First, number one trading tip for the next decade (in my opinion):
XXA/XLM trading pair, price is 5.20 XLM (0.3588 USD). Ixinium XXA is so undervalued right now. Target profit +300% for this year. Backet by precious metals. Precious metals 100% insured by Lloyd's of London. Target price levels for this year because of precious metals base value:
12.0 XLM (0.83 USD, +130.6%)
18.8 XLM (1.30 USD, +261.5%)
23.2 XLM (1.60 USD, +345.9%)
Price up since Coinmarketcap listing 7 days ago: 47.26%
XXA/XLM trading pair on Stellarport and StellarX exchanges with zero trading fee. It's not too late to become an Ixinium whale :)
My favorite bitcoin/crypto quotes, last ten years:
- Came into Bitcoin for the short-term dollar gains. Stayed in Bitcoin for the long-term bitcoin gains.
- Fiat addicts you to spending. Bitcoin addicts you to saving.
- There are 1,900x more dollars in existence today than there was less than a hundred years ago. Bitcoin has no top because fiat has no bottom.
- Most investors would be better off if they lost the password to their account and couldn’t log in for a few years.
- How I learned to stop worrying and love the bear market: Value your wealth in bitcoin not fiat.
- If I had a Bitcoin for every time someone asked me if I know who Satoshi is... I'd be Satoshi.
- Every second bitcoin stays out of the spotlight, is another second we get to build unopposed. We can't take this time for granted.
- You can't be excited about Bitcoin and fear the bear market. It's like being excited for Christmas but fearing winter. The bear market is a natural part of Bitcoin's mass adoption.
- Crypto is the only money that works on the internet. But it's also the only money that works in space. It's really expensive to bring gold bars to Mars.
- The fact that your normie friends don't think Bitcoin is cool yet is the reason why there is still massive upside potential.
- Feel free to print (fiat money) as much as you need, as I am already all in crypto.
- Satoshi walks in to a bar. Nobody knows.
- Fiat supply: unlimited. Gold supply: unknown. Bitcoin supply: 21 million.
- Most people still don’t know anything about Bitcoin except its price. But they don’t know why Bitcoin has a price in the first place. Hence the skepticism. When you don’t know why something has a price, it is impossible to understand how much it can really be worth.
- There can never be more than 17 million people who own 1 full bitcoin. But in practice, there will be far fewer.
- Internet allowed you to never have to go to the library. Bitcoin will allow you to never have to go to the bank.
- Google's CEO is Indian
Nokia's CEO is Indian
Adobe's CEO is Indian
Amazon's BOD is Indian
MasterCard's CEO is Indian
Microsoft's CEO is Indian
Pepsico's CEO was Indian indra nooyi
Nasa has 58% Indian employees
Do something towards $Btc bans in India! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
- When you trade trends, you can be the last person to join the trend & first person to leave the trend & you can still outperform everyone else in long term simply because others will keep guessing the tops & bottoms while you will keep riding confirmed trends.
- You don't need to fomo into positions, if you accumulate early.
- If your "financial advisor" doesn't advise you to buy crypto, fire 'em.
- Bitcoin doesn't care about your feelings. It also doesn't care about your gender, ethnicity, sexual preference or religion. Bitcoin just is.
- Want to prove to an investor that your crypto product is needed? Get people to use it. It is really hard to argue with usage.
- Is it possible to be a BTC maximalist and be Vegan? Asking for a friend..
- If you think that bitcoin is not going to the mainstream, think again.
- Most people don’t know what money is. This is why Bitcoin is still underrated. First, learn what money is. Then, you will be able to leverage the massive opportunity that is Bitcoin.
- If you think the people in charge know exactly what they’re doing, do nothing & continue on with your life. If you think those in charge may NOT actually be as smart as they want us to think, buy a little Bitcoin. The status quo is a bet on humans, but Bitcoin is a bet on math.
- Bitcoin is only risky to those who don’t understand it.
- Short term volatility doesn’t phase long term investors.
- If you manage your risk, your profits will take care of itself. If you don't, your parents will take care of you.
- For every person in the world, there are only 0.00225764 bitcoins.
- If you did your research, this bear market was expected. Bear or bull market, it’s business as usual for true Bitcoiners.
- For Bitcoin to succeed, the whole world doesn't need to understand its value proposition. Those who do will profit from its monetization. Those who don't will naturally adopt this better money.
Economic reality imposes itself onto the world whether you're aware of it or not.
- This is not financial advice. This is life advice. Buy Bitcoin.
- If Banks & Fiat are horse carriages, then Bitcoin isn't merely cars, it's fucking teleportation.
- How Bitcoin enables global prosperity:
Bitcoin makes you future-oriented
Bitcoin makes delaying gratification easier
Bitcoin makes saving & capital accumulation easier
Bitcoin makes investing easier
Bitcoin makes global trade easier
Bitcoin makes advancing civilization easier
- Bitcoin is the ultimate marshmallow experiment. People who are able to hodl for longer will tend to have better life outcomes.
- Other than your human time, Bitcoin is the scarcest thing on earth. Human time will become more abundant as life expectancy increases. Bitcoin, however, will only become scarcer.
- The energy cost of Bitcoin mining will pale in comparison to the improvements in the world’s productivity and prosperity that are enabled by Bitcoin.
- Pros of bear market:
-You can buy more Bitcoin
-Devs more productive than ever
-Weak hands driven out+hodler base strengthened
-Focus on fundamentals, not short-term price
-Overvalued shitcoins deflated
-Critical Infrastructure being built out, making next bull run even fiercer
- The more productive we are during the bear market, the harder Bitcoin will pump in the next bull market. Ignore short-term price action. Focus on Bitcoin fundamentals.
