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''' Gonna need a source for that. I'm aware he sold MtGox Live (a trading chart page using MtGox's public plugin) to MtGox, but I've never heard of him being ownefounder of MtGox. In fact, if my memory serves me, Jed McCaleb (Ripple) was the founder who sold it to Mark Karepeles, end of story. ''' Context Link Go1dfish undelete link unreddit undelete link Author: sn0wm0nster
An extensive guide for cashing out bitcoin and cryptocurrencies into private banks
Hey guys. Merry Xmas ! I am coming back to you with a follow up post, as I have helped many people cash out this year and I have streamlined the process. After my original post, I received many requests to be more specific and provide more details. I thought that after the amazing rally we have been attending over the last few months, and the volatility of the last few days, it would be interesting to revisit more extensively. The attitude of banks around crypto is changing slowly, but it is still a tough stance. For the first partial cash out I operated around a year ago for a client, it took me months to find a bank. They wouldn’t want to even consider the case and we had to knock at each and every door. Despite all my contacts it was very difficult back in the days. This has changed now, and banks have started to open their doors, but there is a process, a set of best practices and codes one has to follow. I often get requests from crypto guys who are very privacy-oriented, and it takes me months to have them understand that I am bound by Swiss law on banking secrecy, and I am their ally in this onboarding process. It’s funny how I have to convince people that banks are legit, while on the other side, banks ask me to show that crypto millionaires are legit. I have a solid background in both banking and in crypto so I manage to make the bridge, but yeah sometimes it is tough to reconcile the two worlds. I am a crypto enthusiast myself and I can say that after years of work in the banking industry I have grown disillusioned towards banks as well, like many of you. Still an account in a Private bank is convenient and powerful. So let’s get started.
A. What is required to open an account in a Private bank when you made your fortune through crypto.
There are two different aspects to your onboarding in a Swiss Private bank, compliance-wise. *The origin of your crypto wealth *Your background (residence, citizenship and probity) These two aspects must be documented in-depth. How to document your crypto wealth. Each new crypto millionaire has a different story. I may detail a few fun stories later in this post, but at the end of the day, most of crypto rich I have met can be categorized within the following profiles: the miner, the early adopter, the trader, the corporate entity, the black market, the libertarian/OTC buyer. The real question is how you prove your wealth is legit. 1. Context around the original amount/investment Generally speaking, your first crypto purchase may not be documented. But the context around this acquisition can be. I have had many cases where the original amount was bought through Mtgox, and no proof of purchase could be provided, nor could be documented any Mtgox claim. That’s perfectly fine. At some point Mtgox amounted 70% of the bitcoin transactions globally, and people who bought there and managed to withdraw and keep hold of their bitcoins do not have any Mtgox claim. This is absolutely fine. However, if you can show me the record of a wire from your bank to Tisbane (Mtgox's parent company) it's a great way to start. Otherwise, what I am trying to document here is the following: I need context. If you made your first purchase by saving from summer jobs, show me a payroll. Even if it was USD 2k. If you acquired your first bitcoins from mining, show me the bills of your mining equipment from 2012 or if it was through a pool mine, give me your slushpool account ref for instance. If you were given bitcoin against a service you charged, show me an invoice. 2. Tracking your wealth until today and making sense of it. What I have been doing over the last few months was basically educating compliance officers. Thanks God, the blockchain is a global digital ledger! I have been telling my auditors and compliance officers they have the best tool at their disposal to lead a proper investigation. Whether you like it or not, your wealth can be tracked, from address to address. You may have thought all along this was a bad feature, but I am telling you, if you want to cash out, in the context of Private Banking onboarding, tracking your wealth through the block explorer is a boon. We can see the inflows, outflows. We can see the age behind an address. An early adopter who bought 1000 BTC in 2010, and let his bitcoin behind one address and held thus far is legit, whether or not he has a proof of purchase to show. That’s just common sense. My job is to explain that to the banks in a language they understand. Let’s have a look at a few examples and how to document the few profiles I mentioned earlier. The trader. I love traders. These are easy cases. I have a ton of respect for them. Being a trader myself in investment banks for a decade earlier in my career has taught me that controlling one’s emotions and having the discipline to impose oneself some proper risk management system is really really hard. Further, being able to avoid the exchange bankruptcy and hacks throughout crypto history is outstanding. It shows real survival instinct, or just plain blissed ignorance. In any cases traders at exchange are easy cases to corroborate since their whole track record is potentially available. Some traders I have met have automated their trading and have shown me more than 500k trades done over the span of 4 years. Obviously in this kind of scenario I don’t show everything to the bank to avoid information overload, and prefer to do some snacking here and there. My strategy is to show the early trades, the most profitable ones, explain the trading strategy and (partially expose) the situation as of now with id pages of the exchanges and current balance. Many traders have become insensitive to the risk of parking their crypto at exchange as they want to be able to trade or to grasp an occasion any minute, so they generally do not secure a substantial portion on the blockchain which tends to make me very nervous. The early adopter. Provided that he has not mixed his coin, the early adopter or “hodler” is not a difficult case either. Who cares how you bought your first 10k btc if you bought them below 3$ ? Even if you do not have a purchase proof, I would generally manage to find ways. We just have to corroborate the original 30’000 USD investment in this case. I mainly focus on three things here: *proof of early adoption I have managed to educate some banks on a few evidences specifically related to crypto markets. For instance with me, an old bitcointalk account can serve as a proof of early adoption. Even an old reddit post from a few years ago where you say how much you despise this Ripple premined scam can prove to be a treasure readily available to show you were early. *story telling Compliance officers like to know when, why and how. They are human being looking for simple answers to simple questions and they don’t want like to be played fool. Telling the truth, even without a proof can do wonders, and even though bluffing might still work because banks don’t fully understand bitcoin yet, it is a risky strategy that is less and less likely to pay off as they are getting more sophisticated by the day. *micro transaction from an old address you control This is the killer feature. Send a $20 worth transaction from an old address to my company wallet and to one of my partner bank’s wallet and you are all set ! This is gold and considered a very solid piece of evidence. You can also do a microtransaction to your own wallet, but banks generally prefer transfer to their own wallet. Patience with them please. they are still learning. *signature message Why do a micro transaction when you can sign a message and avoid potentially tainting your coins ? *ICO millionaire Some clients made their wealth participating in ETH crowdsale or IOTA ICO. They were very easy to deal with obviously and the account opening was very smooth since we could evidence the GENESIS TxHash flow. The miner Not so easy to proof the wealth is legit in that case. Most early miners never took screenshot of the blocks on bitcoin core, nor did they note down the block number of each block they mined. Until the the Slashdot article from August 2010 anyone could mine on his laptop, let his computer run overnight and wake up to a freshly minted block containing 50 bitcoins back in the days. Not many people were structured enough to store and secure these coins, avoid malwares while syncing the blockchain continuously, let alone document the mined blocks in the process. What was 50 BTC worth really for the early miners ? dust of dollars, games and magic cards… Even miners post 2010 are generally difficult to deal with in terms of compliance onboarding. Many pool mining are long dead. Deepbit is down for instance and the founders are MIA. So my strategy to proof mining activity is as follow: *Focusing on IT background whenever possible. An IT background does help a lot to bring some substance to the fact you had the technical ability to operate a mining rig. *Showing mining equipment receipts. If you mined on your own you must have bought the hardware to do so. For instance mining equipment receipts from butterfly lab from 2012-2013 could help document your