Currently, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulates digital assets that are considered commodities. Bitcoin is considered as commodity under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and therefore is regulated by the CFTC.
Bitcoin Regulation by SEC
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulates digital assets that are considered securities. Bitcoin is not considered as security by the SEC, however it has issued several important regulations, no-action letters, and enforcement actions concerning digital assets in general.
Bitcoin Regulation by FinCEN
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) analyzes digital asset transactions to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes. FinCEN reviews suspicious Bitcoin transactions with the purpose of preventing financial crimes.
Bitcoin Regulation by IRS
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is responsible for the collection of taxes based on income received from the digital asset investments and transactions. IRS regulates Bitcoin within its competence.
SafeCoin has over 500 developers working with the Maidsafe company on their SAFE (Secure Access For Everyone) project. When launched SAFE will provide a way to keep all data encrypted or destroyed increasing anonymity and security of the coin. When fully prepared Maidsaife will have alt-coin wallets, a decentralized music store, messaging applications, unlimited file storage, and a secure alt-coin fiat currency exchange. With such a large skilled development team and security and innovation as their goal this may be the next big coin to watch out for.
The Canadian exchange Vault of Satoshi is working on some unseen but valuable idea to improve their exchange. They are working with a system known as Instant Interac from the Canadian banks which allows fund deposits into bank accounts for a small flat $1.50 (CAD) fee. This system will also work as a way to implement Bitcoins as a refill method for the Canadian bank's debit card that works with the Mastercard system.
Falcon Global Capital LLC has begun filing to register a lobbying party for Bitcoin regulation in the United States. Government approval is crucial for crypto-currencies success and application in this country. Global Capital aims to be to educate politicians on the new technology as it is often seen that those that do not like it do not fully understand it yet.
The Spanish Tax Authority is treating Bitcoin as a foreign dollar instead of a commodity as the US and several other nations have done. Spain has a law that limits spending in any foreign currency to 2,500 euros. Because of this law they have granted Bitcoin the status of currency to limit and increase their oversight of the payment method for fraud, money laundering and other illegal spending.
Every Politician in the U.S. Just Received This Letter About Bitcoin. This letter raises the increasingly relevant question: what will happen to the United States if they continue to over-regulate innovative technologies?
Bitcoin Cash is in serious need of trust and accountability building tools. Build.Cash can help.
**TLDR: As a developer, Build.Cash will help you by showing the world what you have been able to deliver and when thereby building trust and helping you secure funding. As an end user, Build.Cash will help you find the projects and people in the network that you are looking for as well as how often projects have been updated. It will also help you to discover new exciting projects you may have no been exposed to via other channels. As an investor, Build.Cash will help you see and judge how reliable the developers/projects you are considering partnering with are by seeing their reliability as Build.Cash will keep track of projects progress and follow through.** Our Flipstarter is live here if you want to contribute. Also if you don't want to go through Flipstarter, direct donations are possible to this address: qzckpuqaku2qlrk2euqj6jwgtv87h02a0c0sasf5js Though it was mentioned twice before in the previous 2 articles HERE and HERE, it is important enough an issue that it deserves its own focus. One major thing lacking in the crypto sphere in general at the moment is trust and accountability systems. A trust-less system such as Bitcoin Cash does not require you to check the honesty of the Blockchain itself. That is one of it’s most brilliant advantages. However for everything around the periphery, including projects and developers, do indeed require some level of trust. While open source projects should have the code audited before running, it takes on a whole different level when people in the network are either investing or donating to see projects completed and freelance developers funded. No matter the method of funding, there needs to be some kind of accountability to ensure that people that promise to do a certain thing meet the social contract they agree to when soliciting for funding. At the moment there are not many ways to check whether projects are doing what they say they will and even those methods are not especially clear or easy to find. BCHN is one of few projects that seems to have full disclosure and is setting an excellent example of what projects should aspire to. Build.Cash helps to both lessen the burden on individual projects and developers while simultaneously allowing the public at large to see if and when they deliver on the things they promise to. In the last few months a large number of Flipstarter campaigns have started. It is wonderful to see the technology has taken off and the community unite around people and projects that deserve to thrive. There no doubt has also been or will be shortly less than honest attempts to get money from the community. It is relatively easy to make a promise stating “we will do XYZ and BCH will benefit”. If it is a relatively known person in the network it is easy to look up their portfolio and see what they have done to advance BCH. However if they are not well known or perhaps prefer to do things less publicly and are not all over Reddit and twitter you may not even know about them and what they have done. But even so it would help immensely if there was a database of these statistics that people could easily check rather than jumping all around the internet. Build.Cash can help here in 2 ways: 1.) We will verify as best we can the projects and developers accounts and work. 2.) We will catalog and keep project development records updated at regular intervals. It is by no means a foolproof system. But it will at the very least help the building of trust in the network. If someone is anonymous how can you be sure they are legit? This is a difficult problem indeed. It takes a long time to build trust and a name for oneself. That identity can be burned in an instant if they do something that harms their built up reputation. Build.Cash does not seek to become Bitcoin Cash police or a regulator. Build.Cash can not ensure any project does what they say they will do. All we can do is keep track of what was done and when so people can decide for themselves if they want to trust and invest their time/money with them. As stated many times the main goal of Build.Cash is the sharing of information and resources and hopefully cutting down the time it takes people to find the information about people and projects. This time savings will ripple throughout the network increasing its usability. It will be more than just a directory. The constantly updated information source will also help build trust and help funding be directed to where it would have the best impact. Imagine a situation where you hear about a new project or protocol that would improve your business. On Build.Cash you will not only be able to see who is working on said project, but what they need in order to complete it as well as the number of successful targets and projects they have completed in the past. Seeing that developer X has come through and delivered 10 times in the past should help ease your mind about investing in them now. Seeing that developer X has no past projects to their name would understandably make you more caution and perhaps adjust your considered investment amount accordingly. Projects that do not require outside funding will still be cataloged and their updates recorded accordingly. We will provide the network with the information you need no matter your role. If you think this service would be of use to the Bitcoin Cash network please consider making a donation here: qzckpuqaku2qlrk2euqj6jwgtv87h02a0c0sasf5js Or consider helping our Found the service by pledging to our Flipstarter here: https://flipstarter.build.cash/ Thank you.
