3 Ways to Short Sell Bitcoin in 2020 - A Complete Beginner

The rough guide to the Islamic Investment world (in South Africa)

So this is my rough guide to Islamic investments within the South African Universe (it can apply globally, except my examples is all South African based). Hope it is informative and encourages halal investing.
Suggestions welcome
Section 1: Investment Universe 
  1. Islamic Bank fixed deposits
About: Invest your money for a fixed period (1 month up to 5 years). Get profit when period is completed
Pros: Reliable profit , Low financial risk, low Islamic risk : covered by a board of Shariah scholars
Cons: Low profit rates.

  1. Unit trusts
About: Collective investment - managed by investment company, protected by SA law, typically invests in equities, sukuks and property
Pros: Plenty of choice, Provided by registered Financial Service Providers, Sharia Boards , diversification
Cons: Typically High fees, .

  1. ETF
About: Collective investment
Pros: low fees, Provided by registered Financial Service Providers, Sharia Boards , diversification
Cons: only one option in SA, heavily weighted on Resources

  1. Shares
About: Pick your own stocks off the exchange
Pros: High profit potential,
Cons: Very Risky, No Islamic oversight (hence need to do your own screening)

  1. Property
About: Tried and test property
Pros: Stable Asset, Tangible, Straightforward, Zakah benefits,
Cons: High capital outlay, expensive legal costs (transfebond registration) , Not very liquid,
  1. Custom Wealth Solutions
About: Customized Wealth management and investments
Pros: Professional advice, custom solution
Cons: Available exclusively to high net worth individuals, Investment advise appears to be fee based

Section 2: Definitely not halal 
  1. Margin based investing: Margin = interest = haram. Also very risky
  2. Futures contracts: Shorting, going long, all CFD's and futures contracts are impermissible. Because a condition for a halal investment is that the underlying asset must be owned
  3. Forex: Or at least forex based on CFD's and margins. Buying dollars to travel should be perfectly fine.
  4. Stocks/Equities that primarily deal in haram activities: Gambling, pork, etc

Section 3: Grey Areas 
  1. Crypto ( Bitcoin ,etc) : In theory these should be more "halal" than fiat currency (what all money in the world is) however there are differences of opinion.
  2. Shares : There are grey areas : Most companies has an element of haram income (interest, etc). Scholars have devised ratios to to filter out "islamic stocks" from haram stocks (30-33% max debt, max 5% haram income, liquid ratios, etc). It is for this reason these stocks requires dividend purification.
However you should be aware of this before venturing into to stocks as you might not be comfortable with that thought (This also affects EFTs, Unit trusts, etc).
3 Easy Equities: Easy equities makes it cheap and easy to own equities. However I would at all times buy/sell only whole shares and not fractional shares. Fractional shares are done as a CFD (a bit different from a forex CFD). You get all the benefits of ownership such as dividends and capital gains on a pro rate basis. But you do not actually own the CFD until you buy enough CFD to get a real whole share. That being said, it is still grey, best to avoid fractional shares entirely
4. Halal Forex Accounts: Somehow these are marketed that way. Here's a link to (Islamic Finance Guru) who has a bit more knowledge on this. (Note: I am not affiliated in any way or get any benefit)
Section 4: Conclusion 
I sincerely hope this helps , and encourages to invest in the Islamic world.
Any ideas, inputs and suggestions welcome.


Disclaimer 1 : Corrections welcome, I am not a learned scholar, this is not financial advice, you bear the responsibility & consequences of your own decisions/investments
Disclaimer 2 : At some point FNB Sharia board quit , they subsequently hired a new board. They don't however make it easy to find who is in the board from their website. However the information can be found in news websites.
submitted by Flying_Koeksister to IslamicFinance [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Newcomers FAQ - Please read!

Welcome to the /Bitcoin Sticky FAQ

You've probably been hearing a lot about Bitcoin recently and are wondering what's the big deal? Most of your questions should be answered by the resources below but if you have additional questions feel free to ask them in the comments.
It all started with the release of the release of Satoshi Nakamoto's whitepaper however that will probably go over the head of most readers so we recommend the following videos for a good starting point for understanding how bitcoin works and a little about its long term potential:
Some other great resources include Lopp.net, the Princeton crypto series and James D'Angelo's Bitcoin 101 Blackboard series.
Some excellent writing on Bitcoin's value proposition and future can be found at the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute.
Some Bitcoin statistics can be found here and here. Developer resources can be found here. Peer-reviewed research papers can be found here.
Potential upcoming protocol improvements and scaling resources here and here.
The number of times Bitcoin was declared dead by the media can be found here (LOL!)

Key properties of Bitcoin

Where can I buy bitcoins?

Bitcoin.org and BuyBitcoinWorldwide.com are helpful sites for beginners. You can buy or sell any amount of bitcoin (even just a few dollars worth) and there are several easy methods to purchase bitcoin with cash, credit card or bank transfer. Some of the more popular resources are below, also check out the bitcoinity exchange resources for a larger list of options for purchases.
Here is a listing of local ATMs. If you would like your paycheck automatically converted to bitcoin use Bitwage.
Note: Bitcoins are valued at whatever market price people are willing to pay for them in balancing act of supply vs demand. Unlike traditional markets, bitcoin markets operate 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Preev is a useful site that that shows how much various denominations of bitcoin are worth in different currencies. Alternatively you can just Google "1 bitcoin in (your local currency)".

Securing your bitcoins

With bitcoin you can "Be your own bank" and personally secure your bitcoins OR you can use third party companies aka "Bitcoin banks" which will hold the bitcoins for you.
Note: For increased security, use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) everywhere it is offered, including email!
2FA requires a second confirmation code to access your account making it much harder for thieves to gain access. Google Authenticator and Authy are the two most popular 2FA services, download links are below. Make sure you create backups of your 2FA codes.
Google Auth Authy OTP Auth
Android Android N/A
iOS iOS iOS

Watch out for scams

As mentioned above, Bitcoin is decentralized, which by definition means there is no official website or Twitter handle or spokesperson or CEO. However, all money attracts thieves. This combination unfortunately results in scammers running official sounding names or pretending to be an authority on YouTube or social media. Many scammers throughout the years have claimed to be the inventor of Bitcoin. Websites like bitcoin(dot)com and the btc subreddit are active scams. Almost all altcoins (shitcoins) are marketed heavily with big promises but are really just designed to separate you from your bitcoin. So be careful: any resource, including all linked in this document, may in the future turn evil. Don't trust, verify. Also as they say in our community "Not your keys, not your coins".

Where can I spend bitcoins?

Check out spendabit or bitcoin directory for millions of merchant options. Also you can spend bitcoin anywhere visa is accepted with bitcoin debit cards such as the CashApp card. Some other useful site are listed below.
Store Product
Gyft Gift cards for hundreds of retailers including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Whole Foods, CVS, Lowes, Home Depot, iTunes, Best Buy, Sears, Kohls, eBay, GameStop, etc.
Spendabit, Overstock and The Bitcoin Directory Retail shopping with millions of results
ShakePay Generate one time use Visa cards in seconds
NewEgg and Dell For all your electronics needs
Bitwa.la, Coinbills, Piixpay, Bitbill.eu, Bylls, Coins.ph, Bitrefill, LivingRoomofSatoshi, Coinsfer, and more Bill payment
Menufy, Takeaway and Thuisbezorgd NL Takeout delivered to your door
Expedia, Cheapair, Destinia, Abitsky, SkyTours, the Travel category on Gyft and 9flats For when you need to get away
Cryptostorm, Mullvad, and PIA VPN services
Namecheap, Porkbun Domain name registration
Stampnik Discounted USPS Priority, Express, First-Class mail postage
Coinmap and AirBitz are helpful to find local businesses accepting bitcoins. A good resource for UK residents is at wheretospendbitcoins.co.uk.
There are also lots of charities which accept bitcoin donations.

Merchant Resources

There are several benefits to accepting bitcoin as a payment option if you are a merchant;
If you are interested in accepting bitcoin as a payment method, there are several options available;

Can I mine bitcoin?

Mining bitcoins can be a fun learning experience, but be aware that you will most likely operate at a loss. Newcomers are often advised to stay away from mining unless they are only interested in it as a hobby similar to folding at home. If you want to learn more about mining you can read more here. Still have mining questions? The crew at /BitcoinMining would be happy to help you out.
If you want to contribute to the bitcoin network by hosting the blockchain and propagating transactions you can run a full node using this setup guide. If you would prefer to keep it simple there are several good options. You can view the global node distribution here.

Earning bitcoins

Just like any other form of money, you can also earn bitcoins by being paid to do a job.
Site Description
WorkingForBitcoins, Bitwage, Cryptogrind, Coinality, Bitgigs, /Jobs4Bitcoins, BitforTip, Rein Project Freelancing
Lolli Earn bitcoin when you shop online!
OpenBazaar, Purse.io, Bitify, /Bitmarket, 21 Market Marketplaces
/GirlsGoneBitcoin NSFW Adult services
A-ads, Coinzilla.io Advertising
You can also earn bitcoins by participating as a market maker on JoinMarket by allowing users to perform CoinJoin transactions with your bitcoins for a small fee (requires you to already have some bitcoins.

Bitcoin-Related Projects

The following is a short list of ongoing projects that might be worth taking a look at if you are interested in current development in the bitcoin space.
Project Description
Lightning Network Second layer scaling
Blockstream, Rootstock and Drivechain Sidechains
Hivemind and Augur Prediction markets
Tierion and Factom Records & Titles on the blockchain
BitMarkets, DropZone, Beaver and Open Bazaar Decentralized markets
JoinMarket and Wasabi Wallet CoinJoin implementation
Coinffeine and Bisq Decentralized bitcoin exchanges
Keybase Identity & Reputation management
Abra Global P2P money transmitter network
Bitcore Open source Bitcoin javascript library

Bitcoin Units

One Bitcoin is quite large (hundreds of £/$/€) so people often deal in smaller units. The most common subunits are listed below:
Unit Symbol Value Info
bitcoin BTC 1 bitcoin one bitcoin is equal to 100 million satoshis
millibitcoin mBTC 1,000 per bitcoin used as default unit in recent Electrum wallet releases
bit bit 1,000,000 per bitcoin colloquial "slang" term for microbitcoin (μBTC)
satoshi sat 100,000,000 per bitcoin smallest unit in bitcoin, named after the inventor
For example, assuming an arbitrary exchange rate of $10000 for one Bitcoin, a $10 meal would equal:
For more information check out the Bitcoin units wiki.
Still have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below or stick around for our weekly Mentor Monday thread. If you decide to post a question in /Bitcoin, please use the search bar to see if it has been answered before, and remember to follow the community rules outlined on the sidebar to receive a better response. The mods are busy helping manage our community so please do not message them unless you notice problems with the functionality of the subreddit.
Note: This is a community created FAQ. If you notice anything missing from the FAQ or that requires clarification you can edit it here and it will be included in the next revision pending approval.
Welcome to the Bitcoin community and the new decentralized economy!
submitted by BitcoinFan7 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Loan Repayment - 32K USD Nexo Loan Horror Story

Story time from somebody who wanted to test out Nexo loans.
Feel free to share thoughts in the comments below, but the purpose of this story is just to serve as a warning for anybody considering a serious Nexo loan (like 20k+) be prepared for crazy fees, and extreme difficultly paying back the loan in USD to avoid fees as an American.
I put about 100k USDC to try out Nexo. 8% interest was going well, and it was all pretty cool. I read on all the DeFi lending opportunities (significantly higher interest) and started deploying that capital across a few projects to test and see which are legit etc. (For those of you curious, after a month of research, on the yield side of things, I decided adding liquidity to Uniswap's ETH-USDC pool is appropriate for my risk appetite, and that the APY is 30%+. On the loan side of things, Maker DAO's ETH CDP loans are 0% currently, instant and painless. Its really an amazing experience.)
I also decided to test out the different loan providers (meaning I took out loans) on the DeFi side of things as well as the Nexo side of things. I had about 35k USDC leftover in Nexo with almost the max I could borrow (~32k?)
And then the nightmare began.
  1. Originally I assumed that I would be collecting interest on all my assets in Nexo, but there's the two different wallets (savings, and credit) so of course no more interest yield anymore when I tried doing a loan. Ok.
  2. I learned that Nexo market sells the crypto you use for loan repayment on some unknown exchange they refused to tell me "for security reasons." Try market selling 32k of crypto, you're gonna have slippage on pretty much every market I can think of. Ok... The reason why letting me know what exchange is so that I can calculate the slippage on my order on the market they would sell on and decide if I want to continue with the repayment method or not.
  3. Nexo charges a fee for the sell order (0.26% if I recall correctly from one of my many customer support conversations.) Well thats getting pretty scammy, in my opinion.
  4. Only after I tried repaying the loan (as opposed to before taking a loan) Nexo kindly informs us on the dashboard UI that they will automatically charge the full first month of loan interest "so that the loan system is used as intended" or something like that. Icing on the cake. Seems unnecessary to me. Nice.
About three weeks go by and now I'm in a bind trying to pay this back, because I could realistically be looking at 2-3% in slippage, 0.26% in transaction fee, and about 1% in loan interest after the first month here. That's about $1,363.20 in costs out the gates for a 32k loan, which was not made clear before pulling out the loan. I had to find bits and pieces of this over my many customer support conversations.
Fine. So I start researching how to make this cheaper. So I decide, hey, I'll repay in USD because no slippage, no transaction fee. That removes tons of ambiguity. This is the perfect solution.
...
Nexo says that ACH transfers have to be done from an account matching my name exactly. I bank with one of the biggest US banks (I'll leave out those details so my bank doesn't get social engineered!) they say that ACH is only available under my business account (with of course, my business's name not my personal name) so I must use the "bill pay" feature, which normally does "echecks" if the recipient is "in the system." With my luck, Nexo was not, so they had to cut a physical check. Ok.
7 full days go by, my bank said they cancelled the check because I didn't confirm it. Turns out I had the notification for this specific thing disabled. That sucked. Okay I try again. Meanwhile, almost every day since the second check was sent I followed up with my bank to make sure things work out smoothly.
Okay, great, check is to arrive Friday the 21st.
Friday the 21st comes, and I follow up with Nexo support. They basically say "hey well for checks we physically have to go through them and everybody is out of office now...so you'll have to wait another 2-3 business days."
I was pissed at this point but told them okay and that I'll follow up. Bear in mind I'm accruing another month of interest, which increases the pressure for me here.
So I follow up on Monday and they say they haven't gotten anything, and that I need "official information" on the details of the check. I tell them everything I can read off the bank's app and they say its not good enough.
I check with my bank and they say its delivered. I ask my bank if they can deal with Nexo directly, and they said yeah over the phone. I also ask for "official details" on the payment and the bank provides that for me. Great.
I go back to Nexo and below is the latest correspondence. What I want to point out here is how dodgy I think the support is, and how they make 0 concessions on extreme cases such as mine. I think this was the seventh support person I spoke with during the entire repayment. Every conversation went similar to this, but with me being more and more irate.

