Yeah, it’s another one of “those”. But honestly, after being in the game for long enough, you end up developing an eye for the good coins. Not the “good” ones, the GOOD ones. Believe it or not, research and common sense is the name of the game!
A little bit more about me: I come from a business & logistics management background. I started investing in cryptocurrencies and trading a little more than six months ago. As a person, I am very detail oriented and I’ve been researching all kinds of cryptos, for hours a day, for the past six months. The more I researched, the more I learned, the more I became hungry for knowledge, and therefore the more i researched. From trading to cryptocurrency basics, their economics, their political implications, the technology revolution they represent, the human psychology aspect as well as emotional trading behaviours (FOMO, FODO, etc.), all of it!
I’ve purchased Ethereum at 150$ (when I first started in crypto). Then NEO back when it was still AntShares and trading under 3$. Gas (Antcoin back then) at 30c, OMG when it was sub-1$, and ETP at exactly a dollar (selling it later at 5$). This was all before I even knew how to do a basic margin trade & was still in the process of learning about crypto (and while tether still had a “reasonable” market cap! LOL)
My approach is pretty simple when it comes to crypto. I split coins into seven main categories:
-Store of Value (BTC) -Payment (DASH, BCH, LTC) -Pure Anonymity and/or Evil Stuff (XMR) -Platform/platform’ish (ETH, NEO, LISK, CARDANO, ETP, Iota, Factom and the likes) -Shitcoins (99% of ERC20 tokens) -Absolute Shitcoins (Boolberry, Embercoin et al.) -Fee Split / Dividend Coins
That last category is my favorite. While I do strongly believe in diversification (10% store of value, 10% payment, 5% anonymity, 25% platform in my case), I always have a “lean” towards coins that make business sense. Coins that derive their value directly from the amount of usage the platform gets (Factom, for example). Coins such as NEO, BNB, Kucoin, Coss, ICN, TenX and the likes, basically coins that either have a direct “dividend-paying” property (NEO generating gas, Kucoin/Coss awarding holders with a % of the exchange’s trading fees) or an indirect “dividend paying” property such as BNB, ICN, TenX using quarterly profits to buy back their own coins and burn them, thus raising the value of the rest of the coins in circulation over time.
Now let’s look at market caps of these direct and indirect “dividend” coins.
Neo: 2.3B TenX: 246M Binance: 200M Iconomi: 155M Kucoin: 44M (68M at ath, not too long ago) Coss: 5M
You see that odd one there with only 5M market cap? Yeah. That’s the great buy right now. That’s the x10, x20 or even x30 that most people haven’t realized yet. That’s also the “dividend coin” you can scoop a ton of while it’s on the cheap, and make massive recurring revenue from as the exchange solidifies and evolves.
What is COSS? COSS stands for Crypto One Stop Solution. They’re a Singapore based cryptocurrency exchange with an amazing team that’s currently expanding. They aim at becoming the “One Stop” solution for crypto, meaning A) an exchange, B) a payment gateway for merchants to accept crypto payments, and probably sometime in the future C) crypto debit/credit cards. They offer their own coin (COSS coin), and holders of this coin receive 50% of the trading fees generated by the exchange (more on this later).
Now, what a lot of people still don’t realize in crypto, you don’t invest in the bigger market cap coins expecting to make a killing (“the moonshot”). Sure, they’ll bring you nice long term growth as the whole market matures, and that’s where you want to diversify and solidify your portfolio, solid coins with a purpose. But what if you want more thrill? An actual opportunity to “moon”? You find a project that makes business sense, that has at least a working product, and a good team. Buying NEO at 2.5B market cap? You missed the boat, it was a dollar a few months ago and already went x60 (“mooned”), and now stabilized at roughly x38. OMG had it’s x10-15 already. BNB as well. Their market caps are big, and a lot of buying needs to happen to even double in price.
Antshares (NEO) back then was a steal at 1, 2 and 3$. It was a huge risk, with huge rewards. They didn’t even have a product other than their blockchain. No dApp running or even being built on it, no english resources to even figure out how to code on it and deploy a smart contract, no marketing, hell we didn’t even know if Da Hongfei was still alive. All it was is a Chinese based smart contract platform, with an innovative dBFT concensus algorithm. It was a 100M market cap coin that early adopters believed in, and essentially invested in when it was not much more than a website and a blockchain. Look where it’s at now, with more than a dozen dApps being built on it, a solid team of roughly 10 devs, with the NEO council also funding City of Zion (team of 20+ NEO devs). NEO has grown into an incredible community, and is now launching coding dApp contests left and right, with the latest one in partnership with Microsoft china & offering half a million dollar’s worth in prizes.
NEO holders get rewarded with GAS on a daily basis. When NEO gets further adoption, all fees such as registering an asset, deploying a contract, changing an asset, etc. will be redistributed to NEO holders as well on a pro rated basis. Only transaction fees are not, as those will go out to MasterNodes. If you got yourself a thousand NEO’s back when they were a dollar or two a piece, you’re now generating 7 gas per month. That’s roughly 161$ USD per month, on a recurring basis, at current gas prices, out of a 1000$ investment. That’s a whopping 16.1% PER MONTH on original investment, and not even counting the fact that you pretty much made 37000$ profit on the NEO’s themselves. Today? Well, you gotta dish out 38000$ to buy a thousand neos and make 161$ per month, basically bringing you 0.4% per month on original investment.
Same with bitcoin. Early adopters that got it at pennies. It just hit $10K USD a piece. For every 30 cent spent purchasing bitcoin in 2009, you’d have $10K USD in the bank account. Invested 3$? 100K. Invested 30$? 1M.
Ethereum? From a dollar to half a grand now.
Moral of the story? Early adoption pays off. History repeats itself, and it will continue to do so. Bitcoin was digital money for nerds, ethereum was a cool project that nobody really gave a crap about until they got EEA which showed credibility (early adopters of eth had a great vision, I’ll give them that!). Neo was chinese vaporware. What do they all have in common? Their.Early. Adopters. Made. A. Killing.
