3 Important Factors Driving the Price of Bitcoin ...

The Fed's Losing Battle with Technological Deflation

PART 1/4 - FREE MARKET?
First off, let's set the scene.
The stock market is telling you nothing about the real economy anymore.
Economic fundamentals have never mattered as little for the stock market as has been the case during this 11-year bull market.
The correlation between gross-domestic-product growth and the direction of the S&P 500 Index has only been 7% in this cycle - historically it has been 30% to 70%.
Why?
Well, it is the Central Banks, led by the Fed, who printed their way out of the Recession in '08.
In doing so, they have papered over the cracks, and we have seen the longest economic expansion in US history.
However, this is not a particularly meritocratic process: money creation itself increases inequality via the Cantillon Effect, as money printing leads to asset price inflation, which disproportionately benefits the rich and hurts the poor.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker told the New York Times in 2018:
“The central issue is we’re developing into a plutocracy. We’ve got an enormous number of enormously rich people that have convinced themselves that they’re rich because they’re smart and constructive."
The reality of course is that this is largely not the case - it is because the game is rigged in their favour.
Now, it is important to emphasise the fact that the path we have taken has resulted in the highest living standards we have seen in human history.
However, the issue, particularly since the US completely abandoned the gold standard in 1971, is that debt has exploded to obscene levels.
We are not operating in a free market if it takes $185 trillion of debt over the last 20 years to create 'growth'.
In fact, the global debt to GDP ratio hit an all-time high of 322% in the third quarter of 2019.
Inflation means that your dollar loses value and thus your purchasing power goes down.
Deflation means that the value of your dollar goes up and your purchasing power goes up.
That's a good thing right? You get more goods and services for less.
Well, no.
If you have deflation, debt explodes in real terms and you can never pay it back.
As the economy is based on debt, if you allow deflation, then you have to reset the debt.
This is why central banks fear deflation so much.
However, the major force driving the human race is technological progress - and this stops for no mortal...
PART 2/4 - TECHNOLOGICAL DEFLATION:
The increased abundance created by technology will result in massive job losses.
Throughout history, doom porn enthusiasts have screamed that the machines are coming for jobs. This is not a new phenomenon.
All technological revolutions are deflationary - since they create "supply side shocks", meaning that they allow for more intensive use of resources and thus higher production. With more goods being produced, all other things being equal, the price of those goods will fall.
In the last 20 years or so, software has disrupted and replaced many established goods and services.
It is in the next 20 years that another disruptive technology is set to take the stage: AI
According to Steve Schwarzman, the co-founder and CEO of The Blackstone Group who has a net worth of $17.6BN:
"This is going to touch everyone's life....you're not going to be able to get away from this technology"
Moreover, this virus will only accelerate this trend towards tech. Zoom is a fantastic example of exactly this.
Old legacy economic systems were not built for this tech deflation, and the thing about exponential growth is that we humans do not intuitively understand it.
As an example, if you folded a piece of paper 51 times, of course you can only fold it seven times, but if you could fold it 51 times, it would reach the Sun!
PART 3/4 - IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIETY:
The question is: how does this play out?
In the long term, it is the fundamental structure of the economic system that has a significant impact on people's lives, not who is President for 4 to 8 years.
In reality, politicians have limited power and are effectively all puppets. We have seen what happens when a President doesn't stay in their lane...
One could argue that the two main mechanisms of control are:
  1. Divide and Conquer and
  2. Order from Chaos
As we have seen many times in the past, herd psychology is worryingly easy to manipulate...
Speaking of the censorship, in his book Antifragile, Nassim Taleb discusses the anti fragility of information.
Information feeds more on attempts to harm it than it does on efforts to promote it.
A fantastic example of this process is what has happened with London Real: they were banned on LinkedIn and David Icke's interview was censored. Now, regardless of what you think of this particular channel or your thoughts on David Icke and the theories provided, censoring information in this way actually spreads it more virally.
It's fascinating to observe how many views the videos regarding the bans and censorship have relative to the others. And the impact this has had on subscribers.
It is always easier to blame a bigger enemy (or create a new one) rather than to admit it's a structural problem.
Therefore, you avoid short term pain...whatever the cost.
The real question is if and when this situation will lead to social unrest...
PART 4/4 - INTELLECTUAL CAPITALISM:
The depth and width of jobs impacted by AI will continue to increase in the future.
Now this will not necessarily happen straight away.
However, our transition from commodity capitalism to intellectual capitalism is inevitable and the people and nations who fight against this trend will be on the wrong side of history.
From a practical investment perspective, and disclaimer this is not investment advice, network effects are a crucial aspect to consider moving forwards.
Essentially, this means that the value of the network increases with each additional user - all of the tech monopolies have exhibited this property.
An asset which could in time demonstrate very strong network effects is Bitcoin.
Looking at the market cap relative to other asset classes, Bitcoin provides an asymmetric investment opportunity.
Only time will tell...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nFbKzt-uwE
submitted by financeoptimum to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Do Autonomous Trucks dream of C.W. McCall? Part 9- a new home

Tran was a shitty gambler, Chi mused. He played poker like he was sure the next hand would save him. It didn’t. He overpromised and underpaid. Chi planned on kicking his ass to send a message, but Tran ran that line of shit about millions in bitcoin. Against his better judgment, Chi settled Tran’s debts with every other loan-shark in town and fronted another stack of cash.
And all that ended with Tran gambling that away, talking a load of shit and ending up in this dumpster with a trash-bag tied around his neck.
Chi looked at Tran’s phone and wondered if the money was ever real. Considering it might point back at him, he smashed it against the corner of the dumpster a few times before dropping it and walking back to his car. He had some debts to pay.
Falstaff looked at the paper maps in the motel’s office. He followed the Interstate southeast to the desert and what used to be the California- Arizona border. He looked for places he hadn’t heard of being associated with edgy festivals. Even better, motels with chain-sounding names. That’s the place nobody’d look for him.
He packed his car, coaxed Hank back in the carrier and got in his car. Before he got going, he booted his laptop and put the memory card back in. Evidence wasn’t a problem any more, it was getting found.
He copied the contents to his laptop and poked around. Ten minutes later, he had set up a password cracker against the accounts, hoping that Tran would choose something easier to remember and therefore guessable.
He plugged the laptop’s power supply into the car’s cigarette lighter, then put the laptop on a bag on the back seat.
East he went.
Geoff had the night shift on another Internet giant’s campus. This meant he drove a golf cart around once or twice, then parked himself in the camera room and tried not to sleep. Sleeping would cut his hourly wage and get him kicked back to dangerous, dirty jobs like protecting rail yards from motivated thieves.
He used to pick a skill and research it. He learned to get basic vocabulary in Spanish, Mandarin, Fujianese and was trying Tagalog. He could carry a conversation as long as it revolved around simple topics, like where the bathroom, parking lot and reception desk were, or that he wanted to purchase something.
Tonight he picked at that truck thing again. He used a map application to virtually drive between Phoenix and San Diego. After a few hours, he found the spot on the Interstate that looked like the right landscape from the cameras on the pinball machine. He looked at the street view and the camera view over the older man’s shoulder.
Motherfucker. Spot dab in the withdrawn zone.
Who travels to the middle of nowhere to steal from a truck and only take some stuff?
Couldn’t be locals. Locals would strip the truck bare.
He watched the video again. Looks like they took plain grocery shipping boxes.
Inside job? And steal boxes of fresh pasta and imported wine?
He scrolled back and took a few screengrabs. When he worked security at the shiny new headquarters, they had some wild surveillance tools. Real time tracking using AI image enhancement and they taught you how to use it.
Geoff got pretty good at it. He looked over at his phone and opened the scheduling application for his employer. He underbid a few other people and picked up the next shift.
Which got him reinstated access to the HQ’s slick surveillance system. He uploaded the images and asked it to clean it up. He expected this to take a bit of time, so he cleaned up and got ready for his shift.
And his phone dinged. A match.
That he didn’t ask for. Ten seconds later, he saw a corporate ID card. With that bored look of middle aged techie.
Falstaff.
Huh. Dumb name. Looked familiar, but so did every other techie from where he stood. Probably had more money in options than he’d ever earn.
As he drove to work, he wondered why a techie would be robbing trucks in the middle of nowhere instead of getting rich or dying fat here.
He parked, took the shuttle and made it a few minutes early for shift change. He expected a slow night.
Five minutes into the shift, he was sipping good coffee and watching the camera feeds when someone asked for him by name at the desk.
He looked up and saw one of the muscular internal security people smiling at him. Close cropped hair, clear coiled earpiece and the look of someone who worked out at an actual gym instead of lifting five gallon buckets filled with water in a rest stop parking lot. Looked like internal security, maybe even VIP protection.
Guy probably had pretty good benefits. Geoff would love to get a job like that.
Geoff pushed his coffee to the side and stood up to greet the guy asking about him.
Enzokuhle gave Geoff a broad smile and introduced himself as Enzo. The two men were pleasant with one another, but Geoff seemed wary. Enzo didn’t know why he was there either. He was scheduled to do driving and personal protection for a senior exec working in his office, but he got tasked with asking a contract security guard some questions about something very hush-hush.
Whatever. He was good with people. Perhaps he’d learn something.
“Geoff, may we speak outside? This is a sensitive matter, requiring some discretion”
Geoff motioned to his puzzled co-worker by holding up his hand, splaying his fingers and mouthing the word “Five”. The two men walked through the stark but stylish lobby onto a manicured park-like field.
“So, what do you want from me? Not too often we get you guys involved”
“An hour ago, you performed a lookup for a company employee. Have you been in contact with that employee?”
“No. I had an image I wanted processed”
There was an uncomfortable silence as the walked. Geoff realized that Enzo was listening to his ear-piece. Enzo was nodding as he listened.
“I see. So you haven’t seen this person outside the picture you uploaded”
“No, but I have an idea where he might be”
Enzokuhle put his hand up. He wanted to end this transaction as quickly as possible.
“Thank you. Please do not speak of this to anybody else. Your discretion is most important here. Return to your post and we will contact you if we need more from you”. He pointed Geoff back to the lobby without making eye contact.
Galina Ivanova spent a few more minutes talking to Enzo, then thanked him. This was a false lead. AI must be glitchy. No chance that the developer who stole almost a billion dollars was unloading trucks instead of moving that big pile of money somewhere.
Any additional time logged to this goose chase would make her metrics worse. She took off her headset and tried to go back go sleep.
Geoff sat back in his chair. He remembered a video of a scuba diver diving under a moving container ship, looking up at the moving propeller and how close they almost came to a gruesome death.
Why was that guy important enough to throw an alert to internal security?
He looked at his phone and the email with Falstaff’s ID photo. He couldn’t do any lookups to see the last time he was in any of the buildings, since that fed into whatever alerts that brought Internal Security down on his head.
But he remembered something. Employee parking wasn’t owned by Corporate. It was a separate company, which required him to remind annoyed techies when their photo ID wouldn’t trip the gate when some absent-minded developer forgot their garage access card.
Last time this Falstaff guy used the garage was almost two months ago. Such a stereotype. Silver Porsche. Now he knew why the guy looked familiar. He left the day that big brouhaha happened. Rumors flew about the security and custodial staff- some developers stole the next phone design or a treasure trove of celebrity nude photos or something else of value to these people. Anybody too vocal with their opinions got fired and walked out, which Geoff wanted to avoid.
Whatever it was, it was valuable and embarrassing. Made sense to go hide in the desert.
And he had an idea where Falstaff was. Maybe, if he brought him back, there’d be a big enough reward to let him to leave the Valley and go back to Ohio. Pay off debts and raise his family.
It wasn’t like he was making any headway here anyway. He was going on a road trip.
Falstaff was driving slower now. He needed better fuel economy and to take the time to scout out his next stop. Some towns had plain dried up and others still too connected. The last place looked promising. The gas station was a weatherbeaten Sinclair, with a repainted dinosaur. They only took cash. The chain restaurant was burned out and there was a motel “a few miles up”.
Hank was sleeping, but Falstaff’s laptop dinged with the results of his attempt to crack Tran’s big blob of data.
He had passwords for the handful of accounts Tran had dumped on that chip. They weren’t for the financial application he and Tran were working on. Instead, they were for the store’s production environment. He didn’t have a billion dollars in untraceable currency, but he could send almost any consumer good to anybody on the planet and clean up afterwards.
He had some investigating to do, and he preferred a cheap motel to do it from rather than his car.
He rented a room for a few days from a surprised old man and tried to ignore the curious stares from a few permanent residents of the motel.
At least Hank enjoyed exploring the room and this motel would not get the camera friendly festival crowd.
submitted by lawtechie to talesoflawtechie [link] [comments]

MicroStrategy's $425M BTC investment thesis - "buy something that can either get cut in half or 10x"

