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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Edit: TL;DR added in the comments
 
Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analyzed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk-reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralized and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis of why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise, just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction
 
The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since the end of January 2019 with daily transaction rates growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralized and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. The maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realized early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralized, secure, and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in the amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralization. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue dissecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour, no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts, etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as: “A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronize cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next, he states that: "blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”. For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber, and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa, this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network, etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever-changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralized and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimization on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and the University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (66%) double-spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT, etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralization.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently, there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so-called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralized nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics, you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching its transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end-users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public. They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public-facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers. The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translate to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non-custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS; shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralized too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralized in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. The faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time-stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalized: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object-oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: * “all programs have two basic components, data – what the program knows – and behavior – what the program can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviors in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behavior are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.” *
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: OCaml is a general-purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognized by academics and won a so-called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise, it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts, it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa or Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue: In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships
 
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organizations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggests that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already take advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, Airbnb, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are built on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human-readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They don't just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data, it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community-run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non-custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiative (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggests in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real-time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding of what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures, Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
submitted by haveyouheardaboutit to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

ETHE & GBTC (Grayscale) Frequently Asked Questions

It is no doubt Grayscale’s booming popularity as a mainstream investment has caused a lot of community hullabaloo lately. As such, I felt it was worth making a FAQ regarding the topic. I’m looking to update this as needed and of course am open to suggestions / adding any questions.
The goal is simply to have a thread we can link to anyone with questions on Grayscale and its products. Instead of explaining the same thing 3 times a day, shoot those posters over to this thread. My hope is that these questions are answered in a fairly simple and easy to understand manner. I think as the sub grows it will be a nice reference point for newcomers.
Disclaimer: I do NOT work for Grayscale and as such am basing all these answers on information that can be found on their website / reports. (Grayscale’s official FAQ can be found here). I also do NOT have a finance degree, I do NOT have a Series 6 / 7 / 140-whatever, and I do NOT work with investment products for my day job. I have an accounting background and work within the finance world so I have the general ‘business’ knowledge to put it all together, but this is all info determined in my best faith effort as a layman. The point being is this --- it is possible I may explain something wrong or missed the technical terms, and if that occurs I am more than happy to update anything that can be proven incorrect
Everything below will be in reference to ETHE but will apply to GBTC as well. If those two segregate in any way, I will note that accordingly.
What is Grayscale? 
Grayscale is the company that created the ETHE product. Their website is https://grayscale.co/
What is ETHE? 
ETHE is essentially a stock that intends to loosely track the price of ETH. It does so by having each ETHE be backed by a specific amount of ETH that is held on chain. Initially, the newly minted ETHE can only be purchased by institutions and accredited investors directly from Grayscale. Once a year has passed (6 months for GBTC) it can then be listed on the OTCQX Best Market exchange for secondary trading. Once listed on OTCQX, anyone investor can purchase at this point. Additional information on ETHE can be found here.
So ETHE is an ETF? 
No. For technical reasons beyond my personal understandings it is not labeled an ETF. I know it all flows back to the “Securities Act Rule 144”, but due to my limited knowledge on SEC regulations I don’t want to misspeak past that. If anyone is more knowledgeable on the subject I am happy to input their answer here.
How long has ETHE existed? 
ETHE was formed 12/14/2017. GBTC was formed 9/25/2013.
How is ETHE created? 
The trust will issue shares to “Authorized Participants” in groups of 100 shares (called baskets). Authorized Participants are the only persons that may place orders to create these baskets and they do it on behalf of the investor.
Source: Creation and Redemption of Shares section on page 39 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
Note – The way their reports word this makes it sound like there is an army of authorizers doing the dirty work, but in reality there is only one Authorized Participant. At this moment the “Genesis” company is the sole Authorized Participant. Genesis is owned by the “Digital Currency Group, Inc.” which is the parent company of Grayscale as well. (And to really go down the rabbit hole it looks like DCG is the parent company of CoinDesk and is “backing 150+ companies across 30 countries, including Coinbase, Ripple, and Chainalysis.”)
Source: Digital Currency Group, Inc. informational section on page 77 of the “Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (BTC) Form 10-K (2019)” – Located Here
Source: Barry E. Silbert informational section on page 75 of the “Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (BTC) Form 10-K (2019)” – Located Here
How does Grayscale acquire the ETH to collateralize the ETHE product? 
An Investor may acquire ETHE by paying in cash or exchanging ETH already owned.
Source: Creation and Redemption of Shares section on page 40 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
Where does Grayscale store their ETH? Does it have a specific wallet address we can follow? 
ETH is stored with Coinbase Custody Trust Company, LLC. I am unaware of any specific address or set of addresses that can be used to verify the ETH is actually there.
As an aside - I would actually love to see if anyone knows more about this as it’s something that’s sort of peaked my interest after being asked about it… I find it doubtful we can find that however.
Source: Part C. Business Information, Item 8, subsection A. on page 16 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
Can ETHE be redeemed for ETH? 
No, currently there is no way to give your shares of ETHE back to Grayscale to receive ETH back. The only method of getting back into ETH would be to sell your ETHE to someone else and then use those proceeds to buy ETH yourself.
Source: Redemption Procedures on page 41 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
Why are they not redeeming shares? 
I think the report summarizes it best:
Redemptions of Shares are currently not permitted and the Trust is unable to redeem Shares. Subject to receipt of regulatory approval from the SEC and approval by the Sponsor in its sole discretion, the Trust may in the future operate a redemption program. Because the Trust does not believe that the SEC would, at this time, entertain an application for the waiver of rules needed in order to operate an ongoing redemption program, the Trust currently has no intention of seeking regulatory approval from the SEC to operate an ongoing redemption program.
Source: Redemption Procedures on page 41 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
What is the fee structure? 
ETHE has an annual fee of 2.5%. GBTC has an annual fee of 2.0%. Fees are paid by selling the underlying ETH / BTC collateralizing the asset.
Source: ETHE’s informational page on Grayscale’s website - Located Here
Source: Description of Trust on page 31 & 32 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
What is the ratio of ETH to ETHE? 
At the time of posting (6/19/2020) each ETHE share is backed by .09391605 ETH. Each share of GBTC is backed by .00096038 BTC.
ETHE & GBTC’s specific information page on Grayscale’s website updates the ratio daily – Located Here
For a full historical look at this ratio, it can be found on the Grayscale home page on the upper right side if you go to Tax Documents > 2019 Tax Documents > Grayscale Ethereum Trust 2019 Tax Letter.
Why is the ratio not 1:1? Why is it always decreasing? 
While I cannot say for certain why the initial distribution was not a 1:1 backing, it is more than likely to keep the price down and allow more investors a chance to purchase ETHE / GBTC.
As noted above, fees are paid by selling off the ETH collateralizing ETHE. So this number will always be trending downward as time goes on.
Source: Description of Trust on page 32 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
I keep hearing about how this is locked supply… explain? 
As noted above, there is currently no redemption program for converting your ETHE back into ETH. This means that once an ETHE is issued, it will remain in circulation until a redemption program is formed --- something that doesn’t seem to be too urgent for the SEC or Grayscale at the moment. Tiny amounts will naturally be removed due to fees, but the bulk of the asset is in there for good.
Knowing that ETHE cannot be taken back and destroyed at this time, the ETH collateralizing it will not be removed from the wallet for the foreseeable future. While it is not fully locked in the sense of say a totally lost key, it is not coming out any time soon.
Per their annual statement:
The Trust’s ETH will be transferred out of the ETH Account only in the following circumstances: (i) transferred to pay the Sponsor’s Fee or any Additional Trust Expenses, (ii) distributed in connection with the redemption of Baskets (subject to the Trust’s obtaining regulatory approval from the SEC to operate an ongoing redemption program and the consent of the Sponsor), (iii) sold on an as-needed basis to pay Additional Trust Expenses or (iv) sold on behalf of the Trust in the event the Trust terminates and liquidates its assets or as otherwise required by law or regulation.
Source: Description of Trust on page 31 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
Grayscale now owns a huge chunk of both ETH and BTC’s supply… should we be worried about manipulation, a sell off to crash the market crash, a staking cartel? 
First, it’s important to remember Grayscale is a lot more akin to an exchange then say an investment firm. Grayscale is working on behalf of its investors to create this product for investor control. Grayscale doesn’t ‘control’ the ETH it holds any more then Coinbase ‘controls’ the ETH in its hot wallet. (Note: There are likely some varying levels of control, but specific to this topic Grayscale cannot simply sell [legally, at least] the ETH by their own decision in the same manner Coinbase wouldn't be able to either.)
That said, there shouldn’t be any worry in the short to medium time-frame. As noted above, Grayscale can’t really remove ETH other than for fees or termination of the product. At 2.5% a year, fees are noise in terms of volume. Grayscale seems to be the fastest growing product in the crypto space at the moment and termination of the product seems unlikely.
IF redemptions were to happen tomorrow, it’s extremely unlikely we would see a mass exodus out of the product to redeem for ETH. And even if there was incentive to get back to ETH, the premium makes it so that it would be much more cost effective to just sell your ETHE on the secondary market and buy ETH yourself. Remember, any redemption is up to the investors and NOT something Grayscale has direct control over.
Yes, but what about [insert criminal act here]… 
Alright, yes. Technically nothing is stopping Grayscale from selling all the ETH / BTC and running off to the Bahamas (Hawaii?). BUT there is no real reason for them to do so. Barry is an extremely public figure and it won’t be easy for him to get away with that. Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust creates SEC reports weekly / bi-weekly and I’m sure given the sentiment towards crypto is being watched carefully. Plus, Grayscale is making tons of consistent revenue and thus has little to no incentive to give that up for a quick buck.
That’s a lot of ‘happy little feels’ Bob, is there even an independent audit or is this Tether 2.0? 
Actually yes, an independent auditor report can be found in their annual reports. It is clearly aimed more towards the financial side and I doubt the auditors are crypto savants, but it is at least one extra set of eyes. Auditors are Friedman LLP – Auditor since 2015.
Source: Independent Auditor Report starting on page 116 (of the PDF itself) of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
As mentioned by user TheCrpytosAndBloods (In Comments Below), a fun fact:
The company’s auditors Friedman LLP were also coincidentally TetheBitfinex’s auditors until They controversially parted ways in 2018 when the Tether controversy was at its height. I am not suggesting for one moment that there is anything shady about DCG - I just find it interesting it’s the same auditor.
“Grayscale sounds kind of lame” / “Not your keys not your crypto!” / “Why is anyone buying this, it sounds like a scam?” 
Welp, for starters this honestly is not really a product aimed at the people likely to be reading this post. To each their own, but do remember just because something provides no value to you doesn’t mean it can’t provide value to someone else. That said some of the advertised benefits are as follows:
So for example, I can set up an IRA at a brokerage account that has $0 trading fees. Then I can trade GBTC and ETHE all day without having to worry about tracking my taxes. All with the relative safety something like E-Trade provides over Binance.
As for how it benefits the everyday ETH holder? I think the supply lock is a positive. I also think this product exposes the Ethereum ecosystem to people who otherwise wouldn’t know about it.
Why is there a premium? Why is ETHE’s premium so insanely high compared to GBTC’s premium? 
There are a handful of theories of why a premium exists at all, some even mentioned in the annual report. The short list is as follows:
Why is ETHE’s so much higher the GBTC’s? Again, a few thoughts:

Are there any other differences between ETHE and GBTC? 
I touched on a few of the smaller differences, but one of the more interesting changes is GBTC is now a “SEC reporting company” as of January 2020. Which again goes beyond my scope of knowledge so I won’t comment on it too much… but the net result is GBTC is now putting out weekly / bi-weekly 8-K’s and annual 10-K’s. This means you can track GBTC that much easier at the moment as well as there is an extra layer of validity to the product IMO.
I’m looking for some statistics on ETHE… such as who is buying, how much is bought, etc? 
There is a great Q1 2020 report I recommend you give a read that has a lot of cool graphs and data on the product. It’s a little GBTC centric, but there is some ETHE data as well. It can be found here hidden within the 8-K filings.Q1 2020 is the 4/16/2020 8-K filing.
For those more into a GAAP style report see the 2019 annual 10-K of the same location.
Is Grayscale only just for BTC and ETH? 
No, there are other products as well. In terms of a secondary market product, ETCG is the Ethereum Classic version of ETHE. Fun Fact – ETCG was actually put out to the secondary market first. It also has a 3% fee tied to it where 1% of it goes to some type of ETC development fund.
In terms of institutional and accredited investors, there are a few ‘fan favorites’ such as Bitcoin Cash, Litcoin, Stellar, XRP, and Zcash. Something called Horizion (Backed by ZEN I guess? Idk to be honest what that is…). And a diversified Mutual Fund type fund that has a little bit of all of those. None of these products are available on the secondary market.
Are there alternatives to Grayscale? 
I know they exist, but I don’t follow them. I’ll leave this as a “to be edited” section and will add as others comment on what they know.
Per user Over-analyser (in comments below):
Coinshares (Formerly XBT provider) are the only similar product I know of. BTC, ETH, XRP and LTC as Exchange Traded Notes (ETN).
It looks like they are fully backed with the underlying crypto (no premium).
https://coinshares.com/etps/xbt-provideinvestor-resources/daily-hedging-position
Denominated in SEK and EUR. Certainly available in some UK pensions (SIPP).
As asked by pegcity - Okay so I was under the impression you can just give them your own ETH and get ETHE, but do you get 11 ETHE per ETH or do you get the market value of ETH in USD worth of ETHE? 
I have always understood that the ETHE issued directly through Grayscale is issued without the premium. As in, if I were to trade 1 ETH for ETHE I would get 11, not say only 2 or 3 because the secondary market premium is so high. And if I were paying cash only I would be paying the price to buy 1 ETH to get my 11 ETHE. Per page 39 of their annual statement, it reads as follows:
The Trust will issue Shares to Authorized Participants from time to time, but only in one or more Baskets (with a Basket being a block of 100 Shares). The Trust will not issue fractions of a Basket. The creation (and, should the Trust commence a redemption program, redemption) of Baskets will be made only in exchange for the delivery to the Trust, or the distribution by the Trust, of the number of whole and fractional ETH represented by each Basket being created (or, should the Trust commence a redemption program, redeemed), which is determined by dividing (x) the number of ETH owned by the Trust at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the trade date of a creation or redemption order, after deducting the number of ETH representing the U.S. dollar value of accrued but unpaid fees and expenses of the Trust (converted using the ETH Index Price at such time, and carried to the eighth decimal place), by (y) the number of Shares outstanding at such time (with the quotient so obtained calculated to one one-hundred-millionth of one ETH (i.e., carried to the eighth decimal place)), and multiplying such quotient by 100 (the “Basket ETH Amount”). All questions as to the calculation of the Basket ETH Amount will be conclusively determined by the Sponsor and will be final and binding on all persons interested in the Trust. The Basket ETH Amount multiplied by the number of Baskets being created or redeemed is the “Total Basket ETH Amount.” The number of ETH represented by a Share will gradually decrease over time as the Trust’s ETH are used to pay the Trust’s expenses. Each Share represented approximately 0.0950 ETH and 0.0974 ETH as of December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively.

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Crypto Banking Wars: Will Coinbase or Binance Become The Bank of The Future?

Crypto Banking Wars: Will Coinbase or Binance Become The Bank of The Future?
Can the early success of major crypto exchanges propel them to winning the broader consumer finance market?
https://reddit.com/link/i48t4q/video/v4eo10gom7f51/player
This is the first part of Crypto Banking Wars — a new series that examines what crypto-native company is most likely to become the bank of the future. Who is best positioned to reach mainstream adoption in consumer finance?
While crypto allows the world to get rid of banks, a bank will still very much be necessary for this powerful technology to reach the masses. We believe a crypto-native company, like Genesis Block, will become the bank of the future.
In an earlier series, Crypto-Powered, we laid out arguments for why crypto-native companies have a huge edge in the market. When you consider both the broad spectrum of financial use-cases and the enormous value unlocked through these DeFi protocols, you can see just how big of an unfair advantage blockchain tech becomes for companies who truly understand and leverage it. Traditional banks and fintech unicorns simply won’t be able to keep up.
The power players of consumer finance in the 21st century will be crypto-native companies who build with blockchain technology at their core.
The crypto landscape is still nascent. We’re still very much in the fragmented, unbundled phase of the industry lifecycle. Beyond what Genesis Block is doing, there are signs of other companies slowly starting to bundle financial services into what could be an all-in-one bank replacement.
So the key question that this series hopes to answer:
Which crypto-native company will successfully become the bank of the future?
We obviously think Genesis Block is well-positioned to win. But we certainly aren’t the only game in town. In this series, we’ll be doing an analysis of who is most capable of thwarting our efforts. We’ll look at categories like crypto exchanges, crypto wallets, centralized lending & borrowing services, and crypto debit card companies. Each category will have its own dedicated post.
Today we’re analyzing big crypto exchanges. The two companies we’ll focus on today are Coinbase (biggest American exchange) and Binance (biggest global exchange). They are the top two exchanges in terms of Bitcoin trading volume. They are in pole position to winning this market — they have a huge existing userbase and strong financial resources.
Will Coinbase or Binance become the bank of the future? Can their early success propel them to winning the broader consumer finance market? Is their growth too far ahead for anyone else to catch up? Let’s dive in.
https://preview.redd.it/lau4hevpm7f51.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=2c5de1ba497199f36aa194e5809bd86e5ab533d8

