Idea: API for historical Bitcoin exchange rate by blockheight
Is there an API for historical Bitcoin exchange rate by blockheight? (i.e. I enter blockheight and I get the Bitcoin exchange rate at the time the block was included in the main chain). This would be a killer feature service for most of the Bitcoin wallets, because they could easily show amounts for each past transaction. There are a lot of other services that provide an exchange rate. Either continuously (e.g. https://bitpay.com/bitcoin-exchange-rates), but they don't provide the historical data. Or they have historical data (e.g. http://www.investing.com/currencies/btc-usd-historical-data) but their granularity is too high (1 day instead of 1 block). Bonus points if you make a public script supposed to be run in cron, that generates a CSV/sqlite database anyone can use. I'm quite surprised there is not anything like this in the Bitcoin space already.
Estimating DPR's income after expenses & exchange rate
The FBI indictment states that SDPR earned ฿614,305 in commissions. It's been suggested that the expense of running SR, and the large changes in the exchange rate, may substantially reduce how many bitcoins DPR actually could have saved up, possibly to as low as ฿"150-200k". (The logic here is that if SR earns commissions of ฿100 in 2011 but needs to pay $100 of hosting bills, it needs to sell all ฿100 but in 2013, it would need to sell only ฿1.) DPR surely spent some of the commissions on running SR & himself, but running a website isn't that expensive, and how badly the exchange rate bites will depend on details like how it fluctuated over time, how sales grew over time, and how big the expenses really are. The reduction could be tiny, or it could be huge. It's hard to tell based just on a gut estimate. So: below, I take estimates of SR growth from Christin 2013's crawl and the FBI indictment, infer linear growth of SR sales, estimate daily expenses, and combine it with historical Bitcoin exchange rates to show that DPR probably has most of his bitcoins and 200k or lower is right out.
My strategy is to model Silk Road's growth as linear in dollar amounts, but with different amounts of bitcoins each day depending on the exchange rate, subtract a daily operating cost, and then sum the commissions. So say that on 1 January 2012, SR did $10k of business, and the exchange rate was 1:100, so ฿100 in turnover, and SR gets an average commission of 7.4%, so it would get ฿7.4. To do this, I need to estimate the revenue each day, the expenses each day, the commission each day, and the exchange rate each day. Then I can multiply revenue by commission, subtract the expense, and sum the left overs to get an estimate of the total bitcoins available to DPR which he could (or could not) have spent.
Employees: we know that Libertas and one or two others were employed at salaries of $1-2k per week. I'll assume there were 2 others, and each was paid the max of $2k per week, which means total daily employee expenses is (2 * 2000) / 7 = $571 per day. (Unfortunately, the indictment doesn't give any clear indication of their numbers, just referring to them as 'they'.) This is a conservative estimate since I'm pretty sure that SR was a one-man operation until probably in 2012.
The servers: we know there were at least 2 servers (the main site, and the forums). The task of hosting the sites does not seem to be too bandwidth or disk-space intensive, and servers are extremely cheap these days. The use of DataClub.biz and GigaTux suggest DPR was using cheap VPSes. I'll estimate a monthly expense of $500 ($250 a piece) which per day is $16. This is also very conservative.
DPR: his rent of $1000/month has been widely bruited about, and in general he reportedly spent little. Makes sense to me, I've met and seen the rooms of a few well-paid geeks in SF like DPR, and I would believe them if they said they didn't spend much money on anything but rent & food. I'll bump this up by $1000 for food and all expenses, since he apparently didn't even eat out very much. So $2000/31=$65. Doubling his rent for total expenses is probably also conservative; for most people, rent is not >50% of income, but SF is incredibly expensive to live in.
This gives a daily expense of $652 (or a monthly total of $19.1k in expenses). As you can see, the employees are by far the most expensive part of running SR in my estimate, which makes me wonder if maybe Libertas was the only employee.
Assuming the details about DPR hiring hitmen in the indictments are reasonably accurate, we can throw in two large expenses:
an $80k expenditure for killing his Maryland employee. The first payment of $40k was made on 4 February 2013 and the second/final payment of $40k was made on 1 March 2013 (pg9). If we use the exchange rate of those two days, then the hit cost DPR (40000 / 20.42) + (40000 / 34.24) = ฿3127
the second hit was priced in bitcoins (pg23):
Through further messages exchanged on March 31, 2013, DPR and redandwhite agreed upon a price of 1,670 Bitcoins
So the hits cost DPR somewhere around ฿4797. An extremely large and painful amount, by most standards, but still nowhere near ฿10k - much less higher.
Revenue over time: first and last days
Table 3 provides a breakdown of the feedback ratings from 184,804 feedback instances we collected...In Figure 12, we plot an estimate of the daily commissions collected by Silk Road operators as a function of time. We simply reuse the previous estimates, and apply both the fixed 6.23% rate, and the schedule of Table 4 to each item. We find that the new schedule turns out to yield on average a commission corresponding to approximately 7.4% of the item price.
From February 6, 2011 to July 23, 2013 there were approximately 1,229,465 transactions completed on the site...$79.8 million (USD) in commissions.
According to Bitcoin Charts, on 23 July 2013, the MtGox price was $91. (As the most famous exchange, any FBI estimate almost certainly used it.) So that implies $79,800,000/91=฿876,923. Or to put it the other way, at $79.8m in transactions, then using Christin's 7.4% estimate, total sales were $1,078,000,000 or ฿10,780,000. Wikipedia says "These transactions involved 146,946 unique buyer accounts, and 3,877 unique vendor accounts.", and "The total revenue generated from transactions was 9,519,664 bitcoins. Commissions collected from the sales by Silk Road amounted to 614,305 bitcoins." (So the numbers aren't too different: 614k vs 876k and 10.8m vs 9.5m.) We'll set 6 February 2011 to $10 in sales (probably not too far from the truth). But what about 23 July 2013? pg20 of the indictment says:
For example, on July 21, 2013 alone, DPR received approximately 3,237 separate transfers of Bitcoins into his account, totaling approximately $19,459. Virtually all of these transactions are labeled "commission".
19459 / 0.074 = $262,959 that day. $20k in commissions is extremely impressive, since Christin estimates only $4k/day commissions as late as the end of July 2012 - so SR must have grown by 500% from 2012 to 2013. We use this revenue estimate as our endpoint and interpolate from $10 to $262,959 over the ~900 days SR existed. This is a conservative way of modeling SR, since the graphs in Christin indicate that SR saw sigmoid growth in 2012, and 2013 would've seen even more growth (to be consistent with the 2013 July commission datapoint being 5x the 2012 July commission datapoint).
Obviously ฿803k > ฿614k, which implies that the linear model overestimates sales in the early life of SR; but going the other direction and estimating just from costs & hitmen & total commission, we still wind up with nearly ฿500k (and that was after making a bunch of highly conservative assumptions). The fewer sales (and commissions) early on, the less of a fixed number of bitcoins will be sold. So, while it may initially sound plausible that DPR could have been forced to part with say ฿400k to pay for SR and sundry expenses, the distribution of sales and fluctuations of Bitcoin value mean that this simply does not seem to be the case. Unless there are some abandoned yachts floating around the SF Bay Area, DPRoss Ulbricht probably has ฿500k-614k.
