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Crypto Banking Wars: Will Coinbase or Binance Become The Bank of The Future?

Crypto Banking Wars: Will Coinbase or Binance Become The Bank of The Future?
Can the early success of major crypto exchanges propel them to winning the broader consumer finance market?
https://reddit.com/link/i48t4q/video/v4eo10gom7f51/player
This is the first part of Crypto Banking Wars — a new series that examines what crypto-native company is most likely to become the bank of the future. Who is best positioned to reach mainstream adoption in consumer finance?
While crypto allows the world to get rid of banks, a bank will still very much be necessary for this powerful technology to reach the masses. We believe a crypto-native company, like Genesis Block, will become the bank of the future.
In an earlier series, Crypto-Powered, we laid out arguments for why crypto-native companies have a huge edge in the market. When you consider both the broad spectrum of financial use-cases and the enormous value unlocked through these DeFi protocols, you can see just how big of an unfair advantage blockchain tech becomes for companies who truly understand and leverage it. Traditional banks and fintech unicorns simply won’t be able to keep up.
The power players of consumer finance in the 21st century will be crypto-native companies who build with blockchain technology at their core.
The crypto landscape is still nascent. We’re still very much in the fragmented, unbundled phase of the industry lifecycle. Beyond what Genesis Block is doing, there are signs of other companies slowly starting to bundle financial services into what could be an all-in-one bank replacement.
So the key question that this series hopes to answer:
Which crypto-native company will successfully become the bank of the future?
We obviously think Genesis Block is well-positioned to win. But we certainly aren’t the only game in town. In this series, we’ll be doing an analysis of who is most capable of thwarting our efforts. We’ll look at categories like crypto exchanges, crypto wallets, centralized lending & borrowing services, and crypto debit card companies. Each category will have its own dedicated post.
Today we’re analyzing big crypto exchanges. The two companies we’ll focus on today are Coinbase (biggest American exchange) and Binance (biggest global exchange). They are the top two exchanges in terms of Bitcoin trading volume. They are in pole position to winning this market — they have a huge existing userbase and strong financial resources.
Will Coinbase or Binance become the bank of the future? Can their early success propel them to winning the broader consumer finance market? Is their growth too far ahead for anyone else to catch up? Let’s dive in.
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Binance

The most formidable exchange on the global stage is Binance (Crunchbase). All signs suggest they have significantly more users and a stronger balance sheet than Coinbase. No other exchange is executing as aggressively and relentlessly as Binance is. The cadence at which they are shipping and launching new products is nothing short of impressive. As Tushar Jain from Multicoin argues, Binance is Blitzscaling.
Here are some of the products that they’ve launched in the last 18 months. Only a few are announced but still pre-launch.
Binance is well-positioned to become the crypto-powered, all-in-one, bundled solution for financial services. They already have so many of the pieces. But the key question is:
Can they create a cohesive & united product experience?

Binance Weaknesses

Binance is strong, but they do have a few major weaknesses that could slow them down.
  1. Traders & Speculators Binance is currently very geared for speculators, traders, and financial professionals. Their bread-and-butter is trading (spot, margin, options, futures). Their UI is littered with depth charts, order books, candlesticks, and other financial concepts that are beyond the reach of most normal consumers. Their product today is not at all tailored for the broader consumer market. Given Binance’s popularity and strength among the pro audience, it’s unlikely that they will dumb down or simplify their product any time soon. That would jeopardize their core business. Binance will likely need an entirely new product/brand to go beyond the pro user crowd. That will take time (or an acquisition). So the question remains, is Binance even interested in the broader consumer market? Or will they continue to focus on their core product, the one-stop-shop for pro crypto traders?
  2. Controversies & Hot Water Binance has had a number of controversies. No one seems to know where they are based — so what regulatory agencies can hold them accountable? Last year, some sensitive, private user data got leaked. When they announced their debit card program, they had to remove mentions of Visa quickly after. And though the “police raid” story proved to be untrue, there are still a lot of questions about what happened with their Shanghai office shut down (where there is smoke, there is fire). If any company has had a “move fast and break things” attitude, it is Binance. That attitude has served them well so far but as they try to do business in more regulated countries like America, this will make their road much more difficult — especially in the consumer market where trust takes a long time to earn, but can be destroyed in an instant. This is perhaps why the Binance US product is an empty shell when compared to their main global product.
  3. Disjointed Product Experience Because Binance has so many different teams launching so many different services, their core product is increasingly feeling disjointed and disconnected. Many of the new features are sloppily integrated with each other. There’s no cohesive product experience. This is one of the downsides of executing and shipping at their relentless pace. For example, users don’t have a single wallet that shows their balances. Depending on if the user wants to do spot trading, margin, futures, or savings… the user needs to constantly be transferring their assets from one wallet to another. It’s not a unified, frictionless, simple user experience. This is one major downside of the “move fast and break things” approach.
  4. BNB token Binance raised $15M in a 2017 ICO by selling their $BNB token. The current market cap of $BNB is worth more than $2.6B. Financially this token has served them well. However, given how BNB works (for example, their token burn), there are a lot of open questions as to how BNB will be treated with US security laws. Their Binance US product so far is treading very lightly with its use of BNB. Their token could become a liability for Binance as it enters more regulated markets. Whether the crypto community likes it or not, until regulators get caught up and understand the power of decentralized technology, tokens will still be a regulatory burden — especially for anything that touches consumers.
  5. Binance Chain & Smart Contract Platform Binance is launching its own smart contract platform soon. Based on compatibility choices, they have their sights aimed at the Ethereum developer community. It’s unclear how easy it’ll be to convince developers to move to Binance chain. Most of the current developer energy and momentum around smart contracts is with Ethereum. Because Binance now has their own horse in the race, it’s unlikely they will ever decide to leverage Ethereum’s DeFi protocols. This could likely be a major strategic mistake — and hubris that goes a step too far. Binance will be pushing and promoting protocols on their own platform. The major risk of being all-in on their own platform is that they miss having a seat on the Ethereum rocket ship — specifically the growth of DeFi use-cases and the enormous value that can be unlocked. Integrating with Ethereum’s protocols would be either admitting defeat of their own platform or competing directly against themselves.

Binance Wrap Up

I don’t believe Binance is likely to succeed with a homegrown product aimed at the consumer finance market. Their current product — which is focused heavily on professional traders and speculators — is unlikely to become the bank of the future. If they wanted to enter the broader consumer market, I believe it’s much more likely that they will acquire a company that is getting early traction. They are not afraid to make acquisitions (Trust, JEX, WazirX, DappReview, BxB, CoinMarketCap, Swipe).
However, never count CZ out. He is a hustler. Binance is executing so aggressively and relentlessly that they will always be on the shortlist of major contenders.
https://preview.redd.it/mxmlg1zqm7f51.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=2d900dd5ff7f3b00df5fe5a48305d57ebeffaa9a

Coinbase

The crypto-native company that I believe is more likely to become the bank of the future is Coinbase (crunchbase). Their dominance in America could serve as a springboard to winning the West (Binance has a stronger foothold in Asia). Coinbase has more than 30M users. Their exchange business is a money-printing machine. They have a solid reputation as it relates to compliance and working with regulators. Their CEO is a longtime member of the crypto community. They are rumored to be going public soon.

Coinbase Strengths

Let’s look at what makes them strong and a likely contender for winning the broader consumer finance market.
  1. Different Audience, Different Experience Coinbase has been smart to create a unique product experience for each audience — the pro speculator crowd and the common retail user. Their simple consumer version is at Coinbase.com. That’s the default. Their product for the more sophisticated traders and speculators is at Coinbase Pro (formerly GDAX). Unlike Binance, Coinbase can slowly build out the bank of the future for the broad consumer market while still having a home for their hardcore crypto traders. They aren’t afraid to have different experiences for different audiences.
  2. Brand & Design Coinbase has a strong product design team. Their brand is capable of going beyond the male-dominated crypto audience. Their product is clean and simple — much more consumer-friendly than Binance. It’s clear they spend a lot of time thinking about their user experience. Interacting directly with crypto can sometimes be rough and raw (especially for n00bs). When I was at Mainframe we hosted a panel about Crypto UX challenges at the DevCon4 Dapp Awards. Connie Yang (Head of Design at Coinbase) was on the panel. She was impressive. Some of their design philosophies will bode well as they push to reach the broader consumer finance market.
  3. USDC Stablecoin Coinbase (along with Circle) launched USDC. We’ve shared some stats about its impressive growth when we discussed DeFi use-cases. USDC is quickly becoming integrated with most DeFi protocols. As a result, Coinbase is getting a front-row seat at some of the most exciting things happening in decentralized finance. As Coinbase builds its knowledge and networks around these protocols, it could put them in a favorable position to unlock incredible value for their users.
  4. Early Signs of Bundling Though Coinbase has nowhere near as many products & services as Binance, they are slowly starting to add more financial services that may appeal to the broader market. They are now letting depositors earn interest on USDC (also DAI & Tezos). In the UK they are piloting a debit card. Users can now invest in crypto with dollar-cost-averaging. It’s not much, but it’s a start. You can start to see hints of a more bundled solution around financial services.

Coinbase Weaknesses

Let’s now look at some things that could hold them back.
  1. Slow Cadence In the fast-paced world of crypto, and especially when compared to Binance, Coinbase does not ship very many new products very often. This is perhaps their greatest weakness. Smaller, more nimble startups may run circles around them. They were smart to launch Coinbase Ventures where tey invest in early-stage startups. They can now keep an ear to the ground on innovation. Perhaps their cadence is normal for a company of their size — but the Binance pace creates quite the contrast.
  2. Lack of Innovation When you consider the previous point (slow cadence), it’s unclear if Coinbase is capable of building and launching new products that are built internally. Most of their new products have come through acquisitions. Their Earn.com acquisition is what led to their Earn educational product. Their acquisition of Xapo helped bolster their institutional custody offering. They acqui-hired a team to help launch their staking infrastructure. Their acquisition of Cipher Browser became an important part of Coinbase Wallet. And recently, they acquired Tagomi — a crypto prime brokerage. Perhaps most of Coinbase’s team is just focused on improving their golden goose, their exchange business. It’s unclear. But the jury is still out on if they can successfully innovate internally and launch any homegrown products.
  3. Talent Exodus There have been numerous reports of executive turmoil at Coinbase. It raises a lot of questions about company culture and vision. Some of the executives who departed include COO Asiff Hirji, CTO Balaji Srinivasan, VP & GM Adam White, VP Eng Tim Wagner, VP Product Jeremy Henrickson, Sr Dir of Eng Namrata Ganatra, VP of Intl Biz Dan Romero, Dir of Inst Sales Christine Sandler, Head of Trading Hunter Merghart, Dir Data Science Soups Ranjan, Policy Lead Mike Lempres, Sr Compliance Vaishali Mehta. Many of these folks didn’t stay with Coinbase very long. We don’t know exactly why it’s happening —but when you consider a few of my first points (slow cadence, lack of innovation), you have to wonder if it’s all related.
  4. Institutional Focus As a company, we are a Coinbase client. We love their institutional offering. It’s clear they’ve been investing a lot in this area. A recent Coinbase blog post made it clear that this has been a focus: “Over the past 12 months, Coinbase has been laser-focused on building out the types of features and services that our institutional customers need.” Their Tagomi acquisition only re-enforced this focus. Perhaps this is why their consumer product has felt so neglected. They’ve been heavily investing in their institutional services since May 2018. For a company that’s getting very close to an IPO, it makes sense that they’d focus on areas that present strong revenue opportunities — as they do with institutional clients. Even for big companies like Coinbase, it’s hard to have a split focus. If they are “laser-focused” on the institutional audience, it’s unlikely they’ll be launching any major consumer products anytime soon.

Coinbase Wrap Up

At Genesis Block, we‘re proud to be working with Coinbase. They are a fantastic company. However, I don’t believe that they’ll succeed in building their own product for the broader consumer finance market. While they have incredible design, there are no signs that they are focused on or capable of internally building this type of product.
Similar to Binance, I think it’s far more likely that Coinbase acquires a promising young startup with strong growth.

Honorable Mentions

Other US-based exchanges worth mentioning are Kraken, Gemini, and Bittrex. So far we’ve seen very few signs that any of them will aggressively attack broader consumer finance. Most are going in the way of Binance — listing more assets and adding more pro tools like margin and futures trading. And many, like Coinbase, are trying to attract more institutional customers. For example, Gemini with their custody product.

Wrap Up

Coinbase and Binance have huge war chests and massive reach. For that alone, they should always be considered threats to Genesis Block. However, their products are very, very different than the product we’re building. And their approach is very different as well. They are trying to educate and onboard people into crypto. At Genesis Block, we believe the masses shouldn’t need to know or care about it. We did an entire series about this, Spreading Crypto.
Most everyone needs banking — whether it be to borrow, spend, invest, earn interest, etc. Not everyone needs a crypto exchange. For non-crypto consumers (the mass market), the differences between a bank and a crypto exchange are immense. Companies like Binance and Coinbase make a lot of money on their crypto exchange business. It would be really difficult, gutsy, and risky for any of them to completely change their narrative, messaging, and product to focus on the broader consumer market. I don’t believe they would ever risk biting the hand that feeds them.
In summary, as it relates to a digital bank aimed at the mass market, I believe both Coinbase and Binance are much more likely to acquire a startup in this space than they are to build it themselves. And I think they would want to keep the brand/product distinct and separate from their core crypto exchange business.
So back to the original question, is Coinbase and Binance a threat to Genesis Block? Not really. Not today. But they could be, and for that, we want to stay close to them.
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A guide to Smart Contracts

