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An attepmt at explaining DeFi (this week...)
Warning, long post from my mornings contemplation. See https://twitter.com/markjeffrey/status/1300175793352445952 (Mark Jeffery 30 mins) for a video explaining DeFi. This is my attempt at explaining DeFi. I’m still learning this stuff, so any corrections are welcomed. Links are provided for information, none are recommendations, nor referral links. Do your own research (DYOR) before investing :) I’ll try not to shill YFI too much... Not all platforms use the same mechanics as I describe, but I think I’ve covered the most common ones. Stable coins Crypro currency that is intended to maintain a level value. Normally with respect to USD $. Some rely on a trusted third party who has actual USD sitting in a bank account (USDT aka Tether, USDC…), others are trustless (DAI) Maker Lock collateral into the smart contract. Then DIA can be generated, and used for other things. DAI is designed to match the USD, and is completely trustless. You must have more value staked than the DAI removed (at least 150% over collateral) or you will get liquidated. BTC on ETH Bitcoin can not be directly used on the etherium chain. So, there are a number ways to make the value availble. Most involve trusting a 3rd party and the most common is wrapped BTC wBTC. Notes WETH (Wrapped ETH) is used by some contracts to use ETH (direct use of ETH is not possible in some contracts) Unlinke WBTC, WETH is trustless as evrythign is done on the etherium blockchain (I think). Lending You deposit a valuable token onto a pool on platform, someone else borrows it. They pay interest to the pool. You get a proportion of the pools interest over time. When there is high demand for a particular token, the interest rate increases dynamically. e.g. look at the interest rate model and click on the figure for https://compound.finance/markets/USDC Borrow rates increase lineally as more of the available pool is loaned. 2% at zero and 12.5% when the pool is emptied. Earnings are lower than the borrowing rates because: There is more in the pool than borrowed. The platform takes a cut. e.g. 50% of the pool is borrowed, the borrower pays 7.25%, but the lenders only get 3.38%. 3.38/0.5 = 6.76%, so about 0.5% of the interest is being taken by compound. Different pools have different interest rate functions, DAI has an inflection point to maintain a buffer https://compound.finance/markets/DAI The interest rate increases slowly to 4% until 75% of the available pool is loaned out. Then it’s much more expensive to borrow e.g. 16% APR at 90% utilisation. When lending a single token into a single pool, you should always get the (slightly ?) more of same token back. How lending works You deposit ETH, you are given a token back as proof of participation in the pool (cETH for comound.finance). The exchange rate for cETH to ETH is NOT fixed. Rather is changes over time. As the ETH interest is paid into the pool the cETH becomes more valuable compared to the initial deposit. e.g. you deposit 10 ETH, and get 499.52 cETH. In a months time, you repay the 499.2 cETH cETH and get 10.1 ETH back. You have just gained 1%. Taxes In many jurisdictions, converting ETH to cETH would be classed as a taxable event (DYOR ! ) Lego Bricks The cETH represents your ETH, so it has value. This means it can be used for other things... Lego bricks is taken to mean that all these things fit together and you can sue them in different ways. How borrowing works You need to be over colarteralised to borrow from most platforms. So, if you deposit 10.0 ETH into a smart contract, you (currently) have $4,000 of collateral to work with. The platform may then let you borrow a % of your collateral in other tokens. So, you can borrow $2,000 of USDC, to buy more 5 ETH. Then when ETH price goes up you sell $2100 back to USDC and repay the interest. Now you have 10.x ETH. This is a form of Leverage, when the price goes up, you win. However, if the ETH price goes down, you risk being Liquidated. This means part of your collateral will be sold at the (lower) market price to repay your loan. There will likely be a penalty for you. (e.g. @ ETH = $300, 7.33 of your ETH is sold for $2,400, your USDC loan is repaid, and you keep the remaining 2.67 ETH and the 5 ETH you purchased. Shorting Deposit $8,000 collateral, Borrow 10 ETH and sell for $400 each. If the price drops to $380, buy 10.1 ETH and repay the loan and interest. You have just made $162 profit. However, if the price goes up you will still need to buy 10.1 ETH. Flash Loans A technomage creates a single transaction that borrows lots of money. Then within the same single ~13 second block uses it to do lots of complex things to hopefully make a profit. As it’s all within a single block, collateral is not required. See https://mobile.twitter.com/nanexcool/status/1297068546023993349 for a transaction that made ~46,000 USDC profit (without collateral) If this post is introducing you to the possibilities of flash loans, you are very unlikely to ever do one in the near future. I think Aave is the most common source for flash loans. Simple farming lending: Simply put you token in which ever platform offers the largest interest rate. Moving to the best option costs gas (and attention). Complex lending farming Some platforms offer tokens in return for using a platform, so simple APR comparisons aren’t sufficient. If the additional platform token has high value it can distort the market. E.g. when COMP was initially offered, it was profitable to:
Place collateral on compound.finance
Borrow BAT at 30%
Lend the BAT back to the same platform at 15%
Collect the COMP accrued due to interest paid and interest earned.
Sell the COMP on the open market.
This technique was made less favourable by compound changing the distribution model so smaller pools (like BAT) couldn’t be exploited in this way. DEX Decentralised exchanges range from ones that operate with depositing assets, trading with an order book and then withdrawing, to simple interfaces that allow you to swap tokens. of the latter, the most popular is uniswap. Liquidity provision The swap based DEX’s rely on liquidity providers (LP). Here you deposit equal values of two tokens e.g. USDC and ETH. Then any time someone wants to swap USDC for ETH on the exchange, they add USDC and remove ETH from the pool. Each time someone does a swap, they pay a fee to the liquidity pool and you get a share. Impairment loss However, if the price of one asset goes up, the pool with stabilise to have less of it. So you see an overall increase, but not as much as if you had just hold’ed. See https://twitter.com/ChainLinkGod/status/1270046868932661248 for an example. Hopefully, the fees accrued are greater than the losses. https://twitter.com/Tetranode/status/1300326676451057664/photo/1 Stable coin pairs If you restrict yourself to similar things (e.g. USD stable coins, or different versions of BTC on Ethereum), then the impairment loss is much reduced. Curve.finance focuses on such like for like pools and allows multiple tokens in a single pool. Complex farming liquidity pools Taking advantage of governance token rewards for using certain exchanges / pools. This can be done to boot strap liquidity and / or allow a decentralisation of the governance of the DEX. The tokes received have value because of expected future income, or governance rights (which may be exploited for future income) Yearn Yearn is a group of smart farmer protocols that allow pooling to reduce gas costs and benefit from smart developers / contracts. The simplest EARN take tokens / stable coins and place them in the highest yielding platform for that token. https://yearn.finance/earn The yCRV vault provides USD stable coin liquidity within curve for trading fees, but also lending fees via Yearn pools for each stable coin (oh and it gets CRV governance tokens…). Other vaults use more complex strategies. The collateral is used to generate stable coins that then generate income from interest rates, Liquidity provision fees, and accrual of governance tokens. Some governance tokens are sold, others are used to optimise the rewards from other platforms. For example, see this video on the Link Vault (Mark Jeffrey 13 mins). https://twitter.com/markjeffrey/status/1300175793352445952 I expect the ETH vault may be similar, but may include Maker to generate the stable coins (rather than borrowing on Aave). This video is a good intro on curve / yearn products (DeFIDad 31 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yP-4pJpKbRU All of these steps can be done by yourself, however, gas costs would be significant unless you have a large amount invested. Yearn, and vaults pay fees to the YFI protocol. YFI YFI is the token for yearn. There are only 30,000 issued. So, you can not earn them, you can: 1) Stake them for governance rewards 2) place in a yYFI vauly to gain more FYI 3) Use them as long term Ventrue capital funds within a DAO (coming soon (tm) ). YFII, YVFV etc. Forks of the YFI with different tokens / fees. YAM, Sushi, YFII, etc. To be completed… Synthetix To be completed... Finally: This is not financial advice. There are multiple risks which get larger as more moving parts are added. Errors and omissions expected. Do you own research. Comments and corrections welcomed
Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analysed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralised and scalable in my opinion.
