Bitcoin on track for $100,000 in 2025, historical growth ...
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Where to get granular bitcoin price history data? (1hr interval)
Can someone point me toward where I can download BTC historic price data on an hourly interval? This is pretty easy to find on a daily interval, and I know the data is out there, but I can't figure out where to get it... The APIs for most of the charting sites are somewhat poorly documented. Thanks!
A complete list of everything our PMC has to do in Tarkov
Have you ever wondered the insane amount of suffering our PMC has to endure to complete every quest in the game and have the Hideout maxed out? Well, wonder no longer, because I've done the math. Disclaimer: Long post ahead. I've used guides, data and analysis by other content creators, like Pestily, Europino and Questalace, as well as the all-mighty Tarkov Wiki to make this list. The resulting data should reflect the almost-perfect 100% Tarkov Speedrun starting with a Standard Account at the end of 12.7. I don't know if this has been done before, so cut me some slack for any inconsistencies, as I did this for fun. Killing: The PMCs character arc will take our poor USECs and BEARs from battle-tested veterans to blood-thirsty killing machines the likes of Atila, with an indescribable amount of mental and physical trauma. This is all on the traders, who force us to commit genocide just to gain a standing with them. Here is the ranking:
Mechanic: He just wants to farm bitcoins and assemble weapons in peace. He is responsible for the lowest bodycount of all the traders, at 0 Scavs and 12 PMCs /12 total
Therapist: In a OSHA-violating effort to overwork the hospital's mortician, this twisted practitioner will make us take the lives of 45 Scavs and 0 PMCs /45 total
Skier: Turns out the most notorious mobster of the Tarkov underworld isn't as bad as we all imagined. His quests will grant him a seat at the Hague, nontheless, after ordering the execution of 20 Scavs and 40 PMCs /60 total
Peacekeeper: There is no better way of keeping peace than eliminating all the warring factions I guess. This war criminal will taint the UNTAR reputation for decades, after demanding the scalps of 75 Scavs and 0 PMCs /75 total
Ragman: This American-psycho wannabe deserves life without parole at Russia's most dangerous prison. 125 Scavs and 0 PMCs weight on his conscience / 125 total
Jaeger: It seems the Huntsman Path leads to a mass grave. This old man wants organic compost for his garden, so he demands the corpses of 116 Scavs and 32 PMCs to be laid on his doorstep / 148 total
Prapor: The Russian military hasn't had such a prolific enemy combatant-squanching commander since Georgy Zhukov. 107 Scavs and 82 PMCs. Dozens upon dozens of unmarked graves will litter the wasteland of Tarkov / 189 total
This totals to a staggering 488 Scavs and 166 PMCs.654 mothers will mourn the deaths of their sons, as you long surpass Simo Häyhä as the most effective soldier in recorded history. Use, place, find in raid or deliver: Apart from sustaining irreparable psychological damage as the bringer of so much death, your PMC is also expected to retrieve a back-breaking amount of loot for his Hideout and the 7 Traders of the Apocalypse. From life-saving devices to mere cigarettes, your PMC will have to.
Deliver 12 special items (the bronze pocket watch, gilded zibbo lighter...)
Deliver 27 secure cases, books, letters and the likes
Place 71 GPS markers, WIFI cameras, Jammers and Multitools
Find 47 different locations
Collect 66 medical or food items
Collect 49 clothing items and armor pieces
Deliver 55 weapons
Deliver 21 dogtags
Deliver and Collect a truckload of loose loot, with an ever-expanding shopping list of 652 items
Pay 13,867,000 roubles, 27,500 dollars and 215,000 euros of full-on extortion
Skills: After all this Devil wears Prada reenactment, your PMC is faced with a Sisyphus-like destiny. You need to improve your skills until you get to Health level 9, Stress Resistance level 6, Sniper level 9, Memory level 8, Searching level 9, Charisma level 10, Vitality level 5, Endurance level 2, Attention level 3, Metabolism level 3 and Strength level 2. Some of this skills improve others, so let's start by the independent ones and asume you can completely avoid the deminishing returns mechanic.
Metabolism: You can gain around 3 skill points for a complete dehydration-hydration cycle: 100-0-100. The fastest way to achieve this is to gulp down 20 full jars of mayonnaise, that would be 10Kg of mayo, followed by 20 litres of water.
Sniper: To please your quest-giving overlords, your PMC will have to topload over 4,500 rounds on a sniper rifle. That would be over 100kg of LPS Gzh ammo, at a 401k-destroying price of 1,280,00 roubles in the flea market.
Memory, Search, Charisma and Attention: This 4 skills improve at the same time, by searching bodies and looting containers. As far as I know, you can actively get points in all of them except for Memory, that derives the XP points from the other 3. Long story short, with an average of 0.1 skill points per object found and looted, and 550 total points to get, your PMC will have to loot everything that is not bolted to the floor, ransack and leave stripped clean over 5.500 containers and bodies. A one-man locust plague.
Endurance: You gain XP for sprinting while not-overencumbered. Based on the data I checked, you need to run for roughly 30km. Usain Bolt ran at 44km/h, so let's asume our battle-hardened PMC can run at a 30km/h max for the sake of simplicity. That means an hour of non-stop full-sprint.
Stress Resistance: The fastest way to increase this skill is by receiving damage, and the most consistent way of receiving damage is by placing yourself over a fire, like the ones on Shoreline. At roughly 3 skill points every 30 seconds of flame-induced agony, and a goal of 210 points, you will need to withstand this torture for 34 minutes like a rotisserie chicken. Nothing will stress you after that!
Strength: The most common way of leveling this skill is by walking while overweight. With 0.1 skill points every 23 seconds, with no FP-100 filter and 50kg of shotgun shells in your backpack, this would take 1:55 hours of non-stop walking. Asuming the normal human walks at a 5km/h pace, that means our PMC has to walk the knee-shattering distance of 10km while carrying around 60% of their bodyweight.
Vitality: The most horrendous of them all. To increase vitality you need to suffer, scream and bleed. The most viable way to increase your Vitality is by crawling through barbed wire. This atrocity of a device makes around 10 damage per second. You level 1 point for every 100 points of damage taken. As we are aiming to get 150 points of XP, we will need to fillet ourselves for 1,500 seconds. That's 25 minutes of torture. At a crawling speed of 2km/h, that means our PMC will have to drag his balls over more than 800 meters of barbed wire.
Health: The 3 previous skills give 25% of their XP to this one, so by leveling all of them to their respective threshold, we would be sitting at around 50 Health skill points. As throwing 10 grenades gives us 0.5 skill points, and we are aiming for 500 skill points, we would need to throw over 10,000 nades. That's 76,000,000 roubles in Zarya stun grenades alone.
And that's it. You want to escape Tarkov? Pay the toll! Edit: Some pesky typos Edit 2: Fixed the results of the Vitality skill, thanks to Erkeric for the correction
I had a lot of fun with Jo_Bones insane vomit yesterday, that retarded chimp is a special one for sure. He inspired me to write some satire of his delusional CSWesque rant. I list some hilarious quotes from him at the end as well from the comment chain. The original delusional rant If all governments could agree on any single thing at any point in time, it would be an unprecedented moment in history. A "unicorn moonshot" so to speak. If the unicorn moonshot were to manifest as every government suddenly desiring to throw their already digital currencies into complete disarray and chose a technically inferior and non-compliant product in the process, then you can bet your ass they would use BSV for their fiscal policies. At the moment, here is what came up when I googled Central Banks for the first time today. Here's what came up when I googled fractional reserves. I then googled what reconciled means, and after my eyes rolled back in to my head out of sheer inability to digest the information I was reading, I decided BSV was the blockchain to solve all of this because I personally think this thing is an awesome high-school comp sci project. If every central bank suddenly decided to relinquish state control of their monetary policy, and instead decided that the security model of 7 amateur software developers paid by an ex-felon hiding in Antigua who controls the #11 cryptocurrency on coinmarketcap was the answer, we could have the opportunity to use a strictly worse version of our current banking software and IT infrastructure. Instant transactions between bank accounts you own? Screw that, welcome to 10 minute block times! Did you fat finger that bill payment to the wrong sender? Too bad, it's gone forever! Welcome to immutability! It's a feature not a bug! If you extrapolate how bad this is, suddenly taxes would be lower because digital monetary transactions would come to a screeching halt. Can't pay taxes on money you don't have, right? Suck that statists! The world would benefit from one giant economy of scale even though that phrase makes no sense in this context, and in reality is another buzzword I just simply don't have the time to try to understand. I forgot to Google that one I guess. This means prices around the globe would be out of control because we'd have to revert to a primal barter system! My chicken for your box of peaches! The possibilities to fuck over literally the entire world are endless! Additionally, there would now be a high degree of transparency to how poorly BSV scales, since blocks take hours to propagate at 1GB sizes and that would only represent the hourly transactions of a town of 10,000 people, which would inevitably lead everyone to understand what 99.99% (AKA the non-mentally retarded "subset" of the population) already know. In the comments I decided to change potential use cases from the utter nonsense I listed above to a couple different things. https://www.reddit.com/bsv/comments/j9u2jt/a_single_global_economy_of_scale/g8ppeq7/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3 Here I am demonstrating that I know currency lives in a database today:
The point is that they centrally issue and control their own tokens on the bitcoin network. I don’t see what’s so hard to understand about this. They already issue tokens on their own network. It’s just a different database.
Here I am 7 comments later saying those databases don't allow for digital cash when I just stated they did.
Your SQL databases don’t really allow for digital cash.
