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Bitcoin Poised To Break Out Big - Forbes
*New Story* Do autonomous trucks dream of CW McCall?
I've got some serial stories I'd like to tell about living with (and in) technology and the industry. Do autonomous trucks dream of CW McCall? Falstaff’s story “For a bright shining moment, we added a lot of shareholder value”. Falstaff had a comic with that caption in his double sized cubicle, the kind reserved for senior engineers. For a while he thought it showed that he didn’t fully buy into the corporate line, but that he’d still do as he was told as long as he had a shot at the big payout. RSUs, the big acquisition. The end of year bonus. That was the deal in the before time, when things mostly worked out for most people it seemed. Falstaff knew he wasn’t the smartest, but he didn’t complain, didn’t pick fights and lived pretty well. His bad habits didn’t impact his work life and he still might hit it big enough to quit and try something else. To have options. Then everything happened at once. The fires. The diseases. The chaos. Nobody knew who was in charge for a year or so. Things came back. A few years passed and the wealthy parts of the coastal cities looked shiny again. Most people called it normal. To the casual eye, it was. You could still get sushi delivered to the office late at night, ski in the Rockies if you could take the time off. Things were pretty good if you stayed where you belonged and kept your metrics up. Things fell off as you went East or to the not-so-quaint rural areas that couldn’t swing a music festival or good photo opportunities for social media. Go far enough and you found the places where the Feds just walked away. Not our problem any more. That’s how Falstaff saw the world and his place in it. He had’nt had much sleep. Drugs, risky behavior and the self-loathing kept him occupied, making his morning commute that much less pleasant. He stopped staring at the RVs and tents parked on the land next to the on-ramp as he got on the 101. He jabbed the infotainment system to find some noise to sooth or at least distract him. “Today, the Department of Energy announced that repairs have been completed ahead of schedule for the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. Radiation levels are now below acceptable levels for the first time in three years” Click. “We’ve got an autonomous truck accident with a car by Exit 6 on the 280 Eastbound, so expect delays while CHP and a support team from Freightliner gets that cleaned up” Click. It didn’t work. He still felt adrift and unhappy in the morning commute, so he silenced the radio and drove to the office. The office was uneventful. Park, security checkpoint, a long walk to his building, a coffee on the way to his cubicle. He pulled the privacy screen closed behind him and sat down. A quick scan of his eyes and there was his project- a payment processing application that would cut out another payment application for a small percentage of a massive stream of money. He looked over last night’s chatter, split the tasks into ‘do the work’ and ‘show that I’m adding value’ categories. The fear and sadness caught up with him. He wasn’t ever going to get out. If he ran as fast as he could, he’d stay exactly where he was until his rent outpaced his income. His stock options would vest just fast enough to keep him going, but he’d never get out. The morning dragged. Tweak this, report this to someone else. The bureaucratic minutiae and make-work washed over him until lunch. He looked forward to lunch with Tran, hoping that might get him out of his funk. Tran wasn’t so much a friend as one of the few people who admitted how screwed up everything was, so there wasn’t any danger of speaking the obvious and getting a negative reputation. Tran was out today, so Falstaff ate leftovers and instant noodles in his cubicle. His phone buzzed. There was a message on MomTalk, a chat for wealthy mothers to discuss brunch, day drinking and their children. An engineer friend of Falstaff’s set it up as a joke to lampoon the women she couldn’t stand and her friends played along, adopting over the top personae and complaining about nonexistent spouses and domestic staff. After things came back, it was a way to talk freely, if in code. Heather: Hey. I’m in deep trouble. The Nanny’s unhappy and I need someone to pick up the kids. Falstaff sighed. Tran must need something. Sheila: Missed you for lunch. Not feeling well? Heather: Serious. My kid is stuck under my desk and I need him to come home. UNDERSTAND? NOW! Sheila:kk. He got up, took his brown cardboard biodegradable instant noodle container and walked a few rows over to Tran’s cubicle. Where Falstaff’s cube was disorganized and well worn, Tran’s was sparse with better furniture. Falstaff felt under the desk and noticed a decal with one end loose. A quick pull and the label peeled off into his hand, along with a small flash memory card, the size of a fingernail. He stood up and quickly looked up and down the aisle between the cubicles. Nobody noticed. Nobody really paid much attention to him on a good day unless they needed something from him anyway. Back in his own cubicle, he went back to the chat: Sheila: How urgent is this? Chip can have dinner with us or we can drop him off on the way to fencing class. Heather:NO TIME. FAMILY’S HERE AND THINGS ARE TENSE. Heather:RUN. GET OUT NOW. Heather:REALLY. Falstaff was concerned. Tran didn’t make jokes. Laughing at Falstaff’s attempts at humor was enough. He had figured that Tran’s talk of ‘having gangsters in his family’ was an attempt to seem dangerous despite being a cubicle denizen, the way middle aged men bought loud motorcycles that they never rode. He folded the decal over the card, pressed the sides together and dropped it in the instant noodle cup, then pushed it down with the corn-plastic chopsticks. The background chatter got quiet and multiple employees raised their heads prairie-dog like. Several members of the company security detail were looking through Tran’s cubicle. Geoff, the brush-cut ex-cop security guard for this building was standing in the aisle attempting to look like he mattered to the operation as the more polished and definitely better paid detail carefully boxed the contents of Tran’s cubicle. Falstaff picked up his phone and noodle container and started walking towards an exit away from the commotion. Geoff noticed and walked briskly after him. As Falstaff walked out of the building, Geoff called out his real name, then jogged behind him, puffing his half a size too small corporate logo’d golf shirt. Ironed golf shirt. Falstaff heard Geoff behind him, but decided to ignore him. Geoff was a blue-badged contractor, safely ignored. Normally. Geoff ran in front of him and blocked his path to the parking garage. “You wouldn’t happen to know where Tran is, would you? I’ve seen you with him ” Falstaff tapped on his white badge. “You’re not my real dad. You can’t tell me what to do” Falstaff squeezed past him into the parking garage’s doorway. Geoff glared at him while Falstaff got in his car and put the noodle carton in the fancy retracting cupholder. He started his car and drove off as calmly as he could manage. Despite his attempt at seeming indifferent, his mind was racing. He attempted to make good time without getting attention. Luckily, silver Porsches were a cliché and therefore almost invisible in the Valley. Twenty minutes later, he was in his mid-grade two bedroom apartment overlooking the parking lot. His cat, Hank, greeted him with a raised head and half open eyes. Falstaff gave the cat some perfunctory petting, while trying to sequence the next few tasks. He went to the refrigerator in the kitchen, carrying the ramen cup in one hand. He selected a can of energy drink and thought for a second. His smartwatch and phone went in the freezer. Fishing the wrapped memory card out of the cup, he picked up the can and walked to his couch, where a bestickered high end laptop rested. Debating between speed and security, he turned off networking on his laptop, then inserted the card into the laptop gingerly, mounting it read-only in case Tran left something aggressive on the card. Huh. A couple really large encrypted files. And seven smaller files with long filenames of seemingly random numbers and letters. He ejected the card and gingerly placed it on the arm of the couch. The file names were bitcoin addressses. A lookup showed a total value of almost $600 million in value there. The files themselves were encrypted. Falstaff stared at the wall for a minute or two, then realized that Tran had decided to quit and take an unauthorized retirement bonus from their shared employer. Enough money to kill for. Who knew about this, and more importantly, who knew Falstaff had the key? Tran did. Perhaps his gangster friends knew. He pulled his phone out of the freezer. A few project related emails and three MomTalk direct messages. Heather:??? Heather:Where y’at? Heather:I have investors. They’re quite insistent. They’re on their way to you. It was time to go. Now. Falstaff put the laptop down and ran to his bedroom. He pawed through a closet and pulled out the giant duffel he used to carry two week’s laundry from his grad student apartment to the cheaper off-campus laundromat. He quickly shoved a variety of clothes, some scuffed hiking boots and some corporate branded technical outdoors gear into it. Behind a shelf, he found a long, antiquated Russian bolt-action rifle and a few paper-wrapped boxes of bullets. It wasn’t the firearm someone on the run would want, but it’s what he had. It went into the duffle bag, which he dragged into the living room. Hank jumped down and inspected the bag. “Hank, I’ll hook you up in a second” A quick scour of the kitchen and Falstaff had two thick trashbags and a box of water jugs with his current employer’s old logo on them, which he emptied into the sink and turned on the faucet. As the sink filled, he filled the trashbags with whatever looked useful- tools, hobby electronics, his laptop and cat food. He pulled out a fat stack of cash from the bottom of his drug stash box. He contemplated forced sobriety, then carefully closed the box and put it in the bag, along with the cash. Don’t change everything at once, he thought. Now isn’t the time to risk sobriety. Falstaff rummaged around in the hall closet and dug out a bright pink cat carrier and stuffed Hank into it, then turned to the overflowing sink in his kitchen. He opened and filled the bottles in what he hoped was an efficient use of time, then pushed them back into the box. His phone buzzed again. He contemplated throwing it back in the freezer, then thought better of it, shoving it and the watch back in his pocket. Hank started meowing. “We’re not going to the vet today, dude. Shut it for now” Falstaff looked out his window. Typical traffic. Typical parking lot. A few charging stations, a fence and tents on the other side. He opened the window and threw the bags into the bushes below. He picked up Hank’s carrier, his laptop and looked at the box of water bottles. Wait. Stop. Think. Breathe. Tran’s card. A minute of searching found where he left it on the couch. He stuck that in his pocket, then ran out of his apartment. He considered the elevator, then decided on the stairs as they were closer to the bags and his car. A few minutes of pushing and shoving had the trash bags in the front trunk , the oversized duffle in the passenger seat and Hank’s carrier seat belted in the tiny back seat. He spun the tires and entered the flow of traffic, such as it was. He looked at his phone. More people seemed to want a response. Ignoring them, he found the closest florist’s shop and fifteen minutes later, pulled into the strip mall that contained it. A few minutes later, he was in possession of three “Birthday Balloon Extravaganzas”, finishing off the shop’s tank of helium and a bit of Falstaff’s cash. He tied the strings around his smartwatch and let it rise and drift past the confines of the parking lot. The hastily constructed wad of tape and ribbon connecting his phone to the other two Extravaganzas generated a more labored flight, but eventually it drifted away. He looked into the shop’s camera and flipped it the bird as he left and jumped back in his car. Soon he was back on the road, relaxing with his elbow out the window. Despite the stop and go traffic, he felt safe enough to relax and make longer range plans. Even Hank had settled down for the moment. The hot air felt less oppressive somehow. He contemplated the right set of music for an escape from civilization, trying on a few genres to decide. The screen also showed that the freeway was less than a quarter mile on the right and traffic would be light. Good. Then he looked again at the screen and thought about antennas. His radio talked to the cell tower, which talked to the Internet. Every application knew where he was. Which meant Tran’s investors or their ex-employer could know as well. One hand on the wheel, he looked around for something to pull the radio out of the dashboard. Hank meowed. “You have an idea? No? Please be quiet” Rummaging around in the glove box, he noticed an old folding knife. Falstaff slowly pried the radio from the dashboard while occasionally looking up at the tailgate of a modern SUV ahead of him. Realizing there was a rear-facing camera on the SUV staring at him, he slid down below the dash as best he could. A few more stop and go cycles and the radio was free of the dash. He unplugged cables by feel, but one took his attention away from the road while he pried at it with his knife He was distracted by a horn blast by his ear. Another SUV was forcing itself into his lane while the driver gesticulated at him. Falstaff reciprocated by waving angrily at him, knife still in hand. The driver of the SUV held the horn down, angering Falstaff enough to open the window and throw the now free radio at the noise. Feeling the embarrassment, he jerked the wheel to the right and accelerated into the bicycle lane with a chirp of tires and howl from the engine behind him. A minute later, he was on the highway, quickly leaving Silicon Valley. He hoped to make the Nevada line before anyone figured out what he was doing.
The power players of consumer finance in the 21st century will be crypto-native companies who build with blockchain technology at their core.
The crypto landscape is still nascent. We’re still very much in the fragmented, unbundled phase of the industry lifecycle. Beyond what Genesis Block is doing, there are signs of other companies slowly starting to bundle financial services into what could be an all-in-one bank replacement. So the key question that this series hopes to answer:
Which crypto-native company will successfully become the bank of the future?
We obviously think Genesis Block is well-positioned to win. But we certainly aren’t the only game in town. In this series, we’ll be doing an analysis of who is most capable of thwarting our efforts. We’ll look at categories like crypto exchanges, crypto wallets, centralized lending & borrowing services, and crypto debit card companies. Each category will have its own dedicated post. Today we’re analyzing big crypto exchanges. The two companies we’ll focus on today are Coinbase (biggest American exchange) and Binance (biggest global exchange). They are the top two exchanges in terms of Bitcoin trading volume. They are in pole position to winning this market — they have a huge existing userbase and strong financial resources. Will Coinbase or Binance become the bank of the future? Can their early success propel them to winning the broader consumer finance market? Is their growth too far ahead for anyone else to catch up? Let’s dive in. https://preview.redd.it/lau4hevpm7f51.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=2c5de1ba497199f36aa194e5809bd86e5ab533d8
The most formidable exchange on the global stage is Binance (Crunchbase). All signs suggest they have significantly more users and a stronger balance sheet than Coinbase. No other exchange is executing as aggressively and relentlessly as Binance is. The cadence at which they are shipping and launching new products is nothing short of impressive. As Tushar Jain from Multicoin argues, Binance is Blitzscaling. Here are some of the products that they’ve launched in the last 18 months. Only a few are announced but still pre-launch.