The greatest wealth transfer of this century! An analysis: British-US-Chinese Empires: Gold, Silver, Bitcoin, Ethereum!
"Inflation makes you pay 50 dollars for the 20 dollar haircut you used to get for 5 dollars when you had hair!" Let's embark on a journey that made the United States the number 1 economy of the world.
1. Despite the British Empire's claim that it would for ever remain the leading empire,history can serve as a harbinger for what's to come...
At the peak of its power, in 1913, "the empire on which the sun never sets", controlled 25% of the planet's land mass and about the same percentage of the world's population. Britain was both the naval an imperial power of the 19th century, and between 1812-1914, its dominance resulted in relative peace in Europe and the rest of the world. The industrial revolution transformed Britain into the workshop of the world. By the start of the 20th century things changed as both Germany and the United States started to challenge Britain's economic and influential leadership. As often happened during human history such challenging lead to war and although Britain achieved its largest territorial influence after WW1, the war had destroyed much of its economic strength, with losses in industrial and military power marking the begin of its demise. During WW2, Japan occupied Britain's colonies, and after WW2, India, Britain's most valuable and populous possession, achieved independence. Much of the British Empire's influence is now enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter, stating shared values like democracy, human rights and the rule of law. The United Kingdom's pound sterling was its world's reserve currency during its reign and by controlling the supply of money, Britain was able to influence its global power. "Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws!"Mayer Amschel Rothschild
2. The US Empire repeats this blueprint by claiming the U.S. Dollar's reserve currency status as its birthright!
The Federal Reserve Act. The Panic of 1907 triggered many American's belief that The Federal Reserve Act, passed by the 63rd United States Congress and signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson on December 23, 1913, was necessary for financial and economic stability. The law created the Federal Reserve System, the central banking system of the United States. The Bretton Woods System. The FED ended immobile reserve issues and the inelastic currency problems and successfully internationalized the U.S Dollar as the global reserve currency. The usage of the prior nationally used U.S. Dollar expanded a first time when the Allies agreed to the terms of the Bretton Woods System, establishing the rules for commercial as well as financial regulations among the United States and its allies. Canada, Western Europe, Australia and Japan accepted the U.S. Dollar, which was backed by a gold exchange standard, making the U.S. Dollar "as good as gold". This was only possible because the United States controlled two thirds of the world's gold reserves. Soviet representatives, who claimed that institutions like the IMF and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) were Wall Street branches, didn't participate in Bretton Woods and later proved to be right, as the United States printed too much money (not backed by its gold reserves) to wage war on Vietnam, destroying a big part of the value of the U.S. Dollars held by its allies, due to the inflation of the U.S. Dollar money supply. Yet, the initial demand for U.S. dollars created the American way of life: a consumer driven economy fueled by products made outside the U.S. in return for U.S. Dollars. As the Allied countries couldn't really buy any "Made in America"-products, due to the fact that the United States' elites rather outsourced their manufacturing, they instead invested their hard labor into U.S. Treasuries. On August 1971, President Richard Nixon announced the unilateral cancellation of the direct international convertibility of the United States dollar to gold, in a response to halt the Allied countries' continuous attempts to exchange their U.S. Dollars for Gold. By 1973, the Bretton Woods system was replaced by the current freely floating fiat currency system. The petro dollar system. The second wave of U.S. Dollar adoption was the result of the petro dollar, making the global trade of oil U.S. Dollar denominated. Every country on this planet needed and still needs oil to operate and grow its economy, creating an enormous growth in U.S. Dollar demand and like mentioned before, those dollars had to be earned. Especially China served the United States consumer model by producing almost everything Americans can buy in Wall Mart and other stores. By relying on the U.S. Dollar reserve currency status, the American elites have made the mistake of outsourcing manufacturing to China, as often predicted by Donald Trump in the 1980's. The y figured it was easier to just print wealth. The tradewar. President Donald Trump, decided it was time to bring jobs back to the U.S. and started an ongoing trade war with China, the country that supplied the U.S. consumer driven economy, and proud owner of $1.07 trillion in Treasury holdings. The trade war has negatively impacted the economies of both the United States and China and will most likely result in the decoupling of both economies. What is to come? My personal insights. I see huge problems for the U.S. and the rest of the western liberal democracies. But especially the United States, who's currency amounts to no less than 60% of all the world's reserve assets, is vulnerable if and when China who only accounts for 1 or 2 %, says it is time for change. Most likely we will experience another banking crisis, with or without Covid-19, and unfortunately a bigger one when compared to the 2008 dissaster. Did you know that the global debt tripled since then? Many economists and politicians advocate the end of the U.S. Dollar reserve currency system and predict a reset. Every financial system has a limited lifespan similar to a human live: it is created, it grows, it matures, and unfortunately, it ages, weakens and dies. It happened to the Brittish Pound Sterling, and I am afraid that the days of this financial hegemony are numbered as well. And I did write "afraid", why? History tells us that these transition periods are particularly dangerous and have often led to full-blown military conflicts if not world wars. The current wealth transfer, the result of manufacturing outsourcing to mainland China, impoverished the United States and destroyed its middle class. President Donald Trump's analysis that the U.S. needs a strong manufacturing base is correct, yet without its allies the United States will not be able to turn the tide. It took China decades to build its manufacturing base, and President Trump doesn't have the privilege of having the political luxury to design five year plans, as the United States capitalistic and political model specializes more on presidential campaigning and less on economic planning, which is exactly China's strength.
