FinCEN Declares Bitcoin Miners, Investors Aren't Money ...

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]

Why I choose Bitcoin Cash over Bitcoin

A few days ago I posted my doubts and criticism about BTC vs BCH, but now I have made my mind up after a lenghty research yesterday and today, I have chosen BCH.
Disclaimer: I have already owned BCH before that.
So I was already on board BCH, but I had my doubts about it, and certainly the noise the other side makes, it made me doubt myself whether I made the best choice or not. After all it's about money, and the first thing that comes into a person's mind is that it worries about losing it. So if BCH would have been inferior to BTC then there would have been a strong chance of losing that money, through the price doing down like with the other fake coins Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Diamond, etc...
Because from an investment standpoint I shouldn't care about sides, I just want the one that has a better future and more potential in it. So if I would have found out that BTC is better I would have sold my BCH for BTC obviously, I would have no sentimental attachment to either of them, I just want to be on the right side. Eventually hedge, but hedging is like the game of uncertain people, and there is no uncertainty here, all the evidence shows one side to be much better than the other. It's not even like 70-30, it's more like 99-1.
Now I did a lenghty research, read all the comments on my posts, and compared them to the claim BTC makes on their websites and influential BTC people have stated, asked questions, used logic, and it's now objectively clear to me that BCH is the right side to be on.
   

FEES

I was already doubtful about BTC, that is why I have switched to BCH about a year ago, I saw their shady activities, but the final nail in the coffin was probably the massive FEE problem, that started last November and ended in February. That made me totally dislike BTC.
However now that the fees are normal in BTC, I had a doubt in my mind that what if they are right? What if the fee spike was just a coordinated attack on BTC, and now that it's over, BTC is just as good as BCH.
I mean if the fees are normal now, and about the same last I looked (maybe BTC is like 20% more expensive but still low like 60 cents), it gives some credibility back to BTC.
There are theories that the coordinated attack was a conspiracy against BTC, but then again BTC has it's own conspiracies too, so why not just ignore the conspiracy theories and look at the facts.
The fact is that it doesn't matter what it was, the mere fact that it happened, and it crippled the network for 4 months, shows that BTC has serious flaws. And it can happen again. So it doesn't matter who did it, it happened, and the network was crippled.
Now if a network can be crippled like that, and if you want this network to host a global payment system, then we will have huge problems.
BCH can defend against such attack much more effectively because it costs more to fill up a 32MB block than a 1MB block, 32x harder. Plus a 32MB block is so small that anyone can handle that right now, even if a 4 month period attack would happen against BCH, and it would be 32x more costly, so it would be harder to pull off.
However if a bigger budgeted attacker would attack again BTC with a 32x budget, then it would cripple BTC for 10 YEARS!!! That would literally make Bitcoin literally die.
   

Non Mining Nodes

One aspect that the BTC people say is that non miner "full nodes" are sacrosanct, and that we need them to keep miners in check, but I haven't heard any coherent answers as to why.
I have read the whitepaper twice, once today and once yesterday, and it states there clearly what the real truth is. You should definitely download and archive the whitepaper because some people tried to rewrite it, Orwellian style, so grab the original one here:
https://blockchair.com/bitcoin/whitepaper
[Download it and save it on your own computer SHA256: b1674191a88ec5cdd733e4240a81803105dc412d6c6708d53ab94fc248f4f553, these Orwellian trolls might try to gaslight you eventually and rewrite the past!]
The whitepaper mentions 3 times that:
The system is secure as long as honest nodes collectively control more CPU power than any cooperating group of attacker nodes.
Subsequently:
The proof-of-work also solves the problem of determining representation in majority decision making. If the majority were based on one-IP-address-one-vote, it could be subverted by anyone able to allocate many IPs. Proof-of-work is essentially one-CPU-one-vote. The majority decision is represented by the longest chain, which has the greatest proof-of-work effort invested in it. If a majority of CPU power is controlled by honest nodes, the honest chain will grow the fastest and outpace any competing chains.
This is word for word how the whitepaper says it. So this alone disproves the full node myth, it's complete nonsense. The miners have total control, and the nodes don't matter. Satoshi designed a 1 CPU 1 vote system, where every node is a miner node. He could not forecast large farm ASIC miners, but then again that isn't resolved by just running non miner nodes.
Furthermore the full node system doesn't have any collective benefit only individual one, which we will get into next, and it might even be a drag:
Instead of going from A->D, you have to go to A->B->C->D with a full node system, adding extra inefficiency and latency. Keep in mind, this is not a medieval pidgeon relay messaging system, the information travels at the speed of light, so there is no need for extra relays, in fact adding extra relays just creates extra latency.
You eventually have to communicate with a miner, so what is the point in having extra "bus stops" along the way? It's just a waste of resources.
We do need many miners to secure the network, and instead of wasting resources on non-mining nodes, they should just spend that on mining if they really want decentralization.
   

SPV Wallets

Another claim that they make is that SPV wallets are insecure. Which is somewhat true, but out of perspective. For general users SPV wallets are totally fine. And I don't think SPV security is lower than what anyone except a billionaire who keeps all his coins in 1 address (very stupid) would need.
This explained well in the whitepaper in the page 5/ paragraph 8 "Simplified Payment Verification" section. The SPV is probabilistically secure, because it fetches blocks that are already agreed upon, so unless a big conspiracy is taking place, miners rewriting the chain, this gives people a probabilistic security.
Most SPV wallets are well implemented so they use the best tools to keep your coin history reasonably accurate, so they fetch data from multiple random servers and compare against it. Certainly Electrum/Electron Cash does this well.
One thing I might add is that it's good to use a VPN too with SPV wallets, in case your are personally targeted by a criminal, so your IP address is randomized too for extra security, so you won't download honeypot blocks that are specifically targeting your IP.
But other than that SPV is just reasonably secure, and by that I mean that it's probably below 0.1% that your coin history can be deceitful, and even then if you wait for 10-15 confirmations and shuffle your VPN IP address around enough times, you can be absolutely sure that the history is accurate.
So their fear is overblown and they are just fearmongering on this, the same way people fearmonger about asteroid impact or alien invasion, it's just not reasonable.
   

Lightning Network

Now as you can see already that a lot of these claims have been utterly debunked, and they don't have coherent arguments to address the rebuttals, in fact in most cases they resort to ad hominems and insults (which I have experienced, just for asking questions). But the coup de grace happens when you realize how inefficient LN is. And for that here are some references, it's mostly technical:
And perhaps it's explained in more simpler terms in youtube videos but the point is that there is real scientific proof that the LN will have awful consequences for the decentralization of BTC, and it inserts and unnecessary middleman into the mix that is a massive point of failure.
It essentially creates a KYC regulated bank network on top of a settlement layer, and the governments around the world will have total control over that. Well the LN nodes are essentially money transmitters because they directly facilitate the transfer of money, so AML/KYC/Tax reporting/Surveillance will happen by default on these nodes. And given that LN can't be a decentralized system but a hub & spoke system, due to the need to keep your wallet online at all times, it will literally become a 3rd party custodian based banking system, literally.
So all of the essence of Bitcoin [word for word quote from the whitepaper]:
A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.
Will literally cease to exist, and it reverts BTC back into a government regulated banking system, literally.
   
   
There are other arguments too, but these are the main ones, and researching them thoroughly and understanding the issues made me lose all my doubts about Bitcoin Cash and all my faith in Bitcoin.
It can't be any more clear to me now that Bitcoin Cash is the true version of Bitcoin, the real vision of Satoshi and the genuine implementation of it, with all the technical genius-ity that Satoshi had laid out in the whitepaper which is still relevant.
Satoshi laid out everything in the whitepaper, and all of it is implemented geniusly in Bitcoin Cash except for paragraph 7 on page 4 "Reclaiming Disk Space" which talks about block pruning, I am not sure if this is Xthin Blocks or Compact Blocks or Thin Blocks (please explain in the comment section), otherwise it should be implemented, it would be a much better way for scaling than LN.
But other than that BCH is technically superior. Now I don't know whether better things win in politics, but in engineering, if your design is shitty, it will inevitably fall apart. You can't have a skyscraper built on quicksand, it's inevitable disaster.
So look, BCH is obviously risky, it has less users, less merchants; but because it has a solid foundation and probably the 3rd biggest community after ethereum, it has maaaaaaaaaaaaassive opportunity in it to become the best cryptocurrency (because ethereum has the same or worse issues than BTC).
There is no question now whether BCH is better, the only question now is, how long will it take for people to realize this.
 
So I choose to stay with BCH, and now I am 101% supportive of it! Long Live Bitcoin Cash!!
submitted by alexander7k to btc [link] [comments]

