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Transcript of how Philip the tyrant admin of the Bitcoin Cash Telegram group called Spoice stupid, an idiot, a parrot among other insults then banned her instead of discussing Bitcoin Cash. That Telegram group is hostile, ABC/IFP shills run and follows the rBitcoin toxic censorship modus operandi.
David B., [18.10.20 01:46] https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/jdagi3/whats_up_with_the_bchn_hypocrisy/ David B., [18.10.20 01:47] Wut x2 J Stodd, [18.10.20 01:49] [In reply to David B.] Their words are meaningless. They have no principles. Wish i could comment but bitcoinxio banned me from rbtc and never told me why David B., [18.10.20 01:59] These comments are so toxic Spoice, [18.10.20 01:59] In reality, the real continuation of Bitcoin as we all know it is what is carried on by BCHN, BU, BCHD and others Spoice, [18.10.20 02:00] ABC is changing the rules to something that is not Bitcoin Spoice, [18.10.20 02:00] anyone denying those facts is selling you snake oil Spoice, [18.10.20 02:00] If Blockstream tried to take some % to their own benefit, we would have never needed BCH in the first place Spoice, [18.10.20 02:00] everyone would have rejected them in a second J Stodd, [18.10.20 02:01] [In reply to Spoice] Bitcoin Cash is not Bitcoin to start with, so who cares? David B., [18.10.20 02:01] [ Album ] Spoice, [18.10.20 02:01] yet we have ABC trying to pull this theft and all those puppets think it's ok Spoice, [18.10.20 02:01] JSTodd that's bullshit David B., [18.10.20 02:01] Like trying to talk to a core maxi about altcoins Spoice, [18.10.20 02:01] Bitcoin Cash is the most Bitcoin out of all Bitcoins Spoice, [18.10.20 02:01] it is the continuation of what Satoshi started David B., [18.10.20 02:02] Tbh they aren't even toxic Michael Nunzio, [18.10.20 02:02] [In reply to Spoice] If the hash follows then it is Bitcoin Cash. Only if it doesn't is your claim true J Stodd, [18.10.20 02:03] [In reply to Spoice] Bitcoin is Bitcoin. Bitcoin failed to be Peer to Peer Cash, so Bitcoin Cash attempted to fix this by forking Bitcoin and attacking the root of the problem. This does not mean Bitcoin Cash is literally Bitcoin. Adopt a different argument. Sorry if you bought into that bc of Rogers rantings J Stodd, [18.10.20 02:05] Bitcoin Cash can replace Bitcoin, and if Bitcoin dies and BCH wins then sure maybe it can take its name from its grave, but they are different products, trying to say Bitcoin stopped being "Bitcoin" and became BCH is a self contradiction. Jingles, [18.10.20 02:08] Jstodd's got some good points. Jingles, [18.10.20 02:08] He's learnt so much in the last year ☺️ Spoice, [18.10.20 02:08] "Bitcoin is Bitcoin" is a false statement. BTC is just an instance of Bitcoin. Bitcoin is the set of rules defined in the whitepaper first and foremost, it is peer to peer electronic cash. BTC no longer fits that criteria. Bitcoin Cash meets them. The fork proposed by ABC also fails to meet that criteria. Therefore the continuation of Bitcoin is in whatever BU, BCHN, Flowee and others will continue. Jingles, [18.10.20 02:09] What rules were defined in the WP? Spoice, [18.10.20 02:10] Let's see which rules aren't: 1) No coinbase tax going to any centralized entity such as ABC 2) No throttling of TX throughput such as BTC Spoice, [18.10.20 02:10] therefore they both fail the simple "Is this Bitcoin?" test Spoice, [18.10.20 02:11] Finally, Michael, if you think Hash rate defines what Bitcoin is, you should stick to BTC Jingles, [18.10.20 02:11] 21 million coins isn't in the WP Jingles, [18.10.20 02:11] I asked what rules did the WP define. Spoice, [18.10.20 02:12] Because BCH failed that criteria since it forked, therefore your point is wrong Spoice, [18.10.20 02:12] https://www.metzdowd.com/pipermail/cryptography/2009-January/014994.html Spoice, [18.10.20 02:12] The announcement of the white paper included the 21 million limit, close enough Jingles, [18.10.20 02:12] HIs announcement isn't the WP Spoice, [18.10.20 02:12] show me where Satoshi said that Amaury shoudl tax the chain? Spoice, [18.10.20 02:12] Doesn't matter- close enough Jingles, [18.10.20 02:12] Bitcoin is the set of rules defined in the whitepaper first and foremost - You Jingles, [18.10.20 02:13] My ears pricked up on that comment, so I'm asking you what you meant. Spoice, [18.10.20 02:13] Correct. Changing the 21 million hard limit is still more Bitcoin than taxing the Coinbase, yet both will never ever happen. Not to Bitcoin anyway Jingles, [18.10.20 02:13] If you meant Satoj's writings pre and post WP then you should be clear about it Spoice, [18.10.20 02:13] some bastardized chain might, just not Bitcoin Jingles, [18.10.20 02:14] The closest we have to anything to indicate what is "Bitcoiness" is general things like "the longest chain" Spoice, [18.10.20 02:14] No, it is never a single thing David B., [18.10.20 02:15] REEEE Jingles, [18.10.20 02:15] trustless, no single trusted third parties, and rules can change due to incentives via consensus Spoice, [18.10.20 02:15] it is a set of common sense and experiment driven and historical relevance and initial parameters and "peer to peer electronic cash" definition indicators Spoice, [18.10.20 02:15] never a single thing Jingles, [18.10.20 02:16] [In reply to Spoice] This is like the exact opposite of what you said earlier Jingles, [18.10.20 02:16] Bitcoin is defined by the rules in the WP, I mean common sense. Jingles, [18.10.20 02:16] 🤷♂️ Spoice, [18.10.20 02:16] Nope, the rule set is defined in the white paper should never change, but I never said all rules are defined in the white paper Jingles, [18.10.20 02:16] What rules? Spoice, [18.10.20 02:16] It is a union Jingles, [18.10.20 02:17] What rules are there? Spoice, [18.10.20 02:17] Rules in the white paper + what continued to define Bitcoin thereafter J Stodd, [18.10.20 02:17] [In reply to Spoice] > "Bitcoin is Bitcoin is a false statement." Alas, if we cannot agree on the law of identity, aka A=A, then i dont understand how to hold a conversation with you using logic. > BTC is an instance of Bitcoin No, BTC is a ticker used optionally by exchanges. Other common tickers for bitcoin include XBC, XBT, BC (correct me if im wrong on any of these) > "Bitcoin is a set of rules in the whitepaper" Super hard to defend this. Theres no mention of a 21M supply cap, no blocksize limit *at all*, and it also says additional rules and incentives can be enforced (implying maybe they should). Jingles, [18.10.20 02:17] I go through this with BSVers all the time. We have no spec sheet of rules defining what Bitcoin is from Satoshi. Spoice, [18.10.20 02:18] Rules such as what defines a correct block, miners receiving the full incentive of mining it, etc Jingles, [18.10.20 02:18] The WP is a highlevel document Spoice, [18.10.20 02:18] The WP is a description of a scientific experiment Spoice, [18.10.20 02:18] if you want to start your own experiment, be my guest Jingles, [18.10.20 02:18] [In reply to Spoice] Valid tx rules aren't defined in the WP Spoice, [18.10.20 02:18] just don't try to call it Bitcoin Jingles, [18.10.20 02:19] The word majority is in the WP an awful lot wouldn't you say? Spoice, [18.10.20 02:19] Not valid TX rules, but what a proof of work block is and how it diverts the reward to the miner, etc Jingles, [18.10.20 02:20] [In reply to Spoice] and? what about BTC doesn't apply? Jingles, [18.10.20 02:20] I'm not arguing for any fork of BCH here. Spoice, [18.10.20 02:20] It no longer meets the very title of the white paper experiment, "Peer to peer electronic cash" Spoice, [18.10.20 02:20] The BTC instance of the experiment is destined to move away from the very title of the white paper Jingles, [18.10.20 02:20] It's electronic, and I use it like cash. Spoice, [18.10.20 02:20] that the maintainers even wanted to edit the white paper (Cobra and co) because of this fact J Stodd, [18.10.20 02:20] u/Spoice When did BTC stop being Bitcoin in your view? The day Amaury decided to launch the fork, before Segwit happened? If someone else launched a fork first, they would have been "the real bitcoin"? This is a game of whoever forks first becomes the real Bitcoin? What if two people launched a fork at the exact same time, maybe even with identical specs? Jingles, [18.10.20 02:21] Where did I go wrong? Jingles, [18.10.20 02:21] [In reply to Spoice] Did they? Spoice, [18.10.20 02:21] Doesn't matter if you use it today, its very technical fabric will have to move your transactions to 2nd layers and it will no longer be peer to peer electronic cash on chain Jingles, [18.10.20 02:21] peer to peer electronic cash on chain - Not in the wp Jingles, [18.10.20 02:22] We have satoj talking about HFT with sidechannels. Jingles, [18.10.20 02:22] So what? Jingles, [18.10.20 02:23] I think this is a good discussion Phil, nothing disrespectful is being said. I hope this is ok? Spoice, [18.10.20 02:23] Doesn't matter, the rule of common sense, which is closer to that title? Increasing a simple variable (Blocksize) to stay on track of the title and experiment, or introduce IOUs and Watchtowers and channels and locked BTC and that whole LN Bastardization? Which is close to the title? Jingles, [18.10.20 02:23] No one said that can't happen Michael Nunzio, [18.10.20 02:24] [In reply to Spoice] Congratulations you've made an argument which isn't an argument. Jingles, [18.10.20 02:25] The whole thing that was said was the system is based on majority rules, and incentives can be changed. Majority breaks any deadlock. David B., [18.10.20 02:25] How to kill a coin 101 Spoice, [18.10.20 02:25] Logic fails anyone who tries to claim BTC, ABC, BSV or any similar standalone experiments as Bitcoin, because of simple sanity checks and logic checks, often stemming out of common sense - If what you have moves you a single step away from what is otherwise the same old experiment which Satoshi wrote about and unleashed, you're not Bitcoin. If what you have moves you a step closer, it is Bitcoin. and so on and so forth. Phlip - Not giving away coins, [18.10.20 02:25] Wow, really fanatical almost religious statements. I guess its Sunday morning. Jingles, [18.10.20 02:27] [In reply to Spoice] There's nothing common about common sense. You point to the WP to make a point, and your point isn't in there. Spoice, [18.10.20 02:27] Throttled and you need off-chain IOUs and always-on services to function (BTC) ? Not Bitcoin. Requires permission to be used and could be centrally confiscated on the whim of the organization behind it (BSV)? Not Bitcoin. Premined (Bitcoin Gold, Diamond)? Not Bitcoin. Taxing the miners through Coinbase and changing the incentives which were at play since day 0 (ABC)? Not Bitcoin Spoice, [18.10.20 02:27] simple checks really, yet those who are set to benefit will of course be oblivious to these Phlip - Not giving away coins, [18.10.20 02:28] This whole “Bitcoin Cash is the true Bitcoin - see whitepaper” is really stupid. It also ignores the history of how Bitcoin Cash came into existence Jingles, [18.10.20 02:28] Phillip, remove anyone here that has said Bitcoin Gold was the original Bitcoin immediately Jingles, [18.10.20 02:28] ^^^^ Jingles, [18.10.20 02:29] [In reply to Phlip - Not giving away coins] It falls to pieces the moment it's questioned. Spoice, [18.10.20 02:29] It is not about "True" Bitcoin Spoice, [18.10.20 02:30] It is about the Bitcoin closest to the experiment which always was Spoice, [18.10.20 02:30] I don't care about "True" or not, they all are true Phlip - Not giving away coins, [18.10.20 02:30] [In reply to Jingles] Sorry, I hve stopped reading all the sillyness above. Will reread later Jingles, [18.10.20 02:30] [In reply to Phlip - Not giving away coins] I'm joking around 😂 Spoice, [18.10.20 02:30] but the rule of entropy says I shouldn't place my money nor effort in experiments which are set to fade eventually, because they have skewed incentives Phlip - Not giving away coins, [18.10.20 02:31] [In reply to Spoice] You get to chose that for yourself but you do not get to dictate it for others David B., [18.10.20 02:31] [In reply to Phlip - Not giving away coins] Don't read it. You will have no braincells left Spoice, [18.10.20 02:31] Bitcoin as we know it has a long track record of incentives which work Spoice, [18.10.20 02:31] I won't ever dictate it for others Spoice, [18.10.20 02:31] I only would dictate it for myself, just like how I never use BTC or BSV today, I won't use ABC tomorrow Spoice, [18.10.20 02:32] only because they're new experiments Spoice, [18.10.20 02:32] interesting, and I wish them luck Jingles, [18.10.20 02:32] "Bitcoin is Bitcoin" is a false statement - Spoice 2020 Spoice, [18.10.20 02:32] but