We created a (simple) bitcoin aggregate web app to help users easily convert rates to 5 foreign currencies, get the best rate from top exchangers at any time, and also see historical trends!
Hey guys, We just launched a beta version of our web app: https://vicuco.com We collect data from top exchangers and provide users with an overall average rate. Data collection is done every 10 minutes. In addition to this, we allow users to "get the best rate" at any moment in time, in 5 foreign currencies. We also feature a ticker API that developers can use if they so wish. Please remember that this app is still in beta, so any and all feedback is greatly appreciated. We wish to hopefully target the "non-techy" market, allowing for people who have no previous knowledge about bitcoin and virtual currencies in general, to get started with the concept.
We created a (simple) bitcoin aggregate web app to help users easily convert rates to 5 foreign currencies, get the best rate from top exchangers at any time, and also see historical trends!
Hey guys, We just launched a beta version of our web app: https://vicuco.com We collect data from top exchangers and provide users with an overall average rate. Data collection is done every 10 minutes. In addition to this, we allow users to "get the best rate" at any moment in time, in 5 foreign currencies. We also feature a ticker API that developers can use if they so wish. Please remember that this app is still in beta, so any and all feedback is greatly appreciated. We wish to hopefully target the "non-techy" market, allowing for people who have no previous knowledge about bitcoin and virtual currencies in general, to get started with the concept.
We created a (simple) bitcoin aggregate web app to help users easily convert rates to 5 foreign currencies, get the best rate from top exchangers at any time, and also see historical trends! /r/Bitcoin
Putting $400M of Bitcoin on your company balance sheet
Also posted on my blog as usual. Read it there if you can, there are footnotes and inlined plots. A couple of months ago, MicroStrategy (MSTR) had a spare $400M of cash which it decided to shift to Bitcoin (BTC). Today we'll discuss in excrutiating detail why this is not a good idea. When a company has a pile of spare money it doesn't know what to do with, it'll normally do buybacks or start paying dividends. That gives the money back to the shareholders, and from an economic perspective the money can get better invested in other more promising companies. If you have a huge pile of of cash, you probably should be doing other things than leave it in a bank account to gather dust. However, this statement from MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor exists to make it clear he's buying into BTC for all the wrong reasons:
“This is not a speculation, nor is it a hedge. This was a deliberate corporate strategy to adopt a bitcoin standard.”
Let's unpack it and jump into the economics Bitcoin:
Is Bitcoin money?
No. Or rather BTC doesn't act as money and there's no serious future path for BTC to become a form of money. Let's go back to basics. There are 3 main economic problems money solves: 1. Medium of Exchange. Before money we had to barter, which led to the double coincidence of wants problem. When everyone accepts the same money you can buy something from someone even if they don't like the stuff you own. As a medium of exchange, BTC is not good. There are significant transaction fees and transaction waiting times built-in to BTC and these worsen the more popular BTC get. You can test BTC's usefulness as a medium of exchange for yourself right now: try to order a pizza or to buy a random item with BTC. How many additional hurdles do you have to go through? How many fewer options do you have than if you used a regular currency? How much overhead (time, fees) is there? 2. Unit of Account. A unit of account is what you compare the value of objects against. We denominate BTC in terms of how many USD they're worth, so BTC is a unit of account presently. We can say it's because of lack of adoption, but really it's also because the market value of BTC is so volatile. If I buy a $1000 table today or in 2017, it's roughly a $1000 table. We can't say that a 0.4BTC table was a 0.4BTC table in 2017. We'll expand on this in the next point: 3. Store of Value. When you create economic value, you don't want to be forced to use up the value you created right away. For instance, if I fix your washing machine and you pay me in avocados, I'd be annoyed. I'd have to consume my payment before it becomes brown, squishy and disgusting. Avocado fruit is not good money because avocadoes loses value very fast. On the other hand, well-run currencies like the USD, GBP, CAD, EUR, etc. all lose their value at a low and most importantly fairly predictible rate. Let's look at the chart of the USD against BTC While the dollar loses value at a predictible rate, BTC is all over the place, which is bad. One important use money is to write loan contracts. Loans are great. They let people spend now against their future potential earnings, so they can buy houses or start businesses without first saving up for a decade. Loans are good for the economy. If you want to sign something that says "I owe you this much for that much time" then you need to be able to roughly predict the value of the debt in at the point in time where it's due. Otherwise you'll have a hard time pricing the risk of the loan effectively. This means that you need to charge higher interests. The risk of making a loan in BTC needs to be priced into the interest of a BTC-denominated loan, which means much higher interest rates. High interests on loans are bad, because buying houses and starting businesses are good things.
BTC has a fixed supply, so these problems are built in
Some people think that going back to a standard where our money was denominated by a stock of gold (the Gold Standard) would solve economic problems. This is nonsense. Having control over supply of your currency is a good thing, as long as it's well run. See here Remember that what is desirable is low variance in the value, not the value itself. When there are wild fluctuations in value, it's hard for money to do its job well. Since the 1970s, the USD has been a fiat money with no intrinsic value. This means we control the supply of money. Let's look at a classic poorly drawn econ101 graph The market price for USD is where supply meets demand. The problem with a currency based on an item whose supply is fixed is that the price will necessarily fluctuate in response to changes in demand. Imagine, if you will, that a pandemic strikes and that the demand for currency takes a sharp drop. The US imports less, people don't buy anything anymore, etc. If you can't print money, you get deflation, which is worsens everything. On the other hand, if you can make the money printers go brrrr you can stabilize the price Having your currency be based on a fixed supply isn't just bad because in/deflation is hard to control. It's also a national security risk... The story of the guy who crashed gold prices in North Africa In the 1200s, Mansa Munsa, the emperor of the Mali, was rich and a devout Muslim and wanted everyone to know it. So he embarked on a pilgrimage to make it rain all the way to Mecca. He in fact made it rain so hard he increased the overall supply of gold and unintentionally crashed gold prices in Cairo by 20%, wreaking an economic havoc in North Africa that lasted a decade. This story is fun, the larger point that having your inflation be at the mercy of foreign nations is an undesirable attribute in any currency. The US likes to call some countries currency manipulators, but this problem would be serious under a gold standard.
Currencies are based on trust
Since the USD is based on nothing except the US government's word, how can we trust USD not to be mismanaged? The answer is that you can probably trust the fed until political stooges get put in place. Currently, the US's central bank managing the USD, the Federal Reserve (the Fed for friends & family), has administrative authority. The fed can say "no" to dumb requests from the president. People who have no idea what the fed does like to chant "audit the fed", but the fed is already one of the best audited US federal entities. The transcripts of all their meetings are out in the open. As is their balance sheet, what they plan to do and why. If the US should audit anything it's the Department of Defense which operates without any accounting at all. It's easy to see when a central bank will go rogue: it's when political yes-men are elected to the board. For example, before printing themselves into hyperinflation, the Venezuelan president appointed a sociologist who publicly stated “Inflation does not exist in real life” and instead is a made up capitalist lie. Note what happened mere months after his gaining control over the Venezuelan currency This is a key policy. One paper I really like, Sargent (1984) "The end of 4 big inflations" states:
The essential measures that ended hyperinflation in each of Germany,Austria, Hungary, and Poland were, first, the creation of an independentcentral bank that was legally committed to refuse the government'sdemand or additional unsecured credit and, second, a simultaneousalteration in the fiscal policy regime.