- Bitcoin bear market is the best time for buying, learning and staying miles ahead of the normies who will once again be late to the game and will buy the top.
- Before you invest in Bitcoin, invest in educating yourself about Bitcoin. Understanding Bitcoin will make your conviction much stronger and enable you to maximize your gains.
- There are 2 ways you can adopt Bitcoin:
- Early on & willingly-> result: allows you to capture upside as Bitcoin grows & becomes widely used or
- Much later & not having another choice-> result: failing to capture most upside from Bitcoin's monetization.
The choice is yours.
- The overwhelming majority of highly intelligent people I talk to still have no idea why Bitcoin is valuable. We are extremely early. The ability to identify opportunity before others and take advantage of the information asymmetry is key.
- Bitcoin will succeed with or without you. Don’t be left behind.
- In the 90s people couldn’t imagine that the Internet would replace newspapers, TV, phone calls, shops & many other things. Today, people can't imagine Bitcoin becoming mass adopted money. Bitcoin will do to money what Internet did to information. And money is a way bigger market.
- If every millionaire in the US wanted to have just 1 bitcoin they wouldn't be able to. There will always be fewer bitcoins than there are millionaires in the US (let alone the whole world). Ignore this at your own risk.
- The corporations & institutions that stand to lose from Bitcoin adoption are made up of individuals who stand to benefit massively from Bitcoin adoption. Realizing that every group or entity is made up of self-motivated individuals is key to realizing why Bitcoin will succeed.
- Bitcoin self-selects for people with:
* Low time preference
* Long attention span
* Ability to focus
* Ability to go against the mainstream
Bitcoin is a marathon, not a sprint.
- If you don’t have a deep understanding of:
- What money is
- Functions of money
- Monetary history
- Money properties that fulfill its various functions
Then don’t you dare criticize Bitcoin.
- Bitcoin doesn’t care:
- what color you are
- what sex you are
- what age you are
- what your religion is
- who your parents are
- which university/school you went to
- who you’re friends with
- how expensive your lawyer is
Bitcoin cannot discriminate.
- You chase money every single day. You stress over money all your life. You worship money.
But you have no idea why money is valuable. Money controls your life because you have no understanding of what it is. Once you ask yourself “What is money?”, Bitcoin will make sense.
- Satoshi Nakamoto deserves:
- Nobel Prize in Economics
- Nobel Peace Prize
- Nobel Prize in Physics
But thankfully the last thing Satoshi needs is the validation of the establishment.
- Bitcoin is doing better than corporations & altcoins though it never had:
- Customer support
Bitcoin is an emergent superorganism. Members contribute according to their ability, driven by passion more than greed.
- July 2011 - $31
- “Damn, I should've bought bitcoin earlier”
Apr 2013 - $266
- “Damn, I should've bought bitcoin earlier”
Nov 2013 - $1,242
- “Damn, I should've bought bitcoin earlier”
Dec 2017 - $19,891
- “Damn, I should've bought bitcoin earlier”
2022-2023 - ...
- Successful crypto trading boils down to correctly predicting how the whales will torture the normies next.
- Bitcoin doesn’t wait for anyone. It’s up to you if you want to learn this the hard way.
- Percentage of world using the Internet in 1995 = 0.4%
Percentage of world using the Internet in 2019 = 58.8%
Bitcoin is to money what the Internet is to information.
Percentage of world using Bitcoin in 2019 = 0.4%
If you thought you are late to Bitcoin, think again.
- I didn't choose the dollar.
I didn't choose the euro.
I didn't choose the pound.
I didn't choose the yen.
I didn't choose the ruble.
I didn't choose fractional reserve banking.
I didn't choose central banks.
I didn't choose quantitative easing.
I choose Bitcoin.
- Using Bitcoin
- Download wallet
- Receive funds
- Go to location
- Identification card
- Social Security #
- Hidden fees
- Initial deposit
- Proof of address
- Unreadable legal docs
- Wait a week for your funds
Which one will the next generation choose?
Many of these wisdom quotes are from the author of the new book called “This ₿ook Will Save You Time”, and he's donating all of the proceeds from the book sales to a Bitcoin developer.
In this post I will go in-depth on:
- How Tether got to be what it is today
- Why Tether's market cap is a lot more than 0.5% of the total market cap for crypto you see on CoinMarketCap
- Tether printing timing
- Tether reserves
- What could happen to the market if Tether is found to not be backed by reserves
Tether is incredibly important to the cryptocurrency market ecosystem and I've noticed far too few people understand what is going on.
Very little actual discussion of the 2nd biggest crypto by volume happens here and whenever someone starts a discussion they most often got slapped for "FUD". Tether themselves recently hired the major New York based PR firm 5W to spread positive information online and take down critics, I'm sure some of their operatives are probably on Reddit.
But its absolutely critical you understand the risks behind Tether and especially now with the explosion in reserve liability, breakdown in relationship with banks and their auditor and recently announced subpoena.
What exactly is Tether and what happened so far?
Tether is a cryptocurrency asset issued by Tether Limited (incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and a sister company of Bitfinex), on top of the Bitcoin blockchain through the Omni Protocol Layer. It is meant to give people a "stablecoin", for example a merchant who accepts bitcoin but fears its volatility could shift bitcoin into tether, which can be easier to do than exchanging bitcoin for dollars. Recently they've also added an Ethereum-based ERC20 token. Tether Ltd claims that each one of the tokens issued is backed by actual US dollar (and more recently Euro) reserves. The idea is that when a business partner deposits US dollars in Tether’s bank account, Tether creates a matching amount of tokens and transfers them to that partner, it is NOT a fractional reserve system.
