The Beginner's Guide To Bitcoin - Everything You Need To Know
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Double Spend Attack – Satoshi Nakamoto Blog
Putting $400M of Bitcoin on your company balance sheet
Also posted on my blog as usual. Read it there if you can, there are footnotes and inlined plots. A couple of months ago, MicroStrategy (MSTR) had a spare $400M of cash which it decided to shift to Bitcoin (BTC). Today we'll discuss in excrutiating detail why this is not a good idea. When a company has a pile of spare money it doesn't know what to do with, it'll normally do buybacks or start paying dividends. That gives the money back to the shareholders, and from an economic perspective the money can get better invested in other more promising companies. If you have a huge pile of of cash, you probably should be doing other things than leave it in a bank account to gather dust. However, this statement from MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor exists to make it clear he's buying into BTC for all the wrong reasons:
“This is not a speculation, nor is it a hedge. This was a deliberate corporate strategy to adopt a bitcoin standard.”
Let's unpack it and jump into the economics Bitcoin:
Is Bitcoin money?
No. Or rather BTC doesn't act as money and there's no serious future path for BTC to become a form of money. Let's go back to basics. There are 3 main economic problems money solves: 1. Medium of Exchange. Before money we had to barter, which led to the double coincidence of wants problem. When everyone accepts the same money you can buy something from someone even if they don't like the stuff you own. As a medium of exchange, BTC is not good. There are significant transaction fees and transaction waiting times built-in to BTC and these worsen the more popular BTC get. You can test BTC's usefulness as a medium of exchange for yourself right now: try to order a pizza or to buy a random item with BTC. How many additional hurdles do you have to go through? How many fewer options do you have than if you used a regular currency? How much overhead (time, fees) is there? 2. Unit of Account. A unit of account is what you compare the value of objects against. We denominate BTC in terms of how many USD they're worth, so BTC is a unit of account presently. We can say it's because of lack of adoption, but really it's also because the market value of BTC is so volatile. If I buy a $1000 table today or in 2017, it's roughly a $1000 table. We can't say that a 0.4BTC table was a 0.4BTC table in 2017. We'll expand on this in the next point: 3. Store of Value. When you create economic value, you don't want to be forced to use up the value you created right away. For instance, if I fix your washing machine and you pay me in avocados, I'd be annoyed. I'd have to consume my payment before it becomes brown, squishy and disgusting. Avocado fruit is not good money because avocadoes loses value very fast. On the other hand, well-run currencies like the USD, GBP, CAD, EUR, etc. all lose their value at a low and most importantly fairly predictible rate. Let's look at the chart of the USD against BTC While the dollar loses value at a predictible rate, BTC is all over the place, which is bad. One important use money is to write loan contracts. Loans are great. They let people spend now against their future potential earnings, so they can buy houses or start businesses without first saving up for a decade. Loans are good for the economy. If you want to sign something that says "I owe you this much for that much time" then you need to be able to roughly predict the value of the debt in at the point in time where it's due. Otherwise you'll have a hard time pricing the risk of the loan effectively. This means that you need to charge higher interests. The risk of making a loan in BTC needs to be priced into the interest of a BTC-denominated loan, which means much higher interest rates. High interests on loans are bad, because buying houses and starting businesses are good things.
BTC has a fixed supply, so these problems are built in
Some people think that going back to a standard where our money was denominated by a stock of gold (the Gold Standard) would solve economic problems. This is nonsense. Having control over supply of your currency is a good thing, as long as it's well run. See here Remember that what is desirable is low variance in the value, not the value itself. When there are wild fluctuations in value, it's hard for money to do its job well. Since the 1970s, the USD has been a fiat money with no intrinsic value. This means we control the supply of money. Let's look at a classic poorly drawn econ101 graph The market price for USD is where supply meets demand. The problem with a currency based on an item whose supply is fixed is that the price will necessarily fluctuate in response to changes in demand. Imagine, if you will, that a pandemic strikes and that the demand for currency takes a sharp drop. The US imports less, people don't buy anything anymore, etc. If you can't print money, you get deflation, which is worsens everything. On the other hand, if you can make the money printers go brrrr you can stabilize the price Having your currency be based on a fixed supply isn't just bad because in/deflation is hard to control. It's also a national security risk... The story of the guy who crashed gold prices in North Africa In the 1200s, Mansa Munsa, the emperor of the Mali, was rich and a devout Muslim and wanted everyone to know it. So he embarked on a pilgrimage to make it rain all the way to Mecca. He in fact made it rain so hard he increased the overall supply of gold and unintentionally crashed gold prices in Cairo by 20%, wreaking an economic havoc in North Africa that lasted a decade. This story is fun, the larger point that having your inflation be at the mercy of foreign nations is an undesirable attribute in any currency. The US likes to call some countries currency manipulators, but this problem would be serious under a gold standard.
Currencies are based on trust
Since the USD is based on nothing except the US government's word, how can we trust USD not to be mismanaged? The answer is that you can probably trust the fed until political stooges get put in place. Currently, the US's central bank managing the USD, the Federal Reserve (the Fed for friends & family), has administrative authority. The fed can say "no" to dumb requests from the president. People who have no idea what the fed does like to chant "audit the fed", but the fed is already one of the best audited US federal entities. The transcripts of all their meetings are out in the open. As is their balance sheet, what they plan to do and why. If the US should audit anything it's the Department of Defense which operates without any accounting at all. It's easy to see when a central bank will go rogue: it's when political yes-men are elected to the board. For example, before printing themselves into hyperinflation, the Venezuelan president appointed a sociologist who publicly stated “Inflation does not exist in real life” and instead is a made up capitalist lie. Note what happened mere months after his gaining control over the Venezuelan currency This is a key policy. One paper I really like, Sargent (1984) "The end of 4 big inflations" states:
The essential measures that ended hyperinflation in each of Germany,Austria, Hungary, and Poland were, first, the creation of an independentcentral bank that was legally committed to refuse the government'sdemand or additional unsecured credit and, second, a simultaneousalteration in the fiscal policy regime.
In english: *hyperinflation stops when the central bank can say "no" to the government." The US Fed, like other well good central banks, is run by a bunch of nerds. When it prints money, even as aggressively as it has it does so for good reasons. You can see why they started printing on March 15th as the COVID lockdowns started:
The Federal Reserve is prepared to use its full range of tools to support the flow of credit to households and businesses and thereby promote its maximum employment and price stability goals.
In english: We're going to keep printing and lowering rates until jobs are back and inflation is under control. If we print until the sun is blotted out, we'll print in the shade.
BTC is not gold
Gold is a good asset for doomsday-preppers. If society crashes, gold will still have value. How do we know that? Gold has held value throughout multiple historic catastrophes over thousands of years. It had value before and after the Bronze Age Collapse, the Fall of the Western Roman Empire and Gengis Khan being Gengis Khan. Even if you erased humanity and started over, the new humans would still find gold to be economically valuable. When Europeans d̶i̶s̶c̶o̶v̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ c̶o̶n̶q̶u̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ g̶e̶n̶o̶c̶i̶d̶e̶d̶ went to America, they found gold to be an important item over there too. This is about equivalent to finding humans on Alpha-Centauri and learning that they think gold is a good store of value as well. Some people are puzzled at this: we don't even use gold for much! But it has great properties: First, gold is hard to fake and impossible to manufacture. This makes it good to ascertain payment. Second, gold doesnt react to oxygen, so it doesn't rust or tarnish. So it keeps value over time unlike most other materials. Last, gold is pretty. This might sound frivolous, and you may not like it, but jewelry has actual value to humans. It's no coincidence if you look at a list of the wealthiest families, a large number of them trade in luxury goods. To paraphrase Veblen humans have a profound desire to signal social status, for the same reason peacocks have unwieldy tails. Gold is a great way to achieve that. On the other hand, BTC lacks all these attributes. Its value is largely based on common perception of value. There are a few fundamental drivers of demand:
Means of Exchange: if people seriously start using BTC to buy pizzas, then this creates a real demand for the currency to accomplish the short-term exchanges. As we saw previously, I'm not personally sold on this one and it's currently a negligible fraction of overall demand.
Criminal uses: Probably the largest inbuilt advantage of BTC is that it's anonymous, and so a great way to launder money. Hacker gangs use BTC to demand ransom on cryptolocker type attacks because it's a shared way for an honest company to pay and for the criminals to receive money without going to jail.
Apart from these, it's hard to argue that BTC will retain value throughout some sort of economic catastrophe.
BTC is really risky
One last statement from Michael Saylor I take offense to is this:
“We feel pretty confident that Bitcoin is less risky than holding cash, less risky than holding gold,” MicroStrategy CEO said in an interview
"BTC is less risky than holding cash or gold long term" is nonsense. We saw before that BTC is more volatile on face value, and that as long as the Fed isn't run by spider monkeys stacked in a trench coat, the inflation is likely to be within reasonable bounds. But on top of this, BTC has Abrupt downside risks that normal currencies don't. Let's imagine a few:
A critical software vulnerability is found in the BTC codebase, leading to a possible exploitation.
Xi Jinping decides he's had enough of rich people in China hiding their assets from him and bans BTC.
Some form of bank run takes hold for whatever reason. Because BTC wallets are uninsured, unlike regular banks, this compounds into a Black Tuesday style crash.
Blockchain solutions are fundamentally inefficient
Blockchain was a genius idea. I still marvel at the initial white paper which is a great mix of economics and computer science. That said, blockchain solutions make large tradeoffs in design because they assume almost no trust between parties. This leads to intentionally wasteful designs on a massive scale. The main problem is that all transactions have to be validated by expensive computational operations and double checked by multiple parties. This means waste:
BTC was estimated to use as much electricity as Belgium in 2019. It's hard to trace where the BTC mining comes from, but we can assume it has a huge carbon footprint.
A single transactions is necessarily expensive. A single transaction takes as much electricity as 800,000 VISA transactions, or watching 50,000 hours of youtube videos.
There is a large necessary tax on the transaction, since those checking the transaction extract a few BTC from it to be incentivized to do the work of checking it.
Many design problems can be mitigated by various improvements over BTC, but it remains that a simple database always works better than a blockchain if you can trust the parties to the transaction.
All you need to know about Yield Farming - The rocket fuel for Defi
Source It’s effectively July 2017 in the world of decentralized finance (DeFi), and as in the heady days of the initial coin offering (ICO) boom, the numbers are only trending up. According to DeFi Pulse, there is $1.9 billion in crypto assets locked in DeFi right now. According to the CoinDesk ICO Tracker, the ICO market started chugging past $1 billion in July 2017, just a few months before token sales started getting talked about on TV. Debate juxtaposing these numbers if you like, but what no one can question is this: Crypto users are putting more and more value to work in DeFi applications, driven largely by the introduction of a whole new yield-generating pasture, Compound’s COMP governance token. Governance tokens enable users to vote on the future of decentralized protocols, sure, but they also present fresh ways for DeFi founders to entice assets onto their platforms. That said, it’s the crypto liquidity providers who are the stars of the present moment. They even have a meme-worthy name: yield farmers. https://preview.redd.it/lxsvazp1g9l51.png?width=775&format=png&auto=webp&s=a36173ab679c701a5d5e0aac806c00fcc84d78c1
Where it started
Ethereum-based credit market Compound started distributing its governance token, COMP, to the protocol’s users this past June 15. Demand for the token (heightened by the way its automatic distribution was structured) kicked off the present craze and moved Compound into the leading position in DeFi. The hot new term in crypto is “yield farming,” a shorthand for clever strategies where putting crypto temporarily at the disposal of some startup’s application earns its owner more cryptocurrency. Another term floating about is “liquidity mining.” The buzz around these concepts has evolved into a low rumble as more and more people get interested. The casual crypto observer who only pops into the market when activity heats up might be starting to get faint vibes that something is happening right now. Take our word for it: Yield farming is the source of those vibes. But if all these terms (“DeFi,” “liquidity mining,” “yield farming”) are so much Greek to you, fear not. We’re here to catch you up. We’ll get into all of them. We’re going to go from very basic to more advanced, so feel free to skip ahead.
