- - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - Description:Cripto Conserje will drive adoption of crypto payments for merchants in LATAM through POS hardware, training and customer support. The goal of Cripto Conserje and its strategic partners is to help Cúcuta, Colombia become the first city in the world to reach 50% crypto adoption, meaning that 50% or more of the local merchants have a crypto-enabled POS (point of sale) system and in doing so developing a framework for cryptocurrency merchant adoption entering different cities in LATAM. - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - Goal Statement: Our goal is to empower local economic actors such as merchants and individuals by providing financial tools that increase liquidity and facilitate means of exchange. We do this through the use of digital assets and grass-roots educational training. In addition to providing direct humanitarian relief to refugees throughout Latin America, our aim is to encourage adoption and to stimulate economic activity. In order for crypto-adoption to take place, local merchants must be trained and encouraged to accept crypto as a form of payment. This requires a multi-faceted approach. Table 1: General description Programs Processes Goal Education
In store / Location marketing
Build a customer base Hardware
POS system for merchants
Hot and cold storage devices
Build Infrastructure Business and financial services
Build economy Applications
Exchanges / ATMs
1. Short term milestones
Launch Crypto Education Hub in Cúcuta. In partnership with South American Initiative, Cripto Conserje has acquired land to build a community center near Cúcuta.
Complete Merchant Adoption pilot program, targeting 100 participating merchants.
Improve Testing environment and questionnaires with enhanced features such as automatic reward system based on user experience and knowledge base acquired
Offer financial access via SMS by 3rd party service provider CoinTigo.io (see Key Partners for more details)
Create educational material; training videos and in-site programs / fast-tracks
Advertising and Marketing
Live support and online helpdesk for crypto asset management.
Repeat model with merchants outside of Cúcuta.
2. Long term milestones
Achieve +50% crypto adoption in a major city in Latin America
Provide support and aid to economically distressed populations living in Cúcuta, Colombia, especially Venezuelan refugees
Prove cryptocurrencies are a workable form of digital cash
Establish a successful and safe business operation that is can be easily replicated
Future services include:
Help Desk for clients and merchants (regarding issues with wallets, exchanges, etc…)
Consulting and continued education (such as crypto asset management courses, walking the client through things like staking, masternodes, and automated trading such as index strategies, lending, etc.)
Fiat Exchanges as a service at POS
Regional Overview: Colombia is among the countries in Latin America with the highest trading volumes of Bitcoin (digital asset). Despite this high volume of trading, few businesses in the region accept cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. There are several explanations for this which include but are not limited to:
Lack of Trusted service providers
Limited Knowledge Base and “Know-How”
Ambiguous legal framework
The Venezuelan diaspora in Cúcuta presents a unique opportunity for these types of projects. Typical crypto asset volatility pales in comparison to the high currency inflation of the Bolivar. A decentralized system, that functions trust-free, is perfect for a displaced population that has limited access to financial services such as banking, savings, and credit. Our main objective is to align the right economic incentives to encourage self-governing communities and autonomous projects, as well as the right educational material and leadership to gain the interest of regional communities. Cripto Conserje strives to bring financial freedom to Latin America, a region comprised of more than 20 countries with a population of 650 Million people. The regional GDP represents over $10T, however 45% of the population is unbanked. There is a strong need for digital assets adoption in Latin America, particularly among Venezuelans who are suffering under one of the most dramatic economic crises in recent history. Our initial scope is a three-tier program to increase adoption in Cúcuta.
Online Testing Environment: We will deploy an online test environment to measure the effectiveness of educational training and workshops. After participants and merchants receive technical training, they will take a simple questionnaire to measure the knowledge base and demonstrate a basic understanding of the technology. Once the questionnaire is completed, a paper wallet will be generated and automatically funded with cryptocurrency.
Merchant Onboarding: We will onboard 100 local merchants to begin accepting digital assets as payments using on-site training and digital assets capable point of sales equipment.
End-user Adoption: After merchants are onboarded, we will work with them and local community organizers to distribute 300.000 paper wallets to people living in Cúcuta. Individuals can use these paper wallets at participating merchants for food and other basic goods.
KEY PARTNERS Cripto Conserje has key partners working on the initial Alpha Project. Their support is critical to launching a three-pronged approach to increase crypto adoption in Cúcuta. If you would like to get involved, please contact us. https://preview.redd.it/dh1tb8rtnb541.png?width=388&format=png&auto=webp&s=825d0b502864f2f7553ef7b7266c81d54ad22ac9 is a group of engineers who provide a service where you can Send & Receive Crypto Currencies Over SMS, No Smartphone or internet needed!, Accept cryptocurrencies in your business, make crypto payments without Internet or become a crypto/local currency exchange in your area in seconds. Much of the construction of Cripto Conserje is thanks to them. Welcome to “layer0” http://cointigo.io/ https://preview.redd.it/g1873xx7ob541.png?width=375&format=png&auto=webp&s=7b90d2b4718eba83665fe6260b186684d9e73684 is the second largest (Red Cross is first) NGO in Venezuela to supply orphanages, hospitals, and desperate families with food, medicine, and shelter. SAI began operating in Venezuela providing humanitarian aid to hospitalized patients, orphaned children, the homeless, elderly who have been abandoned and forgotten in nursing homes and families who do not have shelter or food to eat. It has the only medical program offering help to the epileptic children of Venezuela. https://sai.ngo/ https://preview.redd.it/cbwaza9zob541.png?width=382&format=png&auto=webp&s=45ed624e07bdfdf5f4d98da55672195fb91dc6fa is a budgeting app that is accessible both via a web-based app and on virtually any mobile device. Toshl’s goal is to make money fun, so they’ve set up a friendly user interface to help you evaluate past spending habits, get a snapshot of your current finances, build realistic budgets for the future, and even remind you when bills are due. They will be donating their PRO subscription to all of our clients a $20 per year subscription. Giving our vendors the ability to link unlimited accounts and create unlimited budgets, they’ll also be able to upload pictures of receipts. https://toshl.com/.
2. Project Description:
Project demarcation: Cripto Conserje has been in operation since April of 2018. We have conducted eight successful training workshops with merchants, paper wallets and different point of sales. We are one of the few projects tackling this problem with local team leads on the ground. We are currently at the second tier of our project. Digital assets can provide economic stability throughout Latin America, particularly in places such as Venezuela where communities are suffering from severe shortages of food and medicine. Our vision is to achieve 50% crypto adoption in major cities like Bogota, Mexico City, and Buenos Aires. We report the results of our events and also record videos of the event in progress before the data are in, so that we can be accountable for the results. We also run smaller, non-experimental tests to learn more about what works best and how different types of recipients spend funds they receive. This was how we began our project with 2 paper wallets and an informal merchant. Defining the scope of the current project:
Market adoption strategy
We want to establish security and sustainability for this cryptocurrency project. In order for a cryptocurrency to be used as a daily use currency, there must be a reliable ecosystem to support both supply and demand.
Determine market share adoption process
Identify need for crypto POS systems among local merchants
Houses and renting
Critical adoption locations
We plan to establish Decentralized Finance or “DeFi” accounts and other forms of passive income like hosting MasterNodes as a method of cash flow generation and volatility mitigation for the client (merchants). This will help grow the network and users of cryptocurrency in Colombia and eventually throughout Latin America. Crypto Education Hub: a Partnership with South American Initiative & Cripto Censerje Institute SAI & Cripto Conserje are building a facility in Colombia to educate and train Venezuelan refugees crossing the border. Education is critical so that refugees can learn skills, gain employment and integrate into the local economy. . Total facility size will be between 2,500 sq. ft. to 3,500 sq. ft. This facility will allocate 50% of the space for Cripto Conserje that will allow for Cryptocurrency education and additional vocational training to help Latin Americans achieve their goals of independent living in Colombia. Timeline 6-months to 1-year for construction depending construction permits, resource allocation, and site selection.
This timeline does not begin until land is purchased.
Land purchase time is approximately 1-4 months. [IN PROCESS]
Permits 1-3 months for government approval. [IN PROCESS]
Blueprint design and resource allocation [COMPLETE]
SAI will provide staffing for its portion to operate facility
Customer Pain Points: Crypto Concierge focuses on helping local merchants set up and manage a crypto-payment solution. Below the three-pronged approach herein has been tabularized and will be used to address the customers key pain points. https://preview.redd.it/g0j2koqmrb541.png?width=1069&format=png&auto=webp&s=af70abba8ff8f9157db65bddfd4085827c058998 Operations: Market/ merchant adoption is our primary objective. Establishing security and sustainability for a crypto project means getting off the exchanges. The evolution from being a “trader coin” or store of value to being a daily use currency means building belief at the intersection of supply and demand. We are proposing a project that empowers local merchants to use crypto. These services include: Tools:
Personalized/custom SMS POS, Toshl, (see Key Partners for more details)
Educational Material: in the form of training videos and in-person programs
Advertising and Marketing
Merchant Maps, filter by type (storage facilities, drug stores, markets, etc…)
Commercialization: in Store/ Location marketing of crypto POS (use of QR stickers in retail)
Live support and online helpdesk for crypto asset management.
Future services include:
Help Desk for clients and merchants (regarding issues with wallets, exchanges, etc…)
Consulting and continued education (such as crypto asset management courses, walking the client through things like staking, masternodes, and automated trading such as index strategies, lending, etc.)
Fiat Exchanges as a service at POS
4. Conclusion & Desired Outcomes
Crypto Conserje’s project is aligned with the mission of the broader crypto-community: contributing to humanity through innovation. Our partners will gain brand awareness and user adoption in the emerging crypto-market of LATAM. Ultimately, Crypto Conserje hopes this project will alleviate the humanitarian and economic crisis faced by the people of Cúcuta by giving them an alternative payment system. Finally, we hope this project turns into a blueprint for entering different cities in LATAM. Find out more on our website: www.criptoconserje.com Our Youtube Channel or Medium Blog
On the new batch of comments to the SEC about the SolidX ETF, some honorable mentions, and some negative comments
The SEC just posted a new batch of 286 comments on the SolidX ETF, bringing the total to 1147. I am skimming through them and posted some of the best already to this sub. The vast majority are short comments, obviously submitted in response to some mail-in campaign. The names sound very much like the invented ones of spam emails that I have been receiving for years. A telling detail is the lack of a middle initial. They also mostly repeat the same arguments, and many are obviously written by people who don't understand what is the ETF, only that if that SEC thing approves it then the bitcoin price will go to the moon. I have just seen a dozen that start with the same phrase "I hearby[sic] state my acceptance and full support..." Some are so sloppy that they submit with one name but sign with a different name. Here are some honorable mentions:
Secured by math: "Please allow Bitcoin ETF as Bitcoin is an implementation of the perfect math and therefore based on the truth. Math has brought prosperity for mankind"
The New Age approach: [In Spanish] "Cordial salute. The new age of aquarius, which is the age of conscience and light, brings with it bread under the arm, in the second world war when the enigma code was deciphered to end the devastating war, we were at the door of the new age, and cryptography was making its first redeeming steps. Why resist what is good and favorable, when thanks to cryptography the second world war ended, and now it gives us again the hand, to an anti-corrupted technology, which wants to end a war disguised as crime, drug traffic, and political corruption, war that is carried out in silence and keeps obstaclizing the good development of mankind. Blockchain the technology of the new age of aquarius. Approved."
Johnny I: "an asset as it sits on the highly volatile market where distribution of coins are unevenly formed by small number of holders across the world (1% of addresses own 80-90% mined coins) who could manipulate prices effortlessly over the fake news. Also, sky-rocketing mining cost and inevitable hike of transfer fee (soon it will be only source of revenue for miners) will cast doubt to sustainability for a public investment tool. Bitcoin ETF would only serve as investing fads."
Mark Szyszkowski, CCRCP.org: "[...] Where is the intrinsic value derived from? What is the backing of Bitcoin? What is the definition of purely cyber infrastructure? Who runs it? How is expansion allocated and its technology upgraded? What inherent technological security risks does it have? [...]"
D. B.: "The Proposed Rule Change does not appear to detail the policy and procedure in event of a bitcoin blockchain fork. "
William Morrison: "The abundance of comments submitted on subject of this ETF speaks clearly: there is a mass of unsophisticated retail investors---most with no previous investing experience---looking to get rich quick or make back losses from the Bitcoin market plunge over the last half year. And of course the many savvy retail and institutional investors more than happy to take advantage of them. [...] For all the comments urging the importance of the United States being at forefront of blockchain or distributed ledger technology and innovation by allowing a Bitcoin ETF, few if any are able to explain why it is hinged on expansion on the wholly speculative nature of this asset class. [...] it is telling that the mention-able examples of companies succeeding in this sector are mining equipment manufacturers (https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/23/secretive-chinese-bitcoin-mining-company-may-have-made-as-much-money-as-nvidia-last-year.html) and online cryptocurrency exchanges (https://www.businessinsider.com/binance-cryptocurrency-exchange-profit-prediction-2018-7). In other words, casinos are the biggest profit-makers in the market of gamblers."
