Bitcoin: Mt. Gox case could come to an end after petition

Sharing of ideas, tips, and strategies for increasing your Bitcoin trading profits

Sharing of ideas, tips, and strategies for increasing your Bitcoin trading profits
[link]

BitcoinMarkets_test

Sharing of ideas, tips, and strategies for increasing your Bitcoin trading profits
[link]

A Deep Dive Into IRS Crypto Audits (Podcast & Highlights)

Hey all - the newest episode of The BitcoinTaxes Podcast is live. For anyone unfamiliar, it's a podcast where I interview experts in the crypto/blockchain/fintech spaces. In this episode I speak with a tax controversy lawyer about how to handle a CI agent showing up at your door about your crypto, and what to do to avoid getting to that point.
Full disclosure, I work for BitcoinTaxes and also host this podcast. I typically post my interviews to our own subreddit and one or two other subreddits (not trying to spam people). This subreddit's community seems to enjoy/engage with the episodes when I post them. If there's any issue with me posting here please let me know, otherwise I hope you guys enjoy this episode and gain some valuable knowledge. Feel free to hit me with any questions and I can relay them to Alex.
----
Links:
Podcast Page Link
Audio Only

Brief Summary:
This episode's guest is Alex Kugelman. Alex is a tax controversy lawyer with expertise in cryptocurrency and IRS audits. Alex is a frequent guest on this podcast - back in July 2019 he came on the show to discuss the IRS Educational Letters that were being sent out. Before that, in May, he shared some excellent information about IRS cryptocurrency audits. Today, he elaborates on these topics and goes in-depth about what could happen in a potential crypto audit.
Alex provides tips in the case of an IRS CI agent showing up at your door, revisits compliance post-2019 IRS FAQ update, and gives us his take on the effect of COVID-19 in taxes and crypto.

Some good quotes:
"In the past year, what I've seen, the single common element of all IRS criminal investigations relating to cryptocurrency is that there is evidence that there have been sales of cryptocurrency and it cannot be reconciled to the tax return." (07:10)
"I think it's very likely that exchanges are providing information to the government if it's requested, especially U S based exchanges that are trying to be in the good graces of regulators." (09:44)

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS AND DISCUSSION

Don't Under-Estimate Over-Reporting (03:12)

Alex: I'm a big believer of over-reporting, which means give as much detail as you possibly can. I think a lot of people get into trouble. They go: “Oh, I reported my transactions”... and you look at the tax return and it's a single line that says “cryptocurrency” and the net number. You have to think through objectively. I've not seen an issue where the IRS has taken a really hard position on lost records as long as you're making reasonable assumptions and using fair market value data.

A CI Agent's M.O. (10:30)

Alex: CI's agents are fairly sophisticated. If they have some information, and they can see these different transfers to different exchanges or wallets - they can piece it together and there's nothing to stop them from going and getting that data at that point as well. That's why I think it's really important that people...try to do the most reasonable good faith effort because it's hard to make a criminal case out of an accounting error. It's much easier to make a criminal case when someone's sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of cryptocurrency and then transferred that fiat into a U S bank account.

Unmatched Trades and Missing Data (12:16)

Alex: The more transactions that you have...with missing information...could lead to more questions. The question becomes where or how did you obtain this cryptocurrency and why is it that you don't have records?
A very common example is Mt. Gox. The exchange goes down, the records go down. That's really common. If that's the story, I wouldn't be worried about it. But, if you were being paid in cryptocurrency for a couple of years, never reported it as income, and now you're selling it - that's more problematic. It could lead to issues down the line.

CI Agents Paying You A Visit (14:35)

Alex: A lot of times when a CI agent shows up it's meant to catch people off guard. If a CI agent is showing up at your door regarding cryptocurrency, it means they already have information that they believe there was a crime and that would lead to a conviction of a crime. So you're not going to explain that away in an hour long conversation in your living room. It's not going to happen. That's not the way it works.
There's always going to be two agents, because one is going to be a witness for this conversation. You just need to remember: decline the interview. There's nothing wrong with that. Get a card and: “my counsel will contact you”. That's it.
The other thing to keep in mind that's really important is that you don't want to start doing things that are new crimes. You don't want to go in and start destroying records or erasing emails. Taking those kinds of steps is only going to make it worse.

Coronavirus, Audits, and Amended Returns (31:05)

Alex: The IRS is, for the most part, shutdown. That means that they're not really issuing new audits right now. It also means that the forced collections, when you owe money to the IRS and they levy your bank account or issue liens - that’s not going on right now. So for clients or for taxpayers who owe the IRS money...if they are currently in an installment agreement with the IRS, then actually they can forego those monthly payments right now.
The IRS is already an underfunded agency, and it was affected by the government shutdown recently. There's really a big backlog to begin with. I mean it's hard to estimate how much this [virus] is going to affect the administration of tax compliance. I think it's a great time to amend a tax return or to get into compliance.
submitted by Sal-BitcoinTax to BitcoinMarkets [link] [comments]

Interview With Eddie Jiang: How CoinEx Is Adapting To The Exchange Space And Growing

Interview With Eddie Jiang: How CoinEx Is Adapting To The Exchange Space And Growing
Written by chaintalk.tv
https://preview.redd.it/v238540taz751.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=2a852e171a74e49da802d7c12fadba452cf4cf43
We recently had the opportunity to interview the VP of ViaBTC Group, Eddie Jiang. ViaBTC Group owns popular crypto exchange CoinEx and ViaBTC Pool. In this interview Eddie discusses being the first exchange to use BCH as the base currency, ViaBTC Pool and integrating with CoinEx, new features and ambassador program, and competing with other exchanges like Binance and Huobi. Please enjoy the interview below.
How come you decided to open up CoinEx to other cryptos other than just BCH?
Eddie Jiang: CoinEx is the world’s first exchange to implement Bitcoin Cash as a base currency. At that time, it was evident that there was a demand for BCH trading markets, and we are the first to explore this opportunity. It also shows our determination to support the BCH’s development.
As CoinEx is developing, our goal becomes bigger and we are aiming at the global market. We need to constantly improve our product diversification to meet the different needs of more users, so we open up to other cryptos. In the past six months, we have listed more than 50 new tokens. Up to now, we have listed 129 cryptos and 313 markets. Besides, in addition to spot trading, CoinEx also supports perpetual contract and other derivatives trading.
How does CoinEx integrate with the ViaBTC Pool?
Eddie Jiang: ViaBTC Group announced a strategic upgrade, which included a new organizational structure, product innovations and service improvements, on 30 May.
As part of the change, the Group has established three dedicated business units (BU): the financial services BU, consisting of ViaBTC mining pool and CoinEx exchange; the infrastructure services BU, including ViaWallet and Blockchain Explorer; and the ecological development BU, focusing on the research and development of public chain technology and the construction of the ecology.
After halving, the combination of mining and finance will become closer and closer. Investing in mining machines is like buying a Bitcoin option. Miners need more flexible financial products to maintain and increase the value of assets, or hedging services. Based on this judgment, the operations of ViaBTC mining pool and CoinEx exchange will be integrated in the future to realize the financial empowerment of the mining pool to meet the diverse financial needs of miners.
Features of this integrated product upgrade can be summarized as: “ The mining pool is the wallet, and the wallet is the transaction.” ViaBTC is the world first mining pool that has a wallet embedded in the mining pool account. Users do not need to transfer the mined coins, and can realize the function of coin exchange within the wallet. For example, they can directly convert the mined coins into USDT to pay electricity bill. What’s more, users can store, deposit and withdraw their revenue, and transfer assets to CoinEx at any time without charge, as well as complete other operations on the exchange, such as purchasing wealth management products for asset preservation and appreciation. In addition, we also provide hedging services. All of the above functions can be completed in one stop in the mining pool, without the need to transfer assets between different platforms.
The exchange empowers the mining pool, and the mining pool will further bring more traffic and resources to the exchange. The two complement each other and development coordinately.
CoinEx has recently added many new features. Can you talk about what new updates were made to the platform and why you made them?
Eddie Jiang: We have always attached great importance to the development of overseas markets since our establishment, and one of our major goals this year is to cover at least 10 different languages speaking markets.
To realize this and to meet the needs of more users worldwide, CoinEx has been continuously optimizing and upgrading its operating strategies, products and services. Our product diversifications are constantly improving. As I said before, we have launched leverage trading, perpetual contract trading, and wealth management products in addition to just spot trading. However, we don’t ignore the importance of spot trading. More mainstream, popular, and high-quality tokens have been listed, and up to now, there are 129 tokens and 313 trading pairs on CoinEx.
During the epidemic, we have never slowed down our development. Lacking of the OTC service has always been a shortage for CoinEx. In March, we partner with Simplex to integrate the first fiat onramp to our platform. People now can buy crypto with their credit cards, which lowers the threshold for more people to enter the crypto world. Moreover, we announced global strategic partnership with Matrixport to provide people with large amount of fiat to crypto needs the OTC service. These newly launched services also help to attract more users.
At the same time, CoinEx has been launched in Arabic, Italian, English, Japanese, Russian, Korean and other 16 languages. Earlier we also carried out product upgrades, making the UI and function sections clearer.
In terms of operations, we launched an upgraded CoinEx Ambassador program in March. To best utilize each ambassador’s personal strengths, there are four categories of CoinEx Ambassador with different responsibilities, namely Referral Ambassador, Marketing Ambassador, Operation Ambassador, and Business Ambassador, which will expand our brand’s exposure and help CoinEx grow into a more international exchange platform.
From March until now CoinEx has seen a 100% increase in user registrations. Why is that and are you able to see where they are coming from?
Eddie Jiang: Because of the efforts mentioned above, in 2020, we’ve seen an exponential increase in activity in just the past few months alone. In this year alone, CoinEx’s daily registered users increased by 100%. These new users mainly come from markets such as the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and more.
Interestingly, we saw an uptick in traffic from the Middle East in March. User growth in Southeast Asia also picked up significantly, newly registered users increased by 133.6% in April.
With Binance, BitMex, Huobi, Bybit, and Deribit, controlling most of the crypto futures and options markets, where do you see CoinEx fitting in? How do you plan to capture market share from these large exchanges?
Eddie Jiang: We won’t compete with others. We focus on ourselves to improve products and our goal is to be better than yesterday.
Our pace is solid and steady, instead of focusing on temporary heat and flow. We have always attached great importance of spot trading, and we are committed to be responsible for users’ investment. We have set up CoinEx Institution, which is dedicated on project research. A listing committee consist of core team members review and vote on projects recommended by the CoinEx Institution. In this way, fraud projects are avoided as much as possible.
Besides, we will focus on niche areas with great potential. For example, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. CoinEx can serve users in those countries well by providing a platform with rich cryptos to trade, and will pay more efforts on refined operations in different countries.
Moreover, CoinEx has a very complete ecosystem. Financial services, infrastructure, and ecological development, the three business units complement each other. The infrastructure BU is our cornerstone and is positioned as a defensive product; the financial service BU is a cash cow and is positioned as an aggressive product; the ecological development BU focuses on the public chain ecology and is the future infrastructure.
What is the geographical breakdown of the CoinEx userbase?
Eddie Jiang: The current proportion of CoinEx’s overseas users has reached 80% of the total registered users, and mainly in Australia, Southeast Asia, North America, Middle East and South Korea.
Do you have plans to focus on any certain jurisdictions? How will you do that?
Eddie Jiang: When we evaluate regions, two things matter: policy and potential.
Whether an exchange’s business expansion in a region is smooth or not largely depends on the region’s policies. If the region is not very friendly towards cryptocurrency or has repeated attitudes, there will be more difficulties and the cost will be much higher.
For a region’s development potential, we need to think about the demand and market development status. South Korea, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and other regions are all areas with good potential for cryptocurrency development. Compared with Europe and America, policy risks in these countries are lower, and the supervision mechanism is relatively complete. The public has a high degree of awareness of cryptocurrencies. Besides, some regions or countries have inflation problems due to political and economic reasons.
CoinEx will continue to focus on the Middle East and South Asia, which are relatively niche. India has just lifted ban on cryptocurrency trading this year, and there are many cryptocurrency investors in Indian. CoinEx can serve them well by providing a platform with rich cryptos to trade. More people in the Middle East are interested cryptos, especially in countries that are subject to economic sanctions or high inflation. For those people, cryptocurrencies are one of the best choices for asset preservation.
Since the CoinEx Ambassador program launched in March, it has been almost three months. We are conducting the second round of ambassador recruitment. This time, we will use the power of ambassadors to expand our recruitment coverage and strive to attract more crypto enthusiasts from all over the world to grow together with CoinEx. Moreover, we will launch the National Expansion plan and leverage on the CoinEx and ViaBTC mining pool resources, to further explore the Russian market. At the market level, we will make more PR efforts in local markets, and start refined operations.
What is CoinEx Chain and CoinEx DEX?
Eddie Jiang: CoinEx Chain is a public chain built on the Tendermint consensus protocol and the Cosmos SDK. It consists of three dedicated public chains parallel to each other. Among these three chains, CoinEx DEX meets the most basic needs of DeFi for token issuance, transfer, and transactions. The Smart Chain is designed to meet the needs of complex financial scenarios and delivers programmable cash. The Privacy Chain facilitates privacy and security.
On November 11, 2019, we took the lead in launching the Mainnet of CoinEx DEX. CoinEx DEX is the world’s first public chain dedicated to decentralized transactions. Users can easily manage their digital assets on it.
CoinEx DEX can fully satisfy the following conditions: users have private keys at their own disposal; transfers and transactions are all completed on-chain, which is 200% transparent and checkable; the issuance, transfer, and transaction of tokens do not require review or permission; the community governance and operation is decentralized, similar to EOS, and validators are introduced to the community ecosystem construction and governance. There are currently 41 validators.
It also has extreme performance. TPS reaches as high as 10,000 and transactions are confirmed within seconds. The transaction fee, 0.0001 US dollars for each transaction, is negligible.
Third, it’s simple and easy to use. The new operation interface design helps beginners get started quickly; with the one-click token issuing module, users only need to fill in a few items to issue tokens; the built-in automated market-making module guarantees liquidity.
How will CoinEx DEX improve the decentralized exchange space that has been unable to gain much adoption?
Eddie Jiang: There are many challenges and difficulties facing centralized exchanges. The first difficulty is security. Security is a huge concern for CEXs. Over the last 10 years, hackers have stolen more than $1.5 billion from centralized exchanges. In fact, research groups estimate that hackers stole somewhere between $950 Million and $1 Billion from centralized exchanges in 2018 alone. There were also incidents of coin thefts in other exchanges in 2019. Many exchanges, such as Mt. Gox, Youbit, were forced to file for bankruptcy and shut down as a result of hacks.
The second is high management costs. Centralized exchanges need to list a large number of cryptocurrencies and each of them have different trading pairs. That entails huge efforts in development and maintenance and, thus, high management costs.
The last is global policies. Cryptocurrency is faced with different regulatory policies in different countries. Every time a centralized exchange enters a country, it needs to adapt itself to local regulatory policies for compliance. This is a holdback for the exchange’s rapid market expansion globally. Such adaptation will also bring a huge learning cost for the exchange team.
Obviously, these problems can be well solved by DEX. CoinEx DEX is a true DEX with full open source and full community governance, as well as without depending on official nodes, websites, wallets, etc. On DEX, users are able to in charge of their own private keys and assets all by themselves. Their assets are more safe and secure. Transfers and transactions are all completed on-chain, which is 200% transparent and checkable; and the issuance, transfer, and transaction of tokens do not require review or permission. What’s more, CoinEx DEX provides a great and convenient user experience.
How will CoinEx Chain and DEX help the crypto industry as a whole?
Eddie Jiang: The public chain is the cornerstone of the blockchain industry. CoinEx Chain has the parallelism of multiple dedicated public chains, each of which performs its own functions, by cross-chaining for both high performance and flexibility.
CoinEx Chain is committed to building the next generation of blockchain financial infrastructure. It is a more complete ecosystem built around the DEX public chain. The DEX public chain is a dedicated public chain developed specifically for token issuance and trading and the biggest improvement on trading speed, so it only supports the necessary functions, not smart contracts.
But smart contracts are the foundation for building more complex financial applications. Outside the DEX public chain, CoinEx Chain also includes a Smart Chain that supports smart contracts.
Moreover, as privacy issues on the current blockchain have been criticized, it is one of the core tasks of CoinEx Chain to safeguard users’ privacy. Similar to the Smart Chain, the Privacy Chain specifically supports transaction privacy protection. With cross-chain circulation, it can improve the privacy characteristic of the entire CoinEx Chain ecosystem.
Nowadays, 1.7 million people in the world have no bank accounts; however, among them, two thirds are smartphone users with huge demands for financial services. The public chain will empower DeFi applications’ development and popularization, not only help more companies to seize the huge market opportunity, but also to bring lasting transformations and improvements in people’s lives.
With so many crypto exchanges, what is the future outlook of CoinEx when it comes to the crypto exchange space?
Eddie Jiang: It has been nearly 3 years since CoinEx has been launched, but it’s quite young for an entrepreneurial team. We have seen too many projects’ failures due to governance issues. CoinEx has a very elite team with high technical and management capabilities. In terms of business, CoinEx has gradually developed with diversified business and a complete ecosystem. It’s clear that the market will still grow very fast in the future, and the market size is still very large. We will continue to improve our products, put more efforts in marketing and operations, as well as look for more high-quality projects, to increase the number of users and transactions on the platform. Lay a solid foundation, and I’m sure the time will come for us to shine.
What updates is the CoinEx team most excited for?
Eddie Jiang: We are very excited about the National Expansion Plan which will be launched later this year. It is an important part in CoinEx’s globalization strategy. We will actively explore some new markets while consolidate the original ones. CoinEx will set aside 10 million US dollars to set up a “Pioneer Fund” to support this plan. This fund will be used to support local cryptocurrency projects and promote the development of the local cryptocurrency communities through investment or cooperation. Our goal this year is to invest in projects and communities that are conducive to expanding the CoinEx ecosystem in countries with high development potential.
Original article
Click HERE to register on CoinEx
submitted by CoinExcom to btc [link] [comments]