Binance is well-positioned to become the crypto-powered, all-in-one, bundled solution for financial services. They already have so many of the pieces. But the key question is:
Can they create a cohesive & united product experience?
Binance is strong, but they do have a few major weaknesses that could slow them down.
Traders & Speculators Binance is currently very geared for speculators, traders, and financial professionals. Their bread-and-butter is trading (spot, margin, options, futures). Their UI is littered with depth charts, order books, candlesticks, and other financial concepts that are beyond the reach of most normal consumers. Their product today is not at all tailored for the broader consumer market. Given Binance’s popularity and strength among the pro audience, it’s unlikely that they will dumb down or simplify their product any time soon. That would jeopardize their core business. Binance will likely need an entirely new product/brand to go beyond the pro user crowd. That will take time (or an acquisition). So the question remains, is Binance even interested in the broader consumer market? Or will they continue to focus on their core product, the one-stop-shop for pro crypto traders?
Controversies & Hot Water Binance has had a number of controversies. No one seems to know where they are based — so what regulatory agencies can hold them accountable? Last year, some sensitive, private user data got leaked. When they announced their debit card program, they had to remove mentions of Visa quickly after. And though the “police raid” story proved to be untrue, there are still a lot of questions about what happened with their Shanghai office shut down (where there is smoke, there is fire). If any company has had a “move fast and break things” attitude, it is Binance. That attitude has served them well so far but as they try to do business in more regulated countries like America, this will make their road much more difficult — especially in the consumer market where trust takes a long time to earn, but can be destroyed in an instant. This is perhaps why the Binance US product is an empty shell when compared to their main global product.
Disjointed Product Experience Because Binance has so many different teams launching so many different services, their core product is increasingly feeling disjointed and disconnected. Many of the new features are sloppily integrated with each other. There’s no cohesive product experience. This is one of the downsides of executing and shipping at their relentless pace. For example, users don’t have a single wallet that shows their balances. Depending on if the user wants to do spot trading, margin, futures, or savings… the user needs to constantly be transferring their assets from one wallet to another. It’s not a unified, frictionless, simple user experience. This is one major downside of the “move fast and break things” approach.
BNB token Binance raised $15M in a 2017 ICO by selling their $BNB token. The current market cap of $BNB is worth more than $2.6B. Financially this token has served them well. However, given how BNB works (for example, their token burn), there are a lot of open questions as to how BNB will be treated with US security laws. Their Binance US product so far is treading very lightly with its use of BNB. Their token could become a liability for Binance as it enters more regulated markets. Whether the crypto community likes it or not, until regulators get caught up and understand the power of decentralized technology, tokens will still be a regulatory burden — especially for anything that touches consumers.
Binance Chain & Smart Contract Platform Binance is launching its own smart contract platform soon. Based on compatibility choices, they have their sights aimed at the Ethereum developer community. It’s unclear how easy it’ll be to convince developers to move to Binance chain. Most of the current developer energy and momentum around smart contracts is with Ethereum. Because Binance now has their own horse in the race, it’s unlikely they will ever decide to leverage Ethereum’s DeFi protocols. This could likely be a major strategic mistake — and hubris that goes a step too far. Binance will be pushing and promoting protocols on their own platform. The major risk of being all-in on their own platform is that they miss having a seat on the Ethereum rocket ship — specifically the growth of DeFi use-cases and the enormous value that can be unlocked. Integrating with Ethereum’s protocols would be either admitting defeat of their own platform or competing directly against themselves.
The crypto-native company that I believe is more likely to become the bank of the future is Coinbase (crunchbase). Their dominance in America could serve as a springboard to winning the West (Binance has a stronger foothold in Asia). Coinbase has more than 30M users. Their exchange business is a money-printing machine. They have a solid reputation as it relates to compliance and working with regulators. Their CEO is a longtime member of the crypto community. They are rumored to be going public soon.
Let’s look at what makes them strong and a likely contender for winning the broader consumer finance market.
Different Audience, Different Experience Coinbase has been smart to create a unique product experience for each audience — the pro speculator crowd and the common retail user. Their simple consumer version is at Coinbase.com. That’s the default. Their product for the more sophisticated traders and speculators is at Coinbase Pro (formerly GDAX). Unlike Binance, Coinbase can slowly build out the bank of the future for the broad consumer market while still having a home for their hardcore crypto traders. They aren’t afraid to have different experiences for different audiences.
Brand & Design Coinbase has a strong product design team. Their brand is capable of going beyond the male-dominated crypto audience. Their product is clean and simple — much more consumer-friendly than Binance. It’s clear they spend a lot of time thinking about their user experience. Interacting directly with crypto can sometimes be rough and raw (especially for n00bs). When I was at Mainframe we hosted a panel about Crypto UX challenges at the DevCon4 Dapp Awards. Connie Yang (Head of Design at Coinbase) was on the panel. She was impressive. Some of their design philosophies will bode well as they push to reach the broader consumer finance market.
Early Signs of Bundling Though Coinbase has nowhere near as many products & services as Binance, they are slowly starting to add more financial services that may appeal to the broader market. They are now letting depositors earn interest on USDC (also DAI & Tezos). In the UK they are piloting a debit card. Users can now invest in crypto with dollar-cost-averaging. It’s not much, but it’s a start. You can start to see hints of a more bundled solution around financial services.
Let’s now look at some things that could hold them back.
Slow Cadence In the fast-paced world of crypto, and especially when compared to Binance, Coinbase does not ship very many new products very often. This is perhaps their greatest weakness. Smaller, more nimble startups may run circles around them. They were smart to launch Coinbase Ventures where tey invest in early-stage startups. They can now keep an ear to the ground on innovation. Perhaps their cadence is normal for a company of their size — but the Binance pace creates quite the contrast.
Institutional Focus As a company, we are a Coinbase client. We love their institutional offering. It’s clear they’ve been investing a lot in this area. A recent Coinbase blog post made it clear that this has been a focus: “Over the past 12 months, Coinbase has been laser-focused on building out the types of features and services that our institutional customers need.” Their Tagomi acquisition only re-enforced this focus. Perhaps this is why their consumer product has felt so neglected. They’ve been heavily investing in their institutional services since May 2018. For a company that’s getting very close to an IPO, it makes sense that they’d focus on areas that present strong revenue opportunities — as they do with institutional clients. Even for big companies like Coinbase, it’s hard to have a split focus. If they are “laser-focused” on the institutional audience, it’s unlikely they’ll be launching any major consumer products anytime soon.
Coinbase Wrap Up
At Genesis Block, we‘re proud to be working with Coinbase. They are a fantastic company. However, I don’t believe that they’ll succeed in building their own product for the broader consumer finance market. While they have incredible design, there are no signs that they are focused on or capable of internally building this type of product. Similar to Binance, I think it’s far more likely that Coinbase acquires a promising young startup with strong growth.
Other US-based exchanges worth mentioning are Kraken, Gemini, and Bittrex. So far we’ve seen very few signs that any of them will aggressively attack broader consumer finance. Most are going in the way of Binance — listing more assets and adding more pro tools like margin and futures trading. And many, like Coinbase, are trying to attract more institutional customers. For example, Gemini with their custody product.
Coinbase and Binance have huge war chests and massive reach. For that alone, they should always be considered threats to Genesis Block. However, their products are very, very different than the product we’re building. And their approach is very different as well. They are trying to educate and onboard people into crypto. At Genesis Block, we believe the masses shouldn’t need to know or care about it. We did an entire series about this, Spreading Crypto. Most everyone needs banking — whether it be to borrow, spend, invest, earn interest, etc. Not everyone needs a crypto exchange. For non-crypto consumers (the mass market), the differences between a bank and a crypto exchange are immense. Companies like Binance and Coinbase make a lot of money on their crypto exchange business. It would be really difficult, gutsy, and risky for any of them to completely change their narrative, messaging, and product to focus on the broader consumer market. I don’t believe they would ever risk biting the hand that feeds them. In summary, as it relates to a digital bank aimed at the mass market, I believe both Coinbase and Binance are much more likely to acquire a startup in this space than they are to build it themselves. And I think they would want to keep the brand/product distinct and separate from their core crypto exchange business. So back to the original question, is Coinbase and Binance a threat to Genesis Block? Not really. Not today. But they could be, and for that, we want to stay close to them. ------ Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
Since we're right in the holiday season and I've gotten a lot of requests to update this post again, I'm deciding to give it another go for Q4 2018. Hopefully this post goes up at a convenient time since right now is around the time where many people are out and about holiday shopping. If you've read this post in the past and you've used some of these apps/sites in the past but have since stopped, I'd really encourage you to reread this post if anything sounds interesting. I've actually rewritten much this post this time around, so everything here should be up to date. My goal is that if you read this post and use some of the apps I suggest, you can find yourself making/saving as much as 5-10%+ of your entire purchase in the form of cash back, and the best thing is that in many cases, these apps will stack savings for you, meaning that you'll be getting all of these savings on top of any coupons you might already have. What's nice about this post is that one you set some of these apps up, you can just let them be for months or even years and one day come back and see a ton of money sitting there waiting for you. Anyways, that'll conclude my prologue for this post, so let's get started!
17 Ways to Save Money Passively 2018
I've refrained from listing credit cards on this post for a long time. Maybe because I thought it was too obvious, or maybe it was unnecessary, but since the number of younger people using this subreddit has been increasing, I think it's good to introduce it right at the beginning of this post. If you have a credit card and you don't really care to learn more about credit cards, just skip this section. If you're reading this post and you're 18+ (or if you're about to turn 18) and you don't have a credit card or don't know much about credit cards, I think it's a good idea to look into them. I'm not going to tell you exactly what a credit card is since that's an easy google search, but I will tell you about some benefits, especially about those that pertain to the benefits of this post. Credit cards are great because you can essentially spend money just like you normally would*, but you'll also earn cash back on all/almost all of the purchases you make with them. Additionally, especially if you're young, getting a credit card is a really great because it will start helping you build credit. I'm currently looking into renting a house next year with two housemates and I'm shocked to see that neither of them have any credit. They quite honestly couldn't possibly live in a house without me, since I'm the only one who has credit. *Make sure you're paying off your credit card every month (or however often you need)... Don't let yourself get into debt. I'd argue if you think you're going to get into debt with a credit card, I'd personally suggest you don't get a credit card. While you need to be 18 years old to get your own credit card, if you're under 18, you can still start gaining credit. Most major credit card companies will allow your parents to add you as an authorized signer on their credit card (which basically just means that you'll get permission to use their cards). An effect of this is that you'll start gaining credit. If you're looking to build up credit but you don't think you're ready for a credit card, I'd really recommend you ask your parents about becoming an authorized signer. It's a good conversation to have with your parents. Anyways, let's talk about the cash back benefits, since that's what this post is about, after all. There's a lot of credit cards. This post isn't going to list them all out. This isn't really even the right subreddit for credit card discussion. Nerdwallet has a great list of credit cards, so you might want to check it out here, but I'm going to share my own personal situation and recommend that for anyone who might relate, since the average age on this subreddit is around the 18-25 range. My first credit card was the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. I actually still use this credit card very frequently since it's a pretty balanced card. A couple years back on my 18th birthday I went into my local chase branch and physically had to beg for this card (it's a really beginner card, trust me). After getting denied both in bank and online, I finally found a rep who would give me a calm $500 credit limit for the card. Note: I had no credit before hand. The Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases with the card... so when you think about it, I'd previously been spending $100 at Chipotle every month with my debit card, but with the Freedom Unlimited card, I would now be getting 1.5% cash back ($1.50) back on those purchases. It's just an easy way to save money on everything. If you think you might be interested in trying out the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, you can read more about it here. Do note that this is a referral link, and I'll earn $100 if you end up getting the card (thanks!) You'll also earn yourself a $150 cash back bonus once you spend $500 with the card in the first 3 months of having the card. EDIT: As jeffiesos points out, there appears to be a $200 public offer available here, which might not be available if you sign up through my referral. If you use the other apps I suggest in this post, you'll likely earn cash back passively from them on certain brands that are featured, but stacking a credit card cash back on top of all the other bonuses is the absolute best way to earn passive cash back since it's usually 1-5% cash back on your purchases.
