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Bob The Magic Custodian
Summary: Everyone knows that when you give your assets to someone else, they always keep them safe. If this is true for individuals, it is certainly true for businesses. Custodians always tell the truth and manage funds properly. They won't have any interest in taking the assets as an exchange operator would. Auditors tell the truth and can't be misled. That's because organizations that are regulated are incapable of lying and don't make mistakes. First, some background. Here is a summary of how custodians make us more secure: Previously, we might give Alice our crypto assets to hold. There were risks:
Alice might take the assets and disappear.
Alice might spend the assets and pretend that she still has them (fractional model).
Alice might store the assets insecurely and they'll get stolen.
Alice might give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force.
Alice might lose access to the assets.
But "no worries", Alice has a custodian named Bob. Bob is dressed in a nice suit. He knows some politicians. And he drives a Porsche. "So you have nothing to worry about!". And look at all the benefits we get:
Alice can't take the assets and disappear (unless she asks Bob or never gives them to Bob).
Alice can't spend the assets and pretend that she still has them. (Unless she didn't give them to Bob or asks him for them.)
Alice can't store the assets insecurely so they get stolen. (After all - she doesn't have any control over the withdrawal process from any of Bob's systems, right?)
Alice can't give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force. (Bob will stop her, right Bob?)
Alice can't lose access to the funds. (She'll always be present, sane, and remember all secrets, right?)
See - all problems are solved! All we have to worry about now is:
Bob might take the assets and disappear.
Bob might spend the assets and pretend that he still has them (fractional model).
Bob might store the assets insecurely and they'll get stolen.
Bob might give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force.
Bob might lose access to the assets.
It's pretty simple. Before we had to trust Alice. Now we only have to trust Alice, Bob, and all the ways in which they communicate. Just think of how much more secure we are! "On top of that", Bob assures us, "we're using a special wallet structure". Bob shows Alice a diagram. "We've broken the balance up and store it in lots of smaller wallets. That way", he assures her, "a thief can't take it all at once". And he points to a historic case where a large sum was taken "because it was stored in a single wallet... how stupid". "Very early on, we used to have all the crypto in one wallet", he said, "and then one Christmas a hacker came and took it all. We call him the Grinch. Now we individually wrap each crypto and stick it under a binary search tree. The Grinch has never been back since." "As well", Bob continues, "even if someone were to get in, we've got insurance. It covers all thefts and even coercion, collusion, and misplaced keys - only subject to the policy terms and conditions." And with that, he pulls out a phone-book sized contract and slams it on the desk with a thud. "Yep", he continues, "we're paying top dollar for one of the best policies in the country!" "Can I read it?' Alice asks. "Sure," Bob says, "just as soon as our legal team is done with it. They're almost through the first chapter." He pauses, then continues. "And can you believe that sales guy Mike? He has the same year Porsche as me. I mean, what are the odds?" "Do you use multi-sig?", Alice asks. "Absolutely!" Bob replies. "All our engineers are fully trained in multi-sig. Whenever we want to set up a new wallet, we generate 2 separate keys in an air-gapped process and store them in this proprietary system here. Look, it even requires the biometric signature from one of our team members to initiate any withdrawal." He demonstrates by pressing his thumb into the display. "We use a third-party cloud validation API to match the thumbprint and authorize each withdrawal. The keys are also backed up daily to an off-site third-party." "Wow that's really impressive," Alice says, "but what if we need access for a withdrawal outside of office hours?" "Well that's no issue", Bob says, "just send us an email, call, or text message and we always have someone on staff to help out. Just another part of our strong commitment to all our customers!" "What about Proof of Reserve?", Alice asks. "Of course", Bob replies, "though rather than publish any blockchain addresses or signed transaction, for privacy we just do a SHA256 refactoring of the inverse hash modulus for each UTXO nonce and combine the smart contract coefficient consensus in our hyperledger lightning node. But it's really simple to use." He pushes a button and a large green checkmark appears on a screen. "See - the algorithm ran through and reserves are proven." "Wow", Alice says, "you really know your stuff! And that is easy to use! What about fiat balances?" "Yeah, we have an auditor too", Bob replies, "Been using him for a long time so we have quite a strong relationship going! We have special books we give him every year and he's very efficient! Checks the fiat, crypto, and everything all at once!" "We used to have a nice offline multi-sig setup we've been using without issue for the past 5 years, but I think we'll move all our funds over to your facility," Alice says. "Awesome", Bob replies, "Thanks so much! This is perfect timing too - my Porsche got a dent on it this morning. We have the paperwork right over here." "Great!", Alice replies. And with that, Alice gets out her pen and Bob gets the contract. "Don't worry", he says, "you can take your crypto-assets back anytime you like - just subject to our cancellation policy. Our annual management fees are also super low and we don't adjust them often". How many holes have to exist for your funds to get stolen? Just one. Why are we taking a powerful offline multi-sig setup, widely used globally in hundreds of different/lacking regulatory environments with 0 breaches to date, and circumventing it by a demonstrably weak third party layer? And paying a great expense to do so? If you go through the list of breaches in the past 2 years to highly credible organizations, you go through the list of major corporate frauds (only the ones we know about), you go through the list of all the times platforms have lost funds, you go through the list of times and ways that people have lost their crypto from identity theft, hot wallet exploits, extortion, etc... and then you go through this custodian with a fine-tooth comb and truly believe they have value to add far beyond what you could, sticking your funds in a wallet (or set of wallets) they control exclusively is the absolute worst possible way to take advantage of that security. The best way to add security for crypto-assets is to make a stronger multi-sig. With one custodian, what you are doing is giving them your cryptocurrency and hoping they're honest, competent, and flawlessly secure. It's no different than storing it on a really secure exchange. Maybe the insurance will cover you. Didn't work for Bitpay in 2015. Didn't work for Yapizon in 2017. Insurance has never paid a claim in the entire history of cryptocurrency. But maybe you'll get lucky. Maybe your exact scenario will buck the trend and be what they're willing to cover. After the large deductible and hopefully without a long and expensive court battle. And you want to advertise this increase in risk, the lapse of judgement, an accident waiting to happen, as though it's some kind of benefit to customers ("Free institutional-grade storage for your digital assets.")? And then some people are writing to the OSC that custodians should be mandatory for all funds on every exchange platform? That this somehow will make Canadians as a whole more secure or better protected compared with standard air-gapped multi-sig? On what planet? Most of the problems in Canada stemmed from one thing - a lack of transparency. If Canadians had known what a joke Quadriga was - it wouldn't have grown to lose $400m from hard-working Canadians from coast to coast to coast. And Gerald Cotten would be in jail, not wherever he is now (at best, rotting peacefully). EZ-BTC and mister Dave Smilie would have been a tiny little scam to his friends, not a multi-million dollar fraud. Einstein would have got their act together or been shut down BEFORE losing millions and millions more in people's funds generously donated to criminals. MapleChange wouldn't have even been a thing. And maybe we'd know a little more about CoinTradeNewNote - like how much was lost in there. Almost all of the major losses with cryptocurrency exchanges involve deception with unbacked funds. So it's great to see transparency reports from BitBuy and ShakePay where someone independently verified the backing. The only thing we don't have is:
ANY CERTAINTY BALANCES WEREN'T EXCLUDED. Quadriga's largest account was $70m. 80% of funds are in 20% of accounts (Pareto principle). All it takes is excluding a few really large accounts - and nobody's the wiser. A fractional platform can easily pass any audit this way.
ANY VISIBILITY WHATSOEVER INTO THE CUSTODIANS. BitBuy put out their report before moving all the funds to their custodian and ShakePay apparently can't even tell us who the custodian is. That's pretty important considering that basically all of the funds are now stored there.
ANY IDEA ABOUT THE OTHER EXCHANGES. In order for this to be effective, it has to be the norm. It needs to be "unusual" not to know. If obscurity is the norm, then it's super easy for people like Gerald Cotten and Dave Smilie to blend right in.
It's not complicated to validate cryptocurrency assets. They need to exist, they need to be spendable, and they need to cover the total balances. There are plenty of credible people and firms across the country that have the capacity to reasonably perform this validation. Having more frequent checks by different, independent, parties who publish transparent reports is far more valuable than an annual check by a single "more credible/official" party who does the exact same basic checks and may or may not publish anything. Here's an example set of requirements that could be mandated:
First report within 1 month of launching, another within 3 months, and further reports at minimum every 6 months thereafter.
No auditor can be repeated within a 12 month period.
All reports must be public, identifying the auditor and the full methodology used.
All auditors must be independent of the firm being audited with no conflict of interest.
Reports must include the percentage of each asset backed, and how it's backed.
The auditor publishes a hash list, which lists a hash of each customer's information and balances that were included. Hash is one-way encryption so privacy is fully preserved. Every customer can use this to have 100% confidence they were included.
If we want more extensive requirements on audits, these should scale upward based on the total assets at risk on the platform, and whether the platform has loaned their assets out.