What are tokens?
Most CoinDesk readers probably know this, but just in case: Tokens are like the money video-game players earn while fighting monsters, money they can use to buy gear or weapons in the universe of their favorite game. But with blockchains, tokens aren’t limited to only one massively multiplayer online money game. They can be earned in one and used in lots of others. They usually represent either ownership in something (like a piece of a Uniswap liquidity pool, which we will get into later) or access to some service. For example, in the Brave browser, ads can only be bought using basic attention token (BAT). If tokens are worth money, then you can bank with them or at least do things that look very much like banking. Thus: decentralized finance. Tokens proved to be the big use case for Ethereum, the second-biggest blockchain in the world. The term of art here is “ERC-20 tokens,” which refers to a software standard that allows token creators to write rules for them. Tokens can be used a few ways. Often, they are used as a form of money within a set of applications. So the idea for Kin was to create a token that web users could spend with each other at such tiny amounts that it would almost feel like they weren’t spending anything; that is, money for the internet. Governance tokens are different. They are not like a token at a video-game arcade, as so many tokens were described in the past. They work more like certificates to serve in an ever-changing legislature in that they give holders the right to vote on changes to a protocol. So on the platform that proved DeFi could fly, MakerDAO, holders of its governance token, MKR, vote almost every week on small changes to parameters that govern how much it costs to borrow and how much savers earn, and so on. Read more:Why DeFi’s Billion-Dollar Milestone Matters One thing all crypto tokens have in common, though, is they are tradable and they have a price. So, if tokens are worth money, then you can bank with them or at least do things that look very much like banking. Thus: decentralized finance.
What is DeFi?
Fair question. For folks who tuned out for a bit in 2018, we used to call this “open finance.” That construction seems to have faded, though, and “DeFi” is the new lingo. In case that doesn’t jog your memory, DeFi is all the things that let you play with money, and the only identification you need is a crypto wallet. On the normal web, you can’t buy a blender without giving the site owner enough data to learn your whole life history. In DeFi, you can borrow money without anyone even asking for your name. I can explain this but nothing really brings it home like trying one of these applications. If you have an Ethereum wallet that has even $20 worth of crypto in it, go do something on one of these products. Pop over to Uniswap and buy yourself some FUN (a token for gambling apps) or WBTC (wrapped bitcoin). Go to MakerDAO and create $5 worth of DAI (a stablecoin that tends to be worth $1) out of the digital ether. Go to Compound and borrow $10 in USDC. (Notice the very small amounts I’m suggesting. The old crypto saying “don’t put in more than you can afford to lose” goes double for DeFi. This stuff is uber-complex and a lot can go wrong. These may be “savings” products but they’re not for your retirement savings.) Immature and experimental though it may be, the technology’s implications are staggering. On the normal web, you can’t buy a blender without giving the site owner enough data to learn your whole life history. In DeFi, you can borrow money without anyone even asking for your name. DeFi applications don’t worry about trusting you because they have the collateral you put up to back your debt (on Compound, for instance, a $10 debt will require around $20 in collateral). Read more:There Are More DAI on Compound Now Than There Are DAI in the World If you do take this advice and try something, note that you can swap all these things back as soon as you’ve taken them out. Open the loan and close it 10 minutes later. It’s fine. Fair warning: It might cost you a tiny bit in fees, and the cost of using Ethereum itself right now is much higher than usual, in part due to this fresh new activity. But it’s nothing that should ruin a crypto user. So what’s the point of borrowing for people who already have the money? Most people do it for some kind of trade. The most obvious example, to short a token (the act of profiting if its price falls). It’s also good for someone who wants to hold onto a token but still play the market.
Doesn’t running a bank take a lot of money up front?
It does, and in DeFi that money is largely provided by strangers on the internet. That’s why the startups behind these decentralized banking applications come up with clever ways to attract HODLers with idle assets. Liquidity is the chief concern of all these different products. That is: How much money do they have locked in their smart contracts? “In some types of products, the product experience gets much better if you have liquidity. Instead of borrowing from VCs or debt investors, you borrow from your users,” said Electric Capital managing partner Avichal Garg. Let’s take Uniswap as an example. Uniswap is an “automated market maker,” or AMM (another DeFi term of art). This means Uniswap is a robot on the internet that is always willing to buy and it’s also always willing to sell any cryptocurrency for which it has a market. On Uniswap, there is at least one market pair for almost any token on Ethereum. Behind the scenes, this means Uniswap can make it look like it is making a direct trade for any two tokens, which makes it easy for users, but it’s all built around pools of two tokens. And all these market pairs work better with bigger pools.
Why do I keep hearing about ‘pools’?
To illustrate why more money helps, let’s break down how Uniswap works. Let’s say there was a market for USDC and DAI. These are two tokens (both stablecoins but with different mechanisms for retaining their value) that are meant to be worth $1 each all the time, and that generally tends to be true for both. The price Uniswap shows for each token in any pooled market pair is based on the balance of each in the pool. So, simplifying this a lot for illustration’s sake, if someone were to set up a USDC/DAI pool, they should deposit equal amounts of both. In a pool with only 2 USDC and 2 DAI it would offer a price of 1 USDC for 1 DAI. But then imagine that someone put in 1 DAI and took out 1 USDC. Then the pool would have 1 USDC and 3 DAI. The pool would be very out of whack. A savvy investor could make an easy $0.50 profit by putting in 1 USDC and receiving 1.5 DAI. That’s a 50% arbitrage profit, and that’s the problem with limited liquidity. (Incidentally, this is why Uniswap’s prices tend to be accurate, because traders watch it for small discrepancies from the wider market and trade them away for arbitrage profits very quickly.) Read more:Uniswap V2 Launches With More Token-Swap Pairs, Oracle Service, Flash Loans However, if there were 500,000 USDC and 500,000 DAI in the pool, a trade of 1 DAI for 1 USDC would have a negligible impact on the relative price. That’s why liquidity is helpful. You can stick your assets on Compound and earn a little yield. But that’s not very creative. Users who look for angles to maximize that yield: those are the yield farmers. Similar effects hold across DeFi, so markets want more liquidity. Uniswap solves this by charging a tiny fee on every trade. It does this by shaving off a little bit from each trade and leaving that in the pool (so one DAI would actually trade for 0.997 USDC, after the fee, growing the overall pool by 0.003 USDC). This benefits liquidity providers because when someone puts liquidity in the pool they own a share of the pool. If there has been lots of trading in that pool, it has earned a lot of fees, and the value of each share will grow. And this brings us back to tokens. Liquidity added to Uniswap is represented by a token, not an account. So there’s no ledger saying, “Bob owns 0.000000678% of the DAI/USDC pool.” Bob just has a token in his wallet. And Bob doesn’t have to keep that token. He could sell it. Or use it in another product. We’ll circle back to this, but it helps to explain why people like to talk about DeFi products as “money Legos.”
So how much money do people make by putting money into these products?
It can be a lot more lucrative than putting money in a traditional bank, and that’s before startups started handing out governance tokens. Compound is the current darling of this space, so let’s use it as an illustration. As of this writing, a person can put USDC into Compound and earn 2.72% on it. They can put tether (USDT) into it and earn 2.11%. Most U.S. bank accounts earn less than 0.1% these days, which is close enough to nothing. However, there are some caveats. First, there’s a reason the interest rates are so much juicier: DeFi is a far riskier place to park your money. There’s no Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) protecting these funds. If there were a run on Compound, users could find themselves unable to withdraw their funds when they wanted. Plus, the interest is quite variable. You don’t know what you’ll earn over the course of a year. USDC’s rate is high right now. It was low last week. Usually, it hovers somewhere in the 1% range. Similarly, a user might get tempted by assets with more lucrative yields like USDT, which typically has a much higher interest rate than USDC. (Monday morning, the reverse was true, for unclear reasons; this is crypto, remember.) The trade-off here is USDT’s transparency about the real-world dollars it’s supposed to hold in a real-world bank is not nearly up to par with USDC’s. A difference in interest rates is often the market’s way of telling you the one instrument is viewed as dicier than another. Users making big bets on these products turn to companies Opyn and Nexus Mutual to insure their positions because there’s no government protections in this nascent space – more on the ample risks later on. So users can stick their assets in Compound or Uniswap and earn a little yield. But that’s not very creative. Users who look for angles to maximize that yield: those are the yield farmers.
OK, I already knew all of that. What is yield farming?
Broadly, yield farming is any effort to put crypto assets to work and generate the most returns possible on those assets. At the simplest level, a yield farmer might move assets around within Compound, constantly chasing whichever pool is offering the best APY from week to week. This might mean moving into riskier pools from time to time, but a yield farmer can handle risk. “Farming opens up new price arbs [arbitrage] that can spill over to other protocols whose tokens are in the pool,” said Maya Zehavi, a blockchain consultant. Because these positions are tokenized, though, they can go further. This was a brand-new kind of yield on a deposit. In fact, it was a way to earn a yield on a loan. Who has ever heard of a borrower earning a return on a debt from their lender? In a simple example, a yield farmer might put 100,000 USDT into Compound. They will get a token back for that stake, called cUSDT. Let’s say they get 100,000 cUSDT back (the formula on Compound is crazy so it’s not 1:1 like that but it doesn’t matter for our purposes here). They can then take that cUSDT and put it into a liquidity pool that takes cUSDT on Balancer, an AMM that allows users to set up self-rebalancing crypto index funds. In normal times, this could earn a small amount more in transaction fees. This is the basic idea of yield farming. The user looks for edge cases in the system to eke out as much yield as they can across as many products as it will work on. Right now, however, things are not normal, and they probably won’t be for a while.
Why is yield farming so hot right now?
Because of liquidity mining. Liquidity mining supercharges yield farming. Liquidity mining is when a yield farmer gets a new token as well as the usual return (that’s the “mining” part) in exchange for the farmer’s liquidity. “The idea is that stimulating usage of the platform increases the value of the token, thereby creating a positive usage loop to attract users,” said Richard Ma of smart-contract auditor Quantstamp. The yield farming examples above are only farming yield off the normal operations of different platforms. Supply liquidity to Compound or Uniswap and get a little cut of the business that runs over the protocols – very vanilla. But Compound announced earlier this year it wanted to truly decentralize the product and it wanted to give a good amount of ownership to the people who made it popular by using it. That ownership would take the form of the COMP token. Lest this sound too altruistic, keep in mind that the people who created it (the team and the investors) owned more than half of the equity. By giving away a healthy proportion to users, that was very likely to make it a much more popular place for lending. In turn, that would make everyone’s stake worth much more. So, Compound announced this four-year period where the protocol would give out COMP tokens to users, a fixed amount every day until it was gone. These COMP tokens control the protocol, just as shareholders ultimately control publicly traded companies. Every day, the Compound protocol looks at everyone who had lent money to the application and who had borrowed from it and gives them COMP proportional to their share of the day’s total business. The results were very surprising, even to Compound’s biggest promoters. COMP’s value will likely go down, and that’s why some investors are rushing to earn as much of it as they can right now. This was a brand-new kind of yield on a deposit into Compound. In fact, it was a way to earn a yield on a loan, as well, which is very weird: Who has ever heard of a borrower earning a return on a debt from their lender? COMP’s value has consistently been well over $200 since it started distributing on June 15. We did the math elsewhere but long story short: investors with fairly deep pockets can make a strong gain maximizing their daily returns in COMP. It is, in a way, free money. It’s possible to lend to Compound, borrow from it, deposit what you borrowed and so on. This can be done multiple times and DeFi startup Instadapp even built a tool to make it as capital-efficient as possible. “Yield farmers are extremely creative. They find ways to ‘stack’ yields and even earn multiple governance tokens at once,” said Spencer Noon of DTC Capital. COMP’s value spike is a temporary situation. The COMP distribution will only last four years and then there won’t be any more. Further, most people agree that the high price now is driven by the low float (that is, how much COMP is actually free to trade on the market – it will never be this low again). So the value will probably gradually go down, and that’s why savvy investors are trying to earn as much as they can now. Appealing to the speculative instincts of diehard crypto traders has proven to be a great way to increase liquidity on Compound. This fattens some pockets but also improves the user experience for all kinds of Compound users, including those who would use it whether they were going to earn COMP or not. As usual in crypto, when entrepreneurs see something successful, they imitate it. Balancer was the next protocol to start distributing a governance token, BAL, to liquidity providers. Flash loan provider bZx has announced a plan. Ren, Curve and Synthetixalso teamed up to promote a liquidity pool on Curve. It is a fair bet many of the more well-known DeFi projects will announce some kind of coin that can be mined by providing liquidity. The case to watch here is Uniswap versus Balancer. Balancer can do the same thing Uniswap does, but most users who want to do a quick token trade through their wallet use Uniswap. It will be interesting to see if Balancer’s BAL token convinces Uniswap’s liquidity providers to defect. So far, though, more liquidity has gone into Uniswap since the BAL announcement, according to its data site. That said, even more has gone into Balancer.
