This Bitcoin metric is reaching its historical reversal levels
Two Prime, under the radar coin worth looking into.
Two Prime has released their FF1 MacroToken. "We show how this methodology can be applied as an Open Source application, in the vein of BTC and ETH, with all the creative and value generative potential that comes along with it. We leverage store of value functions of cryptocurrencies to arrive at value creation and accretion in the real economy by the intermediary of crypto exchanges on which we propose to provide protective measures. We detail treasury and reserve formation for the Open Source Finance Foundation, describe its relation to Two Prime and detail the emission of a new crypto-asset called the FF1 Token. We seek liquidity for the FF1 treasury within the secondary exchanges for the purpose of applying M4 in the real world, both in the private and public sector. We first apply this to the vertical of cryptocurrencies while outlining the genericity and stability of the model which we indeed to apply to esoteric financial needs (e.g. Smart City financing). In so doing, we extend the scope and control of applications that a system of digital units of value stored on decentralized, public ledgers can aim to advance. We call this approach Open Source Finance and the resulting coin class a MacroToken. MODERN MONETARY THEORY FRAMEWORKModern Monetary Theory states two interdependent phenomenological axioms and the banking system operates on a resulting syllogism:
Axiom 1: in discounted cash flow analysis (axiom 1a), 0 = 1 and (axiom 1b) 1 = 1..N.
Axiom 2: Government possesses, de facto, exclusive, and perpetual right of use of Axiom 1a for Ab-Initio Money(M0) monetary creation (FIAT M0).
Syllogism 3: The creation of AssetBackedM oney(M4) is a consequence of these two axioms. The banking system creates BACKED M4 with debt-backed cash flows of type 1b: 1 = N with N ⇡ 1. Add equity to these cash flows (e.g. project finance) and you create a return of type 1 = N with N 1 or axiom1b. FIAT currencies are therefore designed to be accretive with possibility of fluctuation.
In the past 10 years, the formation and emergence of BTC and ETH has verifiably falsified Axiom 2 . The phenomenon of crypto-currencies has created ab-initio global stores of value of type 1a. Cryptoc Currencies have displaced trust by means of government violence and associated, implied violence, with instead, open source distribution, cloud computing, objective mathematics, and the algorithmic integrity of blockchain ledgers. The first “killer app” of these open source ledgers areis stores of value, e.g. Bitcoin, or “open source money” as it was first characterized by its semi-anonymous creators. Leading crypto-currencies have proven themselves as viable global stores of value. They are regulated as Gold is in the United States. However, as type 1a units of value, they have tended towards high volatility inevitably leading to speculative market behavior and near 0 “real” asset-” backing or floor price , albeit with an aggregate value of $350bn ab-initio creation. We therefore advance Axiom 2 to Axiom 2’
Axiom 2’: (spoken “Two Prime” and the reason for the company name): ab-initio value creation (type 1a) and Macro Token (type 1b) can reside outside of national powers and central banking, e.g. in Open Source Finance.
At N < 1 we have dilutive debasement of fungible units of value, aka inflation. At 1, the new monies are therefore stable coins. At N > 1, these tokens are designed to grow with demand. Axiom Two Prime (or 2’) displaces government endorsed violence as our macro-socio organizing principle, with algorithmic objectivity and verifiable transparency. This occurs within the landscape we call Open Source Finance. THE TWO PRIME MODEL Two Prime refers to the financial management company managing the OSFF. FF1 refers to the Macro Token of the OSFF. The first stage is reserve and treasury formation, the second stage describes the mechanics of the public markets and the protective measures of the reserves and third stage is treasury liquidity via the Continuous Token Offering both in public and private markets. We will now describe these in more detail. MACRO INVESTMENT THESIS AND RATIONALE FOR FF1The FF1 MacroToken is a synthetic token based on the proven killer applications of Cryptoc-Currencies. After 110 years since the inception of the blockchain technology, the killer apps of crypto are already here and they are primarily all financial, not technical. The historical killers apps are:
Transnational Store of Value: Crypto-Currencies display a robust and transnational store-of-value function. Many crypto professionals today use the blockchain as their international bank. They maintain balances and pay with internet-based open source ledgers (a.k.a crypto). They find local FIAT liquidity on local exchanges. They speculate in crypto on global exchanges. The paradox of Axiom 1a is that in the absence of any backing the value of these stores of value is determined solely via exchanges, pure supply and demand mixed with sentiment. Their volatility is a side-effect of their lack of anchoring.
Capital Formation: Crypto-Currencies have proved very adept at capital formation both on flow and stock. The days of the ICO, where hundreds of millions of (crypto) dollars were raised seemingly overnight, need to be reborn as the Phænix from its ashes. However, the ICO faltered at capital allocation, wasting proceeds on tech no one needed and lavish parties, resulting in non accretion (N = 0.07)
Fractional Asset- Backing and Stablec Coins: Stable coins are tokens that are backed by existing assets. The first and best known example of a stable coins is Tether, which has a 60% backing ratio. We credit the crypto rally of 2017 to the conjunction of ICOs and stable coins. These instruments also have something to say to banking infrastructure. Witness the political backlash to Facebook’s Libra or the efforts of the Bank of China launching it’s own Central Bank Digital Currency. It should be noted that FIAT in the west is born as a fractionally asset- backed instrument (N = 0.07 or Basel III ratios) and matures, over time to (N > 1), as a super-backed instrument.
The FF1 MacroToken is a pot-pourri of these features, a synthetic token that mixes the best of breed practices of crypto mixing Store-of-Value, Capital Formation and Fractional Asset-Backing. MACRO INVESTMENT THESIS AND RATIONALE FOR FF1Treasury Generation: Ab-Initio Store of Value On the supply side, The OSFFTwo Prime has created is creating 100, 000, 000 FF1 Macro Tokens, which it keeps in treasury. They are pure stores of value for they have no assets backing them at birth. They are ab-initio instruments. The FF1 Macro Tokens are listed on public crypto exchanges. Two Prime manages operates market- making for these stores of value. Treasury Management: Supply- Side Tokenomics All FF1 are held in the Open Source Finance Foundation treasury. Crypto aAssets that enter into treasury are, at first, not traded. The FF1 supply will be offered upon sufficient demand. which Two Prime generates publicly and privately. The total supply will be finite in total units (100, 000, 000), but variable in its aggregate value for supply and demand will make the price move. The proceeds are the property of the OSFF (not Two Prime) and Two Prime places invests the liquid treasury (post FF1 liquidation) in crypto assets to protect against depreciation and create a macro-hedge reserve andor floor for the price. It should be noted that the price and the NAV of assets are, by design, not equal. In other words, the additional OSFF treasury is locked and can enter circulation if, and only if, there is a corresponding demand which is then placed invested in crypto assets with a target value N 1. This results in fractional asset- backing at first. EXCHANGES, CONTINUOUS TOKEN OFFERING, AND DEMAND- SIDE TOKENOMICSPublic Exchanges Two Prime will maintain listings for the FF1 Tokens on behalf of the OSFF. Two Prime maintains market- making operations in public crypto exchanges on behalf of the OSFF. Continuous Token Offering Two Prime works on creating new liquidity for the FF1 Macro Tokens to comply with the supply side constraints detailed above, namely that a token enters circulation when matched by demand. Two Prime does demand generation in public as above as well as private. This CTO results in something akin to a reverse-ICO, letting the reserves be set by public trading and then marketing to private purchasers investors (accredited US for example) after the public liquidity event. Demand generation is done via marketing to relevant audiences, e.g. as a macro way to HODL with exclusive private equity investments for crypto holders, and as a diversified and de-risked way to gain crypto exposure for FIAT holders (Sharpe ratio: 1.55, Beta to BTC: 0.75). PARTNER NETWORK, USE OF PROCEEDS, ACCRETION AND FLOOR PROTECTIONThough this mathematical approach allows for a broad and differentiated set of financial applications and outcomes, Two Prime founding Members will first apply this work to the realm of project finance within the Blockchain space via algorithmic balancing of an equity and debt based treasury consisting of real crypto assets and future cash flows. Proof of Value Mining in Partner Network Funds and projects can apply to the foundation for financing. This is the partner network and is akin to the way a network of miners secure the chain. Here a network of partners protects the value. The Foundation invests the proceeds in liquid crypto assets, interest bearing crypto assets and equity crypto assets via partner funds, creating a bridge to the real economy (crypto companies) in the last step. The foundation holds these (real economic) assets. M4 Asset Mix The funds raised are invested in public and private sector projects. We consider the following mix
Up To 30% cash and cash equivalents including crypto products (HODL)
Up To 30% debt and bonds. Including crypto products (Staking HODL)
Up To 30% deep tech including Fund of Funds
Up To 30% discretionary allocation including back to reserves.
This completes the M4 step and the flow of funds for the FF1 Token. It shows a feedback loop, for the Foundation can buy back it’s token, leading to an idiosyncratic tokenomics: the FF1 Token has a fixed (and potentially diminishing) SUPPLY alongside (potentially increasing) endogenous and exogenous DEMAND." This seems pretty interesting imo, thoughts?
Testing the Tide | Monthly FIRE Portfolio Update - June 2020
We would rather be ruined than changed. -W H Auden, The Age of Anxiety This is my forty-third portfolio update. I complete this update monthly to check my progress against my goal. Portfolio goal My objective is to reach a portfolio of $2 180 000 by 1 July 2021. This would produce a real annual income of about $87 000 (in 2020 dollars). This portfolio objective is based on an expected average real return of 3.99 per cent, or a nominal return of 6.49 per cent. Portfolio summary Vanguard Lifestrategy High Growth Fund – $726 306 Vanguard Lifestrategy Growth Fund – $42 118 Vanguard Lifestrategy Balanced Fund – $78 730 Vanguard Diversified Bonds Fund – $111 691 Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) – $201 745 Vanguard International Shares ETF (VGS) – $39 357 Betashares Australia 200 ETF (A200) – $231 269 Telstra shares (TLS) – $1 668 Insurance Australia Group shares (IAG) – $7 310 NIB Holdings shares (NHF) – $5 532 Gold ETF (GOLD.ASX) – $117 757 Secured physical gold – $18 913 Ratesetter (P2P lending) – $10 479 Bitcoin – $148 990 Raiz app (Aggressive portfolio) – $16 841 Spaceship Voyager app (Index portfolio) – $2 553 BrickX (P2P rental real estate) – $4 484 Total portfolio value: $1 765 743 (+$8 485 or 0.5%) Asset allocation Australian shares – 42.2% (2.8% under) Global shares – 22.0% Emerging markets shares – 2.3% International small companies – 3.0% Total international shares – 27.3% (2.7% under) Total shares – 69.5% (5.5% under) Total property securities – 0.3% (0.3% over) Australian bonds – 4.7% International bonds – 9.4% Total bonds – 14.0% (1.0% under) Gold – 7.7% Bitcoin – 8.4% Gold and alternatives – 16.2% (6.2% over) Presented visually, below is a high-level view of the current asset allocation of the portfolio. [Chart] Comments The overall portfolio increased slightly over the month. This has continued to move the portfolio beyond the lows seen in late March. The modest portfolio growth of $8 000, or 0.5 per cent, maintains its value at around that achieved at the beginning of the year. [Chart] The limited growth this month largely reflects an increase in the value of my current equity holdings, in VAS and A200 and the Vanguard retail funds. This has outweighed a small decline in the value of Bitcoin and global shares. The value of the bond holdings also increased modestly, pushing them to their highest value since around early 2017. [Chart] There still appears to be an air of unreality around recent asset price increases and the broader economic context. Britain's Bank of England has on some indicators shown that the aftermath of the pandemic and lockdown represent the most challenging financial crisis in around 300 years. What is clear is that investor perceptions and fear around the coronavirus pandemic are a substantial ongoing force driving volatility in equity markets (pdf). A somewhat optimistic view is provided here that the recovery could look more like the recovery from a natural disaster, rather than a traditional recession. Yet there are few certainties on offer. Negative oil prices, and effective offers by US equity investors to bail out Hertz creditors at no cost appear to be signs of a financial system under significant strains. As this Reserve Bank article highlights, while some Australian households are well-placed to weather the storm ahead, the timing and severity of what lays ahead is an important unknown that will itself feed into changes in household wealth from here. Investments this month have been exclusively in the Australian shares exchange-traded fund (VAS) using Selfwealth.* This has been to bring my actual asset allocation more closely in line with the target split between Australian and global shares. A moving azimuth: falling spending continues Monthly expenses on the credit card have continued their downward trajectory across the past month. [Chart] The rolling average of monthly credit card spending is now at its lowest point over the period of the journey. This is despite the end of lockdown, and a slow resumption of some more normal aspects of spending. This has continued the brief period since April of the achievement of a notional and contingent kind of financial independence. The below chart illustrates this temporary state, setting out the degree to which portfolio distributions cover estimated total expenses, measured month to month. [Chart] There are two sources of volatility underlying its movement. The first is the level of expenses, which can vary, and the second is the fact that it is based on financial year distributions, which are themselves volatile. Importantly, the distributions over the last twelve months of this chart is only an estimate - and hence the next few weeks will affect the precision of this analysis across its last 12 observations. Estimating 2019-20 financial year portfolio distributions Since the beginning of the journey, this time of year usually has sense of waiting for events to unfold - in particular, finding out the level of half-year distributions to June. These represent the bulk of distributions, usually averaging 60-65 per cent of total distributions received. They are an important and tangible signpost of progress on the financial independence journey. This is no simple task, as distributions have varied in size considerably. A part of this variation has been the important role of sometimes large and lumpy capital distributions - which have made up between 30 to 48 per cent of total distributions in recent years, and an average of around 15 per cent across the last two decades. I have experimented with many different approaches, most of which have relied on averaging over multi-year periods to even out the 'peaks and troughs' of how market movements may have affected distributions. The main approaches have been:
An 'adjusted income' approach - stripping out the capital gains components of Vanguard funds to reach an estimate of underlying income generation, both across the entire investment period, and during the sharpest low of the Global Financial Crisis
A long-term asset class approach - relying on long-term historical data on averages of the income produced by various asset classes
A 'tax method' approach - this derives an income estimate as a percentage of the portfolio by drawing on taxable investment income totals from tax return records
Simple historical rolling average - this is a rolling three-year measure, based on the actual distributions record of the portfolio
Average distribution rate approach - this method uses a long-term average of annual distributions received as a percentage of the total portfolio since 1999
Each of these have their particular simplifications, advantages and drawbacks. Developing new navigation tools Over the past month I have also developed more fully an alternate 'model' for estimating returns. This simply derives a median value across a set of historical 'cents per unit' distribution data for June and December payouts for the Vanguard funds and exchange traded funds. These make up over 96 per cent of income producing portfolio assets. In other words, this model essentially assumes that each Vanguard fund and ETF owned pays out the 'average' level of distributions this half-year, with the average being based on distribution records that typically go back between 5 to 10 years. Mapping the distribution estimates The chart below sets out the estimate produced by each approach for the June distributions that are to come. [Chart] Some observations on these findings can be made. The lowest estimate is the 'adjusted GFC income' observation, which essentially assumes that the income for this period is as low as experienced by the equity and bond portfolio during the Global Financial Crisis. Just due to timing differences of the period observed, this seems to be a 'worst case' lower bound estimate, which I do not currently place significant weight on. Similarly, at the highest end, the 'average distribution rate' approach simply assumes June distributions deliver a distribution equal to the median that the entire portfolio has delivered since 1999. With higher interest rates, and larger fixed income holdings across much of that time, this seems an objectively unlikely outcome. Similarly, the delivery of exactly the income suggested by long-term averages measured across decades and even centuries would be a matter of chance, rather than the basis for rational expectations. Central estimates of the line of position This leaves the estimates towards the centre of the chart - estimates of between around $28 000 to $43 000 as representing the more likely range. I attach less weight to the historical three-year average due to the high contribution of distributed capital gains over that period of growth, where at least across equities some capital losses are likely to be in greater presence. My preferred central estimate is the model estimate (green) , as it is based in historical data directly from the investment vehicles rather than my own evolving portfolio. The data it is based on in some cases goes back to the Global Financial Crisis. This estimate is also quite close to the raw average of all the alternative approaches (red). It sits a little above the 'adjusted income' measure. None of these estimates, it should be noted, contain any explicit adjustment for the earnings and dividend reductions or delays arising from COVID-19. They may, therefore represent a modest over-estimate for likely June distributions, to the extent that these effects are more negative than those experienced on average across the period of the underlying data. These are difficult to estimate, but dividend reductions could easily be in the order of 20-30 per cent, plausibly lowering distributions to the $23 000 to $27 000 range. The recently announced forecast dividend for the Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) is, for example, the lowest in four years. As seen from chart above, there is a wide band of estimates, which grow wider still should capital gains be unexpectedly distributed from the Vanguard retail funds. These have represented a source of considerable volatility. Given this, it may seem fruitless to seek to estimate these forthcoming distributions, compared to just waiting for them to arrive. Yet this exercise helps by setting out reasoning and positions, before hindsight bias urgently arrives to inform me that I knew the right answer all along. It also potentially helps clearly 'reject' some models over time, if the predictions they make prove to be systematically incorrect. Progress Progress against the objective, and the additional measures I have reached is set out below. Measure Portfolio All Assets Portfolio objective – $2 180 000 (or $87 000 pa) 81.0% 109.4% Credit card purchases – $71 000 pa 98.8% 133.5% Total expenses – $89 000 pa 79.2% 106.9% Summary The current coronavirus conditions are affecting all aspects of the journey to financial independence - changing spending habits, leading to volatility in equity markets and sequencing risks, and perhaps dramatically altering the expected pattern of portfolio distributions. Although history can provide some guidance, there is simply no definitive way to know whether any or all of these changes will be fundamental and permanent alterations, or simply data points on a post-natural disaster path to a different post-pandemic set of conditions. There is the temptation to fit past crises imperfectly into the modern picture, as this Of Dollars and Data post illustrates well. Taking a longer 100 year view, this piece 'The Allegory of the Hawk and Serpent' is a reminder that our entire set of received truths about constructing a portfolio to survive for the long-term can be a product of a sample size of one - actual past history - and subject to recency bias. This month has felt like one of quiet routines, muted events compared to the past few months, and waiting to understand more fully the shape of the new. Nonetheless, with each new investment, or week of lower expenditure than implied in my FI target, the nature of the journey is incrementally changing - beneath the surface. Small milestones are being passed - such as over 40 per cent of my equity holdings being outside of the the Vanguard retail funds. Or these these retail funds - which once formed over 95 per cent of the portfolio - now making up less than half. With a significant part of the financial independence journey being about repeated small actions producing outsized results with time, the issue of maintaining good routines while exploring beneficial changes is real. Adding to the complexity is that embarking on the financial journey itself is likely to change who one is. This idea, of the difficulty or impossibility of knowing the preferences of a future self, is explored in a fascinating way in this Econtalk podcast episode with a philosophical thought experiment about vampires. It poses the question: perhaps we can never know ourselves at the destination? And yet, who would rationally choose ruin over any change? The post, links and full charts can be seen here.