Crypto-Powered: Understanding Bitcoin, Ethereum, and DeFi

Crypto-Powered: Understanding Bitcoin, Ethereum, and DeFi
Until one understands the basics of this tech, they won’t be able to grasp or appreciate the impact it has on our digital bank, Genesis Block.
https://reddit.com/link/ho4bif/video/n0euarkifu951/player
This is the second post of Crypto-Powered — a new series that examines what it means for Genesis Block to be a digital bank that’s powered by crypto, blockchain, and decentralized protocols.
---
Our previous post set the stage for this series. We discussed the state of consumer finance and how the success of today’s high-flying fintech unicorns will be short-lived as long as they’re building on legacy finance — a weak foundation that is ripe for massive disruption.
Instead, the future of consumer finance belongs to those who are deeply familiar with blockchain tech & decentralized protocols, build on it as the foundation, and know how to take it to the world. Like Genesis Block.
Today we begin our journey down the crypto rabbit hole. This post will be an important introduction for those still learning about Bitcoin, Ethereum, or DeFi (Decentralized Finance). This post (and the next few) will go into greater detail about how this technology gives Genesis Block an edge, a superpower, and an unfair advantage. Let’s dive in…
https://preview.redd.it/1ugdxoqjfu951.jpg?width=650&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=36edde1079c3cff5f6b15b8cd30e6c436626d5d8

Bitcoin: The First Cryptocurrency

There are plenty of online resources to learn about Bitcoin (Coinbase, Binance, Gemini, Naval, Alex Gladstein, Marc Andreessen, Chris Dixon). I don’t wanna spend a lot of time on that here, but let’s do a quick overview for those still getting ramped up.
Cryptocurrency is the most popular use-case of blockchain technology today. And Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to be invented.
Bitcoin is the most decentralized of all crypto assets today — no government, company, or third party can control or censor it.
Bitcoin has two primary features (as do most other cryptocurrencies):
  1. Send Value You can send value to anyone, anywhere in the world. Nobody can intercept, delay or stop it — not even governments or financial institutions. Unlike with traditional money transfers or bank wires, there are no layers of middlemen. This results in a process that is much more cost-efficient. Some popular use-cases include remittances and cross-border payments.
  2. Store Value With nothing but a smartphone, you can become your own bank and store your own funds. Nobody can seize your assets. The funds are digital and stored on a blockchain. Your money no longer needs to be stored at a bank, in a vault, or under your mattress. I covered a few inspiring use-cases in a previous post. They include banking the unbanked, protecting assets from government seizure, mitigating the risk of a bank run, and protection against hyperinflation (like what recently happened in Venezuela).
The fact that there are so few things one can do with Bitcoin is one of its greatest strengths.
Its design is simple, elegant, and focused. It has been 10+ years since Satoshi’s white paper and no one has been able to crack or hack the Bitcoin network. With a market cap of $170B, there is plenty of incentive to try.
https://preview.redd.it/bizndfpkfu951.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=456c53b798248e60456a65835a33c69b2fe8daf0

Public Awareness

A few negative moments in Bitcoin’s history include the collapse of Mt. Gox — which resulted in hundreds of millions of customer funds being stolen — as well as Bitcoin’s role in dark markets like Silk Road — where Bitcoin arguably found its initial userbase.
However, like most breakthrough technology, Bitcoin is neither good nor bad. It’s neutral. People can use it for good or they can use it for evil. Thankfully, it’s being used less and less for illicit activity. Criminals are starting to understand that transactions on a blockchain are public and traceable — it’s exactly the type of system they usually try to avoid. And it’s true, at this point “a lot more” crimes are actually committed with fiat than crypto.
As a result, the perception of bitcoin and cryptocurrency has been changing over the years to a more positive light.
Bitcoin has even started to enter the world of media & entertainment. It’s been mentioned in Hollywood films like Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse and in songs from major artists like Eminem. It’s been mentioned in countless TV shows like Billions, The Simpsons, Big Bang Theory, Gray’s Anatomy, Family Guy, and more.
As covid19 has ravaged economies and central banks have been printing money, Bitcoin has caught the attention of many legendary Wall Street investors like Paul Tudor Jones, saying that Bitcoin is a great bet against inflation (reminding him of Gold in the 1970s).
Cash App already lets their 25M users buy Bitcoin. It’s rumored that PayPal and Venmo will soon let their 325M users start buying Bitcoin. Bitcoin is by far the most dominant cryptocurrency and is showing no signs of slowing down. For more than a decade it has delivered on its core use-cases — being able to send or store value.
At this point, Bitcoin has very much entered the zeitgeist of modern pop culture — at least in the West.
https://preview.redd.it/dnuwbw8mfu951.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=6f1f135e3effee4574b5167901b80ced2c972bda

Ethereum: Programmable Money

When Ethereum launched in 2015, it opened up a world of new possibilities and use-cases for crypto. With Ethereum Smart Contracts (i.e. applications), this exciting new digital money (cryptocurrency) became a lot less dumb. Developers could now build applications that go beyond the simple use-cases of “send value” & “store value.” They could program cryptocurrency to have rules, behavior, and logic to respond to different inputs. And always enforced by code. Additional reading on Ethereum from Linda Xie or Vitalik Buterin.
Because these applications are built on blockchain technology (Ethereum), they preserve many of the same characteristics as Bitcoin: no one can stop, censor or shut down these apps because they are decentralized.
One of the first major use-cases on Ethereum was the ability to mint and create your own token, your own cryptocurrency. Many companies used this as a way to fundraise from the public. This led to the 2017 ICO bubble (Initial Coin Offerings). Some tokens — and the apps/networks they powered — were fascinating and innovative. Most tokens were pointless. And many tokens were outright scams. Additional token reading from Fred Ehrsam, Balaji, and Naval.
https://reddit.com/link/ho4bif/video/b5b1jh9ofu951/player

Digital Gold Rush

Just as tokens grew in popularity in 2017–2018, so did online marketplaces where these tokens could be bought, sold, and traded. This was a fledgling asset class — the merchants selling picks, axes, and shovels were finally starting to emerge.
I had a front-row seat — both as an investor and token creator. This was the Wild West with all the frontier drama & scandal that you’d expect.
Binance — now the world’s largest crypto exchange —was launched during this time. They along with many others (especially from Asia) made it really easy for speculators, traders, and degenerate gamblers to participate in these markets. Similar to other financial markets, the goal was straightforward: buy low and sell high.
https://preview.redd.it/tytsu5jnfu951.jpg?width=600&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=fe3425b7e4a71fa953b953f0c7f6eaff6504a0d1
That period left an embarrassing stain on our industry that we’ve still been trying to recover from. It was a period rampant with market manipulation, pump-and-dumps, and scams. To some extent, the crypto industry still suffers from that today, but it’s nothing compared to what it was then.
While the potential of getting filthy rich brought a lot of fly-by-nighters and charlatans into the industry, it also brought a lot of innovators, entrepreneurs, and builders.
The launch and growth of Ethereum has been an incredible technological breakthrough. As with past tech breakthroughs, it has led to a wave of innovation, experimentation, and development. The creativity around tokens, smart contracts, and decentralized applications has been fascinating to witness. Now a few years later, the fruits of those labors are starting to be realized.

