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Marketing Strategies and Practices for Block chain Projects and Startups.
If you are a blockchain startup, open source project or decentralized protocol and believe that you don’t need the right kind of marketing to succeed, think again. “Marketing” has traditionally been a weakness in the early lives of many tech startups for a variety of reasons. Most startups are often led by young or inexperienced CEOs or project leaders who come from a strong engineering or product mindset. These founders either don’t understand or don’t appreciate the value of marketing, and certainly that comes from a lack of experience or education on the subject. Most blockchain companies/projects founders are no different. At the root of this situation lies a common and fundamental misconception: not knowing the true meaning and functions ofmarketingagency in mumbai .
Wrongfully, marketing is prematurely equated to shouting about a product prior to having it ready for the market to try. Others think that marketing is about hiring a PR firm, polishing a website, publishing a blog post, promoting on social media, designing a great logo with new colors and fonts, or producing videos about your product and SocietyActivation in Mumbai. Unfortunately, during the ICO frenzy days, the term marketing has been bastardized around excessive usage of the above named activities. Therefore, marketinghas received a bad rap in blockchain circles because it has been equated to pumping bad ICOs where the marketing consisted of purely unchecked promotion. In the past few months, I have had several conversations with founders of blockchain related projects and companies who clearly didn’t seem to understand, let alone appreciate the value and priority they should be giving to doing a better job at marketing. When I challenged them on their marketing, or broached the topic, the responses ranged along the following flavors: · We’re not ready for marketing until the next product is released and announced · We have it in the budget for next year to hire a PR firm · I’ve been doing videos that will air as advertising later · We prefer to deliver first, and then talk about what we have done · Marketing is expensive and we don’t have the budget now · We hired a design firm and redoing our website with a new visual identity · We don’t need marketing, we focus on our community on Reddit All of the above are the wrong answers, and point to not understanding the various parts of marketing.
Marketing is a Process
So let’s start with the basics and further discuss what marketing is, or is not about. First, there are 3 parts to marketing: · Product marketing– explaining what the product does (features/benefits), and how it is differentiated from others. Goal: Positioning the product. · Corporate marketing – positioning the company and communicating its messages in a variety of means. Branding and Marketing Communications is a big part of it. Goal: Generate Awareness and Preference. · Customer marketing (sometimes labelled as field marketing, direct marketing or content marketing) – getting in front of your target market to generate adoption, leads and sales. Goal: Generate Adoption and Loyalty. The kind of marketing that is often deficient in blockchain companies or projects is Marketing Communications, i.e. how to strongly and clearly message in a few words what your project, company or product do for the usecustomer. But this must be done as a continuum. Messaging is not a single shot of sound bites around a launch event. To make it even more effective, it must be customized to the specific audience you are trying to reach: customers, investors, employees, media, influencers, partners, etc. The process of creating the messaging is a complex exercise that has several layers designed to answering the WHY, WHAT and HOW of your value proposition. Many companies nail the WHY (Elevator pitch), but don’t follow through with the WHAT (Competitive positioning and Core value proposition), or the HOW (Product/Solution messaging and Technology differentiation). Marketing is a process that evolves along a series of objectives, from Awareness, to Consideration, to Trials, and then Loyalty. Different tools are effective for each one of these steps. For example, thought leadership focuses on the awareness aspect and trying to shape the market by educating it. The brand leadership helps to influence the prospect’s perception towards you. You want to gradually progress from letting your target market care, understand, believe, then act to try your product and merchant onboarding agency in mumbai . Here is the right order of progression for the following activities:
Sadly, a common mistake I see is starting with the visual identity and thinking that it is branding. Often, that is the result of being led by an inexperienced CMO or one that came from the PCommunications side, or when the organization has hired a brand design firm instead of a brand strategy firm. Most brand design houses (and some PR companies) will tell you they will take care of your messaging and branding, but that is the tail wagging the dog. Brand strategy takes a very unique skill, and there are few brand strategy experts that do a great job with it. One brand strategy firm with whom I have had experience working with, is Brandsinger. In a nutshell, if you are not occupying a position in the minds of users/customers (and the prospective market), then your brand value is zero. Someone else will come and articulate their value proposition better than you, and will subsequently occupy that position. If you are first to deliver a product, it may not matter. You need to be first in occupying that specific position in the minds of your target market. The battle is a battle of the minds, as rightfully spelled out in the seminal book on that topic Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind, a classic book that I have perhaps read over 20 times (over a course of 25 years), and almost memorized and put into practice accordingly. The sequel to that book, – Marketing Warfare, is also a must read marketing classic from the legendary Ries and Trout, the two authors of that series of work.
Let’s give it some blockchain and cryptocurrency flavours. Bitcoin occupied first the digital money position and still does to this point. Ethereum exploited a weakness in Bitcoin,- its ease of programmability and development platform potential, and it currently owns that position. All other (newer) blockchains have to attack Bitcoin or Ethereum as the reference points. Most of them have to raise the volume and intensity of their marketing in order to make an assault on these established leaders. It is always more expensive to attack than it is to defend a position. ZCash and Monero have exploited the privacy niche. Coinbase occupies the safety ladder in cryptocurrency exchanges. Binance is trying to attack it with a me-too strategy focused on scale, and they are extending their brand with new services. LoomX has been good at becoming a Layer 2 leader for Ethereum. Take any other segment. For example, when you think file storage, you probably think Storj or Filecoin because that’s the position they are occupying. When you think prediction markets, you probably think of Augur or Gnosis. And when you think of stablecoins, Maker comes to mind.
Back to Basics
For those of you who know me from the blockchain market only (over the past 6 years roughly), you may not know that I’ve previously spent a long career in sales and marketing with a variety of positions and experiences in direct sales, field marketing, corporate marketing and several startups as founder and default chief marketer. More specifically, since I exited the operational world via my last startup in April 2013, I’ve written extensively about startup marketing in the early years of this blog. All of it still applies, as I focused on explaining the basics of market positioning, marketing strategy, messaging, brand strategy, and related marketing topics. There is no point re-inventing marketing for the blockchain sector. So, I’m going to link to some basics that I’ve already written about. Here, I collected the 12 most pertinent blog posts into a single one that links to them: Startup Marketing Compendium of 12 Posts on Positioning, Branding, Messaging and more. Then I wrote one more, The Biggest Blind Spot of a Startup CEO is Ignoring Their Brand. So please go read that series, and if you need help implementing some of that, don’t start by hiring a PR agency. Rather, take an introspective view, and hire the right marketing person first. Another common weakness with blockchain companies is they fail to tell their stories in non-technical terms to the market. It is not enough to excite the developers. And don’t just focus entirely on social media publishing. Unless you have 1 Million+ Twitter followers in your target audience, promoting on social media will only make a dent in your awareness goals. Remember, marketing is not just writing a press release. It is not shouting from the rooftops. It takes finesse, planning, thought, accuracy, targeted actions, and iterations to get it right. And timing is so important. Sometimes the marketing is way ahead of delivery, and sometimes it is way behind it, but when the timing and sequence are right, that’s when the magic of results happens. Allow me repeat this: marketing is a process. Learn it, acquire experience in it, practice it, but don’t be amateurish about it. About Us. We are a local marketing and sales agency that help small/medium sized businesses and Start up. Established for over 10 years, our clients vary in size and cover a wide variety of business sectors. we see ourselves as active members of the local community helping local businesses by providing a variety of field marketing, btl marketing , door to door marketing, brand promotion, social media marketing, telemarketing, web and printed based marketing materials. Contact Us. Get in touch with us, we would love to discuss your marketing needs. We love a good coffee and a challenge, so would be happy to meet up with you face to face.
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:
Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential
/////Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential/////
Marketing. It's a dirty word for most members of the Monero community. It is also one of the most divisive words in the Monero community. Yet, the lack of marketing is one of the most frustrating things for many newcomers. This is what makes this an unusual post from a member of the Monero community. This post is an unabashed and unsolicited analyzation of why I believe Monero to have great potential. Below I have attempted to outline different reasons why Monero has great potential, beginning with upcoming developments and use cases, to broader economic motives, speculation, and key issues for it to overcome. I encourage you to discuss and criticise my musings, commenting below if you feel necessary to do so.
Bulletproofs - A Reduction in Transaction Sizes and Fees Since the introduction of Ring Confidential Transactions (Ring CT), transaction amounts have been hidden in Monero, albeit at the cost of increased transaction fees and sizes. In order to mitigate this issue, Bulletproofs will soon be added to reduce both fees and transaction size by 80% to 90%. This is great news for those transacting smaller USD amounts as people commonly complained Monero's fees were too high! Not any longer though! More information can be found here. Bulletproofs are already working on the Monero testnet, and developers were aiming to introduce them in March 2018, however it could be delayed in order to ensure everything is tried and tested. Multisig Multisig has recently been merged! Mulitsig, also called multisignature, is the requirement for a transaction to have two or more signatures before it can be executed. Multisig transactions and addresses are indistinguishable from normal transactions and addresses in Monero, and provide more security than single-signature transactions. It is believed this will lead to additional marketplaces and exchanges to supporting Monero. Kovri Kovri is an implementation of the Invisible Internet Project (I2P) network. Kovri uses both garlic encryption and garlic routing to create a private, protected overlay-network across the internet. This overlay-network provides users with the ability to effectively hide their geographical location and internet IP address. The good news is Kovri is under heavy development and will be available soon. Unlike other coins' false privacy claims, Kovri is a game changer as it will further elevate Monero as the king of privacy. Mobile Wallets There is already a working Android Wallet called Monerujo available in the Google Play Store. X Wallet is an IOS mobile wallet. One of the X Wallet developers recently announced they are very, very close to being listed in the Apple App Store, however are having some issues with getting it approved. The official Monero IOS and Android wallets, along with the MyMonero IOS and Android wallets, are also almost ready to be released, and can be expected very soon. Hardware Wallets Hardware wallets are currently being developed and nearing completion. Because Monero is based on the CryptoNote protocol, it means it requires unique development in order to allow hardware wallet integration. The Ledger Nano S will be adding Monero support by the end of Q1 2018. There is a recent update here too. Even better, for the first time ever in cryptocurrency history, the Monero community banded together to fund the development of an exclusive Monero Hardware Wallet, and will be available in Q2 2018, costing only about $20! In addition, the CEO of Trezor has offered a 10BTC bounty to whoever can provide the software to allow Monero integration. Someone can be seen to already be working on that here. TAILS Operating System Integration Monero is in the progress of being packaged in order for it to be integrated into TAILS and ready to use upon install. TAILS is the operating system popularised by Edward Snowden and is commonly used by those requiring privacy such as journalists wanting to protect themselves and sources, human-right defenders organizing in repressive contexts, citizens facing national emergencies, domestic violence survivors escaping from their abusers, and consequently, darknet market users. In the meantime, for those users who wish to use TAILS with Monero, u/Electric_sheep01 has provided Sheep's Noob guide to Monero GUI in Tails 3.2, which is a step-by-step guide with screenshots explaining how to setup Monero in TAILS, and is very easy to follow. Mandatory Hardforks Unlike other coins, Monero receives a protocol upgrade every 6 months in March and September. Think of it as a Consensus Protocol Update. Monero's hard forks ensure quality development takes place, while preventing political or ideological issues from hindering progress. When a hardfork occurs, you simply download and use the new daemon version, and your existing wallet files and copy of the blockchain remain compatible. This reddit post provides more information. Dynamic fees Many cryptocurrencies have an arbitrary block size limit. Although Monero has a limit, it is adaptive based on the past 100 blocks. Similarly, fees change based on transaction volume. As more transactions are processed on the Monero network, the block size limit slowly increases and the fees slowly decrease. The opposite effect also holds true. This means that the more transactions that take place, the cheaper the fees! Tail Emission and Inflation There will be around 18.4 million Monero mined at the end of May 2022. However, tail emission will kick in after that which is 0.6 XMR, so it has no fixed limit. Gundamlancer explains that Monero's "main emission curve will issue about 18.4 million coins to be mined in approximately 8 years. (more precisely 18.132 Million coins by ca. end of May 2022) After that, a constant "tail emission" of 0.6 XMR per 2-minutes block (modified from initially equivalent 0.3 XMR per 1-minute block) will create a sub-1% perpetual inflatio starting with 0.87% yearly inflation around May 2022) to prevent the lack of incentives for miners once a currency is not mineable anymore. Monero Research Lab Monero has a group of anonymous/pseudo-anonymous university academics actively researching, developing, and publishing academic papers in order to improve Monero. See here and here. The Monero Research Lab are acquainted with other members of cryptocurrency academic community to ensure when new research or technology is uncovered, it can be reviewed and decided upon whether it would be beneficial to Monero. This ensures Monero will always remain a leading cryptocurrency. A recent end of 2017 update from a MRL researcher can be found here.