﷽ The Federal Reserve and the United States government are pumping extreme amounts of money into the economy, already totaling over $484 billion. They are doing so because it already had a goal to inflate the United States Dollar (USD) so that the market can continue to all-time highs. It has always had this goal. They do not care how much inflation goes up by now as we are going into a depression with the potential to totally crash the US economy forever. They believe the only way to save the market from going to zero or negative values is to inflate it so much that it cannot possibly crash that low. Even if the market does not dip that low, inflation serves the interest of powerful people. The impending crash of the stock market has ramifications for Bitcoin, as, though there is no direct ongoing-correlation between the two, major movements in traditional markets will necessarily affect Bitcoin. According to the Blockchain Center’s Cryptocurrency Correlation Tool, Bitcoin is not correlated with the stock market. However, when major market movements occur, they send ripples throughout the financial ecosystem which necessary affect even ordinarily uncorrelated assets. Therefore, Bitcoin will reach X price on X date after crashing to a price of X by X date.
Stock Market Crash
The Federal Reserve has caused some serious consternation with their release of ridiculous amounts of money in an attempt to buoy the economy. At face value, it does not seem to have any rationale or logic behind it other than keeping the economy afloat long enough for individuals to profit financially and politically. However, there is an underlying basis to what is going on which is important to understand in order to profit financially. All markets are functionally price probing systems. They constantly undergo a price-discovery process. In a fiat system, money is an illusory and a fundamentally synthetic instrument with no intrinsic value – similar to Bitcoin. The primary difference between Bitcoin is the underlying technology which provides a slew of benefits that fiat does not. Fiat, however, has an advantage in being able to have the support of powerful nation-states which can use their might to insure the currency’s prosperity. Traditional stock markets are composed of indices (pl. of index). Indices are non-trading market instruments which are essentially summaries of business values which comprise them. They are continuously recalculated throughout a trading day, and sometimes reflected through tradable instruments such as Exchange Traded Funds or Futures. Indices are weighted by market capitalizations of various businesses. Price theory essentially states that when a market fails to take out a new low in a given range, it will have an objective to take out the high. When a market fails to take out a new high, it has an objective to make a new low. This is why price-time charts go up and down, as it does this on a second-by-second, minute-by-minute, day-by-day, and even century-by-century basis. Therefore, market indices will always return to some type of bull market as, once a true low is formed, the market will have a price objective to take out a new high outside of its’ given range – which is an all-time high. Instruments can only functionally fall to zero, whereas they can grow infinitely. So, why inflate the economy so much? Deflation is disastrous for central banks and markets as it raises the possibility of producing an overall price objective of zero or negative values. Therefore, under a fractional reserve system with a fiat currency managed by a central bank – the goal of the central bank is to depreciate the currency. The dollar is manipulated constantly with the intention of depreciating its’ value. Central banks have a goal of continued inflated fiat values. They tend to ordinarily contain it at less than ten percent (10%) per annum in order for the psyche of the general populace to slowly adjust price increases. As such, the markets are divorced from any other logic. Economic policy is the maintenance of human egos, not catering to fundamental analysis. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is well-known not to be a measure of actual growth or output. It is a measure of increase in dollars processed. Banks seek to produce raising numbers which make society feel like it is growing economically, making people optimistic. To do so, the currency is inflated, though inflation itself does not actually increase growth. When society is optimistic, it spends and engages in business – resulting in actual growth. It also encourages people to take on credit and debts, creating more fictional fiat. Inflation is necessary for markets to continue to reach new heights, generating positive emotional responses from the populace, encouraging spending, encouraging debt intake, further inflating the currency, and increasing the sale of government bonds. The fiat system only survives by generating more imaginary money on a regular basis. Bitcoin investors may profit from this by realizing that stock investors as a whole always stand to profit from the market so long as it is managed by a central bank and does not collapse entirely. If those elements are filled, it has an unending price objective to raise to new heights. It also allows us to realize that this response indicates that the higher-ups believe that the economy could crash in entirety, and it may be wise for investors to have multiple well-thought-out exit strategies.
Economic Analysis of Bitcoin
The reason why the Fed is so aggressively inflating the economy is due to fears that it will collapse forever or never rebound. As such, coupled with a global depression, a huge demand will appear for a reserve currency which is fundamentally different than the previous system. Bitcoin, though a currency or asset, is also a market. It also undergoes a constant price-probing process. Unlike traditional markets, Bitcoin has the exact opposite goal. Bitcoin seeks to appreciate in value and not depreciate. This has a quite different affect in that Bitcoin could potentially become worthless and have a price objective of zero. Bitcoin was created in 2008 by a now famous mysterious figure known as Satoshi Nakamoto and its’ open source code was released in 2009. It was the first decentralized cryptocurrency to utilize a novel protocol known as the blockchain. Up to one megabyte of data may be sent with each transaction. It is decentralized, anonymous, transparent, easy to set-up, and provides myriad other benefits. Bitcoin is not backed up by anything other than its’ own technology. Bitcoin is can never be expected to collapse as a framework, even were it to become worthless. The stock market has the potential to collapse in entirety, whereas, as long as the internet exists, Bitcoin will be a functional system with a self-authenticating framework. That capacity to persist regardless of the actual price of Bitcoin and the deflationary nature of Bitcoin means that it has something which fiat does not – inherent value. Bitcoin is based on a distributed database known as the “blockchain.” Blockchains are essentially decentralized virtual ledger books, replete with pages known as “blocks.” Each page in a ledger is composed of paragraph entries, which are the actual transactions in the block. Blockchains store information in the form of numerical transactions, which are just numbers. We can consider these numbers digital assets, such as Bitcoin. The data in a blockchain is immutable and recorded only by consensus-based algorithms. Bitcoin is cryptographic and all transactions are direct, without intermediary, peer-to-peer. Bitcoin does not require trust in a central bank. It requires trust on the technology behind it, which is open-source and may be evaluated by anyone at any time. Furthermore, it is impossible to manipulate as doing so would require all of the nodes in the network to be hacked at once – unlike the stock market which is manipulated by the government and “Market Makers”. Bitcoin is also private in that, though the ledge is openly distributed, it is encrypted. Bitcoin’s blockchain has one of the greatest redundancy and information disaster recovery systems ever developed. Bitcoin has a distributed governance model in that it is controlled by its’ users. There is no need to trust a payment processor or bank, or even to pay fees to such entities. There are also no third-party fees for transaction processing. As the ledge is immutable and transparent it is never possible to change it – the data on the blockchain is permanent. The system is not easily susceptible to attacks as it is widely distributed. Furthermore, as users of Bitcoin have their private keys assigned to their transactions, they are virtually impossible to fake. No lengthy verification, reconciliation, nor clearing process exists with Bitcoin. Bitcoin is based on a proof-of-work algorithm. Every transaction on the network has an associated mathetical “puzzle”. Computers known as miners compete to solve the complex cryptographic hash algorithm that comprises that puzzle. The solution is proof that the miner engaged in sufficient work. The puzzle is known as a nonce, a number used only once. There is only one major nonce at a time and it issues 12.5 Bitcoin. Once it is solved, the fact that the nonce has been solved is made public. A block is mined on average of once every ten minutes. However, the blockchain checks every 2,016,000 minutes (approximately four years) if 201,600 blocks were mined. If it was faster, it increases difficulty by half, thereby deflating Bitcoin. If it was slower, it decreases, thereby inflating Bitcoin. It will continue to do this until zero Bitcoin are issued, projected at the year 2140. On the twelfth of May, 2020, the blockchain will halve the amount of Bitcoin issued when each nonce is guessed. When Bitcoin was first created, fifty were issued per block as a reward to miners. 6.25 BTC will be issued from that point on once each nonce is solved. Unlike fiat, Bitcoin is a deflationary currency. As BTC becomes scarcer, demand for it will increase, also raising the price. In this, BTC is similar to gold. It is predictable in its’ output, unlike the USD, as it is based on a programmed supply. We can predict BTC’s deflation and inflation almost exactly, if not exactly. Only 21 million BTC will ever be produced, unless the entire network concedes to change the protocol – which is highly unlikely. Some of the drawbacks to BTC include congestion. At peak congestion, it may take an entire day to process a Bitcoin transaction as only three to five transactions may be processed per second. Receiving priority on a payment may cost up to the equivalent of twenty dollars ($20). Bitcoin mining consumes enough energy in one day to power a single-family home for an entire week.
Trading or Investing?
The fundamental divide in trading revolves around the question of market structure. Many feel that the market operates totally randomly and its’ behavior cannot be predicted. For the purposes of this article, we will assume that the market has a structure, but that that structure is not perfect. That market structure naturally generates chart patterns as the market records prices in time. In order to determine when the stock market will crash, causing a major decline in BTC price, we will analyze an instrument, an exchange traded fund, which represents an index, as opposed to a particular stock. The price patterns of the various stocks in an index are effectively smoothed out. In doing so, a more technical picture arises. Perhaps the most popular of these is the SPDR S&P Standard and Poor 500 Exchange Traded Fund ($SPY). In trading, little to no concern is given about value of underlying asset. We are concerned primarily about liquidity and trading ranges, which are the amount of value fluctuating on a short-term basis, as measured by volatility-implied trading ranges. Fundamental analysis plays a role, however markets often do not react to real-world factors in a logical fashion. Therefore, fundamental analysis is more appropriate for long-term investing. The fundamental derivatives of a chart are time (x-axis) and price (y-axis). The primary technical indicator is price, as everything else is lagging in the past. Price represents current asking price and incorrectly implementing positions based on price is one of the biggest trading errors. Markets and currencies ordinarily have noise, their tendency to back-and-fill, which must be filtered out for true pattern recognition. That noise does have a utility, however, in allowing traders second chances to enter favorable positions at slightly less favorable entry points. When you have any market with enough liquidity for historical data to record a pattern, then a structure can be divined. The market probes prices as part of an ongoing price-discovery process. Market technicians must sometimes look outside of the technical realm and use visual inspection to ascertain the relevance of certain patterns, using a qualitative eye that recognizes the underlying quantitative nature Markets and instruments rise slower than they correct, however they rise much more than they fall. In the same vein, instruments can only fall to having no worth, whereas they could theoretically grow infinitely and have continued to grow over time. Money in a fiat system is illusory. It is a fundamentally synthetic instrument which has no intrinsic value. Hence, the recent seemingly illogical fluctuations in the market. According to trade theory, the unending purpose of a market or instrument is to create and break price ranges according to the laws of supply and demand. We must determine when to trade based on each market inflection point as defined in price and in time as opposed to abandoning the trend (as the contrarian trading in this sub often does). Time and Price symmetry must be used to be in accordance with the trend. When coupled with a favorable risk to reward ratio, the ability to stay in the market for most of the defined time period, and adherence to risk management rules; the trader has a solid methodology for achieving considerable gains. We will engage in a longer term market-oriented analysis to avoid any time-focused pressure. The Bitcoin market is open twenty-four-hours a day, so trading may be done when the individual is ready, without any pressing need to be constantly alert. Let alone, we can safely project months in advance with relatively high accuracy. Bitcoin is an asset which an individual can both trade and invest, however this article will be focused on trading due to the wide volatility in BTC prices over the short-term.
