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The Next Crypto Wave: The Rise of Stablecoins and its Entry to the U.S. Dollar Market

The Next Crypto Wave: The Rise of Stablecoins and its Entry to the U.S. Dollar Market

Author: Christian Hsieh, CEO of Tokenomy
This paper examines some explanations for the continual global market demand for the U.S. dollar, the rise of stablecoins, and the utility and opportunities that crypto dollars can offer to both the cryptocurrency and traditional markets.
The U.S. dollar, dominant in world trade since the establishment of the 1944 Bretton Woods System, is unequivocally the world’s most demanded reserve currency. Today, more than 61% of foreign bank reserves and nearly 40% of the entire world’s debt is denominated in U.S. dollars1.
However, there is a massive supply and demand imbalance in the U.S. dollar market. On the supply side, central banks throughout the world have implemented more than a decade-long accommodative monetary policy since the 2008 global financial crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the need for central banks to provide necessary liquidity and keep staggering economies moving. While the Federal Reserve leads the effort of “money printing” and stimulus programs, the current money supply still cannot meet the constant high demand for the U.S. dollar2. Let us review some of the reasons for this constant dollar demand from a few economic fundamentals.

Demand for U.S. Dollars

Firstly, most of the world’s trade is denominated in U.S. dollars. Chief Economist of the IMF, Gita Gopinath, has compiled data reflecting that the U.S. dollar’s share of invoicing was 4.7 times larger than America’s share of the value of imports, and 3.1 times its share of world exports3. The U.S. dollar is the dominant “invoicing currency” in most developing countries4.

https://preview.redd.it/d4xalwdyz8p51.png?width=535&format=png&auto=webp&s=9f0556c6aa6b29016c9b135f3279e8337dfee2a6

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This U.S. dollar preference also directly impacts the world’s debt. According to the Bank of International Settlements, there is over $67 trillion in U.S. dollar denominated debt globally, and borrowing outside of the U.S. accounted for $12.5 trillion in Q1 20205. There is an immense demand for U.S. dollars every year just to service these dollar debts. The annual U.S. dollar buying demand is easily over $1 trillion assuming the borrowing cost is at 1.5% (1 year LIBOR + 1%) per year, a conservative estimate.

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Secondly, since the U.S. has a much stronger economy compared to its global peers, a higher return on investments draws U.S. dollar demand from everywhere in the world, to invest in companies both in the public and private markets. The U.S. hosts the largest stock markets in the world with more than $33 trillion in public market capitalization (combined both NYSE and NASDAQ)6. For the private market, North America’s total share is well over 60% of the $6.5 trillion global assets under management across private equity, real assets, and private debt investments7. The demand for higher quality investments extends to the fixed income market as well. As countries like Japan and Switzerland currently have negative-yielding interest rates8, fixed income investors’ quest for yield in the developed economies leads them back to the U.S. debt market. As of July 2020, there are $15 trillion worth of negative-yielding debt securities globally (see chart). In comparison, the positive, low-yielding U.S. debt remains a sound fixed income strategy for conservative investors in uncertain market conditions.

Source: Bloomberg
Last, but not least, there are many developing economies experiencing failing monetary policies, where hyperinflation has become a real national disaster. A classic example is Venezuela, where the currency Bolivar became practically worthless as the inflation rate skyrocketed to 10,000,000% in 20199. The recent Beirut port explosion in Lebanon caused a sudden economic meltdown and compounded its already troubled financial market, where inflation has soared to over 112% year on year10. For citizens living in unstable regions such as these, the only reliable store of value is the U.S. dollar. According to the Chainalysis 2020 Geography of Cryptocurrency Report, Venezuela has become one of the most active cryptocurrency trading countries11. The demand for cryptocurrency surges as a flight to safety mentality drives Venezuelans to acquire U.S. dollars to preserve savings that they might otherwise lose. The growth for cryptocurrency activities in those regions is fueled by these desperate citizens using cryptocurrencies as rails to access the U.S. dollar, on top of acquiring actual Bitcoin or other underlying crypto assets.

The Rise of Crypto Dollars

Due to the highly volatile nature of cryptocurrencies, USD stablecoin, a crypto-powered blockchain token that pegs its value to the U.S. dollar, was introduced to provide stable dollar exposure in the crypto trading sphere. Tether is the first of its kind. Issued in 2014 on the bitcoin blockchain (Omni layer protocol), under the token symbol USDT, it attempts to provide crypto traders with a stable settlement currency while they trade in and out of various crypto assets. The reason behind the stablecoin creation was to address the inefficient and burdensome aspects of having to move fiat U.S. dollars between the legacy banking system and crypto exchanges. Because one USDT is theoretically backed by one U.S. dollar, traders can use USDT to trade and settle to fiat dollars. It was not until 2017 that the majority of traders seemed to realize Tether’s intended utility and started using it widely. As of April 2019, USDT trading volume started exceeding the trading volume of bitcoina12, and it now dominates the crypto trading sphere with over $50 billion average daily trading volume13.

https://preview.redd.it/3vq7v1jg09p51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=46f11b5f5245a8c335ccc60432873e9bad2eb1e1
An interesting aspect of USDT is that although the claimed 1:1 backing with U.S. dollar collateral is in question, and the Tether company is in reality running fractional reserves through a loose offshore corporate structure, Tether’s trading volume and adoption continues to grow rapidly14. Perhaps in comparison to fiat U.S. dollars, which is not really backed by anything, Tether still has cash equivalents in reserves and crypto traders favor its liquidity and convenience over its lack of legitimacy. For those who are concerned about Tether’s solvency, they can now purchase credit default swaps for downside protection15. On the other hand, USDC, the more compliant contender, takes a distant second spot with total coin circulation of $1.8 billion, versus USDT at $14.5 billion (at the time of publication). It is still too early to tell who is the ultimate leader in the stablecoin arena, as more and more stablecoins are launching to offer various functions and supporting mechanisms. There are three main categories of stablecoin: fiat-backed, crypto-collateralized, and non-collateralized algorithm based stablecoins. Most of these are still at an experimental phase, and readers can learn more about them here. With the continuous innovation of stablecoin development, the utility stablecoins provide in the overall crypto market will become more apparent.

Institutional Developments

In addition to trade settlement, stablecoins can be applied in many other areas. Cross-border payments and remittances is an inefficient market that desperately needs innovation. In 2020, the average cost of sending money across the world is around 7%16, and it takes days to settle. The World Bank aims to reduce remittance fees to 3% by 2030. With the implementation of blockchain technology, this cost could be further reduced close to zero.
J.P. Morgan, the largest bank in the U.S., has created an Interbank Information Network (IIN) with 416 global Institutions to transform the speed of payment flows through its own JPM Coin, another type of crypto dollar17. Although people argue that JPM Coin is not considered a cryptocurrency as it cannot trade openly on a public blockchain, it is by far the largest scale experiment with all the institutional participants trading within the “permissioned” blockchain. It might be more accurate to refer to it as the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) instead of “blockchain” in this context. Nevertheless, we should keep in mind that as J.P. Morgan currently moves $6 trillion U.S. dollars per day18, the scale of this experiment would create a considerable impact in the international payment and remittance market if it were successful. Potentially the day will come when regulated crypto exchanges become participants of IIN, and the link between public and private crypto assets can be instantly connected, unlocking greater possibilities in blockchain applications.
Many central banks are also in talks about developing their own central bank digital currency (CBDC). Although this idea was not new, the discussion was brought to the forefront due to Facebook’s aggressive Libra project announcement in June 2019 and the public attention that followed. As of July 2020, at least 36 central banks have published some sort of CBDC framework. While each nation has a slightly different motivation behind its currency digitization initiative, ranging from payment safety, transaction efficiency, easy monetary implementation, or financial inclusion, these central banks are committed to deploying a new digital payment infrastructure. When it comes to the technical architectures, research from BIS indicates that most of the current proofs-of-concept tend to be based upon distributed ledger technology (permissioned blockchain)19.

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These institutional experiments are laying an essential foundation for an improved global payment infrastructure, where instant and frictionless cross-border settlements can take place with minimal costs. Of course, the interoperability of private DLT tokens and public blockchain stablecoins has yet to be explored, but the innovation with both public and private blockchain efforts could eventually merge. This was highlighted recently by the Governor of the Bank of England who stated that “stablecoins and CBDC could sit alongside each other20”. One thing for certain is that crypto dollars (or other fiat-linked digital currencies) are going to play a significant role in our future economy.

Future Opportunities

There is never a dull moment in the crypto sector. The industry narratives constantly shift as innovation continues to evolve. Twelve years since its inception, Bitcoin has evolved from an abstract subject to a familiar concept. Its role as a secured, scarce, decentralized digital store of value has continued to gain acceptance, and it is well on its way to becoming an investable asset class as a portfolio hedge against asset price inflation and fiat currency depreciation. Stablecoins have proven to be useful as proxy dollars in the crypto world, similar to how dollars are essential in the traditional world. It is only a matter of time before stablecoins or private digital tokens dominate the cross-border payments and global remittances industry.
There are no shortages of hypes and experiments that draw new participants into the crypto space, such as smart contracts, new blockchains, ICOs, tokenization of things, or the most recent trends on DeFi tokens. These projects highlight the possibilities for a much more robust digital future, but the market also needs time to test and adopt. A reliable digital payment infrastructure must be built first in order to allow these experiments to flourish.
In this paper we examined the historical background and economic reasons for the U.S. dollar’s dominance in the world, and the probable conclusion is that the demand for U.S. dollars will likely continue, especially in the middle of a global pandemic, accompanied by a worldwide economic slowdown. The current monetary system is far from perfect, but there are no better alternatives for replacement at least in the near term. Incremental improvements are being made in both the public and private sectors, and stablecoins have a definite role to play in both the traditional and the new crypto world.
Thank you.

Reference:
[1] How the US dollar became the world’s reserve currency, Investopedia
[2] The dollar is in high demand, prone to dangerous appreciation, The Economist
[3] Dollar dominance in trade and finance, Gita Gopinath
[4] Global trades dependence on dollars, The Economist & IMF working papers
[5] Total credit to non-bank borrowers by currency of denomination, BIS
[6] Biggest stock exchanges in the world, Business Insider
[7] McKinsey Global Private Market Review 2020, McKinsey & Company
[8] Central banks current interest rates, Global Rates
[9] Venezuela hyperinflation hits 10 million percent, CNBC
[10] Lebanon inflation crisis, Reuters
[11] Venezuela cryptocurrency market, Chainalysis
[12] The most used cryptocurrency isn’t Bitcoin, Bloomberg
[13] Trading volume of all crypto assets, coinmarketcap.com
[14] Tether US dollar peg is no longer credible, Forbes
[15] New crypto derivatives let you bet on (or against) Tether’s solvency, Coindesk
[16] Remittance Price Worldwide, The World Bank
[17] Interbank Information Network, J.P. Morgan
[18] Jamie Dimon interview, CBS News
[19] Rise of the central bank digital currency, BIS
[20] Speech by Andrew Bailey, 3 September 2020, Bank of England
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Crypto Banking Wars: Will Coinbase or Binance Become The Bank of The Future?

Crypto Banking Wars: Will Coinbase or Binance Become The Bank of The Future?
Can the early success of major crypto exchanges propel them to winning the broader consumer finance market?
https://reddit.com/link/i48t4q/video/v4eo10gom7f51/player
This is the first part of Crypto Banking Wars — a new series that examines what crypto-native company is most likely to become the bank of the future. Who is best positioned to reach mainstream adoption in consumer finance?
While crypto allows the world to get rid of banks, a bank will still very much be necessary for this powerful technology to reach the masses. We believe a crypto-native company, like Genesis Block, will become the bank of the future.
In an earlier series, Crypto-Powered, we laid out arguments for why crypto-native companies have a huge edge in the market. When you consider both the broad spectrum of financial use-cases and the enormous value unlocked through these DeFi protocols, you can see just how big of an unfair advantage blockchain tech becomes for companies who truly understand and leverage it. Traditional banks and fintech unicorns simply won’t be able to keep up.
The power players of consumer finance in the 21st century will be crypto-native companies who build with blockchain technology at their core.
The crypto landscape is still nascent. We’re still very much in the fragmented, unbundled phase of the industry lifecycle. Beyond what Genesis Block is doing, there are signs of other companies slowly starting to bundle financial services into what could be an all-in-one bank replacement.
So the key question that this series hopes to answer:
Which crypto-native company will successfully become the bank of the future?
We obviously think Genesis Block is well-positioned to win. But we certainly aren’t the only game in town. In this series, we’ll be doing an analysis of who is most capable of thwarting our efforts. We’ll look at categories like crypto exchanges, crypto wallets, centralized lending & borrowing services, and crypto debit card companies. Each category will have its own dedicated post.
Today we’re analyzing big crypto exchanges. The two companies we’ll focus on today are Coinbase (biggest American exchange) and Binance (biggest global exchange). They are the top two exchanges in terms of Bitcoin trading volume. They are in pole position to winning this market — they have a huge existing userbase and strong financial resources.
Will Coinbase or Binance become the bank of the future? Can their early success propel them to winning the broader consumer finance market? Is their growth too far ahead for anyone else to catch up? Let’s dive in.
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Binance

The most formidable exchange on the global stage is Binance (Crunchbase). All signs suggest they have significantly more users and a stronger balance sheet than Coinbase. No other exchange is executing as aggressively and relentlessly as Binance is. The cadence at which they are shipping and launching new products is nothing short of impressive. As Tushar Jain from Multicoin argues, Binance is Blitzscaling.
Here are some of the products that they’ve launched in the last 18 months. Only a few are announced but still pre-launch.
Binance is well-positioned to become the crypto-powered, all-in-one, bundled solution for financial services. They already have so many of the pieces. But the key question is:
Can they create a cohesive & united product experience?

