Bitcoin Investment Sites 2020: How to Invest in Bitcoin [NEW]

UK-Listed Firm Mode Putting up to 10% of Cash Reserves Into Bitcoin

Mode Global Holdings PLC, a London Stock Exchange-listed company, has announced plans to make a “significant purchase” of bitcoin as part of its treasury investment strategy.
https://www.coindesk.com/uk-listed-firm-mode-putting-10-of-cash-reserves-into-bitcoin?amp=1&__twitter_impression=true
submitted by zrixes to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Fidelity’s Chief Strategist starts Bitcoin Index Fund with $100K minimum buy-in

https://www.coindesk.com/fidelitys-chief-strategist-starts-bitcoin-index-fund
Some key points:
"Wise Origin Bitcoin Index Fund I, LP" has a $100,000 minimum buy-in and a high-ranking executive officer to boot: Peter Jubber, head of strategy and planning for the increasingly crypto-friendly investments giant Fidelity.
Disclosed in a Wednesday morning filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the fund is the latest example of Wall Street veterans warming up to bitcoin. Fidelity, one of the largest mutual fund firms in the U.S., is also leading the Street in bitcoin research and services.
Wise Origin links back to Fidelity Investments via Jubber and Fidelity's brokerage service and distribution subsidiaries, both of which are set to receive sales compensation from the new fund. It also shares a Boston office building with Fidelity.
submitted by Tiaan to investing [link] [comments]

$1,000 invested in Top 10 Cryptos of 2019 now worth $1,260 (UP +26%)

$1,000 invested in Top 10 Cryptos of 2019 now worth $1,260 (UP +26%)
EXPERIMENT - Tracking Top 10 Cryptos of 2019 - Month Eighteen - UP +26%
See the full blog post with all the tables here.
tl;dr - Tether (as it's designed to do) holds its ground, all others finish the month in negative territory. Tron finishes June in second place, down -2%. BSV loses nearly 25% of value in June. Overall, since January 2019, BTC in lead, ETH takes over second place, XRP still worst performing. The 2019 Top 10 is up +26% almost equal to the the gains of the S&P 500 over the same time period (+24%).

Month Eighteen – UP 26%

Not a great month for the 2019 Top Ten
After a strong April and a mixed May, June was bloody for the 2019 Top Ten Cryptos. Stablecoin Tether was the only crypto to hold its ground, as it was designed to do.

Question of the month:

According to a June article citing unnamed sources, which two FinTech companies are planning to allow their users to buy and sell crypto directly?

A) Paypal and Venmo B) Square and Cashapp C) Robinhood and Revolut D) Sofi and Coinbase
Scroll down for the answer.

Ranking and June Winners and Losers

XRP and Stellar slipped one place each in the rankings in June, now at #4 and #14 respectively. EOS fell two spots to #11 and joins Stellar and Tron as the only three cryptos to have dropped out of the 2019 Top Ten since January 1st, 2019. They have been replaced by Binance Coin, Cardano, and newcomer CRO.
Tether was the only crypto to move up in rank in June.
Not a good sign when Tether is the only crypto to move up.
Not a good sign when Tether enters the Top 3.
June WinnersTether. Second comes Tron, which basically held its ground at -2%.
June LosersBSV lost -23% of its value in June making it the worst performing of the 2019 Top Ten portfolio. EOS had a rough month as well, down -17%, dropping two spots in the rankings, and falling out of the Top Ten.
If you’re keeping score, here is tally of which coins have the most monthly wins and loses during the first 18 months of the 2019 Top Ten Experiment: Tether is still in the lead with six monthly victories followed by BSV in second place with three. BSV also holds the most monthly losses, finishing last in seven out of eighteen months. The only crypto not to win a month so far? XRP. (In fairness, XRP has also not lost any month yet).

Overall update – BTC in lead, ETH takes over second place, XRP still worst performing

BTC is out front for the second straight month and ETH has taken over second place from BSV. Ahead until April, BSV has simply not keep up with the pack over the last two months. Bitcoin is up +144% since January 2019. The initial $100 investment in BTC is currently worth $249.
Eighteen months in, 50% of the 2019 Top Ten cryptos are in the green since the beginning of the experiment. The other five cryptos are either flat or in negative territory, including last place XRP (down -50% since January 2019).

Total Market Cap for the entire cryptocurrency sector:

The crypto market as a whole is down about $20B in June, but still up +106% since January 2019.

Bitcoin dominance:

BitDom finally wobbled in June, but not by much – it’s been in a very familiar zone for months now, indicating a lack of excitement (or at least a low risk tolerance) for altcoins. Taking a wider view, the Bitcoin Dominance range since the beginning of the experiment in January 2019 has ranged between 50%-70%.

Overall return on investment since January 1st, 2019:

The 2019 Top Ten Portfolio lost almost $175 in June. After the initial $1000 investment, the 2019 group of Top Ten cryptos is worth $1,259. That’s up about +26%.
Here’s a look at the ROI over the life of the first 18 months of the 2019 Top Ten Index Fund experiment, month by month:
18 months of ROI, mostly green
Unlike the completely red table you’ll see in the 2018 Top Ten Experiment, the 2019 crypto table is almost all green. The first month was the lowest point (-9%), and the highest point (+114%) was May 2019.
How does the 2019 Top Ten Index Fund Portfolio compare to the parallel projects?
Taking the three portfolios together, here’s the bottom bottom bottom line:
After a $3000 investment in the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Top Ten Cryptocurrencies, the combined portfolios are worth $2,710‬.
That’s down about -10% for the three combined portfolios. Last month that figure was +4%. Better than a few months ago (aka the zombie apocalypse) where it was down -24%, but not yet back at January (+13%) or February (+6%) levels.
Here’s a new table to help visualize the progress of the combined portfolios:
ROI of all three combined portfolios - not exactly inspiring
How do crypto returns compare to traditional markets?

Comparison to S&P 500:

Good thing I’m tracking the S&P 500 as part of my experiment to have a comparison point with other popular investments options. Even with unemployment, protests, and COVID, the US market continued to rebound in June. It’s now up +24% in the last 18 months.
The initial $1k investment I put into crypto would be worth $1,240 had it been redirected to the S&P 500 in January 2019.
As a reminder (or just scroll up) the 2019 Top Ten portfolio is returning +26% over last 18 months, just about equal to the return of the S&P 500 over the same time period. Just last month the ROI of the 2019 Top Ten crypto portfolio was nearly double the S&P 500 since January 1st, 2019.
But what if I took the same world’s-slowest-dollar-cost-averaging/$1,000-per-year-in-January approach with the S&P 500? It would yield the following:
  • $1000 investment in S&P 500 on January 1st, 2018: +$170
  • $1000 investment in S&P 500 on January 1st, 2019: +$240
  • $1000 investment in S&P 500 on January 1st, 2020: -$40
Taken together, here’s the bottom bottom bottom line for a similar approach with the S&P:
After three $1,000 investments into an S&P 500 index fund in January 2018, 2019, and 2020, my portfolio would be worth $3,370.
That $3,370 is up over+12% since January 2018, compared to the $2,710 value (-10%) of the combined Top Ten Crypto Experiment Portfolios. Here’s another new table that compares the ROI of the combined crypto portfolios to a hypothetical similar approach with the S&P 500:
We see in June the largest difference in favor of the S&P since the beginning of 2020: a 22% gap. Compare that February, when there was only a 1% difference in ROI.

Implications/Observations:

Since January 2019, the crypto market as a whole has gained +106% compared to the 2019 Top Ten Crypto Portfolio which has gained +26%. That’s an 80% gap.
At this point in the 2019 Experiment, an investor would have done much better picking different cryptos or investing in the entire market instead of focusing only on the 2019 Top Ten. Over the course of the first 18 months of tracking the 2019 Top Ten, there have been instances this was a winning strategy, but the cases have been few and far between.
The 2018 Top Ten portfolio, on the other hand, has never outperformed the overall market, at least not in the first thirty months of that Experiment.
And for the most recent 2020 Top Ten group? The opposite had been true: the 2020 Top Ten had easily outperformed the overall market 100% of the time…up until the last two months.

Conclusion:

As the world continues to battle COVID, traditional markets seem to be recovering. Will crypto make a significant move in the second half of 2020?
Final word: Stay safe and take care of each other.
Thanks for reading and for supporting the experiment. I hope you’ve found it helpful. I continue to be committed to seeing this process through and reporting along the way. Feel free to reach out with any questions and stay tuned for progress reports. Keep an eye out for the original 2018 Top Ten Crypto Index Fund Experiment and the recently launched 2020 Top Ten Experiment.

And the Answer is…

A) Paypal and Venmo
According to a Coindesk report in June, three sources familiar with the matter say that Paypal and Paypal-owned Venmo are planning to allow their users to buy and sell crypto. Paypal has declined to comment.
submitted by Joe-M-4 to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Les géants boursiers achètent des millions de dollars de bitcoins – La preuve d’un avenir radieux, selon JP Morgan

L’arrivée des grandes entreprises et des fonds institutionnels dans la cryptosphère est un véritable game changer. Ce sont des analystes de la méga-banque JP Morgan qui l’affirment, tout en prédisant un avenir radieux pour Bitcoin (BTC).

Le bitcoin a « beaucoup de potentiel »

Les achats massifs de bitcoins par MicroStrategy et Square ne sont pas passés inaperçus dans la communauté crypto, mais d’autres observateurs les ont également remarqués.
En effet, la multinationale bancaire JP Morgan Chase & Co. a bien repéré ce possible tournant, qui pourrait annoncer une très attendue vague d’investissements institutionnels dans les crypto-actifs.
Selon un récent rapport des analystes de JP Morgan, cité par le média crypto CoinDesk, ces rachats constituent un « fort vote de confiance pour l’avenir du bitcoin ».
La grande banque considère ainsi que cette décision soutient les prix du BTC et pourrait également entraîner d’autres achats.

