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Bob The Magic Custodian



Summary: Everyone knows that when you give your assets to someone else, they always keep them safe. If this is true for individuals, it is certainly true for businesses.
Custodians always tell the truth and manage funds properly. They won't have any interest in taking the assets as an exchange operator would. Auditors tell the truth and can't be misled. That's because organizations that are regulated are incapable of lying and don't make mistakes.

First, some background. Here is a summary of how custodians make us more secure:

Previously, we might give Alice our crypto assets to hold. There were risks:

But "no worries", Alice has a custodian named Bob. Bob is dressed in a nice suit. He knows some politicians. And he drives a Porsche. "So you have nothing to worry about!". And look at all the benefits we get:
See - all problems are solved! All we have to worry about now is:
It's pretty simple. Before we had to trust Alice. Now we only have to trust Alice, Bob, and all the ways in which they communicate. Just think of how much more secure we are!

"On top of that", Bob assures us, "we're using a special wallet structure". Bob shows Alice a diagram. "We've broken the balance up and store it in lots of smaller wallets. That way", he assures her, "a thief can't take it all at once". And he points to a historic case where a large sum was taken "because it was stored in a single wallet... how stupid".
"Very early on, we used to have all the crypto in one wallet", he said, "and then one Christmas a hacker came and took it all. We call him the Grinch. Now we individually wrap each crypto and stick it under a binary search tree. The Grinch has never been back since."

"As well", Bob continues, "even if someone were to get in, we've got insurance. It covers all thefts and even coercion, collusion, and misplaced keys - only subject to the policy terms and conditions." And with that, he pulls out a phone-book sized contract and slams it on the desk with a thud. "Yep", he continues, "we're paying top dollar for one of the best policies in the country!"
"Can I read it?' Alice asks. "Sure," Bob says, "just as soon as our legal team is done with it. They're almost through the first chapter." He pauses, then continues. "And can you believe that sales guy Mike? He has the same year Porsche as me. I mean, what are the odds?"

"Do you use multi-sig?", Alice asks. "Absolutely!" Bob replies. "All our engineers are fully trained in multi-sig. Whenever we want to set up a new wallet, we generate 2 separate keys in an air-gapped process and store them in this proprietary system here. Look, it even requires the biometric signature from one of our team members to initiate any withdrawal." He demonstrates by pressing his thumb into the display. "We use a third-party cloud validation API to match the thumbprint and authorize each withdrawal. The keys are also backed up daily to an off-site third-party."
"Wow that's really impressive," Alice says, "but what if we need access for a withdrawal outside of office hours?" "Well that's no issue", Bob says, "just send us an email, call, or text message and we always have someone on staff to help out. Just another part of our strong commitment to all our customers!"

"What about Proof of Reserve?", Alice asks. "Of course", Bob replies, "though rather than publish any blockchain addresses or signed transaction, for privacy we just do a SHA256 refactoring of the inverse hash modulus for each UTXO nonce and combine the smart contract coefficient consensus in our hyperledger lightning node. But it's really simple to use." He pushes a button and a large green checkmark appears on a screen. "See - the algorithm ran through and reserves are proven."
"Wow", Alice says, "you really know your stuff! And that is easy to use! What about fiat balances?" "Yeah, we have an auditor too", Bob replies, "Been using him for a long time so we have quite a strong relationship going! We have special books we give him every year and he's very efficient! Checks the fiat, crypto, and everything all at once!"

"We used to have a nice offline multi-sig setup we've been using without issue for the past 5 years, but I think we'll move all our funds over to your facility," Alice says. "Awesome", Bob replies, "Thanks so much! This is perfect timing too - my Porsche got a dent on it this morning. We have the paperwork right over here." "Great!", Alice replies.
And with that, Alice gets out her pen and Bob gets the contract. "Don't worry", he says, "you can take your crypto-assets back anytime you like - just subject to our cancellation policy. Our annual management fees are also super low and we don't adjust them often".

How many holes have to exist for your funds to get stolen?
Just one.

Why are we taking a powerful offline multi-sig setup, widely used globally in hundreds of different/lacking regulatory environments with 0 breaches to date, and circumventing it by a demonstrably weak third party layer? And paying a great expense to do so?
If you go through the list of breaches in the past 2 years to highly credible organizations, you go through the list of major corporate frauds (only the ones we know about), you go through the list of all the times platforms have lost funds, you go through the list of times and ways that people have lost their crypto from identity theft, hot wallet exploits, extortion, etc... and then you go through this custodian with a fine-tooth comb and truly believe they have value to add far beyond what you could, sticking your funds in a wallet (or set of wallets) they control exclusively is the absolute worst possible way to take advantage of that security.

The best way to add security for crypto-assets is to make a stronger multi-sig. With one custodian, what you are doing is giving them your cryptocurrency and hoping they're honest, competent, and flawlessly secure. It's no different than storing it on a really secure exchange. Maybe the insurance will cover you. Didn't work for Bitpay in 2015. Didn't work for Yapizon in 2017. Insurance has never paid a claim in the entire history of cryptocurrency. But maybe you'll get lucky. Maybe your exact scenario will buck the trend and be what they're willing to cover. After the large deductible and hopefully without a long and expensive court battle.

And you want to advertise this increase in risk, the lapse of judgement, an accident waiting to happen, as though it's some kind of benefit to customers ("Free institutional-grade storage for your digital assets.")? And then some people are writing to the OSC that custodians should be mandatory for all funds on every exchange platform? That this somehow will make Canadians as a whole more secure or better protected compared with standard air-gapped multi-sig? On what planet?

Most of the problems in Canada stemmed from one thing - a lack of transparency. If Canadians had known what a joke Quadriga was - it wouldn't have grown to lose $400m from hard-working Canadians from coast to coast to coast. And Gerald Cotten would be in jail, not wherever he is now (at best, rotting peacefully). EZ-BTC and mister Dave Smilie would have been a tiny little scam to his friends, not a multi-million dollar fraud. Einstein would have got their act together or been shut down BEFORE losing millions and millions more in people's funds generously donated to criminals. MapleChange wouldn't have even been a thing. And maybe we'd know a little more about CoinTradeNewNote - like how much was lost in there. Almost all of the major losses with cryptocurrency exchanges involve deception with unbacked funds.
So it's great to see transparency reports from BitBuy and ShakePay where someone independently verified the backing. The only thing we don't have is:
It's not complicated to validate cryptocurrency assets. They need to exist, they need to be spendable, and they need to cover the total balances. There are plenty of credible people and firms across the country that have the capacity to reasonably perform this validation. Having more frequent checks by different, independent, parties who publish transparent reports is far more valuable than an annual check by a single "more credible/official" party who does the exact same basic checks and may or may not publish anything. Here's an example set of requirements that could be mandated:
There are ways to structure audits such that neither crypto assets nor customer information are ever put at risk, and both can still be properly validated and publicly verifiable. There are also ways to structure audits such that they are completely reasonable for small platforms and don't inhibit innovation in any way. By making the process as reasonable as possible, we can completely eliminate any reason/excuse that an honest platform would have for not being audited. That is arguable far more important than any incremental improvement we might get from mandating "the best of the best" accountants. Right now we have nothing mandated and tons of Canadians using offshore exchanges with no oversight whatsoever.

Transparency does not prove crypto assets are safe. CoinTradeNewNote, Flexcoin ($600k), and Canadian Bitcoins ($100k) are examples where crypto-assets were breached from platforms in Canada. All of them were online wallets and used no multi-sig as far as any records show. This is consistent with what we see globally - air-gapped multi-sig wallets have an impeccable record, while other schemes tend to suffer breach after breach. We don't actually know how much CoinTrader lost because there was no visibility. Rather than publishing details of what happened, the co-founder of CoinTrader silently moved on to found another platform - the "most trusted way to buy and sell crypto" - a site that has no information whatsoever (that I could find) on the storage practices and a FAQ advising that “[t]rading cryptocurrency is completely safe” and that having your own wallet is “entirely up to you! You can certainly keep cryptocurrency, or fiat, or both, on the app.” Doesn't sound like much was learned here, which is really sad to see.
It's not that complicated or unreasonable to set up a proper hardware wallet. Multi-sig can be learned in a single course. Something the equivalent complexity of a driver's license test could prevent all the cold storage exploits we've seen to date - even globally. Platform operators have a key advantage in detecting and preventing fraud - they know their customers far better than any custodian ever would. The best job that custodians can do is to find high integrity individuals and train them to form even better wallet signatories. Rather than mandating that all platforms expose themselves to arbitrary third party risks, regulations should center around ensuring that all signatories are background-checked, properly trained, and using proper procedures. We also need to make sure that signatories are empowered with rights and responsibilities to reject and report fraud. They need to know that they can safely challenge and delay a transaction - even if it turns out they made a mistake. We need to have an environment where mistakes are brought to the surface and dealt with. Not one where firms and people feel the need to hide what happened. In addition to a knowledge-based test, an auditor can privately interview each signatory to make sure they're not in coercive situations, and we should make sure they can freely and anonymously report any issues without threat of retaliation.
A proper multi-sig has each signature held by a separate person and is governed by policies and mutual decisions instead of a hierarchy. It includes at least one redundant signature. For best results, 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7.