Drop is a passive loyalty program that allows you to choose 5 popular stores where you'll earn cash back (automatically) at as soon as you shop at them (both online or in store). You'll start off by linking your cards to drop (credit or debit), and they'll automatically track your purchases and once they notice a purchase from one of the 5 stores that you selected, you'll automatically earn cash back in the form of drop points which can be redeemed for instant gift cards to several stores. As mentioned above, once you register you'll be presented with a list of store options. Do note that the stores you choose might be stuck with you forever, so pick stores you plan on shopping at a lot in the future, since you might never get the opportunity to change them. For a new user signing up today, here are the current options you'll be presented and the corresponding rate:
Walmart (2 pts/$ | 0.2%)
Target (8 pts/$ | 0.8%)
Starbucks ( 12 pts/$ | 1.2%)
Uber (10 pts/$ | 1.0%)
McDonald's (8 pts/$ | 0.8%)
Lyft (10 pts/$ | 1.0%)
Walgreens (8 pts/$ | 0.8%)
Chipotle (12pts/$ | 1.2%)
Seamless (16 pts/$ | 1.6%)
HEB (10 pts/$ | 1.0%)
Fred Meyers (12 pts/$ | 1.2%)
7-Eleven (16 pts/$ | 1.6%)
Safeway (8 pts/$ | 0.8%)
Trader Joe's (12 pts/$ | 1.2%)
Peets Coffee (8 pts/$ | 0.8%)
Blue Bottle (8 pts/$ | 0.8%)
Macy's (8 pts/$ | 0.8%)
Dunkin' (14 pts/$ | 1.4%)
Bath & Body Works (15 pts/$ | 1.5%)
Whole Foods (8 pts/$ | 0.8%)
Do note that this list may change at any time, but historically whatever rate you receive when you sign up is the rate that will be locked in for you. Here are a couple things that are worth noting:
Minimum cash out is $5 (5,000 points). If you're looking for Amazon, the minimum will be $10 (10,000 points).
It is stated on Drop's TOS that you can only earn 5,000 points ($5) per week with your ongoing offers (the ongoing offers are the offers you initially sign up for when you register, aka: the 5 stores you pick from the list above). However, from my experience, the limit doesn't seem to be enforced. The limit does, however appear to be 5,000 points per transaction maximum.
I recommend reading the TOS because there are some things listed that might be worth paying attention to, especially the limitations as well as qualifying transactions.
Other ways to earn with drop: While the passive options have already been discussed, I think it's important to highlight some other features that the Drop app provides. In addition to your ongoing offers, you can also earn on Drop by participating in mini game challenges, one time offers, mobile offers/linked offers, Supercharge mini game, and referring friends. Let's talk a little about that:
Mini Games:From time to time (multiple times per week), drop will have a short mini game session where you'll be invited to play a short game, such as a matching game. You'll be given a time period to play the game, and whatever score you post is the score you'll be judged on. The game usually takes just a minute or two. The top placers will often receive a prize, such as a $100 gift card or some crazy amount of Drop points, but all of the other placers will usually receive drop points just for participating. Depending on your score you can usually receive anywhere from 15-60 drop points for playing the mini game.
One-Time Offers: Every once in a while you'll receive a one-time offer to one of the store options for the ongoing offers that you didn't select. For example, I've gotten an offer something like 'earn 500 points when you spend $30+ at Nike using a linked card'.
Mobile Offers: If you're looking to shop somewhere online, Drop can also act as a portal to earn you cash back for your entire purchase. For example, as of posting you can receive 20 points/$ on Walmart.com when you shop through the Drop app. The Drop app historically has had some really good deals with their offers, so it's a good idea to check them frequently. For example, they recently had 10% cash back at Apple, which worked to net people 10% cash back on a new iPhone purchase.
Supercharge Mini Game: The Drop supercharge is a neat feature that rewards you for shopping at the stores for your ongoing offers. Every 5 times you shop at your linked stores, you'll be able to play drop supercharge, which is basically just a game of snake. Each dot you eat will earn you an additional 1+ drop points, and you get 3 lives. You play until you lose and keep what you win. It's really not hard to get a score of at least 200, so if you think about it, it should be a bonus of $0.20 (at the bare minimum) for every 5 times you shop at one of your linked stores.
Referrals: Drop's referral scheme is really nice right about now. With Drop you can currently refer a friend and receive $5 when they sign up, and your referral will earn $5 when they sign up as well. So when it really boils down to it, as of posting someone could sign up under a referral, link a card, and instantly cash out a $5 gift card without actually doing anything. If anyone's interested in supporting me, you can use my referral code: 5ajb9 and we'll both earn $5 when you sign up :)!
Bumped is a new addition to this list. Bumped was originally discussed for the first time over a year ago on /Beermoney, but has recently started accepting more people into the program, so I think it's a good time to add this wonderful app to this list. Bumped is an investing app, when you really boil it down. When you sign up you'll select one brand in each category (there are a lot of categories, you'll see below), and each time you shop at the selected brand, you'll earn the certain specified purchase back in the form of company stock. This is unique to all of the other apps on this list, because you're actually receiving company stock. Also, because of this, I think it's very important to note that in order to sign up for Bumped you'll need to enter your SSN since you will be opening up a brokerage account. As of posting, the following are the category options that you can choose from: I've bolded the brands I selected. Obviously you should pick a brand that you can find yourself using the most. Do note that if you pick a brand that you might want to change later, you'll get the opportunity to change your brands 3 times a year, at least 30 days in between.
3% at Jack in the Box
3% at McDonald's
3% at Wendy's
2% at Dunkin' Donuts
2% at Starbucks
2% at CVS
1% at Walgreens
2% at Applebees
2% at Chili's
2% at Olive Garden
2% at Red Robin
1% at Kroger Family of Stores
1% at The Home Depot
2% at Chipotle Mexican Grill
2% at Taco Bell
1% at Pandora
5% at Spotify
1% at Domino's
5% at Papa John's
2% at Pizza Hut
1% at Target
1% at Walmart
1% at AT&T
1% at T-Mobile
3% at Verizon Wireless
1% at Netflix
5% at Sling TV
1% at Willamette Valley Vineyards
If you're reading this post a great deal of time after it went live, they have their own brand list here which should be kept up to date. One thing that is listed on the app is that if you want to move your way up on the waitlist you can refer your friends to join the waitlist as well.
Pei is another new automatic cash back app, very similar to Drop & Spent (listed below). Pei is (as of posting) in an invite only system and they seem to be slowly letting users in. I was able to get early access since I'm 'Media'. When you sign up you might be able to register with my referral code: fish. pei_tom is the CEO of Pei and he has also been letting everyone (AFAIK) who sends him a PM into Pei without needing to wait. Here's a comment he left on the previous post:
I wanted to start by reassuring everyone that we are bringing people on everyday and are moving quick to make sure we can make Pei the best service for unlocking card benefits directly from retailers. If you have not received an invite code and you are a part of this community, we want to get you on ASAP! Please feel free to dm me or reach out to [email protected] and we will get you on.
Cash Back at a lot of locations (way more than any of the other Empyr apps).
Cash out via PayPal, Bitcoin, or Prepaid Visa.
Stacks w/ Drop & Spent
So with all of that being said, let's talk about the stores you can find on Pei. Just note that these are only stores that are local to me, so if I don't have a certain store near me that Pei offers, I won't have it on this list. Additionally, Pei actually offers so many stores at this point that there's no way for me to actually keep this list up to date at all. There have been countless times where I've shopped somewhere that doesn't even come up as an option to earn with Pei but I'll see cash back listed on the app. It's really quite impressive.
Panda Express - 1.5%
Target - 1%
Petco - 1%
PetSmart - 1%
Sephora - 1%
Banana Republic - 1%
American Eagle Outfitters - 1%
Gap - 1%
Old Navy - 1%
Chipotle - 1.2%
Taco Bell - 2%
Dominos Pizza - 1.5%
CVS - 1%
Starbucks - 1%
AMC - 2%
GameStop - 1.2%
Subway - 1.5%
7-Eleven - 1%
Dunkin' Donuts - 1.5%
Walgreens - 1%
Nordstrom - 1%
Supercuts - 2%
ZARA - 1.2%
Express - 1%
H&M - 1.2%
Urban Outfitters - 1%
+ Local locations - ~5%
In addition to receiving cash back at many locations, Pei also just recently added a 'loyalty bonus' where if you shop at a certain store 5x you'll earn a bonus of $0.50! The one important thing to note about Pei is that it does run on the Empyr network. I was in contact with Pei about this and they confirmed that if you link a different Empyr app you will no longer receive the benefits from Pei. This is different from Spent since with Spent you can link your card (at which point your card will unlink from your previous Empyr app), but then link your card to a different Empyr app and you'll still get the 1% cash back offers to pay out. Just the local offers on Spent won't pay out. With Pei if you unlink your card, the whole app might break. I also want to clarify limits for Pei, similarly to how I clarified limits for Drop. Pei currently has a limit of 500 points per day from certain larger brands. For example, I shopped at Target and spent over $1000 but only 500 points posted. Do keep this in mind if you're planning on shopping somewhere and you plan to spend a lot. Also, since Pei is a newer addition, you might have some additional questions. Pei's support has been top-notch, even responding to me as early as 3 AM on a weekend, so don't be afraid to email and ask them anything, [email protected].
EDIT: Spent Rewards seems to have died. App has been removed from both the Play Store and the App Store, and they tweeted here
Spent is very similar to Drop... so if you like Drop, chances are you'll also enjoy Spent. Unlike Drop, with spent you'll earn 1% cash back at all of the stores they offer, so you don't need to pick just your favorites. Here are all of the stores that Spent offers 1% cash back at:
There are a few things about Spent that are better than Drop, but there are also a few things that are negatives here. I'll go ahead and make a nice little pros/cons list of Spent. Pros of Spent:
PayPal cash outs.
Manage transactions in the app.
Cash out minimum $0.01 w/ Gift Card Discount
Cons of Spent:
$20 Minimum cash out (PayPal).
Cash Back takes 1 month to get approved from pending.
Spent is also similar to Drop because you must link your bank account to it. This seems to be a common trend with these apps. And yes, Spent does stack with Drop, but Spent might not stack with other Empyr apps. You'll learn more about Empyr later in this post, or just CTRL+F for "Empyr". Just note that when you link a card with Spent you might have just unlinked your card from another Empyr app. One thing I want to update about Spent is how cash outs work now. Since the original post a year ago I think it's important to note some changes. Cash outs for Spent are done through PayPal at $20 minimum. However, in the app they now have an option for you to purchase gift cards at a discount. So for example, you could be somewhere that Spent doesn't support.. Let's say Papa John's... and they'll let you buy a Papa John's gift card on the app and you'll receive 3% back. If you have any cash back balance you'll be able to use that to help pay for the gift card (or pay for it entirely, if you have enough balance). I can see this being a viable "cash out" option for users who feel like they'll never hit the $20 minimum. It won't be a free gift card, but a discount nonetheless. Do note that if you're someone who is only using drop for the 1% cash back at the select retailers listed above it will take you $2000 in spend to reach the $20 minimum cash out. That could take a while for some people, depending on how much you spend at these places. One other thing about Spent that's worth mentioning is that it does also offer shopping portals online (spentapp.com) and you'll be able to find cash back for Travel/Hotels/Rental Cars. Just something worth checking out if you're interested in it. They also have an app called Spent Travel you might want to check out.
I'll actually start CoinSeed off by mentioning that they have a $5 referral program currently. Both you and your referrer will receive $5 once you invest with CoinSeed, so do keep that in mind since it might come handy later in this portion of the post. CoinSeed is another addition to this list this time around. CoinSeed originally released about a year ago as an app similar to Acorns, where you're able to passively invest money by setting up a recurring investment or invest through 'rounding up' transactions. What makes CoinSeed different from Acorns is that they will take your money and invest it into cryptocurrency. Just recently they have also added a cash back section to the app which allows you to earn points in the app each time you spend at certain locations. Before we talk about the cash back from this app, I want to talk a bit about what you're getting yourself into. Since CoinSeed is an app like Acorns, they're expecting you to use the app to invest money. If you're reading this and you're actually thinking that you'd be interested in using this app to invest into Bitcoin, there are a couple things I think should be pointed out. 1. There is a 1% fee taken from each deposit. 2. There is a fee of $1 per month that you use the app. I've reached out to CoinSeed to clarify what causes the fee to be charged, but they have not yet responded. Your first month is waived, so the fee will only kick in on the second month. In theory, if you're using this app solely for the sake of earning the cash back (which we'll talk about in just a second), there should actually be no $1 monthly fee. The wording is confusing, but it seems like the fee will only apply if you deposit and invest in the given month. So let's talk about cash back. Similar to many apps on this list, you'll link your cards to CoinSeed and that's how they'll track your transactions. CoinSeed actually has two different cash back offers. First of all they offer regular portals in the app. For example, shop at through our link and earn cash back! The reason I think this is important is because currently they're offering 2% cash back at Amazon.com when you shop through their link. Cash back is uncommon enough to find at amazon, but what's great is that the only restrictions listed is, "Doesn't apply on Gift Card." Which makes me think that so long as you're buying anything other than gift cards, you should be eligible for the 2% cash back. I've reached out to CoinSeed to clarify exactly what they mean by that (whether or not it is referring to just Amazon gift cards or third party gift cards as well). The other offers on the app, which they call "Premium" are the passive cash back options, meaning that every time you spend at any of the brands listed, you'll earn cash back. Here are the options that are currently available:
Uber (1% cashback)
Netflix (1% cashback)
Starbucks (1% cashback)
7-Eleven (1% cashback)
There's one issue, though. When you try to activate the premium offers, a popup will appear saying, "Sorry, this feature is only available for users who have made an investment using the auto investing feature." What this is essentially saying is that in order to earn cash back from premium offers you must invest with the app. I reached out to CoinSeed to try and figure out what exactly would qualify as using the auto investing feature, so I'll update this post once I get a response. Here's an ideal scenario in my head for how the average user could get these offers to work: Once you've linked a bank account and cards, set up a 'recurring investment' of $5 (which will trigger the $5 referral bonus). You should see $10 worth of cryptocurrency purchased in your account once the investment goes through. At this point you'll turn off the recurring investment (unless, of course, you'd like for it to continue) and you should not ever incur the $1 fee since it's your first month. AFAIK you won't ever have to incur that $1 fee unless you invest again after the month. At this point you've gotten a free $5 worth of crypto and you should now have access to the premium offers. I also believe that you can cash out your investment as soon as you'd like. Of course, this is a good scenario that nobody has tested, so feel free to be a guinea pig :) I'm still waiting to hear back from CoinSeed to confirm that this is a viable option for members who want to earn cash back. This is still a really new addition to this list, so feel free to try it or feel free to come back (probably in a few months) when this post gets another update.