A guide to Smart Contracts

https://preview.redd.it/ysi74g2vn3251.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=63875e316556c41144ad81cf061caf5bb3f4680d
We all have heard the term Smart Contract. When Satoshi invented Blockchain, it was meant to perform transactions only. Ethereum smart contracts made it the prime choice to build Dapps over it. Smart contract enhanced Ethereum’s functionality and makes it different from the traditional blockchain (Bitcoin). This functionality was replicated by other newer Blockchains.
What are Smart Contracts?
Smart contracts can be defined as self-executing applications that run on a blockchain. It is an agreement between two or more parties in the form of a computer code that runs on a decentralized network in a blockchain. It consists of a set of defined rules which are agreed upon by the involved parties. The contract automatically gets activated whenever certain conditions are met.
This idea will remove the involvement of any trusted third-party companies (such as banks) and will be controlled by computers on a trusted network.
Ethereum is one of the most popular blockchain platforms for creating smart contracts. It supports a feature called Turing-completeness that enables the developers to build customized smart contracts. Solidity, Ethereum’s original coding language is used to develop smart contracts. Ethereum blockchain's ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens are smart contract standards.
Who created it?
Nick Szabo, a computer scientist, and cryptographer, first described the idea of Smart contracts in the ‘90s. He worked on the concept of defining contract laws in businesses between parties by maintaining an electronic commerce protocol on the Internet.
He further designed Bit Gold, a mechanism for a decentralized digital currency in 1998. Though the idea was never implemented it created a base that led to the popularity of Bitcoin after 10 years.
Properties:
· Self-verifiable
· Self-executable
· Tamper Proof
Benefits of using Smart Contract
· The removal of third-party or middleman leads to direct and transparent communication between involving parties
· Helps in maintaining trust as the agreement rules were predefined and agreed by the parties involved
· Helps in reducing error and frauds
· Time and cost-efficient
· No single point of failure or data loss as data is distributed across the network

https://preview.redd.it/1e5ahcqxn3251.png?width=1024&format=png&auto=webp&s=f8a1ebb9b3a84dd721fb32f96fc1950899bc3015
Different objects of Smart contracts
There are three essential and main objects of Smart Contracts
· Signatories- The parties who use the smart contract.
· Agreement subject
· Terms and Condition-. Details like rules, obligations, and associated punishments, etc are mentioned as terms and conditions as appropriate.
How Smart Contract works
Ethereum has 2 types of accounts
· External accounts (user account) - Controlled by public-private key pairs
· Contract accounts - Controlled by the code stored together with the account
These accounts contain four fields:
· The nonce, which ensures that each transaction can only be processed once
· The current ether balance of the account
· The contract code of the account
· The storage of the account
Model steps
  1. External account executes a function:
a. The user initiates the process by signing the transaction using his private key corresponding to the account.
b. Local validation of the transaction happens. It is broadcasted to the network.
c. The transaction is added to the transaction pool. The mines maintains such pools.
  1. Generate EVM bytecode through compiling
  2. EVM
a. EVM is a powerful, virtual sandbox embedded within each full Ethereum node
b. The job of the EVM is to update the Ethereum state by computing valid state transitions as a result of smart contact code execution
c. The EVM should not run into any exceptions during the execution
  1. Get contract address from that transaction's receipt
  2. Trigger contract address to invoke methods of that deployed smart contract
  3. Upon receiving a newly created block, the local node executes all the transactions in the block.
The accuracy and quality of a smart contract depends on the following things
· Open and decentralized database
· The environment needs to support the use of public-key cryptography
· Quality programming is crucial.
· Data should be reliable.
· Robust rules should be used while automating the process.
Features
Smart contracts automatically support the features of underlying blockchain technology.
· Autonomy – Complete control of the involving parties. No need of middleman as in the case of traditional contractual system
· Speed – Automated computer code runs as soon as the input criteria fulfill, thereby eliminating the delays caused by manual paperwork activity
· Safety – Network encryption guarantees safety against data theft or hacking
· Savings – No doubt that the removal of middleman saves a lot of overall cost and time
· Accuracy – Since these smart contracts are automated software codes so they ensure accurate output as long as the data fed into the system as input is accurate
· Trust – Helps in building trust as the documents are encrypted in a shared ledger
· Backup – Since in Blockchain network, each node has a complete backup of data which ensures protection over data loss
Potential Use cases
Smart contracts can be used to exchange money, property, shares, or anything without any intervention of middleman. They are now gaining popularity and adaption in various sectors. Some of the main sectors are as follows:-
· Insurance Companies
· Health Systems
· Government’s administrative work.
· Business Management
I will cover each of the potential use cases in detail in my future articles separately.
Conclusion
Smart Contract is the greatest innovation built on Blockchain technology. We can say it as a cherry over the pie. It has given a new dimension to technology and is one of the biggest reasons behind the popularity of Ethereum.
We can say without any second thought that very soon we will be entering into the era where there will be no intervention of any third party. In this way, it can help us in saving a lot of money, time, and effort. Also, we don’t need to be dependent or trust anyone while taking any crucial transactions. This will surely help in reducing fraud, unnecessary delays, and the overall cost of transactions. Smart Contracts will make many transactional jobs redundant. We can be hopeful that further development in technology will open sources for many other new jobs.
Read More: Understanding Hard Fork
Register in Crypto.com and get $ 50. Link here.
Create a Binance account using my referral link.
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Weekly Update — August 30, 2019

Dear Community,
After another exciting week at Ferrum, with the official listing of FRM on Binance DEX, enormous growth on the Social Mining platform in terms of users and quality content, we now invite you “under the hood” of this past week.
Ferrum Network Business Update
To start off, let’s shed some light on the business/marketing/operations side of Ferrum. Within the cryptocurrency space, a day feels like more than 24 hours and time zones are nonexistent. The constant demand for positive news can be challenging, especially in a down market. Nevertheless we remain focused on achieving our goals.
Exchanges
First, the Binance DEX listing on the 26th of August which means FRM tokens issued as BEP-2 tokens can be traded against BNB. We are proud to have achieved this less than a month after our ICO and foresee positive cooperation with Binance in the future.
Our next goal is to list on a 3rd exchange to truly match the current demand for trading options and liquidity. While the listing is confirmed, we are strategizing about the right moment to announce and list.
Social Mining
This industry can feel like a game of chess at times, make the wrong move and suddenly have an entire army of opponents lined up ready to strike. But make the right move, those opponents can change sides and join your team. All analogies aside, we keep a close ear to what our beloved community is saying and do as much as we can to meet and exceed their expectations.
As we’ve seen immense growth on our Social Mining platform, we are delighted to find that our community has been increasingly supporting us. We are nearing 2000 users on the platform and see the content improving every single day. Given the fact that we have 11 months of Social Mining left (with extension likely), it’s exciting to think of what lies ahead.
Ferrum Network Technical Update
We’d like to provide a technical update on he backend of Ferrum and the products within our ecosystem. In particular, we’ve seen demand for additional utility for the FRM token, and we have listened.
Staking Mechanism Preview
We’ve decided to release the staking mechanism that was originally meant for the UniFyre wallet ahead of schedule. Development that was originally planned to be start mid-September is now being actively worked on and progress has been made. Significantly, we wrote a smart contract with the possibility of flexible staking schemes on top of the Ethereum blockchain.
On the front end of the new staking mechanism, we’ll be releasing a straightforward web-based user interface similar to the Token Bridge so people can easily stake their FRM. Although a full featured staking mechanism will be available within the UniFyre Wallet, we’ve decided to release the staking mechanism early to meet current demand.
Token Bridge is Now Live in Both Directions
In addition, our Token Bridge can now swap BEP-2 tokens to ERC-20 tokens in both directions! This allows users to possess FRM in any form desired. Prefer to trade BNB against FRM on Binance Dex? BEP-2 tokens are your friend and you can swap the ERC-20 tokens as you please. If you prefer to trade on Bitmax.io or want to use your tokens for Social Mining, you can swap to ERC-20 token with ease.
We wanted to develop a token bridge that was easy as filling in a simple form and pressing a few buttons. Since many new projects currently follow the same structure of having multiple token-forms, token bridges will become more and more important. We take pride in creating a user-friendly option that can be customized for any project. As further means for increasing FRM utility, we are now actively exploring the idea of partnering with other projects interested in our token bridge.
Kudi Update
As the first product within the Ferrum Network, Kudi is our foothold on the ground. As most of our activities are focused on creating solid techniques and revolutionizing the way we see the financial system, an actual physical product on the ground is our way of creating real-world use cases for our network and utility for the token. The Kudi team has been working extremely hard ever since the launch of the product. While the product is available for both personal use and commercial use, recently the team has been working to increase awareness of Kudi.
Kudi Events and Partners
One way of creating that awareness is partnering up with the Bogobiri Hotel, where we will be hosting three nights of activities filled with arts, music and activities for the hotel’s guests. At the same time, we’ll be inviting potential customers and clients. Those who’ll use the Kudi Exchange when purchasing their tickets will receive a discount, thereby promoting the actual use of the application. Working with hotels was a conscious decision because Kudi’s features, such as instant money transfers, appeal directly to international travelers.
The presence during events across Nigeria is crucial to stimulating the brands’ awareness and user base. In order to stimulate this growth even more, Kudi has partnered with UNWIND Lagos. UNWIND is focusing on young professionals that are eager to be introduced to new techniques during the many networking events hosted by UNWIND. The true meaning and potential of this partnership has yet to be discovered, but it’s a fact that Kudi will be exposed to many possible clients!
In addition to creating more awareness, the developers have been working on upgrading the Kudi app. A lot will be offered with the new upgrade, including the reduction of fees and an exciting new feature that will truly turn your Kudi app into your own personal bank…
What’s Next for Kudi
The entire month of September is filled with networking events such as the previously mentioned Bogobiri Hotel event, The New Atlantic Trade Fair and a networking event in partnership with the Bombastic Lounge. These are all focused on user growth as we continue to improve the app itself.


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In addition, the Kudi update is around the corner, which will offer new features and a new look and feel. The team is actively onboarding new customers every single day, while the product itself is developing and improving every single day.
Conclusion
It has been an extremely productive and exciting week. We are happy see more and more activity within our communities. In the near future we’ll be reaching out to local communities to arrange some AMA’s; we’ll be more active on media like Reddit, 4Chan and Bitcointalk to share Ferrum with each and everyone in this industry. We are building something unique, something worth sharing. We can do the building and sharing, but we can’t do it alone.
Join us today on the road to reach each and every goal we have set for ourselves, to the point where we set new goals and run even harder than we have been already!
Very truly yours,
Ferrum Network Team
P.S. from Ian — I want to thank the author of this update, Freek Caron, the leader of our Dutch community and top Social Miner. I think you’ll agree he did an excellent job!
Links:
Website: https://ferrum.network/
Telegram: http://telegram.ferrum.network
Twitter: http://twitter.ferrum.network
LinkedIn: http://linkedin.ferrum.network
YouTube: http://youtube.ferrum.network
Reddit: http://reddit.ferrum.network
Bitcoin Talk: http://bitcointalk.ferrum.network
Facebook: http://facebook.ferrum.network
Github: https://github.com/ferrumnet/
Instagram: http://instagram.ferrum.network
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Splitphobia (aka The-Fix-Is-In)

As in other historic scenarios when someone wants to implement a policy which is against people's best interests then the easiest way to do it to manipulate people into believing that the said policy is in their best interests because in case of success the people will not only NOT oppose the harmful policy but they will embrace it.

Unfortunately manipulation works and it's very easy to do: when you have no rational arguments to win a debate then the only way to win it is to address the irrational inner-desires of your opponent because he has no control over them. The documentary "The Century of Self" does a good job of explaining the process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnPmg0R1M04

Blockstream unofficial agenda is to destroy, delay or discredit the BTC concept. They did a splendid job however they have one huge problem: hard forks. Hard Forks means that people can leave BTC's plantation and keep alive the BTC concept outside of their control which is simply not acceptable for them. Communism biggest problem was the existence of capitalism; any closed system biggest problem is the existence of an alternative better system. That's why Blockstream doesn't give a sh*t about BTC scaling, it's all a circus, and their main purpose is to discredit, discourage and destroy any BTC hard fork ... at any cost.

This is the main reason why since 2017 they are trying to kill BCH. Until now their most successful attack vectors were:
  1. Manipulate BTC price. The only reason BCH did not take over BTC in 2017 is Tether printing and BCH will not be able to compete with BTC on price until TetheBitfinex are gone. Probably the most successful Ponzi-scheme in history (outside of the banking sector).
  2. Unrelentless smearing campaign without any real basis (on-chain scaling doesn't work, BCH is a scam, BCH was founded by Roger Ver, BCH is bcash, BCH is an altcoin, etc). Unbelievably successful as almost all my real life friends know that BCH is Roger Ver's scam coin despite all my efforts to correct them.
  3. Unleashing a ton of BTC scam-forks (BTC Gold, BTC Diamond, others) which are truly scams without any prospects for the future. The idea was to drown BCH in a see of sh*t because most crypto-users don't know the difference between forks. Fortunately this was a dud.
  4. Incentivize BCH forks. Unfortunately BSV sole reason to fork from BCH was to destroy BCH's market value and split the community. Neither CSW or CA care about the BSV project because in that case they would have protected BSV market value while in fact they've done the opposite. This was quite successful.

Now, what's new:
5) Create a new narrative - Splitphobia (Hard Fork-phobia) - intended to delay BCH progress by creating an irrational fear of hard forks. That's why BSV trolls are complaining about BCH forks (!?), suddenly Binance's CEO is complaining about BCH forks, why Greg Maxwell is whining about Schnorr signatures first on BCH blockchain or why unknown hashrate suddenly appears on BCH blockchain before each upgrade fork.

As if necessary to dispel why this concept is utter garbage then I will mention some facts:
  1. There is nothing irrational about hard forks. They are not inherently evil or good. Hard forks are the best way to safely upgrade the BCH blockchain at any given time. Soft forks don't work and in fact BSV was born because of a soft fork for network upgrades.
  2. Without Blockstream, Bitfinex and Binance sponsored attacks BCH forks should not impact BTC price value -> the BTC miners would not be forced to switch to BCH in order to protect it therefore indirectly damaging the BTC price value. They are complaining about BCH forks damaging BTC but without their sponsored attacks there would be no damage to the BTC price value. What's the name of this?
  3. Hard forks are very powerful and can be used to implement consensus altering changes. However no such changes were implemented until now and ABC's roadmap is pretty clear about the future (https://www.bitcoinabc.org/2018-08-24-bitcoin-abc-vision) Now, I think Avalanche will slightly impact the consensus rules but that's another topic :)


TL;DR: All this noise about BCH planned network upgrade is just that: noise. BCH will upgrade again, it will become better and stronger, and Blockstream cannot do anything about it (in fact they are running out of options). The surprising loser in this fight is BSV which is acting in Blockstream's interests and against BSV's holders interests. Whomever invested in BSV will be completely wiped out at the end of this debacle.

