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Putting $400M of Bitcoin on your company balance sheet
Also posted on my blog as usual. Read it there if you can, there are footnotes and inlined plots. A couple of months ago, MicroStrategy (MSTR) had a spare $400M of cash which it decided to shift to Bitcoin (BTC). Today we'll discuss in excrutiating detail why this is not a good idea. When a company has a pile of spare money it doesn't know what to do with, it'll normally do buybacks or start paying dividends. That gives the money back to the shareholders, and from an economic perspective the money can get better invested in other more promising companies. If you have a huge pile of of cash, you probably should be doing other things than leave it in a bank account to gather dust. However, this statement from MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor exists to make it clear he's buying into BTC for all the wrong reasons:
“This is not a speculation, nor is it a hedge. This was a deliberate corporate strategy to adopt a bitcoin standard.”
Let's unpack it and jump into the economics Bitcoin:
Is Bitcoin money?
No. Or rather BTC doesn't act as money and there's no serious future path for BTC to become a form of money. Let's go back to basics. There are 3 main economic problems money solves: 1. Medium of Exchange. Before money we had to barter, which led to the double coincidence of wants problem. When everyone accepts the same money you can buy something from someone even if they don't like the stuff you own. As a medium of exchange, BTC is not good. There are significant transaction fees and transaction waiting times built-in to BTC and these worsen the more popular BTC get. You can test BTC's usefulness as a medium of exchange for yourself right now: try to order a pizza or to buy a random item with BTC. How many additional hurdles do you have to go through? How many fewer options do you have than if you used a regular currency? How much overhead (time, fees) is there? 2. Unit of Account. A unit of account is what you compare the value of objects against. We denominate BTC in terms of how many USD they're worth, so BTC is a unit of account presently. We can say it's because of lack of adoption, but really it's also because the market value of BTC is so volatile. If I buy a $1000 table today or in 2017, it's roughly a $1000 table. We can't say that a 0.4BTC table was a 0.4BTC table in 2017. We'll expand on this in the next point: 3. Store of Value. When you create economic value, you don't want to be forced to use up the value you created right away. For instance, if I fix your washing machine and you pay me in avocados, I'd be annoyed. I'd have to consume my payment before it becomes brown, squishy and disgusting. Avocado fruit is not good money because avocadoes loses value very fast. On the other hand, well-run currencies like the USD, GBP, CAD, EUR, etc. all lose their value at a low and most importantly fairly predictible rate. Let's look at the chart of the USD against BTC While the dollar loses value at a predictible rate, BTC is all over the place, which is bad. One important use money is to write loan contracts. Loans are great. They let people spend now against their future potential earnings, so they can buy houses or start businesses without first saving up for a decade. Loans are good for the economy. If you want to sign something that says "I owe you this much for that much time" then you need to be able to roughly predict the value of the debt in at the point in time where it's due. Otherwise you'll have a hard time pricing the risk of the loan effectively. This means that you need to charge higher interests. The risk of making a loan in BTC needs to be priced into the interest of a BTC-denominated loan, which means much higher interest rates. High interests on loans are bad, because buying houses and starting businesses are good things.
BTC has a fixed supply, so these problems are built in
Some people think that going back to a standard where our money was denominated by a stock of gold (the Gold Standard) would solve economic problems. This is nonsense. Having control over supply of your currency is a good thing, as long as it's well run. See here Remember that what is desirable is low variance in the value, not the value itself. When there are wild fluctuations in value, it's hard for money to do its job well. Since the 1970s, the USD has been a fiat money with no intrinsic value. This means we control the supply of money. Let's look at a classic poorly drawn econ101 graph The market price for USD is where supply meets demand. The problem with a currency based on an item whose supply is fixed is that the price will necessarily fluctuate in response to changes in demand. Imagine, if you will, that a pandemic strikes and that the demand for currency takes a sharp drop. The US imports less, people don't buy anything anymore, etc. If you can't print money, you get deflation, which is worsens everything. On the other hand, if you can make the money printers go brrrr you can stabilize the price Having your currency be based on a fixed supply isn't just bad because in/deflation is hard to control. It's also a national security risk... The story of the guy who crashed gold prices in North Africa In the 1200s, Mansa Munsa, the emperor of the Mali, was rich and a devout Muslim and wanted everyone to know it. So he embarked on a pilgrimage to make it rain all the way to Mecca. He in fact made it rain so hard he increased the overall supply of gold and unintentionally crashed gold prices in Cairo by 20%, wreaking an economic havoc in North Africa that lasted a decade. This story is fun, the larger point that having your inflation be at the mercy of foreign nations is an undesirable attribute in any currency. The US likes to call some countries currency manipulators, but this problem would be serious under a gold standard.
