Peter “Bitcoin Has No Real Value” Schiff Strikes back

Testing the Tide | Monthly FIRE Portfolio Update - June 2020

We would rather be ruined than changed.
-W H Auden, The Age of Anxiety
This is my forty-third portfolio update. I complete this update monthly to check my progress against my goal.
Portfolio goal
My objective is to reach a portfolio of $2 180 000 by 1 July 2021. This would produce a real annual income of about $87 000 (in 2020 dollars).
This portfolio objective is based on an expected average real return of 3.99 per cent, or a nominal return of 6.49 per cent.
Portfolio summary
Vanguard Lifestrategy High Growth Fund – $726 306
Vanguard Lifestrategy Growth Fund – $42 118
Vanguard Lifestrategy Balanced Fund – $78 730
Vanguard Diversified Bonds Fund – $111 691
Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) – $201 745
Vanguard International Shares ETF (VGS) – $39 357
Betashares Australia 200 ETF (A200) – $231 269
Telstra shares (TLS) – $1 668
Insurance Australia Group shares (IAG) – $7 310
NIB Holdings shares (NHF) – $5 532
Gold ETF (GOLD.ASX) – $117 757
Secured physical gold – $18 913
Ratesetter (P2P lending) – $10 479
Bitcoin – $148 990
Raiz app (Aggressive portfolio) – $16 841
Spaceship Voyager app (Index portfolio) – $2 553
BrickX (P2P rental real estate) – $4 484
Total portfolio value: $1 765 743 (+$8 485 or 0.5%)
Asset allocation
Australian shares – 42.2% (2.8% under)
Global shares – 22.0%
Emerging markets shares – 2.3%
International small companies – 3.0%
Total international shares – 27.3% (2.7% under)
Total shares – 69.5% (5.5% under)
Total property securities – 0.3% (0.3% over)
Australian bonds – 4.7%
International bonds – 9.4%
Total bonds – 14.0% (1.0% under)
Gold – 7.7%
Bitcoin – 8.4%
Gold and alternatives – 16.2% (6.2% over)
Presented visually, below is a high-level view of the current asset allocation of the portfolio.
[Chart]
Comments
The overall portfolio increased slightly over the month. This has continued to move the portfolio beyond the lows seen in late March.
The modest portfolio growth of $8 000, or 0.5 per cent, maintains its value at around that achieved at the beginning of the year.
[Chart]
The limited growth this month largely reflects an increase in the value of my current equity holdings, in VAS and A200 and the Vanguard retail funds. This has outweighed a small decline in the value of Bitcoin and global shares. The value of the bond holdings also increased modestly, pushing them to their highest value since around early 2017.
[Chart]
There still appears to be an air of unreality around recent asset price increases and the broader economic context. Britain's Bank of England has on some indicators shown that the aftermath of the pandemic and lockdown represent the most challenging financial crisis in around 300 years. What is clear is that investor perceptions and fear around the coronavirus pandemic are a substantial ongoing force driving volatility in equity markets (pdf).
A somewhat optimistic view is provided here that the recovery could look more like the recovery from a natural disaster, rather than a traditional recession. Yet there are few certainties on offer. Negative oil prices, and effective offers by US equity investors to bail out Hertz creditors at no cost appear to be signs of a financial system under significant strains.
As this Reserve Bank article highlights, while some Australian households are well-placed to weather the storm ahead, the timing and severity of what lays ahead is an important unknown that will itself feed into changes in household wealth from here.
Investments this month have been exclusively in the Australian shares exchange-traded fund (VAS) using Selfwealth.* This has been to bring my actual asset allocation more closely in line with the target split between Australian and global shares.
A moving azimuth: falling spending continues
Monthly expenses on the credit card have continued their downward trajectory across the past month.
[Chart]
The rolling average of monthly credit card spending is now at its lowest point over the period of the journey. This is despite the end of lockdown, and a slow resumption of some more normal aspects of spending.
This has continued the brief period since April of the achievement of a notional and contingent kind of financial independence.
The below chart illustrates this temporary state, setting out the degree to which portfolio distributions cover estimated total expenses, measured month to month.
[Chart]
There are two sources of volatility underlying its movement. The first is the level of expenses, which can vary, and the second is the fact that it is based on financial year distributions, which are themselves volatile.
Importantly, the distributions over the last twelve months of this chart is only an estimate - and hence the next few weeks will affect the precision of this analysis across its last 12 observations.
Estimating 2019-20 financial year portfolio distributions
Since the beginning of the journey, this time of year usually has sense of waiting for events to unfold - in particular, finding out the level of half-year distributions to June.
These represent the bulk of distributions, usually averaging 60-65 per cent of total distributions received. They are an important and tangible signpost of progress on the financial independence journey.
This is no simple task, as distributions have varied in size considerably.
A part of this variation has been the important role of sometimes large and lumpy capital distributions - which have made up between 30 to 48 per cent of total distributions in recent years, and an average of around 15 per cent across the last two decades.
I have experimented with many different approaches, most of which have relied on averaging over multi-year periods to even out the 'peaks and troughs' of how market movements may have affected distributions. The main approaches have been:
Each of these have their particular simplifications, advantages and drawbacks.
Developing new navigation tools
Over the past month I have also developed more fully an alternate 'model' for estimating returns.
This simply derives a median value across a set of historical 'cents per unit' distribution data for June and December payouts for the Vanguard funds and exchange traded funds. These make up over 96 per cent of income producing portfolio assets.
In other words, this model essentially assumes that each Vanguard fund and ETF owned pays out the 'average' level of distributions this half-year, with the average being based on distribution records that typically go back between 5 to 10 years.
Mapping the distribution estimates
The chart below sets out the estimate produced by each approach for the June distributions that are to come.
[Chart]
Some observations on these findings can be made.
The lowest estimate is the 'adjusted GFC income' observation, which essentially assumes that the income for this period is as low as experienced by the equity and bond portfolio during the Global Financial Crisis. Just due to timing differences of the period observed, this seems to be a 'worst case' lower bound estimate, which I do not currently place significant weight on.
Similarly, at the highest end, the 'average distribution rate' approach simply assumes June distributions deliver a distribution equal to the median that the entire portfolio has delivered since 1999. With higher interest rates, and larger fixed income holdings across much of that time, this seems an objectively unlikely outcome.
Similarly, the delivery of exactly the income suggested by long-term averages measured across decades and even centuries would be a matter of chance, rather than the basis for rational expectations.
Central estimates of the line of position
This leaves the estimates towards the centre of the chart - estimates of between around $28 000 to $43 000 as representing the more likely range.
I attach less weight to the historical three-year average due to the high contribution of distributed capital gains over that period of growth, where at least across equities some capital losses are likely to be in greater presence.
My preferred central estimate is the model estimate (green) , as it is based in historical data directly from the investment vehicles rather than my own evolving portfolio. The data it is based on in some cases goes back to the Global Financial Crisis. This estimate is also quite close to the raw average of all the alternative approaches (red). It sits a little above the 'adjusted income' measure.
None of these estimates, it should be noted, contain any explicit adjustment for the earnings and dividend reductions or delays arising from COVID-19. They may, therefore represent a modest over-estimate for likely June distributions, to the extent that these effects are more negative than those experienced on average across the period of the underlying data.
These are difficult to estimate, but dividend reductions could easily be in the order of 20-30 per cent, plausibly lowering distributions to the $23 000 to $27 000 range. The recently announced forecast dividend for the Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) is, for example, the lowest in four years.
As seen from chart above, there is a wide band of estimates, which grow wider still should capital gains be unexpectedly distributed from the Vanguard retail funds. These have represented a source of considerable volatility. Given this, it may seem fruitless to seek to estimate these forthcoming distributions, compared to just waiting for them to arrive.
Yet this exercise helps by setting out reasoning and positions, before hindsight bias urgently arrives to inform me that I knew the right answer all along. It also potentially helps clearly 'reject' some models over time, if the predictions they make prove to be systematically incorrect.
Progress
Progress against the objective, and the additional measures I have reached is set out below.
Measure Portfolio All Assets
Portfolio objective – $2 180 000 (or $87 000 pa) 81.0% 109.4%
Credit card purchases – $71 000 pa 98.8% 133.5%
Total expenses – $89 000 pa 79.2% 106.9%
Summary
The current coronavirus conditions are affecting all aspects of the journey to financial independence - changing spending habits, leading to volatility in equity markets and sequencing risks, and perhaps dramatically altering the expected pattern of portfolio distributions.
Although history can provide some guidance, there is simply no definitive way to know whether any or all of these changes will be fundamental and permanent alterations, or simply data points on a post-natural disaster path to a different post-pandemic set of conditions. There is the temptation to fit past crises imperfectly into the modern picture, as this Of Dollars and Data post illustrates well.
Taking a longer 100 year view, this piece 'The Allegory of the Hawk and Serpent' is a reminder that our entire set of received truths about constructing a portfolio to survive for the long-term can be a product of a sample size of one - actual past history - and subject to recency bias.
This month has felt like one of quiet routines, muted events compared to the past few months, and waiting to understand more fully the shape of the new. Nonetheless, with each new investment, or week of lower expenditure than implied in my FI target, the nature of the journey is incrementally changing - beneath the surface.
Small milestones are being passed - such as over 40 per cent of my equity holdings being outside of the the Vanguard retail funds. Or these these retail funds - which once formed over 95 per cent of the portfolio - now making up less than half.
With a significant part of the financial independence journey being about repeated small actions producing outsized results with time, the issue of maintaining good routines while exploring beneficial changes is real.
Adding to the complexity is that embarking on the financial journey itself is likely to change who one is. This idea, of the difficulty or impossibility of knowing the preferences of a future self, is explored in a fascinating way in this Econtalk podcast episode with a philosophical thought experiment about vampires. It poses the question: perhaps we can never know ourselves at the destination? And yet, who would rationally choose ruin over any change?
The post, links and full charts can be seen here.
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New Lands, or New Eyes? | Monthly FIRE Portfolio Update - April 2020

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
- Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past
This is my forty-first portfolio update. I complete this update monthly to check my progress against my goal.
Portfolio goal
My objective is to reach a portfolio of $2 180 000 by 1 July 2021. This would produce a real annual income of about $87 000 (in 2020 dollars).
This portfolio objective is based on an expected average real return of 3.99 per cent, or a nominal return of 6.49 per cent.
Portfolio summary
Vanguard Lifestrategy High Growth Fund – $697 582
Vanguard Lifestrategy Growth Fund – $40 709
Vanguard Lifestrategy Balanced Fund – $76 583
Vanguard Diversified Bonds Fund – $110 563
Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) – $174 864
Vanguard International Shares ETF (VGS) – $31 505
Betashares Australia 200 ETF (A200) – $215 805
Telstra shares (TLS) – $1 625
Insurance Australia Group shares (IAG) – $7 323
NIB Holdings shares (NHF) – $5 904
Gold ETF (GOLD.ASX) – $119 458
Secured physical gold – $19 269
Ratesetter (P2P lending) – $12 234
Bitcoin – $158 360
Raiz app (Aggressive portfolio) – $16 144
Spaceship Voyager app (Index portfolio) – $2 435
BrickX (P2P rental real estate) – $4 471
Total portfolio value: $1 694 834 (+$127 888 or 8.2%)
Asset allocation
Australian shares – 40.9% (4.1% under)
Global shares – 21.7%
Emerging markets shares – 2.2%
International small companies – 3.0%
Total international shares – 26.9% (3.1% under)
Total shares – 67.8% (7.2% under)
Total property securities – 0.3% (0.3% over)
Australian bonds – 4.5%
International bonds – 9.9%
Total bonds – 14.4% (0.6% under)
Gold – 8.2%
Bitcoin – 9.3%
Gold and alternatives – 17.5% (7.5% over)
Presented visually, below is a high-level view of the current asset allocation of the portfolio.
Comments
This month featured a sharp recovery in the overall portfolio, reducing the size of the large losses experienced over the previous month.
The portfolio increased by over $127 000, representing a growth of 8.2 per cent, which is the largest month-on-month growth on record. This now puts the portfolio value significantly above the levels of a year ago.
[Chart]
The expansion in the value of the portfolio has occurred due to an increase in Australian and global equities markets, as well as substantial increases the price of Bitcoin. This is effectively the mirror image of the simultaneous negative movements last month.
From a nadir of initial pessimism in late March, markets have generally moved upwards as debate continues about the path of a likely economic recession and recovery from Coronavirus impacts over the coming year.
[Chart]
First quarter distributions from the Australian and Global Shares ETFs (A200, VAS and VGS) were received this month. These were too early to fully reflect the sharp economic activity impacts of the Coronavirus and lockdown period on company earnings.
Despite this, they were significantly down on a cents per unit basis on the equivalent distributions last year. Totalling around $2700, these distributions formed part of new contributions to Vanguard's Australian shares ETF (VAS).
The rapid falls in equity have many participants looking forward to a return to normalcy, or at least more open to the pleasing ideas that nerves have been held in a market fall comparable to 2000 or 2008-09, and that markets now represent clear value. As discussed last month, there should be caution and some humility about these questions, if some historical perspective is taken. As an example, the largest global equity market in the world - the United States - remains at valuation levels well above those experienced in previous market lows.
Portfolio alternatives - tracking changes under the surface
A striking feature of the past year or so has been the expansion of the non-traditional or 'alternatives' components of gold and Bitcoin as a proportion of the overall portfolio. Currently, when combined these alternative assets form a greater part of the portfolio than at any point over the past two years.
The chart below shows that since January 2019 the gold and Bitcoin component of the portfolio has lifted from around its long term target level of 10 per cent, to now make up over 17 per cent of the portfolio. In the space of the last four months alone, it has lifted from 13 per cent.
[Chart]
With no purchases of either gold or Bitcoin over the period, the growth in the chart is the result of two reinforcing factors:
A substantial fall in the value of the equity portfolio - reaching nearly $200 000 since the recent February market peak has naturally and mathematically led to a commensurate increase the proportion of other assets.
Increases in the value of gold and Bitcoin - have also played a role with a total appreciation of around $150 000 across the two assets over the past 16 months.
In fact, the value gold holdings alone have increased by over 40 per cent since January last year. Further appreciation of either gold or Bitcoin prices, particularly if any further falls in equity markets occur, could easily place the portfolio in the same position as experienced in January 2018.
At that time these alternative assets made up 1 in every 5 dollars of the portfolio, an unusual, and in that case temporary phenomenon. This represents a different portfolio and risk exposure than that envisaged in my portfolio investment plan.
Yet, equally it is critical to recall what the circumstances would likely be for this to arise. Simultaneously high gold and Bitcoin prices are more likely to occur in a situation of severe capital market dislocation, or falling confidence. On the other hand, should confidence and equity market growth be restored, both of these portfolio components could fall back to lower levels.
It is difficult to tell which state of the world will eventuate, a key reason for diversification across asset types. United States government debt is already at record levels - equivalent in real terms to levels last seen when it emerged out of the Second World War - despite no similar national effort having being undertaken.
Future inflation can potentially partly manage this burden, however, the last sustained episode of persistently high inflation rates during the decade of the 1970s spelt negative real returns. Where investors expect future inflation or financially 'repressive' policies of inflation exceeding interest rates, the economic growth required to 'grow out' of debt can be affected.
At this point, my inclination is to address this circumstance gradually through time by re-balancing of distributions and new contributions, rather than to realise capital gains by selling assets at one, or several, points in time.
Chasing down the lines - falling average spending in lockdown
Since the implementation of lockdown restrictions, average credit card expenditure has fallen by nearly 30 per cent. This has taken credit card expenditure to lower than any similar period in the past six years.
Partly as a result of this - as the chart below shows - a new development is occurring. The previously fairly steady card expenses line (red) is now starting to bend down towards, or 'chase', the rolling average distributions line (in blue).
[Chart]
The declining distributions line is a result of some previous high distributions gradually falling outside of the data 'window' for the rolling three-year comparison of distributions and expenditure.
This intriguing picture will probably change before a cross-over occurs, as lockdown restrictions ease, and as the data feeding into the three year average slowly changes over time.
Progress
Progress against the objective, and the additional measures I have reached is set out below.
Measure Portfolio All Assets
Portfolio objective – $2 180 000 (or $87 000 pa) 77.7% 104.6%
Credit card purchases – $71 000 pa 94.8% 127.6%
Total expenses – $89 000 pa 76.0% 102.3%
Summary
Last month market volatility theoretically took progress down to below most of my financial independence benchmarks on an 'All Assets' (i.e. portfolio and superannuation assets) basis. This position has reversed this month. As markets have recovered and with additional spare time in the lockdown period, I have continued to seek out and think about different perspectives on the history and future of markets.
Yet it must be recognised that there is a natural limit to the utility of these ponderings. The shape of the future is always uncertain, and in this world, confident comparisons and analogies with past events can be perilous. Comparisons with past periods of financial market crises miss the centrality of government action as a causal influence on the path of virus affected economies and markets.
A virus and recovery is not the same as a global financial crisis originating in housing finance markets addressed through monetary and fiscal stimulus. Most developed country governments have quickly applied the same, if not larger versions of responses as applied in the global financial crisis, a distinguishing step that also makes analogies with the great depression era problematic.
Similarly, a pandemic is not hitting and interacting with the shattered economic and health systems of the 1918-19 Spanish flu. Overlaying all of this is the imperfect and partially disconnected relationship between the economy today, and equity markets that discount and focus on the future.
This makes all history's lessons more than usually caveated and conditional. One avenue for managing through these times is to focus on what does not change - the psychological difficulty of accepting alterations in financial circumstances and the capacity of markets movements to cruelly surprise us in both timing and direction.
One of the best texts to read to get a sense of both of these in such times is Benjamin Roth's A Great Depression Diary. This tells of the day-by-day changes observed in everyday urban life and investment markets, from the point of view of an American small retail investor living through the times.
This month also saw the exciting news that Pat the Shuffler and Strong Money Australia are combining efforts to produce a new podcast. Speaking of which, Big ERN's reflections on the current implications of sharemarket market movements for seekers of financial independence have been filled with insight and wisdom.
This interesting piece (video) - the latest in a 'virus' market series - from New York University's Professor of Finance Aswath Damodaran on asset performances through the past few months - is a more technical and detailed discussion of how markets have re-priced businesses and profits. Finally, the recently released Hmmminar interview series provides a more heterodox set of speakers and ideas on current markets, presented by Grant Williams.
Unlike predicting the future, seeking out different perspectives on it is perhaps the easiest it has ever been in history. While it is not always possible to change the course taken, it is possible to look at the same horizon with new eyes.
The post, links and full charts can be seen here.
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Crypto-Powered: Build on Legacy Finance, Prepare To Die