Thanks @deadalnix and all the other awesome BCH developers. The fact that you are making Blockstream and BSV trolls go out of their minds means that you are doing the right thing :)
submitted by toro_ro to btc [link] [comments]

51% attacks are morally justifiable

In this short post I want to set out my case for the moral justifiability of 51% attacks against proof of work cryptocurrencies. In the past, a 51% attack was a theoretical construct that most people didn´t seem to think would be practically achievable or lucrative. This has now changed, as hashpower can be rented on sites like Nicehash and Mining Rig Rentals for a few hours at a time. The attack delivers the attacker two prominent opportunities:
-You can orphan blocks of ¨legitimate¨ miners. This essentially means that whatever work was produced by legitimate miners during your attack became worthless. Mine a secret chain of two hours worth of blocks, release it and you orphaned 2 hours worth of blocks by your competitors. By the time most of the miners have noticed their blocks were orphaned in an attack, their nodes will have been automatically mining on your own chain for a while and it will be too late for them to do anything about it. The amount of money they lost would be equivalent to the amount you had to spend to produce your chain. Because mining is an industry with tight margins, the economic impact on these miners can be very big. The cost may be sufficient in case of a very long attack, to persuade them to quit their endeavor and get a real job.
-The more important opportunity is that you´re able to double spend your coins. This is potentially, incredibly lucrative. How lucrative it is tends to depend primarily on the inflation rate of a cryptocurrency. A low inflation rate means relatively little ¨work¨ is done to maintain the security of the system. A high inflation rate on the other hand, turns the cryptocurrency into a very poor long-term investment. As a consequence, most cryptocurrencies face declining inflation rates, that delay the problem of their ultimately unsustainability into the future. The bank of international settlements explains this issue here.
When it comes to the moral justification of a 51% attack, we first have to ask ourselves why proof of work is morally unjustifiable. There are two main reasons for this:
-Proof of work has an enormous environmental impact, that ensures future generations will have to deal with the dramatic consequences of climate change. There is no proper justification for this environmental impact, as it delivers no clear benefits over existing payment systems other than the ability to carry out morally unjustifiable actions like blackmail.
-Proof of work is fundamentally unsustainable, because of the economic burden it places on participants in cryptocurrency schemes. Cryptocurrencies can´t produce wealth out of thin air. The people who get rich from a cryptocurrency becomes rich, due to the fact that other people step in later. In this sense we´re dealing with a pyramid scheme, but the difference from regular pyramid schemes lies in the fact that huge sums of wealth are not merely redistributed, but destroyed, to sustain the scheme. The cost of the work to sustain the scheme is bigger than you might expect, because the reality is that relatively little money has entered bitcoin. JP Morgan claims that for the crypto assets at large, a fiat amplifier of 117.5 is present, as a purported $2 billion in net inflow pushed Bitcoin’s market capitalization from $15 billion to $250 billion. You have to consider that the Digiconomist estimates that $2.6 billion dollar leaves the Bitcoin scheme on an annual basis, in the form of mining costs to sustain Bitcoin. The vast majority of retail customers who entered this scheme ended up losing money from it. In some cases this lead to suicides.
The fact that proof of work is morally unjustifiable doesn´t directly lead to a moral justification for a 51% attack. After all a sane society would use government intervention to eliminate the decentralized ponzi schemes that are cryptocurrencies. There are a few things that need to be considered however:
-Governments have so far failed in their responsibility to address the cryptocurrency schemes. Instead you tend to see officials insist that proof of work might suck and most cryptocurrency is a scam, but ¨blockchain technology¨ will somehow change the world for the better. Most libertarians who saw these schemes emerge insisted that it´s stupid to participate in them because the government would eventually ban them and round up the people who participated in them. This didn´t happen because of the logistical difficulty of suppressing these schemes (anyone with an internet connection can set one up) as well as the fact that suppressing them would lend credence to the anti-government anarcho-capitalist ideology on which these schemes are based. Goverments might say ¨these schemes facilitate crime, ruin the environment and redistribute wealth from naive individuals to scammers¨, but anarcho-capitalists would insist that governments have grown so tyrannical that they want to ban you from exchanging numbers on computers.
-Because cryptocurrency is fundamentally an online social arrangement, governments have very limited influence over the phenomenon. Binance seeks to become a stateless organization, not subject to the jurisdiction of any particular government. Just as with regular money laundering and tax evasion that hides in small nations that can earn huge sums of money by facilitating these practises, governments are dependent on the actions of individuals to address these practices. Whistleblowers released the panama papers and the tax evasion by German individuals through Swiss bank accounts. Through such individuals, the phenomenon could be properly addressed. In a similar manner, cryptocurrency schemes will need to be addressed through the actions of individuals who recognize the damage these schemes cause to the fabric of society.
-The very nature of a 51% attack means that it primarily punishes those who set up and facilitate the cryptocurrency scheme in the first place. The miners who pollute our environment to satiate their own greed are bankrupted by the fact that their blocks are orphaned. The exchange operators are bankrupted due to double-spend attacks against the scams that they facilitate. When this happens, the cryptocurrency in question should lose value, which then destroys the incentive to devote huge sums of electricity to it.
Finally, there´s the question of whether 51% attacks are viable as a response to cryptocurrency. There´s the obvious problem you run into, that the biggest and oldest scams are the most difficult to shut down. In addition, cryptocurrencies that fell victim to an attack tend to move towards a checkpoint system. However, there are a few things that need to be considered here:
-51% attacks against small cryptocurrencies might not have a huge impact, but their benefit is nonetheless apparent. Most of the new scams don´t require participants to mine, instead the new schemes generally depend on ¨staking¨. If people had not engage in 51% attacks, the environmental impact would have been even bigger now.
-51% attacks against currencies that implement checkpointing are not impossible, if the checkpoints are decentrally produced. What happens in that case is a chain split, as long as the hostile chain is released at the right time. This would mean that different exchanges may get stuck on different forks, which would still allow people to double spend their cryptocurrency.
-There are other attacks that can be used against proof of work cryptocurrencies. The most important one is the block withholding attack. It´s possible for people who dislike a cryptocurrency to join a pool and to start mining. However, whenever the miner finds a valid solution that would produce a block, he fails to share the solution with the pool. This costs money for the pool operator, but it can be lucrative for the actor if he also operates a competing pool himself. In the best case it leads to miners moving to his pool, which then potentially allows him to execute a 51% attack against the cryptocurrency.
-It´s possible to put up a 51% attack bounty, allowing others to do the work for you. This works as following. You make transaction A : 100 bitcoin to exchange X, for a fee of 0.001 BTC. Once this transaction has been included in a block, you immediately broadcast a conflicting transaction with another node: You´ŕe sending those 100 bitcoin to your own wallet, but you´re also including a 50 bitcoin fee for the miners. The miners now have a strong incentive to disregard the valid chain and to start mining a new chain on an older block that can still include your conflicting transaction. Provided that pool operators are rational economic agents, they should grab the opportunity.
-Selfish mining in combination with a Sybil attack allows someone to eclipse the rest of the network, while controlling less than 51% of the hashrate. Your malicious nodes will simply refuse to propagante blocks of your competitors, thereby giving you more time to release your own block. Selfish mining will always be possible with 33% of the hashrate and as far as I can tell there are no pathways known currently to make the scheme impossible for people with 25% of the hashrate. This potentially makes a 51% attacks lucrative without having to carry out double-spend attacks against exchanges. Although double spending is a form of theft, it´s not clear to me whether a selfish mining attack would get you into legal trouble or not.

Conclusion:

The dreaded 51% attack is a morally justifiable and potentially lucrative solution to the Nakamoto scheme.
submitted by milkversussoy to Buttcoin [link] [comments]

Membrana for me is a.... OR the story of how I got involved in a crypto world BY VOLTRON

Probably, today there is no person in the world who at least once in his life has not heard about Bitcoin.
I also heard about it before, and more than once. But at the same time, I never thought about the fact that ever in my life I will have at least some direct or even indirect relation to him.
The maximum that I could say or think when I heard the next news about the rise in the price of bitcoin - "Oh, I would have at least one bitcoin now."
At the moment, I would not refuse to have bitcoin, and not one, but many. And such phrases fly out from me no less than 2-3 years ago. But unlike that period, now I have a direct relationship to all kinds of manipulations related to both bitcoin itself and crypto in general. - How did I get to this? - you would ask - Quite easy.
Mostly, it seems to me that about making money in the crypto may think a person who either really needs money or who has an overabundance of them, although here I admit that I could be wrong. Nevertheless, I consider myself to be the first group of people who climbed into the crypto world due to a lack of money.
Everyone struggles with a lack of finance in their own way, depending on what they can and what they can’t Someone works at once in three jobs, someone steals, someone works and steals at the same time (but this is a completely different story about politics). Someone, like me, is looking for any other alternative, since working on several jobs is not an option, and education does not allow us to steal.
All in all, one day I decided to knock on the world of crypto. Since I Knocked, the first thing I realized is that there are three ways to get some crypto: - mining; - trading on exchanges; - And, perhaps, the most suitable option for the “newbie” is airdrop.
Exactly with airdrops, I got started my crypto way. Almost during whole first half a year of communication with the world of the crypto industry, I completely devoted to the indiscriminate absorption of everything that came across in my way: airdrops, cranes, spinner, cloud miners, etc.
It would be superfluous to say that 95% of everything that I downloaded, launched and used was outright swindle and fraud. But, those remaining 5% still turned out to be worthy of attention and projects spent on them. One of these airdrops was Membrana.
I stumbled upon it quite by accident, on one of the aggregator sites. I didn’t have any particular hope that this was not just another scam, but I decided to try it all the same.Registered, launched the corresponding bot in Telegram. Fulfilled all the requirements specified in the instructions. I even invited a referral. And with a calm soul, I continued my wanderings in search of other "profitable drops"
Honestly, I even forgot that I used to register there, but by chance, I saw an announcement on the Telegram channel about the following contents: $ 100 for trading on Binance to those who sign up and go through KYC. I had to go through verification. Out of inexperience, I "messed up" something there. I contacted support for help. They reacted promptly. Helped. As a result, verification passed and was among the participants in the tournament called Global Traders Competition.
The essence of the competition was that traders had to trade real money on the platform itself and earn (depending on their success) tournament points. At the same time, the entire profit that the trader earned in one round (1 week) was divided in half by the platform and returned to the trader's account 50% of the amount. That is, from the philistine point of view - an excellent "freebie."But 50% of the profit per week is only part of what the platform offered in the tournament.
The main goal and the tidbit, of course, are the prizes in the ranking of traders.It was announced that after the end of the tournament, all tournament points will be converted to MBN tokens and sent to the addresses of the participants. And besides this, the top 20 traders, according to the results of the tournament, will divide between themselves $ 100,000 also in the form of MBN.
With varying success, I wandered up the tournament ladder now and then. There were periods when I occupied a leading position right up to the first place. Profit for some rounds reached (crazy by my standards) 40 +%. Toward the end of the tournament, as is usually the case in my life, by all the laws of meanness and Murphy, I went into a big minus. This entailed suspension from participation for the whole round. There was another similar nuisance, and as a result, at the end of the Global Traders Competition, I took an offensive 22nd place, not reaching the top 20 only two steps.
This fact did not upset me slightly. I even thought of quitting this business and completely switching to something else. But, suddenly, sometime after the end of the tournament, a member of the Membrana team wrote to me and offered to take part in a trial run of their first round of Community Operated Fund. That is, almost the same as in the tournament, but with the money of real people and the platform itself, too.
Of course, I agreed. And so, at the moment I am engaged in the fact that I trade on a cryptocurrency exchange using investor funds. This is an amazing opportunity for those people who themselves do not have enough resources to at least somehow heavily invest in the exchange. But as a member of the Membrana platform, each person (interested in crypto) has the opportunity to establish cooperation with investors willing to invest in your skills and abilities and earn another penny on this.
Joining Membrana is a best way to join crypto world wether you are an investor, newbie that’s just starts it way or you are a trader willing to get new opportunities and Trust management contracts of crypto assets
Original text link ( Russian): https://teletype.in/@voltron/SylQwvHcB
submitted by Membrana_Platform to u/Membrana_Platform [link] [comments]

Daily analysis of cryptocurrencies 20191021(Market index 37 — Fear state)

Daily analysis of cryptocurrencies 20191021(Market index 37 — Fear state)

https://preview.redd.it/fvnsi6vuvvt31.jpg?width=1080&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=41a8a6f3ddccb300af619e212cdaa8fa371e415d

Huawei Filed Patent Application For Blockchain-Based Settlement Citing information from Tian Yan Cha, a tool for commercial surveys, Huawei has filed a patent application for blockchain-based settlement. Per the application form, the patent can be used to verify the original data sent from the client end and settle the generation process from data to bills.
Korean Firms To Launch Trial Version Of All-In-One ID Verification App By End Of 2019 South Korean mobile carriers, smartphone makers, and financial firms, including Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Card, Shinhan Bank, etc. have joined hands to launch a decentralized ID service, named Initial, on a trial basis this year. The new service will essentially verify an individual’s identity without tangible documents like graduation or employment certificates, and enable taking out loans or applying for jobs, through a single mobile App. This is the second endeavor to launch a mobile identity verification system using blockchain technologies, after a similar effort by the Korea Financial Telecommunications & Clearings Institute.
China’s State Council To Strengthen Blockchain-Powered Regulation On Bills, Entertainment, And Healthcare China’s State Council addressed the need for stricter regulation on sectors of bills, entertainment, and healthcare in the Enhanced Regulation Guidance published recently, which points out the benefits and importance of leveraging nascent technologies, such as blockchain, big data, IoT, cloud computing, AI, etc. The Guidance explains that technologies like blockchain can reduce regulatory costs, minimize interference, and maximum effects of regulation. According to the State Council, blockchain, as a critical technology, is a natural fit for the regulatory frameworks, it can facilitate with the integration of regulatory infrastructures, offer reliable and timely transaction status, and improve information transparency.

Encrypted project calendar(October 21, 2019)

KNC/Kyber Network: The official online hackathon of the Kyber Network (KNC) project will end on October 21st, with more than $42,000 in prize money. Horizen (ZEN): 21 October 2019 Sidechains Alpha Release Horizen releasing the alpha version of industry first decentralized and unfederated sidechains. Horizen (ZEN): 21 October 2019 Updated Whitepaper Horizen releasing an updated whitepaper. Kuverit (KUV) : IDAX will list #Kuverit (KUV) and open trading for KUV/BTC trading pair. is going to be listed on 21 Oct, at 10:00 am (UTC+8). VRD/VRD Chain: VRD Chain (VRD) WBF Exchange will launch VRD/ETH trading pairs in the open area on October 21st at 10:00. MKMaker: MakerDAO (MKR) WBF Exchange will launch the MKUSDT trading pair in the open area on October 21st at 16:00. H56/H56 Token: H56 Token (H56) OEx International Station will be launched on October 21st at 14:30. NAUC/Nautical Coin: The Nautical Coin (NAUC) BiKi platform will open NAUC recharge and withdrawal at 14:00 on October 21, and open the NAUC/USDT transaction pair at 14:00 on October 24th. Celer Network (CELR): 21 October 2019 AMA “Come and join our AMA on Monday, OCT 21 at 7PM(PST).” Ankr (ANKR) : 21 October 2019 Moscow Meetup “This Monday, Oct 21, we are co-hosting a meetup with @Binance in Moscow!” Ethereum Classic (ETC): 21 October 2019 AMA @ETCCooperative Executive Director @BobSummerwill will participate in an AMA held by @GuardaWallet Nebulas (NAS): 21 October 2019 Community Fund Vote “The time has come for the community to decide what to do with the remaining community fund containing 34 million $NAS.” Hype Token (HYPE): 21 October 2019 Limited HYPE NFT Badges Level 5 & 6 NFT Badges has been released. As part of HYPE Token’s community rewards program, you can collect super rare NFT badges! IOST (IOST): 21 October 2019 Weekly Summary “Here’s a quick summary of the week of 14th Oct 2019 by @iostWatch

Encrypted project calendar(October 22, 2019)

ZRX/0x: The 0x protocol (ZRX) Pantera blockchain summit will be held on October 22. Locus Chain (LOCUS): 22 October 2019 Public Test Begins Public test runs for three days from October 22nd to October 24th. IOTA (MIOTA): 22 October 2019 EclipseCon Europe Next week, join Lewis Freiberg, our Director of Ecosystem, to learn how to build an ecosystem around IoT focused distributed ledgers. TRON (TRX): 22 October 2019 TRC20-USDT Bonanza “… @Huobiglobal . Deposit #TRC20- #USDT, enjoy APR up to 30%, starting from 00:00, Oct, 22 to 00:00, Nov, 1, 2019(SGT).” PCHAIN (PI): 22 October 2019 Ama with Founder & CEO “Jeff Cao PCHAIN founder & CEO, will host an AMA on 22nd Oct at 11:00 PM (UTC+8) in the @Binance_DEX Telegram.” iExec RLC (RLC): 22 October 2019 AMA “Tuesday 22 October 2019. You can ask the team anything you want until Thursday 17 October.”