Binance

The most formidable exchange on the global stage is Binance (Crunchbase). All signs suggest they have significantly more users and a stronger balance sheet than Coinbase. No other exchange is executing as aggressively and relentlessly as Binance is. The cadence at which they are shipping and launching new products is nothing short of impressive. As Tushar Jain from Multicoin argues, Binance is Blitzscaling.
Here are some of the products that they’ve launched in the last 18 months. Only a few are announced but still pre-launch.
Binance is well-positioned to become the crypto-powered, all-in-one, bundled solution for financial services. They already have so many of the pieces. But the key question is:
Can they create a cohesive & united product experience?

Binance Weaknesses

Binance is strong, but they do have a few major weaknesses that could slow them down.
  1. Traders & Speculators Binance is currently very geared for speculators, traders, and financial professionals. Their bread-and-butter is trading (spot, margin, options, futures). Their UI is littered with depth charts, order books, candlesticks, and other financial concepts that are beyond the reach of most normal consumers. Their product today is not at all tailored for the broader consumer market. Given Binance’s popularity and strength among the pro audience, it’s unlikely that they will dumb down or simplify their product any time soon. That would jeopardize their core business. Binance will likely need an entirely new product/brand to go beyond the pro user crowd. That will take time (or an acquisition). So the question remains, is Binance even interested in the broader consumer market? Or will they continue to focus on their core product, the one-stop-shop for pro crypto traders?
  2. Controversies & Hot Water Binance has had a number of controversies. No one seems to know where they are based — so what regulatory agencies can hold them accountable? Last year, some sensitive, private user data got leaked. When they announced their debit card program, they had to remove mentions of Visa quickly after. And though the “police raid” story proved to be untrue, there are still a lot of questions about what happened with their Shanghai office shut down (where there is smoke, there is fire). If any company has had a “move fast and break things” attitude, it is Binance. That attitude has served them well so far but as they try to do business in more regulated countries like America, this will make their road much more difficult — especially in the consumer market where trust takes a long time to earn, but can be destroyed in an instant. This is perhaps why the Binance US product is an empty shell when compared to their main global product.
  3. Disjointed Product Experience Because Binance has so many different teams launching so many different services, their core product is increasingly feeling disjointed and disconnected. Many of the new features are sloppily integrated with each other. There’s no cohesive product experience. This is one of the downsides of executing and shipping at their relentless pace. For example, users don’t have a single wallet that shows their balances. Depending on if the user wants to do spot trading, margin, futures, or savings… the user needs to constantly be transferring their assets from one wallet to another. It’s not a unified, frictionless, simple user experience. This is one major downside of the “move fast and break things” approach.
  4. BNB token Binance raised $15M in a 2017 ICO by selling their $BNB token. The current market cap of $BNB is worth more than $2.6B. Financially this token has served them well. However, given how BNB works (for example, their token burn), there are a lot of open questions as to how BNB will be treated with US security laws. Their Binance US product so far is treading very lightly with its use of BNB. Their token could become a liability for Binance as it enters more regulated markets. Whether the crypto community likes it or not, until regulators get caught up and understand the power of decentralized technology, tokens will still be a regulatory burden — especially for anything that touches consumers.
  5. Binance Chain & Smart Contract Platform Binance is launching its own smart contract platform soon. Based on compatibility choices, they have their sights aimed at the Ethereum developer community. It’s unclear how easy it’ll be to convince developers to move to Binance chain. Most of the current developer energy and momentum around smart contracts is with Ethereum. Because Binance now has their own horse in the race, it’s unlikely they will ever decide to leverage Ethereum’s DeFi protocols. This could likely be a major strategic mistake — and hubris that goes a step too far. Binance will be pushing and promoting protocols on their own platform. The major risk of being all-in on their own platform is that they miss having a seat on the Ethereum rocket ship — specifically the growth of DeFi use-cases and the enormous value that can be unlocked. Integrating with Ethereum’s protocols would be either admitting defeat of their own platform or competing directly against themselves.

Binance Wrap Up

I don’t believe Binance is likely to succeed with a homegrown product aimed at the consumer finance market. Their current product — which is focused heavily on professional traders and speculators — is unlikely to become the bank of the future. If they wanted to enter the broader consumer market, I believe it’s much more likely that they will acquire a company that is getting early traction. They are not afraid to make acquisitions (Trust, JEX, WazirX, DappReview, BxB, CoinMarketCap, Swipe).
However, never count CZ out. He is a hustler. Binance is executing so aggressively and relentlessly that they will always be on the shortlist of major contenders.
https://preview.redd.it/mxmlg1zqm7f51.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=2d900dd5ff7f3b00df5fe5a48305d57ebeffaa9a

Coinbase

The crypto-native company that I believe is more likely to become the bank of the future is Coinbase (crunchbase). Their dominance in America could serve as a springboard to winning the West (Binance has a stronger foothold in Asia). Coinbase has more than 30M users. Their exchange business is a money-printing machine. They have a solid reputation as it relates to compliance and working with regulators. Their CEO is a longtime member of the crypto community. They are rumored to be going public soon.

Coinbase Strengths

Let’s look at what makes them strong and a likely contender for winning the broader consumer finance market.
  1. Different Audience, Different Experience Coinbase has been smart to create a unique product experience for each audience — the pro speculator crowd and the common retail user. Their simple consumer version is at Coinbase.com. That’s the default. Their product for the more sophisticated traders and speculators is at Coinbase Pro (formerly GDAX). Unlike Binance, Coinbase can slowly build out the bank of the future for the broad consumer market while still having a home for their hardcore crypto traders. They aren’t afraid to have different experiences for different audiences.
  2. Brand & Design Coinbase has a strong product design team. Their brand is capable of going beyond the male-dominated crypto audience. Their product is clean and simple — much more consumer-friendly than Binance. It’s clear they spend a lot of time thinking about their user experience. Interacting directly with crypto can sometimes be rough and raw (especially for n00bs). When I was at Mainframe we hosted a panel about Crypto UX challenges at the DevCon4 Dapp Awards. Connie Yang (Head of Design at Coinbase) was on the panel. She was impressive. Some of their design philosophies will bode well as they push to reach the broader consumer finance market.
  3. USDC Stablecoin Coinbase (along with Circle) launched USDC. We’ve shared some stats about its impressive growth when we discussed DeFi use-cases. USDC is quickly becoming integrated with most DeFi protocols. As a result, Coinbase is getting a front-row seat at some of the most exciting things happening in decentralized finance. As Coinbase builds its knowledge and networks around these protocols, it could put them in a favorable position to unlock incredible value for their users.
  4. Early Signs of Bundling Though Coinbase has nowhere near as many products & services as Binance, they are slowly starting to add more financial services that may appeal to the broader market. They are now letting depositors earn interest on USDC (also DAI & Tezos). In the UK they are piloting a debit card. Users can now invest in crypto with dollar-cost-averaging. It’s not much, but it’s a start. You can start to see hints of a more bundled solution around financial services.

