Bitcoin and Ethereum Price Forecast – China Jitters Build

Bitcoin Prices Slide on China's Concerns

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End of day summary - 09/08

The Dow fell 632.42, or 2.25%, to 27,500.89, the Nasdaq lost 465.944, or 4.11%, to 10,847.69, and the S&P 500 declined 95.12, or 2.78%, to 3,331.84.
The major averages were sharply lower in Tuesday's trading, picking up where they left off before the long holiday weekend. Tech once again was leading the charge lower, with the Nasdaq the laggard among the major averages.
Today's selling was largely a continuation of last week, but unlike Friday, buyers appeared unwilling to buy the dip. Tesla's 21% decline was a drag on the Nasdaq, while Apple's 7% decline pressured the large-cap indices and the S&P 500 information technology sector (-4.6%). The energy (-3.7%) and financials (-2.6%) sectors followed suit amid weaker oil prices ($36.76/bbl, -2.94, -7.4%) and lower Treasury yields, while the utilities sector (-0.6%) declined the least.
Besides concerns that the market's pullback had more room to go, investors had to contend with Democratic leadership rebuffing the Senate's $300 billion coronavirus relief bill, President Trump suggesting disincentives for U.S. companies to outsource jobs to China, and reports that China's largest semiconductor foundry could be added to a trade blacklist.
Production problems at a BA 787 Dreamliner factory have prompted air-safety regulators to review quality-control lapses potentially stretching back almost a decade, The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend. This morning, Boeing said in a statement to media outlets that inspections stemming from production problems of its 787 Dreamliners are slowing deliveries.
AAPL announced an event, to be held from Apple Park on September 15, without offering details on the nature or contents of the meeting. Bloomberg is reporting the event will be focused on the iPad, not the company's new iPhone models.
The prospect of potential retaliation on U.S. semiconductor companies was an additional drag on the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (-4.7%). Separately, Boeing (BA 161.08, -9.97, -5.8%) provided a disappointing update, saying 787 Dreamliner production problems have slowed the pace of deliveries.
Among the noteworthy gainers was NKLA, which surged +40.8% after GM, +7.9% formed a strategic partnership that was well-received by investors. WDIS, +1.7% was upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.
Among the notable losers was CRBP, which fell 74% after its RESOLVE-1 Phase 3 study did not meet its primary endpoint. Also lower was ACMR, which declined 26% after Needham analyst N. Quinn Bolton downgraded the stock to Hold from Buy, saying that the company's business outlook could weaken due to its "material exposure" to Chinese chip giant SMIC. The downgrade follows reports that the Pentagon proposed for SMIC to be added to U.S. government trade blacklist.
U.S. Treasuries saw increased buying interest amid the decline in equities but closed off highs. The 2-yr yield declined two basis points to 0.14%, and the 10-yr yield declined four basis points to 0.68%. The U.S. Dollar Index rose 0.8% to 93.46. Oil prices were pressured by Saudi Aramco lowering its prices for buyers in Asia and the U.S. due to sluggish demand.
Elsewhere, Stoxx 600 provisionally closed over 1% lower, with the tech sector falling another 2% as almost all sectors and major bourses fell into negative territory. Stocks in Asia-Pacific were higher on Tuesday, as Japan released revised gross domestic product figures for the second quarter.

Currency

The U.S. Dollar Index climbed 0.8% to 93.46, recording its sixth consecutive advance.
In emerging markets, Turkey’s lira hit another record low and Russia’s rouble sagged to its lowest since April amid ongoing talk about fresh Western sanctions.

Treasury

Treasuries overtook their opening levels as the stock market opened for the day, but the buying pressure faded shortly thereafter, allowing Treasuries to inch back to their starting levels as the day went on. Today's $50 bln 3-yr note auction was met with lukewarm demand but Treasuries of most tenors remained near their midday levels into the close.

Commodity

WTI crude futures settled sharply lower by 7.4%, or $2.94, to $36.76/bbl. Prices were pressured by Saudi Arabia reducing October prices for buyers in Asia and the U.S. Gold futures settled $8.90 higher (+0.5%) to $1,943.20/oz, recouping earlier declines, as pressure from equities pushed investors into the yellow metal.
Gold’s gains came despite a stronger dollar, which rose 0.7% against rivals. Investors are now awaiting an ECB policy meeting due on Thursday, while the U.S. Federal Reserve’s next meeting is scheduled for next week.

Crypto

Bitcoin is again proving itself to be a bit too correlated with financial markets for comfort, continuing to slide right alongside stocks.

YTD

  • FAAMG + some penny stocks +20.9% YTD
  • Spoos +3.1% YTD
  • Old man -3.6% YTD
  • Russy -9.7% YTD

COVID-19 news

In COVID-19 news, Florida reported 650,092 cases of the virus versus 648,269 the previous day, while California reported a 2,676 increase in cases from the prior day.
The CEOs of AZN, BNTX, GSK, JNJ, MRK, MRNA, NVAX, PFE and SNY announced a pledge, outlining a "united commitment to uphold the integrity of the scientific process as they work towards potential global regulatory filings and approvals of the first COVID-19 vaccines." The statement reads in part: "We, the undersigned biopharmaceutical companies, want to make clear our on-going commitment to developing and testing potential vaccines for COVID-19 in accordance with high ethical standards and sound scientific principles. The safety and efficacy of vaccines, including any potential vaccine for COVID-19, is reviewed and determined by expert regulatory agencies around the world, such as the United States Food and Drug Administration. FDA has established clear guidance for the development of COVID-19 vaccines and clear criteria for their potential authorization or approval in the US. FDA's guidance and criteria are based on the scientific and medical principles necessary to clearly demonstrate the safety and efficacy of potential COVID-19 vaccines. More specifically, the agency requires that scientific evidence for regulatory approval must come from large, high quality clinical trials that are randomized and observer-blinded, with an expectation of appropriately designed studies with significant numbers of participants across diverse populations...We believe this pledge will help ensure public confidence in the rigorous scientific and regulatory process by which COVID-19 vaccines are evaluated and may ultimately be approved. We believe this pledge will help ensure public confidence in the rigorous scientific and regulatory process by which COVID-19 vaccines are evaluated and may ultimately be approved." The companies also pledged to "only submit for approval or emergency use authorization after demonstrating safety and efficacy through a Phase 3 clinical study that is designed and conducted to meet requirements of expert regulatory authorities such as FDA."

AH news

  • Slack Technologies EPS beats by $0.03, beats on revenue. Reports paying customers of 130k +30%. Shares down by 15%.
  • Snowflake prices $75-85 IPO with Salesforce, Berkshire Hathaway set to buy
  • Lululemon slips after earnings beat, execs cautiously optimistic on back half
Summary scraped from the interweb. Took 13.52 seconds.
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End of day summary - 08/12

The Dow fell 391.00, or 1.49%, to 25,896.44, the Nasdaq lost 95.73, or 1.2%, to 7,863.41, and the S&P 500 declined 35.95, or 1.23%, to 2,882.70.
The stock market fell more than 1% on Monday, as uncertainties about the global economy continued to push investors away from risk assets and into safe-haven assets like U.S. Treasuries and gold. The S&P 500 fell 1.2%, which was comparable to the declines in the Nasdaq Composite (-1.2%) and Russell 2000 (-1.2%). The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.5%.
U.S. corporate and economic news was sparse on Monday, which helped attention focus on the government protests in Hong Kong, the political instability in Italy and Argentina, and the lack of improvement in U.S.-China trade relations. Economists from Goldman Sachs added to the sour mood, stating that they are not expecting a U.S.-China trade deal before the 2020 presidential election.
In other words, Monday featured plenty of negative-minded speculation, although it was understandable given the amount of negative developments around the world and the lack of good news. Perhaps the most startling development in the capital markets was the persistent decline, and compression, in U.S. Treasury yields.
This compression in yields not only hit investor sentiment but was also affected the S&P 500 financials sector (-1.9%), which led all 11 S&P 500 sectors in losses. Banks typically rely on healthy net interest margins to boost profit and facilitate lending activity. The other rate-sensitive sectors -- real estate (-0.3%) and utilities (-0.3%) -- outperformed but still finished lower.
An inversion of the 2-10 spread is widely viewed as a recession indicator, although an inversion does not necessarily predict one.
Markets in Argentina were reeling on Monday after President Mauricio Macri, who is known for being pro-business, lost a primary election on Sunday. Argentina's peso had weakened about 25% against the dollar in early trading amid investor concerns about the potential return to power of Argentina's Peronist movement under Alberto Fernandez and his running mate, former president Cristina Kirchner. Fernandez has pledged to undo many of Macri's market-friendly policies and the surprising primary results has been followed by sharp slides for many stocks linked to Argentina that trade in New York, including MercadoLibre (MELI), Banco Macro (BMA), Despegar.com (DESP), Grupo Financiero Galicia (GGAL), Loma Negra (LOMA), Pampa Energia (PAM), Telecom Argentina (TEO), YPF (YPF) and Arcos Dorados (ARCO).
Among the notable gainers was ROKU, after Needam analyst Laura Martin raised its price target to $150 saying Netflix “has the most to lose. Also higher was AMGN, which gained 6% after a United States District Court judge in New Jersey ruled on Friday in the company's favor in a patent fight with NVS. Shares of MU were on the rise in late trading on Monday as the company's CFO said that "demand has come back".
Meanwhile, CPB was in focus after Sky News reported that Valeo Foods Group is in advanced talks to acquire Campbell's Kettle Foods operations in the U.K. and Ireland. The deal, which could be reached in the coming days, is expected to be worth more than GBP50M, according to Sky. The news comes after Campbell Soup announced earlier this month that it signed an agreement to sell Arnott's and other international operations to KKR for $2.2B in cash.
Additionally, New York Attorney General Letitia James said via Twitter that Oregon has joined her state's lawsuit to block the merger of TMUS and S. James added in the tweet that the coalition involved in the suit includes 16 states. A New York AG spokesperson told Dealreporter last week that the office was in talks with a "handful" of other states that were considering whether to sign onto the lawsuit.
In Asia overnight, stocks were mostly higher, with the China CSI 300 rising 1.8%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 0.4%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI meanwhile lost 0.4%. European stocks were trading lower Monday, down 0.2%, as measured by the Stoxx Europe 600.

Currency

The U.S. dollar index was roughly flat on Monday and sterling and the euro saw a modest rise as the foreign exchange market fell into an August lull, a traditionally quiet trading period with many investors and traders on vacation.

Treasury

U.S. Treasuries spent the Monday session in a steady advance, pressuring the 30-yr yield to a fresh low for the year while the 10-yr yield approached its low from last week. The daylong rally was not fueled by a particular news catalyst but was rather a function of disappointment over the lack of an improvement in the official relationship between China and the United States.
The spread between the 2-yr and 10-yr yields narrowed to six basis points, as demand for longer-dated tenors continued to climb amid growth concerns. The 2-yr yield fell five basis points to 1.58%, and the 10-yr yield fell ten basis points to 1.64%. The U.S. Dollar Index declined 0.1% to 97.43.

Commodity

Oil prices rose on Monday despite worries about a global economic slowdown and the ongoing U.S.-China trade war, which has reduced demand for commodities such as crude.
Corn and soybean futures both fell sharply Monday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture's August production estimates projected larger-than-expected crops following an extremely wet spring that severely delayed corn planting, followed by dry conditions across much of the Midwest. Corn for December delivery CZ19 on the Chicago Board of trade fell 25 cents to $3.9275 a bushel, a decline of 6%. November soybeans SX19 dropped 11.5 cents, or 1.3%, to $8.8075 a bushel. The report estimated that U.S. farmers would produce 13.9 billion bushels of corn, down 4% from last year but larger than analysts had expected. Soybean production is forecast to fall 19% from last year to 3.68 billion bushels.

Crypto

YTD

  • Nas +18.5%
  • Spoos +15.0%
  • Rusell +10.8%
  • Old Man +11.0%

What's tomorrow?