///Monero's Technology - Rising Above The Rest///
Monero Has Already Proven Itself To Be Private, Secure, Untraceable, and Trustless Monero is the only private, untraceable, trustless, secure and fungible cryptocurrency. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are TRACEABLE through the use of blockchain analytics, and has lead to the prosecution of numerous individuals, such as the alleged Alphabay administrator Alexandre Cazes. In the Forfeiture Complaint which detailed the asset seizure of Alexandre Cazes, the anonymity capabilities of Monero were self-demonstrated by the following statement of the officials after the AlphaBay shutdown: "In total, from CAZES' wallets and computer agents took control of approximately $8,800,000 in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero and Zcash, broken down as follows: 1,605.0503851 Bitcoin, 8,309.271639 Ethereum, 3,691.98 Zcash, and an unknown amount of Monero". Privacy CANNOT BE OPTIONAL and must be at a PROTOCOL LEVEL. With Monero, privacy is mandatory, so that everyone gets the benefits of privacy without any transactions standing out as suspicious. This is the reason Darknet Market places are moving to Monero, and will never use Verge, Zcash, Dash, Pivx, Sumo, Spectre, Hush or any other coins that lack good privacy. Peter Todd (who was involved in the Zcash trusted setup ceremony) recently reiterated his concerns of optional privacy after Jeffrey Quesnelle published his recent paper stating 31.5% of Zcash transactions may be traceable, and that only ~1% of the transactions are pure privacy transactions (i.e., z -> z transactions). When the attempted private transactions stand out like a sore thumb there is no privacy, hence why privacy cannot be optional. In addition, in order for a cryptocurrency to truly be private, it must not be controlled by a centralised body, such as a company or organisation, because it opens it up to government control and restrictions. This is no joke, but Zcash is supported by DARPA and the Israeli government!. Monero provides a stark contrast compared to other supposed privacy coins, in that Monero does not have a rich list! With all other coins, you can view wallet balances on the blockexplorers. You can view Monero's non-existent rich list here to see for yourself. I will reiterate here that Monero is TRUSTLESS. You don't need to rely on anyone else to protect your privacy, or worry about others colluding to learn more about you. No one can censor your transaction or decide to intervene. Monero is immutable, unlike Zcash, in which the lead developer Zooko publicly tweeted the possibility of providing a backdoor for authorities to trace transactions. To Zcash's demise, Zooko famously tweeted:
" And by the way, I think we can successfully make Zcash too traceable for criminals like WannaCry, but still completely private & fungible. …"
Ethereum's track record of immutability is also poor. Ethereum was supposed to be an immutable blockchain ledger, however after the DAO hack this proved to not be the case. A 2016 article on Saintly Law summarised the problematic nature of Ethereum's leadership and blockchain intervention:
" Many ethereum and blockchain advocates believe that the intervention was the wrong move to make in this situation. Smart contracts are meant to be self-executing, immutable and free from disturbance by organisations and intermediaries. Yet the building block of all smart contracts, the code, is inherently imperfect. This means that the technology is vulnerable to the same malicious hackers that are targeting businesses and governments. It is also clear that the large scale intervention after the DAO hack could not and would not likely be taken in smaller transactions, as they greatly undermine the viability of the cryptocurrency and the technology."
Monero provides Fungibility and Privacy in a Cashless World As outlined on GetMonero.org, fungibility is the property of a currency whereby two units can be substituted in place of one another. Fungibility means that two units of a currency can be mutually substituted and the substituted currency is equal to another unit of the same size. For example, two $10 bills can be exchanged and they are functionally identical to any other $10 bill in circulation (although $10 bills have unique ID numbers and are therefore not completely fungible). Gold is probably a closer example of true fungibility, where any 1 oz. of gold of the same grade is worth the same as another 1 oz. of gold. Monero is fungible due to the nature of the currency which provides no way to link transactions together nor trace the history of any particular XMR. 1 XMR is functionally identical to any other 1 XMR. Fungibility is an advantage Monero has over Bitcoin and almost every other cryptocurrency, due to the privacy inherent in the Monero blockchain and the permanently traceable nature of the Bitcoin blockchain. With Bitcoin, any BTC can be tracked by anyone back to its creation coinbase transaction. Therefore, if a coin has been used for an illegal purpose in the past, this history will be contained in the blockchain in perpetuity. A great example of Bitcoin's lack of fungibility was reposted by u/ViolentlyPeaceful:
"Imagine you sell cupcakes and receive Bitcoin as payment. It turns out that someone who owned that Bitcoin before you was involved in criminal activity. Now you are worried that you have become a suspect in a criminal case, because the movement of funds to you is a matter of public record. You are also worried that certain Bitcoins that you thought you owned will be considered ‘tainted’ and that others will refuse to accept them as payment."
This lack of fungibility means that certain businesses will be obligated to avoid accepting BTC that have been previously used for purposes which are illegal, or simply run afoul of their Terms of Service. Currently some large Bitcoin companies are blocking, suspending, or closing accounts that have received Bitcoin used in online gambling or other purposes deemed unsavory by said companies. Monero has been built specifically to address the problem of traceability and non-fungibility inherent in other cryptocurrencies. By having completely private transactions Monero is truly fungible and there can be no blacklisting of certain XMR, while at the same time providing all the benefits of a secure, decentralized, permanent blockchain. The world is moving cashless. Fact. The ramifications of this are enormous as we move into a cashless world in which transactions will be tracked and there is a potential for data to be used by third parties for adverse purposes. While most new cryptocurrency investors speculate upon vaporware ICO tokens in the hope of generating wealth, Monero provides salvation for those in which financial privacy is paramount. Too often people equate Monero's features with criminal endeavors. Privacy is not a crime, and is necessary for good money. Transparency in Monero is possible OFF-CHAIN, which offers greater transparency and flexibility. For example, a Monero user may share their Private View Key with their accountant for tax purposes. Monero aims to be adopted by more than just those with nefarious use cases. For example, if you lived in an oppressive religious regime and wanted to buy a certain item, using Monero would allow you to exchange value privately and across borders if needed. Another example is that if everybody can see how much cryptocurrency you have in your wallet, then a certain service might decide to charge you more, and bad actors could even use knowledge of your wallet balance to target you for extortion purposes. For example, a Russian cryptocurrency blogger was recently beaten and robbed of $425k. This is why FUNGIBILITY IS ESSENTIAL. To summarise this in a nutshell:
"A lack of fungibility means that when sending or receiving funds, if the other person personally knows you during a transaction, or can get any sort of information on you, or if you provide a residential address for shipping etc. – you could quite potentially have them use this against you for personal gain"
Major Investors And Crypto Figureheads Are Interested Ari Paul is the co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital. He was previously a portfolio manager for the University of Chicago's $8 billion endowment, and a derivatives market maker and proprietary trader for Susquehanna International Group. Paul was interviewed on CNBC on the 26th of December and when asked what was his favourite coin was, he stated "One that has real fundamental value besides from Bitcoin is Monero" and said it has "very strong engineering". In addition, when he was asked if that was the one used by criminals, he replied "Everything is used by criminals including the US dollar and the Euro". Paul later supported these claims on Twitter, recommending only Bitcoin and Monero as long-term investments. There are reports that "Roger Ver, earlier known as 'Bitcoin Jesus' for his evangelical support of the Bitcoin during its early years, said his investment in Monero is 'substantial' and his biggest in any virtual currency since Bitcoin. Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, has publicly stated his appreciation of Monero. In a September 2017 tweet directed to Edward Snowden explaining why Monero is superior to Zcash, Charlie Lee tweeted:
All private transactions, More tested privacy tech, No tax on miners to pay investors, No high inflation... better investment.
John McAfee, arguably cryptocurrency's most controversial character at the moment, has publicly supported Monero numerous times over the last twelve months(before he started shilling ICOs), and has even claimed it will overtake Bitcoin. Playboy instagram celebrity Dan Bilzerian is a Monero investor, with 15% of his portfolio made up of Monero. Finally, while he may not be considered a major investor or figurehead, Erik Finman, a young early Bitcoin investor and multimillionaire, recently appeared in a CNBC Crypto video interview, explaining why he isn't entirely sold on Bitcoin anymore, and expresses his interest in Monero, stating:
"Monero is a really good one. Monero is an incredible currency, it's completely private."
There is a common belief that most of the money in cryptocurrency is still chasing the quick pump and dumps, however as the market matures, more money will flow into legitimate projects such as Monero. Monero's organic growth in price is evidence smart money is aware of Monero and gradually filtering in. The Bitcoin Flaw A relatively unknown blogger named CryptoIzzy posted three poignant pieces regarding Monero and its place in the world. The Bitcoin Flaw: Monero Rising provides an intellectual comparison of Monero to other cryptocurrencies, and Valuing Cryptocurrencies: An Approach outlines methods of valuing different coins. CryptoIzzy's most recent blog published only yesterday titled Monero Valuation - Update and Refocus is a highly recommended read. It touches on why Monero is much more than just a coin for the Darknet Markets, and provides a calculated future price of Monero. CryptoIzzy also published The Power of Money: A Case for Bitcoin, which is an exploration of our monetary system, and the impact decentralised cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero will have on the world. In the epilogue the author also provides a positive and detailed future valuation based on empirical evidence. CryptoIzzy predicts Monero to easily progress well into the four figure range. Monero Has a Relatively Small Marketcap Recently we have witnessed many newcomers to cryptocurrency neglecting to take into account coins' marketcap and circulating supply, blindly throwing money at coins under $5 with inflated marketcaps and large circulating supplies, and then believing it's possible for them to reach $100 because someone posted about it on Facebook or Reddit. Compared to other cryptocurrencies, Monero still has a low marketcap, which means there is great potential for the price to multiply. At the time of writing, according to CoinMarketCap, Monero's marketcap is only a little over $5 billion, with a circulating supply of 15.6 million Monero, at a price of $322 per coin. For this reason, I would argue that this is evidence Monero is grossly undervalued. Just a few billion dollars of new money invested in Monero can cause significant price increases. Monero's marketcap only needs to increase to ~$16 billion and the price will triple to over $1000. If Monero's marketcap simply reached ~$35 billion (just over half of Ripple's $55 billion marketcap), Monero's price will increase 600% to over $2000 per coin. Another way of looking at this is Monero's marketcap only requires ~$30 billion of new investor money to see the price per Monero reach $2000, while for Ethereum to reach $2000, Ethereum's marketcap requires a whopping ~$100 billion of new investor money. Technical Analysis There are numerous Monero technical analysts, however none more eerily on point than the crowd-pleasing Ero23. Ero23's charts and analysis can be found on Trading View. Ero23 gained notoriety for his long-term Bitcoin bull chart published in February, which is still in play today. Head over to his Trading View page to see his chart: Monero's dwindling supply. $10k in 2019 scenario, in which Ero23 predicts Monero to reach $10,000 in 2019. There is also this chart which appears to be freakishly accurate and is tracking along perfectly today. Coinbase Rumours Over the past 12 months there have been ongoing rumours that Monero will be one of the next cryptocurrencies to be added to Coinbase. In January 2017, Monero Core team member Riccardo 'Fluffypony' Spagni presented a talk at Coinbase HQ. In addition, in November 2017 GDAX announced the GDAX Digit Asset Framework outlining specific parameters cryptocurrencies must meet in order to be added to the exchange. There is speculation that when Monero has numerous mobile and hardware wallets available, and multisig is working, then it will be added. This would enable public accessibility to Monero to increase dramatically as Coinbase had in excess of 13 million users as of December, and is only going to grow as demand for cryptocurrencies increases. Many users argue that due to KYC/AML regulations, Coinbase will never be able to add Monero, however the Kraken exchange already operates in the US and has XMfiat pairs, so this is unlikely to be the reason Coinbase is yet to implement XMfiat trading. Monero Is Not an ICO Scam It is likely most of the ICOs which newcomers invest in, hoping to get rich quick, won't even be in the Top 100 cryptocurrencies next year. A large portion are most likely to be pumps and dumps, and we have already seen numerous instances of ICO exit scams. Once an ICO raises millions of dollars, the developers or CEO of the company have little incentive to bother rolling out their product or service when they can just cash out and leave. The majority of people who create a company to provide a service or product, do so in order to generate wealth. Unless these developers and CEOs are committed and believed in their product or service, it's likely that the funds raised during the ICO will far exceed any revenue generated from real world use cases. Monero is a Working Currency, Today Monero is a working currency, here today. The majority of so called cryptocurrencies that exist today are not true currencies, and do not aim to be. They are a token of exchange. They are like a share in a start-up company hoping to use blockchain technology to succeed in business. A crypto-assest is a more accurate name for coins such as Ethereum, Neo, Cardano, Vechain, etc. Monero isn't just a vaporware ICO token that promises to provide a blockchain service in the future. It is not a platform for apps. It is not a pump and dump coin. Monero is the only coin with all the necessary properties to be called true money. Monero is private internet money. Some even describe Monero as an online Swiss Bank Account or Bitcoin 2.0, and it is here to continue on from Bitcoin's legacy. Monero is alleviating the public from the grips of banks, and protests the monetary system forced upon us. Monero only achieved this because it is the heart and soul, and blood, sweat, and tears of the contributors to this project. Monero supporters are passionate, and Monero has gotten to where it is today thanks to its contributors and users.
