The Pros and Cons of Bitcoin InvestorPlace

08-31 07:46 - 'I think yes. / During this bull cycle I think ETH can outperform BTC. But crypto valuation is high enough right now that a sharp drop is possible with bad news, and Bitcoin definitely has far superior downside pr...' by /u/Panda_Procrastinator removed from /r/Bitcoin within 505-515min

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I think yes.
During this bull cycle I think ETH can outperform BTC. But crypto valuation is high enough right now that a sharp drop is possible with bad news, and Bitcoin definitely has far superior downside protection compare to ETH. Bitcoin also has ~2.5x the liquidity judging from orderbooks (only really matter if you buy lots though).
Other alts are mostly FoTMs and depending on luck you might pick one that has explosive gains (and it can be very, very tempting to buy in). But do know that you can also pick one that just die and stay dead. It's like rolling a roulette, I personally do not recommend this. Over the long run, I think Bitcoin will outperform the average altcoin.
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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Edit: TL;DR added in the comments
 
Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analyzed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk-reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralized and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis of why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise, just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction
 
The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since the end of January 2019 with daily transaction rates growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralized and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. The maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realized early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralized, secure, and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in the amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralization. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue dissecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour, no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts, etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as: “A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronize cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next, he states that: "blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”. For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber, and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa, this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network, etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever-changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralized and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimization on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and the University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (66%) double-spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT, etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralization.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently, there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so-called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralized nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics, you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching its transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end-users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public. They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public-facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers. The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translate to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non-custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS; shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralized too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralized in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. The faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time-stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalized: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object-oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: * “all programs have two basic components, data – what the program knows – and behavior – what the program can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviors in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behavior are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.” *
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: OCaml is a general-purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognized by academics and won a so-called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise, it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts, it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa or Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue: In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships
 
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organizations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggests that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already take advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, Airbnb, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are built on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human-readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They don't just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data, it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community-run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non-custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiative (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggests in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real-time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding of what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures, Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
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The Next Crypto Wave: The Rise of Stablecoins and its Entry to the U.S. Dollar Market

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

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

Demand for U.S. Dollars

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

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

https://preview.redd.it/wucg40kzz8p51.png?width=653&format=png&auto=webp&s=71257fec29b43e0fc0df1bf04363717e3b52478f
This U.S. dollar preference also directly impacts the world’s debt. According to the Bank of International Settlements, there is over $67 trillion in U.S. dollar denominated debt globally, and borrowing outside of the U.S. accounted for $12.5 trillion in Q1 20205. There is an immense demand for U.S. dollars every year just to service these dollar debts. The annual U.S. dollar buying demand is easily over $1 trillion assuming the borrowing cost is at 1.5% (1 year LIBOR + 1%) per year, a conservative estimate.

https://preview.redd.it/6956j6f109p51.png?width=487&format=png&auto=webp&s=ccea257a4e9524c11df25737cac961308b542b69
Secondly, since the U.S. has a much stronger economy compared to its global peers, a higher return on investments draws U.S. dollar demand from everywhere in the world, to invest in companies both in the public and private markets. The U.S. hosts the largest stock markets in the world with more than $33 trillion in public market capitalization (combined both NYSE and NASDAQ)6. For the private market, North America’s total share is well over 60% of the $6.5 trillion global assets under management across private equity, real assets, and private debt investments7. The demand for higher quality investments extends to the fixed income market as well. As countries like Japan and Switzerland currently have negative-yielding interest rates8, fixed income investors’ quest for yield in the developed economies leads them back to the U.S. debt market. As of July 2020, there are $15 trillion worth of negative-yielding debt securities globally (see chart). In comparison, the positive, low-yielding U.S. debt remains a sound fixed income strategy for conservative investors in uncertain market conditions.

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

The Rise of Crypto Dollars

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

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

Institutional Developments

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

https://preview.redd.it/lgb1f2rw19p51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=040bb0deed0499df6bf08a072fd7c4a442a826a0
These institutional experiments are laying an essential foundation for an improved global payment infrastructure, where instant and frictionless cross-border settlements can take place with minimal costs. Of course, the interoperability of private DLT tokens and public blockchain stablecoins has yet to be explored, but the innovation with both public and private blockchain efforts could eventually merge. This was highlighted recently by the Governor of the Bank of England who stated that “stablecoins and CBDC could sit alongside each other20”. One thing for certain is that crypto dollars (or other fiat-linked digital currencies) are going to play a significant role in our future economy.

Future Opportunities

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

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

Trying to Pick a Weapon / Caliber

Hey. I'm a long time player and I just can't decide on what gun to use lately.
Used to strictly use the Vepr Hunter. 60k no armor loadout with m80 or m62 rounds, fearing no chad. I still think it's probably my most cost effective weapon, but I hate it for a few reasons. I can't suppress it, I can't add flashlight / laser, it's not very fun to use because of the fire rate / recoil, it's super fucking loud it hurts, it looks ugly.
Then I moved on to the USB x8 trade for m1a and threw sites on it, it's a bit better and not much pricier, though the price has gone up with the value of USB's. Too expensive to suppress though I'll need to spend a lot for that. With the upcoming 85 health sponge of a chest, I'm done with this caliber anyways I think. Why should I take the downsides of using a heavy caliber if I can't one tap the chest anymore anyways, I'll two tap chest with an m1a or I'll two tap chest with pretty much any other gun anyways, or 1 tap head. Just don't see a reason for using this caliber when considering the downsides.
Then I tried:
  1. PP-19 Vityaz: With EKP + Buttpad it's only 35k and has low recoil, meh fire rate, 30 rounds of full auto fire using fairly cheap AP 6.3 rounds that will facetap almost anyone, but now I have to once again fear the super chads using level 4+ face armor. Hard to hit faces too. Trouble fighting raiders (I play reserve). Optional suppressor for this gun is just 12k rubles! Super cheap to be able to run a suppressed full auto laser for just 48k rubles, but really shitty caliber. This will always be my super budget gun, cuz I can use it for just 25k with ammo and an extra mag... Always comes back in insurance so basically costs 5k...
  2. MPX: Modded out to cost 85k, not too bad, it's a super laser, like 0 movement when shooting, and suppressed with flashlight / laser combo and holo site. Great fire rate. Still a dogshit caliber though. Waiting to see how the new 9mm AP ammo is, but for now I can't justify 85k on a weapon that can't beat a super chad. Very fun to use and cool looking gun though!
  3. MP7: This thing fucking shreds. Uses ammo that can pen level 4 right away, level 5 after a very quick burst. (FMJ SX). It will two tap chest still with the 85 hp as the round does 43 flesh, NICE! It's fun to use, looks awesome, easy to mod, fairly cheap (40k + 20k site) but the downside is that the suppressor for this thing costs a whopping 60,000 rubles! If I want to suppress this thing I'm spending 120k! That's no longer budget for me, that's getting into the "Fine I guess I should bring good armor too now" territory. I could run this thing without a suppressor though, just not as fun and I swear my aim is 100x worse the more sound my gun makes lol. The ammo is cheap though and stacks to 70 in container. Definitely still considering using the mp7!
  4. M4: I used to pass this off as overpriced but once I realized I was spending 120k on the mp7 I found an m4 trade from mechanic. 1 bitcoin + 1 GP coin = 140k, the m4 comes super modded, 54 recoil!! That's insane! It's not suppressed though so nah.
  5. VSS: It's honestly tempting. I mean it's like 75k on the flea market, 90k with a site. The 20 round mags are rough, and it's tempting to go with 106k so I can run an RVG grip on it to steady the thing a bit more, but for budget just 80k. Great ammo options. Already suppressed. Unlikely to come back through insurance though. Considering this as my budget suppressed build. My main issue is the 20 round mags though. This is still probably my best <90k suppressed gun for taking on chads.
So right now I'm thinking MP7 for budget as a 60k anti-chad weapon, or VSS as a moderate cost suppressed anti-chad weapon at around 90k. What are your thoughts? I haven't really looked into AK's because of how expensive the ammo is.
submitted by Koda_20 to EscapefromTarkov [link] [comments]

