"Rob Jesudason has just stepped down as Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (CBA) Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to helm the chief operating officer position of Blockchain software company https://t.co/HX8rnA6utu. https://t.co/SXu1LN9msd" $btc $ltc $neo $eth #btc #bitcoin #crypt…
I am Richie Lai, co-founder of Bittrex, and today I’m joined by some industry colleagues, so you can Ask Us Anything on the Bitcoin Halvening.
My name is Richie Lai, I am the co-founder of Bittrex, one of the longest running cryptocurrency exchanges on earth. Today I’m joined by a few colleagues and friends to answer your questions about the Bitcoin halving. With the spike in interest in Bitcoin because of the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the halving around the corner, we thought this would be an interesting discussion. I’ve been involved with Bitcoin since the very early days; mining in 2011, our first bitcoin business in 2012, and finally Bittrex in 2013. Our business now has millions of users and the Bitcoin Halving aka “The Halvening” has been top of mind for everyone recently. As the Halvening approaches, we are working 24/7 to support the increased demand—so ask us anything about the Bitcoin Halving! By the way, in celebration of the Bitcoin Halvening we are also hosting a reddit giveaway of half of a Bitcoin for someone in the USA, and another half of a Bitcoin for someone outside the USA. Contest details will be shared on Bitcoin shortly. Joining us today on IAmA: Richie Lai Co-Founder of Bittrex and lover of Bitcoin Prior to Bittrex I was at Amazon, Qualys, and Microsoft. I’m a long-time believer in Bitcoin, and avid sports junkie. You might also find me at a stadium in Seattle watching the Seahawks, the Sounders, the new hockey team, or hopefully a basketball team one day. Find me on reddit @richiela, and on Twitter @richiela. Proof: https://i.redd.it/xnx2saxh70x41.jpg Tom Albright CEO Bittrex Global I’m the chief executive officer and a director of Bittrex Global. We’re an exchange based in Vaduz, Liechtenstein in the heart of crypto valley that utilizes the Bittrex technology platform. Prior to becoming CEO in February 2020, I was general counsel of Bittrex, Inc. I’m at Bittrex Global because I’m passionate about Bitcoin and crypto and how they will change the world. You can find me on reddit @tomalbrightBG, Twitter @_tom_albright and on LinkedIn. Proof: https://i.redd.it/sioc5ktl70x41.jpg Stephen Stonberg CFO ＆ COO Bittrex Global I am the CFO and COO for Bittrex Global, based in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. I have 20 years in the Traditional Finance and Asset Management industry. Prior to Bittrex Global, I was with Binance doing business development in their global operations. Prior to Binance, I was in the Investment Management Division at Goldman Sachs, a Managing Director at Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank, and a Partner at Brevan Howard and Winton Capital. You can find me on reddit @StephenStonberg, Twitter @StephenStonberg, and LinkedIn. Proof: https://i.redd.it/7cj432nc80x41.jpg Rahul Sood creator of Microsoft Ventures, co-founder of Unikrn I am the co-founder of the Esports Entertainment platform Unikrn and a long-time tech entrepreneur. Unikrn was founded in 2013, and we are backed by Mark Cuban, Ashton Kutcher, Shari Redstone, Liz Murdoch, and many others. I’m here because I love Bitcoin, and my business foundationally uses blockchain technology and we accept multiple cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin. We’re currently experiencing a significant spike in new users due to COVID-19—things are pretty nuts considering traditional sports are on pause and esports are . Besides esports, I’m also a massive Seahawks fan. You can find me on reddit at @voodooftw, Twitter @rahulsood and on LinkedIn. Proof: https://i.redd.it/h28qjzri80x41.jpg
Recap of Chromia AMA with the CEO of Chromia, @henrik_hjelte on BithumbGlobal telegram community dated 14.04.2020.
The AMA was moderated by u/Sidonpee. Sidonpee Let’s start with the introduction question: u/henrik_hjelteCan you introduce yourself to the community? What is your background? Henrik Hjelte I’m the CEO of ChromaWay, the company that started the Chromia project. My background is 30+ years as a developer (got payed first when I was 15), then studied Business and other things (politics and philosophy). Worked as Finance and IT consultant. THen wanted to be an entrepreneur. started a “web 2.0” startup about a free-speech internet. Hired our current CTO as a developer. THen joined his colored-coins project, the first token protocol ie the start of blockchain in 2012. Sorry. I’m now 50 years old, the math didn’t add up. That is why I’m the CEO and not CFO. Sidonpee Q1. What is Chromia? Can you tell us the technology behind it and the features that makes it unique? Henrik Hjelte Chromia is a new public blockchain based on the idea of integrating traditional databases, “Relational databases” with blockchain security. In the normal world outside blockchain, there is one technology that is in 100% of all enterprises and powers almost all webpages. It build Facebook, SAP, banks, blogging platforms. It is the relational database, or SQL database. Has been used for 30+ years and is still dominant with 85% market share. Why are people using it (NoSQL has been around for 15+ years)? Because it is the best way of managing data known to mankind. Now what is blockchani? It is a way to manage data that is shared. So if you agree that blockchain is about managing data, a relational database should be an obvious technology. Chromia is a general purpose blockchain with full smart contract capabilities, just that it is a lot easier to code, even complex applications. You code with an easy to learn new programming language that combines the power of SQL and “normal languages” but makes it secure in a blockchain context. Up to 1/10 the code-lines vs other blockchains. Sidonpee Q2. I often see Chromia and ChromaWay being used interchangeably, what is the relationship between the two? Henrik Hjelte The idea for Chromia and parts of the codebase originated from the company ChromaWay. It is actually one of the first blockchain companies, we had a project for tokens before ethereum called the “colored coins” project that led to us starting a company with a name take from the greek word for color. In 2015 we did what is now called stable-coin, EURO payments based on tokens on a public blockchain (tokens on bitcoin). It was for a bank LHV in Estonia. When we need to quickly find information, we could not search the blockchain and instead started to dump everything to a relational database, and then the idea started to grow to build a blockchain around this. So we did a private blockchain, intended for usecases in land-registration, banking and more. And then came up with the idea of doing a public blockchain for it. ChromaWay is the company that ideated Chromia and provided the first open source code for it. The Chromia pre-sale of tokens is now funding the development of Chromia, which is done by ChromaWay. When Chromia is released as a decentralized network, it will not be governed or run by ChromaWay. Of course we know it has to be decentralized, we understand the virtues of decentralization since 2012 when our CTO did the worlds first code for tokens, then started an open-source project which even inspired Vitalik (who soon quit and did his own thing). ChromaWay as a company will take a role as providing optional support and maintenance of Chromia projects (open for competition by other players). Sidonpee Q3. What’s the usefulness of $CHR token in Chromia ecosystem? Henrik Hjelte CHR can be used to pay for running dapps (normally by the developer of the dapp, not users). It can also be used as a mean of exchange between dapps, and to provide collateral/stake for providers (the ones running the blockchain), incentivizing good behaviour. Sidonpee Q4. What are the major milestones Chromia has achieved so far & what are your plans for 2020? Henrik Hjelte We have released Rell, the new programming language that is needed, and supported tooling (online Development Environment, downloadable IDE, documentation). We have release the first testnet in december, and at the same time another company 4irelabs has done the first dapp running on testnet. They could take our old code (done as a private blockchain), learn our new language Rell and port it to Chromia. That project is the Green Assets Wallet, green bond environmental impact reporting, run by a non-profit and with banks and institutions as users. Plans for 2020 is to both release a series of dApps to showcase how fantastic Chromia is, as well as continue to develop the platform. And when it is secure and good enough, we will release mainnet. Dapps are now being made by us as well as others. We do a decentralized social network framework call chromunity, now release to testnet. If is really cool, users can vote over moderators, and in the future users might even govern the complete application, how it can be updated. This is a great showcase for Chromia and why we use the slogan Power to the Public. Games coming are….
Mines of Dalarnia (by Workinman Interactive). An action game in a mine with blockchain rental of plots and stuff.
Krystopia 2, novas journey. A puzzle game done by Antler Interactive.
An indie game (not done by us so I don’t know how much I shoiul;d menton), but: it is a strategy game with FULL-LOGIC ON BLOCKHCHAIN yes ubercool that is why it is in caps
A secret demo-project that we do together with Antler to showcase the technical potential of Chromia platform.
