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Litecoin’s Dream Of Being Digital Silver Alongside Bitcoin In The Future Will Not Happen

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If you missed the AMA

AMA AT DETECTIVE ID (25/06/2020)
Before welcoming any questions, I would like to briefly introduce STATERA PROJECT. Statera is a smart contract deflationary token pegged to a cryptocurrency index fund. By including STA in an index fund with Link, BTC, ETH, and SNX you can buy one token and access the price action of four of the leading cryptocurrencies. You can also invest directly in the index fund (balancer pool) and receive the benefits of fees and BAL tokens paid to you while also having an automatically balanced fund. Lastly the deflationary mechanics of STA increases the chance for positive price action while decreasing beta (volatility). This is all found in a smart contract that is fully decentralized, the founders can no longer augment the contract in any way and this has been confirmed by a third party code audit through Hacken.
Q1 : please explain in more detail about Statera, what is the background of this project? and when was it established?
The dev of this project had previously created another deflationary token BURN. When the Balancer Labs released the Balancer Protocol, he had an idea to combine the two, deflationary token and a pool of tokens, making the first deflationary index fund. It started in the end of May and on the 3rd iteration, May 29th - a trustless version was launched that we see today. As briefly explained earlier, STATERA or STA is an Index Deflationary Token built on Ethereum blockchain; Index: Contains a token suite of world class leading crypto assests BTC, ETH, LINK, SNX with STA. Deflationary: On every transaction of STA 1% of the transacted amount is sent to 0x address on ethereum, burned forever, thus reducing the circulating supply of STA Index+Deflationary: STA is mixed with BTC, ETH, LINK SNX in a portfolio, backed by liquidity on a protocol known as balancer (balancer.finance) This platform serves as a market maker for the token suit. The Index suite is of equal rate of 20%, that is 20% of BTC, ETH, SNX LINK and STA, Thus, anytime there is an increase in value of any of those coins or tokens, balancer automatically trade them for STA in order to keep the token suit ratio balanced. And anytime there is an increase in the value of STA, the same process applies. while doing this trade, it enables further burning on every transaction, thus facilitating more token scarcity. In addition to this, Statera was deployed with contract finalised, that is, the index suite can not be altered, It is completely out of Dev's control.
Q2 : What are the achievements that have been obtained by Statera in 2020? And what goals do you want to achieve in 2020?
By this we assume the questionnaire is asking for a roadmap! First, the project is barely a month old, and within just a month, our liquidity has grown from $50,000 to over $400,000 currently above $300,000. Among the things we have accomplished so far is the creation of market value for STA's Balancer liquidity pool token BPT, which is currently over $1000 per one BPT. Regarding what we set to achieve: The future is filled with many opportunities and potentials, currently, we are working on a massive campaign to introduce our product to the outside world. We have already made contact with different and reputable forums and channels regarding marketing and advertisement offers, some which we are currently negotiating, some which we are awaiting response. All we can say for now is that the Team is working hard to make this the Investment opportunity every crypto enthusiast has been waiting for. Statera has the goal of putting cryptocurrency into every portfolio. We believe we have a product that increases the returns of investing in cryptocurrencies and makes it easier to diversify in this space. We have done so much in June: articles, how to videos, completed the audit, tech upgrades like one token liquidity additions, and beginning our many social communities. We have been hard at work behind the scenes but things like sponsorships, features, and media take time, content makers need days if not weeks to develop content, especially the best of the best. We are working tirelessly, we will not disappoint. We have plans for 2020-2025 and will release those in the next month. They are big and bold, you’re going to be impressed by the scale of our vision, when we say “Cryptocurrency in every portfolio” we mean it. In 2020 more specifically we are focused on more media, videos, product offerings, and exchanges.
Q3 : What is the purpose of STA token? How can we get STA? The purpose of STA is an investment in the first deflationary index fund. The whole index's value rises from these aspects: 1. The index funds (WBTC,WETH,SNX,LINK) appreciate in value 2. When the index tokens are traded, the pool receives transaction fees - 1% 3. STA burns on transactions, so it's deflationary nature increases its value as the total supply drops 4. Balancer rewards Index holders with BAL token airdrops every week You can invest via the 'Trade' links in stateraproject.com website. Easiest way is to do it using ETH. The monetary policy of our token is set in stone and constantly deflationary. This negative supply pressure is a powerful mechanism in economics and price discovery. Through the lowering of supply we can decrease your beta (volatility) and increase your alpha (gains). Our token is currently only top 40 in liquidity on Balancer, however our volume is top 10! You want to know why? Because Statera works. Statera increases arbitrage, volume, fees, BAL rewards, and liquidity. Our liquidity miners in our Balancer pool are already making some of the highest BAL rewards on the platform, one user we spoke with made 18% in June, that’s over 150% APY! Our product is working, 100% (or you could say 150%), and when people start to see that, and realize the value, the sky's the limit.
Q4 : can we as a user do STA mining? The supply of STA doesn't increase anymore, it only decreases due to the burn feature. So there is no way to mine anymore STA. Only way to acquire the tokens is via an exchange. The monetary policy of our token is set in stone and constantly deflationary. This negative supply pressure is a powerful mechanism in economics and price discovery. Through the lowering of supply we can decrease your beta (volatility) and increase your alpha (gains). Our token is currently only top 40 in liquidity on Balancer, however our volume is top 10! You want to know why? Because Statera works. Statera increases arbitrage, volume, fees, BAL rewards, and liquidity. Our liquidity miners in our Balancer pool are already making some of the highest BAL rewards on the platform, one user we spoke with made 18% in June, that’s over 150% APY! Our product is working, 100% (or you could say 150%), and when people start to see that, and realize the value, the sky's the limit.
Q5 : The ecosystem of a public chain has a lot to do with the level of engagement and participation of third-party developers. How does Statera support the developers?
Not really. Our project is focusing on investment opportunities for the cryptocurrencies. The cryptocurrency tokens that are not used and are just sitting in a wallet can work for you by being added to an index fund and appreciate in value over time. First off, what we have created is a new asset class, I’ll repeat that, a new asset class. This asset has never existed: “Deflationary Index Fund,” what does that mean for finance? What will developers do with this? It’s hard to give a finite answer. We hope there are future economic papers on our token and what it means to be a deflationary index fund. With the addition of synthetic assets and oracles you can put any asset into the DeFi space: Gold, Nikkei 225, USD, etc. STA can be combined with any assets and bring the benefits of it’s ecosystem and deflationary mechanism to that asset. STA, the token itself, also gives you access to the price action of any asset it is paired with. Put simply STA’s balancer pool(s) give you a benefit in holding them, and STA’s price will reflect it’s inclusion in Balancer Pool(s) (and possibly future financial instruments), so STA is a bet on DeFi as a whole. When we say as whole, we mean as whole: what happens if you include STA in a crypto loan, or package it with a synthetic S&P 500 token, or use it as fee payment in a DeFi platform? Being fully decentralized it is up to our community to make this happen, social engagement and community are key. We are constantly bringing community members onto our team and rewarding those that benefit the ecosystem. in addition, Statera is a fully community project now. Paul who is the current team leader was an ordinary member of the community weeks ago, due to his interest and support for the project, he started dedicating his time to the project. Quite a number of community members are also in the same position, while Statera was developed by an individual, it is being built by the entire Statera community
Community Questions (Twitter):
Q1 From: @KazimKara35 The project tells us that the acquisition and sale of data between participants is protected by code of conduct and how safe is deployed on the blockchain, but how do you handle regulations while operating on a global scale?
Statera is decentralized token, similar to other utility crypto tokens and same regulations apply to it as others. his is actually a benefit of our decentralized nature. This isn’t legal advice, however in the past regulating bodies have ruled that the more decentralized a project is, especially from launch, the less likely they are to be deemed a security (see: Ethereum). This means they can be traded more freely and be available on more platforms. We are as decentralized as you can be. The data itself is all secured through the blockchain which has been shown to be a highly secure medium. We do not store any of your data and as long as you follow best practices in blockchain security there are no added security risks of using Statera. We don’t, and literally can’t, hold anymore personal information than is made available in any blockchain transaction. and that "personal information" is more likely than not just your ethereum wallet address, no "real world" data is included in transactions
Q2 from: @Michael_NGT353 What is Mechanism you use On your Project sir? Are you Use PoS,PoW or other Mechanism Can you explain why you use it and what is Make it Different?
Our token is an ERC-20 token and it's running on the Ethereum blockchain. The Ethereum's POW mechanism is currently supporting the Statera token We run on Ethereum, so we are currently PoW. With ETH 2.0 we will hopefully be PoS this year (hopefully). We use it because ETH has over 100 million addresses and around a million daily transactions. We are currently at about 1,900 token holders, we are just touching the edge of what is possible in this market. We chose the biggest and the best network available right now to launch our product. We think the upside is huge because of this choice. Being the biggest network it is also one of the most secure, no high risk vulnerabilities have been found in Ethereum or in our code (we've had our code audited by a third party, Hacken, and you can read their audit on our Medium page), so we also have security on our side
Q3 From : @Ryaaan_Nguyen Can you list some of Statera outstanding features for everyone here to know about? What are the products that Statera is focusing on developing?
As mentioned earlier by GC, First off, what we have created is a new asset class, I’ll repeat that, a new asset class. This asset has never existed: “Deflationary Index Fund,” what does that mean for finance? What will developers do with this? It’s hard to give a finite answer. We hope there are future economic papers on our token and what it means to be a deflationary index fund. With the addition of synthetic assets and oracles you can put any asset into the DeFi space: Gold, Nikkei 225, USD, etc. STA can be combined with any assets and bring the benefits of it’s ecosystem and deflationary mechanism to that asset. STA, the token itself, also gives you access to the price action of any asset it is paired with. Put simply STA’s balancer pool(s) give you a benefit in holding them, and STA’s price will reflect it’s inclusion in Balancer Pool(s) (and possibly future financial instruments), so STA is a bet on DeFi as a whole. When we say as whole, we mean as whole: what happens if you include STA in a crypto loan, or package it with a synthetic S&P 500 token, or use it as fee payment in a DeFi platform? We touched on this a bit in the question on what makes us special compared to other exchanges. We have created a product that synergizes with Balancer Pools creating a symbiotic relationship that improves the outcomes for users (our product can also synergize with future DeFi products). By including STA in an index fund with Link, BTC, ETH, and SNX you can buy one token and access the price action of four of the leading cryptocurrencies. You can also invest directly in the index fund (balancer pool) and receive the benefits of fees and BAL tokens paid to you while also having an automatically balanced portfolio (like an index fund with dividends). Lastly, the deflationary mechanics of STA increases the chance for positive price action while decreasing beta. We want to package Statera with assets across the whole cryptocurrency space, with an emphasis on DeFi. We also want everyday people to be able to invest quickly in crypto while also feeling reassured their investment is set up to succeed. We are focused on developing a name brand that people go to first and foremost when investing in crypto: cryptocurrency in every portfolio. This is all found in a smart contract that is fully decentralized, the founders can no longer augment the contract in any way and this has been confirmed by the third party code audit. This is a feature in and of itself, some argue that Bitcoin’s true value is in it’s network effect, first mover advantage, and immutability. Statera is modeled on all three of those and has those features in spades. The community now owns our token, the power in that, giving finance and power to the people, is why we are here.
Q4 From : @futcek What do you think about the possibility of creating new use cases in DeFi space for existing real world assets by using crypto technology? What role do you see in this creation for Statera?
I think my answer above actually answers this perfectly, Statera in and of itself is a “new use case”, a “deflationary index fund” has never existed, I’ll copy and paste the other relevant part: “With the addition of synthetic assets and oracles you can put any asset into the DeFi space: Gold, Nikkei 225, USD, etc. STA can be combined with any assets and bring the benefits of it’s ecosystem and deflationary mechanism to that asset. STA, the token itself, also gives you access to the price action of any asset it is paired with. Put simply STA’s balancer pool(s) give you a benefit in holding them, and STA’s price will reflect it’s inclusion in Balancer Pool(s) (and possibly future financial instruments), so STA is a bet on DeFi as a whole. When we say as whole, we mean as whole: what happens if you include STA in a crypto loan, or package it with a synthetic S&P 500 token, or use it as fee payment in a DeFi platform? Being fully decentralized it is up to our community to make this happen, social engagement and community are key. We are constantly bringing community members onto our team and rewarding those that benefit the ecosystem.” Statera is a way to make your investment more successful, and owning Statera let's you benefit from other people using it to make their investments more successful (a self feeding cycle).
Q5 From : @Carmenzamorag Statera's deflationary system is based in that with every transaction 1% of the amount is destroyed, would this lead to lack of supply and liquidity in the long term future? How would that be fixed?