3. The Chinese 'digital' empire.
China is ideally positioned to become the new global power: it produces many of our products and dominates most supply chains. It has been hoarding gold and mines most of the Bitcoin. It might just have the right reserve assets to back its DCEP, the digital Yuan, which will be pilot tested during the 2022 Winter Olympics hosted by China. Despite the fact that the United States and other western nations might not want to adopt the Yuan or allow it to be part of the world's reserve assets, China can demand payment in Yuan for its products. It's that simple! This is why outsourcing is such as stupid economic voluntarily yet fatal policy. If you only print money and don't produce goods, how long will the world play ball? One of the results of Trump's trade war is that China and other countries such as Russia and Iran no longer want to be vulnerable to U.S. sanctions that come in the shape of being denied access to the financial system through Swift. The United States can indeed destroy a big part of Iran's economy, but Iran is now becoming a big cryptocurrency player. In other words, bullying those countries might work in the short-term, but in the long-term they will simply adopt a new standard: and I believe that the Yuan will likely play a major role in the financial system they will adopt. This trend means that the expansion of the demand in U.S. Dollars will stop and reverse, when countries no longer want to use the currency whose issuer can economically destroy them through sanctions. The alternatives for such countires are cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and many others, national CBDC's (Central Bank Digital Currencies), and the adoption of the digital Yuan. This digital Yuan will be attached to the One Belt, One road initiative, finding adoption whilst developing huge infrastructure projects that will lead to a Eurasian trading zone. If the U.S. Military leaves the Middle East, as Trump brings home troops, this will create the right conditions for China to emerge as the victor.
4. Surveillance Capitalism - Insights on the DCEP (Digital Currency Electronic Payment, DC/EP):
This centralized digital financial system works on blockchain and cryptographic principles and aims to increase the circulation of the RMB, in the hope it can become a reserve currency like the U.S. Dollar.
Created and sanctioned by the Chinese Government, it is the only legal digital currency in China.
The system offers Chinese regulators better monitoring abilities and will be an efficient tool against anonymous counterfeiting, money laundering and illegal financing. At the same time it reduces costs involved in maintaining and recycling bank notes and coins.
As mentioned above, China aims to bypass Swift, which it regards to be a U.S. entity, and will be able to collect real-time data related to money creation, bookkeeping, essential information for the implementation of monetary policies.
The pilot institutions for DCEP, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, will serve as a production test for China's new currency system, after which the DCEP will be distributed to large fintech companies such as Tencent and Alibaba to be used in WeChat Pay and AliPay. Transfers will not go through bank accounts, but through electronic wallets.
By mandating that all merchants who accept digital payments must accept DCEP, the DECP will become the most accepted digital currency in the world.
5. Sings of hope.
If the United States adopts blockchain and issues a CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) backed by Bitcoin, they will have a reasonable chance to offer the western democracies a new type of dollar standard that can be an anchor versus the coming RMB. If not, I fear the worst is yet to come for the U.S. Dollar and its economy. Many smart American economists and Wall Street goeroe's have finally figured out the remarkable strength of Bitcoin, the world's first and most favorite digital form of gold. Some of the smartest investment capitalists like Ray Dalio and Warren Buffet have allocated more money into gold, a clear sign of trouble. Bitcoin might be a step too far for Warren Buffet, but rest assure that Wall Street investment management companies have figured it out by now, have you? You can expect more institutions to allocate a % of their portfolio's wealth into Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as a hedge against the systemic risk in our global financial system, which will inevitable start feeling the effects of the trillions that have been printed. "Inflation makes you pay 50 dollars for the 20 dollar haircut you used to get for 5 dollars when you had hair!"
Question about trading on an exchange through a vpn and the IRS?
For the IRS, say I make some bitcoin income trading on a bitcoin exchange that is out of the United States. Does the IRS care about the "source" of my bitcoin? Or can I just pay taxes on my gains on my bitcoin. Can I just use bank statements to document my profits and that will be the end of it. Do they need specific details on how I earned my bitcoin on the exchange? Like a transaction history? Because the exchange I use does not use and id or verification and does not operate in the United States. Too many regulations.
Rough days transcript: the best is yet to come, kill the old system, BUIDL time, we live in a DeFi bubble, power to the edges, voting challenge and rembeber you're in control kids!