Coinbase Weaknesses

Let’s now look at some things that could hold them back.
  1. Slow Cadence In the fast-paced world of crypto, and especially when compared to Binance, Coinbase does not ship very many new products very often. This is perhaps their greatest weakness. Smaller, more nimble startups may run circles around them. They were smart to launch Coinbase Ventures where tey invest in early-stage startups. They can now keep an ear to the ground on innovation. Perhaps their cadence is normal for a company of their size — but the Binance pace creates quite the contrast.
  2. Lack of Innovation When you consider the previous point (slow cadence), it’s unclear if Coinbase is capable of building and launching new products that are built internally. Most of their new products have come through acquisitions. Their Earn.com acquisition is what led to their Earn educational product. Their acquisition of Xapo helped bolster their institutional custody offering. They acqui-hired a team to help launch their staking infrastructure. Their acquisition of Cipher Browser became an important part of Coinbase Wallet. And recently, they acquired Tagomi — a crypto prime brokerage. Perhaps most of Coinbase’s team is just focused on improving their golden goose, their exchange business. It’s unclear. But the jury is still out on if they can successfully innovate internally and launch any homegrown products.
  3. Talent Exodus There have been numerous reports of executive turmoil at Coinbase. It raises a lot of questions about company culture and vision. Some of the executives who departed include COO Asiff Hirji, CTO Balaji Srinivasan, VP & GM Adam White, VP Eng Tim Wagner, VP Product Jeremy Henrickson, Sr Dir of Eng Namrata Ganatra, VP of Intl Biz Dan Romero, Dir of Inst Sales Christine Sandler, Head of Trading Hunter Merghart, Dir Data Science Soups Ranjan, Policy Lead Mike Lempres, Sr Compliance Vaishali Mehta. Many of these folks didn’t stay with Coinbase very long. We don’t know exactly why it’s happening —but when you consider a few of my first points (slow cadence, lack of innovation), you have to wonder if it’s all related.
  4. Institutional Focus As a company, we are a Coinbase client. We love their institutional offering. It’s clear they’ve been investing a lot in this area. A recent Coinbase blog post made it clear that this has been a focus: “Over the past 12 months, Coinbase has been laser-focused on building out the types of features and services that our institutional customers need.” Their Tagomi acquisition only re-enforced this focus. Perhaps this is why their consumer product has felt so neglected. They’ve been heavily investing in their institutional services since May 2018. For a company that’s getting very close to an IPO, it makes sense that they’d focus on areas that present strong revenue opportunities — as they do with institutional clients. Even for big companies like Coinbase, it’s hard to have a split focus. If they are “laser-focused” on the institutional audience, it’s unlikely they’ll be launching any major consumer products anytime soon.

Coinbase Wrap Up

At Genesis Block, we‘re proud to be working with Coinbase. They are a fantastic company. However, I don’t believe that they’ll succeed in building their own product for the broader consumer finance market. While they have incredible design, there are no signs that they are focused on or capable of internally building this type of product.
Similar to Binance, I think it’s far more likely that Coinbase acquires a promising young startup with strong growth.

Honorable Mentions

Other US-based exchanges worth mentioning are Kraken, Gemini, and Bittrex. So far we’ve seen very few signs that any of them will aggressively attack broader consumer finance. Most are going in the way of Binance — listing more assets and adding more pro tools like margin and futures trading. And many, like Coinbase, are trying to attract more institutional customers. For example, Gemini with their custody product.

Wrap Up

Coinbase and Binance have huge war chests and massive reach. For that alone, they should always be considered threats to Genesis Block. However, their products are very, very different than the product we’re building. And their approach is very different as well. They are trying to educate and onboard people into crypto. At Genesis Block, we believe the masses shouldn’t need to know or care about it. We did an entire series about this, Spreading Crypto.
Most everyone needs banking — whether it be to borrow, spend, invest, earn interest, etc. Not everyone needs a crypto exchange. For non-crypto consumers (the mass market), the differences between a bank and a crypto exchange are immense. Companies like Binance and Coinbase make a lot of money on their crypto exchange business. It would be really difficult, gutsy, and risky for any of them to completely change their narrative, messaging, and product to focus on the broader consumer market. I don’t believe they would ever risk biting the hand that feeds them.
In summary, as it relates to a digital bank aimed at the mass market, I believe both Coinbase and Binance are much more likely to acquire a startup in this space than they are to build it themselves. And I think they would want to keep the brand/product distinct and separate from their core crypto exchange business.
So back to the original question, is Coinbase and Binance a threat to Genesis Block? Not really. Not today. But they could be, and for that, we want to stay close to them.
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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analysed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralised and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since end of January 2019 with daily transaction rate growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralised and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. Maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realised early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralised, secure and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralisation. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue disecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as:
“A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronise cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next he states that: >“blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”.* For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralised and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimisation on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (>66%) double spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralisation.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralised nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching their transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public.They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers.The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translates to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS & shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralised too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralised in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. Faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, R&D roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalised: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: > “all programmes have two basic components, data – what the programme knows – and behaviour – what the programme can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviours in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behaviour are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.”
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: > OCaml is a general purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognised by academics and won a so called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities safety is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa for Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue:
In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships  
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organisations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggest that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already taking advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, AirBnB, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are build on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”*
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They dont just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities) also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiatives (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggest in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures & Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
submitted by haveyouheardaboutit to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Hoo.com Founder Ruixi Wang: Dive into Blockchain with Great Ambition

We are counting down for Bitcoin halving 2020.
But this time, the halving seems much more special compared to the previous two with the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermaths. Bitcoin is facing its first real challenge as well as opportunity.
“The confidence the halving brings is more important than its actual market performance. The COVID-19 pandemic might accelerate the downmarket, but it will also cause a quick reverse of the economy. From that perspective, the halving together with the pandemic will possibly have a positive influence on the crypto space. My prediction is that Bitcoin price will skyrocket to $100,000 by 2021.”
That’s how Ruixi Wang views the Bitcoin halving under the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. What insights and cognition the 30-year-old entrepreneur has on the crypto and blockchain sphere? Why did he predict boldly that the Bitcoin price would reach up to $100,000?
Blocklike had a conversation with Ruixi Wang, founder of Hoo.com, who shared his opinion on the blockchain industry and the “evolution history” of Hoo.com.
The 30-Year-Old “Veteran”
“Not being content with the status quo and always staying curious with new things were the two incentives that got me involved in blockchain. I have a technical background, so I’ve always been keen on technology and its progress, trends and development. I got to know cryptocurrency by chance years ago, and I was deeply attracted by its novel concept right away. But I was in the wave of big data start-ups at the same time. I was a big fan of that too. So I got myself into a dilemma — which one should I pick? But after a few strugglings, I turned to crypto in the end,” Ruixi Wang recalled how he ended up in crypto.
Although he stepped into the space in its infancy, Wang’s blockchain career was not always smooth.
Starting his blockchain trip by building a Bitcoin information navigator, Wang then worked for the mining team of a young talent Kaomao. He took over his mining machines and built his own company when Kaomao suddenly vanished. He also bought out PoW8.com, a cloud computing platform, and established an ICO investment platform before founding Hoo.com. The rapid changes forced Wang to challenge and to break himself. Now Wang has become a true “veteran”with his 8 years experience in the industry .
Looking back on the past, he summed up his experience with “diving into blockchain with great ambition”. He said that his inherent curiosity drove himself forward, during which he had to face more challenges but also gained more opportunities than his fellow peers. At the same time, it is precisely because of his persistence and full confidence in the future of crypto that enabled him to adjust his positioning and quickly adapt to a firm foothold in the rapid change of the industry.
Talking about his feelings about his 8 years in the sphere, Wang said: “What impressed me most was the volatile ups and downs of this industry. I withdrew from a stable job and quickly plunged into a new space. I’ve seen so many new faces pouring into the industry while so many old players leaving at the same time. Only those who are in my shoes would comprehend.”
The “get rich quick” myth is fading away, which leaves a bunch of outstanding companies and talents in the blockchain space. For that, Wang believes that perseverance and confidence are vital. “For the better development of the industry, we need companies and people who are confident in themselves but are always willing to correct themselves at the same time.”
“And it turns out true. Huobi, OKex and Binance merged immediately after BTCC, the first Chinese Bitcoin exchange, fell down. These top exchanges made the industry bigger and better. On the other hand, crypto wallets like Bitpie, have also made great contributions to the safe and sound development of the industry. I believe these people are persistent and confident in what they are doing and I also believe that they will have a bright long future,” explained Wang.
The Road to Hoo.com
When it comes to his latest start-up Hoo.com, Wang feels lucky that he seized the opportunity to do the right thing.
In 2017, Wang ran into the ICO heat when he was seeking for a transformation from the mining industry. With a technical background, he chased the wave and invested in quite many projects and tasted blood until ICOs were completely banned on September 4.
He had to seek another way out. Wang found that there were still gaps to be bridged in the asset management and financial system. He believed “asset management” will be a long-term inflexible demand in the industry. Therefore, Hoo Wallet was born. And that’s the mission of Hoo — to solve the safety issue of asset management as a basic service.
Focusing on the mission, Hoo Wallet launched a Co-management feature, Hoo Custody, Deposits and Lending services, etc. In June 2019, Hoo.com was officially launched as a crypto exchange along with two acquisitions. It aims to be a one-stop blockchain asset service platform covering trading, savings, lending, asset custody and DEX, etc.
There are much more competitors in the exchange field than wallets. How will Hoo stand out given the fact that Huobi, OKEx and Binance have shared almost all of the market? Wang explained that even though Hoo seemed to be a new player as an exchange, they have explored for two years in the savings and lending business as well as the node service for over 20 blockchains.
“The threshold for building an exchange is relatively low. There are too many propogandas and speculations. In fact, exchanges depend heavily on technology and marketing. It is hard to “graduate” in the end. As for Hoo.com, we are well-equipped on the technical side. Apart from that, Hoo.com had a good starting line when we spent $10 million on the acquisition of Chaince and OAX and migrated their users directly,” added Wang.
Besides, Wang is of the opinion that the top exchanges are greatly affected by the pandemic and the March 12 Black Swan event. All the exchanges are back to the starting point to some degree. What they will compete for next would be “service”. It is true that the top players have taken up the market, but from the perspective of the whole crypto financial market, there is still much space to explore. Which means that there’s still a lot to grow for top exchanges and there are huge opportunities for tier 2 and tier 3 exchanges.
The Ambitious Hoo.com
In Wang’s opinion, there are often times when those who speak louder or make more noise seem to be more impressive. As a matter of fact, a start-up cannot live without good products and services.
Calling himself an entrepreneur, Wang now has something to await for the business he built. From savings, lending to spot trading and perpetual contracts, the ambitious Hoo never stopped being just a wallet.
He pointed out: “So far, users seem to be satisfied with our savings, lending and derivatives products. But we still have a long way to go. We are aware of our problems. Anyway, facing up to your shortcomings is the first step to move forward.”
What Hoo.com wants to build as a platform, and what kind of products and services will it provide?
Wang reveals to Blocklike that Hoo.com has two different goals in the medium and long term:
In the medium term, Hoo.com will focus on derivatives including futures, contracts and options. It will not be limited to the crypto space. They will build partnerships with well-known traditional financial organizations.
In the long term, the plan is to build a clearing system, which refers to the clearing between fiat and cryptocurrency. Hoo aims to be a bridge that gaps between the traditional market and the crypto market.
The reason why Wang wants to build this clearing system is also based on his positive expectation on the blockchain industry.
He told Blocklike: “There is a lot of favorable news lately. The central bank accelerated its pace in DCEP adoption. BSN, the state level blockchain service network, is about to be commercialized. Ant Financial open chain was officially launched… Compared to the development of the Internet, blockchain technology will welcome a more competitive state involving companies, countries and even the whole world in the next period and it will prosper like the Internet.”
submitted by Hooexchange to u/Hooexchange [link] [comments]

