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.
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Weekly Update: 10k ParJar users, PAR on Mercatox, BOMB Announcement, FTM on OKEx... – 28 Jun - 4 Jul'19
Hiya folks! With this update we will be totally caught up with the latest Parachute weekly. Whew! Told ya it will be fun. Thanks for sticking by. Here’s your week at Parachute (28 Jun – 4 Jul’19): ParJar crossed 10k users this week (with 120k total transactions till now). The growth is real! PAR got listed on Mercatox as well. The first Cex listing. Woot! Remember how well researched Benjamin’s BOMB metrics reports were? You are in for a treat. He made a deep dive report on the PAR token metrics as well. Enjoy! CoinsOnFire’s review of Parachute is out too. Have a read! Cap’s Parachute journey article was translated to Spanish by Roberto. The milestone items for July are pargas, new projects, more coverage. Cap announced a competition to design a logo for the Parachute News/Announcement channel. Tons of solid entries. 300k PAR were given out to the top picks. Pedro’s logo was simple yet clear in its message and was the winner of the comp with it becoming the Ann channel logo. Great work on the logos, guys! These look super fresh Ice and Chris rocking that Parachute swag The latest ParJar feature allows you to see price of any coin/token/USD/CAD/EUGBP/PLN/RUB amount to another coin/token/USD/CAD/EUGBP/PLN/RUB. So if you want to see price of 5000 PAR in AXPR or USD, just type /convert 5000 PAR AXPR or /convert 5000 PAR USD. Try it out in PM with the bot. Ketan won this week’s Parena and laid claim to the lion’s share of the 100k PAR pot. Victor’s trivia this week in ParJar was on Animals. 10 questions, 50k PAR. Dayum! Ian hosted an art quiz in ParJar as well. Another 50k PAR given out. The OG Parachute items were finally phased out of the parachute shop this week. Check out the latest gear that arrived in the shop. The Big Chili Race Standings as on 2-July Alexis receiving one of the last shipments of the OG gear aXpire submitted its proposal to be listed on Binance Dex this week. The 100k monthly AXPR burn can be tracked here. Weekly update video is up as well. Have a look. Co-Founder of Huddl, Vishal Karir, wrote about BOMB as deflationary gold in an article on scarce assets. Jason Choi, researcher at The Spartan Group, talked about two "fascinating & underexposed economic experiments in crypto" in a tweet thread this week. One of them was BOMB. Benjamin’s latest BOMB Report is out as well. You can also watch him elaborate on it in this video. Remember, the BOMB video contest that has been ongoing for a few weeks now? Here’s a compilation of 100 submissions. The winners have been selected. A new market stats dashboard will be going live soon. And finally, don’t forget to mark your calendars for July 15th. Zachary will be announcing the next big step for BOMB. This chart from Benjamin’s report seems to back up BOMB’s core idea Horizon State was featured in the blockchain showcase series by Micky News with a detailed background on the project and where they are heading. HST got added to the FlashCoin mobile wallet and its P2P marketplace. The Hydro Pay app’s official video was released this week. Plus, check out the latest app updates here, here and here. The project was also covered in a publish0x article about 3 promising projects in H2 2019. HYDRO has taken the lead in a vote-for-listing competition to get listed on ChangeNOW. Read more about DeFi and how Molecule is a positive force in the DeFi space in Hydro’s article. In District0x-verse, read up on the latest from the District Weekly. Meme Factory’s newest meme contest is underway. Hearthstone fans, don’t forget to catch the gameplay recording of Game of Memes (which uses Meme Factory assets for game cards). Project Manager Alexander wrote about the journey of Meme Factory so far in his blog article. Meme Factory's dankest meme as of 4th July :p Fantom’s FTM token was listed on OKEx, OKEx Korea and Bittrex International this week. If you’ve been living under a rock for the first half of 2019, CMO Michael Chen’s got your back. His half yearly recap article covers all things Fantom. Michael's presentation at ZKLux#1 was featured in Sikoba's blog post. PaperCoins’ review of Fantom was published this week. Check it out! The team also had an AMA with the latest partner, Xangle. Click here for the transcript. Opacity (and Hydro Pay) were added to dApp browser on dapp.com. June recap for Opacity was out this week. Bounty hunters, have a read of the weekly Bounty0x distribution report. Bloom partnered with the platform to provide Bloom verified accounts for Bounty0x users. Bloom verified accounts are more trustworthy and hence get access to higher value bounties compared to unverified accounts. Bloom takes data privacy seriously 1UP will be seeing a major burn of its tokens in the near future. Read more about the updated tokenomics here. Another project will get a chance to be reviewed in detail for free by Uptrennd. Voting started this week. Have a question to ask Enjin CTO Witek Radomski? Uptrennd will be interviewing him soon and your question could make it to the interview. The ETHOS Universal Wallet turned 1 this week. Happy Birthday! Switch’s press releases went live simultaneously on Reuters, The Merkle, Bitcoin PR Buzz, Coinspeaker, Blockmanity and ZyCrypto. ESH was listed on Mercatox and ZooomEx. One of the coolest features on Switch is the option to buy gift cards with altcoins. Catch up with the latest at Switch from their update article. In Birdchain news, get an early preview of the of the SMS feature on the app and its testing snapshots. Details of the 2gether referral program were released this week. Here’s a link for Spanish speakers. And with that, it’s a wrap for the rapid catch up series and for this week at Parachute. Thank you again for being here and God Bless Parachute! See you again with another update. Ciao!
USD (DXY) up 0.08%, EUR down 0.04%, GBP down 0.50%, JPY down 0.12%, CNY Onshore up 0.12%, CNH Offshore up 0.02%, AUD down 0.23%
VIX up 0.65% to 9.25
Gold up 0.13% to $1,269.01
Silver down 0.11% to $16.62
Copper up 0.25% to $305.40
WTI Crude down 0.79% to $50.39
Brent Crude down 0.18% to $56.90
Natural Gas down 0.44% to $2.91
Corn down 0.07% to $3.49/bu
Wheat up 0.06% to $4.41/bu
Bitcoin up 1.55% to $4,414.56
Treasuries 2yr yields are up ~1.3bps at 1.500%, 10yr yields are up ~1.6bps at 2.364% and 30yr yields are up ~0.9bps at 2.899%
Japan 10yr yields 0.045%, up ~1.0bps on the day
France 10yr yields 0.750%, up ~1.9bps on the day
Italy 10yr yields 2.156%, up ~1.8bps on the day
Spain 10yr yields 1.704%, up ~1.8bps on the day
Germany 10yr yields 0.474%, up ~2.2bps on the day
What’s happening this morning? It was another slow evening of news other than the German Aug factory order numbers (which were very strong although the euro and Eurozone stocks are both in the red), a few US earnings reports (COST and YUMC), andsome M&A (GIMO, HON, JWN, PENN/PNK, SNCR, and more). The overall macro narrativeremains the same as it was at the Thurs close (see below for an update on the macro narrative as well as potential upcoming risks). The major Asian indices generally saw gains – TPX +0.28%, NKY +0.3%, Hang Seng +0.28%, HSCEI +0.54%, Taiwan +0.14%, Australia +1.04%, and India +0.5-7% (mainland China and Korea were both closed). There weren’t any huge themes in Asia although Macau casino stocks were weak in HK on back of underwhelming Golden Week visitor numbers (autos and financials led HK on the upside). Australia’s 1% rally was led by banks, miners, and telecoms. The major Eurozone indices are trading off small (~10-20bp); autos are outperforming while banks, retail, energy, and utilities lag. The GBP is extending its losses from Thurs amid more uncertainty around UK PM May (the DXY spiked ~50bp Thurs and is up small so far Fri morning). US S&P futures are trading down 1-2 points.
Calendar for Fri 10/6 – the focus will be on the US jobs report for Sept (8:30amET), US wholesale inventories/trade sales for Aug (10amET), US consumer credit for Aug (3pmET), and Fed speakers (Kaplan 8:30amET on CNBC, Bostic 9:15amET, Dudley 12:15pmET, Kaplan 12:45pmET, and Bullard 1pmET). o US jobs preview – there is very little anticipation or focus on the Sept jobs report (Fri morning 8/6 8:30amET) as 1) most are anticipating large storm-related distortions and 2) at this point in the cycle it only requires ~75K monthly adds to keep the UR steady (as was discussed in this JPMorgan report http://bit.ly/2fbT6cE). The St is in print at +80K for adds (vs. ADP for Sept at +135K and Aug BLS +156K) w/a 4.4% UR (unchanged w/Aug) and wages +0.3% M/M and +2.5% Y/Y (vs. Aug +0.1% M/M and +2.5% Y/Y). It’s very difficult to see the Sept BLS report changing the near-term US monetary policy trajectory (w/ongoing normalization and a FF hike on 12/13). The potential for a hike on 11/1 is very low and if anything the Sept CPI on Fri 10/13 may be a more important data point than jobs on Fri 10/6. Instead, the bigger Fed uncertainty has nothing to do w/data or policy but instead concerns staffing (i.e. who will be the next chair? A Trump announcement could come as soon as next week – Powell and Warsh are the frontrunners according to media reports w/the former appearing to have a slight edge).
Top Headlines for Friday
Eco data recap for Fri morning 10/6 – the big data came out of Germany where factory orders for Aug beat expectations by a wide margin (orders +3.6% M/M vs. the St +0.7% and +7.8% Y/Y vs. the St +4.7%). See JPMorgan’s comments on the German data (http://bit.ly/2y42sh4). Japan’s wage inflation figures for Aug were soft, as expected (http://bit.ly/2kuygr0). o Fed chair – markets would be comfortable w/any of the main candidates (including Powell, Warsh, Cohn, Yellen, etc.) w/the exception of one person: John Taylor. Bloomberg. o Fed update – Kansas City Fed President George spoke Thurs night and said the US economy needed further rates hikes (http://cnb.cx/2kqTiqj). JPMorgan’s Mike Feroli published an updated FOMC hawk/dove chart following the confirmation of Quarles (http://bit.ly/2z1jSti). o Japan’s “Party of Hope” unveils an economic agenda that pledges to rely less on aggressive fiscal and monetary stimulus – Reuters http://reut.rs/2ghahXu o AUD hit as RBA’s Harper doesn’t rule out a rate cut in a WSJ article. http://on.wsj.com/2xW3nkD
UK PM May the subject of more speculation amid disclosure of plot to topple her; former party chairman, Grant Shapps, said May’s leadership should now be challenged. Reuters http://reut.rs/2yMrmzB
Spain/Catalonia – Spain’s Constitutional Court ordered the suspension of the Catalan parliament’s regional session scheduled for Mon; Catalonia had planned on declaring independence at the session. Reuters http://reut.rs/2xlDfjC o Spain’s gov’t will change rules and make it easier for firms to move their legal base out of Catalonia – Reuters http://reut.rs/2z1WQCF
Tax update - there is a lot of focus on taxes in the US as the Senate Budget Committee (right at the Thurs close) and the full House (at ~1pmET Thurs afternoon) advance budget resolutions (the full Senate will presumably vote within the next two weeks). This is a necessary step in the tax process (as these resolutions contain the reconciliation instructions allowing tax to pass via a simple majority in the Senate) but also a relatively minor one. Far more complicated will be agreeing on rates, deduction schedules, deficits, etc., and if anything all the press in the last few days and weeks point to divisions within the GOP on these matters being larger than anticipated. o Schumer warns that the proposal to eliminate the SALT deduction will kill the GOP tax plan – Bloomberg. https://bloom.bg/2xXX8KL o GOP desire to repeal the estate tax runs into resistance - from Republicans. As a result this piece of the 9/27 tax blueprint (among others) may wind up being scrapped - WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2gf9G8E o Fed officials express concern over tax plans – Fed officials warned the tax plan may only provide a temporary boost to growth while fueling inflation and driving debt to unsustainable levels – Reuters http://reut.rs/2xWMrdG
Republican headaches keep growing as donors withhold money, a tax consensus fails to materialize, and “establishment” figures depart the scene (Strange losing to Moore, Corker retiring, etc.). Republican leaders are increasingly concerned about the party’s grip on the House and Senate should it fail to pass a tax bill. Leaders “fear that the inchoate populism that Mr. Trump personifies, and which Mr. Bannon is attempting to weaponize against incumbents, is on the march” – NYT http://nyti.ms/2y3lUKT
Trump looks to jolt NAFTA – the White House is considering a proposal that would represent a radical shift to the principles underlying NAFTA. According to rule changes being considered, automobiles would need to have a specific level of US-made content in order to qualify for tariff breaks (right now autos only need to have a specific level of content from within the NAFTA region). WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2y4LXlo
Trump makes cryptic comment ahead of a dinner with US military leaders. Trump said the dinner might represent “the calm before the storm”. Asked repeatedly by reporters to clarify his comments, Trump said, “You’ll find out” – Bloomberg https://bloom.bg/2xXI2r6
Trump was “furious” over NBC’s Tillerson “moron” article; John Kelly was forced to rearrange his schedule and stayed in Washington in order to try and calm tensions – NBC. http://nbcnews.to/2fOGx3B
Iran/Trump – Trump will “decertify” the Iran nuclear accord next week (speech on 10/12) and declare the agreement as not being in the US national interest according to the Washington Post (article out at ~2:40pmET Thurs afternoon). This is consistent w/what the AP and Politico reported earlier in the week. Note that Trump’s 10/12 declarations won’t end the Iranian nuclear pact as it will be up to Congress whether re-impose sanctions on Tehran (and Trump will hold off on recommending such a step). Washington Post http://wapo.st/2z1zeOw o Decertifying the Iran Deal Wouldn’t Have to Kill It – WSJ http://on.wsj.com/2y40dKY
North Korea – US lawmakers are pressuring the Trump White House to toughen sanctions against North Korea – WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2xlKdVQ
The Economist's lead article this week speaks to sentiment at the moment and this is one of the big reasons why stocks are proving to be so resilient. "Asset prices are high across the board. Is it time to worry?" (http://econ.st/2xVXOjv). o The WSJ notes that a key European junk-bond index is now yielding less than 10yr US TSYs although it offers a reasonable explanation for this ostensibly irrational price level – WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2xkwYVb
Company-specific news update from Thurs night. There were a few earnings reports out Thurs AMC but for the most part it was another slow evening. COST EPS beats thanks to better SG&A and favorable tax while GMs were light; Sept same-store-sales beat w/upside in the US (the stock ended down 3% during the Thurs after-hours trading session). YUMC’s results came in ahead of expectations (EPS/same-store-sales) and it increased capital return. SNCR reentered M&A talks w/Siris Capital (Siris is looking to buy SNCR’s Intralinks and may take a ~20% equity stake in SNCR); SNCR ended up ~27% during the Thurs after-hours trading session. According to the WSJ, HON is pursuing an acquisition of Evoqua Water Tech in a deal that could be worth $3B (http://on.wsj.com/2yseCSp). The WSJ reported (during trading on Thurs http://on.wsj.com/2xjE24p) on merger talks between PENN and PNK (the firms have been unable to agree to terms but PENN is still interested in buying PNK).
