Ultimate glossary of crypto currency terms, acronyms and abbreviations
How to purchase and exchange your litecoin! (longer read)
This post will show you the best ways to buy litecoins using many different payment methods and exchanges for each method. Before you start, make sure you have a good litecoin wallet to store your LTC. NEVER store your litecoins on a crypto exchange.
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Highest limits for buying bitcoins with a credit card
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Buy Litecoin with Credit Card or Debit Card
Let’s dive into some of the exchanges supporting Litecoin credit card purchases. These exchanges are our favorite ways to buy.
Coinbase is the easiest way to buy litecoins with a credit card. Coinbase is available in the United States, Canada, Europe, UK, Singapore, and Australia. The fees will come out to 3.99% per purchase. Here is a good video that can help walk you through the process of buying on Coinbase, although it’s fairly easy.
Coinmama recently added the ability to buy litecoin directly on the platform. Users from nearly any country in the world can use Coinmama to buy litecoins. Coinmama has some of the highest limits among credit card exchanges.
BitPanda is based in Austria and is a crypto brokerage service. You can buy using a credit card from most European countries.
CEX.io is based in the UK and is one of the oldest crypto exchanges online. CEX.io supports litecoin and its users from nearly anywhere in the world can buy litecoin with credit card on the platform.
Buy Litecoin with Bank Account or Bank Transfer
Coinbase is the easiest way to buy litecoins with a bank account or transfer. Coinbase, like is is for credit cards, is available in the United States, Canada, Europe, UK, Singapore, and Australia. Coinbase is one of primary exchanges used to buy Litecoins. Americans can use ACH transfer (5–7 days wait), and Europeans can use SEPA transfer (1–3 days wait). The fees will come out to 1.49% per purchase.
BitPanda is based in Austria and is a crypto brokerage service. You can buy using SEPA transfer from most European countries. You can also use SOFORT, NETELLER, or GiroPay.
CEX.io also supports litecoin buys via bank account. This is via wire transfer for US citizens, SEPA for Europe, and SWIFT for the rest of the globe.
Binance is now one of the largest if not the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world. It supports bank and card purchases of Litecoin as well as Litecoin trading pairs with Bitcoin and Etehreum.
Get a Litecoin Wallet
Before we move onto other options: Never store your litecoins on an exchange! Always withdrawal your litecoin to an offline cryptocurrency wallet like the Ledger Nano S or any other wallet that you control. The Ledger Nano S and TREZOR are the best options for secure storage.
Other Methods to Buy Litecoin
If you don’t have a card or want to avoid the high fees, you can use the following methods to buy Litecoin as well. Find out which one works best for you.
Buy Litecoin with PayPal
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to buy Litecoin with PayPal. Other sites will tell you that cex allows for this, but that is no longer the case. You can, however, now use eToro to buy Litecoin, unless you live in the United States. If you live in the US, the only way to buy Litecoin with Paypal is to buy Bitcoin using paypal, and then use the Bitcoins to buy Litecoin. You can easily buy Bitcoin using Paypal on Local Bitcoins. Once you have Bitcoin, you can use an exchange like Coinbase Pro to swap the Bitcoin for Litecoin.
Buy Litecoin with Cash
There is no good way to buy litecoins with cash. LocalBitcoins is the most popular way to buy bitcoins with cash, and it does not have Litecoin support. Other popular cash to Bitcoin exchanges like BitQuick and Wall of Coins also do not support LTC. So you will have to first buy bitcoins with cash then exchange them for LTC using the method described below. The same goes for Bitcoin ATMs. Most do not support Litecoin. So if you want to buy litecoins at a Bitcoin ATM you first have to buy bitcoins and then trade the BTC for litecoins.
Buy Litecoin with Bitcoin
If you already have Bitcoins then it is VERY simple to convert some of your BTC to litecoins. You just need to find an exchange with the LTC/BTC pair, which is most exchanges since LTC/BTC is a very popular pair to trade.
Buy Litecoin with Skrill
BitPanda, mentioned above, also accepts Skrill payments for LTC. The fees will vary and are simply included in your buy price.
Cryptmixer is probably the fastest way to convert BTC to Litecoin. You just enter the amount of LTC you want to buy, and give them a LTC address. Then they will tell you how much BTC to send to their address. Once your BTC is sent, you will have LTC delivered to your wallet very shortly after.
Buy Litecoin with Ethereum
Ethereum has experienced a massive price rise. Nearly a year ago it was $10, and now at over $500, many want to move some of their ETH gains into other coins like Litecoin. Litecoin has very good liquidity, and is very popular among traders especially in China. So this guide is going to show you how to buy litecoins with Ethereum. We will show some of the best exchanges you can use, and the pros and cons of using different types of exchanges over the other.
Cryptmixer is one of the most unique exchanges, and also one of the fastest ways to convert your ETH to LTC. With Cryptmixer you do not even need to store your money with the exchange, meaning you are at very little risk of getting your funds stolen. With Cryptmixer you simply specify the amount of LTC you want to buy, and specific the address to where your litecoins should be sent and within 30 minutes you will have LTC delivered to your wallet.
Poloniex is the world’s largest altcoin exchange. However, there is a huge downside to using Poloniex to convert your ETH to LTC: Poloniex does not have a LTC/ETH market, meaning you have to first trade your ETH to BTC, and then trade your BTC for LTC. While this method works, you will have to make multiple trades and also pay fees twice.
Shapeshift is basically the same as Cryptmixer, and was actually the first company to come up with the concept of an exchange that does not hold your own funds.
Frequently Asked Questions About Buying Litecoin
Many of you may still have lots of questions about how to buy Litecoin. Odds are we have answered almost any question you could think of below. We will aim to answer many of the most common questions relating to buying Litecoin.
Why are there limited options to buying Litecoin using other altcoins?
The issue in all crypto markets is liquidity. As the space gets bigger, the liquidity also gets better. But as of now, the only VERY liquid cryptocurrency is Bitcoin. So exchanging two altcoins between each other is often harder than if BTC was involved on one side of the trade.
How much is a Litecoin worth?
Like all currencies, the value of Litecoin changes every second. The value of Litecoin also depends on the country you are in and the exchange you are trading on. You can find the most up to date price on Coinbase.
How do I buy Ripple (XRP) with Litecoin?
The best way to buy Ripple using Litecoin is to either use a non KYC exchange like Cryptmixer or start an account on Binance or Coinbase Pro and sell your Litecoin for Ripple. Look for LTC/XRP trading pairs, and make your trade.
How long does Litecoin take to confirm?
Litecoin blocks are added ever 2 and a half minutes. That means you should get one confirmation every two and a half minutes. This can vary if it takes miners longer to discover a block, but the difficulty of the finding a block should change proportionate to the hashing power on the network so that a block gets added approximately every 2.5 minutes. If you are trying to send money to a merchant, they may require more than one confirmation before they send you products. If you are depositing on an exchange, they may also require three or more confirmations before they credit your account.
How many Litoshis make one Litecoin?
one hundred million (100,000,000) Litoshis make one (1) Litecoin.
Where do I store Litecoin?
The best place to store litecoin is on a hardware wallet. You can find the best one for you on our page dedicated to hardware wallets.
When is the Litecoin halving?
The expected date of the next Litecoin block reward halving is August 7th, 2023.
Why can litecoin take so long to buy?
Litecoin can take long to buy because the legacy banking system is very slow. If you are buying with another cryptocurrency, you will see how fast it is to buy! Bank transfer in the USA, for example, take about 5 days to complete. So any purchase of Litecoin made with a US bank transfer will take a minimum of 5 days.
How do I buy Litecoin with Paypal?
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to buy Litcoin with PayPal. Other sites will tell you that cex allows for this, but that is no longer the case. You can, however, now use eToro to buy Litcoineum, unless you live in the United States. If you live in the US, the only way to buy Litcoin with Paypal is to buy Bitcoin using paypal, and then use the Bitcoins to buy Litcoin. You can easily buy Bitcoin using Paypal on Local Bitcoins. Once you have Bitcoin, you can use an exchange like Cryptmixer to swap the Bitcoin for Litcoin.
Can you buy partial litecoins?
Yes, litecoin, like Bitcoin, is divisible to many decimal places so you can buy 0.1 LTC, 0.001 LTC, etc.
Can you sell litecoin?
Yes, you can sell LTC on most of the exchanges mentioned above. The fees, speed, and privacy is the same in most cases.
Can anyone buy litecoins?
Anyone is free to buy litecoins, as long as you find an exchange that supports your country. Most cryptocurrency wallets do not require ID to sign up so you can always make a wallet and get paid in litecoin, too.
Which payment method is best to use?
For speed, credit card will likely be fastest. For larger amounts, bank transfer is best. For privacy, it’s best to buy bitcoins with cash and then trade for litecoins using Cryptmixer or Shapeshift.
Is it better to mine or buy litecoins?
If you have cheap electricity, it might be worth it to mine litecoins. If you have solar power or just want to mine for fun then it could be worth it. Otherwise, it’s probably better just to buy. Mining is constantly changing and small changes in Litecoin price or electricity can greatly affect your profitability.
What should I do with my litecoins once I buy?
You should immediately move your litecoins into a secure wallet. You should never leave your litecoins on an exchange. There have been countless hacks in cryptocurrency since Bitcoin was created in 2009. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost money. So buy your litecoins, and then instantly send them into a wallet you control so you are not at risk of losing money to a hack or scam.
