”Egretia (EGT):01 November 2019 Global DApp Contest SF 2019 Egretia Global DApp Contest in San Francisco.
Encrypted project calendar（November 2, 2019）
Kambria (KAT)：02 November 2019 VietAI Summit 2019 Kambria joins forces with VietAI for the annual VietAI Summit, with top experts from Google Brain, NVIDIA, Kambria, VietAI, and more!
Encrypted project calendar（November 4, 2019）
Stellar (XLM)：04 November 2019 Stellar Meridian Conf. Stellar Meridian conference from Nov 4–5 in Mexico City.Cappasity (CAPP)：04 November 2019 Lisbon Web Summit Lisbon Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal from November 4–7.
Encrypted project calendar（November 5, 2019）
Nexus (NXS)：05 November 2019 Tritium Official Release “Remember, Remember the 5th of November, the day Tritium changed Distributed Ledger. Yes, this is an official release date.”NEM (XEM)：05 November 2019 Innovation Forum — Kyiv NEM Foundation Council Member Anton Bosenko will be speaking in the upcoming International Innovation Forum in Kyiv on November 5, 2019.TomoChain (TOMO):05 November 2019 TomoX Testnet “Mark your calendar as TomoX testnet will be live on Tuesday, Nov 5th!”aelf (ELF):05 November 2019 Bug Bounty Program Ends On Oct 24th, 2019 aelf’s biggest bug bounty will launch with a large reward pool. The event will run for almost 2 weeks.
Encrypted project calendar（November 6, 2019）
STEEM/Steem:The Steem (STEEM) SteemFest 4 conference will be held in Bangkok from November 6th to 10th.KIM/Kimcoin:Kimcoin (KIM) Bitfinex will be online at KIM on November 6, 2019 at 12:00 (UTC).
Encrypted project calendar（November 7, 2019）
XRP (XRP)： 07 November 2019 Swell 2019 Ripple hosts Swell from November 7th — 8th in Singapore.BTC/Bitcoin:Malta The A.I. and Blockchain summit will be held in Malta from November 7th to 8th.
Encrypted project calendar（November 8, 2019）
BTC/Bitcoin:The 2nd Global Digital Mining Summit will be held in Frankfurt, Germany from October 8th to 10th.IOTX/IoTeX:IoTex (IOTX) will participate in the CES Expo on November 08
Encrypted project calendar（November 9, 2019）
CENNZ/Centrality:Centrality (CENNZ) will meet in InsurTechNZ Connect — Insurance and Blockchain on October 9th in Auckland.HTMLCOIN (HTML):09 November 2019 (or earlier) Mandatory Wallet Update Mandatory Wallet Update: there will be a soft fork on our blockchain. This update adds header signature verification on block 997,655.
Encrypted project calendar（November 11, 2019）
PAX/Paxos Standard:Paxos Standard (PAX) 2019 Singapore Financial Technology Festival will be held from November 11th to 15th, and Paxos Standard will attend the conference.Crypto.com Coin (CRO):and 3 others 11 November 2019 Capital Warm-up Party Capital Warm-up Party in Singapore.GoldCoin (GLC):11 November 2019 Reverse Bitcoin Hardfork The GoldCoin (GLC) Team will be “Reverse Hard Forking” the Bitcoin (BTC) Blockchain…”
Encrypted project calendar（November 12, 2019）
BTC/Bitcoin:The CoinMarketCap Global Conference will be held at the Victoria Theatre in Singapore from November 12th to 13thBinance Coin (BNB)and 7 others: 12 November 2019 CMC Global Conference “The first-ever CoinMarketCap large-scale event: A one-of-a-kind blockchain / crypto experience like you’ve never experienced before.”
Encrypted project calendar（November 13, 2019）
Fetch.ai (FET):13 November 2019 Cambridge Meetup “Join us for a@Fetch_ai#Cambridge #meetup on 13 November@pantonarms1.”Binance Coin (BNB)and 5 others: 13 November 2019 Blockchain Expo N.A. “It will bring together key industries from across the globe for two days of top-level content and discussion across 5 co-located events…”OKB (OKB):13 November 2019 Dnipro, Ukraine- Talks Join us in Dnipro as we journey through Ukraine for our OKEx Cryptour on 11 Nov.Centrality (CENNZ):13 November 2019 AMA Meetup “Ask our CEO@aaronmcdnzanything in person! Join the AMA meetup on 13 November in Singapore.”OKB (OKB):13 November 2019 OKEx Cryptotour Dnipro “OKEx Cryptour Ukraine 2019 — Dnipro” in Dnipro from 6–9 PM (EET).