JWN buyout not completely dead – the Nordstrom family is exploring a new deal structure w/Leonard Green that would involve less debt. The family is trying to raise more equity (although it isn’t clear where the money will come from). WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2ggTvbh
GIMO – Elliot’s takeover talks w/the company have ground to a halt according to Reuters over price disagreements – Reuters http://reut.rs/2fNCepo
SUM, ASHG – SUM has made a rival bid for ASHG as it looks to scuttle the existing Ash Grove-CRH PLC transaction. Ash Grove’s board said the offer could result in a superior proposal and that it would engage in talks with the third party. Bloomberg.
AMZN: the one market where Amazon is failing to dominate: Hollywood. The WSJ discusses AMZN’s failure to become a force in content. WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2xZcJtr
Macau casino stocks slump during Fri trading as Golden Week visitor numbers disappoint expectations – Bloomberg https://bloom.bg/2fOuGmd
Identifying risks – what could go wrong?
Reflation enthusiasm is undercut by less aggressive CB normalization, dramatic curve flattening, and/or a softening in nominal growth. Of all the reflation pieces (monetary policy normalization, expansionary fiscal policy, firming inflation, and ongoing real growth strength), the last piece (real growth) is increasingly being taken for granted.
Bank investors wind up focusing too much on reflation/yields (which are tailwinds) but miss weakening credit (higher provisions) and tepid loan growth.
The first speech by the next Fed chair unsettles sentiment (assuming the chair isn’t Yellen).
The tax process slows in Washington as Republicans prove incapable of reaching a consensus on rates, deductions, and deficits.
Paul Ryan decides to “pull a Boehner”, stepping down as Speaker out of frustration with his inability to pass legislation.
The final tax bill results in materially higher rates for upper-income Americans.
May winds up stepping down as UK PM, sowing ongoing Brexit uncertainty.
Abe does much worse than anticipated during the upcoming Japan election (10/22).
North Korea conducts an above-ground nuclear bomb test (or even worse, an atmospheric test).
Iran decides to resume its nuclear weapons program, sparking an immediate escalation of Middle East geopolitical tensions (Trump’s Iran speech is coming up on 10/12).
Washington introduces (or threatens to introduce) tough new regulations aimed at internet/social media companies following the Russia election investigations (note that US internet giants will be testifying before Congress on 11/1).
Prominent members of the Trump team decide to leave the gov’t (the market would be particularly sensitive to Tillerson, Mattis, Kelly, and/or Cohn departing; recent media reports suggest the Tillerson-Trump relationship is particularly strained).
The pro-reflation bias commenced back on 9/11 and has been propelled ever since by ongoing real growth strength, firming inflation, normalizing monetary policy/rhetoric, and expansionary fiscal policy (in particular in the US w/the 9/27 tax blueprint but also in Germany following that country’s election outcome and fin min change).
This enthusiasm can extend for a few more weeks but the ECB/BOE decisions (on 10/26 and 11/2, respectively) will mark the culmination of a series of pro-reflation catalysts/developments and thus the trade may enter a period of extended consolidation around those central bank events.
Meanwhile the nuances of this present reflation process aren’t being appreciated – growth and corporate earnings are late-cycle (not early), multiples are already rich (although not necessarily ridiculous), inflation is only very gradually firming to target, the economy faces enormous structural headwinds in the form of labor supply and productivity growth, and while central banks are normalizing policy will stay extremely accommodative for years to come (the structural headwinds and slow tightening pace will prevent yields from materially rising and curves from significantly steepening).
The tenor of sentiment is beginning to evolve and there is definitely greater frustration w/people being forced to participate in a tape many don’t particularly love at present levels – this helps fuel runs such has occurred over the last few weeks (the SPX hasn’t closed in the red since Mon 9/25) but it also makes for a precarious setup w/a lot of weak “renters” who will be quick to sell the minute momentum pauses.
Bottom Line: the lack of major catalysts is helping the rally propagate and the calendar is relatively clear until earnings (which kick off w/banks on Thurs 10/12). The reflation impetus will likely stay in place into the ECB/BOE (10/26 and 11/2, respectively) after which a consolidation (at least) is likely (note that a lot of the “easy” tax steps are occurring now – the blueprint on 9/27, the budget resolutions, etc. However, reaching a consensus on rates, deductions, and deficits will be extremely difficult and this will become more apparent later in Oct and into Nov, around the same time as the ECB/BOE decisions).
Calendar of events to watch for the week of Mon Oct 9
Calendar for the week of 10/9 – overall it should be a relatively slow week although a few items are in focus. The current reflation emphasis makes the US CPI on Fri 10/13 prob. the single most important eco data point of the week but there are other numbers in focus (German trade/IP for Aug and China imports/exports for Sept). The CQ3 earnings season kicks off in earnest with the banks on Thurs and Friday. Away from scheduled events, media reports suggest Catalonia could formally declare independence on Mon (although this could easily be delayed following court challenges and as the region’s leaders seek a settlement w/Madrid) while the White House may unveil its infrastructure spending blueprint during the week of 10/9 (http://bit.ly/2wwiop9). South Korean security officials have warned that North Korea may fire additional missiles between 10/10 and 10/18 while Trump’s Fed chair selection could come soon (media reports suggest Powell and Warsh are the two frontrunners). Trump is expected to deliver an Iranian policy speech on/around Thurs 10/12 during which he will declare the nuclear deal as no longer being in the US national interest. HON has said it will announce its formal portfolio review decision prior to earnings (media reports, including on CNBC, suggest it will retain its aerospace unit).
Calendar for Mon 10/9 – the day should be pretty quiet owing to the US Columbus Day holiday (equities will be open but fixed income is closed). The focus will be on the China FX reserve numbers for Sept (Fri night/Sat morning 10/7), the China Caixin services PMI for Sept (Sun night/Mon morning), Germany’s industrial production for Aug (2amET), and earnings (LVMH reports results after the European close).
Calendar for Tues 10/10 – the focus will be on the German trade figures for Aug (2amET), a bunch of analyst meetings (including TECD, Santander, WDAY, and WMT), the PG shareholder meeting (at which the Trian/Peltz board seat request will be voted on), and earnings (CUDA after the close).
Calendar for Wed 10/11 – the focus will be on the US JOLTs report for Aug (10amET), Fed minutes from the 9/20 meeting (2pmET), analyst meetings (KR), and earnings (DAL, BLK, FAST, and OZRK before the open).
Calendar for Thurs 10/12 – the focus will be on Eurozone IP for Aug (5amET), the US PPI for Sept (8:30amET), Trump’s Iran speech, analyst meetings (BOX, HPQ, LSCC, and WDC), and earnings (C, DPZ, JPM, LNN, Sky PLC, and Tata Consultancy pre-open).
Calendar for Fri 10/13 – the focus will be on China’s imports/exports for Sept (Thurs night/Fri morning), the US CPI for Sept (8:30amET), US retail sales for Sept (8:30amET), the Michigan Confidence numbers for Oct (10amET), US business inventories for Aug (10amET), analyst meetings (SAFM), and earnings (BAC, DRFG, FHN, FRC, JBHT, Man Group, PNC, and WFC pre-open).
Catalysts – big events to watch over the coming months
China mainland markets closed Mon 10/2-Fri 10/6 for the National Day holiday.
US jobs report for Sept – Fri 10/6.
US infrastructure spending - the Trump White House may unveil its long-anticipated infrastructure plan during the week of 10/9 according to House Transport chairman Rep. Bill Shuster.
North Korea - South Korea’s national security adviser Chung Eui-yong said he expected Pyongyang to act around Oct. 10 and 18 (Reuters).
WMT analyst meeting – Tues 10/10 (note that KR has an analyst meeting the next day, Wed 10/11).
PG shareholder meeting – Tues 10/10 (decision to be made on Peltz’s board seat request).
Fed minutes – minutes from the 9/20 meeting will be released Wed 10/11. 2pmET.
HON – the co will announce its portfolio review decision before earnings in Oct.
Iran - Trump is planning to deliver an Iran policy speech on 10/12 and he is expected to say that the landmark 2015 nuclear deal is no longer in the U.S. national security interest (AP)
Bank earnings – the CQ3 earnings season kicks off w/Citigroup and JPM Thurs morning 10/12 while BAC, PNC, and WFC all report Fri 10/13.
US inflation – the Sept CPI will hit Fri 10/13.
IMF/World Bank - 2017 Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund. Oct 13-15 in Washington.
CQ3 earnings – the week of Mon 10/16 is the first busy week of the CQ3 reporting season.
Fed chair decision during the week of 10/16? Based on Trump’s “two to three” weeks comment (on Fri 9/29), his decision on a Fed chair could come as soon as the week of 10/16 (this week is also the first busy period of the CQ3 earnings season, the deadline for Trump to rule on the Iran nuclear deal, and the beginning of the China National Congress on 10/18). Media reports suggest the Fed chair frontrunners are Warsh and Powell followed by Yellen and Cohn.
China - the National Congress of the Communist Party of China starts Oct 18.
China Q3 GDP and Sept retail sales, IP, and FAI (Wed night/Thurs morning) – Thurs morning 10/19.
EU leaders hold summit in Brussels. Oct 19-20. Brussels.
Japan – the country will hold snap elections on Sun 10/22.
Flash PMIs for Oct – Tues 10/24
ECB meeting/press conf. Thurs Oct 26. The ECB is expected to provide guidance on LSAP tapering at this meeting (St assumes LSAP drops from EU60B now to EU40B w/6 month extension).
1949: The Year That Set the Course of Chinese-American Relations – NYT http://nyti.ms/2z2hGSv M&A/Strategic Actions
Brooklyn Nets – multiple suitors are in talks to buy a 49% stake in the NBA deal. Mikhail Prokhorov is seeking a valuation of >$2B for the entire team. NY Post. http://nyp.st/2y3KFY0 o Brooklyn Nets – BABA denied that its vice chairman, Joseph Tsai, was in talks to buy a stake in the Nets – Reuters http://reut.rs/2yuCBRa
GIMO – Elliot’s takeover talks w/the company have ground to a halt according to Reuters over price disagreements – Reuters http://reut.rs/2fNCepo
HON - according to the WSJ, HON is pursuing an acquisition of Evoqua Water Tech in a deal that could be worth $3B (http://on.wsj.com/2yseCSp).
HPQ, Samsung – China said it will approve HPQ’s purchase of Samsung’s printer business – Reuters http://reut.rs/2y06khP
JWN buyout not completely dead – the Nordstrom family is exploring a new deal structure w/Leonard Green that would involve less debt. The family is trying to raise more equity (although it isn’t clear where the money will come from). WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2ggTvbh
PENN, PNK - the WSJ reported (during trading on Thurs http://on.wsj.com/2xjE24p) on merger talks between PENN and PNK (the firms have been unable to agree to terms but PENN is still interested in buying PNK).
Retailers helped through bankruptcy process – Reuters notes that many retailers are obtaining help during the bankruptcy process w/many being allowed to stay in business w/their store bases largely intact – Reuters http://reut.rs/2y3NcAN
SNCR - On October 4, 2017, SNCR and Siris determined to restart discussions regarding a potential transaction. Specifically, Siris is offering to buy Intralinks for $915MM cash, invest $185MM for a convert worth ~20% of SNCR’s common shares, and cancel the ~6MM SNCR common shares it now owns.
