Bitcoin Exchanges Don’t Need Money Transmitter Licenses in ...

Bitcoin Newcomers FAQ - Please read!

Welcome to the /Bitcoin Sticky FAQ

You've probably been hearing a lot about Bitcoin recently and are wondering what's the big deal? Most of your questions should be answered by the resources below but if you have additional questions feel free to ask them in the comments.
It all started with the release of the release of Satoshi Nakamoto's whitepaper however that will probably go over the head of most readers so we recommend the following videos for a good starting point for understanding how bitcoin works and a little about its long term potential:
Some other great resources include Lopp.net, the Princeton crypto series and James D'Angelo's Bitcoin 101 Blackboard series.
Some excellent writing on Bitcoin's value proposition and future can be found at the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute.
Some Bitcoin statistics can be found here and here. Developer resources can be found here. Peer-reviewed research papers can be found here.
Potential upcoming protocol improvements and scaling resources here and here.
The number of times Bitcoin was declared dead by the media can be found here (LOL!)

Key properties of Bitcoin

Where can I buy bitcoins?

Bitcoin.org and BuyBitcoinWorldwide.com are helpful sites for beginners. You can buy or sell any amount of bitcoin (even just a few dollars worth) and there are several easy methods to purchase bitcoin with cash, credit card or bank transfer. Some of the more popular resources are below, also check out the bitcoinity exchange resources for a larger list of options for purchases.
Here is a listing of local ATMs. If you would like your paycheck automatically converted to bitcoin use Bitwage.
Note: Bitcoins are valued at whatever market price people are willing to pay for them in balancing act of supply vs demand. Unlike traditional markets, bitcoin markets operate 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Preev is a useful site that that shows how much various denominations of bitcoin are worth in different currencies. Alternatively you can just Google "1 bitcoin in (your local currency)".

Securing your bitcoins

With bitcoin you can "Be your own bank" and personally secure your bitcoins OR you can use third party companies aka "Bitcoin banks" which will hold the bitcoins for you.
Note: For increased security, use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) everywhere it is offered, including email!
2FA requires a second confirmation code to access your account making it much harder for thieves to gain access. Google Authenticator and Authy are the two most popular 2FA services, download links are below. Make sure you create backups of your 2FA codes.
Google Auth Authy OTP Auth
Android Android N/A
iOS iOS iOS

Watch out for scams

As mentioned above, Bitcoin is decentralized, which by definition means there is no official website or Twitter handle or spokesperson or CEO. However, all money attracts thieves. This combination unfortunately results in scammers running official sounding names or pretending to be an authority on YouTube or social media. Many scammers throughout the years have claimed to be the inventor of Bitcoin. Websites like bitcoin(dot)com and the btc subreddit are active scams. Almost all altcoins (shitcoins) are marketed heavily with big promises but are really just designed to separate you from your bitcoin. So be careful: any resource, including all linked in this document, may in the future turn evil. Don't trust, verify. Also as they say in our community "Not your keys, not your coins".

Where can I spend bitcoins?

Check out spendabit or bitcoin directory for millions of merchant options. Also you can spend bitcoin anywhere visa is accepted with bitcoin debit cards such as the CashApp card. Some other useful site are listed below.
Store Product
Gyft Gift cards for hundreds of retailers including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Whole Foods, CVS, Lowes, Home Depot, iTunes, Best Buy, Sears, Kohls, eBay, GameStop, etc.
Spendabit, Overstock and The Bitcoin Directory Retail shopping with millions of results
ShakePay Generate one time use Visa cards in seconds
NewEgg and Dell For all your electronics needs
Bitwa.la, Coinbills, Piixpay, Bitbill.eu, Bylls, Coins.ph, Bitrefill, LivingRoomofSatoshi, Coinsfer, and more Bill payment
Menufy, Takeaway and Thuisbezorgd NL Takeout delivered to your door
Expedia, Cheapair, Destinia, Abitsky, SkyTours, the Travel category on Gyft and 9flats For when you need to get away
Cryptostorm, Mullvad, and PIA VPN services
Namecheap, Porkbun Domain name registration
Stampnik Discounted USPS Priority, Express, First-Class mail postage
Coinmap and AirBitz are helpful to find local businesses accepting bitcoins. A good resource for UK residents is at wheretospendbitcoins.co.uk.
There are also lots of charities which accept bitcoin donations.

Merchant Resources

There are several benefits to accepting bitcoin as a payment option if you are a merchant;
If you are interested in accepting bitcoin as a payment method, there are several options available;

Can I mine bitcoin?

Mining bitcoins can be a fun learning experience, but be aware that you will most likely operate at a loss. Newcomers are often advised to stay away from mining unless they are only interested in it as a hobby similar to folding at home. If you want to learn more about mining you can read more here. Still have mining questions? The crew at /BitcoinMining would be happy to help you out.
If you want to contribute to the bitcoin network by hosting the blockchain and propagating transactions you can run a full node using this setup guide. If you would prefer to keep it simple there are several good options. You can view the global node distribution here.

Earning bitcoins

Just like any other form of money, you can also earn bitcoins by being paid to do a job.
Site Description
WorkingForBitcoins, Bitwage, Cryptogrind, Coinality, Bitgigs, /Jobs4Bitcoins, BitforTip, Rein Project Freelancing
Lolli Earn bitcoin when you shop online!
OpenBazaar, Purse.io, Bitify, /Bitmarket, 21 Market Marketplaces
/GirlsGoneBitcoin NSFW Adult services
A-ads, Coinzilla.io Advertising
You can also earn bitcoins by participating as a market maker on JoinMarket by allowing users to perform CoinJoin transactions with your bitcoins for a small fee (requires you to already have some bitcoins.

Bitcoin-Related Projects

The following is a short list of ongoing projects that might be worth taking a look at if you are interested in current development in the bitcoin space.
Project Description
Lightning Network Second layer scaling
Blockstream, Rootstock and Drivechain Sidechains
Hivemind and Augur Prediction markets
Tierion and Factom Records & Titles on the blockchain
BitMarkets, DropZone, Beaver and Open Bazaar Decentralized markets
JoinMarket and Wasabi Wallet CoinJoin implementation
Coinffeine and Bisq Decentralized bitcoin exchanges
Keybase Identity & Reputation management
Abra Global P2P money transmitter network
Bitcore Open source Bitcoin javascript library

Bitcoin Units

One Bitcoin is quite large (hundreds of £/$/€) so people often deal in smaller units. The most common subunits are listed below:
Unit Symbol Value Info
bitcoin BTC 1 bitcoin one bitcoin is equal to 100 million satoshis
millibitcoin mBTC 1,000 per bitcoin used as default unit in recent Electrum wallet releases
bit bit 1,000,000 per bitcoin colloquial "slang" term for microbitcoin (μBTC)
satoshi sat 100,000,000 per bitcoin smallest unit in bitcoin, named after the inventor
For example, assuming an arbitrary exchange rate of $10000 for one Bitcoin, a $10 meal would equal:
For more information check out the Bitcoin units wiki.
Still have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below or stick around for our weekly Mentor Monday thread. If you decide to post a question in /Bitcoin, please use the search bar to see if it has been answered before, and remember to follow the community rules outlined on the sidebar to receive a better response. The mods are busy helping manage our community so please do not message them unless you notice problems with the functionality of the subreddit.
Note: This is a community created FAQ. If you notice anything missing from the FAQ or that requires clarification you can edit it here and it will be included in the next revision pending approval.
Welcome to the Bitcoin community and the new decentralized economy!
submitted by BitcoinFan7 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Lightning Network Will Likely Fail Due To Several Possible Reasons