Amidst all of the DeFi volatility, drama and excitement, Bitcoin has started to seem rather boring. Its price is more or less flat to where it was a year ago and you can’t even farm Yams with it.
While some have started to view Bitcoin as a useless digital rock, someone did find an interesting use case for it. This week, more details surfaced around how MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor convinced the board of a publicly traded company to allocate nearly all of the company’s $500M cash position to bitcoin.
Michael Saylor
Saylor graduated from MIT in 1987 and founded Microstrategy at the age of 24. MicroStrategy is a “Business Intelligence” company, which basically creates software that allows companies to use their own data to drive decision making.
Interesting side note - Saylor, like any good 90’s internet entrepreneur, also bought a bunch of internet domains and was the guy who ultimately sold Voice.com to Block.One (EOS) for $30M.
MicroStrategy’s’ $500M Problem
To most people, having $500 million in cash doesn’t sound like a problem. Up until recently, it wasn’t for large corporations either. There was a time before the ‘08 financial crisis when the risk free rate of return on cash was 5% a year. This means a company could sit on $500M, earn $25M a year for doing nothing, and have cash on hand for a rainy day.
Fast forward to today, when the risk free rate of return has plummeted to 0.69% due to loose fiscal policies (money printer go BRRRR) alongside inflating asset prices, and it’s a different story. In Saylor’s own words, “we just had the awful realization that we were sitting on top of a $500 million ice cube that’s melting.”
Cash is Trash
So what’s a corporation to do with a $500M melting ice cube? It turns out it’s not that easy to unload half a billion dollars in a short amount of time.
You could buy back half a billion of your own company’s shares. For a company like MSTR, Saylor estimated that would take 4 years. Time MiscroStrategy didn’t have.
You could buy real estate. However, commercial real estate prices have collapsed post COVID while property owners still believe their assets are worth what they were in January. In other words, good luck getting a fair market price.
You could buy blue chip equities. Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook. However, your risk is symmetric. They can each fall 50% just as easily as they can go up 50%.
That left Saylor with silver, gold, Bitcoin, and other alternative assets. A move the company announced it was exploring on a July earnings call.
A Bold Purchase
Saylor ultimately wanted something that could either get cut in half, or go up by a factor of 10. An investment akin to what buying Amazon or Apple in 2012 was. In other words, asymmetric risk.
As a student of technological history, Saylor observed that the winning strategy over the last ten years has been to find some kind of “digitally dominant network” that dematerializes something fundamental to society. Apple dematerialized mobile communications. Amazon dematerialized commerce. Google dematerialized the process of gathering information.
Something Saylor noted was common to all recent 10X opportunities is buying when they’ve achieved $100B+ marketcaps and are ten times the size of their next biggest competitor. As Bitcoin is the dominant digital network dematerializing money that’s 10x the size of any cryptocurrency competing to be a store-of-value (not counting ETH here), it fit the bill.
Making the purchase
With the thesis in place, the next thing Saylor had to do was get everyone at MicroStrategy to sign-off on the unorthodox decision. To do this, he simply made everyone go down the same Bitcoin rabbithole that most people in the industry have gone down.
He made everyone at the company watch Andreas Antonopoulous videos, read The Bitcoin Standard, watch Eric Vorhees debate Peter Schiff and listen to Pomp and NLW podcasts. With no strong detractors, MicroStrategy turned to execution. They first put $250M to work purchasing 21,454 BTC in August and another $175M (16,796 BTC) in September for a total $425M and 38,250 BTC.
What’s fascinating is that MicroStrategy was able to open such a large position without really moving the market or anyone even taking notice. This speaks to just how liquid of an asset BTC has become. To acquire the September tranche of BTC, Saylor disclosed that they traded continuously for 74 hours, executing 88,617 trades of .19 BTC every 3 seconds.
One for the history books
Skeptics noted that shares of MSTR have been on the downtrend since 2013, as the real reason behind MicroStrategy’s bold move. Regardless, the move has interesting implications for the company’s shareholders. As TBI observed, MicroStrategy is now both a software company and with ⅓ of its marketcap in Bitcoin, a pseudo Bitcoin ETF. At the time of writing, MSTR is up 20% on the week.
Only time will tell if history looks back on this move as a brilliant strategic decision or a massive corporate blunder. In the short term, it scores a massive win for Bitcoin’s digital gold investment thesis.
Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones is in. A publicly traded corporation has made Bitcoin it’s primary treasury asset. As CFOs and fund managers around the world undoubtedly take notice, one has to wonder, who’s next?
PS - I based a lot of this article on Pomp’s interview with Michael Saylor, which I recommend giving a listen.
Original article
Source
submitted by CryptigoVespucci to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

The Fed's Losing Battle with Technological Deflation

PART 1/4 - FREE MARKET?
First off, let's set the scene.
The stock market is telling you nothing about the real economy anymore.
Economic fundamentals have never mattered as little for the stock market as has been the case during this 11-year bull market.
The correlation between gross-domestic-product growth and the direction of the S&P 500 Index has only been 7% in this cycle - historically it has been 30% to 70%.
Why?
Well, it is the Central Banks, led by the Fed, who printed their way out of the Recession in '08.
In doing so, they have papered over the cracks, and we have seen the longest economic expansion in US history.
However, this is not a particularly meritocratic process: money creation itself increases inequality via the Cantillon Effect, as money printing leads to asset price inflation, which disproportionately benefits the rich and hurts the poor.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker told the New York Times in 2018:
“The central issue is we’re developing into a plutocracy. We’ve got an enormous number of enormously rich people that have convinced themselves that they’re rich because they’re smart and constructive."
The reality of course is that this is largely not the case - it is because the game is rigged in their favour.
Now, it is important to emphasise the fact that the path we have taken has resulted in the highest living standards we have seen in human history.
However, the issue, particularly since the US completely abandoned the gold standard in 1971, is that debt has exploded to obscene levels.
We are not operating in a free market if it takes $185 trillion of debt over the last 20 years to create 'growth'.
In fact, the global debt to GDP ratio hit an all-time high of 322% in the third quarter of 2019.
Inflation means that your dollar loses value and thus your purchasing power goes down.
Deflation means that the value of your dollar goes up and your purchasing power goes up.
That's a good thing right? You get more goods and services for less.
Well, no.
If you have deflation, debt explodes in real terms and you can never pay it back.
As the economy is based on debt, if you allow deflation, then you have to reset the debt.
This is why central banks fear deflation so much.
However, the major force driving the human race is technological progress - and this stops for no mortal...
PART 2/4 - TECHNOLOGICAL DEFLATION:
The increased abundance created by technology will result in massive job losses.
Throughout history, doom porn enthusiasts have screamed that the machines are coming for jobs. This is not a new phenomenon.
All technological revolutions are deflationary - since they create "supply side shocks", meaning that they allow for more intensive use of resources and thus higher production. With more goods being produced, all other things being equal, the price of those goods will fall.
In the last 20 years or so, software has disrupted and replaced many established goods and services.
It is in the next 20 years that another disruptive technology is set to take the stage: AI
According to Steve Schwarzman, the co-founder and CEO of The Blackstone Group who has a net worth of $17.6BN:
"This is going to touch everyone's life....you're not going to be able to get away from this technology"
Moreover, this virus will only accelerate this trend towards tech. Zoom is a fantastic example of exactly this.
Old legacy economic systems were not built for this tech deflation, and the thing about exponential growth is that we humans do not intuitively understand it.
As an example, if you folded a piece of paper 51 times, of course you can only fold it seven times, but if you could fold it 51 times, it would reach the Sun!
PART 3/4 - IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIETY:
The question is: how does this play out?
In the long term, it is the fundamental structure of the economic system that has a significant impact on people's lives, not who is President for 4 to 8 years.
In reality, politicians have limited power and are effectively all puppets. We have seen what happens when a President doesn't stay in their lane...
One could argue that the two main mechanisms of control are:
  1. Divide and Conquer and
  2. Order from Chaos
As we have seen many times in the past, herd psychology is worryingly easy to manipulate...
Speaking of the censorship, in his book Antifragile, Nassim Taleb discusses the anti fragility of information.
Information feeds more on attempts to harm it than it does on efforts to promote it.
A fantastic example of this process is what has happened with London Real: they were banned on LinkedIn and David Icke's interview was censored. Now, regardless of what you think of this particular channel or your thoughts on David Icke and the theories provided, censoring information in this way actually spreads it more virally.
It's fascinating to observe how many views the videos regarding the bans and censorship have relative to the others. And the impact this has had on subscribers.
It is always easier to blame a bigger enemy (or create a new one) rather than to admit it's a structural problem.
Therefore, you avoid short term pain...whatever the cost.
The real question is if and when this situation will lead to social unrest...
PART 4/4 - INTELLECTUAL CAPITALISM:
The depth and width of jobs impacted by AI will continue to increase in the future.
Now this will not necessarily happen straight away.
However, our transition from commodity capitalism to intellectual capitalism is inevitable and the people and nations who fight against this trend will be on the wrong side of history.
From a practical investment perspective, and disclaimer this is not investment advice, network effects are a crucial aspect to consider moving forwards.
Essentially, this means that the value of the network increases with each additional user - all of the tech monopolies have exhibited this property.
An asset which could in time demonstrate very strong network effects is Bitcoin.
Looking at the market cap relative to other asset classes, Bitcoin provides an asymmetric investment opportunity.
Only time will tell...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nFbKzt-uwE
submitted by financeoptimum to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

The Fed's Losing Battle with Technological Deflation

PART 1/4 - FREE MARKET?
First off, let's set the scene.
The stock market is telling you nothing about the real economy anymore.
Economic fundamentals have never mattered as little for the stock market as has been the case during this 11-year bull market.
The correlation between gross-domestic-product growth and the direction of the S&P 500 Index has only been 7% in this cycle - historically it has been 30% to 70%.
Why?
Well, it is the Central Banks, led by the Fed, who printed their way out of the Recession in '08.
In doing so, they have papered over the cracks, and we have seen the longest economic expansion in US history.
However, this is not a particularly meritocratic process: money creation itself increases inequality via the Cantillon Effect, as money printing leads to asset price inflation, which disproportionately benefits the rich and hurts the poor.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker told the New York Times in 2018:
“The central issue is we’re developing into a plutocracy. We’ve got an enormous number of enormously rich people that have convinced themselves that they’re rich because they’re smart and constructive."
The reality of course is that this is largely not the case - it is because the game is rigged in their favour.
Now, it is important to emphasise the fact that the path we have taken has resulted in the highest living standards we have seen in human history.
However, the issue, particularly since the US completely abandoned the gold standard in 1971, is that debt has exploded to obscene levels.
We are not operating in a free market if it takes $185 trillion of debt over the last 20 years to create 'growth'.
In fact, the global debt to GDP ratio hit an all-time high of 322% in the third quarter of 2019.
Inflation means that your dollar loses value and thus your purchasing power goes down.
Deflation means that the value of your dollar goes up and your purchasing power goes up.
That's a good thing right? You get more goods and services for less.
Well, no.
If you have deflation, debt explodes in real terms and you can never pay it back.
As the economy is based on debt, if you allow deflation, then you have to reset the debt.
This is why central banks fear deflation so much.
However, the major force driving the human race is technological progress - and this stops for no mortal...
PART 2/4 - TECHNOLOGICAL DEFLATION:
The increased abundance created by technology will result in massive job losses.
Throughout history, doom porn enthusiasts have screamed that the machines are coming for jobs. This is not a new phenomenon.
All technological revolutions are deflationary - since they create "supply side shocks", meaning that they allow for more intensive use of resources and thus higher production. With more goods being produced, all other things being equal, the price of those goods will fall.
In the last 20 years or so, software has disrupted and replaced many established goods and services.
It is in the next 20 years that another disruptive technology is set to take the stage: AI
According to Steve Schwarzman, the co-founder and CEO of The Blackstone Group who has a net worth of $17.6BN:
"This is going to touch everyone's life....you're not going to be able to get away from this technology"
Moreover, this virus will only accelerate this trend towards tech. Zoom is a fantastic example of exactly this.
Old legacy economic systems were not built for this tech deflation, and the thing about exponential growth is that we humans do not intuitively understand it.
As an example, if you folded a piece of paper 51 times, of course you can only fold it seven times, but if you could fold it 51 times, it would reach the Sun!
PART 3/4 - IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIETY:
The question is: how does this play out?
In the long term, it is the fundamental structure of the economic system that has a significant impact on people's lives, not who is President for 4 to 8 years.
In reality, politicians have limited power and are effectively all puppets. We have seen what happens when a President doesn't stay in their lane...
One could argue that the two main mechanisms of control are:
  1. Divide and Conquer and
  2. Order from Chaos
As we have seen many times in the past, herd psychology is worryingly easy to manipulate...
Speaking of the censorship, in his book Antifragile, Nassim Taleb discusses the anti fragility of information.
Information feeds more on attempts to harm it than it does on efforts to promote it.
A fantastic example of this process is what has happened with London Real: they were banned on LinkedIn and David Icke's interview was censored. Now, regardless of what you think of this particular channel or your thoughts on David Icke and the theories provided, censoring information in this way actually spreads it more virally.
It's fascinating to observe how many views the videos regarding the bans and censorship have relative to the others. And the impact this has had on subscribers.
It is always easier to blame a bigger enemy (or create a new one) rather than to admit it's a structural problem.
Therefore, you avoid short term pain...whatever the cost.
The real question is if and when this situation will lead to social unrest...
PART 4/4 - INTELLECTUAL CAPITALISM:
The depth and width of jobs impacted by AI will continue to increase in the future.
Now this will not necessarily happen straight away.
However, our transition from commodity capitalism to intellectual capitalism is inevitable and the people and nations who fight against this trend will be on the wrong side of history.
From a practical investment perspective, and disclaimer this is not investment advice, network effects are a crucial aspect to consider moving forwards.
Essentially, this means that the value of the network increases with each additional user - all of the tech monopolies have exhibited this property.
An asset which could in time demonstrate very strong network effects is Bitcoin.
Looking at the market cap relative to other asset classes, Bitcoin provides an asymmetric investment opportunity.
Only time will tell...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nFbKzt-uwE
submitted by financeoptimum to investing_discussion [link] [comments]