Shit maybe token issuance on BSV won't work time to pivot to:
But bank transfers still take days between Europe and Asia and have high fees precisely because all the banks maintain their own networks.
Think of the possibilities guys. You totally can't do this today, right?
so they can (for example) sell a YouTube video directly to the whole world, for their native national token... on the bitcoin network.
Crap, maybe there are some good points there. At least Bitcoin can push transactions out in seconds despite having a 10 minute block time! And wait until you see the block times if anyone ever does try to send a billion tx in a second!
These hashes cost bitcoin, but you can sell billions of them per second.
What do you mean risks of minority hash rate on BSV? Nobody has ever done a 51% attack and not been arrested! THEY'LL LOSE THEIR MINING EQUIPMENT!
Except that it’s illegal to attack another chain, and it’s public, and traceable and the punishment would be your company loses all its mining equipment.
I'm running out of use cases since they're getting shot down so fast. Here's a good one. Why pay $80 a month for internet in 1 transaction, when you can pay for internet 1.7trillion times every month for every data packet you get?
And the advantage of sending 0.0011p to someone might be that they’re providing a service to you, like a data packet.
But think of all the UnIqUe AnD gReAt FeAtUrEs on BSV. Really cutting edge stuff that SQL Server doesn't have due to being obsolete in the 90s, like the ability to append only instead of modify data elements! Also, watch the blockchain desync if you ever tried 1billion tx/sec!
The network scales to handle billions of TX/sec and the ledger is append only so it matches the criteria for keeping accurate records and/or updating them as needs be.
Time to pivot again since I'm being dismantled at every turn. What haven't I mentioned yet?
you haven’t solved the issue of the US dollar being the worlds default currency on which global trade relies.
Here is me doing my best Craig Wright technobabble nonsense impression. I know this is technically English but the words being strung together make no sense!
Once again you’ve really missed the point of all this. A data commodity that comes about through consensus of the network on ‘what value is’ contains a fraction of every part of the global economy.
Time to revert to some Craig Wright technobabble bullshit again:
Those in charge of producing dollars ultimately have an unfair advantage over those who don’t and they can game the system. That’s a peer to peer internet model where producers get paid directly by consumers for the data they consume and miners get paid according to how fast and how efficiently and how accurately they can deliver the data.
Have I mentioned the fact I don't understand that blockchains are literally distributed databases?
Finally, you can send any kind of data in a bitcoin transaction. Not just fiat currencies issued by a government but audio, video, text, a webpage, etc.
Ultimate glossary of crypto currency terms, acronyms and abbreviations
MicroStrategy's $425M BTC investment thesis - "buy something that can either get cut in half or 10x"
Amidst all of the DeFi volatility, drama and excitement, Bitcoin has started to seem rather boring. Its price is more or less flat to where it was a year ago and you can’t even farm Yams with it. While some have started to view Bitcoin as a useless digital rock, someone did find an interesting use case for it. This week, more details surfaced around how MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor convinced the board of a publicly traded company to allocate nearly all of the company’s $500M cash position to bitcoin. Michael Saylor Saylor graduated from MIT in 1987 and founded Microstrategy at the age of 24. MicroStrategy is a “Business Intelligence” company, which basically creates software that allows companies to use their own data to drive decision making. Interesting side note - Saylor, like any good 90’s internet entrepreneur, also bought a bunch of internet domains and was the guy who ultimately sold Voice.com to Block.One (EOS) for $30M. MicroStrategy’s’ $500M Problem To most people, having $500 million in cash doesn’t sound like a problem. Up until recently, it wasn’t for large corporations either. There was a time before the ‘08 financial crisis when the risk free rate of return on cash was 5% a year. This means a company could sit on $500M, earn $25M a year for doing nothing, and have cash on hand for a rainy day. Fast forward to today, when the risk free rate of return has plummeted to 0.69% due to loose fiscal policies (money printer go BRRRR) alongside inflating asset prices, and it’s a different story. In Saylor’s own words, “we just had the awful realization that we were sitting on top of a $500 million ice cube that’s melting.” Cash is Trash So what’s a corporation to do with a $500M melting ice cube? It turns out it’s not that easy to unload half a billion dollars in a short amount of time. You could buy back half a billion of your own company’s shares. For a company like MSTR, Saylor estimated that would take 4 years. Time MiscroStrategy didn’t have. You could buy real estate. However, commercial real estate prices have collapsed post COVID while property owners still believe their assets are worth what they were in January. In other words, good luck getting a fair market price. You could buy blue chip equities. Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook. However, your risk is symmetric. They can each fall 50% just as easily as they can go up 50%. That left Saylor with silver, gold, Bitcoin, and other alternative assets. A move the company announced it was exploring on a July earnings call. A Bold Purchase Saylor ultimately wanted something that could either get cut in half, or go up by a factor of 10. An investment akin to what buying Amazon or Apple in 2012 was. In other words, asymmetric risk. As a student of technological history, Saylor observed that the winning strategy over the last ten years has been to find some kind of “digitally dominant network” that dematerializes something fundamental to society. Apple dematerialized mobile communications. Amazon dematerialized commerce. Google dematerialized the process of gathering information. Something Saylor noted was common to all recent 10X opportunities is buying when they’ve achieved $100B+ marketcaps and are ten times the size of their next biggest competitor. As Bitcoin is the dominant digital network dematerializing money that’s 10x the size of any cryptocurrency competing to be a store-of-value (not counting ETH here), it fit the bill. Making the purchase With the thesis in place, the next thing Saylor had to do was get everyone at MicroStrategy to sign-off on the unorthodox decision. To do this, he simply made everyone go down the same Bitcoin rabbithole that most people in the industry have gone down. He made everyone at the company watch Andreas Antonopoulous videos, read The Bitcoin Standard, watch Eric Vorhees debate Peter Schiff and listen to Pomp and NLW podcasts. With no strong detractors, MicroStrategy turned to execution. They first put $250M to work purchasing 21,454 BTC in August and another $175M (16,796 BTC) in September for a total $425M and 38,250 BTC. What’s fascinating is that MicroStrategy was able to open such a large position without really moving the market or anyone even taking notice. This speaks to just how liquid of an asset BTC has become. To acquire the September tranche of BTC, Saylor disclosed that they traded continuously for 74 hours, executing 88,617 trades of .19 BTC every 3 seconds. One for the history books Skeptics noted that shares of MSTR have been on the downtrend since 2013, as the real reason behind MicroStrategy’s bold move. Regardless, the move has interesting implications for the company’s shareholders. As TBI observed, MicroStrategy is now both a software company and with ⅓ of its marketcap in Bitcoin, a pseudo Bitcoin ETF. At the time of writing, MSTR is up 20% on the week. Only time will tell if history looks back on this move as a brilliant strategic decision or a massive corporate blunder. In the short term, it scores a massive win for Bitcoin’s digital gold investment thesis. Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones is in. A publicly traded corporation has made Bitcoin it’s primary treasury asset. As CFOs and fund managers around the world undoubtedly take notice, one has to wonder, who’s next? PS - I based a lot of this article on Pomp’s interview with Michael Saylor, which I recommend giving a listen. Original article Source
DITO rockets up 20%, drops 30%, then finishes flat... the Aristocrats! (Wednesday, Oct 7)
Happy Wednesday, Barkada --
The PSE closed down 28 points to 5911 ▼0.5%.
Good news! I have a couple of people who are potentially interested in sponsoring MB, so I'm excited to explore those opportunities. My goal has always been to simply be revenue neutral, and to keep MB free for everyone to enjoy. (inb4 "RAID Shadow Legends" ad) Shout-out to Christine for her suggestion to try and improve the bottom-line of MB by moving from Mailchimp to SendFox. It's something I'm going to look into, but I'm very careful about making changes. I'll have to investigate. Thanks also to Jack_ol_lantern for suggesting ways to leverage my domain to try a "roll your own" alternative, and to nikohd for suggesting I offer a bitcoin donation address. I've got lots to study this weekend! No complaints here, though. Exciting times in MB town.
[UPDATE] ABS-CBN [ABS 9.00 ▼14.93%] confirms distribution deal with Zoe TV’s rebranded “A2Z Channel”... this is just confirmation of the fire that caused the ceiling-play smoke a couple of days ago that saw the ABS stock price rise 50% intraday. According to this press release, ABS-CBN and Zoe Broadcasting Network Inc have made a deal to show “some entertainment shows and movies of ABS-CBN” on A2Z Channel 11, a newly re-branded Zoe Broadcasting Network channel that will broadcast on analog TV in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces. ABS content will start appearing on this new A2Z channel starting October 10.
MB:No details yet on what content, exactly, will be shown, but the wording of the press release is interesting. It mentions “entertainment and movies” specifically, but leaves out politically-adjacent topics like news or analysis/interview shows. The Inquirer is reporting a rumor that “It’s Showtime” and “ASAP Natin ‘To” will be part of the content to make its way to A2Z Channel 11, but that has not been confirmed. Investors will want to watch this closely to see how well ABS is able to monetize this agreement with advertising, and to see how the government reacts as more ABS content moves into this pipeline.
[UPDATE] Wild DITO CME [DITO 6.81 unch], NOW Communications [NOW 4.98 ▲13.44%], and Chelsea Logistics [C 5.90 ▼4.07%] price action in yesterday’s session... the NOW and DITO pump has been massive and constant. But this last week was especially spicy, with yesterday’s session just an absolute gong-show that caused brokerage meltdowns. DITO opened the day at P7/share, up 3% on the previous day’s close, and steadily gained to a high-water mark of P8.02/share (+18%) at around 11:45am. At 11:45am, DITO had a marketcap of P22.5bn. In the next 27 minutes, DITO would lose P7.4bn in marketcap as the price imploded to P5.38/share, swinging from an 18% gain on the day to a 21% loss. Then, over the next 30 minutes, completely erasing that loss and ending the day right where it started, at P6.81/share. 2.09 billion shares changed hands on the PSE yesterday; DITO accounted for 16% of the day’s total volume (355 million shares). The three companies combined accounted for over 28% of all shares traded.