Ken I Maher: "[...] There is improvement from 2 years ago when 96% of volume occurred unregulated in China but this leaves 86% of market activity still under no official established regulation against fraudulent trading activity or manipulation. US bitcoin exchanges still blindly and automatedly follow the dominant unregulated markets due to their own thinness of volume and liquidity. [...] More incredible is the emergence of USDT (Tether) a cryptocurrency token issued by a single exchange that claims to be 'pegged' to USD value and unprovenly to be backed by USD reserve. It now commands over 130% of global trading volume compared to all fiat pairs. [...]"
Kash Ranks: "In a world where making a daily living is hard enough, how can you in good conscience, allow a speculative/scam instrument like Bitcoin to exist let alone approve an ETF. Blockchain has its merits but Coins are nothing more than a digital scam which is robbing people of their hard earned money and enabling speculative fervor."
Ran Lagil: "[...] can one claim that the price action of the bitcoin spot market in the unregulated exchanges, which holds the vast majority of volume, as acknowledged by the SEC, doesn’t affect the XBT future market? Of course not. In any financial market where arbitrage is available, the price change in one source will affect the rest of the market. [...] Please find the bellow image which demonstrate the volume manipulation in the ETCBTC market in the world largest Crypto Exchange - Binance. [...]"
Peter Quinn: "Bitcoin is a pure speculation vehicle with no traditional value or commercial/industrial use. It has no fundamentals, is exceptionally volatile and is easily manipulated due to poor market liquidity and no market regulation. A CBOE listed ETF that is proposing to be a passive Bitcoin holding vehicle is nothing more than trying to get a broader pool of investors involved in something that would never be allowed for listing on a regulated stock exchange if it was a company. [...] Additionally, much of the purported size of Bitcoin is an illusion, with "market cap" as reported on private websites such as Coinmarketcap.com taking all coins ever in existence multiplied by an average of the last traded price in dollars. Volume is commonly reported as all Bitcoins traded in dollar value even if, as is the case, most of them did not trade against hard currency at all, instead trading against other cryptocurrencies or Tether, a purported 1:1: USD backed cryptocurrency that has been used to artificially pump the price and is more comparable to counterfeit money. [...]"
Sam Ahn: "I am opposed to the whole idea of bitcoin, because bitcoin does not have intrinsic value and SEC was created to prevent sale of pieces of the blue sky. [...] Bitcoin is a commodity money, which cannot be a store of value without having its own value established before becoming money. "
USD (DXY) up 0.00%, EUR up 0.18%, GBP down 0.11%, JPY up 0.01%, CNY Onshore down 0.41%, CNH Offshore down 0.42%, AUD down 0.40%
VIX down 1.22% to 9.75
Gold up 0.06% to $1,283.60
Silver up 0.08% to $16.84
Copper up 0.43% to $294.20
WTI Crude up 1.15% to $52.74
Brent Crude up 0.90% to $58.42
Natural Gas down 0.07% to $3.06
Corn down 0.35% to $3.53/bu
Wheat down 0.11% to $4.61/bu
Bitcoin up 2.42% to $4,255.00
Treasuries 2yr yields are up ~1.2bps at 1.483%, 10yr yields are up ~3.6bps at 2.346% and 30yr yields are up ~3.3bps at 2.896%
Japan 10yr yields 0.057%, up ~2.8bps on the day
France 10yr yields 0.792%, up ~3.3bps on the day
Italy 10yr yields 2.153%, up ~1.6bps on the day
Spain 10yr yields 1.634%, up ~0.8bps on the day
Germany 10yr yields 0.501%, up ~3.7bps on the day
What’s happening this morning? There wasn’t any major news out overnight (once again). Most of the financial media is discussing themes and trends that have been present for weeks – reflation sustainability, inflation firming, central bank tightening schedules, expansionary fiscal policies (US, Germany, Japan, etc.), US politics (prospect of tax passage, etc.), etc. A lot of the commentary seems to have a skeptical tone with regards to the weeks-long reflation moves and this doubt continues to act as kindling for the recent market shifts (positioning and sentiment are playing a role too, esp. as we head into the final days of the month and quarter – recall many had prepared for the SPX to trade poorly in H2:Aug but the opposite happened and the index is now up ~3.7% from its 8/21 low. This has undoubtedly spurred some chasing along the way). As far as Thurs morning trading, things are relatively subdued this morning. Asia’s major indices saw mixed price action – TPX +0.71%, NKY +0.47%, Hang Seng -0.8%, SHCOMP -0.17%, Taiwan TAIEX -0.29%, Korea KOSPI +0.02%, Australia +0.11%, and India +0.1%. There weren’t many huge themes in Asia although the USD rally is creating some anxiety (the DXY surged Mon-Wed and is flattish so far Thurs). Tech stocks in Taiwan were mixed-to-down small. Europe’s major equity indices are flat-to-up small. Banks remain the big upside standouts (both in Europe and the US) as this group more than any other encapsulates the global reflation sentiments (banks, tech, industrials are outperforming in Europe this morning while basic resources, retail, and utilities lag. H&M is one of the weakest stocks in Europe on back of earnings while the USD strength is hitting basic resources). The Treasury weakness continues as 10yr yields rise a further ~3-4bp so far Thurs morning (10yr yields are higher throughout Europe too). US S&P futures are flat-to-down small.
Calendar of events for Thurs 9/28 – the focus will be on German inflation for Sept (8amET), the BOE “20 Years On” conf. in London (at which Carney will speak), US Q2 data revisions (8:30amET), US advance goods trade balance for Aug (8:30amET), Fed speakers (George, Fischer, Bostic), Gary Cohn’s interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box (during the 8amET hour), Paul Ryan’s interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Brady’s comments on tax reform, analyst meetings (AEE and AFL), and earnings (ACN, BBRY, CAG, MKC, MTN, and RAD pre-open and KBH and SGH after the close).
Calendar of events for Fri 9/29 – the focus will be on the China Caixin manufacturing PMI for Sept (Thurs night/Fri morning), the German jobs data for Sept (3:55amET), Eurozone CPI for Sept (5amET), US personal income/spending for Aug (8:30amET), the US PCE for Aug (8:30amET), the Chicago PMI for Sept (9:45amET), the final Michigan Confidence numbers for Sept (10amET), Fed speakers (Harker), and analyst meetings (CMP).
Calendar going forward – there aren’t many major scheduled events on the calendar until CQ3 earnings (the week of 10/16 is the first busy one of the season) aside from a few eco numbers (including the US Aug PCE Fri 9/29 and the US Sept jobs report Fri 10/6). The market largely appreciates that tax will be a CQ1:18 event and thus isn’t looking for anything substantive on that front over the coming months. The next big monetary policy events include the ECB (10/26), BOE (11/2), and anything on the Fed staffing front (i.e. when does Thy God-Emperor Trump make a decision on Yellen?).
Top Headlines for Thursday
US politics – there wasn’t anything incremental overnight but a ton of postmortem articles were published on the events this week (tax unveil, Alabama run-off, Corker retirement, healthcare failure, etc.). The tone of most of these articles is cautious with regards to the outlook for the GOP and the party’s agenda – “Alabama defeat weakens and isolates Thy God-Emperor Trump as his problems grow” (http://wapo.st/2xDxquK), “Bannon focused on repeating Alabama, challenging incumbent Republicans across the country” (http://politi.co/2ybnL1C), “Political disruption helps fuel GOP’s woes” (http://on.wsj.com/2wYIYH4), “Tues was a disastrous day for the whole GOP” (http://on.wsj.com/2fsuf0C), “GOP pitches deep tax cuts, w/few details on paying for them” (http://wapo.st/2yuPgPV), “ Thy God-Emperor Trump/GOP tax plan omits details on who pays” (http://politi.co/2yvcKEH), “ Thy God-Emperor Trump and his congressional allies are about to make the trajectory of debt even worse” (http://on.wsj.com/2fsuTLB), etc.
Sen. Bob Corker says tax reform will make healthcare look like ‘a piece of cake’ – The Hill http://bit.ly/2wlgLus
Healthcare/ACA – insurers decide to stay in the ACA exchanges for ’18 despite fears of broad exits – WSJ http://on.wsj.com/2yIx4D8.
TWTR more effective than FB in disrupting US election - there is evidence that Twitter may have been used even more extensively than Facebook in the Russian influence campaign last year – NYT http://nyti.ms/2yuUTgW
Internet execs (from FB, GOOGL, and TWTR) have been asked to testify before Congress in the coming weeks – Reuters http://reut.rs/2fTffK4
Thy God-Emperor Trump’s pick to head the DOJ’s antitrust division gets approved by the Senate – Bloomberg https://bloom.bg/2yttKeo
All about reflation and rotation: what happened on Wed. US stocks saw solid gains overall on Wed but the bigger story was ongoing rotation as the SPX’s ~40bp advance was somewhat overshadowed by the ~2% ramp in the R2K, the ~1.6% climb in the BKX, the 75- 130bp decline in both staples and utilities, the 7bp increase in 10yr yields, and the ~50bp DXY advance. The latest phase of the reflation trade kicked off back on 9/11 and is now in its 3rd week, encouraged along the way by firmer global inflation readings (China, India, UK, US, etc.), hawkish central banks actions/rhetoric (FOMC, BOC, BOE, etc.), and pro-growth policies in the US (the GOP tax blueprint). Thus it isn’t that stocks rallied solely in response to the Republican tax unveil but instead that blueprint helped to exacerbate existing reflation tendencies. Most of the big sectoral moves comported w/the reflation playbook as small caps and financials (esp. banks/brokers) did very well while staples, REITs, utilities, and telecoms lagged. Tech was something of an outlier – normally super-cap tech would lag during big reflation trades but that wasn’t necessarily the case on Wed.
Economic data/monetary policy update for Thurs 9/28. It was a pretty slow morning of news on this front. GfK consumer confidence in Germany for Oct softened slightly (it came in at 10.8 vs. the St 11). Some of the regional inflation numbers in Germany for Sept showed firming M/M (the full German inflation number will hit at 8amET). Eurozone confidence numbers for Sept came in relatively solid this morning (http://bit.ly/2fB5gMz). The New Zealand rate decision was largely as expected (http://bit.ly/2fsBZQb). o Fed’s Rosengren called for “regular and gradual” rate hikes as disinflationary pressures appear temporary while labor markets continue to tighten – Bloomberg https://bloom.bg/2xD4Tpa
North Korea tensions/challenges – North Korean provocations could increase in Oct, Chinese exports of food to NK spike, US to rotate strategic military assets into South Korea. o North Korea is likely to engage in more provocative behavior in Oct to coincide w/the founding of the North Korean community party and China’s Communist Party Congress. South Korea’s national security adviser Chung Eui-yong said he expected Pyongyang to act around Oct. 10 and 18 – Reuters http://reut.rs/2k6dgX1 o US strategic assets to be rotated into South Korea – the will send “strategic” military assets to South Korea on a more regular basis to better deter North Korea – Washington Post http://wapo.st/2yIoLHu o China’s agricultural exports to North Korea spiked in Jul and Aug; the increase in food shipments shows the resilience of ties between the two countries – WSJ http://on.wsj.com/2xHTq9F
Japan election outcome grows cloudier as Party of Hope gathers strength - the biggest opposition Democratic Party on Thurs said it would step aside to let its candidates run under the Party of Hope banner – Reuters http://reut.rs/2fsHYVk
Brexit negotiations – there are signs of a thawing in the EU-UK Brexit negotiation process as the EU makes a small concession – Bloomberg http://bit.ly/2wYsLlj
Company-specific news update for Thurs morning 9/28 – there are a few items in focus this morning including Toshiba/Bain, H&M, EFX, HAIN, and more. o Toshiba – a deal is (finally) signed – Toshiba struck a formal deal to sell its memory unit to a Bain-led group for $17.7B. The Bain consortium includes AAPL, Dell, STX, Hoya, and Hynix. The two sides hope to close the transaction by Mar. WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2wYGopc o STX announces details on its participation in the Toshiba deal; STX has committed to provide up to $1.25 billion in financing to support the acquisition. Seagate expects to enter into a long-term NAND supply agreement with Toshiba Memory that will provide continuity of raw NAND for Seagate's expanding SSD product portfolio. Seagate expects this transaction to be accretive to its earnings. o AAPL not giving up fully on LCDs – AAPL could wind up buying advanced LCD panels from Japan Display next year, suggesting the co doesn’t plan on shifting its entire product lineup to OLED. WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2wm6EWp o HAIN strikes agreement w/activist Engaged Capital – the agreement will overhaul the board and potentially opens the door to a sale of the company (the board will form a group to consider strategic alternatives). WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2xLOzo1 o EFX – the co’s acting CEO has an editorial in the WSJ this morning – “On behalf of Equifax, I’m sorry” – the article announces a series of steps and actions aimed at rectifying the fallout from the recent hack. http://on.wsj.com/2yvbLUX o H&M – the stock is one of the weakest in all of Europe after reporting disappointing earnings. o HUN, Clariant – White Tale Holdings, the activist group seeking to block the merger, has increased its stake in Clariant slightly – Reuters http://reut.rs/2xCiooZ
Company-specific news update from Wed night 9/27. There wasn’t anything major other than a few SMID-cap earnings (CMTL, JBL, PIR, PRGS, and THO) and none were particularly controversial. JBL beat for its FQ4/Aug period and while FQ1/Nov EPS was guided a bit under the St this stock has already come off a decent amount from its highs on the recent AAPL anxiety (and thus should be fine off the report). PRGS’s FQ3 numbers were inline w/the upside preannouncement and FQ4 was guided inline. PIR’s report was fine but the guidance fell a bit short of expectations. Away from earnings, a group of US senators are calling for an investigation into the recent deal struck between AGN and a Native American tribe (http://nyti.ms/2xGRxtP). According to Bloomberg, Novartis is considering a bid for AAAP (https://bloom.bg/2xHOjGa). What could move the market? Expectations on key topics/events
Taxes – now what? An update on the path forward. With the GOP tax blueprint out in the open Congress will now get down to the hard work of filling in the details and getting a bill to Thy God-Emperor Trump’s desk. However, a budget resolution still needs to pass before anything can get done on the tax front (as this will contain reconciliation instructions permitting the Senate to utilize a simple majority vote on tax). The House should have an easier time moving a tax bill (it probably isn’t shocking to think they could pass something by Thanksgiving) but the Senate is a bigger problem. Sen. Hatch has made several comments on tax that people should be paying more attention to (including that he will essentially ignore the 9/27 blueprint and write his own bill) and Sen. Corker also has expressed skepticism (he said tax reform would make healthcare look like “a piece of cake”). It’s important to remember that the Senate GOP majority is 1) small and 2) divided (as was evidenced by healthcare failing twice) and one of those two descriptions will become more apt after 12/12/17 (the date of the Alabama special Senate election). Once the Senate does move something it still has to be reconciled w/the House and voted on all over again. Taking all this into account, it seems like tax will be a CQ1 event at best. Beyond Mar ’18 the focus will shift towards the Nov mid-terms and that tends to freeze the legislative process. And if there are a lot of aggressive GOP primaries (something which could happen given Moore’s victory in Alabama’s run-off) that could slow the legislative process even more.