Wandering From the Path? | Monthly Portfolio Update - August 2020

Midway along the journey of our life I woke to find myself in a dark wood, for I had wandered off from the straight path.
Dante, The Divine Comedy: Inferno, Canto I
This is my forty-fifth 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
Total portfolio value $1 848 896 (+$48 777 or 2.7%)
Asset allocation
Presented visually, below is a high-level view of the current asset allocation of the portfolio.
[Chart]
Comments
The portfolio has increased in value for the fifth consecutive month, and is starting to approach the monthly value last reached in January.
The portfolio has grown over $48 000, or 2.7 per cent this month, reflecting the strong market recovery since late March
[Chart]
The growth in the portfolio was broadly-based across global and Australian equities, with an increase of around 3.8 per cent. Following strong previous rises, gold holdings decreased by around 2.2 per cent, while Bitcoin continued to increase in value (by 2.5 per cent).
Combined, the value of gold and Bitcoin holdings remain at a new peak, while total equity holdings are still below their late January peak to the tune of around $50 000. The fixed income holdings of the portfolio continue to fall below the target allocation.
[Chart]
The expanding value of gold and Bitcoin holdings since January last year have actually had the practical effect of driving new investments into equities, since effectively for each dollar of appreciation, for example, my target allocation to equities rises by seven dollars.
New investments this month have been in the Vanguard international shares exchange-traded fund (VGS) and the Australian shares equivalent (VAS). These have been directed to bring my actual asset allocation more closely in line with the target split between Australian and global shares set out in the portfolio plan.
As the exchange traded funds such as VGS, VAS and Betashares A200 now make up nearly 30 per cent of the overall portfolio, the quarterly payments they provide have increased in magnitude and importance. Early in the journey, third quarter distributions were essentially immaterial events.
Using the same 'median per unit' forecast approach as recently used for half yearly forecasts would suggest a third quarter payout due at the end of September of around $6000. Due to significant announced dividend reductions across this year I am, however, currently assuming this is likely to be significantly lower, and perhaps in the vicinity of $4000 or less.
Finding true north: approach to achieving a set asset allocation
One of the choices facing all investors with a preferred asset allocation is how strictly the target is applied over time, and what variability is acceptable around that. There is a significant body of financial literature around that issue.
My own approach has been to seek to target the preferred asset allocation dynamically, through buying the asset class that is furthest from its target, with new portfolio contributions, and re-investment of paid out distributions.
As part of monitoring asset allocation, I also track a measure of 'absolute' variance, to understand at a whole of portfolio level how far it is from the desired allocation.
This is the sum of the absolute value of variances (e.g. so that being 3 per cent under target in shares, and 7 per cent over target in fixed interest will equal an absolute variance of 10 per cent under this measure).
This measure is currently sitting near its highest level in around 2 years, at 15.0 per cent, as can be seen in the chart below.
[Chart]
The dominant reason for this higher level of variance from target is significant appreciation in the price of gold and Bitcoin holdings.
Mapping the sources of portfolio variances
Changes in target allocations in the past makes direct comparisons problematic, but previous peaks of the variance measure matches almost perfectly past Bitcoin price movements.
For a brief period in January 2018, gold and Bitcoin combined constituted 20 per cent, or 1 in 5 dollars of the entire portfolio. Due to the growth in other equity components of the portfolio since this level has not been subsequently exceeded.
Nonetheless, it is instructive to understand that the dollar value of combined gold and Bitcoin holdings is actually up around $40 000 from that brief peak. With the larger portfolio, this now means they together make up 17.2 per cent of the total portfolio value.
Tacking into the wind of portfolio movements?
The logical question to fall out from this situation is: to what extent should this drive an active choice to sell down gold and Bitcoin until they resume their 10 per cent target allocation?
This would currently imply selling around $130 000 of gold or Bitcoin, and generating a capital gains tax liability of potentially up to $27 000. Needless to say this is not an attractive proposition. Several other considerations lead me to not make this choice:
This approach is a departure from a mechanistic implementation of an asset allocation rule. Rather, the approach I take is pragmatic.
Tracking course drift in the portfolio components
As an example, I regularly review whether a significant fall in Bitcoin prices to its recent lows would alter my monthly decision on where to direct new investments. So far it does not, and the 'signal' continues to be to buy new equities.
Another tool I use is a monthly measurement of the absolute dollar variance of Australian and global shares, as well as fixed interest, from their ideal target allocations.
The chart below sets this out for the period since January 2019. A positive value effectively represents an over-allocation to a sector, a negative value, an under-allocation compared to target.
[Chart]
This reinforces the overall story that, as gold and Bitcoin have grown in value, there emerges a larger 'deficit' to the target. Falls in equities markets across February and March also produce visibly larger 'dollar gaps' to the target allocation.
This graph enables a tracking of the impact of portfolio gains or losses, and volatility, and a better understanding of the practical task of returning to target allocations. Runaway lines in either direction would be evidence that current approaches for returning to targets were unworkable, but so far this does not appear to be the case.
A crossing over: a credit card FI milestone
This month has seen a long awaited milestone reached.
Calculated on a past three year average, portfolio distributions now entirely meet monthly credit card expenses. This means that every credit card purchase - each shopping trip or online purchase - is effectively paid for by average portfolio distributions.
At the start of this journey, distributions were only equivalent to around 40 per cent of credit card expenses. As time has progressed distributions have increased to cover a larger and larger proportion of card expenses.
[Chart]
Most recently, with COVID-19 related restrictions having pushed card expenditure down further, the remaining gap to this 'Credit Card FI' target has closed.
Looked at on an un-smoothed basis, expenditures on the credit card have continued to be slightly lower than average across the past month. The below chart details the extent to which portfolio distributions (red) cover estimated total expenses (green), measured month to month.
[Chart]
Credit card expenditure makes up around 80 per cent of total spending, so this is not a milestone that makes paid work irrelevant or optional. Similarly, if spending rises as various travel and other restrictions ease, it is possible that this position could be temporary.
Equally, should distributions fall dramatically below long term averages in the year ahead, this could result in average distributions falling faster than average monthly card expenditure. Even without this, on a three year average basis, monthly distributions will decline as high distributions received in the second half of 2017 slowly fall out of the estimation sample.
For the moment, however, a slim margin exists. Distributions are $13 per month above average monthly credit card bills. This feels like a substantial achievement to note, as one unlooked for at the outset of the journey.
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) 84.8% 114.6%
Credit card purchases – $71 000 pa 103.5% 139.9%
Total expenses – $89 000 pa 82.9% 112.1%
Summary
What feels like a long winter is just passed. The cold days and weeks have felt repetitive and dominated by a pervasive sense of uncertainty. Yet through this time, this wandering off, the portfolio has moved quite steadily back towards it previous highs. That it is even approaching them in the course of just a few months is unexpected.
What this obscures is the different components of growth driving this outcome. The portfolio that is recovering, like the index it follows, is changing in its underlying composition. This can be seen most starkly in the high levels of variance from the target portfolio sought discussed above.
It is equally true, however, of individual components such as international equity holdings. In the case of the United States the overall index performance has been driven by share price growth in just a few information technology giants. Gold and Bitcoin have emerged from the shadows of the portfolio to an unintended leading role in portfolio growth since early 2019.
This month I have enjoyed reading the Chapter by Chapter release of the Aussie FIRE e-book coordinated by Pearler. I've also been reading posts from some newer Australian financial independence bloggers, Two to Fire, FIRE Down Under, and Chasing FIRE Down Under.
In podcasts, I have enjoyed the Mad Fientist's update on his fourth year of financial freedom, and Pat and Dave's FIRE and Chill episodes, including an excellent one on market timing fallacies.
The ASX Australian Investor Study 2020 has also been released - setting out some broader trends in recent Australian investment markets, and containing a snapshot of the holdings, approaches and views of everyday investors. This contained many intriguing findings, such as the median investment portfolio ($130 000), its most frequent components (direct Australian shares), and how frequently portfolios are usually checked - with 61 per cent of investors checking their portfolios at least once a month.
This is my own approach also. Monthly assessments allow me to gauge and reflect on how I or elements of the portfolio may have wandered off the straight way in the middle of the journey. Without this, the risk is that dark woods and bent pathways beckon.
The post, links and full charts can be seen here.
submitted by thefiexpl to fiaustralia [link] [comments]

My mother's fears drive me crazy.

When I was kicked out of the public school system at the age of 9, I ended up going to a special needs school for a few years. Being at that place, I was forced to comply. The place was an extension of my parents. My parents would have long phone conversations with my "teachers" over the weekend and a "daily contract" had to be signed each day by a parent or guardian and returned the next day. They'd always say "You start at 100!" It was because the contract had been based on a fake monetary value and each day was "a dollar." In other words, each point taken off was a cent taken off.
Every so-often, you could use the "money" that you've accumulated to buy staff's junk in a closet. That was "the student store." At the end of the school year would be the "student auction" where you could "buy" the staff's junk, like a chewed up water bottle, with your "money."
There were three statuses of students, platinum, gold, and silver. If you had 90 or above on your contract for above a certain amount of days, you would be "platinum." I don't remember the exact circumstances to dropping status. "Platinum students" would get the right to "platinum trips." One "platinum trip" was a trip to a nursing home.
If you "acted out," staff would mark it on your contract and "take points off" based on their judgment. They'd also be so random with giving out "bonus points," so you could end a day with a 103 or 104. Students had complained that the contract system had been very discouraging to them and once the staff got started negatively marking their contracts, it would make them feel awful, and it just caused them to get further negative marks.
I know, I used a lot of quotation marks. That place made no sense and it ran on suppression. You were treated like little babies and dummies there. The place was honestly a private hospital with a CEO and a board of directors. I don't feel as though we were "students," but sometimes, I just don't want to keep substituting words.
If I had "acted out," then my parents often knew before I'd get home. I wasn't at that school because I was slow. I was there because of my reactions. The place had consumed me. Why? Because I was forced to comply. I had seen the consequences of not complying. I hadn't complied and I ended up in a hospital day program for months. That was the summer I had turned 10. It was really swell.
So...just as in 2011, when my family went freakin' mad after I was doing things on my own, I had never wanted to be treated that way again. I put on an act until my body couldn't take it anymore. Each time I got out of the house, there was a chance that TV Tokyo might've been filming. That wasn't normal. I don't live in Japan.
So I escaped home and got to the dorms. I felt so ashamed, stressed, and afraid living there. I had basic freedoms that I had never been allowed to have. Also, though, I didn't have a plan to transition out of the dorms. I had gone through so much before escaping and there wasn't any transition. My mother had threatened me with the police up until the moment we left the house to leave for the dorms.
I said some crazy things over Internet messages and I ended up hospitalized and imprisoned. My mother had blamed "computers" and she's like the mainstream news personified. Nearly all my life, my mother was terrified that I was going to be "investigated by the FBI," so I'm really not surprised that it actually happened. "Computers" was not it, but my mother's mind is a product of so much strange fear mongering.
I got out of prison and a few months later, I was sentenced to three years of probation. My mother wouldn't help me get a computer. As a result, I spent $20 on a 2013 ThinkPad from eBay. The seller said there was no memory or Wi-Fi module. They had existed under the keyboard, though. Even though I bought both of those things after buying the laptop, I still had to buy an AC adapter.
Also, my mother wouldn't help me with getting my belongings back from my house, so I broke in when my parents were in Cape May. Now, my mother tells me "I could've GIVEN YOU your stuff! You didn't have to do what you did!" Sure. I asked for one container and my mother picked things out and wouldn't let me have them.
My mother consumes each step of progress that I make. When I got of prison, she limited the amount of money she gave me each week so that I couldn't buy a computer of any kind. When she saw that I was struggling with that, she "increased the amount that I get," as she had worded it. Then I bought a laptop and she ended up "being fine" with me having it.
She wouldn't let me have my belongings, but then she told me crap like I just stated. Then, I was asking for help with building a PC because my laptop really wasn't ideal. Did I mention how scared she was that I was registered for school for the fall of 2019 when the only computers that I could've used were the ones at my town's library and at my school's campus? My Sundays were so awful. I didn't have a phone or a computer and the library was closed on Sundays over the summer. I was going CRAZY each Sunday staring at the walls.
So anyway, I asked my mother for help in building a PC. She was adamantly declining. I then spent what money I had saved up to build a PC and it's fantastic! I have four monitors and an Elgato Stream Deck. The Elgato Stream Deck is amazing. If I want to take a screenshot of the current window during class, I just press a button.
Microsoft PowerToys's FancyZones helps so much. I have three of my monitors divided into three zones that I can snap windows to. Also, I'm not struggling with the small-capacity solid state drive in my ThinkPad. When I got out of prison, I had scoured the Internet trying to find all my personal files again and I was buying extra space in various cloud services and even transferring the files from, say, Google Drive to OneDrive so that I'd have the files in more than one place.
Hell, I don't know if I'd be able to record my audio for notes from my school's accessibility office with the audio built into the motherboard. My sound card has a feature called "What U Hear," though, and it lets me record whatever audio is being played on the computer.
Of course, I want to drive and my mother is NEVER going to help with that. Instead, as with everything else, if I buy a car and start driving again, she's initially going to be absolutely terrified, but she's going to consume that as well.
My setup has proved to be so helpful in ways that that 2013 laptop would have made far more difficult or even impossible. Heck, I even found myself having to attend two conference calls at the same time recently. I had moved one of the conference calls to a secondary monitor and it was really not necessary for me to participate in it or listen to anything. I lowered the volume on the unnecessary conference call using EarTrumpet from the Microsoft Store and I focused on the call that I had to focus on.
Before I got my computer, I didn't even have a home network. I wouldn't have had the Internet speed to handle things during COVID-19 while tethering with my phone. I had to do it myself. Asking my mother for help would've gone nowhere.
I have a real-time Bitcoin value monitor on my Elgato Stream Deck. It's sure rising. If I would've not spent what I had spent to have this setup, then I would've had nearly $20,000. I'm past the point of blaming myself, but I'm not past the point of feeling frustrated. My mother takes me for drives and that helps. I wish I could do that myself, though. Movement soothes my newborn baby niece and it works for me, too.
I'd prefer an Android phone, actually, due to how it can interface with Windows, but I don't have the money to buy a Google Pixel phone when I can buy an iPhone SE and it'll be supported for way longer. I bought an iPhone SE about 15 or 16 months ago and it'll be supported until next September. Also, because I don't drive, I'm playing video games. Microsoft's cloud streaming service isn't available on iPhone. Microsoft is trying to get around that by making it available as a web app. That doesn't exist yet, though.
This is just a final aside, but Outlook is permanently opened on my fourth monitor and it would work even better if it was a touch screen. I was so stressed without a computer, though, so the original "use" of having that fourth monitor was related to Microsoft Flight Simulator. I was so caught up in it and I had no control over that. I'm not going to replace that monitor right now, though.
Thank you so much for reading.
submitted by DocLuis to raisedbynarcissists [link] [comments]

Forex Trading in Kenya.