DeFi: Decentralized Finance

So as a reminder, tokens are cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies can carry value. And value is a lot like money. Because tokens are natively integrated with Ethereum, it’s been natural for developers to build applications related to financial services — things like lending, borrowing, saving, investing, payments, and insurance. In the last few years, there has been a groundswell of developer momentum building in this area of financial protocols. This segment of the industry is known as DeFi (Decentralized Finance).
https://preview.redd.it/f0sjzqspfu951.png?width=461&format=png&auto=webp&s=8e0a31bf29250fc624918fbd8514b008762f379e
In Q2 of 2020, 97% of all Ethereum activity was DeFi-related. Total DeFi transaction volume has reached $11.5B. The current value locked inside DeFi protocols is approaching $2 Billion (double from a month ago). DeFi’s meteoric growth cannot be ignored.
Most of that growth can be attributed to exciting protocols like Compound, Maker, Synthetix, Balancer, Aave, dYdX, and Uniswap. These DeFi protocols and the financial services they offer are quickly becoming some of the most popular use-cases for blockchain technology today.
https://preview.redd.it/wn3phnkqfu951.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=02f56caa6b94aa59eadd6e368ef9346ba10c7611
This impressive growth in DeFi certainly hasn’t come without growing pains. Unlike with Bitcoin, there are near-infinite applications one can develop on Ethereum. Sometimes bugs (or typos) can slip through code reviews, testing, and audits — resulting in loss of funds.
Our next post will go much deeper on DeFi.

Wrap Up

I know that for the hardcore crypto people, what we covered today is nothing new. But for those who are still getting up to speed, welcome! I hope this was helpful and that it fuels your interest to learn more.
Until you understand the basics of this technology, you won’t be able to fully appreciate the impact that it has on our new digital bank, Genesis Block. You won’t be able to understand the implications, how it relates, or how it helps.
After today’s post, some of you probably have a lot more questions. What are specific examples or use-cases of DeFi? Why does it need to be on a blockchain? What benefits does it bring to Genesis Block and our users?
In upcoming posts, we answer these questions. Today’s post was just Level 1. It set the foundation for where we’re headed next: even deeper down the crypto rabbit hole.
---
Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
We have a lot more content coming. Be sure to follow our channels: https://genesisblock.com/follow/
Have you already downloaded the app? We're Genesis Block, a new digital bank that's powered by crypto & decentralized protocols. The app is live in the App Store (iOS & Android). Get the link to download at https://genesisblock.com/download
submitted by mickhagen to genesisblockhq [link] [comments]

A Deep Dive Into IRS Crypto Tax Audits (Podcast and Highlights)

Hey all - the newest episode of The BitcoinTaxes Podcast is live. For anyone unfamiliar, it's a podcast where I interview experts in the bitcoin/blockchain/fintech spaces. In this episode I speak with a tax controversy lawyer about how to handle a CI agent showing up at your door about your crypto, and what to do to avoid getting to that point.
Full disclosure, I work for BitcoinTaxes and also host this podcast. I typically post my interviews to our own subreddit and one or two other subreddits (not trying to spam people). I've not really posted past episodes to this subreddit, but I thought it would be a pretty interesting listen for bitcoin/crypto enthusiasts and traders. If there's any issue with me posting here please let me know, otherwise I hope you guys enjoy this episode and gain some valuable knowledge. Feel free to hit me with any questions and I can relay them to Alex.
----
Links:
Podcast Page Link
Audio Only (~35 mins)

Brief Summary:
This episode's guest is Alex Kugelman. Alex is a tax controversy lawyer with expertise in cryptocurrency and IRS audits. Alex is a frequent guest on this podcast - back in July 2019 he came on the show to discuss the IRS Educational Letters that were being sent out. Before that, in May, he shared some excellent information about IRS cryptocurrency audits. Today, he elaborates on these topics and goes in-depth about what could happen in a potential crypto audit.
Alex provides tips in the case of an IRS CI agent showing up at your door, revisits compliance post-2019 IRS FAQ update, and gives us his take on the effect of COVID-19 in taxes and crypto.

Some good quotes:
"In the past year, what I've seen, the single common element of all IRS criminal investigations relating to cryptocurrency is that there is evidence that there have been sales of cryptocurrency and it cannot be reconciled to the tax return." (07:10)
"I think it's very likely that exchanges are providing information to the government if it's requested, especially U S based exchanges that are trying to be in the good graces of regulators." (09:44)

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS AND DISCUSSION

Don't Under-Estimate Over-Reporting (03:12)

Alex: I'm a big believer of over-reporting, which means give as much detail as you possibly can. I think a lot of people get into trouble. They go: “Oh, I reported my transactions”... and you look at the tax return and it's a single line that says “cryptocurrency” and the net number. You have to think through objectively. I've not seen an issue where the IRS has taken a really hard position on lost records as long as you're making reasonable assumptions and using fair market value data.

A CI Agent's M.O. (10:30)

Alex: CI's agents are fairly sophisticated. If they have some information, and they can see these different transfers to different exchanges or wallets - they can piece it together and there's nothing to stop them from going and getting that data at that point as well. That's why I think it's really important that people...try to do the most reasonable good faith effort because it's hard to make a criminal case out of an accounting error. It's much easier to make a criminal case when someone's sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of cryptocurrency and then transferred that fiat into a U S bank account.

Unmatched Trades and Missing Data (12:16)

Alex: The more transactions that you have...with missing information...could lead to more questions. The question becomes where or how did you obtain this cryptocurrency and why is it that you don't have records?
A very common example is Mt. Gox. The exchange goes down, the records go down. That's really common. If that's the story, I wouldn't be worried about it. But, if you were being paid in cryptocurrency for a couple of years, never reported it as income, and now you're selling it - that's more problematic. It could lead to issues down the line.

CI Agents Paying You A Visit (14:35)

Alex: A lot of times when a CI agent shows up it's meant to catch people off guard. If a CI agent is showing up at your door regarding cryptocurrency, it means they already have information that they believe there was a crime and that would lead to a conviction of a crime. So you're not going to explain that away in an hour long conversation in your living room. It's not going to happen. That's not the way it works.
There's always going to be two agents, because one is going to be a witness for this conversation. You just need to remember: decline the interview. There's nothing wrong with that. Get a card and: “my counsel will contact you”. That's it.
The other thing to keep in mind that's really important is that you don't want to start doing things that are new crimes. You don't want to go in and start destroying records or erasing emails. Taking those kinds of steps is only going to make it worse.

Coronavirus, Audits, and Amended Returns (31:05)

Alex: The IRS is, for the most part, shutdown. That means that they're not really issuing new audits right now. It also means that the forced collections, when you owe money to the IRS and they levy your bank account or issue liens - that’s not going on right now. So for clients or for taxpayers who owe the IRS money...if they are currently in an installment agreement with the IRS, then actually they can forego those monthly payments right now.
The IRS is already an underfunded agency, and it was affected by the government shutdown recently. There's really a big backlog to begin with. I mean it's hard to estimate how much this [virus] is going to affect the administration of tax compliance. I think it's a great time to amend a tax return or to get into compliance.
submitted by Sal-BitcoinTax to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

BitcoinTaxes Podcast: A Deep Dive Into IRS Crypto Audits

Hey all - newest episode of The BitcoinTaxes Podcast is live! Full disclosure, I work for BitcoinTaxes and also host this podcast.
Our guest today is Alex Kugelman. Alex is a tax controversy lawyer with expertise in cryptocurrency and IRS audits. Alex is a frequent guest on this podcast - back in July 2019 he came on the show to discuss the IRS Educational Letters that were being sent out. Before that, in May, he shared some excellent information about IRS cryptocurrency audits. Today, he elaborates on these topics and goes in-depth about what could happen in a potential crypto audit.
Alex provides tips in the case of an IRS CI agent showing up at your door, revisits compliance post-2019 IRS FAQ update, and gives us his take on the effect of COVID-19 in taxes and crypto.
Podcast Page Link
Audio Only
Some good quotes:
"In the past year, what I've seen, the single common element of all IRS criminal investigations relating to cryptocurrency is that there is evidence that there have been sales of cryptocurrency and it cannot be reconciled to the tax return." (07:10)
"I think it's very likely that exchanges are providing information to the government if it's requested, especially U S based exchanges that are trying to be in the good graces of regulators." (09:44)
EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS AND DISCUSSION

Don't Under-Estimate Over-Reporting (03:12)

Alex: I'm a big believer of over-reporting, which means give as much detail as you possibly can. I think a lot of people get into trouble. They go: “Oh, I reported my transactions”... and you look at the tax return and it's a single line that says “cryptocurrency” and the net number. You have to think through objectively. I've not seen an issue where the IRS has taken a really hard position on lost records as long as you're making reasonable assumptions and using fair market value data.

A CI Agent's M.O. (10:30)

Alex: CI's agents are fairly sophisticated. If they have some information, and they can see these different transfers to different exchanges or wallets - they can piece it together and there's nothing to stop them from going and getting that data at that point as well. That's why I think it's really important that people...try to do the most reasonable good faith effort because it's hard to make a criminal case out of an accounting error. It's much easier to make a criminal case when someone's sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of cryptocurrency and then transferred that fiat into a U S bank account.

Unmatched Trades and Missing Data (12:16)

Alex: The more transactions that you have...with missing information...could lead to more questions. The question becomes where or how did you obtain this cryptocurrency and why is it that you don't have records?
A very common example is Mt. Gox. The exchange goes down, the records go down. That's really common. If that's the story, I wouldn't be worried about it. But, if you were being paid in cryptocurrency for a couple of years, never reported it as income, and now you're selling it - that's more problematic. It could lead to issues down the line.

CI Agents Paying You A Visit (14:35)

Alex: A lot of times when a CI agent shows up it's meant to catch people off guard. If a CI agent is showing up at your door regarding cryptocurrency, it means they already have information that they believe there was a crime and that would lead to a conviction of a crime. So you're not going to explain that away in an hour long conversation in your living room. It's not going to happen. That's not the way it works.
There's always going to be two agents, because one is going to be a witness for this conversation. You just need to remember: decline the interview. There's nothing wrong with that. Get a card and: “my counsel will contact you”. That's it.
The other thing to keep in mind that's really important is that you don't want to start doing things that are new crimes. You don't want to go in and start destroying records or erasing emails. Taking those kinds of steps is only going to make it worse.

