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[LONG] My Story of Disillusionment with and Disappointment in the World and Myself
Intro. This might be a long one. I hope someone reads the thing, I put like 3 hours into writing it. A brief story of my life and how it all led up to this moment, where I am disillusioned with my self-image, my life choices, and certain aspects of the world, and have no idea what to do next. Warning: this whole thing might be a little depressing to read. Childhood. I am a 20yo Russian male. During my childhood, I was made to believe that I am capable of doing something great and doing better than anyone. At the same time I developed a very non-conformist life stance and very often rejected things and ideas simply because they were too popular for my taste, and I couldn't feel special whilst enjoying them. Of course, in turn, society rejected me, as it does with anyone who doesn't play by the rules. Oh well. My only redeeming quality was that I considered myself pretty smart. Which is even easier to assume, when at the same time you think that you're different from everyone else. Now, I know that to some extent, I was indeed smarter than most people in certain areas. Unlike most people I knew back then, often with bare minimum efforts I was able to maintain near perfect grades at school. I was also enjoying learning new things and reading more than an average person. So, let's just say, I had a basis to assume I was a smart dude. I wasn't happy and content with my life, though. I never had real friends, because I only hung out with people when they were my classmates/roommates/co-workers, and after we parted ways, I rarely if ever contacted them afterwards. I always enjoyed doing things you usually do in solitude more, because when I was alone, I wouldn't be afraid that someone could hurt me for being different. Because of that, I was never in a romantic relationship. High School. Still, life was going okay. By the end of school, I kind of accepted my social deficiency and I wanted to focus on improving the world and become a successful person - for myself. I was facing a dilemma, though. Despite the fact that I was doing great in school, the idea of having to invest four years of my time into studying something really specific, and then having to work another 20-30 years on the same job was terrifying, because I had no idea what I liked to do! Nothing seemed interesting to me, I didn't have a passion for doing anything... Thanks to my video game addiction, which made me lazy as fuck, probably. I also needed to meet my criteria for success with my future job, which included being financially successful. I grew up in top 1% income family, so... I always felt the pressure to outperform or at least match my parents' income. Enter trading. My dad discovered investing several years ago (we don't live in US, so most of the people aren't as financially savvy, so he never thought about investing before then). I was always curious about financial independence and markets, but now I was seeing it all done in front of me, I realized that it might be a good opportunity to make a lot of money and become successful without being socially adept, which is something absolutely required in business or politics. So, I asked my father to open a brokerage account for me in the US, and started swing trading (trading in weekly/monthly time frames). I could only trade slow and small because of the trade restrictions put on accounts <$25k and <21yo in the US. Still, it was going well, but in hindsight I was just lucky to be there during a great bull market. Even before I thought trading and more importantly investing were the ways smart people make money. I thought simply because I was conventionally smart, I had a talent or an innate ability to pick innovative stocks and do venture investing when I grow some capital. I truly believed in that long before I was introduced to financial markets, I believed that my surface level understanding of multiple areas of cutting edge and emerging technology would give me an edge compared to all the other investors. US Community College and Return Back. In the end, I've decided I want to go to a US community college and study finance and become a trader and later an investor, but I didn't want to work for a fund or something like that (lazy ass). I wanted to use my knowledge and skill and my own money to grow my net worth and make a living. I didn't really like the process of trading, I just needed the money to live by while I was trying to figure out what else to do with my life. Because I thought I were smart, I thought this would come easily to me. Boy was I wrong. From the nicest of conditions in my hometown, I was suddenly moved into a foreign setting, on the other side of the planet away form my family and mates, with a video game addiction and laziness that ruined my daily routine and studying as well. The fact that I didn't like my major was not helping. My grades fell from A- in the first quarter to C+ in the last. I gained +30% from my normal weight. I was stressed out, not going outside and sitting at my computer desk for days at a time, skipping all the classes I could if they were not absolutely essential for my grades, living on prepared foods. I never got out of my shell and barely talked to anyone in English, all of my friends were Russian speaking. I wasted an opportunity to improve my speaking, although aside from that my English skills satisfy me. By the end of community college, last summer, I was left with B grades that wouldn't let me transfer anywhere decent, and the extreme stress that I put myself through started taking a toll on my mental health. I was planning to take a break and go back to Russia for several months, and transfer back to a US uni this winter. Needless to say, you can't run from yourself. It didn't really become much better after a few months in Russia. I didn't want to study finance anymore, because it was boring and I was exhausted. I still had the video game addiction, still was lazy and gained some more extra pounds of weight. I was not sleeping at all, extremely sleep deprived for months. Because of this and lack of mental stimulation I started to become dumber. And all that was happening where I didn't really have to do anything: not study or work, just sit around the house and do whatever I wanted. Turns out, these conditions didn't help me to get out of the incoming depression. Finally, around November, when I already sent out all of my transfer applications and already got some positive answers from several universities, I knew I didn't have much time left at home, and I had to leave soon. But I really, really didn't want to go back. It was scarier than the first time. I was afraid of new changes, I just wanted for the time to stop and letting me relax, heal... I was having suicidal thoughts and talked about it with my family and my therapist. They were all supportive and helped me as much as they could. But I was the only person who could really help myself. If I wanted to breathe freely, I had to admit defeat and not go back to the US to continue my education. It was extremely hard at first, but then I just let go. I decided to find a temporary job as an English tutor and give myself time to think. Then I remembered that I had a bunch of money in my trading account. I still thought that I was pretty smart, despite failing college, so I figured, why not try move it to Russian brokers who don't have trading restrictions, and do it full time? Which is exactly what I did. And I started to study trading all by myself at a fast pace. I was now trading full time and it was going sideways: +10% in December, -20% in January. Then, something incredible happened. I was already in a shitty place in life, but I still had some hope for my future. Things were about to get much worse. I'm in the late January, and I discovered for myself that the whole financial industry of the world was a fraud. Brief Explanation of My Discoveries. In the image of the financial industry, there are several levels of perceived credibility. In the bottom tier, there is pure gambling. In my country, there were periods when binary options trading and unreliable Forex brokers were popular among common folk, but these were obvious and unsophisticated fraudsters who were one step away from being prosecuted. There are also cryptocurrencies that don't hold any value and are also used only for speculation/redistribution of wealth. There is also a wonderful gambling subreddit wallstreetbets where most users don't even try to hide the fact that what they are doing is pure gambling. I love it. But the thing is, this is trading/investing for the people who have no idea what it is, and most people discredit it as a fraud, which it, indeed, is. These examples are 99% marketing/public image and 1% finance. But these offer x10-1000 returns in the shortest time span. Typical get-rich-quick schemes, but they attract attention. Then, there is trading tier. You can have multiple sub levels here, in the bottom of this tier we would probably have complex technical analysis (indicators) and daily trading/scalping. I was doing this in the DecembeJanuary. At the top would be people who do fundamental analysis (study financial reports) and position trade (monthly time frames). Now, there is constant debate in the trading community whether technical analysis or fundamental analysis is better. I have a solid answer to the question. They work in the same way. Or rather, they don't work at all. You'd ask: "Why you didn't discover this earlier? You were in this financial thing for several years now!" Well, you see, unlike on the previous level, here millions of people say that they actually believe trading works and there is a way to use the available tools to have great returns. Some of these people actually know that trading doesn't work, but they benefit from other traders believing in it, because they can sell them courses or take brokerage fees from them. Still, when there are millions around you telling you that it works, even a non-conformist like me would budge. Not that many people actually participate in the markets, so I thought that by being in this minority made me smart and protected from fraudsters. Lol. All it took for me to discover the truth is to accidentally discover that some technical indicators give random results, do a few google searches, reach some scientific studies which are freely available and prove that technical and fundamental analysis don't work. It was always in front of me, but the fucking trading community plugged my ears and closed my eyes shut so I wasn't able to see it. Trading usually promises 3-15% gain a month. A huge shock, but surely there was still a way for me to work this out? Active investing it is! The next level, active investing, is different from trading. You aim for 15-50% yearly returns, but you don't have to do as much work. You hold on to stocks of your choice for years at a time, once in a while you study the markets, re balance your portfolio, etc. Or you invest your money in a fund, that will select the stocks of their choice and manage their and your portfolio for you. For a small fee of course. All of these actions are aimed at trying to outperform the gain the market made as a whole, and so called index funds, which invest in basically everything and follow the market returns - about 7-10% a year. And if I ever had any doubts in trading, I firmly believed that active investing works since I was a little kid (yes I knew about it back then). And this is where the real fraud comes in. The whole Wall Street and every broker, every stock exchange in the world are a part of a big fraud. Only about 10-20% of professional fund managers outperform the market in any 15 year period. If you take 30 years, this dwindles to almost nothing, which means that no one can predict the markets. These people have no idea what they are doing. Jim Cramer is pure show-business and has no idea what's going on. Warren Buffet gained his fortune with pure luck, and for every Buffet there are some people who made only a million bucks and countless folks who lost everything. Wall Street. They have trillions of dollars and use all that money and power and marketing to convince you that there is a way to predict where the stocks are going without being a legal insider or somehow abusing the law. They will make you think you can somehow learn from them where to invest your money on your own or they will make you believe that you should just give it to them and they will manage it for you, because they know how everything works and they can predict the future using past data. They won't. They don't. They can't. There are studies and statistics to prove it countless times over the span of a 100 years. But they will still charge you exchange fees, brokerage fees and management fees anyway. And they also manipulate certain studies, lobby where and when they need it, and spread misinformation on an unprecedented scale, creating a positive image of themselves. And everyone falls for that. Billions of people around the globe still think it's all legit. Passive index investing is the last level. You just put your money in the market and wait. Markets will go up at a predetermined rate. If there's a crisis, in 10 years no one will even remember. Markets always go up in the end. But passive index investing can only give you only 7% inflation-adjusted returns a year. Not enough to stop working or even retire early, unless you have a high-paying job in a first-world country. I don't. Despite all that, to put it simply, this is the only type of investing that works and doesn't involve any kind of fraud or gambling. It's the type of investing that will give you the most money. If you want to know why it is like that and how to do it, just go to financialindependence. They know this stuff better than any other sub. Better than investing, trading or any other sub where non-passive-index investing is still discussed as viable strategy. Back to me. My whole being was fucked over, my hopes and dreams and understanding of success and how this world works were shattered. I realized, I had no future in financial industry, because only middlemen make money in there, and I quit college needed to get there. Frankly, I wouldn't want to work there even if I had the opportunity. The pay is good, but the job is boring and I wouldn't want to be a part of this giant scheme anyway. But even if I wanted to go back, I also couldn't. Russia is in a worsening crisis and my parents could no longer afford a US university and now with coronavirus it's even worse. Good thing I quit before it all happened. I learned a valuable lesson and didn't lose that much money for it (only about 10% of my savings). God knows where it would lead me if I continued to be delusional. But now that my last temporary plans for the future were scrapped, I had no idea what to do next. The future. With the reality hitting me, I would lie if I say it didn't all come full circle and connect to my past. I realized that I was stupid and not intelligent, because I was living in a made-up world for years now. But even if I were intelligent, pure wit would not give me the success and fortune that I was craving, because trading and active investing were a no-go for me, and business/politics require a very different, extroverted mindset, different education and interest from my own. My only redeeming quality in a hopeless introvert world, my perceived intelligence was taken away from me and rendered useless at the same time. Besides, failing at that one thing made me insecure about everything and now I think of myself as an average individual. So, if 8 out of 10 businesses fail, I shouldn't start one because I will probably fail. And if most politicians don't get anywhere, why should I bother? If average salary in my country is X, I shouldn't hope for more. I stopped believing in my ability to achieve something. First, I failed at education and now I failed... Professionally? I don't know how to describe it, but my life recently was just an emotional roller coaster. I just feel like a very old person and all I want calmness and stability in my life. I was very lazy before just because, but now I feel like I also don't want to do anything because I feel I would just fail. It feels better now I don't have to worry about trading anymore and I got rid of that load... But I am still miserable and perhaps worse than ever, maybe I just don't understand and feel it because I've become slow and numb. The only positive thing that happened to me recently, is that I finally started losing weight and about 1/4 of the way back to my normal weight. As for my future, am looking at several possibilities here. So far the parents are allowing my miserable life to continue and they let me live with them and buy me food. I don't need anything else right now. But it can't go on like this forever. The thought of having a mundane low-paying job in this shithole of a country depresses me. I will probably temporarily do English tutoring if there's demand for such work. My old school friends want me to help them in their business and my dad wants me to help him in his, I and probably should, but I feel useless, pathetic and incapable of doing anything of value. And business just seems boring, difficult and too stressful for me right now. Just not my cup of tea. I am also looking at creative work. I love video games, music, films and other forms of art. I love the games most though, so I am looking into game dev. I don't really like programming, I have learned some during school years, but the pay would probably be higher for a programmer than an creator of any kind of art. However, I think I would enjoy art creation much more, but I don't have any experience in drawing and only some limited experience in music production. And I am not one of these kids who always had a scrapbook with them at school. Having to make another life choice paralyzes me. I am leaning towards art. I don't feel confident in my ability to learn this skill from scratch, but I think it's my best shot at finding a job that would make me happy. So perhaps, when this whole pandemic is over, I'll go to Europe and get my degree, get a job there and stay. American Dream is dead to me, and Europe is cheaper, closer, safe and comfortable. Just the thing for a person who feels like they are thrice their real age. Outro. Thanks for coming to my TED Talk. Special thanks if you read the whole thing, it means a whole lot to me, an internet stranger. But even if no one reads it, feels good to get this off my chest. I actually cried during writing some parts. Holy shit, this might be the longest and smartest looking thing my dumbed down head could manage to generate since college. I hope that you're having a great day. Stay healthy and be careful during this fucking pandemic. All the best.
