Bitcoin Exchange Buy, sell and trade cryptocurrencies
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Exchanges - Bitcoin
Do stuff for some coin or give it away, it's just that easy!
Want to earn some coin? Want to give some coin? Want to exchange coin for tasks or objects no matter how serious or silly? Then this is the place for you! There are many subreddits that pay you for tasks but this one is just for cryptocurrency! That's right any cryptocurrency is welcome here so go a head and make a post! Contests are welcome too!
Ethereum Classic is an open, decentralized, and permissionless public blockchain, that aims to fulfill the original promise of Ethereum, as a platform where smart contracts are free from third-party interference. ETC prioritizes trust-minimization, network security, and integrity. All network upgrades are non-contentious with the aim to fix critical issues or to add value with newly proposed features; never to create new tokens, or to bail out flawed smart contracts and their interest groups.
Putting $400M of Bitcoin on your company balance sheet
Also posted on my blog as usual. Read it there if you can, there are footnotes and inlined plots. A couple of months ago, MicroStrategy (MSTR) had a spare $400M of cash which it decided to shift to Bitcoin (BTC). Today we'll discuss in excrutiating detail why this is not a good idea. When a company has a pile of spare money it doesn't know what to do with, it'll normally do buybacks or start paying dividends. That gives the money back to the shareholders, and from an economic perspective the money can get better invested in other more promising companies. If you have a huge pile of of cash, you probably should be doing other things than leave it in a bank account to gather dust. However, this statement from MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor exists to make it clear he's buying into BTC for all the wrong reasons:
“This is not a speculation, nor is it a hedge. This was a deliberate corporate strategy to adopt a bitcoin standard.”
Let's unpack it and jump into the economics Bitcoin:
Is Bitcoin money?
No. Or rather BTC doesn't act as money and there's no serious future path for BTC to become a form of money. Let's go back to basics. There are 3 main economic problems money solves: 1. Medium of Exchange. Before money we had to barter, which led to the double coincidence of wants problem. When everyone accepts the same money you can buy something from someone even if they don't like the stuff you own. As a medium of exchange, BTC is not good. There are significant transaction fees and transaction waiting times built-in to BTC and these worsen the more popular BTC get. You can test BTC's usefulness as a medium of exchange for yourself right now: try to order a pizza or to buy a random item with BTC. How many additional hurdles do you have to go through? How many fewer options do you have than if you used a regular currency? How much overhead (time, fees) is there? 2. Unit of Account. A unit of account is what you compare the value of objects against. We denominate BTC in terms of how many USD they're worth, so BTC is a unit of account presently. We can say it's because of lack of adoption, but really it's also because the market value of BTC is so volatile. If I buy a $1000 table today or in 2017, it's roughly a $1000 table. We can't say that a 0.4BTC table was a 0.4BTC table in 2017. We'll expand on this in the next point: 3. Store of Value. When you create economic value, you don't want to be forced to use up the value you created right away. For instance, if I fix your washing machine and you pay me in avocados, I'd be annoyed. I'd have to consume my payment before it becomes brown, squishy and disgusting. Avocado fruit is not good money because avocadoes loses value very fast. On the other hand, well-run currencies like the USD, GBP, CAD, EUR, etc. all lose their value at a low and most importantly fairly predictible rate. Let's look at the chart of the USD against BTC While the dollar loses value at a predictible rate, BTC is all over the place, which is bad. One important use money is to write loan contracts. Loans are great. They let people spend now against their future potential earnings, so they can buy houses or start businesses without first saving up for a decade. Loans are good for the economy. If you want to sign something that says "I owe you this much for that much time" then you need to be able to roughly predict the value of the debt in at the point in time where it's due. Otherwise you'll have a hard time pricing the risk of the loan effectively. This means that you need to charge higher interests. The risk of making a loan in BTC needs to be priced into the interest of a BTC-denominated loan, which means much higher interest rates. High interests on loans are bad, because buying houses and starting businesses are good things.
BTC has a fixed supply, so these problems are built in
Some people think that going back to a standard where our money was denominated by a stock of gold (the Gold Standard) would solve economic problems. This is nonsense. Having control over supply of your currency is a good thing, as long as it's well run. See here Remember that what is desirable is low variance in the value, not the value itself. When there are wild fluctuations in value, it's hard for money to do its job well. Since the 1970s, the USD has been a fiat money with no intrinsic value. This means we control the supply of money. Let's look at a classic poorly drawn econ101 graph The market price for USD is where supply meets demand. The problem with a currency based on an item whose supply is fixed is that the price will necessarily fluctuate in response to changes in demand. Imagine, if you will, that a pandemic strikes and that the demand for currency takes a sharp drop. The US imports less, people don't buy anything anymore, etc. If you can't print money, you get deflation, which is worsens everything. On the other hand, if you can make the money printers go brrrr you can stabilize the price Having your currency be based on a fixed supply isn't just bad because in/deflation is hard to control. It's also a national security risk... The story of the guy who crashed gold prices in North Africa In the 1200s, Mansa Munsa, the emperor of the Mali, was rich and a devout Muslim and wanted everyone to know it. So he embarked on a pilgrimage to make it rain all the way to Mecca. He in fact made it rain so hard he increased the overall supply of gold and unintentionally crashed gold prices in Cairo by 20%, wreaking an economic havoc in North Africa that lasted a decade. This story is fun, the larger point that having your inflation be at the mercy of foreign nations is an undesirable attribute in any currency. The US likes to call some countries currency manipulators, but this problem would be serious under a gold standard.
Currencies are based on trust
Since the USD is based on nothing except the US government's word, how can we trust USD not to be mismanaged? The answer is that you can probably trust the fed until political stooges get put in place. Currently, the US's central bank managing the USD, the Federal Reserve (the Fed for friends & family), has administrative authority. The fed can say "no" to dumb requests from the president. People who have no idea what the fed does like to chant "audit the fed", but the fed is already one of the best audited US federal entities. The transcripts of all their meetings are out in the open. As is their balance sheet, what they plan to do and why. If the US should audit anything it's the Department of Defense which operates without any accounting at all. It's easy to see when a central bank will go rogue: it's when political yes-men are elected to the board. For example, before printing themselves into hyperinflation, the Venezuelan president appointed a sociologist who publicly stated “Inflation does not exist in real life” and instead is a made up capitalist lie. Note what happened mere months after his gaining control over the Venezuelan currency This is a key policy. One paper I really like, Sargent (1984) "The end of 4 big inflations" states:
The essential measures that ended hyperinflation in each of Germany,Austria, Hungary, and Poland were, first, the creation of an independentcentral bank that was legally committed to refuse the government'sdemand or additional unsecured credit and, second, a simultaneousalteration in the fiscal policy regime.
In english: *hyperinflation stops when the central bank can say "no" to the government." The US Fed, like other well good central banks, is run by a bunch of nerds. When it prints money, even as aggressively as it has it does so for good reasons. You can see why they started printing on March 15th as the COVID lockdowns started:
The Federal Reserve is prepared to use its full range of tools to support the flow of credit to households and businesses and thereby promote its maximum employment and price stability goals.
In english: We're going to keep printing and lowering rates until jobs are back and inflation is under control. If we print until the sun is blotted out, we'll print in the shade.
BTC is not gold
Gold is a good asset for doomsday-preppers. If society crashes, gold will still have value. How do we know that? Gold has held value throughout multiple historic catastrophes over thousands of years. It had value before and after the Bronze Age Collapse, the Fall of the Western Roman Empire and Gengis Khan being Gengis Khan. Even if you erased humanity and started over, the new humans would still find gold to be economically valuable. When Europeans d̶i̶s̶c̶o̶v̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ c̶o̶n̶q̶u̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ g̶e̶n̶o̶c̶i̶d̶e̶d̶ went to America, they found gold to be an important item over there too. This is about equivalent to finding humans on Alpha-Centauri and learning that they think gold is a good store of value as well. Some people are puzzled at this: we don't even use gold for much! But it has great properties: First, gold is hard to fake and impossible to manufacture. This makes it good to ascertain payment. Second, gold doesnt react to oxygen, so it doesn't rust or tarnish. So it keeps value over time unlike most other materials. Last, gold is pretty. This might sound frivolous, and you may not like it, but jewelry has actual value to humans. It's no coincidence if you look at a list of the wealthiest families, a large number of them trade in luxury goods. To paraphrase Veblen humans have a profound desire to signal social status, for the same reason peacocks have unwieldy tails. Gold is a great way to achieve that. On the other hand, BTC lacks all these attributes. Its value is largely based on common perception of value. There are a few fundamental drivers of demand:
Means of Exchange: if people seriously start using BTC to buy pizzas, then this creates a real demand for the currency to accomplish the short-term exchanges. As we saw previously, I'm not personally sold on this one and it's currently a negligible fraction of overall demand.
Criminal uses: Probably the largest inbuilt advantage of BTC is that it's anonymous, and so a great way to launder money. Hacker gangs use BTC to demand ransom on cryptolocker type attacks because it's a shared way for an honest company to pay and for the criminals to receive money without going to jail.
Apart from these, it's hard to argue that BTC will retain value throughout some sort of economic catastrophe.
BTC is really risky
One last statement from Michael Saylor I take offense to is this:
“We feel pretty confident that Bitcoin is less risky than holding cash, less risky than holding gold,” MicroStrategy CEO said in an interview
"BTC is less risky than holding cash or gold long term" is nonsense. We saw before that BTC is more volatile on face value, and that as long as the Fed isn't run by spider monkeys stacked in a trench coat, the inflation is likely to be within reasonable bounds. But on top of this, BTC has Abrupt downside risks that normal currencies don't. Let's imagine a few:
A critical software vulnerability is found in the BTC codebase, leading to a possible exploitation.
Xi Jinping decides he's had enough of rich people in China hiding their assets from him and bans BTC.
Some form of bank run takes hold for whatever reason. Because BTC wallets are uninsured, unlike regular banks, this compounds into a Black Tuesday style crash.
Blockchain solutions are fundamentally inefficient
Blockchain was a genius idea. I still marvel at the initial white paper which is a great mix of economics and computer science. That said, blockchain solutions make large tradeoffs in design because they assume almost no trust between parties. This leads to intentionally wasteful designs on a massive scale. The main problem is that all transactions have to be validated by expensive computational operations and double checked by multiple parties. This means waste:
BTC was estimated to use as much electricity as Belgium in 2019. It's hard to trace where the BTC mining comes from, but we can assume it has a huge carbon footprint.
A single transactions is necessarily expensive. A single transaction takes as much electricity as 800,000 VISA transactions, or watching 50,000 hours of youtube videos.
There is a large necessary tax on the transaction, since those checking the transaction extract a few BTC from it to be incentivized to do the work of checking it.
Many design problems can be mitigated by various improvements over BTC, but it remains that a simple database always works better than a blockchain if you can trust the parties to the transaction.
Carney highlighted the dollar’s use in international securities issuance, its use as the primary settlement currency for international trades and the fact that companies use dollars as examples of its dominance. However, “developments in the U.S. economy, by affecting the dollar exchange rate, can have large spillover effects to the rest of the world.”
In an article published by ID2020 in 2018, vaccines are the perfect way to introduce digital identity to the world – especially infants. This identity would also be used to grant access to basic rights and services.