The White Dragon : A Canadian Dragon Portfolio

Alright guys, Ive been working on this for a while and a post on here by a guy describing his portfolio here was the final kick in the ass for me to put this together. I started writing this to summarize what Im doing for my friends who are beginners, and also for me to make some sense of it for myself
Hopefully parts of it are useful to you, and also ideally you guys can point out errors or have a suggestion or two. I'm posting this here as opposed to investing or canadianinvestor (blech) because they're just gonna tell me to buy an index fund.
This first section is a preamble describing the Canadian tax situation and why Im doing things the way that I am. Feel free to skip it if you dont care about that. Also, there might be mistake regarding what the laws are here so dont take my word for it and verify it for yourself please.
So here in Canada we have two types of registered accounts (theres actually more but whatver). There is the TFSA "Tax Free Savings Account", and RRSP "Registered Retirement Savings Account"
For the sake of simplicity, from the time you turn 18 you are allowed to deposit 5k (it changes year to year based on inflation etc)in each of them. That "room" accumulates retroactively, so if you haventdone anything and are starting today and you are 30 you have around 60k you can put in each of them. The prevailing wisdom is that you should max out the TFSA first and you'll see why in a minute.

TFSA is post tax deposits, with no capital gains or other taxes applied to selling your securities, dividends or anything else. You can withdraw your gains at any time, and the amount that you withdraw is added to the "room" you have for the next year. So lets say I maxed out my TFSA contributions and I take out 20k today, on January of next year I can put back in 20k plus the 5 or whatever they allow for that year. You can see how powerful this is. Theres a few limitations on what is eligable to be held in the TFSA such as bitcoin/bitcoin ETFs, overseas stocks that arent listed on NYSE, TSX, london and a few others. You can Buy to Open and Sell to Close call and put options as well as write Covered Calls.

The RRSP is pre-tax deposits and is a tax deferred scheme. You deposit to lower your income tax burden (and hopefully drop below a bracket) but once you retire you will be taxed on anything you pull out. Withdrawing early has huge penalties and isnt recommended. You are however allowed to borrow against it for a down payment as a first time home buyer. The strategy with these is that a youngperson entering the workforce is likely to be in a fairly low tax bracket and (hopefully) earns more money as they get older and more skilled so the RRSP has more value the greater your pre-taxincome is. You can also do this Self Directed. Its not relevant to this strategy but I included it for the sake of context.
Non registered accounts ( or any other situation, such as selling commercial real estate etc) is subject to a capital gains tax. In so far as I understand it, you add all your gains and losses up at the end of the year. If its a positive number, you cut that number IN HALF and add it to your regular pre-tax income. So if I made 60k from the dayjob and 20k on my margin account that adds up to 70k that I get taxed on. if its a loss, you carry that forward into the next year. Theres no distinction between long term and short term. Also physical PMs are treated differently and I'll fill that part in later once I have the details down.
The reason why all that babble is important is that my broker Questrade, which isnt as good as IB (the only real other option up here as far as Im aware) has one amazing feature that no other broker has: "Margin Power"
If you have a TFSA and a Margin account with them, you can link them together and have your securities in the TFSA collateralise your Margin account. Essentially, when it comes to the Maintenance Excess of the Margin Account QT doesnt care if its in the TFSA *or* the Margin!
You can see how powerful this is.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So as you can tell by the title, a lot of this is heavily inspired by Chris Cole's paper "The Allegory of the Hawk and the Serpent". You can read it here: https://www.artemiscm.com/welcome#research
Between it, his interviews and my mediocre options skills at the time my mind was blown. Unfortunately I didnt know how to do the Long Volatility part until after the crash in March but I've since then had nothing but time to scour the internet and learn as much as I could.
The way I interpret this isnt necessarily "what you should have right now", but what abstracted model they were able to backtest that gave them the best performance over the 90 years. Also, a lot of my portfolio I already had before I started trying to build this.
As such my allocations dont match the proportions he gave. Not saying my allocations are better, just showing where they are at this time.
I'm going to describe how I do Long Volatility at the end rather than the beginning since the way *I* do it wont make sense until you see the rest of the portflio.

Physical PMs 22%
I'm not sure wether he intended this to be straight up physical gold or include miners and royalty streaming companies so I will just keep this as physical.
I consider Silver to be a non-expiring call option on gold, so that can live here too. I am actually *very* overweight silver and my strategy is to convert a large portion of it to gold (mostly my bars) to gold as the ratio tightens up.
If youre into crypto, you can arguably say that has a place in this section.
If an ETF makes sense for part of your portfolio, I suggest the Sprott ones such as PHYS. Sprott is an honest business and they actually have the metal they say they have. If you have enough, you can redeem your shares from the Royal Canadian Mint. The only downside is that they dont have an options chain, so you cant sell covered calls etc. Simple enough I suppose.
One thing to bear in mind, there is a double edged sword with this class of assets. They're out of the system, theyre nobody's business but your own and theres no counter party. That unfortunately means that you cant lever against it for margin or sell covered calls etc. You can still buy puts though (more on that later)