ECONOMIC CASE IS ABSENT FOR MANY TRANSACTIONS
The median Bitcoin (BTC) fee is $14.41 currently. This has gone parabolic in the past few days. So, let’s use a number before this parabolic rise, which was $3.80. Using this number, opening and closing a Lightning Network (LN) channel means that you will pay $7.60 in fees. Most likely, the fee will be much higher for two reasons:
  1. BTC fees have been trending higher all year and will be higher by the time LN is ready
  2. When you are in the shoe store or restaurant, you will likely pay a higher fee so that you are not waiting there for one or more hours for confirmation.
Let’s say hypothetically that Visa or Paypal charges $1 per transaction. This means that Alice and Carol would need to do 8 or more LN transactions, otherwise it would be cheaper to use Visa or Paypal.
But it gets worse. Visa doesn’t charge the customer. To you, Visa and Cash are free. You would have no economic incentive to use BTC and LN.
Also, Visa does not charge $1 per transaction. They charge 3%, which is 60 cents on a $20 widget. Let’s say that merchants discount their widgets by 60 cents for non-Visa purchases, to pass the savings onto the customer. Nevertheless, no one is going to use BTC and LN to buy the widget unless 2 things happen:
  1. they buy more than 13 widgets from the same store ($7.60 divided by 60 cents)
  2. they know ahead of time that they will do this with that same store
This means that if you’re traveling, or want to tip content producers on the internet, you will likely not use BTC and LN. If you and your spouse want to try out a new restaurant, you will not use BTC and LN. If you buy shoes, you will not use BTC and LN.
ROAD BLOCKS FROM INSUFFICIENT FUNDS
Some argue that you do not need to open a channel to everyone, if there’s a route to that merchant. This article explains that if LN is a like a distributed mesh network, then another problem exists:
"third party needs to possess the necessary capital to process the transaction. If Alice and Bob do not have an open channel, and Alice wants to send Bob .5 BTC, they'll both need to be connected to a third party (or a series of 3rd parties). Say if Charles (the third party) only possesses .4 BTC in his respective payment channels with the other users, the transaction will not be able to go through that route. The longer the route, the more likely that a third party does not possess the requisite amount of BTC, thereby making it a useless connection.”
CENTRALIZATION
According to this visualization of LN on testnet, LN will be centralized around major hubs. It might be even more centralized than this visualization if the following are true:
  1. Users will want to connect to large hubs to minimize the number of times they need to open/close channels, which incur fees
  2. LN’s security and usability relies on 100% uptime of relaying parties
  3. Only large hubs with a lot of liquidity will be able to make money
  4. Hubs or intermediary nodes will need to be licensed as money transmitters, centralizing LN to exchanges and banks as large hubs
What will the impact be on censorship-resistance, trust-less and permission-less?
NEED TO BE LICENSED AS MONEY TRANSMITTER
Advocates for LN seem to talk a lot about the technology, but ignore the legalities.
FinCEN defines money transmitters. LN hubs and intermediary nodes seem to satisfy this definition.
Application of FinCEN's Regulations to Persons Administering, Exchanging, or Using Virtual Currencies
“…applicability of the regulations … to persons creating, obtaining, distributing, exchanging, accepting, or transmitting virtual currencies.”
“…an administrator or exchanger is an MSB under FinCEN's regulations, specifically, a money transmitter…”
"An administrator or exchanger that (1) accepts and transmits a convertible virtual currency or (2) buys or sells convertible virtual currency for any reason is a money transmitter under FinCEN's regulations…”
"FinCEN's regulations define the term "money transmitter" as a person that provides money transmission services, or any other person engaged in the transfer of funds. The term "money transmission services" means "the acceptance of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency from one person and the transmission of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency to another location or person by any means.””
"The definition of a money transmitter does not differentiate between real currencies and convertible virtual currencies.”
FinCEN’s regulations for IVTS:
"An “informal value transfer system” refers to any system, mechanism, or network of people that receives money for the purpose of making the funds or an equivalent value payable to a third party in another geographic location, whether or not in the same form.”
“…IVTS… must comply with all BSA registration, recordkeeping, reporting and AML program requirements.
“Money transmitting” occurs when funds are transferred on behalf of the public by any and all means including, but not limited to, transfers within the United States or to locations abroad…regulations require all money transmitting businesses…to register with FinCEN."
Mike Caldwell used to accept and mail bitcoins. Customers sent him bitcoins and he mailed physical bitcoins back or to a designated recipient. There is no exchange from one type of currency to another. FinCEN told him that he needed to be licensed as money transmitter, after which Caldwell stopped mailing out bitcoins.
ARGUMENTS AGAINST NEED FOR LICENSING
Some have argued that LN does not transfer BTC until the channel is closed on the blockchain. This is not a defence, since channels will close on the blockchain.
Some have argued that LN nodes do not take ownership of funds. Is this really true? Is this argument based on a technicality or hoping for a loophole? It seems intuitive that a good prosecutor can easily defeat this argument. Even if this loophole exists, can we count on the government to never close this loophole?
So, will LN hubs and intermediary nodes need to be licensed as money transmitters? If so, then Bob, who is the intermediary between Alice and Carol, will need a license. But Bob won’t have the money nor qualifications. Money transmitters need to pay $25,000 to $1 million, maintain capital levels and are subject to KYC/AML regulations1. In which case, LN will have mainly large hubs, run by financial firms, such as banks and exchanges.
Will the banks want this? Likely. Will they lobby the government to get it? Likely.
Some may be wondering about miners. FinCEN has declared that miners are not money transmitters:
https://coincenter.org/entry/aml-kyc-tokens :
"Subsequent administrative rulings clarified several remaining ambiguities: miners are not money transmitters…"
FinCEN Declares Bitcoin Miners, Investors Aren't Money Transmitters
Some argue that LN nodes will go through Tor and be anonymous. For this to work, will all of the nodes connecting to it, need to run Tor? If so, then how likely will this happen and will all of these people need to run Tor on every device (laptop, phone and tablet)? Furthermore, everyone of these people will be need to be sufficiently tech savvy to download, install and set up Tor. Will the common person be able to do this? Also, will law-abiding nodes, such as retailers or banks, risk their own livelihood by connecting to an illegal node? What is the likelihood of this?
Some argue that unlicensed LN hubs can run in foreign countries. Not true. According to FinCEN: "“Money transmitting” occurs when funds are…transfers within the United States or to locations abroad…” Also, foreign companies are not immune from the laws of other countries which have extradition agreements. The U.S. government has sued European banks over the LIBOR scandal. The U.S. government has charged foreign banks for money laundering and two of those banks pleaded guilty. Furthermore, most countries have similar laws. It is no coincidence that European exchanges comply with KYC/AML.
Will licensed, regulated LN hubs connect to LN nodes behind Tor or in foreign countries? Unlikely. Will Amazon or eBay connect to LN nodes behind Tor or in foreign countries? Unlikely. If you want to buy from Amazon, you’ll likely need to register yourself at a licensed, regulated LN hub, which means you’ll need to provide your identification photo.
Say goodbye to a censorship-resistant, trust-less and permission-less coin.
For a preview of what LN will probably look like, look at Coinbase or other large exchanges. It’s a centralized, regulated and censored hub. Coinbase allows users to send to each other off-chain. Coinbase provides user data to the IRS and disallows users from certain countries to sell BTC. You need to trust that no rogue employee in the exchange will steal your funds, or that a bank will not confiscate your funds as banks did in Cyprus. What if the government provides a list of users, who are late with their tax returns, to Coinbase and tells Coinbase to block those users from making transactions? You need Coinbase’s permission.
This would be the antithesis of why Satoshi created Bitcoin.
NEED TO REPORT TO IRS
The IRS has a definition for “third party settlement organization” and these need to report transactions to the IRS.
Though we do not know for sure yet, it can be argued that LN hubs satisfies this definition. If this is the case, who will be willing to be LN hubs, other than banks and exchanges?
To read about the discussion, go to:
Lightning Hubs Will Need To Report To IRS
COMPLEXITY
All cryptocurrencies are complicated for the common person. You may be tech savvy enough to find a secure wallet and use cryptocurrencies, but the masses are not as tech savvy as you.
LN adds a very complicated and convoluted layer to cryptocurrencies. It is bound to have bugs for years to come and it’s complicated to use. This article provides a good explanation of the complexity. Just from the screenshot of the app, the user now needs to learn additional terms and commands:
“On Chain”
“In Channels”
“In Limbo”
“Your Channel”
“Create Channel”
“CID”
“OPENING”
“PENDING-OPEN”
“Available to Receive”
“PENDING-FORCE-CLOSE”
There are also other things to learn, such as how funds need to be allocated to channels and time locks. Compare this to using your current wallet.
Recently, LN became even more complicated and convoluted. It needs a 3rd layer as well:
Scaling Bitcoin Might Require A Whole 'Nother Layer
How many additional steps does a user need to learn?
ALL COINS PLANNING OFF-CHAIN SCALING ARE AT RISK
Bitcoin Segwit, Litecoin, Vertcoin and possibly others (including Bitcoin Cash) are planning to implement LN or layer 2 scaling. Ethereum is planning to use Raiden Network, which is very similar to LN. If the above is true about LN, then the scaling roadmap for these coins is questionable at best, nullified at worst.
BLOCKSTREAM'S GAME PLAN IS ON TRACK
Blockstream employs several of the lead Bitcoin Core developers. Blockstream has said repeatedly that they want high fees. Quotes and source links can be found here.
Why is Blockstream so adamant on small blocks, high fees and off-chain scaling?
Small blocks, high fees and slow confirmations create demand for off-chain solutions, such as Liquid. Blockstream sells Liquid to exchanges to move Bitcoin quickly on a side-chain. LN will create liquidity hubs, such as exchanges, which will generate traffic and fees for exchanges. With this, exchanges will have a higher need for Liquid. This will be the main way that Blockstream will generate revenue for its investors, who invested $76 million. Otherwise, they can go bankrupt and die.
One of Blockstream’s investors/owners is AXA. AXA’s CEO and Chairman until 2016 was also the Chairman of Bilderberg Group. The Bilderberg Group is run by bankers and politicians (former prime ministers and nation leaders). According to GlobalResearch, Bilderberg Group wants “a One World Government (World Company) with a single, global marketplace…and financially regulated by one ‘World (Central) Bank’ using one global currency.” LN helps Bilderberg Group get one step closer to its goal.
Luke-Jr is one of the lead BTC developers in Core/Blockstream. Regulation of BTC is in-line with his beliefs. He is a big believer in the government, as he believes that the government should tax you and the “State has authority from God”. In fact, he has other radical beliefs as well:
So, having only large, regulated LN hubs is not a failure for Blockstream/Bilderberg. It’s a success. The title of this article should be changed to: "Lightning Will Fail Or Succeed, Depending On Whether You Are Satoshi Or Blockstream/Bilderberg".
SIGNIFICANT ADVANCEMENTS WITH ON-CHAIN SCALING
Meanwhile, some coins such as Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash are pushing ahead with on-chain scaling. Both are looking at Sharding.
Visa handles 2,000 transactions per second on average. Blockstream said that on-chain scaling will not work. The development teams for Bitcoin Cash have shown significant on-chain scaling:
1 GB block running on testnet demonstrates over 10,000 transactions per second:
"we are not going from 1MB to 1GB tomorrow — The purpose of going so high is to prove that it can be done — no second layer is necessary”
"Preliminary Findings Demonstrate Over 10,000 Transactions Per Second"
"Gigablock testnet initiative will likely be implemented first on Bitcoin Cash”
Peter Rizun, Andrew Stone -- 1 GB Block Tests -- Scaling Bitcoin Stanford At 13:55 in this video, Rizun said that he thinks that Visa level can be achieved with a 4-core/16GB machine with better implementations (modifying the code to take advantage of parallelization.)
Bitcoin Cash plans to fix malleability and enable layer 2 solutions:
The Future of “Bitcoin Cash:” An Interview with Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet:
"fixing malleability and enabling Layer 2 solutions will happen”
However, it is questionable if layer 2 will work or is needed.
GOING FORWARD
The four year scaling debate and in-fighting is what caused small blockers (Blockstream) to fork Bitcoin by adding Segwit and big blockers to fork Bitcoin into Bitcoin Cash. Read:
Bitcoin Divorce - Bitcoin [Legacy] vs Bitcoin Cash Explained
It will be interesting to see how they scale going forward.
Scaling will be instrumental in getting network effect and to be widely adopted as a currency. Whichever Coin Has The Most Network Effect Will Take All (Or Most) (BTC has little network effect, and it's shrinking.)
The ability to scale will be key to the long term success of any coin.
submitted by curt00 to btc [link] [comments]

Do the "small blockers" have no crystal ball?

We joke about seeing the future, but reasonable people can study a system or proposed system and project its near or medium term future. But what's amazing is that I'm now seeing the small blockers surprised by the effects of the system they've created -- effects that were easily predictable.
The latest just hit Reddit where Andreas realizes that KYC/AML is a huge problem for lightning http://bitcoinist.com/coinbase-exchanges-wont-run-lightning-antonopoulos/. I mentioned similar concerns a year ago: "Also, Lightning nodes fit the definition of a money transmitter in the USA leaving a very good chance that they will be only available with "permissioned participation"."
And of course the effects of exceeding the block size was projected by many "large blockers" and ignored by small blockers for years. Here's one example: in May 2015 we have analysis by David Hudson and commentary by Gavin Andreson here projecting the effects of a full block:
This "doing nothing productive" sentiment is strangely echoed 3 years later by small-blocker cobrabitcoin:
"...Larger blocks do make it harder to run a full node, but large fees are worse and make full nodes impotent participants in the network." https://twitter.com/CobraBitcoin/status/944604688518873098
In that comment CobraBitcoin is directly parroting the philosophy and design tradeoff that founded BU 2 years ago.
These are just 2 examples I could find in a few minutes. What other examples are out there?
submitted by thezerg1 to btc [link] [comments]