Your new digital ID will then be matched with your new digital currency issued by your central bank. They will have the absolute, uncontested right to decide whether you can have access to basic rights and services, or not. It will only take a click on the mouse to deny your access to basic rights and services. And you won't know the reason. It could be for wrong thinking, it could be to pursue another political agenda to eliminate whichever community they decided they need to eliminate. We have seen plenty of evidence this year about the strong political bias that big social media platforms have. Now, with the constant monitoring and analyzing of our data, they can easily tell what are our political opinions. And therefore have your access to basic rights and services denied with a click, if you have the 'wrong' political opinions. And I don't see why they would not do that. In a very close future, you could end up in a situation where you have to choose between being allowed to eat, or vote for the candidate you don't like, but that the system endorses. It's literally the end of democracy, and freedom, and there is no going back once we have switched to this new system. All the above is not even a conspiracy. It's merely about connecting the dots, and understanding the implications. edit: here is a video of Accenture, one of the founding partners of id2020, explaining about the digital dollar I think covid was a catalyst to bring all these changes. Who else than the international financial system has the ability to have all countries on the planet to comply with such severe restriction rules that send their respective economies and societies down the toilet ?
In September, this decentralized exchange (DEX) overtook Coinbase in trading volume:
A) UniswapB) AaveC) CompoundD) Both A and B Scroll down for the answer.
Ranking and September Winners and Losers
2020 Top 10 Rank Lots of movement this month: six out of the Top Ten changed positions in September. BCH climbed one from #6 to #5 and BNB made a big move from #10 to #6. Going the opposite direction were BSV, EOS, and Tezos, dropping one, two, and four places respectively. The big story though, at least for anyone who’s been watching crypto for a while, was the ejection of Litecoin from the Top Ten. In just 30 days, LTC fell five places from #7 to #12. For some context, Litecoin’s absence from the Top Ten is a Top Ten Experiment first. It is also the first time since CoinMarketCap has tracked crypto rankings that Litecoin has not has not held a spot in the Top Ten. Drop outs: after nine months of the experiment, 30% of the cryptos that started 2020 in the Top Ten have dropped out. LTC, EOS, and Tezos have been replaced by ADA,LINK, and most recently, DOT. September Winners – Winner, singular: BNB was the only crypto to finish in the green, finished up +25% for the month, and gained four places in the rankings. A very good month for Binance Coin. September Losers – Tezos was the worst performing crypto of the 2020 Top Ten portfolio, losing nearly a third of its value, down -31% for the month. LTC also had a bad month, losing -24% and dropping out of the Top Ten. Since COVID-19 has hammered the sporting world, let’s be overly competitive and pit these cryptos against each other, shall we? Here’s a table showing which cryptos have the most monthly wins and losses nine months into the 2020 Top Ten Crypto Index Fund Experiment: Wins/Losses ETH is in the lead three monthly Ws, followed by Tether and Tezos with two wins each. Even though it is up +79% since January 1st, 2020, BSV has the most monthly losses: it has been the worst performing crypto of the group four out of the first nine months in 2020.
Overall update – ETH maintains strong lead, followed by BNB. 100% of Top Ten are in positive territory.
Ethereum remains firmly in the lead, up +187% on the year. Thanks to a strong month for BNB and a weak month for Tezos,Binance Coin has overtaken XTZ for second place, and is now up +109% in 2020. Discounting Tether (no offense Big-T), EOS (+4%) is the worst performing cryptocurrency of the 2020 Top Ten Portfolio. 100% of the cryptos in this group are in positive territory.
Total Market Cap for the cryptocurrency sector:
The overall crypto market lost about $35B in September, ending the month up +85% since the beginning of this year’s experiment in January 2020. Despite a rough month, this is the second highest month-end level since the 2020 Top Ten Experiment started nine months ago.
Monthly BitDom - 2020 BitDom ticked up slightly this month, but is still lower than it has been for most of the year. As always, a low BitDom reflects a greater appetite for altcoins. For context, the BitDom range since the beginning of the experiment in January 2020 has been roughly between 57% and 68%.
Overall return on investment since January 1st, 2020:
After an initial $1000 investment on January 1st, the 2020 Top Ten Portfolio is now worth $1,536, up +56%. This is the best performing of the three Top Ten Crypto Index Fund Portfolios, but not by much: the 2019 Top Ten came in at +54% in September. Here’s the month by month ROI of the 2020 Top Ten Experiment, hopefully helpful to maintain perspective and provide an overview as we go along: Monthly ROI - 2020 Top Ten Even during the zombie apocalypse blip in March, the 2020 Top Ten has managed to end every month so far in the green (for a mirror image, check out the all red table you’ll find in the 2018 experiment). The range of monthly ROI for the 2020 Top Ten has been between a low of +7% in March and high of +83% in August. So, how does the 2020 Top Ten Experiment compare to the parallel projects?
Taken together, here’s the bottom bottom bottom line for the three portfolios: After a $3000 investment in the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Top Ten Cryptocurrencies, the combined portfolios are worth $3,340 ($238+ $1,538 +$1,564). That’s up about +11% for the three combined portfolios, compared to +31% last month. Here’s a table to help visualize the progress of the combined portfolios: Combined ROI - UP +11% That’s a +11% gain by buying $1k of the cryptos that happened to be in the Top Ten on January 1st, 2018, 2019, and 2020. But what if I’d gone all in on only one Top Ten crypto for the past three years? While many have come and gone over the life of the experiment, five cryptos have started in Top Ten for all three years: BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, and LTC (Big L, no pressure, but if you don’t claw yourself back in the Top Ten by January 2021, you’re out of the club). Let’s take a look: Three Year Club At this point in the Experiments, Ethereum (+104%) would have easily returned the most, followed by BTC (+77%). On the other hand, following this approach with XRP, I would have been down nearly a third at -31%. So that’s the Top Ten Crypto Index Fund Experiments snapshot. Let’s take a look at how traditional markets are doing.
Comparison to S&P 500
I’m also tracking the S&P 500 as part of my experiment to have a comparison point to traditional markets. The S&P slipped a bit from an all time high in August and is now up just +5% in 2020. Over the same time period, the 2020 Top Ten Crypto Portfolio is returning about +56%. The initial $1k investment in crypto is now worth about $1,563. That same $1k I put into crypto in January 2020 would be worth $1050 had it been redirected to the S&P 500 instead. That’s a $513 difference on a $1k investment, one of the largest gaps in favor of crypto all year. But that’s just 2020. What about in the longer term? What if I invested in the S&P 500 the same way I did during the first three years of the Top Ten Crypto Index Fund Experiments? What I like to call the world’s slowest dollar cost averaging method? Here are the figures:
$1000 investment in S&P 500 on January 1st, 2018 = $1260 today
$1000 investment in S&P 500 on January 1st, 2019 = $1350 today
$1000 investment in S&P 500 on January 1st, 2020 = $1050 today
So, taken together, here’s the bottom bottom bottom line for a similar approach with the S&P: After three $1,000 investments into an S&P 500 index fund in January 2018, 2019, and 2020, my portfolio would be worth $3,660. That $3,660 is up +22%since January 2018, compared to a +11% gain of the combined Top Ten Crypto Experiment Portfolios over the same period of time. That’s an 11% swing in favor of the S&P 500 and breaks a two month mini-streak of wins from the Top Ten crypto portfolios. For those keeping track or unable to see the table above: that’s seven monthly victories for the S&P vs. two monthly victories for crypto. The largest gap so far was a 22% difference in favor of the S&P back in June.
September saw losses for both traditional and crypto markets, but crypto got hit harder. What can we expect for the rest of 2020? The Neverending Year is entering the final quarter and is not finished with us yet: a lot can and will happen in the remaining months. More volatility is no doubt to come as we enter the final stretch of a truly unpredictable and exhausting year. Buckle up. Stay healthy and take care of yourselves out there. Thanks for reading and for supporting the experiment. I hope you’ve found it helpful. I continue to be committed to seeing this process through and reporting along the way. Feel free to reach out with any questions and stay tuned for progress reports. Keep an eye out for the original 2018 Top Ten Crypto Index Fund Experiment and the 2019 Top Ten Experiment follow up experiment.
Ultimate glossary of crypto currency terms, acronyms and abbreviations
I thought WS Crypto might be an easy way to invest in Bitcoin without having to worry about security. But now that I've tried it, I suggest -- don't bother. Here's my experience:
I had to create a new WealthSimple Trade account, and add my bank accounts again, because the Trade platform is not linked to WealthSimple Invest in any way (if you are already an existing Invest customer).
Must download Android/iPhone app, because you can't use WealthSimple Trade in browser.
You need to create a WS Crypto account. This is a process of checking "I agree" to 10+ warnings that your Bitcoin may disappear, because WealthSimple does not have faith in the Cold Storage service that is being used to hold your crypto, and they want to clear themselves of all legal responsibility if your crypto should go missing.
Deposit funds: you must wait 5 business days before you can start trading! Even thought your bank account is already withdrawn after the first day.
Buying Bitcoin: there is a 1.7% spread from market price (so on CA$1000, that's a CA$17 fee).
To buy Bitcoin, you need to accept more legal disclaimers that WS is not responsible for any loses.
Selling Bitcoin: there is a 2.2% spread from market price (so on CA$1000, that's a $22 fee).
Withdrawing: wait 2 to 5 business days for the funds to appear in your bank account.
So you're looking at a long wait and a ~4% fee on a trade. While I waited 5 days for my funds to clear, I missed the 8% growth last week re: PayPal news. So if you're in Canada, here's what I've been using instead:
Order a Trezor: now only EUR 59 (about CA$93). Make sure it's from Trezor website, because otherwise it could have compromised security.
Sign up at https://coinsquare.com and go through the Identification process. It takes a little bit of time, but once you're identified, everything else is fast.
Fund CoinSquare account: my Interac E-Transfers clear within 12-24 hours now, much faster than WS Trade. Right now, E-Transfer funding is free until Nov. 2, they have these promos every few months so take advantage of them (usually it's a 1.5% e-transfer fee).
Buying Bitcoin: the fee is only 0.1 - 0.2%, way lower than WS Crypto. The rates seem to be reflective of the market price, they're not inflated. You can also set your own rate and wait, unlike WS Crypto which only offers a fixed rate.
Storage: when your order is complete, transfer your crypto to your Trezor. Bitcoin withdraw fee is 0.0005 BTC (about CA$8.50). DO NOT leave your crypto on the exchange for a long period, because if you return in a few weeks/months, the exchange may no longer be solvent (although, CoinSquare is the most professional option in Canada so far).