///Key Issues for Monero to Overcome///
Scalability While Bulletproofs are soon to be implemented in order to improve Monero's transaction sizes and fees, scalability is an issue for Monero that is continuously being assessed by Monero's researchers and developers to find the most appropriate solution. Ricardo 'Fluffypony' Spagni recently appeared on CNBC's Crypto Trader, and when asked whether Monero is scalable as it stands today, Spagni stated that presently, Monero's on-chain scaling is horrible and transactions are larger than Bitcoin's (because of Monero's privacy features), so side-chain scaling may be more efficient. Spagni elaborated that the Monero team is, and will always be, looking for solutions to an array of different on-chain and off-chain scaling options, such as developing a Mimblewimble side-chain, exploring the possibility of Lightning Network so atomic swaps can be performed, and Tumblebit. In a post on the Monero subreddit from roughly a month ago, monero moderator u/dEBRUYNE_1 supports Spagni's statements. dEBRUYNE_1 clarifies the issue of scalability:
"In Bitcoin, the main chain is constrained and fees are ludicrous. This results in users being pushed to second layer stuff (e.g. sidechains, lightning network). Users do not have optionality in Bitcoin. In Monero, the goal is to make the main-chain accessible to everyone by keeping fees reasonable. We want users to have optionality, i.e., let them choose whether they'd like to use the main chain or second layer stuff. We don't want to take that optionality away from them."
"Monero has all the mechanisms it needs to find the balance between transaction load, and offsetting the costs of miner infrastructure/profits, while making sure the network is useful for users. But like the interviewer said, the question is directed at "right now", and Fluffys right to a certain extent, Monero's transactions are huge, and compromises in blockchain security will help facilitate less burdensome transactional activity in the future. But to compare Monero to Bitcoin's transaction sizes is somewhat silly as Bitcoin is nowhere near as useful as monero, and utility will facilitate infrastructure building that may eventually utterly dwarf Bitcoin. And to equate scaling based on a node being run on a desktop being the only option for what classifies as "scalable" is also an incredibly narrow interpretation of the network being able to scale, or not. Given the extremely narrow definition of scaling people love to (incorrectly) use, I consider that a pretty crap question to put to Fluffy in the first place, but... ¯_(ツ)_/¯"
u/xmrusher also contributed to the discussion, comparing Bitcoin to Monero using this analogous description:
"While John is much heavier than Henry, he's still able to run faster, because, unlike Henry, he didn't chop off his own legs just so the local wheelchair manufacturer can make money. While Morono has much larger transactions then Bitcoin, it still scales better, because, unlike Bitcoin, it hasn't limited itself to a cripplingly tiny blocksize just to allow Blockstream to make money."
Setting up a wallet can still be time consuming It's time consuming and can be somewhat difficult for new cryptocurrency users to set up their own wallet using the GUI wallet or the Command Line Wallet. In order to strengthen and further decentralize the Monero network, users are encouraged to run a full node for their wallet, however this can be an issue because it can take up to 24-48 hours for some users depending on their hard-drive and internet speeds. To mitigate this issue, users can run a remote node, meaning they can remotely connect their wallet to another node in order to perform transactions, and in the meantime continue to sync the daemon so in the future they can then use their own node. For users that do run into wallet setup issues, or any other problems for that matter, there is an extremely helpful troubleshooting thread on the Monero subreddit which can be found here. And not only that, unlike some other cryptocurrency subreddits, if you ask a question, there is always a friendly community member who will happily assist you. Monero.how is a fantastic resource too! Despite still being difficult to use, the user-base and price may increase dramatically once it is easier to use. In addition, others believe that when hardware wallets are available more users will shift to Monero.
I actually still feel a little shameful for promoting Monero here, but feel a sense of duty to do so. Monero is transitioning into an unstoppable altruistic beast. This year offers the implementation of many great developments, accompanied by the likelihood of a dramatic increase in price. I request you discuss this post, point out any errors I have made, or any information I may have neglected to include. Also, if you believe in the Monero project, I encourage you to join your local Facebook or Reddit cryptocurrency group and spread the word of Monero. You could even link this post there to bring awareness to new cryptocurrency users and investors. I will leave you with an old on-going joke within the Monero community - Don't buy Monero - unless you have a use case for it of course :-) Just think to yourself though - Do I have a use case for Monero in our unpredictable Huxleyan society? Hint: The answer is ? Edit: Added in the Tail Emission section, and noted Dan Bilzerian as a Monero investor. Also added information regarding the XMR.TO payment service. Added info about hardfork
Charlie Lee is a scammer, a cancer to crypto and you should be aware of it.
Well, this is likely going to be down voted to oblivion, but I can't let it pass. Charlie lee is nothing short of a bitconnect scammer. He pretends to be a "nice guy", he uses his persona for personal gains while trying to shift focus out of him through hating over other projects and/or using infantile memes to gather attention from young audiences.. You should first start here: https://medium.com/@bitfinexed/coinbase-insider-trading-litecoin-edition-be64ead3facc There are some pretty disturbing "coincidences" there. Charlie not only started LTC opportunistically copying BTC and gluing together some pieces of code (that he managed to make worse than the originals - such as asic resistance), but he also have being absolutely flippant in everything he says about bitcoin. He surfed the wave of being "silver to bitcoin's gold" since 2011. Suddenly, after managing to get listed in coinbase, he left it right after to "work on LTC" (all that time LTC had really near zero development). What was his work? To implement segwit, that was the only concrete thing that happened to LTC and it is highly debatable if that is even good. That's right, from 2011 to 2017, the only thing that happened to LTC was copying segwit from bitcoin core repo. After he surfed the wave of "being a test bed for these awesome technologies", all of a sudden these "awesome technologies" apparently were not that awesome anymore, so he dumped all of his LTC. Lets draw a timeline here: 2011 -- LTC is born from a major copy&paste event: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=47417.0 (notice that he edited the OP up to june 2014 to make it look better - hover over the date) Up to 2017 nothing really happens, except mining. LTC is silver to BTC's gold, and LTC will succeed iff BTC succeeds. That's the narrative. April, 2017, charlie lee leaves coinbase after he manages to list LTC there. LTC was DEAD and suddenly spikes violently in price right before listing is confirmed. Until august, charlie lee only shills about LTC, segwit, LN and blockstream related things, posting infantile animes and cartoons. Goes to a TV show and says that LTC is like a token, for fun, embarrass himself. LTC community gets pissed and he replies to them saying that it is not his responsibility to pump their holdings. Surprise! After 1st of august, he starts to slander BCH, call it a scam, getting pretty vocal and tweeting more shit than anyone can possibly tolerate and says that "he is done tweeting". Then he deletes several of his tweets. But comes back a couple of days after this bluff. A guy who doesn't stick to anything he says, never. Suddenly his tweets are talking down BTC now, and shilling LTC alone, contradicting what he said to his followers in reddit, that he wouldn't shill LTC - remember: for over 5 years all he did was cheer-leading BTC and say "hey I'm the same but I'm the silver version". He continues to badmouth BCH without nothing to back it up. Even luke-jr, BTC core dev, gets pissed with him and calls his shitcoin out (https://twitter.com/LukeDashjstatus/923414550157938688), saying that he would rather use BCH (https://twitter.com/LukeDashjstatus/923435699084431360). Charlie was often posting pictures of him with "HODL" shirts and etc. There is scant content to be found besides memes and other crap like that. Clear shilling. December 2017, charlie lee dumps ALL his LTC he accumulated over 6 years of mining at the top of the hype (http://archive.is/l6Z6u). Not a part, but all, without further notice. I mean, there is nothing wrong in trading, but if you are a public figure and founder of the project, you gotta observe at least some responsibilities from a moral stand point. The LEADER of a project and public figure can't simply dump everything after shilling it to hundreds of thousands of suckers, this is criminal level. He then poses as a "nice guy", saying it was because of "conflict of interests" (supposedly the interest of getting rich after the pump and the interest of keeping hold of a future-less shitcoin.) He also says he was so good that he donated part to LTC foundation, he is such a boy-scout! It turns out that he "donated" money to himself, since he controls the foundation, and DIRECTLY to his pals over there (confirmed by one of them). This much is of course for money launder (not defending taxes, but just stating the obvious.) You think that bitconnect is a scam because it promised high returns and then bitconnecters sold on their supporters their bitconnect tokens. Also because of that carlos mattos ridiculous videos. Fair enough, but charlie lee also conned people into buying LTC. His tweets are maybe not so obviously ridiculous like carlos mattos, but they are pure shill. His tweets display him with HODL messages, moon memes and other shill stuff. He then sells without telling anyone and invents some gullible crap to divert attention, also using FUD against BCH and other crypto to divert attention. Who bought LTC? Charlie Lee followers in tweeter, his own community, and his reddit subscribers!! The listing of it in coinbase and other places, where he had obvious influence, was the pump he needed to eventually get rid of his coins. I know 8 months seem like a long time in crypto, but for a waiting of 6 years, it is really a very short time. Now, the shameless lee is shilling Raiblocks/Nano. Let me be clear, I have technical criticism over Nano (for instance, laid down some here ), but I do not think the project launched as a scam, not really. I just think it doesn't work for the reasons pointed in the link above. But you should be aware that now charlie is involved and using his social farms to down vote, censor and shill. He admitted having nano:
Now, let's be reasonable: isn't it very strange that this guy sold all coins of his own project, then when he thinks people already forgot he goes to a totally unrelated and (in principle) rival project to talk about it? And that, only after he got zillions of votes, reddit gold and visualizations, he says "hey, I have some nano, just saying". WTF?! Does this seems like a healthy market to any of you? Do we really need this low level of manipulation to make money trading? I don't think so, we should call out the shit and we depend on good projects succeeding to go to the next level of adoption. So I'm doing my part: be aware of the scam and trade carefully. Shill Nano thread from Charlie archived.