Are you looking forward to investing in cryptocurrency? Well, one of the first cryptocurrency that comes to your mind is Bitcoin. The pioneering cryptocurrency has paved the way for some remarkable transformations in the world of financial technology. Bitcoin works on a Blockchain platform that enables peer-to-peer interaction, and there is no interference from the third-party. In addition to the revolution which Bitcoin created, it lead to the surge of many cryptocurrencies. Presently, around 500 cryptocurrencies are floating in the market. Before going ahead to explore about Bitocin farms and bitcoin farming, let’s have a glance at some eye-popping stats: · By the end of 2019, around 42 million Bitcoin wallets have been set up globally. · Around 5% of Americans hold Bitcoin · There are around 7.1 million active Bitcoin users · One of the best cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase has more than 13 million users The volume of Bitcoin trading from peer-to-peer exchange LocalBitcoin shows that countries like Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, and many African companies are jumping into the pool of cryptocurrency trading. With Bitcoin being an all-time favorite of many investors, other cryptocurrencies like Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and many others have generated a fair amount of popularity. What does it mean for us? Any individual who wishes to invest in Bitcoin must have a fair knowledge about Bitcoin and Bitcoin farming. In simple words, Bitcoin farming is all about extracting value from Bitcoin. Bitcoin miners, similar to framers, work on a complex algorithm and extract value from it. In simple words, Bitcoin farmers or miners, as we know them, work on computational problems, they ensure that the system is secure, and using this, they solve complex problems. The ones who can solve these complex problems get a reward in the form of Bitcoin. All these transactions and records are stored on the Bitcoin ledger, making it tamper-free and hacks- proof. There are two ways via which you can start exploring more about Bitcoin, you can either star working as Bitcoin farmer or miner, and work in computation problems or you can start investing in it by choosing the best cryptocurrency exchange platforms. Investing in cryptocurrencies is the best move that you can make. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will surely make a strong presence in the future, and this is the right time to start investing in it. You can opt from the different Bitcoin exchange platform. Some of the best cryptocurrency exchanges you can consider are Coinbase, Binance, CashApp, Bisq, and many others. You can choose from either of these and start your investment in Bitcoin. If you wish to invest in Bitcoin, then you can also consider buying using Bitcoin ATM. You can buy and sell Bitcoin from Bitcoin ATM using cash or debit card. There are some Bitcoin ATM that allows you to sell and purchase Bitcoin. Conclusion This was the basic information about Bitcoin farming and Bitcoin trading. If you are futuristic and wish to invest in it, this is the right time to start your investment journey. Ensure that you thoroughly assess the market and study the market trend, based on it; you can start working on it. For more interesting information, connect with Blockchain Council today.
The attempted come back of CoinEx, China's forked-Bitcoin exchange
Written by Shuyao Kong Published bydecrypt.co An interview with Haipo Yang, a crypto OG who’s trying to reposition his Bitcoin Cash-based CoinEx exchange. And more, in this week’s da bing. https://preview.redd.it/h5f3i3lldv051.jpg?width=3200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=09b8696303ae5c6170753cc438929ebe520d4605 Haipo Yang, founder of ViaBTC, one of the largest mining pools in the world, and CoinEx, a crypto exchange known for its focus on Bitcoin Cash-based trading, is a well-known but relatively quiet character in China’s crypto circle. Typically, Yang doesn’t talk that much about his journey launching the mining pool, nor about CoinEx, which launched in December 2017. And he almost never speaks about his fervent support for BCH, a hard fork of Bitcoin, and his now even more enthusiastic belief in BSV. Yet that’s changing of late. Yang has been more active in recent months, participating in interviews about CoinEx and tweeting more frequently on Weibo, China’s Twitter. He’s been making controversial statements predicting the death of BTC, while supporting BCH and BSV on social media. Recently, Yang told me that as a developer rather than a business person, he’s never been comfortable speaking in public. However he’s making an effort now to help publicize his renovation of CoinEx. So, for this week’s da bing, I decided to chat with him and get a peek into the mind of a veteran crypto entrepreneur who’s trying to make a personal, as well as a platform, comeback.
CoinEx’s golden opportunity
The first hard fork of Bitcoin occurred in August, 2017 and created a new cryptocurrency called Bitcoin Cash. The fork was prompted by partisans, including Yang, who wanted bigger block sizes on the blockchain — the basic idea was that bigger blocks would enable more transactions per second and make Bitcoin Cash something people would actually use to buy things, rather than Bitcoin’s more commonly perceived use as a store of value. Yang added a tremendous amount of value to the mining scene in China. As a technical founder with has years of experience in big tech firms such as Tencent, Yang is proud of his #buidl skills. He developed most of the code in the early days of VicBTC, which became one of the biggest mining pools to this day. Not satisfied with owning just a mining pool,Yang conceived of CoinEx, which was born in December of that year, specifically to carry on the mission of the newly forked Bitcoin Cash blockchain. As he got swept up in Bitcoin Cash enthusiasm, he even said that “BCH is bitcoin.” CoinEx’s strategy was BCH-focused from day one; BCH was its base currency, meaning you could use it to buy and sell other currencies, such as Ethereum and Litecoin. Interestingly, Jihan Wu, the co-founder of Bitcoin Exchange — himself a famous BCH supporter — was a big investor in the exchange. That made me wonder why he, Yang, and many other OG crypto miners, were so passionate about BCH. Was it just about bigger block sizes? “Bigger block size means more users and use cases,” Yang explained. The move to bigger block sizes was attractive to miners because they would facilitate more transactions. Miners make money on transaction fees, as well as mining blocks. Likewise, the network would arguably be more useful to people, who were looking for digital cash for every day use. That especially resonated with many early hardcore Bitcoiners. Said Yang: “We really believe that Bitcoin should be a P2P cash vehicle rather than a store of value.” This view probably sounds outdated to people who believe that Bitcoin’s value as cash is long gone, with solutions such as Lightning Network fulfilling that role. Instead, the new narrative for Bitcoin resides in its value, rather than utility. Yet Yang believed that the forked network would create far more opportunity “We could invite influential companies to establish nodes and contribute to the network. This cannot be done with the original Bitcoin architecture,” he said.
But from its inception, CoinEx struggled with adoption and was dwarfed by the bigger exchanges. Part of that had to do with the fact that BCH and “Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision,” another Bitcoin hard fork, were both controversial. Critics pointed out that these networks are centralized in a few big mining pools, and 51% attacks are not out of the question. So over time, though Yang’s exchange still maintains strong support for BCH and BSV, it began to add support for all the major currencies. Finally, in January of this year, it announced a major upgrade, of… well, just about everything. It started to offer futures trading, leveraged trading, options trading, and over 100 token projects available to traders. It even rolled out its own blockchain, “CoinEx Chain” to support a new DEX, “CoinEx DEX.” https://preview.redd.it/3okoy5mudv051.png?width=1432&format=png&auto=webp&s=7099249da4a95db873d268f2dfc95d8db93a368e The seemingly sudden publicity of CoinEx should not come as a surprise, then. As BCH/BSV was being marginalized, Yang shifted his focus. He’s now trying to ride the wave of building a bigger, more dynamic exchange. “Crypto exchanges are where value is discovered,” Yang told me.
Building an exchange isn’t done overnight, nor is re-building one. CoinEx is still competing with the giants such as Binance. However Yang thinks his exchange will thrive by zigging when his competitors zag. As usual, CoinEx is taking a slightly different route, he told me. Like what? “We will be listing 小币种,” he said, using the expression for “small token projects.” I cannot help but wonder if these “small token projects” are simply shitcoins, the trading of which is certainly not new. Indeed, Yang said that he’s banking on the success of his new, public blockchain. “We are building a CoinEx Chain, a layer one protocol for DEX alone. Using our public blockchain, anyone can issue any token, at any time,” he said. He described the blockchain as “a real decentralized, token-issuance and transaction platform.” This is the core of Yang’s plan and vision. He believes that centralized exchanges will be a bottleneck for crypto adoption because it contradicts crypto’s nature as a completely free and open infrastructure. Essentially anyone should be able to launch a token and trade it with anyone. Only by building DEXes can we achieve full decentralization, he says.
The Religious nature of Bitcoin, and forked Bitcoin
It’s his belief that Bitcoin should adhere to Satoshi’s original vision that led Yang to send yet another controversial tweet last week, which I will translate: “The early days of Bitcoin expansion are similar to religion. The religious fervor brings prosperity to the industry.” By extension, Yang believes that the next generation of Bitcoin should provoke a similar “religious” fervor. That’s why he has slowly become more of a BSV advocate than a fan of Bitcoin Cash. Yang believes that “BSV has more religious connotations, despite its negative image.” (As most crypto people know, the controversial Craig Wright, who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto, led the hard fork which created BSV. Consequently it is often met with skepticism and derision.) “The early days of Bitcoin expansion are similar to religion,” said Yang. “The religious fervor brings prosperity to the industry.” Crypto is famous for its tribalism. Many people choose one camp over another not for practical reasons but because of simple faith. Talking to Yang and reading his tweet brings a historic texture to the Bitcoin narrative. But crypto cannot survive on religion alone. One has to build. Hash might have been worshipped in the old days but now the crypto religion is all about the size of the congregation. Original article Click here to register on CoinEx!
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The power players of consumer finance in the 21st century will be crypto-native companies who build with blockchain technology at their core.
The crypto landscape is still nascent. We’re still very much in the fragmented, unbundled phase of the industry lifecycle. Beyond what Genesis Block is doing, there are signs of other companies slowly starting to bundle financial services into what could be an all-in-one bank replacement. So the key question that this series hopes to answer:
Which crypto-native company will successfully become the bank of the future?
We obviously think Genesis Block is well-positioned to win. But we certainly aren’t the only game in town. In this series, we’ll be doing an analysis of who is most capable of thwarting our efforts. We’ll look at categories like crypto exchanges, crypto wallets, centralized lending & borrowing services, and crypto debit card companies. Each category will have its own dedicated post. Today we’re analyzing big crypto exchanges. The two companies we’ll focus on today are Coinbase (biggest American exchange) and Binance (biggest global exchange). They are the top two exchanges in terms of Bitcoin trading volume. They are in pole position to winning this market — they have a huge existing userbase and strong financial resources. Will Coinbase or Binance become the bank of the future? Can their early success propel them to winning the broader consumer finance market? Is their growth too far ahead for anyone else to catch up? Let’s dive in. https://preview.redd.it/lau4hevpm7f51.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=2c5de1ba497199f36aa194e5809bd86e5ab533d8
The most formidable exchange on the global stage is Binance (Crunchbase). All signs suggest they have significantly more users and a stronger balance sheet than Coinbase. No other exchange is executing as aggressively and relentlessly as Binance is. The cadence at which they are shipping and launching new products is nothing short of impressive. As Tushar Jain from Multicoin argues, Binance is Blitzscaling. Here are some of the products that they’ve launched in the last 18 months. Only a few are announced but still pre-launch.
Binance is well-positioned to become the crypto-powered, all-in-one, bundled solution for financial services. They already have so many of the pieces. But the key question is:
Can they create a cohesive & united product experience?
Binance is strong, but they do have a few major weaknesses that could slow them down.
Traders & Speculators Binance is currently very geared for speculators, traders, and financial professionals. Their bread-and-butter is trading (spot, margin, options, futures). Their UI is littered with depth charts, order books, candlesticks, and other financial concepts that are beyond the reach of most normal consumers. Their product today is not at all tailored for the broader consumer market. Given Binance’s popularity and strength among the pro audience, it’s unlikely that they will dumb down or simplify their product any time soon. That would jeopardize their core business. Binance will likely need an entirely new product/brand to go beyond the pro user crowd. That will take time (or an acquisition). So the question remains, is Binance even interested in the broader consumer market? Or will they continue to focus on their core product, the one-stop-shop for pro crypto traders?