Technical Indicator Analysis of Bitcoin
Technical indicators are often considered self-fulfilling prophecies due to mass-market psychology gravitating towards certain common numbers yielded from them. They are also often discounted when it comes to BTC. That means a trader must be especially aware of these numbers as they can prognosticate market movements. Often, they are meaningless in the larger picture of things.
Volume – derived from the market itself, it is mostly irrelevant. The major problem with volume for stocks is that the US market open causes tremendous volume surges eradicating any intrinsic volume analysis. This does not occur with BTC, as it is open twenty-four-seven. At major highs and lows, the market is typically anemic. Most traders are not active at terminal discretes (peaks and troughs) because of levels of fear. Volume allows us confidence in time and price symmetry market inflection points, if we observe low volume at a foretold range of values. We can rationalize that an absolute discrete is usually only discovered and anticipated by very few traders. As the general market realizes it, a herd mentality will push the market in the direction favorable to defending it. Volume is also useful for swing trading, as chances for swing’s validity increases if an increase in volume is seen on and after the swing’s activation. Volume is steadily decreasing. Lows and highs are reached when volume is lower.
Therefore, due to the relatively high volume on the 12th of March, we can safely determine that a low for BTC was not reached.
VIX – Volatility Index, this technical indicator indicates level of fear by the amount of options-based “insurance” in portfolios. A low VIX environment, less than 20 for the S&P index, indicates a stable market with a possible uptrend. A high VIX, over 20, indicates a possible downtrend. VIX is essentially useless for BTC as BTC-based options do not exist. It allows us to predict the market low for $SPY, which will have an indirect impact on BTC in the short term, likely leading to the yearly low. However, it is equally important to see how VIX is changing over time, if it is decreasing or increasing, as that indicates increasing or decreasing fear. Low volatility allows high leverage without risk or rest. Occasionally, markets do rise with high VIX.
As VIX is unusually high, in the forties, we can be confident that a downtrend for the S&P 500 is imminent.
RSI (Relative Strength Index): The most important technical indicator, useful for determining highs and lows when time symmetry is not availing itself. Sometimes analysis of RSI can conflict in different time frames, easiest way to use it is when it is at extremes – either under 30 or over 70. Extremes can be used for filtering highs or lows based on time-and-price window calculations. Highly instructive as to major corrective clues and indicative of continued directional movement. Must determine if longer-term RSI values find support at same values as before. It is currently at 73.56.
Secondly, RSI may be used as a high or low filter, to observe the level that short-term RSI reaches in counter-trend corrections. Repetitions based on market movements based on RSI determine how long a trade should be held onto. Once a short term RSI reaches an extreme and stay there, the other RSI’s should gradually reach the same extremes. Once all RSI’s are at extreme highs, a trend confirmation should occur and RSI’s should drop to their midpoint.
Trend Definition Analysis of Bitcoin
Trend definition is highly powerful, cannot be understated. Knowledge of trend logic is enough to be a profitable trader, yet defining a trend is an arduous process. Multiple trends coexist across multiple time frames and across multiple market sectors. Like time structure, it makes the underlying price of the instrument irrelevant. Trend definitions cannot determine the validity of newly formed discretes. Trend becomes apparent when trades based in counter-trend inflection points continue to fail. Downtrends are defined as an instrument making lower lows and lower highs that are recurrent, additive, qualified swing setups. Downtrends for all instruments are similar, except forex. They are fast and complete much quicker than uptrends. An average downtrend is 18 months, something which we will return to. An uptrend inception occurs when an instrument reaches a point where it fails to make a new low, then that low will be tested. After that, the instrument will either have a deep range retracement or it may take out the low slightly, resulting in a double-bottom. A swing must eventually form. A simple way to roughly determine trend is to attempt to draw a line from three tops going upwards (uptrend) or a line from three bottoms going downwards (downtrend). It is not possible to correctly draw a downtrend line on the BTC chart, but it is possible to correctly draw an uptrend – indicating that the overall trend is downwards. The only mitigating factor is the impending stock market crash.
Time Symmetry Analysis of Bitcoin
Time is the movement from the past through the present into the future. It is a measurement in quantified intervals. In many ways, our perception of it is a human construct. It is more powerful than price as time may be utilized for a trade regardless of the market inflection point’s price. Were it possible to perfectly understand time, price would be totally irrelevant due to the predictive certainty time affords. Time structure is easier to learn than price, but much more difficult to apply with any accuracy. It is the hardest aspect of trading to learn, but also the most rewarding. Humans do not have the ability to recognize every time window, however the ability to define market inflection points in terms of time is the single most powerful trading edge. Regardless, price should not be abandoned for time alone. Time structure analysis It is inherently flawed, as such the markets have a fail-safe, which is Price Structure. Even though Time is much more powerful, Price Structure should never be completely ignored. Time is the qualifier for Price and vice versa. Time can fail by tricking traders into counter-trend trading. Time is a predestined trade quantifier, a filter to slow trades down, as it allows a trader to specifically focus on specific time windows and rest at others. It allows for quantitative measurements to reach deterministic values and is the primary qualifier for trends. Time structure should be utilized before price structure, and it is the primary trade criterion which requires support from price. We can see price structure on a chart, as areas of mathematical support or resistance, but we cannot see time structure. Time may be used to tell us an exact point in the future where the market will inflect, after Price Theory has been fulfilled. In the present, price objectives based on price theory added to possible future times for market inflection points give us the exact time of market inflection points and price. Time Structure is repetitions of time or inherent cycles of time, occurring in a methodical way to provide time windows which may be utilized for inflection points. They are not easily recognized and not easily defined by a price chart as measuring and observing time is very exact. Time structure is not a science, yet it does require precise measurements. Nothing is certain or definite. The critical question must be if a particular approach to time structure is currently lucrative or not. We will measure it in intervals of 180 bars. Our goal is to determine time windows, when the market will react and when we should pay the most attention. By using time repetitions, the fact that market inflection points occurred at some point in the past and should, therefore, reoccur at some point in the future, we should obtain confidence as to when SPY will reach a market inflection point. Time repetitions are essentially the market’s memory. However, simply measuring the time between two points then trying to extrapolate into the future does not work. Measuring time is not the same as defining time repetitions. We will evaluate past sessions for market inflection points, whether discretes, qualified swings, or intra-range. Then records the times that the market has made highs or lows in a comparable time period to the future one seeks to trade in. What follows is a time Histogram – A grouping of times which appear close together, then segregated based on that closeness. Time is aligned into combined histogram of repetitions and cycles, however cycles are irrelevant on a daily basis. If trading on an hourly basis, do not use hours.
Daily Lows Mode for those Months: 1, 1, 2, 4, 12, 17, 18, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30
Hourly Lows Mode for those Months (Military time): 0100, 0200, 0200, 0400, 0700, 0700, 0800, 1200, 1200, 1700, 2000, 2200
Minute Lows Mode for those Months: 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, 09, 09, 59, 59, 59, 59
Day of the Week Lows (last twenty-six weeks):
Weighted Times are repetitions which appears multiple times within the same list, observed and accentuated once divided into relevant sections of the histogram. They are important in the presently defined trading time period and are similar to a mathematical mode with respect to a series. Phased times are essentially periodical patterns in histograms, though they do not guarantee inflection points Evaluating the yearly lows, we see that BTC tends to have its lows primarily at the beginning of every year, with a possibility of it being at the end of the year. Following the same methodology, we get the middle of the month as the likeliest day. However, evaluating the monthly lows for the past year, the beginning and end of the month are more likely for lows. Therefore, we have two primary dates from our histogram. 1/1/21, 1/15/21, and 1/29/21 2:00am, 8:00am, 12:00pm, or 10:00pm In fact, the high for this year was February the 14th, only thirty days off from our histogram calculations. The 8.6-Year Armstrong-Princeton Global Economic Confidence model states that 2.15 year intervals occur between corrections, relevant highs and lows. 2.15 years from the all-time peak discrete is February 9, 2020 – a reasonably accurate depiction of the low for this year (which was on 3/12/20). (Taking only the Armstrong model into account, the next high should be Saturday, April 23, 2022). Therefore, the Armstrong model indicates that we have actually bottomed out for the year! Bear markets cannot exist in perpetuity whereas bull markets can. Bear markets will eventually have price objectives of zero, whereas bull markets can increase to infinity. It can occur for individual market instruments, but not markets as a whole. Since bull markets are defined by low volatility, they also last longer. Once a bull market is indicated, the trader can remain in a long position until a new high is reached, then switch to shorts. The average bear market is eighteen months long, giving us a date of August 19th, 2021 for the end of this bear market – roughly speaking. They cannot be shorter than fifteen months for a central-bank controlled market, which does not apply to Bitcoin. (Otherwise, it would continue until Sunday, September 12, 2021.) However, we should expect Bitcoin to experience its’ exponential growth after the stock market re-enters a bull market. Terry Laundy’s T-Theory implemented by measuring the time of an indicator from peak to trough, then using that to define a future time window. It is similar to an head-and-shoulders pattern in that it is the process of forming the right side from a synthetic technical indicator. If the indicator is making continued lows, then time is recalculated for defining the right side of the T. The date of the market inflection point may be a price or indicator inflection date, so it is not always exactly useful. It is better to make us aware of possible market inflection points, clustered with other data. It gives us an RSI low of May, 9th 2020. The Bradley Cycle is coupled with volatility allows start dates for campaigns or put options as insurance in portfolios for stocks. However, it is also useful for predicting market moves instead of terminal dates for discretes. Using dates which correspond to discretes, we can see how those dates correspond with changes in VIX. Therefore, our timeline looks like:
2/14/20 – yearly high ($10372 USD)
3/12/20 – yearly low thus far ($3858 USD)
5/9/20 – T-Theory true yearly low (BTC between 4863 and 3569)
Coinviva BTC/USD 30-min chart The Bitcoin continued to trade in range bound for the third week in a row. The BTC price dropped below the $9,000 support at one point, but it managed to rebound and reach $9,468 afterwards. The price has since stabilized and is moving sideway again, at around $9,300. The current support level remains at $9,000, while the resistance is at $9,500. There is no clear direction at the moment. If the volatility picks up, wait for the BTC price to break the support or resistance before determining the trade direction. Disclaimer: The above market commentary is based on technical analysis using historical pricing data, and is for reference only. It does not serve as investment or trading advice. Review of the week: Since 1 July, Bitcoin‘s price hasn’t gained or lost by much, with the cryptocurrency continuing to trade within a tight price band. While the Realized Volatility dipped to 3.2% on 10 July, the implied volatility remained firm at 3.5%. It can be observed that the IV had been moving sideways over a couple of weeks, with traders not expecting an immediate trend reversal in the Bitcoin market. According to one of the Managing Partners at Blockhead Capital, Matt David Kaye, the reason for this suppressed volatility may be the flood of yield-seeking funds with short volatility options in the market. These have been advertised as low-risk, yield generating vehicles to many investors in the market. As the price of Bitcoin consolidated, market makers were trying to hedge their risk by ever-adjusting their spot exposure. This resulted in the creation of a tighter spread and by extension, predictable price ranges for June as they bought back BTC at low prices and sold BTC when the price rose even a little. Thus, these short-volatility funds were gaining pennies, with Kaye adding that the risk was mispriced in the Bitcoin Options market. However, this also gives an excellent opportunity to accumulate volatility, as when the market breaks out, it could result in larger profits. The only way now for the price to pick up is to have the spot market volume note a boost too. BTC-USD Chart Disclaimer: The above market commentary is based on technical analysis using historical pricing data, and is for reference only. It does not serve as investment or trading advice. About Coinviva: Coinviva aims to create the best crypto financial services ecosystem for both institutional and individual investors. We provide reliable fiat funding options, excellent trading liquidity, bank security level custody and one-stop high liquidity provision on-site & off-site. Our founding management team all come from top tiered investment banking (e.g. JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch), with fully comprehensive financial institution operation experience. Homepage: https://coinviva.com/ Telegram: https://t.me/coinviva
Perpetuals, Futures, and Options can present quite a steep learning curve, fear not though as we have an incredible collection of Google Sheets and Excel Spreadsheets to help both the basic as well as most advanced users! We can also strongly recommend reading our Educational and Market Research articles as many traders find them to be invaluable resources. One of our talented Community Managers, Cryptarbitrage, has created and maintains to the best of his ability a series of tools to both help Deribit users learn more about BTC & ETH Perpetuals, Futures, and Options as well support more advanced traders increasing technical needs. A short introduction by Cryptarbitrage: "Although I was aware of options beforehand I only started properly researching them in early 2018 after I discovered the Bitcoin options on Deribit. I do not need much encouragement to build a spreadsheet for something so quickly set about created an Excel sheet that would show me the profit and loss of any options position I entered. This was a great way to learn all the profit and loss formulas for each type of option as well as how different option combinations interacted with each other. As soon as this sheet was complete I was building positions I still didn’t even know the proper names for so was very much learning by doing. It was immediately obvious to me though that options were the type of instruments I wanted to trade. After a few months and once I’d done some more reading and was more confident I actually knew what I was talking about I began creating shareable versions in google sheets and sharing them with the Deribit community." Feel free to ask for some help or guidance in our English Telegram Community. Cryptarbitrage’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/cryptarbitrage Cryptarbitrage’s Telegram: u/Cryptarbitrage English Telegram Community: https://t.me/deribit Deribit's Position Builder Link: pb.deribit.com It is invaluable to be able to see the potential profit/loss, implied volatility of a single or multiple positions quickly, and adhoc. This allows you to check the results of either simulated positions, the live positions of your account, or a combination of these all across multiple instruments including Perpetuals, Futures, and Options at the same time. The Position Builder can be used to analyze the results of either existing or simulated results. As it uses market data from Deribit it provides a quick tool to check the results before adding positions into a portfolio. Development Credit to the core Deribit development team Scenario Risk Analysis “Maximum Pain” - Excel Spreadsheet Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ANS1CgApJCDTX5ZjUwO_fegU7Z-QVSdt/view A resource to visualize the Open Interest at the present moment as well as the current price of maximum pain for option buyers.