11:37am If you can see this please send help, there’s hundreds of people trapped in a theme park and very weird things are happening. I'm using my phone so I'm sorry if there's any formatting errors! I’ll start at the beginning and get you up to date. A new theme park opened today. For its grand opening it had 75% off ticket prices, and because the theme park is mixed together with a zoo, that seemed like a bargain. I saw it advertised in an email from one of those “Student money saver” sites that send you coupons and special offers and things. It’s my wife’s birthday next week and we’ve just bought a house together so we’re broke. She said don’t bother with birthday gifts because the house is enough, but who doesn’t celebrate birthdays? Anyway, I ordered the tickets and got them sent to me in an email for me to print off at home. Amy’s into rollercoasters and thrills, I’m more into the animals.. So I guess this was the perfect park for us! The tickets said that because it was the grand opening, the gates would open at 10am and the celebrations would start with a parade, so it was recommended to get there for exactly 10am. We got there 15 minutes early and lined up behind what I’d estimate to be at least a few hundred other people, and more guests joined behind us. At 10am a little tune sounded over the speakers next to the gates as they automatically opened. We started making our way through to the entrance, where we scanned our tickets to gain entry. I didn’t realise at the time but there were no staff members.. Walking into the park everything looked so clean and newly built. We live about a half hour away and I’d passed this site a few times while it was under construction and remember being really curious as to what it was. This theme park, like I said, also features a zoo. But where most parks like this have the zoo separate to the rides, this one’s kind of intertwined and there’s a giant aquarium underground that the park’s built over that links about 10 massive tanks scattered around the park together. That’s the main reason I decided to buy the tickets; rollercoasters are rollercoasters but it’s not every day you see a zoo set up like this. It was one of these tanks I noticed first. it sits in the middle of the entrance and splits the path off two ways around the park. At first I noticed the size, this thing is absolutely huge, I’d say about 90ft wide and around 30 feat tall. It was full of coral and you could see where it goes under the grounds of the park which looks absolutely incredible. But there was no fish. I guess they were in another part of the aquarium, since it’s all linked together. People started wandering off to explore the park so Amy asked me where I want to go first. “I guess it doesn’t matter, we’re going to see it all anyway. Plus it’s your birthday treat so you can decide” I said. “Cool, Eagles claw first?” she replied. “Sure thing!” We turned left at the aquarium and walked for around 10 minutes past empty fields to the first ride. On the way there I noticed there were a bunch of buildings that seemed closed. “I guess they’re opening a little later” I thought, it’s the first day after all so there’s probably kinks they need to work out. As we got to the first ride there was a big crowd of people stood around it. “Hiya, what’s going on?” I asked a man at the back of the group who had his young daughter on his shoulders. “There’s no staff, how are we supposed to go on the rides?” he replied. This was when I realised that I hadn’t seen a member of staff since we came into the park, the digital ticket scanners threw me off I guess. Where were they? “I’m going back to the entrance to see if I can find anyone” the man shouted to the crowd, and he began walking back. Some of the group followed, some stayed to wait for staff members. Amy and I followed him to see if we could find anyone. I was starting to get a little unsettled but Amy didn’t seem to realise. I grabbed her hand and we followed the crowd back to the entrance. As we got closer to the buildings at the entrance we heard screams coming from the other path from the entrance, followed by people running. I grabbed amy’s hand tighter and started running towards the entrance to meet them there, a few of the group followed me. The gates were closed. No staff to be seen. “There was a huge bang and loads of smoke, people started screaming and running away” one woman struggled to explain through her heavy breathing. “Was anybody hurt? Has anyone phoned the emergency services?” The man with the child on his back asked. “I don’t know, smoke poured out of a shed, white smoke.. there was so much, it just enveloped everyone so quickly so we started running” she replied. A group of people had gotten their phones out and tried to phone for ambulances/police, but nobody could get through. I checked my phone, I had signal so I tried calling.. it just rang. Nobody answered. I tried messaging my little brother through facebook because he’s always on it. “I’m at that new theme park/zoo they’ve just built, there’s been an accident but we cant get through to an ambulance can you try? Signal might be weird here” *This message could not be sent. Retry?* I tapped retry. Almost immediately got the error message again. “ahh shit, I’ll try texting.” I told Amy. I tried to send the message again through text, it looked like it was sending but then *Message not sent* popped up in red underneath the message box. What the hell? BANG! The little “Emplyees only” box next to the entrance blew wide open and a thick white smoke gushed out. There was so much smoke, it shouldn’t have all fit inside that tiny shack. Everyone turned and started running away, knocking me off my feet. I quickly got up and started running with them to a nearby building. We poured inside and locked the door behind us. I was one of the last inside so I turned around to watch out the window to see the smoke. There was still people outside trying to run away and the smoke.. It didn’t just leave the shack and expand out, it sort of maintained a shape, like a giant snake made entirely of smoke, it followed the path around to the buildings as if it was chasing the people. Some people stopped outside the buildings and I could see another group of people were in a building further down, the people trapped outside were screaming, begging to be let in but the smoke was almost at the door so none of us near the door wanted to be the one to sacrifice everyone in the room for a couple of people outside. The smoke came so quickly, it engulfed the people in front of our building so quickly and made its way along the path to the next building. The entire front of the building was just white smoke, we couldn’t even see the people outside of the door anymore it was so thick. It was probably just seconds, but it felt like minutes that the smoke was passing in front of the building.. and then it passed. The people outside, they weren’t screaming anymore, they were just stood there, expressionless, looking at us. “What the fuck did it do to them!” “What’s wrong with them??” “Why are they just staring at us!” I heard people cry throughout the room. Turning to see where I was, it looked like a café that wasn’t fully finished. Painting was half done, there were chairs and tables in the corner of the room, a huge blackboard above what was probably supposed to be a checkout that featured no menu. Even worse, I couldn’t see Amy. I lost her when I fell over. I turned back to the people outside and she isn’t there though so she must be in that other building further down. With that the group outside all simultaneously turned and started walking to the left, towards the entrance. Within a few seconds they were gone. I tried to go to the door to find Amy but a group of people inside stopped me. “You aren’t going out there, nobody’s opening this door. We sit here and we wait for help!” a man shouted at me. I’m not one for confrontation so I just backed down. I sent a text to Amy – “Where are you? I got knocked down, are you safe? Are you inside??? I’ll come and find you, I love you xxx” *Message not sent*. I’ve been sat for 45 minutes. On my phone I can see the world happening but can’t interact, I can see Facebook updates from friends but cant message or upload my own status. Twitter’s the same. I tried Pokemon Go! to try and take my mind off what was happening. No Pokestops, great. My last go-to app was Coinbase… Bitcoin’s up 2.4%... I’m still not a millionaire but that’s a start I guess. I got bored of scrolling through facebook and twitter and decided to hit up Reddit instead. I scrolled for a few minutes before seeing a cat wanting attention, upvoted! …upvoted? I thought I couldn’t interact with the world.. but reddit seems to work? Maybe because I don’t use the Reddit App, maybe my web browser works normally? So here I am, writing this out to you to kill the time. 1:54pm. I’ve had a chat with “The man with the daughter”. He’s called Mark, his daughter’s Molly. If I had to describe him in a word it’d be “Lumberjack”. He’s about 6ft 5 tall and about the same wide, pure muscle mass. Molly’s almost 5, she likes dinosaurs and Moana. Her mum died a few months ago. Cancer. This is their first outing since, they moved up here a couple of years ago for Mark’s work. He’s a software engineer, imagine that.. A software engineer that can bench the weight of 3 people. Katie (his late wife) was diagnosed a couple of month after the move. All the while I can’t stop thinking about Amy, she must be in that building further down. But what if she isn’t? What if she was out of sight outside when the smoke hit. Anyway, thinking like that won’t help. Assume the best and prepare for the worst, right? Considering this building should be a café there’s a distinct lack of food here. Except for the packed lunch people brought. Myself included. Mark had packed lunch for him and Molly too, and we invited a couple over who were huddled together looking outside. I guess its best to pass the time together right now instead of dwelling on what we’ve seen. 4:18pm The couple are Greg and Lauren. They remind me of Amy and myself. Mid 20s, just started their careers and are looking to settle down into their life together. Greg’s in construction and Lauren sells beauty products. Greg plays Fallout and World of Warcraft, so we’ve got mutual interests. 10:04pm Mark, Molly, Greg, Lauren and myself have kind of made a group now. Emergency services still aren’t here, and why would they be? Nobody can contact them. How are we supposed to get out of here? Anyway. The room full of people have spread out, we’ve made a kind of camp here and luckily we all have enough space to lay down so we can sleep. There’s a bathroom with running water so we’re good for that, but food’s going to run out. Luckily I’m a big guy who shopped while hungry for our packed lunch, and even though I shared my food with Greg and Lauren, I still have enough to last me tomorrow too. Mark and Molly are almost out, they’ve got sandwiches left for breakfast. I’ll share my food with them after that. I hope Amy’s okay. I’ll update you guys tomorrow. Maybe I’ll be a bitcoin millionaire, or who knows, there might suddenly be a Pokestop right outside. A guy can dream haha. 2:40am There was another bang in the distance, I hope everyone’s okay.
$10K in USD's and ~$20K in coins, locked in a Gdax account for 2 weeks today. Please read the text for the whole story!!! I need advice!
Two weeks today. When I try to log into Gdax, the UI says "Error, please contact Gdax support." This happens after the two-factor authentication is done. The system seems be recording the IP, because after I try once and get denied, I cannot even access the "Sign In" option from Gdax on that device from that place. Coinbase let's me in. They have allowed me to change my password, and I am certain they would allow me to send them money and buy coins. This is all a problem with Gdax. Ok, so based on this page, https://support.coinbase.com/customeen/portal/articles/1662379-how-is-coinbase-insured- all my shit is insured. And I don't even suspect that my coins have somehow been hijacked or corrupted. But I have missed the opportunity to sell bitcoin this past week when it was up, and they have $10,000.00 in USD's just locked up, to do with to their liking, and I have no access. After calling support a few times and making two tickets via email support, one of the support people told me something like this, "sir this is cryptocurrency, and it is so young and there is so much attraction to it right now, that even we cannot handle all the support issues. We will get to you, it is just a matter of time." Apparently, he ensures me that it has been escalated to the highest priority support issue. This discourages the shit out of me. You mean to tell me that the biggest US-based exchange and storage platform, has that many more issues with that much more money locked up, for this much more time than I have been waiting? How many of you are out there with >$30K locked up in Gdax for over 2 weeks? At what point should I be absolutely livid? I feel like I have been beyond cool?! Day after day, I hear nothing. No emails. Coinbase told me they do not record phone calls and call people back for some other security risk reason. Ok, so all of our two-factor authentications is either using a text message to our mobile devices, or an app on the devices, and you can't trust that the callbacks are secure? Makes no sense. I'm sorry, but this whole platform is starting to show so many holes and risks, it's just crazy! At what point do I call the FBI, or some other authority? Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated. Let's hear the comments, please! Oh, and if someone from actual coinbase is out there, I have a case# and the name of at least one of the people who helped me on the phone. Hit me up, I'll give it all to you. I WANT MY MONEY AND COINS COINBASE, TWO WEEKS IS LONG ENOUGH!!!
Money should be a good store of value, medium of exchange, and unit of account. There are a lot of barriers preventing bitcoin’s widespread use by the aforementioned criteria, let’s take a look and see how they might be solved.
Lack of Understanding
Bitcoin is complicated and unfamiliar. This is a huge barrier to entry because people distrust what they don’t understand, and ease-of-use and simplicity is what usually sells a new technology. If you have read this series from the beginning though, you may now see some potential upsides to such a drastically different system than what we are used to. Many resisted smartphones for a time (and a few still do). The benefits have to outweigh the costs of adoption, so we may see niche cases being the early adopters (like citizens of Venezuela or remittances payments). Also, when a new complicated technology rolls around, it sometimes takes a generation before it becomes widespread; young people are particularly adept at adopting new tech.
The tendency of bitcoin’s price to change rapidly or unpredictably is what comprises volatility. When you search for bitcoin you may find that most of the results you get (and the discussions happening on forums) are about it’s price. This is understandable, it has seen some crazy moves both up and down over the years facilitating the potential for huge gains (and huge losses). Still, over time the price certainly is increasing. Unless you bought in a single 2 month period in 2013, holding bitcoin for longer than 2 years at any point in its history would land you in a better position than when you started. And, when viewed on a logarithmic scale (used in long-term stock charts), the trend is quite clear: (Bitcoin Price 2012-2018, Logarithmic Scale (bitcoincharts.com)) There is a risk/reward to adopting new tech, and this is no exception. But, my goal is absolutely not to “sell” it to you as an investment by any means.
This is not financial advice. We’re simply looking at the pros and cons of this space, and I encourage everyone to do their own research and come to their own conclusions. Never invest anything you aren’t prepared to lose.
This meteoric rising (and crashing) of the “price” (which, I’ll point out, might just as well be considered an exchange rate) understandably makes it pretty difficult to use bitcoin as a currency. If it moves a few percent in a day, and can move a few hundred percent in a month, purchasing a car or a house could cost you significantly more by the time your finished closing. That’s just not viable, and certainly not a good unit of account. However, I see the volatility in price simply as growing pains. It is the market that dictates the price of bitcoin, quite literally, it’s traded like a stock. This is referred to as speculation (“the purchase of an asset with the hope that it will become more valuable at a future date”). Speculation happens between national currencies already, but they are generally stable in comparison so it’s not lucrative. People are unsure of how this whole bitcoin thing is going to play out. It’s not like anything we’ve ever seen, it’s difficult to understand (and use), and it’s not accepted at every corner store or online business. Many in the space are just here for a quick buck, and they sell it when the price rises to get back “real” money we are used to, that is “stable” in price against other currencies, and can predictably buy goods and services. The way I see it, all of these will concerns diminish in time. Though Amazon or Target don’t yet accept bitcoin, Microsoft and Overstock.com do. Some cities and towns across the world are embracing it a lot more than others. It’s not surprising to see San Francisco accommodating the new technology. But, other cities like Portsmouth in New Hampshire with numerous cafes and shops accepting bitcoin (and “Dash coin”) might surprise you. There are maps available to see where crypto-currencies are accepted at locations near you, and the amount of them are increasing, albeit slowly. It’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation, but that hasn’t stopped revolutions from happening before. Consider when cars first came about, roads were dirt and mud which cars didn’t do well with. It took building massive infrastructure before cars could ever become mass-adopted, but we spent the time, money, and effort because we saw the potential advantages. It will be trivial for businesses to accept bitcoin compared with pouring hundreds of millions of dollars in asphalt to connect our world. Other parallels include train tracks, phone lines, electricity lines, communication satellites, etc. Each of these replaced or iterated on previous functional technologies, and required massive upfront costs before the benefits were available. It’s clear now that we made some good choices there but there were doubts at the time. Despite some pretty major setbacks, bitcoin’s trend is up. Interest is growing and more businesses and individuals are actually using it. But due to the trading mentality, the uncertainty with regulations, uncertainty in the technology itself, uncertainty that the price will not drop, and other factors, emotion and greed encourages people to sell in flocks if the price climbs high enough. Furthermore, right now with a large enough stack of money one can influence this market in drastic ways, and cries of manipulation of the price are not unfounded. So-called “whales” can buy and sell huge amounts of coins and the price can jump a bit each time. Coupled with uncertainty in the space, and so many “investors” trying to time the markets, we end up with a pretty volatile landscape where the price is not stable. My argument is that this is diminishing as it gains in popularity, and it is gaining value because its utility is growing (see the network effect”) and the utility itself is slowly becoming more apparent.
Volatility is actually decreasing.