More comin in 2020: Other dapps from other companies, one in impact-tech Games is a great way to show scalability and features BTW. I didn’t mention that Chromia is very scalable (everyone says that). But it is true, and with no tradeoff vs decentralization well, but I can also see enterprise projects going into more of public blockchain direction and hybrid, and there I think Chromia can really shine Sidonpee Q5. Revenue and adoption are the main points of all projects, can you tell us your Business model and how you generate revenue? Henrik Hjelte Chromia itself is a public network with no intrinsic business model, but participants in the network has. For example Providers make money from supplying quality hardware running dapps and the core software, dapp developers have individual business models. I already told about about ChromaWay/Chromia, but ChromaWay the company can provide support/maintenance and various services and add-ons for Chromia. It is very similar to how normal open-source vendors make money. Still up to competition from others, and without control over the Chromia network. We need it to be independent, otherwise it has no value. So it is sound business to have it decentralized as well, who would care otherwise? Sidonpee Q6. Regarding Chromia’s blockchain game (Minesofdalarnia), I’m quite sure that vast majority of game lovers would be anticipating for it release, could you please share with us the likely date it will be released? Henrik Hjelte Yes I can We have made very good progress recently, and I can happily share that MoD is planned to be released now in Q2. Anastasia Meanwhile you can check the Mines of Dalarnia Social Media page for recent updates on the game https://twitter.com/Chromia_Studios . We publish development updates there often. You can also sign-up for early access on https://www.minesofdalarnia.com 😉 Sidonpee Q7. Recently Chromia welcome Malcolm Lerider who was formally a Senior R&D Manager for Neo Blockchain as its new team and family member. When he was with Neo, he worked together with the community and was able to build the project from a top 50-something market cap project to a top 5 market cap project. Should we be expecting a replica of this at Chromia in the nearest future? Henrik Hjelte Yes. we are very excited to have Malcolm on-board, he is very knowledgeable in the area, and his expertise will definitely help with achieving that. Malcolm recently published an article where he introduced himself as a new member of Chromia. You can read it over here, if you haven’t already: https://medium.com/@MalcolmLeridei-am-joining-team-chromia-b25d527b5b6f Sidonpee Q8. Green Asset Wallet is absolutely an amazing starter in the Chromia blockchain! I would like to hear how you guys see the future business development possibilities in the next /6/12 months? Are there specific business areas, geographical locations, which you want to focus on most? Henrik Hjelte Thank you, yes, it is nice to have a project that is enterprise, and green too as the first one. We are working both to reach out but also support inbound requests for projects, I shared some above. Sometimes with business development, ChromaWAy might find a customeprospect but we don’t know where it will end. We think however, and Gartner too, that enterprise blockchain is gradually looking more at public blockchain projects. I think DeFI, tokenization of assets and things like that is interesting. Also, hopefully someone will be inspired by our solution to a free, open, user-governed decentralized social web, what we are now showing with Chromunity. Jack Dorsey, are you listening? We don’t have a particular geographical focus though, and really it is a generic platform use-case agnostic. We use games to show potential and scalability, but who knows maybe other applications will be more. It is not only up to us. Sidonpee Q9. Who are Chromia’s strategic investors and partners? What criteria/ process do you follow in evaluating your partnership deal with them? Henrik Hjelte We have some strategic investors and partners that have helped us during the way, I think maybe I should not mention them here with the risk of forgetting some of them, and I have no time to check if we should mention them, We (and the partner) look at how we can help each other on a case by case basis. There is no simple scorecard that we can follow. We try to avoid vanity partnership deals with no real meaning Sidonpee Q10. Why did Chromia develop a new language called Rell (Relational language) for dapp programming? Is the development of this new language really necessary? If yes, what are some of its unique features that cannot be found in other existing languages/environments? Henrik Hjelte Yes it was necessary. We need the features of relational alegbra. It is is a mathematical basis, very similar to logic, that has only had basically one implementation (SQL). But SQL was not secure enough and lacked features that can be used in a shared context like a blockchain. Everything needs to be secure. Also we wanted to add blockchain features, and make it look more like “normal programming”. Now some of the readers might ask? Can’t you do this on the EVM? No. Ethereum does simply not have anything similar to a relational database, and it would be technically infeasible. Some others may ask? How can you compete with the EVM /pet-project that have soo many developers etc…? My answer is : we are building on top of a virtual machine called Postgresql. Check how much time, optimization and money has been spent on that virtual machine… I think it is 20 years or more of development time, maybe more. Static typing is one feature we add that SQL doesn’t have (you can detect bugs at compile time) Yusuf What have been the major obstacle Chromia has faced in the past years while developing its idea? Whats the benefits for developers at Chromia? Why should we use Chromia instead of your competitors? Henrik Hjelte Obstacle: Technology/software developement is hard sometimes, difficult to predict when things are ready. Major benefits for developers: A LOT EASIER to code COMPLEX applications. I’m serious. If you are frustrated with blockchain development, take a look at the ease of use of Rell/Chromia LA LA DeFi is projected to buzz up in 2020 and is on everybody lips, what ROLES does Chromia play in the innovativeness and future of DeFi and how does it spearhead adoption of DeFi using blockchain solution? Henrik Hjelte Finance would be almost unthinkable without relational databases, the power core banking and more. An exchange is a table of bid and ask, and you match them. This is very easy to do with our tech. Sujit If any Dapp is created on Chromia Blockchain! Then is there any Gas fees charged by Chromia? Whats the concept of fees for Dapps on Chromia Blockchain? Henrik Hjelte No gas per user fee. The application pays for hosting, like a cloud. Normally the developer, unless the developer hands over the governenace of the application to someone else (maybe the users). Sujit If any Dapp is created on Chromia Blockchain! Then are there any Gas fees charged by Chromia? Whats the concept of fees for Dapps on Chromia Blockchain? Henrik Hjelte No gas per user fee. The application pays for hosting, like a cloud. Normally the developer, unless the developer hands over the governenace of the application to someone else (maybe the users). Mayowa Most blockchain projects have donated to COVID-19, but no news from Chromia. How will you contribute to fight COVID-19? Henrik Hjelte I had to answr this: I spent my free weekend time on a covid-19 hackathon the other week to do a solution to share medical equipment across countries. It is on our facebook I think u/anastasiazudina maybe you can share Anastasia We want to do our part for the ongoing covid19 crisis. Therefore, we were participating in the critical initiative HackTheCrisis. During the virtual hackathon, we tried to find good solutions for the new unique challenges that we now as a society are facing. https://www.facebook.com/chromaway/posts/2171037456376083 Mayowa Chromia creates a new lightweight programming language called RELL. How is this different and better for programmers than other popular language like Solidity, C++ and Java? Henrik Hjelte When you think about a large Java project done for say a bank. Ask the developers what OTHER thing they use? DO they ONLY use Java and store files on a server? Or do they also use a database. You will find that in 99.9% of cases they ALSO use a relational database. No one would EVER think about doing a solution to manage data with ONLY Java, C++ or whatever. Alejandro Urich For the development of the Dapps, do you only support Rell? Is it possible to program in another language that works with Chromia? Henrik Hjelte Because we require both relational database properties and more security than SQL, currently Rell is the only choice. It is really easy to learn, and in all cases if we allowed a “normal” language it would miss the feautures of relational databases. zafer metin Mr Henrik What are the advantages of Postchain used for Chromia? How is a consortium provided to database management with distributed control? Anastasia Thank you for your interest in Postchain uses! We have an article written what answers exactly those questions: https://blog.chromia.com/postchain-for-the-public-scaling-relational-blockchain/ Stay At Home As I know providers will be chosen by Chromaway, so how is it decentralized due to choice is totally in Chromaway? Henrik Hjelte Initial providers. We will migrate to a model where ChromaWAy has no more say than anyone else. But we need to bootstrap and start. Better to choose good initial providers. David Prince What is your long-term vision about the industry which Chromia is working at? Are you afraid someday there will be another Project with more innovative technology can replace Chromia? Henrik Hjelte Well. Blockchain is about managing data (in a shared context). I’m repeating myself but the market leading (85%) for 30+ years slution to manage data is a relational database. We are now the only relational database + blockchain. Who knows, maybe some better way to manage data will be invented? But even NoSQL who has been around and bark like a little dog has after a decade or more time only 15% market share. I think our tech will stand the mark of time. Sidonpee The AMA session with the Chronia team has finally come to an end. We’re greatly astonished having a well-articulated AMA session with Chronia’s CEO Henrik Hjelte u/henrik_hjelte and community/social media manager team Anastasia u/anastasiazudina in the community👨💻👌 Also, we are indeed overwhelmed by all our esteemed community members, for your support and enthusiasm for the project. For more information and to be part of the project, you may join the Chronia’s community here via: https://t.me/hellochromia Telegram (https://t.me/hellochromia)Chromia — Official English Group The official Chromia community group by ChromaWay. Where dapps thrive!
