There is not going to be one blockchain to rule them all, each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Interoperability is key to unlocking the true potential of blockchain, where it will have a profound effect across all industries, creating a secure, trusted and hyper-connected world.submitted by xSeq22x to QuantNetwork [link] [comments]
The rise of The Networks of Networks, interconnecting all DLT Networks, existing off-chain networks and even the Internet itself. Where true, scalable interoperability can be achieved without requiring connected chains to fork their code and imposing limitations, without the overhead, bottleneck and single point of failure of adding another blockchain in the middle. Where it will be quick, easy and free to participate.
It’s time to stop the childish tribalism that’s plagued this space for so long and realise the bigger picture. Tribes fighting amongst themselves over a tiny insignificant island where there is a whole world out there to conquer if they work together. A rising tide lifts all boats and with the birth of The Network of Networks all connected projects can benefit from the efforts of each other, to usher in Mass adoption of Blockchain.
In this article I will discuss the foundations that are being laid in preparation for the release of Overledger Network, The Network of Networks to make all of this possible and to unleash the true potential of blockchain with a secure, hyper-connected decentralised ecosystem. Table of Contents:
Overledger SDK UpdateQuant have just released their Overledger SDK update which has enabled standardisation of objects to abstract and simplify how to interact with different types of blockchains (UXTO and Account-based) in a common model. As well as the ability to directly deploy, invoke and query smart contracts directly through Overledger. I strongly recommend reading the teams Overledger SDK Update which explains it in more detail and includes example use cases of how Overledger is being used and the benefits it brings. Dr Luke Riley also did a fantastic job providing an in-depth demo of the Overledger SDK Update via Video as well.
“This update sets the foundations to build the ecosystem for Overleger Network, allowing stakeholders other than Quant to write any type (DLT and non-DLT) Overledger connectors and sets up the ecosystem with multiple entry points for Overledger Gateways. These updates open up the integration capabilities of Overledger to 3rd parties and create the foundations for the Overledger Network”
“Trusted standards mean that industry doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel, that innovations will be compatible and work with existing technology, and that products and services will be trusted too. Governments use standards as trusted solutions to complement regulation, and they give peace of mind to consumers who know they are not putting themselves or their families at risk.” — Acting ISO Secretary-General Kevin McKinleyThe foundations need to align with internationally recognised standards as they play a crucial role in ensuring interoperability with new and existing technology and validates a product meets the best practices / regulation required to ensure Enterprises remains in compliance. CEO of Quant, Gilbert Verdian, founded the ISO TC 307 standard covering blockchain as a whole, which 56 countries are working towards today.
Countries involved with ISO TC 307 — https://www.iso.org/committee/6266604.html?view=participation
Gilbert Verdian is the chairman for the ISO TC 307 working group for interoperability of blockchain and distributed ledger technology systems as well as being chairman for Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology for BSI (British Standards Institution) which represent the UK and includes companies such as Quant, IBM, Microsoft, HSBC, BAE Systems, Huawei as well as a number of UK Government bodies such as BEIS — Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Defence Science and Technology and the National Cyber Security Centre.
The standardisation updates to the Overledger SDK aligns with the work in ISO TC 307 and academic work from Dr Paolo Tasca and Dr Claudio Tessone to provide users with a clear distributed ledger data standard. This will enable everyone to easily create connectors in a standard way, facilitating interoperability with all of the connected blockchains / non-DLT networks that are already connected to Overledger through Overledger Gateways.
SecurityCybersecurity is in Quant’s DNA. The team have a rich heritage of working for Governments, banks and industry for over 20 years protecting organisations and people from security threats. Before Quant, Gilbert Verdian was the Chief Information Security Officer for Vocalink (Mastercard) where he was in charge of security for the entire payments infrastructure in the UK (£6 Trillion per year).
Gilbert has led a team determined to take security to another level, protecting a critical part of the UK’s infrastructure, protecting UK citizens and businesses from fraud and risk and, by extension, allowing them to live as they want to. Under Gilbert’s guidance, Vocalink security is not merely best-in-class, but setting a new standard. — https://connect.vocalink.com/2017/july/a-winning-streak/In addition to Quant being selected as a Guarantor for Pay.UK, Gilbert has also been appointed to the Cybersecurity Advisory Board (Pay.UK is the UK’s leading retail payments authority and runs the UK’s retail payments operations, which includes Bacs, Faster Payments and Cheques.)
The pillars of security are Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability. As such, they have used their experience in running payment and financial infrastructure and critical national infrastructure for nations and embedded these principles into every aspect of Overledger.
RegulationRegulation is playing an ever increasing role for blockchain. Standards and Security naturally complement and help define regulation. The verticals Quant are involved in with regards to regulation span the globe. Gilbert helped shape the conversation about consumer data protection rights during his time as CISO of NSW Health, and is continuing to serve as a cornerstone for policy within the adoption of blockchain in public infrastructure. Quant serves as a founding member of INATBA (The International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications), which is the formal governing body of the European Blockchain Partnership, all of which is overseen in Brussels by the EU. More locally, Gilbert and team are in consistent contact with the House of Lords within the UK, and advises the FCA in matters regarding cryptoassets.