Crypto-Powered: Build on Legacy Finance, Prepare To Die
The success of today’s high-flying fintech unicorns will be short-lived as long as they’re building on legacy financial infrastructure.
https://reddit.com/link/hmw3sm/video/7sbwo5nh7g951/player
This is the first post of our Crypto-Powered series where we look at what it means for Genesis Block to be a digital bank that’s powered by crypto, blockchain, and decentralized protocols.
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Today we start a new series called Crypto-Powered. This will be similar to our last series, Spreading Crypto, but now we’re exploring a new theme. At Genesis Block, we’re building a digital bank that’s powered by crypto, blockchain technology, and decentralized protocols. Yes, lots of buzzwords.
What does any of it mean? How does it give us an unfair advantage? What superpowers are unlocked? What are the benefits for users?
In this series, we’ll answer all of these questions. Grab some popcorn. Sit down. Put your feet up. Make yourself comfortable. Let us take you on a journey. Let us be your tour guide down the crypto rabbit hole…
But hold on! Pump those brakes. Before we dive into the crypto rabbit hole, we need to establish some context. We can’t talk about the future of money unless we first understand the problems of money today. We need to understand what’s broken with legacy finance. So let’s do a quick primer on the current state of finance. That will set the stage for the rest of the series. Alright, let’s go.

Fintech & Unbundling

Over the last decade, legacy financial institutions (banks in particular) haven’t been meeting the needs of younger, more digital generations. As a result, fintech startups have emerged and effectively unbundled the consumer banking stack. Whether it was Robinhood for investing, TransferWise for cross-border payments, SoFi for student loans, Wealthfront for wealth management, or Digit for saving… these innovative upstarts all focused on a single use-case and nailed it.
https://preview.redd.it/iwrpg6ek7g951.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=7648d28955ea4e12795826dc78cdf70d41ffaef1
While great for a period, this led to a lot of fragmentation. Users needed to split their finances across many different services and keep track of what money was where. The cognitive load for many users became overwhelming.

Re-bundling of Finance

As we’ve seen in other industries (eg. media/entertainment), the pendulum swings back to bundled services (Cable TV → Individual Digital Channel Subscriptions → YoutubeTV/Hulu/Disney+), but in a better, more valuable, digital experience for end-users.
https://preview.redd.it/lbmz9gdm7g951.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=877da74b64118566a8f630aed706ae1ba6b1ed0f
In the last few years, we’ve started to see a re-bundling of consumer finance. But instead of users going back to traditional banks, the rising generation is choosing to bank directly with these innovative, digital fintech companies.
Each of the startups mentioned above is now offering a more bundled experience with checkings accounts, debit cards, and other financial services. In Europe, we’ve seen the enormous rise of neo/challenger banks like Revolut, Monzo, N26 — all-in-one solutions for modern, consumer finance. That trend is starting to grow in North America with apps like Chime (the original was Simple)
We believe this bundled approach is here to stay — especially for the younger, more mobile, digital generation. They prefer convenient, easy-to-use, all-in-one solutions that require little effort & minimum commitment.
https://preview.redd.it/ko085lp18g951.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=8ae7e6b87a2a41257fd4816faf60a0bb702c5896

Building on Legacy Finance

While many of these high-flying fintech unicorns have seen incredible success, I believe it will be short-lived as long as they’re building on legacy financial infrastructure. It’s a realization I’ve come to only recently.
In years past, whenever I met a fintech entrepreneur, they’d always suggest that they’d never do a startup in traditional finance again. Too complex. Too expensive. Too slow. I always shrugged it off. Wimps. How hard can it be?
I really didn’t believe or understand that pain until we started Genesis Block. And it wasn’t until we began integrating with some of our partners (Evolve Bank & Trust, I2C, Visa, etc) that I really started to understand.
https://reddit.com/link/hmw3sm/video/vei2flrq7g951/player
The rumors are true. Those fintech entrepreneurs were all right. The pain is real.
Trying to innovate in legacy finance is like running on a hamster wheel blindfolded while powerful, evil rats randomly throw explosives inside.
It feels like you are never making any progress and at any moment you can be destroyed. Luckily at Genesis Block, we’re only integrating with legacy finance at the edges — the onramps and offramps (money in, money out). We’ve worked with great partners and so far have been able to navigate the treacherous terrain.

Legacy Finance is Broken

You must be wondering why and how is it so bad. It’s all the things you’d expect…
The antiquated tech stack of financial institutions. The frustrating process of working with big, bureaucratic, slow-moving organizations. The prehistoric payment systems that haven’t improved in decades (for example, ACH payments and their strange batch processing practices). The countless unnecessary middle-men on every card swipe (merchant, acquiring bank, processor, card network, issuing bank). The slow settlement times. Systems rife with fraud. An industry oozing with predatory practices and unethical behavior. The moth-eaten laws & regulations that are NOT innovator-friendly (mostly due to powerful Wall Street incumbents who control politicians).
https://reddit.com/link/hmw3sm/video/2hdxxch38g951/player
The list goes on and on. Maybe someday we can dedicate an entire series to it. It’ll be a good bedtime story.
The more familiar I become with how legacy finance works, the more convinced I am that the future of money cannot be built on that foundation.
The fintech darlings of Silicon Valley are all building on extremely shaky ground that is ripe for massive disruption.
They will spend so much time looking backward (integration, compatibility, regulation) that they will have very little time to look forward (innovation, progress, disruption). They will be tangled in the quagmire of archaic tech and the tentacles of outdated regulation.
I don’t believe the ultimate winners in consumer finance will come from the current cohort of fintech unicorns. And that’s because these companies are all building on the pipes of legacy finance.

The Future of Money

The future of money will be built on a foundation that is digital, open-source, permissionless, and decentralized. The future of money will have no borders or middle-men. The future of money will have no institutions or governments controlling or censoring it.
The future of money will be built on blockchain technology. The future of money will be built on “crypto rails.” The future of money is crypto. It’s the missing piece of the internet age — and quite frankly, long overdue.
This is an entirely new paradigm. New infrastructure. New pipes.
https://reddit.com/link/hmw3sm/video/26tjp8vn8g951/player
While blockchain technology provides a strong base, this tech alone won’t be sufficient. As discussed in our last series (Spreading Crypto), these powerful protocols need killer applications to reach broader adoption. The apps need to be simple, convenient, and require no blockchain education. They need to fit nicely within existing workflows and behaviors. A digital bank like Genesis Block is a perfect app to propel crypto to the masses.
At Genesis Block, that’s the foundation we’re building on — a powerful combination of the underlying technology and our unique approach in how it’s delivered.
The future of consumer finance belongs to those who build with blockchain technology & decentralized protocols at its core, and know how to best take it to the billions of people around the world.
That’s our thesis at Genesis Block. Our last series went deep on how the tech reaches and touches end-users. This new series is all about what’s under the hood — crypto & blockchain — and how that gives us an unfair advantage in the world of consumer finance.

Clone Wars

While some fintech products are giving users the ability to buy & hold crypto (Robinhood, Revolut, Cash App), they aren’t leveraging the technology beyond that. And they most certainly aren’t building their infrastructure around it.
So let’s ask the dumb VC question that some of you are thinking: what if these fintech companies or big banks just copy what we’re doing at Genesis Block? What if they add blockchain and crypto?
https://reddit.com/link/hmw3sm/video/c0je9dvx8g951/player
Sorry, you can’t just “add crypto” as if a pizza topping in a Doordash order. That’s not how it works. I mean, you can say you are doing that, but it’s not real. That’s just Innovation Theater.
The systems behind banks and fintech are deeply integrated with legacy financial rails. Trying to retroactively add blockchain in any meaningful way would be like trying to make a 2020 Lambo with a 1910 Ford Model T engine. No matter how talented their engineers are, it just ain’t gonna happen. Not unless they burn it all down and start over. Massive risks. A classic case of Innovator’s Dilemma. Will anyone have the courage? I don’t know. I think they are much more likely to acquire someone like Genesis Block than gamble their entire business on it. But we aren’t cheap.
These new, decentralized protocols are complex, fast-moving, and full of snags. Our team has been in this space for many years — we understand the security tradeoffs, the protocol nuances (we spent a lot of time actually building them), and enough self-awareness to know what we don’t know.
Our team at Genesis Block can run circles around traditional banks and fintech companies. Certainly, they have large audiences and strong balance sheets — which can’t be underestimated. But when it comes to unlocking the enormous, new value to users, as long as the incumbents are building on legacy financial infrastructure, they simply cannot compete with us.

Crypto-Powered

The empires created in the 21st-century world of finance will be crypto-native companies that deeply understand decentralized tech and know how best to leverage it. It will be the teams who build on “crypto rails” first, with bridges back to legacy finance second.
That’s our thesis at Genesis Block. In this series, we intend to lay out a convincing argument for why that’s true.
So now that the stage is set and we’ve introduced the series, I think you’re ready to start learning why blockchain technology is our superpower, our unfair advantage.
You are ready to dive into that crypto rabbit hole.
But first, a word of caution. Once you go in, you may never want to come out. It’s what happened to me and so many others.
Once you see the potential & promise of this incredible technology, you won’t be able to ignore it. You won’t stop thinking about it. It’ll capture your imagination like few other things can.
Don’t be afraid of it. Let it take you.
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Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
We have a lot more content coming. Be sure to follow our channels: https://genesisblock.com/follow/
Have you already downloaded the app? We're Genesis Block, a new digital bank that's powered by crypto & decentralized protocols. The app is live in the App Store (iOS & Android). Get the link to download at https://genesisblock.com/download
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Crypto-Powered - The Most Promising Use-Cases of Decentralized Finance (DeFi)

Crypto-Powered - The Most Promising Use-Cases of Decentralized Finance (DeFi)
A whirlwind tour of Defi, paying close attention to protocols that we’re leveraging at Genesis Block.
https://reddit.com/link/hrrt21/video/cvjh5rrh12b51/player
This is the third post of Crypto-Powered — a new series that examines what it means for Genesis Block to be a digital bank that’s powered by crypto, blockchain, and decentralized protocols.
Last week we explored how building on legacy finance is a fool’s errand. The future of money belongs to those who build with crypto and blockchain at their core. We also started down the crypto rabbit hole, introducing Bitcoin, Ethereum, and DeFi (decentralized finance). That post is required reading if you hope to glean any value from the rest of this series.
97% of all activity on Ethereum in the last quarter has been DeFi-related. The total value sitting inside DeFi protocols is roughly $2B — double what it was a month ago. The explosive growth cannot be ignored. All signs suggest that Ethereum & DeFi are a Match Made in Heaven, and both on their way to finding strong product/market fit.
So in this post, we’re doing a whirlwind tour of DeFi. We look at specific examples and use-cases already in the wild and seeing strong growth. And we pay close attention to protocols that Genesis Block is integrating with. Alright, let’s dive in.