In english: *hyperinflation stops when the central bank can say "no" to the government." The US Fed, like other well good central banks, is run by a bunch of nerds. When it prints money, even as aggressively as it has it does so for good reasons. You can see why they started printing on March 15th as the COVID lockdowns started:
The Federal Reserve is prepared to use its full range of tools to support the flow of credit to households and businesses and thereby promote its maximum employment and price stability goals.
In english: We're going to keep printing and lowering rates until jobs are back and inflation is under control. If we print until the sun is blotted out, we'll print in the shade.
BTC is not gold
Gold is a good asset for doomsday-preppers. If society crashes, gold will still have value. How do we know that? Gold has held value throughout multiple historic catastrophes over thousands of years. It had value before and after the Bronze Age Collapse, the Fall of the Western Roman Empire and Gengis Khan being Gengis Khan. Even if you erased humanity and started over, the new humans would still find gold to be economically valuable. When Europeans d̶i̶s̶c̶o̶v̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ c̶o̶n̶q̶u̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ g̶e̶n̶o̶c̶i̶d̶e̶d̶ went to America, they found gold to be an important item over there too. This is about equivalent to finding humans on Alpha-Centauri and learning that they think gold is a good store of value as well. Some people are puzzled at this: we don't even use gold for much! But it has great properties: First, gold is hard to fake and impossible to manufacture. This makes it good to ascertain payment. Second, gold doesnt react to oxygen, so it doesn't rust or tarnish. So it keeps value over time unlike most other materials. Last, gold is pretty. This might sound frivolous, and you may not like it, but jewelry has actual value to humans. It's no coincidence if you look at a list of the wealthiest families, a large number of them trade in luxury goods. To paraphrase Veblen humans have a profound desire to signal social status, for the same reason peacocks have unwieldy tails. Gold is a great way to achieve that. On the other hand, BTC lacks all these attributes. Its value is largely based on common perception of value. There are a few fundamental drivers of demand:
Means of Exchange: if people seriously start using BTC to buy pizzas, then this creates a real demand for the currency to accomplish the short-term exchanges. As we saw previously, I'm not personally sold on this one and it's currently a negligible fraction of overall demand.
Criminal uses: Probably the largest inbuilt advantage of BTC is that it's anonymous, and so a great way to launder money. Hacker gangs use BTC to demand ransom on cryptolocker type attacks because it's a shared way for an honest company to pay and for the criminals to receive money without going to jail.
Apart from these, it's hard to argue that BTC will retain value throughout some sort of economic catastrophe.
BTC is really risky
One last statement from Michael Saylor I take offense to is this:
“We feel pretty confident that Bitcoin is less risky than holding cash, less risky than holding gold,” MicroStrategy CEO said in an interview
"BTC is less risky than holding cash or gold long term" is nonsense. We saw before that BTC is more volatile on face value, and that as long as the Fed isn't run by spider monkeys stacked in a trench coat, the inflation is likely to be within reasonable bounds. But on top of this, BTC has Abrupt downside risks that normal currencies don't. Let's imagine a few:
A critical software vulnerability is found in the BTC codebase, leading to a possible exploitation.
Xi Jinping decides he's had enough of rich people in China hiding their assets from him and bans BTC.
Some form of bank run takes hold for whatever reason. Because BTC wallets are uninsured, unlike regular banks, this compounds into a Black Tuesday style crash.
Blockchain solutions are fundamentally inefficient
Blockchain was a genius idea. I still marvel at the initial white paper which is a great mix of economics and computer science. That said, blockchain solutions make large tradeoffs in design because they assume almost no trust between parties. This leads to intentionally wasteful designs on a massive scale. The main problem is that all transactions have to be validated by expensive computational operations and double checked by multiple parties. This means waste:
BTC was estimated to use as much electricity as Belgium in 2019. It's hard to trace where the BTC mining comes from, but we can assume it has a huge carbon footprint.
A single transactions is necessarily expensive. A single transaction takes as much electricity as 800,000 VISA transactions, or watching 50,000 hours of youtube videos.
There is a large necessary tax on the transaction, since those checking the transaction extract a few BTC from it to be incentivized to do the work of checking it.
Many design problems can be mitigated by various improvements over BTC, but it remains that a simple database always works better than a blockchain if you can trust the parties to the transaction.
A lot of early Bitcoiners knew this and spoke clearly about it, but somehow as waves of new people came in 2013 where 99% of their experience with money was 'payments' and a lot of scammers and sociopaths started pushing for a massive rates of new adoption beyond what was reasonably possible and a lot of people lost the plot. Short of violent conquest, becoming a world reserve currency fundamentally takes time. Fortunately, most of that attention went to sketchy altcoins that have now lost 90% of their value because their ideas were flawed and the people leading those flawed efforts uh.. had issues: The free market at work I guess.
Meanwhile, a simple check of the history for the scalability FAQ on the core controlled en.bitcoin.it quickly shows this to be the outright lie it is. https://archive.is/gfvBq Also note the continuous presentation of a false dichotomy between store of value and medium of exchange, as payment network vs digital gold whilst completely ignoring the fact that not only are they not a contradiction, they actually rely on each other. nullc your nonsense will not be allowed to fly without comment, and you will not be able to cover up the historical facts of the matter no matter how many times you repeat yourself in censored forums. The internet never forgets, and it's a simple fact of recorded history that you sabotaged the project. EDIT; The fool has seen fit to respond in the original forum and also PM'd me with insults and an insistence that this was a vicious attempt to attack him absent his ability to defend himself because he is now banned on this forum. The truth does not fear investigation and so, the response in question is; https://np.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/j7gw09/btc_vs_bch/g8tqgoj/ This response is not new at all, and is just as much a lie as the original comment, and I have directly refuted it before as well; https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/htss6k/banned_for_lying_on_rbitcoin_when_a_mod_was/fyntoze/ nullc, I repeat my original accusation; you're a lying saboteur and you have no integrity whatsoever. What you did was not an innocent mistake, you are a malevolent actor and the worst thing to have ever happened to bitcoin, period. As for your insinuation that your out of context false quotes were almost certainly from before I ever heard of bitcoin, exactly how much are you prepared to wager that I can't present a key from 2011 to prove that this too, like everything else you say is nothing but complete fucking nonsense?
