US Authorities Analyze Bitcoin Transactions to Shut Down ...
How To End The Cryptocurrency Exchange "Wild West" Without Crippling Innovation
In case you haven't noticed the consultation paper, staff notice, and report on Quadriga, regulators are now clamping down on Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges. The OSC and other regulatory bodies are still interested in industry feedback. They have not put forward any official regulation yet. Below are some ideas/insights and a proposed framework.
Typical securities frameworks will cost Canadians millions of dollars (ie Sarbanes-Oxley estimated at $5m USD/yr per firm). Implementation costs of this proposal are significantly cheaper.
Canadians can maintain a diverse set of exchanges, multiple viable business models are still fully supported, and innovation is encouraged while keeping Canadians safe.
Many of you have limited time to read the full proposal, so here are the highlights:
Effective standards to prevent both internal and external theft. Exchange operators are trained and certified, and have a legal responsibility to users.
Regular Transparent Audits
Provides visibility to Canadians that their funds are fully backed on the exchange, while protecting privacy and sensitive platform information.
Establishment of basic insurance standards/strategy, to expand over time. Removing risk to exchange users of any hot wallet theft.
Background and Justifications
Cold Storage Custody/Management After reviewing close to 100 cases, all thefts tend to break down into more or less the same set of problems: • Funds stored online or in a smart contract, • Access controlled by one person or one system, • 51% attacks (rare), • Funds sent to the wrong address (also rare), or • Some combination of the above. For the first two cases, practical solutions exist and are widely implemented on exchanges already. Offline multi-signature solutions are already industry standard. No cases studied found an external theft or exit scam involving an offline multi-signature wallet implementation. Security can be further improved through minimum numbers of signatories, background checks, providing autonomy and legal protections to each signatory, establishing best practices, and a training/certification program. The last two transaction risks occur more rarely, and have never resulted in a loss affecting the actual users of the exchange. In all cases to date where operators made the mistake, they've been fully covered by the exchange platforms. • 51% attacks generally only occur on blockchains with less security. The most prominent cases have been Bitcoin Gold and Ethereum Classic. The simple solution is to enforce deposit limits and block delays such that a 51% attack is not cost-effective. • The risk of transactions to incorrect addresses can be eliminated by a simple test transaction policy on large transactions. By sending a small amount of funds prior to any large withdrawals/transfers as a standard practice, the accuracy of the wallet address can be validated. The proposal covers all loss cases and goes beyond, while avoiding significant additional costs, risks, and limitations which may be associated with other frameworks like SOC II. On The Subject of Third Party Custodians Many Canadian platforms are currently experimenting with third party custody. From the standpoint of the exchange operator, they can liberate themselves from some responsibility of custody, passing that off to someone else. For regulators, it puts crypto in similar categorization to oil, gold, and other commodities, with some common standards. Platform users would likely feel greater confidence if the custodian was a brand they recognized. If the custodian was knowledgeable and had a decent team that employed multi-sig, they could keep assets safe from internal theft. With the right protections in place, this could be a great solution for many exchanges, particularly those that lack the relevant experience or human resources for their own custody systems. However, this system is vulnerable to anyone able to impersonate the exchange operators. You may have a situation where different employees who don't know each other that well are interacting between different companies (both the custodian and all their customers which presumably isn't just one exchange). A case study of what can go wrong in this type of environment might be Bitpay, where the CEO was tricked out of 5000 bitcoins over 3 separate payments by a series of emails sent legitimately from a breached computer of another company CEO. It's also still vulnerable to the platform being compromised, as in the really large $70M Bitfinex hack, where the third party Bitgo held one key in a multi-sig wallet. The hacker simply authorized the withdrawal using the same credentials as Bitfinex (requesting Bitgo to sign multiple withdrawal transactions). This succeeded even with the use of multi-sig and two heavily security-focused companies, due to the lack of human oversight (basically, hot wallet). Of course, you can learn from these cases and improve the security, but so can hackers improve their deception and at the end of the day, both of these would have been stopped by the much simpler solution of a qualified team who knew each other and employed multi-sig with properly protected keys. It's pretty hard to beat a human being who knows the business and the typical customer behaviour (or even knows their customers personally) at spotting fraud, and the proposed multi-sig means any hacker has to get through the scrutiny of 3 (or more) separate people, all of whom would have proper training including historical case studies. There are strong arguments both for and against using use of third party custodians. The proposal sets mandatory minimum custody standards would apply regardless if the cold wallet signatories are exchange operators, independent custodians, or a mix of both. On The Subject Of Insurance ShakePay has taken the first steps into this new realm (congratulations). There is no question that crypto users could be better protected by the right insurance policies, and it certainly feels better to transact with insured platforms. The steps required to obtain insurance generally place attention in valuable security areas, and in this case included a review from CipherTrace. One of the key solutions in traditional finance comes from insurance from entities such as the CDIC. However, historically, there wasn't found any actual insurance payout to any cryptocurrency exchange, and there are notable cases where insurance has not paid. With Bitpay, for example, the insurance agent refused because the issue happened to the third party CEO's computer instead of anything to do with Bitpay itself. With the Youbit exchange in South Korea, their insurance claim was denied, and the exchange ultimately ended up instead going bankrupt with all user's funds lost. To quote Matt Johnson in the original Lloyd's article: “You can create an insurance policy that protects no one – you know there are so many caveats to the policy that it’s not super protective.” ShakePay's insurance was only reported to cover their cold storage, and “physical theft of the media where the private keys are held”. Physical theft has never, in the history of cryptocurrency exchange cases reviewed, been reported as the cause of loss. From the limited information of the article, ShakePay made it clear their funds are in the hands of a single US custodian, and at least part of their security strategy is to "decline to confirm the custodian’s name on the record". While this prevents scrutiny of the custodian, it's pretty silly to speculate that a reasonably competent hacking group couldn't determine who the custodian is. A far more common infiltration strategy historically would be social engineering, which has succeeded repeatedly. A hacker could trick their way into ShakePay's systems and request a fraudulent withdrawal, impersonate ShakePay and request the custodian to move funds, or socially engineer their way into the custodian to initiate the withdrawal of multiple accounts (a payout much larger than ShakePay) exploiting the standard procedures (for example, fraudulently initiating or override the wallet addresses of a real transfer). In each case, nothing was physically stolen and the loss is therefore not covered by insurance. In order for any insurance to be effective, clear policies have to be established about what needs to be covered. Anything short of that gives Canadians false confidence that they are protected when they aren't in any meaningful way. At this time, the third party insurance market does not appear to provide adequate options or coverage, and effort is necessary to standardize custody standards, which is a likely first step in ultimately setting up an insurance framework. A better solution compared to third party insurance providers might be for Canadian exchange operators to create their own collective insurance fund, or a specific federal organization similar to the CDIC. Such an organization would have a greater interest or obligation in paying out actual cases, and that would be it's purpose rather than maximizing it's own profit. This would be similar to the SAFU which Binance has launched, except it would cover multiple exchanges. There is little question whether the SAFU would pay out given a breach of Binance, and a similar argument could be made for a insurance fund managed by a collective of exchange operators or a government organization. While a third party insurance provider has the strong market incentive to provide the absolute minimum coverage and no market incentive to payout, an entity managed by exchange operators would have incentive to protect the reputation of exchange operators/the industry, and the government should have the interest of protecting Canadians. On The Subject of Fractional Reserve There is a long history of fractional reserve failures, from the first banks in ancient times, through the great depression (where hundreds of fractional reserve banks failed), right through to the 2008 banking collapse referenced in the first bitcoin block. The fractional reserve system allows banks to multiply the money supply far beyond the actual cash (or other assets) in existence, backed only by a system of debt obligations of others. Safely supporting a fractional reserve system is a topic of far greater complexity than can be addressed by a simple policy, and when it comes to cryptocurrency, there