Did liquidity mining start with COMP?
No, but it was the most-used protocol with the most carefully designed liquidity mining scheme. This point is debated but the origins of liquidity mining probably date back to Fcoin, a Chinese exchange that created a token in 2018 that rewarded people for making trades. You won’t believe what happened next! Just kidding, you will: People just started running bots to do pointless trades with themselves to earn the token. Similarly, EOS is a blockchain where transactions are basically free, but since nothing is really free the absence of friction was an invitation for spam. Some malicious hacker who didn’t like EOS created a token called EIDOS on the network in late 2019. It rewarded people for tons of pointless transactions and somehow got an exchange listing. These initiatives illustrated how quickly crypto users respond to incentives. Read more:Compound Changes COMP Distribution Rules Following ‘Yield Farming’ Frenzy Fcoin aside, liquidity mining as we now know it first showed up on Ethereum when the marketplace for synthetic tokens, Synthetix, announced in July 2019 an award in its SNX token for users who helped add liquidity to the sETH/ETH pool on Uniswap. By October, that was one of Uniswap’s biggest pools. When Compound Labs, the company that launched the Compound protocol, decided to create COMP, the governance token, the firm took months designing just what kind of behavior it wanted and how to incentivize it. Even still, Compound Labs was surprised by the response. It led to unintended consequences such as crowding into a previously unpopular market (lending and borrowing BAT) in order to mine as much COMP as possible. Just last week, 115 different COMP wallet addresses – senators in Compound’s ever-changing legislature – voted to change the distribution mechanism in hopes of spreading liquidity out across the markets again.
Is there DeFi for bitcoin?
Yes, on Ethereum. Nothing has beaten bitcoin over time for returns, but there’s one thing bitcoin can’t do on its own: create more bitcoin. A smart trader can get in and out of bitcoin and dollars in a way that will earn them more bitcoin, but this is tedious and risky. It takes a certain kind of person. DeFi, however, offers ways to grow one’s bitcoin holdings – though somewhat indirectly. A long HODLer is happy to gain fresh BTC off their counterparty’s short-term win. That’s the game. For example, a user can create a simulated bitcoin on Ethereum using BitGo’s WBTC system. They put BTC in and get the same amount back out in freshly minted WBTC. WBTC can be traded back for BTC at any time, so it tends to be worth the same as BTC. Then the user can take that WBTC, stake it on Compound and earn a few percent each year in yield on their BTC. Odds are, the people who borrow that WBTC are probably doing it to short BTC (that is, they will sell it immediately, buy it back when the price goes down, close the loan and keep the difference). A long HODLer is happy to gain fresh BTC off their counterparty’s short-term win. That’s the game.
How risky is it?
Enough. “DeFi, with the combination of an assortment of digital funds, automation of key processes, and more complex incentive structures that work across protocols – each with their own rapidly changing tech and governance practices – make for new types of security risks,” said Liz Steininger of Least Authority, a crypto security auditor. “Yet, despite these risks, the high yields are undeniably attractive to draw more users.” We’ve seen big failures in DeFi products. MakerDAO had one so bad this year it’s called “Black Thursday.” There was also the exploit against flash loan provider bZx. These things do break and when they do money gets taken. As this sector gets more robust, we could see token holders greenlighting more ways for investors to profit from DeFi niches. Right now, the deal is too good for certain funds to resist, so they are moving a lot of money into these protocols to liquidity mine all the new governance tokens they can. But the funds – entities that pool the resources of typically well-to-do crypto investors – are also hedging. Nexus Mutual, a DeFi insurance provider of sorts, told CoinDesk it has maxed out its available coverage on these liquidity applications. Opyn, the trustless derivatives maker, created a way to short COMP, just in case this game comes to naught. And weird things have arisen. For example, there’s currently more DAI on Compound than have been minted in the world. This makes sense once unpacked but it still feels dicey to everyone. That said, distributing governance tokens might make things a lot less risky for startups, at least with regard to the money cops. “Protocols distributing their tokens to the public, meaning that there’s a new secondary listing for SAFT tokens, [gives] plausible deniability from any security accusation,” Zehavi wrote. (The Simple Agreement for Future Tokens was a legal structure favored by many token issuers during the ICO craze.) Whether a cryptocurrency is adequately decentralized has been a key feature of ICO settlements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
What’s next for yield farming? (A prediction)
COMP turned out to be a bit of a surprise to the DeFi world, in technical ways and others. It has inspired a wave of new thinking. “Other projects are working on similar things,” said Nexus Mutual founder Hugh Karp. In fact, informed sources tell CoinDesk brand-new projects will launch with these models. We might soon see more prosaic yield farming applications. For example, forms of profit-sharing that reward certain kinds of behavior. Imagine if COMP holders decided, for example, that the protocol needed more people to put money in and leave it there longer. The community could create a proposal that shaved off a little of each token’s yield and paid that portion out only to the tokens that were older than six months. It probably wouldn’t be much, but an investor with the right time horizon and risk profile might take it into consideration before making a withdrawal. (There are precedents for this in traditional finance: A 10-year Treasury bond normally yields more than a one-month T-bill even though they’re both backed by the full faith and credit of Uncle Sam, a 12-month certificate of deposit pays higher interest than a checking account at the same bank, and so on.) As this sector gets more robust, its architects will come up with ever more robust ways to optimize liquidity incentives in increasingly refined ways. We could see token holders greenlighting more ways for investors to profit from DeFi niches. Questions abound for this nascent industry: What will MakerDAO do to restore its spot as the king of DeFi? Will Uniswap join the liquidity mining trend? Will anyone stick all these governance tokens into a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO)? Or would that be a yield farmers co-op? Whatever happens, crypto’s yield farmers will keep moving fast. Some fresh fields may open and some may soon bear much less luscious fruit. But that’s the nice thing about farming in DeFi: It is very easy to switch fields.
Stocks are set to end the week on a high note after four of the biggest tech stocks - Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) - reported quarterly results that beat high expectations. Apple easily exceeded estimates on the top and bottom lines, and announced a four-for-one stock split, sending shares past the $400 threshold in after-hours trading. Amazon's sales soared, and operating income nearly doubled compared with the big drop analysts had expected. Facebook posted 11% revenue growth and issued stronger-than-expected sales guidance for the current quarter. Results from Google's parent were a bit murkier, showing the company's first-ever year-over-year decline in advertising revenue, but sales from its cloud-computing segment came in well above expectations. Big Tech has been Wall Street's mainstay this year, and the latest quarterly results look to accelerate that trend. Amazon and Apple are up 65% and 31%, respectively, in 2020, while Facebook and Alphabet each have gained more than 14% over the period. With all four stocks moving higher in after-hours trading, the tech titans likely will add more than $200 billion to their combined market value. U.S. economy shrank by a third in Q2 The Commerce Department said U.S. gross domestic product collapsed at a 32.9% annualized rate in the second quarter, the steepest decline since the government started keeping records in 1947, as COVID-19 crushed consumer and business spending. Meanwhile, in a sign of a faltering jobs market, the number of workers applying for initial unemployment benefits rose for the second straight week, to 1.43 million, after nearly four months of decreases following a late-March peak. The Q2 economic contraction came as states imposed lockdowns in March and April to contain the coronavirus and then lifted restrictions in May and June, allowing growth to resume. Economists expect the third quarter to show growth, but the summer rise in infections likely will temper gains. Senate fails to advance jobless benefits extension Meanwhile, no signs of progress are evident in talks between Republicans and Democrats over a new coronavirus relief bill. The U.S. Senate failed yesterday to advance an effort to extend a $200 per week supplement to unemployment insurance benefits. Senate Republicans and the White House had sought to cut the supplement from $600 through September, after which those collecting unemployment benefits would get 70% of their previous wages when combined with state benefits. While much of the focus has been on the expiration of the additional $600-per-week of unemployment benefits, an eviction moratorium is receiving increasing attention as well. China factory activity expands for fifth straight month China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers' index came in better than expected, rising to 51.1 in July from 50.9 in June for its highest reading since March. July marked the fifth consecutive month that the closely watched measure of China's factory activity topped the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction. Combined with China's official non-manufacturing purchasing managers' index, which indicated a slight deceleration in the service sector, the data suggests China's factories have returned to pre-coronavirus levels but consumer demand remains much weaker, which means inventory is piling up. Chinese-backed hackers reportedly targeted Moderna for vaccine data China rejects charges that hackers linked to its government targeted Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) to steal data related to research on a coronavirus vaccine. Citing an unnamed U.S. security official, Reuters reported yesterday that Chinese hackers targeted the U.S. biotech firm earlier this year. Moderna said it had been in contact with the FBI and was made aware of the suspected "information reconnaissance activities" by a hacking group mentioned in last week's Justice Department indictment, where two Chinese nationals were accused of spying on the U.S., including three unnamed U.S.-based targets involved in medical research to fight COVID-19. The two other unnamed medical research companies mentioned in the Justice Department indictment are described as biotech companies based in California and Maryland - descriptions that could fit Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) and Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX). Go deeper: J&J (NYSE:JNJ) COVID-19 vaccine candidate shows positive effect in primate study. Amazon's $10 billion Internet satellite plan wins FCC approval While overshadowed by the company's earnings, Amazon.com's (AMZN) tech ambitions got a boost as the FCC approved its $10B plan to put thousands of satellites in the sky to provide high-speed Internet to unserved and underserved areas. The company's Project Kuiper - using 3,200 low Earth orbit satellites - would compete in that area with the Starlink project at SpaceX (SPACE). Australia to force Google, Facebook to pay for news Australia will become the first country in the world to force Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOG, GOOGL) to pay publishers for the news content featured on its sites. It will give the companies three months to negotiate fair pay with media businesses there, a move to ensure competition and consumer protection as well as a sustainable media landscape. Other companies are likely to be targeted for similar moves by Australia's government later. U.K. fraud office charges Airbus subsidiary over Saudi deal The U.K.'s major economic crimes investigator has charged Airbus' (OTCPK:EADSY) subsidiary GPT Special Project Management and three individuals in connection with a defense contract the country arranged with Saudi Arabia. Airbus says the Serious Fraud Office's investigation related to contractual arrangements that predated its acquisition of the subsidiary. The charges represent a step forward in one of the SFO's most politically sensitive probes, which has been viewed as a potential threat to the U.K.'s relationship with the Saudis. Go deeper: Airbus works to slow cash burn, puts brakes on production. What else is happening... Walmart (NYSE:WMT) memo points to cutting jobs in 'streamlining.' Facebook (FB) finally securing rights to show music videos. Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) account breach involved phone-based phishing attacks on employees. Thursday's Key Earnings Apple (AAPL) +6.3% PM on strong earnings, stock split. Amazon (AMZN) +5.5% PM on strong Q2 earnings, Q3 guidance. Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) flat PM after soft ad revenue. Facebook (FB) +5.9 PM on strong earnings, user growth. Ford Motor (NYSE:F) +2.5% PM despite seeing weak FY demand. Gilead Sciences (GILD) -3.6% PM as pandemic disrupts earnings. US Steel (NYSE:X) flat PM after Q2 loss, upbeat Q3 guidance. Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) flat PM after Q2 beat, better-than-expected FY guidance. LTC Properties (NYSE:LTC) -3.2% AH as Q2 rental revenue takes a hit. Xilinx (NASDAQ:XLNX) -2.7% PM on in-line Q2, outlook. Stryker (NYSE:SYK) -2.8% AH despite Q2 beat. Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) +1% AH on robust Q2 Trikafta sales. OPKO Health (NASDAQ:OPK) -6% PM after healthy Q2 earnings. Atlassian (NASDAQ:TEAM) -7% PM on FQ4 customer weakness, downside EPS forecast. Exact Sciences (NASDAQ:EXAS) -3% AH on pandemic disrupting Q2 revenue. Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) -6% PM after massive Q2 bookings dip. Seattle Genetics (NASDAQ:SGEN) -2% AH despite Q2 beat. Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG) flat PM after Q2 beat, unchanged guidance. XPO Logistics (NYSE:XPO) -4% AH on weak Q2 shipping metrics. Shake Shack (NYSE:SHAK) -4.8% AH on Q2 miss, pulled Q3 guidance. Today's Markets In Asia, Japan -2.82%. Hong Kong -0.47%. China +0.71%. India -0.26%. In Europe, at midday, London -0.17%. Paris +0.01%. Frankfurt +0.27%. Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.13%. S&P +0.19%. Nasdaq +0.84%. Crude +0.45% to $40.05. Gold +1.48% to $1,995.90. Bitcoin +1.83% to $11,161. Ten-year Treasury Yield -1.3 bps to 0.53% Today's Economic Calendar 8:30 Personal Income and Outlays 8:30 Employment Cost Index 9:45 Chicago PMI 10:00 Consumer Sentiment 1:00 PM Baker-Hughes Rig Count 3:00 PM Farm Prices