SUM, ASHG – SUM has made a rival bid for ASHG as it looks to scuttle the existing Ash Grove-CRH PLC transaction. Ash Grove’s board said the offer could result in a superior proposal and that it would engage in talks with the third party. Bloomberg.
Unilever – the co is seeking PE bids for its spreads business by 10/19; a sale could be worth $8B – Reuters http://reut.rs/2fNDYPe
Full catalyst list
Fri Oct 6 – German factory orders for Aug. 2amET.
Fri Oct 6 – US jobs report for Sept. 8:30amET.
Fri Oct 6 – US wholesale inventories/trade sales for Aug. 10amET.
Fri Oct 6 – US consumer credit for Aug. 3pmET.
Fri Oct 6 – Fed speakers: Bostic, Kaplan, Bullard
Sat Oct 7 – China FX reserves for Sept (Fri night/Sat morning)
Mon Oct 9 – China Caixin services PMI for Sept (Sun night/Mon morning)
Mon Oct 9 – German industrial production for Aug. 2amET.
Mon Oct 9 – earnings after the European close: LVMH.
Mon Oct 9 – Columbus Day holiday in the US (equities will be open while fixed income is closed).
Tues Oct 10 – German trade balance for Aug. 2amET.
Tues Oct 10 – analyst meetings: TECD, Santander, WDAY, WMT
Tues Oct 10 – PG shareholder meeting
Tues Oct 10 – earnings after the close: CUDA
Wed Oct 11 – US JOLTs report for Aug. 10amET.
Wed Oct 11 – Fed minutes from the Sept 20 meeting (2pmET).
Wed Oct 11 – analyst meetings: KR
Wed Oct 11 – earnings before the open: BLK, DAL, FAST, OZRK.
Thurs Oct 12 – Eurozone industrial production for Aug. 5amET.
Thurs Oct 12 – US PPI for Sept. 8:30amET.
Thurs Oct 12 – analyst meetings: BOX, HPQ, LSCC, WDC.
Thurs Oct 12 – earnings before the open: C, DPZ, JPM, LNN, Sky PLC, Tata Consultancy.
Thurs Oct 12 – earnings after the close: EXFO
Fri Oct 13 – China imports/exports for Sept (Thurs night/Fri morning)
Fri Oct 13 – US CPI for Sept. 8:30amET.
Fri Oct 13 – US retail sales for Sept. 8:30amET.
Fri Oct 13 – US Michigan Sentiment for Oct. 10amET.
Fri Oct 13 – US business inventories for Aug. 10amET.
Fri Oct 13 – analyst meetings: SAFM
Fri Oct 13 – earnings before the open: BAC, DRFG, FHN, FRC, JBHT, Man Group, PNC, WFC.
Mon Oct 16 – China CPI/PPI for Sept (Sun night/Mon morning)
Mon Oct 16 – Eurozone trade balance for Aug. 5amET.
Mon Oct 16 – earnings before the open: SCHW
Mon Oct 16 – earnings after the close: BRO, IEX, NFLX, Rio Tinto
Tues Oct 17 – Eurozone Sept auto registrations. 2amET.
Tues Oct 17 – German ZEW survey results for Oct. 5amET.
Tues Oct 17 – US import prices for Sept. 8:30amET.
Tues Oct 17 – US industrial production for Sept. 9:15amET.
Tues Oct 17 – US NAHB housing index for Oct. 10amET.
Tues Oct 17 – earnings before the open: BMI, CMA, CSX, GS, GWW, HOG, JNJ, MS, Pearson, PLD, Remy Cointreau, UNH
Tues Oct 17 – earnings after the close: ADTN, BHP, CP, CREE, IBM, LRCX, NAVI.
Wed Oct 18 – US housing starts for Sept. 8:30amET.
Wed Oct 18 – US building permits fro Sept. 8:30amET.
Wed Oct 18 – US Beige Book. 2pmET.
Wed Oct 18 – earnings before the open: ABT, Akzo Nobel, MTB, NTRS, USB
Wed Oct 18 – earnings after the close: AA, AXP, BHE, CCI, CCK, EBAY, LLNW, SLG, TCBI
Thurs Oct 19 – China Q3 GDP and Sept retail sales, IP, and FAI (Wed night/Thurs morning)
Tues Oct 24 – earnings after the close: AKAM, AMP, CMG, COF, DFS, ESRX, IRBT, T, TSS, TXN.
Wed Oct 25 – US durable goods for Sept. 8:30amET.
Wed Oct 25 – US FHFA home price index for Aug. 9amET.
Wed Oct 25 – US new home sales for Sept. 10amET.
Wed Oct 25 – earnings before the open: ALK, ALLY, ANTM, Antofagasta, AOS, BA, BAX, Dassault Systemes, DPS, FCX, FLIR, Fresnillo, HBAN, Heineken, IP, IR, KO, LEA, LH, Lloyds Banking Group, NDAQ, NSC, NYCB, Peugeot, TMO, TUP, V, WBA, WEC.
Wed Oct 25 – earnings after the close: ABX, ACGL, AFL, AMGN, CLGX, DLR, FFIV, FTI, KIM, LSTR, NOW, ORLY, PKG, PLXS, RJF, TSCO, UNM, VAR, XLNX.
Thurs Oct 26 – US wholesale inventories for Sept. 8:30amET.
Thurs Oct 26 – US advance goods trade balance for Sept. 8:30amET.
Thurs Oct 26 – US pending home sales for Sept. 10amET.
Thurs Oct 26 – earnings before the open: Aixtron, ALLE, ALV, Anheuser Busch, APD, Bayer, BMY, BSX, BWA, CCMP, CELG, CHTR, CMCSA, CME, Deutsche Bank, ENTG, EQT, F, HLT, MMC, NEM, Nokia, ODFL, Santander, Schneider Electric, UNP, UPS, WM, XEL.
Thurs Oct 26 – earnings after the close: AIV, ATEN, CB, CDNS, EXPE, FLEX, FTNT, GILD, GOOG, HIG, INTC, LPLA, MSFT, NATI, PFG, SYK, VDSI, VRSN.
Fri Oct 27 – China Sept industrial profits (Thurs night/Fri morning).
Fri Oct 27 – US Q3 GDP, personal consumption, and core PCE for Q3. 8:30amET.
Fri Oct 27 – US Michigan Confidence numbers for Oct. 10amET.
Fri Oct 27 – earnings before the open: B, MRK, PSX, SC, TRU, Volkswagen, WY, XOM.
Mon Oct 30 – US personal income/spending and PCE for Sept. 8:30amET.
Mon Oct 30 – US Dallas Fed index for Oct. 10:30amET.
Mon Oct 30 – analyst meetings: CSX
Mon Oct 30 – earnings before the open: HSBC
Mon Oct 30 – earnings after the close: AVB, CGNX, RE, RTEC, VNO
Tues Oct 31 – US Employment Cost Index for Q3. 8:30amET.
Tues Oct 31 – US Case-Shiller home price index for Aug. 9amET.
Tues Oct 31 – US Chicago PMI for Oct. 9:45amET.
Tues Oct 31 – US Conference Board Sentiment readings for Oct. 10amET.
Tues Oct 31 – earnings before the open: ADM, AET, Airbus, AMT, Barclays, BNP, CMI, ECL, GGP, K, MA, OSK, PFE, XYL.
Tues Oct 31 – earnings after the close: APC, CHRW, CXO, WFT, X
Wed Nov 1 – US ADP jobs report for Oct. 8:15amET.
Wed Nov 1 – US Markit Manufacturing PMI for Oct. 9:45amET.
Wed Nov 1 – US Manufacturing ISM for Oct. 10amET.
Wed Nov 1 – US construction spending report for Sept. 10amET.
Wed Nov 1 – US auto sales for Oct.
Wed Nov 1 – FOMC meeting decision. 2pmET.
Wed Nov 1 – earnings before the open: AGN, APO, CLX, EL, GRMN, HFC, Novo Nordisk, ORBK, Standard Chartered, TAP, TRI.
Wed Nov 1 – earnings after the close: ALL, BHF, BXP, CAVM, CSGS, FB, LNC, MANT, MET, MUSA, OXY, PRU, QCOM, ULTI, XPO.
Thurs Nov 2 – US nonfarm productivity and unit labor costs for Q3. 8:30amET.
Thurs Nov 2 – earnings before the open: ADP, AN, BCE, CI, Credit Suisse, DISCA, H, ICE, Royal Dutch Shell, Sanofi, Swiss Re, WRK.
Thurs Nov 2 – earnings after the close: AAPL, AIG, CBS, CRUS, FLR, HLF, RMAX, SBUX, UNIT.
Fri Nov 3 – US jobs report for Oct. 8:30amET.
Fri Nov 3 – US trade balance for Sept. 8:30amET.
Fri Nov 3 – US factory orders and durable goods orders for Sept. 10amET.
Fri Nov 3 – US non-manufacturing ISM for Oct. 10amET.
Tues Nov 7 – US JOLTs jobs report for Sept. 10amET.
Tues Nov 7 – US consumer credit for Sept. 3pmET.
Thurs Nov 9 – US wholesale trade sales/inventories for Sept. 10amET.
Fri Nov 10 – US Michigan Confidence preliminary numbers for Nov. 10amET.
Tues Nov 14 – US PPI for Oct. 8:30amET.
Wed Nov 15 – US CPI for Oct. 8:30amET.
Wed Nov 15 – US Empire Manufacturing for Nov. 8:30amET.
Wed Nov 15 – US retail sales for Oct. 8:30amET.
Wed Nov 15 – US business inventories for Sept. 10amET.
Thurs Nov 16 – US import prices for Oct. 8:30amET.
Thurs Nov 16 – US industrial production for Oct. 9:15amET.
Thurs Nov 16 – US NAHB housing index for Nov. 10amET.
Fri Nov 17 – US housing starts and building permits for Oct. 8:30amET.
Mon Nov 20 – US Leading Index for Oct. 10amET.
Tues Nov 21 – US existing home sales for Oct. 10amET.
Wed Nov 22 – US durable goods for Oct. 8:30amET.
Wed Nov 22 – US final Michigan Confidence numbers for Nov. 10amET.
Wed Nov 22 – FOMC 11/1 meeting minutes. 2pmET.
Fri Nov 24 – US flash PMIs for Nov. 9:45amET.
J.P. Morgan Market Intelligence is a product of the Institutional Equities Sales and Trading desk of J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and the intellectual property thereof. It is not a product of the Research Department and is intended for distribution to institutional and professional customers only and is not intended for retail customer use. It may not be reproduced, redistributed or transmitted, in whole or in part, without J.P. Morgan’s consent. Any unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.
This post covers what happened in Decred last month. Let's get down to business and have About section at the end.
Wallet and node software version 1.2.0 has been released. Decrediton wallet highlights: improved startup experience, redesigned overview page, added basic graphs to visualize statistics and an export to CSV (helpful for tax reporting). dcrd node software highlights: significantly faster startup and compact filters to support light clients. See full release notes and downloads here, for Decrediton use 1.2.1 bugfix release. The release process has been improved. Instead of announcing a release date and trying to meet it, a Release Candidate 1 (RC1) will now be posted. After it has been tested an bugfixed with the help of the community, a second candidate (RC2) will be released. This is repeated until an RC version with no apparent bugs becomes the final release. The new process removes a ton of pressure from developers and users and gives more time for testing. As our primary consumer-facing product, Decrediton, is growing in features and complexity, more testing will be required for new releases. Politeia is "Getting close to a public beta of voting" (slack). Decred plugin merged, paywall and voting are in the testing stage. Ticket voting works on testnet via CLI. Trezor support got closer as Decred patch was merged. Please note this is only firmware support, to be usable it also needs wallet integration. WooCommerce Decred plugin alpha version is ready for testing. Decred.org received a new sleek exchanges page. The contributors page has been updated to add 10 new faces. Some of them are new to the project but others have been contributing for a while. Dev activity stats for April: 152 active PRs, 125 commits, 21,656 added and 10,288 deleted lines spread across 7 repositories done by 2-7 developers per repository. (chart)
Hashrate: April started at 2.0-2.7 PH/s range and seen a general increase with some big fluctuations between lows at 2.2 and new all time high above 5.2 PH/s. Nodes: there are 200 public listening and 500 normal nodes per dcred.eu as of May 1. 169 nodes already upgraded to version 1.2.0. Some 30 nodes were observed to be testing Release Candidate versions before the final release. Ticket price 30-day average has seen a steady rise to 87.5 DCR. Stake participation is solid 46.1% with 3.53 million DCR as of May 1.