Below I post my analysis why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
Technology and some more:
Introduction The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
Mainnet is live since end of January 2019 with daily transaction rate growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralised and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. Maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
Zilliqa realised early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralised, secure and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralisation. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
Before we continue disecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
Down the rabbit hole
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here. Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as:
“A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronise cryptographically-secure data”.
Next he states that: >“blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”.* For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
With public blockchains like Zilliqa this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network etc.
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralised and scalable being low.
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimisation on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017. Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (>66%) double spend attacks become possible.
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralisation.
Currently there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralised nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching their transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand. Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public.They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers.The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translates to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
With a high amount of DS & shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralised too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralised in my opinion.
Generalised: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: > “all programmes have two basic components, data – what the programme knows – and behaviour – what the programme can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviours in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behaviour are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.”
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: > OCaml is a general purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognised by academics and won a so called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities safety is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa for Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”.Scilla design story part 1
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue:
In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
“Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
Business & Partnerships It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organisations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggest that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
Zilliqa seems to already taking advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, AirBnB, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are build on top of these blocks.
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”*
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They dont just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
Marketing & Community
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities) also seem to be growing.
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiatives (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggest in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures & Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
IQ stock broker is a Forex & bitcoin Company in USA Founded in 2012 by a team of highly motivated professionals who are very passionate about trading on the world’s financial market, and are keen on empowering
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Questions and Answers from OKEx AMA with Tron Black - 2/18/2020
https://twitter.com/OKEx/status/1228212766126661633 The AMA was a huge success! THANK YOU TRON! If you want to see all the questions that poured in when they opened the AMA up for questions from the audience, here they are: https://pastebin.com/KVpyXmgu The Telegram admins had to temporarily mute the group because there were so many questions flooding in from so many people. A *good problem* to have. :) Below are all the ANSWERED questions. ------------------------------------------------------------------- [email protected], [18.02.20 05:09] Here’s question#1:What is your background and how did you come to the idea to create RVN [email protected] Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:12] Sorry, I was locked out for minute. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:12] I'm just a tiny part of Ravencoin, and there are some amazing developers (Jeremy, Mark, Cade, and Corbin) that have been brought the new capabilities to mainnet. The core idea of bringing assets to a bitcoin-derived blockchain platform came from Bruce Fenton, a former Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation with life-long experience in the traditional finance and stockbroker world. Medici Ventures is allowing some of its developers to contribute to the project. I was fortunate enough to have the right background to help with this project. I have a CS degree, C++ coding skills, economics background, early entrepreneurial success, teaching experience, an MBA, and a burning passion for the crypto-space and how it can change the world for the better. [email protected], [18.02.20 05:12] Thanks. Here's question#2: Why did you name the project Raven? What was Raven created to solve? What is the business model of the project? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:12] The name came from Bruce Fenton. Ravens are clever birds with a rich history. Ravencoin makes it easy to create and transfer your own asset. There isn’t a business model for the project. It is a gift to the world in the spirit of Bitcoin. Medici Ventures has allowed some of its top developers to contribute time and effort to the project. Medici Ventures does hold some mined RVN, so it may be a win-win. [email protected], [18.02.20 05:14] Thank you for answering. Let's move on to the next question# 3. What are the $RVN tokens used for? What gives it value? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:15] Thank you for asking. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:15] The RVN tokens are used to purchase your own token on the Ravencoin platform. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:16] Those RVN are burned. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:16] RVN is also used to incentivize the miners to secure the chain. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:16] RVN is also used for transaction fees for tranferring RVN or user-created (your) assets. [email protected], [18.02.20 05:17] Cool. Here's question# 4:In your opinion what is the unique "selling" point, or best feature, of Ravencoin? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:17] This is like being asked "who is your favorite child." Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:18] Except answering it doesn't cost children thousands in therapy so I'll give it a shot. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:18] The best feature of Ravencoin, with the most unexpected results, has been its linkage to IPFS. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:19] This was originally done to ensure that meta-dat about a token doesn't get lost like it has on other platforms like Counterparty. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:19] The linkage to IPFS has RECENTLY been extended to include messaging, and memos. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:20] You can now include information, even a PDF, or a video clip with every transaction. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:20] This is powerful, and I can't wait to see how it gets used. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:20] -------------------- [email protected], [18.02.20 05:20] Quesiton#5 What are the advantages of using Ravencoin for assets tokenization compared to other blockchain protocols? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:21] Wow. Where do I start? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:21] First, the meta-data about the token can be recorded via IPFS, so everyone knows what the token represents. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:22] Second, the token has a unique name which can help with preventing fake tokens, and allows humang readable "root-of-trust" for the token that isn't just 40 characters of hex (ERC-20). Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:22] There explorers for assets, like: https://ravencoin.asset-explorer.com Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:23] and https://www.mangofarmassets.com/assetviewer Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:23] Wallets like RVN Wallet, MangoFarms Wallet, and Zelcore wallet support Ravencoin assets. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:23] -------------- [email protected], [18.02.20 05:23] Here's our next question from Twitter# 6: Does being fully community-driven blockchain have its own drawbacks for rvn? You know, voluntarism means no marketing or legal team. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:24] Yes, oh yes. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:24] But the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. [email protected], [18.02.20 05:24] [ Photo ] 📣Group is Off Commenting for a while due to AMA. Will allow back when Q&A session later. Kindly be Patience with us. Thank You🥰 Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:24] It is just technology that people choose to use. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:24] Ravencoin has attracted the right kinds of people, including donated legal help when it was needed. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:25] The lack of a marketing budget does slow the awareness. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:25] In some ways this is good, and the demand for RVN isn't reliant on promotion. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:25] As other projects stop promotion, or run out of marketing funds, they are at risk. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:26] Ravencoin is just growing slowly and steadily as more people learn about it. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:26] Consider yourself fortunate to have learned about Ravencoin early.😁 Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:26] --------------- [email protected], [18.02.20 05:27] Great!!! Here's the next question from Twitter# 7:is it apple to apple if I say that ravencoin is going to disrupt wall street just like bitcoin is disrupting to central banking? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:28] At the very least, Ravencoin will help show the way that tokenization can improve capital formation. It is up to others to take advantage of these new tools, technologies, and features. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:28] It might happen first in countries other than the U.S. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:29] Look at the story of Blockbuster Video (former leader in video rental), and Netflix (current video streaming leader) to see what might happen in the future. Is Wall Street the new Blockbuster Video? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:30] I see similar patterns of arrogance, but only time will tell. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:30] --------------- [email protected], [18.02.20 05:30] Here's the next question# 8: How will Ravencoin defend hashrate distribution (algo question) if there are important securities issued on this platform (double spend attack)? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:31] Ravencoin doesn't re-org after 60 blocks which helps prevent double-spend attacks -- a feature called NLR. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:31] Also, something to be aware of is that in most cases tokens are redeemed by an issuer which removes the incentive to double-spend. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:32] Example: Let's say the token is a share of real-estate. The laws of the jurisdiction for the real-estate would apply when redeeming for dividends, etc. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:33] Also If the issuer is using the Restricted Assets feature of Ravencoin which have tokens that start with $, then the stolen tokens can be frozen. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:33] Note: Regular assets (not starting with $) can't be frozen. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:33] The issuer of the token should specify how redemption is handled. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:33] -------------- [email protected], [18.02.20 05:34] Thank you for your detailed answer. and Quesiton#9 How does RVN works? What problem did RVN solve? How do the Tokenomics work? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:34] RVN works like BTC, because it is a code fork of BTC. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:34] RVN lets you create your own tokens in under a minute. It is easy!!! Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:34] RVN is required to create your own token. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:35] Heres' the breakdown: Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:35] 500 RVN burned to create a root asset with a unique name. 100 RVN is burned to create a sub-asset (under a root asset). 5 RVN is burned to create a unique asset (NFT). 1000 RVN burned to be a qualifier. 1500 RVN burned to create a Restricted Asset with special superpowers. 0.1 RVN burned to attach a tag to a Ravencoin address. A small amount of RVN is used, but not burned to transfer assets. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:35] ------------ [email protected], [18.02.20 05:35] Let's move on to the next question#10 Safety and security are always the most important things. So what is the security mechanism of RavenCoin to ensure user assets do not become the target of hackers? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:36] Ravencoin has a strong network of miners. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:36] Most of the original code is from Bitcoin which is probably the most vetted code in the world. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:36] We have run a bug bounty to hopefully find any flaws before release to mainnet. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:36] With all that said, there are no guarantees as this is just source code provided for free that folks choose to run. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:37] If you need absolute assurance, then you should commission an audit of the code. There is no Ravencoin company, just a GitHub repository and a lot of passionate supporters. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:37] ------------- [email protected], [18.02.20 05:37] Quesiton#11 Nowaday most investors $RVN simply focus on the price of the token in the short term, and not on the real value of the project. Can you tell us about the motivation and advantages of an investor $RVN in the long term? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:38] I can't speak to the motivations of individual investors. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:38] RVN is a great token with good liquidity (world-wide). Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:38] RVN is used to incentivize the miners and help protect the Ravencoin asset platform, so it has a use case. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:39] RVN can be a store-of-value, and a medium-of-exchange. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:39] One of my favorite things about Ravencoin is that it is tricky to classify, as it has so many uses. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:39] I love seeing how people build using this technology platform. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:39] Ravencoin makes new things possible. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:39] -------------- [email protected], [18.02.20 05:40] Here's the next question #12 Who are your competitors and how do you intend to thrive amongst them? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:40] This may sound strange, but I don't see crypto technologies as competitors. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:41] The crypto space is tiny compared to the legacy systems we've had for fifty years, so I look at every project as a way to bring new people into crypto-ecosystem. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:41] If we add value, features, and capabilities, then more people will learn about the Ravencoin platform and what it can do for them. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:41] The ERC-20 smart contract is an alternative asset issuance option, but Ravencoin is much better for most uses, so more education is needed. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:41] https://medium.com/@tronblack/ravencoin-better-than-erc-20-88a276d3e434 Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:41] -------------- [email protected], [18.02.20 05:42] Quesiton#13 What is the uniqueness of the Raven token? Why should investors (including me) invest in Raven? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:42] Ravencoin is a platform. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:42] You should evaluate the capabilities of the Ravencoin platform and ask yourself whether it will be used, and whether it adds value over other platforms like ETH, EOS, or TEZOS. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:42] Hint: It does. I try not to provide investment advice, so do your own research. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:43] https://ravencoin.org Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:43] https://medium.com/@tronblack Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:43] --------------- [email protected], [18.02.20 05:43] Quesiton#14 What your plans in place for global expansion, are you focusing on only market at this time? Or focus on building and developing or getting customers and users, or partnerships? Can you explain this? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:43] Ravencoin is already a global phenomenon. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:44] South Korea has been onto Ravencoin for some time now, and I had the opportunity to speak at a South Korean Ravencoin meetup that filled an Art Hall with a waiting list. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:44] Because of OKEx, that awareness will expand to China. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:44] Our focus is building and education about Ravencoin. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:44] There is no marketing budget, and we raised no funds. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:45] The success so far has been completely organic, and Ravencoin has the best community of any coin, anywhere. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:45] ------------ [email protected], [18.02.20 05:45] Here is THE LAST question#10 from Twitter before we accept questions from the Telegram chat. what are your hopes with the $RVN listing on u/OKEx Okex going forward? Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:45] I hope the OKEx $RVN listing brings awareness of Ravencoin to new parts of the world. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:46] The project is more capable than most people know, and because it was launched without raising any funds, there isn't a marketing budget. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:46] It is up to smart individuals, like yourselves, to figure out what Ravencoin can do, and use the technology to make new companies and new projects. Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:46] ------------------ +++++++++++++++++++++ Tron Black, [18.02.20 05:57] >>> When is mainnet launch? January 3, 2018 Tron Black, [18.02.20 06:01] >>> A project's Technical development may not always be reflected on the price of it's token. What is raven doing specifically to increase price of its token? I agree. And I think it is especially true in the case of Ravencoin. The true value may not be reflected in the short-term. The Ravencoin project isn't a company. It will take time. There isn't a marketing dept or budget, but through events like these, and podcasts, and blogs, and new projects building on top of Ravencoin, I think the value will eventually be reflected. Tron Black, [18.02.20 06:06] >>>> Give me some important reasons why we need to buy RVN token where in fact hundreds of project failed and it went to bankruptcy or even developers run when they collect millions/billions of funds…? Can you explain it to us Many got burned during the crazy ICO phase of 2017. Ravencoin did not participate. Ravencoin is technology and a passionate community. If I get hit by a bus tomorrow (heaven forbid), the project will continue because it is free, open-source and anyone can carry it on, or contribute, or use it, or copy it. Ravencoin can't go to bankruptcy. It is code, and it doesn't borrow, or or have debt. Some of the core develoepers, myself included, are allowed to work on the project while working for Medici Ventures. This is a great arrangement. Tron Black, [18.02.20 06:06] ----------------- Tron Black, [18.02.20 06:10] >>>> How does RAVENCOIN evaluate the importance of the user community? In the near future, does RAVEN have any special plans to attract and expand the community ? The Ravencoin community is the most important and valuable part of the project. There are already clones of the code, but not of the passionate, helpful, and dedicated community. We invite you to become a part of it, and help expand it in Asia. Tron Black, [18.02.20 06:10] -------------------- Tron Black, [18.02.20 06:13] >>>>. RVN is regulatory compliant project for assets tokenization in U.S. Meaning that the assets issued in RVN protocol is fine with the U.S authorities. Ravencoin provides features that help U.S. issuers stay legal under the existing U.S. rules. I've written about how this can be done, but I would always recommend having your plans reviewed by a competent attorney. The U.S. rules are complex, and from a different era. Tron Black, [18.02.20 06:13] --------------- Tron Black, [18.02.20 06:18] >>>> Ravencoin is constantly finding new big partners.Audience is constantly growing.What’s the secret to this growth rate? A vibrant, and welcoming community. Technology that solves real tokenization problems. Easy-to-use, so anyone can participate. Not launching as an ICO, so it is fair for everyone. Tron Black, [18.02.20 06:18] -------------- Tron Black, [18.02.20 06:20] Thank you everyone for the fantastic questions. I would like to answer every one of them, but it is after 4am and I should get some sleep. I really appreciate all the participation, and I hope your trading on OKEx goes very well for all of you!!!