MB:MB: The amount of market uncertainty here is incredible. Traders love it, investors hate it. DITO doesn’t even own DITO Telecommunity, or anything else of material value for that matter, NOW just diluted shareholders with a bearish low-price sweetheart deal, and Chelsea is a company of tugboats and passenger ferries that happens to own a sliver of Dennis Uy’s enigmatic telecom. NOW has a long history of playing the “press release pump and dump” game, and I can only imagine that it’s happy just to be along for the ride, fluffing feathers before a potential IPO by way of introduction. Everyone in the Philippines can sense that connectivity is a bull market, whether that be mobile data (C, GLO, TEL.... then NOW) or broadband (GLO, TEL, CNVRG)...so money just keeps pouring into telco-related stocks. And it makes sense, too, given how few options there are right now on the PSE for anything that looks both pandemic-resilient and secularly profitable. But some of these things are not like the others. Some of these things will crush it, and some will not. Be careful trading telcos that you remember whether you’re being a trader (short term) or an investor (long term). Don’t start out as a trader, forget to place stops, then wind up as an investor with an investment that’s underwater. BE CAREFUL. EDIT: Also, COL Financial, get your act together. You blew AREIT and MM, and you blew yesterday's Telecommotion. At this point, traders/investors should not make plans in reliance on COL Financial's execution of a buy or sell trade.
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Hiring a hacker could reveal security flaws in your organisation. The global cost of cybercrime could reach £4.9 trillion annually by 2021, according to a recent report from Cybersecurity Ventures. Cyber crime incidents continue to plague organisations globally, even as businesses pour money into boosting their security. But how do businesses deal with vulnerabilities they cannot identify? It only takes one smart hacker to discover a backdoor and get access to your sensitive data and systems. Organisations must identify the weaknesses in their cyber security, before -- not after -- they’re exploited by hackers. However, to beat a hacker you’ll need to think like one. Here’s how -- and why -- you should hire a hacker in 2020. The stakes have never been so high State sponsored hacking wreaked havoc in 2016 when Yahoo revealed that 1billion accounts were compromised in the largest data breach in history. And as cyber crime becomes increasingly advanced, the threat hackers pose to businesses will only increase. Leave your organisation open to a data breach and it could cost you a massive £4.25m (on average). And that’s without considering the painful remediation and brand damage you’ll be subject to as a result. These attacks aren’t restricted to huge multinationals, the latest Government Security Breaches Survey found that 74% of small organisations reported a security breach in the past year. For any organisation, a security flaw passing undetected is a huge risk, and when GDPR hits in 2018 the stakes will only increase. The EU General Data Protection Regulation will come into force in 2018 and will govern how businesses handle customer data. Compliance won’t be easy, and the risk of non-compliance is massive, with potential £17million fines. Big businesses aren’t safe from this, and they’ll need to boost their data security to ensure compliance. Tesco were recently lucky to escape a £1.9bn fine for a recent data breach. How hackers will boost your cyber security Not every hacker wants to attack your business and leak your sensitive data. There are hackers out there who are paid to protect, not provoke. Known as ‘white hat’ or ‘ethical hackers’, these security professionals strive to defend organisations from cyber criminals. They’re not your conventional dark web lurking delinquents. Ethical hackers are IT security experts -- trained in hacking techniques and tools -- hired to identify security vulnerabilities in computer systems and networks. According to ITJobsWatch, the average salary for an ethical hacker is £62,500. Considering the average cost of a data breach sits at £4.23m, that’s a small price to pay. Businesses and government organisations serious about IT security hire ethical hackers to probe and secure their networks, applications, and computer systems. But, unlike malicious ‘black hat’ hackers, ethical hackers will document your vulnerabilities and provide you with the knowledge you need to fix them. Organisations hire ethical hackers to conduct penetration tests - safe attacks on your computer systems designed to detect vulnerabilities. To test their security, businesses often set goals or win states for penetration tests. This could include manipulating a customer record on your database, or getting access to an admin account –potentially disastrous situations if they were achieved by malicious hackers. Ethical hackers leverage the same techniques and tools used by hackers. They might con employees over email, scan your network for vulnerabilities or barrage your servers with a crippling DDoS attack. But instead of exploiting your business, ethical hackers will document security flaws and you’ll get actionable insight into how they can be fixed. It’s your responsibility to act on the ethical hacker’s guidance - this is where the hard work begins. Without these harmless penetration tests security holes remain unseen, leaving your organisation in a position that a malicious hacker could exploit. Not your typical dark web delinquents Thankfully, the days of hiring underground hackers and bartering with bitcoins are over. There’s now a rich pool of qualified security professionals to choose from, complete with formal ethical hacking certifications. Ethical hackers, or penetration testers, can be hired just like any other professional, but be certain to get tangible proof of your ethical hacker’s skills. Ethical hackers, or penetration testers, can be hired just like any other professional, but be certain to get tangible proof of your ethical hacker’s skills. Candidates with the CEH certification have proved they know how to use a wide range of hacking techniques and tools. What’s more, CEH certified professionals must submit to a criminal background check. These experts are committed to their profession and do not use their hacking knowledge maliciously. Despite the relative youth of the ethical hacking field, these professionals have already proved their worth to some of the largest businesses in the world. This year Facebook awarded a white hat hacker £32000 -- its largest ever bounty -- for reporting one ‘remote code execution flaw’ in their servers. That’s not the first time Facebook have paid out either. They’ve long supported the efficacy of bug bounties, having paid more than £4 million to ethical hackers since it’s program debuted in 2011. How to hire a hacker (legally) It’s important to understand what you actually want from your ethical hacker. Do this by creating a clear statement of expectations, provided by the organisation or an external auditor. Ethical hackers shouldn’t be hired to provide a broad overview of your policies, these professionals are specialised experts with a deep knowledge of IT security. Instead, ask specific questions like “Do we need to review our web app security?” or “Do our systems require an external penetration test?” Before hiring an ethical hacker to conduct a penetration test, businesses should ensure an inventory of systems, people and information is on-hand. Instead of hiring, many organisations develop ethical hacking skills in their own businesses by up-skilling team members through ethical hacking courses, like EC-Council’s CEH or the more advanced ECSA. Advertisement Your staff will get the skills they need to conduct ethical hacking activities on your own businesses, finding and fixing security flaws that only a hacker could find. Secure your business now Complex threats -- like rapid IoT expansion -- are set to dominate 2020. To defend your organisation in 2020, you’ll need to think like a hacker.