Tether makes the two following key promises in its whitepaper on which the entire premise is build:
Each tether issued will be backed by the equivalent amount of currency unit (one USDTether equals one dollar).
Professional auditors will regularly verify, sign, and publish our underlying bank balance and financial transfer statement.
Tether is centralized and dependent on your trust of Bitfinex/Tether Limited, and that the people behind it are honest people. For the new entrants to this market it will be greatly beneficial understand the timeline of Tether and their connection to Bitfinex.
A brief timeline:
- Bitfinex operators Phil Potter and CFO Giancarlo Devasini set up Tether Limited in the British Virgin Islands, but told the public that Bitfinex and Tether are completely separate. Throughout 2015 and 2016, the amount of Tether stays relatively flat.
- In August 2nd, 2016, the second-largest digital currency exchange heist in history happened, when Bitfinex lost nearly 120,000 bitcoin. Bitfinex never revealed full details of the hack, but BitGo (the security company that had to sign off on the transactions) claims its servers were not breached.
- Just 4 days after the hack Bitfinex “socializes” its losses from the theft by announcing a 36 percent haircut for almost all of its customers. In return, customers receive BFX tokens, initially valued at $1 each.
- Two weeks after the hack Bitfinex announces it has hired Ledger Labs, to investigate the theft and perform a financial audit of its cryptocurrency and fiat assets. The public nevers sees the results of the investigation, and months later, Bitfinex admits it never actually hired Ledger Labs to perform an audit to begin with.
- In May 2017, after long standing calls for an actual audit, Bitfinex hires Friedman LLP to "complete a comprehensive balance sheet audit."
- November 7, 2017: Leaked documents dubbed “Paradise Papers” reveal Bitfinex and Tether are run by the same individuals.
- November 19, 2017: Tether is hacked, with 31 million USDT suddenly disappearing. Tether Limited reacts to this by creating a hard fork.
- December 4, 2017: Right after hiring the PR firm 5W to help improve their image, Bitfinex hires law firm Steptoe & Johnson and threatens legal action against critics.
- December 6, 2017 - CFTC issues a subpoena to Tether and Bitfinex. This news isn't made public until the end of January.
- December 21, 2017 : Without making any formal announcement, Bitfinex appears to suddenly close all new account registrations. Those trying to register for a new account are asked for a mysterious referral code, but no referral code seems to exist.
- After a month of being closed to new registrations, Bitfinex announces it is reopening its doors, but now requires new customers to deposit $10,000 before they can begin trading.
- Friedman LLP completely cut ties with Tether on January 27, 2017.
Most common misconception: Tether is only a small part of the total market cap
One of the most common misconception people have about cryptocurrencies is that the "market cap" amount they see on CoinMarketCap.com is actually the amount of money that is invested in each coin.
I often hear people online dismiss any issue with tether by simply claiming its not big enough to cause any effect, saying "Well Tether is only $2.2 billion on CoinMarketCap and the market is 400 billion, its only 0.5% of the market".
But this misunderstands what market capitalization for cryptocurrency is, and just how different the market cap for Tether is to every other token. The market cap is simply the last trade price times the circulating supply. It doesn't take into account the order book depth at all. The majority of Bitcoin (and most coins) are held by those who either mined or purchased for a very low price early on and simply held on as very small portions of the total supply was rapidly bid up to their current price.
An increase in market cap of X does NOT represent an inflow of X dollars invested, not even close. A 400 billion dollar market cap for crypto does NOT mean that there is 400 billion dollars underwriting the assets. Meanwhile a 2 billion dollar Tether market cap means there should be exactly $2 billion backing up the asset.
Nobody can tell for sure exactly how much money has been invested in cryptocurrency market, but analysts from JPMorgan
found that there was only net inflow of $6 billion fiat that resulted in $300 billion market cap at the time. This gives us a roughly 50:1 ratio of market cap to fiat inflow. Prominent crypto evangelist Julian Hosp gives the following estimate
: "For a cryptocurrency to have a market cap of $1 billion, maybe only $50 million actually moved into the cryptocurrency."
For Tether however the market cap is simply the outstanding supply, 2.2 billion USDT is actually equal to 2.2 billion USD. In order to get $50 USDT you have to deposit $50 real U.S. dollars and then 50 completely new tokens will be issued, which never existed before on the market.
What is also often ignored is that Bitfinex allows margin trading, at a 3.3x leverage. Bitfinexed did an excellent analysis on how tether is entering Bitfinex to fund margin positions
There are $2.2 billion in Tether outstanding and the current market cap of the entire market is $400 billion according to CoinMarketCap. You can actually calculate Tether as a % of total fiat invested in the market according to the JP Morgan estimate, the following table outlines for a scenario of no margin lending and 15/25% of tether being on a 3.3x leverage margin account:
|Fiat Inflow/Market Cap Ratio ||Tether as % of total market (no margin) ||Tether as % of total market (15% on margin) ||Tether as % of total market (25% on margin) |
|JP Morgan estimate (50:1) ||27.5 % ||36.9 % ||43.3 % |
Even without any margin lending Tether is underwriting the worth of about 27.5% of the cryptocurrency market, and if we assume only 25% was leveraged out at 3.3x on margin we have a whole 43% of the market cap being driven by Tether inflow.
A much better indicator on CoinMarketCap of just how influential Tether is actually the volume, its currently the 2nd biggest cryptocurrency by volume
and there are even days where its volume exceeds its market cap.
What this all means is that not only is the market cap for cryptocurrencies drastically overestimating the amount of actual fiat capital that is underwriting those assets, but a substantial portion of the entire market cap is being derived from the value of Tether's market cap rather than real money
Its incredibly important that more new investors realize that Tether isn't a side issue or a minor cog in the machine, but one of the core underlying mechanisms on which the entire market worth is built. Ensuring that whoever controls this stablecoin is honest and transparent is absolutely critical to the health of the market.