Les institutionnels aiment aussi les « vrais » bitcoins

Les analystes notent que les produits dérivés de bitcoin, comme les contrats d’options, restent le mode d’acquisition favori de BTC par les institutionnels et sont donc en forte augmentation.
Toutefois, de plus en plus de personnes semblent préférer avoir des bitcoins « réels »bien que toujours indirectement – via des fonds, comme Grayscale, qui possèdent vraiment les cryptomonnaies en sous-jacents – contrairement aux produits dérivés non physiques, qui ne se négocie qu’en dollars.
Avec les politiques d’impressions monétaires de grandes banques centrales et la menace inflationniste qu’elles font planer sur les devises fiduciaires, Square, MicroStategy et maintenant Stone Ridge pourraient bien initier un tout nouveau mouvement d’investissements dans les cryptomonnaies.
Les analystes de JP Morgan ont-ils raison ? Quand on se souvient qu’ils ont pendant longtemps critiqué bitcoin et les cryptos, on peut être presque surpris de ce changement de vision. Les prochains mois vont être décisifs pour savoir si les gros institutionnels débarquent vraiment pour de bon dans la cryptosphère.
submitted by mary7437 to u/mary7437 [link] [comments]

A series of 51% attacks puts Ethereum Classic’s security into question

A series of 51% attacks puts Ethereum Classic’s security into question
An adversary performed a successful 51% attack on the Ethereum Classic (ETC) network between July 31 and August 1. The hacker was able to steal around $5.6 million worth of ETC from the OKEx crypto exchange, according to Bitquery.
Later, on August 6, the attacker used the same scheme to double-spend an additional $1.68 million worth of ETC. This time the targets were Bitfinex and another unidentified crypto service.
The necessary hash power for these double-spend attacks was rented on cloud mining marketplace NiceHash — which was also used during a recent 51% attack attempt on Bitcoin Gold (BTG). The team behind BTG mitigated the attack by asking miners to follow the so-called “honest” chain instead of the longest one, basically censoring attacker’s blocks.
Such controversial measures, however, would be against Ethereum Classic’s core principles of decentralization and censorship-resistance, so it’s unclear how the community is planning to deal with similar attacks in the future. Meanwhile, US-based crypto exchange Coinbase increased the confirmation time for ETC deposits to roughly 2 weeks.
The second 51% attack on ETC didn’t have any significant impact on its price, though. One of the reasons for such a small market change, among other things, is that 10% of all ETC supply is held in a regulated trust run by Grayscale Investments, which also funds the development of Ethereum Classic, according to CoinDesk. Both Grayscale and CoinDesk are subsidiaries of American venture capital company Digital Currency Group (DCG) founded by Barry Silbert, a long-time supporter of ETC.
Given the very low cost of a 51% attack against ETC, Vitalik Buterin suggested that switching to a proof-of-stake consensus algorithm would be a lower-risk strategy for Ethereum Classic, than using a proof-of-work algorithm. Ethereum Classic originated in 2016 as a hard fork of Ethereum, when the latter’s community made a controversial decision to reverse the DAO hack, which sparked discussions about network’s censorship-resistance.
submitted by Crypto-Angel to EthereumClassic [link] [comments]

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

https://preview.redd.it/wucg40kzz8p51.png?width=653&format=png&auto=webp&s=71257fec29b43e0fc0df1bf04363717e3b52478f
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.

https://preview.redd.it/6956j6f109p51.png?width=487&format=png&auto=webp&s=ccea257a4e9524c11df25737cac961308b542b69
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.

https://preview.redd.it/lgb1f2rw19p51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=040bb0deed0499df6bf08a072fd7c4a442a826a0
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
submitted by Tokenomy to tokenomyofficial [link] [comments]

How To End The Cryptocurrency Exchange "Wild West" Without Crippling Innovation


In case you haven't noticed the consultation paper, staff notice, and report on Quadriga, regulators are now clamping down on Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges. The OSC and other regulatory bodies are still interested in industry feedback. They have not put forward any official regulation yet. Below are some ideas/insights and a proposed framework.



Many of you have limited time to read the full proposal, so here are the highlights:

Offline Multi-Signature

Effective standards to prevent both internal and external theft. Exchange operators are trained and certified, and have a legal responsibility to users.

Regular Transparent Audits

Provides visibility to Canadians that their funds are fully backed on the exchange, while protecting privacy and sensitive platform information.

Insurance Requirements

Establishment of basic insurance standards/strategy, to expand over time. Removing risk to exchange users of any hot wallet theft.


Background and Justifications


Cold Storage Custody/Management
After reviewing close to 100 cases, all thefts tend to break down into more or less the same set of problems:
• Funds stored online or in a smart contract,
• Access controlled by one person or one system,
• 51% attacks (rare),
• Funds sent to the wrong address (also rare), or
• Some combination of the above.
For the first two cases, practical solutions exist and are widely implemented on exchanges already. Offline multi-signature solutions are already industry standard. No cases studied found an external theft or exit scam involving an offline multi-signature wallet implementation. Security can be further improved through minimum numbers of signatories, background checks, providing autonomy and legal protections to each signatory, establishing best practices, and a training/certification program.
The last two transaction risks occur more rarely, and have never resulted in a loss affecting the actual users of the exchange. In all cases to date where operators made the mistake, they've been fully covered by the exchange platforms.
• 51% attacks generally only occur on blockchains with less security. The most prominent cases have been Bitcoin Gold and Ethereum Classic. The simple solution is to enforce deposit limits and block delays such that a 51% attack is not cost-effective.
• The risk of transactions to incorrect addresses can be eliminated by a simple test transaction policy on large transactions. By sending a small amount of funds prior to any large withdrawals/transfers as a standard practice, the accuracy of the wallet address can be validated.
The proposal covers all loss cases and goes beyond, while avoiding significant additional costs, risks, and limitations which may be associated with other frameworks like SOC II.

On The Subject of Third Party Custodians
Many Canadian platforms are currently experimenting with third party custody. From the standpoint of the exchange operator, they can liberate themselves from some responsibility of custody, passing that off to someone else. For regulators, it puts crypto in similar categorization to oil, gold, and other commodities, with some common standards. Platform users would likely feel greater confidence if the custodian was a brand they recognized. If the custodian was knowledgeable and had a decent team that employed multi-sig, they could keep assets safe from internal theft. With the right protections in place, this could be a great solution for many exchanges, particularly those that lack the relevant experience or human resources for their own custody systems.
However, this system is vulnerable to anyone able to impersonate the exchange operators. You may have a situation where different employees who don't know each other that well are interacting between different companies (both the custodian and all their customers which presumably isn't just one exchange). A case study of what can go wrong in this type of environment might be Bitpay, where the CEO was tricked out of 5000 bitcoins over 3 separate payments by a series of emails sent legitimately from a breached computer of another company CEO. It's also still vulnerable to the platform being compromised, as in the really large $70M Bitfinex hack, where the third party Bitgo held one key in a multi-sig wallet. The hacker simply authorized the withdrawal using the same credentials as Bitfinex (requesting Bitgo to sign multiple withdrawal transactions). This succeeded even with the use of multi-sig and two heavily security-focused companies, due to the lack of human oversight (basically, hot wallet). Of course, you can learn from these cases and improve the security, but so can hackers improve their deception and at the end of the day, both of these would have been stopped by the much simpler solution of a qualified team who knew each other and employed multi-sig with properly protected keys. It's pretty hard to beat a human being who knows the business and the typical customer behaviour (or even knows their customers personally) at spotting fraud, and the proposed multi-sig means any hacker has to get through the scrutiny of 3 (or more) separate people, all of whom would have proper training including historical case studies.
There are strong arguments both for and against using use of third party custodians. The proposal sets mandatory minimum custody standards would apply regardless if the cold wallet signatories are exchange operators, independent custodians, or a mix of both.

On The Subject Of Insurance
ShakePay has taken the first steps into this new realm (congratulations). There is no question that crypto users could be better protected by the right insurance policies, and it certainly feels better to transact with insured platforms. The steps required to obtain insurance generally place attention in valuable security areas, and in this case included a review from CipherTrace. One of the key solutions in traditional finance comes from insurance from entities such as the CDIC.
However, historically, there wasn't found any actual insurance payout to any cryptocurrency exchange, and there are notable cases where insurance has not paid. With Bitpay, for example, the insurance agent refused because the issue happened to the third party CEO's computer instead of anything to do with Bitpay itself. With the Youbit exchange in South Korea, their insurance claim was denied, and the exchange ultimately ended up instead going bankrupt with all user's funds lost. To quote Matt Johnson in the original Lloyd's article: “You can create an insurance policy that protects no one – you know there are so many caveats to the policy that it’s not super protective.”
ShakePay's insurance was only reported to cover their cold storage, and “physical theft of the media where the private keys are held”. Physical theft has never, in the history of cryptocurrency exchange cases reviewed, been reported as the cause of loss. From the limited information of the article, ShakePay made it clear their funds are in the hands of a single US custodian, and at least part of their security strategy is to "decline[] to confirm the custodian’s name on the record". While this prevents scrutiny of the custodian, it's pretty silly to speculate that a reasonably competent hacking group couldn't determine who the custodian is. A far more common infiltration strategy historically would be social engineering, which has succeeded repeatedly. A hacker could trick their way into ShakePay's systems and request a fraudulent withdrawal, impersonate ShakePay and request the custodian to move funds, or socially engineer their way into the custodian to initiate the withdrawal of multiple accounts (a payout much larger than ShakePay) exploiting the standard procedures (for example, fraudulently initiating or override the wallet addresses of a real transfer). In each case, nothing was physically stolen and the loss is therefore not covered by insurance.
In order for any insurance to be effective, clear policies have to be established about what needs to be covered. Anything short of that gives Canadians false confidence that they are protected when they aren't in any meaningful way. At this time, the third party insurance market does not appear to provide adequate options or coverage, and effort is necessary to standardize custody standards, which is a likely first step in ultimately setting up an insurance framework.
A better solution compared to third party insurance providers might be for Canadian exchange operators to create their own collective insurance fund, or a specific federal organization similar to the CDIC. Such an organization would have a greater interest or obligation in paying out actual cases, and that would be it's purpose rather than maximizing it's own profit. This would be similar to the SAFU which Binance has launched, except it would cover multiple exchanges. There is little question whether the SAFU would pay out given a breach of Binance, and a similar argument could be made for a insurance fund managed by a collective of exchange operators or a government organization. While a third party insurance provider has the strong market incentive to provide the absolute minimum coverage and no market incentive to payout, an entity managed by exchange operators would have incentive to protect the reputation of exchange operators/the industry, and the government should have the interest of protecting Canadians.

On The Subject of Fractional Reserve
There is a long history of fractional reserve failures, from the first banks in ancient times, through the great depression (where hundreds of fractional reserve banks failed), right through to the 2008 banking collapse referenced in the first bitcoin block. The fractional reserve system allows banks to multiply the money supply far beyond the actual cash (or other assets) in existence, backed only by a system of debt obligations of others. Safely supporting a fractional reserve system is a topic of far greater complexity than can be addressed by a simple policy, and when it comes to cryptocurrency, there is presently no entity reasonably able to bail anyone out in the event of failure. Therefore, this framework is addressed around entities that aim to maintain 100% backing of funds.
There may be some firms that desire but have failed to maintain 100% backing. In this case, there are multiple solutions, including outside investment, merging with other exchanges, or enforcing a gradual restoration plan. All of these solutions are typically far better than shutting down the exchange, and there are multiple cases where they've been used successfully in the past.