Coronavirus, Audits, and Amended Returns (31:05)

Alex: The IRS is, for the most part, shutdown. That means that they're not really issuing new audits right now. It also means that the forced collections, when you owe money to the IRS and they levy your bank account or issue liens - that’s not going on right now. So for clients or for taxpayers who owe the IRS money...if they are currently in an installment agreement with the IRS, then actually they can forego those monthly payments right now.
The IRS is already an underfunded agency, and it was affected by the government shutdown recently. There's really a big backlog to begin with. I mean it's hard to estimate how much this [virus] is going to affect the administration of tax compliance. I think it's a great time to amend a tax return or to get into compliance.
submitted by Sal-BitcoinTax to bitcointaxes [link] [comments]

Multicurrency Wallet DEXs will be the standard of the 2020s. The present status quo is an absolute joke.

Before I begin, I'd like to ask you a question. Why are so many of the most established people in crypto among the most closed-minded when it comes to talking about new ideas? Why is the crypto space more concerned with what a clown from Australia is lying about or petty figurehead drama than the hard work and effort of the good and lesser-known among them?
Let's talk about altcoins for a minute. It'd be a very tough job to count every single alt that's come in on a hypetrain and died in obscurity. If I were to guess that 95% of them failed, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that it was a conservative estimate and that the number is even higher. Indeed, it would be much easier to count the exceptions to the rule. To name a few - ETH, LTC, XMR, and (quite amusingly) DOGE.
Should the stubbornly high failure rate of alts justify writing them all off as garbage? Businesses have an incredibly high failure rate too. It would be foolish - outright silly, even - to say that the grocery store is a fraud and a scam because the aqua-saxophone jazzercise laundromat failed to live up to it's expectations. Maybe not, because this is exactly the way the crypto space is right now.
That line of thinking is the de facto standard in the cryptocurrency space right now - "guilty (of being a shitcoin) until proven innocent (by some central authority figure or big exchange who can validate it for us so we don't have to do it ourselves)". To be fair, there was an aggressive torrent of these "goofy laundromats" in 2017 and people are either hungover or shell-shocked from all the broken pipedreams and costly fiction. You'd think that the titans of this industry, particularly those who care more about the cypherpunk essence of Bitcoin than how rich they can get off of it, would be more receptive to the legitimate projects that are working in obscurity to harden the crypto space and it's infrastructure. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case. All too many seem to think that everything that needed to be built has already been built.
Considering that all the Bitcoin titans are somewhat newly-minted, the irony is remarkable. No one used to take Bitcoin seriously. The further back in time you go, the more it took lonely effort and independent research to truly grasp its ideas. This is still the case today. Most have heard of it but have no idea what it is or why it's important. Many who are fervently in PMs or traditional investments like stocks and bonds continue to deride it, even though it will go down as the best performing asset of the 2010s by far. Others are a little more aggressive and, despite a lack of knowledge, call it anything from a scam to "rat poison squared". Like anything else, it's foolish to make bold claims atop little to no education.
You'd think that treatment would make Bitcoin maximalists do some reflecting. Instead, a sizable number of them decided to emulate the ones who beat up on Bitcoin when it was small and irrelevant. "All you need is Bitcoin. Everything else is trash. I know what I'm talking about because I bought the top of the 2013 bubble and I'm probably immune to future dumps for life".
Now let's talk about where cryptocurrency infrastructure falls short. Bitcoin still retains the same cypherpunk essence that it's always had. The same can be said for Bitcoin wallets. They're secure. They allow for anonymous transactions. They run on an immutable blockchain. There is no central authority between a key-holder and their funds. Enter the exchanges. In a way, they were a necessary evil. Without them, adoption would be severely throttled. With them, Bitcoin is compromised.
For many, the privacy and anonymity that BTC is supposed to offers has been tossed out. It was the only way it could be retrofitted into a tightly-controlled system that demands KYC. While this has helped to spread adoption, Bitcoin has become more and more traceable. Quite ironically, many of these same exchanges that adopted KYC policies to "ensure accountability from their customers" had no trouble exit scamming.
They come and go. The old one gets hacked, or it exit scams, or proves itself to be corrupt and suspicious. A new one comes. This time it will be different. Then the cycle repeats itself. Mt. Gox. Bitfinex. Polo. Bittrex. Binance. They all had their time in the Sun.
These exchanges are in many ways the antithesis of the cypherpunk manifesto - vulnerable honeypots directly controlled by a centralized figurehead. Unsurprisingly, they cause a lot of unneeded trouble and give Bitcoin a ton of bad publicity. Example:
Me: "What do you think of Bitcoin?"
Co-worker: "Didn't that thing get hacked last week?"
Me: "Bitcoin didn't, but a place where it was exchanged was."
Co-worker: "I don't trust it. It's only a matter of time til they find out how to type in some numbers to make more show up on a screen blah blah blah."
You've all likely met someone like this and brushed them off as closed-mined, but they're exactly the type of person this industry needs to convince to further adoption. It will be next to impossible to do so with the way things are right now.
In order for Bitcoin to survive, it needs exchanges that are built to the same code that it was. The solution, therefore, is to "port" the cypherpunk essence of Bitcoin to the exchanges. Immutability. Anonymity. Privacy. No central authority of figurehead.
With all that said, let's talk about DEXs. I started a thread on here a few months back when Binance announced that they were giving Americans the boot. I got a ton of answers. It shows that, among the hardcore at least, there is a desire to go in a new direction. Loopring, IDEX, and Bisq were among the more popular choices.
It's a step in the right direction. However, these DEXs are still rather inaccessible - especially to outsiders. Performance wise, they're on the slower side of things. Due to these setbacks, they suffer from low volume. This is where some recent developments in multicurrency wallets with embedded DEXs from lesser-known projects will come out of obscurity and catch everyone by surprise.
Among them - I'd like to mention Stakenet Wallet and KMD's Atomic DEX. Both of them, now seemingly weeks away from launch, will allow for atomic swaps between a wide variety of coins directly from a private wallet. Stakenet goes a step further by offering atomic swaps running atop Lightning Network.
Why does this matter? These two platforms will be to exchanges what the inception of Bitcoin was to currency. Finally, after almost 9 years, Bitcoin not only has an exchange that truly honors its essence, but it's starting to see healthy competition between them.
To elaborate further on why this is very important.. No KYC. No accounts. No sending Bitcoin to an exchange and waiting around for it to show up. No downloading multiple wallets. No exchange figureheads. No withdrawal freezes. In Stakenet's case, the decentralized MN network that runs it's DEX will also act as a massive LN payment processor (routing, watchtowers) that provides a ton of liquidity for it while allowing Bitcoin to scale. "Lightning swaps" will provide every LN-based coin the ability to be instantly swapped to purchase anything in BTC. Stakenet will also feature a DEX aggregator that will pool together the orderbooks of numerous DEXs into one easily-accessible spot, boosting traffic to the many DEXs that are harder to reach and furthering their adoption along. Simply download a wallet like you would any other app and you're ready to get started. It's so much easier and more convenient. I don't see how or why CEXs and all their ilk (figurehead drama, geoblocking, exchange hacks, wash trading, currency manipulation, exit scams, etc) could remain relevant in the environment to come.
Regulation will not save us. Decentralization will. As long as one person learned something from this, it was all worth it. I welcome the opinions of everyone in this space.
submitted by ketchuma to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Technical: A Brief History of Payment Channels: from Satoshi to Lightning Network

Who cares about political tweets from some random country's president when payment channels are a much more interesting and are actually capable of carrying value?
So let's have a short history of various payment channel techs!

Generation 0: Satoshi's Broken nSequence Channels

Because Satoshi's Vision included payment channels, except his implementation sucked so hard we had to go fix it and added RBF as a by-product.
Originally, the plan for nSequence was that mempools would replace any transaction spending certain inputs with another transaction spending the same inputs, but only if the nSequence field of the replacement was larger.
Since 0xFFFFFFFF was the highest value that nSequence could get, this would mark a transaction as "final" and not replaceable on the mempool anymore.
In fact, this "nSequence channel" I will describe is the reason why we have this weird rule about nLockTime and nSequence. nLockTime actually only works if nSequence is not 0xFFFFFFFF i.e. final. If nSequence is 0xFFFFFFFF then nLockTime is ignored, because this if the "final" version of the transaction.
So what you'd do would be something like this:
  1. You go to a bar and promise the bartender to pay by the time the bar closes. Because this is the Bitcoin universe, time is measured in blockheight, so the closing time of the bar is indicated as some future blockheight.
  2. For your first drink, you'd make a transaction paying to the bartender for that drink, paying from some coins you have. The transaction has an nLockTime equal to the closing time of the bar, and a starting nSequence of 0. You hand over the transaction and the bartender hands you your drink.
  3. For your succeeding drink, you'd remake the same transaction, adding the payment for that drink to the transaction output that goes to the bartender (so that output keeps getting larger, by the amount of payment), and having an nSequence that is one higher than the previous one.
  4. Eventually you have to stop drinking. It comes down to one of two possibilities:
    • You drink until the bar closes. Since it is now the nLockTime indicated in the transaction, the bartender is able to broadcast the latest transaction and tells the bouncers to kick you out of the bar.
    • You wisely consider the state of your liver. So you re-sign the last transaction with a "final" nSequence of 0xFFFFFFFF i.e. the maximum possible value it can have. This allows the bartender to get his or her funds immediately (nLockTime is ignored if nSequence is 0xFFFFFFFF), so he or she tells the bouncers to let you out of the bar.
Now that of course is a payment channel. Individual payments (purchases of alcohol, so I guess buying coffee is not in scope for payment channels). Closing is done by creating a "final" transaction that is the sum of the individual payments. Sure there's no routing and channels are unidirectional and channels have a maximum lifetime but give Satoshi a break, he was also busy inventing Bitcoin at the time.
Now if you noticed I called this kind of payment channel "broken". This is because the mempool rules are not consensus rules, and cannot be validated (nothing about the mempool can be validated onchain: I sigh every time somebody proposes "let's make block size dependent on mempool size", mempool state cannot be validated by onchain data). Fullnodes can't see all of the transactions you signed, and then validate that the final one with the maximum nSequence is the one that actually is used onchain. So you can do the below:
  1. Become friends with Jihan Wu, because he owns >51% of the mining hashrate (he totally reorged Bitcoin to reverse the Binance hack right?).
  2. Slip Jihan Wu some of the more interesting drinks you're ordering as an incentive to cooperate with you. So say you end up ordering 100 drinks, you split it with Jihan Wu and give him 50 of the drinks.
  3. When the bar closes, Jihan Wu quickly calls his mining rig and tells them to mine the version of your transaction with nSequence 0. You know, that first one where you pay for only one drink.
  4. Because fullnodes cannot validate nSequence, they'll accept even the nSequence=0 version and confirm it, immutably adding you paying for a single alcoholic drink to the blockchain.
  5. The bartender, pissed at being cheated, takes out a shotgun from under the bar and shoots at you and Jihan Wu.
  6. Jihan Wu uses his mystical chi powers (actually the combined exhaust from all of his mining rigs) to slow down the shotgun pellets, making them hit you as softly as petals drifting in the wind.
  7. The bartender mutters some words, clothes ripping apart as he or she (hard to believe it could be a she but hey) turns into a bear, ready to maul you for cheating him or her of the payment for all the 100 drinks you ordered from him or her.
  8. Steely-eyed, you stand in front of the bartender-turned-bear, daring him to touch you. You've watched Revenant, you know Leonardo di Caprio could survive a bear mauling, and if some posh actor can survive that, you know you can too. You make a pose. "Drunken troll logic attack!"
  9. I think I got sidetracked here.
Lessons learned?