Someone posted on here a few days ago asking about forex and forex trading in Kenya, I have gone through the responses and clearly, most people don’t have an idea. It is 3am in the morning and am in a good mood so let me make this post. This will be a comprehensive and lengthy post so grab a pen and paper and sit down. We’ll be here a while.
FIRST OF ALL, who am I..?
I am a forex trader, in Nairobi, Kenya..i have been actively involved in forex since I found out about it in Feb 2016 when I somehow ended up in a wealth creation seminar (lol) in pride inn Westlands, the one close to Mpaka Rd. Luckily for me, it was not one of those AIM global meetings or I’d be on Facebook selling God knows what those guys sell. I did not take it seriously till August of the same year and I have been active ever since.
I don’t teach, mentor or sell a course or signals, I trade my own money. I am also posting from a throwaway account because I don’t want KRA on my ass.
What the fuck is forex and forex trading.
In simple plain English, forex is like the stock market but for currencies. Stock Market = Shares, forex = currencies. If you want more in-depth explanation, google is your friend.
These currencies are pegged on specific countries, united states- dollar, UK- pound, euro zone- euro, Switzerland- Swiss franc, Kenya- Kenya shilling.. you get the point. Now, there are specific events and happenings between these economies that affect the movement and values of the currencies, driving their value (purchasing power up and down). Forex trading exploits these movements to make money. When the value is going up, we buy and vice versa (down –sell)
Is forex trading illegal in Kenya? Is it a scam?
Illegal, no. scam, no. All the banks in the world do it (KCB made about 4 billion from trading forex in 2019)
Have there been scams involving forex in Kenya?
Yes. Here is one that happened recently. This one is the most infamous one yet. Best believe that this is not the end of these type of scams because the stupidity, greed and gullibility of human beings is unfathomable.
However, by the end of this post, I hope you won’t fall for such silliness.
What next how do I make it work..?
Am glad you asked. Generally, there are two ways to go about it. One, you teach yourself. This is the equivalent of stealing our dad’s car and hoping that the pedal you hit is the brake and not the accelerator. It is the route I took, it is the most rewarding and a huge ego boost when you finally make it on your own. Typically, this involves scouring the internet for hours upon hours going down rabbit holes, thinking you have made it telling all your friends how you will be a millionaire then losing all your money. Some people do not have the stomach for that.
The second route is more practical, structured and smarter.
First Learn the basics. There is a free online forex course at www.babypips.com/learn/forex this is merely an introductory course. Basically it is learning the parts of a car before they let you inside the car.
Second, start building your strategy. By the time you are done with the babypips, you will have a feel of what the forex market is, what interests you, etc. Tip..Babypips has a lot of garbage. It is good for introductory purposes but not good for much else, pick whatever stick to you or jumps at you the first time. Nonsense like indicators should be ignored.
The next step is now the most important. Developing the skill and building your strategy. As a beginner, you want to exhaust your naivety before jumping into the more advanced stuff. Eg can you identify a trend, what is a pair, what is position sizing, what is metatrader 4 and how to operate it, what news is good for a currency, when can I trade, what are the different trading sessions, what is technical analysis, what is market sentiment, what are bullish conditions what is emotion management, how does my psychology affect my trading (more on this later) an I a swing, scalper or day trader etc
Mentors and forex courses.. you have probably seen people advertising how they can teach and mentor you on how to trade forex and charging so much money for it. Somehow it seems that these people are focused on the teaching than the trading. Weird, right..? Truth is trading is hard, teaching not quite. A common saying in the industry is “Those who can’t trade, teach” you want to avoid all these gurus on Facebook and Instagram, some are legit but most are not. Sifting the wheat from the chaff is hard but I did that for you. The info is available online on YouTube, telegram channels etc. am not saying not to spend money on a course, if you find a mentor whose style resonates with you and the course is reasonably priced, please, go ahead and buy..it will cut your learning curve in half. People are different. What worked for me might not work for you.
Here are some nice YouTube channels to watch. These guys are legit..
  1. Sam sieden
  2. Cuebanks
  3. TheCoinFx
  4. The trading channel
  5. Astro
  6. Forex family
  7. Wicksdontlie
Advanced stuff
  1. ICT
After a short period of time, you will be able to sniff out bs teachers with relative ease. You will also discover some of your own and expand the list. Two tips, start with the oldest videos first and whichever of these resonates with you, stick with till the wheels fall off.
How long will it take until things start making sense
Give yourself time to grow and learn. This is all new to you and you are allowed to make mistakes, to fail and discover yourself. Realistically, depending on the effort you put in, you will not start seeing results until after 6 months. Could take longeshorter so there is no guarantee.
Social media, Mentality, Psychology and Books
Online, forex trading might not have the best reputation online because it takes hard work and scammers and gurus give it a bad name. However, try to not get sucked into the Instagram trader lifestyle as it is nowhere close to what the reality is. You will not make millions tomorrow or the day after, you might never even make it in this market. But that is the reality of life. Nothing is promised, nothing is guaranteed.
Your mentality, beliefs and ego will be challenged in this market. You will learn things that will make you blood boil, you will ask yourself daily, how is this possible, why don’t they teach this in school..bla bla bla..it will be hard but growth is painful, if it wasn’t we’d all be billionaires. Take a break, take a walk, drink a glass of whatever you like or roll one..detox. Chill with your girl (or man) Gradually you will develop mental toughness that will set you up for life. Personally, I sorta ditched religion and picked up stoicism. Whatever works for you.
Psychology, this is unfortunately one of the most neglected aspects of your personal development in this journey. Do you believe in yourself? Can you stand by your convictions when everyone is against you? Can you get up every day uncertain of the future? There will be moments where you will question yourself, am I even doing the right thing? the right way? It is normal and essential for your growth. People who played competitive sports have a natural advantage here. Remember the game is first won in your head then on the pitch.
Books: ironically, books that helped me the most were the mindset books, Think and grow rich, trading for a living, 4 hour work week, the monk who sold his Ferrari..just google mindset and psychology books, most trading books are garbage. Watch and listen to people who have made it in the investing business. Ray Dalio, warren, Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn.
This is turning out to be lengthier than I anticipated so I’ll try to be brief for the remaining parts.
Brokers
You will need to open up an account with a broker. Get a broker who is regulated. Australian ones (IC Market and Pepperstone) are both legit, reliable and regulated. Do your research. I’d avoid local ones because I’ve heard stories of wide spreads and liquidity problems. International brokers have never failed me. There are plenty brokers, there is no one size fits all recommendation. If it ain’t broke..don’t fix it.
Money transfer.
All brokers accept wire transfers, you might need to call your bank to authorize that, avoid Equity bank. Stanchart and Stanbic are alright. Large withdrawals $10k+ you will have to call them prior. Get Skrill and Neteller if you don’t like banks like me, set up a Bitcoin wallet for faster withdrawals, (Payoneer and Paypal are accepted by some brokers, just check with them.)
How much money can I make..?
I hate this question because people have perceived ceilings of income in their minds, eg 1 million ksh is too much to make per month or 10,000ksh is too little. Instead, work backwards. What % return did I make this month/ on this trade. Safaricom made 19.5% last year, if you make 20% you have outperformed them. If you reach of consistency where you can make x% per month on whatever money you have, then there are no limits to how much you can make.
How much money do I need to start with..?
Zero. You have all the resources above, go forth. There are brokers who provide free bonuses and withdraw-able profits. However, to make a fulltime income you will need some serious cash. Generally, 50,000 kes. You can start lower or higher but if you need say 20k to live comfortably and that is a 10% return per month, then you can do the math on how big your account should be. Of course things like compound interest come into play but that is dependent on your skill level. I have seen people do spectacular things with very little funds.
Taxes..?
Talk to a lawyer or an accountant. I am neither.
Family? Friends?
Unfortunately, people will not understand why you spend hundreds of hours watching strangers on the internet so it is best to keep it from them. Eventually you will make it work and they will come to your corner talking about how they always knew you’d make it.
The journey will be lonely, make some trading buddies along the way. You’d be surprised at how easy it is when people are united by their circumstances (and stupidity) I have guys who are my bros from South Africa and Lebanon who I have never met but we came up together and are now homies. Join forums, ask questions and grow. That is the only way to learn. Ideally, a group of 5-10 friends committed to learning and growth is the best model. Pushing each other to grow and discovering together.
Forex is real and you can do amazing things with it. It is not a get rich quick scheme. If you want a quick guaranteed income, get a job.
And now it is 5am, fuck.
This is oversimplified and leaves out many many aspects.
Happy to answer any questions.
submitted by ChaliFlaniwaNairobi to Kenya [link] [comments]

The Fed's Losing Battle with Technological Deflation

PART 1/4 - FREE MARKET?
First off, let's set the scene.
The stock market is telling you nothing about the real economy anymore.
Economic fundamentals have never mattered as little for the stock market as has been the case during this 11-year bull market.
The correlation between gross-domestic-product growth and the direction of the S&P 500 Index has only been 7% in this cycle - historically it has been 30% to 70%.
Why?
Well, it is the Central Banks, led by the Fed, who printed their way out of the Recession in '08.
In doing so, they have papered over the cracks, and we have seen the longest economic expansion in US history.
However, this is not a particularly meritocratic process: money creation itself increases inequality via the Cantillon Effect, as money printing leads to asset price inflation, which disproportionately benefits the rich and hurts the poor.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker told the New York Times in 2018:
“The central issue is we’re developing into a plutocracy. We’ve got an enormous number of enormously rich people that have convinced themselves that they’re rich because they’re smart and constructive."
The reality of course is that this is largely not the case - it is because the game is rigged in their favour.
Now, it is important to emphasise the fact that the path we have taken has resulted in the highest living standards we have seen in human history.
However, the issue, particularly since the US completely abandoned the gold standard in 1971, is that debt has exploded to obscene levels.
We are not operating in a free market if it takes $185 trillion of debt over the last 20 years to create 'growth'.
In fact, the global debt to GDP ratio hit an all-time high of 322% in the third quarter of 2019.
Inflation means that your dollar loses value and thus your purchasing power goes down.
Deflation means that the value of your dollar goes up and your purchasing power goes up.
That's a good thing right? You get more goods and services for less.
Well, no.
If you have deflation, debt explodes in real terms and you can never pay it back.
As the economy is based on debt, if you allow deflation, then you have to reset the debt.
This is why central banks fear deflation so much.
However, the major force driving the human race is technological progress - and this stops for no mortal...
PART 2/4 - TECHNOLOGICAL DEFLATION:
The increased abundance created by technology will result in massive job losses.
Throughout history, doom porn enthusiasts have screamed that the machines are coming for jobs. This is not a new phenomenon.
All technological revolutions are deflationary - since they create "supply side shocks", meaning that they allow for more intensive use of resources and thus higher production. With more goods being produced, all other things being equal, the price of those goods will fall.
In the last 20 years or so, software has disrupted and replaced many established goods and services.
It is in the next 20 years that another disruptive technology is set to take the stage: AI
According to Steve Schwarzman, the co-founder and CEO of The Blackstone Group who has a net worth of $17.6BN:
"This is going to touch everyone's life....you're not going to be able to get away from this technology"
Moreover, this virus will only accelerate this trend towards tech. Zoom is a fantastic example of exactly this.
Old legacy economic systems were not built for this tech deflation, and the thing about exponential growth is that we humans do not intuitively understand it.
As an example, if you folded a piece of paper 51 times, of course you can only fold it seven times, but if you could fold it 51 times, it would reach the Sun!
PART 3/4 - IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIETY:
The question is: how does this play out?
In the long term, it is the fundamental structure of the economic system that has a significant impact on people's lives, not who is President for 4 to 8 years.
In reality, politicians have limited power and are effectively all puppets. We have seen what happens when a President doesn't stay in their lane...
One could argue that the two main mechanisms of control are:
  1. Divide and Conquer and
  2. Order from Chaos
As we have seen many times in the past, herd psychology is worryingly easy to manipulate...
Speaking of the censorship, in his book Antifragile, Nassim Taleb discusses the anti fragility of information.
Information feeds more on attempts to harm it than it does on efforts to promote it.
A fantastic example of this process is what has happened with London Real: they were banned on LinkedIn and David Icke's interview was censored. Now, regardless of what you think of this particular channel or your thoughts on David Icke and the theories provided, censoring information in this way actually spreads it more virally.
It's fascinating to observe how many views the videos regarding the bans and censorship have relative to the others. And the impact this has had on subscribers.
It is always easier to blame a bigger enemy (or create a new one) rather than to admit it's a structural problem.
Therefore, you avoid short term pain...whatever the cost.
The real question is if and when this situation will lead to social unrest...
PART 4/4 - INTELLECTUAL CAPITALISM:
The depth and width of jobs impacted by AI will continue to increase in the future.
Now this will not necessarily happen straight away.
However, our transition from commodity capitalism to intellectual capitalism is inevitable and the people and nations who fight against this trend will be on the wrong side of history.
From a practical investment perspective, and disclaimer this is not investment advice, network effects are a crucial aspect to consider moving forwards.
Essentially, this means that the value of the network increases with each additional user - all of the tech monopolies have exhibited this property.
An asset which could in time demonstrate very strong network effects is Bitcoin.
Looking at the market cap relative to other asset classes, Bitcoin provides an asymmetric investment opportunity.
Only time will tell...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nFbKzt-uwE
submitted by financeoptimum to InvestmentEducation [link] [comments]