is presently no entity reasonably able to bail anyone out in the event of failure. Therefore, this framework is addressed around entities that aim to maintain 100% backing of funds. There may be some firms that desire but have failed to maintain 100% backing. In this case, there are multiple solutions, including outside investment, merging with other exchanges, or enforcing a gradual restoration plan. All of these solutions are typically far better than shutting down the exchange, and there are multiple cases where they've been used successfully in the past. Proof of Reserves/Transparency/Accountability Canadians need to have visibility into the backing on an ongoing basis. The best solution for crypto-assets is a Proof of Reserve. Such ideas go back all the way to 2013, before even Mt. Gox. However, no Canadian exchange has yet implemented such a system, and only a few international exchanges (CoinFloor in the UK being an example) have. Many firms like Kraken, BitBuy, and now ShakePay use the Proof of Reserve term to refer to lesser proofs which do not actually cryptographically prove the full backing of all user assets on the blockchain. In order for a Proof of Reserve to be effective, it must actually be a complete proof, and it needs to be understood by the public that is expected to use it. Many firms have expressed reservations about the level of transparency required in a complete Proof of Reserve (for example Kraken here). While a complete Proof of Reserves should be encouraged, and there are some solutions in the works (ie TxQuick), this is unlikely to be suitable universally for all exchange operators and users. Given the limitations, and that firms also manage fiat assets, a more traditional audit process makes more sense. Some Canadian exchanges (CoinSquare, CoinBerry) have already subjected themselves to annual audits. However, these results are not presently shared publicly, and there is no guarantee over the process including all user assets or the integrity and independence of the auditor. The auditor has been typically not known, and in some cases, the identity of the auditor is protected by a NDA. Only in one case (BitBuy) was an actual report generated and publicly shared. There has been no attempt made to validate that user accounts provided during these audits have been complete or accurate. A fraudulent fractional exchange, or one which had suffered a breach they were unwilling to publicly accept (see CoinBene), could easily maintain a second set of books for auditors or simply exclude key accounts to pass an individual audit. The proposed solution would see a reporting standard which includes at a minimum - percentage of backing for each asset relative to account balances and the nature of how those assets are stored, with ownership proven by the auditor. The auditor would also publicly provide a "hash list", which they independently generate from the accounts provided by the exchange. Every exchange user can then check their information against this public "hash list". A hash is a one-way form of encryption, which fully protects the private information, yet allows anyone who knows that information already to validate that it was included. Less experienced users can take advantage of public tools to calculate the hash from their information (provided by the exchange), and thus have certainty that the auditor received their full balance information. Easy instructions can be provided. Auditors should be impartial, their identities and process public, and they should be rotated so that the same auditor is never used twice in a row. Balancing the cost of auditing against the needs for regular updates, a 6 month cycle likely makes the most sense. Hot Wallet Management The best solution for hot wallets is not to use them. CoinBerry reportedly uses multi-sig on all withdrawals, and Bitmex is an international example known for their structure devoid of hot wallets. However, many platforms and customers desire fast withdrawal processes, and human validation has a cost of time and delay in this process. A model of self-insurance or separate funds for hot wallets may be used in these cases. Under this model, a platform still has 100% of their client balance in cold storage and holds additional funds in hot wallets for quick withdrawal. Thus, the risk of those hot wallets is 100% on exchange operators and not affecting the exchange users. Since most platforms typically only have 1%-5% in hot wallets at any given time, it shouldn't be unreasonable to build/maintain these additional reserves over time using exchange fees or additional investment. Larger withdrawals would still be handled at regular intervals from the cold storage. Hot wallet risks have historically posed a large risk and there is no established standard to guarantee secure hot wallets. When the government of South Korea dispatched security inspections to multiple exchanges, the results were still that 3 of them got hacked after the inspections. If standards develop such that an organization in the market is willing to insure the hot wallets, this could provide an acceptable alternative. Another option may be for multiple exchange operators to pool funds aside for a hot wallet insurance fund. Comprehensive coverage standards must be established and maintained for all hot wallet balances to make sure Canadians are adequately protected.
Current Draft Proposal
(1) Proper multi-signature cold wallet storage. (a) Each private key is the personal and legal responsibility of one person - the “signatory”. Signatories have special rights and responsibilities to protect user assets. Signatories are trained and certified through a course covering (1) past hacking and fraud cases, (2) proper and secure key generation, and (3) proper safekeeping of private keys. All private keys must be generated and stored 100% offline by the signatory. If even one private keys is ever breached or suspected to be breached, the wallet must be regenerated and all funds relocated to a new wallet. (b) All signatories must be separate background-checked individuals free of past criminal conviction. Canadians should have a right to know who holds their funds. All signing of transactions must take place with all signatories on Canadian soil or on the soil of a country with a solid legal system which agrees to uphold and support these rules (from an established white-list of countries which expands over time). (c) 3-5 independent signatures are required for any withdrawal. There must be 1-3 spare signatories, and a maximum of 7 total signatories. The following are all valid combinations: 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7. (d) A security audit should be conducted to validate the cold wallet is set up correctly and provide any additional pertinent information. The primary purpose is to ensure that all signatories are acting independently and using best practices for private key storage. A report summarizing all steps taken and who did the audit will be made public. Canadians must be able to validate the right measures are in place to protect their funds. (e) There is a simple approval process if signatories wish to visit any country outside Canada, with a potential whitelist of exempt countries. At most 2 signatories can be outside of aligned jurisdiction at any given time. All exchanges would be required to keep a compliant cold wallet for Canadian funds and have a Canadian office if they wish to serve Canadian customers. (2) Regular and transparent solvency audits. (a) An audit must be conducted at founding, after 3 months of operation, and at least once every 6 months to compare customer balances against all stored cryptocurrency and fiat balances. The auditor must be known, independent, and never the same twice in a row. (b) An audit report will be published featuring the steps conducted in a readable format. This should be made available to all Canadians on the exchange website and on a government website. The report must include what percentage of each customer asset is backed on the exchange, and how those funds are stored. (c) The auditor will independently produce a hash of each customer's identifying information and balance as they perform the audit. This will be made publicly available on the exchange and government website, along with simplified instructions that each customer can use to verify that their balance was included in the audit process. (d) The audit needs to include a proof of ownership for any cryptocurrency wallets included. A satoshi test (spending a small amount) or partially signed transaction both qualify. (e) Any platform without 100% reserves should be assessed on a regular basis by a government or industry watchdog. This entity should work to prevent any further drop, support any private investor to come in, or facilitate a merger so that 100% backing can be obtained as soon as possible. (3) Protections for hot wallets and transactions. (a) A standardized list of approved coins and procedures will be established to constitute valid cold storage wallets. Where a multi-sig process is not natively available, efforts will be undertaken to establish a suitable and stable smart contract standard. This list will be expanded and improved over time. Coins and procedures not on the list are considered hot wallets. (b) Hot wallets can be backed by additional funds in cold storage or an acceptable third-party insurance provider with a comprehensive coverage policy. (c) Exchanges are required to cover the full balance of all user funds as denominated in the same currency, or double the balance as denominated in bitcoin or CAD using an established trading rate. If the balance is ever insufficient due to market movements, the firm must rectify this within 24 hours by moving assets to cold storage or increasing insurance coverage. (d) Any large transactions (above a set threshold) from cold storage to any new wallet addresses (not previously transacted with) must be tested with a smaller transaction first. Deposits of cryptocurrency must be limited to prevent economic 51% attacks. Any issues are to be covered by the exchange. (e) Exchange platforms must provide suitable authentication for users, including making available approved forms of two-factor authentication. SMS-based authentication is not to be supported. Withdrawals must be blocked for 48 hours in the event of any account password change. Disputes on the negligence of exchanges should be governed by case law.