As recently seen in the SDK update, Overledger can serve as a key component of automatic compliance of governance bodies’ financial regulation, shown here by an Overledger instance reporting to the BoE’s Prudential Regulation Authority. Project BARAC, stewarded by University College London, is a project examining the impact Automatic Regulation as administered by Blockchain can have on the Federal Government. Most notably, the FCA and R3, the developers of Corda, are involved here. Gilbert’s recent engagements with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston also seem to revolve around this very topic, with the Boston Fed pilot-testing a Supervisor Node for automatic regulatory compliance. While at P2PFISY 2019, it was noted by Gilbert that Raphael Auer’s “Regulation Automata” aligns very well with the vision of Overledger, with Paolo Tasca, former CSO of Quant, more recently co-hosting a recent blockchain panel with him. Raphael’s ideas will most likely be taken into consideration by the BIS, as they recently announced a trial of a 6 central banks collaboration centered around exploring CBDC, and are in the early stages of installing Innovation Hubs in Hong Kong, Switzerland, and Singapore.
Gilbert Verdian with Guy Dietrich (Managing Director at Rockefeller Capital who is also on the Board at Quant) attending a meeting with the Financial Conduct Authority
The Overledger Network is a network of networks, which allows enterprise and communities stakeholders to access and participate in a growing hyper-connected decentralised ecosystem. Enterprises, banks, central banks, trading venues, etc will be able to host their own secure dedicated gateways, enabling secure connectivity to permissioned networks, permissionless networks, ecosystems, consortia and other distributed technologies. Community members will also be able to run an Overledger gateway to further enhance the scalability, decentralisation and optimise network latency, providing enterprises, developers and users choice to use the closest gateway when accessing permissionless blockchains. The Overledger gateways will create a scalable p2p network that shares the transaction and volume between participants and chooses the closest or largest node to transact with.
As per the example use case in the recent update a Bank can run an Overledger Gateway to provide access to the various consortiums hosted on a variety of blockchains including Corda, Hyperledger Fabric and JP Morgan’s Quorum as well as access to the legacy / non-DLT platforms. Should they want to utilise a public blockchain as well in a hybrid scenario then they also have the option of using a Overledger Gateway hosted by a community member.
The Overledger Gateways contain several layers which we will explore some of their features below:
Overledger Operating Systemhttps://preview.redd.it/9v7rxtmvyoi41.png?width=1197&format=png&auto=webp&s=01c9d6e0a73f595283e3cebeb45b5a6bf484d94d
Overledger allows connection to any blockchain / DAG as well as easily integrating with existing non-DLT environments. It does this without adding the overhead of yet another blockchain / consensus in the middle, ensuring that it’s scalable and doesn’t contain a single point of failure. Nor does it require the connected blockchains to fork their code to integrate and place restrictions on what can be implemented going forward. All of this is done in a secure, trustless manner where transactions are signed and encrypted client side so the contents can’t be viewed / modified as they pass through Overledger. It currently connects all of the leading permissioned and permissionless blockchains used by enterprises today. This article explains the differences between other interoperability solutions and the benefits of Quant’s approach
The Five Ingredients of Interoperability:Recently there was an interoperability webinar with Fintech connect with speakers such as R3’s CTO Richard Gendal Brown, along with representatives from the Bank of England, Deutsche Boerse, Nasdaq, ArchaxEx and SwissRe. Richard Gendal Brown from R3 wrote about the Five key Ingredients of Interoperability:
At QuantX in December they announced Overledger Interchange which enables settlement on a variety of existing non-dlt payment rails such as Faster Payments, BACS, CHAPS, SEPA, SWIFT as well as on DLT payment rails such as with Central Bank Digital Currencies, Stablecoins and XRP. It also facilitates Cross Chain Atomic Swaps using Hash Time Locked Contracts ensuring Delivery vs Payment is achieved. Interchange is at the centre of the discussions Quant has had with traditional exchanges in capital markets and central banks and is a technology financial services have been missing and was built it address client needs.
Overledger enables interoperability within the same ecosystem such as Corda DAPP to another Corda DAPP etc as well as interoperability between any of the connected permissionless and permissioned blockchains.
Quants blockchain agnostic Operating System enables users to benefit from using the best features from different chains in combination and migrate between them, preventing Vendor or Tech Lock in without having to completely rewrite existing applications, achieving the holy grail of interoperability. It enables developers to quickly test a variety of connected blockchains in a sandbox environment to see which is best suited for their requirements, starting with just 3 lines of code.
Transactions Services Layerhttps://preview.redd.it/xfthwuz9zoi41.png?width=771&format=png&auto=webp&s=8721b0ae8cff0d8aa11a484ac0ac842e700def0a
The Transaction Services layer handles more complex features of Overledger. Allowing for applications to request services such as cross-chain atomic swaps, treaty contracts (Multi Chain Smart Contracts as well as enabling smart contract functionality even on blockchains that don’t support smart contracts natively such as Bitcoin) and transaction brokering (using heuristic analysis to determine which method is the fastest / cheapest out of the various payment rails)
Financial Services Layerhttps://preview.redd.it/4zgt0umazoi41.png?width=740&format=png&auto=webp&s=49a840532d70740a77c00901aafd047311b84229
Financial services features can be called upon by participants and applications to use crosschain and cross-platform. Financial Services specific use cases can use the features in Overledger to operate across networks. This layer provides enhanced privacy and security to regulated entities and institutions who require additional controls to maintain compliance to regulation and security policy. The features of Zero-knowledge Proof and privacy can be mandated for all transactions.
Channels provide interoperability of services related to digital assets, payments and tokenisation. The Overledger Network allows for participants to transfer interoperate enterprise and institutional issued tokens and assets. Connect to many existing payment rails such as SWIFT, SEPA, Faster Payments etc.