Look where they stand now. Look where a lot of coins stand now. Even a lot of ERC20 tokens that don’t even really have a reason to exist have market caps over 100M. And for what? They don’t reward you with anything other than price increasing because more people buy (greater fool theory)? They don’t reward you with dividends from the project/platform itself? Their value isn’t derived directly from the amount of usage it gets (a la Factom, PaulSnow you genius.)? They still don’t even have a minimum viable product to show? When you ask yourself why does it need a coin, and the answer is either “uhh…” or “oh it grants you voting rights” (that nobody gives a crap about, let’s be honest), you should reconsider your investment strategy. Cause I can tell you a lot of people don’t know what the hell they’re doing, and they’d be better off diversifying in the top 5 or 10 coins and holding than investing in the shitcoinfest that crypto has become.
And that’s why COSS is a pretty buy right now. You’re investing in a platform that’s already up and running, not a whitepaper or vaporware. Hell even Eth and Neo were riskier investments for early adopters. Let’s go over the cons first:
It’s ugly. The UI sucks. It doesn’t have API’s yet, meaning there’s no bots to create liquidity, and therefore low volume. It’s been fudded to death by KuCoin shills (and their referral links you’ve seen everywhere a month ago). Charts are horrible
That’s about it. Whenever you read up about coss, those are the cons you’ll find. But what about the pros? Well, all of this is in the process of being fixed, as we speak.
Singapore has lax laws about cryptocurrencies and issued a statement it does not feel the need to regulate them. It’s securing exclusive ICO’s already despite being a tiny exchange, and has mentioned being able to secure from 4 to 6 per month. The team listens to the community’s feedback and takes it seriously. This is Gold. One of the first things they were criticized about was trying to do too many things at once (an exchange, a payment gateway, a full one-stop solution for crypto, etc.) and they’ve taken the community’s advice and decided to focus solely on the exchange for now and build it properly, before branching out to the rest. “Better excel at one thing and build from there, than be mediocre at multiple things at once” Also following community feedback, they are implementing trading promotions “a la Binance”. Part of the total supply of COSS tokens will be donated to charities (the community votes to who they go). First of all, that’s just plain nice. Secondly, I find it pretty damn cool that we donate this for good causes, and they basically keep “generating” income from it. It’s basically like a “perpetual donation” on behalf of COSS and all of its users, and definitely will make a lot of people feel good about using the exchange. Thirdly, this pretty much guarantees millions of COSS tokens are going to be in perpetual “HODL” mode, essentially taking them off the market. They will be implementing a FIAT gateway sooner than later. We all know FIAT gateways are game changers. They are constantly hiring. The team growing is definitely a good sign. They are revamping the overall UI and charts, once again following the community’s advice, and the proposed new look is fantastic! Check it out here, as well as other great announcements: https://medium.com/@runeevensen/coss-io-7379b7628d93EDIT: It has been brought to my attention that there is a UI upgrade scheduled for tomorrow (Dec. 3rd), although it isn't clear if it's a minor one or the actual major overhaul, might wanna keep an eye out on that! They are upgrading the matching engine and releasing API’s soon to allow bots to create liquidity and significantly raise the trading volume. Unlike KuCoin, the revenue split (COSS token holders) will always receive 50% of the fees, whereas kucoin will start decreasing it in 4-6months and it will bottom out at 10-15% The revenue split from trading fees is controlled by a DAO, meaning the COSS team cannot arbitrarily decide to change it later down the line, unlike KuCoin where the control over the fee split is centralized and they decrease it as they please. The DAO model also avoids it being labeled a security. First of all, those aren’t really “dividends” as dividends would require them to calculate income minus expenses to determine profit, and then distribute this profit to shareholders, and obviously that’s a legal nightmare. With the DAO model, you don’t get a percentage of the “profits”, you get a revenue split from the exchange fees, and it’s done by clicking a “distribute” button which makes a call to the smart contract and distributes your coins. COSS itself is not giving you anything COSS is still in Beta. It has a tiny market cap. Now’s the time to pick it up, not when it’s out of beta and has become successful, or you’ll be in another Antshares/NEO situation. A ridiculously small move from 5M to 50M in Mcap and that’s x10, a move from 5M to 150M (still under binance levels) and that’s x30. In the long run, COSS aims to be more than just an exchange. Holders of the token, who currently get 50% of the exchange’s trading fees, will also get 50% of other fees charged from coss. This includes their eventual payment gateway. Merchants around the world wishing to accept crypto payments will be able to use COSS’s gateway and COSS will charge a 0.75% fee per transaction. We, as COSS holders, also get 50% of that. You believe crypto is the future and going mainstream? Well your COSS will entitle you to the revenue generated by tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of businesses accepting crypto payments via COSS Point-Of-Sale. COSS also mentioned that all other COSS “fee generating” products to come will all be subject to the same DAO/50% split. Logically, If they have 1) The trading platform, and 2) the payment gateway, then the third step is solving the problem of spending the crypto in places that don’t accept direct crypto payment, AKA a crypto credit/debit card. Well, guess what? Users of such cards will be charged a small fee as well when their crypto is being converted to fiat in real time for payment at a gas station. We as COSS holders are, again, getting 50% of that fee. As you can see, this is a coin that makes business sense to invest in. Unless you really, reaaaaaally care about a coin being the “Future of decentralized prediction markets” or “the future of decentralized dating” or the “decentralized gambling coin” and whatnot. Smart money is smart. It's only a matter of time before savvy investors discover this coin.
ALTHOUGH, keep in mind, the calculations above take into consideration an average trading fee of 0.2% and while this fee is accurate right now, it will most likely average 0.1% once API’s are released and liquidity/market maker bots start operating on the platform. Also, the calculations above do NOT take into consideration that in 4 years from now, there will be 200M (hard cap) COSS tokens on the market. HOWEVER, these calculations also do not take into consideration that by then, COSS will have a fully up and running payment gateway, crypto credit cards, and other revenue-generating products such as a crowdfunding platform, smart contract deployment platform, etc. that are also generating revenue for COSS holders.