Trading Cryptocurrency Markets

Hello! My name is Slava Mikhalkin, I am a Project Owner of Crowdsale platform at Platinum, the company that knows how to start any ICO or STO in 2019.
If you want to avoid headaches with launching process, we can help you with ICO and STO advertising and promotion. See the full list of our services: Platinum.fund
I am also happy to be a part of the UBAI, the first educational institution providing the most effective online education on blockchain! We can teach you how to do ICO/STO in 2019. Today I want to tell you how to sell and transfer cryptocurrencies.
Major Exchanges
In finance, an exchange is a forum or platform for trading commodities, derivatives, securities or other financial instruments. The principle concern of an exchange is to allow trading between parties to take place in a fair and legally compliant manner, as well as to ensure that pricing information for any instrument traded on the exchange is reliable and coherently delivered to exchange participants. In the cryptocurrency space exchanges are online platforms that allow users to trade cryptocurrencies or digital currencies for fiat money or other cryptocurrencies. They can be centralized exchanges such a Binance, or decentralized exchanges such as IDEX. Most cryptocurrency exchanges allow users to trade different crypto assets with BTC or ETH after having already exchanged fiat currency for one of those cryptocurrencies. Coinbase and Kraken are the main avenue for fiat money to enter into the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Function and History
Crypto exchanges can be market-makers that take bid/ask spreads as a commission on the transaction for facilitating the trade, or more often charge a small percentage fee for operating the forum in which the trade was made. Most crypto exchanges operate outside of Western countries, enabling them to avoid stringent financial regulations and the potential for costly and lengthy legal proceedings. These entities will often maintain bank accounts in multiple jurisdictions, allowing the exchange to accept fiat currency and process transactions from customers all over the globe.
The concept of a digital asset exchange has been around since the late 2000s and the following initial attempts at running digital asset exchanges foreshadows the trouble involved in attempting to disrupt the operation of the fiat currency baking system. The trading of digital or electronic assets predate Bitcoin’s creation by several years, with the first electronic trading entities running afoul of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in late 2004. Companies such as Goldex, SydneyGoldSales, and Ozzigold, shut down voluntarily after ASIC found that they were operating without an Australian Financial Services License. E-Gold, which exchanged fiat USD for grams of precious metals in digital form, was possibly the first digital currency exchange as we know it, allowing users to make instant transfers to the accounts of other E-Gold members. At its peak in 2006 E-Gold processed $2 billion worth of transactions and boasted a user base of over 5 million people.
Popular Exchanges
Here we will give a brief overview of the features and operational history of the more popular and higher volume exchanges because these are the platforms to which newer traders will be exposed. These exchanges are recommended to use because they are the industry standard and they inspire the most confidence.
Bitfinex
Owned and operated by iFinex Inc, the cryptocurrency trading platform Bitfinex was the largest Bitcoin exchange on the planet until late 2017. Headquartered in Hong Kong and based in the US Virgin Island, Bitfinex was one of the first exchanges to offer leveraged trading (“Margin trading allows a trader to open a position with leverage. For example — we opened a margin position with 2X leverage. Our base assets had increased by 10%. Our position yielded 20% because of the 2X leverage. Standard trades are traded with leverage of 1:1”) and also pioneered the use of the somewhat controversial, so-called “stable coin” Tether (USDT).
Binance
Binance is an international multi-language cryptocurrency exchange that rose from the mid-rank of cryptocurrency exchanges to become the market dominating behemoth we see today. At the height of the late 2017/early 2018 bull run, Binance was adding around 2 million new users per week! The exchange had to temporarily disallow new registrations because its servers simply could not keep up with that volume of business. After the temporary ban on new users was lifted the exchange added 240,000 new accounts within two hours.
Have you ever thought whats the role of the cypto exchanges? The answer is simple! There are several different types of exchanges that cater to different needs within the ecosystem, but their functions can be described by one or more of the following: To allow users to convert fiat currency into cryptocurrency. To trade BTC or ETH for alt coins. To facilitate the setting of prices for all crypto assets through an auction market mechanism. Simply put, you can either mine cryptocurrencies or purchase them, and seeing as the mining process requires the purchase of expensive mining equipment, Cryptocurrency exchanges can be loosely grouped into one of the 3 following exchange types, each with a slightly different role or combination of roles.
Have you ever thought about what are the types of Crypto exchanges?
  1. Traditional Cryptocurrency Exchange: These are the type that most closely mimic traditional stock exchanges where buyers and sellers trade at the current market price of whichever asset they want, with the exchange acting as the intermediary and charging a small fee for facilitating the trade. Kraken and GDAX are examples of this kind of cryptocurrency exchange. Fully peer-to-peer exchanges that operate without a middleman include EtherDelta, and IDEX, which are also examples of decentralized exchanges.
  2. Cryptocurrency Brokers: These are website or app based exchanges that act like a Travelex or other bureau-de-change. They allow customers to buy or sell crypto assets at a price set by the broker (usually market price plus a small premium). Coinbase is an example of this kind of exchange.
  3. Direct Trading Platform: These platforms offer direct peer-to-peer trading between buyers and sellers, but don’t use an exchange platform in doing so. These types of exchanges do not use a set market rate; rather, sellers set their own rates. This is a highly risky form of trading, from which new users should shy away.
To understand how an exchange functions we need only look as far as a traditional stock exchange. Most all the features of a cryptocurrency exchange are analogous to features of trading on a traditional stock exchange. In the simplest terms, the exchanges fulfil their role as the main marketplace for crypto assets of all kinds by catering to buyers or sellers. These are some definitions for the basic functions and features to know: Market Orders: Orders that are executed instantly at the current market price. Limit Order: This is an order that will only be executed if and when the price has risen to or dropped to that price specified by the trader and is also within the specified period of time. Transaction fees: Exchanges will charge transactions fees, usually levied on both the buyer and the seller, but sometimes only the seller is charged a fee. Fees vary on different exchanges though the norm is usually below 0.75%. Transfer charges: The exchange is in effect acting as a sort of escrow agent, to ensure there is no foul play, so it might also charge a small fee when you want to withdraw cryptocurrency to your own wallet.
Regulatory Environment and Evolution
Cryptocurrency has come a long way since the closing down of the Silk Road darknet market. The idea of crypto currency being primarily for criminals, has largely been seen as totally inaccurate and outdated. In this section we focus on the developing regulations surrounding the cryptocurrency asset class by region, and we also look at what the future may hold.
The United States of America
A coherent uniform approach at Federal or State level has yet to be implemented in the United States. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network published guidelines as early as 2013 suggesting that BTC and other cryptos may fall under the label of “money transmitters” and thus would be required to take part in the same Anti-money Laundering (AML) and Know your Client (KYC) procedures as other money service businesses. At the state level, Texas applies its existing finance laws. And New York has instituted an entirely new licensing system.
The European Union
The EU’s approach to cryptocurrency has generally been far more accommodating overall than the United States, partly due to the adaptable nature of pre-existing laws governing electronic money that predated the creation of Bitcoin. As with the USA, the EU’s main fear is money laundering and criminality. The European Central Bank (ECB) categorized BTC as a “convertible decentralized currency” and advised all central banks in the EU to refrain from trading any cryptocurrencies until the proper regulatory framework was put in place. A task force was then set up by the European Parliament in order to prevent and investigate any potential money laundering that was making use of the new technology.
Likely future regulations for cryptocurrency traders within the European Union and North America will probably consist of the following proposals: The initiation of full KYC procedures so that users cannot remain fully anonymous, in order to prevent tax evasion and curtail money laundering. Caps on payments that can be made in cryptocurrency, similar to caps on traditional cash transactions. A set of rules governing tax obligations regarding cryptocurrencies Regulation by the ECB of any companies that offer exchanges between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies It is less likely for other countries to follow the Chinese approach and completely ban certain aspects of cryptocurrency trading. It is widely considered more progressive and wiser to allow the technology to grow within a balanced accommodative regulatory framework that takes all interests and factors into consideration. It is probable that the most severe form of regulation will be the formation of new governmental bodies specifically to form laws and exercise regulatory control over the cryptocurrency space. But perhaps that is easier said than done. It may, in certain cases, be incredibly difficult to implement particular regulations due to the anonymous and decentralized nature of crypto.
Behavior of Cryptocurrency Investors by Demographic
Due to the fact that cryptocurrency has its roots firmly planted in the cryptography community, the vast majority of early adopters are representative of that group. In this section we cover the basic structure of the cryptocurrency market cycle and the makeup of the community at large, as well as the reasons behind different trading decisions.
The Cryptocurrency Market Cycle
Bitcoin leads the bull rally. FOMO (Fear of missing out) occurs, the price surge is a constant topic of mainstream news, business programs cover the story, and social media is abuzz with cryptocurrency chatter. Bitcoin reaches new All Timehigh (ATH) Market euphoria is fueled with even more hype and the cycle is in full force. There is a constant stream of news articles and commentary on the meteoric, seemingly unstoppable rise of Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s price “stabilizes”, In the 2017 bull run this was at or around $14,000. A number of solid, large market cap altcoins rise along with Bitcoin; ETH & LTC leading the altcoins at this time. FOMO comes into play, as the new ATH in market cap is reached by pumping of a huge number of alt coins.
Top altcoins “somewhat” stabilize, after reaching new all-time highs. The frenzy continues with crypto success stories, notable figures and famous people in the news. A majority of lesser known cryptocurrencies follow along on the upward momentum. Newcomers are drawn deeper into crypto and sign up for exchanges other than the main entry points like Coinbase and Kraken. In 2017 this saw Binance inundated with new registrations. Some of the cheapest coins are subject to massive pumping, such as Tron TRX which saw a rise in market cap from $150 million at the start of December 2017 to a peak of $16 billion! At this stage, even dead coins or known scams will get pumped. The price of the majority of cryptocurrencies stabilize, and some begin to retract. When the hype is subsiding after a huge crypto bull run, it is a massive sell signal. Traditional investors will begin to give interviews about how people need to be careful putting money into such a highly volatile asset class. Massive violent correction begins and the market starts to collapse. BTC begins to fall consistently on a daily basis, wiping out the insane gains of many medium to small cap cryptos with it. Panic selling sweeps through the market. Depression sets in, both in the markets, and in the minds of individual investors who failed to take profits, or heed the signs of imminent collapse. The price stagnation can last for months, or even years.
The Influence of Age upon Trading
Did you know? Cryptocurrencies have been called “stocks for millennials” According to a survey conducted by the Global Blockchain Business Council, only 5% of the American public own any bitcoin, but of those that do, an overwhelming majority of 71% are men, 58% of them are between the ages of 18 and 35, and over half of them are minorities. The same survey gauged public attitude toward the high risk/high return nature of cryptocurrency, in comparison to more secure guaranteed small percentage gains offered by government bonds or stocks, and found that 30% would rather invest $1,000 in crypto. Over 42% of millennials were aware of cryptocurrencies as opposed to only 15% of those ages 65 and over. In George M. Korniotis and Alok Kumar’s study into the effects of aging on portfolio management and the quality of decisions made by older investors, they found “that older and experienced investors are more likely to follow “rules of thumb” that reflect greater investment knowledge. However, older investors are less effective in applying their investment knowledge and exhibit worse investment skill, especially if they are less educated and earn lower income.”
Geographic Influence upon Trading
One of the main drivers of the apparent seasonal ebb and flow of cryptocurrency prices is the tax situation in the various territories that have the highest concentrations of cryptocurrency holders. Every year we see an overall market pull back beginning in mid to late January, with a recovery beginning usually after April. This is because “Tax Season” is roughly the same across Europe and the United States, with the deadline for Income tax returns being April 15th in the United States, and the tax year officially ending the UK on the 6th of April. All capital gains must be declared before the window closes or an American trader will face the powerful and long arm of the IRS with the consequent legal proceedings and possible jail time. Capital gains taxes around the world vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but there are often incentives for cryptocurrency holders to refrain from trading for over a year to qualify their profits as long term gain when they finally sell. In the US and Australia, for example, capital gains are reduced if you bought cryptocurrency for investment purposes and held it for over a year. In Germany if crypto assets are held for over a year then the gains derived from their sale are not taxed. Advantages like this apply to individual tax returns, on a case by case basis, and it is up to the investor to keep up to date with the tax codes of the territory in which they reside.
2013 Bull run vs 2017 Bull run price Analysis
In late 2016 cryptocurrency traders were faced with the task of distinguishing between the beginnings of a genuine bull run and what might colorfully be called a “dead cat bounce” (in traditional market terminology). Stagnation had gripped the market since the pull-back of early 2014. The meteoric rise of Bitcoin’s price in 2013 peaked with a price of $1,100 in November 2013, after a year of fantastic news on the adoption front with both Microsoft and PayPal offering BTC payment options. It is easy to look at a line going up on a chart and speak after the fact, but at the time, it is exceeding difficult to say whether the cat is actually climbing up the wall, or just bouncing off the ground. Here, we will discuss the factors that gave savvy investors clues as to why the 2017 bull run was going to outstrip the 2013 rally. Hopefully this will help give insight into how to differentiate between the signs of a small price increase and the start of a full scale bull run. Most importantly, Volume was far higher in 2017. As we can see in the graphic below, the 2017 volume far exceeds the volume of BTC trading during the 2013 price increase. The stranglehold MtGox held on trading made a huge bull run very difficult and unlikely.
Fraud & Immoral Activity in the Private Market
Ponzi Schemes Cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes will be covered in greater detail in Lesson 7, but we need to get a quick overview of the main features of Ponzi schemes and how to spot them at this point in our discussion. Here are some key indicators of a Ponzi scheme, both in cryptocurrencies and traditional investments: A guaranteed promise of high returns with little risk. Consistentflow of returns regardless of market conditions. Investments that have not been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Investment strategies that are a secret, or described as too complex. Clients not allowed to view official paperwork for their investment. Clients have difficulties trying to get their money back. The initial members of the scheme, most likely unbeknownst to the later investors, are paid their “dividends” or “profits” with new investor cash. The most famous modern-day example of a Ponzi scheme in the traditional world, is Bernie Madoff’s $100 billion fraudulent enterprise, officially titled Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. And in the crypto world, BitConnect is the most infamous case of an entirely fraudulent project which boasted a market cap of $2 billion at its peak.
What are the Exchange Hacks?
The history of cryptocurrency is littered with examples of hacked exchanges, some of them so severe that the operation had to be wound up forever. As we have already discussed, incredibly tech savvy and intelligent computer hackers led by Alexander Vinnik stole 850000 BTC from the MtGox exchange over a period from 2012–2014 resulting in the collapse of the exchange and a near-crippling hammer blow to the emerging asset class that is still being felt to this day. The BitGrail exchange suffered a similar style of attack in late 2017 and early 2018, in which Nano (XRB) was stolen that was at one point was worth almost $195 million. Even Bitfinex, one of the most famous and prestigious exchanges, has suffered a hack in 2016 where $72 million worth of BTC was stolen directly from customer accounts.
Hardware Wallet Scam Case Study
In late 2017, an unfortunate character on Reddit, going by the name of “moody rocket” relayed his story of an intricate scam in which his newly acquired hardware wallet was compromised, and his $34,000 life savings were stolen. He bought a second hand Nano ledger into which the scammers own recover seed had already been inserted. He began using the ledger without knowing that the default seed being used was not a randomly assigned seed. After a few weeks the scammer struck, and withdrew all the poor HODLer’s XRP, Dash and Litecoin into their own wallet (likely through a few intermediary wallets to lessen the very slim chances of being identified).
Hardware Wallet Scam Case Study Social Media Fraud
Many gullible and hapless twitter users have fallen victim to the recent phenomenon of scammers using a combination of convincing fake celebrity twitter profiles and numerous amounts of bots to swindle them of ETH or BTC. The scammers would set up a profile with a near identical handle to a famous figure in the tech sphere, such as Vitalik Buterin or Elon Musk. And then in the tweet, immediately following a genuine message, follow up with a variation of “Bonus give away for the next 100 lucky people, send me 0.1 ETH and I will send you 1 ETH back”, followed by the scammers ether wallet address. The next 20 or so responses will be so-called sockpuppet bots, thanking the fake account for their generosity. Thus, the pot is baited and the scammers can expect to receive potentially hundreds of donations of 0.1 Ether into their wallet. Many twitter users with a large follower base such as Vitalik Buterin have taken to adding “Not giving away ETH” to their username to save careless users from being scammed.
Market Manipulation
It also must be recognized that market manipulation is taking place in cryptocurrency. For those with the financial means i.e. whales, there are many ways in which to control the market in a totally immoral and underhanded way for your own profit. It is especially easy to manipulate cryptos that have a very low trading volume. The manipulator places large buy orders or sell walls to discourage price action in one way or the other. Insider trading is also a significant problem in cryptocurrency, as we saw with the example of blatant insider trading when Bitcoin Cash was listed on Coinbase.
Examples of ICO Fraudulent Company Behavior
In the past 2 years an astronomical amount of money has been lost in fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings. The utmost care and attention must be employed before you invest. We will cover this area in greater detail with a whole lesson devoted to the topic. However, at this point, it is useful to look at the main instances of ICO fraud. Among recent instances of fraudulent ICOs resulting in exit scams, 2 of the most infamous are the Benebit and PlexCoin ICOs which raised $4 million for the former and $15 million for the latter. Perhaps the most brazen and damaging ICO scam of all time was the Vietnamese Pincoin ICO operation, where $660million was raised from 32,000 investors before the scammer disappeared with the funds. In case of smaller ICO “exit scamming” there is usually zero chance of the scammers being found. Investors must just take the hit. We will cover these as well as others in Lesson 7 “Scam Projects”.
Signposts of Fraudulent Actors
The following factors are considered red flags when investigating a certain project or ICO, and all of them should be considered when deciding whether or not you want to invest. Whitepaper is a buzzword Salad: If the whitepaper is nothing more than a collection of buzzwords with little clarity of purpose and not much discussion of the tech involved, it is overwhelmingly likely you are reading a scam whitepaper.
Signposts of Fraudulent Actors §2
No Code Repository: With the vast majority of cryptocurrency projects employing open source code, your due diligence investigation should start at GitHub or Sourceforge. If the project has no entries, or nothing but cloned code, you should avoid it at all costs. Anonymous Team: If the team members are hard to find, or if you see they are exaggerating or lying about their experience, you should steer clear. And do not forget, in addition to taking proper precautions when investing in ICOs, you must always make sure that you are visiting authentic web pages, especially for web wallets. If, for example, you are on a spoof MyEtherWallet web page you could divulge your private key without realizing it and have your entire portfolio of Ether and ERC-20 tokens cleaned out.
Methods to Avoid falling Victim
Avoiding scammers and the traps they set for you is all about asking yourself the right questions, starting with: Is there a need for a Blockchain solution for the particular problem that a particular ICO is attempting to solve? The existing solution may be less costly, less time consuming, and more effective than the proposals of a team attempting to fill up their soft cap in an ICO. The following quote from Mihai Ivascu, the CEO of Modex, should be kept in mind every time you are grading an ICO’s chances of success: “I’m pretty sure that 95% of ICOswill not last, and many will go bankrupt. ….. not everything needs to be decentralized and put on an open source ledger.”
Methods to Avoid falling Victim §2 Do I Trust These People with My Money, or Not?
If you continue to feel uneasy about investing in the project, more due diligence is needed. The developers must be qualified and competent enough to complete the objectives that they have set out in the whitepaper.
Is this too good to be true?
All victims of the well-known social media scams using fake profiles of Vitalik Buterin, or Bitconnect investors for that matter, should have asked themselves this simple question, and their investment would have been saved. In the case of Bitconnect, huge guaranteed gains proportional to the amount of people you can get to sign up was a blatant pyramid scheme, obviously too good to be true. The same goes for Fake Vitalik’s offer of 1 ether in exchange for 0.1 ETH.
Selling Cryptocurrencies, Several reasons for selling with the appropriate actions to take:
If you are selling to buy into an ICO, or maybe believe Ether is a safer currency to hold for a certain period of time, it is likely you will want to make use of the Ether pair and receive Ether in return. Obviously if the ICO is on the NEO or WANchain blockchain for example, you will use the appropriate pair. -Trading to buy into another promising project that is listing on the exchange on which you are selling (or you think the exchange will experience a large amount of volume and become a larger exchange), you may want to trade your cryptocurrency for that exchange token. -If you believe that BTC stands a good chance of experiencing a bull run then using the BTC trading pair is the suitable choice. -If you believe that the market is about to experience a correction but you do not want to take your gains out of the market yet, selling for Tether or “tethering up” is the best play. This allows you to keep your locked-in profits on the exchange, unaffected by the price movements in the cryptocurrency markets,so that you can buy back in at the most profitable moment. -If you wish to “cash out” i.e. sell your cryptocurrency for fiat currency and have those funds in your bank account, the best pair to use is ETH or BTC because you will likely have to transfer to an exchange like Kraken or Coinbase to convert them into fiat. If the exchange offers Litecoin or Bitcoin Cash pairs it could be a good idea to use these for their fast transaction time and low fees.
Selling Cryptocurrencies
Knowing when and how to sell, as well as strategies to inflate the value of your trade before sale, are important skills as a trader of any product or financial instrument. If you are satisfied that the sale itself of the particular amount of a token or coin you are trading away is the right one, then you must decide at what price you are going to sell. Exchanges exercise their own discretion as to which trading “pairs” they will offer, but the most common ones are BTC, ETH, BNB for Binance, BIX for Bibox etc., and sometimes Tether (USDT) or NEO. As a trader, you decide which particular cryptocurrency to exchange depending on your reason for making that specific trade at that time.
Methods of Sale
Market sell/Limit sell on exchange: A limit sell is an order placed on an exchange to sell as soon as (also specifically only if and when) the price you specified has been hit within the time limit you select. A market order executes the sale immediately at the best possible price offered by the market at that exact time. OTC (or Over the Counter) selling refers to sale of securities or cryptocurrencies in any method without using an exchange to intermediate the trade and set the price. The most common way of conducting sales in this manner is through LocalBitcoins.com. This method of cryptocurrency selling is far riskier than using an exchange, for obvious reasons.
The influence and value of your Trade
There are a number of strategies you can use to appreciate the value of your trade and thus increase the Bitcoin or Ether value of your portfolio. It is important to disassociate yourself from the dollar value of your portfolio early on in your cryptocurrency trading career simply because the crypto market is so volatile you will end up pulling your hair out in frustration following the real dollar money value of your holdings. Once your funds have been converted into BTC and ETH they are completely in the crypto sphere. (Some crypto investors find it more appropriate to monitor the value of their portfolio in satoshi or gwei.) Certainly not limited to, but especially good for beginners, the most reliable way to increase your trading profits, and thus the overall value and health of your portfolio, is to buy into promising projects, hold them for 6 months to a year, and then reevaluate. This is called Long term holding and is the tactic that served Bitcoin HODLers quite well, from 2013 to the present day. Obviously, if something comes to light about the project that indicates a lengthy set back is likely, it is often better to cut your losses and sell. You are better off starting over and researching other projects. Also, you should set initial Price Points at which you first take out your original investment, and then later, at which you take out all your profits and exit the project. That should be after you believe the potential for growth has been exhausted for that particular project.
Another method of increasing the value of your trades is ICO flipping. This is the exact opposite of long term holding. This is a technique in which you aim for fast profits taking advantage of initial enthusiasm in the market that may double or triple the value of ICO projects when they first come to market. This method requires some experience using smaller exchanges like IDEX, on which project tokens can be bought and sold before listing on mainstream exchanges. “Tethering up” means to exchange tokens or coins for the USDT stable coin, the value of which is tethered to the US Dollar. If you learn, or know how to use, technical analysis, it is possible to predict when a market retreatment is likely by looking at the price movements of BTC. If you decide a market pull back is likely, you can tether up and maintain the dollar value of your portfolio in tether while other tokens and coins decrease in value. The you wait for an opportune moment to reenter the market.
Market Behavior in Different Time Periods
The main descriptors used for overall market sentiment are “Bull Market” and “Bear Market”. The former describes a market where people are buying on optimism. The latter describes a market where people are selling on pessimism. Fun (or maybe not) fact: The California grizzly bear was brought to extinction by the love of bear baiting as a sport in the mid 1800s. Bears were highly sought after for their intrinsic fighting qualities, and were forced into fighting bulls as Sunday morning entertainment for Californians. What has this got to do with trading and financial markets? The downward swipe of the bear’s paws gives a “Bear market” its name and the upward thrust of a Bull’s horns give the “Bull Market” its name. Most unfortunately for traders, the bear won over 80% of the bouts. During a Bull market, optimism can sometimes grow to be seemingly boundless, volume is rising, and prices are ascending. It can be a good idea to sell or rebalance your portfolio at such a time, especially if you have a particularly large position in one holding or another. This is especially applicable if you need to sell a large amount of a relatively low-volume holding, because you can then do so without dragging the price down by the large size of your own sell order.
Learn more on common behavioral patterns observed so far in the cryptocurrency space for different coins and ICO tokens.
Follow the link:
UBAI.co
If you want to know how do security tokens work, and become a professional in crypto world contact me via Facebook to get all the details:
Facebook
submitted by UBAI_UNIVERSITY to u/UBAI_UNIVERSITY [link] [comments]