Proof of Reserves/Transparency/Accountability
Canadians need to have visibility into the backing on an ongoing basis.
The best solution for crypto-assets is a Proof of Reserve. Such ideas go back all the way to 2013, before even Mt. Gox. However, no Canadian exchange has yet implemented such a system, and only a few international exchanges (CoinFloor in the UK being an example) have. Many firms like Kraken, BitBuy, and now ShakePay use the Proof of Reserve term to refer to lesser proofs which do not actually cryptographically prove the full backing of all user assets on the blockchain. In order for a Proof of Reserve to be effective, it must actually be a complete proof, and it needs to be understood by the public that is expected to use it. Many firms have expressed reservations about the level of transparency required in a complete Proof of Reserve (for example Kraken here). While a complete Proof of Reserves should be encouraged, and there are some solutions in the works (ie TxQuick), this is unlikely to be suitable universally for all exchange operators and users.
Given the limitations, and that firms also manage fiat assets, a more traditional audit process makes more sense. Some Canadian exchanges (CoinSquare, CoinBerry) have already subjected themselves to annual audits. However, these results are not presently shared publicly, and there is no guarantee over the process including all user assets or the integrity and independence of the auditor. The auditor has been typically not known, and in some cases, the identity of the auditor is protected by a NDA. Only in one case (BitBuy) was an actual report generated and publicly shared. There has been no attempt made to validate that user accounts provided during these audits have been complete or accurate. A fraudulent fractional exchange, or one which had suffered a breach they were unwilling to publicly accept (see CoinBene), could easily maintain a second set of books for auditors or simply exclude key accounts to pass an individual audit.
The proposed solution would see a reporting standard which includes at a minimum - percentage of backing for each asset relative to account balances and the nature of how those assets are stored, with ownership proven by the auditor. The auditor would also publicly provide a "hash list", which they independently generate from the accounts provided by the exchange. Every exchange user can then check their information against this public "hash list". A hash is a one-way form of encryption, which fully protects the private information, yet allows anyone who knows that information already to validate that it was included. Less experienced users can take advantage of public tools to calculate the hash from their information (provided by the exchange), and thus have certainty that the auditor received their full balance information. Easy instructions can be provided.
Auditors should be impartial, their identities and process public, and they should be rotated so that the same auditor is never used twice in a row. Balancing the cost of auditing against the needs for regular updates, a 6 month cycle likely makes the most sense.

Hot Wallet Management
The best solution for hot wallets is not to use them. CoinBerry reportedly uses multi-sig on all withdrawals, and Bitmex is an international example known for their structure devoid of hot wallets.
However, many platforms and customers desire fast withdrawal processes, and human validation has a cost of time and delay in this process.
A model of self-insurance or separate funds for hot wallets may be used in these cases. Under this model, a platform still has 100% of their client balance in cold storage and holds additional funds in hot wallets for quick withdrawal. Thus, the risk of those hot wallets is 100% on exchange operators and not affecting the exchange users. Since most platforms typically only have 1%-5% in hot wallets at any given time, it shouldn't be unreasonable to build/maintain these additional reserves over time using exchange fees or additional investment. Larger withdrawals would still be handled at regular intervals from the cold storage.
Hot wallet risks have historically posed a large risk and there is no established standard to guarantee secure hot wallets. When the government of South Korea dispatched security inspections to multiple exchanges, the results were still that 3 of them got hacked after the inspections. If standards develop such that an organization in the market is willing to insure the hot wallets, this could provide an acceptable alternative. Another option may be for multiple exchange operators to pool funds aside for a hot wallet insurance fund. Comprehensive coverage standards must be established and maintained for all hot wallet balances to make sure Canadians are adequately protected.

Current Draft Proposal

(1) Proper multi-signature cold wallet storage.
(a) Each private key is the personal and legal responsibility of one person - the “signatory”. Signatories have special rights and responsibilities to protect user assets. Signatories are trained and certified through a course covering (1) past hacking and fraud cases, (2) proper and secure key generation, and (3) proper safekeeping of private keys. All private keys must be generated and stored 100% offline by the signatory. If even one private keys is ever breached or suspected to be breached, the wallet must be regenerated and all funds relocated to a new wallet.
(b) All signatories must be separate background-checked individuals free of past criminal conviction. Canadians should have a right to know who holds their funds. All signing of transactions must take place with all signatories on Canadian soil or on the soil of a country with a solid legal system which agrees to uphold and support these rules (from an established white-list of countries which expands over time).
(c) 3-5 independent signatures are required for any withdrawal. There must be 1-3 spare signatories, and a maximum of 7 total signatories. The following are all valid combinations: 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7.
(d) A security audit should be conducted to validate the cold wallet is set up correctly and provide any additional pertinent information. The primary purpose is to ensure that all signatories are acting independently and using best practices for private key storage. A report summarizing all steps taken and who did the audit will be made public. Canadians must be able to validate the right measures are in place to protect their funds.
(e) There is a simple approval process if signatories wish to visit any country outside Canada, with a potential whitelist of exempt countries. At most 2 signatories can be outside of aligned jurisdiction at any given time. All exchanges would be required to keep a compliant cold wallet for Canadian funds and have a Canadian office if they wish to serve Canadian customers.
(2) Regular and transparent solvency audits.
(a) An audit must be conducted at founding, after 3 months of operation, and at least once every 6 months to compare customer balances against all stored cryptocurrency and fiat balances. The auditor must be known, independent, and never the same twice in a row.
(b) An audit report will be published featuring the steps conducted in a readable format. This should be made available to all Canadians on the exchange website and on a government website. The report must include what percentage of each customer asset is backed on the exchange, and how those funds are stored.
(c) The auditor will independently produce a hash of each customer's identifying information and balance as they perform the audit. This will be made publicly available on the exchange and government website, along with simplified instructions that each customer can use to verify that their balance was included in the audit process.
(d) The audit needs to include a proof of ownership for any cryptocurrency wallets included. A satoshi test (spending a small amount) or partially signed transaction both qualify.
(e) Any platform without 100% reserves should be assessed on a regular basis by a government or industry watchdog. This entity should work to prevent any further drop, support any private investor to come in, or facilitate a merger so that 100% backing can be obtained as soon as possible.
(3) Protections for hot wallets and transactions.
(a) A standardized list of approved coins and procedures will be established to constitute valid cold storage wallets. Where a multi-sig process is not natively available, efforts will be undertaken to establish a suitable and stable smart contract standard. This list will be expanded and improved over time. Coins and procedures not on the list are considered hot wallets.
(b) Hot wallets can be backed by additional funds in cold storage or an acceptable third-party insurance provider with a comprehensive coverage policy.
(c) Exchanges are required to cover the full balance of all user funds as denominated in the same currency, or double the balance as denominated in bitcoin or CAD using an established trading rate. If the balance is ever insufficient due to market movements, the firm must rectify this within 24 hours by moving assets to cold storage or increasing insurance coverage.
(d) Any large transactions (above a set threshold) from cold storage to any new wallet addresses (not previously transacted with) must be tested with a smaller transaction first. Deposits of cryptocurrency must be limited to prevent economic 51% attacks. Any issues are to be covered by the exchange.
(e) Exchange platforms must provide suitable authentication for users, including making available approved forms of two-factor authentication. SMS-based authentication is not to be supported. Withdrawals must be blocked for 48 hours in the event of any account password change. Disputes on the negligence of exchanges should be governed by case law.

Steps Forward

Continued review of existing OSC feedback is still underway. More feedback and opinions on the framework and ideas as presented here are extremely valuable. The above is a draft and not finalized.
The process of further developing and bringing a suitable framework to protect Canadians will require the support of exchange operators, legal experts, and many others in the community. The costs of not doing such are tremendous. A large and convoluted framework, one based on flawed ideas or implementation, or one which fails to properly safeguard Canadians is not just extremely expensive and risky for all Canadians, severely limiting to the credibility and reputation of the industry, but an existential risk to many exchanges.
The responsibility falls to all of us to provide our insight and make our opinions heard on this critical matter. Please take the time to give your thoughts.
submitted by azoundria2 to QuadrigaInitiative [link] [comments]