case. Similarly, high electricity bill from your household on a consistent basis back in the day could help. I have already unlocked a tricky case in the past with such documents when the bank was doubtful. *Wallet.dat files with block mining transactions from 2011 thereafter This obviously is a fantastic piece of evidence for both you and me if you have an old wallet and if you control an address that received original mined blocks, (even if the wallet is now empty). I will make sure compliance officers understand what it means, and as for the early adopter, you can prove your control over these wallet through a microtransaction. With these kind of addresses, I can show on the block explorer the mined block rewards hitting at regular time interval, and I can even spot when difficulty level increased or when halvening process happened. *Poolmining account. Here again I have educated my partner bank to understand that a slush account opened in 2013 or an OnionTip presence was enough to corroborate mining activity. The block explorer then helps me to do the bridge with your current wallet. *Describing your set up and putting it in context In the history of mining we had CPU, GPU, FPG and ASICs mining. I will describe your technical set up and explain why and how your set up was competitive at that time. The corporate entity Remember 2012 when we were all convinced bitcoin would take over the world, and soon everyone would pay his coffee in bitcoin? How naïve we were to think transaction fees would remain low forever. I don’t blame bitcoin cash supporters; I once shared this dream as well. Remember when we thought global adoption was right around the corner and some brick and mortar would soon accept bitcoin transaction as a common mean of payment? Well, some shop actually did accept payment and held. I had a few cases as such of shops holders, who made it to the multi million mark holding and had invoices or receipts to proof the transactions. If you are organized enough to keep a record for these trades and are willing to cooperate for the documentation, you are making your life easy. The digital advertising business is also a big market for the bitcoin industry, and affiliates partner compensated in btc are common. It is good to show an invoice, it is better to show a contract. If you do not have a contract (which is common since all advertising deals are about ticking a check box on the website to accept terms and conditions), there are ways around that. If you are in that case, pm me. The black market Sorry guys, I can’t do much for you officially. Not that I am judging you. I am a libertarian myself. It’s just already very difficult to onboard legit btc adopters, so the black market is a market I cannot afford to consider. My company is regulated so KYC and compliance are key for me if I want to stay in business. Behind each case I push forward I am risking the credibility and reputation I have built over the years. So I am sorry guys I am not risking it to make an extra buck. Your best hope is that crypto will eventually take over the world and you won’t need to cash out anyway. Or go find a Lithuanian bank that is light on compliance and cooperative. The OTC buyer and the libertarian. Generally a very difficult case. If you bought your stack during your journey in Japan 5 years ago to a guy you never met again; or if you accumulated on https://localbitcoins.com/ and kept no record or lost your account, it is going to be difficult. Not impossible but difficult. We will try to build a case with everything else we have, and I may be able to onboard you. However I am risking a lot here so I need to be 100% confident you are legit, before I defend you. Come & see me in Geneva, and we will talk. I will run forensic services like elliptic, chainalysis, or scorechain on an extract of your wallet. If this scan does not raise too many red flags, then maybe we can work together ! If you mixed your coins all along your crypto history, and shredded your seeds because you were paranoid, or if you made your wealth mining professionally monero over the last 3 years but never opened an account at an exchange. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ I am not a magician and don’t get me wrong, I love monero, it’s not the point. Cashing out ICOs Private companies or foundations who have ran an ICO generally have a very hard time opening a bank account. The few banks that accept such projects would generally look at 4 criteria: *Seriousness of the project Extensive study of the whitepaper to limit the reputation risk *AML of the onboarding process ICOs 1.0 have no chance basically if a background check of the investors has not been conducted *Structure of the moral entity List of signatories, certificate of incumbency, work contract, premises... *Fiscal conformity Did the company informed the authorities and seek a fiscal ruling.
B. The tax issue I am not a tax specialist, but I can say that this year I have seen it all. Again I am not judging. You made $100m hodling, and still wouldn’t pay your taxes ? Your decision.I personally advise everyone to pay their taxes, but also to be generous, to give to charities. I mean you eventually made it. Good for you. What about you contribute to make the world a better place now? I will stop patronizing you. It’s just my 2cts, and it’s your money.
For the record, I am not into the tax avoidance business, so people come to me with a set up and I see if I can make it work within the legal framework imposed to me. First, stop thinking Switzerland is a “offshore heaven” Swiss banks have made deals with many governments for the exchange of fiscal information. If you are a French citizen, resident in France and want to open an account in a Private Bank in Switzerland to cash out your bitcoins, you will get slaughtered (>60%). There are ways around that, and I could refer you to good tax specialists for fiscal optimization, but I cannot organize it myself. It would be illegal for me. Swiss private banks makes it easy for you to keep a good your relation with your retail bank and continue paying your bills without headaches. They are integrated to SEPA, provide ebanking and credit cards. For information, these are the kind of set up some of my clients came up with. It’s all legal; obviously I do not onboard clients that are not tax compliant. Further disclaimer: I did not contribute myself to these set up. Do not ask me to organize it for you. I won’t. EU tricks Swiss lump sum taxation Foreign nationals resident in Switzerland can be taxed on a lump-sum basis if they are not gainfully employed in our country. Under the lump-sum tax regime, foreign nationals taking residence in Switzerland may choose to pay an expense-based tax instead of ordinary income and wealth tax. Attractive cantons for the lump sum taxation are Zug, Vaud, Valais, Grisons, Lucerne and Berne. To make it short, you will be paying somewhere between 200 and 400k a year and all expenses will be deductible. Switzerland has adopted a very friendly attitude towards crypto currency in general. There is a whole crypto valley in Zug now. 30% of ICOs are operated in Switzerland. The reason is that Switzerland has thrived for centuries on banking secrecy, and today with FATCA and exchange of fiscal info with EU, banking secrecy is dead. Regulators in Switzerland have understood that digital ledger technologies were a way to roll over this competitive advantage for the generations to come. Switzerland does not tax capital gains on crypto profits. The Finma has a very pragmatic approach. They have issued guidance- updated guidelines here. They let the business get organized and operate their analysis on a case per case basis. Only after getting a deep understanding of the market will they issue a global fintech license in 2019. This approach is much more realistic than legislations which try to regulate everything beforehand. Italy new tax exemption. It’s a brand new fiscal exemption. Go to Aoste, get residency and you could be taxed a 100k/year for 10years. Yes, really. Portugal What’s crazy in Europe is the lack of fiscal harmonization. Even if no one in Brussels dares admit it, every other country is doing fiscal dumping. Portugal is such a country and has proved very friendly fiscally speaking. I personally have a hard time trusting Europe. I have witnessed what happened in Greece over the last few years. Some of our ultra high net worth clients got stuck with capital controls. I mean no way you got out of crypto to have your funds confiscated at the next financial crisis! Anyway. FYI Malta Generally speaking, if you get a residence somewhere you have to live there for a certain period of time. Being stuck in Italy is no big deal with Schengen Agreement, but in Malta it is a different story. In Malta, the ordinary residence scheme is more attractive than the HNWI residence scheme. Being an individual, you can hold a residence permit under this scheme and pay zero income tax in Malta in a completely legal way. Monaco Not suitable for French citizens, but for other Ultra High Net worth individual, Monaco is worth considering. You need an account at a local bank as a proof of fortune, and this account generally has to be seeded with at least EUR500k. You also need a proof of residence. I do mean UHNI because if you don’t cash out minimum 30m it’s not interesting. Everything is expensive in Monaco. Real Estate is EUR 50k per square meter. A breakfast at Monte Carlo Bay hotel is 70 EUR. Monaco is sunny but sometimes it feels like a golden jail. Do you really want that for your kids? Dubaï
Set up a company in Dubaï, get your resident card.
