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DeFi Glossary - Draft glossary for yEarn Documentation
Hey everyone. I'm one of the many yEarn community volunteers. Besides doing volunteer Tier 1 tech support here at this early stage, I'm also one of the volunteer technical writeengineers for this community project. I write SOPs and procedures as one of my engineer hats at my day job. This should be helpful for newbies. It's a WIP and a first draft, but I would also appreciate feedback on the current list, and suggestions on new terms that should be included on what we're hoping will be a definitive glossary and reference for the DeFi space. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Algorithm - A set of instructions that follow predetermined commands and rules. Computer algorithms can operate at near lightspeed and have massive speed advantages over manual methods. Blockchain - An immutable permanent public record or ledger of all transactions during the history of a cryptocurrency coin or token. Cryptocurrency - A form of digital currency that is protected by powerful encryption algorithms that is represented as a digital coin or token. Cryptocurrency coins are programmed to have a minting, release, reward and distribution system, governance system, and ability to make future changes. These digital coins or tokens include a ledger or blockchain record of all transactions that occur on their respective networks. DeFi - Decentralized Finance is at its root a set of smart contracts running independently on blockchains such as the Ethereum network, that may or may not interact with other smart contracts and even other blockchains. The goal of DeFi is to enhance the profitability of investors in DeFi systems and networks through the use of automated smart contracts which seek to optimize yields for invested funds. Ethereum - Bitcoin is the original cryptocurrency but Ethereum, which came later, allows for much more complexity through the use of smart contracts. It is what is called an ERC20 coin, and it has a large number of cryptocurrency coins such as LINK, CRV and YFI that have used this protocol and set of rules to launch their own cryptocurrency coins on the Ethereum network. Fair Launch - TBD Financial Primitive - A cryptocurrency based financial generic building block. Financial Primitives are designed to efficiently and reliably perform one task. Financial Primitives may be combined to create smart contracts. These smart contract may even be stacked upon one another in order to implement financial trading strategies. Insurance Primitive - A term coined by YFI Developer Andre Cronje, this is a tokenized form of insurance represented as yInsure-type tokens. The token itself provides opportunities for investors to be able to provide crypto insurance to any base asset. Andre states: "The design of this system allows any asset that has a financial primitive to be insured, be it a base asset such as DAI, or a composite asset such as aDAI or yDAI." Investors of yInsure provide Liquidity to be used to execute crypto insurance smart contracts. In return, investors hope to provide an insurance service and profit from this service. Lending Aggregator - A program or set of smart contracts that algorithmically and automatically seeks and chases the best lending rates for depositors to loan out for their coins for a profit. Primitive - A generic building block. ROI - Return On Investment. The gains or losses on an investment. For example, doubling your investment worth would be a 100% gain. Losing all of your investment would be a 100% loss. The latter is not recommended and should be avoided at all costs. Smart Contract - (working on this next) yEarn - A programatically adjusted lending aggregator. It is also a shorthand name for the yEarn Finance ecosystem. YFI - The governance token for the yEarn Finance ecosystem and suite of tools. YFI was the first Fair Launch token, meaning that there was no Founder, Venture Capitalist or early investor pre-mining program to privately claim a portion of a coin's supply. YFI was Fair Launched on July 20, 2020 with an intial price of $34.53, according to Coingecko. yVault - A programatically adjusted lending aggregator, arbitrageur, and optimized yield farmer. yEarn smart contracts are considered simpler and lower risk than their yVault cousins. In comparison, yVault smart contracts are considered more complex and higher risk, but in return they tend to yield higher Returns On Investment. ...lots more to come. I'd love to hear some suggestions about what other terms should be included. Mahalo!
The Great Bitcoin Bull Market Of 2017 by Trace Mayer
By: Trace Mayer, host of The Bitcoin Knowledge Podcast. Originally posted here with images and Youtube videos. I just got back from a two week vacation without Internet as I was scouring some archeological ruins. I hardly thought about Bitcoin at all because there were so many other interesting things and it would be there when I got back. Jimmy Song suggested I do an article on the current state of Bitcoin. A great suggestion but he is really smart (he worked on Armory after all!) so I better be thorough and accurate! Therefore, this article will be pretty lengthy and meticulous. BACKGROUND As I completely expected, the 2X movement from the New York Agreement that was supposed to happen during the middle of my vacation flopped on its face because Jeff Garzik was driving the clown car with passengers willfully inside like Coinbase, Blockchain.info, Bitgo and Xapo and there were here massive bugS and in the code and miners like Bitmain did not want to allocate $150-350m to get it over the difficulty adjustments. I am very disappointed in their lack of integrity with putting their money where their mouths are; myself and many others wanted to sell a lot of B2X for BTC! On 7 December 2015, with Bitcoin trading at US$388.40, I wrote The Rise of the Fourth Great Bitcoin Bubble. On 4 December 2016, with Bitcoin trading at US$762.97, I did this interview:
As of 26 November 2017, Bitcoin is trading around US$9,250.00. That is an increase of about 2,400% since I wrote the article prognosticating this fourth great Bitcoin bull market. I sure like being right, like usual (19 Dec 2011, 1 Jul 2013), especially when there are financial and economic consequences. With such massive gains in such a short period of time the speculative question becomes: Buy, Hold or Sell? FUNDAMENTALS Bitcoin is the decentralized censorship-resistant Internet Protocol for transferring value over a communications channel. The Bitcoin network can use traditional Internet infrastructure. However, it is even more resilient because it has custom infrastructure including, thanks to Bitcoin Core developer Matt Corrallo, the FIBRE network and, thanks to Blockstream, satellites which reduce the cost of running a full-node anywhere in the world to essentially nothing in terms of money or privacy. Transactions can be cheaply broadcast via SMS messages. SECURITY The Bitcoin network has a difficulty of 1,347,001,430,559 which suggests about 9,642,211 TH/s of custom ASIC hardware deployed. At a retail price of approximately US$105/THs that implies about $650m of custom ASIC hardware deployed (35% discount applied). This custom hardware consumes approximately 30 TWh per year. That could power about 2.8m US households or the entire country of Morocco which has a population of 33.85m. This Bitcoin mining generates approximately 12.5 bitcoins every 10 minutes or approximately 1,800 per day worth approximately US$16,650,000. Bitcoin currently has a market capitalization greater than $150B which puts it solidly in the top-30 of M1 money stock countries and a 200 day moving average of about $65B which is increasing about $500m per day. Average daily volumes for Bitcoin is around US$5B. That means multi-million dollar positions can be moved into and out of very easily with minimal slippage. When my friend Andreas Antonopolous was unable to give his talk at a CRYPSA event I was invited to fill in and delivered this presentation, impromptu, on the Seven Network Effects of Bitcoin. These seven network effects of Bitcoin are (1) Speculation, (2) Merchants, (3) Consumers, (4) Security [miners], (5) Developers, (6) Financialization and (7) Settlement Currency are all taking root at the same time and in an incredibly intertwined way. With only the first network effect starting to take significant root; Bitcoin is no longer a little experiment of magic Internet money anymore. Bitcoin is monster growing at a tremendous rate!!