Application of FinCEN’s Regulations to Certain Business Models Involving Convertible Virtual Currencies

https://www.systems.cs.cornell.edu/docs/fincen-cvc-guidance-final.pdf
FinCEN Guidance report may have implications for mixing protocols/services for Bitcoin (such as Wasabi wallet).
4.5.1. Providers of anonymizing services for CVCs Providers of anonymizing services, commonly referred to as “mixers” or “tumblers,” are either persons that accept CVCs and retransmit them in a manner designed to prevent others from tracing the transmission back to its source (anonymizing services provider), or suppliers of software a transmittor would use for the same purpose (anonymizing software provider).
4.5.1(a) Anonymizing services provider An anonymizing services provider is a money transmitter under FinCEN regulations. The added feature of concealing the source of the transaction does not change that person’s status under the BSA.
Relevant to Monero because the providers (or users) of the opt-in tumble/mixing services for Bitcoin may run into some legal trouble if this report is anything to go by. Would further solidify Monero's necessary existence.
Also
4.5.2. Providers of anonymity-enhanced CVCs [convertible virtual currencies]. A person that creates or sells anonymity-enhanced CVCs designed to prevent their tracing through publicly visible ledgers would be a money transmitter under FinCEN regulations depending on the type of payment system and the person’s activity.62 For example:
(a) a person operating as the administrator of a centralized CVC payment system will become a money transmitter the moment that person issues anonymity enhanced CVC against the receipt of another type of value
(b) a person that uses anonymity-enhanced CVCs to pay for goods or services on his or her own behalf would not be a money transmitter under the BSA. However, if the person uses the CVC to accept and transmit value from one person to another person or location, the person will fall under the definition of money transmitter, if not otherwise exempted.
(c) a person that develops a decentralized CVC payment system will become a money transmitter if that person also engages as a business in the acceptance and transmission of value denominated in the CVC it developed (even if the CVC value was mined at an earlier date). The person would not be a money transmitter if that person uses the CVC it mined to pay for goods and services on his or her own behalf.
submitted by Galwoa to Monero [link] [comments]

Full English Transcript of Gavin's AMA on 8BTC, April 21st. (Part 2)