What are the best financial websites? The best financial sites offer a wealth of resources to people ranging from beginning investors to seasoned professionals. Some of these websites come from recognized leading financial media sources while others offer personal and investment financial advice from bloggers who have been successful. We have compiled a list of the best financial sites and finance blogs that you should include in your list of reading. Why should I read the top financial websites? In the past, people had to rely on financial advisors to gain information and education about finance. That notion has changed with the availability of the internet. There is a variety of top financial websites with more coming online each day. Since not everyone has a background in finance, reading some of the best websites is a great way for you to become more educated and confident about finance. When did financial advice websites begin? 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The author, who was able to retire at age 30, started his blog in 2005 when he was 36 years old. The blog’s mission is to allow you to learn how to live below your means and to build your savings quickly so that you can retire early, too. Incorporating some of the best financial websites into your daily life can help you to learn more about how you can attain financial freedom by budgeting, living frugally and making saving a habit. You can take the information that you learn from these sites and apply it when you invest with M1 Finance. Learn how M1 can empower you to manage your money and earn more You can use your acquired knowledge from top financial websites to manage your own portfolio with M1. Instead of paying someone else to build a portfolio, you are able to build one yourself with M1. 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Get started today by signing up online or call us to learn more about investing at 312-600-2883. DISCLAIMER: Please consult your finance and tax professionals to learn more about investing and taxes. Back to top
On Tuesday 16th July, just a few weeks ago I was invited to attend a Karatbit, Karatbars/Karatbank presentation. The presentation was touting everything including a blockchain mobile phone. Someone had approached me over the weekend to investigate an investment, they had made with Karatbit/Karatbars. I attended the presentation with some research which, to be honest, was not that favourable to the company but nevertheless still went with an open mind. KaratBank, a Singapore-based financial organization, has propelled another digital currency that it claims is bound to real physical gold. Is this a progressive thought – or a trick? KaratBank, an organization located in Singapore, has quite recently declared the dispatch of KaratBank Coins (KBC), another digital currency it said is attached to gold. Be that as it may, not just the cost of gold, as different monetary forms — to real bits of gold: they're embedded in plastic cards or banknotes. In any event, that is the way it appears upon first sight. KaratBank is a sister company of KaratBars International, located in Germany. KaratBars really sells gold in exceptionally small quantities (like 0.1g to 1g bullions), inserted into plastic cards (Karatbars) or money like notes (CashGold). The notes are famously overpriced: back when 1 gram of gold was $40, the 1g CashGold note cost $65. As per KaratBank whitepaper, 10,000 KBC can be traded for 0.1g CashGold notes. The initial coin offering kicked off earlier this year and proceeded until March 21, with the ICO starting March 22 (1 KBC = $0.05), Coin Telegraph reports. Be that as it may, KaratBars International as an organization is emphatically connected with scams. A basic search for KaratBars on Google returns three connections with the word "scam" in them on the first page. KaratBars was prohibited in Canada in 2014 over an Autorité des marchés agents (AMF) with a Scam warning. The Canadian government found that KaratBars executes some kind of multi-layered marketing (MLM), or "pyramid" scheme organisation that urged individuals to get new recruits and profit from their sales, promising a return of $15,000 to $136,000 every month. In any case, Is KaratBank is a different story? All things considered, yes and no. Upon a more intensive look at the organization's whitepaper, one finds the following: "United States of America citizens, residents (tax or otherwise) or green card holders, as well as residents of Canada, the People's Republic of China or the Republic of Singapore, are not qualified to partake in the KaratBank ICO." As indicated by the Behind MLM site, the explanation behind this may lie in the way that those nations have actualized strict regulation on ICOs, and KaratBank does not have any desire to have anything to do with them. "ICOs are not unlawful in the US or Canada. In the US, however, ICOs are ordinarily viewed as securities and require registration with the [Securities and Exchange Commission]," the site reads. "Singapore hasn't prohibited ICOs however it is one of the nations KaratBars International works in through the shell companies KaratPay and KaratBars Singapore. Singapore regulators closing those organizations down would cripple KaratBars International. The board most likely figure it's best not to take any risks." To work lawfully in any purview, KaratBars International would need to register itself with the proper securities regulator in that jurisdiction, which the organization appears to need to abstain from, raising doubts. From one's point of view what is disheartening is that blockchain is a great new technology and companies like this seem to mix their existing business with cryptocurrencies. Knowing full well that the general public does not really understand cryptocurrencies, let alone blockchain or Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). As a blockchain consultant, one feels obligated to pose some questions anyone thinking of getting involved should be asking. At the presentation, I heard the presenters say “ Karatbars is giving its members the opportunity to buy gold in small quantities. They also encourage you to save in gold instead of paper money. This can easily be done by buying as little as 0.1 gram of gold or 1 gram - 2.5 gram or 5 grams.” They said members can keep their gold in Karatbars' vault or ask them to send it to you. Cash gold is the most popular form of buying gold as the gold is embedded in a banknote. 24kt gold 99.9% pure makes it easier for anyone to accumulate wealth. Karatbars is also involved in cryptocurrency and got their own coins, namely KBC and KCB coins. I'm going to get very deep into this, but the main thing to remember is that they say, “these coins are increasing in value and that it is backed by gold”. whereas and another Cryptocurrency is backed by nothing. As a self-proclaimed proponent of blockchain and a graduate of Digital Forensics, I feel obligated to say a few words about this presentation on Karatbit or at least as a conscious citizen of this global world of technology users. Blockchain is a magnificent emerging technology that can be harnessed to do so many things. But most importantly it is a technology that provides one single source of truth. If groups are using this single source of truth technology to spread untruths, someone concerned must come out to say something. Blockchain is a technology that can put everyone on an even playing field but it seems very few understand it. The individuals with even the fleeting basic understanding can influence the general public perception of cryptocurrencies. This leads me to ask a great quote from a book called Richest Man in Babylon …. “if you want advice on investing in expensive jewels, why would you go to a butcher?” The following is what the masses are being manipulated to attach their hopes and dreams. It is that “a further drop in the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has recently left investors nursing heavy losses. Many proponents are holding out for a new breakout “if their digital assets can go mainstream.” The most important part of that statement is “if their digital assets can go mainstream”. This made me ask some questions about Karatbit and this is what I came up with. Something is fishy!! Can someone clarify the following? Claim 1: Gold mine worth $900 million provides security. Can’t find any official source as proof. Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyKQIckXyIU Claim 2: Backed by a gold mine in Africa Can’t find any official source as proof. Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5Q3ZvR4b04 Claim 3: Audit report by MM Revisors for a gold mine in Madagascar Can’t find proof that MM Revisors exists. Not sure if this report was published by Karatbars Int (can’t find it on their official website), but this is being circulated by some investors as if it were. Reference: https://karatbars-me.webnode.es/\_files/200000070-01d6002d18/audit.pdf Claim 4: Karatcoin Bank is a fully licensed crypto bank and is situated in Miami Can’t find proof that they are registered as a licensed financial institute in Miami, Florida. Can’t find Karatcoin Bank as a registered corporation, but found Karat Coin Corp. Reference: http://search.sunbiz.org/Inquiry/CorporationSearch/SearchResults?inquiryType=EntityName&searchNameOrder=KARATBANK&searchTerm=Karatbank Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXip2Fizz5U&t=152s Claim 5: Not a pyramid scheme Karatbit describes this as an affiliate program but clearly is a pyramid scheme at best, see links below; Canada: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/karatbars-quebec-activities-covered-by-prohibition-orders-514201571.html Namibia: https://economist.com.na/43874/extra/karatbars-international-is-a-scamsays-central-bank/ Netherlands: https://www.afm.nl/en/nieuws/2014/mei/waarschuwing-karatbars Claim 6: 100KBC = 1g of Gold at $40 per gram (1 KBC = $0.40) (guaranteed) Total supply = 12,000,000,000 KBC (can’t find figures of circulating, so using supply instead) Total gold needed to cover buy back of all coins: 12,000,000,000 / 100 = 120 000 000g = 120 tons (South Africa as a whole produced 139.9 tons of Gold in 2017). Total money needed to buy back all the coins: 120 000 000g x $40 = $4.8 Billion Can’t find proof that they have 120 tons of gold in storage (or backed up by the mines as claimed) or that they are at least worth $4.8 Billion to buy the gold? Taking a more conservative approach: According to icobench.com, they raised $100 000 000 with their ICO from 60% of the total supply. Let’s assume the 60% of 12,000,000,000 is in circulation. This equals to 7,200,000,000 KBC. Total gold needed for the buyback of 7,200,000,000 KBC: 7,200,000,000 / 100 = 72 000 000g = 72 tons Total money needed to buy back all coins: 72 000 000g x $40 = $2.88 Billion Loss for buying back the KBC that were sold during the ICO: $100,000,000 - $2,880,000,000 = - $2,780,000,000 A potential loss of $2,78 Billion!!! Or am I taking crazy pills? Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgeHjhlMfn0 Reference: https://icobench.com/ico/karatgold-coin Claim 7: This Forbes.com article gives credibility to the KBC coin This article was written by a Contributor. Reference: https://www.forbes.com/sites/joresablount/2019/05/31/10-blockchain-companies-to-watch-in-2019/#308b507e543f There is no traditional editing of contributors’ copy, at least not prior to publishing. If a story gets hot or makes the homepage, a producer will “check it more carefully,” DVorkin said. Reference: https://www.poynter.org/reporting-editing/2012/what-the-forbes-model-of-contributed-content-means-for-journalism/ “Blogging for Forbes requires being what is commonly referred to as a "self-starter." So far, nobody has said, "Um, you can't do that," or, "Oh, my God, no!" Reference: https://www.forbes.com/sites/susannahbreslin/2011/04/06/how-to-become-a-forbes-blogge#231bb9972862 “Warning over 'scammers paradise' as watchdog reveals victims lost £27m to bitcoin, cryptocurrency and forex frauds last year” • Some 1,850 cases were reported to Action Fraud, a 250% increase on 2017-18 • Victims lost an average of £14,600 - with fewer than 1 in 20 getting money back • Investors are often initially told they've made a profit • They are then encouraged to put in more money - at which point the fraudsters run off with their cash Potential victims have been warned over bogus online 'get rich quick' schemes as it emerged people lost more than £27million to cryptocurrency and foreign exchange scams last year. Fraudsters promise high returns to those who invest, according to Action Fraud and the Financial Conduct Authority. Victims lost an average of £14,600 in 2018-19 and stand little chance of getting their money back. Reports of cryptocurrency and forex investment scams increased by nearly 250 per cent in 2017-18, from 530 to nearly 1,850. The scams work by criminals promoting get-rich-quick online trading platforms through social media. Posts often use fake celebrity endorsements and images of luxury items like expensive watches and cars. Beat the scammers: These then link to professional-looking websites where consumers are persuaded to invest. Often investors are led to believe their first investment has successfully returned a profit, and are then enticed to invest more money or introduce friends in return for greater profits. But the returns stop, the customer account is closed, and the scammer disappears with no further contact. 'Anyone handing over their hard-earned cash should make sure they understand what they're getting into, they've checked it's a legitimate investment, and not rely on hype and excitement from friends or social media. 'Investing isn't a get-rich-quick scheme - and anything that uses fear of missing out or requires you to invest before thinking is best to be avoided.' Those considering an investment to check the following for tips on how to avoid investment fraud at www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart. Scammers can be very convincing so always do your own research into any firm you are considering investing with, to make sure that they are the real deal. 'It's vital that people carry out the necessary checks to ensure that an investment they're considering is legitimate. UK consumers are being increasingly targeted by crypto asset-related investment scams. Certain crypto assets, like Bitcoin and Ether (also known as cryptocurrencies), are not regulated in the UK. This means that buying, selling or transferring these crypto-assets falls outside FCA remit. The same is true for the operation of a cryptocurrency exchange. However, some types of crypto-asset products may be or may involve regulated investments depending on their nature and how they are structured. For example, firms that sell regulated investments with an underlying crypto asset element may need to be authorised by the FCA to do so. In recent months, the FCA claims it has received an increasing number of reports about crypto-asset investment scams. Some of them may involve regulated activities, others don’t, but all use similar tactics. How crypto-asset investment scams work Cryptoasset fraudsters tend to advertise on social media – often using the images of celebrities or well-known individuals to promote cryptocurrency investments. In this case, laughably they said KaratBit was endorsed by Barak Obama’s sister. Who is she and what does she know about cryptocurrencies and blockchain? The ads then link to professional-looking websites. Consumers are then persuaded to make investments with the firm using cryptocurrencies or traditional currencies. The firms operating the scams are usually based outside the UK but will claim to have a UK presence, often a prestigious City of London address. Scam firms can manipulate software to distort prices and investment returns. They may scam people into buying the non-existent crypto asset. They are also known to suddenly close consumers’ online accounts and refuse to transfer the funds to them or ask for more money before the funds can be transferred. Action Fraud has also issued a warning on cryptocurrency scams. How to protect yourself Be wary of adverts online and on social media promising high returns on investments in a crypto asset or crypto asset-related products. Most firms advertising and selling investments in crypto-assets are not authorised by the FCA. This means that if you invest in certain crypto assets you will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if things go wrong. The FCA doesn’t regulate crypto assets like Bitcoin or Ether which are vastly the most recognized cryptocurrencies, let alone KBC, they do regulate certain crypto-asset derivatives (such as futures contracts, CFDs and options), as well as those crypto assets I would consider securities. A firm must be authorised by FCA to advertise or sell these products in the UK – check FCA Register to make sure the firm is authorised. You can also check the FCA Warning List of firms to avoid. You should do further research on the product you are considering and the firm you are considering investing with. Check with Companies House to see if the firm is registered as a UK company and for directors' names. To see if others have posted any concerns, search online for the firm's name, directors' names and the product you are considering. If you’ve already decided you want to invest in gold, this might not be a bad company to side with. But if you’re just looking for an opportunity to earn a sustainable income and become financially independent, there are better options out there.