Controversies & Hot Water Binance has had a number of controversies. No one seems to know where they are based — so what regulatory agencies can hold them accountable? Last year, some sensitive, private user data got leaked. When they announced their debit card program, they had to remove mentions of Visa quickly after. And though the “police raid” story proved to be untrue, there are still a lot of questions about what happened with their Shanghai office shut down (where there is smoke, there is fire). If any company has had a “move fast and break things” attitude, it is Binance. That attitude has served them well so far but as they try to do business in more regulated countries like America, this will make their road much more difficult — especially in the consumer market where trust takes a long time to earn, but can be destroyed in an instant. This is perhaps why the Binance US product is an empty shell when compared to their main global product.
Disjointed Product Experience Because Binance has so many different teams launching so many different services, their core product is increasingly feeling disjointed and disconnected. Many of the new features are sloppily integrated with each other. There’s no cohesive product experience. This is one of the downsides of executing and shipping at their relentless pace. For example, users don’t have a single wallet that shows their balances. Depending on if the user wants to do spot trading, margin, futures, or savings… the user needs to constantly be transferring their assets from one wallet to another. It’s not a unified, frictionless, simple user experience. This is one major downside of the “move fast and break things” approach.
BNB token Binance raised $15M in a 2017 ICO by selling their $BNB token. The current market cap of $BNB is worth more than $2.6B. Financially this token has served them well. However, given how BNB works (for example, their token burn), there are a lot of open questions as to how BNB will be treated with US security laws. Their Binance US product so far is treading very lightly with its use of BNB. Their token could become a liability for Binance as it enters more regulated markets. Whether the crypto community likes it or not, until regulators get caught up and understand the power of decentralized technology, tokens will still be a regulatory burden — especially for anything that touches consumers.
Binance Chain & Smart Contract Platform Binance is launching its own smart contract platform soon. Based on compatibility choices, they have their sights aimed at the Ethereum developer community. It’s unclear how easy it’ll be to convince developers to move to Binance chain. Most of the current developer energy and momentum around smart contracts is with Ethereum. Because Binance now has their own horse in the race, it’s unlikely they will ever decide to leverage Ethereum’s DeFi protocols. This could likely be a major strategic mistake — and hubris that goes a step too far. Binance will be pushing and promoting protocols on their own platform. The major risk of being all-in on their own platform is that they miss having a seat on the Ethereum rocket ship — specifically the growth of DeFi use-cases and the enormous value that can be unlocked. Integrating with Ethereum’s protocols would be either admitting defeat of their own platform or competing directly against themselves.
The crypto-native company that I believe is more likely to become the bank of the future is Coinbase (crunchbase). Their dominance in America could serve as a springboard to winning the West (Binance has a stronger foothold in Asia). Coinbase has more than 30M users. Their exchange business is a money-printing machine. They have a solid reputation as it relates to compliance and working with regulators. Their CEO is a longtime member of the crypto community. They are rumored to be going public soon.
Let’s look at what makes them strong and a likely contender for winning the broader consumer finance market.
Different Audience, Different Experience Coinbase has been smart to create a unique product experience for each audience — the pro speculator crowd and the common retail user. Their simple consumer version is at Coinbase.com. That’s the default. Their product for the more sophisticated traders and speculators is at Coinbase Pro (formerly GDAX). Unlike Binance, Coinbase can slowly build out the bank of the future for the broad consumer market while still having a home for their hardcore crypto traders. They aren’t afraid to have different experiences for different audiences.
Brand & Design Coinbase has a strong product design team. Their brand is capable of going beyond the male-dominated crypto audience. Their product is clean and simple — much more consumer-friendly than Binance. It’s clear they spend a lot of time thinking about their user experience. Interacting directly with crypto can sometimes be rough and raw (especially for n00bs). When I was at Mainframe we hosted a panel about Crypto UX challenges at the DevCon4 Dapp Awards. Connie Yang (Head of Design at Coinbase) was on the panel. She was impressive. Some of their design philosophies will bode well as they push to reach the broader consumer finance market.
Early Signs of Bundling Though Coinbase has nowhere near as many products & services as Binance, they are slowly starting to add more financial services that may appeal to the broader market. They are now letting depositors earn interest on USDC (also DAI & Tezos). In the UK they are piloting a debit card. Users can now invest in crypto with dollar-cost-averaging. It’s not much, but it’s a start. You can start to see hints of a more bundled solution around financial services.
Let’s now look at some things that could hold them back.
Slow Cadence In the fast-paced world of crypto, and especially when compared to Binance, Coinbase does not ship very many new products very often. This is perhaps their greatest weakness. Smaller, more nimble startups may run circles around them. They were smart to launch Coinbase Ventures where tey invest in early-stage startups. They can now keep an ear to the ground on innovation. Perhaps their cadence is normal for a company of their size — but the Binance pace creates quite the contrast.
Institutional Focus As a company, we are a Coinbase client. We love their institutional offering. It’s clear they’ve been investing a lot in this area. A recent Coinbase blog post made it clear that this has been a focus: “Over the past 12 months, Coinbase has been laser-focused on building out the types of features and services that our institutional customers need.” Their Tagomi acquisition only re-enforced this focus. Perhaps this is why their consumer product has felt so neglected. They’ve been heavily investing in their institutional services since May 2018. For a company that’s getting very close to an IPO, it makes sense that they’d focus on areas that present strong revenue opportunities — as they do with institutional clients. Even for big companies like Coinbase, it’s hard to have a split focus. If they are “laser-focused” on the institutional audience, it’s unlikely they’ll be launching any major consumer products anytime soon.
Coinbase Wrap Up
At Genesis Block, we‘re proud to be working with Coinbase. They are a fantastic company. However, I don’t believe that they’ll succeed in building their own product for the broader consumer finance market. While they have incredible design, there are no signs that they are focused on or capable of internally building this type of product. Similar to Binance, I think it’s far more likely that Coinbase acquires a promising young startup with strong growth.
Other US-based exchanges worth mentioning are Kraken, Gemini, and Bittrex. So far we’ve seen very few signs that any of them will aggressively attack broader consumer finance. Most are going in the way of Binance — listing more assets and adding more pro tools like margin and futures trading. And many, like Coinbase, are trying to attract more institutional customers. For example, Gemini with their custody product.
Coinbase and Binance have huge war chests and massive reach. For that alone, they should always be considered threats to Genesis Block. However, their products are very, very different than the product we’re building. And their approach is very different as well. They are trying to educate and onboard people into crypto. At Genesis Block, we believe the masses shouldn’t need to know or care about it. We did an entire series about this, Spreading Crypto. Most everyone needs banking — whether it be to borrow, spend, invest, earn interest, etc. Not everyone needs a crypto exchange. For non-crypto consumers (the mass market), the differences between a bank and a crypto exchange are immense. Companies like Binance and Coinbase make a lot of money on their crypto exchange business. It would be really difficult, gutsy, and risky for any of them to completely change their narrative, messaging, and product to focus on the broader consumer market. I don’t believe they would ever risk biting the hand that feeds them. In summary, as it relates to a digital bank aimed at the mass market, I believe both Coinbase and Binance are much more likely to acquire a startup in this space than they are to build it themselves. And I think they would want to keep the brand/product distinct and separate from their core crypto exchange business. So back to the original question, is Coinbase and Binance a threat to Genesis Block? Not really. Not today. But they could be, and for that, we want to stay close to them. ------ Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
Themis (MIS) Launches Pledge Mining Platform, New Opportunity Occurs to Grow Wealth
With the development of blockchain technology, obtaining data on the chain only is no longer satisfying and how to bridge the real world and the blockchain world has always been the direction of the technological breakthrough. Under this background, Oracle Machine came to our attention. In particular, with the popularity of the DeFi concept, the industry starts to witness a boom of the application of Oracle Machine in financial derivatives, trading platforms, gambling games, and prediction markets. At present, Oracle Machine represented by Themis is developing fast with a good momentum, leading the trend of the development of Oracle Machine and continuing to consolidate the basic technical support for the DeFi revolution. Themis’ mining system has been launched in the market, which is refreshing and appealing (see https://themisoracle.com/#/credit for details on the Themis mining). 90% of MIS, the native token of Themis, will be used for mining output. The entire mining mechanism runs through a distributed oracle protocol, which sets up three roles: data provider, data validator, and arbitration node. Reward and punishment mechanisms are applied to ensure the smooth ecological operation. How does Themis mining work? Is it a new way to become wealthy? What are the characteristics? To answer these questions, we need to analyse the distribution mechanism, mining mechanism, and token value of Themis. With a fairer mining mechanism, small and medium-sized miners can enjoy better benefits One of the core values of blockchain is fairness and justice, and allowing everyone in the network to play a role in the system without permission. However, Bitcoin mining is now monopolized by several mining machine vendors such as Bitmain, leaving little space for other miners to participate. If those old PoW public chains, such as Bitcoin, has formed the head effect in mining, what about those new projects? Let's take Cosmos as an example. Since Binance joined its validator node, it has instantly ranked top with the strong financial strength and user base of the top exchange, making the small and medium nodes hard to participate. After comparison, we can find that the mining mechanism of MIS is very friendly to ordinary users. Assuming that there are 12 mining transactions in a block, the ranking according to the MIS pledged by each transaction would be as follow: https://preview.redd.it/1kfccgps2pg51.png?width=832&format=png&auto=webp&s=bf6c7f614c600826006bc2bf8a6026292c3b328c The pledge ranking is based on the jump ranking weighting algorithm rather than the weighted average of the user pledge amount, which can prevent MIS from being controlled by a small number of people, avoid monopoly, creating a win-win situation in the Themis community. https://preview.redd.it/pme9tcd62pg51.png?width=832&format=png&auto=webp&s=049f899d2a5ee3ce64007d5cc0ae3ed6167c2b3a Compared with other mining projects, Themis has introduced a unique pledge ranking method in the mining design. Users in the best ranking area will get the most