Taxes – what do investors expect? The GOP blueprint on 9/27 is being looked at as an opening “best case” bid that will likely differ substantially from the ultimate bill (to the extent there even is one). The final corporate rate will probably wind up being around ~25- 27% while the individual changes will focus more on the lower-end of the income spectrum (doubling the standard deduction, higher child credit, etc.) without meaningfully adjusting deduction rules or consolidating the existing bracket structure. “Repatriation” will happen in some form but the mechanism proposed in the GOP blueprint is quite complex. o Repatriation mechanics – the language in the GOP tax blueprint concerning repatriation and foreign earnings is somewhat confusing. What it sounds like they are proposing is: 1) all int’l earnings accumulated to this point will be hit w/a 1x tax assessment (note – this is different from the int’l cash balances companies report in their filings). The 1x tax rate isn’t specified but most assume it will be somewhere around 10% and companies can pay it over the course of a few years; 2) going forward the aim is to shift to a quasi-territorial system whereby all foreign profits of US companies will be taxed at a reduced rate (it isn’t clear what that reduced rate will be). It sounds like this tax will be imposed regardless of whether the money is actually repatriated. Bottom Line: this system would be an improvement over the current one BUT the proposed changes are very complex and this GOP blueprint today is a lot different from the George W Bush-era 1x repatriation holiday of last decade.
Gov’t funding – the current CR (continuing resolution) will fund the US gov’t until 12/8.
Debt ceiling – the debt ceiling will be suspended until 12/8 but during that time Treasury will refresh its extraordinary measures and buy itself additional months (McConnell recently told the NYT that the debt ceiling won’t become binding again until “well into” 2018). o The debt ceiling – Thy God-Emperor Trump and Schumer have apparently agreed to pursue a deal that would permanently eliminate the debt ceiling (although it’s unclear whether this will actually happen given the enormously busy agenda facing Washington in Dec).
Infrastructure spending – the F18 budget may include nominal funding for an “infrastructure bank” but no one anticipates a major infrastructure spending initiative.
Fed staffing – it may not be until later this year before Thy God-Emperor Trump unveils his intention for the Fed chair. The WSJ on 9/6 said Gary Cohn’s chances of getting the job had declined while Yellen could be asked to stay (CNN echoed that reporting on 9/7) and Bloomberg (on 9/7) says Thy God-Emperor Trump is considering as many as 6 additional people to become chair, including Kevin Warsh, Glenn Hubbard, John Taylor, Lawrence Lindsey, Richard Davis, and John Allison. Recent media reports suggest the frontrunners are Yellen and Warsh. Note that in addition to the chair decision, Thy God-Emperor Trump has several additional positions to fill at the Fed (Fischer’s resignation announcement on 9/6 created the latest opening).
Calendar of events to watch for Mon Oct 2
Calendar for the week of 10/2 – the main focus this week will be on the initial Oct eco numbers (ISMs/PMIs, auto sales, and US jobs) but otherwise it should be pretty quiet as investors await the start of CQ3 earnings (banks kick off the season on Thurs 10/12 but the heavy volume of release doesn’t begin until the week of 10/16).
Calendar for Mon 10/2 – the focus will be on the China NBS manufacturing/nonmanufacturing PMIs for Sept (Fri night/Sat morning 9/30), Eurozone manufacturing PMIs for Sept (4amET), Eurozone unemployment numbers for Aug (5amET), US manufacturing PMI for Sept (9:45amET), US manufacturing ISM for Sept (10amET), US construction spending for Aug (10amET), Thy God-Emperor Trump’s deregulation speech at the White House, and Fed speakers (Kaplan).
Calendar for Tues 10/3 – the focus will be on the Eurozone PPI for Aug (5amET), US auto sales for Sept (JPMorgan is modeling a SAAR of 17.4MM), analyst meetings (F/Ford, INTU, NTAP, and SHW), the WFC CEO testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, the EFX former CEO testimony before the House, and earnings (PAYX and LEN pre-open and IDT after the close).
Calendar for Wed 10/4 – the focus will be on the Eurozone services PMI for Sept (4amET), Eurozone retail sales for Aug (5amET), the RBI rate decision (5amET), the US ADP jobs report for Sept (8:15amET), the US services PMI for Sept (9:45amET), the US services ISM for Sept (10amET), Yellen’s comments (3:15pmET), analyst meetings (BWXT, BXP, MNK, and TTD), the EFX former CEO testimony before the Senate, and earnings (AYI, MON, PEP, RPM, and Tesco PLC pre-open and CAFD and RECN after the close).
Calendar for Thurs 10/5 – the focus will be on the ECB minutes (7:30amET), US factory orders/durable goods for Aug (10amET), Fed speakers (Williams, Harker, George), analyst meetings (BKH, CLX, LUK, and TWOU), and earnings (ISCA and STZ pre-open and COST, HELE, and YUMC after the close).
Calendar for Fri 10/6 – the focus will be on Germany factory orders for Aug (2amET), 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 (Bostic, Kaplan, and Bullard). Catalysts – big events to watch over the coming months
Tillerson to travel to China – Sept 28-30.
US inflation – the Aug PCE will hit Fri 9/29.
Catalonia parliament independence vote – Sun 10/1.
China mainland markets closed Mon 10/2-Fri 10/6 for the National Day holiday.
Autos – US Sept auto sales get reported Tues 10/3; Ford/F’s CEO will also be giving a strategic update on that same day (this will be the first major update from the new CEO at Ford).
WFC CEO appearing before Senate Banking Committee on Tues 10/3.
EFX former CEO Richard Smith testifying before House panel on Tues 10/3 and before a Senate panel on Wed 10/4.
Yellen delivers opening remarks at Community Banking conf. Wed 10/4. 3:15pmET.
ECB meeting minutes – Thurs 10/5.
US jobs report for Sept – Fri 10/6.
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.
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.
CQ3 earnings – the week of Mon 10/16 is the first busy week of the CQ3 reporting season.
Iran – Thy God-Emperor Trump will certify whether Iran is complying w/the nuclear agreement around mid- Oct.
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.
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.
US Q3 GDP report – Fri 10/27
Fed meeting – decision Wed 11/1 (no press conf. or supplemental).
BOE decision – Thurs 11/2. The BOE is expected to hike rates at this meeting.
Thy God-Emperor Trump trip to China – he is scheduled to visit China in November.
GE – the co will likely hold an analyst meeting in Nov at which it will provide a refresh of its long-term financial guidance.
OPEC meeting – the next formal OPEC leaders meeting is Nov 30 (a decision on extending the production agreement beyond Mar ’18 could be reached at this gathering).
US gov’t funding/debt ceiling – current legislation funds the gov’t and suspends the debt ceiling until 12/8 (the debt ceiling is unlikely to become binding again until “well into” 2018).
Alabama special Senate election – Tues 12/12.
Fed meeting – decision Wed Dec 13. There will be a press conf. and supplemental. The Fed is expected to hike rates at this meeting.
Dassault Systemes has agreed to buy U.S. peer Exa Corp in a deal valued at about $400 million – Reuters http://reut.rs/2ftGHxm
HAIN strikes agreement w/activist Engaged Capital – the agreement will overhaul the board and potentially opens the door to a sale of the company (the board will form a group to consider strategic alternatives). WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2xLOzo1
HUN, Clariant – White Tale Holdings, the activist group seeking to block the merger, has increased its stake in Clariant slightly – Reuters http://reut.rs/2xCiooZ
Toshiba – a deal is (finally) signed – Toshiba struck a formal deal to sell its memory unit to a Bain-led group for $17.7B. The Bain consortium includes AAPL, Dell, STX, Hoya, and Hynix. The two sides hope to close the transaction by Mar. WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2wYGopc
Thy God-Emperor Trump’s pick to head the DOJ’s antitrust division gets approved by the Senate – Bloomberg https://bloom.bg/2yttKeo
Westinghouse Electric – Blackstone and Apollo have teamed to make a bid for bankrupt Westinghouse – Reuters http://reut.rs/2wXfAFR
Full catalyst list
Thurs Sept 28 – Eurozone confidence measures for Sept. 5amET.
Thurs Sept 28 – German inflation for Sept. 8amET.
Thurs Sept 28 – US Q2 data revisions (GDP, PCE, etc.). 8:30amET.
Thurs Sept 28 – US advance goods trade balance for Aug. 8:30amET.