Spend one day every 6 month there
Be tax free
US tricks Some Private banks in Geneva do have the license to manage the assets of US persons and U.S citizens. However, do not think it is a way to avoid paying taxes in the US. Opening an account at an authorized Swiss Private banks is literally the same tax-wise as opening an account at Fidelity or at Bank of America in the US. The only difference is that you will avoid all the horror stories. Horror stories are all real by the way. In Switzerland, if you build a decent case and answer all the questions and corroborate your case in depth, you will manage to convince compliance officers beforehand. When the money eventually hits your account, it is actually available and not frozen. The IRS and FATCA require to file FBAR if an offshore account is open. However FBAR is a reporting requirement and does not have taxes related to holding an account outside the US. The taxes would be the same if the account was in the US. However penalties for non compliance with FBAR are very large. The tax liability management is actually performed through the management of the assets ( for exemple by maximizing long term capital gains and minimizing short term gains). The case for Porto Rico. Full disclaimer here. I am not encouraging this. Have not collaborated on such tax avoidance schemes. if you are interested I strongly encourage you to seek a tax advisor and get a legal opinion. I am not responsible for anything written below. I am not going to say much because I am so afraid of uncle Sam that I prefer to humbly pass the hot potato to pwc From here all it takes is a good advisor and some creativity to be tax free on your crypto wealth if you are a US person apparently. Please, please please don’t ask me more. And read the disclaimer again. Trust tricks Generally speaking I do not accept fringe fiscal situation because it puts me in a difficult situation to the banks I work with, and it is already difficult enough to defend a legit crypto case. Trust might be a way to optimize your fiscal situation. Belize. Bahamas. Seychelles. Panama, You name it. At the end of the day, what matters for Swiss Banks are the beneficial owner and the settlor. Get a legal opinion, get it done, and when you eventually knock at a private bank’s door, don’t say it was for fiscal avoidance you stupid ! You will get the door smashed upon you. Be smarter. It will work. My advice is just to have it done by a great tax specialist lawyer, even if it costs you some money, as the entity itself needs to be structured in a professional way. Remember that with trust you are dispossessing yourself off your wealth. Not something to be taken lightly. “Anonymous” cash out. Right. I think I am not going into this topic, neither expose the ways to get it done. Pm me for details. I already feel a bit uncomfortable with all the info I have provided. I am just going to mention many people fear that crypto exchange might become reporting entities soon, and rightly so. This might happen anyday. You have been warned. FYI, this only works for non-US and large cash out. The difference between traders an investors. Danmark, Holland and Germany all make a huge difference if you are a passive investor or if you are a trader. ICO is considered investing for instance and is not taxed, while trading might be considered as income and charged aggressively. I would try my best to protect you and put a focus on your investor profile whenever possible, so you don't have to pay 52% tax if you do not have to :D
C. The cash out itself So you have accumulated patiently a good amount of wealth. For some of us who have been involved in crypto since 2010, it took years. Remember when BTC was stuck at 200$ for months? I personally feel like it was yesterday. There is no way you screw up your wealth by cashing out in a hurry or with low security standards. Here is how the cash out takes should place.
Full cash out or partial cash out? People who have been sitting on crypto for long have grown an emotional and irrational link with their coins. They come to me and say, look, I have 50m in crypto but I would like to cash out 500k only. So first let me tell you that as a wealth manager my advice to you is to take some off the table. Doing a partial cash out is absolutely fine. The market is bullish. We are witnessing a redistribution of wealth at a global scale. Bitcoin is the real #occupywallstreet, and every one will discuss crypto at Xmas eve which will make the market even more supportive beginning 2018, especially with all hedge funds entering the scene. If you want to stay exposed to bitcoin and altcoins, and believe these techs will change the world, it’s just natural you want to keep some coins. In the meantime, if you have lived off pizzas over the last years, and have the means to now buy yourself an nice house and have an account at a private bank, then f***ing do it mate ! Buy physical gold with this account, buy real estate, have some cash at hands. Even though US dollar is worthless to your eyes, it’s good and convenient to have some. Also remember your wife deserves it ! And if you have no wife yet and you are socially awkward like the rest of us, then maybe cashing out partially will help your situation ;) What the Private Banks expect. Joke aside, it is important you understand something. If you come around in Zurich to open a bank account and partially cash out, just don’t expect Private Banks will make an exception for you if you are small. You can’t ask them to facilitate your cash out, buy a 1m apartment with the proceeds of the sale, and not leave anything on your current account. It won’t work. Sadly, under 5m you are considered small in private banking. The bank is ok to let you open an account, provided that your kyc and compliance file are validated, but they will also want you to become a client and leave some money there to invest. This might me despicable, but I am just explaining you their rules. If you want to cash out, you should sell enough to be comfortable and have some left. Also expect the account opening to last at least 3-4 week if everything goes well. You can't just open an account overnight. The cash out logistics. Cashing out 1m USD a day in bitcoin or more is not so hard. Let me just tell you this: Even if you get a Tier 4 account with Kraken and ask Alejandro there to raise your limit over $100k per day, Even if you have a bitfinex account and you are willing to expose your wealth there, Even if you have managed to pass all the crazy due diligence at Bitstamp, The amount should be fractioned to avoid risking your full wealth on exchange and getting slaughtered on the price by trading big quantities. Cashing out involves significant risks at all time. There is a security risk of compromising your keys, a counterparty risk, a fat finger risk. Let it be done by professionals. It is worth every single penny. Most importantly, there is a major difference between trading on an exchange and trading OTC. Even though it’s not publicly disclosed some exchange like Kraken do have OTC desks. Trading on an exchange for a large amount will weight on the prices. Bitcoin is a thin market. In my opinion over 30% of the coins are lost in translation forever. Selling $10m on an exchange in a day can weight on the prices more than you’d think. And if you trade on a exchange, everything is shown on record, and you might wipe out the prices because on exchanges like bitstamp or kraken ultimately your counterparties are retail investors and the market depth is not huge. It is a bit better on Bitfinex. It is way better to trade OTC. Accessing the institutional OTC market is not easy, and that is also the reason why you should ask a regulated financial intermediary if we are talking about huge amounts. Last point, always chose EUR as opposed to USD. EU correspondent banks won’t generally block institutional amounts. However we had the cases of USD funds frozen or delayed by weeks. Most well-known OTC desks are Cumberlandmining (ask for Lucas), Genesis (ask for Martin), Bitcoin Suisse AG (ask for Niklas), circletrade, B2C2, or Altcoinomy (ask for Olivier) Very very large whales can also set up escrow accounts for massive block trades. This world, where blocks over 30k BTC are exchanged between 2 parties would deserve a reddit thread of its own. Crazyness all around. Your options: DIY or going through a regulated financial intermediary. Execution trading is a job in itself. You have to be patient, be careful not to wipe out the order book and place limit orders, monitor the market intraday for spikes or opportunities. At big levels, for a large cash out that may take weeks, these kind of details will save you hundred thousands of dollars. I understand crypto holders are suspicious and may prefer to do it by themselves, but there are regulated entities who now offer the services. Besides, being a crypto millionaire is not a guarantee you will get institutional daily withdrawal limits at exchange. You might, but it will take you another round of KYC with them, and surprisingly this round might be even more aggressive that the ones at Private banks since exchange have gone under intense scrutiny by regulators lately. The fees for cashing out through a regulated financial intermediary to help you with your cash out should be around 1-2% flat on the nominal, not more. And for this price you should get the full package: execution/monitoring of the trades AND onboarding in a private bank. If you are asked more, you are being abused. Of course, you also have the option to do it yourself. It is a way more tedious and risky process. Compliance with the exchange, compliance with the private bank, trading BTC/fiat, monitoring the transfers…You will save some money but it will take you some time and stress. Further, if you approach a private bank directly, it will trigger a series of red flag to the banks. As I said in my previous post, they call a direct approach a “walk-in”. They will be more suspicious than if you were introduced by someone and won’t hesitate to show you high fees and load your portfolio with in-house products that earn more money to the banks than to you. Remember also most banks still do not understand crypto so you will have a lot of explanations to provide and you will have to start form scratch with them! The paradox of crypto millionaires Most of my clients who made their wealth through crypto all took massive amount of risks to end up where they are. However, most of them want their bank account to be managed with a low volatility fixed income capital preservation risk profile. This is a paradox I have a hard time to explain and I think it is mainly due to the fact that most are distrustful towards banks and financial markets in general. Many clients who have sold their crypto also have a cash-out blues in the first few months. This is a classic situation. The emotions involved in hodling for so long, the relief that everything has eventually gone well, the life-changing dynamics, the difficulties to find a new motivation in life…All these elements may trigger a post cash-out depression. It is another paradox of the crypto rich who has every card in his hand to be happy, but often feel a bit sad and lonely. Sometimes, even though it’s not my job, I had to do some psychological support. A lot of clients have also become my friends, because we have the same age and went through the same “ordeal”. First world problem I know… Remember, cashing out is not the end. It’s actually the beginning. Don’t look back, don’t regret. Cash out partially, because it does not make sense to cash out in full, regret it and want back in. relax. The race to cash out crypto billionaire and the concept of late exiter. The Winklevoss brothers are obviously the first of a series. There will be crypto billionaires. Many of them. At a certain level you can have a whole family office working for you to manage your assets and take care of your needs . However, let me tell you it’s is not because you made it so big that you should think you are a genius and know everything better than anyone. You should hire professionals to help you. Managing assets require some education around the investment vehicles and risk management strategies. Sorry guys but with all the respect I have for wallstreebet, AMD and YOLO stock picking, some discipline is necessary. The investors who have made money through crypto are generally early adopters. However I have started to see another profile popping up. They are not early adopters. They are late exiters. It is another way but just as efficient. Last week I met the first crypto millionaire I know who first bough bitcoin over 1000$. 55k invested at the beginning of this year. Late adopter & late exiter is a route that can lead to the million. Last remarks. I know banks, bankers, and FIAT currencies are so last century. I know some of you despise them and would like to have them burn to the ground. With compliance officers taking over the business, I would like to start the fire myself sometimes. I hope this extensive guide has helped some of you. I am around if you need more details. I love my job despite all my frustration towards the banking industry because it makes me meet interesting people on a daily basis. I am a crypto enthusiast myself, and I do think this tech is here to stay and will change the world. Banks will have to adapt big time. Things have started to change already; they understand the threat is real. I can feel the generational gap in Geneva, with all these old bankers who don’t get what’s going on. They glaze at the bitcoin chart on CNBC in disbelief and they start to get it. This bitcoin thing is not a joke. Deep inside, as an early adopter who also intends to be a late exiter, as a libertarian myself, it makes me smile with satisfaction. Cheers. @swisspb on telegram
Apologies for typos and grammatical errors; wanted to get this out as soon as possible for those that weren't able to watch the live stream. Cleaned up formatting to make it more readable.