Investor takes out $127,000 loan to buy cryptocurrency, loses 85 per cent
Investor takes out $127,000 loan to buy cryptocurrency, loses 85 per cent A 32-YEAR-OLD has revealed his eye-watering $3000-a-month “lesson” after making a seriously poor financial decision. AN UNFORTUNATE investor who took out a six-figure loan to purchase cryptocurrencies that have since lost 85 per cent of their value says he hopes his story can be a “lesson” to others. Reddit user Cryptohomie, who identified himself as a 32-year-old living in Abu Dhabi, posted a photo of his brutal repayment schedule to the Cryptocurrency subreddit on Monday. The document from Emirates Islamic Bank shows monthly repayments of 8194 dirham ($3067) until December 14, 2021. The original loan is listed as 338,000 dirham ($126,500) with a total outstanding amount of 393,296.80 dirham ($147,200) including interest. “Here is my bank instalment related to the loan I took to invest in crypto,” the user wrote. “Still three-and-a-half years to go until I’m freed. Until then, I’m working for nothing and I’m at 85 per cent loss. I hope it gives you a lesson.” He said he bought Neo, Stellar, Litecoin, Ethereum “and some shitcoins that lost 95 per cent of their value already”. For context, Neo has lost about 90 per cent of its value since peaking in January, Stellar is down about 75 per cent, Litecoin is down about 85 per cent and Ethereum is down about 80 per cent. The price of bitcoin has fallen by around 70 per cent since topping $US20,000 late last year to around $US6000 at the time of writing. In the same period, the total market capitalisation of more than 1800 cryptocurrencies tracked by Coinmarketcap has fallen from $US800 billion to under $US200 billion. The Reddit user said he was “now mostly into” Neo, Ontology, Elastos, Stellar and HPB. The user explained that it was a “simple loan” banks give “almost instantly in UAE”. “You can get $100,000 within few days on your account without much verification,” he said. “I’m 32 and it was my first speculative investment. I think it’s an age where we’re still unconscious and take lot of risk if we don’t have big responsibilities like a kid or bills to pay.” Just in case, he added that “if there is any ridiculously rich Emirati who doesn’t know what to do with his money, feel free to contact me”. “Miracles happen sometimes!” Reddit users were part amused and part sympathetic. “I don’t think there’s anything we can say that you don’t go to sleep thinking about already,” one wrote. Another said, “So this is why we hit $US20,000.” One noted that “people complained” when the banks stopped allowing crypto purchases on credit cards but it was “because of things like this”. “Since this last run I’ve wondered how many people did this sort of thing and how much banks have loaned out for crypto,” another said. “I imagine there have and will be quite a bit of credit/loan defaulting. Last December, at the height of the crypto mania, a US securities regulator warned people were taking out loans to buy digital currencies. “We’ve seen mortgages being taken out to buy bitcoin,” Joseph Borg from the Alabama Securities Commission told CNBC. “People borrow money. People do credit cards, equity lines.” Mr Borg said the problem was “innovation and technology always outruns regulation”. “This looks like tulips from Holland back in 1643,” he said. “That doesn’t mean there’s no real value here, it just means perhaps the value is over-inflated. This is not something a guy who’s making $100,000 a year, who’s got a mortgage and two kids in college ought to be invested in.” Regulators around the world have repeatedly sounded warnings about investing in so-called initial coin offerings (ICOs), often used by businesses to raise funds. In February, an analysis of ICOs from 2017 found of 531 out of 902 projects had either failed or “semi-failed” — a rate of 59 per cent. That figure is likely to increase as more ICOs are launched at the same time as retail investors grow more wary. The vast majority of ICOs typically range from convoluted blockchain solutions in search of a use-case, to outright scams — often both. Worthless digital tokens are derisively referred to as “shitcoins”. In March, an even more scathing report by Satis Group concluded that a whopping 81 per cent of ICOs were outright frauds, 6 per cent failed, 5 per cent went dead and just 8 per cent made it to trading. Many of those that do end up listed on an exchange are subject to heavy manipulation. Due to their thin trading volumes, smaller digital tokens are frequently used in “pump-and-dump” schemes, in which a small group of individuals buy and then artificially boost the price through misleading statements before cashing out. Many ICOs rely on celebrity endorsements to generate hype. In April, the founders of Centra — an ICO promoted by boxer Floyd Mayweather and music producer DJ Khaled — were charged with fraud by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has been cracking down on ICOs under delegated power from the consumer watchdog. In May, ASIC said it was “issuing inquiries to ICO issuers and their advisers where we identify conduct or statements that may be misleading or deceptive”. In at least one case the securities regulator has taken action “to protect investors where we identified fundamental concerns with the structure of an ICO”. “If you are acting with someone else’s money, or selling something to someone, you have obligations,” ASIC Commissioner John Price said. “Regardless of the structure of the ICO, there is one law that will always apply — you cannot make misleading or deceptive statements about the product. This is going to be a key focus for us as this sector develops.”
Weekly Update: $WIB, $VID, $CHZ on ParJar, Pynk crushes Web Summit, XIO swap bridge, Sentivate reorg... – 1 Nov - 7 Nov'19
Hi folks! We are catching up real quick. Here’s your week at Parachute + partners (1 Nov - 7 Nov'19): Three new projects and their awesome communities joined the Parachute fam this week: Wibson, VideoCoin and Chiliz. Welcome! And if you missed, we also added Shuffle Monster, Harmony and CyberFM last week. #cryptoforeveryone is getting bigger by the day. Woot woot! In this week’s TTR trivias, we had Richi’s movie quiz qith a 25k $PAR pot. Charlotte's Rebus trivia in TTR on Tuesday had 25k $PAR in prizes for 10 Qs. Noice! Jason’s creative contest for this week was #artdeadmin: “draw/paint/sketch/whatever you imagine a group of the parachute admins doing together”. Click here to check out some of the entries of the TTR Halloween photo contest from last week. Doc Victor (from Cuba) hosted a Champions League wager round in tip room. And congrats to Victor (Anox) for passing his final Medical exams. We have 2 Doc Vics now. One from Cuba and the other from *redacted*. Some of the top #artdeadmin submissions. Insane talent! Jason’s running medal collection. Say what! Andy shared the latest standings in the Parachute Fantasy Football League (#PFFL). Clinton (7-2) is on top followed by Chris (7-2) in second place and Hang (7-2) in third place. So close! As we rolled into November, Parachute crew signed up for Movember. So now we have 3 teams from the Parachute fold, doing a no-shave November for men’s health issues: Parachute (Tony, Cap, Alexis, Cuban Doc Vic, Richi), TTR (Vali, Ashok, Tavo, Alejandro, Marcos, PeaceLove) and TTR-Ladies (Mery, Martha, AngellyC, Liem, Durby, LeidyElena, Charlotte). Show them some support peeps! This is all for charity. Show them some support folks! This week’s #wholesomewed was about “your most precious possession and give us the story of why it is so precious to you”. A whole lot of $PAR was given out for some real wholesome life stories. Best. Community. Eva! Two-for-Tuesday theme for this week: colors! As always, a melodic Tuesday thanks to Gian! And thank you Borna for writing about Parachute and ParJar on the Blockchain Andy blog. <- This is where Jose creates his magic. Respect / Cuban Doc Vic’s doggo, Symba, could easily be a TTR mascot. Good boi! -> This week at aXpire there were two separate $AXPR burns: 20k of last week and 200k of this week. Last week’s news recap can be seen here. Congratulations to the team for being conferred the honour of being handed a key to Miami-Dade County by Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez at the 2019 Miami-Dade Beacon Council Annual Meeting & Key Ceremony. aXpire's disruptive solutions like Resolvr (expense allocation), Bilr (invoice management) and DigitalShares (deal marketplace) help hedge funds and PE firms scale through better profit margins. How? Read here. Did you know that the 2gether Ambassador Zone lets you customise referral messages with a #PicOfTheDay while you earn some sweet 2GT rewards? Super cool! There was an upgrade to the platform this week that might have led to a temporary deactivation in withdrawals while the update was being deployed. CEO Ramón Ferraz’s interview by BeInCrypto was released. Founder Salvador Algarra travelled to an ABANCA event for a keynote speech on Fintech innovation. Next week he will be at Rankia's Blockchain and Crypto Tech gathering to speak on "Blockchain, from predicting the future to building it". CardRates’ feature article on 2gether came out this week. The BOMBX:XIO token swap bridge went live. The swap will be open till 15th