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End of day summary - 02/27
The Dow plunged 1190.95, or 4.42%, to 25766.64, the Nasdaq lost 414.30, or 4.61%, to 8566.48, and the S&P 500 dropped 137.63, or 4.42%, to 2978.76.
It was a frenetic day of trading action on /thewallstreet. The stock market extended its recent sell-off by more than 4% on Thursday in a volatile session, as the widening spread of the coronavirus heightened pessimism among investors. The S&P 500 dropped as much as 3.5% shortly after the open, then cut its losses to 0.6% by midday, but ultimately closed at session lows with a 4.4% decline. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (-4.4%), Nasdaq Composite (-4.6%), and Russell 2000 (-3.5%) experienced similar price action. Each of the major indices fell into correction territory, which is often defined as a decline of at least 10% from a recent high, and today's drop sent the S&P 500 well below its 200-day moving average (3046.58) amid heavy selling into the close. From a sector perspective, all 11 S&P 500 sectors fell between 3.3% (health care) and 5.6% (real estate). Other notable moves included WTI crude falling 3.0% to 47.24/bbl to extend its weekly decline to 12.1% and the CBOE Volatility Index surging 42.1% to 39.16 in a protection trade against further equity weakness. Regarding COVID-19, the CDC acknowledged the first coronavirus case of "unknown origin" in the U.S., which raised concerns about a community spread of the virus. California's governor fueled concerns by saying 28 people have tested positive and another 8,400 people are being monitored because of their travel. The impact to global supply chains or consumer spending remains uncertain, but Goldman Sachs warned there could be no U.S. earnings growth in 2020 if the virus becomes widespread. MSFT -7.1%, meanwhile, was the latest high-profile company to issue a quarterly revenue warning, specifically for its More Personal Computing segment. Current, and past, Fed officials offered their views on the matter. In an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal, former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh argued that the Fed and other central banks should cut rates due to the coronavirus, while Chicago Fed President Evans reiterated the Fed's stance that it's still premature to provide guidance without more data. Besides the coronavirus news, equity investors appeared to be taking cues from the Treasury market. For instance, the S&P 500's early morning low coincided with the high in the Treasury market. At session's end, the 2-yr yield declined five basis points to 1.10%, and the 10-yr yield declined basis points to 1.30%. Not all stocks closed lower, though. Face mask company (MMM) +0.8% and Bleach company (CLX) +0.4% managed to eke out small gains amid speculation that demand for some of their products will increase due to the coronavirus. Among the noteworthy gainers were VIR and NVAX, which surged 50% and 18%, respectively, as coronavirus fears mount. Both companies are working on coronavirus vaccines. Also higher were ETSY and SQ, which gained a respective 16% and 11% after reporting quarterly results. Among the notable losers was TSLA, which slid 8% after Bloomberg reported registrations of new Teslas in China plunged 46% last month as the coronavirus outbreak adds to a slump in the country's car market. SPCE fell 17% after Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas downgraded the shares to Equal Weight and Credit Suisse analyst Robert Spingarn also downgraded the stock to Neutral following with the shares up 185% year-to-date. In earnings news, BBY reported better than expected sales and earnings for the fourth quarter and raised its quarterly dividend by 10%. Last night, BKNG reported "strong" Q4 results, but also cited a significant impact from the coronavirus on its forward outlook, stating that its wider than typical guidance ranges are due to "the high level of uncertainty in forecasting the coronavirus and its associated impact on the company and the travel industry generally." In its own more optimistic coronavirus update,SBUX said it is "seeing the early signs of a recovery" in China. In a letter to employees posted on its corporate blog, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson reported that the coffee giant now has 85% of stores open across China as it continues to assess the ongoing impact of the disease outbreak. Elsewhere in Europe, Stoxx 600 closed 3.6% lower provisionally, officially entering correction territory as it was off more than 10% from its record high notched on Feb. 19 last year.
The U.S. Dollar Index slid 0.5% to 98.51, widening this week's loss to 0.8%.
EUUSD: +1.0% to 1.0986
GBP/USD: UNCH at 1.2892
USD/CNH: -0.2% to 7.0051
USD/JPY: -0.4% to 109.99
The Treasury market has been the epicenter of concerns about the global growth outlook, as well as the frayed psychology pertaining to the COVID-19 outbreak. The 10-yr note yield is down four basis points this morning to 1.27%, leaving it down 19 basis points on the week and 65 basis points on the year. Today, the fed funds futures market expects that a rate cut will happen as soon as the March 18 meeting, followed by another cut in June. Treasuries briefly turned negative in midday trade but returned toward their opening levels after California Governor Gavin Newsom said that 28 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus while more than 8,000 other people are being monitored.
2-yr: -5 bps to 1.10%
3-yr: -3 bps to 1.09%
5-yr: -3 bps to 1.11%
10-yr: -1 bp to 1.30%
30-yr: -1 bp to 1.78%
Oil prices continued their steep decline on Thursday, with U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude falling more than 5% at the low to $45.88 per barrel — a price not seen since Jan. 2019 — as fears of the coronavirus outbreak, and what it could mean for crude demand, continue to batter prices.
WTI crude: -4.88% to $46.35/bbl
Gold: -0.4 at $1640.70/ozt
Copper: -0.52% to $2.55/lb
Bitcoin was fighting to keep support at a key level on Feb. 27 as markets worldwide continued to suffer from fears over coronavirus.
Bitcoin: $8,873.19 (24hr: +0.77%)
Ethereum: $231.34 (24hr: +1.52%)
Ripple: $0.24 (24hr: 3.09%)
FAAMG + some penny stocks -4.5% YTD
Spoos -7.8% YTD
Old man -9.7% YTD
Russy -9.8% YTD
BYND reports EBITDA: $9.5M (est $5.76M), Net Rev: $98.5M (est $79.8M).Sees 2020 Net Revenue: $490M To $510M (est $485.7M)
Thoughts on Corona
It is becoming abundantly clear that the spread of the coronavirus is not going to be stopped. What is not clear is the extent of the economic damage that is going to be done by its spread before the world gets comfortable with the notion that the coronavirus is debilitating, but not necessarily deadly for most sufferers. The latter is the accepted perspective when dealing with the flu, but because COVID-19 is so new and won't reportedly have a vaccine to guard against it for some time, there is some understandable fear about contracting the virus that is prompting some extreme measures to contain it. Those measures have been detrimental to the world economy in a number of respects, which include but are not limited to shutting down supply chains, restricting travel, and preventing people from going to work. At the same time, some considerable psychological damage is being done with the understanding that governments around the globe are scrambling to deal with COVID-19 in a way that hasn't been seen in a really long time. China locked down entire cities. Japan announced today that it will be closing elementary, middle, and high schools nationwide until late March. President Trump last night announced that Vice President Pence is being put in charge of the U.S. response to COVID-19. The stock market, therefore, has been getting punched by a left-right combination of growth concerns and frayed investor psychology. That combination has led to some rapid-fire selling for a market that was already stretched and counting on stronger earnings growth in 2020, which now seems unlikely to pull through as expected. The uncertainty surrounding the earnings outlook is a major headwind for the market at the moment. Summaryscrapedfromtheinterweb.Took2.30seconds.
Survey: Investors Likely to Flow Back to Gold; China Blockchain Euphoria Fading
According to a recent Twitter survey, Bitcoin investors are likely to turn to gold as the cryptocurrency’s most recent hype fizzles out, leaving losses in its wake. The poll, conducted by Novem Gold, reveals the extent of the disillusionment among BTC enthusiasts as prices remain largely suppressed in H2 2019. This slump, however, is most alarming because it closely follows the sharp gains the coin had enjoyed after optimistic comments from the Chinese head of state regarding blockchain in October. The speech, widely regarded as a watershed moment for the cryptocurrency, could prove pivotal for Bitcoin and the crypto world. China’s massive population can single-handedly send the coin’s Bull Run back on track. In his speech, Chinese President Xi Jinping referred to blockchain as “ an important breakthrough.” Before the statement, the prevailing sentiment was that the Chinese government was anti-blockchain. The primary signal came after its September 2017 banning of initial coin offerings (ICOs). The speech was therefore interpreted as a green light indicating that China was willing to embrace cryptocurrency trading in all its aspects, which would push Bitcoin prices once more to the moon. China, for many years, has been the epicenter of blockchain and cryptocurrency activity. Before a large number of investors in other parts of the world grew accustomed to Bitcoin, China had already established itself as a mining hub. The East Asian nation has significantly contributed in many ways to the rise of the digital currency sector over the years. As an illustration, as of 2017 the country’s insatiable need for crypto assets was almost 90% of crypto’s total global trading volumes. Shockingly, just a few months into 2018, this demand dipped below the 1% mark. This decline in demand also followed Bitcoin’s most significant price dip, which saw it go from a high of $19,800 to a low of $6,200 each in less than two months.
China is Pro Blockchain
The excitement over the Xi Jinping speech was therefore palpable in October when he said that his country would “seize the opportunity” that blockchain offers in research, standardization, and development. The Chinese President is the first leader of a global economic giant to make such friendly remarks towards a technology that is maligned by some of his peers. If the government embraces cryptocurrencies, Chinese Bitcoin bulls would return and push prices through the roof. Following the unexpected speech, the price of Bitcoin temporarily surged, adding 40% after rallying to a high of $9,526 on November 4th. Unfortunately, the rise halted and a consistent correction happened, lowering the value of the token to a $6,524 mark on November 25th, a much lower price than before the Xi effect. Bitcoin has, however, recouped some of its losses over the last few days, but it is still trading at half the price in comparison to June 2019. The Chinese, in contrast to many other countries, have many advantages when it comes to cryptocurrency awareness. They have, for instance, long been aware of the virtues of speculation into new asset types. They are also more aware of virtual currencies and have, over time, developed cautionary optimism for digital currency regulation. Tencent QQ’s reward program, for example, paid out in Q coins and had more than 221.4 million active users by 2006. Consequently, some of the earliest BTC adopters were Chinese. Bitcoin’s popularity in China also increased with the East Asian country’s rise to the position of the second most powerful economy on earth. China’s 12-th strategic economic plan, released in 2011, was one of many development aspects aimed at the reduction of the poverty rampant in the nation’s rural zones. As a result of the economic success of this plan, China’s emerging middle class burst onto the scene, increasing the country’s domestic consumption from a low of 4% in 2000 to a high of 68% in 2012. The money that was left over after savings were taken care of was channeled into speculative investing. Since this aspect of making money is a big part of the investment culture of the Chinese, the country’s investors took a quick liking to Bitcoin. The Chinese, however, were not purchasing the digital asset for its privacy attributes but rather for its investment appeal. Unlike many Bitcoin enthusiasts in the West who love the digital currency for its P2P features, the Chinese adopted BT for its Gold 2.0 features. Speculating in gold is an investment activity most Chinese are accustomed to. This difference is the reason why, when the Silk Road closed down, the Chinese market for crypto was hardly affected. In the West, however, the closure of the online black-market platform adversely affected Bitcoin prices.