dxDAO aims to power DeFi protocols through decentralized governance

I found this article on internet. It's repost of it to help educate people about all DXDao advantages:
These are positive and necessary steps for DeFi. The new governance structures are intended to help coordinate across community stakeholders and make better decisions. These dynamics are influenced by the issues covered in Dose of DeFi, but I believe they deserve their own focused analysis.
Govern This aims to educate token holders and make them better voters. Emphasis will be placed on specific governance proposals and relaying community governance discussions on forums and weekly calls.
Governance is a coordination technology that has helped countries and companies build more than the sum of their parts. Blockchains are also a coordination technology, but for computers, not humans***.*** Govern This will track the development of the melding of these two over the coming years.
Like governance, Govern This is a work in progress. I would appreciate any feedback on format, topics covered or any other suggestions to make the newsletter better. Just hit reply.
The first issue of Govern This is below. Please click here to subscribe.
Thanks for reading,
Chris
📷
dxDAO aims to power DeFi protocols through decentralized governance
Gnosis launched a long-awaited DEX last week with batched auctions for low-liquidity trade pairs. The front-end, Mesa.Eth.Link is owned and operated by dxDAO, a decentralized collective that hopes to power other DeFi protocols.
While dYdX does not have any specific governance plans (yet), this tweet from dYdX founder Antonio Juliano is a common approach to governance.
📷Antonio Juliano @AntonioMJuliano3) 0x should focus less on governance in the short term. It’s way more important to first build something with a large amount of adoption that’s worth governing
December 6th 2018
3 Retweets62 Likes
The tweet at the end of 2018 was in response to 0x and its native token, ZRX. The project was popular but the token had no use case outside of governance.
This governance strategy – build now, decentralize later – is widely accepted in the space and is perhaps best exemplified by the A16Z’s Jesse Walden’s post, “Progressive Decentralization: A Playbook for Building Crypto Applications”, which the A16Z-backed Compound has essentially implemented (more in the section below).
dxDAO, on the other hand, maintains that decentralization must come at the beginning or else the core team and investors will have an outsized influence on the project in formal (token voting) or informal ways (dictators for life).
Background
dxDAO was launched in May 2019, spun out of a collaboration between Gnosis and DAOstack over managing the DutchX platform. dxDAO’s key governance design is separating financial rights to the DAO (DXD) from voting power over the DAO (Reputation). It used an Edgeware-style lock drop to distribute reputation to stakeholders in May of last year. Any user could lock up ETH or an accepted ERC-20 for a month and receive Reputation, which are voting rights in dxDAO, even though it is not a token and cannot be transferred.
Over 400 unique Ethereum addresses participated in the distribution scheme. Gnosis went through a pretty extensive process in July 2019 to “step back” from its involvement in the DAO, and since then, the community and dxDAO have aligned behind a mission of “putting the ‘De’ in Decentralized Finance”.
Following on last week’s launch of Mesa.ETH.Link, dxDAO is conducting a fundraiser or (“DAICO”?) to help fund its new slate of DeFi products, including a prediction market platform (Omen) and a privacy-centric DeFi dashboard (Mix).
Project launch is typically when a project is most centralized. Execution is hard and direction and accountability are important. dxDAO’s approach will be an interesting counterexample to the “decentralize later” trend and may provide insight into new governance strategies.
Click here for more information about the dxDAO fundraiser.
Here’s what is on the dxDAO docket this week:
Compound governance goes live, has it found Market-Protocol-Fit?
Since its founding in 2017, Compound has executed with an almost flawless record: no bugs/hacks, a major protocol upgrade and a big name fundraise (twice).
But all of that has been because Compound, the company, has executed well, but can protocol development and the growth of the platform be sustained with community management? We shall see.
Compound’s governance system could not be simpler. Anyone with at least 1% of COMP can submit a proposal of executable code. COMP holders have a 3 day voting period; the proposal passes with a majority of token votes AND a 4% quorum of all COMP tokens.
The 1% minimum for proposal submission is a good anti-Sybil mechanism but it greatly limits participation by small users. There is delegation, so you could imagine a “proposal petition” where you would delegate your COMP to a proposal instead of signing your name.
Compound is clearly taking the “less governance is the best governance” approach. This has worked surprisingly well with Bitcoin and Ethereum, which of course, do not have any formal governance, but those communities clearly have informal governance systems that make decisions.
The biggest governance question for Compound: who is the community?
Market-Protocol-Fit
Other Internet has an intriguing essay on the emergent order from new blockchain tokens and their communities. It is worth a read. It discusses the emergent iteration that blockchains – as a technology and a community – go through to find a niche, both in culture and product.
While it focuses on base-layer blockchains that launch with a token, the essay underscores the most underrated governance element: token distribution. It quotes an insightful tweet from Eric Wall
📷Eric Wall @ercwlA question that keeps me up at night: Is it possible to create a rubbish coin based on advanced bullshit, build a community of misguided fans nevertheless, run it centralized for 5 yrs, hardfork-copy the design of a real working project, keep the community and become a success?
keysheet @keysheet
@ErcWll was one of the first vocal critics of IOTA back in 2017, shortly before the project hit a market cap of $15B. https://t.co/2267e8LEpl Today, the project is down 99% and appears to be brutally falling apart. A thread:
February 13th 2020
17 Retweets163 Likes
Before Bitcoin could harden its code and find ‘Digital Gold’ and before Ethereum found ‘DeFi’ and ships ETH2.0, both needed to find a “a strong community of believers” in order to create a “virtuous cycle between headless brands and infrastructural build-out to progressively realize [their] initial promise.”
Communities are connected through a wide spread token distribution, Bitcoin through cypherpunks and online drugs and Ethereum through a global ICO (what Teo Leibowitz called “The Immaculate ICO”).
$COMP distribution
The biggest “news” has been details about $COMP distribution:
There are no explicit plans yet, but the widely held assumption is that the COMP distribution will be determined by the interest earned and paid by users on the protocol since its inception. This is a clever way that only incentivizes more use of the protocol and is hard to game because interests accrues over time.
But the question still remains, what will the COMP community look like and what values will it espouse? Can emergent cultures arise out of Silicon Valley too?
Here’s what is on the Compound docket this week:
Maker and wBTC, a test case for the MIP process
While Maker had planned to spend Q2 moving forward with their upgraded governance process, most of its focus has been on restoring the Dai peg.
For more on how the Maker governance process has expanded outside the core community, check out the previous edition of Govern This.
Here’s what is on the Maker docket this week:
Governance and Risk meeting (April 23)
Single Collateral Dai shutdown – the process has begun. A poll passed with May 12 as the official SCD shutdown. Just yesterday, an executive just passed yesterday to make the MKR oracle fee-less, which will help with migration. Many in the community think the migration of debt from SCD will do more than enough to restore the peg.
13 MIPs and 2 sub proposals – Core to the new Maker governance process is the “Maker Improvement Proposals (MIPs), which are modeled off of BIPs (for Bitcoin) and EIPs (for Ethereum). The two sub-proposals are to appoint the Smart Contracts Team and assign Charles St. Louis as the MIP editor.
The 13 MIPs are listed below:
- MIP1 (Maker Governance Paradigms)- MIP2 (Launch Period)- MIP3 (Governance Cycle)- MIP4 (MIP Amendment and Removal Process)- MIP5 (Emergency Voting System)- MIP6 (Collateral Onboarding Form/Forum Template)- MIP7 (Onboarding and Offboarding Domain Teams for Collateral Onboarding)- MIP8 (Domain Greenlight)- MIP9 (Community Greenlight)- MIP10 (Oracle Management)- MIP11 (Collateral Onboarding General Risk Model Management)- MIP12 (Collateral and Risk Parameter Management)
By and large, the MIPs codify many of the informal Maker governance processes. There is currently a request for comments period (MIP forum) and there will be an informal poll on Monday, April 27 on whether to proceed with the 13 MIPs and 2 sub proposals. If it’s a “Yes”, than an executive for an official ratification vote would start on May 1 and lasts for 4 days. If it passes, the official governance cycle will begin and the rest of the MIPs will likely be approved from May 4 – 6.
Other Governing Things
That’s it! Feedback definitely appreciated. Just hit reply. Written in Brooklyn where it rained all day. No euchre today, but yesterday was epic.
Govern This is written by Chris Powers. Opinions expressed are my own. All content is for informational purposes and is not intended as investment advice.
submitted by yaroslav_karpov to CryptoMoonShots [link] [comments]

All you need to know about Yield Farming - The rocket fuel for Defi

All you need to know about Yield Farming - The rocket fuel for Defi
Source
It’s effectively July 2017 in the world of decentralized finance (DeFi), and as in the heady days of the initial coin offering (ICO) boom, the numbers are only trending up.
According to DeFi Pulse, there is $1.9 billion in crypto assets locked in DeFi right now. According to the CoinDesk ICO Tracker, the ICO market started chugging past $1 billion in July 2017, just a few months before token sales started getting talked about on TV.
Debate juxtaposing these numbers if you like, but what no one can question is this: Crypto users are putting more and more value to work in DeFi applications, driven largely by the introduction of a whole new yield-generating pasture, Compound’s COMP governance token.
Governance tokens enable users to vote on the future of decentralized protocols, sure, but they also present fresh ways for DeFi founders to entice assets onto their platforms.
That said, it’s the crypto liquidity providers who are the stars of the present moment. They even have a meme-worthy name: yield farmers.

https://preview.redd.it/lxsvazp1g9l51.png?width=775&format=png&auto=webp&s=a36173ab679c701a5d5e0aac806c00fcc84d78c1

Where it started

Ethereum-based credit market Compound started distributing its governance token, COMP, to the protocol’s users this past June 15. Demand for the token (heightened by the way its automatic distribution was structured) kicked off the present craze and moved Compound into the leading position in DeFi.
The hot new term in crypto is “yield farming,” a shorthand for clever strategies where putting crypto temporarily at the disposal of some startup’s application earns its owner more cryptocurrency.
Another term floating about is “liquidity mining.”
The buzz around these concepts has evolved into a low rumble as more and more people get interested.
The casual crypto observer who only pops into the market when activity heats up might be starting to get faint vibes that something is happening right now. Take our word for it: Yield farming is the source of those vibes.
But if all these terms (“DeFi,” “liquidity mining,” “yield farming”) are so much Greek to you, fear not. We’re here to catch you up. We’ll get into all of them.
We’re going to go from very basic to more advanced, so feel free to skip ahead.

What are tokens?

Most CoinDesk readers probably know this, but just in case: Tokens are like the money video-game players earn while fighting monsters, money they can use to buy gear or weapons in the universe of their favorite game.
But with blockchains, tokens aren’t limited to only one massively multiplayer online money game. They can be earned in one and used in lots of others. They usually represent either ownership in something (like a piece of a Uniswap liquidity pool, which we will get into later) or access to some service. For example, in the Brave browser, ads can only be bought using basic attention token (BAT).
If tokens are worth money, then you can bank with them or at least do things that look very much like banking. Thus: decentralized finance.
Tokens proved to be the big use case for Ethereum, the second-biggest blockchain in the world. The term of art here is “ERC-20 tokens,” which refers to a software standard that allows token creators to write rules for them. Tokens can be used a few ways. Often, they are used as a form of money within a set of applications. So the idea for Kin was to create a token that web users could spend with each other at such tiny amounts that it would almost feel like they weren’t spending anything; that is, money for the internet.
Governance tokens are different. They are not like a token at a video-game arcade, as so many tokens were described in the past. They work more like certificates to serve in an ever-changing legislature in that they give holders the right to vote on changes to a protocol.
So on the platform that proved DeFi could fly, MakerDAO, holders of its governance token, MKR, vote almost every week on small changes to parameters that govern how much it costs to borrow and how much savers earn, and so on.
Read more: Why DeFi’s Billion-Dollar Milestone Matters
One thing all crypto tokens have in common, though, is they are tradable and they have a price. So, if tokens are worth money, then you can bank with them or at least do things that look very much like banking. Thus: decentralized finance.

What is DeFi?

Fair question. For folks who tuned out for a bit in 2018, we used to call this “open finance.” That construction seems to have faded, though, and “DeFi” is the new lingo.
In case that doesn’t jog your memory, DeFi is all the things that let you play with money, and the only identification you need is a crypto wallet.
On the normal web, you can’t buy a blender without giving the site owner enough data to learn your whole life history. In DeFi, you can borrow money without anyone even asking for your name.
I can explain this but nothing really brings it home like trying one of these applications. If you have an Ethereum wallet that has even $20 worth of crypto in it, go do something on one of these products. Pop over to Uniswap and buy yourself some FUN (a token for gambling apps) or WBTC (wrapped bitcoin). Go to MakerDAO and create $5 worth of DAI (a stablecoin that tends to be worth $1) out of the digital ether. Go to Compound and borrow $10 in USDC.
(Notice the very small amounts I’m suggesting. The old crypto saying “don’t put in more than you can afford to lose” goes double for DeFi. This stuff is uber-complex and a lot can go wrong. These may be “savings” products but they’re not for your retirement savings.)
Immature and experimental though it may be, the technology’s implications are staggering. On the normal web, you can’t buy a blender without giving the site owner enough data to learn your whole life history. In DeFi, you can borrow money without anyone even asking for your name.
DeFi applications don’t worry about trusting you because they have the collateral you put up to back your debt (on Compound, for instance, a $10 debt will require around $20 in collateral).
Read more: There Are More DAI on Compound Now Than There Are DAI in the World
If you do take this advice and try something, note that you can swap all these things back as soon as you’ve taken them out. Open the loan and close it 10 minutes later. It’s fine. Fair warning: It might cost you a tiny bit in fees, and the cost of using Ethereum itself right now is much higher than usual, in part due to this fresh new activity. But it’s nothing that should ruin a crypto user.
So what’s the point of borrowing for people who already have the money? Most people do it for some kind of trade. The most obvious example, to short a token (the act of profiting if its price falls). It’s also good for someone who wants to hold onto a token but still play the market.

Doesn’t running a bank take a lot of money up front?

It does, and in DeFi that money is largely provided by strangers on the internet. That’s why the startups behind these decentralized banking applications come up with clever ways to attract HODLers with idle assets.
Liquidity is the chief concern of all these different products. That is: How much money do they have locked in their smart contracts?
“In some types of products, the product experience gets much better if you have liquidity. Instead of borrowing from VCs or debt investors, you borrow from your users,” said Electric Capital managing partner Avichal Garg.
Let’s take Uniswap as an example. Uniswap is an “automated market maker,” or AMM (another DeFi term of art). This means Uniswap is a robot on the internet that is always willing to buy and it’s also always willing to sell any cryptocurrency for which it has a market.
On Uniswap, there is at least one market pair for almost any token on Ethereum. Behind the scenes, this means Uniswap can make it look like it is making a direct trade for any two tokens, which makes it easy for users, but it’s all built around pools of two tokens. And all these market pairs work better with bigger pools.

Why do I keep hearing about ‘pools’?