Encrypted project calendar（November 14, 2019）
BTC/Bitcoin:The 2019 BlockShow Asia Summit will be held at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore from November 14th to 15th.
Daily analysis of cryptocurrencies 20191012(Market index 38 — Fear state)
https://preview.redd.it/gpswfk9ld3s31.png?width=960&format=png&auto=webp&s=afeb6dfb7babcd9c8df403e2120e265020250988 DEWA Inks Deal With Alibaba For Blockchain And IoT Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) said it has signed a MoU with Alibaba Cloud, the data intelligence backbone of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group as part of the utility’s ongoing efforts to enhance its digital services. Swedish Government Auctions Cryptocurrency Again The Swedish Enforcement Authority, Kronofogden, is once again auctioning off cryptocurrency that has been allotted for public sale. The online auction, which is the second of this kind the government agency conducts, starts on Friday, October 11. Kronofogden first auctioned Bitcoins it had in its custody about two years ago, when the highest bid was placed at 43,000 Swedish krona. US And China Agree ‘Phase 1’ Trade Deal; Trump Suspends October Tariff Hike The United States and China agreed on Oct 11 to the first phase of a deal to end a trade war, prompting President Donald Trump to suspend a threatened tariff hike, but officials said the agreement had to be put on paper and more work was required to get it finalised. The real-time exchange rate between USD and RMB is 7.0892 currently. David Marcus: Respect Visa And Mastercard’s Decision To Wait For Regulatory Clarity For Libra To Proceed After several companies announced their withdrawal from cryptocurrency Libra’s management association lead by Facebook, Libra project leader David Marcus said on Twitter, “Special thanks to @Visa and @Mastercardfor sticking it out until the 11th hour. The pressure has been intense (understatement), and I respect their decision to wait until there’s regulatory clarity for @Libra_to proceed, vs. the invoked threats (by many) on their biz.” He also added, “I would caution against reading the fate of Libra into this update. Of course, it’s not great news in the short term, but in a way it’s liberating. Stay tuned for more very soon. Change of this magnitude is hard. You know you’re on to something when so much pressure builds up.” SEC, CFTC, FinCEN Warn Crypto Industry To Follow US Banking Laws The heads of three U.S. financial regulators warned the cryptocurrency industry to abide by banking laws in a joint statement published Friday. The statement, signed by Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Heath Tarbert, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Director Kenneth Blanco and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton, “reminds” actors in the crypto space that they must comply with various banking and financial services laws in the U.S., regardless of what they call their cryptocurrencies or tokens.
Encrypted project calendar（October 12, 2019）
BTC/Bitcoin:The 2019 Global Mining Leaders Summit will be held in Chengdu, China from October 12th to 14th.BLAST (BLAST):12 October 2019 (or earlier) Masternode & Assets “Masternode functionality and versionbits signalling for Assets will become active on the BLAST network at block height 1710000.”Pundi X (NPXS):and 1 other 12 October 2019 Token Removal “The next token removal will take place on the second Saturday of OctoberOKEX OKToken:12 October 2019 Global Mining Summit “We’re bringing together the global leaders who are shaping the crypto mining industry today. Attendance is limited to 300 invited guests.”Bitcoin Fast (BTCF):12 October 2019 Staking Announcement Details about staking BTCF will be shared.
Encrypted project calendar（October 13, 2019）
LINK/ChainLink:ChainLink (LINK) will be held in Tokyo on October 13th by a collaboration between QuarkChain, bitgrit, Chainlink and Vechain.Veros (VRS):14 October 2019 Launch of News Service “Launch of the VEROS NEWS service.”
Encrypted project calendar（October 14, 2019）
BCH/Bitcoin Cash:The ChainPoint 19 conference will be held in Armenia from October 14th to 15th.Veros (VRS):14 October 2019 Launch of News Service “Launch of the VEROS NEWS service.”