The curve of supply is asymptote, meaning that it will never reach zero. The idea is that the deflationary process will slowly decrease the supply of STA, which – combined with a fixed or increaseing demand – will result in STA appreciating in value. Evidently, as the STA token increases in value, the amounts of STA being traded will slowly decrease: The typical investor might buy 10.000 STA at the current rate, but in the future (proportional to an increase in the valueation of STA) this number will tend to decrease, hence the future investor might only buy 1000 STA. This of course results in less STA being burned. Additionally, STA is divisible to the 18th decimal, why – even if the supply was to reach 1 STA – there would be a sufficient supply. Well this would be a question for a Mathematician, and luckily we’re loaded with them (as seen above)! I’ll try to illustrate with an example. 1% of 100 million is 1 million, 1% of 10 million is 100,000. As we go down in supply the burn is less by volume. What also happens at lower supply is higher prices (supply and demand economics). So those 1 million tokens burned may be worth $20,000, but by the time overall supply is at 10 million those 100,000 tokens may also be worth $20,000 or even more. This means you transact “less”, if you want to buy 1 Ether now with Statera you need 8,900 STA which would burn 89 tokens. If Statera is worth $100 you only need 2.32 statera (.023 tokens burned). Along with this proportional and relative burn decrease, tokens are 18 decimals long, so even when we get to 1 token left (which mathematically would take decades if not centuries, but that is wholly dependent on usage), you are still left with 10 to the 18th power, or one quintillion “tokens”. So it’s going to take us a while to have supply issues :)
Nuked Phase (3rd Part)
Q) What is your VISION and Mission?
Our working mission and vision: Mission: Provide every investor with simple and effective ways to invest in cryptocurrency. Decrease volatility and increase positive price pressure in cryptocurrency investments. Lower the barrier to entry for more advanced investment tools. Be a community focused and community driven cryptocurrency, fully decentralized by every meaning of the word. Vision: We aspire to put “cryptocurrency in every portfolio”. We envision a world where finance is given back to the people and wealth building strategies withheld only for affluent individuals are given to all. We also strive to create an investment environment based on sound monetary policy and all the power that comes with a sound asset.
Q) What are the benefits of STA for its investors in long term? Does STA have Afrika as an important area for its expansion?
We have ties to Africa and see Statera as a way for anyone and everyone to invest in cryptocurrency. The small marketcap of statera makes it's price low and it's upside massive. Right now if you wanted to be exposed to the price action of four cryptocurrencies (BTC, ETH, Link, SNX) Statera is a way to gain that exposure in a way that has a huge upside, compared to the other four assets, there are risks in investing in any small cap but with those risk come outsized rewards (not investment advice and all answers are solely my opinions 😊)
Q) In the long run, why should we trust and follow STATERA? How do you raise awareness and elimination of the doubts of investors / partners / customers?.
You're really asking "How do I trust myself and other crypto investors" The project is FULLY decentralized, it is now in the hands of the community. We would venture a guess that the community wants their investment to succeed and be worth more in the future, so you are betting on people. wanting to make themselves money on their own investment. This is a pretty sure bet. The community being active and engaged is key, and we have short term and long term plans to ensure this happens
Q) No one can doubt the strength of #Statera. But can you tell us some of the challenges and difficulties you're presently facing? How can you possibly overcome them?
We're swinging outside our weightclass, we don't see litecoin or SNX, or any other crypto product as our competition. Our competition is NASDAQ, Fidelity, etc. We want to provide world class financial instruments that only the wealthy have access to in the traditional world to everyone. Providing liquidity, risk parity, being paid to provide liquidity, unique value propositions, are all things we want to bring to everyone. However we are coming up in a hectic space, everyday their is fud and defamation on the web, but that is the sandbox we chose to play in and we aren't grabbing our ball and going home. We can tell you that we will not disappoint and fighting all the fud that comes along with being a small and upstart project only fuel our fire. Building legitimacy is our largest challenge and looking at our audit, financial report, and some things you will see in the coming weeks, we hope you see we are facing those challenges head on.
Q) What is the actual uniqueness of #Statera.??? Can you guys please explain tha advantages of #Statera over other projects.??
When we launched there were no other products like ours. There are now copies, and we wish them the best, but we have the best product, hands down. Over the next couple weeks this will become apparent, if it hasn't already, also a lot of the AMA answers dug deeper into our unique value proposition, especially the benefits we provide to Balancer Pools which shows the benefits we would provide for any index fund. We are a tool to improve cryptocurrency investing
Q) Fragmentation, layering and cross-chain are three future solutions for high-performance blockchains. Where is Statera currently? What are the main reasons for taking this direction?
We operate on the Ethereum chain, as it upgrades our services and usability will upgrade. We are working on UI and more user friendly systems to onboard people into our ecosystem
Q) How STATERA plan to make room and make this project known in the world of crypto, full of technology and full of new projects very good in today's market?
We think we have a truly innovative product, which - when first understood - appeals to most investors. Whether you want a high-volatility/medium-risk token like STA or whether you are more conservative and simply just plan on adding to the Statera pool BPT (which is not nearly as volatile but still offers great returns). We plan on making Statera known to the crypto world through a marketing campaign which slowly will be unravelled in the comming days and weeks. If interested, you can check out an analysis of the different investment options in the Statera ecosystem in our first financial report: https://medium.com/@stateraproject/statera-financial-reports-b47defb58a18
Q) Hello, cryptocurrencies are very volatile and follow bitcoin ... and does this apply to Statera? or is there some other logic present in some way? is statera token different from a current token? Are you working on listings on other exchanges?
Currently uniswap is somewhat uncomfortable for fees. We are also on bamboo relay, saturn network, and mesa. Statera will be volatile like all cryptocurrency, this is a small and nascent space. But with the deflationary mechanic and balancer pool, over time, as marketcap grows it will become less volatile and more positively reactive to price.
Q) Security is one of the most essential characteristics for a project to get reputation. How can #Statera Team assure to their community that users assets and investments will stay safe from unwanted agents?
We have been third party audited by the same company that worked with VeChain to audit their code. Our code has been shown to be bulletproof. Unless Ethereum comes up with a fatal security flaw there is nothing that can happen to our contract (there is no backdoor, no way for anyone to edit or adjust the smart contract).
Q) Many investors see the project from the price of the coin. Can you give us advantages why Statera is so suitable for long-term investment? and what makes Statera different from other similar projects?
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the most effective. A question you can ask is “What if this fails”? But you can also ask, “What if this succeeds”? Cryptocurrency is filled with asymmetric risks, we think if you look into the value proposition you will find that there is a huge asymmetric risk/reward in Statera, and we will make that even clearer in our soon to be released litepaper. You are on the ground floor of a simple but highly effective solution to onboarding people into defi, cryptocurrencies, and investing. Our product reduces volatility and increases gains (decreases beta and increases alpha in investor terms), which is highly attractive in any investment. The down side is there but the upside outweighs it exponentially (asymmetric risk)
Q) What your plans in place for global expansion, are Statera focusing on only market at this time? Or focus on building and developing or getting customers and users, or partnerships? Can you explain this?
We have reached out to influencers in other countries and things are in the works. We have also translated documents and are working on having them in at least 4 languages by the end of July. We were founded globally, our team is global, and we are focused on reaching all 7 billion people.
Q) Now in the cryptofield everyday there are new projects joining in the Blockchain space. They are upgraded, Well-established and coming up with innovative technology. How Statera going to compete with them? What do you think, one day Statera will become useless And will be lost into the abyss of time for not bringing any new technology?
We are the first of our kind, no one had a deflationary index fund before us. Index funds will be the future of crypto (look at the popularity of etfs and indexes in the traditional markets). We are a tool to make your index function better and pay you more. As long as people care about crypto index funds they will care about the value STA brings to that. We have an involved and long term plan to reach dominance over a 5 year span, this is not a flash in the pan, big things coming
Q1. You say that the weight and proportions of your tokens are constant. So how have you managed to prevent market price speculation from generating hypervolability in your token price? Do you consider yourselves a kind of stablecoin? Q2. How many jurisdictions allow the use of Stratera products and services? Are they available for Latin America? @joloroeowo The balancer ensures an equal ratio of 20% amongst the five tokens included in our fund. This, however, does not imply that the tokens are stable. Rather, the Balancer protocol helps mitigating price fluctuations.
Q) How can I as a Statera participant participate in liquidity mining, and receive BAL as reward? What are the use cases of $STA token, and how are users motivated to buy and hold long term?
The easiest way is to go to stateratoken.com and click trade then BPT. You can also buy all five tokens and click on portfolio then add liquidity. Balancer is working on a simpler interface to add liquidity with one token, we are waiting on them. I think we explained the use cases above
Q) What do you plan have for global expansion, is Statera currently focused solely on the market? Or is it focused on building and developing or acquiring customer and user or partnership relationships? Can you explain it?
We are currently working on promoting the project and further develope our product, making it lucrative for more new investors to join our pool and invest in the STA token.
Q1) Statera have 2 types of tokens, so can you tell me the differences between STA and STAC ? What are their uses cases? Is possible Swap between them? Q2) Currently the only possible Swap or "exchange" possible is Uniswap, so you do have plans to list the STA token into a more Exchanges?
STAC is obsolete, we only have STA and BPT (go to our website and click on trade) stateratoken.com BPT gives you more diversification and less risk, STA gives you more volatility and more chance for big gains. Q2 we are on multiple exchanges (4), bamboo relay, saturn, and mesa we do have plans for future exchanges but the big ones have processes and hoops to jump through that can't be done so quickly
Q) What business scenarios can STATERA support now? In which industries can we see the mass adoption of STATERA technology in the near future?
Statera increases the effectiveness of your cryptocurrency investments. Specifically it makes cryptocurrency index funds function better, netting you higher returns, which we have already seen in just one month of implementation. Right now, today, you can buy our BPT token and increase the functionality of holding a crypto index fund. In the future we want every single web user to see and use our product
Q) Do you plan to migrate to other platforms like Tron, BinanceChain, EOS, etc. if it is feasible??
Migrating our current contract is not. Starting new offerings on those other chains could be possible, they aren't on our radar currently but if the community requests them we are driven by our community
Q) ETH Blockchain is a Blockchain have many token based in it, i have used ETH blockchain long time and i see it have big fee and need much time to make a transcation so Why you choose to based STA in ETH blockchain not other like Bep2 or Trc20 ?
Simply: 100 million addresses, 1 million transactions a day. The more users we have the more we will benefit our community. We hope ETH 2.0 scaling will fix the problems you mention.
Q) No one achieve anything of value on its own, please can you share about Statera present and future partnerships that will drive you to success in this highly congested crypto space?
We have a unique product that no one else has (there are people who have copied us). We can't announce our current and future partnerships yet, but they will be released soon. Our future hopes of partnerships are big and will be key to our future, know we are focused on making big partnerships, some you may not even be thinking about.
Q) According to the fact that your algorithm causes 1% of each transaction to be destroyed, I would like to know, then, how you plan to finance yourself as a project in the long term?
The project is now in the hands of the community and we are a team of passionate people volunteering to help promote and develope the Statera ecosystem. But then, how do we afford running a promo campaign? We have lots of great community members donating funds that goes to promoting the project. In other words, the community helps financing the project. And so far, we have created a fantastic community consisting of passionate and well-educated people!
Q) There are many cryptocurrency startups were established by talent teams, but they got problem in raising capital via token sales due to many factors as bear market, bankrupt etc. This leaded their potential startups fail. So how will Statera break these barriers and attract more funds from outside crypto space?
We are community focused and community ran. When you look at centralized cryptocurrencies you can see the negative of them (Tron, ADA, etc.) We believe being fully decentralized is the true power position. You the owner of statera can affect our future and must affect our future. This direct ownership means people need to mobilize and organize to push us forward, and it is in their best self interest to do so. It's a bet on our community, we're excited about that bet
Q) What business scenarios can STATERA support now? In which industries can we see the mass adoption of STATERA technology in the near future?
Statera increases the effectiveness of your cryptocurrency investments. Specifically it makes cryptocurrency index funds function better, netting you higher returns, which we have already seen in just one month of implementation. Right now, today, you can buy our BPT token and increase the functionality of holding a crypto index fund. In the future we want every single web user to see and use our product
Q) Why being a hybrid of a liquidity pool and an index fund? What are the main benefits about this?
By being a liquidity pool the exchange side of the pool (balancer also functions as an exchange) gives you added liquidity for more effortless, effective, and cheaper rebalancing. You also benefit from getting paid the fee when people use the exchange AND getting paid BAL tokens that are worth $15-20 USD. These are not benefits you get with an index fund, meanwhile the liquidity pool rebalances just like an index fund would
Q) Which specific about technology and strategy of #STA that make you believe it will be successful and what does #STA plan do to attract more users in the upcoming time?
I think the idea behind Statera is truly ingenious. We have made an index fund, which investors are highly(!) incentivised to invest in, namely because the ROI, so far, has been huge. An increase in the pool liquidity (index fund) indirectly translates into an increase in the price of STA, why we think the STA token - combined with its deflationary nature - will increase in the long run. The mechanism behind this is somewhat complex, but to better get an understanding of it, I suggest you visit our medium page and read more about the project: https://medium.com/@stateraproject
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Round up of Cryptocurrency News #3 Week 20/07 - 26/07