Binance Weaknesses

Binance is strong, but they do have a few major weaknesses that could slow them down.
  1. Traders & Speculators Binance is currently very geared for speculators, traders, and financial professionals. Their bread-and-butter is trading (spot, margin, options, futures). Their UI is littered with depth charts, order books, candlesticks, and other financial concepts that are beyond the reach of most normal consumers. Their product today is not at all tailored for the broader consumer market. Given Binance’s popularity and strength among the pro audience, it’s unlikely that they will dumb down or simplify their product any time soon. That would jeopardize their core business. Binance will likely need an entirely new product/brand to go beyond the pro user crowd. That will take time (or an acquisition). So the question remains, is Binance even interested in the broader consumer market? Or will they continue to focus on their core product, the one-stop-shop for pro crypto traders?
  2. Controversies & Hot Water Binance has had a number of controversies. No one seems to know where they are based — so what regulatory agencies can hold them accountable? Last year, some sensitive, private user data got leaked. When they announced their debit card program, they had to remove mentions of Visa quickly after. And though the “police raid” story proved to be untrue, there are still a lot of questions about what happened with their Shanghai office shut down (where there is smoke, there is fire). If any company has had a “move fast and break things” attitude, it is Binance. That attitude has served them well so far but as they try to do business in more regulated countries like America, this will make their road much more difficult — especially in the consumer market where trust takes a long time to earn, but can be destroyed in an instant. This is perhaps why the Binance US product is an empty shell when compared to their main global product.
  3. Disjointed Product Experience Because Binance has so many different teams launching so many different services, their core product is increasingly feeling disjointed and disconnected. Many of the new features are sloppily integrated with each other. There’s no cohesive product experience. This is one of the downsides of executing and shipping at their relentless pace. For example, users don’t have a single wallet that shows their balances. Depending on if the user wants to do spot trading, margin, futures, or savings… the user needs to constantly be transferring their assets from one wallet to another. It’s not a unified, frictionless, simple user experience. This is one major downside of the “move fast and break things” approach.
  4. BNB token Binance raised $15M in a 2017 ICO by selling their $BNB token. The current market cap of $BNB is worth more than $2.6B. Financially this token has served them well. However, given how BNB works (for example, their token burn), there are a lot of open questions as to how BNB will be treated with US security laws. Their Binance US product so far is treading very lightly with its use of BNB. Their token could become a liability for Binance as it enters more regulated markets. Whether the crypto community likes it or not, until regulators get caught up and understand the power of decentralized technology, tokens will still be a regulatory burden — especially for anything that touches consumers.
  5. Binance Chain & Smart Contract Platform Binance is launching its own smart contract platform soon. Based on compatibility choices, they have their sights aimed at the Ethereum developer community. It’s unclear how easy it’ll be to convince developers to move to Binance chain. Most of the current developer energy and momentum around smart contracts is with Ethereum. Because Binance now has their own horse in the race, it’s unlikely they will ever decide to leverage Ethereum’s DeFi protocols. This could likely be a major strategic mistake — and hubris that goes a step too far. Binance will be pushing and promoting protocols on their own platform. The major risk of being all-in on their own platform is that they miss having a seat on the Ethereum rocket ship — specifically the growth of DeFi use-cases and the enormous value that can be unlocked. Integrating with Ethereum’s protocols would be either admitting defeat of their own platform or competing directly against themselves.

Binance Wrap Up

I don’t believe Binance is likely to succeed with a homegrown product aimed at the consumer finance market. Their current product — which is focused heavily on professional traders and speculators — is unlikely to become the bank of the future. If they wanted to enter the broader consumer market, I believe it’s much more likely that they will acquire a company that is getting early traction. They are not afraid to make acquisitions (Trust, JEX, WazirX, DappReview, BxB, CoinMarketCap, Swipe).
However, never count CZ out. He is a hustler. Binance is executing so aggressively and relentlessly that they will always be on the shortlist of major contenders.
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Coinbase

The crypto-native company that I believe is more likely to become the bank of the future is Coinbase (crunchbase). Their dominance in America could serve as a springboard to winning the West (Binance has a stronger foothold in Asia). Coinbase has more than 30M users. Their exchange business is a money-printing machine. They have a solid reputation as it relates to compliance and working with regulators. Their CEO is a longtime member of the crypto community. They are rumored to be going public soon.

Coinbase Strengths

Let’s look at what makes them strong and a likely contender for winning the broader consumer finance market.
  1. Different Audience, Different Experience Coinbase has been smart to create a unique product experience for each audience — the pro speculator crowd and the common retail user. Their simple consumer version is at Coinbase.com. That’s the default. Their product for the more sophisticated traders and speculators is at Coinbase Pro (formerly GDAX). Unlike Binance, Coinbase can slowly build out the bank of the future for the broad consumer market while still having a home for their hardcore crypto traders. They aren’t afraid to have different experiences for different audiences.
  2. Brand & Design Coinbase has a strong product design team. Their brand is capable of going beyond the male-dominated crypto audience. Their product is clean and simple — much more consumer-friendly than Binance. It’s clear they spend a lot of time thinking about their user experience. Interacting directly with crypto can sometimes be rough and raw (especially for n00bs). When I was at Mainframe we hosted a panel about Crypto UX challenges at the DevCon4 Dapp Awards. Connie Yang (Head of Design at Coinbase) was on the panel. She was impressive. Some of their design philosophies will bode well as they push to reach the broader consumer finance market.
  3. USDC Stablecoin Coinbase (along with Circle) launched USDC. We’ve shared some stats about its impressive growth when we discussed DeFi use-cases. USDC is quickly becoming integrated with most DeFi protocols. As a result, Coinbase is getting a front-row seat at some of the most exciting things happening in decentralized finance. As Coinbase builds its knowledge and networks around these protocols, it could put them in a favorable position to unlock incredible value for their users.
  4. Early Signs of Bundling Though Coinbase has nowhere near as many products & services as Binance, they are slowly starting to add more financial services that may appeal to the broader market. They are now letting depositors earn interest on USDC (also DAI & Tezos). In the UK they are piloting a debit card. Users can now invest in crypto with dollar-cost-averaging. It’s not much, but it’s a start. You can start to see hints of a more bundled solution around financial services.

Coinbase Weaknesses

Let’s now look at some things that could hold them back.
  1. Slow Cadence In the fast-paced world of crypto, and especially when compared to Binance, Coinbase does not ship very many new products very often. This is perhaps their greatest weakness. Smaller, more nimble startups may run circles around them. They were smart to launch Coinbase Ventures where tey invest in early-stage startups. They can now keep an ear to the ground on innovation. Perhaps their cadence is normal for a company of their size — but the Binance pace creates quite the contrast.
  2. Lack of Innovation When you consider the previous point (slow cadence), it’s unclear if Coinbase is capable of building and launching new products that are built internally. Most of their new products have come through acquisitions. Their Earn.com acquisition is what led to their Earn educational product. Their acquisition of Xapo helped bolster their institutional custody offering. They acqui-hired a team to help launch their staking infrastructure. Their acquisition of Cipher Browser became an important part of Coinbase Wallet. And recently, they acquired Tagomi — a crypto prime brokerage. Perhaps most of Coinbase’s team is just focused on improving their golden goose, their exchange business. It’s unclear. But the jury is still out on if they can successfully innovate internally and launch any homegrown products.
  3. Talent Exodus There have been numerous reports of executive turmoil at Coinbase. It raises a lot of questions about company culture and vision. Some of the executives who departed include COO Asiff Hirji, CTO Balaji Srinivasan, VP & GM Adam White, VP Eng Tim Wagner, VP Product Jeremy Henrickson, Sr Dir of Eng Namrata Ganatra, VP of Intl Biz Dan Romero, Dir of Inst Sales Christine Sandler, Head of Trading Hunter Merghart, Dir Data Science Soups Ranjan, Policy Lead Mike Lempres, Sr Compliance Vaishali Mehta. Many of these folks didn’t stay with Coinbase very long. We don’t know exactly why it’s happening —but when you consider a few of my first points (slow cadence, lack of innovation), you have to wonder if it’s all related.
  4. Institutional Focus As a company, we are a Coinbase client. We love their institutional offering. It’s clear they’ve been investing a lot in this area. A recent Coinbase blog post made it clear that this has been a focus: “Over the past 12 months, Coinbase has been laser-focused on building out the types of features and services that our institutional customers need.” Their Tagomi acquisition only re-enforced this focus. Perhaps this is why their consumer product has felt so neglected. They’ve been heavily investing in their institutional services since May 2018. For a company that’s getting very close to an IPO, it makes sense that they’d focus on areas that present strong revenue opportunities — as they do with institutional clients. Even for big companies like Coinbase, it’s hard to have a split focus. If they are “laser-focused” on the institutional audience, it’s unlikely they’ll be launching any major consumer products anytime soon.

Coinbase Wrap Up

At Genesis Block, we‘re proud to be working with Coinbase. They are a fantastic company. However, I don’t believe that they’ll succeed in building their own product for the broader consumer finance market. While they have incredible design, there are no signs that they are focused on or capable of internally building this type of product.
Similar to Binance, I think it’s far more likely that Coinbase acquires a promising young startup with strong growth.

Honorable Mentions

Other US-based exchanges worth mentioning are Kraken, Gemini, and Bittrex. So far we’ve seen very few signs that any of them will aggressively attack broader consumer finance. Most are going in the way of Binance — listing more assets and adding more pro tools like margin and futures trading. And many, like Coinbase, are trying to attract more institutional customers. For example, Gemini with their custody product.

Wrap Up

Coinbase and Binance have huge war chests and massive reach. For that alone, they should always be considered threats to Genesis Block. However, their products are very, very different than the product we’re building. And their approach is very different as well. They are trying to educate and onboard people into crypto. At Genesis Block, we believe the masses shouldn’t need to know or care about it. We did an entire series about this, Spreading Crypto.
Most everyone needs banking — whether it be to borrow, spend, invest, earn interest, etc. Not everyone needs a crypto exchange. For non-crypto consumers (the mass market), the differences between a bank and a crypto exchange are immense. Companies like Binance and Coinbase make a lot of money on their crypto exchange business. It would be really difficult, gutsy, and risky for any of them to completely change their narrative, messaging, and product to focus on the broader consumer market. I don’t believe they would ever risk biting the hand that feeds them.
In summary, as it relates to a digital bank aimed at the mass market, I believe both Coinbase and Binance are much more likely to acquire a startup in this space than they are to build it themselves. And I think they would want to keep the brand/product distinct and separate from their core crypto exchange business.
So back to the original question, is Coinbase and Binance a threat to Genesis Block? Not really. Not today. But they could be, and for that, we want to stay close to them.
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Epic Cash AMA Recap with CryptoDiffer Community