Currencies are based on trust
Since the USD is based on nothing except the US government's word, how can we trust USD not to be mismanaged? The answer is that you can probably trust the fed until political stooges get put in place. Currently, the US's central bank managing the USD, the Federal Reserve (the Fed for friends & family), has administrative authority. The fed can say "no" to dumb requests from the president. People who have no idea what the fed does like to chant "audit the fed", but the fed is already one of the best audited US federal entities. The transcripts of all their meetings are out in the open. As is their balance sheet, what they plan to do and why. If the US should audit anything it's the Department of Defense which operates without any accounting at all. It's easy to see when a central bank will go rogue: it's when political yes-men are elected to the board. For example, before printing themselves into hyperinflation, the Venezuelan president appointed a sociologist who publicly stated “Inflation does not exist in real life” and instead is a made up capitalist lie. Note what happened mere months after his gaining control over the Venezuelan currency This is a key policy. One paper I really like, Sargent (1984) "The end of 4 big inflations" states:
The essential measures that ended hyperinflation in each of Germany,Austria, Hungary, and Poland were, first, the creation of an independentcentral bank that was legally committed to refuse the government'sdemand or additional unsecured credit and, second, a simultaneousalteration in the fiscal policy regime.
In english: *hyperinflation stops when the central bank can say "no" to the government." The US Fed, like other well good central banks, is run by a bunch of nerds. When it prints money, even as aggressively as it has it does so for good reasons. You can see why they started printing on March 15th as the COVID lockdowns started:
The Federal Reserve is prepared to use its full range of tools to support the flow of credit to households and businesses and thereby promote its maximum employment and price stability goals.
In english: We're going to keep printing and lowering rates until jobs are back and inflation is under control. If we print until the sun is blotted out, we'll print in the shade.
BTC is not gold
Gold is a good asset for doomsday-preppers. If society crashes, gold will still have value. How do we know that? Gold has held value throughout multiple historic catastrophes over thousands of years. It had value before and after the Bronze Age Collapse, the Fall of the Western Roman Empire and Gengis Khan being Gengis Khan. Even if you erased humanity and started over, the new humans would still find gold to be economically valuable. When Europeans d̶i̶s̶c̶o̶v̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ c̶o̶n̶q̶u̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ g̶e̶n̶o̶c̶i̶d̶e̶d̶ went to America, they found gold to be an important item over there too. This is about equivalent to finding humans on Alpha-Centauri and learning that they think gold is a good store of value as well. Some people are puzzled at this: we don't even use gold for much! But it has great properties: First, gold is hard to fake and impossible to manufacture. This makes it good to ascertain payment. Second, gold doesnt react to oxygen, so it doesn't rust or tarnish. So it keeps value over time unlike most other materials. Last, gold is pretty. This might sound frivolous, and you may not like it, but jewelry has actual value to humans. It's no coincidence if you look at a list of the wealthiest families, a large number of them trade in luxury goods. To paraphrase Veblen humans have a profound desire to signal social status, for the same reason peacocks have unwieldy tails. Gold is a great way to achieve that. On the other hand, BTC lacks all these attributes. Its value is largely based on common perception of value. There are a few fundamental drivers of demand:
Means of Exchange: if people seriously start using BTC to buy pizzas, then this creates a real demand for the currency to accomplish the short-term exchanges. As we saw previously, I'm not personally sold on this one and it's currently a negligible fraction of overall demand.
Criminal uses: Probably the largest inbuilt advantage of BTC is that it's anonymous, and so a great way to launder money. Hacker gangs use BTC to demand ransom on cryptolocker type attacks because it's a shared way for an honest company to pay and for the criminals to receive money without going to jail.
Apart from these, it's hard to argue that BTC will retain value throughout some sort of economic catastrophe.