While this isn't a 100% word-for-word transcript, the overtone of the meeting should have been conveyed. SEC and CFTC want protections for consumers, but don't want to outright ban crypto. I was under the impression that both agencies were well-educated, but understaffed. They both want to introduce protections for customers and investors and go after scam artists, but don't want to impose any restrictions or regulations that would be bad for crypto as a whole (both from a security perspective, and a technological innovation perspective). Overall a huge positive.
Touched on the definition, use, history, all-time-high, market cap, negative news
Mentioned that the techonology has positives to transform the financial landscape, transfer risk
Volatility, 1000% rise, 60% fall, compared to DOW Jones
touched on scam artists/hackers, undereducated market participants
mentioned there are regulatory gaps, potentials for abuse
neither SEC/CFTC has authority to police all aspects
mentioned some analogies to the dotcom bubble
may be used to fund illicit activity
says they need to do more to get ahead of the curve
"don't forget your day jobs to pursue and punish misconduct", mentioned the 3 big banks being punished recently
crypto brings us to a new age, but don't overlook the princilpes of going after the bad guys and being tough
estimated highest market cap $700 bn; promising new technology
great efficiencies, including capital markets; seek to WORK WITH those who seek to bring innovation
Crypto currencies - replacement for dollars
widely known introduced as substitutes
make it easier and cheaper ot buy and sell goods
verification and fees/costs eliminated
ICOs - stock offering
stocks and bonds, under a new label
security being offered is a virtual token
"if it functions as a security, it IS a security"
doesn't mean you are investing in blockchain ventures
market have less oversight than traditional securities
if it looks like a stock exchange, don't take comfort
no capital and conduct requirements
many ICOs are conducted illegally
creators not following securities laws
those who try to circumvent the SEC are in their crosshairs
do not have control over the regulation of the markets that exchanges exist in
"do not view this as a request for increased SEC jurisdiction"
"I believe every ICO I have seen is a security"
we are working with the DOJ to enforce laws
story about how his kids recently showed an interest in Bitcoin
"we must foster their interest, but crack down hard on those that abuse"
response should have several elements:
learn as much as we can - Lab CFTC to engage with innovators
put things in perspective - as of this morning, Bitcoin 113 bn market cap. less than the market cap of McDonald's. sometimes compared to gold; value of gold dwarfs Bitcoin at 8 trillion market cap
educate consumers - podcasts, webinars, visits to libraries, outreach to seniors
legal authority - "The CFTC does not regulate the dozens of cryptocurrencies"; through their authority, they have enforcement over spot coin markets; analyze manipulation
tough enforcement - they have already launched civil actions, more will follow overall take: wants to work to foster education but introduce protections
Suggesting that perhaps one or both of SEC/CFTC may or should have full control
we should all come together and have a coordinated plan for dealing with the virtual currency market
far from how the stock market is addressed
asked by Crapo if there needs to be additional measures, responded "we may"
FINCEN has been active with AML/KYC
there isn't a comprehensive structure to deal with this
cross-border and international concerns; what challenges?
international nature means patchwork is not sufficient
FINCEN reports that these currencies are used for
encourages FINCEN to continue pursuing this
Markets have been global
Challenge working with overseas and bringing regulations
Challenge requires a lot of new thinking
Encourage to work together to decide how the regulation should look
ICOs raised $4bn globally
SEC focused to protect investors
not clear how much was raised in the U.S., due to unregulated basis; "significant portion"
cooperation between SEC and CFTC regulating Bitcoin but doesn't mention consumer protection bureau CFPB
we're in the enforcement perspective, i can check on that
report that "SEC has stopped enforcement actions against wall street firms"
"I saw that report"; found it annoying; gestation period is 22-24 months, latency period
we've put out a comprehensive report; i'm happy with that
we're pursuing our securities laws vigorously
troubled by a statement "SEC might lose 100 of its enforcement staff by not hiring those who leave"
how are you going to stay on top of everything else we've talked about as well as virtual currencies
personnel is my biggest challenge at the moment
we have a hiring freeze - natural cost, trouble finding people, etc
would receive the "greatest return for additional bodies"
is that the message that you're not the cop it should be?
not at all
I hope you will ask for money and flexibility
I've been very straight about money and value that can be added
Federal reserve is the biggest bank regulator we have
how are you going to put together a task force to deal with crypto currencies before this gets out of control
treasury secretary has brought us together to talk about this
"the funny thing is, they only work for their purported purpose if they're integrated with the financial service"
we are going to be coordinating responses; needs to be clear as to what we're doing
do you need additional legislation
we may be back to ask for that
virtual; go to a virtual doctor, virtual currency, etc
"i started out with pencil and paper in school"
Lack intrinsic value, lack liquidity
gained money going up, lost money going down
don't know where the floor is
relation between Bitcoin value and the cost of mining
charts plotting the correlation
the floor isn't zero, because there is some cost
"think there is something to the value of the crypto exchange"
"I'm not seeing the benefits manifesting themselves in the market yet"
"I'm interested in protecting the main street investors; they should see that"
in the securities world, there are rules that dictate how much you have to tell someone about what they're investing in
we will give you every tool you need to do your job and to hire every person you need to execute that
(essentially) do you have any cryptologists?
emerging area; could always use more horsepower
hired the industry's first "chief innovation officer"
started Lab CFTC
formed virtual currency task force
brought 3 cases against bitcoin fraudsters
used bypass authority for additional resources (13% over budget)
Bitcoin isn't the only one; there are seemingly new ones every day
are you tracking them all?
is someone looking at the long-term systemic effects
eerily similar to late-90s derivatives
Bitcoin is one of many; important to know that many are fraudulent
"MyBigCoin" which became known as "MyBigCon" - Ponzi scheme; we went after them
relatively small market, but we have to watch it
we have had to watch it because they're integrated with the markets we do oversee
on systemic - agrees with Giancarlo
if people are getting ripped off, that is an issue
"I used a pen and pencil as well"
fascinating to see how things are moving
we keep coming back to dollars and cents
new type of exchange; bartering
could avoid determination of the value of the dollar and cents
how do you tax? how do you recognize income?