Bitcoin has been trading sideways in a tight price range from $9,000 to $10,000 since the beginning of May 2020. As a result, its 10-day volatility has now fallen to a new year-to-date low. Looking at the tightened price moves through Bollinger Bands further implies a growing contraction in the cryptocurrency’s volatility. https://preview.redd.it/wdnind6kns751.png?width=980&format=png&auto=webp&s=6e51b1ed426ff449c09d0b316a32d14093aeb179 A period of low volatility ends up in a breakout. But it is difficult to predict the direction of Bitcoin’s next big move. As shown in the chart below, Bitcoin is trading inside a symmetrical triangle, its price fluctuating within the pattern’s contracting upper and lower trendlines. Since the Triangle appears after Bitcoin’s 150 percent price rally, its bias is to the upside. That puts Bitcoin en route to new 2020 highs. https://preview.redd.it/w1m2d9knns751.png?width=980&format=png&auto=webp&s=ac596c6c15f62ac13ed96c383864a46065c3aad7 Review of the week: Former Wall Street investor Tone Vays summarised this week that because of Bitcoin’s high correlation with the stock market (S&P 500), BTC will be stuck in the $6,000 to $10,000 range until 2021. On a technical level, he added, Bitcoin’s daily relative strength index, or RSI, breaking below a long-term trendline in June came at the same time as higher Bitcoin price levels compared to May. And if bears win out, a potential low for BTC/USD should lie in the $7,000 zone, with an RSI of around 30. Bitcoin is more likely to break this consolidation to the downside rather than the upside. Disclaimer: The above market commentary is based on technical analysis using historical pricing data, and is for reference only. It does not serve as investment or trading advice. About Coinviva: Coinviva aims to create the best crypto financial services ecosystem for both institutional and individual investors. We provide reliable fiat funding options, excellent trading liquidity, bank security level custody and one-stop high liquidity provision on-site & off-site. Our founding management team all come from top tiered investment banking (e.g. JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch), with fully comprehensive financial institution operation experience. Homepage: https://coinviva.com/ Telegram: https://t.me/coinviva
I've heard that founder of MakerDAO is not strictly against KYC. I have a message to whole community and specifically to a founder of MakerDAO Rune Christensen. I will explain using concrete examples why having KYC in MakerDAO is a grave mistake and it will lead to MakerDAO fork. Many people in the first world never actually understand why financial privacy and financial inclusion is important. Even people (in the first world) who seemingly supportive of such ideas are not able to provide any concrete examples of why it's actually important. Unfortunately, I was born in a "wrong" country (Uzbekistan) and I experienced first hand what financial exclusion actually means. I know first hand that annoying feeling when you read polite, boilerplate rejection letter from financial institution based in first world. So I had to become practical libertarian. I'm going to give you concrete examples of financial discrimination against me. Then I'm going to explain fundamental reasons why it happens. And finally, I'm going to explain my vision for DAI. Back in 2005, I lived in Uzbekistan. I had an idea to invest in US stocks. I was very naive and I didn't know anything about investing, compliance, bank transfers, KYC etc. All I knew is nice long term charts of US stocks and what P/E means. I didn't contact any US brokerage but I checked information about account opening and how to transfer money there. I approached local bank in Uzbekistan and asked how to transfer money to Bank of New York. Banker's face was like - WOW, WTF?!?! They asked me to go to private room to talk with senior manager. Senior manager of local bank in Uzbekistan asked me why I wanted to transfer money to US. They told me that it's absolutely impossible to transfer money to US/EU and pretty much anywhere. I approached nearly every local bank in the town and they told me the same. In 2012, I already lived in Moscow and acquired Russian citizenship. I got back to my old idea - investing in US stocks. I called to many US brokerages and all of them politely rejected me. Usually when I called I asked them if I can open an account with them. They told me to hold on line. After long pause, I was able to speak with "senior" support who politely explain me that Russia in their list of restricted countries and they can't open an account for me. Finally, I was able to open an account with OptionsXpress. Next challenge was to convince local Russian bank to transfer money to US. Back then in 2012, I was able to get permission to do so. So you might say - is this happy end? Fast forwarding US brokerage story to 2017, OptionsXpress was acquired by Charles Schwab. I was notified that my OptionsXpress account will be migrated to Charles Schwab platform. In 2017, I already lived in the Netherlands (but still having Russian citizenship). I wasn't happy with my stupid job in the Netherlands. I called Charles Schwab and asked if I quit my job in the Netherlands and have to return to Russia, what will happen with my account. Schwab told me that they will restrict my account, so I can't do anything except closing my account. So even if I was long term customer of OptionsXpress, Charles Schwab is not fully okay with me. Going back to 2013, I still lived in Russia. I had another idea. What if I quit my job and build some SAAS platform (or whatever) and sell my stuff to US customers. So I need some website which accept US credit cards. I contacted my Russian bank (who previously allowed me to transfer money to OptionsXpress) about steps to make in order to accept US credit cards in Russia. I've been told explicitly in email that they won't allow me to accept US credit cards under any circumstances. Back then I still believed in "the free west". So I thought - no problem, I will just open bank account abroad and do all operations from my foreign account. I planned vacation in Hong Kong. And Hong Kong is freest economy in the world. Looks like it's right place to open bank account. I contacted HSBC Hong Kong via email. Their general support assured me that I can open bank account with them if I'm foreigner. I flew to Hong Kong for vacation and visited HSBC branch. Of course, they rejected me. But they recommended me to visit last floor in their HQ building, they told me that another HSBC branch specializes on opening bank accounts for foreigners. I went there and they said minimum amount to open bank account is 10 mil HKD (1.27 mil USD). Later I learned that it's called private banking. When I relocated to the Netherlands, I asked ABN Amro staff - what's happen with my bank account if I quit/lose my job in the Netherlands and have to return back to Russia. I've been told that I can't have my dutch bank account if I go back to Russia even if I already used their bank for 2+ years. I still had idea that I would like to quit my job and do something for myself. The problem is that I'm Russian citizen and I don't have any residency which is independent from my employment. So if I quit my job in the Netherlands, I have to return back to Russia. I wanted to see how I would get payments from US/EU customers. I found Stripe Atlas, it's so exciting, they help you to incorporate in US, and even help with banking, all process of receiving credit card payments is very smooth. But as usual in my case, there is a catch - Russia in their list of restricted countries. Speaking of centralized compliance-friendly (e.g. KYC) crypto exchanges. This year I live and work in Hong Kong. Earlier this year, I thought it would be nice to have an account at local crypto exchange in Hong Kong so I can quickly transfer money from my bank account in Hong Kong to crypto exchange using FPS (local payment system for fast bank transfers). What could go wrong? After all Hong Kong is freest economy in the world, right? I submitted KYC documents to crypto exchange called Weever including copy of my Hong Kong ID as they requested. They very quickly responded that they need copy of my passport as well. I submitted copy of my Russian passport. This time they got silent. After a few days, they sent me email saying that Russia is on the US Office of Foreign Assets Control sanction list, so they just require me to fill a form about source of the funds. I told them that the source of my funds is salary, my Hong Kong bank can confirm that along with my employment contract. They got very silent after I sent them a filled form. After a week of silence I asked them - when my account get approved? They said that their compliance office will review my application soon. And they got very silent again. I waited for two or three weeks. Then I asked them again. And I immediately got email with title - Rejection for Weever Account Opening. And text of email was:
We are sorry to inform you that Weever may not be able to accept your account opening application at this stage.
Exactly the same situation I had with one crypto exchange in Europe back in 2017. Luckily I have accounts at other crypto exchanges including Gemini, one of most compliance obsessed exchange in the world. Although I don't keep my money there because I can't trust them, who knows what might come into head of their compliance officer one sunny day. By the way, I'm living and working outside of Russia for quite a few years. The situation with crypto exchanges is much worse for those who still living in Russia. I give you a few other examples of financial discrimination is not related to troubles with my Russian citizenship. Back in 2018, I still lived in the Netherlands. I logged in into my brokerage account just to buy US ETFs as I always do - SPY and QQQ. I placed my order and it failed to fill. I thought it's just a technical problem with my brokerage account. After a few failed attempts to send buy orders for SPY and QQQ, I contacted their support. What they told me was shocking and completely unexpected. They said I'm not permitted to buy US ETFs anymore as EU resident because EU passed a law to protect retail investors. So as a EU resident I'm allowed to be exposed to more risk by buying individual US stocks but I'm not allowed to reduce my risk by buying SPY because ... EU wants to protect me. I felt final result of new law. By the way, on paper their law looks fine. And the final example. It's a known fact that US public market become less attractive in recent decades. Due to heavy regulatory burden companies prefer to go public very late. So if successful unicorn startup grows from its inception/genesis to late adoption, company's valuation would be 3-5 orders of orders of magnitude. For example, if valuation of successful company at inception is 1 Mil USD, then at its very latest stage it's valuation would be 10 Bil USD. So we have 10'000 times of growth. In the best case scenario, company would go public at 1 Bil USD 5-10 years before reaching its peak 10 Bil USD. So investors in private equity could enjoy 1000 fold growth and just leave for public only last 10 fold growth stretched in time. In the worst case scenario, company would go public at 10 Bil USD, i.e. at its historical peak. But there are well known platforms to buy shares of private companies, one of such platforms is Forge Global. You can buy shares of almost all blue chip startups. You can even invest in SpaceX! But as always, there is a catch - US government wants to protect not just US citizens but all people in the world (sounds ridiculous, right?). US law requires you to have 1 Mil USD net worth or 200'000 USD annual income if you want to buy shares of non-public company. So if you are high-net worth individual you can be called "accredited investor". Funny thing is that the law intends to protect US citizens but even if you are not US citizen and never even lived in US, this law is still applies to you in practice. So if you are "poor loser", platforms like Forge Global will reject you. So high-net worth individuals have access and opportunity to Bitcoin-style multi-magnitude growth every 5-10 years. Contrary to private equity markets, US public markets is low risk/low return type of market. If you have small amount of capital, it's just glorified way to protect yourself from inflation plus some little return on top. It's not bad, US public market is a still great way to store your wealth. But I'm deeply convinced that for small capital you must seek fundamentally different type of market - high risk/high return. It's just historical luck that Bitcoin/Ethereum/etc were available for general public from day one. But in reality, viral/exponential growth is happening quite often. It's just you don't have access to such type of markets due to regulatory reasons. I intentionally described these examples of financial discrimination in full details as I experienced them because I do feel that vast majority of people in the first world honestly think that current financial system works just fine and only criminals and terrorists are banned. In reality that's not true at all. 99.999% of innocent people are completely cut off from modern financial system in the name of fighting against money laundering. Here is a big picture why it's happening. There are rich countries (so called western world) and poor countries (so called third world). Financial wall is carefully built by two sides. Authoritarian leaders of poor countries almost always want full control over their population, they don't like market economy, and since market forces don't value their crappy legal system (because it works only for close friends of authoritarian leader) they must implement strict capital control. Otherwise, all capital will run away from their country because nobody really respects their crappy legal system. It only has value under heavy gun of government. Only friends of authoritarian leader can move their money out of country but not you. Leaders of rich countries want to protect their economy from "dirty money" coming from third world. Since citizens of poor countries never vote for leaders of rich countries nobody really cares if rich country just ban everyone from poor country. It's the most lazy way to fight against money laundering - simply ban everyone from certain country. Actually if you look deeper you will see that rich countries very rarely directly ban ordinary people from third world. Usually, there is no such law which doesn't allow me to open bank account somewhere in Europe as non-EU resident. What's really happens is that US/EU government implement very harsh penalties for financial institutions if anything ever goes wrong. So what's actually happens is that financial institutions (banks, brokerages etc) do de-risking. This is the most important word you must know about traditional financial system! So if you have wrong passport, financial institution (for example) bank from rich country just doesn't want to take any risks dealing with you even if you are willing to provide full documentation about your finances. It's well known fact that banks in Hong Kong, Europe, US like to unexpectedly shutdown accounts of thousands innocent businesses due to de-risking. So it's actually de-risking is the real reason why I was rejected so many times by financial institutions in the first world!!! It's de-risking actually responsible for banning 99.999% of innocent people. So governments of rich democratic countries formally have clean hands because they are not banning ordinary people from third world directly. All dirty job is done by financial institutions but governments are well aware of that, it's just more convenient way to discriminate. And nobody actually cares! Ordinary citizens in rich countries are never exposed to such problems and they really don't care about people in third world, after all they are not citizens of US/EU/UK/CH/CA/HK/SG/JP/AU/NZ. And now are you ready for the most hilarious part? If you are big corrupt bureaucrat from Russia you are actually welcome by the first world financial institutions! All Russian's junta keep their stolen money all across Europe and even in US. You might wonder how this is possible if the western financial system is so aggressive in de-risking. Here is a simple equation which financial institution should solve when they decide whether to open an account for you or not: Y - R = net profit Where: Y - how much profit they can make with you; R - how much regulatory risk they take while working with you; That's it! It's very simple equation. So if you are really big junta member from Russia you are actually welcome according to this equation. Banks have special name for serving (ultra) high-net worth individuals, it's called private banking. It's has nothing to do with the fact that bank is private. It's just fancy name for banking for rich. So what's usually happen in real world. Some Estonian or Danish bank got caught with large scale money laundering from Russia. European leaders are ashamed in front of their voters. They implement new super harsh law against money laundering to keep their voters happy. Voters are ordinary people, they don't care about details of new regulations. So banks get scared and abruptly shutdown ALL accounts of Russian customers. And European voters are happy. Modern money laundering laws are like shooting mouse in your house using bazooka! It's very efficient to kill mouse, right? Now imagine world without financial borders. It's hard to do so because we are all get so used to current status quo of traditional financial system. But with additional effort you can start asking questions - if Internet economy is so global and it doesn't really matter where HQ of startup is located, why they are all concentrated in just a few tiny places like Silicon Valley and ... well, that's mostly it if you count the biggest unicorns! Another question would be - why so many talented russian, indian, chinese programmers just go to the same places like San Francisco, London and make super rich companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple to get even richer? If all you need is laptop and access to internet, why you don't see any trade happening between first and third world? Well actually there is a trade between first and third world but it's not exactly what I want to see. Usually third world countries sell their natural resources through giant corporations to the first world. So it's possible to get access to the first world market from third world but this access usually granted only to big and established companies (and usually it means not innovative). Unicorns are created through massive parallel experiment. Every week bunch of new startups are created in Silicon Valley. Thousands and thousands startups are created in Silicon Valley with almost instant access to global market. Just by law of large numbers you have a very few of them who later become unicorns and dominate the world. But if you have wrong passport and you are located in "wrong" country where every attempt to access global market is very costly, then you most likely not to start innovative startup in the first place. In the best case scenario, you just create either local business or just local copy-paste startup (copied from the west) oriented on (relatively small) domestic market. Obviously in such setup it's predictable that places like Silicon Valley will have giant advantage and as a result all unicorns get concentrated in just a few tiny places. In the world without financial barriers there will be much smaller gap between rich and poor countries. With low barrier of entry, it won't be a game when winner takes all. Whole architecture of decentralized cryptocurrencies is intended to remove middle man and make transactions permissionless. Governments are inherently opposite to that, they are centralized and permissioned. Therefore, decentralized cryptocurrencies are fundamentally incompatible with traditional financial system which is full of middle mans and regulations (i.e. permissions). Real value of crypto are coming from third world, not the first world. People are buying crypto in rich countries just want to invest. Their financial system and their fiat money are more or less already working for them. So there is no immediate urgency to get rid of fiat money in the first world. So the first world citizens buying crypto on centralized KYCd exchanges are essentially making side bet on the success of crypto in third world. Real and natural environment of cryptocurrencies is actually dark OTC market in places like Venezuela and China. But cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have a big limitation to wide adoption in third world - high volatility. So the real target audience is oppressed (both by their own government and by first world governments) ordinary citizens of third world countries yet they are least who can afford to take burden of high volatility. Right now, Tether is a big thing for dark markets across the world (by the way, dark market doesn't automatically imply bad!). But Tether soon or later be smashed by US/EU regulators. The only real and working permissionless stable cryptocurrency (avoiding hyped word - stablecoin) is DAI. DAI is the currency for post-Tether world to lead dark OTC market around the world and subvert fiat currencies of oppressive third world governments. Once DAI become de-facto widespread currency in shadow economy in all of third world, then it will be accepted (after many huge push backs from governments) as a new reality. I'm talking about 10-20+ years time horizon. But if MakerDAO chooses the route of being compliance friendly then DAI will lose its real target audience (i.e. third world). I can not imagine US/EU calmly tolerate someone buying US stocks and using as a collateral to issue another security (i.e. DAI) which is going to be traded somewhere in Venezuela! You can not be compliance friendly and serve people in Venezuela. Facebook's Libra was stupidest thing I've seen. It's extremely stupid to ask permission from the first world regulators to serve third world and create borderless economy. Another stupid thing is to please third world governments as well. For example, Libra (if ever run) will not serve Indian, Chinese, Venezuelan people. Who is then going to use stupid Libra? Hipsters in Silicon Valley? Why? US dollars are good enough already.
