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Crypto Banking Wars: Can Non-Custodial Crypto Wallets Ever Replace Banks?
Can they overcome the product limitations of blockchain and deliver the world-class experience that consumers expect? https://reddit.com/link/i8ewbx/video/ojkc6c9a1lg51/player This is the second part ofCrypto Banking Wars— a new series that examines what crypto-native company is most likely to become thebank of the future. Who is best positioned toreach mainstream adoptionin consumer finance? --- While crypto allows the world to get rid of banks, a bank will still very much be necessary for this verypowerfultechnology to reach the masses. As we laid out in our previous series, Crypto-Powered, we believe companies that build with blockchain at their core will have the best shot at winning the broader consumer finance market. We hope it will be us at Genesis Block, but we aren’t the only game in town. So this series explores the entire crypto landscape and tries to answer the question, which crypto company is most likely to become the bank of the future? In our last episode, we offered an in-depth analysis of big crypto exchanges like Coinbase & Binance. Today we’re analyzing non-custodial crypto wallets. These are products where only the user can touch or move funds. Not even the company or developer who built the application can access, control, or stop funds from being moved. These apps allow users to truly become their own bank. We’ve talked a little about this before. This group of companies is nowhere near the same level of threat as the biggest crypto exchanges. However, this group really understands DeFi and the magic it can bring. This class of products is heavily engineer-driven and at the bleeding-edge of DeFi innovation. These products are certainly worth discussing. Okay, let’s dive in.
Users & Audience
These non-custodial crypto wallets are especially popular among the most hardcore blockchain nerds and crypto cypherpunks.
“Not your keys, not your coins.”
This meme is endlessly repeated among longtime crypto hodlers. If you’re not in complete control of your crypto (i.e. using non-custodial wallets), then it’s not really your crypto. There has always been a close connection between libertarianism & cryptocurrency. This type of user wants to be in absolute control of their money and become their own bank. In addition to the experienced crypto geeks, for some people, these products will mean the difference between life and death. Imagine a refugee family that wants to safely protect their years of hard work — their life savings — as they travel across borders. Carrying cash could put their safety or money at risk. A few years ago I spent time in Greece at refugee camps — I know first-hand this is a real use-case. https://preview.redd.it/vigqlmgg1lg51.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=0a5d48a63ce7a637749bbbc03d62c51cc3f75613 Or imagine a family living under an authoritarian regime — afraid that their corrupt or oppressive government will seize their assets (or devalue their savings via hyperinflation). Citizens in these countries cannot risk putting their money in centralized banks or under their mattresses. They must become their own bank. These are the common use-cases and users for non-custodial wallets.
Let’s take a look at some of the strengths with non-custodial products.
Regulatory arbitrage Because these products are “non-custodial”, they are able to avoid the regulatory burdens that centralized, custodial products must deal with (KYC/AML/MTL/etc). This is a strong practical benefit for a bootstrapped startup/buildedeveloper. Though it’s unclear how long this advantage lasts as products reach wider audiences and increased scrutiny.
User Privacy Because of the regulatory arbitrage mentioned above, users do not need to complete onerous KYC requirements. For example, there’s no friction around selfies, government-issued IDs, SSNs, etc. Users can preserve much of their privacy and they don’t need to worry about their sensitive information being hacked, compromised, or leaked.
Absolute control & custody This is really one of the great promises of crypto — users can become their own bank. Users can be in full control of their money. And they don’t need to bury it underground or hide it under a mattress. No dependence, reliance or trust in any third parties. Only the user herself can access and unlock the money.
Now let’s examine some of the weaknesses.
Knowledge & Education Most non-custodial products do not abstract away any of the blockchain complexity. In fact, they often expose more of it because the most loyal users are crypto geeks. Imagine how an average, non-crypto user feels when she starts seeing words like seed phrases, public & private keys, gas limits, transaction fees, blockchain explorers, hex addresses, and confirmation times. There is a lot for a user to learn and become educated on. That’s friction. The learning curve is very high and will always be a major blocker for adoption. We’ve talked about this in our Spreading Crypto series — to reach the masses, the crypto stuff needs to be in the background.
User Experience It is currently impossible to create a smooth and performant user experience in non-custodial wallets or decentralized applications. Any interaction that requires a blockchain transaction will feel sluggish and slow. We built a messaging app on Ethereum and presented it at DevCon3 in Cancun. The technical constraints of blockchain technology were crushing to the user experience. We simply couldn’t create the real-time, modern messaging experience that users have come to expect from similar apps like Slack or WhatsApp. Until blockchains are closer in speed to web servers (which will be difficult given their decentralized nature), dApps will never be able to create the smooth user experience that the masses expect.
Product Limitations Most non-custodial wallets today are based on Ethereum smart contracts. That means they are severely limited with the assets that they can support (only erc-20 tokens). Unless through synthetic assets (similar to Abra), these wallets cannot support massively popular assets like Bitcoin, XRP, Cardano, Litecoin, EOS, Tezos, Stellar, Cosmos, or countless others. There are exciting projects like tBTC trying to bring Bitcoin to Ethereum — but these experiments are still very, very early. Ethereum-based smart contract wallets are missing a huge part of the crypto-asset universe.
Technical Complexity While developers are able to avoid a lot of regulatory complexity (see Strengths above), they are replacing it with increased technical complexity. Most non-custodial wallets are entirely dependent on smart contract technology which is still very experimental and early in development (see Insurance section of this DeFi use-cases post). Major bugs and major hacks do happen. Even recently, it was discovered that Argent had a “high severity vulnerability.” Fortunately, Argent fixed it and their users didn’t lose funds. The tools, frameworks, and best practices around smart contract technology are all still being established. Things can still easily go wrong, and they do.
Loss of Funds Risk Beyond the technical risks mentioned above, with non-custodial wallets, it’s very easy for users to make mistakes. There is no “Forgot Password.” There is no customer support agent you can ping. There is no company behind it that can make you whole if you make a mistake and lose your money. You are on your own, just as CZ suggests. One wrong move and your money is all gone. If you lose your private key, there is no way to recover your funds. There are some new developments around social recovery, but that’s all still very experimental. This just isn’t the type of customer support experience people are used to. And it’s not a risk that most are willing to take.
Integration with Fiat & Traditional Finance In today’s world, it’s still very hard to use crypto for daily spending (see Payments in our DeFi use-cases post). Hopefully, that will all change someday. In the meantime, if any of these non-custodial products hope to win in the broader consumer finance market, they will undoubtedly need to integrate with the legacy financial world — they need onramps (fiat-to-crypto deposit methods) and offramps (crypto-to-fiat withdraw/spend methods). As much as crypto-fanatics hate hearing it, you can’t expect people to jump headfirst into the new world unless there is a smooth transition, unless there are bridge technologies that help them arrive. This is why these fiat integrations are so important. Examples might be allowing ACH/Wire deposits (eg. via Plaid) or launching a debit card program for spend/withdraw. These fiat integrations are essential if the aim is to become the bank of the future. Doing any of this compliantly will require strong KYC/AML. So to achieve this use-case — integrating with traditional finance —all of the Strengths we mentioned above are nullified. There are no longer regulatory benefits. There are no longer privacy benefits (users need to upload KYC documents, etc). And users are no longer in complete control of their money.
One of the great powers of crypto is that we no longer depend on banks. Anyone can store their wealth and have absolute control of their money. That’s made possible with these non-custodial wallets. It’s a wonderful thing. I believe that the most knowledgeable and experienced crypto people (including myself) will always be active users of these applications. And as mentioned in this post, there will certainly be circumstances where these apps will be essential & even life-saving.
However, I do not believe this category of product is a major threat to Genesis Block to becoming the bank of the future.
They won’t win in the broader consumer finance market — mostly because I don’t believe that’s their target audience. These applications simply cannot produce the type of product experience that the masses require, want, or expect. The Weaknesses I’ve outlined above are just too overwhelming. The friction for mass-market consumers is just too much. https://preview.redd.it/lp8dzxeh1lg51.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=03acdce545cd032f7e82b6665b001d7a06839557 The winning bank will be focused on solving real user problems and meeting user needs. Not slowed down by rigid idealism like censorship-resistance and absolute decentralization, as it is with most non-custodial wallets. The winning bank will be a world-class product that’s smooth, performant, and accessible. Not sluggish and slow, as it is with most non-custodial wallets. The winning bank will be one where blockchain & crypto is mostly invisible to end-users. Not front-and-center as it is with non-custodial wallets. The winning bank will be one managed and run by professionals who know exactly what they’re doing. Not DIY (Do It Yourself), as it is with non-custodial wallets. So are these non-custodial wallets a threat to Genesis Block in winning the broader consumer finance market, and becoming the bank of the future? No. They are designed for a very different audience. ------ Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
Binance Support Number 🎧 【+𝐼 】 𝟪𝟦𝟦-𝟫𝟢𝟩-𝒪𝟧𝟪𝟥☎️ Customer Service Number
Binance Support Number 🎧 【+𝐼 】 𝟪𝟦𝟦-𝟫𝟢𝟩-𝒪𝟧𝟪𝟥☎️ Customer Service Number