seems that have to be filled, but basics that a lot of us don't understand
how do you respond to ICOs?
definition of a security is broad
"when you're offering me something and i give you money and the purpose of me giving you money is to profit from your actions going forward"
is Bitcoin a commodity or a security or is it both?
has characteristics of both
is a "medium of exchange, store of value, or a means of account"
we hear a lot of people holding - "HODL - hold on for dear life"
30 year old niece bought some years ago, is holding on
in this regard, it's a commodity
we are looking for fraud and manipulation so that people like his niece are protected
Jan 26th Bloomberg "SEC weighs a big gift [...] blocking class action lawsuits"
wants to get a straight yes/no - "do you support this enormous change in SEC policy"
bottom line - "I can't dictate whether or not this issue comes to us, but I'm not anxious to see a change in this area"
change can't happen without your approval
I'm only 1 of 5 votes
I'd guess there will be at lest 2 votes against it
It would take a long time
I'll let you get away with that
SEC's mission is to protect; not throw under bus
advisers that put fees, kickbacks for recommending product ahead of interest of clients
I want to know that you will not weaken the protections for retirement savers
that's what I'm trying to do - the relation between a broker and their client is regulated by no less than 5 people (the SEC)
want to make sure you're not jeopardizing investors
insufficient standard, lack of clarity, "the standard is only as good as the remedy available"
what dollars do you actually collect when someone does you harm?
if you want to strengthen it, i'm with you
who pays for frivolous lawsuits?
regulatory arbitrage, hard to trace
South Korea, China
was a largely unregulated space
each country is now taking regulatory measures
there's a lot happening beyond the understanding of your average investor
what do we need to do to combat this?
regulatory arbitrage, price arbitrage
different regional and international market
regulation - i think some time ago there was a perception Bitcoin was off the regulatory grid
enforcement / ICOs - we're using our full authority
we will go after misconduct
pump and dump
unregulated exchange, ability for price manipulation
we've taken 3 cases in the last few weeks, more to come
digging deep, learning a lot, seeing a lot
we are working the beat hard
what about retail investors?
formed partnership with CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)
Bitcoin is one of the most frequently searched term on library computers
enhancing outreach to educate people coming to the library
getting the word out - financial intermediaries
are you protecting retirement investments
seniors seem to be the prey of choice - not just for Bitcoin
we seek to prosecute these predators
article from Kentucky "Bitcoin is my potential pension"
what would you do to protect them?
troubling, which is why we're putting out so much material
"if it sounds too good to be true, it is"
"if you're giving them money, you'd better be prepared to lose it"
disruptive technologies, but you shouldn't bank on it
pumping all of your money into a disruptive technology has a very high probability of not working out
"there will be winners, but there will be many losers"
want to ensure it's not used against terrorist groups and countries like N Korea
working with FBI; will require cooperation among multiple organizations
also has a dark web working group
when was the last time you bought a fund?
a year or two ago, index funds
did you read the fine print?
not cover to cover
so what's the point of all this over-disclosure if nobody's reading it?
why do we want to do the same for Bitcoin?
adequacy of full disclosure
"I don't think the disclosure we have right now works"
good for lawyers / financial advisers, but right now, we over-disclose
how far should we go to protect people from themselves?
how far do you think we ought to go here? should we just go after the shysters and fully disclose?
what is the right way to deal with this new technology?
we want to deal with ICOs; don't want to go too far
our securities laws work pretty well, but disclosure can be improved
we have to have disclosure that works, and helps the helpless people
if we see the same continued growth, we may see the market cap at 20 trillion dollars by 2020
we may see the same transformation take place
we are going to have to wrap our hands around this
not sure what the right answer is, but this could systemically rise to an FSOC-level event
if this does keep going, is this a systemic issue?
want to go back to separating these two things
should regulate ICOs like securities
false disclosure is fraud, period
so much more to be done
Ethereum - creating "file sharing or extra computer time"
are these in your realm?
if it's an ICO that promises to deliver server time, it's a security
worried that we need a much more coordinated effort
could be as transformational as wireless technology
it is important; we are all working to understand our authorities
bitcoin futures are different; fully transparent and regulated, compared to Bitcoin that's opaque and unregulated
ICOs should be taken under our regime
Putting aside Bitcoin and other distributed ledger, what do you think the value is?
Without Bitcoin, there would be nothing. everything grew out of it.
applications range from financial services and banking, to charity dollars are spent, refugee, access to banking for those who don't have it
66 million tons of soybeans were traded using Bitcoin
allow regulators to do really close market surveillance with precision
challenges, but the potential is significant
agree the potential is significant
hope people pursue it vigorously
DOW Jones fell 4.6%; dollar seen 2% inflation or less; Bitcoin seems to be very volatile in comparison
we have seen volatility but in our world, we're used to it
emergence of futures to provide those who are exposed to it
don't really know what's driving the volatility
not related to foreign currencies
must be something different
lot of volatility compared to what they're supposed to be a substitute for
(essentially) so how does that bode to its claim?
it would not be a very effective means of exchange
with the volatility and delays, there's a significant risk
(quick shout out to) rogue nations, hackers, etc
under what circumstances do the SEC and CFTC have a role in regulating this?
fraud and manipulation - will not hesitate to take authority
what about manipulating to avoid U.S. sanctions?
I'll have to look into that
are there gaps that could create vulnerabilities?
part of a virtual currency task force; includes the fed and FINCEN
meeting with FINCEN this week to get some discussion of cooperation started
seen increase in ICOs; investors using digital tokens
grew from $96mil in 2016 to $4bil in 2017
celebrity promotion - Floyd Mayweather, Kardashian, et al
investors may not understand true risk when they see a product promoted by celebrities
we put out an alert that if you promote a security, you are taking on securities law liability
can you walk us through why the SEC is not comfortable with approving ETFs with crypto currencies?
we've made it clear that there are some issues - price discovery, custody, volatility
don't want to approve an ETF product with a cryptocurrency underlier without working out these issues
don't ETFs mitigate those concerns? are crypto currencies different?
MGT act - modernizing government technologies
create a fund for federal agencies to rid themselves of legacy technology
allows access to dollars; move to cloud
i would be delighted that there isn't a SEC/CFTC hack in the papers soon; advise strengthening cyber security
Kodak and Burger King investments
companies are using block chain as an opportunity to pump up stock prices
Long Island Ice Tea - Long Blockchain
nobody should think it's okay to chain your name to something that contains block chain when you have no idea what you're doing
any time there's something new that can raise the value of their stock without the underlying goods being there, it's not good
ICOs misrepresenting their affiliation where there are wild claims
"Our big task is bringing in enforcement cases and letting people see that"
3bn Bitcoin have been hacked, $500bn hack weeks ago, MtGox
what can buyers do to get their money back?
when you engage in investing online with an offshore entity, the chances that we can do anything to get your money back are very low
for the underlying spot markets, we don't have the authority to enforce safeguards and protections; this is a problem
"It's the old axiom "buyer beware"."
(in regards to the stock market) "Is this perhaps more than ordinary correction?"
I asked my staff and the federal government the same question
nothing to indicate any of our systems didn't indicate properly
largest volume since 2016
Neither single stock nor circuit breakers triggered
Nothing that came out of this are concerning
Is it profit taking? Is it a spook?
Interest rates? Fed has info we don't have?
Economy high, unemployment low?
Combination? Can we really say?
I can't really say. Lots of opinions.
Our job is to look at the systemic risks.
I've not seen anything.
"Markets up? More people bought than sold. Market down? More people sold than bought."
Markets are very complex. Fundamentals are sound. Doesn't appear to be any significant breeches.
Some ICOs are legitimate, some are just Ponzi schemes
"It's now so bad that Facebook recently banned all ads for virtual currencies"
How do we make ICOs safer?