Triple Increase On BTC Transaction Fees Just Before Bitcoin`s Third Halving
The Average Price Per Bitcoin Transaction Reached $3,19 On 8th May, After Increasing With 300% From $0,62 Per BTC Transaction, As Of 26th April The world of cryptocurrencies is franticly preparing for Bitcoin’s third halving event, which would cut down the reward that miners receive for validating transactions. Historically, prior to a halving event, transaction fees skyrocket. The last halving resulted in peak transaction fee of $0,62, with transactions costing a mere $0,10 just weeks before. Source: Bitinfocharts However, the halving event means something more than just transaction fees increase. Bitcoin suffered from increased volatility over the past weekend, with prices swinging from close to $9,700 on May 10, to shrink as low as $8,466 on May 11. Nevertheless, Bitcoin’s price is still 40% up year-to-date (YTD), which implies strong support from Bitcoin bulls. The price swing outperforms serious investment assets like gold (XAU) and U.S. dollars. Speculators expect the halving event to boost Bitcoin’s price, as the price inflation reduces when the reward for mining a Bitcoin block reduces in half. Тhe primary reason behind both Bitcoin’s price increase and inflation reduction is a term, called scarcity. Scarcity resembles how rare to obtain a given asset is. Meantime, Bitcoin’s user base is exponentially increasing. The current 1,800 BTC-per-day premium would be reduced to 900 BTC per day. Joe Llisteri, the co-founder of crypto derivatives exchange Interdax, stated that over time, the reduction of BTC supply would ultimately lead to a reduction in sell pressure. “The factors add up to an increase in upwards momentum for Bitcoin’s price.”, Llisteri added. Llisteri also noted that this time Bitcoin’s upwards momentum may see a slower effect, due to progressively longer life cycles for Bitcoin after a halving event. “Currently, we are looking at 18-24 months until a possible all-time high. Timewise, Bitcoin may reach an all-time high between October-November 2021 and May-June 2022.”, Llisteri concluded. However, small and medium-sized miners may take a serious hit, as the price reward cut may mitigate all possible earnings from small mining enthusiasts and mid-sized mining rigs. Even with the much-anticipated Bitcoin price boost, much of the miners may shut down operations prior to the price increase. Speaking of mining, Bitcoin’s hash rate continues to keep a steady growth, slightly declining from its yearly high of 123.2 terra hash-per-second (TH/s). There are two possible scenarios – either more miners are joining the Bitcoin network, or current miners are driving their existing rigs to a maximum.
Set and Drift | Analysis - Estimating Future Income from the FIRE Portfolio
Cultivate an asset which the passing of time itself improves. – Seneca, Letters XV Overview The focus of the voyage to financial independence so far has been designing the portfolio, and measuring the distance still to travel. There is more basic question to be asked as the journey progresses - will the portfolio produce the income targets set for it, or will something need to change? Currently, the income estimates from the portfolio targets - $67 000 from a short-term target of around $1.6 million and $83 000 from a target of around $2.0 million in several years - are set on an assumption of a total portfolio return of 4.19 per cent. That does not mean, however, that the portfolio will simply automatically produce an income of that level. Just pointing the ship in the direction of travel is not enough. This is because the total return assumes both capital growth and distributions or interest. This analysis examines what income the portfolio is likely to produce when the targets are achieved, and assesses whether or not selling down or changing the portfolio in other ways to meet the income goals may be necessary. To answer this question, history and three different methods of estimating the potential income produced by the portfolio are reviewed. Approach #1 - Navigation by landmarks The first approach is to simply use what is already known to establish one’s position. Previous analyses have discussed the overall trends in portfolio distributions, and reached some approximate estimates of the likely underlying level of distributions. These estimates differ according to the precise method chosen, and time period considered. So far, these analyses have established that the portfolio appears to be generating between:
$5 000 per month or $60 000 per year, if an approach where the moving average of the past three years of distributions is used; or
$3 800 per month or $45 000 per year, if a conservative approach of an average of the past four years of distributions is applied.
This is healthy progress, however, both of these figures are short of the Objective #1 income requirement of $67 000 per year (or $5600 per month), and even further from the projection of $83 000 (or $6 900 per month) under Objective #2. Will the future look like the past? These historical figures are useful because they are real data based on holdings in the actual portfolio. Their disadvantages are that they are backward-looking. This has two possible impacts. First, the growth of more than 50 per cent in the total portfolio size over even the past three years means that the level of historical distributions will underestimate the income generation potential from the now larger portfolio. In short, this is like trying to estimate interest from a bank account by looking at your balance three years ago. Second, the distributions of three or four years ago will reflect past asset allocations, and investment products. As an example of this, two years ago the portfolio contained over $55 000 invested in Ratesetter’s peer to peer lending platform. This was earning an average income return of 9.1 per cent. Today, Ratesetter is less than half of this size, due to a slow asset reallocation process and withdrawals as loans mature. This suggests a purely backward view of the actual achieved distributions may be incomplete and misleading. Taking an average distribution rate approach The other potential way of estimating the income return of the portfolio is to use the average distribution rate of the portfolio in the past. The rate is calculated as total distributions over a defined period divided by the average portfolio level over the same period. This eliminates any errors from the first impact discussed above of growing portfolio growth size, as it is a rate rather than a level measure. It does not eliminate the second impact. For example, higher interest rates meant that cash holdings in 2013-14 could make up over third of total distributions, a position not likely to reoccur in the short or even medium term. Yet it still may be an approximate guide because while overall portfolio asset allocation has shifted in the past two and half years, it has remained within some broad bounds. As an example, total equity holdings were at 70% of the portfolio both 5 and 10 years ago. Additionally, using a median long-term average of 4.4 per cent will tend to reduce the impact of one-off changes and outlier data points. [Chart] As established in Wind in the Sails the average distribution rate over the past two decades has been around 4.4 per cent. This implies that the portfolio would produce: -$5 900 per month or $70 300 per annum income when the portfolio is at Objective #1 (e.g. this suggests that the target income at Objective #1 would be met, with around $3 000 to ‘spare’). - $7 300 per month or $87 100 per annum income when the portfolio is at Objective #2 (e.g. as above it suggests meeting Objective #2 would produce around $4 000 more income than actually targeted). An interesting implication of this is that the portfolio has been producing distributions (at 4.4 per cent) at a rate that is higher than the overall rate of assumed long-term total return (around 4.2 per cent). This is consistent with the fact that the Vanguard funds, and to some extent shares and other ETFs have been realising and distributing capital growth, not just income. This means that if I truly believe my long-term total return forecast is more accurate than the distributions estimate, I would need to re-invest the difference, to ensure I was not drawing down the portfolio at a higher rate than intended. Approach #2 - Navigation by 'dead reckoning' A different approach to reaching an income estimate from the portfolio is to forget about the actual history of the portfolio, and look to what the record shows about the average distribution rate from the asset classes themselves. That is, to construct an hypothetical estimate of what the portfolio should produce, based on external historical data on average income from the individual portfolio components of Australian shares, international shares, and fixed interest. To do this, estimates of the long term income generated by each of the asset classes in the portfolio are needed. For this ‘dead reckoning approach’ I have used the following estimates. Table 1 - Asset class and portfolio income assumptions Asset class Allocation Estimated income Source Australian shares 45% 4.0% RBA, 1995-2019, May Chart Pack International shares 30% 2.0% RBA, 1995-2019, May Chart Pack Bonds 15% 1.0% Dimson, Marsh and Staunton Triumph of the Optimists 101 Years of Global Investment Returns, Table 6.1 Gold/Bitcoin 10% 0% N/A Total portfolio 100% 2.55% This analysis suggests that at the target allocation for the portfolio, based on long-term historical data, it should produce a income return of around 2.6%. This equates to:
$3 400 per month or $40 700 per year when the portfolio is at Objective #1
$4 200 per month or $50 500 per year when the portfolio is at Objective #2
These figures are also well short of the income needs set, and so imply a need to sell down assets significantly to capture some of the portfolio's capital growth. Abstractions and obstructions Of course these figures are highly averaged and make some simplifications. Year to year management will not benefit from such stylised and smooth average returns. Income will be subject to large variations in distribution levels and capital growth will vary across asset classes and individual holdings. Another simplification is that is analysis does not include the value of franking credits. If it is assumed that Australian equities continued to pay out their historical level of dividends, and the franking credit rate remains at the historical average of around 70 per cent then Australian shares dividends should yield closer to 5.2 per cent, lifting the total income return of the portfolio to around 3.1 per cent. In turn, this would marginally reduce the capital sell-down required. Adjusting for this impact means the portfolio income would be $4100 per month at Objective #1, and $5100 per month Objective #2 Yet these assumptions can be challenged. It is possible that the overall dividend yield of the Australian market will fall and converge with other markets. This would be particularly likely to happen if further changes to dividend imputations or the treatment franking credits to occur. It could also occur due to a maturing and deepening of Australian equity markets and domestic investment opportunities available to Australian firms. Shorter term, uncertainty around the future ability of shareholders to fully benefit from franking credits could encourage a payout of credits currently held by Australian firms. Approach #3 - Cross-checking the coordinates Due to these simplifications and assumptions, it is appropriate to cross-check the results of one method with other available data. An alternative to either a purely historical approach using distributions received, or the stylised hypothetical above discussed in Approach #2, is relying on tax data. Specifically, taxable investment income can be estimated as the sum of the return items for partnerships and trusts, foreign source income and franking credits (i.e. items 13, 20 and 24) in a tax return.This has been previously discussed here. Using this data is - of course - not independent of my own records of distributions. It's benefit is that it strictly relies on verified data provided in tax calculations. This will include income distributions and realised capital gains from within Vanguard funds, for example, but will not pick up unrealised capital gains. As with Approach #1, as the portfolio has changed in size and composition the absolute historical levels of taxable will not necessarily produce the best estimate of the expected level of distributions looking forward. For example, because it is drawing on a period in which the portfolio was smaller, a five year average of investment income would suggest future annual investment income of $32 300 or $2 700 per month. So instead an 'average rate' approach can be used to overcome this. Over of the past five years, the portfolio has produced an annual taxable investment income of around 3.5 per cent of the value of portfolio. This in turn implies an average taxable investment income of:
$4700 per month or $56 000 per year when the portfolio is at Objective #1; and
$5800 per month or $69 000 per year when the portfolio is at Objective #2
Once again, these estimates imply the existence of a significant income gap remaining at reaching both portfolio objectives. Summary of results So far historical data from the portfolio and three different approaches have been set out to seek to answer the question: how much income is the portfolio likely to produce? Comparing estimates and income requirements These individual estimates (blue) and the average of all estimates (green) are summarised in the charts below, and compared to the monthly income requirements (red) of both of the portfolio objectives. The chart below sets out the estimates for Objective #1. [Chart] The following chart sets out the same data and projections for the portfolio when it reaches Objective #2 (a portfolio total of $1 980 000). [Chart] The analysis shows that:
Portfolio income is likely to be below target at reaching Objective #1 - Using the approaches and history as a guide the portfolio should on average produce an income of around $57 000 per annum at Objective #1
And also below target at Objective #2 - When Objective #2 is reached portfolio income should on average be around $71 000
Therefore an income gap does exist to solve - Under most estimation approaches there will be a significant income shortfall at reaching both Objective #1 and #2
The gap is significant, but not disastrous - Assuming an equal weighting to the three approaches and actual historical distributions over the past three years the size of the income gap will be around $900 per month at Objective #1 (or $10 200 per annum) and greater, around $1000 per month at Objective #2 (or $12 000 per annum)
Only one estimation approach doesn't identify a gap - Only if the 'average distribution rate' approach under Approach #1 is accurate will there be no income shortfall.
This implies that at the $1.6 million target of Objective #1, a small portion of any portfolio gains (around 0.6% of the value of the total portfolio) would need to be sold each year to meet this income gap. An identical result applies at the Objective #2, around 0.6% of value of the total portfolio would need to be sold annually. Another intriguing implication of the reaching the average estimates is that it allows for an approximation of the required portfolio level to rely entirely on portfolio income, and avoid any sale of assets. At both portfolio Objectives the average of all estimation approaches indicate portfolio income of around 3.5 per cent. Reversing this figure for the target portfolio income (e.g. for $67 000 at Objective #1 is 0.035/67000) implies a portfolio need of $1.91 million. For the higher target income for Objective #2, the implied portfolio required to not draw down capital is close to $2.4 million. This would require many additional years of future paid work to achieve. Trailing clouds of vagueness There are many caveats, inexactitudes and simplifications that should loom large in interpreting these results. The level of future returns as well as their income and capital components are unknowable and volatile. In particular, the volatility of returns introduces key sequence of return risks that are simplified away by the reliance on deceptively stable historical estimates or averages. Particularly sharp movement in asset prices could change the asset allocation. Legislative or market changes could change the balance of income and capital appreciation targeted by Australian firms. For these reasons, the analysis does not make me consider any particular remedial action. It indicates that under a range of assumptions and average outcomes, there will need to be a sale of some investments to meet the portfolio incomes targeted. The same analysis shows that the superficially attractive choice to live only off portfolio income would in reality mean aiming for a target around 20 per cent higher - needing an extra $300 000 to $400 000 - potentially adding many years to the journey. The relatively small scale of the required sales is the most surprising outcome of this analysis. Selling around 0.6 per cent of the portfolio annually does not on its face appear to be a high drawdown in most market conditions. Another potential issue to consider is what this result means for asset allocation. There is no doubt that history would suggest that the income gap could be reduced by either reducing the bond allocation, or lower yielding international shares. To give a sense of the magnitudes of this - using the 'dead reckoning' Approach #2 set out above - allocating 100 per cent of the equity portfolio to Australian shares would produce around $900 per month (or $10 300 per year) additional distributions at the Objective #1 portfolio of $1.6 million. In theory, this domestic shares only option would all but close the income gap. Yet the benefits of diversification and risk reduction bonds and international shares offer make this a trade-off to consider, not a clear choice. At present, my plan would be to revisit this issue at my annual review of the portfolio asset allocation. In the meantime, having produced these estimates has helped starting to think in more concrete terms about the draw down phase, its challenges and mechanics. In a small way, this seems to clear some of the clouds away, and enable me to glimpse some possible futures more clearly. The post and graphs can be viewed here. Note: The historical average estimate for this purpose has been proportionally adjusted to increase based on the increased size of the portfolio between now and reaching Objective #2
This post is a look at the recently released Bitmex Up and Down contracts and the lack of clarity around them and the issues that has caused. There will be a little bit of maths and options terminology, but I'll do my best to try to keep it simple.