SPECULATION For the Bitcoin price to remain at $9,250 it requires approximately US$16,650,000 per day of capital inflow from new hodlers. Bitcoin is both a Giffen good and a Veblen good. A Giffen good is a product that people consume more of as the price rises and vice versa — seemingly in violation of basic laws of demand in microeconomics such as with substitute goods and the income effect. Veblen goods are types of luxury goods for which the quantity demanded increases as the price increases in an apparent contradiction of the law of demand. There are approximately 16.5m bitcoins of which ~4m are lost, ~4-6m are in deep cold storage, ~4m are in cold storage and ~2-4m are salable. (http://www.runtogold.com/images/lost-bitcoins-1.jpg) (http://www.runtogold.com/images/lost-bitcoins-2.jpg) And forks like BCash (BCH) should not be scary but instead be looked upon as an opportunity to take more territory on the Bitcoin blockchain by trading the forks for real bitcoins which dries up more salable supply by moving it, likely, into deep cold storage. According to Wikipedia, there are approximately 15.4m millionaires in the United States and about 12m HNWIs ($30m+ net worth) in the world. In other words, if every HNWI in the world wanted to own an entire bitcoin as a 'risk-free asset' that cannot be confiscated, seized or have the balance other wise altered then they could not. For wise portfolio management, these HNWIs should have at least about 2-5% in gold and 0.5-1% in bitcoin. Why? Perhaps some of the 60+ Saudis with 1,700 frozen bank accounts and about $800B of assets being targetted might be able to explain it to you. In other words, everyone loves to chase the rabbit and once they catch it then know that it will not get away. RETAIL There are approximately 150+ significant Bitcoin exchanges worldwide. Kraken, according to the CEO, was adding about 6,000 new funded accounts per day in July 2017. Supposedly, Coinbase is currently adding about 75,000 new accounts per day. Based on some trade secret analytics I have access to; I would estimate Coinbase is adding approximately 17,500 new accounts per day that purchase at least US$100 of Bitcoin. If we assume Coinbase accounts for 8% of new global Bitcoin users who purchase at least $100 of bitcoins (just pulled out of thin error and likely very conservative as the actual number is perhaps around 2%) then that is approximately $21,875,000 of new capital coming into Bitcoin every single day just from retail demand from 218,750 total new accounts. What I have found is that most new users start off buying US$100-500 and then after 3-4 months months they ramp up their capital allocation to $5,000+ if they have the funds available. After all, it takes some time and practical experience to learn how to safely secure one's private keys. To do so, I highly recommendBitcoin Core (network consensus and full validation of the blockchain), Armory (private key management), Glacier Protocol (operational procedures) and a Puri.sm laptop (secure non-specialized hardware). WALL STREET There has been no solution for large financial fiduciaries to invest in Bitcoin. This changed November 2017. LedgerX, whose CEO I interviewed 23 March 2013, began trading as a CFTC regulated Swap Execution Facility and Derivatives Clearing Organization. The CME Group announced they will begin trading in Q4 2017 Bitcoin futures. The CBOE announced they will begin trading Bitcoin futures soon. By analogy, these institutional products are like connecting a major metropolis's water system (US$90.4T and US$2 quadrillion) via a nanoscopic shunt to a tiny blueberry ($150B) that is infinitely expandable. This price discovery could be the most wild thing anyone has ever experienced in financial markets. THE GREAT CREDIT CONTRACTION The same week Bitcoin was released I published my book The Great Credit Contraction and asserted it had now begun and capital would burrow down the liquidity pyramid into safer and more liquid assets. (http://www.runtogold.com/images/Great-Credit-Contraction-Liquidity-Pyramid.jpg) Thus, the critical question becomes: Is Bitcoin a possible solution to the Great Credit Contraction by becoming the safest and most liquid asset? BITCOIN'S RISK PROFILE At all times and in all circumstances gold remains money but, of course, there is always exchange rate risk due to price ratios constantly fluctuating. If the metal is held with a third-party in allocated-allocated storage (safest possible) then there is performance risk (Morgan Stanley gold storage lawsuit). But, if properly held then, there should be no counter-party risk which requires the financial ability of a third-party to perform like with a bank account deposit. And, since gold exists at a single point in space and time therefore it is subject to confiscation or seizure risk. Bitcoin is a completely new asset type. As such, the storage container is nearly empty with only $150B. And every Bitcoin transaction effectively melts down every BTC and recasts it; thus ensuring with 100% accuracy the quantity and quality of the bitcoins. If the transaction is not on the blockchain then it did not happen. This is the strictest regulation possible; by math and cryptography! This new immutable asset, if properly secured, is subject only to exchange rate risk. There does exist the possibility that a software bug may exist that could shut down the network, like what has happened with Ethereum, but the probability is almost nil and getting lower everyday it does not happen. Thus, Bitcoin arguably has a lower risk profile than even gold and is the only blockchain to achieve security, scalability and liquidity. To remain decentralized, censorship-resistant and immutable requires scalability so as many users as possible can run full-nodes. (http://www.runtogold.com/images/ethereum-bitcoin-scability-nov-2017.png) TRANSACTIONS Some people, probably mostly those shilling alt-coins, think Bitcoin has a scalability problem that is so serious it requires a crude hard fork to solve. On the other side of the debate, the Internet protocol and blockchain geniuses