Binance support number 1844-907-0583 CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao really doesn't want to tell you where his firm's headquarters is located. Binance support number 1844-907-0583 has loads of offices, he continued, with staff in 50 countries. It was a new type of organization that doesn't need registered bank accounts and postal addresses. To kick off ConsenSys' Ethereal Summit on Thursday, Unchained Podcast host Laura Shin held a cozy fireside chat with Zhao who, to mark the occasion, was wearing a personalized football shirt emblazoned with the Binance support number 1844-907-0583 brand. Scheduled for 45 minutes, Zhao spent most of it explaining how libra and China's digital yuan were unlikely to be competitors to existing stablecoin providers; how Binance support number 1844-907-0583's smart chain wouldn't tread on Ethereum's toes – "that depends on the definition of competing," he said – and how Binance support number 1844-907-0583 had an incentive to keep its newly acquired CoinMarketCap independent from the exchange. There were only five minutes left on the clock. Zhao was looking confident; he had just batted away a thorny question about an ongoing lawsuit. It was looking like the home stretch. Then it hit. Shin asked the one question Zhao really didn't want to have to answer, but many want to know: Where is Binance support number 1844-907-0583's headquarters? This seemingly simple question is actually more complex. Until February, Binance support number 1844-907-0583 was considered to be based in Malta. That changed when the island European nation announced that, no, Binance support number 1844-907-0583 is not under its jurisdiction. Since then Binance support number 1844-907-0583 has not said just where, exactly, it is now headquartered. Little wonder that when asked Zhao reddened; he stammered. He looked off-camera, possibly to an aide. "Well, I think what this is is the beauty of the blockchain, right, so you don't have to ... like where's the Bitcoin office, because Bitcoin doesn't have an office," he said. The line trailed off, then inspiration hit. "What kind of horse is a car?" Zhao asked. "Wherever I sit, is going to be the Binance support number 1844-907-0583 office. Wherever I need somebody, is going to be the Binance support number 1844-907-0583 office," he said. Zhao may have been hoping the host would move onto something easier. But Shin wasn't finished: "But even to do things like to handle, you know, taxes for your employees, like, I think you need a registered business entity, so like why are you obfuscating it, why not just be open about it like, you know, the headquarters is registered in this place, why not just say that?" Zhao glanced away again, possibly at the person behind the camera. Their program had less than two minutes remaining. "It's not that we don't want to admit it, it's not that we want to obfuscate it or we want to kind of hide it. We're not hiding, we're in the open," he said. Shin interjected: "What are you saying that you're already some kind of DAO [decentralized autonomous organization]? I mean what are you saying? Because it's not the old way [having a headquarters], it's actually the current way ... I actually don't know what you are or what you're claiming to be." Zhao said Binance support number 1844-907-0583 isn't a traditional company, more a large team of people "that works together for a common goal." He added: "To be honest, if we classified as a DAO, then there's going to be a lot of debate about why we're not a DAO. So I don't want to go there, either." "I mean nobody would call you guys a DAO," Shin said, likely disappointed that this wasn't the interview where Zhao made his big reveal. Time was up. For an easy question to close, Shin asked where Zhao was working from during the coronavirus pandemic. "I'm in Asia," Zhao said. The blank white wall behind him didn't provide any clues about where in Asia he might be. Shin asked if he could say which country – after all, it's the Earth's largest continent. "I prefer not to disclose that. I think that's my own privacy," he cut in, ending the interview. It was a provocative way to start the biggest cryptocurrency and blockchain event of the year. In the opening session of Consensus: Distributed this week, Lawrence Summers was asked by my co-host Naomi Brockwell about protecting people’s privacy once currencies go digital. His answer: “I think the problems we have now with money involve too much privacy.” President Clinton’s former Treasury secretary, now President Emeritus at Harvard, referenced the 500-euro note, which bore the nickname “The Bin Laden,” to argue the un-traceability of cash empowers wealthy criminals to finance themselves. “Of all the important freedoms,” he continued, “the ability to possess, transfer and do business with multi-million dollar sums of money anonymously seems to me to be one of the least important.” Summers ended the segment by saying that “if I have provoked others, I will have served my purpose.” You’re reading Money Reimagined, a weekly look at the technological, economic and social events and trends that are redefining our relationship with money and transforming the global financial system. You can subscribe to this and all of CoinDesk’s newsletters here. That he did. Among the more than 20,000 registered for the weeklong virtual experience was a large contingent of libertarian-minded folks who see state-backed monitoring of their money as an affront to their property rights. But with due respect to a man who has had prodigious influence on international economic policymaking, it’s not wealthy bitcoiners for whom privacy matters. It matters for all humanity and, most importantly, for the poor. Now, as the world grapples with how to collect and disseminate public health information in a way that both saves lives and preserves civil liberties, the principle of privacy deserves to be elevated in importance. Just this week, the U.S. Senate voted to extend the 9/11-era Patriot Act and failed to pass a proposed amendment to prevent the Federal Bureau of Investigation from monitoring our online browsing without a warrant. Meanwhile, our heightened dependence on online social connections during COVID-19 isolation has further empowered a handful of internet platforms that are incorporating troves of our personal data into sophisticated predictive behavior models. This process of hidden control is happening right now, not in some future "Westworld"-like existence. Digital currencies will only worsen this situation. If they are added to this comprehensive surveillance infrastructure, it could well spell the end of the civil liberties that underpin Western civilization. Yes, freedom matters Please don’t read this, Secretary Summers, as some privileged anti-taxation take or a self-interested what’s-mine-is-mine demand that “the government stay away from my money.” Money is just the instrument here. What matters is whether our transactions, our exchanges of goods and services and the source of our economic and social value, should be monitored and manipulated by government and corporate owners of centralized databases. It’s why critics of China’s digital currency plans rightly worry about a “panopticon” and why, in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, there was an initial backlash against Facebook launching its libra currency. Writers such as Shoshana Zuboff and Jared Lanier have passionately argued that our subservience to the hidden algorithms of what I like to call “GoogAzonBook” is diminishing our free will. Resisting that is important, not just to preserve the ideal of “the self” but also to protect the very functioning of society. Markets, for one, are pointless without free will. In optimizing resource allocation, they presume autonomy among those who make up the market. Free will, which I’ll define as the ability to lawfully transact on my own terms without knowingly or unknowingly acting in someone else’s interests to my detriment, is a bedrock of market democracies. Without a sufficient right to privacy, it disintegrates – and in the digital age, that can happen very rapidly. Also, as I’ve argued elsewhere, losing privacy undermines the fungibility of money. Each digital dollar should be substitutable for another. If our transactions carry a history and authorities can target specific notes or tokens for seizure because of their past involvement in illicit activity, then some dollars become less valuable than other dollars. The excluded But to fully comprehend the harm done by encroachments into financial privacy, look to the world’s poor. An estimated 1.7 billion adults are denied a bank account because they can’t furnish the information that banks’ anti-money laundering (AML) officers need, either because their government’s identity infrastructure is untrusted or because of the danger to them of furnishing such information to kleptocratic regimes. Unable to let banks monitor them, they’re excluded from the global economy’s dominant payment and savings system – victims of a system that prioritizes surveillance over privacy. Misplaced priorities also contribute to the “derisking” problem faced by Caribbean and Latin American countries, where investment inflows have slowed and financial costs have risen in the past decade. America’s gatekeeping correspondent banks, fearful of heavy fines like the one imposed on HSBC for its involvement in a money laundering scandal, have raised the bar on the kind of personal information that regional banks must obtain from their local clients. And where’s the payoff? Despite this surveillance system, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that between $800 billion and $2 trillion, or 2%-5% of global gross domestic product, is laundered annually worldwide. The Panama Papers case shows how the rich and powerful easily use lawyers, shell companies, tax havens and transaction obfuscation to get around surveillance. The poor are just excluded from the system. Caring about privacy Solutions are coming that wouldn’t require abandoning law enforcement efforts. Self-sovereign identity models and zero-knowledge proofs, for example, grant control over data to the individuals who generate it, allowing them to provide sufficient proof of a clean record without revealing sensitive personal information. But such innovations aren’t getting nearly enough attention. Few officials inside developed country regulatory agencies seem to acknowledge the cost of cutting off 1.7 billion poor from the financial system. Yet, their actions foster poverty and create fertile conditions for terrorism and drug-running, the very crimes they seek to contain. The reaction to evidence of persistent money laundering is nearly always to make bank secrecy laws even more demanding. Exhibit A: Europe’s new AML 5 directive. To be sure, in the Consensus discussion that followed the Summers interview, it was pleasing to hear another former U.S. official take a more accommodative view of privacy. Former Commodities and Futures Trading Commission Chairman Christopher Giancarlo said that “getting the privacy balance right” is a “design imperative” for the digital dollar concept he is actively promoting. But to hold both governments and corporations to account on that design, we need an aware, informed public that recognizes the risks of ceding their civil liberties to governments or to GoogAzonBook. Let’s talk about this, people. A missing asterisk Control for all variables. At the end of the day, the dollar’s standing as the world’s reserve currency ultimately comes down to how much the rest of the world trusts the United States to continue its de facto leadership of the world economy. In the past, that assessment was based on how well the U.S. militarily or otherwise dealt with human- and state-led threats to international commerce such as Soviet expansionism or terrorism. But in the COVID-19 era only one thing matters: how well it is leading the fight against the pandemic. So if you’ve already seen the charts below and you’re wondering what they’re doing in a newsletter about the battle for the future of money, that’s why. They were inspired by a staged White House lawn photo-op Tuesday, where President Trump was flanked by a huge banner that dealt quite literally with a question of American leadership. It read, “America Leads the World in Testing.” That’s a claim that’s technically correct, but one that surely demands a big red asterisk. When you’re the third-largest country by population – not to mention the richest – having the highest number of tests is not itself much of an achievement. The claim demands a per capita adjustment. Here’s how things look, first in absolute terms, then adjusted for tests per million inhabitants. Binance support number 1844-907-0583 has frozen funds linked to Upbit’s prior $50 million data breach after the hackers tried to liquidate a part of the gains. In a recent tweet, Whale Alert warned Binance support number 1844-907-0583 that a transaction of 137 ETH (about $28,000) had moved from an address linked to the Upbit hacker group to its wallets. Less than an hour after the transaction was flagged, Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance support number 1844-907-0583, announced that the exchange had frozen the funds. He also added that Binance support number 1844-907-0583 is getting in touch with Upbit to investigate the transaction. In November 2019, Upbit suffered an attack in which hackers stole 342,000 ETH, accounting for approximately $50 million. The hackers managed to take the funds by transferring the ETH from Upbit’s hot wallet to an anonymous crypto address.