BTC is really risky
One last statement from Michael Saylor I take offense to is this:
“We feel pretty confident that Bitcoin is less risky than holding cash, less risky than holding gold,” MicroStrategy CEO said in an interview
"BTC is less risky than holding cash or gold long term" is nonsense. We saw before that BTC is more volatile on face value, and that as long as the Fed isn't run by spider monkeys stacked in a trench coat, the inflation is likely to be within reasonable bounds. But on top of this, BTC has Abrupt downside risks that normal currencies don't. Let's imagine a few:
A critical software vulnerability is found in the BTC codebase, leading to a possible exploitation.
Xi Jinping decides he's had enough of rich people in China hiding their assets from him and bans BTC.
Some form of bank run takes hold for whatever reason. Because BTC wallets are uninsured, unlike regular banks, this compounds into a Black Tuesday style crash.
Blockchain solutions are fundamentally inefficient
Blockchain was a genius idea. I still marvel at the initial white paper which is a great mix of economics and computer science. That said, blockchain solutions make large tradeoffs in design because they assume almost no trust between parties. This leads to intentionally wasteful designs on a massive scale. The main problem is that all transactions have to be validated by expensive computational operations and double checked by multiple parties. This means waste:
BTC was estimated to use as much electricity as Belgium in 2019. It's hard to trace where the BTC mining comes from, but we can assume it has a huge carbon footprint.
A single transactions is necessarily expensive. A single transaction takes as much electricity as 800,000 VISA transactions, or watching 50,000 hours of youtube videos.
There is a large necessary tax on the transaction, since those checking the transaction extract a few BTC from it to be incentivized to do the work of checking it.
Many design problems can be mitigated by various improvements over BTC, but it remains that a simple database always works better than a blockchain if you can trust the parties to the transaction.
Is using crypto a cheaper alternative to a bank wire transfer?
I don't know anything about crypto and I'm in Canada so I guess this is the right place to ask many questions. I want to be very transparent and legal. A friend in US wants to send me some money. This is a donation/ gift. This is not something CRA collects taxes on. This is also a one time thing. The cost to send a wire transfer between his bank in US and my bank in Canada (BMO) is 40 US. My friend proposed researching to use crypto and see if the transfer fees were smaller. I'm trying to compare the trade-off of using crypto instead of the traditional wire transfer. I have the following questions :
If I made the transfer US->crypto->CAD very fast. (trying to minimize crypto voltility) How much do you estimate I would loose in US dollars to cover the transfer?
Where should I create an account? What platform? I'm not interested in trading crypto or holding it for long on a crypto wallet. I'm not concerned with giving out some personal information but I'm concerned with it being stored securely.
What crypto should I use to perform the transfer quickly and safely? Is Bitcoin the best?
What is the best way to transfer crypto to CAD? I have seen people here reporting problems with BMO blocking e-transfers from crypto companies since apparently there have been scams linked to e transfers before (I would like to understand how)
How can I explain/demonstrate to the bank this is a donation?
A bit out of topic for a possible business idea. Can a legal Canadian business regularly receive payment in crypto and deposit it in its bank account in CAD? Will banks refuse working with this business?
The following articles / guides have been translated into Russian and posted on the XMR.RU website and my Github repository. Note: If you would like to read the original article in English, then, open the article you are interested in, and at the end of each article you will find a link to the source.
Summary: Everyone knows that when you give your assets to someone else, they always keep them safe. If this is true for individuals, it is certainly true for businesses. Custodians always tell the truth and manage funds properly. They won't have any interest in taking the assets as an exchange operator would. Auditors tell the truth and can't be misled. That's because organizations that are regulated are incapable of lying and don't make mistakes. First, some background. Here is a summary of how custodians make us more secure: Previously, we might give Alice our crypto assets to hold. There were risks:
Alice might take the assets and disappear.
Alice might spend the assets and pretend that she still has them (fractional model).
Alice might store the assets insecurely and they'll get stolen.
Alice might give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force.
Alice might lose access to the assets.
But "no worries", Alice has a custodian named Bob. Bob is dressed in a nice suit. He knows some politicians. And he drives a Porsche. "So you have nothing to worry about!". And look at all the benefits we get:
Alice can't take the assets and disappear (unless she asks Bob or never gives them to Bob).
Alice can't spend the assets and pretend that she still has them. (Unless she didn't give them to Bob or asks him for them.)
Alice can't store the assets insecurely so they get stolen. (After all - she doesn't have any control over the withdrawal process from any of Bob's systems, right?)