assert the scalability issues can, like other Internet Protocols have done, be solved in different layers which are now possible because of Segregated Witness which was activated in August 2017. Whose code do you want to run: the JV benchwarmers or the championship Chicago Bulls? As transaction fees rise, certain use cases of the Bitcoin blockchain are priced out of the market. And as the fees fall then they are economical again. Additionally, as transaction fees rise, certain UTXOs are no longer economically usable thus destroying part of the money supply until fees decline and UTXOs become economical to move. There are approximately 275,000-350,000 transactions per day with transaction fees currently about $2m/day and the 200 DMA is around $1.08m/day. (http://www.runtogold.com/images/bitcoin-transaction-fees-nov-2017.png) What I like about transaction fees is that they somewhat reveal the financial health of the network. The security of the Bitcoin network results from the miners creating solutions to proof of work problems in the Bitcoin protocol and being rewarded from the (1) coinbase reward which is a form of inflation and (2) transaction fees which is a form of usage fee. The higher the transaction fees then the greater implied value the Bitcoin network provides because users are willing to pay more for it. I am highly skeptical of blockchains which have very low transaction fees. By Internet bubble analogy, Pets.com may have millions of page views but I am more interested in EBITDA. DEVELOPERS Bitcoin and blockchain programming is not an easy skill to acquire and master. Most developers who have the skill are also financially independent now and can work on whatever they want. The best of the best work through the Bitcoin Core process. After all, if you are a world class mountain climber then you do not hang out in the MacDonalds play pen but instead climb Mount Everest because that is where the challenge is. However, there are many talented developers who work in other areas besides the protocol. Wallet maintainers, exchange operators, payment processors, etc. all need competent developers to help build their businesses. Consequently, there is a huge shortage of competent developers. This is probably the largest single scalability constraint for the ecosystem. Nevertheless, the Bitcoin ecosystem is healthier than ever before. (http://www.runtogold.com/images/bitcoin-ecosystem.jpg)(/images/bitcoin-ecosystem-small.jpg) SETTLEMENT CURRENCY There are no significant global reserve settlement currency use cases for Bitcoin yet. Perhaps the closest is Blockstream's Strong Federations via Liquid. PRICE There is a tremendous amount of disagreement in the marketplace about the value proposition of Bitcoin. Price discovery for this asset will be intense and likely take many cycles of which this is the fourth. Since the supply is known the exchange rate of Bitcoins is composed of (1) transactional demand and (2) speculative demand. Interestingly, the price elasticity of demand for the transactional demand component is irrelevant to the price. This makes for very interesting dynamics! (http://www.runtogold.com/images/bitcoin-speculation.jpg) On 4 May 2017, Lightspeed Venture Partners partner Jeremy Liew who was among the early Facebook investors and the first Snapchat investor laid out their case for bitcoin exploding to $500,000 by 2030. On 2 November 2017, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-02/blankfein-says-don-t-dismiss-bitcoin-while-still-pondering-value)said, "Now we have paper that is just backed by fiat...Maybe in the new world, something gets backed by consensus." On 12 Sep 2017, JP Morgan CEO called Bitcoin a 'fraud' but conceded that "(http://fortune.com/2017/09/12/jamie-dimon-bitcoin-cryptocurrency-fraud-buy/)Bitcoin could reach $100,000". Thus, it is no surprise that the Bitcoin chart looks like a ferret on meth when there are such widely varying opinions on its value proposition. I have been around this space for a long time. In my opinion, those who scoffed at the thought of $1 BTC, $10 BTC (Professor Bitcorn!), $100 BTC, $1,000 BTC are scoffing at $10,000 BTC and will scoff at $100,000 BTC, $1,000,000 BTC and even $10,000,000 BTC. Interestingly, the people who understand it the best seem to think its financial dominance is destiny. Meanwhile, those who understand it the least make emotionally charged, intellectually incoherent bearish arguments. A tremendous example of worldwide cognitive dissonance with regards to sound money, technology and the role or power of the State. Consequently, I like looking at the 200 day moving average to filter out the daily noise and see the long-term trend. (http://www.runtogold.com/images/bitcoin-price-200dma-nov-2017.png) Well, that chart of the long-term trend is pretty obvious and hard to dispute. Bitcoin is in a massive secular bull market. The 200 day moving average is around $4,001 and rising about $30 per day. So, what do some proforma situations look like where Bitcoin may be undervalued, average valued and overvalued? No, these are not prognostications. (http://www.runtogold.com/images/bitcoin-price-pro-forma.png) Maybe Jamie Dimon is not so off his rocker after all with a $100,000 price prediction. We are in a very unique period of human history where the collective globe is rethinking what money is and Bitcoin is in the ring battling for complete domination. Is or will it be fit for purpose? As I have said many times before, if Bitcoin is fit for this purpose then this is the largest wealth transfer in the history of the world. CONCLUSION Well, this has been a brief analysis of where I think Bitcoin is at the end of November 2017. The seven network effects are taking root extremely fast and exponentially reinforcing each other. The technological dominance of Bitcoin is unrivaled. The world is rethinking what money is. Even CEOs of the largest banks and partners of the largest VC funds are honing in on Bitcoin's beacon. While no one has a crystal ball; when I look in mine I see Bitcoin's future being very bright. Currently, almost everyone