All in all, if all goes as planned, the payment gateway/cards/other products will negate the additional COSS tokens released in the market as well as the average trading fee of 0.1%, and therefore the numbers presented in the excel docs will remain sensibly the same. Also, if crypto really takes off in the mainstream, then the revenue split to coss holders from the payment gateway & credit card spending could very well double, triple or quadruple all the numbers you’re seeing in these excel sheets, and that’s on the low end. Remember, the exchange only charges 0.2% (0.1% average once we have bots) out of which we get half, but the payment gateway on the other hand charges a flat 0.75% (7.5x the what the exchange’s fee), out of which COSS holders get half. This could be a massive revenue driver, easily surpassing the exchange itself, and honestly if at that point in time this coin is NOT valued at 3B+ (I mean, even ethereum classic is over that right now..), then I’ll just give up on the whole notion of logical thinking.
Quick example, assuming in 4 years 50M in gateway processing daily (18B yearly), 0.375% of that would be 187.5K USD daily for COSS holders. With 200M Coss tokens total supply, if you hold 10K coss you’d generate 9.375$ per day (65$ per week, 282$/mo.), and that’s purely from the gateway (totally excluding the exchange revenue, crowdfunding revenue, credit card revenue, etc.).
If you have 100K coss you’d generate 93.7$/day, 650$/week, 2820$/mo, again purely from the gateway.
If you’d rather assume more conservative figures (let’s say 25M in daily gateway processing on COSS, all around the globe, or 9B yearly), then simply divide these figures by half. If you wanna go balls to the walls, double them (100M daily, 36B yearly). Play around, have fun with the numbers! To keep things in perspective, square has processed 50B’s worth of transactions in 2016. Therefore I believe using 9B, 18B and 36B for our calculations isn’t too far fetched, and actually pretty reasonable.
Anyway, to sum this up, no matter how you look at it, COSS is an extremely promising project with huge potential, and actually has working math (and a working beta!) behind it. It’s only a matter of a month or two before they’re out of their Beta, have upgrades to their UI and engine, and start really growing from there. The team listens to the community, which is super important, and they’re working on a multitude of revenue streams, out of which not only them, but all coss holders will benefit from, fifty fifty.
Their crowdfunding platform will be a competitor to indiegogo, gofundme, kickstarter, and they’ll have a small percentage fee (50% of which goes to COSS holders). The crypto Point-Of-Sale will be a competitor to Square and the likes (50% revenue to COSS holders). The crypto credit card (also 50% revenue to COSS holders). It is truely an admirable project. Shovel manufacturers made a killing during the gold rush, and COSS is positioning itself as the shovel manufacturer in the crypto adoption gold rush. This is a coin that makes sense to invest in, it is ultra tangible, and will give greater returns than any type of “decentralized [insert function here]” type coins.
On a personal note: Honestly, I believe this is the proper way to ICO, by NOT giving people worthless tokens that only go up in value due to speculation (looking at you, 99% of ERC20 tokens). Let investors guide you, let them reap 50% of the rewards as THEY are the ones funding you. This’ll keep the investors interested in the project, and every single one of them will have a direct incentive to vouch for your product. It’s only right for the investors to get rewarded with something tangible, I’d take that any day over a speculative shitcoin who’s only purpose was to put money in the project’s founders pockets
Quoted directly from said link:“For those that are most interested in discussions regarding the trading price of COSS. Please have in mind that when we entered our token sale, our clear sales message was a 3–5 year road-map, and not a 3–5 months pump and dump. We are a small team, doing our utmost to deliver and all we ask is for you to continue to give us feedback and also for you to give us some time to deliver. *That being said. We still aim to be out of BETA as soon as possible with a new engine for the exchange in Q1 2018. New UI should be in place well before that.** Once we feel we have this in place we will roll out massive marketing campaigns to attract users and increased volume. So although we have a 3–5 year road-map ahead, you should expect to see 2018 being “our year”. The 3–5 year plan is more on the complete roadmap when we proudly can call ourselves a one-stop solution. For now it is all about the exchange, and there we will see rapid changes over the coming weeks/months.”*
All in all, i’d like to thank the COSS team for actually caring about their investors, keeping them in the loop, listening to their feedback and giving them a unique and tangible opportunity. I’d also like to thank all the other COSS investors, who see a huge potential in this project and support the team, and lastly, all of you crypto-heads for reading through!
Happy hodling, and hopefully see you all at 500M+ market cap by late 2018 :)
-Some random guy on Reddit.
PS: Not investment advice. Always do your due diligence. Also, if you’d like, you can join the discussion at /cossIO
Friendly reminder: ETH is the quickest way to get your funds on the COSS exchange, and COSS/ETH pair has 4x the volume of the COSS/BTC pair.
Attacking IOTA on a scientific level ended with self inflicted academic fraud (allegedly), exposing bad actors and destroyed reputations, while educating the IOTA community about the protocol itself. If the media didn't spin the DCI/IOTA incident, it would have been an absolute PR bloodbath for DCI. The new angle is: hurt the IF by making it look like a toxic environment for developers. That's why month old screenshots are being digged out. This is FUD with surgical precision because developers engaging with the IOTA protocol is one of the more underrated but really fucking important factors. Thanks to the first steps in making the IF more transparent however, we now know over that 1300+ developers/creators are part of the Ecosystem. https://ecosystem.iota.org
Yes, you should boycott Coindesk. No, it's not childish. You should generally avoid all bad press as it's a waste of time.
If the first newspaper you’ve read was on an iPad you might not know this: Serious newspapers label articles, in which the writer states his/her opinion on the topic he/she is reporting on, AS SUCH. Those are often referred to as “Opinion Pieces” or a “Comment”. However...
Most crypto news sites are simply a vehicle to push undisclosed native advertisement https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_advertising [Native advertising is a type of advertising, mostly online, that matches the form and function of the platform upon which it appears.] ... [a clear disclosure is deemed necessary when employing native marketing strategy in order to protect the consumer from being deceived] ... [According to Federal Trade Commission, means of disclosure include visual cues, labels, and other techniques.]
If a news outlet is NOT even labeling opinion pieces as such - it’s not worth your time. It will add more confusion than clarity. Because that’s what it’s designed to do. Let's see if we can spot the difference between professional and fraud:
see how finder.com.au is very clear about everything? Opinion and disclosure? TNW not so much... ok, let's never talk about this again! Let's finally move on.