Commodity Trend (CTA) 10%
https://youtu.be/tac8sWPZW0w
Patrick Ceresna gave a good presentation on what this strategy is. Until I watched this video I just thought it meant "buy commodities". A real CTA does this with futures also so aside from the way he showed, there are two other ETFs that are worth looking at.
COM - This is an explicit trend following ETF that follows a LONG/FLAT strategy instead of LONG/SHORT on a pile of commodity futures. So if they get a "sell" signal for oil or soybeans they sell what they have and go to cash.
COMT- Holds an assortment of different month futures in different commodities, as well as a *lot* of various related shares in producers. Its almost a one stop shop commodities portfolio. Pays a respectable dividend in December
If you want to break the "rules" of CTA, and include equities theres a few others that are also worth looking at
KOL- This is a coal ETF. The problems with it are that a lot of the holdings dont have much to do with coal. One of them is a tractor company. A lot of the companies are Chinese so theres a bit of a red flag.
Obviously Thermal Coal, the kind used for heating and powerplants isnt in vogue and wont be moving forward...but coking coal is used for steel manufacturing and that ain't going anywhere. The dividend is huge, pays out in December. A very very small position might be worth the risk.
Uranium- I'm in URA because thats the only way for me to get exposure to Kazatoprom (#1 producer), which is 20% of the holdings. The other 20% is Cameco (#2 producer)and then its random stuff.
Other than that I have shares in Denison which seems like its a good business with some interesting projects underway. I'm still studying the uranium space so I dont really have much to say about it of any value.
RSX- Russia large caps. If you dont want to pick between the myriad of undervalued, high dividend paying commodity companies that Russia has then just grab this. It only pays in December but it has a liquid options chain so you can do Covered Calls in the meantime if you want.
NTR- Nutrien, canadian company that was formed when two others merged. They are now the worlds largest potash producer. Pretty good dividend. They have some financial difficulties and the stocks been in a downtrend forever. I feel its a good candidate to watch or sell some puts on.
I'm trying to come up with a way to play agriculture since this new phase we're going to be entering is likely to cause huge food shortages.

EURN and NAT- I got in fairly early on the Tanker hype before it was even hype as a way to short oil but I got greedy and lost a lot of my gains. I pared down my position and I'm staying for the dividend.
If you get an oil sell signal, this might be a way to play that still.

Fixed Income/Bonds 10%

Now, I am not a bond expert but unless youre doing some wacky spreads with futures or whatever... I dont see much reason to buy government debt any more. If you are, youre basically betting that they take rates negative. Raoul Pal of Real Vision is pretty firm in his conviction that this will happen. I know better than to argue with him but I dont see risk/reward as being of much value.
HOWEVER, I found two interesting ETFs that seem to bring something to this portfolio
IVOL- This is run by Nancy Davis, and is comprised of TIPS bonds which are nominally inflation protected (doubt its real inflation but whatever) overlayed with some OTC options that are designed to pay off big if the Fed loses control of the long end of the yield curve, which is what might happen during a real inflation situation. Pays out a decent yield monthly
TAIL- This is a simpler portfolio of 10yr treasuries with ladder of puts on the SPX. Pays quarterly.

Equities 58% (shared with options/volatility below)
This is where it gets interesting, obviously most of this is in mining shares but before I get to those I found some interesting stuff that I'm intending to build up as I pare down my miners when the time comes to start doing that.
VIRT- I cant remember where I saw this, but people were talking about this as a volatility play. Its not perfect, but look at the chart compared to SPY. Its a HFT/market making operation, the wackier things get the more pennies they can scalp. A 4% dividend isnt shabby either.
FUND- This is an interesting closed end fund run by Whitney George, one of the principals at Sprott. He took it with him when he joined the company. Ive read his reports and interviews and I really like his approach to value and investing. He's kind of like if Warren Buffett was a gold bug. Theres 120 holdings in there, mostly small caps and very diverse...chicken factories, ball bearings all kinds of boring ass shit that nobody knows exists. Whats crucial is that most of it "needs to exist". Between him, his family and other people at Sprott they control 40% or so of the shares, so they definitely have skin in the game. Generous dividend.
ZIG- This is a "deep value" strategy fund, run by Tobias Carlisle. He has a fairly simple valuation formula called the Acquirer's Multiple that when he backtested it, is supposed to perform very well. He did an interview with Chris Cole on real Vision where he discusses how Value and Deep Value havent done well recently, but over the last 100 years have proven to be very viable strategies. If we feel that theres a new cycle brewing, then this strategy may work again moving forward.

I want to pause and point out something here, Chris Cole, Nassim Taleb and the guys at Mutiny Fund spend a lot of effort explaining that building a portfolio is a lot like putting together a good basketall team. They need to work together, and pick up each others slack
A lot of the ETFs I'm listing here are in many ways portfolios in and of themselves and are *actively managed*. I specifically chose them because they follow a methodology that I respect but I can't do myself because I dont have the skill, temperament or access to.
The next one is a hidden gem and ties into this. I'm not sure how much more upside there is in this one but man was I surprised.
SII- Sprott Inc. I *never* see people listing this stock in their PMs portfolios. A newsletter I'm subscribed to described this stock as the safest way to play junior miners. Their industry presence, intellectual capital and connections means that they get *the best* private placement deals in the best opportunities. I cant compete with a staff like theirs and I'm not going to try. I bought this at 2.50, and I liked the dividend. Since then they did a reverse split to get on the NYSE and like the day after the stock soared.
When it comes to mining ETFS I like GOAU and SILJ the best. None of their major holdings are dead weight companies that are only there because of market cap. I dont want Barrick in my portfolio etc.
SGDJ is a neat version of GDXJ.
Aside from that my individual miners/royalty companies are (no particular order)
MMX
SAND
PAAS
PGM
AUM
AG
MUX
RIO- Rio2 on the tsx, not rio tinto
KTN
KL
Options/Volatility: varies
So this is where we get to the part about options, Volatility and how I do it. I started out in the options space with The Wheel strategy and the Tastytrade approach of selling premium. The spreads and puts I sell, are on shares listed above, in fact some of those I dont hold anymore.
Theres tons of stuff on this in thetagang and options so I wont go into a whole bunch (and you shouldnt be learning the mechanics from me anyway) but theres one thing I want to go over before it gets wild.
If I sell a Cash Secured Put, from a risk management perspective its identical to just buying 100 shares of the underlying security. You are equally "Short Vol" as well, it just that with options
its a little more explicit with the Greeks and everything. But if I use my margin that I was talking about earlier, then I can still collect the premium and the interest doesnt kick in unless Im actually assigned the shares.
But if I sell too many puts on KL or AG, and something happens where the miners get cut down (and lets be real, they all move together) my margin goes down and then I get assigned and kaboom...my account gets blown up
So what I need to do, is balance out the huge Short Vol situation in my portfolio, be net Long Vol and directly hedge my positions. Since the overwhelming majority of my equities are all tied to bullion this is actually a very easy thing to do.