Stablecoins

Stablecoins are exactly what they sound like: cryptocurrencies that are stable. They are not meant to be volatile (like Bitcoin). These assets attempt to peg their price to some external reference (eg. USD or Gold). A non-volatile crypto asset can be incredibly useful for things like merchant payments, cross-border transfers, or storing wealth — becoming your own bank but without the stress of constant price volatility.
There are major governments and central banks that are experimenting with or soon launching their own stablecoins like China with their digital yuan and the US Federal Reserve with their digital dollar. There are also major corporations working in this area like JP Morgan with their JPM Coin, and of course Facebook with their Libra Project.
Stablecoin activity has grown 800% in the last year, with $290B of transaction volume (funds moving on-chain).
The most popular USD-pegged stablecoins include:
  1. Tether ($10B): It’s especially popular in Asia. It’s backed by USD in a bank account. But given their lack of transparency and past controversies, they generally aren’t trusted as much in the West.
  2. USDC ($1B): This is the most reputable USD-backed stablecoin, at least in the West. It was created by Coinbase & Circle, both well-regarded crypto companies. They’ve been very open and transparent with their audits and bank records.
  3. DAI ($189M): This is backed by other crypto assets — not USD in a bank account. This was arguably the first true DeFi protocol. The big benefit is that it’s more decentralized — it’s not controlled by any single organization. The downside is that the assets backing it can be volatile crypto assets (though it has mechanisms in place to mitigate that risk).
Other notable USD-backed stablecoins include PAX, TrueUSD, Binance USD, and Gemini Dollar.
tablecoins are playing an increasingly important role in the world of DeFi. In a way, they serve as common pipes & bridges between the various protocols.
https://preview.redd.it/v9ki2qro12b51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=dbf591b122fc4b3d83b381389145b88e2505b51d

Lending & Borrowing

Three of the top five DeFi protocols relate to lending & borrowing. These popular lending protocols look very similar to traditional money markets. Users who want to earn interest/yield can deposit (lend) their funds into a pool of liquidity. Because it behaves similarly to traditional money markets, their funds are not locked, they can withdraw at any time. It’s highly liquid.
Borrowers can tap into this pool of liquidity and take out loans. Interest rates depend on the utilization rate of the pool — how much of the deposits in the pool have already been borrowed. Supply & demand. Thus, interest rates are variable and borrowers can pay their loans back at any time.
So, who decides how much a borrower can take? What’s the process like? Are there credit checks? How is credit-worthiness determined?
These protocols are decentralized, borderless, permissionless. The people participating in these markets are from all over the world. There is no simple way to verify identity or check credit history. So none of that happens.
Credit-worthiness is determined simply by how much crypto collateral the borrower puts into the protocol. For example, if a user wants to borrow $5k of USDC, then they’ll need to deposit $10k of BTC or ETH. The exact amount of collateral depends on the rules of the protocol — usually the more liquid the collateral asset, the more borrowing power the user can receive.
The most prominent lending protocols include Compound, Aave, Maker, and Atomic Loans. Recently, Compound has seen meteoric growth with the introduction of their COMP token — a token used to incentivize and reward participants of the protocol. There’s almost $1B in outstanding debt in the Compound protocol. Mainframe is also working on an exciting protocol in this area and the latest iteration of their white paper should be coming out soon.
There is very little economic risk to these protocols because all loans are overcollateralized.
I repeat, all loans are overcollateralized. If the value of the collateral depreciates significantly due to price volatility, there are sophisticated liquidation systems to ensure the loan always gets paid back.
https://preview.redd.it/rru5fykv12b51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=620679dd84fca098a042051c7e7e1697be8dd259

Investments

Buying, selling, and trading crypto assets is certainly one form of investing (though not for the faint of heart). But there are now DeFi protocols to facilitate making and managing traditional-style investments.
Through DeFi, you can invest in Gold. You can invest in stocks like Amazon and Apple. You can short Tesla. You can access the S&P 500. This is done through crypto-based synthetics — which gives users exposure to assets without needing to hold or own the underlying asset. This is all possible with protocols like UMA, Synthetix, or Market protocol.
Maybe your style of investing is more passive. With PoolTogether , you can participate in a no-loss lottery.
Maybe you’re an advanced trader and want to trade options or futures. You can do that with DeFi protocols like Convexity, Futureswap, and dYdX. Maybe you live on the wild side and trade on margin or leverage, you can do that with protocols like Fulcrum, Nuo, and DDEX. Or maybe you’re a degenerate gambler and want to bet against Trump in the upcoming election, you can do that on Augur.
And there are plenty of DeFi protocols to help with crypto investing. You could use Set Protocol if you need automated trading strategies. You could use Melonport if you’re an asset manager. You could use Balancer to automatically rebalance your portfolio.
With as little as $1, people all over the world can have access to the same investment opportunities and tools that used to be reserved for only the wealthy, or those lucky enough to be born in the right country.
You can start to imagine how services like Etrade, TD Ameritrade, Schwab, and even Robinhood could be massively disrupted by a crypto-native company that builds with these types of protocols at their foundation.
https://preview.redd.it/agco8msx12b51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=3bbb595f9ecc84758d276dbf82bc5ddd9e329ff8

Insurance

As mentioned in our previous post, there are near-infinite applications one can build on Ethereum. As a result, sometimes the code doesn’t work as expected. Bugs get through, it breaks. We’re still early in our industry. The tools, frameworks, and best practices are all still being established. Things can go wrong.
Sometimes the application just gets in a weird or bad state where funds can’t be recovered — like with what happened with Parity where $280M got frozen (yes, I lost some money in that). Sometimes, there are hackers who discover a vulnerability in the code and maliciously steal funds — like how dForce lost $25M a few months ago, or how The DAO lost $50M a few years ago. And sometimes the system works as designed, but the economic model behind it is flawed, so a clever user takes advantage of the system— like what recently happened with Balancer where they lost $500k.
There are a lot of risks when interacting with smart contracts and decentralized applications — especially for ones that haven’t stood the test of time. This is why insurance is such an important development in DeFi.
Insurance will be an essential component in helping this technology reach the masses.
Two protocols that are leading the way on DeFi insurance are Nexus Mutual and Opyn. Though they are both still just getting started, many people are already using them. And we’re excited to start working with them at Genesis Block.
https://preview.redd.it/wf1xvq3z12b51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=70db1e9587f57d0c470a4f9f4523c216929e1876

Exchanges & Liquidity

Decentralized Exchanges (DEX) were one of the first and most developed categories in DeFi. A DEX allows a user to easily exchange one crypto asset for another crypto asset — but without needing to sign up for an account, verify identity, etc. It’s all via decentralized protocols.
Within the first 5 months of 2020, the top 7 DEX already achieved the 2019 trading volume. That was $2.5B. DeFi is fueling a lot of this growth.
https://preview.redd.it/1dwvq4e022b51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=97a3d756f60239cd147031eb95fc2a981db55943
There are many different flavors of DEX. Some of the early ones included 0x, IDEX, and EtherDelta — all of which had a traditional order book model where buyers are matched with sellers.
Another flavor is the pooled liquidity approach where the price is determined algorithmically based on how much liquidity there is and how much the user wants to buy. This is known as an AMM (Automated Market Maker) — Uniswap and Bancor were early leaders here. Though lately, Balancer has seen incredible growth due mostly to their strong incentives for participation — similar to Compound.
There are some DEXs that are more specialized — for example, Curve and mStable focus mostly only stablecoins. Because of the proliferation of these decentralized exchanges, there are now aggregators that combine and connect the liquidity of many sources. Those include Kyber, Totle, 1Inch, and Dex.ag.
These decentralized exchanges are becoming more and more connected to DeFi because they provide an opportunity for yield and earning interest.
Users can earn passive income by supplying liquidity to these markets. It usually comes in the form of sharing transaction fee revenue (Uniswap) or token rewards (Balancer).
https://preview.redd.it/wrug6lg222b51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=9c47a3f2e01426ca87d84b92c1e914db39ff773f

Payments

As it relates to making payments, much of the world is still stuck on plastic cards. We’re grateful to partner with Visa and launch the Genesis Block debit card… but we still don’t believe that's the future of payments. We see that as an important bridge between the past (legacy finance) and the future (crypto).
Our first post in this series shared more on why legacy finance is broken. We talked about the countless unnecessary middle-men on every card swipe (merchant, acquiring bank, processor, card network, issuing bank). We talked about the slow settlement times.
The future of payments will be much better. Yes, it’ll be from a mobile phone and the user experience will be similar to ApplePay (NFC) or WePay (QR Code).
But more importantly, the underlying assets being moved/exchanged will all be crypto — digital, permissionless, and open source.
Someone making a payment at the grocery store check-out line will be able to open up Genesis Block, use contactless tech or scan a QR code, and instantly pay for their goods. All using crypto. Likely a stablecoin. Settlement will be instant. All the middlemen getting their pound of flesh will be disintermediated. The merchant can make more and the user can spend less. Blockchain FTW!
Now let’s talk about a few projects working in this area. The xDai Burner Wallet experience was incredible at the ETHDenver event a few years ago, but that speed came at the expense of full decentralization (can it be censored or shut down?). Of course, Facebook’s Libra wants to become the new standard for global payments, but many are afraid to give Facebook that much control (newsflash: it isn’t very decentralized).
Bitcoin is decentralized… but it’s slow and volatile. There are strong projects like Lightning Network (Zap example) that are still trying to make it happen. Projects like Connext and OmiseGo are trying to help bring payments to Ethereum. The Flexa project is leveraging the gift card rails, which is a nice hack to leverage existing pipes. And if ETH 2.0 is as fast as they say it will be, then the future of payments could just be a stablecoin like DAI (a token on Ethereum).
In a way, being able to spend crypto on daily expenses is the holy grail of use-cases. It’s still early. It hasn’t yet been solved. But once we achieve this, then we can ultimately and finally say goodbye to the legacy banking & finance world. Employees can be paid in crypto. Employees can spend in crypto. It changes everything.
Legacy finance is hanging on by a thread, and it’s this use-case that they are still clinging to. Once solved, DeFi domination will be complete.
https://preview.redd.it/svft1ce422b51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=9a6afc9e9339a3fec29ee2ae743c07c3042ea4ce

Impact on Genesis Block

At Genesis Block, we’re excited to leverage these protocols and take this incredible technology to the world. Many of these protocols are already deeply integrated with our product. In fact, many are essential. The masses won’t know (or care about) what Tether, USDC, or DAI is. They think in dollars, euros, pounds and pesos. So while the user sees their local currency in the app, the underlying technology is all leveraging stablecoins. It’s all on “crypto rails.”
https://preview.redd.it/jajzttr622b51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=fcf55cea1216a1d2fcc3bf327858b009965f9bf8
When users deposit assets into their Genesis Block account, they expect to earn interest. They expect that money to grow. We leverage many of these low-risk lending/exchange DeFi protocols. We lend into decentralized money markets like Compound — where all loans are overcollateralized. Or we supply liquidity to AMM exchanges like Balancer. This allows us to earn interest and generate yield for our depositors. We’re the experts so our users don’t need to be.
We haven’t yet integrated with any of the insurance or investment protocols — but we certainly plan on it. Our infrastructure is built with blockchain technology at the heart and our system is extensible — we’re ready to add assets and protocols when we feel they are ready, safe, secure, and stable. Many of these protocols are still in the experimental phase. It’s still early.
At Genesis Block we’re excited to continue to be at the frontlines of this incredible, innovative, technological revolution called DeFi.
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None of these powerful DeFi protocols will be replacing Robinhood, SoFi, or Venmo anytime soon. They never will. They aren’t meant to! We’ve discussed this before, these are low-level protocols that need killer applications, like Genesis Block.
So now that we’ve gone a little deeper down the rabbit hole and we’ve done this whirlwind tour of DeFi, the natural next question is: why?
Why does any of it matter?
Most of these financial services that DeFi offers already exist in the real world. So why does it need to be on a blockchain? Why does it need to be decentralized? What new value is unlocked? Next post, we answer these important questions.
To look at more projects in DeFi, check out DeFi Prime, DeFi Pulse, or Consensys.
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Murmurs of the Sea | Monthly Portfolio Update - March 2020