Chat started on 26 Aug 2020, 08:27 PM (GMT+0)
(08:27:13) *** Alexander V. Pavlovcik joined the chat ***
(08:27:13) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: I need a phone number so my bank can call you because I’ve been trying to make a payment for the last three weeks to you guys. You claim to never have gotten them and you’re charging me interest
(08:27:14) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: I need a phone number so my bank can call you because I’ve been trying to make a payment for the last three weeks to you guys. You claim to never have gotten them and you’re charging me interest
(08:27:14) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: I need a phone number so my bank can call you because I’ve been trying to make a payment for the last three weeks to you guys. You claim to never have gotten them and you’re charging me interest
(08:27:15) Nexo Customer Support: Hi Alexander V. Pavlovcik! Welcome back. Thanks for your message, please wait a moment while one of our agents attend to you.
(08:27:16) *** Nexo Bot joined the chat ***
(08:27:16) Nexo Bot: Hello from Nexo RoBot!
(08:27:16) Nexo Bot: Hello from Nexo RoBot!
(08:27:17) Nexo Bot: Unfortunately, I am unable to understand your question. Please try to rephrase it or choose one from the list below.
(08:27:17) Nexo Bot: Please let me know how can I help you today? You can also click on the suggested replies.
(08:27:17) Nexo Bot: I am all ears.
(08:27:17) Nexo Bot: Please let me know how can I help you today? You can also click on the suggested replies.
(08:27:18) Nexo Bot: I will do my best to assist you today. Please ask one question at a time.
(08:27:18) Nexo Bot: I will do my best to assist you today. Please ask one question at a time.
(08:27:46) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: Human agent
(08:27:49) Nexo Bot: Would you like me to transfer you to my human colleague?
(08:27:52) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: yes
(08:27:54) Nexo Bot: Please give me a min to start the transfering process.
(08:27:55) Nexo Bot: …
(08:28:27) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: OK
(08:28:30) Nexo Bot: Let me check if someone is available. Is that OK with you?
(08:28:32) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: OK
(08:28:35) Nexo Bot: I can confirm that one of my human colleagues is available. I am transfering this conversation to him/her.
(08:28:35) Nexo Bot: Thank you for chatting with me.
(08:28:35) *** Nexo Bot has transferred chat to Support ***
(08:28:37) Nexo Bot: One of my co-workers will be with you shortly.
(08:28:53) *** Beyhan joined the chat ***
(08:28:55) Beyhan: Hello Alexander V. Pavlovcik and Welcome to Nexo Support! My name is Beyhan. I will be assisting you today.
(08:29:44) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: Ok
(08:29:53) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: I need a phone number so my bank can call you because I’ve been trying to make a payment for the last three weeks to you guys. You claim to never have gotten them and you’re charging me interest
(08:30:14) Beyhan: We do not offer over-the-phone support, unfortunately.
(08:30:49) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: what the hell am I supposed to do now
(08:31:20) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: Check my transcript so you can get up to speed from the last three weeks
(08:31:31) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: Visitor uploaded: list.pdf URL: [[url redacted for reddit]] Type: application/pdf Size: 179195
(08:31:48) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: Here’s proof of payment I need credit to my account
(08:31:49) Beyhan: You can email us at [support@nexo.io](mailto:support@nexo.io) if you have not contacted us there before.
(08:31:53) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: man
(08:31:59) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: its been three weeks
(08:32:09) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: i have two threads on email
(08:32:40) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: This is the second check to go out
(08:34:01) Beyhan: I am unable to find any emails, can you provide your email address?
(08:34:14) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: [[redacted]]
(08:34:24) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: This is the second check to go out
(08:34:32) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: [[redacted]]
(08:34:39) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: These messages are failing to send
(08:35:08) Beyhan: I see you emailed us 15 minutes ago with the document we required.
(08:35:13) Beyhan: Our team will email you soon.
(08:36:00) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: I need some type of phone number for my bank to at least try and speak with somebody on your end before stopping the check
(08:36:16) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: i already tried for three weeks and nothing has been done
(08:36:41) Beyhan: You can let the team working on your case know about this once they reply to your last email.
(08:37:01) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: what about this interest im being charged
(08:37:28) Beyhan: Unfortunately, I'm unable to comment on that before the case has been resolved.
(08:37:44) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: The interest is part of the issues to be resolved
(08:37:59) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: The first issue obviously is the payment situation
(08:38:02) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: the second is the interest
(08:38:12) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: I need my money back
(08:38:17) Beyhan: Great, hopefully, our team will help you out very soon.
(08:38:24) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: its been three weeks man
(08:38:33) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: how about you transfer me to somebody who can help
(08:38:59) Beyhan: But it's not like our team hasn't been responding to your emails.
(08:39:14) Beyhan: Unfortunately, the team behind your case isn't available for chat.
(08:39:17) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: Its circumlocution at best
(08:39:40) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: I dont care about that team they obviously havent been capabale
(08:39:55) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: I need to speak with a higher up who can actually do something about the issue
(08:40:02) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: at least stop the scammy interest on it
(08:40:14) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: its very clear i have the funds and have tried to pay it back
(08:40:36) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: if you guys refuse to accept an ACH transfer from my business account thats on you
(08:40:38) Beyhan: Unfortunately, only I am available on chat at the moment. Our team will review your last email very soon - we will just need your patience.
(08:40:46) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: and if you refuse to speak with my bank on the phone thats also on you guys
(08:41:47) Beyhan: We do not offer over-the-phone support at the moment, unfortunately.
(08:41:57) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: I saw your earlier message
(08:42:08) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: like i said, thats on you guys not me or my bank
(08:42:28) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: as a consequence i shouldnt have to pay the price for your refusal of phone support
(08:42:40) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: in this case thats $200-$300 in interest
(08:42:45) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: thats a scam
(08:43:25) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: Whats the address for nexo?
(08:43:38) Beyhan: Sir, please try to remain calm and wait for the resolution of the case.
(08:43:58) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: Where is nexo incorporated
(08:44:10) Beyhan: Nexo is a European company.
(08:44:14) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: yeah i know
(08:44:17) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: whats the address
(08:44:54) Beyhan: The Nexo Group has legal entities in various locations throughout the world, in order to services 200+ jurisdictions in the most efficient manner and is in compliance with all applicable global and local regulations. https://support.nexo.io/hc/en-us/articles/360008236853-Where-is-Nexo-registered-and-is-it-regulated- For more information, you can email us at [support@nexo.io](mailto:support@nexo.io)
(08:45:27) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: Ok
(08:45:35) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: That was another roundabout answer
(08:45:37) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: im in the united states
(08:45:42) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: who am i reaching out to
(08:45:49) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: with my bank
(08:45:59) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: and eventually legal representation
(08:46:08) Beyhan: Again, please wait for our team's responce.
(08:46:11) Beyhan: response*.
(08:46:31) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: so you’re not going to give me a direct answer on the united states entity
(08:46:42) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: Its contact information / address
(08:47:12) Beyhan: For more information on that you can email [support@nexo.io](mailto:support@nexo.io) or reply to the next email you receive from us.
(08:47:17) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: no
(08:47:18) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: im asking you
(08:47:30) Beyhan: I'm unable to provide that over chat.
(08:47:31) Alexander V. Pavlovcik: so you’re not going to give me the address
(08:48:04) *** Alexander V. Pavlovcik has rated the chat Bad ***
(08:48:04) *** Alexander V. Pavlovcik has commented: Nexo is a scam ***
(08:48:04) *** Alexander V. Pavlovcik left the chat ***

submitted by Pavlovcik to Nexo [link] [comments]

Chainlink analysis - my thoughts and research

Necessary Disclaimer: no rule breaking intended. No price manipulation intended. I only want to share verifiable facts/links and my analysis. If I am doing anything against the rules please let me know and I will do my best to fix it ASAP. I trade crypto, including LINK, and I am currently short on LINK. This is not financial advice; this is just for my own record and to start a discussion for anyone who might want more transparency around LINK.

TL;DR:

I believe there is a lot of misinformation, uncertainty, and unanswered questions about the LINK token, the Chainlink ecosystem, the SmartContract parent company. I also believe that LINK's current price is unjustified based on fundamental factors like usage/business case/current customers/future potential. So I'm raising some points and asking some questions.
What is this post? Why should I care? How do I use it?
Read or skim it. It's about the LINK token, the Chainlink ecosystem, and the parent company SmartContract. It's about why I believe the price of the LINK token may be currently driven mostly by hype and not backed by standard market fundamentals like usage/economics.
Update 9 AUG: reorganizing, rewriting this post and moving supporting data/sources into "appendix" comments below on this post. The previous versions of this post and my comments elsewhere were too emotionally charged and caused more division rather than honest, evidence-based, productive discussion and I sincerely apologize for that. I have now rewritten it and will continue to update it.

PARTNERSHIPS

Who has Chainlink partnered with? Who is using Chainlink's technology and network? Who is contributing to developing Chainlink?
Google - this is the pinned tweet on Chainlink's official page. Nothing there about Google using Chainlink services or co-developing with them. Just that blockchains/oracles CAN use google cloud services (APIs?). This is Google Cloud's June 13, 2019 blog post: https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/data-analytics/building-hybrid-blockchain-cloud-applications-with-ethereum-and-google-cloud
Oracle - (TODO. This seems to have potential as some product manager at Oracle has posted that chainlink integration is coming Q3/Q4 of 2020)
SWIFT - the best they've got is a 30 second video with NOBODY from SWIFT present, with a *hypothetical* use case using SWIFT API.
Intel This is the only google result for "chainlink site:intel.com", and it casually mentions that Intel's TEE (trusted execution environment) technology can be used to improve the security of oracles/blockchains. Nothing about Intel themselves using or developing with Chainlink. https://software.intel.com/content/www/us/en/develop/articles/new-confidential-computing-solutions-emerge-on-the-hyperledger-avalon-trusted-compute.html
Another 240+ claimed project integrations:
[TODO] There are so many to keep track of. Every week or even more frequent is yet another integration *announcement*
Current DeFi usage: we've heard that Chainlink "secures" $1 billion in DeFi. But that's not in value locked: https://defipulse.com/ (LINK doesn't even appear on that list). That's just with DeFi data supposedly being priced using Chainlink nodes.
EG Synthetix:
https://blog.synthetix.io/chainlink-decentralizes-first-wave-of-synthetix-price-feeds/ yet where does Synthetix actually PAY to use an oracle? Not visible on-chain, maybe someone will find it.
https://defipulse.com/blog/3-defi-dapps-starting-2020-off-strong/ "... Chainlink's following includes partnerships big and small, including Intel and Google Cloud services" example of misleading/exaggerated partnership claims being circulated.