A Lost Gem In A Sea Of Shitcoins

What’s up everyone!
 
Yeah, it’s another one of “those”. But honestly, after being in the game for long enough, you end up developing an eye for the good coins. Not the “good” ones, the GOOD ones. Believe it or not, research and common sense is the name of the game!
 
A little bit more about me: I come from a business & logistics management background. I started investing in cryptocurrencies and trading a little more than six months ago. As a person, I am very detail oriented and I’ve been researching all kinds of cryptos, for hours a day, for the past six months. The more I researched, the more I learned, the more I became hungry for knowledge, and therefore the more i researched. From trading to cryptocurrency basics, their economics, their political implications, the technology revolution they represent, the human psychology aspect as well as emotional trading behaviours (FOMO, FODO, etc.), all of it!
 
I’ve purchased Ethereum at 150$ (when I first started in crypto). Then NEO back when it was still AntShares and trading under 3$. Gas (Antcoin back then) at 30c, OMG when it was sub-1$, and ETP at exactly a dollar (selling it later at 5$). This was all before I even knew how to do a basic margin trade & was still in the process of learning about crypto (and while tether still had a “reasonable” market cap! LOL)
 
My approach is pretty simple when it comes to crypto. I split coins into seven main categories:
 
-Store of Value (BTC)
-Payment (DASH, BCH, LTC)
-Pure Anonymity and/or Evil Stuff (XMR)
-Platform/platform’ish (ETH, NEO, LISK, CARDANO, ETP, Iota, Factom and the likes)
-Shitcoins (99% of ERC20 tokens)
-Absolute Shitcoins (Boolberry, Embercoin et al.)
-Fee Split / Dividend Coins
 
That last category is my favorite. While I do strongly believe in diversification (10% store of value, 10% payment, 5% anonymity, 25% platform in my case), I always have a “lean” towards coins that make business sense. Coins that derive their value directly from the amount of usage the platform gets (Factom, for example). Coins such as NEO, BNB, Kucoin, Coss, ICN, TenX and the likes, basically coins that either have a direct “dividend-paying” property (NEO generating gas, Kucoin/Coss awarding holders with a % of the exchange’s trading fees) or an indirect “dividend paying” property such as BNB, ICN, TenX using quarterly profits to buy back their own coins and burn them, thus raising the value of the rest of the coins in circulation over time.
 
Now let’s look at market caps of these direct and indirect “dividend” coins.
 
Neo: 2.3B
TenX: 246M
Binance: 200M
Iconomi: 155M
Kucoin: 44M (68M at ath, not too long ago)
Coss: 5M
 
You see that odd one there with only 5M market cap? Yeah. That’s the great buy right now. That’s the x10, x20 or even x30 that most people haven’t realized yet. That’s also the “dividend coin” you can scoop a ton of while it’s on the cheap, and make massive recurring revenue from as the exchange solidifies and evolves.
 
What is COSS? COSS stands for Crypto One Stop Solution. They’re a Singapore based cryptocurrency exchange with an amazing team that’s currently expanding. They aim at becoming the “One Stop” solution for crypto, meaning A) an exchange, B) a payment gateway for merchants to accept crypto payments, and probably sometime in the future C) crypto debit/credit cards. They offer their own coin (COSS coin), and holders of this coin receive 50% of the trading fees generated by the exchange (more on this later).
 
Now, what a lot of people still don’t realize in crypto, you don’t invest in the bigger market cap coins expecting to make a killing (“the moonshot”). Sure, they’ll bring you nice long term growth as the whole market matures, and that’s where you want to diversify and solidify your portfolio, solid coins with a purpose. But what if you want more thrill? An actual opportunity to “moon”? You find a project that makes business sense, that has at least a working product, and a good team. Buying NEO at 2.5B market cap? You missed the boat, it was a dollar a few months ago and already went x60 (“mooned”), and now stabilized at roughly x38. OMG had it’s x10-15 already. BNB as well. Their market caps are big, and a lot of buying needs to happen to even double in price.
 
Antshares (NEO) back then was a steal at 1, 2 and 3$. It was a huge risk, with huge rewards. They didn’t even have a product other than their blockchain. No dApp running or even being built on it, no english resources to even figure out how to code on it and deploy a smart contract, no marketing, hell we didn’t even know if Da Hongfei was still alive. All it was is a Chinese based smart contract platform, with an innovative dBFT concensus algorithm. It was a 100M market cap coin that early adopters believed in, and essentially invested in when it was not much more than a website and a blockchain. Look where it’s at now, with more than a dozen dApps being built on it, a solid team of roughly 10 devs, with the NEO council also funding City of Zion (team of 20+ NEO devs). NEO has grown into an incredible community, and is now launching coding dApp contests left and right, with the latest one in partnership with Microsoft china & offering half a million dollar’s worth in prizes.
 
NEO holders get rewarded with GAS on a daily basis. When NEO gets further adoption, all fees such as registering an asset, deploying a contract, changing an asset, etc. will be redistributed to NEO holders as well on a pro rated basis. Only transaction fees are not, as those will go out to MasterNodes. If you got yourself a thousand NEO’s back when they were a dollar or two a piece, you’re now generating 7 gas per month. That’s roughly 161$ USD per month, on a recurring basis, at current gas prices, out of a 1000$ investment. That’s a whopping 16.1% PER MONTH on original investment, and not even counting the fact that you pretty much made 37000$ profit on the NEO’s themselves. Today? Well, you gotta dish out 38000$ to buy a thousand neos and make 161$ per month, basically bringing you 0.4% per month on original investment.
 