We should stay healthy skeptics towards corporate adoption. Friendly reminder the IF exists mainly to push back on corporate agendas. For all we know, some just do it for the extra likes on twitter because of a #IOTA hashtag. Rarely do corporate SM accounts enjoy this kind of attention. If you think i'm being anti-corporate libtardish, consider this: Industry 4.0 needs IOTA more than IOTA needs them.https://twitter.com/Schuldensuehnestatus/989738856298659841 Not only to stay competitive but also to not get hacked and shut down by “insert country”. Bosch, Fujitsu and DXC are maybe the first to realize this. SO PLEASE stop begging on social media and tweeting at Elon Musk about IOTA. It’s not a good look.
that being said: Institutional money and regulation is the hot topic right now. And most likely will be during 2018. BTC Futures showed a recent spike in Volume hinting at smart money flowing in: https://twitter.com/CryptoKinky/status/989569263383011328 (dont judge me for my resources i cant afford nice looking charts) There are several news articles about WS traders moving to crypto and so on. Looks like things are starting to get rolling in the institutional world, as infrastructure is being set up. Contrary to popular tinfoilery belief (aka. "The Cartel" Medium Article, that all of Bitcoin is 100% manipulated already based on future contracts), futures had relatively small volume compared to the global btc volume - most likely not important enough to justify manipulation of the entire market. https://bitcoinaverage.com/en/bitcoin-price/btc-to-usd (global volume)
Even the SEC Chairman Jay Clayton stated that futures market is "quite small" in his public statement before the february hearing: https://www.cftc.gov/PressRoom/SpeechesTestimony/opagiancarlo37 It is important to put the new Bitcoin futures market in perspective. It is quite small with open interest at the CME of 6,695 bitcoin14 and at Cboe Futures Exchange (Cboe) of 5,569 bitcoin (as of Feb. 2, 2018). At a price of approximately $7,700 per Bitcoin,15 this represents a notional amount of about $94 million.
If you believe in a paradigm shift, this means we are still early.
Recent regulatory voices and twitter drama led to this piece by https://coincenter.org/entry/no-ether-is-not-a-security Why is this important? Companies in the US most likely are patient about making an investment into any crypto token as there is regulatory uncertainty. DXC TECHNOLOGY COMPANY, showcased a PoC with IOTA. At Q4 in december, DXC has stated: 213 Million in Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities.https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgadata/1688568/000168856818000007/dxc1231201710-q.htm Just some food for thought: If you are already spending opportunity cost on IOTA, why wouldn't you leverage that with the token. Bosch invested into the token as well, most likely because there is more regulatory certainty in germany. Fujitsu wants to roll out IOTA as an industry standard (as it seems). This is not your regular Shitcoin. There is a reason dumb money is called dumb. Last time i check Verge had 10x the volume on binance compared to IOTA.
There are no fundamentals yet in evaluation, it’s purely speculative - but with more institutions moving into the space this might change. As such, CCs with industrial use could likely see a reevaluation. But, looking in from the outside, there seem to be some hurdles. this twitter account is one of the more resourceful ones, he lets out some numbers to boost his SM traction (god bless him) https://twitter.com/joel_john95 as outsiders, this will be an extremely helpful resource. He tweeted out a quarterly report https://medium.com/outlier-ventures-io/state-of-blockchains-q1-2018-1efe284572c1 he writes: Over $1.8 billion has been invested into firms working with the blockchain ecosystem through corporate venture capital to date. That’s not that much. Is it. For the entire ecosystem? Friendly reminder snapchat, after a 20% fall, is a 15 billion company. Just to get some perspective.
Especially if you consider the crypto market is still in the hands of leveraged daytraders on bitmex and whales, who got big stacks in a coin early on. Imagine you want to invest 3M into IOTA as a CVC, you would’t spin up Binance and hit marketorder. You contact the IF and see if you can buy some, or outlier ventures might want to part with some, or even the founders i imagine hold quite a substantial amount. I often see people asking for more exchanges - that's kinda missing the point. What you want at this point is more institutional interest. That's the kind of demand we want. Thats what you would call "organic growth" i guess. Ripple holders, thinking a coinbase listening would make XRP go to $10, fail understand that Ripple itself holds a substantial amount of tokens where VCs can go and buy in bulk. And that’s why XRP is such a Shitcoin in the first place.
Ripple and XLM look extremely bad with over 90% of coins held in the top 100 addresses (shitcoins confirmed). TRX and EOS don’t even have a mainnet yet to really track it - so you can imagine the numbers are likely shit too. ADA is looking way better than IOTA in terms of wealth distribution. But 60% for whales, IF and Founders is probably better than what most projects can show for. Thing is, the small guys got in on crypto first. Not the banks, not a selected silicon valley investor boisclub either. While this is good for us, it's a nightmare for investment banks and such. JPMorgan admitted that in their “BTC Bible” saying: Ownership is highly concentrated. The opportunity set around direct CC trading appears relatively limited for banks (Think about that for a second.) CVC investing into the token could be, in my speculative opinion, the most likely catalyst for the price of IOTA, as its industrial adoption can build a synergy for entire sectors. As the main argument for Bitcoin is price uncorrelation to legacy assets, IOTA might be an interesting pick for the smart money, as it could be one of the few CCs with actual fundamental impact on different industry sectors. Something Blockchain, after 10 years, has failed to do. Let me summarize because i was a bit all over the place. Things i will look for going forward:
Institutional infrastructure is being built as we speak as regulations get more clear
2018 might see the highest investments into the blockchain ecosphere
Financial talent from legacy market is switching to crypto
Retail investors are the early adopters, not exclusive silicon valley boiclubs
Liquidity is really bad, its hard to buy a lot of crypto for institutions
The real FOMO and bubble might come with the “smart” money
IF addressing wealth distribution and being more transparent
(i do not have a finance background as you can see and i write these to offer some interesting links and resources you might find useful in your own research.)