Background and Contract Specification
Bitmex released the Weekly Up Contract (XBT7D_U110) for live trading on the 30th Apr, with the Weekly Down contract (XBT7D_D90) coming later, on the 14th May. Both contracts are essentially European style options contracts (with the addition of a knock out price for the Down Contract), which settle weekly on Fridays. This was an interesting development on the part of Bitmex. They made 2 posts on their blog (1, 2) explaining the situation. Although, the blog posts weren't posted on the website announcement feed nor (to my knowledge) on their twitter, so many people (including myself) missed them. While the contracts came with the usual Bitmex explanation of specification and example, what struck me was the fact that:
Throughout the whole contract guide there wasn't a single reference to "Options", despite that being the nature of the contacts.
Traders aren't allowed to short them - "Only the BitMEX anchor market maker can be net short".
(Full screen shots of the guides as of 15th May 2018 can be found at the bottom of the article) We now have the issue of a contract that many traders will have no idea how to price, that is consequently trading over 10x higher than fair value, and only the market makers are allowed to short.
Options pricing and Fair Value
The Up contract is equivalent to a European style options call, while the Down contract is a slightly modified European options put. Options contracts give the buyer the right (but not obligation) to buy (call) or sell (put) at the given strike price on the settlement time (European style). European style options contracts are generally prices using the Black-Scholes model, which is used to calculate the fair price of a contract along with measures of its sensitivity to various factors such as underlying price and volatility (known as Greeks). Options Fair Pricing vs Current Pricing At time of writing the Up contract (XBT7D_U110) last trade price is 0.00300 BTC (~$25.57), with 2.89 days until expiry. The Bitmex historical volatility index is currently 54.15%, strike price is $9500 and Bitcoin is $8530. The black-scholes calculator suggests that the fair price is actually $1.916. And that is the calculation for a 1 Bitcoin contract. Where as the Bitmex contracts represent 0.1 XBT each. Making the fair value $0.1916, rather than the current $25.57. Which is a bit insane. What if we use a higher value of volatility for our calculations, will the price be a bit more reasonable? Similar contracts trading on a different exchange have an implied volatility of ~75% annualised. This gives a fair value of $1.351 for each Up contract. I've also occasionally seen Bitcoin volatility reach up to 120% or higher. This value still gives a fair value of $7.870. In other words, even by the craziest stretch, the Bitmex contracts are trading way higher than their fair value - and only the Bitmex designated market makers are allowed to short.
Options profit outlook
Now, what if the contracts were trading at fair value, what is the probability that the options would actually expire "In the money" (payout not zero). One of the "Greeks" calculated under the black-scholes model, Delta, is generally used as a measure of exposure to the underlying asset, but can also be used as a probability that the option will expire in the money. The absolute of Delta (non negative value) gives said probability. A call contract with Delta 0.75 has a 75% chance of expiring ITM. A put contract with a delta of -0.3 has a 30% chance of expiring ITM. Probability of expiring In the Money So, what are the chances of our Up and Down contracts expiring ITM? The Up contract's ticker is "XBT7D_U110", meaning that it expires every 7 days and its strike is placed at 110% of the trading price at the start of the trading period. Again looking at the Bitmex volatility index at 54.15%, the Delta of this contract over 7 days comes to 0.1087, only an 11% chance of expiring in the money. 75% volatility gives Delta at 0.1933 and 120% gives Delta 0.3119. Not the best bet however you look at it. For the Down contracts its even worse, with Delta being -0.07458 (7.458%), -0.1431 and -0.2367 for 54.15%, 75% and 120% volatility respectively. The likelihood that any of these contracts actually pays out any money is rather stacked against the trader. And, as I've mentioned before, only the designated market makers are allowed to short these contracts to collect the price premium.
Are Options ever worth it?
Options trading is a wide and very mathematical discipline to master. When contracts are traded fairly (with reasonable pricing and without restrictions) options trading can be very profitable and allow all sorts of novel trades, such as betting on volatility. However, in its current state, I personally wouldn't touch the Bitmex Up and Down contracts with a 10 foot pole. They are over priced and restricted from the ability to short. I have seen Bitmex as a generally reputable exchange in the past, however situations like this make be question that assessment.
Regarding Threads on Bitmain and ASIC Resistance (Mega Thread!)
Guys, Let’s take a minute to talk about what’s going on. We need to make sure all users are on the same page and the falsifications and assumptions stop. I'm with you, and I understand that you feel betrayed. However, cleaning up after the constant bickering for those pro-fork and those anti-fork is growing tiresome. It's time we have a civil discussion and talk about facts.
Timeline of events
On 03/31/2018, a user from Ethfans.org posted a video on Telegram of a supposed Ethash ASIC. The video made its way to /Etherminingin a thread. It is important to mention that these values can be modified by changing “get_miner_status.cgi” and “minerStatus.cgi” and that there has been no credible evidence that has popped up in the nine days following the release of the supposed leak. Additionally, the following abnormalities should be noted:
The prefix “F” (e.g.: “F3”) falls outside of Bitmain’s typical naming convention. Historically, any Bitmain ASIC will have a family identification (e.g.: “S”), followed by a release generation. For example, the SHA257 miner is “S5/S7/S9”, the Scrypt miner is “L3/L3+”, etc… It is very unlikely that Bitmain has decided to use “F” as the prefix in addition to “E”.
The label is off-kilter with typical Bitmain quality. It is of asymmetrical quality when compared to the existing labels of on other Antminers
Also on 3/31/2018, a user on Russian site Bits.media noticed that the pre-order for the Bitmain E3 was already up. It was believed to be an April fools joke; needless to say, it wasn’t. On 04/02/2018, Bitmain launched the E3 and began taking pre-orders for a June delivery. At that time, the price was $800 and promised a hashing power of 180MH/s at 800 watts. On 04/06/2018, Ethereum core developers decided against hard-forking Ethereum at this time, as they weren't convinced that it would positively impact the community given a hard-fork's disruption and the unknown of how the ASIC worked (specifically if it was programmable). The community became upset over broken promises of ASIC resistance, and this has since spread to a full out finger pointing of who is wrong. On 04/08/2018, an apparently forged photo showed up showing a higher-hashing ASIC with far less power consumption. This is not only very unlikely, but the link in the photo was gibberish, whereas the E3's link was valid. We're writing that one up as FUD.
The "ASIC Resistance" Argument
At this point, I think that it’s I think it's important that we visit some key points of the Ethereum project. A lot of people have been quoting the whitepaper, calling ETH ASIC-proof and implying that the developers do not care about the problem. In actuality, Ethereum never promised that it would be ASIC-proof, merely that it would provide an economic incentive to be resistant to the development of an ASIC. I'd like to produce a quote from the Ethereum Wiki, found here.
Ultimately, perfect ASIC resistance is impossible; there are always portions of circuits that are going to be unused by any specific algorithm and that can be trimmed to cut costs in a specialized device. However, what we are looking for is not perfect ASIC resistance but rather economic ASIC resistance.
The problem is that measuring an economy in a secure way is a difficult problem. The most obvious metric that the system has access to is mining difficulty, but mining difficulty also goes up with Moore's law and in the short term with ASIC development, and there is no known way to estimate the impact of Moore's law alone and so the currency cannot know if its difficulty increased by 10x due to better hardware, a larger user volume or a combination of both. Other metrics, such as transaction count, are potentially gameable by entities that want the supply to change in a particular direction (generally, holders want a lower supply, miners want a higher supply).
This is solidified by revisiting the whitepaper, specifically the section which identifies how ASICs will be economically stymied:
This model is untested, and there may be difficulties along the way in avoiding certain clever optimizations when using contract execution as a mining algorithm. However, one notably interesting feature of this algorithm is that it allows anyone to "poison the well", by introducing a large number of contracts into the blockchain specifically designed to stymie certain ASICs. The economic incentives exist for ASIC manufacturers to use such a trick to attack each other. Thus, the solution that we are developing is ultimately an adaptive economic human solution rather than purely a technical one.
So with the Ethereum team providing only an economic reason to not develop an ASIC since the beginning, there has been no lie.
Second batch of E3s will not be profitable with Ethereum
As a response to the developers announcing that they are not initiating a hard fork, Bitmain raised the price of the second batch of E3s to $1800. With a PSU ($105) and shipping costs ($225), plus duty fees ($25). That brings each E3 up to $2,155, or $11.97 per MH. Comparatively, this is like paying $300 per GPU ($1800) plus Mobo/PSU/risers ($355). I have built rigs with similar hashrates for under $1,900 ($10.50 per MH). If we speculate that Casper is as close as we think (see below), coupled with the rising difficulty, the second batch of E3s are not likely to break-even with Ethereum as a whole. If ETH rises to its ATH, the second batch units may be profitable. Tis the risk of mining.
ASICs are bad!
In the Ethereum mining community, ASICs to be viewed as a formidable commodity, when they should rather be viewed as a tool. Tools are never inherently good or bad, but how they are used can be, and some developers intend for the coin to eventually be used with an ASIC. Some coins, such as Sia, were designed to specifically work with an ASIC. > 51% centralization is bad.
Bitmain has a better ASIC.
Probably. But this is an unknown. Speculation of an ASIC is not a reason to fork the second largest cryptocurrency.
Bitmain will be a cause for centralization
Everything should be a concern for centralization. Hell, early miners can be a bigger concern. The principals of economies of scale still apply to mining; so those who started out with a lot of GPUs are heavily mining. I've set up warehouses full of GPUs for clients, so if you think some of the guys here are big shots, I promise you there are larger concerns for the current state of centralization.
I will also note that yes, we will need to worry about a mass-manufacturer of just ASICs, especially if they are pumping out > 30,000 units per month at the current rate. But the firm that uncovered Bitmain's ASIC, Susquehannah, claims that there are at least three other ASIC manufacturers out there. This puts some silent competition on Bitmain.
Ethereum is not as centralized as Bitcoin
You'd think that, and the goal of the whitepaper was for Ethereum to be less centralized as bitcoin. It even mentions that "three mining pools indirectly control roughly 50% of processing power in the Bitcoin network." Ethereum is in this state already. Ethermine controls ~28% of the network hashrate, F2pool has ~17%, and SparkPool has ~15%. Arguably, the Ethereum network is in a more sensitive state.
Casper is right around the corner.
This has been speculation for some time now. Developers confirmed that testnet should be fully operational by August, meaning that we may be able to expect PoS hybrid by DecembeJanuary assuming everything goes as planned.
Dev team does not care about miners
In the project's current state, miners are a necessity. Remember that seigniorage must be sinigicant enough for miners to continue mining, otherwise, the network would slow and we'd have another Crypto Kitties incident on our hands. Until Ethereum is PoS, you are valid.
Dev team wants to get rid of miners
Well, yeah. That's what PoS is about. Ethereum will not be Proof of Work forever and that needs to be appreciated.
We should fork ourselves into an ASIC-proof currency
Do it! Take some initiative and work up a team, I'll be happy to help and support in any way that I can, including pointing my hashing power your way.
Ethereum decision governance
Right now, large decisions are made by the Ethereum core developers. This last decision to not hard-fork was not well received by the community. It feels to be almost an "electoral college" kind of deal, and that's something that has upset a lot of people. Is this the topic that we need to discuss in more detail?
So what is this thread?
For now, this is going to replace our weekly discussion for a few weeks until everything calms down. The sub is in a volatile state and everyone is slinging FUD at everyone else. We need to clean up and calmly discuss our position on the matter at hand. This means:
No more fighting about the ASIC in the comments
OUTSIDE OF THIS THREAD, please do not shitpost. Meaning, no more strongly worded threads about how you're out of mining completely because of the ASIC, or how the developers screwed you over because ETH was supposed to be ASIC proof, or how people are whining. I'm deleting threads left and right for people who are just using the sub as an outlet to name call on both sides.
As always, constructive threads are welcome, but shitposts are to be confined to this thread, please.
We all have different opinions
I am going to remain neutral on this topic. I mine with both GPUs and ASICs, and I've worked with countless numbers of people who do as well. We need to cooperate as a community instead of tearing each other apart over the issue. Let's think before we post and keep comments constructive. Happy mining!
What does the US government shutdown mean for ETH?
edit: Government shutdowns are a somewhat regular occurrence and not usually catastrophic. However, this shutdown is certain to delay any government regulation of crypto in the US as well as delay any approval of derivative financial instruments. This article further speculates the possibility that distrust in government may inspire trust in decentralized currencies as an alternative History shows that when anarchy breaks out, Bitcoin's value skyrockets. But does ETH's value jump? Will the government shutdown in the US be reflected in crypto prices?