who has bought Bitcoin and hodled is sitting on unrealized gains as measured in fiat currency. That is, after all, what uncharted territory with daily all-time highs do! But perhaps there is a larger lesson to be learned here. Riches are getting increasingly slippery because no one has a reliable defined tool to measure them with. Times like these require incredible amounts of humility and intelligence guided by macro instincts. Perhaps everyone should start keeping books in three numéraires: USD, gold and Bitcoin. Both gold and Bitcoin have never been worth nothing. But USD is a fiat currency and there are thousands of those in the fiat currency graveyard. How low can the world reserve currency go? After all, what is the risk-free asset? And, whatever it is, in The Great Credit Contraction you want it! What do you think? Disagree with some of my arguments or assertions? Please, eviscerate them on Twitter or in the comments!
AB Int’l acquired iCrowdU, Blank check Megalith files for USD 150m IPO, Boldface header, Deepbrain airdrops USD 3m, GSR upsizes tZero investment to USD 400m, Petroteq arranges debt for equity swap, World Bank mandates CBA for first blockchain bond, CoinBase poached Amazon’s Tim Wagner and Q2 VC investment report The Blockchain finance newsletter gets readers up to date on the latest funding news and related issues. • Mergers and acquisitions AB International, the Hong Kong, China-based tech focused investment firm, said it acquired blockchain-backed crowdfunding startup iCrowdU. The company raised its stake to a controlling 51% from the original 11%. AB International filed its most recent 10-Q late in the US after sacking senior executives in May. • Filings Megalith Financial Acquisition, the New York City-based blank-check company seeking to buy financial technology companies, said it is raising USD 150m from the initial public offering of 15m shares at USD 10.00 each. The company identified blockchain as one area of management expertise. • Funding Libra, the New York City-based cryptoasset services company, said it raised USD 15m in a Series B led by an unidentified family office in Europe. The company provides back-office services. Audius, the San Francisco, California-based blockchain company focused on the music industry, said it raised USD 5.5m in a Series A led by General Catalyst and Lightspeed. The company sees itself as a rival to SoundCloud. Lambda, the Singapore-based blockchain data storage company, said it is raising up to USD 5m in a token crowdsale. tribeOS, the Hamilton, Bermuda-based blockchain company focused on advertising, said Bitmain invested USD 3m. Bitmain, the Beijing, China-based cryptocurrency mining equipment maker, is likely to soon file for an initial public offering, according to a Fortune report last week. The company raised USD 400m in a pre-IPO financing led by Sequoia Capital, according to a China Money report in June citing local media. Deepbrain Chain, the Singapore-based blockchain company focused on AI research, is airdropping USD 3m, according to a Bitsonline report. Sagewise, the Long Beach, California-based blockchain contractual dispute services firm, said it raised USD 1.25m in a seed round led by Wavemaker Genesis. True Nature, the Atlanta, Georgia-based developing healthcare related software applications, said it filed a shelf for a USD 6m equity financing with GHS Investments. The products the company develops may carry blockchain encryption. Overstock.com, the Salt Lake City, Utah-based online retailer, said its blockchain subsidiary tZERO raised the amount of financing it was receiving from Hong Kong-based GSR Capital to USD 404m. Overstock said in June tZERO was raising USD 160m. Vemanti, the Newport Beach, California-based investment holding company, said it invested an unspecified amount in Chopp, the grocery delivery company operating in Vietnam. Blockchain, AI and machine learning are sectors Vemanti says it focuses on. Petroteq Energy, the Sherman Oaks California-based company developing blockchain technology for use in the oil and gas industry, said it arranged two debt for equity swaps worth about USD 400,000. Late last month, the company said it was raising USD 1.8m from the sale of shares and warrants, and applied to uplist to the Nasdaq. Earlier in July Petroteq said it was raising USD 202,000 from 11 investors. The World Bank, the Washington DC-based multilateral lender, said it mandated Commonwealth Bank of Australia to arrange what it says is the world’s first blockchain-based bond. Initial coin offerings going more towards accredited investors, according to a Bloomberg report. Other deals included Universal Protocol Platform, Genetic Technologies, and OMAAT • Legal & Regulatory South Korea’s recently established Blockchain Enterprise Promotion Association is pushing the government to establish the island of Jeju as a cryptocurrency hub, according to a Cryptovest report. Crypto Currency News’ take is here. The Indian government and Tech Mahindra plan to develop a blockchain district in the city of Hyderabad, according to an Asia Times report. • People Coinbase, the San Francisco, California-based cryptocurrency trading platform, said it hired Amazon’s Tim Wagner as vice-president of engineering unit. Last week it hired Jeff Horowitz as chief compliance officer. Horowitz was head of compliance at Pershing, a unit of custody, clearing and settlement firm BNY Mellon. Also this week, Facebook’s head of blockchain David Marcus resigned from the Coinbase board of directors as the social media giant deepens its engagement with the distributed ledger space, according to a Business Insider report. Coindesk’s take on the story is here. KeyoCoin, the Los Angeles, California-based blockchain company focused on the travel industry, brought Shrei Kaiserman in as a bitcoin advisor as it moves closer to the launch a travel rewards token, according to a BlockTribune report. Kaiserman started an investment and advisory firm, Maco.la, that has focused on the blockchain industry. SharesPost, the San Francisco, California-based trading platform, said it