Continued review of existing OSC feedback is still underway. More feedback and opinions on the framework and ideas as presented here are extremely valuable. The above is a draft and not finalized. The process of further developing and bringing a suitable framework to protect Canadians will require the support of exchange operators, legal experts, and many others in the community. The costs of not doing such are tremendous. A large and convoluted framework, one based on flawed ideas or implementation, or one which fails to properly safeguard Canadians is not just extremely expensive and risky for all Canadians, severely limiting to the credibility and reputation of the industry, but an existential risk to many exchanges. The responsibility falls to all of us to provide our insight and make our opinions heard on this critical matter. Please take the time to give your thoughts.
About myself: I am a crypto enthusiast just like many of you and I am very passionate about what I do. As many of you are new to the crypto space, it is like the Wild Wild West. I will list out a few points about the good, the bad, and the ugly. (Update 1-11-2018) New engine update - Fast loading time! The team resolves problem lightning fast! (Update 1-12-2018) UI Round #2: https://i.imgur.com/fXKOZde.png (Update 1-17-2018) COSS team is aware of the limit order issue and has refunded everyone's losses during the 5 hour trading period. To compensate for the loss, COSS will allocate 100% of fee split for the next two weeks. General FAQ Q. What is COSS? A. COSS stands for Crypto-One-Stop-Solution and represents a platform, which encompasses all features of a digital economical system based on crypto-currencies, e.g.: website payments, seller tools, a marketplace, financial modules, e-wallets, coin facilities, a mobile platform for iOS and Android (and this list can be extended in the future). The full spectrum of the COSS services is available on www.coss.io. Q. What are COSS Token(COSS)? A. COSS Token are the Exchanges ERC20 Tokens. They generate COSS Bonuses, which sit within the smart contract. As of now, 50% of the revenue is shared with COSS token owners. See my calculations below. If there are any questions or corrections needed, please feel free to PM or reply to the post and I will adjust it. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/11Q8w-kziVT61BUPr8qOECW6fFLCFT9eQxlvQ1hfaFgg/edit?usp=sharing (Update) - see this page for calculation: https://www.cosscalc.com/ Q. What are the fees on COSS? A. All users start with a standard trading fee of 0.2% and as trading volume increase, the fee gradually declines to as low as 0.04%. See terms and conditions: https://coss.io/terms-and-conditions COSS Analysis / Review For the newcomers to Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency, I like security tokens. I like them a lot. There are not many of them around. A big chunk of this space looks like the South Sea Bubble, where investors were promised great returns on projects that were too impossible to make happen. The interesting thing about crypto is that it is software. In software, it is easier to make the impossible happen. It's truly yesterdays dream are today's reality. Right now exchange released tokens are pretty hot, Binance has BNB (not a security), Kucoin has Kucoin Share (does share on profit), and Cobinhood (does NOT share on profit). The explosive price increase on these tokens makes sense to me as these are real products with real users, real profits, and real traction. As larger exchanges are closing registrations, I'm expecting to see more people using these smaller exchanges. How advanced is the project? [The Good] COSS was created back in May 2016 and since then, the COSS platform has been developed and registered in Singapore as a company. In April 2017, COSS launched their exchange beta. The volume was not significant Q4 2017. The platform had big ideas, however COSS aimed to accomplish too much with their limited resources. For example: COSS aimed to become a one-stop platform including exchange, payment system, merchandising and so forth. Until recently, they have finally decided to move forward by focusing on the exchange. That being said, COSS has strong growth potential with increasing daily trading volume and market cap and will eventually be noticed once their platform is fully functional. Key exchanges are struggling to keep with the scaling of new users to their platform. Binance has closed off registration to new applicants for several days and reopened on January 7, 2018. Bittrex has major customer support issues with no apparent end in sight. Other midcap exchanges are struggling to keep up as well. Additionally, a lot of users are avoiding KYC exchanges to avoid possible tax penalties. Underdogs (like KuCoin, Cobinhood, 0x etc.) have experience significant surges in value in the market in recent months. The latest development is that they have released their new UI and strengthen performances within their exchange. See link: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DTGqvC6U0AEn7jC.jpg ||| https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DTGqvDNU0AM5C0z.jpg COSS Exchange Performance Issues [The Bad] First of all, for newcomers, the major tokens such as Bitcoin and Ethereum is experiencing network congestion. Confirmation takes much longer to handle. Secondly, with political factors from china, mining has been banned, pushing miners to move/phase out of China slowly. This will affect the transaction process as well, at least it will show in the near future. Lastly, they are using 3 types of wallets: HOT, WARM and COLD Wallets. For security reasons, the deposits and withdrawals take a much longer period of time as per the confirmations of the blockchain. Risk association with security law [The Ugly] If a token is backed by an asset or has an expectation of profit, it is classified as a security. If the tokens are owned (meaning You, the Token Hodlers) by US, Canadian, or other persons in non-crypto-friendly jurisdictions, they are in violation of securities laws. Thus, if you issue a security, regardless of where you are domiciled, you need to permission your blockchain such that US/Canadian/Other investors cannot hold them, which would require KYC vetting as a prerequisite for each address on the network. If you violate securities, there is risk -that is my point. Regulators have shut down companies that violate laws and will continue to happen for issuers that attempt to circumvent securities law (e.g. PlexCoin). For this reason, the regulatory risk is too high for this class of investors. The issuer could get creative and use nested smart contracts to facilitate the distributions, but keep in mind this doesn't mean the issuer is compliant, even if smart contracts are immutable. I hope this post helps you understand COSS Token a little bit more. Enjoy the crypto roller coaster and be careful with your investments. HODL! Disclaimer: This is not a trading advice. I am not associated with COSS in any way. I am just an average Joe trader much like everyone else. I am maintaining some positions in COSS because I believe it is going to do very well given the amount of effort the COSS development team has put in and the growth it is experiencing.
In case you missed it: Major Crypto and Blockchain News from the week ending 12/14/2018
Developments in Financial Services
A cryptocurrency exchange-traded product (ETP) that trades on Switzerland’s Six Exchange saw record trading volumes on Thursday and Friday last week, suggesting that institutional investors may be buying the dip in cryptocurrencies. Four major cryptocurrencies underlie the HODL ETP, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple (XRP), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). While HODL ETP’s one-month average daily trading is 20,000 shares, on Thursday, December 6th, and Friday, December 7th, 53,233 shares and 62.986 shares were traded, respectively.
A report published last week by global anti-money laundering policymaker, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), indicates that cryptocurrency exchanges in the United Kingdom pose a, “low risk,” for money laundering and terrorist financing activities. The report, however, does highlight that such activities on UK cryptocurrency exchanges are an, “emerging risk,” although there is not yet enough evidence to suggest that these activities are occurring through cryptocurrency exchanges. In its report, the FATF urged UK regulators to, “Continue to develop an understanding of emerging risks (such as virtual currencies) and intelligence gaps, and take appropriate action.”
Andreas Utermann, CEO and CIO of Allianz Global Investors, called on global financial regulators to ban cryptocurrencies while speaking at a panel discussion in London. According to a report by Reuters, Utermann said, “You should outlaw it,” while participating in a panel alongside Andrew Bailey, the head of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority. Bailey responded by saying that Utermann’s comments were, “quite strong,” before adding that cryptocurrencies have, “no intrinsic value.”
