Bitcoin and the rise of decentralized autonomous ...

Bob The Magic Custodian



Summary: Everyone knows that when you give your assets to someone else, they always keep them safe. If this is true for individuals, it is certainly true for businesses.
Custodians always tell the truth and manage funds properly. They won't have any interest in taking the assets as an exchange operator would. Auditors tell the truth and can't be misled. That's because organizations that are regulated are incapable of lying and don't make mistakes.

First, some background. Here is a summary of how custodians make us more secure:

Previously, we might give Alice our crypto assets to hold. There were risks:

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:
See - all problems are solved! All we have to worry about now is:
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:
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:
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):



Thoughts?
submitted by azoundria2 to QuadrigaInitiative [link] [comments]

morning prepper

Flurry of dealmaking
Bayer (OTCPK:BAYRY) is paying as much as $4B for U.S. biotech firm Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, bolstering its pharmaceuticals division as it continues to reel from its acquisition of crops giant Monsanto (and cancer-related Roundup lawsuits). The latest deal, which includes upfront consideration of $2B and potential milestone payments of up to $2B, is a bet on cutting-edge gene therapy, which offers the potential to cure a wide range of often-rare diseases by editing errors in the body's instruction manual. Drugmakers including Novartis (NYSE:NVS), Roche Holding (OTCQX:RHHBY) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) have also made big bets on the industry, snapping up gene therapy makers.
Dunkin' may sell and go private
Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin Robbins chains owner Dunkin' Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN) confirmed preliminary talks to be acquired by Inspire Brands after the NYT reported on the negotiations. Inspire would take Dunkin' private at $106.5 per share, valuing the company at $8.8B, or a 20% premium over DNKN's closing price of $88.79 on Friday. While Dunkin' said "there is no certainty that any agreement will be reached," if successful, Inspire would add the new assets to the Buffalo Wild Wings, Arby's Sonic, and Jimmy John's chains that it already owns. DNKN +19% premarket. More M&A: Blackstone to buy Simply Self Storage for about $1.2B.
New Canada oil giant
Cenovus Energy (NYSE:CVE) has agreed to buy Husky Energy (OTCPK:HUSKF) in a C$3.8B ($2.9B) all-stock deal that will combine two of the largest players in Canada's struggling oil-sands industry. The combined company will have about 750K boe/d production, making it the third-largest Canadian oil and natural gas producer. it would also be the second-largest Canadian-based refiner and upgrader with total North American upgrading and refining capacity of ~660K boe/d.
Coronavirus surge, elusive stimulus deal
U.S. stock index futures are starting the week on the backfoot, falling nearly 1% overnight, as the nation reported a record of more than 83,000 new COVID infections on both Friday and Saturday. "We're not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas," White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told CNN's State of the Union program. Meadows and Nancy Pelosi also accused each other of "moving the goalposts" on stimulus legislation in back-to-back interviews, dimming chances a deal could be reached before Election Day.
Vaccine trials
The COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) produces a robust antibody and T-cell immune response in elderly people, the group at highest risk, FT reports. While details of the finding are expected to be published shortly in a clinical journal, sources cautioned that positive immunogenicity tests do not guarantee that the vaccine will ultimately prove safe and effective in older people. AstraZeneca resumed the U.S. trial of its experimental vaccine on Friday after a pause due to safety concerns, while Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) also restarted trials, saying the first batches of its shot could be available in January.
Farm purchases under China trade deal
"China has purchased approximately 71% of its farm purchases target for 2020," according to an interim report on agricultural trade from the U.S. Trade Representative. "They have purchased $23.6B in agricultural products so far this year, substantially more than the base year of 2017, and should end up being our best year ever in sales to China. It is worth noting that the Phase One Agreement did not go into effect until February 14, 2020, and March is the first full month of its effect... We already are on pace to have all-time high sales to China in beef, pork, corn, and soybeans." Go Deeper: Some are questioning the figures and the timeline.
California blackouts
PG&E (NYSE:PCG) is pre-emptively cutting power again in northern California, affecting 386,000 homes and businesses in 38 counties, or nearly 1M people. It's the fourth times this year the state’s largest utility had to shut off electricity due to high winds and extreme wildfire danger, which could spark blazes if live wires topple into dry brush. Utilities in Southern California, like Southern California Edison (NYSE:EIX), are also warning of potential blackouts.
Potential election chaos
As the threat of election-related unrest escalates in the U.S., Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) said it would implement emergency measures reserved for "at-risk" countries to bring down the online temperature. The social media giant plans to limit the "spread of viral content" and lower the bar for "suppressing potentially inflammatory posts" using internal tools previously deployed in Sri Lanka and Myanmar, WSJ reports. The tools would only be used in the event of election-related violence or other serious circumstances, though some employees are concerned it could slow down viral content and unintentionally hide legitimate political discussions. Go Deeper: Facebook will ban U.S. political ads indefinitely after November 3.
Samsung chairman and icon dies
A chapter has closed for the Samsung conglomerate following the death of Lee Kun-hee, who transformed the South Korean appliance maker into the world's biggest producer of smartphones, TVs and memory chips. He had been incapacitated for years following a 2014 stroke, leaving day-to-day operations to his son, Lee Jae-yong, who goes by Jay Y. in the West. While Lee spends about 95% of his time focused on Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF), the conglomerate's most valuable arm, he formally takes the reins with Samsung on the defensive and struggling to evolve within the tech industry.
What else is happening...
SAP (NYSE:SAP) tumbles 18% premarket after slashing revenue forecast.
Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) steps away from bottling in Australia.
Chinese policymakers discuss new five-year development plan.
Airbnb (AIRB) approves private share split ahead of IPO.
American (NASDAQ:AAL) plans PR events before 737 MAX (NYSE:BA) takes to the skies.
AT&T (NYSE:T) job cuts at historical levels; CNN's Zucker may be on the block.
Today's Markets
In Asia, Japan -0.1%. Hong Kong +0.5%. China -0.8%. India -1.3%. In Europe, at midday, London -0.2%. Paris -0.6%. Frankfurt -2.1%. Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.9%. S&P -0.9%. Nasdaq -0.9%. Crude -2.5% to $38.85. Gold -0.2% at $1902.40. Bitcoin +0.6% to $13099. Ten-year Treasury Yield -3 bps to 0.81%
Today's Economic Calendar
8:30 Chicago Fed National Activity Index 10:00 New Home Sales 10:30 Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey
submitted by upbstock to Optionmillionaires [link] [comments]

Resource For Agreed Upon Information

This is going to be a very long post, I’m not expecting to get a lot of replies. I just hope I can find a few people that are bored/helpful enough to give this the time of day. I don’t expect one person to answer all of these questions, but I hope a few people can answer a couple each.
There are so many conflicting opinions out there in the Wild West of Crypto, that it’s very difficult for new players to jump in and feel comfortable with the information they’re provided. I’ve been grinding nonstop for the passed week, trying to find out who to trust, and the answer hasn’t come clear to me. I’m hoping I can get this community’s s opinion on what is trustworthy information.
The first portion will be about finding resources. The theme here will be to discover which resource of the thousands out there has been deemed trustworthy by this community. I’m willing to put in the work to educate myself, I just need to find out who the reliable teachers are.
Which resource do you use to talk to people and ask questions in real time? Reddit is great for slower discussions like this, but I’d love to be able to meet people that are just as excited as I am in another community that has meaningful discussion. Discord servers, Facebook group chats, whatsapp, anything like that. I’ve checked out the Reddit live chat, but all I’ve seen are people freaking out about price fluctuations.
Which resources do you use to study TA? Anything that teaches what the indicators are, and how they present themselves. I’m not looking to become an expert, but I want to understand the terminology, and why people react to TA.
Which resource do you most commonly reference to update yourself on market cap, price, volume, projection and other technical indicators?
Which resources do you utilize for automation? Such as alerts, notifications, newsletters, and subscriptions.
This is a big one, which resources do you use for exchange? I’m Canadian, so I’m curious about CAD to crypto, but anything that is reliable will do. I’m also curious about people’s opinions on crypto to crypto exchanges, futures, exchanges, and which exchange to go to for KYC avoidance.
Which resources do you trust to store crypto?Either cold, hot, or mobile.
Which resources do you reference to acquire cutting edge information about security. Such as personal security with encryption, key jammers, wallets, safes, phishing protection, and so on. As well as what is being done in the crypto sphere to prevent hacks, and to learn about legislation that is being implemented.
Which websites do you reference for your news source? Resources I’ve used are: Investopedia, Cointelegraph, Medium. I’m looking for more that I can trust, and to see how trustworthy you feel these that I’ve mentioned are.
Which YouTube channels are you subscribed to? These are the people I’ve listened to: Crypto Casey, Anthony Pompliano, Digital Asset News, Chico Crypto, Crypto Jebb, aantonop, Erik Voorhees. Are there any among this list that should be ignored?
This next portion will be about terms that I’ve had difficulty understanding. I’ve read up about these, but I feel like my knowledge is lacking severely. I’ll offer the definition that I’ve gathered, but I’m assuming that I’ll be missing a lot of details. Hopefully you guys can help me out with that, and offer a more well rounded answer.
stable coins: cryptocurrencies that attempt to be less volatile.
alt coins: cryptocurrencies that offer solutions to bitcoins problems.
soft forks: a deviation in the blockchain that allows for an update.
hard forks: a deviation in the blockchain that does not allow for an update.
bear markets: when there’s a long downtrend
bull markets: when there’s a long uptrend
rally: when people are excited and investing
resistance: a price point that has taken a very long time to breach, and is considered a milestone when it’s broken.
support: when people are investing more than selling.
breakin: a large volume increase
breakout: a large volume decrease
derivatives: term that encompasses options/futures contracts.
futures: contract that closes a purchase/sell in the future at an agreed upon price.
open interest: the amount of futures contracts that have yet to be closed.
hedge fund: a large investor that primarily deals in futures.
Stop sell order: automation that tells the trader to start buying rather than selling?
I realize this is just the beginning, and there are so many other terms I need to learn. These are just terms that I wasn’t aware of prior to researching crypto. I’m hoping that the resources you’ve provided will be enough to get me to a level of understanding to feel comfortable investing.
A huge thanks to everyone that takes the time to read this and respond.
submitted by Drakereinz to BitcoinBeginners [link] [comments]