Crypto-Powered - The Most Promising Use-Cases of Decentralized Finance (DeFi)
A whirlwind tour of Defi, paying close attention to protocols that we’re leveraging atGenesis Block. https://reddit.com/link/hrrt21/video/cvjh5rrh12b51/player This is the third post ofCrypto-Powered— a new series that examines what it means forGenesis Blockto be a digital bank that’s powered by crypto, blockchain, and decentralized protocols. Last week we explored how building on legacy finance is a fool’s errand. The future of money belongs to those who build with crypto and blockchain at their core. We also started down the crypto rabbit hole, introducing Bitcoin, Ethereum, and DeFi (decentralized finance). That post is required reading if you hope to glean any value from the rest of this series. 97% of all activity on Ethereum in the last quarter has been DeFi-related. The total value sitting inside DeFi protocols is roughly $2B — double what it was a month ago. The explosive growth cannot be ignored. All signs suggest that Ethereum & DeFi are a Match Made in Heaven, and both on their way to finding strong product/market fit. So in this post, we’re doing a whirlwind tour of DeFi. We look at specific examples and use-cases already in the wild and seeing strong growth. And we pay close attention to protocols that Genesis Block is integrating with. Alright, let’s dive in.
Stablecoins are exactly what they sound like: cryptocurrencies that are stable. They are not meant to be volatile (like Bitcoin). These assets attempt to peg their price to some external reference (eg. USD or Gold). A non-volatile crypto asset can be incredibly useful for things like merchant payments, cross-border transfers, or storing wealth — becoming your own bank but without the stress of constant price volatility. There are major governments and central banks that are experimenting with or soon launching their own stablecoins like China with their digital yuan and the US Federal Reserve with their digital dollar. There are also major corporations working in this area like JP Morgan with their JPM Coin, and of course Facebook with their Libra Project.
Stablecoin activity has grown 800% in the last year, with $290B of transaction volume (funds moving on-chain).
USDC($1B): This is the most reputable USD-backed stablecoin, at least in the West. It was created by Coinbase & Circle, both well-regarded crypto companies. They’ve been very open and transparent with their audits and bank records.
DAI ($189M): This is backed by other crypto assets — not USD in a bank account. This was arguably the first true DeFi protocol. The big benefit is that it’s more decentralized — it’s not controlled by any single organization. The downside is that the assets backing it can be volatile crypto assets (though it has mechanisms in place to mitigate that risk).
Three of the top five DeFi protocols relate to lending & borrowing. These popular lending protocols look very similar to traditional money markets. Users who want to earn interest/yield can deposit (lend) their funds into a pool of liquidity. Because it behaves similarly to traditional money markets, their funds are not locked, they can withdraw at any time. It’s highly liquid. Borrowers can tap into this pool of liquidity and take out loans. Interest rates depend on the utilization rate of the pool — how much of the deposits in the pool have already been borrowed. Supply & demand. Thus, interest rates are variable and borrowers can pay their loans back at any time.
So, who decides how much a borrower can take? What’s the process like? Are there credit checks? How is credit-worthiness determined?
These protocols are decentralized, borderless, permissionless. The people participating in these markets are from all over the world. There is no simple way to verify identity or check credit history. So none of that happens. Credit-worthiness is determined simply by how much crypto collateral the borrower puts into the protocol. For example, if a user wants to borrow $5k of USDC, then they’ll need to deposit $10k of BTC or ETH. The exact amount of collateral depends on the rules of the protocol — usually the more liquid the collateral asset, the more borrowing power the user can receive. The most prominent lending protocols include Compound, Aave, Maker, and Atomic Loans. Recently, Compound has seen meteoric growth with the introduction of their COMP token — a token used to incentivize and reward participants of the protocol. There’s almost $1B in outstanding debt in the Compound protocol. Mainframe is also working on an exciting protocol in this area and the latest iteration of their white paper should be coming out soon.
There is very little economic risk to these protocols because all loans are overcollateralized.
Buying, selling, and trading crypto assets is certainly one form of investing (though not for the faint of heart). But there are now DeFi protocols to facilitate making and managing traditional-style investments. Through DeFi, you can invest in Gold. You can invest in stocks like Amazon and Apple. You can short Tesla. You can access the S&P 500. This is done through crypto-based synthetics — which gives users exposure to assets without needing to hold or own the underlying asset. This is all possible with protocols like UMA, Synthetix, or Market protocol. Maybe your style of investing is more passive. With PoolTogether , you can participate in a no-loss lottery. Maybe you’re an advanced trader and want to trade options or futures. You can do that with DeFi protocols like Convexity, Futureswap, and dYdX. Maybe you live on the wild side and trade on margin or leverage, you can do that with protocols like Fulcrum, Nuo, and DDEX. Or maybe you’re a degenerate gambler and want to bet against Trump in the upcoming election, you can do that on Augur. And there are plenty of DeFi protocols to help with crypto investing. You could use Set Protocol if you need automated trading strategies. You could use Melonport if you’re an asset manager. You could use Balancer to automatically rebalance your portfolio. With as little as $1, people all over the world can have access to the same investment opportunities and tools that used to be reserved for only the wealthy, or those lucky enough to be born in the right country.
You can start to imagine how services like Etrade, TD Ameritrade, Schwab, and even Robinhood could be massively disrupted by a crypto-native company that builds with these types of protocols at their foundation.
As mentioned in our previous post, there are near-infinite applications one can build on Ethereum. As a result, sometimes the code doesn’t work as expected. Bugs get through, it breaks. We’re still early in our industry. The tools, frameworks, and best practices are all still being established. Things can go wrong. Sometimes the application just gets in a weird or bad state where funds can’t be recovered — like with what happened with Parity where $280M got frozen (yes, I lost some money in that). Sometimes, there are hackers who discover a vulnerability in the code and maliciously steal funds — like how dForce lost $25M a few months ago, or how The DAO lost $50M a few years ago. And sometimes the system works as designed, but the economic model behind it is flawed, so a clever user takes advantage of the system— like what recently happened with Balancer where they lost $500k. There are a lot of risks when interacting with smart contracts and decentralized applications — especially for ones that haven’t stood the test of time. This is why insurance is such an important development in DeFi.
Insurance will be an essential component in helping this technology reach the masses.
Decentralized Exchanges (DEX) were one of the first and most developed categories in DeFi. A DEX allows a user to easily exchange one crypto asset for another crypto asset — but without needing to sign up for an account, verify identity, etc. It’s all via decentralized protocols. Within the first 5 months of 2020, the top 7 DEX already achieved the 2019 trading volume. That was $2.5B. DeFi is fueling a lot of this growth. https://preview.redd.it/1dwvq4e022b51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=97a3d756f60239cd147031eb95fc2a981db55943 There are many different flavors of DEX. Some of the early ones included 0x, IDEX, and EtherDelta — all of which had a traditional order book model where buyers are matched with sellers. Another flavor is the pooled liquidity approach where the price is determined algorithmically based on how much liquidity there is and how much the user wants to buy. This is known as an AMM (Automated Market Maker) — Uniswap and Bancor were early leaders here. Though lately, Balancer has seen incredible growth due mostly to their strong incentives for participation — similar to Compound. There are some DEXs that are more specialized — for example, Curve and mStable focus mostly only stablecoins. Because of the proliferation of these decentralized exchanges, there are now aggregators that combine and connect the liquidity of many sources. Those include Kyber, Totle, 1Inch, and Dex.ag.
These decentralized exchanges are becoming more and more connected to DeFi because they provide an opportunity for yield and earning interest.
As it relates to making payments, much of the world is still stuck on plastic cards. We’re grateful to partner with Visa and launch the Genesis Block debit card… but we still don’t believe that's the future of payments. We see that as an important bridge between the past (legacy finance) and the future (crypto). Our first post in this series shared more on why legacy finance is broken. We talked about the countless unnecessary middle-men on every card swipe (merchant, acquiring bank, processor, card network, issuing bank). We talked about the slow settlement times. The future of payments will be much better. Yes, it’ll be from a mobile phone and the user experience will be similar to ApplePay (NFC) or WePay (QR Code).
But more importantly, the underlying assets being moved/exchanged will all be crypto — digital, permissionless, and open source.
Someone making a payment at the grocery store check-out line will be able to open up Genesis Block, use contactless tech or scan a QR code, and instantly pay for their goods. All using crypto. Likely a stablecoin. Settlement will be instant. All the middlemen getting their pound of flesh will be disintermediated. The merchant can make more and the user can spend less. Blockchain FTW! Now let’s talk about a few projects working in this area. The xDai Burner Wallet experience was incredible at the ETHDenver event a few years ago, but that speed came at the expense of full decentralization (can it be censored or shut down?). Of course, Facebook’s Libra wants to become the new standard for global payments, but many are afraid to give Facebook that much control (newsflash: it isn’t very decentralized). Bitcoin is decentralized… but it’s slow and volatile. There are strong projects like Lightning Network (Zap example) that are still trying to make it happen. Projects like Connext and OmiseGo are trying to help bring payments to Ethereum. The Flexa project is leveraging the gift card rails, which is a nice hack to leverage existing pipes. And if ETH 2.0 is as fast as they say it will be, then the future of payments could just be a stablecoin like DAI (a token on Ethereum). In a way, being able to spend crypto on daily expenses is the holy grail of use-cases. It’s still early. It hasn’t yet been solved. But once we achieve this, then we can ultimately and finally say goodbye to the legacy banking & finance world. Employees can be paid in crypto. Employees can spend in crypto. It changes everything.