Two main concerns with Tether
The primary concerns with Tether can be split into two categories:
- Tether issuance timing - Does Tether Ltd issue USDT organically or is it timed to stop downward selling pressure?
- Reserves - Does Tether Ltd actually have the fiat reserves at a 1:1 ratio, and why is there still no audit or third party guarantee of this?
Does Tether print USDT to prop up Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?
In the last 3 months the amount of USDT has nearly quadrupled, with nearly a billion being printed in January alone. Some people have found the timing of the most recent batch of Tether as highly suspect because it seemed to coincide with Bitcoin's price being propped up. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/31/technology/bitfinex-bitcoin-price.html
This was recently analyzed statistically:
Author’s opinion - it is highly unlikely that Tether is growing through any organic business process, rather that they are printing in response to market conditions. https://www.tetherreport.com
Tether printing moves the market appreciably; 48.8% of BTC’s price rise in the period studied occurred in the two-hour periods following the arrival of 91 different Tether grants to the Bitfinex wallet.
Bitfinex withdrawal/deposit statistics are unusual and would give rise to further scrutiny in a typical accounting environment.
I'm still undecided on this and I would love to see more statistical analysis done, because the price of Bitcoin is so volatile while Tether printing only happens in large batches. Simply looking at the Bitcoin price graph over the last 3 months and then the Tether printing its pretty clear there is a relationship but it doesn't seem to hold over longer periods.
Ultimately to me this timing isn't that much of an issue, as long Tether is backed by US dollars. If Bitfinex was timing the prints then it accounts to not much more than an organized pumping scheme, which isn't a fundamental problem. The much more serious concern is whether those buy order are being conducted on the faith of fictitious dollars that don't exist, regardless of when those buy orders occur.
Didn't Tether release an audit in September?
Some online posters have recently tried to spread the notion that Tether has actually been audited by Friedman LLP and that a report was released in September 2017. That was actually just a consulting engagement, which you can read here: https://tether.to/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Final-Tether-Consulting-Report-9-15-17_Redacted.pdf
They clearly state that:
This engagement does not contemplate tests of accounting records or the performance of other procedures performed in an audit or attest engagement. Our procedures performed are not for the purpose of providing assurance...In addition, our services do not include determination of compliance with laws and regulations in any jurisdiction.
They state right from the beginning that this is a consultancy job (not an audit), and that its not meant to be assurance to third parties. Doing a consultancy job is just doing a task asked by your customer. In a consultancy job you take information as true from the client, and you have no mandate to verify whether your customer's claims are true or not. The way they checked is simply asking Tether to provide them the information:
All inquiries made through the consulting process have been directed towards, and the data obtained from, the Client and personnel responsible for maintaining such information.
Tether provided a screenshots of twp bank balances. One of these is in the name of Tether Limited, and while the other is a personal account of an individual who Tether Limited claims has a trust agreement with them:
As of September 15, 2017, the bank held $60,919,810 in an account in the name of an in individual for the benefit of Tether Limited. FLPP obtained an engagement letter for an interim settlement plan between that individual and Tether Limited and that according to Tether Limited, is the relevant agreement with the trustee. FLLP did not evaluate the substance of the letter and makes no representation about its legality.
Even worse is that later on in Note 1, they clearly claim that there is no actual evidence that this engagement letter or trust has any legal merit:
Note 1: FLLP makes no representations about sufficiency or enforceability of any trust agreement between the trustee and the Client
Essentially what this is saying is that the trust agreement may not even be worth the paper it’s printed on.
And most importantly… Note 2:
“FLLP did not evaluate the terms of the above bank accounts and makes no representations about the clients ability to access funds from the accounts or whether the funds are committed for purposes other than Tether token redemptions”
Basically Tether gave them a name of an individual with $60 million in their account according to a screenshot, Tether then gave them a letter saying that there is a trust agreement between this individual and Tether Limited. They also have account with $382 million but no guarantee that this account holds to any lien or other commitments, or that it can be accessed.
Currently Tether has 2.2 billion USDT outstanding and we have absolutely no idea whether this is actually backed by anything, and the long promised audit is still outstanding.
What happens if its revealed that Tether doesn't have its US dollar reserves?
According to Thomas Glucksmann, head of business development at Gatecoin: "If a tether debacle unfolds, it will likely cause quite a devastating ripple effect across many of the exchanges that see most of their volumes traded against the supposedly USD-backed cryptocurrency."
According to Nicholas Weaver, a senior researcher at the International Computer Science Institute at Berkeley: "You could see a spike in prices in tether-only bitcoin exchanges. So, on those exchanges only you will see a run up in price compared to the bitcoin exchanges that actually work with actually money. So you would see a huge price diverge as people see that only way they can turn tether into real money is to buy other cryptocurrency then move to another exchange. That is a bank run."
I definitely see the crypto equivalent of a bank run, as people actually try to secure their gains an realize that this money doesn't actually exist within the system:
If traders lose confidence in it and its value starts to drop, “people will run for the door,” says Carlson, the former Wall Street trader. If Tether can’t meet all its customers’ demand for dollars (and its Terms of Service suggest that in many cases it won’t even try), tether holders will try to snap up other cryptocurrencies instead, temporarily causing prices for those currencies to soar. With tether’s role as an inter-exchange facilitator compromised, investors might lose faith in cryptocurrencies more generally. “At the end of the day, people would be losing substantial sums, and in the long term this would be very bad for cryptocurrencies,” says Emin Gun Sirer, a Cornell professor and co-director of its Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Smart Contracts. https://www.wired.com/story/why-tethers-collapse-would-be-bad-for-cryptocurrencies/
Another concern is that Bitfinex might simply shut down, pocketing the bitcoins it has allegedly been stockpiling. Because people who trade on Bitfinex allow the exchange to hold their money while they speculate, these traders could face substantial losses. “The exchanges are like unregulated banks and could run off with everyone’s money,” says Tony Arcieri, a former Square employee turned entrepreneur trying to build a legally regulated exchange.