  • Investors will receive the Consumer Price Index for July on Tuesday.
Summary scraped from the interweb. Took 0.11 seconds.
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The 'hard' asset in the world, oddly enough, the virtual

The 'hard' asset in the world, oddly enough, the virtual
Over the past few months, we are faced with the growing financial, commercial and political instability that has led to a growing concern about the onset of a major global economic downturn. Trade dispute between the US and China, Brexit and other European political turmoil, another sovereign default and the introduction of government control over the movement of capital in Argentina, as well as problems associated with the role of Central banks and their independence — all this excited the markets.

While you are trying to understand all these events, and myriad explanations and opinions on what various indicators, such as the inverted yield curve and negative interest rates on the mortgage loans may mean for the future of the economy, you will hear recommendations for the transfer of your investment portfolio in 'hard assets'.

And, not without reason, because hard assets such as gold, show good results in a period of economic and financial instability (figure 1).

Figure 1: the Price of gold often grow during economic downturns*

https://preview.redd.it/lx9dvczwp0v31.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=1e7ff415a97819074499a9576ec73d9cd6752097
But what is a solid asset? And why is Bitcoin (BTC), despite the fact that it is completely virtual, and transactions with it are made through the Internet, is perhaps the most \"solid\" asset in the world?

\"Solid\" (material) and \"soft\" (intangible) assets
Solid assets have traditionally been defined as tangible property or physical goods such as gold, which are valued for their reliably limited supply. They contrast with \"soft assets\" such as fiat currencies, stocks and bonds, whose offer can be quickly increased with just a click on a computer keyboard. Soft \"financial\" assets may also be subject to restructuring or default, dividend and profit reductions or other changes (sometimes arbitrary) that undermine long-term value.

Throughout history, experienced investors have relied on solid assets to manage risk and protect long-term value in the face of instability and economic downturns, when the supply of many soft assets has traditionally increased and thus puts downward pressure on their cost.

What makes Bitcoin more scarce than real estate or gold?
Solid assets are back in vogue as central banks in countries such as China, Russia, India and Turkey buy large amounts of gold. It is estimated that in the first quarter of this year alone, central banks purchased 145.5 metric tons of gold, which is 68% more than in the same period in 2018.

We have also seen legendary investors such as Ray Dalio, founder of the world's largest hedge fund, recently encouraged people to invest in gold (increase investment in gold). Not surprisingly, the price of gold has risen by 16% in the last five months.

We have centuries of data on the value of gold and its traditional role as a repository of values and a safe haven. Its physical nature and countless proven uses of gold, in addition to being a means of preserving value (e.g. jewelry, industrial products), make it, in our opinion, complementary to Bitcoin, and not competing with him.

In other words, we do not view bullish sentiments about gold and Bitcoin as mutually exclusive.

We do not consider bullish sentiments regarding gold and Bitcoin mutually exclusive.

However, it is important to emphasize the key difference between Bitcoin and gold, which is that the dynamics of the gold supply is not fixed.

If, for example, earlier gold production was unprofitable, then as the price of gold increases, the supply of gold to the market may increase. As a result, the increase in the supply of gold in the market can become a deterrent to the further growth of its price.

Traditional solid assets vulnerable to deflationary supply shocks
The same dynamics of the gold supply (the higher price of the increase in the supply of the lower impact on prices) affects both silver and any

https://preview.redd.it/godq6qg7q0v31.png?width=1600&format=png&auto=webp&s=cc6260eb88979e352f25cb0a1a6e511e303ca729
Then, around May 2024, or about four years after the previous halving, the next one will occur. Again, the mining reward will be halved, this time to 3,125 new bitcoins mined every 10 minutes. And then again, around May 2028, to 1.5625 new bitcoins.

And so on, and so on...

Until about 2140, when the hard limit of 21 million will be reached. bitcoins and further mining of new bitcoins will become impossible.

The next \"halving\" when the supply of new bitcoins decreases every 4 years is due around May 2020.

While bitcoin mining will continue for about the next 100-plus years, more than 98% of all possible bitcoins will be mined over the next decade, by 2030. In other words, over time, new bitcoins will become smaller and smaller until the final limit of 21 million is eventually reached. coins, laid software in the protocol Bitcoin, and on this creation of the new bitcoins will completely stop.

More than just digital gold
For more than a decade, as an algorithmically defined bitcoin proposal has created the kind of predictability and clarity much desired and needed by investors to maintain value for a long period of time. Combine this dynamic with the portability, security and usefulness of Bitcoin as a payment mechanism, and you have an irresistible and attractive value proposition for investors seeking to manage a variety of macroeconomic, political and other forms of risk. Indeed, over the past decade, Bitcoin has already attracted tens of millions of owners and users, and its growth rate surpasses those of the Internet and personal computers combined (slide on page 94).

Although this post focused on the function of Bitcoin as a scarce and solid asset, it is worth noting its growing role as a broad technology platform for digital identification and other non-non-neonitarian uses. As we discuss in our recently published investment thesis, the notion that Bitcoin is only \"digital gold\" underestimates its full potential and the overall target market.
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NYC Meetup - Full Summary!

Following up on my other post which shared only a few high level points I thought people would be interested in, here's a more in-depth summary of the meetup. THIS IS VERY LONG! I don't really have a TL;DR beyond my other short highlight thread, but I think there are some other high level summaries. This is for those who want a very thorough recap of what was discussed. I'm happy to update this with anything shared in the comments which I remember and think is additive to the summary, definitely didn't catch every single thing.
I'm leaving out a few talking points/questions that either 1) I didn't totally catch, 2) provided no incremental information or 3) were just bad questions (there were some).
Sunny's Speech
Sunny began with a history of blockchain, from the bitcoin whitepaper to the first few alt coins to the advent of Ethereum. He then went on to discuss the extent to which these various stages involved meaningful/useful innovation: original alt coins did not, ethereum of course did, but is heavily flawed for enterprise use. He then went on to discuss what those primary flaws are and how VeChain is trying to solve them (scalability, governance, cost, etc.) He noted that technology is not blockchain's biggest obstacle, it's adoption. He talked about how, although some people will tell him to "get lost or something" he doesn't really believe in full decentralization. I think his point was that although it's nice in theory, it just isn't really practical, and it's a bad approach in particular for trying to get this new blockchain technology adopted in the mainstream. This goes back to something he said in another interview at some point - you can't just come in with totally new, radical technology outside the existing framework and replace everything that exists from the outside. You have to start within the existing framework, show people what's possible, and then change the system from the inside out.
He went on to discuss what he sees as problems with some of the existing projects. Talked about how projects in the top 20 have ecosystems worth 2 billion dollars, hold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of their own tokens to be used for the project's development etc., but they don't have a CFO. He thinks that should concern people.
I don't remember exactly where it fit in the narrative, but he discussed valuation/speculation. He pointed out that they have a number of their university research partners trying to work out token valuation models. He made a general point that more utility should equal more value, the implication being VeChain will have more real utility (and should therefore have more value) than any other blockchain. They had a slide showing some calculations and pointed out that if you look at the known metrics, the dividends, etc., the price of Google's stock is 85.7% speculation. Only $161 of it's $1,128 value (at the time they ran these numbers) can be tied to the current value. For Tencent, it's 93.5% speculation. He jokingly pointed out that in crypto it's about 99.99%, but I think one of the unspoken points here is that it's silly to think that on mainnet launch speculation about the future value is going to go away and you'll just have token value based on current Thor production. That isn't how markets or valuation work.
He then basically mocked people complaining about the code not yet being open source, and there being no whitepaper - the people who think these are red flags and that the project might be a 'scam'. As if PwC and DNV GL didn't do extensive diligence.
On this point, I'll quote GarzyWarzy from another thread:
"Sunny mentioned that the crypto community as a whole doesn’t seem to appreciate the level of reputational risk that these multi billion dollar enterprise partners take by publicly backing a blockchain startup (“what do people think would happen if PwC backed us and we failed in 6 months?”). As an investment banker who deals extensively with corporate governance issues and every type of business risk imaginable, I will add my two cents that this risk is massive and that is it a clear sign of extensive diligence and extreme trust in the VeChain team to execute their business plan for developing their ecosystem. Always remember, “it takes many years to build a reputation, and seconds to ruin it”."
I'm a corporate lawyer and couldn't agree with this more. The people who think a whitepaper (which they likely wouldn't even understand) is more reassuring than the endorsement by DNV GL, PwC, Draper and Breyer (who would never, ever make such an investment without extensive due diligence) have no idea how things work in the corporate world. DNV GL and PwC are recommending VeChain to clients, and Draper and Breyer have made investments through their funds, where they have a fiduciary duty to the investors in those funds. The amount of diligence that occurs before taking those reputational and legal (negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, etc.) risks is truly exhaustive.
Back to adoption, Sunny went on to compare blockchain to TCP/IP, as he's done in the past. Most people use email every day, but do they care about TCP/IP? Of course not. Blockchain will be the protocol infrastructure for things people use every day, whether they know it or not.
At this point, continuing to talk about adoption and use cases, he mentioned that they signed a top 3 insurance company in China as a client, and he also mentioned a CRM use case that's in the works.
He said the whitepaper will be out in a few days, and will explain a lot of what they're doing/what they're trying to do, and what some of the use cases are. They are focused on developing as many practical use cases as possible - this is how you get adoption. Once the use cases are defined, you can start "developing killer dApps" in relation to them. I think this is, to some degree, a subtle shot at Ethereum - his point here being that developing lots of dApps on a platform doesn't really mean much unless those dApps actually relate to a practical, defined real world use cases which ensures they will be used and adopted.
The whitepaper took so long because, in Sunny's words, his "english sucks" and after he wrote it, his teams needed to double, triple, and quadruple review/edit/refine what he wrote so that it is in professional english.
Back to adoption, he stated there are around 13/14 crypto projects they are working with who intend to use VeChain (either porting over from Ethereum or launching an ICO on the platform. More on this in the Q&A section). One of them is a company that already generates $50 million/month in revenue and want to 'blockchain-ize' their business. He pointed out here this is a company that isn't just interested in padding their coffers - they have money, that isn't an issue. These are the types of projects they like to work with. They aren't interested in being a 'shitcoin generator' (this was said by Sunny in the Q&A and got a laugh and round of applause). Last point on this, he noted that BitOcean is taking so long because the "Japanese government are being assholes". That's a direct quote. Sunny is hilarious. I can't overstate how likable he is - he comes off as a down to earth, cool, funny and easy going guy.
Kevin's Speech
Next, Kevin spoke. This was a short update on authority nodes and the mainnet. He mentioned that most projects have masternodes as basically a marketing tool, they aren't that meaningful or necessary. VeChain's authority masternodes are essential to the ecosystem. You can not become an authority node if you can not meaningfully contribute to growing the ecosystem. There is no room for negotiation on this. They aren't interested in having random people running validating authority nodes for profit and nothing else. As far as the application process, they received over 100 applications and are expecting more (authority node application and monitoring process will be ongoing to make sure VeChain has the best authority nodes possible and that each node is continuing to fulfill all of its obligations). As far as the applicant pool, they were about 71% enterprise, 29% individual. About 52% China, 23% America, then a mix of HK, Singapore, Japan, and others.
He then addressed the mainnet. Internal testing is done, they are now moving on to the public alpha testing, which is by invite only and is not the open source phase. This phase starts today and includes a number of professional firms auditing the code: PwC's cybersecurity team, secureware.io, Slow Mist, and Hosho. They will also be putting a bug bounty on Hacken eventually, finding a critical vulnerability could get you up to 2000 VEN tokens. This private testing will go on for a few weeks, before the public testing begins in early June which involves the code becoming open source - as of now, they expect it to start in the first week or two of June.
Then, he announced the 1 VEN to 100 VET token split. The example he gave was talking to friends about buying Bitcoin - some responded "it's already $8000, I can't buy a bitcoin I can't afford it". Kevin would respond, well actually you can buy .001 bitcoin if you want... and then they'd lose interest. I think what he's getting at is they want to be prepared for years down the road when demand is enormous - they don't want people dealing in fractions. Yes, I'm also sure they are aware of the implications for this in terms of price and the attractiveness of a 5 cent token verses a 5 dollar token. I don't deny that. Look at fucking Tron.
The Q&A Session
Someone asked about how the authority nodes will be monitored. Kevin explained there will be a dedicated team for this. They are serious about having the highest quality authority nodes and holding them to the standards they expect. There will be a quarterly review process, and any issues will be brought to the Steering Committee, which may decide to remove/replace an authority nodeholder if they aren't contributing and fulfilling their obligations. He noted that the whitepaper will include a thorough section on their governance model.
Question about it being difficult, currently, for companies (especially in the west) to find out how to contact them and work with them. What are VeChain's plans in terms of a business development team, marketing, etc. Sunny explained that while obviously they'll have an internal BD team, and this is being built out, they also want to heavily leverage the resources of the community. In a way, the community will be a giant business development team, and they will create standard toolkits for the community to use to market/introduce VeChain to people in the first instance. The guy then asked what if I got you Pfizer - that's enormous, what's my incentive? Sunny responded there will be rewards in VET tokens for bringing them clients.
I don't remember what the exact question was, but it was noted at this point that although the private, consortium chain is an Ethereum fork, the mainnet was built from scratch and is not an Ethereum fork. They did intentionally use the Ethereum Virtual Machine, though, so that Ethereum dApps can be easily ported over to VeChain. It sounds like they expect this to happen quite a bit. They also talked about how they went through the web3 libraries and 80% will be able to work directly with VeChain. They want interoperability, compatibility, and ultimately, an easy transition for Ethereum developers and dApps.
Someone asked about them building out their own IoT business or letting others do the IoT work. Sunny talked about how he believes IoT is the way to connect blockchain to the physical world. There was a story not worth sharing about why they initially acquired an IoT team, but he gave this example: when Apple first released the app store and the ability to develop, nobody knew how or used it. So, Apple built the apps themselves and basically showed everybody what was possible and how to do it by example. So too will VeChain take this approach. They are partnering with IoT manufacturers and developing some of their own IoT solutions, and they'll continue to do this, but the point isn't to dominate IoT. They are showing the world by example what can be done in terms of IoT on the VeChain platform, and they ultimately want people/enterprises to be able to create their own value and their own IoT solutions on the VeChain blockchain. Anyone who wants to do so will be able to.
Question about enterprises buying once the enterprise pool runs out - what happens if enterprises aren't comfortable doing what all of us have done (wiring money to a fiat gateway exchange, buying bitcoin/ethereum, moving it to binance, buying in the market, transferring out of binance, etc.). Kevin isn't really worried about this. They are talking to exchanges and service providers about it, they're talking to Circle about fiat pairing, etc., but realistically Kevin can see that exchanges are becoming more advanced and that ultimately they will be institutionalized in a way that basically just mitigates this concern.
Question about storage of VET tokens after mainnet. There will be a mobile wallet launch at the exact same time. This mobile wallet will 1) facilitate the token swap from VEN to VET (most people will probably do this on exchanges, but eventually you'll be able to do it in the mobile wallet if you missed doing it on an exchange), 2) have a module that shows you what kind of node you are, 3) automatically receive your generated Thor, and 4) eventually allow you to hold other ERC-20 tokens. They also mentioned that although they're talking to ledger, etc. they are developing their own hardware wallet. Kevin explained this is essential for enterprises serving as authority nodes or holding large amounts of VET. They aren't going online and ordering a ledger and setting it up. VeChain needs to be able to provide this service and assurance for them, and they will. This is why these guys are lightyears ahead in terms of enterprise adoption. They've thought about these things.
Question about 'competitors' like Waltonchain. First, Sunny goes "who?" and Kevin goes "what's Waltonchain?" But then Sunny went on by saying the "right" thing - there are no competitors in such a fledgling industry. He would love to hold hands with the other blockchain projects trying to do good things, and walk into the future together. He thinks projects can learn from each other and help each other. They aren't trying to crush competitors or beat anyone or anything like that. However, Sunny also jokingly asked "Seriously, why do people think Waltonchain is our competitor? We are what, 15th biggest project, and they are...?" He also went on to say that he is judging some competition or tech demo later this month on the 26th-28th, and that Waltonchain is the demo product. He thinks this is sort of funny, but also said if their product is great and the demo is good, there is no reason he wouldn't support them, vote for them, etc.
Question about Breyer and Draper relationships. Draper is invested in many cryptocurrency projects and many companies, has tons of connections, and he gives VeChain a way of talking to all of those projects/companies. Breyer was the one who set them up with the research team at a Chinese university, he was the link to Circle to discuss fiat onramps, etc. The connections these guys bring are tremendous. I should note here that in a small group conversation with Kevin during the networking portion after the speeches, which was initiated by GarzyWarzy (perhaps he can elaborate further), he confirmed that Breyer and Draper are both meaningfully invested in tokens, not just equity of the technology portion of the company.
Some clown actually used up time to ask "is CCK here?" Sunny said someone asked him this at Harvard also, and he was absolutely adamant that he doesn't know who this person is or how they are getting the information they have. He did not comment on it beyond that. He clearly thought it was a dumb question and said seriously that once and for all, he really doesn't know who it is.
Question about how many projects will be running on the mainnet day 1. Sunny said it's hard to say for sure, but that there are currently between 20 and 25 use cases deployed on the consortium chain, all of which will be moved over in the first few months. He also mentioned the 15ish crypto projects that will be moving over to or launching on the platform, and the fact that their client pipeline is now over 250. He transitioned a bit from this point to discuss how they "don't want to be a shitcoin generator". If you come to them with a project that is just an ICO with a whitepaper and no product, no proof of concept, etc., they're not going to want you to launch that. They would rather invest in you if they think you're a good project, help you develop those things, prove out what you're trying to do, then help you launch a serious ICO or dApp with a real use case. Again, they are all about practical use cases, this is the path to adoption. That said, the project will be open source ("you guys asked for open source, so") there will be some shitcoins, it's unavoidable.
I think that covers most of what I remember. Hope you all enjoy!
submitted by CryptopherWalken to Vechain [link] [comments]