Encrypted project calendar（October 15, 2019）
RUFF/RUFF Token:Ruff will end the three-month early bird program on October 15thKAT/Kambria:Kambria (KAT) exchanges ERC20 KAT for a 10% bonus on BEP2 KAT-7BB, and the token exchange reward will end on October 15.BTC/Bitcoin:The Blockchain Technology Investment Summit (CIS) will be held in Los Angeles from October 15th to 16th.OTOCASH (OTO):15 October 2019 Escodex Shutdown “ All OTO HOLDERs who have assets on ESCODEX EXCHANGE to immediately withdraw your assets before October 15th, 2019 4:00 PM”(CRYPTO):15 October 2019 Hard Fork Summit Hard Fork Summit 2019 by TNW . “Where finance and business meets tech.” Amsterdam, October 15–17.Cardano (ADA):15 October 2019 NYC Meetup “Next week on October 15th Nathan Kaiser, Chairperson of the Cardano Foundation, will be in attendance to meet community members in NYCFunFair (FUN):15 October 2019 Marketing AMA “The FunFair Marketing AMA… will be held on Tuesday the 15th of October at 2pm in the Live team chat channel on DiscordArk (ARK):15 October 2019 ARK Core v2.6 on Devnet “We are very excited to announce #ARK Core v2.6 will be launching on #Devnet, October 15th, 2019! “DigiByte (DGB):15 October 2019 BitMart Listing DigiByte (DGB) will be listed on BitMart Exchange on October 15, 2019. The following trading pair will be available: DGB/BTC.ThoreNext (THX):15 October 2019 Staking Goes Live “Staking live from 15 OCT 2019.”
Encrypted project calendar（October 16, 2019）
BTC/Bitcoin:The 2019 Blockchain Life Summit will be held in Moscow, Russia from October 16th to 17th.MIOTA/IOTA:IOTA (MIOTA) IOTA will host a community event on the theme of “Technology Problem Solving and Testing IoT Devices” at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles on October 16.ETH/Ethereum:Ethereum launches Istanbul (Istanbul) main network upgrade, this main network upgrade involves 6 code upgrades.QTUM/Qtum:Qtum (QTUM) Qtum main network hard fork is scheduled for October 16.(CRYPTO): and 1 other 16 October 2019 Supply Chains Unblocked Supply Chains Unblocked in London from 9:30 AM — 6 PM.Binance Coin (BNB):16 October 2019 Singapore Meetup “Bring your friends to come along with, & it will be FUN! With snacks and drinks.”IoTeX (IOTX):16 October 2019 Mainet Beta “The next evolution of IoTeX blockchain, secure IoT hardware, and decentralized identity is coming October 16 — mark your calendars.”Selfkey (KEY):16 October 2019 Corporate Wallet Release “Soon, wallet users will be able to manage corporate profiles and identity attributes.”Cardano (ADA):16 October 2019 Washington D.C. Meetup “Nathan Kaiser, Chairperson of the Cardano Foundation, will join the community in Washington DC on Oct 16, and talk about the recent
Encrypted project calendar（October 17, 2019）
Holo (HOT):17 October 2019 Redgrid AMA “Join us for the AMA with RedGrid on October 17th. Submit your questions before the AMA on our Holochain Dev Forum.”IOST (IOST):17 October 2019 Breeding Competition Ends “Join IOST 2nd Breeding Competition by@FishChainGamenow! The competition only lasts till 17 Oct”Aragon (ANT):17 October 2019 Seoul Meetup “You are invited to join@licuendefor a meetup and presentation on ‘Aragon and DAOs: What’s next after ICOs and DeFi?’”Skycoin (SKY):17 October 2019 NYC Skywire Meetup NYC Skywire Mainnet Meetup in NYC from 6–8 PM.Horizen (ZEN):17 October 2019 Weekly Insider Team updates at 3:30 PM UTC/ 11:30 AM EDT: Engineering, Node network, Product/UX, Helpdesk, Legal, BD, Marketing, CEO Closing thoughts, AMA.
Encrypted project calendar（October 18, 2019）
BTC/Bitcoin:The SEC will give a pass on the VanEck/SolidX ETF on October 18th and make a final decisionHB/HeartBout:HeartBout (HB) will officially release the Android version of the HeartBout app on October 18.OKB (OKB):18 October 2019 Rotterdam Meetup “Meet us in Rotterdam on 18 Oct as we partner up with Crypto010 Meetup to bring you a talk on ‘Decentralized Finance’.”HeartBout (HB):18 October 2019 Android Version “18th of October 2019 will be officially released Android version of HeartBout app.”BTU Protocol (BTU):and 2 others 18 October 2019 Paris Blockchain Summit The event will gather major international key players of the Blockchain ecosystem including well-known influencers, investors, government…
Encrypted project calendar（October 19, 2019）
PI/PCHAIN Network:The PCHAIN (PI) backbone (Phase 5, 82 nodes, 164, 023, 802 $ PI, 7 candidates) will begin on October 19.LINK/ChainLink:Diffusion 2019 will be held in Berlin, Germany from October 19th to 20thDeepBrain Chain (DBC):19 October 2019 (or earlier) Deploy Main Chain “Deploy Main Chain,” during the third week of October.General Event (CRYPTO):and 1 other 19 October 2019Free State Blockchain “This “unconference” style event brings together some of the top financial tech innovators, researchers, company leaders, and other…”PCHAIN (PI):19 October 2019 Main Chain Voting “Main chain: Epoch 5, 82 nodes, 164,023,802 $PI, 7 Candidates, voting will start on Oct. 19th.”Nash Exchange (NEX):19 October 2019 Nash Anniversary Nash will present their work from the third quarter of 2019. Team members will be present and to answer your questions in person.