BTC was Gold 2.0 to China
The interest in BTC investment in China rose even further with the loosening of the government’s tight grip on financial markets. At the time, Beijing was in the process of developing diverse financial markets for the new elite to invest in, such as derivatives. A strengthening economy with friendly regulations was just what the Bitcoin investment frenzy required. With the creation of BTC mining hardware in 2013, the participation of the Chinese as miners and investors soared. New 2016 to 2017 crypto regulations, however, brought the Chinese crypto trading market to its knees because they quashed the ability to speculate in Gold 2.0. Despite the death of crypto speculative trading, the Chinese crypto community is still very vibrant despite the stringent regulations around it. This resilience is especially visible in the area of blockchain application. Such innovation is what the Xi Jinping government is promising to support, not decentralized cryptocurrencies that make it difficult for governments to control money as they wish. Since the pro-blockchain October speech, there has been a cascade of activity in the Chinese blockchain scene. The Chinese central bank is, for instance, readying itself to release its Digital Currency Electronic Payment System. The People’s Bank of China intends to replace the use of fiat with the DCEP blockchain-based payments solution. This move would make the country the first major world economy to embrace a native digital currency. With the launch of the digital payment systems, China would find it much easier to extend the influence of its monetary policy to the rest of the world. While Beijing has no regard for “censorship-resistant” and permission-less digital currencies — as they endanger capital controls — it is building its centralized digital currency to supplant Bitcoin. This effort is a true testament to Bitcoin’s significance and the Chinese government’s appreciation that the world’s monetary system is dependent on technological advancements. Unlike the West, China has harnessed the power of internet connectivity without losing its control over freedom of expression. The economic giant is now strategizing ways that it can harness the power of blockchain, albeit minus its decentralized aspects. It could be that the Chinese government’s interest in the blockchain is part of the drive to end the age of the USD. This is an opportunity to move the country past its dependence on US-owned foundational technologies. According to Xi China, through blockchain, will “take the leading position … occupy the commanding heights of innovation, and gain new industrial advantages.” China, however, is determined to make its cryptocurrency more acceptable to the international and domestic markets than Bitcoin has ever been. The second-largest economy has been amassing massive amounts of gold, which analysts say will back its native digital currency. A gold-backed digital currency is acceptable in any part of the world and will significantly enhance Beijing’s de-dollarization policy. It is therefore expected that the county will maintain its leading gold mining and buying positions in 2020, which should add more fuel to the ongoing global gold rally. https://preview.redd.it/nc1l1mlcyq741.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=3ea7c308c3e2e226d8eced72adabefba70d49a80
Edit: Links here suck. I put quotes around them so you can spot them out. I did a lot of research for this post. Edit #2: Put square brackets around links. Now they should be clearly visible. TLDR: The ills Vitalik talks about are primarily about psychology. New scalable solutions can fix it partially, but we have to deal with people first. Before I dig deep into this post, I want to let you know what it's about. Yes, you'll see some emotional content. You'll see ideological ideas. However, this post ain't about ideologies. It's about something I deem as a real problem. Its about the corrupt mindsets that we have as community since the prices spiked early 2017. To advance forward, I want to analyze them, distill the problem into the most basic form possible, then point people into a direction I deem would be good for the cryptocurrency community. The format will go like this:
My history with Crypto/Blockchain. Why I'm here in the first place.
My analysis of the problem Vitalik talked about
My perceived solution to the problem.
The steps I've already taken towards the problem
Why I'm Here
Time travel back into pre-2017 and you'll see that the cryptocurrency/blockchain community was filled with hopeful young nerds that dreamed of making the world into a better place; A much more open, peaceful and freer place. I was going through a hard time with my life 2015-16 -- my twin died, I was on the verge of going homeless with nobody else to rely on, had to go unbanked in America, almost entirely dropped out of college and my first contracting business failed. I couldn't get my life right at all, and I didn't see any hope. The future was bleak to me. However, I found people here in the blockchain community actually trying their hardest to do things that would solve the world's problems, [even if that was mainly reporting the news for people and addressing people live in chat to create a community]. That drew me in well before the price of cryptocurrencies spiked; almost in a manic like way -- I read about it constantly, practiced solidity, talked to everyone I could that would have the capacity to understand cryptocurrencies and more. Even now, when I attend conferences, I meet good-hearted, sleep deprived developers, marketers, business owners and specialist that aim to solve the world's greatest problems in the best ways they can. Many are in small corners of the world helping each other out. Inside of this community I found hope and meaning. My depression lifted, my anxiety went away, my life got back on track, and that hope propels me though the field years since I joined this movement. I'm now more confident than ever knowing that collectively this industry will possibly be the epicenter of change for not only money, but for everything. We'll [eliminate poverty], [solve global warming], [prevent hyper-inflation like we've seen with Venezuela], [improve supply chains] around the world, improve healthcare, and solve the [social ills of the world like corruption]. That's just the tip of the iceberg. I believe intensely in the vision set for crypto. The community is filled with brilliant people that will make a difference. That excites me. I'm for freedom, boosting happiness of individuals, increasing health, making life more fun and less stressful for the common person, open discussions to progress everyone forward, and a more livable planet. I'm thinking of all people and I'm not against any group. However, I'm not for FUD, greed while abusing others, bigotry, trolling, hatred, racism, evil acts and stealing. Those are against my values. I think that's against the values of many of the cryptocurrency community's foundational members.
A problem we can't ignore
In 2017, as the prices exploded and the returns grew in for the average person, I noticed the community was starting to get tainted. People were no longer focusing on technology, freedom and community. No longer focusing on creating better lives for people in their communities around the world. We were missing the altruism I originally felt in the community. [If I were in Vitalik shoes, where I'd invest 80-100 hours a week into a vision, I'd feel extreme frustration too]. People are instead focusing on [needless politics], searching for the next big price pump, the next big score. Instead of people figuring out about how to use blockchain and crypto for making people's lives better, I've heard people say HODL and scam more than I ever have in the history of the community. This saddens me and frustrates me at the same time. On one end I see great potential and beauty in the community, and at the same time I see the beast within us come out that hasn't been even thought about deeply enough to be accurately tamed. Trolls, profiteers running away with ICO money, market manipulators and scam artist ruining the reputation and progress of the community. While I could complain about what I see, I decided to instead dissect it in this post. I wanted to know what's causing this on a larger scale. See, by training I'm a psychologist, social scientist and computer scientist. I've been transitioning over to economics and data science because I feel it's a solid cornerstone of the industry. My perspective will be coming from those first. Allow me to explain. If our community is going to "grow up and actually solve problems", the corruption of minds because of money needs to be fully explored first. Only by understanding the problem thoroughly can we solve it. Explicitly stating the problem: Its the extreme predatory, egotistical, harsh behavior we as a community have adopted.
The Psychology And Behavioral Science Of Finance
Let's start with the biggest premise. Money is an idea. It exist because people communicate, produce, share, trade, have scarcity for goods and have needs. Money is an ideological binding agent for people.
It helps us exchange two irrelevant things with a medium
Helps us do more things in knowing the value we hold will help us improve productivity in the future
Helps us determine value in an abstract way
Helps us navigate the world.
Money is about as social and psychological as anything in the world can get outside of direct human interactions. Coincidentally, this psychological/social aspect isn't talked about very much inside of the cryptocurrency landscape. However, it's the foundation of everything we have here today. If we can't talk about how money is connected to the mind, we can't solve the maturity problem Vitalik was talking about. My intent is to explore that deeply so a firm direction can be at least set.
Money and the Mind
Our mind is complex. Beyond the usual processing of information people have (our 11 senses), we people have 2 primary centers for decision making and control. Limbic System The first one is the limbic system. It has gone by the nickname of "the lizard brain" in recent history. It's responsible for storing memories, handling stress responses, attention and emotional processing. In a sense, it controls all of intuition and fast heuristic choices you make. https://preview.redd.it/xvpw95ate8d11.png?width=551&format=png&auto=webp&s=eeed7e25448614af346091f6ededac41be9df5b5 Prefrontal Cortex The second system is known as the prefrontal cortex. It controls higher order functions such as planning, reasoning, serial processing and how we think about emotions. https://preview.redd.it/if5p4n90f8d11.png?width=512&format=png&auto=webp&s=92ef641c4f583d38239cdf380d443b2b7557767e These two centers are not mutually exclusive. You brain has circuits to make decisions about everything. The two parts talk to each other to do so. Any dysfunction in behavior is usually due to a lack of communication between these two decision centers, rather than a lack of communication between the centers of your brain. This is heavily seen in mental disorders. According to the book [Upward Spiral ], a book that looks at mental disorders from a neuroscientific view and explains how to reverse the ill effects of them, here's now some disorders can play out inside of our heads:
Depression -- A poor link between the Anterior Cingular Cortex and PFC. It means you will notice more negative and therefore act on negative impulses and thoughts.
Dissociation -- A poor link between the Anterior Cingular Cortex and Anterior Insular makes it so your attention can't be accurately directed towards yourself. There will likely be a poor understanding of pain and out of body experiences. It can be reversed with meditation and yoga.
How Crypto Fits
This should hopefully be the first question we have. It's easy to only pay attention to the ill behaviors of the more recent cryptocurrency industry and say "shame on you!". But what if people had a hard time actually controlling themselves? Inside of the book Upward Spiral, Alex Korb, the neuroscientist that wrote it explored that people with depression and anxiety had a hard time not being depressed and anxious by choice. Because the depressed person's circuitry is skewed, they act on it subconsciously in a forever perpetuating loop. In fact, the only way to reverse depression is to reverse the circuitry that holds it together. Part of what makes anti-depressants more effective is that the serotonin improves sleep and makes a person's brain more susceptible to positive changes. That would be doing things like doing gratitude journals everyday to make your anterior cingular cortices notice more positive events, being around people who love you to boost your serotonin and cut down stress hormones, or getting a little exercise everyday to send oxygen to your brain. So that leads us back to the original question. What if people didn't have a fully conscious control over how they acted about money and crypto? I did some research between many different articles and found that this was absolutely the case. People don't have much control. They tend to be on extremes of some end all the time. How Does Finance Play With The Brain? Of the many ways, there's one key way it does. Money plays with people through the the hypothalamus stress response. It charges people into fight or flight mode, and can literally destabilize the homeostatic systems. This can do all sorts of things. It can make the anterior cingulate weaker in strength (known to help us control emotions and learn), and therefore reduce the power of our prefrontal cortex. When people are stressed about finance, or even excited about it, it will put people into extreme states.[Meaning the lizard brain takes the show].That can make people easily make haphazard decisions. Of course, there's other things that happen with the introduction of more money, but that IS the most intense thing to take note of. If we want to solve the problem of relinquishing poor community, like Vitalik continuously makes comments about, we need to look at the problem in this way. If we don't see it this way, we're screwed. The problem wont be solved, companies like Microsoft will continuously kill off their implementations due to price fluctuations, the cryptocurrency community wont pass go and wont make a huge impact. Instead we'll blame, shout at each other, and create another Wall Street 2.0. In fact, we'll become worse than them. We will have more leverage over resources than any other group in history and the corruption will be strong. Money affects decisions, period.