Legacy finance is hanging on by a thread, and it’s this use-case that they are still clinging to. Once solved, DeFi domination will be complete.
At Genesis Block, we’re excited to leverage these protocols and take this incredible technology to the world. Many of these protocols are already deeply integrated with our product. In fact, many are essential. The masses won’t know (or care about) what Tether, USDC, or DAI is. They think in dollars, euros, pounds and pesos. So while the user sees their local currency in the app, the underlying technology is all leveraging stablecoins. It’s all on “crypto rails.” https://preview.redd.it/jajzttr622b51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=fcf55cea1216a1d2fcc3bf327858b009965f9bf8 When users deposit assets into their Genesis Block account, they expect to earn interest. They expect that money to grow. We leverage many of these low-risk lending/exchange DeFi protocols. We lend into decentralized money markets like Compound — where all loans are overcollateralized. Or we supply liquidity to AMM exchanges like Balancer. This allows us to earn interest and generate yield for our depositors. We’re the experts so our users don’t need to be. We haven’t yet integrated with any of the insurance or investment protocols — but we certainly plan on it. Our infrastructure is built with blockchain technology at the heart and our system is extensible — we’re ready to add assets and protocols when we feel they are ready, safe, secure, and stable. Many of these protocols are still in the experimental phase. It’s still early.
At Genesis Block we’re excited to continue to be at the frontlines of this incredible, innovative, technological revolution called DeFi.
--- None of these powerful DeFi protocols will be replacing Robinhood, SoFi, or Venmo anytime soon. They never will. They aren’t meant to! We’ve discussed this before, these are low-level protocols that need killer applications, like Genesis Block. So now that we’ve gone a little deeper down the rabbit hole and we’ve done this whirlwind tour of DeFi, the natural next question is: why?
Why does any of it matter?
Most of these financial services that DeFi offers already exist in the real world. So why does it need to be on a blockchain? Why does it need to be decentralized? What new value is unlocked? Next post, we answer these important questions. To look at more projects in DeFi, check outDeFi Prime,DeFi Pulse, orConsensys. ------ Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
Questions and Answers from OKEx AMA with Tron Black - 2/18/2020
https://twitter.com/OKEx/status/1228212766126661633 The AMA was a huge success! THANK YOU TRON! If you want to see all the questions that poured in when they opened the AMA up for questions from the audience, here they are: https://pastebin.com/KVpyXmgu The Telegram admins had to temporarily mute the group because there were so many questions flooding in from so many people. A *good problem* to have. :) Below are all the ANSWERED questions. ------------------------------------------------------------------- [email protected], [18.02.20 05:09] Here’s question#1:What is your background and how did you come to the idea to create RVN [email protected] Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:12] Sorry, I was locked out for minute. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:12] I'm just a tiny part of Ravencoin, and there are some amazing developers (Jeremy, Mark, Cade, and Corbin) that have been brought the new capabilities to mainnet. The core idea of bringing assets to a bitcoin-derived blockchain platform came from Bruce Fenton, a former Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation with life-long experience in the traditional finance and stockbroker world. Medici Ventures is allowing some of its developers to contribute to the project. I was fortunate enough to have the right background to help with this project. I have a CS degree, C++ coding skills, economics background, early entrepreneurial success, teaching experience, an MBA, and a burning passion for the crypto-space and how it can change the world for the better. [email protected], [18.02.20 05:12] Thanks. Here's question#2: Why did you name the project Raven? What was Raven created to solve? What is the business model of the project? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:12] The name came from Bruce Fenton. Ravens are clever birds with a rich history. Ravencoin makes it easy to create and transfer your own asset. There isn’t a business model for the project. It is a gift to the world in the spirit of Bitcoin. Medici Ventures has allowed some of its top developers to contribute time and effort to the project. Medici Ventures does hold some mined RVN, so it may be a win-win. [email protected], [18.02.20 05:14] Thank you for answering. Let's move on to the next question# 3. What are the $RVN tokens used for? What gives it value? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:15] Thank you for asking. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:15] The RVN tokens are used to purchase your own token on the Ravencoin platform. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:16] Those RVN are burned. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:16] RVN is also used to incentivize the miners to secure the chain. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:16] RVN is also used for transaction fees for tranferring RVN or user-created (your) assets. [email protected], [18.02.20 05:17] Cool. Here's question# 4:In your opinion what is the unique "selling" point, or best feature, of Ravencoin? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:17] This is like being asked "who is your favorite child." Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:18] Except answering it doesn't cost children thousands in therapy so I'll give it a shot. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:18] The best feature of Ravencoin, with the most unexpected results, has been its linkage to IPFS. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:19] This was originally done to ensure that meta-dat about a token doesn't get lost like it has on other platforms like Counterparty. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:19] The linkage to IPFS has RECENTLY been extended to include messaging, and memos. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:20] You can now include information, even a PDF, or a video clip with every transaction. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:20] This is powerful, and I can't wait to see how it gets used. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:20] -------------------- [email protected], [18.02.20 05:20] Quesiton#5 What are the advantages of using Ravencoin for assets tokenization compared to other blockchain protocols? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:21] Wow. Where do I start? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:21] First, the meta-data about the token can be recorded via IPFS, so everyone knows what the token represents. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:22] Second, the token has a unique name which can help with preventing fake tokens, and allows humang readable "root-of-trust" for the token that isn't just 40 characters of hex (ERC-20). Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:22] There explorers for assets, like: https://ravencoin.asset-explorer.com Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:23] and https://www.mangofarmassets.com/assetviewer Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:23] Wallets like RVN Wallet, MangoFarms Wallet, and Zelcore wallet support Ravencoin assets. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:23] -------------- [email protected], [18.02.20 05:23] Here's our next question from Twitter# 6: Does being fully community-driven blockchain have its own drawbacks for rvn? You know, voluntarism means no marketing or legal team. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:24] Yes, oh yes. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:24] But the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. [email protected], [18.02.20 05:24] [ Photo ] 📣Group is Off Commenting for a while due to AMA. Will allow back when Q&A session later. Kindly be Patience with us. Thank You🥰 Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:24] It is just technology that people choose to use. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:24] Ravencoin has attracted the right kinds of people, including donated legal help when it was needed. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:25] The lack of a marketing budget does slow the awareness. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:25] In some ways this is good, and the demand for RVN isn't reliant on promotion. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:25] As other projects stop promotion, or run out of marketing funds, they are at risk. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:26] Ravencoin is just growing slowly and steadily as more people learn about it. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:26] Consider yourself fortunate to have learned about Ravencoin early.😁 Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:26] --------------- [email protected], [18.02.20 05:27] Great!!! Here's the next question from Twitter# 7:is it apple to apple if I say that ravencoin is going to disrupt wall street just like bitcoin is disrupting to central banking? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:28] At the very least, Ravencoin will help show the way that tokenization can improve capital formation. It is up to others to take advantage of these new tools, technologies, and features. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:28] It might happen first in countries other than the U.S. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:29] Look at the story of Blockbuster Video (former leader in video rental), and Netflix (current video streaming leader) to see what might happen in the future. Is Wall Street the new Blockbuster Video? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:30] I see similar patterns of arrogance, but only time will tell. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:30] --------------- [email protected], [18.02.20 05:30] Here's the next question# 8: How will Ravencoin defend hashrate distribution (algo question) if there are important securities issued on this platform (double spend attack)? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:31] Ravencoin doesn't re-org after 60 blocks which helps prevent double-spend attacks -- a feature called NLR. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:31] Also, something to be aware of is that in most cases tokens are redeemed by an issuer which removes the incentive to double-spend. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:32] Example: Let's say the token is a share of real-estate. The laws of the jurisdiction for the real-estate would apply when redeeming for dividends, etc. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:33] Also If the issuer is using the Restricted Assets feature of Ravencoin which have tokens that start with $, then the stolen tokens can be frozen. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:33] Note: Regular assets (not starting with $) can't be frozen. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:33] The issuer of the token should specify how redemption is handled. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:33] -------------- [email protected], [18.02.20 05:34] Thank you for your detailed answer. and Quesiton#9 How does RVN works? What problem did RVN solve? How do the Tokenomics work? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:34] RVN works like BTC, because it is a code fork of BTC. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:34] RVN lets you create your own tokens in under a minute. It is easy!!! Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:34] RVN is required to create your own token. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:35] Heres' the breakdown: Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:35] 500 RVN burned to create a root asset with a unique name. 100 RVN is burned to create a sub-asset (under a root asset). 5 RVN is burned to create a unique asset (NFT). 1000 RVN burned to be a qualifier. 1500 RVN burned to create a Restricted Asset with special superpowers. 0.1 RVN burned to attach a tag to a Ravencoin address. A small amount of RVN is used, but not burned to transfer assets. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:35] ------------ [email protected], [18.02.20 05:35] Let's move on to the next question#10 Safety and security are always the most important things. So what is the security mechanism of RavenCoin to ensure user assets do not become the target of hackers? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:36] Ravencoin has a strong network of miners. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:36] Most of the original code is from Bitcoin which is probably the most vetted code in the world. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:36] We have run a bug bounty to hopefully find any flaws before release to mainnet. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:36] With all that said, there are no guarantees as this is just source code provided for free that folks choose to run. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:37] If you need absolute assurance, then you should commission an audit of the code. There is no Ravencoin company, just a GitHub repository and a lot of passionate supporters. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:37] ------------- [email protected], [18.02.20 05:37] Quesiton#11 Nowaday most investors $RVN simply focus on the price of the token in the short term, and not on the real value of the project. Can you tell us about the motivation and advantages of an investor $RVN in the long term? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:38] I can't speak to the motivations of individual investors. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:38] RVN is a great token with good liquidity (world-wide). Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:38] RVN is used to incentivize the miners and help protect the Ravencoin asset platform, so it has a use case. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:39] RVN can be a store-of-value, and a medium-of-exchange. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:39] One of my favorite things about Ravencoin is that it is tricky to classify, as it has so many uses. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:39] I love seeing how people build using this technology platform. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:39] Ravencoin makes new things possible. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:39] -------------- [email protected], [18.02.20 05:40] Here's the next question #12 Who are your competitors and how do you intend to thrive amongst them? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:40] This may sound strange, but I don't see crypto technologies as competitors. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:41] The crypto space is tiny compared to the legacy systems we've had for fifty years, so I look at every project as a way to bring new people into crypto-ecosystem. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:41] If we add value, features, and capabilities, then more people will learn about the Ravencoin platform and what it can do for them. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:41] The ERC-20 smart contract is an alternative asset issuance option, but Ravencoin is much better for most uses, so more education is needed. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:41] https://medium.com/@tronblack/ravencoin-better-than-erc-20-88a276d3e434 Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:41] -------------- [email protected], [18.02.20 05:42] Quesiton#13 What is the uniqueness of the Raven token? Why should investors (including me) invest in Raven? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:42] Ravencoin is a platform. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:42] You should evaluate the capabilities of the Ravencoin platform and ask yourself whether it will be used, and whether it adds value over other platforms like ETH, EOS, or TEZOS. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:42] Hint: It does. I try not to provide investment advice, so do your own research. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:43] https://ravencoin.org Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:43] https://medium.com/@tronblack Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:43] --------------- [email protected], [18.02.20 05:43] Quesiton#14 What your plans in place for global expansion, are you focusing on only market at this time? Or focus on building and developing or getting customers and users, or partnerships? Can you explain this? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:43] Ravencoin is already a global phenomenon. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:44] South Korea has been onto Ravencoin for some time now, and I had the opportunity to speak at a South Korean Ravencoin meetup that filled an Art Hall with a waiting list. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:44] Because of OKEx, that awareness will expand to China. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:44] Our focus is building and education about Ravencoin. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:44] There is no marketing budget, and we raised no funds. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:45] The success so far has been completely organic, and Ravencoin has the best community of any coin, anywhere. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:45] ------------ [email protected], [18.02.20 05:45] Here is THE LAST question#10 from Twitter before we accept questions from the Telegram chat. what are your hopes with the $RVN listing on u/OKEx Okex going forward? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:45] I hope the OKEx $RVN listing brings awareness of Ravencoin to new parts of the world. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:46] The project is more capable than most people know, and because it was launched without raising any funds, there isn't a marketing budget. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:46] It is up to smart individuals, like yourselves, to figure out what Ravencoin can do, and use the technology to make new companies and new projects. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:46] ------------------ +++++++++++++++++++++ Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:57] >>> When is mainnet launch? January 3, 2018 Tron Black, [18.02.20 06:01] >>> A project's Technical development may not always be reflected on the price of it's token. What is raven doing specifically to increase price of its token? I agree. And I think it is especially true in the case of Ravencoin. The true value may not be reflected in the short-term. The Ravencoin project isn't a company. It will take time. There isn't a marketing dept or budget, but through events like these, and podcasts, and blogs, and new projects building on top of Ravencoin, I think the value will eventually be reflected. Tron Black, [18.02.20 06:06] >>>> Give me some important reasons why we need to buy RVN token where in fact hundreds of project failed and it went to bankruptcy or even developers run when they collect millions/billions of funds…? Can you explain it to us Many got burned during the crazy ICO phase of 2017. Ravencoin did not participate. Ravencoin is technology and a passionate community. If I get hit by a bus tomorrow (heaven forbid), the project will continue because it is free, open-source and anyone can carry it on, or contribute, or use it, or copy it. Ravencoin can't go to bankruptcy. It is code, and it doesn't borrow, or or have debt. Some of the core develoepers, myself included, are allowed to work on the project while working for Medici Ventures. This is a great arrangement. Tron Black, [18.02.20 06:06] ----------------- Tron Black, [18.02.20 06:10] >>>> How does RAVENCOIN evaluate the importance of the user community? In the near future, does RAVEN have any special plans to attract and expand the community ? The Ravencoin community is the most important and valuable part of the project. There are already clones of the code, but not of the passionate, helpful, and dedicated community. We invite you to become a part of it, and help expand it in Asia. Tron Black, [18.02.20 06:10] -------------------- Tron Black, [18.02.20 06:13] >>>>. RVN is regulatory compliant project for assets tokenization in U.S. Meaning that the assets issued in RVN protocol is fine with the U.S authorities. Ravencoin provides features that help U.S. issuers stay legal under the existing U.S. rules. I've written about how this can be done, but I would always recommend having your plans reviewed by a competent attorney. The U.S. rules are complex, and from a different era. Tron Black, [18.02.20 06:13] --------------- Tron Black, [18.02.20 06:18] >>>> Ravencoin is constantly finding new big partners.Audience is constantly growing.What’s the secret to this growth rate? A vibrant, and welcoming community. Technology that solves real tokenization problems. Easy-to-use, so anyone can participate. Not launching as an ICO, so it is fair for everyone. Tron Black, [18.02.20 06:18] -------------- Tron Black, [18.02.20 06:20] Thank you everyone for the fantastic questions. I would like to answer every one of them, but it is after 4am and I should get some sleep. I really appreciate all the participation, and I hope your trading on OKEx goes very well for all of you!!!
Bitcoin is the most censorship resistant money in the world.
You don't have to buy a “whole” bitcoin so don't freak out if you look at the price. You can buy a piece of one no problem.
The Dallas Mavericks accept Bitcoin on their website. You don't trust Mark Cuban. He's the best shark.
Bitcoin is the best performing asset of the last decade (better than S&P500).
Diversify your current portfolio.
It's not illegal in the USA.
You holding just one satoshi slightly limits the supply and can rise the price for everyone else.
[In late 2019] hash rate is the highest it has ever been
Suicide insurance; if Bitcoin rises in price there is no worse feeling than regret.
Some of the smartest people in computer science and cryptography are working on it. Trust nerds.
Look at the all time historical chart. No technical analysis just tell me what you think when you look at it.
Money is a belief system... and I want to believe.
Transparent ledger, no funny business going on it's easy to audit.
Elon Musk appears to be a fan. How's that for an appeal to authority
There is a fixed limit in the number of bitcoins that will exist. 21 million bitcoin, 7 billion people on earth. Do the math.
There are so many examples of governments inflating their currency to the point where it becomes unusable. Read the wikipedia page for Venezuela or Zimbabwe.
Altcoins make sacrifices in either security or centralization. There are altcoins out there that claim to be innovating but just check the scoreboard nothing has flipped Bitcoin in market value or even gotten close.
With technology developing at a rate faster than law, governments and for-profit businesses have the ability to monitor our purchases, location, our habits, and all of this has happened without consent. People made jokes and conspiracy theory, but sometimes conspiracy is real. Most people are good, but there is absolutely evil out there. There are absolutely evil people in positions of power. There are absolutely evil people that work together in positions of power. Does anyone actually believe that Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide. Go read about Leslie Wexner. Go read the cypherpunk manifesto.
The upcoming halvening in 2020 will reduce the number of Bitcoin created in each block, making them more scarce, and if history repeats more valuable.
Bitcoin has lower fees than traditional banking.
Gold has the advantage of being a physical thing. But unlike gold you know Bitcoin is not forged, or mixed with another metal, and you can easily break it into tiny pieces and send it over the internet to someone.
Bitcoin could spark new interests maybe you start to read more into economics, computer science, or Brock Pierce.
Bitcoin has survived with no leader, marketing team, public relations, or legal team.
Because Wired magazine said Bitcoin was dead at $2, Forbes said it was dead at $15, NY Times at $208, and CNN at $333.
Just do a cost benefit analysis. What happens if Bitcoin fails and it goes to zero vs. what happens if it succeeds, and becomes world money.
Bitcoin encourages long term thinking, planning, saving. Due to inflation we are punished by holding on to cash. Look up the statistics on the average savings account while we are bombarded with consumerist bullshit like Funko pop heads, Loot crate subscription services, and new syrup flavors for coffee. Currently we are encouraged to spend now, seek immediate gratification, and ignore what we are becoming as Amazon picks out our clothes and toothpaste ships it to the house and we sit and watch streaming services where content is pushed to us and I'm supposed to buy that this garbage is actually “trending”. Our lives have become so comfortable that idiots spend $60 to escape a room and have someone take your picture when you get out. What would our ancestors think.
Maybe you're a day trader looking to use a trading bot in an unregulated market.
Bitcoin has 7 letters in it. Lucky number 7.....
Bitcoin promises to bank the unbanked, and provide services to those not otherwise “qualified” to open a bank account.
It's just cool, don't you want to seem smart to all your friends.
The origin story is so nuts there's going to be a movie or several movies about the early days of Bitcoin. Satoshi Nakamoto remains anonymous to this day. Imagine if the inventor of the cell phone was anonymous.
If you have money to burn, don't buy soda, weed, or some girls private snapchat it's a dead end put it towards Bitcoin and give it to your child in the future.
To avoid getting ripped off by foreign exchange fees just because you were born one place and your friends were born in another place.
Can't live off the grid in your log cabin and still use Mastercard. Bitcoin is one piece of opting out.
If one country adopts BTC as the national currency, it doesn't take much thought to realise that others will follow.
Join a welcoming and unique community. Everyone is super nice because they want your money.
You can stick it to the baby boomers.
You can stick it to the vegans.
You can stick it Roger Ver.
Maybe your IQ is 70 and you'll do whatever CNBC Fast Money recommends.
Maybe a hacker infects your computer, records you doing that thing, and threatens to release the tape if you do not pay them 1.5 Bitcoin.
You're a risk taker looking for some risky investment.
Aliens attack like Independence Day, blow up major cities in major countries, your money is still safe with Bitcoin. As long as there is a some guy, some person, living on an island with a copy of the ledger out there on your'e good. We're all good.
Many proposals to scale the number of transactions, may the best plan win.
One day you might have to use BTC to pay taxes, buy food, and charge your Tesla.
You want to support a political group and remain private.
You can trust math more than you can trust people to set an emission rate.
Government don't know how much you have.
The first response to Bitcoin being published by Hal Finney stated that Bitcoin was positioned to reach million dollar valuation. Hal was the first bull and passed away in 2014, missing a lot #doitforHal.
Baddies can't freeze your money if they mad at you.
The Big Bang Theory mentioned it, maybe you want to be like Sheldon the bazinga guy.
Be contrarian. In a world where everyone zigs it's sometimes good to zag.
Don't have any hobbies, and you just need a reason to get up in the morning.
Enjoy learning? Bitcoin is a topic where there is so much to learn, and so much development, that it really becomes a never ending journey. For someone who likes learning, it's more productive than speedrunning a video game.
Yolo. You only live once. This isn't a dress rehearsal, if there's something your kind of interested in pursue it. That's true for anything not just Bitcoin. But if you're reading this I'm assuming you're interested.
Bitcoin is not a ponzi scheme. The difference is Bitcoin does not need new people buying in to work, blocks being added will continue even if the community stopped growing.
With religion on the decline maybe you want to join a cult. Crypto twitter is a great echo chamber to meet like minded people.
Satoshi Nakamoto found a way to distribute a global currency in a fair way with the ability to adjust the mining difficulty as we go, it's really incredible. You still need computers and electricity to mine new bitcoin today but it's an extremely fair way for people to earn. There was no premine of Bitcoin. Everyone who has Bitcoin either bought it at what the market said, or they earned it.
No CEO in charge of Bitcoin to make bad decisions or a board of directors that can make changes. The users, an ever growing number, are in charge.
Bitcoin has no days off, it has no workers in charge who can get sick or take a holiday.
Bitcoin has survived 10 years (and more). While there will always be dangers, I'd argue that those first few years it was most vulnerable to fail.
Have some trust in the cypherpunks. Anyone who held and didn't sell bitcoin as it went from pennies to five figures is not looking to get rich. They want to change the world.
Potential president Tulsi Gabbard disclosed owning some.
Digital money is the future, anyone who has tried Venmo can see that. Well Bitcoin is a digitally native asset.
Refugees can use Bitcoin to store their wealth as they flee a failing country.
Bitcoin is an open source project. Anthony Pompliano likes to call it a virus but I like how the author of the Bitcoin Standard describes it. Bitcoin is like a song. As long as one person remembers it you can't destroy a song.
Triple entry accounting. When humans first started recording who owes who what we had single-entry accounting. The king's little brother would keep everything written down, but we had to really trust this guy because he could simply erase a line and that money would be gone. When double-entry accounting started to spread 500 years ago it brought with it massive innovation. Businesses could now form relationships across the ocean as they each kept a record. We did not have innovation again until Satoshi's Bitcoin, where blockchain can be used as the neutral third party to keep record. It might not sound important but blockchain allows us to agree upon an objective reality.
Bitcoin is non-political.
Bitcoin is easy to accept. I mean kind of. It's certainly easier than setting up a bank account.
A sandwich used to cost 10 cents in America, I walk into Subway and they don't even have $5 foot longs anymore. Inflation man..