Hello! My name is Slava Mikhalkin, I am a Project Owner of Crowdsale platform at Platinum, the company that knows how to start any ICO or STO in 2019. If you want to avoid headaches with launching process, we can help you with ICO and STO advertising and promotion. See the full list of our services: Platinum.fund I am also happy to be a part of the UBAI, the first educational institution providing the most effective online education on blockchain! We can teach you how to do ICO/STO in 2019. Today I want to tell you how to sell and transfer cryptocurrencies. Major Exchanges In finance, an exchange is a forum or platform for trading commodities, derivatives, securities or other financial instruments. The principle concern of an exchange is to allow trading between parties to take place in a fair and legally compliant manner, as well as to ensure that pricing information for any instrument traded on the exchange is reliable and coherently delivered to exchange participants. In the cryptocurrency space exchanges are online platforms that allow users to trade cryptocurrencies or digital currencies for fiat money or other cryptocurrencies. They can be centralized exchanges such a Binance, or decentralized exchanges such as IDEX. Most cryptocurrency exchanges allow users to trade different crypto assets with BTC or ETH after having already exchanged fiat currency for one of those cryptocurrencies. Coinbase and Kraken are the main avenue for fiat money to enter into the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Function and History Crypto exchanges can be market-makers that take bid/ask spreads as a commission on the transaction for facilitating the trade, or more often charge a small percentage fee for operating the forum in which the trade was made. Most crypto exchanges operate outside of Western countries, enabling them to avoid stringent financial regulations and the potential for costly and lengthy legal proceedings. These entities will often maintain bank accounts in multiple jurisdictions, allowing the exchange to accept fiat currency and process transactions from customers all over the globe. The concept of a digital asset exchange has been around since the late 2000s and the following initial attempts at running digital asset exchanges foreshadows the trouble involved in attempting to disrupt the operation of the fiat currency baking system. The trading of digital or electronic assets predate Bitcoin’s creation by several years, with the first electronic trading entities running afoul of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in late 2004. Companies such as Goldex, SydneyGoldSales, and Ozzigold, shut down voluntarily after ASIC found that they were operating without an Australian Financial Services License. E-Gold, which exchanged fiat USD for grams of precious metals in digital form, was possibly the first digital currency exchange as we know it, allowing users to make instant transfers to the accounts of other E-Gold members. At its peak in 2006 E-Gold processed $2 billion worth of transactions and boasted a user base of over 5 million people. Popular Exchanges Here we will give a brief overview of the features and operational history of the more popular and higher volume exchanges because these are the platforms to which newer traders will be exposed. These exchanges are recommended to use because they are the industry standard and they inspire the most confidence. Bitfinex Owned and operated by iFinex Inc, the cryptocurrency trading platform Bitfinex was the largest Bitcoin exchange on the planet until late 2017. Headquartered in Hong Kong and based in the US Virgin Island, Bitfinex was one of the first exchanges to offer leveraged trading (“Margin trading allows a trader to open a position with leverage. For example — we opened a margin position with 2X leverage. Our base assets had increased by 10%. Our position yielded 20% because of the 2X leverage. Standard trades are traded with leverage of 1:1”) and also pioneered the use of the somewhat controversial, so-called “stable coin” Tether (USDT). Binance Binance is an international multi-language cryptocurrency exchange that rose from the mid-rank of cryptocurrency exchanges to become the market dominating behemoth we see today. At the height of the late 2017/early 2018 bull run, Binance was adding around 2 million new users per week! The exchange had to temporarily disallow new registrations because its servers simply could not keep up with that volume of business. After the temporary ban on new users was lifted the exchange added 240,000 new accounts within two hours. Have you ever thought whats the role of the cypto exchanges? The answer is simple! There are several different types of exchanges that cater to different needs within the ecosystem, but their functions can be described by one or more of the following: To allow users to convert fiat currency into cryptocurrency. To trade BTC or ETH for alt coins. To facilitate the setting of prices for all crypto assets through an auction market mechanism. Simply put, you can either mine cryptocurrencies or purchase them, and seeing as the mining process requires the purchase of expensive mining equipment, Cryptocurrency exchanges can be loosely grouped into one of the 3 following exchange types, each with a slightly different role or combination of roles. Have you ever thought about what are the types of Crypto exchanges?
Traditional Cryptocurrency Exchange: These are the type that most closely mimic traditional stock exchanges where buyers and sellers trade at the current market price of whichever asset they want, with the exchange acting as the intermediary and charging a small fee for facilitating the trade. Kraken and GDAX are examples of this kind of cryptocurrency exchange. Fully peer-to-peer exchanges that operate without a middleman include EtherDelta, and IDEX, which are also examples of decentralized exchanges.
Cryptocurrency Brokers: These are website or app based exchanges that act like a Travelex or other bureau-de-change. They allow customers to buy or sell crypto assets at a price set by the broker (usually market price plus a small premium). Coinbase is an example of this kind of exchange.
Direct Trading Platform: These platforms offer direct peer-to-peer trading between buyers and sellers, but don’t use an exchange platform in doing so. These types of exchanges do not use a set market rate; rather, sellers set their own rates. This is a highly risky form of trading, from which new users should shy away.