The way I see it, this would be how it plays out if Tether collapses:
- Tether-enabled exchanges will see a massive spike in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices as everyone leaves Tether. Noobs in these exchanges will think they are now millionaires until they realize they are rich in tethers but poor in dollars.
- Exchanges that have not integrated Tether will experienced large drops in Bitcoin and alts as experienced investors flee crypto into USD.
- There will be a flight of Bitcoin from Tether-integrated exchanges to non-Tether exchanges with fiat off-ramps. Exchanges running small fractional reserves will be exposed, further increasing calls for greater reserves requirements.
- The exchanges might slam the doors shut on withdrawals.
- Many exchanges that own large balances of Tether, especially Bitfinex, will likely become insolvent.
- There will be lawsuits flying everywhere and with Tether Limited being incorporated on a Carribean Island whose solvency and bankruptcy laws will likely ensure they don't ever get much back. This could take years and potentially push away new investors from entering the space.
We can't be 100% completely sure that Tether is a scam, but its so laiden with red flags that at this point I would call it the biggest systematic risk in the crypto space. Its bigger than any nation's potential regulatory steps because it cuts right into the issue of trust across the entire ecosystem.
Ultimately Tether is centralizing one of the very core mechanics of the cryptocurrency markets and asking you to trust one party to be the safekeeper, and I really see very little reason to trust Bitfinex given their history of lying and screwing over their own customers. I think that Tether initially started as a legit business to facilitate the ease of moving money and avoiding regulations, but somewhere along the lines greed and/or incompetence took over (something that seems common with Bitfinex's previous actions). Right now we're playing proverbial hot potato, and as long as people believe that Tether is worth a dollar everything is fine, but as some point the Emperor will have to step out from hiding and somebody will point out they have no clothes.
In the long term I really hope once Tether collapses we can move on and get the following two implemented which would greatly improve the market for all investors:
- Actual USD fiat pairings on the major exchanges for the major currencies
- Regulatory rules on exchange reserve requirements
I had watched the Bitconnect people insist for the last 2 years that everything about Bitconnect made perfect sense because they were getting paid daily. The scam works until one day it suddenly doesn't.
Tether could still come clean and avoid all of this "FUD" by simply getting a simple review of their banking, they don't even need a full audit. If everything was legit with Tether, it would be incredibly easy to have a segregated bank account with the funds used solely to back up Tether, then have an third party accounting firm simply review the account and a bank reconciliation statement then spend a few hours in contact with the bank to ensure no outstanding liabilities are held on that balance. This is extremely basic stuff, it would take a few hours to set up and wouldn't take a lot of man-hours for a qualified account to do, and yet they don’t do it. Why? Why hire a major PR firm and spend god knows how much money to pay professional PR representatives to attack "FUD" online instead?
I think I know why.
I don’t claim to be an expert, just a normal dude watching crypto for a few years. I thought I would share my take on Ripple. submitted by
People claim Ripple is shit because it’s cheap, like ¥27/$.25 each and won’t make them a millionaire overnight.
In my view, the AMEX adoption is a huge step.
This is just the start, I read the Bank of England, among other national banks, are running test nets to check the validity if the platform for fit in their business model.
There is a group of all the major Japanese Banks (and Koreans too I believe) doing the same thing.
Arab banks too are looking into it.
Now, one reason people moan is 38 billion coins.....compared to 21 million bitcoin. Right?
Amex is first, lets say visa and MasterCard follow, that several national banks follow and the conglomerates mentioned...
My understanding is that they will use xrp for their liquidity.
So a Japanese bank will trade with a Korean bank, for example, in XRP.
So, those 38 billion coins are going to disappear pretty quick when those businesses get involved.
Now here’s why. I made a transaction in £ sterling to ¥ recently. It took 5 working days using tradition bank transfer.
I took a leap of faith and made the same value transfer yesterday using ripple.
It took a f-ing second, maybe two. I didn’t even have time to start my stopwatch and it had arrived in Japan from London.
Traditional systems simple CANNOT compete, even bitcoin can’t compete with that.
I was, simply put, astonished at my first real life usage of XRP.
I’ve been holding for some time, but now I see this vision in my head, if this continues I think ripple will be the crypto adopted by the mainstream business/banking industry.
That will drive it’s value long term.
I’m thinking 5-10 years for example.
(Remember, all I offer is an opinion and my own experience and thoughts, nothing more)
Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash are confusing, especially to newbies. They are likely unaware of the history and reasoning for the existence of these two coins. This ignorance is likely persisted by the censorship practised at bitcoin
and Bitcointalk.org for several years. (rbitcoinbanned
includes examples of the censoring.)
Most of the following is an explanation of the history of Bitcoin, when there was only one Bitcoin. Then it explains the in-fighting and why it forked into two Bitcoins: 1) Bitcoin Legacy and 2) Bitcoin Cash, which happens in the last section (THE DIVORCE). Feel free to suggest edits or corrections. Later, I will publish this on Medium as well. BITCOIN WAS AN INSTRUMENT OF WAR
For Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator, and the initial supporters, Bitcoin was more than just a new currency. It was an instrument of war.
Who are they fighting against?
The government and central banks.
There is an abundance of evidence of this, starting with Satoshi Nakamoto’s original software. BATTLE FOR ONLINE GAMBLING
Governments around the world ban online gambling by banning their currency from being used as payment. The original Bitcoin software included code for Poker. Yes, Poker.