Hi everybody, Charles Hoskinson here, live from warm sunny Colorado! Always warm, always sunny, sometimes Colorado. I got my Massey Ferguson hat on. Take that off, see, my hair's all messed up. One of these days and we'll lose all that hair. It's a rough day today and that markets are terrible down 20 percent for most people and every now and then I talk about price. I rarely do but in general let's talk about the macro. You know crypto is a unique phenomenon. It's a unique thing and these are crazy times. I remember just a few months back when coronavirus first came out and we saw basically everything just bottom out everybody went crazy. They went to cash all asset classes. Just went to hell in a handbasket and I did a video and I said guys our best days are ahead of us as an ecosystem and as an industry and what happened everything got better over time. People started getting more optimistic. You know the reality is that we are seeing an old industry die right now, the legacy financial system. I just read Biden's tax plan. He wants to treat capital gains as ordinary income and put another 12 and a half percent on top of that. All this stuff and at the end of the day all these new taxes amount to a trillion or so extra dollars I think per year in income... Takes six years to the make back what they printed out of thin air for coronavirus and are willing to print again which begs the question why do we even pay taxes anymore if we can just print money out of thin air? We have a whole movement of people: the AOC crowd wake up every day and they say modern monetary theory, the actual supply, doesn't matter. All that matters is how much can we print and get away with it. This is where we're at as an economy right now and globally speaking a lot of other nations agree with this. So, given that the whole world, the leadership of the world, talking about negative interest rates, they're talking about predatory financial systems hyperinflation. Just print money, modern monetary theory, just print as much cash as you want and we look to the cryptocurrency industry, and god, we got a lot of problems... I think this (week's market) collapse is probably because one of the most prominent exchanges in South Korea got hit. They got shut down by the South Korean government and they at one time were responsible for a big part of the Kimchi premium and you know what? Korean government might shut down a few more Korean exchanges and usually the market based these things in. We got crazy yield farming weird stuff going on in the DeFi space. All these other local events and their blips they don't really matter that much just like corona in the long term won't matter too much in terms of the markets. What matters is the trend and where are we going. I had a meeting with some people this morning and we talked about revolutionizing the healthcare industry and getting things better in terms of supply chains. I had another meeting with a soon-to-be former Wyoming state representative about how we're going to get governments to adopt blockchain technology. I talk every day to governors, heads of state, congressmen, senators, mayors. Some cities, sometimes very large cities, with millions of people and they all say the same thing. We need help, we need solutions, we're damn tired of the way that the old system is running. You know what? if we don't solve it a lot of people are going to get hurt or continue to be hurt. The common theme that we all have is no one's happy. Look at the black-lives-matter protests, taking their philosophy of the organization aside, the rank and file people are there not because they love Marxism. They're there because they're unhappy with the way society is and why shouldn't they be? When my grandfather, got his first job, on my mom's side, out of the Korean war, he was a lineman and he made enough money from that job to have seven kids and have his wife stay at home. No college degree, fresh out of high school, fresh out of marine demolitions and a lineman. Five boys and two girls and he could take care of that family and save money every month. Have a car and a house and that was his standard of living. How many people in the middle class today in the United States or Europe for that matter have the ability on a single person's salary to raise seven children and have the wife or the husband stay at home? How many people, not many, why? because our monetary system has failed us. The inflationary policy has created a situation where the Jeff Bezos can have 200 billion dollars and make windfall profits every year regardless of how bad the economy is. The everyday people they don't get a pay increase, so in a lot of cases they don't get to keep their job and their money deteriorates in value a lot more than three percent per year. Our industry has principles in that we worship the math and the protocols and the stable monetary policy. These types of things, and as corrupt as some of the exchanges can be, and some of the bad actors are, all movements suffer from these warts, and they're finite and temporary. You run out of them. At some point self-regulation kicks in or standards kick in and these bad actors flush out and what's left behind is a crucible that contains the truth of the matter which is: we're going to win as an industry. There's just no doubt in my mind. You have bad days in the market, you have damn good days in the market, you get addicted to the good ones and you hate the bad ones but at the end of the day it's only going in one direction which is crypto is going to eat the world: every voting system, every property registration system, every monetary system, the next 25 to 50 years is going to be running on the tech we build and others build and running with the principles of power to the edges. This is the great challenge of our time. To do it in a way that it's fair, transparent, open and doesn't allow a government to co-opt it. It's gonna be a lot of fights here. The least of our concerns and matters are a red day and every now and then I like making these videos to remind people why I'm here and why you should be here too. As toxic as the trolls could be and these other people can be, none of them really matter. Markets don't really matter, what matters are the principles and the purpose behind what we do and you have to ask yourself are you happy with the way that society is? Are you happy with the money in your pocket? Are you happy with the political leadership representing your nations? Are you happy with your future and do you honestly believe if we keep doing the things that we did and continue to do that the future is going to be better or do you think it's going to be worse or stagnant? I think too many people have woken up and they realize that if we continue doing the things that we do the future is going to be a bad place and they don't want that to happen. We're voting with our wallets, we're voting with our feet and we as a collective industry are waking up and figuring out how to build something better and there's some good days and bad days along the way. Today's a bad one but there are going to be good days tomorrow just like I told you back when corona made everything go into free fall and I told you before and I warned you about with ICO mania. We're in a DeFi bubble right now, there's no doubt in my mind about that. I saw it in 2017 with ICO mania. I see it here and there's probably going to be worse days ahead in that respect but the trend is always the same and never forget that and never forget that real people are actually adopting these systems and using them. Every day we see more and more and every day that movement grows and what's so humbling is that I know a lot of you are here with me. It used to be pretty lonely space to be in a few years back. You know, the conferences, they didn't have many people. My first bitcoin meetup group in 2011 in Colorado is at the gypsy house cafe I think, in Denver. I registered for the event I showed up. Two people registered myself and another guy and the other guy didn't show up so I had coffee with myself. Compare that with the Shelley summit that we had in July of 2020. 