Alice can't give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force. (Bob will stop her, right Bob?)
Alice can't lose access to the funds. (She'll always be present, sane, and remember all secrets, right?)
See - all problems are solved! All we have to worry about now is:
Bob might take the assets and disappear.
Bob might spend the assets and pretend that he still has them (fractional model).
Bob might store the assets insecurely and they'll get stolen.
Bob might give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force.
Bob might lose access to the assets.
It's pretty simple. Before we had to trust Alice. Now we only have to trust Alice, Bob, and all the ways in which they communicate. Just think of how much more secure we are! "On top of that", Bob assures us, "we're using a special wallet structure". Bob shows Alice a diagram. "We've broken the balance up and store it in lots of smaller wallets. That way", he assures her, "a thief can't take it all at once". And he points to a historic case where a large sum was taken "because it was stored in a single wallet... how stupid". "Very early on, we used to have all the crypto in one wallet", he said, "and then one Christmas a hacker came and took it all. We call him the Grinch. Now we individually wrap each crypto and stick it under a binary search tree. The Grinch has never been back since." "As well", Bob continues, "even if someone were to get in, we've got insurance. It covers all thefts and even coercion, collusion, and misplaced keys - only subject to the policy terms and conditions." And with that, he pulls out a phone-book sized contract and slams it on the desk with a thud. "Yep", he continues, "we're paying top dollar for one of the best policies in the country!" "Can I read it?' Alice asks. "Sure," Bob says, "just as soon as our legal team is done with it. They're almost through the first chapter." He pauses, then continues. "And can you believe that sales guy Mike? He has the same year Porsche as me. I mean, what are the odds?" "Do you use multi-sig?", Alice asks. "Absolutely!" Bob replies. "All our engineers are fully trained in multi-sig. Whenever we want to set up a new wallet, we generate 2 separate keys in an air-gapped process and store them in this proprietary system here. Look, it even requires the biometric signature from one of our team members to initiate any withdrawal." He demonstrates by pressing his thumb into the display. "We use a third-party cloud validation API to match the thumbprint and authorize each withdrawal. The keys are also backed up daily to an off-site third-party." "Wow that's really impressive," Alice says, "but what if we need access for a withdrawal outside of office hours?" "Well that's no issue", Bob says, "just send us an email, call, or text message and we always have someone on staff to help out. Just another part of our strong commitment to all our customers!" "What about Proof of Reserve?", Alice asks. "Of course", Bob replies, "though rather than publish any blockchain addresses or signed transaction, for privacy we just do a SHA256 refactoring of the inverse hash modulus for each UTXO nonce and combine the smart contract coefficient consensus in our hyperledger lightning node. But it's really simple to use." He pushes a button and a large green checkmark appears on a screen. "See - the algorithm ran through and reserves are proven." "Wow", Alice says, "you really know your stuff! And that is easy to use! What about fiat balances?" "Yeah, we have an auditor too", Bob replies, "Been using him for a long time so we have quite a strong relationship going! We have special books we give him every year and he's very efficient! Checks the fiat, crypto, and everything all at once!" "We used to have a nice offline multi-sig setup we've been using without issue for the past 5 years, but I think we'll move all our funds over to your facility," Alice says. "Awesome", Bob replies, "Thanks so much! This is perfect timing too - my Porsche got a dent on it this morning. We have the paperwork right over here." "Great!", Alice replies. And with that, Alice gets out her pen and Bob gets the contract. "Don't worry", he says, "you can take your crypto-assets back anytime you like - just subject to our cancellation policy. Our annual management fees are also super low and we don't adjust them often". How many holes have to exist for your funds to get stolen? Just one. Why are we taking a powerful offline multi-sig setup, widely used globally in hundreds of different/lacking regulatory environments with 0 breaches to date, and circumventing it by a demonstrably weak third party layer? And paying a great expense to do so? If you go through the list of breaches in the past 2 years to highly credible organizations, you go through the list of major corporate frauds (only