Basis, a major US-based stablecoin project, is shutting down its operations and returning most of its funds to investors, according to a report by crypto news outlet The Block. The report by The Block cited, “multiple people with direct knowledge of the situation,” in claiming that the algorithmic stablecoin project, which generated UDS$133mm of funding through private investments in April, will return funds to investors. According to the Co-Founder and CEO of competing stablecoin project Nevin Freeman, Basis’ shutdown is due to regulatory concerns around one of its token types. Freeman explained, highlighting that algorithmic stablecoins implement a “secondary token”, known as a “bond token”, to help maintain the primary token’s peg. In many cases, regulators like the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) consider these secondary tokens to be securities.
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, announced that it has added Circle’s US dollar-pegged stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC), to its combined Stablecoin Market. Circle, a company backed by Goldman Sachs, first released its stablecoin in September of this year. Binance’s combined Stablecoin Market features other notable stablecoins, like Tether (USDT), that trade against cryptocurrencies as interchangeable base pairs.
Coinone, a South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange, has officially launched Cross, a cross-border payments application that leverages Ripple’s xCurrent product to increase efficiencies. The application, released by Coinone’s payments subsidiary, Coinone Transfer, targets unbanked or underbanked South Koreans by enabling the transfer of funds to Thailand or the Philippines at a low cost.
Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange heralded by the Winklevoss twins, released an official company blog post this weekend announcing that the firm will support Bitcoin Cash (BCH) custody and trading. The exchange will support only the Bitcoin Cash ABC network at this time, adding that they, “are continuing to evaluate Bitcoin SV over the coming weeks or months, and we may or may not choose to support withdrawals and/or trading of Bitcoin SV in the future.” Additionally, the company detailed that its listing of BCH is pending regulatory approval by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
Gemini, the cryptocurrency trading platform founded by the Winklevoss twins, announced the launch of a mobile crypto trading application in an official blog post today. Accompanying the launch of the crypto trading app is a new investment vehicle, dubbed, “The Cryptoverse,” that is comprised of a basket of cryptocurrencies weighted by market capitalization. While speaking to Bloomberg today, Cameron Winklevoss said that, “A lot of our decisions have perhaps given off a perception that we’re more institutional-based. The reality of the situation is that we have a diverse customer base. And the retail story is just beginning.” The Winklevoss twins went on to detail of a goal to expand reach to Asian markets by 2019’s end.
Good Money, a US neo-banking platform, has closed its Series A investment round that generated USD$30mm led by cryptocurrency-focused merchant bank Galaxy Digital and the founder of EOS (EOS) Block.one. Good Money aims to provide a variety of banking service and certain financial instruments to US account holders while exploring innovative changes to traditional banking practices. “Modern banking is a primary driver of so many issues we as a society face – from economic inequality, institutional racism, environmental destruction to political corruption,” said Good Money founder Gunnar Lovelace. Specifically, Good Money eliminates ATM fees while offering each bank user equity in the company.
Kraken, a notable cryptocurrency exchange, is seeking to raise funding with a USD$4bn valuation for the company and a USD$100,000 investment minimum, according to CoinDesk. In an email to investors, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell wrote, “There is presently a limited time opportunity available to a very small select number of clients to purchase shares.” The email goes on to detail that the exchange will close its offer on December 16th.
OKEx, the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, will begin listing Bitcoin Cash ABC under the original Bitcoin Cash ticker (BCH), as per an official announcement Tuesday. Additionally, OKEx will change the Bitcoin Cash SV ticker from BCHSV to BSV. The announcement by OKEx comes after other notable cryptocurrency exchanges have made the same switch, including Coinbase and Gemini.
PayPal, an online payments portal, has launched its own internal private blockchain platform that will allow staff to trade and exchange tokens while generating ideas and participating in programs to foster innovation, as per a report by news outlet Cheddar. The private blockchain network, which was built by 25 PayPal employees in just 6 months, will allow employees to earn more for enrolling in learning and development programs. The PayPal tokens are not tradeable, or worth anything for that matter, outside PayPal’s blockchain.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a big four consulting firm, is partnering with Bitfury Group, a large blockchain software and mining firm, to develop a blockchain accelerator specific to Russian businesses. As per an official press release by PwC, the partnership will leverage Exonum, Bitfury’s open source framework to build blockchain applications, for educational courses and seminars. The partnership aims to meet the, “current needs,” of PwC’s enterprise clients in Russia.
Revolut, a digital banking alternative with an in-application cryptocurrency exchange, announced that it has been awarded a European banking license. Seeking to become the, “Amazon of banking,” the license will allow Revolut to offer traditional banking services alongside its current cryptocurrency offerings to European customers. Nikolay Storonsky, Founder and CEO of Revolut, said in regards to the newly acquired license that, “With the banking license now secured, commission-free stock trading progressing well, and five new international markets at final stages of launch, we are living up to our reputation as the ‘Amazon of Banking’. Our vision is simple: one ap with tens of millions of users, where you can manage every aspect of your financial life with the best value and technology.”
Shinhan Bank, the second-largest commercial bank in South Korea, is launching a new project to implement blockchain technology in its internal processes with a goal of eliminating human error. According to a report by news outlet The Korea Times, Shinhan also recently completed a training program for its staff to increase their knowledge of blockchain technology across various applications. After Shinhan implemented blockchain technology for interest rate swap transactions on November 30th, South Korea’s second-largest bank is now aiming to apply the technology in its record-keeping process to enhance overall efficiencies.
SolarisBank, Germany’s second-largest and Europe’s ninth-largest stock exchange, is partnering with Stuttgart Exchange Group, a German fintech company, to jointly develop a cryptocurrency exchange. As per a report by Cointelegraph Germany, the joint cryptocurrency exchange venture, “is scheduled to launch in the first half of 2019.” This news comes after SolarisBank announced plans to launch a zero-fee cryptocurrency trading application this past May.
The Canadian city of Calgary is becoming the first city in Canada to launch a digital version of its local currency, according to a report by the Global News. Dubbed as the Calgary Digital Dollar, the digital currency will be exclusive to Calgary and operate alongside the country’s Canadian Dollar. Calgary-based businesses will now be required by law to accept at least 10% of a payment in digital currency, although they are allowed to accept up to 100%.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is launching a pilot of its Global Payment Initiative (GPI) to combat growing blockchain and fintech solutions, according to an official announcement last week. Currently, the SWIFT Network is used by global financial institutions to conduct global financial payments and cross-border transfers of fiat currency. Although the project is still in its early stages, the GPI pilot hopes to, “build the foundation of a new integrated and interactive service that will significantly improve efficiencies in the payments process and which will ultimately be made available to all 10,000 banks across the SWIFT network.”
The United Arab Emirates’(UAE) central bank is partnering with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) to develop a cryptocurrency to facilitate cross border transactions between the two countries, according to a report by news outlet GulfNews. In a meeting pertaining to global banking standards and regulation in the Arab region, Mubarak Rashed Al Mansouri, the governor of the UAE’s central bank, said, “This is probably the first time ever that witnesses the cooperation of monetary authorities from different countries on this topic and we hope that this achievement will foster similar collaboration in our region.” The prospective digital currency will be used by both central banks and financial institutions in the countries.
TokenSoft, a security token offering (STO) startup, has acquired a 20% stake in regulated broker-dealer Marpine Securities LLC in order to launch its own regulated broker-dealer. After acquiring the 20% stake, TokenSoft will launch its new regulated broker-dealer entity, called TokenSoft Global Markets, that will be registered through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The new regulated broker-dealer entity will allow TokenSoft to advise token issuers through every step of the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) process. Additionally, TokenSoft will now be able to legally operate in services related to insurance and management.