Companies raised more than $4bil
How many companies registered with SEC?
Can you say just a word as to why that's so?
the gatekeepers haven't done their job. we've made it clear what the law is.
there are thousands of private placements. we want them to raise capital. but we want them to do it right.
folks somehow got comfortable that this was new and it's okay.
Estimating DPR's income after expenses & exchange rate
The FBI indictment states that SDPR earned ฿614,305 in commissions. It's been suggested that the expense of running SR, and the large changes in the exchange rate, may substantially reduce how many bitcoins DPR actually could have saved up, possibly to as low as ฿"150-200k". (The logic here is that if SR earns commissions of ฿100 in 2011 but needs to pay $100 of hosting bills, it needs to sell all ฿100 but in 2013, it would need to sell only ฿1.) DPR surely spent some of the commissions on running SR & himself, but running a website isn't that expensive, and how badly the exchange rate bites will depend on details like how it fluctuated over time, how sales grew over time, and how big the expenses really are. The reduction could be tiny, or it could be huge. It's hard to tell based just on a gut estimate. So: below, I take estimates of SR growth from Christin 2013's crawl and the FBI indictment, infer linear growth of SR sales, estimate daily expenses, and combine it with historical Bitcoin exchange rates to show that DPR probably has most of his bitcoins and 200k or lower is right out.
My strategy is to model Silk Road's growth as linear in dollar amounts, but with different amounts of bitcoins each day depending on the exchange rate, subtract a daily operating cost, and then sum the commissions. So say that on 1 January 2012, SR did $10k of business, and the exchange rate was 1:100, so ฿100 in turnover, and SR gets an average commission of 7.4%, so it would get ฿7.4. To do this, I need to estimate the revenue each day, the expenses each day, the commission each day, and the exchange rate each day. Then I can multiply revenue by commission, subtract the expense, and sum the left overs to get an estimate of the total bitcoins available to DPR which he could (or could not) have spent.
Employees: we know that Libertas and one or two others were employed at salaries of $1-2k per week. I'll assume there were 2 others, and each was paid the max of $2k per week, which means total daily employee expenses is (2 * 2000) / 7 = $571 per day. (Unfortunately, the indictment doesn't give any clear indication of their numbers, just referring to them as 'they'.) This is a conservative estimate since I'm pretty sure that SR was a one-man operation until probably in 2012.
The servers: we know there were at least 2 servers (the main site, and the forums). The task of hosting the sites does not seem to be too bandwidth or disk-space intensive, and servers are extremely cheap these days. The use of DataClub.biz and GigaTux suggest DPR was using cheap VPSes. I'll estimate a monthly expense of $500 ($250 a piece) which per day is $16. This is also very conservative.
DPR: his rent of $1000/month has been widely bruited about, and in general he reportedly spent little. Makes sense to me, I've met and seen the rooms of a few well-paid geeks in SF like DPR, and I would believe them if they said they didn't spend much money on anything but rent & food. I'll bump this up by $1000 for food and all expenses, since he apparently didn't even eat out very much. So $2000/31=$65. Doubling his rent for total expenses is probably also conservative; for most people, rent is not >50% of income, but SF is incredibly expensive to live in.
This gives a daily expense of $652 (or a monthly total of $19.1k in expenses). As you can see, the employees are by far the most expensive part of running SR in my estimate, which makes me wonder if maybe Libertas was the only employee.
Assuming the details about DPR hiring hitmen in the indictments are reasonably accurate, we can throw in two large expenses:
an $80k expenditure for killing his Maryland employee. The first payment of $40k was made on 4 February 2013 and the second/final payment of $40k was made on 1 March 2013 (pg9). If we use the exchange rate of those two days, then the hit cost DPR (40000 / 20.42) + (40000 / 34.24) = ฿3127
the second hit was priced in bitcoins (pg23):
Through further messages exchanged on March 31, 2013, DPR and redandwhite agreed upon a price of 1,670 Bitcoins
So the hits cost DPR somewhere around ฿4797. An extremely large and painful amount, by most standards, but still nowhere near ฿10k - much less higher.
Revenue over time: first and last days
Table 3 provides a breakdown of the feedback ratings from 184,804 feedback instances we collected...In Figure 12, we plot an estimate of the daily commissions collected by Silk Road operators as a function of time. We simply reuse the previous estimates, and apply both the fixed 6.23% rate, and the schedule of Table 4 to each item. We find that the new schedule turns out to yield on average a commission corresponding to approximately 7.4% of the item price.
From February 6, 2011 to July 23, 2013 there were approximately 1,229,465 transactions completed on the site...$79.8 million (USD) in commissions.
According to Bitcoin Charts, on 23 July 2013, the MtGox price was $91. (As the most famous exchange, any FBI estimate almost certainly used it.) So that implies $79,800,000/91=฿876,923. Or to put it the other way, at $79.8m in transactions, then using Christin's 7.4% estimate, total sales were $1,078,000,000 or ฿10,780,000. Wikipedia says "These transactions involved 146,946 unique buyer accounts, and 3,877 unique vendor accounts.", and "The total revenue generated from transactions was 9,519,664 bitcoins. Commissions collected from the sales by Silk Road amounted to 614,305 bitcoins." (So the numbers aren't too different: 614k vs 876k and 10.8m vs 9.5m.) We'll set 6 February 2011 to $10 in sales (probably not too far from the truth). But what about 23 July 2013? pg20 of the indictment says:
For example, on July 21, 2013 alone, DPR received approximately 3,237 separate transfers of Bitcoins into his account, totaling approximately $19,459. Virtually all of these transactions are labeled "commission".
19459 / 0.074 = $262,959 that day. $20k in commissions is extremely impressive, since Christin estimates only $4k/day commissions as late as the end of July 2012 - so SR must have grown by 500% from 2012 to 2013. We use this revenue estimate as our endpoint and interpolate from $10 to $262,959 over the ~900 days SR existed. This is a conservative way of modeling SR, since the graphs in Christin indicate that SR saw sigmoid growth in 2012, and 2013 would've seen even more growth (to be consistent with the 2013 July commission datapoint being 5x the 2012 July commission datapoint).
Obviously ฿803k > ฿614k, which implies that the linear model overestimates sales in the early life of SR; but going the other direction and estimating just from costs & hitmen & total commission, we still wind up with nearly ฿500k (and that was after making a bunch of highly conservative assumptions). The fewer sales (and commissions) early on, the less of a fixed number of bitcoins will be sold. So, while it may initially sound plausible that DPR could have been forced to part with say ฿400k to pay for SR and sundry expenses, the distribution of sales and fluctuations of Bitcoin value mean that this simply does not seem to be the case. Unless there are some abandoned yachts floating around the SF Bay Area, DPRoss Ulbricht probably has ฿500k-614k.
I use tradingview a lot when trading on other exchanges, but I noticed that there isn't a listing for a BTCCAD ticker from QuadrigaCX. The only BTCCAD ticker available is historical data from mtgox. I know that bitcoinwisdom has QuadrigaCX charts, but it's limited in functionality compared to tradingview. I'm wondering if there are any plans to add QuadrigaCX data to tradingview, or if there's any way to pull the live data, given that the chart on QCX is pretty dismal. It would make sense given that it's the largest Canadian bitcoin exchange.
Seriouspost: why I and others can't take btc or it's fanatical disciples seriously.