Lightning Network Will Likely Fail Due To Several Possible Reasons

ECONOMIC CASE IS ABSENT FOR MANY TRANSACTIONS
The median Bitcoin (BTC) fee is $14.41 currently. This has gone parabolic in the past few days. So, let’s use a number before this parabolic rise, which was $3.80. Using this number, opening and closing a Lightning Network (LN) channel means that you will pay $7.60 in fees. Most likely, the fee will be much higher for two reasons:
  1. BTC fees have been trending higher all year and will be higher by the time LN is ready
  2. When you are in the shoe store or restaurant, you will likely pay a higher fee so that you are not waiting there for one or more hours for confirmation.
Let’s say hypothetically that Visa or Paypal charges $1 per transaction. This means that Alice and Carol would need to do 8 or more LN transactions, otherwise it would be cheaper to use Visa or Paypal.
But it gets worse. Visa doesn’t charge the customer. To you, Visa and Cash are free. You would have no economic incentive to use BTC and LN.
Also, Visa does not charge $1 per transaction. They charge 3%, which is 60 cents on a $20 widget. Let’s say that merchants discount their widgets by 60 cents for non-Visa purchases, to pass the savings onto the customer. Nevertheless, no one is going to use BTC and LN to buy the widget unless 2 things happen:
  1. they buy more than 13 widgets from the same store ($7.60 divided by 60 cents)
  2. they know ahead of time that they will do this with that same store
This means that if you’re traveling, or want to tip content producers on the internet, you will likely not use BTC and LN. If you and your spouse want to try out a new restaurant, you will not use BTC and LN. If you buy shoes, you will not use BTC and LN.
ROAD BLOCKS FROM INSUFFICIENT FUNDS
Some argue that you do not need to open a channel to everyone, if there’s a route to that merchant. This article explains that if LN is like a distributed mesh network, then another problem exists:
"third party needs to possess the necessary capital to process the transaction. If Alice and Bob do not have an open channel, and Alice wants to send Bob .5 BTC, they'll both need to be connected to a third party (or a series of 3rd parties). Say if Charles (the third party) only possesses .4 BTC in his respective payment channels with the other users, the transaction will not be able to go through that route. The longer the route, the more likely that a third party does not possess the requisite amount of BTC, thereby making it a useless connection.”
CENTRALIZATION
According to this visualization of LN on testnet, LN will be centralized around major hubs. It might be even more centralized than this visualization if the following are true:
  1. Users will want to connect to large hubs to minimize the number of times they need to open/close channels, which incur fees
  2. LN’s security and usability relies on 100% uptime of relaying parties
  3. Only large hubs with a lot of liquidity will be able to make money
  4. Hubs or intermediary nodes will need to be licensed as money transmitters, centralizing LN to exchanges and banks as large hubs
What will the impact be on censorship-resistance, trust-less and permission-less?
NEED TO BE LICENSED AS MONEY TRANSMITTER
Advocates for LN seem to talk a lot about the technology, but ignore the legalities.
FinCEN defines money transmitters. LN hubs and intermediary nodes seem to satisfy this definition.
Application of FinCEN's Regulations to Persons Administering, Exchanging, or Using Virtual Currencies
“…applicability of the regulations … to persons creating, obtaining, distributing, exchanging, accepting, or transmitting virtual currencies.”
“…an administrator or exchanger is an MSB under FinCEN's regulations, specifically, a money transmitter…”
"An administrator or exchanger that (1) accepts and transmits a convertible virtual currency or (2) buys or sells convertible virtual currency for any reason is a money transmitter under FinCEN's regulations…”
"FinCEN's regulations define the term "money transmitter" as a person that provides money transmission services, or any other person engaged in the transfer of funds. The term "money transmission services" means "the acceptance of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency from one person and the transmission of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency to another location or person by any means.””
"The definition of a money transmitter does not differentiate between real currencies and convertible virtual currencies.”
FinCEN’s regulations for IVTS:
"An “informal value transfer system” refers to any system, mechanism, or network of people that receives money for the purpose of making the funds or an equivalent value payable to a third party in another geographic location, whether or not in the same form.”
“…IVTS… must comply with all BSA registration, recordkeeping, reporting and AML program requirements.
“Money transmitting” occurs when funds are transferred on behalf of the public by any and all means including, but not limited to, transfers within the United States or to locations abroad…regulations require all money transmitting businesses…to register with FinCEN."
Mike Caldwell used to accept and mail bitcoins. Customers sent him bitcoins and he mailed physical bitcoins back or to a designated recipient. There is no exchange from one type of currency to another. FinCEN told him that he needed to be licensed as money transmitter, after which Caldwell stopped mailing out bitcoins.
ARGUMENTS AGAINST NEED FOR LICENSING
Some have argued that LN does not transfer BTC until the channel is closed on the blockchain. This is not a defence, since channels will close on the blockchain.
Some have argued that LN nodes do not take ownership of funds. Is this really true? Is this argument based on a technicality or hoping for a loophole? It seems intuitive that a good prosecutor can easily defeat this argument. Even if this loophole exists, can we count on the government to never close this loophole?
So, will LN hubs and intermediary nodes need to be licensed as money transmitters? If so, then Bob, who is the intermediary between Alice and Carol, will need a license. But Bob won’t have the money nor qualifications. Money transmitters need to pay $25,000 to $1 million, maintain capital levels and are subject to KYC/AML regulations1. In which case, LN will have mainly large hubs, run by financial firms, such as banks and exchanges.
Will the banks want this? Likely. Will they lobby the government to get it? Likely.
Some may be wondering about miners. FinCEN has declared that miners are not money transmitters:
https://coincenter.org/entry/aml-kyc-tokens :
"Subsequent administrative rulings clarified several remaining ambiguities: miners are not money transmitters…"
FinCEN Declares Bitcoin Miners, Investors Aren't Money Transmitters
Some argue that LN nodes will go through Tor and be anonymous. For this to work, will all of the nodes connecting to it, need to run Tor? If so, then how likely will this happen and will all of these people need to run Tor on every device (laptop, phone and tablet)? Furthermore, everyone of these people will be need to be sufficiently tech savvy to download, install and set up Tor. Will the common person be able to do this? Also, will law-abiding nodes, such as retailers or banks, risk their own livelihood by connecting to an illegal node? What is the likelihood of this?
Some argue that unlicensed LN hubs can run in foreign countries. Not true. According to FinCEN: "“Money transmitting” occurs when funds are…transfers within the United States or to locations abroad…” Also, foreign companies are not immune from the laws of other countries which have extradition agreements. The U.S. government has sued European banks over the LIBOR scandal. The U.S. government has charged foreign banks for money laundering and two of those banks pleaded guilty. Furthermore, most countries have similar laws. It is no coincidence that European exchanges comply with KYC/AML.
Will licensed, regulated LN hubs connect to LN nodes behind Tor or in foreign countries? Unlikely. Will Amazon or eBay connect to LN nodes behind Tor or in foreign countries? Unlikely. If you want to buy from Amazon, you’ll likely need to register yourself at a licensed, regulated LN hub, which means you’ll need to provide your identification photo.
Say goodbye to a censorship-resistant, trust-less and permission-less coin.
For a preview of what LN will probably look like, look at Coinbase or other large exchanges. It’s a centralized, regulated and censored hub. Coinbase allows users to send to each other off-chain. Coinbase provides user data to the IRS and disallows users from certain countries to sell BTC. You need to trust that no rogue employee in the exchange will steal your funds, or that a bank will not confiscate your funds as banks did in Cyprus. What if the government provides a list of users, who are late with their tax returns, to Coinbase and tells Coinbase to block those users from making transactions? You need Coinbase’s permission.
This would be the antithesis of why Satoshi created Bitcoin.
NEED TO REPORT TO IRS
The IRS has a definition for “third party settlement organization” and these need to report transactions to the IRS.
Though we do not know for sure yet, it can be argued that LN hubs satisfies this definition. If this is the case, who will be willing to be LN hubs, other than banks and exchanges?
To read about the discussion, go to:
Lightning Hubs Will Need To Report To IRS
COMPLEXITY
All cryptocurrencies are complicated for the common person. You may be tech savvy enough to find a secure wallet and use cryptocurrencies, but the masses are not as tech savvy as you.
LN adds a very complicated and convoluted layer to cryptocurrencies. It is bound to have bugs for years to come and it’s complicated to use. This article provides a good explanation of the complexity. Just from the screenshot of the app, the user now needs to learn additional terms and commands:
“On Chain”
“In Channels”
“In Limbo”
“Your Channel”
“Create Channel”
“CID”
“OPENING”
“PENDING-OPEN”
“Available to Receive”
“PENDING-FORCE-CLOSE”
There are also other things to learn, such as how funds need to be allocated to channels and time locks. Compare this to using your current wallet.
Recently, LN became even more complicated and convoluted. It needs a 3rd layer as well:
Scaling Bitcoin Might Require A Whole 'Nother Layer
How many additional steps does a user need to learn?
ALL COINS PLANNING OFF-CHAIN SCALING ARE AT RISK
Bitcoin Segwit, Litecoin, Vertcoin and possibly others (including Bitcoin Cash) are planning to implement LN or layer 2 scaling. Ethereum is planning to use Raiden Network, which is very similar to LN. If the above is true about LN, then the scaling roadmap for these coins is questionable at best, nullified at worst.
BLOCKSTREAM'S GAME PLAN IS ON TRACK
Blockstream employs several of the lead Bitcoin Core developers. Blockstream has said repeatedly that they want high fees. Quotes and source links can be found here.
Why is Blockstream so adamant on small blocks, high fees and off-chain scaling?
Small blocks, high fees and slow confirmations create demand for off-chain solutions, such as Liquid. Blockstream sells Liquid to exchanges to move Bitcoin quickly on a side-chain. LN will create liquidity hubs, such as exchanges, which will generate traffic and fees for exchanges. With this, exchanges will have a higher need for Liquid. This will be the main way that Blockstream will generate revenue for its investors, who invested $76 million. Otherwise, they can go bankrupt and die.
One of Blockstream’s investors/owners is AXA. AXA’s CEO and Chairman until 2016 was also the Chairman of Bilderberg Group. The Bilderberg Group is run by bankers and politicians (former prime ministers and nation leaders). According to GlobalResearch, Bilderberg Group wants “a One World Government (World Company) with a single, global marketplace…and financially regulated by one ‘World (Central) Bank’ using one global currency.” LN helps Bilderberg Group get one step closer to its goal.
Luke-Jr is one of the lead BTC developers in Core/Blockstream. Regulation of BTC is in-line with his beliefs. He is a big believer in the government, as he believes that the government should tax you and the “State has authority from God”. In fact, he has other radical beliefs as well:
So, having only large, regulated LN hubs is not a failure for Blockstream/Bilderberg. It’s a success. The title of this article should be changed to: "Lightning Will Fail Or Succeed, Depending On Whether You Are Satoshi Or Blockstream/Bilderberg".
SIGNIFICANT ADVANCEMENTS WITH ON-CHAIN SCALING
Meanwhile, some coins such as Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash are pushing ahead with on-chain scaling. Both are looking at Sharding.
Visa handles 2,000 transactions per second on average. Blockstream said that on-chain scaling will not work. The development teams for Bitcoin Cash have shown significant on-chain scaling:
1 GB block running on testnet demonstrates over 10,000 transactions per second:
"we are not going from 1MB to 1GB tomorrow — The purpose of going so high is to prove that it can be done — no second layer is necessary”
"Preliminary Findings Demonstrate Over 10,000 Transactions Per Second"
"Gigablock testnet initiative will likely be implemented first on Bitcoin Cash”
Peter Rizun, Andrew Stone -- 1 GB Block Tests -- Scaling Bitcoin Stanford At 13:55 in this video, Rizun said that he thinks that Visa level can be achieved with a 4-core/16GB machine with better implementations (modifying the code to take advantage of parallelization.)
Bitcoin Cash plans to fix malleability and enable layer 2 solutions:
The Future of “Bitcoin Cash:” An Interview with Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet:
"fixing malleability and enabling Layer 2 solutions will happen”
However, it is questionable if layer 2 will work or is needed.
GOING FORWARD
The four year scaling debate and in-fighting is what caused small blockers (Blockstream) to fork Bitcoin by adding Segwit and big blockers to fork Bitcoin into Bitcoin Cash. Read:
Bitcoin Divorce - Bitcoin [Legacy] vs Bitcoin Cash Explained
It will be interesting to see how they scale going forward.
Scaling will be instrumental in getting network effect and to be widely adopted as a currency. Whichever Coin Has The Most Network Effect Will Take All (Or Most) (BTC has little network effect, and it's shrinking.)
The ability to scale will be key to the long term success of any coin.
submitted by curt00 to Bitcoincash [link] [comments]

The new doublespeak: Lightning Transactions don't actually transfer funds, so they're immune to regulation

You can't make this up. The new "logic" from our army of Lightning Network shills is that when we use Lightning Network to pay for things, "no funds are transferred", therefore Lightning "isn't money" and hubs can't be regulated as money transmitters.
Trading unpublished transactions with another entity is not transfer of funds, it's not handling of money and the SEC will definitely not give a fuck.
https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/6x4hdt/lightning_channel_providers_in_the_us_will/dmdud3x
Not until the channels close are any funds actually moved.
https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/6x8n5h/why_lightning_hubs_will_be_regulated/dmf25ic/?context=3
An unpublished transaction is not a transaction. An unpublished transaction is nothing. It's a potentiality, not a real thing. [A lightning transaction] absolutely isn't money.
https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/6x4hdt/lightning_channel_providers_in_the_us_will/dmf1i1z/?context=3
There are no transfers of money until the channel is closed.
https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/6x4hdt/lightning_channel_providers_in_the_us_will/dmdxucq/?context=3
A LN channel consists of one to two on chain transactions. These are the only time that money moves. The only time. Me and the node exchanging unpublished transactions back and forth does not constitute a transfer of funds.
https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/6x4hdt/lightning_channel_providers_in_the_us_will/dmdud3x/?context=3
The transfer hasn't occurred until the channel settles.
https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/6x4hdt/lightning_channel_providers_in_the_us_will/dmdj3yh/?context=3
Sending an unpublished transaction to another person is not the transmission of bitcoin. The only way to transmit bitcoin is by having a transaction placed in a block on the blockchain.
https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/6x4hdt/lightning_channel_providers_in_the_us_will/dmf308z/
A lightning transaction is an IOU on a future settlement.
A banknote is an IOU on a future settlement.
But according to you, while an unsettled banknote is obviously money, an unsettled lightning transaction isn't.
Yes, exactly.
https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/6xdm7o/the_new_doublespeak_lightning_transactions_dont/dmf3wdd/
Folks. It's really simple.
A Lightning Transaction is a digital IOU for a future onchain settlement.
An IOU for a future settlement is called a "banknote."
A digital IOU for a future digital settlement is simply a "digital banknote."
Any regulator in finance can and will see Lightning exactly as I've just described. There's no nuance that changes this.
Also:
vaporware: software or hardware that has been advertised but is not yet available to buy, either because it is only a concept or because it is still being written or designed
Developers have been accused of intentionally promoting vaporware to keep customers from switching to competing products that offer more features (source)
submitted by jessquit to btc [link] [comments]

An Introduction to Global Blockchain Policies Part I

https://preview.redd.it/azedvcnlfhj21.jpg?width=918&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=0b7da7d0ea190e8beb550abfa5972361114ad427
Source: Jinse.com
In 2008, Bitcoin was first introduced to the world by the father of cryptocurrency Satoshi Nakamoto; a move that kicked off the development of blockchain technology and a form of encrypted currencies we now know as cryptocurrencies. As interest in cryptocurrencies grew, governments around the world also began implementing policies to regulate these activities, of which the most favourable were noted to root from Southeast Asian countries. This observation is further bolstered by a report “Introduction to blockchain policies in Southeast Asia” published on 2 February this year.
Today, we will be helping you understand how governments around the world are regulating blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in their countries, as well as where they stand when it comes to this controversial topic.

USA

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The United States of America has always kept a close watch on blockchain developments. In September 2016, the US House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution calling for a national technology innovation policy that includes supportive language for digital currencies and blockchain technology. This was followed by the formation of a blockchain working group “[email protected]” later on in February 2017 to formulate and improve regulatory policies related to blockchain technology.
On 12 January 2019, the state legislature of the American state of Wyoming passed two house bills that aim to foster a regulatory environment conducive to cryptocurrency and blockchain innovation. They were the House Bill 62 “Wyoming Utility Token Act-property amendments” and House Bill 57 “Financial Technology Sandbox” respectively.
6 days later on 18 January 2018, Wyoming introduced another bill that aims to clarify the legal position of digital assets, as well as offer digital asset custody through banks rather than financial institutions. This particular bill offers three classifications of digital assets; digital securities, digital assets, and most importantly, virtual currencies which give cryptocurrencies the same treatment as money within the state.
Following that on 23 January 2019, the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities (DoBS) announced through a memo titled “Money Transmitter Act Guidance for Virtual Currency Businesses” stating that the Money Transmitter Act (MTA) did not apply to cryptocurrency exchanges, hence cryptocurrency exchanges in the state do not require Money Transmission Business Licenses.
On 28 January 2019, a bill recognizing the effectiveness of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) was applied to the Washington State Electronics Certification Act, hence making amendments to the “Purpose and Structure” and “Definition” portions of the bill and compiling the Digital Signatures and License Law to encourage the development of distributed ledgers and blockchain technology.
From all these, we can see that the United States has grown more accepting of blockchain technologies over the years. From subtle displays of support in 2016 to the concretization of firmer, pro-blockchain policies in 2019, the Americas has made their stand clear. Coupled with strict investigations enforced on Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), we can conclude that the US is ultimately a fairly neutral party when it comes to blockchain technology.

England

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In March 2018, the British government established a crypto assets taskforce comprising the Treasury, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to explore the risks and potential benefits of crypto assets and other applications of distributed ledger technology in financial services to assess if any regulation is required in response.
The taskforce also pointed out that the distributed ledger technology is one that will not only benefit industries beyond just financial services, and should not be restricted by excessive governmental regulations.
In response, the British government has taken the recent months to embark on initiatives that would spur the growth of cryptocurrency companies and projects within the United Kingdom. Currently, the British tax department is working on tax guidelines for individuals involved in cryptocurrency operations.
In short, while the British government has been in the backseat adopting a more cautious approach in the beginning, it is clear that they have learnt the long term benefits of the distributed ledger technology and just like the US, it has been working hard to catch up with the rest of the world in recent years.

Switzerland

https://preview.redd.it/7go5xb0ufhj21.png?width=192&format=png&auto=webp&s=1982b0fe84dd09975017000152ae2d602c449dc6
In 2015, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) released a report highlighting the risks that come with the Bitcoin’s ability to facilitate cross-border payments anonymously. The report further pointed out that this particular trait has provided opportunities for terrorist financing — an indication of Switzerland’s conservative stand when it comes to cryptocurrencies and its relevant technologies.
From 2016 onwards, the Swiss government made great efforts to formulate the most suitable blockchain regulatory policies for the country and together with the Federal Department of Finance, came up with a framework to regulate financial technology and digital currencies in Switzerland.
In February 2018, FINMA published an ICO guideline setting out how it intends to apply financial market legislation in handling enquiries from ICO organizers. Through this, the authority categorizes tokens into three types: Payment Tokens, Utility Tokens and Asset Tokens, hence allowing them to better assess each ICO based on the economic function and purpose of the tokens issued by the ICO organizer.
While switzerland started off with a more conservative approach in view of the money-laundering and terrorist-financing risks that comes with cryptocurrencies, it has never lost sight of the benefits its technology can bring to the economy. With stricter guidelines and regulations, Switzerland found a way to capitalize on the advantages of cryptocurrencies without compromising on national security.