10 000 attendees, 10 000 from all across the world, compare that to where we are at today just nine years later pretty amazing if you think about how fast things have grown and how many fertile beautiful ideas exist in this industry and what this industry is doing for the world as a whole. That is why we're going to win because at the end of day who can argue against freedom? Who can argue against liberty? Who can argue against putting people in control? The only way you can is when you believe people are stupid, people are evil, people are incapable and I suppose that's a philosophical difference between those who currently lead and the people who want to replace them. The people in charge right now of the world, the big banks, the fortune 500 companies, the media, Hollywood... These things, they're very cynical, people who believe in the worst in us they look at everyday people who sustain and disgust and say these people if left to their own devices will be chaos. These people, if left to govern themselves will burn everything to the ground and destroy everything and every single time I have ever seen a bad event happen what the news doesn't show you and what those people don't talk about is how we come together and help each other out. Someone gets injured in the streets more often than not people show up and help them, people need a helping hand. Someone always shows up more often than not and this is no different. I don't believe the political process is effective anymore in any modern democracy. They've all been co-opted, perhaps they always were but what I do believe is that we can come together and change things economically which is what we're doing. It's messy building our own money, it is messy building our own industry, it is messy. We make a lot of mistakes along the way. We lose a lot along the way, we collect some scars too while we're at it but progress every year keeps being made. The technology every year keeps getting better. Today, right here right now, provably secure proof of stake protocols are in circulation. They were a fantasy five years ago now they're a fact of life today. Right here right now snarks have evolved by an order of magnitude in every category from validation time to efficiency to proof size in all favorable ways which opens up all kinds of new applications and scalability and privacy. Today, right here right now, layer 2 protocols are more advanced than they have ever been in our industry's history giving us the ability to build payment systems that scale to billions of people. Today, right here right now, we are seeing massive innovations in governance and a fertile environment for things like approval voting, threshold voting, preference voting, quadratic voting, that will enable us to build all kinds of new treasuries and governance systems that eventually will scale to nation states. As the politicians of today argue whether the post office can properly count paper ballots that people mail we are building voting systems with state-of-the-art cryptography living on phones where you can vote. It's just a tap of a button and enjoy more security than we have ever imagined before. That is the future this movement, is enabling humanity money flowing at the speed of thought and the speed of thought making new money. How can you compete with that? You can't unless you bring people down with cynicism and disdain and ultimately what competing vision do they offer? That you all should be in chains? That we should just be wage slaves? We should just accept that every year our money deteriorates in value? That we should just accept that the rich will get richer the poor get poorer? Every now and then they throw us table scraps and when we get real angry they usurp the movements and then install their own leadership to basically take those movements from us as we've seen so many times before and we will see again. I'm sorry that's not a road I want to walk down and I'm willing to ride rocky waters, crazy markets, crazy people in unlimited FUD and trolling but I will never apologize for believing in the best in people and I will never apologize for believing that if only we give everyone around us the tools to save themselves and society that they can do it. They don't need great leaders and charisma. No one needs someone to tell them what to do. We all know what to do. We all know how to make the world a better place. We just have to be trusted enough to do it ourselves. You know what for the first time ever we did with bitcoin and then we did it again with ethereum and now we're doing it again with Cardano and we as a movement will continue to do it. I believe our best days are ahead of us and every day I wake up and there's more people marching with me in that respect and one day it'll be millions and one day it'll be billions and one day all those cynics will be gone, replaced with optimists, who once again believe that tomorrow is going to be better than today and that we're going to leave the world just a little bit better than the way we found it. So, every now and then on a tough day I like making a little message and letting you guys all know it's going to be better and you know what? it will be. Just have to have faith that it will be. So, hold the line, hold strong and have faith in each other and go do something, build something, start something. Got a lot of podcasts on the way, a lot of things coming down the pipe. For the dc-fund, a lot of opportunities to actually innovate. Multi assets are coming, soon Plutus is coming, soon guys are going to be able to build a lot. Start thinking today what's the business plan? What would you like to change, small or large. You don't complain about voting. Change voting. Your own organization, maybe you belong to a club, do a blockchain-based voting system. Maybe you have some political influence? Have a primary, democrat or republican, or your local primary or country for selecting candidates done with blockchain-based voting. Maybe you want to build a new financial product? Think about it, figure it out. There's so much there, it's all there, it's ready to go, it's for you to take and build and innovate with. Every day I wake up I try to make the platforms better. I try to push the technology a little further along. I try to hire great people and bring them into our industry. Cardano brought the Haskell industry into the cryptocurrency space. Cardano brought a lot of academics who had never thought about cryptocurrencies into the cryptocurrency space and we made our problems their problems and as a consequence they started solving them in ways we could have never done before. Most importantly Cardano brought a lot of you into the cryptocurrency space and you never thought you'd have this level of control and freedom over the fabric of society in the direction of the human race. Don't let that slip through your fingers. Figure out what you want to do with that super power. Might be small, might be big. I dreamed big, you can dream big too, even if you want to just dream small. Every person counts, every action counts up to the hill. Y'all matter to me and to each other and we're all in this together, never forget that! So, hard day, rough day, tomorrow will be a better one. The day after will even be better. See you guys soon, take care... Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qM192wAV4LA On Kimchi premium: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/k/kimchi-premium.asp EDIT: title typo -> rembeber -> remember :)
The Ulterior Motive of Americans Who Advocate for US Regulations