For Trading October 27th Housing Numbers Missed COVID, COVID, COVID! Today’s market could have been worse, but I’m not sure how! Prices weakened overnight and then the news only got uglier as the morning progressed. Housing data took a turn for the worse and the selloff just accelerated with the DJIA hitting the low -965 around 1:45, but the bounce was nothing to write home about. We finished -650.19 (2.29%), NASDAQ -189.34 (1.64%), S&P 500 -64.42 (1.8%), the Russell -35.29 (2.15%) and the DJ Transports -275.32 (2.32%) the worst index, but not by enough to make a difference. Housing numbers (new home sales) was not only a disappointment on a month/month basis, but we also had a meaningful restatement of last month’s number from 1,011,000 to 994,000. This month we were expecting 1,022,000 and got 959,000. Tomorrow we have Durable goods, Consumer confidence, NAHB housing prices and Case-Shiller for August. Our “open forum” on Discord, which allows you to interact with subscribers and others to allow direct questions and chart opinions on just about any stock, continues to grow with more participants every day. It is informative and allows me to share insights as the market is open and moving. The link is: https://discord.gg/ATvC7YZ and I will be there and active from before the open and all day. It’s a great place to share ideas and gain some insights, and we’ve grown to almost 3000 members. Last week’s interview with Joe Moscato, CEO of GNBT is available today at https://youtu.be/rJBtqC75g3A It’s a great story and this stock (I believe) won’t stay at these levels once there is a wider understanding of what this company actually has going for it!! Tonight’s closing comment video: https://youtu.be/4O9B_KkQ3Ao SECTORS: Earnings was the big mover today for SAP. The German digital enterprise software company said that Covid-19 has hurt business and will continue to weigh on profits through the first half of 2021. Early, the stock was trading around $118 -31 and it only got worse closing $115.02 -34.66 (23%). It sent the group lower across all markets in all locations. In other news, Dunkin Brands (DKNK) is reportedly in talks to go private again, this time with Inspire Brands, owner of Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Jimmy Johns chains. The number being talked about is $105.00 and after hitting 105.50 in premarket it settled back to finish the day $103.00+ 14.21 (16%). Alibaba Group was one of the few mega-cap names to not get too badly hurt, possibly due to the coming IPO in Hong Kong of ANT Group, a fintech company due to raise over $35 Billion in the largest IPO in history. BABA is a major investor in ANT. New Group: AIR & CRUISE LINES were LOWER with CCL -1.33, RCL -5.37, NCLH -1.47, AAL -.76, DAL -2.10, LUV -1.62, UAL -2.72, HA -.99, ALK -3.07 and XTN $61.04 -1.97 (3.13%). FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN was LOWER with TSN -2.45, BGA +1.32, FLO -.10, CPB -.26, CAG -.03, MDLZ -1.13, KHC -.79, CALM -.78, JJSF -1.04, SAFM -5.23, HRL -.16, SJM -.44, PPC -.55, KR +.40, and a new addition ACI +.01, and PBJ $33.75 -.48 (1.38%). BIO-PHARMA: was LOWER with BIIB -8.24, ABBV -.34, REGN +5.19, ISRG -23.71, GILD -.94, MYL -.47, TEVA -.20, VRTX -4.43, BHC -.53, INCY +.75, ICPT -.50, LABU -2.49, and IBB $135.11 -1.38 (1.01%). CANNABIS: was LOWER with TLRY -.79, CGC -1.19, CRON -.28, GWPH -2.87, ACB -.27, CURLF -.65, KERN -.36, and MJ $11.09 -.41 (3.57%). DEFENSE was LOWER with LMT -5.83, GD -2.30, TXT -1.18, NOC +1.57, BWXT -1.01, TDY -13.77, RTX -2.07, and ITA $160.43 -4.41 (2.67%). RETAIL: was LOWER with M -.49, JWN -1.03, KSS -1.08, DDS -.10, WMT -1.36, TGT -2.26, TJX -2.02, RL -2.29, UAA -.83, LULU -2.15, TPR -.43, CPRI -.16, and a new addition GPS -.63, and XRT $53.05 -1.39 (2.55%). MEGA-CAP & FAANG were LOWER with GOOGL -48.80, AMZN +5.60, AAPL -.18, FB -7.59, NFLX -.28, NVDA -18.58, TSLA -4.13, BABA -2.87, BIDU -.98, CMG -29.08, CRM -8.52, BA -7.26, CAT -5.69, DIS -4.23 and XLK $115.87 -2.57 (2.17%). PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THESE PRICES ARE LATE MARKET QUOTES AND DO NOT REPRESENT THE 4:00 CLOSES. FINANCIALS were LOWER with GS -3.94, JPM -2.58, BAC -.43, MS -1.53, C -.64, PNC -3.31, AIG +.95, TRV -4.43, V -4.76, and XLF $24.68 -.57 (2.26%). OIL, $38.56 – 1.29, Oil has been locked into the current range and tried to break in either direction without success. Last week I said, “While I think it may resolve to the downside, I am not taking any new positions.” The stocks were lower today even though there has been a pickup in M&A activity in the group. XLE finished $29.30 -1.09 (3.59%). GOLD $1,905.70 +.50 opened LOWER and managed to rally while the market for stocks sold off. There were several “unusual options action” looking for another 10-12% on the upside before year end. BITCOIN: closed $13,045 +75. After breaking out over $10,000 we have had a “running correction” pushing prices toward $12,000, reaching a recovery high of $12220 Thursday, and after a day of rest in between, we resumed the rally touching $12,635, but have sold off back to support. We had 750 shares of GBTC and sold off 250 last week at $13.93 and 250 today @$14.19, and we still have 250 with a cost of $8.45. GBTC closed $14.30 -.06 today. Tomorrow is another day. CAM
Two data points. Bitcoin price 6 months post-2016 halving vs. Bitcoin price 6 months post-2020 halving.
Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor, please do your own research.
Graph 1: 2016 post-BTC-halving price performance graph Graph 2: 2020 post-BTC-halving price Performance graph Disclaimer 2: These are two imperfect data points, you could even argue and say "cherry picked" data (since we are not technically six months post-halving for Bitcoin yet, that day comes on november 11th). I just thought it would be fun to discuss this as I took two random screenshots of bitcoin's price performance on coingecko. Graph 1 highlights: Day 1 price: $638.32 BTC. Lowest price on that graph: $517.13 BTC. Highest price on that graph: $1130.85. Final price on the graph: $894.03. (roughly 40% increase) Graph 2 highlights: Day 1 price: $8752.62 BTC. Highest price: today's price. Lowest price: $8604.75 (May 12th 2020) Today's price: $13,106.05 (roughly 49.75% increase). "History doesn't repeat itself, but the charts do rhyme."
vectorbt - blazingly fast backtesting and interactive data analysis for quants
I want to share with you a tool that I was continuously developing during the last couple of months. https://github.com/polakowo/vectorbt As a data scientist, when I first started flirting with quant trading, I quickly realized that there is a shortage of Python packages that can actually enable me to iterate over a long list of possible strategies and hyper-parameters quickly. Most open-source backtesting libraries are very evolved in terms of functionality, but simply lack speed. Questions like "Which strategy is better: X or Y?" require fast computation and transformation of data. This not only prolongs your lifecycle of designing strategies, but is dangerous after all: limited number of tests is similar to a tunnel vision - it prevents you from seeing the bigger picture and makes you dive into the market blindly. After trying tweaking pandas, multiprocessing, and even evaluating my strategies on a cluster with Spark, I finally found myself using Numba - a Python library that can compile slow Python code to be run at native machine code speed. And since there were no packages in the Python ecosystem that could even closely match the speed of my own backtests, I made vectorbt. vectorbt combines pandas, NumPy and Numba sauce to obtain orders-of-magnitude speedup over other libraries. It builds upon the idea that each instance of a trading strategy can be represented in a vectorized form, so multiple strategy instances can be packed into a single multi-dimensional array. In this form, they can processed in a highly efficient manner and compared easily. It also integrates Plotly and ipywidgets to display complex charts and dashboards akin to Tableau right in the Jupyter notebook. You can find basic examples and explanations in the documentation. Below is an example of doing in total 67,032 tests on three different timeframes of Bitcoin price history to explore how performance of a MACD strategy depends upon various combinations of fast, slow and signal windows:
import vectorbt as vbt import numpy as np import yfinance as yf from itertools import combinations, product # Fetch daily price of Bitcoin price = yf.Ticker("BTC-USD").history(period="max")['Close'] price = price.vbt.split_into_ranges(n=3) # Define hyper-parameter space # 49 fast x 49 slow x 19 signal fast_windows, slow_windows, signal_windows = vbt.indicators.create_param_combs( (product, (combinations, np.arange(2, 51, 1), 2), np.arange(2, 21, 1))) # Run MACD indicator macd_ind = vbt.MACD.from_params( price, fast_window=fast_windows, slow_window=slow_windows, signal_window=signal_windows, hide_params=['macd_ewm', 'signal_ewm'] ) # Long when MACD is above zero AND signal entries = macd_ind.macd_above(0) & macd_ind.macd_above(macd_ind.signal) # Short when MACD is below zero OR signal exits = macd_ind.macd_below(0) | macd_ind.macd_below(macd_ind.signal) # Build portfolio portfolio = vbt.Portfolio.from_signals( price.vbt.tile(len(fast_windows)), entries, exits, fees=0.001, freq='1D') # Draw all window combinations as a 3D volume fig = portfolio.total_return.vbt.volume( x_level='macd_fast_window', y_level='macd_slow_window', z_level='macd_signal_window', slider_level='range_start', template='plotly_dark', trace_kwargs=dict( colorscale='Viridis', colorbar=dict( title='Total return', tickformat='%' ) ) ) fig.show()
Analyze and engineer features for any time series data
Supercharge pandas and your favorite tools to run much faster
Test thousands of strategies, configurations, assets, and time ranges in one go
Test machine learning models
Build interactive charts/dashboards without leaving Jupyter
The current implementation has limitations though:
It's still experimental and fast evolving, thus API can change quickly.
Fast processing means more memory requirements. Above example created multiple DataFrames each taking 46MB of RAM (price, signals, cash, shares, equity, returns, etc). The issue can be mitigated by deleting at least some artifacts as soon as they are created and by disabling caching.
Usage requires intermediate knowledge of pandas and NumPy to understand what's going on. Numba can be learned faster because of it mimicking NumPy. I tried to make lots of small examples in the documentation to get the idea how everything is glued together.
The approach of merging vectorized and iterative code differs significantly from classic OOP approach of designing strategies, and will require you to rethink how strategies are formulated and implemented (which is kinda fun).
Finally, if you're looking for a pure backtesting solution - it's not. It's more of a data mining tool to get to know your market and approach better.
If it sounds cool enough, try it out! I would love if you'd give me some feedback and contribute to it at some point, as the codebase has grown very fast. Cheers.