To understand how an exchange functions we need only look as far as a traditional stock exchange. Most all the features of a cryptocurrency exchange are analogous to features of trading on a traditional stock exchange. In the simplest terms, the exchanges fulfil their role as the main marketplace for crypto assets of all kinds by catering to buyers or sellers. These are some definitions for the basic functions and features to know: Market Orders: Orders that are executed instantly at the current market price. Limit Order: This is an order that will only be executed if and when the price has risen to or dropped to that price specified by the trader and is also within the specified period of time. Transaction fees: Exchanges will charge transactions fees, usually levied on both the buyer and the seller, but sometimes only the seller is charged a fee. Fees vary on different exchanges though the norm is usually below 0.75%. Transfer charges: The exchange is in effect acting as a sort of escrow agent, to ensure there is no foul play, so it might also charge a small fee when you want to withdraw cryptocurrency to your own wallet. Regulatory Environment and Evolution Cryptocurrency has come a long way since the closing down of the Silk Road darknet market. The idea of crypto currency being primarily for criminals, has largely been seen as totally inaccurate and outdated. In this section we focus on the developing regulations surrounding the cryptocurrency asset class by region, and we also look at what the future may hold. The United States of America A coherent uniform approach at Federal or State level has yet to be implemented in the United States. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network published guidelines as early as 2013 suggesting that BTC and other cryptos may fall under the label of “money transmitters” and thus would be required to take part in the same Anti-money Laundering (AML) and Know your Client (KYC) procedures as other money service businesses. At the state level, Texas applies its existing finance laws. And New York has instituted an entirely new licensing system. The European Union The EU’s approach to cryptocurrency has generally been far more accommodating overall than the United States, partly due to the adaptable nature of pre-existing laws governing electronic money that predated the creation of Bitcoin. As with the USA, the EU’s main fear is money laundering and criminality. The European Central Bank (ECB) categorized BTC as a “convertible decentralized currency” and advised all central banks in the EU to refrain from trading any cryptocurrencies until the proper regulatory framework was put in place. A task force was then set up by the European Parliament in order to prevent and investigate any potential money laundering that was making use of the new technology. Likely future regulations for cryptocurrency traders within the European Union and North America will probably consist of the following proposals: The initiation of full KYC procedures so that users cannot remain fully anonymous, in order to prevent tax evasion and curtail money laundering. Caps on payments that can be made in cryptocurrency, similar to caps on traditional cash transactions. A set of rules governing tax obligations regarding cryptocurrencies Regulation by the ECB of any companies that offer exchanges between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies It is less likely for other countries to follow the Chinese approach and completely ban certain aspects of cryptocurrency trading. It is widely considered more progressive and wiser to allow the technology to grow within a balanced accommodative regulatory framework that takes all interests and factors into consideration. It is probable that the most severe form of regulation will be the formation of new governmental bodies specifically to form laws and exercise regulatory control over the cryptocurrency space. But perhaps that is easier said than done. It may, in certain cases, be incredibly difficult to implement particular regulations due to the anonymous and decentralized nature of crypto. Behavior of Cryptocurrency Investors by Demographic Due to the fact that cryptocurrency has its roots firmly planted in the cryptography community, the vast majority of early adopters are representative of that group. In this section we cover the basic structure of the cryptocurrency market cycle and the makeup of the community at large, as well as the reasons behind different trading decisions. The Cryptocurrency Market Cycle Bitcoin leads the bull rally. FOMO (Fear of missing out) occurs, the price surge is a constant topic of mainstream news, business programs cover the story, and social media is abuzz with cryptocurrency chatter. Bitcoin reaches new All Timehigh (ATH) Market euphoria is fueled with even more hype and the cycle is in full force. There is a constant stream of news articles and commentary on the meteoric, seemingly unstoppable rise of Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s price “stabilizes”, In the 2017 bull run this was at or around $14,000. A number of solid, large market cap altcoins rise along with Bitcoin; ETH & LTC leading the altcoins at this time. FOMO comes into play, as the new ATH in market cap is reached by pumping of a huge number of alt coins. Top altcoins “somewhat” stabilize, after reaching new all-time highs. The frenzy continues with crypto success stories, notable figures and famous people in the news. A majority of lesser known cryptocurrencies follow along on the upward momentum. Newcomers are drawn deeper into crypto and sign up for exchanges other than the main entry points like Coinbase and Kraken. In 2017 this saw Binance inundated with new registrations. Some of the cheapest coins are subject to massive pumping, such as Tron TRX which saw a rise in market cap from $150 million at the start of December 2017 to a peak of $16 billion! At this stage, even dead coins or known scams will get pumped. The price of the majority of cryptocurrencies stabilize, and some begin to retract. When the hype is subsiding after a huge crypto bull run, it is a massive sell signal. Traditional investors will begin to give interviews about how people need to be careful putting money into such a highly volatile asset class. Massive violent correction begins and the market starts to collapse. BTC begins to fall consistently on a daily basis, wiping out the insane gains of many medium to small cap cryptos with it. Panic selling sweeps through the market. Depression sets in, both in the markets, and in the minds of individual investors who failed to take profits, or heed the signs of imminent collapse. The price stagnation can last for months, or even years. The Influence of Age upon Trading Did you know? Cryptocurrencies have been called “stocks for millennials” According to a survey conducted by the Global Blockchain Business Council, only 5% of the American public own any bitcoin, but of those that do, an overwhelming majority of 71% are men, 58% of them are between the ages of 18 and 35, and over half of them are minorities. The same survey gauged public attitude toward the high risk/high return nature of cryptocurrency, in comparison to more secure guaranteed small percentage gains offered by government bonds or stocks, and found that 30% would rather invest $1,000 in crypto. Over 42% of millennials were aware of cryptocurrencies as opposed to only 15% of those ages 65 and over. In George M. Korniotis and Alok Kumar’s study into the effects of aging on portfolio management and the quality of decisions made by older investors, they found “that older and experienced investors are more likely to follow “rules of thumb” that reflect greater investment knowledge. However, older investors are less effective in applying their investment knowledge and exhibit worse investment skill, especially if they are less educated and earn lower income.” Geographic Influence upon Trading One of the main drivers of the apparent seasonal ebb and flow of cryptocurrency prices is the tax situation in the various territories that have the highest concentrations of cryptocurrency holders. Every year we see an overall market pull back beginning in mid to late January, with a recovery beginning usually after April. This is because “Tax Season” is roughly the same across Europe and the United States, with the deadline for Income tax returns being April 15th in the United States, and the tax year officially ending the UK on the 6th of April. All capital gains must be declared before the window closes or an American trader will face the powerful and long arm of the IRS with the consequent legal proceedings and possible jail time. Capital gains taxes around the world vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but there are often incentives for cryptocurrency holders to refrain from trading for over a year to qualify their profits as long term gain when they finally sell. In the US and Australia, for example, capital gains are reduced if you bought cryptocurrency for investment purposes and held it for over a year. In Germany if crypto assets are held for over a year then the gains derived from their sale are not taxed. Advantages like this apply to individual tax returns, on a case by case basis, and it is up to the investor to keep up to date with the tax codes of the territory in which they reside. 