CryptoDiffer team Hello, everyone! We are glad to meet here: Max Freeman (@maxfreeman4), Project Lead at Epic Cash Yoga Dude (@Yogadude), PR&Marketing at Epic Cash Xenolink (@Xenolink), Advisor at Epic Cash
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash Thanks Max, we are excited to be here!
Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash Hello Everyone! Thank you for having us here!
Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash Thank you to the CryptoDiffer team and CryptoDiffer community for hosting us!
CryptoDiffer team Let`s start from the first introduction question: Q1: Can you introduce yourself to the community? What is your background and how did you join Epic Cash?
Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash
Hello! My background is Marketing and Business Development, I’ve been in crypto since 2011 started with Bitcoin, then Monero in 2014, Ethereum in 2015 and at some point Doge for fun and profit. I joined Epic Cash team in September 2019 handling PR and Marketing.
I saw in Epic Cash what was missing in my previous cryptos — things that were missing in Bitcoin and Monero especially.
Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash
Hello Cryptodiffer Community, I am not an original co-founder nor am I a developer for the Epic Cash project. I am however a community member that is involved in helping scale this project to higher levels. One of the many beauties of Epic Cash is that every single member in the community has the opportunity to be part of EPIC’s team, it can be from development all the way to content producing. Epic Cash is a community driven project. The true Core Team of Epic Cash is our community. I believe a community that is the Core Team is truly powerful. EPIC Cash has one of the freshest and strongest communities I have seen in quite a while. Which is one of the reasons why I became involved in this project. Epic displayed some of the most self community produced content I have seen in a project. I’m actually a doctor of medicine but in terms of my experience in crypto, I have been involved in the industry since 2012 beginning with mining Litecoin. Since then I have been doing deep dive analysis on different projects, investing, and building a network in crypto that I will utilize to help connect and scale Epic in every way I can. To give some credit to those people in my network that have been a part of helping give Epic exposure, I would like to give a special thanks to u/Tetsugan and u/Saurabhblr. Tetsugan has been doing a lot of work for the Japanese community to penetrate the Japanese market, and Japan has already developed a growing interest in Epic. Daku Sarabh the owner and creator of Crypto Daku Robinhooders, I would like to thank him and his community for giving us one of our first large AMA’s, which he has supported our project early and given us a free AMA. Many more to thank but can’t be disclosed. Also thank you to all the Epic Community leaders, developers, and Content producers!
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
I’m Max Freeman, which stands for “Maximum Freedom for Mankind”. I started working on the ideas that would become Epic in 2018. I fell in love with Bitcoin in 2017 but realized that it needs privacy at the base layer, fungibility, better scalability in order to go to the next level.
CryptoDiffer team
Really interesting backgrounds I must admit, pleasure to see the team that clearly has one vision of the project by being completely decentralized:)
Q2: Can you briefly describe what is Epic Cash in 3–5 sentences? What technology stands behind Epic Cash and why it’s better than the existing one?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
I’d like to highlight the differences between Epic and the two highest-valued privacy coin projects, Monero and Zcash. XMR has always-on privacy like Epic does, but at a cost: Its blockchain is over 20x more data intensive than Epic, which limits its possibilities for scalability. Epic’s blockchain is small and light enough to run a full node on cell phones, something that is in our product road map. ZEC by comparison can’t run on low end devices because of its zero knowledge based approach, and only 1% of transactions are fully private. Epic is simply newer, more advanced technology than prior networks thanks to Mimblewimble
We will also add more algorithms to widen the range of hardware that can participate in mining. For example, cell phones and tablets based around ARM chips. Millions of people can mine Epic that can’t mine Bitcoin, and that will help grow the network rapidly.
There are some great short videos on our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQBFfksJlM97rgrplLRwNUg/videos
that explain why we believe we have created something truly special here.
Our core architecture derives from Grin, so we are fortunate to benefit on an ongoing basis from their considerable development efforts. We are focused on making our currency truly usable and widely available, beyond a store of value and becoming a true medium of exchange.
Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash
Well we all have our views, but in a nutshell, we offer things that were missing in the previous cryptos. We have sound fiscal emission schedule matching Bitcoin, but we are vastly more private and faster. Our blockchain is lighter than Bitcoin or Monero and our tech is more scalable. Also, we are unique in that we are mineable with CPUs and GPUs as well as ASICs, giving the broadest population the ability to mine Epic Cash. Plus, you can’t forget FUNGIBILITY 🙂 we are big on that — since you can’t have true privacy without fungibility.
Also, please understand, we have HUGE respect to all the cryptos that came before us, we learned a lot from them, and thanks to their mistakes we evolved.
Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash
To add on, what also makes Epic Cash unique is the ability to decentralize the mining using a tri-algo model of Random X (CPU), Progpow (GPU), and Cuckoo (ASIC) for an ability to do hybrid mining. I believe this is an issue we can see today in Bitcoin having centralized mining and the average user has a costly barrier of entry.
To follow up on this one in my opinion one of the things we adopted that we have seen success for , in example Bitcoin and Monero, is a strong community driven coin. I believe having a community driven coin will provide a more organic atmosphere especially when starting with No ICO, or Premine with a fair distribution model for everyone.
CryptoDiffer team
Q3: What are the major milestones Epic Cash has achieved so far? Maybe you can share with us some exciting plans for future weeks/months?
Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash
Since we went live in September of 2019, we attracted a very large community of users, miners, investors and contributors from across the world. Epic Cash is a very international project with white papers translated into over 30 languages. We are very much a community driven project; this is very evident from our content and the amount of translations in our white papers and in our social media content.
We are constantly working on improving our usability, security and privacy, as well as getting our message and philosophy out into the world to achieve mass adoption. We have a lot of exciting plans for our project, the plan is to make Epic Cash into something that is More than Money.
You can tell I am the Marketing guy since my message is less about the actual tech and more about the usability and use cases for Epic Cash, I think our Team and Community have a great mix of technical, practical, social and fiscal experiences. Since we opened our YouTube channels content for community submissions, we have seen our content translated into Spanish, French, German, Polish, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Russian, and other languages
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
Our future development roadmap will be published soon and includes 4 tracks:
Usability
Mining
Core Protocol
Ecosystem Development
Core Protocol
Epic Server 2.9.0 — this release improves the difficulty adjustment and is aimed at making block emission closer to the target 60 seconds, particularly reducing the incidence of extremely short and long blocks — Status: In Development (Testing) Anticipated Release: June 2020
Epic Server 3.0.0 — this completes the rebase to Grin 3.0.0 and serves as the prerequisite to some important functional building blocks for the future of the ecosystem. Specifically, sending via Tor (which eliminates the need to open ports), proof of payment (useful for certain dex applications e.g. Bisq), and our native mobile app. Status: In Development (Testing) Anticipated Release: Fall 2020
Non-Interactive Transactions — this will enhance usability by enabling “fire and forget” send-to-address functionality that users are accustomed to from most cryptocurrencies. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a
Scaling Options — when blocks start becoming full, how will we increase capacity? Two obvious options are increasing the block size, as well as a Lightning Network-style Layer 2 structure. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a
Confidential Assets — Similar to Raven, Tari, and Beam, the ability to create independently tradable assets that ride on the Epic Blockchain. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a
Usability
GUI Wallet 2.0 — Restore from seed words and various usability enhancements — Status: Needs Assessment Anticipated Release: Fall 2020
Mobile App — Native mobile experience for iOS and Android. Status: In Development (Testing) Anticipated Release: Winter 2020
Telegram Integration — Anonymous payments over the Telegram network, bot functionality for groups. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a
Mining
RandomX on ARM — Our 4th PoW algorithm, this will enable tablets, cell phones, and low power devices such as Raspberry Pi to participate in mining. Status: Needs Assessment Anticipated Release: n/a
The economics of mining Epic are extremely compelling for countries that have free or extremely cheap electricity, since anyone with an ordinary PC can mine. Individual people around the world can simply run the miner and earn meaningful money (imagine Venezuela for example), something that has not been possible since the very early days of Bitcoin.
Ecosystem Development
Atomic Swaps — Connecting Epic to other blockchains in a trustless way, starting with ETH so that Epic can trade on DeFi infrastructure such as Uniswap, Kyber, etc. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a
Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash
From the Community aspect, we have been further developing our community international reach. We have been seeing an increase in interest from South America, China, Russia, Japan, Italy, and the Philippines. We are working on targeting more countries. We truly aim to be a decentralized project that is open to everyone worldwide.
CryptoDiffer team
Great, thank you for your answers, we now can move to community questions part!
Cryptodiffer Community
You have 3 mining algorithms, the question is: how do they not compete with each other? Is there any benefit of mining on the GPU and CPU if someone is mining on the ASIC?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
The block selection is deterministic, so that every 100 blocks, 60% are for RandomX (CPU), 38% for ProgPow (GPU), and 2% for Cuckoo (ASIC) — the policy is flexible so that we can have as many algorithms with any percentages we want. The goal is to make the most decentralized and resilient network possible, and with that in mind we are excited to work on enabling tablets and cell phones to mine, since that opens it up to millions of people that otherwise can’t take part.
Cryptodiffer Community
To Run a project smoothly, Funding is very important, From where does the Funding/revenue come from?
Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash
Yes, early on this was realized and in order to scale a project funds are indeed needed. Epic Cash did not start with any funding and no ICO and was organically genesis mined with no pre-mine. Epic cash is also a nonprofit community driven project similar to Monero. There is no profit-driven entity in the picture. To overcome the revenue issue Epic Cash setup a development fund tax that decreases 1% every year until 2028 when Epic Cash reaches singularity with Bitcoin emissions. Currently it is at 7.77%. This will help support the scaling of the project.
Cryptodiffer Community
Hi! In your experience working also with MONERO can you please clarify which are those identified problems that EPIC CASH aims to develop and resolve? What’s the main advantage that EPIC CASH has over MONERO? Thank you!
Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash
First, I must admit that I am still a huge fan and HODLer of Monero. That said:
✅ our blockchain is MUCH lighter than Monero’s
✅ our transaction processing speed is much faster
✅ our address-less blockchain is more private
✅ Epic Cash can be mined with CPU (RandomX) GPU (ProgPow) and Cuckoo, whereas Monero migrated to RandomX and currently only mineable with CPU
Cryptodiffer Community
  1. the feature ‘Cut Through’ deletes old data, how is it decided which data will be deletes, and what are the consequences of it for the platform and therefore the users?
  2. On your website I see links to download Epic wallet and mining software for Linux,Windows and MacOs, I am a user of android, is there a version for me, or does it have a release date?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
  1. This is one of the most exciting features of Mimblewimble, which is its extraordinary ability to compress blockchain data. In Bitcoin, the entire history of a coin must be replayed every time it is spent, and comprehensive details are permanently stored in the blockchain. Epic discards spent transaction inputs and consolidates outputs, storing neither addresses or amounts, only a tiny kernel to allow sender and receiver to prove their transaction.
  2. The Vitex mobile app is great for today, and we have a native mobile app for iOS and Android in the works as well.
Cryptodiffer Community
$EPIC Have total Supply of 21,000,000 EPIC , is there any burning plan? Or Buyback program to maintain $EPIC price in the future?
Who is Epic Biggest competitors?
And what’s makes epic better than competitors?
Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash
We respect the older generation coins like Bitcoin. But we have learned that the supply economics of Bitcoin is very sound. Until today we can witness how the Bitcoin is being adopted institutionally and by retail. We match the 21 million BTC supply economics because it is an inelastic fixed model which makes the long-term economics very sound. To have an elastic model of burning tokens or printing tokens will not have a solid economic future. Take for example the USD which is an inflating supply. In terms of competitors we look at everyone in crypto with respect and also learn from everyone. If we had to compare to other Mimblewimble tech coins, Grin is an inelastic forever inflating supply which in the long term is not sound economics. Beam however is an inelastic model but is formed as a corporation. The fair distribution is not there because of the permanent revenue model setup for them. Epic Cash a non-profit development tax fund model for scaling purposes that will disappear by 2028’s singularity.
Cryptodiffer Community
What your plans in place for global expansion, are you focusing on only market at this time? Or focus on building and developing or getting customers and users, or partnerships?
Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash
Since we are a community project, we have many developers, in addition to the core team.
Our plans for Global expansion are simple — we have advocates in different regions addressing their audiences in their native languages. We are growing organically, by explaining our ideology and usability. The idea is to grow beyond needing a fiat bridge for crypto use, but to rather replace fiat with our borderless, private and fungible crypto so people can use it to get goods and services without using banks.
We are not limiting ourselves to one particular demographic — Epic Cash is a valid solution for the gamers, investors, techie and non techie people, and the unbanked.
Cryptodiffer Community
EPIC confidential coin! Did you have any problems with the regulators? And there will be no problems with listing on centralized exchanges?
Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash
In terms of structure, we are carefully set up to minimize these concerns. Without a company or investors in the picture, and having raised no funds, there is little scope to attack in terms of securities laws. Bitcoin and Ethereum are widely acknowledged as acceptable, and we follow in their well-established footprints in that respect. Centralized exchanges already trade other privacy coins, so we don’t see this as much of an issue either. In general, decentralized p2p exchange options are more interesting than today’s centralized platforms. They are more censorship resistant, secure, and privacy-protecting. As the technology gets better, they should continue to gain market share and that’s why we’re proud to be partnered with Vitex, whose exchange and mobile app work very well.
Cryptodiffer Community
What are the main utility and real-life usage of the #EPIC As an investor, why should we invest in the #EPIC project as a long-term investment?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
Because our blockchain is so light (only 1.16gb currently, and grows very slowly) it is naturally well suited to become a decentralized mobile money standard because people can run a full node on their phone, guaranteeing the security of their funds. Scalability in Bitcoin requires complicated and compromised workarounds such as Lightning Network and light clients, and these problems are solved in Epic.
With our forthcoming Mobile Mining app, hundreds of millions of cell phones and tablets will be able to easily join the network. People can quickly and cheaply send money to one another, fulfilling the long-envisioned promise of P2P electronic cash.
As an investor, it’s important to ask a few key questions. Bitcoin Standard tokenomics of disinflation and a fixed supply are well proven over a decade now. We follow this model exactly, with a permanently synchronized supply from 2028, and 4 emission halvings from now until then, with our first one in about two weeks. Beyond that, we can apply some simple logical tests. What is more valuable, money that can only be used in some cases (censorable Bitcoin based on a lack of fungibility) or money that can be used universally? (fungible Epic based on always-on privacy by default). Epic is also poised to be a more decentralized and therefore resilient network because of wider participation in mining. Epic is designed to be Bitcoin++ Privacy, Fungibility, Scalability
Cryptodiffer Community
Q1. What are advantages for choosing three mining algorithms RandomX+, ProgPow and CuckAToo31+ ?
Q2. Beam and Grin use MimbleWimble protocol, so what are difference for Epic? All of you will be friends for partners or competitors?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
RandomX and ProgPow are designed to use the entirety of a CPU / GPU’s unique processing capabilities in a way that other types of hardware don’t work as well. You can run RandomX on a GPU but it doesn’t work nearly as well as a much cheaper CPU, for example. Cuckoo is a “memory hard” algorithm that widens the range of companies that can produce the hardware.
Grin and Beam are great projects and we’ve learned a lot from them. We inherited our first codebase from Grin’s excellent Rust design, which is a better language for community participation than C++ that Beam currently uses.
Functionally, Mimblewimble is similar across the 3 coins, with standard Confidential Transactions, CoinJoin, Dandelion++, Schnorr Signatures and other advanced features. Grin is primarily ASIC-targeted, Beam is GPU-targeted, and Epic is multi-hardware.
The biggest differences though are in tokenomics and project structure. Grin has permanent inflation of 60 coins per block with no halvings, which means steady erosion of value over time due to new supply pressure. It also lacks a steady funding model, making future development in jeopardy, particularly as the per coin price falls. Beam has a for-profit model with heavy early inflation and a high developer tax. Epic builds on the strengths of these earlier mimblewimble projects and addresses the parts that could be improved.
Cryptodiffer Community Some privacy coin has scalability issues! How Epic cash will solve scalability issues? Why you choose randomX consensus algorithem?
Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash
Fungibility means that you can’t distinguish one unit of currency from another, in example Gold. Fungibility has recently become a hot issue as people have been noticing Bitcoins being locked up by exchanges which may of had a nefarious history which are called Tainted Coins. In example coins that have been involved in a hack, darknet market transactions, or even processing coin through a mixer. Today we can already see freshly mined Bitcoins being sold at a premium price to avoid the fungibility problem Bitcoin carries today. Bitcoin can be tracked by chainalysis and is not a fungible cryptocurrency. One of the features that Epic has is privacy with added fungibility, because of Mimblewimble technology, Epic has no addresses recorded and therefore nothing can be tracked by chainalysis. Below I provide a link of an example of what the lack of fungibility is resulting in today with Bitcoin. One of the reasons why we chose the Random X algo. is because of the easy barrier of entry and also to further decentralize the mining. Random X algo can be mined on old computers or laptops. We also have 2 other algos Progpow (GPU), and Cuckoo (ASIC) to create a wider decentralization of mining methods for Epic.
Cryptodiffer Community
I’m a newbie in crypto and blockchain so how will Epic Cash team target and educate people who don’t know about blockchain and crypto?
What is the uniqueness of Epic Cash that cannot be found in other project that´s been released so far ?
Yoga Dude Pr&Marketing at Epic Cash
Actually, while we have our white paper translated into over 30 languages, we are more focused on explaining our uses and advantages rather than cold specs. Our tech is solid, but we not get hung up on pure tech talk which most casual users do not need to or care to understand. As long as our fundamentals and tech are secure and user friendly our primary goal is to educate about use cases and market potential.
The uniqueness of Epic Cash is its amalgamation of “whats good” in other cryptos. We use Mimblewimble for privacy and anonymity. Our blockchain is much lighter than our competitors. We are the only Mimblewimble crypto to use a unique cocktail of mining algorithms allowing to be mined by casual miners with gaming rigs and laptops, while remaining friendly to GPU and CPU farmers.
The “uniqueness” is learning from the mistakes of those who came before us, we evolved and learned, which is why our privacy is better, we are faster, we are fungible, we offer diverse mining and so on. We are the best blend — thats powerful and unique
Cryptodiffer Community
Can you share EPIC’s vision for decentralized finance (DEFI)? What features do EPIC have to support DEFI?
Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash
We view Epic as ideally suited to be the decentralized digital reserve asset of the new Private Internet of Money that’s emerging. At a technology level, atomic swaps can be created to build liquidity bridges so that wrapped Epic tokens (like WBTC, WETH) can trade on other networks as ERC20, BEP2, NEP5, VIP180, Algorand and so on. There is more Bitcoin value locked on Ethereum than in Lightning Network, so we will similarly integrate Epic so that it can trade on networks such as Uniswap, Kyber, and so on.
Longer term, if there is market demand for it, thanks to Scriptless Script functionality our blockchain has, we can build “Confidential Assets” (which Raven, Tari, and Beam are all also working on) that enable people to create tokenized assets in a private way.
Cryptodiffer Community
If you could choose one celebrity to promote Epic-cash, who that would be?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
I am a firm believer that the strength of the project lies in allowing community members to become their own celebrities, if their content is good enough the community will propel them to celebrity status. Organic celebrities with small but loyal following are vastly more beneficial than big name professional shills with inflated but non caring audiences.
I remember the early days of Apple when an enthusiastic dude named Guy Kawasaki became Apple Evangelist, he was literally going around stores that sold Apple and visited user groups and Evangelized his belief in Apple. This guy became a Legend and helped Apple become what it is today.
Epic Cash will have its OWN Celebrities
Cryptodiffer Community
How does $EPIC solve scalability of transactions? Current blockchains face issues with scalability a lot, how does $EPIC creates a solution to it?
Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash
Epic Cash is utilizing Mimblewimble technology. Besides the privacy & fungibility aspect of the tech. There is the scalability features of it. It is implemented into Epic by transaction cut-through. Which means it allows nodes to remove all intermediate transactions, thus significantly reducing the blockchain size without affecting its validation. Mimblewimble also does not use addresses like a BTC address, and amount of transactions are also not recorded. One problem Monero and Bitcoin are facing now is scalability. It is evident today that data is getting more expensive and that will be a problem in the long run for those coins. Epic is 90% lighter and more scalable compared to Monero and Bitcoin.
Cryptodiffer Community
what are the ways that Epic Cash generates profits/revenue to maintain your project and what is its revenue model ? How can it make benefit win-win to both invester and your project ?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
There is a block subsidy of 7.77% that declines 1.11% per year until 0, where it stays after that. As a nonprofit community effort, this extremely modest amount goes much further than in other projects, which often take 20, 30, even 50+ % of the coin supply. We believe that this ongoing funding model best aligns the long term incentives for all participants and balances the compromises between the ends of the centralized/decentralized spectrum of choices that any project must make.
Cryptodiffer Community
Q1 : What are your major goals to archive in the next 3–4 years?
Q2 : What are your plans to expand and gain more adoption?
Yoga Dude Pr&Marketing at Epic Cash
Max already talked about our technical plans and goals in his roadmap. Allow me to talk more about the non technical 😁
We are aiming for broader reach in the non technical more mainstream community — this is a big challenge but we believe it is doable. By offering simpler ways to mine Epic Cash (with smart phones for example), and by doing more education we will achieve the holy grail of crypto — moving past the fiat bridges and getting Epic Cash to be accepted as means of payment for goods and services. We will accomplish this by working with regional advocacy groups, community interaction, off-line promotional activities and diverse social media targeting.
Cryptodiffer Community
It seems to me that EpicCash will have its first Halving, right? Why a halving so soon?
Is a mobile version feasible?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
Our supply emission catches up to that of Bitcoin’s first 19 years after 8 years in Epic, so that requires more frequent halvings. Today’s block emission is 16, next up are 8, 4, 2, and then finally 0.15625. After that, the supply of Epic and that of BTC stay synchronized until maxing out at 21m coins in 2140.
Today we have a mobile wallet through the Vitex app, a native mobile wallet coming, and are working on mobile mining.
Cryptodiffer Community
What markets will you add after that?
Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash
Well, we are aiming to have ALL markets
Epic Cash in its final iteration will be usable by everyone everywhere regardless of their technical expertise. We are not limiting ourselves to the technocrats, one of our main goals is to help the billions of unbanked. We want everyone to be able to mine, buy, and most of all USE Epic Cash — gamers, farmers, soccer moms, students, retirees, everyone really — even bankers (well once we defeat the banking industry)
We will continue building on the multilingual diversity of our global community adding support and advocacy groups in more countries in more languages.
Epic Cash is More than Money and its for Everyone.
Cryptodiffer Community
Almost, all cryptocurrencies are decentralized & no-one knows who owns that cryptocurrencies ! then also, why Privacy is needed? hats the advantages of Private coins?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
With a public transparent blockchain such as Bitcoin, you are permanently posting a detailed history of your money movements open for anyone to see (not just legitimate authorities, either!) — It would be considered crazy to post your credit card or bank statements to Twitter, but that’s what is happening every time you send a transaction that is not private. This excellent video from community contributor Spencer Lambert https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0blbfmvCq\_4 explains better than I can.
Privacy is not just for criminals, it’s for everyone. Do you want your landlord to increase the rent when he sees that you get a raise? Your insurance company to raise your healthcare costs because they see you buying too much ice cream? If you’re a business, do you want your employees to see how much money their coworkers make? Do you want your competitors to trace your supplier and customer relationships? Of course not. By privacy being default for everyone, cryptocurrency can be used in a much wider range of situations without unacceptable compromises.
Cryptodiffer Community
What are the main utility and real-life usage of the #EPIC As an investor, why should we invest in the #EPIC project as a long-term investment?
Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash
Epic Cash can be used as a Private and Fungible store of value, medium of exchange, and unit of account. As Epic Cash grows and becomes adopted it can be compared to how Bitcoin and Monero is used and adopted as well. As Epic is adopted by the masses, it can be accepted as a medium of exchange for store owners and as fungible payments without the worry of having money that is tainted. Epic Cash as a store of value may be a good long term aspect of investment to consider. Epic Cash carries an inelastic fixed supply economic model of 21 million coins. There will be 5 halvings which this month of June will be our first halving of epic. From a block reward of 16 Epic reduced to 8. If we look at BTC’s price action and history of their halvings it has been proven and show that there has been an increase in value due to the scarcity and from halvings a reduction of # of BTC’s mined per block. An inelastic supply model like Bitcoin provides proof of the circulating supply compared to the total supply by the history of it’s Price action which is evident in long term charts since the birth of Bitcoin. EPIC Plans to have 5 halvings before the year 2028 to match the emissions of Bitcoin which we call the singularity event. Below is a chart displaying our halvings model approaching singularity. Once bitcoin and cryptocurrency becomes adopted mainstream, the fungibility problem will be more noticed by the general public. Privacy coins and the features of fungibility/scalability will most likely be sought over. Right now a majority of people believe that all cryptocurrency is fungible. However, that is not true. We can already see Chainalysis confirming that they can trace and track and even for other well-known privacy coins today such as Z-Cash.
Cryptodiffer Community
  1. You aim to reach support from a global community, what are your plans to get spanish speakers involved into Epic Cash? And emerging markets like the african
  2. How am I secure I won’t be affected by receiving tainted money?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
Native speakers from our community are working to raise awareness in key markets such as mining in Argentina and Venezuela for Spanish (Roberto Navarro called Epic “the holy grail of cryptocurrency” and Ethiopia and certain North African countries that have the lowest electricity costs in the world. Remittances between USA and Latin American countries are expensive and slow, so Epic is also perfect for people to send money back home as well.
Cryptodiffer Community
Do EPICs in 2020 focus more on research and coding, or on sales and implementation?
Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash
We will definitely continue to work on research and coding, with emphasis on improved accessibility (especially via smartphones) usability, security and privacy.
In terms of financial infrastructure will continuing to add exchanges both KYC and non KYC.
Big part of our plans is in ongoing Marketing and PR outreach. The idea is to make Epic Cash a viral sensation of sorts. If we can get Epic Cash adopters to spread the word and tell their family, coworkers and friends about Epic Cash — there will be no stopping us and to help that happen we have a growing army of content creators, and supporters.
Everyone with skin in the game gets the benefit of advancing the cause.
Folks also, this isn’t an answer to the question but an example of a real-world Epic Cash content —
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtAVEqKGgqY
a challenge from one of our content creators to beat his 21 pull ups and get 100 epics! This has not been claimed yet — people need to step up 🙂 and to help that I will match another 100 Epic Cash to the first person to beat this
Cryptodiffer Community
I was watching some videos explaining how to send and receive transactions in EpicCash, which consists of ports and sending links, my question is why this is so, which, for now, looks complex?
Let’s talk about the economic model, can EpicCash comply with the concept of value reserve?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
In V3, which is coming later this summer, Epic can be sent over Tor, which eliminates this issue of port opening, even though using tools like ngrok.io, it’s not necessarily as painful as directly configuring the router ports. Early Lightning Network had this issue as well and it’s something we have a plan to address via research into non-interactive transactions. “Fire and Forget” payments to an address, as people are used to in Bitcoin, is coming to Epic and we’re excited to develop functionality that other advanced mimblewimble coins don’t yet have. We are committed to constant improvement in usability and utility, to make our money system the ease of use leader.
We are involved in the project (anyone can join the Freeman Family) because we believe that simply by choosing to use a form of money that better aligns with our ideals, that we can make a positive change in the world. Some of my thoughts about how I got involved are here: https://medium.com/epic-cash/the-freeman-family-e3b9c3b3f166
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
Huge thanks to our friends Maks and Vladyslav, we welcome everyone to come say hi at one of our friendly communities. It is extremely early in this journey, our market cap is only 0.5m right now, whereas the 3 other mimblewimble coins are at $20m, $30m and $100m respectively. Epic is a historic opportunity to follow in the footsteps of legends such as Bitcoin and Monero, and we hope to become the first Top 5 privacy coin project.
Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash
Would like to Thank the Cryptodiffer Team and the Cryptodiffer community for hosting us and also engaging with us to learn more about Epic. If anyone else has more questions and wants to know more about EPIC , can find us at our telegram channel at https://t.me/EpicCash .
Yoga Dude Pr&Marketing at Epic Cash
Thank you, CryptoDiffer Team, and this wonderful Community!!!
Cryptodiffer TEAM
Thank you everyone for taking your time and asking great questions
Thank you for your time, it was an insightful session
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Setting of the Sails - Role of Gold and Bitcoin in the FIRE Portfolio