Here is the original code: https://github.com/trottieoriginal-bitcoin/blob/mastesrc/uibase.cpp
Search for “Poker”, “Deal Me Out”, “Deal Hand”, “Fold”, “Call”, “Raise”, “Leave Table”, “DitchPlayer”.
Bitcoin gave the middle finger to the government and found a way to get around their ban. In the initial years, it was mainly gambling operators that used Bitcoin, such as SatoshiDice. Was this a coincidence? Gambling is one of the best, if not, the best application for Bitcoin. It was no wonder that gambling operators embraced Bitcoin, including gambling mogul Calvin Ayre.
Bitcoin enabled people to rebel against the government in other ways as well, such as Silk Road, which enabled people to buy and sell drugs. ANTI-GOVERNMENT LIBERTARIANS AND CYPHERPUNKS
Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy. They are against authority and state power. Cypherpunks are activists advocating widespread use of cryptography as a route to social and political change. Their common thread is their dislike for the government.
Bitcoin was created by libertarians and cypherpunks.
Satoshi Nakamoto used cryptography mailing lists to communicate with other cypherpunks such as Wei Dai. Satoshi Nakamoto wrote:
“It’s very attractive to the libertarian viewpoint if we can explain it properly. I’m better with code than with words though.”
Satoshi Nakamoto was rebellious to government control. Someone argued with Satoshi by stating: “You will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography.” Satoshi replied:
"Yes, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.
Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks like Napster, but pure P2P networks like Gnutella and Tor seem to be holding their own.”
Nakamoto was critical of the central bank. He wrote:
"The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that's required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust. Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction in reserve. We have to trust them with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves drain our accounts.”
It is no wonder that the first supporters of Bitcoin were libertarians as well, who agreed with Satoshi’s ideology and saw the potential of Bitcoin to fulfill their ideology.
One of the biggest benefits that Bitcoin supporters want, is “censorship resistance”. What does this mean? It means: to be able to spend your money any way you want. It means: how to get around government regulations and bans. It means: how to do something despite the government.
Roger Ver, an early Bitcoin supporter, heavily criticizes the government for engaging in wars around the world that kills civilians and children. When he ran as a Libertarian candidate in an election against the Republicans and Democrats, he criticized the ATF and FBI for murdering children in their raid in Waco, Texas. At the time, Ver and many other merchants were selling fireworks on eBay without a license. The ATF charged Ver and sent him to prison, but did not charge any of the other merchants. (https://youtu.be/N6NscwzbMvI?t=47m50s
) This must have angered Ver a lot.
Since then, Ver has been on a mission to weaken and shrink the government. When he learned about Bitcoin in February 2011, he saw it as his weapon to accomplish his goal…his instrument of war.
Ver was already a multi-millionaire entrepreneur. He sold his company, bought Bitcoins and was the first to invest in Bitcoin startups, such as Bitpay, Blockchain.info, Kraken, Bitcoin.com, Bitcoinstore.com and others. Then he worked full-time to promote Bitcoin. Bitpay became the largest Bitcoin payment processor. Blockchain.info became the largest provider of Bitcoin wallets. Much of the growth of Bitcoin since 2011 can be attributed to Ver's companies.
More evidence of Ver’s anti-government sentiment emerged when he recently announced that he is working to create a society with no government at all (FreeSociety.com). HOW TO WIN THE WAR
To win the war, Bitcoin must be adopted and widely used by the masses. When people use Bitcoin instead of their national fiat currency, the government becomes weaker. The government can no longer do the following:
- steal wealth from its citizens by printing money (When a government prints money, it is no different than when a criminal counterfeits money. Both are stealing wealth from the other people holding the same currency.)
- tax wherever it pleases (and then squander the money or spend it on activities that the population does not agree with, such as wars)
- continue exploding the size of government
It is not only important to get the masses to adopt Bitcoin, but it is also important to get them to adopt it quickly. If it takes a long time, governments will have more time to think twice about allowing Bitcoin to exist and will have more justifications to ban it. They can claim that Bitcoin is used for ransomware, terrorism, etc. If Bitcoin is adopted by the masses to buy everyday goods, such as food and clothing, then it will be harder for them to stop it. IS BITCOIN WINNING?
Yes and no.
Bitcoin has definitely become more popular over the years. But, it is not achieving Satoshi Nakamoto’s goals.
Satoshi defined Bitcoin and his goal. The title of his white paper is:
“Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”
Is Bitcoin being used as cash? Unfortunately, it is not. It is being used as a store of value. However, the title of Satoshi’s white paper was not:
“Bitcoin: A Store of Value”
There is utility in having a store of value, of course. People need it and Bitcoin has superior features to gold. Therefore, it is likely that Bitcoin can continue gaining in popularity and price as it continues to compete and take market share away from gold.
However, both gold and Bitcoin are not being used as currency.
If Bitcoin does not replace fiat currencies, will it weaken governments? No, because no matter how many people buy gold or Bitcoin (as a store of value), they do not weaken governments. To do so, Bitcoin must replace fiat currencies. BITCOIN LOSING TO FIAT
In the initial years, Bitcoin was taking market share from fiat currencies. But, in the past year, it is losing market share. Dell, Wikipedia and airlines have stopped accepting bitcoin. SatoshiDice and Yours switched to Bitcoin Cash. According to Businessinsider:
"Out of the leading 500 internet sellers, just three accept bitcoin, down from five last year.”
Why is Bitcoin losing market share to fiat? According to Businessinsider:
“when they do try to spend it, it often comes with high fees, which eliminates the utility for small purchases, or it takes a long time to complete the transaction, which could be a turn-off.”