Resource For Agree Upon Information

This is going to be a very long post, I’m not expecting to get a lot of replies. I just hope I can find a few people that are bored/helpful enough to give this the time of day. I don’t expect one person to answer all of these questions, but I hope a few people can answer a couple each.
There are so many conflicting opinions out there in the Wild West of Crypto, that it’s very difficult for new players to jump in and feel comfortable with the information they’re provided. I’ve been grinding nonstop for the passed week, trying to find out who to trust, and the answer hasn’t come clear to me. I’m hoping I can get this community’s s opinion on what is trustworthy information.
The first portion will be about finding resources. The theme here will be to discover which resource of the thousands out there has been deemed trustworthy by this community. I’m willing to put in the work to educate myself, I just need to find out who the reliable teachers are.
Which resource do you use to talk to people and ask questions in real time? Reddit is great for slower discussions like this, but I’d love to be able to meet people that are just as excited as I am in another community that has meaningful discussion. Discord servers, Facebook group chats, whatsapp, anything like that. I’ve checked out the Reddit live chat, but all I’ve seen are people freaking out about price fluctuations.
Which resources do you use to study TA? Anything that teaches what the indicators are, and how they present themselves. I’m not looking to become an expert, but I want to understand the terminology, and why people react to TA.
Which resource do you most commonly reference to update yourself on market cap, price, volume, projection and other technical indicators?
Which resources do you utilize for automation? Such as alerts, notifications, newsletters, and subscriptions.
This is a big one, which resources do you use for exchange? I’m Canadian, so I’m curious about CAD to crypto, but anything that is reliable will do. I’m also curious about people’s opinions on crypto to crypto exchanges, futures, exchanges, and which exchange to go to for KYC avoidance.
Which resources do you trust to store crypto?Either cold, hot, or mobile.
Which resources do you reference to acquire cutting edge information about security. Such as personal security with encryption, key jammers, wallets, safes, phishing protection, and so on. As well as what is being done in the crypto sphere to prevent hacks, and to learn about legislation that is being implemented.
Which websites do you reference for your news source? Resources I’ve used are: Investopedia, Cointelegraph, Medium. I’m looking for more that I can trust, and to see how trustworthy you feel these that I’ve mentioned are.
Which YouTube channels are you subscribed to? These are the people I’ve listened to: Crypto Casey, Anthony Pompliano, Digital Asset News, Chico Crypto, Crypto Jebb, aantonop, Erik Voorhees. Are there any among this list that should be ignored?
This next portion will be about terms that I’ve had difficulty understanding. I’ve read up about these, but I feel like my knowledge is lacking severely. I’ll offer the definition that I’ve gathered, but I’m assuming that I’ll be missing a lot of details. Hopefully you guys can help me out with that, and offer a more well rounded answer.
stable coins: cryptocurrencies that attempt to be less volatile.
alt coins: cryptocurrencies that offer solutions to bitcoins problems.
soft forks: a deviation in the blockchain that allows for an update.
hard forks: a deviation in the blockchain that does not allow for an update.
bear markets: when there’s a long downtrend
bull markets: when there’s a long uptrend
rally: when people are excited and investing
resistance: a price point that has taken a very long time to breach, and is considered a milestone when it’s broken.
support: when people are investing more than selling.
breakin: a large volume increase
breakout: a large volume decrease
derivatives: term that encompasses options/futures contracts.
futures: contract that closes a purchase/sell in the future at an agreed upon price.
open interest: the amount of futures contracts that have yet to be closed.
hedge fund: a large investor that primarily deals in futures.
Stop sell order: automation that tells the trader to start buying rather than selling?
I realize this is just the beginning, and there are so many other terms I need to learn. These are just terms that I wasn’t aware of prior to researching crypto. I’m hoping that the resources you’ve provided will be enough to get me to a level of understanding to feel comfortable investing.
A huge thanks to everyone that takes the time to read this and respond.
submitted by Drakereinz to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

KYC is absolutely not acceptable for MakerDAO!