Japan

https://preview.redd.it/aydmz0avfhj21.png?width=288&format=png&auto=webp&s=df9402a924e03330e4469369b08cf72b1b57b64e
In 2017, the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) defined cryptocurrencies as property values that are stored electronically on electronic devices and introduced the Fund Settlement Act which will regulate the Japanese cryptocurrency market. This was soon followed by further interest in blockchain-powered voting systems and banking payment platforms.
On 13 September 2018, the FSA banned trading between highly anonymous currencies and proposed a four-fold margin trading ration, which was later endorsed by the Japan Virtual Money Exchange Association (JVCEA), a self-regulatory organization of trading platforms in Japan. It also suggested further analysis of ICO-related rules.
Not long later on 26 September 2018, the FSA released its Financial Services Policy 2018 which stated that with regards to virtual currencies, there will be a tightening of registration screenings and monitoring, On 2 December of the same year, the government introduced new ICO policies to protect investors from fraud.
From what we have seen, the Japanese government is a clear supporter of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. It is one of the most active countries in ensuring the safe integration of digital currencies into its ecosystem, consistently conducting reviews and monitoring the market to protect its citizens. As such, here we are, once again, with another ally of the blockchain technology.
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submitted by 1-SG to 1SG_ [link] [comments]

Bitcoin (BTC) is money, according to appeals court in Florida

Bitcoin (BTC) is money, according to appeals court in Florida
An appeals court in Florida has reversed a decision which ruled that Bitcoin (BTC) shouldn't be classified as money. Judge Teresa May Pooler decided that a man charged with illegally providing money services involving BTC should now stand trial.
The State of Florida appealed against a decision taken back in 2014 to dismiss a case against Michael Espinoza, who had been caught selling BTC for cash by an undercover police officer. Espinoza had claimed that selling Bitcoin "does not qualify as “money transmitting” under section 560.125, because Bitcoin is not “money” under the statute."
The appeals court has now decided that the "trial court erred in dismissing Count 1 because Espinoza acted as both a money transmitter and a payment instrument seller and, as such, was required to register with the State of Florida as a money services business."
Although it doesn't meet all the legal requirements for a currency, "Bitcoin does fall under the definition of a “payment instrument.” Included in the definition of a payment instrument is “monetary value,” which is defined as “a medium of exchange, whether or not redeemable in currency." ... (BTC is) redeemable for currency...Similarly, Bitcoin and bitcoins function as a “medium of exchange.”" This new classification is what led the court to overturn the initial ruling.
Russia, as always, moves within the framework of the world trend, but with difficulty and with purely Russian excesses and nuances on the ground. Rumor has it that the government is discussing the development of relevant departments and the launch of Crypto-Ruble. And it is his appearance that can give an answer to what will happen to this market in Russia in the future.

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#BitTeam #BTT #tokensale #P2P #exchange #Marketplace #CDC #crypto #blockchain #ICO #cryptocurrency #bitcoin

https://preview.redd.it/28433o46mrd21.png?width=614&format=png&auto=webp&s=03f6279e09f74b339cda153aae219a9b646a85f8
submitted by Kriptowolk to u/Kriptowolk [link] [comments]

US Bitcoin traders who identify as users are under siege. Do you have the same issue in your country?

As a bitcoin trader myself, I follow all the news of us trader arrests. These fall into two categories. First, the user did something otherwise unlawful such as trafficking drugs or committing money laundering and was charged with "operating an unlicensed money servicing business" and "conspiracy for agreeing to distribute controlled dangerous substances". In these types of cases I agree that the user should be punished for conspiracy to distribute drugs and money laundering. The second type of case that is becoming far more prevalent now is where the bitcoin user has simply made sales and purchases of bitcoin for his or her own account. These users are still charged with "Operating an unlicensed money services business."
This I do not agree with at all because FIN-2008-G008 declared that "When a broker or dealer in currency or other commodities accepts and transmits funds solely for the purpose of effecting a bona fide purchase or sale of currency or other commodities for or with a customer, such person is not engaged as a business in the transfer of funds, and is not acting as a money transmitter as that term is defined in our regulations.8 In such circumstances, the transmission of funds is a fundamental element of the actual transaction necessary to execute the contract for the purchase or sale of the currency or the other commodity. The transmission of funds is not a separate and discrete service provided in addition to the underlying transaction. It is a necessary and integral part of the transaction."
This determination was reiterated in subsequent guidance FIN-2013-G001 & response FIN-2014-R002. Simply put a bitcoin user who only purchases or sells bitcoin of his own account to or from a customer is not a money transmitter.
Most simple bitcoin traders operate under this guidance and are simply flabbergasted when confronted with charges for operating an "unlicensed money services business" or "operating an unlicensed bitcoin exchange". When the government makes their case the conveniently only quote the portion of the rule that states " An exchanger is a person engaged as a business in theexchange of virtual currency for real currency, funds, or other virtual currency". [FIN-2013-G001] Except that it is clearly explained in FIN-2008-G008 that "When a broker or dealer in currency or other commodities accepts and transmits funds solely for the purpose of effecting a bona fide purchase or sale of currency or other commodities for or with a customer, such person is not engaged as a business in the transfer of funds, and is not acting as a money transmitter as that term is defined in our regulations." This is carried forward and reiterated in FIN-2013-G001 where it states "In 2008, FinCEN issued guidance stating that as long as a broker or dealer in real currency or other commodities accepts and transmits funds solely for the purpose of effecting a bona fide purchase or sale of the real currency or other commodities for or with a customer, such person is not acting as a money transmitter under the regulations. However, if the broker or dealer transfers funds between a customer and a third party that is not part of the currency or commodity transaction, such transmission of funds is no longer a fundamental element of the actual transaction necessary to execute the contract for the purchase or sale of the currency or the other commodity. This scenario is, therefore, money transmission. Examples include, in part, (1) the transfer of funds between a customer and a third party by permitting a third party to fund a customer’s account; (2) the transfer of value from a customer’s currency or commodity position to the account of another customer; or (3) the closing out of a customer’s currency or commodity position, with a transfer of proceeds to a third party. Since the definition of a money transmitter does not differentiate between real currencies and convertible virtual currencies, the same rules apply to brokers and dealers of e-currency and e-precious metals.
A simple way to think about the definition of a money transmitter is that a money transmitter typically collects funds from one customer and transmits those funds to another customer via its agents in a remote location. So A western Union agent for example collects $100 from Bob Smith in Iowa and deposits this money into its Bank of America Account. Peggy Sue in Ohio goes to a western union agent where the agent prints out a check from western union or gets an ach credit into its business checking account from Bank of America and pays out a portion of the received funds to Peggy Sue. Western Union is transmitting money by accepting it from agent A and transmitting it to agent B for further credit to Peggy Sue. So let's think about this in terms of bitcoin. Bitcoin is a centralized ledger of funds for each public key or "account". If I have 0.05 bitcoin in account 1001 and I want to pay my landlord 0.05 bitcoin rent,I send the bitcoin to account 1002. All this does is make a notation on the blockchain that account 1001 now has 0 bitcoin and account 1002 now has 0.05 bitcoin. This is simplified a bit so you programmers out there don't cringe over the details of constructing a bitcoin transaction, inputs, and outputs. Suffice it to say, that sending my landlord who is standing next to me, 0.05 bitcoin, does not make me a money transmitter any more than paying him with my VISA card. In fact in both cases we could consider VISA or bitcoin a money transmitter since they take funds from person A and transmit them to person B via their agents. In VISA's case the party's banks are the agents, while in bitcoin's example the agents could be the wallet program on each phone or computer that reads the person's wallet or account balance.
Circle back to our friendly traders under siege. No, not the criminals slinging drugs, they knowingly committed their actions. I'm speaking about the bitcoin users, only selling or purchasing bitcoins from their own account to or from a customer. These traders haven't committed an offenses at all according to fincen's directions. What does the government do? Do they engage in a public information campaign to inform these traders of their rights and responsibilities? Do they create a new MSB category for digital currency and define rules and responsibilities for a virtual currency trader? No, instead they try to mislead traders in these cases where a secondary offense such as drug trafficking hasn't been committed. "You have got to be kidding me. Right?" No, I'm really not. If you start reading into these cases you'll find literally hundreds of examples of agents encouraging traders to send bitcoin to a trader in Africa for example so that trader can disburse local currency to a friend. Agents buying bitcoin for less than $10,000 USD without ID and considering this illegal behavior in the indictment! Remember a user doesn't need to report any transaction unless it exceeds $10,000 USD if it is part of his trade or business. If an auto worker who is a casual user that only trades bitcoin 3 times a year sold his for Christmas money to a friend, he wouldn't even need to report the $15,000 sale. But most traders who trade on a daily basis or do it for a living will need to file either an IRS 8300 or a Fincen CTR. Such agents who approach these casual traders entice them with inflated rates and use such phrases as "I'm going to make you rich!'". And they often ask questions about limits and regulations that don't apply to the bitcoin user. They consider all responses as violations of the money transmitter regulations that aren't supposed to apply.
So what is a trader to do? You have two choices. You can follow the law literally as most have done and have countless agents come and test you...and then worry about being arrested on charges that don't even apply to you except when acting unlawfully when strongly encouraged or even elicited under duress in some cases by government agents. Or you can falsely claim you are a money transmitter and follow those rules.
On my own personal journey I decided in October of 2014 to register with Fincen because I saw that one of my suppliers had done so on his website. I asked him about it and he said it was a precautionary measure. I asked around and I was told by many that I had to select money transmitter and other and write in bitcoin trader because there was no selection for bitcoin trader. This in spite of not being a money transmitter. After I had registered I received a call from a man in "Internal Revenue" in Boston about my registration. He asked me about my bitcoin trading and then he said he had to consult with a supervisor. About 15 minutes later he returned my call and told me, "You are not a money transmitter, so I don't need anything from you." A couple months after that, I received a call from Key Bank's compliance office in Cleveland. They had detected my registration as a money transmitter with Fincen and wanted to ask me a few questions. After questioning me, the lady told me that she previously worked for fincen and that I was not an MSB. Key bank had me sign an affidavit that I wouldn't perform any money services businesses activities such as cashing checks for profit, transmitting money, issue money orders, or create gift cards. This compliance officer understood that I was not an exchange in any way and that I only purchased and sold bitcoin of my own account. She understood I didn't hold funds for customers to trade with each other of their own accord like Bitstamp, Kraken, or Gemini.
In the years that would follow, I would have many bank accounts shut down due to this registration as a money transmitter. Most banks simply looked and said, you are a money transmitter. After all, you registered as one. I called Ficen and asked if I could un-register. "No, you cannot". The banks wouldn't even listen to the facts and make a decision. The only other business to actually study my investment model and grant me user status was Gemini. They also agreed I was a user. I think years later they came under pressure to terminate all localbitcoins accounts because many were terminated and at the end of those, mine was too. Was it a coincidence? Or could one of my customers have sabotaged me? It is possible for a user to lie about his wallet address and give out one belonging to a site such as Alphabay. I had one customer do this to me when I was selling him coin from Alphabay. Coinbase questioned me about the transaction and I informed them that someone I was sending money give that wallet out as his own. They reinstated my account since I had years of history with them and it was only one transaction. After that I was careful not to send to customer wallets directly from coinbase. I guess my point is here, if you don't register as a money transmitter they want to harass and prosecute you; but if you do register as a money transmitter they still want to harass and shut down your business. I have recently been engaged in conversations with Fincen by email and by phone and other traders. I haven't been able to speak with many compliance people who are knowledgeable about bitcoin. When I do, for example I've spoken with BitAML on this subject, they agree with me about being a user as a trader. Other compliance people won't even answer my emails or call me back. Now I'm on the verge of either retiring or going the whole money transmitter route and even following the $3,000 ID requirement that only applies to money orders, traveler's checks, and money transfers, but not virtual currency. So my question to you is, do you have the same kinds of problems in your country? Is it better, or worse where you are? Tell me your stories. From my perspective now at least, it seems like the USA has the most malfeasance and harassment of the simple bitcoin traders, excluding those who commit crimes.
Thanks for reading
submitted by scottemick to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Trading Cryptocurrency Markets