TL;DR - ETH has not historically been used as a "safe haven" asset when anarchy breaks out. Bitcoin was the defacto "safe" crypto that Zimbabwe and Venezuela relied on in 2017. Based on that, a government shutdown is most likely to positively effect Bitcoin price if it affects crypto prices at all. ETH price is historically correlated to Bitcoin price and will likely track BTC price movements
When economies become unstable, Bitcoin instability seems more palatable and Bitcoin becomes a substitute currency. Obviously, if a national currency might fall 90% in a year, Bitcoin's 30% tumble in a week seems pretty tolerable to that nation. We saw this in Venezuela and Zimbabwe in 2017. In the past, people looked to gold as a "safe haven" asset for when sh#t got cray. Most informed investors don't store value in gold for its stability (everyone has seen the charts and knows its volatile). They stored value in it because of its supposed lack of correlation to other financial asset. The belief is that if modern markets fail, the USD crashes, banks meltdown and anarchy ensues, then gold will retain its value because gold has decentralized trust in it's value - proven by thousands of years of decentralized currency exchange. Similar to the anarchist value of gold, Bitcoin has value in anarchy. That's why it skyrocketed in price when financial anarchy broke out in Venezuela and Zimbabwe. But here's the thing: When utter hell breaks lose, you can't buy gold - gold became centralized when the central banks and exchanges became the only way to buy or sell gold. But if you can connect to the internet, you can buy Bitcoin. And so many Zimbabweans and Venezuelans did when all else was falling apart. You can see that the needed stability to be a good "store of value" isn't just about current price volatility, but rather, in an implied trust that somebody, somewhere will be willing to buy my Bitcoin's if I f*#cking need to sell them f%!king now. Can ETH have the same anarchist value? I don't know. Historically, ETH isn't a currency of choice in times of chaos but it does tend track BTC price. In the future, it depends on Dapps. A Dapp network that supports Crypto Kitties doesn't seem too valuable when your own real cat just got blown to pieces by insurgents. Let's hope that 2018 brings smart contracts that we can rely on when we can't even rely on our own government
FAQs - All Frequently Asked Questions Posted and Updated Here Q: I have lost massive sums holding various cryptocurrencies since leading coins such as Ethereum have fallen -88% peak-to-trough so far in 2018 and it looks as if it will fall further given the overpriced nature of Ethereum. Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum said himself that the cryptospace is way too overvalued. That said, why do I want my money tied up on your platform for 9 months? What are the advantages? How much risk am I taking? A: With Hansecoin, multiple investors will be able to own a piece of the capital gain potential and yield of real estate, some land, an apartment, or an entire apartment complex. The asset provides a floor to the price and increases stability versus speculative tokens. We are building out the world's first tokenisation platform that will be compliant with regulations. The first project Use Case when secured may deliver underlying yields of 7 to 11.4% or higher, potential capital gains, and provide bonuses and access to future project tokens at an attractive discount versus those joining after the Vesting Period. There is a revolutionary future in its application across multiple asset classes. Notably, this tokenisation approach may become a template for asset backed token projects. With proof of concept at hand and construction started, the project shall be scaled up as several additional hard asset projects are in the queue and the platform can be white labelled. Our platform offers a replacement tool for the transaction-cost-inefficient closed-end fund structures or venture capital transactions while remaining small, solid, compact and in full regulatory compliance. Reduced Risk: We are immune to the direction of cryptospace. Even if Ethereum were to go to zero, our token would still be valid and contractually binding. In light of the steep losses in Ethereum and other coins, the participant can stop the hemorrhaging by locking in their cryptocurrencies at a fixed rate in euros for the next 9 months while taking comfort in knowing the above benefits apply, ie, yields, capital gains, bonuses, future project access at a discount, etc. Further, the potential participation in prime residential real estate located a brief commute of 15 minutes from the city center in Tallinn, Estonia carries low risk given the history of otherwise equivalent, yet in terms of quality, design and attractiveness, inferior real estate projects launched in the neighbourhood which still sold out ahead of schedule. Indeed, the demographics of families in formation together with Estonia leading the EU in economic growth is a powerful combination contributing to the breakneck speeds of development in Tallinn. Estonia has continuously the highest average GDP in the EU (if you compare the current members from 1994 to 2018) and thus is the EU’s fastest growing country. Estonia has been billed as the world’s leading digital nation given its pioneer status of its digital ID card program, the spread of free and ultra high speed WiFi across the country, being the pond from where Skype and Pipedrive sprung, and more. Today, its welcoming position on blockchain technologies, equivalent to that of Switzerland, as well as its e-Residency program is well known. e-Residency enables businesses to transact goods and services regardless of geographic location with the digital signature capacity known from the ID card program. Estonia’s regulators are sincerely collaborative, open for discussion, and evidently working with substantial commitment to create a fair system of regulation, monitoring and enforcement of the current legislation. They are comparatively solution driven so as to remain welcoming to the blockchain community. This explains why Estonia has the highest number of ICOs launched per capita and is ranked #5 worldwide. From the CEO of CoinMetro, Kevin Murcko: “Although I get approached quite often to advise on ICO projects I rarely bite. Most, while they may be great 'back of napkin ideas' they usually lack substance and their teams, while sometimes quite elaborate, lack the drive, hunger, and experience to take a great idea and turn it into a great business. HanseCoin is different. The company focuses on a very specific use case for tokenization, the Asset-Backed Token, and it puts it to the test. Not only does it provide a hedge against crypto volatility but it puts that money toward the creation of a regulator-approved platform for tokenizing any hard asset. As a member of the Supervisory Board, I helped design the tokenization structure and I believe there is a revolutionary future in its application across multiple asset classes. As As CEO of CoinMetro is it my job to ensure that we are constantly on the lookout for ways to gain market share and add value to not only our platform but the whole of the crypto ecosystem ... Essentially we are talking about an extension of the ICOexpress, call it a 'module', one of many in the works.” Q: How are you compliant? Many ICOs fail to be even minimally compliant. A: First, this is not a typical ICO but this structure represents the next evolutionary stage in asset financing in the cryptospace. We are one of if not the world’s first actual asset backed token (ABT) ICO backed by real estate. Together with our counsel and our partners from Coin Metro, we have stayed in lock-step with the regulators here in Estonia to ensure that regardless of future regulatory decisions made, due to the versatility of the project structure, it will remain compliant without that adversely affecting the business. Our token remains a utility token as demonstrated by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as it is neither a security, a debenture, nor a money market instrument. Still, we are prepared to issue a security token in the future should it become a suitable option and make sense to our expansion. Albeit that from our discussion with the relevant authorities it seems unlikely today Estonia may well pass legislation in this regard. Most importantly, leading companies are connected to our platform and its first project: we have Capital Mill, a leading developer and asset manager, as the real estate project manager, Uusmaa Kinnisvarabüro, the oldest and largest brokerage firm in Estonia as the residential sales agent, SWECO Projekt as the engineering company, 1Partner, a leading valuation company, as our appraiser, Telora AS as our supervisor, Studiomark as our architectural firm, and leading Estonian construction firms allowing the project to be built on time and in suitable quality for the residential clients. Q: Is VPAT compliant? Does VPAT obey regulation? What about the other tokens PPT and VBT? A: VPAT is an island, disconnected, and not tradable. Is it non-transferrable thus not a security. VPAT is heavily vetted and all VPAT holders are registered via AML/KYC with CoinMetro. Should our Issuing Company decide to issue another token (PPT, etc), that token may become tradeable and subject to regulatory law at that point. There is an inherent difference and segregation of the VPAT from the potential PPT or VBT tokens. At the end of 9 months, the VPATs are burned, swapped, or extended and only then are PPTs issued. VPAT holders get various bonuses and preferred issuance of PPTs. The VPAT is a centralised virtual token which results in a receipt issued to the VPAT participants (like a voucher). It is not an Ethereum based ERC distributed token unlike the PPT which may become subject to the legal, technical and regulatory environment. As always, we will comply with any future legal, technical, and regulatory law set forth. Q: What are the advantages of your platform? A: Our platform offers a replacement tool for a variety of transaction cost inefficient transaction structures. The unwieldy closed-end funds of yesteryear simply front load developments with heavy hand costs for management and distribution. They typically start at around 10 million euros. Friends & family and crowd funding asset capital raises are typically limited to 1.5 – to at best 2 ¼ million euros. Our platform enables a far more efficient and less costly way for anyone who wishes to tokenise a project and raise capital between 1.5 and 10 million euros for their hard asset project, including but not limited to real estate. Blockchain simplifies and facilitates transactions by removing redundant layers. Q: Future plans to expand? A: An asset backed tokenisation does not end with standard real estate. This can also be done with other associated hard assets such as factories which include identifiable, traceable and productive machinery and equipment. Indeed, the founders and their partners are themselves invested in industrial assets, farming and agritech. We believe that such capital intensive segments are ideal candidates for subsequent, larger asset backed tokenisation capital raises when the concept with its technology and documentation is proven. Eventually, HanseCoin, subject to project success, markets and regulation, may even become an issuing house with an investment advisory license. We will also enable others to white label our product since a number of projects have expressed deep interest. Indeed, as stated in the above article, a number of notable voices in the blockchain space such as Multicoin Capital partner Kyle Samani have said, "Using blockchains, you can securitize any asset for 1/100th the cost.” According to Prof. Stephen McKeon of the University of Oregon, "We will undoubtedly see tokenized real estate securities in 2018." An analyst at Apex Token Fund went on to explain, "A new level of liquidity is created when tokenizing traditional assets. This liquidity makes it faster and easier to rebalance a portfolio as the market changes." Q: Please explain unpaid taxes to the Estonian government as raised here: https://www.reddit.com/CoinMetro/comments/9lyjie/comment/e7g8ws6 A: First, Tiskre Residentsid paid its October land taxes. The company had EUR 3,407.31 land tax to pay which EMTA demands on Oct 1, and we had scheduled to pay them alongside TSD declaration by Oct 10. Notably, we paid it today ahead of time. There is no tax debt and we would expect this to be reflected with the usual delay at sources such as ‘Inforegister’. Second, Reval Grundwert is a family venture which arranges services to group entities including concept and implementation design, engineering and supervision, planning, family investment. A previous accountant miscalculated and misrepresented two smaller tax filings for which she taken to account and court. The restatement and reconciliation is underway with EMTA. Q: How do you securitize the asset? Is it asset backed at the beginning? A: The VPAT token is issued and provides a receipt as noted in the info memo. Funds are employed for the project platform infrastructure/software development and to secure the use case. The owners contribute the land into the asset company at a EUR 459,810 or a 15.4% discount to appraised market value to effectively sponsor the platform development for the Use Case even ahead of the full raise and the potential PPT issuance. The externally appraised value only reflects a sale as is: no potential, no expected value increases, it is considered conservative. Initially, the Issuer provides a deposit to the Asset Company owners in lieu of the irrevocable undertaking to, in the future, enter into the contracts. The deposit in this instance covers 90% of the fixed asset price. All-in the relevant discount to fair market value is thus 23.8% which should be considered a substantial buffer. From the closing of the hard floor raise through the VPAT, the Issuer by securing itself with the future documentation in escrow, irrevocable undertakings locked in, and a pledge over the asset company's shares, is collateralised throughout its infrastructure development phase. Even the VPAT is an asset backed token. Note, in the unlikely event that the tokenisation were to fail with no regulatorily compliant tokenisation at hand or the Issuer to fail in its development, the Issuer would accelerate the share pledge against the Asset Company. The asset could be sold and even a fire sale should suffice to cover the Issuer's relevant risk exposure, a restructuring, rescission, or new development in light of the aformentioned large discount. In case of questions please do not hesitate to ask. Q: How long do actual building developments take? [USE CASE] A: In a simplified form and besides weather conditions etc., individual buildings and their build out time depend on the building types of which there are 2 in sector 1 (one apartment, one row house), another one in sector 2 (simpler row houses) and again two types in sector 3 (apartment buildings) plus a kindergarten on the plot between 2 and 3. Some of them such as in sector 1 individually take between 6 and 7 months to build core and shell, and subject to the client package requirements (three pre-defined), the interior furnishing and fittings takes between 1 and 1.5 months. The row houses in sector 2 can be erected within 5-6 months, then interiors and the furnishing as above plus landscaping (seasonal). The affordable housing in sector 3 could be built in the same time frame for the simpler apartment buildings and about 11 months for a grouping of three which are best erected as an ensemble. A time schedule has been defined by the accredited, experienced external project management firm with owners, engineers, architects, interior architects and reputable construction companies which shows the targeted build out rhythm with overlapping and parallel build-outs. You can find this information in the project model section p.30 onwards. If you have specific questions do not hesitate to contact us and we shall be glad to go through this in applicable detail with you. If you look at the plots and the drone videos listed for the asset company you can see that infrastructure (road, electricity, gas, water, sewage and street lighting) has been built out already alongside sector 3 and 2. Key information and extensive descriptions are also at hand in the info memo. Q: Are all incoming ETH converted to EUR immediately? A: Yes, though subject to market conditions. For example, the time it took to get sufficient confirmations was considerably longer in December 2017 when the crypto market was spiking. Until our minimum target of 2.281671m EUR is received, the deposit required to secure the projects initial use case, all incoming ETH is converted to EUR. Once this amount is surpassed, Hansecoin reserves the right to hold qualities of ETH as it sees fit based in its internal risk management policies. Q: What happens if the soft cap for your asset raise is not met? A: I presume you are referring to the hard floor of EUR 3.275 M as a fall-back rather than the soft or target cap. Were that hard floor fail to be reached, the software and platform infrastructure development would have to be carried on by HanseCoin preferably with its community in parallel to progressing with the road map, however, after an extension window of e.g. another 10, 15 or even 30 days were to run out before reaching the hard floor, and if no restructuring of the agreements with the asset owners could be agreed upon (deposit levels, timing), the development would have to carry on without securing the use case. The latter would remain an obligation of the owners to develop without HanseCoin. In turn, in such an unlikely event, HanseCoin would have to secure another Use Case for which it has two more assets at hand in the same attractive area, one in a comparable development stage and one at an earlier stage. Both would allow for collateralisation and lower deposit levels so that a replacement would be a suitable option. As stated in the info memo if less (as in not enough to entertain any of the other options) is raised until a future PPT issuance on the basis of the Hansecoin platform, the VPAT may have to be rescinded. Notably, the aforementioned time frame and cascade of options should, from our perspective, allow HanseCoin sufficient capacity to attain sufficient commitment from VPAT partners and progress with the Asset Company on mutually agreeable terms. Q: What if you can't get approved to go on with the development, or when the approval is getting delayed an unreasonable (>1y?) amount of time? A: The risk of development of the tokenisation to become regulatorily compliant is mitigated as follows: HanseCoin will file alongside its efforts to create the PPTs, its application to attain an investment firm license in Estonia allowing it to act as fund manager. This puts it on the safe side if considerations of certain tokens as securities were to become effective. The board and supervisory board of HanseCoin assisted by counsel and auditors will take all necessary steps and employ their professional experience to meet the requirements and become licensed in the defined regulatory process. As indicated in the roadmap, CoinMetro as an exchange requires substantially more comprehensive licensing for a variety of their additional services to be rendered in the future and is seeking theirs with a view to having them in place by end of Q2 2019. If the technical development of the tokenisation were to be delayed beyond the date of regulatory compliance, HanseCoin with the VPAT has the option to seek an extension to complete whatever technical matters would have to be resolved, albeit that the economic interest at hand should mitigate that. HanseCoin is keen to issue, list, and expand their