To illustrate why more money helps, let’s break down how Uniswap works.
Let’s say there was a market for USDC and DAI. These are two tokens (both stablecoins but with different mechanisms for retaining their value) that are meant to be worth $1 each all the time, and that generally tends to be true for both.
The price Uniswap shows for each token in any pooled market pair is based on the balance of each in the pool. So, simplifying this a lot for illustration’s sake, if someone were to set up a USDC/DAI pool, they should deposit equal amounts of both. In a pool with only 2 USDC and 2 DAI it would offer a price of 1 USDC for 1 DAI. But then imagine that someone put in 1 DAI and took out 1 USDC. Then the pool would have 1 USDC and 3 DAI. The pool would be very out of whack. A savvy investor could make an easy $0.50 profit by putting in 1 USDC and receiving 1.5 DAI. That’s a 50% arbitrage profit, and that’s the problem with limited liquidity.
(Incidentally, this is why Uniswap’s prices tend to be accurate, because traders watch it for small discrepancies from the wider market and trade them away for arbitrage profits very quickly.)
Read more: Uniswap V2 Launches With More Token-Swap Pairs, Oracle Service, Flash Loans
However, if there were 500,000 USDC and 500,000 DAI in the pool, a trade of 1 DAI for 1 USDC would have a negligible impact on the relative price. That’s why liquidity is helpful.
You can stick your assets on Compound and earn a little yield. But that’s not very creative. Users who look for angles to maximize that yield: those are the yield farmers.
Similar effects hold across DeFi, so markets want more liquidity. Uniswap solves this by charging a tiny fee on every trade. It does this by shaving off a little bit from each trade and leaving that in the pool (so one DAI would actually trade for 0.997 USDC, after the fee, growing the overall pool by 0.003 USDC). This benefits liquidity providers because when someone puts liquidity in the pool they own a share of the pool. If there has been lots of trading in that pool, it has earned a lot of fees, and the value of each share will grow.
And this brings us back to tokens.
Liquidity added to Uniswap is represented by a token, not an account. So there’s no ledger saying, “Bob owns 0.000000678% of the DAI/USDC pool.” Bob just has a token in his wallet. And Bob doesn’t have to keep that token. He could sell it. Or use it in another product. We’ll circle back to this, but it helps to explain why people like to talk about DeFi products as “money Legos.”

So how much money do people make by putting money into these products?

It can be a lot more lucrative than putting money in a traditional bank, and that’s before startups started handing out governance tokens.
Compound is the current darling of this space, so let’s use it as an illustration. As of this writing, a person can put USDC into Compound and earn 2.72% on it. They can put tether (USDT) into it and earn 2.11%. Most U.S. bank accounts earn less than 0.1% these days, which is close enough to nothing.
However, there are some caveats. First, there’s a reason the interest rates are so much juicier: DeFi is a far riskier place to park your money. There’s no Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) protecting these funds. If there were a run on Compound, users could find themselves unable to withdraw their funds when they wanted.
Plus, the interest is quite variable. You don’t know what you’ll earn over the course of a year. USDC’s rate is high right now. It was low last week. Usually, it hovers somewhere in the 1% range.
Similarly, a user might get tempted by assets with more lucrative yields like USDT, which typically has a much higher interest rate than USDC. (Monday morning, the reverse was true, for unclear reasons; this is crypto, remember.) The trade-off here is USDT’s transparency about the real-world dollars it’s supposed to hold in a real-world bank is not nearly up to par with USDC’s. A difference in interest rates is often the market’s way of telling you the one instrument is viewed as dicier than another.
Users making big bets on these products turn to companies Opyn and Nexus Mutual to insure their positions because there’s no government protections in this nascent space – more on the ample risks later on.
So users can stick their assets in Compound or Uniswap and earn a little yield. But that’s not very creative. Users who look for angles to maximize that yield: those are the yield farmers.

OK, I already knew all of that. What is yield farming?

Broadly, yield farming is any effort to put crypto assets to work and generate the most returns possible on those assets.
At the simplest level, a yield farmer might move assets around within Compound, constantly chasing whichever pool is offering the best APY from week to week. This might mean moving into riskier pools from time to time, but a yield farmer can handle risk.
“Farming opens up new price arbs [arbitrage] that can spill over to other protocols whose tokens are in the pool,” said Maya Zehavi, a blockchain consultant.
Because these positions are tokenized, though, they can go further.
This was a brand-new kind of yield on a deposit. In fact, it was a way to earn a yield on a loan. Who has ever heard of a borrower earning a return on a debt from their lender?
In a simple example, a yield farmer might put 100,000 USDT into Compound. They will get a token back for that stake, called cUSDT. Let’s say they get 100,000 cUSDT back (the formula on Compound is crazy so it’s not 1:1 like that but it doesn’t matter for our purposes here).
They can then take that cUSDT and put it into a liquidity pool that takes cUSDT on Balancer, an AMM that allows users to set up self-rebalancing crypto index funds. In normal times, this could earn a small amount more in transaction fees. This is the basic idea of yield farming. The user looks for edge cases in the system to eke out as much yield as they can across as many products as it will work on.
Right now, however, things are not normal, and they probably won’t be for a while.

Why is yield farming so hot right now?

Because of liquidity mining. Liquidity mining supercharges yield farming.
Liquidity mining is when a yield farmer gets a new token as well as the usual return (that’s the “mining” part) in exchange for the farmer’s liquidity.
“The idea is that stimulating usage of the platform increases the value of the token, thereby creating a positive usage loop to attract users,” said Richard Ma of smart-contract auditor Quantstamp.
The yield farming examples above are only farming yield off the normal operations of different platforms. Supply liquidity to Compound or Uniswap and get a little cut of the business that runs over the protocols – very vanilla.
But Compound announced earlier this year it wanted to truly decentralize the product and it wanted to give a good amount of ownership to the people who made it popular by using it. That ownership would take the form of the COMP token.
Lest this sound too altruistic, keep in mind that the people who created it (the team and the investors) owned more than half of the equity. By giving away a healthy proportion to users, that was very likely to make it a much more popular place for lending. In turn, that would make everyone’s stake worth much more.
So, Compound announced this four-year period where the protocol would give out COMP tokens to users, a fixed amount every day until it was gone. These COMP tokens control the protocol, just as shareholders ultimately control publicly traded companies.
Every day, the Compound protocol looks at everyone who had lent money to the application and who had borrowed from it and gives them COMP proportional to their share of the day’s total business.
The results were very surprising, even to Compound’s biggest promoters.
COMP’s value will likely go down, and that’s why some investors are rushing to earn as much of it as they can right now.
This was a brand-new kind of yield on a deposit into Compound. In fact, it was a way to earn a yield on a loan, as well, which is very weird: Who has ever heard of a borrower earning a return on a debt from their lender?
COMP’s value has consistently been well over $200 since it started distributing on June 15. We did the math elsewhere but long story short: investors with fairly deep pockets can make a strong gain maximizing their daily returns in COMP. It is, in a way, free money.
It’s possible to lend to Compound, borrow from it, deposit what you borrowed and so on. This can be done multiple times and DeFi startup Instadapp even built a tool to make it as capital-efficient as possible.
“Yield farmers are extremely creative. They find ways to ‘stack’ yields and even earn multiple governance tokens at once,” said Spencer Noon of DTC Capital.
COMP’s value spike is a temporary situation. The COMP distribution will only last four years and then there won’t be any more. Further, most people agree that the high price now is driven by the low float (that is, how much COMP is actually free to trade on the market – it will never be this low again). So the value will probably gradually go down, and that’s why savvy investors are trying to earn as much as they can now.
Appealing to the speculative instincts of diehard crypto traders has proven to be a great way to increase liquidity on Compound. This fattens some pockets but also improves the user experience for all kinds of Compound users, including those who would use it whether they were going to earn COMP or not.
As usual in crypto, when entrepreneurs see something successful, they imitate it. Balancer was the next protocol to start distributing a governance token, BAL, to liquidity providers. Flash loan provider bZx has announced a plan. Ren, Curve and Synthetix also teamed up to promote a liquidity pool on Curve.
It is a fair bet many of the more well-known DeFi projects will announce some kind of coin that can be mined by providing liquidity.
The case to watch here is Uniswap versus Balancer. Balancer can do the same thing Uniswap does, but most users who want to do a quick token trade through their wallet use Uniswap. It will be interesting to see if Balancer’s BAL token convinces Uniswap’s liquidity providers to defect.
So far, though, more liquidity has gone into Uniswap since the BAL announcement, according to its data site. That said, even more has gone into Balancer.

Did liquidity mining start with COMP?

No, but it was the most-used protocol with the most carefully designed liquidity mining scheme.
This point is debated but the origins of liquidity mining probably date back to Fcoin, a Chinese exchange that created a token in 2018 that rewarded people for making trades. You won’t believe what happened next! Just kidding, you will: People just started running bots to do pointless trades with themselves to earn the token.
Similarly, EOS is a blockchain where transactions are basically free, but since nothing is really free the absence of friction was an invitation for spam. Some malicious hacker who didn’t like EOS created a token called EIDOS on the network in late 2019. It rewarded people for tons of pointless transactions and somehow got an exchange listing.
These initiatives illustrated how quickly crypto users respond to incentives.
Read more: Compound Changes COMP Distribution Rules Following ‘Yield Farming’ Frenzy
Fcoin aside, liquidity mining as we now know it first showed up on Ethereum when the marketplace for synthetic tokens, Synthetix, announced in July 2019 an award in its SNX token for users who helped add liquidity to the sETH/ETH pool on Uniswap. By October, that was one of Uniswap’s biggest pools.
When Compound Labs, the company that launched the Compound protocol, decided to create COMP, the governance token, the firm took months designing just what kind of behavior it wanted and how to incentivize it. Even still, Compound Labs was surprised by the response. It led to unintended consequences such as crowding into a previously unpopular market (lending and borrowing BAT) in order to mine as much COMP as possible.
Just last week, 115 different COMP wallet addresses – senators in Compound’s ever-changing legislature – voted to change the distribution mechanism in hopes of spreading liquidity out across the markets again.

Is there DeFi for bitcoin?

Yes, on Ethereum.
Nothing has beaten bitcoin over time for returns, but there’s one thing bitcoin can’t do on its own: create more bitcoin.
A smart trader can get in and out of bitcoin and dollars in a way that will earn them more bitcoin, but this is tedious and risky. It takes a certain kind of person.
DeFi, however, offers ways to grow one’s bitcoin holdings – though somewhat indirectly.
A long HODLer is happy to gain fresh BTC off their counterparty’s short-term win. That’s the game.
For example, a user can create a simulated bitcoin on Ethereum using BitGo’s WBTC system. They put BTC in and get the same amount back out in freshly minted WBTC. WBTC can be traded back for BTC at any time, so it tends to be worth the same as BTC.
Then the user can take that WBTC, stake it on Compound and earn a few percent each year in yield on their BTC. Odds are, the people who borrow that WBTC are probably doing it to short BTC (that is, they will sell it immediately, buy it back when the price goes down, close the loan and keep the difference).
A long HODLer is happy to gain fresh BTC off their counterparty’s short-term win. That’s the game.

How risky is it?