Chainlink's ROADMAP

Threshold signatures, staking, on-chain SLAs:
How real are these, is there a roadmap, how will this benefit users, is there any evidence of users currently *wanting* to use chainlink but needing these features and actively waiting for Chainlink to launch these?
Staking: for there to be a valid incentive for users to stake LINK, it has to return around 5% annually because anything substantially under that would have users putting their money elsewhere (https://www.stakingrewards.com/cryptoassets) (not counting speculative capital gains in terms of LINK's price, but price gain per token/coin applies to all other crypto projects as well).
Currently, for stakable cryptos, around 30-80% of their total supply is staked, and a good adjusted reward is on the order of 5% as well (some actually negative, some 10%+). The promise of staking incentivises people to buy and hold more LINK tokens (again, many other crypto projects have staking already live). That 5% reward will ultimately have to come from the customers who pay Chainlink oracle nodes to use their services, so it's an extra 5% fee for them. Of course, in the near future, the staking rewards *could* be subsidized by the founders' reserve wallets.
Threshold signatures: addressed below in a comment.
On-chain SLAs: [TODO]
Here's supposedly Chainlink's agile/project planning board. (TODO: verify that it is indeed Chainlink's, and then analyse it)
https://www.pivotaltracker.com/n/projects/2129823

LINK wallet addresses

As LINK is an ERC20 token on the Ethereum blockchain, all its movements are visible, all the way from the genesis creation of 1,000,000,000 LINK tokens through to aggregator nodes through to cashing out on exchanges. Below are some examples and some reasons why this may be concerning to investors/holders of LINK.
This is one LINK address whale with over 6 million LINK. Looks like some of the funds end up on a Turkish exchange Paribu. https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xc6bed363b30df7f35b601a5547fe56cd31ec63da This wallet has moved out >200,000 LINK in the last 24 hours. Don't know where, go trace it.
Typical data provider example. Lots of named Chainlink oracle nodes pay this address: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x72f3dff4cd17816604dd2df6c2741e739484ca62 Usually 0.16 LINK to this address every few minutes, sometimes 2 LINK. This data provider has sent out ~11,620 LINK out to the following wallet: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xa5d0084a766203b463b3164dfc49d91509c12dab That wallet has cashed out 9,560 LINK to 1inch.exchange (a DEX) over the past year. Has also transferred 6000 LINK to a currently loaded wallet (possibly exchange account ready to sell?): https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x088d50c0bb5381a1205d1182cc21496c6fdc4c62 Another destination accumulation wallet (~493,000 LINK with no out transfers yet) https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x7758e507850da48cd47df1fb5f875c23e3340c50 (unrelated but a sell order of this size would drop LINK's price by 10-30% on Binance, someone check my maths on this) Now tracing back who funds the 0x72f3... data provider, we see a number of named Chainlink Aggregator nodes. Picking one at random, say the TUSD/ETH one: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x73ead35fd6a572ef763b13be65a9db96f7643577 It was last funded March 12 2020 with 5000 LINK. Tracing back the funds we ultimately come to the genesis wallet of the Chainlink network itself, the original source of the 1,000,000,000 LINK tokens in existence. (side note: some interesting-looking transactions there) This is the first child of the genesis wallet that received 100,000,000 from the genesis wallet. https://etherscan.io/tokentxns?a=0xf37c348b7d19b17b29cd5cfa64cfa48e2d6eb8db Last time this wallet transferred out was YESTERDAY for 500,000 LINK. Now this doesn't prove anything, DYOR, but to me it looks like the genesis wallets are slowly cashing out through the aggregator nodes, making it look like the oracle node network is being actively used (which it is, but it's not the end customers like AAVE/NEXO paying the LINK required to power oracles, it's SmartContract itself). I know that this is just ONE aggregator node, but I've seen the same behaviour from their other named nodes - go check for yourselves.
If you trace chainlink oracle funds to their source, you can find some of the original addresses. Some of these early on (around 1000 days ago) were linked to AfroDex labs, which looks like now doesn’t work. http://afrodex.net/#!/trade/AfroX-ETH
Who currently pays Chainlink nodes?
How much of the revenue that Chainlink nodes receive is from potentially third party customers vs internal funding by the Chainlink team wallets?
For example, this is the "Chainlink: LINK / USD Aggregator" wallet.
It has had a total 8,200 LINK deposited from 5 transactions in round amounts (on any of the below links, click the "Analytics" tab to see In/Out balance history), and has so far paid out ~5,156 LINK.
https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x32dbd3214ac75223e27e575c53944307914f7a90
It typically pays ~10 wallets 0.16 Link each, a few times an hour, like so:
https://etherscan.io/tx/0x02c595981b935a57cfbe6170656181faac9a16d7a33a123930a716c4abec615a ($45 in ETH fees to transfer $22 worth of LINK, sounds like a lot of overheads)
Where does this aggregator wallet get its LINK funding from?
From ONLY here: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x27158157136384c713bc09a0a7ae81c8391d7f11 (current net balance ~50,000 LINK, total ~5,000,000 million in and out)
Which in turn gets it from ONLY these three, in HUGE amounts:
https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xf37c348b7d19b17b29cd5cfa64cfa48e2d6eb8db (6,000,000 LINK)
https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xaf40738c6f940519516e043f924b8d05fc0292b8 (just a jump address into the one above, only 3 total tx)
https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x1f9e26f1c050b5c018ab0e66fcae8e4394eb0165 (147,000 LINK)
the 0x1f9e2... one got its funding from:
  1. 6098.8 LINK from Binance about a year ago: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x161cdd891e04a77e0458a3ef65c563c4d2064cd6
  2. 12,600,000 from the genesis wallet through one jump address https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xdad22a85ef8310ef582b70e4051e543f3153e11f
  3. 13,000,000 from the 0xf37... wallet above
the 0xf37... in turn got its 50,000,000 (!) LINK from the genesis address which minted the original 1 billion tokens:
https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xf55037738604fddfc4043d12f25124e94d7d1780
So the 0x27158... wallet is basically a genesis wallet.
Now let's do the most popular feed on feeds.chain.link, the ETH/USD feed: https://feeds.chain.link/eth-usd, with a wallet address of: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xF79D6aFBb6dA890132F9D7c355e3015f15F3406F#tokenAnalytics
It was first funded in Jan 2020 and has been funded a total of 9 times for a total influx of 108,437.533 LINK, by:
  1. "Chainlink: Deployer" 10 LINK: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x6f61507f902e1c22bcd7aa2c0452cd2212009b61
  2. The 0x27158... genesis-sourced wallet, 20,000 LINK
  3. An intermediary/middle very active wallet (which is 99.998% funded by the 0x27158... genesis-sourced wallet), 52,000 LINK https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x2f0acb9c5dd2a3511bc1d9d67258e5c9434ba569
  4. "Chainlink: Aggregator", 36,427.533 LINK, https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x79febf6b9f76853edbcbc913e6aae8232cfb9de9#tokenAnalytics
I manually traced EVERY single inbound transaction/source of funds for the above 4 (not counting #1 as 10 LINK is negligible). 2 & 3 are 99.99%+ genesis-funded, being ACTIVELY topped up by a genesis wallet, last tx 4 days ago, 500,000 LINK. #4 has been funded 36 times over the past year and a half (that's 36 manual exports and I did them all). They all come from the 0x27158..., 0x2f0acb..., and https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x1f9e26f1c050b5c018ab0e66fcae8e4394eb0165 (another address like the 0x2f0acb that I went through and checked EVERY SINGLE inbound source of funds, and it's also >99.9% genesis-funded - one tx from Binance for 6098 LINK out of a total ~6,560,000 inbound LINK from genesis wallets), and two other addresses linked to Binance (0x1b185c8611d157a67d9a9d5261b0d2bd52c0bb78, 10,000 LINK and 0x039ac18afe298747c51c85e7c8f0d67c327f3883, 1,000,000 LINK)
The 0x039ac... address funded the "Chainlink: Aggregator" address with 127,900 LINK, and the 0x1b185... with about ~9,600 LINK). So yes, it's technically possible that someone not related to Chainlink paid for the ETH / USD price feed because some funds do come from Binance. However, they only come from two distinct addresses. Surely for "240+" claimed partnerships, more than TWO would pay to use Chainlink's MOST POPULAR price feed? That is, unless they don't pay directly but to another address and then Chainlink covers this one from their own wallets. I will check if that's in line with Chainlink's whitepaper, but doesn't that throw doubt on the whole model of end-users paying to use oracles/aggregators, even if it's subsidized?
I provide you this much detail not to bore you but to show you that I went through BY HAND and checked every single source (detailed sources in Appendix B) of funds for the OFFICIAL, Chainlink-listed "ETH/USD" aggregator that's supposedly sponsored by 10 DeFi partners (Synthetix, LoopSpring, OpenLaw, 1inch, ParaSwap, MCDEX, FuturesSwap, DMM, Aave, The Force Protocol). Yet where are the transactions showing that those 10 partners have EVER paid for this ETH/USD oracle? Perhaps the data is there so what am I missing? This ETH/USD aggregator has transferred out ~76,000 LINK to I guess the data providers in increments of .33 LINK. It has 21 data providers responding. I will begin investigating the data providers themselves soon.
And those middle addresses like 0x1f9e26... and 0x2f0acb...? They have transferred out hundreds of thousands if not millions of LINK to exchanges. And that's just ONE price pair aggregator. Chainlink has around 40 of these (albeit this one's one of the more popular ones).

SNX / ETH aggregator is funded 100% by genesis-sourced wallets, only 3 inbound transactions:
https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xe23d1142de4e83c08bb048bcab54d50907390828

Some random examples (for later, ignore these for now) ***********
https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x039ac18afe298747c51c85e7c8f0d67c327f3883 bought 1,000,000 LINK from Binance in Sept 12 & 15, 2019. (one of the possible funding sources for the ETH / USD aggregator example above)
This address got 500,000 LINK from 0x27158... and has distributed them into ~5-10,000 LINK wallets that haven't had any out transactions yet
https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x5bcf3edc0bb7119e35f322ba40793b99d4620f1e
**************
Another example with an unnamed aggregator-node-like wallet that was only spun up 5 days ago, Aug 5:
https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x2cbfd29947f774b8cf338f776915e6fee052f236
It was funded 2,000 LINK SOLELY by the 0x27158... wallet and has so far paid out ~500 LINK in 0.43 LINK amounts to 9 wallets at a time. For example, this is one of the wallets it cashes out to:
https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x64fe692be4b42f4ac9d4617ab824e088350c11c2#tokenAnalytics
That wallet extremely consistently collects small amounts of LINK since Oct 2019. It must be a data provider because a lot of Chainlink named wallets pay it small amounts of LINK regularly. It has transferred out 20 times. The most recent transfer out:
https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xc8c30fa803833dd1fd6dbcdd91ed0b301eff87cf which then immediately transferred to the named "1inch.exchange" wallet, so I assume this was a "cash-out" transaction. It has cashed out via this address a lot.
Granted, it also has transfer-out transactions that haven't (yet) ended up in an exchange wallet, eg https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x88e5353a73f38f25a9611e6083de6f361f9b537b with a current balance of 3000 LINK. This could be a user's exchange wallet, ready to be sold, or could be something else. No way for me to tell as there are no out txs from it.

LINK overall transaction, volume, and tx fees

This is to understand how much $ moves through the LINK ecosystem through: nodes, data providers, reserve wallets, wallets linked to exchanges, others.
A typical aggregator node tx (payout?): https://etherscan.io/tx/0xef9e8e6dd94ebe9bbac8866f18c2ea0a07408ced1aa77fa04826043eaa55e772 This is their ETH/USD aggregator paying out 1 LINK to each of 21 addresses. Value of 21 LINK ~= $210. Total eth tx fees: .233 ETH (~$88.5, ~42% of the total tx value. If LINK was $4.2 instead of $10, the tx fees would be 100% of the value of the tx). Transactions like this happen every few minutes, and the payout amounts are most often 0.16, 0.66, 1.0, and 2.0 Link.
Chainlink’s node/job listing site, https://market.link, lists 86 nodes, 195 feeds, 801 jobs, ~1,080,000 job runs (I can’t tell if this is over the past 2 months or 1.5 years). Only 20 nodes have over 1000 job runs, and 62 nodes have ZERO runs. Usual job cost is listed as 0.1 link, but the overall payout to the nodes is 10-20 times this. The nodes then cash out usually through a few jump addresses to exchanges. Some quick maths: (being generous and assuming it’s 1mil jobs every 2 months = ~6mil link/year = $60,000,000 revenue a year. This is the most generous estimate towards link’s valuation I’ve found so far. If we ignore the below examples where on multi-node payouts the tx fees are more than the node revenue itself, then it’s almost in line with an over-valued (but real) big tech company.
For example, one of the latest CHF/USD job runs paid 0.1 LINK to 9 addresses (data providers?) - total $14.4 payout - and paid 0.065 ETH ($24.5) in fees. That’s a $10.1 LOSS on a $14.4 revenue: https://etherscan.io/tx/0xa6351bab810b6864bfebb0f6e1e3bde3c8856f8aac3ba769dd2e6d1a39c0d23f
Linkpool’s (one of the biggest node operators) “ETH-USD CryptoCompare” job costs 0.1 link and has 33 runs in the past 24 hours (once every ~44min), total ~78,000 runs since May 30 2019 (once every ~8min). https://market.link/jobs/64bb0845-c4e1-4681-8853-0b5aa7366101/runs (PS cryptocompare has a free API that does this. Not sure why it costs $1 at current link prices to access an API once)

Token distribution:

Top 100 wallets (0.05% of ~186,000 total) hold 83% of tokens. 8 wallets each hold over 1% of total, 58 hold over 0.1%. Of these 58, 9 are named exchange/lending pool wallets.
For comparison, for Tether (TUSD), the top 100 wallets (0.006% of ~1,651,000 total) hold 35.9% of the supply. 3 addresses hold over 1% of the supply and 135 hold over 0.1%. Of these 135, at least 15 are named exchange/lending pool wallets.
LINK’s market cap is $3.5B (or $10B fully diluted, if we count the foundedev-controlled tokens, which we should as there's nothing preventing them from being moved at a moment's notice). Tether’s is $6.9B. Tether has 10 times more addresses and less distribution inequality. Both LINK and Tether are ERC20 tokens, and even if we temporarily ignore any arguments related to management/roadmap/teams etc, Tether has a clear, currently functional, single use case: keep 1 USDT = $1 USD by printing/burning USDT (and yet as of April 2019, only 74% of Tether's market cap is backed by real funds - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tether_(cryptocurrency))). Given that Chainlink's market cap is now 50% bigger than Tether's, surely by now there's AT LEAST one clear, currently functional use case for LINK? What is it? Can we *see* it happening on-chain?

Chainlink’s actual deliverable products

"What do I currently get for my money if I buy LINK 1) as an investor and 2) as a tech business/startup thinking of using oracles?”
Codebase (Chainlink’s github has around 140-200,000 lines of code (not counting html/css). What else is not counted in this? Town crier? Proprietary code that we don't know about yet? How much CODING has Chainlink done other than what's on github?
Current network of oracles - only ~20 active nodes - are there many more than the ones listed on market.link and reputation.link? If so, would be nice to know about these if we're allowed!
Documentation - they have what seems like detailed instructions on how to launch and use oracle nodes (and much more, I haven't investigated yet) (TODO this part more - what else do they offer to me as an end consumer, and eg as a tech startup needing oracle services that I can’t code myself?)