benefits, which is a good mechanism guarantee for attracting more users to participate in mining. At the same time, it can lead to the decentralization of data providers, ensuring the decentralization of the oracle system and the positive development of the community. How can miners join in Themis mining? The answer is to become a part of the ecology by playing the role of either data provider, data validator, or arbitration node. The data provider is mainly responsible for providing various types of data, and the data validator verifies and challenges the data offered by the data provider and provides new data. The arbitration node arbitrates the query raised by the data validator and come up with the final result. Both the data providers and validators of Themis need to pledge MIS to obtain the qualifications, and the caller of external data also needs to pay MIS assets when accessing the data of Themis oracles. If the data has been verified as correct, data providers and validators will receive mining rewards, and the more they pledge, the more rewards they will receive. In the mining design of Themis, miners can acquire MIS by providing verifiable random number or offering the price of in-chain assets. Whenever miners call mining contracts, the system will charge no service fee (excluding the service fee of ETH). In addition, if no mining transaction occurs within a certain period of time, the first newly-emerging block containing mining transactions will acquire all the MIS rewards. In this way, miners can be encouraged to continue mining and maintain the ecological stability of Themis. The number of MIS mining for each mining transaction of miners is calculated as follows: First, calculate the number of MIS mining rewards N contained in the block of the packaged mining transaction. If the height difference between the block and the previous block containing the mining transaction is y, then N = y * 20. The MIS mining quantity of this mining transaction is M, then M=Xi/(📷)×N. Among them, X is the ranking of the MIS pledge amount in the block, and those who pledge the same amount of MIS have the same ranking. Few official pre-mining, while 90% belongs to the community Based on the official announcement, the distribution of MIS is: The total amount of MIS is 1 billion, 10% is reserved for early project promotion, the remaining 90% are produced by mining, in which 75% are directly awarded to data providers, 10% to developers, and 5% as reward for arbitration nodes and ecological incentive. The production of mining will be progressively decreased and released with ETH. For some current popular VC-invested projects, institutional holdings hold more than half of blocks and unlock the block every month, which is a huge stress for ordinary pledge users. Many projects also went wrong because institutional investors do not abide by the rules. For MIS, because there is fewer official pre-mining, the selling pressure will be smaller, which is more in line with the value of the blockchain. The release plan of developer and arbitration node and ecological incentive is as follows: https://preview.redd.it/nld8k8gb2pg51.jpg?width=926&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=8c2435c993cf86b2bf6b0c4d2a1935708734de97 The release plan of data provider incentive is as follows: https://preview.redd.it/kgia5n6d2pg51.jpg?width=982&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=ad1bfe7796fdaec58f3caede2f2a2083c0a07724 The MIS awarded per block reduces by 10% in every 4 million blocks, and the reward per block at present is 20 MIS. We can see that the allocation of MIS follows the following principles. First of all, as MIS is the platform certificate of Themis, it is very reasonable to reserve 10% of MIS for early project promotion. Secondly, 90% of MIS is produced through sustainable mining. This proportion can motivate contract users and miners to conduct contract mining, truly implementing the spirit of win-win community and token economy. Finally, among the 90% of MIS, better incentive mechanisms have been adapted, mining reward ratios are subdivided, which can attract more investors to participate in mining. Reasonable mining mechanism highlights the project value of Themis Themis, as a public chain that provides a mechanism to solve the problems in Oracle Machine, has a unique charm in the value of MIS. From the perspective of the number of tokens, the total amount of MIS is 1 billion, and the total mining pool is 900 million. 90% of the tokens are generated by mining, and the mining output gradually decreases its release with the Ethereum block, showing a great potential in its future added value. The earlier you participate in mining, the more profit you can gain. From the perspective of Themis’s ecological design, Themis is committed to the original intention of building a price oracle. The data provider pays on-chain fees and pledges a certain amount of MIS, and determines the income obtained according to the scale of the pledge; the validator can make profit from challenging the data. Also, any smart contract developer or user need to pay the corresponding fee when calling Themis, and this part of the profit will be distributed to the data provider in proportion. Through this design, a logical closed loop is completed to ensure the healthy operation of the entire ecology and achieve the goal of mutual benefit. In Themis, all parties in the ecology can work together to grow more wealth. In all, MIS has a huge potential for future development and arbitrage, and of course, a great profit potential as well. Today, public chains like Themis are not just a technology platform, but also a symbol of future economic operation mode which connect between the blockchain and the real world. Themis, with a fair, justice and open network through mining, is building a strong token ecology, connecting external chain data and the systems, realising data interaction between blockchain and the real world, and more importantly, creating a new mode of token economy.
The choice of the optimalways to buy Bitcoindepends on three factors: how much information you want to disclose, what is the amount of the transaction and what level of security you require. However, it is almost impossible to comply with all 3 factors. So,what is the best way to buy Bitcoin?
1. Stock exchange
The best way to buycrypto is to use an exchange (Binance, Coinbase Pro, Huobi Global), where one can sell and buy digital currency from other investors. The price is set manually. In this case, the commission charged by the intermediary will not exceed 1%. The exchange provides anonymity since you don’t need to provide your ID in most exchanges. There are several options for transactions:
Quick deal – immediate purchase or sale of currency from another exchange user;
Offer – the seller determines the conditions under which the transaction should be arranged, and the buyer can either agree with the conditions or refuse to buy from this seller;
Automatic order – the system completes the transaction when conditions are fulfilled (provided that you have the funds necessary to fulfill).
If you want to know how to begin investing in Bitcoin, start studying stock exchanges.
Fair rates. You buy Bitcoin, not at the rate that the exchanger came up with, but at the real market rate, which is constantly changing;
Safety. Trusted, reliable exchanges do not cheat. The trust of users is important to them since they earn a commission from trading;
Multicurrency. You can exchange fiat for Bitcoin, buy any other coins available, and withdraw them to your wallet.
Registration needed. Almost all exchanges require registration and request minimal personal data;
Safety. New exchanges without valuable reputation are sometimes hacked. History knows cases when the administration of exchanges defrauded users and walked off into the sunset. For example, the case of BTC-E (WEX.NZ). This is extremely rare and, as a rule, does not apply to large reliable sites. It is best not to store cryptocurrency on exchanges for the long term and to check all the information about exchanges carefully.
A crypto exchanger (Localbitcoins, Lykke, F-change) allows exchanging fiat or other tokens for BTC according to a fixed rate. It is probably the easiest way to buy crypto. The service adds a commission higher than that on the stock exchange.
Simple interface. Even a beginner will understand it;
The ability to buy Bitcoin for almost any existing currency in the world;
Anonymity. Although it depends on the exchanger and payment method, many exchangers are not interested in your personal data.
Slow speed. Sometimes the exchange may freeze for several hours;
Exchange rate. As a rule, in exchangers, the rate is not the most profitable one. It differs from the mid-market not in your favor;
Anonymity. Sometimes there were cases when exchangers leaked information about customers not to authorities, but other interested parties;
Chance of fraud. Especially, if you use an unknown site.
3. ATMs for BTC
ATMs for Bitcoins only enter the market. It is enough to have the necessary amount of cash to be able to exchange it for the equivalent in BTC. Such a transaction is instant and does not require registration or other formalities. There are now over 8500 BTC ATMs around the world.
4. For cash with individuals
A hand-to-hand sale is the most private and most insecure way to buy cryptocurrency. It is lucky if you know reliable miners or crypto businessmen. Rent, salary, taxes – all this requires ordinary money, so they constantly have a need to sell mined or earned cryptocurrency. Pros – maximum anonymity of transactions. Cons – risks from dishonest partners.
5. Telegram bots
Telegram bot is an automatic script based on the search for offers and counteroffers. If someone wants to sell BTC, they send a request to the bot and it looks for a counter offer. As soon as someone sends a request for the purchase of Bitcoin, the bot will complete a transaction between these two users.
Speed. Exchange occurs instantly. This is probably the fastest way to trade Bitcoin.
Low security. A bot can stop working unexpectedly, money can be “lost", etc. It is very difficult to bring the service to justice if something goes wrong, and you rely entirely on the decency of the bot owners;
Inconvenient BTC rate. No bidding. You are forced to work at the rate that the service states.
While talking about the ways to buy Bitcoin, it is important to mention that this article doesn’t provide any advice and directions regarding the investments in particular cryptocurrencies and pursues only informative purposes.
Round up of Cryptocurrency News #2 Week 13/07 - 19/07
So much has happened this week! We saw a capitulation point of bitcoin before bears took over and we saw the selling pressure push Bitcoin down toward the $9000USD mark then move back up above $9100USD So far it has been a stable hold, however we may see some more action within the coming weeks.
Widespread scamming within the Twitter-sphere, Youtube and other platforms as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may seem like fair game. Cryptocurrencies providing big payouts for scammers without the ability for reversals of accounts. Remember if something seems too good to be true, do some research or just plain do not respond/believe it. Stay safe and careful with your funds!
On the brightside, there has been even more adoption of cryptocurrencies as rumours of Paypal utilising cryptocurrency has been confirmed as they are developing crypto capabilities. In addition to this we received exciting news at the start of this week about Binance partnering with Swipe (SXP) and offering a debit card to spend BNB, SXP, BTC and BUSD. ( I will be keeping a swift eye on BNB and Swipe as its utilisation as tokens has just increased 43 fold).
Positive news for the Bitcoin network as its hashrate reaches all time high which helps to secure the network further even though mining profits have dropped by 50% from the recent halving. If you didn't know already the last Bitcoin will be expected to be mined in 2140 with its difficulty ever increasing and each time securing the network further. Processing units will have to become faster, stronger and most importantly more cost effective to continue to entice miners for the block rewards and further renewable energy practices.
Furthermore we can see Central banks and countries discussing and developing Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC). Read more about it here https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/central-bank-digital-currency-cbdc.asp and check out some of the developments in the world above. This shows the popularity and strong nature of cryptocurrencies. As the saying goes "If you cant beat them, JOIN them".