Solving the Cultural problem
I'm nervous. As I type this response, I know that by revealing my idea to the public I could be condemned by the community for "shilling", and even worse, somebody else can pick it up and run with it. That is the most nerve wreaking thing I could ever consider. Months of 80 hour weeks and extreme sacrifices to bring out a vision because I didn't see much of a choice. If we don't remove what limits us soon as a community we will get engulfed by outsiders that don't want to create virtuous society. My solution: Algorithmic Trading Now, before you tell me that the market is entirely unpredictable, I'd like to be one to say that the notion is false. We see everywhere that people using AI and more complex forms of math to be able to make reasonable gains in the financial world. Companies like Bridgewater predicted the financial crash of 2008 with reasonable accuracy, and other people like [mathematicians are able to do the same]. Realistically, the market has some degree of predictability. However, much of the access to that is limited. Even beyond that, the financial industry is one of the only social fields that is highly transparent to many actors, through the news and price information, and reflects ideas and beliefs through the markets. If we can better analyze markets, we could discover all sorts of social phenomenon that previously made no sense. With algorithmic trading we're heavily incentivized to learn, as that will produce a direct outcome of earning money. We could better solve the social ills of the world quickly and efficiently over time. On top of that, we will be able to stabilize the market and protect against bad agents if algorithmic trading becomes coordinated and effective enough throughout the industry. Again, How Does it Fit With Cryptocurrency? Bitconnect could answer how automated trading fits. Before I continue, let me be clear. People lost their money through that scam. It was awful. I know some people that had a lot of money taken from them. Many of them are now fearful of cryptocurrency. However, I don't think Bitconnect was 100% wrong with their idea. Yes they were a ponzi scheme, yet realistically many of the people I met that fell for it felt as though the crypto markets were already complex. They were losing money while HODLing, making rash decisions and trading. Bitcoin and the entire industry carries too much of a cognitive burden for a person to keep track of beyond their normal everyday life. News, prices, scams, hacks and technical information. That's a lot to keep track of if you have 3-4 part-time jobs as a single mom or dad while raising 2 kids. That's a lot to keep track of if you're old and don't have the technical capacity to read into the crypto markets all day everyday. Therefore, even while people were making less money from investing into Bitconnect, on paper it required less thinking and they were still getting benefits that they cared about. They could share with friends because they thought that there money would not shrink in value heavily due to a random market crash. As a consumer, it isn't wrong to believe that you can be apart of something big without having to work an extra 5 hours everyday reading blogs and watching youtube videos just to keep up with the happenings of the industry. It doesn't require us to be judging people for falling into a ponzi scheme. It requires a bit of caring and empathy to see people's main intentions. They want a better life compared to the one that has been crushing them with student debt and poor job prospects. People want to have a better life without being as stressed beyond belief like they currently are. And for the everyday trader, giving them the incentive they seek, while giving them the capacity to do some research for themselves is important. Choice matters a lot for some people.
Steps I've taken towards this:
Here comes the shill part you've been waiting for. Over the last year I've been building an application that would help us solve the problems we face today as a community. It I'll reduce the stress response of people worrying more about money, with technology like it getting standardized throughout the entire industry, it'll make things a lot more stable. It's an automated AI-based trading platform that aims to make reduce the cognitive load and worry about holding your funds in crypto. The aim of it is to dynamically trade for people while also letting them have 100% control over their funds. For now, that's by using exchange API keys. Though in the future, that can be through decentralized exchanges, meaning no middle man. My product's name: It's [Funguana.com]. [Internally meaning the interconnection of all Dhrama in the Huayan Buddhist religion]. I've already received controversial reviews, and feel crazy for putting it back out there. However, I'm now confident I can follow through, and maybe by explaining my reasoning behind why I built it the community will respond differently this time. To make it more trust-able, 4 months after public release, if my resources allow me to, I plan to open source the infrastructure code so people can implement their own platform within a matter of weeks, then systemically open many of the algorithms so they can appropriate powerful algorithms together over time (many not based on AI). I have to be strategic though. If I open it too soon, too many bad actors can enter the space and cause havoc early, without much chance to keep them in check. Edit: I made changes to the page to make the links more obvious. Now they're in bold and italic Edit 2: Adding quotes to make links more obvious again.
Bitcoin Mining Profitability: How Long Does it Take to Mine One Bitcoin in 2019?
When it comes to Bitcoin (BTC) mining, the major questions on people’s minds are “how profitable is Bitcoin mining” and “how long would it take to mine one Bitcoin?” To answer these questions, we need to take an in-depth look at the current state of the Bitcoin mining industry — and how it has changed — over the last several years. Bitcoin mining is, essentially, the process of participating in Bitcoin’s underlying security mechanism — known as proof-of-work — to help secure the Bitcoin blockchain. In return, participants receive compensation in bitcoins (BTC). When you participate in Bitcoin mining, you are essentially searching for blocks by crunching complex cryptographic challenges using your mining hardware. Once a block is discovered, new transactions are recorded and verified within the block and the block discoverer receives the block rewards — currently set at 12.5 BTC — as well as the transactions fees for the transactions included within the block. Once the maximum supply of 21 million Bitcoins has been mined, no further Bitcoins will ever come into existence. This property makes Bitcoin deflationary, something which many argue will inevitably increase the value of each Bitcoin unit as it becomes more scarce due to increased global adoption. The limited supply of Bitcoin is also one of the reasons why Bitcoin mining has become so popular. In previous years, Bitcoin mining proved to be a lucrative investment option — netting miners with several fold returns on their investment with relatively little effort. bitcoin mining hardware Mining Hardware The mining hardware you choose will mostly depend on your circumstances — in terms of budget, location and electricity costs. Since the amount of hashing power you can dedicate to the mining process is directly correlated with how much Bitcoin you will mine per day, it is wise to ensure your hardware is still competitive in 2019. Bitcoin uses SHA256 as its mining algorithm. Because of this, only hardware compatible with this algorithm can be used to mine Bitcoin. Although it is technically possible to mine Bitcoin on your current computer hardware — using your CPU or GPU — this will almost certainly not generate a positive return on your investment and you may end up damaging your device. The most cost-effective way to mine Bitcoin in 2019 is using application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) mining hardware. These are specially-designed machines that offer much higher performance per watt than typical computers and have been an absolutely essential purchase for anybody looking to get into Bitcoin mining since the first Avalon ASICs were shipped in 2013. When it comes to selecting Bitcoin mining hardware, there are several main parameters to consider — though the importance of each of these may vary based on personal circumstances and budget. Performance per Watt When it comes to Bitcoin mining, performance per watt is a measure of how many gigahashes per watt a machine is capable of and is, hence, a simple measure of its efficiency. Since electricity costs are likely to be one of the largest expenses when mining Bitcoin, it is usually a good idea to ensure that you are getting good performance per watt out of your hardware. Ideally, your mining hardware would be highly efficient, allowing it to mine Bitcoin with lower energy requirements — though this will need to be balanced with acquisition costs, as often the most efficient hardware is also the most expensive. This means it may take longer to see a return on investment. In countries with cheap electricity, performance per watt is often less of a concern than acquisition costs and price-performance ratio. In most countries, operating outdated mining hardware is typically cost prohibitive, as energy costs outweigh the income generated by the mining equipment. However, this may not be the case for those operating in countries with extremely cheap electricity — such as Kuwait and Venezuela — as even older equipment can still be profitable. Similarly, miners with a free energy surplus, such as from wind or solar electric generators, can benefit from the minimal gains offered by still running outdated hardware. Longevity The lifetime of mining hardware also plays a critical role in determining how profitable your mining venture will be. It’s always a good idea to do whatever possible to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible. Since mining equipment tends to run at a full (or almost full) load for extended periods, they also tend to break down and fail more frequently than most electronics — which can seriously damage your profitability. Equipment failure is even more common when purchasing second-hand equipment. Since warranty claims are often challenging, it can often take a long time to receive a warranty replacement. Price-Performance Ratio In many cases, one of the major criteria used to select mining hardware is the price-performance ratio — a measure of how much performance a machine outputs per unit price. In the case of cryptocurrency mining hardware, this is commonly expressed as gigahashes per dollar or GH/$. Under ideal circumstances, the mining hardware would have a high price-performance ratio, ensuring you get a lot of bang for your buck. However, this must also be considered in combination with the acquisition costs and the expected lifetime of the machine — since the absolute most powerful machines are not always the cheapest or the most energy efficient. Acquisition Costs Acquisition costs are almost always the biggest barrier to entry for most Bitcoin miners since most top-end mining hardware costs several thousand dollars. This problem is further compounded by the fact that many hardware manufacturers offer discounts for bulk purchases, allowing those with deeper pockets to achieve a better price-performance ratio. Acquisition costs include all the costs involved in purchasing any mining equipment, including hardware costs, shipping costs, import duties, and any further costs. For example, many ASIC miners do not include a power supply — which can be another considerable expense, since the 1,000W+ power supplies usually required tend to cost several hundred dollars alone. Ensuring your equipment runs smoothly can also add in additional costs, such as cooling and maintenance expenses. In addition, some miners may want to invest in uninterruptible power supplies to ensure their hardware keeps running — even if the power fails temporarily. asic mining Current Generation Hardware One of the most recent additions to the Bitcoin mining hardware market is the Ebang Ebit E11++, which was released in October 2018. Using a 10nm fabrication process for its processors, the Ebit E11++ is able to achieve one of the highest hash rates on the market at 44TH/s. In terms of efficiency, the Ebang Ebit E11++ is arguably the best on the market, offering 44TH/s of hash rate while drawing just 1,980W of power, offering 22.2GH/W performance. However, as of writing, the Ebang Ebit E11++ is out of stock until March 31, 2019 — while its price of $2,024 (excluding shipping) may make it prohibitively expensive for those first getting involved with Bitcoin mining. Another popular choice is the ASICminer 8 Nano, a machine released in October 2018 that offers 44TH/s for $3,900 excluding shipping. The ASICminer 8 Nano draws 2,100W of power, giving it an efficiency of almost 21GH/W — slightly lower than the Ebit E11++ while costing almost double the price. However, unlike the E11++, the 8 Nano is actually in stock and available to purchase. ASICminer also offers the 8 Nano Pro, a machine launched in mid-2018 that offers 80 TH/s of hash rate for $9,500 (excluding shipping). However, unlike the Ebit E11++ and 8 Nano, the minimum order quantity for the 8 Nano Pro is curiously set at five, meaning you will need to lay out a minimum of $47,500 in order to actually get your hands on one (or five). While the 8 Nano Pro doesn’t offer the same performance per watt as the Ebit E11+ or AICMiner 8 Nano, it is one of the quieter miners on this list, making it more suitable for a home or office environment. That being said, the ASICminer 8 Nano Pro is easily the most expensive miner per TH on this list — costing a whopping $118.75/TH, compared to the $46/TH offered by the E11++ and $88.64 offered by the 8 Nano. The latest hardware on this list is the Innosilicon T3 43T, which is currently available for pre-order at $2,279, and estimated to ship in March 2019. Offering 43TH/s of performance at 2,100W, the T3 43T comes in at an efficiency of 20.4GH/W, which is around 10 percent less energy efficient than