Why are there high fees and long completion times?
Because of small blocks. SCALING DEBATE – THE BIG MARITAL FIGHT
Why isn't the block size increased?
Because Core/Blockstream believes that big blocks lead to centralization to fewer people who can run the nodes. They also believe that off-chain solutions will provide faster and cheaper transactions. There are advocates for bigger blocks, but because Core/Blockstream control the software, Bitcoin still has the original, one megabyte block since 8 years ago. (Core developers control Bitcoin’s software and several of the key Core developers are employed by Blockstream, a private, for-profit company.)
Businesses, users and miners have asked for four years for the block size to be increased. They point out that Satoshi has always planned to scale Bitcoin by increasing the block size. For four years, Core/Blockstream has refused.
The Bitcoin community split into two factions:
- Small Blockers, who did not want to increase the block size
- Big Blockers, who did
This scaling debate and in-fighting went on for several years. You can read more about it at: https://np.reddit.com/BitcoinMarkets/comments/6rxw7k/informative_btc_vs_bch_articles/dl8v4lp/?st=jaotbt8m&sh=222ce783 SMALL BLOCKERS VS BIG BLOCKERS
Why has Blockstream refused to increase block size? There are a few possible reasons:
- They truly believe that big blocks means that fewer people would be able to run full nodes, which would lead to centralization and that the best roadmap is with off-chain solutions. (However, since 2009, hard disk space has exploded. A 4TB disk costs $100 and can store 10 years of blocks. This price is the equivalent to a handful of Bitcoin transaction fees. Also, Satoshi never planned on having every user run full nodes. He envisioned server farms. Decentralization is needed to achieve censorship-resistance and to make the blockchain immutable. This is already accomplished with the thousands of nodes. Having millions or billions of nodes does not increase the censorship-resistance and does not make the blockchain more immutable.)
- Blockstream wants small blocks, high fees and slow confirmations to justify the need for their off-chain products, such as Liquid. Blockstream sells Liquid to exchanges to move Bitcoin quickly on a side-chain. Lightning Network will create liquidity hubs, such as exchanges, which will generate traffic and fees for exchanges. With this, exchanges will have a higher need for Liquid. This is the only way that Blockstream will be able to repay the $76 million to their investors.
- They propose moving the transactions off the blockchain onto the Lightning Network, an off-chain solution. By doing so, there is a possibility of being regulated by the government (see https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/7gxkvj/lightning_hubs_will_need_to_report_to_irs/). One of Blockstream’s investors/owners is AXA. AXA’s CEO and Chairman until 2016 was also the Chairman of Bilderberg Group. The Bilderberg Group is run by politicians and bankers. According to GlobalResearch, Bilderberg Group wants “a One World Government (World Company) with a single, global marketplace…and financially regulated by one ‘World (Central) Bank’ using one global currency.” Does Bilderberg see Bitcoin as one component of their master plan?
- They do not like the fact that most of the miners are in China. In this power-struggle, they would like to take away control and future revenues from China, by scaling off-chain.
Richard Heart gives his reasons why block size should not be increased, in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2941&v=iFJ2MZ3KciQ
He cites latency as a limitation and the reason for doing off-chain scaling. However, latency has been dramatically reduced since 2009 when Bitcoin started with 1MB blocks. Back then, most residential users had 5-10 Mbps internet speed. Now, they have up to 400 Mbps up to 1 Gbps. That’s a 40 to 200X increase. Back in 2009, nobody would’ve thought that you can stream 4k videos.
He implies that 10 minute intervals between block creations are needed in order for the blocks to sync. If internet speed has increased by 40-200X, why can’t the block size be increased?
He claims that bigger blocks make it more difficult for miners to mine the blocks, which increases the chances of orphaned blocks. However, both speeds and the number of mining machines have increased dramatically, causing hashing power on the network to exponentially increase since 2009. This will likely continue increasing in the future.
Richard says that blocks will never be big enough to do 2,000 transactions per second (tps). He says that all of the forks in the world is only going to get 9 tps. Since his statement, Peter Rizun and Andrew Stone have shown that a 1 core CPU machine with 3 Mbps internet speed can do 100 tps. (https://youtu.be/5SJm2ep3X_M
) Rizun thinks that visa level (2,000 tps) can be achieved with nodes running on 4-core/16GB machines, bigger blocks and parallel processing to take advantage of the multiple CPU cores.
Even though Rizun and Stone are showing signifiant increases in tps with bigger blocks, the big blockers have never been against a 2nd layer. They’ve always said that you can add a 2nd layer later. CORE/BLOCKSTREAM VS MINERS
According to Satoshi, Bitcoin should be governed by those with the most hashing power. One hash, one vote. However, Core/Blockstream does not agree with this. Due to refusals for four years to increase block size, it would seem that Core/Blockstream has been able to wrestle control away from miners. Is this because they want control? Is this because they don’t want the Chinese to have so much, or any, control of Bitcoin? Is this because they prefer to eventually move the revenue to the West, by moving most of the transactions off chain? DIFFERENT AGENDAS
It would seem that Businesses/Users and Core/Blockstream have very different agendas.
Businesses/Users want cheap and fast transactions and see this as an immediate need. Core/Blockstream do not. Here are some quotes from Core/Blockstream:
Greg Maxwell: "I don't think that transaction fees mattering is a failing-- it's success!”
Greg Maxwell: "fee pressure is an intentional part of the system design and to the best of the current understanding essential for the system's long term survial. So, uh, yes. It's good."
Greg Maxwell: "There is a consistent fee backlog, which is the required criteria for stability.”
Peter Wuille: "we - as a community - should indeed let a fee market develop, and rather sooner than later”
Luke-jr: "It is no longer possible to keep fees low.”