Connecting Blockchain and Non-DLT Applications / Networks to OverledgerThe connectors to Overledger which grant access to Overledger Network will be open source and soon be made available, allowing for anyone to create a connector and benefit from being part of the ecosystem. Currently the permissionless blockchain space is mostly speculation with little adoption, mainly due to issues that need to be resolved such as scalability, privacy and regulation with permissionless blockchains, however there are some extremely large Enterprises, Banks, Governments, even Central Banks getting heavily involved and going into production albeit mostly in the permissioned blockchain space where such issues are not a problem. Just as each Blockchain has its advantages and disadvantages, parts of Enterprise applications are better suited to Permissioned blockchains (such as more sensitive parts) and permissionless blockchains suited for a higher degree of immutability, thus a Hybrid model requiring interoperability between permissioned, permissionless as well as existing non-DLT applications is required arguably for many years ahead. Just as with cloud computing where everything didn’t suddenly just move up into the cloud, well over a decade later since the birth of the likes of Amazon AWS, hybrid is still very prevalent today with only recently the likes of central banks, banks, governments discussing moving more sensitive workloads to public clouds such as Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud etc.
SIA, Central Banks, Banks, Trading VenuesQuant Network partnered with SIA, a game changer for mass blockchain adoption by Financial Institutions. SIA is the leading financial network provider in Europe that connects over 570 Banks, Central Banks, Trading Venues (stock exchanges etc) to their infrastructure. They provide a dedicated private network / infrastructure for financial institutions. Every European financial institution will either connect via SIA, in partnership with Colt or via SWIFT (and in many cases they will have connectivity with both) in order to access the Eurosystem Single Market Infrastructure Gateway, granting access to all RTGS, Securities and Instant Payment transactions for Europe.
SIA have integrated Overledger into their private infrastructure covering Europe consisting of 570 supernodes called SIAChain which enables each bank, central Bank, trading venue etc to utilise Overledger for interoperability. Some of the largest deployments of blockchain are happening on SIAChain such as the Spunta project where the entire Italian Banking Sector will be using blockchain and due to go live next month. As well as the “Fideiussioni Digitali” initiative (Digital Sureties) to digitize the management of sureties using blockchain technology with the Central Bank of Italy involved.
Central Bank Digital Currencies are going to play a hugely significant role in the future and there is one central Bank currently testing Overledger and Quant are in discussions with 4 others.
Connecting your blockchain / legacy network to Overledger enables the possibility that it could be used by any of these connected Banks, Central Banks, Trading venues etc in their private network (obviously due to the amount of regulation and critical financial infrastructure the options are going to be limited on what they want to connect).
OracleQuant are a Fintech Partner with Oracle, the 2nd largest software company in the world and Oracle are taking Quant’s tech to their clients directly. They have 480,000 clients globally and towards the end of last year Oracle invited Quant to attend Sibos (SWIFT) where they met existing financial services and banking clients and introduced to new ones. By connecting to Overledger this also enables your solution to potentially be used by those 480,000 of Oracle’s global clients.
SIMBA ChainSIMBA Chain is a cloud-based, smart-contract-as-a-service (SCaaS) platform, enabling users across a variety of skill sets to implement dapps (decentralized applications). The easy-to-use platform is tailored for users, developers, government, and enterprises to quickly deploy blockchain dapps for their enterprise. SIMBA Chain are developing on Quant’s Overledger Blockchain OS to allow them to deploy DAPPs across multiple connected blockchains.
SIMBA Chain have recently been awared a $9.5 million contract with the US Navy, they are also working with the US Air Force. They have a thriving ecosystem with over 1100 Organizations and 650+ Applications developed. Partners include Microsoft, Government Blockchain Association, Air Force Research Laboratory, Caterpillar, SAP and EY. Recently they also integrated Unity 3D plugin for Gaming to enable owning, storing, and managing all personal gaming assets across a variety of blockchains.
These are just a few of the companies that Quant have partnered with directly, but the ecosystem for Overledger Network is the Network of Networks. Every connected blockchain (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple (XRPL), EOS, Stellar, IOTA, DAG, R3’s Corda, Hyperledger Fabric, JP Morgan’s Quorum and other Permissioned Variants of Ethereum) and their associated partners / applications built on them have the ability to connect and interoperate with the other blockchains connected as well as non-DLT networks such as existing payment rails like SWIFT, Faster Payments, SEPA etc. This Network of Network’s effects will grow exponentially as more and more join the ecosystem.
Connecting the Internet directly to blockchainQuant Network are also developing the ability to allow developers to build MAPPs that integrate directly with the internet as well as blockchain data. They will enable this via creating a new IP address for blockchains which they are calling Quant IP which will enable traffic to be routed from an IP connection from the Internet through Overledger to the connected blockchains.
Another Quant product called Seeq is a distributed search engine that is able to search and retrieve data from multiple blockchains and display them via html directly from the blockchain. More details will be released about Seeq later this year.
Connecting the Internet directly to blockchain will allow websites to be natively created and served directly from blockchains, without the need to have, run and maintain web servers, web services, SSL certificates etc and all running in a completely trusted, extremely resilient / tamperproof environment. The implications of this are enormous and more details will be released by the team later on this exciting prospect. By connecting your blockchain to Overledger you will also be able to benefit from this.
