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End of day summary - 09/11
The Dow rose 131.06, or 0.48%, to 27,665.64, the Nasdaq lost 66.05, or 0.60%, to 10,853.55, and the S&P 500 advanced 1.78, or 0.05%, to 3,340.97. Traders at /thewallstreet cheered as volatility returned to the stock market. The major averages finished Friday's trading in mixed fashion, as dip buyers provided support for the Dow and the continued tech selloff made the Nasdaq the laggard once again. The chances for another round of fiscal stimulus ahead of the election were hurt yesterday after Democrats stopped the passage of the "skinny" GOP package, but the U.S. economy looks poised for a strong rebound in Q3, corporate earnings continue to largely overshoot pessimistic forecasts and the Fed remains "all in," leaving investors to mull the cross-currents. Similar to the days before, today's price action was technically-oriented given the absence of market-moving news and the losses in stocks like AAPL, -1.3%, AMZN, -1.9%, and MSFT, -0.7% on no specific corporate news. Apple shares fell 7.4% this week. The difference today was that their losses were offset by relative strength in the cyclical sectors, namely industrials (+1.4%), materials (+1.3%), and financials (+0.8%). Still, when Apple and Amazon are down more than 1.0%, there must be more winners than losers to make a meaningful difference. There were more of the latter on Friday, as declining issues outpaced advancing issues at the NYSE and Nasdaq. The information technology (-0.8%), consumer discretionary (-0.3%), and communication services (-0.3%) sectors ended the day in negative territory due to their exposure to the mega-cap stocks. Interestingly, the S&P 500 was down as much as 0.9% intraday and fell below its 50-day moving average (3322). A broad rebound in the afternoon, however, helped the benchmark index turn positive and close above the key technical level. In TikTok news, President Trump said that the deadline established for China's ByteDance to sell video-sharing service TikTok's U.S. operations would not be extended, Reuters reported. "It'll either be closed up or they'll sell it," the president told reporters, adding, "There will be no extension of the TikTok deadline." MSFT in partnership with WMT and Oracle have been seen as the leading suitors to purchase TikTok's operations in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Subsequently, Reuters reported that Chinese officials are so opposed to a forced sale of TikTok's U.S. operations that they would prefer to see the app shut down in the U.S. over that conclusion. Reuters noted that China was willing, if needed, to use revisions it made to a technology exports list on Aug. 28 to delay any deal reached by ByteDance. Electric vehicle hopeful NKLA continued its fight this morning with a short-seller, which now appears to be "short-sellers." Nikola issued a statement in response to claims made about the company by activist short-seller Hindenburg Research yesterday, calling the firm's report "a hit job for short sale profit driven by greed." Nikola, which added that it has "nothing to hide and we will refute these allegations," announced that it has retained law firm Kirkland & Ellis to evaluate potential legal recourse and intends to bring the actions of the short-seller, together with evidence and documentation, to the attention of the SEC. Following the company's press release regarding the response, Andrew Left's Citron Research said via Twitter, "Congrats to Hindenburg for exposing what appears to be a total fraud with $NKLA. Citron will cover half of all legal expenses. You can't SLAPP the truth away. Explains why Milton sold at $10 this June $NKLA response warrants an SEC investigation to maintain integrity of EV mkt." After having dropped 11% on Thursday, Nikola shares fell a further 14.5%. Meanwhile, CNBC reported that AAPL has updated its App Store guidelines ahead of the release of iOS 14, with one major revision relating to game streaming services. The tech giant said in its revised guidelines that services such as Google Stadia (GOOG) and Microsoft xCloud are explicitly permitted, though under the condition that games offered in the service must be downloaded directly from the App Store, not from an all-in-one app. Among the noteworthy gainers was Shares of ORCL, which was in focus after the company reported what Barclays analyst Raimo Lenschow called a "surprisingly strong beat" and growth on licenses despite the continued macro uncertainty. NOG, which rose 1.3% after acquiring interests in the Delaware Basin and raising Q3 production guidance. Also higher was CX, which gained 8.3% in New York after Morgan Stanley analyst Nikolaj Lippmann upgraded the stock to Overweight from Equal Weight. Among the notable losers was AMRS, which dropped 25.8% after responding to a lawsuit filed by Lavvan against the company for patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation. Also lower was CHWY, which declined 9.8% after reporting some cats have tried to take over the company with whiteclaws. Despite a blowout fiscal Q4 report, PTON were 4.2% lower following last night's from the fitness products and services provider. Elsewhere stocks were higher, with the Shanghai composite up 0.79% to around 3,260.35 while the Shenzhen component rose 1.57% to about 12,942.95. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 0.78% to end its trading day at 24,503.31.
The U.S. Dollar Index (93.35, +0.01, unch) reclaimed its overnight loss, gaining 0.7% for the week.
EUUSD: +0.1% to 1.1828
GBP/USD: -0.1% to 1.2788
USD/CNH: -0.1% to 6.8345
USD/JPY: UNCH at 106.09
U.S. Treasuries ended the abbreviated week with modest gains across the curve. The cash session started with some light selling for the second day in a row, but the market recovered from the early dip with ease.
2-yr: -1 bp to 0.13% (-3 bps for the week)
3-yr: -1 bp to 0.15% (-3 bps for the week)
5-yr: -1 bp to 0.25% (-5 bps for the week)
10-yr: -2 bps to 0.67% (-5 bps for the week)
30-yr: -2 bps to 1.42% (-5 bps for the week)
Gold slipped on Friday on a lack of further stimulus from the European Central Bank and the U.S. government, but for the week the safe-haven metal was set to end higher. Crude remained on track for a second weekly drop as investors expected a global glut to persist if demand weakens further with rising COVID-19 cases in some countries.
WTI crude: +0.2% to $37.34/bbl
Gold: -0.8% to $1948.30/ozt
Copper: +1.3% to $3.04/lb
Bitcoin is struggling to gather upside traction despite repeated defense of support at $10,000. The top cryptocurrency’s sell-off from the August high of $12,476 looks to have come to a halt near $10,000 over the past seven days.
Bitcoin: $10,332.31 (24hr: +0.45%)
Ethereum: $369.66 (24hr: +1.48%)
Ripple: $0.24 (24hr: -0.10%)
FAAMG + some penny stocks +21.0% YTD
Spoos +3.4% YTD
Old man -3.1% YTD
Russy -10.3% YTD
Total CPI increased 0.4% m/m while core CPI, which excludes food and energy, also rose 0.4%. Those gains left total CPI up 1.3% yyr and core CPI up 1.7% yyr. The key takeaway from the report, which featured the largest increase in the index for used cars and trucks (+5.4%) since March 1969, is that the increase in the all items index was broad-based; nonetheless, annual inflation rates are still running well below 2.0%, so there is still more noise than bothersome policy signal in the August report.
IPO (Most Anticipated)
Week of Sep14-18
Company: AMWL Amwell (NYSE) | Leading telehealth company enabling digital delivery of care for healthcare’s key stakeholders | Initial Shares: 35.0 M | Initial Range: $14.00-16.00 | Priced On: NA | Opened: NA | Underwriters: Lead: Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Piper Jaffray, UBS, Credit Suisse, Cowen
Company: BNL Broadstone Net Lease | REIT that acquires, owns, and manages primarily single-tenant commercial real estate properties | Initial Shares: 33.5 M | Initial Range: $17.00-19.00 | Priced On: NA | Opened: NA | Underwriters: Lead: J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, BMO Capital Markets, Morgan Stanley, Capital One Securities, Truist Securities
Company: FROG JFrog (Nasdaq) | Developer of an end-to-end, hybrid, universal DevOps platform | Initial Shares: 11.6 M | Initial Range: $33.00 -37.00 | Priced On: NA | Opened: NA | Underwriters: Lead: Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, BofA Securities
Company: SNOW Snowflake (NYSE) | Developer of a data cloud platform that enables customers to consolidate data into a single source to drive business insights | Initial Shares: 28.0 M | Initial Range: $75.00-85.00 | Priced On: NA | Opened: NA | Underwriters: Lead: Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Allen & Co, Citigroup
Company: STEP StepStone Group (Nasdaq) | Global private markets investment firm | Initial Shares: 17.5 M | Initial Range: $15.00-17.00 | Priced On: NA | Opened: NA | Underwriters: Lead: JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, UBS Investment Bank
Company: SUMO Sumo Logic (Nasdaq) | Pioneer of Continuous Intelligence, a new category of software, which enables organizations to address opportunities presented by digital transformation and cloud computing | Initial Shares: 14.8 M | Initial Range: $17.00-21.00 | Priced On: NA | Opened: NA | Underwriters: Lead: Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, RBC Capital, Jefferies
Company: U Unity Software (NYSE) | Leading platform for creating and operating interactive, real-time 3D content | Initial Shares: 25.0 M | Initial Range: $34.00-42.00 | Priced On: NA | Opened: NA | Underwriters: Lead: Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, BofA, Barclays, William Blair
Week of Sep21-25
Company: PLTR Palantir Technologies (NYSE) | Software developer for defense, intelligence agencies, law enforcement, and commercial enterprises | Initial Shares: 244.2 | Initial Range: NA | Priced On: NA | Opened: NA | Underwriters: Lead: Direct Listing
The events of a SIM swap attack (and defense tips)
Posted this on Coinbase and someone recommend it also be posted here. The information below on an attempted SIM swap attack was pieced together through a combination of login and security logs, recovering emails initiated by the attacker that were deleted and then deleted again from the trash folder, and learning from AT&T’s fraud representatives. The majority if this is factual, and we do our best to note where we are speculating or providing a circumstantial suspicion. TLDRs at the bottom. The full story: We were going about our business and received a text from AT&T that says “…Calls & texts will go to your new phone/SIM card. Call 866-563-4705 if you did not request.” We did not request this, and were suspicious that the text itself could be a phishing scam since we searched the phone number and it wasn’t overtly associated with AT&T. Thus, we tried calling AT&T’s main line at 611 but all we hear is beep beep beep. The phone number is already gone. We use another phone to call AT&T and at the same time start working on our already compromised email. While we didn’t see everything real time, this is what the recovered emails show. In less than 2 minutes after receiving the text from AT&T, there is already an email indicating that the stolen phone number was used to sign into our email account associated with Coinbase. 2 minutes after that, there is an email from Coinbase saying: "We have received your request for password reset from an unverified device. As a security precaution, an e-mail with a reset link will be sent to you in 24 hours. Alternatively, if you would like your password reset to be processed immediately, please submit a request using a verified device. This 24 hour review period is designed to protect your Coinbase account." This is where Coinbase got it right to have a 24 hour review period (actually a recovery period) before allowing the password to be reset. However, the attackers knew this and planned to steal the second email from Coinbase by setting email rules to forward all emails to a burner address and also have any emails containing “coinbase” re-routed so they don’t appear in the Inbox. 5 minutes later, they request a password reset from Gemini and the password was reset to the attacker’s password within a minute after that. The next minute they target and reset DropBox’s password followed immediately with Binance. Less than 2 minutes later, an email from Binance indicates that the password has been reset and another email arrives a minute later indicating a new device has been authorized. It’s at this point that we begin locking the attacker out by (1) removing the phone number as 2FA (2) changing the email password, (3) and three forcing a logout of all sessions from the email. There was a bit of back and forth where they still had an active login and re-added the stolen phone number as 2FA. They added only one more password reset to a gaming account that was not deleted. I can only suspect that was a decoy to make it look like the attack was directed at gaming rather than finances. The Gemini and Binance accounts were empty and effectively abandoned, with no balances and inactive bank accounts (if any), and no transactions in 1-3 years. DropBox had no meaningful files (they probably look for private keys and authenticator backups) and the phone number they stole from us was suspended, so as far as the attacker is concerned, there is no meat on this bone to attack again… unless they had inside information. This is where I suspect someone internal at Coinbase receiving wire deposits has been compromised in tipping off ripe accounts – accounts with new and somewhat large balances. We had completed a full withdrawal of funds from Coinbase earlier in the year, and had a balance of less than $20 heading into May. Deposits to Coinbase staggered in to get above six figures through mid-May then stopped. The attack occurred 7 days after the last large wire deposit was made to Coinbase. From the perspective of an attacker that had no inside information, we were a dead end with abandoned Gemini and Binance accounts with zero balances and stale transactions, no DropBox information, and the suspended phone number access. Our Coinbase deposits were known to no one except us, Coinbase, and our bank. We were also able to stop the hacker’s email forwarding before Coinbase’s 24 hour period to send the password reset, so this one didn’t work out for the attackers and it would make sense for them to move on to the next rather than put efforts into a second attack only for Coinbase - for what would appear to be a zero-balance Coinbase account based on the other stale accounts. Then…23 hours and 42 minutes after the first attack, another message from AT&T “…Calls & texts will go to your new phone/SIM card. Call 866-563-4705 if you did not request.” Here we go again. We had been confident in AT&T’s assurances that our account had been locked and would not be SIM swapped again, so we unwisely added the phone number back to our email account as a backup (it’s now removed permanently and we use burner emails for account recovery like we should have all along). Upon seeing that our phone number had been stolen again I knew they were after the Coinbase reset email that was delayed by 24 hours from Coinbase as part of their security. We did 4 things within 2 minutes of that text: (1) removed the phone number again from the email account – this time for good, (2) market sell all Bitcoin on Coinbase, (3) withdraw from Coinbase, (4) have AT&T suspend service on the phone line. In speaking with AT&T, they were floored that our SIM would be transferred again in light of all the notes about fraud on the account and the PIN being changed to random digits that had never been used by us before. Based on the response of disbelief from AT&T on the second port, I suspect that this attack also involved a compromised AT&T employee that worked with the attacker to provide timely access to the Coinbase password reset email. Apparently, this has been going on for years: https://www.flashpoint-intel.com/blog/sim-swap-fraud-account-takeove with phone carrier employees swapping SIMs for $80s a swap. Remember that most of this was hidden in real time, and was only known because we were able to recover emails deleted from Trash by the attacker. Since we require any withdrawals to use Google Authenticator on Coinbase, our funds may have been secure nonetheless. However, under the circumstances with attackers that were apparently working with insiders to take our phone number twice in attempts to steal Bitcoin, and it being unknown if they had additional tools related to our Google Authenticator, we decided it was safer on the sidelines. The coins were held on the exchange for a quick exit depending on whether Bitcoin was going to break up or down from $10,000. A hardware wallet is always safest, but we were looking to time the market and not have transaction delays. For some some security recommendations: AT&T: If you are going to send a text saying that calls and texts are moving to a new number, provide a 10 minute window for the phone number to reply with a “NO” or “STOP” to prevent the move. This can escalate the SIM dispute to more trusted employees to determine who actually owns the line. Don’t let entry level employees swap SIMs. Coinbase: Do not default to phone numbers as 2FA. Also, if someone logs in successfully with the password before the 24 hours are up, the password is known and there is no need to send the password reset email again for attacker to have forwarded to them. At least have an option to stop the password reset email from being sent. We did not tag our account at Coinbase with fraud because of the stories of frozen funds once an account is tagged. I’m not sure what the solution is there, but that is another problem. Being a trader, it would be nice to think of Coinbase as any other type of security brokerage where your assets are yours (someone can’t steal your phone number and transfer your stocks to their account). We fell into that mindset of security, yet this experience has reminded us of the uniqueness of cryptocurrency and the lack of custodial assurance and insurance from exchanges because of the possession-is-everything properties of cryptocurrency. As many have said before, 2FA with a phone number quickly becomes 1-factor authentication as soon as that phone number is associated with password recovery on your email or other accounts. Our overall recommendation is to avoid having a phone number associated with any recovery options across all your accounts. TLDR on the process: Scammers will steal your phone number (in our case twice in 24 hours) and use your phone number to access your email and accounts. They will use your email to reset passwords at financial accounts and file hosting such as DropBox. They will then use that combination to transfer any assets they can access from your accounts to theirs. They will do their best to hide this from you by (1) not resetting your email password so as to raise suspicion, (2) immediately delete any password reset emails you may receive from financial accounts to hide them from you, (3) attempt to forward all emails sent to your address to a burner email, and (4) set email rules to forward emails containing “coinbase” to an email folder other than your Inbox so that you don’t see the transactions and password reset emails that arrive to your inbox. TLDR on defense tips: If your phone stops working or you receive a text of your number being ported do the following as soon as possible: (1) log into your email account(s) associated with your financial accounts and remove your phone number as 2FA immediately (2) change your email password, (3) force a logout of all sessions from your email (at this point you have locked them out), then (4) check your mail forwarding settings for forwards to burner addresses, (5) check your mail rules for rerouting of emails from accounts such as Coinbase, and (6) call your carrier to have them suspend service on your lost phone number and ask them to reinstate your SIM or get a new SIM. This will require a second phone because your personal phone number has been stolen. We hope this helps some others be safe out there in protecting their coins. The more we know, the more we can protect ourselves. Wishing you all the best!