Encrypted project calendar（October 20, 2019）
GameCredits (GAME):20 October 2019 (or earlier) Mining Reward Drop GameCredits mining reward will be cut in half at block 2519999 (~October 20). This will be the 4th halvening of the GAME mining reward!
Encrypted project calendar（October 21, 2019）
KNC/Kyber Network:The official online hackathon of the Kyber Network (KNC) project will end on October 21st, with more than $42,000 in prize money.
Encrypted project calendar（October 22, 2019）
ZRX/0x:The 0x protocol (ZRX) Pantera blockchain summit will be held on October 22.
Encrypted project calendar（October 23, 2019）
MIOTA/IOTA:IOTA (MIOTA) IOTA will host a community event on October 23rd at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles with the theme “Connecting the I3 Market and Experiencing Purchase and Sales Data.”BTC/Bitcoin:The WBS World Blockchain Summit (Middle East) will be held in Dubai from October 23rd to 24th.
Encrypted project calendar（October 24, 2019）
BCN/Bytecoin:Bytecoin (BCN) released the hidden amount of the Bytecoin block network on October 24.
Encrypted project calendar（October 25, 2019）
ADA/Cardano:Cardano (ADA) The Ada community will host a community gathering in the Dominican Republic for the first time on October 25.
Encrypted project calendar（October 26, 2019）
KAT/Kambria:Kambria (KAT) Kambria will host the 2019 Southern California Artificial Intelligence and Data Science Conference in Los Angeles on October 26th with IDEAS.BTC/Bitcoin:CoinAgenda Global Summit will be held in Las Vegas from October 26th to 28th
Encrypted project calendar（October 28, 2019）
LTC/Litecoin:Litecoin (LTC) 2019 Litecoin Summit will be held from October 28th to October 29th in Las Vegas, USABTC/Bitcoin:Mt.Gox changes the debt compensation plan submission deadline to October 28ZEC/Zcash:Zcash (ZEC) will activate the Blossom Agreement on October 28th
Encrypted project calendar（October 29, 2019）
BTC/Bitcoin:The 2nd World Encryption Conference (WCC) will be held in Las Vegas from October 29th to 31st.
Encrypted project calendar（October 30, 2019）
MIOTA/IOTA:IOTA (MIOTA) IOTA will host a community event on October 30th at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles on the topic “How to store data on IOTA Tangle.”
Encrypted project calendar（November 1, 2019）
INS/Insolar:The Insolar (INS) Insolar wallet and the redesigned Insolar Block Explorer will be operational on November 1, 2019.
Encrypted project calendar（November 6, 2019）
STEEM/Steem:The Steem (STEEM) SteemFest 4 conference will be held in Bangkok from November 6th to 10th.
Encrypted project calendar（November 8, 2019）
BTC/Bitcoin:The 2nd Global Digital Mining Summit will be held in Frankfurt, Germany from October 8th to 10th.
Encrypted project calendar（November 9, 2019）
CENNZ/Centrality:Centrality (CENNZ) will meet in InsurTechNZ Connect — Insurance and Blockchain on October 9th in Auckland.
Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges for Beginners Before we get into exchanges, let’s refresh our minds about what cryptocurrency is. The concept behind cryptocurrencies is relatively simple, while the math and technology are not. Essentially, a cryptocurrency is a virtual or digital currency that utilizes cryptography as a means for protection and security. Cryptography is also used to regulate the creation of additional units, so as to not drive the overall digital currency market wild. One of the greatest appeals of cryptocurrencies is that they are not regulated by any government agencies. The most popular digital asset is the bitcoin, followed by ethereum.
What Are Cryptocurrency Exchanges?
Cryptocurrencies can be traded through cryptocurrency exchanges. These cryptocurrency exchanges are platforms through which you can purchase or sell digital currencies for dollars, euros, and pounds, as well as other digital assets. For example, you can sell bitcoins and purchase dollars with the sold bitcoins, or you could exchange bitcoins for ether. These exchanges are a vital part of the virtual currency expansion rate. There are private exchanges, which are exclusive and operate by invite only, as well as those available for the public. Local exchanges also exist. Some are easier to use than others are; certain exchanges are so flexible that digital assets can be traded directly through the built-in chat features of specific popular messengers, like Telegram.