the ones we know about), you go through the list of all the times platforms have lost funds, you go through the list of times and ways that people have lost their crypto from identity theft, hot wallet exploits, extortion, etc... and then you go through this custodian with a fine-tooth comb and truly believe they have value to add far beyond what you could, sticking your funds in a wallet (or set of wallets) they control exclusively is the absolute worst possible way to take advantage of that security. The best way to add security for crypto-assets is to make a stronger multi-sig. With one custodian, what you are doing is giving them your cryptocurrency and hoping they're honest, competent, and flawlessly secure. It's no different than storing it on a really secure exchange. Maybe the insurance will cover you. Didn't work for Bitpay in 2015. Didn't work for Yapizon in 2017. Insurance has never paid a claim in the entire history of cryptocurrency. But maybe you'll get lucky. Maybe your exact scenario will buck the trend and be what they're willing to cover. After the large deductible and hopefully without a long and expensive court battle. And you want to advertise this increase in risk, the lapse of judgement, an accident waiting to happen, as though it's some kind of benefit to customers ("Free institutional-grade storage for your digital assets.")? And then some people are writing to the OSC that custodians should be mandatory for all funds on every exchange platform? That this somehow will make Canadians as a whole more secure or better protected compared with standard air-gapped multi-sig? On what planet? Most of the problems in Canada stemmed from one thing - a lack of transparency. If Canadians had known what a joke Quadriga was - it wouldn't have grown to lose $400m from hard-working Canadians from coast to coast to coast. And Gerald Cotten would be in jail, not wherever he is now (at best, rotting peacefully). EZ-BTC and mister Dave Smilie would have been a tiny little scam to his friends, not a multi-million dollar fraud. Einstein would have got their act together or been shut down BEFORE losing millions and millions more in people's funds generously donated to criminals. MapleChange wouldn't have even been a thing. And maybe we'd know a little more about CoinTradeNewNote - like how much was lost in there. Almost all of the major losses with cryptocurrency exchanges involve deception with unbacked funds. So it's great to see transparency reports from BitBuy and ShakePay where someone independently verified the backing. The only thing we don't have is:
ANY CERTAINTY BALANCES WEREN'T EXCLUDED. Quadriga's largest account was $70m. 80% of funds are in 20% of accounts (Pareto principle). All it takes is excluding a few really large accounts - and nobody's the wiser. A fractional platform can easily pass any audit this way.
ANY VISIBILITY WHATSOEVER INTO THE CUSTODIANS. BitBuy put out their report before moving all the funds to their custodian and ShakePay apparently can't even tell us who the custodian is. That's pretty important considering that basically all of the funds are now stored there.
ANY IDEA ABOUT THE OTHER EXCHANGES. In order for this to be effective, it has to be the norm. It needs to be "unusual" not to know. If obscurity is the norm, then it's super easy for people like Gerald Cotten and Dave Smilie to blend right in.
It's not complicated to validate cryptocurrency assets. They need to exist, they need to be spendable, and they need to cover the total balances. There are plenty of credible people and firms across the country that have the capacity to reasonably perform this validation. Having more frequent checks by different, independent, parties who publish transparent reports is far more valuable than an annual check by a single "more credible/official" party who does the exact same basic checks and may or may not publish anything. Here's an example set of requirements that could be mandated:
First report within 1 month of launching, another within 3 months, and further reports at minimum every 6 months thereafter.
No auditor can be repeated within a 12 month period.
All reports must be public, identifying the auditor and the full methodology used.
All auditors must be independent of the firm being audited with no conflict of interest.
Reports must include the percentage of each asset backed, and how it's backed.
The auditor publishes a hash list, which lists a hash of each customer's information and balances that were included. Hash is one-way encryption so privacy is fully preserved. Every customer can use this to have 100% confidence they were included.
If we want more extensive requirements on audits, these should scale upward based on the total assets at risk on the platform, and whether the platform has loaned their assets out.