The Fed's Losing Battle with Technological Deflation

PART 1/4 - FREE MARKET?
First off, let's set the scene.
The stock market is telling you nothing about the real economy anymore.
Economic fundamentals have never mattered as little for the stock market as has been the case during this 11-year bull market.
The correlation between gross-domestic-product growth and the direction of the S&P 500 Index has only been 7% in this cycle - historically it has been 30% to 70%.
Why?
Well, it is the Central Banks, led by the Fed, who printed their way out of the Recession in '08.
In doing so, they have papered over the cracks, and we have seen the longest economic expansion in US history.
However, this is not a particularly meritocratic process: money creation itself increases inequality via the Cantillon Effect, as money printing leads to asset price inflation, which disproportionately benefits the rich and hurts the poor.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker told the New York Times in 2018:
“The central issue is we’re developing into a plutocracy. We’ve got an enormous number of enormously rich people that have convinced themselves that they’re rich because they’re smart and constructive."
The reality of course is that this is largely not the case - it is because the game is rigged in their favour.
Now, it is important to emphasise the fact that the path we have taken has resulted in the highest living standards we have seen in human history.
However, the issue, particularly since the US completely abandoned the gold standard in 1971, is that debt has exploded to obscene levels.
We are not operating in a free market if it takes $185 trillion of debt over the last 20 years to create 'growth'.
In fact, the global debt to GDP ratio hit an all-time high of 322% in the third quarter of 2019.
Inflation means that your dollar loses value and thus your purchasing power goes down.
Deflation means that the value of your dollar goes up and your purchasing power goes up.
That's a good thing right? You get more goods and services for less.
Well, no.
If you have deflation, debt explodes in real terms and you can never pay it back.
As the economy is based on debt, if you allow deflation, then you have to reset the debt.
This is why central banks fear deflation so much.
However, the major force driving the human race is technological progress - and this stops for no mortal...
PART 2/4 - TECHNOLOGICAL DEFLATION:
The increased abundance created by technology will result in massive job losses.
Throughout history, doom porn enthusiasts have screamed that the machines are coming for jobs. This is not a new phenomenon.
All technological revolutions are deflationary - since they create "supply side shocks", meaning that they allow for more intensive use of resources and thus higher production. With more goods being produced, all other things being equal, the price of those goods will fall.
In the last 20 years or so, software has disrupted and replaced many established goods and services.
It is in the next 20 years that another disruptive technology is set to take the stage: AI
According to Steve Schwarzman, the co-founder and CEO of The Blackstone Group who has a net worth of $17.6BN:
"This is going to touch everyone's life....you're not going to be able to get away from this technology"
Moreover, this virus will only accelerate this trend towards tech. Zoom is a fantastic example of exactly this.
Old legacy economic systems were not built for this tech deflation, and the thing about exponential growth is that we humans do not intuitively understand it.
As an example, if you folded a piece of paper 51 times, of course you can only fold it seven times, but if you could fold it 51 times, it would reach the Sun!
PART 3/4 - IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIETY:
The question is: how does this play out?
In the long term, it is the fundamental structure of the economic system that has a significant impact on people's lives, not who is President for 4 to 8 years.
In reality, politicians have limited power and are effectively all puppets. We have seen what happens when a President doesn't stay in their lane...
One could argue that the two main mechanisms of control are:
  1. Divide and Conquer and
  2. Order from Chaos
As we have seen many times in the past, herd psychology is worryingly easy to manipulate...
Speaking of the censorship, in his book Antifragile, Nassim Taleb discusses the anti fragility of information.
Information feeds more on attempts to harm it than it does on efforts to promote it.
A fantastic example of this process is what has happened with London Real: they were banned on LinkedIn and David Icke's interview was censored. Now, regardless of what you think of this particular channel or your thoughts on David Icke and the theories provided, censoring information in this way actually spreads it more virally.
It's fascinating to observe how many views the videos regarding the bans and censorship have relative to the others. And the impact this has had on subscribers.
It is always easier to blame a bigger enemy (or create a new one) rather than to admit it's a structural problem.
Therefore, you avoid short term pain...whatever the cost.
The real question is if and when this situation will lead to social unrest...
PART 4/4 - INTELLECTUAL CAPITALISM:
The depth and width of jobs impacted by AI will continue to increase in the future.
Now this will not necessarily happen straight away.
However, our transition from commodity capitalism to intellectual capitalism is inevitable and the people and nations who fight against this trend will be on the wrong side of history.
From a practical investment perspective, and disclaimer this is not investment advice, network effects are a crucial aspect to consider moving forwards.
Essentially, this means that the value of the network increases with each additional user - all of the tech monopolies have exhibited this property.
An asset which could in time demonstrate very strong network effects is Bitcoin.
Looking at the market cap relative to other asset classes, Bitcoin provides an asymmetric investment opportunity.
Only time will tell...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nFbKzt-uwE
submitted by financeoptimum to Capitalism [link] [comments]

The Fed's Losing Battle with Technological Deflation

PART 1/4 - FREE MARKET?
First off, let's set the scene.
The stock market is telling you nothing about the real economy anymore.
Economic fundamentals have never mattered as little for the stock market as has been the case during this 11-year bull market.
The correlation between gross-domestic-product growth and the direction of the S&P 500 Index has only been 7% in this cycle - historically it has been 30% to 70%.
Why?
Well, it is the Central Banks, led by the Fed, who printed their way out of the Recession in '08.
In doing so, they have papered over the cracks, and we have seen the longest economic expansion in US history.
However, this is not a particularly meritocratic process: money creation itself increases inequality via the Cantillon Effect, as money printing leads to asset price inflation, which disproportionately benefits the rich and hurts the poor.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker told the New York Times in 2018:
“The central issue is we’re developing into a plutocracy. We’ve got an enormous number of enormously rich people that have convinced themselves that they’re rich because they’re smart and constructive."
The reality of course is that this is largely not the case - it is because the game is rigged in their favour.
Now, it is important to emphasise the fact that the path we have taken has resulted in the highest living standards we have seen in human history.
However, the issue, particularly since the US completely abandoned the gold standard in 1971, is that debt has exploded to obscene levels.
We are not operating in a free market if it takes $185 trillion of debt over the last 20 years to create 'growth'.
In fact, the global debt to GDP ratio hit an all-time high of 322% in the third quarter of 2019.
Inflation means that your dollar loses value and thus your purchasing power goes down.
Deflation means that the value of your dollar goes up and your purchasing power goes up.
That's a good thing right? You get more goods and services for less.
Well, no.
If you have deflation, debt explodes in real terms and you can never pay it back.
As the economy is based on debt, if you allow deflation, then you have to reset the debt.
This is why central banks fear deflation so much.
However, the major force driving the human race is technological progress - and this stops for no mortal...
PART 2/4 - TECHNOLOGICAL DEFLATION:
The increased abundance created by technology will result in massive job losses.
Throughout history, doom porn enthusiasts have screamed that the machines are coming for jobs. This is not a new phenomenon.
All technological revolutions are deflationary - since they create "supply side shocks", meaning that they allow for more intensive use of resources and thus higher production. With more goods being produced, all other things being equal, the price of those goods will fall.
In the last 20 years or so, software has disrupted and replaced many established goods and services.
It is in the next 20 years that another disruptive technology is set to take the stage: AI
According to Steve Schwarzman, the co-founder and CEO of The Blackstone Group who has a net worth of $17.6BN:
"This is going to touch everyone's life....you're not going to be able to get away from this technology"
Moreover, this virus will only accelerate this trend towards tech. Zoom is a fantastic example of exactly this.
Old legacy economic systems were not built for this tech deflation, and the thing about exponential growth is that we humans do not intuitively understand it.
As an example, if you folded a piece of paper 51 times, of course you can only fold it seven times, but if you could fold it 51 times, it would reach the Sun!
PART 3/4 - IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIETY:
The question is: how does this play out?
In the long term, it is the fundamental structure of the economic system that has a significant impact on people's lives, not who is President for 4 to 8 years.
In reality, politicians have limited power and are effectively all puppets. We have seen what happens when a President doesn't stay in their lane...
One could argue that the two main mechanisms of control are:
  1. Divide and Conquer and
  2. Order from Chaos
As we have seen many times in the past, herd psychology is worryingly easy to manipulate...
Speaking of the censorship, in his book Antifragile, Nassim Taleb discusses the anti fragility of information.
Information feeds more on attempts to harm it than it does on efforts to promote it.
A fantastic example of this process is what has happened with London Real: they were banned on LinkedIn and David Icke's interview was censored. Now, regardless of what you think of this particular channel or your thoughts on David Icke and the theories provided, censoring information in this way actually spreads it more virally.
It's fascinating to observe how many views the videos regarding the bans and censorship have relative to the others. And the impact this has had on subscribers.
It is always easier to blame a bigger enemy (or create a new one) rather than to admit it's a structural problem.
Therefore, you avoid short term pain...whatever the cost.
The real question is if and when this situation will lead to social unrest...
PART 4/4 - INTELLECTUAL CAPITALISM:
The depth and width of jobs impacted by AI will continue to increase in the future.
Now this will not necessarily happen straight away.
However, our transition from commodity capitalism to intellectual capitalism is inevitable and the people and nations who fight against this trend will be on the wrong side of history.
From a practical investment perspective, and disclaimer this is not investment advice, network effects are a crucial aspect to consider moving forwards.
Essentially, this means that the value of the network increases with each additional user - all of the tech monopolies have exhibited this property.
An asset which could in time demonstrate very strong network effects is Bitcoin.
Looking at the market cap relative to other asset classes, Bitcoin provides an asymmetric investment opportunity.
Only time will tell...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nFbKzt-uwE
submitted by financeoptimum to economy [link] [comments]

Dissecting the Parasitocracy

Instead of honest democracy or free-market meritocracy, we truly live under rule by parasites. (This term is not meant to be derogatory but to be apt. I suppose many, if not most of us, would opt to be one of the parasites, if given the choice.)
Trying to describe how the financial and political elites receive unearned wealth and power can get complicated very quickly. To find a simple but rigorous theory to cover most major features of the beast requires looking at it the right way.
By and large, how it works is that:
The elites use state power to prop up the values of money, debt, and other financial assets artificially, to benefit those who issue them, i.e. themselves. When some over-valued asset eventually must crash, the entire economy suffers the loss of jobs, business and savings.
 
Example: The Bank Account
Public illusion. A commercial-bank 'deposit' is as good as money. You will get all your money back, any time you want.
Reality. 'Deposits' are really loans to the bank which lends them to borrowers, some of whom may never pay them back. Another danger is that savers may ask for their money at any time, while loans by the bank tend to have longer-term maturities.
How to bridge myth and reality. An truly free-market system would drive banks to communicate expectations openly. A simple example could be having 'depositors' expect to lose money if the bank makes bad loans. The problem with such an honest system, of course, is that top politicians and bankers wouldn't benefit much, since people would likely put much less money in banks.
The confidence trick. The government props up the illusion, while it can. Classic tools over the centuries include allowing banks to collude by rescuing each other in a crisis, bailing banks out with public money, and providing deposit insurance. If this gives bankers the incentives to take too much risk, bankers redeem themselves by being a lender to the government. Since both sets of elites benefit, what problem is there? (In recent decades investment banks and money market funds have formed a shadow banking system which plays an equivalent role. While the last US commercial-bank bust happened in the 1980s' savings-and-loan crisis, the last shadow-bank variety occurred in 2007-8.)
Analysis. While credit is indeed crucial to economic growth, to use government power to prop up the values of loans to banks, and then to rely on bureaucrats and their rules to limit risk-taking by bankers is a distortion of the credit market. It is the driver of much human misery. Central planning, somehow, always benefits the few at the expense of the many, even if it claims to do just the opposite.
 
Example: Government Bonds
Public illusion. The 'full faith and credit' of the government stands behind the IOU it issues to you. Your IOU is as good as money.
Reality. Since much public debt is almost as trusted as money, incurring this debt is almost as good as printing money. Politicians thus have an incentive to maximize the issuance of debt to receive free political capital, even if this destabilizes their own system in the long run. Public debt all over the world goes only up. Even though powerful governments can keep their debt bubbles going for a century or more, those incentives mean that their IOUs will eventually lose value, one way or another.
How to bridge myth and reality. Even aside from the moral problems of 'money' creation and putting burden on people who can't yet vote, public debt should at least be allowed to sink or swim in the capital markets. If a government incurs too much debt, savers would be incentivized to punish it by demanding a higher yield, and politicians would in turn be incentivized to cut back borrowing.
The confidence trick. When savers get too wary of public debt, the central bank steps in to buy it with freshly printed money, thus propping up the value of these IOUs. This is done in the name of 'monetary policy,' either by buying public debt directly as 'open market' operations, or, more frequently, by supplying banks with cheap new money so they will buy it. Most of the time, savers can't fight city hall, and will thus tend to buy and hold IOUs, further limiting the downside risk of their values. This entire system thus amounts to a bubble.
Analysis. It doesn't matter how powerful a government is -- Public debt always crashes eventually. The dominant global empires of Spain, the Netherlands, and Britain were destroyed by this crash in their days. (In the case of Britain the relevant 'public debt' took the form of paper pound sterling that was officially an IOU for a fixed amount of gold.) No one believes US debt is really payable with anything close to the purchasing power savers and foreign central banks used to buy it, although by the time its value can no longer be propped up, most politicians and voters who have benefited from issuing it will have been gone.
 
Example: Money
Public illusion. Central banks issue and destroy currency to manage economic output for the benefit of the public. At least in the West, proper management has resulted in low and constant inflation that has justified the public's evident trust in currency's value.
Reality. The real job description of the central bank is to safeguard the state-bank alliance. It holds power over the most central asset, money, in order to discourage both politicians and bankers from issuing assets too fast and thus endangering the system. The goal is well-paced harvesting of the fruits of real work. Over the decades, prices only move in one direction: up.
How to bridge myth and reality. Unfortunately, there is no way to remove the incentives to abuse the issuance of money while the state or a banking cartel has any role in the issuance.
The confidence trick. The problem of holding up the public's trust in currency was solved in a simple fashion by the classical gold and silver standards in their day, while the authorities had enough precious metals to back their paper. Today, the central bank needs to keep the return on 'safe' assets (e.g. short-term Treasuries, insured deposits) above the return on non-state-issued assets, i.e. gold, silver and Bitcoin. (Recent books like 'Gold Wars' and 'The Gold Cartel' have come up with good evidence of central-bank suppression of precious metal prices by trading derivatives.) In this it seems to succeed most of the time, but fail spectacularly at other times. It also needs to keep the return on 'safe' assets below the return on risky assets like stocks, over the long term. The goal of both operations is to use state power to force savers to take risks and help prop up the bubble economy. (Ever wonder why financial crisis always seems to come back?) When you hear of 'tightening' or 'loosening' the money supply, this control is what's really going on. So, it's not that the public trusts currency; most feel they have no choice.
Analysis. It's not, as most mainstream economists claim, that state-controlled money is required for modern economic growth. The Italian Renaissance and Scottish 'free-banking' era were counter-examples. It's really the other way round. The real productivity of the modern world gives value to the financial assets issued by the elites, and thus help sustain their financial inflation, at least until the perverse incentives destabilizes the system anyway. In the Middle Ages, money was physical gold and silver -- when there was no wealth to extract, the state couldn't create its financial inflation.
 