Which Are Your Top 5 Platforms Out Of The Top100? An Analysis.
There are currently a lot of platforms, more specifically, there are 35 platforms within the Top100 only and many do very similar things. How is one supposed to know how they differ? That was the question that I asked myself. So, I decided to compare all platforms within the Top100. I noticed that they can be put into into 5 different categories. Note: A platform is a cryptocurrency that offers smart contracts at least.
Dapps platforms are definitely a solid bet for the next years. Besides Ethereum, Neo, EOS and Stellar are probably the most known here, however, all 4 are simply extremely centralized and would need to completely change their architecture to become more decentralized. Until that happens, none of these platform can really be considered as a platform with good technology, since everyone can achieve high scalability by letting a few hundred nodes do the consensus algorithm. There is nothing difficult about that. The difficulty is achieving several million TPS with 100,000 nodes deciding consensus. Cardano, Aeternity are the only ones that seem to be able to maintain excellent decentralization with high scalability, because they scale through side-chains/horizontally. All platforms considered, Ethereum seems to be on the way there as well with its change to Casper.
Cardano has a great team, has probably the most secure PoS that was peer-reviewed in a scientific approach, has their mainnet launched, has near infinite scalability through sidechains and offers broad usability of Smart contracts in a number of programming languages.
Ethereum is a 2nd generation blockchain that allows the use of smart contracts and dapps on a smaller scope. Ethereum currently has bad scalability, though this concern could be alleviated by the soon to be implemented Sharding concept and its new PoS/PoW consensus algorithm Casper. Still, there are platforms with much more comprehensive dapp ecosystems, and much more scalability. However, Ethereum just closed a partnership with AWS. This is probalby the biggest partnership in the cryptosphere. Though, in order to be better than any of the top 3 platforms, it would need to provide Oracles, a lot more functionality for dapps, partnerships, decentralized data storage, cloud computing.
Neblio is similar to NEO and a good platform, though it has a much smaller market cap.
EOS has high scalability, though is much more centralized than Skycoin, Elastos and Cardano. However, it offers a lot of functionality for Dapps. EOS is overhyped. It is on the same level as Neblio, Neo, Aeternity, but not on the same level as Skycoin, Elastos, IOTA, Cardano.
NEO is a very established platform in this category.However, Neo dapps scale on-chain and can thus clog the network quickly. For that reason, NEO had to pick a very centralized approach to maintain scalability and it looking to rely on hand-picked nodes to maintain scalability in the future, very similar to EOS also very centralized approach of 121 handpicked nodes.
Stellar has similar goals as Ripple, only that it is more a platform than only a currency, so it does offer more functionality. . Stellar uses Byzantine Fault Tolerance in the consensus protocol, which ensures secure consensus can be reached (moving the blockchain forward) even if a large percentage of nodes are disabled or acting dishonestly. It also helps keep nodes distributed. Stellar is a good platform with tight involvement with banks. While it doesn't have as much functionality as all above platforms, it can probably carve out its niche by doing really good business with banks.
Aeternity: We’ve seen recently, that it’s difficult to scale the execution of smart contracts on the blockchain. Crypto Kitties is a great example. Something as simple as creating and trading unique assets on Ethereum bogged the network down when transaction volume soared. Ethereum and Zilliqa address this problem with Sharding. Aeternity focuses on increasing the scalability of smart contracts and dapps by moving smart contracts off-chain. Instead of running on the blockchain, smart contracts on Aeternity run in private state channels between the parties involved in the contracts. State channels are lines of communication between parties in a smart contract. They don’t touch the blockchain unless they need to for adjudication or transfer of value. Because they’re off-chain, state channel contracts can operate much more efficiently. They don’t need to pay the network for every time they compute and can also operate with greater privacy. An important aspect of smart contract and dapp development is access to outside data sources. This could mean checking the weather in London, score of a football game, or price of gold. Oracles provide access to data hosted outside the blockchain. In many blockchain projects, oracles represent a security risk and potential point of failure, since they tend to be singular, centralized data streams. Aeternity proposes decentralizing oracles with their oracle machine. Doing so would make outside data immutable and unchangeable once it reaches Aeternity’s blockchain. Of course, the data source could still be hacked, so Aeternity implements a prediction market where users can bet on the accuracy and honesty of incoming data from various oracles.It also uses prediction markets for various voting and verification purposes within the platform. Aeternity’s network runs on on a hybrid of proof of work and proof of stake. Founded by a long-time crypto-enthusiast and early colleague of Vitalik Buterin, Yanislav Malahov.
IOST: To improve speed and scalability, IOStoken uses a Proof of Believability consensus mechanism eliminating the need for an energy-hungry proof-of-work protocol, which stands as a barrier to blockchain scaling up for widespread adoption. With this system, a node is validated based on its past contributions and behaviors. Moreover, to increase fairness and to most fully embrace the decentralized nature of the blockchain, IOS uses a “fairness” algorithm that randomly distributes data to various nodes. It’s intended to support service-oriented goods and services with large customer bases. Decentralized applications and smart contracts, the hallmarks of blockchain platforms, are a priority for IOS as well.
Request Network: Req payments can be used for online purchases, business to business invoices, escrow, advanced payments and eventually IoT payments between machines. Other than payments, the Request Network is also tackling auditing and budget transparency. Businesses have the ability to track invoices to audit payments as well as record transactions for accounting purposes. Governments, nonprofits, and other organizations can also use Request to bring transparency to their budget and expenditures.
Rchain: Similar to Ethereum with smart contracts, though much more scalable at an expected 40,000 TPS and possible 100,000 TPS. However, Rchain has not launched ye..
Ziliqa: Zilliqa is building a new way of sharding, so that 10,000 tps are soon possible by being linearly scalable with the number of nodes. That means, the more nodes, the faster the network gets. They are looking at implementing privacy as well.Rchain is an ok platform.
Ethereum classic is the original Ethereum that decided not to fork after a hack for philosophical reasons. The Ethereum that we know is its fork.
2) BaaS (Blockchain-as-a-Service)
BaaS take a different route to adoption than mere Dapps platforms. They are also dapp platforms, but focus on businesses (B2B) instead of end-users (B2C) within the cryptosphere. They sell their blockchain services to companies, who then can build their own customizable blockchain as a side-chain to the BaaS without hassle and worry about technology or blockchain architecture. This is all handled by the BaaS company already and the customer only needs to change a few variables and they have their own blockchain. Side-chains are interesting, because they allow virtually infinite scaling, since there can be an infinite number of side-chains that only communicate with the main-chain occasionally and handle the majority of transactions on their own chain. This is also called horizontal scaling. The success of a BaaS platform largely depends on its ability to close partnerships to sell to large businesses and having the best usability. The more contracts they can sell to businesses and institutions, the more valuable it will be. For that reason, the BaaS with the best ability to form partnerships and do sales will win this market. Technology isn't as important here. Of course, the platform has to work without bugs, but having a platform with outstanding technology, average usability and average marketing will lose against a platform with average technology, great usability and great marketing.
VeChain is a Singapore-based project that’s building a business enterprise platform and inventory tracking system. . While it is not really competing with the above mentioned platforms, any of them can build supply management tools into their platform and compete with VeChain. However, VeChain has very strong partnerships. This gives them some protection of any of the above mentioned entering the market. Examples are verifying genuine luxury goods and food supply chains. VeChain has one of the strongest communities in the crypto world. If you are looking for something more high risk, high return, have a look into Ambrosus and Devery(Eve). Both also seem to be good at building partnerships, which is the most important characteristic for a supply chain platform required to succeed.
Icon is called the Korean Ethereum. However, it specializes more on building customizable blockchains for banks, insurance providers, hospitals, and universities, since it's a BaaS. Icon has a focus on on ID verification and payments. Icon is ery close behind Vechain, because with Samsung and Line.
WTC is a supply chain management platform, similar to Vechain, however, with fewer partnerships.
Komodo’s open-source platform is for doing transparent, anonymous, private, and fungible transactions. They are then made ultra-secure using Bitcoin’s blockchain via a Delayed Proof of Work (dPoW) protocol and decentralized crowdfunding (ICO) platform to remove middlemen from project funding. Offers services for startups to create and manage their own Blockchains. While it doesn't have as many partnerships as other BaaS, it is the only BaaS that offers privacy so far. However, that's. it such a bug competitive advantage, since it can be replicated rather swiftly.
NEM: The NEM blockchain powers what they call the Smart Asset System. This system is intended to be an open, customizable blockchain solution for any number of use cases built on top of simple, powerful API calls. NEM started as a NXT fork and introduced a new consensus mechanism called Proof of Importance (PoI), designed to reward users’ contribution to the XEM community. It is roughly based on proof-of-stake, but it also reflects how active a user is in transacting with other users. POW rewards powerful computers and also requires excessive amounts of energy. POS gives an unfair advantage to coin hoarders. The more coins they keep in their accounts, the more they earn, meaning that the rich get richer and everyone has an incentive to save coins instead of spending them.
Ark is a fork of Lisk, which is doubling down on a smaller feature set than Lisk. Ark is a good BaaS, though it doesn't have many partnerships. Furthermore, they haven't launched their platform yet.
Dragonchain: The Purpose of DragonChain is to help companies quickly and easily incorporate blockchain into their business applications. Many companies might be interested in making this transition because of the benefits associated with serving clients over a blockchain – increased efficiency and security for transactions, a reduction of costs from eliminating potential fraud and scams, etc. Dragonchain is a good BaaS, though it doesn't have many partnerships. However, it was funded by Disney, so it might be able to get partnerships more easy.