History has demonstrated over and over again the risk of hot wallets even to highly credible organizations. Nonetheless, many platforms have hot wallets for convenience. While such losses are generally compensated by platforms without issue (for example Poloniex, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, Gatecoin, Coincheck, Bithumb, Zaif, CoinBene, Binance, Bitrue, Bitpoint, Upbit, VinDAX, and now KuCoin), the public tends to focus more on cases that didn't end well. Regardless of what systems are employed, there is always some level of risk. For that reason, most members of the public would prefer to see third party insurance.
Rather than trying to convince third party profit-seekers to provide comprehensive insurance and then relying on an expensive and slow legal system to enforce against whatever legal loopholes they manage to find each and every time something goes wrong, insurance could be run through multiple exchange operators and regulators, with the shared interest of having a reputable industry, keeping costs down, and taking care of Canadians. For example, a 4 of 7 multi-sig insurance fund held between 5 independent exchange operators and 2 regulatory bodies. All Canadian exchanges could pay premiums at a set rate based on their needed coverage, with a higher price paid for hot wallet coverage (anything not an air-gapped multi-sig cold wallet). Such a model would be much cheaper to manage, offer better coverage, and be much more reliable to payout when needed. The kind of coverage you could have under this model is unheard of. You could even create something like the CDIC to protect Canadians who get their trading accounts hacked if they can sufficiently prove the loss is legitimate. In cases of fraud, gross negligence, or insolvency, the fund can be used to pay affected users directly (utilizing the last transparent balance report in the worst case), something which private insurance would never touch. While it's recommended to have official policies for coverage, a model where members vote would fully cover edge cases. (Could be similar to the Supreme Court where justices vote based on case law.)
Such a model could fully protect all Canadians across all platforms. You can have a fiat coverage governed by legal agreements, and crypto-asset coverage governed by both multi-sig and legal agreements. It could be practical, affordable, and inclusive.

Now, we are at a crossroads. We can happily give up our freedom, our innovation, and our money. We can pay hefty expenses to auditors, lawyers, and regulators year after year (and make no mistake - this cost will grow to many millions or even billions as the industry grows - and it will be borne by all Canadians on every platform because platforms are not going to eat up these costs at a loss). We can make it nearly impossible for any new platform to enter the marketplace, forcing Canadians to use the same stagnant platforms year after year. We can centralize and consolidate the entire industry into 2 or 3 big players and have everyone else fail (possibly to heavy losses of users of those platforms). And when a flawed security model doesn't work and gets breached, we can make it even more complicated with even more people in suits making big money doing the job that blockchain was supposed to do in the first place. We can build a system which is so intertwined and dependent on big government, traditional finance, and central bankers that it's future depends entirely on that of the fiat system, of fractional banking, and of government bail-outs. If we choose this path, as history has shown us over and over again, we can not go back, save for revolution. Our children and grandchildren will still be paying the consequences of what we decided today.
Or, we can find solutions that work. We can maintain an open and innovative environment while making the adjustments we need to make to fully protect Canadian investors and cryptocurrency users, giving easy and affordable access to cryptocurrency for all Canadians on the platform of their choice, and creating an environment in which entrepreneurs and problem solvers can bring those solutions forward easily. None of the above precludes innovation in any way, or adds any unreasonable cost - and these three policies would demonstrably eliminate or resolve all 109 historic cases as studied here - that's every single case researched so far going back to 2011. It includes every loss that was studied so far not just in Canada but globally as well.
Unfortunately, finding answers is the least challenging part. Far more challenging is to get platform operators and regulators to agree on anything. My last post got no response whatsoever, and while the OSC has told me they're happy for industry feedback, I believe my opinion alone is fairly meaningless. This takes the whole community working together to solve. So please let me know your thoughts. Please take the time to upvote and share this with people. Please - let's get this solved and not leave it up to other people to do.

Facts/background/sources (skip if you like):



Thoughts?
submitted by azoundria2 to QuadrigaInitiative [link] [comments]

ETHE & GBTC (Grayscale) Frequently Asked Questions

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

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

submitted by Bob-Rossi to ethfinance [link] [comments]

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The Tangle Marketplace received its first commit from the Eclipse Foundation. As part of a collaboration between IOTA and the Tangle EE Working Group, the project aims to advance use cases in the digital economy through the IOTA Tangle. Besides, the team is also developing the Unified Identity project.
SUSHI Faces Massive Sell-Off Following Uniswap’s Token Launch
SUSHI was among the worst-performing cryptocurrencies this week. This is because Uniswap launched its UNI token. Sushiswap fell just over 16% in 24 hours. On Thursday alone, the SUSHI/USD exchange rate fell more than 10%, trading at $1.357 per token.
Projects and Updates
BitMart Exchange Partners With Top Cybersecurity Solutions Provider
The partnership with cybersecurity firm Hacken should make cryptocurrency trading more secure. BitMart Exchange calls the new development a revolutionary innovation. The new technology will monitor the security of the platform while ensuring that the site is resilient to future hacking attempts.
VeChain Presents VerifyCar At BMW Group’s ‘Digital Innovation Day’
The blockchain-based platform will collect vehicle data such as mileage, repairs, and additional services. The decentralized app will run on the VeChainThor blockchain, which will provide security and data protection. BMW emphasizes that VerifyCar users will have more control over their data.
Bitfinex Adopts Lightning Network’s ‘Wumbo Channels’
The platform has opened three Wumbo Channels to avoid the inherent Lightning Network bandwidth limitations of 0.1677 BTC. Each channel has a limit of 5 BTC. According to representatives of the exchange, these are the largest channels in the Lightning Network.
Binance Creates ‘Innovation Zone’ To Let Only Select Users Trade New DeFi Tokens
Binance is positioning the new service as a safe haven for trading high volatility DeFi assets. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao noted that the platform needs to add new popular tokens to remain competitive.
KuCoin Establishes Strategic Partnership With Poloniex To Elevate Digital Asset Exchange Industry
The initiative involves the creation of a research organization. Representatives of the sites note that the cooperation will help them make the most of the opportunities of the cryptography and blockchain industry.
Hacking
KuCoin Group Issues A Warning About Phishing Sites
Users are warned that kucoin-exchange.net is not affiliated with KuCoin Group and is a fraudulent domain. To avoid these types of scams, users are asked to be careful and avoid links from domains similar to the official ones.
Twitter Tightens Security Ahead Of US Presidential Election
Additional measures include stronger passwords, password reset protection, and two-factor authentication. The service will also update the internal system to quickly respond to suspicious activity.
Korean Police Summon Bithumb Chairman For Fraud Investigations
According to the police, Lee Jung Hoon organized a pre-sale of the native Bithumb BXA token, which never made it to the listing. The estimated damage to investors was around 30 billion won (~$25 million). The second charge is related to the overseas real estate of the chairman of the exchange. Law enforcement agencies speculate that Hoon was tax evasive.
Australian Man Caught Mining On Supercomputers Avoids Jail
In 2018, Jonathan Khoo worked as a contractor for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Using two government supercomputers, he mined Ethereum and Monero worth almost $6,897 in a month. Mining cost the agency $56,133. The man faced 10 years in prison, but the judge took into account his confession, loss of a job, and no criminal record. Khoo was assigned 300 hours of community service and psychological counseling.
That’s all for now! For more details follow us on Twitter, subscribe to our YouTube channel, join our Telegram.
submitted by CoinjoyAssistant to u/CoinjoyAssistant [link] [comments]

Crypto Weekly News

Cryptocurrencies
Bitcoin Is About To See Its Largest Quarterly Options Expiry Ever
One factor that could contribute to cryptocurrency instability shortly is the inevitable expiration of 87,000 quarterly BTC options contracts. Traders who roll back these positions or close them before the close may cause some turbulence.
Ripple Expands Partnership With Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Via Mojaloop
India's leading digital payment platforms PhonePe and Ripple have joined as sponsor members. As a sponsor, Ripple will contribute to the development of strategic vision, corporate governance, and technical guidance to ensure the long-term health and growth of the Mojaloop open source community.
IOTA: First SOCIETY2 Product Will Be Available To Use Very Soon
As announced, Secrets will be a messaging app that will allow its users to send private peer-to-peer messages and add users to a private group. The first product of the ecosystem is in the final stages of development.
IOTA: Eclipse Foundation Makes First Commit For Tangle Marketplace Project
The Tangle Marketplace received its first commit from the Eclipse Foundation. As part of a collaboration between IOTA and the Tangle EE Working Group, the project aims to advance use cases in the digital economy through the IOTA Tangle. Besides, the team is also developing the Unified Identity project.
SUSHI Faces Massive Sell-Off Following Uniswap’s Token Launch
SUSHI was among the worst-performing cryptocurrencies this week. This is because Uniswap launched its UNI token. Sushiswap fell just over 16% in 24 hours. On Thursday alone, the SUSHI/USD exchange rate fell more than 10%, trading at $1.357 per token.
Projects and Updates
BitMart Exchange Partners With Top Cybersecurity Solutions Provider
The partnership with cybersecurity firm Hacken should make cryptocurrency trading more secure. BitMart Exchange calls the new development a revolutionary innovation. The new technology will monitor the security of the platform while ensuring that the site is resilient to future hacking attempts.
VeChain Presents VerifyCar At BMW Group’s ‘Digital Innovation Day’
The blockchain-based platform will collect vehicle data such as mileage, repairs, and additional services. The decentralized app will run on the VeChainThor blockchain, which will provide security and data protection. BMW emphasizes that VerifyCar users will have more control over their data.
Bitfinex Adopts Lightning Network’s ‘Wumbo Channels’
The platform has opened three Wumbo Channels to avoid the inherent Lightning Network bandwidth limitations of 0.1677 BTC. Each channel has a limit of 5 BTC. According to representatives of the exchange, these are the largest channels in the Lightning Network.
Binance Creates ‘Innovation Zone’ To Let Only Select Users Trade New DeFi Tokens
Binance is positioning the new service as a safe haven for trading high volatility DeFi assets. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao noted that the platform needs to add new popular tokens to remain competitive.
KuCoin Establishes Strategic Partnership With Poloniex To Elevate Digital Asset Exchange Industry
The initiative involves the creation of a research organization. Representatives of the sites note that the cooperation will help them make the most of the opportunities of the cryptography and blockchain industry.
Hacking
KuCoin Group Issues A Warning About Phishing Sites
Users are warned that kucoin-exchange.net is not affiliated with KuCoin Group and is a fraudulent domain. To avoid these types of scams, users are asked to be careful and avoid links from domains similar to the official ones.
Twitter Tightens Security Ahead Of US Presidential Election
Additional measures include stronger passwords, password reset protection, and two-factor authentication. The service will also update the internal system to quickly respond to suspicious activity.
Korean Police Summon Bithumb Chairman For Fraud Investigations
According to the police, Lee Jung Hoon organized a pre-sale of the native Bithumb BXA token, which never made it to the listing. The estimated damage to investors was around 30 billion won (~$25 million). The second charge is related to the overseas real estate of the chairman of the exchange. Law enforcement agencies speculate that Hoon was tax evasive.
Australian Man Caught Mining On Supercomputers Avoids Jail
In 2018, Jonathan Khoo worked as a contractor for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Using two government supercomputers, he mined Ethereum and Monero worth almost $6,897 in a month. Mining cost the agency $56,133. The man faced 10 years in prison, but the judge took into account his confession, loss of a job, and no criminal record. Khoo was assigned 300 hours of community service and psychological counseling.
That’s all for now! For more details follow us on Twitter, subscribe to our YouTube channel, join our Telegram.
submitted by CoinjoyAssistant to CryptoCurrencies [link] [comments]