the Ebit E11++. The T3 43T also has a minimum order quantity of three units, making the minimum acquisition cost $6837 + shipping for preorders. All in all, the T3 43T is more costly and less efficient than the E11++ but may arrive slightly earlier since Ebang will not ship the E11++ units until at least end March 29, 2019. Finally, this list would not be complete without including Bitmain’s latest offering, the Antminer S15-28TH/s, which — as its name suggests — offers 28TH/s of hash power while drawing just under 1600W at the wall. The Antminer S15 is one of the only SHA256 miners to use 7nm processors, making it somewhat smaller than some of the other devices on this list. Like most pieces of top-end Bitcoin mining hardware, the Antminer S15 27TH/s model is currently sold out, with current orders not shipping until mid-February 2019. However, the S15 is offered at a significantly lower price than many of its competitors at just $1020 (excluding shipping), with no minimum quantity restriction. At these rates, the Antminer comes in at just $37.78/TH — though its energy efficiency is a much less impressive 17.5GH/W. Mining Hardware Mining Hardware Comparison Performance (GH/W) Price Performance Ratio ($/TH) Ebang Ebit E11++ 22.2GH/W $46/TH ASICminer 8 Nano 21GH/W $88.64/TH ASICminer 8 Nano Pro 19GH/W $118.75/TH Innosilicon T3 43T 20.4GH/W $53/TH Antminer S15-28TH/s 17.5GH/W $37.78/TH How To Select a Good Mining Pool Mining pools are platforms that allow miners to pool their resources together to achieve a higher collective hash rate — which, in turn, allows the collective to mine more blocks than they would be able to achieve alone. Typically, these mining pools will distribute block rewards to contributing miners based on the proportion of the hash rate they supply. If a pool contributing a total of 20 TH/s of hash rate successfully mines the next block, a user responsible for 10 percent of this hash rate will receive 10 percent of the 12.5 BTC reward. Pools essentially allow smaller miners to compete with large private mining organizations by ensuring that the collective hash rate is high enough to successfully mine blocks on regular basis. Without operating through a mining pool, many miners would be unlikely to discover any blocks at all — due to only contributing a tiny fraction of the overall Bitcoin hash rate. While it is quite possible to be successful mining without a pool, this typically requires an extremely large mining operation and is usually not recommended — unless you have enough hash rate to mine blocks on a regular basis. Although it is technically possible to discover blocks mining solo and keep the entire 12.5 BTC reward for yourself, the odds of this actually occurring are practically zero — making pool collaboration practically the only way to compete in 2019 and beyond. Selecting the best pool for you can be a challenging job since the vast majority of pools are quite similar and offer similar features and comparable fees. Because of this, we have broken down the qualities you should be looking for in a new pool into four categories; reputation, hash rate, pool fees, and usability/features: Reputation The reputation of a pool is one of the most important factors in selecting the pool that is best for you. Well-reputed pools will tend to be much larger than newer or less well-established pools since few pools with a poor reputation can stand the test of time. Well-reputed pools also tend to be more transparent about their operation, many of which provide tools to ensure that each user is getting the correct reward based on the hash rate contributed. By using only pools with a great reputation, you also ensure your hash rate is not being used for nefarious purposes — such as powering a 51 percent attack. When comparing a list of pools that appear suitable for you, it is a wise move to read their user reviews before making your choice — ensuring you don’t end up mining at a pool that steals your hard-fought earnings. Hash Rate When it comes to mining Bitcoin, the probability of discovering the next block is directly related to the amount of hashing power you contribute to the network. Because of this, one of the major features you should be considering when selecting your pool is its total hash rate — which is often closely related to the proportion of new blocks mined by the pool Since the total hash rate of a pool is directly related to how quickly it discovers new blocks, this means the largest pools tend to discover a relative majority of blocks — leading to more regular rewards. However, the very largest pools also tend the have higher fees but often make up for this with sheer success and additional features. Sometimes, some of the largest pools have a minimum hash rate requirement ù leaving some of the smaller miners left out of the loop. Although smaller pools typically have more relaxed requirements with reduced performance thresholds, these pools may be only slightly more profitable than mining solo. Pool Fees When choosing a suitable pool, typically one of the major considerations is its fees. Typically, most pools will charge a small fee that is deducted from your earnings and is usually around 1-2 percent — but sometimes slightly lower or higher. There are also pools that offer 0 percent fees. However, these are often much smaller than the major pools and tend to make their money in a different way — such as through monthly subscriptions or donations. Ideally, you will choose the pool that offers the best balance of fees to other features. Usually, the pool with the absolute lowest fees is not the best choice. Additionally, pools with the lowest fees often have the highest withdrawal minimums — making pool hopping uneconomical for most. Usability and Features When first starting out with Bitcoin mining, learning how to set up a pool and navigating through the settings can be a challenge. Because of this, several pools target their services to newer users by offering a simple to navigate user interface and providing detailed learning resources and prompt customer support. However, for more experienced miners, simple pools don’t tend to offer a variety of features needed to maximize profitability. For example, although many mining pools focus their entire hash rate towards mining a single cryptocurrency, some are large enough to offer additional options — allowing users to mine other SHA256 coins such as Bitcoin Cash (BCH) or Fantom if they choose. These pools are technically more challenging to use and mostly designed for those familiar with mining, happy to hop from coin to coin mining whichever is most profitable at the time. There are even some exchanges that automatically direct their combined hash rate at the most profitable cryptocurrency — taking the guesswork out of the equation. bitcoin mining pool Best Mining Pools for 2019 The Bitcoin mining pool industry has a large number of players, but the vast majority of the Bitcoin hash rate is concentrated within just a few pools. Currently, there are dozens of suitable pools to choose from — but we have selected just a few of the best to help get you started on your journey. Slushpool was the first Bitcoin mining pool released, being launched way back in 2010 under the name “Bitcoin Pooled Mining Server.” Since then, Slushpool has grown into one of the most popular pools around — currently accounting for just under 10 percent of the total Bitcoin hash rate. Although Slushpool isn’t one of the very largest pools, it does offer a newbie-friendly interface alongside more advanced features for those that need them. The pool has moderately high fees of 2 percent but offers servers in several countries — including the U.S., Europe, China, and Japan — giving it a good balance of fees to features. BTC.com is another potential candidate for your pool and currently stands as the largest public Bitcoin mining pool. It is responsible for mining around 17 percent of new blocks. Being the largest public mining pool provides users with a sense of security, ensuring blocks are mined regularly and a stable income is made. Image courtesy of Blockchain.info. BTC.com is owned by Bitmain, a company that manufacturers mining hardware, and charges a 1.5 percent fees — placing it squarely in the middle-tier in terms of fees. Unlike other platforms, BTC.com uses its own payment structure known as FPPS (Full Pay Per Share), which means miners also receive a share of the transaction fees included within mined blocks — making it slightly more profitable than standard payment per share (PPS) pools. Another great option is Antpool, a mining pool that supports mining services for 10 different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Litecoin (LTC) and Ethereum (ETH). AntPool frequently trades places with BTC.com as the largest Bitcoin mining pool. However, as of this writing, it occupies the title of the third-largest public mining pool. What sets Antpool apart from other pools is the ability to choose your own fee system — including PPS, PPS+, and PPLNS. If you choose PPLNS, using Antpool is free but you will not receive any transaction fees from any blocks mined. Antpool also offers regular payouts and has a low minimum payout of just 0.001 BTC, making it suitable for smaller miners. Last on the list of the best Bitcoin mining pools in 2019 is the Bitcoin.com mining pool. Although this is one of the smaller pools available, the Bitcoin.com pool has some redeeming features that make it worth a look. It offers mining contracts, allowing you to test out Bitcoin mining before investing in mining equipment of your own. According to Bitcoin.com, they are the highest paying Pay Per Share (PPS) pool in the world, offering up to 98 percent block rewards as well as automatic switching between BTC and BCH mining to optimize profitability. Electricity Costs While your mining hardware is most important when it comes to how much BTC you can earn when mining, your electricity costs are usually the largest additional expense. With electricity costs often varying dramatically between countries, ensuring you are on the best cost-per-KWh plan available will help to keep costs down when mining. Most commonly, large mining operations will be set up in countries where electricity costs are the lowest — such as Iceland, India, and Ukraine. Since China has one of the lowest energy costs in the world, it was previously the epicenter of Bitcoin mining. However, since the government began cracking down on cryptocurrencies, it has largely fallen out of favor with miners. Technically, Venezuela is one of the cheapest countries in the world in terms of electricity, with the government heavily subsidizing these energy costs — while Bitcoin offers an escape from the hyperinflation suffered by the Venezuelan bolivar. Despite this, importing mining hardware into the country is a costly endeavor, making it impractical for many people. Finding ways to lower your electricity costs is one of the best ways to improve your mining profitability. This can include investing in renewable energy sources such as solar, geothermal, or wind — which can yield increased profitability over the long term. if you are looking to buy bitcoin mining equipment here is some links: Model Antminer S17 Pro (56Th) from Bitmain mining SHA-256 algorithm with a maximum hashrate of 56Th/s for a power consumption of 2385W. https://miningwholesale.eu/product/bitmain-antminer-s17-pro-56th-copy/?wpam_id=17 Model Antminer S9K from Bitmain mining SHA-256 algorithm with a maximum hashrate of 14Th/s for a power consumption of 1323W. https://miningwholesale.eu/product/bitmain-antminer-s9k-14-th-s/?wpam_id=17 Model T2T 30Tfrom Innosilicon mining SHA-256 algorithm with a maximum hashrate of 30Th/s for a power consumption of 2200W. https://miningwholesale.eu/product/innosilicon-t2t-30t/?wpam_id=17 mining wholesale website: https://miningwholesale.eu/?wpam_id=17
Educate Yourself - My Top Picks for news sources, YouTube channels, and podcasts
Why do I need to know what is going on in the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain? I'm just here to trade and make money. I saw someone post a couple of days ago about how they have held Ethereum for a while, but had recently "done some research" and discovered that Ethereum was Turing complete and that "surely this must be one of Ethereum's most important features." At that moment, I realized how many people who post here have no idea what the hell they are talking about. If this post can help us become collectively smarter and more informed, and thereby elevate the quality of the discussion in this community, then it will have served its purpose. If you want to get smart on any topic, you need to learn and keep learning from others who are knowledgeable. Things evolve incredibly quickly in the world of crypto and it is very easy to fall out of the loop on the latest happenings. Since most of you have money on the line (in the form of ETH holdings), that should be all of the incentive you need to stay informed. Every effective traditional investor I have ever met researches the hell out of every stock they buy (before they buy it), but also keeps in the know on every major development that company and its competitors have. This is doubly important in the world of crypto where markets can move much faster and the potential for scams and major disruption are much higher. But what about ethtrader? Can't I just get all of my news here? Getting all your news from ethtrader (especially the Daily) is like getting all of your news while standing in line at the grocery store, talking to other people who are reading the National Enquirer. Sure, you may happen upon a useful tidbit of knowledge, but you may also get wrong info that leads you to make bad decisions if you are not informed. But one thing is for sure: it is entertaining. My Top 5 News Source Picks There is no TL;DR for developing real wisdom and insight. Start reading full articles on a regular basis for topics related to crypto/blockchain. At a minimum, put the sites below into a folder on your browser's bookmarks tab and open them daily. Or get an RSS reader and make sure you methodically read every single article that comes out on these sites. Newsify is a great RSS reader for iOS users. For either iOS or Android, you could check out Feedly.