Network utilization statistics:

Etherscan.io allows csv export of the first 5000 txs from each day. From Jul 31 to Aug 6 2020, I thus downloaded 30,000 tx from midnight every day to an average of 7:10am (so 24 hour totals are 3.34x these numbers if we assume the same network utilization throughout the day).
(Summary of all LINK token activity on the ETH blockchain from 31.07 to 06.08, first 5000 txs of each day (30k total) shown Appendix A comment below this post.)
If we GENEROUSLY assume that EVERY SINGLE transaction under 10.0 LINK is ACTUAL chainlink nodes doing ACTUAL work, that’s still under 0.1% of the LINK network’s total volume being used for ACTUAL ecosystem functioning. The rest is speculation, trading, node funding by foundedev wallets, or dumping to exchanges (anything I missed?)
Assuming the above, the entire turnover of the actual LINK network is currently (18,422 LINK) * ($10/LINK) * (3.34 as etherscan.io’s data only gives first 5000 tx per day which averages to 7:10am) * (52 wk/year) = USD $31,995,329 turnover a year.
Note: the below paragraph is old analysis using traditional stock market Price/Earnings ratios which several users have now pointed out isn't really applicable in crypto. I leave it for the record. Assuming all of that is profit (which it’s not given tx fees at the very least), LINK would need a PE ratio (Price/Earnings) of 100 times to justify its current (undiluted) valuation of $3.5 billion of 300 if you count the other 65% of tokens that haven’t been dumped by the founders/devs yet. For comparison, common PE ratios are 32 (facebook), 29 (google), 37 (uber), 20 (twitter on a good year), 10 (good hedge fund returning 10% annual).

Thoughts on DeFi & yield-farming - [TODO]

Why would exchanges who do their due diligence list LINK, let alone at a leverage? 1) that's their business, they take a cut of every transaction, overhyped or not, 2) they're not safe from listing openly bearish tokens like EIDOS (troll token that incentivized users to make FAKE transactions, response to EOS) https://www.coindesk.com/defi-yield-farming-comp-token-explained
The current ANNUAL yield on liquidity/yield farming is something like 2% on STABLE tokens like USDC and TETHER which at least have most of their supply backed by real-world assets. If Chainlink LINK staking is to be successful, they'll have to achieve at LEAST that same 2% at end-state. IF LINK is in bubble territory and drops, that's a lot of years at 2% waiting to recoup losses.

SmartContract Team & Past Projects

Normally I don't like focussing on people because it leads too easily to ad-hominem attacks on personality rather than on technology/numbers as I've done above, but I came across this and didn't like what I saw.
Steve Ellis, SmartContract's current CTO, co-founded and worked in "Secure Asset Exchange" from 2014 to 2016. They developed the NXT blockchain, issued 1,000,000,000 NXT tokens (remind you of anything?), NXT was listed end of 2013 and saw 3 quick 500%-1000% pumps and subsequent dumps in early in mid 2014, and then declined to . SecureAE officially shut down in Jan 2016. Then at some point a company called Jelurida acquired the rights to NXT (presumably after SecureAE?), then during the 2017 altcoin craze NXT pumped 300 times to a market cap of $1.8 BILLION and then dumped back down 100 times and now it's a dead project with a market cap of $13 million.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/steveellis0606/
https://trade.secureae.com/
https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/nxt/
https://www.jelurida.com/news/lawsuit-against-apollo-license-violations
As an investor or business owner, would you invest/hire a company whose co-founders/CTO's last project was a total flop with a price history chart that's textbook pump-and-dump behaviour? (and in this case, we KNOW the end result - 99% losses for investors) If you're Google/Oracle/SWIFT/Intel, would you partner with them?

Open questions for the Chainlink community and investors:

  1. Network activity: Are there any other currently active chainlink nodes other than those listed on market.link and reputation.link? If so, is there a list of them with usage statistics? Do they use some other token than LINK and thus making simple analytics of the LINK ERC20 token not an accurate representation of Chainlink’s actual activity? If the nodes listed on the two sites above ARE currently the main nodes, then
  2. PR, partnership announcements: Why is the google tweet still pinned to the top of Chainlink’s twitter? Due to the frequently circulated Chainlink promotion material (https://chainlinkecosystem.com/) that lists Google as one of the key partners, this tweet being pinned is potentially misleading as there isn't anything in there to merit calling Google a "collaborator" or "partner" - just that blockchains/oracles *can* use Google's APIs (but so can most software in the world). Is there something else going on with the SmartContract-Google relationship that warrants calling Google a partner that we're simply not aware of yet?
  3. By buying LINK, what backs YOUR money: If you have bought and currently hold LINK tokens, how comfortable are you that the future promise of your investment growing is supported on verifiable business and technological grounds versus pure, parabolic hype? If after reading this post you still are, I kindly ask you to reply and show how even one of the points I provided is either incorrect or not applicable, and I will edit my post and include your feedback in the relevant section as I have already done from other users.
  4. What have I missed? Of course not 100% of what I've said is infallible truth. I am a real human, and I have plenty of biases and blind spots. Even if what I've provided is technically correct, there may be other much more important info that I've missed that eclipses what I've provided here. Ask yourself: if the current hype around LINK is indeed valid and points to a $100/$1000 future LINK price, then Where’s Chainlink’s missing financial/performance/usage evidence to justify LINK’s current valuation of $10+?

Conclusion

For your consideration, I have provided evidence with links that you can follow and verify, and draw your own conclusions. I have made my case as to why I believe the LINK token is currently priced much higher than evidence supports, and I ask you to peer-review my analysis and share your thoughts with me and with the wider LINK/crypto community.
Thank you for your time, I realize this is a long post. All questions and feedback welcome, feel free to comment or PM. I won't delete/censoblock (except for personal threats, safety considerations etc). I am a real human but I am not revealing my true identity for obvious privacy/harassment reasons.
(If anyone is wondering about my credentials ability to add 2+2 and work with basic spreadsheets: I have previously won a math competition in a USA state, I won an English-speaking country's physics olympiad, my university education is in mathematical physics/optimization engineering, and I worked for a few years in a global manufacturing company doing data analytics, obviously I'm not posting my CV here to verify that but I promise you it's the truth)
I’m not looking to spread neither FUD, nor blind faith, nor pure hype, and I want an honest transparent objective discussion. I personally believe more that LINK is overvalued, but my beliefs have evolved and may continue to do so as I research more and understand more about Chainlink, LINK, Ethereum, DeFi, and other related topics, and as I incorporate YOUR feedback. If you think I haven't disclosed something, ask.
As always, this is not financial advice and I am not liable for anything that may happen as a result of you reading this!
submitted by Stratocatter to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

The Gods Unchained DeFi Challenge – ETH prizes for the top 5 ideas!

You! Yes, you!
We want you to open that big brain and share your ideas around Gods Unchained assets, DeFi and the wider crypto space! Submit your entry before September 26th, 2020 for your chance to win a slice of $3,000 USD in ETH alongside Genesis Chests.
We’re constantly looking for new ways to give more utility to our in-game assets and thus power to the users that wield them – it’s why Gods Unchained exists. We’ve got plenty in the works in this space – with a new season and our game-changing exchange on the way – but what better way to put the power in your hands than to hear the interesting ideas you have around blockchain assets and the Ethereum ecosystem (and maybe even have some funded in the future 😉)?
Gods Unchained is built to change the way in-game assets are viewed forever – a huge goal, sure – but your input could help bring this closer to reality.

The Challenge:

We’re looking for creative ways for Gods Unchained items to be used in the DeFi or wider crypto space. The Ethereum network is constantly presenting exciting new ways to use assets, and we’re interested in how you’d use Gods Unchained assets to capitalize on the growing potential of DeFi.
We’re not looking for fully laid out plans, simply proposals of what you think would work, be cool, or add to the current Ethereum ecosystem. Your proposal can be deep and technical (if that’s how you work) or simply a great idea written down in 1–2 pages that unlocks the blockchain’s full potential.
What we’d like to see from your proposal is a clarity around the following:
  1. What’s your idea?
  2. What problem is it solving?
  3. Why is your idea valuable?
  4. How would it work? (To put it another way: how do you think it might work? Broad terms are fine, no need to go full white paper on us).
Submissions will be judged based on their potential value for Gods Unchained and our community, as well as on their originality, and feasibility.

Prizes:

  1. Challenge Champion: $1,000 USD worth of ETH + 2 x Genesis Legendary Chests (1 available). This goes to the best entry to emerge from the challenge. There can only be one champ, and that champ could be you!
  2. Big-Brain Bonus Prizes: $500 worth of ETH + 1 x Genesis Rare Chest (4 available). This is for those ideas that are so. damn. good. But just fall short of being the champ. All big-brain entries deserve a prize, but only the top four can get them.
This competition will be judged by an internal panel of Immutable judges led by our Chief Technology Officer: Alex Connolly.

How to Enter:

Entry is a two step process:
  1. Publish your proposal in a public forum online. We suggest creating your own thread in GodsUnchained.
  2. Post the link to your proposal on Twitter. To ensure we receive your entry, Twitter posts must mention the official GodsUnchained account and use the hashtags #DEFI and #GUDEFI.
HOT TIP: Given you can make amendments up until the cutoff, we'd recommend hustling feedback from other users to increase your chances of being chosen. Many brains make light work... uh, that’s a saying, right?

Rules:

  1. To enter this competition, you will need to submit a proposal on potential tools and applications which utilize Gods Unchained assets, related to DeFi or the wider crypto space.
  2. You are welcome to submit more than one proposal.
  3. Your proposal can be deep and technical, or just a great idea using the blockchain to its fullest potential!
  4. You do not have to build the tool, but you can choose to if you wish.
  5. Prizing is as follows:
    1. 1 x Challenge Champion Prize: $1000 + 2 Genesis Legendary Chests (GLC)
    2. 4 x Big Brain Bonus Prize: $500 + 1 Genesis Rare Chest (GRC)
  6. Entries will open from 12PM PDT on the 26th of August, 2020. They will formally close at 12PM PDT on the 26th of September, 2020. Late entries will not be considered.
  7. Results will be announced on our social channels on 30th September, 2020.
  8. Winners will be contacted by our team via Twitter Direct Message to organise distribution of their prizes.
You can read the full terms and conditions for the event here.
submitted by _meals to GodsUnchained [link] [comments]

[OWL WATCH] Waiting for "IOTA TIME" 15;

Disclaimer: This is my editing, so there could be some misunderstandings...
📷
Cris오늘 오전 12:34
I want to ask you about standardization. How long will it take? How far we are?
📷
dom오늘 오전 12:36
Usually it takes at least a couple of years. Mike has prepared a blog post on it (elucidating the process and our progress so far) which will be shared soon
📷
Cris오늘 오전 12:37
We already have a couple of years added
[오전 12:37]
So how many more to come?
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dom오늘 오전 12:38
Some of the work was revised / updated with all the changes that came with it
[오전 12:38]
But as I said, Mikes blog post will provide more clarity
📷
Cris오늘 오전 12:39
How long will it take to see the blog post? days, weeks?
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dom오늘 오전 12:39
Days
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dom오늘 오전 12:43
Smart contracts are a big priority, and we are looking into how we can bring them on the mainnet faster. I'm sure you will see more there soon. Right now it's just about getting the prototype ready, but we are working on a plan to speed it up and get a bigger team to work on it.
📷
dom오늘 오전 12:45
Problem is that there are so many cool things we want to work on like full Tokenization Suite (Digital Assets), Smart Contracts, OP Codes, etc etc. The engineering team right now is 100% focused on Chrysalis (and is doing a fucking amazing job there), which will even without these features be fucking amazing and truly help with adoption (getting on large exchanges and with corporates)
📷
dom오늘 오전 12:48
So it's a juggle between focus and expanding the features. But we'll find a way to get all of these on the mainnet ASAP. As I said, Chrysalis is #1 priority, everything else is less important. With Chrysalis, we can already be really really happy. The rest are nice to haves which will further accelerate things.
📷
meltedsnow오늘 오전 12:48
u/dom​ is the research team already investigating 'sharding'?
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dom오늘 오전 12:49
Yeh they spent a whole day at Resum on that. So it's definitely part of the discussions. But it's less important right now - specifications are more important
📷
True오늘 오전 12:50
what would be the #1 priority after chrysalis part 2?
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ThomasQv오늘 오전 12:50
Coordicide i would guess
📷
dom오늘 오전 12:51
Yeh
📷
mik0h오늘 오전 12:51
How many developers does IF have today?
📷
dom오늘 오전 12:52
Around 40 I would say
📷
dom오늘 오전 12:53
Chrysalis Team = pretty much all of engineering + Hornet team + community
[오전 12:53]
I think you guys sometimes underestimate just how huge that undertaking truly is
📷
meltedsnow오늘 오전 12:53
u/dom how many hours a week do you spend on the IF project?
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dom오늘 오전 12:55
u/meltedsnow I spend pretty much 100% of my time on IOTA. The current times are simply too awesome to not be focused on it.
📷
dom오늘 오전 12:56
u/mik0h we have some plans on how to increase that number for key projects (Smart contracts for example). But I think the less dependency on IF, and the more community development is happening, the better.
📷
meltedsnow오늘 오전 12:56
how do you guys plan to increase the community and dev activity outside of IF in the near future, taking into account all the interest from other (crypto) projects for developers...
📷
dom오늘 오전 12:57
Chrysalis will really help with developers.our objective is to really be one of the best platforms to develop on.
📷
dom오늘 오전 12:58
And honestly, our docs are pretty fucking amazing and the tutorials from the community, blueprints, Hackster.io etc
📷
dom오늘 오전 12:59
Yeh now think of having all of these amazing modules to build with (Stronghold, Access, Streams, Libraries etc.) Which are fully speced, documented and easy to work with
📷
tangent오늘 오전 12:59
when comes AI into play, pretty hot topic for the future
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dom오늘 오전 1:00
u/tangent there is a company in the ecosystem that is doing some pretty amazing stuff with AI. You will hear more about it probably in October
📷
bastiiivs오늘 오전 1:03​
u/dom but those things also come with quite a Delay (not the development but the inflow of devs and community devs)
📷
dom오늘 오전 1:06
u/bastiiivs but look at hackster.io/iota for example. There is hundreds of devs already in our ecosystem. Of course we will continue to do contests / hackathons and such, but most of that is short lived. Just look at EOS, Stellar and all the other projects which are literally trying to buy developers. That stuff never works and doesn't make for a healthy ecosystem. If it takes fine, that's fine. As long as it's organic and people believe in the platform and what they can build with it, it's fine tbh
📷
Roy오늘 오전 1:08
Any juicy secrets to PAMP the price for spec dom?
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dom오늘 오전 1:10
u/Roy no secrets, but I'm fucking pumped for Q3/Q4
📷
Navin Ramachandran [IF]오늘 오전 2:04
For me iota is a general purpose ledger. Especially within the flexibility of the transaction format in Chrysalis and Coordicide
📷
Navin Ramachandran [IF]오늘 오전 2:05
Well I want us to deliver Chrysalis first
📷
Navin Ramachandran [IF]오늘 오전 2:05
Rather than just promises

submitted by btlkhs to Iota [link] [comments]