There are ways to structure audits such that neither crypto assets nor customer information are ever put at risk, and both can still be properly validated and publicly verifiable. There are also ways to structure audits such that they are completely reasonable for small platforms and don't inhibit innovation in any way. By making the process as reasonable as possible, we can completely eliminate any reason/excuse that an honest platform would have for not being audited. That is arguable far more important than any incremental improvement we might get from mandating "the best of the best" accountants. Right now we have nothing mandated and tons of Canadians using offshore exchanges with no oversight whatsoever. Transparency does not prove crypto assets are safe. CoinTradeNewNote, Flexcoin ($600k), and Canadian Bitcoins ($100k) are examples where crypto-assets were breached from platforms in Canada. All of them were online wallets and used no multi-sig as far as any records show. This is consistent with what we see globally - air-gapped multi-sig wallets have an impeccable record, while other schemes tend to suffer breach after breach. We don't actually know how much CoinTrader lost because there was no visibility. Rather than publishing details of what happened, the co-founder of CoinTrader silently moved on to found another platform - the "most trusted way to buy and sell crypto" - a site that has no information whatsoever (that I could find) on the storage practices and a FAQ advising that “[t]rading cryptocurrency is completely safe” and that having your own wallet is “entirely up to you! You can certainly keep cryptocurrency, or fiat, or both, on the app.” Doesn't sound like much was learned here, which is really sad to see. It's not that complicated or unreasonable to set up a proper hardware wallet. Multi-sig can be learned in a single course. Something the equivalent complexity of a driver's license test could prevent all the cold storage exploits we've seen to date - even globally. Platform operators have a key advantage in detecting and preventing fraud - they know their customers far better than any custodian ever would. The best job that custodians can do is to find high integrity individuals and train them to form even better wallet signatories. Rather than mandating that all platforms expose themselves to arbitrary third party risks, regulations should center around ensuring that all signatories are background-checked, properly trained, and using proper procedures. We also need to make sure that signatories are empowered with rights and responsibilities to reject and report fraud. They need to know that they can safely challenge and delay a transaction - even if it turns out they made a mistake. We need to have an environment where mistakes are brought to the surface and dealt with. Not one where firms and people feel the need to hide what happened. In addition to a knowledge-based test, an auditor can privately interview each signatory to make sure they're not in coercive situations, and we should make sure they can freely and anonymously report any issues without threat of retaliation. A proper multi-sig has each signature held by a separate person and is governed by policies and mutual decisions instead of a hierarchy. It includes at least one redundant signature. For best results, 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7. History has demonstrated over and over again the risk of hot wallets even to highly credible organizations. Nonetheless, many platforms have hot wallets for convenience. While such losses are generally compensated by platforms without issue (for example Poloniex, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, Gatecoin, Coincheck, Bithumb, Zaif, CoinBene, Binance, Bitrue, Bitpoint, Upbit, VinDAX, and now KuCoin), the public tends to focus more on cases that didn't end well. Regardless of what systems are employed, there is always some level of risk. For that reason, most members of the public would prefer to see third party insurance. Rather than trying to convince third party profit-seekers to provide comprehensive insurance and then relying on an expensive and slow legal system to enforce against whatever legal loopholes they manage to find each and every time something goes wrong, insurance could be run through multiple exchange operators and regulators, with the shared interest of having a reputable industry, keeping costs down, and taking care of Canadians. For example, a 4 of 7 multi-sig insurance fund held between 5 independent exchange operators and 2 regulatory bodies. All Canadian exchanges could pay premiums at a set rate based on their needed coverage, with a higher price paid for hot wallet coverage (anything not an air-gapped multi-sig cold wallet). Such a model would be much cheaper to manage, offer better coverage, and be much more reliable to payout when needed. The kind of coverage you could have under this model is unheard of. You could even create something like the CDIC to protect Canadians who get their trading accounts hacked if they can sufficiently prove the loss is legitimate. In cases of fraud, gross negligence, or insolvency, the fund can be used to pay affected users directly (utilizing the last transparent balance report in the worst case), something which private insurance would never touch. While it's recommended to have official policies for coverage, a model where members vote would fully cover edge cases. (Could be similar to the Supreme Court where justices vote based on case law.) Such a model could fully protect all Canadians across all platforms. You can have a fiat coverage governed by legal agreements, and crypto-asset coverage governed by both multi-sig and legal agreements. It could be practical, affordable, and inclusive. Now, we are at a crossroads. We can happily give up our freedom, our innovation, and our money. We can pay hefty expenses to auditors, lawyers, and regulators year after year (and make no mistake - this cost will grow to many millions or even billions as the industry grows - and it will be borne by all Canadians on every platform because platforms are not going to eat up these costs at a loss). We can make it nearly impossible for any new platform to enter the marketplace, forcing Canadians to use the same stagnant platforms year after year. We can centralize and consolidate the entire industry into 2 or 3 big players and have everyone else fail (possibly to heavy losses of users of those platforms). And when a flawed security model doesn't work and gets breached, we can make it even more complicated with even more people in suits making big money doing the job that blockchain was supposed to do in the first place. We can build a system which is so intertwined and dependent on big government, traditional finance, and central bankers that it's future depends entirely on that of the fiat system, of fractional banking, and of government bail-outs. If we choose this path, as history has shown us over and over again, we can not go back, save for revolution. Our children and grandchildren will still be paying the consequences of what we decided today. Or, we can find solutions that work. We can maintain an open and innovative environment while making the adjustments we need to make to fully protect Canadian investors and cryptocurrency users, giving easy and affordable access to cryptocurrency for all Canadians on the platform of their choice, and creating an environment in which entrepreneurs and problem solvers can bring those solutions forward easily. None of the above precludes innovation in any way, or adds any unreasonable cost - and these three policies would demonstrably eliminate or resolve all 109 historic cases as studied here - that's every single case researched so far going back to 2011. It includes every loss that was studied so far not just in Canada but globally as well. Unfortunately, finding answers is the least challenging part. Far more challenging is to get platform operators and regulators to agree on anything. My last post got no response whatsoever, and while the OSC has told me they're happy for industry feedback, I believe my opinion alone is fairly meaningless. This takes the whole community working together to solve. So please let me know your thoughts. Please take the time to upvote and share this with people. Please - let's get this solved and not leave it up to other people to do. Facts/background/sources (skip if you like):
The inspiration for the paragraph about splitting wallets was an actual quote from a Canadian company providing custodial services in response to the OSC consultation paper: "We believe that it will be in the in best interests of investors to prohibit pooled crypto assets or ‘floats’. Most Platforms pool assets, citing reasons of practicality and expense. The recent hack of the world’s largest Platform – Binance – demonstrates the vulnerability of participants’ assets when such concessions are made. In this instance, the Platform’s entire hot wallet of Bitcoins, worth over $40 million, was stolen, facilitated in part by the pooling of client crypto assets." "the maintenance of participants (and Platform) crypto assets across multiple wallets distributes the related risk and responsibility of security - reducing the amount of insurance coverage required and making insurance coverage more readily obtainable". For the record, their reply also said nothing whatsoever about multi-sig or offline storage.
In addition to the fact that the $40m hack represented only one "hot wallet" of Binance, and they actually had the vast majority of assets in other wallets (including mostly cold wallets), multiple real cases have clearly demonstrated that risk is still present with multiple wallets. Bitfinex, VinDAX, Bithumb, Altsbit, BitPoint, Cryptopia, and just recently KuCoin all had multiple wallets breached all at the same time, and may represent a significantly larger impact on customers than the Binance breach which was fully covered by Binance. To represent that simply having multiple separate wallets under the same security scheme is a comprehensive way to reduce risk is just not true.
Private insurance has historically never covered a single loss in the cryptocurrency space (at least, not one that I was able to find), and there are notable cases where massive losses were not covered by insurance. Bitpay in 2015 and Yapizon in 2017 both had insurance policies that didn't pay out during the breach, even after a lengthly court process. The same insurance that ShakePay is presently using (and announced to much fanfare) was describe by their CEO himself as covering “physical theft of the media where the private keys are held,” which is something that has never historically happened. As was said with regard to the same policy in 2018 - “I don’t find it surprising that Lloyd’s is in this space,” said Johnson, adding that to his mind the challenge for everybody is figuring out how to structure these policies so that they are actually protective. “You can create an insurance policy that protects no one – you know there are so many caveats to the policy that it’s not super protective.”
The most profitable policy for a private insurance company is one with the most expensive premiums that they never have to pay a claim on. They have no inherent incentive to take care of people who lost funds. It's "cheaper" to take the reputational hit and fight the claim in court. The more money at stake, the more the insurance provider is incentivized to avoid payout. They're not going to insure the assets unless they have reasonable certainty to make a profit by doing so, and they're not going to pay out a massive sum unless it's legally forced. Private insurance is always structured to be maximally profitable to the insurance provider.
The circumvention of multi-sig was a key factor in the massive Bitfinex hack of over $60m of bitcoin, which today still sits being slowly used and is worth over $3b. While Bitfinex used a qualified custodian Bitgo, which was and still is active and one of the industry leaders of custodians, and they set up 2 of 3 multi-sig wallets, the entire system was routed through Bitfinex, such that Bitfinex customers could initiate the withdrawals in a "hot" fashion. This feature was also a hit with the hacker. The multi-sig was fully circumvented.
Bitpay in 2015 was another example of a breach that stole 5,000 bitcoins. This happened not through the exploit of any system in Bitpay, but because the CEO of a company they worked with got their computer hacked and the hackers were able to request multiple bitcoin purchases, which Bitpay honoured because they came from the customer's computer legitimately. Impersonation is a very common tactic used by fraudsters, and methods get more extreme all the time.
A notable case in Canada was the Canadian Bitcoins exploit. Funds were stored on a server in a Rogers Data Center, and the attendee was successfully convinced to reboot the server "in safe mode" with a simple phone call, thus bypassing the extensive security and enabling the theft.
The very nature of custodians circumvents multi-sig. This is because custodians are not just having to secure the assets against some sort of physical breach but against any form of social engineering, modification of orders, fraudulent withdrawal attempts, etc... If the security practices of signatories in a multi-sig arrangement are such that the breach risk of one signatory is 1 in 100, the requirement of 3 independent signatures makes the risk of theft 1 in 1,000,000. Since hackers tend to exploit the weakest link, a comparable custodian has to make the entry and exit points of their platform 10,000 times more secure than one of those signatories to provide equivalent protection. And if the signatories beef up their security by only 10x, the risk is now 1 in 1,000,000,000. The custodian has to be 1,000,000 times more secure. The larger and more complex a system is, the more potential vulnerabilities exist in it, and the fewer people can understand how the system works when performing upgrades. Even if a system is completely secure today, one has to also consider how that system might evolve over time or work with different members.
By contrast, offline multi-signature solutions have an extremely solid record, and in the entire history of cryptocurrency exchange incidents which I've studied (listed here), there has only been one incident (796 exchange in 2015) involving an offline multi-signature wallet. It happened because the customer's bitcoin address was modified by hackers, and the amount that was stolen ($230k) was immediately covered by the exchange operators. Basically, the platform operators were tricked into sending a legitimate withdrawal request to the wrong address because hackers exploited their platform to change that address. Such an issue would not be prevented in any way by the use of a custodian, as that custodian has no oversight whatsoever to the exchange platform. It's practical for all exchange operators to test large withdrawal transactions as a general policy, regardless of what model is used, and general best practice is to diagnose and fix such an exploit as soon as it occurs.
False promises on the backing of funds played a huge role in the downfall of Quadriga, and it's been exposed over and over again (MyCoin, PlusToken, Bitsane, Bitmarket, EZBTC, IDAX). Even today, customers have extremely limited certainty on whether their funds in exchanges are actually being backed or how they're being backed. While this issue is not unique to cryptocurrency exchanges, the complexity of the technology and the lack of any regulation or standards makes problems more widespread, and there is no "central bank" to come to the rescue as in the 2008 financial crisis or during the great depression when "9,000 banks failed".
In addition to fraudulent operations, the industry is full of cases where operators have suffered breaches and not reported them. Most recently, Einstein was the largest case in Canada, where ongoing breaches and fraud were perpetrated against the platform for multiple years and nobody found out until the platform collapsed completely. While fraud and breaches suck to deal with, they suck even more when not dealt with. Lack of visibility played a role in the largest downfalls of Mt. Gox, Cryptsy, and Bitgrail. In some cases, platforms are alleged to have suffered a hack and keep operating without admitting it at all, such as CoinBene.
It surprises some to learn that a cryptographic solution has already existed since 2013, and gained widespread support in 2014 after Mt. Gox. Proof of Reserves is a full cryptographic proof that allows any customer using an exchange to have complete certainty that their crypto-assets are fully backed by the platform in real-time. This is accomplished by proving that assets exist on the blockchain, are spendable, and fully cover customer deposits. It does not prove safety of assets or backing of fiat assets.
If we didn't care about privacy at all, a platform could publish their wallet addresses, sign a partial transaction, and put the full list of customer information and balances out publicly. Customers can each check that they are on the list, that the balances are accurate, that the total adds up, and that it's backed and spendable on the blockchain. Platforms who exclude any customer take a risk because that customer can easily check and see they were excluded. So together with all customers checking, this forms a full proof of backing of all crypto assets.
However, obviously customers care about their private information being published. Therefore, a hash of the information can be provided instead. Hash is one-way encryption. The hash allows the customer to validate inclusion (by hashing their own known information), while anyone looking at the list of hashes cannot determine the private information of any other user. All other parts of the scheme remain fully intact. A model like this is in use on the exchange CoinFloor in the UK.
A Merkle tree can provide even greater privacy. Instead of a list of balances, the balances are arranged into a binary tree. A customer starts from their node, and works their way to the top of the tree. For example, they know they have 5 BTC, they plus 1 other customer hold 7 BTC, they plus 2-3 other customers hold 17 BTC, etc... until they reach the root where all the BTC are represented. Thus, there is no way to find the balances of other individual customers aside from one unidentified customer in this case.
Proposals such as this had the backing of leaders in the community including Nic Carter, Greg Maxwell, and Zak Wilcox. Substantial and significant effort started back in 2013, with massive popularity in 2014. But what became of that effort? Very little. Exchange operators continue to refuse to give visibility. Despite the fact this information can often be obtained through trivial blockchain analysis, no Canadian platform has ever provided any wallet addresses publicly. As described by the CEO of Newton "For us to implement some kind of realtime Proof of Reserves solution, which I'm not opposed to, it would have to ... Preserve our users' privacy, as well as our own. Some kind of zero-knowledge proof". Kraken describes here in more detail why they haven't implemented such a scheme. According to professor Eli Ben-Sasson, when he spoke with exchanges, none were interested in implementing Proof of Reserves.
And yet, Kraken's places their reasoning on a page called "Proof of Reserves". More recently, both BitBuy and ShakePay have released reports titled "Proof of Reserves and Security Audit". Both reports contain disclaimers against being audits. Both reports trust the customer list provided by the platform, leaving the open possibility that multiple large accounts could have been excluded from the process. Proof of Reserves is a blockchain validation where customers see the wallets on the blockchain. The report from Kraken is 5 years old, but they leave it described as though it was just done a few weeks ago. And look at what they expect customers to do for validation. When firms represent something being "Proof of Reserve" when it's not, this is like a farmer growing fruit with pesticides and selling it in a farmers market as organic produce - except that these are people's hard-earned life savings at risk here. Platforms are misrepresenting the level of visibility in place and deceiving the public by their misuse of this term. They haven't proven anything.