Part 1
Part 3
Raw transcript on Google Docs (English+Chinese): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p3DWMfeGHBL6pk4Hu0efgQWGsUAdFNK6zLHubn5chJo/edit?usp=sharing
Translators/Organizers: emusher, kcbitcoin, nextblast, pangcong, Red Li, WangXiaoMeng. (Ranked in alphabetical order)
18. sina
Q: 1) Hello, what's a better strategy for bitcoin holders if it hard forks at 75%? Is it worth holding of the coins in the minority chain? Or better selling them? Will the value of coins in the majority chain be weakened or reinforced? Thank you
A: 1) BIP109 does not hard fork at 75%, it hard forks 28 days after 75% has been reached-- so when the hard fork happens, there should be almost zero hash power on the minority chain. So there will not be a minority chain.
If I am wrong and blocks are created on the minority chain, people plan to get enough hash power to replace those blocks with empty blocks, so it is impossible to make any transactions on the minority chain.
Q: 2) if Bitcoin split into two chains, will it cause panic in the market, then the overall market capitalization fell?
A: 2) Bitcoin split into two chains accidentally in March of 2013, and there was panic selling -- the price dropped from $48 to $37 within a few hours. But the mining pools very quickly agreed on which branch of the chain they would support, the problem was resolved within a day, and a week later the price was over $60.
That shows the strength of consensus and incentives-- the mining pools did what was best for Bitcoin because that is what is best for themselves in the long term.
Q: 3) Now it requres 60-70G space for a full node wallet, also it takes severals days for synchronization. Technically, Is it possible in the future that a full node wallet only cost a little space and can be quickly synchronized? (Do not use light wallets and other third party wallets)
A: 3) You can run a pruned node that does not store the full block chain today (I’m running six right now on inexpensive servers around the world to test some new code).
It is technically possible to get fast synchronization without giving up any trust, but it would require miners do more work (they would have to compute and store and validate an “unspent transaction output committment hash” in the block chain). There are also schemes that would give you fast synchronization at a lightweight-wallet level of trust, but worked towards no trust if you were connected to the network for long enough.
Some developers say that you are not really using Bitcoin unless you run a full node, but that is wrong. Bitcoin was designed so that you can make the choice of speed and convenience versus trust. You give up very, very little trust if you run a lightweight wallet that supports multisignature transactions, and I think that is what most people should be running.
Q: 4) What do you think about Ethereum? Can Bitcoin achieve all the same functions claimed by Ethernet? Thank you
A: 4) I think most of the interesting things you can do with Ethereum you can also do with multi-signature Bitcoin transactions. I haven’t seen a really great use of Ethereum yet, and I think there will be a big problem with Ethereum smart contracts that are designed to steal people’s money, because very few people will have the skill necessary to tell if a complicated smart contract is correct.
I’m watching the rootstock.io project, which brings Ethereum contracts to Bitcoin.
Q: 5) Is it possible that Nakamoto may still participate in the development of Bitcoin by a pseudonym? What is the last time he contact you? Will he be back?
A: 5) Yes, it is possible. I tell reporters who ask me about Satoshi:
The idea of Bitcoin is important; who invented it is an interesting mystery, but I think it should remain a mystery until whoever invented it decides to step forward. We should respect Satoshi's privacy.
Q: 6) Now some government can prevent people from accessing foreign information using technical method(like the Great Firewall), people need to get across the wall first if they want to know information abroad. So technically speaking, is it possible that the government could block and damage the usage of bitcoin? If it is, is there any method to get across the wall?
A: 6) If a government controls network access into and out of their country (like the Great Firewall), they could easily block connections to and from today’s Bitcoin peer-to-peer network. Connections are not encrypted in any way, and most connect to port 8333, which would be easy to block.
However, blocking connections inside the country would be much harder. And it only takes one encrypted or satellite or microwave or laser connection that bypasses the firewall to get around the blockage and get blocks and transactions flowing across the border again.
I think governments that decide they don’t like Bitcoin are more likely to pass laws that make it a crime to use a currency other than the official government currency to pay for things.
Q: 7) You insist on hard fork at 75%, while Chinse Mining Pools insist at 90%. So it may be easier to get support from China If Classic changes to 90%. Have you ever considered to communicate with Chinese mine pool( such as convening a meeting) to reduce differences?
A: 7) Yes, I was in Beijing a few weeks ago to better understand what some of the Chinese mining pools are thinking. It was a productive meeting, and I look forward to communicating more with them soon.
Q: 8) How will halving and block size increasing impact the bitcoin price in your opnion? Thanks.
A: 8) The price, today, is a reflection of confidence. If people think Bitcoin will be valuable in the future, they are willing to buy it and hold it.
Everybody knows the halving will happen, so, theoretically, that should not affect today’s price.
I believe that increasing the block size limit would be very good for the price, because Bitcoin is more valuable the more people who are able to use it.
Q: 9) Technically, bitcoin should also have drawbacks. Some disadvantages may be improved in the future , while some may be difficult to improve. What are those shortcomings for bitcoin to hard to improve in your opinon? Are you an optimist thinking that all technical shortcomings are temporary, and they will all likely to be improved in the future?
A: 9) Every successful technology is full of shortcomings. It is always easier to look backwards and see your mistakes. Smart engineers are very good at working around those shortcomings, and wise engineering managers know when to work around a shortcoming to remain compatible with the existing technology and when it makes sense to break compatibility because eliminating a shortcoming would have large benefits.
Q: 10) If there is a kind of altcoin in the future goes beyond Bitcoin, it must has the advantage Bitcoin can not have, right? Conversely, if Bitcoin itself evolves fast, improves and adds new features, it will be difficult to be surpassed and eliminated, right? What does Bitcoin scalability and evolution capability look like?
A: 10) People are funny -- I can imagine an altcoin that has no technology advantages over Bitcoin, but some people prefer it for some reason. I live in a town where a lot of people care a lot about the environment, and I could imagine them deciding to use a “GreenCoin” where all miners must be inspected regularly and must use only solar power.
I think many engineers tend to over-estimate the importance of new features, and under-estimate the importance of reliability, convenience and reputation.
Satoshi designed Bitcoin to be very scalable, and to be able to evolve. I think the best way for any technology to scale and evolve is competition -- make the technology open, and let companies or teams compete to build the most reliable, convienent and secure products. That looks like (and is!) a very messy, chaotic process, but it produces better results, faster, than a single person or team deciding on on approach to solving every problem.
Q: 11) If R3 succeeds, will it challenge bitcoin in transnational remittances?
A: 11) Maybe -- if banks involved in R3 could make it very convenient to get money into and out of their blockchain. They might not be able to do that because of regulations, though. But I don’t know much about the international remittance market and what regulations the banks will have to deal with.
Q: 12) Can blockchain only be secured by mining? Some private blockchain do not have mining property, are they really blockchain?
A: 12) Security is not “yes it is secure” or “no it is not secure.” Proof of work (mining) is the most secure way we know of to secure a blockchain, but there are less secure methods that can work if less security is OK. And less security is OK for some private blockchains because if somebody cheats, they can be taken to court and money can be recovered.
Q: 13) Will public chain, private chain and R3 chain coexist for a long time? Or only one chain survive finally? What is the relationship among Bitcoin block chain, private chains and R3 chain , complementary or competitive? Will Bitcoin block chain eventually win?
A: 13) My guess is all of the “blockchain for everything” excitement will die down in a year or two and a lot of people will be disappointed.
Then a few years later there will be blockchains for everything, running quietly inside stock markets and currency exchanges and lots of other places. Some of them will use the Bitcoin blockchain, some of them won’t, and nobody besides blockchain engineers will care much.
Throughout it all, I think it is most likely Bitcoin continues to grow, hopefully with less drama as it gets bigger and more mature.
Q: 14) Some people think that it is difficult for the outside world to understand the technical details if lightning network is controlled by blockstream or another company, resulting in technological centralization, what’s your opinion?
A: 14) I don’t worry about that, the lightning protocol is being designed in the open as an open standard. It is complicated, but not so complicated only one person or company can understand it.
Q: 15) What is the procedure Bitcoin Core modify the rules? Take the 2M hard fork proposal as an example, I saw there are concerns that if one of the five core developers who have write access reject the proposal will be rejected. So If happens, does that mean the launch hard ford in July will be abandoned? What is percentage of agreement in Core developers to write code for such a major bifurcation matter like 2M hard fork? Are there any specific standards? Or the lead developer has the final decision?
A: 15) That is a good question for the current active Core developers. When I was the lead developer, I would make a final decision if a decision needed to be made.
19. JR13
Q: What do you think about the future of increasing bitcoin block size limit?
A: It will happen sooner or later -- almost everybody agrees it must happen. I am still working to make it happen sooner, because the longer it takes, the worse for Bitcoin.
20. vatten
Q: What decision making process you think should be used for future bitcoin development?
A: For example, WuJiHan's proposition of service providers and mining pools collecting individual mineuser opinion. Or, a non-profit making standard making committee like IEEE, consists of people with enough expertise in bitcoin and economy, finance?
I think we should look at how development of other very successful technologies works (like email or the http protocol). I am not an expert, but open standards and open processes for participating in creating standards that are either adopted by the market or not (like the IETF process) seem to work the best.
21. kcb
Q: From my experience on Reddit, people now start to understand that evil is not Blockstream/Core's intention. They simply have a very different vision on how Bitcoin network should be running and on how future development should be heading. They do whatever they can to protect their vision, even dirty tricks, because they feel they are bringing justice.
Similarly, in Chinese community, we do see the same situation. Many Chinese Bitcoiners that showed strong enthusiasm in the past differ with each other. This even happens among my own real-life friends.
My question is: How can we separate these two groups of people who have widely divergent visions? Bitcoin cannot proceed when carrying two totally different visions.
A: I don’t know! It is always best if everybody is free to work on their own vision, but for some reason some people seem to think that the block size limit will prevent big companies from taking over Bitcoin.
I think all they will accomplish is making the technology much more complicated. And big companies are much better able to deal with and control highly complicated technologies.
22. XRP
Q: Please share your comments on ripple, Mr. Guru.
A: I haven’t paid very much attention to Ripple- the last time I looked at it was probably two years ago. Back then I thought they would have trouble with governments wanting to regulate their gateway nodes as money transmitters, but I haven’t even taken the time to see if I was right about that.
23.Lory
Q: Hi Gavin, I think you had a disagreement with the Nakamoto roadmap in Bitcoin design. Can you explain why? Thank you.
A: I assume you mean the part where Satoshi says he doesn’t think a second implementation will ever be a good idea.
I just think Satoshi was wrong about that-- if you look at very successful protocols, they all have multiple compatible implementations. We understand a lot more about what it takes to be completely compatible and have much better tools to ensure compatibility. And the fact that there now are multiple compatible implementations working on the network (btcd being probably the best example) shows both that it is possible and that the other implementations are not a menace to the network.
24. HuoDongFaBu
Q: 1) For the dispute between Core and Classic, can we refer to the theory of “Common-pool resources” (Commons) in the Western cultural tradition to understand and grasp the public and neutral property of bitcoin so at to strive for a solution which can balance interests of all parties?
A: 1) Maybe. The blockchain could be considered a Commons today-- a common, limited resource. But if control of the block size limit was given to miners, then I don’t think it fits the definition any more, because miners would have the freedom to restrict its use however they saw fit, on a block-by-block basis. That is just a simple, pure market, with transaction creators on one side and miners on the other.
Q: 2) For the application requring "bitcoin multi-signature script", can you recommend any programming language, libraries or tools?
A: 2) BitPay has some good tools: https://github.com/bitpay/bitcore I haven’t worked on any multisignature applications since writing the low-level protocol code-- there are probably other great libraries and tools that I just don’t know about.
25. zhuoji
Q: Hello Gavin, are you now still developing Classic? Will Classic proceed? Would you give up Classic and return to Core?
A: Yes, yes, and there is no “return to” -- I plan on contributing to lots of projects.
26. jieke
Q: 1) If there are one million entrepreneurs who require fund and asset securitization via block chain technology, is it possible?
A: 1) If there are ten million investors willing to fund those entrepreneurs, sure it is possible. The technology won’t be a problem, one million is not a large number for today’s computers.
Q: 2) Why can we trust Bitcoin and what are the advantages of bitcoin in online payment and settlement? Its commission fee now is not as cheap as before, besides, the time for one confirm is not fast enough. Your opinions on pros and cons of Mining and PoW?
A: 2) For people in places with good-enough banking systems like the United States or China, purchasing things inside their own country, bitcoin does not have much of an advantage over existing payment systems. But if you are buying something from somebody in another country, or you live in a place where there are no good payment systems, Bitcoin works very well.
Proof of work and mining is the most fair, decentralized way to distribute new coins. They are also the best way of securing the network that we know of so far. Perhaps in 30 years when essentially all of the new coins have been mined and computer scientists have thoroughly studied other ways of securing the network it might make sense for Bitcoin to start to switch to something other than mining and proof-of-work to secure the network.
Q: 3) How likely the possibility of replacing the existing legal currency with virtual currency?
A: 3) Very unlikely in a large country. I can imagine a small country that uses a larger country’s currency deciding to switch to a crypto currency, though.
27. IMJENNIM
Q: 1) You have always insist on larger block. Some people share the same view, they just want to increase the block size, regardless of network bandwidth restrictions in China and other developing countries. How do you see this criticism?
A: 1) Most people are using Bitcoin over very limited bandwidth connections-- most people use lightweight wallets.
If you run a business that needs a fast connection to the Internet, then it is not expensive to rent a server in a data center that has very good bandwidth. Even inexpensive servers have plenty of bandwidth and CPU power to keep up with much higher transaction volume.
If you insist on running a full node from your home, average connection speed in China today is 3.7 megabits per second, which is almost 1,000 transactions per second. Latency through the Great Firewall is a bigger issue right now, but there are several software solutions to that problem that people (including myself) are working on right now.
Q: 2) In addition, I'm curious what is your opinion on the current Bitcoin Core team? There is no doubt? If so, why not act as a Core developer contributing code in Bitcoin Core to solve these problems?
A: 2) I like most of the people on the current Bitcoin Core team, they are great. But there are a couple of people on that team I don’t want to work with, so I have decided to limit the amount of time I spend with that project.
28.ShaSiKaEr
Q: 1) Hello Gavin, I would like to ask you how long since your last contribution in Bitcoin Core or others related? Expect the big influence as one of the earliest contributors, do not you think you ought to talk about the code, mostly for the coutribution of development of Bitcoin?
A from pangcong: 1)The last commit in bitcoin core made by Gavin is on September 30, 2015, after that Gavin was busy with bitcoin XT and bicoin classic. His actual development in bitcoin has never stopped, these records are very clear on github, if you want to ask questions which are obvious, please investigate first.
A from Gavin: 1) Also: I submitted some patches to Bitcoin Core a few days ago.
Q: 2) Also, you were a neutral software engineer before, seriously committed to improving the bitcoin. But now you're playing political means to enhance your impact on the future of Bitcoin, how do you respond with it?
A from KuHaiBian: 2) Now the biggest problem in Bitcoin is not block size limit, but that there is only one development team, it is as dangerous as the situation that there is only one mining pool mining bitcoin. This is the biggest problem Gavin is trying to solve.
A from Gavin: 2) I just give my honest opinion, and try to do what I can to make Bitcoin more successful.
29.Xseraph2
Q: There is no systematic process for Bitcoin upgrades. Is there any regulation/restriction on the power of Core devs? How do we balance the conflict between the centrilized power of the devs with interest of the community consensus? Do you think Bitcoin need to learn from R3 chains or distributed ledger systems? I.e. setting up regulations to constrain the power of the devs, so that only devs with “restricted access” can contribute, not everyone.
A: Competition is the best solution. If the Core team does not make their customers happy, then they will be replaced. It might take a year or more for another team to get the reputation for high-quality code that the Core team has acquired over the years.
30. ZhongBenCong
Q: In 2016, you propose to increase block size limit to 8M, then doubled every two years. Is it still the most promising expansion plan in your opinion now? If it is, do you think it possible that the block size reach 8GB in 2036, particularly given the network speed and bandwith in developing countries.
A: I think it would be best to eliminate the block size limit entirely, and let the miners decide if they should accept or reject blocks. The miners want Bitcoin to succeed, and will not choose a size so large the network cannot handle it.
I don’t know if people would agree to eliminate the limit, though. A dynamic limit that grows, but prevents an extremely large ‘attack block’ would also be a good solution.
The growing-8MB idea came from the idea that it should be possible for somebody on a home Internet connection to continue to validate every single transaction. However, more research showed that the bottleneck is not the connection from the Internet to our homes (even in China there is plenty of bandwidth there) but connections across international borders. In particular, the Great Firewall can sometimes greatly restrict bandwidth to and from China.
31. FengFengZhongXuYaoNi
Q: Gavin, hello! What is the reason do you think the community rejected Bitcoin XT?
A: It was a mistake to try to make more changes than just simply increasing the block size limit.
32. ShaSiBiEr
Q: Now the problem of block size limit is not so serious as before when Bitoin was attacked, and the Segwit has been deployed, so what is the controversy? Why have to argue to the bitter end, must we argue until bitcoin die? Gavin, we all know your contribution to Bitcoin. But in 2015, when you said in bitcoin software development, we need a "dictator" to resolve the dispute. I think you want to be this dictator. http://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-dev/2015-June/008810.html
A: Must we argue until bitcoin die: I think is is in the nature of people to argue, so I think we will be arguing about lots of things until either we die or Bitcoin dies. I think in a few years we will look back and wonder why there was so much arguing, but I also think some good things have come from all of the argument.
33. HuoDongFaBu
Q: 1) What do you think about Ethereum? Can smart contract run based on Bitcoin?
A: 1) (This question is repeated. Please see Q18-4)
Q: 2) What are the problems Miners may have to face after halving in July? Thanks!
A: 2) There is a small risk that the halving will make a good fraction of the miners stop mining, because they will get about half of the bitcoins they got before the halving. And that might mean blocks take longer to create, which means less space for transactions, which might mean people get frustrated and leave Bitcoin. Which could drop the price even more, causing more miners to stop mining, more frustration, and so on.
Miners tell me they have already planned ahead for the halving and this will not happen, which is why I think it is a small risk and I don’t think the halving will be a big problem for most miners.
Q: 3) Where can we get the whole code and code review of bitcoin?
A: 3)
Bitcoin Core is at: https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin
Bitcoin Classic: https://github.com/bitcoinclassic/bitcoinclassic
btcd: https://github.com/btcsuite/btcd
bitcore: https://github.com/bitpay/bitcore
submitted by kcbitcoin to btc [link] [comments]