There are ways to structure audits such that neither crypto assets nor customer information are ever put at risk, and both can still be properly validated and publicly verifiable. There are also ways to structure audits such that they are completely reasonable for small platforms and don't inhibit innovation in any way. By making the process as reasonable as possible, we can completely eliminate any reason/excuse that an honest platform would have for not being audited. That is arguable far more important than any incremental improvement we might get from mandating "the best of the best" accountants. Right now we have nothing mandated and tons of Canadians using offshore exchanges with no oversight whatsoever. Transparency does not prove crypto assets are safe. CoinTradeNewNote, Flexcoin ($600k), and Canadian Bitcoins ($100k) are examples where crypto-assets were breached from platforms in Canada. All of them were online wallets and used no multi-sig as far as any records show. This is consistent with what we see globally - air-gapped multi-sig wallets have an impeccable record, while other schemes tend to suffer breach after breach. We don't actually know how much CoinTrader lost because there was no visibility. Rather than publishing details of what happened, the co-founder of CoinTrader silently moved on to found another platform - the "most trusted way to buy and sell crypto" - a site that has no information whatsoever (that I could find) on the storage practices and a FAQ advising that “[t]rading cryptocurrency is completely safe” and that having your own wallet is “entirely up to you! You can certainly keep cryptocurrency, or fiat, or both, on the app.” Doesn't sound like much was learned here, which is really sad to see. It's not that complicated or unreasonable to set up a proper hardware wallet. Multi-sig can be learned in a single course. Something the equivalent complexity of a driver's license test could prevent all the cold storage exploits we've seen to date - even globally. Platform operators have a key advantage in detecting and preventing fraud - they know their customers far better than any custodian ever would. The best job that custodians can do is to find high integrity individuals and train them to form even better wallet signatories. Rather than mandating that all platforms expose themselves to arbitrary third party risks, regulations should center around ensuring that all signatories are background-checked, properly trained, and using proper procedures. We also need to make sure that signatories are empowered with rights and responsibilities to reject and report fraud. They need to know that they can safely challenge and delay a transaction - even if it turns out they made a mistake. We need to have an environment where mistakes are brought to the surface and dealt with. Not one where firms and people feel the need to hide what happened. In addition to a knowledge-based test, an auditor can privately interview each signatory to make sure they're not in coercive situations, and we should make sure they can freely and anonymously report any issues without threat of retaliation. A proper multi-sig has each signature held by a separate person and is governed by policies and mutual decisions instead of a hierarchy. It includes at least one redundant signature. For best results, 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7. History has demonstrated over and over again the risk of hot wallets even to highly credible organizations. Nonetheless, many platforms have hot wallets for convenience. While such losses are generally compensated by platforms without issue (for example Poloniex, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, Gatecoin, Coincheck, Bithumb, Zaif, CoinBene, Binance, Bitrue, Bitpoint, Upbit, VinDAX, and now KuCoin), the public tends to focus more on cases that didn't end well. Regardless of what systems are employed, there is always some level of risk. For that reason, most members of the public would prefer to see third party insurance. Rather than trying to convince third party profit-seekers to provide comprehensive insurance and then relying on an expensive and slow legal system to enforce against whatever legal loopholes they manage to find each and every time something goes wrong, insurance could be run through multiple exchange operators and regulators, with the shared interest of having a reputable industry, keeping costs down, and taking care of Canadians. For example, a 4 of 7 multi-sig insurance fund held between 5 independent exchange operators and 2 regulatory bodies. All Canadian exchanges could pay premiums at a set rate based on their needed coverage, with a higher price paid for hot wallet coverage (anything not an air-gapped multi-sig cold wallet). Such a model would be much cheaper to manage, offer better coverage, and be much more reliable to payout when needed. The kind of coverage you could have under this model is unheard of. You could even create something like the CDIC to protect Canadians who get their trading accounts hacked if they can sufficiently prove the loss is legitimate. In cases of fraud, gross negligence, or insolvency, the fund can be used to pay affected users directly (utilizing the last transparent balance report in the worst case), something which private insurance would never touch. While it's recommended to have official policies for coverage, a model where members vote would fully cover edge cases. (Could be similar to the Supreme Court where justices vote based on case law.) Such a model could fully protect all Canadians across all platforms. You can have a fiat coverage governed by legal agreements, and crypto-asset coverage governed by both multi-sig and legal agreements. It could be practical, affordable, and inclusive. Now, we are at a crossroads. We can happily give up our freedom, our innovation, and our money. We can pay hefty expenses to auditors, lawyers, and regulators year after year (and make no mistake - this cost will grow to many millions or even billions as the industry grows - and it will be borne by all Canadians on every platform because platforms are not going to eat up these costs at