Tom Lee, co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors and a notable cryptocurrency pundit, believes that the current fair value of Bitcoin (BTC) is between USD$13,800 and USD$14,800, according to a note published on Thursday. Lee arrived at this valuation by taking into account the number of active wallet addresses, usage per account, and other supply and demand metrics. Additionally, Lee forecasted that the fair value of BTC will reach USD$150,000/coin once BTC wallets account for 7% of Visa’s 4.5bn account holders.
UAE Exchange, an exchange based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is partnering with Ripple to launch a blockchain-based cross-border remittances platform by 1Q2019, as per a Reuters report on Thursday. The report details further that Finablr, a payments and foreign exchange company that owns UAE Exchange, observes a high level of remittance inflows from expatriate workers in the Middle East region. “We expect to go live with Rippel by Q1, 2019 with two other Asian banks,” said Finablr CEO Promoth Manghat, adding, “This is for remittances to start with, from across the globe into Asia.”
De Nederlandsche Bank, the Netherlands’ central bank, will soon require domestic cryptocurrency providers to obtain a license from the regulator to operate, as per a report by Dutch news outlet DeTelegraaf. The Netherlands' central bank is taking these measures in the hope that it will, “prevent such cryptocurrencies from being used to launder money obtained through crime or to fund terrorism.” In order to receive a license, cryptocurrency firms must maintain Know-Your-Customer procedures and report any suspicious activity to the Dutch central bank.
Eddie Hughes, a conservative member of the United Kingdom’s Parliament, suggested that Bitcoin (BTC) should be accepted as legal tender for tax and utility payments, according to news outlet Express.co.uk. The article discusses that Hughes, who is a self-described, “crypto enthusiast with amateur knowledge,” recently met with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which accepts cryptocurrency donations. This news comes after the US state of Ohio announced that it would begin accepting BTC as legal tender for tax payments.
Following a case in Canadian courts that resulted in a ruling ordering mistakenly sent crypto funds to be returned to their owner, a blog post from the University of Oxford Faculty of Law is noting that there could be repercussions with the case potentially setting a precedent for lost or stolen cryptocurrency claims. The Canadian court case’s ruling will require defendant Brian Wall to return USD$370,482 worth of Ethereum (ETH) tokens to the plaintiff, Copytrack. The blog post from the University of Oxford Faculty of Law reads, ‘This precedent may have major repercussions for the enforcement of claims regarding lost or stolen cryptocurrencies,” adding that the ruling allows the plaintiff to recover tokens, “in whatsoever hands those Ether Tokens may currently be held.”
Japan’s government is considering plans to ease cryptocurrency taxes in an effort to revitalize the domestic cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. This week, Japanese Congressman Takeshi Fujimaki proposed four significant changes to taxation requirements pertaining to digital assets, which include: a reduction on the cryptocurrency gains tax from 55% to 20%; elimination of taxes on crypto-to-crypto payments; elimination of taxes on miniscule cryptocurrency payments; and an adjustment that would allow cryptocurrency investors to carry forward losses across quarters and years, effectively until cryptocurrencies are ‘cashed’ out.
Jay Clayton, Chairman for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC), said during a speech that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), “can be effective,” for fundraising, but that, “securities laws must be followed.” Clayton went on in his speech to comment on the US SEC’s work regarding distributed ledger technology (DLT), digital assets, and ICOs, saying that it is an, “area where the Commission and staff have spent a significant amount of time,” and, “that this trend will continue in 2019.”
Jay Clayton, the Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), expressed his optimism for distributed ledger technology’s potential impact on traditional financial markets in a testimony before the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs yesterday. According to a transcript published on the SEC’s website, Clayton said, “I am optimistic that developments in distributed ledger technology can help facilitate capital formation, providing promising investment opportunities for both institutional and Main Street Investors.” Additionally, Clayton highlighted that the SEC is, “Focusing a significant amount of attention and resources on digital assets and initial coin offerings (ICOs).”
Maxim Akimov, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, announced that no significant changes will be made to the draft of a bill concerning cryptocurrency regulation in the country, as per news outlet Finmarket. The bill was already approved by Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, in May 2018, although the bill has generated substantial discussion since. Since approval of the bill, all cryptocurrency and token-related terminology have been removed and replaced with the term “digital rights”. At the beginning of December, Pavel Krasheninnikov, Chairman of Russia’s State Duma, said that the bill needed to be, “significantly,” changed.
Pan Gongsheng, a deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, highlighted that Security Token Offerings (STOs) in China are illegal while speaking at a summit in Beijing. As per a report by news outlet the South China Morning Post, Gongsheng told the summit that, “illegal financing activities through STOs and ICOs were still rampant in the mainland despite a nationwide clean-up of the cryptocurrency market last year.” In citing reasoning for the continued ban on STOs, Gongsheng explained that, “Virtual money has become an accomplice to all kinds of illegal and criminal activities.”
Pantera Capital, a blockchain and cryptocurrency-focused investment firm and hedge fund, is warning investors that as much as a quarter of their ICO project could potentially be violating US securities laws, according to a Bloomberg report. In a newsletter to clients, Pantera Capital warned, “While we believe the vast majority of the projects in our portfolio should not be affected, approximately 25% of our fund’s capital is invested in other projects with liquid tokens that sold to US investors without using Regulation D or Regulation S”
Russia has no intention of implementing Venezuela’s state-backed digital currency, the Petro, into commercial operations, according to a report by news outlet RIA Novosti. While speaking to reporters this week, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak said, “Representatives from our tax service and central bank... got acquainted with the cryptocurrency Venezuela is introducing,” adding, “But no more than that. As for payments, they’re not happening yet.”
South Korea’s representative body, the National Assembly, held its first official meeting with seven of the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges on Monday. The purpose of the meeting was to debate cryptocurrency regulation between stakeholders of South Korea’s cryptocurrency industry. Cryptocurrency exchanges Bithumb, CobitCoin, Coinone, Upbit, Gopax, Coinplug, and Hanbitco were among the attendees of the debate, which reportedly focused on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) customer protections and Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures.
The United Kingdom’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental financial security body, is calling on the country’s government to increase monitoring of cryptocurrency markets. According to an official report last week, the UK must overhaul its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and combat terrorist financing (CFT) efforts in order to prevent illicit activities with cryptocurrencies. “Virtual currency exchange providers are not yet covered by AML/CFT requirements,” the report details, adding, “this is an emerging risk and there is not yet evidence to suggest that broad scale ML/TF is occurring in the UK through this relatively small sector.”
The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is interested in learning more about the Ethereum (ETH) network, its technology, and the markets build around it. On Tuesday, the CFTC published a Request for Input (RFI) that requests the public’s feedback on different questions concerning Ethereum. The RFI explains that its goal is to inform the CFTC about Ethereum and similar emerging technology, saying, “The input from this request will advance the CFTC’s mission of ensuring the integrity of the derivatives market as well as monitoring and reducing the systematic risk by enhancing legal certainty in the markets. The RFI seeks to understand the similarities and distinctions between certain virtual currencies, including here ether and bitcoin, as well as ether-specific opportunities, challenges, and risks.”
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC) is ordering that cryptocurrency asset manager CoinAlpha Advisors LLC pay a USD$50,000 fine, alleging that the firm conducted an unregistered securities sale. After forming in October 2017, CoinAlpha raised more than USD$600,000 from investors to invest in digital assets. In an official release, the US SEC said that CoinAlpha did not file a Notice of Exempt Offering of Securities, meaning that the firm breached securities laws by soliciting securities investors. Additionally, the firm allegedly did not adhere to proper know-your-customer procedures to verify that investors were accredited.