What defines a good IoT project? Defining this will help us understand what some of the problems they might struggle with and which projects excel in those areas. IoT will be a huge industry in the coming years. The true Internet 3.0 will be one of seamless data and value transfer. There will be a tremendous amount of devices connected to this network, from your light bulbs to your refrigerator to your car, all autonomously transacting together in an ever growing network in concert, creating an intelligent, seamless world of satisfying wants and needs. . Let’s use the vastness of what the future state of this network is to be as our basis of what makes a good project. . Scalability In that future we will need very high scalability to accommodate the exponential growth in transaction volume that will occur. The network doesn’t need to have the ability to do high transactions per second in the beginning, just a robust plan to grow that ability as the network develops. We’ve seen this issue already with Bitcoin on an admittedly small market penetration. If scaling isn’t a one of the more prominent parts of your framework, that is a glaring hole. . Applicability Second to scalability is applicability. One size does not fit all in this space. Some uses will need real-time streaming of data where fast and cheap transactions are key and others will need heavier transactions full of data to be analyzed by the network for predictive uses. Some uses will need smart contracts so that devices can execute actions autonomously and others will need the ability to encrypt data and to transact anonymously to protect the privacy of the users in this future of hyper-connectivity. We cannot possibly predict the all of the future needs of this network so the ease of adaptability in a network of high applicability is a must. . Interoperability In order for this network to have the high level of applicability mentioned, it would need to have access to real world data outside of it’s network to work off of or even to transact with. This interoperability can come in several forms. I am not a maximalist, thinking that there will be one clear winner in any space. So it is easy, therefore, to imagine that we would want to be able to interact with some other networks for payment/settlement or data gathering. Maybe autonomously paying for bills with Bitcoin or Monero, maybe smart contracts that will need to be fed additional data from the Internet or maybe even sending an auto invite for a wine tasting for the wine shipment that’s been RFID’d and tracked through WTC. In either case, in order to afford the highest applicability, the network will need the ability to interact with outside networks. . Consensus How the network gains consensus is often something that is overlooked in the discussion of network suitability. If the network is to support a myriad of application and transaction types, the consensus mechanism must be able to handle it without choking the network or restricting transaction type. PoW can become a bottleneck as the competition for block reward requires an increase in difficulty for block generation, you therefore have to allow time for this computation in between blocks, often leading to less than optimal block times for fast transactions. This can create a transaction backlog as we have seen before. PoS can solve some of these issues but is not immune to this either. A novel approach to gaining consensus will have to be made if it is going to handle the variety and volume to be seen. . Developability All of this can be combined to create a network that is best equipped to take on the IoT ecosystem. But the penetration into the market will be solely held back by the difficulty in connecting and interacting with the network from the perspective of manufacturers and their devices. Having to learn a new code language in order to write a smart contract or create a node or if there are strict requirements on the hardware capability of the devices, these are all barriers that make it harder and more expensive for companies to work with the network. Ultimately, despite how perfect or feature packed your network is, a manufacturer will more likely develop devices for those that are easy to work with. . In short, what the network needs to focus on is: -Scalability – How does it globally scale? -Applicability – Does it have data transfer ability, fast, cheap transactions, smart contracts, privacy? -Interoperability – Can it communicate with the outside world, other blockchains? -Consensus – Will it gain consensus in a way that supports scalability and applicability? -Developability – Will it be easy for manufactures to develop devices and interact with the network? . . The idea of using blockchain technology to be the basis of the IoT ecosystem is not a new idea. There are several projects out there now that are aiming at tackling the problem. Below you will see a high level breakdown of those projects with some pros and cons from how I interpret the best solution to be. You will also see some supply chain projects listed below. Supply chain solutions are just small niches in the larger IoT ecosystem. Item birth record, manufacturing history, package tracking can all be “Things” which the Internet of Things track. In fact, INT already has leaked some information hinting that they are cooperating with pharmaceutical companies to track the manufacture and packaging of the drugs they produce. INT may someday include WTC or VEN as one of its subchains feeding in information into the ecosystem. . . IOTA IOTA is a feeless and blockchain-less network called a directed acyclic graph. In my opinion, this creates more issues than it fixes. The key to keeping IOTA feeless is that there are no miners to pay because the work associated with verifying a transaction is distributed to among all users, with each user verifying two separate transactions for their one. This creates some problems both in the enabling of smart contracts and the ability to create user privacy. Most privacy methods (zk-SNARKs in specific) require the one doing the verifying to use computationally intensive cryptography which are outside the capability of most devices on the IoT network (a weather sensor isn’t going to be able to build the ZK proof of a transaction every second or two). In a network where the device does the verifying of a transaction, cryptographic privacy becomes impractical. And even if there were a few systems capable of processing those transactions, there is no reward for doing the extra work. Fees keep the network safe by incentivizing honesty in the nodes, by paying those who have to work harder to verify a certain transaction, and by making it expensive to attack the network or disrupt privacy (Sybil Attacks). IOTA also doesn’t have and may never have the ability to enable smart contracts. By the very nature of the Tangle (a chain of transactions with only partial structure unlike a linear and organized blockchain), establishing the correct time order of transactions is difficult, and in some situations, impossible. Even if the transactions have been time stamped, there is no way to verify them and are therefore open to spoofing. Knowing transaction order is absolutely vital to executing step based smart contracts. There does exist a subset of smart contracts that do not require a strong time order of transactions in order to operate properly. But accepting this just limits the use cases of the network. In any case, smart contracts will not be able to operate directly on chain in IOTA. There will need to be a trusted off chain Oracle that watches transactions, establishes timelines, and runs the smart contract network . -Scalability – High -Applicability – Low, no smart contracts, no privacy, not able to run on lightweight devices -Interoperability – Maybe, Oracle possibility -Consensus – Low, DAG won’t support simple IoT devices and I don’t see all devices confirming other transactions as a reality -Developability – To be seen, currently working with many manufacturers . . Ethereum Ethereum is the granddaddy of smart contract blockchain. It is, arguably, in the best position to be the center point of the IoT ecosystem. Adoption is wide ranging, it is fast, cheap to transact with and well known; it is a Turing complete decentralized virtual computer that can do anything if you have enough gas and memory. But some of the things that make it the most advanced, will hold it back from being the best choice. Turing completeness means that the programming language is complete (can describe any problem) and can solve any problem given that there is enough gas to pay for it and enough memory to run the code. You could therefore, create an infinite variety of different smart contracts. This infinite variability makes it impossible to create zk-SNARK verifiers efficiently enough to not cost more gas than is currently available in the block. Implementing zk-SNARKs in Ethereum would therefore require significant changes to the smart contract structure to only allow a small subset of contracts to permit zk-SNARK transactions. That would mean a wholesale change to the Ethereum Virtual Machine. Even in Zcash, where zk-SNARK is successfully implemented for a single, simple transaction type, they had to encode some of the network’s consensus rules into zk-SNARKs to limit the possible outcomes of the proof (Like changing the question of where are you in the US to where are you in the US along these given highways) to limit the computation time required to construct the proof. Previously I wrote about how INT is using the Double Chain Consensus algorithm to allow easy scaling, segregation of network traffic and blockchain size by breaking the network down into separate cells, each with their own nodes and blockchains. This is building on lessons learned from single chain blockchains like Bitcoin. Ethereum, which is also a single chain blockchain, also suffers from these congestion issues as we have seen from the latest Cryptokitties craze. Although far less of an impact than that which has been seen with Bitcoin, transaction times grew as did the fees associated. Ethereum has proposed a new, second layer solution to solve the scaling issue: Sharding. Sharding draws from the traditional scaling technique called database sharding, which splits up pieces of a database and stores them on separate servers where each server points to the other. The goal of this is to have distinct nodes that store and verify a small set of transactions then tie them up to a larger chain, where all the other nodes communicate. If a node needs to know about a transaction on another chain, it finds another node with that information. What does this sound like? This is as close to an explanation of the Double Chain architecture as to what INT themselves provided in their whitepaper. . -Scalability – Neutral, has current struggles but there are some proposals to fix this -Applicability – Medium, has endless smart contract possibilities, no privacy currently with some proposals to fix this -Interoperability – Maybe, Oracle possibility -Consensus – Medium, PoW currently with proposals to change to better scaling and future proofing. -Developability – To be seen . . IoTeX A young project, made up of several accredited academics in cryptography, machine learning and data security. This is one of the most technically supported whitepapers I have read.They set out to solve scalability in the relay/subchain architecture proposed by Polkadot and used by INT. This architecture lends well to scaling and adaptability, as there is no end to the amount of subchains you can add to the network, given node and consensus bandwidth. The way they look to address privacy is interesting. On the main parent (or relay) chain, they plan on implementing some of the technology from Monero, namely, ring signatures, bulletproofs and stealth addresses. While these are proven and respected technologies, this presents some worries as these techniques are known to not be lightweight and it takes away from the inherent generality of the core of the network. I believe the core should be as general and lightweight as possible to allow for scaling, ease of update, and adaptability. With adding this functionality, all data and transactions are made private and untraceable and therefore put through heavier computation. There are some applications where this is not optimal. A data stream may need to be read from many devices where encrypting it requires decryption for every use. A plain, public and traceable network would allow this simple use. This specificity should be made at the subchain level. Subchains will have the ability to define their needs in terms of block times, smart contracting needs, etc. This lends to high applicability. They address interoperability directly by laying out the framework for pegging (transaction on one chain causing a transaction on another), and cross-chain communication. They do not address anywhere in the whitepaper the storage of data in the network. IoT devices will not be transaction only devices, they will need to maintain data, transmit data and query data. Without the ability to do so, the network will be crippled in its application. IoTeX will use a variation of DPoS as the consensus mechanism. They are not specific on how this mechanism will work with no talk of data flow and node communication diagram. This will be their biggest hurdle and why I believe it was left out of the white paper. Cryptography and theory is easy to elaborate on within each specific subject but tying it all together, subchains with smart contracts, transacting with other side chains, with ring signatures, bulletproofs and stealth addresses on the main chain, will be a challenge that I am not sure can be done efficiently. They may be well positioned to make this work but you are talking about having some of the core concepts of your network being based on problems that haven’t been solved and computationally heavy technologies, namely private transactions within smart contracts. So while all the theory and technical explanations make my pants tight, the realist in me will believe it when he sees it. . -Scalability – Neutral to medium, has the framework to address it with some issues that will hold it back. -Applicability – Medium, has smart contract possibilities, privacy baked into network, no data framework -Interoperability – Medium, inherent in the network design -Consensus – Low, inherent private transactions may choke network. Consensus mechanism not at all laid out. -Developability – To be seen, not mentioned. . . CPChain CPC puts a lot of their focus on data storage. They recognize that one of the core needs of an IoT network will be the ability to quickly store and reference large amounts of data and that this has to be separate from the transactional basis of the network as to not slow it down. They propose solving this using distributed hash tables (DHT) in the same fashion as INT, which stores data in a decentralized fashion so no one source owns the complete record. This system is much the same as the one used by BitTorrent, which allows data to be available regardless of which nodes will be online at a given time. The data privacy issue is solved by using client side encryption with one-to-many public key cryptography allowing many devices to decrypt a singly encrypted file while no two devices share the same key. This data layer will be run on a separate, parallel chain as to not clog the network and to enable scalability. In spite of this, they don’t discuss how they will scale on the main chain. In order to partially solve this, it will use a two layer consensus structure centered on PoS to increase consensus efficiency. This two layer system will still require the main layer to do the entirety of the verification and block generation. This will be a scaling issue where the network will have no division of labor to segregate congestion to not affect the whole network. They do recognize that the main chain would not be robust or reliable enough to handle high frequency or real-time devices and therefore propose side chains for those device types. Despite this, they are adding a significant amount of functionality (smart contracts, data interpretation) to the main chain instead of a more general and light weight main chain, which constrains the possible applications for the network and also makes it more difficult to upgrade the network. So while this project, on the surface level (not very technical whitepaper), seems to be a robust and well thought out framework, it doesn’t lend itself to an all-encompassing IoT network but more for a narrower, data centric, IoT application. . -Scalability – Neutral to medium, has the framework to address it somewhat, too much responsibility and functionality on the main chain may slow it down. -Applicability – Medium, has smart contract possibilities, elaborate data storage solution with privacy in mind as well has high frequency applications thought out -Interoperability – Low, not discussed -Consensus – Low to medium, discussed solution has high reliance on single chain -Developability – To be seen, not mentioned. . . ITC The whitepaper reads like someone just grabbed some of the big hitters in crypto buzzword bingo and threw them in there and explained what they were using Wikipedia. It says nothing about how they will tie it all together, economically incentivize the security of the network or maintain the data structures. I have a feeling none of them actually have any idea how to do any of this. For Christ sake they explain blockchain as the core of the “Solutions” portion of their whitepaper. This project is not worth any more analysis. . . RuffChain Centralization and trust. Not very well thought out at this stage. DPoS consensus on a single chain. Not much more than that. . . WaltonChain Waltonchain focuses on tracking and validating the manufacture and shipping of items using RFID technology. The structure will have a main chain/subchain framework, which will allow the network to segregate traffic and infinitely scale by the addition of subchains given available nodes and main chain bandwidth. DPoST (Stake & Trust) will be the core of their consensus mechanism, which adds trust to the traditional staking structure. This trust is based on the age of the coins in the staker’s node. The longer that node has held the coins, combined with the amount of coins held, the more likely that node will be elected to create the block. I am not sure how I feel about this but generally dislike trust. Waltonchain's framework will also allow smart contracts on the main chain. Again, this level of main chain specificity worries me at scale and difficulty in upgrading. This smart contract core also does not lend itself to private transactions. In this small subset of IoT ecosystem, that does not matter as the whole basis of tracking is open and public records. The whitepaper is not very technical so I cannot comment to their technical completeness or exact implementation strategy. This implementation of the relay/subchain framework is a very narrow and under-utilized application. As I said before, WTC may someday just be one part of a larger IoT ecosystem while interacting with another IoT network. This will not be an all-encompassing network. . -Scalability – High, main/subchain framework infinitely scales -Applicability – Low to medium, their application is narrow -Interoperability – Medium, the framework will allow it seamlessly -Consensus – Neutral, should not choke the network but adds trust to the equation -Developability – N/A, this is a more centralized project and development will likely be with the WTC . . VeChain \*Let me preface this by saying I realize there is a place for centralized, corporatized, non-open source projects in this space.* Although I know this project is focused mainly on wider, more general business uses for blockchain, I was requested to include it in this analysis. I have edited my original comment as it was more opinionated and therefore determined not to be productive to the conversation. If you would like to get a feel for my opinion, the original text is in the comments below.\** This project doesn't have much data to go off as the white paper does not contain much technical detail. It is focused on how they are positioning themselves to enable wider adoption of blockchain technology in the corporate ecosystem. They also spend a fair amount of time covering their node structure and planned governance. What this reveals is a PoS and PoA combined system with levels of nodes and related reward. Several of the node types require KYC (Know Your Customer) to establish trust in order to be part of the block creating pool. Again there is not much technically that we can glean from this whitepaper. What is known is that this is not directed at a IoT market and will be a PoS and PoA Ethereum-like network with trusted node setup. I will leave out the grading points as there is not enough information to properly determine where they are at. . . . INT So under this same lens, how does INT stack up? INT borrows their framework from Polkadot, which is a relay/subchain architecture. This framework allows for infinite scaling by the addition of subchains given available nodes and relay chain bandwidth. Custom functionality in subchains allows the one setting up the subchain to define the requirements, be it private transactions, state transaction free data chain, smart contracts, etc. This also lends to endless applicability. The main chain is inherently simple in it’s functionality as to not restrict any uses or future updates in technology or advances. The consensus structure also takes a novel two-tiered approach in separating validating from block generation in an effort to further enable scaling by removing the block generation choke point from the side chains to the central relay chain. This leaves the subchain nodes to only validate transactions with a light DPoS allowing a free flowing transaction highway. INT also recognizes the strong need for an IoT network to have robust and efficient data handling and storage. They are utilizing a decentralize storage system using DHT much like the BitTorrent system. This combined with the network implementation of all of the communication protocols (TCP/IP, UDP/IP, MANET) build the framework of a network that will effortlessly integrate any device type for any application. The multi-chain framework easily accommodates interoperability between established networks like the Internet and enables pegging with other blockchains with a few simple transaction type inclusions. With this cross chain communication, manufactures wouldn’t have to negotiate their needs to fit an established blockchain, they could create their own subchain to fit their needs and interact with the greater network through the relay. The team also understands the development hurdles facing the environment. They plan to solve this by standardizing requirements for communication and data exchange. They have heavy ties with several manufacturers and are currently developing a IoT router to be the gateway to the network. . -Scalability – High, relay/subchain framework enables infinite scalability -Applicability – High, highest I could find for IoT. Subchains can be created for every possible application. -Interoperability – High, able to add established networks for data support and cross chain transactions -Consensus – High, the only structure that separates the two responsibilities of verifying and block generation to further enable scaling and not choke applicability. -Developability – Medium, network is set up for ease of development with well-known language and subchain capability. Already working with device manufacturers. To be seen. . . So with all that said, INT may be in the best place to tackle this space with their chosen framework and philosophy. They set out to accomplish more than WTC or VEN in a network that is better equipped than IOTA or Ethereum. If they can excecute on what they have laid out, there is no reason that they won’t become the market leader, easily overtaking the market cap of VeChain ($2.5Bn, $10 INT) in the short term and IOTA ($7Bn, $28 INT) in the medium term.