Only the sea, murmurous behind the dingy checkerboard of houses, told of the unrest, the precariousness, of all things in this world.
-Albert Camus, The Plague
This is my fortieth portfolio update. I complete this update monthly to check my progress against my goal.
Portfolio goal
My objective is to reach a portfolio of $2 180 000 by 1 July 2021. This would produce a real annual income of about $87 000 (in 2020 dollars).
This portfolio objective is based on an expected average real return of 3.99 per cent, or a nominal return of 6.49 per cent.
Portfolio summary
Vanguard Lifestrategy High Growth Fund – $662 776
Vanguard Lifestrategy Growth Fund – $39 044
Vanguard Lifestrategy Balanced Fund – $74 099
Vanguard Diversified Bonds Fund – $109 500
Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) – $150 095
Vanguard International Shares ETF (VGS) – $29 852
Betashares Australia 200 ETF (A200) – $197 149
Telstra shares (TLS) – $1 630
Insurance Australia Group shares (IAG) – $7 855
NIB Holdings shares (NHF) – $6 156
Gold ETF (GOLD.ASX) – $119 254
Secured physical gold – $19 211
Ratesetter (P2P lending) – $13 106
Bitcoin – $115 330
Raiz* app (Aggressive portfolio) – $15 094
Spaceship Voyager* app (Index portfolio) – $2 303
BrickX (P2P rental real estate) – $4 492
Total portfolio value: $1 566 946 (-$236 479 or -13.1%)
Asset allocation
Australian shares – 40.6% (4.4% under)
Global shares – 22.3%
Emerging markets shares – 2.3%
International small companies – 3.0%
Total international shares – 27.6% (2.4% under)
Total shares – 68.3% (6.7% under)
Total property securities – 0.2% (0.2% over)
Australian bonds – 4.8%
International bonds – 10.4%
Total bonds – 15.2% (0.2% over)
Gold – 8.8%
Bitcoin – 7.4%
Gold and alternatives – 16.2% (6.2% over)
Presented visually, below is a high-level view of the current asset allocation of the portfolio.
Comments
This month saw an extremely rapid collapse in market prices for a broad range of assets across the world, driven by the acceleration of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Broad and simultaneous market falls have resulted in the single largest monthly fall in portfolio value to date of around $236 000.
This represents a fall of 13 per cent across the month, and an overall reduction of more the 16 per cent since the portfolio peak of January.
[Chart]
The monthly fall is over three times more severe than any other fall experienced to date on the journey. Sharpest losses have occurred in Australian equities, however, international shares and bonds have also fallen.
A substantial fall in the Australia dollar has provided some buffer to international equity losses - limiting these to around 8 per cent. Bitcoin has also fallen by 23 per cent. In short, in the period of acute market adjustment - as often occurs - the benefits of diversification have been temporarily muted.
[Chart]
The last monthly update reported results of some initial simplified modelling on the impact of a hypothetical large fall in equity markets on the portfolio.
Currently, the actual asset price falls look to register in between the normal 'bear market', and the more extreme 'Global Financial Crisis Mark II' scenarios modelled. Absent, at least for the immediate phase, is a significant diversification offset - outside of a small (4 per cent) increase in the value of gold.
The continued sharp equity market losses have left the portfolio below its target Australian equity weighting, so contributions this month have been made to Vanguard's Australian shares ETF (VAS). This coming month will see quarterly distributions paid for the A200, VGS and VAS exchange traded funds - totalling around $2700 - meaning a further small opportunity to reinvest following sizeable market falls.
Reviewing the evidence on the history of stock market falls
Vladimir Lenin once remarked that there are decades where nothing happen, and then there are weeks in which decades happen. This month has been four such weeks in a row, from initial market responses to the coronavirus pandemic, to unprecedented fiscal and monetary policy responses aimed at lessening the impact.
Given this, it would be foolish to rule out the potential for other extreme steps that governments have undertaken on multiple occasions before. These could include underwriting of banks and other debt liabilities, effective nationalisation or rescues of critical industries or providers, or even temporary closure of some financial or equity markets.
There is a strong appeal for comforting narratives in this highly fluid investment environment, including concepts such as buying while distress selling appears to be occurring, or delaying investing until issues become 'more clear'.
Nobody can guarantee that investments made now will not be made into cruel short-lived bear market rallies, and no formulas exist that will safely and certainly minimise either further losses, or opportunities forgone. Much financial independence focused advice in the early stages of recent market falls focused on investment commonplaces, with a strong flavour of enthusiasm at the potential for 'buying the dip'.
Yet such commonly repeated truths turn out to be imperfect and conditional in practice. One of the most influential studies of a large sample of historical market falls turns out to provide mixed evidence that buying following a fall reliably pays off. This study (pdf) examines 101 stock market declines across four centuries of data, and finds that:
Even these findings should be viewed as simply indicative. Each crisis and economic phase has its unique character, usually only discernible in retrospect. History, in these cases, should inform around the potential outlines of events that can be considered possible. As the saying goes, risk is what remains after you believe you have thought of everything.
Position fixing - alternative perspectives of progress
In challenging times it can help to keep a steady view of progress from a range of perspectives. Extreme market volatility and large falls can be disquieting for both recent investors and those closer to the end of the journey.
One perspective on what has occurred is that the portfolio has effectively been pushed backwards in time. That is, the portfolio now sits at levels it last occupied in April 2019. Even this perspective has some benefit, highlighting that by this metric all that has been lost is the strong forward progress made in a relatively short time.
Yet each perspective can hide and distort key underlying truths.
As an example, while the overall portfolio is currently valued at around the same dollar value as a year ago, it is not the same portfolio. Through new purchases and reinvestments in this period, many more actual securities (mostly units in ETFs) have been purchased.
The chart below sets out the growth in total units held from January 2019 to this month, across the three major exchange trade funds holdings in the portfolio.
[Chart]
From this it can be seen that the number of securities held - effectively, individual claims on the future earnings of the firms in these indexes - has more than doubled over the past fifteen months. Through this perspective, the accumulation of valuable assets shows a far more constant path.
Though this can help illuminate progress, as a measure it also has limitations. The realities of falls in market values cannot be elided by such devices, and some proportion of those market falls represent initial reassessments of the likely course of future earnings, and therefore the fundamental value of each of those ETF units.
With significant uncertainty over the course of global lock-downs, trade and growth, the basis of these reassessments may provide accurate, or not. For anyone to discount all of these reassessments as wholly the temporary result of irrational panic is to show a remarkable confidence in one's own analytical capacities.
Similarly, it would be equally wrong to extrapolate from market falls to a permanent constraining of the impulse of humanity to innovate, adjust to changed conditions, seek out opportunities and serve others for profit.
Lines of position - Trends in expenditure
A further longer-term perspective regularly reviewed is monthly expenses compared to average distributions.
Monthly expenditure continues to be below average, and is likely to fall further next month as a natural result of a virus-induced reduction of shopping trips, events and outings.
[Chart]
As occurred last month, as a function some previous high distributions gradually falling outside of the data 'window' for the rolling three-year comparison of distributions and expenditure, a downward slope in distributions continues.
Progress
Progress against the objective, and the additional measures I have reached is set out below.
Measure Portfolio All Assets Portfolio objective – $2 180 000 (or $87 000 pa) 71.9% 97.7% Credit card purchases – $71 000 pa 87.7% 119.2% Total expenses – $89 000 pa 70.2% 95.5%
Summary
This month has been one of the most surprising and volatile of the entire journey, with significant daily movements in portfolio value and historic market developments. There has been more to watch and observe than at any time in living memory.
The dominant sensation has been that of travelling backwards through time, and revisiting a stage of the journey already passed. The progress of the last few months has actually been so rapid, that this backwards travel has felt less like a set back, but rather more like a temporary revisitation of days past.
It is unclear how temporary a revisitation current conditions will enforce, or exactly how this will affect the rest of the journey. In early January I estimated that if equity market fell by 33 per cent through early 2020 with no offsetting gains in other portfolio elements, this could push out the achievement of the target to January 2023.
Even so, experiencing these markets and with more volatility likely, I don't feel there is much value in seeking to rapidly recalculate the path from here, or immediately alter the targeted timeframe. Moving past the portfolio target from here in around a year looks almost impossibly challenging, but time exists to allow this fact to settle. Too many other, more important, human and historical events are still playing out.
In such times, taking diverse perspectives on the same facts is important. This Next Life recently produced this interesting meditation on the future of FIRE during this phase of economic hardship. In addition, the Animal Spirits podcast also provided a thoughtful perspective on current market falls compared to 2008, as does this article by Early Retirement Now. Such analysis, and each passing day, highlights that the murmurs of the sea are louder than ever before, reminding us of the precariousness of all things.
The post, links and full charts can be seen here.
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Can we stop with half-assed band-aid fixes that hurt legit players more than they hurt the targeted abusers?

This patch is a amalgamation of band-aid fixes that will do nothing to improve the game but will hurt normal players by collateral damage. I will list out every change and why it is bad.
While leveling skills, the character will now have "exhaustion” of skill per raid, this means that skill will be leveled more slowly during the raid after every repeat. If you do not level a certain skill for a while (a few minutes), the character will recover and will be able to level this skill with normal speed again. This change is directed against skills abuse (targeted and consecutive leveling of the same skill)
Skill system in current state is deeply flawed, and leveling some skills in legit way takes hours of grind, stress resistance being the infamous example. This would be okay, if they weren't crucial for in-game progression. And it so happens that stress resistance gates a large portion of quests. Instead of making it a more realistic goal to achieve or outright removing skill requirements from quests and hideout progression, BSG doubles down on it, indicating they are "satisfied" with current skill system. And no, getting shot on purpose and bleeding is not realistic or hardcore, its just tedious and it's impossible if you don't spend days on tarkov.
Skills now have a maximum level that can not be overcome even with stimulants-60
Was it even a problem?
Secured containers can no longer be discarded during a raid Secured containers can no longer be put inside other containers, it can only be put in the slot of the secured container of the character. If you’ve had your secured container inside another container, it will return through in-game message system after the update
Now this is a interesting change. I cannot determine why was it done? Is it a try to kill the RMT of secure containers, or a thinly veiled strike at player-run market of secure containers, so that they buy more EOD editions. Balancing the player economy around the premium, 150$ edition would be silly and BSG would never do that, right? Whatever the reasons, this hurts the casual players with Standard edition, as the only viable upgrade options are locked behind end-game questlines. It is pretty much on the contrary of what Nikita said on podcast, that they want to reduce the gap between EOD and standard players.
Special optical devices, helmets and helmet mounts can no longer be placed in secured containers. If you’ve had your devices inside a secured container, it will return through in-game message system after the update
Why? Sometimes when you load into a night raid it turns out its still bright out there. What purpose is to the secure containers anymore outside of being a EOD exclusive consolation prize hamwallet or glorified medkit?
Added a limit on the amount of money that you can carry in the inventory of the character (no such limits in stash) - 150,000 rubles, 1000 dollars, 1000 euros (limits can be changed for balancing purposes)
This is another very short-sighted bandaid fix for RMT that will hurt average players. Raiders often drop 1000$, so you won't be able to pick that up if you found more. Meanwhile, RMTers will just trade with bitcoins/ledx/any other valuable item.
If your character died without an equipped firearm (any kind of), then after the raid he will recover only 1% of health, not 30%
hatchling band-aid fix, considering that a single hatchet run with a gamma container nets you a lifetime supply of PM pistols, i think they'll be still fine. Moreover, running with pistol is faster than running with a melee weapon for whatever reason, so hatchlings just got a speed boost.
If you left the raid prematurely (through disconnect), then in the main menu you will recover only 1% of health, not 30%
probably the only good change in this patch, however it still does not fix hatchling problem, as they really don't have money problem and can heal right up (even if they feel stingy with their money, they could just heal stomach and legs and go for another run), or just suicide by static scav (which were conveniently placed near high value loot spots as another band-aid hatchling fix)
If you kill yourself in a raid, then in the main menu you will recover only 1% of health, not 30%
good change, but same issues as above.
If you entered the raid in a group and you were killed by a member of your group, then in the main menu you will recover only 1% of health, not 30%
Bad change targeted at skill-trainers, traders etc. that will hurt legit squad players that just happen to friendly-fire eachother.
This patch does not fix anything, but hurts the average joe. I don't think anyone would complain if it would be completely scrapped and not added to the game. Please do not take this post as a rant, i am passionate about this game and i really don't want it to die due to bad development decisions.
EDIT : not even a minute in and this post gets downvoted. Nice.
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Weekly Wrap: This Week In Chainlink April 6 - April 12

Announcements and Integrations 🎉
Videos and Podcasts 🎥
Mentions in the Press
“The world increasingly relies on data. Smart contracts will be no different. Chainlink is the only solution to bring data into smart contacts through a decentralized, secure manner. The future is now.” -Kris Humphries, Former NBA Basketball Player
Upcoming Events 📅
Are you interested in hosting your own meetup? Apply to become a Chainlink Community Advocate today: https://events.chain.link/advocate
Community Content & Celebrations 👏
Chainlink is hiring: Check out these open roles 👩‍💼
View all open roles at https://careers.chain.link
Are there other community content and celebrations that we missed? Post them in the comments below! ⤵️
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Bitcoin 11 Years - Achievements, Lies, and Bullshit Claims So Far - Tooootally NOT a SCAM !!!!