Binance Customer Care Number +(𝟣) 𝟪𝟦𝟦-𝟫𝟣𝟪-𝟢𝟧𝟪𝟣 Call Now and Talk To Rep
Binance Customer Care Number +(𝟣) 𝟪𝟦𝟦-𝟫𝟣𝟪-𝟢𝟧𝟪𝟣
Binance support number 1844-918-0581 CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao really doesn't want to tell you where his firm's headquarters is located. To kick off ConsenSys' Ethereal Summit on Thursday, Unchained Podcast host Laura Shin held a cozy fireside chat with Zhao who, to mark the occasion, was wearing a personalized football shirt emblazoned with the Binance support number 1844-918-0581 brand. Scheduled for 45 minutes, Zhao spent most of it explaining how libra and China's digital yuan were unlikely to be competitors to existing stablecoin providers; how Binance support number 1844-918-0581's smart chain wouldn't tread on Ethereum's toes – "that depends on the definition of competing," he said – and how Binance support number 1844-918-0581 had an incentive to keep its newly acquired CoinMarketCap independent from the exchange. There were only five minutes left on the clock. Zhao was looking confident; he had just batted away a thorny question about an ongoing lawsuit. It was looking like the home stretch. Then it hit. Shin asked the one question Zhao really didn't want to have to answer, but many want to know: Where is Binance support number 1844-918-0581's headquarters? This seemingly simple question is actually more complex. Until February, Binance support number 1844-918-0581 was considered to be based in Malta. That changed when the island European nation announced that, no, Binance support number 1844-918-0581 is not under its jurisdiction. Since then Binance support number 1844-918-0581 has not said just where, exactly, it is now headquartered. Little wonder that when asked Zhao reddened; he stammered. He looked off-camera, possibly to an aide. "Well, I think what this is is the beauty of the blockchain, right, so you don't have to ... like where's the Bitcoin office, because Bitcoin doesn't have an office," he said. The line trailed off, then inspiration hit. "What kind of horse is a car?" Zhao asked. Binance support number 1844-918-0581 has loads of offices, he continued, with staff in 50 countries. It was a new type of organization that doesn't need registered bank accounts and postal addresses. "Wherever I sit, is going to be the Binance support number 1844-918-0581 office. Wherever I need somebody, is going to be the Binance support number 1844-918-0581 office," he said. Zhao may have been hoping the host would move onto something easier. But Shin wasn't finished: "But even to do things like to handle, you know, taxes for your employees, like, I think you need a registered business entity, so like why are you obfuscating it, why not just be open about it like, you know, the headquarters is registered in this place, why not just say that?" Zhao glanced away again, possibly at the person behind the camera. Their program had less than two minutes remaining. "It's not that we don't want to admit it, it's not that we want to obfuscate it or we want to kind of hide it. We're not hiding, we're in the open," he said. Shin interjected: "What are you saying that you're already some kind of DAO [decentralized autonomous organization]? I mean what are you saying? Because it's not the old way [having a headquarters], it's actually the current way ... I actually don't know what you are or what you're claiming to be." Zhao said Binance support number 1844-918-0581 isn't a traditional company, more a large team of people "that works together for a common goal." He added: "To be honest, if we classified as a DAO, then there's going to be a lot of debate about why we're not a DAO. So I don't want to go there, either." "I mean nobody would call you guys a DAO," Shin said, likely disappointed that this wasn't the interview where Zhao made his big reveal. Time was up. For an easy question to close, Shin asked where Zhao was working from during the coronavirus pandemic. "I'm in Asia," Zhao said. The blank white wall behind him didn't provide any clues about where in Asia he might be. Shin asked if he could say which country – after all, it's the Earth's largest continent. "I prefer not to disclose that. I think that's my own privacy," he cut in, ending the interview. It was a provocative way to start the biggest cryptocurrency and blockchain event of the year. In the opening session of Consensus: Distributed this week, Lawrence Summers was asked by my co-host Naomi Brockwell about protecting people’s privacy once currencies go digital. His answer: “I think the problems we have now with money involve too much privacy.” President Clinton’s former Treasury secretary, now President Emeritus at Harvard, referenced the 500-euro note, which bore the nickname “The Bin Laden,” to argue the un-traceability of cash empowers wealthy criminals to finance themselves. “Of all the important freedoms,” he continued, “the ability to possess, transfer and do business with multi-million dollar sums of money anonymously seems to me to be one of the least important.” Summers ended the segment by saying that “if I have provoked others, I will have served my purpose.” You’re reading Money Reimagined, a weekly look at the technological, economic and social events and trends that are redefining our relationship with money and transforming the global financial system. You can subscribe to this and all of CoinDesk’s newsletters here. That he did. Among the more than 20,000 registered for the weeklong virtual experience was a large contingent of libertarian-minded folks who see state-backed monitoring of their money as an affront to their property rights. But with due respect to a man who has had prodigious influence on international economic policymaking, it’s not wealthy bitcoiners for whom privacy matters. It matters for all humanity and, most importantly, for the poor. Now, as the world grapples with how to collect and disseminate public health information in a way that both saves lives and preserves civil liberties, the principle of privacy deserves to be elevated in importance. Just this week, the U.S. Senate voted to extend the 9/11-era Patriot Act and failed to pass a proposed amendment to prevent the Federal Bureau of Investigation from monitoring our online browsing without a warrant. Meanwhile, our heightened dependence on online social connections during COVID-19 isolation has further empowered a handful of internet platforms that are incorporating troves of our personal data into sophisticated predictive behavior models. This process of hidden control is happening right now, not in some future "Westworld"-like existence. Digital currencies will only worsen this situation. If they are added to this comprehensive surveillance infrastructure, it could well spell the end of the civil liberties that underpin Western civilization. Yes, freedom matters Please don’t read this, Secretary Summers, as some privileged anti-taxation take or a self-interested what’s-mine-is-mine demand that “the government stay away from my money.” Money is just the instrument here. What matters is whether our transactions, our exchanges of goods and services and the source of our economic and social value, should be monitored and manipulated by government and corporate owners of centralized databases. It’s why critics of China’s digital currency plans rightly worry about a “panopticon” and why, in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, there was an initial backlash against Facebook launching its libra currency. Writers such as Shoshana Zuboff and Jared Lanier have passionately argued that our subservience to the hidden algorithms of what I like to call “GoogAzonBook” is diminishing our free will. Resisting that is important, not just to preserve the ideal of “the self” but also to protect the very functioning of society. Markets, for one, are pointless without free will. In optimizing resource allocation, they presume autonomy among those who make up the market. Free will, which I’ll define as the ability to lawfully transact on my own terms without knowingly or unknowingly acting in someone else’s interests to my detriment, is a bedrock of market democracies. Without a sufficient right to privacy, it disintegrates – and in the digital age, that can happen very rapidly. Also, as I’ve argued elsewhere, losing privacy undermines the fungibility of money. Each digital dollar should be substitutable for another. If our transactions carry a history and authorities can target specific notes or tokens for seizure because of their past involvement in illicit activity, then some dollars become less valuable than other dollars. The excluded But to fully comprehend the harm done by encroachments into financial privacy, look to the world’s poor. An estimated 1.7 billion adults are denied a bank account because they can’t furnish the information that banks’ anti-money laundering (AML) officers need, either because their government’s identity infrastructure is untrusted or because of the danger to them of furnishing such information to kleptocratic regimes. Unable to let banks monitor them, they’re excluded from the global economy’s dominant payment and savings system – victims of a system that prioritizes surveillance over privacy. Misplaced priorities also contribute to the “derisking” problem faced by Caribbean and Latin American countries, where investment inflows have slowed and financial costs have risen in the past decade. America’s gatekeeping correspondent banks, fearful of heavy fines like the one imposed on HSBC for its involvement in a money laundering scandal, have raised the bar on the kind of personal information that regional banks must obtain from their local clients. And where’s the payoff? Despite this surveillance system, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that between $800 billion and $2 trillion, or 2%-5% of global gross domestic product, is laundered annually worldwide. The Panama Papers case shows how the rich and powerful easily use lawyers, shell companies, tax havens and transaction obfuscation to get around surveillance. The poor are just excluded from the system. Caring about privacy Solutions are coming that wouldn’t require abandoning law enforcement efforts. Self-sovereign identity models and zero-knowledge proofs, for example, grant control over data to the individuals who generate it, allowing them to provide sufficient proof of a clean record without revealing sensitive personal information. But such innovations aren’t getting nearly enough attention. Few officials inside developed country regulatory agencies seem to acknowledge the cost of cutting off 1.7 billion poor from the financial system. Yet, their actions foster poverty and create fertile conditions for terrorism and drug-running, the very crimes they seek to contain. The reaction to evidence of persistent money laundering is nearly always to make bank secrecy laws even more demanding. Exhibit A: Europe’s new AML 5 directive. To be sure, in the Consensus discussion that followed the Summers interview, it was pleasing to hear another former U.S. official take a more accommodative view of privacy. Former Commodities and Futures Trading Commission Chairman Christopher Giancarlo said that “getting the privacy balance right” is a “design imperative” for the digital dollar concept he is actively promoting. But to hold both governments and corporations to account on that design, we need an aware, informed public that recognizes the risks of ceding their civil liberties to governments or to GoogAzonBook. Let’s talk about this, people. A missing asterisk Control for all variables. At the end of the day, the dollar’s standing as the world’s reserve currency ultimately comes down to how much the rest of the world trusts the United States to continue its de facto leadership of the world economy. In the past, that assessment was based on how well the U.S. militarily or otherwise dealt with human- and state-led threats to international commerce such as Soviet expansionism or terrorism. But in the COVID-19 era only one thing matters: how well it is leading the fight against the pandemic. So if you’ve already seen the charts below and you’re wondering what they’re doing in a newsletter about the battle for the future of money, that’s why. They were inspired by a staged White House lawn photo-op Tuesday, where President Trump was flanked by a huge banner that dealt quite literally with a question of American leadership. It read, “America Leads the World in Testing.” That’s a claim that’s technically correct, but one that surely demands a big red asterisk. When you’re the third-largest country by population – not to mention the richest – having the highest number of tests is not itself much of an achievement. The claim demands a per capita adjustment. Here’s how things look, first in absolute terms, then adjusted for tests per million inhabitants. Binance support number 1844-918-0581 has frozen funds linked to Upbit’s prior $50 million data breach after the hackers tried to liquidate a part of the gains. In a recent tweet, Whale Alert warned Binance support number 1844-918-0581 that a transaction of 137 ETH (about $28,000) had moved from an address linked to the Upbit hacker group to its wallets. Less than an hour after the transaction was flagged, Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance support number 1844-918-0581, announced that the exchange had frozen the funds. He also added that Binance support number 1844-918-0581 is getting in touch with Upbit to investigate the transaction. In November 2019, Upbit suffered an attack in which hackers stole 342,000 ETH, accounting for approximately $50 million. The hackers managed to take the funds by transferring the ETH from Upbit’s hot wallet to an anonymous crypto address.
Crypto exchange HitBTC only has around $3m in BTC and ETH across its wallets according to analysis by Crypto regtech firm Coinfirm. Centralized exchanges hold the funds on behalf of their users, putting users at risk of hacks and providing them zero control over their funds. Furthermore, users have no idea what these exchanges are doing with the funds. In short: Your Private Key, Your Bitcoin, NOT Your Private Key, NOT Your Bitcoin. Bitcoin (BTC) – Proof of Reserves Comparison: https://preview.redd.it/hlo6h4y4ryz21.png?width=767&format=png&auto=webp&s=05af5b3e8b7ccbeec59cee183a89237bf749bb04
Withdrawal issues following the new KYC/AML policy introduced by HitBTC
HitBTC didn’t force KYC on its users until it became convenient to them, following the article by Filip Zaric Moye on the 23.04.2018, “Frozen funds, excuses and confusing messages – there is a growing stack of evidence to suggest that HitBTC, the cryptocurrency exchange, is scamming some users.”