Backspreads
https://youtu.be/pvX5_rkm5x0
https://youtu.be/-jTvWOGVsK8
https://youtu.be/muYjjm934iY

So I set this up so the vast majority of my margin is tied up in these 1-2 or even 1-3 ratio put spreads that *I actually put on for a small credit*, and roll them every once in a while. I run them on SLV, and GDX.
I keep enough room on my margin so I can withstand a 10% drawdown before it sets off the long end of the spreads and then I can ride it out until it turns around and we keep the PM bull market going.
Theres another cool spread I've been using, which is a modified Jade Lizard; if already hold shares, I'll sell a put, sell a covered call, and use some of the premium to buy a longer dated call. Ive been running this on AG mostly.
I have a few more spreads I can show you but Im tired now so it'll have to wait for later.
As I said multiple times, I do intend to trim these miners later but now isnt the time for that IMO. I'm also monitoring this almost full time since I have an injury and have nothing better to do until I heal :p
submitted by ChudBuntsman to pmstocks [link] [comments]

Cryptocurrency Books You Must Read

Cryptocurrency Books You Must Read
When you go out into Internet space to look for some information on the crypto world, you may end up being confused and baffled. Suddenly, everyone’s an expert and each has something to say about it. Without a basic knowledge of the technology, your lack of knowledge may backfire on you one day if you get into the clingy paws of ICO internet scammers, so before you invest, it is important to learn some of the basics and fundamentals.
by StealthEX
Here is a heap of cryptocurrency books we recommend you to read to nurture your crypto side of the brain:

Digital Gold by Nathaniel Popper

In his shortlisted for the 2015 Financial Times and McKinsey business book of the year, Popper tells us the story of bitcoin since its early days. He tells the story through the eyes of famous and bright crypto influencers including South American and Asian millionaires, the Winklevoss twins and the legendary Satoshi Nakamoto. The author compares the digital currency to gold, claiming cryptocurrency to be the new global standard of storing the value.
Some readers say that Digital Gold book is a ready material for a thriller – unexpected plot twists, powerful influential organizations, drugs, blackmail make up the fascinating story to read and a really good starting point to understand what Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology is. The only downside that it only takes you up to 2015 but don’t worry, those were jam-packed years of growing.

The Internet of Money by Andreas Antonopoulos

Even though Andreas Antonopoulos is one of the world’s foremost bitcoin and blockchain experts, he has a unique talent to simply explain complicated materials herewith maintaining the significance of the topic. For readers who want to explore more theory, The Internet of Money book is actually a collection of talks given by technology-enthusiast Andreas Antonopoulos, where he surpasses all the technical “geeky” details. In each section he delivers complex discussions in average words, exploring the economic, political, social and philosophical sides of the technology that has forever affected our world.
By the way, the book was released in 3-volume series so you won’t miss out on any trivia.

The Little Bitcoin Book: Why Bitcoin Matters for Your Freedom, Finances, and Future by Alejandro Machado, Jimmy Song, Alena Vranova, Timi Ajiboye, Luis Buenaventura, Lily Liu, Alexander Lloyd, Alex Gladstein

Why does the price keep changing? Is Bitcoin worth investing my money into? How does it even have value? Why do people keep saying that it is the future of currency? The answers to all these questions you are going to find out in this book written by 8 experienced crypto experts. They finished it in just four days and they did well in accumulating their knowledge in a book format along with covering a lot of different questions and concerns around the digital currency. The book also explains how Bitcoin affects people’s freedom and opportunities. Also, there is a Q & A section with some of the most frequently asked questions about Bitcoin.

Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond by Chris Burniske & Jack Tatar

The book provides a useful framework on some popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, etc. and also explains why and how to invest and what would be the best thing to invest into. The authors make a major focus on investment strategies that really work, and teach you on fundamental notions like volume, liquidity and volatility of crypto coins. The authors use infographics, equations, historical data and statistics to teach you about crypto assets and markets.
This crypto book is as suitable for the beginners as for the advanced investors. It’s written in a straight forward style and will probably serve as a good reference for the future.

Mastering Bitcoin: Programming the Open Blockchain by Andreas M. Antonopoulos

Another Andreas Antonopoulos book but at this time an intermediate level. If you want a technical explanation, with code samples – get this book, Mastering Bitcoin is for people who already have a programming or computer science background. Well-delivered, useful and enlightening – the book takes you through the intricate world of bitcoin, providing the knowledge you need to participate in the internet of money. Whether you’re a software developer, startup investor, or simply curious about the technology, this edition is definitely worth your attention!

The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking by Saifedean Ammous

This is a book written by a world-class economist Saifedean Ammous, where he explains how money works, why some money works better than the others and how monetary systems evolved throughout history – from ancient times to our days.
Some people call it an eye-opening book, which would make you overthink the concept of money in general. Anyway, the book certainly is thought-provoking and it might induce you to dive deeper into the crypto world. The author doesn’t try to predict the future of money but to widen our horizon, to understand the problem of our economic system, and see the possibility of having a decentralized alternative to central banking.

The Book Of Satoshi: The Collected Writings of Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto by Phil Champagne

Have you ever wondered who stands behind the whole crypto industry? Who made it all possible? The fun thing is that nobody knows. All we know is the name – Satoshi Nakamoto. In his book, Champagne dives deeper into his mysterious personality and investigates who Nakamoto might be, whether it is one person or a group, and how it was possible for Nakamoto to create the game-changing Bitcoin while remaining completely anonymous. The book includes actual emails and internet posts by Nakamoto, presented in chronological order. Fine resource for anyone interested in Bitcoin, it gives insight into Satoshi’s thinking, and readers can look at Bitcoin from a whole new perspective!
And speaking of Bitcoin, if you need to exchange your BTC and many other coins, StealthEX is here for you. We provide a selection of more than 250 cryptocurrencies and constantly updating the list so that our customers will find a suitable option. Our service does not require registration and allows you to remain anonymous. Why don’t you check it out? Just go to StealthEX and follow these easy steps:
✔ Choose the pair and the amount for your exchange. For example ETH to BTC.
✔ Press the “Start exchange” button.
✔ Provide the recipient address to which the coins will be transferred.
✔ Move your cryptocurrency for the exchange.
✔ Receive your coins.
Follow us on Medium, Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit to get StealthEX.io updates and the latest news about the crypto world. For all requests message us via [email protected].
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.
Original article was posted on https://stealthex.io/blog/2020/09/01/cryptocurrency-books-you-must-read/
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Deep fundamental reasons behind all conflicts with Tezos Foundation