Below are some ideas I have been working on to allow direct off-blockchain transfer of Bitcoin Private Keys while preventing Double-Spend and Counterfeiting . There is a reference to tamper-proof Physical Bitcoin as DA BOMB- Directly Available Bitcoin On Metal Banknotes. These Physical Bitcoins and their digitally encrypted representations are the basis for off-blockchain exchange of value. Off-Blockchain exchanges are completely private and as fast as sending an email. FAST BITCOIN
DA BOMB bitcoin pools
Bitcoin Cash blockchain data storage
Daily settlement between corporations, instant settlement on trading or funded shopping channels, physical bitcoin possession for investors . Each platform which offers FAST BITCOIN will purchase a large amount of DA BOMB to power their digital envelope re-sale network. All networks will be compatible and fungible assets composed of. When a customer places an order for DA BOMB I load a certain amount of BTC in various denominations onto a selection of bitcoin wallets, which are then manufactured as physical bitcoin. This amount of BTC is the amount this customer can spend on the FAST BITCOIN network. The Bitcoin the customer spends never moves on the BTC Blockchain. The envelope containing the customer’s BTC is credited or debited a certain combination of addresses that contain a known amount of BTC, adding up to the exact amount of the transaction. Transactions can only be made in ROUND NUMBERS of a certain resolution, such as 0.0001 BTC , and the resolution will be finer at a later date to account for the rise of value of BTC in the future. The contents of a customer’s envelope will be maintained to allow for making change and to account for his spending or funding of his account. The main issuer of FAST BITCOIN will be Satoshi Bitcoin Incorporated, with other platforms buying enough DA BOMB to issue their own FAST BITCOIN on their own shopping platforms. Customers can always write to the platform and request that their remaining envelope balance be mailed to their physical address. The envelope contents are tracked on a separate blockchain, the FAST BITCOIN blockchain. Customers can use their physical bitcoin like paper money, or break the hologram seal and view the private key to use as regular bitcoin on the bitcoin blockchain. Only TRUSTED NODES are on the FAST BITCOIN Blockchain. The Network is composed of the corporate members who offer FAST BITCOIN shopping at their websites, and join by invitation only. Large networks can fuel their own branded shopping tokens with FAST BITCOIN after paying a co-branding fee, or simply use FAST BITCOIN without re-branding to their own token name. Software can equate all prices at a website to the token value of choice on the platform, so that the shopper may make purchases via FAST BITCOIN while referring to prices in stable fiat equivalent tokens, or re-branded token values. The customer’s purchasing power varies with the price of Bitcoin, but the visible prices remain stable. The customer may buy a StableCoin (not Tethers) to fund all or part of their account, or switch from BTC to StableCoin at will; or let the system do this for him. BTC going up, funding remains in BTC, BTC going down, Funding switches too StableCoin. A purely electronic version of FAST BITCOIN will rely on a hardware device to store the private keys offline and always in encrypted form when connected to the internet. There is object “A” : the FAST BITCOIN Wallet There is object “B” : the individual private keys The system works with a combination of Master System Key Encryption and Asymmetrical Key Encryption. The Hardware device is called a SPLIT WALLET. It is a combination of a HOT WALLET and a COLD WALLET. The two halves of the split wallet can only communicate with each other when the device is unplugged from the device being used to access the Internet. The Master System Key resides on the Cold Wallet and can’t be viewed without destroying the function of the Hardware Wallet. To send bitcoin to a person on the network, the hardware wallet takes the addresses needed to add up to the desired amount and encrypts them with the PUBLIC KEY of the receiving device. The BITCOIN CASH BLOCKCHAIN is used as a KEY SERVER to store the PUBLIC KEY of every device manufactured, linked to its registration number and owner identity. The OWNER IDENTITY is an EMAIL ADDRESS which is [[email protected]_BITCOIN.COM](mailto:[email protected]_bitcoin.com) . The addresses are encrypted by the SYSTEM MASTER KEY , then by the RECIPIENT PUBLIC KEY and emailed to the above email address. The whole network is sustained by a peer-to-peer email remailer network. Software on the machine used by the hardware device to connect to the INTERNET is designed to run a peer-to-peer email remailer node. As well as sending the recipient an email via the re-mailer network, an entry is made on the BITCOIN CASH BLOCKCHAIN containing the double encrypted bitcoin private keys, recipient email address, and transaction identifier . This also contains the device registration number as part of the owner email address. Thus even if the domain is blocked from sending email the information needed to use the bitcoin is available from the data stored on the BITCOIN CASH BLOCKCHAIN. The value of Bitcoin Cash does not impact the cost of sending bitcoin, since the transaction sizes to record data on its blockchain are very small. When FAST BITCOIN is sent to a recipient, he must plug his hardware device into a laptop, phone, or other internet device to download the keys to the device. At this time while the hardware device is still connected to the internet the just received FAST BITCOIN will not yet be available to spend. It will show on the device as STILL ENCRYPTED. The user unplugs the device from the internet and then transfers the amount from the COLD SIDE to the HOT SIDE of his wallet while offline. If he wishes he may leave this amount on the COLD SIDE or transfer up to the entire contents of the SPLIT WALLET to the HOT SIDE to enable immediate spending as soon as connected to the internet. The COLD SIDE contains the SYSTEM MASTER KEY and decrypts the PRIVATE BITCOIN KEYS in order to enable spending. The hardware device checks the bitcoin blockchain to verify the amount of bitcoin held by each bitcoin private key, and also checks that the private keys it contains map properly to the public bitcoin keys used to view the balance on the device when it is connected to the internet. DA Bomb Directly Available Bitcoin On Metal Banknote (Da Bomb) Bitcoin Metal Wallet Cold Storage on BTC Blockchain. A Crypto-Currency version of money, which may be exchanged for fiat currency. Other major cryptos such as Ethereum , LiteCoin, and Bitcoin Cash may be substituted for bitcoin without affecting the usefulness of this offering. These versions will come out later, using the same physical format. (hopefully patented) The design of the card should be modified enough from any existing patents to be patentable itself. The manufacturing, loading and documenting of the card should be done by proprietary and open-source software. This process should be patented as well or be part of the same patent. These are physical BTC coins, in the form of a metal card the size and shape of a credit card. The Bitcoin Wallet is composed of two sets of engraved alpha-numeric and QR codes highlighted by black ink. One set is public and is on the outside of the card. A pull-tab almost exactly like the kind on a soup can is removed from the front of the card to reveal the inner contents . This is the engraving of the private key which is required to spend the BTC. Viewing it or detecting the exact nature of this code is equivalent to ownership of the associated BTC. The public key on the outside of the card is used to deposit to or send to the card. In normal operations the card would come loaded with a certain amount of BTC. The cards will be protected by security features and the quality control process during their manufacture. The cards will be dipped in a coating of compounds to indicate a unique identity for each card, with short lengths of coloured fibres and paint floating on the surface of the clear lacquer compound and creating a unique visual identity. Each card is photographed and the image file uploaded to a database with the blockchain address and item id from manufacture all associated together. A label is created and affixed to the outside of the card. On it are the blockchain address, photo of the untampered card, and amount of BTC deposited to card. The private keys are not retained in file form at the manufacturer’s facility, or recorded in any way. Before the key is deleted from memory and fully erased from all data storage devices, the photo of the engraving of it is compared to the key via character recognition software. When photo verifies as true then key is deleted from memory. Now the card is tracked by my own “in-house” item id, linked in the database to the blockchain address which displays the public key, and the photo file of the card. The card is photographed twice, the photo of the private key is deleted just after verifying the engraving matches the private key. The photo of the exterior of the card showing the paint lines and fibre positions on the card is kept on file. The offline computer takes the photo of the private key, the online computer takes the photo of the card after dipping. The card is meant to circumvent the horribly high fees associated with using BTC as a payment method. Possession of the card is deemed to be legally equivalent to the ability to spend the associated BTC available via the private key. The nature of the tamper proof and hack proof aspects of the card manufacture lends credence to the continued value of the card as it is passed through consecutive transactions. The fees which would have been normally paid to enable these transactions on the Blockchain, will now have been saved by the people utilizing the physical Bitcoin cards. The Bitcoin transactions on the Blockchain are enabled by paying fees to “bitcoin miners”, who use large amounts of energy and computing power to solve complicated mathematical problems in order to process transactions and also to earn newly created bitcoins, of which there will only ever be 21,000,000. The fees for bitcoin transactions have become so high that paying for an item with bitcoin wouldn’t make sense for anything under $280 or so; and you had better be rich enough not to care about the $30 to $75 fee to buy just about any size purchase. Instead of this, cold wallets containing small denominations of BTC can be exchanged via strong encryption and sending password and wallet via different delivery modes; or by physical bitcoin wallets. At any time one may pull the tab on the metal card and reveal the private key, in order to obtain control of the BTC for use in a different cold wallet, or an online wallet. You will now have to pay transaction fees as per your new wallet details. There is an instant financial advantage as soon as a group of people trust the value of physical bitcoin in transactions. All the miner fees for each transaction done with physical bitcoin are saved by the group. These transactions are valued in BTC, worth real dollars if exchanged for dollars; but with the dollar value always changing. Volatility is a fact of life with Bitcoin (BTC), but the market has always trended upwards if you wait long enough. And the value has often nose-dived as well, in an unpredictable manner. A lot of people are holding (or “hodling”) BTC as a very risky and speculative investment, hoping the price will go up. There is a great demand for bitcoin and that demand is going to increase in the near future. How will I pay to load the BTC on to the cards? The cards will be loaded on an “on-demand” order process. The cards can be made up to a certain stage, where they have been dipped in tamper-proofing but not yet labeled. Up to this point they can be any denomination (amount) of BTC. When the payment for the order is taken at the online website then the card is loaded, labeled and shipped to the customer. Besides the metal coin wallets denominated in various amounts of BTC; there will be “piggy-bank” versions of the card available. The BTC is loaded onto the card via the visible wallet public key engraved on the front of the card. The card owner can be paid debts owed to him via the public key. The card owner can send any amount of BTC to this receive address and it will become associated via the blockchain with the private key hidden inside the card. To spend the BTC loaded onto the card he will have to view the private key and send it to the hot wallet he uses online. Technical advice about fees, security, hacking and safety will be available at the company website, as well as many other helpful resources. The denominated versions of the card are identical to the piggy-bank versions except for the label. The label covers the “receive” address on the denominated versions, as no further deposits to the blockchain are needed. The label on the piggy-bank version doesn’t cover the public key address, has a photo of the card and the manufacturer’s ID number. It also has a link to the Blockchain.info webpage associated with the public key address. Anyone with this address can see how much BTC is associated with the Public Key shown here. Thus the intact tamper-proof BTC Card can be used with confidence, as the public key can be viewed on the Blockchain by anyone. As long as the amount on the card label matches the amount shown on the Blockchain.info webpage then the card’s private key can be trusted. This renders the card a form of “trust-less” currency equivalent to legal tender in value and usefulness . The card format and manufacturing process is tested to obtain a hack proof product. The private key is not detectable by examination or any technical means without opening the pull-tab. This is essential to prevent theft and fraud. The card can not be opened, viewed , and sealed again. A card without a label would be suspect, a card which had been opened and re-sealed obvious. Checking the blockchain address reveals the status of the BTC in question in any event. The manufacturing process is outlined below:
A small computer runs software offline to generate unique Blockchain Key Pairs (bitcoin addresses). It is used to control a CNC router which engraves the keys onto thick enough metal strip to prevent x-ray detection after folding.
a press folds the strip over and makes the pull tab closure
a shear cuts the strip at end
robot welder heats perimeter of cut strip to weld shut
wallet has been hacked if it is bent or split open in any way
wallet is dipped in lacquer , photographed, BTC loaded and labeled.