Bitcoin Volatility Over Time(bitvol.info) In the period from 2011 to 2014 bitcoin’s volatility often spikes into the 15% range. But from 2014 to the present, volatility has only just spiked above 7% twice, spending most of it’s time below 5%. Even the large boom and bust in price at the end of 2018 seems tame compared to the early years. The trends show the price going up over time, and volatility going down. The more actual use the coin has (people saving and buying with bitcoin), the percentage of people entering the space to use it the way it was intended increases, the percentage of “stock traders” declines. And as more capital enters the space, the less influence whales have (because the current against which they swim is getting stronger). And as the price stabilizes, traders will become less interested. There is a critical point where this becomes a negative feedback loop. I could be wrong, but the idea is at least founded in reality, and it would solve the unit of account issue if the price could stabilize to within a few percent per year. Similarly, as a store of value, bitcoin becomes more viable in this scenario. This is coupled with the fact that although bitcoin is somewhat inflationary now as the supply is increasing (bitcoins are “discovered” as rewards for mined blocks), the amount of discovered coins are cut in half every few years. This “halving” is logarithmic, meaning eventually the amount of coins discovered is infinitesimally small, and total supply will asymptotically approach 21 million coins (the maximum supply that we will ever see). This model of supply is actually meant to mimic gold because it’s a well-known store of value and monetary device throughout history (though it is not easily divisible, and not as portable as bitcoin). In both bitcoin and gold, mining is more fruitful in the beginning, and as we extract the low-hanging-fruit, mining requires greater effort and yields less return. World population is increasing which leads to bitcoin becoming deflationary in the future if demand continues (the supply won’t increase beyond 21 million). And, I argue that it will become more valuable in time due to the network effect as bitcoin use becomes more widespread (the value of being able to exchange with more people anywhere, any time, and without permission from anyone). This is a positive feedback loop, and shows how bitcoin is deflationary long-term. While deflation is generally considered negative by economists, the main reason is based around debt which isn’t possible in the same way with bitcoin because bitcoins cannot be created out of thin air like fiat currency. The discussion of deflation vs inflation is an important one, and bitcoin’s monetary policy is an outlier compared with national currencies which are typically inflationary. The US dollar for example averaged 3% inflation since the year 1900. That means that over the last 100 years, a dollar has lost over 95% of its purchasing power. You could buy 95% more stuff with $1,000 last century, or, saving $1,000 from 100 years ago would buy you 95% less stuff at present. Put another way, purchasing power is cut in half after about 25 years, a concern for anyone retiring for over 20 years with a fixed retirement sum. Some other national currencies have higher inflation rates, and there are numerous cases of inflationary spirals over the years. A few examples include Germany 1923, Hungary 1945, China 1947, Vietnam 1988, Peru 1990, Yugoslavia 1992, Zimbabwe 2008, and right now in Venezuela 2018. Entire countries of people have lost essentially all of their money, and it keeps happening over and over. A wise man would tell you it’s dangerous to say “it could never happen here”. *UPDATE: Turkey is also now in financial crisis. This is our money with which we hold and exchange value, our earnings, our savings, our livelihoods. Maybe it’s time we had, at least, another option outside of government control. An option that governments can’t destroy through mismanagement. A neutral option that ignores all borders, is open to everyone, and can be accessed anytime from anywhere.
The Fear of “Hacks”
It’s a very real threat to have all your money stolen, if your bank was robbed you are protected by FDIC (in most cases only up to $100,000). The vast majority of coins that have been stolen have come from hackers attacking “exchanges” and getting away with millions. These exchanges are websites where you can trade bitcoin for other crypto-currencies (or “alt-coins”). You can also buy and sell bitcoin on them, and subsequently people end up storing a lot of coins on these exchanges, and the exchanges hold the “private keys” so they can execute trades. Cryptographic private keys are analogous to a key that opens a door, or, a key that locks a message in a box before it is sent to the recipient. In our case the door opened allows you to sign your message and spend coins, and the message is your transaction on the bitcoin network. Anyone with your private keys can spend your coins. Exchanges are a honey pot of thousands of private keys that represent a lot of money. If a hacker can break into the exchange and steal the keys all at once, their work will pay off. This is why any crypto guru will advise you not to store large amounts of coins on exchanges, and rather transfer them in your own wallets where you hold the private keys. The mantra is “your keys, your money; not your keys, NOT YOUR MONEY!” Of course your own computer can be hacked, but you are not as big a target as an exchange which may hold vast sums of money. There are also some pretty safe ways to store your coins if done right. Centralized exchanges are a necessary evil for many people because they facilitate acquiring and trading coins easily. But decentralized exchanges are becoming more common because they allow you to trade while keeping your coins in your control at all times. They need some work and more users, but it’s a promising solution to this problem. Summarizing the above, the big hacks you read about are virtually eliminated if your keys are in your control and you keep them safe.
Transaction fees are generally negligible in a bitcoin transaction, but in many ways “fees” are holding us back. Interestingly, this is a symptom of being in the very early days. Firstly, there is a lot of work on “scaling” crypto-currencies (making fees even lower than they already are and increasing transaction speeds). This is just an engineering problem, and many people are working on solving it in many different ways. Other currencies like NANO or IOTA have different underlying tech and have zero fees and instantaneous transactions. In fact, most fees people encounter aren’t fees from bitcoin transactions; instead, they get hit with fees when exchanging between national currencies and bitcoins. In order to electronically trade USD($), EUR(€), or YEN(¥) with bitcoin, we need to hook into the closed-off for-profit banking network and we need third-parties to do so (and they take their cut). But even these fees could be avoided in time. For example, you can buy bitcoins with cash directly from a person (localbitoins.com). And, it might seem distant, but in the future you may end up receiving bitcoins as your salary, from a friend, or from accepting them in your place of business. Likewise you can spend your bitcoins directly to other bitcoin users. Getting coins directly eliminates all the exchanging and associated fees because once your money is on the bitcoin network, fees will be negligible (especially as these networks evolve).
Right now it’s easier than ever to acquire some bitcoin. People can download “Coinbase” or “Square App” on their smartphone and purchase some using a credit card in a few minutes. Depending on which service you use and how much you want to buy, you may need to send a picture of your license for KYC regulations. However, as I mentioned above, there are risks to storing all your coins on exchanges, especially with large amounts. I always recommend transferring them to a wallet where you control the private keys. But using wallets and storing private keys (and “seeds”) securely, is not as straightforward as we would like. This is a major factor holding back adoption, because if it’s not easy to use, people will consider it too much effort. The next post in this series digs into wallets and storing your coins.
Thought I would share this chat I had with James Lovejoy last night. Super generous of him to provide this much access and time answering questions. I was already a HODL'er, but this solidified it. beerfinger [1:28 AM] Just read through the entire rebranding thread in the Vertcoin subreddit. Earlier today I also watched some of Crypto Hedge's interview of James Lovejoy from last August on YouTube. I understand both sides of the rebranding argument and have tried to play devil's advocate. Right now I do believe that the argument against rebranding is stronger. Full disclosure: I've worked in marketing/advertising my whole career and just recently got into cryptos. With that said, there are two questions that keeps nagging on me: [1:28] 1. this coin has been around since 2014, so nearly 4 years. James seems like an incredibly smart and capable chap, but I'm just going to go ahead and assume the he hasn't always been the Lead Dev while he was in high school. Presumably there was someone before him and, after he graduates and moves on to whatever it is he's going to do with his life, there will be someone after him. Yes? So, with all due respect to James, as an investor in VTC, what assurances are there that this isn't merely an interesting side-project for a brilliant MIT student with little interest/incentive in its value as an investment portfolio? If the value of this coin to James is that of a college project, that is something I as an investor would like to know. jamesl22 [1:32 AM] Hey! [1:33] I've been the lead dev since Nov 2014 [1:33] (while I was in high school) [1:33] And I've kept at it through college, I certainly don't intend to go anywhere [1:33] Plus, there are more who work on this project that just me beerfinger [1:33 AM] 2. I've read complaints about Vertcoin from people who poopoo its usefulness. Decrying it as "just another coin trying to be Bitcoin with not much differentiating it." People don't seem to view the ASIC thing as a big enough differentiator to make VTC stand out. There seems to be a kernel of truth to that as part of the argument against rebranding seems to be a tacit acknowledgement that it should not occur until a major change in the development is launched. So my question again stems back to James' motivations and incentives here. Is this a convenient use case for some college thesis? Or is the team really working on coming up with a major change in development? [1:34] hey James! wow, thanks so much for your quick response [1:34] great to actually communicate with you. and I stand corrected. very impressive that you started on this so young. I can see why MIT accepted you :slightly_smiling_face: [1:36] my questions still stand though: I'm not trying to insult you so I hope you don't take it that way, but as someone who considers VTC part of my investment portfolio, I am very curious to hear about your incentives. You clearly have noble intentions. But what is your ultimate goal? What's the end game? Is it the same as Satoshi's was? (assuming he was really one person who existed) [1:37] Or is there something else? jamesl22 [1:37 AM] I think it's the same as Satoshi's [1:37] To recreate the financial system in a fairer, more distributed way [1:37] My research at MIT is totally separate to my work on VTC, though the two are complimentary (both are in cryptocurrency) [1:38] In my ideal world everyone runs a VTC miner and full node in their home, banks become narrow banks and clearing houses/stock exchanges are a thing of the past [1:39] The rewards of the financial system (in the form of transaction fees) will be distributed to the people, rather than siphoned off by banks or ASIC manufacturers as happens now (edited) goodminer [1:40 AM] :thumbsup: beerfinger [1:40 AM] I see. That is compelling. So, being that's the case, that sounds to me like something worthy of a brand, no? [1:41] Unless you think there are other coins on the market with the same goals. In which case, what will differentiate VTC? jamesl22 [1:42 AM] I don't think there are any on the market with as strong of an ideology as us [1:42] Or any that can demonstrate that it follows through on its commitments [1:42] The way I see it, VTC went from being worth $0.01 last year to 100x that now [1:43] I don't see how a rebrand can possible accelerate already parabolic growth [1:43] Bear in mind, that until a few months ago we had 0 marketing, that is where our focus should be now beerfinger [1:44 AM] Fair. I'm curious, what do you think it SHOULD be worth? [1:44] I mean right now, at this moment. jamesl22 [1:44 AM] I don't think I should say, the SEC might be watching us beerfinger [1:44 AM] Not in the future. [1:44] haha [1:44] ok [1:44] Can you say if you feel it is undervalued? [1:44] or overvalued jamesl22 [1:45 AM] I will say with confidence that 95% of the top 100 is severely overvalued beerfinger [1:45 AM] coins you mean jamesl22 [1:45 AM] Yes [1:45] On coinmarketcap [1:45] If you visit most of their websites, there is no code at all [1:45] Yet it's worth many times what VTC is worth [1:46] Where VTC has been established for nearly 4 years, bug free and features well demonstrated [1:46] VTC also had LN and SegWit on main net before LTC or BTC (edited) beerfinger [1:46 AM] Yes I mean your statement doesn't surprise me. It's a nacent market. Lots of snake oil, clearly. [1:47] I guess to steer this back towards the branding/marketing of your coin though, you clearly feel strongly about it and have a clear vision. Do you feel that as it stands the branding conveys that sentiment? jamesl22 [1:47 AM] When you say branding, I assume you mean "vertcoin" and the logo? beerfinger [1:48 AM] yes. logo, color scheme, etc... [1:48] name even [1:49] also to clarify one point, when I say that you clearly feel strongly about it, the "it" refers to your coin (not the marketing of it) jamesl22 [1:49 AM] I think it's largely arbitrary beerfinger [1:49 AM] why is that jamesl22 [1:49 AM] Most coin names have no meaning whatsoever [1:49] Google, the largest tech company in the world has a silly name [1:50] Litecoin (whose name ought to imply it has fewer features) is #4 beerfinger [1:51 AM] I wouldn't underestimate the amount of strategy that went into branding Google (and continues to this day) jamesl22 [1:51 AM] What's most important is the pitch, how can you convince someone who knows nothing about the technicals behind cryptocurrency, that ASIC resistance and decentralisation is important? [1:51] Yes, but the original branding was arbitrary and haphazard [1:52] Yet the technology spoke for itself [1:52] Now it's in the dictionary [1:53] Spending lots of time and money on a new name/logo, trying to get community consensus on that and then redesigning the website/subreddit/wallets/other services to reflect the changes is not where I think we should focus our small resources [1:54] My goal over the next year or two is to take VTC from speculative value to real-world value [1:54] So point of sale, ease of use, that's the focus now [1:55] I aim to over time provide complete solutions for merchants to implement VTC at point of sale, for laymen to set up nodes and miners in their homes [1:55] As well as potentially enterprise support if we get big enough beerfinger [1:55 AM] It sounds like this is your intended career path then, yes? jamesl22 [1:55 AM] In some shape or form, yes beerfinger [1:55 AM] Wonderful [1:55] When do you graduate, James? [1:55] If you don't mind me asking slackbot Custom Response [1:55 AM] I AM talking to you aren't I ! jamesl22 [1:56 AM] Charlie Lee worked at Coinbase for several years before returning to LTC a month or two ago [1:56] 2019 beerfinger [1:56 AM] So you're a Sophomore? Or are you in graduate school? jamesl22 [1:57 AM] Junior chuymgzz [1:58 AM] @beerfinger can you imagine when people first heard the word "dollar" like WTF is a dollar where did it actually came from. It actually comes from Czech joachimsthaler, which became shortened in common usage to thaler or taler. Don't pay much attention to the name Vertcoin, just take a look at the tech. If you buy into this coin's ideology, you will actually start to like the name. jin [1:58 AM] Hey guys :slightly_smiling_face: [1:59] @chuymgzz but not everyone looks purely at the tech, if we look at the top 100 coins, you would know whats going on :stuck_out_tongue: beerfinger [1:59 AM] Cool well thanks for indulging me, James. I really appreciate it. Hopefully this conversation continues in the future. While your probably right that right now is probably not the right time, that doesn't mean at some point in the future it won't