Overall, very solid week full of adoption, animation and anticipation. Another post next week for a weekly round up! See you then but in the mean time join us at our Gravychain Discord. - DISCORD LINK: https://discord.gg/zxXXyuJ 🍕 Bring some virtual pizza to share 🍕 Come have a chat, stimulate a discussion, ask a question or share some knowledge. We are all friendly crypto enthusiasts up for a chat, supportive and want to help each other with knowledge and investments! Big thanks to our Telegram and My Crypto HQ for the constant news updates! - The Gravychain Collective: https://t.me/gravychain - My Crypto HQ: https://t.me/My_Crypto_HQ Important/Notable/Highlights:
1)It is possible to change the code through a miner vote or a fork and change the total supply or anything. DASH did it : they reduced the total supply from 84M to 18.9M a few years ago. They could also increase it to 999 Trillions if they wanted to so that millions of DASH are mined every week. 2)You can also fork bitcoin anytime , start over from 0 and claim it's the real bitcoin. (BCH , BSV , BTG , LTC , BCD etc) 3)Why would you pay $10,000 for a digital collectible unit called BTC when you can use BCH or TRX or LTC .. you name it. They work just as fine and cost less. There is no rarity like in gold. 4)Think of any amount you hold in ethereum as a gift card to use smart contracts on the ETH blockchain. Ridiculous. You’d rather hold a wal mart gift card or even simply cash. 5)Private keys may be bruteforced as we speak. Quintillions entries a second. When they’ll have enough bitcoins under control , they could move them all at once instantly.(At least 45,000 ETH have been stolen this way for now through ethereum bandit)SHA 256 is too old , bitcoin is 10 years old , it is not secure enough , quantum computing could potentially break it. 6)And that’s if people don’t find a way to create an infinite amount of coins to sell on exchanges.. it happened with monero , stellar , bitcoin , zcash , zcoin , eos , etc.. proofs : “Bitcoin , Coindesk : “The Latest Bitcoin Bug Was So Bad, Developers Kept Its Full Details a Secret”an attacker could have actually used it to create new Bitcoin — above the 21 million hard-cap of coin creation — thereby inflating the supply and devaluing current bitcoins.” Stellar : “Stellar Inflation: Glitch Leads to 2.25 Billion Extra XLM Printed” Monero : “A bug in the Monero (XMR) wallet software that could enable fake deposits to exchanges has been recently brought to public attention through a Medium post” Zcoin : Forged coins were created, but not exceeding 1% of the circulating supply. We will release further details on exact numbers when Sigma is released. EOS : “Hackers Forge Billion EOS Coins to Steal Real Crypto From DEX “ Zcash : “Zcash Team Reveals It Fixed a Catastrophic Coin Counterfeiting Bug” etc.. 7)Segwit , and especially Lightning network is a very complex technology and it will inevitably have flaws , bugs , it will be exploited and people will lose money. That alone can cause bitcoin to drop very low levels. 8)Then miners may be losing millions so they will stop mining , blocks may be so slow , almost no transaction will come though , and bitcoin may not have enough time to reach the next difficulty adjustement. This is reffered to as a death spiral. Then every crypto even those with no mining involved may crash hard. 9)Many crypto wallets are unsafe and have already caused people to lose all their investment , including the infamous “parity wallet”. 10)It is NOT trustless. you have to trust the wallet you’re using is not just generating an address controlled by the developper , you have to trust the node the wallet connects to is an honest node , you have to trust a Rogue state or organization with enough computing power will not 51% attack the network. etc.. 11)Bitcoin is NOT deflationary. Bitcoins are created every blocks (roughly every 10 minutes) and you wil be dead by the time we reach the 21 million current hard cap. 12)Bitcoin price may artificially be inflated by Tether. 13)It’s an energy waste , an environmental catastrophy. 14)The only usecases are money laundering , tax evasion , gambling , buying on the dark net , evading sanctions and speculation. 15)Governments will ban it if it gets too big , and they have a big incentive to do so , not only for the obscure usecases but also because it threatens the stability of sovereign currencies. Trump could kill bitcoin with one tweet , force fiat exchanges to cease activity. 16)Most cryptos are scams , the rest are just crazy speculative casino investments. 17)It is pyramidal : early adopters intend to profit massively while last comers get crushed. That's not how money works. The overwhelming majority of crypto holders are buying it because they think they will be able to sell it to a higher price later. Money is supposed to be rather stable. That's why the best cryptocurrencies are USDT USDC etc.. 18)The very few stores accepting bitcoin always have the real price in the local currency , not in bitcoin. And prices like 0.00456329 BTC are ridiculous ! 19)About famous brokers listing bitcoin : they have to meet the demand in order to make money , it doesn't mean they approve it , some even short it (see interactive broker's CEO opinion on bitcoin) 20)People say cash is backed by nothing and losing value slowly , and yes it is very flawed , but there is a whole nation behind it , it's accepted everywhere , you can buy more things with it. 21)Everybody in crypto thinks that there will be a new bullrun and that then , they will sell. But because everybody thinks it will happen , it might not happen. The truth is past performance doesn’t indicate future performance and it is absolutely not guaranteed that there will ever be another bullrun. The markets are unpredictable. 22)Also BTC went from about $0.003 to the price it is today , so don’t think it’s cheap now. 23)There is no recourse if you’re scammed/hacked/made a mistake in the address etc. No chargebacks. But it might be possible to do a rollback (blockchain reorganization) to reverse some transactions. BSV did it. 24)In case of a financial crisis , the speculative assets would crash the most and bitcoin is far from being a non speculative safe heaven ; and governments might ban it to prevent fiat inflation to worsen. 25) Having to write down the private key somewhere or memorize it is a security flaw ! It’s insane to think a system like this will gain mass adoption. 26) The argument saying governments can not ban it because it is decentralized (like they banned drugs) doesn’t work for cryptos. First , drugs are much harder to find and much more expensive and unsafe because of the ban , and people are willing to take the risk because they like it. But if crypto is banned , value will drop too much , and if you can’t sell it for fiat without risking jail , goodluck to find a buyer. Fiat exchanges could close. Banks could terminate every crypto related bank account. And maybe then the mining death spiral would happen and kill all cryptos. 27) Crypto doesn’t exist. It’s like buying air. It’s just virtual collectibles generated by a code. Faguzzi, fugazzi, it’s a whazzie, it’s a whoozie.. it’s a.. fairy dust. It doesn’t exist. It’s never landed. It’s no matter, it’s not on the elemental chart. It… it’s not fucking real! 28) Most brilliant guys have come out and said Bitcoin was a scam or worthless. Including Bill Gates , Warren Buffet , The Wolf Of Wall Street… 29) Inflation is necessary for POW , BTC code will have to be changed to bypass the 21M cap or mining will die ! If BTC code is not changed to allow for miners to be paid reasonably , they will cease mining when the bitcoin block reward gets too low.Even monero understood it ,the code will have to be changed to allow for an infinite bitcoin supply (devaluating all current bitcoins) or the hash will decrease and the security of bitcoin will decrease dramatically and be 51% attacked 30) Don’t mix up blockchain and cryptos. Even blockchain is overrated. But when you hear this or that company is going blockchain , it doesn’t mean they support cryptocurrencies. 31) Craig Wright had a bitcoin mining company with Dave Kleinman (he died) and on january 1 2020 he claims he will be able to access the 1.1M BTC/BCH/BTG from the mining trust. He may or may not dump them on the market , he also said BTC had a fatal flaw and that by 2019 there will be no more BTC. 32) Hacks in cryptos are very common and usually massive. Billions of dollars in crypto have been stolen in the last 6 years. In may 2019 Binance was hacked and lost 7,000 BTC (and it’s far from being the biggest crypto hack). 33) Bitcoin was first. It's an ancient technology. Newer blockchains have privacy, smart contracts, distributed apps and more.Bitcoin is our future? Was the Model T the future of the automobile? (John Mc Afee) 34) IOTA investiguating stolen funds on mainnet. IOTA shuts down the whole network to deal with trinity wallet attack. 35) Compared to bitcoin other cryptos work just as fine and don't waste so much energy. 36 ) Everytime miners disagree on the updates it will create another version of bitcoin : problem of governance and legitimacy. 37) Cryptos are only legitimate if they act as a credit for a redeemable asset like USDT or gold backed coins. While the native language of the writter is not english , I think you get the point and it doesn't make it any less relevant.
Bitcoin options are breaking records, and exchanges are competing for this segment. We will tell you what these tools are and how they work
Bitcoin options are breaking records, and exchanges are competing for this segment. We will tell you what these tools are and how they work The cryptocurrency market is constantly evolving, integrating with the traditional and inheriting complex financial products such as futures and options. Some types of fixed-term contracts are already firmly established in the bitcoin industry. This is noticeable by the activity of traders on the CME. However, the situation with options is somewhat different. These derivatives are difficult to understand among ordinary market participants and are not yet so popular. Nevertheless, there is a demand for such tools, as evidenced by the growth dynamics of this market segment and interest from platforms such as Binance and Bitfinex. Bitcoin options have already been offered on CME, LedgerX and Bakkt, which are regulated and oriented primarily on whales. Among the unregulated sites, the leader is Deribit, followed by FTX and OKEx. ForkLog magazine figured out what options are and what types of options are. We will talk about the features of these tools and the current state of affairs in the segment. In this article you will also find comments by leading market experts on the role of options in the industry.
What are options and how do they work?
An option is a financial contract concluded between two parties — the holder and the seller. The first receives the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell a certain amount of the underlying asset at the strike price (strike price) on a specific date (expiration date). The seller undertakes to buy or sell the asset at the request of the option holder. The latter pays the seller at the time of purchase of the contract a certain amount of money — the so-called premium. The rights and obligations of the holder and seller differ significantly. The former has the right to choose whether to exercise the option or not. The seller is obliged to fulfill the terms of the contract at the request of the holder. Parameters such as the type of underlying asset, expiration date, strike price are fixed at the time of issue of the contract, after which they cannot be changed. Like futures, options are derivative financial instruments and derivatives. This means that they can be based on various underlying assets (BA) — stocks, indices or cryptocurrencies. “Like the options already existing in traditional finance for all major assets, there are contracts based on BTC and ETH on the cryptocurrency market. They are very interesting financial products“, said Su Zhu, head of Three Arrows Capital, in a conversation with ForkLog. Options are used both for hedging risks and for speculative trading. For example, a speculator confident in the growth of the underlying asset buys a call option. If the BA price rises above the strike, the trader can use his contract to buy a discounted asset. “Derivatives such as options allow users to hedge risks and generate revenue. Derivatives play a key role in the traditional financial market. These tools are needed so that the cryptocurrency market continues to grow and develop, being filled with new participants“, said Aaron Gong, vice president of Binance Futures.