Crypto Weekly News — September, 25

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin Is About To See Its Largest Quarterly Options Expiry Ever
One factor that could contribute to cryptocurrency instability shortly is the inevitable expiration of 87,000 quarterly BTC options contracts. Traders who roll back these positions or close them before the close may cause some turbulence.
Ripple Expands Partnership With Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Via Mojaloop
India's leading digital payment platforms PhonePe and Ripple have joined as sponsor members. As a sponsor, Ripple will contribute to the development of strategic vision, corporate governance, and technical guidance to ensure the long-term health and growth of the Mojaloop open source community.
IOTA: First SOCIETY2 Product Will Be Available To Use Very Soon
As announced, Secrets will be a messaging app that will allow its users to send private peer-to-peer messages and add users to a private group. The first product of the ecosystem is in the final stages of development.
IOTA: Eclipse Foundation Makes First Commit For Tangle Marketplace Project
The Tangle Marketplace received its first commit from the Eclipse Foundation. As part of a collaboration between IOTA and the Tangle EE Working Group, the project aims to advance use cases in the digital economy through the IOTA Tangle. Besides, the team is also developing the Unified Identity project.
SUSHI Faces Massive Sell-Off Following Uniswap’s Token Launch
SUSHI was among the worst-performing cryptocurrencies this week. This is because Uniswap launched its UNI token. Sushiswap fell just over 16% in 24 hours. On Thursday alone, the SUSHI/USD exchange rate fell more than 10%, trading at $1.357 per token.

Projects and Updates

BitMart Exchange Partners With Top Cybersecurity Solutions Provider
The partnership with cybersecurity firm Hacken should make cryptocurrency trading more secure. BitMart Exchange calls the new development a revolutionary innovation. The new technology will monitor the security of the platform while ensuring that the site is resilient to future hacking attempts.
VeChain Presents VerifyCar At BMW Group’s ‘Digital Innovation Day’
The blockchain-based platform will collect vehicle data such as mileage, repairs, and additional services. The decentralized app will run on the VeChainThor blockchain, which will provide security and data protection. BMW emphasizes that VerifyCar users will have more control over their data.
Bitfinex Adopts Lightning Network’s ‘Wumbo Channels’
The platform has opened three Wumbo Channels to avoid the inherent Lightning Network bandwidth limitations of 0.1677 BTC. Each channel has a limit of 5 BTC. According to representatives of the exchange, these are the largest channels in the Lightning Network.
Binance Creates ‘Innovation Zone’ To Let Only Select Users Trade New DeFi Tokens
Binance is positioning the new service as a safe haven for trading high volatility DeFi assets. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao noted that the platform needs to add new popular tokens to remain competitive.
KuCoin Establishes Strategic Partnership With Poloniex To Elevate Digital Asset Exchange Industry
The initiative involves the creation of a research organization. Representatives of the sites note that the cooperation will help them make the most of the opportunities of the cryptography and blockchain industry.

Hacking

KuCoin Group Issues A Warning About Phishing Sites
Users are warned that kucoin-exchange.net is not affiliated with KuCoin Group and is a fraudulent domain. To avoid these types of scams, users are asked to be careful and avoid links from domains similar to the official ones.
Twitter Tightens Security Ahead Of US Presidential Election
Additional measures include stronger passwords, password reset protection, and two-factor authentication. The service will also update the internal system to quickly respond to suspicious activity.
Korean Police Summon Bithumb Chairman For Fraud Investigations
According to the police, Lee Jung Hoon organized a pre-sale of the native Bithumb BXA token, which never made it to the listing. The estimated damage to investors was around 30 billion won (~$25 million). The second charge is related to the overseas real estate of the chairman of the exchange. Law enforcement agencies speculate that Hoon was tax evasive.
Australian Man Caught Mining On Supercomputers Avoids Jail
In 2018, Jonathan Khoo worked as a contractor for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Using two government supercomputers, he mined Ethereum and Monero worth almost $6,897 in a month. Mining cost the agency $56,133. The man faced 10 years in prison, but the judge took into account his confession, loss of a job, and no criminal record. Khoo was assigned 300 hours of community service and psychological counseling.
That’s all for now! For more details follow us on Twitter, subscribe to our YouTube channel, join our Telegram.
submitted by CoinjoyAssistant to u/CoinjoyAssistant [link] [comments]

Freelancers, do you accept payments in Bitcoins?

I have a client since December who has been offering to pay in bitcoins, I opted for PayPal always because I have never used bitcoins and don't know much about it. In March, client again insisted to pay in Bitcoins and just within few days Bitcoin crashed by 60%. If I had accepted the payment and failed to withdraw it quickly, I would have lost 60% of income I believe.
Client is again offering to pay me in Bitcoins, suggesting it is really easy to withdraw from binance. I am considering it as we will work together for 3-4 months. Is there any benefit in getting paid in Bitcoins? Do your clients pay more when paying in Bitcoins instead of USD or INR? I have read that Bitcoin is legal in India but is it treated same as our currency when it comes to Income Tax or there are any special rules?
submitted by AdditionalMall6 to india [link] [comments]

Crypto Banking Wars: Can BlockFi & Celsius Disrupt Banking?

Crypto Banking Wars: Can BlockFi & Celsius Disrupt Banking?
These crypto lending & borrowing services found early traction. Are they capable of bundling more financial services and winning the broader consumer finance market?
https://reddit.com/link/icps9l/video/98kl1y596zh51/player
This is the third part of Crypto Banking Wars — a new series that examines what crypto-native company is most likely to become the bank of the future. Who is best positioned to reach mainstream adoption in consumer finance?
While crypto allows the world to get rid of banks, a bank will still very much be necessary for this very powerful technology to reach the masses. As we laid out in our previous series, Crypto-Powered, we believe a crypto-native company will ultimately become the bank of the future. We’re confident Genesis Block will have a seat at that table, but we aren’t the only game in town.
In the first post of this series, we did an analysis of big crypto exchanges like Coinbase & Binance. In our second episode, we looked at the world of non-custodial wallets.
Today we’re analyzing crypto lending & borrowing services. The Earn and Borrow use-case covers a lot of what traditional banks deliver today. This category of companies is a threat worth analyzing. As we look at this market, we’ll mostly be focused on custodial, centralized products like BlockFi, Nexo, and Celsius.
Many of these companies found early traction among crypto users. Are they capable of bundling more financial services and winning the broader consumer finance market? Let’s find out.

Institutional Borrowers

Because speculation and trading remains one of the most popular use-cases of crypto, a new crypto sub-industry around credit has emerged. Much of the borrowing demand has been driven by institutional needs.
For example, a Bitcoin mining company might need to borrow fiat to pay for operational costs (salaries, electricity). Or a crypto company might need to borrow USD to pay for engineering salaries. Or a crypto hedge fund needs to borrow for leverage or to take a specific market position. While all of these companies have sufficient crypto to cover the costs, they might not want to sell it — either for tax or speculative reasons (they may believe these crypto assets will appreciate, as with most in the industry).
Instead of selling their crypto, these companies can use their crypto as collateral for loans. For example, they can provide $1.5M in Bitcoin as collateral, and borrow $1M. Given the collateralization happening, the underwriting process becomes straightforward. Companies all around the world can participate — language and cultural barriers are removed.

https://preview.redd.it/z9pby83d6zh51.png?width=600&format=png&auto=webp&s=54bf425215c3ed6d5ff0ca7dbe571e735b994613
The leader (and one of our partners) in this space is Genesis Capital. While they are always the counterparty for both lenders and borrowers, they are effectively a broker. They are at the center of the institutional crypto lending & borrowing markets. Their total active loans as of March 2020 was $649M. That number shot up to $1.42B in active loans as of June 2020. The growth of this entire market segment is impressive and it’s what is driving this opportunity for consumers downstream.