Decred Journal – July 2018

Note: you can read this on Medium, GitHub or old Reddit to view all the links

Development

dcrd: Several steps towards multipeer downloads completed: an optimization to use in-memory block index and a new 1337 chain view. Maintenance: improved test coverage, upgrading dependency management system and preparing for the upcoming Go 1.11 release.
dcrwallet: A big change introducing optional privacy-preserving SPV sync mode was merged. In this mode dcrwallet does not download the full blockchain but only gets the "filters", uses them to determine which blocks it needs and fetches them from random nodes on the network. This has on-disk footprint of 300-400 MB and sync time of minutes, compared to ~3.4 GB and sync time of hours for full sync (these are rough estimates).
jy-p: the server side of SPV (in dcrd) was deployed in v1.2.0, the client side of SPV (in dcrwallet) is in our next release, v1.3.0. Still some minor bugs in SPV that are being worked out. There will be an update to add the latest features from BIP 157/158 in the next few months. SPV will be optional in v1.3.0, but it will become the default after we get a proper header commitment for it (#general)
Decrediton: besides regular bugfixes and design improvements, several components are being developed in parallel like SPV mode, Politeia integration and Trezor support.
Politeia: testing started on mainnet, thanks to everyone who is participating. A lot of testing, bugfixing and polishing is happening in preparation for full mainnet launch. There are also a few missing features to be added before launch, e.g. capacity to edit a proposal and versioning for that, discussion to remain open once voting starts. Decrediton integration is moving forward, check out this video for a demo and this meta issue for the full checklist.
Trezor: Decrediton integration of initial Trezor support is in progress and there is a demo.
Android: app design version 2.0 completed.
dcrdata: development of several chart visualizations was completed and is awaiting deployment. Specifically, voting agendas and historic charts are merged while ticket pool visualization is in testing.
atomicswap: @glendc is seeking reviews of his Ethereum support pull request.
Dev activity stats for July: 252 active PRs, 220 master commits, 34,754 added and 12,847 deleted lines spread across 6 repositories. Contributions came from 6-10 developers per repository. (chart)

Network

Hashrate: the month started at 40.5 and ended at 51.6 PH/s, with a low of 33.3 and a new all time high of 68.4 PH/s. F2Pool is leading with 40-45%, followed by the new BeePool at 15-25% and coinmine.pl at 18-23%.
Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 92.6 DCR (-2.1). The price started the month at 94.6 and quickly retreated to month's low of 85 until 1,860 tickets were bought within a single period (versus target 720). This pushed the pool of tickets to 41,970 (2.5% above target), which in turn caused 10 price increases in a row to the month's high of 100.4. This was the highest ticket price seen on the new ticket price algorithm which has been in effect since Jul 2017. Second half of the month there was unusually low volatility between 92 and 94 DCR per ticket. Locked DCR held between 3.75 and 3.87 million or 46.6-48.0% of supply (+0.1% from previous peak).
Nodes: there are 212 public listening and 216 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 67% on v1.2.0 (+10%), 24% on v1.1.2 (-1%), 7% on v1.1.0 (-7%). Node count data is not perfect but we can see the steady trend of upgrading to v1.2.0. This version of dcrd is notable for serving compact filters. The increased count of such full nodes allows the developers to test SPV client mode in preparations for the upcoming v1.3.0 release.

ASICs

Obelisk posted three updates in July. For the most recent daily updates join their Discord.
New miner from iBeLink: DSM7T hashes Blake256 at 7 TH/s or Blake2b at 3.5 TH/s, consumes 2,100 W and costs $3,800, shipping Aug 5-10.
There were also speculations about the mysterious Pangolin Whatsminer DCR with the speed of 44 TH/s at 2,200 W and the cost of $3,888, shipping November. If you know more about it please share with us in #pow-mining channel.

Integrations

Meet new stake pool: dcrpool.ibitlin.com has 1% fees and is hosted by @life.
An interesting detail about decredbrasil.com stake pool was posted in chat:
emiliomann: stakebrasil is one of the pools with the lowest number of missed and expired tickets. It was one of the first and has a smaller percentage than the most recent ones who haven’t had the time to do so. (...) The Brazilian pool should be the one with the more servers spread around the world: 6 to decrease the latency. This is to explain to you why the [pool fee] rate of 5% (currently around 0.06 DCR) on the reward is also one of the highest. girino: 8 voting wallets now. I just finished setting up a new one yesterday. All of them in different datacenters, 3 in europe, 3 in north america, 1 in brazil and one in asia. We also have 3 more servers, 1 for the front end, one for "stats" and one for dcrdata. (#general)
On the mining side, Luxor started a new set of pool servers inside mainland China, while zpool has enabled Decred mining.
StatX announced Decred integration into their live dashboard and public chat.
Decred was added to Satowallet with BTC and ETH trading pairs. Caution: do your best to understand the security model before using any wallet software.

Adoption

VotoLegal update:
Marina Silva is the first presidential candidate in Brazil using blockchain to keep all their electoral donations transparent and traceable. VotoLegal uses Decred technology, awesome use case! (reddit)
The story was covered by criptonoticias.com (translated) and livecoins.com.br (translated), the latter received hundreds of upvotes and comments on brasil.
On the OTC trading front, @i2Rav from i2trading reports:
We continue to see institutional interest in DCR. Large block buyers love the concept of staking as a way to earn additional income and appreciate the stakeholder rights it affords them. Likening a DCR investment to an activist shareholdebondholder gives these institutions some comfort while dipping their toes into a burgeoning new asset class.

Marketing

Targeted advertising reports released for June and July. As usual, reach @timhebel for full versions.
Big news in June: Facebook reversed their policy on banning crypto ads. ICO ads are still banned, but we should be OK. My team filled out the appeal today, so we should hopefully hear something within a few days. (u/timhebel on reddit)
After couple weeks Facebook finally responded to the appeal and the next step is to verify the domain name via DNS.
A pack of Stakey Telegram stickers is now available. Have fun!