Practical use of options
Consider the simplest example of options hedging. Suppose there is a company manufacturing tomato paste, sauces and ketchups. There is a farmer supplying this company with tomatoes. He acts in conditions of fierce competition, close to perfect. It is extremely important for a company to buy raw materials cheaper to minimize production costs and remain profitable. The farmer, in turn, hopes for a long-term cooperation with the company so as not to lose a major client. The company offers the farmer an option, assuming the right to buy 10 tons of tomatoes of the next year’s crop at the current price — say, $1,000 per ton. To exercise this right, the company pays the farmer an option premium of 3% of the total transaction amount of $10,000, that is, $300. The farmer will have to, at the request of the company, sell the appropriate quantity of goods at the above price and at a specified time. A year later, the crop was high, which led to a decrease in the market value of tomatoes to $800 per ton. The company decides not to exercise its right to purchase raw materials for $10,000, as other farmers can buy the same 10 tons of tomatoes for only $8,000. Thus, having lost only $300 as a premium on an option, the company is insured against price risk. Buying raw materials at a significantly lower market price is more than worth the price of the option contract. Let’s imagine another scenario: the crop turned out to be unimportant and the price of scarce tomatoes jumped to $1200 per ton. Then the company will certainly take advantage of the right to purchase tomatoes for $1000. Thus, the result is any case. It is easy to guess that the options can be used by miners to hedge the risks of adverse changes in the price of the extracted asset. For example, expecting a decrease in the price of BTC, miners can use options that give them the right to sell cryptocurrency in the future at a price higher than the breakeven point. “Miners are already very active in options markets. And, probably, they will remain active“, Su Zhu said. Su Zhu is confident that in the long term, options will make the cryptocurrency spot market more liquid and attractive to a wide range of participants. He added that the growing popularity of such contracts among miners could significantly reduce sales pressure. “Options give miners the opportunity to fix the price of coins mined in the future. Miners can better manage their production costs and protect themselves from market volatility“, said Aaron Gong, expressing confidence that the popularity of options will continue to grow. According to him, such tools open up new opportunities and may be of interest to speculators, funds and long-term cryptocurrency holders. “Institutional investors are also showing growing interest in options and other derivatives. Last week it was reported that the famous Wall Street trader Paul Tudor Jones allocated a few percent from his Tudor BVI fund for bitcoin futures. This is a positive signal, which means that more and more institutions are interested in the cryptocurrency market“,Gong added. However, option strategies are not suitable for every market participant — effective work with these tools requires certain experience, Co-founder of CoinIndex.agency Julia Sporysh is sure: “Of course, in order to use this effectively, the miner must have an experienced trader (option strategies are some of the most difficult on the market) — or they will have to unite and work through specialized trading companies. This market exists, although it is not for the general public.” Also, according to her, options may be of interest to funds and retail traders who have gained a hand in speculative trading. “Options are an independent and good speculative tool. And if you have positions in futures or in the spot market, it’s just the time to explore new opportunities“, added Yulia Sporysh.
Types of options
There are two main types of options — option call and option put. The first gives the right to the contract holder to purchase a certain amount of the underlying asset from the seller (they also say — the inscription) at the strike price on a certain date in the future. This type of option was used in the tomato example. The put option, on the contrary, gives the buyer of the contract the right to sell the underlying asset at a fixed price. The latter may be higher than the market at the time of expiration, which is beneficial to the trader. Market participants use the call, predicting an increase in the price of BA, and put — expecting it to decline. More complex strategies use combinations of these two types of contracts. There is also the term “covered option”. For example, an option call is covered if the seller has the amount of the underlying asset corresponding to the terms of the contract. Options may also differ in the style of execution — American or European. European-style options require the holder to execute the contract exclusively on the expiration date. Such options, in particular, are presented at CME and Bakkt. American style implies the possibility of contract execution at any time prior to the date of expiration. Options of both styles are traded all over the world, their names have no relation to geographic location. There are less standardized, exotic options. However, the popularity and importance of such instruments in the financial market is not so great. Parameters and conditions for trading certain options are described in the specifications for them, which indicate the expiration date, strike price and other elements of the contract.
Premium, strike price and cash option
The option premium is the amount of money paid by the buyer to the seller. The premium is equal to the value of the contract and, in fact, represents a fee for the risk of adverse changes in the value of the underlying asset. The option premium is formed by two components: • Intrinsic value — the amount that the buyer would receive if the contract were currently executed. It depends on the ratio of the price of the underlying asset and the strike. • Time value — depends on the time remaining until expiration. Usually, the less time it takes to execute a contract, the lower the premium. As a rule, high price volatility contributes to premium growth, and vice versa. A deal with a close strike price in relation to the current one has much greater chances of closing in profit and, therefore, the premium for such an option will be relatively high. The strike price is the price fixed in the option at which the buyer of the call option can buy (or sell, if this is a put option) the underlying asset. In turn, the seller of the contract is obliged to sell or buy BA. Money is an indicator of the ability to receive funds from the exercise of the right to exercise a derivative. In the context of options, cash can be calculated by comparing the spot price of the BA and the strike price of the option. Thus, three options are possible: • “in the money” option: in the case of a call — if the spot price is higher than the strike (then the intrinsic value of the contract is positive), in the case of a put, on the contrary, if the BA price is lower than the strike; • option “on money” (or “with one’s own”) — equal strike to current stock quotes, intrinsic value equal to 0; • the option “out of money” (“without money”) — the exercise of the option is not economically feasible; in such a situation, the current price of the underlying asset is lower than the strike price of the call option or, conversely, the spot price of the BA is higher than the strike price in the case of a put.
There are many option trading strategies. Four basic approaches can be distinguished. Long call — buying a call option, the investor expects an increase in the price of the underlying asset above the strike on the expiration date of the contract. Then he will be able to buy an asset at a discount to the market price and thus earn on the difference. If the price drops below the strike, the buyer risks only the premium paid for the option. Long put — is a kind of alternative to a short position in the spot market. The buyer of the put option hopes to make money, assuming that the price of the BA falls below the strike at the time of expiration. In this scenario, the investor may sell the asset at a higher price than the market price. Also, through a put option, an investor can limit the risk of a fall in the price of an asset that has a long position open. According to Su Zhu, miners may use the “protective put” strategy, in whose activity a substantial and prolonged drop in the price of mined cryptocurrency is undesirable. Through such tools, miners can provide profitable or even break-even activity. Short call — the investor acts as the seller of the contract, counting on a decrease in the price of BA below the strike on the date of expiration. However, the higher the price of the asset, the more losses the inscription bears. Thus, the risk of the seller of the contract is unlimited, and the profit potential is limited by the premium on the sale of the call. Short put — the seller of such an option expects a premium on it, being firmly convinced that the price of the BA will be higher than the strike. Combinations of these basic strategies may underlie more sophisticated options trading approaches, such as: • protective put — purchase of a put option for an available asset; • covered (secured) call — an investor sells a call option to an existing BA or which will be acquired simultaneously with the sale of the option; the strategy reduces the risk of owning an asset, since a fall in its price is partially offset by a premium; • straddle — a kind of bet on volatility, which implies the purchase of a call and put option on the same asset with the same expiration date and the same strike price; • strangle — almost the same as straddle, differs only in different strike prices.
Options are complex financial instruments, their mechanism of work is unlikely to be mastered immediately by most novice traders. Nevertheless, these derivatives may seem interesting to experienced market participants and, in particular, to miners. The following advantages and disadvantages of options can be distinguished. Of the advantages of these contracts, we note: - flexibility of use in speculative trading; - the ability to use many combinations and trading strategies; - a good tool for hedging risks; - the ability to use in any trend — upward, downward, sideways. Disadvantages: - the difficulty of understanding the mechanism of work, especially for novice market participants; - asymmetric conditions and, accordingly, risks for the buyer and seller; - the complexity of trading strategies; - the volatility of an option premium, which depends on the proximity of the expiration date and price dynamics in the spot market; - low liquidity. Different industry players have different cryptocurrency options. Some consider them promising tools useful for miners, funds, retail traders and the market as a whole. Others are convinced that such derivatives are archaism. Nevertheless, options are gradually taking root in the cryptocurrency market. This is evident in the dynamics of trading volume and open interest. In addition, more and more exchanges are trying to add support for these contracts, which contributes to increased competition and further development of the industry. Subscribe to our Telegram channel
Bitcoin diamond is #4 cryptocurrency. Can this market be more irrational?
Yesterday bitcoin was forked again and 1 BTC = 10 BCD. Bitcoin diamond is trading at 0.012 BTC or $100 right now. That means the market cap = $100* 160.7 million = $16.07 billion , bigger than DASH and Ripple... Who is buying this crap?
This Minor Cryptocurrency Is On Track To Smash Bitcoin In 2020
Bitcoin has outperformed most other assets so far this year and is on course to be one of the best bets of 2020. https://preview.redd.it/j4umzsiuxvy41.jpg?width=960&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=7d9a086c5c5e54c2ffab9b4b5939ffd9ea12885b The bitcoin price, after plummeting in March amid a wider coronavirus-induced sell-off, is up around 30% so far this year. However, one minor cryptocurrency has almost doubled in price since January—with many expecting it to climb yet further. Tezos, trading as XTZ, has risen by 85% since the beginning of the year, adding to gains made last year and giving tezos a market capitalization of almost $1.8 billion. At the beginning of the year, tezos was the 15th most valuable cryptocurrency by market capitalization, according to CoinMarketCap data, but has now broken into the top ten—and could move quickly past some rivals if its run continues. "Tezos seems to be one of the most popular platforms for new projects to build on at the moment," said Mati Greenspan, the founder of market analysis firm Quantum Economics, who holds some tezos. "Several projects that I'm currently advising are using it. As well, the tokenomics are structured in a way that a lot of the incoming supply are diverted to staking and taken off the market." Tezos, which styles itself as a "self-amending cryptographic ledger" and uses the so-called proof-of-stake consensus model, has emerged as a favourite blockchain and cryptocurrency for tokenized real-estate and security tokens. Since bitcoin's closely-watched supply squeeze this week, some have suggested those that maintain the bitcoin network, known as miners, might switch their computing power to other cryptocurrencies—potentially giving them a boost. However, tezos, which uses proof-of-stake instead of bitcoin's proof-of-work, cannot be mined like bitcoin. Proof-of-stake blockchains are generally thought to be more scalable and less resource-intensive as they don't require miners to solve complex mathematical problems in order to create the next bloc. They also incentivize tokenholder participation in network security. Tezos holders, if their funds are stored in certain wallets, can "stake" their XTZ and receive additional tokens as a reward for creating and verifying new blocks in the chain. "Tezos is not a proof-of-work based coin, so it can't be mined," said Joe DiPasquale, chief executive of hedge fund manager BitBull Capital. "However, it is one of the more promising projects to come out of the initial coin offering-era, which gives it an edge in times such as these, when the bitcoin price appreciates and lifts the market for a select-few, quality projects." Tezos has benefited from various platforms supporting the ability to "stake" tezos tokens over recent months, according to DiPasquale, who pointed to the U.S. division of major bitcoin and crypto exchange Binance, "which is also a positive driver for price." The tezos rally, which began in November last year, has also been pushed on by major partnerships with the financial world and the so-called Tezos Foundation’s Faucet, that awards users up to 0.01 XTZ every 12 hours.