One ship drives east and another drives west With the self-same winds that blow. ‘Tis the set of the sails And not the gales Which tells us the way to go.
Future returns are unknowable with any degree of precision. A portfolio must contend with all that future market prices and developments put before it, whilst seeking to earn the best possible return for the level of risk assumed.
This uncertainty is a core issue for portfolio design. Part of my approach to building my FIRE portfolio has been to target a small allocation to alternatives such as gold and Bitcoin to deliver reduced portfolio volatility, and improved returns. My current target allocation set earlier this year is 7.5 per cent gold and 2.5 per cent Bitcoin. This post explores the reasons for, and basis of, this approach.
Portfolio design - one wind, different directions
In designing the FIRE portfolio, the key guiding principle has been maximising the overall risk-adjusted return, whilst minimising unnecessary volatility.
The important implication of this is that it is not the performance of the individual portfolio parts that I am trying to maximise. Rather, it is the performance of all of the component parts as they interact that is of prime concern.
The objective is for the mix of all of these different holdings to play their part together to enhance portfolio returns or reduce volatility. Decisions on asset allocation - or the mix of assets held - has been repeatedly been shown in academic studies to explain around 90 per cent of the volatility of portfolio returns.
This approach is consistent with the simple guidance to diversify. Underlying it, however, are some observations of modern portfolio theory and the Capital Asset Pricing Model, that can be summarised in the following insights:
At any given time this can mean that one 'wind' will send the individual portfolio components in different directions. In short, the approach is not one that will deliver a portfolio without any losses or low returns in the set of assets held at any given time.
Asset correlation - assessing the crosswinds
The critical ingredients for the approach to be effective are assets that do not move together - that is, uncorrelated assets. A traditional example used in portfolio design are equities and bonds, which have over time often tended to move in opposite directions (e.g. be inversely correlated) in many markets. This is the basis for traditional investment guidance to include greater bond holdings to dampen the volatility of equities.
Gold has tended to have a low correlation to other asset classes. An example of the effects of this on equity portfolios is described in this research paper (pdf) - from the World Gold Council - which found that adding gold holdings to an all equity portfolio both lowered the volatility of returns and increased total returns over the 1968-1996 period (see p.47 and Figure 4.6). The academic evidence for the low correlation of gold to equity returns is, in fact, strong over multiple periods.
Moreover, this diversification benefit appears when most needed. As this recent paper in the International Review of Financial Analysis notes:
…we think that a review of the results from earlier papers on this issue, coupled with our findings, points to the fact that gold is always a hedge or, at worst, always an excellent diversifier of portfolio risk. Gold’s usefulness in managing risk does not disappear in a crisis when the prices of the vast majority of assets tend to be perfectly correlated. (He, 2018)
That is, gold seems to generally hold up as providing non-correlated returns, even when extreme market conditions prevail. Globally, central banks - including Australia's Reserve Bank - also seem to recognise this characteristic. It is in part why central banks collectively own around 17 per cent of gold currently above ground.
Setting the level of gold exposure - competing evidence
There is considerable discussion and debate on the right level of gold holdings to maximise the diversification benefit, and few definitive answers.
The optimum level will vary under most estimation approaches, which inevitably are based on models that build on historical observed relationships and correlations. These correlations themselves vary over time and between markets and countries.
An original study by Jaffe for institutional portfolio managers recommended a 10 per cent allocation against a basket of international equities. Additional studies (pdf) by other authors have recommended 9.5 per cent, and between 0.1 per cent to 12 per cent depending on which country the investor is in. As an example, the country-specific weights typically fell within 3 to 8 per cent for developed countries.
More complex methods than classical mean variance analysis, which take into account the positive skew of gold returns, produce different results again. A 2006 study which examined 1988-2003 data recommended a holding of 4-6 per cent under classical portfolio optimisation approaches, but a lower figure of 2-4 per cent taking return 'skewness' into account.
Diversification and Bitcoin - looking at the record
My purchase of Bitcoin began as an exploration of a new financial technology driven by curiosity. The present question is, however, does it deliver any additional diversification benefits beyond gold holdings?
Conceptually, Bitcoin can be said to share some characteristics with gold that might be expected to reduce any diversification benefit. They both represent highly liquid assets that when held personally are no other parties liability. They are not issued by central banks or other monetary authorities, and they can be transferred. So is there a case for holding just one or the other?
The tentative answer is that despite some conceptual similarities, they do appear to behave differently.
So far, in the decade between July 2009 and February 2019, Bitcoin has shown a low positive correlation to gold (see In Gold We Trust (pdf), p.245). This is consistent with my own observations in my portfolio in the last three and a half year period, with a low correlation of 0.1 over the entire period in the chart below.
[Chart]
On its face it appears Bitcoin may well be a useful complementary alternative holding, offering diversification benefits distinct from other combinations of holdings.
Unlike gold, there is not a clear empirical or academic basis for setting a 'right' level of exposure to Bitcoin. The recent In Gold We Trust report (pdf) discusses and analyses one possible approach - a 70/30 split between gold and Bitcoin, indicating that this delivered similar maximum drawdowns to a gold only portfolio, but with higher returns. Yet this finding is only a function of the extraordinary positive returns from Bitcoin to date, and may not be repeated.
Trade-offs, risks and limits of exposure to alternatives
There are acknowledged trade-offs and risks to investing in alternatives such as gold and Bitcoin.
First, they produce no income or cashflow. Their return is based entirely on capital gains. This is often cited as a definitive proof that they do not represent part of any proper investment portfolio.
Yet, as a part of a portfolio, alternatives can reduce the absolute volatility of the capital value of the portfolio, and - historically in the case of gold, can also increase overall returns. Given final capital value and returns over time are critical inputs into FI, these characteristics are relevant and worth considering.
A potentially stronger objection is that while alternatives may have been useful in the past, they cannot be guaranteed to be so in the future.
That is, the correlations and diversification benefit that has been observed, may disappear. This is entirely possible, and ultimately unknowable. The diversification benefits of gold have a far longer history. Its roles in industry, manufacturing and jewellery would seem likely to continue to guarantee that at any given time there will be some minimum demand for gold, and a relationship between its price and other asset prices that is not perfectly correlated.
For Bitcoin, the same cannot be said. There are many plausible scenarios in which Bitcoin's value declines, it falls in usage, and becomes the equivalent of niche digital collectible with little residual value.
The disappearance or long-term reversal of 'known truths' in finance is not impossible. There are significant periods in capital markets in which bonds outperformed equities, negative yielding debt has moved from something previously unobserved, to a commonplace across many world bond markets. By some measures, global interest rates are at 5 000 year lows. Few developments should be dismissed as inconceivable looking forward.
This suggests that any analysis based on historical trends should be relied on with modest expectations around its accuracy. Yet importantly, this applies not just to speculation around the role and benefits of alternatives. It also applies to traditional investment classes, such as equities or bonds.
For example, the continuation of a positive equity premium for Australia, or any other nation, is not foreordained. Australia's comparatively high equity returns are in fact an anomaly looking across developed countries (see Table 2 and 3, here (pdf)). There are no particularly strong reasons to suggest this will necessarily continue.
Set of the sails - applying the evidence to a FIRE portfolio
The role of gold and Bitcoin are primarily as non-correlated financial instruments for diversification, and as an insurance against extreme capital market events. No actual positive return is assumed for either asset. The evidence discussed above leads me to the following conclusions, for my personal circumstances and risk tolerance.
The alternatives target allocation set earlier this year is 7.5 per cent gold and 2.5 per cent Bitcoin. As of July 2019, a strict reading of these targets suggests I need to moderately lift my exposure to gold, and sell approximately 75 per cent of my Bitcoin holding.
I currently plan to do neither of these things. This is because:
So the sails are set, and the wind will come. These settings allow me to feel that whatever direction they happen to blow, there is the best chance possible based on evidence that they will help in the journey that remains.
The post, source citations and full charts can be viewed here.
Disclaimer: This article does not provide advice and is not a recommendations to invest in either gold, Bitcoin or any alternative assets. It's sole purpose is to provide an explanation of why - in my personal circumstances - I have chosen this exposure.
submitted by thefiexpl to fiaustralia [link] [comments]