Bitcoin Reaches New All-Time High Hash Rate Just A Week Before Halving
Some Crypto Analysts Consider The Increased Hash Rate To Affect Bitcoin’s Price Positively, As “Price Follows Hashrate” The largest cryptocurrency to date, Bitcoin, is preparing for its third halving, scheduled at block 690,000, or around May 14. Meanwhile, Bitcoin miners are putting even greater push for validating transactions, which is often referred to as a bullish sign. The amount of computer power needed to validate a transaction on Bitcoin’s blockchain peaked with a new all-time high on May 3. Crypto speculators consider the halving event as a catalyst for Bitcoin’s price to explode in the months after the reward cut. Crypto analysis company Glassnode posted a chart on Twitter, marking the bullish exponential curve of hashrate activity. Traders and enthusiasts, who believe in the “price follows hashrate” maxima quickly showed their enthusiasm about the peak. Max Keiser, for example, shared a chart from Bitcoin.com, showing his bullish stance on the future price of Bitcoin. Source: Glassnode The correlation between Bitcoin’s price and the hashrate is still not confirmed, but there are some historical hints that such correlation may exist. However, if Bitcoin’s price increases, miners get a bigger reward for mining a block. The price increase leads to more miners joining the race, which increases hashrate as well. For instance, in September 2018, just moments before the crypto winter, Bitcoin’s network had 56 ExHash-per-second (EH/s) with price per one BTC roughly at $6,500. During the following three months, Bitcoin’s network hashrate fell to as low as 31 EH/s, with a price per BTC around the $4,000 mark. However, the thesis that more miners are entering the computing pool when Bitcoin is approaching its halving may not be entirely accurate. The halving procedure cuts down the reward per mined block in half. Small and mid-sized miners and mining farms may be forced to shut down operations, as they might not clear their costs for operating the rigs. Some experts believe the hashrate push could be a last “attack” towards making a profit before the reward cut. Meanwhile, other crypto experts consider the spike to be because of the possible price increase anticipation. The CFO of Boston Trading Co. Jeremy Britton explained that with the increasing scarcity for mining precious metals (like Gold, for example), its price increases. The same principle may be applied for Bitcoin, also. “When Bitcoin’s price crashed in 2019, its price did not drop below $3,000, because miners didn’t want to sell on loss. The expenses for mining a single block on Bitcoin’s network are around $3,000, without considering the costs for equipment and the Internet”, Britton stated. The next halving, scheduled for May 14, would further increase the costs per mining a BTC block. “The next possible floor for Bitcoin’s price is around $6,000 because miners won’t agree to sell on loss”, Britton concluded. Pricewise, Bitcoin failed to overcome and settle above $9,000, as the weekend rally broke above the psychological barrier, but was quickly corrected to trade at $8,719.97 currently. The hashrate peak, however, pushed trading volumes up from May 3 with over $8 billion.
Barry Silbert is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Digital Currency Group. The company's mission is to accelerate the development of the global financial system, and it accomplishes this mission by building and supporting Bitcoin and blockchain companies. In a recent transaction, Digital Currency Group acquired CoinDesk, a leading source of Bitcoin news, which runs the annual Bitcoin industry conference. The firm has invested in more than 100 Bitcoin-related companies and is the world's leading firm for investing in Bitcoin-related companies, landing Barry Silbert the enviable nickname "The King of Crypto." Silbert's company also owns Genesis, a trading firm focused on digital currencies, and Grayscale, a company focused on digital currency investing. Silbert also started the Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTC: GBTC), an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that tracks the price of Bitcoin.
Blythe Masters is a former Managing Director at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM). Currently, she is the CEO of Digital Asset Holdings (DAH). The company builds encryption-based processing tools that improve the efficiency, security, compliance, and settlement speed of securities trading, specifically Bitcoin. In May of 2018, DAH entered into what appears to be a lucrative partnership with Google Cloud, bringing her company's tools to developers so they will not have to code them from scratch. Digital Asset Holdings seeks to apply the blockchain technology to the typical activities of Wall Street. The company has raised over $150 million in funding and, interestingly, its first client is J.P. Morgan Chase, which has tested its own blockchain technology as a possible way to settle transactions more quickly. Many people think Masters gave bitcoin a lot of legitimacy with Digital Asset Holdings, considering her past, illustrious reputation on Wall Street, where she rose to Managing Director of J.P. Morgan Chase at the age of 28. As of October 2018, her company operates six offices on three continents.
Dan Morehead is the founder of Pantera Capital, the world’s first investment focused exclusively on cryptocurrencies. In 2013, Pantera launched its first crypto fund and, as of late 2018, was one of the largest institutional owners of cryptocurrencies. The fund has delivered a more-than-24,000% return for investors since its debut. Their investments in cryptocurrency-related companies range from exchanges and investment firms, such as Polychain Capital and Bitstamp, to coin trading services, such as Augur. A former Goldman Sachs trader, Morehead was also head of macro trading and CFO at Tiger Management. Morehead is on the board of Bitstamp, a cryptocurrency trading exchange that is used by CME as an input for spot prices.
The hotly anticipated dinner of Tron CEO Justin Sun and the famous investor Warren Buffett finally took place. Sun won this opportunity at a charity auction, having paid $ 4.5 million for the meeting. The dinner guests also included other representatives of the crypto industrу: the litecoin founder, Charlie Lee, the CEO of the eToro investment platform, Yoni Assia, the CFO of Huobi, Chris Lee, and the head of the Binance Charity Foundation, Helen Hai. Sun said that he gave Buffett his first bitcoin along 1,930,830 TRX coins (worth $43,758) a number that corresponds with Buffet’s birthday. “Warren Buffett received his first Bitcoin! This lucky Bitcoin is safely stored in his Samsung Galaxy Fold. Since I gifted him this Bitcoin, BTC has increased 16%! Hope it continues to moon!” – the Tron founder tweeted. He added that he was grateful to Buffett for the advice and guidance he plans to use “to make TRON a better ecosystem, business with all the partners in the blockchain space and beyond.”
https://preview.redd.it/eq0f1pk12jf41.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=9694cc03e85a716c0021d86a14e47b9911a9682f The hotly anticipated dinner of Tron CEO Justin Sun and the famous investor Warren Buffett finally took place. Sun won this opportunity at a charity auction, having paid $ 4.5 million for the meeting. The dinner guests also included other representatives of the crypto industrу: the litecoin founder, Charlie Lee, the CEO of the eToro investment platform, Yoni Assia, the CFO of Huobi, Chris Lee, and the head of the Binance Charity Foundation, Helen Hai. Sun said that he gave Buffett his first bitcoin along 1,930,830 TRX coins (worth $43,758) a number that corresponds with Buffet’s birthday. “Warren Buffett received his first Bitcoin! This lucky Bitcoin is safely stored in his Samsung Galaxy Fold. Since I gifted him this Bitcoin, BTC has increased 16%! Hope it continues to moon!” – the Tron founder tweeted. He added that he was grateful to Buffett for the advice and guidance he plans to use “to make TRON a better ecosystem, business with all the partners in the blockchain space and beyond.”
Vechain raised $1 million USD in December 2015 and the company is seeking $3-$5 million USD over the next six months. The company’s vision includes providing a Blockchain-as-a-Service platform in 2017 that would deliver all the functionality needed for any industry vertical to implement auditable blockchain product authentication.
IBM is a premier member of Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project, a collaborative effort started in December to establish, build and sustain an open, distributed ledger platform that will satisfy a variety of use cases across multiple industries.
The Hyperledger Project, led by the Linux Foundation and aimed at the development of an enterprise-grade, open source distributed ledger framework and codebase, recently announced that seven new members have joined the project. New members are INVeSHARE, MonetaGo, Swedish developer Norbloc, the Moscow Exchange, and three Chinese firms: BitSE, Belink Technologies and Onchain.
Shanghai-based BitSE, established in 2013 by founders from IBM, Alibaba and Louis Vuitton, developed Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) applications. The company operates a research lab focused on distributed consensus, distributed applications and smart contracts. The company’s products include VeChain, an anti-counterfeiting solution. BitSE is also developing blockchain development and running environment Quantum, smart contract applications and private blockchains. Earlier in June, BitSE established a partnership with PwC China to create a team of 50 specialists and bring one-stop blockchain technology solutions to the China market.
"At present, there are only two clients who have reached a cooperation agreement, namely the international freight forwarding company KN and an Internet of Things company. The luxury brand customers are in the negotiation, and the revenue is unknown."
"At present, his team has 41 people. CEO Qian Dejun has been in IBM for 12 years and has served as the general manager of the regional branch. CTO Shuai began his career at Alibaba and was an early participant and promoter of the China blockchain community. LV China CIO, CFO Zhang Jie used to be PwC China Risk Security Senior Manager."
Demonstrating the development of fashion technology, or FashTech, VeChain chips have been added to items making up Babyghost’s 2017 spring and summer collection, unveiled at the recent Shanghai Fashion Week.