I've heard that founder of MakerDAO is not strictly against KYC. I have a message to whole community and specifically to a founder of MakerDAO Rune Christensen. I will explain using concrete examples why having KYC in MakerDAO is a grave mistake and it will lead to MakerDAO fork.
Many people in the first world never actually understand why financial privacy and financial inclusion is important. Even people (in the first world) who seemingly supportive of such ideas are not able to provide any concrete examples of why it's actually important.
Unfortunately, I was born in a "wrong" country (Uzbekistan) and I experienced first hand what financial exclusion actually means. I know first hand that annoying feeling when you read polite, boilerplate rejection letter from financial institution based in first world. So I had to become practical libertarian. I'm going to give you concrete examples of financial discrimination against me. Then I'm going to explain fundamental reasons why it happens. And finally, I'm going to explain my vision for DAI.
Back in 2005, I lived in Uzbekistan. I had an idea to invest in US stocks. I was very naive and I didn't know anything about investing, compliance, bank transfers, KYC etc. All I knew is nice long term charts of US stocks and what P/E means. I didn't contact any US brokerage but I checked information about account opening and how to transfer money there. I approached local bank in Uzbekistan and asked how to transfer money to Bank of New York. Banker's face was like - WOW, WTF?!?! They asked me to go to private room to talk with senior manager. Senior manager of local bank in Uzbekistan asked me why I wanted to transfer money to US. They told me that it's absolutely impossible to transfer money to US/EU and pretty much anywhere. I approached nearly every local bank in the town and they told me the same.
In 2012, I already lived in Moscow and acquired Russian citizenship. I got back to my old idea - investing in US stocks. I called to many US brokerages and all of them politely rejected me. Usually when I called I asked them if I can open an account with them. They told me to hold on line. After long pause, I was able to speak with "senior" support who politely explain me that Russia in their list of restricted countries and they can't open an account for me. Finally, I was able to open an account with OptionsXpress. Next challenge was to convince local Russian bank to transfer money to US. Back then in 2012, I was able to get permission to do so. So you might say - is this happy end?
Fast forwarding US brokerage story to 2017, OptionsXpress was acquired by Charles Schwab. I was notified that my OptionsXpress account will be migrated to Charles Schwab platform. In 2017, I already lived in the Netherlands (but still having Russian citizenship). I wasn't happy with my stupid job in the Netherlands. I called Charles Schwab and asked if I quit my job in the Netherlands and have to return to Russia, what will happen with my account. Schwab told me that they will restrict my account, so I can't do anything except closing my account. So even if I was long term customer of OptionsXpress, Charles Schwab is not fully okay with me.
Going back to 2013, I still lived in Russia. I had another idea. What if I quit my job and build some SAAS platform (or whatever) and sell my stuff to US customers. So I need some website which accept US credit cards. I contacted my Russian bank (who previously allowed me to transfer money to OptionsXpress) about steps to make in order to accept US credit cards in Russia. I've been told explicitly in email that they won't allow me to accept US credit cards under any circumstances.
Back then I still believed in "the free west". So I thought - no problem, I will just open bank account abroad and do all operations from my foreign account. I planned vacation in Hong Kong. And Hong Kong is freest economy in the world. Looks like it's right place to open bank account. I contacted HSBC Hong Kong via email. Their general support assured me that I can open bank account with them if I'm foreigner. I flew to Hong Kong for vacation and visited HSBC branch. Of course, they rejected me. But they recommended me to visit last floor in their HQ building, they told me that another HSBC branch specializes on opening bank accounts for foreigners. I went there and they said minimum amount to open bank account is 10 mil HKD (1.27 mil USD). Later I learned that it's called private banking.
When I relocated to the Netherlands, I asked ABN Amro staff - what's happen with my bank account if I quit/lose my job in the Netherlands and have to return back to Russia. I've been told that I can't have my dutch bank account if I go back to Russia even if I already used their bank for 2+ years.
I still had idea that I would like to quit my job and do something for myself. The problem is that I'm Russian citizen and I don't have any residency which is independent from my employment. So if I quit my job in the Netherlands, I have to return back to Russia. I wanted to see how I would get payments from US/EU customers. I found Stripe Atlas, it's so exciting, they help you to incorporate in US, and even help with banking, all process of receiving credit card payments is very smooth. But as usual in my case, there is a catch - Russia in their list of restricted countries.
Speaking of centralized compliance-friendly (e.g. KYC) crypto exchanges. This year I live and work in Hong Kong. Earlier this year, I thought it would be nice to have an account at local crypto exchange in Hong Kong so I can quickly transfer money from my bank account in Hong Kong to crypto exchange using FPS (local payment system for fast bank transfers). What could go wrong? After all Hong Kong is freest economy in the world, right? I submitted KYC documents to crypto exchange called Weever including copy of my Hong Kong ID as they requested. They very quickly responded that they need copy of my passport as well. I submitted copy of my Russian passport. This time they got silent. After a few days, they sent me email saying that Russia is on the US Office of Foreign Assets Control sanction list, so they just require me to fill a form about source of the funds. I told them that the source of my funds is salary, my Hong Kong bank can confirm that along with my employment contract. They got very silent after I sent them a filled form. After a week of silence I asked them - when my account get approved? They said that their compliance office will review my application soon. And they got very silent again. I waited for two or three weeks. Then I asked them again. And I immediately got email with title - Rejection for Weever Account Opening. And text of email was:
We are sorry to inform you that Weever may not be able to accept your account opening application at this stage.
Exactly the same situation I had with one crypto exchange in Europe back in 2017. Luckily I have accounts at other crypto exchanges including Gemini, one of most compliance obsessed exchange in the world. Although I don't keep my money there because I can't trust them, who knows what might come into head of their compliance officer one sunny day.
By the way, I'm living and working outside of Russia for quite a few years. The situation with crypto exchanges is much worse for those who still living in Russia.
I give you a few other examples of financial discrimination is not related to troubles with my Russian citizenship.
Back in 2018, I still lived in the Netherlands. I logged in into my brokerage account just to buy US ETFs as I always do - SPY and QQQ. I placed my order and it failed to fill. I thought it's just a technical problem with my brokerage account. After a few failed attempts to send buy orders for SPY and QQQ, I contacted their support. What they told me was shocking and completely unexpected. They said I'm not permitted to buy US ETFs anymore as EU resident because EU passed a law to protect retail investors. So as a EU resident I'm allowed to be exposed to more risk by buying individual US stocks but I'm not allowed to reduce my risk by buying SPY because ... EU wants to protect me. I felt final result of new law. By the way, on paper their law looks fine.
And the final example. It's a known fact that US public market become less attractive in recent decades. Due to heavy regulatory burden companies prefer to go public very late. So if successful unicorn startup grows from its inception/genesis to late adoption, company's valuation would be 3-5 orders of orders of magnitude. For example, if valuation of successful company at inception is 1 Mil USD, then at its very latest stage it's valuation would be 10 Bil USD. So we have 10'000 times of growth. In the best case scenario, company would go public at 1 Bil USD 5-10 years before reaching its peak 10 Bil USD. So investors in private equity could enjoy 1000 fold growth and just leave for public only last 10 fold growth stretched in time. In the worst case scenario, company would go public at 10 Bil USD, i.e. at its historical peak. But there are well known platforms to buy shares of private companies, one of such platforms is Forge Global. You can buy shares of almost all blue chip startups. You can even invest in SpaceX! But as always, there is a catch - US government wants to protect not just US citizens but all people in the world (sounds ridiculous, right?). US law requires you to have 1 Mil USD net worth or 200'000 USD annual income if you want to buy shares of non-public company. So if you are high-net worth individual you can be called "accredited investor". Funny thing is that the law intends to protect US citizens but even if you are not US citizen and never even lived in US, this law is still applies to you in practice. So if you are "poor loser", platforms like Forge Global will reject you.
So high-net worth individuals have access and opportunity to Bitcoin-style multi-magnitude growth every 5-10 years. Contrary to private equity markets, US public markets is low risk/low return type of market. If you have small amount of capital, it's just glorified way to protect yourself from inflation plus some little return on top. It's not bad, US public market is a still great way to store your wealth. But I'm deeply convinced that for small capital you must seek fundamentally different type of market - high risk/high return. It's just historical luck that Bitcoin/Ethereum/etc were available for general public from day one. But in reality, viral/exponential growth is happening quite often. It's just you don't have access to such type of markets due to regulatory reasons.
I intentionally described these examples of financial discrimination in full details as I experienced them because I do feel that vast majority of people in the first world honestly think that current financial system works just fine and only criminals and terrorists are banned. In reality that's not true at all. 99.999% of innocent people are completely cut off from modern financial system in the name of fighting against money laundering.
Here is a big picture why it's happening. There are rich countries (so called western world) and poor countries (so called third world). Financial wall is carefully built by two sides. Authoritarian leaders of poor countries almost always want full control over their population, they don't like market economy, and since market forces don't value their crappy legal system (because it works only for close friends of authoritarian leader) they must implement strict capital control. Otherwise, all capital will run away from their country because nobody really respects their crappy legal system. It only has value under heavy gun of government. Only friends of authoritarian leader can move their money out of country but not you.
Leaders of rich countries want to protect their economy from "dirty money" coming from third world. Since citizens of poor countries never vote for leaders of rich countries nobody really cares if rich country just ban everyone from poor country. It's the most lazy way to fight against money laundering - simply ban everyone from certain country.
Actually if you look deeper you will see that rich countries very rarely directly ban ordinary people from third world. Usually, there is no such law which doesn't allow me to open bank account somewhere in Europe as non-EU resident. What's really happens is that US/EU government implement very harsh penalties for financial institutions if anything ever goes wrong.
So what's actually happens is that financial institutions (banks, brokerages etc) do de-risking. This is the most important word you must know about traditional financial system!
So if you have wrong passport, financial institution (for example) bank from rich country just doesn't want to take any risks dealing with you even if you are willing to provide full documentation about your finances. It's well known fact that banks in Hong Kong, Europe, US like to unexpectedly shutdown accounts of thousands innocent businesses due to de-risking.
So it's actually de-risking is the real reason why I was rejected so many times by financial institutions in the first world!!! It's de-risking actually responsible for banning 99.999% of innocent people. So governments of rich democratic countries formally have clean hands because they are not banning ordinary people from third world directly. All dirty job is done by financial institutions but governments are well aware of that, it's just more convenient way to discriminate. And nobody actually cares! Ordinary citizens in rich countries are never exposed to such problems and they really don't care about people in third world, after all they are not citizens of US/EU/UK/CH/CA/HK/SG/JP/AU/NZ.
And now are you ready for the most hilarious part? If you are big corrupt bureaucrat from Russia you are actually welcome by the first world financial institutions! All Russian's junta keep their stolen money all across Europe and even in US. You might wonder how this is possible if the western financial system is so aggressive in de-risking.
Here is a simple equation which financial institution should solve when they decide whether to open an account for you or not:
Y - R = net profit
Where:
Y - how much profit they can make with you;
R - how much regulatory risk they take while working with you;
That's it! It's very simple equation. So if you are really big junta member from Russia you are actually welcome according to this equation. Banks have special name for serving (ultra) high-net worth individuals, it's called private banking. It's has nothing to do with the fact that bank is private. It's just fancy name for banking for rich.
So what's usually happen in real world. Some Estonian or Danish bank got caught with large scale money laundering from Russia. European leaders are ashamed in front of their voters. They implement new super harsh law against money laundering to keep their voters happy. Voters are ordinary people, they don't care about details of new regulations. So banks get scared and abruptly shutdown ALL accounts of Russian customers. And European voters are happy.
Modern money laundering laws are like shooting mouse in your house using bazooka! It's very efficient to kill mouse, right?
Now imagine world without financial borders. It's hard to do so because we are all get so used to current status quo of traditional financial system. But with additional effort you can start asking questions - if Internet economy is so global and it doesn't really matter where HQ of startup is located, why they are all concentrated in just a few tiny places like Silicon Valley and ... well, that's mostly it if you count the biggest unicorns!
Another question would be - why so many talented russian, indian, chinese programmers just go to the same places like San Francisco, London and make super rich companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple to get even richer? If all you need is laptop and access to internet, why you don't see any trade happening between first and third world?
Well actually there is a trade between first and third world but it's not exactly what I want to see. Usually third world countries sell their natural resources through giant corporations to the first world.
So it's possible to get access to the first world market from third world but this access usually granted only to big and established companies (and usually it means not innovative).
Unicorns are created through massive parallel experiment. Every week bunch of new startups are created in Silicon Valley. Thousands and thousands startups are created in Silicon Valley with almost instant access to global market. Just by law of large numbers you have a very few of them who later become unicorns and dominate the world.
But if you have wrong passport and you are located in "wrong" country where every attempt to access global market is very costly, then you most likely not to start innovative startup in the first place. In the best case scenario, you just create either local business or just local copy-paste startup (copied from the west) oriented on (relatively small) domestic market. Obviously in such setup it's predictable that places like Silicon Valley will have giant advantage and as a result all unicorns get concentrated in just a few tiny places.
In the world without financial barriers there will be much smaller gap between rich and poor countries. With low barrier of entry, it won't be a game when winner takes all.
Whole architecture of decentralized cryptocurrencies is intended to remove middle man and make transactions permissionless. Governments are inherently opposite to that, they are centralized and permissioned. Therefore, decentralized cryptocurrencies are fundamentally incompatible with traditional financial system which is full of middle mans and regulations (i.e. permissions).
Real value of crypto are coming from third world, not the first world. People are buying crypto in rich countries just want to invest. Their financial system and their fiat money are more or less already working for them. So there is no immediate urgency to get rid of fiat money in the first world. So the first world citizens buying crypto on centralized KYCd exchanges are essentially making side bet on the success of crypto in third world.
Real and natural environment of cryptocurrencies is actually dark OTC market in places like Venezuela and China.
But cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have a big limitation to wide adoption in third world - high volatility.
So the real target audience is oppressed (both by their own government and by first world governments) ordinary citizens of third world countries yet they are least who can afford to take burden of high volatility.
Right now, Tether is a big thing for dark markets across the world (by the way, dark market doesn't automatically imply bad!). But Tether soon or later be smashed by US/EU regulators.
The only real and working permissionless stable cryptocurrency (avoiding hyped word - stablecoin) is DAI.
DAI is the currency for post-Tether world to lead dark OTC market around the world and subvert fiat currencies of oppressive third world governments.
Once DAI become de-facto widespread currency in shadow economy in all of third world, then it will be accepted (after many huge push backs from governments) as a new reality. I'm talking about 10-20+ years time horizon.
But if MakerDAO chooses the route of being compliance friendly then DAI will lose its real target audience (i.e. third world).
I can not imagine US/EU calmly tolerate someone buying US stocks and using as a collateral to issue another security (i.e. DAI) which is going to be traded somewhere in Venezuela! You can not be compliance friendly and serve people in Venezuela.
Facebook's Libra was stupidest thing I've seen. It's extremely stupid to ask permission from the first world regulators to serve third world and create borderless economy. Another stupid thing is to please third world governments as well. For example, Libra (if ever run) will not serve Indian, Chinese, Venezuelan people. Who is then going to use stupid Libra? Hipsters in Silicon Valley? Why? US dollars are good enough already.
submitted by omgcoin to MakerDAO [link] [comments]