[OFFER] 20 EUR with Bitpanda - 15 EUR from them and 5 EUR from me (Worldwide except US)

20 EUR with Bitpanda - 15 EUR from them and 5 EUR from me (Worldwide except US)
Bitpanda offer a platform allowing you to buy, sell, exchange and invest in not only cryptocurrencies, but also previous metals such as gold. They have a full exchange available as well.
They're currently offering 10 EUR in cash for your first trade of 25 EUR, and an exta 5 EUR in BEST for completing a short quiz. I'm offering an extra 5 EUR on top of that via Revolut, PayPal or crypto for a total of 20 EUR.
You can withdraw your deposit and the 15 EUR bonuses straight away.
Steps
  • Comment $bid on the post and I'll send you my referral link.
  • Verify your identity once you've created your account.
  • Deposit 25 EUR or more into your account.
  • Exchange 25 EUR or more in any cryptocurrency or asset available.
  • You'll see 10 EUR added to your wallet shortly afterwards.
  • Complete the beginners' quiz in the Bitpanda academy.
  • You'll see 5 EUR in BEST added to your wallet shortly afterwards.
  • I'll send the extra 5 EUR once you let me know that you're done :)
Links
submitted by pKYmlCo70Iyn9D0q38L1 to signupsforpay [link] [comments]

How to deal with an Ethereum investor who thinks he's my wife?

Hey so welcome. I'm having some trouble getting one of the biggest Ethereum investors to pay me for my work.
Basically, one of ethereum's biggest investors has been profitting millions off my work without paying me. His name is Fred Ehrsam over at paradigm capital. I think it's EXTREMELEY relevant to Ethereum because he's investing my money all across the space, and i worry every night that other innocent people will be ripped off by him.
I met Fred shortly after he left Coinbase. I had taken a year off from medical school to seek funding for a very proftiable crypto trading algorithm. I knew that if i could get funding for the trading algorithm, then i could use the profits to develop a blockchain-based clinical treatment platform, and in turn treat more patients than i would otherwise as a doctor. Although i was making a very high percentage per day doing this trading strategy, i didn't have enough base capital to completely cover withdrawal fees from more than two exchanges. After examining graphs and other materials i prepared for him, Fred encouraged me to fully drop out of medical school to start a hedge fund with him. Together we came up with the name Paradigm Capital along with about 48 other hedge fund names. So, after that, I worked extremely hard to expand the algorithm from two to five exchanges...
At one point I was literally living out of my car in a Walmart parking lot to keep as much money in my trading algorithm as possible, because Fred kept saying he was going to send money to help see if it would scale to 5 exchanges. This guy had a net worth of $21 million at the time i believe. But he never wound up sending the money but kept promising he would. So after a lot more work I expanded the algo to 5 exchanges doing my part.
After a few months of expanding the algorithm i stayed at Fred's for a second time a few months later, where he asked me to shower in his room and I then introduced him to a girl i was into, but then he changed gears and told me that i didn't have enough social awareness to start a hedge fund with him. I pretty much knew right then that Fred had stolen or was going to steal my algorithm. But I didn't have enough proof until this Forbes article came out this year. So, my algo is making 100% per month profits for Paradigm Capital, and Fred has stolen a lot of money from me, like millions.
Why is Fred so comfortable profitting off my work, and feeding himself off it? Why am I doing all the hard work out in the fields, and he's sitting back and eating fruit and primping himself? Fred must have one of those delusions that he's my wife in the olden times. But I never wanted to have that kind of relationship with him.
If I were an investor who wasn't involved in this, I would take into account that nothing Ehrsam has done aside from my arbitrage algorithm has worked. Augur, Veil, tBTC, MakerDAO... they've all been more problems than solutions. Why would you invest in an ecosystem who's philosophies give dozens of tries to a dishonest guy, while the honest, competent people are boxed out? Uhh... Fred literally killed the patients I could've treated as a doctor, and also those I could've treated on my blockchain platform. That's not good. Fred likes prediction platforms because they can be used to kill people through bounties. U think that's the best way to use a blockchain? Fred you will never kill me with a prediction market. You go try and do that with the money you stole from me. He's making decisions with money that's rightfully mine, spending it on projects that, in my opinion, won't be profitable nor do much to reduce suffering in the world. My opinion as a VC would be that if you're going to blow millions of dollars on high-risk projects, at least choose the ones that will have a positive societal impact. Not tBTC copycat projects and augur bounties etc
Regardless of sexuality, having a dishonest guy like Fred in your "tribe"* only makes the rest of you look bad. Is it true that in SF you always have to have poke the noobs before doing business with them? Because that doesn't sound fair nor profitable. Divinity doesn't exclusively speak through people who love pretzel sticks.
Now PTT wants to Pied Piper the 14-year-olds over at /forniteBR into supporting Ethereum through "community points", hoping a changing of the guard on the East Coast will give him an opportunity to rise up? PTT, He will never let that happen. Not because you're gay, but because your tribe destroys people's lives, like Gawker once did. I will die making sure you don't get Ethereum off the ground.
What is it about Fred that makes him so proud to keep profitting off my work without paying me? He's not my wife. Maybe he's not much a man, but that doesn't make him a woman living with me on a farm with me in 500 B.C. Do u know how easy it is to lie and backstab people to get ahead when you're smart? Actual smart people don't shoot lay-ups, they don't take the easy way. They go for the D U N K S. Does Joe Lubin's backstabbing mantra account for that?
I just want to be paid for my work.
Edit: "Tribe" is a bit of an intellectual meme these days that appears fairly often in crypto circles. It's based on something called "Dunbar's number" which states that social circles max out at 150 people, and everything you do is for those 150 people (your "tribe"). It's not a reference to anything to do with sexuality, rather here it's meant to poke at one of crypto's main problems today. The "tribe" philosophy directly contradicts performing altruisitic acts for the good of humanity, or even for a group as large as a nation. Rather, you do selfish acts for people in your immediate social circle.
References to what a "tribe" is: 1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar%27s_number 2. https://medium.com/@mmalmi/law-is-better-without-monopoly-778963880276 3. https://steemit.com/anarchy/@cryptogee/watching-child-porn-is-okay-says-ethereum-owner-vitalik-when-anarchy-goes-too-far 4. https://steemit.com/steemengine/@steem-eng/a-tribe-for-every-niche 5. https://acumen.org/moralrevolution/, first chapter 6. https://www.resilience.org/stories/2019-09-24/dunbars-number-and-genuine-community/
submitted by KevinMauro to ethereum [link] [comments]

Why I Bought Nexo Over Celsius (CEL) & Crypto.com (MCO)

Personally until last week, I haven't touched this space since the the end of 2017 when bitcoin hit 20k.
But now everything has changed.
I'm back in it now because I started hearing about DeFi and how you can earn massive interest rates on your crypto.
I was shocked when I saw you could earn 10% interest from Nexo, and on fiat! That's 10x more than what my bank offers me. It's an incredible deal and Celsius, Crypto Com (CDC), BlockFi also offer similar things.
When I saw that these were all legitimate companies with solid product I knew I had to get into this now before it was too late.
https://preview.redd.it/wxzc8a0ziea51.png?width=1184&format=png&auto=webp&s=2c717f10b911c1264ef36a08870401d30372dea7
DeFi is growing like crazy, and when everyone was offering massive interest rates on their deposits I know CeFi (centralized finance) will follow because the user experience is 10x easier for most people like me.
So I had to pick.
It was Nexo vs. Celsius vs. CDC vs. Blockfi
And I think there's never been a better time than right now. So after doing research, I chose Nexo for these 5 reasons.
  1. Big Profitability
  2. No Lock-in Terms
  3. Massive Roadmap
  4. 30% Dividends
  5. Fast Growing Company
Profitability
Back in 2017 I invested in a ton of "shitcoins" with no product and no customers and lost a lot... What I like about Nexo is that not only did have an awesome product, it has massive growth of its core crypto credit line product.
They have massive double digit growth month on month. Nexo, on average, much lends at 12% and borrows at 8%. So they make 4% APR on their loans.
So from their $217 M in loans this year they would earn somewhere around $8M in profit (if each loan took a year to repay). But that's a decent ballpark figure. You can see these figures at https://nexostatistics.com/ for more information.

https://preview.redd.it/wadznkpwhea51.png?width=2036&format=png&auto=webp&s=ce7b2ec7d39eb00f6dc5f8840bbcc6843b0dd047
So that's an incredible feat for a new company, and the ability to take a loan against your crypto saves you in several ways
For taxes you only pay after you've sold your crypto or shares, but by taking a loan against them you can delay that period so it's very tax efficient. There's no credit check so if you have credit cards loans at 20% APR then this will help you tremendously because you can borrow at 6%.
With all this profit, Nexo is creating a massive war chest to take over the CeFi space.
But what about the competition?
2. No lock-in terms
Now lets have a look at the competition. There are 3 other big players in this space. Crypto com (CDC) is the biggest as their CRO token took off and broke into the top 10. But if you want to get their best interest rates you need lock-in your investment for a minimum period of 3 months.
In this economy where it feels like we can have a second crash. I'm a lot happier knowing I can withdraw it whenever I want.
On flexible terms, for in-kind currency, Nexo wins letting you earn up to 10% over 8% the other big 3.
3. Massive Roadmap
I've watched and transcribed nearly every video Antoni Trenchev has done. And he gives a few hints of the roadmap for Nexo.
Here's a short summary:
  1. Banking License
Nexo is trying to either acquire a company or get their own banking license (like Revolut and Monzo) so they have more flexibility in their operations. It would be a huge step for a crypto company to get this and shows their ambition
  1. Credit Card
This will be similar to CDC and they'll offer generous cash back incentives of 2% when you get your credit card.
  1. Referral Scheme
Currently Nexo has done this massive growth without incentivised referrals, and when they turn this tap the company can likely see a lot of users pouring in for their great savings rates and crypto credit lines.
  1. Exchanges and more Coins
Again, the ability to crypto within the eco system will go a long way to keeping users within the system. The plan is to let users buy and stake virtually any legitimate crypto coin.
And with this massive roadmap, the core principle they started with by sharing back with the community, they keep everyone's incentives aligned.
4. Dividends
Nexo currently offers 30% of their profits to all their users on a once a year basis. This is great because it gives the Nexo token some actual utility and incentives long-term holding. It also makes Nexo more transparent because they're sharing their profits from all their crypto credit loans.
This year they'll announce on August 5th so there's still some time to get yours. Current estimates are around 5% ROI from current token price.
5. Fast Growing Company
When I first started researching each of these CeFi companies I looked at their linked to see who was hiring the most. I like to look at what companies do as well as what they say they're doing.
I noticed that celsius had very low growth, whereas BlockFi and Nexo were growing like crazy. Anyone who's not feeling confident about a business will immediately slow down hiring. But if you're more ambitious then you'll start hiring in order to increase your companies' growth.
Nexo has 15-42% growth rate in terms of employees. (It's hard to say because apparently there's another company on Linkedin called Nexo that messes up the numbers). But it should be in this ballpark.

https://preview.redd.it/b57lymjxhea51.png?width=648&format=png&auto=webp&s=e8eee982b610886d3cb8fda8d083345ce7c1ed2d
Summary
So when you have this killer combination of future update on the way, of dividens coming out in August, and company that's investing in its future. You know that Nexo could follow what happened with Crypto.com and have this massive influx of investment into the Nexo token.
CDC CRO token broke into the top 10, and with Nexo boasting profitability, user growth, employee growth, and some stunning updates that are about to being launched I can see several reasons why price keeps trending upwards. We could also see Nexo climb up the rankings as people start investing Nexo more and more.
submitted by healthyCoder to Nexo [link] [comments]

How does DSF stand out from the rest?