BTC metal card is shipped to customer
during the “load” process a computer reads the “receive” address with a camera and automatically adds a transaction amount to send to that address , generating a cue of transactions from a wallet with miner fees adjusted to be very low, just barely confirming after paying the least amount possible. Transactions confirm in one or two days.
For loading customer requested bitcoin card wallets the option to pay higher fees is presented to the customer last time of purchase. This speeds up the loading and delivery process.
a machine prints the label and places it on strip over address.
The engraving is deep enough to be permanent but still not detected while wallet card is in closed position. The alpha-numeric and QR code versions of the keys are engraved and inked. After the engraving, the private key is deleted from memory of the engraving controlling computer. This computer is never connected to the internet. Only verified software is used on this computer. A separate computer controls the camera, label maker, and database connection to the internet.
The private key is replaced by an item number linked to the receive address.
a computer program makes a file which goes onto a new thumb drive
this thumb drive is loaded on the offline computer
thumb drive is passed to online computer hosting desktop wallet, set to low miner fees.
file is used to send BTC to wallet addresses
The same file is used to generate the labels. Addresses are checked for BTC before coin Cards are offered for sale. A second stamp is placed on label when transaction confirms. Coin is offered for sale at Amazon.com if allowed. Coins can be exchanged as if fiat currency, with full confidence in BTC amount displayed on seal. Sale price on Amazon will reflect BTC amount cost when loaded- possibly a great deal if BTC has gone up since loading, or actual cost of production plus 2%, plus miner fee and distribution fee. Savings could be significant if BTC surges in value after coins are minted. coins are bought at time of minting by purchases of BTC at market price. “Would you like to buy some free money?” Demand for product is assured, as the value once for sale at Amazon increases over time. You will not be able to find cheaper bitcoin anywhere, sometimes. A small portion of my stock at Amazon will remain on sale at a very low price when the Bitcoin price rises. I plan on adjusting the price of my stock to reflect the current price of Bitcoin at the time; but not all of it, and not immediately. Every time the price of BTC increases by 10%, I will reset the price of my cards to initial values. The initial values are the current price of BTC plus 2% , miner fees and distribution costs. As the market price increases after loading the cards, they are more and more of a deal for the customer. This forms the basis of a great promotional value to sell the metal card coin wallets. The profit. Profit is calculated to be 2% of the BTC value when minted. Values from 0.001 BTC to 1 BTC are minted. This generates from $0.18 Cad to $180 CAD per card depending on value. I will focus on minting in the 0.01 to 0.11 BTC range, with profits of $1.80 to $19.80 a card. customer pays: Cost of BTC when minted miner fees, distribution fees, 2% over cost fee, Cost of manufacture. I estimate all costs not BTC or profit to be about $11 Cad per card. Price of card is: BTC cost + 2% + $11.00 . After purchase the card can be traded for cash, items or value of services. Miner fees are saved by every person after the initial purchaser of the card. I want to mint around 1000 cards a day. This averages out to $18,000 profit per day. The plan is to produce only lower value coin wallets until cash reserves are big enough to pay for larger denominations. Customers can order from the lower denominations in stock or special order cards of any amount that they pay for at the time, shipped after production on demand. This involves simply loading the customer’s purchase of BTC onto the card address and attaching the label. As the price of BTC rises then stock available and loaded previously will be a special discount offer until the price resets after a ten percent increase in the BTC market value. When selling the BTC coin metal cards at Amazon.com :
customer satisfaction assured
charge-back possible upon return unopened and intact, blockchain must show BTC available , BTC must be recovered to separate address
product legitimate and not forged or hacked
sell BTC coins from private website as well
website certified by CA
credit cards accepted
product return possible
Build reliable reputation
sell coins at vending machines
accept coins for cash at vending machines
make coins cheaper and better than BTC ATMs or Localbitcoin.com dealer purchases.
encourage retailers to accept physical coins, to avoid the transaction fees
Physical coins can be checked for valid BTC amounts on Blockchain before being accepted for purchase
Merchant can scan private key to cash conversion Bitcoin wallet “receive” address at a bitcoin exchange to obtain the current value of the BTC in cash without having to worry about the coin being hacked already or of losing money should the price of BTC fall immediately after payment.
Card is dipped in clear sealer with paint filaments floating in dip tank. Also small lengths of coloured fibre are floating in the resin coating. The unique pattern formed is photographed and printed on label stored in database with item number. Private key is not stored. Sell in vending machines in Japan, Airports,New York Subway System, Pizza Hut, etc. On the Directly Available Bitcoin On Metal Banknote (Da Bomb), the blockchain webpage address of the public key is displayed. To check that BTC are in the account, just go to that page. Unless tampered with, BTC amount will match that shown on label. Full label is artwork, denomination in BTC, photo and blockchain.info webpage address associated with public key. This idea is patentable due to the unique packaging of the cold bitcoin wallet in a pull-tab metal card. In this writing read “coin” as “card” as well. The card is evolved out of a sardine can with a pull tab lid closure, with very short sides and pressed flat all around the edge. The goal is to have a design where the pull tab can easily be removed by an adult. It should be hard for a child to open without being shown how. The card should be only slightly thicker than a regular credit card, and not open while in a leather wallet’s card holder.The pull tab should not open accidentally while being carried in a wallet. The pull tab will be manufactured so that it must be rotated by 180 degrees before opening. A small screwdriver, nail file or fingernail must be placed into a small slot to twist the pull tab into the correct position to open, before this it is restrained by a shallow metal lip on the top of the card. Research and development are required for this idea to be a success. The manufacturing process, security features and bitcoin loading and labeling must all be tested and verified as hack and tamper-proof. The customer must never receive a hacked or empty or unloaded card after purchase and delivery. Attempts at fraud by the customer will be obvious. Only Intact cards will be accepted for refund. Product must always ship in perfect condition, as customer can only return intact card for full refund, no opened, missing or tampered with cards will be credited to customer for refund, and this will be part of the agreement with the customer at time of purchase. Before refund the balance of the card must match the denomination on the label. Notes on manufacturing process:
I want to use a modified can forming machine to make the cards. They range in price from $25,000 to $400,000 .
there is a need to research the pull tab forming process.
the card “lid” must come off easy enough so that the tab will never break off first
the card must be made of very thin metal, but must not have sharp edges, be bent easily, or be readable on the inside while closed and sealed.
the goal is a card that is the same size and shape as any other bank card. The card should not be much thicker than 2mm at the most.
the patent development should focus on the card itself, the way the pull tab is tucked under the top before being twisted into position before pulling open, and second on the loading BTC process.
the process of generating the Private/Public alpha-numeric key pair, conversion to QR codes, engraving ,photographing and verifying codes; must be established in such a way as to prevent errors, fraud and unsaleable cards. no one should ever have the ability or opportunity to obtain the private keys or interfere with the engraving or photo process.
note that in photos of mock-up below: QR code and alpha-numeric public key versions would be covered by the label indicating the amount, and if a “piggy-bank” version no amount would appear on label. Only the public and private keys are engraved on the metal, the label has all the other information on it. Some artwork is engraved inside the card. If card design is not impervious to examination, lead or gold foil layers could be incorporated.
In the above I refer to not recording the private keys and deleting the server records as soon as the cards have been manufactured and checked for accuracy. please note that the recording of the private key for a certain amount of DA BOMB is required to power the FAST BITCOIN encrypted private key network. thank-you
The Statue of Liberty, Mystery Babylon, Freemasonry and The New Roman Empire / Fourth Reich
The Mother of Exiles and the Destruction of Babylon
I've always thought Mystery Babylon in Revelations was America. Lots of signs point to that. Inanna/Ishtar was known as the Whore of Babylon and Mother of Prostitutes because she supposedly started the practice of sacred prostitution. Inanna was the goddess of love, beauty, sex, desire, fertility, war, combat, justice, and political power. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_prostitution
Sacred prostitution, temple prostitution, cult prostitution, and religious prostitution are general terms for a sexual rite consisting of sexual intercourse or other sexual activity performed in the context of religious worship, perhaps as a form of fertility rite or divine marriage (hieros gamos). Some scholars prefer the term sacred sex to sacred prostitution in cases where payment for services was not involved.
But some scholars believe that this practice never existed and has been misunderstood.
The practice of sacred prostitution has not been substantiated in any Ancient Near Eastern cultures, despite many popular descriptions of the habit. Through the twentieth century, scholars generally believed that a form of sacred marriage rite or hieros gamos was staged between the king of a Sumerian city-state and the High Priestess of Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of sexual love, fertility, and warfare, but no certain evidence has survived to prove that sexual intercourse was included. Along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers there was a temple of Eanna, meaning house of heaven dedicated to Inanna in the Eanna District of Uruk.This will be relevant in my next post about the source of Yahweh's narcissism but for now, I'm just using this to illustrate part of the reason I think America is Babylon.
The Sumerians worshipped Inanna as the goddess of both warfare and sexuality. Unlike other gods, whose roles were static and whose domains were limited, the stories of Inanna describe her as moving from conquest to conquest. She was portrayed as young and impetuous, constantly striving for more power than she had been allotted.
An asteroid will pass directly in front of Regulus, one of the brightest stars in our night sky, next Wednesday — briefly blacking out the star in what astronomers are calling a “once in a lifetime” event. Better yet, New York City falls directly within the viewing path which is literally paper-thin on the earths scale. The event is so small, and so brief, that it will only be visible over a sliver of area. And this area happens to encompass millions of people in New York City, Northeast NJ and Long Island.
On Thursday, March 20 2014, Regulus will participate in a rare celestial event when an asteroid passes directly in front of the star, as seen from Earth. The asteroid in question is 163 Erigone. Asteroid 163 Erigone is about 45 miles (72 km) wide, but its "shadow" slanting to Earth's surface will be 67 miles (108 km) wide. Erigone's shadow will move on a southeast-to-northwest trajectory and will extend from New York City as well as western and central Long Island to Oswego in New York State, and then continues northwest, the length of Ontario to the Hudson Bay shore of Manitoba. Those who are within the shadow path and watching at just the right moment with just their eyes will see an amazing sight: Regulus will seem to abruptly disappear as if a switch had been thrown, blotted out by the tiny invisible asteroid. Regulus will remain invisible for up to 14 seconds (for those situated along the center of the path); an incredible, albeit very brief occurrence.
This "once in a lifetime event" eclipsing right over New York. Where the Statue of Liberty is. Revelations 17
There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. 5 The name written on her forehead was a mystery: 15 Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. 16 The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to hand over to the beast their royal authority, until God’s words are fulfilled. 18 The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.”
America's colors are red, white and blue. Red+Blue = Purple. Purple apparently represents royalty as well as vanity. Scarlet represents the blood of Christ and martyrs.
The color purple is also associated with royalty in Christianity, being one of the three traditional offices of Jesus Christ, i. e. king, although such a symbolism was assumed from the earlier Roman association or at least also employed by the ancient Romans. In Europe and America, purple is the color most associated with vanity, extravagance, and individualism. Among the seven major sins, it represents vanity. It is a color which is used to attract attention
**8.Bartholdi planned for the statue to be covered in gold.**In order to make the statue visible after dark, Bartholdi proposed that Americans raise the money to gild her. However, given how daunting and arduous a task it had been to gather even enough money to place the statue in New York harbor, no one followed through on paying the enormous cost of covering the massive statue in gold.
Not to mention this little interesting fact that brings the 2nd Beasts actions that are spoken of to mind.
:The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. :**9. Thomas Edison once had plans to make the statue talk.**When Edison introduced the phonograph to the public in 1878, he told the newspapers that he was designing a “monster disc” for the interior of the Statue of Liberty that would allow the statue to deliver speeches that could be heard up to the northern part of Manhattan and across the bay. Thankfully, no one pursued that strange promise, which would have led to the odd experience of walking in New York and suddenly hearing the Statue of Liberty “talking.” precious stones and pearls.
The sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi designed the statue to be fully illuminated, a feature that’s suggested in its official name, “La Liberté Eclairant le Monde,” or “Liberty Enlightening the World.” (At first the Statue of Liberty doubled as a lighthouse, given its position in the New York Harbor, but that didn’t last: It was decommissioned as such in 1902.) Originally the lighting scheme was to be red, white, and blue—with a giant searchlight trained on the statue’s face and shoulders. Officials claimed in 19th-century newspaper accounts that they would make the statue so bright as to cast a glow on the clouds of the night sky 100 miles away. The statue’s face was to be lit by a reflector so bright that newspapers described it as “4 million candle power.” Her diadem was meant to sparkle with electric light. These were lofty goals in the dawn of the electrical age, and they carried symbolism that has lost much of its potency now that electricity is taken for granted.