/ethereum (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced) - ethereum tends to have more dev focused content. It also tends to highlight big events in the world of Ethereum, ranging from official announcements to the new adoption of Ethereum in the real world.
ETHNews (Intermediate, Advanced) - Probably the best source for all-around Ethereum news. Focuses quite a bit on Ethereum adoption around the world.
Bitcoin Magazine (Intermediate, Advanced) - Focuses on Bitcoin, but covers many other topics related to crypto. Excellent writing and journalism quality. Fun fact: Vitalik Buterin was a co-founder Bitcoin Magazine.
CoinDesk (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced) - This is the closest thing crypto has to a news site that feels more "mainstream." The quality of reporting has actually gotten a lot better here in recent months. If you haven't checked it out for a while, I recommend you do so.
Coin Telegraph (Beginner, Intermediate) - Honestly, you would probably be just fine with four news sources above- most of what CoinTelegraph covers is covered better on those sites. CoinTelegraph feels a bit juvenile, with their journalism and writing quality often leaving something to be desired. But occasionally, you'll find a diamond in the rough when they break a big story first.
Honorable Mentions: You may also want to check out TrustNodes, but their content feels a bit more editorial-ish. There are also many great posts from devs on Medium. Sign up for an account and they'll start e-mailing you some good picks based upon your reading history. My Top 5 YouTube Channel Picks Honestly, there are so many YouTube channels these days, I can't keep up with them. I'll often watch the suggested content from YouTube as a way to discover new vloggers.
The Cryptoverse (Beginner, Intermediate) - Short and well done discussion of daily crypto news and markets from a generally likable guy. Spends a bit too much time talking about shit coins on occasion for my taste, but this is easy to overlook. He is based out of the UK and posts pretty early in the morning for US viewers.
Crypt0 (Beginner, Intermediate) - Omar is a great and engaging host who is very passionate about crypto. Good for daily news and editorial perspectives. Sometimes gets a little long winded, but that's part of his charm.
Ivan on Tech (Beginner, Intermediate) - I really enjoy this channel. Ivan works as a software developer and does a great job of explaining pretty complex blockchain topics for the layperson. Each episode typically focuses on just a couple of topics and analyzes them pretty rigorously.
The Node Investor (Intermediate, Advanced) - Probably one of the best technical analysis channels out there. I don't really trade myself, but I enjoy watching this channel anyway.
BoxMining (Beginner) - If you have time for a fifth, BoxMining is a good choice. He delivers information in a fairly easy to understand way, but what I really like is his China coverage (he's based out of Hong Kong). Outside of that, his analysis and editorial comments aren't really anything to write home about.
Honorable Mentions: Love him or hate him, you can't ignore Andreas...good for quick hits on crypto-philosophy. Real Crypto recently caught my attention as well, with excellent quality TA. Chris Dunn is also very well-established and solid for TA. DataDash is also very informative for ICO analysis and TA. I also like MrYukonC, who is a mod here and talks about topics from this sub on occasion. He only posts when he has something to say (which is fairly episodically), but I think that is a good thing. My Top 3 Podcast Picks I only have time to listen to so many podcasts, but here are the three that I listen to on a regular basis.
Epicenter (Intermediate, Advanced) - Probably one of the deepest and best podcasts in the blockchain space. They don't really discuss price / markets, but instead focus on blockchain fundamentals. They frequently get the biggest name guests, including major project leads, hot ICO founders, and others from the legal/regulator and business world. They often get a little technical, but the information is very good. If you are brand new to blockchain, you may find this podcast a bit hard to follow at first, but its worth it to stick with it. Be sure to listen to their library of old episodes as there are many good insights in them (including a few with Vitalik Buterin).
Neocash Radio (Beginner, Intermediate) - Great mix of news and market coverage, released weekly. Very easy to listen to with a relaxed, conversational style.
Unchained (Beginner, Intermediate) - This is Forbes' podcast on blockchain. It's designed to be more accessible for beginners. More informed folks may find it a bit basic.
Honorable Mention: Many folks also mentioned that they like the Ether Review, which I also listen to when the topic is of interest. That's it. Hope you all found that helpful. If you have any information sources you'd recommend, please share them! EDIT: Made a few corrections and added two additional sources I left out initially.
South Korea Is Hoping For Regulator Clarity as Crypto Law Toughen
News by Cointelegraph: Stephen O’Neal South Korean regulators seems to strongly favor blockchain over cryptocurrencies, and some recent events have further proven this hypothesis. As a result, as much as 97% of local digital assets exchanges are in danger of extinction, local reports suggest. Meanwhile, local politicians and regulators have started lobbying a new set of regulations, which could finally bring some clarity into this complex but crucial cryptocurrency market. So, how likely are they to succeed, and what are the main obstacles? With the opening of Korean headquarters in Seoul, Cointelegraph looks deeper into the local regulatory landscape alongside Cointelegraph Korea’s chief editor, David Lee.
Although South Korean exchanges are de jure permitted to trade Bitcoin (BTC) and other digital assets, most of those platforms seem to be in a fix, as the recent closure of a local crypto exchange called Prixbit revealed. When it shut down in early August, “due to negative internal and external influences,” as the owners put it, local press reported that excluding the country’s four largest players — Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit, unofficially known as “the big four” — many small and midsized exchanges cannot open real-name virtual accounts for their users as a result of banks’ disinclination. Indeed, while South Korean regulators introduced a real-name trading system for cryptocurrencies as part of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) efforts in January 2018, only the big four trading platforms have managed to establish corresponding relationships with local banks so far. As per new regulations, domestic cryptocurrency markets are required to share users’ transaction data with banks, while traders themselves can only use bank accounts in their legal name that matches the name on their trading account. Park Jong-baek, a partner at South Korean law firm BKL, told Cointelegraph, “Out of about six banks which set up such account system, only three decided to provide such account service to only big four exchanges.” According to the lawyer, although other exchanges have been persistently asking banks to render that service for them too, all proposals were rejected based on the assumption that “transactions of cryptocurrencies even with real-name basis could be vulnerable to money laundering, terror or other illegal activities.” That prompted those not considered to be in the big four of South Korean trading platforms to record transactions of individuals under the corporate, or “honeycomb,” accounts, according to Jun-heon Hwang, a market analyst at Seoul-based cryptocurrency firm BCSolution. The law regarding virtual accounts leaves that loophole, Hwang told Cointelegraph, while local banks are reluctant to provide their services for smaller trading exchanges. According to the analyst, the dependance on honeycomb corporate accounts make those small and midsized players particularly vulnerable to hacking and other security-related incidents. Non-big-four exchanges can indeed run fiat-involving transactions without real-name accounts through honeycomb bank accounts, Jong-baek confirmed to Cointelegraph. Those accounts could be opened up by certain banks mostly without disclosing their real purpose:
“Banks may or may not close such accounts in their discretion when they recognize the real purpose afterwards. In practice most banks have not terminated or closed such accounts even after their recognition only because they are used for cryptocurrencies unless they cause banks other concerns.”
A representative for Kdex, a top-10 crypto exchange in South Korea by trading volume, confirmed to Cointelegraph that it does not provide real-name virtual accounts despite attempting to register with local banks at least several times. Although Kdex has established “a real name certification” after collaborating with a third-party company, the spokesperson added, having the actual sanctioned system in place would have made deposit and withdrawal procedures considerably easier. However, some South Korean exchanges have managed to take advantage of this complex situation. A representative for Gopax, another major domestic trading provider that is currently locked out of the real-name virtual accounts system, informed Cointelegraph:
“Ironically, the lack of virtual accounts has helped in a roundabout way: the lack of such accounts allows GOPAX users to use whichever bank account they currently use for deposit and withdrawal purposes. In contrast, exchanges with virtual accounts require the user to have an account at a specific commercial bank to use them; as such, the lack of virtual accounts has served to increase the ease of use for GOPAX.”
Still, the exchange’s spokesperson added that it is “currently in discussion with several of the largest commercial banks in Korea” regarding the issuance of virtual real-name accounts, which confirms the feature’s importance for South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges. Another alleged factor for the poor performance of domestic cryptocurrency exchanges is low trading volume. Albeit data from crypto analytics website Coinhills shows that the South Korean won is currently ranked the third-most traded national currency for BTC, Business Korea reports a much grimer picture. According to the publication, “only five or six” South Korean exchanges rank among the top 100 in the world by transaction volume, which indeed seems to correlate with current data obtained from CoinMarketCap. “It is no exaggeration to say that 97 percent of domestic exchanges are in danger of going bankrupt due to their low volume of transactions,” the article concluded. However, it is difficult to confirm that information: There is no official data on the South Korean market, because the opening of a crypto exchange in the country doesn’t require obtaining any registration, license or permit.
Local regulations toughened circa 2017–2018
Back in 2017, times were different (arguably more favorable) for the local crypto players. In July that year, the government recognized Bitcoin as a legal payment method, allowing fintech companies to process up to $20,000 worth of South Korean won in BTC for their clients. As a result, domestic exchange platforms were moved under the purview of the country’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Commission (FSC). The watchdog required capital of at least $436,000 to be retained, plus additional data for Know Your Customer (KYC) and AML purposes. At the time, local exchanges processed over 14% of global Bitcoin trades, being the third-largest market after the U.S. and Japan. The situation took a different turn in September, when the FSC suddenly rolled out a Chinese-like blanket ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs), triggering observable sell-offs in the market. The agency explained the move with the lack of stability and rising risks of financials scams at the time. Then, in late 2017, the South Korean market found itself at the epicenter of ongoing crypto mania. When Bitcoin’s price famously soared from $5,000 to $20,000, it briefly traded for as much as $25,000 on local exchanges. The premium rates were dubbed the Kimchi Premium, and effectively triggered the government to step in with rigid regulations in a bid to poise the market. Thus, in January 2018, the FSC banned anonymous trading on local exchanges, additionally locking out foreigners and minors. The agency followed the innovation with a series of on-site inspections of local banks providing services to cryptocurrency exchanges and fines totaling 141 million won ($130,000) billed to a number of local trading platforms that ostensibly provided insufficient user data protection. As soon as February, first blood was spilled: Coinpia, one of the exchanges that had been fined by the FSC for poor user data protection, went offline after failing to comply with the new KYC requirements. Eventually, other domestic exchanges, such as Coinnest, closed shop. In April 2018, the Korean Blockchain Association (KBA) — an alliance comprised of 14 crypto trading platforms, including Bithumb, Upbit and OKCoin — published a self-regulatory framework for its members to boost trading transparency. It contained five key requirements, including managing clients’ coins separately from their own, holding a minimum equity of 2 billion won ($1.8 million),and publishing regular audit and finance reports. In January 2019, despite the National Assembly debating the ICO ban, the watchdog officially announced that the restriction would stay in place as the FSC announced. A week later, South Korea’s central bank issued a warning over central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, further cementing the government’s overall cold attitude toward cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain as the new direction for South Korea
Notably, South Korean regulators have been much more welcoming toward the technology underpinning crypto. In June 2018, the country’s Ministry of Science and ICT announced an extensive Blockchain Technology Development Strategy that aims to raise 230 billion won (approximately $207 million) by 2022. The new initiative is expected to foster 10,000 blockchain industry professionals and 100 companies in areas including real estate, online voting, shipping logistics, real estate and international e-document distribution, among other things. Closer to the end of that year, South Korea’s government announced it will spend 4 billion won (about $3.5 million) to set up a blockchain-enabled virtual power plant in Busan. In July 2019, Busan even decided to launch a local cryptocurrency to revive the local economy, secure a leading position in blockchain development and hence further strengthen its position as the preferred bidder for South Korea’s blockchain regulation-free zone. As a part of the potential designation, Busan is reportedly going to promote blockchain in multiple industries, as well as to provide a basis for cryptos, including ICOs in particular. Its main competitor for the role, Jeju Island, has recently announced the Blockchain Hub City Development Research Service. Future strategy director of Jeju Island Noh Hee-seop said of the development that he expects Jeju to become a blockchain hub and contribute to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Furthermore, this summer, President Moon Jae-in announced that regulatory innovation regarding blockchain technology is now a question of survival for the nation. Specifically, Moon declared:
“While regulatory innovation in the era of industrialization was a matter of choice, it is now a question of survival as we are experiencing the fourth industrial revolution, characterized by fusions across industries and fields.”