I would rather stick to the Bitcoin I know Spoice, [18.10.20 02:32] that's all Jingles, [18.10.20 02:32] I won't ever dictate it for others - Also Spoice Phlip - Not giving away coins, [18.10.20 02:32] Bitcoin Cash came with a plan snd goals. They were clearly presented in two presentations that happened before viabtc announced they would mine with ABC software and create a coin and chain named Bitcoin Cash Spoice, [18.10.20 02:32] Yes, because he means BTC is Bitcoin, and that's a false statement Jingles, [18.10.20 02:32] How is it false? Spoice, [18.10.20 02:32] It is an instance of Bitcoin Jc Crown [ I DON'T DM PEOPLE - DON'T GIVE ME MONEY! ], [18.10.20 02:33] [In reply to Michael Nunzio] you're looking intimidatingly handsome in your new profile picture Phlip - Not giving away coins, [18.10.20 02:33] [In reply to Jc Crown [ I DON'T DM PEOPLE - DON'T GIVE ME MONEY! ]] Lol Jc Crown [ I DON'T DM PEOPLE - DON'T GIVE ME MONEY! ], [18.10.20 02:33] [In reply to J Stodd] actually a good question Spoice, [18.10.20 02:34] Anyway, those are my two cents Spoice, [18.10.20 02:34] Everyone is free to choose which experiments to pour their effort on and their money in Phlip - Not giving away coins, [18.10.20 02:34] [In reply to Spoice] You are entitled to your opinion. Spoice, [18.10.20 02:34] Andreas is publishing Lightning Network books, I mean Spoice, [18.10.20 02:34] So to each his own Phlip - Not giving away coins, [18.10.20 02:35] [In reply to Spoice] Lets leave it at that Spoice, [18.10.20 02:35] but Bitcoin as I know it continues with no Tax, and that in my opinion is BCH with no tax Phlip - Not giving away coins, [18.10.20 02:35] Ah you had to continue Phlip - Not giving away coins, [18.10.20 02:36] Good thing no tax is proposed by anyone Spoice, [18.10.20 02:35] Isn't this the Bitcoin Cash telegram? Jc Crown [ I DON'T DM PEOPLE - DON'T GIVE ME MONEY! ], [18.10.20 02:35] 😅 Spoice, [18.10.20 02:36] If I don't discuss Bitcoin Cash here, where should I? Spoice, [18.10.20 02:36] Tax, IFP, call it what you will Spoice, [18.10.20 02:36] from my perspective as a user, it's one the same J Stodd, [18.10.20 02:36] [In reply to Jc Crown [ I DON'T DM PEOPLE - DON'T GIVE ME MONEY! ]] I bet nobody will answer it, either Phlip - Not giving away coins, [18.10.20 02:37] [In reply to Spoice] Apparently btc /s David B., [18.10.20 02:37] [In reply to Spoice] As a user what do you care? Jingles, [18.10.20 02:37] Ooh, can I shill the Bitcoin room in here? Spoice, [18.10.20 02:37] Nah, I prefer quick responses and chats Spoice, [18.10.20 02:37] Reddit is broken Phlip - Not giving away coins, [18.10.20 02:37] [In reply to Jingles] Lol J Stodd, [18.10.20 02:37] [In reply to Spoice] Nobody even pays it, it just comes out of the block reward. The block reward is not sentient, it cannot be stolen from or wronged Phlip - Not giving away coins, [18.10.20 02:37] Dont push your luck 😉 Jingles, [18.10.20 02:37] [ 😀 Sticker ] Michael Nunzio, [18.10.20 02:38] [In reply to Jc Crown [ I DON'T DM PEOPLE - DON'T GIVE ME MONEY! ]] You too brother. 🙏 Jc Crown [ I DON'T DM PEOPLE - DON'T GIVE ME MONEY! ], [18.10.20 02:38] [In reply to Michael Nunzio] but mine is the same....i need new ones everyone always calls me fat because of this one Jc Crown [ I DON'T DM PEOPLE - DON'T GIVE ME MONEY! ], [18.10.20 02:38] literally if i say 1 thing to any troll anywhere first thing they say is "ok fatass" Jc Crown [ I DON'T DM PEOPLE - DON'T GIVE ME MONEY! ], [18.10.20 02:38] i blame this dumb photographer Michael Nunzio, [18.10.20 02:38] [In reply to Jc Crown [ I DON'T DM PEOPLE - DON'T GIVE ME MONEY! ]] Don't listen. Phlip - Not giving away coins, [18.10.20 02:39] u/spoice maybe write a read.cash article if you really feel you need to educate people Spoice, [18.10.20 02:39] David, as a user I believe that each new experiment carries risk with it, why should I take part in a new fork of Bitcoin which has a new set of game-theory rules which doesn't even benefit me, rather it benefits some other entity which will take 5% of any effort or economic activity I produce on this chain? They're also off-loading the risk to me as a usebuildebusiness who choose to join their experiment. Spoice, [18.10.20 02:40] Why should I take that risk while the Bitcoin I know and have known for over 10 years worked perfectly for me thus far? (BCH, that is) Jingles, [18.10.20 02:40] small fees and empty blocks? Jc Crown [ I DON'T DM PEOPLE - DON'T GIVE ME MONEY! ], [18.10.20 02:41] It will insure that a centralized group has control over development and they are by decree in the code, it's a literal take over. Phlip - Not giving away coins, [18.10.20 02:41] [In reply to Spoice] “BSV-freeze the protocol - true Bitcoin” sounds like more your thing David B., [18.10.20 02:41] [In reply to Spoice] Better run bitcoin core 0.1 Jc Crown [ I DON'T DM PEOPLE - DON'T GIVE ME MONEY! ], [18.10.20 02:41] Imagine if satoshi keyd his address in the code to be paid out of every block, but instead of paying himself started a company "Bitcoin Dev Co" Spoice, [18.10.20 02:42] Not really, BSV kills the incentives I am discussing too Phlip - Not giving away coins, [18.10.20 02:42] [In reply to Jingles] Please stay nice now Jc Crown [ I DON'T DM PEOPLE - DON'T GIVE ME MONEY! ], [18.10.20 02:42] No one would ever be able to say Bitcoin was Decentralized, Bitcoin Dev Co would get paid directly from the reward. Jingles, [18.10.20 02:42] [In reply to Phlip - Not giving away coins] "BSV: We have all the Bad Idea. On chain" Spoice, [18.10.20 02:42] The Nash equilibrium we have tested for the past 10 years will be changed with ABC, it changed with BTC and BSV too Jc Crown [ I DON'T DM PEOPLE - DON'T GIVE ME MONEY! ], [18.10.20 02:42] "Bad Solutions Verified" Spoice, [18.10.20 02:42] that game-theory set of incentives Spoice, [18.10.20 02:43] why would I want to take a risk with any of those experiments when I gain 0? David B., [18.10.20 02:43] Better run bitcoin core 0.1 Spoice, [18.10.20 02:43] Nope, you're talking technical freezing of development, that's not what I am addressing Jingles, [18.10.20 02:43] [In reply to David B.] Thats the BTC chain though Phlip - Not giving away coins, [18.10.20 02:43] [In reply to Spoice] O please share with us your background in the subject. Or are you now just parroting others Spoice, [18.10.20 02:44] BSV wants to freeze the technical development and they want a stable protocol from an API/development perspective Spoice, [18.10.20 02:44] but from an incentive ruleset perspective, they already butchered the equilibrium Bitcoin had Jc Crown [ I DON'T DM PEOPLE - DON'T GIVE ME MONEY! ], [18.10.20 02:44] [In reply to Phlip - Not giving away coins] That's one of those phrases, when you hear it you know they are just a parrot of someones propaganda. "MUH NASH EQUILIBRIUM!" David B., [18.10.20 02:44] Stable = bad? Jingles, [18.10.20 02:45] [In reply to Jc Crown [ I DON'T DM PEOPLE - DON'T GIVE ME MONEY! ]] I love you Spoice, [18.10.20 02:45] Philip, for an admin you are ought to be nicer, if you think I am parroting others you're free to think that, but to state it so bluntly in your position is just... wrong Spoice, [18.10.20 02:46] If you think the point I made is wrong, discuss it Phlip - Not giving away coins, [18.10.20 02:46] [In reply to Jingles] Maybe talk to him in DM about that?😉 Spoice, [18.10.20 02:46] not me Jingles, [18.10.20 02:46] [In reply to Phlip - Not giving away coins] working on it. Phlip - Not giving away coins, [18.10.20 02:46] [In reply to Spoice] I ought to be nicer...😂😂😂 Spoice, [18.10.20 02:47] Also, anyone who studied Bitcoin at length and its set of incentives and game-theory ruleset should know what a Nash Equilibrium is and who the players are in the Bitcoin game Phlip - Not giving away coins, [18.10.20 02:47] [In reply to Spoice] You state as fact. You get to dhow why your statements or opinions are even relevant. Spoice, [18.10.20 02:48] If it's not a fact, highlight how Spoice, [18.10.20 02:48] don't attack me Spoice, [18.10.20 02:48] prove me wrong Spoice, [18.10.20 02:48] if you fail that simple debate test David B., [18.10.20 02:48] How's that breakfast helping? Spoice, [18.10.20 02:48] you should rename from Janitor to Tyrant Jingles, [18.10.20 02:48] I'm still waiting to see the defined rules as per the wp Michael Nunzio, [18.10.20 02:49] [In reply to Spoice] Didn't know this was stand up comedy night in here. Michael Nunzio, [18.10.20 02:49] I missed the memo Phlip - Not giving away coins, [18.10.20 02:49] If I have to prove all idiots on the internet wrong I would have a hard time. You are starting to really waste everybody’s time. You state, you prove. Or you are just generating noise Phlip - Not giving away coins, [18.10.20 02:50] [In reply to Spoice] Be careful now. Michael Nunzio, [18.10.20 02:50] Noisy bugger. Phlip - Not giving away coins, [18.10.20 02:52] Getting close to just do some cleaning up. Spoice, [18.10.20 02:52] If you can't debate technical points I am making about Bitcoin Cash on a Bitcoin Cash Telegram, and within the span of 10 minutes you called me stupid, idiot, noisy and a parrot, you absolutely are a tyrant and I stand by my point: You should not be an admin here, nor anywhere actually. If you think I should be careful for the fear of you banning me, go ahead. You still fail to debate the simplest technical point and yet claim you can "but can't be bothered to". You remind me of that Thermos guy. Spoice, [18.10.20 02:53] How do people with 0 technical know how end up in these admin positions is beyond me Jingles, [18.10.20 02:53] I challenged your comments and you just changed the goal posts. Phlip - Not giving away coins, [18.10.20 02:53] [In reply to Spoice] Ok. You are not paying me and you are free to create noise elsewhere
Unpopular opinion - the economy has to become dynamic in order for it to have any longevity (and other musings on the progression)
Ain't no one gonna read this but here it goes! The issue of progression has recently been gaining some traction in the community with Klean and DeadlySlob covering this topic recently. Now any solution to this has an inherent issue associated with it - it'll be uncomfortable to someone. Whatever is done, it'll negatively affect someone, just by the fact of change alone. You cannot make something better by not changing anything. So anything you do or don't do, you will alienate a portion of your playerbase. Early/Mid-game vs Late game. Early and mid game is lauded, late game is considered boring. But why? For startes, firefights last longer, require more skill, movement, tactics and outsmarting your opponent. You value your life, you feel respect even for the shittiest of bullets. You have a feeling that the kill is earned. Guns have tons of recoil so you need to pick your shots. It's... I know it's illegal... but it's fun. Late game however is plagued with a number of issues. Gear gets dominated by very similar loadouts that cover approx 10% of the gear in the game. There's nowhere to progress as you've reached the ceiling. The excitement from killing a kitted player diminishes as time goes as the economy saturates. People start being picky with their loot and only the good stuff brings any sort of satisfaction. The hideout provides a steady, predictable stream of income. You let it run long enough it becomes a mindless PVP battleground. Side note - the black and white fallacy of the makeup of the community. Casuals vs hardcores. Rats vs Chads. Whenever a discussion pops up this dichotomy is always present. "Feature X hurts casuals but doesn't bother hardcore gamers playing 8h a day". No. Like anything in life the population of EFT is subject to the bellcurve distribution. There are hardcore sweaties grinding out the kappa within a week and there are also sunday gamers. Then there's everything else in between. Let's keep that in mind. You don't need to be a streamer or play the game as a full time job to make money. We have a discord for 30+ yr old gamers with families and all of us were swimming in roubles and gear after 3 months of the past wipe. Sure it takes us longer than streamers, but still. The meta Taking weapons as an example. Different items have different stats (recoil, ergonomics, etc), some are obviously better than others which obviously makes them more sought after. There are also different ammo types for every caliber. Then lastly we come to the guns which directly tie into the first point, by their base stats and how much those can be brought down/up by attachments. If you have a plethora of items that have different stats, there's sure to be an optimal loadout. If that optimal loadout is always available at an attainable price to the point where you can run it consistently, then