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
There is a constant war being fought between goldbugs, like Peter Schiff, and Bitcoin enthusiasts so I decided to make an outline, with links, comparing and contrasting gold and Bitcoin. I made this in November of 2019 (thus the information therein is based on figures from that time) but, being scatter brained, neglected to post this for the Bitcoin community to see. The yardsticks I used to compare the two assets included the following: shipping/transactions costs, storage costs, censorship factor, settlement time, stock to flow, blockchain vs clearing house, validation, etc. I will also touch on Roosevelt's gold confiscation executive order in 1933, transporting gold during the Spanish Civil War in 1936, and the hypothetical cost for Venezuela to repatriate its gold more recently. I will provide a brief summary first then follow that with the outline I made. This information can be used as a tool for the Bitcoin community to combat some of the silly rhetoric coming from goldbugs such as Peter Schiff and James Rickards. I would like to make it clear, however, that I am not against gold and think that it performed its role as money very well in a technologically inferior era, namely Victorian times but I think Bitcoin performs the functions of money better than gold does in the current environment. I have been looking to make a contribution to the Bitcoin community and I hope this is a useful and educational tool for everyone who reads this. Summary: Shipping/transaction costs: 100 ounces of gold could be shipped for 315 dollars; the comparable dollar value in Bitcoin could be sent for 35 dollars using a non-segwit address. Using historical precendent, it would cost an estimated $32,997,989 to transport $1 billion in gold using the 3.3% fee that the Soviets charged the Spaniards in 1936; a $1 billion Bitcoin transaction moved for $690 last year by comparison. Please note that the only historic example we can provide for moving enormous sums of gold was when the government of Spain transported gold to Moscow during the Spanish Civil War in 1936. More information on this topic will be found in the notes section. Storage costs: 100 ounces of gold would require $451 per year to custody while the equivalent value of Bitcoin in dollar terms could be stored for the cost of a Ledger Nano S, $59.99. $1 billion USD value of gold would cost $2,900,000 per year while an Armory set up that is more secure would run you the cost of a laptop, $200-300. Censorship factor: Gold must pass through a 3rd party whenever it is shipped, whether for a transaction or for personal transportation. Gold will typically have to be declared and a customs duty may be imposed when crossing international borders. The key take-away is gatekeepers (customs) can halt movement of gold thus making transactions difficult. $46,000 of gold was seized in India despite the smugglers hiding it in their rectums. Settlement time: Shipping gold based on 100 ounces takes anywhere from 3-10 days while Bitcoin transactions clear in roughly 10 minutes depending on network congestion and fee size. Historic confiscation: Franklin Roosevelt confiscated and debased the paper value of gold in 1933 with Executive Order 6102. Since gold is physical in nature and value dense, it is often stored in custodial vaults like banks and so forth which act as a honeypot for rapacious governments. Stock to flow: Plan B's stock to flow model has become a favorite on twitter. Stock to flow measures the relationship between the total stock of an asset against the amount that is produced in a given year. Currently gold still has the highest value at 62 while Bitcoin sits at 50 in 2nd place. Bitcoin will overtake gold in 2024 after the next halving. Blockchain vs clearing house: gold payments historically passed through a 3rd party (clearinghouse) in order to be validated while Bitcoin transactions can be self validated through the use of a node. Key Takeaway from above- Bitcoin is vastly superior to gold in terms of cost, speed, and censorship resistance. One could theoretically carry around an enormous sum of Bitcoin on a cold card while the equivalent dollar value of gold would require a wheelbarrow...and create an enormous target on the back of the transporter. With the exception of the stock to flow ratio (which will flip in Bitcoin's favor soon), Bitcoin is superior to gold by all metrics covered. Notes: Shipping/transaction costs Gold 100 oz = 155,500. 45 x 7 = $315 to ship 100 oz gold. https://seekingalpha.com/instablog/839735-katchum/2547831-how-much-does-it-cost-to-ship-silver-and-gold https://www.coininvest.com/en/shipping-prices/ 211 tonnes Venezuela; 3.3% of $10.5 billion = 346,478,880 or 32,997,989/billion usd http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/08/23/how-to-get-12-billion-of-gold-to-venezuela/ (counter party risk; maduro; quotes from article) Bitcoin 18 bitcoin equivalent value; 35 USD with legacy address https://blockexplorer.com/ https://bitcoinfees.info/ 1 billion; $690 dollars https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/09/someone-moved-1-billion-in-a-single-bitcoin-transaction/ Storage costs Gold .29% annually; https://sdbullion.com/gold-silver-storage 100 oz – $451/year $1 billion USD value – $2,900,000/year Bitcoin Ledger Nano S - $59.00 (for less bitcoin) https://shop.ledger.com/products/ledger-nano-s/transparent?flow_country=USA&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI3ILV5O-Z5wIVTtbACh1zTAwqEAQYASABEgJ5SPD_BwE Armory - $200-300 cost of laptop for setup https://www.bitcoinarmory.com/ Censorship factor (must pass through 3rd party) Varies by country Gold will typically have to be declared and a customs duty may be imposed Key take-away is gatekeepers (customs) can halt movement of gold thus making transactions difficult $46,000 seized in India https://www.foxnews.com/travel/indian-airport-stops-29-passengers-smuggling-gold-in-their-rectums Settlement time Gold For 100 oz transaction by USPS 3-10 days (must pass through 3rd party) Bitcoin Roughly 10 minutes to be included in next block Historic confiscation-roosevelt 1933 Executive Order 6102 (forced spending, fed could ban cash, go through and get quotes) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_6102 “The stated reason for the order was that hard times had caused "hoarding" of gold, stalling economic growth and making the depression worse” Stock to flow; https://medium.com/@100trillionUSD/modeling-bitcoins-value-with-scarcity-91fa0fc03e25 (explain what it is and use charts in article) Gold; SF of 62 Bitcoin; SF of 25 but will double to 50 after May (and to 100 in four years) Blockchain vs clearing house Transactions can be validated by running a full node vs. third party settlement Validation Gold; https://www.goldismoney2.com/threads/cost-to-assay.6732/ (Read some responses) Bitcoin Cost of electricity to run a full node Breaking down Venezuela conundrum; http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/08/23/how-to-get-12-billion-of-gold-to-venezuela/ “The last (and only) known case of this kind of quantity of gold being transported across state lines took place almost exactly 75 years ago, in 1936, when the government of Spain removed 560 tons of gold from Madrid to Moscow as the armies of Francisco Franco approached. Most of the gold was exchanged for Russian weaponry, with the Soviet Union keeping 2.1% of the funds in the form of commissions and brokerage, and an additional 1.2% in the form of transport, deposit, melting, and refining expenses.” “Venezuela would need to transport the gold in several trips, traders said, since the high value of gold means it would be impossible to insure a single aircraft carrying 211 tonnes. It could take about 40 shipments to move the gold back to Caracas, traders estimated. “It’s going to be quite a task. Logistically, I’m not sure if the central bank realises the magnitude of the task ahead of them,” said one senior gold banker.” “So maybe Chávez intends to take matters into his own hands, and just sail the booty back to Venezuela on one of his own naval ships. Again, the theft risk is obvious — seamen can be greedy too — and this time there would be no insurance. Chávez is pretty crazy, but I don’t think he’d risk $12 billion that way.” “Which leaves one final alternative. Gold is fungible, and people are actually willing to pay a premium to buy gold which is sitting in the Bank of England’s ultra-secure vaults. So why bother transporting that gold at all? Venezuela could enter into an intercontinental repo transaction, where it sells its gold in the Bank of England to some counterparty, and then promises to buy it all back at a modest discount, on condition that it’s physically delivered to the Venezuelan central bank in Caracas. It would then be up to the counterparty to work out how to get 211 tons of gold to Caracas by a certain date. That gold could be sourced anywhere in the world, and transported in any conceivable manner — being much less predictable and transparent, those shipments would also be much harder to hijack. How much of a discount would a counterparty require to enter into this kind of transaction? Much more than 3.3%, is my guess. And again, it’s not entirely clear who would even be willing to entertain the idea. Glencore, perhaps?” “But here’s one last idea: why doesn’t Chávez crowdsource the problem? He could simply open a gold window at the Banco Central de Venezuela, where anybody at all could deliver standard gold bars. In return, the central bank would transfer to that person an equal number of gold bars in the custody of the Bank of England, plus a modest bounty of say 2% — that’s over $15,000 per 400-ounce bar, at current rates. It would take a little while, but eventually the gold would start trickling in: if you’re willing to pay a constant premium of 2% over the market price for a good, you can be sure that the good in question will ultimately find its way to your door. And the 2% cost of acquiring all that gold would surely be much lower than the cost of insuring and shipping it from England. It would be an elegant market-based solution to an artificial and ideologically-driven problem; I daresay Chávez might even chuckle at the irony of it. He’d just need to watch out for a rise in Andean banditry, as thieves tried to steal the bars on their disparate journeys into Venezuela.”