Encrypted project calendar(October 23, 2019)

MIOTA/IOTA: IOTA (MIOTA) IOTA will host a community event on October 23rd at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles with the theme “Connecting the I3 Market and Experiencing Purchase and Sales Data.” BTC/Bitcoin: The WBS World Blockchain Summit (Middle East) will be held in Dubai from October 23rd to 24th. Cardano (ADA) and 1 other: 23 October 2019 WBS Dubai “One of a kind gathering of 500+ curated & pre-qualified investors, CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, Heads of Blockchain, Chief Digital Officers CloakCoin (CLOAK): 23 October 2019 (or earlier) CloakCoin Competition “CloakCoin competition : solve the CloakCoin ENIGMA transaction, 3rd round.” Loom Network (LOOM): 23 October 2019 Singapore Meetup “Unstack the Stack Series: Loom Network” from 6:30–8:30 PM (SST). BTGS/Bitdog: ZG.COM will open the BTGS currency and coin transfer business at 14:00 on October 23, and open the BTGS/USDT transaction pair on October 23 at 18:18. Waltonchain (WTC): 23 October 2019 Transfers Suspended “$WTC deposits and withdrawals on #TaibiExchange will be suspended from 00:00 Oct 22 (UTC+8) and are estimated to resume at 15:00 Oct 23

Encrypted project calendar(October 24, 2019)

BCN/Bytecoin: Bytecoin (BCN) released the hidden amount of the Bytecoin block network on October 24. Horizen (ZEN): 24 October 2019 Weekly Insider Team updates at 3:30 PM UTC/ 11:30 AM EDT: Engineering, Node network, Product/UX, Helpdesk, Legal, BD, Marketing, CEO Closing thoughts, AMA. ANT/Aragon: Aragon (ANT) Aragon Network will hold the theme “DAO: ICO and DeFi next step” in Hong Kong on October 24th? DATA/Streamr DATAcoin: Streamr DATAcoin (DATA) Streamr Network Technology Exchange and Project Development Conference will be held in London on October 24th. Lisk (LSK): 24 October 2019 Coding Workshop — Berlin “During this workshop you will acquire the skills to create custom transactions with the Lisk Alpha SDK using Node.js.” BTU Protocol (BTU): 24 October 2019 Africa IT Expo “Our co-founder @vidal007 will be speaking at upcoming @africa_aitex [African IT Expo] held in #Rabat #Morocco on 24th of October.” Matrix AI Network (MAN): 24 October 2019 YouTube AMA YouTube AMA from 3PM, October 24 (GMT+8). Utrum (OOT): 24 October 2019 AtomicDex Listing “We are pleased to announce that Utrum coin OOT is getting listed on Komodo Platform Decentral Exchange — AtomicDEX. “

Encrypted project calendar(October 25, 2019)

ADA/Cardano: Cardano (ADA) The Ada community will host a community gathering in the Dominican Republic for the first time on October 25. Crypto.com Coin (CRO): 25 October 2019 Live AMA with CEO “Live AMA with our CEO @Kris_HK on @cryptocom’s Twitter next Friday, 25 October, 11AM HKT.” GST/GSTCOIN: GSTCOIN(GST)LBank will be online GST on October 25, 2019 at 16:00 (UTC+8), open trading pair: GST/USDT, GST/ETH.

Encrypted project calendar(October 26, 2019)

KAT/Kambria: Kambria (KAT) Kambria will host the 2019 Southern California Artificial Intelligence and Data Science Conference in Los Angeles on October 26th with IDEAS. BTC/Bitcoin: CoinAgenda Global Summit will be held in Las Vegas from October 26th to 28th Horizen (ZEN): 26 October 2019 (or earlier) ZEN 2.0.19 Upgrade Zen 2.0.19 upgrade at block #610000, which is expected around October 26.

Encrypted project calendar(October 27, 2019)

ICON (ICX): 27 October 2019 Money 20/20 USA Event Money 20/20 USA in Las Vegas from October 27–30.

Encrypted project calendar(October 28, 2019)

LTC/Litecoin: Litecoin (LTC) 2019 Litecoin Summit will be held from October 28th to October 29th in Las Vegas, USA BTC/Bitcoin: Mt.Gox changes the debt compensation plan submission deadline to October 28 ZEC/Zcash: Zcash (ZEC) will activate the Blossom Agreement on October 28th Stellar (XLM): 28 October 2019 Protocol 12 Upgrade Vote Horizon v0.22.0 has been released, which supports Protocol 12. This gives everyone ample time to prepare for the Protocol 12 upgrade vote Celsius (CEL) and 3 others: 28 October 2019 Litecoin Summit “…The Litecoin Summit offers two fun, jam-packed days with something for everyone.” XFOC (XFOC): The IDAX platform will be online XFOC and will open the XFOC/USDT trading pair at 13:00 on October 28. MEDIUM (MDM): The IDAX platform lists MDM and will open MDM/BTC trading pairs on October 28th at 15:00. ZB/ ZB Blockchain: The “2019 Hamburg Intercontinental Dialogue Conference” hosted by ZB.com will be held from October 28th to November 9th at the Four Seasons Hotel Hamburg, Germany. BQT (BQTX): 28 October 2019 Down for Maintenance BQTX.com will be down for maintenance on the 28th of October from 7 to 12am UTC.

Encrypted project calendar(October 29, 2019)

BTC/Bitcoin: The 2nd World Encryption Conference (WCC) will be held in Las Vegas from October 29th to 31st. ICON (ICX): 29 October 2019 Decentralization “As a result, the decentralization schedule of the ICON Network has been changed from September 24, 2019 to October 29, 2019.” Ark (ARK): and 10 others 29 October 2019 WCC 2019 Second annual Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Technology event, World Crypto Conference (WCC), October 29th — October 31, 2019. Insifa (ISF): 29 October 2019 Prototype Alpha “We from Insifa have decided to be more open. Our Prototype will be developed in scrum. This means new releases every two weeks.”

Encrypted project calendar(October 30, 2019)

MIOTA/IOTA: IOTA (MIOTA) IOTA will host a community event on October 30th at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles on the topic “How to store data on IOTA Tangle.” TRON (TRX): 30 October 2019 SFBW19 Afterparty “TRON Official SFBW19 Afterparty from 7–10:30 PM in San Francisco.” Horizen (ZEN): 30 October 2019 Horizen Quarterly Update Join our first Quarterly Update on October the 30th at 5 PM UTC/ 1 PM EST. Deeper look into Engineering, BD, Marketing, and more. Aeternity (AE): 30 October 2019 Hardfork “The third hardfork of the æternity Mainnet is scheduled for October 30, 2019.” Valor Token (VALOR): 30 October 2019 Transaction Fees Resume “It’s September and the SMART VALOR Platform is still waiving transaction fees for all members, until October 30th!” Aragon (ANT): 30 October 2019 Singapore Meetup “Aragon on DAOs and DeFi” from 6:30–8:30 PM. Kambria (KAT): 30 October 2019 Outliers Hashed Awards Outliers Hashed awards from October 30–31. Ethereum Classic (ETC): 30 October 2019 Cohort Demo Day “ETC Labs hosts it’s 2nd Cohort Demo Day. Learn about the companies and project being accelerated through the Ethereum Classic ecosystem.”

Encrypted project calendar(October 31, 2019)

Spendcoin (SPND): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Cross Ledger Mainnet “Cross Ledger Mainnet Release and SPND Token Swap,” during October 2019. Spendcoin (SPND): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Blkchn University Beta “Blockchain University Beta goes live,” during October 2019. Stellar (XLM): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Minor Release “We will have 6 Minor Releases in 2019; one each in February, March, May, June, August, and October.” Bitcoin SV (BSV): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) BSV Conference Seoul No additional information. Seele (SEELE): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Public Network Mainne launch has been moved to Oct 31 . Howdoo (UDOO): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Howdoo Live on Huawei Howdoo begins its exciting partnership with Huawei with listing as a featured app starting in October. Chiliz (CHZ): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) App Soft Launch Soft launch of Socios App by end of October. Dent (DENT): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Loyalty Program “Afterburner loyalty program launch for all 21,6 Million mobile #DENT users will be in October!” IceChain (ICHX): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Wallet Release IceChain releases wallet during October. Chiliz (CHZ): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) New Partnerships New sports and new teams joining Socios (+more updates and events) will be announced in the upcoming weeks. Horizen (ZEN): 31 October 2019 Weekly Insider Team updates at 3:30 PM UTC/ 11:30 AM EDT: Engineering, Node network, Product/UX, Helpdesk, Legal, BD, Marketing, CEO Closing thoughts, AMA. PCHAIN (PI): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) New Website No additional information. IOST (IOST): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) New Game on IOST “Eternal Fafnir, a new role-playing game developed by INFUN is coming to you in Oct.” Achain (ACT): 31 October 2019 Mainnet 2.0 Launch “… The main network is officially scheduled to launch on October 31.” Mithril (MITH):31 October 2019 Burn “MITH burn will take place on 2019/10/31 2pm UTC+8. “ Aergo (AERGO): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Aergo Lite V1.0 Release AergoLite, which brings blockchain compatibility to billions of devices using SQLite, released during October 2019. TE-FOOD (TFD): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Complementary Product “Development of a new, complementary product with a new partner, which we hope to be launched in September-October.” Edge (DADI): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Full Open Source Code base for the network fully open-sourced in September or October. BlockStamp (BST): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) ASIC Miner Prototype In orderr to ensure BlockStamps continued decentralization, we will release a BST ASIC miner for testing. Perlin (PERL): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) SSA Partnership “Perlin has partnered with the Singapore Shipping Association to create the International E-Registry of Ships (IERS)” Skrumble Network (SKM): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Exchange Release “3rd dApp: Exchange Release,” during October 2019. EDC Blockchain (EDC): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Blockchain Marketplace “As you already know, our ECRO blockchain marketplace is ready for release, and will open to the global community in October!” BlockStamp (BST): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) ASIC Miner Prototype In orderr to ensure BlockStamps continued decentralization, we will release a BST ASIC miner for testing. XinFin Network (XDCE): 31 October 2019 Homebloc Webinar “XinFin — Homebloc Webinar 2019” from 9–10 PM. Akropolis (AKRO): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Alpha Release “Delivers the initial mainnet implementation of protocol. All building blocks will be united to one product.” Hyperion (HYN): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Economic Model The final version of the HYN Economic Model launches in October.

Encrypted project calendar(November 1, 2019)

INS/Insolar: The Insolar (INS) Insolar wallet and the redesigned Insolar Block Explorer will be operational on November 1, 2019. VeChain (VET):”01 November 2019 BUIDLer Reunion Party BUIDLer Reunion Party in San Francisco from 8–11 PM. uPlexa (UPX): 01 November 2019 Steadfast Storm — PoS/PoW split (Utility nodes ie. master nodes) — Upcoming Anonymity Network much like TOR — Privacy-based DApps — Reduced network fees. Enjin Coin (ENJ): 01 November 2019 MFT Binding “ICYMI: On Enjin Coin’s 2nd anniversary (November 1), Enjin MFTs will be bound to hodlers’ blockchain addresses…” Auxilium (AUX):01 November 2019 AUX Interest Distribution Monthly interest distribution by Auxilium Interest Distribution Platform for coinholders. Also supports charity. Havy (HAVY):01 November 2019 Token Buyback “Havy tokens buyback, Only in 1 exchange between Idex, Mercatox & Hotbit. The exchange depends on the most lower sell wall.”

Encrypted project calendar(November 2, 2019)

Kambria (KAT): 02 November 2019 VietAI Summit 2019 Kambria joins forces with VietAI for the annual VietAI Summit, with top experts from Google Brain, NVIDIA, Kambria, VietAI, and more!

Encrypted project calendar(November 4, 2019)

Stellar (XLM): 04 November 2019 Stellar Meridian Conf. Stellar Meridian conference from Nov 4–5 in Mexico City. Cappasity (CAPP): 04 November 2019 Lisbon Web Summit Lisbon Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal from November 4–7.

Encrypted project calendar(November 5, 2019)

Nexus (NXS): 05 November 2019 Tritium Official Release “Remember, Remember the 5th of November, the day Tritium changed Distributed Ledger. Yes, this is an official release date.” NEM (XEM): 05 November 2019 Innovation Forum — Kyiv NEM Foundation Council Member Anton Bosenko will be speaking in the upcoming International Innovation Forum in Kyiv on November 5, 2019.

Encrypted project calendar(November 6, 2019)

STEEM/Steem: The Steem (STEEM) SteemFest 4 conference will be held in Bangkok from November 6th to 10th.

Encrypted project calendar(November 7, 2019)

XRP (XRP): 07 November 2019 Swell 2019 Ripple hosts Swell from November 7th — 8th in Singapore.

Encrypted project calendar(November 8, 2019)

BTC/Bitcoin: The 2nd Global Digital Mining Summit will be held in Frankfurt, Germany from October 8th to 10th.

Encrypted project calendar(November 9, 2019)

CENNZ/Centrality: Centrality (CENNZ) will meet in InsurTechNZ Connect — Insurance and Blockchain on October 9th in Auckland.
https://preview.redd.it/25yzdn8yvvt31.png?width=504&format=png&auto=webp&s=31b4e04dfff879aff9ee1327bbabea4c989861e4

This past week, we saw mostly bearish moves in bitcoin below the $8,200 support area against the US Dollar. BTC price even settled below $8,000 and the 100 hourly simple moving average. However, the $7,800 area acted as a strong support. As a result, BTC started a decent recovery above the $8,000 resistance area and the 100 hourly SMA. Moreover, there was a break above a contracting triangle with resistance near $8,000 on the hourly chart.
More importantly, the price surpassed the main $8,200 resistance area (as discussed in the weekly forecast). Finally, the price traded above the $8,250 level and tested the $8,300 zone. A high was formed near $8,305 and the price is currently consolidating gains. An immediate support is near the $8,200 level or the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the recent recovery from the $7,884 low to $8,305 high.
Additionally, there is a short term breakout or bullish continuation pattern forming with resistance near $8,250 on the same chart. If there is an upside break above $8,250, bitcoin price could continue to rise towards the $8,300 and $8,350 resistance levels. The next key resistance on the upside is near the $8,400 level.
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CRYPTOCURRENCY CARDANO (ADA)

CRYPTOCURRENCY CARDANO (ADA)

https://preview.redd.it/ajbfzpprwmt31.png?width=1901&format=png&auto=webp&s=6509343a0c882b97a7fe55eeccb873062ba09c66
Cardano is a cryptocurrency running on a decentralized blockchain platform that is under development. The project team strives to gain the trust of users by ensuring transparency of everything that happens in the system.