there's really no reason to run anything less. This is the meta and at the moment it's basically a synonym for best in slot. Appealing to a greater good such as gameplay variety is in vain because people will do everything to put themselves in the best possible position. If that means running whatever flavor of meta weapon that is - VAL, M4, FAL alongside top tier lvl 5 or 6 armor over and over and over and over again, so be it. We all know that's not the only way to get by in EFT, but all else being equal - top gear puts you on equal footing at minimum. Trash contextualizes treasure. A rare item is not rare if everyone is running it. It's a normal item. Gear minmaxing combined with a ceiling in progression create a situation where the game becomes stale, people get bored and we get chants for a wipe to releave the pressure. Wipes Wipes however, even at set intervals, are not the solution. Every wipe, in the absence of something fundamentally new, gives you (rapidly) diminishing returns. Doing the same quests over and over is an absolute drag. It's my 7th wipe and this time around I've really hit a brick wall with them. Now imagine doing them every 3 months. Maybe just do an inventory and trader level wipe? Yeah, that's just skipping one part of it and arriving at the same point but even quicker, considering how quickly you can make money. The endpoint being - having enough money to run anything you want all the time without the fear of getting broke. Or in the abstract, having a big enough cushion to make any blow from a bad streak become inconsequential. All of that is just a perpetuation of the same sawtooth progression. Grind, saturate, wipe, grind, saturate, wipe. Side note - persistent character vs wiped character I know there have been talks about having two characters - one persistent that's not wiped and one seasonal that is. On paper this might look like a good solution, but there are some problems. POE players would have to chip in, but I reckong, that in a way this might become a form of matchmaking - the persistent character would be a mode for "sunday" players, while the wiped one for the sweats. I mean, maybe that's the way to go, but if the game is to gave any longevity, the persistent character will eventually face the same issues as the current game, it'll just take longer to develop. Unpopular opinion - The economy is just a set of time and effort gated unlocks. There have been multiple ideas to prolong a wipe, but in my view the fundamental issue with those is that they're based off the same linear progression - start from scratch and acumulate wealth until saturation. Some of these ideas include restricting labs till level X, locking behind a quest or just disabling it for a month. The problem with these is that it's just delaying the inevitable, while also giving a direct buff to those who get there first as they'll have the place virtually to themselves. What follows is also the concept of "starting mid wipe", which essentially means that the gear disparity is so big that the further into a wipe, the more difficult it is to catch up. That effort is directly correlated with experience - the more experience you have the easier it is for you to reset or jump in midwipe. Extending a wipe potentially alleviates that by giving people more opportunity to catch up, but also pushes away from coming back/into the game if they recognize that it had passed their personal breakpoint where it's too hard / frustrating. Perpetual mid-game So out of all of that, a clearer picture emerges. We have to somehow find a solution to always have something to work for, but also not give the impression that you're up against an impenetrable wall. That means that the game needs to pivot around something colloquially known as mid game. How would we define mid-game? That's another debate, but for the sake of the argument we could define that as something in the range of:
Armor: Kirasa/6B23-1 to 6B3TM-01M or Uley chest rigs,
Ammo: 5.45 BP to BT, M855 to M856A1, 7.62 PS to TS-45, etc.
That would be the sort of mean loadout you can run on a consistent basis and you'd see the majority of the time. From the sentiment across the community, this seems to be the most enjoyable state of the game, where the sweetspot is in terms of protection and vulnerability, but allowing a lot of headroom for both variety and Solutions Now we must have to remember that there's a number of changes inbound that will alleviate some of the issues:
Armor will get more realistic hitboxes to match the actual armor plates which should flatten the armor progression curve quite a bit and make more ammo more viable.
Suppressors will get durability
Barrell overheating mechanics should alleviate some of the issues with magdumps.
But those are sill far on the horizon. The uncomfortable reality is that in order to truly balance that you have only a few choices. One is to go down the route of typical FPS tropes where every weapon type is perfectly balanced (i.e. shotguns powerfull but limited range, smg's low recoil, high ROF but weaker, dmrs powerful but high recoil and low ROF, etc). I don't think this will be ever a thing in the game. Another one is to make attachments roughly equal and just attribute the differences to the tacticool visual factor. This would be realistic in a way, but would take away from the game. The last one is to price them out. Literally. I'm of the unpopular opinion that endgame should not be a stage, it should be a state. Dynamic pricing I know I know, last time it failed spectacularly. However, that was a different flea market and the implementation was poorly thought out. Since it didn't have a pivot point to relate to it caused widespread inflation of even the most basic items and was prone to manipulation. However the concept in principal has proven itself to work - M995 was essentially priced out of existence and forced people to look for alternatives like M855A1 or M856A1 or different calibers alltogether. Even the sweaties of sweats got a bit excited when they killed someone with 3 60rounders filled with M995. See where I'm going with this? The execution was poor and poorly thought out. But how about a different implementation? Adjust the prices based on how much an item is (or is not) bought compared to other items of the same item type. Most popular items' price (of a specific category) increases, while the least popular one decreases. This could also be coupled with (or as an alternative) an additional rarity factor which would sort of specify how volatile the price is. Continuing the ammo example M995 would have the highest rarity factor and would be very prone to price increases, while the likes of M855 would be considered common and have a much more stable price. Obviously this would be subject to long term trends and would not happen overnight. But the main aim is to dynamically scale the economy to the general wealth of the playerbase around a certain pivot point which we established before as the mid-game. This would be a quite significant blow to the uberchads as they would unironically struggle to maintain a profit from their runs. And yes, some of them would still probably be able to pull this off, but remember what we said about the bell curve? It's just about making them so insignificant in the global player pool that they'd be a very rare occurance. Global item pools This idea has been floated around by Nikita some time ago but we have no ETA on this. In short - for some items, there is only a set amount that is present in circulation. For example there are only X amount of ReapIR's in the entire economy - spawns, traders, player stashes. If everyone hoards them in their stashes - thats where they'll remain. They don't spawn on maps, they're not sold on traders. Only until they're lost they get reinjected into the item pool. This idea should be reserved only for the absolute top tier OP items. Something that you'd get all giddy if found/looted and you'd contemplate taking it out. Side note, the X amount should scale to the active playerbase, which could be something like a weekly or biweekly moving average of people actively playing the game in a set period. Insurance This one is a bit controversial but also attributes to some of the in game inflation and gear recirculation. If you run a large squad, even if one of you dies, there's a high chance someone will survive and secure others' gear. And even if all of you die, something's bound to come back. This might be a bit controversial, but I think group size should have a debuff to the chance of getting your gear back the higher the bigger your squad size, for example an incremental 10% chance for each additional squadmate. Hideout adjustments Right now fuel consumption is static no matter how much stuff is going on. What if the fuel consumption rate was tied to the size of your bitcoin farm and the amount of crafting going on. Additionally hideout appliances could wear out and require maintenance, which would grant them performance debuffs like increased crafting time. Dynamic stocks. Right now stocks are predictable. You have the same amount of items at a set interval. Things like traders missing some items or not getting a restock due to broken supply lines, which can be cheekily tied into... Dynamic global events/quests Such as as getting rid of scavs on a particular location to remove the roadblock. These might be done per player or as a global event where everyone has to chip in. Summary The subject is difficult and solutions are not simple, but what I do know is that eventually Tarkov will have settle into an identity which will come with a sacrifice either at the expense of vision or mainstream popularity. Thank you for coming to my TEDTalk. I'd like to give a heartfelt thank you to the 5 people that read this wall of text.
List of current UI/UX issues & possible QoL improvements (Megathread?)
As some of you know, I only make stupidly long posts and also like to humbly brag about being a software engineer with fairly decent experience in QA, automated testing and testing in general (6+ years a C# dev). This is my personal list of things that either make no sense, are unpleasant, incoherent, or could be improved. Please feel free to add to the list, I will come back and edit every day. Numbers are also here to help you quote & provide your own criticism. Note that is is done with the following optimization mindset, in order of importance :
Remove redundancy / incoherence
Reduce time spent in menus/inventory (out of raid)
Reduce number of clicks / interactions
As you can see I worked under the assumption that the average player wants to spend more time in raid rather than in inventory ; obviously this falls apart if that is not the case. To do that I try to improve time spent on searching / arranging things without creating unecessary automation or remove important/immersive aspects of the game, even in inventory. I also try to improve time spent clicking through various windows as currently a lot of them are done to be fast & easy to for the devs, not for the players. I want to emphasize that I'm okay with that. I know the importance of having sub-optimal navigation to help you find out what your better navigation is. I also know a complete rework is not always possible, that is why I made my list without changing too much of the menus as well as keeping the vibe/current feel of those menus. Keywords like should & could are used as intended ; since this is not a professional report I'm emphasizing here, the meaning of the word is important. Should means it is adding an improvement over an existing issue, could means it's a possible improvement but requires further investigation. Would means investigation was done and is just one possible outcome usually relevant within the context. Please note that most of us now are very used to the current UI/UX, which will generate two reactions: - "It's fine as it is because I can do it quite fast." - "I don't want it to change again, I'm used to it now." I cannot emphasize how unefficient it is to let those emotions get the best of you. UI/UX is the study of common sense & ease of use in an interface. You should never have to get used to anything, it should be fluid and intuitive. If you think you're fast now, that means it's possible to be slow. This is extremely bad for a UI/UX standpoint. Everybody should be able to navigate/understand the menus just as fast the 1st time than the 100th time (ideally). Keep this in mind when you read everything down here, because some stuff you probably won't like at first glance, but you will get used to it very fast, and you will gain a lot of time in the future, as well as new players.