Let's first take a look at two core ideas behind Tezos protocol:
  1. In Bitcoin protocol, there are those who create blocks (miners) and users. Those are two fundamentally different groups. As a result of that they do have fundamentally different interests. When those interests are aligned, it's all work very well. However, sometimes those interests might get misaligned. Miners might want one set of changes in the protocol while users might want another set of changes. Tezos procotol solves this problem via proof of stake's baking mechanism by allowing users of XTZ to become block creators (like miners in Bitcoin protocol). Users/holders of XTZ and block creators are now fundamentally the same group and therefore there is no interest misalignment. Moreover, as a consequence of choosing proof of stake over proof of work, almost anyone can become a baker at low cost. Of course, there is a minimum requirement but it can be easily reduced through voting if price XTZ goes too high;
  2. Although per (1) problem of misalignment between users and miners solved, Tezos protocol make one step further. Namely, there is self-amending mechanisms in protocol. Through of the set of voting rounds, attached bounties (via dillution), there is a deterministic path to resolve disputes in upgrading Tezos protocol. Nobody knows the future, nobody knows how protocol should look like after 5-10-20 years. That's why it's very important to have self-amending procedure. Without deterministic path to protocol upgrade, you will have fork-wars like in Bitcoin. As a result of these fork-wars, you now have Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV. Also, with built-in bounties via dillution, Tezos protocol guarantees funding for its further development;
There is third core idea behind Tezos protocol. Namely, formal verification friendly, low-level and explicit smart contract language - Michelson. While it's very important feature, it's not relevant for this discussion.
Now imagine you are going back in time when Tezos protocol isn't implemented yet, only draft whitepaper. How would you bring it to life if you were original author?
If there were no crypto-currencies, then all you have to do is to take time and implement minimum viable product (MVP) on your own. May be you might do it with co-founder but it's not really necessary for releasing the first version of protocol in absence of any competition.
However, the field was already crowded and time works against you. It would be necessary for project's survival to be as fast as possible in such dynamic field. You need to raise funds to hire dozen of strong programmers to implement Tezos protocol and on top of that to fund development of ecosystem in Tezos network. Namely, wallets, higher-level languages on top of low-level Michelson, education materials for future smart contract writers, new projects similar to 0x, Maker, Compound, Cryptokitties etc.
Now, I would like you to make a pause and think what is Tezos protocol. It tries to align incentives of parties using game-theoretic constructs! And now, I would like you to make second pause and think what crypto-currencies are all about in broader sense. Crypto-currencies are about eliminating centralization and unnecessary middle-mans. One of the biggest middle-mans is governments and their legal system.
People who are in the space for long time should know how much crypto-currencies influenced by Austrian School of Economics (read Hayek's book "Denationalization Of Money" (1976) and early Satoshi Nakamoto's posts).
With that in mind (spirit behind Tezos and crypto-currencies in general), how would you fund development of Tezos protocol and later its initial ecosystem?
The correct answer is to setup decentralized autonomus organization (DAO). Initial DAO on Ethereum protocol since you don't have any Tezos protocol implementations (remember, we are still back in time!).
This DAO will be used to develop Tezos protocol itself and leverage power of smart contracts to correctly align incentives for development of Tezos protocol. Namely, backers of this DAO would get ERC20 token representing voting and governance power. For example, let's say founders raised 250M USD worth in ETH and all of these money will be locked in smart contract. Only backers can unlock funds from smart contract by tranches as Tezos protocol developers making progress. It would be similar to traditional world - seed round, round A, round B etc. When Tezos mainnet goes live, backers would receive proportional amount of XTZ as their ERC20 voting tokens on Ethereum. Since that initial DAO would still have tons of ETH locked by the time Tezos mainnet released, those proceeds will be used to fund wallet developers, high-language developers, and so on (via voting by backers of course).
In this scenario, I would envision that the first big project after Tezos mainnet launched would be to build trustless, decentralized bridge between Tezos blockchain and Ethereum blockchain. Simply, because it would be good to migrate intial DAO and its ETH funds into Tezos blockchain.
There are only two downsides with this approach:
  1. You can't raise funds in Bitcoin but who cares if it's 100M or even 50M (still huge amount of money);
  2. Many people in crypto-space will make fun of you because you just setup DAO on Ethereum while developing Ethereum competitor;
Neither of these two downsides is important. Ultimate upside is that backers has direct control over how funds are spent because they would be the only ones who can unlock funds by voting for proposals.
On meta-level, you would have beautiful symmetry. Namely, you develop Tezos protocol and its ecosystem, using the similar ideas and spirit as Tezos protocol itself!
But we all know that it was never happened!
We all know drama with Gevers who tried to capture power at Tezos Foundation. We all know that there is no RPC command in Tezos github to vote out Tezos Foundation members ;) We all know that we are not in control of Tezos Foundation. Tezos Foundation is a swiss non-profit organization with its own board and we are not part of it. Tezos Foundation is govern under Swiss law and most of you are not even Swiss citizens.
Here is the question why Breitmans suddently decided to throw away all fundamental principles behind crypto-currencies and just went all-in with traditional world? Why we all got stuck with our own mini-Washington, namely Tezos Foundation? There is one reason why Breitmans decided to throw away all their principles and stick with this strange scheme involving Swiss foundations.
The reason is ... socialism. You might think I'm joking but stay with me. There were roaring 1920s and following 1929 stock market crash (by the way that was actually caused by government creating credit bubble). Republican (but still a socialist) Herbert Hoover created depression from 1929 crash. Franklin Roosevelt made this depression truly great! He imposed price-controls and outright gold confiscation (check "Executive Order 6102"). One of his most terrible pieces of paternalistic socialist legislation was "Securities Act of 1933". And this is the reason why Breitmans tried so hard escape iron hand of Roosevelt's zombie.
The same month as Tezos fundraiser, SEC issued statement about the most famous Ethereum DAO:
https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2017-131
https://www.sec.gov/litigation/investreport/34-81207.pdf
Basically, they tried to say that DAO violated their 1933 Securities Act (aka Roosevelt zombie). I'm not claiming that Breitmans anticipated this exact SEC statement about Ethereum DAO. All I'm saying that they are smart enough to understand that SEC might come after them as well. It doesn't matter if SEC had right to do so. It doesn't matter that XTZ is not security at all. Only people outside of hardcore old school crypto-community would believe in such non-sense as rights. The truth is that any government is essentially an army which controls a territory and they (not you!) decide what they think is right or wrong.
Breitmans knew that SEC might chase them with bloody machete, so they decided to play traditional game which many played when Switzerland still had numbered accounts. Namely, using Switzerland as old-style traditional escape from Roosevelt zombies.
Unfortunately, for them they got in hands of people who knew too well how actually Swiss foundations work. We all remember how Gevers tried to exploit Swiss law about foundations to seize control over foundation's assets. Now we have new drama. But fundamentally, it's all because Breitmans choose Swiss law over Ethereum smart-contracts.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming Breitmans. I really think that their fear of Roosevelt zombie with bloody machete led them to setup weird foundation in Switzerland. In normal circumstances, I don't see any rational reason not to setup DAO as I described above.
Zooming out, on the bigger scale, you might see that these two worlds (i.e. traditional government law and crypto) are not compatible at all. You just can't have both of two worlds.
For the same reason, I don't believe in STOs. It's a nice toy, a temporary thing to bootstrap your Defi ecosystem in Tezos but nothing more than that.
Every STO, at some point, rely on some centralized entity which is controlled by law of some jurisdiction. Once government (aka army which control territories and make visibility of its own legitimacy via elections and passing laws) decides that your STO is not compliant, all these STO tokens will be worthless overnight. More on this in my another long post:
https://www.reddit.com/MakerDAO/comments/de0sys/kyc_is_absolutely_not_acceptable_for_makerdao/
Regardless of what's happen with Tezos Foundation, I strongly believe that Tezos protocol will thrive. Mainnet went life and the jinn that can't be put back in the bottle!
Update: Many here criticized my position regarding STOs. That's partly my fault with being too lax with terminology (once I wrote big post, I didn't have much energy to clarify on STOs in the end). By STO, I mean any tokens backed by regulated assets (again, I know it's lax definition). I assumed almost everyone here is for open, borderless finance. As a result of that, I assumed that you want to make these tokens available for everyone and that's why one day government will put pressure on such STO issuers to freeze tokens. However, it's turned out that some people excited for STOs being fully regulated from the start and therefore these tokens wouldn't be available for everyone. Basically, some people see main benefits of STOs as being pro-actively censorship friendly. In other words, they want to move all compliance on blockchain. Whereas, I see very existence of government regulations as root of all problems. Having said that, I'm not against STOs but I'm not very excited about them either. You have to make great mental leap to understand that fully-regulated STOs fundamentally solving wrong problem. You have to build fully censorship resistant technology, not fully censorship friendly. No matter how big market for STOs, it's still several orders of magnitude smaller than potential world of fully-inclusive finance without any borders whatsoever. Tezos is very well equipped for this ambitious task especially with new privacy features coming. Remember, Satoshi Nakamoto didn't ask permission from governments before releasing Bitcoin.
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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analysed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralised and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since end of January 2019 with daily transaction rate growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralised and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. Maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realised early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralised, secure and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralisation. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue disecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as:
“A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronise cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next he states that: >“blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”.* For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralised and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimisation on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (>66%) double spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralisation.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralised nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching their transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public.They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers.The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translates to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS & shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralised too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralised in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. Faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, R&D roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalised: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: > “all programmes have two basic components, data – what the programme knows – and behaviour – what the programme can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviours in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behaviour are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.”
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: > OCaml is a general purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognised by academics and won a so called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities safety is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa for Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue:
In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships  
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organisations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggest that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already taking advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, AirBnB, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are build on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”*
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They dont just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities) also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiatives (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggest in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures & Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
submitted by haveyouheardaboutit to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Let's discuss the 'one chain or none approach' and BSV winning narrative - aside from CSW!