Events

Attended:
Upcoming:

Media

Featured articles:
Articles:
Some articles are omitted due to low quality or factual errors.
Translations:
Videos:

Community Discussions

Community stats:
Comm systems update:
Articles:
Twitter: Ari Paul debates "There can be only one" aka "highlander argument".
Reddit and Forum: how ticket pool size influences average vote time; roadmap concerns; why ticket price was volatile; ideas for using Reddit chat for dcrtrader and alternative chat systems; insette's write-up on Andrew Stone's GROUP proposal for miner-validated tokenization that is superior to current OP_RETURN-based schemes; James Liu's paper to extend atomic swaps to financial derivatives; what happens when all DCR are mined, tail emission and incentives for miners.
Chats: why tickets don't have 100% chance to vote; ideas for more straightforward marketing; long-running chat about world economy and failure modes; @brandon's thoughts on tokenizing everything, ICOs, securities, sidechains and more; challenges of staking with Trezor; ideas how to use CryptoSteel wallet with Decred; why exchange can't stake your coins, how staking can increase security, why the function to export seed from wallet is bad idea and why dcrwallet doesn't ever store the seed; ticket voting math; discussion about how GitHub workflow forces to depend on modern web browser and possible alternatives; funding marketing and education in developing markets, vetting contractors based on deliverables, "Decred contractor clearance", continued in #governance.
#dex channel continues to attract thinkers and host chats about influence of exchanges, regulation, HFT, lot sizes, liquidity, on-chain vs off-chain swaps, to name a few topics. #governance also keeps growing and hosting high quality conversations.

Markets

In July DCR was trading in USD 56-76 and BTC 0.0072-0.0109 range. A recovery started after a volume boost of up to $10.5 m on Fex around Jul 13, but once Bitcoin headed towards USD ~8,000 DCR declined along with most altcoins.
WalletInvestor posted a prediction on dcrtrader.
Decred was noticed in top 10 mineable coins on coinmarketcap.com.

Relevant External

One million PCs in China were infected via browser plugins to mine Decred, Siacoin and Digibyte.
In a Unchained podcast episode David Vorick shared why ASICs are better than GPUs even if they tend toward mining centralization and also described Obelisk's new Launchpad service. (missed in June issue)
Sia project moved to GitLab. The stated reasons are to avoid the risk of depending on centralized service, to avoid vendor lock-in, better continuous integration and testing, better access control and the general direction to support decentralized and open source projects.
Luxor explained why PPS pools are better.
@nic__carter published slides from his talk "An Overview of Governance in Blockchains" from Zcon0.
This article arguing the importance of governance systems dates back to 2007.
Bancor wallet was hacked. This reminds us about the fake feeling of decentralizaion, that custody of funds is dangerous and that smart contracts must have minimum complexity and be verifiable.
Circle announced official Poloniex mobile apps for iOS and Android.
On Jul 27 Circle announced delisting of 9 coins from Poloniex that led to a loss of 23-81% of their value same day. Sad reminder about how much a project can depend on a single centralized exchange.
DCR supply and market cap is now correct on onchainfx.com and finally, on coinmarketcap.com. Thanks to @sumiflow, @jz and others doing the tedious work to reach out the various websites.

About This Issue

This is the 4th issue of Decred Journal. It is mirrored on GitHub, Medium and Reddit. Past issues are available here.
Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research.
Chat links were changed to riot.im from the static web viewer that suffered from UX issues (filed here and here). We will consider changing back to the static viewer once they are resolved because it does not require javascript to read chat logs.
In the previous issue we introduced "Featured articles". The judgement is subjective by definition, if you feel unfairness or want to debate the criteria please check this issue.
Feedback is appreciated: please comment on Reddit, GitHub or #writers_room.
Contributions are also welcome, some areas are adding content, pre-release review or translations to other languages.
Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, Haon and Richard-Red.
submitted by jet_user to decred [link] [comments]

Decred Journal – August 2018

Note: you can read this on GitHub (link), Medium (link) or old Reddit (link) to see all the links.

Development

dcrd: Version 1.3.0 RC1 (Release Candidate 1) is out! The main features of this release are significant performance improvements, including some that benefit SPV clients. Full release notes and downloads are on GitHub.
The default minimum transaction fee rate was reduced from 0.001 to 0.0001 DCkB. Do not try to send such small fee transactions just yet, until the majority of the network upgrades.
Release process was changed to use release branches and bump version on the master branch at the beginning of a release cycle. Discussed in this chat.
The codebase is ready for the new Go 1.11 version. Migration to vgo module system is complete and the 1.4.0 release will be built using modules. The list of versioned modules and a hierarchy diagram are available here.
The testnet was reset and bumped to version 3.
Comments are welcome for the proposal to implement smart fee estimation, which is important for Lightning Network.
@matheusd recorded a code review video for new Decred developers that explains how tickets are selected for voting.
dcrwallet: Version 1.3.0 RC1 features new SPV sync mode, new ticket buyer, new APIs for Decrediton and a host of bug fixes. On the dev side, dcrwallet also migrated to the new module system.
Decrediton: Version 1.3.0 RC1 adds the new SPV sync mode that syncs roughly 5x faster. The feature is off by default while it receives more testing from experienced users. Other notable changes include a design polish and experimental Politeia integration.
Politeia: Proposal editing is being developed and has a short demo. This will allow proposal owners to edit their proposal in response to community feedback before voting begins. The challenges associated with this feature relate to updating censorship tokens and maintaining a clear history of which version comments were made on. @fernandoabolafio produced this architecture diagram which may be of interest to developers.
@degeri joined to perform security testing of Politeia and found several issues.
dcrdata: mainnet explorer upgraded to v2.1 with several new features. For users: credit/debit tx filter on address page, showing miner fees on coinbase transaction page, estimate yearly ticket rewards on main page, cool new hamburger menu and keyboard navigation. For developers: new chain parameters page, experimental Insight API support, endpoints for coin supply and block rewards, testnet3 support. Lots of minor API changes and frontend tweaks, many bug fixes and robustness improvements.
The upcoming v3.0 entered beta and is deployed on beta.dcrdata.org. Check out the new charts page. Feedback and bug reports are appreciated. Finally, the development version v3.1.0-pre is on alpha.dcrdata.org.
Android: updated to be compatible with the latest SPV code and is syncing, several performance issues are worked on. Details were posted in chat. Alpha testing has started, to participate please join #dev and ask for the APK.
iOS: backend is mostly complete, as well as the front end. Support for devices with smaller screens was improved. What works now: creating and recovering wallets, listing of transactions, receiving DCR, displaying and scanning QR codes, browsing account information, SPV connection to peers, downloading headers. Some bugs need fixing before making testable builds.
Ticket splitting: v0.6.0 beta released with improved fee calculation and multiple bug fixes.
docs: introduced new Governance section that grouped some old articles as well as the new Politeia page.
@Richard-Red created a concept repository sandbox with policy documents, to illustrate the kind of policies that could be approved and amended by Politeia proposals.
decred.org: 8 contributors added and 4 removed, including 2 advisors (discussion here).
decredmarketcap.com is a brand new website that shows the most accurate DCR market data. Clean design, mobile friendly, no javascript required.
Dev activity stats for August: 239 active PRs, 219 commits, 25k added and 11k deleted lines spread across 8 repositories. Contributions came from 2-10 developers per repository. (chart)

Network

Hashrate: went from 54 to 76 PH/s, the low was 50 and the new all-time high is 100 PH/s. BeePool share rose to ~50% while F2Pool shrank to 30%, followed by coinmine.pl at 5% and Luxor at 3%.
Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 95.6 DCR (+3.0) as of Sep 3. During the month, ticket price fluctuated between a low of 92.2 and high of 100.5 DCR. Locked DCR represented between 3.8 and 3.9 million or 46.3-46.9% of the supply.
Nodes: there are 217 public listening and 281 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 2% at v1.4.0(pre) (dev builds), 5% on v1.3.0 (RC1), 62% on v1.2.0 (-5%), 22% on v1.1.2 (-2%), 6% on v1.1.0 (-1%). Almost 69% of nodes are v.1.2.0 and higher and support client filters. Data snapshot of Aug 31.

ASICs

Obelisk posted 3 email updates in August. DCR1 units are reportedly shipping with 1 TH/s hashrate and will be upgraded with firmware to 1.5 TH/s. Batch 1 customers will receive compensation for missed shipment dates, but only after Batch 5 ships. Batch 2-5 customers will be receiving the updated slim design.
Innosilicon announced the new D9+ DecredMaster: 2.8 TH/s at 1,230 W priced $1,499. Specified shipping date was Aug 10-15.
FFMiner DS19 claims 3.1 TH/s for Blake256R14 at 680 W and simultaneously 1.55 TH/s for Blake2B at 410 W, the price is $1,299. Shipping Aug 20-25.
Another newly noticed miner offer is this unit that does 46 TH/s at 2,150 W at the price of $4,720. It is shipping Nov 2018 and the stats look very close to Pangolin Whatsminer DCR (which has now a page on asicminervalue).

Integrations

www.d1pool.com joined the list of stakepools for a total of 16.
Australian CoinTree added DCR trading. The platform supports fiat, there are some limitations during the upgrade to a new system but also no fees in the "Early access mode". On a related note, CoinTree is working on a feature to pay household bills with cryptocurrencies it supports.
Three new OTC desks were added to exchanges page at decred.org.
Two mobile wallets integrated Decred:
Reminder: do your best to understand the security and privacy model before using any wallet software. Points to consider: who controls the seed, does the wallet talk to the nodes directly or via middlemen, is it open source or not?

Adoption

Merchants:

Marketing

Targeted advertising report for August was posted by @timhebel. Facebook appeal is pending, some Google and Twitter campaigns were paused and some updated. Read more here.
Contribution to the @decredproject Twitter account has evolved over the past few months. A #twitter_ops channel is being used on Matrix to collaboratively draft and execute project account tweets (including retweets). Anyone with an interest in contributing to the Twitter account can ask for an invitation to the channel and can start contributing content and ideas there for evaluation by the Twitter group. As a result, no minority or unilateral veto over tweets is possible. (from GitHub)

Events

Attended:
For those willing to help with the events:
BAB: Hey all, we are gearing up for conference season. I have a list of places we hope to attend but need to know who besides @joshuam and @Haon are willing to do public speaking, willing to work booths, or help out at them? You will need to be well versed on not just what is Decred, but the history of Decred etc... DM me if you are interested. (#event_planning)
The Decred project is looking for ambassadors. If you are looking for a fun cryptocurrency to get involved in send me a DM or come talk to me on Decred slack. (@marco_peereboom, longer version here)

Media

Decred Assembly episode 21 is available. @jy-p and lead dcrwallet developer @jrick discussed SPV from Satoshi's whitepaper, how it can be improved upon and what's coming in Decred.
Decred Assembly episodes 1-21 are available in audio only format here.
New instructional articles on stakey.club: Decrediton setup, Deleting the wallet, Installing Go, Installing dcrd, dcrd as a Linux service. Available in both English and Portuguese.
Decred scored #32 in the August issue of Chinese CCID ratings. The evaluation model was explained in this interview.
Satis Group rated Decred highly in their cryptoasset valuation research report (PDF). This was featured by several large media outlets, but some did not link to or omitted Decred entirely, citing low market cap.
Featured articles:
Articles:
Videos:

Community Discussions

Community stats:
Comm systems news:
After another debate about chat systems more people began testing and using Matrix, leading to some gardening on that platform:
Highlights:
Reddit: substantive discussion about Decred cons; ecosystem fund; a thread about voter engagement, Politeia UX and trolling; idea of a social media system for Decred by @michae2xl; how profitable is the Obelisk DCR1.
Chats: cross-chain trading via LN; plans for contractor management system, lower-level decision making and contractor privacy vs transparency for stakeholders; measuring dev activity; what if the network stalls, multiple implementations of Decred for more resilience, long term vision behind those extensive tests and accurate comments in the codebase; ideas for process for policy documents, hosting them in Pi and approving with ticket voting; about SPV wallet disk size, how compact filters work; odds of a wallet fetching a wrong block in SPV; new module system in Go; security of allowing Android app backups; why PoW algo change proposal must be specified in great detail; thoughts about NIPoPoWs and SPV; prerequisites for shipping SPV by default (continued); Decred vs Dash treasury and marketing expenses, spending other people's money; why Decred should not invade a country, DAO and nation states, entangling with nation state is poor resource allocation; how winning tickets are determined and attack vectors; Politeia proposal moderation, contractor clearance, the scale of proposals and decision delegation, initial Politeia vote to approve Politeia itself; chat systems, Matrix/Slack/Discord/RocketChat/Keybase (continued); overview of Korean exchanges; no breaking changes in vgo; why project fund burn rate must keep low; asymptotic behavior of Decred and other ccs, tail emission; count of full nodes and incentives to run them; Politeia proposal translations and multilingual environment.
An unusual event was the chat about double negatives and other oddities in languages in #trading.