Currently when in the workbench (and I think others? now I doubt), the list of craftable items appears to be random. The order should always be the same for consistency. Does not provide meaningful gameplay experience to have to "look for the recipe" every time.
4. Collecting crafts
Hideout stations could display the finished craft on top for easy collection of craft, or there could be a "Get Items" or "Receive All" elsewhere to avoid unecessary scrolling. This is uncessary if ongoing crafts are moved on top of the list, or if the list is autoscrolled to the ongoing craft. "Collect All" on station level is not the best idea. If you go in a station, it's probably better that you know what you're collecting. I suggest moving the relevant craft on top or auto scrolling and not adding "receive all" on station level, although it would be a good help. This should be investigated. Receive All or Get Items could be moved or added at the top or bottom of the window.
5. "Receive All" could exist at hideout level
The same way we "receive all" from a trader, it would be nice to "Receive all" from the hideout. Either in the form of a trader (in which we can receive all / pick manually from) or by instantly putting it in inventory. If there is enough space it just works. If there isn't, it displays an error like it already does. This is not mutually exclusive with the previous suggestion.
6. Display crafts readyness/collection
6.1 Hideout The current behaviour is partially coherent. You get notified when an item is sold, and you get notified when a craft is finished. You have a display notification "Attachment" style when a trader has something for you, and you should get a display notification "attachment" style when the hideout has something for you. Ideally, there should also be such notifications for currently unused station Receive all on the right, Nutrition unit has finished crafting and Lavatory is currently NOT crafting 6.2 Traders There should be a way of knowing if something is waiting in trader inventory on a global level (quest rewards, money, insurance, unsold market items returns), like the nofication. The "new item" notification could be always visible as long as items are in the trader inventories, compared to now where it disappears as soon as you either click it or visit the messenger. In this hypothesis, there could be a change of color in the notification to show that there are still item waiting including some that haven't been seen yet (to still fulfill the current role of the notification)
Note : CTA = Call to Action, it's the button your user will press 99.3% of the time. Example, in the launcher, it's the "Start Game". Clearly visible, easily accessible, highlighted, much bigger, and at a very common CTA spot. That one is great. Some others are not. 7.1. "Receive All" should not be displayed when there is nothing to receive. 7.2 "Get" in single transaction messages from Ragman could be removed. There is no reason to take single items from the window when you can receive it all at once. 7.3 A "group collect" Receive all action could be added when you click on the attachment notification, or as an extra action next to the notification (just like shown on the Hideout in figure 6.0) that would specifically collect all. it would loop through all conversations and collect all and dump at the top of stash, either until its finished or there is not enough room, in which case it displays an error. It could also work like the scav case and not pick up anything until you have room, and in that case you would go in the window manually and/or make room (like we do now). 7.3 The "Receive all" is at the bottom when most CTAs in the game is at the top (dealer tabs, market tabs, character sheet tabs, settings...). Save in the settings is at the bottom too. It is incoherent. It would make more sense to have all CTAs at the bottom and options/tabs/menus at the top. 7.4 The "DEAL" button in trader view is much smaller and less visible than the "Fill Item" checkbox. The CTA should be getting more attention than a setting. New players pretty much *never* see it first and look around the "Fill Item" with eyes & mouse. DEAL should be at the bottom in the current \"Fill Item\" box. Fill Items should be removed entirely. 7.5 Quests could be automatically accepted (no need for CTA). I don't see a reason why someone would not accept a quest. The only reason we're Accepting them now is to let the user know he has a new quest. There are other means of notifying players of new stuff : usually notifications. If not, that button should at least be more visible/highlighted. Every new player ( 100%! ) I coach does not see it at first and never looks at the right spot the first time. 7.6 "Insure All" is the most commonly used button in the insurance screen and could be emphasized more. Example 7.5
8. Remove "Fill Items"
The Fill Items to automatically fill the trader's requirements should be removed and set as the default behaviour. There is no need to fill items manually nor tell the game to do so.
9. Expire / Delete pending requests
Friend requests should be cancellable and could expire. Requests should not be stuck until another user acts on them. Right clicking the request could display a "Cancel" or "Delete" request button. Ideally, the cell should include a CTA on the right, as the only action I would ever do in a cell in this context is cancel. Opening a submenu with only 1 item means youshould notbe opening a submenu, but displaying a button where the user right clicked instead. I can only re-send a friend request to someone that already denied me. This is incoherent.
10. Market Rows
From my somewhat small sample (about 60 players), nobody uses the expand button on the top right of a cell (see below). I think everybody uses the right click on item instead. An expanded cell with context menu opened, and a collapsed cell The extra information available on the right is the exact same as a right click, but is hidden behind a left click. This is incoherent. The only difference is the profile picture that I only get from expanding, but currently we all have the same one. This would need to be investigated. This could be an improvement, displaying the CTA's immediately (although BUY is definitely way too small). Notice profile picture on the left 10.1 The expandable cell feature should be removed altogether, as the other options are available on right click. 10.2 The whole row should provide the same context menu (right click). 10.3 The "Send friend request" could be included in the row's context menu, or could be removed entirely, as right now most requests are missclicks. Adding the Send Friend Request at the bottom of the context menu on the row would reduce the amount of missclicks. 10.4 Left clicking should not open the context menu. This is mostly the reason behind missclick friend requests, people double clicking slightly off the item icon sending a friend request by mistake. Now I have 4 just because I was trying to make a screenshot. F's in the chat. This would be resolved with 10.2 and 10.3. 10.5 Barter items have a "Barter" icon that is redundant, the first and second column are completely irrelevant to the player. Example 10.5
11. Filtering search
11.1 "Filter by Item" should not filter the browse list. If you're writing a valid keyword in the search field it should display the correct suggestions. Filtering content is good, filtering suggestions is incoherent. 11.2 Filters could be cleared as soon as you type text in the search field. This would resolve 11.1 Example 11 11.3 "My Offers" could not be affected by filters, or could reset filters. It is more trouble to remove the filter manually every time rather than browsing through the offer list. Currently we never have more than ~10 offers at the same time for most players, which is okay to display without filter. 11.4 Filters should not overlap with other UI elements, they could be resized to fit or the expandable filter list could include more elements so the visible ones fit. Example 11.4 11.5 The Remember Selected Filter / Reset Filter is unclear. Looks great, feels weird, and should be investigated to be more useful.
12. Context Menu in player lobby
The current lobby with context menu open All players in this list are looking for a group, there is no need to write a status "Looking for group", it's redundant. The exception is friends, which 99.633...% of the time is the group i'm about to play with. Those are displayed on top. The only action we do on the list on this screen is the "Invite to group" context menu action. It's a CTA and should not be hidden in a context menu, especially if the context menu only has one option. Since recently it has two, but we'll come to that in a minute. 12.1 The invite CTA should be on the player cell itself. 12.2 The report action should not be the default one from the context menu 12.3 Since there could be only one item in the context menu according to 12.1, the report action could be on the cell as well. A low quality suggestion for 12.x
13. Trader Buy/Sell
Trader screen needs to be reworked. I won't provide a solution that doesn't completely change how everything looks/works as I stated at the start of the post. That being said this should be improved. Example 13.1 13.1 Buying UI should be reworked. When buying, the price of the item is already displayed on the item itself in the trader view. The price is also displayed a second time in the tooltip of the item if you mouse-over. The price is also displayed a third time in the barter area on the right of the image (middle of the screen in game). This is redundant. I understand the item on the right is the physical item "Roubles" in a stack that is paid, like a barter, but it does not need to be displayed a third time. 13.2 Quantity limit (red box in the image) could be shown in the tooltip ; most of the time people will hit "DEAL" until they get an error insted of actually reading the red box. 13.3 The red box looks like an error even when at 0/x, this is not intuitive. Limited items can be listed in different ways that are not so invasive. We could add "out of X" at the right side of the quantity box. 13.4 Barter item prices (if we assume 13.1) would need to also displayed differently. This needs to be investigated 13.5 Selling UI should be reworked Example 13.5 Currently selling an item still displays the full available items to BUY, this is incoherent. Especially from the "Sell" tab. The whole left side of the screen is wasted, and cannot be used. 13.6 Items on the left are not greyed out (even though I can't buy them), but items on the right are greyed out (because I can't sell them). This is incoherent. 13.7 Trader sell space should be infinite 13.8 Buy/Sell could be done in a single tab if the whole screen is reworked. There are different levels to this. An easy one I could think : "Trade" Tab instead of "Buy". Displays the same as the current "BUY" tab. If you ctrl+click an item from your stash, it instantly sells without confirmation. The second tab would be a "Buyback" where you can see what you sold in the current trade session. If you leave the screen your buyback is reset and items cannot be recovered. Another way would be to keep buybacks for the last X items. You would need to pay what you received to get back. The item would not lose it's FiR status. This preleminary and simplistic rework has issues, notably that you have to know to right click to sell. One way to fix that would be to make right click sell to trader instead of control click, but that would definitely make missclicks the first few days (and buyback would be mandatory). This could be investigated. 13.9 Currency exchange rates should be easily available in relevant areas (Peacekeeper, Therapist and flea market) for all currencies (Rouble, Euro, Dollar, Bitcoin)
Items should be boxables and moved around. At least to be dropped in boxes, ideally to be moved around freely. There is a limit of 20 images. 🤷♂ Example 14
15. Quest inventory
If you loot too many quest items in a raid, you can end up not being able to loot it. I assume this is by design and it is why you have limited quest item space. The quest inventory could be infinite if it's not by design to be limited. The quest inventory should be manageable. In my case i had a 1 slot item blocking me from taking the suitcase, I should have been allowed to move that 1 slot item to the top or to the right of my inventory, clearing a whole line and letting me take the case. Quest items could be stored in backpack (and resized) ; since you lose them on death it's not relevant to the players looting you or you dying and that issue would be gone. Storing it in your stash would also prevent you from losing it by going in raid with it by mistake. Taking it in raid or giving it to trader would be a volontary action. It also makes much more sense that way as other quest items (that are also usable items) work that way. Alright this ended up taking more time than my lunchbreak, and there is *much* more to write but for the time being I'll leave it at that and come tomorrow to add your suggestions or mine. See you in 24 hours.