It's a peaceful protest.
Critics say that mining wastes electricity, but if Bitcoin adoption continues the world will actually be incentivized to produce more renewable energy. There are so many waterfalls and sources of energy in the middle of nowhere right now. People might not see a reason to build a power plant over there now, but in the future it can make business sense. Take that waterfall mine bitcoin, and sell them to the people who can't mine. It allows for a business to sell their energy anywhere.
Get into debates around Bitcoin, build those critical thinking skills.
“Predicting rain doesn't count, building arks does”
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now.”
"I never considered for one second having anything to do with it. I detested it the moment it was raised. It’s just disgusting. Bitcoin is noxious poison.”
The immaculate conception. No cryptocurrency can have a start the grassroots way Bitcoin did, it's just impossible given how the space has changed.
There are more than 1000x more U.S. dollars today than there were a hundred years ago.
Bitcoin is the largest transfer of wealth this decade from the least curious to the curious.
The concept of the Star Wars Cantina, Galt's Gulch, or young Beat Generation kids sitting in a basement smoking cigarettes and questioning the world can only exist if money remains fungible.
You can send money to your Dad even if he lives in a country run by bad boys.
Memorize your key, and walk around the world carrying your money in your head.
The Federal Reserve is objectively way too powerful.
John Mcafe promised that if bitcoins were not valued at 1 million dollars by the end of 2020 he would eat his own penis on national television. It will be a sad day if we don't hit that 1 million.
The Apple credit card.
If we ever get artificial intelligence it'll be able to interact with Bitcoin.
Katy Perry is aware of crypto so if by some chance you run into her, you get one chance to strike up conversation, so here's your chance to shine. You don't ask for a picture, you don't say she's pretty, or name your favorite song. Take your shot and ask about what type of cold storage she uses for her bitcoin.
Many people are afraid of a world currency because it's associated with a centralized world power taking control. Bitcoin allows for neutral world money.
The biggest announcement of the month was the new kind of decentralized exchange proposed by @jy-p of Company 0. The Community Discussions section considers the stakeholders' response. dcrd: Peer management and connectivity improvements. Some work for improved sighash algo. A new optimization that gives 3-4x faster serving of headers, which is great for SPV. This was another step towards multipeer parallel downloads – check this issue for a clear overview of progress and planned work for next months (and some engineering delight). As usual, codebase cleanup, improvements to error handling, test infrastructure and test coverage. Decrediton: work towards watching only wallets, lots of bugfixes and visual design improvements. Preliminary work to integrate SPV has begun. Politeia is live on testnet! Useful links: announcement, introduction, command line voting example, example proposal with some votes, mini-guide how to compose a proposal. Trezor: Decred appeared in the firmware update and on Trezor website, currently for testnet only. Next steps are mainnet support and integration in wallets. For the progress of Decrediton support you can track this meta issue. dcrdata: Continued work on Insight API support, see this meta issue for progress overview. It is important for integrations due to its popularity. Ongoing work to add charts. A big database change to improve sorting on the Address page was merged and bumped version to 3.0. Work to visualize agenda voting continues. Ticket splitting: 11-way ticket split from last month has voted (transaction). Ethereum support in atomicswap is progressing and welcomes more eyeballs. decred.org: revamped Press page with dozens of added articles, and a shiny new Roadmap page. decredinfo.com: a new Decred dashboard by lte13. Reddit announcement here. Dev activity stats for June: 245 active PRs, 184 master commits, 25,973 added and 13,575 deleted lines spread across 8 repositories. Contributions came from 2 to 10 developers per repository. (chart)
Hashrate: growth continues, the month started at 15 and ended at 44 PH/s with some wild 30% swings on the way. The peak was 53.9 PH/s. F2Pool was the leader varying between 36% and 59% hashrate, followed by coinmine.pl holding between 18% and 29%. In response to concerns about its hashrate share, F2Pool made a statement that they will consider measures like rising the fees to prevent growing to 51%. Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 94.7 DCR (+3.4). The price was steadily rising from 90.7 to 95.8 peaking at 98.1. Locked DCR grew from 3.68 to 3.81 million DCR, the highest value was 3.83 million corresponding to 47.87% of supply (+0.7% from previous peak). Nodes: there are 240 public listening and 115 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 57% on v1.2.0 (+12%), 25% on v1.1.2 (-13%), 14% on v1.1.0 (-1%). Note: the reported count of non-listening nodes has dropped significantly due to data reset at decred.eu. It will take some time before the crawler collects more data. On top of that, there is no way to exactly count non-listening nodes. To illustrate, an alternative data source, charts.dcr.farm showed 690 reachable nodes on Jul 1. Extraordinary event: 247361 and 247362 were two nearly full blocks. Normally blocks are 10-20 KiB, but these blocks were 374 KiB (max is 384 KiB).
Update from Obelisk: shipping is expected in first half of July and there is non-zero chance to meet hashrate target. Another Chinese ASIC spotted on the web: Flying Fish D18 with 340 GH/s at 180 W costing 2,200 CNY (~340 USD). (asicok.com – translated, also on asicminervalue) dcrASIC team posted a farewell letter. Despite having an awesome 16 nm chip design, they decided to stop the project citing the saturated mining ecosystem and low profitability for their potential customers.
Changenow announced the option to buy DCR with fiat.
TokenPride: "We are seeking feedback on the general setup of our payment processor. We have tried to make it simple and user friendly. 10% of all purchases made in Decred will be donated to the Decred Development fund - and we will be releasing original Decred designs in the future".
BlueYard Capital announced investment in Decred and the intent to be long term supporters and to actively participate in the network's governance. In an overview post they stressed core values of the project:
There are a few other remarkable characteristics that are a testament to the DNA of the team behind Decred: there was no sale of DCR to investors, no venture funding, and no payment to exchanges to be listed – underscoring that the Decred team and contributors are all about doing the right thing for long term (as manifested in their constitution for the project). The most encouraging thing we can see is both the quality and quantity of high calibre developers flocking to the project, in addition to a vibrant community attaching their identity to the project.
The company will be hosting an event in Berlin, see Events below. Arbitrade is now mining Decred.
Campus Party in Brasilia, Brazil. @girino, @Rhama and @matheusd talked about Decred. Matheus was interviewed by a TV channel. Check this quick report about the event, click "Show newer" to continue reading. (photos: 123)
Blockchain Summit in London, UK. This was not a full blown presence with stand but rather investigation of opportunities by @kyle and @Ani. The resulting detailed report is a good example of a document advising to stakeholders whether it is worth spending project funds.
Meetup in Berlin, Germany on July 18. @jz will give a talk and Q&A about Decred and chat with Ele from @oscoin about incentivizing developers. Hosted by BlueYard Capital.
Hey guys! I'd like to share with you my latest adventure: Stakey Club, hosted at stakey.club, is a website dedicated to Decred. I posted a few articles in Brazilian Portuguese and in English. I also translated to Portuguese some posts from the Decred Blog. I hope you like it! (slack)
Decred Assembly - Ep20 - Governance: Driving the Future (youtube) @cburniske and @traceagain discuss the importance of governance protocols being foundational and problems with delegated proof of stake
"I think that developers in the future are going to base their decision on where to build on the basis of governance and community. And so I look for good governance mechanisms and strong communities in blockchains." (@decredproject)
What is on-chain cryptocurrency governance? Is it plutocratic? by Richard Red (medium)
Apples to apples, Decred is 20x more expensive to attack than Bitcoin by Zubair Zia (medium)
What makes Decred different and better from other cryptocurrencies? (cxihub.com)
Community stats: Twitter followers 40,209 (+1,091), Reddit subscribers 8,410 (+243), Slack users 5,830 (+172), GitHub 392 stars and 918 forks of dcrd repository. An update on our communication systems:
Matrix chat logs are nowviewable on the web with the exception of some channels that are not bridged. The new web logs means our chats are now fully public and indexed by search engines.
Slack had an outage on Jun 27 that disturbed communications for a few hours, discussions continued on Decred's bridged platforms.
Jake Yocom-Piatt did an AMA on CryptoTechnology, a forum for serious crypto tech discussion. Some topics covered were Decred attack cost and resistance, voting policies, smart contracts, SPV security, DAO and DPoS. A new kind of DEX was the subject of an extensive discussion in #general, #random, #trading channels as well as Reddit. New channel #thedex was created and attracted more than 100 people. A frequent and fair question is how the DEX would benefit Decred. @lukebp has put it well:
Projects like these help Decred attract talent. Typically, the people that are the best at what they do aren’t driven solely by money. They want to work on interesting projects that they believe in with other talented individuals. Launching a DEX that has no trading fees, no requirement to buy a 3rd party token (including Decred), and that cuts out all middlemen is a clear demonstration of the ethos that Decred was founded on. It helps us get our name out there and attract the type of people that believe in the same mission that we do. (slack)
Another concern that it will slow down other projects was addressed by @davecgh:
The intent is for an external team to take up the mantle and build it, so it won't have any bearing on the current c0 roadmap. The important thing to keep in mind is that the goal of Decred is to have a bunch of independent teams on working on different things. (slack)
A chat about Decred fork resistance started on Twitter and continued in #trading. Community members continue to discuss the finer points of Decred's hybrid system, bringing new users up to speed and answering their questions. The key takeaway from this chat is that the Decred chain is impossible to advance without votes, and to get around that the forker needs to change the protocol in a way that would make it clearly not Decred. "Against community governance" article was discussed on Reddit and #governance. "The Downside of Democracy (and What it Means for Blockchain Governance)" was another article arguing against on-chain governance, discussed here. Reddit recap: mining rig shops discussion; how centralized is Politeia; controversial debate on photos of models that yielded useful discussion on our marketing approach; analysis of a drop in number of transactions; concerns regarding project bus factor, removing central authorities, advertising and full node count – received detailed responses; an argument by insette for maximizing aggregate tx fees; coordinating network upgrades; a new "Why Decred?" thread; a question about quantum resistance with a detailed answer and a recap of current status of quantum resistant algorithms. Chats recap: Programmatic Proof-of-Work (ProgPoW) discussion; possible hashrate of Blake-256 miners is at least ~30% higher than SHA-256d; how Decred is not vulnerable to SPV leaf/node attack.
DCR opened the month at ~$93, reached monthly high of $110, gradually dropped to the low of $58 and closed at $67. In BTC terms it was 0.0125 -> 0.0150 -> 0.0098 -> 0.0105. The downturn coincided with a global decline across the whole crypto market. In the middle of the month Decred was noticed to be #1 in onchainfx "% down from ATH" chart and on this chart by @CoinzTrader. Towards the end of the month it dropped to #3.
Please note: we will not accept any kind of payment to list an asset.
Bithumb got hacked with a $30 m loss. Zcash organized Zcon0, an event in Canada that focused on privacy tech and governance. An interesting insight from Keynote Panel on governance: "There is no such thing as on-chain governance". Microsoft acquired GitHub. There was some debate about whether it is a reason to look into alternative solutions like GitLab right now. It is always a good idea to have a local copy of Decred source code, just in case. Status update from @sumiflow on correcting DCR supply on various sites:
To begin with, none of the below sites were showing the correct supply or market cap for Decred but we've made some progress. coingecko.com, coinlib.io, cryptocompare.com, livecoinwatch.com, worldcoinindex.com - corrected! cryptoindex.co, onchainfx.com - awaiting fix coinmarketcap.com - refused to fix because devs have coins too? (slack)
About This Issue
This is the third issue of Decred Journal after April and May. Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research. The new public Matrix logs look promising and we hope to transition from Slack links to Matrix links. In the meantime, the way to read Slack links is explained in the previous issue. As usual, any feedback is appreciated: please comment on Reddit, GitHub or #writers_room. Contributions are welcome too, anything from initial collection to final review to translations. Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee and Richard-Red. Special thanks to @Haon for bringing May 2018 issue to medium.