December. Plus, $XIO is now listed on DDEX and Switcheo. There were some disruptions in the bridge from time to time because of heavy traffic. Hence, the team also set up a manual swap page as an alternative solution. And please be wary of scammers posing as admins to help with the swap instructions. For any doubts, always reach out to accounts with admin tags on the official Telegram channel. The first set of incubated startups will be revealed on the 22nd of November. Ever wanted to find out about the people who frequent the BOMB token chat? Well, the BOMB Board is running a "Humans of Bomb" series to feature some of the most active members. This week, say Hello to Gustavo. Key to Miami-Dade County awarded to aXpire. Cool! WednesdayCoin’s founder Mike floated the idea of making WednesdayClub open on all days. The nature of the $WED token will not change on chain. Just that it will be usable inside the DApp everyday. What do you think? Let him know in the Reddit thread. Birdchain’s $BIRD token was listed on Mercatox this week. A new monthly referral contest was launched as well. 50k BIRD tokens to be won. Nice! Want the SMS feature to be released in your country? Start promoting! A featured article on Chainleak capped off the week perfectly for Birdchain. $ETHOS, $AXPR (aXpire), $HYDRO, $BNTY (Bounty0x) and $HST (Horizon State) were added to the eToro Wallet. The airdrops for Switch’s various token holders were distributed this week. As mentioned earlier as well, $ESH and $SDEX are revenue sharing tokens. Winners of the John McAfee contest and trading competition were announced. Congratulations! Tron blockchain support will be added to the Switch-based McAfeeDex next week. The news was covered by Beincrypto, U Today, Crypto Crunch, Altcoin Buzz and Tron’s Justin Sun as well. The Dex was featured in a Forbes article about John McAfee’s views on Libra. The latest community contest at Fantom involves writing educational articles on the platform. If you have been following Fantom developments, then this would be a breeze. Also, USD 100 in FTM tokens to be won. Sweet! Check out the cool $FTM merch on display at Odd Gems fashion. Even though these are not official gear, they have the blessings from the project. CMO Michael Chen sat down for an interview with Crypto Intelligence India to talk about the upcoming mainnet launch. The crew also appeared for an AMA with Atomic Wallet community. The latest technical update covers "Golang implementation of Lachesis consensus" or Go-Lachesis in short. Check out its demo with 7 nodes here. Parachute presentation (WIP). That’s right. 500k transactions and counting. Wow! While the Uptrennd Halloween contest got over last week, AltcoinBuzz made a friggin amazing graphic! Don’t forget to follow the Ann channel to stay up to date with the latest from Uptrennd. Founder Jeff Kirdeikis also announced that he will be working closely with PrefLogic on Security Tokens. Jeff’s interview with MakerDAO Biz Dev Gustav Arentoft came out. After some upgrades on Uptrennd, withdrawals are live again. Instead of the weekly meme contest, there was a flyer contest this week. 5k $1UP prize pool for winners. Wicked! The latest community picked TA report was on ETH. And the crew reached Malta for the AIBC Summit. More pics next week! Did you know that you can get Opacity Gift Codes for various plans at ShopOpacity.com? If not, make sure to read up on the Opacity October update. Catch up on the latest at District0x from the District weekly. The District Registry was live demo’ed. Looks cool! Hydro crew travelled to the Web Summit in Lisbon to spread word on the project. They were also represented at the Chicago fintech science fair this week. For a summary of the last few weeks gone by at Hydrogen, you can read the Project update and Hydro Labs update. We have covered most of these in previous posts. For the latest scoop on Hydro Labs, there’s always the Ann channel. Silent Notary’s Ubikiri wallet is undergoing upgrades. One of which is, wallets will be auto-named after creation. A ton more upgrades to be released. Sentivate announced a reorganisation in the company in order to devote full focus on Sentivate. The parent company will close and all resources will move to Sentivate. Here’s another use-case story to emphasise the potential of Universal Web. In the latest community vote on Blockfolio, folks voted overwhelmingly Yes on whether they would like to see more explainer articles on web tech. Also, the epic shoutout from Scott Melker (The Wolf Of All Streets) has to be the best thing ever! Updated Sentivate roadmap for next 3 months Pynk travelled to the Web Summit in Lisbon (wonder if they crossed paths with Hydro and SelfKey teams) as an official delegate of the Mayor's International Business Programme and were featured by KPMG. How to catch people’s eyes in a Summit where everyone is trying to grab your attention? With LED back packs. Genius! Such a lit idea, that even Web Summit tweeted it. Woohoo! And then they rocked a series of pitches to get to the big stage. Wins in Round 1 and quarter finals ensured an entry into the semi finals on the main stage. Click here to watch their presentation. Great job guys! Business Insider Poland included Pynk in their list of 12 Fintech companies worth following. The latest Pynk Tank episode delves into deep fakes in political advertising. One of the upcoming features on the platform will be the addition of gold to the daily price prediction tool. Pynk has "absolutely no interest in Bitcoin fanatics, ‘bagholders’ or ANYONE who mentions moons or Lamborghini’s. It’s tacky". This vibes perfectly with Parachute. Read more on Pynk's guide to becoming a super-predictor here. Horizon State announced that it will be resuming business under a new management. Welcome back! The original $HST token will not be supported anymore. The team will be looking into how the token holders are included in the new system. DENGfans, don’t forget to check the mini-projects posted by Mathew in the Telegram channel. Look up #getDENG in the channel. If you’re proficient in excel and VB, get in touch. Shuffle Monster’s $SHUF token is now listed on Dex.ag which acts as a decentralised price aggregator. CyberFM distributed the $CYFM payouts for October this week. Total payout as of 1st Nov is USD 266k+ in crypto. Say what! Pynk’s LED back packs are a stroke of genius OST’s Pepo was the 19th most popular dApp on State of the DApps last week. This week it climbed to the 16th position. Upcoming features on Pepo include video replies, threads and debates. Stay tuned! OST crew was at the Web3 UX Unconference in Toronto to talk all things UX. Next week they will be at ETHWaterloo to present and judge the UX award there. SelfKey’s $KEY token got listed on Hong Kong’s Lukki exchange. Like Hydro, the SelfKey team also attended the Web Summit in Lisbon for networking. If you were there, hope you said Hi. Ever wondered how Distributed Identity keeps your information private and safe when blockchains are supposed to be public? Click here to find out how SelfKey does this. More insight was shared into the Chainlink partnership this week by Constellation CEO Ben Jorgensen. The team attended the Air Force Space Pitch Day where it was selected to pitch the platform to attendees. Go get’em! How and why does Constellation do things? Check out the Constellation Principles. The October update for Yazom covers news such as alpha build of the app nearing completion, ongoing deal negotiation with clients etc. And with that, we close for this week in Parachuteverse. See you again soon. Ciao!
WARNING: If you try to use the Lightning Network you are at extremely HIGH RISK of losing funds and is not recommended or safe to do at this time or for the foreseeable future (274 points, 168 comments)
The guy who won this week's MillionaireMakers drawing has received ~$55 in BCH and ~$30 in BTC. It will cost him less than $0.01 to move the BCH, but $6.16 (20%) in fees to move the BTC. (164 points, 100 comments)
Do you think Bitcoin needs to increase the block size? You're in luck! It already did: Bitcoin BCH. Avoid the upcoming controversial BTC block size debate by trading your broken Bitcoin BTC for upgraded Bitcoin BCH now. (209 points, 194 comments)
Master list of evidence regarding Bitcoin's hijacking and takeover by Blockstream (185 points, 113 comments)
PSA: BTC not working so great? Bitcoin upgraded in 2017. The upgraded Bitcoin is called BCH. There's still time to upgrade! (185 points, 192 comments)
This sub is the only sub in all of Reddit that allows truly uncensored discussion of BTC. If it turns out that most of that uncensored discussion is negative, DON'T BLAME US. (143 points, 205 comments)
211 points: fireduck's comment in John Mcafee on the run from IRS Tax Evasion charges, running 2020 Presidential Campaign from Venezuela in Exile
203 points: WalterRothbard's comment in I am a Bitcoin supporter and developer, and I'm starting to think that Bitcoin Cash could be better, but I have some concerns, is anyone willing to discuss them?
163 points: YourBodyIsBCHn's comment in I made this account specifically to tip in nsfw/gonewild subreddits
161 points: BeijingBitcoins's comment in Last night's BCH & BTC meetups in Tokyo were both at the same restaurant (Two Dogs). We joined forces for this group photo!