There are certain overall demographic trends in regards to crypto investing and trading. The overseas Asian and European market is extremely developed and has all the exchanges and is heavily geared towards leveraged trading. It is a more advanced accessible sophisticated market with more legal listings for a greater number of people globally. The American laws regarding Dodd Frank act treating crypto like an unregulated non centrally cleared over the counter swap instead of a centrally cleared commodity is a risk to the overall system. The unwillingness of the SEC and CFTC to make it easy for exchanges to work in the united states and to clarify things and fast track things is a risk to the system. Americans in general are toxic maximalist and much less sophisticated in their investing and trading of crypto than the global community. This is because traditional finance in America is very inaccessible and politically and class bifurcated with people from traditionally upper middle class northern conservative families that do not like crypto or understand crypto, where high leverage traders in america tend to be well over the age of 50 and totally uninterested in trading crypto vs oil and gas and s&p. Everything in America is for the old and the younger have nothing. The problem is apparent with the Bitmex Indictment. The Department of Justice has laid out an agenda where it is going to do it's best in the coming 4 years to force American regulations on the world. They have avowed to do this, to go after all of Defi and all exchanges in the world except for Huobi, OKex, and Bitthumb which are fully regulated and mandatory KYC. American institutions and retail have an ulterior motive of toxic maximalism and custodianship and largely introducing intermediaries and treating bitcoin as a custodian held long term investment largely held in funds and banks. What people do not understand about the people who make regulations in America for bitcoin is that they largely want to trap the supply inside banks and funds. They do not like product diversity or DeFi or accessibility. That's why they engage in such protectionism and deliberately allow the CFTC and SEC to not give clarity on other areas of crypto. Because the US will enforce it's laws globally, the only way to fully protect the ecosystem is to put a tremendous amount of pressure on the CFTC and SEC to make fully regulated derivative exchanges that are exactly like Huobi and Okex with all the coins and all the leverage, and to put the pressure on them to get Huobi and Okex to become Us regulated Future Commission Merchants and to function as centrally clearing exchanges so that the Asian and American market isn't bifurcated.
Tonight I read this article and while it doesn’t get too deep into the technical weeds, I thought I could do better by breaking down some of the IT threats and concerns that keep me up at night into more of a non-tech person’s language while giving real world examples why this stuff really does matter to everyone, not just the uber nerds, naysayers, and tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorists. https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2020/09/18/a-real-life-maze-ransomware-attack-if-at-first-you-dont-succeed/ Security (both digital and physical) is something most people don’t understand and as a result they act like an ostrich by burying their head in the sand; if I can’t see it, it can’t see me. Until recently I was an IT consultant and would frequently bring this up to my clients. The usual reply I hear is along the lines of “but my company doesn’t have much money, isn’t a bank, doesn’t do anything interesting, etc. so they aren’t going to target me and I don’t have anything to worry about.” Sadly, this isn’t the case. These crooks “spray and pray” and will victimize anyone who gets caught in their snare. They will send out hundreds of millions of emails, compromise thousands of websites, and make tens of thousands of robocalls all with the expectation that they are only going to be able to victimize 0.0001% of their attempts. For years there have been two big threats in the IT world that literally keep me up at night; regulatory compliance and ransomware. There is now a third, extortionware. Regulatory compliance is an area business owners and executives commonly overlook because they don’t think it applies to their company because they’re not in health care or banking. PCI (Payment Card Industry), PII (Personal Identifiable Information), HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), and HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act) are the most common compliance standards and now cover just about every company in existence in the United States. If the company takes credit cards of any kind there are some levels of PCI compliance that they need to be adhered with. PII covers most HR information like social security numbers or driver license numbers. HIPAA and HITECH both cover information related to health records. This is one that most companies overlook because they don’t realize things like workmen’s compensation claims, HR records that discuss health related issues, etc. are all covered by these standards. Fines from the governing bodies that cover their respective compliance standards are usually preventable because they have general guidelines that cover what needs to be done to be in compliance on the logistical, physical, and digital fronts. If your company does anything with the European Union, then GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a new regulation that has some pretty serious consequences if not followed properly. Ransomware is a genre of computer virus that is just evil. It encrypts your data and give you a very short period of time (typically only a couple days) to pay the ransom using untraceable funds transfers via cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. If you don’t pay the ransom in time they will delete the decryption key thus destroying all your data. If you do pay the ransom then chances are you will get your data back however you are likely very literally funding terrorism and/or some other kind of organized crime. These ransoms are also meant to be payable but be painful to pay. The newer ransomware variants will scan your network to get an idea of how big it is then adjust the ransom accordingly; the more devices, the higher the ransom. Typical ransoms start around a few thousand dollars and work their way up hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. If you’re infected with these viruses then the best course of action to remove it is to wipe your entire network (all servers, workstations, firewall and switch configs, etc.) and rebuild it from scratch while restoring your important data from backups into a separate clean environment, scanning it for any traces of the virus, then moving it into the newly rebuilt network. While this is typically more expensive than paying the ransom it is the only way you can be sure the virus is no longer on your network and thus capable of infecting everything all over again and repeating the ransom process. Extortionware is similar to its older sibling ransomware in that the virus typically does all the same things however it adds an even more sinister twist, it copies your data offsite to a server only the criminals can access. They do this because of the increased number of companies that have opted to not pay the ransom and just rebuild their network. Using extortionware the criminals now have the company’s intellectual property (usually proprietary), HR data, internal memos, financial data, emails, etc.. Did someone say something unflattering about someone else in an email, did HR have a spreadsheet with every employee’s SSNs, hire dates, etc., or are there private financial records relating to an upcoming acquisition that your competitors shouldn’t know about? All of this and more will be used by the criminals to extort money from the company. This means that even if you have a rock solid backup of all your data, you still need to pay to prevent your data from being released to the public and/or press. While this post just scratches the surface, it does cover the highlights on why I push for stronger passwords (longer is better than higher complexity https://xkpasswd.net), keeping non-company owned and unmanaged devices off internal networks, multiple factor authentication on everything, never sharing your passwords with anyone, running regular security related exercises, using unique passwords on everything, and using a reputable password manager to keep track of all your passwords.