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.
Meet Brock Pierce, the Presidential Candidate With Ties to Pedophiles Who Wants to End Human Trafficking
thedailybeast.com | Sep. 20, 2020. The “Mighty Ducks” actor is running for president. He clears the air (sort of) to Tarpley Hitt about his ties to Jeffrey Epstein and more. In the trailer for First Kid, the forgettable 1996 comedy about a Secret Service agent assigned to protect the president’s son, the title character, played by a teenage Brock Pierce, describes himself as “definitely the most powerful kid in the universe.” Now, the former child star is running to be the most powerful man in the world, as an Independent candidate for President of the United States. Before First Kid, the Minnesota-born actor secured roles in a series of PG-rated comedies, playing a young Emilio Estevez in The Mighty Ducks, before graduating to smaller parts in movies like Problem Child 3: Junior in Love. When his screen time shrunk, Pierce retired from acting for a real executive role: co-founding the video production start-up Digital Entertainment Network (DEN) alongside businessman Marc Collins-Rector. At age 17, Pierce served as its vice president, taking in a base salary of $250,000. DEN became “the poster child for dot-com excesses,” raising more than $60 million in seed investments and plotting a $75 million IPO. But it turned into a shorthand for something else when, in October of 1999, the three co-founders suddenly resigned. That month, a New Jersey man filed a lawsuit alleging Collins-Rector had molested him for three years beginning when he was 13 years old. The following summer, three teens filed a sexual-abuse lawsuit against Pierce, Collins-Rector, and their third co-founder, Chad Shackley. The plaintiffs later dropped their case against Pierce (he made a payment of $21,600 to one of their lawyers) and Shackley. But after a federal grand jury indicted Collins-Rector on criminal charges in 2000, the DEN founders left the country. When Interpol arrested them in 2002, they said they had confiscated “guns, machetes, and child pornography” from the trio’s beach villa in Spain. While abroad, Pierce had pivoted to a new venture: Internet Gaming Entertainment, which sold virtual accessories in multiplayer online role-playing games to those desperate to pay, as one Wired reporter put it, “as much as $1,800 for an eight-piece suit of Skyshatter chain mail” rather than earn it in the games themselves. In 2005, a 25-year-old Pierce hired then-Goldman Sachs banker Steve Bannon—just before he would co-found Breitbart News. Two years later, after a World of Warcraft player sued the company for “diminishing” the fun of the game, Steve Bannon replaced Pierce as CEO. Collins-Rector eventually pleaded guilty to eight charges of child enticement and registered as a sex offender. In the years that followed, Pierce waded into the gonzo economy of cryptocurrencies, where he overlapped more than once with Jeffrey Epstein, and counseled him on crypto. In that world, he founded Tether, a cryptocurrency that bills itself as a “stablecoin,” because its value is allegedly tied to the U.S. dollar, and the blockchain software company Block.one. Like his earlier businesses, Pierce’s crypto projects see-sawed between massive investments and curious deals. When Block.one announced a smart contract software called EOS.IO, the company raised $4 billion almost overnight, setting an all-time record before the product even launched. The Securities and Exchange Commission later fined the company $24 million for violating federal securities law. After John Oliver mocked the ordeal, calling Pierce a “sleepy, creepy cowboy,” Block.one fired him. Tether, meanwhile, is currently under investigation by the New York Attorney General for possible fraud. On July 4, Pierce announced his candidacy for president. His campaign surrogates include a former Cambridge Analytica director and the singer Akon, who recently doubled down on developing an anonymously funded, $6 billion “Wakanda-like” metropolis in Senegal called Akon City. Pierce claims to be bipartisan, and from the 11 paragraphs on the “Policy” section of his website it can be hard to determine where he falls on the political spectrum. He supports legalizing marijuana and abolishing private prisons, but avoids the phrase “climate change.” He wants to end “human trafficking.” His proposal to end police brutality: body cams. His political contributions tell a more one-sided story. Pierce’s sole Democratic contribution went to the short-lived congressional run of crypto candidate Brian Forde. The rest went to Republican campaigns like Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, John McCain, and the National Right to Life Political Action Committee. Last year alone, Pierce gave over $44,000 to the Republican National Committee and more than $55,000 to Trump’s re-election fund. Pierce spoke to The Daily Beast from his tour bus and again over email. Those conversations have been combined and edited for clarity. You’re announcing your presidential candidacy somewhat late, and historically, third-party candidates haven’t had the best luck with the executive office. If you don’t have a strong path to the White House, what do you want out of the race? I announced on July 4, which I think is quite an auspicious date for an Independent candidate, hoping to bring independence to this country. There’s a lot of things that I can do. One is: I’m 39 years old. I turn 40 in November. So I’ve got time on my side. Whatever happens in this election cycle, I’m laying the groundwork for the future. The overall mission is to create a third major party—not another third party—a third major party in this country. I think that is what America needs most. George Washington in his closing address warned us about the threat of political parties. John Adams and the other founding fathers—their fear for our future was two political parties becoming dominant. And look at where we are. We were warned. I believe, having studied systems, any time you have a system of two, what happens is those two things come together, like magnets. They come into collision, or they become polarized and become completely divided. I think we need to rise above partisan politics and find a path forward together. As Albert Einstein is quoted—I’m not sure the line came from him, but he’s quoted in many places—he said that the definition of insanity is making the same mistake or doing the same thing over and over and over again, expecting a different result. [Ed. note: Einstein never said this.] It feels like that’s what our election cycle is like. Half the country feels like they won, half the country feels like they lost, at least if they voted or participated. Obviously, there’s another late-comer to the presidential race, and that’s Kanye West. He’s received a lot of flak for his candidacy, as he’s openly admitted to trying to siphon votes away from Joe Biden to ensure a Trump victory. Is that something you’re hoping to avoid or is that what you’re going for as well? Oh no. This is a very serious campaign. Our campaign is very serious. You’ll notice I don’t say anything negative about either of the two major political candidates, because