I just found this one interesting - Words of Chun Yin Cheung (partner in PwC China’s risk assurance practice) - mentions VeChain, but not in the context of China launching currency on their platform. This just legitimizes Vechain & China to me.
Nvidia (NYSE:NVDA) Fundamental Analysis: Thoughts?
I sat down and analyzed my first stock recently (per the title, I chose to do a fundamental analysis on Nvidia). I would love other user opinions on the analysis. Point out any flaws in logic; it would help me learn this process! My background is in ComputeElectrical Engineering, so I chose to analyze Nvidia since I can grasp the CPU/GPU/computing market the easiest. Also, the company's recent increase in the market intrigues me. Please let me know your opinions! Important things to note:
I am going to draw comparisons between Nvidia, AMD, and Intel. These companies are the major stakeholders within the chip industry; but, they produce different types of products. Nvidia and AMD produce dedicated Graphics cards. Intel on the other hand, does not. Intel and AMD produce CPUs. Intel's success in the graphic's industry comes from their integrated graphics (much less computation power) within their CPU chips.
I used Bloomberg as my reference for all numbers within the quantitative portion of the fundamental analysis.
Qualitative Fundamental Analysis:
What does Nvidia provide to consumers?
Nvidia is the current global leader in the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) market. Things like bitcoin/blockchain technologies, esports, and overall computational demands require the use of GPUs.
High Performance Computing: Scientific modeling in industry, research, and higher education rely on the use of GPUs. The intense computations required to model a tsunami in Japan, or an ecosystem in the Amazon use GPU multi-threading (faster code) to speed up the process.
As we all know, 'Artificial Intelligence' is the new buzz. Stances on whether or not it will/should boom is highly objective. Nevertheless, Nvidia is a global leader in Research and Development (R&D) for AI. Nvidia's AI is being used to:
Produce autonomous cars. The image processing for these self-driving cars rely on both the computational workhorse GPU and the skills of AI. Nvidia recently agreed to partner with Mercedes-Benz to help produce their vehicles.
Analyze medical images. The AI is being developed to reconize illnesses and injuries within medical image scans like CTs, X-Rays, or MRIs. As a bonus, the modern versions of those previously mentioned imaging machines use GPUs.
Route network traffic. Nvidia is looking to make IP tables, switching fabric, etc., a thing of the past (these are some of the backbones of the internet). The company is looking to implement these types of solutions into a more software-based layer, powered by AI.
Who are Nvidia's competitors? What kind of economic moat does the company have?
The largest competitors are Intel and AMD; but, Intel does not currently produce dedicated graphics cards. AMD graphics cards are on the rise, but they are nowhere near the quality of product given by Nvidia. Nvidia does hold an essential monopoly (~97% market share) of data center GPU computing within the Fortune 100 companies. It will not be too easy to replace the company. They develop the best products and have an astronomical R&D budget to continuously improve them.
How successful is management?
The 'newest' executive is the CFO, who was hired on in 2013. Other execs have been around the company for many years. This could indicate a satisfaction within the workplace and overall happiness within the company
Jensen Huang (Founder & CEO) - The CEO made the Harvard Business Review's list of top CEOs in 2018 - Huang was the second best. According to an (alleged, I have no way to verify) employee on Glassdoor, Huang is one of the hardest workers in the company, stating: "As long as Huang is healthy, Nvidia will fly high." However, the account follows that by knocking the work ethic of other management leaders within the company.
Jensen Huang is not exactly a household name. Is he famous? Yes. But, he does not attract the mass media attention like a Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos. Rather, he keeps his head down and works to lead the company.
According to employees (again, allegedly), Huang gives all employees an equal chance to succeed. The paper qualifications that one may have hold little value to Huang; he is more interested in one's ideas.
What are the Negatives?
Nvidia creates GPUs, so if CPU computation power continuously increases like Moore’s Law predicts, users might not need a dedicated Graphics Card. Intel, producing integrated graphics within their dies/chips, could overtake the need for a dedicated unit.
Mitigation: A GPU can only enhance a computation experience. There will always be a market that desires the fastest compilation technology.
Quantitative Fundamental Analysis:
The Balance Sheet:
Nvidia has been consistently lowering it's debt-to-asset ratio over the last few years. The company has the lowest D/A ratio, at 14.96%, when compared to AMD (27.44%) and Intel (20.60%).
Company assets, at $127.963 Million, exceed their liabilities, at $52,981 Million. AMD, the only other dedicated GPU producer at the moment, has a much more narrow difference between their assets and liabilities.
The Income Statement:
Nvidia's net income was $4,141 Million in 2018. AMD's was $337 Million. Now, Nvidia is pulling that kind of revenue from their GPU market, primarily. AMD uses its increasing trend in CPU market share over Intel to create its lower net income.
Earnings-per-Share (EPS) - Nvidia's EPS is much higher than it's main competitor, AMD. Nvidia boasts a $4.77 EPS, while AMD, produces a $0.36 EPS. Intel, is also slightly lower at $4.36; but, Intel shares are a third of the price of an Nvidia share, so this number is actually larger.
Price-to-Earnings (P/E) Ratio - Nvidia holds a 36.35 P/E ratio; AMD holds a 131.44; and Intel holds a 11.95. Intel has been around since 1968, so this could account for their much lower P/E ratio, since they are a more developed company. AMD's P/E ratio, at ~4x that of Nvidia's, could be attributed to its up-and-coming CPU products. AMD Ryzen processors are really starting to rival Intel's 'i' series in terms of market share.
The Cash Flow:
Nvidia does have negative annual cash flow. This is due to their large sums investments, which could increase in value, so this could be a benefit to the company. Or, their investments could fail, and this would damage the company. If looking at Revenue and Financing cash flow though, Nvidia is in the positive.
Price-to-Book (P/B) Value:
Nvidia's P/B value is at ~11, while AMD's is ~21. Intel has a much lower value though, at ~3. Again though, Nvidia produces a different type of product and sells to a different market than Intel does.
If you have made it this far to the bottom, thank you for the read! I hope you found this helpful. Please leave your thoughts, opinions, and recommendations on the analysis and the stock itself. Also, I am nowhere close to a financial adviser, so do not take this analysis as investment advice. I am merely trying to present and consolidate the information I have found.
Understanding Tether: Why it accounts for a substantial part of the crypto market cap and why its the #1 outstanding issue in crypto markets today
In this post I will go in-depth on:
How Tether got to be what it is today
Why Tether's market cap is a lot more than 0.5% of the total market cap for crypto you see on CoinMarketCap
Tether printing timing
What could happen to the market if Tether is found to not be backed by reserves
Tether is incredibly important to the cryptocurrency market ecosystem and I've noticed far too few people understand what is going on. Very little actual discussion of the 2nd biggest crypto by volume happens here and whenever someone starts a discussion they most often got slapped for "FUD". Tether themselves recently hired the major New York based PR firm 5W to spread positive information online and take down critics, I'm sure some of their operatives are probably on Reddit. But its absolutely critical you understand the risks behind Tether and especially now with the explosion in reserve liability, breakdown in relationship with banks and their auditor and recently announced subpoena.
What exactly is Tether and what happened so far?
Tether is a cryptocurrency asset issued by Tether Limited (incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and a sister company of Bitfinex), on top of the Bitcoin blockchain through the Omni Protocol Layer. It is meant to give people a "stablecoin", for example a merchant who accepts bitcoin but fears its volatility could shift bitcoin into tether, which can be easier to do than exchanging bitcoin for dollars. Recently they've also added an Ethereum-based ERC20 token. Tether Ltd claims that each one of the tokens issued is backed by actual US dollar (and more recently Euro) reserves. The idea is that when a business partner deposits US dollars in Tether’s bank account, Tether creates a matching amount of tokens and transfers them to that partner, it is NOT a fractional reserve system. Tether makes the two following key promises in its whitepaper on which the entire premise is build:
Each tether issued will be backed by the equivalent amount of currency unit (one USDTether equals one dollar). Professional auditors will regularly verify, sign, and publish our underlying bank balance and financial transfer statement.
Tether is centralized and dependent on your trust of Bitfinex/Tether Limited, and that the people behind it are honest people. For the new entrants to this market it will be greatly beneficial understand the timeline of Tether and their connection to Bitfinex. A brief timeline:
Bitfinex operators Phil Potter and CFO Giancarlo Devasini set up Tether Limited in the British Virgin Islands, but told the public that Bitfinex and Tether are completely separate. Throughout 2015 and 2016, the amount of Tether stays relatively flat.
In August 2nd, 2016, the second-largest digital currency exchange heist in history happened, when Bitfinex lost nearly 120,000 bitcoin. Bitfinex never revealed full details of the hack, but BitGo (the security company that had to sign off on the transactions) claims its servers were not breached.