2013 Bull run vs 2017 Bull run price Analysis In late 2016 cryptocurrency traders were faced with the task of distinguishing between the beginnings of a genuine bull run and what might colorfully be called a “dead cat bounce” (in traditional market terminology). Stagnation had gripped the market since the pull-back of early 2014. The meteoric rise of Bitcoin’s price in 2013 peaked with a price of $1,100 in November 2013, after a year of fantastic news on the adoption front with both Microsoft and PayPal offering BTC payment options. It is easy to look at a line going up on a chart and speak after the fact, but at the time, it is exceeding difficult to say whether the cat is actually climbing up the wall, or just bouncing off the ground. Here, we will discuss the factors that gave savvy investors clues as to why the 2017 bull run was going to outstrip the 2013 rally. Hopefully this will help give insight into how to differentiate between the signs of a small price increase and the start of a full scale bull run. Most importantly, Volume was far higher in 2017. As we can see in the graphic below, the 2017 volume far exceeds the volume of BTC trading during the 2013 price increase. The stranglehold MtGox held on trading made a huge bull run very difficult and unlikely. Fraud & Immoral Activity in the Private Market Ponzi Schemes Cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes will be covered in greater detail in Lesson 7, but we need to get a quick overview of the main features of Ponzi schemes and how to spot them at this point in our discussion. Here are some key indicators of a Ponzi scheme, both in cryptocurrencies and traditional investments: A guaranteed promise of high returns with little risk. Consistentflow of returns regardless of market conditions. Investments that have not been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Investment strategies that are a secret, or described as too complex. Clients not allowed to view official paperwork for their investment. Clients have difficulties trying to get their money back. The initial members of the scheme, most likely unbeknownst to the later investors, are paid their “dividends” or “profits” with new investor cash. The most famous modern-day example of a Ponzi scheme in the traditional world, is Bernie Madoff’s $100 billion fraudulent enterprise, officially titled Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. And in the crypto world, BitConnect is the most infamous case of an entirely fraudulent project which boasted a market cap of $2 billion at its peak. What are the Exchange Hacks? The history of cryptocurrency is littered with examples of hacked exchanges, some of them so severe that the operation had to be wound up forever. As we have already discussed, incredibly tech savvy and intelligent computer hackers led by Alexander Vinnik stole 850000 BTC from the MtGox exchange over a period from 2012–2014 resulting in the collapse of the exchange and a near-crippling hammer blow to the emerging asset class that is still being felt to this day. The BitGrail exchange suffered a similar style of attack in late 2017 and early 2018, in which Nano (XRB) was stolen that was at one point was worth almost $195 million. Even Bitfinex, one of the most famous and prestigious exchanges, has suffered a hack in 2016 where $72 million worth of BTC was stolen directly from customer accounts. Hardware Wallet Scam Case Study In late 2017, an unfortunate character on Reddit, going by the name of “moody rocket” relayed his story of an intricate scam in which his newly acquired hardware wallet was compromised, and his $34,000 life savings were stolen. He bought a second hand Nano ledger into which the scammers own recover seed had already been inserted. He began using the ledger without knowing that the default seed being used was not a randomly assigned seed. After a few weeks the scammer struck, and withdrew all the poor HODLer’s XRP, Dash and Litecoin into their own wallet (likely through a few intermediary wallets to lessen the very slim chances of being identified). Hardware Wallet Scam Case Study Social Media Fraud Many gullible and hapless twitter users have fallen victim to the recent phenomenon of scammers using a combination of convincing fake celebrity twitter profiles and numerous amounts of bots to swindle them of ETH or BTC. The scammers would set up a profile with a near identical handle to a famous figure in the tech sphere, such as Vitalik Buterin or Elon Musk. And then in the tweet, immediately following a genuine message, follow up with a variation of “Bonus give away for the next 100 lucky people, send me 0.1 ETH and I will send you 1 ETH back”, followed by the scammers ether wallet address. The next 20 or so responses will be so-called sockpuppet bots, thanking the fake account for their generosity. Thus, the pot is baited and the scammers can expect to receive potentially hundreds of donations of 0.1 Ether into their wallet. Many twitter users with a large follower base such as Vitalik Buterin have taken to adding “Not giving away ETH” to their username to save careless users from being scammed. Market Manipulation It also must be recognized that market manipulation is taking place in cryptocurrency. For those with the financial means i.e. whales, there are many ways in which to control the market in a totally immoral and underhanded way for your own profit. It is especially easy to manipulate cryptos that have a very low trading volume. The manipulator places large buy orders or sell walls to discourage price action in one way or the other. Insider trading is also a significant problem in cryptocurrency, as we saw with the example of blatant insider trading when Bitcoin Cash was listed on Coinbase. Examples of ICO Fraudulent Company Behavior In the past 2 years an astronomical amount of money has been lost in fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings. The utmost care and attention must be employed before you invest. We will cover this area in greater detail with a whole lesson devoted to the topic. However, at this point, it is useful to look at the main instances of ICO fraud. Among recent instances of fraudulent ICOs resulting in exit scams, 2 of the most infamous are the Benebit and PlexCoin ICOs which raised $4 million for the former and $15 million for the latter. Perhaps the most brazen and damaging ICO scam of all time was the Vietnamese Pincoin ICO operation, where $660million was raised from 32,000 investors before the scammer disappeared with the funds. In case of smaller ICO “exit scamming” there is usually zero chance of the scammers being found. Investors must just take the hit. We will cover these as well as others in Lesson 7 “Scam Projects”. Signposts of Fraudulent Actors The following factors are considered red flags when investigating a certain project or ICO, and all of them should be considered when deciding whether or not you want to invest. Whitepaper is a buzzword Salad: If the whitepaper is nothing more than a collection of buzzwords with little clarity of purpose and not much discussion of the tech involved, it is overwhelmingly likely you are reading a scam whitepaper. Signposts of Fraudulent Actors §2 No Code Repository: With the vast majority of cryptocurrency projects employing open source code, your due diligence investigation should start at GitHub or Sourceforge. If the project has no entries, or nothing but cloned code, you should avoid it at all costs. Anonymous Team: If the team members are hard to find, or if you see they are exaggerating or lying about their experience, you should steer clear. And do not forget, in addition to taking proper precautions when investing in ICOs, you must always make sure that you are visiting authentic web pages, especially for web wallets. If, for example, you are on a spoof MyEtherWallet web page you could divulge your private key without realizing it and have your entire