Pssst! Hey you. Scroll down for commentary!
Important/Notable/Highlights:
Special Mentions:
You haven't had enough news? Here is some more:
Speculation:
You made it! :)
First up, SORRY! This has been a late post, I have my reasons don't question them (if you must know I'll be posting in the discord - one time only haha). Secondly, I am sure you can agree with me when I say "Wow!" What an incredible week it has been. Last week I thought it was going to take a couple more weeks for more moving price action when it had only taken a few days which has seen Bitcoin reach and pass the $10,000 region. We have also seen the total Market cap for cryptocurrencies increase from about 280B to over 300B (308B at time of writing) within just a few days. A huge injection of liquidity, about 40B, into the market and just to name a few of the best rises in the top 20 (on Coinmarketcap.com), the price of ETH BTC ADA have given good performances/positive responses (With this I will start adding screenshots at the end of each week for timestamp purposes).
This may be a combination from Binance, Mastercard, Paypal, Grayscale investments, VISA AND the DEFI sector. Let me explain... Last week we read about Binance integrating with the company Swipe (SXP) to issue there own debit card expanding the use and reach of cryptocurrency to 31 countries within Europe. Binance's Q2 scheduled token burn of $60.5 Million, this figure correlates with its exchange, margin and futures trading platforms where approximately 20% of profits get burned to increase the price of BNB token (careful as the price has been steady after the burn).
This week we find out Mastercard's expansion into the Cryptosphere as they expand and integrate with the Wirex team to issue a Mastercard-backed Bitcoin debit card, thus further extending the reach of cryptocurrency availability internationally.
"The cryptocurrency market continues to mature and Mastercard is driving it forward, creating safe and secure experiences for consumers and businesses in today’s digital economy " "...Our work with Wirex and the wider crypto ecosystem is accelerating innovation and empowering consumers with more choice in the way they pay"
Mastercard is also reaching out to other emerging cryptocurrency firms to apply to become principal members [Partners] with Mastercard as they have relaxed their digital assets program and look to expand into the Digital Assets and Blockchain environment.
Paypals expression of interest in cryptocurrency facilitiation may bear fruits as it is said Paypal has partnered up with stablecoin operator Paxos (who is already in partnership with Revolut in the US) to facilitate trading through a cryptocurrency brokerage which will enable other firms to integrate cryptocurrency trading functionalities with them. In my opinion this looks much more promising than the Libra association they pulled out from last October as regulations.
Grayscale Investments clears regulatory hurdle as they have been given the green light for its Bitcoin Cash Trust (BCHG) and Litecoin Trust (LTCN) to be quoted in over-the-counter (OTC) markets by US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
“The Trusts are open-ended trusts sponsored by Grayscale and are intended to enable exposure to the price movement of the Trusts’ underlying assets through a traditional investment vehicle, avoiding the challenges of buying, storing, and safekeeping digital Bitcoin Cash or Litecoin directly.”
More green lights for Cryptocurrency in the US as regulators allow banks to provide cryptocurrency custody services (which may go further than just custody services). A little bit strange as it seems unnecessary and undermines one of the key factors and uses of cryptocurrency which is to be in complete control of your own finances... On another outlook this may be bullish as it allows US banks to provide banking services directly to lawful cryptocurrency businesses and show support for Bitcoin.
Visa shows support stating they have a roadmap for their further expansion into the Crypto sphere. Already working with Crypto platform Coinbase and Fold they have stated they recognise the role of digital assets in the future of money. To be frank, it appears to be focused on stable coins, cost effectiveness and transaction speeds. However they are expanding their support for crypto assets.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, DeFI! Our very own growing section in crypto. Just like the 2017 ICO boom we are seeing exorbitant growth and FOMO into the Decentralised Finance sector (WBTC, Stablecoins, Yield farming, DEXs etc). The amount of active addresses on Ethereum has doubled but with the FOMO on their network have sky rocketed their fees! Large use-cases of stable coins such as USDT ($6B in circulation using ERC-20 standard), DAI, TUSD, and PAX. $114M Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) on their network acts as a fluid side chain for Bitcoin and DEX trade volume has touched $1.6B this month. With all this action happening on Ethereum I saw the 24HR volume surpass BTC briefly on Worldcoinindex.com
In other news, Bitcoin has been set as a new precedent in a US federal court in a case against Larry Dean Harmon, the operator of an underground trading platform Helix. Bitcoin has now legally been ruled as a form of money.
“After examination of the relevant statutes, case law, and other sources, the Court concludes that bitcoin is money under the MTA and that Helix, as described in the indictment, was an `unlicensed money transmitting business´ under applicable federal law.”
Quick news in China/Asia as floods threaten miners and the most dominant ASIC Bitcoin mining rig manufacturer Bitmain loses 10,000 Antminers worth millions alledgedly goes missing or "illegally transfered" with ongoing leadership dispute between cofounders.
Last but not least, Cardano (ADA) upgrade Shelley is ready to launch! Hardfork is initiated as final countdown clock is switched on. At time of writing the point of no return has been reached, stress tests done and confirmation Hardfork is coming 29/07 The Shelley Mainnet upgrade is a step toward fast, capable and decentralised crypto that can serve billions of people. With the Shelley Mainnet is ADA staking rewards and pools! Here is a chance for us Gravychainers to set up a small pool of our own. Small percentage of profits going into the development of the community, and you keep the rest!
If you read all of my ramblings thanks heaps! I appreciate it! I have added an extra piece of reading called speculation. Most you can speculate on by just reading the headline some others have more depth to them.
Another post next week for a weekly round up! Where do you think the market is going? What is in your portfolio? Let us know in the Gravychain Discord Channel
See you soon!
🍕 Bring some virtual pizza to share 🍕
Come have a chat, stimulate a discussion, ask a question or share some knowledge. We are all friendly crypto enthusiasts up for a chat, supportive and want to help each other with knowledge and investments!
Big thanks to our Telegram and My Crypto HQ for the constant news updates!
P.S.
Dr Seuss collectables on the blockchain HECK YEAH! and Bitcoin enters NASCAR, remember when Doge did this? it was like when Doge was trending on TikTok.
... Oh yeah did I also mention Steve Wozniak is suing Youtube, Google over rampant Bitcoin scams. Wait, what? Sydney based law firm JPB Liberty is suing Google, Facebook and Twitter for up to $300B. Just another day in the Cryptosphere.
submitted by IOTAbesomewhere to Gravychain [link] [comments]