Overnight News Heading into Thursday August 27th 2020 (News Yet to be Traded 8:00 PM - 4:00 AM EST)
ADXN ($14.40) Addex and the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics Receive Innosuisse Grant to Repurpose Potent Dopamine Antagonist Using Computational Modelling
ALGT Allegiant Announces Seven New Routes With Fares As Low As $29* Each Way
TLSA ($3.97) Tiziana Life Sciences CEO Updates Shareholders on its Patent Portfolio, Clinical Pipeline, and Strategy in an Exclusive Interview
LBTYA Liberty Global Publishes Offer Prospectus for Sunrise Communications Group Tender Offer
NSP DEADLINE ALERT: Rigrodsky & Long, P.A. Reminds Shareholders Of Insperity Of Upcoming Deadline
CGG ($1.88) Adds Second Azimuth to Northern Viking Graben Multi-Client Survey
UAA ($9.88) Under Armour Sued By UCLA Over $280M Sponsorship Contract Breach
PHG Philips to expand its image-guided therapy devices portfolio through acquisition of Intact Vascular
CCC Clarivate Announces Appointment of Stefano Maestri as Chief Technology Officer
RDY Dr. Reddy's Laboratories announces the launch of Penicillamine Capsules USP, 250 mg in the U.S. Market
End of Day and After Hours News Heading into Thursday August 27th 2020 (News Traded 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM EST)
ABT ($103.19) Abbott's Fast, $5, 15-Minute, Easy-to-Use COVID-19 Antigen Test Receives FDA Emergency Use Authorization; Mobile App Displays Test Results to Help Our Return to Daily Life; Ramping Production to 50 Million Tests a MonthNSP DEADLINE ALERT: Rigrodsky & Long, P.A. Reminds Shareholders Of Insperity, Inc. Of Upcoming Deadline
CLVS ($4.96) FDA Approves FoundationOne® Liquid CDx to Serve as Rubraca® Companion Diagnostic to Identify Eligible Patients with BRCA1/2-Mutant, Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer
DSS ($6,27) Interview to Air on Bloomberg International on the RedChip Money Report
AMC ($5.60) AMC ready to open another 170 theaters for weekend
NTAP NetApp Stock Spikes After Earnings Crush Estimates
RIOT ($3.41) Riot buys more bitcoin miners, sees hashing capacity over 2 EH/s next year
FE FirstEnergy Utility Crews Mobilize to Assist Hurricane Laura Power Restoration Efforts in Texas
MESO Mesoblast Reports Substantial Operational Progress and Financial Results for the Year Ended June 30, 2020
GME GameStop Announces Second Quarter Fiscal 2020 Earnings Release Date
SPLK Splunk Slides as Revenues Miss Amid Business Model Shift
MSFT Microsoft Brings Back Halo Veteran to Get Delayed Game Back on Track
ET ($6.46) Army Corps seeks reversal of Dakota Access pipeline ruling
For us who use Decentralized Finance (DeFi) as a common term, we know it represents an enormous shift in how we transact with one another: borrowing money, exchanging currencies, how we view insurance, etc. While total assets involved in DeFi still seem to be increasing right now, there are various factors that will prevent us from growing further. DeFi’s largest barriers for adoption Interoperability — Right now Ethereum gas fees seem like they are always increasing and ETH 2.0 may still be 6 months or more away. We need the ability to make DeFi more accessible to individuals who can’t afford high gas prices per transaction and start including native blockchain assets that are stranded on other platforms. Trust — Unfortunately our biggest issue is still trust. While none of us in crypto expect to know the identity of the other party, many of us just send funds to people we don’t know for vague promises of more wealth. In fact, the biggest type of fraud is still the “giveaway scam” which asks offer to send something back — but its only an offer, there is no guarantee. This is totally unsustainable. What about doing business outside of crypto? Ultimately, DeFi doesn’t keep going unless we create methods for non-crypto native businesses to integrate. While the community might approve sending crypto to each other without a safety in place, this will never work for 99% of online marketplaces. So we need:
DeFi options on lower cost platforms
Trading across blockchains
More flexibility for peer to peer transactions
Easier methods for online marketplaces to integrate and use crypto
Bondly is a trusted, transparent and portable swap protocol designed to make you into a marketplace. Our family of trust-enabling, DeFi products are designed to be a part of your everyday buying and selling activities, giving you piece of mind for your next swap or online purchase.
Similar to Binance OTC Trading Portal but directly on-chain and can be sent via any chat app using different blockchains Wallet to Wallet trustless Over the Counter (OTC) trades that are performed by signing a smart contract. Completely portable smart link can be sent via a chat app or on your favorite social media. It will first support all ERC-20 tokens and NFT (Ethereum) then eventually With BSWAP you can:
Sell a large order of a low liquidity token with no risk of slippage
Become your own NFT marketplace by minting the token, setting your own price, then post to your social media for your audience to buy
Buy assets using Debit/Credit card (using our third party partner onramp)
Send smart link in Telegram to someone you know or your favorite group
Similar to Mooniswap but includes rewards token provided to Liquidity Providers on top of fee share Interoperable Decentralized Exchange (DEX) thats easy to use and blockchain agnostic. Requires liquidity provider (LP) participants to pool assets for a portion of transaction fees along with rewards APY rewards. Our pricing engine will compare major cross chain swap options and will let you know the best one to use (even if its not us). Validation is done directly within your Web3 browser (with Metamask) or polkadot.js based Native Wallet. With BOND DEX you can:
Trade native assets on Polkadot with USDC on Ethereum
Get recommendations on the cheapest bridge transaction path
Create your own asset pairs that otherwise might not exist
BOND PROTECT (BPROTECT)
Similar to Paypal/AliPay Express Buyer Protection combined with Escrow.com with a simple UX like Zapper.fi or Zircon This is our most revolutionary product that we feel will have the largest impact to the eCommerce market. PROTECT is decentralized escrow and buyer protection for customers of crypto friendly marketplaces.
Designed to replace all site specific crypto escrow products with an easy to use API and completely smart contract driven product. Marketplaces may still be in a ‘validator’ role for the marketplace transaction but now they don’t have direct access to funds. This mitigates misappropriation by the marketplace along with exit scamming
By participating in the Bondly network, marketplace vendors can represent themselves as BPROTECT ready and show their on-chain transaction history and successful Bondly enabled deals
BPROTECT will have a similar UX to Zapper.Fi that will pull this vendors on chain activity and history into one place across ethereum and our native substrate chain so you can see their status and history
Functions as a ‘Buyer Protection’ similar to most major marketplaces, where customers are protected by collateral within Bondly
First customers will be marketplaces that sell digital goods like Domain Names and In-Game items and that support crypto payments already. Existing domain name credentials and ownership will be wrapped in an NFT and swapped for requested crypto directly
Requires that the marketplace itself stakes Bondly collateral as well as each individual marketplace vendor
COMPLETELY UNDERCUTS the whole ‘fake review’ industry which is prominently used to inflate value on sites like Amazon.com
With BPROTECT you can
Give more trust to your buyers that you will provide the purchased asset in a timely fashion
As a buyer you can request sellers to use this method so you have more trust
Sell an asset via OTC that you do not have yet (e.g. waiting for vesting) by staking collateral in the Bondly network
Set up recurring payments from individuals to vendors that can deduct from your account every month, similar to a Netflix subscription completely crypto enabled
How does BOND PROTECT work?
For individual OTC Trades:
Seller stakes collateral and ensures the buyer will receive asset by a specified date or with a specific condition
If agreement is violated, collateral is forfeited and transferred to the buyer
For Marketplace Vendors:
Vendors stake collateral (earning staking rewards for doing so)
Should a vendor violate a sale condition (e.g. not deliver a good on time), BOND collateral is provided to buyers as compensation
Each sale is recorded on-chain for transparency
Vendors who provide extended positive service with a long term history are rewarded through our staking/LP rewards program
As our ‘sibling’ projects Darwinia and Bifrost have realized, Polkadot and using Substrate represents a phenomenal step forward in interoperability. It offers:
Total flexibility for building a cross asset non-custodial token bridge
Seamless integration of our partners/peer bridges between infrastructure
Built in network security
Efficient token standard indexing for every type of asset in every type of blockchain
We don’t have Digital Money without Bitcoin; We don’t have Smart Contracts and DeFi without Ethereum; We don’t have true interoperability without Polkadot and Substrate. In a future article we will talk more about our Kusama testnet release.
Whats next for BONDLY?
BONDSWAP for Ethereum, the first formal product release, will be available soon (so hold off on your OTC transaction until then). This will include support for the Bondly staking program. Detailed roadmaps for the other products will be announced soon! In the meantime we will be making additional articles (but not limited to) the following topics:
Summary: Everyone knows that when you give your assets to someone else, they always keep them safe. If this is true for individuals, it is certainly true for businesses. Custodians always tell the truth and manage funds properly. They won't have any interest in taking the assets as an exchange operator would. Auditors tell the truth and can't be misled. That's because organizations that are regulated are incapable of lying and don't make mistakes. First, some background. Here is a summary of how custodians make us more secure: Previously, we might give Alice our crypto assets to hold. There were risks:
Alice might take the assets and disappear.
Alice might spend the assets and pretend that she still has them (fractional model).
Alice might store the assets insecurely and they'll get stolen.
Alice might give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force.
Alice might lose access to the assets.
But "no worries", Alice has a custodian named Bob. Bob is dressed in a nice suit. He knows some politicians. And he drives a Porsche. "So you have nothing to worry about!". And look at all the benefits we get:
Alice can't take the assets and disappear (unless she asks Bob or never gives them to Bob).
Alice can't spend the assets and pretend that she still has them. (Unless she didn't give them to Bob or asks him for them.)
Alice can't store the assets insecurely so they get stolen. (After all - she doesn't have any control over the withdrawal process from any of Bob's systems, right?)
Alice can't give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force. (Bob will stop her, right Bob?)
Alice can't lose access to the funds. (She'll always be present, sane, and remember all secrets, right?)
See - all problems are solved! All we have to worry about now is:
Bob might take the assets and disappear.
Bob might spend the assets and pretend that he still has them (fractional model).
Bob might store the assets insecurely and they'll get stolen.
Bob might give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force.
Bob might lose access to the assets.
It's pretty simple. Before we had to trust Alice. Now we only have to trust Alice, Bob, and all the ways in which they communicate. Just think of how much more secure we are! "On top of that", Bob assures us, "we're using a special wallet structure". Bob shows Alice a diagram. "We've broken the balance up and store it in lots of smaller wallets. That way", he assures her, "a thief can't take it all at once". And he points to a historic case where a large sum was taken "because it was stored in a single wallet... how stupid". "Very early on, we used to have all the crypto in one wallet", he said, "and then one Christmas a hacker came and took it all. We call him the Grinch. Now we individually wrap each crypto and stick it under a binary search tree. The Grinch has never been back since." "As well", Bob continues, "even if someone were to get in, we've got insurance. It covers all thefts and even coercion, collusion, and misplaced keys - only subject to the policy terms and conditions." And with that, he pulls out a phone-book sized contract and slams it on the desk with a thud. "Yep", he continues, "we're paying top dollar for one of the best policies in the country!" "Can I read it?' Alice asks. "Sure," Bob says, "just as soon as our legal team is done with it. They're almost through the first chapter." He pauses, then continues. "And can you believe that sales guy Mike? He has the same year Porsche as me. I mean, what are the odds?" "Do you use multi-sig?", Alice asks. "Absolutely!" Bob replies. "All our engineers are fully trained in multi-sig. Whenever we want to set up a new wallet, we generate 2 separate keys in an air-gapped process and store them in this proprietary system here. Look, it even requires the biometric signature from one of our team members to initiate any withdrawal." He demonstrates by pressing his thumb into the display. "We use a third-party cloud validation API to match the thumbprint and authorize each withdrawal. The keys are also backed up daily to an off-site third-party." "Wow that's really impressive," Alice says, "but what if we need access for a withdrawal outside of office hours?" "Well that's no issue", Bob says, "just send us an email, call, or text message and we always have someone on staff to help out. Just another part of our strong commitment to all our customers!" "What about Proof of Reserve?", Alice asks. "Of course", Bob replies, "though rather than publish any blockchain addresses or signed transaction, for privacy we just do a SHA256 refactoring of the inverse hash modulus for each UTXO nonce and combine the smart contract coefficient consensus in our hyperledger lightning node. But it's really simple to use." He pushes a button and a large green checkmark appears on a screen. "See - the algorithm ran through and reserves are proven." "Wow", Alice says, "you really know your stuff! And that is easy to use! What about fiat balances?" "Yeah, we have an auditor too", Bob replies, "Been using him for a long time so we have quite a strong relationship going! We have special books we give him every year and he's very efficient! Checks the fiat, crypto, and everything all at once!" "We used to have a nice offline multi-sig setup we've been using without issue for the past 5 years, but I think we'll move all our funds over to your facility," Alice says. "Awesome", Bob replies, "Thanks so much! This is perfect timing too - my Porsche got a dent on it this morning. We have the paperwork right over here." "Great!", Alice replies. And with that, Alice gets out her pen and Bob gets the contract. "Don't worry", he says, "you can take your crypto-assets back anytime you like - just subject to our cancellation policy. Our annual management fees are also super low and we don't adjust them often". How many holes have to exist for your funds to get stolen? Just one. Why are we taking a powerful offline multi-sig setup, widely used globally in hundreds of different/lacking regulatory environments with 0 breaches to date, and circumventing it by a demonstrably weak third party layer? And paying a great expense to do so? If you go through the list of breaches in the past 2 years to highly credible organizations, you go through the list of major corporate frauds (only the ones we know about), you go through the list of all the times platforms have lost funds, you go through the list of times and ways that people have lost their crypto from identity theft, hot wallet exploits, extortion, etc... and then you go through this custodian with a fine-tooth comb and truly believe they have value to add far beyond what you could, sticking your funds in a wallet (or set of wallets) they control exclusively is the absolute worst possible way to take advantage of that security. The best way to add security for crypto-assets is to make a stronger multi-sig. With one custodian, what you are doing is giving them your cryptocurrency and hoping they're honest, competent, and flawlessly secure. It's no different than storing it on a really secure exchange. Maybe the insurance will cover you. Didn't work for Bitpay in 2015. Didn't work for Yapizon in 2017. Insurance has never paid a claim in the entire history of cryptocurrency. But maybe you'll get lucky. Maybe your exact scenario will buck the trend and be what they're willing to cover. After the large deductible and hopefully without a long and expensive court battle. And you want to advertise this increase in risk, the lapse of judgement, an accident waiting to happen, as though it's some kind of benefit to customers ("Free institutional-grade storage for your digital assets.")? And then some people are writing to the OSC that custodians should be mandatory for all funds on every exchange platform? That this somehow will make Canadians as a whole more secure or better protected compared with standard air-gapped multi-sig? On what planet? Most of the problems in Canada stemmed from one thing - a lack of transparency. If Canadians had known what a joke Quadriga was - it wouldn't have grown to lose $400m from hard-working Canadians from coast to coast to coast. And Gerald Cotten would be in jail, not wherever he is now (at best, rotting peacefully). EZ-BTC and mister Dave Smilie would have been a tiny little scam to his friends, not a multi-million dollar fraud. Einstein would have got their act together or been shut down BEFORE losing millions and millions more in people's funds generously donated to criminals. MapleChange wouldn't have even been a thing. And maybe we'd know a little more about CoinTradeNewNote - like how much was lost in there. Almost all of the major losses with cryptocurrency exchanges involve deception with unbacked funds. So it's great to see transparency reports from BitBuy and ShakePay where someone independently verified the backing. The only thing we don't have is:
ANY CERTAINTY BALANCES WEREN'T EXCLUDED. Quadriga's largest account was $70m. 80% of funds are in 20% of accounts (Pareto principle). All it takes is excluding a few really large accounts - and nobody's the wiser. A fractional platform can easily pass any audit this way.