THE HISTORY OF THE EMERGENCE

Cardano (ADA) was created by a team led by Charles Haskinson, who previously worked on Ethereum, but left the number of cryptocurrency developers before the ICO. In 2014, he and Jeremy wood formed IOHK. In the same year, a group of Japanese investors signed a 6-year contract with this firm to create a blockchain project based on the use of algorithms for independent execution of exchange operations with different types of assets.

https://preview.redd.it/2i65etfaxmt31.png?width=308&format=png&auto=webp&s=29c9fbda1552a59c33452e60afb1bd1b8d6c3d48
The platform was named after Gerolamo Cardano, an Italian mathematician, engineer, philosopher and astrologer. The Ada token was composed of 3 letters of the scientist's surname so that the name of the world's first female programmer-Ada Lovelace - turned out.
The currency ICO was held in several stages in 2015-2017. as a result, $62 million was collected during operations only within the ADA Coin system. Until 2019, the developers plan to launch a number of decentralized applications and services for the implementation of smart contracts.
In the beginning, the team warned that the low speed of operations (only 5-10 transactions per second) can affect the rate of cryptocurrency. Experts plan to increase the speed of transactions by introducing the system of bandwidth nodes, the Protocol of which will be written in the programming language Haskell. Also prevent the success of the project could reputation of the author of the idea of Charles Hoskinson, who left his previous job without explanation. But the cost of the coin was not affected by these factors, the prospects for the project are good.

Cardano Presentation
The success of the project is also facilitated by the fact that it is engaged in 3 institutions performing different functions:

  • IOHK is responsible for the construction of the siege system. This institution is engaged in the technical side of the platform, its improvement.
  • The Cardano Foundation is located in Switzerland. Responsible for the control of the organization and its development, standardization and protection of technologies.
  • Emurgo is based on the Isle of man. The organization was created to promote the company's products in the market.
The goal of the creators of the project is a sustainable system that is able to attract investment and thereby support itself.

MAIN FEATURES OF CARDANO COIN

Cardano (ADA) is a cryptocurrency whose task is to secure smart contracts between users on terms beneficial to both parties. Such principles of asset exchange will be the basis for further development of digital currencies. The Ada token has many pluses, but there are also minuses.

Advantages

  • Democracy in the control of transactions and mining.
  • Scientific approach in the development of the mathematical block of the platform, allowing to have a good traffic generation.
  • High degree of protection against hacker attacks.
  • Anonymity.
  • Protection of users from unscrupulous partners.

Disadvantages

  • Using test software.
  • Incomplete platform management.
  • No protocols for long-term planning.
  • Insufficient control over the data provided by users.

HOW TO MINE CARDANO

The Cardano platform is based on the Proof of Stake algorithm. This means that the chances of a miner to create a block are directly proportional to the assets available to him, the results of work on solving a mathematical problem do not matter.

Advantages of Cardano mining:

  • Easy entry.
  • No expensive equipment is required.
  • Don't need a lot of electricity.
  • Relative stability.

WHERE AND HOW TO BUY CARDANO ADA CRYPTOCURRENCY

Cardano coins are traded in pairs with other cryptocurrencies on most exchanges (Finance, Bitrix, Http, Upbit, Bithumb, Cryptopia, etc.). There are exchangers (Prostocash, Xchange, 60 cek) and Exmo exchange, where you can buy Cardano cryptocurrency for rubles and other Fiat currency, after exchanging it for bitcoins or ethers. You can pay in exchangers via PayPal or Bank card.
Purchase instructions ADA:
  1. To buy in exchange for Bitcoin or Etherium.
  2. Register on the exchange and install a wallet with Cardano support.
  3. Exchange purchased bitcoins or ethers for Cardano.
  4. Withdraw ADA to wallet.

Purchase on Binance
Crypto exchanges provide the ability to store funds, but it is better to withdraw tokens to the wallet immediately after purchase. If this is not possible, you should take care of the security of your account. Asset storage is better not to trust little-known exchanges.

CARDANO WALLET

Until March 2018, the only e-wallet in which ADA could be stored was Daedalus. There are versions for Windows, Mac and Linux. The wallet is suitable for anonymous transactions. The Cardano team plans to issue a debit card that can be replenished through this e-wallet.
Daedalus installation instructions:
  1. Go to the site Cardanohub.org.
  2. Find the Get started tab and go to Deadalus wallet.
  3. Click on Download, download the app.
  4. Open the file, configure the installation settings.

https://preview.redd.it/tyomywqj2nt31.png?width=400&format=png&auto=webp&s=d0cf94f05c85c2205abde505831e5aeaca03dd8e
In March, it became possible to store ADA tokens in the Centra wallet. This means that the currency can be withdrawn using the Centra card in 36 million terminals around the world.

Web wallets are popular because of convenience. Many sites offer to download them to store ADA, but this should not be done, so as not to fall for the tricks of scammers. On the official website of the company there is no data on cooperation with owners of online wallets.

WHAT ARE THE PROSPECTS FOR THE ADA CRYPTOCURRENCY

Given the big plans of Cardano developers, the forecast for 2020 regarding this cryptocurrency is good. If the team implements its ideas to expand the use of coins, ADA may become popular in the market after a while, despite the fall in user confidence in cryptocurrencies.

Road map of Cardano

The author of the platform Hoskinson said that the work on scaling the data will not yield results until 2019. Developers want to introduce innovative technologies into their project, their creation and research takes a lot of time. By the end of the year, it is planned to standardize the protocols and improve the reliability of the system, but the achievement of these goals may be delayed due to the complexity of the ideas. At this stage of operation of the platform, information about the use of high technologies in support of Cardano's work is not proven.
Cryptocurrency faces competition among firms providing such services. It interferes with its development. Specialists working on improving Litecoin and Dash use similar principles when conducting transactions. Ripple plans to become an element combining currencies recognized as official and digital assets, making it more attractive to investors.
The exclusivity of the project is that its development is scientifically justified. But this is not a significant advantage, as most traders do not want to spend time figuring out the details of the technical side of the project, and are interested in its functionality.
If the Cardano project team fulfills its plans by the end of the year, the prospect of this currency is quite good. The success of ADA depends on how convenient the token will be to use.
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The best crypto and blockchain podcasts of 2019

For anyone who it interested in learning more about investing, crypto, finance, blockchain, and entrepreneurship can checkout this list I made of the top podcasts to follow in 2019 with some selected episodes chosen from each one:

Off The Chain With Anthony Pompliano
Host Anthony Pompliano talks to some of the most respected names in crypto and Wall Street to find out how intelligent investors from the new and old financial system are thinking about digital assets.
Top Episodes:
CZ, Founder and CEO of Binance: Binance and the Future of Global Crypto Regulation
Murad Mahmudov: The Ultimate Bitcoin Argument
Travis Kling: The Secrets of A Crypto Trader

Unchained: Your No-Hype Resource for All Things Crypto
This weekly, hour-long podcast with host Laura Shin dives deep into the people building the decentralized internet, the details of this technology that could underpin our future, and some of the thorniest topics in crypto, such as regulation, security and privacy.
Top Episodes:
Vitalik Buterin, Creator of Ethereum, On The Big Guy vs. The Little Guy
Naval Ravikant On How Crypto Is Squeezing VCs, Hindering Regulators, and Bringing Users Choice
Blockchain 101 with Andreas Antonoloulos

What Grinds My Gears
From Meltem Demirors and Jill Carlson, What Grinds My Gears is a podcast about the bizarre and buzzworthy happenings in the world of cryptocurrency. Each week, they delve into one key theme in crypto, and examine this theme through a broader financial, political, and cultural lens to learn from the past, understand the present, and explore the future.
Top Episodes:
An Unfetted Orgy Of Capitalism
It’s All About The DEX, Baby!
Tarred & Tethered

What Bitcoin Did
Since the birth of Bitcoin in 2009, a new class of Crypto assets built using the innovative design of the blockchain is disrupting technology and financial markets. In this podcast you will hear host Peter McCormack speak with crypto traders, miners, venture capitalist, investors, technical developers, CEOs, journalist and other people driving forward the growth of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Link To Listen
Top Episodes:
Andreas Antonopoulos: What Happens When Bitcoin Takes Over?
Peter Van Valkenburg on Lightning & The Law
Tuur Demeester on Why Bitcoin Is In Heavy Accumulation

Untold Stories with Charlie Shrem
Host Charlie Shrem dives deep into the lives and personal histories of some of crypto’s most influential leaders. A focus on personal stories weaves together a nuanced, untold narrative of how the crypto movement truly came to be.
Top Episodes:
J. Maurice “Wiz” — The Real Story of Mt. Gox & How to Become a Self-Sovereign Bitcoin Miner
Arianna Simpson — Why Founders Shouldn’t Think About an Exit & Becoming BitGo’s 3rd Employee
Steven Nerayoff — Crypto as a Disruptive Technology & Governments Debasing Their Own Currencies

Tales From The Crypt
Tales from the Crypt is a podcast hosted by Marty Bent about Bitcoin. Join Marty, Editor in Chief of “the best newsletter in crypto”, as he sits down to discuss Bitcoin with interesting people.
Top Episodes:
Tales from the Crypt: Pierre Rochard Pt. I
Tales from the Crypt #3: Santiago Siri
Tales from the Crypt Ep1: The History of Bitcoin Pt. 1

The Token Daily with Soona Amhaz
Host soona amhaz sits down with the movers and shakers of the crypto industry to discuss the big ideas they spend their days thinking about. Soona and her guests examine everything from industry trends, to what books they’re reading, to human psychology and investing.
Top Episodes:
Taylor Pearson, Author of The End of Jobs: Markets Are Eating the World
Dani Grant, Analyst at Union Square Ventures: The VC Outlook on Crypto’s Trends and Future
Tony Sheng, Independent Analyst: A Writer’s Take on Bitcoin Lore

The Flippening
Flippening is for cryptocurrency investors. Each week host Clay Collins discusses the cryptocurrency economy, new investment strategies for maximizing returns, and stories from the front lines of financial disruption. Flippening is for a new class of investors that were not part of the financial services world before bitcoin, but got into the finance because of their passion for cryptoassets, blockchain, altcoins, and distributed ledger technology.
Top Episodes:
Strategies for Accumulating BTC (Instead of USD) w/ Tuur Demeester from Adamant Capital
The Economics of Cryptoasset Markets w/ Professor Stephen McKeon
Bootstrapping A Crypto Nation State From Scratch, w/ Eric Meltzer of INBlockchain

The Chain Reaction Podcast
Host Tom Shaughnessy of Delphi Digital converses with the top names in crypto and blockchain.
Top Episodes:
ConsenSys’ Joe Lubin: Ethereum’s Competition Isn’t Even Close
Delphi Digital’s March Analyst Call — Ethereum, Enjin and Our Short Term Bitcoin Outlook
Vision Hill Group’s Scott Army: Digital Asset Management of the Future

a16z Podcast
The a16z Podcast discusses tech and culture trends, news, and the future — especially as ‘software eats the world’. It features industry experts, business leaders, and other interesting thinkers and voices from around the world. This podcast is produced by Andreessen Horowitz (aka “a16z”), a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm.
Top Episodes:
What Time Is It? From Technical to Product to Sales CEO
Principles and Algorithms for Work and Life
Five Open Problems Toward Building a Blockchain Computer

Unconfirmed: Insights and Analysis From the Top Minds in Crypto
Events in crypto take place at warp speed. This weekly crypto podcast reveals how the marquee names in crypto are reacting to the week’s top headlines. With host Laura Shin, the guests also discuss what they’re thinking about these days and reveal what they believe is on the horizon in crypto. Disclosure: Laura is a nocoiner.
Top Episodes:
To the Moon and Back With Polychain’s Olaf Carlson-Wee
Don Wilson of DRW Holdings on What’s Been Driving 2018’s Crypto Downturn
Hu Liang of Omniex on What Institutional Players Are Planning to Do in Crypto

The Unhashed Podcast
Unhashed breaks down the latest in Bitcoin news and developments and puts them into terms everyone can understand. Expect to be both entertained and educated about cryptocurrencies and blockchain. How do hardware wallets work and do they really keep you safe? Which crypto exchanges pose the greatest risk to the bitcoin ecosystem? Does Litecoin help or hinder bitcoin development? Expect the answers to these and many other questions from the Unhashed professionals offering different perspectives to all the blockchain issues you care about!
Top Episodes:
The Very Rich, Very Patient Binance Hacker
Bitcoin Goes High Fidelity
Initiating Unhash

The Scoop
The Block’s team, led by Frank Chaparro, draw out the freshest and deepest insights about digital assets from traditional Wall Street, crypto native, Fortune 500 and many other crypto ecosystem leaders. It’s light, fun and informative brain food!
Top Episodes:
A Conversation with Mark Yusko, CEO and CIO of Morgan Creek Capital Management
A Conversation with Stephen Palley, Partner at Anderson Kill
A Conversation with Emilie Choi, VP Business and Data, Coinbase

Base Layer
Base Layer with host David Nage will be providing insights from founders and investors in the base layer of cryptoassets. Simplifying complex projects and the technology being developed, from interoperability to relayers and more — who is building the future, why are they and how are they doing it.
Top Episodes:
Base Layer Episode 028 — Zaki Manian (SkuChain, Cosmos, Tendermint)
Base Layer Episode 026 — Diogo Monica (Co — Founder, Anchorage)
Base Layer Episode 032 — Alexander Skidanov (NEAR)

Blockchain Innovation: Interviewing The Brightest Minds In Blockchain
Blockchain Innovation is where host Frederick Munawa interviews the brightest minds in Blockchain and cryptocurrency — entrepreneurs, executives, and top academics — to discuss present and future applications of Blockchain Technology. Why? To determine how Blockchain can be used to increase profits, cut costs, and disrupt traditional industries and business models — so you can borrow their strategies, tools, and tactics for your own success. Join Frederick every Tuesday to learn how the brightest minds in Blockchain are pushing the envelope with Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and token sales, public blockchains, private blockchains, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger, smart contracts, and much more.
Top Episodes:
Why Bitcoin Should Hard Fork With Roger Ver
How Blockchain Assets Are Changing The World With Erik Voorhees
Blockchain Meets Artificial Intelligence with Dr. Ben Goertzel

Blockchain Insider
Blockchain Insider, hosted by Simon Taylor and Colin Platt is a dedicated podcast specializing in Bitcoin, Blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT). Simon and Colin break down the week’s news with expertise and enthusiasm for the blockchain and digital currency sector. Since the price of Bitcoin has rocketed, and Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin have become household names, Blockchain Insider has charted their rise in a way that’s accessible to new listeners.
Top Episodes:
Ep. 42. Santander Makes Ripples and Charles Hoskinson Shares His Vision of Cardano
Ep. 27. XRP’s Ripple effect and Blockchain use cases
Ep. 43. Sexism in Crypto, Pornhub takes Verge, and Binance Denies the Dollar

Let’s Talk Crypto
Have you ever heard of digital currencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and buzzwords like blockchain, cryptocurrencies and mining? Don’t know what it all means or how to get started? Let’s Talk Crypto with Barry Moore and Tom Galeski breaks it all down in easy to understand terms and helps you “learn and earn” in the age of cryptocurrencies.
Top Episodes:
006: Altcoins
017: Fiat & Crypto
010: Proof of Work vs. Proof of Stake

Blockchain 2025
Blockchain is a technology that will disrupt nearly every industry. Host Matt Aaron and Blake Moore explore one industry in every episode. How will blockchain change art, music, or online advertising? What projects are already underway? Listen & find out.
Top Episodes:
Online Ads — Publishers and Advertisers vs. Centralized Platforms
Music Biz — Can Artists Have More Money + Freedom?
Crypto Debit Cards — A Bridge to the Future? TenX, Monaco, Comit