Final Thoughts
A key feature of this system is that it doesn't matter if you understand it. You still must gamble, or risk your savings being eaten away by inflation. The gamble by the public as a whole is certain to end in loss, since the elites will always destabilize asset values to the point of collapse. The lose-lose proposition works the same way as literal highway robbery -- you can certainly hold on to your money; you just can't keep your life at the same time.
That said, there are times when the elites are likely to be forced to devalue their money, and with it all other conventional assets, against gold, silver and Bitcoin, in order to hold on to power. This makes it statistically profitable to hold non-state-issued assets at those times. (An analogy would be standing at the front of the line to redeem deposits for cash during a bank run, or to redeem pound sterling for gold at the Bank of England just before Britain was forced off the gold standard.) Necessarily, only a minority will profit from this bet, but its existence is a healthy incentive that pushes the elites to minimize financial inflation.
This devaluation is conceptually the same as 'banana republics' having to devalue their currency against the dollar because they've printed too much. The typical way to do this is to strongly deny any prospect of devaluation until the very moment, devalue as fast as possible (and devalue enough to keep their system stable for a while,) and deny any further devaluations in future. So, it's perhaps no accident that the price movements of gold, silver and Bitcoin have been long and gradual declines most of the time, punctuated by sharp rises over short periods, and rising overall over the long term.
The system is an 'open conspiracy.' Instead of secrecy, it relies on a combination of state power and ignorance by the public. The only sustainable path to achieving a healthy and just system is for the public to wake up. But the devaluation of its issued money against non-state monies shows that, in a subtle but profoundly real sense, the system is a paper tiger. Since the power of the modern imperial system depends necessarily on various alliances of self-interest as well as the perception of its support for classically liberal ideals, if enough people, and people in the right places, refuse to be intimidated, or expose its nature, the system must make concessions, and make the world perhaps a little better.
This possibility of piecewise progress exists in all corners of the system, at most times. Here, then, is where our hope must be for the future. It will be a long battle indeed, and we must be prepared for the entire duration.
submitted by BobK72 to conspiracy_commons [link] [comments]

Why hasn't the main function of Bitcoin gone mainstream yet?

Let me preface by saying this is not meant to be criticism or hate towards Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, etc. I've invested thousands in Bitcoin in the past, HODLed like you wouldn't believe through its massive ups and downs, and bought/sold it multiple times along with other cryptos. I see its potential as a legitimate currency, or rather I did.
But therein lies the issue I've been struggling with. To my understanding, the main function of a currency is to spend it and use it to purchase things and to pay bills. Bitcoin, a CURRENCY, is surely intended for such uses as well, as are other cryptocurrencies across the market. Therefore, why has this function not gone mainstream with Bitcoin yet? Why aren't that many people using cryptos to actually spend it on things, which is literally the purpose of any currency? And if that isn't their main purpose, why are they called currencies?
It just seems like a very tiny percentage of people who own Bitcoin actually spend it on things, and even less do so regularly. It seems the vast majority of people who purchase it simply do so with the intention to sell it later at a higher price or to add value to their investment portfolio. This is perfectly fine, of course, but that can't possibly be the main function of Bitcoin if it's meant to be a currency, something meant to be SPENT on things.
Then there's the argument that not enough people are familiar with Bitcoin...that argument just doesn't hold anymore, especially with its value having peaked (so far) at $20K in late 2017 and continuing above 11,000 until just recently. Pretty much everyone and their grandma has heard of Bitcoin at this point and knows what it is. There's also the issue of not many major online retailers currently accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment, like Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Target, Apple etc. and they drive the vast majority of eCommerce.
My guess is its value is too volatile and unstable for people to treat it the same way they treat their actual money (USD, etc.). It seems its fluctuating value has dwarfed its true purpose; since its value is so unsteady, people see it as having potential to increase a return on their investment if they later sell it for a profit. So they'd rather just do that than to actually spend it on a new pair of shoes or something. Plus, say what you will about the diminishing value of the US dollar, but it seems it'll be far more stable than the Bitcoin will be in the foreseeable future, possibly ever.
And my last point is something I've wondered since I first even heard of Bitcoin. Regular government-appointed currencies like the US dollar are already pretty much digital anyway, since people buy things online and know how to send payments digitally and load them on their PayPal account or send them through online venders like Square Cash, Venmo, Chase QuickPay etc. So isn't that way too hard for cryptocurrencies to compete with, since that is far too mainstream and established and people trust it too much already?
Yes I'm aware of the benefits crypto has over regular currencies like USD, but as it stands now, those benefits seem to be outweighed by its volatility that make its intended purpose far less lucrative. Again, please don't interpret this as hating on Bitcoin, but merely an attempt to understand it. I just don't see that many people treating it as anything other than a stock, which is not at all the same thing as a currency. Feel free to change my mind.
TL DR: If the main function of Bitcoin is to spend it, why doesn't anyone really use it for that intended purpose?
submitted by spaceraingame to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Major Stories In Crypto This Week

Major Stories In Crypto This Week
https://preview.redd.it/1oaizrm3yho51.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=e8870de366cc62eaad247a7e8ca18252cb6da19b
Waiting for ETH fees to become cheaper
From now on, every Monday we will be doing a weekly news digest where we will be discussing the biggest stories on the crypto market over the previous 7 days. Why are we doing that? It’s simple — we want to create a useful news outlet for our community members’ convenience.
So, what events marked the third week of September?
Analysts predicting a Bitcoin price rally
“The whale exchange ratio is at the lowest level of the year — the fewer whales moving to the exchanges, the fewer spills and [a] higher BTC price”, said CryptoQuant CEO Ki Young Ju on Thursday. This indicates a possible price rally soon: the less coins whales send to exchanges, the less chance there is for the price to dump, therefore, the higher the chance for a price rally. This is proven by experience: the last time this figure dropped from the current level in April 2019, Bitcoin price grew from $4000 to $13000 over a few months.
FORSAGE.io — how is this information useful to us? It’s important to remember that whenever the first cryptocoin’s price goes up, altcoins invariably follow suit. This means that if BTC shoots up in value, the possibility of TRX and ETH going up also increases, and that’s great news for the entire FORSAGE community.
Is Ethereum still going the Proof-of-Stake route?
A leading Ethereum developer, Danny Ryan published the official Ethereum Improvement Proposal EIP-2982 that implies the launch of Ethereum 2.0 and the switch to Proof-of-Stake. If his proposal gets passed, it may become implemented into the network, solving the issue of high commission fees.
FORSAGE.io — how is this information useful to us? The high commission fees on the ETH network has been slowing down the growth of the FORSAGE community for the past month, because the price of tens and even hundreds of dollars per transaction is unacceptable to most people. We are all looking forward to the day this issue is solved.
DeFi projects boom
DeFi projects are becoming more and more popular — for example, Uniswap, a decentralized exchange, saw its token rise in value by 75% after listing on world’s leading exchanges, making it on the list of top 50 highest market capitalization assets.
FORSAGE.io — how is this information useful to us? It is DeFi projects and their popularity that catalyzed the unprecedented increase in transactions on the Ethereum network, driving the price of transactions further up. After the price of gas for Ethereum transactions has been hovering above 100 Gwei for the past few weeks, on September 17th it jumped all the way to 700 Gwei. This is why we are very excited about the previous news story — the launch of Ethereum 2.0
Over 10% of all crypto payments take place in Eastern Europe
Chainalysis has published another study that shows 12% of all cryptocurrency transactions that took place from July 2019 to June 2020 happened in Eastern Europe! This means the region is the fourth biggest market in terms of transaction volume, and while it is out-grossed by the giants that are the US and China, the region is growing quickly.
FORSAGE.io — how is this information useful to us? The Eastern European region is developing, in part, driven by the increasing commitment of many countries to decentralization and economic freedom. This positively affects the local levels of crypto activity. Let’s find out where the majority of the FORSAGE community comes from! Leave a comment with your country below!
submitted by Forsage_io to ico [link] [comments]

The Fed's Losing Battle with Technological Deflation

PART 1/4 - FREE MARKET?
First off, let's set the scene.
The stock market is telling you nothing about the real economy anymore.
Economic fundamentals have never mattered as little for the stock market as has been the case during this 11-year bull market.
The correlation between gross-domestic-product growth and the direction of the S&P 500 Index has only been 7% in this cycle - historically it has been 30% to 70%.
Why?
Well, it is the Central Banks, led by the Fed, who printed their way out of the Recession in '08.
In doing so, they have papered over the cracks, and we have seen the longest economic expansion in US history.
However, this is not a particularly meritocratic process: money creation itself increases inequality via the Cantillon Effect, as money printing leads to asset price inflation, which disproportionately benefits the rich and hurts the poor.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker told the New York Times in 2018:
“The central issue is we’re developing into a plutocracy. We’ve got an enormous number of enormously rich people that have convinced themselves that they’re rich because they’re smart and constructive."
The reality of course is that this is largely not the case - it is because the game is rigged in their favour.
Now, it is important to emphasise the fact that the path we have taken has resulted in the highest living standards we have seen in human history.
However, the issue, particularly since the US completely abandoned the gold standard in 1971, is that debt has exploded to obscene levels.
We are not operating in a free market if it takes $185 trillion of debt over the last 20 years to create 'growth'.
In fact, the global debt to GDP ratio hit an all-time high of 322% in the third quarter of 2019.
Inflation means that your dollar loses value and thus your purchasing power goes down.
Deflation means that the value of your dollar goes up and your purchasing power goes up.
That's a good thing right? You get more goods and services for less.
Well, no.
If you have deflation, debt explodes in real terms and you can never pay it back.
As the economy is based on debt, if you allow deflation, then you have to reset the debt.
This is why central banks fear deflation so much.
However, the major force driving the human race is technological progress - and this stops for no mortal...
PART 2/4 - TECHNOLOGICAL DEFLATION:
The increased abundance created by technology will result in massive job losses.
Throughout history, doom porn enthusiasts have screamed that the machines are coming for jobs. This is not a new phenomenon.
All technological revolutions are deflationary - since they create "supply side shocks", meaning that they allow for more intensive use of resources and thus higher production. With more goods being produced, all other things being equal, the price of those goods will fall.
In the last 20 years or so, software has disrupted and replaced many established goods and services.
It is in the next 20 years that another disruptive technology is set to take the stage: AI
According to Steve Schwarzman, the co-founder and CEO of The Blackstone Group who has a net worth of $17.6BN:
"This is going to touch everyone's life....you're not going to be able to get away from this technology"
Moreover, this virus will only accelerate this trend towards tech. Zoom is a fantastic example of exactly this.
Old legacy economic systems were not built for this tech deflation, and the thing about exponential growth is that we humans do not intuitively understand it.
As an example, if you folded a piece of paper 51 times, of course you can only fold it seven times, but if you could fold it 51 times, it would reach the Sun!
PART 3/4 - IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIETY:
The question is: how does this play out?
In the long term, it is the fundamental structure of the economic system that has a significant impact on people's lives, not who is President for 4 to 8 years.
In reality, politicians have limited power and are effectively all puppets. We have seen what happens when a President doesn't stay in their lane...
One could argue that the two main mechanisms of control are:
  1. Divide and Conquer and
  2. Order from Chaos
As we have seen many times in the past, herd psychology is worryingly easy to manipulate...
Speaking of the censorship, in his book Antifragile, Nassim Taleb discusses the anti fragility of information.
Information feeds more on attempts to harm it than it does on efforts to promote it.
A fantastic example of this process is what has happened with London Real: they were banned on LinkedIn and David Icke's interview was censored. Now, regardless of what you think of this particular channel or your thoughts on David Icke and the theories provided, censoring information in this way actually spreads it more virally.
It's fascinating to observe how many views the videos regarding the bans and censorship have relative to the others. And the impact this has had on subscribers.
It is always easier to blame a bigger enemy (or create a new one) rather than to admit it's a structural problem.
Therefore, you avoid short term pain...whatever the cost.
The real question is if and when this situation will lead to social unrest...
PART 4/4 - INTELLECTUAL CAPITALISM:
The depth and width of jobs impacted by AI will continue to increase in the future.
Now this will not necessarily happen straight away.
However, our transition from commodity capitalism to intellectual capitalism is inevitable and the people and nations who fight against this trend will be on the wrong side of history.
From a practical investment perspective, and disclaimer this is not investment advice, network effects are a crucial aspect to consider moving forwards.
Essentially, this means that the value of the network increases with each additional user - all of the tech monopolies have exhibited this property.
An asset which could in time demonstrate very strong network effects is Bitcoin.
Looking at the market cap relative to other asset classes, Bitcoin provides an asymmetric investment opportunity.
Only time will tell...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nFbKzt-uwE
submitted by financeoptimum to Money [link] [comments]

Why Bitcoin Has a Volatile Value?

Price fluctuations in the bitcoin spot rate on cryptocurrency exchanges are driven by many factors. Volatility is measured in traditional markets by the Volatility Index, also known as the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX). More recently, a volatility index for bitcoin has also become available. Known as the Bitcoin Volatility Index, it aims to track the volatility of the world's leading digital currency by market cap over various periods of time.
Bitcoin's value has been historically quite volatile. In a three-month span from October of 2017 to January of 2018, for instance, the volatility of the price of bitcoin reached to nearly 8%. This is more than twice the volatility of bitcoin in the 30-day period ending January 15, 2020. But why is bitcoin so volatile? Here are just a few of the many factors behind bitcoin's volatility.