portfolio of Ether and ERC-20 tokens cleaned out. Methods to Avoid falling Victim Avoiding scammers and the traps they set for you is all about asking yourself the right questions, starting with: Is there a need for a Blockchain solution for the particular problem that a particular ICO is attempting to solve? The existing solution may be less costly, less time consuming, and more effective than the proposals of a team attempting to fill up their soft cap in an ICO. The following quote from Mihai Ivascu, the CEO of Modex, should be kept in mind every time you are grading an ICO’s chances of success: “I’m pretty sure that 95% of ICOswill not last, and many will go bankrupt. ….. not everything needs to be decentralized and put on an open source ledger.” Methods to Avoid falling Victim §2 Do I Trust These People with My Money, or Not? If you continue to feel uneasy about investing in the project, more due diligence is needed. The developers must be qualified and competent enough to complete the objectives that they have set out in the whitepaper. Is this too good to be true? All victims of the well-known social media scams using fake profiles of Vitalik Buterin, or Bitconnect investors for that matter, should have asked themselves this simple question, and their investment would have been saved. In the case of Bitconnect, huge guaranteed gains proportional to the amount of people you can get to sign up was a blatant pyramid scheme, obviously too good to be true. The same goes for Fake Vitalik’s offer of 1 ether in exchange for 0.1 ETH. Selling Cryptocurrencies, Several reasons for selling with the appropriate actions to take: If you are selling to buy into an ICO, or maybe believe Ether is a safer currency to hold for a certain period of time, it is likely you will want to make use of the Ether pair and receive Ether in return. Obviously if the ICO is on the NEO or WANchain blockchain for example, you will use the appropriate pair. -Trading to buy into another promising project that is listing on the exchange on which you are selling (or you think the exchange will experience a large amount of volume and become a larger exchange), you may want to trade your cryptocurrency for that exchange token. -If you believe that BTC stands a good chance of experiencing a bull run then using the BTC trading pair is the suitable choice. -If you believe that the market is about to experience a correction but you do not want to take your gains out of the market yet, selling for Tether or “tethering up” is the best play. This allows you to keep your locked-in profits on the exchange, unaffected by the price movements in the cryptocurrency markets,so that you can buy back in at the most profitable moment. -If you wish to “cash out” i.e. sell your cryptocurrency for fiat currency and have those funds in your bank account, the best pair to use is ETH or BTC because you will likely have to transfer to an exchange like Kraken or Coinbase to convert them into fiat. If the exchange offers Litecoin or Bitcoin Cash pairs it could be a good idea to use these for their fast transaction time and low fees. Selling Cryptocurrencies Knowing when and how to sell, as well as strategies to inflate the value of your trade before sale, are important skills as a trader of any product or financial instrument. If you are satisfied that the sale itself of the particular amount of a token or coin you are trading away is the right one, then you must decide at what price you are going to sell. Exchanges exercise their own discretion as to which trading “pairs” they will offer, but the most common ones are BTC, ETH, BNB for Binance, BIX for Bibox etc., and sometimes Tether (USDT) or NEO. As a trader, you decide which particular cryptocurrency to exchange depending on your reason for making that specific trade at that time. Methods of Sale Market sell/Limit sell on exchange: A limit sell is an order placed on an exchange to sell as soon as (also specifically only if and when) the price you specified has been hit within the time limit you select. A market order executes the sale immediately at the best possible price offered by the market at that exact time. OTC (or Over the Counter) selling refers to sale of securities or cryptocurrencies in any method without using an exchange to intermediate the trade and set the price. The most common way of conducting sales in this manner is through LocalBitcoins.com. This method of cryptocurrency selling is far riskier than using an exchange, for obvious reasons. The influence and value of your Trade There are a number of strategies you can use to appreciate the value of your trade and thus increase the Bitcoin or Ether value of your portfolio. It is important to disassociate yourself from the dollar value of your portfolio early on in your cryptocurrency trading career simply because the crypto market is so volatile you will end up pulling your hair out in frustration following the real dollar money value of your holdings. Once your funds have been converted into BTC and ETH they are completely in the crypto sphere. (Some crypto investors find it more appropriate to monitor the value of their portfolio in satoshi or gwei.) Certainly not limited to, but especially good for beginners, the most reliable way to increase your trading profits, and thus the overall value and health of your portfolio, is to buy into promising projects, hold them for 6 months to a year, and then reevaluate. This is called Long term holding and is the tactic that served Bitcoin HODLers quite well, from 2013 to the present day. Obviously, if something comes to light about the project that indicates a lengthy set back is likely, it is often better to cut your losses and sell. You are better off starting over and researching other projects. Also, you should set initial Price Points at which you first take out your original investment, and then later, at which you take out all your profits and exit the project. That should be after you believe the potential for growth has been exhausted for that particular project. Another method of increasing the value of your trades is ICO flipping. This is the exact opposite of long term holding. This is a technique in which you aim for fast profits taking advantage of initial enthusiasm in the market that may double or triple the value of ICO projects when they first come to market. This method requires some experience using smaller exchanges like IDEX, on which project tokens can be bought and sold before listing on mainstream exchanges. “Tethering up” means to exchange tokens or coins for the USDT stable coin, the value of which is tethered to the US Dollar. If you learn, or know how to use, technical analysis, it is possible to predict when a market retreatment is likely by looking at the price movements of BTC. If you decide a market pull back is likely, you can tether up and maintain the dollar value of your portfolio in tether while other tokens and coins decrease in value. The you wait for an opportune moment to reenter the market. Market Behavior in Different Time Periods The main descriptors used for overall market sentiment are “Bull Market” and “Bear Market”. The former describes a market where people are buying on optimism. The latter describes a market where people are selling on pessimism. Fun (or maybe not) fact: The California grizzly bear was brought to extinction by the love of bear baiting as a sport in the mid 1800s. Bears were highly sought after for their intrinsic fighting qualities, and were forced into fighting bulls as Sunday morning entertainment for Californians. What has this got to do with trading and financial markets? The downward swipe of the bear’s paws gives a “Bear market” its name and the upward thrust of a Bull’s horns give the “Bull Market” its name. Most unfortunately for traders, the bear won over 80% of the bouts. During a Bull market, optimism can sometimes grow to be seemingly boundless, volume is rising, and prices are ascending. It can be a good idea to sell or rebalance your portfolio at such a time, especially if you have a particularly large position in one holding or another. This is especially applicable if you need to sell a large amount of a relatively low-volume holding, because you can then do so without dragging the price down by the large size of your own sell order. Learn more on common behavioral patterns observed so far in the cryptocurrency space for different coins and ICO tokens. Follow the link: UBAI.co If you want to know how do security tokens work, and become a professional in crypto world contact me via Facebook to get all the details: Facebook
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