Someone had asked why I circlejerk bc here. First off, I do appreciate the technology behind buttcoin. It's pretty amazing that in essence some crazy savant created a system where people are putting faith into a sequence of numbers that were solved by a shit load of computing power (faith as in billions now). In this case the primary motivator is libertarian ideals. Free flow of capital, lack of state interference, lack of inflation, and the "freedom" to do what you want with your loot. I can also see a whole host of applications for cryptocurrincies in the future, especially in despotic countries, or for organizations like wikileaks. Currency is a form of expression and in our world the rich and powerful can cut off that expression all to easily. Shitty PP's like paypal are robber barron's of the internet, ripping people off and giving them nothing. Credit Cards are horrific oligopolys with literally no feasible way of beating them. Oiligopolies act as monopolists if you go back to econ 101. Fuck those fuckers. All of them. They take a disproportionate amount of the common man's flesh. When I first started looking at BTC, I thought that it could solve a lot of these problems, scare the shit out of these assholes and keep groups like wikileaks or people like snowden from going tits up. Great. I was intrigued and got on board pretty early - years ago. However, once you go down the rabbit hole, or get a finance degree, you start to see some chinks in the armour. Things that are totally derrived from libertarian ideals eventually lead to movies like "Black Hawk Down" or "Wall Street". There's a reason God invented regulations and laws. So.... : a) A finite number of bitcoins were a clever solution to bootstrap the currency. Satoshi was fucking smart to do this, since everyone knew that the supply would dry up. At the beginning it wasn't a huge deal since you're looking at 10's of millions of digits that were worth exactly shit. However, in the off chance the primordial soup started to form some amino acids, that finite number would would prove to be the single most important aspect of why we're seeing what we see. While no doubt there were plenty of people who tossed away, diced, bought pizza and so forth, when the prices started to surge things changed. People were scooping up 7950's not to meet market demand, but to speculate about future increases in value. Mining became so ridiculous that PC's were useless and ASIC miners were the only feasible platform. You had BFL, which was so lulzy that they took BTC for their bullshit boards, waited a year in some cases while their BTC appreciated and in essence made people pay multiples more for their bullshit product because they took BTC, never delivered and the customers couldn't mine. This brings me to my point (a). Why the fuck would you sell your BTC at time (x), if you know that at time (Y) its going to be worth more? there will be less BTC injected into the market at time Y, so your BTC should be worth more down the road. Solution? Hoard your BTC. Eventually, for all practical purposes, the spigot will be as good as zero. No more buttcoins will be coming out. Now I know the literal zero date is 2100 or some bullshit, but that's semantics and marginal returns have waaaay kicked in. And I don't deny that there are useful applications for cryptocurrencies, any spike in demand we see results in increased pressure. b) On the flip side of the bitcoin though, is that everyone who holds BTC is playing musical chairs. It's no different than any market, anywhere else on the face of the planet. You're waiting to be the last fool off the ship. The ridiculous rise that we just saw was bound to pop. There are so few instances in life that can justify what we saw in the past few weeks. So few applications, markets, business, commodities that can justify that kind of growth. Yes, even BTC can't justify that kind of growth. It was inevitable that you'd see that 40-50 percent pop. But wait a minute, bitcoin will still say "I'm up 1 million fucking percent since 2009" or some shit. Maybe so and good for you, but what this volatility proves is my next point: BTC is the worst fucking currency ever conceived of. c) a currency must be a stable medium of exchange, that is to say a common ether so that we don't have to barter with each other : http://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/mediumofexchange.asp OH WAIT, except that BTC is so fucking volatile, you might as well fucking use cows or chickens, as they would probably have a more stable, measurable value than BTC. Hmm, actually pork looks far less variable and a better medium http://futures.tradingcharts.com/chart/PB/ d) As a currency you need to have a unit of account http://www.thefreedictionary.com/unit+of+account Picture this: you're running the Bitcoin cafe, since NeckBeard McFedora just told you it's a great payment system. You just accepted 100,000K in bitcoin last month for your coffee sales. Your accountant assumes that these great 100K bitcoins will be worth 100K by next week when he uses the reliable MtGox website to cash his loot out to USD. But wait! BTC loses 50 percent of value, and your coffee bean supplier happens to work for Tony Soprano - he's not taking your -50 percent BTC. Meanwhile, the guy down the street accepted USD one month ago and guess what? His 100K in coffee sales are worth about 100K bitcoin has told me many times quote : oh but we'll use intermediates who will hedge (use derivatives) to reduce volatility so that people can safely buy and sell at stable prices. So, you'll need another paypal or intermediate for this "free currency"? and you think people will take your risk on for free? risk != free. Remember why this whole fucking thing was started? As a business owner I would stuff your BTC up your asshole if I lost 50 percent in a few days, or if I had to get insurance on a fucking currency. I'd sooner take Mastercard's 4 points than go through that bullshit. As a business owner I'm not in the business of speculating on currency. Not my fucking job. I build widgets or bikes of pimp hoes. Not currency. http://www.amosweb.com/cgi-bin/awb_nav.pl?s=wpd&c=dsp&k=unit+of+account "Using money as the unit of account for prices also provides a measure of value--how much value buyers and sellers place on a good. If a Deluxe Club Sandwich carries a $5 price, while a Live Headless Squirrels music CD sells for $10 each, then a relative a measure of each commodity can be had. Buyers place twice the value on the Live Headless Squirrels music CD than on the Deluxe Club Sandwich. Buyers are willing to give up twice as much money to buy a Live Headless Squirrels music CD as to acquire a Deluxe Club Sandwich. Sellers incur twice the opportunity cost of producing a Live Headless Squirrels music CD as the cost of producing a Deluxe Club Sandwich. This is the reason that money functions as a measure of value. Because money is commonly accepted in payment for all goods and services, because money is the universal medium of exchange, prices provide a relative comparison of value." You cannot judge OPCOST if the fucking currency yoyo's like Pam Anderson's tits on a roller-coaster. Anyway, longpost is long. And I have no doubt this is all very debatable, like all my ex-wives. A few last things: http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/ In the last ten years you would have lost 26ish percent had you put your cash in your floorboards. Fucking communists! But wait! You're not supposed to use currency as a long term investment. Not a good fucking idea. I've dealt with wealthy people my entire life. And they NEVER have gobs of real cash sitting in BOA banking account for this very reason. Contrary to Ron Paul, the fucking Mises Institute (?), and other nut jobs, REASONABLE inflation is actually a good thing Why, Augustus you fucking pinko communist nazi mothefucker?
Fiat currencies (which bitcoin isn't I concede, but obviously was the partial impetus behind btc) are literally worthless if you put it under your pillow. They are literally useless unless they have motion behind them. Having a stack of 100's in your pillow doesn't build bridges, invest in new porno websites, cancer hospitals or buy weed from British Columbia. All of which help sustain the economy. People react to stimuli. In this case, the stimuli happens to be inflation. Keep your wealth in dollars and you'll have less of them, invest them and you'll have more of them, hopefully. Libertarians fucking hate this, they reject it, they reject that it works, they reject the lot of it. And so bitcoin was born. Fuck the fed, fuck the man. Fuck the evil Rothschilds and evil rich cocksuckers who manipulate our money supply so that we have less and less each year. But really, http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/ 26 percent over ten years is pretty modest. Most conservative investments would have kept your bucks at par or better.
Bitcoin on the other hand, is encouraging people NOT to invest in the economy. That finite number of BTC is again stimuli. It's signalling users that hey there's a scarce amount in the world and hey there's been these huge jumps in prices. Next time it goes down, IM ALL IN. So we'll see this ridiculous volatility, while merchants will slowly catch on that it's probably a bad fucking idea to accept these things when there's clearly a big fucking BTC bubble (see above as to why it's a bad idea). And so we'll see this cyclical up and down. This deflationary spiral of people keeping BTC in their pants so that they can make money off the next guy will not be conducive to it being a futuristic currency. The silk road was never BTC's Achilles heal, it was built into the system.
I first saw Bitcoin in December of last year, downloaded and ran the client, saw an exchange at $0.24, and was like, "meh" - another attempt at a currency. Good luck with that. I spent about half an hour, and moved on. Last week, they came back on my radar, and after about a day of reading, and I decided to buy some (they were at $9.5USD/BTC then). I've seen a whole lot of people argue about a whole lot of different reasons and theories, but frankly, my reasons are simple.
I would use them.
The system is transparent. I've read the code, I've seen and (mostly) understand the algorithms. While complicated in implementation, Bitcoins have orders of magnitude more transparency than existing financial systems.