SQ. I compiled information, with sources, so you don't have to.

SQ. I compiled information, with sources, so you don't have to.

Financials

Q1 2019 Shareholder Letter
Q1 2019 Highlights
  • Total net revenue $959 million, +43% YoY.
  • Adjusted revenue $489 million, +59% YoY.
  • Adjusted EBITDA $62 million, +72% YoY.
  • Net income (loss) per share ($0.09), -50% YoY. (Due to investment in Eventbrite, not including Eventbrite net income (loss) per share was ($0.06), 0% YoY)
  • Adjusted net income per share $0.11, +83% improvement YoY.
Q2 2019 Guidance
  • Total net revenue $1.09B to $1.11B
  • Adjusted Revenue $545M to $555M
  • Adjusted EBITDA $90M to $94M
  • Net income (loss) per share $(0.07) to $(0.05)
  • Adjusted EPS (diluted) $0.14 to $0.16
Q4 2018 Shareholder Letter
Q4 2018 Highlights
  • Total net revenue $933 million, +51% YoY.
  • Adjusted revenue $464 million, +64% YoY.
  • Adjusted EBITDA $81 million, +97% YoY.
  • Net loss per share ($0.07), -75% YoY. (Due to investment in Eventbrite, excluding Eventbrite net loss per share was ($0.03), +33% YoY.)
  • Adjusted EPS $0.14, +75% YoY.
Q1 2019 Guidance
  • Total net revenue $918M to $938M
  • Adjusted Revenue $472M to $482M
  • Adjusted EBITDA $47M to $51M
  • Net income (loss) per share $(0.12) to $(0.10)
  • Adjusted EPS (diluted) $0.06 to $0.08

News

Square Quietly Launches Program For CBD Cannabis Company Credit Card Processing | May 22 2019
Companies that sell cannabis products—even those consisting of CBD derived from hemp, which was legalized in the U.S. through the Farm Bill late last year—are continuing to have trouble accessing basic financial services that are available to businesses in other sectors. That includes being able to maintain bank accounts and process their customers' credit cards. “Square is currently conducting an invite-only beta for some CBD products,” a spokesperson for the company said in an email. When asked about the reasons for the launching the new program, which comes after years of refusing to work with CBD companies, the spokesperson said that the company closely watches evolving public policies and strives to create new opportunities for clients.
Square Spends $20 to Acquire Each New Cash App User | May 16, 2019
Square's (NYSE: SQ) Cash App has grown to become a meaningful contributor to the company's top-line growth. The peer-to-peer payments app turned financial multitool is the No. 1 driver of its subscription and services segment, management said at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference. During that conference, CFO Amrita Ahuja noted the company's per-customer acquisition cost for Cash App is about $20. That's actually quite low relative to other financial services, and even compared to other apps.
Square’s AI Platform Could Transform SQ Stock | May 13, 2019
Eloquent Labs is the developer of Elle, which can converse intelligently with a customer through a conventional online-chat platform without any human input from the service provider. While resolving complex customer-service needs remain currently out of reach, Elle can easily handle simpler-but-distracting tasks like returns and product-tracking.
Square teams up with Postmates for delivery partnership | May 9, 2019
Through the arrangement, Square SQ, sellers will be able to use Postmates couriers to get goods to customers who call up to place orders or visit a store. Merchants will be able to integrate Postmates with their existing Square point-of-sale systems.
Square's Bitcoin Platform Remains Surprisingly Profitable | May 7, 2019
Square's bitcoin revenue accounted for 6.8% of its net revenue during the first quarter, compared to 5.1% in the prior year quarter. However, Square's bitcoin profits only accounted for about 0.2% of its gross profit during the quarter, versus less than 0.1% a year earlier. Square's bitcoin business won't move the needle anytime soon, but its top and bottom line growth is impressive, especially since bitcoin shed roughly 40% of its value over the past 12 months. If bitcoin's price rises again and it attracts more buyers, Square's bitcoin revenue and gross profits could surge much higher.
Instead of viewing Square's bitcoin platform as a separate business, investors should see it as part of the company's long-term plan to lock users into its Cash App. Cash is one of the top peer-to-peer payment apps in the U.S. alongside PayPal's (NASDAQ: PYPL) Venmo and the bank-based Zelle, and it's still growing rapidly. Last quarter Square stated that its Cash App payment volume rose nearly 2.5 times annually. For comparison, PayPal stated that Venmo's payment volume rose 73% annually in its most recent quarter.
How Square's Cash App Makes Money (SQ) | May 6, 2019
Square makes money from Cash App by charging businesses transaction fees for using its software. For a 1.5% transaction fee, individual users can expedite deposits to have them transferred immediately into their bank accounts instead of waiting the standard deposit time. They can also send personal payments from credit cards for a 3% transaction fee.
Village Financial Cooperative partners with Square to bring tech and education to the North Side | Apr 18, 2019
Minnesota’s first black-led credit union is partnering with Square to bring financial education and technology to North Minneapolis. Village Financial Cooperative announced the partnership with the San Francisco-based financial technology company on Thursday. In a statement, the credit union made the case that its mission to empower the black community required it to be at the forefront of financial technology, shaping products and practices. Me’lea Connelly, the credit union’s vision and strategy lead, said the partnership, which includes the city of Minneapolis, was a year in the making. It will officially launch April 27 during “Village Squared: A Black Economic Empowerment Symposium,” one of the events closing out Minneapolis Tech Month.
Square (SQ) to Open New Office, Expand Presence in Seattle | April 11, 2019
Square Inc. SQ recently signed a lease to buy a property in Seattle, in view of opening a new office therein. The office is expected to accommodate approximately 100 workers. We believe that the developments will enable it to carry on with new growth initiatives.
Why Square Is Hiring Cryptocurrency Experts | April 3, 2019
Square (SQ) has announced a plan to hire several cryptocurrency experts. Square’s crypto team will work on an open-source initiative as part of the company’s contribution to the development of a cryptocurrency ecosystem. Although Square says the crypto team it’s planning to create won’t focus on its commercial interests, the company still stands to benefit if the team’s efforts lead to the broader uptake of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Square operates a cryptocurrency exchange that allows users of its Cash App to buy and sell Bitcoin. In the fourth quarter, Square’s Bitcoin business generated $52.4 million in revenue, up from $43 million in the third quarter. Square is already making a small profit from its Bitcoin business even though the overall business is still seeing losses.
Where Does Square Rank in the Food Ordering Market? | April 3, 2019
Caviar is among America’s top five food ordering services. Square (SQ) runs an online food ordering and delivery business called Caviar. Through the Caviar app, people can order food from more than 3,000 restaurants across the United States and have food delivered to their doorsteps. According to the latest rankings of on-demand food delivery services, Square’s Caviar is one of America’s top online food ordering and delivery providers, but it’s currently holding on to a tiny share of the market.
Square Partners with Washington Nationals to Enable Order-Ahead and In-Seat Card Payments at D.C.’s Nationals Park | March 27, 2019
Square has partnered with the Nationals to create a concession stand that offers the only skip-the-line, order-ahead experience in the ballpark, powered by Caviar Pickup. Fans who open the Caviar app from their seats will be able to order their concessions in advance – including beer and wine for fans 21 and over – and receive an alert when their food is ready to be picked up. The stand will feature food from exclusive Caviar restaurant partners, featured in a rotating series of pop-ups throughout the season. On Opening Day, fans will be able to enjoy Hong Kong-style Chinese food from Tiger Fork, with future food options including biscuits from Mason Dixie and ramen from Toki Underground. Square Terminal, the handheld, all-in-one payment processing hardware device, will also be piloted by roving concessions hawkers at Nationals Park. Square Terminal will allow fans to pay using credit cards or contactless payments like Apple Pay or Google Pay as they purchase food and beverage items from the comfort of their seats. With Square’s point of sale and employee management software built right into Square Terminal, it’s easy for hawkers to quickly accept payments. Square Terminal will help fans who don’t carry cash, and will speed transaction times as hawkers spend less time counting change and more time making sales.
Square introduces invoice app; brings Stand to Japan | Mar. 26, 2019
App allows sellers to create, manage, and send invoices using mobile devices. “With the Square Invoices app, small business owners are able to get paid remotely and access their funds quickly and securely," says Alyssa Henry, seller lead at Square. Separately, in Japan, Square introduces Stand for iPad and its reader for contactless and chip.
Square Expands Omnichannel Offerings with New Square Online Store and a Revamped Square for Retail | March 20, 2019
The new Square Online Store allows sellers to grow their business in person and online, with a professional eCommerce website and integrated tools including Instagram selling, shipping, in-store pickup, and more. The new product also brings the Square Online Store experience to restaurants, allowing sellers to offer seamless online ordering from their website, customized pickup times across multiple locations, and the option to easily pay ahead for online orders. Square for Retail, the point-of-sale app optimized specifically for retailers, has also been completely redesigned with expanded product features. For the first time, business owners who also want to sell online can easily create a professional website and automatically connect their Square for Retail catalog to their Square Online Store, allowing them to sync their items, inventory, prices, and data instantly across online and offline channels. Sellers that use Square for Retail and Square Online Store can also enable their customers to easily shop online and pick up their purchases in store, a feature typically only available to larger retailers. Finally, the Retail point-of-sale app has been redesigned to make managing online orders alongside a brick-and-mortar store quick and intuitive.

Leadership

Jack Dorsey - CEO - $2.75
Jack is CEO and Chairman of Square, CEO of Twitter, and cofounder of both.
Amrita Ahuja - CFO -
Amrita is Square’s Chief Financial Officer. She was previously CFO of Blizzard Entertainment, a division of Activision Blizzard, and held various leadership positions at Fox Networks Group, the Walt Disney Company, and Morgan Stanley.
Kevin Burke - Marketing and Sales Lead
Kevin oversees Square marketing, sales, and partnerships, as well as international markets. Prior to joining Square, Kevin was CMO at Visa Inc.
Jesse Dorogusker - Hardware Lead
Jesse leads hardware product development at Square, including design, cross-functional engineering, manufacturing, and operations. Prior to Square, Jesse was the Director of Engineering for Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod Accessories business.
Brian Grassadonia - Cash App Lead
Brian leads Cash App, the fastest and easiest way to pay individuals or businesses. Brian has held a number of leadership positions at Square including helping to launch the company’s flagship credit card reader.
Alyssa Henry - Seller Lead - $3,870,481
Alyssa leads product management, design, and engineering for Square’s seller facing products including payments, point of sale, Customer Engagement, and Payroll. She previously served as VP of Amazon Web Services (AWS) Storage Services and Product Unit Manager for Microsoft SQL Server Data Access.
Sam Quigley - Risk and Security Lead
Sam leads engineering, product management, and data science for risk and information security. As an early engineering leader at Square, Sam helped to build and scale many of Square’s products.
Gokul Rajaram - Caviar Lead
Gokul oversees Caviar, Square’s growing food ordering service. Prior to Square, he served as Product Director of Ads at Facebook and Product Management Director for Google AdSense.
Jacqueline Reses - Square Capital Lead - $3,972,968
Jackie leads Square Capital, overseeing credit products that provide sellers with access to the funding they need to grow and consumers with the ability to pay for purchases over time. She previously served as Yahoo’s Chief Development Officer and was on the Board of Directors at Alibaba Group. She also serves on the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Economic Advisory Council.
Sivan Whiteley - General Counsel - $2,796,591
Sivan oversees Square’s legal, regulatory, compliance, and security operations. A longtime leader of Square’s legal team, she previously held positions at Better Place, eBay, and Bingham McCutchen.
Aaron Zamost - Communications, Policy and People Lead
Aaron leads Square’s communications, government relations, and community affairs efforts, as well as human resources and talent. Prior to joining Square, Aaron led business communications at YouTube and managed corporate communications at Google.