The events of a SIM swap attack directed at Coinbase (and defense tips)
The information below on an attempted SIM swap attack was pieced together through a combination of login and security logs, recovering emails initiated by the attacker that were deleted and then deleted again from the trash folder, and learning from AT&T’s fraud representatives. The majority if this is factual, and we do our best to note where we are speculating or providing a circumstantial suspicion. TLDRs at the bottom. The full story: We were going about our business and received a text from AT&T that says “…Calls & texts will go to your new phone/SIM card. Call 866-563-4705 if you did not request.” We did not request this, and were suspicious that the text itself could be a phishing scam since we searched the phone number and it wasn’t overtly associated with AT&T. Thus, we tried calling AT&T’s main line at 611 but all we hear is beep beep beep. The phone number is already gone. We use another phone to call AT&T and at the same time start working on our already compromised email. While we didn’t see everything real time, this is what the recovered emails show. In less than 2 minutes after receiving the text from AT&T, there is already an email indicating that the stolen phone number was used to sign into our email account associated with Coinbase. 2 minutes after that, there is an email from Coinbase saying: "We have received your request for password reset from an unverified device. As a security precaution, an e-mail with a reset link will be sent to you in 24 hours. Alternatively, if you would like your password reset to be processed immediately, please submit a request using a verified device. This 24 hour review period is designed to protect your Coinbase account." This is where Coinbase got it right to have a 24 hour review period (actually a recovery period) before allowing the password to be reset. However, the attackers knew this and planned to steal the second email from Coinbase by setting email rules to forward all emails to a burner address and also have any emails containing “coinbase” re-routed so they don’t appear in the Inbox. 5 minutes later, they request a password reset from Gemini and the password was reset to the attacker’s password within a minute after that. The next minute they target and reset DropBox’s password followed immediately with Binance. Less than 2 minutes later, an email from Binance indicates that the password has been reset and another email arrives a minute later indicating a new device has been authorized. It’s at this point that we begin locking the attacker out by (1) removing the phone number as 2FA (2) changing the email password, (3) and three forcing a logout of all sessions from the email. There was a bit of back and forth where they still had an active login and re-added the stolen phone number as 2FA. They added only one more password reset to a gaming account that was not deleted. I can only suspect that was a decoy to make it look like the attack was directed at gaming rather than finances. The Gemini and Binance accounts were empty and effectively abandoned, with no balances and inactive bank accounts (if any), and no transactions in 1-3 years. DropBox had no meaningful files (they probably look for private keys and authenticator backups) and the phone number they stole from us was suspended, so as far as the attacker is concerned, there is no meat on this bone to attack again… unless they had inside information. This is where I suspect someone internal at Coinbase receiving wire deposits has been compromised in tipping off ripe accounts – accounts with new and somewhat large balances. We had completed a full withdrawal of funds from Coinbase earlier in the year, and had a balance of less than $20 heading into May. Deposits to Coinbase staggered in to get above six figures through mid-May then stopped. The attack occurred 7 days after the last large wire deposit was made to Coinbase. From the perspective of an attacker that had no inside information, we were a dead end with abandoned Gemini and Binance accounts with zero balances and stale transactions, no DropBox information, and the suspended phone number access. Our Coinbase deposits were known to no one except us, Coinbase, and our bank. We were also able to stop the hacker’s email forwarding before Coinbase’s 24 hour period to send the password reset, so this one didn’t work out for the attackers and it would make sense for them to move on to the next rather than put efforts into a second attack only for Coinbase - for what would appear to be a zero-balance Coinbase account based on the other stale accounts. Then…23 hours and 42 minutes after the first attack, another message from AT&T “…Calls & texts will go to your new phone/SIM card. Call 866-563-4705 if you did not request.” Here we go again. We had been confident in AT&T’s assurances that our account had been locked and would not be SIM swapped again, so we unwisely added the phone number back to our email account as a backup (it’s now removed permanently and we use burner emails for account recovery like we should have all along). Upon seeing that our phone number had been stolen again I knew they were after the Coinbase reset email that was delayed by 24 hours from Coinbase as part of their security. We did 4 things within 2 minutes of that text: (1) removed the phone number again from the email account – this time for good, (2) market sell all Bitcoin on Coinbase, (3) withdraw from Coinbase, (4) have AT&T suspend service on the phone line. In speaking with AT&T, they were floored that our SIM would be transferred again in light of all the notes about fraud on the account and the PIN being changed to random digits that had never been used by us before. Based on the response of disbelief from AT&T on the second port, I suspect that this attack also involved a compromised AT&T employee that worked with the attacker to provide timely access to the Coinbase password reset email. Apparently, this has been going on for years: https://www.flashpoint-intel.com/blog/sim-swap-fraud-account-takeove with phone carrier employees swapping SIMs for $80s a swap. Remember that most of this was hidden in real time, and was only known because we were able to recover emails deleted from Trash by the attacker. Since we require any withdrawals to use Google Authenticator on Coinbase, our funds may have been secure nonetheless. However, under the circumstances with attackers that were apparently working with insiders to take our phone number twice in attempts to steal Bitcoin, and it being unknown if they had additional tools related to our Google Authenticator, we decided it was safer on the sidelines. The coins were held on the exchange for a quick exit depending on whether Bitcoin was going to break up or down from $10,000. A hardware wallet is always safest, but we were looking to time the market and not have transaction delays. For some some security recommendations: AT&T: If you are going to send a text saying that calls and texts are moving to a new number, provide a 10 minute window for the phone number to reply with a “NO” or “STOP” to prevent the move. This can escalate the SIM dispute to more trusted employees to determine who actually owns the line. Don’t let entry level employees swap SIMs. Coinbase: Do not default to phone numbers as 2FA. Also, if someone logs in successfully with the password before the 24 hours are up, the password is known and there is no need to send the password reset email again for attacker to have forwarded to them. At least have an option to stop the password reset email from being sent. We did not tag our account at Coinbase with fraud because of the stories of frozen funds once an account is tagged. I’m not sure what the solution is there, but that is another problem. Being a trader, it would be nice to think of Coinbase as any other type of security brokerage where your assets are yours (someone can’t steal your phone number and transfer your stocks to their account). We fell into that mindset of security, yet this experience has reminded us of the uniqueness of cryptocurrency and the lack of custodial assurance and insurance from exchanges because of the possession-is-everything properties of cryptocurrency. As many have said before, 2FA with a phone number quickly becomes 1-factor authentication as soon as that phone number is associated with password recovery on your email or other accounts. Our overall recommendation is to avoid having a phone number associated with any recovery options across all your accounts. TLDR on the process: Scammers will steal your phone number (in our case twice in 24 hours) and use your phone number to access your email and accounts. They will use your email to reset passwords at financial accounts and file hosting such as DropBox. They will then use that combination to transfer any assets they can access from your accounts to theirs. They will do their best to hide this from you by (1) not resetting your email password so as to raise suspicion, (2) immediately delete any password reset emails you may receive from financial accounts to hide them from you, (3) attempt to forward all emails sent to your address to a burner email, and (4) set email rules to forward emails containing “coinbase” to an email folder other than your Inbox so that you don’t see the transactions and password reset emails that arrive to your inbox. TLDR on defense tips: If your phone stops working or you receive a text of your number being ported do the following as soon as possible: (1) log into your email account(s) associated with your financial accounts and remove your phone number as 2FA immediately (2) change your email password, (3) force a logout of all sessions from your email (at this point you have locked them out), then (4) check your mail forwarding settings for forwards to burner addresses, (5) check your mail rules for rerouting of emails from accounts such as Coinbase, and (6) call your carrier to have them suspend service on your lost phone number and ask them to reinstate your SIM or get a new SIM. This will require a second phone because your personal phone number has been stolen. We hope this helps some others be safe out there in protecting their coins. The more we know, the more we can protect ourselves. Wishing you all the best!
A multi-currency portfolio that makes the wealth of options its strong point. This Complete Guide to Exodus Wallet will clarify its use. Exodus, an evocative name to best identify a decentralized wallet complete in every aspect and functionality and equipped with an attractive interface that is never an end in itself. Follow our complete guide to Exodus Wallet step by step and you will learn how to use it right away. After downloading and installing the desktop version, available for Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems, start the software. On the welcome screen, the first action to be taken will be the activation of the wallet obtained by sending a small amount of crypto. Complete Guide to Exodus Wallet Then select Sends Assets to Wallet, choose the Ethereum cryptocurrency, press the Receive button and finally click on the icon with the plus sign to store the alphanumeric address of your wallet to which to send a minimum of 0.025 Ether. Guide to Exodus Wallet Let's now proceed by selecting Backup in the left menu to move to the page for creating the wallet access password first and then the passphrase that will uniquely identify it. The first is the classic password protection to prevent other people from accessing the wallet from your PC. The second will allow you instead to be able to access it from any other installation on other PCs. Write them both in a diary or notebook that must be jealously guarded. Since this is decentralized software, your wallet is not physically installed on your PC but is located on server hosting (more simply, at a subsequent installation, it will be sufficient to select Restore From Backup and enter the 12-word passphrase to be able to have full access to your wallet). Finally, you will be "tested" to verify that you have actually written everything on paper. Complete Guide to Exodus Wallet For any doubts that you will not be able to solve by means of this complete guide to Exodus Wallet or if you want more information, a well-stocked Help Desk section is available. To access it, simply select Help in the main menu on the left. You are shown the social links, the currently installed version and a very long FAQ section. We guarantee that it will certainly come in handy. A Wallet totally compatible with the main crypto that offers full support to the erc-20 standard. Just above Help is the Settings item that allows you to quickly select the crypto you want to view in your Portfolio and in your Wallet - regardless of whether or not there are funds - or to choose the traditional reference currency or change the skin of the interface. ClaimBits - Earn FREE Bitcoins Let's start now with the description of the last items on the left menu. As soon as you start Exodus you will immediately enter the Portfolio. A graphical representation will display all the cryptocurrencies in your possession while scrolling down the page you will see listed in greater detail and information all the cryptocurrencies previously selected in Settings. Complete Guide to Exodus Wallet With the entry Wallet we finally get to the heart of Exodus. By selecting it, another vertical bar will appear with the cryptocurrencies on which funds are deposited listed at the beginning and then all the others selected in Settings. At the bottom of the bar, you can quickly add more by pressing the Add More button, practically a link to the Settings section we have previously talked about. Guide to Exodus Wallet At the top right you will have noticed 3 dots positioned vertically. By clicking on them you will open a drop-down menu that will allow you, among other things, to download the private key of the wallet to your PC (we will explain its use later) and all the transactions made with the related crypto. The same ones you will notice as you scroll down the page. The Send button is used to transfer cryptocurrencies to another wallet or exchange. After selecting it, you will need to enter the destination address and the quantity to be sent. The cost of the transaction will also be calculated in real time. Complete Guide to Exodus Wallet To deposit funds of the desired crypto on Exodus, simply press the Receive button, copy the wallet address by selecting the icon with the + sign and paste it into the wallet from which you want to withdraw the funds. The other icons allow you to print the address, send it via email or view its details on blockstream.info. Guide to Exodus Wallet The icon with the opposite arrows will send you directly to the Exodus internal exchange. Let's take an exchange from Bitcoin to Ethereum for example. On this screen, you are offered 3 shortcut keys: All (move everything), Half (half of the availability), Min (minimum transferable amount). Alternatively, you can manually enter the amount of Bitcoins you intend to exchange with Ethereum. You will be shown on the left the amount you are about to transfer while on the right the total you will receive in Ethereum net of commissions. All cryptocurrency amounts will always show their equivalent in the traditional currency selected at the beginning of the guide. Once ready, press Exchange and the operation will be performed in real time. Also in this screen you will have the opportunity to see the history of all transactions by selecting Order History at the bottom right. All transfers made on the exchange always have a variable percentage commission which differs in relation to the sending cryptocurrency. It is not over here, however. Our Complete Guide to Exodus Wallet will also reveal some hidden options. Exodus offers an additional menu, which initially remains hidden, and appears by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + D. What interests us is the Developer item which allows you to perform many useful actions: choose from several variants on how to recover your wallet as well as enable notifications, start the Debug Mode and change the price source. Here too, following the path Developer → Assets → ”cryptocurrency name” → view private keys, you can see the private key of the selected crypto and immediately save it in a file on a secure medium. Guide to Exodus Wallet Thanks to this alphanumeric code you can also access your wallet from secure sites such as MyEtherwallet.com. Since Exodus is a wallet compatible with the Ethereum erc-20 standard, you can use it to transfer the tokens based on the Ethereum blockchain obtained through Airdrops, Bounties and other methods. In our Guide to Airdrops under the heading "Knowing how Etherscan.io and MyEtherwallet.com work" the whole procedure to be followed is explained in detail. Procedure necessary for all those cryptocurrencies that are not listed in the Assets under the Settings item we wrote about at the beginning of this guide. And with that, that's all. If you liked this guide and would like to contribute with a donation: Bitcoin: 1Ld9b165ZYHZcY9eUQmL9UjwzcphRE5S8Z Ethereum: 0x8D7E456A11f4D9bB9e6683A5ac52e7DB79DBbEE7 Litecoin: LamSRc1jmwgx5xwDgzZNoXYd6ENczUZViK Stellar: GBLDIRIQWRZCN5IXPIKYFQOE46OG2SI7AFVWFSLAHK52MVYDGVJ6IXGI Ripple: rUb8v4wbGWYrtXzUpj7TxCFfUWgfvym9xf DOWNLOAD: https://www.exodus.io/download/ OFFICIAL SITE: https://www.exodus.io/ By: cryptoall.it Telegram Channel: t.me/giulo75 Netbox Browser: https://netbox.global/PZn5A
Haven't you started your first transaction yet? Bityard will explain everything you need to know.