I think that’s one of the problems with our political system, instead of people getting on stage, talking about their visionary ideas, inspiring people, informing and educating, talking about problems, mentioning problems, talking about solutions, constructive criticism. That’s why I refuse to run a negative campaign. I am definitely not a spoiler. I’m into data, right? I’m a technologist. I’ve got digital DNA. So does most of our campaign team. We’ve got our finger on the pulse. Most of my major Democratic contacts are really happy to see that we’re running in a red state like Wyoming. Kanye West’s home state is Wyoming. He’s not on the ballot in Wyoming I could say, in part, because he didn’t have Akon on his team. But I could also say that he probably didn’t want to be on the ballot in Wyoming because it’s a red state. He doesn’t want to take additional points in a state where he’s only running against Trump. But we’re on the ballot in Wyoming, and since we’re on the ballot in Wyoming I think it’s safe—more than safe, I think it’s evident—that we are not here to run as a spoiler for the benefit of Donald Trump. In running for president, you’ve opened yourself up to be scrutinized from every angle going back to the beginning of your career. I wanted to ask you about your time at the Digital Entertainment Network. Can you tell me a little bit about how you started there? You became a vice president as a teenager. What were your qualifications and what was your job exactly? Well, I was the co-founder. A lot of it was my idea. I had an idea that people would use the internet to watch videos, and we create content for the internet. The idea was basically YouTube and Hulu and Netflix. Anyone that was around in the ‘90s and has been around digital media since then, they all credit us as the creators of basically those ideas. I was just getting a message from the creator of The Vandals, the punk rock band, right before you called. He’s like, “Brock, looks like we’re going to get the Guinness Book of World Records for having created the first streaming television show.” We did a lot of that stuff. We had 30 television shows. We had the top most prestigious institutions in the world as investors. The biggest names. High-net-worth investors like Terry Semel, who’s chairman and CEO of Warner Brothers, and became the CEO of Yahoo. I did all sorts of things. I helped sell $150,000 worth of advertising contracts to the CEOs of Pepsi and everything else. I was the face of the company, meeting all the major banks and everything else, selling the vision of what the future was. You moved in with Marc Collins-Rector and Chad Shackley at a mansion in Encino. Was that the headquarters of the business? All start-ups, they normally start out in your home. Because it’s just you. The company was first started out of Marc’s house, and it was probably there for the first two or three months, before the company got an office. That’s, like, how it is for all start-ups. were later a co-defendant in the L.A. County case filed against Marc Collins-Rector for plying minors with alcohol and drugs, in order to facilitate sexual abuse. You were dropped from the case, but you settled with one of the men for $21,600. Can you explain that? Okay, well, first of all, that’s not accurate. Two of the plaintiffs in that case asked me if I would be a plaintiff. Because I refused to be a part of the lawsuit, they chose to include me to discredit me, to make their case stronger. They also went and offered 50 percent of what they got to the house management—they went around and offered money to anyone to participate in this. They needed people to corroborate their story. Eventually, because I refused to participate in the lawsuit, they named me. Subsequently, all three of the plaintiffs apologized to me, in front of audiences, in front of many people, saying Brock never did anything. They dismissed their cases. Remember, this is a civil thing. I’ve never been charged with a crime in my life. And the last plaintiff to have his case dismissed, he contacted his lawyer and said, “Dismiss this case against Brock. Brock never did anything. I just apologized. Dismiss his case.” And the lawyer said, “No. I won’t dismiss this case, I have all these out-of-pocket expenses, I refuse to file the paperwork unless you give me my out-of-pocket expenses.” And so the lawyer, I guess, had $21,000 in bills. So I paid his lawyer $21,000—not him, it was not a settlement. That was a payment to his lawyer for his out-of-pocket expenses. Out-of-pocket expenses so that he would file the paperwork to dismiss the case. You’ve said the cases were unfounded, and the plaintiffs eventually apologized. But your boss, Marc Collins-Rector later pleaded guilty to eight charges of child enticement and registered as a sex offender. Were you aware of his behavior? How do you square the fact that later allegations proved to be true, but these ones were not? Well, remember: I was 16 and 17 years old at the time? So, no. I don’t think Marc is the man they made him out to be. But Marc is not a person I would associate with today, and someone I haven’t associated with in a very long time. I was 16 and 17. I chose the wrong business partner. You live and you learn. You’ve pointed out that you were underage when most of these allegations were said to take place. Did you ever feel like you were coerced or in over your head while working at DEN? I mean, I was working 18 hours a day, doing things I’d never done before. It was business school. But I definitely learned a lot in building that company. We raised $88 million. We filed our [form] S-1 to go public. We were the hottest start-up in Los Angeles. In 2000, you left the country with Marc Collins-Rector. Why did you leave? How did you spend those two years abroad? I moved to Spain in 1999 for personal reasons. I spent those two years in Europe working on developing my businesses. Interpol found you in 2002. The house where you were staying reportedly contained guns, machetes, and child pornography. Whose guns and child porn were those? Were you aware they were in the house, and how did those get there? My lawyers have addressed this in 32 pages of documentation showing a complete absence of wrongdoing. Please refer to my webpage for more information. [Ed. Note: The webpage does not mention guns, machetes, or child pornography. It does state:“It is true that when the local police arrested Collins-Rector in Spain in 2002 on an international warrant, Mr. Pierce was also taken into custody, but so was everyone at Collins-Rector’s house in Spain; and it is equally clear that Brock was promptly released, and no charges of any kind were ever filed against Brock concerning this matter.”] What do you make of the allegations against Bryan Singer?[Ed. Note: Bryan Singer, a close friend of Collins-Rector, invested at least $50,000 in DEN. In an Atlantic article outlining Singer’s history of alleged sexual assault and statutory rape, one source claimed that at age 15, Collins-Rector abused him and introduced him to Singer, who then assaulted him in the DEN headquarters.] I am aware of them and I support of all victims of sexual assault. I will let America’s justice system decide on Singer’s outcome.