What to Consider When Picking the Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Here are a few things you will want to consider before picking the best cryptocurrency exchange suited for your trading and speculative needs. Fees – Almost all exchanges charge fees for you to do business on their platforms. Make sure that when you are signing up or committing yourself to a specific exchange that you know everything about its fees. Verification Requirements and Security – These are vital to understand before starting out on an exchange. Most exchanges require some sort of identity verification in the form of a passport, driver’s license, proof of residence, or other similar document before joining. The more complex the verification process, the safer the exchange platform. Exchange Rates – Exchange rates are also important, as you don’t want to join a cryptocurrency exchange that charges draconian fees for transactions and exchanges. That just wouldn’t be fair to you or financially savvy. Reputation – The best cryptocurrency exchanges always have ups and downs. However, the general opinion of the top ones is positive. The best exchanges have a solid reputation and are well trusted by traders. Region – It’s also important to find an exchange that supports your geographic region. Some exchanges may support all of the countries in South America, while not supporting any of the countries in Asia, and vice versa. If you are living in Russia, for example, make sure you pick the best exchange platform that supports your region. Now, let’s take a look at some of the best cryptocurrency exchanges out there.
Something which is important to bare in mind when choosing a cryptocurrency exchange to make your trades and purchases on is their security measures. It is well-known that many exchanges have been hacked in the past, most notably the Mt Gox exchange, which people are still feeling the fall-out from ever since. You should know that the your funds or coins on an exchange or not really yours, unless you own the private keys to the wallet of your coins you are relying on someone else to be custodian of your funds. Luckily there are some basic measures you can take when using an exchange. The most important is to never store more there than you are willing to lose, if you have a significant balance, you should withdraw it back to your own wallet and for extra security, use a Hardware wallet to secure these funds. Exchanges should be used for quick purchases of your desired cryptocurrency or for trading an amount you are happy with. They should never be used as your primary wallet, that is not their intended function. Another important step to take is to use all the security options available on the site, make sure that two-factor authentication (2FA) is setup correctly and you use an app like Authy or Google authenticator. Do not use the mobile phone option which texts you a code, this is not safe as their have been a number of high-profile hacks involving sim-swaps which allow a would-be hacker to take over your phone number and then gain access to your account.
Coinbase is one of the, if not the, most trusted cryptocurrency exchange platforms in the world. It is also the largest digital asset exchange platform in the world. The platform supports more than 32 countries and has more than 4 million active users. Traders are allowed to acquire and sell bitcoins using their bank account, credit card, PayPal, and other payment methods, as well. In order to begin trading on Coinbase, you will have to set up an e-wallet for buying and selling cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, users have to be able to link a valid bank account in order to purchase bitcoins. https://preview.redd.it/dauw912k1ze31.jpg?width=808&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=25f1df9624cea90cc1359160ac7fd8b133eba1e7 Currently, fully verified U.S. residents are only allowed to hold up to 50,000 bitcoins per day. Overall, Coinbase has a great reputation and is highly respected in the trader community. Most transactions through Coinbase only have a 1 percent transaction fee in addition to any fees that your selected payment method may carry. As with CEX, you can only purchase a few currencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. You would then need to use Changelly to convert these to other crypto currencies. Another benefit of registering with Coinbase is the fact you are then able to use the Coinbase Pro exchange which is owed by the same company. Coinbase Pro allows to more advanced trading features such as margin trading and Market, Limit, & Stop Orders. Coinbase Pro also has lower fees than Coinbase. Read our full Coinbase Review here to learn more. We have also conducted a thourough look at Coinbase’s security measures here. Visit Coinbase
Binance is a newer exchange but one we have grown to love, it has a wide range of cryptocurrencies available to purchase and trade and has a basic and advanced view which you can switch between easily. Their fees are very reasonable and they allow you to register and trade immediately without having to verify your account. You will then be able to make withdrawals of up to 2 BTC per day, if you want to withdraw higher amounts you will then need to upload your photo ID and a “selfie” photo. https://preview.redd.it/01yawgfl1ze31.jpg?width=808&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=28c23efac9899a48ce174693ed30a6dba08d94db The public opinion of Binance at this time is very high with people praising the speed of the site, ease of use and cheap fees. For more details you can read our complete review of Binance here. Visit Binance