be. In the meantime, I'll take comfort in the knowledge that I've invested in a worthy cause. chuymgzz [1:59 AM] Longer term only the functional ones and the ones that deliver will survive and a whole ecosystem will be built around it jin [1:59 AM] buzz and hype is unfortunately a large part of it beerfinger [2:00 AM] *you're jin [2:00 AM] that is true, but without marketing to draw in attention (which leads to usage and so on etc) it will be difficult for a functional one to survive even beerfinger [2:07 AM] @james122 One more thing: how do you feel about regulation? Pro or con? Do you feel that the idea of nation states like the US and China (ergo the ICO ban) taking it upon themselves to place restrictions on the market to try and make them safer is anathema to the idea of decentralization? Are you a full on libertarian in that respect? Or do you welcome regulation because it'll separate the wheat from the chaff? jamesl22 [2:07 AM] I think we need a sane amount of regulation [2:08] ICOs are clearly illegal imo [2:08] Unless they are performed under the same rules as an IPO [2:09] Plus I don't want to create a safe harbour for child pornographers, people traffickers and terrorists to store their money [2:09] However I do think the state has no right to spy on you without a warrant (edited) beerfinger [2:09 AM] You mean you don't want to be Monero? :slightly_smiling_face: jamesl22 [2:09 AM] No [2:10] I will pursue privacy features that make the pseudoanonymity provided by the blockchain easier for people to use effectively [2:11] That way, it is not obvious to anyone your holdings or transactions publicly (edited) [2:11] But things like sting operations would still be theoretically possible beerfinger [2:13 AM] Love it. I still feel the branding thing will need to be revisited at some point. I don't know what that means, exactly. Whether its as small as a font change to something bigger like a new color scheme, logo or even name, I'm not sure of. The ideology is strong, but as it stands Vertcoin doesn't have a clear differentiator in the market. I'm not sure that matters so much yet at this time, but it will. [2:15] You clearly have a strong vision, I'm just not sure it's being communicated effectively yet. Hence, haters who say Vertcoin is just trying to be another Bitcoin. workstation [2:15 AM] beerfinger might be a huge whale sniffing out Vertcoin before a huge loadup. Not that, that's a bad thing :stuck_out_tongue: beerfinger [2:15 AM] haha... I wish jamesl22 [2:16 AM] Vertcoin is trying to be another Bitcoin lol [2:16] It's picking up where Bitcoin left off [2:16] If people want a decentralised cryptocurrency, they should use Vertcoin [2:17] Bitcoin just isn't one anymore [2:17] Neither is Litecoin (edited) beerfinger [2:20 AM] Semantics really, but if that's the case then that means Vertcoin isn't trying to be another Bitcoin. Bitcoin is already Bitcoin, which is a coin that did not fulfill it's promises. Vertcoin, on the other hand, like you said picks up where Bitcoin left off. I'm not sure that's being communicated by the brand (yet). Doing so may have nothing to do with rebranding (unless rebranding generates a bigger social following who then helps you communicate that). workstation [2:20 AM] You've continued on a great coin James and no doubt Vertcoin has great features vs other coins, however without widespread use and adoption, Vertcoin might just become another coin without much use. The marketing side is sometimes even more important than the development side. Just need to look at history for that. E.g. Early version of Windows was buggy, bluescreen of death plagued it. But with heaps of $$ and marketing, Windows is pretty rock solid these days. atetnowski [2:21 AM] joined #marketing. jamesl22 [2:22 AM] Yes, agreed to both statements [2:22] We're working on it, but it takes time and money [2:23] But really, adoption is pointless until point of sale works properly [2:23] When you can get it into people's physical wallets, or phone and they can spend it in a store, that's when it takes off (edited) [2:23] Walmart, Target, all the big retailers hate Visa and Mastercard workstation [2:24 AM] Thats a long way off... Even Apple and Samsung are struggling in that area jamesl22 [2:24 AM] They would love a solution that opted them out of having to pay their fees beerfinger [2:25 AM] @workstation To play devil's advocate for one sec, most successful people in the world don't achieve success because they tried to achieve success. Success is merely a byproduct of their passion. I do believe that James' commitment to the ideology can be sufficient. But it is true that the branding should communicate his vision. That is a constant conversation, too. workstation [2:25 AM] yes, true jamesl22 [2:26 AM] What we really need is talented content creators to make compelling media that explains the vision in a layman friendly way [2:26] Thus far the message has been far too technical [2:26] But in the past, the space was mostly populated by technical people so that is understandable [2:26] It is only in the last 6 months that the general public has started to get involved [2:27] Sadly "ASIC resistance" doesn't speak to them beerfinger [2:27 AM] @james122 While it's true that universal adoption is key, you can say that about ANY coin. Even dogecoin would suddenly become a real coin if everyone up and decided to start using it one day. What's your strategy for making VTC that coin? jamesl22 [2:27 AM] Whereas I think taking power from banks, chinese miners and giving it back to the people can be far more compelling workstation [2:27 AM] We take Visa and Mastercard at our stores. We only do it because it boosts sales. People these days are all borrowing on credit because they don't have enough.... Paying on their CC# lets them buy things now (instant gratification) and slowly pay later. They managed to get banks on board because they make so much money on the interest. There is a clear reason why those cards satisfy a demand. We get charged about 1.5% by VISA/MC. To be honest, it's not a real deal breaker. beerfinger [2:27 AM] haha, well, james you're talking to the right guy :slightly_smiling_face: [2:28] My career is content creation [2:28] I have nearly 20 years producing commercials and (lately) social content for global brands mikevert [2:29 AM] joined #marketing. beerfinger [2:29 AM] I would be happy to consult and provide any assistance I can [2:29] "taking power from banks, chinese miners and giving it back to the people can be far more compelling" - that's your modus operandi [2:29] you can definitely tell that story in a compelling way [2:30] Question: have any crypto's ever created any sort of ad before? Even just for social content? (sorry, I'm new to this space) jamesl22 [2:30 AM] Well we'd obviously be grateful for your assistance [2:31] I'd imagine so, though I don't follow many other coins' social media very much goodminer [2:31 AM] @beerfinger lets chat :smile: We've been working on a lot of initiatives over the last few weeks jamesl22 [2:31 AM] @workstation 1.5% to a huge retailer is a large sum of money though workstation [2:35 AM] I don't see any coin being widely used to be honest. They fluctuate way too much. Say a typical consumer whose after tax salary is $1000/week.. He buys groceries at the store for $1/Liter. This is simple maths for him, he knows it's going to cost $1 each week, inflation may make it rise to $1.10 next year, but he understands that. With coins, the price of his milk is too hard to calculate. [2:37] Why would Bob switch to using coins, when Visa/MC give him so much more? He doesnt pay the processing fee (1.5%), he gets free credit (these days, banks will easily approve 10k credits). Why would he switch to Vertcoin? jamesl22 [2:37 AM] @workstation, volatility is high because market volume is low [2:38] I think it will take another financial crisis or two though before people start to abandon fractional reserve banking (edited) workstation [2:42 AM] As long as bob gets his paycheck, he's not going to care what happens at the fed jamesl22 [2:43 AM] Bob ain't gunna get his paycheck one day though [2:44] Because the credit ponzi scheme economy will have collapsed workstation [2:48 AM] yes, the fed can print whatever it wants out of thin air... But its backed by US tax payers to the tune of 2+ trillion/year with most banks adhering to loan capital requirements. E.g. they need a certain amount of money deposited before they can loan more money out. What is Bitcoin/alt coins backed by? Seems like its somewhat of a ponzi scheme now, with everyone piling in thinking it will go up forever. I get that BTC is backed by real energy usage/capital requirements to mine it (asic equipment, datacenters, etc), so its more "real" than $1 USD, but they both service a purpose. axelfoley75 [2:49 AM] joined #marketing. workstation [2:51 AM] but whats the end goal because it seems they all become ponzi schemes. The only true coin will be one that will not allow any fiats be converted to to coin. [2:51] the only way to earn a coin, would be to mine it, wouldn't you think that that would be the truest coin? [2:52] right now people are just moving wads of fiat money into coins/alt coins, thereby skewing everything. beerfinger [2:54 AM] just jumping in here with one last comment before I go to sleep: money, whether we're talking salt, precious metals, fiat currency, or cryptos, is just something that we all agree to prescribe a value to. That being the case, how are you going to stop someone from trading that value for something they want? If someone wants to trade their cryptos for chickens, a latte, USD or anything else, they're going to do it. No point in trying to regulate what people spend their money on or how they do it. Seems the antithesis of the whole decentralization thing anyway workstation [2:57 AM] true aegisker [3:02 AM] I belive when crypto matures, has fast and easy payments solutions, volume will rise and price will be more stable. Current price is speculation due to news and new development. I dont belive that after 10 years we will be seeing such swings. beerfinger [3:04 AM] sorry keep thinking of new stuff... @jamesl22 your point about POS is salient. What's your perspective on coins like TenX that try to address that with payment platforms and cards? [3:05] is that what you mean? nuts & bolts, how would Vertcoin become a POS option? aegisker [3:06 AM] How is usdt keeping its price around usd? beerfinger [3:07 AM] don't they just keep up with USD inflation by making sure there's an equal amount of tokens to USD in the market at any given point? jamesl22 [3:07 AM] Integration of LN and AS is key [3:07] Then providing some hardware or software solution to integrate with payment processors [3:07] I haven't looked at tenx beerfinger [3:07 AM] so Vertcoin IS actively pursuing this then [3:08] interesting [3:09] perhaps there's some way to leverage things like ApplePay jamesl22 [3:09 AM] I doubt it [3:09] ApplePay's design is fundamentally different beerfinger [3:09 AM] I mean it doesn't have to be ApplePay itself. Can be a separate app lucky [3:09 AM] Having bitcoin or altcoins tied to your debit card isn't unbelievable jamesl22 [3:10 AM] Of course not [3:10] But it is suboptimal beerfinger [3:10 AM] yeah sort of kills the whole decentralization thing lucky [3:10 AM] in fact if we are going the whole hog and saying fiat collapsed. You'd be silly to think the banks would standby and let crypto take over without them beerfinger [3:10 AM] now we're relying on banks again lucky [3:11 AM] At the first sign of crypto succeeding fiat. Banks will take over [3:11] Because they can trade their fiat to coin [3:11] Government too aegisker [3:12 AM] Well, banks issues debt, whole market is built around debt. Crypto would take that away [3:12] This will be hardest transition jamesl22 [3:12 AM] If the crypto market ever gets to say $1tril, the banks will use their lobbyist army to squash it as best they can lucky [3:13 AM] Is it not possible crypto gets immediately regulated into the banking system as soon as it passed fiat in some way jamesl22 [3:13 AM] They don't care right now because the space is tiny compared to their own equity lucky [3:13 AM] Yes exactly James beerfinger [3:13 AM] i like the idea of leveraging NFC tech as a way to introduce crypto to POS purchases... everyone already has a smart phone so no need to reinvent the wheel... it's basically just an app lucky [3:13 AM] If finance is going to change politics needs to too [3:14] Nfc seems like the way. Yeag [3:14] Lots of the android wallets leverage it aegisker [3:14 AM] No need for nfc, nfc was kinda overhyped. Qr codes can work equally good jamesl22 [3:14 AM] @beerfinger I think LN will allow us to achieve that lucky [3:14 AM] Lol qr [3:14] Who has ever scanned a qr.... jamesl22 [3:14 AM] We just need a hardware implementation for the reader beerfinger [3:14 AM] sorry james, what's LN? lucky [3:14 AM] Apple made sure qr never worked jamesl22 [3:14 AM] Lightning Network beerfinger [3:14 AM] ah aegisker [3:15 AM] If u use your phone, why complicate with nfc, is there a security benefit? beerfinger [3:15 AM] the infrastructure is there... most readers i come across these days are already NFC compliant jamesl22 [3:15 AM] QR can work, but requires a high res display in the POS device [3:15] Which would increase costs [3:15] NFC is cheap af lucky [3:16 AM] Yep. Qr is extremely requirement heavy aegisker [3:16 AM] For example, pub: you get check with qr. U pay with your phone. Waiter sees on his computer that its payed. lucky [3:16 AM] Look at Asia and south America [3:16] Nobody can read qr aegisker [3:17 AM] I europe all checks already have qrs for tax checking lucky [3:17 AM] I work in global marketing. Qr is completely unadopted in the real world [3:17] Yes in no public scenario qr is used aegisker [3:17 AM] Where you from? lucky [3:17 AM] Uk [3:19] A decade in marketing I can tell you for sure Joe public doesn't scan qr codes [3:19] James is right. We need an alternative hardware solution [3:19] And I think I unique piece of tech in public would drive massive interest aegisker [3:20 AM] In slovenia, croatia, austria(i tjink) there is law that all transactions in coffeeshops or shops(everything with fiat transaction) is sent to tax authority as soon as check is printed. U get qr code on your check, so you can check if tax s paid for your service. This is to prevent black markets and unauthorized sellers. Works pretty well. If you frequently scan qrs you can get some bonuses.. [3:21] Public got used to this pretty fast. lucky [3:21 AM] So there's an incentive aegisker [3:21 AM] So also you could print qr shop wallet addr. lucky [3:21 AM] Kind of skews the ease of adoption stat we are looking for aegisker [3:22 AM] Costz nothing lucky [3:22 AM] Costs a smartphone with a quick camera [3:22] How about in a dark club beerfinger [3:23 AM] I came tonight with many questions about Vertcoin. Namely the incentives of the Devs and how it differentiated itself in the marketplace. All of those questions have been answered as best as I could have hoped. The only thing left is figuring out a way to tell that story. @jamesl22, all of the things you've said tonight are reassuring and exciting. They provide great promise for the future of this coin and even more - your goals, if realized, are truly category shifting. This is such a compelling story. TELL IT! lucky [3:23 AM] Asking every transaction to require an in focus photo capability is insane, imo aegisker [3:23 AM] uploaded and commented on this image: IMG_20170908_092307.jpg 1 Comment Thats how it looks lucky [3:23 AM] We need something similar to a contactless debit card [3:24] Good luck scanning that in the dark with a £100 smartphone. Though. aegisker [3:24 AM] For starters this is easiest solution for early adoption (edited) workstation [3:25 AM] why not something short like vCoin. Then u could make it go off V=Vendetta, sort of has a nice mystery, anti establishment aegisker [3:25 AM] You just need plugin for your pos software that checks your crypto wallet for received funds [3:26] Imo this is easiest way to implement first public purchases of beer or coffee beerfinger [3:26 AM] by the way, less is more when it comes to branding [3:26] look at apple [3:26] i love this example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUXnJraKM3k YouTube Brant Walsh Microsoft Re-Designs the iPod Packaging [3:31] and there's always something to be said for ad wars... apple's david vs goliath attack ads vs microsoft is what put them back on the map [3:31] that could be a great angle for Vertcoin... go after Bitcoin [3:31] make fun of it the way Jobs poked at Gates [3:32] that's just my 2 Vertcoins
As a former teenager and inter railer, I know how hard it can be to find some herb (oregano, thyme, etc), and since I could never find a helpful guide on how to find some herb in other countries I decided that I would make a list myself.