Consumer Products

While most of the borrowing demand comes from institutional players, there is a growing desire from consumers to participate on the lend/supply side of the market. Crypto consumers would love to be able to deposit their assets with a service and watch it grow. Why let crypto assets sit on an exchange or in cold storage when it can be earning interest?
A number of consumer-facing products have emerged in the last few years to make this happen. While they also allow users to borrow (always with collateral), most of the consumer attraction is around growing their crypto, even while they sleep. Earning interest. These products usually partner with institutional players like Genesis Capital to match the deposits with borrowing demand. And it’s exactly part of our strategy as well, beyond leveraging DeFi (decentralized finance protocols).
A few of the most popular consumer services in this category include BlockFi, Nexo, and Celsius.

https://preview.redd.it/vptig5mg6zh51.png?width=1051&format=png&auto=webp&s=b5fdc241cb9b6f5b495173667619f8d2c93371ca

BlockFi

BlockFi (Crunchbase) is the leader in this category (at least in the West). They are well-capitalized. In August 2019, they raised $18.3M in their Series A. In Feb 2020, they raised $30M in their Series B. In that same time period, they went from $250M in assets under management to $650M. In a recent blog post, they announced that they saw a 100% revenue increase in Q2 and that they were on track to do $50M in revenue this year. Their growth is impressive.
BlockFi did not do an ICO, unlike Celsius, Nexo, Salt, and Cred. BlockFi has a lot of institutional backing so it is perceived as the most reputable in the space. BlockFi started with borrowing — allowing users to leverage their crypto as collateral and taking out a loan against it. They later got into Earning — allowing users to deposit assets and earn interest on it. They recently expanded their service to “exchange” functionality and say they are coming out with a credit card later this year.

https://preview.redd.it/byv2tbui6zh51.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=bac080dcfc85e89574c30dfb396db0b537d46706
Security Woes
It’s incredible that BlockFi has been able to see such strong growth despite their numerous product and security woes. A few months ago, their systems were compromised. A hacker was able to access confidential data, such as names, dates of birth, postal addresses, and activity histories. While no funds were lost, this was a massive embarrassment and caused reputational damage.

https://preview.redd.it/lwmxbz5l6zh51.png?width=606&format=png&auto=webp&s=ebd8e6e5c31c56da055824254b35b218b49f80e0
Unrelated to that massive security breach and earlier in the year, a user discovered a major bug that allowed him to send the same funds to himself over and over again, ultimately accumulating more than a million dollars in his BlockFi account. BlockFi fortunately caught him just before withdrawal.
Poor Product Execution
Beyond their poor security — which they are now trying to get serious about — their products are notoriously buggy and hard-to-use. I borrowed from them a year ago and used their interest account product until very recently. I have first-hand experience of how painful it is. But don’t take my word for it… here are just a few tweets from customers just recently.

https://preview.redd.it/wcqu3icn6zh51.png?width=1055&format=png&auto=webp&s=870e2f06a6ec377a87e5d6d1f24579a901de66b5
For a while, their interest-earning product had a completely different authentication system than their loan product (users had two sets of usernames/passwords). Many people have had issues with withdrawals. The app is constantly logging people out, blank screens, ugly error messages. Emails with verification codes are sometimes delayed by hours (or days). I do wonder if their entire app has been outsourced. The sloppiness shines through.
Not only is their product buggy and UX confusing, but their branding & design is quite weak. To the left is a t-shirt they once sent me. It looks like they just found a bunch of quirky fonts, added their name, and slapped it on a t-shirt.

https://preview.redd.it/mi6yeppp6zh51.png?width=600&format=png&auto=webp&s=fd4cd8201ad0d5bc667498096388377895b72953
Culture
To the innocent bystander, many of these issues seem totally fixable. They could hire an amazing design agency to completely revamp their product or brand. They could hire a mercenary group of engineers to fix their bugs, etc. While it could stop the bleeding for a time, it may not solve the underlying issues. Years of sloppy product execution represents something much more destructive. It represents a top-down mentality that shipping anything other than excellence is okay: product experience doesn’t matter; design doesn’t matter; craftsmanship doesn’t matter; strong execution doesn’t matter; precision doesn’t matter. That’s very different from our culture at Genesis Block.
This cancerous mentality rarely stays contained within product & engineering — this leaks to all parts of the organization. No design agency or consulting firm will fix some of the pernicious values of a company’s soul. These are deeper issues that only leadership can course-correct.
If BlockFi’s sloppiness were due to constant experimentation, iteration, shipping, or some “move fast and break things” hacker culture… like Binance… I would probably cut them more slack. But there is zero evidence of that. “Move fast and break things” is always scary when dealing with financial products. But in BlockFi’s case, when it’s more like “move slow and break things,” they are really playing with fire. Next time a massive security breach occurs, like what happened earlier this year, they may not be so lucky.
Institutional Focus
Based on who is on their team, their poor product execution shouldn’t be a surprise. Their team comes mostly from Wall Street, not the blockchain community (where our roots are). Most of BlockFi’s blockchain/crypto integration is very superficial. They take crypto assets as deposits, but they aren’t leveraging any of the exciting, low-level DeFi protocols like we are.
While their Wall Street heritage isn’t doing them any favors on the product/tech side, it’s served them very well on winning institutional clients. This is perhaps their greatest strength. BlockFi has a strong institutional business. They recently brought on Three Arrows Capital as a strategic investor — a crypto hedge fund who does a lot of borrowing. In that announcement, BlockFi’s founder said that bringing them on “aligns well with our focus on international expansion of our institutional services offering.” They also recently brought someone on who will lead business development in Asia among institutional clients.
BlockFi Wrap Up
There are certainly BlockFi features that overlap with Genesis Block’s offering. It’s possible that they are angling to become the bank of the future. However, they simply have not proven they are capable of designing, building, and launching world-class consumer products. They’ve constantly had issues around security and poor product execution. Their company account and their founder’s account seem to only tweet about Bitcoin. I don’t think they understand, appreciate, or value the power of DeFi. It’s unlikely they’ll be leveraging it any time soon. All of these reasons are why I don’t see them as a serious threat to Genesis Block.
However, because of their strong institutional offering, I hope that Genesis Block will ultimately have a very collaborative and productive partnership with them. Assuming they figure out their security woes, we could park some of our funds with BlockFi (just as we will with Genesis Capital and others). I think what’s likely to happen is that we’ll corner the consumer market and we’ll work closely with BlockFi on the institutional side.
I’ve been hard on BlockFi because I care. I think they have a great opportunity at helping elevate the entire industry in a positive way. But they have a lot of issues they need to work through. I really don’t want to see users lose millions of dollars in a security breach. It could set back the entire industry. But if they do things well… a rising tide lifts all boats.

Honorable Mentions

Celsius (ICO Drops) raised $50M in an ICO, and is led by serial entrepreneur Alex Mashinsky. I’ve met him, he’s a nice guy. Similar to Binance, their biggest Achilles heel could be their own token. There are also a lot of unanswered questions about where their deposits go. They don’t have a record of great transparency. They recently did a public crowdraise which is a little odd given their large ICO as well as their supposed $1B in deposits. Are they running out of money, as some suggest? Unclear. One of their biggest blindspots right now is that Mashinsky does not understand the power of DeFi. He is frequently openly criticizing it.
Nexo (ICO Drops) is another similar service. They are European-based, trying to launch their own card (though they’ve been saying this forever and they still haven’t shipped it), and have a history in the payments/fintech space. Because they haven’t penetrated the US — which is a much harder regulatory nut to crack — they are unlikely to be as competitive as BlockFi. There were also allegations that Nexo was spreading FUD about Chainlink while simultaneously partnering with them. Did Nexo take out a short position and start spreading rumors? Never a dull moment in crypto.
Other players in the lending & borrowing space include Unchained Capital, Cred (ICO Drops), and Salt (ICO Drops).

https://preview.redd.it/9ts6m0qw6zh51.png?width=1056&format=png&auto=webp&s=dd8d368c1aa39994c6bc5e4baec10678d3bbba2d

Wrap Up

While many companies in this category seem to be slowly adding more financial services, I don’t believe any of them are focused on the broader consumer market like we are. To use services like BlockFi, Nexo, or Celsius, users need to be onboarded and educated on how crypto works. At Genesis Block, we don’t believe that’s the winning approach. We think blockchain complexity should be abstracted away from the end-user. We did an entire series about this, Spreading Crypto.
For many of these services, there is additional friction due to ICO tokens that are forcefully integrated into the product (see NEXO token or CEL Token). None of these services have true banking functionality or integration with traditional finance —for example, easy offramp or spending methods like debit cards. None of them are taking DeFi seriously — they are leveraging crypto for only the asset class, not the underlying technology around financial protocols.
So are these companies potential competitors to Genesis Block? For the crypto crowd, yes. For the mass market, no. None of these companies are capable of reaching the billions of people around the world that we hope to reach at Genesis Block.
------
Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
Follow our social channels: https://genesisblock.com/follow/
Download the app. We're a digital bank that's powered by crypto: https://genesisblock.com/download
submitted by mickhagen to genesisblockhq [link] [comments]

[Part 1] KAVA Historical AMA Tracker! (Questions & Answers)

ATTN: These AMA questions are from Autumn 2019 - before the official launch of the Kava Mainnet, and it's fungible Kava Token.
These questions may no longer be relevant to the current Kava landscape, however, they do provide important historical background on the early origins of Kava Labs.
Please note, that there are several repeat questions/answers.

Q1:

Kava is a decentralized DEFI project, why did you implement the countries restrictions to run the node? Will there be such restrictions by the time of the mainnet?

Q2:

According to the project description it has been indicated that staking reward (in KAVA tokens) varies from 3 to 20% per annum. But how will you fight with inflation?

We all know how altcoins prices are falling, and their bottom is not visible. And in fact, we can get an increase in the number of tokens for staking, but not an increase in the price of the token itself and become a long-term investor.

  • Answer: Kava is both inflationary with block rewards, but deflationary when we burn CDP fees. Only stakers who bond their Kava receive inflationary rewards - users and traders on exchanges do not get this. In this way, rewards are inflated, but given to stakers and removed value from the traders who are speculating like a tax. The Deflationary structure of fees should help counterbalance the price drops from inflation if any. In the long-term as more CDPs are used, Kava should be a deflationary asset by design if all things go well

Q3:

In your allocation it is indicated that 28.48% of the tokens are in the "Token treasury" - where will these tokens be directed?