Sell & Withdraw: CoinSquare charges a 2% withdraw fee on direct deposit. But you can always sell your Bitcoin somewhere else instead -- in person, at a Bitcoin ATM, on another exchange, or altogether just use it to shop online. So because you control your crypto, there is no requirement to use this sell feature (unlike WS Crypto, where your custodian won't let you take the Bitcoin elsewhere, and you are forced to eat their sell fee).
xBTC is a revolution in rebasing, we actually argue that we have found what rebasing was made for, the "killer app" for rebasing. On chain tokenized derivatives. xBTC rebases to reward holders when Bitcoin Dominance goes down. xBTC shares three traits with derivatives. xBTC: 1) insures against market movements; 2) increases market exposure; 3) allows access to otherwise hard to trade assets. The notional value of all derivatives is $640T - the real value is $12T. Robinhood made 63% of their revenue from options trading (a derivative). Through the derivatives lens, xBTC can be a price sensor for the demand of digital assets and a hedge against Bitcoin. With xBTC, traders can quickly and easily bet on the future of the market. 🔴 xBTC has five key features: 🔹Dominance Hedge- xBTC allows users to hedge against a fall in Bitcoin Dominance. 🔹Total Diversification- Conversely this means holders are betting on every single other digital asset out pacing Bitcoin. That's right, every. single. digital. asset. Regardless of market segment, technology, blockchain, etc. 🔹Rewarding Holders- Rebasing rewards holders through increasing their supply while the network grows. 🔹Effective Trading Pair and Store of Value- By being pegged to dominance, a number that does not move as sporadically as individual prices, a more stable price will be found which will make xBTC a more effective trading pair and store of value. 🔹One Token Access- One click, one token access, to all of the above. 🔴 xBTC Advisors:
Jeff Kirdeikis - Jeff is the founder and CEO of Uptrennd, the world's most enagaged blockchain based social media platform. His recent project Trustswap could potentially be project of the year.
Sam Rusani - Sam is the Chief Revenue Officer of ShipChain Inc. He is a serial entrepreneur, blockchain advocate and an investor. Sam has worked with some of the biggest brands in the world, such as Sony, Fender, Virgin, Universal Music, Ogilvy, Heineken, VISA, and Mercedes.
Lester Lim - Lester is a veteran digital marketing entrepeneur and a leader in startup incubation. He has operated multiple million-dollar digital marketing and ecommerce businesses, and is currently one of the most sought after incubators to lead the funding rounds for blockchain startups.
Mystery advisor (Will be unveiled soon)
1inch Exchange - xBTC has entered into an official partnership with 1inch exchange, for their first all exclusive launch, ever!
Tellor - xBTC has partnered with Tellor for their oracle service.
Trade Dog (TD)- xBTC has partnered with TD, its a subsidiary division run through O1Ex (a family oriented fund)
🔴 When token launch? Anytime today (24th Sept 2020, PDT timezone). 🔴 Where can I buy this token? From Mooniswap and Uniswap after listing. Follow the official announcement channel for the links. xBTCAnn Website: xbtc.fi Telegram: xBTC_Official Twitter: twitter.com/XBTC_Official
Edit: Currently writing a new version of this, dont know when it will be done. Edit: Since first post I have updated a few sections with additional information. I recommend reading it all even if it is very long, I might have placed some relevant info in different sections while thinking about what else needed to be added, plenty of steps remains mostly the same except when I comment directly on it. It is not necessary to do 100% security all the time, unless you absolutely need it, combining some high and some lower security ideas for a balance of security and convenience is useful. I will base this mostly on Windows, Linux users probably know this, and I have no idea how apple machines work (tho many things in here are still relevant for other operating systems, as they are just general tips) Disclaimer: There are certainly other steps that can make you more anonymous or safer, however I think for most people this will surfice. Any software I recommend should be independently verified for security, and examples of software are not to be taken as endorsements. I simply use examples and give recommendations when I believe it necessary, or helpful. I will not really differentiate between anonymity and security, they are often the same thing. As such the word security can mean either more anonymous, less vulnerable, or both. -------- Everyday Simple Info Sec:
Password for the device is an obvious one (8+ characters minimum, best if over +12), if there is sensitive information on any of the drives, either encrypt the entire drive or just the sensitive files, and make encrypted backups on a different memory storage device (There many programs to encrypt files and drives I'm sure a search will figure it out)
-There could be a hidden administrator user on your PC, make sure to change its password
Always use the device on a non admin account
a VPN that doesn't log (use with kill switch on, should be enough for everyday stuff, more safe stuff in the high security section) (VPNs that claim they don't log sometimes do, it's bad, but I would like to point out that not using a VPN will always expose your traffic to your ISP and also remove additional encryption. Even if the VPN tracks, there is no downside because your ISP would track anyways, and VPNs can be more anonymous, and also add extra encryption)
disable location tracking (preferably make all your privacy setting to release minimal info, get rid or cortana, change privacy settings in all of your accounts as well, there's no reason why you should allow Facebook to give you target ads. Use the setting they give you.
TOR, Firefox or similar browser, stay the fuck away from Google Chrome.
your preferred search engine should be duckduckgo (other privacy focused search engines exist as well)
use an adblocker that also prevents the adding of tacking cookies
Use pgp with all your friends or messaging services that implemented end to end encryption (Implemented services can still be bypassed, but are way more convenient so for everyday use they should suffice, some examples should be Telegraph, Signal, WhatsApp etc) (more info on pgp in high security section)
(Snapchat msgs, reddit dms, discord msgs, are just a few examples of msgs that are never encrypted) -Any info even send in encrypted msgs (and obviously non encrypted) should still be kept with possible deniability, don't say "I'm gonna do MDMA", say "I'm going out with molly."
use software (like ccleaner) that purges cookies and other data after every use, before shutting down your device
use a virus scanner daily (I like spy bot Search and destroy, many other options also exist)
never use the same password/passphrase twice (I will address what passphrase are below) (Better yet use randomized passwords that are stored in a master key chain, make them as long as possible (tho it is okay to go with the minimum of 12 never go below 7, I recommend 15+ depending on how often you have to manually enter the password instead of copying/pasting it) Don't generate too long keys for things you need to access regularly without copy/paste, except your master key ring)
its ideal to never use the same email or username as well, especially username, email is obviously tricky and also very annoying, but it would be best to always change the email.
-DO NOT STORE ANY PASSWORDS ON GOOGLE, IF GOOGLE LOGIN IS AUTHENTICATED IT WILL AUTFILL ALL PASSWORDS IT HAS SAVED (same with other similar services) (This means if you are logged in to chrome and someone has access to your machine, they can auto fill passwords without entering a single password) -use a rememberable passphrase, especially for your master key ring aka password manager A long sentence that is memorable makes an okay password (decent example,: "I met my wife at Little Ceasers for the first time on 07/09/20" better even if it's just something you know, if its impersonal, and if you can add special characters or numbers that you won't forget) (A better example for a passphrase is: "There is 0nly 0ne letter that d0esn’t appear in any U.S. state nameQ")
for your main password manager(key ring), I highly recommend Keepass 2, make backups of the file save to separate devices and drives (Flash drives, phone, PC, laptop, etc, if you loose that file, you lose all of your passwords) (Other good password managers exist as well, I don't recommend online password managers as you lose the control over passwords)
-Purge your internet activity frequently, there's a reason why I only have one post, and a few comments appearing in my account, but thousands of kama. Exposing information needlessly is not good. -Never post private information publicly, and if you do, do it vaguely as possible. (Example: Not "I'm 15", say "I'm a teenager") Do not post any vital information ever, no birthdays, mother's maiden name, age, or anything you have ever seen in a security question. Never post your current activities while they are ongoing. You going on a vacation? Don't announce it to the world, taking picture there? Post them when you are home.
Any account that is supposed to remain anonymous and as secure as possible should only be used on secured devices. A unsecured device can link you to the account.
always shutdown your machine when leaving it (To prevent access, and to prevent a possible attack vector)
2 factor factor authentication is not great anymore. Unless you can do it over a anonymous source. A cell phone is usually directly connected to you, so it is not a anonymous device. There might still be secure/anonymous 2 factor authentication methods that won't expose you, for example over a secure email. (If there is 2FA that doesn't need a device that removes anonymity and is secure, use it.) (Please don't misunderstand, 2FA is great, however it can remove the anonymity that you worked hard to establish)
-Rethink how you do security questions. Many answers to security questions can be found in your internet history. One could use the first word of the security question as an answer, or a different sceme that will mean you always remember it. (Security question need to go, the amount of personal info an average person puts on the internet makes it easy to attack anything using security question) -------_ High level crimimal information security: The motto here is, "All the Security, All the Time" As one fuck up can end with you leaving a lick of traceability, and you could be fucked. Pre Note: All of your software should always be up to date. Also even perfect info sec does not guarantee you are completely safe, a new zero day (exploit) can still fuck you, but good info security makes you significantly safer, by eliminating as many attacks as possible. -Get a new device (or make a already owned device seem like you never owned it, do this only if you know how to, there's a lot of stuff that goes into that, like changing your mac adress etc) buy with cash, and your face covered, preferably far away from where you live. (Do I need to specify to not bring your phone or anything else that tracks your location to anywhere you want to go anonymously?) (Be aware that even hardware can have vulnerabilities, many cpus have known vulnerabilities, I can't list them all, do some research before buying)
Do not EVER use a high security device at any lower level of security. There are unique identifiers to your device, exposing them once can expose you for everything you do.
-If you know how to use Tails (A linux distro designed for Info sec) use that, preferably on a USB. (Or learn how to use tails, its better, but complicated) Otherwise a clean copy of windows (make sure its not in any way associated with you) can do the job too, tho not as well. (Using a VM might give extra security, since VMs usually erase all data and RAM they were using on shutdown) -Get a non tracking VPN, Enable the kill switch (a setting that disables all traffic that doesn't go through the VPN) (change your firewall settings to only allow the traffic from the VPN, windows guide (Change settings so only traffic from the tor application is send) Edit: (Due to complaints: do not use vpn over tor, use tor over vpn. tor over vpn has no notable downside, if the VPN logs it makes no difference, your ISP will always log anyways, and vpns remove other attack vectors and also provide backup security should tor fail. Again even if the VPN tracks you only change the people doing the tracking, but now you are further removed making it more anonymous and also with less vulnerabilities) -rember privacy settings, cookie cleaner, and antivirus, password (There could be a hidden administrator user on your PC, make sure to change its password) -Always use the device on a non admin account
-Ideally use this device only on networks that are not connected with you. Such as public networks (try to never use the same public networks twice, move around) (a home network should be fine now, as it should never be exposed, but more security is always better) (Its just a conveniences vs security trade) -Never use accounts that have been exposed to lower security on higher security machines -your browser is now TOR (or your preferred security focused browser, if you dont plan on using onion ) Make sure you get the standalone version of tor not the addon build (the standalone is safer, because there are less settings and options to tweak) -Change your tor settings, to safest mode, enable a bridge (to my knowledge there's no difference in security between the build in bridges in tor), enable automatic updates, set duckduckgo onion as your primary browser. Set dark.fail onion page as your home page. (Or your preferred privacy search engine and onion directory)
set up a new pgp (can't use the same one you use for regular use, again less safer accounts are never used on safer devices) Cleopatra is my choice, its simple to use. Make sure you back up the private key multiple times, on safe devices. (Dont let the private key fall into anyone's hands) Give it a generic name like "HighSecurityPGP" do not give the pgp key pair a name that could identify you. (No initials etc) (Some pgp key pair programs want an associated email for a key pair, you can create a safe email, or which I recoend you can use a different program (like Cleopatra) (Feds & LEOs are known to copy private keys if they have your machine, so you will need to set up a new key pair if they ever take a device with a private key copy)
a high security machine that facilitates criminal activity can not use many programs. Many programs collect your devices mac adress, which is a unique identifier, amongst other things. It's should be used only for the activity you want to do.