Technical analysis

Descending triangle
Daily Chart
Weekly chart

Institutions

May 16 2019 Buckingham reiterated a buy rating with a $100 price target.
May 2 2019 Needham reiterated a buy rating and lowered their price target from $95 to $90.
May 2 2019 Guggenheim reiterated a buy rating and raised their price target from $92 to $94.
April 9 2019 KeyBanc Capital reiterated an outperform rating with a $100 price target.
April 3 2019 Bernstein initiated a market perform rating with an $80 price target.
March 28 2019 Instinet reiterated a buy rating with a $105 price target.
March 27 2019 Macquarie initiated an outperform rating with a $94 price target.
March 25 2019 RBC Capital reiterated an outperform rating with an $88 price target.
February 27 2019 Canaccord Genuity reiterated a buy rating with an $88 price target.
Vanguard, Blackrock, Jennison, Fidelity, Morgan Stanley, State Street, Allianz, and Goldman Sachs are the largest institutional holders of SQ respectively, collectively making up over 25% of ownership.
submitted by nikolabs to RobinHood [link] [comments]

Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential

/////Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential/////

Marketing.
It's a dirty word for most members of the Monero community.
It is also one of the most divisive words in the Monero community. Yet, the lack of marketing is one of the most frustrating things for many newcomers.
This is what makes this an unusual post from a member of the Monero community.
This post is an unabashed and unsolicited analyzation of why I believe Monero to have great potential.
Below I have attempted to outline different reasons why Monero has great potential, beginning with upcoming developments and use cases, to broader economic motives, speculation, and key issues for it to overcome.
I encourage you to discuss and criticise my musings, commenting below if you feel necessary to do so.

///Upcoming Developments///

Bulletproofs - A Reduction in Transaction Sizes and Fees
Since the introduction of Ring Confidential Transactions (Ring CT), transaction amounts have been hidden in Monero, albeit at the cost of increased transaction fees and sizes. In order to mitigate this issue, Bulletproofs will soon be added to reduce both fees and transaction size by 80% to 90%. This is great news for those transacting smaller USD amounts as people commonly complained Monero's fees were too high! Not any longer though! More information can be found here. Bulletproofs are already working on the Monero testnet, and developers were aiming to introduce them in March 2018, however it could be delayed in order to ensure everything is tried and tested.
Multisig
Multisig has recently been merged! Mulitsig, also called multisignature, is the requirement for a transaction to have two or more signatures before it can be executed. Multisig transactions and addresses are indistinguishable from normal transactions and addresses in Monero, and provide more security than single-signature transactions. It is believed this will lead to additional marketplaces and exchanges to supporting Monero.
Kovri
Kovri is an implementation of the Invisible Internet Project (I2P) network. Kovri uses both garlic encryption and garlic routing to create a private, protected overlay-network across the internet. This overlay-network provides users with the ability to effectively hide their geographical location and internet IP address. The good news is Kovri is under heavy development and will be available soon. Unlike other coins' false privacy claims, Kovri is a game changer as it will further elevate Monero as the king of privacy.
Mobile Wallets
There is already a working Android Wallet called Monerujo available in the Google Play Store. X Wallet is an IOS mobile wallet. One of the X Wallet developers recently announced they are very, very close to being listed in the Apple App Store, however are having some issues with getting it approved. The official Monero IOS and Android wallets, along with the MyMonero IOS and Android wallets, are also almost ready to be released, and can be expected very soon.
Hardware Wallets
Hardware wallets are currently being developed and nearing completion. Because Monero is based on the CryptoNote protocol, it means it requires unique development in order to allow hardware wallet integration. The Ledger Nano S will be adding Monero support by the end of Q1 2018. There is a recent update here too. Even better, for the first time ever in cryptocurrency history, the Monero community banded together to fund the development of an exclusive Monero Hardware Wallet, and will be available in Q2 2018, costing only about $20! In addition, the CEO of Trezor has offered a 10BTC bounty to whoever can provide the software to allow Monero integration. Someone can be seen to already be working on that here.
TAILS Operating System Integration
Monero is in the progress of being packaged in order for it to be integrated into TAILS and ready to use upon install. TAILS is the operating system popularised by Edward Snowden and is commonly used by those requiring privacy such as journalists wanting to protect themselves and sources, human-right defenders organizing in repressive contexts, citizens facing national emergencies, domestic violence survivors escaping from their abusers, and consequently, darknet market users.
In the meantime, for those users who wish to use TAILS with Monero, u/Electric_sheep01 has provided Sheep's Noob guide to Monero GUI in Tails 3.2, which is a step-by-step guide with screenshots explaining how to setup Monero in TAILS, and is very easy to follow.
Mandatory Hardforks
Unlike other coins, Monero receives a protocol upgrade every 6 months in March and September. Think of it as a Consensus Protocol Update. Monero's hard forks ensure quality development takes place, while preventing political or ideological issues from hindering progress. When a hardfork occurs, you simply download and use the new daemon version, and your existing wallet files and copy of the blockchain remain compatible. This reddit post provides more information.
Dynamic fees
Many cryptocurrencies have an arbitrary block size limit. Although Monero has a limit, it is adaptive based on the past 100 blocks. Similarly, fees change based on transaction volume. As more transactions are processed on the Monero network, the block size limit slowly increases and the fees slowly decrease. The opposite effect also holds true. This means that the more transactions that take place, the cheaper the fees!
Tail Emission and Inflation
There will be around 18.4 million Monero mined at the end of May 2022. However, tail emission will kick in after that which is 0.6 XMR, so it has no fixed limit. Gundamlancer explains that Monero's "main emission curve will issue about 18.4 million coins to be mined in approximately 8 years. (more precisely 18.132 Million coins by ca. end of May 2022) After that, a constant "tail emission" of 0.6 XMR per 2-minutes block (modified from initially equivalent 0.3 XMR per 1-minute block) will create a sub-1% perpetual inflatio starting with 0.87% yearly inflation around May 2022) to prevent the lack of incentives for miners once a currency is not mineable anymore.
Monero Research Lab
Monero has a group of anonymous/pseudo-anonymous university academics actively researching, developing, and publishing academic papers in order to improve Monero. See here and here. The Monero Research Lab are acquainted with other members of cryptocurrency academic community to ensure when new research or technology is uncovered, it can be reviewed and decided upon whether it would be beneficial to Monero. This ensures Monero will always remain a leading cryptocurrency. A recent end of 2017 update from a MRL researcher can be found here.

///Monero's Technology - Rising Above The Rest///

Monero Has Already Proven Itself To Be Private, Secure, Untraceable, and Trustless
Monero is the only private, untraceable, trustless, secure and fungible cryptocurrency. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are TRACEABLE through the use of blockchain analytics, and has lead to the prosecution of numerous individuals, such as the alleged Alphabay administrator Alexandre Cazes. In the Forfeiture Complaint which detailed the asset seizure of Alexandre Cazes, the anonymity capabilities of Monero were self-demonstrated by the following statement of the officials after the AlphaBay shutdown: "In total, from CAZES' wallets and computer agents took control of approximately $8,800,000 in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero and Zcash, broken down as follows: 1,605.0503851 Bitcoin, 8,309.271639 Ethereum, 3,691.98 Zcash, and an unknown amount of Monero".
Privacy CANNOT BE OPTIONAL and must be at a PROTOCOL LEVEL. With Monero, privacy is mandatory, so that everyone gets the benefits of privacy without any transactions standing out as suspicious. This is the reason Darknet Market places are moving to Monero, and will never use Verge, Zcash, Dash, Pivx, Sumo, Spectre, Hush or any other coins that lack good privacy. Peter Todd (who was involved in the Zcash trusted setup ceremony) recently reiterated his concerns of optional privacy after Jeffrey Quesnelle published his recent paper stating 31.5% of Zcash transactions may be traceable, and that only ~1% of the transactions are pure privacy transactions (i.e., z -> z transactions). When the attempted private transactions stand out like a sore thumb there is no privacy, hence why privacy cannot be optional. In addition, in order for a cryptocurrency to truly be private, it must not be controlled by a centralised body, such as a company or organisation, because it opens it up to government control and restrictions. This is no joke, but Zcash is supported by DARPA and the Israeli government!.
Monero provides a stark contrast compared to other supposed privacy coins, in that Monero does not have a rich list! With all other coins, you can view wallet balances on the blockexplorers. You can view Monero's non-existent rich list here to see for yourself.
I will reiterate here that Monero is TRUSTLESS. You don't need to rely on anyone else to protect your privacy, or worry about others colluding to learn more about you. No one can censor your transaction or decide to intervene. Monero is immutable, unlike Zcash, in which the lead developer Zooko publicly tweeted the possibility of providing a backdoor for authorities to trace transactions. To Zcash's demise, Zooko famously tweeted:
" And by the way, I think we can successfully make Zcash too traceable for criminals like WannaCry, but still completely private & fungible. …"
Ethereum's track record of immutability is also poor. Ethereum was supposed to be an immutable blockchain ledger, however after the DAO hack this proved to not be the case. A 2016 article on Saintly Law summarised the problematic nature of Ethereum's leadership and blockchain intervention:
" Many ethereum and blockchain advocates believe that the intervention was the wrong move to make in this situation. Smart contracts are meant to be self-executing, immutable and free from disturbance by organisations and intermediaries. Yet the building block of all smart contracts, the code, is inherently imperfect. This means that the technology is vulnerable to the same malicious hackers that are targeting businesses and governments. It is also clear that the large scale intervention after the DAO hack could not and would not likely be taken in smaller transactions, as they greatly undermine the viability of the cryptocurrency and the technology."
Monero provides Fungibility and Privacy in a Cashless World
As outlined on GetMonero.org, fungibility is the property of a currency whereby two units can be substituted in place of one another. Fungibility means that two units of a currency can be mutually substituted and the substituted currency is equal to another unit of the same size. For example, two $10 bills can be exchanged and they are functionally identical to any other $10 bill in circulation (although $10 bills have unique ID numbers and are therefore not completely fungible). Gold is probably a closer example of true fungibility, where any 1 oz. of gold of the same grade is worth the same as another 1 oz. of gold. Monero is fungible due to the nature of the currency which provides no way to link transactions together nor trace the history of any particular XMR. 1 XMR is functionally identical to any other 1 XMR. Fungibility is an advantage Monero has over Bitcoin and almost every other cryptocurrency, due to the privacy inherent in the Monero blockchain and the permanently traceable nature of the Bitcoin blockchain. With Bitcoin, any BTC can be tracked by anyone back to its creation coinbase transaction. Therefore, if a coin has been used for an illegal purpose in the past, this history will be contained in the blockchain in perpetuity.
A great example of Bitcoin's lack of fungibility was reposted by u/ViolentlyPeaceful:
"Imagine you sell cupcakes and receive Bitcoin as payment. It turns out that someone who owned that Bitcoin before you was involved in criminal activity. Now you are worried that you have become a suspect in a criminal case, because the movement of funds to you is a matter of public record. You are also worried that certain Bitcoins that you thought you owned will be considered ‘tainted’ and that others will refuse to accept them as payment."
This lack of fungibility means that certain businesses will be obligated to avoid accepting BTC that have been previously used for purposes which are illegal, or simply run afoul of their Terms of Service. Currently some large Bitcoin companies are blocking, suspending, or closing accounts that have received Bitcoin used in online gambling or other purposes deemed unsavory by said companies. Monero has been built specifically to address the problem of traceability and non-fungibility inherent in other cryptocurrencies. By having completely private transactions Monero is truly fungible and there can be no blacklisting of certain XMR, while at the same time providing all the benefits of a secure, decentralized, permanent blockchain.
The world is moving cashless. Fact. The ramifications of this are enormous as we move into a cashless world in which transactions will be tracked and there is a potential for data to be used by third parties for adverse purposes. While most new cryptocurrency investors speculate upon vaporware ICO tokens in the hope of generating wealth, Monero provides salvation for those in which financial privacy is paramount. Too often people equate Monero's features with criminal endeavors. Privacy is not a crime, and is necessary for good money. Transparency in Monero is possible OFF-CHAIN, which offers greater transparency and flexibility. For example, a Monero user may share their Private View Key with their accountant for tax purposes.
Monero aims to be adopted by more than just those with nefarious use cases. For example, if you lived in an oppressive religious regime and wanted to buy a certain item, using Monero would allow you to exchange value privately and across borders if needed. Another example is that if everybody can see how much cryptocurrency you have in your wallet, then a certain service might decide to charge you more, and bad actors could even use knowledge of your wallet balance to target you for extortion purposes. For example, a Russian cryptocurrency blogger was recently beaten and robbed of $425k. This is why FUNGIBILITY IS ESSENTIAL. To summarise this in a nutshell:
"A lack of fungibility means that when sending or receiving funds, if the other person personally knows you during a transaction, or can get any sort of information on you, or if you provide a residential address for shipping etc. – you could quite potentially have them use this against you for personal gain"
For those that wish to seek more information about why Monero is a superior form of money, read The Merits of Monero: Why Monero Vs Bitcoin over on the Monero.how website.
Monero's Humble Origins
Something that still rings true today despite the great influx of money into cryptocurrencies was outlined in Nick Tomaino's early 2016 opinion piece. The author claimed that "one of the most interesting aspects of Monero is that the project has gained traction without a crowd sale pre-launch, without VC funding and any company or well-known investors and without a pre-mine. Like Bitcoin in the early days, Monero has been a purely grassroots movement that was bootstrapped by the creator and adopted organically without any institutional buy-in. The creator and most of the core developers serve the community pseudonymously and the project was launched on a message board (similar to the way Bitcoin was launched on an email newsletter)."
The Organic Growth of the Monero Community
The Monero community over at monero is exponentially growing. You can view the Monero reddit metrics here and see that the Monero subreddit currently gains more than 10,000 (yes, ten thousand!) new subscribers every 10 days! Compare this to most of the other coins out there, and it proves to be one of the only projects with real organic growth. In addition to this, the community subreddits are specifically divided to ensure the main subreddit remains unbiased, tech focused, with no shilling or hype. All trading talk is designated to xmrtrader, and all memes at moonero.
Forum Funding System
While most contributors have gratefully volunteered their time to the project, Monero also has a Forum Funding System in which money is donated by community members to ensure it attracts and retains the brightest minds and most skilled developers. Unlike ICOs and other cryptocurrencies, Monero never had a premine, and does not have a developer tax. If ANYONE requires funding for a Monero related project, then they can simply request funding from the community, and if the community sees it as beneficial, they will donate. Types of projects range from Monero funding for local meet ups, to paying developers for their work.
Monero For Goods, Services, and Market Places
There is a growing number of online goods and services that you can now pay for with Monero. Globee is a service that allows online merchants to accept payments through credit cards and a host of cryptocurrencies, while being settled in Bitcoin, Monero or fiat currency. Merchants can reach a wider variety of customers, while not needing to invest in additional hardware to run cryptocurrency wallets or accept the current instability of the cryptocurrency market. Globee uses all of the open source API's that BitPay does making integrations much easier!
Project Coral Reef is a service which allows you to shop and pay for popular music band products and services using Monero.
Linux, Veracrypt, and a whole array of VPNs now accept Monero.
There is a new Monero only marketplace called Annularis currently being developed which has been created for those who value financial privacy and economic freedom, and there are rumours Open Bazaar is likely to support Monero once Multisig is implemented.
In addition, Monero is also supported by The Living Room of Satoshi so you can pay bills or credit cards directly using Monero.
Monero can be found on a growing number of cryptocurrency exchange services such as Bittrex, Poloniex, Cryptopia, Shapeshift, Changelly, Bitfinex, Kraken, Bisq, Tux, and many others.
For those wishing to purchase Monero anonymously, there are services such as LocalMonero.co and Moneroforcash.com.
With XMR.TO you can pay Bitcoin addresses directly with Monero. There are no other fees than the miner ones. All user records are purged after 48 hours. XMR.TO has also been added as an embedded feature into the Monerujo android wallet.
Coinhive Browser-Based Mining
Unlike Bitcoin, Monero can be mined using CPUs and GPUs. Not only does this encourage decentralisation, it also opens the door to browser based mining. Enter side of stage, Coinhive browser-based mining. As described by Hon Lau on the Symnatec Blog Browser-based mining, as its name suggests, is a method of cryptocurrency mining that happens inside a browser and is implemented using Javascript. Coinhive is marketed as an alternative to browser ad revenue. The motivation behind this is simple: users pay for the content indirectly by coin mining when they visit the site and website owners don't have to bother users with sites laden with ads, trackers, and all the associated paraphern. This is great, provided that the websites are transparent with site visitors and notify users of the mining that will be taking place, or better still, offer users a way to opt in, although this hasn't always been the case thus far.
Skepticism Sunday
The main Monero subreddit has weekly Skepticism Sundays which was created with the purpose of installing "a culture of being scientific, skeptical, and rational". This is used to have open, critical discussions about monero as a technology, it's economics, and so on.