Updates from Obelisk's Taek:
We got results back. They are more or less on line with the simulations I didn't realize this, but we don't get the real chips back for 3 more weeks. The ones we've been testing are hacked together into a DIP package (they are BGA chips) that really screws up the results There's a decent chance that the full bga chips perform better For the time being though, we're pretty much on track for the hashrates estimated on the website (slack, Apr 12)
And regarding the June delivery date:
We're still on track for batch 1. We've ordered most of the parts we'll need, including the chips. We've got working chips, we've got test boards, test units, test everything. We've signed manufacturers to produce everything. Obelisk is going strong. (reddit, Apr 23)
We are thankful for his updates in our #pow-mining channel and hope other ASIC manufacturers will also join. Fellow Sia miners are discussing the design of Obelisk SC1 case. Halong: B29 units are shipping. The amount of units in first batch was estimated 450-600 by our community member. Review of DragonMint B29 published, people are discussing shipping and running the miners. By surprise, Innosilicon announced the sale of D9 DecredMaster ASIC miner with specs identical to Halong B29 while being much cheaper ($6800 Inno vs $10499 Halong). Expected shipping date of the first batch is April 28-30. The company is active on their bitcointalk thread, also see our reddit. Just 9 days later Innosilicon announced second batch with delivery on May 7-11 and same price of $6800. (reddit)
Decred's Brazilian community made good progress with integrations this month.
emiliomann: On April 2nd @Rhama will launch the first BR exchange of altcoins with fiat market and totally within the laws of the Brazilian government. Decred will have the two markets DCBTC and DCBRL. It’s very difficult to fulfill all the legal requirements and get authorization to work with FIAT here.
The exchange turned out to be Profitfy. Profity is innovating by using dcrtime for their blockchain ID login via Original My. Great to see this deeper engagement with the tools that Decred provides, and not a surprise that it comes from @Rhama, who has been a community member since day one. This seems to have spurred another exchange, Braziliex, to bring forward their launch of DCBRL and DCBTC pairs, coming just 2 hours after Profitfy launched. Not stopping there,
viniciusfrias: We're excited to announce PagueCripto.com, a Brazilian crypto-to-fiat payment gateway which accepts Decred among other cryptocurrencies for Brazilians to pay daily bills, such as credit cards, energy, rent, etc, and also to make local bank transfers. Our service is both a web platform and an Android app, and as our community is relevant in Brazil, we are offering a discount coupon (50%) in service fees using DCR until May 14, 2018. Check it out at paguecripto.com and in Google Play Store. (slack)
Moving to other countries, good news from Canada:
michae2xl: Decred is now available on @ezBtcCanada, an exchange with DCCAD trading pair. From Toronto – ezbtc.ca
Eventually we hope to offer the pair in GBP and YEN as well
changenow.io, a non-custodian exchange for fast conversions, added DCR. You can see all exchanges known to support Decred in a spreadsheet maintained by snr01. Many of them are missing from coinmarketcap.
RAurelius: I think that a law firm accepting Decred is a worthy distinction from other previously publicized companies that accept Decred for typical consumer products. Legal services are severely lacking in the Crypto-sphere, so the publicity is good for everyone in this arena.
Great to see business owners reaching us directly in chat. VotoLegal is migrating from Ethereum to Decred blockchain:
emiliomann: VotoLegal, a Brazilian project that uses blockchain technology to allow election campaign funding to be transparent and that all transactions conducted are tracked and made available to the citizens, now uses dcrtime and Decred blockchain. https://twitter.com/decred_bstatus/986610826051276800 (slack)
YBF Ventures and Decred announced partnership in building a blockchain-focused development and business hub in Australia.
With the YBF Ventures partnership, Decred hopes to grow their Australian contractor network and scale their operations throughout the Asia-Pacific region. (btcmanager.com) We specifically chose Decred for a more robust corporate partnership, and it is the first time that a decentralised autonomous organisation is partnering with a ‘traditional’ organisation in such a capacity. (ybfventures.com)
Dustorf joined on the marketing front and is conducting a brand discovery analysis:
Decred is soliciting the input of our user community. In order to better understand you, what you think of Decred, and where you would like it to focus its efforts, we've come up with a short (4 minute) survey. Your input of all varieties is most appreciated https://www.surveymonkey.com/2LHK3FV
April targeted advertising report released (previous March report here). Reach @timhebel for full version. The iconic "Not Overly Scammy" t-shirt by cryptograffiti is available for purchase. For those wondering, the meme originates from @fluffypony. Some hilarious promos by @jackliv3r: onetwothree.
Community event at YBF Ventures in Australia. Meetup in Wroclaw, Poland. BBQ with @scalarcapital team in Austin, USA. Blockchain Expo in London, UK. Decred was well represented at this large-scale industry event. Project Lead Jake took part in several interview and the Decred stand manned by community members was flooded with inquisitive visitors. (video, photo 123) First Decred meetup in Hangzhou, China. (slack) Business of Blockchain at MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, USA. Presentation: Blockchain Sovereignty and Blockchain Integration for Businesses by Jake Yocom-Piatt. (event, reddit, photo 123) Cambridge Blockchain Meetup in Cambridge, USA. Talk: Cutting the Head off the Snake by Jake Yocom-Piatt. (event, photo 123) Upcoming events:
Madison Blockchain Meetup in Madison, USA on May 21
Second episode of Lightning Network educational series is out, exploring topics such as payment channels, onion routing, centralization risk, and challenges that still lie ahead. (youtube) A user’s perspective and introduction to blockchain governance (Richard Red) The Importance of Governance: Analyzing the Aftermath of the Monero Hard Fork by Noah Pierau (btcmanager.com) The Crypto Show w/ Marco from Decred (youtube) Interview with Jake at @Blockchain_Expo by Crypto Coin Growth (youtube) Interview with Jake at @Blockchain_Expo by Cryptocurrency Academy (youtube) Alternative Blockchain Governance Systems With Jake & Kyle From Decred at @Blockchain_Expo by Crypto Disrupt (youtube) Decred Looks Ahead: An Interview with Project Lead Jake Yocom-Piatt (Exclusive) (sludgefeed.com) How Complex Bitcoin Politics Led to the Creation of Decred (btcmanager.com) Interview with Decred’s Project Lead Jake Yocom-Piatt on Crypto Ad Bans and Market Volatility (cryptoslate.com) Decred’s Jonathan Zeppettini: The Industry Is Going To Be Displacing Wall Street (blocktribune.com) On Chain VS. Off Chain Governance: The Ins And Outs (coinjournal.net) Decred: On true decentralisation, Bitcoin communities, and avoiding the ICO route [Video] (blockchaintechnology-news.com) Marco in shitcoin talk episode 54 (youtube)
Reddit highlights: A debate on Decred protocol security and attack cost, a comparison of expected and actual block production times, a write-up on distribution of powers and how Monero could benefit from a PoS governance layer, twoother threads on ASIC resistance, and one discussing different types of decentralization. Very thoughtful discussion on whether it is appropriate to use half naked photos in marketing, followed by meta-discussion how to handle very polarizing issues and unwanted contributions to the marketing efforts of a decentralized project. (slack, continued) A new #governance channel was created to discuss governance in Decred and other projects. politeia subreddit was recovered for Decred community. Thanks to Tivra for filing the request. Politeia can bring a lot of value outside Decred so it well deserves its own sub. A new Slack invite page has been setup and onboarded 40 people in 48 hours. Decred StackExchange site proposal was closed due to inactivity in a 7 day period, according to Area 51 rules.
In April Decred showed a confident recovery after previous months. DCUSD moved from below $40 to nearly $90 and the more liquid DCBTC from 0.0058 to 0.0093. OOOBTC showed unexpectedly huge DCR trading volume of $19 m on April 10 (reddit), it went back to normal 2 weeks later. On April 25 a wild rush took the price from 0.00777 to 0.0177 BTC in under 30 minutes on Poloniex, setting a new USD all time high of ~$165 ($141 world average). Prices on other exchanges followed to a lesser degree. Possible causes were discussed on reddit. Talking about all time highs, an indicator tracking difference between ATH and current price shows Decred is competitive at retaining USD value.
Bittrex finally opened registrations again. ASIC debates are raging after Bitmain stealth-launched ASICs for Sia, Monero and Ethereum. Most opinions reflect on whether and how to resist ASICs, but some are recognizing the Decred way, like this excellent piece. The importance of governance is gaining recognition as well. One notable example is Mike Hearn's AMA where it was a hot topic.
About This Issue
This project was motivated by the desire to expose just how much is happening in Decred and save the time for people unable to actively follow our channels. It aims to cover all relevant developments with a short description and links to read further. It shows the depth of the project and the involvement of the community. We also plan to launch a newsletter and consider a shorter version if there is such a demand. This is the first issue and feedback is welcome to discover what is best for our readers. Please join our Slack and write us on #writers_room or comment directly on GitHub. Any help is welcome too. Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, jazzah, Richard-Red, snr01 and vj.
Hello all. I will make this quite frank. I've been noticing dangerous advise being spread around the forums that is based too much on hype and I do not want the layman investor to suffer. We are all here to profit intelligently, not to gamble. So I would just like to offer a few tips to new investors of stellar. I am not a stock professional but have ties to the finance industry and have dabbled in forex and investments. I got burned so that you don't have to, so heed my advise. Especially since I have institutional friends who have helped me along the way (think Goldman, BNP, JP, etc). Tips: 1.) Do not over-diversify your portfolio but pay attention to exposure. Investing is all about the risk-reward ratio. Greater risk does not always mean greater reward. For example, I have 80% of my portfolio in traditional investment vehicles like real estate investment trusts, stocks, bonds, and exchange traded funds. 20% is for cryptos however this is what I consider my 'play' money since cryptos are a very young market, that is based more on potential rather than value (you can't gauge the financial health of crypto using traditional tools like cashflow analysis or price/earnings ratios). I think cryptos are incredibly valuable but going all in especially with the inflated nature of bitcoin, would be dangerous for any of you, so I would suggest you diversify between traditional and cryptos. 2.) Reduce crypto risk by analyzing competitors to your alt coin. As I said before, do not overcompensate this diversification but bet for and against a crypto. In forex institutions use this tool to limit exposure to currency volatility. Imagine you go long GBP/USD, then you should naturally short GBP/CAD to a degree in order to limit exposure, but maximize growth potential. In the crypto world crypto pairs aren't really traded so they are illiquid markets, but I would suggest hedging a bit of stellar with XRP and even bitcoin. With this strategy I have been able to mitigate my losses from the recent stellar drop. Picture cryptos as a ranked list with the most valuable on top and the worst in the bottom. If BTC is on the top of your ranked list and XLM is in 3rd place but XRP is in 2nd place, then short XRP/BTC and go long XRP/XLM. I know these pairings don't all exist but it's to give you an idea how to think about the market. 3.) Support and resistance is important for technical analysis. The way you determine this is simply by seeing the area where past price action has not been able to surpass (resistance) or where past price action has not been able to drop below (support). Usually when a support or resistance level is tested multiple times it becomes stronger. However, there are ways to guess how breakouts are formed. See the chart below. https://imgur.com/u9r2e0c In the chart you have what is called accumulation. The price keeps testing the 400 resistance mark, making it a stronger barrier, however every dip in price is higher than the proceeding dip. This signals that there is a solid accumulation that will result in a break out. Just because a price level is tested multiple times does not mean there is a break out. You need to usually have such an accumulation phase (think of the imagery of stairs). In the same chart you can also see the price has not been able to really go below 400 because it is the new support level and the more it tests it, the stronger the barrier will become. 4.) Statistics has a fine way of helping us in our journey. My best friend is a mathematician and was able to offer advise on statistical trend setting. He stated that the longer the trend is set, the higher probability that it will keep going in that direction. Sounds obvious right? Well there is some truth to this but this goes right to my next point. 5.) For every second and moment you have a position open you increase your risk exponentially. This is why high frequency trading exists. So I am trying to offer a nuanced point that while trend continuation is statistically likely, so is the exponential increase of risk. These two last tips are particularly for leveraged traders. 6.) Be creative. Try to implement value investing criteria on cryptos in order to assess the true value of your chosen currency, whatever that may be. It can truly be difficult for ones like Bitcoin but for centralized cryptos like XRP and non profits like XLM it isn't too difficult. I saw an investor here requesting stellars financial statements and had a slight grin. That is the type of investor you should be. Vigilant, because more than making money, we should all be focusing on protecting money. Do not be greedy, because you will be susceptible to hot tips and emotion. Make 'preserving' your capital a priority. As long as you are gaining above inflation, all of you are winning. And now... 7.) Luck number 7! Anyway, buying on the dips is a great strategy, especially when it is testing a support or resistance zone that has been tested a bit before. Buying into a dip in a zone that has only been tested once is a bit risky. You want to see a form of sustainable accumulation. 8.) Do not simply invest in a crypto purely based on the dip. I will admit I have done this sometimes to an extent and it is okay. But the point of this post is to encourage you to do your homework and measure valuations, based on market volume, liquidity, technological announcements, and financial statements. The reason I sometimes partially ignore this is because I usually enter investments to hold at least 8 months -1 year minimum. 9.) Centralization and decentralization do not matter in crypto. I know XRP gets hate and I'd prefer stellar lumens, but that is not purely a reason to not invest in a currency. With centralization you get more compliance and regulatory oversight which marks higher security in investment. Cryptos are amazing, but with institutional involvement, this is an important case to make. 10.) Governments do not have conventional ways to regulate cryptos, but they do have tools to manipulate the market, so be attentive. All it takes is one major country to become heavily involved, in order to ensure a large price drop. 11.) DO NOT SHORT! I REPEAT DO NOT SHORT! Leave this to the professionals. Whereas with buying a currency you have a limited downward risk (you only have the risk to lose all your money), with shorting you effectively have no price floor to limit risk and exposure since the price theoretically has unlimited growth potential. If you decide to short stellar at 0.10 cents then you can lose all your investment and even be in debt (depends on leveraging), because the price can go anywhere from 0 cents to infinity. When you buy, you limit your risk to 0 cents which is where you lose all your money, but maximize growth potential which is technically infinite. This plays into the concept that the longer you have a position open, the greater the exponential risk. I hope you all enjoyed my guide. I am by no means an expert and am new to cryptos, however I've had associates involved for longer and friends that are also in finance (I worked in the back office of a private equity firm even though that wasn't glorious).