Fraud isn't a problem that is unique to cryptocurrency. Fraud happens all the time. Enron, WorldCom, Nortel, Bear Stearns, Wells Fargo, Moser Baer, Wirecard, Bre-X, and Nicola are just some of the cases where frauds became large enough to become a big deal (and there are so many countless others). These all happened on 100% reversible assets despite regulations being in place. In many of these cases, the problems happened due to the over-complexity of the financial instruments. For example, Enron had "complex financial statements [which] were confusing to shareholders and analysts", creating "off-balance-sheet vehicles, complex financing structures, and deals so bewildering that few people could understand them". In cryptocurrency, we are often combining complex financial products with complex technologies and verification processes. We are naïve if we think problems like this won't happen. It is awkward and uncomfortable for many people to admit that they don't know how something works. If we want "money of the people" to work, the solutions have to be simple enough that "the people" can understand them, not so confusing that financial professionals and technology experts struggle to use or understand them.
For those who question the extent to which an organization can fool their way into a security consultancy role, HB Gary should be a great example to look at. Prior to trying to out anonymous, HB Gary was being actively hired by multiple US government agencies and others in the private sector (with glowing testimonials). The published articles and hosted professional security conferences. One should also look at this list of data breaches from the past 2 years. Many of them are large corporations, government entities, and technology companies. These are the ones we know about. Undoubtedly, there are many more that we do not know about. If HB Gary hadn't been "outted" by anonymous, would we have known they were insecure? If the same breach had happened outside of the public spotlight, would it even have been reported? Or would HB Gary have just deleted the Twitter posts, brought their site back up, done a couple patches, and kept on operating as though nothing had happened?
In the case of Quadriga, the facts are clear. Despite past experience with platforms such as MapleChange in Canada and others around the world, no guidance or even the most basic of a framework was put in place by regulators. By not clarifying any sort of legal framework, regulators enabled a situation where a platform could be run by former criminal Mike Dhanini/Omar Patryn, and where funds could be held fully unchecked by one person. At the same time, the lack of regulation deterred legitimate entities from running competing platforms and Quadriga was granted a money services business license for multiple years of operation, which gave the firm the appearance of legitimacy. Regulators did little to protect Canadians despite Quadriga failing to file taxes from 2016 onward. The entire administrative team had resigned and this was public knowledge. Many people had suspicions of what was going on, including Ryan Mueller, who forwarded complaints to the authorities. These were ignored, giving Gerald Cotten the opportunity to escape without justice.
There are multiple issues with the SOC II model including the prohibitive cost (you have to find a third party accounting firm and the prices are not even listed publicly on any sites), the requirement of operating for a year (impossible for new platforms), and lack of any public visibility (SOC II are private reports that aren't shared outside the people in suits).
Securities frameworks are expensive. Sarbanes-Oxley is estimated to cost $5.1 million USD/yr for the average Fortune 500 company in the United States. Since "Fortune 500" represents the top 500 companies, that means well over $2.55 billion USD (~$3.4 billion CAD) is going to people in suits. Isn't the problem of trust and verification the exact problem that the blockchain is supposed to solve?
To use Quadriga as justification for why custodians or SOC II or other advanced schemes are needed for platforms is rather silly, when any framework or visibility at all, or even the most basic of storage policies, would have prevented the whole thing. It's just an embarrassment.
We are now seeing regulators take strong action. CoinSquare in Canada with multi-million dollar fines. BitMex from the US, criminal charges and arrests. OkEx, with full disregard of withdrawals and no communication. Who's next?
We have a unique window today where we can solve these problems, and not permanently destroy innovation with unreasonable expectations, but we need to act quickly. This is a unique historic time that will never come again.
Cosmos is a heterogeneous network of many independent parallel blockchains, each powered by classical BFT consensus algorithms like Tendermint. Developers can easily build custom application specific blockchains, called Zones, through the Cosmos SDK framework. These Zones connect to Hubs, which are specifically designed to connect zones together. The vision of Cosmos is to have thousands of Zones and Hubs that are Interoperable through the Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol (IBC). Cosmos can also connect to other systems through peg zones, which are specifically designed zones that each are custom made to interact with another ecosystem such as Ethereum and Bitcoin. Cosmos does not use Sharding with each Zone and Hub being sovereign with their own validator set. For a more in-depth look at Cosmos and provide more reference to points made in this article, please see my three part series — Part One, Part Two, Part Three https://youtu.be/Eb8xkDi_PUg
Polkadot is a heterogeneous blockchain protocol that connects multiple specialised blockchains into one unified network. It achieves scalability through a sharding infrastructure with multiple blockchains running in parallel, called parachains, that connect to a central chain called the Relay Chain. Developers can easily build custom application specific parachains through the Substrate development framework. The relay chain validates the state transition of connected parachains, providing shared state across the entire ecosystem. If the Relay Chain must revert for any reason, then all of the parachains would also revert. This is to ensure that the validity of the entire system can persist, and no individual part is corruptible. The shared state makes it so that the trust assumptions when using parachains are only those of the Relay Chain validator set, and no other. Interoperability is enabled between parachains through Cross-Chain Message Passing (XCMP) protocol and is also possible to connect to other systems through bridges, which are specifically designed parachains or parathreads that each are custom made to interact with another ecosystem such as Ethereum and Bitcoin. The hope is to have 100 parachains connect to the relay chain. For a more in-depth look at Polkadot and provide more reference to points made in this article, please see my three part series — Part One, Part Two, Part Three https://youtu.be/_-k0xkooSlA
Avalanche is a platform of platforms, ultimately consisting of thousands of subnets to form a heterogeneous interoperable network of many blockchains, that takes advantage of the revolutionary Avalanche Consensus protocols to provide a secure, globally distributed, interoperable and trustless framework offering unprecedented decentralisation whilst being able to comply with regulatory requirements. Avalanche allows anyone to create their own tailor-made application specific blockchains, supporting multiple custom virtual machines such as EVM and WASM and written in popular languages like Go (with others coming in the future) rather than lightly used, poorly-understood languages like Solidity. This virtual machine can then be deployed on a custom blockchain network, called a subnet, which consist of a dynamic set of validators working together to achieve consensus on the state of a set of many blockchains where complex rulesets can be configured to meet regulatory compliance. Avalanche was built with serving financial markets in mind. It has native support for easily creating and trading digital smart assets with complex custom rule sets that define how the asset is handled and traded to ensure regulatory compliance can be met. Interoperability is enabled between blockchains within a subnet as well as between subnets. Like Cosmos and Polkadot, Avalanche is also able to connect to other systems through bridges, through custom virtual machines made to interact with another ecosystem such as Ethereum and Bitcoin. For a more in-depth look at Avalanche and provide more reference to points made in this article, please see here and here https://youtu.be/mWBzFmzzBAg
Comparison between Cosmos, Polkadot and Avalanche
A frequent question I see being asked is how Cosmos, Polkadot and Avalanche compare? Whilst there are similarities there are also a lot of differences. This article is not intended to be an extensive in-depth list, but rather an overview based on some of the criteria that I feel are most important. For a more in-depth view I recommend reading the articles for each of the projects linked above and coming to your own conclusions. I want to stress that it’s not a case of one platform being the killer of all other platforms, far from it. There won’t be one platform to rule them all, and too often the tribalism has plagued this space. Blockchains are going to completely revolutionise most industries and have a profound effect on the world we know today. It’s still very early in this space with most adoption limited to speculation and trading mainly due to the limitations of Blockchain and current iteration of Ethereum, which all three of these platforms hope to address. For those who just want a quick summary see the image at the bottom of the article. With that said let’s have a look
Each Zone and Hub in Cosmos is capable of up to around 1000 transactions per second with bandwidth being the bottleneck in consensus. Cosmos aims to have thousands of Zones and Hubs all connected through IBC. There is no limit on the number of Zones / Hubs that can be created
Parachains in Polkadot are also capable of up to around 1500 transactions per second. A portion of the parachain slots on the Relay Chain will be designated as part of the parathread pool, the performance of a parachain is split between many parathreads offering lower performance and compete amongst themselves in a per-block auction to have their transactions included in the next relay chain block. The number of parachains is limited by the number of validators on the relay chain, they hope to be able to achieve 100 parachains.
Avalanche is capable of around 4500 transactions per second per subnet, this is based on modest hardware requirements to ensure maximum decentralisation of just 2 CPU cores and 4 GB of Memory and with a validator size of over 2,000 nodes. Performance is CPU-bound and if higher performance is required then more specialised subnets can be created with higher minimum requirements to be able to achieve 10,000 tps+ in a subnet. Avalanche aims to have thousands of subnets (each with multiple virtual machines / blockchains) all interoperable with each other. There is no limit on the number of Subnets that can be created.
All three platforms offer vastly superior performance to the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum 1.0. Avalanche with its higher transactions per second, no limit on the number of subnets / blockchains that can be created and the consensus can scale to potentially millions of validators all participating in consensus scores ✅✅✅. Polkadot claims to offer more tps than cosmos, but is limited to the number of parachains (around 100) whereas with Cosmos there is no limit on the number of hubs / zones that can be created. Cosmos is limited to a fairly small validator size of around 200 before performance degrades whereas Polkadot hopes to be able to reach 1000 validators in the relay chain (albeit only a small number of validators are assigned to each parachain). Thus Cosmos and Polkadot scores ✅✅ https://preview.redd.it/ththwq5qdhq51.png?width=1000&format=png&auto=webp&s=92f75152c90d984911db88ed174ebf3a147ca70d
Tendermint consensus is limited to around 200 validators before performance starts to degrade. Whilst there is the Cosmos Hub it is one of many hubs in the network and there is no central hub or limit on the number of zones / hubs that can be created.
Polkadot has 1000 validators in the relay chain and these are split up into a small number that validate each parachain (minimum of 14). The relay chain is a central point of failure as all parachains connect to it and the number of parachains is limited depending on the number of validators (they hope to achieve 100 parachains). Due to the limited number of parachain slots available, significant sums of DOT will need to be purchased to win an auction to lease the slot for up to 24 months at a time. Thus likely to lead to only those with enough funds to secure a parachain slot. Parathreads are however an alternative for those that require less and more varied performance for those that can’t secure a parachain slot.
Avalanche consensus scan scale to tens of thousands of validators, even potentially millions of validators all participating in consensus through repeated sub-sampling. The more validators, the faster the network becomes as the load is split between them. There are modest hardware requirements so anyone can run a node and there is no limit on the number of subnets / virtual machines that can be created.
Avalanche offers unparalleled decentralisation using its revolutionary consensus protocols that can scale to millions of validators all participating in consensus at the same time. There is no limit to the number of subnets and virtual machines that can be created, and they can be created by anyone for a small fee, it scores ✅✅✅. Cosmos is limited to 200 validators but no limit on the number of zones / hubs that can be created, which anyone can create and scores ✅✅. Polkadot hopes to accommodate 1000 validators in the relay chain (albeit these are split amongst each of the parachains). The number of parachains is limited and maybe cost prohibitive for many and the relay chain is a ultimately a single point of failure. Whilst definitely not saying it’s centralised and it is more decentralised than many others, just in comparison between the three, it scores ✅ https://preview.redd.it/lv2h7g9sdhq51.png?width=1000&format=png&auto=webp&s=56eada6e8c72dbb4406d7c5377ad15608bcc730e
Tendermint consensus used in Cosmos reaches finality within 6 seconds. Cosmos consists of many Zones and Hubs that connect to each other. Communication between 2 zones could pass through many hubs along the way, thus also can contribute to latency times depending on the path taken as explained in part two of the articles on Cosmos. It doesn’t need to wait for an extended period of time with risk of rollbacks.