Lightning Network Will Likely Fail Due To Several Possible Reasons

ECONOMIC CASE IS ABSENT FOR MANY TRANSACTIONS
The median Bitcoin (BTC) fee is $14.41 currently. This has gone parabolic in the past few days. So, let’s use a number before this parabolic rise, which was $3.80. Using this number, opening and closing a Lightning Network (LN) channel means that you will pay $7.60 in fees. Most likely, the fee will be much higher for two reasons:
  1. BTC fees have been trending higher all year and will be higher by the time LN is ready
  2. When you are in the shoe store or restaurant, you will likely pay a higher fee so that you are not waiting there for one or more hours for confirmation.
Let’s say hypothetically that Visa or Paypal charges $1 per transaction. This means that Alice and Carol would need to do 8 or more LN transactions, otherwise it would be cheaper to use Visa or Paypal.
But it gets worse. Visa doesn’t charge the customer. To you, Visa and Cash are free. You would have no economic incentive to use BTC and LN.
Also, Visa does not charge $1 per transaction. They charge 3%, which is 60 cents on a $20 widget. Let’s say that merchants discount their widgets by 60 cents for non-Visa purchases, to pass the savings onto the customer. Nevertheless, no one is going to use BTC and LN to buy the widget unless 2 things happen:
  1. they buy more than 13 widgets from the same store ($7.60 divided by 60 cents)
  2. they know ahead of time that they will do this with that same store
This means that if you’re traveling, or want to tip content producers on the internet, you will likely not use BTC and LN. If you and your spouse want to try out a new restaurant, you will not use BTC and LN. If you buy shoes, you will not use BTC and LN.
ROAD BLOCKS FROM INSUFFICIENT FUNDS
Some argue that you do not need to open a channel to everyone, if there’s a route to that merchant. This article explains that if LN is a like a distributed mesh network, then another problem exists:
"third party needs to possess the necessary capital to process the transaction. If Alice and Bob do not have an open channel, and Alice wants to send Bob .5 BTC, they'll both need to be connected to a third party (or a series of 3rd parties). Say if Charles (the third party) only possesses .4 BTC in his respective payment channels with the other users, the transaction will not be able to go through that route. The longer the route, the more likely that a third party does not possess the requisite amount of BTC, thereby making it a useless connection.”
CENTRALIZATION
According to this visualization of LN on testnet, LN will be centralized around major hubs. It might be even more centralized than this visualization if the following are true:
  1. Users will want to connect to large hubs to minimize the number of times they need to open/close channels, which incur fees
  2. LN’s security and usability relies on 100% uptime of relaying parties
  3. Only large hubs with a lot of liquidity will be able to make money
  4. Hubs or intermediary nodes will need to be licensed as money transmitters, centralizing LN to exchanges and banks as large hubs
What will the impact be on censorship-resistance, trust-less and permission-less?
NEED TO BE LICENSED AS MONEY TRANSMITTER
Advocates for LN seem to talk a lot about the technology, but ignore the legalities.
FinCEN defines money transmitters. LN hubs and intermediary nodes seem to satisfy this definition.
Application of FinCEN's Regulations to Persons Administering, Exchanging, or Using Virtual Currencies
“…applicability of the regulations … to persons creating, obtaining, distributing, exchanging, accepting, or transmitting virtual currencies.”
“…an administrator or exchanger is an MSB under FinCEN's regulations, specifically, a money transmitter…”
"An administrator or exchanger that (1) accepts and transmits a convertible virtual currency or (2) buys or sells convertible virtual currency for any reason is a money transmitter under FinCEN's regulations…”
"FinCEN's regulations define the term "money transmitter" as a person that provides money transmission services, or any other person engaged in the transfer of funds. The term "money transmission services" means "the acceptance of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency from one person and the transmission of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency to another location or person by any means.””
"The definition of a money transmitter does not differentiate between real currencies and convertible virtual currencies.”
FinCEN’s regulations for IVTS:
"An “informal value transfer system” refers to any system, mechanism, or network of people that receives money for the purpose of making the funds or an equivalent value payable to a third party in another geographic location, whether or not in the same form.”
“…IVTS… must comply with all BSA registration, recordkeeping, reporting and AML program requirements.
“Money transmitting” occurs when funds are transferred on behalf of the public by any and all means including, but not limited to, transfers within the United States or to locations abroad…regulations require all money transmitting businesses…to register with FinCEN."
Mike Caldwell used to accept and mail bitcoins. Customers sent him bitcoins and he mailed physical bitcoins back or to a designated recipient. There is no exchange from one type of currency to another. FinCEN told him that he needed to be licensed as money transmitter, after which Caldwell stopped mailing out bitcoins.
ARGUMENTS AGAINST NEED FOR LICENSING
Some have argued that LN does not transfer BTC until the channel is closed on the blockchain. This is not a defence, since channels will close on the blockchain.
Some have argued that LN nodes do not take ownership of funds. Is this really true? Is this argument based on a technicality or hoping for a loophole? It seems intuitive that a good prosecutor can easily defeat this argument. Even if this loophole exists, can we count on the government to never close this loophole?
So, will LN hubs and intermediary nodes need to be licensed as money transmitters? If so, then Bob, who is the intermediary between Alice and Carol, will need a license. But Bob won’t have the money nor qualifications. Money transmitters need to pay $25,000 to $1 million, maintain capital levels and are subject to KYC/AML regulations1. In which case, LN will have mainly large hubs, run by financial firms, such as banks and exchanges.
Will the banks want this? Likely. Will they lobby the government to get it? Likely.
Some may be wondering about miners. FinCEN has declared that miners are not money transmitters:
https://coincenter.org/entry/aml-kyc-tokens :
"Subsequent administrative rulings clarified several remaining ambiguities: miners are not money transmitters…"
FinCEN Declares Bitcoin Miners, Investors Aren't Money Transmitters
Some argue that LN nodes will go through Tor and be anonymous. For this to work, will all of the nodes connecting to it, need to run Tor? If so, then how likely will this happen and will all of these people need to run Tor on every device (laptop, phone and tablet)? Furthermore, everyone of these people will be need to be sufficiently tech savvy to download, install and set up Tor. Will the common person be able to do this? Also, will law-abiding nodes, such as retailers or banks, risk their own livelihood by connecting to an illegal node? What is the likelihood of this?
Some argue that unlicensed LN hubs can run in foreign countries. Not true. According to FinCEN: "“Money transmitting” occurs when funds are…transfers within the United States or to locations abroad…” Also, foreign companies are not immune from the laws of other countries which have extradition agreements. The U.S. government has sued European banks over the LIBOR scandal. The U.S. government has charged foreign banks for money laundering and two of those banks pleaded guilty. Furthermore, most countries have similar laws. It is no coincidence that European exchanges comply with KYC/AML.
Will licensed, regulated LN hubs connect to LN nodes behind Tor or in foreign countries? Unlikely. Will Amazon or eBay connect to LN nodes behind Tor or in foreign countries? Unlikely. If you want to buy from Amazon, you’ll likely need to register yourself at a licensed, regulated LN hub, which means you’ll need to provide your identification photo.
Say goodbye to a censorship-resistant, trust-less and permission-less coin.
For a preview of what LN will probably look like, look at Coinbase or other large exchanges. It’s a centralized, regulated and censored hub. Coinbase allows users to send to each other off-chain. Coinbase provides user data to the IRS and disallows users from certain countries to sell BTC. You need to trust that no rogue employee in the exchange will steal your funds, or that a bank will not confiscate your funds as banks did in Cyprus. What if the government provides a list of users, who are late with their tax returns, to Coinbase and tells Coinbase to block those users from making transactions? You need Coinbase’s permission.
This would be the antithesis of why Satoshi created Bitcoin.
NEED TO REPORT TO IRS
The IRS has a definition for “third party settlement organization” and these need to report transactions to the IRS.
Though we do not know for sure yet, it can be argued that LN hubs satisfies this definition. If this is the case, who will be willing to be LN hubs, other than banks and exchanges?
To read about the discussion, go to:
Lightning Hubs Will Need To Report To IRS
COMPLEXITY
All cryptocurrencies are complicated for the common person. You may be tech savvy enough to find a secure wallet and use cryptocurrencies, but the masses are not as tech savvy as you.
LN adds a very complicated and convoluted layer to cryptocurrencies. It is bound to have bugs for years to come and it’s complicated to use. This article provides a good explanation of the complexity. Just from the screenshot of the app, the user now needs to learn additional terms and commands:
“On Chain”
“In Channels”
“In Limbo”
“Your Channel”
“Create Channel”
“CID”
“OPENING”
“PENDING-OPEN”
“Available to Receive”
“PENDING-FORCE-CLOSE”
There are also other things to learn, such as how funds need to be allocated to channels and time locks. Compare this to using your current wallet.
Recently, LN became even more complicated and convoluted. It needs a 3rd layer as well:
Scaling Bitcoin Might Require A Whole 'Nother Layer
How many additional steps does a user need to learn?
ALL COINS PLANNING OFF-CHAIN SCALING ARE AT RISK
Bitcoin Segwit, Litecoin, Vertcoin and possibly others (including Bitcoin Cash) are planning to implement LN or layer 2 scaling. Ethereum is planning to use Raiden Network, which is very similar to LN. If the above is true about LN, then the scaling roadmap for these coins is questionable at best, nullified at worst.
BLOCKSTREAM'S GAME PLAN IS ON TRACK
Blockstream employs several of the lead Bitcoin Core developers. Blockstream has said repeatedly that they want high fees. Quotes and source links can be found here.
Why is Blockstream so adamant on small blocks, high fees and off-chain scaling?
Small blocks, high fees and slow confirmations create demand for off-chain solutions, such as Liquid. Blockstream sells Liquid to exchanges to move Bitcoin quickly on a side-chain. LN will create liquidity hubs, such as exchanges, which will generate traffic and fees for exchanges. With this, exchanges will have a higher need for Liquid. This will be the main way that Blockstream will generate revenue for its investors, who invested $76 million. Otherwise, they can go bankrupt and die.
One of Blockstream’s investors/owners is AXA. AXA’s CEO and Chairman until 2016 was also the Chairman of Bilderberg Group. The Bilderberg Group is run by bankers and politicians (former prime ministers and nation leaders). According to GlobalResearch, Bilderberg Group wants “a One World Government (World Company) with a single, global marketplace…and financially regulated by one ‘World (Central) Bank’ using one global currency.” LN helps Bilderberg Group get one step closer to its goal.
Luke-Jr is one of the lead BTC developers in Core/Blockstream. Regulation of BTC is in-line with his beliefs. He is a big believer in the government, as he believes that the government should tax you and the “State has authority from God”. In fact, he has other radical beliefs as well:
So, having only large, regulated LN hubs is not a failure for Blockstream/Bilderberg. It’s a success. The title of this article should be changed to: "Lightning Will Fail Or Succeed, Depending On Whether You Are Satoshi Or Blockstream/Bilderberg".
SIGNIFICANT ADVANCEMENTS WITH ON-CHAIN SCALING
Meanwhile, some coins such as Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash are pushing ahead with on-chain scaling. Both are looking at Sharding.
Visa handles 2,000 transactions per second on average. Blockstream said that on-chain scaling will not work. The development teams for Bitcoin Cash have shown significant on-chain scaling:
1 GB block running on testnet demonstrates over 10,000 transactions per second:
"we are not going from 1MB to 1GB tomorrow — The purpose of going so high is to prove that it can be done — no second layer is necessary”
"Preliminary Findings Demonstrate Over 10,000 Transactions Per Second"
"Gigablock testnet initiative will likely be implemented first on Bitcoin Cash”
Peter Rizun, Andrew Stone -- 1 GB Block Tests -- Scaling Bitcoin Stanford At 13:55 in this video, Rizun said that he thinks that Visa level can be achieved with a 4-core/16GB machine with better implementations (modifying the code to take advantage of parallelization.)
Bitcoin Cash plans to fix malleability and enable layer 2 solutions:
The Future of “Bitcoin Cash:” An Interview with Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet:
"fixing malleability and enabling Layer 2 solutions will happen”
However, it is questionable if layer 2 will work or is needed.
GOING FORWARD
The four year scaling debate and in-fighting is what caused small blockers (Blockstream) to fork Bitcoin by adding Segwit and big blockers to fork Bitcoin into Bitcoin Cash. Read:
Bitcoin Divorce - Bitcoin [Legacy] vs Bitcoin Cash Explained
It will be interesting to see how they scale going forward.
Scaling will be instrumental in getting network effect and to be widely adopted as a currency. Whichever Coin Has The Most Network Effect Will Take All (Or Most) (BTC has little network effect, and it's shrinking.)
The ability to scale will be key to the long term success of any coin.
submitted by curt00 to btc [link] [comments]

Understanding USA Crypto/Cash Exchanges

Let this post serve to inform those who buy/sell Dogecoin [from other individuals], in order to protect yourselves as well as others.
Update: Title says USA, but someone asked about UK. I don't live there, but laws are meant to be read. Added UK section.
USA Section
The USA has been very helpful in regards to understanding the rising Crypto currency markets, and has provided updated guidances in regards to money exchanges, as well as mining. It's tough to cover all the points, but I'll try to make a few.
Common Questions:
What happens if I'm not "trading", but "gifting" my "friend" $10,0000?
Nothing. And everything. You see, when it comes to the "guidance", it really is just that: A guidance. Where it comes to hurt you is when the FBI knocks on your door, asking you why you transmitted $10,000 to a known terrorist. Ok, that example is a bit extreme, but the fact stays that the guidance is there to protect you until subsequent formal laws are put in place.
So I can trade $999.99 worth of Dogecoin in a day?
You can trade up to $1000 in a 24 hour period. This mean $1000, not a penny more. You'll give yourself a headache trying to keep it at exactly "$999.99".
How does this guidance and current law effect Dogecoin?
All virtual currencies are effected by this law, and does not "nail down" or target any one specific virtual currency.
What if I don't mine Dogecoin, but have bought some and want to use them for goods/services, what then?
You are then a "user" of Dogecoin, and are subject to all regular laws and limitations. Essentially, you can use the coin for all goods/services that are of a legal nature. Use it to buy coffee, hire someone to mow your lawn, or give out freely as you like.
What's the deal with USA taxes?
As it stands, no clear precedents have been set, and though the IRS is aware of the massive amount of earnings many Bitcoin'ers have, this is the first year that users are making a substantial sum of money from crytpo-currencies. Because of this, dealing with taxes has been a much heated debate. Link 1Link 2
More then likely, we'll be getting guidances later in the year in order better understand what to claim and how to claim it. From what I've seen (do NOT take this as legal advice), many users are claiming any gains as Short-term gains on their taxes. Link #2 above is a link to a user claiming to be a tax attorney, and is worth a read (it's LOOONG).
So the people buying $1k+ for doge are actually breaking the law?
No. The buyer is considered a "user" as part of the guidance: "A user is a person that obtains virtual currency to purchase goods or services.". A seller is listed in the guidance as "An exchanger is a person engaged as a business in the exchange of virtual currency for real currency...[etc]".
A good example of this is when you go to an international airport, and go to the currency exchange station. The station must be licensed in order to perform the transaction, but the "buyer" (you) does not need to be licensed.
UK Section
Note that all the requirements below must be met in order to NOT have to register as a Money Service Business; It's not that you are not allowed to perform services if you do not meet all the requirements, but that you must register if you want to perform such actions legally. Since I do not live in the UK and additionally am not aware of any guidances as related to virtual currency, I cannot faithfully interpret the laws as they pertain to Dogecoin.
  • You cannot make more then £64,000 a year total in exchange services
  • Turnover (anything you gain after losses are calculated) cannot be more then 5% of your total annual turnover
  • Currency exchange worth more than 1,000 euros must be limited to one per customer - This is both for one single large transaction and multiple small transactions to a single individual
  • Your primary business cannot be solely performing monetary transactions, it must be secondary to your main business. This is hard to interpret, so let's put it this way: You can't just exchange money as a business. You would need to sell lemons at your lemon stand, and do money exchange on the side. It's very hard to do this without seeming like a front for a money laundering service though.
  • You cannot perform an exchange for just anyone: They have to be your customer. For example, if you go to a private bank, they cannot exchange money for you unless you open an account with them (just an example). (Note: This is a very weird portion of the law.)
After reading and interpreting the current UK laws to the best of my understanding, all I can say is that until the UK provides guidance for cryptocurrency, be VERY CAUTIOUS about performing ANY transactions, to the point where if I was living in the UK, I would not try selling any crypto with a 10ft (3M) pole. Buying seems fine though.
Common questions:
Note: Please check the USA section prior to asking a question. Since many countries have not pushed official laws, many of the general principles are the same between countries when it comes to money exchange services.
No questions at this time
I'll try to answer more questions as they come along, as well as glean any better answers from comments below.
submitted by GuideZ to dogecoin [link] [comments]