Slightly different flavour here, which I hope will be insightful to those who take the time to read. Tonight I'm going to talk about my learnings in this market so far; my biggest mistakes; how you can avoid making them yourself; and the strategy I intend to follow from now on. It’s a long old read, but it contains months worth of knowledge, which could only be gained from first-hand experience. So pour yourself a drink, settle in, and let me take you through a brief history of my first two months in crypto.
TL;DR: Been in crypto 2 months, after years trading forex. Learnt a lot, and passing on the knowledge. Hope it helps some of you to become better investors.
CHAPTER 1: New market; new opportunity
I came into crypto with a real excitement. Finally a market that resonates with me. The ability to buy into something I believe in - something that could change the world for the better - and to make money along the way. I was excited that I could apply my trading background, something that not many in the market possess, to my advantage. I was excited at the prospect of being on the curve of early adoption, in a market that had demonstrably meteoric potential. But I was patient. I knew that I would be risking a substantial amount of money in this space, and potentially other peoples’ too, so I had to approach it sensibly. I was going to invest (hold long-term) the vast majority and day trade just a small portion. I spent many weeks researching before considering pulling the trigger even once. I didn’t come into this without a plan. But looking back on it now, it really was only scratching the surface on what a serious investment strategy should be.
CHAPTER 2: Early Strategy
In brief, my plan was to research a load of coins that I’d heard have good potential – solid projects which make unique & warranted use of blockchain technology; are disruptive to their industry; are developed by a competent & active team; and are backed by a loyal community. I shortlisted maybe 40 coins through articles, videos and general conversation, and I added them to my watchlist. Admittedly I became a bit lax in completing the deep level of research I told myself I’d do for each – scrutinizing the whitepaper became skimming the whitepaper, which then became watching a video analysis, which then became “oh that sounds interesting I’ll keep an eye on it”. But this was just a watchlist. And still an educated one.
I knew that I wanted to wait for an inevitable dip in Bitcoin’s value to enter the market, but it just wasn’t coming. $6k, $8k, $10k… the bullish momentum couldn’t be tamed. Was I missing out? Was Bitcoin going to continue its parabolic move while I sit here waiting for a dip that could never come?
LEARNING 1: There are an unlimited number of opportunities
At this stage I was ready to get involved, and I’d scouted a few alt coins that had good technical entry points approaching. Do I need to keep waiting for a good Bitcoin price even when there’s a good alt price? In short, if you’re confident enough about a trade, it doesn’t really matter what price you pay to get the BTC (or other major alt coin) needed to trade it, as long as you believe that your trade will outweigh any potential drop in Bitcoin’s value. If your trade goes up 100% and BTC’s value drops 50%, at that point you’re break even. Plus if you keep holding and BTC returns back to its previous value, now you’re in 100% profit. For me this meant that even after buying some Bitcoin at its ATH (all-time high) and having it correct over 40%, I was still in profit, because this particular trade was up over 100%. More on this later.
So I bought some Bitcoin! Not all at once – generally a decent strategy is called dollar-cost averaging. In essence, buying a little bit every week at whatever the price at the time is, so that your entry price averages out over time. A better strategy is to only buy if it’s at a good price, or when you need it for a trade setup – not just arbitrarily every week even if the price is high. But I digress, I had some Bitcoin now and I wanted to diversify. Time to buy some alts.
LEARNING 2: Every trade is a decision to have the coin you’re buying instead of the coin you’re using to buy it
If an alt coin is gaining value against Bitcoin, it’s better to be holding that alt coin than Bitcoin. And if it’s losing value against Bitcoin, you’d be better off keeping it as BTC. Simple, but easy to forget when you load up Coinmarketcap and see all of the price changes in USD. You’ve gone up by 4% today – great! But BTC went up 10%, so you’d have been better off holding BTC. Buying a coin is an active decision that you make to hold the coin you’re buying instead of the coin you’re selling for it, for the period of time until you close that position. So if I buy 1000 XEM using BTC, that XEM/BTC trade is me saying “I think that XEM will increase in value at a greater rate than BTC will”. If both of them increase in value but BTC does it faster, that was a sub-optimal decision.
LEARNING 3: Satoshis are your friend. Accumulate as many of them as possible
So how does one measure profit on a trade? It’s intuitive to think of it in fiat terms – how many £££ did I make? Something tangible. But really everything should be measured in the smallest unit of Bitcoin (1 satoshi = 0.00000001 BTC). It’s easier to migrate to this way of thinking if you think of your total investment as the total amount of BTC (or the other major alt coin) that you were able to buy with it. Say I invested £1000 in crypto, and with that I managed to buy 0.1 BTC – that’s my total investment. If I want to diversify and put 10% of that into each of my favourite alt coins, I’d buy 0.01 BTC worth of each of them. Let’s say Litecoin was one of them and I got 1 LTC for my 0.01 BTC. Litecoin’s rocket then fuelled up and started on its journey to the moon, and I decide to bank my profit. I now trade it back for 0.015 BTC. From 0.01 BTC to 0.015 BTC is a profit of 0.005 BTC, or 500,000 satoshis!
“But why not just measure it in £££ - that’s far less complicated?!”
Well here’s the kicker. Let’s say Bitcoin’s value plummeted over the course of that trade. I’ve got more BTC, but because the value of each one decreased, I may still have lost money. So does that mean that trade was a bad decision? Not at all. That trade was a decision between BTC and LTC, and you made the right call. LTC held its value better than BTC did, so you would have lost more if you didn’t take the trade. Profit measured in satoshis allows you to strip away the financial layer and answer the most important question – “was it a good decision to make that trade?” A gain in satoshis is always a win. A gain in £££ is not.
Taking that same scenario in which I’ve got an equal amount of my 10 favourite alt coins. Let’s say 9 out of 10 of them stay at exactly the same value, but the other one shoots to the moon on a lambo all the way to 100%. Woohoo! Shame that was only 1/10 of my portfolio - overall it’s worth 10% more now – but if I’d have invested all my money in that one coin I’d be up 100% overall. Now I’m certainly not advocating putting all your eggs in one basket. Rather, in reference to my previous learning, this helped me realised another very important point.
LEARNING 4: Understanding opportunity cost is a must
Any trade I make is not only a decision between the two coins I’m trading; it’s also a decision to buy that coin instead of any of the other coins I might be interested in. I have 0.1 BTC to spend and 10 alts I want to spend it on – should I just divide it equally? Not necessarily. If you’re super confident about a couple of them, but not so much on the others, spreading it equally doesn’t sound like such a good plan after all does it? Take your time analysing each trade / investment and rank them in order of confidence. In order of potential (risk:reward if you’re a trader). Invest more in the ones you’re more confident in. It’s a really basic point, but one that’s so often forgotten when there are so many exciting prospects out there. Holding a particular coin doesn’t just cost the price that you paid for it, it costs the opportunity to buy something else instead. One of the first things I learnt in trading was to cut your losers short and let your winners run. Why should crypto be any different? Even when you’re in a trade, every moment is an active decision to keep holding it instead of trading it for something else. Don’t blindly HODL hoping for a bad decision to improve, when there are better decisions you can take to re-coup that loss. Equally, don’t sell for a loss just because the value goes down. Re-analyse. Has anything changed? If every reason you had to buy it in the first place still applies, HODL. If something’s changed, including your confidence in it compared to other cryptos, consider switching it for a better opportunity.
So I learnt all of this in my first month – December 2017. Did I make optimal decisions all the time? Absolutely not, but with cryptos riding to all-time highs, my investors were very happy, as was I. It’s not often that you can get a 100% return on investment in just one month in a market. But it’s easy to profit in a bull market.
CHAPTER 3: It’s not all sunshine and lambos
It was around the end of December in which things started to get a bit too parabolic, and I was naturally suspicious of how long this could last. But you find yourself, inexperienced in a new market, eager to see how far you can ride the wave. The fear of missing out on further exponential gains becomes as much of a psychological challenge as taking a loss. In short, you get greedy. Highs that I had once been ecstatic with, a few days later became lows. I told my investors not to expect anything like this in future months. In my monthly summary I said “we are in perhaps the most bullish market the world has ever seen”, and I estimated that we had “a maximum of 1-2 more weeks to ride this momentum”. Prophetic, no? Well it’s easy to make predictions that come true – even a broken clock is right twice a day. What’s difficult is having enough conviction to take your own advice.
LEARNING 5: Make your rules and stick to them, no matter what
This is without a doubt the biggest thing I’ve learnt over the months. If one day you set yourself a target of £X profit – a level you’d be really happy to achieve, be that on a trade or overall – take it. Cash out as soon as you reach it and buy yourself something nice. Make it tangible. It’s easy for the world of online trading to feel gamified, but remember what you’re staking – this is real money. But it’s easier said than done. If you rise suddenly to that target I can tell you your first thought will be “whoa look at it go, I’m gonna see how much further it can get before I cash in”, rather than “mission accomplished, time to get out”. Humans are greedy. We want to take shortcuts – to our dreams, to wealth – but this isn’t a get rich quick scheme. If someone told you they could get you 10%/month gain on your savings (that triples your money every year) you’d probably bite their hand off. So why in crypto would you not be chuffed with 50%, or 20%, or 10%? Don’t move the goalposts. Decide in advance when to take profit and take it.
First off, it’s always a good idea to take out your initial investment at a level after which you’d be psychologically happy if the market goes down or up. For example, if I took out my initial investment (say £1000) when it went up 50% to £1500, and then the market went lunar and doubled the next month, I’d personally feel a bit annoyed at myself for not leaving more money in. That £1000 would’ve been £3000 had I kept it invested…shit. However if I took out my initial investment when it went up 200% - I’d now have £2000 left of my £3000 investment, and if it doubled the next month, I’d be happy with the stake I had remaining, not regretting my decision. That level can only be decided by you, based on your attitude towards risk. Obviously the higher that value is before you cash out your profits, the greater the risk you’re taking since it may never reach that level. Taking out your investment as soon as you’re happy to is a good move because from then on in you’re riding on pure profits. If the market were to crash to zero, you’d still be break even, so it’s much easier to detach yourself from the emotions involved (and we all know how emotional this market is). And if you’re a technical trader, rejoice at the fact that this market is hugely technical, and you can very often predict good levels to get out at – often doubled with buying back in cheaper. I highly recommend for everyone to spend some time learning to analyse charts - even at a basic level. It works. And for heaven's sake if you're day trading don't do what I did and "neglect" to apply basic trading principles like setting a stop loss and sizing each position at maximum ~1% risk. You can call it investing; you can call it speculative buying; but at the end of the day that's just gambling. Don't be lazy. Don't be wreckless. Apply what you've learnt in other markets - crypto is no different.
And for context, no I did not take my own advice. The correction shocked me. Not the fact that it happened, but the fact that it happened so hard and fast. At first I thought it was a healthy dip, and that the uptrend would resume soon enough – no reason to sell. But then the bears took over, and we were in a full on downwards movement. News emerged from South East Asia which caused a great deal of negative sentiment, and Bitcoin’s value tumbled (even when some of the speculation was later deemed invalid), and with that I realised how inherently linked to Bitcoin that all other cryptocurrencies are. You may dislike Bitcoin - the slow transactions; the high fees – but you can’t argue how critically important it is to this market.
LEARNING 6: 40+% market corrections are normal in crypto, but they still hurt
I neglected to mention earlier, but I have a background in trading forex. I understand market patterns, cyclicity and technical analysis such as Elliott Wave Theory and Fibonacci ratios. It is foolish to think that charts will continue indefinitely in a given direction – there will always be corrections and reversals. All through the correction we’ve started this year with, I have remained very optimistic. Nothing at all has changed to make any of the leading crypto projects less credible or via as future industry disruptors. This is why it’s important to do your own research on coins you invest in – so that you’re psychologically happy holding them long term through price corrections. But I’ll be honest, when Bitcoin broke down through several technical support levels a few days ago, I became apprehensive. Not even close to panic, or tempted to sell. After all I am investing long term, and I still see this as a requisite correction in a much larger up-trend. Or at least the upside potential of that outcome is comfortably worth the risk for me – it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. But even as an experienced trader, doubts can set in. All of the profits I had gained in month 1 were gone, and I have now slightly dipped into loss. As I say, I’m not selling, and my analysis is still very bullish. But HODLing is not always the best strategy.