IBM Blockchain Pulse
Host and blockchain-evangelist Matt Hooper engages with the planet’s most dynamic blockchain thought-leaders, explorers and innovators to discover the countless new ways blockchain is leaping from theory to reality: From entertainment to identity, from payments to secure supply-chain transparency.
Top Episodes:
Making Cross-Border Payments Seamless — IBM Blockchain and Stellar’s Collaboration That is Bringing Commercial Payments to the Financial World
A Blockchain Origin Story and Enabling Complete Ownership With Blockchain
The Future of Protecting Your Wallet and Identity: Blockchain Identity and Digital Credentials, with Adam Gunther and Drummond Reed

Messari’s Unqualified Opinions
Unqualified Opinions is a podcast hosted by Messari’s CEO Ryan Selkis featuring candid, fast-paced interviews with crypto’s top builders and investors.
Top Episodes:
Bill Barhydt, CEO & Founder of Abra
Anthony Pompliano, Founder at Morgan Creek Digital
Unlock Protocol CEO Julien Genestoux
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Consensus Network EP36: Buy, Borrow and Die: Bitcoin Style

Catch the full episode: https://www.consensusnetwork.io/podcastepisodes/2019/10/5/ep36-buy-borrow-and-die-bitcoin-style-1
Buck: Welcome back to the show everyone. Today my guest on Wealth Formula Podcast is Zack Prince. He's Founder and CEO of BlockFi. BlockFi bridges the gap between blockchain and the basic financial products that you're used to including interest-bearing accounts and loans. Zack, welcome to Wealth Formula Podcast. I think you we might have had you on before as a Consensus Network replay but first time on Wealth Formula Podcast specifically, so welcome.
Zac: Yeah, excited to be here, Buck. Thanks for having me. And it's good to chat with you again
Buck: Yeah so remind me how you got into this you know Bitcoin stuff in the first place, I mean you were as I understand you were a traditional finance guy right so where did the blockchain part come in?
Zac: Sure so I was I was working at a company in the FinTech world that provided data and technology solutions to institutional investors that wanted to participate in some of the new online lending platforms, whether they were real estate platforms or consumer lending platforms, and I kind of became the FinTech guy amongst my friend group and people would ask me you know should I invest in these real estate deals on fund rise or buy loans from Lending Club and I started writing a blog to share the information more efficiently with my friends basically and I started expanding a little bit writing about Robo advisory and some other things that were going on in the FinTech space and that's what led me to Bitcoin, and this is back in early 2015. I didn't start BlockFi until 2017 because I started following the market in the background, still working in traditional financial services in FinTech and then in early 2017 it started to feel like mainstream adoption was starting to happen in the crypto ecosystem. I'm started going to some meetups in New York City because at a certain point my wife said Zac, you're talking about crypto all the time and you're talking to me about it and I don't want to talk about it so you should find some other people to talk about this with. And the meetup composition started to change and in 2016 when I started going to these meetups it was the early crypto adopters you know libertarians, computer scientists and then in early 2017 I started to see some venture capitalists, some guys who had just left their job at Wall Street still wearing a suit, some more entrepreneurs and it was a really exciting time in the ecosystem, things like the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance were getting announced which had participation microsoft and a lot of other you know fortune 500 companies and I had started to believe in it. I was drinking the kool-aid a little bit so I decided to find a way to get involved in the space full-time and that's what led me to start BlockFi.
Buck: So I have to imagine that the response you got from the traditional finance people around that time when you started talking about the blockchain space and when you started being more and more involved with that was probably not a very positive response initially or did you did you experience some of that sort of you know rejection initially to what you were doing?
Zac: Yeah absolutely. But you know throughout my career this is now kind of the third emerging technology industry that I've worked in. I was originally an advertising technology starting like you know 15 years ago and I was in FinTech specifically the online lending side of FinTech which in its early days was called peer-to-peer lending and now in crypto. So having to do a lot of education explain it you know why something isn't crazy and it might work and here's why and here's the value proposition and here's what it is, I've gotten very used to that and comfortable with it. But yeah there were a lot of people who are like you know I've heard Bitcoin is only used by drug dealers and money launderers. I've heard that I'm supposed to care about blockchain and not Bitcoin. And you know at BlockFi we’re providing financial products into the market so it's a heavily regulated business so we also had to communicate with regulators. We had to explain to state regulators, federal regulators why what we were doing with Bitcoin and other cryptos than when you're doing these same types of things with assets that they're more familiar with.
Buck: So when you were talking to people back in, I don't know I guess 2016/17 and it's not a long time ago, it's only two years ago, but I have to imagine that the response or the you know the approach that people take to you when you speak to investors is very different. Has it become more mainstream in that regard for you know for big money investors?
Zac: It's absolutely become more mainstream you know the end of 2017 Q3/Q4. Point was going on that parabolic run it started to get covered everywhere, I mean it was on CNBC every day it was in Bloomberg New York Times Wall Street Journal. If you were paying attention to the financial industry and markets you heard about Bitcoin at that time if you hadn't heard about it before. So from a baseline of awareness perspective it got a lot better and then in 2018 you had a number of positive developments for the sector including one that I think is probably the most noteworthy which is that Bitcoin futures were listed on the CME the institutional investor perspective that's massive. You now have a well regulated well known super trustworthy venue where you can get exposure to this asset class, you also had companies like Grayscale bringing products to the market which are accessible to certain types of investors and their low bridge accounts and you started to see some adoption from companies like FinTech companies like Robin Hood and Square making Bitcoin available on their platforms. So the conversation has absolutely changed a lot and it's become less about whether or not this is something that's going to continue to exist whether or not it's something that was just a bubble and is going to die and now it's more about ok how is it going to get used how big could it get what are the interesting applications of it and what could have potentially disrupt in the traditional financial ecosystem.
Buck: So you know we had obviously following this you know pop in 2017, you know I actually like you kind of really got into this early 2017 so timing was pretty good I guess now regards. Good or bad depending how you look at it but I was there before before the parabolic move. And then we have you know then we followed this up with a crypto winter and and you know who knows if we're done with it, I guess we certainly are much better off than we were. You know a unit buddy it's funny Zac I don’t know if you remember this but I was about to, we'll talk about BlockFi specifically in a minute but, I was about to use BlockFi for borrowing because I like this idea of borrowing you know collateralized debt and collateralized debt on assets and buying something else. So I was about to do it and then Bitcoin lost a clip and I was like literally and I remember I was just emailing with somebody somebody over there and I was like sorry dude I guess I just sold it, I just sold all that Bitcoin I had and you sent one email back to me and it said “capitulation” but it you know and so now we're looking back at these we go down from 3,000 back up you know been sort of flirting around this 10,000 and it seems like we're kind of maybe that we're stuck there, maybe we're kind of out of winter, maybe we're in a holding pattern but it seems like to me that since that two years not only is the awareness increase but the development of the ecosystem itself is so much further advanced than it was in 2017. Is this an unusual case where the technology and maybe even the infrastructure is actually outpacing the price?
Zac: You know it's really hard to say. I would argue that in some ways it's typical. In other industries that showed a lot of promise where investors could you know participate maybe a little bit ahead of the adoption curve you saw crazy price run ups with the tech bubble and you know ‘99-2000 being the one that's kind of top of mind in recent memory and then on the other side of things, are we behind where the price should be now? It's really hard to say because this is kind of like a commodity type asset built on a payment network and valuing that is challenging and there's not a perfect model for for doing it today. It's not as easy as something that's cashflow producing but I'm incredibly bullish. I'm on record as saying at the beginning of this year that Bitcoin has only had one year in its 10-year existence where it had a lower low than the year before and parted this year around the low price for 2018 and I predicted that we would in the year had a higher price than where we started the year pretty soon and now we're up and you know around 300 percent from where we started the year. As that happens in investing is people frequently look at things on a year-to-year performance basis and when people are looking at Bitcoin even if all we do is stay around 10 K from here when they're looking at how Bitcoin performed rather than other relative to other assets at the end of 2019 it's probably going to look fantastic. And you also have an event coming up and in the summer of next year called The Halvening where basically the supply that's produced by miners is going to get cut in half and so if you believe in the stock the flow type models of valuation for Bitcoin that is usually a very big driver of price appreciation.
Buck: I believe May of 2020, right?
Zac: That's right.
Buck: In May of 2020. Can you just talked a little bit about that just so people know because people hear about it, I've been talking about it but I don't think that it really explained it.
Zac: Yeah and you know I'm not I'm not a computer scientist so I can explain it in a you know in a very simple…
Buck: No one else here is either.
Zac: So basically the way that new Bitcoin is created is through this process called mining. And it's analogous to mining gold except instead of finding a place in the earth where gold exists and then getting your trucks and mining equipment and digging it out of the ground, the way bitcoin is mined is using this computer program and there is now specialized computer hardware that's built specifically and optimized for mining Bitcoin. And you have this network of machines around the world where the input is energy into the mining hardware and the output is new Bitcoin and those miners are what provides the power for the payment network a Bitcoin to run and when we say that there is this event called The Halvening, what that basically means is that the output that's built into the Bitcoin program that the miners are receiving as their payment for contributing energy to the network, is going to get cut in half. So the miners are going to have the same you know relative input but the amount that they're receiving is going to get cut in half for that input. This should, if the demand side for Bitcoin remains equal, it should drive up the price and historically Bitcoin has had three of these Halvening events in its lifetime so far I believe and around each Halvening you have seen you know six months before or six months after a pretty material run up in price.
Buck: Yeah so it also goes along with that sort of that the entire idea that Bitcoin unlike you know other assets including gold is it's a deflationary asset ultimately and and that's one of the things that makes that happening really significant. Apart from and I have one more question before we get to block five which is apart from the Halvening, you know thing that's happening, what is maybe the biggest development or upcoming thing that's coming up that makes you the most bullish on the future of Bitcoin or blockchain in general?
Zac: Sure so I think I wouldn't actually point to any one specific thing, I would point to two broad trends. So one is institutional adoption and participation in the asset class and the other is better ramps for retail participation into the asset class and just focusing here you know on the US market because it really is an international story but just in the US market. In September we should have Bakkt launching their futures platform. Bakkt is owned by ICE, the Intercontinental Exchange, and there's a big core difference between their futures and the current futures that are available on the CME in that futures on Bakkt platform are going to be physically settled so that means that actual Bitcoin is going to be needed to facilitate the trading on Bakkt’s platform which does not happen on CMEs exchange so that's that should be a very positive catalyst in terms of demand for physical Bitcoin that could have an impact on the price. Also on the institutional side this year I believe earlier this year, the first pension fund made an investment into an asset management vehicle that was focused on investing in Bitcoin and private equity opportunities in the Bitcoin and blockchain sector. So that will be a trend.
Buck: Which pension fund was it?
Zac: It was in North Carolina so I think it was like the North Carolina Firefighters and the group that raised the money from them was Morgan Creek Digital it’s actually invested in BlockFi by Anthony Pompliano Twitter and Mark Yusko so that's on the institutional side. And then on the retail side you've seen FinTech companies like Square and Robin Hood offer Bitcoin trading to their users. But soon you will also have companies like TD Ameritrade E-Trade and others offer Bitcoin to their users sometimes be a partnership sometimes because they've built it directly. You also at some point might see progress made in terms of an ETF getting approved that would give retail investors in the US market exposure to Bitcoin in a really easy and familiar way. All of those things are tremendously positive catalysts and the caliber of people working on them only continues to increase. Talent was attracted into the sector very, very rapidly these days.
Buck: You know one question that leads me to is that all of this is happening with Bitcoin for the most part. Are alt coins in your opinion is that market coming back or is that something that we're gonna see probably select you know group of tokens projects emerge and then the rest will kind of just get left in the dust, what do you think?