Comparing withdrawal fees of HitBTC vs Huobi, Okex, Binance, Kucoin, Bittrex, and Kraken:
Anonymity & Cryptocurrency: A Few Tips On How To Keep Your Privacy
Unfortunately, anonymity isn’t something that you think about as being valuable. But as Edward Snowden points out in one of his interviews, “Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.” https://preview.redd.it/a2t5wii1wnj41.png?width=1024&format=png&auto=webp&s=df6889e510a2a0b231614636d0b6c1ac7be7e2c4 Many people are going up against online anonymity, mainly because it has the potential to enable and encourage undesirable behavior or illegal activity. State institutions and corporations are trying to limit the ability to use networks without authorization, allegedly in an attempt to increase security. Meanwhile, there is no doubt that private information that falls into the wrong hands can be used for mean purposes in many ways. Dozens of examples truly highlight the need for online anonymity today. Without it, people’s lives can easily be ruined forever. Financial and personal freedom are the main reasons why people started using cryptocurrencies. But using Bitcoin itself can not guaranty anonymity. They are not linked to a person or identity, so the name, e-mail or physical address can’t be found in the transaction. But public addresses we use publically recorded on the blockchain, so a person can be tracked down using this information and ID. Here are some methods to keep your identity safe. Use logless VPN Virtual Private Network encrypts all of your Internet traffic and routes it through multiple servers at different locations before arriving at the final location. Using a VPN is one of the simplest ways to cover your digital tracks. Logless VPN services don’t store the history of your activities, some of them provide one IP address for several users, making it difficult to isolate one person among them. It is highly recommended to avoid US/UK-based VPN services due to strict surveillance regimes in these countries. Also, you should keep in mind that some exchangers’ security systems treating logging into an account with numerous different country IPs as suspicious which can lead to blocking your account. Register a separate email Never use personal or working email for the needs of the crypto. If hackers gain access to it that can ruin your life in many aspects at once. A significant advantage will be the use of burner emails such as Guerrilla Mail and Temp Mail, or highly protected services like ProtonMail or Tutanota. Don’t forget about common security rules such as using a strong password that contains different case letters, numbers and symbols. Keeping passwords and keys on your devices is definitely not safe, better write it down in an old-fashioned pen-paper way. Create new blockchain address Make new addresses for every single transaction you make. More than half of all transactions in the BTC network go through wallets that have been in use at least once. Over time this practice will build up a list of transactions associated with one wallet. Using some manipulations those transactions could be easily associated with a real-world identity as well as your wallet could be simply hacked and robbed. Avoid KYC and AML using services Know Your Client is a policy used by many companies in which each client is required to provide credentials such as ID documents to use a company’s service. Anti-Money Laundry consists of KYC procedures and ongoing risk assessment and monitoring of transactions. Such actions are implemented in the best interest of protecting users of cryptocurrency platforms but left no chance to stay anonymous. Nowadays most of the crypto markets and exchanges require passing identity verification due to the growing control from the state institutions. However, there are some that allow you to remain anonymous unless you are withdrawing a large amount (Binance, Bitfinex, KuCoin, etc.). In such circumstances, decentralized exchanges seem like a good option. Use Anonymity-Centric Cryptocurrencies As mentioned earlier, blockchain analysis based on knowledge of the amount and time of the sent transaction allows hackers to attack user’s wallets and gain access to their data. As a reaction to this was developing coins with anonymity as the main priority. At the moment, Monero is the most popular of the anonymity-centric cryptocurrencies. It has a complex of cryptographical tools for obfuscating traces of the original transaction. Its RingCT Protocol hides the sender, recipient and transfers amounts. After the transaction is completed, it is signed and receives a time-stamp using a ring signature, where collected group’s public keys, but the private key of the specific sender is not displayed. Another private currency’s Dash work is based on the CoinJoin technology. The idea of the process is very simple: several transactions are mixed into one, so it is impossible to determine what amounts were transferred and by whom. Zcash currency uses the Zero-Knowledge Proof commitment scheme to validate transactions without revealing information about them. Protocol, called Zk-SNARKs, comprises three algorithms that generate proof and verification keys, calculate the proof and verify the authenticity of the secret information. The obvious drawback of this mechanism is extremely massive complex calculations that require enormous capacity. Even if complete anonymity seems not possible, following the above rules will help you avoid a lot of trouble. You should be extra meticulous in the process of choosing currency and an exchanger, keeping in mind where and what personal information you provide. If you need to exchange your coins private and without registration – StealthEX is here for you. Just go to http://stealthex.io and choose the pair and the amount for your exchange. Then follow these easy steps: ✔ Choose the pair and the amount for your exchange. For example ETH to BTC. ✔ Press the “Start exchange” button. ✔ Provide the recipient address to which the coins will be transferred. ✔ Move your cryptocurrency for the exchange. ✔ Receive your coins. Follow us onMedium,Twitter,Facebook, andRedditto getStealthEX.ioupdates and the latest news about the crypto world. For all requests message us via [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
originally posted by ankarlie https://steemit.com/blockchain/@ankarlie/decentralized-exchange-true-crypto-ownership-realized Introduction For over a decade we have seen blockchain technology developed into one of the most important technologies in recent history. Many visionaries, thought leaders, business gurus, and government authorities have recognized its immense potential that they have often associated it as one of the primary technologies that will drive Web 3.0 or even the 4th industrial revolution. Blockchain technology is so powerful that it has the capacity to disrupt any sector in our society where trust is a primary concern, which is pretty much is everything. As such we might consider businesses engaged in blockchain technology are in the business of trust. Business of Trust Blockchain technology has often been described as a trust layer that enables an individual to exchange value without having to rely on any central authority or third party intermediary. Often times transactions that are done using this technology are called trustless transactions, meaning, transacting parties do not have to trust each other to ensure that transactions will be consummated. In other words, the technology itself will guarantee that all transactions will push through, irreversible and immutable. Banks are good examples of business of trust. We entrust them with our money and valuables, but sometimes these very same banks restrict our access to our own money and valuables due to many reasons. These might be server maintenance, AML and KYC requirements, regulatory obligations or whatever reason they might deem applicable. This is the very reason why blockchain technology through its first application, Cryptocurrency, has gained enormous success. Cryptocurrencies enable everyone total and complete control of their money. Scams and Fake Blockchain Initiatives The awesome potential of the blockchain technology might have afforded us the necessary tools and infrastructure for more financial freedom, inclusivity, and mobility, but it is not immune to bad actors that try to exploit the advantages of this burgeoning industry. The excitement and demand for blockchain technology have opened the doors for scammers and con-artists who try to “sell” the technology to investors who are more than willing to invest huge amounts of money to get the piece of the action that has the potential to explode in value. One good example of a project that has been masquerading as blockchain technology is the $4 Billion fake crypto scam called OneCoin. The leader of this project, Dr. Ruja Ignatova aka Cryptoqueen have positioned OneCoin as the Bitcoin killer which she claims will become the biggest cryptocurrency in the world. Coming from an Oxford University graduate with a doctorate degree from Konstanz University in Germany and worked at McKinsey and Company who would have known that the project would turn out to be a scam. OneCoin exploited the idea of leveraging blockchain technology, the potential of hitting it big like bitcoin and played on the greed of investors who were fearful of missing out on a life-changing opportunity envisioned by Dr. Ruja. That was several years back, of course we all know now that there was never an underlying blockchain technology in the first place and what we have left are disgruntled investors some of which are financially ruined due to investing more than they can afford to lose. Sad to say this has been a common narrative in the crypto space. Blockchain is Real and Here To Stay The many scams and fake or failed blockchain projects in the space have not dampened the interest of investors into blockchain and its first use case, cryptocurrencies. Instead, it has been gaining traction as the industry begins to mature, gaining regulatory clarity and widespread acceptance as a valid and legitimate asset class and investment vehicle. They can serve as alternative investments that can be used to hedge against uncertainties in traditional finance and investments. There are now over four thousand cryptocurrencies in the world and this number will continue to increase well into the future. In fact, cryptocurrency proponents see a future where there will be hundreds of blockchains and thousands of digital assets. An integral part of this growing ecosystem will be cryptocurrency exchanges which serve as venues for open markets where cryptocurrency holders, traders, and investors interact. Not only there is an increasing number of digital assets in the space but also the places where you can trade. CEX vs DEX There are two general types of cryptocurrency exchanges: Centralized Exchange (CEX) and Decentralized Exchanges (DEX). Their functions are essentially the same but the way users interact with these types of exchanges differs significantly. CEX typically require their customers to undergo Know-Your-Customer (KYC) procedures and ID verification processes, DEX does not. In addition, CEX requires its customers to their cryptocurrencies deposit into its internal wallets while DEX allows its users to keep their wallets in non-custodial wallets. CEX is generally considered by the wider cryptocurrency community as the lesser secure venue for users due to the following reasons. First, CEX typically uses one single crypto wallet address per blockchain. This means users of all Ether and Ethereum based-tokens share (The same can be said with other blockchain platform) the same address and demarcated only using a Memo or a Tag. This creates a honeypot that is just waiting to be exploited by hackers. Second, users of CEX have limited access to their digital assets as they will have to ask permission from the CEX operator access to their digital assets. KYC procedures in CEX are also of great concern as users are typically required to submit supporting documents that can be used to verify their identity. This means users are relying on the security and competency of the CEX to secure their valuable information. Information that can be used for identity theft, false representation, and recovery of other online accounts. One good example of this is Binance where it found some of their customer information have been compromised. This is on top of the recent hack last May 2019. Although no user funds were lost by the hack as Binance shouldered all the lost funds amounting to $40M USD, users were not able to access their accounts for several days. One can only imagine the great stress and anxiety It might have brought its users, not knowing when they will be able to regain access to their digital assets. These risks do not exist when using DEX as users will not have to deposit or withdraw their Cryptocurrencies. Transactions are all done on-chain and directly transacted from their own non-custodial wallet and there is no risk of your information falling into the wrong hands as there is no need for KYC. Decentralized Exchange— Newdex DEXs were made possible through the evolution of blockchain technology. The first-generation blockchain tech like the one used by bitcoin simply does not have the capabilities to host decentralized exchanges. This was only made possible through the integration of smart contracts with Ethereum being the first one to incorporate such capabilities. While the technology has shown promise the limitations of Ethereum’s blockchain made it impossible and uneconomical to reach mass adoption. Decentralized exchanges (DEX) relies heavily on the blockchain where it has been built on. This is the primary reason why Newdex developers have decided to build their DEX on two of the most successful, scalable and used blockchain in the whole industry EOS and TRON. By doing so their DEX has the capacity to scale to mass adoption without having to worry that the underlying technology that hosts their DEX will not be able to cope up with the load and demand of their decentralized exchange. EOS and TRON both use Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPOS) consensus mechanism which has been described as a more power-efficient, scalable and democratic consensus protocol compared to Proof-of-Work. This enables them higher throughputs, consumes a whole lot less energy and secures its blockchain more efficiently. Aside from the scalability advantage, the absence of miners in DPOS makes transactions in EOS and TRON more cost-efficient and often times fee-less like. By offering a simple yet powerful trading venue for traders of EOS, TRON Newdex has become one of the world’s leading decentralized exchanges. To ensure that the digital assets of its customers are always safe Newdex, does not require its clients to input their private keys. Instead, Newdex opted to partner with all conceivable wallets for both EOS and TRON to enable its users to log in through their non-custodial wallets of choice. This is an additional layer of security and serves as a deterrent to phishing risk. Apart from not asking for the private key to login in, Newdex does not require its traders to deposit and withdraw their digital assets. This was made possible because all trades are transacted on-chain which means trades are triggered, executed and finalized using smart contracts making them irreversible, immutable and secure. This also makes them auditable and transparent as anyone can basically follow and inspect the transaction on the various blockchain explorer available online. Since users of Newdex never lose custody of their digital assets we can say it is the prime example of true digital asset ownership. Unlike centralized exchanges that require their customers to deposit and withdraw, Newdex executes transactions straight out of customers’ wallets which means there is no need to move digital assets in and out of the DEX. Hence there will be no chance for Newdex to lockdown user assets, there will also be no need to pay for deposits and withdrawals. World’s Leading Decentralized Exchange DEXs are the only trading venues where users have full custody and control of their cryptocurrencies through the use of blockchain technology. Newdex has emerged as the world’s leading DEX for not only offering all the advantages of decentralized exchanges but offering value-added services that set it above all other decentralized exchanges. These include an OTC market that enables its users to use Fiat currencies to trade with cryptocurrencies, a VIP membership for various trading and airdrops privileges and utilizing its own utility token called Newdex ecological Platform Token (NDX). Conclusion Cryptocurrencies have not yet reached mass adoption but through the power of blockchain technology and the many advantages that it brings it is only a matter of time when the masses come marching along searching for the proper venue where they can fully exercise their newfound financial freedom. Where there are no censorship, no restrictions, borderless and frictionless. More importantly, where true ownership of cryptocurrency is realized, decentralized exchanges and there is no better embodiment of this than Newdex, the world’s leading decentralized exchange. For more information about Newdex please follow its official links below: Website: https://newdex.vip/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/NewdexOfficial Medium: https://medium.com/@marketing\_27690 Let's Connect!!!