LEARNING 7: When things are looking bearish, consider the trade to fiat
With the benefit of hindsight, and now having dedicated substantially more time to learning Elliot Wave Theory and studying crypto charts, there were a number of points at which you could have predicted a big ol’ correction was on the cards, before it fully developed. A quick ‘n dirty rule of thumb, for those of you who don’t know how to read charts, is: “Don’t buy into a parabolic market or at an all-time high – it’ll likely correct soon”. But I’d also like to add an addendum to what is a common mantra in the crypto community: “Buy the dip” – this is for day trading. If you’re intending to hold a coin long term, zoom right out and look at the entire coin’s price history. Wait for a macro scale correction, not a micro scale dip. A lot of people got excited the other day at Bitcoin rising 10% - I saw tonnes of calls saying “the correction is over” or “Bitcoin to the moon” – but when you zoom out, we’re still in a downtrend with room to go lower, and substantial resistance to get through before we can rise to new highs. Play the long game and look for long-term signals. And if you are in that subset of people who can predict an imminent correction, or indeed if you’re halfway through a correction with a good chance of it continuing, the best decision may well be to get out of the market until it’s over. Trade your positions back to fiat, and wait for clear recovery to the upside. It’s much more difficult to trade profitably in a down-trend. Most of us could have doubled our BTC holdings just by getting out of crypto before the correction and buying back in cheaper now. So make sure you have an exit plan. Know the steps that you’d need to take to get your money off exchanges / wallets and back into your bank account. Getting out of crypto doesn’t have to be a permanent move. There’s no harm in waiting things out until you’re confident again. After all, refer back to Learning 1 – there are always more opportunities.
CHAPTER 4: Moving forwards
At last, filled with learnings and plenty of inactive time spent refining my strategy, I’ve gone back to my technical analysis roots and really analysed why I’m in my positions.
LEARNING 8: Never stop analysing. You will make mistakes. Learn from them.
Does my portfolio need to be this diverse? Are my invested amounts proportional to my confidence in them? Probably not, so I’ve taken this opportunity to start shifting around. Don’t be precious about losses – losing is a natural part of trading – you only need one 10:1 winning trade to offset ten losing ones. So take some losses and make some mistakes. I’m sure glad I did, because it’s made me a much more confident and competent investor today.
And since everyone always looks around for opinions on the market, I will leave you with one bit of bullish technical insight on our King, Bitcoin. Basic Elliot Wave Theory says that markets move in ebbs and flows – 5 waves in the direction of the trend, followed by 3 waves of correction. And these waves are fractal in nature, meaning that a full 5-wave pattern forms a single larger wave within a higher degree pattern. All that being said, IF Bitcoin’s run up to its ATH in December constitutes a completed 5-wave pattern, we could consider that history as Wave 1 of a larger up-trend. Using Fibonacci extension ratios that appear in all markets (including crypto, very prominently, even with BTC), we can project the likely extensions of the Wave 3 that would come after we’re done correcting here. Based on analysis run by eSignal, a popular trading platform, the length of Wave 3 will likely reach either 1.62, 2.62 or 4.25 times the length of Wave 1. That means our Wave 3 high would take the price of a single Bitcoin to roughly $32,000, $64,000 or $98,000.
Technical analysis is very subjective, this is merely one possible outcome. But ask yourself, if you had the chance to invest in something with global reach that could make a 5x or even 10x return on your investment, what would you risk for that opportunity?
Thanks for taking the time to read, and I hope this helps some of you.
I've been working on a bot for crypto subs like /r/bitcoin for a few days now. Say hello to crypto_bot!
Hey guys, I've been working on crypto_bot for some time now. It provides a bunch of features that I hope will enhance your experience on /bitcoin (and any other subreddit). You can call it by mentioning it in a comment. I started working on this a few days ago. I'm constantly adding new features and will update this post when I do, but if you're interested I'll post all updates and some tips at /crypto_bot. Please either comment here, message me, or post there if you'd like to report a bug, request a feature, or offer feedback. There's also one hidden command :) You can call multiple commands in one comment. Here's a description of the commands you can use:
Responds with the USD price of one bitcoin from an average of six of the top bitcoin exchanges (BTC-E, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, Coinbase, Kraken, Cryptsy).
Responds with the USD price of one bitcoin at seven exchanges (all of the ones listed above, plus LocalBitcoins). Also lists the average at the bottom.
Responds with the USD price of one bitcoin from [exchange] (any of the seven listed above).
Responds with the USD price of one litecoin, or the price of 1 doge and 1,000 doge.
crypto_bot litecoin|ltc [exchange]
Responds with the USD price of one litecoin from BTC-E, Bitfinex, Kraken, or Cryptsy.
Responds with the price of one bitcoin in the specified currency. Available currencies (symbols): JPY, CNY, SGD, HKD, CAD, NZD, AUD, CLP, GBP, DKK, SEK, ISK, CHF, BRL, EUR, RUB, PLN, THB, KRW, TWD.
crypto_bot [about|info] [arg]
Responds with a short description about [arg], as well as a link to an external site (Wikipedia, bitcoin.it, and some others) for more information. You can list multiple arguments and get a description for each. Available arguments: bitcoin, block chain, transaction, address, genesis, satoshi, mining, confirmation, coinbase, gox, cold wallet, hot wallet.
Responds with calculations and information about how a miner would do with the above data (mining calculator). The only required field is mining speed. Order of the arguments does not matter. Everything other than hashrate defaults to the following if not given: w (watts): 0, kwh ($kilowatt cost/hour): 0, difficulty: current network difficulty, hc$ (hardware cost): $0, $: current bitcoin price in usd (according to Coinbase), % (pool fee): 0. The calculator does not account for nor allow for input of the increase/decrease of difficulty over time, though I may add this feature soon. Working hashing speeds: h/s, kh/s, mh/s, gh/s, th/s, ph/s. Example usage: "crypto_bot calc 30th/s 10w .12kwh hc$55 1.5%" (to make it easier to remember, th/s can also be inputted as ths). This calls the bot with a hashrate of 30 th/s, electricity usage of 10w, a cost of $.12 kWh, a hardware cost of $55, and a pool fee of 1.5%.
crypto_bot number of btc <$amount to convert> [bp$bitcoin price]
Responds with the number of bitcoins you could buy with <$amount to convert>. If the comment specifies a [bp$bitcoin price], it calculates it with that exchange rate. Otherwise, it uses the rate from Coinbase. Example usage: "crypto_bot $419.29 bp$180.32" This calculates how many bitcoins you can buy if you have $419.29 and the bitcoin exchange rate is $180.32.
Signs a message in the bitcoin block chain in a transaction using OP_RETURN. The message must be less than 40 characters. Example usage: "SignMessage! "Post messages in the block chain!"" I hope you find this bot useful! Again, if you have any questions or comments, please either comment on this post, message me, or post on /crypto_bot. Update 1 (June 24, 2015, 17:35): The bot now responds with information if you post a link to a block, transaction, or address on Blockchain.info in a comment, even if you don't call it. For example, if I wrote "https://blockchain.info/block/0000000000000000126448be07fb1f82af19fbbf07dd7e07ebcd08d42c2660cb" in a comment, it would respond with information about block #362,377. Update 2 (July 10, 2015, 1:59): The bot now has two additional commands: "unconfirmed transactions" (or "unconfirmed tx") and "explain transaction delay" (or "explain tx delay"). The first command responds with the number of unconfirmed transactions, and the second explains why transactions might take extra time to confirm. Update 3 (August 24, 2015, 1:34): The bot now responds in a better way than before when transaction ids or addresses are posted. Before, it only responded when the transaction id or address was used in a link to Blockchain.info. Now the bot will respond whenever a transaction id or address is posted at all; a link to Blockchain.info is no longer necessary. Update 4 (August 27, 2015, 3:00): The bot can now sign messages in the Bitcoin block chain using OP_RETURN.
This has been bugging me for a while so thank you for endulging my rambling. TL;DR at the end. I'd like for everyone to just think about what we're trying to do here. Don't forget what the ultimate goal is. Anyone remember? Is it to make a profit? No, that's a secondary goal. The primary goal is to develop widespread adoption of cryptocurrency as an alternative to fiat currency. Anyone remember this lofty goal or did we all forget this while chasing 30% daily price swings. We're trying to complete with USD, GBP, EUR, and CNY, remember? This is EUR vs. USD. You'll note that this is all data (or click on "All" button on the bottom), going back to 1993 through today. What do you notice? You'll notice an open of $1.22 to €1. After a few months, it fell about 10%, then rose up 24% over the next two years only to drop about 40% over seven years and then almost doubling over eight years only to drop about a third in the last ten years to where it is today - almost where we were 25 years ago (approximately). This is BTC vs. USD. You'll note that this is all data going back to 2011. During the last seven years it has... oh my God are you kidding me?! This is LTC vs. USD. Let's not forget what we're talking about. We're talking about currency. For currency to be used, it needs to be relatively stable. Now compare the charts above. Let's say we created a new country called Cryptonia. Which of these would you like to use as currency? EUR? BTC? LTC? My money is on EUR. Why? Because it's relatively stable. Now let's fast forward a bit and pretend that Cryptonia has adopted Litecoin as its official currency. Our largest trading partner is the US. How would transactions between merchants work in this scenario, taking into account the last few days. I'll use the following prices:
Let's run through a transaction: 1/16
Cryptonian citizen C1 is selling a widget at 1 Litecoin to an American citizen A1
A1 pays $227 and C1 gets that converted to 1LTC
C1 is also selling another widget to A2 on the same day for 1LTC and has 2LTC total
A1 decides that they don't want the item and would like to return it. C1 issues refund of 1LTC. A1 gets $163. A1 loses $64 or 28.2% on the return.
C1 now has 1LTC
A2 is decides to do nothing.
A2 decides to sell the widget to C2 for 1LTC
C2 says the price is fair since it was 1LTC a few days ago and buys it
A2 gets $194, a 19% profit from two days ago
A1 is pissed
C1 is happy since they made one sale
A2 is happy since they made a 19% profit
C2 is happy since they have a widget at a fair price
This works both ways as far as you can do the math in USD vs. LTC to see how this screws over at least one party due to the wild price swings. Note: fiat currency does the same thing with one key difference explained later on. Don't forget that this is all within 3 days. Now sure, obviously the last few days isn't something that happens every day ... but doesn't it? Look at the examples of EUR:USD. Any sharp spikes or drops have taken months to execute - enough time for relative prices to adjust. Look at cryptocurrency prices - the swings (from a percentage basis) are wild on a regular basis. In short, cryptocurrency isn't acting like currency. It's acting like an asset and not just an asset but a highly speculative one. The IRS is right to treat it like an asset because if it looks like an asset, and it acts like an asset, then it is an asset. Where do I believe this should go? I believe cryptocurrency market needs to mature. I believe these drastic price swings need to stop. When will this happen? I believe it'll happen when the cryptocurrency market reaches a happy plateau where the market cap has reached a point where the buyers and sellers mostly eliminate one another and the relatively large price swings - from a percent point of view - are as boring as Mr. Stein. EUR vs. USD went up 0.03% today. 0.03%. In LTC-speek, that's going up $0.58 for the whole day. Oh and it was a wild ride too. Why it went all the way down to $1.21697 and all the way up to 1.22645. I know, I know - tie me down because I'm out of control. Is this the only problem? No. Cryptocurrency has another problem and that's the sheer number of types of coins available. How many coins are available? 1,448. Nearly 1,500 coins all competing with each other for market share. We have Bitcoin at about $200b all the way to something like Digital Money Bits (DMB, an appropriate acronym). What is it? Who cares, it's worth $3,832. Not $3.832 billion or million but literally $3,832 with a volume of $35,509 today and hey, just this June, its market cap reached an all time high of $62,000! You missed the recent run-up though and boy did you miss it. On January 1st, its market cap was worth almost five hundred dollars! Yep, about two Litecoins! But look at it now - it went from $500 market cap to $3,832 in less than three weeks. Clearly this one is shooting to the moon. This is a problem. Decentralization has an unfortunate side effect of - duh - nobody being in charge. There's no real clearance for these and some people with a little bit of money can literally copy and paste a whitepaper and have this chart and have a serious valuation of almost $17b from $140 million in literally 30 days. This doesn't act like a currency either. This is a problem. Don't forget, this isn't like the dot-com era. We're not launching IPO's and .com companies that have different ideas. Amazon isn't like Ebay, or Google, or Yahoo, or Facebook or anything else. They all have different ideas for different segments of the population. We are in the cryptocurrency market. The world today has 180 fiat currencies. Cryptocurrency market is approaching 1,500. We need to trim the fat and the outright forgeries. Market cap isn't enough to weed them out. There needs to be something, a stabilizing force, that should act as a clearinghouse for launch of new cryptocurrencies. The market has failed to destroy shitcoins. Heck, it rewarded them based on lies, paid endorsements, FOMO, and FUD for other coins. This doesn't help the cryptocurrency market. It helps a few people get really wealthy really quickly and you are left holding the bag, so to speak. Should coins only be allowed to be introduced when its network reaches a certain hash rate? Isn't that the only objective point of value we have - number of mathematical calculations and power used in those calculations? You can't fake that. What's another problem with cryptocurrency? It's what it represents. The governments don't see crypto as a positive force. After all, it directly competes with their own currencies. Can the governments shut this down? No - this is the Internet, after all. But they can kill it in other ways. I don't know how many people here remember but my first brush with Bitcoin was the ransomware viruses which wanted $300 in Bitcoin to unlock files. Bitcoin was seen as something tied to illegal activities. If governments - and let's say the US, South Korea, and China in particular - ban Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in particular then what they'll really do is make transactions illegal. What's the on-ramp and off-ramp to/from crypto? The banks which are already regulated. Now let's say you're in the US, your bank account is tied to your Coinbase account and you have some cryptocurrency. US issues a regulation which states that trading cryptocurrency is now illegal. It issues orders to all US banks to shut down related accounts. The following things will happen: cryptocurrency prices will tank and everyone is going to scramble taking money out which would likely overload the system, causing massive delays. But let's say you're left holding your crypto and it's been a month. What can you do with it? Not much. Crypto isn't accepted in enough places yet. You can continue holding, hoping the price and ability to extract will come back one day. After all, you can't get your money back. Your bank closed your related account. You can open another one at any new bank but they'll either ban you from connecting your account to Coinbase or they'll confiscate any money coming from Coinbase and charge you with a crime. Now have the governments banned crypto? No - you can use and trade crypto all you want since it can't be traced. But have they effectively? Yes. Ironically, it's the banks that'll save us and I think that's why Ripple blew up. After all, if you have a cryptocurrency that sucks the bank's [censored] and plays along, you can get:
tied to various governments, i.e. no ban, little competition
and use the banks money for lobbying to make sure the governments don't ban it
I think that's why something like Ripple blew up - because it doesn't care much about regular people, it wants to be the speedy highway for bank<->bank transfers. What's a solution to this problem? More regulation and playing nice with the governments. Crypto isn't going mainstream if you shut out all governments. It needs to be connected. This means working with regulators to make sure that KYC laws are followed, that people report and pay money on any gains, and that - to a point - there's some supervision and tracing of transactions in a way that if you're robbed, you can get your money back. This will create a new job field, which - considering our current growth - will create a whole slew of high-paying white-collar jobs. Considering the high-level of transactions, banks would start this, followed by private companies, governments, and law-enforcement agencies. A good way to start this is what CBOE and CME have started to do - legitimize the currency. This is a foot in the door to the real holy grail: FOREX markets. When it's legitimized and not in serious competition with governments, it'll be embraced and its availability - along with instant transfers and low fees - will be widely supported by serious platforms. Until these problems are fixed, the cryptocurrency market will remain what it is today: a speculative asset and not a currency. During the time it's taken me to write this post, Litecoin has gone up 2.6%. Euro remains at 0.03% gain. Thanks for reading! TL;DR
We're supposed to be creating a new type of currency - cryptocurrency - as opposed to chasing profits. To do this, we need to have stable charts and not wild price swings.