An altcoin hits the $1 Billion market cap for the first time ever. Bitcoin supporters should be very worried by this. (A necessary FUD post)

Today, for the first time ever, a cryptocurrency other than bitcoin hit a $1 billion market cap. That is roughly 1/6 of bitcoin's. At it's current rate of growth it will be worth more than bitcoin within a month. Let that sink in a second.
Currently almost all the money pouring into this altcoin is coming from bitcoin holders. Longterm bitcoin holders (like myself) are losing faith in bitcoin and it's leadership but most of us haven't completely given up on cryptocurrencies in general.
This is going to sound like FUD.....because it is FUD. What people need to have right now is fear, uncertainty and doubt because bitcoin has never been in such a precarious position. We are in a worst-case scenario right now.
The bitcoin network is currently at capacity. What happens if the price starts to drop and people want to sell for fiat or an altcoin? The network will become completely congested and simply amplify the problem. Bitcoin as a payment network will fail and simultaneously bitcoin as a store of value will fail. All the trust built up in the network will also vanish. The experiment fails and VERY hard lesson will be learnt.
So what are our options?
submitted by singularity87 to btc [link] [comments]

The biggest cryptocurrency thefts in the last 10 years

In this article, we will try to remember all the major theft of cryptocurrencies over the past 10 years.
1. Bitstamp $5.3 mln (BTC), January 4th, 2015
On January 4, 2015, the operational hot wallet of Bitstamp announced that it was hacked by an anonymous hacker and 19,000 Bitcoins (worth of $5 million) were lost.
The initiation of the attack fell on November 4, 2014. Then Damian Merlak, the CTO of the exchange, was offered free tickets to punk rock festival Punk Rock Holiday 2015 via Skype, knowing that Merlak is interested in such music and he plays in the band. To receive the tickets, he was asked to fill out a participant questionnaire by sending a file named “Punk Rock Holiday 2015 TICKET Form1.doc”. This file contained the VBA script. By opening the file, he downloaded the malware on his computer. Although Merlak did not suspect wrong and has opened the "application form", to any critical consequences, this did not open access to the funds of exchange.
The attackers, however, did not give up. The attack continued for five weeks, during which hackers presented themselves as journalists, then headhunters.
Finally, the attackers were lucky. On December 11, 2014, the infected word document was opened on his machine by Bitstamp system administrator Luka Kodric, who had access to the exchange wallet. The file came to the victim by email, allegedly on behalf of an employee of the Association for computer science, although in fact, as the investigation showed, the traces of the file lead deep into Tor. Hackers were not limited to just one letter. Skype attacker pretending to be an employee of the Association for computing machinery, convinced that his Frame though to make international honor society, which required some paperwork. Kodric believed.
By installing a Trojan on Kodriс's computer hackers were able to obtain direct access to the hot wallet of the exchange. The logs show that the attacker, under the account of Kodric, gained access to the server LNXSRVBTC, where he kept the wallet file.dat, and the DORNATA server where the password was stored. Then the servers were redirected to a certain IP address that belongs to one of the providers of Germany.
There are still no official reports of arrests in this case. Obviously, the case is complicated by the fact that the hackers are outside the UK, and the investigation has to cooperate with law enforcement agencies in other countries.
2. GateHub $9.5 mln (XRP), June 1th, 2019
Hackers have compromised nearly 100 XRP Ledger wallets on cryptocurrency wallet service GateHub. The incident was reported by GateHub in a preliminary statement on June 6.
XRP enthusiast Thomas Silkjær, who first noticed the suspicious activity, estimates that the hackers have stolen nearly $10 million worth of cryptocurrency (23,200,000 XRP), $5.5 million (13,100,000 XRP) of which has already been laundered through exchanges and mixer services.
GateHub notes that it is still conducting an investigation and therefore cannot publish any official findings. Also, GateHub advises victims to make complaints to the relevant authorities of their jurisdiction.
3. Tether, $30.9 mln (USDT), November 19th, 2017
Tether created a digital currency called "US tokens" (USDT) — they could be used to trade real goods using Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ether. By depositing $1 in Tether, the user received 1 USD, which can be converted back into fiat. On November 19, 2017, the attacker gained access to the main Tether wallet and withdrew $ 30.9 million in tokens. For the transaction, he used a Bitcoin address, which means that it was irreversible.
To fix the situation, Tether took action by which the hacker was unable to withdraw the stolen money to fiat or Bitcoin, but the panic led to a decrease in the value of Bitcoin.
4. Ethereum, $31 mln (ETH), July 20th, 2017
On July 20, 2017, the hacker transferred 153,037 Ethers to $31 million from three very large wallets owned by SwarmCity, Edgeless Casino and Eternity. Unknown fraudster managed to change the ownership of wallets, taking advantage of the vulnerability with multiple signatures.
First, the theft was noticed by the developers of SwarmCity.
Further events deserve a place in history: "white hackers" returned the stolen funds, and then protected other compromised accounts. They acted in the same way as criminals, who stole funds from vulnerable wallets — just not for themselves. And it all happened in less than a day.
5. Dao (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) $70 mln (ETH), June 18th, 2016
On June 18, 2016, members of the Ethereum community noticed that funds were being drained from the DAO and the overall ETH balance of the smart contract was going down. A total of 3.6 million Ether (worth around $70 million at the time) was drained by the hacker in the first few hours. The attack was possible because of an exploit found in the splitting function. The attackes withdrew Ether from the DAO smart contract multiple times using the same DAO Tokens. This was possible due to what is known as a recursive call exploit.
In this exploit, the attacker was able to "ask" the smart contract (DAO) to give the Ether back multiple times before the smart contract could update its own balance. There were two main faults that made this possible: the fact that when the DAO smart contract was created the coders did not take into account the possibility of a recursive call, and the fact that the smart contract first sent the ETH funds and then updated the internal token balance.
It's important to understand that this bug did not come from Ethereum itself, but from this one application that was built on Ethereum. The code written for the DAO had multiple bugs, and the recursive call exploit was one of them. Another way to look at this situation is to compare Ethereum to the Internet and any application based on Ethereum to a website: if a website is not working, it doesn't mean that the Internet is not working, it simply means that one website has a problem.
The hacker stopped draining the DAO for unknown reasons, even though they could have continued to do so.
The Ethereum community and team quickly took control of the situation and presented multiple proposals to deal with the exploit. In order to prevent the hacker from cashing in the Ether from his child DAO after the standard 28 days, a soft-fork was voted on and came very close to being introduced. A few hours before it was set to be released, a few members of the community found a bug with the implementation that opened a denial-of-service attack vector. This soft fork was designed to blacklist all the transactions made from the DAO.
6. NiceHash, 4736.42 (BTC), December 6th, 2017
NiceHash is a Slovenian cryptocurrency hash power broker with integrated marketplace that connects sellers of hashing power (miners) with buyers of hashing power using the sharing economy approach.
On December 6, 2017, the company's servers became the target of attack. At first, Reddit users reported that they could not access their funds and make transactions — when they tried to log in, they were shown a message about a service interruption. In the end, it became known that the service had undergone a major cyberattack and 4736,42 Bitcoins disappeared without a trace.
Despite heavy losses, NiceHash was able to continue working, but CEO and founder Marco Koval resigned, giving way to a new team. The company managed to maintain the trust of investors and began to strengthen the protection of its systems.
7. Mt.Gox, 850000 (BTC), June 19th, 2011
The Hacking Of Mt.Gox was one of the biggest Bitcoin thefts in history. It was the work of highly professional hackers using complex vulnerabilities.
A hacker (or a group of hackers) allegedly gained access to a computer owned by one of the auditors and used a security vulnerability to access Mt.Gox servers, then changed the nominal value of Bitcoin to 1 cent per coin.
Then they brought out about 2000 BTC. Some customers, without knowing it, conducted transactions at this low price, a total of 650 BTC, and despite the fact that the hacking hit the headlines around the world, no Bitcoin could be returned.
To increase investor confidence, the company has compensated all of the stolen coins, placed most of the remaining funds in offline storage, and the next couple of years was considered the most reliable Bitcoin exchanger in the world.
However, it was only an illusion of reliability.
The problems of the organization were much more serious, and the management probably did not even know about them.
CEO of Mt.Gox, Mark Karpeles, was originally a developer, but over time he stopped delving into technical details, basking in the rays of glory — because he created the world's largest platform for cryptocurrency exchange. At that time Mt.Gox handled over 70% of all Bitcoin transactions.
And, of course, there were those who wanted to take advantage of the technological weakness of the service. At some point, hackers made it so that Bitcoins could be bought at any price, and within minutes millions of dollars worth of coins were sold — mostly for pennies. World prices for Bitcoin stabilized in a few minutes, but it was too late.
As a result, Mt.Gox lost about 850,000 Bitcoins. The exchange had to declare bankruptcy, hundreds of thousands of people lost money, and the Japanese authorities arrested CEO Mark Karpeles for fraud. He pleaded not guilty and was subsequently released. In 2014, the authorities restored some of the Bitcoins remaining at the old addresses, but did not transfer them to the exchange, and created a trust to compensate for the losses of creditors.
8. Coincheck, $530 mln, January 26th, 2018
The sum was astonishing, and even surpassed the infamous Mt.Gox hack.
While Mt.Gox shortly filed for bankruptcy following the hack, Coincheck has surprisingly remained in business and was even recently approved as a licensed exchange by Japan’s Financial Services (FSA).
Coincheck was founded in 2014 in Japan and was one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. Offering a wide variety of digital assets including Bitcoin, Ether, LISK, and NEM, Coincheck was an emerging exchange that joined the Japan Blockchain Association.
Since Coincheck was founded it 2014, it was incidentally not subject to new exchange registration requirements with Japan’s FSA — who rolled out a framework after Mt. Gox –, and eventually was a contributing factor to its poor security standards that led to the hack.
On January 26th, 2018, Coincheck posted on their blog detailing that they were restricting NEM deposits and withdrawals, along with most other methods for buying or selling cryptocurrencies on the platform. Speculation arose that the exchange had been hacked, and the NEM developers issued a statement saying they were unaware of any technical glitches in the NEM protocol and any issues were a result of the exchange’s security.
Coincheck subsequently held a high-profile conference where they confirmed that hackers had absconded with 500 million NEM tokens that were then distributed to 19 different addresses on the network. Totaling roughly $530 million at the time — NEM was hovering around $1 then — the Coincheck hack was considered the largest theft in the industry’s history.
Coincheck was compelled to reveal some embarrassing details about their exchange’s security, mentioning how they stored all of the NEM in a single hot wallet and did not use the NEM multisignature contract security recommended by the developers.
Simultaneously, the NEM developers team had tagged all of the NEM stolen in the hack with a message identifying the funds as stolen so that other exchanges would not accept them. However, NEM announced they were ending their hunt for the stolen NEM for unspecified reasons several months later, and speculation persisted that hackers were close to cashing out the stolen funds on the dark web.
Mainstream media covered the hack extensively and compared it to similar failures by cryptocurrency exchanges in the past to meet adequate security standards. At the time, most media coverage of cryptocurrencies was centered on their obscure nature, dramatic volatility, and lack of security. Coincheck’s hack fueled that narrative considerably as the stolen sum was eye-popping and the cryptocurrency used — NEM — was unknown to most in the mainstream.
NEM depreciated rapidly following the hack, and the price fell even more throughout 2018, in line with the extended bear market in the broader industry. Currently, NEM is trading at approximately $0.07, a precipitous fall from ATH over $1.60 in early January.
The extent of the Coincheck hack was rivaled by only a few other hacks, notably the Mt.Gox hack. While nominally Coincheck is the largest hack in the industry’s history, the effects of Mt.Gox were significantly more impactful since the stolen funds consisted only of Bitcoin and caused a sustained market correction as well as an ongoing controversy with the stolen funds and founder. Moreover, Mt.Gox squandered 6% of the overall Bitcoin circulation at the time in a market that was much less mature than it is today.
Despite the fallout, Coincheck is now fully operational and registered with Japan’s FSA.
As practice shows, people make mistakes and these mistakes can cost a lot. Especially, when we talk about mad cryptoworld. Be careful and keep your private keys in a safe place.
submitted by SwapSpace_co to BitcoinMarkets [link] [comments]