hired Nick Grabowsk as chief technology officer. Grabowski joins from Charles Schwab, where he was a vice-president of application architecture and R&D. He will work on integrating cryptocurrency and blockchain securities into the SharesPost platform, which started as a secondary trading venue for private technology firms. SharePost raised USD 15 million in a Series C in June led by LUN Partners and Kenetic Capital. Sidley Austin, the New York City-based law firm, said it hired Lilya Tessler to head its blockchain and fintech in the securities & derivatives enforcement and regulatory group. She was previously co-head of the blockchain and fintech group at McDermott, Will & Emery. AlphaPoint, the New York City-based blockchain services firm, said it hired Srikant Manda as chief information security officer. He previously led security architecture and engineering teams at Juniper Networks and Fortinet. The hire marks the fourth executive AlphaPoint has brought in since May. Last week it appointed Fisher Cataliotti partner Katya Fisher to the board of directors. The law firm is focused on blockchain, cybersecurity, cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence. AlphaPoint, which is developing corporate auditing software, hired Kristin Boggiano as chief legal officer in July. She was most recently senior regulatory counsel at Guggenheim Asset Management. In June, the company hired former Nasdaq executive Michael Schmidt as chief human resources officer and raised USD 15m in a Series A from Galaxy Digital Ventures. Ether Capital, the Toronto, Canada-based blockchain investment firm, said it’s forming an advisory board with Ethan Buchman, chief technology officer and co-founder at Cosmos Network, and Panashe Mahachi, co-founder of L4 and Scanate. Other hires included Grant Thornton, CENTRI, Blockchain Power Trust, DigitalTown, Hut 8 Mining, Data443 Risk Mitigation, • Data Cryptofinance Conference data shows traditional VCs edging more deeply into blockchain investing, according to a The Next Web report. Trading, financial services and infrastructure accounted for the most venture capital investment in blockchain companies, at roughly 17% each, in the second quarter of this year, according to a report from Outlier Ventures.
An investment client asked about Bitcoin, here is my memo response
What are Bitcoin, How do Bitcoins Work and Why Should We Care? November 24, 2013 Below is an actual email I sent to one of my top clients, who is a global business leader, when we were discussing Bitcoin today. — I’ve removed any confidential information and I think the content makes for a decent and informative article about how Bitcoins work. [I realize some technical details -- such as Bitcoin mining-- are not fully explained - this was because I wrote this for a specific person based on the style that person prefers.] Hi ____, (Excuse the long note, it will answer the questions you asked and also fully equip you for cocktail /water cooler conversations which I GUARANTEE will come up!) Bitcoin works by allowing direct transfer of money/ coins peer to peer anywhere in the world…the rational for the price increase is due to supply and demand and increasing signs of this being a real and viable thing. It’s fascinating. HOW A very complex computer program on a shared network creates (to be mined) the digital “coins”which are basically a series of numbers….each one is unique. WHAT These digital coins can be easily transferred, converted to USD, EUR, CNY or used to purchase tens of thousands of goods online. (Every major hacker and academic has attempted to counterfeit, hack or find flaws and numerous papers have been written which say it won’t likely happen due to the way the code is written and open source and other details.) This has created a completely decentralized global currency instantly transferable and untrackable. The idea of digital currency came about in the 80s — five years ago Bitcoins started — at first very experimental with tech geeks buying pizzas etc and traded at around .22 then a dollar each. RISE IN VALUE When Cyprus collapsed, Bitcoin had it’s first major surge as it was seen by some as a gold-like alternative but with easy transport across borders. It was also seen as a black market facilitator due to its decentralized nature with underground goods reaching hundreds of millions in sales. WINKLEVOSS Shortly afterwards, the Winklevoss twins (VCs and Facebook lawsuit winners) bought about $90 million worth or 1% of Bitcoin. Winklevoss targets a $400B market cap for Bitcoin (from $7-9b today) (someone else appears to have bought $150 mm worth this week, it’s unknown who) CHINA / BAIDU As the price reached $100 and $200, China became interested — it’s in the news there daily now. The massive Chinese state internet company Baidu announced they will accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. It’s unlikely Baidu would do this without the tacit approval of the Chinese government (who also knows this is a slight toward the USD which is not overt) US Senate hearings this month were surprisingly favorable and unlikely to lead to attempts at heavy-handed regulation. (Which is logistically nearly impossible given the de-centralized nature, you would have to shut down the internet to stop it entirely) The China interest and US hearings brought Bitcoin past the $700-800 mark in very volatile trading. (Mkt cap of 7-9 billion USD) ACCESS /DEMAND There is only one major exchange in the US – called MtGox — it is plagued by delays from tens of thousands of applications for new accounts….just processing wires takes a week or more and an AML check takes 30 days due to backlog. The main broke exchange in China received an investment from Lightspeed Venture Partners and China is getting something like 60,000 inquiries a day. WHY I think Bitcoin is transformative for a few reasons:
Digital currency is an idea who’s time has come — eventually the role of decentralized alternative currency can become to conventional currency what email was to snail mail ….that doesn’t need to fully happen for Bitcoin to do well.