Markets

DCR started the month at USD 56 / BTC 0.0073 and had a two week decline. On Aug 14 the whole market took a huge drop and briefly went below USD 200 billion. Bitcoin went below USD 6,000 and top 100 cryptos lost 5-30%. The lowest point coincided with Bitcoin dominance peak at 54.5%. On that day Decred dived -17% and reached the bottom of USD 32 / BTC 0.00537. Since then it went sideways in the USD 35-45 / BTC 0.0054-0.0064 range. Around Aug 24, Huobi showed DCR trading volume above USD 5M and this coincided with a minor recovery.
@ImacallyouJawdy posted some creative analysis based on ticket data.

Relevant External

StopAndDecrypt published an extensive article "ASIC Resistance is Nothing but a Blockchain Buzzword" that is much in line with Decred's stance on ASICs.
The ongoing debates about the possible Sia fork yet again demonstrate the importance of a robust dispute resolution mechanism. Also, we are lucky to have the treasury.
Mark B Lundeberg, who found a vulnerability in atomicswap earlier, published a concept of more private peer-to-peer atomic swaps. (missed in July issue)
Medium took a cautious stance on cryptocurrencies and triggered at least one project to migrate to Ghost (that same project previously migrated away from Slack).
Regulation: Vietnam bans mining equipment imports, China halts crypto events and tightens control of crypto chat groups.
Reddit was hacked by intercepting 2FA codes sent via SMS. The announcement explains the impact. Yet another data breach suggests to think twice before sharing any data with any company and shift to more secure authentication systems.
Intel and x86 dumpsterfire keeps burning brighter. Seek more secure hardware and operating systems for your coins.
Finally, unrelated to Decred but good for a laugh: yetanotherico.com.

About This Issue

This is the 5th issue of Decred Journal. It is mirrored on GitHub, Medium and Reddit. Past issues are available here.
Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research.
Feedback is appreciated: please comment on Reddit, GitHub or #writers_room on Matrix or Slack.
Contributions are welcome too. Some areas are collecting content, pre-release review or translations to other languages. Check out @Richard-Red's guide how to contribute to Decred using GitHub without writing code.
Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, Haon, jazzah, Richard-Red and thedecreddigest.
submitted by jet_user to decred [link] [comments]

morning prepper

Hong Kong is entering "a very difficult economic environment" as trade declines and growth slows, according to the city's financial secretary. "Industries like retail, catering and transportation have taken a hit because of the recent violent unrest, with significant revenue drops," Paul Chan wrote on his official blog. Following violent weekend demonstrations, flights were canceled at the Hong Kong International Airport for the remainder of Monday as thousands of protesters disrupted operations, triggering a 0.4% slide in the Hang Seng index.
Chinese influence
Meanwhile, shares of Cathay Pacific (OTCPK:CPCAY) shares tumbled nearly 5% in Hong Kong after the carrier sacked staff who joined anti-government protests in the Asian financial hub. Two airport employees were fired and a pilot was suspended as Beijing stepped up its efforts to pull local business into line over the escalating demonstrations. The rallies, which were started to protest a bill that would have allowed people to be extradited to mainland China, have snowballed into a democracy movement, with some even demanding full autonomy from Beijing. Go deeper: Holdings of iShares MSCI Hong Kong ETF (NYSEARCA:EWH).
China bounces back, U.S. slips
The Shanghai Composite climbed 1.5% overnight, advancing by the most in over a month, following a wild trading week in which U.S.-China trade tensions shook asset prices across the board. The PBOC today set the yuan at a stronger rate than expected - 7.0211 to the dollar - easing concerns of a quick devaluation after the U.S. last week dubbed China a currency manipulator. The positive turn didn't extend to Europe or American markets, where stock index futures fell 0.5% after President Trump suggested that trade negotiations could break off.
No trust
South Korea has moved to downgrade Japan from its list of most trusted trading partners while also seeking talks to end a months-long spat that has hurt economic ties between the two countries. It plans to split its fast-track category into two and initially put Japan as the only country in the second one, a move that comes less than two weeks after Tokyo removed South Korea from its list of "white nations" considered safe enough to export strategic materials. The dispute has undermined the economic outlook of Seoul, which is already struggling to cope with the U.S.-China trade war. Go deeper: South Korea investing analysis at the Global Investing Center.
Last-minute negotiations
The boards of CBS (NYSE:CBS) and Viacom (NASDAQ:VIA) were negotiating late into Sunday night, trying to hash out a price for their long-awaited all-stock merger, Bloomberg reports. The companies aim to announce a merger by today, although the timing could slip into Tuesday, capping years of failed merger attempts and board infighting. Shari Redstone, whose family investment vehicle National Amusements controls both companies, would become chairman of the combined entity, while Viacom CEO Bob Bakish would lead the firm as CEO. Go deeper: The Possible CBS-Viacom Merger by Allen Cooke.
'The Hunt' canceled
Universal Pictures (NASDAQ:CMCSA) has canceled the release of The Hunt after the mass shootings in Ohio and Texas last weekend that killed 31 people and wounded dozens of others. The film, which was due to hit theaters on Sept. 27, is about a group of globalist elites who pay large amounts of money to hunt people for sport. The move follows a decision by Walmart (NYSE:WMT) on Friday to remove video game signage and displays from its stores that depict violent gaming.
BlackRock Illustrated
Trying to diversify away from ETFs and index funds, BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) has scooped up a 30% stake in Authentic Brands Group, parent company of Sports Illustrated, for $875M. Created in 2010, Authentic Brands Group also owns Aeropostale, Juicy Couture, Herve Leger, Nine West, Spyder and Frye. The deal values Authentic at more than $4B including debt and will see BlackRock supplant private-equity firm Leonard Green & Partners as its largest shareholder. Go deeper: BlackRock: An Industry Leader Trading At A Discount by Kody's Dividends.
India's largest FDI to date
Saudi Aramco (ARMCO) is buying a 20% stake - worth approximately $15B including debt - in India's Reliance Industries' oil and chemicals business. The move could help it diversify outside Saudi Arabia as it gears up for its first earnings call today ahead of a planned initial public offering. Blaming lower oil prices, Saudi Aramco meanwhile said net earnings for the first half of 2019 were $46.9B, down just over 11% from $53B in the year-earlier period.
Major upset in Argentina
Investors in Argentina are bracing for a market and peso selloff after Sunday's primary, which saw voters soundly reject President Mauricio Macri's austere economic policies. A coalition backing opposition candidate Alberto Fernandez - whose running mate is former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner - led by a wider-than-expected 15 percentage points with 47.3% of votes, with 88% of ballots counted. A candidate needs at least 45% of the vote or 40% and a difference of 10 percentage points over the second-place runner in order to win the presidency outright. Voters will return for a run-off on Nov. 24 if there is no clear winner.
No chance of Italexit
"The idea of leaving Europe, leaving the euro has never been in the pipeline," the leader of Italy's League, Matteo Salvini, told reporters at a rally near Matera. On Friday, his party filed a no-confidence motion to bring down the government it forms with the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, a move that he hopes will lead to a snap election and install him as the nation's new leader. The shock decision threw the eurozone's third-largest economy into deeper uncertainty just as it was due to start 2020 budget preparations, causing a selloff in Italian bonds and shares. Go deeper: Breakdown on the euro vs. its peers.
What else is happening...
Russia warns Google (GOOG, GOOGL) on advertising after election protests.
First woman to run British banking giant.
Tyson's (NYSE:TSN) Kansas plant closed indefinitely following fire.
Big splash? Natty Light hard seltzer from AB Inbev (NYSE:BUD).
Iraq, Exxon (NYSE:XOM) still in talks over mega oil infrastructure project.
Osram (OTC:OSAGY) shares surge 12% after AMS (OTCPK:AMSSY) triggers bidding war.
Safety claims in focus as Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) catches fire in Moscow.
Today's Markets In Asia, Japan closed. Hong Kong -0.4%. China +1.5%. India closed. In Europe, at midday, London -0.3%. Paris -0.3%. Frankfurt -0.1%. Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.5%. S&P -0.5%. Nasdaq -0.5%. Crude -1.4% to $53.76. Gold +0.3% to $1513.70. Bitcoin +1.2% to $11371. Ten-year Treasury Yield -4 bps to 1.69%
Today's Economic Calendar 2:00 PM Treasury Budget
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J.P. Morgan Early Look at the Market – Wed 9.27.17 - **PLEASE DO NOT FORWARD THIS DOCUMENT**

J.P. Morgan Early Look at the Market – Wed 9.27.17
Trading Desk Commentary; For Institutional Investors Only

PLEASE DO NOT FORWARD THIS DOCUMENT

Morning Levels

Trading Update

Top Headlines for Wednesday

US politics – it was a big night of news as Moore wins, healthcare dies, Corker retires, “Establishment” Republicans shutter, Mueller advances, taxes arrive, and more.

Company-specific news update from Tues night 9/26.