A couple of years ago in the early months of the 2017, I published a piece called Abundance Via Cryptocurrencies (https://www.reddit.com/C\_S\_T/comments/69d12a/abundance\_via\_cryptocurrencies/) in which I kind of foresaw the crypto boom that had bitcoin go from $1k to $21k and the alt-coin economy swell up to have more than 60% of the bitcoin market capitalisation. At the time, I spoke of coming out from “the Pit” of conspiracy research and that I was a bit suss on bitcoin’s inception story. At the time I really didn’t see the scaling solution being put forward as being satisfactory and the progress on bitcoin seemed stifled by the politics of the social consensus on an open source protocol so I was looking into alt coins that I thought could perhaps improve upon the shortcomings of bitcoin. In the thread I made someone recommended to have a look at 4chan’s business and finance board. I did end up taking a look at it just as the bull market started to really surge. I found myself in a sea of anonymous posters who threw out all kinds of info and memes about the hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of different shitcoins and why they’re all going to have lambos on the moon. I got right in to it, I loved the idea of filtering through all the shitposts and finding the nuggest of truth amongst it all and was deeply immersed in it all as the price of bitcoin surged 20x and alt coins surged 5-10 times against bitcoin themselves. This meant there were many people who chucked in a few grand and bought a stash of alt coins that they thought were gonna be the next big thing and some people ended up with “portfolios” 100-1000x times their initial investment. To explain what it’s like to be on an anonymous business and finance board populated with incel neets, nazis, capitalist shit posters, autistic geniuses and whoever the hell else was using the board for shilling their coins during a 100x run up is impossible. It’s hilarious, dark, absurd, exciting and ultimately addictive as fuck. You have this app called blockfolio that you check every couple of minutes to see the little green percentages and the neat graphs of your value in dollars or bitcoin over day, week, month or year. Despite my years in the pit researching conspiracy, and my being suss on bitcoin in general I wasn’t anywhere near as distrustful as I should have been of an anonymous business and finance board and although I do genuinely think there are good people out there who are sharing information with one another in good faith and feel very grateful to the anons that have taken their time to write up quality content to educate people they don’t know, I wasn’t really prepared for the level of organisation and sophistication of the efforts groups would go to to deceive in this space. Over the course of my time in there I watched my portfolio grow to ridiculous numbers relative to what I put in but I could never really bring myself to sell at the top of a pump as I always felt I had done my research on a coin and wanted to hold it for a long time so why would I sell? After some time though I would read about something new or I would find out of dodgy relationships of a coin I had and would want to exit my position and then I would rebalance my portfolio in to a coin I thought was either technologically superior or didn’t have the nefarious connections to people I had come across doing conspiracy research. Because I had been right in to the conspiracy and the decentralisation tropes I guess I always carried a bit of an antiauthoritarian/anarchist bias and despite participating in a ridiculously capitalistic market, was kind of against capitalism and looking to a blockchain protocol to support something along the lines of an open source anarchosyndicalist cryptocommune. I told myself I was investing in the tech and believed in the collective endeavour of the open source project and ultimately had faith some mysterious “they” would develop a protocol that would emancipate us from this debt slavery complex. As I became more and more aware of how to spot artificial discussion on the chans, I began to seek out further some of the radical projects like vtorrent and skycoin and I guess became a bit carried away from being amidst such ridiculous overt shilling as on the boards so that if you look in my post history you can even see me promoting some of these coins to communities I thought might be sympathetic to their use case. I didn’t see it at the time because I always thought I was holding the coins with the best tech and wanted to ride them up as an investor who believed in them, but this kind of promotion is ultimately just part of a mentality that’s pervasive to the cryptocurrency “community” that insists because it is a decentralised project you have to in a way volunteer to inform people about the coin since the more decentralised ones without premines or DAO structures don’t have marketing budgets, or don’t have marketing teams. In the guise of cultivating a community, groups form together on social media platforms like slack, discord, telegram, twitter and ‘vote’ for different proposals, donate funds to various boards/foundations that are set up to give a “roadmap” for the coins path to greatness and organise marketing efforts on places like reddit, the chans, twitter. That’s for the more grass roots ones at least, there are many that were started as a fork of another coin, or a ICO, airdrop or all these different ways of disseminating a new cryptocurrency or raising funding for promising to develop one. Imagine the operations that can be run by a team that raised millions, hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars on their ICOs, especially if they are working in conjunction with a new niche of cryptocurrency media that’s all nepotistic and incestuous. About a year and a half ago I published another piece called “Bitcoin is about to be dethroned” (https://www.reddit.com/C\_S\_T/comments/7ewmuu/bitcoin\_is\_about\_to\_be\_dethroned/) where I felt I had come to realise the scaling debate had been corrupted by a company called Blockstream and they had been paying for social media operations in a fashion not to dissimilar to correct the record or such to control the narrative around the scaling debate and then through deceit and manipulation curated an apparent consensus around their narrative and hijacked the bitcoin name and ticker (BTC). I read the post again just before posting this and decided to refer to it to to add some kind of continuity to my story and hopefully save me writing so much out. Looking back on something you wrote is always a bit cringey especially because I can see that although I had made it a premise post, I was acting pretty confident that I was right and my tongue was acidic because of so much combating of shills on /biz/ but despite the fact I was wrong about the timing I stand by much of what I wrote then and want to expand upon it a bit more now. The fork of the bitcoin protocol in to bitcoin core (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) is the biggest value fork of the many that have occurred. There were a few others that forked off from the core chain that haven’t had any kind of attention put on them, positive or negative and I guess just keep chugging away as their own implementation. The bitcoin cash chain was supposed to be the camp that backed on chain scaling in the debate, but it turned out not everyone was entirely on board with that and some players/hashpower felt it was better to do a layer two type solution themselves although with bigger blocks servicing the second layer. Throughout what was now emerging as a debate within the BCH camp, Craig Wright and Calvin Ayre of Coin Geek said they were going to support massive on chain scaling, do a node implementation that would aim to restore bitcoin back to the 0.1.0 release which had all kinds of functionality included in it that had later been stripped by Core developers over the years and plan to bankrupt the people from Core who changed their mind on agreeing with on-chain scaling. This lead to a fork off the BCH chain in to bitcoin satoshis vision (BSV) and bitcoin cash ABC. https://bitstagram.bitdb.network/m/raw/cbb50c322a2a89f3c627e1680a3f40d4ad3cee5a3fb153e5d6d001bdf85de404 The premise for this post is that Craig S Wright was Satoshi Nakamoto. It’s an interesting premise because depending upon your frame of reference the premise may either be a fact or to some too outrageous to even believe as a premise. Yesterday it was announced via CoinGeek that Craig Steven Wright has been granted the copyright claim for both the bitcoin white-paper under the pen name Satoshi Nakamoto and the original 0.1.0 bitcoin software (both of which were marked (c) copyright of satoshi nakamoto. The reactions to the news can kind of be classified in to four different reactions. Those who heard it and rejected it, those who heard it but remained undecided, those who heard it and accepted it, and those who already believed he was. Apparently to many the price was unexpected and such a revelation wasn’t exactly priced in to the market with the price immediately pumping nearly 100% upon the news breaking. However, to some others it was a vindication of something they already believed. This is an interesting phenomena to observe. For many years now I have always occupied a somewhat positively contrarian position to the default narrative put forward to things so it’s not entirely surprising that I find myself in a camp that holds the minority opinion. As you can see in the bitcoin dethroned piece I called Craig fake satoshi, but over the last year and bit I investigated the story around Craig and came to my conclusion that I believed him to be at least a major part of a team of people who worked on the protocol I have to admit that through reading his articles, I have kind of been brought full circle to where my contrarian opinion has me becoming somewhat of an advocate for “the system’. https://coingeek.com/bitcoin-creator-craig-s-wright-satoshi-nakamoto-granted-us-copyright-registrations-for-bitcoin-white-paper-and-code/ When the news dropped, many took to social media to see what everyone was saying about it. On /biz/ a barrage of threads popped up discussing it with many celebrating and many rejecting the significance of such a copyright claim being granted. Immediately in nearly every thread there was a posting of an image of a person from twitter claiming that registering for copyright is an easy process that’s granted automatically unless challenged and so it doesn’t mean anything. This was enough for many to convince them of the insignificance of the revelation because of the comment from a person who claimed to have authority on twitter. Others chimed in to add that in fact there was a review of the copyright registration especially in high profile instances and these reviewers were satisfied with the evidence provided by Craig for the claim. At the moment Craig is being sued by Ira Kleiman for an amount of bitcoin that he believes he is entitled to because of Craig and Ira’s brother Dave working together on bitcoin. He is also engaged in suing a number of people from the cryptocurrency community for libel and defamation after they continued to use their social media/influencer positions to call him a fraud and a liar. He also has a number of patents lodged through his company nChain that are related to blockchain technologies. This has many people up in arms because in their mind Satoshi was part of a cypherpunk movement, wanted anonymity, endorsed what they believed to be an anti state and open source technologies and would use cryptography rather than court to prove his identity and would have no interest in patents. https://bitstagram.bitdb.network/m/raw/1fce34a7004759f8db16b2ae9678e9c6db434ff2e399f59b5a537f72eff2c1a1 https://imgur.com/a/aANAsL3) If you listen to Craig with an open mind, what cannot be denied is the man is bloody smart. Whether he is honest or not is up to you to decide, but personally I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and then cut them off if i find them to be dishonest. What I haven’t really been able to do with my investigation of craig is cut him off. There have been many moments where I disagree with what he has had to say but I don’t think people having an opinion about something that I believe to be incorrect is the same as being a dishonest person. It’s very important to distinguish the two and if you are unable to do so there is a very real risk of you projecting expectations or ideals upon someone based off your ideas of who they are. Many times if someone is telling the truth but you don’t understand it, instead of acknowledging you don’t understand it, you label them as being stupid or dishonest. I think that has happened to an extreme extent with Craig. Let’s take for example the moment when someone in the slack channel asked Craig if he had had his IQ tested and what it was. Craig replied with 179. The vast majority of people on the internet have heard someone quote their IQ before in an argument or the IQ of others and to hear someone say such a score that is actually 6 standard deviations away from the mean score (so probably something like 1/100 000) immediately makes them reject it on the grounds of probability. Craig admits that he’s not the best with people and having worked with/taught many high functioning