Cryptocurrency Trading With Forex. How does It work?

The demand of cryptocurrency is growing every day. New technologies demonstrate potential power, demonstrating that a currency that is not controlled by the state can really exist.
Rather than just Bitcoin today a large number of alternative forks have been created in the blockchain. In this article, we will examine what is a cryptocurrency, features of its reputation, as well as methods of working in the Forex market.

What Are Cryptocurrencies?

So, first, let's find out what is cryptocurrency. In essence, it is a decentralized digital network that is based on mathematical principles and is protected by cryptographic methods.
This Digital currency is anonymous, genuine, and in fact open, so shifts between wallet owners are done in minutes, depending on the type of currency. Digital money is not attached to fiat currency, and its product is originally restricted by the algorithm.
First in cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, which appeared in 2009.
After Bitcoin demonstrated its promise, which happened relatively quickly, other digital currencies called altcoins began to appear at an active rate. Today, there are alternative "crypts" with more than 950 items. Nevertheless, not all of them are traded on exchanges and are engaging to investors, miners and traders.
The cryptocurrency market operates 7 days a week and 24 hours a day, allowing exchange participants to buy, sell, and exchange currencies at any convenient time.
This type of working also dismisses the concept of a trading session, which indicates that price variations can be hard at any time of the day.
Furthermore, the market is very volatile, increasing its speculative appeal, and a large number of altcoins opens up more opportunities for exchange participants in terms of trade and investment.
First of all, popularity is, of course, Bitcoin, and the percentage of its dominance over other currencies is 42.2%. The most famous coins today involve Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Dash, Cardano and Zcash.
Overall, in today's crypto market, there is active growth of many currencies. In this connection, investments in altcoins raised, which in a particular way, affected their development and rose theirs in value.
Without a doubt, in the market for every cryptocurrency today, one can observe deep bribes or negligible price corrections. However, the general growth trend is unequivocally present.
Therefore, many have already taken their savings out from under the mattresses and rushed to buy dynamic developing alternative currencies.

Crypto Trading with Forex Brokers

Today, digital money is available on brokerage firms' platforms as an alternative trading tool, which is implemented not only in direct trading of crypto assets but also in indifferent value contracts.
Many Forex brokers provide you to start crypto accounts and trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, etc in pairs with EUR, JPY USD, RUR, and CNH
The replenishment of the account and the withdrawal of funds are carried out through specialized payment systems. Therefore, after the withdrawal of profits, the trader will only have to exchange the coins earned for real money on online exchanges.
Also, some brokers allow direct trading of Bitcoin and Ethereum alongside the dollar.
Cryptocurrency is a promising investment and trading tool where everyone can find their own profit. In fact, it is easier to exchange it in Forex, since you can win with the same success both in the increases in the course and in your falls.
The most reliable Forex brokers to gamble on cryptocurrencies foretell a continuation of the growth trend in the estimation of all currencies, so the one who worries that the bubble will collapse still has an opportunity to obtain their share of the desired profit.
Those who do not have digital currency can use CFD contracts for difference in normal types of trading accounts with related efficiency
This service is obtainable in the Alpari, InstaForex and Forex Club brokers.
submitted by jakkkmotivator to thecryptobasic [link] [comments]

Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential

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

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

///Upcoming Developments///

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

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

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

///Speculation///

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

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

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

///Conclusion///

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

Curiosity/Motivation/Logic and why stablecoins are the future

From the Prohashing mining pool forums, at https://forums.prohashing.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=6428:
-----------------------------