Venezuela is reportedly beginning to convert its citizens’ monthly pension payments into Petros, Venezuela’s controversial state and oil-backed cryptocurrency, according to a report by local economics blog the Caracas Chronicles. The conversion of Venezuelan pensioners’ payments into Petros came after the country already sent pensioners their monthly payment in the form of a check for Venezuelan Bolivars -- normally, upon receiving their check, pensioners would deposit their funds into a bank account where they could then withdraw fiat from local branches. The Venezuelan government, however, converted pensioners’ fiat payments into the Petro upon their deposit into a bank. In the first few weeks of the Petro’s existence, its value has risen from 9,000 to more than 15,000.
Warren Davidson, an Ohio Congressman and notable advocate of blockchain and digital assets, is floating blockchain technology as a solution to fund US President Donald Trump’s prospective US-Mexico border wall. While interviewing with NPR, Congressman Davidson suggested, “the American people, or whomever should choose to donate,” could pay for the border wall, adding, “you could do it with sort of like a crowdfunding site or you could do a blockchain and you could have WallCoins.”
“The long-term value of Bitcoin (BTC) is more likely to be USD$100 than USD$100,000,” says Kenneth Rogoff, a former Chief Economist for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the current Harvard University Professor of Economics and Public Policy. While writing an article for major UK news outlet The Guardian, Rogoff highlighted that, because BTC’s use is limited to transactions, it makes the digital asset more vulnerable to a bubble-like collapse. Rogoff also cited that BTC’s energy-intensive verification processes is, “vastly less efficient,” than systems that leverage, “a trusted central authority like a central bank.”
A new report by PeckShield, a blockchain security company that monitors various cryptocurrency ecosystems, details that decentralized applications (DApps) on the EOS (EOS) blockchain have lost as much as USD$1mm in hacks since July 2018. The report details further that DApps on the EOS network have sustained 27 breaches since July, which are responsible for the up to 400,000 EOS that have been compromised from hacks. Guo Yonggang, a blockchain security expert cited in a report on the matter by crypto media firm Blockchain Truth, believes that the hacks can be attributed to security problems with the DApps themselves, rather than with the EOS network.
A new study published by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance on Wednesday finds that the number of unique ID-verified cryptocurrency users nearly doubled in in the first 3 quarters of 2018. The study details that total ID-verified users increased to 35mm in the first three quarters of 2018 from 18mm at the end of 2017, representing an increase of 94%. As per an analysis of the study by Bloomberg, the growth of crypto’s userbase despite the market decline, “could signal that an eventual recovery could be coming.”
Amid the continued cryptocurrency sell-off, only two cryptocurrency mining machines remain profitable, according to real-time data from ASICMinerValue.com. ASICMInerValue.com, which calculates the profitability of Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) miners, indicates that only indicates that only the Ebank Ebit E11++ and ASICminer 8 Nano 44Th mining models are profitable for mining cryptocurrencies based on the SHA-256 hash function -- notable cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) use this has function.
Bitmain, a large Chinese cryptocurrency mining firm, announced that it is closing its development center in Israel, citing current cryptocurrency market conditions. In closing Bitmaintech Israel, the crypto mining giant was forced to fire all 23 employees. Among the employees let go is Gadi Glikberg, head of Bitmain’s Israeli branch and Vice President of International Sales, who said on the recent market turmoil, “The crypto market has undergone a shake-up in the past few months, which has forced Bitmain to examine its various activities around the globe and to refocus its business in accordance with the current situation.”
Busan, a major South Korean city, will be the beneficiary of the South Korean government’s plan to spend 4bn Korean won (USD$3.5mm) to establish a blockchain-enabled virtual power plant (VPP). As per a report by South Korean news outlet Yonhap News Agency, the project will be angled as a national competition in 2019, hosted by South Korea’s largest electric utility, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO). The VPP will integrate the idle capacities of multiple energy resources through a cloud-based distributed ledger in order to optimize power generation and decrease costs.
Church’s Chicken, a large international fast food franchise, is partnering with Dash Venezuela to accept cryptocurrencies in its Venezuelan locations. According to an official press release, 13 Church’s Chicken establishments will begin accepting Dash (DASH) as payment following, “extensive and rigorous days of training,” staff to understand cryptocurrencies. With the addition of Church’s Chicken, more than 2,200 establishments in Venezuela accept DASH as payment.
Crypto.com, a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency payments platform, announced the appointment of former PayPal executive Tyson Hackwood to serve as the firm’s Vice President and Head of Global Merchant Acquisition in an official press release today. Crypto.com aims to increase cryptocurrency adoption by both merchants and consumers through their point-of-sale (PoS) transaction terminals. Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek believes that Hackwood will be integral in furthering this goal, saying, “As we develop the Crypto.com Chain to fulfill the current industry need to pay and be paid in crypto, Tyson will play an important role in expanding the number and quality of merchants that are part of our network.”
Hyperledger, a notable blockchain consortium, is continuing its robust expansion after announcing the addition of 16 new members at the Hyperledger Global Forum in Basel, Switzerland. Among the notables to join the consortium are, Alibaba Cloud, Citigroup’s Citi Ventures arm, and Deutsche Telekom. The latest addition of 16 members brings the total membership of Hyperledger to more than 260 different companies. In a public statement, Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf said that, “The growing Hyperledger community reflects the increasing importance of open source efforts to build enterprise blockchain technologies across industries and markets. The latest members showcase the widening interest in and impact of DLT and Hyperledger."
Jeremy Henrickson, the former Chief Product Officer at Coinbase, has departed the US-based cryptocurrency exchange after serving since July 2016. “Jeremy’s contributions to Coinbase over the past two years were invaluable,” said a Coinbase spokesperson, adding that, “he helped to build our scrappy startup team into a high-functioning product and engineering organization -- overseeing a 5x+ growth of the team.” Henrickson’s departure comes after long-term Coinbase executives Adam White and Hunter Merghart left the US-based cryptocurrency exchange in recent months.
LinkedIn’s, “2018 U.S. Emerging Jobs,” report released on Thursday ranks the role of blockchain developer as the fastest growing job in the United States. The report by LinkedIn indicates that blockchain developer jobs have increased 33-fold in the past 12 months alone. San Francisco, New York City, and Atlanta are among the cities with the highest demand for blockchain developer jobs.
Orbs, a unique hybrid blockchain platform, raised more than USD$15mm in cryptocurrencies to fund its development of a public blockchain, according to a company blog post. South Korean application provider Kakao lead the fundraising efforts with a representative telling CoinDesk that the company, “always seeks to invest and support innovative startups, and Orbs is a good example.” In total, Orbs raised 139,000 Ether (ETH) and 892 Bitcoin (BTC), amounting to roughly USD$15.4mm. Orbs aims to build a public blockchain with this funding that is, “universal,” and, “scalable,” for decentralized applications (DApps) with the, “liquidity of a base layer.”
Samsung has reportedly filed patent applications for three different blockchain-related trademark requests that all pertain directly to smartphones, according to news outlet Galaxy Club. Specifically, the patents named “Blockchain KeyStore”, “Blockchain Key Box”, and “Blockchain Core” all pertain to cryptocurrency custody capabilities on smartphones. This news comes amid the release of HTC’s Exodus 1 and Sirin Labs’ FINNEY, both of which are being marketed as blockchain smartphones with cryptocurrency custody capabilities.
Substratum leads Round 2 of Monthly Community Voting Round - AMA Transcript Inside!