The largest national business players are actively looking into blockchain, too. Both electronics giants Samsung and LG are reportedly working on blockchain-focused smartphones, domestic financial institutions are incorporating the technology for their services, local mobile carriers are announcing large scale blockchain projects. However, the “Bitcoin before blockchain”-like agenda has had its consequences on the local market: Namely, South Korean internet giant Kakao, which has over 50 million global users, is reportedly having problems listing its Klay cryptocurrency on local exchanges due to the ICO ban. According to recent reports from local press, Kakao is not the only local player having such troubles. Apparently, South Korean blockchain projects have been “flocking” to foreign exchanges over the past months. So, will the situation change in the future? Some recent developments suggest that it could be the case.
In March 2019, congressman Kim Byung-wook of the ruling Minjoo Party proposed a set of cryptocurrency regulations known as the “Amendment to the Law on the Reporting and Use of Specific Financial Transaction Information,” breaking the established silence of South Korean regulators. Notably, the amendment defines cryptocurrencies as virtual assets, and subordinates cryptocurrency exchanges to the Financial Intelligence Unit, an agency controlled by the FSC. It also introduces a licensing system for cryptocurrency exchanges and is largely influenced by regulations outlined by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an AML intergovernmental organization. If the amendment comes into power, it will replace the aforementioned guidelines established by the FSC in January 2018. The amendment was expected to pass the National Assembly before July 9 and hence invalidate previous FSC guidelines, but it failed to be enacted. As Shin Ha-young, the secretary of the amendment’s author, told Cointelegraph that the bill fell flat because the National Assembly’s Policy Committee “found no time” to publically review it before voting. “Under the current situation, it is not clear when it will be legislated,” Shin added. Meanwhile, local experts believe that the amendment might come into power by June 2020, when FATF guidelines for international regulation of cryptocurrencies are applied to 37 FATF member countries. A big-four exchange official who requested to remain anonymous told Cointelegraph that it supports the amendment because “even FATF-oriented guideline is better than nothing.” However, the bill most likely won’t be passed in the near future, the source added. Later in August, the Seoul Central District Court accepted the injunction filed by local cryptocurrency exchanges Coinz, BitSonic and Ventasbeat against banks that suspended their honeycomb accounts. As a result, the use of business accounts by domestic trading platforms can officially be recognized as legal. “There is a real situation in which Crypto exchanges have a clear intention to use a real name verification deposit account service, but have have not even given a chance to receive it,” the court said. Meanwhile, OKex, another exchange that has recently launched a self-regulated organization, or SRO, aiming to standardize crypto exchange compliance practices and policies across the world, has already started following FATF guidelines amid the general regulatory uncertainty in South Korea. In September, the local arm of trading platform delisted five major privacy-focused altcoins, citing new guidelines issued by the international regulator. “We are committed to providing a credible and trustable platform for traders, and we do respect local regulators,” Andy Cheung, head of operations of OKEx, told Cointelegraph of the move, adding:
“We support curbing crypto-related crimes but at the same time the industry needs its space to grow and develop, hence putting it under a microscope might not be the best thing for the industry.”
Georgia Tombstones (Part 2) by Jayge 8^J "Project Blue Beam is a conspiracy theory that claims that NASA is attempting to implement a New Age religion with the Antichrist at its head and start a New World Order, via a technologically-simulated Second Coming. The allegations were presented in 1994 by Quebecois journalist and conspiracy theorist Serge Monast, and later published in his book Project Blue Beam (NASA). Proponents of the theory allege that Monast and another unnamed journalist, who both died of heart attacks in 1996, were in fact assassinated, and that the Canadian government kidnapped Monast's daughter in an effort to dissuade him from investigating Project Blue Beam. The project was apparently supposed to be implemented in 1983, but it didn't happen. It was then set for implementation in 1995 and then 1996. Monast thought Project Blue Beam would be brought to fruition by the year 2000, really, definitely, for sure. The theory is widely popular (for a conspiracy theory) on the Internet, with many web pages dedicated to the subject, and countless YouTube videos explaining it. The actual source material, however, is very thin indeed. Monast lectured on the theory in the mid-1990s (a transcript of one such lecture is widely available), before writing and publishing his book, which has not been reissued by his current publisher and is all but unobtainable. The currently available pages and videos all appear to trace back to four documents: A transcript of the 1994 lecture by Monast, translated into English. A GeoCities page written by David Openheimer and which appears to draw on the original book. A page on educate-yourself.org, compiled in 2005, which appears to include a translation of the book from the French. Monast's page in French Wikipedia. The French Wikipedia article is largely sourced from two books on conspiracy theories and extremism by Pierre-André Taguieff, a mainstream academic expert on racist and extremist groups. From these few texts have come a flood of green ink, in text and video form, in several languages. Even the French language material typically does not cite the original book but the English language pages on educate-yourself.org. However, conspiracy theorists seem to use quantity as a measure of substance (much as alternative medicine uses appeal to tradition) and never mind the extremely few sources it all traces back to. Proponents of the theory have extrapolated it to embrace HAARP, 9/11, the Norwegian Spiral, chemtrails, FEMA concentration camps and Tupac Shakur. Everything is part of Project Blue Beam. It's well on its way to becoming the Unified Conspiracy Theory. Behold A Pale Horse, William Cooper's 1991 green ink magnum opus, has lately been considered a prior claim of, hence supporting evidence for, Blue Beam by advocates. The book is where a vast quantity of now-common conspiracy memes actually came from, so retrospectively claiming it as prior evidence is somewhere between cherrypicking and the Texas sharpshooter fallacy. However, the following quotes, from pages 180-181, intersect slightly with the specific themes of Blue Beam: It is true that without the population or the bomb problem the elect would use some other excuse to bring about the New World Order. They have plans to bring about things like earthquakes, war, the Messiah, an extra-terrestrial landing, and economic collapse. They might bring about all of these things just to make damn sure that it does work. They will do whatever is necessary to succeed. The Illuminati has all the bases covered and you are going to have to be on your toes to make it through the coming years. Can you imagine what will happen if Los Angeles is hit with a 9.0 quake, New York City is destroyed by a terrorist-planted atomic bomb, World War III breaks out in the Middle East, the banks and the stock markets collapse, Extraterrestrials land on the White House lawn, food disappears from the markets, some people disappear, the Messiah presents himself to the world, and all in a very short period of time? Can you imagine? The world power structure can, and will if necessary, make some or all of those things happen to bring about the New World Order. “Without a universal belief in the new age religion, the success of the new world order will be impossible!” The alleged purpose of Project Blue Beam is to bring about a global New Age religion, which is seen as a core requirement for the New World Order's dictatorship to be realised. There's nothing new in thinking of religion as a form of control, but the existence of multiple religions, spin-off cults, competing sects and atheists suggest that controlling the population entirely through a single religion isn't particularly easy. Past attempts have required mechanisms of totalitarianism such as the Inquisition. Monast's theory, however, suggests using sufficiently advanced technology to trick people into believing. Of course, the plan would have to assume that people could never fathom the trick at all — something contested by anyone sane enough not to swallow this particular conspiracy. The primary claimed perpetrator of Project Blue Beam is NASA, presented as a large and mostly faceless organization that can readily absorb such frankly odd accusations, aided by the United Nations, another old-time boogeyman of conspiracy theorists. According to Monast, the project has four steps: Step One requires the breakdown of all archaeological knowledge. This will apparently be accomplished by faking earthquakes at precise locations around the planet. Fake "new discoveries" at these locations "will finally explain to all people the error of all fundamental religious doctrines", specifically Christian and Muslim doctrines. This makes some degree of sense — if you want to usurp a current way of thinking you need to completely destroy it before putting forward your own. However, religious belief is notoriously resilient to things like facts. The Shroud of Turin is a famous example that is still believed by many to be a genuine shroud of Jesus as opposed to the medieval forgery that it has been conclusively shown to be. Prayer studies, too, show how difficult it is to shift religious conviction with mere observational fact — indeed, many theologians avoid making falsifiable claims or place belief somewhere specifically beyond observation to aid this. So what finds could possibly fundamentally destroy both Christianity and Islam, almost overnight, and universally all over the globe? Probably nothing. Yet, this is only step one of an increasingly ludicrous set of events that Project Blue Beam predicts will occur. Step Two involves a gigantic "space show" wherein three-dimensional holographic laser projections will be beamed all over the planet — and this is where Blue Beam really takes off. The projections will take the shape of whatever deity is most predominant, and will speak in all languages. At the end of this light show, the gods will all merge into one god, the Antichrist. This is a rather baffling plan as it seems to assume people will think this is actually their god, rather than the more natural twenty-first century assumption that it is a particularly opaque Coca Cola advertisement. Evidence commonly advanced for this is a supposed plan to project the face of Allah, despite its contradiction with Muslim belief of God's uniqueness, over Baghdad in 1991 to tell the Iraqis to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Someone, somewhere, must have thought those primitive, ignorant non-Western savages wouldn't have had television or advertising, and would never guess it was being done with mirrors. In general, pretty much anything that either a) involves light or b) has been seen in the sky has been put forward as evidence that Project Blue Beam is real, and such things are "tests" of the technology — namely unidentified flying objects. Existing display technology such as 3D projection mapping and holograms are put forward as foreshadowing the great light show in the sky. This stage will apparently be accomplished with the aid of a Soviet computer that will be fed "with the minute physio-psychological particulars based on their studies of the anatomy and electro-mechanical composition of the human body, and the studies of the electrical, chemical and biological properties of the human brain", and every human has been allocated a unique radio wavelength. The computers are also capable of inducing suicidal thoughts. The Soviets are (not "were") the "New World Order" people. Why NASA would use a Soviet computer when the USSR had to import or copy much of its computer technology from the West is not detailed. The second part of Step Two happens when the holograms result in the dissolution of social and religious order, "setting loose millions of programmed religious fanatics through demonic possession on a scale never witnessed before." The United Nations plans to use Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" as the anthem for the introduction of the new age one world religion. There is relatively little to debunk in this, the most widely remembered section of the Project Blue Beam conspiracy, as the idea is so infeasible. Citing actual existing communication technology is odd if the point is for the end product to appear magical, rather than just as cheap laser projections onto clouds. This hasn't stopped some very strange conspiracy theories about such things popping up. Indeed, the notion of gods being projected into the sky was floated in 1991 by conspiracy theorist Betty J. Mills. And US general (and CIA shyster extraordinaire), Edward Lansdale, actually floated a plan to fake a Second Coming over Cuba to get rid of Castro. Step Three is "Telepathic Electronic Two-Way Communication." It involves making people think their god is speaking to them through telepathy, projected