That's right folks, it's that time again for the annual review of how Bitcoin is going: all of those claims, predictions, promises .... how many have turned out to be true, and how many are completely bogus ???
Please post / link this on Bitcoin (I am banned there for speaking the truth, so I cannot do it) ... because it'a way past time those poor clueless mushrooms were exposed to the truth.
Anyway, without further ado, I give you the Bitcoin's Achievements, Lies, and Bullshit Claims So Far ...
.
Bitcoin Achievements so far:
  1. It has spawned a cesspool of scams (2000+ shit coin scams, plus 100's of other scams, frauds, cons).
  2. Many 1,000's of hacks, thefts, losses.
  3. Illegal Use Cases: illegal drugs, illegal weapons, tax fraud, money laundering, sex trafficking, child pornography, hit men / murder-for-hire, ransomware, blackmail, extortion, and various other kinds of fraud and illicit activity.
  4. Legal Use Cases: Steam Games, Reddit, Expedia, Stripe, Starbucks, 1000's of merchants, cryptocurrency conferences, Ummm ????? The few merchants who "accept Bitcoin" immediately convert it into FIAT after the sale, or require you to sell your coins to BitPay or Coinbase for real money, and will then take that money. Some of the few who actually accept bitcoin haven't seen a customer who needed to pay with bitcoin for the last six months, and their cashiers no longer know how to handle that.
  5. Contributing significantly to Global Warming.
  6. Wastes vasts amounts of electricity on useless, do nothing work.
  7. Exponentially raises electricity prices when big miners move into regions where electricity was cheap.
  8. It’s the first "currency" that is not self-sustainable. It operates at a net loss, and requires continuous outside capital to replace the capital removed by miners to pay their costs. It’s literally a "black hole currency."
  9. It created a new way for people living too far from Vegas to gamble all their life savings away.
  10. Spawned "blockchain technology", a powerful technique that lets incompetent programmers who know almost nothing about databases, finance, programming, or blockchain scam millions out of gullible VC investors, banks, and governments.
  11. Increased China's foreign trade balance by a couple billion dollars per year.
  12. Helped the FBI and other law enforcement agents easily track down hundreds of drug traffickers and drug users.
  13. Wasted thousands if not millions of man-hours of government employees and legislators, in mostly fruitless attempts to understand, legitimize, and regulate the "phenomenon", and to investigate and prosecute its scams.
  14. Rekindled the hopes of anarcho-capitalists and libertarians for a global economic collapse, that would finally bring forth their Mad Max "utopia".
  15. Added another character to Unicode (no, no, not the "poo" 💩 character ... that was my first guess as well 🤣)
  16. Provides an easy way for malware and ransomware criminals to ply their trade and extort hospitals, schools, local councils, businesses, utilities, as well as the general population.
.
Correct Predictions:
  1. 2015-12: "1,000 dollar in 2015", u/Luka_Magnotta, aka time traveler from the future, 31-Aug-2013, https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/1lfobc/i_am_a_timetraveler_from_the_future_here_to_beg/ (Technically, this prediction is WRONG because the highest price reached in 2015 was $495.56 according to CMC. Yes, Bitcoin reached $1,000 in 2013 and 2014, but that's NOT what the prediction says).
  2. 2017-12: "10,000 in 2017", u/Luka_Magnotta, aka time traveler from the future, 31-Aug-2013, https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/1lfobc/i_am_a_timetraveler_from_the_future_here_to_beg/
  3. 2018-04: $10,000 (by April 2018), Mike Novogratz, link #1: https://www.bitcoinprice.com/predictions/, link #2: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-21/mike-novogratz-says-bitcoin-will-end-the-year-at-10-000
  4. 2018-12: $10,000 (by 2018), Tim Draper, link #1: https://www.bitcoinprice.com/predictions/, link #2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AW5s6QkRRY
  5. Any others ? (Please tell me).
.
Bitcoin Promises / Claims / Price Predictions that turned out to be lies and bullshit:
  1. ANONYMOUS
  2. CENSORSHIP RESISTANT
  3. FRICTIONLESS
  4. TRUSTLESS
  5. UNCENSORABLE
  6. UNTRACEABLE
  7. SAFE
  8. SECURE
  9. YOU CANNOT LOSE
  10. NOT A SCAM
  11. PERMISSIONLESS
  12. GUARANTEED PRIVACY
  13. CANNOT BE SEIZED
  14. CANNOT BE CONFISCATED
  15. Be your own bank
  16. Regulation-proof
  17. NO MIDDLEMEN
  18. DECENTRALIZED
  19. Instantaneous transactions
  20. Fast transactions
  21. Zero / No transaction fees
  22. Low transaction fees
  23. A store of value
  24. A deflationary digital asset
  25. "A deflationary digital asset that no single human being can destroy."
  26. "an asset that is equally as dual use as a car, water, or any other traditional element that has existed."
  27. "Digital gold"
  28. Easy to use
  29. Cannot be stolen
  30. Cannot be hacked
  31. Can be mined by anyone
  32. Can be mined by anyone, even with an old computer or laptop
  33. Cannot be centralized
  34. Will return power back to the people.
  35. Not a Ponzi scam
  36. Not a Pyramid scam
  37. Never pay tax again
  38. Your gains cannot be taxed
  39. A currency
  40. An amazing new class of asset
  41. An asset
  42. A means to economic freedom
  43. A store of value
  44. The best investment the word has ever seen
  45. A great investment
  46. Efficient
  47. Scalable
  48. Stable
  49. Resilient
  50. Reliable
  51. Low energy
  52. Low risk
  53. Redistribute wealth to everybody
  54. No more have's and have not's
  55. No more US and THEM
  56. No more disadvantaged people
  57. No more RICH and POOR
  58. No more poor people
  59. Uses amazing new technology
  60. Uses ingenious new technology
  61. Satishi Nakamoto invented ...
  62. Segwit will solve all of Bitcoin's woes
  63. Lightning Network will solve all of Bitcoin's woes
  64. Limited by scarcity
  65. Can only go up in value
  66. Price cannot crash
  67. Has intrinsic value
  68. Value will always be worth more than cost to mine
  69. Adoption by investors is increasing exponentially
  70. Adoption by investors is increasing
  71. Adoption by merchants is increasing exponentially
  72. Adoption by merchants is increasing
  73. You are secure if you keep your coins on an exchange
  74. You are secure if you keep your coins in a hardware wallet
  75. You are secure if you keep your coins in an air-gapped Linux PC
  76. Will change the world
  77. "the next phase in human evolution"
  78. "Blockchain is more encompassing than the internet"
  79. Blockchain can solve previously unsolvable problems.
  80. "The only regulation we need is the blockchain"
  81. "Bank the unbanked"
  82. "To abolish financial slavery and the state's toxic monopoly on money."
  83. "To have better tools in the fight against the state violence and taxation."
  84. "To stamp information on a blockchain forever so we can bypass state censorship, copyrights, patents(informational monopolies) etc."
  85. Will destroy / overthrow FIAT
  86. Will destroy / overthrow the world's governments
  87. Will destroy / overthrow the banking system
  88. Will destroy / overthrow the world economies
  89. Will free people from tyranny
  90. Will give people financial freedom
  91. Will bring world peace
  92. Never going below $19K again
  93. Never going below $18K again
  94. Never going below $17K again
  95. Never going below $16K again
  96. Never going below $15K again
  97. Never going below $14K again
  98. Never going below $13K again
  99. Never going below $12K again
  100. Never going below $11K again
  101. Never going below $10K again
  102. Never going below $9K again
  103. Never going below $8K again
  104. Never going below $7K again
  105. Never going below $6K again
  106. Never going below $5K again
  107. Never going below $4K again
  108. Is NOT a Scam
  109. Hashing Power secures the Bitcoin network
  110. Untraceable, private transactions
  111. Guaranteed privacy
  112. Not created out of thin air
  113. Not created out of thin air by unregulated, unbacked entities
  114. Totally NOT a scam
  115. Is not used primarily by crimonals, drug dealers, or money launderers.
  116. 100% secure
  117. 2010 will be the "Year of Crypto"
  118. 2011 will be the "Year of Crypto"
  119. 2012 will be the "Year of Crypto"
  120. 2013 will be the "Year of Crypto"
  121. 2014 will be the "Year of Crypto"
  122. 2015 will be the "Year of Crypto"
  123. 2016 will be the "Year of Crypto"
  124. 2017 will be the "Year of Crypto"
  125. 2018 will be the "Year of Crypto"
  126. 2019 will be the "Year of Crypto"
  127. 2010: MASS ADOPTION any day now"
  128. 2011: MASS ADOPTION aany day now"
  129. 2012: MASS ADOPTION aaany day now"
  130. 2013: MASS ADOPTION aaaany day now"
  131. 2014: MASS ADOPTION aaaaany day now"
  132. 2015: MASS ADOPTION aaaaaany day now"
  133. 2016: MASS ADOPTION aaaaaaany day now"
  134. 2017: MASS ADOPTION aaaaaaaany day now"
  135. 2018: MASS ADOPTION aaaaaaaaany day now"
  136. 2019: MASS ADOPTION aaaaaaaaany day now"
  137. "Financial Freedom, bro."
  138. no single entity, government or individual, can alter or reverse its transactions
  139. insurance against the tyranny of state
  140. Bitcoin has come to destroy all governments and bring about the libertarian utopia of my dreams.
  141. The major issues in Bicoin's network will be fixed. This is still early days, Bitcoin has only been around for 2+ years.
  142. The major issues in Bicoin's network will be fixed. This is still early days, Bitcoin has only been around for 5+ years.
  143. The major issues in Bicoin's network will be fixed. This is still early days, Bitcoin has only been around for 7+ years.
  144. The major issues in Bicoin's network will be fixed. This is still early days, Bitcoin has only been around for 9+ years.
  145. 1,000's of predictions of skyrocketing and/or never falling prices
  146. Escape the petty rivalries of warring powers and nation states by scattering control among the many. The Bitcoin Cash debacle proves that even the most cryptographically secure plans of mice and men often go awry. Ref: https://www.reddit.com/Buttcoin/comments/9zfhb6/like_theres_only_one_flaw_with_buttcoin_crash/ea8s11m
  147. People will NEVER be able to welch out of bets or deals again. Nov-2018, Ref: https://www.reddit.com/Buttcoin/comments/9zvpl2/the_guy_who_made_the_1000_bet_that_btc_wouldnt/
  148. "Everything will be better, faster, and cheaper.", Brock Pierce, EOS.io shill video.
  149. "Everything will be more connected.", Brock Pierce, EOS.io shill video.
  150. "Everything will be more trustworthy.", Brock Pierce, EOS.io shill video.
  151. "Everything will be more secure.", Brock Pierce, EOS.io shill video.
  152. "Everything that exists is no-longer going to exist in the way that it does today.", Brock Pierce, EOS.io shill video.
  153. "Everything in this world is about to get better.", Brock Pierce, EOS.io shill video.
  154. You are a slave to the bankers
  155. The bankers print money and then you pay for it
  156. Bitcoin is The Peoples Money
  157. Bitcoin will set you free
  158. Bitcoin will set you free from the slavery of the banks and the government Ref: https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/cd2q94/bitcoin_shall_set_you_free/
  159. ~~Bitcoin is "striking fear into the hearts of bankers, precisely because Bitcoin eliminates the need for banks. ~~, Mark Yusko, billionaire investor and Founder of Morgan Creek Capital, https://www.bitcoinprice.com/predictions/
  160. "When transactions are verified on a Blockchain, banks become obsolete.", Mark Yusko, billionaire investor and Founder of Morgan Creek Capital, https://www.bitcoinprice.com/predictions/
  161. SnapshillBot quotes from delusional morons:
  162. "A bitcoin miner in every device and in every hand."
  163. "All the indicators are pointing to a huge year and bigger than anything we have seen before."
  164. "Bitcoin is communism and democracy working hand in hand."
  165. "Bitcoin is freedom, and we will soon be free."
  166. "Bitcoin isn't calculated risk, you're right. It's downright and painfully obvious that it will consume global finance."
  167. "Bitcoin most disruptive technology of last 500 years"
  168. "Bitcoin: So easy, your grandma can use it!"
  169. "Creating a 4th Branch of Government - Bitcoin"
  170. "Future generations will cry laughing reading all the negativity and insanity vomited by these permabears."
  171. "Future us will thank us."
  172. "Give Bitcoin two years"
  173. "HODLING is more like being a dutiful guardian of the most powerful economic force this planet has ever seen and getting to have a say about how that force is unleashed."
  174. "Cut out the middleman"
  175. "full control of your own assets"
  176. "reduction in wealth gap"
  177. "no inflation"
  178. "cannot print money out of thin air"
  179. "Why that matters? Because blockchain not only cheaper for them, it'll be cheaper for you and everyone as well."
  180. "If you are in this to get rich in Fiat then no. But if you are in this to protect your wealth once the current monetary system collapse then you are protected and you'll be the new rich."
  181. "Theres the 1% and then theres the 99%. You want to be with the rest thats fine. Being different and brave is far more rewarding. No matter your background or education."
  182. "NO COINERS will believe anything they are fed by fake news and paid media."
  183. "I know that feeling (like people looking at you as in seeing a celebrity and then asking things they don't believe until their impressed)."
  184. "I literally walk round everyday looking at other people wondering why they even bother to live if they don't have Bitcoin in their lives."
  185. "I think bitcoin may very well be the best form of money we’ve ever seen in the history of civilization."
  186. "I think Bitcoin will do for mankind what the sun did for life on earth."
  187. "I think the constant scams and illegal activities only show the viability of bitcoin."
  188. "I think we're sitting on the verge of exponential interest in the currency."
  189. "I'm not using hyperbole when I say Satoshi found the elusive key to World Peace."
  190. "If Jesus ever comes back you know he's gonna be using Bitcoin"
  191. "If this idea was implemented with The Blockchain™, it would be completely flawless! Flawless I tell you!"
  192. "If you're the minimum wage guy type, now is a great time to skip food and go full ramadan in order to buy bitcoin instead."
  193. "In a world slipping more and more into chaos and uncertainty, Bitcoin seems to me like the last solid rock defeating all the attacks."
  194. "In this moment, I am euphoric. Not because of any filthy statist's blessing, but because I am enlightened by own intelligence."
  195. "Is Bitcoin at this point, with all the potential that opens up, the most undervalued asset ever?"
  196. "It won't be long until bitcoin is an everyday household term."
  197. "It's the USD that is volatile. Bitcoin is the real neutral currency."
  198. "Just like the early Internet!"
  199. "Just like the Trojan Horse of old, Bitcoin will reveal its full power and nature"
  200. "Ladies if your man doesnt have some bitcoin then he cant handle anything and has no danger sex appeal. He isnt edgy"
  201. "let me be the first to say if you dont have bitcoin you are a pussy and cant really purchase anything worldwide. You have no global reach"
  202. "My conclusion is that I see this a a very good thing for bitcoin and for users"
  203. "No one would do such a thing; it'd be against their self interests."
  204. "Ooh lala, good job on bashing Bitcoin. How to disrespect a great innovation."
  205. "Realistically I think Bitcoin will replace the dollar in the next 10-15 years."
  206. "Seperation of money and state -> states become obsolete -> world peace."
  207. "Some striking similarities between Bitcoin and God"
  208. "THANK YOU. Better for this child to be strangled in its crib as a true weapon for crypto-anarchists than for it to be wielded by toxic individuals who distort the technology and surrender it to government and corporate powers."
  209. "The Blockchain is more encompassing than the internet and is the next phase in human evolution. To avoid its significance is complete ignorance."
  210. "The bull run should begin any day now."
  211. "The free market doesn't permit fraud and theft."
  212. "The free market will clear away the bad actors."
  213. "The only regulation we need is the blockchain."
  214. "We are not your slaves! We are free bodies who will swallow you and puke you out in disgust. Welcome to liberty land or as that genius called it: Bitcoin."
  215. "We do not need the bankers for Satoshi is our saviour!"
  216. "We have never seen something so perfect"
  217. "We must bring freedom and crypto to the masses, to the common man who does not know how to fight for himself."
  218. "We verified that against the blockchain."
  219. "we will see a Rennaisnce over the next few decades, all thanks to Bitcoin."
  220. "Well, since 2006, there has been a infinite% increase in price, so..."
  221. "What doesn't kill cryptocurrency makes it stronger."
  222. "When Bitcoin awake in normally people (real people) ... you will have this result : No War. No Tax. No QE. No Bank."
  223. "When I see news that the price of bitcoin has tanked (and thus the market, more or less) I actually, for-real, have the gut reaction "oh that’s cool, I’ll be buying cheap this week". I never knew I could be so rational."
  224. "Where is your sense of adventure? Bitcoin is the future. Set aside your fears and leave easier at the doorstep."
  225. "Yes Bitcoin will cause the greatest redistribution of wealth this planet has ever seen. FACT from the future."
  226. "You are the true Bitcoin pioneers and with your help we have imprinted Bitcoin in the Canadian conscience."
  227. "You ever try LSD? Perhaps it would help you break free from the box of state-formed thinking you have limited yourself..."
  228. "Your phone or refrigerator might be on the blockchain one day."
  229. The banks can print money whenever they way, out of thin air, so why can't crypto do the same ???
  230. Central Banks can print money whenever they way, out of thin air, without any consequences or accounting, so why can't crypto do the same ???
  231. It's impossible to hide illegal, unsavory material on the blockchain
  232. It's impossible to hide child pornography on the blockchain
  233. Fungible
  234. All Bitccoins are the same, 100% identical, one Bitcoin cannot be distinguished from any other Bitcoin.
  235. The price of Bitcoin can only go up.
  236. "Bubbles are mathematically impossible in this new paradigm. So are corrections and all else", John McAfee, 7 Dec 2017 @ 5:09 PM,https://mobile.twitter.com/officialmcafee/status/938938539282190337
  237. Scarcity
  238. The price of Bitcoin can only go up because of scarcity / 21 million coin limit. (Bitcoin is open source, anyone can create thir own copy, and there are more than 2,000+ Bitcoin copies / clones out there already).
  239. immune to government regulation
  240. "a world-changing technology"
  241. "a long-term store of value, like gold or silver"
  242. "To Complex to Be Audited."
  243. "Old Auditing rules do not apply to Blockchain."
  244. "Old Auditing rules do not apply to Cryptocurrency."
  245. "Why Bitcoin has Value: SCARCITY.", PlanB, Coin Shill, 22-Mar-2019, https://medium.com/@100trillionUSD/modeling-bitcoins-value-with-scarcity-91fa0fc03e25
  246. "Bitcoin is the first scarce digital object the world has ever seen, it is scarce like silver & gold, and can be sent over the internet, radio, satellite etc.", PlanB, Coin Shill, 22-Mar-2019, https://medium.com/@100trillionUSD/modeling-bitcoins-value-with-scarcity-91fa0fc03e25
  247. "Surely this digital scarcity has value.", PlanB, Coin Shill, 22-Mar-2019, https://medium.com/@100trillionUSD/modeling-bitcoins-value-with-scarcity-91fa0fc03e25
  248. Bitcoin now at $16,600.00. Those of you in the old school who believe this is a bubble simply have not understood the new mathematics of the Blockchain, or you did not cared enough to try. Bubbles are mathematically impossible in this new paradigm. So are corrections and all else", John McAfee, 7 Dec 2017 @ 5:09 PM,https://mobile.twitter.com/officialmcafee/status/938938539282190337
  249. "May 2018 will be the last time we ever see $bitcoin under $10,000", Charlie Shrem, bitcoin advocate and convicted felon, 11:31 AM 3-May-2018, https://twitter.com/CharlieShrem/status/992109375555858433
  250. "Last dip ever.", AngeloBTC, 14 Oct 2018, https://mobile.twitter.com/AngeloBTC/status/1051710824388030464/photo/1
  251. "Bitcoin May Have Just Experienced its Final Shakeout Before a Big Rally", Joseph Young, coin shill, October 15, 2018 22:30 CET, https://www.ccn.com/bitcoin-may-have-just-experienced-its-final-shakeout-before-a-big-rally/
  252. Bitcoin would be a buy if the price fell under $5,000., Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic advisor at Allianz, 29-Jun-2018, https://www.ccn.com/bitcoin-a-buy-below-5000-says-allianz-chief-economic-adviso
  253. 2013-11-27: ""What is a Citadel?" you might wonder. Well, by the time Bitcoin became worth 1,000 dollar [27-Nov-2013], services began to emerge for the "Bitcoin rich" to protect themselves as well as their wealth. It started with expensive safes, then began to include bodyguards, and today, "earlies" (our term for early adapters), as well as those rich whose wealth survived the "transition" live in isolated gated cities called Citadels, where most work is automated. Most such Citadels are born out of the fortification used to protect places where Bitcoin mining machines are located. The company known as ASICminer to you is known to me as a city where Mr. Friedman rules as a king.", u/Luka_Magnotta, aka time traveler from the future, 31-Aug-2013, https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/1lfobc/i_am_a_timetraveler_from_the_future_here_to_beg/
  254. 2018-02: Bitcoin price to hit $27,000 by February 2018, Trace Mayer, host of the Bitcoin Knowledge Podcast, and self-proclaimed entrepreneur, investor, journalist, monetary scientist and ardent defender, Link #1: https://mobile.twitter.com/TraceMayestatus/917260836070154240/photo/1, Link #2: https://www.bitcoinprice.com/predictions/
  255. 2018-06: "Bitcoin will surpass $15,000 in June [2018]." John McAfee, May 25, 2018, https://bitcoinist.com/john-mcafee-says-bitcoin-will-surpass-15000-in-june/
  256. 2018-07: Bitcoin will be $28,000 by mid-2018, Ronnie Moas, Wall Street analyst and founder of Standpoint Research, http://helpfordream.com/2018/12/23/5-bitcoin-price-predictions-gone-wrong/.
  257. 2018-12: Bitcoin to reach a price of between 40,000 and 110,000 US dollars by the end of the 2017 bull run ... sometime before 2019, Masterluc, 26-May-2017, an anonymous "legendary" Bitcoin trader, Link #1: https://www.tradingview.com/chart/BTCUSD/YRZvdurN-The-target-of-current-bubble-lays-between-40k-and-110k/, Link #2: https://www.bitcoinprice.com/predictions/
  258. 2018-12: "There is no reason why we couldn’t see Bitcoin pushing $50,000 by December [2018]", Thomas Glucksmann, head of APAC business at Gatecoin, Link #1: https://www.bitcoinprice.com/predictions/
  259. 2018-12: Listen up you giggling cunts... who wants some?...you? you want some?...huh? Do ya? Here's the deal you fuckin Nerds - Butts are gonna be at 30 grand or more by next Christmas [2018] - If they aren't I will publicly administer an electronic dick sucking to every shill on this site and disappear forever - Until then, no more bans or shadow bans - Do we have a deal? If Butts are over 50 grand me and Lammy get to be mods. Deal? Your ole pal - "Skully" u/10GDeathBoner, 3-Feb-2018 https://www.reddit.com/Buttcoin/comments/7ut1ut/listen_up_you_giggling_cunts_who_wants_someyou/
  260. 2018-12: 1 bitcoin = 1 Lambo. Remind me on Christmas eve [2018] u/10GDeathBoner, 3-Feb-2018, https://www.reddit.com/Buttcoin/comments/7ut1ut/listen_up_you_giggling_cunts_who_wants_someyou/dtn2pna
  261. 2018-12: Been in BTC since 2014 and experienced many "deaths" of BTC... this too shall pass... $10k end of the year. [2018] u/Exxe2502, 30-Jun-2018 https://reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/8uur27/_/e1ioi5b/?context=1
  262. 2018-12: "Yale Alumni prediction - 30 Grand by Christmas [2018] - and you my friend... you will be the one eating Mcafee's dick in 2020. :) -:", u/SirNakamoto, 15-Jun-2018, https://www.reddit.com/Buttcoin/comments/8r0tyh/fdic_agrees_to_cover_bitcoin_losses_in_event_of/e0nzxq7
  263. 2018-12: "Impossible For Bitcoin Not to Hit $10,000 by This Year (2018)", Mike Novogratz, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner, ex-hedge fund manager of the Fortress Investment Group and a longstanding advocate of cryptocurrency, 22-Sep-2018, https://www.newsbtc.com/2018/09/22/billionaire-novogratz-impossible-for-bitcoin-not-to-hit-10000-by-this-yea
  264. 2018-12: "[Bitcoin] between $13,800 and $14,800 [by end of 2018]", Fundstrat's Tom Lee, 13-Dec-2018, https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/13/wall-streets-bitcoin-bull-tom-lee-we-are-tired-of-people-asking-us-about-target-prices.html
  265. 2018-12: "Bitcoin is going to be $15k-$20k by the end of the year (2018)", Didi Taihuttu, 1-Nov-2018, https://www.wsj.com/video/series/moving-upstream/the-bitcoin-gamble/85E3A4A7-C777-4827-9A3F-B387F2AB7654
  266. 2018-12: 2018 bitcoin price prediction reduced to $15,000 [was $25,000], Fundstrat's Tom Lee, 16-Nov-2018, https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/16/wall-streets-crypto-bull-tom-lee-slashes-year-end-forecast-by-10000.html
  267. 2018-12: "I want to be clear, bitcoin is going to $25,000 by year end (2018)", Fundstrat's Tom Lee, 5-Jul-2018, https://www.cnbc.com/video/2018/07/05/tom-lee-i-want-to-be-clear-bitcoin-is-going-to-25000-by-year-end.html
  268. 2018-12: "Bitcoin could be at $40,000 by the end of 2018, it really easily could", Mike Novogratz, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner, ex-hedge fund manager of the Fortress Investment Group and a longstanding advocate of cryptocurrency, 21-Sep-2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lC1anDg2KU
  269. 2018-12: "Bitcoin will be priced around $50,000 by the end of the year (2018)", Bitcoin bull Arthur Hayes, co-founder and CEO of BitMEX, 29-Jun-2018, https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/29/bitcoin-will-reach-50000-in-2018-says-founder-of-bitcoin-exchange.html
  270. 2018-12: "Bitcoin could definitely see $50,000 in 2018", Jeet Singh, cryptocurrency portfolio manager, speaking in January 2018 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, https://www.dcforecasts.com/new-prediction-says-bitcoin-hit-50000-2018/
  271. 2018-12: "Bitcoin will hit $100,000 this year (2018)", Kay Van-Petersen, an analyst at Saxo Bank, 17-Jan-2018, https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/16/bitcoin-headed-to-100000-in-2018-analyst-who-forecast-2017-price-move.html
  272. 2018-12: "Bitcoin price to surpass the $100,000 mark by the end of 2018", Tone Vays, 21-Sep-2017, https://www.ccn.com/prominent-bitcoin-trader-price-is-heading-towards-100000-in-2018/
  273. 2018-12: "Bitcoin’s Price Will Surpass the $100,000 Mark by the End of 2018", Anonymous ("author" obviously too embarrassed to put his name to such bullshit "articles"), Oct-2018, https://investingpr.com/bitcoin-price-predictions-for-2018/
  274. 2018-12: "Our [2018] year-end bitcoin target is $7700.", James Stefurak, Founder at Monarch Research. See article: "Experts Forecast Bitcoin will rise by 2019", REF: https://hackernoon.com/experts-forecast-bitcoin-will-rise-by-2019-f4af8807036b?gi=dfea3c30d6d8
  275. 2018-12: "... we’ll see the price rally reaching its all-time of high of around $20K before the end of 2018", Khaled Khorshid, Co-Founder at Treon ICO. See article: "Experts Forecast Bitcoin will rise by 2019", REF: https://hackernoon.com/experts-forecast-bitcoin-will-rise-by-2019-f4af8807036b?gi=dfea3c30d6d8
  276. 2018-12: Bitcoin will end 2018 at the price point of $50,000, Ran Neuner, host of CNBC’s show Cryptotrader and the 28th most influential Blockchain insider according to Richtopia,https://www.bitcoinprice.com/predictions/
  277. Plus a whole host of wrong 2019 predictions (could not be included here because of post character limit issues), so please see my earlier post from 4 days ago: Ummm, remember those "Expert" Bitcoin Price Predictions for 2019 ..... ohhhhh dear ....., https://www.reddit.com/Buttcoin/comments/eiqhq3/ummm_remember_those_expert_bitcoin_price/
.
But it's NOT all bad news, some claims and promises are yet to be determined:
  1. Never going below $3K again
  2. Never going below $2K again
  3. Never going below $1K again
  4. Any others ? Please let me know.
submitted by Crypto_To_The_Core to Buttcoin [link] [comments]