156 points: hawks5999's comment in You can’t make this stuff up. This is how BTC supporters actually think. From bitcoin: “What you can do to make BTC better: check twice if you really need to use it!” 🤦🏻♂️
155 points: lowstrife's comment in Steve Wozniak Sold His Bitcoin at Its Peak $20,000 Valuation
151 points: kdawgud's comment in The government is taking away basic freedoms we each deserve
147 points: m4ktub1st's comment in BCH suffered a 51% attack by colluding miners to re-org the chain in order to reverse transactions - why is nobody talking about this? Dangerous precident
147 points: todu's comment in Why I'm not a fan of the SV community: My recent bill for defending their frivolous lawsuit against open source software developers.
Download their software and run it (this used to be "????")
Once you reach 0.002 BTC (about 7-10 days on my GTX 1060 + i7-7700k), you can transfer your earnings to Coinbase for free, and cash out. CB does have fees for conversion to Fiat (cash) and your percentage goes down with higher amounts. So don't cash out just because you can. Cash out when you have enough to buy something. Also a note on taxes. I'm going to keep this simple.
If you cash out regularly, treat it as income on your taxes.
If you hold it and cash out after a year, treat it as a capital gain (generally, a lower tax rate for most)
If you buy something with BTC, this is the same as cashing out, for tax purposes. Treat it as income.
Hi folks. I just want to thank those of you in advance who trudge through this post. It's going to be long. I will try to have a TLDR at the end, so just scroll down for the bolded text if you want Cliff's Notes. Disclaimer: I'm a miner, sort of. I casually mine when I sleep/work, using my existing PC. It doesn't make much. I don't buy hardware for mining. But, I still wanted to post this disclaimer in the interest of fairness. As we all know, cryptocurrency mining has had a devastating impact on the PC gaming ecosystem. The demand for GPUs for mining has lead to scarce availability and sky high prices for relevant hardware. But even hardware that is less desirable for mining relative to their peers (GTX 1050ti, 1080) has been impacted. Why? Because when gamers can't get the 1060 or 1070 that they desire, they gravitate en masse towards something that their finances will allow them to settle for. But for all that we know about mining, there's still a LOT of myth and misinformation out there. And I blame this on the bigger miners themselves. They have a few tactics they're using to discourage competition. Now, why would they do this? Simply put, the more coins are mined, the harder the algorithms get. That means the same hardware mines a lower rate of cryptocurrency over time. If the mining rates were to get too low before new hardware (Volta/Navi) could be released, it would cause a massive depression in the cryptocurrency market. Most hardware would become unprofitable, and used GPUs would flood the market. Miners want to retain profitability on current hardware until the next generation hardware is out. So, what tactics are they engaging in? Silence and manipulation. On the former, the bigger miners don't usually participate and contribute to the community (there are exceptions, and they are greatly appreciated). They're sponges, taking whatever the community provides without returning much to the community. On the latter, they post here, in this very sub occasionally. And they continue to push certain types of myth/misinformation to discourage other users from mining. And why, of all people, would you discourage gamers from mining? It's because of the competition point mentioned above. If a massive number of gamers entered the cryptocurrency mining market, it could trigger a mining apocalypse. There's an estimated 3-4 million current-gen GPUs being used in 24/7 mining operations by dedicated miners. Now, how many current-gen GPUs are used by gamers? I'd bet at least an equal amount. But what about Maxwell and Kepler? Or all those GCN-based GPUs up through Fiji? Bottom line is that when you factor in all available profitable GPUs, gamers drastically outnumber dedicated miners (yes, Kepler and GCN 1.0 are still profitable, barely). And if a large number of those users started casually mining as I am, the following would occur:
difficulty would increase, lower output (profitability) for everyone involved
Coin creation would initially accelerate, and with no massive change to the market cap, that means per-coin value drops
when you factor in slower coin generation for individual miners, coupled with lower coin value, you get...
ROI length increase on GPUs, depressing their values, which would lead to lower prices and higher availability
Oh dear, someone just spilled the beans... So naturally, misinformation needs to be spread. If dedicated miners can keep the uninformed, well, uninformed, they're less likely to join in. And I've seen variations of the following misinformation spread. Here's the common tropes, and my rebuttal.
Mining on your GPU will cause it to die prematurely.
I really wish we had a Blackblaze-equivalent for GPUs used in data centers. NOTHING punishes a GPU like full-time use in a data center. Not mining, not gaming, and not prosumer usage. And these companies pay thousands per GPU. Clearly, they're getting solid ROI for their use. But let's talk about mining specifically. For my GTX 1060, I limit power to 80% (96W). Fan speed is at a constant 40% (that's in the same ballpark as your blower-style GPU in desktop usage). Temperature is a constant 75°C. That's gentle. Gaming hurts it more (start/stop on the fan, varying temps, quick rise at the start and fall at the end, varying loads, etc.). And if GPUs did prematurely die from mining? One miner insisted that I'd never see an ROI on my 1060 (which cost me $240) because it would die before I could earn that amount. Yea, GPUs routinely die before hitting their ROI. That's why miners are buying $200 GPUs today for $500, or $400 GPUs today for $900. Because they don't generate enough to cover their MSRP, let alone their current gouged prices. /s Common sense would dictate that miners are profitable, or they wouldn't mine. Therefore, GPUs are not dying prematurely. So, don't fall for this one. And yes, I've seen those photos of the 20-card Sapphire RMA. Mining data centers have THOUSANDS of cards. Just do an image search for a GPU mining farm. This is well within typical acceptable defect rates.
Power costs are too high for mining to be profitable.
Warning! Danger Will Robinson! Math ahead! Where I live, electricity ranges from 9.5 cents per kilowatt hour (kw/hr), to 10.1 cents per kw/hr. Let's round to 10 cents. Power measured at the wall from my surge protector, while mining, shows just under 200W. (That's includes my tower, monitor, speakers, a dedicated NAS, a router, and PSU inefficiency). That also includes mining on both CPU and GPU. At 200W per hour, that's 5 hours to hit 1kw/hr. That's 5kw/hr per 25 hours, so let's call it 5kw/hr per day. That is $0.50 per day total from that outlet (and most of this stuff would be running anyway). That's not even "over my existing costs," that's just out the door. Bottom line is that electricity is cheap in many areas. The USA national average is currently ~12 cents per kw/hr (RIP Hawaii, at 33 cents). For most of the developed world, power costs are not prohibitive. Don't fall for this. If unsure, check your rates on your bill, and ask someone who can do math if you can't.
Casually mining isn't profitable
There's a big difference between "profit" and "getting rich." I have no expectations of the latter happening from what I'm doing. But "profit" is very much real. It's not power costs that derail profitability. It's all of the hidden fees. Many mining programs take a cut of your output. And then a cut to transfer to a wallet. And then there's a fee to transfer to an exchange. Oh, did you want to then convert to cash? We can...for a fee! The trick is in finding outlets that allow you to minimize fees. I give up 2% of my output, transfer to my wallet for free, can transfer to an exchange for free, and don't plan to cash out every time I meet the minimum threshold (higher fees!). I instead plan to cash out at extended set intervals to minimize those fees. NOTE: I am deliberately not listing the provider(s) that I use, because I don't want to be accused of being associated with them and/or driving business to them. I want this post to be about the big picture. But I will answer questions in the comments, provided the moderation staff here has no objections. Bottom line is that with a mid-range GPU like mine, and without the benefit of CPU mining (it's just not worth it without a modern Core i7, or Ryzen 5/7), my GPU alone could make me ~$60-$75/mo in profit at current rates. Think of how many months/years you go between upgrades. Now, do the math. Needless to say, I'm now regretting not going bigger up front :)
It's too complicated for a casual miner, so don't bother
The old "go big or go home" saying, and it sort of piggy backs off the last one. And there is some truth in this. If you're going to be a big-time miner, you need mining programs (often dedicated to each algorithm and/or currency), multiple wallets, access to multiple exchanges, etc. It's daunting. But for the casual, you don't need that. There are multiple providers who offer you a one-stop-shop. I have one login right now. That login gives me my mining software, which switches between multiple algorithms/coins, gives me a wallet, and lets me transfer to an outside wallet/exchange. My second login will be the exchange (something that lets me convert my currency to local cash) when my balance justifies it. Given the recent Robin Hood announcement, I'm biding my time to see what happens. This space is getting competitive (lower fees). Bottom line, it's easier now than it ever was before. As I told someone else, "Once I finally started, I wanted to kick my own ass for waiting so long."