a loss). We can make it nearly impossible for any new platform to enter the marketplace, forcing Canadians to use the same stagnant platforms year after year. We can centralize and consolidate the entire industry into 2 or 3 big players and have everyone else fail (possibly to heavy losses of users of those platforms). And when a flawed security model doesn't work and gets breached, we can make it even more complicated with even more people in suits making big money doing the job that blockchain was supposed to do in the first place. We can build a system which is so intertwined and dependent on big government, traditional finance, and central bankers that it's future depends entirely on that of the fiat system, of fractional banking, and of government bail-outs. If we choose this path, as history has shown us over and over again, we can not go back, save for revolution. Our children and grandchildren will still be paying the consequences of what we decided today. Or, we can find solutions that work. We can maintain an open and innovative environment while making the adjustments we need to make to fully protect Canadian investors and cryptocurrency users, giving easy and affordable access to cryptocurrency for all Canadians on the platform of their choice, and creating an environment in which entrepreneurs and problem solvers can bring those solutions forward easily. None of the above precludes innovation in any way, or adds any unreasonable cost - and these three policies would demonstrably eliminate or resolve all 109 historic cases as studied here - that's every single case researched so far going back to 2011. It includes every loss that was studied so far not just in Canada but globally as well. Unfortunately, finding answers is the least challenging part. Far more challenging is to get platform operators and regulators to agree on anything. My last post got no response whatsoever, and while the OSC has told me they're happy for industry feedback, I believe my opinion alone is fairly meaningless. This takes the whole community working together to solve. So please let me know your thoughts. Please take the time to upvote and share this with people. Please - let's get this solved and not leave it up to other people to do. Facts/background/sources (skip if you like):
The inspiration for the paragraph about splitting wallets was an actual quote from a Canadian company providing custodial services in response to the OSC consultation paper: "We believe that it will be in the in best interests of investors to prohibit pooled crypto assets or ‘floats’. Most Platforms pool assets, citing reasons of practicality and expense. The recent hack of the world’s largest Platform – Binance – demonstrates the vulnerability of participants’ assets when such concessions are made. In this instance, the Platform’s entire hot wallet of Bitcoins, worth over $40 million, was stolen, facilitated in part by the pooling of client crypto assets." "the maintenance of participants (and Platform) crypto assets across multiple wallets distributes the related risk and responsibility of security - reducing the amount of insurance coverage required and making insurance coverage more readily obtainable". For the record, their reply also said nothing whatsoever about multi-sig or offline storage.
In addition to the fact that the $40m hack represented only one "hot wallet" of Binance, and they actually had the vast majority of assets in other wallets (including mostly cold wallets), multiple real cases have clearly demonstrated that risk is still present with multiple wallets. Bitfinex, VinDAX, Bithumb, Altsbit, BitPoint, Cryptopia, and just recently KuCoin all had multiple wallets breached all at the same time, and may represent a significantly larger impact on customers than the Binance breach which was fully covered by Binance. To represent that simply having multiple separate wallets under the same security scheme is a comprehensive way to reduce risk is just not true.
Private insurance has historically never covered a single loss in the cryptocurrency space (at least, not one that I was able to find), and there are notable cases where massive losses were not covered by insurance. Bitpay in 2015 and Yapizon in 2017 both had insurance policies that didn't pay out during the breach, even after a lengthly court process. The same insurance that ShakePay is presently using (and announced to much fanfare) was describe by their CEO himself as covering “physical theft of the media where the private keys are held,” which is something that has never historically happened. As was said with regard to the same policy in 2018 - “I don’t find it surprising that Lloyd’s is in this space,” said Johnson, adding that to his mind the challenge for everybody is figuring out how to structure these policies so that they are actually protective. “You can create an insurance policy that protects no one – you know there are so many caveats to the policy that it’s not super protective.”
The most profitable policy for a private insurance company is one with the most expensive premiums that they never have to pay a claim on. They have no inherent incentive to take care of people who lost funds. It's "cheaper" to take the reputational hit and fight the claim in court. The more money at stake, the more the insurance provider is incentivized to avoid payout. They're not going to insure the assets unless they have reasonable certainty to make a profit by doing so, and they're not going to pay out a massive sum unless it's legally forced. Private insurance is always structured to be maximally profitable to the insurance provider.
The circumvention of multi-sig was a key factor in the massive Bitfinex hack of over $60m of bitcoin, which today still sits being slowly used and is worth over $3b. While Bitfinex used a qualified custodian Bitgo, which was and still is active and one of the industry leaders of custodians, and they set up 2 of 3 multi-sig wallets, the entire system was routed through Bitfinex, such that Bitfinex customers could initiate the withdrawals in a "hot" fashion. This feature was also a hit with the hacker. The multi-sig was fully circumvented.