Note: New Reddit look may not highlight links. See old look here. A copy is hosted on GitHub for better reading experience. Check it out, contains photo of the month! Also on Medium
dcrd: Significant optimization in signature hash calculation, bloom filters support was removed, 2x faster startup thanks to in-memory full block index, multipeer work advancing, stronger protection against majority hashpower attacks. Additionally, code refactoring and cleanup, code and test infrastructure improvements. In dcrd and dcrwallet developers have been experimenting with new modular dependency and versioning schemes using vgo. @orthomind is seeking feedback for his work on reproducible builds. Decrediton: 1.2.1 bugfix release, work on SPV has started, chart additions are in progress. Further simplification of the staking process is in the pipeline (slack). Politeia: new command line tool to interact with Politeia API, general development is ongoing. Help with testing will soon be welcome: this issue sets out a test plan, join #politeia to follow progress and participate in testing. dcrdata: work ongoing on improved design, adding more charts and improving Insight API support. Android: design work advancing. Decred's own DNS seeder (dcrseeder) was released. It is written in Go and it properly supports service bit filtering, which will allow SPV nodes to find full nodes that support compact filters. Ticket splitting service by @matheusd entered beta and demonstrated an 11-way split on mainnet. Help with testing is much appreciated, please join #ticket_splitting to participate in splits, but check this doc to learn about the risks. Reddit discussion here. Trezor support is expected to land in their next firmware update. Decred is now supported by Riemann, a toolbox from James Prestwich to construct transactions for many UTXO-based chains from human-readable strings. Atomic swap with Ethereum on testnet was demonstrated at Blockspot Conference LATAM. Two new faces were added to contributors page. Dev activity stats for May: 238 active PRs, 195 master commits, 32,831 added and 22,280 deleted lines spread across 8 repositories. Contributions came from 4-10 developers per repository. (chart)
Hashrate: rapid growth from ~4,000 TH/s at the beginning of the month to ~15,000 at the end with new all time high of 17,949. Interesting dynamic in hashrate distribution across mining pools: coinmine.pl share went down from 55% to 25% while F2Pool up from 2% to 44%. [Note: as of June 6, the hashrate continues to rise and has already passed 22,000 TH/s] Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 91.3 DCR (+0.8), stake participation is 46.9% (+0.8%) with 3.68 million DCR locked (+0.15). Min price was 85.56. On May 11 ticket price surged to 96.99, staying elevated for longer than usual after such a pump. Locked DCR peaked at 47.17%. jet_user on reddit suggested that the DCR for these tickets likely came from a miner with significant hashrate. Nodes: there are 226 public listening and 405 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 45% on v1.2.0 (up from 24% last month), 39% on v1.1.2, 15% on v1.1.0 and 1% running outdaded versions.
Obelisk team posted an update. Current hashrate estimate of DCR1 is 1200 GH/s at 500 W and may still change. The chips came back at 40% the speed of the simulated results, it is still unknown why. Batch 1 units may get delayed 1-2 weeks past June 30. See discussions on decred and on siacoin. @SiaBillionaire estimated that 7940 DCR1 units were sold in Batches 1-5, while Lynmar13 shared his projections of DCR1 profitability (reddit). A new Chinese miner for pre-order was noticed by our Telegram group. Woodpecker WB2 specs 1.5 TH/s at 1200 W, costs 15,000 CNY (~2,340 USD) and the initial 150 units are expected to ship on Aug 15. (pow8.com – translated) Another new miner is iBelink DSM6T: 6 TH/s at 2100 W costing $6,300 (ibelink.co). Shipping starts from June 5. Some concerns and links were posted in these twothreads.
A new mining pool is available now: altpool.net. It uses PPLNS model and takes 1% fee. Another infrastructure addition is tokensmart.io, a newly audited stake pool with 0.8% fee. There are a total of 14 stake pools now. Exchange integrations:
Upbit added DCKRW and DCUSDT pairs. A user reported that DCR deposits and withdrawals are now available.
CoinEx announced the launch of DCBTC and DCBCH pairs.
Bleutrade added DCUSDT pair. Note their reply to our tweet. It was the first exchange to list Decred minutes after launch.
Brazilian exchange OmniTradeadded DCBRL fiat pair following a poll. Worth noting that it is one of the first to integrate Trezor sign-in.
There are reports that DCR was added to Abucoins and Tor Exchange but we don't know much about them.
OpenBazaar released an update that allows one to trade cryptocurrencies, including DCR. @i2Rav from i2trading is now offering two sided OTC market liquidity on DCUSD in #trading channel. Paytomat, payments solution for point of sale and e-commerce, integrated Decred. (missed in April issue) CoinPayments, a payment processor supporting Decred, developed an integration with @Shopify that allows connected merchants to accept cryptocurrencies in exchange for goods.
michae2xl: Voto Legal: CEO Thiago Rondon of Appcívico, has already been contacted by 800 politicians and negotiations have started with four pre-candidates for the presidency (slack, source tweet)
Blockfolio rolled out Signal Beta with Decred in the list. Users who own or watch a coin will automatically receive updates pushed by project teams. Nice to see this Journal made it to the screenshot! Placeholder Ventures announced that Decred is their first public investment. Their Investment Thesis is a clear and well researched overview of Decred. Among other great points it noted the less obvious benefit of not doing an ICO:
By choosing not to pre-sell coins to speculators, the financial rewards from Decred’s growth most favor those who work for the network.
One project that stands out at #Consensus2018 is @decredproject. Not annoying. Real tech. Humble team. #BUIDL is strong with them. (@PallerJohn)
Token Summit in New York, USA. @cburniske and @jmonegro from Placeholder talked "Governance and Cryptoeconomics" and spoke highly of Decred. (twitter coverage: 12, video, video (from 32 min)) Campus Party in Bahia, Brazil. João Ferreira aka @girino and Gabriel @Rhama were introducing Decred, talking about governance and teaching to perform atomic swaps. (photos) Decred was introduced to the delegates from Shanghai's Caohejing Hi-Tech Park, organized by @ybfventures. Second Decred meetup in Hangzhou, China. (photos) Madison Blockchain in Madison, USA. "Lots of in-depth questions. The Q&A lasted longer than the presentation!". (photo) Blockspot Conference Latam in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (photos: 1, 2) Upcoming events:
The Long-Term Bullish Case for Decred by Ben Davidow (medium.com)
Hardware Companies Are Launching Dedicated ASIC Miners for Decred (btcmanager.com)
Iterative Capital partner Chris Dannen and journalist Ben Schiller speak with Marco and Jonathan from Decred at Consensus 2018 (soundcloud)
Decred Review: What is DCR, the Decred Community & Possible Challenges by BitBoy Crypto (youtube)
Decred Founder: Bitcoin Paved Way, Phase 2 Will Shock You! (Marco Peereboom) by Pure Blockchain Wealth (youtube)
Decred & Blocknet: Revolutionary governance for every community feat. JZ at Consensus 2018 (youtube)
Decred coin - Will it be better than Bitcoin? by Bitassist (youtube)
Community stats: Twitter 39,118 (+742), Reddit 8,167 (+277), Slack 5,658 (+160). Difference is between May 5 and May 31. Reddit highlights: transparent up/down voting on Politeia, combining LN and atomic swaps, minimum viable superorganism, the controversial debate on Decred contractor model (people wondered about true motives behind the thread), tx size and fees discussion, hard moderation case, impact of ASICs on price, another "Why Decred?" thread with another excellent pitch by solar, fee analysis showing how ticket price algorithm change was controversial with ~100x cut in miner profits, impact of ticket splitting on ticket price, recommendations on promoting Decred, security against double spends and custom voting policies. @R3VoLuT1OneR posted a preview of a proposal from his company for Decred to offer scholarships for students. dcrtrader gained a couple of new moderators, weekly automatic threads were reconfigured to monthly and empty threads were removed. Currently most trading talk happens on #trading and some leaks to decred. A separate trading sub offers some advantages: unlimited trading talk, broad range of allowed topics, free speech and transparent moderation, in addition to standard reddit threaded discussion, permanent history and search. Forum: potential social attacks on Decred. Slack: the #governance channel created last month has seen many intelligent conversations on topics including: finite attention of decision makers, why stakeholders can make good decisions (opposed to a common narrative than only developers are capable of making good decisions), proposal funding and contractor pre-qualification, Cardano and Dash treasuries, quadratic voting, equality of outcome vs equality of opportunity, and much more. One particularly important issue being discussed is the growing number of posts arguing that on-chain governance and coin voting is bad. Just a few examples from Twitter: Decred is solving an imagined problem (decent response by @jm_buirski), we convince ourselves that we need governance and ticket price algo vote was not controversial, on-chain governance hurts node operators and it is too early for it, it robs node operators of their role, crypto risks being captured by the wealthy, it is a huge threat to the whole public blockchain space, coin holders should not own the blockchain. Some responses were posted here and here on Twitter, as well as this article by Noah Pierau.
The month of May has seen Decred earn some much deserved attention in the markets. DCR started the month around 0.009 BTC and finished around 0.0125 with interim high of 0.0165 on Bittrex. In USD terms it started around $81 and finished around $92, temporarily rising to $118. During a period in which most altcoins suffered, Decred has performed well; rising from rank #45 to #30 on Coinmarketcap. The addition of a much awaited KRW pair on Upbit saw the price briefly double on some exchanges. This pair opens up direct DCR to fiat trading in one of the largest cryptocurrency markets in the world. An update from @i2Rav:
We have begun trading DCR in large volume daily. The interest around DCR has really started to grow in terms of OTC quote requests. More and more customers are asking about trading it.
Like in previous month, Decred scores high by "% down from ATH" indicator being #2 on onchainfx as of June 6.
David Vorick (@taek) published lots of insights into the world of ASIC manufacturing (reddit). Bitmain replied. Bitmain released an ASIC for Equihash (archived), an algorithm thought to be somewhat ASIC-resistant 2 years ago. Threepure PoWcoins were attacked this month, one attempting to be ASIC resistant. This shows the importance of Decred's PoS layer that exerts control over miners and allows Decred to welcome ASIC miners for more PoW security without sacrificing sovereignty to them. Upbit was raided over suspected fraud and put under investigation. Following news reported no illicit activity was found and suggested and raid was premature and damaged trust in local exchanges. Circle, the new owner of Poloniex, announced a USD-backed stablecoin and Bitmain partnership. The plan is to make USDC available as a primary market on Poloniex. More details in the FAQ. Poloniex announced lower trading fees. Bittrex plans to offer USD trading pairs. @sumiflow made good progress on correcting Decred market cap on several sites:
speaking of market cap, I got it corrected on coingecko, cryptocompare, and worldcoinindex onchainfx, livecoinwatch, and cryptoindex.co said they would update it about a month ago but haven't yet I messaged coinlib.io today but haven't got a response yet coinmarketcap refused to correct it until they can verify certain funds have moved from dev wallets which is most likely forever unknowable (slack)
About This Issue
Some source links point to Slack messages. Although Slack hides history older than ~5 days, you can read individual messages if you paste the message link into chat with yourself. Digging the full conversation is hard but possible. The history of all channels bridged to Matrix is saved in Matrix. Therefore it is possible to dig history in Matrix if you know the timestamp of the first message. Slack links encode the timestamp: https://decred.slack.com/archives/C5H9Z63AA/p1525528370000062 => 1525528370 => 2018-05-05 13:52:50. Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research. Your feedback is precious. You can post on GitHub, comment on Reddit or message us in #writers_room channel. Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, Richard-Red, snr01 and solar.
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