What the Department of Justices Recent Obession with Cryptography and Crypto is About
I often post things here that really come across as fud, but what we have seen these last couple months is an explosion in regulator activity. The way the US federal government works, is it sits on cases for years at a time in secrecy, and then it attacks. There are many obscure laws that people are all unaware of which entirely relate to the war on terror and 9/11 and the Patriot Act. The truth is that most of these banking laws that changed are a result of their pretense to behave like a police state under the guise of fighting terrorism. Well What does that have to do with bitcoin? They want to set the precedence of those anti terrorism laws and banking laws onto end to end encryption and bitcoin. These people have a clear motive they are trying to keep hid, that crypto lawyer are beginning to speculate isn't off the table. They certainly implied in the DoJ 83 page report that those options are on the table. But the truth is, they *already* want to do it anyways. Before I make the case for what I am alleging you need to know about the key regulatory bodies and some of these laws, which I'm just gonna list for you to research in case you doubt me: 1) OFAC 2)FATF 3)BIS 4)Interpol 5)Banking Secrecy Act 6)Treasury Department 7)Federal Reserve Namely, What can the US do under OFAC in the guise of anti terrorism. Well the short answer is ANYTHING. And that is what this 83 page guide by Barr is claiming, that is what the Bitmex Indictment by the Department of Justice is claiming, that is what they have been doing in Afghanistan and Iraq for 20 years. It's been like this since 9/11 and now they are squaring in on crypto. It is clear that the Department of Justice and AG Barr do not want Bitcoin to function as Bitcoin, much like end to end encryption they want a back door But let's talk about what that looks like. 1) Forcing every country in the world to enforce mandatory KYC on all decentralized smart contracts and all centralized exchanges with the threat of extrajudicial indictment and OFAC black listing for Banking Secrecy Act violations and Terrorism funding. 2) Forcing every country to prohibit withdrawls to any non preregistered white listed address that has been vetted by CipherTrace and Chain Analysis with the threat as stated in 1) 3) Forcing every country to prohibit US customers from making an account without extremely profoundly high regulatory costs, thus trapping capital in the united states and prohibiting US citizen from investing overseas, as most modern Banks today will no longer take Americans as customers overseas, due to the same regulatory threats. 4) Forcing every merchant in America, and as many outside of America to use Chain Analysis and Cipher Trace on all transactions to vet the source of the funds, and if those funds do not have a chain of custody on a public blockchain linking back to a white listed kyced account, then rejecting those transactions (no more monero) 5) Forcing every exchange in the world to do the same chain of custody verification on every customer just as above. 6) Disallowing any deposits in a US financial exchange to cash out without said chain of custody. 7) Disallowing any cash out of funds that have not been declared as owned assets in a perpetually pervasively monitored public address that the US regulatory bodies know about. 8) The constant threat of censorship and forced confiscation. 9) The backdooring of all hardware wallets and software wallets, prosecution of developers. Indictments against Trezor and Ledgernano. 10) Perpetual Surveilance
The Dow fell 632.42, or 2.25%, to 27,500.89, the Nasdaq lost 465.944, or 4.11%, to 10,847.69, and the S&P 500 declined 95.12, or 2.78%, to 3,331.84. The major averages were sharply lower in Tuesday's trading, picking up where they left off before the long holiday weekend. Tech once again was leading the charge lower, with the Nasdaq the laggard among the major averages. Today's selling was largely a continuation of last week, but unlike Friday, buyers appeared unwilling to buy the dip. Tesla's 21% decline was a drag on the Nasdaq, while Apple's 7% decline pressured the large-cap indices and the S&P 500 information technology sector (-4.6%). The energy (-3.7%) and financials (-2.6%) sectors followed suit amid weaker oil prices ($36.76/bbl, -2.94, -7.4%) and lower Treasury yields, while the utilities sector (-0.6%) declined the least. Besides concerns that the market's pullback had more room to go, investors had to contend with Democratic leadership rebuffing the Senate's $300 billion coronavirus relief bill, President Trump suggesting disincentives for U.S. companies to outsource jobs to China, and reports that China's largest semiconductor foundry could be added to a trade blacklist. Production problems at a BA 787 Dreamliner factory have prompted air-safety regulators to review quality-control lapses potentially stretching back almost a decade, The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend. This morning, Boeing said in a statement to media outlets that inspections stemming from production problems of its 787 Dreamliners are slowing deliveries. AAPL announced an event, to be held from Apple Park on September 15, without offering details on the nature or contents of the meeting. Bloomberg is reporting the event will be focused on the iPad, not the company's new iPhone models. The prospect of potential retaliation on U.S. semiconductor companies was an additional drag on the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (-4.7%). Separately, Boeing (BA 161.08, -9.97, -5.8%) provided a disappointing update, saying 787 Dreamliner production problems have slowed the pace of deliveries. Among the noteworthy gainers was NKLA, which surged +40.8% after GM, +7.9% formed a strategic partnership that was well-received by investors. WDIS, +1.7% was upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank. Among the notable losers was CRBP, which fell 74% after its RESOLVE-1 Phase 3 study did not meet its primary endpoint. Also lower was ACMR, which declined 26% after Needham analyst N. Quinn Bolton downgraded the stock to Hold from Buy, saying that the company's business outlook could weaken due to its "material exposure" to Chinese chip giant SMIC. The downgrade follows reports that the Pentagon proposed for SMIC to be added to U.S. government trade blacklist. U.S. Treasuries saw increased buying interest amid the decline in equities but closed off highs. The 2-yr yield declined two basis points to 0.14%, and the 10-yr yield declined four basis points to 0.68%. The U.S. Dollar Index rose 0.8% to 93.46. Oil prices were pressured by Saudi Aramco lowering its prices for buyers in Asia and the U.S. due to sluggish demand. Elsewhere, Stoxx 600 provisionally closed over 1% lower, with the tech sector falling another 2% as almost all sectors and major bourses fell into negative territory. Stocks in Asia-Pacific were higher on Tuesday, as Japan released revised gross domestic product figures for the second quarter.