people (sometimes on the spectrum perhaps) on complex anatomical and physiological systems I have seen some that also share the same difficulties in relating to people and reconciling their genius and understandings with more average intelligences. Before rejecting his claim outright because we don’t understand much of what he says, it would be prudent to first check is there any evidence that may lend support to his claim of a one in a million intelligence quotient. Craig has mentioned on a number of occasions that he holds a number of different degrees and certifications in relation to law, cryptography, statistics, mathematics, economics, theology, computer science, information technology/security. I guess that does sound like something someone with an extremely high intelligence could achieve. Now I haven’t validated all of them but from a simple check on Charles Sturt’s alumni portal using his birthday of 23rd of October 1970 we can see that he does in fact have 3 Masters and a PhD from Charles Sturt. Other pictures I have seen from his office at nChain have degrees in frames on the wall and a developer published a video titled Craig Wright is a Genius with 17 degrees where he went and validated at least 8 of them I believe. He is recently publishing his Doctorate of Theology through an on-chain social media page that you have to pay a little bit for access to sections of his thesis. It’s titled the gnarled roots of creation. He has also mentioned on a number of occasions his vast industry experience as both a security contractor and business owner. An archive from his LinkedIn can be seen below as well. LinkedIn - https://archive.is/Q66Gl https://youtu.be/nXdkczX5mR0 - Craig Wright is a Genius with 17 Degrees https://www.yours.org/content/gnarled-roots-of-a-creation-mythos-45e69558fae0 - Gnarled Roots of Creation. In fact here is an on chain collection of articles and videos relating to Craig called the library of craig - https://www.bitpaste.app/tx/94b361b205196560d1bd09e4e3b3ec7ad6bea478af204cabfe243efd8fc944dd So there is a guy with 17 degrees, a self professed one in a hundred thousand IQ, who’s worked for Australian Federal Police, ASIO, NSA, NASA, ASX. He’s been in Royal Australian Air Force, operated a number of businesses in Australia, published half a dozen academic papers on networks, cryptography, security, taught machine learning and digital forensics at a number of universities and then another few hundred short articles on medium about his work in these various domains, has filed allegedly 700 patents on blockchain related technology that he is going to release on bitcoin sv, copyrighted the name so that he may prevent other competing protocols from using the brand name, that is telling you he is the guy that invented the technology that he has a whole host of other circumstantial evidence to support that, but people won’t believe that because they saw something that a talking head on twitter posted or that a Core Developer said, or a random document that appears online with a C S Wright signature on it that lists access to an address that is actually related to Roger Ver, that’s enough to write him off as a scam. Even then when he publishes a photo of the paper copy which appears to supersede the scanned one, people still don’t readjust their positions on the matter and resort back to “all he has to do is move the coins or sign a tx”. https://imgur.com/urJbe10 Yes Craig was on the Cypherpunk mailing list back in the day, but that doesn’t mean that he was or is an anarchist. Or that he shares the same ideas that Code Is Law that many from the crypto community like to espouse. I myself have definitely been someone to parrot the phrase myself before reading lots of Craig’s articles and trying to understand where he is coming from. What I have come to learn from listening and reading the man, is that although I might be fed up with the systems we have in place, they still exist to perform important functions within society and because of that the tools we develop to serve us have to exist within that preexisting legal and social framework in order for them to have any chance at achieving global success in replacing fiat money with the first mathematically provably scarce commodity. He says he designed bitcoin to be an immutable data ledger where everyone is forced to be honest, and economically disincentivised to perform attacks within the network because of the logs kept in a Write Once Read Many (WORM) ledger with hierarchical cryptographic keys. In doing so you eliminate 99% of cyber crime, create transparent DAO type organisations that can be audited and fully compliant with legislature that’s developed by policy that comes from direct democratic voting software. Everyone who wants anonymous coins wants to have them so they can do dishonest things, illegal things, buy drugs, launder money, avoid taxes. Now this triggers me a fair bit as someone who has bought drugs online, who probably hasn’t paid enough tax, who has done illegal things contemplating what it means to have that kind of an evidence ledger, and contemplate a reality where there are anonymous cryptocurrencies, where massive corporations continue to be able to avoid taxes, or where methamphetamine can be sold by the tonne, or where people can be bought and sold. This is the reality of creating technologies that can enable and empower criminals. I know some criminals and regard them as very good friends, but I know there are some criminals that I do not wish to know at all. I know there are people that do horrific things in the world and I know that something that makes it easier for them is having access to funds or the ability to move money around without being detected. I know arms, drugs and people are some of the biggest markets in the world, I know there is more than $50 trillion dollars siphoned in to off shore tax havens from the value generated as the product of human creativity in the economy and how much human charity is squandered through the NGO apparatus. I could go on and on about the crappy things happening in the world but I can also imagine them getting a lot worse with an anonymous cryptocurrency. Not to say that I don’t think there shouldn’t be an anonymous cryptocurrency. If someone makes one that works, they make one that works. Maybe they get to exist for a little while as a honeypot or if they can operate outside the law successfully longer, but bitcoin itself shouldn’t be one. There should be something a level playing field for honest people to interact with sound money. And if they operate within the law, then they will have more than adequate privacy, just they will leave immutable evidence for every transaction that can be used as evidence to build a case against you committing a crime. His claim is that all the people that are protesting the loudest about him being Satoshi are all the people that are engaged in dishonest business or that have a vested interest in there not being one singular global ledger but rather a whole myriad of alternative currencies that can be pumped and dumped against one another, have all kinds of financial instruments applied to them like futures and then have these exchanges and custodial services not doing any Know Your Customer (KYC) or Anti Money Laundering (AML) processes. Bitcoin SV was delisted by a number of exchanges recently after Craig launched legal action at some twitter crypto influencetalking heads who had continued to call him a fraud and then didn’t back down when the CEO of one of the biggest crypto exchanges told him to drop the case or he would delist his coin. The trolls of twitter all chimed in in support of those who have now been served with papers for defamation and libel and Craig even put out a bitcoin reward for a DOX on one of the people who had been particularly abusive to him on twitter. A big european exchange then conducted a twitter poll to determine whether or not BSV should be delisted as either (yes, it’s toxic or no) and when a few hundred votes were in favour of delisting it (which can be bought for a couple of bucks/100 votes). Shortly after Craig was delisted, news began to break of a US dollar stable coin called USDT potentially not being fully solvent for it’s apparent 1:1 backing of the token to dollars in the bank. Binance suffered an alleged exchange hack with 7000 BTC “stolen” and the site suspending withdrawals and deposits for a week. Binance holds 800m USDT for their US dollar markets and immediately once the deposits and withdrawals were suspended there was a massive pump for BTC in the USDT markets as people sought to exit their potentially not 1:1 backed token for bitcoin. The CEO of this exchange has the business registered out of Malta, no physical premises, the CEO stays hotel room to hotel room around the world, has all kind of trading competitions and the binance launchpad, uses an unregistered security to collect fees ($450m during the bear market) from the trading of the hundreds of coins that it lists on its exchange and has no regard for AML and KYC laws. Craig said he himself was able to create 100 gmail accounts in a day and create binance accounts with each of those gmail accounts and from the same wallet, deposit and withdraw 1 bitcoin into each of those in one day ($8000 x 100) without facing any restrictions or triggering any alerts or such. This post could ramble on for ever and ever exposing the complexities of the rabbit hole but I wanted to offer some perspective on what’s been happening in the space. What is being built on the bitcoin SV blockchain is something that I can only partially comprehend but even from my limited understanding of what it is to become, I can see that the entirety of the crypto community is extremely threatened as it renders all the various alt coins and alt coin exchanges obsolete. It makes criminals play by the rules, it removes any power from the developer groups and turns the blockchain and the miners in to economies of scale where the blockchain acts as a serverless database, the miners provide computational resources/storage/RAM and you interact with a virtual machine through a monitor and keyboard plugged in to an ethernet port. It will be like something that takes us from a type 0 to a type 1 civilisation. There are many that like to keep us in the quagmire of corruption and criminality as it lines their pockets. Much much more can be read about the Cartel in crypto in the archive below. Is it possible this cartel has the resources to mount such a successful psychological operation on the cryptocurrency community that they manage to convince everyone that Craig is the bad guy, when he’s the only one calling for regulation, the application of the law, the storage of immutable records onchain to comply with banking secrecy laws, for Global Sound Money? https://archive.fo/lk1lH#selection-3671.46-3671.55 Please note, where possible, images were uploaded onto the bitcoin sv blockchain through bitstagram paying about 10c a pop. If I wished I could then use an application etch and archive this post to the chain to be immutably stored. If this publishing forum was on chain too it would mean that when I do the archive the images that are in the bitstragram links (but stored in the bitcoin blockchain/database already) could be referenced in the archive by their txid so that they don’t have to be stored again and thus bringing the cost of the archive down to only the html and css.
The new ‘Standard AML Risk Report’ by Coinfirm has been released with additional features and insights to ensure regulatory compliance.
While most money laundering worldwide is carried out in fiat currencies (like USD or EUR), the emergence of Bitcoin and private cryptocurrencies has opened the doors to a wide variety of new money laundering methods. Usually such KYC compliance is created by external security platforms but it’s hard to find real professionals which can provide an advanced AML platform. “This past year the crypto world has seen quite an evolution around regulatory guidelines with AMLD5 and FATF travel rule being debated, big tech giants like Facebook venturing into crypto, new age banks embracing blockchain and offering crypto services, crypto exchanges still being hacked and crypto traders continuing to be victimized by wide range of scams, ponzi schemes. All these developments have direct or indirect impact on the entire crypto ecosystem requiring even more focus and increased efforts to implement the best AML solutions.” Recently Binance - the leading global cryptocurrency exchange and blockchain ecosystem and Coinfirm - an international regulation technology company, announced their partnership to address the recently issued guidelines on anti-money laundering (AML) rules by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Binance is backing their actions with experts. Furthermore, Coinfirm has recently developed new features which hugely upgraded their Standard AML Risk Report. Users can now upgrade their Basic AML Risk Reports to the new Standard AML Risk Reports for free, which is very profitable for both: bigger cryptocurrency platforms like Binance and smaller ones like any payment processor, or data mining pool. Source: https://www.coinfirm.com/blog/coinfirm-releases-new-standard-aml-risk-reports-for-cryptocurrencies You can view a sample hack-related upgraded Standard AML Risk Report on their blog.