It's been a bit quiet on here, and since a lot of things are up in the air about the court case currently, I thought I would start a discussion that is largely unrelated to CSW except for in addressing some of the broadly accepted statements and predictions for the longer term performance of BSV.
I wanted to make this thread because there have been fragmented discussions on this that I have found interesting and engaging, and I would like to put it in one place. I think it also addresses a very key point which I believe both sides will agree on - the 'survival' of BSV regardless of whether CSW is Satoshi.
I feel there are a few key areas around which this revolves so I will attempt to capture them below and hopefully we can address each one and why it could/couldn't leave BSV as the sole survivor without it descending into bickering.
  1. The whole bitcoin whitepaper narrative, and the flaws of other chains, in particular bitcoin core and cash. Aside from interpretations of the whitepaper, a lot of this narrative is based on things that BTC or other chains have done wrong which prevent scaling. My issues with this argument are primarily that some the 'facts' that are used as an argument against BTC are basically not true. Blocks are not actually capped at 1MB, Segwit does not break the chain of digital signatures and non segwit nodes can still verify transactions that have happened using segwit. Obviously segwit didn't fix all the problems it was meant to and the lightning network is awful, but it seems like one of the first arguments presented against BTC in favour of BSV relates to the above, but just because they are repeated incessantly does not make them true. If core presented a valid scaling solution within certain parameters surely this is a huge setback for BSV. For other chains I'll be more general, but I think it comes across as ignorant to say that the system proposed in the whitepaper is the only thing that could ever work. What if something that does not yet exist comes along tomorrow (like it has done before) and is better. Ethereum has it's flaws, but on the back end it is a proof of work chain that has consistently achieved higher daily transactions and an order of magnitude greater functionality than bitcoin since some point in 2017 with the downside that the blockchain is bigger. This obviously does not phase the BSV camp, so why fork from something that was already 'on the back foot' with respect to the metrics that are hailed as important. I do not see BSVs unique proposition in this respect.
  2. The crude approach to scaling metrics. I will concede this is more just a thing that annoys me which I want to address and for the purpose of my posts define, obviously people are free to disagree and discuss. A lot of the social media debates revolve around 'scaling' and for good reason. But I want to explore the definition of that word. To me, doubling a block size to double the number of transactions is not scaling, that is a crude way to increase throughput. Scaling would be fitting twice the number of transactions into the same block, for example. They are not the same thing, and crudely increasing throughput will have diminishing returns effects in relation to performance. The other scaling metric that annoys me is quotes in TPS when we're talking about bitcoin rules which is a new block every 10 minutes. Functionally this is completely misleading and should be looked at with respect to finality. If I had an account with a bitcoin in it, I could spam a bunch of 'valid' 1 bitcoin transactions to nodes, yet after the block is mined obviously only one of those can be valid. Daily transaction metrics are good, or unique address interactions etc, but quoting 'high' TPS just because a big block was mined after 10 minutes does not necessarily make that any more useful. I do not see BSVs unique proposition in this respect.
  3. The legal compliance thing vs anarachist thing that is being pushed and about it being the 'only' legal compliant chain. This is basically nonsense, code is code, obviously it is not law. Code is a neutral ruleset which people choose to participate with and abide by. Nothing is black and white, one could choose to be completely legal things on any other chain and completely illegal things on BSV to the same effect. I don't think there is a BSV vs other chains argument to be made here from either perspective. The law is the law, it doesn't matter which software you use to abide by it or break it with.
  4. The decentralisation debate. I have less to say on this one but I don't think it's a compelling case for any approach as being objectively better or worse. Decentralisation is a spectrum and there is no universal sweet spot. On one end we have the 'everyone run a node' approach and on the other end we have host everything on AWS. BSV is somewhere in the middle of this, no one knows what the 'correct' amount of decentralisation is for general purposes so I do not see how it can be claimed that BSV has an optimal approach as long as it remains functional.
  5. This is my personal point of greatest interest. I wouldn't say I'm a die hard supporter of any chain in particular, so I do think it is a worthwhile experiment trying the big block approach to see what happens. The issue is the assumption that this is the correct and best solution for doing everything on the blockchain. This leads me to the thinking that BSV is getting stuck in a 'jack of all trades - master of none' scenario. Whilst this means it may perform 'fine' functionally at the moment, it feels that all things equal, it may not survive long term and will certainly never be the dominant chain because there will always be a better alternative for a specific purpose, four general examples that I can think of below:
    1. Security of a significant transaction. Lets say a house purchase, if I had to choose a chain I would obviously choose BTC because it has the greatest hashrate by orders of magnitude. I will happily pay a fee and wait for a few confirmations to know that as far as blockchains go, my transaction is as final as possible. Obviously this example uses current state of things, but obviously this use case will always go to the most secure chain, which could be anything. I cannot see a compelling case for this becoming BSV.
    2. Microtransactions. I agree this is very important, and this narrative is pushed a lot in BSV. The problem is, there are plenty of chains currently that allow fast transactions with finality in seconds that are literally fee free. Whilst it is true that BSV can do really cheap transactions, what is the point when there is a faster and cheaper alternative. The same applies to SPV and 0-conf, while they might be 'fine' most of the time, why rely on them when you don't have to. Whilst there are more concerns over security for these fast and free chains, if we're talking beer money or whatever it's less of an issue if you're paying for convenience. This sort of echoes what Craig said in the bitcoin vision video from the other day that I agree with, except for the BSV part, so again I don't think this is a compelling case for only BSV, in fact I already think it is on the back foot.
    3. Privacy. It's a controversial topic for sure, but the fact remains that people will sometimes for whatever reason want to be able to transact privately and for illicit reasons. BSV does not intend to cater for this, but there is a market for this regardless, and a number of chains that offer it to varying degrees.
    4. Smart contracts. Another big one which encompasses a lot of things from tokens to actual contracts to provably fair gaming and gambling. There is already a host of account based chains with far more advanced functionality and greater developer communities than BSV. The 10 minute block finality is also an issue here, as for many of the above you presumably will want finality to transactions. I know BSV is expanding the 'smart contract' capabilities but I do not see a unique or compelling case for it to suddenly dominate or even make an impact any time soon. Once again, I do not see any kind of unique selling point.
So all in all, there is a fierce discussion aside from CSW about whether BSV is superior and can survive and thrive. I am obviously of the belief that the 'one chain or none' approach will not be the case, but I would be curious to here why people on both sides of the fence agree or disagree on the various points, and whether there will be one chain to rule them all..!
submitted by Martin1209 to bitcoinfights [link] [comments]