Spilman Channels

Incentive-compatible time-limited unidirectional channel; or, Satoshi's Vision, Fixed (if transaction malleability hadn't been a problem, that is).
Now, we know the bartender will turn into a bear and maul you if you try to cheat the payment channel, and now that we've revealed you're good friends with Jihan Wu, the bartender will no longer accept a payment channel scheme that lets one you cooperate with a miner to cheat the bartender.
Fortunately, Jeremy Spilman proposed a better way that would not let you cheat the bartender.
First, you and the bartender perform this ritual:
  1. You get some funds and create a transaction that pays to a 2-of-2 multisig between you and the bartender. You don't broadcast this yet: you just sign it and get its txid.
  2. You create another transaction that spends the above transaction. This transaction (the "backoff") has an nLockTime equal to the closing time of the bar, plus one block. You sign it and give this backoff transaction (but not the above transaction) to the bartender.
  3. The bartender signs the backoff and gives it back to you. It is now valid since it's spending a 2-of-2 of you and the bartender, and both of you have signed the backoff transaction.
  4. Now you broadcast the first transaction onchain. You and the bartender wait for it to be deeply confirmed, then you can start ordering.
The above is probably vaguely familiar to LN users. It's the funding process of payment channels! The first transaction, the one that pays to a 2-of-2 multisig, is the funding transaction that backs the payment channel funds.
So now you start ordering in this way:
  1. For your first drink, you create a transaction spending the funding transaction output and sending the price of the drink to the bartender, with the rest returning to you.
  2. You sign the transaction and pass it to the bartender, who serves your first drink.
  3. For your succeeding drinks, you recreate the same transaction, adding the price of the new drink to the sum that goes to the bartender and reducing the money returned to you. You sign the transaction and give it to the bartender, who serves you your next drink.
  4. At the end:
    • If the bar closing time is reached, the bartender signs the latest transaction, completing the needed 2-of-2 signatures and broadcasting this to the Bitcoin network. Since the backoff transaction is the closing time + 1, it can't get used at closing time.
    • If you decide you want to leave early because your liver is crying, you just tell the bartender to go ahead and close the channel (which the bartender can do at any time by just signing and broadcasting the latest transaction: the bartender won't do that because he or she is hoping you'll stay and drink more).
    • If you ended up just hanging around the bar and never ordering, then at closing time + 1 you broadcast the backoff transaction and get your funds back in full.
Now, even if you pass 50 drinks to Jihan Wu, you can't give him the first transaction (the one which pays for only one drink) and ask him to mine it: it's spending a 2-of-2 and the copy you have only contains your own signature. You need the bartender's signature to make it valid, but he or she sure as hell isn't going to cooperate in something that would lose him or her money, so a signature from the bartender validating old state where he or she gets paid less isn't going to happen.
So, problem solved, right? Right? Okay, let's try it. So you get your funds, put them in a funding tx, get the backoff tx, confirm the funding tx...
Once the funding transaction confirms deeply, the bartender laughs uproariously. He or she summons the bouncers, who surround you menacingly.
"I'm refusing service to you," the bartender says.
"Fine," you say. "I was leaving anyway;" You smirk. "I'll get back my money with the backoff transaction, and posting about your poor service on reddit so you get negative karma, so there!"
"Not so fast," the bartender says. His or her voice chills your bones. It looks like your exploitation of the Satoshi nSequence payment channel is still fresh in his or her mind. "Look at the txid of the funding transaction that got confirmed."
"What about it?" you ask nonchalantly, as you flip open your desktop computer and open a reputable blockchain explorer.
What you see shocks you.
"What the --- the txid is different! You--- you changed my signature?? But how? I put the only copy of my private key in a sealed envelope in a cast-iron box inside a safe buried in the Gobi desert protected by a clan of nomads who have dedicated their lives and their childrens' lives to keeping my private key safe in perpetuity!"
"Didn't you know?" the bartender asks. "The components of the signature are just very large numbers. The sign of one of the signature components can be changed, from positive to negative, or negative to positive, and the signature will remain valid. Anyone can do that, even if they don't know the private key. But because Bitcoin includes the signatures in the transaction when it's generating the txid, this little change also changes the txid." He or she chuckles. "They say they'll fix it by separating the signatures from the transaction body. They're saying that these kinds of signature malleability won't affect transaction ids anymore after they do this, but I bet I can get my good friend Jihan Wu to delay this 'SepSig' plan for a good while yet. Friendly guy, this Jihan Wu, it turns out all I had to do was slip him 51 drinks and he was willing to mine a tx with the signature signs flipped." His or her grin widens. "I'm afraid your backoff transaction won't work anymore, since it spends a txid that is not existent and will never be confirmed. So here's the deal. You pay me 99% of the funds in the funding transaction, in exchange for me signing the transaction that spends with the txid that you see onchain. Refuse, and you lose 100% of the funds and every other HODLer, including me, benefits from the reduction in coin supply. Accept, and you get to keep 1%. I lose nothing if you refuse, so I won't care if you do, but consider the difference of getting zilch vs. getting 1% of your funds." His or her eyes glow. "GENUFLECT RIGHT NOW."
Lesson learned?

CLTV-protected Spilman Channels

Using CLTV for the backoff branch.
This variation is simply Spilman channels, but with the backoff transaction replaced with a backoff branch in the SCRIPT you pay to. It only became possible after OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY (CLTV) was enabled in 2015.
Now as we saw in the Spilman Channels discussion, transaction malleability means that any pre-signed offchain transaction can easily be invalidated by flipping the sign of the signature of the funding transaction while the funding transaction is not yet confirmed.
This can be avoided by simply putting any special requirements into an explicit branch of the Bitcoin SCRIPT. Now, the backoff branch is supposed to create a maximum lifetime for the payment channel, and prior to the introduction of OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY this could only be done by having a pre-signed nLockTime transaction.
With CLTV, however, we can now make the branches explicit in the SCRIPT that the funding transaction pays to.
Instead of paying to a 2-of-2 in order to set up the funding transaction, you pay to a SCRIPT which is basically "2-of-2, OR this singlesig after a specified lock time".
With this, there is no backoff transaction that is pre-signed and which refers to a specific txid. Instead, you can create the backoff transaction later, using whatever txid the funding transaction ends up being confirmed under. Since the funding transaction is immutable once confirmed, it is no longer possible to change the txid afterwards.

Todd Micropayment Networks

The old hub-spoke model (that isn't how LN today actually works).
One of the more direct predecessors of the Lightning Network was the hub-spoke model discussed by Peter Todd. In this model, instead of payers directly having channels to payees, payers and payees connect to a central hub server. This allows any payer to pay any payee, using the same channel for every payee on the hub. Similarly, this allows any payee to receive from any payer, using the same channel.
Remember from the above Spilman example? When you open a channel to the bartender, you have to wait around for the funding tx to confirm. This will take an hour at best. Now consider that you have to make channels for everyone you want to pay to. That's not very scalable.
So the Todd hub-spoke model has a central "clearing house" that transport money from payers to payees. The "Moonbeam" project takes this model. Of course, this reveals to the hub who the payer and payee are, and thus the hub can potentially censor transactions. Generally, though, it was considered that a hub would more efficiently censor by just not maintaining a channel with the payer or payee that it wants to censor (since the money it owned in the channel would just be locked uselessly if the hub won't process payments to/from the censored user).
In any case, the ability of the central hub to monitor payments means that it can surveill the payer and payee, and then sell this private transactional data to third parties. This loss of privacy would be intolerable today.
Peter Todd also proposed that there might be multiple hubs that could transport funds to each other on behalf of their users, providing somewhat better privacy.
Another point of note is that at the time such networks were proposed, only unidirectional (Spilman) channels were available. Thus, while one could be a payer, or payee, you would have to use separate channels for your income versus for your spending. Worse, if you wanted to transfer money from your income channel to your spending channel, you had to close both and reshuffle the money between them, both onchain activities.

Poon-Dryja Lightning Network

Bidirectional two-participant channels.
The Poon-Dryja channel mechanism has two important properties:
Both the original Satoshi and the two Spilman variants are unidirectional: there is a payer and a payee, and if the payee wants to do a refund, or wants to pay for a different service or product the payer is providing, then they can't use the same unidirectional channel.
The Poon-Dryjam mechanism allows channels, however, to be bidirectional instead: you are not a payer or a payee on the channel, you can receive or send at any time as long as both you and the channel counterparty are online.
Further, unlike either of the Spilman variants, there is no time limit for the lifetime of a channel. Instead, you can keep the channel open for as long as you want.
Both properties, together, form a very powerful scaling property that I believe most people have not appreciated. With unidirectional channels, as mentioned before, if you both earn and spend over the same network of payment channels, you would have separate channels for earning and spending. You would then need to perform onchain operations to "reverse" the directions of your channels periodically. Secondly, since Spilman channels have a fixed lifetime, even if you never used either channel, you would have to periodically "refresh" it by closing it and reopening.
With bidirectional, indefinite-lifetime channels, you may instead open some channels when you first begin managing your own money, then close them only after your lawyers have executed your last will and testament on how the money in your channels get divided up to your heirs: that's just two onchain transactions in your entire lifetime. That is the potentially very powerful scaling property that bidirectional, indefinite-lifetime channels allow.
I won't discuss the transaction structure needed for Poon-Dryja bidirectional channels --- it's complicated and you can easily get explanations with cute graphics elsewhere.
There is a weakness of Poon-Dryja that people tend to gloss over (because it was fixed very well by RustyReddit):
Another thing I want to emphasize is that while the Lightning Network paper and many of the earlier presentations developed from the old Peter Todd hub-and-spoke model, the modern Lightning Network takes the logical conclusion of removing a strict separation between "hubs" and "spokes". Any node on the Lightning Network can very well work as a hub for any other node. Thus, while you might operate as "mostly a payer", "mostly a forwarding node", "mostly a payee", you still end up being at least partially a forwarding node ("hub") on the network, at least part of the time. This greatly reduces the problems of privacy inherent in having only a few hub nodes: forwarding nodes cannot get significantly useful data from the payments passing through them, because the distance between the payer and the payee can be so large that it would be likely that the ultimate payer and the ultimate payee could be anyone on the Lightning Network.
Lessons learned?

Future

After LN, there's also the Decker-Wattenhofer Duplex Micropayment Channels (DMC). This post is long enough as-is, LOL. But for now, it uses a novel "decrementing nSequence channel", using the new relative-timelock semantics of nSequence (not the broken one originally by Satoshi). It actually uses multiple such "decrementing nSequence" constructs, terminating in a pair of Spilman channels, one in both directions (thus "duplex"). Maybe I'll discuss it some other time.
The realization that channel constructions could actually hold more channel constructions inside them (the way the Decker-Wattenhofer puts a pair of Spilman channels inside a series of "decrementing nSequence channels") lead to the further thought behind Burchert-Decker-Wattenhofer channel factories. Basically, you could host multiple two-participant channel constructs inside a larger multiparticipant "channel" construct (i.e. host multiple channels inside a factory).
Further, we have the Decker-Russell-Osuntokun or "eltoo" construction. I'd argue that this is "nSequence done right". I'll write more about this later, because this post is long enough.
Lessons learned?
submitted by almkglor to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

The Decade in Blockchain — 2010 to 2020 in Review

2010

February — The first ever cryptocurrency exchange, Bitcoin Market, is established. The first trade takes place a month later.
April — The first public bitcoin trade takes place: 1000BTC traded for $30 at an exchange rate of 0.03USD/1BTC
May — The first real-world bitcoin transaction is undertaken by Laszlo Hanyecz, who paid 10000BTC for two Papa John’s pizzas (Approximately $25 USD)
June — Bitcoin developer Gavin Andreson creates a faucet offering 5 free BTC to the public
July — First notable usage of the word “blockchain” appears on BitcoinTalk forum. Prior to this, it was referred to as ‘Proof-of-Work chain’
July — Bitcoin exchange named Magic The Gathering Online eXchange—also known as Mt. Gox—established
August —Bitcoin protocol bug leads to emergency hard fork
December — Satoshi Nakamoto ceases communication with the world

2011

January — One-quarter of the eventual total of 21M bitcoins have been generated
February — Bitcoin reaches parity for the first time with USD
April — Bitcoin reaches parity with EUR and GBP
June — WikiLeaks begins accepting Bitcoin donations
June — Mt. Gox hacked, resulting in suspension of trading and a precipitous price drop for Bitcoin
August — First Bitcoin Improvement Proposal: BIP Purpose and Guidelines
October — Litecoin released
December — Bitcoin featured as a major plot element in an episode of ‘The Good Wife’ as 9.45 million viewers watch.