Just 4 days after the hack Bitfinex “socializes” its losses from the theft by announcing a 36 percent haircut for almost all of its customers. In return, customers receive BFX tokens, initially valued at $1 each.
Two weeks after the hack Bitfinex announces it has hired Ledger Labs, to investigate the theft and perform a financial audit of its cryptocurrency and fiat assets. The public nevers sees the results of the investigation, and months later, Bitfinex admits it never actually hired Ledger Labs to perform an audit to begin with.
In May 2017, after long standing calls for an actual audit, Bitfinex hires Friedman LLP to "complete a comprehensive balance sheet audit."
November 7, 2017: Leaked documents dubbed “Paradise Papers” reveal Bitfinex and Tether are run by the same individuals.
November 19, 2017: Tether is hacked, with 31 million USDT suddenly disappearing. Tether Limited reacts to this by creating a hard fork.
December 4, 2017: Right after hiring the PR firm 5W to help improve their image, Bitfinex hires law firm Steptoe & Johnson and threatens legal action against critics.
December 6, 2017 - CFTC issues a subpoena to Tether and Bitfinex. This news isn't made public until the end of January.
December 21, 2017 : Without making any formal announcement, Bitfinex appears to suddenly close all new account registrations. Those trying to register for a new account are asked for a mysterious referral code, but no referral code seems to exist.
After a month of being closed to new registrations, Bitfinex announces it is reopening its doors, but now requires new customers to deposit $10,000 before they can begin trading.
Friedman LLP completely cut ties with Tether on January 27, 2017.
Most common misconception: Tether is only a small part of the total market cap
One of the most common misconception people have about cryptocurrencies is that the "market cap" amount they see on CoinMarketCap.com is actually the amount of money that is invested in each coin. I often hear people online dismiss any issue with tether by simply claiming its not big enough to cause any effect, saying "Well Tether is only $2.2 billion on CoinMarketCap and the market is 400 billion, its only 0.5% of the market". But this misunderstands what market capitalization for cryptocurrency is, and just how different the market cap for Tether is to every other token. The market cap is simply the last trade price times the circulating supply. It doesn't take into account the order book depth at all. The majority of Bitcoin (and most coins) are held by those who either mined or purchased for a very low price early on and simply held on as very small portions of the total supply was rapidly bid up to their current price. An increase in market cap of X does NOT represent an inflow of X dollars invested, not even close. A 400 billion dollar market cap for crypto does NOT mean that there is 400 billion dollars underwriting the assets. Meanwhile a 2 billion dollar Tether market cap means there should be exactly $2 billion backing up the asset. Nobody can tell for sure exactly how much money has been invested in cryptocurrency market, but analysts from JPMorgan found that there was only net inflow of $6 billion fiat that resulted in $300 billion market cap at the time. This gives us a roughly 50:1 ratio of market cap to fiat inflow. Prominent crypto evangelist Julian Hosp gives the following estimate: "For a cryptocurrency to have a market cap of $1 billion, maybe only $50 million actually moved into the cryptocurrency." For Tether however the market cap is simply the outstanding supply, 2.2 billion USDT is actually equal to 2.2 billion USD. In order to get $50 USDT you have to deposit $50 real U.S. dollars and then 50 completely new tokens will be issued, which never existed before on the market. What is also often ignored is that Bitfinex allows margin trading, at a 3.3x leverage. Bitfinexed did an excellent analysis on how tether is entering Bitfinex to fund margin positions There are $2.2 billion in Tether outstanding and the current market cap of the entire market is $400 billion according to CoinMarketCap. You can actually calculate Tether as a % of total fiat invested in the market according to the JP Morgan estimate, the following table outlines for a scenario of no margin lending and 15/25% of tether being on a 3.3x leverage margin account:
Fiat Inflow/Market Cap Ratio
Tether as % of total market (no margin)
Tether as % of total market (15% on margin)
Tether as % of total market (25% on margin)
JP Morgan estimate (50:1)
Even without any margin lending Tether is underwriting the worth of about 27.5% of the cryptocurrency market, and if we assume only 25% was leveraged out at 3.3x on margin we have a whole 43% of the market cap being driven by Tether inflow. A much better indicator on CoinMarketCap of just how influential Tether is actually the volume, its currently the 2nd biggest cryptocurrency by volume and there are even days where its volume exceeds its market cap. What this all means is that not only is the market cap for cryptocurrencies drastically overestimating the amount of actual fiat capital that is underwriting those assets, but a substantial portion of the entire market cap is being derived from the value of Tether's market cap rather than real money. Its incredibly important that more new investors realize that Tether isn't a side issue or a minor cog in the machine, but one of the core underlying mechanisms on which the entire market worth is built. Ensuring that whoever controls this stablecoin is honest and transparent is absolutely critical to the health of the market.
Two main concerns with Tether
The primary concerns with Tether can be split into two categories:
Tether issuance timing - Does Tether Ltd issue USDT organically or is it timed to stop downward selling pressure?
Reserves - Does Tether Ltd actually have the fiat reserves at a 1:1 ratio, and why is there still no audit or third party guarantee of this?
Does Tether print USDT to prop up Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?
In the last 3 months the amount of USDT has nearly quadrupled, with nearly a billion being printed in January alone. Some people have found the timing of the most recent batch of Tether as highly suspect because it seemed to coincide with Bitcoin's price being propped up. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/31/technology/bitfinex-bitcoin-price.html This was recently analyzed statistically:
Author’s opinion - it is highly unlikely that Tether is growing through any organic business process, rather that they are printing in response to market conditions. Tether printing moves the market appreciably; 48.8% of BTC’s price rise in the period studied occurred in the two-hour periods following the arrival of 91 different Tether grants to the Bitfinex wallet. Bitfinex withdrawal/deposit statistics are unusual and would give rise to further scrutiny in a typical accounting environment.
https://www.tetherreport.com I'm still undecided on this and I would love to see more statistical analysis done, because the price of Bitcoin is so volatile while Tether printing only happens in large batches. Simply looking at the Bitcoin price graph over the last 3 months and then the Tether printing its pretty clear there is a relationship but it doesn't seem to hold over longer periods. Ultimately to me this timing isn't that much of an issue, as long Tether is backed by US dollars. If Bitfinex was timing the prints then it accounts to not much more than an organized pumping scheme, which isn't a fundamental problem. The much more serious concern is whether those buy order are being conducted on the faith of fictitious dollars that don't exist, regardless of when those buy orders occur.
This engagement does not contemplate tests of accounting records or the performance of other procedures performed in an audit or attest engagement. Our procedures performed are not for the purpose of providing assurance...In addition, our services do not include determination of compliance with laws and regulations in any jurisdiction.
They state right from the beginning that this is a consultancy job (not an audit), and that its not meant to be assurance to third parties. Doing a consultancy job is just doing a task asked by your customer. In a consultancy job you take information as true from the client, and you have no mandate to verify whether your customer's claims are true or not. The way they checked is simply asking Tether to provide them the information:
All inquiries made through the consulting process have been directed towards, and the data obtained from, the Client and personnel responsible for maintaining such information.
Tether provided a screenshots of twp bank balances. One of these is in the name of Tether Limited, and while the other is a personal account of an individual who Tether Limited claims has a trust agreement with them:
As of September 15, 2017, the bank held $60,919,810 in an account in the name of an in individual for the benefit of Tether Limited. FLPP obtained an engagement letter for an interim settlement plan between that individual and Tether Limited and that according to Tether Limited, is the relevant agreement with the trustee. FLLP did not evaluate the substance of the letter and makes no representation about its legality.
Even worse is that later on in Note 1, they clearly claim that there is no actual evidence that this engagement letter or trust has any legal merit:
Note 1: FLLP makes no representations about sufficiency or enforceability of any trust agreement between the trustee and the Client
Essentially what this is saying is that the trust agreement may not even be worth the paper it’s printed on. And most importantly… Note 2:
“FLLP did not evaluate the terms of the above bank accounts and makes no representations about the clients ability to access funds from the accounts or whether the funds are committed for purposes other than Tether token redemptions”
Basically Tether gave them a name of an individual with $60 million in their account according to a screenshot, Tether then gave them a letter saying that there is a trust agreement between this individual and Tether Limited. They also have account with $382 million but no guarantee that this account holds to any lien or other commitments, or that it can be accessed. Currently Tether has 2.2 billion USDT outstanding and we have absolutely no idea whether this is actually backed by anything, and the long promised audit is still outstanding.
What happens if its revealed that Tether doesn't have its US dollar reserves?