into the head of each person individually using extreme low frequency radio waves. (Atheists will presumably hear an absence of Richard Dawkins.) The book goes to some lengths to describe how this would be feasible, including a claim that ELF thought projection caused the depressive illness of Michael Dukakis' wife Kitty. Step Four has three parts: Making humanity think an alien invasion is about to occur at every major city; Making the Christians think the Rapture is about to happen; A mixture of electronic and supernatural forces, allowing the supernatural forces to travel through fiber optics, coax, power and telephone lines to penetrate all electronic equipment and appliances, that will by then all have a special microchip installed. Then chaos will break out, and people will finally be willing — perhaps even desperate — to accept the New World Order. "The techniques used in the fourth step is exactly the same used in the past in the USSR to force the people to accept Communism." A device has apparently already been perfected that will lift enormous numbers of people, as in a Rapture. UFO abductions are tests of this device. Project Blue Beam proponents believe psychological preparations have already been made, Monast having claimed that 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars and the Star Trek series all involve an invasion from space and all nations coming together (the first two don't, the third is peaceful contact) and that Jurassic Park propagandises evolution in order to make people think God's words are lies. The book detailed the theory. In the 1994 lecture, Monast detailed what would happen afterwards. All people will be required to take an oath to Lucifer with a ritual initiation to enter the New World Order. Resisters will be categorised as follows: Christian children will be kept for human sacrifice or sexual slaves. Prisoners to be used in medical experiments. Prisoners to be used as living organ banks. Healthy workers in slave labour camps. Uncertain prisoners in the international re-education center, thence to repent on television and learn to glorify the New World Order. The international execution centre. An as yet unknown seventh classification. Joel Engel's book Gene Roddenberry: The Myth and the Man Behind Star Trek was released in 1994, shortly before Monast's lecture on Project Blue Beam: “In May 1975, Gene Roddenberry accepted an offer from Paramount to develop Star Trek into a feature film, and moved back into his old office on the Paramount lot. His proposed story told of a flying saucer, hovering above Earth, that was programmed to send down people who looked like prophets, including Jesus Christ.” All the steps of the conspiracy theory were in the unmade mid-'70s Star Trek film script by Roddenberry, which were recycled for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Devil's Due, broadcast in 1991. There is no evidence of deliberate fraud on Monast's part; given his head was quite thoroughly full of squirrels and confetti by this time, it's entirely plausible that he thought this was the revelation of secret information in a guise safe for propagation. However, the actual source was so obvious that even other conspiracy theorists noticed. They confidently state it was obvious that Monast had been fed deceptive information by the CIA. Of course!" -- rationalwiki.org "Serge Monast was a Québécois investigative journalist, poet, essayist and conspiracy theorist. He is known to English-speaking readers mainly for Project Blue Beam and associated conspiracy tropes. His works on Masonic conspiracy theories and the New World Order also remain popular with French-speaking conspiracy theorists and enthusiasts." -- Wikipedia "A human microchip implant is typically an identifying integrated circuit device or RFID transponder encased in silicate glass and implanted in the body of a human being. This type of subdermal implant usually contains a unique ID number that can be linked to information contained in an external database, such as personal identification, law enforcement, medical history, medications, allergies, and contact information. The first experiments with an RFID implant were carried out in 1998 by the British scientist Kevin Warwick. His implant was used to open doors, switch on lights, and cause verbal output within a building. After nine days the implant was removed and has since been held in the Science Museum (London). On 16 March 2009 British scientist Mark Gasson had an advanced glass capsule RFID device surgically implanted into his left hand. In April 2010 Gasson's team demonstrated how a computer virus could wirelessly infect his implant and then be transmitted on to other systems. Gasson reasoned that with implanted technology the separation between man and machine can become theoretical because the technology can be perceived by the human as being a part of their body. Because of this development in our understanding of what constitutes our body and its boundaries he became credited as being the first human infected by a computer virus. He has no plans to remove his implant. Several hobbyists have placed RFID microchip implants into their hands or had them inserted by others. Amal Graafstra, author of the book RFID Toys, asked doctors to place implants in his hands in March 2005. A cosmetic surgeon used a scalpel to place a microchip in his left hand, and his family doctor injected a chip into his right hand using a veterinary Avid injector kit. Graafstra uses the implants to access his home, open car doors, and to log on to his computer. With public interest growing, in 2013 he launched biohacking company Dangerous Things and crowdfunded the world's first implantable NFC transponder in 2014. He has also spoken at various events and promotional gigs including TEDx, and built a smartgun that only fires after reading his implant. Alejandro Hernandez CEO of Futura is known to be the first in Central America to have Dangerous Things' transponder installed in his left hand by Federico Cortes in November 2017. Mikey Sklar had a chip implanted into his left hand and filmed the procedure. Jonathan Oxer self-implanted an RFID chip in his arm using a veterinary implantation tool. Martijn Wismeijer, Dutch marketing manager for Bitcoin ATM manufacturer General Bytes, placed RFID chips in both of his hands to store his Bitcoin private keys and business card. Patric Lanhed sent a “bio-payment” of one euro worth of Bitcoin using a chip embedded in his hand. Marcel Varallo had an NXP chip coated in Bioglass 8625 inserted into his hand between his forefinger and thumb allowing him to open secure elevators and doors at work, print from secure printers, unlock his mobile phone and home, and store his digital business card for transfer to mobile phones enabled for NFC. Biohacker Hannes Sjöblad has been experimenting with NFC (Near Field Communication) chip implants since 2015. During his talk at Echappée Voléé 2016 in Paris, Sjöblad disclosed that he has also implanted himself between his forefinger and thumb and uses it to unlock doors, make payments, and unlock his phone (essentially replacing anything you can put in your pockets). Additionally, Sjöblad has hosted several "implant parties," where interested individuals can also be implanted with the chip. Researchers have examined microchip implants in humans in the medical field and they indicate that there are potential benefits and risks to incorporating the device in the medical field. For example, it could be beneficial for noncompliant patients but still poses great risks for potential misuse of the device. Destron Fearing, a subsidiary of Digital Angel, initially developed the technology for the VeriChip. In 2004, the VeriChip implanted device and reader were classified as Class II: General controls with special controls by the FDA; that year the FDA also published a draft guidance describing the special controls required to market such devices. About the size of a grain of rice, the device was typically implanted between the shoulder and elbow area of an individual’s right arm. Once scanned at the proper frequency, the chip responded with a unique 16-digit number which could be then linked with information about the user held on a database for identity verification, medical records access and other uses. The insertion procedure was performed under local anesthetic in a physician's office. Privacy advocates raised concerns regarding potential abuse of the chip, with some warning that adoption by governments as a compulsory identification program could lead to erosion of civil liberties, as well as identity theft if the device should be hacked. Another ethical dilemma posed by the technology, is that people with dementia could possibly benefit the most from an implanted device that contained their medical records, but issues of informed consent are the most difficult in precisely such people. In June 2007, the American Medical Association declared that "implantable radio frequency identification (RFID) devices may help to identify patients, thereby improving the safety and efficiency of patient care, and may be used to enable secure access to patient clinical information", but in the same year, news reports linking similar devices to cancer caused in laboratory animals had a devastating impact on the company's stock price and sales. In 2010, the company, by then called "PositiveID", withdrew the product from the market due to poor sales. In January 2012, PositiveID sold the chip assets to a company called VeriTeQ that was owned by Scott Silverman, the former CEO of Positive ID. In 2016, JAMM Technologies acquired the chip assets from VeriTeQ; JAMM's business plan was to partner with companies selling implanted medical devices and use the RFID tags to monitor and identify the devices. JAMM Technologies is co-located in the same Plymouth, Minnesota building as Geissler Corporation with Randolph K. Geissler and Donald R. Brattain listed as its principals. The website also claims that Geissler was CEO of PositiveID Corporation, Destron Fearing Corporation, and Digital Angel Corporation. In 2018, A Danish firm called BiChip released a new generation of microchip implant that is intended to be readable from distance and connected to Internet. The company released an update for its microchip implant to associate it with the Ripple cryptocurrency to allow payments to be made using the implanted microchip. In February 2006, CityWatcher, Inc. of Cincinnati, OH became the first company in the world to implant microchips into their employees as part of their building access control and security system. The workers needed the implants to access the company's secure video tape room, as documented in USA Today. The project was initiated and implemented by Six Sigma Security, Inc. The VeriChip Corporation had originally marketed the implant as a way to restrict access to secure facilities such as power plants. A major drawback for such systems is the relative ease with which the 16-digit ID number contained in a chip implant can be obtained and cloned using a hand-held device, a problem that has been demonstrated publicly by security researcher Jonathan Westhues and documented in the May 2006 issue of Wired magazine, among other places. The Baja Beach Club, a nightclub in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, once used VeriChip implants for identifying VIP guests. The Epicenter in Stockholm, Sweden is using RFID implants for employees to operate security doors, copiers, and pay for lunch. In 2017 Mike Miller, chief executive of the World Olympians Association, was widely reported as suggesting the use of such implants in athletes in an attempt to reduce problems in sport due to drug taking. Theoretically, a GPS-enabled chip could one day make it possible for individuals to be physically located by latitude, longitude, altitude, speed, and direction of movement. Such implantable GPS devices are not technically feasible at this time. However, if widely deployed at some future point, implantable GPS devices could conceivably allow authorities to locate missing persons and/or fugitives and those who fled from a crime scene. Critics contend, however, that the technology could lead to political repression as governments could use implants to track and persecute human rights activists, labor activists, civil dissidents, and political opponents; criminals and domestic abusers could use them to stalk and harass their victims; and child abusers could use them to locate and abduct children. Another suggested application for a tracking implant, discussed in 2008 by the legislature of Indonesia's Irian Jaya would be to monitor the activities of persons infected with HIV, aimed at reducing their chances of infecting other people. The microchipping section was not, however, included into the final version of the provincial HIV/AIDS Handling bylaw passed by the legislature in December 2008. With current technology, this would not be workable anyway, since there is no implantable device on the market with GPS tracking capability. Since modern payment methods rely upon RFID/NFC, it is thought that implantable microchips, if they were to ever become popular in use, would form a part of the cashless society. Verichip implants have already been used in nightclubs such as the Baja club for such a purpose, allowing patrons to purchase drinks with their implantable microchip. In a self-published report anti-RFID advocate Katherine Albrecht, who refers to RFID devices as "spy chips", cites veterinary and toxicological studies carried out from 1996 to 2006 which found lab rodents injected with microchips as an incidental part of unrelated experiments and dogs implanted with identification microchips sometimes developed cancerous