-------_ How to use dark net markets (DNMs) If you finished your High Security setup, we can dive right in. Otherwise go do that. This is where all that is essential. Quick info on Tor, and onion sites. There is no search engine. It's all based of directories and addresses you are given by others. Tor will likely not be very quick, it has to pass through multiple networks to get to the destination. DNMs sometimes exit scam, an exit scam is when a market shuts down completely and takes all the money, this is a risk when using DNMs, it's not too common but happens maybe 0-4 times a year. The admins of thoese servers need to get out at some point, before they get jailed, so they exit the game, and scam everyone out of their money. -A very useful onion directory is dark.fail it has a lot of links, for all kinds of stuff. News, email, DNMs, Psychonautwiki (harm reduction website), forums etc. (Other directories also exist) -Pick a market, preferably one that handles secure connection server side instead of requiring you to establish the secure connection. Then create an account. Your account once created should include an entry box in your profile for a pgp key, post your PUBLIC key in there. (Verify the link is not a scam, most markets should provide a pgp signature) -Next is currency setup. All major cryptocurrency exchangers can be used, I can recommend coin base but there could be better ones out there. Unless you find a small non U.S., exchange, they will always ask for your identity. So unless you can find a trustworthy exchange that doesn't ID, you will need to give it to them. (Side note, all major crypto exchangers report to the IRS, if the IRS asks you if you bought cryptocurrency and you bought while having IDed yourself SAY YES, DO NOT COMMIT TAX FRAUD WHEN THEY KNOW YOU DID)
I recommend using Monero, it's hard to track, so it makes your job a lot easier. (If you use bitcoin you should run it through a scrambler, because BTC is tracable to anyone who knows what they are doing)
-Transfer (monero you can send directly, btc you should scramble) to your wallet. There are two options a cold wallet (physical) or a software wallet. Software wallets usually dont cost anything so I recommend them, even if often less safe. Electrum is easy to use, and pretty safe. You can also do your own research and find a wallet that fits your needs.
decide where you want to ship it. You can send to your home, to a PO box, to a PO box that you opened with a fake ID (I don't recommend), an abandoned house, general mail (sending to a post office instead of a street adress) pickup up with fake ID, use a remailing service. These are some options, sending it to your own home, isn't ideal, but its pretty much the only easy way.
-now you are ready to buy, only buy using escrow (it means the money is held by the market as a middle man until the product is delivered, they will also handle any issues like wrong quantity, cuts, etc), judge the reviews for a product, and if available look at the history of the vendor, until you find a product from a vendor you trust. (I recommend to buy within your country as much as possible, so it doesn't go through customs, it's very rare that something is found, but it can happen) -now you get to buy, depending on market, you either have cryptocurrency stored in their wallets (not recommend, you will lose it in an exit scam) or you can send it every order. When you send your delivery adress (or the one you want it to go to) encrypt the adress using the sellers public key. Make sure the adress is correct. -wait for the product, make sure to extend the escrow until the product arrives, if you can't extend it anymore dispute the order, and a moderator will step in -test the product, use it, and leave a review. PLEASE LEAVE A REVIEW, DNMs only work because of reviews. Edit: Didn't imagine I would write over 15000 words. Oh well, it was fun. Hope it helps, if you have any questions feel free to ask. No idea how long this will stay up, I might purge it in 7 days, or never.
Usually, bull markets attract a lot of new investors - although speculators should be the right word here - and as usual, a lot of them are going to be crushed a way or another. First, before putting a single dollar, euro or whatever in the market, you should read a lot to know exactly what you're looking for. Are you here for the tech and/or the cypherpunk ethos ? Great, there's lot of resources out there (my links are cleaned but as always, do your due diligence) :
The Bitcoin Whitepaper, the one and only : bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf Since I'm linking to bitcoin.org, friendly reminder to avoid bitcoin.com, owned by a former supporter now con-artist Roger Ver.
Andreas Antonopoulos website : https://aantonop.com Andreas is one of best guys able to educate on bitcoin and its properties, for free, which helps.
Jameson Lopp website : lopp.net Jameson is a member of Bitcoin Core, cypherpunk, also able to educate a lot. His website is full of free resources and other links. You'll have a lot to read.
Hal Finney : he's unfortunately dead but I would advise to read about Hal Finney, the first to receive bitcoin Satoshi. A great cryptographer, the inventor of the first reusable PoW and one of the first bitcoin supporters. You'll be able to find his messages on this old forum Bitcoin Talk, by the way you'll be able to find the first chats about bitcoin on this forum bitcointalk.org
Monero website : getmonero.org Yep, I know it's gonna be controversial to post an altcoin link but personally, I think that Monero (aka XMR) is the only other coin with a big cypherpunk community, decentralized, and able to help newcomers with a great sense of responsibility, since the ethos here is to save privacy.
What Bitcoin Did : of course, Peter is controversial but I love him and I find his former blog and his podcasts very needed because he doesn't oversell himself. Pete knows that he's not a tech guy (like many of us) and just wants to spread the word, I think he does a good job with this.
Now, you've read and you want to put some skin in the game. Several exchanges are acceptable, a lot of aren't, be careful and assume that none really are (know that I won't post any ref links) :
to me, the best, although it's UI is quite old : Kraken €/$/pound/swiss franc on-off ramp
Coinbase and Coinbase Pro Difficult not to mention Coinbase, although I can't stand Brian Armstrong and the way they are doing their best to support scams currently. You should rather use Coinbase Pro if you have to since the fees are much lower.
Binance Binance came later than the previous ones but has managed to take most of the market. Now, you should remember what I said about being careful.
Huobi The biggest chinese exchange and they work closely with chinese official. Again, careful.
Bittrex Once at the top, now somewhere in the limbs.
A lot of new comers came recently like btse, ftx, feel free to try them while always keeping in mind that once your money is on exchanges, it's not yours anymore.
This was for centralized exchanges aka CEX. Talking about custodial, you'll need wallets to store your (bit)coins. Always try to use non-custodial wallets, which means wallets that give you your private keys. This way, if the software goes down, you can always retreive your money. Now, I won't link to all the existing wallets but will advise you to buy hardware wallets (trezor or ledger but there are others) or to create (on off-gap computers) paper wallets you're able to store safely (against all risks, not only robbery but housefire). You also could use your memory with brain wallets but, my gosh, I wouldn't trust myself. For Bitcoin (or even Litecoin), Electrum software can do a good job (but save your keys). AGAIN, DON'T KEEP YOUR SAVINGS ON AN EXCHANGE Now, about trading : it's been repeated and repeated but don't chase pumps and altcoins. Yep, it's probably the fastest way to make money. It's also the fastest to lose it. I won't lie : I made good money during the 2017-bullrun and I took profits but I also forgot to sell some shitcoins thinking it would keep going up, now I'm still holding these bags (although I don't really care). I know that a lot forgot to take profits. Take profits, always take profits, whatever your strategy is. Don't fall for people trying to sell you their bags, for ICOs trying to sell you a product which isn't released yet and obviously, don't fall for people asking for your private key. Also, know that there's two endgames : accumulating bitcoin or fiat. I'm rather in the first team but whatever your strategy is, take profits. (Yes, I know, some will say accumulating ethereum or something else). It's true that a lot of ethereum holders made a lot of money during the last bullrun (ethereum helped me make money too) but I'm really biased in favor of bitcoin (and monero). So, pick your coin but again, do your due diligence. A lot of people here or there will talk about the best tech, the fact that bitcoin is old and slow. I would need another post to go further on this point but know that a lof of air flight systems are old too but reliable. Trustless and reliable is the point here. This is the post from someone who bought bitcoin seven or six years ago, who lost part of them, who spent part of them (but don't regret this at all), who is still learning and I hope it will help others, although it would need a book to be complete.
What I currently use for privacy (after almost 2 years of long investing into it)
Hulk.Finance: A Combination of DeFi and High Frequency Trading
DeFi continues to push the limits of blockchain technology. Whether its staking a native token for a second token from the same ecosystem, locking liquidity for an eternity to promote liquidity providing and the benefits of locking tokens, or simply creating new tokenomics that can be tested and studied, DeFi is exploring all avenues to produce the next breakout token such as YFI. Hulk.finance has stepped in to do just that. Hulk.finance(Contract Address:0xE1f8CD01aB04b51d02C6fb2BCA61B03fB5e33B99**)** is an ERC20 token which plans to utilize a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) format that will be community governed in order to promote high frequency trading in a manner only DeFi can bring to the table. As stated on their website, “Our project connects a high-yield partner HFT (High Frequency Trading) fund that has successfully worked from the beginning of 2020 and has year-to-date yields of more than 40%. The fund size is more than 70 millions USD and they operate on several cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance and Bithumb with their API robots. What is good — automated trading does not require continuous uptrend of the Bitcoin price. We have seen good results during Bitcoin breakouts and breakdowns. We want to have the same yields from our investments. But there is a problem — they work with an entrance barrier of 1,000,000 USDT, like many private banking services or high-yield ETFs. Our basic idea is to make a kind of DeFi staking pool and put it under the management of the HFT fund. We will develop all infrastructure for connecting finance flows, deposits, and withdrawals.” The HULK total supply is 100,000 Tokens. Distribution breakdown is as follows:
Farms Distribution:80,000(6% or 4,800 — Team Part)
Initial Liquidity Pool:8,000
The project is new but already has a road-map to help guide their lofty ambitions. The first step begins with the formation of the pre-sale and Liquidity pool on Uniswap which is currently ongoing. Secondly, they will distribute Hulk tokens via staking farms. As described in their website they “will run staking farms for farming 80,000HULKs*. You will need to stake appropriate tokens on the selected farms to get your share of rewards in HULKs. Farm 1 will farm rewards of 60,000* HULKswithin 15 days, staking token — ETH-HULKLP Uniswap V2. Farm 2 will farm rewards of 10,000HULKswithin 15 days, staking token — USDN. Farm 3 will farm rewards of 10,000HULKswithin 15 days, staking token — Token Y. Token Y will be announced prior to the farms’ launch. Genesis farming time will be 15 days, after that farming rate will be settled on the level of 15th day. We implement halving every three days, so early farmers will get moreHULKs.View on Etherscan. In order to support the price of the token from dumping, we will take a 5% commission for the sale of tokens, when holders sell it on Uniswap, burn 4% and add 1% to the community grants account. The burnt amount will be added to farming pools after 15 days of initial farming. So, for example, if someone sold 20,000 HULKs, we will take 1,000 tokens, burn 800 of them and they will be re-minted on day 16. 200 tokens will be sent to the community grants address. The total supply is 100,000 tokens.” The third step includes the staking pool. The staking pool will be open for everyone on the following terms and conditions.
Staking Pool 1 Target:10 million USDT.
Minimum Staking Amount:100 USDT.
Type Of Staking:Locked
Minimum Staking Term:24 hours
Withdraw Period:24 hours after withdrawal order.