Lightning Network Will Likely Fail Due To Several Possible Reasons

ECONOMIC CASE IS ABSENT FOR MANY TRANSACTIONS
The median Bitcoin (BTC) fee is $14.41 currently. This has gone parabolic in the past few days. So, let’s use a number before this parabolic rise, which was $3.80. Using this number, opening and closing a Lightning Network (LN) channel means that you will pay $7.60 in fees. Most likely, the fee will be much higher for two reasons:
  1. BTC fees have been trending higher all year and will be higher by the time LN is ready
  2. When you are in the shoe store or restaurant, you will likely pay a higher fee so that you are not waiting there for one or more hours for confirmation.
Let’s say hypothetically that Visa or Paypal charges $1 per transaction. This means that Alice and Carol would need to do 8 or more LN transactions, otherwise it would be cheaper to use Visa or Paypal.
But it gets worse. Visa doesn’t charge the customer. To you, Visa and Cash are free. You would have no economic incentive to use BTC and LN.
Also, Visa does not charge $1 per transaction. They charge 3%, which is 60 cents on a $20 widget. Let’s say that merchants discount their widgets by 60 cents for non-Visa purchases, to pass the savings onto the customer. Nevertheless, no one is going to use BTC and LN to buy the widget unless 2 things happen:
  1. they buy more than 13 widgets from the same store ($7.60 divided by 60 cents)
  2. they know ahead of time that they will do this with that same store
This means that if you’re traveling, or want to tip content producers on the internet, you will likely not use BTC and LN. If you and your spouse want to try out a new restaurant, you will not use BTC and LN. If you buy shoes, you will not use BTC and LN.
ROAD BLOCKS FROM INSUFFICIENT FUNDS
Some argue that you do not need to open a channel to everyone, if there’s a route to that merchant. This article explains that if LN is like a distributed mesh network, then another problem exists:
"third party needs to possess the necessary capital to process the transaction. If Alice and Bob do not have an open channel, and Alice wants to send Bob .5 BTC, they'll both need to be connected to a third party (or a series of 3rd parties). Say if Charles (the third party) only possesses .4 BTC in his respective payment channels with the other users, the transaction will not be able to go through that route. The longer the route, the more likely that a third party does not possess the requisite amount of BTC, thereby making it a useless connection.”
CENTRALIZATION
According to this visualization of LN on testnet, LN will be centralized around major hubs. It might be even more centralized than this visualization if the following are true:
  1. Users will want to connect to large hubs to minimize the number of times they need to open/close channels, which incur fees
  2. LN’s security and usability relies on 100% uptime of relaying parties
  3. Only large hubs with a lot of liquidity will be able to make money
  4. Hubs or intermediary nodes will need to be licensed as money transmitters, centralizing LN to exchanges and banks as large hubs
What will the impact be on censorship-resistance, trust-less and permission-less?
NEED TO BE LICENSED AS MONEY TRANSMITTER
Advocates for LN seem to talk a lot about the technology, but ignore the legalities.
FinCEN defines money transmitters. LN hubs and intermediary nodes seem to satisfy this definition.
Application of FinCEN's Regulations to Persons Administering, Exchanging, or Using Virtual Currencies
“…applicability of the regulations … to persons creating, obtaining, distributing, exchanging, accepting, or transmitting virtual currencies.”
“…an administrator or exchanger is an MSB under FinCEN's regulations, specifically, a money transmitter…”
"An administrator or exchanger that (1) accepts and transmits a convertible virtual currency or (2) buys or sells convertible virtual currency for any reason is a money transmitter under FinCEN's regulations…”
"FinCEN's regulations define the term "money transmitter" as a person that provides money transmission services, or any other person engaged in the transfer of funds. The term "money transmission services" means "the acceptance of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency from one person and the transmission of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency to another location or person by any means.””
"The definition of a money transmitter does not differentiate between real currencies and convertible virtual currencies.”
FinCEN’s regulations for IVTS:
"An “informal value transfer system” refers to any system, mechanism, or network of people that receives money for the purpose of making the funds or an equivalent value payable to a third party in another geographic location, whether or not in the same form.”
“…IVTS… must comply with all BSA registration, recordkeeping, reporting and AML program requirements.
“Money transmitting” occurs when funds are transferred on behalf of the public by any and all means including, but not limited to, transfers within the United States or to locations abroad…regulations require all money transmitting businesses…to register with FinCEN."
Mike Caldwell used to accept and mail bitcoins. Customers sent him bitcoins and he mailed physical bitcoins back or to a designated recipient. There is no exchange from one type of currency to another. FinCEN told him that he needed to be licensed as money transmitter, after which Caldwell stopped mailing out bitcoins.
ARGUMENTS AGAINST NEED FOR LICENSING
Some have argued that LN does not transfer BTC until the channel is closed on the blockchain. This is not a defence, since channels will close on the blockchain.
Some have argued that LN nodes do not take ownership of funds. Is this really true? Is this argument based on a technicality or hoping for a loophole? It seems intuitive that a good prosecutor can easily defeat this argument. Even if this loophole exists, can we count on the government to never close this loophole?
So, will LN hubs and intermediary nodes need to be licensed as money transmitters? If so, then Bob, who is the intermediary between Alice and Carol, will need a license. But Bob won’t have the money nor qualifications. Money transmitters need to pay $25,000 to $1 million, maintain capital levels and are subject to KYC/AML regulations1. In which case, LN will have mainly large hubs, run by financial firms, such as banks and exchanges.
Will the banks want this? Likely. Will they lobby the government to get it? Likely.
Some may be wondering about miners. FinCEN has declared that miners are not money transmitters:
https://coincenter.org/entry/aml-kyc-tokens :
"Subsequent administrative rulings clarified several remaining ambiguities: miners are not money transmitters…"
FinCEN Declares Bitcoin Miners, Investors Aren't Money Transmitters
Some argue that LN nodes will go through Tor and be anonymous. For this to work, will all of the nodes connecting to it, need to run Tor? If so, then how likely will this happen and will all of these people need to run Tor on every device (laptop, phone and tablet)? Furthermore, everyone of these people will be need to be sufficiently tech savvy to download, install and set up Tor. Will the common person be able to do this? Also, will law-abiding nodes, such as retailers or banks, risk their own livelihood by connecting to an illegal node? What is the likelihood of this?
Some argue that unlicensed LN hubs can run in foreign countries. Not true. According to FinCEN: "“Money transmitting” occurs when funds are…transfers within the United States or to locations abroad…” Also, foreign companies are not immune from the laws of other countries which have extradition agreements. The U.S. government has sued European banks over the LIBOR scandal. The U.S. government has charged foreign banks for money laundering and two of those banks pleaded guilty. Furthermore, most countries have similar laws. It is no coincidence that European exchanges comply with KYC/AML.
Will licensed, regulated LN hubs connect to LN nodes behind Tor or in foreign countries? Unlikely. Will Amazon or eBay connect to LN nodes behind Tor or in foreign countries? Unlikely. If you want to buy from Amazon, you’ll likely need to register yourself at a licensed, regulated LN hub, which means you’ll need to provide your identification photo.
Say goodbye to a censorship-resistant, trust-less and permission-less coin.
For a preview of what LN will probably look like, look at Coinbase or other large exchanges. It’s a centralized, regulated and censored hub. Coinbase allows users to send to each other off-chain. Coinbase provides user data to the IRS and disallows users from certain countries to sell BTC. You need to trust that no rogue employee in the exchange will steal your funds, or that a bank will not confiscate your funds as banks did in Cyprus. What if the government provides a list of users, who are late with their tax returns, to Coinbase and tells Coinbase to block those users from making transactions? You need Coinbase’s permission.
This would be the antithesis of why Satoshi created Bitcoin.
NEED TO REPORT TO IRS
The IRS has a definition for “third party settlement organization” and these need to report transactions to the IRS.
Though we do not know for sure yet, it can be argued that LN hubs satisfies this definition. If this is the case, who will be willing to be LN hubs, other than banks and exchanges?
To read about the discussion, go to:
Lightning Hubs Will Need To Report To IRS
COMPLEXITY
All cryptocurrencies are complicated for the common person. You may be tech savvy enough to find a secure wallet and use cryptocurrencies, but the masses are not as tech savvy as you.
LN adds a very complicated and convoluted layer to cryptocurrencies. It is bound to have bugs for years to come and it’s complicated to use. This article provides a good explanation of the complexity. Just from the screenshot of the app, the user now needs to learn additional terms and commands:
“On Chain”
“In Channels”
“In Limbo”
“Your Channel”
“Create Channel”
“CID”
“OPENING”
“PENDING-OPEN”
“Available to Receive”
“PENDING-FORCE-CLOSE”
There are also other things to learn, such as how funds need to be allocated to channels and time locks. Compare this to using your current wallet.
Recently, LN became even more complicated and convoluted. It needs a 3rd layer as well:
Scaling Bitcoin Might Require A Whole 'Nother Layer
How many additional steps does a user need to learn?
ALL COINS PLANNING OFF-CHAIN SCALING ARE AT RISK
Bitcoin Segwit, Litecoin, Vertcoin and possibly others (including Bitcoin Cash) are planning to implement LN or layer 2 scaling. Ethereum is planning to use Raiden Network, which is very similar to LN. If the above is true about LN, then the scaling roadmap for these coins is questionable at best, nullified at worst.
BLOCKSTREAM'S GAME PLAN IS ON TRACK
Blockstream employs several of the lead Bitcoin Core developers. Blockstream has said repeatedly that they want high fees. Quotes and source links can be found here.
Why is Blockstream so adamant on small blocks, high fees and off-chain scaling?
Small blocks, high fees and slow confirmations create demand for off-chain solutions, such as Liquid. Blockstream sells Liquid to exchanges to move Bitcoin quickly on a side-chain. LN will create liquidity hubs, such as exchanges, which will generate traffic and fees for exchanges. With this, exchanges will have a higher need for Liquid. This will be the main way that Blockstream will generate revenue for its investors, who invested $76 million. Otherwise, they can go bankrupt and die.
One of Blockstream’s investors/owners is AXA. AXA’s CEO and Chairman until 2016 was also the Chairman of Bilderberg Group. The Bilderberg Group is run by bankers and politicians (former prime ministers and nation leaders). According to GlobalResearch, Bilderberg Group wants “a One World Government (World Company) with a single, global marketplace…and financially regulated by one ‘World (Central) Bank’ using one global currency.” LN helps Bilderberg Group get one step closer to its goal.
Luke-Jr is one of the lead BTC developers in Core/Blockstream. Regulation of BTC is in-line with his beliefs. He is a big believer in the government, as he believes that the government should tax you and the “State has authority from God”. In fact, he has other radical beliefs as well:
So, having only large, regulated LN hubs is not a failure for Blockstream/Bilderberg. It’s a success. The title of this article should be changed to: "Lightning Will Fail Or Succeed, Depending On Whether You Are Satoshi Or Blockstream/Bilderberg".
SIGNIFICANT ADVANCEMENTS WITH ON-CHAIN SCALING
Meanwhile, some coins such as Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash are pushing ahead with on-chain scaling. Both are looking at Sharding.
Visa handles 2,000 transactions per second on average. Blockstream said that on-chain scaling will not work. The development teams for Bitcoin Cash have shown significant on-chain scaling:
1 GB block running on testnet demonstrates over 10,000 transactions per second:
"we are not going from 1MB to 1GB tomorrow — The purpose of going so high is to prove that it can be done — no second layer is necessary”
"Preliminary Findings Demonstrate Over 10,000 Transactions Per Second"
"Gigablock testnet initiative will likely be implemented first on Bitcoin Cash”
Peter Rizun, Andrew Stone -- 1 GB Block Tests -- Scaling Bitcoin Stanford At 13:55 in this video, Rizun said that he thinks that Visa level can be achieved with a 4-core/16GB machine with better implementations (modifying the code to take advantage of parallelization.)
Bitcoin Cash plans to fix malleability and enable layer 2 solutions:
The Future of “Bitcoin Cash:” An Interview with Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet:
"fixing malleability and enabling Layer 2 solutions will happen”
However, it is questionable if layer 2 will work or is needed.
GOING FORWARD
The four year scaling debate and in-fighting is what caused small blockers (Blockstream) to fork Bitcoin by adding Segwit and big blockers to fork Bitcoin into Bitcoin Cash. Read:
Bitcoin Divorce - Bitcoin [Legacy] vs Bitcoin Cash Explained
It will be interesting to see how they scale going forward.
Scaling will be instrumental in getting network effect and to be widely adopted as a currency. Whichever Coin Has The Most Network Effect Will Take All (Or Most) (BTC has little network effect, and it's shrinking.)
The ability to scale will be key to the long term success of any coin.
submitted by curt00 to Bitcoincash [link] [comments]

US Bitcoin traders who identify as users are under siege. Do you have the same issue in your country?