She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries.
In the torch, the flames are covered in gold. Looks enough like a cup. Also, in Isaiah 14:12 (another prophecy detailing the fall of Babylon that I didn't bother copying and pasting all of here) it refers to Babylon (or it's king) as "Lucifer, son of the morning". Lucifer means "light bringer" (hence the torch and the statue's original name being Liberty Enlightening the World) or "morning star" which is another name for the planet Venus which is associated with Inanna/Ishtar.
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to hand over to the beast their royal authority
The 10 kings + the beast = 11.
The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings.
It has 7 spikes coming out of the head. https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/01_00240318.jpg?quality=85 We're a very diverse country and Lady Liberty represents us taking in people from all countries. We pretty much control the world (for now) as the 7 hills represents the 7 continents, which is literally what is said they represent. Plus she's literally sitting on an island in the water.
Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.
Masonic theories abound about the Statue of Liberty’s connection to the masons. Those who do ascribe to the theory cite Bartholdi’s and Eiffel’s membership in the Freemasons, that many original plans for the statue demonstrate the link and that many elements of the statue carry symbolic meaning. In addition, the masons presided over the cornerstone laying for the Statue of Liberty, a moment commemorated in a 1984 plaque in dedication to the masons on the 100th anniversary. In 1884, the grand master William A. Brodie laid the cornerstone with grand lodge members present. Brodie is reported to have said, “Why call upon the Masonic Fraternity to lay the cornerstone of such a structure as is here to be erected? No institution has done more to promote liberty and to free men from the trammels and chains of ignorance and tyranny than has Freemasonry.”
Then there's the poem that is inside the base.
The New Colossus Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,With conquering limbs astride from land to land;Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall standA mighty woman with a torch, whose flameIs the imprisoned lightning, and her nameMOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-handGlows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes commandThe air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries sheWith silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
The Mother of exiles.
Prophecies of the Destruction of Babylon / America / New York
45 “Come out of her, my people!Run for your lives!Run from the fierce anger of the Lord.46 Do not lose heart or be afraidwhen rumors are heard in the land;one rumor comes this year, another the next,rumors of violence in the landand of ruler against ruler.47 For the time will surely comewhen I will punish the idols of Babylon;her whole land will be disgraced
Welcome to General Election 2016 – The Transition The Hegelian Dialectic is the transition of things. And the Illuminati loves to use it. We have been expecting it. We have read about it. And now it is here, in front of our faces. And many are IGNORING it. Folks, we are witnessing Hegelian logic on display. How we got here is an aside, but here we are. The disease is Hillary, and the medicine is Trump. For most folks, that’s all that matters. Case closed. What most citizens do not realize is that this is all a ruse. A mirage. It is being carried by, “they.” “They” are using the illusion, because America was stationary and stubborn. “You can’t New World Order me!” Americans said, “…Because we know about you.” Did the globalists go away and cry in their beer? Nope. They knew this would happen. It was expected. Butsome of the citizens heard a few radio shows that told them, “we’re gonna win.” Hegel’s dialectic utilizes the “mirage.” And then steers the people through its house of mirrors with scary monsters. In America’s case, the monster is a short woman with a trucker’s voice named Hillary. Their task is simple. Globalism. But how do they get there? Simple: Scare them with the Thesis – Hillary / the Enemy of Freedom. And offset her with the Anti-thesis – Donald the Lion-Hearted / Champion of the People. …Next stop – the Synthesis. Ashes with a rising phoenix. It's right there in front of us. Do you see it folks?
“The Double Headed Eagle of Lagash” is the oldest Royal Crest in the World… No emblematic device of today can boast of such antiquity. Its origin has been traced to the ancient city of Lagash. It was in use a thousand years before the Exodus from Egypt and more than two thousand years before the building of “King Solomon’s Temple.” “As time rolled on, it passed from the Sumerians to the men of Akkad, from the men of Akkad to the Hittites, from the denizens of Asia Minor to the Seljukian Sultans from whom it was brought by the Crusaders to the Emperors of the East and West, whose successors were the Hapsburgs and the Romanoffs.” “In recent excavations, the city-emblem of Lagash was disclosed also as a lion headed eagle sinking his claws into the bodies of two lions standing back to back. This is evidently a variant of the other eagle symbol”. “The city of Lagash is in Sumer in Southern Babylonia, between the Euphrates and the Tigris and near the modern Shatra in Iraq, Lagash had a calendar of twelve lunar months, a system of weights and measures, a banking and accounting system and was a center of art, literature, military and political power, five thousand years before Christ”. “In 102 B.C. the Roman Consul Marius decreed that the Eagle be displayed as a symbol of Imperial Rome. Later, as a world power, Rome used the Double-Headed Eagle, one head facing the East the other facing the West, symbolizing the universality and unity of the Empire. The Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire continued its use and the symbol was adopted later in Germany during the halcyon days of conquest and imperial power”. So far as is known, the Double-Headed Eagle was first used in Freemasonry in 1758 by a Masonic Body in Paris – the Emperors of the East and West. During a brief period the Masonic Emperors of the East and West controlled the advanced degrees then in use and became a precursor of the “Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite”. The Latin caption under the Double-Headed Eagle – “Spes Mea in Deo Est” translated is “My Hope Is In God”.
A part of this sounds familiar
“In recent excavations, the city-emblem of Lagash was disclosed also as a lion headed eagle sinking his claws into the bodies of two lions standing back to back. This is evidently a variant of the other eagle symbol”.
In 102 B.C. the Roman Consul Marius decreed that the Eagle be displayed as a symbol of Imperial Rome. Later, as a world power, Rome used the Double-Headed Eagle, one head facing the East the other facing the West, symbolizing the universality and unity of the Empire. The Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire continued its use and the symbol was adopted later in Germany during the halcyon days of conquest and imperial power”. So far as is known, the Double-Headed Eagle was first used in Freemasonry in 1758 by a Masonic Body in Paris – the Emperors of the East and West. During a brief period the Masonic Emperors of the East and West controlled the advanced degrees then in use and became a precursor of the “Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite”
The imperial bird with two heads simultaneously facing East and West has been Russia’s official coat of arms for centuries, with only a break during the Soviet era. The emblem, however, is far older than the country, with roots dating to ancient civilizations. An eagle on a country’s coat of arms is quite common – this bird is as popular a national symbol as the lion. “He is the king of birds; just like the lion is believed to rule all animals, and he is associated with the cult of the sun,” Georgy Vilinbakhov, head of Russia’s Heraldic Council, explains.
Title of article: Get Ready for the Phoenix THIRTY years from now, Americans, Japanese, Europeans, and people in many other rich countries, and some relatively poor ones will probably be paying for their shopping with the same currency. Prices will be quoted not in dollars, yen or D-marks but in, let’s say, the phoenix. The phoenix will be favoured by companies and shoppers because it will be more convenient than today’s national currencies, which by then will seem a quaint cause of much disruption to economic life in the last twentieth century.At the beginning of 1988 this appears an outlandish prediction. Proposals for eventual monetary union proliferated five and ten years ago, but they hardly envisaged the setbacks of 1987. The governments of the big economies tried to move an inch or two towards a more managed system of exchange rates – a logical preliminary, it might seem, to radical monetary reform. For lack of co-operation in their underlying economic policies they bungled it horribly, and provoked the rise in interest rates that brought on the stock market crash of October. These events have chastened exchange-rate reformers. The market crash taught them that the pretence of policy co-operation can be worse than nothing, and that until real co-operation is feasible (i.e., until governments surrender some economic sovereignty) further attempts to peg currencies will flounder The new world economyThe biggest change in the world economy since the early 1970’s is that flows of money have replaced trade in goods as the force that drives exchange rates. as a result of the relentless integration of the world’s financial markets, differences in national economic policies can disturb interest rates (or expectations of future interest rates) only slightly, yet still call forth huge transfers of financial assets from one country to another. These transfers swamp the flow of trade revenues in their effect on the demand and supply for different currencies, and hence in their effect on exchange rates. As telecommunications technology continues to advance, these transactions will be cheaper and faster still. With unco-ordinated economic policies, currencies can get only more volatile. In all these ways national economic boundaries are slowly dissolving. As the trend continues, the appeal of a currency union across at least the main industrial countries will seem irresistible to everybody except foreign-exchange traders and governments. In the phoenix zone, economic adjustment to shifts in relative prices would happen smoothly and automatically, rather as it does today between different regions within large economies (a brief on pages 74-75 explains how.) The absence of all currency risk would spur trade, investment and employment. The phoenix zone would impose tight constraints on national governments. There would be no such thing, for instance, as a national monetary policy. The world phoenix supply would be fixed by a new central bank, descended perhaps from the IMF. The world inflation rate – and hence, within narrow margins, each national inflation rate- would be in its charge. Each country could use taxes and public spending to offset temporary falls in demand, but it would have to borrow rather than print money to finance its budget deficit. With no recourse to the inflation tax, governments and their creditors would be forced to judge their borrowing and lending plans more carefully than they do today. This means a big loss of economic sovereignty, but the trends that make the phoenix so appealing are taking that sovereignty away in any case. Even in a world of more-or-less floating exchange rates, individual governments have seen their policy independence checked by an unfriendly outside world. As the next century approaches, the natural forces that are pushing the world towards economic integration will offer governments a broad choice. They can go with the flow, or they can build barricades. Preparing the way for the phoenix will mean fewer pretended agreements on policy and more real ones. It will mean allowing and then actively promoting the private-sector use of an international money alongside existing national monies. That would let people vote with their wallets for the eventual move to full currency union. The phoenix would probably start as a cocktail of national currencies, just as the Special Drawing Right is today. In time, though, its value against national currencies would cease to matter, because people would choose it for its convenience and the stability of its purchasing power. The alternative – to preserve policymaking autonomy- would involve a new proliferation of truly draconian controls on trade and capital flows. This course offers governments a splendid time. They could manage exchange-rate movements, deploy monetary and fiscal policy without inhibition, and tackle the resulting bursts of inflation with prices and incomes polices. It is a growth-crippling prospect. Pencil in the phoenix for around 2018, and welcome it when it comes.