Polkadot provides a Hybrid consensus protocol consisting of Block producing protocol, BABE, and then a finality gadget called GRANDPA that works to agree on a chain, out of many possible forks, by following some simpler fork choice rule. Rather than voting on every block, instead it reaches agreements on chains. As soon as more than 2/3 of validators attest to a chain containing a certain block, all blocks leading up to that one are finalized at once. If an invalid block is detected after it has been finalised then the relay chain would need to be reverted along with every parachain. This is particularly important when connecting to external blockchains as those don’t share the state of the relay chain and thus can’t be rolled back. The longer the time period, the more secure the network is, as there is more time for additional checks to be performed and reported but at the expense of finality. Finality is reached within 60 seconds between parachains but for external ecosystems like Ethereum their state obviously can’t be rolled back like a parachain and so finality will need to be much longer (60 minutes was suggested in the whitepaper) and discussed in more detail in part three
Avalanche consensus achieves finality within 3 seconds, with most happening sub 1 second, immutable and completely irreversible. Any subnet can connect directly to another without having to go through multiple hops and any VM can talk to another VM within the same subnet as well as external subnets. It doesn’t need to wait for an extended period of time with risk of rollbacks.
With regards to performance far too much emphasis is just put on tps as a metric, the other equally important metric, if not more important with regards to finance is latency. Throughput measures the amount of data at any given time that it can handle whereas latency is the amount of time it takes to perform an action. It’s pointless saying you can process more transactions per second than VISA when it takes 60 seconds for a transaction to complete. Low latency also greatly increases general usability and customer satisfaction, nowadays everyone expects card payments, online payments to happen instantly. Avalanche achieves the best results scoring ✅✅✅, Cosmos with comes in second with 6 second finality ✅✅ and Polkadot with 60 second finality (which may be 60 minutes for external blockchains) scores ✅ https://preview.redd.it/qe8e5ltudhq51.png?width=1000&format=png&auto=webp&s=18a2866104590f81a818690337f9121161dda890
Every Zone and Hub in Cosmos has their own validator set and different trust assumptions. Cosmos are researching a shared security model where a Hub can validate the state of connected zones for a fee but not released yet. Once available this will make shared security optional rather than mandatory.
Shared Security is mandatory with Polkadot which uses a Shared State infrastructure between the Relay Chain and all of the connected parachains. If the Relay Chain must revert for any reason, then all of the parachains would also revert. Every parachain makes the same trust assumptions, and as such the relay chain validates state transition and enables seamless interoperability between them. In return for this benefit, they have to purchase DOT and win an auction for one of the available parachain slots. However, parachains can’t just rely on the relay chain for their security, they will also need to implement censorship resistance measures and utilise proof of work / proof of stake for each parachain as well as discussed in part three, thus parachains can’t just rely on the security of the relay chain, they need to ensure sybil resistance mechanisms using POW and POS are implemented on the parachain as well.
A subnet in Avalanche consists of a dynamic set of validators working together to achieve consensus on the state of a set of many blockchains where complex rulesets can be configured to meet regulatory compliance. So unlike in Cosmos where each zone / hub has their own validators, A subnet can validate a single or many virtual machines / blockchains with a single validator set. Shared security is optional
Shared security is mandatory in polkadot and a key design decision in its infrastructure. The relay chain validates the state transition of all connected parachains and thus scores ✅✅✅. Subnets in Avalanche can validate state of either a single or many virtual machines. Each subnet can have their own token and shares a validator set, where complex rulesets can be configured to meet regulatory compliance. It scores ✅ ✅. Every Zone and Hub in cosmos has their own validator set / token but research is underway to have the hub validate the state transition of connected zones, but as this is still early in the research phase scores ✅ for now. https://preview.redd.it/0mnvpnzwdhq51.png?width=1000&format=png&auto=webp&s=8927ff2821415817265be75c59261f83851a2791
The Cosmos project started in 2016 with an ICO held in April 2017. There are currently around 50 projects building on the Cosmos SDK with a full list can be seen here and filtering for Cosmos SDK . Not all of the projects will necessarily connect using native cosmos sdk and IBC and some have forked parts of the Cosmos SDK and utilise the tendermint consensus such as Binance Chain but have said they will connect in the future.
The Polkadot project started in 2016 with an ICO held in October 2017. There are currently around 70 projects building on Substrate and a full list can be seen here and filtering for Substrate Based. Like with Cosmos not all projects built using substrate will necessarily connect to Polkadot and parachains or parathreads aren’t currently implemented in either the Live or Test network (Kusama) as of the time of this writing.
Avalanche in comparison started much later with Ava Labs being founded in 2018. Avalanche held it’s ICO in July 2020. Due to lot shorter time it has been in development, the number of projects confirmed are smaller with around 14 projects currently building on Avalanche. Due to the customisability of the platform though, many virtual machines can be used within a subnet making the process incredibly easy to port projects over. As an example, it will launch with the Ethereum Virtual Machine which enables byte for byte compatibility and all the tooling like Metamask, Truffle etc. will work, so projects can easily move over to benefit from the performance, decentralisation and low gas fees offered. In the future Cosmos and Substrate virtual machines could be implemented on Avalanche.
Whilst it’s still early for all 3 projects (and the entire blockchain space as a whole), there is currently more projects confirmed to be building on Cosmos and Polkadot, mostly due to their longer time in development. Whilst Cosmos has fewer projects, zones are implemented compared to Polkadot which doesn’t currently have parachains. IBC to connect zones and hubs together is due to launch Q2 2021, thus both score ✅✅✅. Avalanche has been in development for a lot shorter time period, but is launching with an impressive feature set right from the start with ability to create subnets, VMs, assets, NFTs, permissioned and permissionless blockchains, cross chain atomic swaps within a subnet, smart contracts, bridge to Ethereum etc. Applications can easily port over from other platforms and use all the existing tooling such as Metamask / Truffle etc but benefit from the performance, decentralisation and low gas fees offered. Currently though just based on the number of projects in comparison it scores ✅. https://preview.redd.it/rsctxi6zdhq51.png?width=1000&format=png&auto=webp&s=ff762dea3cfc2aaaa3c8fc7b1070d5be6759aac2
Cosmos enables permissioned and permissionless zones which can connect to each other with the ability to have full control over who validates the blockchain. For permissionless zones each zone / hub can have their own token and they are in control who validates.
With polkadot the state transition is performed by a small randomly selected assigned group of validators from the relay chain plus with the possibility that state is rolled back if an invalid transaction of any of the other parachains is found. This may pose a problem for enterprises that need complete control over who performs validation for regulatory reasons. In addition due to the limited number of parachain slots available Enterprises would have to acquire and lock up large amounts of a highly volatile asset (DOT) and have the possibility that they are outbid in future auctions and find they no longer can have their parachain validated and parathreads don’t provide the guaranteed performance requirements for the application to function.
Avalanche enables permissioned and permissionless subnets and complex rulesets can be configured to meet regulatory compliance. For example a subnet can be created where its mandatory that all validators are from a certain legal jurisdiction, or they hold a specific license and regulated by the SEC etc. Subnets are also able to scale to tens of thousands of validators, and even potentially millions of nodes, all participating in consensus so every enterprise can run their own node rather than only a small amount. Enterprises don’t have to hold large amounts of a highly volatile asset, but instead pay a fee in AVAX for the creation of the subnets and blockchains which is burnt.
Avalanche provides the customisability to run private permissioned blockchains as well as permissionless where the enterprise is in control over who validates the blockchain, with the ability to use complex rulesets to meet regulatory compliance, thus scores ✅✅✅. Cosmos is also able to run permissioned and permissionless zones / hubs so enterprises have full control over who validates a blockchain and scores ✅✅. Polkadot requires locking up large amounts of a highly volatile asset with the possibility of being outbid by competitors and being unable to run the application if the guaranteed performance is required and having to migrate away. The relay chain validates the state transition and can roll back the parachain should an invalid block be detected on another parachain, thus scores ✅. https://preview.redd.it/7phaylb1ehq51.png?width=1000&format=png&auto=webp&s=d86d2ec49de456403edbaf27009ed0e25609fbff
Cosmos will connect Hubs and Zones together through its IBC protocol (due to release in Q1 2020). Connecting to blockchains outside of the Cosmos ecosystem would either require the connected blockchain to fork their code to implement IBC or more likely a custom “Peg Zone” will be created specific to work with a particular blockchain it’s trying to bridge to such as Ethereum etc. Each Zone and Hub has different trust levels and connectivity between 2 zones can have different trust depending on which path it takes (this is discussed more in this article). Finality time is low at 6 seconds, but depending on the number of hops, this can increase significantly.
Polkadot’s shared state means each parachain that connects shares the same trust assumptions, of the relay chain validators and that if one blockchain needs to be reverted, all of them will need to be reverted. Interoperability is enabled between parachains through Cross-Chain Message Passing (XCMP) protocol and is also possible to connect to other systems through bridges, which are specifically designed parachains or parathreads that each are custom made to interact with another ecosystem such as Ethereum and Bitcoin. Finality time between parachains is around 60 seconds, but longer will be needed (initial figures of 60 minutes in the whitepaper) for connecting to external blockchains. Thus limiting the appeal of connecting two external ecosystems together through Polkadot. Polkadot is also limited in the number of Parachain slots available, thus limiting the amount of blockchains that can be bridged. Parathreads could be used for lower performance bridges, but the speed of future blockchains is only going to increase.
A subnet can validate multiple virtual machines / blockchains and all blockchains within a subnet share the same trust assumptions / validator set, enabling cross chain interoperability. Interoperability is also possible between any other subnet, with the hope Avalanche will consist of thousands of subnets. Each subnet may have a different trust level, but as the primary network consists of all validators then this can be used as a source of trust if required. As Avalanche supports many virtual machines, bridges to other ecosystems are created by running the connected virtual machine. There will be an Ethereum bridge using the EVM shortly after mainnet. Finality time is much faster at sub 3 seconds (with most happening under 1 second) with no chance of rolling back so more appealing when connecting to external blockchains.
All 3 systems are able to perform interoperability within their ecosystem and transfer assets as well as data, as well as use bridges to connect to external blockchains. Cosmos has different trust levels between its zones and hubs and can create issues depending on which path it takes and additional latency added. Polkadot provides the same trust assumptions for all connected parachains but has long finality and limited number of parachain slots available. Avalanche provides the same trust assumptions for all blockchains within a subnet, and different trust levels between subnets. However due to the primary network consisting of all validators it can be used for trust. Avalanche also has a much faster finality time with no limitation on the number of blockchains / subnets / bridges that can be created. Overall all three blockchains excel with interoperability within their ecosystem and each score ✅✅. https://preview.redd.it/l775gue3ehq51.png?width=1000&format=png&auto=webp&s=b7c4b5802ceb1a9307bd2a8d65f393d1bcb0d7c6
The ATOM token is the native token for the Cosmos Hub. It is commonly mistaken by people that think it’s the token used throughout the cosmos ecosystem, whereas it’s just used for one of many hubs in Cosmos, each with their own token. Currently ATOM has little utility as IBC isn’t released and has no connections to other zones / hubs. Once IBC is released zones may prefer to connect to a different hub instead and so ATOM is not used. ATOM isn’t a fixed capped supply token and supply will continuously increase with a yearly inflation of around 10% depending on the % staked. The current market cap for ATOM as of the time of this writing is $1 Billion with 203 million circulating supply. Rewards can be earnt through staking to offset the dilution caused by inflation. Delegators can also get slashed and lose a portion of their ATOM should the validator misbehave.
Polkadot’s native token is DOT and it’s used to secure the Relay Chain. Each parachain needs to acquire sufficient DOT to win an auction on an available parachain lease period of up to 24 months at a time. Parathreads have a fixed fee for registration that would realistically be much lower than the cost of acquiring a parachain slot and compete with other parathreads in a per-block auction to have their transactions included in the next relay chain block. DOT isn’t a fixed capped supply token and supply will continuously increase with a yearly inflation of around 10% depending on the % staked. The current market cap for DOT as of the time of this writing is $4.4 Billion with 852 million circulating supply. Delegators can also get slashed and lose their DOT (potentially 100% of their DOT for serious attacks) should the validator misbehave.