Zac: I mean I'll tell you exactly what I'm doing with my portfolio and then I'll provide a bit more color. So my asset allocation in the crypto side of my investing is I'm like 90% Bitcoin 5% Ethereum and 5% B&B; which is the Binance right. So I'm super bullish on Bitcoin. I think that you know there's a chance that Ether makes a comeback specifically I think that a lot of the stable coins that have been launched have been built on Ethereum if you're not familiar with stable coins it's basically the concept of a dollar but on a blockchain which could be really really powerful because it creates the opportunity for the delivery of US dollar denominated financial services at a global scale not using the traditional banking rails. And then B&B; I mean Binance is the biggest and most successful exchange they have a history of innovating, creating new products, going fast and so I'm taking a bit of a flyer with them but I'm 90% Bitcoin. I don't think that I'm not bullish on any of the other all coins frankly I struggle to see you know the big upside I have heard whispers in the community that there's kind of like a new wave of altcoins 3.0 might emerge, you know could see some some good returns similar to what some of the ICOs did in 2017 but it's not an area of focus for me. So that's my view.
Buck: Yeah let's talk about BlockFi. Remind us exactly what BlockFi is.
Zac: Sure so we're a wealth management platform for crypto investors. Today we have two products that we offer. One product is analogous to a savings account from a traditional bank where you're able to earn interest on your holdings except on BlockFi, the assets instead of being dollars are bitcoin and Ether and we don't have FDIC insurance so it's not exactly the same risk profile as a savings account at a bank, but conceptually you're able to hold Bitcoin and an account with BlockFi and earn interest on it paid in Bitcoin every month. That's one product that we have. The second product that we have which you are alluding to earlier offers our clients the ability to borrow dollars secured by the value of their cryptocurrency and it's analogous to a securities backed loan or a liquidity access line in the traditional world except instead of securities we're taking Bitcoin or other digital assets as collateral and lending it rates as low as four point five lending USD that rates as low as four point five percent a year.
Buck: I wanna pick these apart a little bit if you don't mind. In terms of this savings account first of all is it just bitcoin or is it bitcoin, Ethereum?
Zac: We actually support three assets in the interest account currently Bitcoin, Ether and GUSD which is the stable coin from Gemini.
Buck: Got it. And talk about the interest because it's not one flat interest rate right it's different depending on how much cryptocurrency actually is held?
Zac: Correct so there's a tiered interest rate structure. Currently on Bitcoin for balances up to ten Bitcoin, we offer a six point two percent annual yield and for balances above ten Bitcoin it's a 2.2 percent annual yield. On Ether, for balances up to two hundred Ether it's a 3.3 percent annual yield and balances above two hundred Ether is 0.5% annual yield and for GUSD the stable coin it's an eight point six percent interest rate with no tier so yeah those are the different rates.
Buck: Why did, I mean was it just a matter of like an issue with people dumping like a thousand Bitcoin and trying to get six you know 6% of that, was it just too hard to you know make that a long-term part of the business model or why did the higher levels end up changing to a lower rate?
Zac: Sure so I wanted to function of market conditions and to it's a function of supply and demand. So we launched the interest account in March of this year. We were just starting to come out of the bear market and one of the things that happened as we switched from being in a bear market to being in a bull market is the futures switched from being in backwardation to contango which basically means that our institutional borrowers the groups that we lend to that enable us to pay the rate to depositors had less of a need they had less demand to borrow and they were willing to pay lower rates to borrow crypto than they were when we were building and planning to launch this product. The second thing that happened is we were surprised to the upside in terms of the level of interest that we received from depositors and especially depositors with very large sums of cryptocurrency. So to give you an example you know within a day or two of making the product available publicly, we had a number of groups that were depositing 5, 10, 15, 20 million dollars worth of Bitcoin and so the supply-demand that we have to manage is, the amount that we have on deposit relative to the size of this market that will borrow Bitcoin size of the market that will borrow Bitcoin is partially a function of market sentiments partially a function of number of trading venues and the liquidity profile and it's partially a function of you know BlockFi’s efforts in terms of sales and client development relationship management. So the supply side got a little bit ahead of the demand side on deposit and how much there was available to borrow so we made a few tweaks. We want to keep the 6%, 6.2% rate on Bitcoin available to as many people as possible for as long as possible so that's why we went with the tiered structure where we made it available on balances up to 10 and reduced it for balances above that.
Buck: Got it and the interest on that, when you say 6.2 percent that six point like it's all denominated in Bitcoin, you're not paying cash out right?
Zac: Correct so to use round numbers to provide an easy example you start on January first with a hundred Bitcoin in an account, by the subsequent January first you will have 106 point 2 Bitcoin in your account.
Buck: Yeah and that that's kind of neat too because then you're you know you're also getting potentially the upside of that you know I mean they made 6% but if you if you're really bullish on the market you could be potentially looking at a lot more than 6% on your money. How about in terms of the, is there like a you know do you do it sort of a month-to-month or six month or month you know year-long contracts for these things?
Zac: It's month-to-month. So the rates are subject to change on a monthly basis. We provide notifications at least a week in advance before the end of one month on what the rates will be for the subsequent month and people are able to you know withdraw any time without penalty. We reserve up to 7 days to process withdrawals but we've never taken more than one business day to process a withdrawal so they're pretty quick but not instant for security reasons and yeah it's pretty flexible.
Buck: How about the lump in the lending side how does how does that work? So now I've got like 10 Bitcoin and so I would deposit that I guess and you guys I understand that maybe that that goes into like a Gemini account or something, is that still how it works?
Zac: Correct so we have a partnership with Gemini for custody. So when you log into a BlockFi account you'll have a deposit address. When you send Bitcoin to that deposit address it actually goes directly into storage with Gemini. Gemini was the first custodian in the crypto sector to receive insurance against cyber hacks on their platform. They were also the first custodian to get to complete a SOC 2 compliance audit and they have a really long track record of custody billions of dollars worth of crypto without ever having any issues. So it goes directly to Gemini and then you're able to interact with block-wise platform to take any actions that you might deem necessary. So you can view your interest payments you can withdraw you can deposit more you can also take out a loan. So in terms of taking out a loan, if you have ten Bitcoin that's worth roughly a hundred thousand US dollars at this point in time, you can borrow up to fifty percent of that value in a US dollar loan which can be funded be a wire or stable coin and then the structure of those loans is that you make interest-only payments on the amount that you borrowed throughout the duration and you can prepay at any time without penalty.
Buck: And what's the typical you said it was four point six.
Zac: We have interest rates as low as four point five. The interest rates on borrowing USD vary according to your initial loan to value ratio. So if you have a hundred thousand dollars worth of Bitcoin we actually have three loan-to-value ratio options. You can borrow at a 50 percent initial loan-to-value ratio which would mean you're borrowing 50k, the interest rate on that will be eleven point two five, if you borrow thirty five percent of the value so 35k the interest rate is seven point nine, and if you borrow twenty five percent of the value of the interest rate is four point five percent per year.
Buck: Got it. In terms of you know the technical, so you basically pay that on a month-to-month basis and then in terms of contracts, are those also month-to-month loans or how does that work?
Zac: Those are one-year term loans well now it's the ability to renew without repaying the principal at the end of the term at current rates and our rates for those loans have always come down so far. So it's a one-year term loan BlockFi committed for a year at that rate your payments stay the same but you can prepay at any time without penalty.
Buck: Right. When do you do when would you do an actual sort of I guess a cap will call like what loan-to-value because you can go up to say you're borrowing at you know you're borrowing at the lowest rate you know you're at 4.5% you're borrowing see you know just for round numbers 100 Bitcoin you borrowed or you said 10 Bitcoin hundred thousand dollars but you only borrowed twenty-five thousand dollars at four point five percent, what if Bitcoin you know loses 50 percent of its value then what happens?
Zac: Well you wouldn't have a margin call based on on that example. If your loan to value ratio hits 70 percent that's when we have a margin call and the way the margin call works is our clients have the option to either post more collateral, pay down the loan using USD or some of the collateral that's posted for the loan or take no action. If they take no action there's a 72-hour window where we'll wait to see if the price recovers, if it does then no action is required, if the price keeps going down further then we will initiate a partial collateral sale to rebalance that LTV to a healthy level at the end of that window.
Buck: So in terms of the clients that you see doing this kind of stuff, I mean who are you seeing borrowing because you don't have a cap I mean you can on the borrow side, I mean and the rates don't really change like if you're depositing a hundred Bitcoin you're getting the same rate differences as somebody who's depositing ten for borrowing right?
Zac: That's right.
Buck: So who are the people who are putting I mean what are these businesses that are putting are using these loans who are the typical clients?
Zac: Sure so it's a mix of retail and corporate. On the retail side we actually did a survey recently on use cases and the number one use case about a third of our borrowers expressed is that they were using the funds that they borrowed to start a business, which we were really excited about. So the other popular use cases were investing in real estate, investing in other types of traditional assets like stocks and bonds, home improvement, larger purchases, vacations were all used cases, paying down higher cost debt was another use case, and then on the corporate side the loans are used for operating capital. So we have some mining companies that borrow from BlockFi. Other types of companies who you know maybe have crypto denominated inventory like exchanges or crypto ATM businesses our frequent borrowers from BlockFi and our loan sizes rearranged from you know as low as five thousand dollars all the way up to seven figures. So it's a pretty diverse group of borrowers.
Buck: So recently it sounds like you guys partnered with another company called Casa. What is Casa and I guess how does that benefit both companies?
Zac: Sure. So Casa is a leader in fighting self sovereign storage solutions for cryptocurrency owners so if you're alone that owns Bitcoin and to use a gold analogy. If you want to own gold but you keep it in your vault or in your backyard you want to have physical possession of it yourself if you want to do that same type of custody with Bitcoin. Casa has a solution that makes that really easy. Our partnership with Casa provides mutual benefits to clients on either side. So Casa clients are able to receive some discounts in terms of accessing BlockFi products and vice-versa BlockFi clients are able to receive discounts in terms of accessing kasam products and over time we'll build some things in to the user experience specifically on Casa’s platform that will make it you know a bit more seamless to interact with BlockFi products while you're on their platform. In general that partnership strategy is something that you'll see more of we think there are in the ecosystem that are specializing in areas that BlockFi's not focused on and doing things where we can provide benefits to clients on both sides is a win-win for us then and our clients.
Buck: Last thing I want to ask you about, last time I spoke to you, you had talked about the idea of potentially Bitcoin backed credit cards meaning like you know getting Bitcoin back instead of miles or dollars back. You guys any closer to that, because I definitely want one of those cards.
Zac: I'm so glad you brought it up. We're definitely closer, but we're not you're not going to have the card until like Q3 of next year probably. It's getting worked on, these things you know for better or worse they take a long time launching a credit program is no small feat you know we're working on it. We've identified some of the key partners that we'll be working with to bring that product to market it is going to happen and I share your sentiment like I wish I had it now.
Buck: Yeah seriously that'd be great. Well listen it was great talking you. So it's BlockFi.com and it's spelled like block and then fi and tell us you know tell us the process of doing is pretty simple okay how long does it take to apply for these things…
Zac: Yeah I mean nothing takes any time really. So you could come in and start earning interest and get a loan from us all in under five minutes. And we also have a client service team that's super responsive in in terms of communication however you want to communicate with them, over email, over the phone, over text message so you know don't don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're also on twitter. My twitter handle is BlockFiZac and our company twitter handle is @therealBlockFi so we're very active on those platforms and happy to chat with you there as well.
Buck: Zac Prince, thank you very much for being on Wealth Formula Podcast today.
Zac: Thanks for having me, Buck, I appreciate it.
Buck: We’ll be right back.
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Wealth Formula Episode 179: Buy, Borrow and Die: Bitcoin Style