8 months ago I posted this optimistic analysis about Peercoin. For those who are interested, I’d like to share my thoughts about the Peercoin project and what is the current status of this project. First topic is the price, in end July btc-e was taken down and its assets seized by FBI. Since btc-e was the largest exchange for PPC/USD volume the price took a big hit. It sucks to see such a thing happen to your investments, but since I mostly buy and hold coins for years I’m still optimistic for the Peercoin price long term. Peercoin managed to stay above the magic $1 mark, and has since the release of the new version 0.6 started to break the downtrend and is showing signs of a trend reversal. This could of course be ruined once again by unpredictable external circumstances, but overall the take down of btc-e has only strengthened PPC. Previously my biggest concern was the absolute dominance on PPC trade volume by btc-e, and after the takedown, WEX has risen in the place of btc-e, issuing tokens to users as a part of repaying their debt to the users who lost their holdings from btc-e, and we are now seeing trading being distributed on other exchanges such as Bittrex, HitBTC and The Rock Trading (who just recently removed all fees until January 2018 to celebrate the v0.6 release). I am NOT a TA guy, but I’ve been around since 2012 and I also take it as a positive sign that others are cautiosly believing more firmly in the trend reversal we’re seeing recently like embeddedthought who published this chart on TradingView. What I rely mostly on are the fundamentals as they seem to be what I earn the most by focusing on over the years. And ultimately Peercoin is to me a hedge against the epic clusterfuck we’re still moving towards in cryptoland.
v0.6 release and progress by the dev team
While prices where going down, interest declining and the sentiment turning sour, the dev team continued their work on the first community driven release unchanged. Finally they release the new v0.6 version without any major bugs thanks to extensive and careful testing. It’s nice to see new releases coming out every so often from Bitcoin Core, but I’d rather wait a couple of more months than seeing my entire investment get lost due to some bug or unknown vulnerability being exploited when smaller teams are releasing. For those who aren’t well versed in blockchain development, the release may not seem like much when you’re used to the release cycles of blockstream or Ethereum, but the release lays a very important ground work for the path towards cold minting and multi signature minting. Cold minting will make it easy to still participate and help decentralize the PPC network without exposing yourself to any risks, and multi signature minting could very well hold the solution to the underlying problems in how to manage and fund decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO’s) as outlined by Nagalim here.
Future of Peercoin project
The dev team are notoriously reluctant towards publishing road maps (that’ll be abandoned half a year later when the market has crashed), and instead focus on getting the absolute fundamentals right so they wont run into issues years down the road and still have funding. And above all, staying resilient towards attacks by both government and private entities no matter their size and amount of power is of a major concern to them. Despite this reluctance to publish a road map, it’s still possible to get an idea about which directions Peercoin might take through participation in the official chat and message board and reading the “Requests For Comments” (RFC) published on their github repository. In no particular order or with guarantees that this will become final, here are the overall topics I’ve picked up being of major concerns to the Peercoin community team since first writing my post 8 months ago:
Making it safer for users to get their PoS reward without exposing their private keys while also helping decentralize the network through cold minting
Solving the security risks in the centralized ways most DAO’s are run today most likely through multi-signature minting
Making blockchain agnostic Asset based ICO’s possible through PeerAssets thus both avoiding the embarrassing scandals in Etherland like The DAO hack and Parity multisig wallet due to using smart contracts
Proof-of-Concept of their asset based ICO protocol through the successful funding and execution of the INDICIUM ETF with the added benefit of allowing investors to mostly just worry about the average value of the market over day-trading. So we can focus on more important things in life ;)
Finding a simpler, more secure and scalable solution to the transaction malleability issue in the BTC protocol than SegWit like the FlexTrans proposal
I’m in no way qualified to comment on SegWit, smart contracts or DAO’s from a technical perspective. Instead I’d like to quickly comment on them using common sense that’d convinced me Bitcoin was “for real” back in 2011 after buying some weed online (I know one thing for sure, drug dealers don’t give anything away for free, if Bitcoin is good enough for them, then it’s good enough for me). Cold minting is probably the least obvious of the topics listed above, but to me it’s the most important. Peercoin already uses PoS as its consensus model and PoW for emission of new coins to ensure fair distribution and adding entropy to the blockchain. But what mattered to me in the beginning of encountering crypto, and will always matter the most to me is the fact that I can send wealth to ANYONE no matter what the government thinks. This is one of many reasons why it’s so important that the network stays distributed, while Peercoin's blockchain is only a couple of gigabytes despite it being 5 years old, we need to have a way to incentivize users to helping out the network without them running any security risks. Cold minting is the most likely way to do this as far as I’m concerned. On top of this it’d be nice to see Peercoin getting listed on the Ledger store for hardware wallet minting as they’re working on here MultiSig minting would make it possible to safely stake your coins, earning a reward and automatically donate a percentage to multiple competing teams developing on the Peercoin blockchain, wallets and Apps. For me this sounds like a true cryptoanarchist way of running DAO’s. Even if the original team are compromised by governments, the chain is secure and funds hard to confiscate. SegWit is a complex and controversial topic with a lot of debate around it. I’ve given up trying to understand all of its ramifications I’ve decided to place my money in both coins implementing it and those who don’t, you know in case the critics are right and one day we’ll see a catastrophic failure. I have no idea if FlexTrans are better than SegWit, only time will tell, but common sense tells me to not place all of my investments in coins that solves transaction malleability through SegWit when alternatives are available. And on the list of long lived, trustworthy projects not using SegWit, Peercoin is right at the top. TL;DR: Development of the Peercoin project has transitioned successfully from the original creator Sunny King to the community team and they’ve delivered as promised. Peercoin price took a hit from btc-e getting busted but the market has come out stronger on the other side. I still evaluate Peercoin's “true” market value to be $25 at primo-2018 and I’m sure it’ll get there latest ultimo-2019 as a worst case scenario. I have increased my PPC holdings from 25% to 50% after it went down to $1. I don’t understand SegWit, and I think that’s a bad idea, and Peercoin is my preferred hedge against a catastrophic failure in SegWit. Turing-complete smart contracts are a recipe for disaster cough The DAO, Parity etc. I just want decentralized ownership, not contracts.
Cryptocurrency is essentially digital money traded from one person to another through the use of pseudonyms. There are no intermediaries like banks, no governmental oversight or authority, and no fees. The “crypto” in cryptocurrency refers to the use of cryptography to ensure the security and privacy of every transaction. New coins are created through a technique called mining. The process requires powerful computers that solve complex math problems. Each problem should take about 10 minutes to solve, and results in the creation of a predetermined number of coins. The total number of coins that can be created is fixed — there’s a limit of 21 million bitcoins that can be created. The number of coins rewarded for solving each problem dwindles as time goes on. Bitcoin is believed to have been created in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, an enigmatic figure who has so far proven all but impossible to definitively identify. By using cryptography to control the creation and tracking of a digital currency, Nakamoto took that power away from central authorities like governments. Bitcoin was the first and most famous digital currency, but you can choose from more than 1,500, including ether, litecoin and even cryptokitties. For awhile, you saw these currencies only in the darkest corners of the internet, where people used them for all sorts of questionable, even illegal, activities. Drug dealers liked them because they made transactions all but invisible, and trolls at the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency used bitcoin to finance their campaign to influence the 2016 election. That started to change in 2014, when Overstock became the first major US retailer to accept bitcoin. Companies like Expedia and Microsoft followed suit. One of the biggest misconceptions about cryptocurrencies is that you need thousands of dollars to invest. It’s an easy assumption to make, especially in the case of bitcoin, which stayed under $1,000 from about 2010 to 2017. But then it took off, surpassing thousand-dollar milestones at a pace that seemed quicker than you could refresh your phone. The staggering value is off-putting to many. But unlike most stocks, you can buy a fraction of a bitcoin so you don’t need thousands to get into the crypto game.
OVERVIEW OF WolfpackBOT
WolfpackBOT is a highly advanced cryptocurrency trading software that allows for the execution of trades at lightning speed using proprietary trading algorithms, proprietary “Werewolf” Trading Analysis configurations, or user customized settings based on personal trading style. WolfpackBOT also allows for simultaneous trading access to all compatible cryptocurrency exchanges that are available to the bot, and all trading pairs with the WerewolfBOT subscription package. WolfpackBOT is introducing an industry first, a beautiful automated cryptocurrency trading console: The WolfBOX. This efficient and sleek piece of hardware will conveniently allow for the full utilization of a bot subscription without the need for a VPS or dedicated computer. The WolfBOX will also include a built-in secure Hardware Wallet and RFID card reader to optimize ease-of-use and functionality. WolfpackBOT trading software is enabled with limit, market, and “Wolf Trade” orders on all trading candles, including one-minute candles, with the widest array of technical trading indicators available on the market. WolfpackBOT's proprietary “Wolf Trade” orders provide superior market sell orders with a bite! WolfpackBOT is the only trading bot to feature live price scanning on your positions and also handles partial fills with ease, meaning you don’t miss out on orders. WolfpackBOT is incredibly fast and can fulfill up to 10,000 trades per day depending on market conditions and subscription package. WolfpackBOT allows simultaneous trading access to all cryptocurrency exchanges that are available to the bot, and all trading pairs through the WerewolfBOT subscription plan. Not only do inferior bots allow limited access to one exchange and one trading pair per bot, they also store your API keys remotely on servers which are potentially susceptible to hacks and pump and dump attacks. User security and API key protection holds a high priority within the WolfpackBOT framework which is why it is the only trading bot that gives users full control with local management of their API keys. Masternode and Proof of Work X11 Blockchain Wolfcoin Blockchain with X11 Proof of Work Mining and Masternode Reward Systems The Wolfcoin blockchain and network are both designed and engineered to ensure store of value, transactional speed and security, and fungibility. The main goal of the Wolfcoin blockchain is to facilitate fast and secure transactions with a governance that helps sustain the network for the benefit of all users. The Wolfcoin blockchain is a two-tier network comprised of a Proof of Work (PoW) consensus mechanism powered by miners and a Proof of Service (PoSe) system powered by masternodes. The Wolfcoin blockchain is secured through Proof of Work (PoW) in which miners attempt to solve difficult problems with specialized computers. When a problem is solved, the miner receives the right to add a new block to the blockchain. If the problem was solved correctly, the miner is rewarded once the block is added. The second tier, which is powered by masternodes, enables Wolfcoin to facilitate private and instant transactions with Private Send and Instant Send. Masternodes are also rewarded when miners discover new blocks. The block reward is distributed with 80% going to the masternodes and 20% going to miners. The masternode system is referred to as Proof of Service (PoSe), since the masternodes provide crucial services that support the features of the network. Masternodes also oversee the network and have the power to reject improperly formed blocks from miners. If a miner tried to take the entire block reward for themselves, the masternode network would orphan the block ensuring that it would not be added to the blockchain. In short, miners power the first tier, which is the basic sending and receiving of funds and prevention of double spending. Masternodes power the second tier, which provide the added features that make Wolfcoin different from other cryptocurrencies. Masternodes do not mine, and mining computers cannot serve as masternodes. Additionally, each masternode is “secured” by 10,000 WOLF. Those WOLF remain under the sole control of their owner at all times. The funds are not locked in any way; however, if enough of the funds are moved or spent to cause the user’s holdings to drop below 10,000 Wolfcoin, the associated masternode will go offline and stop receiving rewards. By pre-ordering your WolfpackBOT subscription, you will also receive Wolfcoin as a reward that can be utilized in the following ways:
Redeemable for WolfpackBOT subscriptions
Redeemable for the WolfBOX Console
Redeemable for WolfpackBOT and Wolfcoin apparel and merchandise
Fungible utility that can be exchanged for like value on exchanges
When you hold at least 10,000 Wolfcoin in your Wolfcoin wallet connected to a static IP address, you will become a masternode, meaning you will have a chance to receive 80 percent of the block reward every sixty seconds.