  • Answer: Investors in financing rounds prior to the IEO have entered into long-term lock-up agreements in-line with their belief in Kava’s exciting long-term growth potential and to allow the projects token price to find stability. Following the IEO, the only tokens in circulation will be those sold through the IEO on Binance and the initial Treasury tokens released.
  • No private sale investor tokens are in circulation until the initial release at the end of Q1 2020 and then gradually over the [36] months The initial Treasury tokens in circulation will be used for a mixture of ecosystem grants, the expenses associated with the IEO as well as initial market making requirements as is typical with a listing of this size. Kava remains well financed to execute our roadmap following the IEO and do not envisage any need for any material financings or token sales for the foreseeable future.

Q4:

Such a platform (with loans and stable coins) is just the beginning since these aspects are a small part of many Defi components. Will your team have a plan to implement other functions, such as derivatives, the dex platform once the platform is successfully launched?

  • Answer: We believe Kava is the foundation for many future defi products. We need stable coins, oracles, and other infrastructure first that Kava provides. Once we have that, we can apply these to derivatives and other synthetics more easily. For example, we can use the price feeds and USDX to enable users to place 100x leverage bets with each other. If they both lock funds into payment channels, then they can use a smart contract based on the price feed to do the 100x trade/bet automatically without counter party risk. In this way, Kava can expand its financial product offerings far beyond loans and stable coins in the future.

Q5:

There are several options for using USDX on the KAVA platform, one of which is Margin Trading / Leverage. Is this a selection function or a compulsory function? Wondering since there are some investors who don`t like margin. What is the level of leverage and how does a CDP auction work?

  • Answer: This is a good #Q . Kava simply provides loans to users in USDX stable coins. What the users do is completely up to them. They can use the loans for everyday payments if they like. Leverage and hedging are just the main use cases we foresee - there are many ways people can use the CDP platform and USDX.

Q6:

Most credit platforms do not work well in the current market. What will you do to attract more people to use your platform and the services you provide? Thank you

  • Answer: Most credit platforms do not work well in the current market? I think that isn't correct at least for DeFi. Even in the bear market, MakerDao and Compound saw good user growth. Regardless, our efforts at Kava to build the market are fairly product and BD focused. 1) we build more integrations of assets and expand financial services to attract new communities and users. 2) we focus on building partnerships with high quality teams to promote and build Kava's core user base. Kava is just the developer. Our great partners like Ripple, Stakewith.Us, P2P, Binance - they have the real users that demand Kava. They are like our system integrators that package Kava up nicely and present it to their users. In order to grow, we need to deepen our partnerships and bring in new ones around the world.

Q7:

KAVA functions as a reserve currency in situations where the system is undercollateralized. In such cases new KAVA is minted and used to buy USDX off the market until USDX becomes safely overcollateralized.

Meaning, there will be no max supply of KAVA?

  • Answer: Yes, there is no max supply of Kava.

Q8:

Why Kava?

  • Answer: ...because people are long BTC and the best way to go long BTC without giving up custody is Kava's platform. Because it is MakerDao for bitcoin. Bitcoin has a 10x market cap of ETH and Maker is 10x the size of Kava. I think we're pretty undervalued right now.

Q9:

How do you plan to make liquidity in Kava?

  • Answer: Working with Binance for the IEO and as the first exchange for KAVA to trade on will be a huge boost in increasing the liquidity of trading KAVA.

Q10:

Most crypto investors or crypto users prefer easy transaction and low fees, what can we expect from KAVA about this?

  • Answer: Transaction fees are very low and confirm if seconds. The user experience is quite good on Tendermint-based blockchains.

Q11:

How do I become a note validator on KavA?

Q12:

It is great to know that KAVA is the first DEFI-supported project sponsored by Binance Launchpad, do you think this is the meaning that CZ brings: Opening the DEFI era, as a leader, you feel like how ?

  • Answer: We are the first DeFi platform that Launchpad has supported. We are a very strategic blockchain for major crypto like BNB. Kava's platform will bring more utility to the users of BNB and the Binance DEX. It feels good of course to have validation from the biggest players in the space like Cosmos, Ripple, CZ/Binance, etc.

Q13:

Since decentralized finance applications is already dominating, how do you intend to surpass those leading in the market?

  • Answer: The leaders are only addressing ethereum. BTC, XRP, BNB, ATOM is a much larger set to go after that current players cannot.

Q14:

What does Ripple play in the Kava's ecosystem, since Ripple is like a top tier company and it’s impressive that you are partnered with them?

  • Answer: Ripple is an equity investor in Kava and a big supporter of our work in cross-chain settlement research and implementations. Ripple's XRP is a great asset in terms of users and liquidity that the Kava platform can use. In addition, Ripple's money service business customers are asking for a stable coin for remittances to avoid the currency heading risk that XRP presents. Ripple will not use USDC or other stable coins, but they are open to using USDX as it can be XRP-backed.

Q15:

Considering the connectivity, Libra could be the biggest competitor if KAVA leverages interchain for efficiency.

  • Answer: With regard to USDX, it is important to understand the users interacting with the Kava blockchain have no counterparty that people could go after for legal actions. A user getting a USDX loan has no counterparty. The software holds the collateral and creates the loan. The only laws that would apply are to the very users that are using the system.

Q16:

Wonder how KAVA will compete with the tech giants

  • Answer: Libra is running into extreme issues with the US Senate and regulators. Even the G7-G20 groups are worried. Its important to understand that Libra is effectively a permissioned system. Only big companies that law makers can go after are able to run nodes. In Kava, nodes can be run by anyway and our nodes are based all over the world. It's incredibly hard for a law maker to take down Kava because they would need to find and legally enforce hundreds of business in different jurisdictions to comply. We have an advantage in this way over the larger projects like Libra or Clayton.

Q17:

In long-term, what's the strategy that KAVA has for covering the traditional finance users as well? Especially regarding the "stability"

  • Answer: Technical risk is unavoidable for DeFi. Only time will tell if a system is trustworthy and its never 100% that it will not fail or be hacked. This is true with banks and other financial systems as well. I think for DeFi, the technical risk needs to be priced in to the expected returns to compensate the market. DeFi does have a better user experience - requiring no credit score, identity, or KYC over centralized solutions.
  • With our multi-collateral CDP system, even with it overcollateralized, people can get up to 3x leverage on assets. Take 100 USD in BTC, get a USDX loan for 66 USDX, then buy $66 BTC and do another loan - you can do this with a program to get 3x leverage with the same risk profile. This is enough for most people.
  • However, it will be possible once we have Kava's CDP platform to extend it into products that offer undercollateralized financial products. For example, if USER 1 + USER 2 use payment channels to lock up their USDX, they can use Kava's price feeds to place bets between each other using their locked assets. They can bet that for every $1 BTC/USD moves, the other party owes 3x. In this way we can even do 100x leverage or 1000x leverage and create very fun products for people to trade with. Importantly, even in places where margin trading is regulated and forbidden, Kava's platform will remain open access and available.

Q18:

In long-term, what's the strategy that KAVA has for covering the traditional finance users as well? Especially regarding the "stability"

  • Answer: Kava believes that stable coins should be backed not just by crypto or fiat, but any widely used, highly liquid asset. We think in the future the best stablecoin would be backed by a basket of very stable currencies that include crypto and fiat or whatever the market demands.

Q19:

Compound, maker they're trying to increase their size via the competitive interests rates. THough it shows good return in terms of growth rate, still it's for short-term. Wonder other than financial advantage, KAVA has more for the users' needs?

  • Answer: Robert, the CEO of Compound is an investor and advisor to Kava. We think what Compound does with money markets is amazing and hope to integrate when they support more than just Ethereum assets. Kava's advantage vs others is to provide basic DeFi services like returns on crypto and stable coins today when no other platform offers that. Many platforms support ETH, but no platform can support BTC, XRP, BNB, and ATOM in a decentralized way without requiring centralized custody of these assets.

Q20:

The vast majority of the cryptocurrency community's priorities is symbolic pricing. When prices rise, the community rejoices and grows. When they fall, many people begin to cast in a negative way. How will KAVA solve the negative problem when the price goes down? What is your plan to strengthen and develop the community to persuade more people to look at the product than the price?

  • Answer: We believe price is an important factor for faith in the market. One of Kava's key initiatives was selecting only long-term partners that are willing to work with kava for 2 years. That is why even after 6 months, 0 private investor or kava team tokens will be liquid on the market.
  • We believe not in fast pumps and then dumps that destroy faith, but rather we try and operate the best we can for long-term sustainable growth over time. It's always hard to control factors in the market, and some factors are out of our control such as BTC price correlations, etc - however, we treat this like a public company stock - we want long-term growth of Kava and try to make sure our whole community of Kava holders is aligned with that the best we can.

Q21:

Do you have any plans to attract non-crypto investors to Kava and how? What are the measures to increase awareness of kava in non-crypto space?

  • Answer: We are 100% focused on crypto, not the general market. We solve the problems of crypto traders and investors - not the average grandma who needs a payment solution. Kava is geared for decentralized leverage and hedging.

Q22:

Adoption is crucial for all projects and crypto companies, what strategy are you gonna use/follow or u are now following to get Kava adopted and used by many people all over the world?

Revenue is an important aspect for all projects in order to survive and keep the project/company up and running for long term, what are the ways that Kava generates profits/revenue and what is its revenue model?

  • Answer: We have already partnered with several large exchanges, long-term VCs, and large projects like Ripple and Cosmos. These are key ways for us to grow our community. As we build support for more assets, we plan to promote Kava's services to those new communities of traders.
  • Kava generates revenue as more people use the platform. As the platform is used, KAVA tokens are burned when users pay stability fees. This deflates the total supply of Kava and should in most cases give rise to the value of KAVA like a stock-buyback in the public markets.

Q23:

In order to be success in Loan project of Cryptocurrency, I think marketing is very important to make people using this service without any registration. What is main strategy for marketing?

  • Answer: Our main strategy is to build a great experience and offer products that are not available to communities with demand. Currently no DeFi products can serve BTC users for example. Centralized exchanges can, but nothing truly trustless. Kava's platform can finally give the vast audiences of BTC, BNB, and ATOM holders access to core DeFi services they cannot get on their own due to the smart contract limitations of those platforms.