LISK: Lisk's difference to other BaaS is that side chains are independent to the main chain and have to have their own nodes. Similar to neo whole allows dapps to deploy their blockchain too. Lisk is a good BaaS, though it doesn't have many partnerships. Furthermore, they haven't launched their platform yet.
Stratis: Different to LISK, Stratis will allow businesses and organizations to create their own blockchain according to their own needs, but secured on the parent Stratis chain. Stratis’s simple interface will allow organizations to quickly and easily deploy and/or test blockchain functionality of the Ethereum, BitShares, BitCoin, Lisk and Stratis environements.Stratis is similar to Lisk, but also doesn't have many partnerships
ARDR: Ardor is a public blockchain platform that will allow people to utilize the blockchain technology of Nxt through the use of child chains. A child chain, which is a ‘light’ blockchain that can be customized to a certain extent, is designed to allow easy self-deploy for your own blockchain. Nxt claims that users will "not need to worry" about security, as that part is now handled by the main chain (Ardor). This is the chief innovation of Ardor. Ardor was evolved from NXT by the same company. NEM started as a NXT clone.
Bytom: Bytom is an interactive protocol of multiple financial assets ( digital currency, digital assets warrants, securities, dividends, bonds, intelligence information, forecasting information and other information that exist in the physical world) can be registered, exchanged, gambled and engaged in other more complicated and contract-based interoperations via Bytom.
There are really only 2 platforms in the Liquidity market, albeit the Liquidity market could be one of the biggest markets with insitutional investors entering the cryptoworld soon, since there is very little liquidity in Bitcoin. For example, say a pension fund wants to buy or sell $10B in Bitcoins. No single exchange has that many Bitcoins available and it would wreak havoc on the market. This wouldn't be a problem with Liquidity platforms, since they pull all order books together and back up market liquidity with FIAT money among other things.
QASH is used to fuel its liquid platform which will be an exchange that will distribute their liquidity pool. Its product, the Worldbook is a multi-exchange order book that matches crypto to crypto, and crypto to fiat and the reverse across all currencies. E.g., someone is selling Bitcoin is USD on exchange1 not owned by Quoine and someone is buying Bitcoin in EURO on exchange 2 not owned by Quoine. If the forex conversions and crypto conversions match then the trade will go through and the Worldbook will match it, it'll make the sale and the purchase on either exchange and each user will get what they wanted, which means exchanges with lower liquidity if they join the Worldbook will be able to fill orders and take trade fees they otherwise would miss out on.They turned it on to test it a few months ago for an hour or so and their exchange was the top exchange in the world by 4x volume for the day because all Worldbook trades ran through it. Binance wants BNB to be used on their one exchange. Qash wants their QASH token embedded in all of their partners. More info here https://www.reddit.com/CryptoCurrency/comments/8a8lnwhich_are_your_top_5_favourite_coins_out_of_the/dwyjcbb/?context=3Qash is doing something completely different as the above mentioned. It offers liquidity in an illiquid market. Sell shovels during a gold rush.
Loopring is similar to Qash, only that it functions as a dezentralized exchange, while QASH is more of an API without a user interface. It is a protocol that will enable higher liquidity between exchanges and personal wallets by pooling all orders sent to its network and fill these orders through the order books of multiple exchanges. When using Loopring, traders never have to deposit funds into an exchange to begin trading. Even with decentralized exchanges like Ether Delta, IDex, or Bitshares, you’d have to deposit your funds onto the platform, usually via an Ethereum smart contract. But with Loopring, funds always remain in user wallets and are never locked by orders. This gives you complete autonomy over your funds while trading, allowing you to cancel, trim, or increase an order before it is executed.
These are platforms that are focused on a specialized functionality
Nebulas: Similar to how google indexes webpages Nebulas will index blockchain projects, smart contracts & data using the Nebulas rank algorithm that sifts & sorts the data. Developers rewarded NAS to develop & deploy on NAS chain. Nebulas calls this developer incentive protocol – basically rewards are issued based on how often dapp/contract etc. is used, the more the better the rewards and Proof of devotion. Works like DPoS except the best, most economically incentivised developers (Bookkeepers) get the forging spots. Ensuring brains stay with the project (Cross between PoI & PoS). 2,400 TPS+, DAG used to solve the inter-transaction dependencies in the PEE (Parallel Execution Environment) feature, first crypto Wallet that supports the Lightening Network.Nebulas is the only one doing what it's doing. This makes them very unique and a good investment.
Centrality is a decentralized market place for dapps that are all connected together on a blockchain-powered system. Centrality aims to allow businesses to work together using blockchain technology. With Centrality, startups can collaborate through shared acquisition of customers, data, merchants, and content. That shared acquisition occurs across the Centrality blockchain, which hosts a number of decentralized apps called Scenes. Companies can use CENTRA tokens to purchase Scenes for their app, then leverage the power of the Centrality ecosystem to quickly scale. Some of Centrality's top dapps are, Skoot, a travel experience marketplace that consists of a virtual companion designed for free independent travelers and inbound visitors, Belong, a marketplace and an employee engagement platform that seems at helping business provide rewards for employees, Merge, a smart travel app that acts as a time management system, Ushare, a transports application that works across rental cars, public transport, taxi services, electric bikes and more. All of these dapps are able to communicate with each other and exchange data through Centrality. Centrality is the only one doing what it's doing. This makes them very unique and a good investment.
Salt: Leveraging blockchain assets to secure cash loans. Plans to offer cash loans in traditional currencies, backed by your cryptocurrency assets. Allows lenders worldwide to skip credit checks for easier access to affordable loans.Salt is a good lending platform. However, there is also Elixir, a better investment with a 30x smaller market cap, but also strong technology. Elixir has such a low market cap, because they didn't have an ICO and they only focused on development and no marketing. As of last week, they started marketing.
Aion: Today, there are hundreds of blockchains. In the coming years, those hundreds will become thousands and—with ,widespread adoption by mainstream business and government—millions. Blockchains don’t talk to each other at all right now, they are like the PCs of the 1980s. The Aion network is able to support custom blockchain architectures while still allowing for cross-chain interoperability by enabling users to exchange data between any Aion-compliant blockchains by making use of an interchain framework that allows for messages to be relayed between blockchains in a completely trust-free manner.
Waves is a decentralized exchange and crowdfunding platform by letting companies and projects to issue and manage their own digital coin tokens to raise money.
ChainLink is a decentralized oracle service, the first of its kind. Oracles are defined as an ‘agent’ that finds and verifies real-world occurrences and submits this information to a blockchain to be used in smart contracts.With ChainLink, smart contract users can use the network’s oracles to retrieve data from off-chain application program interfaces (APIs), data pools, and other resources and integrate them into the blockchain and smart contracts. Basically, ChainLink takes information that is external to blockchain applications and puts it on-chain. The difference to Aeternity is that Chainlink deploys the smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. Chainlink's main functionality is oracles, a functionality also offered by IOTA.
QTUM: Smart Contracts on the Bitcoin blockchain. QTUM is a smart contracts for BTC, a very niche market. Furthermore, BTC might offer smart contracts itself soon and make QTUM obsolete. Hopefully QTUM will expand into more smart contracts functionality to become relevant again.
Nebulas with Indexing the Blockchain world and Salt with Lending are probably the 2 most interesting platforms here. Nebulas doesn't have a single competitor, though there are several competitors to Salt with a much smaller market cap and with similar development progress, ELIX.
There are 3 platforms that have not been discussed yet. However, they can do most what the above platforms can do and have the potential to steal the market of all above mentioned platforms. That's why I call them behemoths. 1.) Skycoin :Skycoin is building what Pied Piper is building in the series HBO's Silicon Valley, a completely decentralized internet that is not run by ISPs, but by IoT devices, making telecom providers like Comcast, ISPs who can control bandwith, cost, net neutrality, filters, access etc. obsolete and completely decentralize them. Skycoin offers what 36 coins are offering:
If you think that the decentralized Internet will blow all other markets out of the water and will be the biggest invention of this decade, then Skycoin is your pick, because covers that and what 27 coins do. 2.) IOTA: With the launch of Q 1 week ago, IOTA is about to offer what 27 platforms within the Top 100 are offering (!) and they are probably looking to replace several more.
10 Smart Contract and Dapps platforms (Cardano, Ethereum, Neblio, EOS, Stellar, Neo, Rchain, IOST, Ziliqa, Eth classic)
2 Oracles (Aeternity, ChainLink)
3 Outsourced Cloud Computing (DBC, Aelf, Golem)
IOTA is at the same level as Skycoin and Elastos. However, SKY's flagship product is the Decentralized Internet and ELA's is the most comprehensive dapps operating system in the cryptosphere, which IOTA cannot really replicate in the near future, because it takes years of reseach and development. This protects ELA and SKY from IOTA for now. However, it looks like IOTA can snatch up all the smaller, easier to replicate markets, such as cloud computing, oracles, smart contracts, decentralized storage, currency exchange and soon possibly also supply chain management, BaaS functionality, privacy, security identification since none of those are really hard to build. However, Skycoin and Elastos will probably focus on their flagships and leave IOTA to scoop up all the rest. It will be an interesting year. 3.) Elastos started out as a mobile operating system 18 years ago and has now moved towards a smart contracts platform, operating system and a runtime environment for Dapps. Thanks to side-chains they are near infinitely scalable and is thus also very decentralized. Elastos is offering what 36 coins are offering
If you are very convinced that BaaS solutions and dapps platforms will be the big winners for 2018, then Elastos is your pick as far as I can see, because it is probably the best BaaS and dapps platform with near infinite scalability and the best decentralization and thus does what 32 coins do. 3 Closing Questions All of the above findings leave me with those 3 questions. What are your thoughts?
Why invest in any of Dapps platforms (Cardano, Neblio, EOS, Stellar, Neo, Aeternity, Rchain, IOST, Ziliqa, Ethereum, Eth classic) when Elastos and Skycoin do everything they do, are much more decentralized and scalable through side-chain/off-chain/horizontal scaling and offer lots more functionality beyond that?
Why invest in any BaaS (Ontology, Komodo, NEM, Ark ,Dragonchain, LISK, Stratis, ARDR) if ICX and VeChain offer everything what all of the above offer and already have 10x more partnerships than their competitors?
It looks like out of all 35 platforms, only 5 are really strong: IOTA, Skycoin, Elastos, VeChain, ICX. While the first 3 seem to cover already almost half of the top 100, the last 2 really convince in the partnership department. What's the argument for investing in any of the 30 other platforms? Maybe that they can specialise on a specific feature set, however, is this really a convincing argument? The cryptoworld is harsh and if you can't keep up with competition, you'll be moved out of the market quickly.
investor Neither a speculator (who chooses about high-risk for high wages) nor a gambler (who wants to the chance of overall reduction for outside of percentage benefits) however one that whose primary targets are worth of their authentic expenditure (the primary), a stable cash flow, along with capital appreciation. See investment. Investors can additionally embrace various current marketplace plans. Exotic traders tend to get and maintain numerous current industry indicators and could maximize their allocation burdens into specific strength categories centered on regulations like contemporary Portfolio principle ‘s (MPT) mean-variance optimization. The others might be stock-pickers who make investments by the first examination of business financial statements and financial ratios. What does it mean The Parabolic Curve Pattern Strategy Fibonacci Retracements expert advisor, Learn Secrets About Learn About Million Dollar Pips EA – Legendary Scalper An investor, an average of, is manufactured differently by an individual dealer. An investor places richesse to make utilize of to get long term profit, though a broker attempts to build short term earnings by purchasing and selling stocks within and more. Investors usually create returns by leveraging capital since equity or debt investments. Equity investments involve possession bets in the shape of firm stock that can pay gains as well as funding profits. Financial debt investments could function loans long to new folks or businesses, or even at the buying bonds issued by authorities or firms that cover attention within the sort of vouchers. Realtors are associations like commercial businesses or mutual funds which make investments in shares as well as different financial tools and also build large portfolios. Many times, they can collect and swim money by several large shareholders (businesses or individuals ) as a way to shoot more significant investments. As a result, the institutional traders frequently have much-increased industry strength and sway compared to retail traders. One case of the is the”worth” traders that want to buy stocks using very lower share costs relative for their publication price. The others Might Want to speculate long term in”growth” Shares That Might Be losing cash Right Now however indeed are increasing quickly and maintain guarantee for your long run, A large selection of investment vehicles exist for example (although not confined by ) shares, bonds, commodities, mutual capital, exchange-traded finances (ETFs), options, stocks, forex currency, silver, gold, retirement ideas along with property estate. Investors usually do the fundamental or technical investigation to find out favorable investment chances, and also generally want to lessen risk while maximizing yields. Investors aren’t just a regular group. They’ve varying hazard tolerances, funding, fashions, choices, and period frames. For example, many traders might favor incredibly low-risk investments that’ll cause traditional profits, like certificates of deposits plus specified bond solutions. Other shareholders, on the other hand, tend to be more prone to undertake additional hazard to generate more significant earnings. These traders could put money into monies, rising stocks or markets.