In my last post, I showed why my confidence in there being more than one more bubble is too low to justify remaining heavily invested in cryptocurrencies. In this article I want to expand upon that reasoning by talking a little bit about human factors that lead me to believe that stablecoins pose a great risk to traditional cryptocurrencies.
Defining CML
People differ in a number of ways, and they express all sorts of personality traits. However, in my interactions with people in all areas of life, I've noticed that one characteristic seems to differentiate people more than any other. I'll refer to this characteristic as "CML" throughout the rest of this post, as the best way I was able to describe it is a sequence of curiosity, motivation, and logic. People who exhibit this trait use those three steps to evaluate and act when faced with most situations, while people who do not exhibit this trait fail to do so. An overwhelming majority of people do not possess the "CML" trait and its absence increasingly hinders their abilities to understand and succeed in the world as technology and social structures become increasingly complex.
Here are a few examples of common scenarios people face in life.
When presented with new information or with a decision, high-CML people are curious about how things work. They are motivated to learn more about the topic. They use logic to think through why things are they way they are, and arrive at a logical conclusion based upon the new knowledge they gained by being curious and motivated. In contrast, when low-CML people are presented with new information or a decision, they lack the curiosity and motivation to improve their knowledge, and often do what is most common in society.
You can tell that a person is low-CML if he says phrases like "that's dumb," "you're weird," or "because I don't like it." The response in some forums where I reposted the last post about bubbles and the singularity was met by many low-CML people stating it was "insane" or "delusional." High-CML people but who disapprove of something would instead say "that point is wrong because..." The first phrases demonstrate a lack of thought about the topic, while the last shows that the person spent some time considering the topic, even though they both come to the same conclusion. You can probably picture several people you know who are low-CML, and may know someone who is high-CML.
CML is not related to intelligence, and low-CML people are not dumb. While there are some people who unfortunately have severe disabilities and will never be able to understand most topics, 99% of people can gain enough knowledge of almost any topic to make good decisions if they are willing to spend a little energy on learning about it. Even complex topics, like computer programming, are within reach of most people. While learning how to avoid race conditions in Javascript is a challenge, it's not difficult to understand the difference between a client and a server, how a single core processor differs from a quad-core processor, or that a computer consists of memory and a CPU and a hard drive. Consider how many people spend 12 hours a day looking at their phone screens, but have never bothered to understand what the purpose of graphics processor is.
Low-CML people innately believe that they do not have the ability to learn or think logically. Therefore, they take the easiest way out on almost everything, even though that repeatedly leads to suboptimal outcomes for them. They make the same mistakes over and over, despite the fact that there is almost always a way to put in 5% more effort to get out something that is 50% better.
The world's problems
As technology continues to advance at an ever increasing pace, CML is becoming the core trait that divides humanity. Increasingly, people are becoming divided into two camps - those who understand the basics of how computers work, and those who do not. And the difference between people who understand the basics is not intelligence, education, or age, but whether a person is low-CML or high-CML.
At the core of most of the political issues of today is a battle between low-CML people who believe they are powerless against technological change, and high-CML people who take the time to understand these changes. Trump, Johnson, and (to a lesser extent so far) Le Pen have been effective at rallying people who do not exhibit the curiosity to learn about why the world is the way it is. Their opponents are people who have put careful thought into the issues and come to a reasoned belief.
Unfortunately, the number of people who are motivated to learn new information and remain informed in the world is far lower than the number of people who never examine the reasons why anything is true. One of the reasons why fake news is so prevalent and effective is apparently because many people share articles after having only read the headline. The politicians above recognize this low motivation to read the article and create false soundbytes that they know low-CML people will not take the time to fact-check.
An enormous amount of effort is now being spent on making products inferior to what they used to be to cater to low-CML people. For example, when Windows boots, in 1995 there used to be a list of the drivers being loaded. Then, in 2005 there was a progress bar. Now, there's a spinning or pulsing Windows logo with no information indicating what is happening at all. Even though these changes didn't affect the stability of Windows or the load time in any way, Microsoft hid useful information, probably because a marketing department found that low-CML people had a negative reaction to seeing code they said was "nerdy" or "weird."
How CML relates to cryptocurrencies
Now that you're aware of what CML is, it should be easy to explain why I believe that stablecoins are the first real threat to cryptocurrency.
In a recent conversation, I discussed Purse.io with someone. I had mentioned that my Purse orders were being regularly filled at 33% discounts, and that I had saved about $3000 during the past year by using Purse. I asked why he hadn't used Purse, given that he earned much less than I did and that $3000 to him would be life changing. His response was immediate and typical of a low-CML person: because bitcoins have too much volatility. I explained to him that volatility isn't a factor because you can buy the amount of bitcoin cash you need, send it to Purse, and spend it immediately, all within 10 minutes. The next response was that there were crashes in cryptocurrencies, so I pointed out that while that crashes did occur, it is extremely rare, if ever, that the price of bitcoin cash fell by 33% in 10 minutes - so even if there were a crash, you could still save money.
In the end, that person never did sign up for Purse - and that should be a huge warning flag to everyone. Purse is as close to a "killer app" for cryptocurrency as there ever will be. On bulk trash collection weekends near where I live, there are huge pickup trucks owned by people who supplement their income by driving hundreds of miles around the neighborhoods picking up metal to sell it at a few cents per pound to a scrapyard, costing hundreds of dollars in gas and maintenance to scrape out a miniscule profit. These same people could sign up for Purse and order necessities, like toothpaste and soap, saving more money in an hour than the few bucks they can make (and that's before taxes) in an entire night picking up trash, simply because they think Purse is too complicated.
The enormous discounts on Purse - the maximum of 33% - remain. In any efficient market, one would expect these discounts to decline to be close to what one can achieve by gaming the credit card system, where one can get 5% cash back on Amazon with some cards. The belief that cryptocurrency is too complicated and volatile is so anathema to low-CML people that they are willing to ignore thousands of dollars in savings because they aren't willing to try it and form their own opinions.
Why stablecoins will become dominant
Stablecoins are the exact type of product that appeals to low-CML people, because they are exactly the same thing as government-backed money is. They are just backed by corporations instead. Science fiction has, for 50 years, been predicting what is happening with stablecoins, where eventually corporations gain so much power that they buy entire planets and mine them for minerals. The only difference these authors failed to predict is that instead of employees of the huge corporations spending company scrip, they will be spending cryptocurrencies created by the companies. These stablecoins can be backed by more than one asset across a wide range of classes, such as gold, bitcoins, real estate, and other things, to prevent inflation or deflation better than today's currencies do.
One of the reasons why stablecoins will become dominant is that low-CML people aren't willing to question what money is backed by, as many cryptocurrency enthusiasts do, or learn about economics. They won't care that their money is backed by facebook instead of the United States. As long as it appears to be worth the same amount, that will be fine with them. They won't look into whether facebook actually is in good financial condition to back that promise, just as many people share headlines without even a cursory glance to see whether they have any possibility of being true.
Unbacked cryptocurrencies have turned into a circus. After an entire decade, they still aren't used for everyday purchases, and the volatility in the past week has been more ridiculous than ever. Low-CML people are not motivated to spend a few minutes learning about why these coins are valuable and useful. If they had been motivated, these markets wouldn't be in the absurd state they are in now.
Conclusion
In conclusion, I've had to change my outlook from years ago after realizing that stablecoins are likely to suck up most of the world's money over the next ten years. Unlike bitcoin, they are run by corporations that can make a profit by advertising the coins and getting people to use them. Low-CML people, who are the majority of people in society, follow what they are told without being willing to understand why they are told it. As the incredible Purse discounts show, low-CML people are so unwilling to understand existing coins that they will pay 50% more for some goods, just so they don't have to use bitcoin cash.
The existing cryptocurrencies will still be around, and they will still appreciate greatly in value from what they are worth now. But I now expect their usage to continue to be limited to speculation and trading. If 1% of the world has used bitcoins so far, then I doubt that more than 10% of the population will ever own unpegged coins, despite 100% of people eventually using cryptocurrency. Bitcoin will become an even more valuable currency, but it will not become the dominant currency for everyday use because low-CML people will not take the time to understand it.
If you are trying to predict the future value of bitcoins or litecoins, the most important statistic you should be evaluating is what you believe the percentage of high-CML people in the world is. Since almost all the people reading this article are high-CML (given its length and the uncommon opinions presented), and most high-CML people associate with like people, I think they overestimate the percentage of high-CML people in the world. My belief is that the percentage is less than 10%, which is why stablecoins will dominate and bitcoins are very unlikely to ever meet the seven-figure valuations some users are predicting.
submitted by MattAbrams to BitcoinMarkets [link] [comments]

Let's just force Segwit on Litecoin, we're literally just floating in the water right now drifting away, we need to upgrade now!

Dash is $80 right now, Ethereum $25, literally everything has skyrocketed,
submitted by IshidaT to litecoin [link] [comments]