The U.S. Dollar Index climbed 0.8% to 93.46, recording its sixth consecutive advance. In emerging markets, Turkey’s lira hit another record low and Russia’s rouble sagged to its lowest since April amid ongoing talk about fresh Western sanctions.
EUUSD: -0.3% to 1.1777
GBP/USD: -1.3% to 1.2988
USD/CNH: +0.3% to 6.8537
USD/JPY: -0.2% to 106.03
Treasuries overtook their opening levels as the stock market opened for the day, but the buying pressure faded shortly thereafter, allowing Treasuries to inch back to their starting levels as the day went on. Today's $50 bln 3-yr note auction was met with lukewarm demand but Treasuries of most tenors remained near their midday levels into the close.
2-yr: -2 bps to 0.14%
3-yr: -1 bp to 0.17%
5-yr: -3 bps to 0.27%
10-yr: -4 bps to 0.68%
30-yr: -5 bps to 1.42%
WTI crude futures settled sharply lower by 7.4%, or $2.94, to $36.76/bbl. Prices were pressured by Saudi Arabia reducing October prices for buyers in Asia and the U.S. Gold futures settled $8.90 higher (+0.5%) to $1,943.20/oz, recouping earlier declines, as pressure from equities pushed investors into the yellow metal. Gold’s gains came despite a stronger dollar, which rose 0.7% against rivals. Investors are now awaiting an ECB policy meeting due on Thursday, while the U.S. Federal Reserve’s next meeting is scheduled for next week.
WTI crude: -7.4% to $36.76/bbl
Gold: +0.5% to $1943.10/ozt
Copper: -1.3% to $3.023/lb
Bitcoin is again proving itself to be a bit too correlated with financial markets for comfort, continuing to slide right alongside stocks.
Bitcoin: $10,035.96 (24hr: -1.15%)
Ethereum: $337.05 (24hr: -2.62%)
Ripple: $0.23 (24hr: -0.06%)
FAAMG + some penny stocks +20.9% YTD
Spoos +3.1% YTD
Old man -3.6% YTD
Russy -9.7% YTD
In COVID-19 news, Florida reported 650,092 cases of the virus versus 648,269 the previous day, while California reported a 2,676 increase in cases from the prior day. The CEOs of AZN, BNTX, GSK, JNJ, MRK, MRNA, NVAX, PFE and SNY announced a pledge, outlining a "united commitment to uphold the integrity of the scientific process as they work towards potential global regulatory filings and approvals of the first COVID-19 vaccines." The statement reads in part: "We, the undersigned biopharmaceutical companies, want to make clear our on-going commitment to developing and testing potential vaccines for COVID-19 in accordance with high ethical standards and sound scientific principles. The safety and efficacy of vaccines, including any potential vaccine for COVID-19, is reviewed and determined by expert regulatory agencies around the world, such as the United States Food and Drug Administration. FDA has established clear guidance for the development of COVID-19 vaccines and clear criteria for their potential authorization or approval in the US. FDA's guidance and criteria are based on the scientific and medical principles necessary to clearly demonstrate the safety and efficacy of potential COVID-19 vaccines. More specifically, the agency requires that scientific evidence for regulatory approval must come from large, high quality clinical trials that are randomized and observer-blinded, with an expectation of appropriately designed studies with significant numbers of participants across diverse populations...We believe this pledge will help ensure public confidence in the rigorous scientific and regulatory process by which COVID-19 vaccines are evaluated and may ultimately be approved. We believe this pledge will help ensure public confidence in the rigorous scientific and regulatory process by which COVID-19 vaccines are evaluated and may ultimately be approved." The companies also pledged to "only submit for approval or emergency use authorization after demonstrating safety and efficacy through a Phase 3 clinical study that is designed and conducted to meet requirements of expert regulatory authorities such as FDA."
Slack Technologies EPS beats by $0.03, beats on revenue. Reports paying customers of 130k +30%. Shares down by 15%.
Snowflake prices $75-85 IPO with Salesforce, Berkshire Hathaway set to buy
Lululemon slips after earnings beat, execs cautiously optimistic on back half
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.
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