Technology now allows that some portion of the role of central banks can be replaced by the marketplace. This may take 50 years, but in the meantime there is plenty of room for massive growth.
First mover, as investors in China and the US see this as a place to save and store, the market cap can increase significantly….this, in turn leads or it being a more viable alternative to some tiny piece of real currency.
Acceptance by big groups like Baidu and others like Richard Branson (who announced Bitcoin will be accepted for Virgin Galactic flights and I think likely later all flights) makes this the standard.
On the high end is globally transformative….on the low end it kills and replaces something like Western Union, which is still a big deal.
Almost a year ago I had a conversation about Bitcoin with —-deleted——- [a leading Venture Capitalist. Basically he's interested in the space, we are looking for ways to participate] Since then, especially based on China, I’ve become more convinced. We are talking about global access now….. when else have Chinese citizens and EU and US been able to buy the same investment on the same platform? We know the significance of Chinese savings and interest in non fiat currency….as well as the transformative power of decentralized collaborative networks….as well as the risks in conventional global fiat currency. Clearly if we talk in terms of it replacing even a tiny fraction of real global currency it is a huge deal…..too much in the air for that, but I think access and interest alone can bring it to a value somewhere around AAPL or the $400B the Winkelvoss twins target….this is still a small drop compared to real currency numbers but would place Bitcoin at $30-40,000 per coin. Risks are high, it is very volatile….one article shared at [major firm] says it will be back down to $250 by months end. It can return to thin air and head back down to a penny. I thought government regulation was the largest risk but the Senate has missed that boat…unless some major event creates a compelling national need, they are unlikely to try now…toothpaste is out of the tube. So now the biggest risk is whether this is real or not….this is why China and Virgin etc. are significant. [deleted specific recommendations particular to this person etc.] Let me know if you want me to look at ____ XYZ – we should participate. That’s my two cents worth! (Or .00000023 Bitcoin worth) -Bruce Bruce Fenton President and Managing Director, Atlantic Financial Inc. W
VCs not Investing in Blockchain: VC investment in blockchain and Bitcoin companies hit a new low in number of financed companies. While the total sum of investment was relatively high, half of it came from financial institutions and tech giants rather than VCs.
But Banks & Tech Corporations Do: Microsoft, Intel and Amazon, together with top financial institutions such as Bank of America and Citigroup are presenting new blockchain solutions to developers, but the VCs are still lagging behind them in terms of investment and involvement in the industry. Exceptions: Lightspeed, Union Square, and Andreessen Horowitz each hold an average of five portfolio companies in the blockchain and bitcoin space.
ICO Storm: ICOs are exploding, bringing in $1.73 billion dollars since the beginning of 2017, five times the total capital raised by ICOs by the end of 2016. Fight or Flight: VCs are afraid to jump into blockchain investment because of the competitive threat ICOs pose; because of heavy regulation, due to treating crypto tokens as securities; because of too many bankruptcies and too few success stories; inability to create monopolies; Blockchain’s lack of scalability; and because of the inability to separate Blockchain infrastructure from the shady aspects of Bitcoin. Blockchain technology has been a buzz word for quite some time, yet it is Terra Incognita for most industry leaders, and is a space that still suffers from underinvestment. As the black swan of the tech world, blockchain hasn’t managed to acquire the place other buzz-related technologies, such as self-driving cars or A.I., acquired long ago. Associated with the high volatility of Bitcoin, and some of the shady activities that have exploited the digital currency, blockchain is still raising too many question marks in the eyes of the VCs, the same people who usually pioneer investment in revolutionary innovations.