ANY VISIBILITY WHATSOEVER INTO THE CUSTODIANS. BitBuy put out their report before moving all the funds to their custodian and ShakePay apparently can't even tell us who the custodian is. That's pretty important considering that basically all of the funds are now stored there.
ANY IDEA ABOUT THE OTHER EXCHANGES. In order for this to be effective, it has to be the norm. It needs to be "unusual" not to know. If obscurity is the norm, then it's super easy for people like Gerald Cotten and Dave Smilie to blend right in.
It's not complicated to validate cryptocurrency assets. They need to exist, they need to be spendable, and they need to cover the total balances. There are plenty of credible people and firms across the country that have the capacity to reasonably perform this validation. Having more frequent checks by different, independent, parties who publish transparent reports is far more valuable than an annual check by a single "more credible/official" party who does the exact same basic checks and may or may not publish anything. Here's an example set of requirements that could be mandated:
First report within 1 month of launching, another within 3 months, and further reports at minimum every 6 months thereafter.
No auditor can be repeated within a 12 month period.
All reports must be public, identifying the auditor and the full methodology used.
All auditors must be independent of the firm being audited with no conflict of interest.
Reports must include the percentage of each asset backed, and how it's backed.
The auditor publishes a hash list, which lists a hash of each customer's information and balances that were included. Hash is one-way encryption so privacy is fully preserved. Every customer can use this to have 100% confidence they were included.
If we want more extensive requirements on audits, these should scale upward based on the total assets at risk on the platform, and whether the platform has loaned their assets out.
There are ways to structure audits such that neither crypto assets nor customer information are ever put at risk, and both can still be properly validated and publicly verifiable. There are also ways to structure audits such that they are completely reasonable for small platforms and don't inhibit innovation in any way. By making the process as reasonable as possible, we can completely eliminate any reason/excuse that an honest platform would have for not being audited. That is arguable far more important than any incremental improvement we might get from mandating "the best of the best" accountants. Right now we have nothing mandated and tons of Canadians using offshore exchanges with no oversight whatsoever. Transparency does not prove crypto assets are safe. CoinTradeNewNote, Flexcoin ($600k), and Canadian Bitcoins ($100k) are examples where crypto-assets were breached from platforms in Canada. All of them were online wallets and used no multi-sig as far as any records show. This is consistent with what we see globally - air-gapped multi-sig wallets have an impeccable record, while other schemes tend to suffer breach after breach. We don't actually know how much CoinTrader lost because there was no visibility. Rather than publishing details of what happened, the co-founder of CoinTrader silently moved on to found another platform - the "most trusted way to buy and sell crypto" - a site that has no information whatsoever (that I could find) on the storage practices and a FAQ advising that “[t]rading cryptocurrency is completely safe” and that having your own wallet is “entirely up to you! You can certainly keep cryptocurrency, or fiat, or both, on the app.” Doesn't sound like much was learned here, which is really sad to see. It's not that complicated or unreasonable to set up a proper hardware wallet. Multi-sig can be learned in a single course. Something the equivalent complexity of a driver's license test could prevent all the cold storage exploits we've seen to date - even globally. Platform operators have a key advantage in detecting and preventing fraud - they know their customers far better than any custodian ever would. The best job that custodians can do is to find high integrity individuals and train them to form even better wallet signatories. Rather than mandating that all platforms expose themselves to arbitrary third party risks, regulations should center around ensuring that all signatories are background-checked, properly trained, and using proper procedures. We also need to make sure that signatories are empowered with rights and responsibilities to reject and report fraud. They need to know that they can safely challenge and delay a transaction - even if it turns out they made a mistake. We need to have an environment where mistakes are brought to the surface and dealt with. Not one where firms and people feel the need to hide what happened. In addition to a knowledge-based test, an auditor can privately interview each signatory to make sure they're not in coercive situations, and we should make sure they can freely and anonymously report any issues without threat of retaliation. A proper multi-sig has each signature held by a separate person and is governed by policies and mutual decisions instead of a hierarchy. It includes at least one redundant signature. For best results, 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7. History has demonstrated over and over again the risk of hot wallets even to highly credible organizations. Nonetheless, many platforms have hot wallets for convenience. While such losses are generally compensated by platforms without issue (for example Poloniex, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, Gatecoin, Coincheck, Bithumb, Zaif, CoinBene, Binance, Bitrue, Bitpoint, Upbit, VinDAX, and now KuCoin), the public tends to focus more on cases that didn't end well. Regardless of what systems are employed, there is always some level of risk. For that reason, most members of the public would prefer to see third party insurance. Rather than trying to convince third party profit-seekers to provide comprehensive insurance and then relying on an expensive and slow legal system to enforce against whatever legal loopholes they manage to find each and every time something goes wrong, insurance could be run through multiple exchange operators and regulators, with the shared interest of having a reputable industry, keeping costs down, and taking care of Canadians. For example, a 4 of 7 multi-sig insurance fund held between 5 independent exchange operators and 2 regulatory bodies. All Canadian exchanges could pay premiums at a set rate based on their needed coverage, with a higher price paid for hot wallet coverage (anything not an air-gapped multi-sig cold wallet). Such a model would be much cheaper to manage, offer better coverage, and be much more reliable to payout when needed. The kind of coverage you could have under this model is unheard of. You could even create something like the CDIC to protect Canadians who get their trading accounts hacked if they can sufficiently prove the loss is legitimate. In cases of fraud, gross negligence, or insolvency, the fund can be used to pay affected users directly (utilizing the last transparent balance report in the worst case), something which private insurance would never touch. While it's recommended to have official policies for coverage, a model where members vote would fully cover edge cases. (Could be similar to the Supreme Court where justices vote based on case law.) Such a model could fully protect all Canadians across all platforms. You can have a fiat coverage governed by legal agreements, and crypto-asset coverage governed by both multi-sig and legal agreements. It could be practical, affordable, and inclusive. Now, we are at a crossroads. We can happily give up our freedom, our innovation, and our money. We can pay hefty expenses to auditors, lawyers, and regulators year after year (and make no mistake - this cost will grow to many millions or even billions as the industry grows - and it will be borne by all Canadians on every platform because platforms are not going to eat up these costs at a loss). We can make it nearly impossible for any new platform to enter the marketplace, forcing Canadians to use the same stagnant platforms year after year. We can centralize and consolidate the entire industry into 2 or 3 big players and have everyone else fail (possibly to heavy losses of users of those platforms). And when a flawed security model doesn't work and gets breached, we can make it even more complicated with even more people in suits making big money doing the job that blockchain was supposed to do in the first place. We can build a system which is so intertwined and dependent on big government, traditional finance, and central bankers that it's future depends entirely on that of the fiat system, of fractional banking, and of government bail-outs. If we choose this path, as history has shown us over and over again, we can not go back, save for revolution. Our children and grandchildren will still be paying the consequences of what we decided today. Or, we can find solutions that work. We can maintain an open and innovative environment while making the adjustments we need to make to fully protect Canadian investors and cryptocurrency users, giving easy and affordable access to cryptocurrency for all Canadians on the platform of their choice, and creating an environment in which entrepreneurs and problem solvers can bring those solutions forward easily. None of the above precludes innovation in any way, or adds any unreasonable cost - and these three policies would demonstrably eliminate or resolve all 109 historic cases as studied here - that's every single case researched so far going back to 2011. It includes every loss that was studied so far not just in Canada but globally as well. Unfortunately, finding answers is the least challenging part. Far more challenging is to get platform operators and regulators to agree on anything. My last post got no response whatsoever, and while the OSC has told me they're happy for industry feedback, I believe my opinion alone is fairly meaningless. This takes the whole community working together to solve. So please let me know your thoughts. Please take the time to upvote and share this with people. Please - let's get this solved and not leave it up to other people to do. Facts/background/sources (skip if you like):
The inspiration for the paragraph about splitting wallets was an actual quote from a Canadian company providing custodial services in response to the OSC consultation paper: "We believe that it will be in the in best interests of investors to prohibit pooled crypto assets or ‘floats’. Most Platforms pool assets, citing reasons of practicality and expense. The recent hack of the world’s largest Platform – Binance – demonstrates the vulnerability of participants’ assets when such concessions are made. In this instance, the Platform’s entire hot wallet of Bitcoins, worth over $40 million, was stolen, facilitated in part by the pooling of client crypto assets." "the maintenance of participants (and Platform) crypto assets across multiple wallets distributes the related risk and responsibility of security - reducing the amount of insurance coverage required and making insurance coverage more readily obtainable". For the record, their reply also said nothing whatsoever about multi-sig or offline storage.
In addition to the fact that the $40m hack represented only one "hot wallet" of Binance, and they actually had the vast majority of assets in other wallets (including mostly cold wallets), multiple real cases have clearly demonstrated that risk is still present with multiple wallets. Bitfinex, VinDAX, Bithumb, Altsbit, BitPoint, Cryptopia, and just recently KuCoin all had multiple wallets breached all at the same time, and may represent a significantly larger impact on customers than the Binance breach which was fully covered by Binance. To represent that simply having multiple separate wallets under the same security scheme is a comprehensive way to reduce risk is just not true.