In 2020, Bitcoin ushered in the third halving. Many people predicted that the Bitcoin price would be raising again, and yes, it reached the mark of $10,000 on June 2nd, and the price once stood at 10,444 US dollars, becoming a hot spot in the currency circle. Search news, and soon fell 870 US dollars within 15 minutes to 9,720 US dollars, fluctuations attracted many people's attention. But if you happen to be attracted by trading but you still do now know how to start, just read this article carefully, follow us to understand step by step on how to get yourself into this world. https://preview.redd.it/e0qdnwypiu951.jpg?width=1529&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=7eb61b9cfe3943d8db06a882a74b8366ebef3ef9 For new investors: 📷Trading time. Unlike stock market, cryptocurrency transactions can be traded 24 hours a day.There is no limit to the buying and selling time, You can even purchase a second before, and sell a second later. Freedom transactions, all up to you. Bityard is a 24 hour trading platform, always online, in order to allow users to freely do their transactions, the platform has also 24-Hour customer service, we will be there if you need anything, be safe taking your first steps. But we also would like to reminds you that although the trading time is very free, you must also pay attention to the right time to trade, in order to get a good return. https://preview.redd.it/cbvbbdnsiu951.png?width=524&format=png&auto=webp&s=9fd6efdda32c25f7ccc81167d05ac395156a49f6 You don’t need to much money to buy Bitcoins Bitcoin's current market is around 9,000 US dollars. As you can see the cost of one single bitcoin is not low. However, the smallest unit of Bitcoin is as small as one-hundredth of a billion, and you can freely choose how many units to buy, such as 0.01 or 0.001, and the amount is determined by itself. Bityard reminds you that whether the sale can be achieved depends on the willingness of both traders. The amount of the bid is too low, and you may not find a seller willing to sell. Assuming a successful purchase, you can start accumulating your own bitcoin. Bityard is the world's leading digital currency contract trading platform.Our platform can support the recharge of fiat currencies in China, Vietnam, and Indonesian, and can directly trade pairs with digital currencies. In the future, we will continue to expand the recharge of fiat currencies in other countries. What is the right time to buy? Everyone wants to buy cheap and sell higher, this is the way to profit, but no one can guarantee where and when the price will be cheap. Therefore, in addition to buying bitcoin directly, so called spot transactions, you can also choose contract transactions. Bityard is the world's leading digital currency contract trading platform. During the trading process, if you think that the price of Bitcoin will fall, then you can sell CFDs through the Bityard trading platform to open a position. In this way, even if Bitcoin drops you still can profit. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what contract trading is. Bityard Exchange provides a simulated trading service. Before starting a formal transaction, you can continue to practice using the demo trading, and then put into actual trading after you get started. https://preview.redd.it/es034u4viu951.png?width=1906&format=png&auto=webp&s=2e9e569705cb1fe252787c49b2a0986b7f348315 How to ensure asset security? For small capital investors, the trading platform is dazzling. How to choose a safe and trustworthy exchange, there are several indicators that you can follow to pick up the best one for you.
Go for Exchanges with financial licenses:
For example, Bityard is a Singapore Blockchain Foundation whose main business entity is the United States Financial Supervisory Authority (MSB), Singapore Enterprise Authority (ACRA), Estonian Financial Supervisory Authority (MTR), and Australian transactions. The financial legal license submitted by the Report and Analysis Center (AUSTRAC). Bityard's platform is a complete, global compliance system to protect our users. In other words, Bityard’s risk prevention system has established a strong position with the consent and approval of the relevant regulatory authorities. New investors can go to the official website of the regulatory agency and enter the name of the trading platform to find relevant information about the dealer's registration with the regulatory agency. Or you can check our Bityard youtube video on "how to check exchanges financial licenses" at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HR8WYy0R8lc https://preview.redd.it/d6u4n2gxiu951.png?width=1267&format=png&auto=webp&s=0274dfb520b970accf86a1b88683b25dd0c8d073 2 . Multiple settings to ensure user safety. For your safety, Bityard has account double authentication, permanent anonymity, multiple offline signatures, deep cold storage assets and other settings to ensure the security of user account and we also takes full advance payment. For new users who are not yet familiar with risk management, under strict control of risks, investors' relative trust in the platform is relatively established. Finally, Bityard reminds new users the importance of private keys, private keys, as the name implies, is the key to open their own assets. Once lost, the bitcoin stored in the wallet will not be recovered, so be careful and take good care of yours. How can Bityard help new investors? Bityard is about to launch a new function. There are alot of experienced investors using our platform who no longer need to spend long hours of hard work watching investment. So we tought about doing a function that you basically copy their transactions, no need to pay for a bunch of tuition fees, lose money then lose all confidence in the investment. This copy function function is a simple system, you can query the investor's performance, what others buy, just follow the purchase, follow the star to buy his investment strategy, and enjoy the same profit as him, Bityard will do everything to help you on your first steps. Bityard: Complex Contract, Simple Trade Bityard is the world's leading digital currency contract trading platform, headquartered in Singapore, providing safe, simple, and fast digital asset trading services to customers in more than 150 countries. Bityard adheres to the product concept of "complex contract, simple trade", and develops to bring customers extremely simple digital currency trading experience. Want to start? Open an account immediately in 30 seconds, and get your registration gift at: (www.bityard.com)
My wife is about to ruin me in the divorce. I am planning to liquidate everything and leave the country. Bring me to reality. [United States]
I will keep it short. I am a French citizen living inside the United States on a work permit. I thought I was in love with a woman and stupidly decided to get married. I do not want to make this a relationship post, but she ended up cheating on me multiple times. I am stupid so I have little evidence of this to show a court. We had a big fight when talking about getting divorced and she said she was going to take everything from me! We got married when I was a bit poorer, so I did not get a prenuptial. But now I make six figures as a programmer in California, but I am not worried about that too much. I own a significant portfolio of cryptocurrencies, and when bitcoin price went up in 2017 I told my wife about it. I never sold it, but I told her how much the value was at the time (5 million). If you follow cryptocurrency you probably know that bitcoin is worth half of that today. But in a divorce she will claim the I owe her 2.5 million! Even though the portfolio is worth less than that! Even if I proved the actual value of the cryptocurrency she will still want half, i don't want to give anything to the woman who hurt me so bad. So for this reason I have liquidated my 401K, IRA and bank account and converted all my bitcoin and liquid assets into an untraceable coin called monero. Then i'm going back to France and leaving America forever unfortunately. I am a French citizen, and France will not extradite their own. Once everything is settled, I should have enough to generate my current income through dividend stocks and buy a house in the country or I will live with my grandmother for a little. I will leave a note for my wife just so she doesn’t think I died. My flight leaves in two days in the dead of night. All I will take is my laptop, phone, and private keys to my cryptocurrency. I think I will give my grandmother a good shock when she sees me haha. The reason I write all this is because I understand I am very emotional right now, and I figure the people on this website are not. I have already made some hard to reverse choices financially, but my main concerns are legal. I understand that my wife will begin divorce proceedings but will I still have a legal requirement to pay her anything? And if i do have to what are the consequences of never paying her as a citizen of France? I fear I may be too deep to be talked down but I will read the comments regardless. For reference me and my wife are in our late 20s my grandmother is 79. I am sorry for poor English Edit: For those curious. I have consulted French and American lawyers. I will leave as planned tomorrow. I will not leave a note, and i will pay US taxes! I'm going to live with my grandmother for the foreseeable future as I recover emotionally. I am very happy with this decision. I miss France, my family, and i started to be unhappy at my job. Thank you Reddit for the advice! Edit 2: I made it back home and the first thing I did was meet my lawyer. We went over multiple legal scenarios and everyone was in my favor. The worst scenario would result in a 10,000 euro fine, but that would be rare. I will go back to using reddit from my normal account now, if anything significant happens I might do an update. But if this is my last edit assume the best!
So these Mandalorian Tracking FOBs, do they use an Imperial Blockchain? Im not trying to inject cryptocurrency talk, but they are literally talking about private keys and such. Its so cool to include that in Starwars. I imagine the trade guilds having massive exchanges that trade stars and planets.
So I watched episode one, and then I saw the second episode on Disney Plus and I just paused it after seeing a Tracking Fob and I just had to ask, what blockchain are using, a centralized Imperial blockchain? or a decentralized bounty hunter network? ;) In the first episode's meeting between the Protagonist and the guy who gives out the "Pucks" ..... Im not trying to inject cryptocurrency talk, but he literally is talking about private keys and such. Its so cool to include that in Starwars. Reminds me of the Ferengi in Starwars, intergalactic exchanges where people sell planets, people, trop moons like Lando in Solo, where he mentions winning a moon, but in a poker game BUT im sure they use credits that have to be checked somehow.... Also people obviously had bounties which was a form of a wallet in a way, I mean a person could be identified maybe genetically with the bio scanner, and then, frozen in carbonite and a private key matched, however, im sure there will be episodes where people swap FOBs and capture the wrong people etc, hacking tracking FOBs etc. Proof of Work wont work in Star Wars universe when people have death star loads of power to generate hash power to essentially break ur encryption with probably just one Star Destroyers onboard computers lol. I imagine the time AFTER the empire however, is still full of finance and fintech galore, with trade guilds filling the void, but I havent read the Canon of what comes next, I mean I know the new Order and the whatever happens but i just cant accept that new star wars stuff it makes me sad i dunno, its like a zoomer got to the star wars we all know and loved, and tried way too hard, i dunno, maybe episode 9 will be better? Ill go see it soon. Anyway I have some plans to inject Keylontic Science UFO lore into Star Wars and connect it to earth in an interesting way, but first id like to do this with Star Trek. I think we have to ramp up all sci fi for our up coming Mars and Moon missions thanks to Space X and Nasa etc, its essential to make Sci Fi and space travel and engineering as interesting to young people as possible. ANyway sorry for rambling I just had some ideas wanted tow rite about anyway BACK to my question about what MONEY system they use in the mandalorean..... Also in that first table sit down exchange they have a talk about "Imperial credits" being just as spendable lol... seems like they need more volume. I noticed some interesting historical political stuff with the whole money exchange in the second meeting between the protagonist and the vestigial Imperial Boss (like an old Nazi left over after ww2) he gives him what is basically Nazi Gold lol, but its Mandalorian metal thats been looted, and he repays him in his own peoples looted metal, maybe the Mandalorians are like in a Diaspora, like Israelis hunting down the nazis after ww2? I wonder if the Empire had a fiat currency or had to rely on a decentralized math backed currency due to the same problems we see in Warhammer 40k where the empire of a galaxy is so vast its hard to communicate monetary policy and things just sort of collapse into medieval shit in some places while other places look like coruscant.... theres a disparity between worlds and I guess thats the whole point , we must be Planetary Chauvanists and think about our planet first unless we had some sort of portal system, only then could I see people caring enough between planets Anyway the idea of a inter planetary galactic stock market or crypto currency exchange is so interesting, Ive seen it in Star Wars Enterprise with the orisons slave market, and DS9 with the ferrengi markets visible to Quark maybe over sub space Im not sure if Starwars has Subspace tech to have faster than light internet for communication and finance? If we humans already have Bitcoin and smart contracts like eosio then I imagine Star Wars bounty hunters had some sort of BLOCKCHAIN for tracking Bounties using oh i dunno..quantum kyber crystals that have to be matched and can never be faked, like tally sticks but using the force, maybe thats how the FOB's can get activated, its like the challengedac or something, GPS smart contracts but for the whole galaxy, tracking FObs are interesting so i looked it up wondering what "FOB" stood for as i knew it couldnt just mean a keyless entry keychain thing.,... FOB stands for “free on board” or “freight on board” and is a designation that is used to indicate when liability and ownership of goods is transferred from a seller to a buyer. That blew me away... that this mandaloran show is using the lingo of the industry and I had no idea FOB stood for Freight on Board. Ok anyway guys i was just recovering from the flu and wanted to have some fun talking about star wars and Bounty Hunter Blockchain crypto currency for validation of bounties captured.... just so fun to talk about tracking FOBs and space X and if we can have real M. Falcon and tie fighter shaped space hotels on the ISS and private spaceX space hotels VERY soon in the next few years, obviously Disney will have to be involved so they can sell the rooms directly from Disney Land and have a space port AT Disney land for real....... and tesla will have star wars looking speeders and star wars themed boring tunnel "rides" that will just be normal boring tunnel tunnels from LAX to Disney land but will be fitted out with projectors, lasers, in tunnel screens and extra stuff to make the boring tunnel rude more of a disney land ride in itself :D We could have a Disney mandalorian hired actor for every train, with LED weapons and armor accessories that light up in the dark when the whole tunnel goes dark when the train appears to be hijacked by raiders or other bounty hunters, and youll have a WHOLE experience in a boring tunnel ride for DIsney Star Wars Space X Space Port ride, lol, on your way to Disney MARS or disney MOON park, because who else is going to make us feel at home on the moon but Disney? Galaxies Edge could be so incredibly REAL with a SPaceX Deal for a real space port out in the desert using same boring tunnels that would take you from DIsney to Las Vegas anyway, so halfway there youd get out to a Disney Space Port to take you to a SpaceX launched Space Hotel just like the International Space Station. Im sure Disney and SPaceX working together could raise the funds to launch a Millenium Falcon shaped Space Hotel. Anyway I know thats different from my title but now I just wanna write a proposal for SPaceX DIsney Star Wars Space Hotel, and Disney SpaceX Space Port in desert outside Galaxies Edge using Boring Tunnel to get there, use the money from the space hotel to build the Disney Moon and Mars bases.