Types of investors
There are two types of investors,
Folks gaming in games of probability.
Individual Traders (such as trusts concerning folks, and also umbrella businesses formed by 2 or more even more to pool investment funds)
Collectors of art, antiques, and also other items of significance
Angel Traders (people and bands )
Sweat equity investor
Investors could even be labelled depending on their fashions. Inside this regard, a significant distinguishing invest or psych attribute is hazard frame of mind.
Investment funding along with with private-equity funding, that function as expenditure decision collectives concerning an individual, employers, retirement programs, insurance policy policies coverage reservations, or alternative capital.
Businesses which create trades, either directly or through a property lender
Expenditure frees, such as property investment expects
Mutual funds, hedge Finances, along with alternative capital, ownership of that Might or Might not be openly traded(these Cash generally pool cash increased out of their owner-subscribers to Put Money into securities) Sovereign riches funding
Role of the financier
Financier is. Particular financier paths require licenses and degrees for example partnership capitalists, hedge-fund supervisors, believe in finance supervisors, accountants, stock brokers, monetary advisors, or even perhaps people treasurers. Particular investing about the opposite side doesn’t have requirements and also can be ready to accept all with the way of this stock-market or from the method of mouth-watering asks to get your own money. Even a financier”is likely to undoubtedly be a more technical financial contributor from the feeling it has encounter in liquidating the kind of agency it’s committing to”. Even a financier is an individual whose chief job is facilitating or straight supplying investments into up-and-coming or recognized firms and businesses, usually involving significant amounts of cash plus generally involving personal equity and also venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, corporate fund, investment banking, or even broad asset direction. Even a financier earns money using this technique when their investment has been reimbursed with attention, from a portion of their provider’s equity given in their mind specified from the business bargain, or even perhaps a financier could earn money utilising commission, overall functionality, and direction service charges. Even a financier may foster the achievement of the business by permitting the company to benefit from their financier’s standing. Competent and the capable that the financier will be the higher the financier should have the ability to donate towards the victory of this thing that is funded, and also the benefit that the financier will undoubtedly reap. The definition of, financier, is French, also derives out of the fund or even cost. (original post)
Pipcoin is Africa’s first P2P Cryptocurrency and is more seen as an emerging digital currency that seeks to revolutionize accessibility and raise awareness about the importance of online trading to the multitudes of both the aspirant traders and those who are completely unaware of the abounding benefits and opportunities offered by the digital market. Thus, for all its worth as a potential life-changing tool, we want Pipcoin to be everybody’s business.
So this is new... lets take a look at their FAQ's because I have many! here are my favourite bits:
What Is The Structure Of A Pipcoin? Pipcoin Concept (for developers) -IF YOU HAVE 0,9999 MICRO-PIPS THEN IT WILL BE ROUNDED OFF TO 1.0000 – MAKING IT 1 PIPCOIN-
lol really? Where does that extra micro tit pip come from?
Why Pipcoin Isnt A Get Rich Quick Scheme Whenever there is a new digital breakthrough it is natural for people to be sceptic, this has been scientifically proven. Even at one stage the internet was said to be a scam, same goes to online trading, they said it won’t last. Same goes to Facebook; they said it’s an information-leaking scam. Same goes again to Bitcoin they said it’s a ‘failed experiment’. Pipcoin is the people’s currency and can never in a scale be compared to ponzi schemes and investment bonanzas; Pipcoin is a friend-to-friend digital currency which has its own crypto keys and public ledger just like any other legit digital currency. Everyone is a host to the currency, every participants’ computers serve as servers to the system and just like forex trading it is a zero-sum game, when you buy the coins there will be someone selling to you.
Who Is The Founder Of Pipcoin? However the inception of the idea can be credited to David Schwartz and the inception of the algorithm and mathematics behind to Ref Wayne, a 21 year old South African who is behind the creation of most high-tech forensic software as well as the indicators for financial trading platform (Forex Metatrader), it is without chance that the creation of Pipcoin is water-proof and crack-free.
Aside from the laughable wording, this is perhaps the most interesting part. If you can make it through this interview or this video his story sounds a lot like this "David Schwartz" story here. Excuse the popups but give it a read and obviously the comments at the bottom.
Is Pipcoin Legal? ...After all, there is no authority that can stop anyone from buying and selling a product online.
Do I Need To Provide Any Id Documents To Join Pipcoin is a cryptocurrency which means it’s completely encrypted, even for its users, it remains completely confidential. You don’t need to submit any documents.
erm... surely this goes against SO many laws in SA?
How Reliable Is This Website In Terms Of Security And Keeping Personal Data And Pipcoins [no ? at the end of these ones for some reason] We pay great attention to security and the confidential information on the website is protected by EV SSL. We don’t divulge any personal data of members to third parties. Your participation too, is strictly confidential.
thats...not really explaining it at all. SSL isnt the be-all and end all - but oh there's another one right below. Im sure that'll clear it up...
Are You Protected From Hackers We have installed power Anti-DDOS protection on our servers and have many other security measures.
All references to the ‘company,’ ‘us,’ ‘our,’ ‘we’ or ‘Pipchain’ means Pipchain South Africa S.a.r.l., a company registered under the laws of South Africa, with a share capital of EUR 55,222.08, having its registered address at L-2340 South Africa, 1, rue Philippe II, registered with the South Africa Trade and Companies Register under number B 190.078 (Business License number B190078).
I tried to find out if thats real but I couldnt figure out how to do it via the new http://www.cipc.co.za/ site.
AGREEMENT TO HOLD PIPCHAIN HARMLESS
7.2. If you are obligated to indemnify us, we will have the right, in our sole discretion, to control any action or proceeding (at our expense) and determine whether we wish to settle it.
9.1. You need not use a Pipchain Wallet. If you wish to use the Wallet, you must create a wallet with Pipchain to access the Services (“Wallet”)
10.5. No Storage or Transmission of Pipcoins. Pipcoins are an intangible, digital asset. They exist only by virtue of the ownership record maintained in the Pipcoin network. The Services do not store, send or receive Pipcoins. Any transfer of title that might occur in any Pipcoins occurs on the decentralized ledger within the Pipcoin network and not within the Services. We do not guarantee that the Service can effect the transfer of title or right in any Pipcoins.
10.8. No Cancellations or Modifications. Once transaction details have been submitted to the Pipcoin network via the Services, The Services cannot assist you to cancel or otherwise modify your transaction details. Pipchain has no control over the Pipcoin Network and does not have the ability to facilitate any cancellation or modification requests.
In the SABC interview (linked at the top of this post) the CEO says he took bitcoin and 'modified' it to be safer and so you can track 'stolen or lost' coins. So thats a lie.
DISCONTINUANCE OF SERVICES 15.1. We may, in our sole discretion and without cost to you, with or without prior notice and at any time, modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, any portion of our Services. You are solely responsible for storing, outside of the Services, a backup of any Wallet Address and Private Key pair that you maintain in your Wallet.
erm, ok but because PIPcoins can only be traded on their website and not transferred to anything else... how does that work?
17.1.3. Use any robot, spider, crawler, scraper or other automated means or interface not provided by us to access our Services or to extract data; 17.1.4. Use or attempt to use another user’s Wallet without authorization
the enter key is a hard one to find on a laptop I'll give them that one... ---- gets more wine --- They claim to have a 30-35% growth rate on any and all investments! Crazy returns. I did a bit of a google on them and immediately found these posts.
The company has promised that it will soon be issuing a debit card. Promising to issue a debit is an old trick used by fraudulent companies to create a false sense of trust and legitimacy to unsuspecting investors.
The transfer of pipcoins is verified by one sources, instead of 3 independent source as is usually the case with legitimate crypto currencies with a blockchain.
They also use wording similar to ‘get-rich-quick' scheme lines such as “Pipcoin will create over a 100 millionaires by the end of this financial year”. These are revealing signs of a fraudulent scheme. Moreover, pipcoin is a closed system, you cannot trade with anyone other than randomly chose people registered on the website. Their blockchain is not public or transparent, in fact, they do not have a blockchain and, if they do have one, then it is not operational.
So who's behind it? Who is this Ref dude? According to his Twitter bio he's "Youngest Billionaire in Africa | Founder of African 1st ever digital currency ! Get a minimum interest of 35% @infopipcoin" here are some choice images from his public FB:
I tried to register on https://mypipcoins.com/ but there's an ASPX error during the registration process and it kept trying to switch between https and http. Great start. I tried in all major browsers and they all failed so I gave up on trying to signup with my temp email [email protected] :( So then, lets take a closer look at the support they offer on their site. They've got one of those "live chat" widgets on their site and this evening there was actually someone online :) I said "hello" and saw "busi has joined the conversation" - sweet. Here is the transcript I downloaded before they killed the chat. Lucky I insta-clicked the download before they killed my chat session. As you can see by the chat log, Busi linked me to whats obviously the new 'site' they're launching this weekendhttps://pipchain.com/ The site looks a lot like the blockchain.info website. Their market page is awesome compared to blockchain.info's one! its even got a bigger market cap! Note the article links are all the same, except for two small things.
None of the links work...because
they've done a find&replace in the code, replacing all instances of "bitcoin" with "pipcoin" XD
Anyway, I thought I'd try signup on THIS site and lo 'n behold I managed to sign up! [email protected] lives! Here is PIPcoin's dashboard and here is Blockchain.info's dashboard. Here is PIPcoins transactions page and here is Blockchain.info's transaction page. So pretty much a blatant copy/pasta job. -- final thoughts -- Its unfortunate that the quality of journalism in SA is so weak. PIPcoin getting a lot of media attention for something thats honestly so dodgy, if you looked at it for more than 5 minutes you'd know. Many people are going to fall for this and if you look at the comments on twitter or on his FB posts or on any video calling out the scam you'll shake your head. Someone (not me) has even put this site together https://www.pipcoin.co/ which is as informative as it is awesome! Click the login and it takes you to "Logging in should be the last thing you should be worried about right now." and the bottom of the site has the best burn ever
"This website was built as a public service announcement by concerned citizens (and shows what a legitimate site should look like"
I did try connect with the 'owner' via twitter to find the source/calculation of the "R40 314 800,00 lost & counting" figure but so far no reply. Anyway its late and I'm going to bed. I hope you learnt something and if you see anyone in your social circles promoting this please make them aware. EDIT: Reddit formatting is hard. EDIT2: Got a reply from the person behind the pipcoin.co site - http://imgur.com/a/995oN which honestly shows the lack of skills the scheme has in the development/security field and now if you rewatch the interviews you can see why he's so scripted when talking about the tech stack. EDIT3: Sigh. I made a comment on the PIPcoin FB page to warn people about this and this is the response I found this morning - http://imgur.com/a/tFoAy I dont even know what/how to respond...
So this is a great conspiracy theory (hopefully only that) that I saw yesterday. This is basically a repost of u/ Moppy771 that was posted on southafrica last night and summarily deleted by the mods, although it seemed to be because of the inflammatory title ("Why the ANC rapes the Rand", the ANC is our current ruling party) rather than the content. This is an abridged edit of what was posted, as OP named some very powerful names that he apparently had proof for. I however, don't have that proof, so I am redacting the names, as I do not have the same proof and as a South African I could be liable for libel.