New GPUs are expensive, but if you just wait, there will be a buttload of cheap, used GPUs for you!
Miners learned from the last crash. There were two types of miners in that crash: those who sold their GPUs at a loss, and those who kept mining and made out like bandits on the upswing. Turns out, cryptocurrency really does mimic the stock market (for now). We're going to look at Bitcoin (BTC) to explain this. No, miners don't mine BTC. But, BTC is commonly what most coins are exchanged for (it makes up roughly one third of the entire cryptocurrency market). And it's the easiest currency to convert to cash. So, when BTC rises or falls in price, the rest of the market goes with it. That includes all of the coins that GPU miners are actually mining. In January 2017, when the current mining push started, BTC was worth roughly $900 per coin. It's now worth roughly (as of this post) $12,000 per coin, down from a December high of over $20,000 per coin. So yea, the market "crashed." It's also more than 12x the value it was a year ago, when miners dove in. You think they're going to bail at 12x the value? Son, I've got news for you. This market needs to truly crash and burn for them to bail (and that's where you come in!). So, there's not going to be a flood of used GPUs from a sudden market crash. Again, they've learned from that mistake. Used GPUs will enter the market when they are no longer profitable for mining, and not before. Dedicated miners have lots of room for expansion. When Volta comes out, they're not selling their Pascal GPUs. They're building new Volta mining rigs alongside the Pascal ones, making money off each of them. Conclusion/TLDR:
Mining is subject to diminishing returns. It gets harder over time on the same hardware.
PC gamers joining the market en masse could trigger an apocalypse in terms of difficulty
Due to this, it benefits pro miners to spread misinformation to discourage gamers from entering the mining game
Casually mining on your existing system is safe, easy, could help you pay for your next upgrade(s), and could also hurt the mining market in general (better availability/pricing on GPUs)
No, there's no flood of used Pascal/Polaris/Vega GPUs around the corner, as those are HIGHLY profitable even in a depressed market
Second Conclusion - Why do I (jaykresge) personally care? Simply put, I'm disgusted by this. I was excited about flipping a few friends from consoles to PC gaming. I'm now seeing a reverse trend. One friend is gaming on an RX 560 waiting for prices to hit sanity. He's running out of patience. Others have bailed. I view our dormant GPUs as the best weapon against cryptocurrency mining. Destroy it from the inside. It's win-win for most of us. Either we earn enough for more upgrades, or we depress pricing. Something's got to give. In other words, y'all f*ckers better start mining, because I want Volta to be reasonably priced when it launches so I can get an EVGA x80 Hybrid to go with a G-Sync monitor. And if this doesn't happen, I'm going to be cranky! Seriously though, thanks for reading. Bear with me as I go over this a few more times for typing/grammar. And I look forward to your comments.
AMA: I travelled to Turkey to get an FUE Hair Transplant: 5000 Grafts, Dr Koray Erdogan, ASMED Clinic
Hi Guys (& Gals?), Just wanted to quickly thank you all for your contributions to these forums. You really made a huge difference to my journey. After over an entire year of research, here's my input. I've tried to make it short and precise to exactly what I would've liked to know as I was making this decision. Started losing my hair at 21, now 29. I live in Sydney, and flew over to Istanbul to get an FUE Hair Transplant done. It was last year that my hair loss kicked into overdrive, with that tingling/sensitive/burning sensation that many of you might already know (ask me for more info if interested). Pictures: Pre-op:
Donor area: The back of my head (and sides), where there is no hair loss.
Recipient area: Where the grafts are planted (Balding areas)
Graft: This is a follicle unit, and it can carry multiple hairs (1 to 6)
Total Donor Capacity: This is the amount I could extract, while still enjoying a natural-looking donor area. No harvesting beyond this amount.
Dr Koray Erdogan: There is a wikipedia page on him.
Patient Coordinator: This is the person that coordinates for you both information and logistics. He/She is also a translator and will be by your side for most of the operation.
Norwood: Probably 4
Total Grafts: 5000 Grafts, Yielding 10,400 Hairs
Operation Date: 17/April/2018 - Today is 16 days post-op.
Total Cost Breakdown:
2.5 Euro Per Graft for the operation and 3 day accomodation (together) + Extra Accomodation (around 80 Euro per night) + Economy Ticket + Pocket Money 12,500 + 240 + 840 + 100 = 13,680 Euro
Finasteride: Yes. Started 1 month before the surgery @ 0.5mg, and now on 1mg for the next 12 months. See Finasteride Section
Total Donor Capacity: 8,400 (At the clinic, I've seen people ranging between 6,500 and 9,400)
Total Days: 7
1: Arrival and Planning. 2: First operation - 2500 Grafts (Includes all three phases: Extraction, Incision and Implantation). 3: 2nd Operation - 2500 Grafts. 4: Washing and removal of bandages. 5: RecoveWash at the clinic/Eat Turkish Kebabs. 6: RecoveWash at the clinic/Eat Turkish Kebabs. 7: Self-Wash on Sunday and Fly. Payment I'm not a rich person, and have been worried about this aspect throughout the entire process. I eventually decided to take out a bank loan of the total amount, and signed to pay it off over 2 years (with a 10% interest rate). I transferred the maximum amount allowed by the clinic (3,000 Euro) via WorldFirst, which had the best exchange rate. And I carried the remainder in cash (exchanged AUD to EUR via TravelEx - I actually negotiated a rate, just like a peasant. lol) The Operation The first day is all about planning. You get photographed, and then Dr Koray will study the degree of your hair loss and where the grafts would be best placed. He builds a strategy for you, and explains it in detail. I have to mention that Finasteride was part of this strategy for me, since I agreed to stick to it. This means that the Dr would focus on the areas where I've completely lost my hair, and go easy on the areas that are simply thinning. As he explained it, after 1 year, Finasteride would've hopefully done it's magic on the thinning areas, and the bald spots would simply grow the implanted hair. He also shared with me some examples of what the result should look like (where a person didn't transplant hair into a thinning area, and it was pretty dense eventually). Naturally, if you decide you don't want to take the drug, I'd imagine the strategy will be different. I had to do the operation over 2 big sessions, 2500 grafts each. Each session is 3 parts: Extraction, Incision and Implantation. Both the Extraction and Implantation parts are conducted by a team of surgeons dedicated to you, and the incision session is conducted by Dr Koray himself. Just like many on these forums, I've criticised this method, as I wanted to work with a clinic where the Dr does all the stages himself. When I went to the ASMED clinic, I realised that you're paying for the methods, tools and process, and not for who does the work. The extraction and implantation sections did not seem super technical, as the entire team were relaxed and even chatting/listening to light music while conducting these parts. I trusted this, since the Doctor was checking in on the team every few hours, and then does a final check in the end. Dr Koray conducted the incision session himself, surrounded by the entire team. While I was there, I verified my understanding of the process, and requested to see each tool being used. Everything on their website is true, including the punch tool's diameter (which is designed to leave really tiny holes in your donor area). Talk to me about Pain Of course it's painful! What did you expect? It's surgery! lol I personally underestimated how painful this operation would be. Here's what you need to know:
They use local anaesthesia to the area where they want to operate, and THAT part is painful. Also, as the anaesthesia wears off, you'll start feeling the stings depending on the session. You will need to notify the team when this happens, so they can re-inject that area. The other patients spoke about different levels of pain (either more or less), so I'm guessing my experience is not consistent.
While sitting, I experienced some lower back pain, which is the same pain I get when driving long distances. You can ask for a pillow to help.