A little-known fact about cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and others, is that, contrary to popular belief, they aren't anonymous. Perhaps the belief that they are anonymous persists because rather than using real names in transactions, crypto transactions such as sending bitcoin from one wallet to another only require a string of text and numbers known as public addresses. Public addresses, however, are pseudonymous, and still provide anyone with the sophistication and resources the ability to track down the personal details of the actors within an exchange. Within the last year, several well-known and popular figures within the cryptocurrency industry have had their identities and funds compromised, with millions of dollars lost. Pseudonymity is not Anonymity Just because your name, birthdate, and geographic location are not apparently tied to your cryptocurrency wallet doesn't mean that they can't be found out using your public address alone. The reason for this is simple: blockchain analysis. What is blockchain analysis? There are two forms of it; one is simple, the other much more sophisticated. The simple version of blockchain analysis is one that anyone with access to the internet can perform. On any block explorer, whether it's for Bitcoin, Qtum, Neo, Ethereum, or Icon, you will find a search field into which any wallet address can be looked up. If you input your own public address, you will see the entire history of your financial activity on the blockchain laid bare. Who you've sent to, who you've received from, and what you own on the blockchain are all part of the public domain of blockchain information that is viewable by the world. If you're thinking that it's not a problem since you've got your public address shielding your real identity, then think again. The sophisticated method of blockchain analysis aims to make connections and uncover a logic between different entities on blockchains. Essentially, this type of blockchain analysis views blockchains as massive Sudoku puzzles -- and with enough computer power and effective enough algorithms, patterns can be easily found on blockchains that lead hackers, blockchain analysis startups working for government organizations, and others straight to your actual identity. Consider the way you entered into the cryptocurrency market in the first place. You had to buy bitcoin using Coinbase, Kraken, Bithumb, or another exchange with a fiat to crypto gateway. Doing so required your personal and bank details owing to the fact that regulated exchanges must comply with KYC (know-your-customer) and AML (anti-money-laundering) laws. After entering all of the required personal information, the exchange set about to confirm your details by sharing them with other third-party KYC organizations. Finally, your documents and details were verified, allowing the chance to enter the market. After your you bought bitcoin, the natural thing to do was send it away from the exchange wallet and into your own software or hardware wallet. Then, perhaps you sent some bitcoin to Binance in order to buy a cryptocurrency asset such as ethereum. After purchasing ETH, perhaps you sent it back to your wallet before using it to participate in an ICO. This entire web of financial activity may seem disconnected and hard to trace, yet to a powerful enough blockchain analysis engine tracing all the way back to your initial exchange of purchase would have no problem at all uncovering your IP address and, eventually, your identity. Using Anonymity to Protect your Digital Assets The above scenario is in large part why privacy tokens such as Apollo Currency, Monero, Verge, and Dash have found popularity and value within cryptocurrency markets. Essentially, users are looking for a cryptocurrency asset which gives them the private, financial autonomy blockchain seemed to promise in its early days without being exposed to the possibility of being hacked, monitored, or otherwise controlled by outside parties. Which Are the Best Coin for Anonymity? The top contenders in the cryptocurrency marketplace for taking best privacy coin honors are Monero, Verge, and Dash, and Apollo Currency. Despite having some similarities, they are all in fact quite different. After the comparison, we'll share the reasons why three of these coins fail to provide adequate privacy while only one of them provides true anonymity and more. Dash Dash is a digital currency and payment network that places its privacy feature as an option rather than as the main feature. For this alone, it is already on the backfoot. Rather than have privacy built into every transaction as a standard, the Dash development team instead opted to give users the option to make transactions private using a feature called PrivateSend. Despite having started out as Darkcoin, Dash changed paths and began focusing on mass-adoption and placed it's anonymity features to the side. As such, there are concerns around the centralization of Dash masternodes which are largely hosted by cloud AWS services leading to legitimate worry that government agencies could one day demand, and have access to, transaction logs. Beyond this, Dash does not feature stealth addresses, encrypted messaging, IP masking, or a secure form of coin shuffling. Dash relies on CoinJoin for its PrivateSend feature which requires users to negotiate with each other during the transaction process. Monero Monero has the largest reputation when it comes to anonymous cryptocurrency. Apart from enjoying wide adoption and a stellar market capitalization, Monero is open-source and uses a proof-of-work algorithm for consensus along with RingCT signatures for privacy. In sharp contrast to Dash, Monero is not a privacy-optional coin. Every transaction uses RingCT (confidential-transactions) to hide the sources of transactions in a given set. In theory, this should shield every transaction with anonymity, yet in practice, quite the opposite has been found. Researchers from MIT published a report titled "An Empirical Analysis of Traceability in the Monero Blockchain" wherein they revealed that they were able to trace 80% of Monero transactions prior to the integration of RingCT and 45% of transactions after its integration. Beyond this, Monero lacks an encrypted messaging platform, does not mask IP addresses, does not function as a bitcoin mixer, and its proof-of-work consensus algorithm has significant negative effects on the environment. Verge Verge deserves a mention if only because of its bold claims. Prior to their Wraith update, Verge developers claimed that they would use Tor and I2P networks to anonymize user IP addresses. Unfortunately, not long after the Wraith update was announced, it appeared that Tor had not been integrated at all and several cryptocurrency whistleblower websites were able to track IP addresses involved in Verge transactions. Initially called DogeCoinDark, Verge also uses two ledgers -- a private and a public ledger. This is to allow users the option of switching between ledgers depending on the type of transaction made and the level of disclosure the user prefers for that transaction. Like Monero, Verge lacks a coin shuffling function, claims to mask IP addresses but fails in practice, does not offer an alias system (meaning users can not encrypt text), and relies on a slow proof-of-work algorithm for consensus. Apollo Currency Apollo Currency picks up where privacy coins prior to it have left off and then goes several leaps further. Rather than offer a cut-rate privacy coin, Apollo has taken the strengths of other privacy coins and made them stronger, while also containing what they lack -- namely, real anonymity and financial freedom on the blockchain. Apollo's Olympus Protocol ushers forth a new paradigm of anonymous transactions using a host of innovations. IP masking via Tor will allow for untraceable transactions directly from the Apollo wallet without the risk of having a compromised IP address somewhere down the line. Apollo also features coin-shuffling which, like bitcoin mixing, is a process for coin anonymization that makes shuffled coins resistant to tracing and blockchain analysis. The way this works is simple - Apollo users simply send their coins through the shuffling mechanism which then pools user coins together, mixes them, then sends each user their specified amount of coins back from different sources than they started with. The result is complete anonymity and a break in the connection between sending and receiving addresses. Apollo's encrypted messaging platform furthers the total anonymity offered by the currency. Users can communicate and transfer files without a trace, all the while having their IP addresses masked by Olympus Protocol. Conclusion Until Monero and Verge clear up the allegations made by researchers from MIT and other institutions that users are vulnerable to having their IP addresses exposed, I would steer clear of them. Dash and Apollo Currency are proven and both offer coin shuffling which is a real, proven coin anonymization technique that offers the best of privacy. As always, it's best to DYOR (do your own research).
ILPT: Got tons of cash to launder and not sure how? Use cryptocurrencies this way.
Let's assume you've got a ton of cash that you don't want to report for whatever reason. In order to spend that cash on anything more than gas or groceries you're gonna need a way to launder it or give that cash a story. There are a ton of ways to do this but none that are untraceable...most money laundering schemes come with a ton of risk. But if I were properly motivated, this is how I'd do it. First I'd create a private trust. No need to understand how private trusts work in this thread, just know that they exist in a jurisdiction foreign to the US or whatever statutory jurisdiction you exist in. Then have that trust create a public LLC in a state that allows for private member owned LLC such as New Mexico. Literally all that is recorded is the name of the trust on the articles of organization for the LLC. So ABC Trust is the member of the LLC. The members of the trust are private and unknown. Now the LLC needs to be a legitimate cash business that wont draw any suspicion and impossible to audit. And ideally we want to convert all of our cash into cryptocurrencies. Unlike most money laundering schemes that hope to pay taxes and deposit cash into a bank. Cryptocurrencies are superior to cash in a bank for many reasons, but I'll only touch on a few here. So the LLC creates an online peer to peer exchange. It's important that the LLC never actually touches the money because if it does then the exchange would be considered a money changing business and needs to comply with KYC and AML laws. We don't want that. So instead we set up an escrow wallet service that is nothing more than a smart self executing contract. Its computer code that executes when conditions are met. That's it. Peers come to the site to find other peers to trade with. These p2p exchanges already exist like localbitcoins.com for example. Here's how they work. I have cash or gift cards or some other form of money and I want to buy bitcoin. You've got bitcoin and want cash. So you send your BTC to an escrow wallet on the p2p exchange. This escrow wallet wont release the funds until all parties sign. The buyer and the seller and the exchange must all sign with their private keys to send the money out of the wallet. So once your BTC is locked in the wallet, we meet up and exchange cash, or I send you the gift cards or whatever payment method we agree. Once you get the cash, you sign to verify you recieved the cash. Once I send the money, I sign to verify payment was sent. If there are no disputes between the parties then the exchange signs and the BTC is sent to my personal wallet. Easy peasy. And since the exchange never actually has control of the BTC or the cash, they don't require any knowledge of the trading parties. Just 2 anonymous characters. Now in order to not attract a lot of unwanted attention, its important to set buy limits. Even those we aren't regulated as a money changing business we don't want to allow million dollar transactions without any kind of KYC... so we comply with the $1,000 limit per day. Now once the seller has cash they can spend it or deposit it into their bank or do whatever. Once I have BTC now I can do pretty much anything I want. First BTC is a transparent blockchain so I've got one more step to make this truly anonymous and untraceable. I'll send that BTC to an unverified crypto exchange account on Bitfinex or Binance or any number of other exchanges and I'll use that BTC to buy Monero. I wont explain how Monero (XMR) works here but trust me, it uses fancy cryptography to make it truly untraceable. There's no trail to follow. No XMR can be linked to any other party ever. So once I have XMR I can send it to any private wallet I want and no one will ever know I've got millions worth of XMR. It's as if the money disappears. If I ever want to spend it, I try to pay directly with XMR fir whatever. But if the vendor doesn't accept XMR then I simply send that XMR back to the exchange and trade it for BTC. Or I send it to my verified exchange account linked to my bank and I trade it directly for USD. I'll pay a capital gains tax on that single transaction vs paying gains on my millions. So in order to do this at scale with our own p2p exchange LLC we need to create a dozen fake anonymous accounts all making small random trades to other legitimate sellers of BTC. Once we have gotten rid of all of our cash and now have BTC we funnel those BTC to dozens of unverified exchange accounts and wash them with XMR. Then send those XMR to our final destination wallet that no one knows about. When we want to spend it some amount, we simply funnel the XMR back into a verified and legitimate account and pay the tax on that individual transaction. Or we go back to our p2p exchange and get cash back. That's it. That's how you hide millions of dollars without a trace. Of course I've left out a few details like how to spoof your IP address and use things like VPNs and Tor to truly access the exchange site anonymously, and you'll need to do this since you will be the one creating dozens of accounts on the exchange. Each account needs it's own IP address to appear legitimate to anyone who gets wise and wants to look closer. Other than that, you've now got millions of dollars in your pocket you can walk across any border anywhere in the world with.
Current State & The Future Of Digital Assets From Ariel Ling, BitMax COO.
Ariel Ling, co-founder and COO of BitMax, has shared her thoughts on the current state of digital assets and what to expect in the next years, what retail investor should take into account when buying any cryptocurrencie and the key factors that drive the value of the token/coin. Ariel Ling, BitMax COO Why, when and how have you started your crypto journey? I started my crypto journey at the beginning of 2018 when my long-time friend, the co-founder and CEO of BitMax.io, Dr. George Cao “pulled” me out of the traditional Wall Street and asked me to join him in launching this exciting venture. Three main drivers are 1) to learn more about blockchain technology and its transformational applications in different industries; 2) to leverage in-depth traditional finance expertise to improve overall crypto trading and exchange market structure for better efficiency and transparency; 3) to have a chance to work with a talented and driven team who share similar vision, passion and conviction to build a top global digital asset trading platform as well as a wonderful organization from good to great! If your friend will ask you: should I consider cryptocurrencies as investment opportunity? What will be your answer? Will you recommend any specific digital asset? Coming from traditional finance perspective, I would explain my thoughts process from three angles — 1) types of crypto or digital assets as the foundation for understanding; 2) whether they, are more for short-term trading or mid-term investment 2) what are elements for investment valuation and decision-making so our friends can assess and make decision for themselves. First, in general there are three types of digital assets:
Major currency / coin-type like Bitcoin, ETH, XRP, Litecoin, etc. and stable coins;
Security-type tokens representing some equity or debt rights of underlying projects;
Utility tokens for usage on specific blockchain platform or network.