So it was a random Sunday: bed, eat, repeat until I went online and I saw a link by a new user called @limon. There was a small introduction to a YouTube video which at first glance didn’t look interesting, but what the hell? Lets read this. https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/...lLpi-xYDCw.png He talked about an article from The Economist, year 1988, coin, phoenix and then Zoin… wtf? Anyways, I opened the link (don’t open links from strangers) and watched the video in Youtube, (it’s in Spanish) @limon claims in the video (minute 5) that he actually found a not so well know cryptocurrency (yet) by doing some research on an article from 1988 and he is somehow convinced it’s going to be huge. Yes, @limon saw the writing and thought maybe I should check this and find out which is the coin of the future. As crazy as it seems, finding a cryptocurrency by doing research on a 1988 magazine its quite incredible. Is it a coincidence or is it a prediction? Not even @limon knows, but there’s a few things that can blow up your mind here. This is the article from 1988. It claims that there will be a currency (referred as “phoenix”) that will be used by everybody in several countries in 2018. So yes, you all might say “the coin is called the Phoenix”. There’s actually a coin called Phoenixcoin but that didn’t seem to convince @limon once he checked it out in www.coinmarketcap.com (it sucked even for @limon who wanted to believe with all his heart) But @limon didn’t give up, he thought what if its hidden? So he decided to take a closer look at the magazine cover. https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/...LKufsoJVug.png He noticed that he could read the letters backward (um…interesting) https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/...Ir1KSVOMbw.png He got XIN3ONd NET by reading the cover letter backwards and he said well, XIN is Chinese, and found out in google translator that XIN meant NEW. Then 3ONd he looked at it and thought this is Russian… and it was. That weird word that would not mean anything to someone meant something for @limon so he decided to google translate it. https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/...uui5nS3hFg.png Well yeah 3ONd is Russian and means ZOI, but wait is this a coin? @Limon decided to search “ZOI” in www.coinmarketcap.com. https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/...LN2UCCLQwg.png WOW, Zoin existed. He ended up with the sentence NEW ZOI NET, in which Zoi was an actual currency. He starting searching now all about Zoin (DYOR) and liked everything he saw. The team, the community and development its very much updated. Got even more carried away when he saw Zoin’s logo: https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/...4CV6Ln5sFQ.png https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/...y75KEGoyHQ.png And when he researched even deeper, he found out that ZOIN was left by its first developer and got taken over by its community from all over the world. Yes, Zoin emerged from the ashes. What? wait. Zoin is also a Phoenix. Anyways, @limon found all the signs of a prophecy from 1988. He couldn’t wait so he joined Zoin’s community and shared his video. By the way he bought some Zoin. After finding the last lost prophecy he had no plans on missing out. Check all about Zoin in the following links. You can reach out to the team on Discord, website address is www.zoinofficial.com and their twitter @zoinofficial You better don’t miss it. Its a prophecy. Thank you limon. @torrmara
Transcript of Proof of Stake & Name Discussion in Slack
Discussion starts off around Tone Vays’ Decred segment sambiohazard: he is generally pessimistic about altcoins praxis: Yes, he's a notorious Bitcoin maximalist. simmysong: what’d he say about decred? ty13r: weren't you watching the show? @jimmysong I saw your name in the chat jimmysong: I popped in just now but then he wasn’t talking decred anymore so i left I also didn’t say anything ty13r: @jimmysong good to know :slightly_smiling_face: jrick: oh i found my next avatar ty13r: @jimmysong he talked about the chart for a minute. I'm not sure what else he said prior. not sure what he said after either lol go1dfish: sounds like he’s fundamentally opposed to proof of stake sambiohazard: he just said there is probably downside on price, and maybe its warranted for goo future growth he hadnt researched/read about fundamentals so pure TA ty13r: sounds like he won't like decred because it's has a form of proof of stake built into the protocol sounds like he hates all ideas related to proof of stake pvtwarren: he hates all ideas that are not bitcoin pretty much ty13r: except monero and ethereum i guess pvtwarren: he doesn't hate ethereum? ty13r: apparently monero and ethereum deserve to be #2 and #3 not sure I don't see why he wouldn't pvtwarren: back in January I remember he was still calling it a scam maybe I remember incorrectly cryptocasca: His problem with PoS guys is the "rich people control the blockchain" problem He told me himself go1dfish: since when is mining cheap? cryptocasca: He just needs to hear how our devs got around that I'm not agreeing. Obviously. I'm just saying he thinks of PoS is a system where it's the rich people who control the direction of the coin and proletariat eat the crumbs dustinb: Congrats on the news y'all - what do you think this trend means for the industry at large? ty13r: Well I'm not exactly sure we really differ. People who hold a lot of decred and stake it, directly control the future of the blockchain. cryptocasca: I'm not agreeing. Obviously. I'm just saying he thinks of PoS is a system where it's the rich people who control the direction of the coin and proletariat eat the crumbs The more decred you stake the more say you have. cryptocasca: There's a cap though @ty13r on the ticket amount that can exist ty13r: No That's what the sdiff algo does cryptocasca: Well not a hard one Right ty13r: I think that's nice though Anyone can participate at any time With enough funds of course cryptocasca: That's not how he spins it. And we need to combat that mentality. He thinks if you're just a mega whale and buy a bunch of coins that you control the show. That essentially DCR is a system run by whales not people davecgh: So, regardless of the specifics here, I think this is very likely going to be one of those cases where there will simply be a fundamental difference of opinion on the topic. While a lot of people love to rail on the rich as being evil (while simultaneously wanting to be rich -- the hypocrisy there is quite amusing), the fact of the matter is people with more skin in the game have more incentive to keep their stake more valuable. Loving it or hating it won't change the facts. cryptocasca: Yes. I agree. ty13r: Yep. cryptocasca: I think the staking aspect is important here. ty13r: But same can be said for PoW mining cryptocasca: The locking up for 28+ days ty13r: Buy more miners, you have more say. Well also just like PoW mining anyone can participate at any given time. And people are getting paid for putting skin in the game 142 days is a long time in crypto land Which is the period it takes for a ticket to expire. dustinb: The problem isn't just that the rich have control, it's that the rich get richer. PoS is similar to compound interest. go1dfish: the power over traditional bitcoins is in the mining hardware and that is not specific to the currency they back, which is why you have worries about bitcoin forks attacking each other coin_artist: But also earlier contributors who earned decred build the grassroots community go1dfish: @dustinb I think that’s a large aspecting driving anti-pos perception but it applies similarly to mining hardware dustinb: Ya @go1dfish - the combination of long term staking + PoW changes things, I need to think more on it. Tendermint's solution has always been the credible threat of hard fork if anyone's stake gets too big. go1dfish: but mining also ends up specifically favoring some people due to external factors like power pricing davecgh: The other thing here is something which doesn't exist yet, so it's completely understandable why it's not considered, but there is a huge difference between hard-fork voting and proposal voting. dustinb: Proposal wouldn't solve it. The non-majority would have to hf. ty13r: I believe this is another reason why 60% of the reward goes to PoW davecgh: Hard fork voting is changing the rules. It's the kind of thing where you could destroy the currency if you aren't careful. That, in my opinion, should consequently very much have a high barrier to entry. Proposals, on the other hand, should definitely have a lower barrier to entry and thus would be much more inclusive. dustinb: Ya - that's the exact reason I like decred, save the hfs for the big stuff. davecgh: These things are not the same and they shouldn't be treated as such. Again, this is my own opinion. I'm sure not everyone agrees. ty13r: @davecgh but how will you differentiate them economically? davecgh: e.g. you wouldn't need a full ticket to vote on proposals, but you would for HFV. ty13r: You might split tickets 32 times, but 1 ticket is still worth 32 votes. davecgh: On the HFV side, yes. However, you can count them however you want on the proposal side. It's l2. You don't need to weight them the same. ty13r: So a split ticket weight might have the same weight as non-split ticket? But if that's the case couldn't someone stake their funds with splits to get more votes? Without some sort of identity system it seems difficult to prevent Sybil attacks in that case. davecgh: I'm spitballing here, so don't take this as gospel or anything, but you could definitely look at the snapshotting tickets and see there are 40960 tickets in total and those tickets are split up such that there are 163,840 participants. So, when you do the proposal system vote, the majority is required to be X% of 163,840. Meanwhile, the on-chain HFV is still 1 ticket = 1 vote. dustinb: I like making it difficult to hf, but is the goal to make it impossible? Not only does that goal technically seem unlikely but aren't there some advantages to hf when we have very serious disagreements within a network about how to proceed? davecgh: It's not impossible at all. There is a very nice distribution of holders. ty13r: We're referring to the proposal system vote right now dustinb: ah. ty13r: Basically the signaling mechanism for work and spending funds. davecgh : The other thing to keep in mind is that the l2 system can be wildly different if we so choose. You can create HLTCs to locked up funds for "layer 2" tickets that can potentially have arbitrary division. You don't have all of the limitations as the on-chain system. ty13r: The HF vote makes it real. @dustinb we just had what should have been a contentious vote that passed with ease surprisingly. davecgh: Then, you still have demonstrable skin in the game, just much much less for participating in the lead-up to a hard fork. However, the actual hard fork vote, a.ka. the thing that actually changes the rules, will, necessarily, use the on-chain system. Again, I totally get this is rather abstract right now since it isn't fully built out and mostly just still in our heads. ty13r: But doesn't attacking the l2 system pose a larger risk? Definitely :slightly_smiling_face: It's like controlling the seeds And the hf vote is like controlling when to harvest If the seeds never get planted there will never be anything to harvest I'm all in favor of lowering the barrier to entry, but increasing the favor of Sybil attacks seems tough to juggle if tickets can have a different weight on the l2 system. davecgh: Well, people with more skin in the game will still have more influence. So, the majority would still win in that case. It just means it allows more inclusivity, which I think we all desire. ty13r: Yeah I think that's fair. @davecgh so could the proposal system have completely separate tickets not related to the HF tickets? For example... davecgh: If we so desire, absolutely. ty13r: I have a bunch of decred that I'm not HF staking But there's a proposal vote going on that I want to vote for I lock up tickets in the l2 vote for a week (no reward) and get my funds back after the vote has concluded davecgh: You'd need to think through the adversarial cases as we've done with the on-chain system in order to prevent the case where you vote, all of your locked funds immediately unlock, and then you dump. So, you'd want some type of randomness factor in there to prevent gaming of it. ty13r: People HF staking still got to vote as well, but so did I without having to lockup my funds for a longer, unknown period of time. What do you mean by dump? davecgh: However, from a pure perspective of whether or not it's possible, you can definitely have a different ruleset. For example, one of the biggest differences, everything else aside, is that the voting period duration will be much faster. Rather than taking a full month, only having 5 votes per block, etc, in the proposal system, the vote would go on for, say a week, and so long as you own a ticket, you can vote whenever you want within that period. Notice how that ruleset is entirely different already. I personally can envision a need for differing voting periods too. There will very likely be time-sensitive things that need to be voted on more or less immediately and maybe they are only 2 days. On the end of the spectrum, perhaps there are things that need longer than a week. moo31337: murmurs something about how not interesting ticket splitting is davecgh: By dump I mean something like "Lock up a bunch of coins, vote down some proposal, all of my coins immediately unlock, sell all of my coins". If you can do that, you no longer necessarily have any incentive to vote according to increasing your holding's values. moo31337: you really dont want my raw opinion on it davecgh: That doesn't apply to the on-chain system because you can't snap vote. Your coins are locked, potentially for months, and you can't influence when they unlock at all. So, if you try vote in a way that would decrease your holding's value, you would be doing so to your own detriment. ty13r: Let's hear it @moo31337 Davecgh: I can sum it up easily! ty13r: That's what she said moo31337: @davecgh nailed it ty13r: Yeah splitting seems like it has a lot of obstacles moo31337: I super dont want to write that code ty13r: @moo31337 assuming increasing the ticket pool size was easy (which I know it's not and could hurt the network) would you be in favor of that? Also increasing votes per block proportionately of course jy-p: I wouldn't from a on-chain footprint perspective having a "ticket split" similar to a stock split would be a ton of work even having 32 split would lead to a massive footprint for offchain votes in the proposal system let's say you have 100 B for each vote in the proposal system, then take 100 B x 40,960 = ~4 MB for the proposal vote multiply that by 32 to get ~128 MB of offchain data to track for proposals this is one proposal too we'll be experimenting with ways to shrink this footprint soon, so this constraint may improve substantially with time ty13r: Yeah and on chain votes are even bigger jy-p: exactly imo, the real solution to the ticket price barrier is to allow tickets to be purchased via a variation on LN davecgh: Agreed, and that's why I was talking about l2 tickets above. ty13r: how do you keep people from getting more voting rights though? davecgh: You don't. Just like in the on-chain system. If you're willing to lock up more funds, you get more influence. However, it allows "smaller fish" to participate too. They just have influence proportional to their stake. ty13r: But if you own 51% of a ticket you can vote it however you want So you could turn 100 tickets into more tickets davecgh: Oh, I see your confusion. Yeah, your talking about buying partial tickets. We're talking about just having more tickets period. ty13r: Ahhh ok sorry So more tickets...but anchored through the LN davecgh: No worries! Like I said, abstract stuff is always fun to discuss for this reason! Right. ty13r: I like it. jy-p: there are a variety of approaches we could take, e.g. fractional voting that is tallied via L2 and rolled into a single ticket we'll start with the simple stuff and see what we can get done first davecgh: Yeah, one of things you guys might have noticed is we're pretty keen on taking things one step at a time. Trying to do everything half-assed at once is a recipe for failure, imo. ty13r: So for example you'd have maybe 5 tickets vote directly on chain and 5 tickets vote via LN? Definitely agree with that davecgh: It might look great on paper when you can tout via marketing that you have X, Y, Z, and a BBQ too! The reality is that if all of those systems are poorly implemented though, it isn't going to make it long term. moo31337: 40k tickets ought to be enough for everyone one ticket one vote!!! ty13r: Another reason why I advocate for this project is you guys spend the painstaking time to do things right. So I definitely appreciate the non rush to the finish line mentality. moo31337: oh there is a rush we just tend not to compromise when it matters I think we need a code is boss meme davecgh: Right. We do have quite aggressive timelines. However, as @moo31337 said, if we have to bump an estimated release date to make sure something is right, that's what we'll do. jy-p: speaking of which, i think we're nearing time for 1.1.0 release. that will include the proposal system backend moo31337: you don’t want my working hours and certainly not @davecgh hours; i dont think anyone understands how @davecgh puts 28 hours in a day ty13r: I know you guys work your asses off. Feels weird when dave goes offline for a few hours honestly lol Feels like he's been gone for days :joy: reddit thread suggesting name change appears ay-p: Ahhh that daily "let's change the name" thread jy-p: I'm 100% sick of these posts ty13r: lol I was about to say the same thing jy-p: "I know you're named john, but i think you'd sound much more attractive if you were named " look at the names of these other major projects - they are beyond retarded go1dfish: you just know it’s going to be a popular proposal when that system is ready. davecgh: I'm actually looking forward to that proposal. It will be voted down once and for all. Then, in the future we'll just be able to link to the failed proposal. No fuss. davecgh: I'm never going to shop at Amazon because it has too much to do with rivers and jungles and women warriors! jy-p: the word Amazon triggers me b/c of the systematic destruction of the rainforest there moo31337: see my turquoise was dead on! colors are hip for branding these days and it has to be calming go1dfish: I like the name I think where the branders can win the fight is in suggesting good unit names decred works as a project name, but it seems a bit clunky as a unit name. davecgh: Well, we probably shouldn't be so dismissive, but after seeing the same thing so many times, it's kind of comical. What is especially funny is that if you actually followed some of the others that people now claim are "good" names, there were the exact same threads about them not being good names too. Now, they are magically good names though because they're popular.