Funds from the staking pool will be transferred to the HFT fund for trading operations. Lastly, the Vault concept is descriptive. “We want to share revenue from HFT fund amongHULKholders that stake their tokens inHULKVault. HFT fund will send revenue from its operation once a month, on the first day of the following month. Current concept: Monthly revenue from HFT operations will be shared betweenHULKtokens staked in the vault according to the time of staking divided on 720 hours.Example:You stake your 500HULKtokens in Vault for 20 days (480 hours). YourHULK/hours equal to 500*480=240,000. Total HULK/hours in Vault in this month — 60,000,000. Your share in this month = 0,4%. HFT fund has earned 4% on staking pool funds this month. After payout of their 1,25% (15%/12) per month to USDT stakers, the remaining part is 10,000,000 USDT x 2,75% = 275,000 USD. Your profit share 0.4% of 275,000 = 1100 USDT will be sent as USDT to your address, connected with a Vault.” All of the above described by the tokens creators seems very complicated, but many tokens are already trying to accomplish this without access to an already built fund which can execute trades on a daily basis. Also due in part is the projects commitment to becoming a DAO by allowing holders to vote on key project decisions and development to make the ecosystem more effective and manageable. Decentralization is the most trustworthy base of contract/cryptocurrency ownership. It creates a unique and secure environment free from direct outside influence due to the filter of the entire community being involved. The developers have said that the voting system for the project will be done within the first 30 days of project launch. With lofty ambition and high expectations, the project looks to capitalize on the DeFi boom by hedging their fund against the market and giving holders a share of the pie. It will be interesting to see how successful and sustainable the project can be, but we will find out soon enough. PertinentHulk.FinanceLinks:
(I write articles and reviews for legitimate, interesting, up and coming cryptocurrency projects. Feel free to PM me to review your project. Thank you!) — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — Disclaimer: This is not financial advice. The sole purpose of this post/article is to provide and create an informative and educated discussion regarding the project in question. Invest at your own risk.
Greetings! 👋🏻 Today we will tell you about the profitability and benefits of trading binary options on BAEX. With binary options, your profit or loss is locked. That is, you will earn a fixed amount depending on how well you speculate on the price of the underlying instrument for the move. So, if you get $ 100, if Etherum's price rises in the next 60 seconds, that's what you get, whether the price rises to $ 1 or $ 300. If the price falls, you lose your investment. You don't need to open a cryptocurrency wallet to get started. Trading binary options does not require you to own the underlying instrument, which in this case, could be $ 5000 Bitcoin. This is a good option if you do not want to hold long positions. In general, there are two options for correctly predicting the price movement and, accordingly, making a profit on binary options. The first option involves an active analysis of the market situation using fundamental and technical methods to predict the short and medium-term market behavior. In our opinion, the second option is more popular among traders and involves the use of two main advantages of binary options - the time and distance that the price of the selected asset must "pass" (we will talk about these advantages below). This option is also called "news trading" - quite often; the market reacts to momentary events. 🏆 Benefits of trading binary options on BAEX: 🔹 Simplicity and accessibility of the "mechanics" of binary options; 🔹 Transaction costs - your associated costs will be zero; 🔹 Time - there is a chance to earn, for example, 100% of the invested amount in just one minute; 🔹 Distance - the profit a trader makes does not depend in any way on the distance the price travels. ✅ Also, BAEX is the only binary options system where the profit can exceed 100%! On BAEX tokens, you can trade options on exchange rates and stocks through the blockchain and earn almost instantly! Typically, profits will be in the range of 180 to 220% of the trade volume, but the system automatically adjusts the odds based on the ratio of losses to winnings. ⚡️ Join BAEX today: https://baex.com https://preview.redd.it/s1ru2p9h8gv51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=df3b9970c18848f3629f1b4260bea3ae14ed00a5
Monthly Update: Parachute Social Liquidity Pools, Ivan(OnTech) Joins as Advisor, Townhall, Trending on CoinGecko, Covered by EllioTrades Crypto + Altcoin Buzz, …– 31 Jul – 3 Sept'20
Hola folks! Yesterday we got caught up with everything that happened in July 2020 at Parachute and ParJar. Today, I will be sharing news from August. Looking back at those five weeks, they were easily one of the most action-packed ones in the Parachuteverse ever. If you missed my note about the new format from yesterday: “…I thought it would be best to club all the Parachute news into monthly reports and publish them back-to-back over the next few days to catch up with the latest…For a change, we will be focusing on Parachute + ParJar news alone in these monthly reports. Because if we include news from our partner project in these, we might as well publish the Encyclopaedia Britannica”. In case you thought yesterday’s was a long read, boy are you in for a shock today. Make sure to get yourself a beverage and set aside an hour to go through all that will follow. So here’s goes the Parachute scrolls dating 31-Jul-20 to 3-Sept-20 – 31 Jul – 6 Aug'20: $PAR became one of the top trending coins on CoinGecko this week. The token also received a perfect score on DEXTools. Pretty sweet! We crossed 2500 members in the Parachute channel after quite a while. But no sign of Ron yet. Haha. BrainiacChess Network ($CHESS) was added to ParJar. We got a surprise listing on Hotbit ourselves with an ETH and BTC pairing. $PAR was listed on CoinW exchange this week too. More details here. Looks like wrapping up a day at Parachute usually ends with steaks. If you ever thought otherwise, a look at the $PAR contract should dispel that doubt. A community vote was opened up to list the next token on ParJar. Congratulations to Chirag for winning this week’s Parena and taking home 6k+ $PAR. Neat! Everybody knows about the bitcoin pizza. But did you know about the bitcoin burger? Read all about AlBundy185's crazy BTC journey here. What a wild ride indeed! AlBundy185’s BTC ride has to be a stuff of legends Pic of Gian with Diamond Dallas Page taken from his epic WCW Thunder story (https://t.me/parachutetokengroup/395125). Spooky sent us! Gian announced a temporary stoppage of Two-for-Tuesday to make way for the second annual Big Brother contest. Soon after, he opened up entries for the contest. Woot! Fans can also get updates and spoilers from the GC’s BB group. Gamer Boy hosted a “Random Gk” trivia in TTR this week. Naj hosted a Sunday “Mega Trivia”. Afful held a “General knowledge” trivia as well. Sebastian shared the new ParJar Gaming schedule for August. Yes, you read that right. 75k $PAR in the monthly prize pool. Woot! For this week's Friday creative prompt (#nottodaycovid) by Jason, Parachuters talked "about what you are doing to keep yourself sane during the pandemic" for some cool $PAR. Alejandro’s betta fish collection is a sight for sore eyes Elmar, these are all amazing! Model ships made by Bada during the lockdown. Awesome! Ivan (from Ivan on Tech) joined the Parachute channel this week. Looks like next few weeks are going to be super exciting! Doc Vic hosted a flash game in the Parachute War Zone for some cool $PAR prizes. Mario had an interesting idea. Change the ParJar display name to “ParJar Wallet” to actually reflect the true nature of ParJar. And voila! “ParJar” is now “ParJar Wallet”. Instant feedback implementation! We also finally got an unofficial price chatter group running. As we mentioned in the last update, Clinton released a limited edition shirt in the Parachute Store this week to commemorate the Liquidity Program on Uniswap. Some of the Parena merch had to be sunsetted from the store though. So if you grabbed some before that, you are now the proud owner of rare Parena merchandise. James from the Parachute Athletics and Running Club announced a Secret Challenge for 400 $PAR. Cap shared a sneak peek into what’s brewing behind the scenes. He also posted some experimentalvisuals for the website and for ParJar: Cap’s creative spurts are super trippy! Pt. I Trippy creatives from Cap Pt. II 7 Aug – 13 Aug'20: ParJar did some heavy lifting on behalf of Uniswap this week when Uniswap got clogged but ParJar swaps were running smoothly. If you haven’t seen how swaps work yet, CF made another cool video tutorial. Following last week’s community vote, Enjin ($ENJ) won a spot to become the next swappable token on ParJar. DMM DAO’s $DMG token was listed on ParJar as well. Inputs from the community were taken for listing the next DeFi token on ParJar. A new tier was added for the Parachute Uniswap Liquidity Rewards Program this week. Last week’s incredible Parachute run on CoinGecko was noticed by many including DAO Maker and Blockfyre. We got word that Parachute was featured in Ivan’s (Ivan on Tech) private report meant for his closed group of subscribers. Word on the street is that Parachute was reviewed in detail in the Hidden Gems section of the report and received the highest score among all the projects covered there. Super cool! He also talked about Parachute in his latest video. Watch out for timestamps 42:23 and 47:48. And followed it up with another mention in next day’s video as well. Pretty cool! $PAR also saw some crazy movements and activity. And all this started while Cap was chilling on an Amtrack on his way to Vermont. Haha. Cap shared this amazing view from Vermont Check out the Sentivate gear in the Parachute shop. For this week's creative prompt (#donkeyart), Jason had Parachuters "find an image of a piece of art that particularly moved" them and explain how and why. Darren’s Mega Friday Trivia in Tiproom had a sweet 6300 $PAR prize pot. Peace Love (Yanni) hosted another quiz in TTR with some more cool $PAR prizes. Clinton’s charity For Living Independence (FLI) became Lumenthropy’s spotlight charity this week which means they will be matching all $XLM donations to FLI. Lumenthropy is Stellar’s charitable arm. The entries to Gian's Big Brother Contest closed this week with Gian starting to share updates on episodes and $PAR rewards to weekly winners. If you want to catch all the action, head over to the BB Group set up by GC. And the most amazing thing happened this week – As new folks were joining into the Parachute group, someone named Ender Wiggin chimed into the chatter and as we talked we figured that he was not only Cap's neighbour in NYC but was also my school senior. Parachute truly brings the world together! PARs & Recreation wants to create a Parachute foodies group. And if his posts are anything to go by (figs, blueberries, Ikura), it’s going to be a hunger-inducing channel. Doc Vic (from Cuba) announced the start of a team Deathmatch tournament in the Parachute War Zone. Congratulations, Clinton! Looks like an epic ParJar video is underway. Parachute was also covered extensively by EllioTrades Crypto this week. YouTuber CM TopDog too made an awesome video on Parachute where he talked at length about the project, the roadmap, the token and more. Saweet! After seeing Albundy185 struggle with pooling on Uniswap, Cap and Ice had a light bulb moment for an entirely new feature on ParJar that would make pooling social and fun. More details to be released over the next few weeks. Jose’s epic new gif puts Cap’s lightbulb moment about social pools into perspective :D Looks like Alexis’ neighbour is into Uniswap pools as well. Get it, get it? Haha Congratulations on the new store, Hang! Folks who don't know, Hang is building a hempire. World domination next 14 Aug – 20 Aug'20: As mentioned last week, Cap and crew had something cool brewing for folks who pool assets on Uniswap. Presenting Social Liquidity Pools (SLP) by Parachute. No more pooling/staking alone in silos. Get together with others doing what you love most – pool assets on Uniswap (either directly or through ParJar - upcoming), then stake the received liquidity tokens into SLPs on ParJar to get additional rewards and social bonuses like entry into VIP or premium token curated groups. Making Uniswap social! Click here to read about what’s next for ParJar and Parachute. The first Uniswap $PAR Liquidity Pool Rewards Program came to a close. All qualified poolers will receive their rewards in 2 months. DeFi superstar yearn.finance ($YFI) was added to ParJar this week for both sends/tips and swaps. Woohoo! Waifu in the house. After last week’s community inputs regarding the next new token on ParJar, a public vote was started. Uptrennd founder Jeff Kirdeikis’ latest project, TrustSwap ($SWAP), got listed on ParJar after winning that vote which got a shoutout from Ivan as well. So now we have a tongue twister on our hands. Haha. Cap also shared the first hints about $PAR governance. More details to be posted next week. Plus, Cap announced that he will be hosting a townhall next week. Stay tuned! Get your questionnaire ready. Like last week, Parachute chatter popped up in Ivan’s latest video this week as well. Dang! What an amazing place, Victor For all the mobile gamers out there, Tony set up a Parachute Corporation for the EVE Echoes game. Hit him up if you want to join. Naj hosted a Sunday TTR trivia with a 6300 $PAR prize pot. Gamer Boy held one as well. Darren’s Mega Trivia in Tiproom was super fun as always. Jason did an impromptu token giveaway so that fellow collectors could complete their ParJar collection followed by a mini contest to "guess the closest to the number of miles I am about to run" for some cool $PAR. Chris hosted this week’s creative Friday prompt (#adminfunday): “Using the profile image of any Parachute admin as inspiration, draw what you think that admin would like to do on the weekend”. And what an amazing video Hans (Pad of DeFi Chad). Haha! Super hilarious and fun. Some of the radest #adminfunday entries. Clockwise from top left: Skittish, TyReal, Staph It!!, Yosma, Ik Now, Jeff, Chica Cuba, Jhang, Kuuraku 21 Aug – 27 Aug'20: Ivan (from Ivan On Tech) joined Parachute as an advisor. Woot! Welcome to the Parachute fam. Here’s a