1 day post-op, my recipient area was really painful (as the wounds were healing). And the inability to sleep (due to the pain, jet-lag and required awkward sleeping position) did not help at all. The post-surgery pain went away at around day 8.
Worth mentioning that the clinic has an anaesthetist who checks on your every half an hour during the operation. He has given me all kinds of drugs to help with my pain. I caught him for some painkillers every day before leaving. Patient Coordinator There are several patient coordinators at ASMED. They are probably assigned based on what language you speak (and there are quite a few that speak English). I worked with the coordinator Esen, whom I highly recommend. She had answers for me before I asked the questions, and is still evaluating progress to this day. I've observed the other coordinators while I was there, they were OK! But all the other patients agreed that I had hit the jackpot with Esen being my coordinator. If you're doing this at ASMED, and you're an English speaker, I recommend you ask for her. Other Patients There will be other patients while you're there. I have to admit, it was refreshing to meet people who are in the same boat as me. It was like going to an AA meeting for baldness (lol ok bad joke, but you get it). We spent time together at the hotel, and at the clinic. I highly recommend you mingle and get to know these guys. We discussed things like: Expectations, Finasteride Side Effects, Do's and Don'ts, Pain, etc. Me and the group eventually started a whatsapp group to share progress. I honestly found that this made the entire thing easier for me. What surprised me though was that some of the other patients were rather careless. Some were smoking straight after the operation, others didn't come wearing the correct clothing (a buttoned shirt) and some hadn't done much research. But anyway, each to his own. Work Leave + Planning the stay I booked 3 weeks of annual leave, and told my boss that I'll be getting an operation done. I was honestly not comfortable sharing this information, but the team would've known anyway because I expected some redness for at least 2 months after the operation. My boss requested that I take my surgery time as Sick Leave, which was awesome. They also agreed that I work from home for 2 weeks after I'm back from leave - How awesome is that? I figured that was definitely sufficient time for me to get back on my feet, and almost fully recover (and not still look like a patient). So..1 Week (Sick) + 2 Weeks (annual leave) + 2 Weeks Work from Home. Try to pull this off if you can, for maximum comfort. For the surgery, I arrived on a Monday, and left on Sunday. This worked really well for me, because I didn't want to fly straight after the operation looking like an alien (and dealing with the pain on the plane). Also, if you stay, the clinic will give you a wash every day, including Saturday. Which I thought was a no-brainer, because I was too paranoid about touching my head myself. The Emotional Aspect I wasn't too anxious about the operation. I felt that I had done enough research and planning that I was ready and excited. Everyone at the clinic is very warm and welcoming. After I was done with the operation, I went back to my hotel room, and was in a lot of pain. I looked at myself in the mirror, and wept a little. Yes. The whole thing had hit me like a raging truck - The whole hair loss journey had been painful, and horrible. And look at what I'm doing to fight it! Look at how I've put myself in financial jeopardy, just to fix this stupid-ass DHT sensitivity gene that I'm carrying. It's horrible, everything about it is horrible! How much valuable time did I spend on my hair loss problem? It's incredible. I used to be at least 10 times more confident with a full head of hair. And I've spent every day in the last 9 years looking in the mirror, and thinking.."Fuck! It's happening!".. but acting like it's all "good in the hood". No, it's not good! It's awful! And I could not believe how far I was willing to go to fix it. There I was, in my hotel room, with a burning scalp, a hole in my pocket and looking a lot like ET. I then got it together and ordered a tub of chocolate ice cream to make me feel better. Finasteride Of course I was going to have a section for this drug. I was absolutely terrified when I started researching it, and I found it very odd that the clinic recommended this drug before even meeting me. I started using a generic Finasteride brand 1 month before the operation (@ 0.5mg), and for some reason, I lost a good 30% of my hair during that period. I found that very strange, but there have been people online reporting the same thing. The clinic was disappointed that I had gone for a generic finasteride brand, and that I only took 0.5mg. Everyone in the clinic emphasised that I stick to the products produced by Merck. I had an argument with the anaesthetist about this, and I presented my research and why I felt generic finasteride was exactly the same. He agreed with me, but explained that his experience with patients of the clinic showed that both Propecia and Proscar (Merck) have yielded the best results and least side effects - But anyway, why take the risk and go for a generic brand? Also, they weren't happy with the 0.5mg, and insisted I go for 1mg. The clinic provides you a year's worth of Finasteride, btw. I have had no side effects from the drug so far, other than the sudden hair loss at the very beginning. Why I chose Turkey? After all the research I've done, it became clear to me that some of the top surgeons reside in Turkey. There isn't really a #1 surgeon out there, but I know quality when I see it! And Dr Koray's work has fascinated me every single time. There are a lot of examples of his great work, and I have literally found no poor results so far. I even translated Turkish forums to see how he's performing from their perspective, and it's all nothing short of excellence. For the price, and what you're getting in quality, Turkey was definitely the best option for me. Logistics in Istanbul This was all arranged. A fancy mini-van picked me up from the airport, and transported me back and forth from the clinic everyday. I stayed in the Radisson Blu Hotel, very close to the clinic. Breakfast was provided, and I used google translate to order food online (via yemeksepeti.com) I didn't get to go out much, although I really wanted to explore Istanbul, but I was too jet-lagged/in pain. There was a point I even got dressed and went out for a few minutes, but decided to go back to my room in fear of fainting. The Painful/Uncomfortable Feeling of Balding (This section was written on day 60 post-op) Do you know that feeling of..balding? That sensitivity in your scalp when you simply put your hand on your head? That feeling of some subtle stinging in the roots of your hair? The thing that comes and goes, depending on the day, and maybe even depending on your sexual activity? I have suffered from this for many years, and realised that after this pain takes place in specific areas in my head, it's followed by balder spots. Anyway, I'm glad to announce that I don't feel this pain anymore. I'm not sure why, as so much has changed in the last couple of months, but this is what I think:
Finasteride! Yes. I started Finasteride 1 month before the surgery, and had a giant shed. It is possible that the shedding was due to DHT being eliminated from my scalp, and the hair follicle going into a dormant phase. I'm guessing that the scalp pain may have been because of DHT attacking my follicles. And now that Finasteride is in full swing, and has killed off all the DHT-affected hairs (and put them into dormant mode), I no longer feel the pain.
It could be the vitamins. There is some chatter online that Omega 3 helps eliminate this pain. Please refer to the original post if you want to know what vitamins I'm taking.
I could be imagining this. Maybe the pain hasn't fully disappeared, and I'm just still numb from the surgery.
If you suffer from this pain/sensation in your scalp, I recommend you try 1mg Finasteride for a few months, and allow your scalp to shed. I will keep this section updated because this pain drove me crazy in the last couple of years. Other Matters
I've done some research on what to take that could help with recovery. Here's what I'm on:
B-Complex (Focused on Biotin. As much as possible).
Magnesium Threonate (Not Citrate)
Aloe Vera (on my donor area once a day, starting day 8 post-op)
Vitamin K2 MK7
I buy all my supplements in Australia from iherb.com - I'm pretty sure it's the cheapest out there.
A super high quality neck pillow is your best friend if you're getting a hair transplant. Trust me.
Not many people speak English in Turkey. For example, the drivers don't speak a word of English. Would be good to have translation app handy. But, you don't have to worry about this at the clinic, since your coordinator will..coordinate..everything for you.
Funny, I got a consultation in Australia for a hair transplant a few months ago. They recommended 2,000 grafts, at a similar price to my 5,000 grafts at ASMED. I confessed that I'm going for a 5,000 graft surgery and was just comparing. They would not believe that and said it was too much.
Expect some swelling after the surgery. Oh yes! I spent a day or two looking like ET.
The maximum I've seen someone do in one session (over 2 days) is 5,500 grafts. Might want to ask the Doctor if you wanted to go beyond that.
Anyway, I hope all this was useful. If you would like to donate to help me repay the surgery loan, that would be crazy awesome:
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