How does DSF stand out from the rest?
Greetings. In this post, we will tell you DSF differs from its competitors.
The crypto market now has an incredibly large number of coins, most of which were created solely for the purpose of speculating on the exchange and are clones or forks of popular coins. They do not bring anything new and do not solve any problems.
This is one of the main reasons why most startups fail in the early stages or shortly after the presale. There are very few original and innovative projects. DSF is one of them.
📌 Let's take a look at how DSF differs from its competitors
❗️ DSF is not just another coin for speculation, it is a unique crypto project with many advantages and original solutions.
✔️ DSF blockchain is a decentralized social financial network. It has a social platform based on the blockchain identity. The social relationship data of all social platforms are uploaded to the chain, and decentralized financial wallets are linked through smart contracts to realize a blockchain world restructured based on real-life social relationships.
✔️ DeChat, the carrier of DFS decentralized social financial network, is one of the best in the encrypted social rankings. DeChat has unique end-to-end encryption, two-way withdrawal, burning after reading, and undoing functions.
⚙️ The Decentralized Social Network Features:
🔹 De-Social Transaction - Supports deposits, withdrawals, collections, payments, red envelopes, etc. basic digital asset management
🔹 De-Social Commerce - E-commerce shopping and merchant distribution based on decentralized social relationships
🔹 De-Social Financing - Finance and lending based on decentralized social relationships
🔹 De-SoFi - Various other types of financial services based on decentralized social relationships
Join Decentralized Social Network now and discover its full potential: https://dsft.io
https://preview.redd.it/2pehl40fhlj51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=6fbefd73dea3914d03b5d4951a894d8c175830dc
submitted by VS_community to DSFchain [link] [comments]

6 Reasons Why Serum Won't Succeed

6 Reasons Why Serum Won't Succeed

The world of DeFi is exploding but is it all it’s made out to be?

DeFi (decentralised finance) is most certainly the buzz in the crypto world this minute. It’s bringing similar feelings which was the 2017/18 ICO phase, where a mammoth of new projects begun to explode onto the scene, each with their own promise of new innovation and use case.
Hindsight has shown us that most of those projects have ultimately failed, or worse, were outright scams that took advantage of not so wise investors looking to make a buck. Obviously, not all projects fit that description, with many teams still around today working on and delivering their individual visions. Crypto is, after all, still a big experiment of new technology.

Enter DeFi: Serum

DeFi has exploded into the limelight over the last few months, with some tokens appreciating hundreds of percent in price. It appears to be the catalyst that has driven a huge market shift in the crypto world, and for those who’ve been around a number of years, this is a welcome change.
In this piece, I’m going to examine a particular project called Serum.
Serum is the world’s first completely decentralized derivatives exchange with trustless cross-chain trading brought to you by Project Serum.
The Serum Project is aiming to create both a decentralised exchange and a cross-chain swapping mechanism. In this article, I’m going to focus solely on the cross-chain swapping aspect of Serum.
Although the Serum whitepaper is quite short and lacking in detail, it is useful to derive some understanding of how the cross-chain swapping protocol should work. Throughout this review, I will use it to describe how the imagined protocol works.

Overview

Let's assume Alice wants to trade some BTC for ETH and Bob wants to trade some ETH for BTC using Serum. These two users are matched and agree on a price using an on-chain order book on the Solana blockchain (whitepaper provides no practical details on how to do this).
Once these users are matched, Bob must send the ETH he wants to trade to an Ethereum smart contract, plus some amount of ETH ~200 USD worth (see section 4 below) to the smart contract as collateral. Alice will also need to send some collateral to the smart contract. Once this initial setup process is complete Alice then has to send her BTC to Bob’s BTC address and if Bob receives the BTC from Alice he can then release his ETH from the smart contract sending it to Alice’s ETH address. Upon completion of this both Alice and Bob are refunded their ETH collateral.
So what happens if something goes wrong? For example, say Alice never sends BTC to Bob, after some period of time Bob can initiate a dispute. When the dispute begins both Alice and Bob present a portion of the Bitcoin blockchain information to the smart contract (see section 3). The smart contract then decides whether or not Alice did send BTC to Bob. If she hasn’t then the smart contract returns Bob's ETH and collateral to Bob and also takes Alice’s ETH collateral and gives that to Bob. The same occurs in reverse if Alice sends BTC but Bob never approves the transfer of ETH from the smart contract.
This scheme seems pretty simple, there’s no oracles and no centralised parties, however, it has a number of disadvantages.

1. User-Provided Collateral Is Bad for User Experience

Each time a user conducts a swap they must reserve some percentage or fixed amount to cover the collateral for the swap. This collateral amount needs to be present to prevent griefing attacks where users initiate swaps with no intention of ever following through and sending funds to the alternate participant.
However, this creates a poor user experience as both Alice and Bob need to have at least the value of the dispute fee committed to the contract in collateral before they conduct a swap. This is totally foreign from the normal exchange experience in which you only require a single coin and a single transaction to begin trading. For example, if using Serum to trade Bitcoin you would need to hold Bitcoin and ~200$ of Ethereum and also interact with the Ethereum chain before any swap occurs. This adds unnecessary complexity and confusion, especially for newcomers to the crypto space.

2. ETH Must Always Be on One Side of the Swap

Although the Serum method of cross-chain swapping could occur on any blockchain with smart contracts, the Serum whitepaper makes it clear the Serum arbitration contract is going to be deployed on the Ethereum blockchain. This means one party must always be locking the full value of the trade in ETH using an Ethereum smart contract.
This makes it impossible, for example, to do a single step trade between Bitcoin and Monero since the swap would need to be from Bitcoin to ETH first and then from ETH to Monero. This is comparable to other proposed cross-chain swap systems like Thorchain and Blockswap, however since those networks use AMM’s (automated market makers)and decentralized vaults to take custody of funds, the user needs not to interact with the intermediary chain at all.
Instead in Serum, the user wanting to swap Bitcoin to Monero will need to do the following steps:
  1. Send Ethereum collateral to the Serum arbitration contract
  2. Send Bitcoin to the user they are swapping with.
  3. Receive Ethereum
  4. Send Ethereum back to Serum arbitration contract
  5. Receive Monero
  6. Send Ethereum out of Serum arbitration contract
  7. Receive back Ethereum collateral
It might be possible to remove or simplify step 4, depending on how the smart contract is built, however, this means a swap from BTC to Monero would require 2 Ethereum and 1 Bitcoin transaction in the best-case scenario. Compared with the experience of other cross-chain swapping mechanisms, which only require the user to send a single transaction to swap between two assets, this is very poor user experience.

3. Proving Transactions on Arbitrary Chains to a Smart Contract Is Not Trivial

Perhaps the most central part of the Serum cross-chain swapping mechanism is left completely unexplored in the Serum whitepaper with only a brief explanation given.
“[The] Smart Contract is programmed to parse whether a proposed BTC blockchain is valid; it can then check which of Alice and Bob send the longer valid blockchain, and settle in their favor”
This is not a trivial problem, and it is unclear how this actually works from the explanation given in the Serum whitepaper. What actually needs to be presented to the smart contract to prove a Bitcoin transaction? Typically when talking about SPV the smart contract would need the block headers of all previous blocks and a merkle inclusion proof. This is far too heavy to submit in a dispute. Instead, Serum could use NIPoPoW, however, these proofs only work on chains with fixed difficulty and are still probably prohibitively too large (~100KB) to be submitted as a proof to a contract. Other solutions like Flyclient are more versatile, but proof sizes are much larger and have failed to see much real-world adoption.
Without explaining how they actually plan to do this validation of Bitcoin transactions, users are left in the dark about how secure their solution actually is.

4. High Dispute Fees Force Large Collateral on Small Trades

Although disputes should almost never happen because of the incentives and punishments designed into the Serum protocol, the way they are designed has negative impacts on the use of the network.
Although the Serum whitepaper does not say how the dispute mechanism works, they do say that it will cost about ~100 USD in GAS to dispute a swap.
Note: keep in mind that the Serum paper was published in July 2020 when the gas price was about 50 Gwei, as Ethereum use has picked up over the past month we have seen average GAS prices as high as 250 Gwei, with the average price right now about 120 Gwei.
This means that at the height of GAS prices it could have cost a user ~500 USD to dispute a swap.
This means for the network to ensure losing cross-chain swaps aren’t made each user must deploy at least $200 in collateral on each side. It may be possible to lower this to collateral if we assume the attacker is not financially motivated, however, there is a lower bound in which ransom attacks become possible on low-value trades.
Further and perhaps more damagingly, this means in a trade of any size the user needs to have at least 300 USD in ETH laying around. 100 USD in ETH for the required collateral and 200 USD if they need to challenge the transaction.
This further adds to the poor user experience when using Serum for cross-chain swapping.

5. Swaps Are Not Set and Forget

Instead of being able to send a transaction and receive funds on the blockchain you are swapping to, the process is highly interactive. In the case where I am swapping ETH for Bitcoin, the following occurs:
If the Bitcoin transaction is never received then I need to wait for a timeout to occur before I can participate in the dispute process.
And on the Bitcoin side (assuming the seller is ready), the following must take place:
If the Seller never accepts the Bitcoin I sent to him then I need to wait on line for the dispute process.
This presents a strange user experience where the seller or seller’s wallet must be left online during this whole process and be ready to sign a new transaction if they need to dispute transactions or unlock funds from a smart contract.
This is different from the typical exchange or swapping scenario in which, once your funds are sent you can be assured you will receive the amount you expected in your swap back to you, without any of your wallets needing to remain online.

6. The Serum Token Seems to Lack a Use Case

The cross-chain swapping protocol Serum describes in its whitepaper could easily be forked and launched on the Ethereum blockchain without having any need for the Serum token. It seems that the Serum token will be used in some capacity when placing orders on the Solana based blockchain, however, the order book could just as easily be placed off with traditional rate-limiting schemes.
There is some brief mention of future governance abilities for token holders, however, as a common theme in their whitepaper, details are scarce:
Serum is anticipated to include a limited governance model based on the SRM token. While most of the Serum ecosystem will be immutable, some parameters without large security risks (e.g. future fees) may be modified via a governance vote of SRM tokens.

Conclusion

Until satisfactory answers are given to these questions I would be looking at other projects who are attempting to build platforms for cross-chain swaps. As previously mentioned, Thorchain & Blockswap show some promise in design, whilst there are some others competing in this space too, such as Incognito and RenVM. However, this area is still extremely immature so plenty of testing and time is required before we can call any of these projects a success.
If you’ve got any feedback or thoughts about Serum, cross-chain swapping or DeFi in general, please don’t be shy in leaving a comment.
submitted by Loooong_Loooong_Man to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Bittrex Global Announces Listing of Sensorium (SENSO)

Bittrex Global Announces Listing of Sensorium (SENSO)

The Sensorium $SENSO wallet is now open and the $BTC-SENSO and $ETH-SENSO markets will begin trading shortly on http://global.bittrex.com. For more information visit: https://sensoriumxr.com/senso-token
Los Angeles, California, August 25th, 2020 – The global cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex Global has announced the listing of SENSO token, the in-platform currency of Sensorium Galaxy, a social VR platform that rethinks the way people interact with each other and experience the arts.
Developed on the Ethereum platform, SENSO token drives all value transactions within the VR alternate universe. Sensorium Galaxy is being built in partnership with world-known artists and producers, including the creator of the nightlife hubs Ushuaïa Ibiza and Hï Ibiza Yann Pissenem.
Similar to popular games like Fortnite, the business model of Sensorium Galaxy is based on a free-to-play model, where profits come from event ticket sales, premium accounts, and in-game merchandise. The company expects to acquire over 1,8 million users by the end of 2022 who would pay for the access to the content exclusively with SENSO tokens.
The listing will take place on Tuesday August 25th, with trading of the SENSO-ETH and SENSO-BTC pairs opening at 11:00AM PDT .
Sensorium Galaxy will go live in H1 2021. It was first introduced to the public in 2019 at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, United States. Since its foundation in 2018 it has attracted over $100 million in investments.

About Sensorium Corporation

Sensorium Corporation oversees both the technological development of the Sensorium Galaxy as well as the full-scale management and production of its content offerings. The corporation supplies the Sensorium Galaxy with events and experiences through top-tier global content partnerships. The Sensorium Corporation also collaborates with leading VR and AI players to ensure the Galaxy always delivers the best experiences. To date, the Sensorium Galaxy project has raised over $100 million in investments. Website: https://sensoriumxr.com/

About Sensorium Galaxy

Sensorium Galaxy is a multi-user social platform designed to seamlessly stream live content in virtual reality to fans from all over the world. The platform allows a new perception of virtual reality, going beyond its former secluded nature and, in fact, is a product of the evolution of social networking, taking users beyond the use of one-dimensional platforms. The alternate universe of Sensorium Galaxy consists of multiple planets which act as hubs for thematic content. Each of the planets include various scenarios for social interaction, including live events and activities, as well as a series of on-demand setups from the content library. Unlike other virtual reality platforms, the AI component of the Sensorium Galaxy permits users’ avatars to continue learning and evolving within the platform without direct control of the user. Website: https://sensoriumgalaxy.com/

About Bittrex Global

Bittrex Global is an internationally trusted global cryptocurrency exchange owned by US-based digital trading platform Bittrex. Bittrex is known for its stringent listing process, evaluating projects on their commitment to their mission statement, innovation, underlying technology, business model, and regulatory compliance.
The combination of a strict listing process, fast transactions, military grade security, and regulatory compliance have earned Bittrex Global recognition as one of the world’s most trustworthy crypto exchanges. In September 2019, the Blockchain Transparency Network (BTI) nominated Bittrex Global as one of blockchain’s most transparent exchanges. It was also listed by CoinGecko as one of the world’s top five cryptocurrency exchanges based on trading volume and reliability.
To learn more about Bittrex Global, visit: https://global.bittrex.com/.
Source
submitted by james14cunningham to CryptocurrencyICO [link] [comments]

Bittrex Global Announces Listing of Sensorium (SENSO)

Bittrex Global Announces Listing of Sensorium (SENSO)

The Sensorium $SENSO wallet is now open and the $BTC-SENSO and $ETH-SENSO markets will begin trading shortly on http://global.bittrex.com. For more information visit: https://sensoriumxr.com/senso-token
Los Angeles, California, August 25th, 2020 – The global cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex Global has announced the listing of SENSO token, the in-platform currency of Sensorium Galaxy, a social VR platform that rethinks the way people interact with each other and experience the arts.
Developed on the Ethereum platform, SENSO token drives all value transactions within the VR alternate universe. Sensorium Galaxy is being built in partnership with world-known artists and producers, including the creator of the nightlife hubs Ushuaïa Ibiza and Hï Ibiza Yann Pissenem.
Similar to popular games like Fortnite, the business model of Sensorium Galaxy is based on a free-to-play model, where profits come from event ticket sales, premium accounts, and in-game merchandise. The company expects to acquire over 1,8 million users by the end of 2022 who would pay for the access to the content exclusively with SENSO tokens.
The listing will take place on Tuesday August 25th, with trading of the SENSO-ETH and SENSO-BTC pairs opening at 11:00AM PDT .
Sensorium Galaxy will go live in H1 2021. It was first introduced to the public in 2019 at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, United States. Since its foundation in 2018 it has attracted over $100 million in investments.