Catch the full episode: https://www.wealthformula.com/podcast/179-buy-borrow-and-die-bitcoin-style/
Buck: Welcome back to the show everyone. Today my guest on Wealth Formula Podcast is Zack Prince. He's Founder and CEO of BlockFi. BlockFi bridges the gap between blockchain and the basic financial products that you're used to including interest-bearing accounts and loans. Zack, welcome to Wealth Formula Podcast. I think you we might have had you on before as a Consensus Network replay but first time on Wealth Formula Podcast specifically, so welcome.
Zac: Yeah, excited to be here, Buck. Thanks for having me. And it's good to chat with you again
Buck: Yeah so remind me how you got into this you know Bitcoin stuff in the first place, I mean you were as I understand you were a traditional finance guy right so where did the blockchain part come in?
Zac: Sure so I was I was working at a company in the FinTech world that provided data and technology solutions to institutional investors that wanted to participate in some of the new online lending platforms, whether they were real estate platforms or consumer lending platforms, and I kind of became the FinTech guy amongst my friend group and people would ask me you know should I invest in these real estate deals on fund rise or buy loans from Lending Club and I started writing a blog to share the information more efficiently with my friends basically and I started expanding a little bit writing about Robo advisory and some other things that were going on in the FinTech space and that's what led me to Bitcoin, and this is back in early 2015. I didn't start BlockFi until 2017 because I started following the market in the background, still working in traditional financial services in FinTech and then in early 2017 it started to feel like mainstream adoption was starting to happen in the crypto ecosystem. I'm started going to some meetups in New York City because at a certain point my wife said Zac, you're talking about crypto all the time and you're talking to me about it and I don't want to talk about it so you should find some other people to talk about this with. And the meetup composition started to change and in 2016 when I started going to these meetups it was the early crypto adopters you know libertarians, computer scientists and then in early 2017 I started to see some venture capitalists, some guys who had just left their job at Wall Street still wearing a suit, some more entrepreneurs and it was a really exciting time in the ecosystem, things like the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance were getting announced which had participation microsoft and a lot of other you know fortune 500 companies and I had started to believe in it. I was drinking the kool-aid a little bit so I decided to find a way to get involved in the space full-time and that's what led me to start BlockFi.
Buck: So I have to imagine that the response you got from the traditional finance people around that time when you started talking about the blockchain space and when you started being more and more involved with that was probably not a very positive response initially or did you did you experience some of that sort of you know rejection initially to what you were doing?
Zac: Yeah absolutely. But you know throughout my career this is now kind of the third emerging technology industry that I've worked in. I was originally an advertising technology starting like you know 15 years ago and I was in FinTech specifically the online lending side of FinTech which in its early days was called peer-to-peer lending and now in crypto. So having to do a lot of education explain it you know why something isn't crazy and it might work and here's why and here's the value proposition and here's what it is, I've gotten very used to that and comfortable with it. But yeah there were a lot of people who are like you know I've heard Bitcoin is only used by drug dealers and money launderers. I've heard that I'm supposed to care about blockchain and not Bitcoin. And you know at BlockFi we’re providing financial products into the market so it's a heavily regulated business so we also had to communicate with regulators. We had to explain to state regulators, federal regulators why what we were doing with Bitcoin and other cryptos than when you're doing these same types of things with assets that they're more familiar with.
Buck: So when you were talking to people back in, I don't know I guess 2016/17 and it's not a long time ago, it's only two years ago, but I have to imagine that the response or the you know the approach that people take to you when you speak to investors is very different. Has it become more mainstream in that regard for you know for big money investors?
Zac: It's absolutely become more mainstream you know the end of 2017 Q3/Q4. Point was going on that parabolic run it started to get covered everywhere, I mean it was on CNBC every day it was in Bloomberg New York Times Wall Street Journal. If you were paying attention to the financial industry and markets you heard about Bitcoin at that time if you hadn't heard about it before. So from a baseline of awareness perspective it got a lot better and then in 2018 you had a number of positive developments for the sector including one that I think is probably the most noteworthy which is that Bitcoin futures were listed on the CME the institutional investor perspective that's massive. You now have a well regulated well known super trustworthy venue where you can get exposure to this asset class, you also had companies like Grayscale bringing products to the market which are accessible to certain types of investors and their low bridge accounts and you started to see some adoption from companies like FinTech companies like Robin Hood and Square making Bitcoin available on their platforms. So the conversation has absolutely changed a lot and it's become less about whether or not this is something that's going to continue to exist whether or not it's something that was just a bubble and is going to die and now it's more about ok how is it going to get used how big could it get what are the interesting applications of it and what could have potentially disrupt in the traditional financial ecosystem.
Buck: So you know we had obviously following this you know pop in 2017, you know I actually like you kind of really got into this early 2017 so timing was pretty good I guess now regards. Good or bad depending how you look at it but I was there before before the parabolic move. And then we have you know then we followed this up with a crypto winter and and you know who knows if we're done with it, I guess we certainly are much better off than we were. You know a unit buddy it's funny Zac I don’t know if you remember this but I was about to, we'll talk about BlockFi specifically in a minute but, I was about to use BlockFi for borrowing because I like this idea of borrowing you know collateralized debt and collateralized debt on assets and buying something else. So I was about to do it and then Bitcoin lost a clip and I was like literally and I remember I was just emailing with somebody somebody over there and I was like sorry dude I guess I just sold it, I just sold all that Bitcoin I had and you sent one email back to me and it said “capitulation” but it you know and so now we're looking back at these we go down from 3,000 back up you know been sort of flirting around this 10,000 and it seems like we're kind of maybe that we're stuck there, maybe we're kind of out of winter, maybe we're in a holding pattern but it seems like to me that since that two years not only is the awareness increase but the development of the ecosystem itself is so much further advanced than it was in 2017. Is this an unusual case where the technology and maybe even the infrastructure is actually outpacing the price?
Zac: You know it's really hard to say. I would argue that in some ways it's typical. In other industries that showed a lot of promise where investors could you know participate maybe a little bit ahead of the adoption curve you saw crazy price run ups with the tech bubble and you know ‘99-2000 being the one that's kind of top of mind in recent memory and then on the other side of things, are we behind where the price should be now? It's really hard to say because this is kind of like a commodity type asset built on a payment network and valuing that is challenging and there's not a perfect model for for doing it today. It's not as easy as something that's cashflow producing but I'm incredibly bullish. I'm on record as saying at the beginning of this year that Bitcoin has only had one year in its 10-year existence where it had a lower low than the year before and parted this year around the low price for 2018 and I predicted that we would in the year had a higher price than where we started the year pretty soon and now we're up and you know around 300 percent from where we started the year. As that happens in investing is people frequently look at things on a year-to-year performance basis and when people are looking at Bitcoin even if all we do is stay around 10 K from here when they're looking at how Bitcoin performed rather than other relative to other assets at the end of 2019 it's probably going to look fantastic. And you also have an event coming up and in the summer of next year called The Halvening where basically the supply that's produced by miners is going to get cut in half and so if you believe in the stock the flow type models of valuation for Bitcoin that is usually a very big driver of price appreciation.
Buck: I believe May of 2020, right?
Zac: That's right.
Buck: In May of 2020. Can you just talked a little bit about that just so people know because people hear about it, I've been talking about it but I don't think that it really explained it.
Zac: Yeah and you know I'm not I'm not a computer scientist so I can explain it in a you know in a very simple…
Buck: No one else here is either.
Zac: So basically the way that new Bitcoin is created is through this process called mining. And it's analogous to mining gold except instead of finding a place in the earth where gold exists and then getting your trucks and mining equipment and digging it out of the ground, the way bitcoin is mined is using this computer program and there is now specialized computer hardware that's built specifically and optimized for mining Bitcoin. And you have this network of machines around the world where the input is energy into the mining hardware and the output is new Bitcoin and those miners are what provides the power for the payment network a Bitcoin to run and when we say that there is this event called The Halvening, what that basically means is that the output that's built into the Bitcoin program that the miners are receiving as their payment for contributing energy to the network, is going to get cut in half. So the miners are going to have the same you know relative input but the amount that they're receiving is going to get cut in half for that input. This should, if the demand side for Bitcoin remains equal, it should drive up the price and historically Bitcoin has had three of these Halvening events in its lifetime so far I believe and around each Halvening you have seen you know six months before or six months after a pretty material run up in price.
Buck: Yeah so it also goes along with that sort of that the entire idea that Bitcoin unlike you know other assets including gold is it's a deflationary asset ultimately and and that's one of the things that makes that happening really significant. Apart from and I have one more question before we get to block five which is apart from the Halvening, you know thing that's happening, what is maybe the biggest development or upcoming thing that's coming up that makes you the most bullish on the future of Bitcoin or blockchain in general?
Zac: Sure so I think I wouldn't actually point to any one specific thing, I would point to two broad trends. So one is institutional adoption and participation in the asset class and the other is better ramps for retail participation into the asset class and just focusing here you know on the US market because it really is an international story but just in the US market. In September we should have Bakkt launching their futures platform. Bakkt is owned by ICE, the Intercontinental Exchange, and there's a big core difference between their futures and the current futures that are available on the CME in that futures on Bakkt platform are going to be physically settled so that means that actual Bitcoin is going to be needed to facilitate the trading on Bakkt’s platform which does not happen on CMEs exchange so that's that should be a very positive catalyst in terms of demand for physical Bitcoin that could have an impact on the price. Also on the institutional side this year I believe earlier this year, the first pension fund made an investment into an asset management vehicle that was focused on investing in Bitcoin and private equity opportunities in the Bitcoin and blockchain sector. So that will be a trend.
Buck: Which pension fund was it?
Zac: It was in North Carolina so I think it was like the North Carolina Firefighters and the group that raised the money from them was Morgan Creek Digital it’s actually invested in BlockFi by Anthony Pompliano Twitter and Mark Yusko so that's on the institutional side. And then on the retail side you've seen FinTech companies like Square and Robin Hood offer Bitcoin trading to their users. But soon you will also have companies like TD Ameritrade E-Trade and others offer Bitcoin to their users sometimes be a partnership sometimes because they've built it directly. You also at some point might see progress made in terms of an ETF getting approved that would give retail investors in the US market exposure to Bitcoin in a really easy and familiar way. All of those things are tremendously positive catalysts and the caliber of people working on them only continues to increase. Talent was attracted into the sector very, very rapidly these days.
Buck: You know one question that leads me to is that all of this is happening with Bitcoin for the most part. Are alt coins in your opinion is that market coming back or is that something that we're gonna see probably select you know group of tokens projects emerge and then the rest will kind of just get left in the dust, what do you think?
Zac: I mean I'll tell you exactly what I'm doing with my portfolio and then I'll provide a bit more color. So my asset allocation in the crypto side of my investing is I'm like 90% Bitcoin 5% Ethereum and 5% B&B; which is the Binance right. So I'm super bullish on Bitcoin. I think that you know there's a chance that Ether makes a comeback specifically I think that a lot of the stable coins that have been launched have been built on Ethereum if you're not familiar with stable coins it's basically the concept of a dollar but on a blockchain which could be really really powerful because it creates the opportunity for the delivery of US dollar denominated financial services at a global scale not using the traditional banking rails. And then B&B; I mean Binance is the biggest and most successful exchange they have a history of innovating, creating new products, going fast and so I'm taking a bit of a flyer with them but I'm 90% Bitcoin. I don't think that I'm not bullish on any of the other all coins frankly I struggle to see you know the big upside I have heard whispers in the community that there's kind of like a new wave of altcoins 3.0 might emerge, you know could see some some good returns similar to what some of the ICOs did in 2017 but it's not an area of focus for me. So that's my view.
Buck: Yeah let's talk about BlockFi. Remind us exactly what BlockFi is.
Zac: Sure so we're a wealth management platform for crypto investors. Today we have two products that we offer. One product is analogous to a savings account from a traditional bank where you're able to earn interest on your holdings except on BlockFi, the assets instead of being dollars are bitcoin and Ether and we don't have FDIC insurance so it's not exactly the same risk profile as a savings account at a bank, but conceptually you're able to hold Bitcoin and an account with BlockFi and earn interest on it paid in Bitcoin every month. That's one product that we have. The second product that we have which you are alluding to earlier offers our clients the ability to borrow dollars secured by the value of their cryptocurrency and it's analogous to a securities backed loan or a liquidity access line in the traditional world except instead of securities we're taking Bitcoin or other digital assets as collateral and lending it rates as low as four point five lending USD that rates as low as four point five percent a year.
Buck: I wanna pick these apart a little bit if you don't mind. In terms of this savings account first of all is it just bitcoin or is it bitcoin, Ethereum?
Zac: We actually support three assets in the interest account currently Bitcoin, Ether and GUSD which is the stable coin from Gemini.
Buck: Got it. And talk about the interest because it's not one flat interest rate right it's different depending on how much cryptocurrency actually is held?
Zac: Correct so there's a tiered interest rate structure. Currently on Bitcoin for balances up to ten Bitcoin, we offer a six point two percent annual yield and for balances above ten Bitcoin it's a 2.2 percent annual yield. On Ether, for balances up to two hundred Ether it's a 3.3 percent annual yield and balances above two hundred Ether is 0.5% annual yield and for GUSD the stable coin it's an eight point six percent interest rate with no tier so yeah those are the different rates.
Buck: Why did, I mean was it just a matter of like an issue with people dumping like a thousand Bitcoin and trying to get six you know 6% of that, was it just too hard to you know make that a long-term part of the business model or why did the higher levels end up changing to a lower rate?
Zac: Sure so I wanted to function of market conditions and to it's a function of supply and demand. So we launched the interest account in March of this year. We were just starting to come out of the bear market and one of the things that happened as we switched from being in a bear market to being in a bull market is the futures switched from being in backwardation to contango which basically means that our institutional borrowers the groups that we lend to that enable us to pay the rate to depositors had less of a need they had less demand to borrow and they were willing to pay lower rates to borrow crypto than they were when we were building and planning to launch this product. The second thing that happened is we were surprised to the upside in terms of the level of interest that we received from depositors and especially depositors with very large sums of cryptocurrency. So to give you an example you know within a day or two of making the product available publicly, we had a number of groups that were depositing 5, 10, 15, 20 million dollars worth of Bitcoin and so the supply-demand that we have to manage is, the amount that we have on deposit relative to the size of this market that will borrow Bitcoin size of the market that will borrow Bitcoin is partially a function of market sentiments partially a function of number of trading venues and the liquidity profile and it's partially a function of you know BlockFi’s efforts in terms of sales and client development relationship management. So the supply side got a little bit ahead of the demand side on deposit and how much there was available to borrow so we made a few tweaks. We want to keep the 6%, 6.2% rate on Bitcoin available to as many people as possible for as long as possible so that's why we went with the tiered structure where we made it available on balances up to 10 and reduced it for balances above that.
Buck: Got it and the interest on that, when you say 6.2 percent that six point like it's all denominated in Bitcoin, you're not paying cash out right?
Zac: Correct so to use round numbers to provide an easy example you start on January first with a hundred Bitcoin in an account, by the subsequent January first you will have 106 point 2 Bitcoin in your account.
Buck: Yeah and that that's kind of neat too because then you're you know you're also getting potentially the upside of that you know I mean they made 6% but if you if you're really bullish on the market you could be potentially looking at a lot more than 6% on your money. How about in terms of the, is there like a you know do you do it sort of a month-to-month or six month or month you know year-long contracts for these things?
Zac: It's month-to-month. So the rates are subject to change on a monthly basis. We provide notifications at least a week in advance before the end of one month on what the rates will be for the subsequent month and people are able to you know withdraw any time without penalty. We reserve up to 7 days to process withdrawals but we've never taken more than one business day to process a withdrawal so they're pretty quick but not instant for security reasons and yeah it's pretty flexible.
Buck: How about the lump in the lending side how does how does that work? So now I've got like 10 Bitcoin and so I would deposit that I guess and you guys I understand that maybe that that goes into like a Gemini account or something, is that still how it works?
Zac: Correct so we have a partnership with Gemini for custody. So when you log into a BlockFi account you'll have a deposit address. When you send Bitcoin to that deposit address it actually goes directly into storage with Gemini. Gemini was the first custodian in the crypto sector to receive insurance against cyber hacks on their platform. They were also the first custodian to get to complete a SOC 2 compliance audit and they have a really long track record of custody billions of dollars worth of crypto without ever having any issues. So it goes directly to Gemini and then you're able to interact with block-wise platform to take any actions that you might deem necessary. So you can view your interest payments you can withdraw you can deposit more you can also take out a loan. So in terms of taking out a loan, if you have ten Bitcoin that's worth roughly a hundred thousand US dollars at this point in time, you can borrow up to fifty percent of that value in a US dollar loan which can be funded be a wire or stable coin and then the structure of those loans is that you make interest-only payments on the amount that you borrowed throughout the duration and you can prepay at any time without penalty.
Buck: And what's the typical you said it was four point six.
Zac: We have interest rates as low as four point five. The interest rates on borrowing USD vary according to your initial loan to value ratio. So if you have a hundred thousand dollars worth of Bitcoin we actually have three loan-to-value ratio options. You can borrow at a 50 percent initial loan-to-value ratio which would mean you're borrowing 50k, the interest rate on that will be eleven point two five, if you borrow thirty five percent of the value so 35k the interest rate is seven point nine, and if you borrow twenty five percent of the value of the interest rate is four point five percent per year.
Buck: Got it. In terms of you know the technical, so you basically pay that on a month-to-month basis and then in terms of contracts, are those also month-to-month loans or how does that work?
Zac: Those are one-year term loans well now it's the ability to renew without repaying the principal at the end of the term at current rates and our rates for those loans have always come down so far. So it's a one-year term loan BlockFi committed for a year at that rate your payments stay the same but you can prepay at any time without penalty.
Buck: Right. When do you do when would you do an actual sort of I guess a cap will call like what loan-to-value because you can go up to say you're borrowing at you know you're borrowing at the lowest rate you know you're at 4.5% you're borrowing see you know just for round numbers 100 Bitcoin you borrowed or you said 10 Bitcoin hundred thousand dollars but you only borrowed twenty-five thousand dollars at four point five percent, what if Bitcoin you know loses 50 percent of its value then what happens?
Zac: Well you wouldn't have a margin call based on on that example. If your loan to value ratio hits 70 percent that's when we have a margin call and the way the margin call works is our clients have the option to either post more collateral, pay down the loan using USD or some of the collateral that's posted for the loan or take no action. If they take no action there's a 72-hour window where we'll wait to see if the price recovers, if it does then no action is required, if the price keeps going down further then we will initiate a partial collateral sale to rebalance that LTV to a healthy level at the end of that window.
Buck: So in terms of the clients that you see doing this kind of stuff, I mean who are you seeing borrowing because you don't have a cap I mean you can on the borrow side, I mean and the rates don't really change like if you're depositing a hundred Bitcoin you're getting the same rate differences as somebody who's depositing ten for borrowing right?
Zac: That's right.
Buck: So who are the people who are putting I mean what are these businesses that are putting are using these loans who are the typical clients?
Zac: Sure so it's a mix of retail and corporate. On the retail side we actually did a survey recently on use cases and the number one use case about a third of our borrowers expressed is that they were using the funds that they borrowed to start a business, which we were really excited about. So the other popular use cases were investing in real estate, investing in other types of traditional assets like stocks and bonds, home improvement, larger purchases, vacations were all used cases, paying down higher cost debt was another use case, and then on the corporate side the loans are used for operating capital. So we have some mining companies that borrow from BlockFi. Other types of companies who you know maybe have crypto denominated inventory like exchanges or crypto ATM businesses our frequent borrowers from BlockFi and our loan sizes rearranged from you know as low as five thousand dollars all the way up to seven figures. So it's a pretty diverse group of borrowers.
Buck: So recently it sounds like you guys partnered with another company called Casa. What is Casa and I guess how does that benefit both companies?
Zac: Sure. So Casa is a leader in fighting self sovereign storage solutions for cryptocurrency owners so if you're alone that owns Bitcoin and to use a gold analogy. If you want to own gold but you keep it in your vault or in your backyard you want to have physical possession of it yourself if you want to do that same type of custody with Bitcoin. Casa has a solution that makes that really easy. Our partnership with Casa provides mutual benefits to clients on either side. So Casa clients are able to receive some discounts in terms of accessing BlockFi products and vice-versa BlockFi clients are able to receive discounts in terms of accessing kasam products and over time we'll build some things in to the user experience specifically on Casa’s platform that will make it you know a bit more seamless to interact with BlockFi products while you're on their platform. In general that partnership strategy is something that you'll see more of we think there are in the ecosystem that are specializing in areas that BlockFi's not focused on and doing things where we can provide benefits to clients on both sides is a win-win for us then and our clients.
Buck: Last thing I want to ask you about, last time I spoke to you, you had talked about the idea of potentially Bitcoin backed credit cards meaning like you know getting Bitcoin back instead of miles or dollars back. You guys any closer to that, because I definitely want one of those cards.
Zac: I'm so glad you brought it up. We're definitely closer, but we're not you're not going to have the card until like Q3 of next year probably. It's getting worked on, these things you know for better or worse they take a long time launching a credit program is no small feat you know we're working on it. We've identified some of the key partners that we'll be working with to bring that product to market it is going to happen and I share your sentiment like I wish I had it now.
Buck: Yeah seriously that'd be great. Well listen it was great talking you. So it's BlockFi.com and it's spelled like block and then fi and tell us you know tell us the process of doing is pretty simple okay how long does it take to apply for these things…
Zac: Yeah I mean nothing takes any time really. So you could come in and start earning interest and get a loan from us all in under five minutes. And we also have a client service team that's super responsive in in terms of communication however you want to communicate with them, over email, over the phone, over text message so you know don't don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're also on twitter. My twitter handle is BlockFiZac and our company twitter handle is @therealBlockFi so we're very active on those platforms and happy to chat with you there as well.
Buck: Zac Prince, thank you very much for being on Wealth Formula Podcast today.
Zac: Thanks for having me, Buck, I appreciate it.
Buck: We’ll be right back.
submitted by Buck_Joffrey to u/Buck_Joffrey [link] [comments]

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