2012

May — Bitcoin Magazine, founded by Mihai Alisie and Vitalik Buterin, publishes first issue
July — Government of Estonia begins incorporating blockchain into digital ID efforts
September — Bitcoin Foundation created
October — BitPay reports having over 1,000 merchants accepting bitcoin under its payment processing service
November — First Bitcoin halving to 25 BTC per block

2013

February — Reddit begins accepting bitcoins for Gold memberships
March — Cyprus government bailout levies bank accounts with over $100k. Flight to Bitcoin results in major price spike.
May —Total Bitcoin value surpasses 1 billion USD with 11M Bitcoin in circulation
May — The first cryptocurrency market rally and crash takes place. Prices rise from $13 to $220, and then drop to $70
June — First major cryptocurrency theft. 25,000 BTC is stolen from Bitcoin forum founder
July — Mastercoin becomes the first project to conduct an ICO
August — U.S. Federal Court issues opinion that Bitcoin is a currency or form of money
October — The FBI shuts down dark web marketplace Silk Road, confiscating approximately 26,000 bitcoins
November — Vitalik Buterin releases the Ethereum White Paper: “A Next-Generation Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platform
December — The first commit to the Ethereum codebase takes place

2014

January — Vitalik Buterin announces Ethereum at the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami
February — HMRC in the UK classifies Bitcoin as private money
March — Newsweek claims Dorian Nakamoto is Bitcoin creator. He is not
April — Gavin Wood releases the Ethereum Yellow Paper: “Ethereum: A Secure Decentralised Generalised Transaction Ledger
June — Ethereum Foundation established in Zug, Switzerland
June — US Marshals Service auctions off 30,000 Bitcoin confiscated from Silk Road. All are purchased by venture capitalist Tim Draper
July — Ethereum token launch raises 31,591 BTC ($18,439,086) over 42 days
September — TeraExchange launches first U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission approved Bitcoin over-the-counter swap
October — ConsenSys is founded by Joe Lubin
December — By year’s end, Paypal, Zynga, u/, Expedia, Newegg, Dell, Dish Network, and Microsoft are all accepting Bitcoin for payments

2015

January — Coinbase opens up the first U.S-based cryptocurrency exchange
February — Stripe initiates bitcoin payment integration for merchants
April — NASDAQ initiates blockchain trial
June — NYDFS releases final version of its BitLicense virtual currency regulations
July — Ethereum’s first live mainnet release—Frontier—launched.
August — Augur, the first token launch on the Ethereum network takes place
September — R3 consortium formed with nine financial institutions, increases to over 40 members within six months
October — Gemini exchange launches, founded by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss
November — Announcement of first zero knowledge proof, ZK-Snarks
December — Linux Foundation establishes Hyperledger project

2016

January — Zcash announced
February — HyperLedger project announced by Linux Foundation with thirty founding members
March — Second Ethereum mainnet release, Homestead, is rolled out.
April — The DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) launches a 28-day crowdsale. After one month, it raises an Ether value of more than US$150M
May — Chinese Financial Blockchain Shenzhen Consortium launches with 31 members
June — The DAO is attacked with 3.6M of the 11.5M Ether in The DAO redirected to the attacker’s Ethereum account
July — The DAO attack results in a hard fork of the Ethereum Blockchain to recover funds. A minority group rejecting the hard fork continues to use the original blockchain renamed Ethereum Classic
July — Second Bitcoin halving to 12.5BTC per block mined
November — CME Launches Bitcoin Price Index

2017

January — Bitcoin price breaks US$1,000 for the first time in three years
February — Enterprise Ethereum Alliance formed with 30 founding members, over 150 members six months later
March — Multiple applications for Bitcoin ETFs rejected by the SEC
April — Bitcoin is officially recognized as currency by Japan
June — EOS begins its year-long ICO, eventually raising $4 billion
July — Parity hack exposes weaknesses in multisig wallets
August — Bitcoin Cash forks from the Bitcoin Network
October — Ethereum releases Byzantium soft fork network upgrade, part one of Metropolis
September — China bans ICOs
October — Bitcoin price surpasses $5,000 USD for the first time
November — Bitcoin price surpasses $10,000 USD for the first time
December — Ethereum Dapp Cryptokitties goes viral, pushing the Ethereum network to its limits

2018


January — Ethereum price peaks near $1400 USD
March — Google bans all ads pertaining to cryptocurrency
March — Twitter bans all ads pertaining to cryptocurrency
April — 2018 outpaces 2017 with $6.3 billion raised in token launches in the first four months of the year
April — EU government commits $300 million to developing blockchain projects
June — The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission states that Ether is not a security.
July — Over 100,000 ERC20 tokens created
August — New York Stock Exchange owner announces Bakkt, a federally regulated digital asset exchange
October — Bitcoin’s 10th birthday
November — VC investment in blockchain tech surpasses $1 billion
December — 90% of banks in the US and Europe report exploration of blockchain tech

2019

January — Coinstar machines begin selling cryptocurrency at grocery stores across the US
February — Ethereum’s Constantinople hard fork is released, part two of Metropolis
April — Bitcoin surpasses 400 million total transactions
June — Facebook announces Libra
July — United States senate holds hearings titled ‘Examining Regulatory Frameworks for Digital Currencies and Blockchain”
August — Ethereum developer dominance reaches 4x that of any other blockchain
October — Over 80 million distinct Ethereum addresses have been created
September — Santander bank settles both sides of a $20 million bond on Ethereum
November — Over 3000 Dapps created. Of them, 2700 are built on Ethereum
submitted by blockstasy to CryptoTechnology [link] [comments]

I Got Scammed by the Cryptocurrency Exchange EZBTC.CA

I wanted to make this post of my experience as a warning to others, especially Canadians as they have limited buying options when investing (speculating) into cryptocurrencies. I understand the subject of cryptocurrencies are polarizing to many, but nonetheless, it's an emerging asset class that deserves discussion because there are many ways to lose your funds. This isn't the fault of cryptocurrencies themselves, but the result of user error, outright scams, social engineering, hacks, or in my case not being up-to-date on current events.

There are many scams in cryptocurrencies, but shady exchanges are a classic dating back to the legendary Mt. Gox hack where 850,000 Bitcoins were stolen (worth approximately $4.6 billion at the time of this writing). Or the most recent Canadian QuadrigaCX exchange hack where the CEO allegedly died in India carrying the only private key to 200 million worth of customer funds.

It seems that exchange hacks keep propping up in the news, so why then do they keep happening even in 2019? Because users are left with limited choices if they want to acquire cryptocurrency in the safest (ironic) and most convenient manner. In order to buy cryptocurrency, you first have to exchange it for fiat currency (USD, CAD, EUR). You could buy cryptocurrency from one of those Bitcoin ATMs you see at the mall but the fees are exorbitant and quite a few require ID as it is, so why not just sign up for an exchange instead? The next option is to buy them peer-to-peer in person for cash, but people feel unsafe dealing with strangers and large amounts of money. Further, liquidity would be an issue. This led to a boom of many cryptocurrency exchanges offering customers a place to buy and sell with the exchanges acting as the middle-man between users.

I've been away from cryptocurrency for a while and only came back recently. I've used the EZBTC exchange in the past without issues and decided I would use them again. What I didn't do upon my return was my homework on any updates/news regarding this exchange which resulted in my ordeal now. I noticed the website had an overhaul that now includes an express option for you to receive faster withdrawals if you deposited larger amounts (first red flag). I opted for the regular option I always used in the past and sent a small amount via eTransfer that was deposited in my account almost immediately (second red flag). In the past, my eTransfers regardless of amount took some time and up to many hours. Nonetheless, I made a purchase and initiated a withdrawal request that still hasn't been sent out to this day, and I am not the only one.

A condensed version of my story is that I got worried about my pending withdrawal with EZBTC and my emails/calls went unanswered. The live chat on their website was also disabled. I decided to tweet my situation to @ezBtcCanada and immediately got an email from the owner David Smillie himself urgently telling me to call him on a personal number. He deverified and suspended my account as a result of my tweets @tokenflair for "security reasons". After some talk (me saying I'll delete the tweets) he immediately reactivated and reverified my account again and said that my withdrawal will be taken care of the next day.

Fast forward to the next day and my withdrawal is still pending. Calls/texts/email go unanswered again. Live chat is still disabled. I proceed to send another tweet instead. Like clockwork, I get a response from David shortly after and he was livid. He threatened to sue me for defamation if I continued posting about my situation on public forums. I told him I'll be waiting for his letter. He stated that my account would be receiving a lifetime ban and I will not be receiving my withdrawal but I would get an eTransfer refund in 30 days, and all this information would be included in an email I was supposed to receive on Monday April 22, 2019. I still have not received any such email, and my emails/call/texts to him are again being ignored. The saga continues.

The most important piece of advice I can give when it comes to cryptocurrency is that what's true today, is not true tomorrow. You must stay up-to-date on current events in cryptocurrency because your investment could be at stake. In my case, EZBTC was exhibiting red flags and had many user complaints that I would have seen had I just done some research prior to sending my money. I was not up-to-date regarding the status of this "exchange".

David Smillie (owner of ezbtc.ca) operating under business # 1081627 B.C LTD. currently has 5 ongoing lawsuits against his company for unpaid funds:

  1. File number: 1812420 - GOLDLUST, Joseph v 1081627 B.C. LTD. - Supreme Civil (General)
  2. File number: 1963965 - ROBERTS, John v 1081627 B.C. LTD. - Provincial Small Claims
  3. File number: 172818 - GODWIN, Richard v 1081627 BC LTD - Supreme Civil (General)
  4. File number: 18104 - MCCALLUM, Evan v 1081627 BC LTD - Provincial Small Claims
  5. File number: 1862507 - WONG, Gary v 1081627 BC LTD. - Provincial Small Claims

You can get the latest information on all pending lawsuits against EZBTC here:
https://justice.gov.bc.ca/cso/esearch/civil/partySearch.do

List of numerous complaints against David Smillie and EZBTC:

https://files.fm/f/23ej52ff (David Smillie sued by Richard Godwin)

https://np.reddit.com/BitcoinCA/comments/bahzsm/another_bc_lawsuit_filed_against_ezbtc_1081627_bc/ (David Smillie sued by John Roberts)

https://np.reddit.com/BitcoinCA/comments/99fs6i/2_new_court_filings_against_ezbtc_in_the_past_week/ (More lawsuits)

https://np.reddit.com/BitcoinCA/comments/8mjtjb/amaa_exowner_of_ezbtc_resigned_when_i_realized_it/ (Ex-CTO of EZBTC blows whistle)

https://np.reddit.com/BitcoinCA/comments/b53zq3/please_sticky_this_post_im_a_developer_who_worked/ (EZBTC developer blows whistle)

https://np.reddit.com/BitcoinCA/comments/939ce2/40_days_and_counting_fiat_withdrawal_ezbtcca/

https://np.reddit.com/BitcoinCA/comments/926adi/ezbtcca_may_have_gone_bust_toronto_offices_have/

https://np.reddit.com/BitcoinCA/comments/973yrz/ezbtcca_is_likely_insolvent/

https://np.reddit.com/BitcoinCA/comments/98njea/worth_visiting_ezbtc_offices/

https://np.reddit.com/BitcoinCA/comments/901847/concern_regarding_ezbtc/

https://np.reddit.com/BitcoinCA/comments/9181nx/banned_from_ezbtcca_chatroomhave_not_rcvd/

https://np.reddit.com/BitcoinCA/comments/arnboh/ezbtc_will_my_girlfriend_ever_see_her_money/

https://coiniq.com/ezbtc-review/

https://np.reddit.com/BitcoinCA/comments/ao680q/what_are_customers_latest_experiences_with_ezbtc/

https://warosu.org/biz/thread/10773849

https://np.reddit.com/BitcoinCA/comments/bfqrv1/fortune_jack_here_regarding_david_smillie_and/

https://np.reddit.com/BitcoinCA/comments/b57fq9/ezbtc_terms_of_service_wayback_machine/

https://np.reddit.com/BitcoinCA/comments/arfa5x/ezbtc_is_so_fake_check_this_out/

https://np.reddit.com/BitcoinCA/comments/95rpl5/to_those_staying_silent_for_ezbtc_defamation/
submitted by TokenFlair to PersonalFinanceCanada [link] [comments]