Same with bitcoin. Early adopters that got it at pennies. It just hit $10K USD a piece. For every 30 cent spent purchasing bitcoin in 2009, you’d have $10K USD in the bank account. Invested 3$? 100K. Invested 30$? 1M.
 
Ethereum? From a dollar to half a grand now.
 
Moral of the story? Early adoption pays off. History repeats itself, and it will continue to do so. Bitcoin was digital money for nerds, ethereum was a cool project that nobody really gave a crap about until they got EEA which showed credibility (early adopters of eth had a great vision, I’ll give them that!). Neo was chinese vaporware. What do they all have in common? Their.Early. Adopters. Made. A. Killing.
 
Look where they stand now. Look where a lot of coins stand now. Even a lot of ERC20 tokens that don’t even really have a reason to exist have market caps over 100M. And for what? They don’t reward you with anything other than price increasing because more people buy (greater fool theory)? They don’t reward you with dividends from the project/platform itself? Their value isn’t derived directly from the amount of usage it gets (a la Factom, PaulSnow you genius.)? They still don’t even have a minimum viable product to show? When you ask yourself why does it need a coin, and the answer is either “uhh…” or “oh it grants you voting rights” (that nobody gives a crap about, let’s be honest), you should reconsider your investment strategy. Cause I can tell you a lot of people don’t know what the hell they’re doing, and they’d be better off diversifying in the top 5 or 10 coins and holding than investing in the shitcoinfest that crypto has become.
 
And that’s why COSS is a pretty buy right now. You’re investing in a platform that’s already up and running, not a whitepaper or vaporware. Hell even Eth and Neo were riskier investments for early adopters. Let’s go over the cons first:
 
It’s ugly. The UI sucks.
It doesn’t have API’s yet, meaning there’s no bots to create liquidity, and therefore low volume.
It’s been fudded to death by KuCoin shills (and their referral links you’ve seen everywhere a month ago).
Charts are horrible
 
That’s about it. Whenever you read up about coss, those are the cons you’ll find. But what about the pros? Well, all of this is in the process of being fixed, as we speak.
 
Singapore has lax laws about cryptocurrencies and issued a statement it does not feel the need to regulate them.
It’s securing exclusive ICO’s already despite being a tiny exchange, and has mentioned being able to secure from 4 to 6 per month.
The team listens to the community’s feedback and takes it seriously. This is Gold. One of the first things they were criticized about was trying to do too many things at once (an exchange, a payment gateway, a full one-stop solution for crypto, etc.) and they’ve taken the community’s advice and decided to focus solely on the exchange for now and build it properly, before branching out to the rest. “Better excel at one thing and build from there, than be mediocre at multiple things at once”
Also following community feedback, they are implementing trading promotions “a la Binance”.
Part of the total supply of COSS tokens will be donated to charities (the community votes to who they go). First of all, that’s just plain nice. Secondly, I find it pretty damn cool that we donate this for good causes, and they basically keep “generating” income from it. It’s basically like a “perpetual donation” on behalf of COSS and all of its users, and definitely will make a lot of people feel good about using the exchange. Thirdly, this pretty much guarantees millions of COSS tokens are going to be in perpetual “HODL” mode, essentially taking them off the market.
They will be implementing a FIAT gateway sooner than later. We all know FIAT gateways are game changers.
They are constantly hiring. The team growing is definitely a good sign.
They are revamping the overall UI and charts, once again following the community’s advice, and the proposed new look is fantastic! Check it out here, as well as other great announcements: https://medium.com/@runeevensen/coss-io-7379b7628d93 EDIT: It has been brought to my attention that there is a UI upgrade scheduled for tomorrow (Dec. 3rd), although it isn't clear if it's a minor one or the actual major overhaul, might wanna keep an eye out on that!
They are upgrading the matching engine and releasing API’s soon to allow bots to create liquidity and significantly raise the trading volume.
Unlike KuCoin, the revenue split (COSS token holders) will always receive 50% of the fees, whereas kucoin will start decreasing it in 4-6months and it will bottom out at 10-15%
The revenue split from trading fees is controlled by a DAO, meaning the COSS team cannot arbitrarily decide to change it later down the line, unlike KuCoin where the control over the fee split is centralized and they decrease it as they please.
The DAO model also avoids it being labeled a security. First of all, those aren’t really “dividends” as dividends would require them to calculate income minus expenses to determine profit, and then distribute this profit to shareholders, and obviously that’s a legal nightmare. With the DAO model, you don’t get a percentage of the “profits”, you get a revenue split from the exchange fees, and it’s done by clicking a “distribute” button which makes a call to the smart contract and distributes your coins. COSS itself is not giving you anything
COSS is still in Beta. It has a tiny market cap. Now’s the time to pick it up, not when it’s out of beta and has become successful, or you’ll be in another Antshares/NEO situation. A ridiculously small move from 5M to 50M in Mcap and that’s x10, a move from 5M to 150M (still under binance levels) and that’s x30.
In the long run, COSS aims to be more than just an exchange. Holders of the token, who currently get 50% of the exchange’s trading fees, will also get 50% of other fees charged from coss. This includes their eventual payment gateway. Merchants around the world wishing to accept crypto payments will be able to use COSS’s gateway and COSS will charge a 0.75% fee per transaction. We, as COSS holders, also get 50% of that. You believe crypto is the future and going mainstream? Well your COSS will entitle you to the revenue generated by tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of businesses accepting crypto payments via COSS Point-Of-Sale.
COSS also mentioned that all other COSS “fee generating” products to come will all be subject to the same DAO/50% split. Logically, If they have 1) The trading platform, and 2) the payment gateway, then the third step is solving the problem of spending the crypto in places that don’t accept direct crypto payment, AKA a crypto credit/debit card. Well, guess what? Users of such cards will be charged a small fee as well when their crypto is being converted to fiat in real time for payment at a gas station. We as COSS holders are, again, getting 50% of that fee. As you can see, this is a coin that makes business sense to invest in. Unless you really, reaaaaaally care about a coin being the “Future of decentralized prediction markets” or “the future of decentralized dating” or the “decentralized gambling coin” and whatnot.
Smart money is smart. It's only a matter of time before savvy investors discover this coin.
 
What do the dividends look like (credits to lickmypussy28):
 
Here’s an excel showing the Yearly %ROI based on the COSS exchange volume and your COSS token buy-in price: https://i.imgur.com/XKjjCbZ.png
 
Here’s another one showing how much you’d make in USD per year based on how many COSS tokens you own, again all relative to the volume on the left: https://i.imgur.com/p15DKAr.png
 
Lastly, here’s another showing the exact same as above but on a weekly basis: https://i.imgur.com/ezp5FCV.png
 
ALTHOUGH, keep in mind, the calculations above take into consideration an average trading fee of 0.2% and while this fee is accurate right now, it will most likely average 0.1% once API’s are released and liquidity/market maker bots start operating on the platform. Also, the calculations above do NOT take into consideration that in 4 years from now, there will be 200M (hard cap) COSS tokens on the market. HOWEVER, these calculations also do not take into consideration that by then, COSS will have a fully up and running payment gateway, crypto credit cards, and other revenue-generating products such as a crowdfunding platform, smart contract deployment platform, etc. that are also generating revenue for COSS holders.
 
All in all, if all goes as planned, the payment gateway/cards/other products will negate the additional COSS tokens released in the market as well as the average trading fee of 0.1%, and therefore the numbers presented in the excel docs will remain sensibly the same. Also, if crypto really takes off in the mainstream, then the revenue split to coss holders from the payment gateway & credit card spending could very well double, triple or quadruple all the numbers you’re seeing in these excel sheets, and that’s on the low end. Remember, the exchange only charges 0.2% (0.1% average once we have bots) out of which we get half, but the payment gateway on the other hand charges a flat 0.75% (7.5x the what the exchange’s fee), out of which COSS holders get half. This could be a massive revenue driver, easily surpassing the exchange itself, and honestly if at that point in time this coin is NOT valued at 3B+ (I mean, even ethereum classic is over that right now..), then I’ll just give up on the whole notion of logical thinking.
 
Quick example, assuming in 4 years 50M in gateway processing daily (18B yearly), 0.375% of that would be 187.5K USD daily for COSS holders. With 200M Coss tokens total supply, if you hold 10K coss you’d generate 9.375$ per day (65$ per week, 282$/mo.), and that’s purely from the gateway (totally excluding the exchange revenue, crowdfunding revenue, credit card revenue, etc.).
 