Reasons to be optimistic

Reasons to be cautious

Catalysts – big events to watch over the coming months

Full catalyst list

  • Fri Sept 29 – China Caixin manufacturing PMI for Sept (Thurs night/Fri morning)
  • Fri Sept 29 – German jobs numbers for Sept. 3:55amET.
  • Fri Sept 29 – Eurozone CPI for Sept. 5amET.
  • Fri Sept 29 – US personal income/spending for Aug. 8:30amET.
  • Fri Sept 29 – US PCE for Aug. 8:30amET.
  • Fri Sept 29 – Chicago PMI for Sept. 9:45amET.
  • Fri Sept 29 – Michigan Confidence for Sept. 10amET.
  • Fri Sept 29 – Fed speakers: Harker
  • Fri Sept 29 – analyst meetings: CMP
  • Sat Sept 30 – China NBS manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMI for Sept (Fri night/Sat morning)
  • Mon Oct 2 – China mainland markets closed Mon 10/2-Fri 10/6 for the National Day holiday.
  • Mon Oct 2 – Eurozone manufacturing PMI for Sept. 4amET.
  • Mon Oct 2 – Eurozone unemployment rate for Aug. 5amET.
  • Mon Oct 2 – US manufacturing PMI for Sept. 9:45amET.
  • Mon Oct 2 – US manufacturing ISM for Sept. 10amET.
  • Mon Oct 2 – US construction spending for Aug. 10amET.
  • Mon Oct 2 – Fed speakers: Kaplan
  • Tues Oct 3 – Eurozone PPI for Aug. 5amET.
  • Tues Oct 3 – US auto sales for Sept.
  • Tues Oct 3 – analyst meetings: F/Ford (Ford CEO to host strategic update), INTU, SHW
  • Tues Oct 3 – earnings before the open: PAYX, LEN
  • Wed Oct 4 – Eurozone services PMI for Sept. 4amET.
  • Wed Oct 4 – Eurozone retail sales for Aug. 5amET.
  • Wed Oct 4 – RBI rate decision. 5amET.
  • Wed Oct 4 – US ADP jobs report for Sept. 8:15amET.
  • Wed Oct 4 – US services PMI for Sept. 9:45amET.
  • Wed Oct 4 – US non-manufacturing ISM for Sept. 10amET.
  • Wed Oct 4 – Yellen delivers opening remarks at Community Banking conf. 3:15pmET.
  • Wed Oct 4 – analyst meetings: MNK, TTD
  • Wed Oct 4 – earnings before the open: AYI, MON, PEP, RPM
  • Wed Oct 4 – earnings after the close: RECN
  • Thurs Oct 5 – ECB meeting minutes. 7:30amET.
  • Thurs Oct 5 – US factory orders and durable goods for Aug. 10amET.
  • Thurs Oct 5 – Fed speakers: Williams, Harker, George.
  • Thurs Oct 5 – analyst meetings: BKH, CLX, LUK
  • Thurs Oct 5 – earnings before the open: STZ
  • Thurs Oct 5 – earnings after the close: COST, YUMC
  • Fri Oct 6 – German factory orders for Aug. 2amET.
  • Fri Oct 6 – US jobs report for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Fri Oct 6 – US wholesale inventories/trade sales for Aug. 10amET.
  • Fri Oct 6 – US consumer credit for Aug. 3pmET.
  • Fri Oct 6 – Fed speakers: Bostic, Kaplan, Bullard
  • Sat Oct 7 – China FX reserves for Sept (Fri night/Sat morning)
  • Mon Oct 9 – China Caixin services PMI for Sept (Sun night/Mon morning)
  • Mon Oct 9 – German industrial production for Aug. 2amET.
  • Mon Oct 9 – Columbus Day holiday in the US (equities will be open while fixed income is closed).
  • Tues Oct 10 – German trade balance for Aug. 2amET.
  • Tues Oct 10 – analyst meetings: TECD, Santander, WDAY, WMT
  • Tues Oct 10 – PG shareholder meeting
  • Tues Oct 10 – earnings after the close: CUDA
  • Wed Oct 11 – US JOLTs report for Aug. 10amET.
  • Wed Oct 11 – Fed minutes from the Sept 20 meeting (2pmET).
  • Wed Oct 11 – analyst meetings: KR
  • Wed Oct 11 – earnings before the open: FAST
  • Thurs Oct 12 – Eurozone industrial production for Aug. 5amET.
  • Thurs Oct 12 – US PPI for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Thurs Oct 12 – analyst meetings: BOX, HPQ
  • Thurs Oct 12 – earnings before the open: C, JPM, Tata Consultancy.
  • Thurs Oct 12 – earnings after the close: EXFO
  • Fri Oct 13 – China imports/exports for Sept (Thurs night/Fri morning)
  • Fri Oct 13 – US CPI for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Fri Oct 13 – US retail sales for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Fri Oct 13 – US Michigan Sentiment for Oct. 10amET.
  • Fri Oct 13 – US business inventories for Aug. 10amET.
  • Fri Oct 13 – analyst meetings: SAFM
  • Fri Oct 13 – European trading updates: Man Group
  • Fri Oct 13 – earnings before the open: BAC, PNC, WFC
  • Mon Oct 16 – China CPI/PPI for Sept (Sun night/Mon morning)
  • Mon Oct 16 – Eurozone trade balance for Aug. 5amET.
  • Mon Oct 16 – earnings before the open: SCHW
  • Mon Oct 16 – earnings after the close: NFLX, Rio Tinto
  • Tues Oct 17 – Eurozone Sept auto registrations. 2amET.
  • Tues Oct 17 – German ZEW survey results for Oct. 5amET.
  • Tues Oct 17 – US import prices for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Tues Oct 17 – US industrial production for Sept. 9:15amET.
  • Tues Oct 17 – US NAHB housing index for Oct. 10amET.
  • Tues Oct 17 – earnings before the open: CMA, CSX, GS, GWW, HOG, JNJ, UNH
  • Tues Oct 17 – earnings after the close: BHP, CP, CREE, IBM
  • Wed Oct 18 – US housing starts for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Wed Oct 18 – US building permits fro Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Wed Oct 18 – US Beige Book. 2pmET.
  • Wed Oct 18 – earnings before the open: ABT, MTB, USB
  • Wed Oct 18 – earnings after the close: AXP, SLG
  • Thurs Oct 19 – China Q3 GDP and Sept retail sales, IP, and FAI (Wed night/Thurs morning)
  • Thurs Oct 19 – US Leading Index for Sept. 10amET.
  • Thurs Oct 19 – earnings before the open: ADS, BBT, DHR, GPC, KEY, PM, PPG, TRV, TXT, VZ
  • Fri Oct 20 – US existing home sales for Sept. 10amET.
  • Fri Oct 20 – earnings before the open: BHGE, CFG, GE, SLB, STI, SYF.
  • Mon Oct 23 – US Chicago Fed Activity Index for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Tues Oct 24 – Eurozone flash PMIs for Oct. 4amET.
  • Tues Oct 24 – US flash PMIs for Oct. 9:45amET.
  • Wed Oct 25 – US durable goods for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Wed Oct 25 – US FHFA home price index for Aug. 9amET.
  • Wed Oct 25 – US new home sales for Sept. 10amET.
  • Thurs Oct 26 – US wholesale inventories for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Thurs Oct 26 – US advance goods trade balance for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Thurs Oct 26 – US pending home sales for Sept. 10amET.
  • Fri Oct 27 – US Q3 GDP, personal consumption, and core PCE for Q3. 8:30amET.
  • Fri Oct 27 – US Michigan Confidence numbers for Oct. 10amET.
J.P. Morgan Market Intelligence is a product of the Institutional Equities Sales and Trading desk of J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and the intellectual property thereof. It is not a product of the Research Department and is intended for distribution to institutional and professional customers only and is not intended for retail customer use. It may not be reproduced, redistributed or transmitted, in whole or in part, without J.P. Morgan’s consent. Any unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.
submitted by SIThereAndThere to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

Opinion from a long time bitcoin user

I bought my first bitcoin at 9 dollars each so while I didn't get in at the absolute ground floor I've been following bitcoin for a longer time than most people here. Here are my current views on Bitcoin, take them with a grain of salt-
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End of day summary - 05/21

The Dow rose 298.20, or 1.21%, to 25,013.29, the Nasdaq gained 39.70, or 0.54%, to 7,394.04, and the S&P 500 advanced 19.73, or 0.73%, to 2,732.70.
Stocks opened sharply higher as trade tensions between China and the U.S. have eased for the time being. The market added some additional gains during the opening hours of trading but once the averages found a level, they moved in a narrow range. With today's advance, the Dow moved back above 25,000 for the first time since early March.
Weekend comments from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who said that a trade war between the U.S. and China has been put on hold, helped the U.S. stock market rebound from last week's losses on Monday. The major averages did settle below their session highs -- the Nasdaq (+0.5%) notably so -- but the Dow (+1.2%) and the S&P 500 (+0.7%) still finished with comfortable gains. The small-cap Russell 2000 (+0.7%) advanced to a new record high for the fourth session in a row.
The industrial sector (+1.5%) finished at the top of the sector standings. The group benefited from a 3.6% increase in shares of BA, which have served as a proxy for trade concerns. Meanwhile, GE shares also had a positive outing, adding 1.9%, after the 126-year-old giant unveiled an $11.1 billion deal to merge its transportation business with locomotive manufacturer WAB. GE shares did give back some gains though following reports that further dividend cuts (or even dividend elimination) are possible.
Technology (+0.8%) got off to a good start, vying with industrials for first place in the sector standings, but eventually fell back. Shares of several chipmakers, including NVDA and Texas Instruments TXN, weighed on the group, but shares of MU rallied 3.9% after the company raised its fiscal Q3 guidance.
Elsewhere, the lightly-weighted telecom services (+1.5%) and real estate (+1.0%) sectors were also notable advancers, trimming their losses for the year, as was the energy group (+1.0%), which took advantage of another rise in the price of crude oil. WTI crude futures advanced 1.4% to $72.26 per barrel, marking their highest close since November 2014. On the downside, the health care group (+0.1%) finished at the bottom of the sector standings as biotechnology shares weighed, evidenced by a 1.3% decline in the IBB. Shares of biotech giant CELG were particularly weak, closing lower by 4.7%; that marks an eight-month loss of around 50% for Celgene.
Among the noteworthy gainers was PLAY, which rose 6% after Maxim raised its price target on the shares to $68 from $62, saying that the company's launch of VR gaming and its "revamped" Eat 'N Play food/beverage value platform will prove to be catalysts. Among the notable losers was BIDU, which fell 5% after it agreed to divest its Global DU business. Also lower was QD, which dropped nearly 17% after reporting quarterly results.
In the Asia-Pacific region, equity indices closed moderately higher. Japan's Nikkei 225 edged up by 0.31 percent, or 72.01 points, to 23,002.37, crossing the 23,000 mark for the first time since February as the dollar firmed against the yen.

Currency

The U.S. Dollar Index is up 0.05% to 93.68, following course for its sixth straight gain. The greenback is drawing support from an easing of trade tension between the U.S. and China that prompted risk-on sentiment in the U.S. equity market.

Treasury

In the bond market, Treasuries ended Monday on a flat to lower note, cutting the 2s10s spread by three basis points. The yield on the benchmark 10-yr Treasury note finished unchanged at 3.07%, while the yield on the 2-yr Treasury note advanced three basis points to 2.57%. Yields move inversely to prices. The U.S. Dollar Index, meanwhile, slipped 0.1% to 93.47, retreating from Friday's a five-month high.

Commodity

US crude rises 1.4% to 3.5-year high, settling at $72.24, on Venezuela and Iran supply concerns. Gold marked a new low for the year on Monday after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin declared that a trade war between China and the United States was "on hold," sparking a rally in stocks and the dollar.

Crypto

The price of bitcoin has risen by $500 over the last three days to reverse a slide in value that saw the cryptocurrency briefly fall below $8,000 last week.

Numbers

YTD

  • Nasdaq +7.1% YTD
  • Dow +1.2% YTD
  • S&P 500 +2.2% YTD
  • Russell +6.6% YTD

AH news

  • ADBE buys Magento. SHOP down by 5% AH
  • SQ announces $750mln convertible notes offering.
Summary scraped from the interweb. Took 0.66 seconds.
submitted by hibernating_brain to thewallstreet [link] [comments]

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)