As a bitcoin trader myself, I follow all the news of us trader arrests. These fall into two categories. First, the user did something otherwise unlawful such as trafficking drugs or committing money laundering and was charged with "operating an unlicensed money servicing business" and "conspiracy for agreeing to distribute controlled dangerous substances". In these types of cases I agree that the user should be punished for conspiracy to distribute drugs and money laundering. The second type of case that is becoming far more prevalent now is where the bitcoin user has simply made sales and purchases of bitcoin for his or her own account. These users are still charged with "Operating an unlicensed money services business."
This I do not agree with at all because FIN-2008-G008 declared that "When a broker or dealer in currency or other commodities accepts and transmits funds solely for the purpose of effecting a bona fide purchase or sale of currency or other commodities for or with a customer, such person is not engaged as a business in the transfer of funds, and is not acting as a money transmitter as that term is defined in our regulations.8 In such circumstances, the transmission of funds is a fundamental element of the actual transaction necessary to execute the contract for the purchase or sale of the currency or the other commodity. The transmission of funds is not a separate and discrete service provided in addition to the underlying transaction. It is a necessary and integral part of the transaction."
This determination was reiterated in subsequent guidance FIN-2013-G001 & response FIN-2014-R002. Simply put a bitcoin user who only purchases or sells bitcoin of his own account to or from a customer is not a money transmitter.
Most simple bitcoin traders operate under this guidance and are simply flabbergasted when confronted with charges for operating an "unlicensed money services business" or "operating an unlicensed bitcoin exchange". When the government makes their case the conveniently only quote the portion of the rule that states " An exchanger is a person engaged as a business in theexchange of virtual currency for real currency, funds, or other virtual currency". [FIN-2013-G001] Except that it is clearly explained in FIN-2008-G008 that "When a broker or dealer in currency or other commodities accepts and transmits funds solely for the purpose of effecting a bona fide purchase or sale of currency or other commodities for or with a customer, such person is not engaged as a business in the transfer of funds, and is not acting as a money transmitter as that term is defined in our regulations." This is carried forward and reiterated in FIN-2013-G001 where it states "In 2008, FinCEN issued guidance stating that as long as a broker or dealer in real currency or other commodities accepts and transmits funds solely for the purpose of effecting a bona fide purchase or sale of the real currency or other commodities for or with a customer, such person is not acting as a money transmitter under the regulations. However, if the broker or dealer transfers funds between a customer and a third party that is not part of the currency or commodity transaction, such transmission of funds is no longer a fundamental element of the actual transaction necessary to execute the contract for the purchase or sale of the currency or the other commodity. This scenario is, therefore, money transmission. Examples include, in part, (1) the transfer of funds between a customer and a third party by permitting a third party to fund a customer’s account; (2) the transfer of value from a customer’s currency or commodity position to the account of another customer; or (3) the closing out of a customer’s currency or commodity position, with a transfer of proceeds to a third party. Since the definition of a money transmitter does not differentiate between real currencies and convertible virtual currencies, the same rules apply to brokers and dealers of e-currency and e-precious metals.
A simple way to think about the definition of a money transmitter is that a money transmitter typically collects funds from one customer and transmits those funds to another customer via its agents in a remote location. So A western Union agent for example collects $100 from Bob Smith in Iowa and deposits this money into its Bank of America Account. Peggy Sue in Ohio goes to a western union agent where the agent prints out a check from western union or gets an ach credit into its business checking account from Bank of America and pays out a portion of the received funds to Peggy Sue. Western Union is transmitting money by accepting it from agent A and transmitting it to agent B for further credit to Peggy Sue. So let's think about this in terms of bitcoin. Bitcoin is a centralized ledger of funds for each public key or "account". If I have 0.05 bitcoin in account 1001 and I want to pay my landlord 0.05 bitcoin rent,I send the bitcoin to account 1002. All this does is make a notation on the blockchain that account 1001 now has 0 bitcoin and account 1002 now has 0.05 bitcoin. This is simplified a bit so you programmers out there don't cringe over the details of constructing a bitcoin transaction, inputs, and outputs. Suffice it to say, that sending my landlord who is standing next to me, 0.05 bitcoin, does not make me a money transmitter any more than paying him with my VISA card. In fact in both cases we could consider VISA or bitcoin a money transmitter since they take funds from person A and transmit them to person B via their agents. In VISA's case the party's banks are the agents, while in bitcoin's example the agents could be the wallet program on each phone or computer that reads the person's wallet or account balance.
Circle back to our friendly traders under siege. No, not the criminals slinging drugs, they knowingly committed their actions. I'm speaking about the bitcoin users, only selling or purchasing bitcoins from their own account to or from a customer. These traders haven't committed an offenses at all according to fincen's directions. What does the government do? Do they engage in a public information campaign to inform these traders of their rights and responsibilities? Do they create a new MSB category for digital currency and define rules and responsibilities for a virtual currency trader? No, instead they try to mislead traders in these cases where a secondary offense such as drug trafficking hasn't been committed. "You have got to be kidding me. Right?" No, I'm really not. If you start reading into these cases you'll find literally hundreds of examples of agents encouraging traders to send bitcoin to a trader in Africa for example so that trader can disburse local currency to a friend. Agents buying bitcoin for less than $10,000 USD without ID and considering this illegal behavior in the indictment! Remember a user doesn't need to report any transaction unless it exceeds $10,000 USD if it is part of his trade or business. If an auto worker who is a casual user that only trades bitcoin 3 times a year sold his for Christmas money to a friend, he wouldn't even need to report the $15,000 sale. But most traders who trade on a daily basis or do it for a living will need to file either an IRS 8300 or a Fincen CTR. Such agents who approach these casual traders entice them with inflated rates and use such phrases as "I'm going to make you rich!'". And they often ask questions about limits and regulations that don't apply to the bitcoin user. They consider all responses as violations of the money transmitter regulations that aren't supposed to apply.
So what is a trader to do? You have two choices. You can follow the law literally as most have done and have countless agents come and test you...and then worry about being arrested on charges that don't even apply to you except when acting unlawfully when strongly encouraged or even elicited under duress in some cases by government agents. Or you can falsely claim you are a money transmitter and follow those rules.
On my own personal journey I decided in October of 2014 to register with Fincen because I saw that one of my suppliers had done so on his website. I asked him about it and he said it was a precautionary measure. I asked around and I was told by many that I had to select money transmitter and other and write in bitcoin trader because there was no selection for bitcoin trader. This in spite of not being a money transmitter. After I had registered I received a call from a man in "Internal Revenue" in Boston about my registration. He asked me about my bitcoin trading and then he said he had to consult with a supervisor. About 15 minutes later he returned my call and told me, "You are not a money transmitter, so I don't need anything from you." A couple months after that, I received a call from Key Bank's compliance office in Cleveland. They had detected my registration as a money transmitter with Fincen and wanted to ask me a few questions. After questioning me, the lady told me that she previously worked for fincen and that I was not an MSB. Key bank had me sign an affidavit that I wouldn't perform any money services businesses activities such as cashing checks for profit, transmitting money, issue money orders, or create gift cards. This compliance officer understood that I was not an exchange in any way and that I only purchased and sold bitcoin of my own account. She understood I didn't hold funds for customers to trade with each other of their own accord like Bitstamp, Kraken, or Gemini.
In the years that would follow, I would have many bank accounts shut down due to this registration as a money transmitter. Most banks simply looked and said, you are a money transmitter. After all, you registered as one. I called Ficen and asked if I could un-register. "No, you cannot". The banks wouldn't even listen to the facts and make a decision. The only other business to actually study my investment model and grant me user status was Gemini. They also agreed I was a user. I think years later they came under pressure to terminate all localbitcoins accounts because many were terminated and at the end of those, mine was too. Was it a coincidence? Or could one of my customers have sabotaged me? It is possible for a user to lie about his wallet address and give out one belonging to a site such as Alphabay. I had one customer do this to me when I was selling him coin from Alphabay. Coinbase questioned me about the transaction and I informed them that someone I was sending money give that wallet out as his own. They reinstated my account since I had years of history with them and it was only one transaction. After that I was careful not to send to customer wallets directly from coinbase. I guess my point is here, if you don't register as a money transmitter they want to harass and prosecute you; but if you do register as a money transmitter they still want to harass and shut down your business. I have recently been engaged in conversations with Fincen by email and by phone and other traders. I haven't been able to speak with many compliance people who are knowledgeable about bitcoin. When I do, for example I've spoken with BitAML on this subject, they agree with me about being a user as a trader. Other compliance people won't even answer my emails or call me back. Now I'm on the verge of either retiring or going the whole money transmitter route and even following the $3,000 ID requirement that only applies to money orders, traveler's checks, and money transfers, but not virtual currency. So my question to you is, do you have the same kinds of problems in your country? Is it better, or worse where you are? Tell me your stories. From my perspective now at least, it seems like the USA has the most malfeasance and harassment of the simple bitcoin traders, excluding those who commit crimes.
Thanks for reading
submitted by scottemick to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Open thread, August 2017

This is an open thread to discuss items of interest. I may also use it to drop thoughts as they occur to me as well -- something of a replacement of my former "tab closure" posts, as ... well, it seems tabs are simply running away from me. Consider this an experiment that's been mulling for some time.
If you've got a question, observation, link, or anything else, feel free to post it, with a thought to the lair rules -- like house rules, but larrier.
An evolving conversation....

Kafka as Epistemist

From "The Kafkaesque Process of Cancer Diagnosis", the concept applied here to cancer diagnosis, and in Kafka's The Trial to a process of judgement, strikes me as profoundly epistemological:
The patient continued, “You understand that the many tests and the elusive information of the recent weeks remind me of Franz Kafka's words in his famous work Der Prozess, meaning both trial and process.” “The verdict does not come suddenly, proceedings continue until a verdict is reached gradually.”

I am looking for tools to make sense of HTML DOMs

Probably in Python, though other general scripting, or possibly, compiled languages, might work. Javascript is another possibility, with a few extant tools employing this.
The primary goal is to extract document metadata (title, author, publisher, date, URL), and include the body of a document whilst excluding, or at the very least marking as secondary the ancillary bits. The though occurs that frequency / similarity analysis of the constant bits might help.
The extant tools of Readability's parser (it's survived the fall of the service), Pocket, Instapaper, Outline, etc., may be useful.
Inquiries elsewhere have also brought up Pilgrim, a project of the Knight Foundation (as Outline may also be), which isn't exactly what I'm looking for, but it's interesting in its own right.

On nuclear power and safety

There's an article making the rounds, poorly argued, IMO, extolling nuclear energy. I've been heartened by the critical response it's triggered at Hacker News, including my own contribution, previously submitted at G+ on Joerg Fliege's thread, drawing comparisons to the Banqiao Dam disaster of 1975. In part:
Proponents of nuclear power assume that we can assess risks with tails not of the decade or so of Banqiao, but of 100, 1,000, 1 million years. Utterly outside the scope of any human institutions, or of the human species itself.
Our models of risks and of costs fail us....
The problems with nuclear power are massive, long-tailed, systemic and potentially existential. The same cannot be said of a wind farm or solar array. There is no significant 10,000 year threat from wind power, or solar power. We're not risking 30 - 60 km exclusion zones, on an unplanned basis, of which we've created at least four in the half-decade of significant nuclear energy applications: Hanford, Washington, Three Mile Island, Pennsyvania, Chernobyl, Ukraine, and Fukushima, Japan. And this is with a global plant of some 450 operating nuclear power plants as of 2017....
If the total experience has been, say, 500 reactors, over 50 years, or 25,000 reactor-years of experience, and we've experienced at least four major disasters, then our failure rate is 0.016%.
The global share of nuclear power generation in 2012 was about 10%.[4] Which means that without allowing for increased electrical consumption within existing or extending to developing nations, the plant count would have to increase tenfold.
Holding the reactor-year failure rate constant would mean 80 core meltdowns per century. Reducing that to the present rate of four meltdowns/century would require reducing the failure rate to 0.0008%. That's five nines, if anyone's counting.
Five nines on a process involving weather, politics, business, social upheaval, terrorism, sabotage, individual psychology, group psychology, climate, communications, response, preparedness....

"8 Lessons from 20 years of Hype Cycles"

A look at the Gartner Hype Cycle, and lessons derived therefrom:
  1. We're terrible at making predictions. Especially about the future.
  2. An alarming number of technology trends are flashes in the pan.
  3. Lots of technologies just die. Period.
  4. The technical insight is often correct, but the implementation isn't there
  5. We've been working on a few core technical problems for decades
  6. Some technologies keep receding into the future
  7. Lots of technologies make progress when no-one is looking
  8. Many major technologies flew under the Hype Cycle radar
Michael Mullany, "8 Lessons from 20 Years of Hype Cycles".

David Gerard at the Financial Times on Bitcoin and Blockchain

David Gerard, author of Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain, interviewed by Izabella Kaminska about Bitcoin, /Buttcoin, and Tulips, among other topics. There's a bunch of great information in this podcast, of which I'll highlight two items in particular.
I've been reflecting a great deal on information, truth, and that boundary between information and belief, most principally trust. Gerard nails the value proposition of trust, and a problem with the Free All the Things trope of decentralisation:
Decentralisation is the paramount feature in bitcoin, but it turns out that that's a bad idea that's really, really expensive, because it turns out that a tiny bit of trust saves you a fortune.
"Decentralised" isn't a useful buzzword in a lot of ways, because it turns out that you want to be a part of society.
He also points at the invalidity of market capitalisation as a concept. It's an arithmetically inexpensive value to obtain (multiply total quantity by present price), but, especially in the thin markets typical of Bitcoin, it is essentially a fantasy value with no real meaning. From a conversation at The Other Place:
[C]rypto "market cap" is a meaningless number. Even on Bitcoin, the most popular one, about 100 BTC will clear the order book on any exchange. Crypto "market cap" is not a number you could realise, it's not how much money went into it, it's not anything useful. If you want to compare cryptos by interest, you'd need to measure daily trading volumes, which is a harder number to gather, and market cap doesn't turn out to be a good proxy for it. So billions of dollars in free money weren't actually just created - instead it's millions of tokens that may or may not be tradeable for ordinary bitcoins or for cash, if you don't go very fast at all.
This evokes my own explorations of cost, price, and value, and what exactly they mean.
One analogy that Gerard, Alex Kudlick, and I are leaning toward is that of electric circuits. Price is analogous to pressure, or potential (voltage). Volume would be current. This raises the question of what resistance, capacitance, and impedance would have as analogues....
FT: Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain with David Gerard (Soundcloud: 65 minutes). Highly recommended.
And you'll find Gerard on Reddit as dgerard.

Yonatan Zunger on the evolution of U.S. "court costs"

In "The history of “court costs”", Zunger writes of "a system that [you might think] has gone out of control, a mechanism that started with a good purpose that got eaten by corruption and incompetence. But you would be wrong."
In the post-Civil War South, a system came up when plantations, factories, or mines needed workers. It was based on that clever little exception in the 13th Amendment:
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Note that it doesn’t say what kind of crime you have to be convicted of.
The short of it: slavery is not illegal in the United States, just somewhat regulated.
My own main commentary ... probably worth posting in its own right, is that whilst Zunger raises excellent points about the intentionality of this system and its antecedents to Nazi Germany's concentration camps, the fact is that none of these phenomena are particularly American, nor particularly new. This isn't to excuse the United States of its guilt.
Rather: these behaviours, systems, and dynamics seem to be deeply rooted. Whether they're merely cultural (the examples I've given are all from cultural antecedants or siblings to US tradition), part of human behavioral psychology, or deeper even than that, this is not simply a matter of bad laws and bad people. Rather: It is a case of such rules and dynamics actively succeeding and crowding out alternatives.
There are two good discussions at The Other Place from the original Tootstorm and from the Medium essay.

When your political opponents are made of money ...

In politics, a growing problem is the dominance of interests who apparently have nothing but money to throw at problems
Utilising this fact in judo fashion, the thought occurs that that one possible response is to create a vast wall of problems for which they find it necessary to throw money at.
The less ease with which to discern between actual problems and fantasmic simaculra of problems, so much the better.
Have fun storming the castle!

Bill Browder: "It turned out that in Putin's Russia, there are no good guys."

At NPR: "Businessman Paints Terrifying And Complex Picture Of Putin's Russia:
In what one senator called one of the Senate Judiciary Committee's "most important" hearings, [William] Browder, a wealthy businessman-turned-activist-turned Putin-adversary shed a chilling new light on a Russian system of government that operates ruthlessly in the shadows — as Browder described it for lawmakers: a "kleptocracy" sustained by corruption, blackmail, torture and murder with Putin at its center.
"Effectively the moment that you enter into their world," Browder told senators investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, "you become theirs."
Oh, and "Russian adoptions" are one of the dog whistles for the Magnitsky Act, legislation passed in the U.S. in 2012, named after Browder's now-murdered Russian lawyer, Sergei Magnitski, imposing sanctions on human-rights violators.
Also the topic of a certain July, 2016 meeting featuring Donald Trump, Jr., and senior members of the Trump campaign, of recent memory.