Join your favourite Blockchain project to the Overledger Network EcosystemInstead of the current mentality of having the main focus for many projects of listing on exchanges for vast sums of money, why not spend a little time (connectors can be created in as little as a week of development and don’t necessarily even need to be created by the team themselves) and make your blockchain / non-DLT application available to be used by all existing enterprises / members. Not only that but if you also run an Overledger Gateway connecting your blockchain node you also benefit from the transaction fees of the traffic going to it. The connectors are open source and completely free to connect and now with the standardisation of Objects in the recent SDK update the foundations are in place for the launch of Overledger Network with an ETA of Q2 2020. If you would like your favourite blockchain project to interoperate and be part of the ecosystem to further adoption then make the relevant people aware and keep an eye out for further details released in the future.
Thanks to community member Ghost of St. Miklos for contributing the section about regulation as well as Sonic for proofreading.
You can find more about Overledger Network as well as the token utility — here and community member David W. wrote an excellent article “A deeper look into the Quant Network Utility Token (QNT) valuation dynamics and fundamentals”
What is a blockchain operating system and what are the benefits? Introducing Overledger from Quant Network.
Wall Street 2.0: How Blockchain will revolutionise Wall Street and a closer look at Quant Network’s Partnership with AX Trading
Large Enterprise Adoption of Blockchain is happening, enabled by Quant Network’s Overledger
As well as an 8 Part Series taking an indepth look at Overledger starting with Part 1
submitted by Smart_Smell to Robopay [link] [comments]
Over the past 100 days, Grayscale has bought every third bitcoin
The Grayscale Investments cryptocurrency investment fund acquired every third bitcoin mined in the last 100 days. And in April, the fund bought 50% of all ETH mined. At the same time, despite the financial crisis and the fall of the cryptocurrency market in March, shares of Grayscale crypto funds in the first quarter of 2020 attracted record investments, which indicates a growing interest of institutional investors in the crypto industry. Why does the company need so many coins, what is its current position regarding the crypto market and what role does it play on it?
Grayscale Investors Believe in BitcoinGrayscale Investments, a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group (DCG), owner of the famous crypto media CoinDesk. The investment fund is the largest institutional holder of bitcoin. The company’s main product is the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), with which accredited investors can earn on bitcoin without actually owning it. Grayscale Bitcoin Trust tracks the price of bitcoin based on the TradeBlock XBX index.
Grayscale accumulates Bitcoin on an impressive scale. Reddit user under the nickname u/parakite noted that the fund added 60,762 BTC ($548.3 million on the day of publication) from February 7 to May 17. This is a third of the total number of bitcoins mined over the past three months.
The user made a table showing how the number of bitcoins in GBTC changed:
As you can see, the procurement rate of the MTC fund has been increasing since the end of 2019. GBTC has become more aggressive in its acquisitions since early April before the upcoming halving of the Bitcoin network. About 34% of the 60,762 MTC were purchased 17 days before the reduction in remuneration to the miners.
As of May 17, GBTC under management had a total of 343 954 BTC. This is 21% more than the 283,192 BTC held by the fund 100 days earlier. In value terms, the portfolio grew from $2.77 billion to $3.37 billion.
“Grayscale is just one of many, albeit the largest, ETFs that people use to buy bitcoin, not wanting to mess around with private keys and other problems,” commented u/parakite. — There is a demand for it. The supply is declining. Let’s see where we will be in 100 days.”
88% of Grayscale customers are institutional investors. Most likely, the sharp increase in the pace of the purchase of military-technical cooperation in addition to the last halving is due to the desire of investors to hedge risks during the developing crisis.
GBTC stock price over the past year, according to Yahoo.Finance. The price of shares (shares) of GBTC does not coincide with the price of the MTC, it depends on the mood of investors and can be traded with a premium or a significant discount. Usually it follows bitcoin, but sometimes the trends diverge. So, the difference between the July and current MTC rates is 20–30%, and between the same GBTC shares it is about 70%.
Grayscale also bought half of ETH mined in AprilAggressive Grayscale crypto purchases have recently been spotted with respect to ether. So, by April 24, the company had bought about 756 539 ETNs (accurate data are not publicly available) for its Ethereum Trust fund. This is about 48.4% of all 1.5 million coins mined since the beginning of this year. As a result, the company already owns 1% of all coins in circulation and only increases the pace of purchases. The first user to notice this was Reddit under the nickname u/nootropicat.
According to the latest quarterly report by Grayscale, the flow of investments in ETN reached a record level for the first three months of 2020 — $110 million. This is a very sharp increase, given that total investments in ETN for the previous two years amounted to $95.8 million. The total demand for the Ethereum fund grew over the quarter is almost 2.5 times compared with the fourth quarter of 2019.
From the beginning of the year until the end of April, the company issued 5.23 million shares of the fund at 0.09427052 ETN apiece.
At the same time, shares are traded with a premium of 420% relative to the current price of the coin — $92 against $17.70. That is, investors are willing to pay extra pretty much not to deal with cryptocurrency on their own.
Most likely, the increase in the rate of purchase of the coin is associated with the upcoming upgrade of the network to the state of Ethereum 2.0. It can take place at the end of July, but, most likely, it will happen not earlier than the end of the year. After the upgrade, the network will become more scalable and there will be the possibility of staking — validators will be able to receive passive income for providing their funds to confirm the blocks.
The crypto market, by the way, is also preparing for the transition of the ecosystem to a new stage. ETH has grown 55% since the crash in March, from $110 to $202 on the day of publication. At the end of April, CoinDesk drew attention to the increase in the number of long positions in ETH futures — this indicates expectations for further growth of the coin.