The biggest cryptocurrency thefts in the last 10 years

In this article, we will try to remember all the major theft of cryptocurrencies over the past 10 years.
1. Bitstamp $5.3 mln (BTC), January 4th, 2015
On January 4, 2015, the operational hot wallet of Bitstamp announced that it was hacked by an anonymous hacker and 19,000 Bitcoins (worth of $5 million) were lost.
The initiation of the attack fell on November 4, 2014. Then Damian Merlak, the CTO of the exchange, was offered free tickets to punk rock festival Punk Rock Holiday 2015 via Skype, knowing that Merlak is interested in such music and he plays in the band. To receive the tickets, he was asked to fill out a participant questionnaire by sending a file named “Punk Rock Holiday 2015 TICKET Form1.doc”. This file contained the VBA script. By opening the file, he downloaded the malware on his computer. Although Merlak did not suspect wrong and has opened the "application form", to any critical consequences, this did not open access to the funds of exchange.
The attackers, however, did not give up. The attack continued for five weeks, during which hackers presented themselves as journalists, then headhunters.
Finally, the attackers were lucky. On December 11, 2014, the infected word document was opened on his machine by Bitstamp system administrator Luka Kodric, who had access to the exchange wallet. The file came to the victim by email, allegedly on behalf of an employee of the Association for computer science, although in fact, as the investigation showed, the traces of the file lead deep into Tor. Hackers were not limited to just one letter. Skype attacker pretending to be an employee of the Association for computing machinery, convinced that his Frame though to make international honor society, which required some paperwork. Kodric believed.
By installing a Trojan on Kodriс's computer hackers were able to obtain direct access to the hot wallet of the exchange. The logs show that the attacker, under the account of Kodric, gained access to the server LNXSRVBTC, where he kept the wallet file.dat, and the DORNATA server where the password was stored. Then the servers were redirected to a certain IP address that belongs to one of the providers of Germany.
There are still no official reports of arrests in this case. Obviously, the case is complicated by the fact that the hackers are outside the UK, and the investigation has to cooperate with law enforcement agencies in other countries.
2. GateHub $9.5 mln (XRP), June 1th, 2019
Hackers have compromised nearly 100 XRP Ledger wallets on cryptocurrency wallet service GateHub. The incident was reported by GateHub in a preliminary statement on June 6.
XRP enthusiast Thomas Silkjær, who first noticed the suspicious activity, estimates that the hackers have stolen nearly $10 million worth of cryptocurrency (23,200,000 XRP), $5.5 million (13,100,000 XRP) of which has already been laundered through exchanges and mixer services.
GateHub notes that it is still conducting an investigation and therefore cannot publish any official findings. Also, GateHub advises victims to make complaints to the relevant authorities of their jurisdiction.
3. Tether, $30.9 mln (USDT), November 19th, 2017
Tether created a digital currency called "US tokens" (USDT) — they could be used to trade real goods using Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ether. By depositing $1 in Tether, the user received 1 USD, which can be converted back into fiat. On November 19, 2017, the attacker gained access to the main Tether wallet and withdrew $ 30.9 million in tokens. For the transaction, he used a Bitcoin address, which means that it was irreversible.
To fix the situation, Tether took action by which the hacker was unable to withdraw the stolen money to fiat or Bitcoin, but the panic led to a decrease in the value of Bitcoin.
4. Ethereum, $31 mln (ETH), July 20th, 2017
On July 20, 2017, the hacker transferred 153,037 Ethers to $31 million from three very large wallets owned by SwarmCity, Edgeless Casino and Eternity. Unknown fraudster managed to change the ownership of wallets, taking advantage of the vulnerability with multiple signatures.
First, the theft was noticed by the developers of SwarmCity.
Further events deserve a place in history: "white hackers" returned the stolen funds, and then protected other compromised accounts. They acted in the same way as criminals, who stole funds from vulnerable wallets — just not for themselves. And it all happened in less than a day.
5. Dao (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) $70 mln (ETH), June 18th, 2016
On June 18, 2016, members of the Ethereum community noticed that funds were being drained from the DAO and the overall ETH balance of the smart contract was going down. A total of 3.6 million Ether (worth around $70 million at the time) was drained by the hacker in the first few hours. The attack was possible because of an exploit found in the splitting function. The attackes withdrew Ether from the DAO smart contract multiple times using the same DAO Tokens. This was possible due to what is known as a recursive call exploit.
In this exploit, the attacker was able to "ask" the smart contract (DAO) to give the Ether back multiple times before the smart contract could update its own balance. There were two main faults that made this possible: the fact that when the DAO smart contract was created the coders did not take into account the possibility of a recursive call, and the fact that the smart contract first sent the ETH funds and then updated the internal token balance.
It's important to understand that this bug did not come from Ethereum itself, but from this one application that was built on Ethereum. The code written for the DAO had multiple bugs, and the recursive call exploit was one of them. Another way to look at this situation is to compare Ethereum to the Internet and any application based on Ethereum to a website: if a website is not working, it doesn't mean that the Internet is not working, it simply means that one website has a problem.
The hacker stopped draining the DAO for unknown reasons, even though they could have continued to do so.
The Ethereum community and team quickly took control of the situation and presented multiple proposals to deal with the exploit. In order to prevent the hacker from cashing in the Ether from his child DAO after the standard 28 days, a soft-fork was voted on and came very close to being introduced. A few hours before it was set to be released, a few members of the community found a bug with the implementation that opened a denial-of-service attack vector. This soft fork was designed to blacklist all the transactions made from the DAO.
6. NiceHash, 4736.42 (BTC), December 6th, 2017
NiceHash is a Slovenian cryptocurrency hash power broker with integrated marketplace that connects sellers of hashing power (miners) with buyers of hashing power using the sharing economy approach.
On December 6, 2017, the company's servers became the target of attack. At first, Reddit users reported that they could not access their funds and make transactions — when they tried to log in, they were shown a message about a service interruption. In the end, it became known that the service had undergone a major cyberattack and 4736,42 Bitcoins disappeared without a trace.
Despite heavy losses, NiceHash was able to continue working, but CEO and founder Marco Koval resigned, giving way to a new team. The company managed to maintain the trust of investors and began to strengthen the protection of its systems.
7. Mt.Gox, 850000 (BTC), June 19th, 2011
The Hacking Of Mt.Gox was one of the biggest Bitcoin thefts in history. It was the work of highly professional hackers using complex vulnerabilities.
A hacker (or a group of hackers) allegedly gained access to a computer owned by one of the auditors and used a security vulnerability to access Mt.Gox servers, then changed the nominal value of Bitcoin to 1 cent per coin.
Then they brought out about 2000 BTC. Some customers, without knowing it, conducted transactions at this low price, a total of 650 BTC, and despite the fact that the hacking hit the headlines around the world, no Bitcoin could be returned.
To increase investor confidence, the company has compensated all of the stolen coins, placed most of the remaining funds in offline storage, and the next couple of years was considered the most reliable Bitcoin exchanger in the world.
However, it was only an illusion of reliability.
The problems of the organization were much more serious, and the management probably did not even know about them.
CEO of Mt.Gox, Mark Karpeles, was originally a developer, but over time he stopped delving into technical details, basking in the rays of glory — because he created the world's largest platform for cryptocurrency exchange. At that time Mt.Gox handled over 70% of all Bitcoin transactions.
And, of course, there were those who wanted to take advantage of the technological weakness of the service. At some point, hackers made it so that Bitcoins could be bought at any price, and within minutes millions of dollars worth of coins were sold — mostly for pennies. World prices for Bitcoin stabilized in a few minutes, but it was too late.
As a result, Mt.Gox lost about 850,000 Bitcoins. The exchange had to declare bankruptcy, hundreds of thousands of people lost money, and the Japanese authorities arrested CEO Mark Karpeles for fraud. He pleaded not guilty and was subsequently released. In 2014, the authorities restored some of the Bitcoins remaining at the old addresses, but did not transfer them to the exchange, and created a trust to compensate for the losses of creditors.
8. Coincheck, $530 mln, January 26th, 2018
The sum was astonishing, and even surpassed the infamous Mt.Gox hack.
While Mt.Gox shortly filed for bankruptcy following the hack, Coincheck has surprisingly remained in business and was even recently approved as a licensed exchange by Japan’s Financial Services (FSA).
Coincheck was founded in 2014 in Japan and was one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. Offering a wide variety of digital assets including Bitcoin, Ether, LISK, and NEM, Coincheck was an emerging exchange that joined the Japan Blockchain Association.
Since Coincheck was founded it 2014, it was incidentally not subject to new exchange registration requirements with Japan’s FSA — who rolled out a framework after Mt. Gox –, and eventually was a contributing factor to its poor security standards that led to the hack.
On January 26th, 2018, Coincheck posted on their blog detailing that they were restricting NEM deposits and withdrawals, along with most other methods for buying or selling cryptocurrencies on the platform. Speculation arose that the exchange had been hacked, and the NEM developers issued a statement saying they were unaware of any technical glitches in the NEM protocol and any issues were a result of the exchange’s security.
Coincheck subsequently held a high-profile conference where they confirmed that hackers had absconded with 500 million NEM tokens that were then distributed to 19 different addresses on the network. Totaling roughly $530 million at the time — NEM was hovering around $1 then — the Coincheck hack was considered the largest theft in the industry’s history.
Coincheck was compelled to reveal some embarrassing details about their exchange’s security, mentioning how they stored all of the NEM in a single hot wallet and did not use the NEM multisignature contract security recommended by the developers.
Simultaneously, the NEM developers team had tagged all of the NEM stolen in the hack with a message identifying the funds as stolen so that other exchanges would not accept them. However, NEM announced they were ending their hunt for the stolen NEM for unspecified reasons several months later, and speculation persisted that hackers were close to cashing out the stolen funds on the dark web.
Mainstream media covered the hack extensively and compared it to similar failures by cryptocurrency exchanges in the past to meet adequate security standards. At the time, most media coverage of cryptocurrencies was centered on their obscure nature, dramatic volatility, and lack of security. Coincheck’s hack fueled that narrative considerably as the stolen sum was eye-popping and the cryptocurrency used — NEM — was unknown to most in the mainstream.
NEM depreciated rapidly following the hack, and the price fell even more throughout 2018, in line with the extended bear market in the broader industry. Currently, NEM is trading at approximately $0.07, a precipitous fall from ATH over $1.60 in early January.
The extent of the Coincheck hack was rivaled by only a few other hacks, notably the Mt.Gox hack. While nominally Coincheck is the largest hack in the industry’s history, the effects of Mt.Gox were significantly more impactful since the stolen funds consisted only of Bitcoin and caused a sustained market correction as well as an ongoing controversy with the stolen funds and founder. Moreover, Mt.Gox squandered 6% of the overall Bitcoin circulation at the time in a market that was much less mature than it is today.
Despite the fallout, Coincheck is now fully operational and registered with Japan’s FSA.
As practice shows, people make mistakes and these mistakes can cost a lot. Especially, when we talk about mad cryptoworld. Be careful and keep your private keys in a safe place.
submitted by SwapSpace_co to ethtrader [link] [comments]