The distinction isn't "online vs. offline" but "direct vs. mediated"

Articles and books on the impacts of digital and mobile media are a dime a dozen, and may be as laughable, or prophetic, as previous gerimiads on new media. "Has the Smartphone Destroyed a Generation" is fairly typical of the genre, if better than most.
Reading it, a thought recurs to me: the distinction isn't of online vs. offline, but or even screen time, but of mediated vs. direct experience.
Media mediates. It is literally that which is between the observer and the observed. And with increasingly smart media, those exchanges are very directly mediated, interposed, by third (and fourth, and fifth, and ...) parties.
This has multiple effects, a few:
I'd argue there are degrees of mediation as well. Analogue devices such as the telephone are less mediated than digital feeds such as Facebook or YouTube.
And this isn't the first period to have such experiences. I have frequent cause to point out that intellectual, academic, and creative experiences were very often epistolary, exchanges of letters. Though generally with less rapidity than today's 'round-the-world-in-a-second emails.
But that whole "online" and "cyberspace" distinction? Lose it.

The etymology of "data" ... peculiarly uninformative

I'm rather the fan of looking at etymologies of words. They often reveal interesting origins, connections, or evolutions. The etymology of data would be a peculiar exception:
1640s, classical plural of datum, from Latin datum "(thing) given," neuter past participle of dare "to give" (from PIE root *do- "to give"). Meaning "transmittable and storable computer information" first recorded 1946. Data processing is from 1954.
By way of definitions:
a collection of facts, observations, or other information related to a particular question or problem; as, the historical data show that the budget deficit is only a small factor in determining interest rates.
Which raises the question of whether data is the collection of facts, or the symbolic or other representation of those facts.
Arising as discovered that there is a philosophy of data and I've encountered its philosopher, Brian Ballsun-Stanton (via Mastodon).

Amathia: Unteachably stupid

There are a few concepts on the harm or danger of stupidity. In "One Crucial Word", Massimo Pigliucci explores the Greek term Amathia:
Amathia. It is often translated as “ignorance,” as in the following two famous quotes from Socrates:
“Wisdom alone, is the good for man, ignorance the only evil” (Euthydemus 281d)
“There is, he said, only one good, that is, knowledge, and only one evil, that is, ignorance” (in Diogenes Laertius, II.31)
But just as in the case of other ancient Greek words (like “eudaimonia,” about which I will write later this week) the common translation hardly does the job, and indeed often leads people to misunderstand the concept and quickly dismiss it as “obviously” false, or even incoherent....
Very much worth reading. Via /Philosophy and Paul Beard.

I've made good on a year-old threat and opened up Miranda's Knitting and Tea House

Enjoy! Welcome to the Tea House: Knitting. Tea. Discussion. Intelligence. Sunshine. "We Do Things Different"tm .
This is a sibling subreddit, with more open submissions, though still in a controlled manner. More at the notice.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer on stupidity vs. evil

From The Other Place: Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice:
Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice. One may protest against evil; it can be exposed and, if need be, prevented by use of force. Evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of unease. Against stupidity we are defenseless. Neither protests nor the use of force accomplish anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears; facts that contradict one’s prejudgment simply need not be believed- in such moments the stupid person even becomes critical – and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental. In all this the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self-satisfied and, being easily irritated, becomes dangerous by going on the attack. For that reason, greater caution is called for than with a malicious one. Never again will we try to persuade the stupid person with reasons, for it is senseless and dangerous....
Read through to the source for the full quote.
I've dug a bit deeper into the backstory. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a contemporary and friend of Reinhold Neibur, of "Serenity Prayer" fame. He served in the Abwehr, the Nazi intelligence service, during WWII, headed by Wilhelm Canaris. Bonhoeffer and Caneris were executed by the Nazi regime on 9 April, 1945, only three weeks before the fall of Berlin and Hitler's own death. And it turns out that the Abwehr, centre of relatively unfiltered information during the regime, was an active centre of resistance to it, from within.
Bonhoeffer was one of eight children. A brother, and the husbands of two of his sisters, were also executed by the Nazi regime. Bonhoeffer's twin sister Sabine survived until 1999.
Strongly related to the previous item on amathia, and observations from Hanah Arendt.

The Edge Question, 2017

"What Scientific Term or Concept Ought to be More Widely Known?" I find The Edge to be a bit hit-or-miss, and there are some misses here. But there's a heck of a lot of hits on topics that have been floating through my brain-space, and a few names I've been following as well. David Christian ("Big History"), confirmation bias, motivated reasoning, networks, information pathology, ... Daily Nous has a promising list as well. I've got the essays lined up to ... hopefully, read. And this note as a reminder to do that.

John Stuart Mill: A Few Words on Non-Intervention

By way of Wikipedia:
There seems to be no little need that the whole doctrine of non-interference with foreign nations should be reconsidered, if it can be said to have as yet been considered as a really moral question at all... To go to war for an idea, if the war is aggressive, not defensive, is as criminal as to go to war for territory or revenue; for it is as little justifiable to force our ideas on other people, as to compel them to submit to our will in any other respect. But there assuredly are cases in which it is allowable to go to war, without having been ourselves attacked, or threatened with attack; and it is very important that nations should make up their minds in time, as to what these cases are... To suppose that the same international customs, and the same rules of international morality, can obtain between one civilized nation and another, and between civilized nations and barbarians, is a grave error...

Oil is other people's money

I was thinking through the history of the Indiana natural gas boom -- oh, yeah, what Indiana gas boom, you ask? This Indiana gas boom, lasting from about 1884 to 1903. Basically, people realised you could stick a pipe in the ground and burn what came out. Which people did. As free-standing, natural-wonder flambeaux -- flaming torches, visible for miles around. After all, such a God-given abundance would surely last forever, right?
The field burned out, literally, in two decades.
But why waste that resource? I'm thinking of a typical Analyst's Matrix, describing spending your own, vs. other people's money. Let's do that in a table:
Your money Someone else's money
Your use High quality / Low cost High quality / Cost irrelevant
Somebody else's use Quality irrelevant / Low cost Quality irrelevant / Cost irrelevant
When it comes to natural gas, or oil, or coal, the majority of the cost, that is, its initial formation is not borne by you. Only the extraction cost is. That un-borne fraction is effectively other people's money. You care about the quality of the use (its use value), but not the full formation cost.
Oil, coal, and gas, are other people's money.
The legacy of the Indiana boom lives on in a few ways. Ball Glass Company originally formed in the state to take advantage of cheap gas for glass blowing, as did numerous other manufacturing concerns. They eventually shifted to coal. And you'll find the word flambeau turning up in place-names and the odd company name to. Relics to other people's money.

Limitations on Free Speech -- revisiting "shouting 'No Fire!' in a theatre that is in fact on fire"

The dynamics since the American Fascists riots in Charlottesville, VA, and the ACLU reconsidering its position on free speech reminds me that I had started, quite uncomfortably, revisiting my own views on this about three years ago. "Shouting "No Fire" in a Warming World as a Clear and Present Danger" was my thinking at the time.
Further developments -- Charlie Hebdo attacks, "punching vs. punching down", questions over revisionist history, the amazingly good two-part YouTube set by Contrapoints: "Does the Left Hate Free Speech? (Part 1)" (video: 16:53) and "Does the Left Hate Free Speech? (Part 2)" (video: 17:46) (I'm surprised I hadn't already mentioned it), various research (Jill Gordon, "John Stuart Mill and 'The Marketplace of Ideas'" and Jill Lepore (Kansas City Public Library lecture) both address parts of this. Karl Popper's "Paradox of Tolerance". Many, many discussions, mostly on G+.
The history of free expression / free speech itself is interesting and surprising, particularly the role between Protestant and Catholic factions -- the latter being seen much the same way as Fascists are today, as constitutionally opposed to tolerance, and therefore not subject to the benefits of free speech themselves.

Jeff Schmidt on salaried professionals and the soul-battering system that shapes their lives

Disciplined Minds by physicist Jeff Schmidt has been in my files for a while. Per Unwelcomed Guests Wiki:
This book explains the social agenda of the process of professional training. Disciplined Minds shows how it is used to promote orthodoxy by detecting and weeding out dissident candidates and by exerting pressure on the rest to obey their instructors and abandon personal agendas such as social reform -- so that they, in turn, can perpetuate the system by squeezing the life out of the next generation.
This ... is strikingly similar to the critique of John Stuart Mill of England's educational systems in the 1860s. Hans Jensen addresses this in "John Stuart Mill's Theories of Wealth and Income Distribution" (available via Sci-Hub).
Several prior Reddit mentions.

So no, Sonos! Palindromic boycott of privacy-skewering IoT ToS change

Wireless, cloud-connected speaker manufacturer Sonos have retroactively changed terms of service and required existing product owners monitoring subjects accept the new terms or the devices will cease to function.
And this, boys and girls, is why you don't buy Sonos products, ever.
(Or any Internet of Things that Spy On You devices.)
Palindrome courtesey Sakari Maaranen.

Alexander Hamilton Church and cost accounting: Capital-Labour analysis

Alexander Hamilton Church (28 May 1866 – 11 February 1936) was an English efficiency engineer, accountant and writer on accountancy and management, known for his seminal work of management and cost accounting. In particular, it was his work which expanded the concept of factors of production from just labour to include capital and other inputs.
Among his works, Production factors in cost accounting and works management (1910), from whose introduction:
From the earliest days of manufacturing there has grown up a custom of considering labor as the main and only direct item in production, and of expressing all other expenditure in more or less vague percentages of wage cost. The fact is, however, that labor, while always important, tends to become less important relatively to other items as the progress of organized manufacture develops and the use of specialized and expensive mechanical equipment increases. Very few concerns have come to grief by ignoring labor costs, but many have passed into the hands of receivers by ignoring the relative imiportance of the other factors of production.

On social media and online tools as "optional": Facebook required for AirBnB

Via The Guardian, "I didn’t have enough Facebook friends to prove to Airbnb I was real":
At the other end of the Airbnb helpline in Colorado, “Casey” sounded incredulous. “You have how many Facebook friends?” she drawled. “Er … about 50,” I replied. Long pause. “Well, you don’t have enough for us to verify you. You’d need at least 100.”
“But”, I squeaked, “I post every now and again … I’m on Facebook most days to check on my friends and relations.” This, however, was not enough to convince Airbnb I existed. And, as I didn’t exist, I could not book a room.
Keep this in mind next time someone declares "nobody forces you to use Facebook". Despite the many other refutations of this trope, we can now respond unequivocally: "AirBnB do".

Milestones: the 900 club

Just to memorialise this, and to bury the item as I close out this thread: the Dreddit has crossed the 900 subscriber threshold for the first time. Thanks to all, again, I will strive to be worth your time. It's interesting how much I prefer not to note such things, and yet do in fact note them. The days of teetering just on the edge in particular.

Previously:

One last thing ...

Do you like what you're reading here? Would you like to see a broader discussion? Do you think there are ideas which should be shared more broadly?
The Lair isn't a numbers game, my real goal is quality -- reaching, and hopefully interacting with, an intelligent online community. Something which I've found, in several decades of online interactions, difficult to achieve.
But there's something which works surprisingly well: word of mouth. Shares, by others, to appropriate venues, have generated the best interactions. I do some of that, but I could use your help as well.
So: if you see something that strikes you as particularly cogent (or, perhaps, insipid), please share it. To another subreddit. To Twitter or Facebook or G+. To the small-but-high-quality Metafilter. To your blogging circle, or a mailing list. If you work in technology, or policy, or economics, there as well.
Thanks, Morbius.
submitted by dredmorbius to dredmorbius [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Meaning Bitcoin Money: The definition of Bitcoin Bitcoins Erklärung: In nur 12 Min. Bitcoin verstehen ... What is Bitcoin Mining? - YouTube Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining explained - YouTube

A US Federal court has classified Bitcoin as a “money” under the Washington, D.C., Money Transmitters Act (MTA). A US Federal court would not dismiss criminal charges laid against Larry Dean Harmon, the operator of an underground Bitcoin trading platform, for running an unlicensed money transmitting business under D.C. law and for laundering money under federal law—because Bitcoin is a ... In a letter released yesterday, the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) further clarified rules for bitcoin escrow services and cloud-based mining operations. The letter (PDF) issues a new ruling that neither form of business fits the requirements of a money transmitter service as detailed in the Bank Secrecy Act, and as such would not … payment processors who accept Bitcoin from a merchant’s customers and pass dollars to the merchant are usually money transmitters. Federal Money Transmitter Obligations FinCEN regulates money transmitters pursuant to a legislative framework known as the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”), which includes elements of the Patriot Act together with other laws and implementing regulations. Laws that relate to Bitcoin mining fit into this category. You may hear a lot about the pioneer virtual currency, but few specifics in the way of actual legislation. Well, that is precisely the point of this article. If you are looking to mine Bitcoin in the USA, it is natural to be curious about laws relevant to your enterprise. The relative youth of this innovation makes the legal landscape ... Bitcoin Regulation in United States. As Bitcoin becomes more and more mainstream, law enforcement agencies, tax authorities and legal regulators all over the world are trying to wrap their heads around the concept of cryptocurrency, and how exactly it ought to fit into existing regulations and legal frameworks.

[index] [42078] [4038] [1802] [30210] [4020] [9360] [27000] [50875] [37212] [48151]

Bitcoin Meaning

A recent Washington D. C. court case saw a man prosecuted on multiple counts for running a Bitcoin ( BTC ) tumbler — a method of hiding Bitcoin transactions. The court charged the defendant on ... For more information: https://www.bitcoinmining.com and https://www.weusecoins.com What is Bitcoin Mining? Have you ever wondered how Bitcoin is generated? T... Start trading Bitcoin and cryptocurrency here: http://bit.ly/2Vptr2X Bitcoin is the first decentralized digital currency. All Bitcoin transactions are docume... This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue. Watch Queue Queue Video shows what Bitcoin means. Bitcoin meaning and definition in our video dictionary. Learn how to say Bitcoin with free pronunciation English Dictionary. Is there a word you'd like us to help ...

#