Private insurance has historically never covered a single loss in the cryptocurrency space (at least, not one that I was able to find), and there are notable cases where massive losses were not covered by insurance. Bitpay in 2015 and Yapizon in 2017 both had insurance policies that didn't pay out during the breach, even after a lengthly court process. The same insurance that ShakePay is presently using (and announced to much fanfare) was describe by their CEO himself as covering “physical theft of the media where the private keys are held,” which is something that has never historically happened. As was said with regard to the same policy in 2018 - “I don’t find it surprising that Lloyd’s is in this space,” said Johnson, adding that to his mind the challenge for everybody is figuring out how to structure these policies so that they are actually protective. “You can create an insurance policy that protects no one – you know there are so many caveats to the policy that it’s not super protective.”
The most profitable policy for a private insurance company is one with the most expensive premiums that they never have to pay a claim on. They have no inherent incentive to take care of people who lost funds. It's "cheaper" to take the reputational hit and fight the claim in court. The more money at stake, the more the insurance provider is incentivized to avoid payout. They're not going to insure the assets unless they have reasonable certainty to make a profit by doing so, and they're not going to pay out a massive sum unless it's legally forced. Private insurance is always structured to be maximally profitable to the insurance provider.
The circumvention of multi-sig was a key factor in the massive Bitfinex hack of over $60m of bitcoin, which today still sits being slowly used and is worth over $3b. While Bitfinex used a qualified custodian Bitgo, which was and still is active and one of the industry leaders of custodians, and they set up 2 of 3 multi-sig wallets, the entire system was routed through Bitfinex, such that Bitfinex customers could initiate the withdrawals in a "hot" fashion. This feature was also a hit with the hacker. The multi-sig was fully circumvented.
Bitpay in 2015 was another example of a breach that stole 5,000 bitcoins. This happened not through the exploit of any system in Bitpay, but because the CEO of a company they worked with got their computer hacked and the hackers were able to request multiple bitcoin purchases, which Bitpay honoured because they came from the customer's computer legitimately. Impersonation is a very common tactic used by fraudsters, and methods get more extreme all the time.
A notable case in Canada was the Canadian Bitcoins exploit. Funds were stored on a server in a Rogers Data Center, and the attendee was successfully convinced to reboot the server "in safe mode" with a simple phone call, thus bypassing the extensive security and enabling the theft.
The very nature of custodians circumvents multi-sig. This is because custodians are not just having to secure the assets against some sort of physical breach but against any form of social engineering, modification of orders, fraudulent withdrawal attempts, etc... If the security practices of signatories in a multi-sig arrangement are such that the breach risk of one signatory is 1 in 100, the requirement of 3 independent signatures makes the risk of theft 1 in 1,000,000. Since hackers tend to exploit the weakest link, a comparable custodian has to make the entry and exit points of their platform 10,000 times more secure than one of those signatories to provide equivalent protection. And if the signatories beef up their security by only 10x, the risk is now 1 in 1,000,000,000. The custodian has to be 1,000,000 times more secure. The larger and more complex a system is, the more potential vulnerabilities exist in it, and the fewer people can understand how the system works when performing upgrades. Even if a system is completely secure today, one has to also consider how that system might evolve over time or work with different members.
By contrast, offline multi-signature solutions have an extremely solid record, and in the entire history of cryptocurrency exchange incidents which I've studied (listed here), there has only been one incident (796 exchange in 2015) involving an offline multi-signature wallet. It happened because the customer's bitcoin address was modified by hackers, and the amount that was stolen ($230k) was immediately covered by the exchange operators. Basically, the platform operators were tricked into sending a legitimate withdrawal request to the wrong address because hackers exploited their platform to change that address. Such an issue would not be prevented in any way by the use of a custodian, as that custodian has no oversight whatsoever to the exchange platform. It's practical for all exchange operators to test large withdrawal transactions as a general policy, regardless of what model is used, and general best practice is to diagnose and fix such an exploit as soon as it occurs.
False promises on the backing of funds played a huge role in the downfall of Quadriga, and it's been exposed over and over again (MyCoin, PlusToken, Bitsane, Bitmarket, EZBTC, IDAX). Even today, customers have extremely limited certainty on whether their funds in exchanges are actually being backed or how they're being backed. While this issue is not unique to cryptocurrency exchanges, the complexity of the technology and the lack of any regulation or standards makes problems more widespread, and there is no "central bank" to come to the rescue as in the 2008 financial crisis or during the great depression when "9,000 banks failed".
In addition to fraudulent operations, the industry is full of cases where operators have suffered breaches and not reported them. Most recently, Einstein was the largest case in Canada, where ongoing breaches and fraud were perpetrated against the platform for multiple years and nobody found out until the platform collapsed completely. While fraud and breaches suck to deal with, they suck even more when not dealt with. Lack of visibility played a role in the largest downfalls of Mt. Gox, Cryptsy, and Bitgrail. In some cases, platforms are alleged to have suffered a hack and keep operating without admitting it at all, such as CoinBene.
It surprises some to learn that a cryptographic solution has already existed since 2013, and gained widespread support in 2014 after Mt. Gox. Proof of Reserves is a full cryptographic proof that allows any customer using an exchange to have complete certainty that their crypto-assets are fully backed by the platform in real-time. This is accomplished by proving that assets exist on the blockchain, are spendable, and fully cover customer deposits. It does not prove safety of assets or backing of fiat assets.
If we didn't care about privacy at all, a platform could publish their wallet addresses, sign a partial transaction, and put the full list of customer information and balances out publicly. Customers can each check that they are on the list, that the balances are accurate, that the total adds up, and that it's backed and spendable on the blockchain. Platforms who exclude any customer take a risk because that customer can easily check and see they were excluded. So together with all customers checking, this forms a full proof of backing of all crypto assets.
However, obviously customers care about their private information being published. Therefore, a hash of the information can be provided instead. Hash is one-way encryption. The hash allows the customer to validate inclusion (by hashing their own known information), while anyone looking at the list of hashes cannot determine the private information of any other user. All other parts of the scheme remain fully intact. A model like this is in use on the exchange CoinFloor in the UK.
A Merkle tree can provide even greater privacy. Instead of a list of balances, the balances are arranged into a binary tree. A customer starts from their node, and works their way to the top of the tree. For example, they know they have 5 BTC, they plus 1 other customer hold 7 BTC, they plus 2-3 other customers hold 17 BTC, etc... until they reach the root where all the BTC are represented. Thus, there is no way to find the balances of other individual customers aside from one unidentified customer in this case.
Proposals such as this had the backing of leaders in the community including Nic Carter, Greg Maxwell, and Zak Wilcox. Substantial and significant effort started back in 2013, with massive popularity in 2014. But what became of that effort? Very little. Exchange operators continue to refuse to give visibility. Despite the fact this information can often be obtained through trivial blockchain analysis, no Canadian platform has ever provided any wallet addresses publicly. As described by the CEO of Newton "For us to implement some kind of realtime Proof of Reserves solution, which I'm not opposed to, it would have to ... Preserve our users' privacy, as well as our own. Some kind of zero-knowledge proof". Kraken describes here in more detail why they haven't implemented such a scheme. According to professor Eli Ben-Sasson, when he spoke with exchanges, none were interested in implementing Proof of Reserves.
And yet, Kraken's places their reasoning on a page called "Proof of Reserves". More recently, both BitBuy and ShakePay have released reports titled "Proof of Reserves and Security Audit". Both reports contain disclaimers against being audits. Both reports trust the customer list provided by the platform, leaving the open possibility that multiple large accounts could have been excluded from the process. Proof of Reserves is a blockchain validation where customers see the wallets on the blockchain. The report from Kraken is 5 years old, but they leave it described as though it was just done a few weeks ago. And look at what they expect customers to do for validation. When firms represent something being "Proof of Reserve" when it's not, this is like a farmer growing fruit with pesticides and selling it in a farmers market as organic produce - except that these are people's hard-earned life savings at risk here. Platforms are misrepresenting the level of visibility in place and deceiving the public by their misuse of this term. They haven't proven anything.
Fraud isn't a problem that is unique to cryptocurrency. Fraud happens all the time. Enron, WorldCom, Nortel, Bear Stearns, Wells Fargo, Moser Baer, Wirecard, Bre-X, and Nicola are just some of the cases where frauds became large enough to become a big deal (and there are so many countless others). These all happened on 100% reversible assets despite regulations being in place. In many of these cases, the problems happened due to the over-complexity of the financial instruments. For example, Enron had "complex financial statements [which] were confusing to shareholders and analysts", creating "off-balance-sheet vehicles, complex financing structures, and deals so bewildering that few people could understand them". In cryptocurrency, we are often combining complex financial products with complex technologies and verification processes. We are naïve if we think problems like this won't happen. It is awkward and uncomfortable for many people to admit that they don't know how something works. If we want "money of the people" to work, the solutions have to be simple enough that "the people" can understand them, not so confusing that financial professionals and technology experts struggle to use or understand them.
For those who question the extent to which an organization can fool their way into a security consultancy role, HB Gary should be a great example to look at. Prior to trying to out anonymous, HB Gary was being actively hired by multiple US government agencies and others in the private sector (with glowing testimonials). The published articles and hosted professional security conferences. One should also look at this list of data breaches from the past 2 years. Many of them are large corporations, government entities, and technology companies. These are the ones we know about. Undoubtedly, there are many more that we do not know about. If HB Gary hadn't been "outted" by anonymous, would we have known they were insecure? If the same breach had happened outside of the public spotlight, would it even have been reported? Or would HB Gary have just deleted the Twitter posts, brought their site back up, done a couple patches, and kept on operating as though nothing had happened?
In the case of Quadriga, the facts are clear. Despite past experience with platforms such as MapleChange in Canada and others around the world, no guidance or even the most basic of a framework was put in place by regulators. By not clarifying any sort of legal framework, regulators enabled a situation where a platform could be run by former criminal Mike Dhanini/Omar Patryn, and where funds could be held fully unchecked by one person. At the same time, the lack of regulation deterred legitimate entities from running competing platforms and Quadriga was granted a money services business license for multiple years of operation, which gave the firm the appearance of legitimacy. Regulators did little to protect Canadians despite Quadriga failing to file taxes from 2016 onward. The entire administrative team had resigned and this was public knowledge. Many people had suspicions of what was going on, including Ryan Mueller, who forwarded complaints to the authorities. These were ignored, giving Gerald Cotten the opportunity to escape without justice.
There are multiple issues with the SOC II model including the prohibitive cost (you have to find a third party accounting firm and the prices are not even listed publicly on any sites), the requirement of operating for a year (impossible for new platforms), and lack of any public visibility (SOC II are private reports that aren't shared outside the people in suits).
Securities frameworks are expensive. Sarbanes-Oxley is estimated to cost $5.1 million USD/yr for the average Fortune 500 company in the United States. Since "Fortune 500" represents the top 500 companies, that means well over $2.55 billion USD (~$3.4 billion CAD) is going to people in suits. Isn't the problem of trust and verification the exact problem that the blockchain is supposed to solve?
To use Quadriga as justification for why custodians or SOC II or other advanced schemes are needed for platforms is rather silly, when any framework or visibility at all, or even the most basic of storage policies, would have prevented the whole thing. It's just an embarrassment.
We are now seeing regulators take strong action. CoinSquare in Canada with multi-million dollar fines. BitMex from the US, criminal charges and arrests. OkEx, with full disregard of withdrawals and no communication. Who's next?
We have a unique window today where we can solve these problems, and not permanently destroy innovation with unreasonable expectations, but we need to act quickly. This is a unique historic time that will never come again.