According to Thomas Glucksmann, head of business development at Gatecoin: "If a tether debacle unfolds, it will likely cause quite a devastating ripple effect across many of the exchanges that see most of their volumes traded against the supposedly USD-backed cryptocurrency." According to Nicholas Weaver, a senior researcher at the International Computer Science Institute at Berkeley: "You could see a spike in prices in tether-only bitcoin exchanges. So, on those exchanges only you will see a run up in price compared to the bitcoin exchanges that actually work with actually money. So you would see a huge price diverge as people see that only way they can turn tether into real money is to buy other cryptocurrency then move to another exchange. That is a bank run." I definitely see the crypto equivalent of a bank run, as people actually try to secure their gains an realize that this money doesn't actually exist within the system:
If traders lose confidence in it and its value starts to drop, “people will run for the door,” says Carlson, the former Wall Street trader. If Tether can’t meet all its customers’ demand for dollars (and its Terms of Service suggest that in many cases it won’t even try), tether holders will try to snap up other cryptocurrencies instead, temporarily causing prices for those currencies to soar. With tether’s role as an inter-exchange facilitator compromised, investors might lose faith in cryptocurrencies more generally. “At the end of the day, people would be losing substantial sums, and in the long term this would be very bad for cryptocurrencies,” says Emin Gun Sirer, a Cornell professor and co-director of its Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Smart Contracts. Another concern is that Bitfinex might simply shut down, pocketing the bitcoins it has allegedly been stockpiling. Because people who trade on Bitfinex allow the exchange to hold their money while they speculate, these traders could face substantial losses. “The exchanges are like unregulated banks and could run off with everyone’s money,” says Tony Arcieri, a former Square employee turned entrepreneur trying to build a legally regulated exchange.
Tether-enabled exchanges will see a massive spike in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices as everyone leaves Tether. Noobs in these exchanges will think they are now millionaires until they realize they are rich in tethers but poor in dollars.
Exchanges that have not integrated Tether will experienced large drops in Bitcoin and alts as experienced investors flee crypto into USD.
There will be a flight of Bitcoin from Tether-integrated exchanges to non-Tether exchanges with fiat off-ramps. Exchanges running small fractional reserves will be exposed, further increasing calls for greater reserves requirements.
The exchanges might slam the doors shut on withdrawals.
Many exchanges that own large balances of Tether, especially Bitfinex, will likely become insolvent.
There will be lawsuits flying everywhere and with Tether Limited being incorporated on a Carribean Island whose solvency and bankruptcy laws will likely ensure they don't ever get much back. This could take years and potentially push away new investors from entering the space.
We can't be 100% completely sure that Tether is a scam, but its so laiden with red flags that at this point I would call it the biggest systematic risk in the crypto space. Its bigger than any nation's potential regulatory steps because it cuts right into the issue of trust across the entire ecosystem. Ultimately Tether is centralizing one of the very core mechanics of the cryptocurrency markets and asking you to trust one party to be the safekeeper, and I really see very little reason to trust Bitfinex given their history of lying and screwing over their own customers. I think that Tether initially started as a legit business to facilitate the ease of moving money and avoiding regulations, but somewhere along the lines greed and/or incompetence took over (something that seems common with Bitfinex's previous actions). Right now we're playing proverbial hot potato, and as long as people believe that Tether is worth a dollar everything is fine, but as some point the Emperor will have to step out from hiding and somebody will point out they have no clothes. In the long term I really hope once Tether collapses we can move on and get the following two implemented which would greatly improve the market for all investors:
Actual USD fiat pairings on the major exchanges for the major currencies
Regulatory rules on exchange reserve requirements
I had watched the Bitconnect people insist for the last 2 years that everything about Bitconnect made perfect sense because they were getting paid daily. The scam works until one day it suddenly doesn't. Tether could still come clean and avoid all of this "FUD" by simply getting a simple review of their banking, they don't even need a full audit. If everything was legit with Tether, it would be incredibly easy to have a segregated bank account with the funds used solely to back up Tether, then have an third party accounting firm simply review the account and a bank reconciliation statement then spend a few hours in contact with the bank to ensure no outstanding liabilities are held on that balance. This is extremely basic stuff, it would take a few hours to set up and wouldn't take a lot of man-hours for a qualified account to do, and yet they don’t do it. Why? Why hire a major PR firm and spend god knows how much money to pay professional PR representatives to attack "FUD" online instead? I think I know why.
Vechain in the last 30 Days: Apotheosis, Blockchain X, BMW, University partnership, DApp ecosystem, BitOcean ICO, Carbon banking, Live use cases, Early adopter rewards and more
This post is for those who are new to Cryptocurrency or want to find out more about VeChain. The text "VeChain" has been banned in this subreddit for the last 30 days. For more details about the ban itself, please visit this cryptocurrencymeta post.Changes have been made and official channels of communications have been opened up to prevent this from happening in the future. All feedback is welcome, and all discussion is encouraged, but please no moon-posting, ridiculous price speculation or baseless FUD. Looking forward to answering any questions you guys have :) VeChain Foundation COO Kevin Feng is holding a Business AMA with Boxmining today, so new information is coming very soon.
VeChain is more than a supply chain solution
VeChainThor is a global enterprise level public blockchain platform
Focus on enterprise & government level adoption
Focus on safety and security
New DApps: VeVid, VeVOT and VeSCC - Foundation layer for new ecosystem
New ICO: BitOcean - Fiat/VET on-ramp
New partners: BMW, Yida Group, Australian 188 Business Alliance Association
New VeResearch partner: Awaiting formal announcement from University
New initiative: Carbon Bank alongside DNV GL, Tsinghua University, and government agencies
It has loads of useful information and a well produced introduction video. I would highly recommend reading through the website to get an idea of the scope of what VeChainThor is trying to accomplish.
"We are controlled by the few, the powerful and the greedy. We should be free. Free to choose, to trade, to create. It is time for a new world, a world founded on safety and security. A world where everything you do creates power, power for all. And you, you will decide the shape of this world. The power to change the future, is in your hands. VeChain." VeChain Introduction Video
What is Blockchain X?
Blockchain X is a global enterprise level public blockchain platform. VeChainThor is referring to their network/protocol as Blockchain X, to differentiate it from Bitcoin (Blockchain 1.0) and Ethereum (Blockchain 2.0 = Blockchain 1.0 + Smart Contracts).
Blockchain X = Blockchain 2.0 + IoT + AI + VET/VeThor = A living digital ecosystem
IoT = senses - touch, vision, taste, smell, sound (collect real world information from RFID/NFC/QR etc.)
VET/VeThor = bone marrow/blood - generate blood & circulate (value transfer on the network)
AI = brain - information synthesis (automation of network with deep learning)
VeChainThor: the top candidate for enterprise and government level adoption of Blockchain
VeChainThor has an extremely strong development plan geared towards enterprise and government level adoption. If successful in their execution, I see VeChain being the leading cryptoasset comparable to Ethereum in size. The reasons I believe they will succeed are due to their ecosystem development, innovative governance model, robust economic model and strong strategic partnerships. The evidence of their success is snowballing with each new enterprise level partner and client.
DApps & Ecosystem development
The infrastructure layer has adoption in mind at the very core. Governments and enterprises will prioritise safety and security before venturing into blockchain adoption. (Mentioned in the introduction video.) The core DApps, VeVID (Verified identity, KYC/AML), VeVOT (Voting, Governance tool) and VeSCC (Smart Contract Certification, Regulatory compliance) provide the safety and security that governments and enterprises will demand. Blockchain X will have built-in KYC/AML, Governance and Regulation compliance. This sets it apart from other protocols and ICO platforms.
The governance model is a balanced mix of decentralisation and centralisation. With problems such as Bitcoin's scaling debate, it appears that a purely decentralised governance structure may be inefficient. VeChain will use a new model of a decentralised system through centralised channels. The final decisions will be made in a decentralised democratic process through VeVOT by stakeholders with voting authority. I believe this model will be more widely adopted as it retains some of the efficient centralised channels that enterprise & government are familiar with, while still giving overall control to the network participants via a democratic voting system.