Chris Lemuel former VP at Goldman Sach joins the TAP TEAM: AMA

Who is Chris?
Christopher Lemuel is our new CFO that joined the TAP Team after 5.5 years in the Financial Services industry. He worked as a VP with Goldman Sachs for the last 2 and a half years. Prior to his career in Finance, Chris spent nearly 9 years in the active-duty Army after his Commissioning from West Point.
Chris brings his unique perspective and experience from Goldman Sachs to help make TAP a force in the reward redemptions and advertising industry. With Chris in his new position, TAP will be uniquely positioned to deliver both consumers and advertisers cutting edge features and initiatives that competitors, without the benefit of Chris’s experience, cannot deliver. Chris envisions a platform that is best in class when it comes to cutting inefficiencies - meaning customers should see advertisements they want and care about, and advertisers should be getting their ads delivered to the appropriate targets. When this happens, both parties win!
The set of questions were picked from our Telegram community. We could not take every question, but we want to thank everyone for participating and congratulations to the members whose questions were picked. Chris has answered them below.
QUESTIONS:
What got you interested in cryptocurrency? Are cryptocurrency projects something that can fundamentally change the world?
I had a number of colleagues and friends who were actively trading - mostly BTC/ETH and conversations with them and why they were trading sparked my initial interest. One friend, in particular, had a background in distributed computing and we chatted at length about the potential benefits and drawbacks of crypto/DLT/etc.
The latter half of the question is difficult to answer. Given the number of enterprise projects around "Blockchain", you can argue that there is potential to alter the way many fundamental processes are managed on a day to day basis- whether that is supply chain management across the logistics spectrum or trade settlement in Finance, I think it is safe to say that there are serious efforts underway to fundamentally re-engineer some of the more complex process management protocols regularly used across almost every industry today. Whether or not that constitutes fundamentally changing the world I'll leave up to the reader.
What is the view of some of your colleagues at Goldman regarding cryptocurrency? Did they see the potential right away or did they take a wait and see approach?
I can't speak for my former GS colleagues but I think based on recent hires and public statements made by the Firm's leadership, they definitely see potential around the technology and I would argue they were fairly early as well. From a practical perspective, the implementation of any new technology is a non-trivial event for any large enterprise. People underestimate the scale and scope of what Banks manage on a day to day basis and the precision with which they manage these complex operations.
Simply ripping something out that works well, and manages millions of transactions representing billions in risk on a daily basis -- without absolute certainty that the new system works -- is simply not an option. Additionally, many of the processes Banks manage involve customers and partner organizations for validation and settlement, so Banks and similar enterprises will only be able to evolve as quickly as their customepartner base is able to evolve and adopt new tech.
Why Hooch, there are 1000s of projects out there, why is this the one that caused you to think, "I need to be involved?"
After sitting with the Team at Hooch /TAP Network and looking a bit deeper into what they were doing I found that the product and what it was evolving toward was something I both understood and could see enterprise partners adopting. What was particularly appealing was that for many/most of Hooch / TAP's customers, our product will be the first time they have implemented a digital Rewards/Loyalty program - we are not fighting to displace existing tech, which is a much easier value proposition for clients.
Can traditional financial networks and cryptocurrency coexist, or will there always be friction between cryptocurrency and more well known financial products?
I think the bigger question is can non-central bank-issued currencies co-exist with central bank currencies. Based on what we are currently seeing- I would say the answer is yes. Whether that is the case for the long run remains to be seen. From a practical perspective, I do not see regulated entities- Banks, Insurers, Pension Funds, etc dealing with cryptocurrencies - their barriers to doing so are too high and the risks associated with getting engagement with Cryptos wrong are much higher than the rewards are for getting it right.
What is the end game of Hooch/TapCoin, is it just going to be a reward coin/advertising and if so, what sets it apart from other companies that aren't using blockchain?
The end game is interoperability of "rewards/loyalty" points within the merchant ecosystem. I think you are starting to see more and more traditional loyalty program operators opening up their ecosystems to this idea. Nominally, most people who have major airline, hotel, or credit card are seeing a form of this as the threshold for redemption continues to go down and the array of brand partners available to redeem with continues to climb. Ultimately, we can see our product/ecosystem potentially working with a stablecoin that has gained widespread adoption from merchants/consumers and providing cash-like transaction value to the consumer across nearly all participating merchants. We use DLT technology to mask our users’ personally identifying information while allowing them to share their transaction data with merchants/brands that they are interested in receiving offers from. The "Opt-In" component of this is non-trivial from a consumer experience perspective-it assigns control of the data to the consumer. The end goal is for our partners to get their message out and for the customers to actually see ads and content that is relevant and engaging to them.
Any updates or opinions on the Brave Partnership, and how do you feel about the partnership, was it a factor in you joining up?
I am a big fan of what the team at Brave are building and am a user of both their desktop and mobile browser. I don't think you have to be a crypto evangelist or privacy maximalist to appreciate the product they have built- to me, they've built a better browsing experience for the user. We have some exciting developments underway with the Brave Team and I look forward to sharing them as soon as we are able to.
What skills that you have acquired over your career do you think is most valuable for your foray into cryptocurrency?
It isn't a skillset but I've had the good fortune of being able to see the impact that technology has had on large organizations/enterprises from both my time in the military and in finance and at a level where I've had to deal with the implementational complexities of integrating these technologies into everyday operations. From these vantage points I've learned that if you want to implement change you have to learn every detail of any system you are looking to remove/update/overhaul to include any linked/contingent processes that touch that system. Any gaps in your knowledge will quickly be filled by angry phone calls from people who were relying on what you just turned off- you'll be lucky if you only end up with angry phone calls too. The other bit I've learned is that any change worth implementing is going to be a difficult and long process.
When did you first become interested in crypto, and what is the impression now of crypto among your peers and friends in the financial industry?
I probably started paying serious attention in late 2014. I had a few colleagues that were exploring the space- I considered them pretty forward-thinking so I followed suit. From there, my interest and engagement in the space grew and evolved and as my understanding grew, my thoughts on the space evolved into what I consider a fairly mainstream opinion- DLT/Blockchain/etc has potential and if you can provide a reasonable value proposition for the user, you have the potential to actually do something interesting. I think opinions among people in financial services vary broadly, but if I were to generalize, I first would delineate between cryptocurrencies and the related technologies versus rolling them up into one catch-all. You'll find more skepticism around currencies and more optimism around DLT/Blockchain.
There are still a lot of scams and problems in crypto. Do you think we will need to move in the direction blockchain along with big corporations administering any coins (e.g. facebook libra) or is the dream of decentralization still possible?
My belief is that you are likely to see more centralization than decentralization in crypto terms but I think you will see more decentralization in finance via "consensus" or "distributed compute" processes in the future. It's probably an unsatisfactory explanation for the decentralization maximalists but I'd argue it's still decentralization.
Any crazy or interesting stories about crypto or from where you used to work that you can tell us?
Honestly, there wasn't anything really too wild or crazy from my time in finance. Maybe I just didn't get invited to the right parties.
How did you meet Lin, and what do you think sets him apart from other CEOS of startups?
I was introduced to Lin through a mutual friend. What separated him from the start was the mix of success he had as both an entrepreneur and as an executive inside of established Media companies- he understood the challenges facing him from the start and it made him a compelling partner to work with on this project.
What does the future look like, mostly blockchain, or the products we use today remain the trend for the major economies?
I believe you'll see more blockchain-like technologies adopted in the future for a variety of different purposes but they'll probably exist in the background powering processes that are unnoticed by the end-user.
What do you think about citizens in turbulent economies (central and south America) using crypto like bitcoin and ether to get what they need instead of more traditional means such as cash and credit? Do you see that as a good thing generally in a bad situation?
It is an interesting development and clearly a good thing in a bad situation- people accessing goods and services that they need but were previously cut off from due to local currency challenges. I think it will be interesting to see if the short term necessity results in longer term and more widespread adoption of ETH/BTC/etc as a medium of exchange in these impacted economies.
submitted by esisenore to TapcoinHooch [link] [comments]

Beer, Blockchain and Derivatives Trades: A Hackathon Brings Bankers and Techies Together to Disrupt a Trillion-Dollar Market

The beer was flowing and the hubbub of conversation was beginning to rise at Barclays’ fintech hub in London’s trendy Shoreditch neighborhood last week. After a marathon competition, developers finally let their hair down.
For the previous 48 hours, the participants of DerivHack had been testing new digital tools. There was more than just pride on the line. The new technologies promise to cut billions from the cost of processing trades in the multi-trillion-dollar derivatives and securities markets.
For two days, in long sessions fueled by coffee and Coca-Cola, international teams of developers in London, New York and Singapore tested a new trading standard developed by the industry group, International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) that could transform the way the derivatives industry and other financial markets work.
Banks and developers say the new trading standard, coupled with distributed ledger technology, could bring big savings to the expensive business of processing trades.
A distributed ledger is a secure, decentralized database shared among different parties. Think of it as a bookkeeping method that instantly verifies that you’re getting precisely what you’ve agreed to. The best-known ledger technology is blockchain, which underpins the cryptocurrency bitcoin.
In recent years, there’s been considerable hype around deploying distributed ledger technology in the banking sector to speed up all manner of transactions that now take days to clear. The derivatives market is particularly ripe for disruption. Despite is size, it’s riddled with inefficiency. Participants have established myriad ways to process trades over the years, leading to redundant layers of processing and compounding reconciliation costs, which occur when the data shared between the buyer and seller doesn’t perfectly match up.

A billion dollar fix

The ISDA’s fix to this problem is called Common Domain Model (CDM), a distributed ledger technology that it’s rolled out in stages over the past year that promises to automate the processing of derivatives trades. Deloitte reckons a blockchain-derived tool such as this could cut dealers’ costs of roughly $3.2 billion by 80-85%.
“The total opportunity becomes much larger when considering the inclusion of other market participants outside the dealer community, benefits to regulators, improvements in funding, and balance sheet optimization,” Deloitte said in a recent report.
But if CDM is ever to become a trusted trading standard, the geeks first have to put it through its paces.
That’s why Barclays sponsored the hackathon, now in its second year. To get away from the suits in the Square Mile, it held the event where the coders and engineers could be found during the day—its Rise building in Shoreditch, which houses dozens of finch start-ups.