WolfpackBOT Automated Trading Software:
After the crowdsale, Wolfcoin will be the exclusive method of payment for WolfpackBOT Automated Trading Software subscriptions.
Multiple Technical Analysis Indicators:
WolfpackBOT offers the widest array of multiple Technical Analysis indicators, oscillators, configurations and settings available in the world of Automated Cryptocurrency Trading Bots. WolfpackBOT provides Bollinger Bands, Double EMA, Elliot Wave, EMA, EMA Cross, Fibonacci Sequence, KAMA, MA Cross, MACD, RSI, SMA, Stochastic, Stochastic RSI, Triple EMA, and many more!
WolfpackBOT includes Cryptocurrency Shorting Features that allow users to short their positions and buy them back at the lower price to maximize their returns.
Copyrighted Crash Protection:
Crash Protection, one of WolfpackBOT's most advanced features, enables users the option to automatically scan and convert all positions to a stable coin at the sign of our proprietary Hidden Bear Divergence Indicator, and then buy back into base currency to resume trading at the sign of our proprietary Hidden Bull Divergence Indicator.
WolfpackBOT has a built in Language Translator that instantly translates the entire BOT into Dutch, English, French, German, or Spanish.
All Trading Pairs on all available Exchanges:
WolfpackBOT allows our customers to simultaneously trade on multiple cryptocurrency exchanges, and with all the exchange’s trading pairs available for trading. The best part is that it’s all possible on one bot with one subscription to the WerewolfBOT package!
While other automated trading platforms only allow for a limited amount of coins per subscription, WolfpackBOT allows all trading pairs and all coins to be traded on all the available major exchanges with the WerewolfBOT subscription. WolfpackBOT's proprietary Coin Selector allows for users to choose whether to trade all cryptocurrencies or blacklist some, thus not trading them at all, as well as search for the highest volume, greatest performing, or a specific volatility range of coins for a given timeframe.
Werewolf Configurations and Settings:
Werewolf Configurations and Settings are copyrighted trading algorithms that use proprietary optimum settings for trading: the perfect configuration for experienced and inexperienced traders alike. These settings can be adjusted to the current market trend, with preset configurations for bear, sideways, and bull markets.
Werewolf Ultimate is the ultimate choice when trading. It doesn't trade a particular trading pair or particular coins, it trades them all. It goes in for the kill to increase the potential returns. Crash Protection is a built-in feature in Werewolf Ultimate.
Werewolf Bull Market:
Werewolf Bull Market are preset settings and configurations that are usable when your Base Trading Pair is in a Bull Run. Werewolf Bull Market settings are optimized for such conditions and should only be used in a Bull Run Market.
Werewolf Sideways Market:
Werewolf Sideways Market are preset settings and configurations that are usable when your Base Trading Pair is trading sideways. Werewolf Sideways Market settings are optimized for such conditions and should only be used in a Sideways Trading Market.
Werewolf Bear Market:
Werewolf Bear Market are preset settings and configurations that are usable when your Base Trading Pair is in a Bear Run. Werewolf Bear Market settings are optimized for such conditions and should only be used in a Bear Run Market.
The WolfBOX Hardware Console:
WolfpackBOT also offers an industry first: a beautiful hardware console, The WolfBOX. Our console comes preloaded with WolfpackBOT Automated Trading Software and also includes a built-in secure hardware wallet. Some of the key features of the WolfBOX include our high-speed CPU, solid-state hard drive, built-in RFID card reader, and integrated Bitpay and Coinbase wallets.
Our company offers its services and expertise as Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Specialists to individuals and companies. We offer consulting services in the fields of blockchain and cryptocurrency development and management.
We are dedicated to the proposition that we have a responsibility to use a portion of our company’s revenue to help create a better world and a brighter future. As we move forward, our philanthropic efforts include environmental stewardship, renewable energy, human rights, economic development, as well as animal and wildlife rescue and conservation with an emphasis on dogs and wolves.
THE WOLFCOIN Wolfcoin is the coin that fuels all WolfpackBOT's projects. This utility, coupled with the reward systems with mining and Masternoding capabilities, makes the use of Wolfcoin potentially appealing to all WolfpackBOT users whom are interested in receiving additional Wolfcoin for subscriptions, merchandise and other rewards such as passive cryptocurrency portfolio growth. THE WOLFCOIN WALLET WolfpackBOT uses our proprietary Wolfcoin Core QT wallet. February 2018 Conceptual development of WolfpackBOT Software May 2018 Company Roadmap development Alpha models of WolfpackBOT Software June 2018 Ongoing research, development, and testing October 2018 Advertising and Marketing Campaign Starts Wallets available for payment; BTC, BTG, DASH, DOGE, ETC, ETH, LTC October 15 - Pre-registration begins November 2018 November 1 - Crowdsale Stage I begins December 2018 Official presentation of WolfpackBOT beta Software Preview Creation of Wolfcoin (WOLF: 300,000,000 coins pre-mined on Genesis Block) WolfpackBOT beta Software release to selected customers December 21 - Launch network and mine Genesis block December 22 - PoW / Mainnet December 23 - Blockchain and network testing December 28 - Iquidis Wolfcoin Block Explorer released on our website January 2019 January 1 - Wolfcoin Core wallets available for download on the website January 1 - Wallet and Masternode Tutorial available January 1 - Masternode and PoW instructional videos available January 1 - Subscription Pre-order Coin Rewards disbursed Announcement listing WOLF on top-10 Exchange February 2019 February 1 - Crowdsale Stage I Ends February 1 - Crowdsale Stage II Begins March 2019 March 15 - Crowdsale Stage II Ends March 15 - Crowdsale Stage III Begins WolfpackBOT Software roll-out to contributors WolfBOX Console available for Pre-order April 2019 WolfpackBOT Subscriptions available for customers First Major version released: automated, manual, and paper trading WolfpackBOT Live support center April 30 - Crowdsale Stage III Ends May 2019 WolfBOX Consoles Pre-orders first shipment June 2019 New trading features such as new exchanges, strategy options and indicators July 2019 New trading features such as new exchanges, strategy options or indicators August 2019 WolfpackBOT Software Trading Platform V2.0 Second major release: Strategy Marketplace and Back-testing September 2019 New trading features such as new exchanges, strategy options or indicators October 2019 WolfpackBOT Software Trading Platform V3.0 Third major release: Signals Marketplace (Supporting 3rd Party App Signals) Mobile Application for WolfpackBOT Software and Trading Platform November 2019 New trading features such as new exchanges, strategy options or indicator December 2019 WolfpackBOT Software Trading Platform V4.0 January 2020 WolfpackBOT Software Trading Platform V5.0 Fourth major release: Machine Learning Strategy Optimization
THE AMAZING TEAM
Philip LonghurstChief Executive Officer The leader of our pack and the man behind the WolfpackBOT trading bot, Philip Longhurst is a mathematical genius, engineer, day trader, and animal rescuer. As an account manager for J.P. Morgan and MBNA Bank, Phil managed the accounts of several high-profile clients and businesses. He has been successfully trading stocks for over twenty-five years and has successfully applied his trading expertise and mathematical acumen to the cryptocurrency market since 2013. Philip holds bachelor's degrees in mechanical engineering and business administration and is a loving husband, father, and family man who has been rescuing dogs since 1995. His driving desire is to use the success of Wolfpack Group to create a brighter future for humanity. He currently resides in the United States of America with his wife, daughter, and dogs. Rogier PointlChief Financial Officer Rogier Pointl is a successful entrepreneur with nearly twenty-five years of experience in business management, marketing, financial administration, economics, and fintech. Rogier holds bachelor's degrees in Business Communications and Financial Administration. He is a pioneer in the field of virtual reality, having served as CEO and owner of Simworld, the first virtual reality racing center in Europe, where he oversaw the development of advanced simulator and virtual reality hardware and software. Rogier is an experienced trader and has been trading stocks since 2007. He began applying his expertise to the cryptocurrency market in 2010, gaining experience as a Bitcoin miner along the way. Rogier is a loving husband and father and currently resides in the Netherlands with his wife and two daughters. Jason CormierChief Technical Officer Jason Cormier is a humble -but extraordinary- individual who is blessed with a Mensa IQ of 151, he is continually driven by a desire for knowledge and self-growth. He is self-taught in Visual Basics, C#, C++, HTML, and CSS and began developing programs and applications at the age of 14, including the TCB Wallet, which was the first ever wallet program that held its users' log in names and passwords. Jason is a cryptocurrency guru whose expertise includes cryptocurrency mining farms, proof-of-stake, masternodes, and cryptocurrency trading. Jason holds Associate degrees in Computer Science and Psychology, and currently resides in the United States of America with his wife and son. Jay McKinneyChief Web Development and Design Officer Jay is a veteran of the Iraq War who put his life on the line in combat to protect our freedoms. To center himself while stationed in the Iraqi warzone, he taught himself C# as he knew honing his Web Development skills would help him provide a better future for himself and his family. Upon returning home safely, he worked his way through college and holds bachelor's degrees in Computer Programming and Web Development & Design. Jay has worked for the Kentucky Housing Corporation, serving as a software engineer and web developer. He is a loving family man who currently resides in the United States of America with his wife and two children. David JohnsonChief Software Development Officer David holds a Master of Science degree in Information Systems and a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Information Systems, graduating with Magna Cum Laude status. He has worked for the Kentucky Housing Corporation, serving as a network analyst and software engineer. As an entrepreneur, he has owned his own web and software development company since 2009, creating and maintaining several websites in C# and PHP, and has been operating the crypto-oriented YouTube channel BigBits since 2017, where he discusses automated Cryptocurrency trading strategies. David is a proud father of two and resides in the United States of America with his wife and children. Like any good Kentuckian, he is a huge fan of the University of Kentucky's college sports teams. Gabriel CondreaSoftware and Web Development Officer Gabriel Condrea holds a bachelor's degree in electrical and computer engineering and has worked as a software developer and senior systems engineer in both the United States and the United Kingdom, working with a variety of programming languages and IDEs. He has used his expertise to create Manufacturing and SCADA systems in industrial applications. Gabriel also applies his engineering skills to cryptocurrency day trading, seeking to automate the process. He loves to travel and currently resides in the United States with his girlfriend. Igor OtorepecChief Hardware Development Officer Igor is an engineer with twenty years of experience specializing in advanced PLC programming and industrial robotics. He is also an IT security expert and a CEC Certified Ethical Cracker who uses his skills to expose and patch security vulnerabilities in blockchain codes. Igor is an advanced cryptocurrency trader and Kung Fu master who uses bio-hacking as a way of life to keep his 'chi' constantly centered. He currently resides in Austria with his loving wife. Manik EhhsanDirector of Marketing and Public Relations Manik holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and has over five years of experience in Web Development, Digital Marketing and Graphics Design. He has also managed the marketing for more than 30 successful Cryptocurrency start-ups and projects, and specializes in SEO and ASO. Manik is also a Cryptocurrency project promotion expert with an emphasis on Masternodes and building Social Media Communities. Manik has focused his life on Cryptocurrency and currently resides in Bangladesh with his loving family. Rance GarrisonChief Marketing Officer Rance Garrison holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and specialized in Seminary Studies for his Master's degree. He served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at WMMT-FM, the radio station owned by Appalshop, an arts and education center in Kentucky, and has also specialized in local cable television advertising. Rance is also a musician who has released several albums independently over the last decade. Rance is very dedicated to his local community and is most excited by the potential implications of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology for rural and remote economies. He currently resides in the United States of America with his wife, dog, and cats. Paul GabensChief Public Relations Officer A master negotiator with a penchant for strategy, Paul Gabens brings more than twenty years of marketing and promotional experience in the automotive, hospitality, and entertainment industries to the Wolfpack. He is also an avid stock and cryptocurrency trader, having first entered into the cryptocurrency market two years ago, embracing his passion for crypto with the same vigor as his love for travel, classic cars, extreme roller coasters, and surfing. Paul holds degrees in business management, marketing, and automotive aftermarket. He currently resides in the United States with his fiancé and two cats. Blake StanleyMarketing and Social Media Officer Blake Stanley is a cryptocurrency enthusiast who also has over six years of experience managing both government and private sector client and customer relations. A strategic thinker and expert in the field of social media-based advertising, Blake also owns and manages his own online marketing company where he has been successfully curating and implementing online marketing and advertising strategies for his clients for the past three years. Blake is a proud father and family man and currently lives in the United States with his daughter and fiancé. Martin KilgoreMarket and Trading Analyst Martin Kilgore holds bachelor’s degrees in both accounting and mathematics, having researched Knot Theory and the Jones Polynomial during his undergraduate studies, giving him a firm edge when analyzing market conditions. He has worked as a staff accountant for several governmental organizations. Martin lives in the United States with his fiancé. Jonathan McDonaldChief Trading Strategy Officer Jonathan has honed his trading skills over the past five years by studying and implementing economics, financial strategy, Forex trading analysis and trading bots. Through his constant learning, he discovered Cryptocurrency after seeing the difference in market volatility and high yield trading. His fine-tuned trading strategies complement Crypto markets perfectly, and he has been implementing trading strategies to the Cryptocurrency market for over a year with phenomenal results. Jonathan is constantly improving his trading skills with an emphasis on scalping techniques. He has applied his trading skillset to the WolfpackBOT and enjoys working alongside the Wolfpack in creating the fastest trading bot on the market. Jonathan currently resides in Canada with his supportive girlfriend and family. Web site: https://www.wolfpackbot.com/ Technical document: https://www.wolfpackbot.com/Pdf/whitepaper_en.pdf Bounty0x username: idrixoxo