Hey guys, If you haven’t noticed on Binance’s monthly community voting round – it has been a tight battle but Substratum has been taking the lead. I wanted to explain why Substratum has seemingly come out of no-where but has garnered some attention. Substratum is creating a solution to a very big obstacle in the world web. The below has been taken from Justin Tabb aka the Founder of Substratum and summarises what the purpose of the network is. I hope you guys can support their vision by voting for Substratum (SUB) on the https://www.binance.com/vote.html. The Substratum Network will bring the decentralized web worldwide without the need of special software for the average internet user. We will be able to serve Substratum Requests directly to the default browser (Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer) without any special software installed on the average consuming users computer. How Substratum Works Ease of Use: currently nearly everything that has to do with crypto or the blockchain is very difficult to use and requires technical knowledge. Through our 10+ years of experience working with companies like Apple we understand the importance of a good user experience. • The average internet user requires NO special software to use the Substratum Network. The default browser will service all requests for average users so they do not need to do ANYTHING different. Users who wish to service requests and receive SUB coins in return will have a point and click user interface that any user can setup. No technical knowledge required. SubstratumPay will be seamlessly integrated and geared towards high conversions of low technical expertise users. • Serving Up of Decentralized Content: Substratum provides a method for serving Decentralized Content (including Web Sites, Data, and Applications) through a Mac, Windows, and Linux application/service that is easy to install and run (requires no technical expertise) and serves up decentralized content using the toolkit that we have developed. This is a point and click process and requires zero technical knowledge. All the user has to do is install the application, click through a few settings and they are up and running and making Substratum Coin. Incentivizing Users to Serve the Content: in order to incentivize users to run the Substratum Network client on their machine we will be providing Substratum Coin to them for doing so. The coin is issued to the serving machine through a micro-transaction from the hosting site to the serving computer. By breaking fees down to a micro-transaction level this will greatly reduce the overall cost to companies and entities that want to host sites and applications on the internet solving yet another problem with the web as it stands today. Privacy / Security / Encryption: by allowing millions of Substratum Network users to serve content the biggest concern becomes privacy and security. Substratum solves these issues through advanced cryptography algorithms rooted in Artificial Intelligence that ensures all data remains secure. Following the lead of BitCoin this is the strength of cryptocurrency and the crypto movement. Storage and Serving of Content: in order to serve millions of sites, databases, and applications the Substratum Network employs custom developed advanced compression algorithms and machine learning to geolocate the right Substratum Network machine to serve up the content to the appropriate user based on geolocation, this will ensure the fastest load time with the lowest amount of latency and strain on the Substratum Network and both the serving and receiving machine. DNS (Domain Name System): DNS or the Domain Name System is the system that currently tells your browser where to go when you type in a domain name. For instance when you go to Chrome and type in apple.com a DNS lookup is performed to check where to send that request, the DNS system comes back with an IP address and your request is routed there. In the first version of SubstratumDNS will be a complex, AI enabled DNS server that will receive DNS requests along with the geolocation of the requestor and find based off of that information the closest available SubstratumNode that is able to fulfill the request. Development Tools for the Decentralized Web: the Substratum Network will provide an API and SDK for developing tools on the Substratum Platform. This will bring in strong developer support and will accelerate the growth of the decentralized web on the Substratum Network. Net Neutrality: with the Substratum Network ALL web-sites and applications will have EQUAL ability to be broadcast in an equal and fair manner. International Digital Barriers: currently countries like China have strict regulations on what their 1.379 billion citizens are able to interact with on the internet. Substratum will break down these barriers through a network of decentralized computers running the Substratum Network Software. Where other solutions that are currently used by residents in these countries require special software to be installed, like TOR, Substratum will take a reverse approach and require no special software for the average user. High Hosting Costs: currently businesses must pay high hosting fees to get their web-sites on the internet. Amazon Web Services launched a 3.5BIL USD per year business by attempting to solve this problem. They allow you to pay for how many minutes you run a web / database server. Substratum completely solves this problem through the power of cryptocurrency by only charging for each request that is processed. You can check out the website here: • Substratum.net o And the whitepaper is available in multiple languages inclusive of Mandarin. Furthermore, Substratum and the founders are very active in the slack – which they have recently hosted an AMA (ask me anything); I took the liberty of getting this information and if you are interested about the project to read more into it. Obviously they can’t reveal the inner workings of their product due to product sensitivity and being ahead of their competition but they are always up to date with the community through several videos on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxUJoTH0XLERKl55zGnFI6g) and announcements through their social media. I recommend you follow them. Q: Any major talks with exchanges yet? A: We just announced that we are launching on our FIRST official exchange of COSS.IO on 9/30 trading against BTC and ETH. More to follow. Q: Will I be able to run a supernode? A: From the beginning NO. Supernodes will only be for Substratum; however, they will run the SAME software that are used to run a NODE. In time we will develop a requirement list to run a supernode. If you qualify you can then run a SuperNode and receive a premium payout Q: Is it possible to show a few examples of SUB payouts you get from running a node, and the tell us the ratios that affect the amount/way to calculate it somehow? (SUB owned, for how long you've been running a node etc..) Or is that still in testing? What's the difference in node rewards from someone who has 0 SUB's as opposed to someone who has X amount of SUB's? A: So the calculations for this are in process; however, you can watch our video "How Substrate Per Request Is Calculated" on our YouTube channel for an idea of what variables go into each calculation Q: How do we prevent DDoS? A: The first step is not talking about how we prevent DDoS or any other hack. We call that security through obscurity. :slightly_smiling_face: Secondly, one of the primary ways to prevent a DDoS attack is decentralization. Well that's perfect. Lastly, there are other techniques, like black-holing and basically shutting a node down. The great news is that we will be decentralized so we are only talking about a node or specific IP Address that will not disrupt the network. :thumbsup: Q: Say i got a website i want to publish on Substratum, how does this process go? A: Just a shout out if you ask for a lot of detail regarding technology stack and how exactly something will work we are most likely going to give you general answers. This is not to skirt the question. We want to be 10 steps ahead of anyone with nefarious plans before we get launched. You will be seeing more on this very soon. You should be seeing a video drop on this in the next week or two. The goal is to make this easy to use and powerful, plus empower others to use the tools. We're looking at things to different ways one is towards the average user who just want something sitting on their system and doesn't need any more details and the other is a super user who wants a lot of configuration options. Q: When more people will use Substratum and more will run nodes, the value of SUB will increase. How will it be calculated how much SUB you get as a reward for running a node as value increases? Will it be calculated by Substratum itself or will it be changed manually every so often? A: We will be calculating against the live value of Substratum Q: Is substratum detectable, for example if it’s used in a country like china and they are caught on these sites that are blocked by government… Can it be detected? A: The goal is to make it constantly moving. We do not want it to be. fast, easy, powerful, anonymous. Q: Will there be Master Nodes? A: We will have some services that are available that will help provision nodes into the network. We are still story mapping this flow and architecture. Q: Could we get more information about what you require to do to be a beta tester? A: To be a beta tester you only need to add yourself to the #beta-tester channel here in Slack. You will be notified when we are ready for you to download and install and the process and requirements to continue to run the software Q: Will you keep us informed on a at least weekly base to tell/ show us the progress made? A: Yes! We will continue to drop at least 2 professionally made update videos each week (with Jason Burns the guy who does