AVAX is the native token for the primary network in Avalanche. Every validator of any subnet also has to validate the primary network and stake a minimum of 2000 AVAX. There is no limit to the number of validators like other consensus methods then this can cater for tens of thousands even potentially millions of validators. As every validator validates the primary network, this can be a source of trust for interoperability between subnets as well as connecting to other ecosystems, thus increasing amount of transaction fees of AVAX. There is no slashing in Avalanche, so there is no risk to lose your AVAX when selecting a validator, instead rewards earnt for staking can be slashed should the validator misbehave. Because Avalanche doesn’t have direct slashing, it is technically possible for someone to both stake AND deliver tokens for something like a flash loan, under the invariant that all tokens that are staked are returned, thus being able to make profit with staked tokens outside of staking itself. There will also be a separate subnet for Athereum which is a ‘spoon,’ or friendly fork, of Ethereum, which benefits from the Avalanche consensus protocol and applications in the Ethereum ecosystem. It’s native token ATH will be airdropped to ETH holders as well as potentially AVAX holders as well. This can be done for other blockchains as well. Transaction fees on the primary network for all 3 of the blockchains as well as subscription fees for creating a subnet and blockchain are paid in AVAX and are burnt, creating deflationary pressure. AVAX is a fixed capped supply of 720 million tokens, creating scarcity rather than an unlimited supply which continuously increase of tokens at a compounded rate each year like others. Initially there will be 360 tokens minted at Mainnet with vesting periods between 1 and 10 years, with tokens gradually unlocking each quarter. The Circulating supply is 24.5 million AVAX with tokens gradually released each quater. The current market cap of AVAX is around $100 million.
Avalanche’s AVAX with its fixed capped supply, deflationary pressure, very strong utility, potential to receive air drops and low market cap, means it scores ✅✅✅. Polkadot’s DOT also has very strong utility with the need for auctions to acquire parachain slots, but has no deflationary mechanisms, no fixed capped supply and already valued at $3.8 billion, therefore scores ✅✅. Cosmos’s ATOM token is only for the Cosmos Hub, of which there will be many hubs in the ecosystem and has very little utility currently. (this may improve once IBC is released and if Cosmos hub actually becomes the hub that people want to connect to and not something like Binance instead. There is no fixed capped supply and currently valued at $1.1 Billion, so scores ✅. https://preview.redd.it/zb72eto5ehq51.png?width=1000&format=png&auto=webp&s=0ee102a2881d763296ad9ffba20667f531d2fd7a All three are excellent projects and have similarities as well as many differences. Just to reiterate this article is not intended to be an extensive in-depth list, but rather an overview based on some of the criteria that I feel are most important. For a more in-depth view I recommend reading the articles for each of the projects linked above and coming to your own conclusions, you may have different criteria which is important to you, and score them differently. There won’t be one platform to rule them all however, with some uses cases better suited to one platform over another, and it’s not a zero-sum game. Blockchain is going to completely revolutionize industries and the Internet itself. The more projects researching and delivering breakthrough technology the better, each learning from each other and pushing each other to reach that goal earlier. The current market is a tiny speck of what’s in store in terms of value and adoption and it’s going to be exciting to watch it unfold. https://preview.redd.it/fwi3clz7ehq51.png?width=1388&format=png&auto=webp&s=c91c1645a4c67defd5fc3aaec84f4a765e1c50b6
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Disclaimer: I am not and have never been affiliated with any of the mentioned parties in a private or professional matter. Presumably in an attempt to smear a local competitor, Hayden Otto inadvertently publishes irrefutable on-chain proof that he excluded non-BCH retail revenue to shape the "BCH #1 in Australia" narrative.
Scroll down to "Proof of exclusion" if you are tired of the drama recap.
Scroll down to "TLDR" if you want a summary.
In September 2019, BitcoinBCH.com started publishing so called monthly "reports" about crypto retail payments in Australia. They claimed that ~90% of Australia's crypto retail revenue is processed via their own HULA system and that ~92% of all crypto retail revenue happens in BCH. They are aggregating two data sources to come up with this claim. One is TravelByBit (TBB) who publishes their PoS transactions (BTC, LN, ETH, BNB, DASH, BCH) live on a ticker. The other source is HULA, a newly introduced POS system (BCH only) and direct competitor to TBB run by BitcoinBCH.com - the same company who created the report. Despite being on-chain their transactions are private, not published and not verifiable by third parties outside BitcoinBCH.com Two things stood out in the "reports", noted by multiple users (including vocal BCH proponents):
The non-BCH parts must have tx excluded and the report neglects to mention it (the total in their TBB analysis does not match what is reported on the TBB website.)
The BCH part has outliers included (e.g. BCH city conference in September with 35x the daily average)
Hayden Otto's reaction
In direct response to me publishing these findings on btc, Hayden Otto - an employee at BitcoinBCH.com and the author of the report who also happens to be a moderator of /BitcoinCash - banned me immediately from said sub (source). In subsequent discussion (which repeated for every monthly "report" which was flawed in the same ways as described above), Hayden responded using the same tactics: "No data was removed"
"The guy is straight out lying. There is guaranteed no missing tx as the data was collected directly from the source." (source)
"Only data I considered non-retail was removed"
"I also had these data points and went through them to remove non-retail transactions, on both TravelbyBit and HULA." (source)
He admits to have removed non-BCH tx by "Game Ranger" because he considers them non-retail (source). He also implies they might be involved in money laundering and that TBB might fail their AML obligations in processing Game Ranger's transactions (source). The report does not mention any data being excluded at all and he still fails to explain why several businesses that are clearly retail (e.g. restaurants, cafes, markets) had tx excluded (source). "You are too late to prove I altered the data"
"[...] I recorded [the data] manually from https://travelbybit.com/stats/ over the month of September. The website only shows transactions from the last 7 days and then they disappear. No way for anyone to access stats beyond that." (source)
Proof of exclusion
I published raw data as extracted from the TBB site after each report for comparison. Hayden responded that I made those numbers up and that I was pulling numbers out of my ass. Since he was under the impression that
"The website only shows transactions from the last 7 days and then they disappear. No way for anyone to access stats beyond that." (source)
he felt confident to claim that I would be
unable to provide a source for the [missing] data and/or prove that that data was not already included in the report. (source)
Luckily for us Hayden Otto seems to dislike his competitor TravelByBit so much that he attempted to reframe Bitcoin's RBF feature as a vulnerability specific to TBB PoS system (source). While doublespending a merchant using the TBB PoS he wanted to prove that the merchant successfully registered the purchase as complete and thus exposed that the PoS sales history of TBB's merchants are available to the public (source), in his own words:
"You can literally access it from a public URL in the Web browser. There is no login or anything required, just type in the name of the merchant." (source)
As of yet it is unclear if this is intentional by TBB or if Hayden Ottos followed the rules of responsible disclosure before publishing this kind of data leak. As it happens, those sale histories do not only include the merchant and time of purchases, they even include the address the funds were sent to (in case of on-chain payments). This gives us an easy method to prove that the purchases from the TBB website missing in the reports belong to a specific retail business and actually happened - something that is impossible to prove for the alleged HULA txs. In order to make it easier for you to verify it yourself, we'll focus on a single day in the dataset, September 17th, 2019 as an example:
Hayden Otto's report claims 20 tx and $713.00 in total for that day (source)
The TBB website listed 40 tx and a total of $1032.90 (daily summary)
Paste the associated crypto on-chain address 17MrHiRcKzCyuKPtvtn7iZhAZxydX8raU9 in a blockchain explorer of your choice, e.g like this. This proves that a transfer of funds has actually happened.
I let software aggregate the TBB statistics with the public sale histories and you'll find at the bottom of this post a table with the on-chain addresses conveniently linked to blockchain explorers for our example date. The total of all 40 tx is $1032.90 instead of the $713.00 reported by Hayden. 17 tx of those have a corresponding on-chain address and thus have undeniable proof of $758.10. Of the remaining 23, 22 are on Lightning and one had no merchant history available. This is just for a single day, here is a comparison for the whole month.
TBB wo. Game Ranger
TBB according to Hayden
The usual shills will respond in a predictive manner: The data must be fake even though its proof is on-chain, I would need to provide more data but HULA can be trusted without any proof, if you include outliers BCH comes out ahead, yada, yada. But this is not important. I am not here to convince them and this post doesn't aim to. The tx numbers we are talking about are less than 0.005% of Bitcoin's global volume. If you can increase adoption in your area by 100% by just buying 2 coffees more per day you get a rough idea about how irrelevant the numbers are in comparison. What is relevant though and what this post aims to highlight is that BitcoinBCH.com and the media outlets around news.bitcoin.com flooding you with the BCH #1 narrative are playing dirty. They feel justified because they feel that Bitcoin/Core/Blockstream is playing dirty as well. I am not here to judge that but you as a reader of this sub should be aware that this is happening and that you are the target. When BitcoinBCH.com excludes $1,000 Bitcoin tx because of high value but includes $15,000 BCH tx because they are made by "professionals", you should be sceptical. When BitcoinBCH.com excludes game developers, travel businesses or craftsmen accepting Bitcoin because they don't have a physical store but include a lawyer practice accepting BCH, you should be sceptical. When BitcoinBCH.com excludes restaurants, bars and supermarkets accepting Bitcoin and when pressed reiterate that they excluded non-retail businesses without ever explaning why a restaurant shouldn't be considered reatil, you should be sceptical. When BitcoinBCH.com claims the reports have been audited but omit that the data acquisition was not part of the audit, you should be sceptical. I expect that BitcoinBCH.com will stop removing transactions from TBB for their reports now that it has been shown that their exclusion can be provably uncovered. I also expect that HULA's BCH numbers will rise accordingly to maintain a similar difference. Hayden Otto assumed that nobody could cross-check the TBB data. He was wrong. Nobody will be able to disprove his claims when HULA's BCH numbers rise as he continues to refuse their release. You should treat his claims accordingly. As usual, do your own research and draw your own conclusion. Sorry for the long read.
BitcoinBCH.com claimed no transactions were removed from the TBB dataset in their BCH #1 reports and that is impossible to prove the opposite.
Hayden Otto's reveals in a double spend attempt that a TBB merchant's sale history can be accessed publicly including the merchant's on-chain addresses.
(For example,) this table shows 40 tx listed on the TBB site on Sep 17th, including their on-chain addresses where applicable. The BitcoinBCH.com report lists only 20 tx for the same day.
(Most days and every months so far has had BTC transactions excluded.)
(For September, TBB lists $10,502 yet the report only claims $3,737.
Blockchain Wallet API | How to Manage Your Crypto Wallet - Tokenview
What is a Crypto Wallet?
Cryptocurrency is a digital currency based on blockchain technology, and a cryptocurrency wallet is an application specifically used to manage these assets. The cryptocurrency wallet provides basic financial functions such as the creation of a wallet address, the transfer of cryptocurrency, and the query of the transaction history of each wallet address. Common digital currency wallets include Binance, Cobo and other functions with different functions. Tokenview's application ViewToken has the above-mentioned digital currency wallet function, and can predict the market of virtual currency, and can also help users earn more digital assets through financial management.
Blockchain Digital Currency wallet Classification
Hot wallet: Hot wallet, also known as online wallet, includes light wallet and heavy wallet (full node wallet). You need to keep the wallet connected to the Internet and you can directly perform transaction operations.
Light wallet: It does not store the complete blockchain, only the data related to itself. It is small in size and can run on mobile phones, computers, web pages, etc. The light wallet does not occupy memory, supports multiple digital assets, and has a good user experience. Common digital currency light wallets include: viewtoken, cobo, etc.
It maintains all blockchain data, is completely decentralized, and synchronizes all data. It has better privacy and can verify the validity of transaction data locally. But every time you use it, you need to synchronize data, which takes up a lot of hard disk space and does not support multiple digital currency transactions.
Cold wallet: A cold wallet is a wallet that is not connected to the Internet, also called an offline wallet; such as professional hardware equipment, or write the private key (mnemonic phrase) on paper.
Hardware wallet: The hardware wallet uses professional hardware to store digital currency, and stores the digital asset private key separately in a chip, which is isolated from the Internet and plug and play.
Paper wallet: Write the private key on paper and store it before deleting it.