Bitcoin (BTC) Trading Volumes Spike Two Weeks Before The Halving
Trading Volumes On The World’s Largest Cryptocurrency Surpassed The Levels Before The Global Market Wipeout From 12th March Despite getting into a turbulent month of intense price swings and market wipes, due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak, Bitcoin’s support seems to strengthen since the start of 2020. One of the largest crypto exchanges, like Binance and Coinbase, reported an average BTC trading volume of around $5.6 billion since the March 12 market wipeout. In contrast, Bitcoinity reported average Bitcoin trading volumes of $3,96 billion from January 1, 2020, to March 11. However, the average volume rally peaked at $9,2 billion worth of Bitcoin in the week after the global market crash. Source: Bitcoinity.org Bitcoin’s trading volume uptrend can be separated into two different models. The first model identified Bitcoin as a digital safe-haven asset, putting it alongside gold and other precious metals. Bitcoin’s haven strengths were tested during the conflict between the U.S. and Iran when the geopolitical pressure forced the stock market down while fortifying Bitcoin’s strongholds. However, Bitcoin didn’t stand to the massive fear-driven sell-off, and the price per BTC dropped in half – from $7,969 before the crisis to a yearly low of $3,858 on some exchanges. The so-called “Black Thursday” market crash, however, created a global opportunity to “buy the dip” and benefit from Bitcoin’s low trading price. Bitcoin’s trading volumes skyrocketed, and the price followed quickly. The world’s largest crypto managed to make a full recovery, trading at the levels before the crash. Volumes also took a massive boost last week, reaching higher levels than during the uptrend from Q1 of 2020. The recovery, combined with the much-anticipated mining reward halving, scheduled for May 12, brought bulls back in the race. The halving event would cut down the reward for miners from 1800 BTC daily to 900 BTC per day. Blockchain analysis company Glassnode reported that the BTC holder profile matures, as traders are going to hold Bitcoin, rather than trade it post-halving. The hold, in theory, should keep volatility and volume swings low. Data aggregator Messari, on the other hand, sees a BTC bullish rally, nevertheless. “It seems the crypto market activity settled down after the “Black Thursday” event, but with Bitcoin’s third halving coming in just a couple of weeks, there is enough time to bring the animal spirit in the crypto sector,” Messari stated in a blog post. Meanwhile, Bitcoin moves on a steady weekly gain graph. The world’s #1 crypto broke above the $8,000 resistance, with a strong volume increase in the past 24 hours. Currently, Bitcoin trades for $8,341.04. Marketwise, almost all of the top-100 cryptocurrencies mark 2-10% gains, with a total market capitalization of $234,661,359,327 and $152,634,163,535 in 24-hour reported daily volumes.
Technical: A Brief History of Payment Channels: from Satoshi to Lightning Network
Who cares about political tweets from some random country's president when payment channels are a much more interesting and are actually capable of carrying value? So let's have a short history of various payment channel techs!
Generation 0: Satoshi's Broken nSequence Channels
Because Satoshi's Vision included payment channels, except his implementation sucked so hard we had to go fix it and added RBF as a by-product. Originally, the plan for nSequence was that mempools would replace any transaction spending certain inputs with another transaction spending the same inputs, but only if the nSequence field of the replacement was larger. Since 0xFFFFFFFF was the highest value that nSequence could get, this would mark a transaction as "final" and not replaceable on the mempool anymore. In fact, this "nSequence channel" I will describe is the reason why we have this weird rule about nLockTime and nSequence. nLockTime actually only works if nSequence is not 0xFFFFFFFF i.e. final. If nSequence is 0xFFFFFFFF then nLockTime is ignored, because this if the "final" version of the transaction. So what you'd do would be something like this:
You go to a bar and promise the bartender to pay by the time the bar closes. Because this is the Bitcoin universe, time is measured in blockheight, so the closing time of the bar is indicated as some future blockheight.
For your first drink, you'd make a transaction paying to the bartender for that drink, paying from some coins you have. The transaction has an nLockTime equal to the closing time of the bar, and a starting nSequence of 0. You hand over the transaction and the bartender hands you your drink.
For your succeeding drink, you'd remake the same transaction, adding the payment for that drink to the transaction output that goes to the bartender (so that output keeps getting larger, by the amount of payment), and having an nSequence that is one higher than the previous one.
Eventually you have to stop drinking. It comes down to one of two possibilities:
You drink until the bar closes. Since it is now the nLockTime indicated in the transaction, the bartender is able to broadcast the latest transaction and tells the bouncers to kick you out of the bar.
You wisely consider the state of your liver. So you re-sign the last transaction with a "final" nSequence of 0xFFFFFFFF i.e. the maximum possible value it can have. This allows the bartender to get his or her funds immediately (nLockTime is ignored if nSequence is 0xFFFFFFFF), so he or she tells the bouncers to let you out of the bar.
Now that of course is a payment channel. Individual payments (purchases of alcohol, so I guess buying coffee is not in scope for payment channels). Closing is done by creating a "final" transaction that is the sum of the individual payments. Sure there's no routing and channels are unidirectional and channels have a maximum lifetime but give Satoshi a break, he was also busy inventing Bitcoin at the time. Now if you noticed I called this kind of payment channel "broken". This is because the mempool rules are not consensus rules, and cannot be validated (nothing about the mempool can be validated onchain: I sigh every time somebody proposes "let's make block size dependent on mempool size", mempool state cannot be validated by onchain data). Fullnodes can't see all of the transactions you signed, and then validate that the final one with the maximum nSequence is the one that actually is used onchain. So you can do the below:
Become friends with Jihan Wu, because he owns >51% of the mining hashrate (he totally reorged Bitcoin to reverse the Binance hack right?).
Slip Jihan Wu some of the more interesting drinks you're ordering as an incentive to cooperate with you. So say you end up ordering 100 drinks, you split it with Jihan Wu and give him 50 of the drinks.
When the bar closes, Jihan Wu quickly calls his mining rig and tells them to mine the version of your transaction with nSequence 0. You know, that first one where you pay for only one drink.
Because fullnodes cannot validate nSequence, they'll accept even the nSequence=0 version and confirm it, immutably adding you paying for a single alcoholic drink to the blockchain.
The bartender, pissed at being cheated, takes out a shotgun from under the bar and shoots at you and Jihan Wu.
Jihan Wu uses his mystical chi powers (actually the combined exhaust from all of his mining rigs) to slow down the shotgun pellets, making them hit you as softly as petals drifting in the wind.
The bartender mutters some words, clothes ripping apart as he or she (hard to believe it could be a she but hey) turns into a bear, ready to maul you for cheating him or her of the payment for all the 100 drinks you ordered from him or her.
Steely-eyed, you stand in front of the bartender-turned-bear, daring him to touch you. You've watched Revenant, you know Leonardo di Caprio could survive a bear mauling, and if some posh actor can survive that, you know you can too. You make a pose. "Drunken troll logic attack!"
I think I got sidetracked here.
Bears are bad news.
You can't reasonably invoke "Satoshi's Vision" and simultaneously reject the Lightning Network because it's not onchain. Satoshi's Vision included a half-assed implementation of payment channels with nSequence, where the onchain transaction represented multiple logical payments, exactly what modern offchain techniques do (except modern offchain techniques actually work). nSequence (the field, but not its modern meaning) has been in Bitcoin since BitCoin For Windows Alpha 0.1.0. And its original intent was payment channels. You can't get nearer to Satoshi's Vision than being a field that Satoshi personally added to transactions on the very first public release of the BitCoin software, like srsly.
Miners can totally bypass mempool rules. In fact, the reason why nSequence has been repurposed to indicate "optional" replace-by-fee is because miners are already incentivized by the nSequence system to always follow replace-by-fee anyway. I mean, what do you think those drinks you passed to Jihan Wu are, other than the fee you pay him to mine a specific version of your transaction?
Satoshi made mistakes. The original design for nSequence is one of them. Today, we no longer use nSequence in this way. So diverging from Satoshi's original design is part and parcel of Bitcoin development, because over time, we learn new lessons that Satoshi never knew about. Satoshi was an important landmark in this technology. He will not be the last, or most important, that we will remember in the future: he will only be the first.
Incentive-compatible time-limited unidirectional channel; or, Satoshi's Vision, Fixed (if transaction malleability hadn't been a problem, that is). Now, we know the bartender will turn into a bear and maul you if you try to cheat the payment channel, and now that we've revealed you're good friends with Jihan Wu, the bartender will no longer accept a payment channel scheme that lets one you cooperate with a miner to cheat the bartender. Fortunately, Jeremy Spilman proposed a better way that would not let you cheat the bartender. First, you and the bartender perform this ritual:
You get some funds and create a transaction that pays to a 2-of-2 multisig between you and the bartender. You don't broadcast this yet: you just sign it and get its txid.
You create another transaction that spends the above transaction. This transaction (the "backoff") has an nLockTime equal to the closing time of the bar, plus one block. You sign it and give this backoff transaction (but not the above transaction) to the bartender.
The bartender signs the backoff and gives it back to you. It is now valid since it's spending a 2-of-2 of you and the bartender, and both of you have signed the backoff transaction.
Now you broadcast the first transaction onchain. You and the bartender wait for it to be deeply confirmed, then you can start ordering.
The above is probably vaguely familiar to LN users. It's the funding process of payment channels! The first transaction, the one that pays to a 2-of-2 multisig, is the funding transaction that backs the payment channel funds. So now you start ordering in this way:
For your first drink, you create a transaction spending the funding transaction output and sending the price of the drink to the bartender, with the rest returning to you.
You sign the transaction and pass it to the bartender, who serves your first drink.
For your succeeding drinks, you recreate the same transaction, adding the price of the new drink to the sum that goes to the bartender and reducing the money returned to you. You sign the transaction and give it to the bartender, who serves you your next drink.
At the end:
If the bar closing time is reached, the bartender signs the latest transaction, completing the needed 2-of-2 signatures and broadcasting this to the Bitcoin network. Since the backoff transaction is the closing time + 1, it can't get used at closing time.
If you decide you want to leave early because your liver is crying, you just tell the bartender to go ahead and close the channel (which the bartender can do at any time by just signing and broadcasting the latest transaction: the bartender won't do that because he or she is hoping you'll stay and drink more).
If you ended up just hanging around the bar and never ordering, then at closing time + 1 you broadcast the backoff transaction and get your funds back in full.