We need to dump most coins on the market and focus on serious ideas that have potential. Market cap has failed to reign in fraud with large, multi-billion dollar shitcoins flooding in. Network hash rate and power usage is a measure we can use to determine objective worth.
We're competing with governments and until we find a way to work with them, the governments can choke the life out of the entire cryptocurrency markets. This should start with KYC implementations and interoperability with the markets such as FOREX.
Sign-up for Binance Jersey Fiat Exchange At this time, the digital currency exchange market is filled with a wide variety of choices, therefore choosing the right exchange or trading platform can be quite a headache for both novice and veteran cryptocurrency users. Binance is a popular cryptocurrency exchange which was started in China but recently moved their headquarters to the crypto-friendly Island of Malta in the EU. Binance is popular for its crypto to crypto exchange services. While the company is still fairly new on the market ( it launched last year ), it has managed to gain a lot of popularity thanks to its impressive number of Initial Coin Offering listings, professional attitude and friendly CEO and also due to its low trading fees. Binance Website In our review, we will attempt to outline everything that you must know about Binance, including how it works, the crypto pairs that you can exchange, trading fees/limits, security aspects, and customer support. Visit Binance » How the Exchange Works Contents [Show] Those who visit Binance for the first time will quickly notice that the platform offers two options for digital currency trading- basic and advanced. Neither the basic, nor the advanced versions are bound to be easy to use for complete beginners. However, anyone with a background in digital currencies and with a bit of knowledge into how exchanges work should be able to use the platform and its different services. The main difference between the basic and the advanced version is that the advanced one offers more-in-depth technical analysis of digital currency value over time. At this time, the dashboard for the basic version offers several graphs and charts for the pairs that you’re trading, order books, and trade history. 3Commas This is what the basic view looks like : Binance Trading View The Basic view is nicely designed and well laid out, all the information you need is clearly presented with prices on the left, graphs in the center along with the buy and sell boxes and the trade history is presented on the right so you can quickly see what the latest trade prices were. And this is what the advanced view looks like: Advanced View The advanced view uses a dark theme and makes the trading charts larger and the latest trade prices are displayed on the right with the buy sell boxes underneath. Which you choose is a matter of preference really, I like the lighter colored basic view and find the layout a little easier to use. Binance Signup & Login To use the exchange, users will first have to create an account. The process behind this is fairly simple and straight-forward and you don’t have to verify your account for level 1 which is a 2BTC daily withdrawal limit. For level 2 which allows up to 100BTC per day, you need to upload a photo ID and wait till you are approved. There are higher limits still, but you will need to contact them directly to arrange that. Time for verification can vary depending on how busy the site support staff are, so make sure to plan ahead if you wish to withdraw larger amounts and make sure this step is complete before depositing and trading large sums on the exchange. ID Verification Now, that this is out of the way, users can go ahead and fund their Binance account. While you can choose from a multitude of digital currencies, it is recommended that you stick with either BTC or ETH. To fund your account visit the “Funds” > “Deposits / Withdrawals” link at the top of the site and find the currency you wish to send, then click the “Deposit” button next to it which will then you give you the wallet address. You can then send your funds to this address to begin trading on the platform, depending on which currency you deposit it will take different times to show up as this is reliant on that currencies blockchain. Some currencies like Ethereum are faster than Bitcoin which can take a while. Binance Wallets Now that your account is funded, you can simply start trading, exchanging and investing in various digital currency pairs. Binance offers plenty of choices, as they support all major digital currencies, but also numerous ICO listings and their respective tokens. At this time, the platform can only be used to generate limit and market orders. This has been considered a disadvantage by some, as many expected trading options that would be more advanced. Following the placement of your order, simply wait for it to be fulfilled according to the terms that have been set. How to Trade on Binance Trading on Binance is fairly straight-forward if you have used any other cryptocurrency exchange before. To get started, make sure you have deposited some funds – there are options for trading pairs in BTC, ETH, BNB and USDT. Once you have your funds, at the top right menu, select “Exchange” > “Basic” or “Advanced” to load the trading screen. We will be using the Basic view. Binance Trading View On the right hand side, of the screen select a tab from BTC, ETH, BNB or USDT this is what you will be trading in. Then choose your desired currency from the list. You can also search here and you can create a favorites list by clicking the star next to any currencies. Choose currency to buy Once your desired currency has loaded, take note of the left-hand column which shows prices that people are willing to sell at in the top half in red and prices people are willing to buy at in green in the bottom half. The number in the middle shows the last sale price. Buy and Sell Prices Now to place a buy order, use the center box underneath the graphs and you will see the buy box is in green on the right. You can manually enter a price you wish to purchase at, but a better way is to click a number on the left-hand column. You can then enter the amount of the currency you wish to buy or click the 25%, 50%, 75% or 100% buttons which will fill it with an amount based on how much of the buying currency you have ( in this case BTC ). Buy Order Once your order is placed it will be show underneath in the “Open Orders” section until it is filled. At that point your new currency will be available under the “Deposits / Withdrawals” menu where you can withdraw it to the wallet of your choice. Supported Crypto Currencies Binance has often been praised for its wide variety of support coins. Traders can use the platform for multiple digital currencies, including, but not limited to Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, EOS, Dash, LiteCoin, NEO, GAS, Zcash, Dash, Ripple and more. As mentioned before, Binance also supports numerous tokens, as part of ICO listings. With this in mind, traders can use the platform to trade these tokens for a profit as well. Binance is currently very quick to add new coins and tokens after their ICO which usually means you can purchase them cheaply which allows for greater profit down the road. They currently offer trading pairs in BTC, BNB, ETH and USDT. Binance Markets Binance ICO & BNB Coin Another thing to note is the Binance Coin, which was issued during their own ICO. The Binance coin can be used to pay fees and it will also feature in their future plans to create a Decentralized Exchange where it will form one of the key base currencies. Purchasing the Binance coin itself looks like a good investment for the future as the exchange plans to use their profits to buy back a portion of the coins every quarter and destroy them: hence decreasing the supply and making them more valuable for holders. Every quarter, we will use 20% of our profits to buy back BNB and destroy them, until we buy 50% of all the BNB (100MM) back. All buy-back transactions will be announced on the blockchain. We eventually will destroy 100MM BNB, leaving 100MM BNB remaining. Binance BNB Coin If you’d like to read more about the BNB Coin, check out our indepth guide. Binance Fees & Limits At the time of writing, Binance charges an average fee of 0.1% on each trade that a user makes. Those who choose to pay via the Binance token can get a 50% discount on the trading fee, which is absolutely great news. These are surely some of the lowest fees available at this time. Withdrawal fees tend to vary for each digital currency. For instance, 0.0005 is charged for Bitcoin withdrawals, and 0.005 is charged for ETH withdrawals. Here are some examples to give you an idea of the fees you will be paying for withdrawals: COIN CODE Fee Unit Binance Coin BNB 1 BNB Bitcoin BTC 0.001 BTC Ethereum ETH 0.01 ETH Litcoin LTC 0.01 LTC Neo NEO Free NEO Qtum QTUM 0.01 QTUM Status SNT 10 SNT Bancor BNT 1.2 BNT Eos EOS 0.7 EOS Bitcoin Cash BCC 0.0005 BCC Gas GAS Free GAS USDT USDT 50 USDT When it comes down to transfer limits, there is no limit on the number of coins that you can deposit. However, without getting verified, users are limited in terms of how much they can withdraw. Verification will establish you as a level two users, thus lifting these limits and providing a lot more freedom when using the platform. The verification process requires users to provide Binance with their full name, country, gender, a photo of passport/government-issued ID, and even a selfie with the passport. Binance Competitions A unique feature of Binance you will notice is that they regularly hold competitions with some amazing prizes. Some examples of competitions in the past include Waves and Tron. The waves competition gave away 20,000 Waves to Traders based on how many trades they have made of this currency. The other competition for Tron (TRX) gave participants the chance to win a Maserati car, Mercedes Benz car, a Macbook Pro or a iPhone X. Again, the winners were the people with the highest trading volume of this currency. The current rankings show that the person in first place had over 358 BTC volume in trades so you will need to be a whale to be in with a chance of winning first prize. There are other regular competitions though, so keep an eye on the site for your chance to enter. Is Binance Safe? While Binance is one of the newest cryptocurrency exchanges available on the market, it has quickly managed to attain a high level of trust from its users and the digital currency community. However, the exchange fails to provide users with enough information on how the funds are being secured, yet we like to believe that security is taken seriously. Two-factor authentication is available and is always a nice sight. It is however known that the platform offers a multi-tier and multi-tier system architecture. Update: In March 2018 Binance suffered a hacking attempt. The hackers tried to pull off an audacious move which was luckily caught by the automated systems in place at the exchange. For months the hackers had been accumulating people’s logins via a phishing website and secretly installing API access on the affected accounts. They then struck, converting all the victims altcoins to BTC and purchasing Viacoin, pumping the coin to a huge price and then selling their own supply of Viacoin at the high point, before trying to withdraw the BTC to their own wallets. Luckily no one lost funds as the hack was caught and the only people to lose out were the hackers, whose funds will be donated to charity. As this hack was made possible by people entering their site logins and 2FA details into a fake website, you should always make sure you are on the correct Binance url before logging in. We recommend you bookmark the site and only use that to access it, never click links from emails, Twitter, Telegram etc. This event has done a lot to instill confidence around Binance, not only did their automated processes catch the attempted hack before anyone lost any funds, they have since offered a $250,000 bounty to anyone who can help catch the hackers. Throughout this event, Binance acted exemplary and have been praised for their swift action in resolving this. Binance Customer Support For an exchange to be successful, it requires a great customer support team, capable of answering all user questions and requests in a timely manner. While the support area on Binance could use a little work, the team is responsive and capable of offering professional aid to traders in need. Support tickets are submitted via an online form featured on the website, and responses are made via email. There is currently no live chat support, nor a phone number where customers can get in touch with the support team. Binance Customer Support Other than the CS team, Binance offers a couple of FAQs and articles meant to help users get accustomed to the exchange and the way it works. Binance FAQs It should be noted that customer support on Binance has been known to be slow to respond to customer requests. This is a familiar phenomenon with most of large exchanges and is due simply to the volume of users and amount of support staff. The exchanges have grown at an explosive rate this past year and the companies simply haven’t been able to keep up with demand. Binance grew fast especially, going from launch to the largest exchange on the planet in a few short months. Support staff for exchanges have to be carefully vetted and trained due to the technicalities and security requirements involved – unlike other traditional companies where staff can be trained quicker. Some things to bare in mind are double-checking wallet addresses, make sure you are sending the correct cryptocurrency to it’s corresponding address on the site. Mixups with wallets are one of the biggest mistakes people make when using exchanges. Other things to note are, try a smaller test payment first if you plan to transfer large sums – it may cost you a little more in fees but will be worth it for peace of mind. If you do need to contact support, make sure you provide them with enough information to be able to help you first time. Include wallet addresses, times of transactions and any other information you think they might need to help speed up the process. The Move to Malta In March 2018, Japanese Newspaper Nikkei reported that Binance was trading in Japan and not following their official regulations. This caused some turbulence in the markets until Binance made an official announcement that they were going to be moving operations to the crypto-friendly island of Malta in Europe, stating : After reviewing several different locations, the company decided to invest in the