Bad News Hurts Adoption Rate

News events that scare bitcoin users include geopolitical events and statements by governments that bitcoin is likely to be regulated. Bitcoin's early adopters included several bad actors, producing headline news stories that produced fear in investors.
Headline-making bitcoin news over the decade or so of the cryptocurrency's existence includes the bankruptcy of Mt. Gox in early 2014 and, more recently, that of the South Korean exchange Yapian Youbit. Other news stories which shocked investors include the high-profile use of bitcoin in drug transactions via Silk Road that ended with the FBI shutdown of the marketplace in October 2013.
All these incidents and the public panic that ensued drove the value of bitcoins versus fiat currencies down rapidly. However, bitcoin-friendly investors viewed those events as evidence that the market was maturing, driving the value of bitcoins versus the dollar markedly back up in the short period immediately following the news events.

Bitcoin's Perceived Value Sways

One reason why bitcoin may fluctuate against fiat currencies is the perceived store of value versus the fiat currency. Bitcoin has properties that make it similar to gold. It is governed by a design decision by the developers of the core technology to limit its production to a fixed quantity of 21 million BTC.
Since that differs markedly from fiat currency, which is dynamically managed by governments who want to maintain low inflation, high employment, and satisfactory growth through investment in capital resources, as economies built with fiat currencies show signs of strength or weakness, investors may allocate more or less of their assets into bitcoin.

Uncertainty of Future Bitcoin's Value

Bitcoin volatility is also driven in large part by varying perceptions of the intrinsic value of the cryptocurrency as a store of value and method of value transfer. A store of value is the function by which an asset can be useful in the future with some predictability. A store of value can be saved and exchanged for some good or service in the future.
A method of value transfer is any object or concept used to transmit property in the form of assets from one party to another. Bitcoin’s volatility at the present makes it a somewhat unclear store of value, but it promises nearly frictionless value transfer. As a result, we see that bitcoin's value can swing based on news events much as we observe with fiat currencies.

Large Currency Holder Risks

Bitcoin volatility is also to an extent driven by holders of large proportions of the total outstanding float of the currency. For bitcoin investors with current holdings above around $10M, it is not clear how they would liquidate a position that large into a fiat position without severely moving the market. Indeed, it may not be clear how they would liquidate a position of that size in a short period of time at all, as most cryptocurrency exchanges impose 24-hour withdrawal limits far below that threshold.
Bitcoin has not reached the mass market adoption rates that would be necessary to provide option value to large holders of the currency.

Security Breaches Cause Volatility

Bitcoin can also become volatile when the bitcoin community exposes security vulnerabilities in an effort to produce massive open source responses in the form of security fixes. This approach to security is paradoxically one that produces great outcomes, with many valuable open source software initiatives to its credit, including Linux. Bitcoin developers must reveal security concerns to the public in order to produce robust solutions.
It was a hack that drove the Yapian Youbit to bankruptcy, while many other cryptocurrencies have also made headlines for being hacked or having stashes of cryptocurrencies stolen. As an early example, in April 2014, the OpenSSL vulnerabilities attacked by the Heartbleed bug and reported by Google security's, Neel Mehta, drove Bitcoin prices down by 10% in a month.
Bitcoin and open source software development are built upon the same fundamental premise that a copy of the source code is available to users to examine. This concept makes it the responsibility of the community to voice concerns about the software design, just as it is the responsibility of the community to come to consensus about modifications to that underlying source code as well. Because of the open conversation and debate regarding the Bitcoin network, security breaches tend to be highly publicized.

High-Profile Losses Raise Fear

It is worth noting that the aforementioned thefts and the ensuing news about the losses had a double effect on volatility. They reduced the overall float of bitcoin, producing a potential lift on the value of the remaining bitcoin due to increased scarcity. However, overriding this lift was the negative effect of the news cycle that followed.
Notably, other bitcoin gateways looked to the massive failure at Mt. Gox as a positive for the long term prospects of bitcoin, further complicating the already complex story behind the currency’s volatility. As early adopting firms were eliminated from the market due to poor management and dysfunctional processes, later entrants learn from their errors and build stronger processes into their own operations, strengthening the infrastructure of the cryptocurrency overall.

High-Inflation Nations and Bitcoins

Bitcoin’s use case as a currency for developing countries that are currently experiencing high inflation is valuable when considering the volatility of bitcoin in these economies versus the volatility of bitcoin in USD. Bitcoin is much more volatile versus USD than the high-inflation Argentine peso versus the USD.
That being said, the near frictionless transfer of bitcoins across borders makes it a potentially highly attractive borrowing instrument for Argentineans, as the high inflation rate for peso-denominated loans potentially justifies taking on some intermediate currency volatility risk in a bitcoin-denominated loan funded outside Argentina.
Similarly, funders outside Argentina can earn a higher return under this scheme than they can by using other debt instruments, denominated in their home currency, potentially offsetting some of the risks of exposure to the high inflation Argentine market.

Tax Treatment Lifts Volatility

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), bitcoin is actually considered an asset for tax purposes. This has had a mixed impact on bitcoin's volatility. On the upside, any statement recognizing the currency has a positive effect on the market valuation of the currency.
Conversely, the decision by the IRS to call it property had at least two negative effects. The first was the added complexity for users who want to use it as a form of payment. Under the new tax law, users would have to record the market value of the currency at the time of every transaction, no matter how small. This need for record keeping can understandably slow adoption as it seems to be too much trouble for what it is worth for many users.
Secondly, the decision to call the currency a form of property for tax purposes may be a signal to some market participants that the IRS is preparing to enforce stronger regulations later. Very strong regulation of the currency could cause the adoption rate of the currency to slow to the point where it is not able to achieve the mass adoption that is critical for its overall utility in society. Recent moves by the IRS are not clear as to their signaling motives and therefore have mixed signals to the market for bitcoin.
submitted by FormerSuggestion8 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Lines of Navigation | Monthly Portfolio Update - July 202

Our little systems have their day;
They have their day and cease to be
- Tennyson, In Memoriam A.H.H.
This is my forty-fourth 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
Total portfolio value: $1 800 119 (+$34 376 or 1.9%)
Asset allocation
Presented visually, below is a high-level view of the current asset allocation of the portfolio.
[Chart]
Comments
The portfolio has substantially increased this month, continuing the recovery in portfolio value since March.
The strong portfolio growth of over $34 000, or 1.9 per cent, returns the value of the portfolio close to that achieved at the end of February this year.
[Chart]
This month there was minimal movement in the value of Australian and global equity holdings, There was, however, a significant lift of around 6 per cent in the value of gold exchange traded fund units, as well as a rise in the value of Bitcoin holdings.
These movements have pushed the value of gold holdings to their highest level so far on the entire journey. Their total value has approximately doubled since the original major purchases across 2009 to 2015.
For most of the past year gold has functioned as a portfolio stabiliser, having a negative correlation to movements in Australian equities (of around -0.3 to -0.4). As low and negative bond rates spread across the world, however, the opportunity cost of holding gold is reduced, and its potential diversification benefits loom larger.
The fixed income holdings of the portfolio also continued to fall beneath the target allocation, making this question of what represents a defensive (or negatively correlated to equity) asset far from academic.
This steady fall is a function of the slow maturing of Ratesetter loans, which were largely made between 2015 and 2017. Ratesetter has recently advised of important changes to its market operation, and placed a fixed maximum cap on new loan rates. By replacing market set rates with maximum rates, the peer-to-peer lending platform appears to be shifting to more of a 'intermediated' role in which higher past returns (of around 8 to 9 per cent) will now no longer be possible.
[Chart]
The expanding value of gold and Bitcoin holdings since January last year have actually had the practical effect of driving new investments into equities, since effectively for each dollar of appreciation, for example, my target allocation to equities rises by seven dollars.
Consistent with this, investments this month have been in the Vanguard international shares exchange-traded fund (VGS) using Selfwealth. This has been directed to bring my actual asset allocation more closely in line with the target split between Australian and global shares.
Fathoming out: franking credits and portfolio distributions
Earlier last month I released a summary of portfolio income over the past half year. This, like all before it, noted that the summary was prepared on a purely 'cash' basis, reflecting dividends actually paid into a bank account, and excluding consideration of franking credits.
Franking credits are credits for company tax paid at the company level, which can be passed to individual shareholders, reducing their personal tax liability. They are not cash, but for a personal investor with tax liabilities they can have equivalent value. This means that comparing equity returns to other investments without factoring these credits can produce a distorted picture of an investor's final after-tax return.
In past portfolio summaries I have noted an estimate for franking credits in footnotes, but updating the value for this recently resulted in a curiosity about the overall significance of this neglected element of my equity returns.
This neglect resulted from my perception earlier in the journey that they represented a marginal and abstract factor, which could effectively be assumed away for the sake of simplicity in reporting.
This is not a wholly unfair view, in the sense that income physically received and able to be spent is something definably different in kind than a notional 'pre-payment' credit for future tax costs. Yet, as the saying goes, because the prospect of personal tax is as certain as extinction from this world, in some senses a credit of this kind can be as valuable as a cash distribution.
Restoring the record: trends and drivers of franking credits
To collect a more accurate picture of the trends and drivers of franking credits I relied on a few sources - tax statements, records and the automatic franking credit estimates that the portfolio tracking site Sharesight generates.
The chart below sets out both the level and major different sources of franking credits received over the past eleven years.
[Chart]
From this chart some observations can be made.
The key reason for the rapid growth over the recent decade has been the increased investment holdings in Australian equities. As part of the deliberate rebalancing towards Australian shares across the past two years, these holdings have expanded.
The chart below sets out the total value of Australian shares held over the comparable period.
[Chart]
As an example, at the beginning of this record Australian equities valued at around $276 000 were held. Three years later, the holding were nearly three times larger.
The phase of consistently increasing the Australian equities holding to meet its allocated weighting is largely complete. This means that the period of rapid growth seen in the past few years is unlikely to repeat. Rather, growth will revert to be in proportion to total portfolio growth.
Close to cross-over: the credit card records
One of the most powerful initial motivators to reach financial independence was the concept of the 'cross over' point in Vicki Robins and Joe Dominguez's Your Money or Your Life. This was the point at which monthly expenses are exceeded by investment income.
One of the metrics I have traced is this 'cross-over' point in relation to recorded credit card expenses. And this point is now close indeed.
Expenditures on the credit card have continued their downward trajectory across the past month. The three year rolling average of monthly credit card spending remains at its lowest point over the period of the journey. Distributions on the same basis now meet over 99 per cent of card expenses - with the gap now the equivalent of less than $50 per month.
[Chart]
The period since April of the achievement of a notional and contingent form of financial independence has continued.
The below chart illustrates this temporary state, setting out the the extent to which to which portfolio distributions (red) cover estimated total expenses (green), measured month to month.
[Chart]
An alternative way to view the same data is to examine the degree to which total expenses (i.e. fixed payments not made on credit card added to monthly credit card expenses) are met by distributions received.
An updated version of this is seen in the chart below.
[Chart]
Interestingly, on a trend basis, this currently identifies a 'crossing over' point of trend distributions fully meeting total expenditure from around November 2019. This is not conclusive, however, as the trend curve is sensitive to the unusual COVID-19 related observations of the first half of this year, and could easily shift further downward if normal expense patterns resume.
One issue this analysis raises is what to do with the 'credit card purchases' measure reported below. This measure is designed to provide a stylised benchmark of how close the current portfolio is to a target of generating the income required to meet an annual average credit card expenditure of $71 000.
The problem with this is that continued falling credit card spending means that average credit card spending is lower than that benchmark for all time horizons - measured as three and four year averages, or in fact taken as a whole since 2013. So the set benchmark may, if anything, be understating actual progress compared the graphs and data above by not reflecting changing spending levels.
In the past I have addressed this trend by reducing the benchmark. Over coming months, or perhaps at the end of the year, I will need to revisit both the meaning, and method, of setting this measure.
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) 82.6% 111.5%
Credit card purchases – $71 000 pa 100.7% 136.0%
Total expenses – $89 000 pa 80.7% 109.0%
Summary
One of the most challenging aspects of closing in on a fixed numerical target for financial independence with risk assets still in place is that the updrafts and downdrafts of market movements can push the goal further away, or surprisingly close.
There have been long period of the journey where the total value of portfolio has barely grown, despite regular investments being made. As an example, the portfolio ended 2018 lower than it started the year. The past six months have been another such period. This can create a sense of treading water.
Yet amidst the economic devastation affecting real lives and businesses, this is an extremely fortunate position to be in. Australia and the globe are set to experience an economic contraction far more severe than the Global Financial Crisis, with a lesser capacity than previously for interest rates to cushion the impact. Despite similar measures being adopted by governments to address the downturn, it is not clear whether these are fit for purpose.
Asset allocation in this environment - of being almost suspended between two realities - is a difficult problem. The history of markets can tell us that just when assets seem most 'broken', they can produce outsized returns. Yet the problem remains that far from being surrounded by broken markets, the proliferation appears to be in bubble-like conditions.
This recent podcast discussion with the founder of Grant's Interest Rate Observer provided a useful historical context to current financial conditions this month. One of the themes of the conversation was 'thinking the unthinkable', such as a return of inflation. Similar, this Hoover Institute video discussion, with a 'Back from the future' premise, provides some entertaining, informed and insightful views on the surprising and contingent nature of what we know to be true.
Some of our little systems may well have had their day, but what could replace them remains obscured to any observer.
The post, links and full charts can be seen here.
submitted by thefiexpl to fiaustralia [link] [comments]

Bob The Magic Custodian



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

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

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

But "no worries", Alice has a custodian named Bob. Bob is dressed in a nice suit. He knows some politicians. And he drives a Porsche. "So you have nothing to worry about!". And look at all the benefits we get:
See - all problems are solved! All we have to worry about now is:
It's pretty simple. Before we had to trust Alice. Now we only have to trust Alice, Bob, and all the ways in which they communicate. Just think of how much more secure we are!

"On top of that", Bob assures us, "we're using a special wallet structure". Bob shows Alice a diagram. "We've broken the balance up and store it in lots of smaller wallets. That way", he assures her, "a thief can't take it all at once". And he points to a historic case where a large sum was taken "because it was stored in a single wallet... how stupid".
"Very early on, we used to have all the crypto in one wallet", he said, "and then one Christmas a hacker came and took it all. We call him the Grinch. Now we individually wrap each crypto and stick it under a binary search tree. The Grinch has never been back since."