Enough.
“DeFi, with the combination of an assortment of digital funds, automation of key processes, and more complex incentive structures that work across protocols – each with their own rapidly changing tech and governance practices – make for new types of security risks,” said Liz Steininger of Least Authority, a crypto security auditor. “Yet, despite these risks, the high yields are undeniably attractive to draw more users.”
We’ve seen big failures in DeFi products. MakerDAO had one so bad this year it’s called “Black Thursday.” There was also the exploit against flash loan provider bZx. These things do break and when they do money gets taken.
As this sector gets more robust, we could see token holders greenlighting more ways for investors to profit from DeFi niches.
Right now, the deal is too good for certain funds to resist, so they are moving a lot of money into these protocols to liquidity mine all the new governance tokens they can. But the funds – entities that pool the resources of typically well-to-do crypto investors – are also hedging. Nexus Mutual, a DeFi insurance provider of sorts, told CoinDesk it has maxed out its available coverage on these liquidity applications. Opyn, the trustless derivatives maker, created a way to short COMP, just in case this game comes to naught.
And weird things have arisen. For example, there’s currently more DAI on Compound than have been minted in the world. This makes sense once unpacked but it still feels dicey to everyone.
That said, distributing governance tokens might make things a lot less risky for startups, at least with regard to the money cops.
“Protocols distributing their tokens to the public, meaning that there’s a new secondary listing for SAFT tokens, [gives] plausible deniability from any security accusation,” Zehavi wrote. (The Simple Agreement for Future Tokens was a legal structure favored by many token issuers during the ICO craze.)
Whether a cryptocurrency is adequately decentralized has been a key feature of ICO settlements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

What’s next for yield farming? (A prediction)

COMP turned out to be a bit of a surprise to the DeFi world, in technical ways and others. It has inspired a wave of new thinking.
“Other projects are working on similar things,” said Nexus Mutual founder Hugh Karp. In fact, informed sources tell CoinDesk brand-new projects will launch with these models.
We might soon see more prosaic yield farming applications. For example, forms of profit-sharing that reward certain kinds of behavior.
Imagine if COMP holders decided, for example, that the protocol needed more people to put money in and leave it there longer. The community could create a proposal that shaved off a little of each token’s yield and paid that portion out only to the tokens that were older than six months. It probably wouldn’t be much, but an investor with the right time horizon and risk profile might take it into consideration before making a withdrawal.
(There are precedents for this in traditional finance: A 10-year Treasury bond normally yields more than a one-month T-bill even though they’re both backed by the full faith and credit of Uncle Sam, a 12-month certificate of deposit pays higher interest than a checking account at the same bank, and so on.)
As this sector gets more robust, its architects will come up with ever more robust ways to optimize liquidity incentives in increasingly refined ways. We could see token holders greenlighting more ways for investors to profit from DeFi niches.
Questions abound for this nascent industry: What will MakerDAO do to restore its spot as the king of DeFi? Will Uniswap join the liquidity mining trend? Will anyone stick all these governance tokens into a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO)? Or would that be a yield farmers co-op?
Whatever happens, crypto’s yield farmers will keep moving fast. Some fresh fields may open and some may soon bear much less luscious fruit.
But that’s the nice thing about farming in DeFi: It is very easy to switch fields.
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A series of 51% attacks puts Ethereum Classic’s security into question

A series of 51% attacks puts Ethereum Classic’s security into question
An adversary performed a successful 51% attack on the Ethereum Classic (ETC) network between July 31 and August 1. The hacker was able to steal around $5.6 million worth of ETC from the OKEx crypto exchange, according to Bitquery.
Later, on August 6, the attacker used the same scheme to double-spend an additional $1.68 million worth of ETC. This time the targets were Bitfinex and another unidentified crypto service.
The necessary hash power for these double-spend attacks was rented on cloud mining marketplace NiceHash — which was also used during a recent 51% attack attempt on Bitcoin Gold (BTG). The team behind BTG mitigated the attack by asking miners to follow the so-called “honest” chain instead of the longest one, basically censoring attacker’s blocks.
Such controversial measures, however, would be against Ethereum Classic’s core principles of decentralization and censorship-resistance, so it’s unclear how the community is planning to deal with similar attacks in the future. Meanwhile, US-based crypto exchange Coinbase increased the confirmation time for ETC deposits to roughly 2 weeks.
The second 51% attack on ETC didn’t have any significant impact on its price, though. One of the reasons for such a small market change, among other things, is that 10% of all ETC supply is held in a regulated trust run by Grayscale Investments, which also funds the development of Ethereum Classic, according to CoinDesk. Both Grayscale and CoinDesk are subsidiaries of American venture capital company Digital Currency Group (DCG) founded by Barry Silbert, a long-time supporter of ETC.
Given the very low cost of a 51% attack against ETC, Vitalik Buterin suggested that switching to a proof-of-stake consensus algorithm would be a lower-risk strategy for Ethereum Classic, than using a proof-of-work algorithm. Ethereum Classic originated in 2016 as a hard fork of Ethereum, when the latter’s community made a controversial decision to reverse the DAO hack, which sparked discussions about network’s censorship-resistance.
submitted by Crypto-Angel to CryptoCurrencies [link] [comments]

A series of 51% attacks puts Ethereum Classic’s security into question

A series of 51% attacks puts Ethereum Classic’s security into question
An adversary performed a successful 51% attack on the Ethereum Classic (ETC) network between July 31 and August 1. The hacker was able to steal around $5.6 million worth of ETC from the OKEx crypto exchange, according to Bitquery.
Later, on August 6, the attacker used the same scheme to double-spend an additional $1.68 million worth of ETC. This time the targets were Bitfinex and another unidentified crypto service.
The necessary hash power for these double-spend attacks was rented on cloud mining marketplace NiceHash — which was also used during a recent 51% attack attempt on Bitcoin Gold (BTG). The team behind BTG mitigated the attack by asking miners to follow the so-called “honest” chain instead of the longest one, basically censoring attacker’s blocks.
Such controversial measures, however, would be against Ethereum Classic’s core principles of decentralization and censorship-resistance, so it’s unclear how the community is planning to deal with similar attacks in the future. Meanwhile, US-based crypto exchange Coinbase increased the confirmation time for ETC deposits to roughly 2 weeks.
The second 51% attack on ETC didn’t have any significant impact on its price, though. One of the reasons for such a small market change, among other things, is that 10% of all ETC supply is held in a regulated trust run by Grayscale Investments, which also funds the development of Ethereum Classic, according to CoinDesk. Both Grayscale and CoinDesk are subsidiaries of American venture capital company Digital Currency Group (DCG) founded by Barry Silbert, a long-time supporter of ETC.
Given the very low cost of a 51% attack against ETC, Vitalik Buterin suggested that switching to a proof-of-stake consensus algorithm would be a lower-risk strategy for Ethereum Classic, than using a proof-of-work algorithm. Ethereum Classic originated in 2016 as a hard fork of Ethereum, when the latter’s community made a controversial decision to reverse the DAO hack, which sparked discussions about network’s censorship-resistance.
submitted by Crypto-Angel to etc [link] [comments]

Filecoin | Development Status and Mining Progress

Author: Gamals Ahmed, CoinEx Business Ambassador
https://preview.redd.it/5bqakdqgl3g51.jpg?width=865&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b709794863977eb6554e3919b9e00ca750e3e704
A decentralized storage network that transforms cloud storage into an account market. Miners obtain the integrity of the original protocol by providing data storage and / or retrieval. On the contrary, customers pay miners to store or distribute data and retrieve it.
Filecoin announced, that there will be more delays before its main network is officially launched.
Filecoin developers postponed the release date of their main network to late July to late August 2020.
As mentioned in a recent announcement, the Filecoin team said that the initiative completed the first round of the internal protocol security audit. Platform developers claim that the results of the review showed that they need to make several changes to the protocol’s code base before performing the second stage of the software testing process.
Created by Protocol Labs, Filecoin was developed using File System (IPFS), which is a peer-to-peer data storage network. Filecoin will allow users to trade storage space in an open and decentralized market.
Filecoin developers implemented one of the largest cryptocurrency sales in 2017. They have privately obtained over $ 200 million from professional or accredited investors, including many institutional investors.
The main network was slated to launch last month, but in February 2020, the Philly Queen development team delayed the release of the main network between July 15 and July 17, 2020.
They claimed that the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in China was the main cause of the delay. The developers now say that they need more time to solve the problems found during a recent codecase audit.
The Filecoin team noted the following:
“We have drafted a number of protocol changes to ensure that building our major network launch is safe and economically sound.” The project developers will add them to two different implementations of Filecoin (Lotus and go-filecoin) in the coming weeks.
Filecoin developers conducted a survey to allow platform community members to cast their votes on three different launch dates for Testnet Phase 2 and mainnet.
The team reported that the community gave their votes. Based on the vote results, the Filecoin team announced a “conservative” estimate that the second phase of the network test should begin by May 11, 2020. The main Filecoin network may be launched sometime between July 20 and August 21, 2020.
The updates to the project can be found on the Filecoin Road Map.
Filecoin developers stated:
“This option will make us get the most important protocol changes first, and then implement the rest as protocol updates during testnet.” Filecoin is back down from the final test stage.
Another filecoin decentralized storage network provider launched its catalytic test network, the final stage of the storage network test that supports the blockchain.
In a blog post on her website, Filecoin said she will postpone the last test round until August. The company also announced a calibration period from July 20 to August 3 to allow miners to test their mining settings and get an idea of how competition conditions affected their rewards.
Filecoin had announced earlier last month that the catalytic testnet test would precede its flagship launch. The delay in the final test also means that the company has returned the main launch window between August 31 and September 21.
Despite the lack of clear incentives for miners and multiple delays, Filecoin has succeeded in attracting huge interest, especially in China. Investors remained highly speculating on the network’s mining hardware and its premium price.
Mining in Filecoin
In most blockchain protocols, “miners” are network participants who do the work necessary to promote and maintain the blockchain. To provide these services, miners are compensated in the original cryptocurrency.
Mining in Filecoin works completely differently — instead of contributing to computational power, miners contribute storage capacity to use for dealing with customers looking to store data.
Filecoin will contain several types of miners:
Storage miners responsible for storing files and data on the network. Miners retrieval, responsible for providing quick tubes for file recovery. Miners repair to be carried out.
Storage miners are the heart of the network. They earn Filecoin by storing data for clients, and computerizing cipher directories to check storage over time. The probability of earning the reward reward and transaction fees is proportional to the amount of storage that the Miner contributes to the Filecoin network, not the hash power.
Retriever miners are the veins of the network. They earn Filecoin by winning bids and mining fees for a specific file, which is determined by the market value of the said file size. Miners bandwidth and recovery / initial transaction response time will determine its ability to close recovery deals on the network.
The maximum bandwidth of the recovery miners will determine the total amount of deals that it can enter into.
In the current implementation, the focus is mostly on storage miners, who sell storage capacity for FIL.