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I recently read something about how cryptocurrencies claim to be decentralized, but while that might technically be true of the network for most cryptos, something like 85% of cryptos have over 90% of the supply of coins concentrated in the top 100 wallets (My numbers might be a bit off I'm sorry I wanted to link the article but couldnt find it again). This got me thinking... because adoption is absolutely critical for all of these cryptos. If nobody is using it the coin is worthless, and in many cases a certain threshold of adoption will have to be reached in order for the coin to continue functioning as intended. For example, digibyte has smaller fees than bitcoin, but that means they will need more transactions and more throughput in order to continue to sustain the miners. Now, I'm thinking these top 100 addresses of a coin are usually the market-making entities, who influence the price of a coin, moving it between different levels of accumulation. Bots move the price within a certain zone, and when there are no buyers left at that price, they make a move up or down, manipulate and liquidate longs and shorts, try to shake out weak hands, and eventually real people start reacting to the price action. I want to put the idea out there that these large whales need real adoption and use just as much as we need hard money and an innovative internet of value. And I wonder if there is a way for us to test the value of adoption. For instance... if 100,000 people each put in a limit order for 500 dollars worth of a coin, that's 50 million dollars. But what if they all put in that order at 20% below the market value? Would the market-makers move the price down to scoop up that 50 million dollars? Would they try to move it up to try and get them to change their position? I imagine one of the most important metrics for a whale is at what levels large amounts of buyers and sellers are at, and I guess I'm just curious if it's possible for a large enough group of poor people to pool enough money together at a certain price range in order to make some whales see enough value at that level to move the price to it. The reason I think about this is because a lot of people are seeing this reset of the financial system as a transfer of wealth, and a rare opportunity at a chance to turn a small amount of capital into a small fortune, but if all of the printed money just goes to the rich and the rich people buy all the crypto first, then that means poor people are just buying crypto from the rich.. and that makes me wonder if it's actually people buying into crypto whose wealth is being stolen?? Obviously I'm one of the people buying in.. but I still wonder if there is some group who engineered all this fear about a monetary collapse just so they could sell you insurance for it..
Testing the Tide | Monthly FIRE Portfolio Update - June 2020
We would rather be ruined than changed. -W H Auden, The Age of Anxiety This is my forty-third portfolio update. I complete this update monthly to check my progress against my goal. Portfolio goal My objective is to reach a portfolio of $2 180 000 by 1 July 2021. This would produce a real annual income of about $87 000 (in 2020 dollars). This portfolio objective is based on an expected average real return of 3.99 per cent, or a nominal return of 6.49 per cent. Portfolio summary Vanguard Lifestrategy High Growth Fund – $726 306 Vanguard Lifestrategy Growth Fund – $42 118 Vanguard Lifestrategy Balanced Fund – $78 730 Vanguard Diversified Bonds Fund – $111 691 Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) – $201 745 Vanguard International Shares ETF (VGS) – $39 357 Betashares Australia 200 ETF (A200) – $231 269 Telstra shares (TLS) – $1 668 Insurance Australia Group shares (IAG) – $7 310 NIB Holdings shares (NHF) – $5 532 Gold ETF (GOLD.ASX) – $117 757 Secured physical gold – $18 913 Ratesetter (P2P lending) – $10 479 Bitcoin – $148 990 Raiz app (Aggressive portfolio) – $16 841 Spaceship Voyager app (Index portfolio) – $2 553 BrickX (P2P rental real estate) – $4 484 Total portfolio value: $1 765 743 (+$8 485 or 0.5%) Asset allocation Australian shares – 42.2% (2.8% under) Global shares – 22.0% Emerging markets shares – 2.3% International small companies – 3.0% Total international shares – 27.3% (2.7% under) Total shares – 69.5% (5.5% under) Total property securities – 0.3% (0.3% over) Australian bonds – 4.7% International bonds – 9.4% Total bonds – 14.0% (1.0% under) Gold – 7.7% Bitcoin – 8.4% Gold and alternatives – 16.2% (6.2% over) Presented visually, below is a high-level view of the current asset allocation of the portfolio. [Chart] Comments The overall portfolio increased slightly over the month. This has continued to move the portfolio beyond the lows seen in late March. The modest portfolio growth of $8 000, or 0.5 per cent, maintains its value at around that achieved at the beginning of the year. [Chart] The limited growth this month largely reflects an increase in the value of my current equity holdings, in VAS and A200 and the Vanguard retail funds. This has outweighed a small decline in the value of Bitcoin and global shares. The value of the bond holdings also increased modestly, pushing them to their highest value since around early 2017. [Chart] There still appears to be an air of unreality around recent asset price increases and the broader economic context. Britain's Bank of England has on some indicators shown that the aftermath of the pandemic and lockdown represent the most challenging financial crisis in around 300 years. What is clear is that investor perceptions and fear around the coronavirus pandemic are a substantial ongoing force driving volatility in equity markets (pdf). A somewhat optimistic view is provided here that the recovery could look more like the recovery from a natural disaster, rather than a traditional recession. Yet there are few certainties on offer. Negative oil prices, and effective offers by US equity investors to bail out Hertz creditors at no cost appear to be signs of a financial system under significant strains. As this Reserve Bank article highlights, while some Australian households are well-placed to weather the storm ahead, the timing and severity of what lays ahead is an important unknown that will itself feed into changes in household wealth from here. Investments this month have been exclusively in the Australian shares exchange-traded fund (VAS) using Selfwealth.* This has been to bring my actual asset allocation more closely in line with the target split between Australian and global shares. A moving azimuth: falling spending continues Monthly expenses on the credit card have continued their downward trajectory across the past month. [Chart] The rolling average of monthly credit card spending is now at its lowest point over the period of the journey. This is despite the end of lockdown, and a slow resumption of some more normal aspects of spending. This has continued the brief period since April of the achievement of a notional and contingent kind of financial independence. The below chart illustrates this temporary state, setting out the degree to which portfolio distributions cover estimated total expenses, measured month to month. [Chart] There are two sources of volatility underlying its movement. The first is the level of expenses, which can vary, and the second is the fact that it is based on financial year distributions, which are themselves volatile. Importantly, the distributions over the last twelve months of this chart is only an estimate - and hence the next few weeks will affect the precision of this analysis across its last 12 observations. Estimating 2019-20 financial year portfolio distributions Since the beginning of the journey, this time of year usually has sense of waiting for events to unfold - in particular, finding out the level of half-year distributions to June. These represent the bulk of distributions, usually averaging 60-65 per cent of total distributions received. They are an important and tangible signpost of progress on the financial independence journey. This is no simple task, as distributions have varied in size considerably. A part of this variation has been the important role of sometimes large and lumpy capital distributions - which have made up between 30 to 48 per cent of total distributions in recent years, and an average of around 15 per cent across the last two decades. I have experimented with many different approaches, most of which have relied on averaging over multi-year periods to even out the 'peaks and troughs' of how market movements may have affected distributions. The main approaches have been:
An 'adjusted income' approach - stripping out the capital gains components of Vanguard funds to reach an estimate of underlying income generation, both across the entire investment period, and during the sharpest low of the Global Financial Crisis
A long-term asset class approach - relying on long-term historical data on averages of the income produced by various asset classes
A 'tax method' approach - this derives an income estimate as a percentage of the portfolio by drawing on taxable investment income totals from tax return records
Simple historical rolling average - this is a rolling three-year measure, based on the actual distributions record of the portfolio
Average distribution rate approach - this method uses a long-term average of annual distributions received as a percentage of the total portfolio since 1999
Each of these have their particular simplifications, advantages and drawbacks. Developing new navigation tools Over the past month I have also developed more fully an alternate 'model' for estimating returns. This simply derives a median value across a set of historical 'cents per unit' distribution data for June and December payouts for the Vanguard funds and exchange traded funds. These make up over 96 per cent of income producing portfolio assets. In other words, this model essentially assumes that each Vanguard fund and ETF owned pays out the 'average' level of distributions this half-year, with the average being based on distribution records that typically go back between 5 to 10 years. Mapping the distribution estimates The chart below sets out the estimate produced by each approach for the June distributions that are to come. [Chart] Some observations on these findings can be made. The lowest estimate is the 'adjusted GFC income' observation, which essentially assumes that the income for this period is as low as experienced by the equity and bond portfolio during the Global Financial Crisis. Just due to timing differences of the period observed, this seems to be a 'worst case' lower bound estimate, which I do not currently place significant weight on. Similarly, at the highest end, the 'average distribution rate' approach simply assumes June distributions deliver a distribution equal to the median that the entire portfolio has delivered since 1999. With higher interest rates, and larger fixed income holdings across much of that time, this seems an objectively unlikely outcome. Similarly, the delivery of exactly the income suggested by long-term averages measured across decades and even centuries would be a matter of chance, rather than the basis for rational expectations. Central estimates of the line of position This leaves the estimates towards the centre of the chart - estimates of between around $28 000 to $43 000 as representing the more likely range. I attach less weight to the historical three-year average due to the high contribution of distributed capital gains over that period of growth, where at least across equities some capital losses are likely to be in greater presence. My preferred central estimate is the model estimate (green) , as it is based in historical data directly from the investment vehicles rather than my own evolving portfolio. The data it is based on in some cases goes back to the Global Financial Crisis. This estimate is also quite close to the raw average of all the alternative approaches (red). It sits a little above the 'adjusted income' measure. None of these estimates, it should be noted, contain any explicit adjustment for the earnings and dividend reductions or delays arising from COVID-19. They may, therefore represent a modest over-estimate for likely June distributions, to the extent that these effects are more negative than those experienced on average across the period of the underlying data. These are difficult to estimate, but dividend reductions could easily be in the order of 20-30 per cent, plausibly lowering distributions to the $23 000 to $27 000 range. The recently announced forecast dividend for the Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) is, for example, the lowest in four years. As seen from chart above, there is a wide band of estimates, which grow wider still should capital gains be unexpectedly distributed from the Vanguard retail funds. These have represented a source of considerable volatility. Given this, it may seem fruitless to seek to estimate these forthcoming distributions, compared to just waiting for them to arrive. Yet this exercise helps by setting out reasoning and positions, before hindsight bias urgently arrives to inform me that I knew the right answer all along. It also potentially helps clearly 'reject' some models over time, if the predictions they make prove to be systematically incorrect. Progress Progress against the objective, and the additional measures I have reached is set out below. Measure Portfolio All Assets Portfolio objective – $2 180 000 (or $87 000 pa) 81.0% 109.4% Credit card purchases – $71 000 pa 98.8% 133.5% Total expenses – $89 000 pa 79.2% 106.9% Summary The current coronavirus conditions are affecting all aspects of the journey to financial independence - changing spending habits, leading to volatility in equity markets and sequencing risks, and perhaps dramatically altering the expected pattern of portfolio distributions. Although history can provide some guidance, there is simply no definitive way to know whether any or all of these changes will be fundamental and permanent alterations, or simply data points on a post-natural disaster path to a different post-pandemic set of conditions. There is the temptation to fit past crises imperfectly into the modern picture, as this Of Dollars and Data post illustrates well. Taking a longer 100 year view, this piece 'The Allegory of the Hawk and Serpent' is a reminder that our entire set of received truths about constructing a portfolio to survive for the long-term can be a product of a sample size of one - actual past history - and subject to recency bias. This month has felt like one of quiet routines, muted events compared to the past few months, and waiting to understand more fully the shape of the new. Nonetheless, with each new investment, or week of lower expenditure than implied in my FI target, the nature of the journey is incrementally changing - beneath the surface. Small milestones are being passed - such as over 40 per cent of my equity holdings being outside of the the Vanguard retail funds. Or these these retail funds - which once formed over 95 per cent of the portfolio - now making up less than half. With a significant part of the financial independence journey being about repeated small actions producing outsized results with time, the issue of maintaining good routines while exploring beneficial changes is real. Adding to the complexity is that embarking on the financial journey itself is likely to change who one is. This idea, of the difficulty or impossibility of knowing the preferences of a future self, is explored in a fascinating way in this Econtalk podcast episode with a philosophical thought experiment about vampires. It poses the question: perhaps we can never know ourselves at the destination? And yet, who would rationally choose ruin over any change? The post, links and full charts can be seen here.
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