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We are more than proud that we not only promote but also share our knowledge with the students of the UBAI. Here you can learn how to do security token offering and initial coin offering!
Now I want to share some cool info on the purpose and role of tokens within the Blockchain ecosystem at the ICO stage.
Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) History
Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are a means of fundraising for the initial capital needed to get new projects off the ground within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. More often than not, Bitcoin and Ethereum, are used to buy a quantity of project tokens. However, new projects are also being launched on alternative Blockchain platforms such as NEO or WANchain, wherein the “parent” chain’s tokens will be used to fund these ICOs. Pre-launch, ICO tokens are endorsed as functional currency in the project ecosystem. After a project’s ICO, it is available on exchanges, and then the market determines the value of those tokens. The main benefit of using the ICO funding system is that it avoids the prohibitive amount of time and expense incurred by launching a startup in the conventional method, by way of Initial Public Offering (IPO). The lengthy and costly process of ensuring regulatory compliance in different jurisdictions often makes the IPO format unfeasible for small companies. Thus, the ICO method of fundraising is far more attractive as a means of crowd funding for the project. But at the same time, an ICO is certainly riskier for the investor.
It is important to note the different stages of the token sale. Token prices generally escalate the closer the token gets to its listing date. Projects often seek funding from angel investors even before the date of the private pre-sale is set, though some ICOs do go straight to pre-sale. After potential initial investment has been sought from angel investors, pre-sale begins. Usually there will be a 15–30% discount from the public sale price. The main-sale begins after the pre-sale has concluded. At that time, normal everyday crypto enthusiasts, with no connections to the team, may buy into the project at pretty close to the ground floor price. Angel investors and pre-sale investors sometimes receive quite large discounts from main sale prices, but their tokens are locked up for varying amounts of time, to prevent dumping, or selling all their tokens for a quick profit at the time of listing. Today the vast majority of ICOs make use of the Ethereum blockchain and the ERC-20 token. The very first token sale was arranged by Mastercoin, a Bitcoin fork, in July 2013. Ethereum soon followed in early 2014, raising 3700 BTC in only 12 hours (equivalent to $2.3 million at that time, and just under $35 million today). Before late 2015 there were sporadic ICOs, with Augur, NXT and Factom all successfully raising funds. 2016 was the year that the ICO format grew to truly disrupt the Venture Capital industry. There were 64 ICOs in 2016 which cumulatively raised $103 million USD.
Tremendous Success & Why Real World Case Study
The ICON (ICX) Initial coin offering is an example of a project that reaped the rewards of a token sale done with precision of execution and clarity of vision. The project promised to build a world-wide decentralized network that would allow Blockchains of different governances to transact with one another without a centralized authority, and with as few barriers as possible. ICX offered fair and clear tokenomics, with 1 Ether buying 2500 ICX, and with 1 ETH costing approximately 250 dollars when the ICO began on September 18th. 50% of the total amount of tokens were put up for public sale, 400,230,000 out of a total of 800,460,000, equating to a fundraising goal of 150,000 Ether. One of the core reasons for the project’s spectacular success was the incredibly distinguished background of those involved, and the foundation the project had in many years of stellar achievement. ICON was originally a project developed by “The Loop”, a joint venture between DAYLI financial group and three Korean Universities. They lead the Korea Financial Investment Blockchain Consortium, one of the largest organizations of its kind in the world, boasting members including Samsung Securities. The Loop had already implemented Blockchain solutions for high profile clients well before ICX was born, including completing a KYC/AML authentication smart contract platform for Korea Financial Investment Consortium.
Real World Example of Failure & Why Case Study
The risk involved in starting your own company is huge. Over 75% of startups eventually fail, according to the Harvard Business School study by Shikhar Ghosh. The study’s findings show the rate of failure for new companies is roughly 50% after 5 years, and over 75% after 10. Shikhar Ghosh identifies the following issues as the most common factors in start-up failure: -Insufficient Market Demand -Insolvency -Wrong Team -Got beat by competition -Pricing/Cost issues -Poor Product -Need for or Lack of business model -Ineffective Marketing -Disregarding Customer desires The statistics concerning rate of failure for conventional business startups pale in comparison to the number of crypto startups that fail according to Tokendata. They are one of the most rigorous ICO trackers, recording 46% of the 902 ICO crowdsale projects initiated in 2017 as failing by the time of writing. Of these 46%, 142 collapsed before the end of the funding stage, and a further 276 had either “exit scammed” (took the money and ran) or slowly faded into eventual obscurity. With no shortage of failed and abortive projects to look into, we thought it would be more helpful to look into an ICO that was mismanaged and unsuccessful in terms of its execution, rather than being fraudulent, or terminally mismanaged.
Real World Example of Failure & Why §3
Tezos was designed as a “new decentralized Blockchain that governs itself by establishing a true digital commonwealth”. The project was a partnership between the husband and wife team of Kathleen and Arthur Breitman, and a Swiss foundation run by Johann Gevers. They had a novel idea of “formal verification”, a technique that mathematically proves the veracity of code governing transactions and heightens security of smart contracts. That idea was wholeheartedly endorsed by investors, resulting in $232 million USD raised in the 2017 crowdsale. Trouble arose after the Breitmans asked the head of the Swiss foundation they were in partnership with to step down. In Gever’s words, the Breitman’s were attempting “to bypass Swiss legal structure and take over control of the foundation”. The resulting 6 class action lawsuits that were spawned from the wreckage of one of the most successful ICOs of all time have yet to be fully resolved at the time of writing, though Gevers has stepped down and a new leadership team is in place. The Tezos Network has a prospective launch date of somewhere around Q3 2018. The debacle, though not terminal to the prospects of the Tezos network, provides a cautionary tale about the need for a clearly defined leadership structure and plan for the allocation of funds after an ICO. It is entirely possible that the Tezos project could have ridden the late 2017 market euphoria to sit near the top of the cryptocurrency hierarchy if boardroom strife could have been avoided.
Real World Example of Failure & Why §4
Projects often also “pivot” from one focus or project to another. More often than not, teams change the project name entirely, even while retaining the same core team, to try for a successful venture one more time. One such project is Chain Trade Token (CTT) which, while technically speaking, not yet a “deadcoin”, shows all the signs of shutting down operations within a few months, and “pivoting” into a new project. The CTT project aimed to be the “first blockchain-based platform for the trading of futures and options on food and raw materials (aka commodity derivatives)”. But through a combination of a non-existent social media presence, and a distinct lack of urgency in securing listings beyond decentralized exchanges, the lofty ambitions of the top-level team were left unrealized. The team has supposedly split their operations from solely Chain Trade, to a former business endeavors, and the Nebula Decentralized Exchange. The project leaders then offered a 1-for-1 token swap which has been accepted by the vast majority of CTT holders.
The ICO Process
Before even researching the particular strengths and weaknesses of any specific project in which you may want to invest, it is important to know the overall processes of the ICO crowdfunding method. This will allow you to avoid any potential pitfalls if you do decide to move forward and invest money into a particular idea or project. How does an ICO happen? Stage One: Token sale details are set: This takes place usually after release of the whitepaper, and the presentation of a project to prospective investors in forums and on social media. Stage Two: Whitelisting for private sale begins: The vast majority of all ICOs have instituted KYC checks for investors which usually involve uploading a photograph of your passport or driving license along with a selfie holding the ID. Did you know? Participation in ICOs has proven to be a regulatory nightmare in some localities. Most token sales restrict contributions from investors in China and the USA entirely, though accredited investors may participate in the USA in some cases.
Stage Three: Private/Pre-sale states: Typically, 10% of tokens will be offered to early investors at a 10–30% discount. These select few investors will likely have a close association with the team. But not all projects have a pre-sale round, some go straight to public sale. Stage Four: Whitelisting for Public/Main sale starts: The same format used for pre-sale investors is used for public sale investors, though it is a regular occurrence to see main sale KYC checks closed early due to overwhelming demand. An investor must then register a contribution wallet address. That is the address used to send cryptocurrency from, to buy the ICO tokens, and then also into which you will receive your purchased tokens. This wallet address must be a non-exchange wallet, like Blockchain.info bitcoin wallet, or MyEtherWallet for ERC-20. You already understand from the prior lesson that making a mistake with your wallet address may mean you lose the tokens forever as well as the BTC or ETH you used to purchase them. Copying and pasting your cryptocurrency public key into the whitelist wallet form is the next task to complete. And then, as the investor, you wait for confirmation of successful ICO registration from the team.
Stage Five: Public sale starts: Commonly on a specific date, though sometimes for a specific period of time. If you are interested in participating in an ICO, it is important to make your contribution as quickly as possible, or you risk sending your ETH or BTC after the hard cap has been reached, resulting in your funds being sent back. This refund can sometimes take many days, or even weeks in times of high market activity. Did you know? In 2017 it was not unheard of to find ICOs that had originally scheduled their ICO period for many weeks, but then they met with such high demand that they could close their crowdsale in a matter of hours or even in just a few minutes!
Stage Six: Tokens are allocated to successful participant investor wallets, and trading can begin on some decentralized exchanges like IDEX, or EtherDelta in the case of Ethereum based tokens. Tokens will be sent to and received by the wallet addresses from which the investor contributions were made. Stage Seven: Tokens are listed on mainstream exchanges: The tokens will then be listed on the exchanges with which the teams have negotiated listing, prior to or during the sale. It can cost huge amounts of money to list on large exchanges like Bitfinex Bittrex, Huobi or Binance, so usually smaller projects will not be listed on top 10 exchanges so quickly. As tokens are listed on more and more exchanges, their price usually rises because more and more investors are exposed to opportunities to buy that particular token.
Evaluating a Blockchain Use Case
Evaluating a particular use case for Blockchain technology, and thus how successful an ICO project’s ambitions might be in a particular market, is not a simple endeavor. As demonstrated in the graphic below, Blockchain technology has nearly limitless potential to be applied to a great variety of business areas, but as an ICO investor, you are looking for projects that have the potential to deliver significant long-term success. In the currently saturated ICO environment, some use cases have more potential than others. Ascertaining which use case is likely to have long term success is a key distinction. Also, we must recognize that businesses and corporate entities may be overeager to experiment with this new Blockchain technology, whether or not usage of the technology is actually advisable or profitable for their particular purpose. The main questions to ask when analyzing specific solutions proposed by the project are: What are the problems posed and the solutions offered? Does this particular area of business need a Blockchain solution? That is, is a Blockchain solution in fact superior to the current way this particular business operates? Is the use of Blockchain in this specific instance feasible and applicable? What are competitors doing about Blockchain projects in this same area?
A Blockchain network provides a shared, replicated, secured, immutable and verifiable data ledger. The implication for use case analysis: Shared and replicated: participants have a copy of the ledger and many people can view it or work on it Secured: Secured through cryptography Verifiable: Business rules are associated with all interactions that occur on the network Immutable: Transactions (records) cannot be modified or deleted, therefore a verifiable audit trail is maintained by the network So, with all this considered, what should we look for with regard to a possible business use case that would be best solved using Blockchain technology? 1. Data exchange that has trust issues i.e. businesses transacting with one another. Trust must be established through a multitude of verification processes with regards to employees and products. These processes increase operational cost. Example: Digital voting. 2. Any potential business process involving data storage, or compliance and risk data that get audited. Blockchain solutions would provide the regulators a real-time view of information. Example: Supply chain solutions like VeChain or WaltonChain. The possibility of close to zero operational loss would of course be attractive to any business. 3. All kinds of asset transactions. A Blockchain network, with its tamper-proof ledger, validating traceable and trackable transactions, could save many different industries untold amounts of money. Example: Tokenization of assets e.g. Jibrel Network or Polymath
Purpose of Tokens
Within the cryptocurrency ecosystem, the definition and role of a token iswidely understood. They represent programmable units of currency that sit atop a particular Blockchain, and they are part of a smart contract “logic” specific to a certain application. In the business sphere, a token can be defined as a unit of value that a project or business venture creates to enable it to self-govern. And the business venture also allows token users to connect and collaborate with its business products, while facilitating the sharing of rewards to all of its stakeholders. A token can also be described in a more general sense as a type of privately issued currency. In the past it was solely within the purview of governments to issue currency and set the terms of its governance. With the advent of Blockchain technology we now have businesses and organizations offering forms of digital money over which they, not the government or central bank, have control of the terms of operations and issuance. Wide scale adoption of these mechanisms could fundamentally alter the global economy. This is like the creation of self-sustaining, mini-economies in any sector of business or life, via a specific token or currency.
Fun Fact: Tokens of the particular Blockchain upon which the project is launched will usually have to be bought in order to be exchanged for ICO tokens, hence it is important for traders and investors to be aware of the schedule for upcoming ICOs. ETH is usually the token used for exchange because the majority of ICOs launch on the Ethereum Blockchain. But this is not always the case. During January 2018, two NEO token ICOs, both the Key TKY and Ontology ICOs, were being carried out, and this caused the NEO cryptocurrency to spike to its all-time high in excess of $160 USD. Since the product or project is more often than not in its embryonic stage at the time of the ICO crowdfunding process, the ICO token’s true function and purpose is in most cases yet to be realized. At the ICO stage the tokens can usually be grouped together into one of three categories. Knowing how to distinguish these categories involves determining the specific nature and function of the token around which the project is centered. The main and crucial distinction, is whether or not a token is a security, and therefore subject to securities registration requirements.