them) and we will be doing more and more candid videos Q: Who is the winner of 10k subs and what idea did he give? And what about 2nd place and 3rd place. A: To be announced shortly. The Substrate is reserved for the payout Q: Can we mine Sub without the software? A: I will personally be selling pick-axes on my personal website "pixaxesforsale.biz" for a low cost of $19.99 Q: Unless they disclose intelligent life in space, people are still going to be mad at the end of this. A lot more will be happy though A: Haven't found intelligent life in space. Some would question finding it on earth. Q: From a legal stand point How are we protected if someone is running illegal content on our Node? A: Take a look at our video of "How Substratum Secures Your Site Content". You will never hold the entire piece of data except perhaps in memory if you are the one serving the request so you could never be culpable. Amazon isn't held responsible if I host illegal content now Q: What about content control? child porno .. and so on ... ? Is there anything to control the content or? A: Excellent question. This was a big concern for us. We do not want Substratum to become the dark web. The goal is to allow the community to self-govern, vote up and down, call out illegal activity. The utilities will allow those with bad intentions to be called out. The more we grow the better we will be about wiping out things like child porn, and just as bad human trafficking. Q: When will the raised money going to be donated? A: We have already donated $10K out and we have a pending wire for $40K going out Monday. We are working to find the BEST places with the IMMEDIATE needs. Q: When will the livestream of the burn be? A: Burn #1 will be a livestream of my computer screen later tonight. I will announce on twitter at least an hour ahead of time and we will record it so people can see it later Q: What will the final circulating supply be after all three token burns? A: We are still getting a FINAL number on this, we are still doing some FINAL Bonus sends but we will have the number VERY VERY soon and we will be posting it. We will be burning 60MIL tokens tonight so that should give you some kind of an idea. Q: can you stop slack from freezing my firefox? A: Use the downloadable app, or get better internet, or get a new computer. Sounds like a dumpster fire. Q: Everyone brings up the obvious choice of child porno that needs to be dealt with via content control. What about grayzones such as weed-selling sites? Its illegal in some countries, some not. How will Substratum deal with these grey-zones? A: Give me liberty or give me death. Q: Could i have an invite to beta test channel on slack? A: Yes, just let a moderator know. Q: could i get more information on what beta testers are required to do? I will happily be one if it helps the process and I actually manage to do it. A: Join the #beta-testers channel here Q: when will we see a new homepage? A: This is being worked on now! Q: is there a minimum amount of SUB needed to run a node? A: NO! 0 Substrate, don't worry, you will have some soon once you turn it on Q: What about running an "micronode" on any phone (there is a big % using phones all the time), I mean an app installed on phone to run a node and to host only small content like a photos... Did you think about of this? A: https://youtu.be/h6tZ_ZFuFmY Q: What if my website ethically and morally right and people downvote it out of jealousy will my website be removed if there are more number of downvotes and my content is clean? A: The process is NOT that simple, we will release more details later but this is being taken into consideration. I answered in a bit more detail above as well Q: Does the Sub team ever sleep ? A: Only when driving Q: Can I run a node on a VPS? A: I certainly won't be telling people how or where to run the node software. Do the best you can. I actually answered the VPS question above too. We will have a command line version if that is the question. That you can run on something like Ubuntu Server if you want Q: Can the voting system for all illegal stuff on the internet also be used in a 'bad' way on the regular websites to for example gain commercial/business advantages? A: It should not, no one will have 'master control' All control, so the market decides always. Q: Who will profit from cryptopay? How will this bring value to SUB tokens? A: Everyone will as we gain dominance. But also, Substratum the company will take a small percentage. This will enable us to continue building awesome apps. CryptoPay will be the cornerstone of many good things to come. Think retail, goods and services. Q: I work at a games company with 200+ high powered pcs. If I install sub nodes on every single one of them at night, will IT be able to catch and fire me A: See your HR manual, or HR supervisor for those questions. Q: How do websites and hosters remain protected from hacking, if sites are created with innate vulnerabilities does that expose other sites hosted by the same node? A: This is a great question. Hosting Nodes will have to vet out their security. Again, being decentralized goes a long way in providing security. So does encryption. We will help hosts be the best hosts possible. Q: Please explain the earning in SUB by running a node? A: So the SUB comes FROM the HOST (who purchases the SUB) to the NODE for the cost of the transaction. https://youtu.be/LWZ1DIGGOoQ Q: When will the tokens be sent for the 100 Sub giveaway A: Shortly Q: How will Substratum market themselves towards countries that needs SUB the most but are hard to reach, such as North Korea, Africa, China? A: Think spider web. The more that join, and use, the less it can be controlled. Q: How long will this bear market last for? A: Let me put the fortune teller hat on. Crypto is a young demographic currently. It will be bear'ish until we make the technology easier and they get older.
03-15 17:13 - 'The day the banks got a quantum computer.' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/Serialnvestor removed from /r/Bitcoin within 11-21min
''' the day was like any other. I got up, got dressed, showered and then I went to work. I checked the btc price as I booted up my laptop and went to write a bit of angular code for an antiquated page that wouldn't work without angular. I sighed. I went to check the btc balance... and wtf. That couldn't be right. There was simply no trading activity on bittrex. That was confusing. Bittrex was down, binance was not allowing logins, kucoin was saying that btc was "suspended" Well that was not good. I went to my old coinbase account, and tried to buy bitcoin. Coinbase wasn't selling. Gdax trading had stopped. Well... shit. Time to look at the blockchain itself. I popped open block explorer, and I was horrified. There were millions of transactions that had all been triggered. The mempool was swamped. And every single transaction was sending the entire contents of their wallet to one of the btc eater addresses. The entire money supply of bitcoin had been... burned. I sat back in horror. I searched the blockchain for my wallet. My measly hoard of 10.5 btc had also been burned. I now had... no money. This.... was bad. I told my boss I was feeling ill, went to my bank, got my private key, booted up my bitcoin core wallet and looked at my balance. 0btc. This was... pretty terrible. I turned on the television a month later. Apparently, wells fargo had bought a supercomputer from the nsa, because the nsa was broke, because their director had gotten into a fight with trump in 2021 over russian soldiers on us soil, and trump had gotten their funding reduced to zero dollars. So they had sold a quantum computer to wells fargo. Wells fargo had turned around and used that supercomputer to calculate the private keys of every bitcoin wallet in existence and then.... shut the network down. Burned it with fire. Boom. Gone. They had gone through not just bitcoin but through thousands of alt coins. There were only a few surviving cryptocurrencies that had survived the fiery attack by the banksters. Those were the quantum immune cryptocurrencies. They had changed their PoW algorithm, or they signed their addresses differently, or they used one time signatures. There were congressional hearings, and several people went to jail, wells fargo disavowed use of a quantum device to destroy bitcoin but they were found out. That was the day that bitcoin had a fork to bitcoin-q. It was a non contentious fork, but that was only the beginning of bitcoin's woes. People had lost faith in btc, and another crypto had risen to take its place in marketcap and individual coin price. It had been a small and insignificant alt before the quantum attack. It had been worth less than $5 before the quantum hack. Now, it was worth well over $5000 (in rubles). It had STOLEN btc's value. And that all happened because on a forum post in 2018, 3 years before the btc hack went down, a lone cryptographer on the btc forums on reddit who was yelling at other redditors about the need for a quantum secure blockchain protocol had been ignored and the users had gone on without realizing the absolute horrifying quantum danger the good ship btc was sailing into... We need to implement quantum secure wallets or some other method to prevent quantum attacks. This needs to have happened yesterday, because soon a quantum computer will emerge. And then a malicious person will get their hands on it. And they will use the quantum computer to steal bitcoin, burn the system down, or launch 51% attacks. Quantum is an emerging threat that can kill bitcoin in an instant if we don't fix the quantum loopholes in the blockchain's armor. So get off your thumbs, tweet to the devs, write proposals, write code and lets get to work implementing a patch of some sort. ''' The day the banks got a quantum computer. Go1dfish undelete link unreddit undelete link Author: Serialnvestor
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