Cryptocurrencies and the circle of competence

A quick note to investors that believe the intrinsic value of bitcoin is 0 because they can't do a DCF on it: this isn't the place to argue with me about it. I suggest you read a bit more about what it actually is (hint: not a currency). I've defended its value in plenty of other posts on this sub. It's a $40+ billion market, so at least a few people agree with me. I welcome you to short the crypto of your choice if you think it's worth nothing. This is a post for folks that believe that cryptocurrencies have at least some discernible value and are considering investing in them.
If we have a strength, it is in recognizing when we are operating well within our circle of competence and when we are approaching the perimeter. – Warren Buffett
Given the tripling of the cryptocurrency market cap in the last few months and the 3- to 10-fold increases in virtually every major altcoin, cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and of course Bitcoin have been getting a stunning amount of attention in the press and on this subreddit recently.
If you follow the cryptocurrency world closely, you know that there have been a huge amount of dubious ICOs (initial coin offerings) on the market recently. It's an explosive time in crypto.
It's also a frustrating time for many long term bitcoiners and crypto fans, because we're faced with a barrage of questions from outsiders who see the returns and want to buy in to the "next big thing" and make a quick buck. This is a warning to those people.
Everyone is a genius is a rising market. It's hard to go wrong these days in crypto. Even coins of dubious merit like Ripple, Dogecoin, Stellar, NEM were pumped 5 times without any fundamental change. Speculators/investors have thrown money at crypto indiscriminately and efficient markets have 100% broken down. The altcoin pump right now is roughly comparable to the Dot Com crisis of the early 2000s.
  1. New tech promises to change the world
  2. Investors jump in on hype and promises
  3. A surge of IPOs (ICOs) occurs to capitalize on this
  4. "Greater fool" traders pile in, thinking they can make money even if the underlying is unsound
  5. Analysts claim "this time is different" while seasoned old hands refuse to participate
  6. Tech is proven not to be as developed as everyone thinks, market tanks
  7. Select few decent companies survive, all the trash is destroyed
  8. Tech eventually fulfills expectations, 10 years later, but none of the investors from the early days make money on it
However, canny (and skeptical) investors can still make money on crypto, as cryptocurrencies are inevitable, and will continue to expand and proliferate, even when the altcoin crash comes.
Something to realize first of all is that the crypto market is heterogeneous. It has straightforward cryptocurrencies (bitcoin, litecoin, dash, monero), smart-contract cryptos (ethereum, ethereum classic) and a whole bunch of crypto tokens that follow dedicated platforms (golem, augur, steem). Not mentioned are ripple and stellar because they aren't really cryptocurrencies at all.
The investing theses for all of these categories is radically different. The measure of success for a currency or store of value is adoption, merchant use, low volatility, a large network, and real world acceptance as something worth owning. Bitcoin has this right now, which is why it's more than 50% of the ecosystem, and none of its competitors are even close. Monero, Zcash, and Dash are a special case in that they try and make transactions anonymous and privacy, allowing for use cases on the darknet markets, for instance.
The tech underlying bitcoin is essentially sound, although it is having a scalability crisis, which you should read about. It can't right now serve as a currency which will buy you a cup of coffee - the transaction fees are too high. However if you want to send $200,000 from Mexico to Indonesia or China to the Philippines, you can do it within 20 minutes, and with fees of a few dollars. And if you want to store your wealth in a vault that is totally secure, and cannot be debased by a central bank, bitcoin is a good bet. This is highly relevant to folks in India that just had cash abolished, to Venezuelans, to Argentines, to Cypriots, to Nigerians, anywhere local currencies are weak and volatile. The potential value of a competing cryptocurrency lies in whether it can improve materially on bitcoin, whether it means incorporating off-chain scaling (segwit with litecoin), making it more private and fungible (monero), automating governance (decred), and so on.
Then there are cryptoassets that incorporate smart contracts. These – ethereum and its derivatives – exploded when the SEC denied the Bitcoin ETF back in march and bitcoiners got worried and started diversifying. This is the market segment that is highly risky, even by crypto standards, in my opinion. Ethereum is a protocol that allows contracts to self-enforce. Programming power to run the contracts is paid for with ethereum. Two parties agree to a contract, and it then self-executes. It's secured by a decentralized computing network of ethereum miners, so the contracts cannot be shut down by a government or corporation. It's pretty clever. Last year, a $150+ million contract was drawn up with ethereum, which would act like a venture capital fund, picking good investments just based on the votes of the token holders. This was called a Decentralized Autonomous Organization, and it was hacked before it could do anything. Well, it was exploited based on the code and so the exploit was totally "fair" given that the contract was meant to be inevitable, once agreed to. However, the creators of Ethereum didn't like the idea of losing $50 million, so they decided to collectively agree to amend the rules of the protocol itself (violating "Code is Law"), and jump onto a new one, which they would also call Ethereum, although it was really Ethereum 2.0. Some people got upset by this, because they thought that immutability and not arbitrarily rolling back the code was more important than some investors losing money because of poorly written code. They created Ethereum Classic, which is the original Ethereum chain. This wasn't what the Ethereum 2.0 folks thought would happen, but it did happen, so there are two competing Ethereum chains now.
Eventually, lots of decentralized apps were funded, via tokensales. A development team would say: "we're going to use ethereum to create a decentralized cloud computing/AI/prediction/gambling/timestamping/social media network." And then investors would buy the tokens, expecting that eventually the dev team would deliver, and the tokens would be in demand, since they would be required to use the network. It's a bit like buying in-game-currency when the game is announced, anticipating that the game would be wildly popular and you'd be able to sell it on later at a profit or acquire it cheaply to buy in-game items later on. However, many of us think that the promises are a bit extravagant, and that investors in these ICOs are probably going to lose money. The incentives aren't well aligned. Founders can just not deliver and run off with the money, and there's no regulatory body to enforce that. And for Ethereum more broadly, many people are worried that the turing-completeness of the language will mean it will face serious threats and unforeseeable hacks, like with the DAO. Finally, Ethereum has increased from around $20 to $90 in a matter of months, which raises the question of whether a) the market realized its true value or b) it was pumped on speculation. There's a huge set of unknowns with a smart contract currency, and virtually none of the promised dapps are up and running right now, and the ones that are haven't really attracted large userbases or delivered. This is because the tech is in its infancy, and the developers are still learning how to use it properly. So we won't know if these sorts of decentralized networks are even possible to create on the timelines that investors are expecting. Therefore, ethereum investors buying it on the promise of the realization of this tech in the near future are almost guaranteed to be disappointed. Additionally, ethereum is making the switch to the largely untested Proof of Stake algorithm, which will change incentives that secure the network. This brings me to my key point:
Stay within your circle of competence. You can grow your circle – slowly. Cryptoassets are almost impossibly complex to grasp with just a cursory look. Investing in them requires weeks of reading and a very skeptical view.
The above was an introduction to cryptocurrencies, the different ones on offer, and why investing in ethereum is not the slam dunk everyone thinks it is. This portion of the post will tell you about the kind of due diligence you need to do if you want to invest, rather than speculate, in crypto.
The first thing to mention is that passive investing in crypto has historically been a terrible strategy. Just buying bitcoin almost always outperformed. This was due to the poor set of altcoins, and the size of bitcoin's almost insurmountable network effect. This sort of changed in March and April when bitcoin's dominance went from 80% to ~50%, and it remains to be seen if this will persist or not. But the point is, buying the index is usually an awful strategy in crypto, particularly because there are so many truly awful projects out there.
So what does it take to invest responsibly in cryptocurrencies? It requires at least a basic understanding of three disciplines: public-private key cryptography; programming, and how open-source projects function; and economics, particularly game theory and the quantity theory of money. This is why is is so difficult to apprehend easily: because very few people actually boast a sincere understanding of these three topics. I certainly don't.
You need to be able to determine whether the tech is actually going anywhere, and whether the task the developers have set themselves is possible or realistic. You need to know how open source networks are governed, and which models strike the best balance between efficiency of decision-making and fair consensus. You need to be able to measure the inflation schedule of the cryptocurrency, and see whether your coins are going to inflated away. You need to be able to make plausible guesses about the potential market for the crypto and estimate future values. Note that the payoff structure is not equity-like. It's more like early stage venture capital, or buying loss-making biotech companies. Here's my checklist of questions to answer, ordered by importance:
  • Does the project offer a significant improvement over its nearest competitor, or a reasonable chance of success in its stated aim? Is there a demand for this project? Does it have a concise and reasonable goal? (Narrower goal: higher likelihood of success).
  • Is the development team competent? Are they committed to the coin? What's their track record? Is is an active dev team? Do they have a roadmap for the future? Are they transparent about goals?
  • How is the development team funded? Is the currency corporate-backed? Is the funding transparent? Was the coin significantly premined? (Usually bad) Are developers paid via iterative community project crowdfunding? (Usually good).
  • What is the governance structure of the currency? Who holds ultimate control over decisionmaking? How are decisions made? Are they transparent? Are mining/developer incentives aligned?
  • Does the asset have acceptance and use today? Does it have a functioning use case? If it doesn't, does it have a decent chance of being accepted?
  • Has the asset's "market cap" tripled or quintupled in the last few months? Was this based on any fundamental changes (new software releases, etc) or just speculation?
  • What are the transaction volumes like? (Hint: divide market cap by monthly averaged daily on-chain tx volume to find a consistent ratio) What's the ratio of on-chain transaction versus exchange speculation? Has price gone up independent of transaction volumes?
  • How long has the asset been around? Think of the Lindy effect. Older is usually better.
  • What's the community like? Is there censorship? Does it have an active subreddit? Do the developers answer questions? Are they accessible? How big is the github community? (Hint: you can divide market cap by github commits to find a comparable ratio).
  • Are you psychologically able to hold this coin in a 90% downturn? Is this a high conviction thesis or are you betting on being able to sell it to a greater fool?
How long did it take you to learn about investing in equities? Reading balance sheets, running DCF and DRI models, figuring out how to value a stock based on comparables? Years? How many mistakes did you make before you figured out how to be responsible?
Cryptos are an asset class that is both radically different from anything that has existed before. They are also incredibly heterogeneous, as I argued above. It also leads to cultism – so bitcoiners generally take a dim view of ethereum, and vice versa. Monero fans generally don't like dash, and so on. You have to keep your mind open to understand new opportunities as they arise, and to stop yourself becoming too mentally invested in your project of choice. The vast majority of projects will fail within 5 years, so becoming overly certain of the success of one will probably devastate you. If you can stay balanced, stay honest about your crypto's chances of success and adoption, not get tunnel vision, and not take overly risky positions, you have a good chance of not losing everything. Remember the payoff structure. Heavily rightward skewed. A ton of cryptos earn no return and a select few earn an absurd (1,000-10,000x) return.
None of this is necessary if you just want to invest randomly in one of the top ten cryptos. That's the strategy of 95% of investors today. Pick a coin and go. If it's not bitcoin, I can pretty much guarantee you'll lose money. The newer, the worse.
I've not made an effort to convince you that cryptos have intrinsic value. If you've made it this far, you probably think they're worth something at least. However, they're probably not worth as much as the market is pricing them at right now. Especially not those in the ethereum family. I'm not going to tell you what to invest in, because that would defeat the purpose of this post. I'm telling you to do your due diligence before blindly buying a crypto. And that due diligence on ethereum is as complex and difficult as Tesla or Amazon DD. And that your skills in equity valuation are pretty much useless in this asset class. My circle of competence doesn't extend to options or lean pork futures, so I don't touch those. I suggest that until you really feel comfortable in crypto, you don't buy randomly.
Summative thoughts:
  1. Investing in crypto is hard
  2. 90% of people that invest at market peaks will lose money
  3. You have to extremely skeptical and invest in high-conviction positions
  4. Cryptos are exhibiting bubbly behavior right now, it's a pretty bad time to pick one out
  5. Cryptos are nothing like equities but they do have real value
  6. Cryptos are the future, but almost none of these coins will survive 10 years
  7. The older the better
  8. Governance is key
  9. These are speculative positions, only invest what you can tolerate losing
  10. You can make money investing in cryptos
  11. Passively investing in cryptos doesn't work
  12. It's a winner takes most market, there won't be 1 crypto that wins. There will be different cryptos for different use cases.
edit: deleted chart with probabilities of success because of subjectivity and oversimplification.
edit2: I've been overwhelmed with PMs so bear with me. also, please forgive any spelling errors on this post. I wrote it in one frenzied sitting.
edit3: I knew I would get a fair amount of resistance from ethereum investors (even though I attempted to keep my post as balanced as possible) but I was unprepared from the breathtaking volume of spam and diversity of attacks. One particular user has made 30 comments in this thread. I don't have a stake in ETC, period. The post is 3000 words long and most of it is about how to properly do your due diligence in a crypto. if ethereum fares poorly by standard due diligence metrics, then perhaps your issue is deeper than one post on /investing.
final edit: there have been some broken-hearted ethereum fans very busy organizing brigades against this post, and attacking me personally, and so on. It's all very incovenient. I can tell that I struck a nerve. This post isn't really about ethereum - it's about how to do research in crypto, and why you can't expect to profit handsomely without that due diligence. I mentioned ethereum because there are 3 or 4 breathless posts on here a day about its stunning gains and whether it's worth investing in. My answer: read about it first, from a diverse set of sources. A final note: I do not own any ethereum classic, I have never owned ethereum classic. I brought it up because it is part of the ethereum story, and an example of what happens when you have a contested hard fork. I do hope that ethereum succeeds, I am just cautioning against over exuberance.
submitted by isrly_eder to investing [link] [comments]

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