The two-token economic model splits the value in the network into VET and VeThor. VET's primary function is to generate VeThor. VeThor represents the underlying costs of using the VeChainThor blockchain. All smart contract execution and transactions will require payment with VeThor. Through the dynamic rate of VeThor generation, the fiat value of VeThor can be kept relatively stable. For example, if the VeThor price was too high due to an increase in enterprise demand, the VeThor generation rate can be increased, which increases supply, and brings the price back down. The opposite is also true if the VeThor price is too low. The way I see VET is a store of value, a representation of ownership of part of the network and the right to use the network. Whereas VeThor is the perfect medium of exchange and a pure utility token. By using a two-token system, VeThor can have a stable fiat value over a long period of time. A company will be able to calculate how much VeThor will be needed for a consistent fiat value year after year and will be able to budget for this. This is extremely useful for enterprise and government level adoption since it removes the inherent price volatility from a nascent market like crypto. VeChain also has a Node system, whereby holding VET generates additional rewards. Nodes of different levels will generate up to 200% additional VeThor compared to the base rate. This encourages long term staking in the network and decreases volatility. See the Apotheosis Part II article and X Series Node article for more information. A portion of VET supply will be locked up when nodes activate. Long term VET holders will not sell and downgrade their status. This decreased supply will lead to price increases. Early adopters (Deadline to stake: Before 20th March 2018) will be rewarded in the new X Series Node system. Features include exclusive participation in VeChain ecosystem project whitelists. (Something I'm excited about since I believe there will be a handful of reverse ICOs from traditional enterprise clients)
The three strategic partners each play a key role in VeChainThor's expansion. PWC has clients which make up 85% of the Fortune 500. DNV-GL is the preferred provider of those Fortune 500 companies for management systems certification services. PWC and DNV-GL will serve to introduce their enterprise clients to VeChain and increase adoption. BitOcean is positioning itself as a Fiat on-ramp for Crypto in Japan through physical ATMs and online exchanges, with approval by Japan's Financial Services Authority. BitOcean also plans to operate in China when regulations are finalised. BitOcean represents a Fiat/VET pairing that may serve to decouple VET/BTC and lead to independence of VET from the whims of BTC price.
Evidence of adoption to date: Existing clients & Investors
VeChain currently has 180 business opportunities in their pipeline for 2018 (compared to 4 use cases in 2016 and 22 in 2017). They have real uses cases and existing clients that range from medium to large enterprises. Revealed clients include Chinese Government Gui'an New Area project, BMW, Groupe Renault, DIG, Kuehne + Nagel, China Unicom, NRCC - State Tobacco, MLILY, Sunshine culture, Hubei Sanxin Cultural Media, Fanghuwang, YIDA future, Madeforgoods and iTaotaoke. Each of these partnerships deserve a detailed post on their own, they are all available on VeChain's Medium page. Taken together, it becomes clear what type of Ecosystem VeChainThor is trying to build. Jiangsu Printed Electronics and Xiamen Innov Information Technology are technology partners and I suspect will be mass producing the RFID/NFC chips. Breyer Capital and Fenbushi capital are the two featured investors on VeChain's website. Jim Breyer generally makes some pretty smart investment decisions. His only other crypto investments are Circle and Ethereum. Bonus news: This week they are presenting with DNV-GL a cold chain supply chain solution at the Global Food Safety Initiative conference 2018. Zoom in and you'll see VeChain Intelligent Control Display System. DNV-GL have also launched their new digital assurance solution, My Story™. Four top Italian wine producers are using My Story™ under supervision of the Italian wine authorities. Twitter and DNVGL link.
China is widely known to be anti-cryptocurrency but extremely pro-blockchain. China's "13th Five year plan 2016-2020" focuses on moving up in the value chain by abandoning old heavy industry and building up bases of modern information-intensive infrastructure, with blockchain and Smart Cities being a key technological focus. VeChain has achieved approval from the Government of the People's Republic of China with Gui'an New Area project, multiple mentions on state owned media (CCTV) and deals with state owned enterprises (China Tobacco). China will not fall behind in the international Blockchain race, they will finalise regulations and adopt Blockchain rapidly in the coming years. VeChain appears to be one of the leaders in the field, with their largest office in Shanghai and existing government connections.
Leader in the field
Last but not least, VeChain is leading the field in a number of areas.
Environmental responsibility: Carbon bank initiative with DNV-GL
In the interests of balanced discussion, I will update this section with skepticism I find in the comments below.
VeChain are working on a Whitepaper as part of their Q1 2018 goals. Information normally found in a Whitepaper has been made available through the development plan. I'm actually not too fussed about not having a whitepaper. For me evidence of enterprise adoption is a more useful indicator of how successful VeChainThor could be.
"No official wallet" "No Mainnet"
VeChainThor has been operating as a private blockchain since June 2016. Public VeChainThor Blockchain Launch, VeChain Wallet with VeThor Forge Function will be released in Q2 2018 according to the roadmap.
"VeChain are dumping their VET on the open market"
False FUD. Addressed by VeChain Foundation directly in the Official Telegram channel.
"Vote manipulation" "Shilling" "Brigading" "You're a paid shiller"
In the past VeChain Telegram Moderators wilfully participated in brigading, leading to the ban on the word "VeChain" for 30 days in cryptocurrency
It is difficult to differentiate manipulated behaviour and organic behaviour on Reddit, the moderators here do an amazing job getting rid of spam and detecting vote manipulation
The Official VeChain Foundation has stepped in to help Reddit moderators prevent VeChain vote manipulation
Official Telegram Rules: Brigading & Reddit links: We have a new policy regarding Reddit and 'brigading'. No brigading of any kind will be allowed. If you want to post a Reddit link, do so with the "np." prefix added to its URL, for example "np.reddit.com /CryptoCurrency". No spamming for upvotes, as it hurts both of our communities.
This is strictly enforced by Telegram moderators and results in a warning then an insta-ban for repeat offenders
Focus everyone: When Oyster boomed in December I wanted to go on a huge hiring spree. I was always very product focused but people only wanted to hear about marketing. Chris Bamber approached me along with Bill. Bill turned out to be an honest and hardworking guy (as CFO), but Chris did next to nothing. I paid each member of c-suite 1 million PRL each which was evaluated at half a million dollars each. Chris bailed on us for the exponential hiring. Why was I so pushy about hiring? Because I knew Bitcoin and all of crypto was in a bubble. I sold a lot of my own PRL and PRL for the treasury but Bill preached hesitation instead. Then ETH went from $1200 to $200. It became difficult to keep hiring people, my plan for a large robust team of developers was blocked. I spent downtime to start healing from trauma I was going through. Then Bill told the group that we got accepted on Binance. That’s when the problems started. The price immediately started pumping from 4c to 26c. I warned Bill against insider trading, he didn’t care. So instead of him and his VC friends dumping on you, I dumped on him. I advise all of you to get out of crypto. Go educate yourselves about what is happening with Tether. The entire crypto sphere is a giant Ponzi scheme. I warned all of you, multiple times, in private and public, and nobody listens. Ethereum is going back to $5, if you want to sell back to a greater fool then you will only find yourself to be that fool. https://twitter.com/Bitfinexed/ https://reddit.com/buttcoin What will now happen:
Bill, you’re fired.
I am going to program the protocol on my own, gradually. If someone wants to help me they can do so free of charge. No marketing, no nonsense.
PRL will still be the valid token used by the protocol (no contract swap).
I reject the Binance listing and I don’t want Kucoin to re-activate our listings.
Focus on the storage peg, that is what brings value to the token, not your Ponzi-Shenanigans.
If you want to buy only to sell to a greater fool, then you are that greater fool. PRL and SHL are not to be listed on an exchange until they are actual functioning products. I will also consider revealing my identity over the next few days. I will be posting updates on development after I straighten out this situation. I am now going to dump as many chat logs as I can to show what happened with Oyster. UPDATE: If you want to play greater-fool games with Bill and co, and there is an overwhelming vote in support for Oyster becoming a permaponzi, then I will leave you all to have fun with it. If you want PRL to operate as I've described in the whitepaper, everyone is fired and I will slowly but surely work on the protocol and post progress publicly. The last time I hired a bunch of people and threw money at them they turned it into a circus. However, I don't believe there will be electricity running through the power grid soon. I sent this video and others like it a long time ago to this chat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOMWzjrRiBg Go learn about peak oil and the fractional reserve banking system. The stock shale bubble is an obfuscated means to subsidize the price of oil. In Brazil, Indonesia, and other developing nations, the price of oil is subsidized with debt directly by the government. When the debt bubble pops, the price of oil will skyrocket, trucks won't be bringing produce into your city let alone computers won't be spending energy to secure the blockchain. I believe in Oyster as a product, but I don't believe there will be a future to host it. I will program it since the program is a promise from me, but don't complain that Oyster isn't running when a banana costs $5,000. Anyone here who has swiped a credit card or taken an interest-bearing loan has the blood of the incoming collapse on their hands. Billions of people will die, there are massive droughts and food shortages as we speak. I've made a lot of dollars by selling PRL, I immediatelly ditched the dollars to buy real things so that I can protect myself and my family from the collapse. That's all I ever wanted, and now that I have that secured, I will deliver the protocol which I promised myself. Give me some time to get my head straight after these dramatic few days, I will gradually post progress on github. You can also buy popcorn futures on /buttcoin.