About Sensorium Corporation

Sensorium Corporation oversees both the technological development of the Sensorium Galaxy as well as the full-scale management and production of its content offerings. The corporation supplies the Sensorium Galaxy with events and experiences through top-tier global content partnerships. The Sensorium Corporation also collaborates with leading VR and AI players to ensure the Galaxy always delivers the best experiences. To date, the Sensorium Galaxy project has raised over $100 million in investments. Website: https://sensoriumxr.com/

About Sensorium Galaxy

Sensorium Galaxy is a multi-user social platform designed to seamlessly stream live content in virtual reality to fans from all over the world. The platform allows a new perception of virtual reality, going beyond its former secluded nature and, in fact, is a product of the evolution of social networking, taking users beyond the use of one-dimensional platforms. The alternate universe of Sensorium Galaxy consists of multiple planets which act as hubs for thematic content. Each of the planets include various scenarios for social interaction, including live events and activities, as well as a series of on-demand setups from the content library. Unlike other virtual reality platforms, the AI component of the Sensorium Galaxy permits users’ avatars to continue learning and evolving within the platform without direct control of the user. Website: https://sensoriumgalaxy.com/

About Bittrex Global

Bittrex Global is an internationally trusted global cryptocurrency exchange owned by US-based digital trading platform Bittrex. Bittrex is known for its stringent listing process, evaluating projects on their commitment to their mission statement, innovation, underlying technology, business model, and regulatory compliance.
The combination of a strict listing process, fast transactions, military grade security, and regulatory compliance have earned Bittrex Global recognition as one of the world’s most trustworthy crypto exchanges. In September 2019, the Blockchain Transparency Network (BTI) nominated Bittrex Global as one of blockchain’s most transparent exchanges. It was also listed by CoinGecko as one of the world’s top five cryptocurrency exchanges based on trading volume and reliability.
To learn more about Bittrex Global, visit: https://global.bittrex.com/.
Source
submitted by james14cunningham to ico [link] [comments]

Bittrex Global Announces Listing of Sensorium (SENSO)

Bittrex Global Announces Listing of Sensorium (SENSO)

The Sensorium $SENSO wallet is now open and the $BTC-SENSO and $ETH-SENSO markets will begin trading shortly on http://global.bittrex.com. For more information visit: https://sensoriumxr.com/senso-token
Los Angeles, California, August 25th, 2020 – The global cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex Global has announced the listing of SENSO token, the in-platform currency of Sensorium Galaxy, a social VR platform that rethinks the way people interact with each other and experience the arts.
Developed on the Ethereum platform, SENSO token drives all value transactions within the VR alternate universe. Sensorium Galaxy is being built in partnership with world-known artists and producers, including the creator of the nightlife hubs Ushuaïa Ibiza and Hï Ibiza Yann Pissenem.
Similar to popular games like Fortnite, the business model of Sensorium Galaxy is based on a free-to-play model, where profits come from event ticket sales, premium accounts, and in-game merchandise. The company expects to acquire over 1,8 million users by the end of 2022 who would pay for the access to the content exclusively with SENSO tokens.
The listing will take place on Tuesday August 25th, with trading of the SENSO-ETH and SENSO-BTC pairs opening at 11:00AM PDT .
Sensorium Galaxy will go live in H1 2021. It was first introduced to the public in 2019 at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, United States. Since its foundation in 2018 it has attracted over $100 million in investments.

About Sensorium Corporation

Sensorium Corporation oversees both the technological development of the Sensorium Galaxy as well as the full-scale management and production of its content offerings. The corporation supplies the Sensorium Galaxy with events and experiences through top-tier global content partnerships. The Sensorium Corporation also collaborates with leading VR and AI players to ensure the Galaxy always delivers the best experiences. To date, the Sensorium Galaxy project has raised over $100 million in investments. Website: https://sensoriumxr.com/

About Sensorium Galaxy

Sensorium Galaxy is a multi-user social platform designed to seamlessly stream live content in virtual reality to fans from all over the world. The platform allows a new perception of virtual reality, going beyond its former secluded nature and, in fact, is a product of the evolution of social networking, taking users beyond the use of one-dimensional platforms. The alternate universe of Sensorium Galaxy consists of multiple planets which act as hubs for thematic content. Each of the planets include various scenarios for social interaction, including live events and activities, as well as a series of on-demand setups from the content library. Unlike other virtual reality platforms, the AI component of the Sensorium Galaxy permits users’ avatars to continue learning and evolving within the platform without direct control of the user. Website: https://sensoriumgalaxy.com/

About Bittrex Global

Bittrex Global is an internationally trusted global cryptocurrency exchange owned by US-based digital trading platform Bittrex. Bittrex is known for its stringent listing process, evaluating projects on their commitment to their mission statement, innovation, underlying technology, business model, and regulatory compliance.
The combination of a strict listing process, fast transactions, military grade security, and regulatory compliance have earned Bittrex Global recognition as one of the world’s most trustworthy crypto exchanges. In September 2019, the Blockchain Transparency Network (BTI) nominated Bittrex Global as one of blockchain’s most transparent exchanges. It was also listed by CoinGecko as one of the world’s top five cryptocurrency exchanges based on trading volume and reliability.
To learn more about Bittrex Global, visit: https://global.bittrex.com/.
Source
submitted by james14cunningham to altcointrading [link] [comments]

Bittrex Global Announces Listing of Sensorium (SENSO) Trading of the SENSO - $ETH and SENSO - $BTC pairs are opened!

Bittrex Global Announces Listing of Sensorium (SENSO) Trading of the SENSO - $ETH and SENSO - $BTC pairs are opened!

The Sensorium $SENSO wallet is now open and the $BTC-SENSO and $ETH-SENSO markets will begin trading shortly on http://global.bittrex.com. For more information visit: https://sensoriumxr.com/senso-token
Los Angeles, California, August 25th, 2020 – The global cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex Global has announced the listing of SENSO token, the in-platform currency of Sensorium Galaxy, a social VR platform that rethinks the way people interact with each other and experience the arts.
Developed on the Ethereum platform, SENSO token drives all value transactions within the VR alternate universe. Sensorium Galaxy is being built in partnership with world-known artists and producers, including the creator of the nightlife hubs Ushuaïa Ibiza and Hï Ibiza Yann Pissenem.
Similar to popular games like Fortnite, the business model of Sensorium Galaxy is based on a free-to-play model, where profits come from event ticket sales, premium accounts, and in-game merchandise. The company expects to acquire over 1,8 million users by the end of 2022 who would pay for the access to the content exclusively with SENSO tokens.
The listing will take place on Tuesday August 25th, with trading of the SENSO-ETH and SENSO-BTC pairs opening at 11:00AM PDT .
Sensorium Galaxy will go live in H1 2021. It was first introduced to the public in 2019 at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, United States. Since its foundation in 2018 it has attracted over $100 million in investments.

About Sensorium Corporation

Sensorium Corporation oversees both the technological development of the Sensorium Galaxy as well as the full-scale management and production of its content offerings. The corporation supplies the Sensorium Galaxy with events and experiences through top-tier global content partnerships. The Sensorium Corporation also collaborates with leading VR and AI players to ensure the Galaxy always delivers the best experiences. To date, the Sensorium Galaxy project has raised over $100 million in investments. Website: https://sensoriumxr.com/

About Sensorium Galaxy

Sensorium Galaxy is a multi-user social platform designed to seamlessly stream live content in virtual reality to fans from all over the world. The platform allows a new perception of virtual reality, going beyond its former secluded nature and, in fact, is a product of the evolution of social networking, taking users beyond the use of one-dimensional platforms. The alternate universe of Sensorium Galaxy consists of multiple planets which act as hubs for thematic content. Each of the planets include various scenarios for social interaction, including live events and activities, as well as a series of on-demand setups from the content library. Unlike other virtual reality platforms, the AI component of the Sensorium Galaxy permits users’ avatars to continue learning and evolving within the platform without direct control of the user. Website: https://sensoriumgalaxy.com/

About Bittrex Global

Bittrex Global is an internationally trusted global cryptocurrency exchange owned by US-based digital trading platform Bittrex. Bittrex is known for its stringent listing process, evaluating projects on their commitment to their mission statement, innovation, underlying technology, business model, and regulatory compliance.
The combination of a strict listing process, fast transactions, military grade security, and regulatory compliance have earned Bittrex Global recognition as one of the world’s most trustworthy crypto exchanges. In September 2019, the Blockchain Transparency Network (BTI) nominated Bittrex Global as one of blockchain’s most transparent exchanges. It was also listed by CoinGecko as one of the world’s top five cryptocurrency exchanges based on trading volume and reliability.
To learn more about Bittrex Global, visit: https://global.bittrex.com/.
Source
submitted by james14cunningham to CryptoAirdrop [link] [comments]

Bittrex Global Announces Listing of Sensorium (SENSO)

Bittrex Global Announces Listing of Sensorium (SENSO)

The Sensorium $SENSO wallet is now open and the $BTC-SENSO and $ETH-SENSO markets will begin trading shortly on http://global.bittrex.com. For more information visit: https://sensoriumxr.com/senso-token
Los Angeles, California, August 25th, 2020 – The global cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex Global has announced the listing of SENSO token, the in-platform currency of Sensorium Galaxy, a social VR platform that rethinks the way people interact with each other and experience the arts.
Developed on the Ethereum platform, SENSO token drives all value transactions within the VR alternate universe. Sensorium Galaxy is being built in partnership with world-known artists and producers, including the creator of the nightlife hubs Ushuaïa Ibiza and Hï Ibiza Yann Pissenem.
Similar to popular games like Fortnite, the business model of Sensorium Galaxy is based on a free-to-play model, where profits come from event ticket sales, premium accounts, and in-game merchandise. The company expects to acquire over 1,8 million users by the end of 2022 who would pay for the access to the content exclusively with SENSO tokens.
The listing will take place on Tuesday August 25th, with trading of the SENSO-ETH and SENSO-BTC pairs opening at 11:00AM PDT .
Sensorium Galaxy will go live in H1 2021. It was first introduced to the public in 2019 at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, United States. Since its foundation in 2018 it has attracted over $100 million in investments.

About Sensorium Corporation

Sensorium Corporation oversees both the technological development of the Sensorium Galaxy as well as the full-scale management and production of its content offerings. The corporation supplies the Sensorium Galaxy with events and experiences through top-tier global content partnerships. The Sensorium Corporation also collaborates with leading VR and AI players to ensure the Galaxy always delivers the best experiences. To date, the Sensorium Galaxy project has raised over $100 million in investments. Website: https://sensoriumxr.com/

About Sensorium Galaxy

Sensorium Galaxy is a multi-user social platform designed to seamlessly stream live content in virtual reality to fans from all over the world. The platform allows a new perception of virtual reality, going beyond its former secluded nature and, in fact, is a product of the evolution of social networking, taking users beyond the use of one-dimensional platforms. The alternate universe of Sensorium Galaxy consists of multiple planets which act as hubs for thematic content. Each of the planets include various scenarios for social interaction, including live events and activities, as well as a series of on-demand setups from the content library. Unlike other virtual reality platforms, the AI component of the Sensorium Galaxy permits users’ avatars to continue learning and evolving within the platform without direct control of the user. Website: https://sensoriumgalaxy.com/

About Bittrex Global

Bittrex Global is an internationally trusted global cryptocurrency exchange owned by US-based digital trading platform Bittrex. Bittrex is known for its stringent listing process, evaluating projects on their commitment to their mission statement, innovation, underlying technology, business model, and regulatory compliance.
The combination of a strict listing process, fast transactions, military grade security, and regulatory compliance have earned Bittrex Global recognition as one of the world’s most trustworthy crypto exchanges. In September 2019, the Blockchain Transparency Network (BTI) nominated Bittrex Global as one of blockchain’s most transparent exchanges. It was also listed by CoinGecko as one of the world’s top five cryptocurrency exchanges based on trading volume and reliability.
To learn more about Bittrex Global, visit: https://global.bittrex.com/.
Source
submitted by james14cunningham to BlockchainStartups [link] [comments]