KuCoin is a new but very exciting exchange based in South Korea. They operate similarly to Binance in the fact that they list new altcoins much quicker than other exchanges so it’s a good place to purchase cryptocurrencies shortly after their ICO meaning there is a greater opportunity to profit by getting in early. The interface is very clean and modern and much easier to operate than other older and more clunky exchanges. They also offer their own token KCS which allows all holders to receive a daily share of profits of the platform, this is a great token to hold as you are paid in the many different currencies that the site allows people to trade in. https://preview.redd.it/qav0qx9m1ze31.jpg?width=808&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=2635f1242f7474a56f21fe123c0ad1c7718a8ee8 Visit Kucoin
LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange used in most big cities around the world. The general principle behind this exchange is that you can find people who live in your area or city and meet with them in person to conduct an exchange. The platform also offers options for purchasing digital currencies via PayPal, Square, direct-to-bank transfers, and many other payment-processing methods. The platform charges a small fee of 1 percent per transaction in cases where sellers apply their own exchange rate. https://preview.redd.it/p3igqf3n1ze31.jpg?width=808&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=2eae56e0e8dbe452e1d327f24ecc96642de2bc70 Similar to the way Uber passengers and drivers are rated, LocalBitcoins applies a rating to each trader that uses the platform, and this rating is publicly displayed. Trades first have to undergo an escrow process to ensure that nobody will be scammed by using the platform. Once everything is verified, the funds and cryptocurrencies transfer between traders. LocalBitcoins takes a commission of 1 percent from sellers. W Take a look at our LocalBitcoins Review to find out more. Visit LocalBitcoins
CoinMama is a large bitcoin brokerage that allows users to acquire coins with their debit or credit cards. The platform issues small fees for transactions. To make up for this, however, the limits for how many bitcoins a user can buy are much higher in comparison to Coinbase. Users can acquire up to $5,000 of coins per day or up to $20,000 per month. All users need to do to use CoinMama is to set up an account, log in, and navigate to the profile page section to fill in personal information. https://preview.redd.it/rafwelwn1ze31.jpg?width=808&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=e1ee6986f8f04ebfb40f0110fabab246203c2c66 Following this, users will be introduced to a page that allows them to select how many bitcoins they would like to purchase, and once a fitting amount has been selected, users will be allowed to add their preferred payment methods and bitcoin addresses. Users will also be required to verify their phone number and email address. CoinMama does not require most users to upload their government-issued ID. After completing the aforementioned steps and passing the verification process, users will be able to acquire bitcoins through CoinMama. Read our complete CoinMama Review here. Visit CoinMama
CEX.IO is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. However, despite being referred to as a cryptocurrency exchange, CEX.IO can only be used with bitcoins and ethereum which are the main two trading pairs for alt-coins. If you want to purchase other currencies, you can use CEX and then a service named Changelly to convert them to many other cryptos. The platform is registered with the FINCEN and applies KYC and AML principles. In other words, users have to completely verify their identity before they can get involved in any trades with this platform. Currently, the platform supports purchases with credit cards, wire transfers, or SEPA transfers for European residents. https://preview.redd.it/dvrr5yto1ze31.jpg?width=808&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=46fa36889957b7742bf1eb1f682c6c8c31c1f164 Once you enter a trade, the platform automatically calculates the price of the transaction and freezes the exchange rate for 120 seconds, which is quite convenient. However, many users note that there are occasional hidden fees. CEX.IO has a flat fee of 7 percent for anything involving fiat currencies. For example, if you acquire $100 in bitcoins, you will only receive $93 in coins. Read our indepth CEX Review here to learn more. Visit CEX
Bittrex is well established and highly regarded crypto trading platform, with many coins and tokens to choose from. The interface is not for complete beginner’s but you should be able to find your way around after a little while. https://preview.redd.it/xa00ycmp1ze31.jpg?width=808&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=e42aedf2b51ff01005847ec0867c69ba94e8a7dd Read our full review of Bittrex here. Unsurprisingly, Bittrex’s most popular trading pairs are BTC and ETH. It must be noted that the exchange currently does not offer any kind of fiat-to-crypto pairs, e.g. with U.S. dollars, euros, or British pounds). One thing investors can do is buy USDT (Tether tokens) via wired bank transfers in order to use USDT for crypto-to-crypto exchanges. However, you’ll need to be fully verified and willing to slap down at least $10,000 USD for Bittrex to even consider the transfer. And we here at Blockonomi don’t remind this approach anyways; there’s been a lot of controversy surrounding Tether lately, and it’s best just to stay away for now until further developments actualize. Visit Bittrex