Q24:

Currently, some project have policies for their ambassadors to create a contribution and attract recognition for the project! So the KAVA team plans to implement policies and incentives for KAVA ambassadors?

  • Answer: Yes, we will be creating a KAVA ambassador program and releasing that soon. Please follow our social media channels to learn about it in the coming weeks.

Q25:

Currently there are so many KAVA tokens sold on exchanges, why is this happening while KAVA is going to IEO on Binance? Are those KAVA codes fake or not?

  • Answer: For everyone's safety, please understand Kava tokens do not exist yet and they will only exist starting with the Binance IEO. Any other token listings or offerings of Kava are not supported by Kava Labs and I highly discourage you all from trying to get them there. It is most likely a big scam. Please only trust Binance for this.

Q26:

KAVA have two tokens, the first is called Kava - a governance and staking token; the second is called USDX - an algorithmically managed crypto-backed stable coin. What are the advantages of USDX compared to other stablecoins such as: USDT, USDC, TUSD, GUSD, ...?

  • Answer: USDX is one of the few stablecoins to be fully backed by crypto-assets. This means that we do not deal with fiat to back the value, and thus we don't have some of the issues when it comes to storing fiat funds with banks and custodians. This also makes our product fully digital and built for the future of crypto growth.

Q27:

As a CEO, does your background in Esports and Gaming industry help anything to your management and development of KAVA Labs?

  • Answer: Esports no. But having been a multi-time venture-backed foundeCEO and have gone through the start-up phase before has made creating and running a 2nd company easier. Right now Kava is still small, Fnatic had over 80 employees. It was at a larger scale. I would say developing software is much more than doing the hardware at fnaticgear.com

Q28:

Why did Kava choose to launch IEO on Binance and not other exchanges like: Kucoin, Houbi, Gate, ....?

  • Answer: Kava had a lot of interest from exchanges to partner with for IEO. We decided based on a lot of factors such as userbase, diverse exposure across multiple regions and countries, and an amazing team that provides so much insight into so many communities such as this one. Binance has been a tremendous partner and we also look forward to continuing our partnership far into the future.

Q29:

Currently if Search on coinmarketcap has 3 types of stablecoins bearing the USDX symbol (but these 3 stablecoins are no information). So, what will KAVA do to let users know that Kava's USDX is another stablecoin?

  • Answer: All these USDX have no volume or listings. We will be on Binance. I am not worried.

Q30:

In addition to the Token Allocation for Binance Launchpad, what is the Token Treasury in the Initial Circulating Supply?

  • Answer: This is controlled by Kava Labs, but with the big cash we have saved from fundraising, we see no reason why these tokens would be sold on the market. The treasury tokens are for use in grants, ecosystem growth initiatives, development, and other incentive programs to drive adoption of the platform.

Q31:

How you will compete with your competitors? Currently i don't see much but for future how you will maintain this consistency ? No doubt it is Great and Unique project, what is the main problem that #KAVA is currently facing?

  • Answer: Because our industry is just starting out, I don't like to think of them as our direct competitors. We are all working to grow the size of the pie rather than get a larger slice from a small pie. The one thing that we believe will allow us to stand apart is the community we are building. Being able to utilize our own community along with Cosmos and our other partners like Binance for the IEO, we have a strong footing to get a lot of early users onto our platform. Also, we are also focusing on growing Kava internationally particularly Asia. We hope to build our platform for an even larger userbase than just the west.

Q32:

How do you explain your project to a random person who has never heard of your project?

  • Answer: non-crypto = Kava is a lending platform for users of cryptocurrencies.
  • crypto = Kava is a cross-chain DeFi platform for loans and stablecoins backed by BTC, BNB, XRP, ATOM and other major cryptocurrencies.

Q33:

Will KAVA team have a plan on implementing DAO module on your platform since its efficiency on autonomy, decentralization and transparency?

  • Answer: All voting is already transparent on the Kava blockchain. We approved a number of proposals on our test net.

Q34:

how to use usdx token :only for your platform or you have plan to use usdx for payment ?

  • Answer: Payments is a nice use case, but demand for crypto payments is still small. We may choose to focus here later if demand for crypto payments increases. Currently it is quite small with the bulk of use remaining in trading and speculative use cases.

Q35:

Do you have plans to spread KAVA ecosystem across other continents. if yes, what are the strategies and how can I as a community member contribute to making it possible?

  • Answer: We are already across many continents - I don't think we are in antarctica yet. Africa might be light on nodes as well. I think as we grow on major exchanges like Binance, new node operators will get interested and help decentralize Kava further.

Q36:

Maker's CDP lending system is on top in this market and its Dominance is currently sitting on 64.90 % , how kava will compete will maker and compound?

  • Answer: adding assets like bitcoin which have more value and more users than ETH. It's a bigger market that Maker cannot compete with Kava in.

Q37:

Currently, the community is too concerned about the price. As prices rise, the community rejoice and grow, when falling, many people start throwing negatively. So what is KAVA's solution to getting people to focus on the project rather than the price of the token?

What is your plan to strengthen and grow the community to persuade more individuals to look at the product than the price?

  • Answer: We also share similar concerns as price and price direction is always a huge factor in the crypto industry. A lot of people of course are very short-term focused on flipping for bigger profits. One of the solutions, and what Kava has done, is to make sure that everything structured is for the long-term. So that makes sure that our investors and employees are all focused on long-term gains and growth. Locking vesting periods are part of that alignment. Another thing is that we at Kava are very transparent in our progress and development. We will be regularly posting updates within our own communities to allow our users and followers to keep up with everything we're up to. Please follow us or look at our github if you're interested!

Q38:

How did Kava get on Piexgo?

  • Answer: We did not work with Piexgo. We have not distributed tokens to any exchange other than Binance. I cannot speak to what is going on there, but I would be very wary of what is happening there.

Q39:

Why was the 1st round price so much lower than the current price

  • Answer: It is natural to worry that early investors got better pricing and could dump on the market. I can assure you that our investors are in this for the long-term. All private sale rounds signed 2 year contracts to run validators - and if they don't they forfeit their tokens. You can compare our release schedule to any other project. We have one of the most restricted circulating supply schedules of any project EVER and its because all our investors are commiting to the long-term success of the project and believe in Kava.
  • About the pricing itself - it is always a function of traction like for any start-up. When we made our public announcement about the project in June, we were only a 4 man team with just some github code. We could basically run a network with a single node, our own. Which is relatively worthless. I think our pricing of Kava at this time was justified. We were effectively a seed-stage company without a product or working network.
  • By July we made severe progress on the development side and the business side. We successful launched our first test net with the help of over 70 validator business partners around the world. We had a world-wide network of hundreds of people supporting us with people and resources at this point and the risk we would fail in launching a working product was much lower. At this point, the Kava project was valued at $25M. At this point, we had many VCs and investors asking for Kava tokens that we turned away. We only accepted validators that would help us launch the network. It was our one and only goal.
  • Fast forward to today, the IEO price simply reflects the traction and market demand for Kava. Our ecosystem is much larger than it was even a month ago. We have support from Ripple, Cosmos, and Binance amongst other large crypto projects. We have 100+ validators securing our network with very sophisticated high-availability set-ups. In addition, our ecosystem partners have built products for Kava - such as block explorers and others are working on native integrations to wallets and exchanges. Launchpad will be very big for us. Kava is a system designed to cater to crypto traders and investors and in a matter of days we distributed via Binance Launchpad and put in the hands of 130+ countries and tens of thousands of users overnight. It doesn't get more DeFi than that.

Q40:

What is the treasury used for?

  • Answer: Kava's treasury is for ecosystem growth activities.
  • Investors in financing rounds prior to the IEO have entered into long-term lock-up agreements in-line with their belief in Kava’s exciting long-term growth potential and to allow the projects token price to find stability. Following the IEO, the only tokens in circulation will be those sold through the IEO on Binance and the initial Treasury tokens released. No private sale investor tokens are in circulation until the initial release at the end of Q1 2020 and then gradually over the [36] months The initial Treasury tokens in circulation will be used for a mixture of ecosystem grants, the expenses associated with the IEO as well as initial market making requirements as is typical with a listing of this size. Kava remains well financed to execute our roadmap following the IEO and do not envisage any need for any material financings or token sales for the foreseeable future.

Q41:

Everyone have heard about the KAVA token, and read about it. But it would be great to hear your explanation about it. What is the Kava token, what is it's utility? :)

  • Answer: The Kava token plays many roles. KAVA is the native staking token of the Kava blockchain and is used for securing the network. KAVA is delegated to validators, basically professional node operators that run highly-available servers to secure the Kava blockchain. The top 100 validators by weight of staked KAVA earn block rewards that range from 3-20% APR based on the total amount staked in the network. These rewards are split between the validators and the KAVA holders.
  • When users of the platform repay their loans, they must a stability fee (a percentage of the loan) in KAVA tokens. These tokens are burned by the system, effectively deflating the total supply overtime as more users use the CDP system.
  • KAVA is also the primary token used in governance of the platform. KAVA token holders can vote on key system parameter changes and upgrades such as what assets to support, how much USDX in total can be loaned by the system, what the debt-to-collateral ratio needs to be, the stability fees, etc. KAVA holders have a very important responsibility to govern the system well.
  • Lastly, Kava functions as a "Lender of Last Resort" meaning if USDX ever gets undercollateralized because the underlying asset prices drop suddenly and the system manages it poorly, KAVA is inflated in these emergency situations and used to purchase USDX off the market until USDX reaches a state of being over collateralized again. KAVA holders have incentive to only support the good high quality assets so risk of the system is managed responsibly.

Q42:

No matter how perfect and technically thought-out a DeFi protocol is, it cannot be completely protected from any unplanned situations (such as extreme market fluctuations, some legal issues, etc.)