700K cash. What do I do?

I have 700k cash sitting in my money market account. I have been sitting on cash since 2016 waiting for that recession so I can perfectly time the market. And in the process I have lost ...not sure how much but a LOT.
So I have the following in mind.
  1. 33% - golden butterfly allocation
  2. 33% - dividend growth investing
  3. 33% - high savings account (wealthfront)
Let me know if this would protect me from the downside while giving me a decent amount of returns.
EDIT 02/20
Here is a summary of all the nuggets that came out from this thread. Love it. Will updated when I plan my portfolio.
-VGRO for the win. ( probably VUG)
-three-fund portfolio Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSAX) Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund (VTIAX) Vanguard Total Bond Market Fund (VBTLX)
-I personally like some international exposure so have 20% of my portfolio in VTIAX. Great article in international investing https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/investing-ideas/international-investing-myths
-SPCE. Bet it all on $40 June calls.
-You might consider a bogleheads portfolio. Here is my set it and forget it allocation: 70% VTSAX (ETF equivalent is VTI) 20% VTIAX (ETF equivalent is VXUS) 10% VBTLX (ETF equivalent is BND)
-A very general rule of thumb is that your bond allocation should equal your age minus 10 (i.e., a 40-year old investor would own approximately 30% bonds, 70% stocks).
-I plan to dollar cost average into simple investments like the S&P, dividend growth fund DGRO (which I just love), and some bonds for safety. It’s very similar to VIG
-Everything into SPCE calls. Literally no risk ( are you serious?)
-if you want to mess with things, i would say swap the small cap value for dividend growth in the golden butterfly. ( Makes sense) having 33% of your 750k in high savings is DUMB. (thanks)
-Dollar cost average into the market. Select an appropriate asset allocation for your goals. ( Yes!!!)
-Be aware that the average return (say 6-7%) is not the same as as what you can realistically draw as an income.First, for a consistent income stream you need to inflation proof the principle.
-Also the portfolios that have been analyzed to death that can reliably support that are basically 50 to 70 percent broadly diverse equities and the difference in broadly diverse bonds (index funds with essentially no fees or loads of course). 6-12mo DTE AAPL/MSFT CALLS. LEHGO (Nah!)
-I would invest a small PORTION, into a mix of dividend stocks/etf, a mix of growth stocks/etf, and a mix of gold and gold miners. I wouldn’t do bonds personally, but I would consider high yield saving account if it is liquid and they payout interest often (daily) and I can transfer money quickly to take advantage of market opportunities. ( Dividend stocks and Growth stocks makes sense)
-I wouldn’t put everything in the market all at once. Start very small and add to your positions slowly until you get more comfortable and understand the market more. Always have some cash on the sideline to take advantage of potential opportunities. ( Will follow this advice)
-If it were my 700k I would invest in Dividend Kings and Aristocrats and let the yield on cost grow over the next decade or two. ( Thanks for letting me know, i will look into it more)
-My recommendation would be to DCA into a growth fund like VUG over the next 12-24 months. That will protect you from a sudden correction. Personally, I wouldn't invest in dividend/value tickers, especially if you're under 40. (I’d definitely do this, Thanks. I will do Dividend growth for the passive income)
-If I suddenly got $700K, I'd put it all in high-growth tech funds. (If this was 2015 and I were to d it again, I’d do it. FAANGU stocks might be at peak) However, there's still value to be found in this expensive market. For example, the banking sector still looks undervalued relative to the S&P. So you can probably divide your allocation between growth, value, and money market funds.
-bitcoin (Will run away from any crypto)
-Everything else which isn't that defensive cushion is a highly diversified portfolio of stocks which produce an average dividend of 1.7%. Having more cash or bonds than you need is typically going to underperform. VGRO for the win. Set it and forget it! (Probably not, I’d probably do a US growth fund)
-If you were to try to diy look up some ways to invest in non correlated asset classes that offer a higher rate of return while limiting down side. If you want dividends, I'm a fan on the high yield bond fund. Make sure you do your research as to what's actually in it, though, and balance your portfolio accordingly. Understand the risks involved in bonds, and the risks involved in bonds that pay 8%, before investing. ( I think VWINX is a good one)
-I'll throw out the two rock solid fundsI always recommend: Vwelx/vwinx. The divvy alone will at least keep your assets in the game, and if you look at '08 vwinx only took a 27% hit from previous highs. ( I like the VWINX more)
-Simply put your money into VTWAX. total world stock index. Maximum diversification. Low cost. Low risk as possible. (not too optimistic about the emerging market and frontier markets)
-30 houses in a cheap metro. (Too much work, I have a demanding full time job and collecting rents is no fun when you have difficult clients)
submitted by bullet-150 to investing [link] [comments]

The websites I use to earn noney.