FUD From All Sides: In Defense of CME's Bitcoin Futures Plan
https://www.coindesk.com/fud-sides-defense-cmes-bitcoin-futures-plan/ William Mallers, Jr. started First American Discount Corporation with his father in 1984, eventually building it into the third-largest discount futures brokerage. He sold it in 2001 to Man Financial and then retired. In this opinion piece, Mallers argues CME Group's plan to offer bitcoin futures will benefit the futures trading industry and the bitcoin community alike – notwithstanding hand-wringing in both worlds about the idea. I'm a member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. I've also been a bitcoiner since 2013. So, when CME Group announced its intention to launch bitcoin futures in the coming weeks, I thought, "Great! Way to go, CME." The first exchange to offer a futures contract on bitcoin is good news for my CME friends: more trading volume and and speculative opportunities. And it's also good for my bitcoin friends: the legitimacy and access is sure to help with adoption and higher bitcoin prices. Win-win! Right? Well, that wasn't quite the response I got. Instead I heard just about every negative stereotype about both futures trading and bitcoin, from both communities. Let's try to put these misperceptions to rest. 'Tulips' in 5,4,3... First, there’s this from the futures industry’s most widely read blog, John Lothian News: "The risk of bitcoin is in its history and the cloud surrounding its creation and early fraudulent days. Who is Satoshi? Where is he today? What happened at Mt. Gox? Is it still used to launder money? Why won't China let people trade bitcoin and what does this have to do with money laundering or capital controls?" Good Lord. If you've been in enough arguments with bitcoin skeptics you know what's coming after the drug-dealing, money-laundering slam, right? Next up: the tulip-bulb analogy. Sure enough, Lothian says, "I don’t want to be on the wrong side of history. But the history I am looking at is … 1636-37. That was the peak of tulipmania." And that, my friends, is why I spent my first two years in bitcoin not sharing my passion with any non-bitcoiners. "Bitcoin? Never heard of it." But because I have benefited from all the hard work that others have done to advance this project – hosting meetups, dispelling misinformation – and all I've done is log into my account and click "Buy," I thought I'd try to do my part. A margin clerk's dream Here's what I wrote to Lothian (a former employee at the futures brokerage I ran), and maybe it will help you with your bitcoin futures doubters: "Hey John, it's Junior from your old FADC [First American Discount Corporation] days and I’ll be glad to help you understand bitcoin. "But first – recall how you used to try to collect margin money by first asking the customer to provide a contact at his bank who could confirm that he had sufficient funds in his account and that he had initiated the wire. Why did we have you do that? Because we knew we wouldn’t get the money until the next day; his bank, while debiting his account immediately, would wait until the end of the day to wire us the money (unless he stopped the wire) and our bank wouldn’t credit us until mid-morning the next day, at the earliest. "Now, imagine, instead of that 24-hour headache, your under-margined customer simply waved his cell phone at our FADC QR code and we got the money within 10 minutes, or at most a few hours. Bitcoin is a margin clerk's dream come true: near-instant peer-to-peer value transfer! It's easy to see why Jamie Dimon doesn’t like it, but a former margin clerk? You should be loving this technology and cheering for its adoption! "I know having an asset protected by the computing power of a globally distributed network doesn't feel as secure as having armed guards protecting a bank vault, but if you get some time, there are websites that estimate the cost of amassing enough computing power to defraud the bitcoin network. This site estimates about $1 billion in electricity per day, plus over $1 billion in equipment, to counterfeit one transaction. In other words, it would be way cheaper for the Hunt brothers to corner today’s silver market than it would be for me to con an online retailer like Overstock into sending me free patio furniture. It's called a '51% attack' because I’d need to control a majority of the network hashing power to get a consensus mechanism to accept my phony accounting. "Bernie Madoff-style cons are hard to pull off; I need years to earn my victims' trust, I have to get a reputable accounting firm to bless my forged statements, etc ... but Madoff's con was far easier than going undetected while amassing billions' worth of computing power. Plus, since new bitcoins are awarded to the miners proportionate to their computational contribution, if I did have that much computing power, I may as well amass bitcoins the honest way, right? "That's one of the fun insights into this project: it manages to align all participants through economic incentive." Overwhelming demand When Terry Duffy, CME's CEO, says it's offering bitcoin futures in response to customer demand, I'm sure he’s right. I know from writing brochures for commodity trading advisors that money managers want non-correlated assets. That's the only reason they own gold. When the stock market tanks or a terrorist attack happens, that's when gold rallies. After 9/11, the stock market dropped over 7 percent, but gold spiked. Bitcoin, like gold, is a perfect non-correlated asset to add to an investment portfolio. I am not surprised that there is such overwhelming demand for bitcoin futures from traders. Now, every trader is going to have the option to invest right there on their screen without having to do the onerous work of buying and securing bitcoin itself. Risk controls As for claims that CME futures trading will put the exchange at risk, they are overblown. CME clearing privilege requires a large amount of capital. If a member's capital level drops below the threshold required to clear, the CME removes customer accounts and places them with a firm that has the capital to support them. Again, customers come first. Stock index futures functioned as designed during the 1987 crash, grain futures likewise during the 1988 drought, currencies during the high volatility after the Plaza Accord. Consider this: prior to 1982, if you’d predicted where the most successful stock index contract would launch, you’d guess probably the New York Stock Exchange, right? But S&P 500 Index Futures launched at the Chicago exchanges next to the pork-belly pit, U.S. Treasury futures next to the soybean pit. CME has done its homework on bitcoin; it's well aware of bitcoin's volatile price history and has the experience and controls in place to clear bitcoin futures. Amazing, isn't it? The exchange that offers risk-management products should avoid bitcoin because it’s "risky?" Huh? I’ve never seen anything like bitcoin that inspires such lame arguments from its opponents. This ain't Wall Street Then, there's all the bitcoiners' FUD: "Here comes Wall Street to drive the price of bitcoin down, manipulate the market and ruin it for us!" Suffice it to say, for many of the same reasons I gave above, I don’t believe that to be true. Keep in mind that CME is not Wall Street. The Chicago exchanges have an ethos like bitcoin's: transparency, security, independence and accountability. To all the people hand-wringing on both sides, let's just see how this plays out. I have decades of experience with the Chicago exchanges and feel reasonably certain that you all are wasting your breath and paying too much for full-page ads in print newspapers. Let's get this thing to the moon!
Ideas are not harmless. Ideas can be destructive, regardless of whether they are right or wrong. New ideas run at risk of disturbing the homeostasis that evolved in the environment they contaminate. I worry everyday about what we have created. Inventions can not be put back into the box they came from. As soon as we announce a new invention, we lose control over it. Worse, there is no guarantee that a new invention ends up benefiting humanity in the long run. With the discovery of nuclear weapons we ensured that another great war would be the last one. With the discovery of heroin we ensured the death through addiction of millions. With Bitcoin, we have changed the natural laws that governed the global economy. This will inevitably trigger the largest social upheaval in modern history. Governments know that technology is the most disruptive power in the world. The American government knew this was going to happen. The NSA came up with a theoretical implementation of Bitcoin in 1996. They knew. And they prepared themselves. Today the US government is the owner of 144.336 Bitcoin, or one percent of the total current supply. Don't expect your government to let go of those coins. If the US government would ever see a need to purchase Bitcoin, it's own acquisition of new Bitcoin would inevitably trigger a rise in prices. This was the easiest way for your government to step into the game and preserve its own relevancy in the coming global economy. The official narrative is that Bitcoin surged as a result of the stability found through the closure of Silk Road. The Chinese then stepped into the market and we ended up at 200 dollar a coin. The official narrative is a lie. The sudden massive increase in volume on Chinese Bitcoin exchanges was completely unexplainable. There was no rise in client downloads in China. There was no rise in Bitcoin search volume on Baidu. There was no rise in Bitcoin visits on the Chinese Wikipedia. There was no Chinese bubble. You can all look this up for yourself, and you'll see that I'm right. What happened is that the world's second largest superpower took an emergency response upon discovering that the world's largest superpower seized 1% of the global Bitcoin supply. The closure of Silk Road was never about drugs, it was about seizing Bitcoin without causing a price spike. Who was capable of causing the April 2013 DDOS attacks that brought Mt Gox to its knees, triggering a price collapse? The US government owns a massive botnet. The US government thinks about the long term. Their goal is to make the worldwide adaptation of Bitcoin as little disruptive as possible. They know what's going to happen and the chaos it will cause. We're only barely beginning to understand what we have unleashed. As mentioned earlier, you have no power to stop the use of a technology. Mr. Nobel was horrified to see how dynamite was used, you will be horrified to see how Bitcoin will be used. You can't decide how Bitcoin will be used any more than Bram Cohen could decide what you will and won't get to download with Bittorrent. There is no "Stop" sign that Bitcoin has to obey. There is 32 trillion dollar worth of wealth hidden off shore to avoid paying taxes. This is sooner or later going to end up stored in Bitcoin. People who own Bitcoin will see no need to pay taxes, thus leading to a rise in taxes for people who do pay taxes, thus leading to more people fleeing to Bitcoin. Eventually, this leads to a situation where all financial transactions are done in Bitcoin. Fiat currency is going to be worthless. This is good news for you, but not for the rest of humanity. We are about to witness the largest transfer of wealth in human history. The victims will be those a few years from now who didn't invest and are forced to buy Bitcoin to pay for their groceries when the value of the dollar starts to take a nosedive. How will your neighbor feel when his savings have become worthless and his bank won't let him withdraw the money? How will people in third world countries without access to Bitcoin feel? How will the people of the world feel about people becoming billionaires through sheer luck? Will those people use their power in a responsible manner? You're going to feel thankful for every crash we've had, as every crash encouraged people with a large balance to divest and thereby lead to a more egalitarian distribution of Bitcoin. The problem is nonetheless unavoidable. There will be anonymous Bitcoin billionaires. There will be social and economic chaos. I genuinely hope that I'm wrong and shake my head a few years from now. We can't count on such luck however. Think about what you're going to do. You successfully inverted the global economic order. Now you are at the steering wheel.