Bitcoins do not depend on trust, they depend on algorithms. They are not backed by guns, they are backed by computation. There will be no bailouts, no federal funds rates. Frankly, I'd rather live in a world where resources and trade came from smarts and computation than in a world where resources are backed by force and fear.
The peer-to-peer nature of the technology, combined with the incentive structure for keeping it going will make stopping bitcoins extremely difficult nigh impossible. Stopping bitcoin at this point would require making computers legal only with a license, and having explicit permission to use the Internet for approved applications. Not going to happen.
I have very low confidence in the dollar. Given that, I have very low confidence in the stability of existing financial systems. I no longer think that it is a matter of "if", but rather a question of "when" and "how" we will see another serious recession/depression/crisis. The same people who caused the last crisis are still running all the banks and investment houses. Their greed will overcome their caution again, and there will be larger crisis points. When that happens, at least now there are alternative currencies the world will take seriously.
I feel a bit late to the party, missing out on $0.24 bitcoins. See a price chart I made from raw trade data on MtGox http://i.imgur.com/ut2Fl.jpg Getting Bitcoins now is not easy, at all. After 7 days, Dwolla still has not processed my transfer, and I have yet to participate in any market.
However, the price of a Bitcoin is determined only by demand and utility. If no one wants them, the price goes down, if people do want them the price goes up. Given that that Bitcoins can be accepted by anyone using a computer - I think lots of people all over the world will want to use them, and their price could be extremely high, breaking through 100,1000, or many 10s of thousands or even higher in the months to come.
I find no structural flaws in the system that will bring it down. Have I bet my house on it? No. Have I translated all my savings into bitcoin? No. That would be foolish. But I am buying some.
Hi, I follow the price of BTC on a daily basis normally using 30 & 15 minute candles on live charts. Recently there seems to be a few new sources providing live (or nearly) market charts on bitcoin. I have made a list of all the ones that I know about, but wanted to know if there are any more out there? Please post any that I have not mentioned.
In light of everyone's doubts that after Gox crashes (which was seen by many of us many months ago), the Bitcoin eco-system will be irreparably damaged... you should look at the trading charts right now. Bitcoin price is rock solid in the 450-550 range and it seems like it will remain strong. I own a large amount of bitcoins, and am not selling. As to the MtGox fiasco, people should look at it as any other startup. 80% of startups are deemed to fail, and only 20% survive. MtGox had the potential, but did not have the talent nor product required to pull this off. Others such as Coinbase, Bitstamp do. A good analogy can be MySpace and Facebook, or Altavista and Google, or countless other examples in the tech and business world. The truth is if your team is not strong enough, your product won't be strong enough. Weaker players are always filtered by stronger ones in sports, business, or life in general. The only pity in the story today is that many people lost a lot of money, however, there were red flags all over MtGox for months. Caveat Emptor. For those of you who lost everything, you should know that after the MtGox corporation files for bankruptcy, Mark Karpeles or anyone else involved will not carry any legal personal financial responsibility to reimburse any its users. So this is the end of the road for many and having any false hope will not help. In life experience is never a freebie, and sometimes it is very expensive, so consider this to be a price you had to pay to learn. MtGox is dead, long live Coinbase & Bitstamp!
Heard user byronbb talk and Cylta from irc speak about bitfinex and decided to try it out. I believe part of the reason the prices have wildly shot up lately is due to the lack of a good options or margin trading market. Bitfinex aims to solve the latter at least. Features: "Regular" exchange - buy and sell bitcoins for USD. The entire exchange works off of MtGox, so there is always liquidity. There is an internal exchange that offers extremely low fees (0.1%) if traded internally. Even if you end up trading on MtGox, you'll only pay 0.4%, which beats the low volume price of 0.6% from MtGox. Funding options are limited, but I like the idea. I only tried using the MtGox codes funding options, which is actually superior. It is instant and you get to keep your money at MtGox for security. Margin Trading - Up to 5x leverage. Since prices have been going up non-stop, I decided a correction was in order at $47. It kept going up to z$49 after I shorted a large amount, but I decided to short more at $49. The low interest rates provided by other users made that easy. I ended up making a healthy chunk of coins when it dropped to around $43-44. Lending - All lending is peer-to-peer. When I first got in, the rates were very reasonable (as low as 5.5% APR) and there was nearly 1k coins offered to be loaned. It is a great way for someone to me safely making interest on their bitcoins, and gives opportunity to others like myself, to take risks and make big bets. (If you look now, the rates are much higher, probably because of me, but that's an opportunity for you to offer lower rates and make a great return on your bitcoins). Basically, in terms of features, I'd say Bitfinex only lacks an options market. Otherwise, it is doing exactly the things I'd imagine an up and coming exchange would do to challange MtGox. Although Bitfinex is basically leeching off of MtGox right now, it has the potential to be a solid second place soon, especially since the fee's would attract many professional traders. The only bad things about it now is the UI/UX, which is extremely confusing for a first time user. I recommend playing with small amounts of money first, and seeing how everything works. Final Thoughts: Volume for the last 24 hours is 11632.23 BTC, officially making it the 2nd largest USD market, only 1 month afte its release. The site is definitely well thought out, and well executed. We will soon live in a world not dominated by 1 exchange. There's also the additional benefit of located off-shore, in Hong-Kong, for those who might be concerned about the Coinlab move. I'm not sure how Bitfinex execute orders on MtGox fairly quickly and discretely. When I submit the order, I never see it show up on the MtGox depth chart, but even with all the lag today, orders didn't seem like they took longer than they would have at MtGox. If anyone knows how they do this, please elaborate. I highly encourage you to give Bitfinex a try. It's going to be worth it. And if this review was helpful to you, or made you money, than consider making a donation to: 1wUAhcgT2CgGhsG2zeYeqi2TYx1Efuqb7 Cheers.
The chart below is the price change over time. The yellow line is the price [USD / BTC] at which actual trades were made. Green and red areas near the yellow line show you maximum and minimum price. Price is shown on the right axis. Bars in the background represent volume (that is, how many coins were traded during that time) enumerated in [BTC ... Steps to Configure Bitcoin Live Charts in Metatrader 4. 1. Download and install MetaTrader 4 Client Terminal (use default installation directory) from:. 2. You must connect to at least a demo account. To create one, go to menu and select File -> Open an Account.And Get a demo account. The fiasco of Mt. Gox occurred roughly five years ago in February of 2014, but that doesn’t mean its memory doesn’t live on. There are still many people that allege... Nick Marinoff · July 30 ... Data provided by mtgox – Candlestick chart Watch live Bitcoin to Dollar charts, follow BTCUSD prices in real-time and get historical data. Check the Bitcoin market cap, top trading ideas and forecasts. Bitcoin Price (BTC USD): Get all information on the Bitcoin to US-Dollar Exchange Rate including Charts, News and Realtime Price. Bitcoin USD price, real-time charts, bitcoin news and videos. Learn about BTC, crypto trading and more. ... The NEAR Mainnet Is Live. May 13, 2020. Exploring Bitcoin as the Foundation for Future ...
Mt. Gox: Solving the Mystery of Bitcoin’s Biggest Disaster I Fortune
This video shows you how to plug in to the various exchange APIs to grab pricing data in real time. BTC-e: https://btc-e.com/api/2/btc_usd/ticker MTGOX: http... Mt. Gox Bitcoin Delay, Ripple + Justin Bieber, Monero Futures & Bitcoin Price Bounce ... Live now; Can Tron TRX Make You A Millionaire? - Realistically - Duration: 19:33. ... Bitcoin Slump, XRP ... Bitcoin Live Btc Price Chart Liquidation Watch Bull vs Bear Pump or Dump Bitcoin Currency Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency. It is a decentralized digital curr... Is the BTC crash over? Was this another Mt Gox crash? Join us for crypto chart analysis and chat live. Crypto Money Life Community Discord Server: http://www... Live Technical Analysis for Bitcoin (BTC), Stocks, Gold, Silver, DXY, and more! Come watch live bitcoin charts with the fam! #Bitcoin #BTC #Crypto 👑 Patreon:...