So I was tipped off to this by someone who is in a position closely observe forex trades. The theory is that the vast majority of all top-level politics in SA is effectively controlled by a small (or maybe not so small) group of financial and political elites, hell, maybe even more than one group, who control and orchestrate events that are leading our country the way it is headed with the sole purpose of raking in money. The TL;DR of forex trading is that being able to predict a currency is the world’s quickest route to having more money than you could ever spend. The day to day shifts are too jumpy, and the long term shifts too slow to make a profit on for the most part, but say for instance you had a reliable method to significantly crash your currency for a few days, well then you would have an easy path to making free money. If you were the sort of person to have a forex trader on hand, it would be simple enough to make a deal for an option on forex at a rate on par to current exchange rates, for a week from now. Simply speaking, if the rand stays on par or becomes stronger than the dollar in that week, you just lost the money you paid to reserve that option, but if you were to get lucky enough for the rand to drop in value, then you just bought a million dollars for 15% below the exchange rate. I'm sure you can see how this scales with the investment. The only thing now stopping you from literally buying free money is the rand not dropping in value. If only there was a convenient way to do that, such as paying off some public political figure to do something stupid such as firing a gun at a rally and threatening civil war, or having the president refuse to step down publicly, or announce that they are going to amend the constitution to allow them to crash the economy (this is assuming that said politicians aren't directly in on it, which is likely). I have seen a lead trader that dealt with forex who would get a ton of instructions to get massive options (hundreds of millions of rand or more at a time) all at once, targeting a specific period. Then lo and behold, two days later there would be world news of students getting tear gassed or imminent civil war, and the rand would drop like a stone, and a couple dozen people just became tens of millions of rands richer, overnight, without lifting a finger. now imagine this repeated by hundreds of elite around the country, dozens of times a year, and including the inevitable almost-return-to-norm, and a million rand at the start of the year, with the very low assumption of 5 percent made on each intentional dip and subsequent rise, and you would have more than tripled your money by the end of the year. In fact this trader made millions just on commissions in each period, and there are dozens of traders in the same position as him. So there you have it, the plan is to crash this country with no survivors because a few hundred people with no morals and enough cash and/or power to control the country and media want to make some quick cash at the expense of us unfortunates that have to use the currency and live in our country. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if this has been going on since the 70s or 80s, given trends and given the suspicious financial history of many of our country’s richest and most powerful. I think that's all. Oh and this isn't just some crazy coincidence conspiracy theory I whipped up based on a few observations, almost every bank and major politician, the whole of the ...
this is where the names are redacted. I can mention the Zumas (the family of our ex-president who stepped down in a scandal) as some of them have actually been caught out at what is alluded to, and "major banks" as no corporations are actually named. I have a good idea of the "major politicians" too but redacted for the same reason as the business-people named.
...are all confirmed involved heavily in forex, and lots of them have already been busted for various forex-based and other schemes and collusions. There are others I strongly believe to be involved, but I chose not to name them in this post as the family names would be easier to use to identify the individuals, and they do not often appear in newspapers like those I have already mentioned, as I do not have proof of their involvement other than seeing them make profits off of exceedingly well-timed and counter-intuitive trade orders that luckily for them turned out to be right.
I think this is a very good and frighteningly probably theory. In the past year alone I can think of a dozen events that impacted the rand heavily that could have been easily avoided or were alluded to be intentional even at the time. Banks get fined for currency fixing all the time, so this is hardly an unheard of scheme, just one that runs much higher profit margins. As a South African, it is pretty shit to think that our country could be heading the way of Zimbabwe as a side effect of some rich and powerful intentionally screwing the country over to become even richer and more powerful.
Partial translation of long Chinese article regarding the recent actions of PBOC
https://www.sosobtc.com/article/24259.html The following is a rough/partial translation of the article "Reflections on the present situation of Bitcoin and thoughts on its future" provided in the link above Two hurricanes swept through the landscape as the summer season trails off, instead of uprooting trees and destroying houses, it ravaged through the Bitcoin markets. In early September, Chinese authorities made an announcement banning Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), this was shortly followed by a second official statement regarding the closures of Chinese cryptocurrencies exchanges. These two statements triggered a flurry of selling off and caused a massive upheaval in cryotocurrency markets. This author had anticipated these actions from PBOC, and was perhaps, even an unwitting instigator (in the most minor sense possible) for the current turn of events. A few days back, this author had suggested that PBOC should just shut down Bitcoin mines and exchanges in China, thus allowing an easy way out for the central bank to abscond itself of any “supervisory responsibility” over this burgeoning industry. This would also ensure that Bitcoin markets would open to develop organically in a democratic, autonomous manner, free from constant irrational interference of the Central Bank. Nevertheless this author still found it surprising that the typically indecisive PBOC would take such a drastic action within such a short time. In the author’s opinion, there are three main factors, and three minor factors that lead to this latest decision by PBOC. Here are the 3 main reasons: 1) The increasingly unwieldy size of the Bitcoin market First, let’s keep a few figures in mind. 1) In 2015, based on the limited amount of information available to the public; China UnionPay the crown jewel of PBOC disclosed a profit of 3.8 billion CNY, and held 66.5 billion CNY worth of assets. 2) 220 billion CNY; stamp duty revenue generated from securities issued by CSRC. Now, consider the size of the Bitcoin industry in China. China holds approximately two thirds of Bitcoin currently in circulation, ~10 million Bitcoins. Before the most recent market upheaval, Bitcoin’s value was holding steady at around 30000 CNY (4500 USD), hence according to this approximation, Bitcoin holders in China is controlling 300 billion CNY worth of a highly liquid, easily transacted wealth that is not subjected to regulations and jurisdiction by the Central Bank and Ministry’s of Finance. In a space of a few short years, the amount of wealth held by Chinese citizens in Bitcoin has now swelled to a very significant amount that’s on the scale of annual military spending of nations such as India and Russia (55.9 billion and 69.2 billion USD respectively, estimated Bitcoin holding in China 45 billion USD (when price was at 4500 usd) Now that the days of exponential Chinese economic growth driven by its manufacturing industry is over, various ministries are trying all sorts of different methods to promote economic growth. However, for all their efforts to promote and cultivate a new multibillion industry, their achievements pale in comparison to the Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies industry which had slipped right under their noses and is now thriving. It is easy to conjecture that the success of this new, non-government sanctioned industry is a slap in the face for archaic and control hungry Chinese party officials. Following the runaway success of Tencent and Alibaba, two recent multibillion companies which the Chinese State failed to put their finger in, Chinese officials are now determined to nip the Bitcoin industry in its bud before it blossoms into another non-state sanction success. This vindictive and petty type of thinking is rather typical, and to be expected of the current administration. 2）Disruption of the societal hierarchy The social hierarchy of China is still largely determined by state-owned monopolies. The distribution of public wealth and resources like real estate, mining rights, and business permits etc. are dictated by those wielding power in state enterprises. The immense wealth generated by these essentially risk free businesses is only accessible to relatives of high-ranking officials and fellow insiders, i.e an oligarchy. However the wealth generated from the Bitcoin industry which was essentially started by a bunch of tech enthusiasts with some old computers, a few lot of GPUs, and self taught mathematical models. This completely circumvents the typical route to wealth and riches as dictated by the state, and is a threat to the way they constructed the society to be. Hence, the Bitcoin industry must be stopped and to be made an example of. Business owners in cahoots with state officials also resents the Bitcoin industry greatly, like how they resisted e-payment systems like Alipay, WechatPay, or e-communities such as qq and Wechat initially. These business owners are essentially power brokers, where their greatest asset lies in their ability to act as an intermediary between private enterprises and the State, if new businesses no longer require the blessing of the state to prosper, then as the unofficial toll collectors would surely be starved. 3）The inequality of wealth distribution arising from the Bitcoin industry The frontrunners and greatest benefactors of the Chinese Bitcoin industry had been young tech enthusiasts. Typically young males in their late 20s, and as the price of Bitcoin boomed, they became a very conspicuous bunch of newly rich. These quickly drew the ire of the Chinese community, “your dad isn’t some powerful Chinese tycoon or government official, what did you do to deserve to get rich so quickly!” was the unspoken sentiment of the public. As more and more stories about the overnight success of Bitcoin mining/trading enterprises received inceased media coverage across 2016, the Chinese were driven into frenzy on this new source of wealth. One portion of the public started to throw their hats into the ring, by exploiting the fact that the public by large only possess a half-baked understanding of cryptocurrencies. These newcomers posed themselves as some sort of Bitcoin sage, and immediately started advocating all sorts of altcoins and cryptocurrencies to enrich themselves. Another portion of the public started to horde towards these so called bitcoin sages entrusting them with their hard earned money so that they can be a part of this exciting new industry. The fact that they lost money has nothing to do with the Bitcoin industry, but is solely due to the fact that they did not educate themselves properly and allowed themselves to be taken advantage of by some unscrupulous individuals. But the largest portion the public became increasingly envious of the success achieved by the frontrunners in the Bitcoin industry, feeling that it’s too late to join the bandwagon, and angry that all these newfound wealth had completely eluded them, they began to sound their frustration, demanding the closure and banning of the new arcane industry that they had missed out on. In recent years, financial crisis in China had always originated from State-controlled markets such as the stock exchange, Forex or the real estate industry. As the Chinese people grew increasingly distrustful of these State-controlled industries, the self-regulated Bitcoin industry emerged as shining beacon of success. The relevant authorities took note of the public dissatisfaction with Bitcoin and decided to go with the flow, assuaging public outrage while at the same time, diverting attention away from their own failures in issues such as the unaffordable real estate prices that's currently paralyzing the young Chinese community. The aforementioned three factors are deep rooted, and would always be a core reason for the Chinese government to stamp out Bitcoin. Here are three more minor reasons, which are more circumstantial and technical in nature: 1）The contentious hard fork leading to discord among the Bitcoin community Ever since Bitcoin splitted into Bitcoin Core and BitcoinCash, the community has grew increasingly partisan. This animosity between the two factions had damaged Bitcoin, and some people had decided to exploit this divide. The statement from James Dimon about Bitcoin being a scam was quickly picked up by Chinese officials to clamp down on Bitcoin. The credibility of his statement is dubious, seeing that JP Morgan was just as complicit as Lehman Brother’s was during the 2008 financial crisis, and really should not be calling out other people for being a scam. However, Chinese officials quickly took his words as gospel, after all enemy of an enemy is a friend. This crackdown essentially kills of the new Bitcoin blockchain advocated by the Chinese Bitcoin community (i.e Bitcoin Cash), so in a sense the state officials are modern traitors, by siding with foreigners and their view of Bitcoin. 2）Bitcoin market is still too naïve and immature Even before the Bitcoin hardfork was concluded, exchanges started listing tokens representing BitCoin Cash for trading. This action in particular hastens the decision by Chinese authorities to clampdown on Bitcoin. This decision is simply reckless and irrational, as it lies in complete betrayal of what Bitcoin stands for. Bitcoin is the time tested, gold standard among cryptocurrencies because every single bitcoin is forged by miners, this is what that makes Bitcoin secure and distinguishes it from the many other altcoins that currently exisits. Bitcoin is more than just a currency; it has solid proof of work backing it up. By simply listing BCC tokens before they are mined. What the exchanges are doing is no different from the central bank issuing fiat currencies, and by stepping into the domain of the central bank, Bitcoin exchanges now have painted a huge bulls eye on its back 3）Too much speculators, opportunists joining the fray In the few weeks prior to this crackdown, i.e when Bitcoin was at its all time high. Figures in the financial world that used to jeer at Bitcoin started to change their tune. They popped out like mushrooms after rain, claiming that they too want to join this exciting new industry, be it as a miner, a day trader or to start blockchain companies. In hindsight, these are clear indicators that the Bitcoin market is overheated and is due for a correction. Three years ago, when Bitcoin was worth around 1000 CNY, it was clearly a good, underpriced product with a clear utility and huge potential for future growth, but not a lot of people were buying it. However, now that the price had climbed all the way to 30000 CNY, people are rushing to get more of it. There was clearly a bubble, and that’s why this author started exhorting for PBOC to crackdown on Bitcoin and pop the bubble.