But there are other possible reasons for the lack of Blockchain support by VCs. A major force behind VC objection to blockchain technology is called ICO, or Initial Coin Offering. ICOs are a blockchain, token-based fundraising alternative that is quickly becoming popular, making VCs and their traditional, slow, and sometimes heavily taxing process completely redundant. ICOs not only simplify the investment process, but also provide ways for startups to share equity and other benefits with their investors, their users, suppliers, and the entire community around them. In that light, ICOs are filling the financing gap that VCs and other investors are leaving behind. So far, 2017 is the breakthrough year for ICOs as $1.73 billion has been raised by startups using token sales, and ICO fundraising is forecasted to reach $1.8 billion by October. Notable ICOs include those of Tezos ($208M), EOS.IO ($200M), Bancor ($153M), and Status ($95M), as well as about 60 token sales in total. Have the investors made a profit? It depends, but the total market cap for all Altcoins (Cryptocurrency excluding Bitcoin) has risen from $2.2B on January 1st to roughly $71B yesterday. This is an increase of over 3200%, so yes, some investors are definitely happy. For unbiased ICO reviews go to Coin.best. For unbiased research reports on startup companies go to Zirra But Blockchain technology extends way beyond ICOs and even digital coins. Leaving currency aside, blockchain turned out to be a viable system of value sharing with no need for a trusted third party, such as a bank, or any centralized system. Blockchain can be used as a trusted digital ledger for an infinite selection of applications: it can be used as the infrastructure of a digital wallet, a voting system, or a platform that authenticates identity, ownership or certification, or certifies the traces of a supply chain. Microsoft and Intel have developed their blockchain frameworks for enterprises and financial institutions such as Citigroup and Bank of America has been investing in blockchain startups. Yet VCs are not buying. Is it moral bias? Fear from the impact of ICOs? Seeing something the others don’t or simply “staying behind the curve”? It’s difficult to tell. Fact is, VCs are not aligning behind blockchain, leaving a vacuum that quickly fills up while posting possibly the biggest gamble for the future of their own ventures. How alienated are VCs from the blockchain industry? According to a recent study by CB Insights, traditional equity-based investment (non-ICO) in blockchain companies hit in the second quarter of 2017 their lowest point since 2013, to 16 financing rounds. However, these 16 rounds totaled in $232 million, which was actually as high as the entire VC investment in self driving cars in the entire first half of the year. But VCs were just a small part of that picture. Almost half ($107 million) of the VC-based quarterly funding for blockchain companies went to the banking consortium R3, which was actually funded by the largest financial institutions such as Bank of America, Citigroup, Barclays, Credit Suisse, HSBC and tech giants such as Intel. Another $40 million went to the Bitcoin-based digital wallet Blockchain, from cryptocurrency-oriented investors such as Digital Currency Group, and mainstream VCs such as Lightspeed and Mosaic. As the graph below shows, top VCs are hardly in the blockchain game, hesitant to invest in more than one or two companies per quarter altogether around blockchain technology. Only a portion invested in more than one company in the space in total. Notable VCs Lightspeed, Union Square, and Andreessen Horowitz each hold an average of five portfolio companies in the blockchain and bitcoin space. So, who are the most dedicated investors in bitcoin and blockchain technology? The leaders are cryptocurrency-dedicated funds and hedge funds such as Digital Currency Group, Blockchain Capital, Pantera, Fenbushi Capital and Future Perfect. They are joined by a small group of innovative VCs ,managed by partners who are keen to cryptocurrencies such as Marc Andreessen (Andreessen Horowitz), Fred Wilson (Union Square), and Tim Draper (Draper Associates). Blockchain is not waiting for VCs to enter the game. It is exploding. Here are 3 major signals for this: 1.ICOs are exploding: In the meantime, it seems like everyone but VCs have joined the blockchain party. The ICOs were the ones who took the bigger bulk of business press attention in the second quarter, raising about $750 million for 60 companies. However, VCs and other institutional investors were not among the investors, as long as ICOs are not regulated and are outside the charter of investment given to general partners by their limited partners. 2.Cryptocurrency, not just Bitcoin, is experiencing great momentum. The graph below tells the story. Bitcoin is barely the whole picture. Other blockchain-based cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Ripple are on the rise. This graph shows the total market capitalization for the top seven cryptocurrencies excluding Bitcoin: Here, Ethereum and Ripple can be seen gaining more and more market share of the entire cryptocurrency market: 3.Enterprises are pouring in: Technology corporations and financial institutions didn’t wait for the VCs to come and adopted their solutions for blockchain-based decentralized networks. Among tech giants, leaders Microsoft and Intel have been pushing blockchain agendas for internal use among their customers, which are mainly big companies. Earlier this week, Intel and Microsoft joined forces to launch Coco, a blockchain framework for business that processes about 1,600 transactions per second, 1000X more than comparable blockchain frameworks, such as Ethereum consortium. The new platform uses Ethereum-based smart contracts and enables confidentiality and security over the network with the aid of other distributed ledger systems. With Coco, fashion retailers, for example, might form a blockchain consortium to verify authentic designer merchandise, and track delivery, payments, and stock inventory. Earlier in 2015, Microsoft announced a cloud-based blockchain developer environment for Azure, its cloud platform. Since then, the company has partnered with numerous blockchain technologies such as HyperLedger Fabric, R3 Corda, Quorum, Chain Core, and BlockApps. Competitor Amazon made a similar move, partnering with blockchain investment firm Digital Currency Group to offer an experimentation environment for startups and developers and partnering with a few blockchain companies on its AWS cloud platform. Google too is in the game, although not directly, investing through its VC in Ripple, the third largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin and Ethereum, and in Blockchain, a bitcoin wallet startup. At least two large-scale blockchain projects are permissioned by global enterprises: Open-source project Hyperledger, established by the Linux Foundation, is partnered with Intel, J.P Morgan, SAP, Fujitsu, Accenture, Daimler, and R3. Many of these organizations are also a part of the Ethereum Alliance, with the addition of enterprises such as Microsoft, BBVA, Credit Suisse and more. So, to sum up, why are VCs so afraid of blockchain? There are quite a few reasons for this: Fear of the impact ICOs have on traditional VC business: VCs have sustained many threats, from family offices taking up innovation, crowdfunding, and private equity firms