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Major Exchanges
In finance, an exchange is a forum or platform for trading commodities, derivatives, securities or other financial instruments. The principle concern of an exchange is to allow trading between parties to take place in a fair and legally compliant manner, as well as to ensure that pricing information for any instrument traded on the exchange is reliable and coherently delivered to exchange participants. In the cryptocurrency space exchanges are online platforms that allow users to trade cryptocurrencies or digital currencies for fiat money or other cryptocurrencies. They can be centralized exchanges such a Binance, or decentralized exchanges such as IDEX. Most cryptocurrency exchanges allow users to trade different crypto assets with BTC or ETH after having already exchanged fiat currency for one of those cryptocurrencies. Coinbase and Kraken are the main avenue for fiat money to enter into the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Function and History
Crypto exchanges can be market-makers that take bid/ask spreads as a commission on the transaction for facilitating the trade, or more often charge a small percentage fee for operating the forum in which the trade was made. Most crypto exchanges operate outside of Western countries, enabling them to avoid stringent financial regulations and the potential for costly and lengthy legal proceedings. These entities will often maintain bank accounts in multiple jurisdictions, allowing the exchange to accept fiat currency and process transactions from customers all over the globe.
The concept of a digital asset exchange has been around since the late 2000s and the following initial attempts at running digital asset exchanges foreshadows the trouble involved in attempting to disrupt the operation of the fiat currency baking system. The trading of digital or electronic assets predate Bitcoin’s creation by several years, with the first electronic trading entities running afoul of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in late 2004. Companies such as Goldex, SydneyGoldSales, and Ozzigold, shut down voluntarily after ASIC found that they were operating without an Australian Financial Services License. E-Gold, which exchanged fiat USD for grams of precious metals in digital form, was possibly the first digital currency exchange as we know it, allowing users to make instant transfers to the accounts of other E-Gold members. At its peak in 2006 E-Gold processed $2 billion worth of transactions and boasted a user base of over 5 million people.
Popular Exchanges
Here we will give a brief overview of the features and operational history of the more popular and higher volume exchanges because these are the platforms to which newer traders will be exposed. These exchanges are recommended to use because they are the industry standard and they inspire the most confidence.
Bitfinex
Owned and operated by iFinex Inc, the cryptocurrency trading platform Bitfinex was the largest Bitcoin exchange on the planet until late 2017. Headquartered in Hong Kong and based in the US Virgin Island, Bitfinex was one of the first exchanges to offer leveraged trading (“Margin trading allows a trader to open a position with leverage. For example — we opened a margin position with 2X leverage. Our base assets had increased by 10%. Our position yielded 20% because of the 2X leverage. Standard trades are traded with leverage of 1:1”) and also pioneered the use of the somewhat controversial, so-called “stable coin” Tether (USDT).
Binance
Binance is an international multi-language cryptocurrency exchange that rose from the mid-rank of cryptocurrency exchanges to become the market dominating behemoth we see today. At the height of the late 2017/early 2018 bull run, Binance was adding around 2 million new users per week! The exchange had to temporarily disallow new registrations because its servers simply could not keep up with that volume of business. After the temporary ban on new users was lifted the exchange added 240,000 new accounts within two hours.
Have you ever thought whats the role of the cypto exchanges? The answer is simple! There are several different types of exchanges that cater to different needs within the ecosystem, but their functions can be described by one or more of the following: To allow users to convert fiat currency into cryptocurrency. To trade BTC or ETH for alt coins. To facilitate the setting of prices for all crypto assets through an auction market mechanism. Simply put, you can either mine cryptocurrencies or purchase them, and seeing as the mining process requires the purchase of expensive mining equipment, Cryptocurrency exchanges can be loosely grouped into one of the 3 following exchange types, each with a slightly different role or combination of roles.
Have you ever thought about what are the types of Crypto exchanges?
  1. Traditional Cryptocurrency Exchange: These are the type that most closely mimic traditional stock exchanges where buyers and sellers trade at the current market price of whichever asset they want, with the exchange acting as the intermediary and charging a small fee for facilitating the trade. Kraken and GDAX are examples of this kind of cryptocurrency exchange. Fully peer-to-peer exchanges that operate without a middleman include EtherDelta, and IDEX, which are also examples of decentralized exchanges.
  2. Cryptocurrency Brokers: These are website or app based exchanges that act like a Travelex or other bureau-de-change. They allow customers to buy or sell crypto assets at a price set by the broker (usually market price plus a small premium). Coinbase is an example of this kind of exchange.
  3. Direct Trading Platform: These platforms offer direct peer-to-peer trading between buyers and sellers, but don’t use an exchange platform in doing so. These types of exchanges do not use a set market rate; rather, sellers set their own rates. This is a highly risky form of trading, from which new users should shy away.
To understand how an exchange functions we need only look as far as a traditional stock exchange. Most all the features of a cryptocurrency exchange are analogous to features of trading on a traditional stock exchange. In the simplest terms, the exchanges fulfil their role as the main marketplace for crypto assets of all kinds by catering to buyers or sellers. These are some definitions for the basic functions and features to know: Market Orders: Orders that are executed instantly at the current market price. Limit Order: This is an order that will only be executed if and when the price has risen to or dropped to that price specified by the trader and is also within the specified period of time. Transaction fees: Exchanges will charge transactions fees, usually levied on both the buyer and the seller, but sometimes only the seller is charged a fee. Fees vary on different exchanges though the norm is usually below 0.75%. Transfer charges: The exchange is in effect acting as a sort of escrow agent, to ensure there is no foul play, so it might also charge a small fee when you want to withdraw cryptocurrency to your own wallet.
Regulatory Environment and Evolution
Cryptocurrency has come a long way since the closing down of the Silk Road darknet market. The idea of crypto currency being primarily for criminals, has largely been seen as totally inaccurate and outdated. In this section we focus on the developing regulations surrounding the cryptocurrency asset class by region, and we also look at what the future may hold.
The United States of America
A coherent uniform approach at Federal or State level has yet to be implemented in the United States. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network published guidelines as early as 2013 suggesting that BTC and other cryptos may fall under the label of “money transmitters” and thus would be required to take part in the same Anti-money Laundering (AML) and Know your Client (KYC) procedures as other money service businesses. At the state level, Texas applies its existing finance laws. And New York has instituted an entirely new licensing system.
The European Union
The EU’s approach to cryptocurrency has generally been far more accommodating overall than the United States, partly due to the adaptable nature of pre-existing laws governing electronic money that predated the creation of Bitcoin. As with the USA, the EU’s main fear is money laundering and criminality. The European Central Bank (ECB) categorized BTC as a “convertible decentralized currency” and advised all central banks in the EU to refrain from trading any cryptocurrencies until the proper regulatory framework was put in place. A task force was then set up by the European Parliament in order to prevent and investigate any potential money laundering that was making use of the new technology.
Likely future regulations for cryptocurrency traders within the European Union and North America will probably consist of the following proposals: The initiation of full KYC procedures so that users cannot remain fully anonymous, in order to prevent tax evasion and curtail money laundering. Caps on payments that can be made in cryptocurrency, similar to caps on traditional cash transactions. A set of rules governing tax obligations regarding cryptocurrencies Regulation by the ECB of any companies that offer exchanges between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies It is less likely for other countries to follow the Chinese approach and completely ban certain aspects of cryptocurrency trading. It is widely considered more progressive and wiser to allow the technology to grow within a balanced accommodative regulatory framework that takes all interests and factors into consideration. It is probable that the most severe form of regulation will be the formation of new governmental bodies specifically to form laws and exercise regulatory control over the cryptocurrency space. But perhaps that is easier said than done. It may, in certain cases, be incredibly difficult to implement particular regulations due to the anonymous and decentralized nature of crypto.
Behavior of Cryptocurrency Investors by Demographic
Due to the fact that cryptocurrency has its roots firmly planted in the cryptography community, the vast majority of early adopters are representative of that group. In this section we cover the basic structure of the cryptocurrency market cycle and the makeup of the community at large, as well as the reasons behind different trading decisions.
The Cryptocurrency Market Cycle
Bitcoin leads the bull rally. FOMO (Fear of missing out) occurs, the price surge is a constant topic of mainstream news, business programs cover the story, and social media is abuzz with cryptocurrency chatter. Bitcoin reaches new All Timehigh (ATH) Market euphoria is fueled with even more hype and the cycle is in full force. There is a constant stream of news articles and commentary on the meteoric, seemingly unstoppable rise of Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s price “stabilizes”, In the 2017 bull run this was at or around $14,000. A number of solid, large market cap altcoins rise along with Bitcoin; ETH & LTC leading the altcoins at this time. FOMO comes into play, as the new ATH in market cap is reached by pumping of a huge number of alt coins.
Top altcoins “somewhat” stabilize, after reaching new all-time highs. The frenzy continues with crypto success stories, notable figures and famous people in the news. A majority of lesser known cryptocurrencies follow along on the upward momentum. Newcomers are drawn deeper into crypto and sign up for exchanges other than the main entry points like Coinbase and Kraken. In 2017 this saw Binance inundated with new registrations. Some of the cheapest coins are subject to massive pumping, such as Tron TRX which saw a rise in market cap from $150 million at the start of December 2017 to a peak of $16 billion! At this stage, even dead coins or known scams will get pumped. The price of the majority of cryptocurrencies stabilize, and some begin to retract. When the hype is subsiding after a huge crypto bull run, it is a massive sell signal. Traditional investors will begin to give interviews about how people need to be careful putting money into such a highly volatile asset class. Massive violent correction begins and the market starts to collapse. BTC begins to fall consistently on a daily basis, wiping out the insane gains of many medium to small cap cryptos with it. Panic selling sweeps through the market. Depression sets in, both in the markets, and in the minds of individual investors who failed to take profits, or heed the signs of imminent collapse. The price stagnation can last for months, or even years.
The Influence of Age upon Trading
Did you know? Cryptocurrencies have been called “stocks for millennials” According to a survey conducted by the Global Blockchain Business Council, only 5% of the American public own any bitcoin, but of those that do, an overwhelming majority of 71% are men, 58% of them are between the ages of 18 and 35, and over half of them are minorities. The same survey gauged public attitude toward the high risk/high return nature of cryptocurrency, in comparison to more secure guaranteed small percentage gains offered by government bonds or stocks, and found that 30% would rather invest $1,000 in crypto. Over 42% of millennials were aware of cryptocurrencies as opposed to only 15% of those ages 65 and over. In George M. Korniotis and Alok Kumar’s study into the effects of aging on portfolio management and the quality of decisions made by older investors, they found “that older and experienced investors are more likely to follow “rules of thumb” that reflect greater investment knowledge. However, older investors are less effective in applying their investment knowledge and exhibit worse investment skill, especially if they are less educated and earn lower income.”
Geographic Influence upon Trading
One of the main drivers of the apparent seasonal ebb and flow of cryptocurrency prices is the tax situation in the various territories that have the highest concentrations of cryptocurrency holders. Every year we see an overall market pull back beginning in mid to late January, with a recovery beginning usually after April. This is because “Tax Season” is roughly the same across Europe and the United States, with the deadline for Income tax returns being April 15th in the United States, and the tax year officially ending the UK on the 6th of April. All capital gains must be declared before the window closes or an American trader will face the powerful and long arm of the IRS with the consequent legal proceedings and possible jail time. Capital gains taxes around the world vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but there are often incentives for cryptocurrency holders to refrain from trading for over a year to qualify their profits as long term gain when they finally sell. In the US and Australia, for example, capital gains are reduced if you bought cryptocurrency for investment purposes and held it for over a year. In Germany if crypto assets are held for over a year then the gains derived from their sale are not taxed. Advantages like this apply to individual tax returns, on a case by case basis, and it is up to the investor to keep up to date with the tax codes of the territory in which they reside.
2013 Bull run vs 2017 Bull run price Analysis
In late 2016 cryptocurrency traders were faced with the task of distinguishing between the beginnings of a genuine bull run and what might colorfully be called a “dead cat bounce” (in traditional market terminology). Stagnation had gripped the market since the pull-back of early 2014. The meteoric rise of Bitcoin’s price in 2013 peaked with a price of $1,100 in November 2013, after a year of fantastic news on the adoption front with both Microsoft and PayPal offering BTC payment options. It is easy to look at a line going up on a chart and speak after the fact, but at the time, it is exceeding difficult to say whether the cat is actually climbing up the wall, or just bouncing off the ground. Here, we will discuss the factors that gave savvy investors clues as to why the 2017 bull run was going to outstrip the 2013 rally. Hopefully this will help give insight into how to differentiate between the signs of a small price increase and the start of a full scale bull run. Most importantly, Volume was far higher in 2017. As we can see in the graphic below, the 2017 volume far exceeds the volume of BTC trading during the 2013 price increase. The stranglehold MtGox held on trading made a huge bull run very difficult and unlikely.
Fraud & Immoral Activity in the Private Market
Ponzi Schemes Cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes will be covered in greater detail in Lesson 7, but we need to get a quick overview of the main features of Ponzi schemes and how to spot them at this point in our discussion. Here are some key indicators of a Ponzi scheme, both in cryptocurrencies and traditional investments: A guaranteed promise of high returns with little risk. Consistentflow of returns regardless of market conditions. Investments that have not been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Investment strategies that are a secret, or described as too complex. Clients not allowed to view official paperwork for their investment. Clients have difficulties trying to get their money back. The initial members of the scheme, most likely unbeknownst to the later investors, are paid their “dividends” or “profits” with new investor cash. The most famous modern-day example of a Ponzi scheme in the traditional world, is Bernie Madoff’s $100 billion fraudulent enterprise, officially titled Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. And in the crypto world, BitConnect is the most infamous case of an entirely fraudulent project which boasted a market cap of $2 billion at its peak.
What are the Exchange Hacks?
The history of cryptocurrency is littered with examples of hacked exchanges, some of them so severe that the operation had to be wound up forever. As we have already discussed, incredibly tech savvy and intelligent computer hackers led by Alexander Vinnik stole 850000 BTC from the MtGox exchange over a period from 2012–2014 resulting in the collapse of the exchange and a near-crippling hammer blow to the emerging asset class that is still being felt to this day. The BitGrail exchange suffered a similar style of attack in late 2017 and early 2018, in which Nano (XRB) was stolen that was at one point was worth almost $195 million. Even Bitfinex, one of the most famous and prestigious exchanges, has suffered a hack in 2016 where $72 million worth of BTC was stolen directly from customer accounts.
Hardware Wallet Scam Case Study
In late 2017, an unfortunate character on Reddit, going by the name of “moody rocket” relayed his story of an intricate scam in which his newly acquired hardware wallet was compromised, and his $34,000 life savings were stolen. He bought a second hand Nano ledger into which the scammers own recover seed had already been inserted. He began using the ledger without knowing that the default seed being used was not a randomly assigned seed. After a few weeks the scammer struck, and withdrew all the poor HODLer’s XRP, Dash and Litecoin into their own wallet (likely through a few intermediary wallets to lessen the very slim chances of being identified).
Hardware Wallet Scam Case Study Social Media Fraud
Many gullible and hapless twitter users have fallen victim to the recent phenomenon of scammers using a combination of convincing fake celebrity twitter profiles and numerous amounts of bots to swindle them of ETH or BTC. The scammers would set up a profile with a near identical handle to a famous figure in the tech sphere, such as Vitalik Buterin or Elon Musk. And then in the tweet, immediately following a genuine message, follow up with a variation of “Bonus give away for the next 100 lucky people, send me 0.1 ETH and I will send you 1 ETH back”, followed by the scammers ether wallet address. The next 20 or so responses will be so-called sockpuppet bots, thanking the fake account for their generosity. Thus, the pot is baited and the scammers can expect to receive potentially hundreds of donations of 0.1 Ether into their wallet. Many twitter users with a large follower base such as Vitalik Buterin have taken to adding “Not giving away ETH” to their username to save careless users from being scammed.
Market Manipulation
It also must be recognized that market manipulation is taking place in cryptocurrency. For those with the financial means i.e. whales, there are many ways in which to control the market in a totally immoral and underhanded way for your own profit. It is especially easy to manipulate cryptos that have a very low trading volume. The manipulator places large buy orders or sell walls to discourage price action in one way or the other. Insider trading is also a significant problem in cryptocurrency, as we saw with the example of blatant insider trading when Bitcoin Cash was listed on Coinbase.
Examples of ICO Fraudulent Company Behavior
In the past 2 years an astronomical amount of money has been lost in fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings. The utmost care and attention must be employed before you invest. We will cover this area in greater detail with a whole lesson devoted to the topic. However, at this point, it is useful to look at the main instances of ICO fraud. Among recent instances of fraudulent ICOs resulting in exit scams, 2 of the most infamous are the Benebit and PlexCoin ICOs which raised $4 million for the former and $15 million for the latter. Perhaps the most brazen and damaging ICO scam of all time was the Vietnamese Pincoin ICO operation, where $660million was raised from 32,000 investors before the scammer disappeared with the funds. In case of smaller ICO “exit scamming” there is usually zero chance of the scammers being found. Investors must just take the hit. We will cover these as well as others in Lesson 7 “Scam Projects”.
Signposts of Fraudulent Actors
The following factors are considered red flags when investigating a certain project or ICO, and all of them should be considered when deciding whether or not you want to invest. Whitepaper is a buzzword Salad: If the whitepaper is nothing more than a collection of buzzwords with little clarity of purpose and not much discussion of the tech involved, it is overwhelmingly likely you are reading a scam whitepaper.
Signposts of Fraudulent Actors §2
No Code Repository: With the vast majority of cryptocurrency projects employing open source code, your due diligence investigation should start at GitHub or Sourceforge. If the project has no entries, or nothing but cloned code, you should avoid it at all costs. Anonymous Team: If the team members are hard to find, or if you see they are exaggerating or lying about their experience, you should steer clear. And do not forget, in addition to taking proper precautions when investing in ICOs, you must always make sure that you are visiting authentic web pages, especially for web wallets. If, for example, you are on a spoof MyEtherWallet web page you could divulge your private key without realizing it and have your entire portfolio of Ether and ERC-20 tokens cleaned out.
Methods to Avoid falling Victim
Avoiding scammers and the traps they set for you is all about asking yourself the right questions, starting with: Is there a need for a Blockchain solution for the particular problem that a particular ICO is attempting to solve? The existing solution may be less costly, less time consuming, and more effective than the proposals of a team attempting to fill up their soft cap in an ICO. The following quote from Mihai Ivascu, the CEO of Modex, should be kept in mind every time you are grading an ICO’s chances of success: “I’m pretty sure that 95% of ICOswill not last, and many will go bankrupt. ….. not everything needs to be decentralized and put on an open source ledger.”
Methods to Avoid falling Victim §2 Do I Trust These People with My Money, or Not?
If you continue to feel uneasy about investing in the project, more due diligence is needed. The developers must be qualified and competent enough to complete the objectives that they have set out in the whitepaper.
Is this too good to be true?
All victims of the well-known social media scams using fake profiles of Vitalik Buterin, or Bitconnect investors for that matter, should have asked themselves this simple question, and their investment would have been saved. In the case of Bitconnect, huge guaranteed gains proportional to the amount of people you can get to sign up was a blatant pyramid scheme, obviously too good to be true. The same goes for Fake Vitalik’s offer of 1 ether in exchange for 0.1 ETH.
Selling Cryptocurrencies, Several reasons for selling with the appropriate actions to take:
If you are selling to buy into an ICO, or maybe believe Ether is a safer currency to hold for a certain period of time, it is likely you will want to make use of the Ether pair and receive Ether in return. Obviously if the ICO is on the NEO or WANchain blockchain for example, you will use the appropriate pair. -Trading to buy into another promising project that is listing on the exchange on which you are selling (or you think the exchange will experience a large amount of volume and become a larger exchange), you may want to trade your cryptocurrency for that exchange token. -If you believe that BTC stands a good chance of experiencing a bull run then using the BTC trading pair is the suitable choice. -If you believe that the market is about to experience a correction but you do not want to take your gains out of the market yet, selling for Tether or “tethering up” is the best play. This allows you to keep your locked-in profits on the exchange, unaffected by the price movements in the cryptocurrency markets,so that you can buy back in at the most profitable moment. -If you wish to “cash out” i.e. sell your cryptocurrency for fiat currency and have those funds in your bank account, the best pair to use is ETH or BTC because you will likely have to transfer to an exchange like Kraken or Coinbase to convert them into fiat. If the exchange offers Litecoin or Bitcoin Cash pairs it could be a good idea to use these for their fast transaction time and low fees.
Selling Cryptocurrencies
Knowing when and how to sell, as well as strategies to inflate the value of your trade before sale, are important skills as a trader of any product or financial instrument. If you are satisfied that the sale itself of the particular amount of a token or coin you are trading away is the right one, then you must decide at what price you are going to sell. Exchanges exercise their own discretion as to which trading “pairs” they will offer, but the most common ones are BTC, ETH, BNB for Binance, BIX for Bibox etc., and sometimes Tether (USDT) or NEO. As a trader, you decide which particular cryptocurrency to exchange depending on your reason for making that specific trade at that time.
Methods of Sale
Market sell/Limit sell on exchange: A limit sell is an order placed on an exchange to sell as soon as (also specifically only if and when) the price you specified has been hit within the time limit you select. A market order executes the sale immediately at the best possible price offered by the market at that exact time. OTC (or Over the Counter) selling refers to sale of securities or cryptocurrencies in any method without using an exchange to intermediate the trade and set the price. The most common way of conducting sales in this manner is through LocalBitcoins.com. This method of cryptocurrency selling is far riskier than using an exchange, for obvious reasons.
The influence and value of your Trade
There are a number of strategies you can use to appreciate the value of your trade and thus increase the Bitcoin or Ether value of your portfolio. It is important to disassociate yourself from the dollar value of your portfolio early on in your cryptocurrency trading career simply because the crypto market is so volatile you will end up pulling your hair out in frustration following the real dollar money value of your holdings. Once your funds have been converted into BTC and ETH they are completely in the crypto sphere. (Some crypto investors find it more appropriate to monitor the value of their portfolio in satoshi or gwei.) Certainly not limited to, but especially good for beginners, the most reliable way to increase your trading profits, and thus the overall value and health of your portfolio, is to buy into promising projects, hold them for 6 months to a year, and then reevaluate. This is called Long term holding and is the tactic that served Bitcoin HODLers quite well, from 2013 to the present day. Obviously, if something comes to light about the project that indicates a lengthy set back is likely, it is often better to cut your losses and sell. You are better off starting over and researching other projects. Also, you should set initial Price Points at which you first take out your original investment, and then later, at which you take out all your profits and exit the project. That should be after you believe the potential for growth has been exhausted for that particular project.
Another method of increasing the value of your trades is ICO flipping. This is the exact opposite of long term holding. This is a technique in which you aim for fast profits taking advantage of initial enthusiasm in the market that may double or triple the value of ICO projects when they first come to market. This method requires some experience using smaller exchanges like IDEX, on which project tokens can be bought and sold before listing on mainstream exchanges. “Tethering up” means to exchange tokens or coins for the USDT stable coin, the value of which is tethered to the US Dollar. If you learn, or know how to use, technical analysis, it is possible to predict when a market retreatment is likely by looking at the price movements of BTC. If you decide a market pull back is likely, you can tether up and maintain the dollar value of your portfolio in tether while other tokens and coins decrease in value. The you wait for an opportune moment to reenter the market.
Market Behavior in Different Time Periods
The main descriptors used for overall market sentiment are “Bull Market” and “Bear Market”. The former describes a market where people are buying on optimism. The latter describes a market where people are selling on pessimism. Fun (or maybe not) fact: The California grizzly bear was brought to extinction by the love of bear baiting as a sport in the mid 1800s. Bears were highly sought after for their intrinsic fighting qualities, and were forced into fighting bulls as Sunday morning entertainment for Californians. What has this got to do with trading and financial markets? The downward swipe of the bear’s paws gives a “Bear market” its name and the upward thrust of a Bull’s horns give the “Bull Market” its name. Most unfortunately for traders, the bear won over 80% of the bouts. During a Bull market, optimism can sometimes grow to be seemingly boundless, volume is rising, and prices are ascending. It can be a good idea to sell or rebalance your portfolio at such a time, especially if you have a particularly large position in one holding or another. This is especially applicable if you need to sell a large amount of a relatively low-volume holding, because you can then do so without dragging the price down by the large size of your own sell order.
Learn more on common behavioral patterns observed so far in the cryptocurrency space for different coins and ICO tokens.
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Adam S. Tracy Breaks Down FINCEN’s Regulation of Cryptocurrency