Blockchain Wallet API Helps to Manage Your Crypto Wallet
In the development of blockchain digital currency applications, a common question is how to query the balance information of this wallet address? Or in a similar way, how to query the balance information of a specified Bitcoin address? The good news is that many third-party organizations have solved these problems and provided them in the form of wallet balance API, which can be used directly. Tokenview blockchain API data interface is one of the largest and most popular third-party blockchain digital currency APIs. Provides functions such as broadcast transactions, token information query, wallet service and transaction information. It also provides data on more than 100 mainstream cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Ethereum. Easy to use, and there are Chinese API documentation information. Refer to: https://services.tokenview.com
Welcome to /r/dragonchain - Read this to get started
Dragonchain Community Guidelines Welcome to /dragonchain! Our goal is to maintain friendly & informative discussions in our subreddit. Please protect Dragonchain's Community philosophy by following the rules laid out below. What is Dragonchain? Dragonchain is an open source & full stack blockchain platform for enterprises. It was originally developed at The Walt Disney Company in Seattle in 2014 and then open-sourced in 2016. Despite extensive speculation, there is no current relationship between Disney and Dragonchain. The open source code is maintained by the Dragonchain Foundation. And the commercial blockchain platform is maintained by the commercial entity named Dragonchain, Inc. Dragonchain is a public/private hybrid blockchain platform. Applications built on Dragonchain can Interchain with popular public blockchains like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic and Binance Chain. Developers can use existing smart contracts from the library or write their own smart contracts and build (decentralized) blockchain applications in known languages.
Keep price discussion, market talk and exchange speculation to community run subreddits such as /drgn. Join our crypto aware and free social platform!
Thanks Everyone! - Dragonchain Team Community Guidelines We encourage all to participate, but please observe the following guidelines:
Be kind to others
No heated arguments
No name calling
Do not be mean spirited
If you have an issue with anyone in the community, please contact one of the Dragonchain official contacts to resolve.
Do not spam the group.
Do not shill/promote of other ICOs.
No FUD (reasonable questions welcome, FUD not).
Do not post fake addresses for Dragonchain or any other token sale.
Do not post any NSFW content.
Be professional and use professional language.
Avoid posting political or religious comments when possible unless directly related to the technology or a project in the space.
Do not use more than one exclamation or question mark in a row, e.g. “When Lambo???”
Please use english when possible in the main forum - if a number of people are interested, Dragonchain will sponsor and support an official group for your language - just ask.
Any violation of these rules may result in deletion of the post and a ban of the user with no notice provided. A ban may be reversed by the team, so if there has been a misunderstanding or mistake, please message one of the admins. All rules posted in red above will result in an instant and permanent ban. Do not trust any link, address, or announcement not signed by the Dragonchain team official signing address: 1DRA8KjFPZ62XdEGSmFEneRj8UqVVCAEnL Official DragonChain Team Contacts: @j0j0r0 - Dragonchain CEO @dragonchaingang - Official Dragonchain Account
https://preview.redd.it/q6xfuxvtmjv41.png?width=875&format=png&auto=webp&s=b092bca718f6cba3ae8c327a54952f4e65c7ed25 If you’ve ever heard the word cryptocurrency, then you’ve probably heard about the mining as well. If you still don’t know what cryptocurrency mining is and about profitable, keep reading! In order to understand crypto mining, you need to fully understand what a cryptocurrency is first. Unlike traditional currencies (aka fiat currency), a cryptocurrency is a digital asset that works in a decentralized way; it does not require a bank or a third-party to operate. Someone can send someone else a cryptocurrency directly without any third-party involved. The first ever cryptocurrency created was Bitcoin. Every single cryptocurrency has a blockchain, which is an immutable digital ledger. A single transaction is recorded on the blockchain permanently, which no one can edit or delete it randomly. A blockchain works by incentivizing miners to confirm the authenticity of each transaction. A person who confirmed the authenticity of the transaction, get the cryptocurrency as a reward. Since the cryptocurrencies are based on cryptography, the miners need to solve extremely complicated mathematical problems to verify each transaction. They are incentivized to do it because they are rewarded for it. Anyone can participate in mining from anywhere in the world as long as they have a computer. When the number of miners increases, it allows cryptocurrencies to be more secure. Even if an attacker would want to attack the blockchain network, somehow, an attacker needs to know 51% or more miners. Since the miners are spread around the world, this task is close to impossible and most likely not economically viable.
Types of Crypto Mining
Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to introduce the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm, where users have to solve complex mathematical problems in order to process transactions and secure the whole network. Bitcoin was quite easy to mine at first, and you could do it with your CPU, there was no need for special equipment, and the rewards were huge. However, today, Bitcoin’s mining difficulty has increased considerably, and users need specialized and expensive equipment to mine it. There are four main types of mining when it comes to the PoW algorithm. There is a CPU, GPU, ASIC, and Cloud mining. The first three are essentially the same, but they use different parts of your computer. There are some cryptocurrencies specifically created to be mined only through CPU and to be ASIC resistant. Other cryptocurrencies can be mined through all three methods. Cloud mining, on the other hand, is a process where a user basically pays to rent out a mining machine somewhere else. You don’t have to buy the equipment physically but it is wise to carry out due diligence and research into who and what you are paying for.
Proof of Stake ‘Mining’
With the introduction of the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm, cryptocurrency mining changed forever. In this case, users don’t have to solve computationally intensive puzzles. In PoS-based cryptocurrencies, the creator of blocks is chosen via random selection or wealth. Validators in the PoS consensus have to lock up some of their coins as a ‘stake’ and will get rewarded for it. There are many benefits over the traditional PoW like lower cost and more energy efficiency. Additionally, because PoS encourages users to hold the coin in the wallet, it stabilizes the price a bit more than conventional cryptocurrencies. Today, you can find plenty of exchanges that support staking, including the most popular exchange, Binance. The safest option, however, is always going to be staking using your own private wallet.
Proof of Formulation ‘Mining’
FLETA has developed the most innovative and newest consensus algorithms known as Proof-of-Formulation (PoF). This PoF consensus algorithm uses something called the ‘Synchronization Group’, which allows all of the miners to mine in an orderly manner. The generating block time only takes 0.5 seconds, and the observer node checks the irregular blocks in real-time, which prevents the fork and double-spending. Furthermore, FLETA’s PoF algorithm is currently undergoing the patent process through the United States Patent Office (Application Number: 62717695). The users can easily create a FLETA formulator through the official FLETA wallet. The minimum amount to create a single Formulator is 200,000 FLETA. The blockchain network is operated by FLETA and requires a 6-core CPU or higher. As you created at least four Formulators, you will be able to upgrade it, which allows you to get 1.3 times more rewards. Besides creating a Formulator, users can contribute to mining with a minimum amount of 100 FLETA.
Today, various mining methods exist, each with their pros and cons. However, cryptocurrency miners are still craving more convenient (and less costly) ways to earn rewards. FLETA’s Proof-of-Formulation consensus is not only fast, but it is also highly secure the added layer of protection between observer nodes, formulator, and the synchronization group. With plenty more to come, in terms of DApp development, games and partnerships, FLETA’s PoF is increasingly becoming the preferred consensus of many developers due to the speed, security and convenience of the platform. **
The Market will not recover the way you want it to.
Hey guys, long time lurker, first time poster to CryptoCurrency. I've been giving Crypto a lot of thought, and had a good look at myself in the mirror when btc started nosediving from 11k. At that point in time I thought 11k was the bottom, and tried to catch a falling knife. Recently, I took a break from looking at the graphs daily, because I realized my mood would always be affected by the giant red bars on my phone. So I deleted my Binance app. Since then I've had time to reflect on Crypto, reflecting on what enthralled me when I first got in. I came to several conclusions. It has completely changed my outlook and re-adjusted my expectations on crypto-currencies in general. Since then, I have cleared away my desire for the green bars, and my misgivings that this is something that would make me the Laurens Bancroft of the 21st century. What came in to replace these thoughts are below, shared with you. 1) Herd mentality hurts us more than it hurts them. I come in contact with 3 kinds of people in my life, and these can be categorized into 3 different groups: People who want to see Crypto succeed, people who don't, and people who don't care about Crypto. I was part of the initial group at first, and now I've come to realized that in order for Crypto to succeed, we cannot exclude the people who don't care, and the people who don't want Crypto to succeed. They are an integral part of how Crypto is going to make it in this world, and we cannot ignore them. We cannot be an elitist club of people who think ourselves as a Master-race that will eventually trump all. I came to this conclusion during Chinese new years, at a dinner table with relatives. The conversation slowly swung around what all of us had achieved during the year of 2017, and I had said that I was an avid follower and investor of Cryptocurrency. My relatives were shocked. Some of them tried to dissuade me from investing, others listened with interest with what I had to say. It was then I realized a common denominator among them, it was that they don't understand. They don't understand how blockchain can change our world, they don't understand how block-lattice technology has the potential be the ultimate weapon against corruption, they don't understand how Cryptocurrency can bring humanity to places never ventured before. But they are interested. Over the period of the dinner I slowly but surely watered the plant that is now their newfound interest, answering questions to the best of my ability, but at the same time not critiquing their beliefs. I do not talk about the banks, I do not talk about politics, I talked about the wonders of Bitcoin, and the benefits that can be had with it. 2) Adoption incentives. Unlike many of the inventions that have come to advance humanity, the benefits of Cryptocurrency cannot be felt by myself, or by you. Not in the short term anyway. The effects of Crypto will not be felt in a drastic way, but instead, gradually change events that were normally out of our control. We humans adopt things quickly if they are either one of 2 things, they improve our standard of living immediately(e.g getting a car or computer), or provide an immediate incentive(e.g. credit card frequent flyer points). Crypto is neither of them, and that is why it is a long uphill battle to convince someone to take on Crypto, when all it seems to do is add on more trouble for them. Being centralized has a thing going for it; few people can make decisions to create incentives for a small loss, in order to exploit an even bigger gain. In Crypto, no one is able to do this, and won't be able to without a centralised figure making decisions for us small guys. No one seems to have a viable solution to this, which brings me to my 3rd point. 3) Moon boys. We all want to be on the ride to the next moon, the FOMO is strong, the memes sustain us, and every piece of news directly affects whether we see a red bar or a green bar. Now the feeling is subsiding, and all that is left is pump and dumps that out of our control. As a normie that doesn't have the power to control these events, I can only watch as the price gets manipulated. But this is what I signed up for. I believe that I'm not just holding an ordinary piece of money. I'm holding the future. I am holding the blood, the sweat and the tears of thousands that came before and thousands that will come after, because I believe in them, I believe in the idea, and most of all, I want that future, for me and for my descendants that will come after me. This isn't just about me, it's about advancing mankind. I believe in a future where Crypto will make the world a fair place for all, a world where corruption and power don't belong to someone we are forced to vote for, that my voice can be heard among the billions. Crypto doesn't align with my monetary objectives anymore, it aligns with me politically. This leads to my conclusion. I know that the recent drops have hurt us all, but it's time to look past it. I think it is time to look at what we are holding on to. Is it for the money? Is it the stubbornness? Are we truly here just to take fiat from others at a suitable time? If you manage to find your reason for holding on, I think your resolve be will strengthened. I look at my Crypto from time to time, and all I see is the hard work of the people who have created something amazing, and I feel honored to be part of this journey. And I will continue investing as much as I can, be it money or time, to further this project.
Been in Crypto for a while and I believe this is the first time I ever went all in on one coin. This will either go be looked at in the future as the ramblings of a rich idiot, or just an idiot. I'm mainly making this post to write down my own thoughts and prove to myself I'm confident in my decesion by letting a bunch of strangers in an echo chamber who will agree with anything said on this subreddit as long as it's bullish regarding tomo, so I don't really care as I never told anyone around me I'm in crypto. Anyways I've been in Tomo for a while as seen here and for the most part this is why it's been in my portfolio. https://reddit.com/Tomochain/comments/b29kob/why_do_you_think_tomochain_will_be_successful/eiriabt/ I've always tried to keep my portfolio small, max up to 5 coins but I'm starting to restrict that to one and expand it out as I have more money to do so. I took posts like this one: https://www.reddit.com/ethtradecomments/6chmu6/i_just_became_a_crypto_millionaire/dhuowo0?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x and thought long and hard. One of my main biggest points of going all in on Tomo is tomox and I'm deliberately making this post before the testnet but ideally if Tomox is what, from what I'm reading it to be, it will undoubtedly make Tomo huge. The biggest thing is the whole one order book, regardless of if it's on Binance, bittrex, or a DEX, this will provide liquidity for any new exchange, giving Tomo and and coins built upon it the best liquidity as well as the best protection against whales since they can't go arbitrage trading if everything has one big book. But this brings me to my question, how will Tomox be intergrated with Binance and bittrex since they already have their own relayers, will they have to update their systems to adapt (which if I'm understanding correctly will save them money in the long run) or can they just bypass it and ignore tomox altogether.