Last quarter — the most successful in the history of the companyIn May, Grayscale released a report on the results of the first quarter of this year. “Despite the decline in risky assets this quarter, Grayscale’s assets continue to approach record highs, as does our share of the digital asset market,” the document says. And this despite the coronavirus pandemic, the global recession and the traditional cryptocurrency market volatility.
A record $503.7 million investment was raised in the first quarter. This is almost twice the previous quarterly maximum of $254 million in the third quarter of last year and accounts for 83% of the total capital of $1.07 billion raised for the entire 2019. New investors accounted for $160 million of raised funds. The main products of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust and Grayscale Ethereum Trust raised $388.9 million and $110 million, respectively. It is noteworthy that the company reduced the premium on stocks of funds relative to the price of assets.
88% of investments came from institutional investors, among which hedge funds prevail; 5% — from accredited individuals, 4% — from pension accounts (yes, pension funds are extremely conservative in nature, but also invest in bitcoin against the background of a decrease in the profitability of other assets); 3% came from family offices, and 38% of customers invested in several products at once.
It is noteworthy that two years ago the share of institutional investors was about 50% — it is obvious that they no longer consider bitcoin as something criminal. “Many of our investors see digital assets as medium and long-term investment opportunities and the main component of their investment portfolios. Quarterly inflows doubled to $ 503.7 million, demonstrating that demand is reaching new peak levels even in conditions of “risk reduction”, the document says.
Today, more than 46.5% of the inflow of funds was attracted from multi-strategic investors. Crypto investors accounted for only 11.2% of the inflow, according to the report.
Grayscale currently operates ten cryptocurrency investment products targeted at institutional investors. They cover PTS, ETN, ETS, BCH, ZEC, XRP, LTC, ZEN, XLM. The value of the assets under his management is more than $3.8 billion. GBTC is the most demanded product, most investors invest in it and it takes about 1.7% of the total volume of circulating bitcoins.
Aggregate quarterly flow of funds to different Grayscale products. Pay attention to the growing share of investors diversifying portfolios with products tied to altcoins.
Since January of this year, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust has been registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to it, the company provides quarterly and annual reports in the form of 10-K. The status makes it possible to sell shares of a trust in the secondary market after 6 months, rather than 12, as before, and also increases the confidence of conservative investors. Other products comply with OTCQX reporting standards in the OTC market and are approved by the US Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for public offering.
Amount of assets managed by Grayscale as of May 20, 2020.
It is noteworthy that the news about the success of Grayscale comes amid news of how panicky investors in traditional assets are fleeing from market turmoil. So, the largest fund managers — BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street Global Advisors — lost several trillion in capitalization of their assets, and BlackRock in the first quarter for the first time in five years saw a net outflow of funds from its long-term investment products.
Bitcoin is the best asset for hedging portfolios in crisisAt the end of April, Grayscale also released a separate report on the analysis of the impact of regulators during a pandemic and the crisis caused by it and how it affected the bitcoin and cryptocurrency market as a whole.
The document said fiat currencies are at risk of devaluation as central banks print more and more money. Even the US dollar, which is the world’s reserve currency, risks being devalued if the US Federal Reserve continues to print the currency in trillions. A decrease in interest rates to zero and negative values deprives government bonds of the status of “safe haven” during the crisis.
Therefore, investors are trying to diversify their portfolios with alternative instruments. Cryptocurrencies are the best choice for this, according to the authors of the report. The text emphasizes the historical significance of gold as a global standard, but it is noted that in the modern digital world it is becoming increasingly burdensome for investors — it has complex logistics. Bitcoin seems resistant to the problems that other assets face. Therefore, in times of economic uncertainty, the first cryptocurrency is one of the best assets that investors can use to hedge their portfolios. The coin performs better than any other asset, including fiat currencies, government bonds, and traditional commodities like gold. The authors of the report emphasize that Bitcoin has already begun to show signs of becoming a protective asset.
At the same time, the company believes that bitcoin is an excellent asset not only in times of crisis. So, in December 2019, Managing Director of Grayscale Investments Michael Sonnenshine said that the company expects an influx of investments in bitcoin after the transfer of $68 trillion of savings between generations in the next 25 years. Today, this capital is invested in traditional assets, but a significant part of these wealth millennials will invest in cryptocurrencies. Already, according to him, investments in GBTC are among the five most popular among young people, ahead of, for example, investments in Microsoft and Netflix.
FinallyThe unprecedented financial measures taken by the US Federal Reserve, as well as the worsening recession, are forcing even the most conservative investors to rethink their current strategies and portfolio composition. Many of them are increasingly beginning to appreciate the fixed emission and non-correlation of Bitcoin — it is becoming a tool for risk diversification. Growing institutional interest is driving the acceleration of coin prices.
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This post intends to illustrate the dynamics and fundamentals related to the mechanics and use of the Quant Network Utility Token (QNT), in order to provide the community with greater clarity around what holding the token actually means.submitted by mr_sonic to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]
This is a follow-up on two articles David W previously wrote about Quant Network’s prospects and potential, which you can find here:
On that note, I have noticed that many wish to see institutional investors getting involved in the crypto space for their purchase power, but the one thing they would bring and that is most needed in my opinion is fundamental analysis and valuation expectations based on facts. Indeed, equity investors can probably access 20 or 30 reports that are 15 pages long and updated on a quarterly basis about any blue chip stock they are invested in, but how many of such (professional) analyst reports can you consult for your favorite crypto coins? Let me have a guess: none. This is unfortunate, and it is a further reason to look into the situation in more details.