Meet Brock Pierce, the Presidential Candidate With Ties to Pedophiles Who Wants to End Human Trafficking
thedailybeast.com | Sep. 20, 2020. The “Mighty Ducks” actor is running for president. He clears the air (sort of) to Tarpley Hitt about his ties to Jeffrey Epstein and more. In the trailer for First Kid, the forgettable 1996 comedy about a Secret Service agent assigned to protect the president’s son, the title character, played by a teenage Brock Pierce, describes himself as “definitely the most powerful kid in the universe.” Now, the former child star is running to be the most powerful man in the world, as an Independent candidate for President of the United States. Before First Kid, the Minnesota-born actor secured roles in a series of PG-rated comedies, playing a young Emilio Estevez in The Mighty Ducks, before graduating to smaller parts in movies like Problem Child 3: Junior in Love. When his screen time shrunk, Pierce retired from acting for a real executive role: co-founding the video production start-up Digital Entertainment Network (DEN) alongside businessman Marc Collins-Rector. At age 17, Pierce served as its vice president, taking in a base salary of $250,000. DEN became “the poster child for dot-com excesses,” raising more than $60 million in seed investments and plotting a $75 million IPO. But it turned into a shorthand for something else when, in October of 1999, the three co-founders suddenly resigned. That month, a New Jersey man filed a lawsuit alleging Collins-Rector had molested him for three years beginning when he was 13 years old. The following summer, three teens filed a sexual-abuse lawsuit against Pierce, Collins-Rector, and their third co-founder, Chad Shackley. The plaintiffs later dropped their case against Pierce (he made a payment of $21,600 to one of their lawyers) and Shackley. But after a federal grand jury indicted Collins-Rector on criminal charges in 2000, the DEN founders left the country. When Interpol arrested them in 2002, they said they had confiscated “guns, machetes, and child pornography” from the trio’s beach villa in Spain. While abroad, Pierce had pivoted to a new venture: Internet Gaming Entertainment, which sold virtual accessories in multiplayer online role-playing games to those desperate to pay, as one Wired reporter put it, “as much as $1,800 for an eight-piece suit of Skyshatter chain mail” rather than earn it in the games themselves. In 2005, a 25-year-old Pierce hired then-Goldman Sachs banker Steve Bannon—just before he would co-found Breitbart News. Two years later, after a World of Warcraft player sued the company for “diminishing” the fun of the game, Steve Bannon replaced Pierce as CEO. Collins-Rector eventually pleaded guilty to eight charges of child enticement and registered as a sex offender. In the years that followed, Pierce waded into the gonzo economy of cryptocurrencies, where he overlapped more than once with Jeffrey Epstein, and counseled him on crypto. In that world, he founded Tether, a cryptocurrency that bills itself as a “stablecoin,” because its value is allegedly tied to the U.S. dollar, and the blockchain software company Block.one. Like his earlier businesses, Pierce’s crypto projects see-sawed between massive investments and curious deals. When Block.one announced a smart contract software called EOS.IO, the company raised $4 billion almost overnight, setting an all-time record before the product even launched. The Securities and Exchange Commission later fined the company $24 million for violating federal securities law. After John Oliver mocked the ordeal, calling Pierce a “sleepy, creepy cowboy,” Block.one fired him. Tether, meanwhile, is currently under investigation by the New York Attorney General for possible fraud. On July 4, Pierce announced his candidacy for president. His campaign surrogates include a former Cambridge Analytica director and the singer Akon, who recently doubled down on developing an anonymously funded, $6 billion “Wakanda-like” metropolis in Senegal called Akon City. Pierce claims to be bipartisan, and from the 11 paragraphs on the “Policy” section of his website it can be hard to determine where he falls on the political spectrum. He supports legalizing marijuana and abolishing private prisons, but avoids the phrase “climate change.” He wants to end “human trafficking.” His proposal to end police brutality: body cams. His political contributions tell a more one-sided story. Pierce’s sole Democratic contribution went to the short-lived congressional run of crypto candidate Brian Forde. The rest went to Republican campaigns like Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, John McCain, and the National Right to Life Political Action Committee. Last year alone, Pierce gave over $44,000 to the Republican National Committee and more than $55,000 to Trump’s re-election fund. Pierce spoke to The Daily Beast from his tour bus and again over email. Those conversations have been combined and edited for clarity. You’re announcing your presidential candidacy somewhat late, and historically, third-party candidates haven’t had the best luck with the executive office. If you don’t have a strong path to the White House, what do you want out of the race? I announced on July 4, which I think is quite an auspicious date for an Independent candidate, hoping to bring independence to this country. There’s a lot of things that I can do. One is: I’m 39 years old. I turn 40 in November. So I’ve got time on my side. Whatever happens in this election cycle, I’m laying the groundwork for the future. The overall mission is to create a third major party—not another third party—a third major party in this country. I think that is what America needs most. George Washington in his closing address warned us about the threat of political parties. John Adams and the other founding fathers—their fear for our future was two political parties becoming dominant. And look at where we are. We were warned. I believe, having studied systems, any time you have a system of two, what happens is those two things come together, like magnets. They come into collision, or they become polarized and become completely divided. I think we need to rise above partisan politics and find a path forward together. As Albert Einstein is quoted—I’m not sure the line came from him, but he’s quoted in many places—he said that the definition of insanity is making the same mistake or doing the same thing over and over and over again, expecting a different result. [Ed. note: Einstein never said this.] It feels like that’s what our election cycle is like. Half the country feels like they won, half the country feels like they lost, at least if they voted or participated. Obviously, there’s another late-comer to the presidential race, and that’s Kanye West. He’s received a lot of flak for his candidacy, as he’s openly admitted to trying to siphon votes away from Joe Biden to ensure a Trump victory. Is that something you’re hoping to avoid or is that what you’re going for as well? Oh no. This is a very serious campaign. Our campaign is very serious. You’ll notice I don’t say anything negative about either of the two major political candidates, because I think that’s one of the problems with our political system, instead of people getting on stage, talking about their visionary ideas, inspiring people, informing and educating, talking about problems, mentioning problems, talking about solutions, constructive criticism. That’s why I refuse to run a negative campaign. I am definitely not a spoiler. I’m into data, right? I’m a technologist. I’ve got digital DNA. So does most of our campaign team. We’ve got our finger on the pulse. Most of my major Democratic contacts are really happy to see that we’re running in a red state like Wyoming. Kanye West’s home state is Wyoming. He’s not on the ballot in Wyoming I could say, in part, because he didn’t have Akon on his team. But I could also say that he probably didn’t want to be on the ballot in Wyoming because it’s a red state. He doesn’t want to take additional points in a state where he’s only running against Trump. But we’re on the ballot in Wyoming, and since we’re on the ballot in Wyoming I think it’s safe—more than safe, I think it’s evident—that we are not here to run as a spoiler for the benefit of Donald Trump. In running for president, you’ve opened yourself up to be scrutinized from every angle going back to the beginning of your career. I wanted to ask you about your time at the Digital Entertainment Network. Can you tell me a little bit about how you started there? You became a vice president as a teenager. What were your qualifications and what was your job exactly? Well, I was the co-founder. A lot of it was my idea. I had an idea that people would use the internet to watch videos, and we create content for the internet. The idea was basically YouTube and Hulu and Netflix. Anyone that was around in the ‘90s and has been around digital media since then, they all credit us as the creators of basically those ideas. I was just getting a message from the creator of The Vandals, the punk rock band, right before you called. He’s like, “Brock, looks like we’re going to get the Guinness Book of World Records for having created the first streaming television show.” We did a lot of that stuff. We had 30 television shows. We had the top most prestigious institutions in the world as investors. The biggest names. High-net-worth investors like Terry Semel, who’s chairman and CEO of Warner Brothers, and became the CEO of Yahoo. I did all sorts of things. I helped sell $150,000 worth of advertising contracts to the CEOs of Pepsi and everything else. I was the face of the company, meeting all the major banks and everything else, selling the vision of what the future was. You moved in with Marc Collins-Rector and Chad Shackley at a mansion in Encino. Was that the headquarters of the business? All start-ups, they normally start out in your home. Because it’s just you. The company was first started out of Marc’s house, and it was probably there for the first two or three months, before the company got an office. That’s, like, how it is for all start-ups. were later a co-defendant in the L.A. County case filed against Marc Collins-Rector for plying minors with alcohol and drugs, in order to facilitate sexual abuse. You were dropped from the case, but you settled with one of the men for $21,600. Can you explain that? Okay, well, first of all, that’s not accurate. Two of the plaintiffs in that case asked me if I would be a plaintiff. Because I refused to be a part of the lawsuit, they chose to include me to discredit me, to make their case stronger. They also went and offered 50 percent of what they got to the house management—they went around and offered money to anyone to participate in this. They needed people to corroborate their story. Eventually, because I refused to participate in the lawsuit, they named me. Subsequently, all three of the plaintiffs apologized to me, in front of audiences, in front of many people, saying Brock never did anything. They dismissed their cases. Remember, this is a civil thing. I’ve never been charged with a crime in my life. And the last plaintiff to have his case dismissed, he contacted his lawyer and said, “Dismiss this case against Brock. Brock never did anything. I just apologized. Dismiss his case.” And the lawyer said, “No. I won’t dismiss this case, I have all these out-of-pocket expenses, I refuse to file the paperwork unless you give me my out-of-pocket expenses.” And so the lawyer, I guess, had $21,000 in bills. So I paid his lawyer $21,000—not him, it was not a settlement. That was a payment to his lawyer for his out-of-pocket expenses. Out-of-pocket expenses so that he would file the paperwork to dismiss the case. You’ve said the cases were unfounded, and the plaintiffs eventually apologized. But your boss, Marc Collins-Rector later pleaded guilty to eight charges of child enticement and registered as a sex offender. Were you aware of his behavior? How do you square the fact that later allegations proved to be true, but these ones were not? Well, remember: I was 16 and 17 years old at the time? So, no. I don’t think Marc is the man they made him out to be. But Marc is not a person I would associate with today, and someone I haven’t associated with in a very long time. I was 16 and 17. I chose the wrong business partner. You live and you learn. You’ve pointed out that you were underage when most of these allegations were said to take place. Did you ever feel like you were coerced or in over your head while working at DEN? I mean, I was working 18 hours a day, doing things I’d never done before. It was business school. But I definitely learned a lot in building that company. We raised $88 million. We filed our [form] S-1 to go public. We were the hottest start-up in Los Angeles. In 2000, you left the country with Marc Collins-Rector. Why did you leave? How did you spend those two years abroad? I moved to Spain in 1999 for personal reasons. I spent those two years in Europe working on developing my businesses. Interpol found you in 2002. The house where you were staying reportedly contained guns, machetes, and child pornography. Whose guns and child porn were those? Were you aware they were in the house, and how did those get there? My lawyers have addressed this in 32 pages of documentation showing a complete absence of wrongdoing. Please refer to my webpage for more information. [Ed. Note: The webpage does not mention guns, machetes, or child pornography. It does state:“It is true that when the local police arrested Collins-Rector in Spain in 2002 on an international warrant, Mr. Pierce was also taken into custody, but so was everyone at Collins-Rector’s house in Spain; and it is equally clear that Brock was promptly released, and no charges of any kind were ever filed against Brock concerning this matter.”] What do you make of the allegations against Bryan Singer?[Ed. Note: Bryan Singer, a close friend of Collins-Rector, invested at least $50,000 in DEN. In an Atlantic article outlining Singer’s history of alleged sexual assault and statutory rape, one source claimed that at age 15, Collins-Rector abused him and introduced him to Singer, who then assaulted him in the DEN headquarters.] I am aware of them and I support of all victims of sexual assault. I will let America’s justice system decide on Singer’s outcome.