Each type represents different type of opportunity and risk. Second: is digital asset good for trading or investment? due to the nascent nature and very short history of market development with most of retail investors’ participation and lack of proper regulatory framework globally, there are quite some market manipulation, speculation and fraud activities in the current market, causing significant volatility and investors loss across all types within very short period of time. This made it very hard for any investors to assess the real valuation and momentum drivers behind those large swings. So at this point, I would think with its high volatility and risk, digital asset in general is more of very short-term trading product than investment vehicle. From liquidity perspective, major currency/coin-type will have more market depth across exchanges, hence more suitable for short-term trading-focused strategies. Third, from traditional investment perspective, it is critical to assess digital asset investing from valuation and fundamental perspectives, such as business model, future growth, economic return vs. person’s risk tolerance and investment objectives. For major coins, especially Bitcoin itself with its longest history among all the digital assets, have started to provide certain payment function similar to fiat currencies in certain countries. Hence, there are more interesting dynamics to the Bitcoin investing based on one’s view of Bitcoin usage over mid-term horizon and the relative valuation vs its production (mining cost) especially with the price down to 3,500–3,650 USD. For security-type or utility tokens, the performance over short-to-medium term really comes down to combination of intrinsic value of underlying blockchain projects and token economics. Similar to Internet in 1990s, blockchain technology projects are still at the early stage of development and looking for meaningful and applicable use cases to bring real economic benefit from the economics and business model perspective, so it becomes very difficult to apply traditional finance valuation and assess the real intrinsic value of those projects. Recent market crash has brought many of those tokens down to near zero value. So the investment in those tokens are extremely high risk and everyone should be really careful and prudent in the evaluation of any specific projects for the decision-making and risk protection. What is the story behind BitMax? Who are the foundefounders? When it was founded? Q1 2018, Dr. George Cao and I founded Global Digital Mercantile (GDM), global operator of digital asset platforms, including BitMax.io based on Singapore for overseas markets and North America’s trading platform aiming for the first half of 2019. BitMax.io started public beta testing mid July, 2018, and was officially launched later mid August. On November 18th , we launched our mining mechanism, the industry very first transaction-mining & reverse-mining mechanism, which has made us the industry leading third-generation cryptocurrency exchange — after first generation of traditional exchanges like Binance, Gemini, Coinbase, etc. and 2nd generation of transaction-mining ones like FCoin, Bitthumb, etc. Just a quick introduction of my partner. Dr. Cao studied Computer Science in the University of Science and Technology of China, and earned his PhD degree from the University of Chicago. Dr. Cao was the Founder and the Chief Investment Officer of Delpha Capital Management, LLC., New York, specializing in trading equity, ETFs and commodity future products in all major exchanges across the globe. He is also the founder and managing partner of Whitestone Investment Group, a New York based venture fund that invests in a large variety of startup companies that are in the high tech, fintech, big data and medical area. Before founding Delpha Capital, Mr. Cao worked at the Equity Division of Barclays Capital in both the New York and London offices. During that period, he oversaw equity electronic trading in the U.S., European and Asian markets. Prior to Barclays, he researched and traded U.S. equity as a Portfolio Manager at Knight Capital Group. For me, I have built more than 18-year extensive experience in strategic planning, business development, financial risk management and regulatory implementation across major trading asset classes (Equity, FX, and Fixed Income) at several top global banks. Previous to jumping into digital asset trading, I ran USD liquidity and investment product for top financial institutions and corporate clients at tier-one global investment bank. Before that, I ran US Broker Dealer as COO and head of Business Development for Germany 2nd largest bank. Earlier from 2007 to 2012, I was global equity trading COO across Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital, building out trading franchise and market making businesses globally. I have four degrees — graduated top of class from Nankai University with two Bachelor degrees in Finance and English Literature and got my MBA from NYU and Master of Mass Communication from University of Georgia. Where is Bitmax located? Are you a distributed team or do you have an office to work together? How many people work for Bitmax? Our global team of 50 members are based off two main location — New York with 20 members, including all the founding members, and Beijing with 30 members. Would you be so kind to introduce briefly the core team members? Both George and I are very proud of our 10-member founding team. Similar to us, they are all from Wall Street top firms like Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg, and top high-frequency hedge funds with deep experience in the fields of financial engineering research and development of large-scale quant trading infrastructure. Our educational background span across multiple prestigious institutions including Columbia University, University of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon University, and New York University in the United States, as well as Peking University and Tsinghua University in China. So one special thing about BitMax.io is that very few exchanges in the crypto trading space are built by solid team like ours with strong traditional finance mindset and trading background. You’ve started BitMax during market downtrend in pretty competitive environment. What is your value proposition? Why traders should switch to BitMax? I think BitMax.io is actually very special in this market, and our team is very proud of what we have built in the short period of six months. There are at least three reasons I think traders should chooseBitMax.io:
It’s our real-word professional trading experience and expertise;
It’s is our platform, resilient, high volume quantitative-trading platform;
It’s is our top-quality customer-centric strategy.
First of all, as I mentioned in the last question, architected by a group of Wall Street veterans, BitMax.io builds upon the core value of blockchain, transparency and reliability, and delivers high-quality client services and trading experience through its innovative trading platform. Second, our quant-driven tech platform. Our development members were all from high frequency and quantitative systematic trading shops. They definitely make sure the platform was resilient and it can actually handle billions of volume during the design and build. The platform resilience and scalability were fully being tested when we launched the transaction mining and reverse-mining. The first day, we actually had, within the first 24 hours, the trading volume of 1.6 billion in notional; and our system didn’t flinch, didn’t slow down, and didn’t shut down. This is very rare in any of today’s exchanges where you can frequently see the slowdown, the crash, and very slow user responses, especially with transaction mining exchanges. Third, what we are extremely proud of and all the users can see, is our 24/7 customer services built upon the core Wall Street client-centric concept. Besides our customer support team who never sleep, George actually stands behind the platform almost 24/7 answering questions from the customers, seeking solutions for their issues, and providing the most responsive customer service for the entire crypto trading space. BitMax CEO, George Cao, is often seen in official Telegram group answering different questions. We constantly remind our team: customer first. When we design a product, when we launch a system, and when we look at user needs, we all look from customers’ perspective, from how we can protect the users. When we look at primary listing, we only select the high-quality projects because we want our users to have the best investment and trading experience on BitMax.io. Are you satisfied with the current results of BitMax? Is transaction mining model giving expected volume? What is the % of traders using this model? We are very pleased with current business development and delivery results from client acquisition and trading perspectives. On the business development side, we completed the global setup for both 50-member team organization and comprehensive legal entity structure from Asia to North Americas in 2018, which laid down foundation and paved way for 2019 business expansion especially with US. Since our platform launch in mid Aug, we successfully started Industry FIRST transaction mining and reverse-mining exchange and built out the most active global communities and users within four months in the bear market, with registered users more than 95k; average daily active traders more than quadrupled since the start of transaction mining; average daily trading volume of $465mm through the month of January and February in 2019. Those are extremely promising under this tough market condition. From the composition of trading volumes, there are two parts — transaction mining which grows exponentially; second is organic, the regular trading which has experienced healthy increase as well because of all the listing activities and all the incentives we have. The regular trading takes about 5% of total trading volume, which is very good for an exchange which was launched in August and running right into the bear market. What are the key factors that drive the value of the token/coin? From traditional finance /investment view token economics is really a balance act between business / economic model and exchange market force, driven by three factors: intrinsic value and sustainability, supply and demand, and liquidity and depth. First, from a traditional finance perspective, we need to look at the intrinsic value, the economic valuation behind a project. How does this project make money? Do they really have fundamentals? Do they really have a viable business model? Do they really have a solid user base for future growth? For example, our exchange business model is very simple. We are exchange; People trade on our platform. The more they trade, the more transaction fee the exchange collect — the revenue source. The exchange will last when people keep trading on the platform and the transaction revenue generated covers the operating cost of running an exchange. Second, it is the supply and demand of token on the market — who will buy and for what purpose; who will sell and under what scenarios. For major currency coins like Bitcoin, people might buy and sell for potential investment or use in actual payment processing. For other types of token, it is more driven by short-term trading pattern and profit taking. So it is extremely important to set up certain token mechanism to support the equilibrium of supply and demand like how Central Banks manage the supply of currency in circulation through monetary policies. Third, when the market force comes in, it comes down to the liquidity and depth. Exchange is about liquidity and market depth. That means there has to be enough of trading volumes at each pricing level for each token. For BitMax.io, we have very sophisticated market making model that is similar to Designated Market Maker model of New York Stock Exchange. We focus on providing liquidity and maintaining a fair and orderly market for those token listings who agree to engage our market making services. Every exchange is looking for good projects in order to become a premiere market for this new asset. Can you name some projects that impressed you recently (even if you are not discussing possible listing with them)? BitMax.io has strict listing requirements in order to identify high-quality projects for our users. Very proud that we have listed five industry star projects in the last several weeks, with more in the pipeline. All of them have the following attributes that made them successful — viable and profitable business model, growing user bases, strong community support, and comprehensive funding sources. One of the shining examples is European project named LTO Network listed mid Jan. Its price has been steadily rising since then, as more and more people get to know their business model and more project support comes into the market place to buy the tokens — It uses blockchain technology to streamline a lot of legal processing for one of EU governments, which is very easy to understand its economic value from a revenue perspective. This is simply what people need to see eventually, clean and clear from business economic model perspective. Let’s imagine a crypto market in 5 or 10 years. Can you make any prediction what the market will look like? What customers will expect from exchange in 5–10 years? Based off my long-time experience in traditional trading, especially how equity market evolved last twenty years, I would imagine maturing market structure and entrance of institutional investors are key mandatory and healthy development of digital asset market. First, As the market develops and expands globally, traditional institution participation is a must, in order to upgrade and strengthen the overall market structure and maturity, making it more transparent and resilient, and most importantly enabling the real broad-base adoption of digital assets. Most institutional investors, such as mutual fund, pension fund and other financial institutions, hold the majority of world investment assets, not individual retail investors. Only when those big guys join the market, will there be real revolutionary improvement and expansion of the digital asset just like any other financial markets. Second, I would expect the market to become more structured with major building blocks for transparent trade life cycle processing and separate risk analytics supporting services. Current crypto trading market is very fragmented with exchanges taking on different roles of trading, wallet management, custodian, etc. Also the lack of clear and consistence regulation on market structure has led to many aspects of market inefficiency — inconsistent liquidity and depth, wide spread, high transaction cost, high volatility, speculation, etc. This definitely hampers the broader adoption of digital assets from institutional investors. Forward looking, multi-tier structure under some level of regulatory framework with clear guidance is required for future maturing market. Similar to security market, there should be at least three layers of different and independent roles: the role of broker dealer to handle the client relationship with good KYC/ AML processes, retail clients, other financial institutions, blockchain players and to take client order as agent or dealer; the role of exchange to focus on listing and trading — liquidity provision and order matching; the role of clearing house to provide clearing and settlement and custodian on custody of assets with proper control and independence. It is very clean and clear with good check and balance in place. What are the key challenges for 2019? During our 2018 business planning, we clearly view 2019 to continue being full of challenges with market uncertainty from both asset price and valuation as well as regulatory development globally. In prep for that and further growth of our platform, we have laid out the following four main strategic objectives and they are all well underway:
To launch North America trading platform for high networth and institutional clients. With North America being heavily regulated market, there are two aspects of our plan — First is to leverage a trust structure to facilitate the major coin trading with fiat, and the second is broker-dealer license application with potential for securitized tokens pending regulatory guidance in place.
To enhance BitMax.io platform and reach global top-tier exchange. We will continue listening to our users and working hard to enhance user interface and experience by upgrading website vs. other competitors for better client retention.We will continue leading product innovation among the competitors with margin trading (successfully launched in mid Feb) and then derivative to attract new clients.
Relent focus on implementation and expansion of current business lines — listing, Market Making, marketing advisory services to grow current revenue base; and further seek new revenue opportunity through North America platform while maintaining cost discipline.
we are always on the lookout in terms of exchange alignments, acquisition target, and any business partnership from different aspects of the value chain.
When do you expect a market recovery or next bull run? What are the factors that will influence the start of the market recovery? With current market crash or correction, there are two possibilities from trading perspective — recovery depending on whether this is a V down or U curve. The U curve occurs when the market collapses, it takes a longer time for market to find the bottom and struggle to rise up. The V down is like a quick collapse — dropping down very fast and reaching the bottom, and then, with some catalyst event, either catalyst from market structure, or catalyst from the market expansion itself, suddenly it gives a boost and bounces right back up. For market recovery, besides all the investment and economics elements I’ve discussed above, I believe one critical factor is the regulatory development especially clear guidance from key regulatory bodies of those major financial markets such as US, UK, EU, etc. on those key building blocks I mentioned in the maturing market structure. Once those in place, more traditional institutional investors will be ready to get in and hence boost the liquidity and valuation of the digital assets. That is the new beginning of digital assets being accepted as part of Main Street investment globally.
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