Online Platforms Trading Cryptocurrencies; Continued Uncertainty In Crypto Space
I have been writing often about the cryptocurrency marketplace and the SEC and other regulators’ statements and concerns about compliance with the federal securities laws. On July 25, 2017, the SEC issued a Section 21(a) Report on an investigation related to an initial coin offering (ICO) by the DAO, concluding that the ICO was a securities offering. In that Report the SEC stated that securities exchanges providing for trading must register unless an exemption applies. In its numerous statements on cryptocurrencies since then, the SEC has consistently reminded the public that exchanges that trade securities, including cryptocurrencies that are securities, must be licensed by the SEC. The SEC has also stated that as of today, no such licensed securities cryptocurrency exchange exists. However, a few CFTC regulated exchanges have now listed bitcoin futures products and, in doing so, engaged in lengthy conversations with the CFTC, ultimately agreeing to implement risk mitigation and oversight measures, heightened margin requirements, and added information sharing agreements with the underlying bitcoin trading platforms. The topic of the registration of exchanges for trading cryptocurrencies is not new to regulators. Years before the Section 21(a) DAO Report and crypto craze, on December 8, 2014, the SEC settled charges against BTC Virtual Stock Exchange and LTC-Global Virtual Stock Exchange, which traded securities using virtual currencies, bitcoin or litecoin. According to the SEC release on the matter, “the exchanges provided account holders the ability to use bitcoin or litecoin to buy, sell, and trade securities of businesses (primarily virtual currency-related entities) listed on the exchanges’ websites. The venues weren’t registered as broker-dealers despite soliciting the public to open accounts and trade securities. The venues weren’t registered as stock exchanges despite enlisting issuers to offer securities for the public to buy and sell.” The exchanges charged and collected transaction-based compensation for each executed trade on the platforms. Since the Section 21(a) DAO Report, most of the statements from the SEC and other regulators have focused on ICOs and the issuance of cryptocurrencies as opposed to focusing on the exchanges that trade cryptos. On March 7, 2018, the SEC finally issued a public statement directed specifically to online platforms for the trading of digital assets – i.e., cryptocurrencies. This blog will summarize that statement. Also, at the end of this blog is a list with links to my numerous other blogs on the topic of distributed ledger technology (blockchain), cryptocurrencies and ICOs. SEC Statement on Potentially Unlawful Online Platforms for Trading Digital Assets Online trading platforms have become prevalent for the buying and selling of coins and tokens, including new cryptocurrencies offered in initial coin offerings (ICOs). Many platforms bring buyers and sellers together in one place and offer investors access to automated systems that display priced orders, execute trades, and provide transaction data. If a platform offers trading of digital assets that are securities and operates as an “exchange,” as defined by the federal securities laws, then the platform must register with the SEC as a national securities exchange or be exempt from registration. As mentioned above, no such SEC-registered platform exists as of today. In its statement, the SEC cautions investors that “[T]o get the protections offered by the federal securities laws and SEC oversight when trading digital assets that are securities, investors should use a platform or entity registered with the SEC, such as a national securities exchange, alternative trading system (‘ATS’), or broker-dealer.” The SEC is concerned that online platforms have the appearance of regular licensed securities exchanges, including using the word “exchange” when they are not. The SEC does not review the standards these “exchanges” use to pick or vet digital assets and cryptocurrencies, the trading protocols used to determine how orders interact and are executed, nor any internal controls or procedures of these platforms. Furthermore, the SEC warns that data provided by these trading platforms, such as bid and ask prices and execution information, may lack integrity. The SEC provides a list of questions for investors to ask when considering trading on an online platform, including:
Do you trade securities on this platform? If so, is the platform registered as a national securities exchange (see our link to the list below)?
Does the platform operate as an ATS? If so, is the ATS registered as a broker-dealer and has it filed a Form ATS with the SEC (see our link to the list below)?
Is there information in FINRA’s BrokerCheck ® about any individuals or firms operating the platform?
How does the platform select digital assets for trading?
Who can trade on the platform?
What are the trading protocols?
How are prices set on the platform?
Are platform users treated equally?
What are the platform’s fees?
How does the platform safeguard users’ trading and personally identifying information?
What are the platform’s protections against cybersecurity threats, such as hacking or intrusions?
What other services does the platform provide? Is the platform registered with the SEC for these services?
Does the platform hold users’ assets? If so, how are these assets safeguarded?
Registration or Exemption of an Exchange Section 5 of the Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”) makes it unlawful for any broker, dealer, or exchange, directly or indirectly, to effect any transaction in a security, or to report any such transaction, in interstate commerce, unless the exchange is registered as a national securities exchange or is exempted from such registration. A national securities exchange registers with the SEC under Section 6 of the Exchange Act. Section 3(a)(1) of the Exchange Act defines an “exchange” as “any organization, association, or group of persons, whether incorporated or unincorporated, which constitutes, maintains, or provides a market place or facilities for bringing together purchasers and sellers of securities or for otherwise performing with respect to securities the functions commonly performed by a stock exchange as that term is generally understood….” Exchange Act Rule 3b-16 further defines an exchange to mean “an organization, association, or group of persons that: (1) brings together the orders for securities of multiple buyers and sellers; and (2) uses established, non-discretionary methods (whether by providing a trading facility or by setting rules) under which such orders interact with each other, and the buyers and sellers entering such orders agree to the terms of the trade.” The SEC has also stated that “an exchange or contract market would be required to register under Section 5 of the Exchange Act if it provides direct electronic access to persons located in the U.S.” According to the SEC website, as of today there are 21 licensed exchanges registered with the SEC. Exchanges that trade securities futures are registered with the SEC through a notice filing under Section 6(g) of the Exchange Act. There are 5 such registered exchanges. There are two exchanges that the SEC has exempted from registration on the basis of limited volume transactions. Continued Uncertainty Although the SEC is certainly correct that an online trading platform that trades securities must be licensed by the SEC, that would not be the case if the asset being traded is not a security. In fact, if the asset is a currency (and not a security) or a “thing” such as loyalty points, no US federal agency would regulate its trading. The SEC only regulates the trading of securities and security-related products. The CFTC has regulatory oversight over futures, options, and derivatives contracts on virtual currencies and has oversight to pursue claims of fraud or manipulation involving a virtual currency traded in interstate commerce. Beyond instances of fraud or manipulation, the CFTC generally does not oversee “spot” or cash market exchanges and transactions involving virtual currencies that do not utilize margin, leverage or financing. Rather, these “exchanges” are regulated as payment processors or money transmitters under state law. Likewise, no federal regulator has direct jurisdiction over “exchanges” that trade loyalty points such as converting airline points to use for hotels, cars, consumer goods and services, or cash. Online platforms such as www.points.com and www.webflyer.com operate using contractual partnerships with entities that issue loyalty points. In fact, points.com is owned by Points International Ltd., which trades on the TSX and Nasdaq and refers to itself as “the global leader in loyalty currency management.” Certainly, today there is a vast difference in the trading of loyalty points versus those looking to make profits in cryptocurrency trading, but there are also analogies, especially with the “currency” side. In a recent 6-K, Points has this to say about the loyalty industry: Year-over-year, loyalty programs continue to generate a significant source of ancillary revenue and cash flows for companies that have developed and maintain these loyalty programs. According to the Colloquy group, a leading consulting and research firm focused on the loyalty industry, the number of loyalty program memberships in the US increased from 3.3 billion in 2014 to 3.8 billion in 2016, representing an increase of 15% (source: 2017 Colloquy Loyalty Census Report, June 2017). As the number of loyalty memberships continues to increase, the level of diversification in the loyalty landscape is evolving. While the airline, hotel, specialty retail, and financial services industries continue to be dominant in loyalty programs in the US, smaller verticals, including the restaurant and drug store industries are beginning to see larger growth in their membership base. Further, newer loyalty concepts, such as large e-commerce programs, daily deals, and online travel agencies, are becoming more prevalent. As a result of this changing landscape, loyalty programs must continue to provide innovative value propositions in order to drive activity in their programs. Companies that believe that their crypto is truly a utility with currency value may feel they have more in common with a loyalty point than a security, and regulators have yet to be able to give any level of firm ground on which to stand. In a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee on May 16, 2018, Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the SEC Division of Enforcement, told lawmakers that the SEC will continue to look at each case involving a cryptocurrency on a facts-and-circumstances basis. Ms. Avakian and co-director Steven Peiken both gave testimony and sat in the hot seat. The Financial Services Committee members were pushing for more definitive input on how ICOs should be defined and regulated, without result. The hearing became contentious, with Committee members becoming frustrated with the lack of direction and lack of certainty from the SEC as to how they define and view cryptocurrencies, other than “on a case-by-case basis” and using the same federal securities principles that already exist – a mantra that has been repeated. However, the SEC enforcement division could rightfully feel they are being put in an unfair position with this line of questioning. Commissioner Hester M. Peirce warned against rulemaking by enforcement in a recent speech. Ms. Peirce has strong opinions on the subject. She states, “[D]ue process starts with telling individuals in advance what actions constitute violations of the law.” She continues with “[A] related issue to which I am paying attention is the degree to which our enforcement process is being used to push the bounds of our authority. Congress sets the parameters within which we may operate, and we ought not to stray outside those boundaries through, for example, overly broad interpretations of ‘security’ or extraterritorial impositions of the law. Our canons of ethics specifically caution us against exceeding ‘the proper limits of the law’ and argue for us remaining ‘consistent with the statutory purposes expressed by the Congress.’” In fairness, Ms. Peirce was talking in the context of enforcement as a whole. Not once did she mention cryptocurrencies, ICOs or blockchain in that speech. However, in light of the prevalence of the topic and many industry leaders, politicians and market participants looking to the SEC for guidance on the question of “what is a cryptocurrency” and “how should it be regulated,” I can’t help but think the SEC is looking back at Congress with the same question. Further Reading on DLT/Blockchain and ICOs For a review of the 2014 case against BTC Trading Corp. for acting as an unlicensed broker-dealer for operating a bitcoin trading platform, see HERE. For an introduction on distributed ledger technology, including a summary of FINRA’s Report on Distributed Ledger Technology and Implication of Blockchain for the Securities Industry, see HERE. For a discussion on the Section 21(a) Report on the DAO investigation, statements by the Divisions of Corporation Finance and Enforcement related to the investigative report and the SEC’s Investor Bulletin on ICOs, see HERE. For a summary of SEC Chief Accountant Wesley R. Bricker’s statements on ICOs and accounting implications, see HERE. For an update on state-distributed ledger technology and blockchain regulations, see HERE. For a summary of the SEC and NASAA statements on ICOs and updates on enforcement proceedings as of January 2018, see HERE. For a summary of the SEC and CFTC joint statements on cryptocurrencies, including The Wall Street Journalop-ed article and information on the International Organization of Securities Commissions statement and warning on ICOs, see HERE. For a review of the CFTC role and position on cryptocurrencies, see HERE. For a summary of the SEC and CFTC testimony to the United States Senate Committee on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs hearing on “Virtual Currencies: The Oversight Role of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission,” see HERE. To learn about SAFTs and the issues with the SAFT investment structure, see HERE. To learn about the SEC’s position and concerns with crypto-related funds and ETFs, see HERE. The Author Laura Anthony, Esq. Founding Partner Legal & Compliance, LLC Corporate, Securities and Going Public Attorneys 330 Clematis Street, Suite 217 West Palm Beach, FL 33401 Phone: 800-341-2684 – 561-514-0936 Fax: 561-514-0832 [email protected]www.LegalAndCompliance.comwww.LawCast.com
Find live Bitcoin stats, including market price, mining revenue, number of Bitcoin transactions and more. Explore detailed Bitcoin data today. - Blockchain Bitcoin itself is faring very well during the pandemic, up over 90 percent since March 16, when the U.S. first began widespread school closures and stay-at-home orders. During the same period, the… The Worldcore.trade European crypto-exchange conducted its own research seeking an answer to the question of whether in mid-2018 Bitcoin can be considered the currency of hackers, drug addicts and weapon traders.. In January 2018 two independent groups of researchers published the results of their evaluation of Bitcoin involvement in sale and purchase transactions of illegal and criminal goods During the November 2013, the China-based bitcoin exchange BTC China overtook the Japan-based Mt. Gox and the Europe-based Bitstamp to become the largest bitcoin trading exchange by trade volume. December Overstock.com announced plans to accept Bitcoin in the second half of 2014. When Bitcoin’s network first began, Bitcoin’s block reward was 50 BTC per block mined. This was halved in 2012, at block #210,000, where the block reward became 25 BTC. The second halving was in 2016, at block #420,000, and the block reward became 12.5 BTC.
Samsung All In With BITCOIN & Crypto, Integrates With Gemini - Grayscale Bought 18,910 BTC
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