tumors at the injection site (subcutaneous sarcomas) as evidence of a human implantation risk. However, the link between foreign-body tumorigenesis in lab animals and implantation in humans has been publicly refuted as erroneous and misleading and the report's author has been criticized over the use of "provocative" language "not based in scientific fact". Notably, none of the studies cited specifically set out to investigate the cancer risk of implanted microchips and so none of the studies had a control group of animals that did not get implanted. While the issue is considered worthy of further investigation, one of the studies cited cautioned "Blind leaps from the detection of tumors to the prediction of human health risk should be avoided". The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) of the American Medical Association published a report in 2007 alleging that RFID implanted chips may compromise privacy because there is no assurance that the information contained in the chip can be properly protected. Following Wisconsin and North Dakota, California issued Senate Bill 362 in 2007, which makes it illegal to force a person to have a microchip implanted, and provide for an assessment of civil penalties against violators of the bill. In 2008, Oklahoma passed 63 OK Stat § 63-1-1430 (2008 S.B. 47), that bans involuntary microchip implants in humans. On April 5, 2010, the Georgia Senate passed Senate Bill 235 that prohibits forced microchip implants in humans and that would make it a misdemeanor for anyone to require them, including employers. The bill would allow voluntary microchip implants, as long as they are performed by a physician and regulated by the Georgia Composite Medical Board. The state's House of Representatives did not take up the measure. On February 10, 2010, Virginia's House of Delegates also passed a bill that forbids companies from forcing their employees to be implanted with tracking devices. Washington State House Bill 1142-2009-10 orders a study using implanted radio frequency identification or other similar technology to electronically monitor sex offenders and other felons. The general public are most familiar with microchips in the context of tracking their pets. In the U.S., some Christian activists, including conspiracy theorist Mark Dice, the author of a book titled The Resistance Manifesto, make a link between the PositiveID and the Biblical Mark of the Beast, prophesied to be a future requirement for buying and selling, and a key element of the Book of Revelation. Gary Wohlscheid, president of These Last Days Ministries, has argued that "Out of all the technologies with potential to be the mark of the beast, VeriChip has got the best possibility right now"." -- Wikipedia "In this latest book Joseph P Farrell examines the subject of mind control, but from a very unusual perspective, showing that its basic underlying philosophy, and goal, is not only cosmological in nature, but that the cosmology in view is very ancient, and that mind control of any sort, from the arts to hypnosis, remote electromagnetic technologies and “electroencephalographic dictionaries” has cosmological implications." -- Microcosm and Medium: The Cosmic Implications and Agenda of Mind Control Technologies publisher's description
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets are highly volatile and, according to new research, incredibly unpredictable, appearing to move independently of most traditional or expected indicators. The bitcoin price, which has doubled so far this year after recording heavy losses throughout 2018, is hovering around $8,000 per bitcoin. Most other major cryptocurrencies, including ethereum, bitcoin cash, litecoin, and Ripple's XRP, have also made significant gains in recent months. Now, it's been revealed that bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets do not respond to any of the things that usually move traditional currencies, stocks and shares, or commodities, data provider Indexica has found. Bitcoin has swung wildly in price over recent months, exploding higher in April after months of declines. Getty "We tested bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies including ethereum and bitcoin cash in the same way we've tested popular stocks and traditional currencies," said Zak Selbert, chief executive of Indexica. "From our extensive research, and we've done more testing around bitcoin and cryptocurrencies than we have for pretty much any other asset we've analyzed, it simply appears the bitcoin price and crypto markets just don't respond as we would expect them to." Stocks, traditional currencies, and commodities generally move on company announcements, government policy, and technological developments, while bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices do not, according to Indexica. It's been suggested that the bitcoin and cryptocurrency market's relatively young age could be behind the difficulties in pinpointing what's caused market moves. "As we're dealing with an emerging asset class, crypto evaluation metrics are still largely being developed," said Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at brokerage eToro. "Stocks, bonds, currencies, and commodities all have decades if not centuries of price discovery, so analysts more or less know what to expect. "The crypto market has only begun to mature in the last two years, so we don't have any of that. What does work well for crypto analysts are simple technical analysis tools like support and resistance points, especially psychological barriers, as well as sentiment, trend, and above all momentum indicators." "Bitcoin and crypto prices are all about excitement or lack of," said Glen Goodman, a veteran trader and author of investment advice book, The Crypto Trader. "Nobody really knows for sure whether or not bitcoin will become a major store of value like gold or even a new global reserve currency like the dollar. So any news short of an outright global ban of bitcoin tends to have little lasting impact on bitcoin's price. "For example, China banned initial coin offerings and bitcoin exchanges in September 2017, which was a huge blow as China was the epicenter of crypto development. Yet within a few weeks, bitcoin's price reached another all-time high!" Volatility has, meanwhile, returned to the bitcoin market recently, with the bitcoin price recording daily moves that appear to mimic moves last seen at the end of 2018. The daily price change for the month of May averages 4.7%, compared with 3.5% in April and 1.1% in March, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Earlier this month, however, Indexica found bitcoin has matured as an asset and there had been a "coming of age" for bitcoin over the past few years, based on the study of the language used in thousands of text documents. Indexica found bitcoin now is being spoken about in the same way as a company stock, with those in the industry increasingly looking ahead to future developments and less back to the heyday of 2017. This latest research was designed to examine what has caused the wild swings in the bitcoin price by analyzing data from things like news articles and white papers. The bitcoin price fell sharply before recovering ground over the last year, though attempts to analyse what exactly moves the price have failed. CoinDesk "Sadly, it appears that if you want to know what's moving the bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets, we're not the right people to ask," Selbert said. "Though I don't think anyone could make a better attempt than we have." "The fact that we couldn't find what drove bitcoin, frankly, means that there isn't a predictive signal to be found," Selbert added. "If there was, we would have found it. What is driving bitcoin isn't easily identifiable with any level of statistical confidence." The bitcoin price rose from under $1,000 per bitcoin to almost $20,000 throughout 2017 before losing more than 80% of its value last year. A partial recovery so far this year has restored some investors' and traders' faith in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. The epic 2017 bitcoin bull run is thought to have been triggered by expectations institutional investment in the bitcoin and cryptocurrency market was imminent but when that failed to materialize in the way many thought it would, the market pulled back sharply. Some think the latest bitcoin price rally over the last few months is down to interest in the cryptocurrency industry from Silicon Valley tech giants, including social network group Facebook. Forbes Special Offer: Be among the first to get important crypto and blockchain news and information with Forbes Crypto Confidential. https://preview.redd.it/ab5twb8vo8431.png?width=200&format=png&auto=webp&s=8ed144a0ae9e96f1da6af50c13725ceb1e02e981
Ripple Co-Founder Gives $25 Million Donation in XRP to San Francisco University
Chris Larsen, co-founder of San Francisco-based technology company Ripple, and his wife Lyna Lam have donated $25 million in XRP to a university in California, according to an official announcement on April 5. Larsen and Lam contributed $25 million worth of XRP tokens to San Francisco State University’s (SFSU) College of Business through RippleWorks, a private foundation that provides practical support to promising social entrepreneurs. The university will direct the funds to support students studying global entrepreneurial and fintech ecosystems. According to SFSU, the donation is the largest single contribution made in cryptocurrency to a university in the United States. University President Leslie E. Wong said: “This groundbreaking gift will position the College of Business as an evolving, distinctly diverse and industry-relevant epicenter of business innovation and entrepreneurship. Chris, Lyna and Rippleworks are innovators, and their gift will inspire our students to creatively and strategically approach the business and tech landscapes to become the next generation of entrepreneurs and global business leaders.” The move follows Ripple’s formal social impact program dubbed “Ripple for Good” which launched last September. The program was set to operate in collaboration with RippleWorks, and to pool $25 million from the firm together with $80 million in donations to invest in projects focused on education and financial inclusion. Ripple has previously made similar donations. Last June, the company unveiled their University Blockchain Research Initiative consisting of a $50 million donation to 17 universities globally to support education in blockchain and cryptocurrencies. In March of last year, Ripple donated $29 million XRP to support U.S. public schools, fulfilling funding requests from teachers via DonorsChoose charity fund. The donated money was set to equip more than 30,000 classrooms across all 50 states.
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225 Good YouTubers & 30 Bad Ones! (Help Me Verify)
I am finalizing my list for CryptoInfluence - The link is a beta version. I've made several topics on this Reddit asking for input and received a tons of suggestions! This site is an offshoot of my popular Socialbook.io platform which is used by YouTubers to help get Sponsorships/Partnerships from brands. Brands use the platform search for YouTubers to advertise their products. Once the list is narrowed down they view their profiles and can choose to purchase their advanced profiles in order to view their audience demographics & to contact them. YouTubers get 50% of the price paid by brands to view their profiles & contact them. They keep 100% of whatever sponsorship deal they negotiate. This has been very successful so far. Up until recently the most popular searches were were Gaming & Fashion YouTubers. Over the summer we never received any requests for Crypto Influencers. Now we get 12 a day, making Crypto YouTubers our top category! The biggest complaint is that brands keep choosing the wrong ones and getting scammed. The Crypto Boom is so new that their are not very many "trusted" channels yet. There are no million+ channels. Most of the channels are a few months old between 1-20k subscribers. Its very difficult for them to choose. The site should do 3 things: 1. Allow brands to easily find quality YouTubers to partner with. Leading to both sides to profit. 2. Blacklist the scammer channels, and keep them from monetizing their channels. (There will be a form to report Scammers) 3. Clear out my inbox ;-) Below is the current list, sorted by number of subscribers (except the bottom 10 or so). Please help me verify any scammers. The ones I really need help with are at the very below. Also, if you know of any good channels that I don't have listed please let me know! Thanks a bunch! When the site is done, the channels will be ranked via an algorithm that is less dependent upon subscriber numbers, and more dependent upon relevant content, activity, and audience engagement. This should be able to properly rank that "Good" channels from the more "Mediocre" ones. There will also be a sorter (similar to our advanced search) where you can re-list the channels based on audience demographics, country, language, average views, etc. Legitimate Channels:
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What is Republic Protocol? Republic Protocol is a decentralized dark pool exchange protocol, for trading large volumes of tokens. It is a decentralized network that utilizes secure multi-party computation to match orders without exposing the price, or volume, of the orders. Dark pool exchanges powered by Republic Protocol can support large volume trades, with minimal price slippage and market impact, whilst guaranteeing that the rules of the dark pool cannot be broken.
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