https://preview.redd.it/8t2d8ujwzgc11.jpg?width=1024&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=cd13c50961d8839b7553a489743ea3c8d478306d Dear members, Here is a summary in Q&A format for the impromptu session Paul, Jim and Roy did in an unofficial trade.io supporters group on 26 July 2018 which should allay most if not all fears and questions. Compliance & Documents Needed For Withdrawals: First and foremost, we're not fortune tellers, but from our experience with other regulated companies in similar asset classes to crypto, like FX, CFD's, etc. regulation is coming and in many places already here as we've all seen. We're choosing to get out in front of this, so that when it does happen and the companies that are being completely negligent in their compliance and regulatory duties are getting pinched, we're in a good position. With that said, though, we need to be cognizant of competition and not be too strict so that we can't compete with the cowboy exchanges in the near term. With that said, let's tackle the KYC issue upon withdrawal first. The process for withdrawals is very simple, and currently there is no tiered structure...meaning its the same process regardless if you want to withdrawal 1 satoshi or 1K BTC. This is in place for many reasons, as it will be easier to start onboarding clients once our fiat to crypto module is in place, and also grandfathering people into the LP. When withdrawing you'll need to fill out Form A if you are an individual, and Form A is simply saying the info you're providing is true and accurate and you're not a US citizen. Very standard. Then you provide an ID and Proof of Residence. NOTHING needs to be certified and NOTHING needs to be translated to English, as we have a fully staffed multilingual compliance department. Apologies if the instructions were confusing, as we're in the process of making some tweaks to make it less confusing. KYC/Withdrawal process is the minimum possible but still following regulatory guidelines. Q: R documents provided confidential ? A: 100% and securely stored. Q : Restricted countries? A : Only countries that are restricted are OFAC countries and the dangerous country known as the US. Q: also i wanted to confirm, as u have already partnered with selfkey , will there be a personal wallet for each user at your end??? or a combine wallet ?? will there be any fee the e walllet service A: Selfkey won't take place for some time, so put that to the side for now. Q : So maybe you shall delete current FAQ in profile section? Simply because it's too scary for all. A : We'll def beef it up to make it much clearer. Q: Before moving, Any different form for companies withdrawing ? And kyc A: Yes, good point, company withdrawals have a diff set of docs, that can be found within the guidelines, But still to my knowledge, company docs need not be certified or translated to English either. Q : Any different form for companies withdrawing ? A : Yes, good point, company withdrawals have a diff set of docs, that can be found within the guidelines But still to my knowledge, company docs need not be certified or translated to English either. Q : TIO price A : For better or worse, we all keep an eye on price of TIO. The employees and staff have TIO just like the TIOnauts....so we all have the same interests here. With that in mind, please remember there are nearly 90M TIO in circulation. The volume today (or most days for that matter) is 200K or a quarter of 1% of TIO in circulation. So while its natural to see, say a 5% decrease in price, you can't ignore this is taking place on literally no volume and off of trade.io exchange. The price is being dictated by bulls**t exchanges like BitForex which is complete hocus pocus. In order for TIO to get to the BNB levels we need liquidity and participants. We fully expect once we're up and running in full force on our exchange and TIO is limited to that, we'll be in good shape, in our opinion. Please note this is not a recommendation to buy or sell TIO, but rather pointing out some factual information. You wouldn't be able to sell 25K without cracking the price. In order for TIO to get to the BNB levels you need liquidity and participants. We fully expect once we're up and running in full force on our exchange and TIO is limited to that, we'll be in good shape. Q : Exchange A : It's not perfect, far from it. However, to say its not light years better than the beta which didn't even have working market orders at the time, and a fraction of features that are out now is simply inaccurate. I'll be happy to post what the demo beta looked like at launch. Obviously this isn't something to be proud of, but again, I do want to stick up for our devs just a little bit here as I know they are busting their butts. With that said, any remaining mods are being tended to around the clock and I'm personally updating everyone every 12 hours. For example, there were issues with saving presets, data issues, etc. have been rectified. Next on the list is BCH & USDT. Once bugs are fixed, then enhancements come that we've been tracking and logging. Dev's are tidying up any residual issues from launch, like BCH & USDT. Dev's btw, are more than 14 (as I saw that number somewhere), we now have over 30 devs around the globe. So rest assured there is not 1 dev in the basement making Pinnochio 🙂 On the to immediate do list after the tidying:
Adding additional users, of course
Adding the airdrop tokens
Adding additional tokens & blockchains
So those 3 items are on the the "get it done" list. Also will be working on margin trading as well which is going to be a key initiative (i.e. our friends at Bitmex.) Q : Why do we see trades on inactive assets ? A : We have algos firing in tiny trades to create charts for now. Until there is adequate flow, this is necessary to create clean looking charts. Q : So LP is technically already sort of functioning then? A : Sort of, its a bit more complicated than that. Q : When traded on only one exchange same prob. How can we say it s not being manipulated by the exchange itself Non tionauts might think that way.. A : Manipulate usually conotates a negative, not sure why having TIO only on trade.io would lead to a negative. Q : Won't ppl added in 2 batch miss LP start?] Tied in to this. Some people will surely complain about the 30 day no fee incentive. Claiming (and rightly so) they did not avail themselves of it since they were restricted A : We're def not committed to 30 days only, as you rightly said, it won't be fair, if we only open it up to say 5K people in the first 30 days. Q : when will there be bots placing and filling order book A : Once there is a larger number of users on the platform. Q : Set deadlines, dates for things to get done A : I will refrain from setting deadlines, as we haven't exactly been the greatest at meeting deadlines. Q : Adding additional users A : For adding additional users, its going to be a shoot first ask questions later tactic. So as we add, emails will go out, and we will alert the community. Its in everyones best interest that we allow the 20k+ on the waiting list and open it up to the masses ASAP though for 101 reasons. We're all on the same page there gang. Q : Will you have a public list on which features are being worked on? (Not deadlines, just a list for poeple to know what to expect next) A : I will have them in my twice daily updates (Paul). Q : LP A : As I have said earlier this week, we have been working closely with regulators to modify the LP which will maximize it's utility AND benefit to TIO hodlers. The current structure was based on the regulatory guidelines during our ICO and is expected to change in the very near future. (Roy) We have been working with regulators and jurisdictions with the goal of making the LP TIO only. As alluded to before, things are going well and if they continue this is the direction of the LP. Q : will there be a way to calculate taxes, or is it still soon to have an answer to that? A : Taxes are the responsibility of the LP participant. there are dozens of jurisdictions which have their own unique tax laws and requirements which would be an incredible undertaking to address for all our users. We have been approached with a few technology providers who are working with accounting firms to address this very issue. should we discover a convenient solution for our clients then of course we integrate a solution that is conveinent for all our clients to calculate/estimate their tax liabilities for their respective juridictions. Q : Can you give us estimated revenues on ICO consulting business? A : It is important to understand the ICO Consulting pricing model and revenue structure for this. Our consulting services require a small upfront engagement fee to onboard the client. The majority of the revenue is not collected or recognized until the ICO client has completed their ICO as the pricing model is performanced based much of the time on amount of funds raised and tokens issued. which means, revenue from consulting engagement is delayed 3-4 months until the ICO has ended for that consulting client. Q : Provided tiers remain as is, the price of TIO will most probably plateu at some point (I imagine pretty quickly). What's the plan with the tiers? Will these be dynamic at some point? A : Tiers will change as price of TIO changes, also with regards to TIO price plateauing, pls keep in mind that while the LP is one major utilization of TIO, there are others to keep TIO in demand. The LP will not be the sole dictator of price/demand of TIO. Q : With higher and higher TIO price the likelyhood is that less and less people will be interested to buy as "the train would have left the station" Imagine when TIO is $1, you'd need 2,500$ for every tier. Imagine if it reaches 10$ A : Again, the tier structure will remain "flexible" as to allow for the most participants possible while at the same type not diluting. The original plan to adjust the tier is based on the price and volume of TIO. We are contiuously monitoring this to make the LP fair and benficial to our community. Q : In my opinion, the model of having the LP with multiple currencies (not only TIO) is a much better one, as participants will have multiple diversified assets portofolio A : It's subjective really. I believe TIO only LP will boost the token much better. That's what we believe as well. Having someone contribute 1K BTC and getting profits from the LP doesn't help TIO at all, it only helps their pockets. Q : when do new version of calculator appear? A : Once the terms of service have been finalized and the official announcemnet has been made. Q : Will the daily profits automatically be included in the next (successive) days' calculations? Or will they be deposited in a separate wallet outside the LP A : Profit from today will be put in your wallet pro rata tomorrow, and so on. Q: please tell what will happen to leftover (for the person having teir lvl less than 100) A: trade.io keeps it. If the participants don't maximize their LP contribtutions that is their discretion. we are not forcing the min teir structure to be 25K as this would not be fair. We structured the LP to be fair for the masses and understand that not everyone can maximize their contribution. However, if LP participants do not max out their teir level we are a for profit company and any leftovers will help us spearhead additional initives and partnerships to increase the utility of TIO and benefit the community. There are direct and indirect benefits of the LP here. Q: Will the LP be available before the end of September? A: I refuse to provide a deadline...don't make me....:) We stink at hitting deadlines, its a tough biz in tech. We're busting our butts though to get the LP up and running. Q : well, just imagined that dynamic model and it seems that in that model rich become richer and poor get poorer. Am i wrong? A : With the flexibility for us to change the tiers we can control this better so that doesn't happen. The last thing we want is to go against our core values and placate to the whales. That's not why we created the LP. the LP was created to redistribute wealth in an easy an accessible way to the masses. What benefit does it give our community if only the rich become richer? Q : will there be an auto-reinvest option? A : Yes, 100%, like a money market sweep type mechanism. Q : On window for LP withdrawal A : You can opt out at any time, and it will be automatically removed at the next "roll over" similar to if you have traded FX with swaps. Q : The auto-reinvest will probably hit the tier limit right (unless you're in the top tier which is currently limitless). What happens then? A : You'll be automatically bumped to the next tier Q : will top tier be capped on revenues shared on the start, or this will be a possibility for the future? A : Top tier is capped in terms of % but not in terms of quantity, is that what you're asking? There has always been a cap to the %....its never been open ended. we are potentially paying out 55% of the LP, in actuality, not 50 Q : but we talked earlier that there will be an option to re-invest.. now given that the payouts will be done in other crypto.. will that option be able to convert let's say BTC into TIo and add to the LP automatically ?? if that's the case, then we''ll automatically move to the next tier.. set and forget A : We can have a bot that auto buys TIO, we can add that later to reinvest. A later feature would be the concept of "dust" to do this reinvestment. . Q : Will the daily profits automatically be included in the next (successive) days' calculations? Or will they be deposited in a separate wallet IP plan using dust later? A : They would need to be reinvested to move up. initially, this would have to be a bit manual, but we are planning a DRIP plan using dust later. Q : Non-TIO assets and caps A : For non TIO, there needs to be caps so people dont do 2500 TIO and US$1 million. When and if we allow non-TIO in LP. AND non-TIO will not have same multipliers, but as an enhancement. We are not trying to fuck you or game you in any way. Over time, we want to enable people to make money loaning BTC, ETH, USD, etc so other can go short. Returns on that will not be like TIO. We launch with TIO only, later we present the plan for other assets. On we have something we all like, we can move ahead. Q : LP top tier caps A : There will be a cap on top tier as well, above where our current largest outside investors are. Q : so Jim.. shifting gears a bit here, can you talk to us about the regulatory side of things.. where do we stand? what're the future plans with regulators? will TIO be listed as a utility token or a security? anything you can share with us in terms of regluations would be great.. I know there's a lot of confusion with the SEC right now, but any thoughts or undergoing discussions? A : All cryptos have different classifications in different jurisdictions. We are in Switzerland, where we are a utility. US might treat us diff, as they see everything as a security. Malta has another view. This applies to ALL cryptos, not just TIO, every jurisdiction is different. To say any token is a security or utility is not accurate. Dealing with customers for exchanges is a different regulatory issue. On the exchange regulatory side, we are working on multiple jurisdictions. HK, US, Malta, etc. In Malta, we have co setup already. Just waiting for app process to open. Q : Is there any chance that leverage trading will be added to the exchange? A : yes, on the priority list. Q : Once we lock our TIOs to the LP, adn after a few months we want to remove them (loss or profit does not matter) do we get back teh same ammount of TIOs even if the price of TIO increases? Lest say I put 25,000 TIO, with TIO price of $1, adn wehn I decide to take them off the price of TIO is 2$, do I still take 25,000 TIO back or 12,500 TIO ? A : Yes #TIO in = #TIO out unless the LP has a massive loss that wipes out our blanace sheet and TIO reserve which stands in front of you. Conclusion : We are going back to whipping the slaves in the salt mines.