sneak peek into what the first day discussions with Ivan as an advisor revolved around. The project got featured in France’s largest crypto news platform, Journal du Coin. Noice! Click here for the English translated version. As mentioned earlier, Cap hosted a townhall this week. If you missed it, you can catch up here. He also shared a rough draft snapshot of “how the governance and fee distribution contracts could look for ParJar Wallet”. Plus, some updates from this week and a big picture view at what staking liquidity through ParJar could look like. Parachute also got mentioned in another of Ivan’s videos this week. Snapshot from the Parachute Townhall In partnership with Sentivate, ParJar distributed $SNTVT tokens this week to 1500 people of whom 800 were new users. Sentivate hosted this drop for members of a specific group as a token of appreciation for their support. Reminiscent of the AMGO drop, this was a precursor of “how PAR drops + other token drops could work for our Social Liquidity pooling”. The $PAR Governance whitepaper was released and initial brainstorming started in the tokenomics group. Cap was also interviewed by YouTuber Money Party (@Edward_F) this week to talk at length about where we are at and where we are heading. We also received a super duper shoutout from CryptoTube in his latest video where he did a deep dive into ParJar and Parachute. Thanks a ton! Cryptovator did a cool feature on the project as well. Cap added more changes to the site to show: \"ParJar wallet in action along with…the integrations\" + Big Picture In this week's creative contest, Jason put up a #writingprompt: "...imagine you are a brand new intern at my new mega corporation...Today is your first day and you are told you need to present something about crypto to upper management...all you know is Bitcoin is a thing and some vague information about it. Pick a coin or general crypto subject and write a short story...None of the facts or material can be correct in your presentation...". Haha! After helping fellow Parachuters with their ParJar collection last week, Jason set up a collector’s group this week. If you have more than 30 of the coins/tokens listed on ParJar in your @parjar_bot collection already, send Jason a PM and he will get you in. Victor hosted a “Big Trivia” in TTR this week for 6300 $PAR in prizes. Afful held a quiz in Tiproom on “General Knowledge” as well. Check out these wicked new shorts in the Parachute Store based on Jose’s gif. Epic stuff, Jose! Haha Nice haul from the Parachute Beer Exchange, CF! Markus did you a solid Boldman Stachs pointed out that $PAR had the highest Galaxy Score on social media analytics platform LunarCRUSH this week. Pretty neat! CF took note. And like Cap mentioned, it has mostly been thanks to him. Haha. And big up to Jesús (@JALBARRAN02) for making a ParJar guide video for our Spanish crew. You rock! Interesting results from the DeFi survey: majority of crypto folks are still DeFi-curious. A new community vote was thrown open for listing the next DeFi token on ParJar. Anyone who's been around a bit already knows that Clinton does some amazing work at his charity, For Living Independence, which creates assistive technology for disabled individuals. This week he shared some snaps of a build which now enables a lady in a wheelchair get upstairs in her home. This is so wholesome, Clinton! Thank you for doing what you do. 28 Aug – 3 Sep'20: ParJar was featured in Altcoin Buzz’s latest video. Noice! Click here and here to read some recent updates from Cap. After winning last week’s vote, Akropolis ($AKRO) became the latest token to be listed on ParJar. Woot! bZx crew gave some serious competition too. So we had to get them on ParJar as well. $BZRX was listed this week right after $AKRO. $PAR now has 7k on-chain HODLers. Saweet! Sentivate will be our first partner project to have a Social Liquidity Pool on ParJar. This is amazing! Time for another community vote to get a new project listed on ParJar – this time it is DeFi Pie v/s Ren v/s Proxi DeFi v/s Others. If you’ve missed all the latest Parachute-related videos, we have your back. Check this tweet thread to catch up. Naj hosted a Saturday Tiproom Trivia for 6300 $PAR in prizes. Congratulations to Maria for winning the latest Parena. 8k $PAR in the bag. Woohoo! And congo rats to Yanni as well for winning a special edition shirt from the Parachute store. Gamer Boy’s Big Trivia in TTR saw a ton of participation as always. The Parachute Fantasy Football contest is back! Chris set up the entry rules this week. CF has done wonders for Parachute’s social metrics: “..+500% in our fi(r)st marketing month..” Whew, what a month! And with that we close for August 2020 @ Parachute/ParJar. See you again with one more epic monthly update tomorrow. Cheerio!
How to sell xBricks for money (self post for mod approval)
Preface I've written this guide with those that are unfamiliar with crypto in mind, however it's still a lengthy process. I'm going to try to present this in a way where you don't have to learn how the underlying crypto technology works, but I will add in links to relevant concepts in case you're curious. This process was a lot more complicated before but I made a web interface to simplify it. At the time of writing this, FortniteBR BRICKs are worth 10 cents a piece. That makes 1000 bricks worth 100 bucks. The liquidity pool is about $14,000 at the time of writing, meaning that there's room in the market for you to hypothetically get $7,000 if you had a lot of BRICKs. If at any point throughout this process you need help, DM me! Misc. Resources That Might Be Helpful
A phone or phone emulator (so that you can run the reddit mobile app and collect your BRICKs)
Step 1: Setup On your desktop computer, install MetaMask. This is an Ethereum Wallet which will allow you to interact with the Ethereum Network and its many sidechains. More on this later. Follow the setup instructions in MetaMask. If you've never done this before, you'll need to create a new seed phrase. Video tutorial if you get stuck. YOUR SEED PHRASE IS THE KEY TO YOUR WALLET. ANYONE WHO HAS ACCESS TO YOUR SEED PHRASE CAN TAKE YOUR FUNDS. IF YOU LOSE YOUR SEED PHRASE YOU HAVE NO WAY TO RECOVER YOUR FUNDS. WRITE IT DOWN AND STORE IT IN A SAFE PLACE!!! NEVER GIVE IT OUT TO ANYONE -ANYONETHAT ASKS FOR YOUR SEED PHRASE IS TRYING TO SCAM YOU! DON'T FALL FOR IT! In the MetaMask interface, you'll see "Main Ethereum Network". This process uses two networks. One of them is the Rinkeby Testnet (where the BRICK tokens are natively) and one of them is the xDAI network which is where we will bridge the tokens to in order to exchange them for Dai, a token which is pegged to the price of the dollar. From the dropdown, select Rinkeby Testnet. If you're in the assets tab, you should see a thing that shows your ETH balance. Below this, you should see an "add token" button. Click it. Go to "Custom Token" at the top. In "token contract address," paste in the following: 0xe0d8d7b8273de14e628d2f2a4a10f719f898450a The other fields will autofill. Hit next. You'll now see your BRICK balance (which will be 0, you haven't transferred your bricks yet) in MetaMask if you've done everything right. You'll need Rinkeby Ether to cover transaction fees. Since we're on a testnet, the Ether is worthless which means people hand it out for free. You can get this Ether from a variety of places:
Anyone who has Rinkeby Ether to spare: Make a comment below so that those who need it can ask you. Thanks :)
Now it's time to get your BRICKs from your Reddit vault into your MetaMask wallet. WARNING: ALL CRYPTO TRANSACTIONS ARE IRREVERSIBLE. Your Ethereum address shows up under Rinkeby. It should be "0x" followed by a bunch of hex characters. Click on it to copy it to your clipboard. You now need to somehow get this to your mobile device. Email it to yourself, text it to yourself, whatever. On your Reddit mobile app home screen, click on your profile icon and then go to vault. You'll need to set this up and claim your tokens if you haven't already. Be aware that this is also technically an Ethereum wallet. Keep your seed phrase safe. Send however many BRICKs you want to sell to your MetaMask wallet. Check to make sure the addresses are the same, but don't worry too much about making a typo or whatever. The chances that you'd make a typo that would result in a valid Ethereum address are slim, if you get a character wrong it'll just tell you it's not a real Ethereum address and prevent you from sending. It may show an error when you try to send. This is somewhat rare but pretty normal. They often run out of testnet Ether. Come back later and try again. If it works properly, it'll take about a minute to go through. It may take longer than that. Once the transaction goes through, you'll see that you have an absurd amount of BRICKs in MetaMask. No, there wasn't a glitch. The people who wrote the code for BRICKs made the decimals of precision weird for some reason. It's off by a factor of 1018. This isn't a big deal. If you see Bricks and Ether (ETH) in your MetaMask wallet, proceed to the next step. If you're having issues, feel free to DM me. Step 2: Getting Your BRICKs from Rinkeby to xDai There's a LOT going on under the hood for this part (deets for those interested). Previously this required manually generating contract interactions, which is kind of a pain if you're new to Ethereum. I made a UI to make this easier (it generates the transactions for you, all you have to do is sign them with your wallet). This took way longer to do than you might guess, so feel free to help a homie out at: 0x4BCcC2569DD93C7dF43431A7b70db569dedB6187 Go to my tool. Hit connect. If you're on the Rinkeby network, it should show your balance in BRICKs. Enter the amount you want to bridge (probably all of them). If neither of us have made any mistakes, it should pop up with a request to spend your BRICKs. If there's any issue with this tool, DM me. This allows the TokenBridge contract to take your BRICKs and put them on the xDai network where you can sell them. This is the part where you'll get an error if you don't have any testnet ETH. Set the gas price to 1 (the suggested price is based on the Main Ethereum Network - it's way too high). After you approve that, it'll give you another thing to accept. This is the actual transaction where it'll bridge to xDai. Again, make sure the gas price is set to 1 and confirm the transaction. Add xDai to MetaMask Switch to the xDai network. We're going to add another token. Again, go to "add token" > "custom token" > "token contract address". Paste in: 0x2f9ceBf5De3bc25E0643D0E66134E5bf5c48e191 If the transactions have gone through, you should see your xBricks (the name for BRICKs that have been bridged to xDai) in MetaMask. If not, wait a bit for the transactions to go through. Sometimes there are slowdowns that cause bridging to take a while. Shouldn't take too long, though. Once that's done, you're ready for the next step. Step 3: Trading Your xBricks for xDai Go to Honeyswap. Hit "select a token." You'll need to paste in the xBrick address again. Here it is: 0x2f9ceBf5De3bc25E0643D0E66134E5bf5c48e191 Click xBrick. You'll need to flipflop the trade around by hitting the arrow button. xBrick should be on top. Type in the amount of xBricks you want to sell, or hit max to sell all of them. 1 xDai = $1. You'll need to hit approve first. Set gas price to 1 again. Then you can complete the trade by hitting swap. After a bit, the xDai should show up in your wallet. Step 4: Mainnet Everything on Mainnet costs actual money to do. It costs about 50 cents to make a transaction and it costs about 3 bucks to use an exchange like the one we just used. If you don't have mainnet Ether, you won't be able to do anything with your mainnet Dai (what xDai is called when it's bridged back to the main Ethereum network). You may be able to find someone to lend you some ETH to make these transactions with. Whatever you do, just be aware. If you still want to bridge your xDai into Dai, go here and make sure xDai is on the left. If it's not, go in the top right and select xDai chain. Enter the amount of xDai you want to bridge to mainnet and then hit transfer. Follow the prompts. This part may take up to an hour due to recent network congestion. After it's done, if you go back to Main Ethereum Network in MetaMask you should see your Dai. If you have a few bucks of ETH, you can use UniSwap to convert your Dai to even more ETH. Uniswap tutorial Things you can do with ETH
I have so many questions about crypto taxes in Canada.. It's my first year in the country (6 months in) and when I was trading I didn't realize the country had such complex rules about crypto taxes, and then I realized every single transaction or trade I've made is a taxable event. So come 2021 when I need to file taxes, what do I do? Do I use an app like Koinly and pay $99 a year to automate the process? Because I've already unknowingly made up to 200 transactions across different exchanges which are going to be hard to track and I'm sure a 45 year old accountant isn't going to go through my Cardano and Tezos transactions. If I've made a capital loss I'm assuming I don't have to pay anything right? but what if I've invested in some ICO on an exchange that's not even public yet and the coin itself isn't' publicly traded yet, meaning apps like Koinly wouldn't even recognize it to be able to access and record the transaction, then what? What if I sent it straight from an unknown exchange to a hardware wallet in another country. Who would know? And finally how do I differentiate what is a capital gain tax and what is 'regular trading' tax, because yes I've done trading as opposed to just buying Bitcoin and holding it, because in some cases for unpopular coins you need to buy BTC first and then trade it for the other coin. That's 4 transactions already, so does it not qualify as capital gains just because some exchanges have certain coins and some don't? In the US if you hold an asset for over a year then it's a long term investment, but why are rules so obscure in Canada? Even the CRA website says its a 'case by case' situation, feels like it only makes room for them to audit you how they see fit. What is the best way to make sure I'm doing things the right way and protecting myself? because all my research and from whatever is on the government website, it all points to grey areas. I'm fine with paying taxes, but I don't want to overpay because of a wrong assessment or interpretation, or because an app couldn't recognize a certain transaction, and definitely don't want to be audited because of something that has not enough clarity around it.