digging into investing in startups directly. But never has the danger been so clear and imminent as with ICOs. In the long term, ICOs as a funding vehicle for start-ups could rival the traditional VC model. Blockchain tokens issued by start-ups during an ICO are a more liquid asset than any stock in a private company held by VCs. In the current situation, venture capital funds are an illiquid asset class, and they have to wait 7-10 years to realize their results and measure the IRR. But blockchain tokens are immediate and can disclose a company’s momentum in real time. Naturally, VCs would feel suspicious regarding a real-time investment model that challenges them. Also, ICO might bring to the table another new kind of investor, making deals less exclusive than what they used to be, on a scale that crowdfunding hasn’t done yet. On the other hand, this will demand disclosure by startups of performance indicators in the public domain. In that way, GPs and LPs will have a clearer idea of the performance of their portfolio. Inability to separate blockchain as an infrastructure for businesses from Bitcoin and ICOs: Blockchain is a technology concept that can turn over industries. It is a secured and distributed electronic ledger, which allows all transactions – such as payments, loans, and contracts- to be tracked in real time. Bitcoin is a coin that can be used for digital transactions, and ICOs are a method for raising money using the offering of digital coin based tokens. Most VCs will not even go so far as understanding these nuances, not to mention acting rationally upon each of these sectors. Inconvenient Regulation: Last month the SEC declared blockchain tokens to be considered securities, rather than assets. This decision puts the U.S in an inferior position relative to countries such as Switzerland and Singapore that treat blockchain tokens as assets. In order to attract investors and make the ICO process easier, U.S blockchain companies might list in those countries, or else use regulation S and D exemptions with the SEC in order to raise funds. That limits American funding to a mere 99 accredited investors, but does not limit global investments. Few exits and high rate of failure: As an immature discipline, Bitcoin and blockchain companies not only have a poor history of exits, but also a high rate of failure. According to research focused on cryptocurrency investments listed on the Coindesk database, 14% of a total number of VC-backed blockchain and Bitcoin companies went bankrupt or were sold in a fire sale. 85% of them were focused on Bitcoin. The numerous M&As in the business mainly concentrated around Bitcoin exchanges, and do not seem to be related to VCs. Blockchain was unscalable and not business oriented until recently: Putting aside cryptocurrency mining, which consumes a lot of energy, blockchain frameworks are not efficient enough for business applications. Ethereum, for example, processes around 16 transactions per second. However, Microsoft has recently showcased a blockchain framework that processes 1,600 transactions per second. Inability to create a monopoly: Investor Peter Thiel once said that “entrepreneurs starting a company should aim for monopoly and avoid competition.” However, the idea behind blockchain, a decentralized and public network, is intolerant to monopolies. Investing in ICO is still dangerous: In the current situation, direct investment in ICOs entails perils for VCs besides regulation. This includes a complicated process of cashing out (of a digital coin), currency’s high volatility, the high cost of capital in due diligence, and a reduced defensibility in the case of a large investment, according to a paper by Lerer Hippeau investment firm. How Can VCs Get Involved with Blockchain? It might be a little too late for VCs to join the blockchain revolution. The original early stage cherry-picking model of VCs calls for identifying a revolutionary technology before anyone else, rather than jumping on an already moving wagon. In addition to traditional equity investment in blockchain-oriented companies, VCs can act prudently, starting with new and creative formations. For instance, they can raise blockchain dedicated funds or hedge funds, re-contracting their LPs regarding the new rules of the game, such as raising a part of the fund through ICO or investing in liquidated securities such as cryptocurrency tokens. Another option is to invest in the economy created by an ICO, or in its token adoption, rather than buying tokens in the ICO itself. This can be done by providing money, real estate, computing power, guidance or support to developers that are building on top of the blockchain protocol. We at coin.best provide unbiased ICO reviews through an objective analysis and rating system, allowing blockchain investors to better understand the ICO market
Lightspeed Venture Partners predicts PPCoin will survive, to be among top 5 alt-coins.
Anyone notice PPCoin on the list of predictions of 2014 from Lightspeed Ventures? On their list at #3:
3. There will be less than 5 alt-coins (out of the 50+ in existence) that will survive 2014 The open source nature of the Bitcoin protocol led to the advent of over 50+ alt-coins, most of which are blatant rip-offs with a tweak or two here and there. These can be divided into three categories
Coins which are Ponzi schemes, where the sole purpose of the inventor is to drive the price of the alt-coin up and them dump
Coins which can be mined easily and can have potentially more liquidity than Bitcoin
Coins, which are based on a fundamental innovation and can result in specific adoption or security led use cases.
In my opinion, only the category 3 ones would survive. PPC coin, which has introduced a proof-of-stake system in addition to proof-of-work is one such coin. It is in my list of survivors.
Menlo Park-based venture capital firm, Lightspeed Ventures Partners (), reportedly raised over one billion dollars for entering multiple sectors, including the nascent cryptocurrency and blockchain market.Lightspeed’s Cryptocurrency Push. According to Reuters, on July 10, 2018, Lightspeed plans to allocate roughly $1.05 billion to various early-stage companies. Investors: Lightspeed Ventures, Wicklow Capital, Mosaic Ventures, Prudence Holdings, Future Perfect Ventures, Rafael Corrales, Amit Jhawar, Nat Brown, Individual Investors. Investment: $30.5 million, 7 October 2014. Chain. A leading developer of Bitcoin APIs, Chain helps companies by providing rapid access to the blockchain. Lightspeed Venture Invests $2.8M in Crypto Market Maker Wintermute Wintermute, an algorithmic liquidity provider, has received a $2.8 million investment from the prominent early-stage firm ... Investors: Ceyuan Ventures, Lightspeed China, Bitcoin Opportunity Corp, 500 Startups, Marc Van Der Chijs Headquartered: Hong Kong Country: China Swarm: $0.12 million – Seed 10-Oct-14 Financial Services. Investors: Techstars Headquartered: Palo Alto Country: United States Devign Lab: $0.2 million – Seed 9-Oct-14 Universal. Investors: K ... So, how will be the coming year 2014 for bitcoin, here is a list of predictions from Lightspeed Ventures: 1. Startups will attract over USD 100 Mn funding: Both the existing and emerging Bitcoin exchange startups across local/global will attract venture capital. The available funds would thus help the startups to deal with issues such as ...
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