Tomox gives users the best experience since unlike IDEX or Etherdelta you don't have to deposit your tokens so you can keep them in your wallet as well as use the exchange you like the best since it's one big order book. Also, as long as Tomochain is running you'll always be able to sell your tokens since the DEX is literally built into the blockchain
TOMOX targets the main thing everyone in cryptocurrency has to do/ has done, which is trading. Bitcoin targeted what we used to trade aka currency while Tomox is targeting markets themselves, again everyone of us has used an exchange.
TOMOX actually makes something out of the whole "2k TPS" thing, which was a pushing point for a lot of cc projects before, that they had thosuands of TPS, but the thing is, having a lot of TPS doesn't mean shit if no one is using it, TOMOX will (again if I'm understanding correctly) make full use of Tomochain's TPS since the orders are sent to masternodes themselves.
TOMOX gives Tomo token and the underlying blockchain as well as the masternodes more usecases. You can now use your Tomo to save up and open up your own DEX, the blockchain will be tested hard by processing orders. Masternode holders will have to be the ones that match those orders.
Ideally this is how I see it, Bitcoin revolutionized what we trade with whilst Tomox will target what we use to trade, going and hand hand. Again this (in my mind) will be big if it all goes down the way I see it which is why I went all in, This doesn't even mention Tomoz which will make people want to build on Tomo since they can use their own coin to pay for transactions, and those coins will automatically be added to Dexs given Tomox, or any of the reasons I brought up here: https://reddit.com/Tomochain/comments/b29kob/why_do_you_think_tomochain_will_be_successful/eiriabt/ Or the fact that after Tomox is released the next target is privacy " Afterward, the next major stage of development will focus on expanding TomoChain 2.0 to further support real demands for scalability, privacy, and private chains with technologies currently at the research stage such as sharding, ZK-snark, side-chain and private chain generation. " To sum up mainly why I went all in even though it's a bad idea it's mainly TOMOX, everyone is trying to find something to do with their blockchain and most focus on gaming/gambling. TOMOX itself targets something that everyone involved in crypto has to do, which is use an exchange, everyone says DEXS are the future and that's because a blockchain based exchange is a no brainier for a blockchain. But mostly all the projects go about it by making their own semi centralised exchange then calls it a DEX. TOMOX instead intergrates what's needed to build a DEX in the blockchain bringing entrepreneurs who want to run DEXES to Tomochain and since you need TOMO it gives tomochain's token another usecase. Right now the targeted audience (crypto users) highest values are trading their tokens for a higher price, exchanges play a big hand in that. Anyways I do have my doubts that being, all this is only based off of what I think I'm understanding and it looks to good to be true which some of it will be tested in the next two days. And the fact that this is a decentralized project with a CEO. But again, as time goes on the coin can become more and more decentralized. Once again, this will most likely be deleted a couple months after posting, mainly of the reasons stated at the beginning. Since I know people will ask my portfolio use to be consist of BTC, ETH, KMD, DCR, and TOMO, now it's just the latter. I do plan on going into the other projects, but I make portfolio changes based off of the year for tax purposes, so that won't happen till 21. And I went all in a while ago not because of this most recent "pump", this post is only being made now because we're so close to Tomox's testnet which will tell me if I need to listen to myself more, or of I am just an idiot who assumes to much. Granted because of this recent pump I am doing very good.
YouTube Censorship Emphasizes the Importance of Decentralization
The whole cryptocurrency community was outraged when the premier video streaming site YouTubebegan purging content created by various influential crypto-centric content creators. Reports of the purging began surfacing during the height of the holidays, which many believe was intentional to minimize pushback from the crypto community. Nonetheless, the news passed on like wild wire and soon enough caught the attention of the most influential people in the crypto space. Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of ethereum, expressed his surprise when YouTube censored an ethereum roadmap Q&A prompting him to call on her followers to perhaps it is time to begin to look for alternatives to YouTube. A similar proclamation was made by Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, CZ, stating that it might be high time the crypto community takes a stab at its own blockchain social media platform. Other crypto influencers have similar sentiments expressing their dismay on the development. EOS founder and Chief Technology Officer of Block.One Daniel Larimer warned of a future where technology giants will have total control of all forms of media. He cautioned that there might be a time when these technology giants will begin to dictate not only what can be shown to consumers but also what content creators can create. While Vitalik and CZ called for the exploration and creation of decentralized social media, Dan and his company are a step ahead as they are set to release the beta of their EOS-based social media platform Voice in February. The latest move of YouTube seems to have strengthened the need for the creation of a decentralized social media alternative for YouTube. A social media platform that will be equivalent to bitcoin, censorship-resistant and cannot be controlled by a single entity for its own agenda. For the past few years, a centralized social media platform has come under fire for using and selling private user information data to various interested parties. These companies earn millions from user data without them knowing it. A decentralized social media platform represents a paradigm shift from the old model where most of the profits of the platform go to the company but instead are rewarded to content creators frictionlessly through the use of cryptocurrencies. Unlike centralized social media (SM), in decentralized SM no single entity, even the developers themselves cannot just implement changes in the platform, they usually need to get the approval of the majority of the users or elected representatives of the users. More importantly, contents that have been uploaded and recorded in a decentralized social media cannot be deleted unilaterally by any single entity even the developers themselves without them having access to the private keys of the account. This makes content created in decentralized social media more censorship-resistant. While decentralization makes contents unstoppable it does not mean low-quality content cannot be policed by the community. Decentralized social media can be flagged or downvoted to be less visible but not entirely be removed. Unstoppable, censorship-resistant, transparent and inclusive these are the hallmarks of decentralization and what gives blockchain-based applications such as bitcoin and the ever-increasing number of decentralized applications its worth and value. However, the pace by which decentralized applications air increasing by the day makes the industry ever more fragmented, siloed and isolated from each other. There is a need for them to be able to interoperate or interact with each other at some level. While these decentralize applications may not be able to interoperate or interact with each other without creating new technology to bridge them together, their main mechanism for exchange of value can, through their coins and tokens. These digital assets are traded in trading venues which for the time being is dominated by centralized exchanges. Centralized exchange (CEX) are not better than traditional banks as users will have to deposit their assets, asked permission from CEX operators to withdraw their own cryptocurrency and can also be denied access. Decentralization can only be as strong as its weakest link and many believe centralized exchanges are the weakest link in the crypto community’s effort for continued decentralization. Centralized exchanges not only act like banks but are also easily targeted by hackers and government. The former for its big stash of cryptocurrency which are usually lumped together in one “honeypot” wallet and the latter to implement regulatory policies that usually run against the virtues of decentralization. The negative effects of this centralization of trading venues are evident throughout the short history of cryptocurrencies. The first decade of these burgeoning asset class is marked by hacks of major centralized exchanges that resulted in hundreds of millions worth of digital assets spirited away by hackers giving a devastating blow to cryptocurrency investors. On the other side of the spectrum, the hostile regulatory stance of countries like China and India have forced exchanges to close down locking with the investor’s money. Fortunately, cryptocurrency innovators were able to create decentralized exchanges that evolved throughout the years to be as fast, efficient and cost-effective as centralized exchange. The best part of this is the fact that these exchanges do not carry as much risk as centralized exchanges as assets never leave the custody of the trader. More importantly, there is no way the decentralized exchange or any external entity could steal or restrict access to your own money so long as traders keep their private keys safe. One of the leading decentralized exchange in the world is Newdex, a multi-chain decentralized exchange (DEX) which has been at the forefront of decentralized exchange innovation by introducing many innovative features to empower its users. It was one of the first global EOS-based DEX which evolved to a multi-chain DEX supporting EOS, TRON, and EOSIO sidechains WAX, LYNX, TELOS; one of the first to offer free CPU computing resources; and recently support the Ethereum, TRON and EOS variants of Tether (USDT), the leading Stablecoin in the whole crypto space. Beyond supporting three active blockchain forms of USDT Newdex goes the extra mile by offering its users cross-chain USDT conversion with minimal to no charges, supporting the active platforms of USDT namely, Ethereum, TRON, and EOS. Stablecoins like USDT have played an important part in the development of the crypto industry as it provides a less volatile asset to trade cryptocurrencies without having to interact directly with fiat which requires rigorous compliance requirements. Decentralization is the primary value proposition of distributed ledger technologies and what many believe makes them a highly sought technology and sets them apart from the many technological breakthroughs in the last decade. For the first time in human history, the human race is able to encapsulate “Truth” in technology. Immutable, final and transparent, enabling a risk-free peer-to-peer exchange of value. A technology that afforded us an unparalleled opportunity for equality and freedom. For more information about Newdex please follow its official links below: Website: https://newdex.io/Twitter:https://twitter.com/NewdexOfficialMedium:https://medium.com/@marketing_27690
Why we shouldn't be asking for regulation and why we need the RIGHT to make bad investments.
I have deleted some of my old accounts but I have been frequenting bitcoin since 2014 and I am rather disappointed with the change over the last year and calls for regulation of crypto. So I thought I should make a reasoned argument as to why regulation is a terrible idea.
1. There aren't THAT many scams
4 out of 5 startups fail crypto or not. Failing is does not equate to scam. Further more sometimes the difference between a scam, just a poorly run startup, slimely business, and a bad idea isn't so clear. I'd guesstimate that at least 95% of crypto projects actually are acting in good faith.
2. Fraudsters don't follow laws anyways
Scammers are often already breaking laws, if they promise they will do X, Y, and Z and they don't they have already broken a contract and are liable to civil suits, and yes even just a promise in a whitepaper can already be considered a contract! Even emails can be considered to be legally binding between two parties in most countries and most freelancers already know this. If a fraudster is going to really scam people they will be one of those projects with an anonymous team or a fake one. And guess what since the government can't stop people from making crypto transactions a scammer from Russia is still going to be taking your ETH regardless of the regulation because they are anonymous!
3. Regulation favors the rich
In America you often have to be an accredited investor to invest in early startups. In other words to invest in a young company that is having an ICO, if the same rules applied to crypto, you would have to be accredited. So what is an accredited investor?
To be an accredited investor, a person must demonstrate an annual income of $200,000, or $300,000 for joint income, for the last two years with expectation of earning the same or higher income. An individual must have earned income above the thresholds either alone or with a spouse over the last three years. The income test cannot be satisfied by showing one year of an individual's income and the next two years of joint income with a spouse. The exception to this rule is when a person is married within the period of conducting a test. A person is also considered an accredited investor if he has a net worth exceeding $1 million, either individually or jointly with his spouse. The SEC also considers a person to be an accredited investor if he is a general partner, executive officer, director or a related combination thereof for the issuer of unregistered securities.
source This means you basically have to be a millionaire to invest in early stages of a startup. So that means 99% of people in this subbreddit could no longer participate in ICOs if the same rules applied. Furthermore the people that will be writing these regulations are going to tend to be older people who have more traditional and conservative investments, so why would someone who is invested in say paypal, want to make it easy for their investment to be made irrelevant? They have disincentive to create good and fair regulations. They lack what Nassim Taleb calls "Skin in The Game" which leads to poor or selfish decisions.