This is a follow-up on https://old.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/hqzp14/technical_the_path_to_taproot_activation/ Taproot! Everybody wants it!! But... you might ask yourself: sure, everybody else wants it, but why would I, sovereign Bitcoin HODLer, want it? Surely I can be better than everybody else because I swapped XXX fiat for Bitcoin unlike all those nocoiners? And it is important for you to know the reasons why you, o sovereign Bitcoiner, would want Taproot activated. After all, your nodes (or the nodes your wallets use, which if you are SPV, you hopefully can pester to your wallet vendoimplementor about) need to be upgraded in order for Taproot activation to actually succeed instead of becoming a hot sticky mess. First, let's consider some principles of Bitcoin.
You the HODLer should be the one who controls where your money goes. Your keys, your coins.
You the HODLer should be able to coordinate and make contracts with other people regarding your funds.
You the HODLer should be able to do the above without anyone watching over your shoulder and judging you.
I'm sure most of us here would agree that the above are very important principles of Bitcoin and that these are principles we would not be willing to remove. If anything, we would want those principles strengthened (especially the last one, financial privacy, which current Bitcoin is only sporadically strong with: you can get privacy, it just requires effort to do so). So, how does Taproot affect those principles?
Taproot and Your /Coins
Most HODLers probably HODL their coins in singlesig addresses. Sadly, switching to Taproot would do very little for you (it gives a mild discount at spend time, at the cost of a mild increase in fee at receive time (paid by whoever sends to you, so if it's a self-send from a P2PKH or bech32 address, you pay for this); mostly a wash). (technical details: a Taproot output is 1 version byte + 32 byte public key, while a P2WPKH (bech32 singlesig) output is 1 version byte + 20 byte public key hash, so the Taproot output spends 12 bytes more; spending from a P2WPKH requires revealing a 32-byte public key later, which is not needed with Taproot, and Taproot signatures are about 9 bytes smaller than P2WPKH signatures, but the 32 bytes plus 9 bytes is divided by 4 because of the witness discount, so it saves about 11 bytes; mostly a wash, it increases blockweight by about 1 virtual byte, 4 weight for each Taproot-output-input, compared to P2WPKH-output-input). However, as your HODLings grow in value, you might start wondering if multisignature k-of-n setups might be better for the security of your savings. And it is in multisignature that Taproot starts to give benefits! Taproot switches to using Schnorr signing scheme. Schnorr makes key aggregation -- constructing a single public key from multiple public keys -- almost as trivial as adding numbers together. "Almost" because it involves some fairly advanced math instead of simple boring number adding, but hey when was the last time you added up your grocery list prices by hand huh? With current P2SH and P2WSH multisignature schemes, if you have a 2-of-3 setup, then to spend, you need to provide two different signatures from two different public keys. With Taproot, you can create, using special moon math, a single public key that represents your 2-of-3 setup. Then you just put two of your devices together, have them communicate to each other (this can be done airgapped, in theory, by sending QR codes: the software to do this is not even being built yet, but that's because Taproot hasn't activated yet!), and they will make a single signature to authorize any spend from your 2-of-3 address. That's 73 witness bytes -- 18.25 virtual bytes -- of signatures you save! And if you decide that your current setup with 1-of-1 P2PKH / P2WPKH addresses is just fine as-is: well, that's the whole point of a softfork: backwards-compatibility; you can receive from Taproot users just fine, and once your wallet is updated for Taproot-sending support, you can send to Taproot users just fine as well! (P2WPKH and P2WSH -- SegWit v0 -- addresses start with bc1q; Taproot -- SegWit v1 --- addresses start with bc1p, in case you wanted to know the difference; in bech32 q is 0, p is 1) Now how about HODLers who keep all, or some, of their coins on custodial services? Well, any custodial service worth its salt would be doing at least 2-of-3, or probably something even bigger, like 11-of-15. So your custodial service, if it switched to using Taproot internally, could save a lot more (imagine an 11-of-15 getting reduced from 11 signatures to just 1!), which --- we can only hope! --- should translate to lower fees and better customer service from your custodial service! So I think we can say, very accurately, that the Bitcoin principle --- that YOU are in control of your money --- can only be helped by Taproot (if you are doing multisignature), and, because P2PKH and P2WPKH remain validly-usable addresses in a Taproot future, will not be harmed by Taproot. Its benefit to this principle might be small (it mostly only benefits multisignature users) but since it has no drawbacks with this (i.e. singlesig users can continue to use P2WPKH and P2PKH still) this is still a nice, tidy win! (even singlesig users get a minor benefit, in that multisig users will now reduce their blockchain space footprint, so that fees can be kept low for everybody; so for example even if you have your single set of private keys engraved on titanium plates sealed in an airtight box stored in a safe buried in a desert protected by angry nomads riding giant sandworms because you're the frickin' Kwisatz Haderach, you still gain some benefit from Taproot) And here's the important part: if P2PKH/P2WPKH is working perfectly fine with you and you decide to never use Taproot yourself, Taproot will not affect you detrimentally. First do no harm!
Taproot and Your Contracts
No one is an island, no one lives alone. Give and you shall receive. You know: by trading with other people, you can gain expertise in some obscure little necessity of the world (and greatly increase your productivity in that little field), and then trade the products of your expertise for necessities other people have created, all of you thereby gaining gains from trade. So, contracts, which are basically enforceable agreements that facilitate trading with people who you do not personally know and therefore might not trust. Let's start with a simple example. You want to buy some gewgaws from somebody. But you don't know them personally. The seller wants the money, you want their gewgaws, but because of the lack of trust (you don't know them!! what if they're scammers??) neither of you can benefit from gains from trade. However, suppose both of you know of some entity that both of you trust. That entity can act as a trusted escrow. The entity provides you security: this enables the trade, allowing both of you to get gains from trade. In Bitcoin-land, this can be implemented as a 2-of-3 multisignature. The three signatories in the multisgnature would be you, the gewgaw seller, and the escrow. You put the payment for the gewgaws into this 2-of-3 multisignature address. Now, suppose it turns out neither of you are scammers (whaaaat!). You receive the gewgaws just fine and you're willing to pay up for them. Then you and the gewgaw seller just sign a transaction --- you and the gewgaw seller are 2, sufficient to trigger the 2-of-3 --- that spends from the 2-of-3 address to a singlesig the gewgaw seller wants (or whatever address the gewgaw seller wants). But suppose some problem arises. The seller gave you gawgews instead of gewgaws. Or you decided to keep the gewgaws but not sign the transaction to release the funds to the seller. In either case, the escrow is notified, and if it can sign with you to refund the funds back to you (if the seller was a scammer) or it can sign with the seller to forward the funds to the seller (if you were a scammer). Taproot helps with this: like mentioned above, it allows multisignature setups to produce only one signature, reducing blockchain space usage, and thus making contracts --- which require multiple people, by definition, you don't make contracts with yourself --- is made cheaper (which we hope enables more of these setups to happen for more gains from trade for everyone, also, moon and lambos). (technology-wise, it's easier to make an n-of-n than a k-of-n, making a k-of-n would require a complex setup involving a long ritual with many communication rounds between the n participants, but an n-of-n can be done trivially with some moon math. You can, however, make what is effectively a 2-of-3 by using a three-branch SCRIPT: either 2-of-2 of you and seller, OR 2-of-2 of you and escrow, OR 2-of-2 of escrow and seller. Fortunately, Taproot adds a facility to embed a SCRIPT inside a public key, so you can have a 2-of-2 Taprooted address (between you and seller) with a SCRIPT branch that can instead be spent with 2-of-2 (you + escrow) OR 2-of-2 (seller + escrow), which implements the three-branched SCRIPT above. If neither of you are scammers (hopefully the common case) then you both sign using your keys and never have to contact the escrow, since you are just using the escrow public key without coordinating with them (because n-of-n is trivial but k-of-n requires setup with communication rounds), so in the "best case" where both of you are honest traders, you also get a privacy boost, in that the escrow never learns you have been trading on gewgaws, I mean ewww, gawgews are much better than gewgaws and therefore I now judge you for being a gewgaw enthusiast, you filthy gewgawer).