Point95 Global Market Weekly Report BTC/USD hourly chart The Bitcoin recovered from past week’s fall and broke above the $6,000 resistance level, to reach almost $7,000 as suggested last week. It has since retraced but was able to hold above the upward trend line. The intraday volatility was relatively low compared to the stock market. The BTC price is expected to go sideways and has potential to go back up to $7,200. Wait for the price to break above the upper Keltner band at around $6,524, and enter into a long position. The support is at $5,660. Review of the week: Morgan Creek Digital co-founded Anthony Pompliano and published a paper analyzing that in the next 18-24 months, almost all asset prices will rise sharply. Specifically, non-COVID-19 epidemic-related enterprise stocks (CIS) will receive a return of 40-70% in the next two years (based on the current overall market decline of 40-50%). It is expected that the stocks that have fallen the most so far may get the greatest returns. Gold will not exceed $2,500 in the next two years, with a return of 35% to 65%. Bitcoin's outlook is similar to gold, but with some key differences. As the dollar depreciates, investors will seek inflation to hedge assets, and Bitcoin and gold will be two of the beneficiaries. But one major difference is that Bitcoin is much more volatile than gold. Although he thinks that gold has a 35-65% upside, he has relatively high confidence (more than 85%) that the price of Bitcoin will be at least three times higher than it is now. This will bring it back to an all-time high of over $ 20,000. In summary, Bitcoin will be the best performing asset in the next 24 months. As a borderless digital asset not controlled by governments or centralized companies, Bitcoin’s price should, in theory, travel its own path, independent of other currencies and markets. Crypto’s pioneer asset, however, has seen varied views suggesting correlations to traditional markets, such as stocks, “safe-haven” investments such as gold, or even arguments that bitcoin is not correlated to anything. But available data shows no firm answer so far. Tone Vays, Veteran Wall Street trader and crypto analyst, yet expects a positive reaction from Bitcoin during relatively uncertain economic times: “I believe that bitcoin does have a correlation with traditional stock markets because they are both private assets, and Bitcoin benefitted a lot from the ten year bull market because people got generally wealthier, and they were more willing to speculate on something like Bitcoin.” Disclaimer: The above market commentary is based on technical analysis using historical pricing data, and is for reference only. It does not serve as investment or trading advice. Check Bitcoin Price on Coinviva:Coinviva
It can be very time consuming to keep up to date on a single blockchain project let alone multiple ones. If you just heard about NEO a few weeks ago it would be impossible catch up on past occurrences due to high volume of Reddit posts and articles made on the project. I’m going to try and simplify the past, present and future as much as I can into one well thought-out post. I hope I can be helpful to anyone who has been investigating like myself. I will include sources with all of my research. https://imgur.com/a/NBI7S (img for mobile backround) Key notes from the White Paperhttp://docs.neo.org/en-us/ Digital Assets Digital assets are programmable assets that exist in the form of electronic data. With blockchain technology, the digitization of assets can be decentralized, trustful, traceable, highly transparent, and free of intermediaries. On the NEO blockchain, users are able to register, trade, and circulate multiple types of assets. Proving the connection between digital and physical assets is possible through digital identity. Assets registered through a validated digital identity are protected by law. Digital Identity Digital identity refers to the identity information of individuals, organizations, and other entities that exist in electronic form. The more mature digital identity system is based on the PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) X.509 standard. In NEO, we will implement a set of X.509 compatible digital identity standards. This set of digital identity standards, in addition to compatible X.509 level certificate issuance model, will also support Web Of Trust point-to-point certificate issuance model. Our verification of identity when issuing or using digital identities includes the use of facial features, fingerprint, voice, SMS and other multi-factor authentication methods. Smart Contracts The NeoContract smart contract system is the biggest feature of the seamless integration of the existing developer ecosystem. Developers do not need to learn a new programming language but use C#, Java and other mainstream programming languages in their familiar IDE environments (Visual Studio, Eclipse, etc.) for smart contract development, debugging and compilation. NEO's Universal Lightweight Virtual Machine, NeoVM, has the advantages of high certainty, high concurrency, and high scalability. The NeoContract smart contract system will allow millions of developers around the world to quickly carry out the development of smart contracts. Economic Model NEO has two native tokens, NEOand NeoGas NEO represents the right to manage the network. Management rights include voting for bookkeeping, NEO network parameter changes, and so on. The minimum unit of NEO is 1 and tokens cannot be subdivided. GAS is the fuel token for the realization of NEO network resource control. The NEO network charges for the operation and storage of tokens and smart contracts, thereby creating economic incentives for bookkeepers and preventing the abuse of resources. The minimum unit of GAS is 0.00000001. Distribution Mechanism NEO's 100 million tokens are divided into two portions. The first portion is 50 million tokens distributed proportionally to supporters of NEO during the crowdfunding. This portion has been distributed. The second portion is 50 million NEO managed by the NEO Council to support NEO's long-term development, operation and maintenance and ecosystem. The NEO in this portion has a lockout period of 1 year and is unlocked only after October 16, 2017. This portion WILL NOT enter the exchanges and is only for long-term support of NEO projects. The plans for it are as below: ▪ 10 million tokens (10% total) will be used to motivate NEO developers and members of the NEO Council ▪ 10 million tokens (10% total) will be used to motivate developers in the NEO ecosystem ▪ 15 million tokens (15% total) will be used to cross-invest in other block-chain projects, which are owned by the NEO Council and are used only for NEO projects ▪ 15 million (15% total) will be retained as contingency ▪ The annual use of NEO in principle shall NOT exceed 15 million tokens GAS distribution GAS is generated with each new block. The initial total amount of GAS is zero. With the increasing rate of new block generation, the total limit of 100 million GAS will be achieved in about 22 years. The interval between each block is about 15-20 seconds, and 2 million blocks are generated in about one year. According to this release curve, 16% of the GAS will be created in the first year, 52% of the GAS will be created in the first four years, and 80% of the GAS will be created in the first 12 years. GAS will be distributed proportionally in accordance with the NEO holding ratio, recorded in the corresponding addresses. NEO holders can initiate a claim transaction at any time and claim these GAS tokens at their holding addresses. Consensus mechanism: dBFT The dBFT is called the Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerant, a Byzantine fault-tolerant consensus mechanism that enables large-scale participation in consensus through proxy voting. The holder of the NEO token can, by voting, pick the bookkeeper it supports. The selected group of bookkeepers, through BFT algorithm, reach a consensus and generate new blocks. Voting in the NEO network continues in real time, rather than in accordance with a fixed term. Cross-chain assets exchange agreement NeoX has been extended on existing double-stranded atomic assets exchange protocols to allow multiple participants to exchange assets across different chains and to ensure that all steps in the entire transaction process succeed or fail together. In order to achieve this function, we need to use NeoContract function to create a contract account for each participant. If other blockchains are not compatible with NeoContract, they can be compatible with NeoX as long as they can provide simple smart contract functionality. Cross-chain distributed transaction protocol Cross-chain distributed transactions mean that multiple steps of a transaction are scattered across different blockchains and that the consistency of the entire transaction is ensured. This is an extension of cross-chain assets exchange, extending the behavior of assets exchange into arbitrary behavior. In layman's terms, NeoX makes it possible for cross-chain smart contracts where a smart contract can perform different parts on multiple chains, either succeeding or reverting as a whole. This gives excellent possibilities for cross-chain collaborations and we are exploring cross-chain smart contract application scenarios. Distributed Storage Protocol: NeoFS NeoFS is a distributed storage protocol that utilizes Distributed Hash Table technology. NeoFS indexes the data through file content (Hash) rather than file path (URI). Large files will be divided into fixed-size data blocks that are distributed and stored in many different nodes Anti-quantum cryptography mechanism: NeoQS The emergence of quantum computers poses a major challenge to RSA and ECC-based cryptographic mechanisms. Quantum computers can solve the large number of decomposition problems (which RSA relies on) and the elliptic curve discrete logarithm (which ECC relies on) in a very short time. NeoQS (Quantum Safe) is a lattice-based cryptographic mechanism. At present, quantum computers do not have the ability to quickly solve the Shortest Vector Problem (SVP) and the Closest Vector Problem (CVP), which is considered to be the most reliable algorithm for resisting quantum computers. Reasons for choosing dBFT over PoW and PoS: With the phenomenal success of Bitcoin and its increasing mainstream adoption, the project’s unbounded appetite for energy grew accordingly. Today, the average Bitcoin transaction costs as much energy as powering 3.67 average American homes, which amounts to about 3000 times more than a comparable Credit Card settlement. This mind boggling amount of energy is not, as it is commonly believed, being wasted. It is put to good use: securing the Bitcoin network and rendering attacks on it infeasible. However, the cost of this security mechanism and its implications for an increasingly warming and resource hungry planet led almost the entire crypto industry to the understanding that an alternative has to be found, at least if we’re interested in seeing blockchain technology gaining overwhelming mainstream adoption. The most popular alternative to PoW, used by most alternative cryptocurrency systems, is called Proof-of-Stake, or PoS. PoS is highly promising in the sense that it doesn’t require blockchain nodes to perform arduous, and otherwise useless, cryptographic tasks in order to render potential attacks costly and infeasible. Hence, this algorithm cuts the power requirements of PoS blockchains down to sane and manageable amounts, allowing them to be more scalable without guzzling up the planet's energy reserves. As the name suggests, instead of requiring proof of cryptographic work, PoS requires blockchain nodes to proof stake in the currency itself. This means that in order for a blockchain node to be eligible for a verification reward, the node has to hold a certain amount of currency in the wallet associated with it. This way, in order to execute an attack, a malevolent node would have to acquire the majority of the existing coin supply, rendering attacks not only costly but also meaningless, since the attackers would primarily harm themselves. PoS, as well as PoW, simply cause the blockchain to fork into two alternative versions if for some reason consensus breaks. In fact, most blockchains fork most of the time, only to converge back to a single source of truth a short while afterwards. By many crypto enthusiasts, this obvious bug is very often regarded as a feature, allowing several versions of the truth to survive and compete for public adoption until a resolution is generated. This sounds nice in theory, but if we want to see blockchain technology seriously disrupt and/or augment the financial sector, this ever lurking possibility of the blockchain splitting into two alternative versions cannot be tolerated. Furthermore, even the fastest PoS blockchains out there can accomodate a few hundred transactions per second, compare that to Visa’s 56,000 tx/s and the need for an alternative becomes clear as day. A blockchain securing global stock markets does not have the privilege to fork into two alternative versions and just sit and wait it out until the market (or what’s left of it) declares a winner. What belongs to whom should be engraved in an immutable record, functioning as a single source of truth with no glitches permitted. After investigating and studying the crypto industry and blockchain technologies for several years, we came to the conclusion that the delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance alternative (or dBFT) is best suited for such a system. It provides swift transaction verification times, de-incentivises most attack vectors and upholds a single blockchain version with no risk of forks or alternative blockchain records emerging - regardless of how much computing power, or coins an attacker possesses. The term Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) derives its name from the Byzantine Generals problem in Game Theory and Computer Science, describing the problematic nature of achieving consensus in a distributed system with suboptimal communication between agents which do not necessarily trust each other. The BFT algorithm arranges the relationship between blockchain nodes in such a way that the network becomes as good as resilient to the Byzantine Generals problem, and allows the system to remain consensus even if some nodes bare malicious intentions or simply malfunction. To achieve this, Antshare’s version of the delegated BFT (or dBFT) algorithm acknowledges two kinds of players in the blockchain space: professional node operators, called bookkeeping nodes, who run nodes as a source of income, and users who are interested in accessing blockchain advantages. Theoretically, this differentiation does not exist in PoW and most PoS environments, practically, however, most Bitcoin users do not operate miners, which are mostly located in specialized venues run by professionals. At Antshares we understand the importance of this naturally occurring division of labor and use it to provide better security for our blockchain platform. Accordingly, block verification is achieved through a consensus game held between specialized bookkeeping nodes, which are appointed by ordinary nodes through a form of delegated voting process. In every verification round one of the bookkeeping nodes is pseudo-randomly appointed to broadcast its version of the blockchain to the rest of the network. If ⅔ of the remaining nodes agree with this version, consensus is secured and the blockchain marches on. If less than ⅔ of the network agrees, a different node is appointed to broadcast its version of the truth to the rest of the system, and so forth until consensus is established. In this way, successful system attacks are almost impossible to execute unless the overwhelming majority of the network is interested in committing financial suicide. Additionally, the system is fork proof, and at every given moment only one version of the truth exists. Without complicated cryptographic puzzles to solve, nodes operate much faster and are able to compete with centralized transaction methods. https://www.econotimes.com/Blockchain-project-Antshares-explains-reasons-for-choosing-dBFT-over-PoW-and-PoS-659275 OnChain It is important to note the technical difference between Onchain and NEO. Onchain is a private VC-backed company with over 40 employees. NEO is a public platform with different community-led groups contributing to this public project. There exists NEO council comprised of the original NEO creators, employees from Onchain, full time NEO council members and there is also the first Western based group called City of Zion. This confusion is likely the source of the rumour about Antshares and Alibaba having a connection. Onchain and NEO are separate entities who are intimately related via cross-chain communications and similar designs. Onchain, a Shanghai-based blockchain R&D company, first started developing Antshares in February of 2014 which will eventually become the foundation of DNA. Onchain was founded by CEO Da HongFei and CTO Erik Zhang in response to the attention from private companies garnered by the development of Antshares, China’s first public blockchain. In contrast to the weeks-old start-ups launching ICOs that is happening currently in the blockchain world, it took them 22 long months of R&D to even begin providing services to their first customers. Finally, in April 2016, the first whitepaper on consensus protocol from China was born — the dBFT (delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance) protocol. 2016 was a busy year for Onchain and they really picked up the pace that year. Other than continuing the development of Antshares, brushing shoulders with Fortune 500 companies, Onchain became the first Chinese blockchain company to join Hyperledger — an open source blockchain project started by the Linux Foundation specifically focusing on the development of private and consortium chains for businesses. It is here where the Da HongFei and Erik Zhang, entered the hyperbolic time chamber that is now known as Fabric, a platform by Hyperledger for distributed ledger solutions, and has consequently helped them to develop many aspects underpinning the design of DNA. In June of 2016, during the first of many future partnerships with Microsoft China, Onchain founded Legal Chain specifically targeting the inadequacies of the digital applications within the legal system. In 2005, (Digital Signature Act) was passed into national law which permitted an effective digital signatures to gain the same legal rights as a real signature. In company with Microsoft China, they are also aiming to integrate the technology with Microsoft’s face and voice recognition API function to kick start this digital revolution within the legal system. At the same time, a partnership was formed with FaDaDa, a third-party platform for electronic contracts that has processed over 27 million contracts to date, to provide secure evidence storage with DNA. If that’s not enough, they were also voted as KPMG’s top 50 Fintech Company in China and established a relationship with the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry which led to the recent tour to Japan. Finally, at the end of 2016 they announced a partnership with Alibaba to provide attested email service for Ali Cloud with Legal Chain where it provides a proof-of-existence for a blockchain-powered email evidence repository for enterprise-level use. Fosun Group, China’s largest private conglomerate, have recently invested into Onchain in order to apply DNA across all of its businesses. Currently, Fosun International has a market cap of 102.98 billion dollars on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and that is only its international branch. The role of Onchain so far is reminiscent of Ethereum’s EEA in addition to a stronger emphasis of governmental cooperation. Onchain has identified the shortcomings of present laser focus of hype on public platforms such as NEO and Ethereum and addressing that with DNA. DNA envisions a future where a network of assorted, specifically designed blockchains serving private enterprises, consortiums, government and the public communicating with each other forming an interconnected blockchain network. This is the goal of DNA — infiltrating every little inefficient niche that had no better alternatives before the invention of blockchain. What is especially critical to remember during this explosive time of hype driven partly by the obscene degree of greed is that not every little niche that blockchain can fill will be holding its own little ICO for you to “go to the moon on your rocket powered lambos”. Some of those efficiencies gained will simply be consumed by companies privately or by public systems such as the legal system. https://hackernoon.com/neo-onchain-and-its-ultimate-plan-dna-4c33e9b6bfaa http://www.onchain.com/ https://github.com/DNAProject/DNA https://siliconangle.com/blog/2016/10/20/onchain-partners-with-alibaba-for-blockchain-powered-email-evidence-repository/ https://www.reuters.com/article/us-fosun-blockchain/chinas-fosun-invests-in-local-version-of-bitcoin-tech-blockchain-idUSKCN1B30KM City of Zion (CoZ) City of Zion (CoZ) is a global community of open source enthusiasts, with the shared goal of helping NEO achieve its full potential. CoZ primarily operates through the community Slack and CoZ Github, central places where the community shares knowledge and contributes to projects. CoZ is neither a corporation, nor a consulting firm or a devshop / for-hire group. Members https://imgur.com/a/Gc9jT CoZ aims to be low barrier of entry, the process is straightforward:
Join the channel #develop.