Making sense of credit default swaps

The market value of over-the-counter derivatives has fallen since the financial crisis of 2007-09. That’s when one type of derivative, credit default swaps, dominated before the market imploded under the weight of a cascade of defaults. But the gross market value of OTC derivatives still stood at a staggering $9.7 trillion at the end of 2018, down from a peak of $35 trillion in 2008, according to the Bank for International Settlements.
The Common Domain Model was developed by ISDA in an effort to harmonize a patchwork of different conventions used to represent derivatives trades and processes, and bring them in line with the latest regulation. Another plus: it can automate error-prone manual processes.
At its “derivatives hackathon”, Barclays gave teams of IT developers trading scenarios that required them to use ISDA’s CDM standard; the teams chose the technology platform—whether a centralized database or a distributed ledger platform.
The scenarios allowed the teams to model post-trade processing of derivatives contracts to show how efficiencies could be achieved by using the CDM standard.
Barclays hosted a similar event last year in New York and London. This year, DerivHack was extended to Singapore and the product scope broadened to include securities. Fifteen teams took part in London, 19 in New York and 8 in Singapore, including a team from Russia. In addition to Barclays, participating banks included JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, UBS, Bank of America and NatWest.
Ian Sloyan, ISDA’s director for market infrastructure and technology, said ISDA was seeing a lot of interest in the new standard.
“We are seeing some real-life projects now talking about implementing the ISDA CDM, which is happening at pace. In the next year, I think we are going to see some big implementation projects that will demonstrate how important the ISDA CDM is going to be to the market,” he told Fortune.
Lee Braine, Barclays’ director of research and engineering, said that, a year ago, the purpose of the hackathon was to get a sense from the industry of whether the CDM made sense, and was usable.
“We’re past that. The answer was yes. So now the challenge is: how do you drive adoption?” he said, adding the interest is strong from banks and fintechs alike.
Sunil Challa, director, Business Architect, Barclays Strategy, said one big development since last year was that ISDA had made CDM open source, meaning any developer could work with the model, regardless of whether they were experts in financial services.
“Within the blockchain/distributed ledger technology platforms, three out of the four major platforms have essentially taken this standard and mapped it, and extended it on their platforms,” he said.
The winner of the London leg of DerivHack was Finteum, a startup that is building a platform for banks to borrow and lend to each other for hours at a time instead of overnight. Co-founder Brian Nolan found it relatively easy for Finteum, as a new trading platform, to integrate CDM into its platform. He said CDM showed promise as a standard.
“Absolutely, not just derivatives, but here as you’ve seen in the securities industry, I think there is growing momentum behind it. I think today’s event proves that,” he told Fortune.

More must-read stories from Fortune:

Tariffs on this beloved Italian cheese are now in effect and the markets are grumbling
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](https://fortune.com/2019/10/16/bank-of-america-warren-buffett-economy/) —How would you spend a universal basic income? We asked participants around the world—and their answers might surprise you
—Scotch on the rocks—how Trump’s trade tariffs could harm a favorite nightcap
Don’t miss the dailyTerm Sheet, Fortune’s newsletter on deals and dealmakers.
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submitted by acerod1 to Business_Analyst [link] [comments]

Sibos 2019: Final wrap-up of talks, interviews and daily news

This year _FinTech Futures_brought you the Daily News at Sibos, in print and online, as well as exclusive interviews with industry leaders and summaries of keynote talks.
Now it’s all over, we thought we’d pull all this content together into one final wrap-up of the London-hosted four day event.
Day One: Monday 23rd September
Daily News at Sibos
Kicking off our first day of news and features, we explored AI, emerging technologies and legacy system updates with appearances from Credit Enable CEO Nadia Sood, Cogress business development direct Zac Gazit and Nasdaq’s Carl Slesser and Hanaa Bengtsson.
_Regulation isn’t enough to trust the cloud_Regulation is not enough to bring transparency and trust to the cloud, “we need more practical solutions,” says Credit Bank of Moscow’s deputy board chairman, Sergey Putyatinsky at Sibos.
PSD2 bringing APIs to industry forefront
The second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) has changed the way that banks think about technology, and brought the discussion about application programming interfaces (APIs) from its original place in the IT department to the forefront of the industry’s mind, according to a panel at Sibos.
Swift reveals 41 second European payments pilot
Swift has revealed its latest European payments pilot at Sibos which took 41 seconds to travel from Singapore to Germany, following _FinTech Future_‘s exclusive preview on the announcement.
When do digital ecosystems stop performing?
There are both opportunities and setbacks when it comes to creating a truly digital ecosystem, but vendors should be “aware of the challenges on the supply chain” argues Colin Parry, CEO of Issa, at Sibos.
Interconnection will mean more flash crashes in FX
“You ain’t seen nothing yet,” says UBS’s strategic development lab head Christopher Purves, who talks about the rise of interconnection between systems in foreign exchange (FX) and how this will cause flash crashes like we’ve never seen before.
Banks face existential threat from fintechs “willing to lose money”
Banks are misjudging competitive risk in the payments market, and are facing an existential threat if they don’t match up to fintechs willing to lose money to snatch up customer relationships and deal with payments friction, says Alan Trefler, CEO of Pega Systems, speaking at Sibos.
Day Two: Tuesday 24th September
Daily News at Sibos
This issue explores how financial organisations are keeping ahead of cybersecurity threats as new technology ushers in new risks which need to be tackled. Panaseer’s VP Becky Keightley talks about the evolution of financial crime for banks, while senior associate at Cooke, Young & Keidan Michael Cumming-Bruce talks about the opportunities for fraud with Libra.
_London could be “centre of the world” for RMB_London has the potential to be the centre of the world for Chinese RMB, according to Charles Li, CEO of Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Clearing (HKEX), should his firm’s proposed £32 billion merger with the London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) go ahead.
Visa’s digitisation tries to avoid “immediate displacement” of cash
Visa is trying to avoid “immediate displacement” of cash in its digitisation process so as not to disrupt the US population which is still heavily cash-based, says SVP global head of Visa Business, Kevin Phalen, at a Sibos round table.
“Digital transformation will happen quicker in LatAm than Europe”
There will be a “leap frog” in Latin America’s digital transformation progress soon, beating Europe’s time to digital, says McKinsey’s senior partner Carlos Trascasa at Sibos.
Embracing payments change will keep banks in fintech race
The implementation of instant payment schemes like EBA Clearing’s RT1 and new Request to Pay (R2P) initiatives will help banks compete with global technology firms and fintechs, according to a Sibos panel.
MUFG “ready to work with fintechs”
Japan-based Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) is “ready to work with fintechs”, revealing it already has its eyes on some and wants to open up the conversation as much as possible, says its EMEA head of cash and liquidity management Alan Verschoyle-King in an exclusive interview with FinTech Futures.
Banks must improve data handling to root out financial crime
Banks need to improve the handling of their data before they attempt to apply artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning systems to root out money laundering and financial crime, according to a panel at Sibos.
Day Three: Wednesday 25th September
Daily News at Sibos
For this penultimate edition, the theme is adapting to shifting geopolitical and regulatory priorities. Global head of transactional services at AbsaThabo Makoko explores how countries in the south of the African equator can improve their payments infrastructure, while managing director and head of global transaction banking at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking Ed Thurman analyses how global trading tensions are prompting more corporates to diversify the markets they trade in.
_“Blockchain is not a magic wand,” says Euroclear_Belgium-based financial services company Euroclear says “blockchain is not a magic wand” on a panel discussion at Sibos about the vulnerabilities of blockchain.
Aligning compliance with real-time payments
With faster payments redefining transactions, consumers now expect greater transparency and banks should focus on the “implications of data” to stay innovative, says Marion King, director of payments at NatWest.
SEB launches new environment-friendly product for Nordic SMBs
Swedish corporate bank Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) says the largest risk concern for its SMB clients in supply chain financing (SCF) is the environment, shifting from last year’s focus on renewable energy.
Cultural barriers need to fall to make cybersecurity more transparent
“It’s critical not to let the bad guys win [the cybersecurity race] by letting them take advantage of our fragmented regulatory landscape,” says Norton Rose Fulbright’s head of technology and innovation Stella Cramer at Sibos.
IBM’s initiative for social good
Aleksandra Mojsilovic from IBM Research discusses why using AI and machine learning to tackle societal challenges should be on every business’ mind.
Day Four: Thursday 26th September
Daily News at Sibos
Leveraging data to uncover new connections is the theme of this year’s final edition. CTO & COO Moshe Selfin and VP of CTO Office Ilya Dubinsky at Credorax discuss the future of 5G and its easily accessible data, while EMEA head of State Street Global Exchange Riccardo Lamanna explores how financial services has undertaken AI, data ledger technology, robotics and cloud technologies – questioning whether some of this technology is a fad, or whether it will become essential.
Watch out for Asian big techs like Alipay, Accenture warns banks
Banks aren’t looking closely enough at big technology firms in Asia such as Alipay, says Accenture‘s MD banking lead Cécile André Leruste.
“We don’t get rid of anything in this industry”, says Fiserv director “We don’t get rid of anything in this industry,” says Fiserv director of product Trevor LeFleche on the evolution of payments and the current uses of cash, card and digital channels at Sibos London in an exclusive interview with FinTech Futures.