How and Why to Balance A.I. Spawn Locations, Density, Behaviors, and Loot Tables

A.I. stats seemingly provide a subtle effect to gameplay, but in reality these easily adjustable, “ninja stats,” contribute significantly to the overall gameplay experience in Escape From Tarkov. A.I. stat tables texture the in-raid experience by playing a key role in the economy, and impact immersion and incentive factors or resource texturing. Having purchased my first account on December 28, 2016, I have had plenty of time to take note of how these factors have affected players through every phase of development since nearly the beginning of public launch and I have determined that the subject has gone largely overlooked in discussions of the overall gameplay experience.
Scavs texture each map by determining player pathing through incentive placement. Players should see scav spawns as potential loot and exp resources that accentuate different areas of the map, but with the current deemphasized/randomized loot tables players rarely seek out these locations. This means that scavs become a mere annoyance for many players, or in some cases, they become rarely sought out locations for completing some entry level quests. Once a player has passed these quests they no longer seek out scav spawns and go straight for high tier loot spawns as these tend to attract more players. Players rarely wander the entire map searching for scavs that may or may not be there. New and casual players rarely understand the locations, behaviors, or loot tables of scavs and are therefore surprised by them as undergeared players and if they succeed find that scavs rarely provide seriously useful or fun loot.
One example of how this resource texturing is working correctly right now is in factory bathroom. Right now players are grouping up in the EFT Official Discord and grinding out scavs in the factory bathroom, and they are having a lot of fun. New players are finding consistent exp and loot, and they are able to work with and learn from more experienced players. It works on factory right now, but it not effective on all maps, and the loot tables should be tweaked significantly in order to make this more effective.
In terms of map resource texturing, I propose that scavs should spawn in an orderly way in larger groups, at specific locations, with dynamic sequential spawning. Dynamic sequential spawning means that instead of 2-3 scavs spawning at 3-4 different locations on a given map, they should spawn in groups of 5-6 in one initial location, after the first patrol is wiped a second patrol spawns at a known secondary location, once this patrol is wiped a third patrol of 5-6 scavs spawns at a known third location, and so on. There could easily be 5-10 sequential, ordered scav spawn locations on any given map. For example, on Woods, Wood Camp could be the first spawn location and they could patrol around the perimeter of the camp in a fairly tight group (say 10-15 meter spread), second could be RAUF patrolling from East to West along the road, third West Border, fourth South-V, fifth East Gate, sixth Scav House, seventh Marked Circle, eight Wood Camp again, ninth Mountain Stash, tenth Gate to Factory. By doing this you would have a total potential of 50-60 scavs spawning throughout a raid if players systematically clear patrols, and yet there would only be 5-6 scavs on the map at a given time which reduces lag and performance issues. This would also concentrate PVP around these patrols.
By providing ordered static patrols on each map players no longer find themselves wandering around the map checking an infinite number of angles, trying to decide where to go and what to do. It also disrupts the rushing of high tier loot spawns by incentivising players to engage with scavs who behave as a group in larger numbers than we have now. Texturing a map through ordered static scav spawns introduces two problems with scavs; the practical and market value of scav loot, and the RNG introduced by high pen/damage ammo that scavs can spawn with. Currently, scav loot tables are unpredictable.
Sometimes when you kill a scav you get stupidly high value items like for example you can kill a scav now and get a Fal (50k)+Keycard(100K)+Rare Key(100k-2mil)+T4 armor(50-100k)+Pilgrim(30-40k) - we are looking at a potential profit of 330k-2.3m roubles. On the other hand it is common to find scavs with a mosin and scav vest, or a pistol+vest+t-bag - pointless items that nobody cares about. One third of the time, maybe less, you get a reasonable loadout from a scav, maybe an AK or shotgun with a decent rig and an MBSS.
These “reasonable loadouts” are extremely useful to new players and can provide a little buffer to the unforgiving experience of EFT for new and casual players. Also, if you are a hardcore player looking for moderate gains you can go wipe one patrol and walk out with 4-5 shotguns and AKs, providing a reasonable 120-150k profit. Chances are the casuals will actually use the AKs and shotguns, and the hardcore players will mod the AKs and sell the shotguns, removing currency from the economy by buying mods, which is useful for balancing the economy. It’s a win-win for casual, new, and hardcore players.
This brings us the to the second issue with scavs which is the RNG created by high pen ammo that they spawn with fairly often. This needs to stop because it makes it so that casuals and hardcore players don’t want to run high tier gear at all. They know that one Bush Wookie or terminator A.I. with a mosin, vepr hunter, or Fal can delete them in one shot. This is fine if its a PMC with a mosin, but nobody should be getting one-tapped through gear by a scav, PERIOD. I don’t care if it’s more realistic. This game is not actually about realism it is about immersion which is a game-design mechanic not a realism mechanic. If you haven’t realized this about EFT yet, then simply refer to the clip of Nikita referencing the secure containers multiple times on different podcasts and videos as “Magic.” But I digress… It is about balance, fun, and intensity, not a war simulator.
Get these high tier bullets OUT of the scav loot tables completely. It does not make the game more fun for anyone. We want players to bring in high tier gear because it allows players to experience these beautifully crafted items, which is really the point of the game - the experience you get when you get to USE nice gear that you worked hard to earn. Players would be much less likely to horde currency to destabilize the economy and much more likely to bring in decent loadouts if this one issue of high pen ammo on scavs was resolved. We have players with 50-100 mil inventory values who STILL run a t3 chest and a ssh-68 every raid because they know that running anything else is too risky.
In place of these vepr hunters, Fals, and mosins, I propose a number of drastic changes to the loot tables themselves which could easily be made through “ninja tweaks.” Get rid of all high value loot from scavs and replace it with MORE moderately valued items. New players don’t need labs keycards, they don’t need vases, Fals, and other high value low practicality items. New and casual players need fun and useful items to get them through their raids. Tier 2-3 armor so they don’t get one tapped by any and every scav and pistol player with a PM or shotgun. Decent meds, especially that stop bleeds and limping. So here is my new proposed loot table for all scavs:
Meds provide a much needed buffer for new and casual players. Primary weapons should not be overly useless, such as the Toz. Primary weapons should not be overpowered, I’ve mentioned these already. Instead these primary weapons should be AK-based, or shotgun based, and they should be running PS/PP ammo or buckshot. A pack of 5-6 scavs with AKs and shotguns makes for a fun fight. It would be cool to see them switching to sidearms as they use up their ammo, and adding a pistol to every scav on top of their primary injects more mid/low tier USEFUL gear into the game so that a new player can get two raids out of killing one scav. This means that If two new players working together manage to clear two patrols of 5-6 scavs in one raid and make it out, then they are each set for at least ten failed raids.
And trust me, this is a really important metric for understanding the new player experience. Every time a new player dies they are asking themselves, “How many more failed raids do I have left before I quit this game?” This stuff doesn’t seem important to most of us who have been playing for years or those hardcore players who play eight hours a day, but it makes a huge difference for new player retention. Guns make sense to new players, especially fully automatic AKs and mp-153s. Keycards, SanKeys, car batteries, bitcoins, confuse new players and hardcore players would rather run to their static spawns than bother farming scavs for a chance at a rare item. Once these loot tables change, combined with ordered-sequential scav spawning, players will stay in raid longer, experiencing more action, and see the whole map in a way that makes sense and has some sense of predictability. This game already has plenty of RNG, plenty of risk, plenty of freedom and intensity. It is time to hone it in and bring logic to the game. Create a textured, hand-crafted experience that showcases the artistic value of this game.
These changes that I have suggested don’t even require a patch. We know that these metrics can be changed very quickly and easily and would drastically change the gameplay experience for the better. By focusing resources through these usages of scavs on each map it conditions players to think about their raids in a linear way, which goes against the survival genre, but distinguish EFT within the genre. Providing a more “on the rails” survival “theme-park” experience for each map also conditions the playerbase for what is to come for EFT: The Storyline. You don’t want players to suddenly go from total freedom to suddenly being hit with a structured storyline. You want to ease them into it, and what I propose here does just that and much more.
submitted by VirindiPuppetDT to EscapefromTarkov [link] [comments]

Bylls — the Canadian Bitcoin bill payment service by Bull Bitcoin — celebrates its 6th birthday

I sometimes find it hard to believe that it has already been 6 years since the public launch of Bylls on January 13 2014. What started out as a simple and humble “garage startup”, the world’s first Bitcoin bill payment service, evolved into so much more.
Bylls eventually became the company that people know today as Bull Bitcoin, and it is from Bylls’ UASF advocacy that sprouted the Cyphernode open-source project. I also like to think of Bylls as a “bitcoin culture” institution that served as the vanguard of the Bitcoin Maximalist and Cypherpunk movements within the Bitcoin exchange and payments industry.
Happy Birthday Bylls! 🎂

What is Bylls?