Fork or create a project.
Publish as open source.
After a couple of contributions a CoZ council member will invite you to the proper channel for your contributions.
Receive rewards and back to 3.
Unit testing - Ongoing effort to implement code coverage for the core Integration testing - Tools for automated testing, performance metrics and functionality validation on private test nets Continuous integration - Automated multi-platform testing of all pull requests at GitHub. Deployment pipeline - Automated tools and processes to ensure fast and reliable updates upon code changes New C# implementation (NEO2) - Improve code quality, speed & testability Roadmap https://imgur.com/a/4CDhw dApps competition https://cityofzion.io/dapps/1 10 prizes of 1350 GAS, with 500 GAS to be used for smart contract deployment. Currently 19 dApps registered. Deadline is 16 of November 11:59 EST. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B4wu5lNlukwybEstaEJMZ19kbjQ Traveling August 8th to August 12th: From August 8th to August 12th, 2017, the NEO core team, led by founder & CEO Da Hongfei will travel to Japan to explore the forefront of Japan's Blockchain innovation. This trip represents the first in a series of trips around the world with the goal to foster international cooperation's and to keep up with the fast pace in Blockchain innovation. Starting in Japan, the NEO core team will visit famous local Blockchain research institutions and active communities to engage in bilateral communication. NEO will meet with Japanese tech-celebrities to gain insights about the latest developments in the Japanese Blockchain and digital currency community. Additionally, Japanese local tech media will conduct an interview allowing NEO to present its development status and its latest technological innovations. https://www.reddit.com/NEO/comments/6ry4s9/japan_the_neo_core_team_starts_out_on_an/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgTQ32CkxlU https://www.reddit.com/NEO/comments/6ssfx1/neo_meetup_in_tokyo_august_10th_2017_2100h/ 19th August, 2017 Blockchain X Series - NEO example applications 20th August, 2017 NEO and Microsoft Azure host a blockchain programming training in Shanghai 23rd August, 2017 INNOxNEO Blockchain Open Nights: 2nd Meeting 24th August, 2017 NEO Meetup in Taipei https://www.reddit.com/NEO/comments/6wbebneo_taipei_meetup_long_post/ 13th September, 2017 INNOxNEO Blockchain Open Nights: 3rd Meeting 14th September, 2017 NEO Shanghai Meetup with NEO team 24th September, 2017 NEO Blockchain Programming Day - Hangzhou Station 27th September, 2017 INNOxNEO Blockchain Open Nights: 4th Meeting 27th September, 2017 First London NEO Developer Meetup! 4th October, 2017 First San Francisco NEO Developer Social! 14th-16th October, 2017 GNOME.Asia Summit 2017, Chongqing, China 21st October, 2017 NEO JOY, Exploring Blockchain application, Nanjing, China 26th October, 2017 Inaugural Global Fintech & Blockchain China Summit 2017 Networks proves itself with the first ICO ICOs, on other platforms such as Ethereum, often resulted in a sluggish network and transaction delays. While NEO’s dBFT consensus algorithm is designed to achieve consensus with higher efficency and greater network throughputt, no amount of theoretical calculations can simulate the reality of real-life conditions. --Key Observations-- Smart Contract Invocations: A total of 13,966 smart contracts invocations were executed on the NEO network over this time period, of which, nearly all called the RPX smart contract method mintTokens. A total of 543,348,500 RPX tokens were successfully minted and transferred to user accounts, totalling 10,097 smart contract executions. Refunded Invocations: A total of 4182 refund events were triggered by the smart contract method mintTokens. (Note: RPX has stated that these refunds will be processed within the next two weeks.) Crowdsale statistics: A successful mintTokens execution used around 1043 VM operations, while an execution that resulted in a refund used 809 VM operations. Within the hour and six minutes that the token sale was active, a total of 12,296,409 VM operations were executed. A total of 9,575 unique addresses participated in the RPX ICO. Half of these, approximately 4,800 unique addresses, participated through CoZ’s Neon wallet. The top 3 blocks with the most transactions were block 1445025 (3,242 transactions), block 1444902 (2,951 transactions), and block 1444903 (1609 transactions). Final Thoughts At the moment, the consensus nodes for the NEO network are operated by the NEO Council in China. By Q1 2018, NEO Council aims to control less than two-thirds of the consensus nodes. We are pleased to note that the NEO network continuted to operate efficiently with minimal network impact, even under extreme network events. Block generation time initially slowed down to 3 minutes to process the largest block, but quickly recovered to approximately 25 seconds. Throughout the entire RPX ICO, consensus nodes were able to achieve consensus and propagate new block transactions to the rest of the network. In closing, while we consider this performance to be excellent, NEO Council and City of Zion areworking closely together on upgrades, that will increase the throughputs of the NEO network. Hyperledger Members and governance of Hyperledger: Early members of the initiative included blockchain ISVs, (Blockchain, ConsenSys, Digital Asset, R3, Onchain), well-known technology platform companies (Cisco, Fujitsu, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, NEC, NTT DATA, Red Hat, VMware), financial services firms (ABN AMRO, ANZ Bank, BNY Mellon, CLS Group, CME Group, the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), Deutsche Börse Group, J.P. Morgan, State Street, SWIFT, Wells Fargo), Business Software companies like SAP, Systems integrators and others such as: (Accenture, Calastone, Credits, Guardtime, IntellectEU, Nxt Foundation, Symbiont). The governing board of the Hyperledger Project consists of twenty members chaired by Blythe Masters, (CEO of Digital Asset), and a twelve-member Technical Steering Committee chaired by Christopher Ferris, CTO of Open Technology at IBM. http://www.8btc.com/onchain-hyperledger https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperledger “As a leading open-source contributor in China’s blockchain community, Onchain shares the same values as the Linux Foundation and the Hyperledger project intrinsically. We believe international collaboration plus local experience are key to the adoption of distributed ledger technology in China; we are also very excited to see other Chinese blockchain startups join Hyperledger and look forward to adding our combined expertise to the project.” Da Hongfei, Founder and CEO of Onchain https://hyperledger.org/testimonials/onchain Important Articles Distribution technology DNA framework went through the national block chain standard test On May 16th, the first China block chain development competition in Hangzhou announced that Onchain, became the first through the national standard test block system. http://www.51cto.com/art/201705/539824.htm?mobile Da Hongfei and OnChain working relationship with Chinese Government https://finance.sina.cn/2017-04-13/detail-ifyeifqx5554606.d.html?from=wap http://www.gz.chinanews.com/content/2017/05-28/73545.shtml The Chinese government is reportedly preparing to allow the resumption of cryptocurrency trading in the country in the coming months, with the required anti-money laundering (AML) systems and licensing programs in place. https://coingeek.com/cryptocurrency-trading-poised-to-make-a-return-in-china-report/ Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry - Working with OnChain and NEO http://www.8btc.com/onchain-ribenjingjichanyesheng Notice NEO will be invited to attend the INNO x Austrade China-Australia chain high-end exchange AUSTRADE - The Australian Trade and Investment Commission is the official government, education and investment promotion agency of the Australian Government https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/LmXnW7MtzOX_fqIo7diU9A Source for NEO/OnChain Microsoft Cooperation: http://www.8btc.com/onchain-microsoft Da Hongfei quotes
"There is no direct cooperation between Alibaba and NEO/Onchain, other than their mailbox service is using Law Chain to provide attested email service. In terms of Microsoft, yes we have cooperation with Microsoft China because NEO is built with C# and .NET Core, and NeoContract is the first in the world to support writing smart contract with C#"
"We have pretty good communication with government, with regulators. They don't have any negative impression with NEO and they like our technology and the way we deal with things. Regulation is not an issue for us"
“Before they started cleaning up the market, I was asked for information and suggestions” “I do not expect the government to call me in the short-term and say, ‘Let’s use NEO as the blockchain technology infrastructure of China.’ But in the medium term? Why not? I think it’s possible.”