This is probably the most common method and you may or may not know about this, but standing outside those cool shops like mmmad or the funky skunk (the ones that sell bongs and cannabis seeds which you definitely should not buy and germinate yourself) and asking people who look like cool dudes if they know anybody selling the chronic, the bud, the good stuff, the oregano. If you're only a young lad/lass then just try and look older and if they ask you what age you then say you're 18 or 19 but you're a student from Meath. They'll never ask you where in Meath you're from because most people aren't even sure if Meath exists or not. This method only works if you can get into Cork, Dublin or Galway city but if you can't get into there just try and find a dirty internet café as they're probably your 2nd best bet.
The Dark Web is probably the best place to order some herb from as long as you have an address to send it to. I've had packages of oregano and basil ordered to hotels I've been staying at as well as my own home because there was no fear of anybody else opening the package, but definitely don't order packages to parcel motel because they open nearly all packages from the Canada, USA and Netherlands so they might mistake your fresh herbs for illegal drugs and seize and destroy the package. You will have to change your euros into bitcoin which is a bit of a hassle but not really. I recommend cex.io for transferring euro to bitcoin as I've used coinbase and kraken and cex.io is my favorite. I wouldn't be afraid at all of customs seizing the package especially not in Ireland (because it's just oregano obviously) but worst case scenario you get sent a letter from customs that your package was seized and destroyed. Even if there was weed in the package you wouldn't get in trouble because they have no evidence that it was you who ordered it to your house.
I hope this post helped you score some fresh, legal herb. If any mods or admins are reading this, please do not take down this post as I am simply a herb enthusiast looking to help my peers make some tasty pasta. Feel free to message me if you ever need any help getting some herb.
InvestInBlockchain - Cryptocurrencies in the Top 100 With Working Products
📷 Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency that started it all back in 2009, after the global financial crisis and subsequent bailouts of banks left many people disenfranchised with fiat currency and outdated, insecure financial infrastructure. Today, Bitcoin is being used for peer-to-peer payments across the globe. More than that, though, it is leading the way towards a future in which financial technology is trustless, secure, resilient, and censorship resistant. Without Bitcoin, this list would not exist.
📷 The platform that brought smart contracts to the blockchain, spurring a minor revolution in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Before Ethereum, Bitcoin and its transaction-oriented design was the central focus of most blockchain projects. After Ethereum, teams saw the value of decentralized apps (dapps) and smart contracts, and shifted their focus to compensate. Vitalik Buterin’s Ethereum whitepaper was released in late 2013. The project itself was announced January 2014, with a crowdsale the following July. The system officially went live in July 2015. Since then, hundreds of businesses, individuals, and blockchain projects have adopted Ethereum as their main smart contracts platform.
📷 Ripple is focused primarily on one thing: fast and cheap international transactions. Current banking infrastructure has failed to evolve in the 21st century, such that it still takes 3-5 business days on average for an international transfer to be processed. With just 4 second transaction times and at a fraction of the cost of a wire transfer, Ripple’s working product is already impacting the banking sector. The big knock against Ripple is that its native token, XRP, is completely unnecessary. Indeed, driving adoption of Ripple’s banking solutions is far easier than getting real-world adoption for XRP. If you’re interested in seeing a discussion about how XRP adoption will occur, you might find this reddit thread worth a read. Meanwhile, all of us will just have to wait and see whether XRP adoption strategies ultimately come to fruition.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
📷 Bitcoin Cash was created in 2017 when the first ever hard fork of the Bitcoin blockchain took place. The split was the result of Bitcoin’s 1MB blocks filling up. Transaction speeds were declining, fees were increasing, and it became clear to the community that the current model wasn’t sustainable for scaling. In a move that still causes cryptocurrency fights to this day, Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash soon emerged as separate but similar projects. BCH has 8x the block size of BTC, giving it roughly 8x the transaction throughput. Its fees and transaction times are much faster, as predicted. Learn more about Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash.
📷 The Stellar project and its associated Lumens (XLM) token was forked from the Ripple protocol in 2014. Stellar has come into its own since then, providing a blockchain connection service for fiat transactions between banks, payment systems, and people. Stellar is fast and reliable, and it works with practically no fees for the end-user. Stellar is a payments system, meaning its job is to move money as efficiently as possible. Partnerships with banks and financial institutions were key in evaluating its status, as was the ability to actually send money using the network. Several non-profits and commercial entities have agreed to use Stellar as part of their financial infrastructure. Recently, the team partnered with IBM and KlickEx to facilitate cross-border transactions in the South Pacific and announced an affiliate with Keybase to streamline international transactions. Stellar also has projects being builton its network by major established entities. IBM’s blockchain division is using XLM for their payments infrastructure, for example, and the Veridium startup is working with both organizations to tokenize its carbon credits market.
📷 Litecoin is a Bitcoin fork that was created in 2011 by Charlie Lee as a cheaper and faster (2.5 minute block time instead of 10) alternative to Bitcoin. This is accomplished predominantly because Litecoin uses a Scrypt hashing algorithm instead of the SHA-256 algorithm used by Bitcoin. It’s common to hear Litecoin called “digital silver” to Bitcoin’s “digital gold,” and in reality Litecoin does not really expand upon the functionality of Bitcoin in a significant way so much as it makes different tradeoffs. That being said, it does succeed in being cheaper and faster to use than BTC, which has led to it being accepted by hundreds of merchants and thus making Litecoin one of the most widely used cryptocurrencies for digital payments.
📷 Tether is an unusual project. Whereas most cryptocurrencies rise and fall in value, Tether was designed to stay the same, fixed at a 1:1 ratio with the U.S. dollar. This allows users to store, send, and receive digital currencies across platforms without incurring significant losses due to value fluctuations. The Tether stable coin sounds straightforward, but the project isn’t without controversy. USDT is supposedly backed by real USD sitting in a bank account. But in which account? Who controls it? And is Tether being used to manipulate the value of Bitcoin? It’s all part of the Tether controversy.
📷 Released in 2014 as a fork of Bytecoin, Monero has since made a name for itself as the most popular privacy coin on the market. Most cryptocurrencies offer little in the form of anonymity. Monero was built for privacy from the ground-up, featuring stealth addresses, ring signatures, and complete coin fungibility. All of this adds up to a near-perfect cloak of anonymity, allowing Monero users to conduct transactions without exposing their identity. Monero has had steady growth over the years thanks to a dedicated team of developers and an active community. The project continues to evolve with new privacy features and improved transaction security.
📷 NEO was founded in 2014 as one of the earliest smart contract platforms, giving it a wide breadth of possible functionality. The platform’s strongest use case is digitizing traditional assets so that they can be easily tracked and exchanged on the blockchain. NEO is also well-known as the “Chinese Ethereum,” and the fact that it is a Chinese-based project does seem to make Chinese dapp developers somewhat more likely to build on top of it than other platforms. In fact, NEO has already supported dozens of ICOs and remains one of the predominant platforms for supporting smart contracts and dapps.
Binance Coin (BNB)
📷 Binance Coin is an exchange token used to reduce trading fees on the Binance platform. Users can opt to pay exchange, listing, and withdrawal fees using BNB and enjoy as much as a 50% discount on all charges. This turns out to be a powerful incentive for purchasing and holding BNB, as what trader doesn’t enjoy saving money on transactions? Binance Coin is an ERC-20 token that runs on the Ethereum blockchain. Its purpose is extremely limited, but because such a vast number of Binance users transact with it every day, it qualifies as a working and active product.
📷 Zcash is another immensely popular privacy coin that often cracks the top 20 cryptocurrencies. It uses the tagline “internet money” and promises to fully protect the privacy of transactions with zero-knowledge cryptography. Zcash provides anonymity by shielding transactions on the blockchain, preventing anyone from seeing the sender, recipient, or value of each transaction. The technology is so effective the Ethereum team is investigating it to enable anonymous transactions on their network. Zcash has grown in leaps and bounds in 2018. The dev team published a roadmap through the year 2020, which includes a major features upgrade in the October 2018 Sapling release. Coinbase is also considering listing Zcash, which is a huge boost for any cryptocurrency.
📷 Qtum is a smart contracts platform similar to Ethereum, only with a stronger focus on value transfers and decentralized apps. It’s meant to be something of a hybrid between Bitcoin and Ethereum, allowing businesses to build smart contracts on the platform or just focus on cryptocurrency transactions. Qtum launched in March 2017, and dashed straight to the top. The initial offering sold over $10 million in tokens after just 90 minutes. The project differentiated itself by providing a rare Proof-of-Stake smart contracts platform designed to compensate for some of Ethereum’s shortcomings, including lack of compatibility for mobile devices. Qtum released its mainnet in September 2017, opening the doors to a fully functional smart contract and dapps platform. Several projects already have an established presenceon the network. One of the more exciting ones is Space Chain, which aims to create an open-source satellite network anyone can use for data transmission, storage, and development.
0x Protocol (ZRX)
📷 0x Protocol has one of the most important working products in the entire Ethereum ecosystem. It is a permissionless, open-source protocol that facilitates trustless exchanges of Ethereum tokens through relayers and dapps that build on top of the protocol. Not only has 0x been providing this functionality for over a year now, but they’ve been working to expand the protocol functionality significantly since that initial launch. In 0x protocol 2.0 and beyond, it will be possible to trade tokens built on standards besides ERC-20, including non-fungible ERC-721 tokens. In a market full of scams and vaporware, 0x’s valuable contributions to the Ethereum ecosystem have made it one of the best performing cryptocurrencies of 2018.
📷 Bytecoin is another popular privacy-focused cryptocurrency with a strong community and user base. Transactions on the Bytecoin blockchain are instantaneous, untraceable, unlinkabe, and resistant to blockchain analysis. Bytecoin has been around for a long time now, with contributions to the project beginning in 2012. However, that hasn’t stopped the project’s developers from continuously improving the product. The recently updated Bytecoin roadmap has a hard fork for a consensus update scheduled for August 31, as well as numerous initiatives for community growth constantly in the works.