Happy Halloween! Audit Statuses of Canadian Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Halloween is a wonderful time of year!
Businesses and consumers alike dress up, children go door to door naively asking strangers for candy, and everyone parties celebrating things like death and evil.
In the spirit of Halloween storytelling, let me tell you a scary story.
There once was a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange. It had one of the simplest user interfaces, the CEO was well known in person and trusted throughout the country for over half a decade, and it had several deposit and withdrawal methods. It was the first to register as a money services business and for much of its history, it was one of the most legally compliant exchanges. It even looked to be headed for public listing on the TSX. The exchange operated for 6 years, assuring users that all funds “are stored in cold storage, using some of the most secure cryptographic procedures possible.” Unfortunately, while we celebrate Halloween by dressing up and wearing masks once a year, the wonderful people who brought us this exchange played “dress up” for over half a decade and time will only tell if there are any more “masks” to come off in this story.
There’s no better or more fitting time to explore one of the darkest realities of the Canadian cryptocurrency space - exactly what is backing any of the cryptocurrency on Canadian exchanges. It’s easy to lose sight that there are real people behind these funds. Most people spend most waking hours working for their money. It literally is their lives. Impacts to victims are not just financial, but psychological and social as well. Victims of exchange fraud go through depression, anxiety, and trauma. They lose their trust and faith in humanity. They withdraw from friends and family in shame and humility.
In the spirit of exploring dark and evil things, let’s examine exactly what evidence there is that any of your crypto is backed on any Canadian exchange. This is a continuation of research I’ve been working on since May/June. I hope it will be enlightening and help you better protect your funds that you worked hard for.

I’ve done a detailed analysis of all Canadian exchanges I could find that handle any sort of custody of funds, and grouped them into 3 categories:

Non-Audited Exchanges (“trust us, we haven't spent your money, we promise")

Bitvo - The service “utilizes a proprietary cold storage solution”. Proprietary, as in, definitely better than established non-proprietary solutions. If you can’t withdraw, they “will credit your account for [their] withdrawal fee”. They’re not an MSB that I could find, nor are they audited.
Coinfield - MSB. No audit. Luckily it’s the "most secure trading platform in Canada" - though apparently not the other 150+ countries, including Estonia where they’re based. No matter which country you pick, the “Security” page still says "most secure trading platform in Canada".
Coinsmart - MSB. Not sure what "[i]ndustry leading cold storage" is, but luckily they’re so "accountable to [their] clients, community and to each other" and "committed to being open and honest" that they don’t need any audit.
Coinut - MSB. Also "the most secure cryptocurrency exchange platform". In addition to not using multi-sig and "not us[ing] USB drives, as the online computer may be infected with virus", they also don’t use audits.
Einstein - You can get “your money deposited and withdrawn faster than any other exchange”. As one customer said "With so many hacks and exit scams, it gives me confidence knowing Einstein is backed by hard-working people just like me." Just check the user experience on their subreddit from their "220,000+ satisfied customers".
EZ-BTC - As they said, “All your coins are kept in cold storage. They’re safe.” They have “strong security”. The supposed presence of physical ATMs was one of the strategies to build customer confidence and they promised 9% annual return on stored funds.
NDAX - MSB. Luckily also “Canada’s most secure trading platform” with "fast withdrawals". I couldn’t find any audit but at least there’s a full page risk disclosure and disclaimer. You can sleep peacefully knowing that they’re legally protected.
Netcoins - MSB. The best assurance I could find of solvency is that they “can process large transactions”. Although they don’t waste time with audits or links at the bottom of their website, apparently “[a]ll transactions happen quickly and securely” “within the same day”.
Newton - MSB. “No-fees”! Your funds are stored in the "professional custody" of Balance, which doesn’t appear to be a registered MSB. I couldn't find any audit of the funds but they "audit [their] policies and controls". They "publish the reports", but I couldn't find any reports. Simply storing funds somewhere else doesn’t give any assurance they cover customer balances.
QuadrigaCX - Operated since 2013, with “vast cryptocurrency reserves” right up to the end. "Bitcoins that are funded in QuadrigaCX are stored in cold storage, using some of the most secure cryptographic procedures possible." Their "cryptographic" procedures are so secure that nobody can access any funds, even now!
Shakepay - MSB. Many will trust the raccoon mascot promising “commission-free” trading. No audit found but the “majority of all digital assets on Shakepay are stored securely offline”. Whatever this means, it’s good to know that up to half might not be.

Audited Exchanges ("so and so swears we didn't spend your money, you can trust them, we showed them once before")

Bitbuy - MSB
Coinberry - MSB
Coinsquare - MSB
Kraken - Not a registered MSB in Canada (that I could find)

Proof of Reserves ("here's your money, right here right now on the blockchain, and here's a proof that we included your balance in that total")

Rather than depend on outdated audits (or lack thereof), it’s actually possible to use the blockchain and cryptography to enable a public real-time audit. This can give assurance to every customer that their balances are fully backed. Giving everyone the ability to check the integrity of balances will keep us all safer. It immediately exposes any fraud, and in most major hacking cases there was advanced hacking that went unnoticed ranging from months (Bitgrail), or years (Mt. Gox). Having an aware public reduces the number of people trading on fraudulent exchanges, and can pressure the exchange to shut down trading or resolve the hack faster, so less funds are permanently lost.
To help explain exactly what this is and how it works, I’ve started a detailed tutorial. I did not come up with this algorithm - it was created in 2014 by a guy named Gregory Maxwell. Sometimes cryptography can be hard to understand. Hopefully this tutorial is simple:

< < Take Our Proof of Reserves Tutorial > >


Given what can often be at stake, I had hoped that maybe one of the “audited” exchanges might embrace Proof of Reserves. Sadly I haven’t had any such luck.
Bitbuy:
Coinberry:
Kraken:
As such, the bottom line is that present exchanges don’t want to share public keys and offer the kind of transparency which is necessary to enable customers to know their funds are backed. Attempting to get answers doesn’t reveal them, and I’m left with an unnerving silence not unlike the end of Halloween night, like I’m asking questions nobody should ask.

Having spent the last 8 months of my life watching and being part of a large group of people suffer through a grueling bankruptcy, where we’ll be “lucky” to only lose 90% of our funds, I want this fixed. I don’t want to live in a reality where fraud can happen just buying/selling on the largest and most trusted exchanges. Especially now that I’ve learned blockchain provides the capability for even greater transparency and a level of public audit far beyond even what's possible with fiat.
If you feel the same way, I invite you to join Quadriga Initiative, where we are fighting for a Proof of Reserves future and also enabling businesses to help Quadriga victims with an innovative token recovery project. Every sign-up helps us reach our goal and launch the project!

If any information in this post is incorrect, please let me know so I can fix it! Thanks! I’m happy to update the audit status of any exchange given reasonable evidence, or provide a review of any other custodial exchange I might have missed.
submitted by azoundria2 to QuadrigaInitiative [link] [comments]

Brief History Of Bitcoin

Brief History Of Bitcoin
Bitcoins have been classed as the world's originally decentralized cash, and for as far back as ten years, they have become all the more notable and keep on developing in notoriety.

The following is a concise history of how the Bitcoin began and what has occurred since.

2007 - It was in 2007 that the idea of the Bitcoin started. It is accepted that it was begun by Satoshi Nakamoto, in spite of the fact that very little is thought about him, other than the reality he is on record as living in Japan. Truth be told, many conjecture this may very well be a pen name more than one individual. Albeit soon, this character totally evaporated from the world.

August 2008 An application for an encryption patent application was recorded by three people who denied having any association with the supposed originator of the Bitcoin idea. They were Neal Kin, Vladimir Oksman and Charles Bry.

Around the same time, they namelessly purchased and enlisted the space bitcoin.org.

October 2008 In October of 2008, only two months after the space was enlisted, a paper titled, 'Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System', was distributed on a cryptography mailing list, apparently composed by Satoshi Nakamoto.

The paper laid out the establishment of how the Bitcoin would really work, and takes care of the issue of cash being duplicated, which permitted Bitcoin to develop genuinely.

November 2008 A month after the white paper was distributed, the Bitcoin venture is enlisted on a network joint effort site, SourceForge, which centers around the improvement and circulation of open source programming.

January 2009 In mid 2009, the principal square, which was nicknamed 'Beginning' is propelled, which permitted the primary adaptation of Bitcoin to be discharged.

There was further hypothesis that Bitcoins were created by more than one individual, as it had been accumulated with Microsoft Visual Studio for Windows, yet needed order line interface. It was anticipated as of now that a Bitcoin age framework would make a sum of 21 million Bitcoins during that time 2040.

Later on, right now, first exchange occurred among Satoshi and Hal Finney, a designer and cryptographic lobbyist.

October 2009 In October, New Liberty Standard distributes a Bitcoin swapping scale. The worth was built up and they distributed a pace of a Bitcoin at 1USD = 1,309.03 BTC. This was chosen utilizing a condition that incorporated the expense of the power to run the PC that produced Bitcoins.

Later on this month, the #bitcoin-dev channel is enrolled on freenode IRC, which was a conversation arrange intended for nothing and open source advancement networks.

December 2009 In late 2009, the second form of the Bitcoin was created and discharged; anyway later on in the month, they acquired their first trouble increment.

February 2010 In mid 2010, the Bitcoin money trade was conceived, and the Market was built up by the now ancient organization dollar. Later on in the month, and 18 months after the application was documented, the encryption patent was distributed and endorsed.

May 2010 This month would end up being an achievement for Bitcoins, because of the way that the primary genuine exchange occurred. A software engineer named Laszlo Hanyecz, who lived in Florida pays 10,000 Bitcoins on a pizza, that was initially purchased from Papa Johns by a volunteer in England. The conversion scale at the time put the price tag for the pizza at 25USD.

https://preview.redd.it/93tj7l1248g41.jpg?width=750&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=ddd04f2fc86eaf33bc9894dd98f30781511c4f42
Given the present swapping scale, today the pizza is esteemed at 1,961,034GBP.

July 2010 The third form of Bitcoin is created and discharged. Later on that month, there were an enormous number of new Bitcoin clients, on account of a notice of the new form on Slashdot.

During a multi day time of this current month, the trade estimation of Bitcoin expanded multiple times, from 0.0008USD/BTC to 0.080USD/BTC which the prompted Jed McCaleb building up a Bitcoin money trade showcase named MtGox.

August 2010 August 2010 end up being a sad month for the Bitcoin, and the framework was hacked. A defenselessness in the framework caused Bitcoins to be inappropriately checked, and accordingly abused, which brought about the age of 184 million Bitcoins. The made the worth drop radically.