https://medium.com/@TheCoinEconomy/neo-founder-da-hongfei-advised-china-on-ico-exchange-ban-says-govt-4631b9f7971 -Upcoming Roadmap- Decentralization of consensus nodes ▪ P2P Network optimization (2017Q4) – Network optimizations to ensure fast block generation after decentralization. ▪ Voting Algorithm Optimization (2017Q4) – Adjustments in voting algorithm to prevent identified attack vectors. ▪ Candidate List Website (2018Q1) – Published list of candidates so that voters know who they are voting for. ▪ NEO Council Consensus Node < 2/3 (2018Q1) – NEO Council shall operate less than two thirds of consensus nodes by the end of quarter 1, 2018. Universal Data Format for Wallet/Node Prog. ▪ NEP2 – Private Key Encryption/Decryption (2017Q4) - Method for encrypting and encoding a passphrase-protected private key. ▪ NEP3 – Universal Data Format (2017Q4) – Standard data format to allow easier wallet and node programming. https://neo.org/en-us/blog/details/65 Promotion/Ecosystem ▪ Globally Legal Token-raising Framework (2017Q4) – Following government interest to regulate ICO’s, NEO will complete a framework to raise tokens legally in all major markets by the end of 2017. ▪ NEO DevCon 1 (2017Q4) – First NEO Development Conference! More details at later date. ▪ CoZ Funding (2017Q4) – Continuous funding plan for CoZ covering next 5 years. ▪ Seed Projects (2017Q4) – First seed projects to be cross-invested with the dedicated NEO pool. https://neo.org/en-us/blog/details/65 https://github.com/neo-project Repositories - 14 People - 5 Contributors- 12 https://github.com/CityOfZion Repositories - 35 People - 14 Contributors- 22 https://github.com/DNAProject/DNA Repositories - 4 Contributors - 17 Donations welcome: ASdNxSa3E8bsxCE9KFKBMm3NA43sYJU9qZ
US Economic Warfare and Likely Foreign Defenses – by Michael Hudson • 23 July 2019
https://outline.com/VM2DEM • 5,400 Words • Today’s world is at war on many fronts. The rules of international law and order put in place toward the end of World War II are being broken by U.S. foreign policy escalating its confrontation with countries that refrain from giving its companies control of their economic surpluses. Countries that do not give the United States control of their oil and financial sectors or privatize their key sectors are being isolated by the United States imposing trade sanctions and unilateral tariffs giving special advantages to U.S. producers in violation of free trade agreements with European, Asian and other countries. This global fracture has an increasingly military cast. U.S. officials justify tariffs and import quotas illegal under WTO rules on “national security” grounds, claiming that the United States can do whatever it wants as the world’s “exceptional” nation. U.S. officials explain that this means that their nation is not obliged to adhere to international agreements or even to its own treaties and promises. This allegedly sovereign right to ignore on its international agreements was made explicit after Bill Clinton and his Secretary of State Madeline Albright broke the promise by President George Bush and Secretary of State James Baker that NATO would not expand eastward after 1991. (“You didn’t get it in writing,” was the U.S. response to the verbal agreements that were made.) Likewise, the Trump administration repudiated the multilateral Iranian nuclear agreement signed by the Obama administration, and is escalating warfare with its proxy armies in the Near East. U.S. politicians are waging a New Cold War against Russia, China, Iran, and oil-exporting countries that the United States is seeking to isolate if cannot control their governments, central bank and foreign diplomacy. The international framework that originally seemed equitable was pro-U.S. from the outset. In 1945 this was seen as a natural result of the fact that the U.S. economy was the least war-damaged and held by far most of the world’s monetary gold. Still, the postwar trade and financial framework was ostensibly set up on fair and equitable international principles. Other countries were expected to recover and grow, creating diplomatic, financial and trade parity with each other. But the past decade has seen U.S. diplomacy become one-sided in turning the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, SWIFT bank-clearing system and world trade into an asymmetrically exploitative system. This unilateral U.S.-centered array of institutions is coming to be widely seen not only as unfair, but as blocking the progress of other countries whose growth and prosperity is seen by U.S. foreign policy as a threat to unilateral U.S. hegemony. What began as an ostensibly international order to promote peaceful prosperity has turned increasingly into an extension of U.S. nationalism, predatory rent-extraction and a more dangerous military confrontation. Deterioration of international diplomacy into a more nakedly explicit pro-U.S. financial, trade and military aggression was implicit in the way in which economic diplomacy was shaped when the United Nations, IMF and World Bank were shaped mainly by U.S. economic strategists. Their economic belligerence is driving countries to withdraw from the global financial and trade order that has been turned into a New Cold War vehicle to impose unilateral U.S. hegemony. Nationalistic reactions are consolidating into new economic and political alliances from Europe to Asia. We are still mired in the Oil War that escalated in 2003 with the invasion of Iraq, which quickly spread to Libya and Syria. American foreign policy has long been based largely on control of oil. This has led the United States to oppose the Paris accords to stem global warming. Its aim is to give U.S. officials the power to impose energy sanctions forcing other countries to “freeze in the dark” if they do not follow U.S. leadership. To expand its oil monopoly, America is pressuring Europe to oppose the Nordstream II gas pipeline from Russia, claiming that this would make Germany and other countries dependent on Russia instead of on U.S. liquified natural gas (LNG). Likewise, American oil diplomacy has imposed unilateral sanctions against Iranian oil exports, until such time as a regime change opens up that country’s oil reserves to U.S., French, British and other allied oil majors. U.S. control of dollarized money and credit is critical to this hegemony. As Congressman Brad Sherman of Los Angeles told a House Financial Services Committee hearing on May 9, 2019: “An awful lot of our international power comes from the fact that the U.S. dollar is the standard unit of international finance and transactions. Clearing through the New York Fed is critical for major oil and other transactions. It is the announced purpose of the supporters of cryptocurrency to take that power away from us, to put us in a position where the most significant sanctions we have against Iran, for example, would become irrelevant.” The U.S. aim is to keep the dollar as the transactions currency for world trade, savings, central bank reserves and international lending. This monopoly status enables the U.S. Treasury and State Department to disrupt the financial payments system and trade for countries with which the United States is at economic or outright military war. Russian President Vladimir Putin quickly responded by describing how “the degeneration of the universalist globalization model [is] turning into a parody, a caricature of itself, where common international rules are replaced with the laws… of one country.” That is the trajectory on which this deterioration of formerly open international trade and finance is now moving. It has been building up for a decade. On June 5, 2009, then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev cited this same disruptive U.S. dynamic at work in the wake of the U.S. junk mortgage and bank fraud crisis. Those whose job it was to forecast events … were not ready for the depth of the crisis and turned out to be too rigid, unwieldy and slow in their response. The international financial organisations – and I think we need to state this up front and not try to hide it – were not up to their responsibilities, as has been said quite unambiguously at a number of major international events such as the two recent G20 summits of the world’s largest economies. Furthermore, we have had confirmation that our pre-crisis analysis of global economic trends and the global economic system were correct. The artificially maintained uni-polar system and preservation of monopolies in key global economic sectors are root causes of the crisis. One big centre of consumption, financed by a growing deficit, and thus growing debts, one formerly strong reserve currency, and one dominant system of assessing assets and risks – these are all factors that led to an overall drop in the quality of regulation and the economic justification of assessments made, including assessments of macroeconomic policy. As a result, there was no avoiding a global crisis. That crisis is what is now causing today’s break in global trade and payments. Warfare on many fronts, with Dollarization being the main arena Dissolution of the Soviet Union 1991 did not bring the disarmament that was widely expected. U.S. leadership celebrated the Soviet demise as signaling the end of foreign opposition to U.S.-sponsored neoliberalism and even as the End of History. NATO expanded to encircle Russia and sponsored “color revolutions” from Georgia to Ukraine, while carving up former Yugoslavia into small statelets. American diplomacy created a foreign legion of Wahabi fundamentalists from Afghanistan to Iran, Iraq, Syria and Libya in support of Saudi Arabian extremism and Israeli expansionism. The United States is waging war for control of oil against Venezuela, where a military coup failed a few years ago, as did the 2018-19 stunt to recognize an unelected pro-American puppet regime. The Honduran coup under President Obama was more successful in overthrowing an elected president advocating land reform, continuing the tradition dating back to 1954 when the CIA overthrew Guatemala’s Arbenz regime. U.S. officials bear a special hatred for countries that they have injured, ranging from Guatemala in 1954 to Iran, whose regime it overthrew to install the Shah as military dictator. Claiming to promote “democracy,” U.S. diplomacy has redefined the word to mean pro-American, and opposing land reform, national ownership of raw materials and public subsidy of foreign agriculture or industry as an “undemocratic” attack on “free markets,” meaning markets controlled by U.S. financial interests and absentee owners of land, natural resources and banks. A major byproduct of warfare has always been refugees, and today’s wave fleeing ISIS, Al Qaeda and other U.S.-backed Near Eastern proxies is flooding Europe. A similar wave is fleeing the dictatorial regimes backed by the United States from Honduras, Ecuador, Colombia and neighboring countries. The refugee crisis has become a major factor leading to the resurgence of nationalist parties throughout Europe and for the white nationalism of Donald Trump in the United States. Dollarization as the vehicle for U.S. nationalism The Dollar Standard – U.S. Treasury debt to foreigners held by the world’s central banks – has replaced the gold-exchange standard for the world’s central bank reserves to settle payments imbalances among themselves. This has enabled the United States to uniquely run balance-of-payments deficits for nearly seventy years, despite the fact that these Treasury IOUs have little visible likelihood of being repaid except under arrangements where U.S. rent-seeking and outright financial tribute from other enables it to liquidate its official foreign debt. The United States is the only nation that can run sustained balance-of-payments deficits without having to sell off its assets or raise interest rates to borrow foreign money. No other national economy in the world can could afford foreign military expenditures on any major scale without losing its exchange value. Without the Treasury-bill standard, the United States would be in this same position along with other nations. That is why Russia, China and other powers that U.S. strategists deem to be strategic rivals and enemies are looking to restore gold’s role as the preferred asset to settle payments imbalances. The U.S. response is to impose regime change on countries that prefer gold or other foreign currencies to dollars for their exchange reserves. A case in point is the overthrow of Libya’s Omar Kaddafi after he sought to base his nation’s international reserves on gold. His liquidation stands as a military warning to other countries. Thanks to the fact that payments-surplus economies invest their dollar inflows in U.S. Treasury bonds, the U.S. balance-of-payments deficit finances its domestic budget deficit. This foreign central-bank recycling of U.S. overseas military spending into purchases of U.S. Treasury securities gives the United States a free ride, financing its budget – also mainly military in character – so that it can taxing its own citizens. Trump is forcing other countries to create an alternative to the Dollar Standard The fact that Donald Trump’s economic policies are proving ineffective in restoring American manufacturing is creating rising nationalist pressure to exploit foreigners by arbitrary tariffs without regard for international law, and to impose trade sanctions and diplomatic meddling to disrupt regimes that pursue policies that U.S. diplomats do not like. There is a parallel here with Rome in the late 1st century BC. It stripped its provinces to pay for its military deficit, the grain dole and land redistribution at the expense of Italian cities and Asia Minor. This created foreign opposition to drive Rome out. The U.S. economy is similar to Rome’s: extractive rather than productive, based mainly on land rents and money-interest. As the domestic market is impoverished, U.S. politicians are seeking to take from abroad what no longer is being produced at home. What is so ironic – and so self-defeating of America’s free global ride – is that Trump’s simplistic aim of lowering the dollar’s exchange rate to make U.S. exports more price-competitive. He imagines commodity trade to be the entire balance of payments, as if there were no military spending, not to mention lending and investment. To lower the dollar’s exchange rate, he is demanding that China’s central bank and those of other countries stop supporting the dollar by recycling the dollars they receive for their exports into holdings of U.S. Treasury securities. This tunnel vision leaves out of account the fact that the trade balance is not simply a matter of comparative international price levels. The United States has dissipated its supply of spare manufacturing capacity and local suppliers of parts and materials, while much of its industrial engineering and skilled manufacturing labor has retired. An immense shortfall must be filled by new capital investment, education and public infrastructure, whose charges are far above those of other economics. Trump’s infrastructure ideology is a Public-Private Partnership characterized by high-cost financialization demanding high monopoly rents to cover its interest charges, stock dividends and management fees. This neoliberal policy raises the cost of living for the U.S. labor force, making it uncompetitive. The United States is unable to produce more at any price right now, because its has spent the past half-century dismantling its infrastructure, closing down its part suppliers and outsourcing its industrial technology. The United States has privatized and financialized infrastructure and basic needs such as public health and medical care, education and transportation that other countries have kept in their public domain to make their economies more cost-efficient by providing essential services at subsidized prices or freely. The United States also has led the practice of debt pyramiding, from housing to corporate finance. This financial engineering and wealth creation by inflating debt-financed real estate and stock market bubbles has made the United States a high-cost economy that cannot compete successfully with well-managed mixed economies. Unable to recover dominance in manufacturing, the United States is concentrating on rent-extracting sectors that it hopes monopolize, headed by information technology and military production. On the industrial front, it threatens to disrupt China and other mixed economies by imposing trade and financial sanctions. The great gamble is whether these other countries will defend themselves by joining in alliances enabling them to bypass the U.S. economy. American strategists imagine their country to be the world’s essential economy, without whose market other countries must suffer depression. The Trump Administration thinks that There Is No Alternative (TINA) for other countries except for their own financial systems to rely on U.S. dollar credit. To protect themselves from U.S. sanctions, countries would have to avoid using the dollar, and hence U.S. banks. This would require creation of a non-dollarized financial system for use among themselves, including their own alternative to the SWIFT bank clearing system. Table 1 lists some possible related defenses against U.S. nationalistic diplomacy. As noted above, what also is ironic in President Trump’s accusation of China and other countries of artificially manipulating their exchange rate against the dollar (by recycling their trade and payments surpluses into Treasury securities to hold down their currency’s dollar valuation) involves dismantling the Treasury-bill standard. The main way that foreign economies have stabilized their exchange rate since 1971 has indeed been to recycle their dollar inflows into U.S. Treasury securities. Letting their currency’s value rise would threaten their export competitiveness against their rivals, although not necessarily benefit the United States. Ending this practice leaves countries with the main way to protect their currencies from rising against the dollar is to reduce dollar inflows by blocking U.S. lending to domestic borrowers. They may levy floating tariffs proportioned to the dollar’s declining value. The U.S. has a long history since the 1920s of raising its tariffs against currencies that are depreciating: the American Selling Price (ASP) system. Other countries can impose their own floating tariffs against U.S. goods. Trade dependency as an aim of the World Bank, IMF and US AID The world today faces a problem much like what it faced on the eve of World War II. Like Germany then, the United States now poses the main threat of war, and equally destructive neoliberal economic regimes imposing austerity, economic shrinkage and depopulation. U.S. diplomats are threatening to destroy regimes and entire economies that seek to remain independent of this system, by trade and financial sanctions backed by direct military force. Dedollarization will require creation of multilateral alternatives to U.S. “front” institutions such as the World Bank, IMF and other agencies in which the United States holds veto power to block any alternative policies deemed not to let it “win.” U.S. trade policy through the World Bank and U.S. foreign aid agencies aims at promoting dependency on U.S. food exports and other key commodities, while hiring U.S. engineering firms to build up export infrastructure to subsidize U.S. and other natural-resource investors. The financing is mainly in dollars, providing risk-free bonds to U.S. and other financial institutions. The resulting commercial and financial “interdependency” has led to a situation in which a sudden interruption of supply would disrupt foreign economies by causing a breakdown in their chain of payments and production. The effect is to lock client countries into dependency on the U.S. economy and its diplomacy, euphemized as “promoting growth and development.” U.S. neoliberal policy via the IMF imposes austerity and opposes debt writedowns. Its economic model pretends that debtor countries can pay any volume of dollar debt simply by reducing wages to squeeze more income out of the labor force to pay foreign creditors. This ignores the fact that solving the domestic “budget problem” by taxing local revenue still faces the “transfer problem” of converting it into dollars or other hard currencies in which most international debt is denominated. The result is that the IMF’s “stabilization” programs actually destabilize and impoverish countries forced into following its advice. IMF loans support pro-U.S. regimes such as Ukraine, and subsidize capital flight by supporting local currencies long enough to enable U.S. client oligarchies to flee their currencies at a pre-devaluation exchange rate for the dollar. When the local currency finally is allowed to collapse, debtor countries are advised to impose anti-labor austerity. This globalizes the class war of capital against labor while keeping debtor countries on a short U.S. financial leash. U.S. diplomacy is capped by trade sanctions to disrupt economies that break away from U.S. aims. Sanctions are a form of economic sabotage, as lethal as outright military warfare in establishing U.S. control over foreign economies. The threat is to impoverish civilian populations, in the belief that this will lead them to replace their governments with pro-American regimes promising to restore prosperity by selling off their domestic infrastructure to U.S. and other multinational investors. chart hudson There are alternatives, on many fronts Militarily, today’s leading alternative to NATO expansionism is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), along with Europe following France’s example under Charles de Gaulle and withdrawing. After all, there is no real threat of military invasion today in Europe. No nation can occupy another without an enormous military draft and such heavy personnel losses that domestic protests would unseat the government waging such a war. The U.S. anti-war movement in the 1960s signaled the end of the military draft, not only in the United States but in nearly all democratic countries. (Israel, Switzerland, Brazil and North Korea are exceptions.) The enormous spending on armaments for a kind of war unlikely to be fought is not really military, but simply to provide profits to the military industrial complex. The arms are not really to be used. They are simply to be bought, and ultimately scrapped. The danger, of course, is that these not-for-use arms actually might be used, if only to create a need for new profitable production. Likewise, foreign holdings of dollars are not really to be spent on purchases of U.S. exports or investments. They are like fine-wine collectibles, for saving rather than for drinking. The alternative to such dollarized holdings is to create a mutual use of national currencies, and a domestic bank-clearing payments system as an alternative to SWIFT. Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela already are said to be developing a crypto-currency payments to circumvent U.S. sanctions and hence financial control. In the World Trade Organization, the United States has tried to claim that any industry receiving public infrastructure or credit subsidy deserves tariff retaliation in order to force privatization. In response to WTO rulings that U.S. tariffs are illegally imposed, the United States “has blocked all new appointments to the seven-member appellate body in protest, leaving it in danger of collapse because it may not have enough judges to allow it to hear new cases.” In the U.S. view, only privatized trade financed by private rather than public banks is “fair” trade. An alternative to the WTO (or removal of its veto privilege given to the U.S. bloc) is needed to cope with U.S. neoliberal ideology and, most recently, the U.S. travesty claiming “national security” exemption to free-trade treaties, impose tariffs on steel, aluminum, and on European countries that circumvent sanctions on Iran or threaten to buy oil from Russia via the Nordstream II pipeline instead of high-cost liquified “freedom gas” from the United States. In the realm of development lending, China’s bank along with its Belt and Road initiative is an incipient alternative to the World Bank, whose main role has been to promote foreign dependency on U.S. suppliers. The IMF for its part now functions as an extension of the U.S. Department of Defense to subsidize client regimes such as Ukraine while financially isolating countries not subservient to U.S. diplomacy. To save debt-strapped economies suffering Greek-style austerity, the world needs to replace neoliberal economic theory with an analytic logic for debt writedowns based on the ability to pay. The guiding principle of the needed development-oriented logic of international law should be that no nation should be obliged to pay foreign creditors by having to sell of the public domain and rent-extraction rights to foreign creditors. The defining character of nationhood should be the fiscal right to tax natural resource rents and financial returns, and to create its own monetary system. The United States refuses to join the International Criminal Court. To be effective, it needs enforcement power for its judgments and penalties, capped by the ability to bring charges of war crimes in the tradition of the Nuremberg tribunal. U.S. to such a court, combined with its military buildup now threatening World War III, suggests a new alignment of countries akin to the Non-Aligned Nations movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Non-aligned in this case means freedom from U.S. diplomatic control or threats. Such institutions require a more realistic economic theory and philosophy of operations to replace the neoliberal logic for anti-government privatization, anti-labor austerity, and opposition to domestic budget deficits and debt writedowns. Today’s neoliberal doctrine counts financial late fees and rising housing prices as adding to “real output” (GDP), but deems public investment as deadweight spending, not a contribution to output. The aim of such logic is to convince governments to pay their foreign creditors by selling off their public infrastructure and other assets in the public domain. Just as the “capacity to pay” principle was the foundation stone of the Bank for International Settlements in 1931, a similar basis is needed to measure today’s ability to pay debts and hence to write down bad loans that have been made without a corresponding ability of debtors to pay. Without such an institution and body of analysis, the IMF’s neoliberal principle of imposing economic depression and falling living standards to pay U.S. and other foreign creditors will impose global poverty. The above proposals provide an alternative to the U.S. “exceptionalist” refusal to join any international organization that has a say over its affairs. Other countries must be willing to turn the tables and isolate U.S. banks, U.S. exporters, and to avoid using U.S. dollars and routing payments via U.S. banks. To protect their ability to create a countervailing power requires an international court and its sponsoring organization. Summary The first existential objective is to avoid the current threat of war by winding down U.S. military interference in foreign countries and removing U.S. military bases as relics of neocolonialism. Their danger to world peace and prosperity threatens a reversion to the pre-World War II colonialism, ruling by client elites along lines similar to the 2014 Ukrainian coup by neo-Nazi groups sponsored by the U.S. State Department and National Endowment for Democracy. Such control recalls the dictators that U.S. diplomacy established throughout Latin America in the 1950s. Today’s ethnic terrorism by U.S.-sponsored Wahabi-Saudi Islam recalls the behavior of Nazi Germany in the 1940s. Global warming is the second major existentialist threat. Blocking attempts to reverse it is a bedrock of American foreign policy, because it is based on control of oil. So the military, refugee and global warming threats are interconnected. The U.S. military poses the greatest immediate danger. Today’s warfare is fundamentally changed from what it used to be. Prior to the 1970s, nations conquering others had to invade and occupy them with armies recruited by a military draft. But no democracy in today’s world can revive such a draft without triggering widespread refusal to fight, voting the government out of power. The only way the United States – or other countries – can fight other nations is to bomb them. And as noted above, economic sanctions have as destructive an effect on civilian populations in countries deemed to be U.S. adversaries as overt warfare. The United States can sponsor political coups (as in Honduras and Pinochet’s Chile), but cannot occupy. It is unwilling to rebuild, to say nothing of taking responsibility for the waves of refugees that our bombing and sanctions are causing from Latin America to the Near East. U.S. ideologues view their nation’s coercive military expansion and political subversion and neoliberal economic policy of privatization and financialization as an irreversible victory signaling the End of History. To the rest of the world it is a threat to human survival. The American promise is that the victory of neoliberalism is the End of History, offering prosperity to the entire world. But beneath the rhetoric of free choice and free markets is the reality of corruption, subversion, coercion, debt peonage and neofeudalism. The reality is the creation and subsidy of polarized economies bifurcated between a privileged rentier class and its clients, their debtors and renters. America is to be permitted to monopolize trade in oil and food grains, and high-technology rent-yielding monopolies, living off its dependent customers. Unlike medieval serfdom, people subject to this End of History scenario can choose to live wherever they want. But wherever they live, they must take on a lifetime of debt to obtain access to a home of their own, and rely on U.S.-sponsored control of their basic needs, money and credit by adhering to U.S. financial planning of their economies. This dystopian scenario confirms Rosa Luxemburg’s recognition that the ultimate choice facing nations in today’s world is between socialism and barbarism. Keynote Paper delivered at the 14th Forum of the World Association for Political Economy, July 21, 2019. Notes  Billy Bambrough, “Bitcoin Threatens To ‘Take Power’ From The U.S. Federal Reserve,” Forbes, May 15, 2019. https://www.forbes.com/sites/billybambrough/2019/05/15/a-u-s-congressman-is-so-scared-of-bitcoin-and-crypto-he-wants-it-banned/#36b2700b6405.  Vladimir Putin, keynote address to the Economic Forum, June 5-6 2019. Putin went on to warn of “a policy of completely unlimited economic egoism and a forced breakdown.” This fragmenting of the global economic space “is the road to endless conflict, trade wars and maybe not just trade wars. Figuratively, this is the road to the ultimate fight of all against all.”  Address to St Petersburg International Economic Forum’s Plenary Session, St Petersburg, Kremlin.ru, June 5, 2009, from Johnson’s Russia List, June 8, 2009, #8,  https://www.rt.com/business/464013-china-russia-cryptocurrency-dollar-dethrone/ . Already in the late 1950s the Forgash Plan proposed a World Bank for Economic Acceleration. Designed by Terence McCarthy and sponsored by Florida Senator Morris Forgash, the bank would have been a more truly development-oriented institution to guide foreign development to create balanced economies self-sufficient in food and other essentials. The proposal was opposed by U.S. interests on the ground that countries pursuing land reform tended to be anti-American. More to the point, they would have avoided trade and financial dependency on U.S. suppliers and banks, and hence on U.S. trade and financial sanctions to prevent them from following policies at odds with U.S. diplomatic demands.  Don Weinland, “WTO rules against US in tariff dispute with China,” Financial Times, July 17, 2019. https://xenagoguevicene.wordpress.com/2019/07/29/u-s-economic-warfare-and-likely-foreign-defenses-by-michael-hudson-%e2%80%a2-23-july-2019/
Wealth Formula Episode 179: Buy, Borrow and Die: Bitcoin Style
Catch the full episode:https://www.wealthformula.com/podcast/179-buy-borrow-and-die-bitcoin-style/ Buck: Welcome back to the show everyone. Today my guest on Wealth Formula Podcast is Zack Prince. He's Founder and CEO of BlockFi. BlockFi bridges the gap between blockchain and the basic financial products that you're used to including interest-bearing accounts and loans. Zack, welcome to Wealth Formula Podcast. I think you we might have had you on before as a Consensus Network replay but first time on Wealth Formula Podcast specifically, so welcome. Zac: Yeah, excited to be here, Buck. Thanks for having me. And it's good to chat with you again Buck: Yeah so remind me how you got into this you know Bitcoin stuff in the first place, I mean you were as I understand you were a traditional finance guy right so where did the blockchain part come in? Zac: Sure so I was I was working at a company in the FinTech world that provided data and technology solutions to institutional investors that wanted to participate in some of the new online lending platforms, whether they were real estate platforms or consumer lending platforms, and I kind of became the FinTech guy amongst my friend group and people would ask me you know should I invest in these real estate deals on fund rise or buy loans from Lending Club and I started writing a blog to share the information more efficiently with my friends basically and I started expanding a little bit writing about Robo advisory and some other things that were going on in the FinTech space and that's what led me to Bitcoin, and this is back in early 2015. I didn't start BlockFi until 2017 because I started following the market in the background, still working in traditional financial services in FinTech and then in early 2017 it started to feel like mainstream adoption was starting to happen in the crypto ecosystem. I'm started going to some meetups in New York City because at a certain point my wife said Zac, you're talking about crypto all the time and you're talking to me about it and I don't want to talk about it so you should find some other people to talk about this with. And the meetup composition started to change and in 2016 when I started going to these meetups it was the early crypto adopters you know libertarians, computer scientists and then in early 2017 I started to see some venture capitalists, some guys who had just left their job at Wall Street still wearing a suit, some more entrepreneurs and it was a really exciting time in the ecosystem, things like the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance were getting announced which had participation microsoft and a lot of other you know fortune 500 companies and I had started to believe in it. I was drinking the kool-aid a little bit so I decided to find a way to get involved in the space full-time and that's what led me to start BlockFi. Buck: So I have to imagine that the response you got from the traditional finance people around that time when you started talking about the blockchain space and when you started being more and more involved with that was probably not a very positive response initially or did you did you experience some of that sort of you know rejection initially to what you were doing? Zac: Yeah absolutely. But you know throughout my career this is now kind of the third emerging technology industry that I've worked in. I was originally an advertising technology starting like you know 15 years ago and I was in FinTech specifically the online lending side of FinTech which in its early days was called peer-to-peer lending and now in crypto. So having to do a lot of education explain it you know why something isn't crazy and it might work and here's why and here's the value proposition and here's what it is, I've gotten very used to that and comfortable with it. But yeah there were a lot of people who are like you know I've heard Bitcoin is only used by drug dealers and money launderers. I've heard that I'm supposed to care about blockchain and not Bitcoin. And you know at BlockFi we’re providing financial products into the market so it's a heavily regulated business so we also had to communicate with regulators. We had to explain to state regulators, federal regulators why what we were doing with Bitcoin and other cryptos than when you're doing these same types of things with assets that they're more familiar with. Buck: So when you were talking to people back in, I don't know I guess 2016/17 and it's not a long time ago, it's only two years ago, but I have to imagine that the response or the you know the approach that people take to you when you speak to investors is very different. Has it become more mainstream in that regard for you know for big money investors? Zac: It's absolutely become more mainstream you know the end of 2017 Q3/Q4. Point was going on that parabolic run it started to get covered everywhere, I mean it was on CNBC every day it was in Bloomberg New York Times Wall Street Journal. If you were paying attention to the financial industry and markets you heard about Bitcoin at that time if you hadn't heard about it before. So from a baseline of awareness perspective it got a lot better and then in 2018 you had a number of positive developments for the sector including one that I think is probably the most noteworthy which is that Bitcoin futures were listed on the CME the institutional investor perspective that's massive. You now have a well regulated well known super trustworthy venue where you can get exposure to this asset class, you also had companies like Grayscale bringing products to the market which are accessible to certain types of investors and their low bridge accounts and you started to see some adoption from companies like FinTech companies like Robin Hood and Square making Bitcoin available on their platforms. So the conversation has absolutely changed a lot and it's become less about whether or not this is something that's going to continue to exist whether or not it's something that was just a bubble and is going to die and now it's more about ok how is it going to get used how big could it get what are the interesting applications of it and what could have potentially disrupt in the traditional financial ecosystem. Buck: So you know we had obviously following this you know pop in 2017, you know I actually like you kind of really got into this early 2017 so timing was pretty good I guess now regards. Good or bad depending how you look at it but I was there before before the parabolic move. And then we have you know then we followed this up with a crypto winter and and you know who knows if we're done with it, I guess we certainly are much better off than we were. You know a unit buddy it's funny Zac I don’t know if you remember this but I was about to, we'll talk about BlockFi specifically in a minute but, I was about to use BlockFi for borrowing because I like this idea of borrowing you know collateralized debt and collateralized debt on assets and buying something else. So I was about to do it and then Bitcoin lost a clip and I was like literally and I remember I was just emailing with somebody somebody over there and I was like sorry dude I guess I just sold it, I just sold all that Bitcoin I had and you sent one email back to me and it said “capitulation” but it you know and so now we're looking back at these we go down from 3,000 back up you know been sort of flirting around this 10,000 and it seems like we're kind of maybe that we're stuck there, maybe we're kind of out of winter, maybe we're in a holding pattern but it seems like to me that since that two years not only is the awareness increase but the development of the ecosystem itself is so much further advanced than it was in 2017. Is this an unusual case where the technology and maybe even the infrastructure is actually outpacing the price? Zac: You know it's really hard to say. I would argue that in some ways it's typical. In other industries that showed a lot of promise where investors could you know participate maybe a little bit ahead of the adoption curve you saw crazy price run ups with the tech bubble and you know ‘99-2000 being the one that's kind of top of mind in recent memory and then on the other side of things, are we behind where the price should be now? It's really hard to say because this is kind of like a commodity type asset built on a payment network and valuing that is challenging and there's not a perfect model for for doing it today. It's not as easy as something that's cashflow producing but I'm incredibly bullish. I'm on record as saying at the beginning of this year that Bitcoin has only had one year in its 10-year existence where it had a lower low than the year before and parted this year around the low price for 2018 and I predicted that we would in the year had a higher price than where we started the year pretty soon and now we're up and you know around 300 percent from where we started the year. As that happens