In 2011, you spoke at the Mindshift conference supported by Jeffrey Epstein. At that point, he had already been convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor. Why did you agree to speak? I had never heard of Jeffrey Epstein. His name was not on the website. I was asked to speak at a conference alongside Nobel Prize winners. It was not a cryptocurrency conference, it was filled with Nobel Prize winners. I was asked to speak alongside Nobel Prize winners on the future of money. I speak at conferences historically, two to three times a week. I was like, “Nobel Prize winners? Sounds great. I’ll happily talk about the future of money with them.” I had no idea who Jeffrey Epstein was. His name was not listed anywhere on the website. Had I known what I know now? I clearly would have never spoken there. But I spoke at a conference that he cosponsored. What’s your connection to the Clinton Global Initiative? Did you hear about it through Jeffrey Epstein? I joined the Clinton Global Initiative as a philanthropist in 2006 and was a member for one year. My involvement with the Initiative had no connection to Jeffrey Epstein whatsoever.
You’ve launched your campaign in Minnesota, where George Floyd was killed by a police officer. How do you feel about the civil uprising against police brutality? I’m from Minnesota. Born and raised. We just had a press conference there, announcing that we’re on the ballot. Former U.S. Senator Dean Barkley was there. So that tells you, when former U.S. Senators are endorsing the candidate, right? [Ed. note: Barkley was never elected to the United States Senate. In November of 2002, he was appointed by then Minnesota Governor Jesse Venture to fill the seat after Sen. Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash. Barkley’s term ended on Jan. 3, 2003—two months later.] Yes, George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis. My vice-presidential running mate Karla Ballard and I, on our last trip to Minnesota together, went to visit the George Floyd Memorial. I believe in law and order. I believe that law and order is foundational to any functioning society. But there is no doubt in my mind that we need reform. These types of events—this is not an isolated incident. This has happened many times before. It’s time for change. We have a lot of detail around policy on this issue that we will be publishing next week. Not just high-level what we think, not just a summary, but detailed policy. You said that you support “law and order.” What does that mean? “Law and order” means creating a fair and just legal system where our number one priority is protecting the inalienable rights of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” for all people. This means reforming how our police intervene in emergency situations, abolishing private prisons that incentivize mass incarceration, and creating new educational and economic opportunities for our most vulnerable communities. I am dedicated to preventing crime by eliminating the socioeconomic conditions that encourage it. I support accountability and transparency in government and law enforcement. Some of the key policies I support are requiring body-cams on all law enforcement officers who engage with the public, curtailing the 1033 program that provides local law enforcement agencies with access to military equipment, and abolishing private prisons. Rather than simply defund the police, my administration will take a holistic approach to heal and unite America by ending mass incarceration, police brutality, and racial injustice. Did you attend any Black Lives Matter protests? I support all movements aimed at ending racial injustice and inequality. I have not attended any Black Lives Matter protests. My running-mate, Karla Ballard, attended the March on Washington in support of racial justice and equality. Your platform doesn’t mention the words “climate change.” Is there a reason for that? I’m not sure what you mean. Our policy platform specifically references human-caused climate change and we have a plan to restabilize the climate, address environmental degradation, and ensure environmental sustainability. [Ed. Note: As of writing the Pierce campaign’s policy platform does not specifically reference human-caused climate change.] You’ve recently brought on Akon as a campaign surrogate. How did that happen? Tell me about that. Akon and I have been friends for quite some time. I was one of the guys that taught him about Bitcoin. I helped make some videogames for him, I think in 2012. We were talking about Bitcoin, teaching him the ropes, back in 2013. And in 2014, we were both speaking at the Milken Global Conference, and I encouraged him to talk about how Bitcoin, Africa, changed the world. He became the biggest celebrity in the world, talking about Bitcoin at the time. I’m an adviser to his Akoin project, very interested in the work that he’s doing to build a city in Africa. I think we need a government that’s of, for, and by the people. Akon has huge political aspirations. He obviously was a hugely successful artist. But he also discovered artists like Lady Gaga. So not only is he, himself, a great artist, but he’s also a great identifier and builder of other artists. And he’s been a great businessman, philanthropist. He’s pushing the limits of what can be done. We’re like-minded individuals in that regard. I think he’ll be running for political office one day, because he sees what I see: that we need real change, and we need a government that is of, for, and by the people. You mentioned that you’re an adviser on Akoin. Do you have any financial investments in Akoin or Akon City? I don’t believe so. I’d have to check. I have so much stuff. But I don’t believe that I have any economic interests in his stuff. I’d have to verify that. We’ll get back to you. I don’t believe that I have any economic interests. My interest is in helping him. He’s a visionary with big ideas that wants to help things in the world. If I can be of assistance in helping him make the world a better place, I’m all for it. I’m not motivated by money. I’m not running for office because I’m motivated by power. I’m running for office because I’m deeply, deeply concerned about our collective future. You’ve said you’re running on a pro-technology platform. One week into your campaign last month, a New York appeals court approved the state Attorney General’s attempt to investigate the stablecoin Tether for potentially fraudulent activity. Do you think this will impact your ability to sell people on your tech entrepreneurship? No, I think my role in Tether is as awesome as it gets. It was my idea. I put it together. But I’ve had no involvement in the company since 2015. I gave all of my equity to the other shareholders. I’ve had zero involvement in the company for almost six years. It was just my idea. I put the initial team together. But I think Tether is one of the most important innovations in the world, certainly. The idea is, I digitized the U.S. dollar. I used technology to digitize currency—existing currency. The U.S. dollar in particular. It’s doing $10 trillion a year. Ten trillion dollars a year of transactional volume. It’s probably the most important innovation in currency since the advent of fiat money. The people that took on the business and ran the business in years to come, they’ve done things I’m not proud of. I’m not sure they’ve done anything criminal. But they certainly did things differently than I would do. But it’s like, you have kids, they turn 18, they go out into the world, and sometimes you’re proud of the things they do, and sometimes you shake your head and go, “Ugh, why did you do that?” I have zero concerns as it relates to me personally. I wish they made better decisions. What do you think the investigation will find? I have no idea. The problem that was raised is that there was a $5 million loan between two entities and whether or not they had the right to do that, did they disclose it correctly. There’s been no accusations of, like, embezzlement or anything that bad. [Ed. Note: The Attorney General’s press release on the investigation reads: “Our investigation has determined that the operators of the ‘Bitfinex’ trading platform, who also control the ‘tether’ virtual currency, have engaged in a cover-up to hide the apparent loss of $850 million dollars of co-mingled client and corporate funds.”] But there’s been some disclosure things, that is the issue. No one is making any outrageous claims that these are people that have done a bunch of bad—well, on the internet, the media has said that the people behind the business may have been manipulating the price of Bitcoin, but I don’t think that has anything to do with the New York investigation. Again, I’m so not involved, and so not at risk, that I’m not even up to speed on the details. [Ed note: A representative of the New York State Attorney General told Forbes that he “cannot confirm or deny that the investigation” includes Pierce.] We’ve