In 2011, you spoke at the Mindshift conference supported by Jeffrey Epstein. At that point, he had already been convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor. Why did you agree to speak? I had never heard of Jeffrey Epstein. His name was not on the website. I was asked to speak at a conference alongside Nobel Prize winners. It was not a cryptocurrency conference, it was filled with Nobel Prize winners. I was asked to speak alongside Nobel Prize winners on the future of money. I speak at conferences historically, two to three times a week. I was like, “Nobel Prize winners? Sounds great. I’ll happily talk about the future of money with them.” I had no idea who Jeffrey Epstein was. His name was not listed anywhere on the website. Had I known what I know now? I clearly would have never spoken there. But I spoke at a conference that he cosponsored. What’s your connection to the Clinton Global Initiative? Did you hear about it through Jeffrey Epstein? I joined the Clinton Global Initiative as a philanthropist in 2006 and was a member for one year. My involvement with the Initiative had no connection to Jeffrey Epstein whatsoever.
You’ve launched your campaign in Minnesota, where George Floyd was killed by a police officer. How do you feel about the civil uprising against police brutality? I’m from Minnesota. Born and raised. We just had a press conference there, announcing that we’re on the ballot. Former U.S. Senator Dean Barkley was there. So that tells you, when former U.S. Senators are endorsing the candidate, right? [Ed. note: Barkley was never elected to the United States Senate. In November of 2002, he was appointed by then Minnesota Governor Jesse Venture to fill the seat after Sen. Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash. Barkley’s term ended on Jan. 3, 2003—two months later.] Yes, George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis. My vice-presidential running mate Karla Ballard and I, on our last trip to Minnesota together, went to visit the George Floyd Memorial. I believe in law and order. I believe that law and order is foundational to any functioning society. But there is no doubt in my mind that we need reform. These types of events—this is not an isolated incident. This has happened many times before. It’s time for change. We have a lot of detail around policy on this issue that we will be publishing next week. Not just high-level what we think, not just a summary, but detailed policy. You said that you support “law and order.” What does that mean? “Law and order” means creating a fair and just legal system where our number one priority is protecting the inalienable rights of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” for all people. This means reforming how our police intervene in emergency situations, abolishing private prisons that incentivize mass incarceration, and creating new educational and economic opportunities for our most vulnerable communities. I am dedicated to preventing crime by eliminating the socioeconomic conditions that encourage it. I support accountability and transparency in government and law enforcement. Some of the key policies I support are requiring body-cams on all law enforcement officers who engage with the public, curtailing the 1033 program that provides local law enforcement agencies with access to military equipment, and abolishing private prisons. Rather than simply defund the police, my administration will take a holistic approach to heal and unite America by ending mass incarceration, police brutality, and racial injustice. Did you attend any Black Lives Matter protests? I support all movements aimed at ending racial injustice and inequality. I have not attended any Black Lives Matter protests. My running-mate, Karla Ballard, attended the March on Washington in support of racial justice and equality. Your platform doesn’t mention the words “climate change.” Is there a reason for that? I’m not sure what you mean. Our policy platform specifically references human-caused climate change and we have a plan to restabilize the climate, address environmental degradation, and ensure environmental sustainability. [Ed. Note: As of writing the Pierce campaign’s policy platform does not specifically reference human-caused climate change.] You’ve recently brought on Akon as a campaign surrogate. How did that happen? Tell me about that. Akon and I have been friends for quite some time. I was one of the guys that taught him about Bitcoin. I helped make some videogames for him, I think in 2012. We were talking about Bitcoin, teaching him the ropes, back in 2013. And in 2014, we were both speaking at the Milken Global Conference, and I encouraged him to talk about how Bitcoin, Africa, changed the world. He became the biggest celebrity in the world, talking about Bitcoin at the time. I’m an adviser to his Akoin project, very interested in the work that he’s doing to build a city in Africa. I think we need a government that’s of, for, and by the people. Akon has huge political aspirations. He obviously was a hugely successful artist. But he also discovered artists like Lady Gaga. So not only is he, himself, a great artist, but he’s also a great identifier and builder of other artists. And he’s been a great businessman, philanthropist. He’s pushing the limits of what can be done. We’re like-minded individuals in that regard. I think he’ll be running for political office one day, because he sees what I see: that we need real change, and we need a government that is of, for, and by the people. You mentioned that you’re an adviser on Akoin. Do you have any financial investments in Akoin or Akon City? I don’t believe so. I’d have to check. I have so much stuff. But I don’t believe that I have any economic interests in his stuff. I’d have to verify that. We’ll get back to you. I don’t believe that I have any economic interests. My interest is in helping him. He’s a visionary with big ideas that wants to help things in the world. If I can be of assistance in helping him make the world a better place, I’m all for it. I’m not motivated by money. I’m not running for office because I’m motivated by power. I’m running for office because I’m deeply, deeply concerned about our collective future. You’ve said you’re running on a pro-technology platform. One week into your campaign last month, a New York appeals court approved the state Attorney General’s attempt to investigate the stablecoin Tether for potentially fraudulent activity. Do you think this will impact your ability to sell people on your tech entrepreneurship? No, I think my role in Tether is as awesome as it gets. It was my idea. I put it together. But I’ve had no involvement in the company since 2015. I gave all of my equity to the other shareholders. I’ve had zero involvement in the company for almost six years. It was just my idea. I put the initial team together. But I think Tether is one of the most important innovations in the world, certainly. The idea is, I digitized the U.S. dollar. I used technology to digitize currency—existing currency. The U.S. dollar in particular. It’s doing $10 trillion a year. Ten trillion dollars a year of transactional volume. It’s probably the most important innovation in currency since the advent of fiat money. The people that took on the business and ran the business in years to come, they’ve done things I’m not proud of. I’m not sure they’ve done anything criminal. But they certainly did things differently than I would do. But it’s like, you have kids, they turn 18, they go out into the world, and sometimes you’re proud of the things they do, and sometimes you shake your head and go, “Ugh, why did you do that?” I have zero concerns as it relates to me personally. I wish they made better decisions. What do you think the investigation will find? I have no idea. The problem that was raised is that there was a $5 million loan between two entities and whether or not they had the right to do that, did they disclose it correctly. There’s been no accusations of, like, embezzlement or anything that bad. [Ed. Note: The Attorney General’s press release on the investigation reads: “Our investigation has determined that the operators of the ‘Bitfinex’ trading platform, who also control the ‘tether’ virtual currency, have engaged in a cover-up to hide the apparent loss of $850 million dollars of co-mingled client and corporate funds.”] But there’s been some disclosure things, that is the issue. No one is making any outrageous claims that these are people that have done a bunch of bad—well, on the internet, the media has said that the people behind the business may have been manipulating the price of Bitcoin, but I don’t think that has anything to do with the New York investigation. Again, I’m so not involved, and so not at risk, that I’m not even up to speed on the details. [Ed note: A representative of the New York State Attorney General told Forbes that he “cannot confirm or deny that the investigation” includes Pierce.] We’ve recently witnessed the rise of QAnon, the conspiracy theory that Hollywood is an evil cabal of Satanic pedophiles and Trump is the person waging war on them. You mentioned human trafficking, which has become a cause for them. What are your thoughts on that? I’ve watched some of the content. I think it’s an interesting phenomenon. I’m an internet person, so Anonymous is obviously an organization that has been doing interesting stuff. It’s interesting. I don’t have a big—conspiracy theory stuff is—I guess I have a question for you: What do you think of all of it, since you’re the expert? You know, I think it’s not true, but I’m not running for president. I do wonder what this politician [Georgia congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene], who’s just won her primary, is going to do on day one, once she finds out there’s no satanic cabal room. Wait, someone was running for office and won on a QAnon platform, saying that Hollywood did—say what? You’re the expert here. She won a primary. But I want to push on if we only have a few minutes. In 2006, your gaming company IGE brought on Steve Bannon as an investor. Goldman later bought out most of your stock. Bannon eventually replaced you as CEO of Affinity. You’ve described him as your “right-hand man for, like, seven years.” How well did you know Bannon during that time? Yes, so this is in my mid-twenties. He wasn’t an investor. He worked for me. He was my banker. He worked for me for three years as my yield guide. And then he was my CEO running the company for another four years. So I haven’t worked with Steve for a decade or so. We worked in videogame stuff and banking. He was at Goldman Sachs. He was not in the political area at the time. But he was a pretty successful banker. He set up Goldman Sachs Los Angeles. So for me, I’d say he did a pretty good job. During your business relationship, Steve Bannon founded Breitbart News, which has pretty consistently published racist material. How do you feel about Breitbart? I had no involvement with Breitbart News. As for how I feel about such material, I’m not pleased by any form of hate-mongering. I strongly support the equality of all Americans. Did you have qualms about Bannon’s role in the 2016 election? Bannon’s role in the Trump campaign got me to pay closer attention to what he was doing but that’s about it. Whenever you find out that one of your former employees has taken on a role like that, you pay attention. Bannon served on the board of Cambridge Analytica. A staffer on your campaign, Brittany Kaiser, also served as a business director for them. What are your thoughts on their use of illicitly-obtained Facebook data for campaign promotional material? Yes, so this will be the last question I can answer because I’ve got to be off for this 5:00 pm. But Brittany Kaiser is a friend of mine. She was the whistleblower of Cambridge Analytica. She came to me and said, “What do I do?” And I said, “Tell the truth. The truth will set you free.” [Ed. Note: Investigations in Cambridge Analytica took place as early as Nov. 2017, when a U.K. reporter at Channel 4 News recorded their CEO boasting about using “beautiful Ukranian girls” and offers of bribes to discredit political officials. The first whistleblower was Christopher Wylie, who disclosed a cache of documents to The Guardian, published on Mar. 17, 2018. Kaiser’s confession ran five days later, after the scandal made national news. Her association with Cambridge Analytica is not mentioned anywhere on Pierce’s campaign website.] So I’m glad that people—I’m a supporter of whistleblowers, people that see injustice in the world and something not right happening, and who put themselves in harm’s way to stand up for what they believe in. So I stand up for Brittany Kaiser. Who do you think [anonymous inventor of Bitcoin] Satoshi Nakamoto is? We all are Satoshi Nakamoto. You got married at Burning Man. Have you been attending virtual Burning Man? I’m running a presidential campaign. So, while I was there in spirit, unfortunately my schedule did not permit me to attend. OP note: please refer to the original article for reference links within text (as I've not added them here!)