For those of you who don’t know about Bylls, here’s a short summary:

Short history of world’s first Bitcoin bill payment service

Bylls was founded in 2013 by Eric Spano, a Montreal entrepreneur part of the original Bitcoin Embassy team. Eric, one of my earliest and most influential mentors, is a true Bitcoin OG. Check out his 2014 Bitcoin Ted Talk or his 2019 Podcast on Tales From the Crypt which describes in great detail the inception of Bylls.
When Bylls was launched, I was Public Affairs Director at the Bitcoin Embassy, the world’s first physical Bitcoin hub (a 14,000 square feet building downtown Montreal). Bylls was effectively a one-man operation, with Eric doing pretty much everything himself. I wasn’t directly involved with the company, but Bylls was one of the startups in the Embassy’s incubator program, so I was helping out in various ways. My first “public appearance” in the Bitcoin industry was actually to man the Bylls booth at the Toronto Bitcoin Expo in 2014!
In 2015, Eric was offered a huge career opportunity that he couldn’t accept without stepping down from running Bylls. It was to me an inconceivable tragedy for Bitcoin to let Bylls quitely close down. For the past 2 years, whenever somebody asked me “what can you do with Bitcoin?”, I would always reply “well, for starters, you can pay all your bills in Canada, even your taxes and your credit card”. What was I going to say now?
I had just founded my company Satoshi Portal Inc. with the aim of developing a non-custodial Bitcoin exchange (which eventually became Bull Bitcoin). And so, I acquired Bylls from Eric and it immediately became the focus of all my energy. For the first year, our team consisted of only 2 people including our lead developer Arthur which is still working on Bylls features to this day. From the beginning until today, we are still 100% self-funded. We grew organically and slowly. My philosophy on entrepreneurship and startup scaling is articulated in this medium post.It has been an incredibly intense journey. I cannot think of a more challenging professional experience than being a startup founder and entrepreneur in the Bitcoin industry. The number of Bitcoin startups that have perished since is a stark reminder. Some of them sank quietly, but many went down in flames taking down their users with them. The fact that Bylls is still standing — without VC funding and with its reputation intact — is my proudest achievement.
Over the past 4 years. we completely redesigned the software, continuously adding new features, but the core of the service remained the same. Most importantly, we added the ability for users to pay any individual or business in Canada by creating a personal biller from their bank details. Previously, they were limited to Bylls’ biller list of around 9000 billers.
One of the defining moments in the history of Bylls was UASF. Bylls was one of the first Bitcoin companies to support BIP-148 for the activation of Segwit (second after Bitconic). Not only that, but we were the first to run a public BIP-148 block explorer and public UASF electrum server. We had done a “seppuku pledge” regarding BIP-148, meaning that we would only accept coins from the UASF segwit chain and would pay the Bitcoin market price for them. If UASF had failed, we would not have survived. This cemented our ideology of “skin-in-the-game”. We would never compromise on our values, no matter the cost. Our policy on forks (2017) was described here. But the jist of it is:
Satoshi Portal is a Bitcoin-only company and does not conduct any transaction in any altcoin, including altcoins that are the result of a fork of the Bitcoin blockchain and which can be spent with Bitcoin private keys. This includes, but is not limited to, the coins commonly referred to as BCash, Segwit2X, BGold, Clams and Lumens.We strongly oppose the “New York Agreement” and will under no circumstance ever recognize the Segwit2X blockchain (and BTC1 client) as Bitcoin, regardless of market response or hashing power. In the unlikely event that an overwhelming majority of the Bitcoin ecosystem migrates to the Segwit2X blockchain, Satoshi Portal will continue nevertheless to support the Bitcoin blockchain.
Following the UASF/NO2X “war” in 2017, we devoted a large prortion of ressources to building Cyphernode, an open-source project that makes it very easy for startups to build and deploy Bitcoin applies without any third-parties, using exclusively their own full nodes. We are still developing this project today and plan on actively maintaining it in the future.
It is also worth noting that Bylls has never accepted any altcoins and was one of the first company to pledge never to accept altcoins in the future, leading to what became the “Bitcoin-Only” movement. We were also the first Bitcoin exchange and payment processing company, to our knowledge, that has integrated coinjoin as part of its processes.

Unbanking yourself with Bylls

The coolest feature of Bylls is that you can pay pretty much all your expenses with Bitcoin without needing to go through a bank account. In Canada, you can obtain a credit card without having it linked to a bank account. In 2016, the last of my personal bank accounts was closed due to my activities in the Bitcoin industry. I decided not apply at another bank and try the experiment of living completely unbanked. I’m happy to report it was a success, and serves as a powerful testament for the use-cases provided by Bylls.
I really like the idea of not owning any fiat. You can pay pretty much all daily expenses with a credit card, and pay back the debt with Bitcoin. Of course you have fiat-denominated debts which conveniently tends to diminish in price over time.
You can withdraw cash from a credit card and pay it off instantly with Bylls, so you can get access to cash at any time, in any country across the world, without having a bank account. The only inconvenience is the cash advance fee.
When you have to pay larger amounts such as rent or whatever services don’t accept cash or credit card, you can find the biller in the Bylls list or ask the recipient for his banking details, the same as you would for a wire transfer.

The future of Bylls

Many people ask us if we intend to expand outside of Canada. The answer is, unequivocally, no. We will always be a Canada-only, Bitcoin-only company. That doesn’t mean that we stop working hard to improve our services. We will continue to be the first to integrate the cutting-edge Bitcoin technologies that
Here is are some of the features you can expect in 2020:
Thanks for reading! 🎂
Yours truly,
Francis
Original post here: https://medium.com/bull-bitcoin/bylls-the-canadian-bitcoin-bill-payment-service-by-bull-bitcoin-celebrates-its-6th-birthday-ef6d22acdf2a
submitted by FrancisPouliot to BitcoinCA [link] [comments]

Quant Network: Token valuation dynamics and fundamentals

Quant Network: Token valuation dynamics and fundamentals
This post intends to illustrate the dynamics and fundamentals related to the mechanics and use of the Quant Network Utility Token (QNT), in order to provide the community with greater clarity around what holding the token actually means.
This is a follow-up on two articles David W previously wrote about Quant Network’s prospects and potential, which you can find here:
For holders not intending to use Overledger for business reasons, the primary goal of holding the QNT token is to benefit from price appreciation. Some are happy to believe that speculation will take the QNT price to much higher levels if and when large-scale adoption/implementation news comes out, whilst others may actually prefer to assess the token’s utility and analyse how it would react to various scenarios to justify a price increase based on fundamentals. The latter is precisely what I aim to look into in this article.
On that note, I have noticed that many wish to see institutional investors getting involved in the crypto space for their purchase power, but the one thing they would bring and that is most needed in my opinion is fundamental analysis and valuation expectations based on facts. Indeed, equity investors can probably access 20 or 30 reports that are 15 pages long and updated on a quarterly basis about any blue chip stock they are invested in, but how many of such (professional) analyst reports can you consult for your favorite crypto coins? Let me have a guess: none. This is unfortunate, and it is a further reason to look into the situation in more details.
To be clear, this article is not about providing figures on the expected valuation of the token, but rather about providing the community with a deeper analysis to better understand its meaning and valuation context. This includes going through the (vast) differences between a Utility Token and a Company Share since I understand it is still blurry in some people’s mind. I will incorporate my thoughts and perspective on these matters, which should not be regarded as a single source of truth but rather as an attempt to “dig deeper”.
In order to share these thoughts with you in the most pertinent manner, I have actually entirely modelled the Quant Treasury function and analysed how the QNT token would react to various scenarios based on a number of different factors. That does not mean there is any universal truth to be told, but it did help in clarifying how things work (with my understanding of the current ruleset at least, which may also evolve over time). This is an important safety net: if the intensity of speculation in crypto markets was to go lower from here, what would happen to the token price? How would Quant Treasury help support it? If the market can feel comfortable with such situation and the underlying demand for the token, then it can feel comfortable to take it higher based on future growth expectations — and that’s how it should be.
Finally, to help shed light on different areas, I must confess that I will have to go through some technicalities on how this all works and what a Utility Token actually is. That is the price to pay to gain that further, necessary knowledge and be in a position to assess the situation more thoroughly — but I will make it as readable as I possibly can, so… if are you ready, let’s start!

A Utility Token vs. a Company Share: what is the difference?

It is probably fair to say that many people involved in the crypto space are unfamiliar with certain key financial terms or concepts, simply because finance is not necessarily everyone’s background (and that is absolutely fine!). In addition, Digital Assets bring some very novel concepts, which means that everyone has to adapt in any case.
Therefore, I suggest we start with a comparison of the characteristics underpinning the QNT Utility Token and a Quant Network Company Share (as you may know, the Company Shares are currently privately held by the Quant Network founders). I believe it is important to look at this comparison for two reasons:
  1. Most people are familiar with regular Company Shares because they have been traded for decades, and it is often asked how Utility Tokens compare.
  2. Quant Network have announced a plan to raise capital to grow their business further (in the September 2019 Forbes article which you can find here). Therefore, regardless of whether the Share Offering is made public or private, I presume the community will want to better understand how things compare and the different dynamics behind each instrument.
So where does the QNT Utility Token sit in Quant Network company and how does it compare to a Quant Network Company Share? This is how it looks:
https://preview.redd.it/zgidz8ed74y31.png?width=1698&format=png&auto=webp&s=54acd2def0713b67ac7c41dae6c9ab225e5639fa
What is on the right hand side of a balance sheet is the money a company has, and what is on the left hand side is how it uses it. Broadly speaking, the money the company has may come from the owners (Equity) or from the creditors (Debt). If I were to apply these concepts to an individual (you!), “Equity” is your net worth, “Debt” is your mortgage and other debt, and “Assets” is your house, car, savings, investments, crypto, etc.
As you can see, a Company Share and a Utility Token are found in different parts of the balance sheet — and that, in itself, is a major difference! They indeed serve two very different purposes:
  • Company Shares: they represent a share of a company’s ownership, meaning that you actually own [X]% of the company ([X]% = Number of shares you possess / Total number of shares) and hence [X]% of the company’s assets on the left hand side of the balance sheet.
  • Utility Tokens: they are keys to access a given platform (in our case, Quant Network’s Operating System: Overledger) and they can serve multiple purposes as defined by their Utility Document (in QNT’s case, the latest V0.3 version can be found here).
As a consequence, as a Company Shareholder, you are entitled to receive part or all of the profits generated by the company (as the case may arise) and you can also take part in the management decisions (indeed, with 0.00000001% of Apple shares, you have the corresponding right to vote to kick the CEO out if you want to!).
On the other hand, as a Utility Token holder, you have no such rights related to the company’s profits or management, BUT any usage of the platform has to go through the token you hold — and that has novel, interesting facets.

A Utility Token vs. a Company Share: what happens in practice?

Before we dig further, let’s now remind ourselves of the economic utilities of the QNT token (i.e. in addition to signing and encrypting transactions):
  1. Licences: a licence is mandatory for anyone who wishes to develop on the Overledger platform. Enterprises and Developers pay Quant Network in fiat money and Quant Treasury subsequently sets aside QNT tokens for the same amount (a diagram on how market purchases are performed can be found on the Overledger Treasury page here). The tokens are locked for 12 months, and the current understanding is that the amount of tokens locked is readjusted at each renewal date to the prevailing market price of QNT at the time (this information is not part of the Utility Token document as of now, but it was given in a previous Telegram AMA so I will assume it is correct pending further developments).
  2. Usage: this relates to the amount of Overledger read and write activity performed by clients on an ongoing basis, and also to the transfer of Digital Assets from one chain to another, and it follows a similar principle: fiat money is received by Quant Network, and subsequently converted in QNT tokens (these tokens are not locked, however).
  3. Gateways: information about Gateways has been released through the Overledger Network initiative (see dedicated website here), and we now know that the annual cost for running a Gateway will be 500 QNT whilst Gateway holders will receive a percentage of transaction fees going through their setup.
  4. Minimum holding amounts: the team has stated that there will be a minimum QNT holding amount put in place for every participant of the Overledger ecosystem, although the details have not been released yet.
That being said, it now becomes interesting to illustrate with indicative figures what actually happens as Licences, Usage and Gateways are paid for and Quant Network company operates. The following diagram may help in this respect:
Arbitrary figures from myself (i.e. no currency, no unit), based on an indicative 20% Net Income Ratio and a 40% Dividend yield
We have now two different perspectives:
  • On the right hand side, you see the simplified Profit & Loss account (“P&L”) which incorporates Total Revenues, from which costs and taxes are deducted, to give a Net Income for the company. A share of this Net Income may be distributed to Shareholders in the form of a Dividend, whilst the remainder is accounted as retained profits and goes back to the balance sheet as Equity to fund further growth for instance. Importantly, the Dividend (if any) is usually a portion of the Net Income so, using an indicative 40% Dividend yield policy, shareholders receive here for a given year 80 out of total company revenues of 1,000.
  • On the left hand side, you see the QNT requirements arising from the Overledger-related business activity which equal 700 here. Note that this is only a portion of the Total Revenues (1,000) you can see on the right hand side, as the team generates income from other sources as well (e.g. consultancy fees) — but I assume Overledger will represent the bulk of it since it is Quant Network’s flagship product and focus. In this case, the equivalent fiat amount of QNT tokens represents 700 (i.e. 100% of Overledger-related revenues) out of the company’s Total Revenues of 1,000. It is to be noted that excess reserves of QNT may be sold and generate additional revenues for the company, which would be outside of the Overledger Revenues mentioned above (i.e. they would fall in the “Other Revenues” category).
A way to summarise the situation from a very high level is: as a Company Shareholder you take a view on the company’s total profits whereas as a Utility Token holder you take a view on the company’s revenues (albeit Overledger-related).
It is however too early to reach any conclusion, so we now need to dig one level deeper again.