///Speculation///

Major Investors And Crypto Figureheads Are Interested
Ari Paul is the co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital. He was previously a portfolio manager for the University of Chicago's $8 billion endowment, and a derivatives market maker and proprietary trader for Susquehanna International Group. Paul was interviewed on CNBC on the 26th of December and when asked what was his favourite coin was, he stated "One that has real fundamental value besides from Bitcoin is Monero" and said it has "very strong engineering". In addition, when he was asked if that was the one used by criminals, he replied "Everything is used by criminals including the US dollar and the Euro". Paul later supported these claims on Twitter, recommending only Bitcoin and Monero as long-term investments.
There are reports that "Roger Ver, earlier known as 'Bitcoin Jesus' for his evangelical support of the Bitcoin during its early years, said his investment in Monero is 'substantial' and his biggest in any virtual currency since Bitcoin.
Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, has publicly stated his appreciation of Monero. In a September 2017 tweet directed to Edward Snowden explaining why Monero is superior to Zcash, Charlie Lee tweeted:
All private transactions, More tested privacy tech, No tax on miners to pay investors, No high inflation... better investment.
John McAfee, arguably cryptocurrency's most controversial character at the moment, has publicly supported Monero numerous times over the last twelve months(before he started shilling ICOs), and has even claimed it will overtake Bitcoin.
Playboy instagram celebrity Dan Bilzerian is a Monero investor, with 15% of his portfolio made up of Monero.
Finally, while he may not be considered a major investor or figurehead, Erik Finman, a young early Bitcoin investor and multimillionaire, recently appeared in a CNBC Crypto video interview, explaining why he isn't entirely sold on Bitcoin anymore, and expresses his interest in Monero, stating:
"Monero is a really good one. Monero is an incredible currency, it's completely private."
There is a common belief that most of the money in cryptocurrency is still chasing the quick pump and dumps, however as the market matures, more money will flow into legitimate projects such as Monero. Monero's organic growth in price is evidence smart money is aware of Monero and gradually filtering in.
The Bitcoin Flaw
A relatively unknown blogger named CryptoIzzy posted three poignant pieces regarding Monero and its place in the world. The Bitcoin Flaw: Monero Rising provides an intellectual comparison of Monero to other cryptocurrencies, and Valuing Cryptocurrencies: An Approach outlines methods of valuing different coins.
CryptoIzzy's most recent blog published only yesterday titled Monero Valuation - Update and Refocus is a highly recommended read. It touches on why Monero is much more than just a coin for the Darknet Markets, and provides a calculated future price of Monero.
CryptoIzzy also published The Power of Money: A Case for Bitcoin, which is an exploration of our monetary system, and the impact decentralised cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero will have on the world. In the epilogue the author also provides a positive and detailed future valuation based on empirical evidence. CryptoIzzy predicts Monero to easily progress well into the four figure range.
Monero Has a Relatively Small Marketcap
Recently we have witnessed many newcomers to cryptocurrency neglecting to take into account coins' marketcap and circulating supply, blindly throwing money at coins under $5 with inflated marketcaps and large circulating supplies, and then believing it's possible for them to reach $100 because someone posted about it on Facebook or Reddit.
Compared to other cryptocurrencies, Monero still has a low marketcap, which means there is great potential for the price to multiply. At the time of writing, according to CoinMarketCap, Monero's marketcap is only a little over $5 billion, with a circulating supply of 15.6 million Monero, at a price of $322 per coin.
For this reason, I would argue that this is evidence Monero is grossly undervalued. Just a few billion dollars of new money invested in Monero can cause significant price increases. Monero's marketcap only needs to increase to ~$16 billion and the price will triple to over $1000. If Monero's marketcap simply reached ~$35 billion (just over half of Ripple's $55 billion marketcap), Monero's price will increase 600% to over $2000 per coin.
Another way of looking at this is Monero's marketcap only requires ~$30 billion of new investor money to see the price per Monero reach $2000, while for Ethereum to reach $2000, Ethereum's marketcap requires a whopping ~$100 billion of new investor money.
Technical Analysis
There are numerous Monero technical analysts, however none more eerily on point than the crowd-pleasing Ero23. Ero23's charts and analysis can be found on Trading View. Ero23 gained notoriety for his long-term Bitcoin bull chart published in February, which is still in play today. Head over to his Trading View page to see his chart: Monero's dwindling supply. $10k in 2019 scenario, in which Ero23 predicts Monero to reach $10,000 in 2019. There is also this chart which appears to be freakishly accurate and is tracking along perfectly today.
Coinbase Rumours
Over the past 12 months there have been ongoing rumours that Monero will be one of the next cryptocurrencies to be added to Coinbase. In January 2017, Monero Core team member Riccardo 'Fluffypony' Spagni presented a talk at Coinbase HQ. In addition, in November 2017 GDAX announced the GDAX Digit Asset Framework outlining specific parameters cryptocurrencies must meet in order to be added to the exchange. There is speculation that when Monero has numerous mobile and hardware wallets available, and multisig is working, then it will be added. This would enable public accessibility to Monero to increase dramatically as Coinbase had in excess of 13 million users as of December, and is only going to grow as demand for cryptocurrencies increases. Many users argue that due to KYC/AML regulations, Coinbase will never be able to add Monero, however the Kraken exchange already operates in the US and has XMfiat pairs, so this is unlikely to be the reason Coinbase is yet to implement XMfiat trading.
Monero Is Not an ICO Scam
It is likely most of the ICOs which newcomers invest in, hoping to get rich quick, won't even be in the Top 100 cryptocurrencies next year. A large portion are most likely to be pumps and dumps, and we have already seen numerous instances of ICO exit scams. Once an ICO raises millions of dollars, the developers or CEO of the company have little incentive to bother rolling out their product or service when they can just cash out and leave. The majority of people who create a company to provide a service or product, do so in order to generate wealth. Unless these developers and CEOs are committed and believed in their product or service, it's likely that the funds raised during the ICO will far exceed any revenue generated from real world use cases.
Monero is a Working Currency, Today
Monero is a working currency, here today.
The majority of so called cryptocurrencies that exist today are not true currencies, and do not aim to be. They are a token of exchange. They are like a share in a start-up company hoping to use blockchain technology to succeed in business. A crypto-assest is a more accurate name for coins such as Ethereum, Neo, Cardano, Vechain, etc.
Monero isn't just a vaporware ICO token that promises to provide a blockchain service in the future. It is not a platform for apps. It is not a pump and dump coin.
Monero is the only coin with all the necessary properties to be called true money.
Monero is private internet money.
Some even describe Monero as an online Swiss Bank Account or Bitcoin 2.0, and it is here to continue on from Bitcoin's legacy.
Monero is alleviating the public from the grips of banks, and protests the monetary system forced upon us.
Monero only achieved this because it is the heart and soul, and blood, sweat, and tears of the contributors to this project. Monero supporters are passionate, and Monero has gotten to where it is today thanks to its contributors and users.

///Key Issues for Monero to Overcome///

Scalability
While Bulletproofs are soon to be implemented in order to improve Monero's transaction sizes and fees, scalability is an issue for Monero that is continuously being assessed by Monero's researchers and developers to find the most appropriate solution. Ricardo 'Fluffypony' Spagni recently appeared on CNBC's Crypto Trader, and when asked whether Monero is scalable as it stands today, Spagni stated that presently, Monero's on-chain scaling is horrible and transactions are larger than Bitcoin's (because of Monero's privacy features), so side-chain scaling may be more efficient. Spagni elaborated that the Monero team is, and will always be, looking for solutions to an array of different on-chain and off-chain scaling options, such as developing a Mimblewimble side-chain, exploring the possibility of Lightning Network so atomic swaps can be performed, and Tumblebit.
In a post on the Monero subreddit from roughly a month ago, monero moderator u/dEBRUYNE_1 supports Spagni's statements. dEBRUYNE_1 clarifies the issue of scalability:
"In Bitcoin, the main chain is constrained and fees are ludicrous. This results in users being pushed to second layer stuff (e.g. sidechains, lightning network). Users do not have optionality in Bitcoin. In Monero, the goal is to make the main-chain accessible to everyone by keeping fees reasonable. We want users to have optionality, i.e., let them choose whether they'd like to use the main chain or second layer stuff. We don't want to take that optionality away from them."
When the Spagni CNBC video was recently linked to the Monero subreddit, it was met with lengthy debate and discussion from both users and developers. u/ferretinjapan summarised the issue explaining:
"Monero has all the mechanisms it needs to find the balance between transaction load, and offsetting the costs of miner infrastructure/profits, while making sure the network is useful for users. But like the interviewer said, the question is directed at "right now", and Fluffys right to a certain extent, Monero's transactions are huge, and compromises in blockchain security will help facilitate less burdensome transactional activity in the future. But to compare Monero to Bitcoin's transaction sizes is somewhat silly as Bitcoin is nowhere near as useful as monero, and utility will facilitate infrastructure building that may eventually utterly dwarf Bitcoin. And to equate scaling based on a node being run on a desktop being the only option for what classifies as "scalable" is also an incredibly narrow interpretation of the network being able to scale, or not. Given the extremely narrow definition of scaling people love to (incorrectly) use, I consider that a pretty crap question to put to Fluffy in the first place, but... ¯_(ツ)_/¯"
u/xmrusher also contributed to the discussion, comparing Bitcoin to Monero using this analogous description:
"While John is much heavier than Henry, he's still able to run faster, because, unlike Henry, he didn't chop off his own legs just so the local wheelchair manufacturer can make money. While Morono has much larger transactions then Bitcoin, it still scales better, because, unlike Bitcoin, it hasn't limited itself to a cripplingly tiny blocksize just to allow Blockstream to make money."
Setting up a wallet can still be time consuming
It's time consuming and can be somewhat difficult for new cryptocurrency users to set up their own wallet using the GUI wallet or the Command Line Wallet. In order to strengthen and further decentralize the Monero network, users are encouraged to run a full node for their wallet, however this can be an issue because it can take up to 24-48 hours for some users depending on their hard-drive and internet speeds. To mitigate this issue, users can run a remote node, meaning they can remotely connect their wallet to another node in order to perform transactions, and in the meantime continue to sync the daemon so in the future they can then use their own node.
For users that do run into wallet setup issues, or any other problems for that matter, there is an extremely helpful troubleshooting thread on the Monero subreddit which can be found here. And not only that, unlike some other cryptocurrency subreddits, if you ask a question, there is always a friendly community member who will happily assist you. Monero.how is a fantastic resource too!
Despite still being difficult to use, the user-base and price may increase dramatically once it is easier to use. In addition, others believe that when hardware wallets are available more users will shift to Monero.

///Conclusion///

I actually still feel a little shameful for promoting Monero here, but feel a sense of duty to do so.
Monero is transitioning into an unstoppable altruistic beast. This year offers the implementation of many great developments, accompanied by the likelihood of a dramatic increase in price.
I request you discuss this post, point out any errors I have made, or any information I may have neglected to include. Also, if you believe in the Monero project, I encourage you to join your local Facebook or Reddit cryptocurrency group and spread the word of Monero. You could even link this post there to bring awareness to new cryptocurrency users and investors.
I will leave you with an old on-going joke within the Monero community - Don't buy Monero - unless you have a use case for it of course :-) Just think to yourself though - Do I have a use case for Monero in our unpredictable Huxleyan society? Hint: The answer is ?
Edit: Added in the Tail Emission section, and noted Dan Bilzerian as a Monero investor. Also added information regarding the XMR.TO payment service. Added info about hardfork
submitted by johnfoss69 to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

We're Going Down To A Market Cap of ~$420bn (Volumetric Observations)

This is a very basic take from a volumetric analysis of Bitcoin. Data dates back from yesterday, but today's confirms this prediction.
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT FINANCIAL ADVICE. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. THIS IS JUST ME SHARING MY OWN. Hopefully to kill some of the unnecessary FUD out here.
I'll go briefly over the following points:
  1. How we call this prediction for BTC.
  2. Extrapolation to global market cap and other cryptos.
  3. What it means for the crypto space.
  4. Why this information should help you.
Note: I'm not a native english speaker so please forgive in advance any approximation in terminology. Hopefully you can correct my words rather than criticize (assume it's logically correct but using the wrong words, before bashing. I'll humbly accept any criticism too, the point is to discuss.)