DDDD - The Rise of “Buy the Dip” Retail Investors and Why Another Crash Is Imminent
In this week's edition of DDDD (Data-driven DD), I'll be going over the real reason why we have been seeing a rally for the past few weeks, defying all logic and fundamentals - retail investors. We'll look into several data sets to see how retail interest in stock markets have reached record levels in the past few weeks, how this affected stock prices, and why we've most likely seen the top at this point, unless we see one of the "positive catalysts" that I mentioned in my previous post, which is unlikely (except for more news about Remdesivir). Disclaimer - This is not financial advice, and a lot of the content below is my personal opinion. In fact, the numbers, facts, or explanations presented below could be wrong and be made up. Don't buy random options because some person on the internet says so; look at what happened to all the SPY 220p 4/17 bag holders. Do your own research and come to your own conclusions on what you should do with your own money, and how levered you want to be based on your personal risk tolerance. Inspiration Most people who know me personally know that I spend an unhealthy amount of my free time in finance and trading as a hobby, even competing in paper options trading competitions when I was in high school. A few weeks ago, I had a friend ask if he could call me because he just installed Robinhood and wanted to buy SPY puts after seeing everyone on wallstreetbets post gains posts from all the tendies they’ve made from their SPY puts. The problem was, he actually didn’t understand how options worked at all, and needed a thorough explanation about how options are priced, what strike prices and expiration dates mean, and what the right strategy to buying options are. That’s how I knew we were at the euphoria stage of buying SPY puts - it’s when dumb money starts to pour in, and people start buying securities because they see everyone else making money and they want in, even if they have no idea what they’re buying, and price becomes dislocated from fundementals. Sure enough, less than a week later, we started the bull rally that we are currently in. Bubbles are formed when people buy something not because of logic or even gut feeling, but when people who previously weren’t involved see their dumb neighbors make tons of money from it, and they don’t want to miss out. A few days ago, I started getting questions from other friends about what stocks they should buy and if I thought something was a good investment. That inspired me to dig a bit deeper to see how many other people are thinking the same thing. Data Ever since March, we’ve seen an unprecedented amount of money pour into the stock market from retail investors. Google Search Trends \"what stock should I buy\" Google Trends 2004 - 2020 \"what stock should I buy\" Google Trends 12 months \"stocks\" Google Trends 2004 - 2020 \"stocks\" Google Trends 12 months Brokerage data Robinhood SPY holders \"Robinhood\" Google Trends 12 months wallstreetbets' favorite broker Google Trends 12 months Excerpt from E*Trade earnings statement Excerpt from Schwab earnings statement TD Ameritrade Excerpt Media cnbc.com Alexa rank CNBC viewership & rankings wallstreetbets comments / day investing comments / day Analysis What we can see from Reddit numbers, Google Trends, and CNBC stats is that in between the first week of March and first week of April, we see a massive inflow of retail interest in the stock market. Not only that, but this inflow of interest is coming from all age cohorts, from internet-using Zoomers to TV-watching Boomers. Robinhood SPY holdings and earnings reports from E*Trade, TD Ameritrade, and Schwab have also all confirmed record numbers of new clients, number of trades, and assets. There’s something interesting going on if you look closer at the numbers. The numbers growth in brokers for designed for “less sophisticated” investors (i.e. Robinhood and E*Trade) are much larger than for real brokers (i.e. Schwab and Ameritrade). This implies that the record number of new users and trade volume is coming from dumb money. The numbers shown here only really apply to the US and Canada, but there’s also data to suggest that there’s also record numbers of foreign investors pouring money into the US stock market as well. However, after the third week of March, we see the interest start to slowly decline and plateau, indicating that we probably have seen most of those new investors who wanted to have a long position in the market do so. SPX daily Rationale Pretty much everything past this point is purely speculation, and isn’t really backed up by any solid data so take whatever I say here with a cup of salt. We could see from the graph that new investor interest started with the first bull trap we saw in the initial decline from early March, and peaking right after the end of the crash in March. So it would be fair to guess that we’re seeing a record amount of interest in the stock market from a “buy the dip” mentality, especially from Robinhood-using Millennials. Here’s a few points on my rationalization of this behavior, based on very weak anecdotal evidence
They missed out of their chance of getting in the stock market at the start of the bull market that happened at the end of 2009
They’ve all seen the stock market make record gains throughout their adult lives, but believing that the market might be overheated, they were waiting for a crash
Most of them have gotten towards the stage of their lives where they actually have some savings and can finally put some money aside for investments
This stock market crash seems like their once-in-a-decade opportunity that they’ve been waiting for, so everyone jumped in
Everyone’s stuck at their homes with vast amounts of unexpected free time on their hands
Most of these new investors got their first taste in the market near the bottom, and probably made some nice returns. Of course, since they didn’t know what they were doing, they probably put a very small amount of money at first, but after seeing a 10% return over one week, validating that maybe they do know something, they decide to slowly pour in more and more of their life savings. That’s what’s been fueling this bull market. Sentiment & Magic Crayons As I mentioned previously, this bull rally will keep going until enough bears convert to bulls. Markets go up when the amount of new bullish positions outnumber the amount of new bearish positions, and vice versa. Record amounts of new investors, who previously never held a position in the market before, fueled the bullish side of this equation, despite all the negative data that has come out and dislocating the price from fundamentals. All the smart money that was shorting the markets saw this happening, and flipped to become bulls because you don’t fight the trend, even if the trend doesn’t reflect reality. From the data shown above, we can see new investor interest growth has started declining since mid March and started stagnating in early April. The declining volume in SPY since mid-March confirms this. That means, once the sentiment of the new retail investors starts to turn bearish, and everyone figures out how much the stocks they’re holding are really worth, another sell-off will begin. I’ve seen something very similar to this a few years ago with Bitcoin. Near the end of 2017, Bitcoin started to become mainstream and saw a flood of retail investors suddenly signing up for Coinbase (i.e. Robinhood) accounts and buying Bitcoin without actually understanding what it is and how it works. Suddenly everyone, from co-workers to grandparents, starts talking about Bitcoin and might have thrown a few thousand dollars into it. This appears to be a very similar parallel to what’s going on right now. Of course there’s differences here in that equities have an intrinsic value, although many of them have gone way above what they should be intrinsically worth, and the vast majority of retail investors don’t understand how to value companies. Then, during December, when people started thinking that the market was getting a bit overheated, some started taking their profits, and that’s when the prices crashed violently. This flip in sentiment now look like it has started with equities. SPY daily Technical Analysis, or magic crayons, is a discipline in finance that uses statistical analysis to predict market trends based on market sentiment. Of course, a lot of this is hand-wavy and is very subjective; two people doing TA on the same price history can end up getting opposite results, so TA should always be taken with a grain of salt and ideally be backed with underlying justification and not be blindly followed. In fact, I’ve since corrected the ascending wedge I had on SPY since my last post since this new wedge is a better fit for the new trading data. There’s a few things going on in this chart. The entire bull rally we’ve had since the lows can be modelled using a rising wedge. This is a pattern where there is a convergence of a rising support and resistance trendline, along with falling volume. This indicates a slow decline in net bullish sentiment with investors, with smaller and smaller upside after each bounce off the support until it hits a resistance. The smaller the bounces, the less bullish investors are. When the bearish sentiment takes over across investors, the price breaks below this wedge - a breakdown, and indicates a start of another downtrend. This happened when the wedge hit resistance at around 293, which is around the same price as the 200 day moving average, the 62% retracement (considered to be the upper bound of a bull trap), and a price level that acted as a support and resistance throughout 2019. The fact that it gapped down to break this wedge is also a strong signal, indicating a sudden swing in investor sentiment overnight. The volume of the break down also broke the downwards trend of volume we’ve had since the beginning of the bull rally, indicating a sudden surge of people selling their shares. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we will go straight from here, and I personally think that we will see the completion of a heads-and-shoulders pattern complete before SPY goes below 274, which in itself is a strong support level. In other words, SPY might go from 282 -> 274 -> 284 -> 274 before breaking the 274 support level. VIX Daily Doing TA is already sketchy, and doing TA on something like VIX is even more sketchy, but I found this interesting so I’ll mention it. Since the start of the bull rally, we’ve had VIX inside a descending channel. With the breakdown we had in SPY yesterday, VIX has also gapped up to have a breakout from this channel, indicating that we may see future volatility in the next week or so. Putting Everything Together Finally, we get to my thesis. This entire bull rally has been fueled by new retail investors buying the dip, bringing the stock price to euphoric levels. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been seeing the people waiting at the sidelines for years to get into the stock market slowly FOMO into the rally in smaller and smaller volumes, while the smart money have been locking in their profits at an even slower rate - hence an ascending wedge. As the amount of new retail interest in the stock market started slowed down, the amount of new bulls started to decline. It looks like Friday might have been the start of the bearish sentiment taking over, meaning it’s likely that 293 was the top, unless any significant bullish events happen in the next two weeks like a fourth round of stimulus, in which case we might see 300. This doesn’t mean we’ll instantly go back to circuit breakers on Monday, and we might see 282 -> 274 -> 284 -> 274 happen before panic, this time by the first-time investors, eventually bringing us down towards SPY 180. tldr; we've reached the top EDIT - I'll keep a my live thoughts here as we move throughout this week in case anyone's still reading this and interested. 5/4 8PM - /ES was red last night but steadily climbed, which was expected since 1h RSI was borderline oversold, leaving us to a slightly green day. /ES looks like it has momentum going up, but is approaching towards overbought territory now. Expecting it to go towards 284 (possibly where we'll open tomorrow) and bouncing back down from that price level 5/5 Market Open - Well there goes my price target. I guess at this point it might go up to 293 again, but will need a lot of momentum to push back there to 300. Seems like this is being driven by oil prices skyrocketing. 5/5 3:50PM - Volume for the upwards price action had very little volume behind it. Seeing a selloff EOD today, could go either way although I have a bearish bias. Going to hold cash until it goes towards one end of the 274-293 channel (see last week's thesis). Still believe that we will see it drop below 274 next week, but we might be moving sideways in the channel this week and a bit of next week before that happens. Plan for tomorrow is buy short dated puts if open < 285. Otherwise, wait till it goes to 293 before buying those puts 5/5 6PM - What we saw today could be a false breakout above 284. Need tomorrow to open below 285 for that to be confirmed. If so, my original thesis of it going back down to 274 before bouncing back up will still be in play. 5/6 EOD - Wasn't a false breakout. Looks like it's still forming the head-and-shoulders pattern mentioned before, but 288 instead of 284 as the level. Still not sure yet so I'm personally going to be holding cash and waiting this out for the next few days. Will enter into short positions if we either go near 293 again or drop below 270. Might look into VIX calls if VIX goes down near 30. 5/7 Market Open - Still waiting. If we break 289 we're probably heading to 293. I'll make my entry to short positions when we hit that a second time. There's very little bullish momentum left (see MACD 1D), so if we hit 293 and then drop back down, we'll have a MACD crossover event which many traders and algos use as a sell signal. Oil is doing some weird shit. 5/7 Noon - Looks like we're headed to 293. Picked up VIX 32.5c 5/27 since VIX is near 30. 5/7 11PM - /ES is hovering right above 2910, with 4h and 1h charts are bullish from MACD and 1h is almost overbought in RSI. Unless something dramatic happens we'll probably hit near 293 tomorrow, which is where I'll get some SPY puts. We might drop down before ever touching it, or go all the way to 295 (like last time) during the day, but expecting it to close at or below 293. After that I'm expecting a gap down Monday as we start the final leg down next week towards 274. Expecting 1D MACD to crossover in the final leg down, which will be a signal for bears to take over and institutions / day traders will start selling again 5/8 Market Open - Plan is to wait till a good entry today, either when technicals looks good or we hit 293, and then buy some SPY June 285p and July 275p 5/8 Noon - Everything still going according to plan. Most likely going to slowly inch towards 293 by EOD. Will probably pick up SPY puts and more VIX calls at power hour (3 - 4PM). Monday will probably gap down, although there's a small chance of one more green / sideways day before that happens if we have bullish catalysts on the weekend. 5/8 3:55PM - SPY at 292.60. This is probably going to be the closest we get to 293. Bought SPY 290-260 6/19 debit spreads and 292-272 5/15 debit spreads, as well as doubling down on VIX calls from yesterday, decreasing my cost basis. Still looks like there's room for one more green day on Monday, so I left some money on the side to double down if that's the case, although it's more likely than not we won't get there. 5/8 EOD - Looks like we barely touched 293 exactly AH before rebounding down. Too bad you can't buy options AH, but more convinced we'll see a gap down on Monday. Going to work on another post over the weekend and do my updates there. Have a great weekend everyone!
Welcome to the 11th official ColossusXT AMA! It has been an exciting year so far as we move closer to the launch of the Colossus Grid, and it's been interesting to see how COVID19 is affecting the world and the industry. The commitment to ColossusXT has never been stronger as we navigate these uncertain times due to COVID19. I will briefly go over development and business activities and if you have any additional questions about anything mentioned please drop a question in this AMA. [DEV] As we move forward through Q3 the first thing you can expect is a mandatory wallet update in the coming weeks, this wallet update will allow you to convert your zCOLX back into COLX, along with some other notable features that we will dive into to discuss once the wallet is released. We're getting closer and closer to Armis release and the Colossus Grid release, which will prove to be an exciting time for the community to participate in testing and/or marketing activities. [BIZ] We recently submitted a Project Pitch regarding ColossusXT to the National Science Foundation and have been invited to submit a full proposal. Should our proposal be accepted by the National Science Foundation we will be awarded 256,000 dollars for additional ColossusXT development, and continue onto Phase 2 proposals which will open up additional opportunities for ColossusXT research partnerships and additional funding opportunities. https://preview.redd.it/gvypc52tjcm51.png?width=682&format=png&auto=webp&s=35af9143dea8f2294dc8c4c799810cee4add6e47 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This AMA will start on 10 September and end on 30 September. The team will review and answer your questions no later than 14 October. Before the AMA begins, everyone from the community can ask questions on this page and upvote/downvote according to your interest. Rules: Please do not reply to other user's questions until the team has answered. Try to be precise with your questions and be polite. Contest: One person who asks a question will be chosen to receive 100,000 ColossusXT (COLX) and a ColossusXT T-Shirt! https://preview.redd.it/cz6lixhzicm51.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=30ec43751a5556d11c5f26c3f7ab4a044494c73e Processing img imldoefxgkm51... ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- About ColossusXT (COLX): ColossusXT is an open-source, community-driven, environmentally conscious cryptocurrency, and an alternative to bitcoin that features better anonymity. It allows people to store and invest their wealth in a non-government-controlled currency and make almost instantaneous and completely anonymous transfers with close to zero fees. Colossuscoin V1 was founded as a long-standing, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly digital cryptocurrency and this concept is being continued. The question format can be seen below: ----------------------------------------------------------- Q: What is the Colossus Grid? ----------------------------------------------------------- A: ColossusXT is an anonymous blockchain through obfuscation, along with the utilization of Armis (I2P). These features will protect end-user privacy as ColossusXT evolves into the Colossus Grid. The Colossus Grid will connect devices in a peer-to-peer network enabling users and applications to rent the cycles and storage of other users’ machines. This marketplace of computing power and storage will exclusively run on COLX currency. These resources will be used to complete tasks requiring any amount of computation time and capacity, or allow end-users to store data anonymously across the COLX decentralized network. Today, such resources are supplied by entities such as centralized cloud providers which are constrained by closed networks, proprietary payment systems, and hard-coded provisioning operations. Any user ranging from a single PC owner to a large data center can share resources through Colossus Grid and get paid in COLX for their contributions. Renters of computing power or storage space, on the other hand, may do so at low prices compared to the usual market prices because they are only using resources that already exist. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Q: Why does your blockchain exist and what makes it unique? ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A: ColossusXT exists to provide an energy-efficient method of supercomputing. ColossusXT is unique in many ways. Some coins have one layer of privacy. ColossusXT and the Colossus Grid will utilize two layers of privacy through obfuscation, and Armis (I2P) these will protect users of the Colossus Grid as they utilize grid resources. There are also Masternodes and Proof of Stake which both can contribute to reducing 51% attacks, along with instant transactions and zero-fee transactions. This protection is paramount as ColossusXT evolves into the Colossus Grid. Grid Computing will have a pivotal role throughout the world, and what this means is that users will begin to experience the Internet as a seamless computational universe. Software applications, databases, sensors, video, and audio streams-all will be reborn as services that live in cyberspace, assembling, and reassembling themselves on the fly to meet the tasks at hand. Once plugged into the grid, a desktop machine will draw computational horsepower from all the other computers on the grid. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Important Information: Website Whitepaper Roadmap Business Plan Wiki Governance Partners GitHub What is ColossusXT? (YouTube) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Follow ColossusXT on: Twitter Facebook Telegram Discord Forums --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Interested in joining the ColossusXT team? Contribute to an Idea! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AMA History: 2018 Q12018 Q22018 Q32018 Q4 2019 Q12019 Q22019 Q32019 Q4 2020 Q12020 Q2
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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