Luke-jr: "Just pay a $5 fee and it'll go through every time unless you're doing something stupid.”
Jorge Timón: "higher fees may be just what is needed”
Jorge Timón: "Confirmation times are fine for those who pay high fees.”
Jorge Timón: “I think Adam and I agree that hitting the limit wouldn't be bad, but actually good for an young and immature market like bitcoin fees.”
Mark Friedenbach: "Slow confirmation, high fees will be the norm in any safe outcome."
Wladimir J. van der Laan: “A mounting fee pressure, resulting in a true fee market where transactions compete to get into blocks, results in urgency to develop decentralized off-chain solutions.”
Greg Maxwell: “There is nothing wrong with full blocks, and blocks have been “full” relative to what miners would produce for years. Full blocks is the natural state of the system”
Wladimir J. van der Laan: “A mounting fee pressure, resulting in a true fee market where transactions compete to get into blocks, results in urgency to develop decentralized off-chain solutions. I'm afraid increasing the block size will kick this can down the road and let people (and the large Bitcoin companies) relax”
Why don’t Core/Blockstream care about cheap and fast transactions? One possible reason is that they do not use Bitcoin. They might own some, but they do not spend it to buy coffee and they do not use it to pay employees. They aren’t making hundreds of transactions per day. They do not feel the pain. As engineers, they want a technical utopia.
Businesses/Users on the other hand, feel the pain and want business solutions.
An analogy of this scaling debate is this:
You have a car that is going 50 kph. The passengers (Bitcoin users) want to go 100 kph today, but eventually in the future, they want to go 200 kph. The car is capable of going 100 kph but not 200 kph. Big blockers are saying: Step on the accelerator and go 100 kph. Small blockers are saying: Wait until we build a new car, which will go 200 kph. Meanwhile, the passengers are stuck at 50 kph.
Not only do Big blockers think that the car can simply go faster by stepping on the accelerator, they have already shown that the car can go even faster by adding a turbocharger (even bigger blocks) and making sure that every cylinder is firing (parallel process on multiple CPU cores). In addition, they are willing to use the new car if and when it gets built. CORE/BLOCKSTREAM VS USERS
If you watch this debate from 2017-02-27 (https://youtu.be/JarEszFY1WY
), an analogy can be made. Core/Blockstream is like the IT department and Bitcoin.com (Roger Ver and Jake Smith) is like the Sales/Marketing department (users). Core/Blockstream developers hold, but do not use Bitcoin. Blockstream does not own nor use Bitcoin.
Roger Ver's companies used to use or still use Bitcoin every day. Ver’s MemoryDealers was the first company to accept Bitcoin. Johnny seems to think that he knows what users want, but he rarely uses Bitcoin and he is debating one of the biggest users sitting across the table.
In all companies, Marketing (and all other departments) are IT’s customer. IT must do what Marketing wants, not the other way around. If Core/Blockstream and Roger Ver worked in the same company, the CEO would tell Core/Blockstream to give Roger what he wants or the CEO would fire Core/Blockstream.
But they don’t work for the same company. Roger and other businesses/users cannot fire Core/Blockstream.
Core/Blockstream wants to shoot for the best technology possible. They are not interested in solving short term problems, because they do not see high fees and long confirmation times as problems. BLOCKSTREAM VS LIBERTARIANS
There are leaders in each camp. One can argue that Blockstream is the leader of the Small Blockers and Roger Ver (supported by Gavin Andresen, Calvin Ayre, businesses and some miners) is the leader of the Big Blockers.
Blockstream has openly called for full blocks and higher fees and they are preparing to scale with Lightning Network. As mentioned before, there is a possibility that Lightning hubs will be regulated by the government. Luke-jr tweeted “But State has authority from God” (https://twitter.com/LukeDashjstatus/934611236695789568?s=08
Roger Ver wants Bitcoin to regulate the government, not the other way around. He wants to weaken and shrink the government. In addition to separation of church and state, he wants to see separation of money and state. He felt that Bitcoin can no longer do this. He pushed for solutions such as Bitcoin Unlimited. THE DIVORCE
To prepare for off-chain scaling, Core/Blockstream forked Bitcoin by adding Segwit, which I will refer to as Bitcoin Legacy
. This is still referred to by the mainstream as Bitcoin, and it has the symbol BTC
After four years of refusal by Blockstream, the big blockers, out of frustration, restored Bitcoin through a fork, by removing Segwit from Bitcoin Legacy and increased the block size. This is currently called Bitcoin Cash
and has the symbol BCH
Bitcoin Legacy has transformed from cash to store-of-value. It had a 8 year head start in building brand awareness and infrastructure. It’s likely that it will continue growing in popularity and price for a while.
Bitcoin Cash most resembles Satoshi’s “peer-to-peer cash”. It will be interesting to see if it will pick up from where Bitcoin Legacy left off and take market share in the fiat currency space. Libertarians and cypherpunks will be able to resume their mission of weakening and shrinking the government by promoting Bitcoin Cash.
Currently, Bitcoin Cash can fulfill the role of money, which includes medium of exchange (cash) and store-of-value functions. It will be interesting to see if off-chain scaling (with lower fees and faster confirmations) will enable Bitcoin Legacy to be used as a currency as well and fulfill the role of money.
This is an example of the free market and open competition. New companies divest or get created all the time, to satisfy different needs. Bitcoin is no different.
Small blockers and big blockers no longer need to fight and bicker in the same house. They have gone their separate ways.
Both parties have want they want. Blockstream can store value and generate revenue from their off-chain products to repay their investors. Libertarians (and gambling operators) can rejoice and re-arm with Bitcoin Cash to take on the government. They can continue with their mission to get freedom and autonomy.
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