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qbUG05jKPY
Cryptocurrency attorney Adam S. Tracy discusses FINCEN’s regulation of cryptocurrency and the impact on traders, cryptocurrency exchanges, and OTC bitcoin dealers. Email: [email protected]
— —
A former competitive rugby player, serial entrepreneur and, trader attorney, Adam S. Tracy offers over 17 years of progressive legal and compliance experience in the areas of corporate, commodities, cryptocurrency, litigation, payments and securities law. Adam’s experience ranges from commodities trader for oil giant BP, initial public offerings, M&A, to initial coin offerings, having represented both startups to NASDAQ-listed entities. As an early Bitcoin adapter, Adam has promoted growth of cryptocurrency and offers a unique approach to representing crypto-clients. Based in Chicago, IL, Adam graduated from the University of Notre Dame with dual degrees in Finance and Computer Applications and would later obtain his J.D. and M.B.A. from DePaul University. Adam lives outside Chicago with his six animals, which is illegal where he lives.
Email me: [email protected]
Primary website: http://www.tracyfirm.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TracyFirm
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVOa...
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamtracy/
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Instagram: @adamtracyattorney
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Skype: @adamtracyesq
Email me: [email protected]
TRANSCRIPTION:
Obviously, there’s a huge emphasis on compliance from a cryptocurrency standpoint with respect to the SEC and to a lesser extent to the CFTC. But the one government agency that’s really put forth the most guidance, if you will, would be FinCEN. And we’ve talked about money service business registration in past, and FinCEN is the government agency that is dealt with enacting the tenants of the Bank Secrecy Act and overseeing money service businesses. And so FinCEN has put out guidance that sort of defines the players in the cryptocurrency market. And those three players are: users, administrators, and exchangers.
And so user is someone who uses virtual currency or cryptocurrency to buy and sell goods. FinCEN has come out directly and said that a user is not a money transmitter and hence not a money service business. An exchanger is one who deals in the exchange of cryptocurrency — the buying and selling of cryptocurrency in exchange for real or other virtual currencies. And in most cases FinCEN and has found that a exchanger is a money transmitter and thus a money service business, and subject to registration as a money service business. Then finally, an administrator, which is the interesting sort element here, is a party that issues virtual currency and has the ability to redeem that virtual currency. And in most cases FinCEN has found that an administrator is, in fact, a money transmitter and thus a money service, and is required to register as a money service business. And it’s a weird implication, or important implication, for ICO companies because they are obviously issuing cryptocurrency, but the caveat or sort of the tenant where I think most ICO companies fall out of the definition of an administrator is that most ICO companies don’t have the ability to redeem their cryptocurrency, right? They issue it, but they don’t redeem it. So therefore they wouldn’t fall into that definition of a money transmitter. So, you know, it’s a very strange implication because there are some ICOs out there that, you know, have this innate ability to redeem whether through conversion or some other mechanism the cryptocurrency that they’ve issued and sold. And technically by the book, according to FinCEN, you are the money transmitter and you need to register as a money service business or face severe fines, penalties, and the like. That’s sort of point one that people, I think, overlook.
Point two is, you know, how do you, sort of, fall outside the ambit of this, if you are a speculator, right? Let’s say I’m an individual who engages in the buying and selling of cryptocurrency or the arbitrage of different cryptocurrencies for my own account. FinCEN has come out with a decision that actually exempts such activity from the definition an exchanger, which across the board is almost always a money transmitter and thus required to register as a money service business. So, you know, there’s a great emphasis on the SEC, and where the SEC is going to fall, and to some extent the CFTC. And that’s valid. That’s super valid, because ultimately that’s cryptocurrency and the large part is a function of an ICO and raising capital for businesses, right? And so the question becomes are we engaging in offerings of securities? And that’s another discussion for another time. But what is codified, what is real, what people overlook, in my opinion my humble opinion for it’s worth, is FinCEN, and their money service business registration and the money transmitter laws that are associated there with. So, it’s definitely something to consider and definitely something to check out, you know, depending on what player you are within the the ecosphere of cryptocurrency. So check me out — TracyFirm.com.
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Skywire - Try and censor this, I dare you.