4. No one seems to actually know what "regulation" means
I see people commenting about how they don't like project A and that its a "scam". Truthfully I feel this is often because sometimes it isn't always the best technology or startup that is the best investment so people can get butt hurt over it when they see projects they don't like become successful and then they say "oh I wish there was regulation so this wouldn't become popular." What the fuck are you guys talking about? How do regulate whether or not a shitty technology is favored by people over a good one? Do you really think the government should be deciding what is "good" or "bad" technology? Because if they did Bitcoin would have never been invented in the first place. Also "regulation" isn't some magic thing that will stop bad things or even scams. Because of the nature of decentralization people can very easily be anonymous and setup ICOs.
5. Regulation will be ineffective and will cause brain drain
Like it or not tax/regulation havens will always exist. So companies will tend to move to places with the least regulation, Binance is a good example of that. And since crypto transactions are trustless the actual company can be in Malta even if the token or coin is used primarily in somewhere like the US. Which means that these crypto companies will still be able to reap the benefits without any of the cost of physically being in some country. That's a lot of tax revenue that will be lost because of regulation. This also creates more inequality as it means most of the worlds wealth will end up be more concentrated in tax havens. Not to mention anonymous scammers don't follow regulations anyways.
6. You are telling the government you are too stupid to handle your own money
Why on earth should you or the government or anyone tell me I can't throw $1000 bucks at some startup on the other side of the world? Regulation is only going to add more red tap for small startups, I have some experience with this personally as I work for two blockchain startups. One of these startups I suggested they add an equity function to their utility token, turning it into stock + utility token, as I think that is way more valuable to investors and they will likely be able to raise more money in their ICO. However they have determined that the paperwork alone costs way too much time and money. So these regulations are already hurting both investors and startups. Regulation KILLS innovation. You can't get 1000x return on one investment without taking a 95% loss on 10, in the end it is still worth it and you still win but regulations will make it damn near impossible for regular people to invest in projects in their early stages or from new better startups being created, so you will only be "protected" from insane profits with maybe a slight improvement in your losses. More regulation means less profit, and lets be real, most of you are here and want "regulation" because you want more money but this is the worst way to go about it. If you are too stupid to do basic research and to have diversified your portfolio then you are bad at investing and you shouldn't be playing this game, no amount of regulation will make you a better decision maker. We need the right to make bad investments that fail because that's how investing is done, you tend to make a loss on most investments but the few that profit more than make up for the sum of losses. Just think of the potential of millions of world changing startups that will never be because of red tape. It's like taxing people because they are dumb.
The Solution: Lawsuits
You can still sue people for things that are not explicitly breaking a law, but breaking a contract. The only regulation should be a business license so the government knows who they are, after that its not harm no foul rule. That means that if ICOs or cryptos try to trick people that they can be taken to court and sued to hell so they still are culpable for wrong doing without hindering young startups. Stricter regulations would have made a lot more sense in a pre-internet and pre-crypto world. This is because only people who could make researching and educating themselves a full time job could really understand if a business had a reasonable proposition and model since researching anything pre-internet was way more difficult. However with the democratization of information with the internet and of value with crypto these regulations don't make as much sense because the informational asymmetry has almost entirely disappeared between accredited investors and regular motivated people. The only difference now is the size of the wallet, this is a terrible world to live in where only rich have the options. I highly recommend everyone in crypto read Nassim Talebs "Incerto" collection particularly his latest book "Skin in The Game".
I've been having difficult times lately and just started getting back into trading. I follow a lot of groups on telegram to keep up with crypto projects i deem are worth looking into. I'm putting my shit experience here so others don't fall for this scam, it seems my willingness to help others got the best of me. On telegram i got a dm from someone with the pic of a cat and struck a casual conversation with me .. i asked him where he got my username .. he said he found me in a group. Then he asked me to help him withdraw his btc from a website (12xbit.com), as he cannot withdraw cause he got banned there. (Now i know this is a scam , i found out later after researching more). I made an account in there i didn't even have to enter my email, after which that telegram guy sent me the money to my account on that website. After which i tried to withdraw , but it said my funds are frozen and i'll have to deposit 250$ to verify my account. i stupidly sent the 250 $ , at which point i stepped inside the trap. Then after that even then my account said its frozen , i got an error because of my address it said. So i had to deposit 500 $ because my account was too big and the verification was not enough. The reason i went ahead a deposited another 500$ is because the site felt genuine and i thought i was helping someone who is new to crypto and made a stupid comment in the trollbox which got him banned on the site. I talked to customer support which talked to me in a very helpful way but it was all bullshit, making reasons and excuses as to why what i did didn't work. Then customer support gave me the telegram username of the admin of the site. I talked to him and he said i'm not being able to withdraw because the website only allows big amounts to be withdrawn when the withdrawal address holds 20 % to 30% of the amount to be withdrawn. I don't know why i believed him , at this point i just wanted to get my money back at the same time getting the amount out so i could give it back to the guy who first contacted me on telegram. Cryptofor (the tech admin guy) said i can withdraw through the official extension of the website. So like an idiot i downloaded the extension, and i had to keep it open on a page where i had enough balance to be able to withdraw. I once kept it open on my binance page , during which time all my coins got sold to BTC and there was an attempt to withdraw all the coins to another address. I told cryptofor this and he said it was a "bug". I almost lost my shit because i got a withdrawal request email from binance which i hadn't initiated. After that he said to make an account on blockchain.com and try withdrawal from there. I had to put in 20% as he said , so i put in .5 btc from my binance account because it can't be withdrawn with my authentication first , or so i thought. After i realised what the extension was doing i uninstalled it and scanned for viruses, found nothing. I went ahead a deposited .55 btc to my blockchain.com account that i had made (i had kept the extension open on my blockchain.com account for a while before uninstalling it), i had written down the backup key and 2fa on. But as soon as my bitcoins reached blockchain account , it automatically got sent to another address without my confirmation. Cryptofor said the bitcoins got sent to the website's system as i didn't send enough funds (80$ less than needed). I was puzzled how is it that even after uninstalling the extension and using a different browser altogether my blockchain account was still accessible to someone else. I took cryptofor's word for it , he said i'll get my funds back once the verification goes through. He appeared helpful , although now i know what really happened. Believing him that those btc are just frozen and will be recovered .. i sent .5 btc again to that blockchain.com account , this time i had set a second password so i'd need to put in a password to send btc. But again the moment i sent btc to it , it got sent elsewhere again. I still don't know how he managed to compromise a blockchain.com account in such a way that it was undetectable. I've been using crypto for years and never saw anything like it. Here's a screenshot https://prnt.sc/n4ozdw , the moment btc got into the account it got sent .. i couldn't do anything to stop this from happening. all in all i lost everything i had in my binance account trying to recover fake btc for someone who i didn't even know. The moment i had sent the second .5btc transaction i asked cryptofor what is going on and he said its in the system again, which now i know is complete bullshit. He sent me .35 btc to my account (i'm guessing he felt bad for how much he had scammed me out of), him giving me some btc back made me believe he's genuine, after that he deleted his telegram profile and just disappeared. Overall i lost 1.15 Btc in total, I already was not doing well .. and this situation certainly didn't help. I kept in touch with cryptofor for three days trying to ask him if i can withdraw , this or that because i thought he was the website's tech manager. Now i know i got scammed , its a shame i got caught in it. If nothing else , others can read my stupid story and avoid such scams. Have a good day , i know i won't for a while .. i'm just heartbroken. P.S after this happened , i got DM from two other people claiming they needed my help in withdrawing funds from websites they got banned in. Its funny how I'm getting negative reception on this , I have nothing to gain from putting this experience here other than help others know what to avoid, but please go ahead and tell me how wrong I am that'll help solve everything. As it so happens 12xbit is denying taking any responsibility and the cryptofor dude's (Aaron) website is cryptofor.org, it has that extension which can remotely access your account and take out crypto.
Youtube Removes Hundreds Of Crypto Videos Due To “Software Error”
The Crypto Sector Accused Youtube Of Censorship Google and cryptocurrencies have a bad history together, with Google banning all crypto-related ads on their platforms in June 2018. Although the ban was lifted in September 2018, Bitcoin and the entire crypto sector suffered from Google’s decision. Now, it seems Google’s subsidiary – Youtube, is blocking crypto-related video content on its platform. Hundreds of videos containing information about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, in general, were taken down due to “dangerous content” and “sale of regulated goods.” It may seem like a war forming between Google and the crypto sector, but shortly after the ban, YouTube stated an “error” caused most of the small-scale video channels to suffer from deleted videos. Large channels, such as CNBC and CoinTelegraph, appear to have dodged the bullet. Despite YouTube “explaining” the reasons behind the “error,” the crypto sector lost some of its momentum from this week. Google spokesmen confirmed the problem, noting that “with the vast amount of videos on YouTube, sometimes such problems occur.” “Nevertheless, we are trying to quickly reinstate videos, mistakenly removed from our platform,” the spokesmen stated. The rumor quickly became viral, as crypto YouTuber Chris Dunn asked Google about the deleted videos on Twitter. However, YouTube removed hundreds of crypto-related videos, and, according to crypto experts, the numbers are growing fast. The crypto community didn’t hesitate to challenge YouTube’s decision. The host of CNBC Africa’s CryptoTrader show Ran Neuner criticized the move, stating that “YouTube is a preferred place for educational videos, and the culling is a massive blow to the entire ecosystem.” “We must find a way to challenge such decisions because YouTube is the easiest way for individuals to enter the crypto ecosystem,” Neuner added. Quantum Economics’ founder Mati Greenspan went the extra mile to officially “boycott YouTube” due to the recent problems. Greenspan noted that “maybe they try to defend customers from illicit behavior. Nevertheless, giants like Google and Facebook already banned crypto-related ads and then revised their decisions due to regulatory clarity in the U.S. Facebook and Google fell behind to implement modern-day payment solutions. In December, Google announced a “smart checking” for bank accounts through their Google Pay platform. The new system would be developed in cooperation with U.S. banking giant Citigroup. In the meantime, the crypto sector, and Bitcoin, in particular, doubled in price since the start of 2019. The main “culprit” behind the increased adoption of cryptocurrencies is the interest the sector received from some of the largest worldwide companies, such as Apple and Amazon. However, Changpeng Zhao, Binance’s CEO, went radical on the ban of crypto content. Zhao stated that “the crypto community needs a blockchain-based social media platform, which does not contain crypto censorship.”
StopAndDecrypt = WhalePanda? 🤔 and another observation
Recently, BitcoinXiowrote that StopAndDecrypt is rumored to be master-of-propaganda WhalePanda. I didn’t find more information on this and did some research on my own. Both are registered on a platform called keybase.io, a „key directory that maps social media identities to encryption keys“ (Wikipedia). You can find their public profiles here and here. Both linked their Twitter and Reddit handles so we can be certain that the profiles really belong to StopAndDecrypt and Whalepanda. With keybase.io you also can link devices to your profile. To view their linked devices click on „[n] devices“. You might notice that both registered a phone as well as a computer on the same day. When you click on the „chain“ tab, you can see their keybase.io history including all timestamps. This information is also available as raw data and has been made available here and here in case it’s needed for later reference. When writing down all the events of both accounts and ordering them by timestamp, it looks like some person did register both, whalepanda first and s&d second. This is no proof but evidence that both accounts might be run by the same person(s). Another interesting observation here is that both have a gap of about 25 minutes before verifying their Twitter account (which usually is a thing of 1-2 minutes). Basically, their whole registration and linking process has a similar pattern but moved by 90 minutes, coincidence? I still have no idea what they did in the time before linking Twitter. By the way, StopAndDecrypt linked a bitcoin address in the past but deleted it. Funds from this address originate from another address (over temp-addresses 18udgDPWxuTcfwx8RNEK4ghun8oiTVntZ2 and 12g7z1bmfMQ2CDGsjeMm5qiC5QRMqWwpcD) previously. Proceeding from this address, some payments with equal amounts have been sent to different addresses. This looks like some employees (including StopAndDecrypt) have been paid. However, I don’t want to spread rumours. Also, the funds on StopAndDecrypt’s address have been further moved to an exchange that appears to be Binance. I invite people to do some chain analysis: It’s there to all eternity on the core chain. Edit: Coinstagefound some identities that Whalepanda is hiding behind. So StopAndDecrypt might just be another account.
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Binance stopped operations! Blockchain Bitcoin conference Istanbul
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