recently witnessed the rise of QAnon, the conspiracy theory that Hollywood is an evil cabal of Satanic pedophiles and Trump is the person waging war on them. You mentioned human trafficking, which has become a cause for them. What are your thoughts on that? I’ve watched some of the content. I think it’s an interesting phenomenon. I’m an internet person, so Anonymous is obviously an organization that has been doing interesting stuff. It’s interesting. I don’t have a big—conspiracy theory stuff is—I guess I have a question for you: What do you think of all of it, since you’re the expert? You know, I think it’s not true, but I’m not running for president. I do wonder what this politician [Georgia congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene], who’s just won her primary, is going to do on day one, once she finds out there’s no satanic cabal room. Wait, someone was running for office and won on a QAnon platform, saying that Hollywood did—say what? You’re the expert here. She won a primary. But I want to push on if we only have a few minutes. In 2006, your gaming company IGE brought on Steve Bannon as an investor. Goldman later bought out most of your stock. Bannon eventually replaced you as CEO of Affinity. You’ve described him as your “right-hand man for, like, seven years.” How well did you know Bannon during that time? Yes, so this is in my mid-twenties. He wasn’t an investor. He worked for me. He was my banker. He worked for me for three years as my yield guide. And then he was my CEO running the company for another four years. So I haven’t worked with Steve for a decade or so. We worked in videogame stuff and banking. He was at Goldman Sachs. He was not in the political area at the time. But he was a pretty successful banker. He set up Goldman Sachs Los Angeles. So for me, I’d say he did a pretty good job. During your business relationship, Steve Bannon founded Breitbart News, which has pretty consistently published racist material. How do you feel about Breitbart? I had no involvement with Breitbart News. As for how I feel about such material, I’m not pleased by any form of hate-mongering. I strongly support the equality of all Americans. Did you have qualms about Bannon’s role in the 2016 election? Bannon’s role in the Trump campaign got me to pay closer attention to what he was doing but that’s about it. Whenever you find out that one of your former employees has taken on a role like that, you pay attention. Bannon served on the board of Cambridge Analytica. A staffer on your campaign, Brittany Kaiser, also served as a business director for them. What are your thoughts on their use of illicitly-obtained Facebook data for campaign promotional material? Yes, so this will be the last question I can answer because I’ve got to be off for this 5:00 pm. But Brittany Kaiser is a friend of mine. She was the whistleblower of Cambridge Analytica. She came to me and said, “What do I do?” And I said, “Tell the truth. The truth will set you free.” [Ed. Note: Investigations in Cambridge Analytica took place as early as Nov. 2017, when a U.K. reporter at Channel 4 News recorded their CEO boasting about using “beautiful Ukranian girls” and offers of bribes to discredit political officials. The first whistleblower was Christopher Wylie, who disclosed a cache of documents to The Guardian, published on Mar. 17, 2018. Kaiser’s confession ran five days later, after the scandal made national news. Her association with Cambridge Analytica is not mentioned anywhere on Pierce’s campaign website.] So I’m glad that people—I’m a supporter of whistleblowers, people that see injustice in the world and something not right happening, and who put themselves in harm’s way to stand up for what they believe in. So I stand up for Brittany Kaiser. Who do you think [anonymous inventor of Bitcoin] Satoshi Nakamoto is? We all are Satoshi Nakamoto. You got married at Burning Man. Have you been attending virtual Burning Man? I’m running a presidential campaign. So, while I was there in spirit, unfortunately my schedule did not permit me to attend. OP note: please refer to the original article for reference links within text (as I've not added them here!)
Quick list of the most useful data resources in crypto
Compiled by the Messari Research team: Dune Analytics - provides a number of pre-set sector and project specific dashboards on key metrics needed to assess the health of the industry. Create custom dashboards with SQL by directly querying the Ethereum blockchain. Nansen - On-chain analysis providing various sector and project specific dashboards. Specifically useful for tracking behavior of specific ERC-20 movements from exchanges, unique addresses and large holders. Token Terminal - Great for comparing traditional financial metrics like revenue generated by various protocols. Useful for generating relative valuation comparisons. DeFi Pulse - DeFi Pulse’s Total Value Locked (TVL) metric has become the de facto approximation of the size of DeFi, calculated by summing all collateral locked in a given protocol. Etherscan - Ethereum’s tried and true block explorer. Use cases include checking the status of current on-chain transactions, looking through historical transactions, viewing top holders of a certain token, and monitoring gas fees. CoinMetrics - Broad range of on-chain, price, volume, mining, and supply data points for almost all major blockchains. Glassnode - Multi-purpose data provider offering an array of charts and dashboards like “whale watching” chart that shows the number of addresses holding more than 1,000 BTC. IntotheBlock- Another on-chain/market analytics tool great for conducting due diligence. Offers unique charts that show, for example, order book market depth. Skew - The place for derivative data across bitcoin and ethereum futures and options, useful for analyzing crypto market structure during stress tests like Black Thursday. Messari - The core screener tools allow me to keep up with short and long term price movements. The reports we’ve compiled are also great for tracking leading crypto funds. The charting tool is great for tracking year-to-date performance:
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There is a tendency to accumulate BTC in the cryptomarket, according to Delphi Digital analysts. They found that this year the time horizons of digital coin holders have increased. In 2020, Bitcoin is in a more stable upward trend than last year, according to a new report by the analytical company Delphi Digital. Experts have found that this year the balances of cryptocurrency exchange wallets continued to fall, despite the rise in the price of the main digital coin. This suggests that traders and investors, selling the asset, put less pressure on its quotes, Cointelegraph. “This indicates a more stable upward trend in bitcoin compared to 2019. The data indicate that the time horizons of crypto holders have increased,” — experts believe. Over the past 6 months, the balance of crypto-exchange wallets has fallen from a historical high of 2.96 million BTC in late February to 2.59 million BTC in mid-September. Then the cryptocurrency was traded at the level of $9580, now it costs $10,430. Delphi Digital emphasized that when the rate of crypto is growing and its stocks on the stock exchanges are decreasing, it indicates a tendency to accumulate an asset.
This rate will drop sharply in 2020, when the next reward halving occurs. That Bitcoin’s price is rising despite such high inflation (and that it rose in the past when the reward was 50 BTC!) indicates extremely strong demand. Every day, buyers absorb the thousands of coins offered by miners and other sellers. A common way to gauge demand from new entrants to the market is to monitor Google ... Choose your timeframe (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually or custom), your rate source (OANDA Rates®, or 39 Central Bank exchange rates), and your price (bid, mid, or ask). Download the historic data to a CSV format for easy use with Excel or Google Sheets. Tips and Tricks. Central Bank exchange rates are available with a Pro Plan. Discover historical prices for BTC-USD stock on Yahoo Finance. View daily, weekly or monthly format back to when Bitcoin USD stock was issued. Bitcoin Price Chart. The Bitcoin price chart provides historical price values and exchange rate values for the last 6 months. Bitcoin Price: $13,124.523300 ($137.62) (-1.05 %) Loading chart data... Bitcoin Price $13,124.52 ($137.62) (-1.05 %) 24 hour change. Buy Bitcoin Sell Bitcoin ... October 7th Bitcoin exchange rate begins to escalate, after several months stuck at USD $0.06 per BTC. October 16th First Bitcoin deposit is registered: a deal between users nanotube and Diabo-3, with user theymos as . October 17th #bitcoin-otc trade channel appears on IRC freenode. October 28th First short trade transaction: 100 coins between users nanotube and kiba on #bitcoin-otc. November ...
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