DEMYSTYFYING CRYPTOCURRENCIES, BLOCKCHAIN & ICO IN SIMPLE ENGLISH – REFLECTIONS AND WAY FORWARD FOR 2018
DISCLAIMER: The authors of this article by no means are advocating, advising or persuading anyone to invest in Cryptocurrencies, ICOs or any other form of investment. Investments are subjected to market risks and you must do your own research before investing and seek financial advise and help from qualified personnel. Any businesses or companies quoted in this article have not paid us financially or through any other means for profit or gain. The authors also do not intent to challenge, disrespect or disobey any specific government, institution or personnel of authority including Banks, Financial regulators, governing bodies and laws of the land. All viewpoints in this article are our own and does not relate to any company, partner, employment or body that we are associated with in our day to day life. THE HEADLINE: As we reflect upon on 2017, it is probably fair to make a bold statement that it has been a phenomenal leap forward for the trio of Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and the ICO. Here is why: • Bitcoin (the most popular cryptocurrency and once defamed as a ‘hyper-coin’) hit another all-time high passing $8000. Today, Bitcoin is worth about $50 billion and has been accepted under the law and tax frameworks of Canada, Australia, and Japan. • Ethereum network (platform) and its own fuel ( coin) Ether has appreciated more than 2,800% since it was launched in 2015. • Underlying Blockchain technology is no more a hype, it is disrupting every industry through its secure public ledger • ICOs have raked in over 3.6 Billion Dollars, the largest ICO in 2017 has been Filecoin raising over 257 Million Dollars. This is the just beginning of the ICO revolution where IPOs and traditional stock exchanges are going to become a thing in the past. Let’s admit it. We either have a tribe of people who love the whole concept of decentralized and autonomous Peer to Peer network completely secure and away from the control of the regulators and bureaucrats OR you still belong to the other tribe, you think Cryptocurrencies are dark alleys and ‘good’ people should stay away lurking in these areas. We respect views on either side and we would like to just attempt to demystify few basic practical concepts here that one should know if you are new to this so called “Crypto Tribe”. EVOLUTION OF CRYPTO AND BITCOIN The first internet currency, known as DigiCash, was created by David Chaum and is said to have its origin from Netherlands. This was arguably the first attempt, but the idea failed and the company went bankrupt in 1998. Keeping up with the trend PayPal ( one of the global leaders in Payments Industry) was next to follow-up and became highly successful, but did not create an actual cryptocurrency. So history was made when the first real cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was invented by someone went by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 and went online in 2009. There has been several failed attempts to identify this person. This ground breaking and revolutionary makes it possible to take to replace central authorities, government, watchdogs bureaucrats and politicians with the decentralized blockchain, and take power away from Wall Street. Bitcoin has already broken its own records several times since it started. The chart below will obviously blow your mind if you have not tracked Bitcoin recently. In less than 8 years Bitcoin has given over 8000% return. From 0 to 8000 USD per coin. And ofcourse there are talks of the next bubble and market for Bitcoin crashing down anytime. Really? Let’s address them a bit later in this paper. The legacy of crypto goes back to the days of World War II when cryptographic systems were devised to securely transmit messages between various parties. All has happened is the technology and evolution has progressed since with the advancement of Computer systems and underlying hardware and software. We hence now have a very powerful system on the network for anyone to harness. WHAT IS BLOCKCHAIN? A blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each block typically contains a hash pointer as a link to a previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. By design, blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data. A blockchain can serve as "an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way not in citation given. For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for validating new blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires collusion of the network majority. And that is the latest Wikipedia definition for you. However, in layman terms, what is the best way to explain it? Let’s think of a used-car for a purpose of illustration. The new buyer would like to ensure that the car is genuinely owned by the seller, that the car servicing history is fully up to date and any major issues has been picked up transparently in the car service history. In real world that may not be possible always. Let’s take another example. We go to our regular family doctor ( GP). Their computer has full history of our health records from illness, diagnosis, medicines and treatments. If we go to another city, it would be very important that the new doctor has full information as well. Sometimes things do not work that way. And this is where the power of Blockchain comes into play. Blockchain is like a decentralized and distributed computer or electronic database existing on multiple computers at the same time ( but not owned by any big company specifically atall). The database keeps growing continuously as new sets of key information, or ‘blocks’, are added to it. Each block contains a very important information - timestamp and a link to the previous block. These then actually form a chain, everyone in the network gets a copy of the whole database but the database is not managed by any particular body, person or corporation. Entire old block are preserved forever and new blocks are added to the ledger irreversibly, making it next to impossible to manipulate by faking documents, transactions and other information. And yes, hackers know this and they have no interest in this area as they cannot manipulate here. They will most likely to continue to pry on large private businesses and public sector for ransom not Blockchain for a very long time or may be forever! It is also worthwhile mentioning here that since Blockchain runs on a public network, there are concept of ‘mining’ and rewards to the ‘miners’. In simple terms, people are rewarded for allowing their computers to be used for harnessing the ‘processing power’ of Block execution. Every new transaction on a block ofcourse needs to be executed. Now that you have got a bit of history of the whole Cryptocurrency and Block chain technology mumbo-jumbo, you may be thinking what about another term ICO which everyone keeps talking at the Pub and every now and then on various websites and journals. What are ICO really? Let’s get that out of way as possible. THE DAWN OF INITIAL COIN OFFERING ( aka ICO) You are probably already familiar with the traditional stock market and the concept of Initial Public Offering ( IPO), so we will not go too deep into it. But in a nutshell, until recently businesses have raised money from the public by listing their businesses on the famous stock exchanges. Ofcourse, it is not possible for Mr. John Smith from a little village selling his home made secret strawberry jam globally until he has deep pockets. Neither he can even dream of getting his business listed on a stock exchange to raise cash from public. Hence listing businesses and raising cash has remain the forte of the big and bold with the backing of Venture Capitalist firms, Private Equity firms and the Brokers. And ofcourse there has been the means of the “Angel Investor” who would give cash by taking significant equity stake in a business started by the entrepreneur with their blood and sweat. Then emerged the concept of “Crowd Funding”. Online project funding websites like kickstarter, crowdcube, seedrs emerged. They allowed entrepreneurs to request for funds from the public. But these methods have raised limited funds, grossly regulated by the local authorities and not everyone could raise money from here. So you may ask what IPOs and Crowdfunding has anything to do with Blockchain technology and ICOs? Well what if we say that there are investors out there who believe in the disruptive nature of Blockchain Technology and are also early adopters of cryptocurrency such as bitcoin. Then there is whole liberal aspect of the unregulated market which makes the whole world shift towards a very different perspective. Now an entrepreneur could actually raise money for building their business from very early stages ( sometimes from just a concept level) and accepting the money not in traditional currency ( aka Fiat currency) but Cryptocurrency. And further, each of these new projects could even release their own version or token of an underlying cryptocurrency or digital currency. Now that’s sexy and awesome isn’t it? Well, we are not going to down the route here to inform the readers it is good or bad practice in this paper. We will leave that opinion formation to yourself. Now that you got a high level understanding of ICOs, the next thing you may want to know is that it is pretty straight forward to invest into an ICO ( we will cover more in this paper later). But you need to understand is ICOs just like an IPO are for short duration. Usually they last for few weeks (typically 4 weeks). You get bonus Tokens or the crypto coin to invest early. Once the ICO minimum target is reached ( Softcap) the coins gets listed on the CoinExchange and they start trading. Coinexchange? What are these then? Quite simple, just go back to the analogy between a traditional stock and traditional stock exchange. Very simple concept really. How you buy, sell and do the nitty-gritty just differs. Since there are no brokers or regulators involved here. The whole process is really simple and quick. It may worthwhile sharing a quick snapshot of the ICO market worldwide: It is mind boggling to see that new businesses in really concept stages are raising more money than traditional businesses in just few hours of ICOs getting listed. Obviously this is really bothering lot of people in high ranking posts. We are not here to again debate who is right or wrong here. What we essentially want you to understand is some of these ICOs are really shaping the next wave of revolution. How many of you believed that a Smart Phone with a so called ‘mobile app’ would be worth billion of dollar? Look at Uber, Alibaba, Airbnb, Facebook. Why no one complains about their valuation? May be because these businesses have backing of very large venture capitalists, Private Equity firms? But who runs these VCs and PE firms? Do you really need 70 Billion Dollars to run a Taxi mobile app? We honestly do not know. But what we know for sure is disruptive technologies and businesses built on top of them always have an edge. And then you combine the technology and handover its power to the people you create a social eco-system that is so strong and powerful that it can override and form its own status. And that is what is happening with the ICOs. People are investing into their trust and belief. Now that’s more powerful than any single bank, government or institution ! If you have followed this paper so far, you should have started to get an idea of what is really going on here about the trio – Blockchain Technology, Cryptocurrencices and ICO. However, I am sure you still have may have zillion questions about how you do certain things. Let us try give you answers to some of the most common questions asked by those who really want to get involved. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Question 1: I am interested in buying and investing into a Cryptocurrency. Should I buy Bitcoin? Answer: Bitcoin is one of the most popular cryptocurrency. We can not advise you anything specific as you need to do your own research. The number of cryptocurrencies available over the internet as of 6 November 2017 was over 1172 and growing. A new cryptocurrency can be created at any time. By market capitalization, Bitcoin is currently (2017-08-19) the largest blockchain network, followed by Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple and Litecoin. Question 2: I am interested in investing into a ICO that what research and due-diligence I need to do ? Answer: We are glad that you mentioned the two magical words “research” and “due-diligence”. That is the most important golden nugget that we want you to take-away from this paper. Never-ever invest into a ICO unless you have researched it for how long it takes to build a strong opinion. Here is a good article that gives some really good tips. One quick tip from us would be ensure that Team is really strong and they are genuine people. http://mashable.com/2017/10/25/survive-ico/#CDVyGFJOiiqF Question 3: How do I find out about upcoming ICOs and useful related news and press releases? Answer: There are plenty of websites now that can give you early headsup and keep you well informed. Our favourites are ICOBENCH, COINDESK, ICOALERT. Question 4: Where can we buy and sell ICO and cryptocurrencies? Answer: If you are newbie, it may be a good idea to ask someone in your close network to guide you. There are lots of information and instructional video available on Youtube and other social media network and blogs. Sometimes too much information leads to confusion. You may also want to look into tutorials and training available at UDEMY.COM. But please steer away from self-proclaimed gurus. Do not buy any quick rich scheme related courses and scams. We have found that for beginners https://www.myetherwallet.com/ or https://parity.io/ are good starting point for Ethereum Blockchain related transactions. Question 5: When is a good time to invest in Cryptocurrency? Answer: We wish we had the crystal ball to give you the answer. If we had this crystal ball in 2009 ( when Bitcoin started), we would be very rich people right now. But with a bit of research and education, you can master this. You need to make your own decision when is the right time for you. Question 6: ICO and Cryptocurrency are all hype and dodgy? Answer: We are assuming you are a beginner, you do not know enough about Blockchain technology and how it works, you possibly have not spent enough time learning and tracking about cryptocurrencies. There is also a possibility you have never invested in a cryptocurrency or ICO. Or possibly you invested in a ICO that was a scam. You possibly could be a sophisticated investor in property, traditional shares, gold, forex and much more. But may be you do not want to know any more about Digital currencies or Technology as it is not your “comfort zone”. So the question is how much of homework you have done to assess if this whole concept for you is really interesting or completely ruled out? The decision end of the day is yours. AUTHOR: Avijeet Jayashekhar: Has over 20 years of entrepreneurial, management consulting , Technology leadership in UK Financial Services Industry. He also has a long successful property investment business in UK. In his last stint, as Vice President of Barclays Bank UK, he managed large Technology Programme in next generation technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process automation and Digital Payments including Blockchain. He has track record of setting up 3 successful global Technology businesses. Integrally part of the London Fintech and PropertyTech businesses, he is a popular mentor and speaker. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Electronic and Computer Science, a Business Management Qualification and Project Qualification from Stanford University. He is a British Citizen of Indian origin and lives near London with his family. Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/avijeetjs/ REFERENCES: https://icobench.com/statshttps://www.coinbase.com/https://www.icoalert.com/https://www.coindesk.com/information/what-is-a-distributed-ledgehttps://tokentarget.com/the-evolution-of-the-ico-2017-and-beyond-2/http://www.ilovegrowingmarijuana.com/the-basics-of-cryptocurrency/http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/0/cryptocurrency/https://themerkle.com/top-10-cryptocurrency-icos-throughout-2017-to-date/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockchainhttp://mashable.com/2017/10/25/survive-ico/#CDVyGFJOiiqFhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cryptocurrencieshttps://en.insider.pro/tutorials/2017-09-04/what-blockchain-laymans-terms/
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