Synth posted this recently - http://whiteboard.ping.se/SDWSPR. Why? Remember that Skywire is designed with these in mind:

1) Asynchronous.

"Asynchronous data is data that is not synchronized when it is sent or received. In this type of transmission, signals are sent between the computers and external systems or vice versa in an asynchronous manner. This usually refers to data that is transmitted at intermittent intervals rather than in a steady stream, which means that the first parts of the complete file might not always be the first to be sent and arrive at the destination. Different parts of the complete data are sent in different intervals, sometimes simultaneously, but follow different paths toward the destination. The transfer of asynchronous data doesn’t require the coordination or timing of bits between the two endpoints."

Advantages:

It is more flexible and devices can exchange information at their own pace. Individual data characters can complete themselves so that even if one packet is corrupted, its predecessors and successors will not be affected.
It does not require complex processes by the receiving device. This means that an inconsistency in the transmission of data does not result in a big crisis, since the device can keep up with the data stream. This also makes asynchronous transfers suitable for applications where character data is generated in an irregular manner.

Disadvantages:

The success of these transmissions depends on the start bits and their recognition. This can be easily susceptible to line interference, causing these bits to be corrupted or distorted.
A large portion of the transmitted data is used for control and identification bits for headers and thus carries no useful information related to the transmitted data. This invariably means that more data packets need to be sent.

Choco's way of understanding it:

2) Channel bonding

"Channel bonding is an arrangement of communications links in which two or more links are combined for redundancy or increased throughput. Examples include links associated with network interfaces on a host computer, or downstream and upstream channels within a DOCSIS cable modem connection."

Choco's way of understanding it:

3) Economy based on data forwarding and downloading

The new Decentralized Internet, a wireless mesh network that pays you for supporting it.

Choco's way of understanding it:

4) Will even work on low-computationally intensive CPU boards like Raspberry Pi's.

Self-explanatory. See Skyminer.

Choco's way of understanding it:

Spelling it out.

Digital transmission of 0.1 watt (20dBm) from Sweden to Australia, over 15000km using the WSPR protocol. For comparison, your cell phone uses many times this transmission power. :-)
The extreme application possible with this design means it is nearly impossible to censor anything. The best you can do is make it annoyingly slow to transmit data, you will not kill it. Skywire's uncensorable data transmission is akin to Bitcoin's original idea of uncensorable money.
References:
https://www.techopedia.com/definition/26893/asynchronous-data
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Channel_bonding
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The ticking time bomb of crypto exchanges and compliance

I believe the next "black swan" event for bitcoin is when the US comes down hard on almost all the exchanges out there which are brazenly flouting the regulations.
Some common fallacies:
Fallacy 1: Exchange is based in [some remote country], so they don't have to worry about US laws.
Fact 1. Most people don't realise, it's not sufficient to be based outside of the US to be free of their jurisdiction. If an exchange is serving US citizens they must comply with the regulations, regardless of which country their exchange is based in.
Fallacy 2: Exchange XYZ doesn't accept fiat and it's crypto to crypto only. Therefore it doesn't need a money transmission license.
Fact 2. Fincen has issued multiple statements very clearly stating that a business which exchanges a virtual currency in exchange for another virtual currency is a money transmitter and thus requires a money transmission licence. Similarly for fiat to crypto. Some sources: (http://fincen.gov/statutes_regs/guidance/html/FIN-2013-G001.html http://globalcryptonews.com/fincen-ruling-on-cryptocurrency-exchanges-explained-part-1-definition-of-money-transmitter-and-msb/). Here fincen publishes a redacted letter to a crypto exchange telling them they are a money transmitter: http://www.fincen.gov/news_room/rp/rulings/pdf/FIN-2014-R011.pdf
Fallacy 3: Exchange XYZ is a money service business and is therefore compliant
Fact 3. It's actually a piece of piss to get registered as a money service business and I wish people wouldn't look at it as a symbol of authenticity. If the exchange doesn't have the money transmission licenses and is serving customers in most states of america it's only a matter of time until they get a knock on the door.
Fallacy 4: Most other exchanges aren't compliant so we have safety in numbers.
Fact 4. That is not a robust legal defense.
Exchanges which aren't compliant and therefore are NOT safe places to leave your money at:
And probably almost all of the others! I've listed the above as they are exchanges which qualify as money transmitters and are operating without the correct licenses. An exchange I am fairly certain has no licenses is:
If someone can prove me wrong, let me know.
Exchanges that are doing things by the book:
tldr: Use Coinbase or Kraken if you don't want to run the risk of an exchanges funds being seized.
submitted by blackcoinprophet to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Lightning May Not Be A Scaling Solution

After reading up on how the Lightning Network is supposed to function after it’s been built it became clear to me that there is a major flaw with proposing it as a scaling mechanism.
According to the description on the lightning-dev mailing list a user would get information from the recipient of the transmitter, query the network to find a path from their hub to the destination hub and then broadcast a transaction to the first hub that only pays out if it takes the path to the destination. Intermediate hubs are necessary because it’s not feasible to open channels with every single hub in advance of trying to make a transaction.The Lightning hubs that route payments between ends appear to clearly fit the US definition of a money transmitter:
http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=f7495bb4cb9f4181f1505d475bb7fb22&mc=true&node=se31.3.1010_1100&rgn=div8
(5) Money transmitter—(i) In general. (A) A person that provides money transmission services. The term “money transmission services” means the acceptance of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency from one person and the transmission of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency to another location or person by any means. “Any means” includes, but is not limited to, through a financial agency or institution; a Federal Reserve Bank or other facility of one or more Federal Reserve Banks, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, or both; an electronic funds transfer network; or an informal value transfer system; or (B) Any other person engaged in the transfer of funds.
(ii) Facts and circumstances; Limitations. Whether a person is a money transmitter as described in this section is a matter of facts and circumstances. The term “money transmitter” shall not include a person that only:
(A) Provides the delivery, communication, or network access services used by a money transmitter to support money transmission services;
(B) Acts as a payment processor to facilitate the purchase of, or payment of a bill for, a good or service through a clearance and settlement system by agreement with the creditor or seller;
(C) Operates a clearance and settlement system or otherwise acts as an intermediary solely between BSA regulated institutions. This includes but is not limited to the Fedwire system, electronic funds transfer networks, certain registered clearing agencies regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), and derivatives clearing organizations, or other clearinghouse arrangements established by a financial agency or institution;
(D) Physically transports currency, other monetary instruments, other commercial paper, or other value that substitutes for currency as a person primarily engaged in such business, such as an armored car, from one person to the same person at another location or to an account belonging to the same person at a financial institution, provided that the person engaged in physical transportation has no more than a custodial interest in the currency, other monetary instruments, other commercial paper, or other value at any point during the transportation;
(E) Provides prepaid access; or
(F) Accepts and transmits funds only integral to the sale of goods or the provision of services, other than money transmission services, by the person who is accepting and transmitting the funds.
I’m not a lawyer but I have a hard time seeing where any of the exemptions could apply to a routing hub. However, Lightning hubs which restrict channel creation to a closed network of pre-verified hubs could very well avoid money transmitter regulation as long the network only includes other Bitcoin companies that have the appropriate federal and state licenses. It may allow a New York resident who routes a payment through a BitLicensed company to pay to a non-BitLicensed company that acts a payment processor for a merchant.
A general purpose hub would have to obtain the appropriate licenses and apply an AML/KYC policy, so anonymous channels would be illegal, and report suspicious activity to the government. It would have to track all activity visible to it to try to determine if it’s going to someplace restricted under law.
Looking through the lightning-dev and bitcoin-dev mailing lists I don’t see any consideration of the legal implications of running a hub. I would appreciate it if anyone else can see if I’ve spotted a flaw or if I’m misinterpreting how it will actually work.
submitted by prolixus to bitcoin_uncensored [link] [comments]

RaiBlocks AMA Summary!

I posted this under /cryptocurrency and /cryptomarkets as well! Might be less useful under this subreddit... but I'm using it for purposes of helping people become aware of this coin.
Summation of RaiBlocks lead developer AMA. I'm very excited about this coin, and if you're asking why I did this...I'm trying out my AMA consolidating script that I wrote for fun :) I'm interested in seeing what people think about this coin! You can read the responses directly from this link: https://www.reddit.com/RaiBlocks/comments/7ko5l7/colin_lemahieu_founder_and_lead_developer_of/
 
What are your top priorities atm? Both in developing areas itself and in terms of integration?
 
The top priorities right now are:
These basically need to happen in a sequence because each item isn't useful unless the previous one is complete.
 
 
Do you have any plans to have your source code peer reviewed? By peer review I mean sending your source code down to MIT for testing and review.
Where do you see Raiblocks 5-10 years from now? (For instance do you envision people using a Raiblocks mobile phone app to transfer value between each other, or buy stuff at the store?
 
We definitely need peer and code reviews and we're open to anyone doing this. We have ideas for people in universities that want to analyze the whitepaper or code so we'll see what comes of that. In my opinion code security guarantees can only be given with (eyes * time) and we need both.
I'd like to see RaiBlocks adopted as an internet RFC and basically become an ubiquitous background technology like http. I think you're probably right and a mobile app would be the most user-friendly way to do this so people don't need to carry around extra cards in their wallet etc.
 
 
Is there a list of the team readily available? Are there firm plans to expand, and if so, in which directions?
The roadmap indicated a website redesign scheduled for November 2017. Is there an update?
 
We have about 12 people in the core team; about half are code and half are business developers. On the redesigned website we're going to include bios for sure, no one in our team is anonymous. I think we have pretty good coverage of what we need right now, we could always use more people capable of contributing to the core code.
The website design is well underway, we wanted to streamline and add some more things to it so it took longer than originally estimated. It'll looking like after the new year we'll have it ready.
 
 
Would you ever consider renaming the coin to simply "Rai" or any other simplified form other than RaiBlocks?
2. What marketing strategy do you think will push XRB forward from now on as a fully working product. Instant and free, the green coin, "it just works" coin, etc?
3. Regarding security, is "quantum-proofing" a big concern at the moment and how do you guys plan to approach this when the time comes. And how possible would it be for bad actors to successfully implement a 51% attack.
 
  1. Yea there are a few difficulties people have pointed out with our name. People don't know if it's "ray" or "rye". "Blocks" doesn't have a meaning to a lot of people and the name reference might be too esoteric to be meaningful. I'm not prideful so I'm not stuck on a particular name, we'll take a look at what our marketing and business developers say peoples' impressions are and if they have any naming recommendations.
  2. Our marketing strategy is to focus on complete simplicity. Instant and free resonates with enthusiasts and mass adoption will only come when using xrb is absolutely the same experience as using a banking or other payment app. People aren't going to tolerate jargon or confusing workflows when sending or receiving payments.
  3. Quantum computing is going to be an amazing leap for humanity but it's also going to cause a lot of flux in cryptography. The plan I see is the similar to what I did in selecting the cryptographic algorithms we're using right now: look for leaders in academia and industry that have proven implementations and use those as they recommend migration based on computing capability. Quantum vulnerabilities can be an issue in the future but a vulnerable implementation would be an issue right now.
 
 
Hi Colin, lately XRB has been getting frequently compared to and contrasted with Iota. I was hoping that you could give us your thoughts on the differences between the two and what your general vision for the future of Raiblocks is.
 
It's flattering to be compared to IOTA, they have a very talented team building ambitious technology. When looking at design goals I think one thing we're not attempting to approach is transferring a data payload, we're only looking to be a transfer of value.
There are lots of ideas and technology to be developed in the cryptocurrency space and I want RaiBlocks to solve one section of that industry: the transfer of value. I think the best success would be if RaiBlocks was adopted as the global standard for this and crypto efforts could move to non-value-transfer use-cases.
 
 
Do you see XRB becoming the new payment method for commerce. As in, buying coffee, groceries, etc? Do you have plans for combating the HODL mentality so this currency can actually be used in the future of buying and selling?
 
Being a direct transactional payment method is our goal and we're trying to build software that's accessible to everyone to make that happen. I see holding as a speculative tactic anticipating future increases and you're right, it's not in line with day-to-day transactions. I think as market cap levels off to a more consistent value the reason for holding and speculating goes away and people can instead focus on using it as a value exchange.
 
 
Are you planning to expand the RaiBlocks team over the next 12 months? If so, what types of positions are you hoping to fill?
 
Right now we have about 12 people, half core and half business developers. I think this count is good for working on what we're doing right now which is getting wallets and exchanges worked on. Ideally people outside our team will start developing technology around xrb taking advantage of the network effect to build more technology faster than we could internally. That being said we're going to look in a few months to see if there's anything out there people aren't developing that should be and we'll see what people we need to make it happen.
 
 
At what point did you make the decision to make RaiBlocks your full time job? What was the decision making process like?
 
It was after the week where the core team met here in Austin to brainstorm our next steps. I saw how much enthusiasm there was from crypto-veterans with having a working system capable of being scaled up to what's needed for massive adoption and it seemed the risk needed to be taken.
It was hard decision to make, working in the crypto and finance is rough and I like using my leisure time to work on inventions. Of all the projects ideas I have this one seemed to have a high chance of success and the benefits of having a working, decentralized currency would be huge.
 