Decentralized security token exchange, DSTOQ, has launched a platform called its minimum viable product (MVP). MVP allows people to invest in real assets such as stocks, bonds, and commodities using cryptocurrencies. This platform runs using Stellar’s blockchain testnet, and all transactions will happen completely on-chain.
Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), the world fourth largest bank by assets, announces it will making its first loan on a blockchain system. The loan, valued at USD$300k, is meant to support the local tea industry in the Guizhou province and is backed by a piece of agricultural land.
“Civilized blockchain”1 company Billon, has partnered with Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) to develop blockchain technology solutions. Billon implements blockchain solutions for the main purpose of processing fiat currencies. FIS will utilize Billon for document and identity management, the exploration of joint sales and product development opportunities, and smartphone micropayments among other services.
SBI Group, a Japanese financial services company, has announced plans to develop a platform to trade cryptocurrency derivatives. The platform would help crypto investors hedge their risk by offering cryptocurrency credit default swap (CDS) trading. SBI will accomplish this through its recent 12% purchase of North Carolina-based digital marketplace developer Clear Markets.
Equity research provider Fundstrat Global Advisors has announced that it will begin accepting Bitcoin (BTC) as payment for accessing research reports. Fundstrat is using payment operator BitPay, which has processed over USD$1 billion in Bitcoin payments CY2017, to process their new BTC payments accepted from institutional investors, high net-worth clients, and financial advisors.
The most popular cryptocurrency markets tracking platform, CoinMarketCap (CMC), has added a professional-grade API, and support for derivatives markets to its services. The API provides developers with access to aggregated data packages, providing everything from price and market cap, to trading pair data and conversions. CMC is marketing this product to those who need to back-test trading strategies, and run simulations more accurately.
Logos Network, a decentralized payments platform, successfully raised USD$3mm in seed funding. Logos is hoping to build a quick and scalable P2P payments network on a new blockchain. The payments network plans to be quick, scalable, and secure.
The Stuggart Börse, Germany’s second largest stock exchange, has announced an initiative to construct a multilateral cryptocurrency trading platform, as well as an initial coin offering (ICO) platform. The exchange already launched in May a crypto trading app called Bison, which features zero-fee transactions.
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), operator of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and 22 others, will develop a Microsoft cloud-based digital asset ecosystem. ICE is creating a new company for this, called Bakkt, which will work closely with companies including Starbucks and BCG. The ecosystem is planned to be a one-stop-shop for all consumers, from retail to institutional, to buy, hold, sell, and spend cryptocurrencies on a communal network. ICE will also launch physically-delivered BTC futures contracts.
The Chamber of Digital Commerce, an American advocacy group promoting the blockchain industry, is producing new guidelines to aid the in the responsible growth of the initial coin offering (ICO) markets and cryptocurrency markets all together. These guidelines were released in a whitepaper detailing current and future regulations for investor reference, a set of principles for trading platforms and token sponsors to follow, and a general discussion about the growth of the cryptocurrency industry so far.
The South Korean government has proposed revisions to its tax law, affecting cryptocurrency exchanges. The proposition states that cryptocurrency exchanges will be exempt from the tax benefits given to startups and small-mid-sized businesses. It is important to note that new propositions might be made to change this before implementation, but the South Korean government doesn’t believe that crypto transaction companies do not generate added value like other companies do.
Indian cryptocurrency traders are finding ways to circumvent the India government’s decision to ban cryptocurrency trading. Traders are now making use of a Dabba trading which refers to making OTC trades that are off the books. Dabba traders execute trades through platforms at international banks in Dubbai, Europe and the UK. Indian stock traders have used this method for years, and has experienced an upsurge after the crypto ban.
The U.S. Consumer financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has created an Office of Innovation. The Office of innovation is responsible for the development of a regulatory framework surrounding new products and services in the cryptocurrency, blockchain, and microlending fields. This regulatory sandbox could give some guidance on creation of regulatory frameworks around innovative fintech companies.
South Korea Financial Supervisory Service is advising local regulators to work towards creating an integrated blockchain system for stocks transactions. The group finds the use of a centralized ledger to be inefficient and vulnerable to hacks.
It was recently reported that HTC will be releasing a new mobile phone utilizing decentralized ledger technology, but Litecoin (LTC) founder Charlie Lee announced July 29th that he will be one of HTC’s advisors on the smartphone. The phone will be called Exodus and is expected to be the first blockchain phone. Exodus’s built-in cryptocurrency wallet will now natively support LTC and the Lightning Network (LN), in addition to Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
Cointelegraph.com reported that digital asset exchange Huobi will begin supporting trades in the Indian rupee (INR) on its over-the-counter (OTC) service. Huobi’s peer-to-peer (P2P) trading platform will allow INR users free trading in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Tether (USDT). This comes at a good time for Indian cryptocurrency traders after the Reserve Bank of India banned banks from dealing with cryptocurrency-related companies in early July.
IOHK, the company behind the popular cryptocurrency Cardano (ADA), announced that it has launched the testnet for a new Cardano virtual machine. The virtual machine, called IELE, provides developers with a stronger and more reliable platform for developing smart contracts on Cardano’s blockchain.
IoT and blockchain platform Ambrosus has announced the launch of its mainnet, called AMB-NET 1.0. Ambrosus improves pharmaceutical and food supply chains by allowing companies to record private and public supply chain data on its blockchain. Organizations can work with the Ambrosus Network through its native AMB token.
San Francisco-based platform, DCEX, will begin accepting registration applications for its new cryptocurrency exchange. DCEX’s base currency, the currency participants use to exchange for other currencies, will be Ripple’s XRP. This is a change from the cryptocurrency exchange norm of using Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) as base currencies. Not basing all transactions off of Bitcoin is a step in the right directions for pushing the market to be more independent from it.
Thomson Reuters, a Canadian mass-media and information company, has announced a partnership with CryptoCompare, a cryptocurrency data tracking resource. CryptoCompare will provide Thomson Reuters will trade and order book data on 50 cryptocurrencies.
Major Cineplex, the largest movie theater chain in Thailand, is integrating cryptocurrency payments to permits moviegoers to buy anything from tickets to popcorn. Major Cineplex is partnering with RapizPay to deploy the digital currency payment system. This comes a week after the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission began allowing cryptocurrency operators to file license applications.
Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency services in the world, has announced in a blog post that Jeff Horowitz, an ex-Pershing exec, has joined as company’s new Chief Compliance Officer. Horowitz has ample background experience for this position, as he was Managing Director and Global Head of Compliance for Pershing, a banking regulator for the FDIC, and even led compliance and anti-money-laundering (AML) programs at Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Salomon Brothers.
Binance, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchange, has made its first-ever acquisition, purchasing crypto wallet provider Trust Wallet. This move appeals to cryptocurrency investors wary of keeping their coins on centralized custodial services as Trust Wallet now introduces Binance users to decentralized custody. The decentralized wallet will be offered on mobile platforms, and supports coins built off of Ethereum’s protocol. You can read more about decentralized exchanges in our latest Crypto Quant Shot: Atomic Swaps, Decentralized Exchanges, and the Future of Crypto Exchanges.
Google has announced that later this year, it will introduce open-source integrations of Ethereum and Hyperledger applications through its Google Cloud Product marketplace. This move pushes Google into the blockchain services industry, thereby joining others such as Amazon Web Services, IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft Azure.
U.S. lawmakers working with the Congressional Valley Fever Task Force are looking for blockchain applications to help fight infectious fungal diseases. The lawmakers have proposed a bill as a part of the FORWARD Act for the creation of a blockchain pilot hoping to improve the way doctors share information about endemic fungal diseases such as Valley Fever. If information could be exchanged between doctors quicker and more efficiently, they would be better equipped to treat these infectious diseases.
Mobile engagement firm MobileBridge, has launched a blockchain loyalty program called Momentum. Momentum will offer other companies many data-based insights, and consumers full custody of their earned cryptocurrency rewards. Consumers can earn loyalty cards and other rewards for simply shopping at their favorite stores. These rewards can be exchanged for Momentum tokens, and then other branded reward tokens to be used with other companies.
CoinMarketApp, a cryptocurrency news multi-use app, has released compatibility with iOS and Android smartphones. CoinMarketApp is not like typical cryptocurrency apps, in that it offers crypto historic data, prices, mining information, trustworthy news, and even portfolio services.
Northern Trust, an asset manager with USD$954bn in AUM announces plans to start a custody service for digital assets. Pete Cherecwich, Northern Trust’s head of corporate and institutional business, explained that the firm plans to offer custodial services similar to others, but with lower fees.
Swissquote, a Switzerland-based online banking firm which recently added cryptocurrency investing to its services, has seen a 44% profit increase in this C1H2018 relative to C1H2017. Throughout the second half of CY2017, Swiss quote has allowed trading in Bitcoin (BTC) with the EUR and USD, as well as Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), and Ripple (XRP).
MINDOL is a blockchain platform aiming to disrupt the entertainment provider industry in Japan. MINDOL’s whitepaper states a growing demand for and heavy government investing in spreading Japanese culture throughout the world, including animations, games, music, and movies. MINDOL hopes to regularly produce programs on TV. MINDOL’s central network, called eMINDOL, lets consumers purchase products, watch content, and even invest in the projects and artists they like.
Telegram, a popular desktop and mobile app messenger, recently executed an ICO, raising USD$1.7 billion. However, US-based cybersecurity startup Virgil Security, praised the fact that Telegram published the application’s API on an open source platform for developers to review, but has uncovered several security flaws with Telegram’s ID verification app Passport. Virgil discovered issues with their encryption methods and the way they protect stored data. These issues are very important to fix if Telegram wishes to begin accepting payments on its platform.
Coinbase, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency trading services, has now allowed users in the UK to purchase cryptocurrencies with the British Pound. Before this announcement, users in the UK would have had to acquire Euros in order to purchase cryptos on Coinbase, which sometimes took multiple days.
The government of Queensland, Australia is giving USD$8.3mm to a crypto start-up as part of the state’s innovation funding initiative. The start-up’s goal is to increase the number of tourists to Central Queensland through selling travel offers based in different cryptocurrencies.
RandomCrypto, a fintech firm working with cryptocurrencies has released a Bitcoin (BTC) mining calculator, which improves upon the details given by competing products. Random Crypto CEO Josh Metnick says he developed this product after “many years of getting screwed… by mining companies,” and that his goal is to “bring more truth, accuracy, and transparency to [proof-of-work] mining.”1 The calculator shows that at today’s current BTC prices, most bitcoin mining hardware on the markets is unprofitable.
Chinese company Seven Stars Cloud, has announced plans to build a USD$300 million crypto hub in Hartford, CT. Seven Stars Cloud is a fintech company hoping to create a community for itself and other fintech firms to collaborate on machine-learning, robotics, and crypto-related projects. The firm is also trying to launch a fintech college at schools near Hartford, CT such as Yale University, University of Hartford, University of New Haven, and University of Connecticut.
Canaan Creative, the world’s second largest provider of Bitcoin mining components has announced a new product called the AvalonMiner Inside. The Avalon Miner Inside is essentially a television with built-in Bitcoin (BTC) mining capabilities. The TV will be powered by artificial intelligence and will also enable voice dictation. The mining components possess a 2.8 trillion hashes-per-second hash rate, and even includes a profitability calculator to measure performance.
Bitfi, a cryptocurrency hardware wallet manufacturer claiming it is “unhackable”, denies claims that it was hacked. Bitfi and its official partner John McAfee offered a $100,000 bug bounty in July to try to get people to hack its wallet. But when one twitter user claimed to have done this, Bitfi CEO Daniel Khesin denied these claims amid no evidence of a hack, and because of the fact that the “hacker” refused the bounty reward.
Switzerland-based cryptocurrency platform MCO has added Litecoin (LTC) to its supported coins. MCO enables users to purchase, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies from its mobile app. Formerly known as Monaco, MCO has amassed over 180,000 downloads, and expects to widen its user base as it adds more coins to its platform. This app will soon integrate with a Visa card allowing international purchases.
Hong Kong cryptocurrency exchange OKEx says it will have to claw back millions in USD$ following a single user’s large bet on bitcoin futures (the user lost “the bet”). Each futures contract has a notional value of $100, and OKEx estimate the total value of the position was over $400 million. OKEx initiated a forced liquidation of the account but because of the size, the exchange has had to trigger “societal loss risk management” mechanisms because of the size of the order. After insurance coverage is considered, the aggregate loss to investors is around BTC$1,200 (USD$8.8mm), which will "split proportionately by all profited traders' realized + unrealized gains".
Coinbase Commerce, Coinbase’s non-custodial merchant payment service, has launched a product integrating with e-commerce company WooCommerce. WooCommercie is currently used by between 21% and 28% of all web stores, and affiliated stores will now accept cryptocurrency payments from Coinbase Commerce users.
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