If you have 100K coss you’d generate 93.7$/day, 650$/week, 2820$/mo, again purely from the gateway.
 
If you’d rather assume more conservative figures (let’s say 25M in daily gateway processing on COSS, all around the globe, or 9B yearly), then simply divide these figures by half. If you wanna go balls to the walls, double them (100M daily, 36B yearly). Play around, have fun with the numbers! To keep things in perspective, square has processed 50B’s worth of transactions in 2016. Therefore I believe using 9B, 18B and 36B for our calculations isn’t too far fetched, and actually pretty reasonable.
 
Anyway, to sum this up, no matter how you look at it, COSS is an extremely promising project with huge potential, and actually has working math (and a working beta!) behind it. It’s only a matter of a month or two before they’re out of their Beta, have upgrades to their UI and engine, and start really growing from there. The team listens to the community, which is super important, and they’re working on a multitude of revenue streams, out of which not only them, but all coss holders will benefit from, fifty fifty.
 
Their crowdfunding platform will be a competitor to indiegogo, gofundme, kickstarter, and they’ll have a small percentage fee (50% of which goes to COSS holders). The crypto Point-Of-Sale will be a competitor to Square and the likes (50% revenue to COSS holders). The crypto credit card (also 50% revenue to COSS holders). It is truely an admirable project. Shovel manufacturers made a killing during the gold rush, and COSS is positioning itself as the shovel manufacturer in the crypto adoption gold rush. This is a coin that makes sense to invest in, it is ultra tangible, and will give greater returns than any type of “decentralized [insert function here]” type coins.
 
On a personal note: Honestly, I believe this is the proper way to ICO, by NOT giving people worthless tokens that only go up in value due to speculation (looking at you, 99% of ERC20 tokens). Let investors guide you, let them reap 50% of the rewards as THEY are the ones funding you. This’ll keep the investors interested in the project, and every single one of them will have a direct incentive to vouch for your product. It’s only right for the investors to get rewarded with something tangible, I’d take that any day over a speculative shitcoin who’s only purpose was to put money in the project’s founders pockets
 
Oh, and cherry on the sundae: they are planning on launching massive marketing campaigns as soon as UI and trading engine are ready, Q1 2018, as you can see in Rune’s Nov 27th update. I suggest you read it, it puts us up to date on a lot of exciting new things: https://medium.com/@runeevensen/coss-io-update-november-27th-fa74f1237062
 
Quoted directly from said link: “For those that are most interested in discussions regarding the trading price of COSS. Please have in mind that when we entered our token sale, our clear sales message was a 3–5 year road-map, and not a 3–5 months pump and dump. We are a small team, doing our utmost to deliver and all we ask is for you to continue to give us feedback and also for you to give us some time to deliver. *That being said. We still aim to be out of BETA as soon as possible with a new engine for the exchange in Q1 2018. New UI should be in place well before that.** Once we feel we have this in place we will roll out massive marketing campaigns to attract users and increased volume. So although we have a 3–5 year road-map ahead, you should expect to see 2018 being “our year”. The 3–5 year plan is more on the complete roadmap when we proudly can call ourselves a one-stop solution. For now it is all about the exchange, and there we will see rapid changes over the coming weeks/months.”*
 
All in all, i’d like to thank the COSS team for actually caring about their investors, keeping them in the loop, listening to their feedback and giving them a unique and tangible opportunity. I’d also like to thank all the other COSS investors, who see a huge potential in this project and support the team, and lastly, all of you crypto-heads for reading through!
 
Happy hodling, and hopefully see you all at 500M+ market cap by late 2018 :)
 
-Some random guy on Reddit.
 
PS: Not investment advice. Always do your due diligence. Also, if you’d like, you can join the discussion at /cossIO
 
Friendly reminder: ETH is the quickest way to get your funds on the COSS exchange, and COSS/ETH pair has 4x the volume of the COSS/BTC pair.
submitted by globetrotter_s14 to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Survivors of market disasters: In this disaster, some people actually made money