To be clear, this article is not about providing figures on the expected valuation of the token, but rather about providing the community with a deeper analysis to better understand its meaning and valuation context. This includes going through the (vast) differences between a Utility Token and a Company Share since I understand it is still blurry in some people’s mind. I will incorporate my thoughts and perspective on these matters, which should not be regarded as a single source of truth but rather as an attempt to “dig deeper”.
In order to share these thoughts with you in the most pertinent manner, I have actually entirely modelled the Quant Treasury function and analysed how the QNT token would react to various scenarios based on a number of different factors. That does not mean there is any universal truth to be told, but it did help in clarifying how things work (with my understanding of the current ruleset at least, which may also evolve over time). This is an important safety net: if the intensity of speculation in crypto markets was to go lower from here, what would happen to the token price? How would Quant Treasury help support it? If the market can feel comfortable with such situation and the underlying demand for the token, then it can feel comfortable to take it higher based on future growth expectations — and that’s how it should be.
Finally, to help shed light on different areas, I must confess that I will have to go through some technicalities on how this all works and what a Utility Token actually is. That is the price to pay to gain that further, necessary knowledge and be in a position to assess the situation more thoroughly — but I will make it as readable as I possibly can, so… if are you ready, let’s start!
A Utility Token vs. a Company Share: what is the difference?It is probably fair to say that many people involved in the crypto space are unfamiliar with certain key financial terms or concepts, simply because finance is not necessarily everyone’s background (and that is absolutely fine!). In addition, Digital Assets bring some very novel concepts, which means that everyone has to adapt in any case.
Therefore, I suggest we start with a comparison of the characteristics underpinning the QNT Utility Token and a Quant Network Company Share (as you may know, the Company Shares are currently privately held by the Quant Network founders). I believe it is important to look at this comparison for two reasons:
What is on the right hand side of a balance sheet is the money a company has, and what is on the left hand side is how it uses it. Broadly speaking, the money the company has may come from the owners (Equity) or from the creditors (Debt). If I were to apply these concepts to an individual (you!), “Equity” is your net worth, “Debt” is your mortgage and other debt, and “Assets” is your house, car, savings, investments, crypto, etc.
As you can see, a Company Share and a Utility Token are found in different parts of the balance sheet — and that, in itself, is a major difference! They indeed serve two very different purposes:
On the other hand, as a Utility Token holder, you have no such rights related to the company’s profits or management, BUT any usage of the platform has to go through the token you hold — and that has novel, interesting facets.
A Utility Token vs. a Company Share: what happens in practice?Before we dig further, let’s now remind ourselves of the economic utilities of the QNT token (i.e. in addition to signing and encrypting transactions):
Arbitrary figures from myself (i.e. no currency, no unit), based on an indicative 20% Net Income Ratio and a 40% Dividend yield
We have now two different perspectives:
It is however too early to reach any conclusion, so we now need to dig one level deeper again.
More considerations around Company SharesAs we discussed, with a Company Share, you possess a fraction of the company’s ownership and hence you have access to profits (and losses!). So how do typical Net Income results look in the technology industry? What sort of Dividend is usually paid? What sort of market valuations are subsequently achieved?
Let’s find out:
As you can see, the typical Net Income Ratio varies between around 10% and 20% in the technology/software industry (using the above illustrated peer group). The ratio illustrates the proportion of Net Income extracted from Revenues.
In addition, money is returned to Company Shareholders in the form of a Dividend (i.e. a portion of the Net Income) and in the form of Share repurchases (whereby the company uses its excess cash position to buy back shares from Shareholders and hence diminish the number of Shares available). A company may however prefer to not redistribute any of the profits, and retain them instead to fund further business growth — Alphabet (Google) is a good example in this respect.
Interestingly, as you can see on the far right of the table, the market capitalisations of these companies reflect high multiples of their Net Income as investors expect the companies to prosper in the future and generate larger profits. If you wished to explore these ideas further, I recommend also looking into the Return on Equity ratio which takes into account the amount of resources (i.e. Capital/Equity) put to work to generate the companies’ profits.
It is also to be noted that the number of Company Shares outstanding may vary over time. Indeed, aside from Share repurchases that diminish the number of Shares available to the market, additional Shares may be issued to raise additional funds from the market hence diluting the ownership of existing Shareholders.
Finally, (regular) Company Shares are structured in the same way across companies and industries, which brings a key benefit of having them easily comparable/benchmarkable against one another for investors. That is not the case for Utility Tokens, but they come with the benefit of having a lot more flexible use cases.
More considerations around the QNT tokenAs discussed, the Utility Token model is quite novel and each token has unique functions designed for the system it is associated with. That does not make value assessment easy, since all Utility Tokens are different, and this is a further reason to have a detailed look into the QNT case.
As a start, all assets that are used in a speculative way embed two components into their price:
A) one that represents what the asset is worth today, and
B) one that represents what it may be worth in the future.
Depending on whether the future looks bright or not, a price premium or a price discount may be attached to the asset price.
This is similar to what we just saw with Company Shares valuation multiples, and it is valid across markets. For instance, Microsoft generates around USD 21bn in annual Net Income these days, but the cost of acquiring it entirely is USD 1,094bn (!). This speculative effect is particularly visible in the crypto sector since valuation levels are usually high whilst usage/adoption levels are usually low for now.