* More Details Here
submitted by sa007sammy to BankingInfo [link] [comments]

Ferrum Network

Ferrum Network

https://preview.redd.it/8n5dtwvrdbd31.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=e15a79f860378bf96b79acc9538a380ee9624e32
Since the advent of blockchain technology in 2008, when Satoshi Nakamoto introduced Bitcoin, serious efforts have been made to implement the blockchain in several aspects of global business processes. Blockchain technology has been described as having the potential to destroy many industries at low cost. transactions, eternity and increased security. In subsequent years, many other blockchain implementations were developed, each of which demonstrates unique functions adapted to specific use cases.
Blockchain allowed to release almost all assets through the structure of a distributed ledger. With the help of cryptocurrency tokens, these assets can be given economic value for launching and testing some transactional processes. Several network protocols were developed by a number of startups and companies that were created to create blockchain-based solutions.
On this occasion, I will provide interesting information, especially in the world of cryptocurrency. This ICO project related to the financial world called the Ferrum Network is a fast interconnection network for decentralized financial applications. Before discussing it, it is a good idea to read reviews that can help you get information about their vision and mission. We hope that this information will certainly give you a little understanding and interest in participating in the Ferrum Network ICO project.
https://preview.redd.it/gd5yjoqwdbd31.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=2f454e1fddf1f2f92dbd603d253c708bacc6d6f9
The Ferrum network, developed by experts in distributed systems with more than ten years of experience in the world’s largest technology company, was created to solve two fundamental problems that hinder the implementation of cryptocurrency: slow transaction speed and lack of interoperability between networks. Instead of building an autonomous network, Ferrum Network uses the value of an existing block chain and connects it to a high-speed transaction level that allows peer-to-peer transactions from any digital asset.
Like the Lightning Network for each blockchain, Ferrum’s revolutionary technology combines networks that provide consistently high speed and low transaction costs for each digital asset, like BTC, ETH, XRP, EOS, Zcash, and so on. He even works with paper currencies. By focusing on lasers on attracting users and global deployment, Ferrum Network has created a line of financial applications vertically integrated into the network, allowing users to buy, exchange, conduct transactions and store any digital assets without the risk of confrontation between the parties.
Ferrum Network Technology
DAG Book: Decentralized books are similar to the blockchain, but are designed for fast transactions, minimal network costs and the absence of miners. Interaction network: introducing innovative solutions for cross-chains, Ferrum can work with any blockchain / network. Decentralized proxy tokens: Decentralized proxy tokens with guaranteed stability allow the exchange / transaction of any digital assets, including digital fiat. High Frequency Trading: genuine support for moving assets off the network and conducting high frequency trading and transactions for a nominal fee. FRM Token: network gas, FRM tokens are consumed and burned for each transaction in the network. Import / Export Value: Ferrum is designed to import / export values, including paper currencies.
https://preview.redd.it/uu2hce91ebd31.jpg?width=876&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=11a46245602013e34fe86fa4a17a0810d59cdb38
Key features of the network Ferrum
Inter-network communication: A next-generation protocol designed to connect to each block chain. High speed and low cost: peer-to-peer transactions that within a millisecond confirm that the cost of the network is about 1 cent. An integrated line of financial products: buy, exchange, trade and store any digital assets using sophisticated financial applications that work online. Run with users and network utility: real products, real users, proven business practices.
The Ferrum Network launches a vertically integrated line of financial products above the network, which gives users the ability to control their financial lives.
Kudi Exchange Fiat Gateway: you can buy and sell cryptocurrency faster and cheaper using the Fiat Gateway Ferrum Network, starting with the stock exchange in West Africa and their first wallet for smartphones in Africa, offering a set of stable coins in a fully regulated US dollar and the ability to send paper currency. UniFyre Wallet: You can perform any operations with digital assets without risk using the UniFyre Wallet. UniFyre Wallet offers revolutionary features such as risk-free over-the-counter trading, instant market trading and security features to prevent losses due to errors.
Ferrum Network has its own original token, PUR (short for PURE FERRUM) and other proxy tokens. As already mentioned, Fe is used as a “gas” in the network, similar to the cost of Ethereum gas on the Ethereum blockchain. Proxy tokens mean tokens that are imported into the network and have the same meaning as the original. Here is an example. If 1 BTC is added to the Ferrum network, it will be exchanged for 1 Fe (BTC) — the external exchange protocol will be used with the same value. Something similar happened with paper currencies. If USD or EUR is sent to the network, we will have Fe (USD) and Fe (EUR) in the network.
In short, Fe tokens, such as Fe (BTC), Fe (ETH), are created by locking the original value; they have developed several methods for this. Some of them include smart contracts, and some do not. However, they all provide transaction security.
Information about the network Ferrum and ICO Token FRM
FRM tokens will be used to quickly complete all transactions with minimal commission and in the most reliable way. FRM tokens for digital currencies and Fiat will also be available.
Token details
Name: Ferrum Network Token: FRM Token cost: 1 FRM = 0.0168 USD Tokens for sale: 400 million FRM Total amount of deliveries: 1 000 000 000 FRM Softcap: TBA Hardcap: $ 6,000,000 Token distribution

You can find Ferrum.network on:
submitted by sinhrofazatron to ico [link] [comments]

Ferrum Network Introduction and Problem Statement

We live in a multi-token world, with thousands of digital assets residing across hundreds of separate blockchains. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, IOTA and EOS are all examples of major digital currencies with their own unique use cases. The ecosystem benefits from a wide variety of networks, tokens, and projects, all aiming to build a fairer, more inclusive world.

However, a fundamental challenge remains – how to enable communication, transaction and exchange across hundreds of separate and distinct networks? In other words, how can we enable the myriad blockchains to interoperate.

The challenge posed by interoperability goes beyond academic theory – it is a fundamental issue that pervades the entire crypto ecosystem and directly impacts all crypto users. It is a primary reason why we have not meaningfully achieved Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision of a “purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash that allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution”. It is one reason the vast majorities of currencies are exchanged through traditional, trust-based centralized exchanges.

The current solutions to the challenge of interoperability, such as atomic swaps and decentralized ERC-20 networksii are laudable, yet greatly limited in terms of speed, scalability and functionality. To date, a decentralized network enabling the fast, inexpensive and functional exchange of any digital asset across any blockchain has not been successfully implemented. Instead, powerful centralized exchanges have been erected, wielding outsized influence over the ecosystem, introducing third-party risk, and undermining Nakomoto’s original vision. At the same time, many existing offerings of decentralized exchanges are not satisfactory due to a combination of limited token offerings, poor user experience, and slow transaction times.

Enter Ferrum Network, enabling the fast and inexpensive peer-to-peer exchange of any digital asset, regardless of originating blockchain. Ferrum is a decentralized platform where users can manage, transact and exchange their digital assets without passing the custody of their assets to a third-party. Built on a directed-acyclic graph (DAG) network, Ferrum has inherent advantages over traditional blockchains in terms of speed, cost and scalabilityiv. By utilizing Ferrum’s groundbreaking technology to securely import and export value across chains, users can deposit any asset into Ferrum Network creating a proxy token that can be transacted and exchanged using the UniFyre Wallet or other forthcoming exchange products. To get started with Ferrum Network products, users can purchase their digital assets directly with fiat money using our fiat gateways, beginning with our West African based fiat gateway, Kudi Exchange.

The Kudi Exchange and mobile wallet allows users to purchase Bitcoin and other digital assets directly with fiat. The mobile wallet even allows users to send digital fiat money peer-to-peer using just What’s App and SMS numbers. No database, and no intermediaries are needed. In addition, Kudi Exchange will be the first and only platform on the continent of Africa to offer the U.S. Dollar backed stable coin, Gemini Dollar.

The next product in our line of financial application that runs on the network will be the UniFyre Wallet, which will have unique features for sending and receiving transactions that allow users to engage in risk-free and near-instant peer-to-peer exchanges of the following digital assets, with many more being integrated: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, True USD, Gemini Dollar, and the Ferrum Token, FRM. As of this writing, BNB, EOS, NEO and other major assets are being integrated into the Ferrum Network. Because both parties must authorize a transaction before it is executed, the UniFyre Wallet also enables risk-free, near instant over-the counter (OTC) trading at a fraction of the usual cost.

Click on the links below to get detailed information about Ferrum Network.
Ferrum Network Website: https://ferrum.network/
Ferrum Network Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/FerrumNetwork
Ferrum Network Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ferrum-Network-2344675192486134

Bounty0x Username: @skylords
submitted by VizzTag to FerrumNetwork [link] [comments]