📷 Founded in 2015 by former Bitcoin developers, Decred’s most important working product is its solution to Bitcoin’s biggest problem. No, not scalability… blockchain governance. You see, early Bitcoiners have been debating block size limitations and the efficacy of other scalability solutions like the Lightning Network for years, even though the problem of scalability really only became discussed in the mainstream in 2017. With its community-based governance model and strong adherence to the core ethos of decentralization, Decred is built to evolve and improve rapidly. That means that it’s equipped to handle not only the scalability problem today, but other big problems that might arise down the line. When you have poor governance, it is an arduous process making any upgrades to a project, no matter how necessary they may seem to the majority of coin holders. Decred’s best-in-class and still improving governance model give it an intriguing case to be a leader in digital payments for a long time to come.
📷 BitShares aims to improve worldwide access to financial services via blockchain. The tagline “assist the unbanked” summarizes the project nicely. In practice, this translates to BitShares operating as a decentralized exchange, one that was built from the ground-up to avoid scalability issues and keep transaction fees low. BitShares was launched in 2014 by Dan Larimer, who would then go on to take a lead development role in both EOS and Steem. The current state of the project offers decentralized asset exchange, price-stable cryptocurrencies, recurring and scheduled payments, user-issued assets, and more, all available through a decentralized system powered by delegated PoS consensus.
📷 Steem is the cryptocurrency that powers Steemit, a decentralized social media platform that incentivizes user participation through micropayments. Think of it like Reddit, only instead of just upvoting or downvoting posts, users can actually reward creators for their effort. Steem is a functional cryptocurrency used exclusively on the Steemit platform. That gives it something of a limited use, but seeing as how Steemit is live and boasts a few hundred thousand users, it’s hard to argue it isn’t a working product. Some people may even beearning money using Steemit.
📷 Siacoin is one of the leaders in decentralized cloud storage, a more secure and affordable alternative to centralized cloud storage solutions like Amazon S3, Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox, and others. Sia 1.0 was launched in June 2016, and has achieved considerable adoption since then. With the $200 billion cloud storage market widely seen as one of the spaces most ripe for blockchain disruption, Sia has gotten off to a nice start by offering a functional decentralized cloud storage platform for over 2 years.
📷 Augur is one of the most recently launched products on this list. The platform mainnet went live in early July 2018, bringing to fruition almost 4 years of post-ICO work. Augur is a decentralized prediction market that uses game theory to generate crowd-sourced insights. Essentially, thousands of people working together have shown the remarkable ability to forecast outcomes. With Augur, users can put REP tokens as bets on these predictions, essentially creating a form of “useful social gambling.” Augur’s release was a long time coming. The project started as far back as 2014, nearly a year before the ICO. The creators cite the complexity of Augur’s smart contracts as the chief cause of the lengthy development time. Regardless of its past, Augur is now a live product with a bright future. Over 300 predictions have already been made, with the largest winning payout hitting $20,000. Betting volume even exceeded $1 million within the first weeks of launch.
Basic Attention Token (BAT)
📷 Basic Attention Token was one of the easiest projects to include on this list. That’s because its working product, Brave Browser, has more than 3 million active usersbetween its mobile and desktop platforms, making it one of the most widely-used working products in the blockchain space. Not only is Brave Browser functional, it’s the only browser on the market that has built-in ad-blocking and tracker blocking, making the browsing experience both cleaner and faster than what you get with other popular browsers like Chrome and Firefox. The future remains uncertain for the BAT token itself, as its adoption depends heavily on whether or not advertisers buy-in to the Brave model, as well as how willing Brave users are to be shown relevant ads and to pass along the BAT they earn to content publishers. Given Brave’s success in just a short time since being launched, though, the future does appear promising for BAT.
📷 Nano (formerly RaiBlocks) is all about scalability. The coin has nearly instant transactions with a completely fee-less structure. The platform accomplishes this by creating a unique blockchain for every account, preventing bloat and allowing for practically infinite scalability. Nano’s motto of “do one thing and do it well” has gotten them a long way. The team doesn’t have to deal with scaling or slowdown issues thanks to the underlying structure of the project, allowing its roadmap to focus on wallet updates and outreach. This is one cryptocurrency that’s essentially feature complete, and it has been for some time.
📷 Golem has set out to be the Airbnb of computing resources. Have you ever needed extra GPU power to finish up a render? How about processing scientific data similar to the [email protected] project? Even if you don’t have those needs, a lot of groups do. Golem aims to provide easy access to those resources, all of which are rentable for a small cryptocurrency fee. Golem hit the mainnet launch button in April 2018, and was met with a fair amount of fanfare. One of the main goals for the feature-incomplete launch was to push the product out so real users could put it to work. The team was interested in strengthening their interactions with end users to help guide the future of the platform. The team has several major milestones planned for the coming months, so the mainnet release is only just the beginning.
Pundi X (NPXS)
📷 Pundi X has been shooting up the market cap rankings so far in Q3 2018, and they also happen to have a working product that just recently became available to retailers. The primary Pundi X product is a point-of-sale (POS) device that enables quick and easy mobile transactions for both fiat and cryptocurrencies. 500 POS devices are already being used by retailers in Asia, and there are thousands more scheduled to be distributed in the coming months. In addition, Pundi X also offers XPASS cards, cryptocurrency credit cards that can work in place of mobile apps for making digital payments. What makes the Pundi X project noteworthy is that it enables consumers to pay retailers in cryptocurrencies like BTC and ETH, and it immediately converts the payments into local fiat currencies so that retailers don’t need to worry about price volatility of the cryptocurrencies. This makes it significantly easier for people to use cryptocurrencies in their daily lives, making Pundi X an exciting project for blockchain enthusiasts who are looking for signs of future mass adoption.
📷 Waves was the first ever blockchain platform that made it possible for anybody — regardless of their programming experience — to create blockchain tokens. Additionally, Waves has a decentralized exchange where tokens can be traded and exchanged with fiat currencies. Since the project’s first releases in 2016, Waves has gone on to make their DEX accessible from mobile phones and expanded its functionality significantly, while also building several strategic partnerships to help grow the Waves community and user base. Ultimately, though, the Waves Client is the project’s most important working product, as it is what allows tokens to be issued, stored, sent, and exchanged among users.
KuCoin Shares (KCS)
📷 Similar to Binance Coin, KuCoin Shares is an exchange token that can be used to pay reduced fees on cryptocurrency trades. KCS has the added bonus of paying dividends to long-term hodlers, as well, paying out a 5% ROI for most users. The nature of KuCoin Shares is one of the reasons the KuCoin exchange has gotten so much attention since it appeared on the scene. The tokens themselves are limited in scope, of course, but the sheer number of people using them for trades and buying them for passive income is enormous.
📷 Wanchain aims to build new and improved financial infrastructure to seamlessly connect the digital economy through blockchain interoperability. The use cases for Wanchain’s network are vast, and they include decentralized financial services, supply chain logistics, medical data sharing and security, digital ID management, and more. With the recently released Wanchain 2.0, it is now possible to transfer Ether cross-chain using Wanchain’s Ethereum Mapping Token, WETH. Ethereum interoperability is just the start, though, and it’s expected that cross-chain support for Bitcoin and a couple of ERC-20 tokens will follow before the end of 2018.
📷 Komodo is a fork of Zcash that uses the same zk-snark cryptography to hide information about transaction participants and amounts being sent. Functional privacy coins aren’t unique (there are a handful on this list) but Komodo does have some unique features. For one, Komodo was the first ever decentralized initial coin offering. Moreover, Komodo helps other developers to build their own customizable blockchain solutions, from building and securing independent blockchains and launching decentralized ICOs, to integrating projects into the cryptocurrency ecosystem. KMD would already qualify as a working product for its anonymity features on digital payments, but add the end-to-end blockchain building solution and it’s clear that Komodo is making meaningful contributions to the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
📷 Ardor is a scalable blockchain platform that allows businesses to create their own child chains and tokens with relative ease. This helps keep blockchain bloat to a minimum and provides multiple transactional tokens without sacrificing core chain transactions. It’s also a remarkably energy efficient platform that uses Proof-of-Stake to power consensus. Ardor launched its mainnet on January 1, 2018 after a full year in testnet status. Its core features are largely in place, with the roadmap set to improve things like scalability and snapshotting. The Blockchain-as-a-Service-platform hosts a few projects of its own, including the Ignis ICO, which was the first child chain on the mainnet.
Huobi Token (HT)
📷 Huobi is a digital asset exchange platform founded back in 2013, now offering well over 250 different trading pairs. The Huobi Token, meanwhile, is an ERC-20 token that is used on the exchange for discounts on trading fees of up to 50%. In addition, 20% of the income generated on the Huboi Pro trading platform is used to buy back HT on the open market. Unlike most buyback programs, the main purpose of Huobi’s program isn’t to reduce the circulating supply of HT. Rather, the HT that is bought back goes into a Huobi Investor Protection Fund, which is used to compensate Huobi users if they lose coins or tokens on the platform, as well as to ensure market stability and protect investor interests.
📷 ZenCash is yet another privacy coin with a working product in the Top 100, originally launched in the first half of 2017. What makes ZenCash unique is that it’s the first blockchain with Transport Layer Security (TLS) integration for node encryption, making communication on the ZenCash network both private and highly secure. Some other interesting parts of the ZenCash product include Tor nodes and built-in chat messaging services. In the future, the ZenCash team will deliver a DAO Treasury Protocol-level Voting System as well as a scalability solution to handle greater transaction volume.
📷 PIVX is another privacy coin that focuses on keeping users and their associated transactions hidden under a cloak of secrecy. The project also tries to keep transactions as fast and fee-less as possible, something not all privacy platforms can boast about. PIVX launched in January 2016. The coin is currently spendable and delivers the privacy features it promises, though it’s not yet a widely accepted currency by merchants. Future plans for PIVX include governance functions to engage the community, wallet voting, and its own zPIV decentralized exchange.
Kyber Network (KNC)
📷 Kyber Network launched their mainnet in Q1 2018, enabling instantaneous and secure inter-token settlements through a Decentralized Liquidity Network. It’s currently possible to swap ERC-20 tokens on the network with just a few mouse clicks, giving it some basic functionality that is already being used to improve liquidity for Ethereum tokens. In the future, however, Kyber Network will expand its functionality significantly in an effort to seamlessly connect dapps, DEXes, protocols, payment systems, token teams, investors, fund managers, and digital wallets.
📷 Bancor is a liquidity provider that enables users to exchange tokens without the need for a third-party to be involved in financing the transaction. Gaining liquidity is incredibly important for young cryptocurrency projects, as a lack of liquidity makes it risky for investors to buy a considerable amount of a given coin or token, knowing that it might be exceedingly difficult to sell should they wish to. Bancor’s technology makes it possible to convert one token to another, so that investors can be confident that they won’t be stuck involuntarily holding a cryptocurrency that they want to sell. This functionality makes the Bancor Liquidity Network one of the most promising working products on this list, and one that has already achieved a good deal of adoption.
Loom Network (LOOM)
📷 Loom Network is still less than a year old, having been founded in October 2017. However, they have accomplished a lot in that short time span, including having launched numerous tools to help software developers learn how to build blockchain solutions. The most important of these tools — and Loom’s biggest working product — is the Loom software development kit (SDK). However, Loom Network is far more than just a simple blockchain coding academy. It is also a production-ready scalability solution for Ethereum, as the Loom developer toolkit helps programmers to build highly scalable dapps which connect to the Ethereum blockchain through special side chains called DappChains. The project may still be in its infancy, but Loom Network is already contributing more utility to the cryptocurrency ecosystem than the vast majority of other cryptocurrency projects.
📷 Polymath wants to be the world’s go-to resource for security tokens on the blockchain. What Ethereum did for tokens, Polymath will do for securities. The advantages of this are enormous, but the Polymath team likes to point to 24/7 market access, the elimination of middlemen, and trading access for 2 billion unbanked people around the world as the chief benefits of their efforts. The Polymath platform launched in October 2017, and has since released a new security token every week, attracting investors and traders alike. It’s not as exciting of a project as some other blockchain tech, but it’s delivering on its promises with a working product.
Bibox Token (BIX)
📷 Bibox is a encrypted digital asset exchange whose primary differentiator from other crypto exchanges is that it integrates AI technology. The purpose of the AI is to help Bibox’s traders, which it does by providing quantitative computation and analysis of trading activity, personalized risk allocation strategy, speech recognition, and objective analysis of the various coins and tokens listed on the exchange. The Bibox exchange first launched back in November 2017. It has operation centers in the US, Canada, mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Estonia. BIX token holders receive 20% of the exchange profits, and also get discounts on trading fees, similar to Binance. https://www.investinblockchain.com/top-cryptocurrencies-working-products/
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