European nation due to its existing pro-blockchain legislation and the stability that it offers financial technology companies through its regulatory framework. This is good news for the company and they even received a warm welcome from the Prime Minister of Malta on Twitter. Binance also announced that they were in talks with Maltese banks with the goal of providing Fiat transactions, meaning they can offer an on-ramp for fiat to crypto transactions in future along with fiat trading pairs on the exchange. More good news for Binance, it seems as their profile and reputation within the industry continues to grow. Launching a Decentralized Exchange More recent news for Binance and what seems like good news BNB holders is the fact that they are planning to launch their own Decentralized Exchange ( DEX ): “After extensively researching decentralized exchange frameworks and analyzing existing implementations, we believe significant improvements can be made in providing Binance users with a level of trading experience to which they are already accustomed. Centralized and Decentralized exchanges will co-exist in the near future, complementing each other, while also having interdependence.” The BNB digital asset, now an ERC-20 token, will migrate as the native token of that network and be used for paying the trading fees on the new exchange. Launching a Decentralized Stock Exchange More good news recently for Binance is that they are partnering with Neufund to build the world’s first Decentralized Stock Exchange. Alongside the Malta Stock Exchange, they are aiming to create a regulated and decentralized, global stock exchange for listing and trading tokenized securities alongside crypto-assets. According to CapLinked, the market cap of equity tokens alone is projected to reach $1 trillion by 2020 and thanks to the partnership with MSX, a subsidiary of the Malta Stock Exchange and Binance, Neufund will become the first end-to-end primary issuance platform for security tokens, in particular, equity tokens. It will secure ways for secondary trading of equity tokens and enable companies around the world to fundraise on Blockchain in a legal way while offering much-needed liquidity. This is more positive news for Binance as they aim to consolidate their position as the world’s number one Crypto Exchange. Binance Jersey Launch – Now Supports Fiat to Crypto As of 16th January 2019, Binance has announced the launch of a new Fiat to Crypto exchange named “Binance Jersey“. The trading platform is live and active and allows you to trade in fiat currencies such as euros and pound sterling, with Europe being their target market. We have now carried out a full review of Binance Jersey, so take a look for more indepth details about the new platform. Binance Jersey Visit Binance Jersey » At the time of writing they are only offering four trading pairs with more to follow soon: BTC / EUR BTC / GBP ETH / EUR ETH / GBP Supported Jurisdictions: Argentina Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) Latvia Romania Armenia Finland Liechtenstein Singapore Australia France Lithuania Slovakia Austria Germany Luxembourg Slovenia Azerbaijan Gibraltar Macau South Africa Belgium Greece Malta South Korea Brazil Hong Kong Mauritius Spain Bulgaria Hungary Mexico Sweden Canada Iceland Monaco Switzerland Chile Ireland Netherlands Turkey Croatia Israel New Zealand United Arab Emirates (UAE) Cyprus Italy Norway United Kingdom (UK) Czech Republic Jamaica Peru Uruguay Denmark Japan Poland Estonia Jersey Portugal Customers who wish to trade in the support fiat currencies will need to carry our KYC procedures by uploading their ID documents such as passport and driving license. Wei Zhou, Binance’s CFO released this statement about the launch : “Expanding the cryptocurrency exchange markets with fiat currencies in the European region is opening new economic opportunities for Europeans as well as freedom from looming Brexit uncertainty where the pound and euro are also in concern. Through Binance Jersey, we want to help bridge the crypto-fiat channel for Europe and the U.K. as part of our global expansion to support broader cryptocurrency adoption”. If you are familiar with trading on Binance, then you will feel at home on their new exchange – it uses the same engine and the trading screen is laid out in the same fashion with the option to choose between Basic and Advanced views: Binance Jersey Trading Screen To fund your account in fiat, you will first need to complete the KYC process, once that is done you can then deposit funds directly from your bank account by linking it from the Deposits screen. You can also fund your account with BTC or Ethereum. Once you have your account setup and bank account linked, you can also withdraw funds in fiat currency – this is great news as Binance is now able to offer a way for investors to cash out their cryptocurrencies. We have upgraded our review scores below and we feel this is a huge improvement to Binance’s Exchange offering, if they manage to roll this out to even more countries ( USA is currently excluded) it could be a game changer as people now have an extra, regulated fiat on and off ramp for their holdings. Buying Bitcoin with Australian Dollars On March 20, 2019, Binance announced the launch of Binance Lite Australia, the continent’s first fiat gateway to the world of cryptocurrencies which provides a secure, reliable, and easy to use way to buy Bitcoin with cash in Australia. The cash-to-Bitcoin brokerage service operates via a network of over 1,000 newsagents across Australia, and currently allows anyone to buy Bitcoin using Australian Dollars (AUD), and there are plans to include additional digital currencies and fiat purchasing options in the future. Users must first undergo account verification on Binance Lite, and after being successfully verified, users can place online orders and deposit cash at their nearest newsagent, in order to receive their pre-ordered Bitcoin. The Binance Lite brokerage service is operated by InvestbyBit, an independently operated subsidiary of the Binance.com cryptocurrency exchange. The service aims to simplify the process of purchasing cryptocurrencies and make digital assets such as Bitcoin readily accessible across Australia. Fees A 2.5% transaction fee (50% discount applied) plus GST on the transaction fee for each purchase is currently being charged as an introductory rate. Therefore, for a $50 order, the transaction fee will be $1.22 and the GST will be 10% of the transaction fee, which is $0.12. Limits The system is currently in its Beta phase, and the minimum purchase amount has been lowered to $30 with the maximum purchase amount capped at $1000. These limits may change over time and only multiples of $10 are being accepted, such as orders for $50, $60, $70 etc. Verification First time customers are required to go through a one-time Know Your Customer (KYC) document verification. When using the service, it’s necessary to follow the instruction prompts after the order page and go through the verification. In order to complete the verification process, it’s necessary to submit 1 or 2 forms of government issued ID documents as a Passport, Driver’s Licence, or Medicare card, in addition to your residential address. Any returning customers, who have already completed KYC verification, will be sent to the order summary page directly after opening a new order. Each account is linked to a mobile number, and users should ensure to use the mobile number provided when first completing the verification process. Anyone choosing to use a new mobile number will be required to complete the ID verification process once again. Paying by Debit and Credit Card Binance allows users to make debit and credit card payments for cryptocurrencies via a partnership with Simplex. It’s possible to purchase Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and XRP tokens by Visa and MasterCard and the benefits of using a debit or credit card on Binance include: Swift Transfers: Average 10-30 mins for cryptocurrency to reach your wallet Low Fees: only 3.5% per transaction or 10 USD, whichever is higher Convenient: Visa and MasterCard accepted In order to purchase the supported cryptocurrencies with a debit or credit card, users can first go through the official instructions page and then visit: https://www.binance.com/en/creditcard. Binance Launchpad and Initial Coin Offerings (IEOs) Binance Launchpad is the exchange’s token launch platform that aims to connect blockchain projects with the greater cryptocurrency community and enable projects to raise funds while interacting with Binance’s significant user base. In December 2017, the BREAD and GIFTO projects were able to hold successful token sales on Binance Launchpad and projects such as BitTorrent and Fetch.AI have also held successful launches in 2019. The platform makes use of the exchange’s native BNB token and rewards users for holding the token as well as allowing it to be used to participate in token sales. Read: What is an IEO? How Token Offerings Work on Binance Launchpad The ability to part in token offerings continues to attract a significant amount of users to Binance and it’s necessary to go through a number of steps in order to get used to the Launchpad platform. Anyone interested in a project should first go to the Binance Launchpad website and click on the project page and thoroughly research any of the projects on offer. If not already done, it’s also necessary to complete your Binance account verification, as token sales are carried out in compliance with the regulatory requirements in supported user jurisdictions. The Lottery System Binance Launchpad operates a lottery system which sees that the number of lottery tickets you can claim being dependant on the amount of BNB tokens you hold in your Binance account over a 20-day period leading up to the day of the lottery, with a maximum of up to 5 tickets per eligible account. The 20 days leading up to the lottery draw date is represented by X below, and by example, 100 ≤ X < 200 means that your BNB balance over the entire 20-day period is kept at 100 BNB or more, but does not exceed or reach 200 BNB. A snapshot at 0:00 AM (UTC) each day records each user’s BNB balance, and should your BNB balance drop below the minimum balance required on any given day during the 20-day period, they will be put into the lower threshold. For example, if User A holds 301 BNB for 19 of the 20 days but their balance drops to 299 BNB on one day. They will move to the lower threshold and only be eligible to claim 2 lottery tickets. Before the actual lottery date, users are given a 24 hour period to select how many lottery tickets they wish to enter, with the maximum number based upon their BNB holdings over the previous 20 days. Here, if a user submits an entry of 5 tickets and 2 tickets end up winning, they are committed to pay for 2 ticket allocations (in BNB) for the tokens. Each lottery ticket has a unique number with multiple lottery ticket holders, obtaining tickets with consecutive numbers. For example, when claiming 5 tickets, the tickets may be numbered 100010, 100011, 100012, 100013 and 100014. Once the 24 hour period ends and all tickets have been fully issued, Binance begins to randomly select multi-digit numbers. These are matched against the tail digits of all issued tickets in order to determine the list of winners. The selection process continues until the maximum number of winners are matched, and the respective BNB is deducted from each winning user’s balance, as soon as they are deemed a winner. Binance announces the maximum number of potential lottery ticket winners, and the allocation amount corresponding to each winning ticket in advance. Conclusion Currently, the matching engine of the exchange is capable of processing approximately 1.4 million orders each second, hence making it one of the fastest exchanges available on the market. Additionally, the exchange works on all forms of devices, including web, Android, WeChat, and HTML5. Non-English speakers will be happy to know that Binance offers multiple-language support in Chinese, English, Korean and Japanese. Based on everything that has been outlined so far, Binance is undoubtedly the leading Cryptocurrency Exchange and offers great fees and awesome digital currency support. As it reportedly has access to abundant resources and partners, chances are that Binance will continue to evolve and offer great digital currency exchange services to its clients. We are happy to recommend Binance and have added it to our list of the Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges. Update, April 2019: We have continued to update this review since Binance was first launched ( we were one of the first to offer a review of the platform at the time ). And as time has progressed, time and time again Binance have proven to be one of the very best, if not the best, exchanges available. Their CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ for short) has been part of the cryptocurrency community and shown high standards of integrity. Binance the exchange has continued to innovate, bringing new products to market and new options for purchasing and trading cryptocurrencies to all corners of the globe.
About Bitcoin to British Pound. This is a real time price of Bitcoin in British Pounds (BTC to GBP). The majority of trading tends to happen in Bitcoin USD but as this cryptocurrency has gained popularity many are trading this in GBP and Euros amongst other currencies. Learn about CFDs in Bitcoin. Bitcoin - British Pound (BTC - GBP) 9,990.60-65.98 (-0.66%) 02:41:00 AM. EDT Add to watchlist. TO PORTFOLIO TO WATCHLIST. GBP/BTC Trade Now. Send Money. Don't get overcharged when you send money ... Bitcoin Price (BTC). Price chart, trade volume, market cap, and more. Discover new cryptocurrencies to add to your portfolio. Skip to content. Prices. Products. Company. Earn crypto. Get $171+ Sign in. Get started. Price charts Bitcoin price. Bitcoin price (BTC) Add to Watchlist $ 13,070.01 +0.56%. 1h. 24h. 1w. 1m. 1y. all. $0.0000 January 1 12:00 AM. 10:56 AM 3:06 PM 7:17 PM 11:27 PM 3:38 AM ... Bitcoin Price (BTC / GBP). Price chart, trade volume, market cap, and more. Discover new cryptocurrencies to add to your portfolio. Skip to content. Prices. Products. Company. Earn crypto. Get $171+ Sign in. Get started. Price charts Bitcoin price. Bitcoin price (BTC / GBP) View in. GBP. Add to Watchlist £ 10,012.30 +0.67%. 1h. 24h. 1w. 1m. 1y. all. £0.0000 January 1 12:00 AM. 8:36 AM 12:46 ... Der Bitcoin - Euro Chart zeigt die Entwicklung des Bitcoin - Euro in grafischer Form und erlaubt somit einen schnellen Überblick über Kursverlauf, Höchst- und Tiefststände.
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