Chris Lemuel former VP at Goldman Sach joins the TAP TEAM: AMA
Who is Chris? Christopher Lemuel is our new CFO that joined the TAP Team after 5.5 years in the Financial Services industry. He worked as a VP with Goldman Sachs for the last 2 and a half years. Prior to his career in Finance, Chris spent nearly 9 years in the active-duty Army after his Commissioning from West Point. Chris brings his unique perspective and experience from Goldman Sachs to help make TAP a force in the reward redemptions and advertising industry. With Chris in his new position, TAP will be uniquely positioned to deliver both consumers and advertisers cutting edge features and initiatives that competitors, without the benefit of Chris’s experience, cannot deliver. Chris envisions a platform that is best in class when it comes to cutting inefficiencies - meaning customers should see advertisements they want and care about, and advertisers should be getting their ads delivered to the appropriate targets. When this happens, both parties win! The set of questions were picked from our Telegram community. We could not take every question, but we want to thank everyone for participating and congratulations to the members whose questions were picked. Chris has answered them below. QUESTIONS: What got you interested in cryptocurrency? Are cryptocurrency projects something that can fundamentally change the world? I had a number of colleagues and friends who were actively trading - mostly BTC/ETH and conversations with them and why they were trading sparked my initial interest. One friend, in particular, had a background in distributed computing and we chatted at length about the potential benefits and drawbacks of crypto/DLT/etc. The latter half of the question is difficult to answer. Given the number of enterprise projects around "Blockchain", you can argue that there is potential to alter the way many fundamental processes are managed on a day to day basis- whether that is supply chain management across the logistics spectrum or trade settlement in Finance, I think it is safe to say that there are serious efforts underway to fundamentally re-engineer some of the more complex process management protocols regularly used across almost every industry today. Whether or not that constitutes fundamentally changing the world I'll leave up to the reader. What is the view of some of your colleagues at Goldman regarding cryptocurrency? Did they see the potential right away or did they take a wait and see approach? I can't speak for my former GS colleagues but I think based on recent hires and public statements made by the Firm's leadership, they definitely see potential around the technology and I would argue they were fairly early as well. From a practical perspective, the implementation of any new technology is a non-trivial event for any large enterprise. People underestimate the scale and scope of what Banks manage on a day to day basis and the precision with which they manage these complex operations. Simply ripping something out that works well, and manages millions of transactions representing billions in risk on a daily basis -- without absolute certainty that the new system works -- is simply not an option. Additionally, many of the processes Banks manage involve customers and partner organizations for validation and settlement, so Banks and similar enterprises will only be able to evolve as quickly as their customepartner base is able to evolve and adopt new tech. Why Hooch, there are 1000s of projects out there, why is this the one that caused you to think, "I need to be involved?" After sitting with the Team at Hooch /TAP Network and looking a bit deeper into what they were doing I found that the product and what it was evolving toward was something I both understood and could see enterprise partners adopting. What was particularly appealing was that for many/most of Hooch / TAP's customers, our product will be the first time they have implemented a digital Rewards/Loyalty program - we are not fighting to displace existing tech, which is a much easier value proposition for clients. Can traditional financial networks and cryptocurrency coexist, or will there always be friction between cryptocurrency and more well known financial products? I think the bigger question is can non-central bank-issued currencies co-exist with central bank currencies. Based on what we are currently seeing- I would say the answer is yes. Whether that is the case for the long run remains to be seen. From a practical perspective, I do not see regulated entities- Banks, Insurers, Pension Funds, etc dealing with cryptocurrencies - their barriers to doing so are too high and the risks associated with getting engagement with Cryptos wrong are much higher than the rewards are for getting it right. What is the end game of Hooch/TapCoin, is it just going to be a reward coin/advertising and if so, what sets it apart from other companies that aren't using blockchain? The end game is interoperability of "rewards/loyalty" points within the merchant ecosystem. I think you are starting to see more and more traditional loyalty program operators opening up their ecosystems to this idea. Nominally, most people who have major airline, hotel, or credit card are seeing a form of this as the threshold for redemption continues to go down and the array of brand partners available to redeem with continues to climb. Ultimately, we can see our product/ecosystem potentially working with a stablecoin that has gained widespread adoption from merchants/consumers and providing cash-like transaction value to the consumer across nearly all participating merchants. We use DLT technology to mask our users’ personally identifying information while allowing them to share their transaction data with merchants/brands that they are interested in receiving offers from. The "Opt-In" component of this is non-trivial from a consumer experience perspective-it assigns control of the data to the consumer. The end goal is for our partners to get their message out and for the customers to actually see ads and content that is relevant and engaging to them. Any updates or opinions on the Brave Partnership, and how do you feel about the partnership, was it a factor in you joining up? I am a big fan of what the team at Brave are building and am a user of both their desktop and mobile browser. I don't think you have to be a crypto evangelist or privacy maximalist to appreciate the product they have built- to me, they've built a better browsing experience for the user. We have some exciting developments underway with the Brave Team and I look forward to sharing them as soon as we are able to. What skills that you have acquired over your career do you think is most valuable for your foray into cryptocurrency? It isn't a skillset but I've had the good fortune of being able to see the impact that technology has had on large organizations/enterprises from both my time in the military and in finance and at a level where I've had to deal with the implementational complexities of integrating these technologies into everyday operations. From these vantage points I've learned that if you want to implement change you have to learn every detail of any system you are looking to remove/update/overhaul to include any linked/contingent processes that touch that system. Any gaps in your knowledge will quickly be filled by angry phone calls from people who were relying on what you just turned off- you'll be lucky if you only end up with angry phone calls too. The other bit I've learned is that any change worth implementing is going to be a difficult and long process. When did you first become interested in crypto, and what is the impression now of crypto among your peers and friends in the financial industry? I probably started paying serious attention in late 2014. I had a few colleagues that were exploring the space- I considered them pretty forward-thinking so I followed suit. From there, my interest and engagement in the space grew and evolved and as my understanding grew, my thoughts on the space evolved into what I consider a fairly mainstream opinion- DLT/Blockchain/etc has potential and if you can provide a reasonable value proposition for the user, you have the potential to actually do something interesting. I think opinions among people in financial services vary broadly, but if I were to generalize, I first would delineate between cryptocurrencies and the related technologies versus rolling them up into one catch-all. You'll find more skepticism around currencies and more optimism around DLT/Blockchain. There are still a lot of scams and problems in crypto. Do you think we will need to move in the direction blockchain along with big corporations administering any coins (e.g. facebook libra) or is the dream of decentralization still possible? My belief is that you are likely to see more centralization than decentralization in crypto terms but I think you will see more decentralization in finance via "consensus" or "distributed compute" processes in the future. It's probably an unsatisfactory explanation for the decentralization maximalists but I'd argue it's still decentralization. Any crazy or interesting stories about crypto or from where you used to work that you can tell us? Honestly, there wasn't anything really too wild or crazy from my time in finance. Maybe I just didn't get invited to the right parties. How did you meet Lin, and what do you think sets him apart from other CEOS of startups? I was introduced to Lin through a mutual friend. What separated him from the start was the mix of success he had as both an entrepreneur and as an executive inside of established Media companies- he understood the challenges facing him from the start and it made him a compelling partner to work with on this project. What does the future look like, mostly blockchain, or the products we use today remain the trend for the major economies? I believe you'll see more blockchain-like technologies adopted in the future for a variety of different purposes but they'll probably exist in the background powering processes that are unnoticed by the end-user. What do you think about citizens in turbulent economies (central and south America) using crypto like bitcoin and ether to get what they need instead of more traditional means such as cash and credit? Do you see that as a good thing generally in a bad situation? It is an interesting development and clearly a good thing in a bad situation- people accessing goods and services that they need but were previously cut off from due to local currency challenges. I think it will be interesting to see if the short term necessity results in longer term and more widespread adoption of ETH/BTC/etc as a medium of exchange in these impacted economies.
The distributed ledger technology first gained prominence years ago as the backbone of bitcoin, the pioneering crypto-currency. But while the digital currency’s value has fluctuated, blockchain’s potential as a groundbreaking technology for business, capable of slicing through layers of inefficiency, is gaining momentum. Blockchain can drive significant efficiencies throughout the finance function, reducing time and cutting costs. The distributed ledger technology’s potential helps explain why so many executives see a compelling business case for implementation, according to a survey. But to better understand blockchain, CFOs should consider taking several concrete steps, including tapping an internal Brian Armstrong, the chief executive of the largest U.S. bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and long time altcoin proponent, has warned it might not be bitcoin that pushes the bitcoin, blockchain, Chris Ballinger, counterparty, cryptocurrency, distributed ledger technology, Feature, Finance, Issue 2017-03 CFO, Money, R3, Smart Contract Big Data; Big Opportunities CFOs and their companies are becoming inundated with data. Binance CFO Attacks Facebook Creator Mark Zuckerberg For Creating Closed Blockchain Ecosystem. Wei Zhou, the CEO of Binance, the largest exchange in the world, has recently called Mark Zuckerberg a megalomaniac who is creating blockchain and crypto projects in order to squeeze crypto-based companies out of their current dominance in order to take over the market.
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