So what about QNT? As mentioned, the QNT Utility model has novel, interesting facets. Since QNT is required to access and use the Overledger system, it is important to appreciate that Quant Network company has three means of action regarding the QNT token:
We also have to appreciate how the QNT distribution will always look like, it can be broken down as follows:
A) QNT tokens held by the QNT Community
B) QNT tokens held by Quant Network that are locked (i.e. those related to Licences)
C) QNT tokens held by Quant Network that are unlocked (i.e. those related to other usage, such as consumption fees and Gateways)
D) the minimum QNT amount held by all users of the platform (more information on this front soon)
So now that the situation is set, how would we assess Quant Network’s business activity effect on the QNT token?
STEP 1: We would need to define the range of minimum/maximum amounts of QNT which Quant Network would want to keep as liquid reserves (i.e. unlocked) on an ongoing basis. This affects key variables such as the proportion of market purchases vs. the use of their own reserves, and the amount of QNT sold back to the market. Also, interestingly, if Quant Network never wanted to keep less than, for instance, 1 million QNT tokens as liquid reserves, these 1 million tokens would have a similar effect on the market as the locked tokens because they would never be sold.
STEP 2: We would need to define the amount of revenues that are related to QNT. As we know, Overledger Licences, Usage and Gateways generate revenues converted into QNT (or in QNT directly). So the correlation is strong between revenues and QNT needs. Interestingly, the cost of a licence is probably relatively low today in order to facilitate adoption and testing, but it will surely increase over time. The same goes for usage fees, especially as we move from testing/pilot phases to mass implementation. The number of clients will also increase. The Community version of Overledger is also set to officially launch next year. More information on revenue potential can be found later in this article.
STEP 3: We would need to define an evolution of the QNT token price over time and see how things develop with regards to Quant Network’s net purchase/sale of tokens every month (i.e. tokens required - tokens sold = net purchased/sold tokens).
Once assumptions are made, what do we observe?
In an undistorted environment, there is a positive correlation between Quant Network’s QNT-related revenues and the market capitalisation they occupy (i.e. the Quant Network share of the token distribution multiplied by the QNT price). However, this correlation can get heavily twisted as the speculative market prices a premium to the QNT price (i.e. anticipating higher revenues). As we will see, a persistent discount is not really possible as Quant Treasury would mechanically have to step in with large market purchases, which would provide strong support to the QNT price.
In addition, volatility is to be added to the equation since QNT volatility is likely to be (much) higher than that of revenues which can create important year-on-year disparities. For instance, Quant Treasury may lock a lot of tokens at a low price one year, and be well in excess of required tokens the next year if the QNT token price has significantly increased (and vice versa). This is not an issue per se, but this would impact the amount of tokens bought/sold on an ongoing basis by Quant Treasury as reserves inflate/deflate.
If we put aside the distortions created by speculation on the QNT price, and the subsequent impact on the excess/deficiency of Quant Network token reserves (whose level is also pro-actively managed by the company, as previously discussed), the economic system works as follows:
High QNT price vs. Revenue levels: The value of reserves is inflated, fewer tokens need to be bought for the level of revenues generated, Quant Treasury provides low support to the QNT price, its share of the token distribution diminishes.
Low QNT price vs. Revenue levels: Reserves run out, a higher number of tokens needs to be bought for the level of revenues generated, Quant Treasury provides higher support to the QNT price, its share of the token distribution increases.
The key here is that, whatever speculation on future revenue levels does to the token in the first place, if the QNT price was falling and reaching a level that does not reflect the prevailing revenue levels of Overledger at a given time, then Quant Treasury would require a larger amount of tokens to cover the business needs which would mean the depletion of their reserves, larger purchases from the market and strong support for the QNT price from here. This is the safety net we want to see, coming from usage! Indeed, in other words, if the QNT price went very high very quickly, Quant Treasury may not be seen buying much tokens since their reserves would be inflated BUT that fall back mechanics purely based on usage would be there to safeguard QNT holders from the QNT price falling below a certain level.
I would assume this makes sense for most, and you might now wonder why have I highlighted the bottom part about the token distribution in red? That is because there is an ongoing battle between the QNT community and Quant Treasury — and this is very interesting.
The ecosystem will show how big a share is the community willing to let Quant Network represent. The community actually sets the price for the purchases, and the token distribution fluctuates depending on the metrics we discussed. An equilibrium will be formed based on the confidence the market has in Quant Network’s future revenue generation. Moreover, the QNT community could perceive the token as a Store of Value and be happy to hold 80/90% of all tokens for instance, or it could perceive QNT as more dynamic or risky and be happy to only represent 60/70% of the distribution. Needless to say that, considering my previous articles on the potential of Overledger, I think we will tend more towards the former scenario. Indeed, if you wished to store wealth with a technology-agnostic, future proof, globally adopted, revenue-providing (through Gateways) Network of Networks on which most of the digitalised value is flowing through — wouldn’t you see QNT as an appealing value proposition?
In a nutshell, it all comes down to the Overledger revenue levels and the QNT holders’ resistence to buy pressure from Quant Treasury. Therefore, if you are confident in the Overledger revenue generation and wish to see the QNT token price go up, more than ever, do not sell your tokens!
What about the locked tokens? There will always be a certain amount of tokens that are entirely taken out of circulation, but Quant Network company will always keep additional unlocked tokens on top of that (those they receive and manage as buffer) and that means that locked tokens will always be a subset of what Quant Network possesses. I do not know whether fees will primarily be concentrated on the licencing side vs. the usage side, but if that were to be the case then it would be even better as a higher amount of tokens would be taken out of circulation for good.
Finally, as long as the company operates, the revenues will always represent a certain amount of money whereas this is not the case for profits which may not appear before years (e.g. during the first years, during an economic/business downturn, etc.). As an illustration, a company like Uber has seen vast increases in revenues since it launched but never made any profit! Therefore, the demand for the QNT token benefits from good resilience from that perspective.