Picking the ideal cryptocurrency exchange platform for your specific needs may be a difficult and time-consuming process. Remember to pay attention to the fees, reputation, security, verification processes, and geographical services an exchange platform has to offer. Remember that you are not limited to using only one cryptocurrency exchange. Hopefully, the information provided will assist you in deciding which exchange platform to use. We have selected 6 Cryptocurrency exchanges here which are trustworthy and easy to use for beginners to get started building their investment portfolios. Original article link: https://blockonomi.com/cryptocurrency-exchanges/
Bitcoin crash: Crypto investors are trying to save their funds
The safe harbour of cryptocurrency has eventually sunk under the volatility wave, which triggered a massive collapse of all crypto coins. During the peak of this decline, market capitalization has shrunk by $30 billion. During the last 24 hours, Bitcoin’s price has lost almost 13%, trading at around %5,500. On the morning of November 15,2018, the second largest global Bitcoin wallet, which belongs to the Binance exchanged, moved out 109,234 BTC ( $600 million at the current exchange rate). Considering this huge sell-off in the past day, the news in regards to such a big move of almost all Bitcoins from a “cold” wallet may reinforce negative dynamics in the market. It is worth remembering the sharp reaction of the market, subsequent to the sale of BTC and BCH by the Mt.Gox bankruptcy trustee Kobayashi. The lever near $6,000 was defended by bulls for months and the decisive hit of this mark is a bad signal for the whole market. The altcoins suffered even more: Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) lost almost 13%. It is noteworthy to note that in the recent days, BCH has attracted consumer demand due to the hardfork prospects which can split the chain, as it was in the case with the original Bitcoin. However, the fierce confrontation between the two camps advocating a different future for the project, frightened even the speculators. It is very unlikely that BCH sell-off had started before hardfork. According to technical analysis, the next important stop could be the area of the previous price consolidation: distant marks near $3,500. A well-known crypto investor, Barry Silbert, has the same opinion. He considers what is happening now as a “cryptocurrency capitulation” due to a deep disappointment in the prospects and falling interest from traders and users. At the same time, the ambiguous and often negative position of the American regulator is an additional pressure factor. One of the triggers for the collapse in the market, could be the prospects for action by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in dozens of cases against crypto exchanges that may be accused of distributing unregistered securities.
Want to relay my recent experience to help other canucks entering the cryptocurrency scene. I wanted to invest 100K in both main coins and some alt coins. Depositing that amount can’t be done using ETF/bank-transfeetc. – the only reasonably quick way is to wire funds. For wires, most exchanges have a percentage based deposit fee – something that makes absolutely no sense to me. Whether you wire 1K or 1MM, the amount of work for the exchange is identical, so it should be a flat fee. Deciding on an exchange is more complicated than that though: each one has their own rules for minimums/maximums, trading fees, supported coins, holding periods, and withdrawal fees. They also can vary greatly on the amount of time verification takes. One thing to note is that pretty much all exchanges don’t charge a fee for inbound crypto transfers. 2 months ago I signed up for 10 exchanges (Coinbase/GDAX, Binance, Coinsquare, Kraken, ezBTC, QuadrigaCX, Bitfinex, Gemeni, Bittrex, Poloniex) and was verified on 7 of them (I’m still in queue for Gemeni, Bittrex, and Poloniex). Verification times gave me what I thought was a decent indicator of the level and quality of support I would receive. Of these exchanges, some have what I believe to be relatively high trading fees (Gemeni .25%, Bittrex, .25%, ezBTC .30%, QuadrigaCX .50%) vs lower maketaker fees (GDAX 0/.3%, Binance .1/.1%, Gitfinex .1/.2%, Coinsquare .1/.2%, Kraken .16/.26%). Still others have high percentage based wire fees. And finally, there’s a big disparity between withdrawal fees: free on some exchanes, vs fixed rate based on the coin for others, vs Coinsquare’s insane fixed 0.0025 BTC regardless of what coin or the amount being withdrawn. So here are some observations on the exchanges. Please note that the below is not a reflection on any of the people who work at the exchanges. I’m sure they are working as hard as they can and are doing their best. It’s just my experience. It’s also not financial advice. Also, I’m only human so feel free to offer corrections or better advice. Coinsquare: amazingly fast verification time, and for very large deposits seems to likely be the best option as they will let you speak to a human being by phone and will waive the deposit fee (I didn’t know this until later though). I excluded them because of their high 0.5% percentage based deposit fee and their crazy high withdrawal fee. They also only have support for 6 coins. QuadrigaCX: I had a terrible initial experience with QuadrigaCX’s support, so I immediately excluded them. They have high trading fees and there are many complaints of support tickets being ignored or having extremely lengthy wait times. They have a crazy high 1% percentage based CAD wire fee, but offer free USD wires. Note that they only support wires for large amounts. GDAX/Coinbase: Loads of good reviews, but only has support for 4 