ICO Stage Token Categories
Howey Test: This is the test created by the US Supreme Court to ascertain whether certain transactions qualify as “investment contracts”. If they are found to fall within this classification, then under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Exchange Act of 1934, those transactions are considered “securities” and participants must adhere to registration and disclosure requirements. One of the most important and amazing considerations of the effect of Blockchain technology is that normal people with a computer science background are now empowered to make decisions and offer products and services that previously only licensed financial institutions were able to do. This is a very complex and complicated situation with serious ramifications for anyone involved. One thing to note well is that ordinary participants and actors in this arena can easily commit white-collar crime, violating serious securities laws, without even realizing it. If a token falls within the US legal definition of “Investment Contract” then you must adhere to US regulations. For that reason, many ICOs simply do not want to sell to US based investors, perhaps until all the rules and regulations are clarified.
Security Tokens
The broad and varying definition of the term “security” is a regulatory minefield. This has always been true for traditional financial products, and now it is especially true for the as yet unregulated cryptocurrency market. In the case of SEC V. Howey, parameters were established to determine whether or not a particular financial arrangement could be classified as a security and thus be subject to securities regulations. Cooley LLP Fintech Team Leader Marco Santori has said, an arrangement is a security if it involves “an investment of money, and a common enterprise, with the expectation of profit, primarily from the efforts of others.” Investors have the option of accessing a huge range of security tokens through ICOs. Prime examples are the gold backed DigixDao (DGD) and CProp (still in crowd funding stage). A security token is fundamentally different from the currently available ICO project tokens in that it provides a legal and enforceable ownership of a company’s profits and voice in its governance much like common stock traded on any exchange. If security tokens are the next step in the evolution of crypto-finance, real estate, stocks, venture capital, and commodities can all be tokenized. The traditional markets could be fully connected to the Blockchain. Financial assets would available to anyone in the world, not just licensed or accredited investors. That is one aspect of Fintech, the financial revolution taking place today, as Blockchain technology clashes with traditional finance.
Equity Tokens
One exciting application of smart contracts on the Ethereum Network is the potential for startups to distribute equity tokens through initial coin offerings. That would reduce the hurdles that an average person has to face in order to take part in the early stages of a company’s development. And, democratic governance of a project could be conducted in a transparent manner through voting on the Blockchain. As of yet, few startups have attempted to conduct equity token sales for fear of falling afoul of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US. But many Venture Capital insiders are bullish on the prospect of equity tokens taking a central role in the crypto finance industry, when and as the legal issues are resolved. For example, the Delaware State legislature recently passed a bill enabling companies to maintain shareholder lists on the Blockchain. That is one major step to enable Blockchain based stock trading. Lawyers also generally believe it is only a matter of time before the regulations are clarified. Did you know? Important consideration: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 made it unfeasibly expensive for smaller companies to be listed on exchanges, causing a halving in the number of IPOs between 1996 and 2016 (7322 to 3671). In 2017 there was an almost 5-fold increase in the number of ICOs, from 43 to 210, with the 2017 volume already being eclipsed in the first 5 months of 2018.
Utility Tokens
However, given that this area is still a regulatory nightmare for people planning to issue security and equity tokens, many projects attempt to ensure that the tokens within their specific model fall under the definition of Utility Tokens rather than securities, so as to avoid the SEC regulations altogether. If a token is imbued with a certain functionality and use within the Blockchain infrastructure of that particular project, the token can avoid being labelled as a security, and thus render SEC regulations inapplicable. Just this week in fact, the SEC made the long-awaited and momentous decision that Ether was not a security. In the words of William Hinman, director of the Securities and Exchange Commission division of corporate finance, “Putting aside the fundraising that accompanied the creation of Ether, based on my understanding of the present state of Ether, the Ethereum network and its decentralized structure, current offers and sales of Ether are not securities transactions.” This means that Ethereum, in fact, fails the Howey test, which is exactly the decision the crypto world wanted. Hinman said, “When the efforts of the third party are no longer a key factor for determining the enterprise’s success, material information asymmetries recede,” Hinman said. “The ability to identify an issuer or promoter to make the requisite disclosures becomes difficult, and less meaningful.” We will now cover various use cases that projects have been adopting up to now in order to get their tokens classified as utility tokens rather than securities.
Voting Rights
Some coins portray themselves as a company with tokens being held in a way that is analogous to voting shares of a stock. One coin held is equal to one vote. This form of token utility has a major flaw in that so-called whales (people with huge amounts of a particular cryptocurrency) can manipulate any poll conducted. The cryptocurrencies Aragon and Lykke are examples of projects that have written voting rights into the structure of their code. In-App Reward: Another common tactic to evade the security label has been the addition of in-app rewards to the functionality of a particular token. The Basic Attention Token (BAT) is the unit of currency for use with the project browser named “Brave”. The BAT is a unit of account for the advertisers, publishers and users of the platform. Filecoin, the cloud storage project that raised a record $257 million through their ICO, pays other people or companies for use of their spare storage space. Some of the many rights afforded to token holders in various Blockchain projects are described by the graphic below.
Token Roles Function
The token can be used as a mechanism through which user experience is enhanced, enabling such actions as connection with users, or joining a broader network. It may also be used as an incentive for beginning usage or for on-boarding. Examples include Dfinity and Steemit. Value Exchange: In its most basic usage, a token is a unit of value exchange within a specific app or market. This usually is made up of features that allow users to earn tokens through real work or passive work (sharing data, allowing use of storage space) and to spend them on services or internal functions within the specific market ecosystem created by that organization. Augur and KIK, amongst countless others, are projects that have implemented this functionality into their tokenomics. Toll: The token can also be used for getting onto the Blockchain infrastructure, or for powering decentralized applications run on that particular Blockchain. This ensures that users have “skin in the game”. Tolls can be derived from running smart contracts, paying a security deposit, or just usage fees. Examples include Bitcoin and Ethereum. Currency: Seeing as the particular platform or app is designed with a view towards functioning in synergy with a particular token, the token is an extremely efficient means of payment and transaction engine, resulting in frictionless transactions. This means that companies can become their own payment processors and no longer have to rely on the often unwieldy stages of conventional financial settlement involving trusted third parties in the form of banks and credit card companies.
Rights: Owning a token bequests certain rights upon the holder, such as product usage, voting, access to restricted markets, and dividends (e.g.: GAS for holding NEO). Though most businesses are trying to avoid fitting the definition of a security laid out in the Howey Test, the right to real ownership of a particular asset is sometimes granted as a result of holding a token, for example DigixDAO or Tezos.
Comparison to Traditional IPO and Equity Capital Raisings
Despite the similarity of the acronyms and the derivation of one from the other, Initial Coin Offerings and Initial Public Offerings are very different methods of fundraising. The distinction is not limited simply to the fact that IPOs are used in conventional business, and ICOs are associated with cryptocurrency. Through ICO’s, companies in their early stages issue digital tokens on a Blockchain and those tokens act as units of value for use within the ecosystem created by the project. They have many other uses, but it is also fair to say they are analogous to shares offered in an Initial Public offering.
In an IPO, shareholdings are distributed to investors through underwriters, usually investment banks. But in the case of ICO token sales, companies often do not even have an actual product to show. Often, all that there is a whitepaper, evidence of the partnerships involved and the particular social-media infrastructure they have established. IPO’s take place when a more well-established company floats shares on a stock exchange. The company would have a well-established history of success and significant reasons to expect a bright future. In the vast majority of cases, an ICO is used for a new company with no such history, just trying to get off the ground.
Another important difference is the expected return in exchange for the investment. Companies engaging in IPOs may offer participants dividend paying stocks which result in various levels of return depending on the success of the company after the shares are issued. An ICO however can offer no such guaranteed return. When buying tokens in an ICO, you do so with no promise of return. An investor who holds the tokens of a particular project does so with the promise, rather than an assurance, of future success. The main benefit to investors taking part in Initial Coin Offerings, compared to Initial Public Offerings, is the need for only basic Know Your Customer checks in the case of the ICO, compared to the costly, complex and time-consuming regulatory obstacles that must be traversed in an IPO. In the case of Initial Public Offerings, a business must obtain authorization from a number of entities before the act of “going public”. Prior to an IPO, companies are not obliged to disclose so much of their internal records or accounting. It is not so complicated to make a private company in the United States. But in the run up to going public, the company must form a board of directors, make their records auditable to the relevant authorities in one or more jurisdictions, and prepare to make quarterly reports to the SEC (or equivalent).
Relevant Factors to Consider in ICO process
When analyzing the chances of success for a specific project, and the likelihood of a favorable return on investment in the long term, it is essential to break down the project into its constituent parts, and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each part individually. An effective investigation and analysis would start with the team and white paper. Consider the stage the project is at,and VC investments in the project. That would lead to a good initial idea of the actual progress thus far. Next, evaluate the social media presence and the credentials of the community that has formed around the core team. If a compelling case is made by the team, (e.g.: via an in-depth dive into the use case), and the tokenomics, distribution schedule, potential competitors, as well as the team’s awareness of any future business or regulatory concerns all check out; then the ICO might present a good opportunity for investment. In the following slides we tackle each of these considerations in order so you will be able to evaluate an ICO’s worth and assign a grade for the success of each project.
Relevant Factors to Consider in ICO process
The Team First and most important, we need evaluate the background and experience of the team, the people involved in the project. Well-established developers, for example, will likely have LinkedIn profiles demonstrating their previous endeavors and occupations, from which we can judge their suitability to the project and the likelihood of the team’s success. The LinkedIn profile is a point of reference for professional accomplishments and official positions. But we can also learn more about a person from their personal accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Medium etc. That is also a good way to follow along with the progress of the project. By investigating team members through as many means as possible, you will know how long they have been involved in cryptocurrency. If they have been around and active for a long time, they are that much more likely to be knowledgeable and capable of making better quality decisions in this business. It goes without saying that it is a huge red flag if it is too difficult to find information about the team members online, and worse still if the team members are anonymous.
Relevant Factors to Consider in ICO process
A good Whitepaper gives a detailed description of the project, the problems the team is going to solve, the timeframe projected, and methods to be used in the implementation of their ideas. If, in answering the question about what the project actually does, it seems the team is presenting ideas that are too complicated or advanced to understand, then you simply should not invest until you are satisfied you have been given the requisite level of insight to understand the concepts described. It is always possible that the whitepaper is nothing more than a salad of buzzwords and technical language intended to give the impression of competence while really doing nothing but obfuscate the truth. The whitepaper should clearly and concisely present the problems and the solutions needed. The whitepaper must give a solid and coherent answer as to who needs this project and why. Also, if the team have put no effort into explaining why a Blockchain solution is needed for this particular problem, or why such a solution is superior to its “real-world” equivalent, it is likely they are only in it for the money. We have more to say about red-flags later.
While 2016 raised a comparatively small amount in comparison to the proceeding years, there were a few specific projects that raised significant amounts of capital. These are respectable amounts of money, even by today’s standards, and especially impressive when contrasted with the immaturity of the ICO market at the time, and relative to amounts raised in traditional IPOs. Waves ($16.4mill), Iconomi ($10.6mill) and Golem ($8.6mill) were the three largest fundraisings of the year. 2017 was the year of the ICO whales. Hdac ($258mill), Filecoin ($257mill), EOS Stage 1 ($185mill) and Paragon ($183.16mill) were the largest that year. To be able to raise so much money, so quickly, in such a new market, using such a new mechanism is truly incredible. 2017 was the year that proved ICOs are for serious individuals and institutional investors as well. We have also had some phenomenal amounts raised so far in 2018. Telegram ($1.7bill), Dragon ($320mill), Huobi ($300mill) and Bankera ($150mill). Telegram might be the first mainstream example of an ICO, not only by raising close to $2billion, which would be beyond incredible and impressive even by traditional IPO standards; but also, because it is one of the first ICO companies to tangibly put a product in the hands of hundreds of millions of users, and successfully compete against traditional companies such as Facebook (MessengeWhatsApp), Microsoft (Skype) and Tencent (WeChat).
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