A Look at DCG & Bitfury's Incestuous Ties With the U.S. Government

Peter Todd Tweet in 2014: https://archive.is/vKZ9C
[email protected] I gotta say, looks really bad legally how Austin Hill's been negotiating deals w/ pools/etc. to get control of hashing power.
Board of Digital Currency Group
Glenn Hutchins
Advisory Board
Larry Summers
DCG of course is an investor in both Blockstream and BTCC.
DCG's money comes from:
DCG also owns Coindesk.
BTCC and Bitfury are the only two large mining pools who are outspoken in their support of Bitcoin Core.
The Bitfury Group Leadership to Present at Clinton Global Initiative (https://archive.is/MWKee)
Full Video (Begins at 32:00)
“The Bitfury Group is proud to be the world’s leading full service Blockchain technology company, we are deeply honored to represent this innovation to an audience of extremely dedicated game-changers, and we look forward to highlighting our company’s groundbreaking ‘Blockchain for global good’ work at such an important event, said Smith. “From the White House to the Blockchain, I know this technology has the power to deliver inclusion and opportunity to millions, if not billions, of people around the world and I am so grateful to work for a company focused on such a principled vision.”
Bitfury Lightning Implementation
  • In partnership with a French firm called ACINQ (http://acinq.co)
  • ACINQ is a subsidiary of the larger ACINQ Financial Services
  • CoinTelegraph: Bitfury Lightning Network Successfully Tested With French Bitcoin Company
  • TEAM: https://archive.is/Q5CNU
  • ACINQ’s US Headquarters is in Vienna, Virginia, a small town of only 16,000. Why would a global financial firm choose to locate here? -- Feeder community into Washington, D.C. Has an orange line metro stop. -- Located in Fairfax County, VA. -- The US Federal Government is the #2 largest employer -- Booz Allen Hamilton (NSA front company) is #6 largest employer -- In fact, most of the top employers in Fairfax County are either US Federal Gov’t or companies that provide services to Federal Government -- The county is home to the headquarters of intelligence agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and National Reconnaissance Office, as well as the National Counterterrorism Center and Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Chairman: Avinash Vashistha
CEO: Chaman Baid
CSO: Nandan Setlur
  • https://www.linkedin.com/in/nandansetlur https://archive.is/wp3L0
  • From 1986-1993 he worked for Information Management Consultants (imc) Ltd as a Technical Consultant with various federal government agencies. McLean, Virginia
  • 1993-2000 Technical Consultant for Freddie Mac, in McLean Virginia
  • From 2000-2007, President of InterPro Global in Maryland
  • From 2011-2012, Director of VibbleTV in Columbia, Maryland
  • From 2008-Present has been Executive Director at ACINQ and Managing Partner at Vine Management, both in Vienna, Virginia.
BitFury Enhances Its Advisory Board by Adding Former CFTC Chairman Dr. James Newsome and Renowned Global Thought Leader and President of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy Hernando de Soto (Businesswire)
Bitfury Board of Directors
Robert R Dykes
The other board members include two Bitfury founders, and an investor.
Bitfury Advisory Board
James Newsome
  • Ex-chairman of CFTC
  • Dr. Newsome was nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate to be at first a Commissioner and later a Chairman of CFTC. As Chairman, Newsome guided the regulation of the nation’s futures markets. Additionally, Newsome led the CFTC’s regulatory implementation of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (CFMA). He also served as one of four members of the President’s Working Group for Financial Markets, along with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Chairmen of the Federal Reserve and the SEC. In 2004, Newsome assumed the role of President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) where he managed daily operations of the largest physical derivatives exchange in the world. Dr. Newsome is presently a founding partner of Delta Strategy Group, a full-service government affairs firm based in Washington, DC.
Hernando de Soto
  • Hernando de Soto heads the Institute for Liberty and Democracy, named by The Economist one of the two most important think tanks in the world. In the last 30 years, he and his colleagues at the ILD have been involved in designing and implementing legal reform programs to empower the poor in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and former Soviet nations by granting them access to the same property and business rights that the majority of people in developed countries have through the institutions and tools needed to exercise those rights and freedoms. Mr. de Soto also co-chaired with former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, and currently serves as honorary co-chair on various boards and organizations, including the World Justice Project. He is the author of “The Other Path: the Economic Answer to Terrorism”, and his seminal work “The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else.”
  • Frequent attendee at Davos World Economic Forum
  • Frequent Speaker @ Clinton Global Initiative http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2ytfrs https://archive.is/MWKee
  • Criticisms: -- In his 'Planet of Slums'[104] Mike Davis argues that de Soto, who Davis calls 'the global guru of neo-liberal populism', is essentially promoting what the statist left in South America and India has always promoted—individual land titling. Davis argues that titling is the incorporation into the formal economy of cities, which benefits more wealthy squatters but is disastrous for poorer squatters, and especially tenants who simply cannot afford incorporation into the fully commodified formal economy. -- An article by Madeleine Bunting for The Guardian (UK) claimed that de Soto's suggestions would in some circumstances cause more harm than benefit, and referred to The Mystery of Capital as "an elaborate smokescreen" used to obscure the issue of the power of the globalized elite. She cited de Soto's employment history as evidence of his bias in favor of the powerful. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2000/sep/11/imf.comment http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/hey_wait_a_minute/2005/01/the_de_soto_delusion.html
Tomicah Tilleman
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomicah_Tillemann
  • Dr. Tomicah Tillemann is Director of the Bretton Woods II initiative. The initiative brings together a variety of long-term investors, with the goal of committing 1% of their assets to social impact investment and using investments as leverage to encourage global good governance. Tillemann served at the U.S. State Department in 2010 as the Senior Advisor on Civil Society and Emerging Democracies to Secretary Hillary Clinton and Secretary John Kerry. Tillemann came to the State Department as a speechwriter to Secretary Clinton in March 2009. Earlier, he worked for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he was the principal policy advisor on Europe and Eurasia to Committee Chairmen, Senators Joe Biden and John Kerry. He also facilitated the work of the Senate's Subcommittee on European Affairs, then chaired by Senator Barack Obama. Tillemann received his B.A. magna cum laude from Yale University. He holds a Ph.D. with distinction from the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University (SAIS) where he also served as a graduate level instructor in American foreign policy. http://live.worldbank.org/node/8468 https://archive.is/raDHA
  • Secretary Clinton appointed Tomicah Tillemann, Ph.D. as the State Department’s Senior Advisor for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies in October 2010. He continues his service under Secretary Kerry.
  • Mr. Tillemann and his team operate like venture capitalists, identifying ideas that can strengthen new democracies and civil society, and then bring together the talent, technology and resources needed to translate promising concepts into successful diplomacy. He and his team have developed over 20 major initiatives on behalf of the President and Secretary of State.
  • Mr. Tillemann came to the State Department as a speechwriter to Secretary Clinton in March 2009 and collaborated with her on over 200 speeches. Earlier, he worked for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he was the principal policy advisor on Europe and Eurasia to Committee Chairmen, Senators Joe Biden and John Kerry. He also facilitated the work of the Senate's Subcommittee on European Affairs, then chaired by Senator Barack Obama. Mr. Tillemann’s other professional experience includes work with the White House Office of Media Affairs and five U.S. Senate and Congressional campaigns. He was a reporter with Reuters New Media and hosted a commercial radio program in Denver, Colorado. http://m.state.gov/md160354.htm https://www.newamerica.org/our-people/tomicah-tillemann/ https://archive.is/u2yF0
  • Director of “Bretton Woods II” initiative at New America Foundation Bretton Woods was an international summit that led to the creation of the IMF and the IBRD, one of five members of The World Bank
Jamie Smith
Jason Weinstein
Paul Brody (no longer appears on site, and his LinkedIn has no mention of Bitfury, but he is mentioned in a Press Release
  • https://www.linkedin.com/in/pbrody
  • Ernst & Young since 2015 as “Americas Strategy Leader”, “Global Innovation Leader”, and “Solution Leader”
  • Prior to E&Y, he was an executive at IBM since 2002
New America Foundation
Muskoka Group
[note: this is worthy of much more research]
  • https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-29/blockchain-s-backers-embark-on-campaign-to-improve-its-image
  • Don Tapscott, co-author of the book “Blockchain Revolution,” hosted the meeting with his son and co-author Alex Tapscott at his family’s summer compound in Lake of Bays, Ontario. The group included some of blockchain’s biggest backers, including people with ties to IBM and JPMorgan. They considered ways to improve the governance and oversight of the technology behind the digital currency bitcoin as a way to fuel the industry’s growth. They included Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation; Brian Behlendorf, executive director of the Hyperledger Project, a blockchain supporter group that includes International Business Machines Corp., Airbus Group SE and JPMorgan Chase & Co.; and Ana Lopes, board member of the World Wide Web Foundation. Participants with blockchain industry ties include former deputy White House press secretary Jamie Smith, now chief global communications officer of BitFury Group Ltd., and Joseph Lubin, founder of startup Consensus Systems.
Blockchain Delegation Attends Democratic National Convention https://archive.is/k16Nu
Attendees:
Jamie Smith — The Bitfury Group & Blockchain Trust Accelerator Tomicah Tillemann— New America Foundation & Blockchain Trust Accelerator Alex Tapscott— co-author: Blockchain Revolution Brian Forde — MIT, Digital Currency Initiative
Brian Forde
  • Was the founding director of the MIT Digital Currency Initiative -Left his 4 year post as White House Senior Advisor for Mobile and Data Innovation to go directly to the MIT DCI
  • Brian Forde has spent more than a decade at the nexus of technology, entrepreneurship, and public policy. He is currently the Director of Digital Currency at the MIT Media Lab where he leads efforts to mainstream digital currencies like Bitcoin through research, and incubation of high-impact applications of the emerging technology. Most recently he was the Senior Advisor for Mobile and Data Innovation at the White House where he spearheaded efforts to leverage emerging technologies to address the President’s most critical national priorities. Prior to his work at the White House, Brian founded one of the largest phone companies in Nicaragua after serving as a business and technology volunteer in the Peace Corps. In recognition of his work, Brian was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and one of the ten most influential people in bitcoin and blockchain. https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianforde https://archive.is/WjEGU
Alex Tapscott
World Economic Forum
  • Strategic Partners: https://www.weforum.org/about/strategic-partners
  • Includes Accenture (See Avinash Vashistha), Allianz, Deloitte (Scaling Bitcoin platinum sponsor, Blockstream Partner), Citigroup, Bain & Company (parent of Bain Capital, DCG investor), Dalian Wanda Group (working on blockchain technology), Ernst & Young (see Paul Brody), HSBC (Li-Ka Shing, Blockstream investor, used to be Deputy Chairman of HSBC), IBM, KPMG International, Mastercard (DCG Investor), PwC (Blockstream partner, also sponsor of Scaling Bitcoin)
  • Future of Financial Services Report [PDF] The word “blockchain” is mentioned once in this document, on page 23 (http://i.imgur.com/1SxyneJ.png): We have identified three major challenge areas related to innovation in financial services that will require multi-stakeholder collaboration to be addressed effectively. We are launching a project stream related to each area, with the goal of enabling tangible impact.... Decentralised systems, such as the blockchain protocol, threaten to disintermediate almost every process in financial services
  • The Steering Group who authored the report is a who’s who of the global financial elite. (Pages 4 & 5) http://i.imgur.com/fmYc1bO.png http://i.imgur.com/331FaX6.png
Bitfury Washington DC Office
Washington DC Office 600 Pennsylvania Avenue Suite 300 Washington, D.C. 20003
http://bitfury.com/contacts https://archive.is/ugvII
Bitfury Chosen for Ernst & Young Blockchain Startup Challenge
Deloitte Unveils Plan to Build Blockchain-Based Digital Bank http://www.consultancy.uk/news/12237/deloitte-unveils-plan-to-build-blockchain-based-digital-bank https://archive.is/UJ8Q5
submitted by 5zh8FoCiZ to btc [link] [comments]

Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman on Hong Kong’s Unrest, the Rise of Bitcoin, and Fundraising as an ‘Out-of-Body Experience’

Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman has built one of the largest investment firms in the world, which specializes in private equity, credit, and hedge fund investment strategies. In his new book, What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence, Schwarzman reveals some of the biggest lessons he’s learned from his 50-year career in business.
“I wanted to lay out my years of experience of doing things right as well as doing things wrong,” he tells _Fortune._“You learn the most when you make a mistake.”
Part memoir, part leadership guide, Schwarzman addresses the highlights (and low lights) of his career including quitting his high-power job to start Blackstone, raising capital as a first-time fund manager, and dealing with the fallout from the unraveling of his presidential CEO business council. (I personally enjoyed the part was when he talks about meeting “Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z.” He writes: “We talked for a few minutes, reminiscing about her Kennedy Center performance in 2005.”)
Schwarzman was 38 years old when he founded Blackstone in 1985, and he’s been at the helm ever since. Today, the firm boasts $545 billion in assets under management and 2,500 employees. Blackstone recently converted from a publicly traded partnership to a corporation, which makes it easier to own Blackstone stock and allows the firm to be included in more indexes.
I sat down with Schwarzman for a wide-ranging conversation about Blackstone’s dealings in China, the ethical challenges surrounding artificial intelligence, the rise of cryptocurrencies, and whether he sees a looming recession on the horizon.
This Q&A has been edited for clarity and length. FORTUNE: In the book, you discuss some of the personality traits you look for in a candidate before hiring them at Blackstone. What are some of those characteristics?
SCHWARZMAN: I’m undoubtedly better at identifying people who have enormous potential, and it’s actually pretty easy. When someone’s interviewing for a job, you can tell if they’re comfortable in their own skin and whether they’re able to handle anything conversationally. I’m looking for people who can hold the table, who are intelligent, curious, courteous, and they can deal with stressful situations.
Can you give an example of how you determine those things?
You need three to five minutes to figure out if someone’s comfortable.I like to bring up something interesting that has happened in the world that day. Today, I might ask, “What do you think about what’s been going on in Hong Kong?” There’s no right or wrong answer to these things, but it’s a discussion that can show you how someone’s mind works. Once you see how somebody’s mind works, you also get a sense of whether they’re playing within their comfort zone. If you’d like to spend more time with them, then that’s probably a good person to hire.
Speaking of Hong Kong, hasthe current unrestaffected Blackstone’s dealings in China?
Hong Kong’s a real hub for us. It’s our biggest location in Asia, and people like working there. It hasn’t interfered with our office at this point, but longer-term, you can’t have a place where you do business where no one knows if they can get in or out. Ultimately, there has to be a resolution. The business community really wants one, and if you have a core of demonstrators who say on TV that they are prepared to die, that’s not a great benchmark. Right now, it’s looking like a difficult resolution.
What are you investing in, and where do you see growth opportunities?
Growth is certainly going to technology, services, and experiences. You have things like shopping centers. When I grew up, it was like: What could go wrong with a shopping center? And now that thing is called Amazon. Just that technological innovation has changed people’s shopping patterns, changed the delivery mechanism, and it’s led to shopping centers going bankrupt. It’s disrupted a whole chain of things people took for granted. It took 10 years for an entire stable structure to be dismantled.
We saw that in 2011 when we started buying warehouses. We’ve been the largest buyer of warehouses in the world for the last eight years, and we did that because that’s where Amazon and retailers needed to stage their goods before they get delivered. So that area has exploded with growth. If you’re investing now, you have to recognize that almost everything’s about to have its business model changed.
What’s another example of a sector you think will experience Amazon-like growth?
Artificial intelligence. AI will affect the whole healthcare industry, from billing, to admissions, to diagnostics, to the development of drugs, to telemedicine, which will have enormous growth. You look at all of this, and there are a lot of different things that go into what you or I believe is _just_a hospital. AI is going to have a profound impact on our society.
There will also be serious ethical implications that come with that innovation.
That’s why I did this big donation at MIT and Oxford. [Note: Schwarzman donated$350 millionto MIT for computing and AI research and$188 million_to Oxford University for AI ethics research.]_One involves technological innovation, and the other is about making sense of it in society. What are good outcomes and what are not-so-good outcomes? Who makes that determination, and how do you control for not having bad outcomes? That’s a challenge that we have to face.
Are you confident we’ll be able to solve the ethical challenges quickly enough given the pace at which technology is evolving?
Like most things in technology, it’s moving faster than your ability to control and implement things. On the other hand, everybody who’s running a company or is part of the discovery of AI watched the Internet get developed. I haven’t met a mature person yet who was involved in the development of the internet that hasn’t regretted they developed it.
They said, “We just thought this would be really cool. Everyone in the world can connect, and it’ll be a positive sum game.” They weren’t aware that [the internet] would destroy the ability to govern. Everything is so short-term, there’s so much divisiveness, and social media is very destructive. They’ve looked at what they’ve created, and they’ve all said, “If I could have it back, I’d take it back.” I was shocked. So with AI, we have to get right on it so that the technology itself doesn’t overwhelm society.
There’s enormous interest and good will to doing something important in terms of AI ethics. No matter what country you’re in, if you make a huge cut in your workforce, you’ll have social unrest of some type. We already have that in the West. You could even have that in China, although they’re investing so much in the area, they’re actually creating a whole bunch of new jobs too.
Speaking of innovation,a 2007 _Fortune_articlecalled you “the master of the alternative universe” because Blackstone made its name by investing in alternative assets. What do you think about frontier assets like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?
I don’t have much interest in that because it’s hard for me to understand. I was raised in a world where someone needs to control currencies. There’s a reason to want to control currencies, which is why governments all do it. There’s no one who says, “I don’t care.” Part of that is to make sure the economy is as insulated as it can be from excesses. Another part of it is to control bad behavior. So the idea that you can transact without anybody knowing anything, you could have a lot of criminal behavior — dirty money, drug money — running all over the world. It only encourages that kind of activity.
I may be a limited thinker, but that’s a problem. If they could solve that problem and also the problem of controlling the money supply, then it might be OK. That doesn’t mean that the blockchain technology applied to non-tradable currencies is not a good thing. That is clearly a good thing.
And why do you say that?
There’s all kinds of uses you can have from certain executions. [Blockchain technology] is a very good idea, and it will end up being adopted because it’s good technology. Applying it to the creation of money is sort of, for my taste, pretty odd.
So in the future, you do see Blackstone investing in companies that are using blockchain technology?
That would be good because it’s a sound, very interesting technology.
But you’re not going to own any Bitcoin?
That’s an easy one: No.
Capital has become quite abundant these days. Softbank’s Masayoshi Son tells this infamous story about how he raised$45 billion in 45 minutesfor the Vision Fund. Blackstone’s assets under management crossed half a trillion for the first time — to $545 billion. You recently described your fundraising efforts as “an out of body experience.” Why?
When I started in 1985, we had no reputation, and even worse, no experience making investments. In 1986, we went out and started raising money. We got rejected by 16 out of 17 people, some of whom we knew very well. If you’ve ever had the experience of getting rejected by almost everyone you know, it’s very sobering.
We sent out somewhere around 500 offering documents, and we ended up with 32 investors. That’s 468 out of 500 people who are saying, “I don’t trust you, I don’t like you, I don’t think you’re competent, and I don’t like what you’re trying to do.” The only way you interpret that after a while is that they don’t like _you_and they don’t trust your abilities. It was unending. So my experience was so searingly negative that every dollar we raise from anyone now, I regard as precious and that we can’t disappoint them.
Before, I’d fly across the country to see if we could get $5 or $10 million, and now, people just give us a billion dollars. After a while, people develop confidence in you. And part of the art of running a good organization is that you don’t mess it up. It’s been such an ordeal to get here.
I had a conversation this morning where someone [at the firm] said, “If we do this type of structure for this type of activity, these people will give us $2 billion.” I know the people, and I know they’ll give us $2 billion, but I ask, “Do we want to do what they’re interested in or not?” Whenever one of these conversations happens, I think back to spending two days of my life flying around to raise $5 million, and here’s just a casual conversation [about $2 billion]. I take nothing for granted, and I want people at the firm to think like that too. It’s harder when you get bigger, but it still is an out-of-body experience for me.
In the book, you give your rules on identifying market tops and bottoms. Where in the cycle do you think we are today?
We’re getting pretty toppy. The prices of things have gotten high in large part because interest rates have gone down so much but that props up the value of a dollar of earnings, or cash-flow. It’s a bigger yield. That’s driven prices up. There’s quite good liquidity in terms of credit. It’s led to markets that have gone up almost continually for about 10 years. So that doesn’t mean it can’t go on for a while longer, but you’re closer to the top than the middle or the bottom.
Do you see a recession on the horizon?
I don’t. Over 70% of the economy is consumer [spending], and consumers tend to be employees or workers. Their compensation is going up 3 to 4% a year now, significantly outpacing inflation. What we’re doing is we’re loading up consumers because as employees, they didn’t have a good enough experience with financial sufficiency and they were angry because they didn’t have enough money. So society’s going to give them that money, I believe, in the form of higher wages. That’s good for the system because people will have to work to get more money, but they’ll take that money and they’ll spend it. If they’re spending it — and that’s the vast bulk of the American economy — then that’ll be the part that keeps the economy moving forward.
Unless there’s a major geo-political issue that takes away confidence from everyone, I think we’ll continue growing for the next year or two but at a lower rate than we were because manufacturing’s off, global trade is off, and we’re facing some lack of confidence around issues like Brexit, European growth, and China’s real growth rate. All these issues contribute to less optimism, but I don’t see us falling off some kind of cliff.
You don’t think it’ll be comparable to the last recession?
Oh gosh no. No, that takes virtual complete abdication by regulators as well as imprudent behavior by parts of the business community. We haven’t forgotten lessons that quickly. The system has been significantly reformed, so I don’t see _anything_of the type of global financial crisis of 2008. Of all the things to worry about, that’s not one of them.
What’s next for you? Do you see yourself stepping away from Blackstone?
In a year or two, I’ll probably still be sitting at this conference table. I love what I do, but there’s always an evolution. Jon Gray is president of the firm, he’s 49 — I’m not. [Gray is Schwarzman’s likely successor.]
My plan for my life is to stay involved with Blackstone, but I also like doing big impactful things that involve the creation of something new. I don’t know what the next one will be because it has to be something I see in society where I can help provide a unique solution. Both MIT and Oxford involve building new facilities, creating new organizations, and developing knowledge in a way that can be applied for the good of society.
I wish I could tell you exactly what the next chapter is, but one of the things that makes life fun is experiencing new things with developed skills from your past. I’ve loved doing that within Blackstone, I’ve loved doing it in the not-for-profit area, and I’d love to do in the political area if I can help.
**Oh, you have political ambitions?
** No, no. None.
* More Details Here
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