Hardware recommendations

The current system specifications recommended for running the miner are:
Compared to the hardware requirements for running a validity checker, these standards are much higher — although they definitely deserve it. Since these will not increase in the presumed future, the money spent on Filecoin mining hardware will provide users with many years of reliable service, and they pay themselves many times. Think of investing as a small business for cloud storage. To launch a model on the current data hosting model, it will cost millions of dollars in infrastructure and logistics to get started. With Filecoin, you can do the same for a few thousand dollars.
Proceed to mining
Deals are the primary function of the Filecoin network, and it represents an agreement between a client and miners for a “storage” contract.
Once the customer decides to have a miner to store based on the available capacity, duration and price required, he secures sufficient funds in a linked portfolio to cover the total cost of the deal. The deal is then published once the mine accepts the storage agreement. By default, all Filecoin miners are set to automatically accept any deal that meets their criteria, although this can be disabled for miners who prefer to organize their deals manually.
After the deal is published, the customer prepares the data for storage and then transfers it to the miner. Upon receiving all the data, the miner fills in the data in a sector, closes it, and begins to provide proofs to the chain. Once the first confirmation is obtained, the customer can make sure the data is stored correctly, and the deal has officially started.
Throughout the deal, the miner provides continuous proofs to the chain. Clients gradually pay with money they previously closed. If there is missing or late evidence, the miner is punished. More information about this can be found in the Runtime, Cut and Penalties section of this page.
At Filecoin, miners earn two different types of rewards for their efforts: storage fees and reward prevention.
Storage fees are the fees that customers pay regularly after reaching a deal, in exchange for storing data. This fee is automatically deposited into the withdrawal portfolio associated with miners while they continue to perform their duties over time, and is locked for a short period upon receipt.
Block rewards are large sums given to miners calculated on a new block. Unlike storage fees, these rewards do not come from a linked customer; Instead, the new FIL “prints” the network as an inflationary and incentive measure for miners to develop the chain. All active miners on the network have a chance to get a block bonus, their chance to be directly proportional to the amount of storage space that is currently being contributed to the network.
Duration of operation, cutting and penalties
“Slashing” is a feature found in most blockchain protocols, and is used to punish miners who fail to provide reliable uptime or act maliciously against the network.
In Filecoin, miners are susceptible to two different types of cut: storage error cut, unanimously reduce error.
Storage Error Reduction is a term used to include a wider range of penalties, including error fees, sector penalties, and termination fees. Miners must pay these penalties if they fail to provide reliability of the sector or decide to leave the network voluntarily.
An error fee is a penalty that a miner incurs for each non-working day. Sector punishment: A penalty incurred by a miner of a disrupted sector for which no error was reported before the WindowPoSt inspection.
The sector will pay an error fee after the penalty of the sector once the error is discovered.
Termination Fee: A penalty that a miner incurs when a sector is voluntary or involuntarily terminated and removed from the network.
Cutting consensus error is the penalty that a miner incurs for committing consensus errors. This punishment applies to miners who have acted maliciously against the network consensus function.
Filecoin miners
Eight of the top 10 Felticoin miners are Chinese investors or companies, according to the blockchain explorer, while more companies are selling cloud mining contracts and distributed file sharing system hardware. CoinDesk’s Wolfe Chao wrote: “China’s craze for Filecoin may have been largely related to the long-standing popularity of crypto mining in the country overall, which is home to about 65% of the computing power on Bitcoin at discretion.”
With Filecoin approaching the launch of the mainnet blocknet — after several delays since the $ 200 million increase in 2017 — Chinese investors are once again speculating strongly about network mining devices and their premium prices.
Since Protocol Labs, the company behind Filecoin, released its “Test Incentives” program on June 9 that was scheduled to start in a week’s time, more than a dozen Chinese companies have started selling cloud mining contracts and hardware — despite important details such as economics Mining incentives on the main network are still endless.
Sales volumes to date for each of these companies can range from half a million to tens of millions of dollars, according to self-reported data on these platforms that CoinDesk has watched and interviews with several mining hardware manufacturers.
Filecoin’s goal is to build a distributed storage network with token rewards to spur storage hosting as a way to drive wider adoption. Protocol Labs launched a test network in December 2019. But the tokens mined in the testing environment so far are not representative of the true silicon coin that can be traded when the main network is turned on. Moreover, the mining incentive economics on testnet do not represent how final block rewards will be available on the main network.
However, data from Blockecoin’s blocknetin testnet explorers show that eight out of 10 miners with the most effective mining force on testnet are currently Chinese miners.
These eight miners have about 15 petabytes (PB) of effective storage mining power, accounting for more than 85% of the total test of 17.9 petable. For the context, 1 petabyte of hard disk storage = 1000 terabytes (terabytes) = 1 million gigabytes (GB).
Filecoin craze in China may be closely related to the long-standing popularity of crypt mining in the country overall, which is home to about 65% of the computing power on Bitcoin by estimation. In addition, there has been a lot of hype in China about foreign exchange mining since 2018, as companies promote all types of devices when the network is still in development.
“Encryption mining has always been popular in China,” said Andy Tien, co-founder of 1475, one of several mining hardware manufacturers in Philquin supported by prominent Chinese video indicators such as Fenbushi and Hashkey Capital.
“Even though the Velikoyen mining process is more technologically sophisticated, the idea of mining using hard drives instead of specialized machines like Bitcoin ASIC may be a lot easier for retailers to understand,” he said.
Meanwhile, according to Feixiaohao, a Chinese service comparable to CoinMarketCap, nearly 50 Chinese crypto exchanges are often somewhat unknown with some of the more well-known exchanges including Gate.io and Biki — have listed trading pairs for Filecoin currency contracts for USDT.
In bitcoin mining, at the current difficulty level, one segment per second (TH / s) fragmentation rate is expected to generate around 0.000008 BTC within 24 hours. The higher the number of TH / s, the greater the number of bitcoins it should be able to produce proportionately. But in Filecoin, the efficient mining force of miners depends on the amount of data stamped on the hard drive, not the total size of the hard drive.
To close data in the hard drive, the Filecoin miner still needs processing power, i.e. CPU or GPU as well as RAM. More powerful processors with improved software can confine data to the hard drive more quickly, so miners can combine more efficient mining energy faster on a given day.
As of this stage, there appears to be no transparent way at the network level for retail investors to see how much of the purchased hard disk drive was purchased which actually represents an effective mining force.
The U.S.-based Labs Protocol was behind Filecoin’s initial coin offer for 2017, which raised an astonishing $ 200 million.
This was in addition to a $ 50 million increase in private investment supported by notable venture capital projects including Sequoia, Anderson Horowitz and Union Square Ventures. CoinDk’s parent company, CoinDk, has also invested in Protocol Labs.
After rounds of delay, Protocol Protocols said in September 2019 that a testnet launch would be available around December 2019 and the main network would be rolled out in the first quarter of 2020.
The test started as promised, but the main network has been delayed again and is now expected to launch in August 2020. What is Filecoin mining process?
Filecoin mainly consists of three parts: the storage market (the chain), the blockecin Filecoin, and the search market (under the chain). Storage and research market in series and series respectively for security and efficiency. For users, the storage frequency is relatively low, and the security requirements are relatively high, so the storage process is placed on the chain. The retrieval frequency is much higher than the storage frequency when there is a certain amount of data. Given the performance problem in processing data on the chain, the retrieval process under the chain is performed. In order to solve the security issue of payment in the retrieval process, Filecoin adopts the micro-payment strategy. In simple terms, the process is to split the document into several copies, and every time the user gets a portion of the data, the corresponding fee is paid. Types of mines corresponding to Filecoin’s two major markets are miners and warehousers, among whom miners are primarily responsible for storing data and block packages, while miners are primarily responsible for data query. After the stable operation of the major Filecoin network in the future, the mining operator will be introduced, who is the main responsible for data maintenance.
In the initial release of Filecoin, the request matching mechanism was not implemented in the storage market and retrieval market, but the takeover mechanism was adopted. The three main parts of Filecoin correspond to three processes, namely the stored procedure, retrieval process, packaging and reward process. The following figure shows the simplified process and the income of the miners:
The Filecoin mining process is much more complicated, and the important factor in determining the previous mining profit is efficient storage. Effective storage is a key feature that distinguishes Filecoin from other decentralized storage projects. In Filecoin’s EC consensus, effective storage is similar to interest in PoS, which determines the likelihood that a miner will get the right to fill, that is, the proportion of miners effectively stored in the entire network is proportional to final mining revenue.
It is also possible to obtain higher effective storage under the same hardware conditions by improving the mining algorithm. However, the current increase in the number of benefits that can be achieved by improving the algorithm is still unknown.
It seeks to promote mining using Filecoin Discover
Filecoin announced Filecoin Discover — a step to encourage miners to join the Filecoin network. According to the company, Filecoin Discover is “an ever-growing catalog of numerous petabytes of public data covering literature, science, art, and history.” Miners interested in sharing can choose which data sets they want to store, and receive that data on a drive at a cost. In exchange for storing this verified data, miners will earn additional Filecoin above the regular block rewards for storing data. Includes the current catalog of open source data sets; ENCODE, 1000 Genomes, Project Gutenberg, Berkley Self-driving data, more projects, and datasets are added every day.
Ian Darrow, Head of Operations at Filecoin, commented on the announcement:
“Over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day. This data includes 294 billion emails, 500 million tweets and 64 billion messages on social media. But it is also climatology reports, disease tracking maps, connected vehicle coordinates and much more. It is extremely important that we maintain data that will serve as the backbone for future research and discovery”.
Miners who choose to participate in Filecoin Discover may receive hard drives pre-loaded with verified data, as well as setup and maintenance instructions, depending on the company. The Filecoin team will also host the Slack (fil-Discover-support) channel where miners can learn more.
Filecoin got its fair share of obstacles along the way. Last month Filecoin announced a further delay before its main network was officially launched — after years of raising funds.
In late July QEBR (OTC: QEBR) announced that it had ceded ownership of two subsidiaries in order to focus all of the company’s resources on building blockchain-based mining operations.
The QEBR technology team previously announced that it has proven its system as a Filecoin node valid with CPU, GPU, bandwidth and storage compatibility that meets all IPFS guidelines. The QEBR test system is connected to the main Filecoin blockchain and the already mined filecoin coin has already been tested.
“The disclosure of Sheen Boom and Jihye will allow our team to focus only on the upcoming global launch of Filecoin. QEBR branch, Shenzhen DZD Digital Technology Ltd. (“ DZD “), has a strong background in blockchain development, extraction Data, data acquisition, data processing, data technology research. We strongly believe Filecoin has the potential to be a leading blockchain-based cryptocurrency and will make every effort to make QEBR an important player when Mainecoin mainnet will be launched soon”.
IPFS and Filecoin
Filecoin and IPFS are complementary protocols for storing and sharing data in a decentralized network. While users are not required to use Filecoin and IPFS together, the two combined are working to resolve major failures in the current web infrastructure.
IPFS
It is an open source protocol that allows users to store and transmit verifiable data with each other. IPFS users insist on data on the network by installing it on their own device, to a third-party cloud service (known as Pinning Services), or through community-oriented systems where a group of individual IPFS users share resources to ensure the content stays live.
The lack of an integrated catalytic mechanism is the challenge Filecoin hopes to solve by allowing users to catalyze long-term distributed storage at competitive prices through the storage contract market, while maintaining the efficiency and flexibility that the IPFS network provides.
Using IPFS
In IPFS, the data is hosted by the required data installation nodes. For data to persist while the user node is offline, users must either rely on their other peers to install their data voluntarily or use a central install service to store data.
Peer-to-peer reliance caching data may be a good thing as one or multiple organizations share common files on an internal network, or where strong social contracts can be used to ensure continued hosting and preservation of content in the long run. Most users in an IPFS network use an installation service.
Using Filecoin
The last option is to install your data in a decentralized storage market, such as Filecoin. In Filecoin’s structure, customers make regular small payments to store data when a certain availability, while miners earn those payments by constantly checking the integrity of this data, storing it, and ensuring its quick recovery. This allows users to motivate Filecoin miners to ensure that their content will be live when it is needed, a distinct advantage of relying only on other network users as required using IPFS alone.
Filecoin, powered by IPFS
It is important to know that Filecoin is built on top of IPFS. Filecoin aims to be a very integrated and seamless storage market that takes advantage of the basic functions provided by IPFS, they are connected to each other, but can be implemented completely independently of each other. Users do not need to interact with Filecoin in order to use IPFS.
Some advantages of sharing Filecoin with IPFS:
Of all the decentralized storage projects, Filecoin is undoubtedly the most interested, and IPFS has been running stably for two years, fully demonstrating the strength of its core protocol.
Filecoin’s ability to obtain market share from traditional central storage depends on end-user experience and storage price. Currently, most Filecoin nodes are posted in the IDC room. Actual deployment and operation costs are not reduced compared to traditional central cloud storage, and the storage process is more complicated.
PoRep and PoSt, which has a large number of proofs of unknown operation, are required to cause the actual storage cost to be so, in the early days of the release of Filecoin. The actual cost of storing data may be higher than the cost of central cloud storage, but the initial storage node may reduce the storage price in order to obtain block rewards, which may result in the actual storage price lower than traditional central cloud storage.
In the long term, Filecoin still needs to take full advantage of its P2P storage, convert storage devices from specialization to civil use, and improve its algorithms to reduce storage costs without affecting user experience. The storage problem is an important problem to be solved in the blockchain field, so a large number of storage projects were presented at the 19th Web3 Summit. IPFS is an important part of Web3 visibility. Its development will affect the development of Web3 to some extent. Likewise, Web3 development somewhat determines the future of IPFS. Filecoin is an IPFS-based storage class project initiated by IPFS. There is no doubt that he is highly expected.
Resources :
  1. https://www.coindesk.com/filecoin-pushes-back-final-testing-phase-announces-calibration-period-for-miners
  2. https://docs.filecoin.io/mine/#types-of-miners https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/inside-the-craze-for-filecoin-crypto-mining-in-china-2020-07-12؟amp
  3. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/qebr-streamlines-holdings-to-concentrate-on-filecoin-development-and-mining-301098731.html
  4. https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2020/05/161200-filecoin-seeks-to-boost-mining-with-filecoin-discove
  5. https://zephyrnet.com/filecoin-seeks-to-boost-mining-with-filecoin-discove
  6. https://docs.filecoin.io/introduction/ipfs-and-filecoin/#filecoin-powered-by-ipfs
submitted by CoinEx_Institution to filecoin [link] [comments]