in investing is people frequently look at things on a year-to-year performance basis and when people are looking at Bitcoin even if all we do is stay around 10 K from here when they're looking at how Bitcoin performed rather than other relative to other assets at the end of 2019 it's probably going to look fantastic. And you also have an event coming up and in the summer of next year called The Halvening where basically the supply that's produced by miners is going to get cut in half and so if you believe in the stock the flow type models of valuation for Bitcoin that is usually a very big driver of price appreciation. Buck: I believe May of 2020, right? Zac: That's right. Buck: In May of 2020. Can you just talked a little bit about that just so people know because people hear about it, I've been talking about it but I don't think that it really explained it. Zac: Yeah and you know I'm not I'm not a computer scientist so I can explain it in a you know in a very simple… Buck: No one else here is either. Zac: So basically the way that new Bitcoin is created is through this process called mining. And it's analogous to mining gold except instead of finding a place in the earth where gold exists and then getting your trucks and mining equipment and digging it out of the ground, the way bitcoin is mined is using this computer program and there is now specialized computer hardware that's built specifically and optimized for mining Bitcoin. And you have this network of machines around the world where the input is energy into the mining hardware and the output is new Bitcoin and those miners are what provides the power for the payment network a Bitcoin to run and when we say that there is this event called The Halvening, what that basically means is that the output that's built into the Bitcoin program that the miners are receiving as their payment for contributing energy to the network, is going to get cut in half. So the miners are going to have the same you know relative input but the amount that they're receiving is going to get cut in half for that input. This should, if the demand side for Bitcoin remains equal, it should drive up the price and historically Bitcoin has had three of these Halvening events in its lifetime so far I believe and around each Halvening you have seen you know six months before or six months after a pretty material run up in price. Buck: Yeah so it also goes along with that sort of that the entire idea that Bitcoin unlike you know other assets including gold is it's a deflationary asset ultimately and and that's one of the things that makes that happening really significant. Apart from and I have one more question before we get to block five which is apart from the Halvening, you know thing that's happening, what is maybe the biggest development or upcoming thing that's coming up that makes you the most bullish on the future of Bitcoin or blockchain in general? Zac: Sure so I think I wouldn't actually point to any one specific thing, I would point to two broad trends. So one is institutional adoption and participation in the asset class and the other is better ramps for retail participation into the asset class and just focusing here you know on the US market because it really is an international story but just in the US market. In September we should have Bakkt launching their futures platform. Bakkt is owned by ICE, the Intercontinental Exchange, and there's a big core difference between their futures and the current futures that are available on the CME in that futures on Bakkt platform are going to be physically settled so that means that actual Bitcoin is going to be needed to facilitate the trading on Bakkt’s platform which does not happen on CMEs exchange so that's that should be a very positive catalyst in terms of demand for physical Bitcoin that could have an impact on the price. Also on the institutional side this year I believe earlier this year, the first pension fund made an investment into an asset management vehicle that was focused on investing in Bitcoin and private equity opportunities in the Bitcoin and blockchain sector. So that will be a trend. Buck: Which pension fund was it? Zac: It was in North Carolina so I think it was like the North Carolina Firefighters and the group that raised the money from them was Morgan Creek Digital it’s actually invested in BlockFi by Anthony Pompliano Twitter and Mark Yusko so that's on the institutional side. And then on the retail side you've seen FinTech companies like Square and Robin Hood offer Bitcoin trading to their users. But soon you will also have companies like TD Ameritrade E-Trade and others offer Bitcoin to their users sometimes be a partnership sometimes because they've built it directly. You also at some point might see progress made in terms of an ETF getting approved that would give retail investors in the US market exposure to Bitcoin in a really easy and familiar way. All of those things are tremendously positive catalysts and the caliber of people working on them only continues to increase. Talent was attracted into the sector very, very rapidly these days. Buck: You know one question that leads me to is that all of this is happening with Bitcoin for the most part. Are alt coins in your opinion is that market coming back or is that something that we're gonna see probably select you know group of tokens projects emerge and then the rest will kind of just get left in the dust, what do you think? Zac: I mean I'll tell you exactly what I'm doing with my portfolio and then I'll provide a bit more color. So my asset allocation in the crypto side of my investing is I'm like 90% Bitcoin 5% Ethereum and 5% B&B; which is the Binance right. So I'm super bullish on Bitcoin. I think that you know there's a chance that Ether makes a comeback specifically I think that a lot of the stable coins that have been launched have been built on Ethereum if you're not familiar with stable coins it's basically the concept of a dollar but on a blockchain which could be really really powerful because it creates the opportunity for the delivery of US dollar denominated financial services at a global scale not using the traditional banking rails. And then B&B; I mean Binance is the biggest and most successful exchange they have a history of innovating, creating new products, going fast and so I'm taking a bit of a flyer with them but I'm 90% Bitcoin. I don't think that I'm not bullish on any of the other all coins frankly I struggle to see you know the big upside I have heard whispers in the community that there's kind of like a new wave of altcoins 3.0 might emerge, you know could see some some good returns similar to what some of the ICOs did in 2017 but it's not an area of focus for me. So that's my view. Buck: Yeah let's talk about BlockFi. Remind us exactly what BlockFi is. Zac: Sure so we're a wealth management platform for crypto investors. Today we have two products that we offer. One product is analogous to a savings account from a traditional bank where you're able to earn interest on your holdings except on BlockFi, the assets instead of being dollars are bitcoin and Ether and we don't have FDIC insurance so it's not exactly the same risk profile as a savings account at a bank, but conceptually you're able to hold Bitcoin and an account with BlockFi and earn interest on it paid in Bitcoin every month. That's one product that we have. The second product that we have which you are alluding to earlier offers our clients the ability to borrow dollars secured by the value of their cryptocurrency and it's analogous to a securities backed loan or a liquidity access line in the traditional world except instead of securities we're taking Bitcoin or other digital assets as collateral and lending it rates as low as four point five lending USD that rates as low as four point five percent a year. Buck: I wanna pick these apart a little bit if you don't mind. In terms of this savings account first of all is it just bitcoin or is it bitcoin, Ethereum? Zac: We actually support three assets in the interest account currently Bitcoin, Ether and GUSD which is the stable coin from Gemini. Buck: Got it. And talk about the interest because it's not one flat interest rate right it's different depending on how much cryptocurrency actually is held? Zac: Correct so there's a tiered interest rate structure. Currently on Bitcoin for balances up to ten Bitcoin, we offer a six point two percent annual yield and for balances above ten Bitcoin it's a 2.2 percent annual yield. On Ether, for balances up to two hundred Ether it's a 3.3 percent annual yield and balances above two hundred Ether is 0.5% annual yield and for GUSD the stable coin it's an eight point six percent interest rate with no tier so yeah those are the different rates. Buck: Why did, I mean was it just a matter of like an issue with people dumping like a thousand Bitcoin and trying to get six you know 6% of that, was it just too hard to you know make that a long-term part of the business model or why did the higher levels end up changing to a lower rate? Zac: Sure so I wanted to function of market conditions and to it's a function of supply and demand. So we launched the interest account in March of this year. We were just starting to come out of the bear market and one of the things that happened as we switched from being in a bear market to being in a bull market is the futures switched from being in backwardation to contango which basically means that our institutional borrowers the groups that we lend to that enable us to pay the rate to depositors had less of a need they had less demand to borrow and they were willing to pay lower rates to borrow crypto than they were when we were building and planning to launch this product. The second thing that happened is we were surprised to the upside in terms of the level of interest that we received from depositors and especially depositors with very large sums of cryptocurrency. So to give you an example you know within a day or two of making the product available publicly, we had a number of groups that were depositing 5, 10, 15, 20 million dollars worth of Bitcoin and so the supply-demand that we have to manage is, the amount that we have on deposit relative to the size of this market that will borrow Bitcoin size of the market that will borrow Bitcoin is partially a function of market sentiments partially a function of number of trading venues and the liquidity profile and it's partially a function of you know BlockFi’s efforts in terms of sales and client development relationship management. So the supply side got a little bit ahead of the demand side on deposit and how much there was available to borrow so we made a few tweaks. We want to keep the 6%, 6.2% rate on Bitcoin available to as many people as possible for as long as possible so that's why we went with the tiered structure where we made it available on balances up to 10 and reduced it for balances above that. Buck: Got it and the interest on that, when you say 6.2 percent that six point like it's all denominated in Bitcoin, you're not paying cash out right? Zac: Correct so to use round numbers to provide an easy example you start on January first with a hundred Bitcoin in an account, by the subsequent January first you will have 106 point 2 Bitcoin in your account. Buck: Yeah and that that's kind of neat too because then you're you know you're also getting potentially the upside of that you know I mean they made 6% but if you if you're really bullish on the market you could be potentially looking at a lot more than 6% on your money. How about in terms of the, is there like a you know do you do it sort of a month-to-month or six month or month you know year-long contracts for these things? Zac: It's month-to-month. So the rates are subject to change on a monthly basis. We provide notifications at least a week in advance before the end of one month on what the rates will be for the subsequent month and people are able to you know withdraw any time without penalty. We reserve up to 7 days to process withdrawals but we've never taken more than one business day to process a withdrawal so they're pretty quick but not instant for security reasons and yeah it's pretty flexible. Buck: How about the lump in the lending side how does how does that work? So now I've got like 10 Bitcoin and so I would deposit that I guess and you guys I understand that maybe that that goes into like a Gemini account or something, is that still how it works? Zac: Correct so we have a partnership with Gemini for custody. So when you log into a BlockFi account you'll have a deposit address. When you send Bitcoin to that deposit address it actually goes directly into storage with Gemini. Gemini was the first custodian in the crypto sector to receive insurance against cyber hacks on their platform. They were also the first custodian to get to complete a SOC 2 compliance audit and they have a really long track record of custody billions of dollars worth of crypto without ever having any issues. So it goes directly to Gemini and then you're able to interact with block-wise platform to take any actions that you might deem necessary. So you can view your interest payments you can withdraw you can deposit more you can also take out a loan. So in terms of taking out a loan, if you have ten Bitcoin that's worth roughly a hundred thousand US dollars at this point in time, you can borrow up to fifty percent of that value in a US dollar loan which can be funded be a wire or stable coin and then the structure of those loans is that you make interest-only payments on the amount that you borrowed throughout the duration and you can prepay at any time without penalty. Buck: And what's the typical you said it was four point six. Zac: We have interest rates as low as four point five. The interest rates on borrowing USD vary according to your initial loan to value ratio. So if you have a hundred thousand dollars worth of Bitcoin we actually have three loan-to-value ratio options. You can borrow at a 50 percent initial loan-to-value ratio which would mean you're borrowing 50k, the interest rate on that will be eleven point two five, if you borrow thirty five percent of the value so 35k the interest rate is seven point nine, and if you borrow twenty five percent of the value of the interest rate is four point five percent per year. Buck: Got it. In terms of you know the technical, so you basically pay that on a month-to-month basis and then in terms of contracts, are those also month-to-month loans or how does that work? Zac: Those are one-year term loans well now it's the ability to renew without repaying the principal at the end of the term at current rates and our rates for those loans have always come down so far. So it's a one-year term loan BlockFi committed for a year at that rate your payments stay the same but you can prepay at any time without penalty. Buck: Right. When do you do when would you do an actual sort of I guess a cap will call like what loan-to-value because you can go up to say you're borrowing at you know you're borrowing at the lowest rate you know you're at 4.5% you're borrowing see you know just for round numbers 100 Bitcoin you borrowed or you said 10 Bitcoin hundred thousand dollars but you only borrowed twenty-five thousand dollars at four point five percent, what if Bitcoin you know loses 50 percent of its value then what happens? Zac: Well you wouldn't have a margin call based on on that example. If your loan to value ratio hits 70 percent that's when we have a margin call and the way the margin call works is our clients have the option to either post more collateral, pay down the loan using USD or some of the collateral that's posted for the loan or take no action. If they take no action there's a 72-hour window where we'll wait to see if the price recovers, if it does then no action is required, if the price keeps going down further then we will initiate a partial collateral sale to rebalance that LTV to a healthy level at the end of that window. Buck: So in terms of the clients that you see doing this kind of stuff, I mean who are you seeing borrowing because you don't have a cap I mean you can on the borrow side, I mean and the rates don't really change like if you're depositing a hundred Bitcoin you're getting the same rate differences as somebody who's depositing ten for borrowing right? Zac: That's right. Buck: So who are the people who are putting I mean what are these businesses that are putting are using these loans who are the typical clients? Zac: Sure so it's a mix of retail and corporate. On the retail side we actually did a survey recently on use cases and the number one use case about a third of our borrowers expressed is that they were using the funds that they borrowed to start a business, which we were really excited about. So the other popular use cases were investing in real estate, investing in other types of traditional assets like stocks and bonds, home improvement, larger purchases, vacations were all used cases, paying down higher cost debt was another use case, and then on the corporate side the loans are used for operating capital. So we have some mining companies that borrow from BlockFi. Other types of companies who you know maybe have crypto denominated inventory like exchanges or crypto ATM businesses our frequent borrowers from BlockFi and our loan sizes rearranged from you know as low as five thousand dollars all the way up to seven figures. So it's a pretty diverse group of borrowers. Buck: So recently it sounds like you guys partnered with another company called Casa. What is Casa and I guess how does that benefit both companies? Zac: Sure. So Casa is a leader in fighting self sovereign storage solutions for cryptocurrency owners so if you're alone that owns Bitcoin and to use a gold analogy. If you want to own gold but you keep it in your vault or in your backyard you want to have physical possession of it yourself if you want to do that same type of custody with Bitcoin. Casa has a solution that makes that really easy. Our partnership with Casa provides mutual benefits to clients on either side. So Casa clients are able to receive some discounts in terms of accessing BlockFi products and vice-versa BlockFi clients are able to receive discounts in terms of accessing kasam products and over time we'll build some things in to the user experience specifically on Casa’s platform that will make it you know a bit more seamless to interact with BlockFi products while you're on their platform. In general that partnership strategy is something that you'll see more of we think there are in the ecosystem that are specializing in areas that BlockFi's not focused on and doing things where we can provide benefits to clients on both sides is a win-win for us then and our clients. Buck: Last thing I want to ask you about, last time I spoke to you, you had talked about the idea of potentially Bitcoin backed credit cards meaning like you know getting Bitcoin back instead of miles or dollars back. You guys any closer to that, because I definitely want one of those cards. Zac: I'm so glad you brought it up. We're definitely closer, but we're not you're not going to have the card until like Q3 of next year probably. It's getting worked on, these things you know for better or worse they take a long time launching a credit program is no small feat you know we're working on it. We've identified some of the key partners that we'll be working with to bring that product to market it is going to happen and I share your sentiment like I wish I had it now. Buck: Yeah seriously that'd be great. Well listen it was great talking you. So it's BlockFi.com and it's spelled like block and then fi and tell us you know tell us the process of doing is pretty simple okay how long does it take to apply for these things… Zac: Yeah I mean nothing takes any time really. So you could come in and start earning interest and get a loan from us all in under five minutes. And we also have a client service team that's super responsive in in terms of communication however you want to communicate with them, over email, over the phone, over text message so you know don't don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're also on twitter. My twitter handle is BlockFiZac and our company twitter handle is @therealBlockFi so we're very active on those platforms and happy to chat with you there as well. Buck: Zac Prince, thank you very much for being on Wealth Formula Podcast today. Zac: Thanks for having me, Buck, I appreciate it. Buck: We’ll be right back.
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