Ecosystem members, in particular the validators on whom KAVA relies on fundamental decision-making rights, should be prepared in advance for any "critical" scenario. Considering that, unlike the same single-collateral MakerDAO, KAVA will be a multi-collateral CDP system, this point is probably even more relevant here.

In this regard, please answer the following question: Does KAVA have a clear risk management model or strategy and how decentralized is / will it be?

  • Answer: Simialar to other CDP systems and MakerDAO we do have a system freeze function where in cases of extreme issues, we can stop the auction mechanisms and return all collateral.

Q43:

Did you know that "Kava" is translated into Ukrainian like "Coffee"? I personally do love drinking coffee. I plunge into the fantasy world. Why did you name your project "Kava" What is the story behind it? What idea / fantasy did your project originate from, which inspired you to create it?

  • Answer: Kava is coffee to you.
  • Kava is Hippopotamus to Japanese.
  • Cava is a region in Spain
  • Kava is also a root that is used in tea which makes your mouth numb.
  • Kava is also crow in Hindi.
  • Kava last but not least is a DeFi platform launching on Binance :)
  • We liked the sound of Kava it was as simple as that. It doesn't have much meaning in the USA where I am from. But it's short sweet and when we were just starting, Kava.io was available for a reasonable price

Q44:

What incentives does a lender get if a person chooses to pay with KAVA? Is there a discount on interest rates on the loan amount if you pay with KAVA? Do I have to pass the KYC procedure to apply for a small loan?

  • Answer: There is no KYC for Kava. Its an open blockchain software platform where anyone with a computer can connect to it and use it.

Q45:

Let's say, I decided to bond my cryptocurrency and got USDX stable coins. For now, it`s an unknown stable coin (let's be honest). Do you plan to add USDX to other famous exchanges? Also, you have spoken about the USDX staking and that the percentage would be higher than for other stable coins. Please be so kind to tell us what is the average annual interest rate and what are the conditions of staking?

  • Answer: Yes we have several large exchanges willing to support USDX from the start. Binance/Binance-DEX is one you should all know ;)
  • The average annual rates for USDX will depend on market conditions. The rate is actually provided by the CDP fees users pay. The system reallocates a portion of those fees to USDX users. In times when USDX use needs to grow, the rates will be higher to incentivize use. When demand is strong, we can reduce the rates.

Q46:

Why should i use and choose Kava's loan if i can use the similar margin trade on Binance?

  • Answer: If margin is available to you and you trust the exchange then you should do whatever is cheaper. For a US citizen and others, margin is often not available and if it is, only for a few asset types as collateral. Kava aims to address this and offer this to everyone.

Q47:

The IEO price is $ 0.46 while the price of the first private sale is $ 0.075. Don't you think that such price gap can negatively affect the liquidity of the token and take away the desire to buy a token on the exchange?

  • Answer: It is natural to worry that early investors got better pricing and could dump on the market. I can assure you that our investors are in this for the long-term. All private sale rounds signed 2 year contracts to run validators - and if they don't they forfeit their tokens. You can compare our release schedule to any other project. We have one of the most restricted circulating supply schedules of any project EVER and its because all our investors are commiting to the long-term success of the project and believe in Kava.
  • About the pricing itself - it is always a function of traction like for any start-up. When we made our public announcement about the project in June, we were only a 4 man team with just some github code. We could basically run a network with a single node, our own. Which is relatively worthless. I think our pricing of Kava at this time was justified. We were effectively a seed-stage company without a product or working network.
  • By July we made severe progress on the development side and the business side. We successful launched our first test net with the help of over 70 validator business partners around the world. We had a world-wide network of hundreds of people supporting us with people and resources at this point and the risk we would fail in launching a working product was much lower. At this point, the Kava project was valued at $25M. At this point, we had many VCs and investors asking for Kava tokens that we turned away. We only accepted validators that would help us launch the network. It was our one and only goal.
  • Fast forward to today, the IEO price simply reflects the traction and market demand for Kava. Our ecosystem is much larger than it was even a month ago. We have support from Ripple, Cosmos, and Binance amongst other large crypto projects. We have 100+ validators securing our network with very sophisticated high-availability set-ups. In addition, our ecosystem partners have built products for Kava - such as block explorers and others are working on native integrations to wallets and exchanges. Launchpad will be very big for us. Kava is a system designed to cater to crypto traders and investors and in a matter of days we distributed via Binance Launchpad and put in the hands of 130+ countries and tens of thousands of users overnight. It doesn't get more DeFi than that.
  • TLDR - I think KAVA is undervalued and the liquid supply of tokens is primarily from the IEO so its a safer bet than other IEOs. If the price drops, it will be from the overall market conditions or fellow IEO users not due private sale investors or team sell-offs.

Q48:

Can you introduce some information abouts KAVA Deflationary Fee Structure? With the burning mechanism, does it mean KAVA will never reach its max supply?

  • Answer: When loans are repaid, users pay a fee in Kava. This is burned. However, Kava does not have a max supply. It has a starting supply of 100M. It inflates for block rewards 3-20% APR AND it inflates when the system is at risk of under collateralization. At this time, more Kava is minted and used to purchase USDX off the market until it reaches full collateralization again.
  • TLDR: If things go well, and governance is good, Kava deflates and hopefully appreciates in value. If things go wrong, Kava holders get inflated.

Q49:

In your opinion what are advantage of decentralized finance over centralized?

  • Answer: One of the main advantages is not needing to pay the costs of regulation and compliance. Open financial software that is usable by anyone removes middle men fees and reduces the barrier for new entrants to enter and make new products. Also DeFI has an edge in terms of onboarding - to get a bank account or an exchange account you need to do lots of KYC and give private info. That takes time and is troublesome. With DeFi you just load up your funds and transact. Very fast user flows.

Q50:

Plan, KAVA how to raise capital? Kava is being supported by more than 100 business entities around the world, including major cryptocurrency investment funds like Ripple and Cosmos, so what did kava do to convince investors to join the project?

  • Answer: We have been doing crypto research and development for years. Ripple and Cosmos were partners before we even started this blockchain with Kava Labs. When we announced Kava the DeFi platform they knew us already to do good work and they liked the idea so they support us.
submitted by Kava_Mod to KavaUSDX [link] [comments]

US Tax Guide for ETH and other cryptocurrencies

Introduction:  
Greetings, fellow ethtraders! Happy New Year! In the next few months, taxpayers across the US will be filing their 2017 tax returns. As an Enrolled Agent and a ETH/cryptocurrency investor and enthusiast, I wanted to write up a brief guide on how your investments in ETH and other cryptocurrencies are taxed in the US.
 
 
1. Are ETH/cryptocurrency realized gains taxable?
Yes. The IRS treats virtual currency (such as cryptocurrency) as property. That means if you sell ETH, BTC, or any other cryptocurrency that has appreciated in value, you have realized a capital gain and must pay taxes on this income. If you held the position for one year or less, it is a short-term capital gain which is taxed at your ordinary income tax rate. If you held the position for more than one year, it is a long-term capital gain which is taxed at your long-term capital gains tax rate. In most cases, this is 15%, but could also be 0% or 20% depending on your specific ordinary income tax bracket.
 
2. If I sell my ETH for USD on Coinbase but do not transfer the USD from Coinbase to my bank account, am I still taxed?
Yes. The only thing that matters is that you sold the ETH, which creates a taxable transaction. Whether you transfer the USD to your bank account or not does not matter.
 
3. If I use my ETH to buy OMG or another cryptocurrency, is this a taxable transaction?
Most likely yes. See #4 below for a more detailed explanation. If assuming crypto to crypto trades are not able to be like-kind exchanged, then continue on to the next paragraph here.
This is actually two different transactions. The first transaction is selling your ETH for USD. The second transaction is buying the OMG with your USD. You must manually calculate these amounts. For example, I buy 1 ETH for $600 on Coinbase. Later on, the price of 1 ETH rises to $700. I transfer that 1 ETH to Bittrex and use it to buy 37 OMG. I have to report a capital gain of $100 because of this transaction. My total cost basis for the 37 OMG I purchased is $700.
 
4. If I use my ETH to buy OMG or other cryptocurrency, could that be considered a tax-free like-kind exchange?
Probably not. The new tax law says that like-kind exchanges only pertain to real estate transactions. This was done with Section 13303, which replaced “property” with “real property” for all of Section 1031 (page 72 near the bottom). My personal interpretation:
In 2018 and going forward, cryptocurrencies can definitely not be like-kind exchanged.
In 2017 and before, it is a very gray area. I personally am not taking the position that they can be like-kind exchanged, because if the IRS went after a taxpayer who did this, the IRS would probably win and the taxpayer would owe taxes, interest, and probably penalties on every single little gain made from trading one cryptocurrency for another.
Here is a great interpretation of why trading cryptocurrency for cryptocurrency is probably not a like-kind transaction.
In my opinion, the biggest factor is that like-kind exchanges must be reported on Form 8824 and not just ignored. Therefore, if a taxpayer is claiming like-kind exchanges on crypto to crypto exchanges, he or she would have to fill out a Form 8824 for each individual transaction of crypto to crypto, which would be absolutely cumbersome if there are hundreds or thousands of such trades.
Here is another article about like-kind exchanges.
Here is the American Institute of CPAs' letter to the IRS, dated June 10, 2016, asking them to release guidance on whether crypto to crypto can be like-kind exchanged or not. The IRS has not responded to the letter.
 
5. How do I calculate the realized capital gain or loss on the sale of my cryptocurrency?
The realized gain or loss is your total proceeds from the sale minus what you purchased those positions for (your cost basis). For example, you bought 1 ETH for $300 in June of 2017. In December of 2017, you sold that 1 ETH for $800. Your realized gain would be $800 - $300 = $500. Since you held it for one year or less, the $500 would be a short-term capital gain taxed at your ordinary income tax rate.
 