More considerations around Company Shares

As we discussed, with a Company Share, you possess a fraction of the company’s ownership and hence you have access to profits (and losses!). So how do typical Net Income results look in the technology industry? What sort of Dividend is usually paid? What sort of market valuations are subsequently achieved?
Let’s find out:
https://preview.redd.it/eua9sqlt74y31.png?width=2904&format=png&auto=webp&s=3500669942abf62a0ea1c983ab3cea40552c40d1
As you can see, the typical Net Income Ratio varies between around 10% and 20% in the technology/software industry (using the above illustrated peer group). The ratio illustrates the proportion of Net Income extracted from Revenues.
In addition, money is returned to Company Shareholders in the form of a Dividend (i.e. a portion of the Net Income) and in the form of Share repurchases (whereby the company uses its excess cash position to buy back shares from Shareholders and hence diminish the number of Shares available). A company may however prefer to not redistribute any of the profits, and retain them instead to fund further business growth — Alphabet (Google) is a good example in this respect.
Interestingly, as you can see on the far right of the table, the market capitalisations of these companies reflect high multiples of their Net Income as investors expect the companies to prosper in the future and generate larger profits. If you wished to explore these ideas further, I recommend also looking into the Return on Equity ratio which takes into account the amount of resources (i.e. Capital/Equity) put to work to generate the companies’ profits.
It is also to be noted that the number of Company Shares outstanding may vary over time. Indeed, aside from Share repurchases that diminish the number of Shares available to the market, additional Shares may be issued to raise additional funds from the market hence diluting the ownership of existing Shareholders.
Finally, (regular) Company Shares are structured in the same way across companies and industries, which brings a key benefit of having them easily comparable/benchmarkable against one another for investors. That is not the case for Utility Tokens, but they come with the benefit of having a lot more flexible use cases.

More considerations around the QNT token

As discussed, the Utility Token model is quite novel and each token has unique functions designed for the system it is associated with. That does not make value assessment easy, since all Utility Tokens are different, and this is a further reason to have a detailed look into the QNT case.
https://preview.redd.it/b0xe0ogw74y31.png?width=1512&format=png&auto=webp&s=cece522cd7919125e199b012af41850df6d9e9fd
As a start, all assets that are used in a speculative way embed two components into their price:
A) one that represents what the asset is worth today, and
B) one that represents what it may be worth in the future.
Depending on whether the future looks bright or not, a price premium or a price discount may be attached to the asset price.
This is similar to what we just saw with Company Shares valuation multiples, and it is valid across markets. For instance, Microsoft generates around USD 21bn in annual Net Income these days, but the cost of acquiring it entirely is USD 1,094bn (!). This speculative effect is particularly visible in the crypto sector since valuation levels are usually high whilst usage/adoption levels are usually low for now.
So what about QNT? As mentioned, the QNT Utility model has novel, interesting facets. Since QNT is required to access and use the Overledger system, it is important to appreciate that Quant Network company has three means of action regarding the QNT token:
  1. MANAGING their QNT reserves on an ongoing basis (i.e. buying or selling tokens is not always automatic, they can allocate tokens from their own reserves depending on their liquidity position at any given time),
  2. BUYING/RECEIVING QNT from the market/clients on the back of business activity, and
  3. SELLING QNT when they deem their reserves sufficient and/or wish to sell tokens to cover for operational costs.
Broadly speaking, the above actions will vary depending on business performance, the QNT token price and the Quant Network company’s liquidity position.
We also have to appreciate how the QNT distribution will always look like, it can be broken down as follows:
https://preview.redd.it/f20h7hvz74y31.png?width=1106&format=png&auto=webp&s=f2f5b63272f5ed6e3f977ce08d7bae043851edd1
A) QNT tokens held by the QNT Community
B) QNT tokens held by Quant Network that are locked (i.e. those related to Licences)
C) QNT tokens held by Quant Network that are unlocked (i.e. those related to other usage, such as consumption fees and Gateways)
D) the minimum QNT amount held by all users of the platform (more information on this front soon)
So now that the situation is set, how would we assess Quant Network’s business activity effect on the QNT token?
STEP 1: We would need to define the range of minimum/maximum amounts of QNT which Quant Network would want to keep as liquid reserves (i.e. unlocked) on an ongoing basis. This affects key variables such as the proportion of market purchases vs. the use of their own reserves, and the amount of QNT sold back to the market. Also, interestingly, if Quant Network never wanted to keep less than, for instance, 1 million QNT tokens as liquid reserves, these 1 million tokens would have a similar effect on the market as the locked tokens because they would never be sold.
STEP 2: We would need to define the amount of revenues that are related to QNT. As we know, Overledger Licences, Usage and Gateways generate revenues converted into QNT (or in QNT directly). So the correlation is strong between revenues and QNT needs. Interestingly, the cost of a licence is probably relatively low today in order to facilitate adoption and testing, but it will surely increase over time. The same goes for usage fees, especially as we move from testing/pilot phases to mass implementation. The number of clients will also increase. The Community version of Overledger is also set to officially launch next year. More information on revenue potential can be found later in this article.
STEP 3: We would need to define an evolution of the QNT token price over time and see how things develop with regards to Quant Network’s net purchase/sale of tokens every month (i.e. tokens required - tokens sold = net purchased/sold tokens).
Once assumptions are made, what do we observe?
In an undistorted environment, there is a positive correlation between Quant Network’s QNT-related revenues and the market capitalisation they occupy (i.e. the Quant Network share of the token distribution multiplied by the QNT price). However, this correlation can get heavily twisted as the speculative market prices a premium to the QNT price (i.e. anticipating higher revenues). As we will see, a persistent discount is not really possible as Quant Treasury would mechanically have to step in with large market purchases, which would provide strong support to the QNT price.
In addition, volatility is to be added to the equation since QNT volatility is likely to be (much) higher than that of revenues which can create important year-on-year disparities. For instance, Quant Treasury may lock a lot of tokens at a low price one year, and be well in excess of required tokens the next year if the QNT token price has significantly increased (and vice versa). This is not an issue per se, but this would impact the amount of tokens bought/sold on an ongoing basis by Quant Treasury as reserves inflate/deflate.
If we put aside the distortions created by speculation on the QNT price, and the subsequent impact on the excess/deficiency of Quant Network token reserves (whose level is also pro-actively managed by the company, as previously discussed), the economic system works as follows:
High QNT price vs. Revenue levels: The value of reserves is inflated, fewer tokens need to be bought for the level of revenues generated, Quant Treasury provides low support to the QNT price, its share of the token distribution diminishes.
Low QNT price vs. Revenue levels: Reserves run out, a higher number of tokens needs to be bought for the level of revenues generated, Quant Treasury provides higher support to the QNT price, its share of the token distribution increases.
Summary table:
https://preview.redd.it/q7wgzpv384y31.png?width=2312&format=png&auto=webp&s=d8c0480cb34caf2e59615ec21ea220d81d79b153
The key here is that, whatever speculation on future revenue levels does to the token in the first place, if the QNT price was falling and reaching a level that does not reflect the prevailing revenue levels of Overledger at a given time, then Quant Treasury would require a larger amount of tokens to cover the business needs which would mean the depletion of their reserves, larger purchases from the market and strong support for the QNT price from here. This is the safety net we want to see, coming from usage! Indeed, in other words, if the QNT price went very high very quickly, Quant Treasury may not be seen buying much tokens since their reserves would be inflated BUT that fall back mechanics purely based on usage would be there to safeguard QNT holders from the QNT price falling below a certain level.
I would assume this makes sense for most, and you might now wonder why have I highlighted the bottom part about the token distribution in red? That is because there is an ongoing battle between the QNT community and Quant Treasury — and this is very interesting.
The ecosystem will show how big a share is the community willing to let Quant Network represent. The community actually sets the price for the purchases, and the token distribution fluctuates depending on the metrics we discussed. An equilibrium will be formed based on the confidence the market has in Quant Network’s future revenue generation. Moreover, the QNT community could perceive the token as a Store of Value and be happy to hold 80/90% of all tokens for instance, or it could perceive QNT as more dynamic or risky and be happy to only represent 60/70% of the distribution. Needless to say that, considering my previous articles on the potential of Overledger, I think we will tend more towards the former scenario. Indeed, if you wished to store wealth with a technology-agnostic, future proof, globally adopted, revenue-providing (through Gateways) Network of Networks on which most of the digitalised value is flowing through — wouldn’t you see QNT as an appealing value proposition?
In a nutshell, it all comes down to the Overledger revenue levels and the QNT holders’ resistence to buy pressure from Quant Treasury. Therefore, if you are confident in the Overledger revenue generation and wish to see the QNT token price go up, more than ever, do not sell your tokens!
What about the locked tokens? There will always be a certain amount of tokens that are entirely taken out of circulation, but Quant Network company will always keep additional unlocked tokens on top of that (those they receive and manage as buffer) and that means that locked tokens will always be a subset of what Quant Network possesses. I do not know whether fees will primarily be concentrated on the licencing side vs. the usage side, but if that were to be the case then it would be even better as a higher amount of tokens would be taken out of circulation for good.
Finally, as long as the company operates, the revenues will always represent a certain amount of money whereas this is not the case for profits which may not appear before years (e.g. during the first years, during an economic/business downturn, etc.). As an illustration, a company like Uber has seen vast increases in revenues since it launched but never made any profit! Therefore, the demand for the QNT token benefits from good resilience from that perspective.
Quant Network vs. QNT community — What proportion of the QNT distribution will each represent?

How much revenues can Overledger generate?

I suggest we start with the basis of what the Quant Network business is about: connecting networks together, building new-generation hyper-decentralised apps on top (called “mApps”), and creating network effects.
Network effects are best defined by Metcalfe’s law which states: “the effect of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system” (Source: Wikipedia). This is illustrated by the picture below, which demonstrates the increasing number of possible connections for each new user added to the network. This was also recently discussed in a YouTube podcast by QNT community members “Luke” and “Ghost of St. Miklos” which you can watch here.
Source: applicoinc.com
This means that, as Overledger continues to connect more and more DLTs of all types between themselves and also with legacy systems, the number of users (humans or machines) connected to this Network of Networks will grow substantially — and the number of possible connections between participants will in turn grow exponentially. This will increase the value of the network, and hence the level of fees associated with getting access to it. This forms the basis of expected, future revenue generation and especially in a context where Overledger remains unique as of today and embraced by many of the largest institutions in the world (see the detailed summary on the matter from community member “Seq” here).
On top of this network, multi-chain hyper-decentralised applications (‘mApps’) can be built — which are an upgrade to existing dApps that use only one chain at a time and hence only benefit from the user base and functionalities of the given chain. Overledger mApps can leverage on the users and abilities of all connected chains at the same time, horizontal scaling, the ability to write/move code in any language across chains as required, write smart contracts on blockchains that do not support them (e.g. Bitcoin), and provide easier connection to other systems. dApps have barely had any success so far, as discussed in my first article, but mApps could provide the market with the necessary tools to build applications that can complement or rival what can be found on the Apple or Google Play store.
Also, the flexibility of Overledger enables Quant Network to target a large number of industries and to connect them all together. A sample of use cases can be found in the following illustration:
https://preview.redd.it/th8edz5b84y31.png?width=2664&format=png&auto=webp&s=105dd4546f8f9ab2c66d1a5a8e9f669cef0e0614
It is to be noted that one of the use cases, namely the tokenisation of the entire world’s assets, represents a market worth hundreds of trillions of USD and that is not even including the huge amount of illiquid assets not currently traded on traditional Capital Markets which could benefit from the tokenisation process. More information on the topic can be found in my previous article fully focused on the potential of Overledger to capture value from the structural shift in the world’s assets and machine-related data/value transfers.
Finally, we can look at what well established companies with a similar technology profile have been able to achieve. Overledger is an Operating System for DLTs and legacy systems on top of which applications can be built. The comparison to Microsoft Windows and the suite of Microsoft Software running on top (e.g. Microsoft Office) is an obvious one from that perspective to gauge the longer term potential.
As you can see below, Microsoft’s flagship softwares such as Windows and Office each generate tens of billions of USD of revenues every year:
Source: Geekwire
We can also look at Oracle, the second largest Enterprise software company in the world:
Source: Statista
We can finally look at what the Apple store and the Google Play store generate, since the Quant Network “mApp store” for the community side of Overledger will look to replicate a similar business model with hyper-decentralised applications:
Source: Worldwide total revenue by app store, 2018 ($bn)
The above means total revenues of around USD 70bn in 2018 for the Apple store and Google Play store combined, and the market is getting bigger year-on-year! Also, again, these (indicative!) reference points for Overledger come in the context of the Community version of the system only, since the Enterprise version represents a separate set of verticals more comparable to the likes of Microsoft and Oracle which we just looked at.

Conclusion

I hope this article helped shed further light on the QNT token and how the various market and business parameters will influence its behavior over time, as the Quant Network business is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years.
In the recent Forbes interview, Quant Network’s CEO (Gilbert Verdian) stated : “Our potential to grow is uncapped as we change and transform industries by creating a secure layer between them at speed. Our vision is to build a mass version of what I call an internet of trust, where value can be securely transferred between global partners not relying on defunct internet security but rather that of blockchain.”.
This is highly encouraging with regards to business prospects and also in comparison to what other companies have been able to achieve since the Web as we know it today emerged (e.g. Microsoft, Google, Apple, etc.). The Internet is now entering a new phase, with DLT technology at its core, and Overledger is set to be at the forefront of this new paradigm which will surely offer a vast array of new opportunities across sectors.
I believe it is an exciting time for all of us to be part of the journey, as long as any financial commitment is made with a good sense of responsibility and understanding of what success comes down to. “Crypto” is still immature in many respects, and the emergence of a dedicated regulatory framework combined with the expected gradual, selective entrance of institutional money managers will hopefully help shed further light and protect retail token holders from the misunderstandings, misinformation and misconduct which too many have suffered from in the last years.
Thanks for your time and interest.
Appendix:
First article: “The reasons why Quant Network (QNT) will rise to the Top of the crypto sphere in the coming months”
Second article: “The potential of Quant Network’s technology to capture value from the structural shift in the World’s assets and machine-related data/value transfers”
October 2019 City AM interview of Gilbert Verdian (CEO): Click here
October 2019 Blockchain Brad interview of Gilbert Verdian (CEO): Click here
July 2019 Blockchain Brad interview of Gilbert Verdian (CEO): Click here
February 2019 Blockchain Brad interview of Gilbert Verdian (CEO): Click here
----
About the original author of the article:
My name is David and I spent years in the Investment Banking industry in London. I hold QNT tokens and the above views are based on my own thoughts and research only. I am not affiliated with the Quant Network team in any way. This is not investment advice, please do your own research and understand what you are buying before doing so. It is also my belief that more than 90% of all other crypto projects will fail because what matters is what is getting adopted; please do not put more money at risk than you can afford to lose.
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