 
Hi Colin, what prevents great cryptos like XRB from being listed on bigger exchanges?
 
It's good to understand where the biggest headaches for exchanges lie: support tickets, operations, and development. If a technology is different from what they already have, that takes development time. If the software is new and not widely run, that's potential operations time to fix it which results in support tickets and community backlash. Adding BitCoin clones or Ethereum ICO coins is easy because they don't have these associated risks or costs.
 
 
What can the average RaiBlocks-Fan do to help XRB getting adopted / growing / expanding?
 
I think the best thing an average fan could do is word of mouth and telling people about RaiBlocks. More people being aware of it means there's the possibility someone who's never heard of it before would be interested in contributing as a vendor, developer, exchange etc.
Good advertising or marketing will never be able to reach everyone as well as someone reaching out within their own network.
 
 
Ray or Rye?
 
Ray hehe. It comes from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rai_stones Lots of people don't know the answer though >_<
 
 
Are you looking at incorperating a datamarket like iota in the future? Given the speed of the network a data exchange for highly accurate sensors could be a game changer.
Further more, are there any plans to increase the Dev team in the future? I read on the FAQ you'd like RaiBlocks to be somewhat of a protocol which is a huge ambition. A Dev from say the Mozilla foundation or other could further cement this ambitious project.
 
Transmitting data payloads is something we probably won't pursue. The concern is adding more features like this could cause us to make decisions that compromise the primary focus points of low-cost and speed for transferring value.
We can add people to the dev team though I think we'll get the most traction by teaching teams in these other organization how to use RaiBlocks so they can be the experts on the subject in their companies.
 
 
Does the actual RaiBlocks version require "Each node in the network must be aware of all transactions as they occur" part? This was in the old white paper and is asked here:
https://www.reddit.com/RaiBlocks/comments/7ksl81/some_questions_regarding_raiblocks_consensus/?st=jbdmgagc&sh=d1c93cca
 
If a node wants to independently know the balances of all accounts in the system, it must at a minimum have storage to hold accounts and all their balances. In order to know all balances it must either listen to transactions as they're happening or bootstrap from someone else to catch up as what happens on startup.
 
 
There is no incentive to run nodes. Some people will do it because it is cheap as fuck (as I read an raspberry pie can run it). But I think not many people will do it.
1. How important are the nodes in terms of further scaling?
2. On which network conditions where the 7000 transactions met?
3. What happens if the transactions per day tenfolds but the nodes don't?
4. How much better will Rai scale if someone sets up, lets say, 100 nodes with awesome hardware and network?
5. How many nodes could be enough for visa level scaling?
6. Which further improvements can be made for Rai IF there needs to be other improvements than setting up new nodes? Are there other concepts like 2nd layer solutions planned?
7. How will Rai defend network attacks?
I know there is an PoW part. But since there a also large attacks on high cap coins on which people invest millions of $ to congest a network..Is it possible that the Rai network will be unusable for several days because of this?
 
I think the out-of-protocol incentives to running a node are under-referenced yet I see them as the primary driving factor for participating as a whole. Node rewards come at the expense of other network participants and in this closed loop the incentives aren't enough to keep a cryptocurrency alive. Long-term there needs to be a system-level comparative advantage to what people are already using for a transfer of value. If someone is using xrb and it saves them hundreds or thousands of dollars per month in fees and customer irritation in delayed payments, they have a direct monetary incentive to using xrb and a monetary incentive in the health of the system.
1) More nodes provides transaction and bootstrapping redundancy. More representatives provides decentralization.
2) The 7k TPS was a profile how fast commodity hardware could eat transactions. All of the real-world limits are going to be something hardware related, either bandwidth, IO, or CPU.
3) The scaling is more related to the hardware the nodes are using rather than the node count. If there was 10x increase in transactions it would use 10x the bandwidth and IO as nodes observe transactions happening.
4) If someone made 100 representative nodes the network would be far more decentralized though the tx throughput would be unchanged since that's a per-node requirement.
5) Scaling to Visa will have high bandwidth and IO requirements on representatives associated with doing 10k IOPS. Datacenter and business class hardware will have to be enough to handle the load.
6) Second layer solutions are always an option and I think a lot of people will use them for fraud protection and insurance. Our primary focus is to make the 1st layer as efficient and high speed as possible so a 2nd layer isn't needed for daily transactions.
7) Defending against network attacks will be an ongoing thing, people like breaking the network for lulz or monetary gain i.e. competing cryptos. If there are attacks we haven't defended against or considered it'll be a matter of getting capable people to fix issues.
 
 
Are you open to changes to the name? (Rai)
What are your plans with regards to marketing?
 
I'm open to it, people get confused on ray/rye pronunciation, not the greatest first impression.
As far as timing I think marketing works best after a more user friendly wallet and integration in to more exchanges otherwise we're sending traffic to something people can't use. We're going to start by focusing on the initial adopters which will likely be enthusiasts and going forward work on the next set of users that aren't enthusiasts but want to drive savings for their business through lower payment processing costs.
 
 
A recent tweet(https://twitter.com/VitalikButerin/status/942961006614945792) from Vitalik Buterin. Could this be a case with testing the scalability of RaiBlocks as well and in reality we wouldn't come close to 7000tx/s?
 
I think he's definitely right, a lot of the TPS numbers are synthetic benchmarks usually on one system. The biggest thing hindering TPS are protocol-specific limits like hard caps or high contention design. The next biggest thing will be bandwidth and then disk IO. Some of these limits can be improved by profiling and fixing code instead of actual limits in the hardware.
We want to get better, real world numbers but our general opinion is that the RaiBlocks protocol is going to be limited by hardware, rather than design.
 
 
Are you planning to add a fiat gateway to the main website and mobile wallet?
 
If we can make it happen for sure, that seems like a very user-focused feature people would want.
The difficulty at least in the US is the money-transmitter licenses which are hard to obtain. More than likely if this functionality was added it'd be a partnership with an established financial company that has procedures in place to operate within countries' regulations.
 
 
I saw a post on /iota that claims that their quantum resistance is a main benefit over raiblocks. Can you go into detail about this? explain any plans you have to let XRB persevere through upcoming quatum revolution?
 
I think everyone with cryptography in their programs is keeping an eye on quantum cryptography because we're all in the same boat. I don't have cryptanalysis credentials so I didn't feel comfortable building an implementation and instead chose to use one off-the-shelf from someone with assuring credentials.
There are some big companies that have made small mistakes that blow up the usefulness of the entire algorithm, it's incredibly easy to do. https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2010/12/ps3-hacked-through-poor-implementation-of-cryptography/
 
 
Hello Colin, is any security audit to the source code planned?
 
We don't have one contracted though both internally and externally this is an important thing people want completed.
 
 
Do you have plans to radically change the interface of the desktop wallet, and to develop a universal, cross-platform, clean and simple UX design for the wallet? This will be huge for mass adoption in my humble opinion
 
I completely agree, we do plan on completely redoing the desktop wallet, both from a UX standpoint and maintainability so UI code doesn't need to be in C++. This could also remove out dependency on QT which is the least permissive license in the code right now.
I write code better than I design GUIs ;)
 
 
It seems like Raiblocks is aiming to be a true currency with it's lacking of transaction fees and fast confirmation times, which is great! If Raiblocks can add some kind of support for privacy then I think it got the whole picture figured out in terms of being "digital cash". Do you currently have any plans to implement privacy features into RaiBlocks?
If Raiblocks is unable to do this, it will still be a straight improvement over things like LTC which are currently being used as currency, but I don't think it will be able to become THE cryptocurrency without privacy features.
 
I love the concept of privacy in the network and it's a hard thing to do right. Any solution used would need to be compatible with our balance-weighted-voting method which means at least we'd have to know how much weight a representative has even if we're hiding actual account balances.
To be fully anonymous it would have to be hide accounts, amounts, endpoints, and also timing information; with advanced network analysis the timing is the hardest thing to hide. Hopefully some day we can figure out an efficient privacy solution though the immediate problem we can solve is making a transactional cryptocurrency so we're focusing on that.
 
 
Could you provide an analysis on the flaws of RaiBlocks? Is it in any way, shape, or form at a disadvantage compared to a blockchain based ledger like bitcoin? There has to be drawbacks, but I haven’t found any.
Do you plan on expanding the dev team and establishing a foundation? Also, how much money is in the development pool?
 
One drawback is to handle is our chain-per-account model and asynchronous updates it takes more code and design. This means instead of one top-block hash for everything there's one for each account. This gives us the power of wait-free asynchronous transactions at the cost of simplicity.
After we finish up things like the wallet, website, and exchange integration we'll be looking at seeing what dev resources we need to build tech if no one else is already working on a particular thing. We have about 6 million XRB right now so we've made the existing dev funds go a long way. If something expensive to build came along and dev funds wouldn't cut it we could look at some sort of external funding.
 
 
How big of a problem is PoW for exchanges and what are potential solutions?
 
Considering how much exchanges stand to make through commission I don't see the cost as a barrier, it's just an abnormal technology request compared to other cryptocurrencies.
We're working on providing a service exchanges can use in the interim until they set up their own infrastructure to generate the work. Other options are containers people can use on cloud services to get the infrastructure they need until they want to invest in their own.
 
 
It's my understanding that since everything works asynchronously, in the case of double spending there is a chance a merchant would receive the block that would be later invalidated and have it shown in it's wallet, even if a little later (1 minute?) the amount would correct when the delegates vote that block invalid. Is there any mechanism to avoid this? Maybe tag the transactions in the wallet as "confirming" and then "confirmed" after that minute? Is there actually any certain way for a wallet to know, in a deterministic/programable way, at what moment a transaction is 100% legit? (for example if the delegates are DoS'ed I guess that minute could be much longer). I know this is an improbable case, but still...
 
Yea you're hitting a good point, the consensus algorithm in the node is designed to wait for the incoming transaction to settle before accepting it in to the local chain for the exact reason you listed, if their transaction were to be rolled back the local account would be rolled back as well.
We can trend the current weight of all representatives that are online and voting and make sure we have >50% of the vote weight accounted for before considering it settled.
 
 
Hey Colin, will you eventually have support for a Trezor or other hard wallet?
 
Yea we'll definitely work with companies like Trezor that are interested in being a hardware wallet for xrb. It's just a matter of making sure they support the signing algorithms and integrating with their API.
 
EDIT: I'm getting a lot of messages asking me how to buy XRB. I used this guide which was very helpful: https://www.reddit.com/RaiBlocks/comments/7i0co0/the_definitive_guide_to_buying_and_storing/
In short -- buy BTC on coinbase, open up an account on bitgrail, transfer that BTC from coinbase to bitgrail, then trade your BTC for XRB. It's a pain right now because it's such a new coin, but soon it will be listed on more exchanges, and hopefully on things like shapeshift/changelly. After that it will be much easier... but until then, the inconvenience is what we have to pay in order to get into XRB while its still early.
EDIT: BAD SCRIPT, BAD!
submitted by atriaxx to RaiBlocks [link] [comments]

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining explained - YouTube BITCOIN The Future of Money  Selling bitcoins - Bitcoin Bitcoin Q&A: Is Bitcoin a democracy? What is Bitcoin? Bitcoin Explained Simply for Dummies ... What is Bitcoin? How to earn money online in Pakistan with BTC

Bitcoin Exchanges Don’t Need Money Transmitter Licenses in Pennsylvania MTA Not Applicable to Bitcoin in Pennsylvania In a memo titled “Money Transmitter Act Guidance for Virtual Currency Businesses,” the Pennsylvania DoBS clarified that the Money Transmitter Act (MTA) did not apply to cryptocurrency exchanges. A US Federal court has classified Bitcoin as a “money” under the Washington, D.C., Money Transmitters Act (MTA). A US Federal court would not dismiss criminal charges laid against Larry Dean Harmon, the operator of an underground Bitcoin trading platform, for running an unlicensed money transmitting business under D.C. law and for laundering money under federal law—because Bitcoin is a ... individuals and businesses who merely exchange Bitcoin for goods and services (and vice-versa) are not money transmitters. businesses that accept Bitcoin from one person and send it to another (or back to the same person) are money transmitters, and are not exempt from money transmission regulation simply because they do not deal in fiat currency. any business that exchanges fiat currency for ... Cryptocurrencies and money transmitter laws coexist in mostly uncharted waters here at the dawn of 2020. The following is a note examining both both the broad concepts and the specific provisions of money transmitter statutes as they pertain to cryptocurrencies (particularly Bitcoin) in New York, New Jersey, California, Florida and Wyoming. The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities (DoBS) says cryptocurrency exchanges in the state do not require Money Transmission Business Licenses.MTA Not Applicable to Bitcoin in PennsylvaniaIn a memo titled “Money Transmitter Act Guidance for Virtual Currency Businesses,” the Pennsylvania DoBS clarified that the Money Transmitter Act (MTA) did not apply…

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Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining explained - YouTube

This week on Around the Coin, Faisal Khan, Brian Roemmele, and Mike Townsend discuss everything about money transmitter licenses, including how they work, who needs one, and how bitcoin plays a role. He is the author of two books: “Mastering Bitcoin,” published by O’Reilly Media and considered the best technical guide to bitcoin; “The Internet of Money,” a book about why bitcoin matters. He is the author of two books: “Mastering Bitcoin,” published by O’Reilly Media and considered the best technical guide to bitcoin; “The Internet of Money,” a book about why bitcoin matters. Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining explained with the Byzantine Generals Problem. We use it to explain the essence of cryptocurrency mining. https://www.udemy... 1) Buy on an Exchange: people are allowed to buy or sell bitcoins from websites called bitcoin exchanges. They do this by adding their country currencies or any sort of other currecy they own or love.

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