Now, even if you pass 50 drinks to Jihan Wu, you can't give him the first transaction (the one which pays for only one drink) and ask him to mine it: it's spending a 2-of-2 and the copy you have only contains your own signature. You need the bartender's signature to make it valid, but he or she sure as hell isn't going to cooperate in something that would lose him or her money, so a signature from the bartender validating old state where he or she gets paid less isn't going to happen. So, problem solved, right? Right? Okay, let's try it. So you get your funds, put them in a funding tx, get the backoff tx, confirm the funding tx... Once the funding transaction confirms deeply, the bartender laughs uproariously. He or she summons the bouncers, who surround you menacingly. "I'm refusing service to you," the bartender says. "Fine," you say. "I was leaving anyway;" You smirk. "I'll get back my money with the backoff transaction, and posting about your poor service on reddit so you get negative karma, so there!" "Not so fast," the bartender says. His or her voice chills your bones. It looks like your exploitation of the Satoshi nSequence payment channel is still fresh in his or her mind. "Look at the txid of the funding transaction that got confirmed." "What about it?" you ask nonchalantly, as you flip open your desktop computer and open a reputable blockchain explorer. What you see shocks you. "What the --- the txid is different! You--- you changed my signature?? But how? I put the only copy of my private key in a sealed envelope in a cast-iron box inside a safe buried in the Gobi desert protected by a clan of nomads who have dedicated their lives and their childrens' lives to keeping my private key safe in perpetuity!" "Didn't you know?" the bartender asks. "The components of the signature are just very large numbers. The sign of one of the signature components can be changed, from positive to negative, or negative to positive, and the signature will remain valid. Anyone can do that, even if they don't know the private key. But because Bitcoin includes the signatures in the transaction when it's generating the txid, this little change also changes the txid." He or she chuckles. "They say they'll fix it by separating the signatures from the transaction body. They're saying that these kinds of signature malleability won't affect transaction ids anymore after they do this, but I bet I can get my good friend Jihan Wu to delay this 'SepSig' plan for a good while yet. Friendly guy, this Jihan Wu, it turns out all I had to do was slip him 51 drinks and he was willing to mine a tx with the signature signs flipped." His or her grin widens. "I'm afraid your backoff transaction won't work anymore, since it spends a txid that is not existent and will never be confirmed. So here's the deal. You pay me 99% of the funds in the funding transaction, in exchange for me signing the transaction that spends with the txid that you see onchain. Refuse, and you lose 100% of the funds and every other HODLer, including me, benefits from the reduction in coin supply. Accept, and you get to keep 1%. I lose nothing if you refuse, so I won't care if you do, but consider the difference of getting zilch vs. getting 1% of your funds." His or her eyes glow. "GENUFLECT RIGHT NOW." Lesson learned?
Payback's a bitch.
Transaction malleability is a bitchier bitch. It's why we needed to fix the bug in SegWit. Sure, MtGox claimed they were attacked this way because someone kept messing with their transaction signatures and thus they lost track of where their funds went, but really, the bigger impetus for fixing transaction malleability was to support payment channels.
Yes, including the signatures in the hash that ultimately defines the txid was a mistake. Satoshi made a lot of those. So we're just reiterating the lesson "Satoshi was not an infinite being of infinite wisdom" here. Satoshi just gets a pass because of how awesome Bitcoin is.
CLTV-protected Spilman Channels
Using CLTV for the backoff branch. This variation is simply Spilman channels, but with the backoff transaction replaced with a backoff branch in the SCRIPT you pay to. It only became possible after OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY (CLTV) was enabled in 2015. Now as we saw in the Spilman Channels discussion, transaction malleability means that any pre-signed offchain transaction can easily be invalidated by flipping the sign of the signature of the funding transaction while the funding transaction is not yet confirmed. This can be avoided by simply putting any special requirements into an explicit branch of the Bitcoin SCRIPT. Now, the backoff branch is supposed to create a maximum lifetime for the payment channel, and prior to the introduction of OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY this could only be done by having a pre-signed nLockTime transaction. With CLTV, however, we can now make the branches explicit in the SCRIPT that the funding transaction pays to. Instead of paying to a 2-of-2 in order to set up the funding transaction, you pay to a SCRIPT which is basically "2-of-2, OR this singlesig after a specified lock time". With this, there is no backoff transaction that is pre-signed and which refers to a specific txid. Instead, you can create the backoff transaction later, using whatever txid the funding transaction ends up being confirmed under. Since the funding transaction is immutable once confirmed, it is no longer possible to change the txid afterwards.
Todd Micropayment Networks
The old hub-spoke model (that isn't how LN today actually works). One of the more direct predecessors of the Lightning Network was the hub-spoke model discussed by Peter Todd. In this model, instead of payers directly having channels to payees, payers and payees connect to a central hub server. This allows any payer to pay any payee, using the same channel for every payee on the hub. Similarly, this allows any payee to receive from any payer, using the same channel. Remember from the above Spilman example? When you open a channel to the bartender, you have to wait around for the funding tx to confirm. This will take an hour at best. Now consider that you have to make channels for everyone you want to pay to. That's not very scalable. So the Todd hub-spoke model has a central "clearing house" that transport money from payers to payees. The "Moonbeam" project takes this model. Of course, this reveals to the hub who the payer and payee are, and thus the hub can potentially censor transactions. Generally, though, it was considered that a hub would more efficiently censor by just not maintaining a channel with the payer or payee that it wants to censor (since the money it owned in the channel would just be locked uselessly if the hub won't process payments to/from the censored user). In any case, the ability of the central hub to monitor payments means that it can surveill the payer and payee, and then sell this private transactional data to third parties. This loss of privacy would be intolerable today. Peter Todd also proposed that there might be multiple hubs that could transport funds to each other on behalf of their users, providing somewhat better privacy. Another point of note is that at the time such networks were proposed, only unidirectional (Spilman) channels were available. Thus, while one could be a payer, or payee, you would have to use separate channels for your income versus for your spending. Worse, if you wanted to transfer money from your income channel to your spending channel, you had to close both and reshuffle the money between them, both onchain activities.
Poon-Dryja Lightning Network
Bidirectional two-participant channels. The Poon-Dryja channel mechanism has two important properties:
No time limit.
Both the original Satoshi and the two Spilman variants are unidirectional: there is a payer and a payee, and if the payee wants to do a refund, or wants to pay for a different service or product the payer is providing, then they can't use the same unidirectional channel. The Poon-Dryjam mechanism allows channels, however, to be bidirectional instead: you are not a payer or a payee on the channel, you can receive or send at any time as long as both you and the channel counterparty are online. Further, unlike either of the Spilman variants, there is no time limit for the lifetime of a channel. Instead, you can keep the channel open for as long as you want. Both properties, together, form a very powerful scaling property that I believe most people have not appreciated. With unidirectional channels, as mentioned before, if you both earn and spend over the same network of payment channels, you would have separate channels for earning and spending. You would then need to perform onchain operations to "reverse" the directions of your channels periodically. Secondly, since Spilman channels have a fixed lifetime, even if you never used either channel, you would have to periodically "refresh" it by closing it and reopening. With bidirectional, indefinite-lifetime channels, you may instead open some channels when you first begin managing your own money, then close them only after your lawyers have executed your last will and testament on how the money in your channels get divided up to your heirs: that's just two onchain transactions in your entire lifetime. That is the potentially very powerful scaling property that bidirectional, indefinite-lifetime channels allow. I won't discuss the transaction structure needed for Poon-Dryja bidirectional channels --- it's complicated and you can easily get explanations with cute graphics elsewhere. There is a weakness of Poon-Dryja that people tend to gloss over (because it was fixed very well by RustyReddit):
You have to store all the revocation keys of a channel. This implies you are storing 1 revocation key for every channel update, so if you perform millions of updates over your entire lifetime, you'd be storing several megabytes of keys, for only a single channel. RustyReddit fixed this by requiring that the revocation keys be generated from a "Seed" revocation key, and every key is just the application of SHA256 on that key, repeatedly. For example, suppose I tell you that my first revocation key is SHA256(SHA256(seed)). You can store that in O(1) space. Then for the next revocation, I tell you SHA256(seed). From SHA256(key), you yourself can compute SHA256(SHA256(seed)) (i.e. the previous revocation key). So you can remember just the most recent revocation key, and from there you'd be able to compute every previous revocation key. When you start a channel, you perform SHA256 on your seed for several million times, then use the result as the first revocation key, removing one layer of SHA256 for every revocation key you need to generate. RustyReddit not only came up with this, but also suggested an efficient O(log n) storage structure, the shachain, so that you can quickly look up any revocation key in the past in case of a breach. People no longer really talk about this O(n) revocation storage problem anymore because it was solved very very well by this mechanism.
Another thing I want to emphasize is that while the Lightning Network paper and many of the earlier presentations developed from the old Peter Todd hub-and-spoke model, the modern Lightning Network takes the logical conclusion of removing a strict separation between "hubs" and "spokes". Any node on the Lightning Network can very well work as a hub for any other node. Thus, while you might operate as "mostly a payer", "mostly a forwarding node", "mostly a payee", you still end up being at least partially a forwarding node ("hub") on the network, at least part of the time. This greatly reduces the problems of privacy inherent in having only a few hub nodes: forwarding nodes cannot get significantly useful data from the payments passing through them, because the distance between the payer and the payee can be so large that it would be likely that the ultimate payer and the ultimate payee could be anyone on the Lightning Network. Lessons learned?
We can decentralize if we try hard enough!
"Hubs bad" can be made "hubs good" if everybody is a hub.
Smart people can solve problems. It's kinda why they're smart.
After LN, there's also the Decker-Wattenhofer Duplex Micropayment Channels (DMC). This post is long enough as-is, LOL. But for now, it uses a novel "decrementing nSequence channel", using the new relative-timelock semantics of nSequence (not the broken one originally by Satoshi). It actually uses multiple such "decrementing nSequence" constructs, terminating in a pair of Spilman channels, one in both directions (thus "duplex"). Maybe I'll discuss it some other time. The realization that channel constructions could actually hold more channel constructions inside them (the way the Decker-Wattenhofer puts a pair of Spilman channels inside a series of "decrementing nSequence channels") lead to the further thought behind Burchert-Decker-Wattenhofer channel factories. Basically, you could host multiple two-participant channel constructs inside a larger multiparticipant "channel" construct (i.e. host multiple channels inside a factory). Further, we have the Decker-Russell-Osuntokun or "eltoo" construction. I'd argue that this is "nSequence done right". I'll write more about this later, because this post is long enough. Lessons learned?
Bitcoin offchain scaling is more powerful than you ever thought.
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