Taproot and Your Contracts, Part 2: Cryptographic Boogaloo
Now suppose you want to buy some data instead of things. For example, maybe you have some closed-source software in trial mode installed, and want to pay the developer for the full version. You want to pay for an activation code. This can be done, today, by using an HTLC. The developer tells you the hash of the activation code. You pay to an HTLC, paying out to the developer if it reveals the preimage (the activation code), or refunding the money back to you after a pre-agreed timeout. If the developer claims the funds, it has to reveal the preimage, which is the activation code, and you can now activate your software. If the developer does not claim the funds by the timeout, you get refunded. And you can do that, with HTLCs, today. Of course, HTLCs do have problems:
Privacy. Everyone scraping the Bitcoin blockchain can see any HTLCs, and preimages used to claim them.
This can be mitigated by using offchain techniques so HTLCs are never published onchain in the happy case. Lightning would probably in practice be the easiest way to do this offchain. Of course, there are practical limits to what you can pay on Lightning. If you are buying something expensive, then Lightning might not be practical. For example, the "software" you are activating is really the firmware of a car, and what you are buying is not the software really but the car itself (with the activation of the car firmware being equivalent to getting the car keys).
Even offchain techniques need an onchain escape hatch in case of unresponsiveness! This means that, if something bad happens during payment, the HTLC might end up being published onchain anyway, revealing the fact that some special contract occurred.
And an HTLC that is claimed with a preimage onchain will also publicly reveal the preimage onchain. If that preimage is really the activation key of a software than it can now be pirated. If that preimage is really the activation key for your newly-bought cryptographic car --- well, not your keys, not your car!
Trust requirement. You are trusting the developer that it gives you the hash of an actual valid activation key, without any way to validate that the activation key hidden by the hash is actually valid.
Fortunately, with Schnorr (which is enabled by Taproot), we can now use the Scriptless Script constuction by Andrew Poelstra. This Scriptless Script allows a new construction, the PTLC or Pointlocked Timelocked Contract. Instead of hashes and preimages, just replace "hash" with "point" and "preimage" with "scalar". Or as you might know them: "point" is really "public key" and "scalar" is really a "private key". What a PTLC does is that, given a particular public key, the pointlocked branch can be spent only if the spender reveals the private key of the given public key to you. Another nice thing with PTLCs is that they are deniable. What appears onchain is just a single 2-of-2 signature between you and the developemanufacturer. It's like a magic trick. This signature has no special watermarks, it's a perfectly normal signature (the pledge). However, from this signature, plus some datta given to you by the developemanufacturer (known as the adaptor signature) you can derive the private key of a particular public key you both agree on (the turn). Anyone scraping the blockchain will just see signatures that look just like every other signature, and as long as nobody manages to hack you and get a copy of the adaptor signature or the private key, they cannot get the private key behind the public key (point) that the pointlocked branch needs (the prestige). (Just to be clear, the public key you are getting the private key from, is distinct from the public key that the developemanufacturer will use for its funds. The activation key is different from the developer's onchain Bitcoin key, and it is the activation key whose private key you will be learning, not the developer's/manufacturer's onchain Bitcoin key). So:
Privacy: PTLCs are private even if done onchain. Nobody else can learn what the private key behind the public key is, except you who knows the adaptor signature that when combined with the complete onchain signature lets you know what the private key of the activation key is. Somebody scraping the blockchain will not learn the same information even if all PTLCs are done onchain!
Lightning is still useful for reducing onchain use, and will also get PTLCs soon after Taproot is activated, but even if something bad happens and a PTLC has to go onchain, it doesn't reveal anything!
Trust issues can be proven more easily with a public-private keypair than with a hash-preimage pair.
For example, the developer of the software you are buying could provide a signature signing a message saying "unlock access to the full version for 1 day". You can check if feeding this message and signature to the program will indeed unlock full-version access for 1 day. Then you can check if the signature is valid for the purported pubkey whose private key you will pay for. If so, you can now believe that getting the private key (by paying for it in a PTLC) would let you generate any number of "unlock access to the full version for 1 day" message+signatures, which is equivalent to getting full access to the software indefinitely.
For the car, the manufacturer can show that signing a message "start the engine" and feeding the signature to the car's fimrware will indeed start the engine, and maybe even let you have a small test drive. You can then check if the signature is valid for the purported pubkey whose privkey you will pay for. If so, you can now believe that gaining knowledge of the privkey will let you start the car engine at any time you want.
(pedantry: the signatures need to be unique else they could be replayed, this can be done with a challenge-response sequence for the car, where the car gathers entropy somehow (it's a car, it probably has a bunch of sensors nowadays so it can get entropy for free) and uses the gathered entropy to challenge you to sign a random number and only start if you are able to sign the random number; for the software, it could record previous signatures somewhere in the developer's cloud server and refuse to run if you try to replay a previously-seen signature.)
Taproot lets PTLCs exist onchain because they enable Schnorr, which is a requirement of PTLCs / Scriptless Script. (technology-wise, take note that Scriptless Script works only for the "pointlocked" branch of the contract; you need normal Script, or a pre-signed nLockTimed transaction, for the "timelocked" branch. Since Taproot can embed a script, you can have the Taproot pubkey be a 2-of-2 to implement the Scriptless Script "pointlocked" branch, then have a hidden script that lets you recover the funds with an OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY after the timeout if the seller does not claim the funds.)
Now if you were really paying attention, you might have noticed this parenthetical:
(technical details: a Taproot output is 1 version byte + 32 byte public key, while a P2WPKH (bech32 singlesig) output is 1 version byte + 20 byte public key hash...)
So wait, Taproot uses raw 32-byte public keys, and not public key hashes? Isn't that more quantum-vulnerable?? Well, in theory yes. In practice, they probably are not. It's not that hashes can be broken by quantum computes --- they're still not. Instead, you have to look at how you spend from a P2WPKH/P2PKH pay-to-public-key-hash. When you spend from a P2PKH / P2WPKH, you have to reveal the public key. Then Bitcoin hashes it and checks if this matches with the public-key-hash, and only then actually validates the signature for that public key. So an unconfirmed transaction, floating in the mempools of nodes globally, will show, in plain sight for everyone to see, your public key. (public keys should be public, that's why they're called public keys, LOL) And if quantum computers are fast enough to be of concern, then they are probably fast enough that, in the several minutes to several hours from broadcast to confirmation, they have already cracked the public key that is openly broadcast with your transaction. The owner of the quantum computer can now replace your unconfirmed transaction with one that pays the funds to itself. Even if you did not opt-in RBF, miners are still incentivized to support RBF on RBF-disabled transactions. So the extra hash is not as significant a protection against quantum computers as you might think. Instead, the extra hash-and-compare needed is just extra validation effort. Further, if you have ever, in the past, spent from the address, then there exists already a transaction indelibly stored on the blockchain, openly displaying the public key from which quantum computers can derive the private key. So those are still vulnerable to quantum computers. For the most part, the cryptographers behind Taproot (and Bitcoin Core) are of the opinion that quantum computers capable of cracking Bitcoin pubkeys are unlikely to appear within a decade or two.
Current quantum computers can barely crack prime factorization problem for primes of 5 bits.
The 256-bit elliptic curve use by Bitcoin is, by my (possibly wrong) understanding, equivalent to 4096-bit primes, so you can see a pretty big gap between now (5 bit primes) and what is needed (4096 bit primes).
A lot of financial non-Bitcoin systems use the equivalent of 3072-bit primes or less, and are probably easier targets to crack than the equivalent-to-4096-bit-primes Bitcoin.
Quantum computers capable of cracking Bitcoin are still far off.
Pay-to-public-key-hash is not as protective as you might think.
We will probably see banks get cracked before Bitcoin, so the banking system is a useful canary-in-a-coal-mine to see whether we should panic about being quantum vulnerable.
For now, the homomorphic and linear properties of elliptic curve cryptography provide a lot of benefits --- particularly the linearity property is what enables Scriptless Script and simple multisignature (i.e. multisignatures that are just 1 signature onchain). So it might be a good idea to take advantage of them now while we are still fairly safe against quantum computers. It seems likely that quantum-safe signature schemes are nonlinear (thus losing these advantages).
If you are a singlesig HODL-only Bitcoin user, Taproot will not affect you positively or negatively. Importantly: Taproot does no harm!
If you use or intend to use multisig, Taproot will be a positive for you.
If you transact onchain regularly using typical P2PKH/P2WPKH addresses, you get a minor reduction in feerates since multisig users will likely switch to Taproot to get smaller tx sizes, freeing up blockspace for yours.
If you are using multiparticipant setups for special systems of trade, Taproot will be a positive for you.
Remember: Lightning channels are multipartiicpiant setups for special systems of lightning-fast offchain trades!
I Wanna Be The Taprooter!
So, do you want to help activate Taproot? Here's what you, mister sovereign Bitcoin HODLer, can do!
If you have developer experience especially in C, C++, or related languages
Review the Taproot code! There is one pull request in Bitcoin Core, and one in libsecp256k1. I deliberately am not putting links here, to avoid brigades of nontechnical but enthusiastic people leaving pointless reviews, but if you are qualified you know how to find them!
But I am not a cryptographeBitcoin Core contributomathematician/someone as awesome as Pieter Wuille
That's perfectly fine! The cryptographers have been over the code already and agree the math is right and the implementation is right. What is wanted is the dreary dreary dreary software engineering: are the comments comprehensive and understandable? no misspellings in the comments? variable names understandable? reasonable function naming convention? misleading coding style? off-by-one errors in loops? conditions not covered by tests? accidental mixups of variables with the same types? missing frees? read-before-init? better test coverage of suspicious-looking code? missing or mismatching header guards? portability issues? consistent coding style? you know, stuff any coder with a few years of experience in coding anything might be able to catch. With enough eyes all bugs are shallow!
If you are running a mining pool/mining operation/exchange/custodial service/SPV server
Be prepared to upgrade!
One of the typical issues with upgrading software is that subtle incompatibilities with your current custom programs tend to arise, disrupting operations and potentially losing income due to downtime. If so, consider moving to the two-node setup suggested by gmax, which is in the last section of my previous post. With this, you have an up-to-date "public" node and a fixed-version "private" node, with the public node protecting the private node from any invalid chainsplits or invalid transactions. Moving to this setup from a typical one-node setup should be smooth and should not disrupt operations (too much).
If you are running your own fullnode for fun or for your own wallet
Be prepared to upgrade! The more nodes validating the new rules (even if you are a non-mining node!), the safer every softfork will be!
If you are using an SPV wallet or custodial wallet/service (including hardware wallets using the software of the wallet provider)
Contact your wallet provider / SPV server and ask for a statement on whether they support Taproot, and whether they are prepared to upgrade for Taproot! Make it known to them that Taproot is something you want!
But I Hate Taproot!!
Raise your objections to Taproot now, or forever hold your peace! Maybe you can raise them here and some of the devs (probably nullc, he goes everywhere, even in rbtc!) might be able to see your objections! Or if your objections are very technical, head over to the appropriate pull request and object away!
Maybe you simply misunderstand something, and we can clarify it here!
Or maybe you do have a good objection, and we can make Taproot better by finding a solution for it!
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