coins. Seems like they also don’t have a fee for crypto withdrawals. You also can’t seem to wire CAD or USD funds directly to GDAX. I think you may have to wire USD funds to Coinbase and then transfer them over to GDAX (for free). Kraken: I created an account but the verification page just appeared blank for me. After a few days, their support team got back to me telling me that they had a bug and that I needed to create a new account using a different email address and try again. That worked. I decided to use them as they seemed like the best all-around alternative. I was impressed with their support response (they gave me an answer that worked and responded in days as opposed to weeks), they offer a no-fee inbound CAD wire, support 16 coins, and have low (though not free) crypto withdrawal fees. They have also been around a while and have a good reputation (They were picked to handle MtGox claims). Wiring funds to them was a hair-raising experience though. You basically need to send your funds to an unknown bank in Tokyo, Japan. Kraken also has two slightly different sets of wire instructions: one that is on their website, and the other that their support folks send out. Only one of them mentions that you should tell your bank not to use an intermediary that will convert your currency. If you do things properly, and are lucky, you end up only paying ~$40 in fees. But chances are, you don’t, and end up paying 4%! (see https://www.reddit.com/BitcoinCA/comments/7rd6k8/fees_when_sending_to_krakencom/). You also have no idea how much the fees will be until the money finally shows up in your account. That’s tremendously unsettling. Luckily my bank branch manager was familiar with crypto currency wires and helped me do things properly. But, the wire took over 2 weeks to show up (Jan 18th), and Kraken support is so overloaded that they didn’t’ respond, despite me escalating my support ticket several times. I eventually had to resort to a reddit post to get a response to my support ticket. I gave support my wire receipt and answered lots of additional questions to help them try to “locate” it. Perhaps the worst part of my entire experience was that while my wire was being located, the entire crypto market tanked by 50%...and no one would respond to my support ticket…I felt helpless. A Kraken support rep a few days ago said that they are handing >50K new user registrations per day and have >20K new support tickets per day. I feel they should turn off new user registrations until they are capable of servicing existing customers. This is what their competitors have done. I found it disheartening to learn that the only way to get a response to my support ticket was to complain via social media --- many others have found the same. While I was waiting for my wire to appear Kraken had a >48h outage. Prior to the outage, the site was almost unusable as you’d receive constant 50x errors (I found this out prior to wiring my funds). After the outage, I find that their site is still barely usable. Pages take 10-15 seconds to load and when they do load many times they display errors so you have to continually retry until things work. At the end of the day though, they did come through for me: my wire arrived safely. So with my funds in Kraken, I tried to use them to purchase crypto. But no matter what I tried, none of the CAD dollar trading pairs would appear. I logged out and back in a few times and 15 minutes later, it suddenly started appearing. With the flakiness in Kraken’s platform, I had no choice but to transfer everything to a more stable and faster exchange: Binance: These guys have their shit in order. Super simple site navigation once you get used to it, fast verification times, blazingly fast website and trading engine, more than 50 coins supported, etc. But, they don’t support fiat – you must use one of the other exchanges to buy crypto with fiat and then transfer in your crypto. Gotta say it again: everything is super fast. Not just the page loads, but also trading, email confirmations, and withdrawals. Trading takes a bit of getting used to as you aren’t really buying or selling crypto…you are instead “trading” one crypto coin for another. Depending on the coin you want to purchase, you might have to trade your coin for BNB (binance’s own coin) and then trade BNB for the coin you desire. Be Your Own Bank: One final word of advice. Binance is awesome, but don’t trust anyone as despite everyone’s best intentions: no matter how secure a platform is, it can and will be hacked. As soon as you have done your shopping, transfer your coins off to your own wallet. This is why withdrawal fees are important. You might be asking: in hindsight, if I had to do it all over again, what would I do differently? To wire CAD funds I would try to use Coinsquare if it’s a big amount (after re-reading other people’s recent reviews). For USD wires, I might try using Gemeni, but I still haven’t been verified by them and have been waiting for almost 2 months. Before using either I would re-test how long it takes for a support ticket to be responded to. If you do wire funds, don't wire an exact round amount like "10,000.00", instead I would wire "10,070.45" so that it's easier to locate if things go wrong. Once the account has been funded I wouldn’t hesitate to transfer everything to another exchange if I wasn’t happy with the platform, the number of coin offerings, or quality of service I was receiving: you can always come back when things improve. Things change so quickly so not sure how helpful this will be…just wished I had known some of the above before starting.
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