tokenisation platform approach to a wide audience of potential participants and process a variety of underlying hard assets, as only then it is successful. The interest of HanseCoin's founders and team are aligned with the VPAT holders. We will push the development with determination and daily grind. As such we believe that a delay as you indicated beyond a month or even three months over the Vesting Period whilst technically possible is highly unlikely. Q: What can HanseCoin offer me that I already do not have access to? I can already directly invest in property or buy equity in residental property via crowdfunding websites etc. What I cannot do as a U.K. citizen is easily invest in overseas property, does HanseCoin fix that problem? In addition will HanseCoin give people in emerging markets easy access to say, European and American property? What kind of restrictions might I face if , as a U.K. citizen, I wanted to buy an ABT for a U.S. property? A: You can own a piece of real estate in any jurisdiction via our platform, ie, fractional ownership. As we onboard new projects, some will be European. The US comes with certain restrictions that may make onboarding US based projects an issue. At this time, the projects of interest are non-US. We will be sure we are compliant with any projects we approve. Re crowd funding, on our home page at Hansecoin.com, scroll down and read: Let’s talk about The Gap. Q: Can I own Hansecoin if I am a US resident? A: As referred to in the disclaimers of the info memo and the webpage, HanseCoin with its ongoing private sale and the upcoming public sale in principle is currently not offered to participants who are U.S. residents as regulation so implies and we are not offering securities at this time. Without providing legal advice, a private pre-sale may e.g. allow up to 35 non-accredited investors to participate under certain limitations and exemptions under rule 506 (b), however it may have little bearing on us as the private (pre-)sale of Hansecoin VPAT's would likely be considered a form of general solicitation in the U.S. Thus, in consideration of rule 506 (c) only accredited investors, i.e. those who can verify that they are, may have a path to participate in the private (pre-) sale. May we suggest to consider this with counsel and message us directly so that we can review the matter, in case you are an interested accredited investor. We obviously value your interest and shall be glad to continue the dialogue. It is not unlikely with upcoming regulation in Estonia and the EU as well as HanseCoin progressing to become a regulated investment firm in the near future that future issues including a potential mastercoin could be offered also in the U.S. We certainly would be glad if market rules were to allow truly global coverage. NEW FAQS FOR RON TO POST ON WEBSITE: Q: Did I understand correctly, that HanseCoin is a overarching platform for more asset backed token projects? That token PPT token itself is not limited to the current real estate (RE) you are developing? If so, what happens if let's say, the current RE is finished and you start another project, will there then the same process as now, but with a PPT2? A: HanseCoin is an overarching platform and not limited to one project, albeit that the first project contributed at a significant discount to the platform to support its launch carries itself and the platform build-out. HanseCoin's goal is to efficiently onboard a variety of projects which fit the 'Gap' range for development capital, i.e. small/mid cap project financings for hard assets. We have three projects in the short term pipeline which shall be launched in stages over the next months. The structuring employed in the initial project can, as per current review be rolled out in more than a dozen, potentially more jurisdictions of the current EU-27. Variations of the structure used by HanseCoin render it sufficiently resilient to over time include more hard assets including factory machinery and equipment as well as segments such as rolling stock. However, we start with something small, solid and compact in real estate development where platform and participants in its onboarded project(s) can capitalise on sufficient potential to reap liquidity premiums and reduce transaction cost through tokenisation. Q: Can I draw a similarity to Coin Metro’s (CM's) ICO express here: Both HanseCoin and ICO Express to onboard external projects? Now you guys lead the real estate (RE) development yourself, but maybe the next project is developed by an external team but uses your platform for tokenization? A: I would say that we will work closely with CM's on their ICO Express, as there is no need to reinvent the wheel and we believe that they are in the process of setting up an excellent platform. Technically, I would consider us the Asset Financing Module associated with/connected to their platform. Given our understanding of RE in specific and asset financing in general the intention is to process a series of projects and develop the capacity of HanseCoin to assess, validate, wherever needed structure and adapt/improve underlying projects with strong project financing parties (project managers, engineers, architects, banks, brokers, supervisors, construction companies) etc. - we facilitate the RE development or third party projects employing HanseCoin as the project tokenisation platform. In other asset finance segments, such as factory and machinery, the industries we can work with are widely varied, as Chris just stated, this can be biotech as well as manufacturing, the key is the underlying asset. For retail solutions the logistics solutions connecting e-commerce and highstreet require substantial investments in hardware, data processing capacity and software. Whilst the line there blurs between pure hard assets and its steering/process technology, the physically distributed logistics aspect is intriguing and we believe we can in the future benefit from tokenisation. Q: I'm interested in finding out more re contributing to the private sale (amount of funds being raised, minimum contribution size, etc). A: Pursuant to ongoing discussions with a variety of interested parties including family offices across Germany, Austria and Scandinavia committing to certain amounts we have created a sliding incentive scale for those entering the Private Sale: During the current phase up till the hard floor for the platform build-out we offer small, yet attractive discounts to early bird participants, whereas larger ticket sizes obtain higher discounts. Parties committing participations of EUR 50,000k receive a discount (as a token amount bonus) of 2.25%, EUR 100,000 equates 2.5% discount/bonus, EUR 200,000 results in 3% discount/bonus and tickets of EUR 500 k and above receive a 4% discount/ bonus. For those followers here on Telegram the ticket sizes can be amended but discounts/bonus tokens of 1% kick in starting at EUR 10,000 (equivalent in ETH). For the sake of good order, recently we have done one brief flash sale to reward our hardcore followers, tech contributors and early birds at a significant one time only 5% discount/bonus. We do not envisage it to be repeated. As the token vesting period ends after latest 9 months and a tradable token is then issued even the lowest rung of discounts is slightly better than many peer products and approaches, certainly better than parking it in money market products. For small to medium size participants, generally, parking liquidity in attractive vehicles with underlying real estate and hard assets in Europe is not such a bad idea at this time. The tokens are available at short notice. If this is of interest to you please advise which volumes in the above brackets you wish to pursue and we shall open the Private Sale to you. Q: How does HanseCoin compare to other companies attempting to issue asset backed tokens? Aren’t such tokens securities? A: Hansecoin has a unique approach in that it has achieved regulatory compliance even with token issuance. Have a look at the Whitepaper. Normally, tokens of this nature will be regulated as securities. So for HanseCoin to stay compliant, we have a regulatorily compliant token (VPAT) for the platform which is already asset backed. It is non-negotiable, non-transferrable, and non-tradeable thus is not a security token. HanseCoin will later issue tokenized securities known as PPTs upon being regulated as an investment firm in lock-step with what EU / Estonian regulators decide. As noted, Hansecoin is live already. Its original token, the VPAT, is already asset backed and called an ABT. Due to substantial demand from private equity we are in a private sale at the moment. If and when suitable a public sale may be announced. So, no more weeks of waiting as with so many others. If you are interested to enter into the private sale please register and let us know. [my note: Smartlands has launched their mastercoin which should be a security since it is tradeable but not issuing tokenized securities as of yet.] Q: How can HanseCoin claim to have first mover advantage compared to, say, Smartlands, when HanseCoin hasn't even finished its capital raise or developed its platform? If my understanding is correct, Smartlands completed their token sale last year and have already developed their core platform Also, I'm finding the whitepaper diifficult to digest. It’s very wordy. I'm sure the key points could be presented more succinctly. A: For the sake of good order, Smartlands has placed its token but is not asset backed from the begininng. By the way, it has lost -24.8% from its peak 4 days ago, though through its excellent PR, I believe it is the only coin that has outperformed bitcoin this year, which attests to the power of the asset backed token. That said, Smartlands does not have any live project. HanseCoin has not made such claims but is the first regulated asset backed token in that it has the underlying asset pledged to it in proportion to the funds raised, and one live project plus three which its shareholders have either secured or control over. The issuance of the HanseCoin PPT token is solely deferred due to and dependent on the current regulation. In order to become independent from that, HanseCoin will file to become a regulated investment adviser in December so that by February it can issue securities and thus tokenised securities no matter what ambiguity may exist then for other token approaches. In the meantime, those who are holding HanseCoin VPAT tokens whose value is not pegged to any cryptocurrency but to hard assets sidestepped the recent huge drop seen in bitcoin and most all other cryptocurrencies. The average cryptocurrency has now lost over 90% of its value in 2018. Meanwhile, the value of the VPAT is pegged to the euro and the underlying asset. Besides blockchain related software improvements, the current platform development is predominantly geared to the expansion into 17 EU jurisdictions and related systems compatibility, database design, and applicable interfaces, compliance process designs, linkage with exchanges, as well as research and development into future tokenisation components. As to the whitepaper, based on requirements of the EFSA (the Estonian regulator), PWC Legal as our counsel, auditors, and tax advisers, we have to reflect the matter comprehensively. The summary pages tend to be important whilst the flow charts are there to assist with visuals. Whilst you may consider it excessive, we have condensed both the tokenisation and the use case significantly. Some of our team have longstanding careers in investment banking, corporate audit, and structured finance. Any offering circular in asset backed bonds, a closed end fund prospectus or an euqity placement memorandum would run into hundreds of pages and a 8x multiple word count. Our target was to simplify the sourcing, issuance and distribution of asset financing with benefits to participants and developers alike whilst substantially reducing transaction cost to enable and accelerate that. That is the key proposition of blockchain and only our platform is live and doing that. Having a listed token today is secondary. Here are some bullet points which focus on the key points to our platform: · First-mover Advantage - HanseCoin is the world's first regulated blockchain platform to tokenise hard assets; · Technology - Solid Blockchain technology applied properly greatly lowers transaction costs across the board from project inception to completion thus participants reap high yields; · Demand - Leading developers and sponsors across Europe wish to onboard their projects onto our platform; · Regulatory Compliant - Regulatory passporting capacity into the majority of EU markets and capacity to go beyond; · Client Access to Higher Yield - Development projects bring high yields to people who are not classic development investors at a time of historically low interest rates; · Risk Mitigation - Excellent diversification opportunity to peg capital to the value of the underlying hard assets. · Ongoing Transaction & Success Fee Generation - The platform generates ongoing transaction fees per project. The more projects and more participants, the higher the profits which are shared between Participants and the platform. But the way, together with CoinMetro (www.coinmetro.com) and its CEO Kevin Murcko we will at Slush to present their exchange and our platform as the first solid Asset Backed Token for hard assets to listed on CoinMetro. Q: How do projects such as https://www.meridio.co compete with HanseCoin? A: Meridio.co offers fractional ownership which, whilst fine as a concept, does not lend itself to fit the tokenised securities approach EU regulators are starting to take (they have MIFID, AIFM, etc. to work with) and the specific segment of project/asset financing where development capital is actually required, the small and mid cap segment in Europe and beyond (we call it 'the gap' of EUR 1.5 to EUR 10 m of equity participations in projects) is not addressed. HanseCoin already owns shovel ready land and its platform is regulated. Q: A few questions: 1a. Which tokens do private sale participants receive for their contribution? VPAT, PPT or both? 2a. Are VPAT tokens temporary in nature, having no further use once they have been swapped or burned following the completion of the platform development? 3a. What is the main potential benefit to a participant in acquiring VPAT tokens? 4a. Is PPT the participation token for the first project only or for all future projects supported by the platform? (Or something in between?) 5a. What is the HanseCoin master token? A: 1a. The private sale participants receive VPATs. 2a. The VPAT is the asset backed token which starts the platform and provides exclusive access to (a) the PPTs prior to them becoming tradable as well as (b) the VBTs. All VPATs are burned, swapped, or extended at the end of the vesting period. 3a. The VPAT provides exclusive access to future tokens including the tradeable PPT, VBTs for bonuses, and potential further privileges which the platform may grant to its early sponsors and participants. The VPAT is also the only path to secure discounted PPT token access. 4a. As of today, the PPT covers the initial project use case. Each additional project will see an appropriate amount of PPTs issued to reflect the initial capital requirement of the underlying asset development project at its inception. During the platform development and regulation phase, additional VPATs will be issued in regard to further projects in the pipeline. The first PPT will be known as HanseCoin 8. Each additional project will countdown from 8 thus the second project will be known as HanseCoin 7, and so forth. Upon the first issuance and listing of a PPT, thus subject to further regulation of tokenised securities, it is envisaged to have VPATs only issued for each private sale phase. 5a. A master coin which represents not just one specific project but the value of HanseCoin as a whole company will be issued at some point when project tokens have gained critical mass in terms of projects, countries/markets covered and distribution. It seems likely that the countdown will fit well with this. The valuation will be dictated by the ongoing projects, projects to be on-boarded, and any white-labelling on the HanseCoin platform. We envisage that all original VPAT holders should have privileged access to an attractive bonus for the master coin which shall be accrued through VBTs during the PPT issuance period. These specific VBTs would vest until the issuance of the master coin. This is an exclusive benefit to the initial VPAT participants. Q: So are VPAT and PPT *categories* of token rather that the actual tokens themselves? In other words, HanseCoin 8 is *a* PPT not *the* PPT? Also, if private sale participants receive VPATs, then why does hansecoin.coinmetro.com offer "HANS" tokens, which Chris tells me refers to "HanseCoin 8" tokens? Shouldn't coinmetro be offering VPAT tokens at this stage, not PPT tokens? A: VPAT is a virtual token. PPT will be a compliant tokenized security we issue sometime next year, potentially ahead of the projected 9 month vesting period of the VPAT. The PPT will be compliant, in line with regulations as they are formed. HANS is the ticker for the VPAT. Only the first phase VPAT currently exists that represents the first use case. HanseCoin 8 is the first use case. HanseCoin 7 will be the second use case, ticking down by one each time a new project is launched. By the way, there is no such thing as a security token even though STO stands for security token offering. But then, many of the terms used in the cryptospace have been bastardized such as the term 'whitepaper'. Q: I presume the VPAT for the second project will have a different ticker? What is the ticker for the first PPT (HanseCoin 8)? A: A ticker will be assigned then by the listing exchange and the symbol is not decided, yet, although it seems reasonable to consider a variation of HANS (which is the ticker for the first VPAT) plus an indicator (technically, the ticker can remain as is whilst the sub-category is defined as an index).
Bitcoin ATM Implied Volatility reaching historical reversal levels. Source: Skew. With the limelight firmly placed on BTC, the market might not have to wait long before BTC starts pulling the strings again. The market narrative is supported by the fact that BTC’s 1-month ATM Implied Volatility was at 49%. For Bitcoin, the IV going below 50% has always been a sign of a reversal in the market ... This simple script collects data from FTX:BVOLUSD to plot BTC’s implied volatility as a standalone indicator instead of a chart. Implied volatility is used to gauge future volatility and often used in options trading. These are measures of historical volatility based on past Bitcoin and Litecoin prices. Which sources are used? Bitpremier uses the CoinDesk API for querying historical Bitcoin data used in the volatility calculation. Furthermore, it uses the BitStamp API for querying the opening price of both Bitcoin and Litecoin. Both sources may change in the future. Austin Tuwiner Administrator. Austin is ... Interestingly, the realized volatility spread for 1 month ATM for ETH-BTC fell sharply; more precisely it dropped to 15 percent from 35 percent just a day earlier, this could be indicative of the fact that Ethereum was in much lower volatile state than Bitcoin because the market participants expect that halving will lead to some sort of price movement in terms of Bitcoin. Bitcoin 30-day historical volatility has also dropped by 55% in the past month which is one of the lowest in recent months. Furthermore, the 30 days implied volatility of Bitcoin, an index used by investors to determine how volatile the price of the asset would be for the next month has declined to less than 45% which is a two-year low for the leading coin.
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