ETHE & GBTC (Grayscale) Frequently Asked Questions

It is no doubt Grayscale’s booming popularity as a mainstream investment has caused a lot of community hullabaloo lately. As such, I felt it was worth making a FAQ regarding the topic. I’m looking to update this as needed and of course am open to suggestions / adding any questions.
The goal is simply to have a thread we can link to anyone with questions on Grayscale and its products. Instead of explaining the same thing 3 times a day, shoot those posters over to this thread. My hope is that these questions are answered in a fairly simple and easy to understand manner. I think as the sub grows it will be a nice reference point for newcomers.
Disclaimer: I do NOT work for Grayscale and as such am basing all these answers on information that can be found on their website / reports. (Grayscale’s official FAQ can be found here). I also do NOT have a finance degree, I do NOT have a Series 6 / 7 / 140-whatever, and I do NOT work with investment products for my day job. I have an accounting background and work within the finance world so I have the general ‘business’ knowledge to put it all together, but this is all info determined in my best faith effort as a layman. The point being is this --- it is possible I may explain something wrong or missed the technical terms, and if that occurs I am more than happy to update anything that can be proven incorrect
Everything below will be in reference to ETHE but will apply to GBTC as well. If those two segregate in any way, I will note that accordingly.
What is Grayscale? 
Grayscale is the company that created the ETHE product. Their website is https://grayscale.co/
What is ETHE? 
ETHE is essentially a stock that intends to loosely track the price of ETH. It does so by having each ETHE be backed by a specific amount of ETH that is held on chain. Initially, the newly minted ETHE can only be purchased by institutions and accredited investors directly from Grayscale. Once a year has passed (6 months for GBTC) it can then be listed on the OTCQX Best Market exchange for secondary trading. Once listed on OTCQX, anyone investor can purchase at this point. Additional information on ETHE can be found here.
So ETHE is an ETF? 
No. For technical reasons beyond my personal understandings it is not labeled an ETF. I know it all flows back to the “Securities Act Rule 144”, but due to my limited knowledge on SEC regulations I don’t want to misspeak past that. If anyone is more knowledgeable on the subject I am happy to input their answer here.
How long has ETHE existed? 
ETHE was formed 12/14/2017. GBTC was formed 9/25/2013.
How is ETHE created? 
The trust will issue shares to “Authorized Participants” in groups of 100 shares (called baskets). Authorized Participants are the only persons that may place orders to create these baskets and they do it on behalf of the investor.
Source: Creation and Redemption of Shares section on page 39 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
Note – The way their reports word this makes it sound like there is an army of authorizers doing the dirty work, but in reality there is only one Authorized Participant. At this moment the “Genesis” company is the sole Authorized Participant. Genesis is owned by the “Digital Currency Group, Inc.” which is the parent company of Grayscale as well. (And to really go down the rabbit hole it looks like DCG is the parent company of CoinDesk and is “backing 150+ companies across 30 countries, including Coinbase, Ripple, and Chainalysis.”)
Source: Digital Currency Group, Inc. informational section on page 77 of the “Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (BTC) Form 10-K (2019)” – Located Here
Source: Barry E. Silbert informational section on page 75 of the “Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (BTC) Form 10-K (2019)” – Located Here
How does Grayscale acquire the ETH to collateralize the ETHE product? 
An Investor may acquire ETHE by paying in cash or exchanging ETH already owned.
Source: Creation and Redemption of Shares section on page 40 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
Where does Grayscale store their ETH? Does it have a specific wallet address we can follow? 
ETH is stored with Coinbase Custody Trust Company, LLC. I am unaware of any specific address or set of addresses that can be used to verify the ETH is actually there.
As an aside - I would actually love to see if anyone knows more about this as it’s something that’s sort of peaked my interest after being asked about it… I find it doubtful we can find that however.
Source: Part C. Business Information, Item 8, subsection A. on page 16 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
Can ETHE be redeemed for ETH? 
No, currently there is no way to give your shares of ETHE back to Grayscale to receive ETH back. The only method of getting back into ETH would be to sell your ETHE to someone else and then use those proceeds to buy ETH yourself.
Source: Redemption Procedures on page 41 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
Why are they not redeeming shares? 
I think the report summarizes it best:
Redemptions of Shares are currently not permitted and the Trust is unable to redeem Shares. Subject to receipt of regulatory approval from the SEC and approval by the Sponsor in its sole discretion, the Trust may in the future operate a redemption program. Because the Trust does not believe that the SEC would, at this time, entertain an application for the waiver of rules needed in order to operate an ongoing redemption program, the Trust currently has no intention of seeking regulatory approval from the SEC to operate an ongoing redemption program.
Source: Redemption Procedures on page 41 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
What is the fee structure? 
ETHE has an annual fee of 2.5%. GBTC has an annual fee of 2.0%. Fees are paid by selling the underlying ETH / BTC collateralizing the asset.
Source: ETHE’s informational page on Grayscale’s website - Located Here
Source: Description of Trust on page 31 & 32 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
What is the ratio of ETH to ETHE? 
At the time of posting (6/19/2020) each ETHE share is backed by .09391605 ETH. Each share of GBTC is backed by .00096038 BTC.
ETHE & GBTC’s specific information page on Grayscale’s website updates the ratio daily – Located Here
For a full historical look at this ratio, it can be found on the Grayscale home page on the upper right side if you go to Tax Documents > 2019 Tax Documents > Grayscale Ethereum Trust 2019 Tax Letter.
Why is the ratio not 1:1? Why is it always decreasing? 
While I cannot say for certain why the initial distribution was not a 1:1 backing, it is more than likely to keep the price down and allow more investors a chance to purchase ETHE / GBTC.
As noted above, fees are paid by selling off the ETH collateralizing ETHE. So this number will always be trending downward as time goes on.
Source: Description of Trust on page 32 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
I keep hearing about how this is locked supply… explain? 
As noted above, there is currently no redemption program for converting your ETHE back into ETH. This means that once an ETHE is issued, it will remain in circulation until a redemption program is formed --- something that doesn’t seem to be too urgent for the SEC or Grayscale at the moment. Tiny amounts will naturally be removed due to fees, but the bulk of the asset is in there for good.
Knowing that ETHE cannot be taken back and destroyed at this time, the ETH collateralizing it will not be removed from the wallet for the foreseeable future. While it is not fully locked in the sense of say a totally lost key, it is not coming out any time soon.
Per their annual statement:
The Trust’s ETH will be transferred out of the ETH Account only in the following circumstances: (i) transferred to pay the Sponsor’s Fee or any Additional Trust Expenses, (ii) distributed in connection with the redemption of Baskets (subject to the Trust’s obtaining regulatory approval from the SEC to operate an ongoing redemption program and the consent of the Sponsor), (iii) sold on an as-needed basis to pay Additional Trust Expenses or (iv) sold on behalf of the Trust in the event the Trust terminates and liquidates its assets or as otherwise required by law or regulation.
Source: Description of Trust on page 31 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
Grayscale now owns a huge chunk of both ETH and BTC’s supply… should we be worried about manipulation, a sell off to crash the market crash, a staking cartel? 
First, it’s important to remember Grayscale is a lot more akin to an exchange then say an investment firm. Grayscale is working on behalf of its investors to create this product for investor control. Grayscale doesn’t ‘control’ the ETH it holds any more then Coinbase ‘controls’ the ETH in its hot wallet. (Note: There are likely some varying levels of control, but specific to this topic Grayscale cannot simply sell [legally, at least] the ETH by their own decision in the same manner Coinbase wouldn't be able to either.)
That said, there shouldn’t be any worry in the short to medium time-frame. As noted above, Grayscale can’t really remove ETH other than for fees or termination of the product. At 2.5% a year, fees are noise in terms of volume. Grayscale seems to be the fastest growing product in the crypto space at the moment and termination of the product seems unlikely.
IF redemptions were to happen tomorrow, it’s extremely unlikely we would see a mass exodus out of the product to redeem for ETH. And even if there was incentive to get back to ETH, the premium makes it so that it would be much more cost effective to just sell your ETHE on the secondary market and buy ETH yourself. Remember, any redemption is up to the investors and NOT something Grayscale has direct control over.
Yes, but what about [insert criminal act here]… 
Alright, yes. Technically nothing is stopping Grayscale from selling all the ETH / BTC and running off to the Bahamas (Hawaii?). BUT there is no real reason for them to do so. Barry is an extremely public figure and it won’t be easy for him to get away with that. Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust creates SEC reports weekly / bi-weekly and I’m sure given the sentiment towards crypto is being watched carefully. Plus, Grayscale is making tons of consistent revenue and thus has little to no incentive to give that up for a quick buck.
That’s a lot of ‘happy little feels’ Bob, is there even an independent audit or is this Tether 2.0? 
Actually yes, an independent auditor report can be found in their annual reports. It is clearly aimed more towards the financial side and I doubt the auditors are crypto savants, but it is at least one extra set of eyes. Auditors are Friedman LLP – Auditor since 2015.
Source: Independent Auditor Report starting on page 116 (of the PDF itself) of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
As mentioned by user TheCrpytosAndBloods (In Comments Below), a fun fact:
The company’s auditors Friedman LLP were also coincidentally TetheBitfinex’s auditors until They controversially parted ways in 2018 when the Tether controversy was at its height. I am not suggesting for one moment that there is anything shady about DCG - I just find it interesting it’s the same auditor.
“Grayscale sounds kind of lame” / “Not your keys not your crypto!” / “Why is anyone buying this, it sounds like a scam?” 
Welp, for starters this honestly is not really a product aimed at the people likely to be reading this post. To each their own, but do remember just because something provides no value to you doesn’t mean it can’t provide value to someone else. That said some of the advertised benefits are as follows:
So for example, I can set up an IRA at a brokerage account that has $0 trading fees. Then I can trade GBTC and ETHE all day without having to worry about tracking my taxes. All with the relative safety something like E-Trade provides over Binance.
As for how it benefits the everyday ETH holder? I think the supply lock is a positive. I also think this product exposes the Ethereum ecosystem to people who otherwise wouldn’t know about it.
Why is there a premium? Why is ETHE’s premium so insanely high compared to GBTC’s premium? 
There are a handful of theories of why a premium exists at all, some even mentioned in the annual report. The short list is as follows:
Why is ETHE’s so much higher the GBTC’s? Again, a few thoughts:

Are there any other differences between ETHE and GBTC? 
I touched on a few of the smaller differences, but one of the more interesting changes is GBTC is now a “SEC reporting company” as of January 2020. Which again goes beyond my scope of knowledge so I won’t comment on it too much… but the net result is GBTC is now putting out weekly / bi-weekly 8-K’s and annual 10-K’s. This means you can track GBTC that much easier at the moment as well as there is an extra layer of validity to the product IMO.
I’m looking for some statistics on ETHE… such as who is buying, how much is bought, etc? 
There is a great Q1 2020 report I recommend you give a read that has a lot of cool graphs and data on the product. It’s a little GBTC centric, but there is some ETHE data as well. It can be found here hidden within the 8-K filings.Q1 2020 is the 4/16/2020 8-K filing.
For those more into a GAAP style report see the 2019 annual 10-K of the same location.
Is Grayscale only just for BTC and ETH? 
No, there are other products as well. In terms of a secondary market product, ETCG is the Ethereum Classic version of ETHE. Fun Fact – ETCG was actually put out to the secondary market first. It also has a 3% fee tied to it where 1% of it goes to some type of ETC development fund.
In terms of institutional and accredited investors, there are a few ‘fan favorites’ such as Bitcoin Cash, Litcoin, Stellar, XRP, and Zcash. Something called Horizion (Backed by ZEN I guess? Idk to be honest what that is…). And a diversified Mutual Fund type fund that has a little bit of all of those. None of these products are available on the secondary market.
Are there alternatives to Grayscale? 
I know they exist, but I don’t follow them. I’ll leave this as a “to be edited” section and will add as others comment on what they know.
Per user Over-analyser (in comments below):
Coinshares (Formerly XBT provider) are the only similar product I know of. BTC, ETH, XRP and LTC as Exchange Traded Notes (ETN).
It looks like they are fully backed with the underlying crypto (no premium).
https://coinshares.com/etps/xbt-provideinvestor-resources/daily-hedging-position
Denominated in SEK and EUR. Certainly available in some UK pensions (SIPP).
As asked by pegcity - Okay so I was under the impression you can just give them your own ETH and get ETHE, but do you get 11 ETHE per ETH or do you get the market value of ETH in USD worth of ETHE? 
I have always understood that the ETHE issued directly through Grayscale is issued without the premium. As in, if I were to trade 1 ETH for ETHE I would get 11, not say only 2 or 3 because the secondary market premium is so high. And if I were paying cash only I would be paying the price to buy 1 ETH to get my 11 ETHE. Per page 39 of their annual statement, it reads as follows:
The Trust will issue Shares to Authorized Participants from time to time, but only in one or more Baskets (with a Basket being a block of 100 Shares). The Trust will not issue fractions of a Basket. The creation (and, should the Trust commence a redemption program, redemption) of Baskets will be made only in exchange for the delivery to the Trust, or the distribution by the Trust, of the number of whole and fractional ETH represented by each Basket being created (or, should the Trust commence a redemption program, redeemed), which is determined by dividing (x) the number of ETH owned by the Trust at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the trade date of a creation or redemption order, after deducting the number of ETH representing the U.S. dollar value of accrued but unpaid fees and expenses of the Trust (converted using the ETH Index Price at such time, and carried to the eighth decimal place), by (y) the number of Shares outstanding at such time (with the quotient so obtained calculated to one one-hundred-millionth of one ETH (i.e., carried to the eighth decimal place)), and multiplying such quotient by 100 (the “Basket ETH Amount”). All questions as to the calculation of the Basket ETH Amount will be conclusively determined by the Sponsor and will be final and binding on all persons interested in the Trust. The Basket ETH Amount multiplied by the number of Baskets being created or redeemed is the “Total Basket ETH Amount.” The number of ETH represented by a Share will gradually decrease over time as the Trust’s ETH are used to pay the Trust’s expenses. Each Share represented approximately 0.0950 ETH and 0.0974 ETH as of December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively.

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