6. Which ETH's cost basis do I use if I have multiple purchases?
The cost basis reporting method is up to you. For example, I buy my first ETH at $300, a second ETH at $530, and a third ETH at $400. Later on, I sell one ETH for $800. I can use:
FIFO (first in first out) - cost basis would the first ETH, $300, which would result in a gain of $500.
LIFO (last in first out) - cost basis would be the third ETH, $400, which would result in a gain of $400.
Average cost - cost basis would be the average of the three ETH, $410, which would result in a gain of $390.
Specific identification - I can just choose which coin's cost basis to use. For example, I can choose the second ETH's cost basis, $530, which would result in the lowest capital gains possible of $270.
 
7. If I end up with a net capital loss, can I claim this on my tax return?
Capital gains and capital losses are netted on your tax return. If the net result of this is a capital loss, you may offset it against ordinary income on your tax return, but only at a maximum of $3,000 per year. The remaining losses are carried forward until you use them up.
 
8. What is the tax rate on my capital gains?
If long-term, the tax rate is 0%, 15%, or 20%, depending on your ordinary income tax bracket. If short-term, the tax bracket you’ll be in will depend on your total income and deductions. The ordinary income tax brackets are 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35%, and 39.6% in 2017 and 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37% in 2018 and going forward.
Here are the 2017 and 2018 ordinary income tax brackets.
Here are the 2017 and 2018 long-term capital gains tax brackets.
Here is a detailed article on how the calculation of long-term capital gains tax work and how you can take advantage of the 0% long-term capital gains rate, if applicable.
 
9. If I mine ETH or any other cryptocurrency, is this taxable?
Yes. IRS Notice 2014-21 states that mining cryptocurrency is taxable. For example, if you mined $7,000 worth of ETH in 2017, you must report $7,000 of income on your 2017 tax return. For many taxpayers, this will be reported on your Schedule C, and you will most likely owe self-employment taxes on this income as well. The $7,000 becomes the cost basis in your ETH position.
 
10. How do I calculate income for the cryptocurrency I mined?
This is the approach I would take. Say I mined 1 ETH on December 31, 2017. I would look up the daily historical prices for ETH and average the high and low prices for ETH on December 31, 2017, which is ($760.35 + $710.12) / 2 = $735.24. I would report $735.24 of income on my tax return. This would also be the cost basis of the 1 ETH I mined.
 
11. Can I deduct mining expenses on my tax return?
If you are reporting the income from mining on Schedule C, then you can deduct expenses on Schedule C as well. You can deduct the portion of your electricity costs allocated to mining, and then you depreciate the cost of your mining rig over time (probably over five years). Section 179 also allows for the full deduction of the cost of certain equipment in year 1, so you could choose to do that if you wanted to instead.
 
12. If I receive ETH or other cryptocurrency as a payment for my business, is this taxable?
Yes. Similar to mining, your income would be what the value of the coins you received was. This would also be your cost basis in the coins.
 
13. If I received Bitcoin Cash as a result of the hard fork on August 1, 2017, is this taxable?
Most likely yes. For example, if you owned 1 Bitcoin and received 1 Bitcoin Cash on August 1, 2017 as a result of the hard fork, your income would be the value of 1 Bitcoin Cash on that date. Bitcoin.tax uses a value of $277. This value would also be your cost basis in the position. Any other hard forks would probably be treated similarly. Airdrops may be treated similarly as well, in the IRS' view.
Here are a couple more good articles about reporting the Bitcoin Cash fork as taxable ordinary income. The second one goes into depth and cites a US Supreme Court decision as precedent: one, two
 
14. If I use ETH, BTC, or other cryptocurrency to purchase goods or services, is this a taxable transaction?
Yes. It would be treated as selling your cryptocurrency for USD, and then using that USD to purchase those goods or services. This is because the IRS treats cryptocurrency as property and not currency.
 
15. Are cryptocurrencies subject to the wash sale rule?
Probably not. Section 1091 only applies to stock or securities. Cryptocurrencies are not classified as stocks or securities. Therefore, you could sell your ETH at a loss, repurchase it immediately, and still realize this loss on your tax return, whereas you cannot do the same with a stock. Please see this link for more information.
 
16. What if I hold cryptocurrency on an exchange based outside of the US?
There are two separate foreign account reporting requirements: FBAR and FATCA.
A FBAR must be filed if you held more than $10,000 on an exchange based outside of the US at any point during the tax year.
A Form 8938 (FATCA) must be filed if you held more than $75,000 on an exchange based outside of the US at any point during the tax year, or more than $50,000 on the last day of the tax year.
The penalties are severe for not filing these two forms if you are required to. Please see the second half of this post for more information on foreign account reporting.
 
17. What are the tax implications of gifting cryptocurrency?
Small gifts of cryptocurrency do not have a tax implication for the gift giver or for the recipient. The recipient would retain the gift giver's old cost basis, so it could be a good idea for the gift giver to provide records of the original cost basis to the recipient as well (or else the recipient would have to assume a cost basis of $0 if the recipient ever sells the cryptocurrency).
Large gifts of cryptocurrency could start having gift and estate tax implications on the giver if the value exceeds more than $14,000 (in 2017) or $15,000 (in 2018) per year per recipient.
Here's a good article on Investopedia on this issue.
An important exception applies if the gift giver gives cryptocurrency that has a cost basis that is higher than the market value at the time of the gift. Please see the middle of this post for more information on that.
 
18. Where can I learn even more about cryptocurrency taxation?
Unchained Podcast: The Tax Rules That Have Crypto Users Aghast
IRS Notice 2014-21
Great reddit post from tax attorney Tyson Cross from 2014
 
19. Are there any websites that you recommend in helping me with all of this?
Yes - I have used bitcoin.tax and highly recommend it. You can import directly from an exchange to the website using API, and/or export a .csv/excel file from the exchange and import it into the website. The exchanges I successfully imported from were Coinbase, GDAX, Bittrex, and Binance. The result is a .csv or other file that you can import into your tax software.
I have also heard good things about cointracking.info but have not personally used it myself.
 
20. Taxation is theft!
I can't help you there.
 
 
That is the summary I have for now. There have been a lot of excellent cryptocurrency tax guides on reddit, such as this one, this one, and this one, but I wanted to post my short summary guide on ethtrader which hopefully answers some of the questions you all may have about US taxation of ETH and other cryptocurrencies. Please let me know if you have any more questions, and I’d be happy to answer them to the best of my ability. Thank you!
Regarding edits: I have made many edits to my post since I originally posted it. Please refresh to see the latest edits to my guide. Thank you.
 
Disclaimer:
The information contained within this post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for obtaining tax, accounting, or financial advice from a professional.
Any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this post is not intended to be used for the purpose of avoiding penalties under U.S. federal tax law.
Presentation of the information via the Internet is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an advisor-client relationship. Internet users are advised not to act upon this information without seeking the service of a tax professional.
submitted by Nubboi to ethtrader [link] [comments]

Hi /r/ethtrader! I quit my job to start Cointaxes to answer questions about taxes and digital currencies so you can have confidence even if you're not a HODLer! Sharing our first comprehensive article on the Coinbase & Gemini 1099-K. Would love your input on ANY other topics or questions! :)

Hi /ethtrader! Thank you for reading this.
I felt the world of digital currencies is a bit too uncertain, so I want to do what I can to create more confidence and certainty! Please let me know if you have any questions or comments (I'll probably respond to every comment here!)
Check out our first comprehensive article on the Coinbase / Gemini 1099-K
Some "fun" facts you may not know about digital currency taxes
Here's two quick "fun" facts you may not know. We will be posting in-depth articles on these, too. Consider subscribing to our newsletter to hear first when they've been published!
About Cointaxes
Cointaxes was formed and funded with the mission to establish confidence and certainty around cryptocurrency.
We see global adoption of digital currencies as an inevitability. The uncertainty lies in how effectively and smoothly this once-in-a-lifetime shift occurs. As a tax preparation service, we have a special seat in the cryptocurrency ecosystem directly related to this uncertainty: it is our job to help both citizens and governments around the world understand how to use and treat digital currencies.
If our mission excites you
Disclaimers
Important Disclaimers: This is NOT tax advice and should NOT be relied upon for making any tax decisions. We always recommend speaking to a tax professional before making decisions related to your taxes and our guides are not a substitute for tax advice. While I have assembled and provided this information to the best of its knowledge, I make no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. You can read the full disclaimers here.
submitted by StopTheVok to ethtrader [link] [comments]

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How to file your cryptocurrency & bitcoin taxes with ...

It's a good idea to have accounts with other exchanges ready just in case one exchange goes down. When Coinbase went down during the Bitcoin Cash launch, I b... For more information about cryptocurrency taxes, checkout our Complete 2019 Guide to Cryptocurrency Taxes: https://www.cryptotrader.tax/blog/the-traders-guid... 💥Sign up to Binance and Cut your Fees in Half Here https://www.binance.com/?ref=11093903 MUST WATCH *****UPDATED 2018 VERSION HERE*****... Bitcoin Tax Myths: There are a lot of questions and misinformation circulating in our community about crypto & taxes. This is my attempt to clarify some impo... In this short video i explained how you can convert your BTC to USDT trading on the Binance platform. !!👨‍💻 SET UP A BINANCE US ACCOUNT 👩‍💻 !! https://www.binance.us/?ref=35000644 Binance US now allows you to use a Debit card to make purchases ... This video demonstrates how you can import your Binance trades into CryptoTrader.Tax to generate one-click tax reports. For more information on doing your Binance taxes, checkout our blog post ... IN today's video we take a look at how to Use Binance , specifically, how to deposit and withdraw on the Binance Exchange. I've set up a new Telegram group f... CoinTracker tutorial on how to file your cryptocurrency and bitcoin taxes with CoinTracker and TurboTax. Import your transactions from top exchanges includin...

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