Quant Network vs. QNT community — What proportion of the QNT distribution will each represent?
How much revenues can Overledger generate?I suggest we start with the basis of what the Quant Network business is about: connecting networks together, building new-generation hyper-decentralised apps on top (called “mApps”), and creating network effects.
Network effects are best defined by Metcalfe’s law which states: “the effect of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system” (Source: Wikipedia). This is illustrated by the picture below, which demonstrates the increasing number of possible connections for each new user added to the network. This was also recently discussed in a YouTube podcast by QNT community members “Luke” and “Ghost of St. Miklos” which you can watch here.
This means that, as Overledger continues to connect more and more DLTs of all types between themselves and also with legacy systems, the number of users (humans or machines) connected to this Network of Networks will grow substantially — and the number of possible connections between participants will in turn grow exponentially. This will increase the value of the network, and hence the level of fees associated with getting access to it. This forms the basis of expected, future revenue generation and especially in a context where Overledger remains unique as of today and embraced by many of the largest institutions in the world (see the detailed summary on the matter from community member “Seq” here).
On top of this network, multi-chain hyper-decentralised applications (‘mApps’) can be built — which are an upgrade to existing dApps that use only one chain at a time and hence only benefit from the user base and functionalities of the given chain. Overledger mApps can leverage on the users and abilities of all connected chains at the same time, horizontal scaling, the ability to write/move code in any language across chains as required, write smart contracts on blockchains that do not support them (e.g. Bitcoin), and provide easier connection to other systems. dApps have barely had any success so far, as discussed in my first article, but mApps could provide the market with the necessary tools to build applications that can complement or rival what can be found on the Apple or Google Play store.
Also, the flexibility of Overledger enables Quant Network to target a large number of industries and to connect them all together. A sample of use cases can be found in the following illustration:
It is to be noted that one of the use cases, namely the tokenisation of the entire world’s assets, represents a market worth hundreds of trillions of USD and that is not even including the huge amount of illiquid assets not currently traded on traditional Capital Markets which could benefit from the tokenisation process. More information on the topic can be found in my previous article fully focused on the potential of Overledger to capture value from the structural shift in the world’s assets and machine-related data/value transfers.
Finally, we can look at what well established companies with a similar technology profile have been able to achieve. Overledger is an Operating System for DLTs and legacy systems on top of which applications can be built. The comparison to Microsoft Windows and the suite of Microsoft Software running on top (e.g. Microsoft Office) is an obvious one from that perspective to gauge the longer term potential.
As you can see below, Microsoft’s flagship softwares such as Windows and Office each generate tens of billions of USD of revenues every year:
We can also look at Oracle, the second largest Enterprise software company in the world:
We can finally look at what the Apple store and the Google Play store generate, since the Quant Network “mApp store” for the community side of Overledger will look to replicate a similar business model with hyper-decentralised applications:
Source: Worldwide total revenue by app store, 2018 ($bn)
The above means total revenues of around USD 70bn in 2018 for the Apple store and Google Play store combined, and the market is getting bigger year-on-year! Also, again, these (indicative!) reference points for Overledger come in the context of the Community version of the system only, since the Enterprise version represents a separate set of verticals more comparable to the likes of Microsoft and Oracle which we just looked at.
ConclusionI hope this article helped shed further light on the QNT token and how the various market and business parameters will influence its behavior over time, as the Quant Network business is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years.
In the recent Forbes interview, Quant Network’s CEO (Gilbert Verdian) stated : “Our potential to grow is uncapped as we change and transform industries by creating a secure layer between them at speed. Our vision is to build a mass version of what I call an internet of trust, where value can be securely transferred between global partners not relying on defunct internet security but rather that of blockchain.”.
This is highly encouraging with regards to business prospects and also in comparison to what other companies have been able to achieve since the Web as we know it today emerged (e.g. Microsoft, Google, Apple, etc.). The Internet is now entering a new phase, with DLT technology at its core, and Overledger is set to be at the forefront of this new paradigm which will surely offer a vast array of new opportunities across sectors.
I believe it is an exciting time for all of us to be part of the journey, as long as any financial commitment is made with a good sense of responsibility and understanding of what success comes down to. “Crypto” is still immature in many respects, and the emergence of a dedicated regulatory framework combined with the expected gradual, selective entrance of institutional money managers will hopefully help shed further light and protect retail token holders from the misunderstandings, misinformation and misconduct which too many have suffered from in the last years.
Thanks for your time and interest.
First article: “The reasons why Quant Network (QNT) will rise to the Top of the crypto sphere in the coming months”
Second article: “The potential of Quant Network’s technology to capture value from the structural shift in the World’s assets and machine-related data/value transfers”
October 2019 City AM interview of Gilbert Verdian (CEO): Click here
October 2019 Blockchain Brad interview of Gilbert Verdian (CEO): Click here
July 2019 Blockchain Brad interview of Gilbert Verdian (CEO): Click here
February 2019 Blockchain Brad interview of Gilbert Verdian (CEO): Click here
About the original author of the article:
My name is David and I spent years in the Investment Banking industry in London. I hold QNT tokens and the above views are based on my own thoughts and research only. I am not affiliated with the Quant Network team in any way. This is not investment advice, please do your own research and understand what you are buying before doing so. It is also my belief that more than 90% of all other crypto projects will fail because what matters is what is getting adopted; please do not put more money at risk than you can afford to lose.
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