1. Volumetric Analysis

Observe this chart, especially the horizontal volume bars on the right, relating to pricing: https://i.imgur.com/ePOS4Ag.png
(Source: Trader of Futures, Published on Jan 29, 2018 on YouTube, link at the bottom. You can watch the video if you want more details about volumetric charts).
Most people look at Technical Analysis from a price standpoint (candles, etc), but this is more backward-looking than forward. In essence it shows what has happened, not what is about to happen.
From a volume standpoint though, you can effectively characterize two very important aspects of a given value:
You can see very clearly that BTC is dull right now over January (horizontally), there's not much incentive to upset the current (downward) trend. Down moves are strong, comparatively to consolidations (horizontal/up moves).
You can also identify the following support levels:
Notice how the volume is much bigger below 8.4k than it is above: this is strong sign that many people are comfortable buying below 8.4k, indicating that there are little chances we go below (everything will be bought). This is currently the strongest next support level for BTC.
Notice also how it's much, much bigger below $5k: reasonably we can assume that BTC cannot move lower. If we break the 5k barrier, it will be bought almost instantly in the $4k-$5k range.
It's all intuition and sentiment, but given the current situation of cryptos (see 3. below), it is very likely that we will go down to 8.4k. It is also very likely that we'll pick back up after that.
Currently, there is resistance around $12k. To break above that level, we'd need volume (horizontally, a push up with enough weight). We'll see how it goes once this bear phase becomes bull again. It's hard to know when the shift back up will happen, but I'd expect in February, and breaking past $12k in March or so.

2. Extrapolation to global market cap and other cryptos (top 25)

Based on prices from yesterday, a dip to $8.44k for BTC would be about 0.85 its price when I took the values (9913 at the time).
It seems that the market is vastly correlated to BTC globally, so if we simply assume a linear move for the market globally, here's what we can expect:
https://i.imgur.com/nJb5Uiw.png
In blue, a 0.85 dip. In pink, a 0.51 dip down to $5k-ish.
Again, it's very likely we will hit the blue values. It's possible, although rather unlikely we'll hit the pink ones.
For any value that's not in this chart, just multiply your coin's current value ×0.85 to get a feel of how much lower it will likely go.
For a more thorough price prediction, we should look at volumes (in pricing, Y-axis) of each cryptocurrency. I don't have time to do that, but you can and would therefore identify the proper support levels for each coin. I assumed here that it's overall "about good enough" to get a feel.

3. The crypto space right now

This is the most subjective part of this post so I'll just echo general sentiment.

Some people have a clear interest for cryptos to go down temporarily

Now that the crypto market has been somewhat legitimized, more and more people want in. They're not willing to buy at ATH obviously, so many are waiting. Others already in are taking profits as they see/saw this bear coming. It's all normal and a factual expectation of any market soaring high, then pausing a bit before going much higher if the underlying fundamentals are good.
The crypto scene right now is a bit of both, good and bad fundamentals (from the tech which is good but mostly beta/alpha, to the use-cases and general legal environment which is uncertain for now and therefore more on the bad sides of things, until such time we clear these unknowns).
Basically, whales are now waiting for the right time to enter. This is our $8.4k support level, as long as there's no major event to upset it (war, stock market crash, basically any macroeconomic bomb).

The somewhat official Bitcoin (BTC) is currently falling out of favor

Versus other cryptos, BTC dominance over the market went from 66% to 33% in a month. It's a huge loss of dominance that it's very unlikely to recover. Many people are already predicting that Ethereum (ETH) will soon take it over.
People also realized that BTC was no more viable as a "peer-to-peer electronic cash system" (words taken from Satoshi Nakamoto in the white paper) and that many other cryptos could be valid candidate. The space is in tremendous innovation, it's a really before-early-adopter phase right now.
Internally regarding Bitcoin itself, there is also much controversy due to forks over fundamental disagreements (namely Bitcoin Cash BHC) and a questionable new direction taken by self-proclaimed official caretakers of BTC (namely "Blockstream").
This is the reason for the feud between Bitcoin (BTC) and btc (BCH). I won't go into it here, but let's just say that overall it's a bit of shitshow that doesn't reflect good upon any bitcoin fork right now, and that appearances can be very, very deceiving, willingly or not from their respective promoters. Personally, I've been flabbergasted at what I've discovered, and I'm pretty sure it will be a big bomb if it ever reaches the attention of major media (it probably won't though).
Basically, BTC is falling out of favor fast from the general public, and this is causing the general crypto market as a whole to pause, reflect, and probably evolve, but that's never as smooth as it seems.
My personal prediction is that the top 3 coins a year from now may possibly not include any bitcoin(s).

Tether, Bitgrail, Bitconnect: time to do some cleaning

These are just examples of FUD-inducing events (some would say with good reasons!) that keep nagging this space with pains that keep it volatile and uncertain.
It's not clear at all when the crypto market will become suitable enough for the real mainstream to enter, not even questioning its use cases for now. But there are thresholds in security, trust, compliance that we have yet to pass with flying colors.
Again, this is causing more uncertainty. Since it's very hard to pinpoint the exact reasons for a surge up or a fall down in value of crypto-values, market actors are taking a stance back before making their bigger moves. Ergo, wait, see what's what.

South Korea, China and the USA are to make big legal moves

We don't know yet what will the legal situation be 6 months from now. What's sure is that official authorities have taken a big deep look at cryptos now, and Asia is by far the biggest investor especially in the mainstream. We're nowhere near that level in the west, although the importance of the USA in the global economy amplifies its decisions from a media standpoint.
Europe is also making moves, although as usually these days, it's a bit of an old dwarf versus Asia and America; its rather conservative population is unlikely to make massive moves (a notable exception is Switzerland for its relative independence from the EU).
This is again more general uncertainty, especially in Korea and China, that begs investors to wait a bit before they move. Hence, the bear is making its run. Big money, the kind that has a clear interest for a lower price, isn't doing anything to stop that trend (see first point).

Big, real, good projects take time

If you look at the development roadmaps and expectations from big projects team members (ETH, NEO...), you'll see that they expect to meet certain very important milestones (notably in scaling) by 2019 or even 2020. We're not there yet for general mainstream VISA-threatening adoption, guys. We still have A LOT of work to do.
Did I already mention that this market needs time?

4. What this information all means for you, how does this help?

Obviously the most important parts were 1. and 2. regarding your investments.
You now have a clearer picture of where we're going, most likely. You can anticipate how much your values will drop if they keep going down. So you can now arm yourself with patience, knowing that it is to be expected.
A bear market sometimes makes casualties, in the form of values (coins, companies, entire sectors...) that had no solid-enough grounds. There are bankruptcies, some teams/projects get bought. Others earn their legitimacy, too.
Don't panic. Just rationalize your investments:
  • Are the projects you support solid? It's not about being big (top 25) or small (in the high hundreds on CMC...), it's about being good, realistic, solving problems. It's about having people that can deliver on their objectives (track record, experience, behavior with other actors and on social media). I have more confidence in some rank 1,000-ish cryptos in my portfolio than some top 25.
  • How deep are their pockets? Dedicated their team? Can they withstand a month or even year-long bear market? Can they keep the payroll going until there's money coming in, i.e. a valid product? How timely is their product versus the chances of adoption? (this is why I insisted on making part 3. above).
You can't necessarily know the real answer to all these questions unless you're an insider, but some projects are better than others at making these unknowns known. Trust your intuition. If something feels off to you, it probably is to some degree. Question is, how comfortable are you supporting them with your own money?

Final words

Expect the dip to continue.

Until you see a market cap of ~420 billions, it's just the natural continuation of current volumes. It's OK, you already know (now...) what it means in terms of numbers in your portfolio. You wouldn't be here in the first place if you weren't ready for dips in-between highs.
If we break below that, sub-$400bn, then chances are we'll be heading for a 50%-ish dip, down to ~250bn. It's OK, too. Don't panic sell. Just be brutally honest with yourself before that, to let go of projects that you don't really believe in (moonshots ICOs and over-hyped coins), remain confident as ever in the ones you trust to see the light eventually.
This is a long term game, we're before early adoption in terms of tech.
There will be many such dips before we get there.
But we'll get there, eventually. That's what we all believe. And we have solid grounds for that belief, it's not faith, it's an educated guess based on how this world and business works.

If you want to double in (buy more), look at volumes to get a general bearing on your favorites.

Look at volumes on your coins. On the general market. Look how big people are moving, not just how high/low a given value is moving (it could be very low volumes and mean not much, if anything at all).
Don't be the sucker that only looks at candles. Spoiler: good traders don't really care for candles. Price analysis. TA. This is all just a reflection of the past. Volume is where it's at to anticipate moves, and you can only mix that with experience and intuition for the market. That's what investing on markets means.
You should never invest in something you don't understand, in a company or project you can't judge for yourself. For instance I understand tech, so I'm comfortable investing in Silicon Valley tech companies. But I know shit about retail even though I read Sam Walton's and Jeff Bezos biography. So I don't invest in those. If you invest in crypto, you should at least know a bit about crypto-tech itself, and you should know about the industry your particular projects are targeting.
None of this post is financial advice (I'm not qualified for that). But this is my only investing advice for you: know what these guys you're giving money to are doing. Be able to have an opinion about their goals, how it fits in the real world.
That's it, peeps. Already long enough I guess.
I'm hoping some nice fellow redditor can make a guide to volumetric analysis on tradingview.com or something.
Have a great day.
Link to the video that inspired me to make this post: https://youtu.be/DMFK6_gA_H4

EDIT: QUICK UPDATE 2018-02-02 10:44 UTC

We're now standing right above the support level for [email protected]$8.4K-ish (Y-axis volume profile). So far this estimation seems to be about right. [disclaimer: it's not just me, several people called this a month ago, I'm actually late to this party.]
  • Answering comments about graph analysis of any kind:
Remember, it's not only graph analysis: a good part of guesstimating markets is just that, guessing, based on intuition/sentiment/experience, whatever you call it. The news do matter, so do the fundamentals (the tech, the target market/sector's readiness for adoption of products (aka S-curve), the legal environment, etc.). Part 3 in this post is mostly why I drew such conclusions from the volume profile, and why I ultimately felt we were going down (and could still go lower). This doesn't change my general feeling that cryptos are here to stay and will be a major part of the economy in the 2020's. Nonetheless, volume profile is a strong indicator of future performance, unless major event —extrinsic (e.g. global crash/war etc.) or intrinsic (e.g. bad fork, legal issues, etc.), for a period about as long as the retracing (here, 4 months, so whatever you infer from these charts above could only go as far as April or so). I feel the market is too new and volatile to infer much further from graphs, after that it's only sentiment.
  • Back to our chart:
We broke below the average growth line from early October (white line + "!" on this graph). I don't think it's very significant, but some people would, so I included it. Notice we only have 2 strong lows to draw this, one (middle) is weak-ish.
There's a big buy wall underneath our current $8.4K support level, so chances are we'll rebound. If we do break below however, we're headed towards the yellow arrow/line ($5K, $250bn market cap or lower if other cryptos keep falling below BTC, and they very well might in average if this is a sanitizing event —which is very much needed for the sanity of this space, imho). Looking at the overall ordered volumes (horizontally), the current fall isn't very much sustained however, about average, indicating a dull movement upset only by previous volume profiles as we speak. An influx of good news could reverse it. Otherwise... brace yourselves.
Edit 2018-02-02 23:30 UTC: the market seems to have stabilized around $410 bn.
Edit 2018-02-07 13:05 UTC: We've hit a low of $270~280 bn, BTC tried the $6K level but bounced. News from the USA seems to have a positive effect, possible recovery ongoing (it's an integral part of the way we read these charts today). Volumes are stronger than ever on this rising trend. We may still see a bigger dip or two but general trend imho looks to be upwards.
We are currently testing a resistance level around $8500 for BTC. (Next one above is 12K-ish and then there's no foreseeable bound. Below we sit above a direct fall to $5.5K).
Edit 2018-02-09 01:50 UTC: We're not in the clear yet, imho. The sentiment is still bearish. There are signs of bulls waiting to come in but we're testing a rather strong resistance level kicking off around $8,400. Below the current $8K price, we do have to confirm or find a floor before we bull back up (last support on Feb 6th was at $6K, history shows a support level around 5,400 (from Nov 12) but volume profile suggests we could test slightly below, $5K support from mid Oct).
I am still observing this market before making another post. I'm about half confident that we're seeing the last bears.
Right now I don't have anything else to say to you other than what I'm personally doing: I'm holding, not buying this dip just yet; waiting to see a second confirmation of the support level in the $5K~6.5K range (i.e. support level). I want to make a most educated decision in the aftermath of this crash. I plan to buy in just after the bull market resumes, once I've had several (at least two) possible confirmations (might be RSI, might be volumes, might be some news/sentiment, might be just a textbook 'W' too).
On the way up, regardless of when it happens, we still have to retest several resistance levels: $12.2K, 13K, 14.6K. BTC is very uncomfortable for some reason around $12K, so I expect turmoil in these areas.
Here's my non-professional advice for crucial times: don't be too hasty. Don't panic over 20% when your end game is 200% or ten times that. Don't fear of missing out by a day or even a week when you're in for years... Many (educated) people still believe $30K~40K for BTC by year's end to be a rather conservative estimate. I concur. So who gives a f--k about $2K more or less now? ; )
Edit 2018-02-12 20:20 UTC:
This time, the volume profile I outlined 11 days ago was rather spot on.
I'm still observing the market honestly, we're in a bit of a horizontal move right now. We did stretch almost to $250bn in the dip, but it seems $420bn really is/was the consolidation average box. It's hard to predict which way it's gonna break out in the short term. (for more info, see "Bitraged" videos on YouTube, they really nail it in their current videos, lots of educational value too; I really like their channel).
What's sure is that, everyday we spend at this market cap is all the more ground to "validate" this $420bn value; in other words as we accumulate historical volume at this level, it means that the crypto market really is worth it (increasingly certainly not less). That's a reassuring sign imho.
I think the real consolidation will happen later this year, probably at a higher market cap, when "good" coins/projects start siphoning the "bad" ones. Big finance involvement (and their many audits, reports, evaluations, etc. destined to their major customers) will sort out the market hopefully more rationally than it is today. I expect this to slowly be reflected on rankings like CMC.
Regarding Q2-Q3, there are increasingly many more signs that the future looks bright overall. However I'm thinking that the involvement of big financial institutions (FI) will likely result in much more regulation and therefore the death of many not-so-fantastic projects/coins, and some exchanges as well. I hope this will truly be the year of decentralized exchanges, so that we have an alternative to big FI's exchanges (I personally would use both, for different purposes).
Personally I'm regrouping my assets around projects I really really trust, those with a promising basis and already established demand (e.g. fiat-to-crypto gates, or crypto management solutions for the mainstream), while planning on investing in some hot-shot ICOs during Q1.
Thanks again for all your comments and pms, I very much appreciate the discussion.
submitted by ikkei to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

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