September 2010 This was a bustling month for Bitcoins, as they attempted to recoup from the hacking the earlier month. An offer was made by jgarzik as 10,000BTC, which was proportionate to 650USD at that point, to open source their Windows-based CUDA customer. Later on that month, they took this offer and discharged the source, under the MIT permit.

October 2010 Bitcoins confronted a ton of investigation this month, when a between administrative gathering named The Financial Action Task Force gave a report on tax evasion, notice about the utilization of computerized monetary standards to fund fear based oppressor gatherings.

In spite of this report, the Bitcoin swapping scale, which had slowed down, started to climb once more. This came after the principal open adaptation of an OpenCL digger is discharged.
submitted by Bitcoin12investment to u/Bitcoin12investment [link] [comments]

Plan To Recover Our Losses


Background on the Initiative

My name is Matt. I’ve lived in Calgary my whole life, and been running businesses and programming since I was 10 years old. I’m a recent graduate of the University of Calgary in a business and computer science double major, and I currently manage the software team (6 students) at a small Calgary IoT startup. My past business experiences include running a window cleaning franchise across 6 communities, a popular concession stand, and a free web hosting service with over 10,000 clients.
I first got involved with cryptocurrency in 2017, when we had the big run up. Prior to that, I’d done a ton of research but never actually invested. While my losses in Quadriga are significant, they’re nowhere near some of the losses I’ve been hearing about. I’m fortunate to be in a “walk away” position if I so choose and I more or less did for the first week. But I couldn’t stay away. It isn’t right. Especially not now when the solution is so close and the potential impact is so significant.
Quadriga Initiative is the result of 6-7 months of on and off brainstorming, collaboration, and iteration around the central goal of recovering what's been lost.
The money is almost certainly not accessible. (I'm pretty sure it would have been found already.) We'll all get something from the bankruptcy, and I appreciate the legal team and official committee working hard on our behalf, but I fear it won't even come close to making up for what was lost. For many people - their whole life savings. It's not a very satisfying recovery. It doesn't leave anyone whole. It leaves a lot of people behind.
Without funds to pull from, any full recovery solution has to center around creating new value. Entrepreneurs and business leaders are creating value every day, and this is where the idea comes from.
We take advantage of the fact we have a large affected user community, tons of economic bargaining power, and a vast network. Many in the business community were affected, know someone who was affected, or feel horrible about what happened. My discussions with business leaders have shown that they generally desire to make this right, and businesses regularly do "goodwill" donations or gestures for marketing. The Quadriga Initiative provides a way businesses can help easily and in a "win win" way by running token-accepting promotions. We then provide a competitive framework that helps to promote businesses which make the biggest impact, highly incentivizing a faster recovery.
At this stage, everything is more or less ready. We have a primary exchange partner, a growing team of affected users, and multiple business connections. What remains is the incredibly tough challenge of creating trust and understanding among a community that's been completely devastated in the worst way. This is no easy task.
We need your help! If things don't make sense, or you still have questions, or you don't understand something, please take the time to ask and reach out! In addition to commenting here, please feel free to chat with us on Telegram: https://t.me/QuadrigaInitiative



Where Does the Money Come From?

The money (value) comes out of the profit margin of businesses. Businesses normally sell a product or service at a profit over the cost of production. Instead, a business would sell the product or service at a discount (less profit), accepting tokens in place of the difference.
While this may seem generous, like the business is giving something away, it also benefits the business as well:
Once a successful marketplace is established, affected users will have a multitude of businesses where they can spend tokens and get good deals. As well, other consumers can buy the tokens at a discount (supporting affected users), then use them to save money.
The leaderboard and large affected user community give a strong advantage to businesses to participate and offer the best deals. Businesses that have recovered the most are rewarded with more people seeing their promotion (free advertising).



The Various Uses For Tokens

Our Partner Exchange: Tokens will be tradable and accepted at face value towards the trading fees on the partner exchange. A trader who wants to save money on trades can stock up on the tokens to gain a discount over other customers who don't bother. The tokens can be used towards 50%-100% of the trading fees depending on the calendar date. This means a heavy discount for affected users and is essentially a price segment for the exchange.
In addition, the primary exchange partner we have is looking into giving back a small portion (15%) of gross trading revenue towards cashing tokens. This is done to incentivize the affected user community to spread the word about the exchange.
Participating Businesses: Businesses in the community accept the tokens towards purchases to promote to Quadriga victims, supporters, and deal seekers. It functions similar to a discount, where the tokens are applied as a portion of the sale price, with a few additional advantages for the business:
Businesses sell promotions for tokens, and send the tokens to a burn address that encodes the business website URL. To further encourage business participation, a leaderboard is set up to promote those businesses which have burned the most tokens. The leaderboard is a useful place to go shopping if you have tokens. You can find businesses who take them and get the best deals. All information is on the blockchain, enabling anyone to set up a leaderboard or start accepting tokens.



Token Flow Diagram

The linked diagram is a handy visualization of the initiative and how the various parties interact:
https://www.quadrigainitiative.com/Quadriga%20Initiative%20Diagram.pdf
The complete initiative is a full marketplace, enabling the beneficial (win win) interaction of all parties and the gradual recovery of losses over time. The token supply is finite, limited by the amount of losses we can verify, and all tokens eventually get cashed for $1 worth of products/services (or primary exchange gross trading revenue) as the program runs.


Our Primary Exchange Partner

Since the primary exchange is handling validation and distributing the tokens, it's important they be trustworthy. Given the history with Quadriga, most affected users (including every member of our team) are legitimately concerned about anyone losing their funds again. This is the primary reason we've selected to work with TxQuick.


Proof of Reserves and Why It Matters

In case you missed them, so far this year we've seen 3 large scale exchange collapses:
Each one represents massive losses for those involved - hundreds and thousands of affected lives. These are real people and families at the other ends, with hopes and dreams, who worked hard for their money.
In the case of QuadrigaCX, it took the freezing of the bank accounts, the death/disappearance of the CEO, and concerted legal action to even realize it was insolvent.
Exchanges can easily continue to operate for years with whatever level of reserves they like. Third party audits are riddled with holes like:
On top of that - most exchange platforms still don't even bother to audit. Despite the warnings about storing funds on exchanges, people still do. And remember that many affected users weren't storing funds on Quadriga - they simply got stuck with no way to withdraw.
Proof of Reserves asks exchanges to:
What it doesn't prevent:
What it does prevent:
Check this link for more details on Proof of Reserves, including the full hash tree algorithm.
Despite the relative simplicity of publishing wallet keys, the vast selection of exchanges we have in Canada, and the many millions of dollars stored, not a single exchange has done so. The hash tree algorithm has existed since 2014. It's presently on one exchange (last audited in 2014).
We feel that Proof of Reserves is key to preventing future exchange collapses, which is why we are so pleased to have a primary exchange partner which will be implementing the full algorithm. While we can't control other exchanges, traders now have an option to use an exchange which proves full backing of all deposits and we hope this will encourage wider adoption and greater industry transparency.


Timeline for the Initiative

The initiative process breaks down into roughly 3 stages:
Pre-Claim Stage - We are working to save affected user balances for later validation, as well as determine if there is sufficient interest in the project. This is ongoing.
Exchange Stage - We bring the primary exchange online, and process claims. Recovery starts through exchange trading fee discounts and eventually gross trading revenue. The exchange platform is expected to launch within a few months.
Marketplace Stage - Once we have enough individuals with tokens, we bring in the first businesses from the wider community. After we have several initial businesses, the marketplace grows organically as more businesses sign up over time. This is approximately a year after launching the exchange.
Full recovery (all losses) is likely to take multiple years, anywhere from 2 to 25 years. There are a lot of factors to consider.


Verification of Claims

Accurately capturing losses is key. Businesses are interested in helping honest victims of a crime who had their money stolen from them, and not too interested in supporting any fraud. We've been working hard to make our process as easy as possible for affected users, while being as hard as possible for false claims (claiming wrong amounts, losses of others, or fake claims).


How To Sign Up

If you wish to participate, please sign up at https://www.quadrigainitiative.com/.
You can do a pre-claim to save your balance, or an email only sign up just to show interest and get the launch email.



How You Can Help

We are stronger together!


Thanks so much!
submitted by azoundria2 to QuadrigaCX [link] [comments]

The end of BTCs starting point - a rundown of MT Gox

Today's stop, and possible collapse, of the Mt. Gox exchange might or might not show to be the start of completion for Bitcoin - however to obtain Winston Churchill's expression, it is definitely completion of the start.
Mt. Gox had actually currently lost its location as the leading Bitcoin exchange prior to the dirty chain of occasions that led the Tokyo-based website to close down. An obviously dripped internal file shows that the website might have been the victim of a significant theft, in which maybe more than $300 million worth of Bitcoin "vanished" from the exchange's accounts. I put "vanished" in quotes since, naturally, Bitcoin has no physical symptom.
Bitcoin exists just as the item of a computer system algorithm whose origins are unidentified and whose supreme function is uncertain. It has actually drawn in a diverse collection of users, consisting of people who wish to keep doubtful transactions personal, individuals who might wish to keep part of their wealth concealed from authorities who have access to standard monetary accounts, and end-of-the-worlders who believe civilized society is on the highway to hell which for some factor they will be much better off owning bitcoins when all of us show up there.
Bitcoin lovers like to call it a digital currency, or cryptocurrency since of its encrypted nature. However it is clear now, amidst the wild variations in Bitcoin's cost, that it is not a real currency at all. It is truly a product whose rate varies according to its quality and according to provide and require.
Since today, there are 2 grades of Bitcoin. Among the Mt. Gox range, which no one can access while the website is down and which might no longer really exist at all, deserved just about one-sixth of every other bitcoin the other day.
Some individuals are constantly ready to provide worth, albeit not quite worth, to gamble on a perhaps useless property. This is why shares of business that are clearly ready to fold can trade for a cost higher than absolutely no. However a minimum of we understand the shares exist, whether in concrete or intangible type, and there are federal government authorities offered to guarantee their credibility, if not their worth. Bitcoin, sponsored by no federal government and disallowed by some, has no such support. Ask any Mt. Gox user today whether that is a plus, as bitcoin holders have actually heretofore preserved. (Authorities from Tokyo to New york city are currently penetrating the Mt. Gox collapse, and some sort of follow-up action promises.).
Real cash serves 2 functions: as a shop of worth and as a circulating medium. Bitcoin so far gets just reasonable marks as a cash, because there are just a minimal variety of locations where you can easily invest it. You can switch your (non-Mt. Gox) bitcoins genuine cash, however you can do the very same with any other product, like diamonds or Hondas. Diamonds and Hondas deserve cash, however they aren't cash.
Bitcoins entirely fail the shop of worth test since their wild cost changes do not shop worth; depending upon blind luck, they either develop or ruin it. Gathering bitcoins is hypothesizing, not conserving. There is a huge distinction.
Bitcoin does deal with specific real-world problems, such as the in some cases outrageous expense of exchanging currencies and the troublesome nature of the modern-day banking system, which is loaded with policy to attempt to avoid whatever from insolvency to cash laundering to identity theft. However the guidelines exist due to the fact that insolvency, cash laundering and identity theft exist, too. As Mt. Gox clearly highlights, a system without such safeguards is susceptible to produce issues a lot more major than the ones it professes to fix.
The Mt. Gox ordeal may or may temporarily reverse bitcoin advertising networks revenue streams. We will not understand prior to we understand what took place in those computer systems in Tokyo. The crisis should, nevertheless, strip whatever is left from the veneer of security that Bitcoin's expected cryptosecurity was expected to offer. Bitcoin disappears protected than the structure that is constructed to hold it. Doing not have all the backstops that have actually progressed in time in the standard monetary system, that is not protect at all. Either we recreate those backstops in the Bitcoin world, in which case we need to question why we troubled with Bitcoin in the very first location, or we live precariously without them.
There will constantly be individuals who do not rely on banks and the federal government to protect their cost savings. They utilized to pack money into bed mattress.