There is no need to repeat the tragic market. Various historical figures are present, and they all reveal a signal: this disaster is like an earthquake with no warning signs. The victims are everywhere, and the survival is a fluke.
But in this disaster, there are still people who make money.
If you still have the impression, on August 23 of last year, there was a problem with Amazon AWS 'server in Japan, which caused the products using the region's services to be affected to varying degrees, including the cryptocurrency trading platform. After discovering a problem with Binance using AWS, the user's deposit and withdrawal were suspended, but the trading platform using the Binance Quotation API failed to take timely measures, resulting in loopholes in market makers' strategies.
That day, while Bitcoin was still steadily maintained at 10,000 USD, some users bought Bitcoin at a unit price of 0.32 USD, and when there was almost no fluctuation in the market, they used the mistake of the server to add western food for the night. A bottle of champagne.
In this disaster after 5 months, some people still use the environment to find a way to survive.
Ethereum 0 dollar purchase?
A $ 0 purchase of Ethereum happened on March 13. The market plummeted, many mortgagors' positions were exploded, and ETH fell from $ 180 to less than $ 100 without resistance. The decentralized Defi market that depends on the value of ETH is naturally not immune, such as the MakerDAO platform. MakerDAO's borrowing logic is that users over-collateralize ETH to lend USD stablecoin DAI, but when the value of ETH fell rapidly, a large number of loans fell below the threshold and the system had to be liquidated. In other words, the user's loan was not repaid. Mortgage of ETH is also not available.
So MakerDAO has a bad debt, the amount exceeds USD 4 million. In order to repay this bad debt, MakerDAO chooses to auction the collateral, that is, ETH, BAT, etc., and uses the stable currency DAI to bid. They need to use the auction proceeds to obtain repay loan.
Under normal circumstances, such auctions are not too accidental. The feeding system reports the current price of ETH, and the bidders will probably trade at a price slightly lower than the market price.
However, the background of this auction is the market's plunge. The transaction caused investors to intensive operations, which blocked the Ethereum network. It takes far more than usual gas fees to allow the miners to confirm the transfer as soon as possible.
According to the browser, on the morning of the 13th, if only 44 gwei is used, the transfer confirmation time on the Ethereum network will take 72958 seconds, which is 20 hours.
The MakerDAO debt auction on the Ethereum network has also been affected. The blockage of the network has prevented bidders with low gas costs from bidding in time, which caused participants to bid 0 DAI / ETH to drop the hammer.
It can also be seen from the transaction records that the auction of 0 DAI was indeed successful. These lucky bidders only paid a transfer fee of US $ 1 and transferred 0 amount to obtain an ETH worth US $ 122 at the time.
These people are undoubtedly fortunate. The external environment helped them to become the only game participants. The exchange of $ 1 for $ 120 and a profit of 11900% was much higher than the odds of players who risked bottom-swinging in fluctuations.
However, from another perspective, MakerDAO's auction is to use the DAI obtained from the auction to pay off debts. However, due to network congestion, this situation has caused several free gifts, and MakerDAO's debt repayment is even worse.
Pick up goods by luck
If it is said that MakerDAO launches the auction, it is a helpless action of the team under extreme conditions. Bidders still need a bit of technical barriers to participate, but there is nothing to worry about, and there is almost no difficulty and cost.
On the evening of March 12, investors discovered that the LINK / USDT trading pair of the Binance trading platform experienced a short-term flash collapse and once fell to the bottom 0.0001 USD. What's going on?
Twitter netizens then asked Zhao Changpeng about the matter, and the latter's response was a shock. It turned out that someone had already launched the LINK trading pair as early as Binance, that is, on January 16 last year, a low was hung within 8 seconds after the real-time trading was opened. Price list, but it has not been closed because no fool will sell it at this price.
Unexpectedly, more than a year later, this pending order was sold "strangely". "At that time we had no price range restrictions. We will not cancel user orders." Zhao Changpeng said that the platform will not deny this order because the operation is completely reasonable.
It will not be rolled back for various reasons. In other words, even if LINK has experienced a large decline recently, at the current price of 2.3 US dollars, the profit of this transaction will exceed 2 million US dollars. US dollars, then he instantly won nearly 5 million US dollars.
The cost of 100 dollars, the income of 2.4 million dollars, a real profit.
In fact, similar examples of this kind of luck are not rare in the crypto industry. Except for Binance and the previous examples, BitMex and OKEx have also experienced similar situations, and more than once.
For example, on December 6, 2017, Binance's XRP / BTC trading pair experienced a breakdown of the list. In a very short period of time, the XRP price was oversold to 0.0000002 BTC, which is basically negligible. On January 29, 2018, the price of the ADA contract on BitMEX also fell to 0.00000005 US dollars, which was also nearly 0; another trading platform, OKEx, also saw a large amount of 0.002 USD on January 14, 2018. Case, according to the official statement at that time, "a certain trader" quickly sold a large amount of ETH through market orders within 12 minutes. Interestingly, at the time, some people analyzed that "a certain trader" was actually an official market-making robot, and "a large amount" of 100 million Ethereum was eventually sold for 20 dollars.
However, for ordinary people, if you want to encounter this kind of opportunity for leak detection, unless you are bored and place an order in advance, such a price is fleeting, and you ca n’t seize the opportunity simply by hand speed. In fact, at present, many trading platforms have actually adopted corresponding price amplitude filters, which specify the maximum / minimum price range of pending order prices. Oolong trading is very rare. Even if luck hits and catches up, it is very likely that the platform will intervene and the transaction will be rolled back. This situation has not happened before.
Only this time, the trader who had placed an order on Binance for more than a year, even if he successfully leaked and successfully withdrew the coin, it can only be said that he hit the Grand Canal.
Safe moving of bricks
Buying a certain kind of token on a crypto trading platform, and then selling the token to another trading platform, earning the price difference is a moving brick in the crypto circle. Moving bricks has been an arbitrage behavior since the birth of the transaction. It belongs to a very old business. Arthur, the founder of BitMex, who now operates a trading platform, and Xu Mingxing of OKEx, were once members of the army of moving bricks. . This kind of brick moving was the most prosperous at the end of 2017. At that time, trading platforms such as Bithumb in South Korea also called the "Kimchi premium" due to the price difference between other platforms. Moving bricks is a kind of risk-free arbitrage. Players use energy to gain profits, although the single profit is not much. However, with the maturity of trading robots and quantitative trading teams, the spread of tokens between multiple regions or platforms is often wiped out in a matter of seconds. Therefore, the profit margin of manually moving bricks is now very small.
Of course, it is not to say that there is no opportunity. Such an opportunity to make money is indeed hidden under the volatile market.
"Buy at a low price and sell at a high price, this is simply the most secure way to make money in a plunging market!" Investors are excited about cryptography. Starting at 6:30 pm on March 12, cryptocurrencies have experienced sharp fluctuations, while Binance and Huobi When the bitcoin spread between the three trading platforms and OKEx was the largest, it even reached more than 700 US dollars. The discerning player quickly discovered the opportunity, "For half an hour, I made more than 10,000 with a principal of 20,000 yuan. Such an opportunity is usually not available."
Buy and sell orders executed by the above investors at almost the same time, with a spread of nearly $ 450
When it comes to moving bricks, time is money. It is definitely too late to shuttle between multiple trading platforms. Many investors have now transferred the "battlefield" to the platform that focuses on aggregated trading. "The aggregated trading platform integrates the depth of multiple platforms. As long as there is a price difference between supported platforms, users only use One account can be bought and sold on multiple platforms, and it can be operated in a few seconds. "Wu Ling, who seized the opportunity from the extreme market in these two days, made nearly 50,000 by moving bricks in just a few hours. Yuan, the principal is no more than tens of thousands of yuan.
It is understood that there are already multiple platforms targeting the aggregate trading business on the market, and the opportunity to move bricks does not often appear, unless similar to the extreme market appearing in the past few days, or some unique tokens, there may be soaring and plunging. Opportunities, as a whole, are not met a few times a year, and they are fleeting.
However, whether it is MakerDAO auctions, ultra-low-priced pending order transactions, or arbitrage moving bricks under the new situation, these opportunities to make money are actually small probability and cannot be used as conventional investment methods.
These seemingly easy profits are in the end a few people. Many people are trapped in extreme quotes in stuns. Most investors have no assets left on the trading platform overnight.
Maybe this also makes many investors lose confidence in the industry, but in fact, in the face of such a market, after finishing our mood, we are more learning from changes.
Learn the reasons for this disaster, learn the logic of the main control panel, learn what signals were ignored before the disaster, and prepare for the next time. At the same time, we can also see the development of the industry. For example, when all centralized trading platforms are down, DEX can still be implemented despite various problems.
I hope that everyone still has confidence in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries. Finally, I would like to remind everyone that the recent market changes are unpredictable. Please pay attention to risks and exercise caution.
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Is It TOO LATE To Invest In BITCOIN?!? - YouTube Too late to invest in Bitcoin? Developer Explains Is It Too Late To Invest In Bitcoin? Is It A Bubble? Is it too late to invest in Bitcoin, Ethereum or other cryptocurrencies? Part 2! Is it to late to buy Bitcoin? Too late to invest in Bitcoin? Programmer explains. - YouTube Is It Too Late to Invest In Bitcoin? (2018) IS NOW A GOOD TIME TO INVEST IN BITCOIN? HOW I WOULD SPEND $1000! [Cryptocurrency Strategy] Why it's not too late to invest in Bitcoin! Is it too late to Bitcoin?  Real TalK  Episode 006

Is it too late to join the movement? The answer is, it's never too late as long as you're smart about investing. Look for projects that are solving real world problems. We are still early adopters, and we could be laughing about paying 10,000 crypto tokens for a pizza in five years. It's a great time to be alive, and it's not too late. Anyone saying Bitcoin is a safe investment either has too much money to spend or has a hidden agenda. Bitcoin is a very risky investment, as the coin is still in its developmental phase, which makes it such a highly volatile asset. Prices drops or surges of 5, 10 or 20% in one day is quite normal. But while volatility can provide a great opportunity for making money, it also comes with ... It’s never too late to invest in Bitcoin. In the end, BMM notes that when investing in Bitcoin, success is a function of time in the market, regardless of when one starts. There’s many early adopters that have already sold out, and there will be many late adopters that will hold for decades. There’s no need to feel discouraged because of the “easy years”. Holding back then was no ... Hello, so i just started today with trading and stuff, but is it worth investing in bitcoin or is it too late? I hear many people are spekulating that bitcoin may reach 1.000.000 in the next months or years, but is this really realisic, even in an perfect world?? What do you think? Im about to invest 130€ into bitcoin... And why it is not too late to invest in Bitcoin! 1 ) Cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin are just finding their feet. For a long time, the dark web and criminals were the most associated markets with Bitcoin. That is just a thing of the past. Reports are stating from esteemed Bitcoin transaction analyst company Chainalysis that 99.9% of all Bitcoin transactions are not going to the dark web . And ... That’s a potential 20x-40x return for anyone who invests and chooses the right coins to invest in. So, to answer the question, no, it is not too late and no, you should definitely not wait. The longer you wait, the less return you will likely receive. You Wouldn’t Wait to Invest in The Stock Market, But….

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Is It TOO LATE To Invest In BITCOIN?!? - YouTube

Watch til' the end!! One of the questions I get the most is "is it too late to invest in bitcoin in 2018?". In this video, I talk about what I think and WHY! ----- Pick up a Ledger Nano S Here ... Is Bitcoin in a bubble? Is it too late to buy Bitcoin? Is the crypto market on the verge of a crash? Should you buy altcoins instead? Let's discuss! Hey Altcoin Daily Team! With the market dropping...is now a good time to invest? Let me tell you how I would spend $1000 if I was new to the crypto space today and I had never invested before ... Watch live: https://ivanontech.com/live In this video I provide my two cents on the hottest topic among Bitcoin newbies... Is it too late? Did you miss the boat ... Too late to invest in Bitcoin? Developer Explains ... Please try again later. Published on Jul 11, 2019 *Like, Comment & Subscribe!* JOIN FUD NATION: https://t.me/fudnation Protect your crypto ... Part Two of "What is Bitcoin & how to make my 1st purchase" Raw Street & Street Money discuss the state of bitcoin and it's future. Learn how other Cryptocur... With the recent rise in the price of Bitcoin to $11k and the subsequent fall erasing 20% off the market cap, Niklas and Fabian list 3 macro reasons why this is the perfect time to invest. Remember ... Follow me on twitter - ImBexio on Twitter Use Code "Bexio" For 10% off Into The AM Clothing Bitcoin has been GOING OFF lately and there are a lot of people t... The cryptocurrency market cap is now at $100 Billion! Many people are calling Bitcon a bubble now and with prices near $3000, the question remains: Is it too late to invest in bitcoin, ethereum or ...

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