I want to start of by saying a huge thank you to everyone in this sub, for helping me out. I will have referral and non referral links below, so feel free to pick which one.
Swagbucks: It’s a GPT website, that also has surveys. It’s got ok pay, but what makes it shine are the extra things like swagstakes and swago. Pays out by PayPal or visa or gift cards, minimum payout is £5
Non-ref
Ref (Once you earn 300sb, we both get 300sb (around £3) extra)
Ysense: Definitely one of my favourites for surveys. A bit better pay than swagbucks, however you occasionally get DQed (only at the beginning). If you do 2 surveys for the day you get a good percent of your earning from the day added on to your total. Minimum payment is £3, pays gift cards and PayPal.
Non-ref
Ref
InstaGC: Another GPT website, good pay and quite a bit of options to pick from. A nice feature is you get a small percent your earnings as a bonus every week. They have a wide range of things you can do and the minimum payment is £1.
Non-ref
Ref
GG2U: Another GPT website, one of the best pays for surveys and offers. Minimum payment is $7.
Non-ref
Ref
Gain.gg: A lot of good offers, you need to earn a certain amount before you can unlock surveys. It also has one of the best paying offers, that often pay less on other survey websites. They pay via Bitcoin, which can be transferred to paypal or a bank account.
Non-ref
Ref (extra $1)
Qmee: One of the best survey websites, they constantly have surveys available. Not the best pay, but there is no minimum payment for PayPal, also offers gift cards. If you add their extension, you also get payed to search certain things.
Non-ref
Ref (we both get 50p each, when you first cash out on PayPal)
Prolific: Hands down the best paying survey site. They offer a minimum of £5 per hour (often higher) and pay via PayPal. One downside is due to how good the pay is, survey spots are often filled within seconds or minutes of coming out.
Non-ref
PopulusLive: One of the better paying sites. They send an email for an invite and they pay £1 per 5mins. Minimum payment is quite high though, at £50, they send via BACS or Cheque.
Non-ref
Panelbase: Not a lot of people know this website. It has really good pay (often between £1-10 per survey). Minimum payment is £10 and pays to a bank account.
Non-ref
Viewsbank: A decent site for surveys. They also have minipolls, which some pay 10p for one click. Minimum payment is £12 and they send via BACS.
Non-ref
Opinium survey: Really good site. They send emails for survey invitations and pay 25p per minute. However minimum payment is quite high at £25.
Non-ref
I-say: Decent pay and pays via a range of gift cards. It also has an app available. Minimum payment is £5.
Non-ref
Ref
Lifepointspanel: Another good survey website that allow you to cash out at £5 and have a range of gift cards.
Non-ref
Neevo: They pay you to do micro tasks and pay decently. $0.05 per task and they often take less than 10 seconds. They pay via PayPal and payment usually takes a month.
Non-ref
Streetbees: This one is an app, and pays really well. They don’t have much surveys, but when they do they are like £1 per 6mins. They pay via PayPal after 2 days of completing the survey.
Ios
Android
Serpclix: This is an extension, which you click on specific websites and wait for a minute or two. You get paid 0.05 or 0.10 per click and it’s really low effort. They send money to your PayPal at the start of every month, if you have accumulated at least $5.
Non-ref
Ref
Noodle Campus: This is a testing website, where you can test out products, and get paid to do so. At first you don’t have much options, but after a task or two, you unlock a lot more options. You also get to keep the product that you have tested or you can sell it to make more money.
Non-ref
Ref
Gener8ads: This is a passive income extension to your browser. I highly recommend it as I have earnt 150 token (50 tokens = £5 gift card) for doing almost nothing. I cannot cash out until I have referred 2 people, so feel free to use my referral link, which will get you an extra 10tokens. Also feel free to link your referral links in the comments.
Non-ref
Ref
Thank you everyone!
submitted by Ryan_Reddit07 to beermoneyuk [link] [comments]

Bitcoin advantages and disadvantages What is Bitcoin? Bitcoin Explained Simply for Dummies ... BITCOIN next Breakout is Critical! REVERSAL or MORE DOWNSIDE? BTC analysis & price Prediction 2020 Advantages and disadvantages of CryptoCurrencies - YouTube Definition of bitcoin

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Bitcoin? After learning about mining, you are probably wondering what the overall advantages and disadvantages of Bitcoin are.There are quite a few advantages that make Bitcoin a one of a kind digital currency that has no likeness. Of course, because nothing is perfect, Bitcoin does have its flaws. Bitcoin is the most versatile cryptocurrency around. It can be used to purchase goods from an ever-growing roster of merchants (including recognizable companies like Expedia and Overstock.com) that accept Bitcoin payments. It can be exchanged with other private users as consideration for services performed or to settle outstanding debts. Bitcoin (BTC) is also down 30 percent from the record high of $20,000 set in December. As per popular definition, BTC is in a bear phase (more than 20 percent drop from the peak). Bitcoin prices have proven to be extremely volatile. And as they don’t offer any of the kind of valuation metrics that stocks do, it’s difficult to estimate where prices are going. Analysts ... The downside of blockchain. ... writing on the Motherboard site estimates that each Bitcoin transaction uses the same amount of electricity as 1.57 households in a 24 hour period. That is not a function of the immaturity of the technology, it is a feature that protects transactions from fraud. ... Hi Derick, I think that you are highlighting ...

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Bitcoin advantages and disadvantages

Start trading Bitcoin and cryptocurrency here: http://bit.ly/2Vptr2X Bitcoin trading is the act of buying low and selling high. Unlike investing, which means... There are some advantages and disadvantages of Bitcoin. What the Elite DON'T Want You To Know - Robert Kiyosaki and Jeff Wang - Duration: 35:04. The Rich Dad Channel 382,630 views Gold will be explosive, unlike anything we’ve seen says Canada’s billionaire Frank Giustra - Duration: 20:47. Kitco NEWS 741,230 views Steemit: https://steemit.com/cryptocurrency/@cryptoportfolio/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-cryptocurrencies Telegram channel : http://telegram.me/cryptopor... What could be the next Bitcoin lower target if it continues to drop? Here is what the charts are telling us, on the balance of probabilties. For the webinar:...

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