"As well", Bob continues, "even if someone were to get in, we've got insurance. It covers all thefts and even coercion, collusion, and misplaced keys - only subject to the policy terms and conditions." And with that, he pulls out a phone-book sized contract and slams it on the desk with a thud. "Yep", he continues, "we're paying top dollar for one of the best policies in the country!"
"Can I read it?' Alice asks. "Sure," Bob says, "just as soon as our legal team is done with it. They're almost through the first chapter." He pauses, then continues. "And can you believe that sales guy Mike? He has the same year Porsche as me. I mean, what are the odds?"

"Do you use multi-sig?", Alice asks. "Absolutely!" Bob replies. "All our engineers are fully trained in multi-sig. Whenever we want to set up a new wallet, we generate 2 separate keys in an air-gapped process and store them in this proprietary system here. Look, it even requires the biometric signature from one of our team members to initiate any withdrawal." He demonstrates by pressing his thumb into the display. "We use a third-party cloud validation API to match the thumbprint and authorize each withdrawal. The keys are also backed up daily to an off-site third-party."
"Wow that's really impressive," Alice says, "but what if we need access for a withdrawal outside of office hours?" "Well that's no issue", Bob says, "just send us an email, call, or text message and we always have someone on staff to help out. Just another part of our strong commitment to all our customers!"

"What about Proof of Reserve?", Alice asks. "Of course", Bob replies, "though rather than publish any blockchain addresses or signed transaction, for privacy we just do a SHA256 refactoring of the inverse hash modulus for each UTXO nonce and combine the smart contract coefficient consensus in our hyperledger lightning node. But it's really simple to use." He pushes a button and a large green checkmark appears on a screen. "See - the algorithm ran through and reserves are proven."
"Wow", Alice says, "you really know your stuff! And that is easy to use! What about fiat balances?" "Yeah, we have an auditor too", Bob replies, "Been using him for a long time so we have quite a strong relationship going! We have special books we give him every year and he's very efficient! Checks the fiat, crypto, and everything all at once!"

"We used to have a nice offline multi-sig setup we've been using without issue for the past 5 years, but I think we'll move all our funds over to your facility," Alice says. "Awesome", Bob replies, "Thanks so much! This is perfect timing too - my Porsche got a dent on it this morning. We have the paperwork right over here." "Great!", Alice replies.
And with that, Alice gets out her pen and Bob gets the contract. "Don't worry", he says, "you can take your crypto-assets back anytime you like - just subject to our cancellation policy. Our annual management fees are also super low and we don't adjust them often".

How many holes have to exist for your funds to get stolen?
Just one.

Why are we taking a powerful offline multi-sig setup, widely used globally in hundreds of different/lacking regulatory environments with 0 breaches to date, and circumventing it by a demonstrably weak third party layer? And paying a great expense to do so?
If you go through the list of breaches in the past 2 years to highly credible organizations, you go through the list of major corporate frauds (only the ones we know about), you go through the list of all the times platforms have lost funds, you go through the list of times and ways that people have lost their crypto from identity theft, hot wallet exploits, extortion, etc... and then you go through this custodian with a fine-tooth comb and truly believe they have value to add far beyond what you could, sticking your funds in a wallet (or set of wallets) they control exclusively is the absolute worst possible way to take advantage of that security.

The best way to add security for crypto-assets is to make a stronger multi-sig. With one custodian, what you are doing is giving them your cryptocurrency and hoping they're honest, competent, and flawlessly secure. It's no different than storing it on a really secure exchange. Maybe the insurance will cover you. Didn't work for Bitpay in 2015. Didn't work for Yapizon in 2017. Insurance has never paid a claim in the entire history of cryptocurrency. But maybe you'll get lucky. Maybe your exact scenario will buck the trend and be what they're willing to cover. After the large deductible and hopefully without a long and expensive court battle.

And you want to advertise this increase in risk, the lapse of judgement, an accident waiting to happen, as though it's some kind of benefit to customers ("Free institutional-grade storage for your digital assets.")? And then some people are writing to the OSC that custodians should be mandatory for all funds on every exchange platform? That this somehow will make Canadians as a whole more secure or better protected compared with standard air-gapped multi-sig? On what planet?

Most of the problems in Canada stemmed from one thing - a lack of transparency. If Canadians had known what a joke Quadriga was - it wouldn't have grown to lose $400m from hard-working Canadians from coast to coast to coast. And Gerald Cotten would be in jail, not wherever he is now (at best, rotting peacefully). EZ-BTC and mister Dave Smilie would have been a tiny little scam to his friends, not a multi-million dollar fraud. Einstein would have got their act together or been shut down BEFORE losing millions and millions more in people's funds generously donated to criminals. MapleChange wouldn't have even been a thing. And maybe we'd know a little more about CoinTradeNewNote - like how much was lost in there. Almost all of the major losses with cryptocurrency exchanges involve deception with unbacked funds.
So it's great to see transparency reports from BitBuy and ShakePay where someone independently verified the backing. The only thing we don't have is:
It's not complicated to validate cryptocurrency assets. They need to exist, they need to be spendable, and they need to cover the total balances. There are plenty of credible people and firms across the country that have the capacity to reasonably perform this validation. Having more frequent checks by different, independent, parties who publish transparent reports is far more valuable than an annual check by a single "more credible/official" party who does the exact same basic checks and may or may not publish anything. Here's an example set of requirements that could be mandated:
There are ways to structure audits such that neither crypto assets nor customer information are ever put at risk, and both can still be properly validated and publicly verifiable. There are also ways to structure audits such that they are completely reasonable for small platforms and don't inhibit innovation in any way. By making the process as reasonable as possible, we can completely eliminate any reason/excuse that an honest platform would have for not being audited. That is arguable far more important than any incremental improvement we might get from mandating "the best of the best" accountants. Right now we have nothing mandated and tons of Canadians using offshore exchanges with no oversight whatsoever.

Transparency does not prove crypto assets are safe. CoinTradeNewNote, Flexcoin ($600k), and Canadian Bitcoins ($100k) are examples where crypto-assets were breached from platforms in Canada. All of them were online wallets and used no multi-sig as far as any records show. This is consistent with what we see globally - air-gapped multi-sig wallets have an impeccable record, while other schemes tend to suffer breach after breach. We don't actually know how much CoinTrader lost because there was no visibility. Rather than publishing details of what happened, the co-founder of CoinTrader silently moved on to found another platform - the "most trusted way to buy and sell crypto" - a site that has no information whatsoever (that I could find) on the storage practices and a FAQ advising that “[t]rading cryptocurrency is completely safe” and that having your own wallet is “entirely up to you! You can certainly keep cryptocurrency, or fiat, or both, on the app.” Doesn't sound like much was learned here, which is really sad to see.
It's not that complicated or unreasonable to set up a proper hardware wallet. Multi-sig can be learned in a single course. Something the equivalent complexity of a driver's license test could prevent all the cold storage exploits we've seen to date - even globally. Platform operators have a key advantage in detecting and preventing fraud - they know their customers far better than any custodian ever would. The best job that custodians can do is to find high integrity individuals and train them to form even better wallet signatories. Rather than mandating that all platforms expose themselves to arbitrary third party risks, regulations should center around ensuring that all signatories are background-checked, properly trained, and using proper procedures. We also need to make sure that signatories are empowered with rights and responsibilities to reject and report fraud. They need to know that they can safely challenge and delay a transaction - even if it turns out they made a mistake. We need to have an environment where mistakes are brought to the surface and dealt with. Not one where firms and people feel the need to hide what happened. In addition to a knowledge-based test, an auditor can privately interview each signatory to make sure they're not in coercive situations, and we should make sure they can freely and anonymously report any issues without threat of retaliation.
A proper multi-sig has each signature held by a separate person and is governed by policies and mutual decisions instead of a hierarchy. It includes at least one redundant signature. For best results, 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7.

History has demonstrated over and over again the risk of hot wallets even to highly credible organizations. Nonetheless, many platforms have hot wallets for convenience. While such losses are generally compensated by platforms without issue (for example Poloniex, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, Gatecoin, Coincheck, Bithumb, Zaif, CoinBene, Binance, Bitrue, Bitpoint, Upbit, VinDAX, and now KuCoin), the public tends to focus more on cases that didn't end well. Regardless of what systems are employed, there is always some level of risk. For that reason, most members of the public would prefer to see third party insurance.
Rather than trying to convince third party profit-seekers to provide comprehensive insurance and then relying on an expensive and slow legal system to enforce against whatever legal loopholes they manage to find each and every time something goes wrong, insurance could be run through multiple exchange operators and regulators, with the shared interest of having a reputable industry, keeping costs down, and taking care of Canadians. For example, a 4 of 7 multi-sig insurance fund held between 5 independent exchange operators and 2 regulatory bodies. All Canadian exchanges could pay premiums at a set rate based on their needed coverage, with a higher price paid for hot wallet coverage (anything not an air-gapped multi-sig cold wallet). Such a model would be much cheaper to manage, offer better coverage, and be much more reliable to payout when needed. The kind of coverage you could have under this model is unheard of. You could even create something like the CDIC to protect Canadians who get their trading accounts hacked if they can sufficiently prove the loss is legitimate. In cases of fraud, gross negligence, or insolvency, the fund can be used to pay affected users directly (utilizing the last transparent balance report in the worst case), something which private insurance would never touch. While it's recommended to have official policies for coverage, a model where members vote would fully cover edge cases. (Could be similar to the Supreme Court where justices vote based on case law.)
Such a model could fully protect all Canadians across all platforms. You can have a fiat coverage governed by legal agreements, and crypto-asset coverage governed by both multi-sig and legal agreements. It could be practical, affordable, and inclusive.

Now, we are at a crossroads. We can happily give up our freedom, our innovation, and our money. We can pay hefty expenses to auditors, lawyers, and regulators year after year (and make no mistake - this cost will grow to many millions or even billions as the industry grows - and it will be borne by all Canadians on every platform because platforms are not going to eat up these costs at a loss). We can make it nearly impossible for any new platform to enter the marketplace, forcing Canadians to use the same stagnant platforms year after year. We can centralize and consolidate the entire industry into 2 or 3 big players and have everyone else fail (possibly to heavy losses of users of those platforms). And when a flawed security model doesn't work and gets breached, we can make it even more complicated with even more people in suits making big money doing the job that blockchain was supposed to do in the first place. We can build a system which is so intertwined and dependent on big government, traditional finance, and central bankers that it's future depends entirely on that of the fiat system, of fractional banking, and of government bail-outs. If we choose this path, as history has shown us over and over again, we can not go back, save for revolution. Our children and grandchildren will still be paying the consequences of what we decided today.
Or, we can find solutions that work. We can maintain an open and innovative environment while making the adjustments we need to make to fully protect Canadian investors and cryptocurrency users, giving easy and affordable access to cryptocurrency for all Canadians on the platform of their choice, and creating an environment in which entrepreneurs and problem solvers can bring those solutions forward easily. None of the above precludes innovation in any way, or adds any unreasonable cost - and these three policies would demonstrably eliminate or resolve all 109 historic cases as studied here - that's every single case researched so far going back to 2011. It includes every loss that was studied so far not just in Canada but globally as well.
Unfortunately, finding answers is the least challenging part. Far more challenging is to get platform operators and regulators to agree on anything. My last post got no response whatsoever, and while the OSC has told me they're happy for industry feedback, I believe my opinion alone is fairly meaningless. This takes the whole community working together to solve. So please let me know your thoughts. Please take the time to upvote and share this with people. Please - let's get this solved and not leave it up to other people to do.

Facts/background/sources (skip if you like):



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

What is Driving Bitcoin Price? BET on BTC To $100,000 by 2020 - Crypto News Value of Bitcoin - YouTube Bitconometrics and what‘s driving the Bitcoin price ... What’s driving Bitcoin’s value today and in the future ... Factors that Determine the Price of Bitcoin?

Bitcoin has shot up in price over the last few days, reaching a six-month high of £8,685 ($11,188).. The cryptocurrency’s value had been fairly steady since recovering from the coronavirus ... Bitcoin skeptics often used the intrinsic value argument to denounce bitcoin’s survivability. Unfortunately, the bitcoin is a purely digital existence, thus making it free from the restraints of the physical world. It does not need to be inherently valuable like gold and neither does it need special rights granted by others to make it a fiat money. Though that may seem like an explanation ... All assumptions that the event will be a driving force for Bitcoin to climb back to its all-time high are based on historical patterns following the previous halvings. 2. COVID-19. The coronavirus pandemic has helped the public understand that government-based fiat money is unstable. From tens of trillions of dollars in quantitative easing measures to the uneven distribution of $1200 cheques ... Bitcoin makes up the largest share of all crytocurrencies. Now onto valuing bitcoin. What Drives Bitcoin Price? Not fundamental valuations… Traditional investors have often tried to develop an “intrinsic value” of bitcoin by analyzing its supply.. But that method misses one key fact: bitcoin’s supply remains relatively fixed because of its underlying code. The famous bitcoin bull, Thomas Lee, Managing Partner and Head of Research at Fundstrat Global Advisors spoke about the economics of cryptocurrencies and bitcoin at the Upfront Summit last year. He said that the millennials are the driving force of this asset class and this generation cohort, that was born between 1981 to 2000, will drive the price of bitcoin to $10 million dollars .

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What is Driving Bitcoin Price? BET on BTC To $100,000 by 2020 - Crypto News

We all know Bitcoin is a roller coaster of price changes, but have you ever wondered what determines the value of Bitcoin? Today Maria walk you through how the value of bitcoin constantly changes! Is a $1 Million Bitcoin Possible? Let's make the case. Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AltcoinDailyio Links and Articles: The Case for the $1 Million Dollar ... Enabling a dialogue about Bitcoin The VoB is a dialogue event that brings together skeptics, advocates, entrepreneurs and inquisitive decision makers. It is ... In this presentation Manuel Andersch, Senior FX Analyst at BayernLB is uncovering the path which lead to what he calls "bitconometrics". Working with differe... What Is Cryptocurrency? https://www.freecryptominicourse.com Use the link to the left to learn how and why bitcoin & cryptocurrency are changing the worl...

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