US digital dollar coming soon? Chainlink, Swift, Federal Reserve, ISO20222, and The Clearing House serving as pieces of the puzzle.

This is my first Reddit thread, so please feel free to contribute your thoughts.
I believe the US digital dollar will be making its debut very soon, which could very well likely be the next One World Currency. I've included a timeline of public releases/announcements that fall in line with my theory. Bear with me, there are lot of moving parts.... There may be some details or insights missing so please feel free to enlighten. I believe this will, in time, lead to a New World Order with one global currency. I would like to be proven wrong.
First things first, there are 3 big players: The Federal Reserve, The Clearing House, and SWIFT with ISO20222 system.
Who is The Clearing House group? Conglomerate of many LARGE banks. Source: https://www.theclearinghouse.org/about/owner-banks
What is CHIPS? The Clearing House Interbank Payments System (CHIPS) is an electronic payments system that transfers funds and settles transactions in U.S. dollars. CHIPS enables banks to transfer and settle international payments more quickly by replacing official bank checks with electronic bookkeeping entries. As of January 2002, CHIPS had 59 members, including large U.S. banks and U.S. branches of foreign banks. Source: https://www.newyorkfed.org/aboutthefed/fedpoint/fed36.html
What is ISO20222? From Swift itself, "ISO 20022 is an emerging global and open standard for payments messaging. It creates a common language and model for payments data across the globe."Source: https://www.swift.com/standards/about-iso-20022
July 16 2018, Federal Reserve Proposes ISO 20022 Message Format for Fedwire Funds Service. 3-step Phase integration of CHIPS & Fedwire. Source: https://www.sullcrom.com/files/upload/SC-Publication-Federal-Reserve-Proposes-ISO-20022-Message-Format-for-Fedwire.pdf
Timeline of 3-step phase model infographic: https://imgur.com/XaNUcR3
July 19 2018, Assocation of Financial Professionals confirms above with article: NY Fed creates group to consider adopting ISO20222: "In 2012, the New York Fed formed a stakeholder group to assess the value in adopting ISO 20022. This led to the 2015 Strategies for Improving the Payment System paper, in which the Fed recommended that the U.S. develop a strategy for adopting the standard. Since that time, the Fed and The Clearing House (TCH) have worked together on plans to adopt ISO 20022 for Fedwire and CHIPS. While they have each opted to implement the standard separately, the Fed and TCH plan to align the implementation of the new format on Fedwire and CHIPS." Source: https://www.afponline.org/ideas-inspiration/topics/articles/Details/fed-seeks-comment-on-iso-20022-fedwire-proposal
Nov 20 2019, The Federal Reserve is looking into developing a digital currency in the US, Powell confirms. Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/the-federal-reserve-is-looking-into-developing-digital-currency-us-2019-11-1028705211
Nov 25 2019, Coinbase Chief Legal Officer argued private corporations are best positioned to build a much-debated digital U.S. dollar, and that the government should stand back and let them, doing little, if anything, to regulate their underlying blockchains. Source: https://www.coindesk.com/coinbase-legal-chief-says-private-sector-should-build-us-digital-dollar
Jan 16 2020, Former CFTC chair launches US digital dollar research project. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200116005116/en/CFTC-Chair-Launches-Digital-Dollar-Project
Feb 6 2020, Federal Reserve researching US digital dollar (CBDC- Central Bank Digital Currency) application. Source: https://www.coindesk.com/fed-reserve-is-researching-dlt-based-digital-dollar-says-governor
Feb 20 2020, "To give consumers more control over their data, FMR LLC, the parent company of Fidelity Investments, today announced the spin-off of Akoya℠ as an independent company that will be jointly owned by Fidelity, The Clearing House Payments Co. and 11 of its member banks. Bank of America, Capital One, Citi, FMR LLC, the parent company of Fidelity Investments, Huntington National Bank, JPMorgan Chase, KeyBank, PNC Bank, The Clearing House Payments Co., TD Bank, Truist, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo & Company, are the new owners of Akoya." Source: https://www.theclearinghouse.org/payment-systems/articles/2020/02/02-20-2020-financial-industry-give-consumers-more-control-over-their-data
March 16 2020, Coinbase Chief Legal Officer begins to work at NY Fed: "Coinbase's chief legal officer, Brian Brooks, is leaving the crypto exchange to become the second in command at the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)". Source: https://www.coindesk.com/coinbase-chief-legal-officer-leaves-to-take-senior-role-at-us-bank-regulator
March 2020, 2020 SWIFT attempting to bring entire banking payment processing industry to IS20222 standard: "In line with that vision, SWIFT is fully committed to improving transaction data quality through ISO 20022 and will continue to accelerate industry support to adopt ISO 20022 for market infrastructure initiatives, including TARGET2 migration/ESMIG, EURO1 and Bank of England RTGS renewal. .... The end-date to enable full ISO 20022 for cross-border payments remains as originally planned, November 2025." https://www.swift.com/standards/iso-20022-programme/timeline
March 20 2020, Fed-backed digital dollar to be well received by crypto-community with digital dollar being viewed as compliment, rather than a competitor to bitcoin. Source: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/bitcoin-enthusiasts-liberal-lawmakers-cheer-a-fed-backed-digital-dollar-2020-03-30
March 23 2020, COVID 19 pandemic leads to Stimulus Bill which includes proposed digital wallets for Stimilus Bill moneys to be distributed to people who do not have bank accounts currently. Ultimately, the digital wallets section was not included in signed bills but likely will resurface again shortly. Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/in-covid-19-stimulus-us-congress-eyes-digital-dollar-to-send-aid-to-the-unbanked
March 30 2020, Bitcoin enthusiasts, liberal lawmakers cheer a Fed-backed digital dollar. “My legislation would allow every American to set up a free bank account so they don’t have to rely on expensive check cashers to access their hard-earned money,” Sen. Brown told the American Banker. While a digital dollar didn’t make it into the final stimulus legislation, that it concept is now being taken seriously by high-profile lawmakers in Washington is another signpost on the road to a digital-money future, said Carlos Domingo, CEO of Securitize. “The question is not if a digital dollar will be created but when and how.” Source: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/bitcoin-enthusiasts-liberal-lawmakers-cheer-a-fed-backed-digital-dollar-2020-03-30.
April 5 2020, NetCents Declares Readiness for Expected US Federal Reserve "Digital Dollar". Source: https://yhoo.it/34jPL0d
April 8 2020, Marion Laboure, Macro Strategist of DeutscheBank just tweeted this. Confirmation of Big Banks making big moves. One world currency coming soon by 2025? Source: https://twitter.com/MarionLaboure/status/1241316697128214529?s=20
The Clearing House will soon launch Secure Token Exchange (STE), a service to manage token issuance and authentication for mobile and ecommerce transactions. Source: https://www.theclearinghouse.org/payment-systems/secure-token-exchange
The Clearing House confirms their new RTP network through job posting on The Clearing House career website that's aim is to provide instant access to ALL account holders inUS. From their job listing: "The The RTP® network from The Clearing House is a real-time payments platform that all federally insured U.S. depository institutions are eligible to use for payments innovation. "The goal of the system is to ultimately provide access to instant payments to every financial institution and account holder in the US. To achieve this goal, significant enhancements and expansion of the system will occur over the next 3-5 years in order to support over 10,000 financial institutions. Qualifications Desired: Money transfer experience, especially knowledge of SWIFT, FED or CHIPS payment processing and settlement" This is stated in current job opening listed under "RTP Senior Developer" at The Clearing House. Source: https://www.theclearinghouse.org/about/careers/rtp-senior-developer. Screenshot of position in case this link dissappears: https://imgur.com/wr2Zoap
submitted by DanielGONZZZ to Chainlink [link] [comments]

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.
https://preview.redd.it/lau4hevpm7f51.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=2c5de1ba497199f36aa194e5809bd86e5ab533d8

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.
https://preview.redd.it/mxmlg1zqm7f51.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=2d900dd5ff7f3b00df5fe5a48305d57ebeffaa9a

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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The 4-Minute Rule for Bitcoin Invest Archives - CoinDesk ... How To Invest in Bitcoin in 2020  5 Minutes - YouTube VBit Tech Team PH - Real Life Bitcoin Investment Strategies Bitcoin Investing Strategies: 4 tips for investing The Greatest Guide To 02How Can I Buy Bitcoin? - CoinDesk ...

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The 4-Minute Rule for Bitcoin Invest Archives - CoinDesk ...

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