Bitpay in 2015 was another example of a breach that stole 5,000 bitcoins. This happened not through the exploit of any system in Bitpay, but because the CEO of a company they worked with got their computer hacked and the hackers were able to request multiple bitcoin purchases, which Bitpay honoured because they came from the customer's computer legitimately. Impersonation is a very common tactic used by fraudsters, and methods get more extreme all the time.
A notable case in Canada was the Canadian Bitcoins exploit. Funds were stored on a server in a Rogers Data Center, and the attendee was successfully convinced to reboot the server "in safe mode" with a simple phone call, thus bypassing the extensive security and enabling the theft.
The very nature of custodians circumvents multi-sig. This is because custodians are not just having to secure the assets against some sort of physical breach but against any form of social engineering, modification of orders, fraudulent withdrawal attempts, etc... If the security practices of signatories in a multi-sig arrangement are such that the breach risk of one signatory is 1 in 100, the requirement of 3 independent signatures makes the risk of theft 1 in 1,000,000. Since hackers tend to exploit the weakest link, a comparable custodian has to make the entry and exit points of their platform 10,000 times more secure than one of those signatories to provide equivalent protection. And if the signatories beef up their security by only 10x, the risk is now 1 in 1,000,000,000. The custodian has to be 1,000,000 times more secure. The larger and more complex a system is, the more potential vulnerabilities exist in it, and the fewer people can understand how the system works when performing upgrades. Even if a system is completely secure today, one has to also consider how that system might evolve over time or work with different members.
By contrast, offline multi-signature solutions have an extremely solid record, and in the entire history of cryptocurrency exchange incidents which I've studied (listed here), there has only been one incident (796 exchange in 2015) involving an offline multi-signature wallet. It happened because the customer's bitcoin address was modified by hackers, and the amount that was stolen ($230k) was immediately covered by the exchange operators. Basically, the platform operators were tricked into sending a legitimate withdrawal request to the wrong address because hackers exploited their platform to change that address. Such an issue would not be prevented in any way by the use of a custodian, as that custodian has no oversight whatsoever to the exchange platform. It's practical for all exchange operators to test large withdrawal transactions as a general policy, regardless of what model is used, and general best practice is to diagnose and fix such an exploit as soon as it occurs.
False promises on the backing of funds played a huge role in the downfall of Quadriga, and it's been exposed over and over again (MyCoin, PlusToken, Bitsane, Bitmarket, EZBTC, IDAX). Even today, customers have extremely limited certainty on whether their funds in exchanges are actually being backed or how they're being backed. While this issue is not unique to cryptocurrency exchanges, the complexity of the technology and the lack of any regulation or standards makes problems more widespread, and there is no "central bank" to come to the rescue as in the 2008 financial crisis or during the great depression when "9,000 banks failed".
In addition to fraudulent operations, the industry is full of cases where operators have suffered breaches and not reported them. Most recently, Einstein was the largest case in Canada, where ongoing breaches and fraud were perpetrated against the platform for multiple years and nobody found out until the platform collapsed completely. While fraud and breaches suck to deal with, they suck even more when not dealt with. Lack of visibility played a role in the largest downfalls of Mt. Gox, Cryptsy, and Bitgrail. In some cases, platforms are alleged to have suffered a hack and keep operating without admitting it at all, such as CoinBene.
It surprises some to learn that a cryptographic solution has already existed since 2013, and gained widespread support in 2014 after Mt. Gox. Proof of Reserves is a full cryptographic proof that allows any customer using an exchange to have complete certainty that their crypto-assets are fully backed by the platform in real-time. This is accomplished by proving that assets exist on the blockchain, are spendable, and fully cover customer deposits. It does not prove safety of assets or backing of fiat assets.
If we didn't care about privacy at all, a platform could publish their wallet addresses, sign a partial transaction, and put the full list of customer information and balances out publicly. Customers can each check that they are on the list, that the balances are accurate, that the total adds up, and that it's backed and spendable on the blockchain. Platforms who exclude any customer take a risk because that customer can easily check and see they were excluded. So together with all customers checking, this forms a full proof of backing of all crypto assets.
However, obviously customers care about their private information being published. Therefore, a hash of the information can be provided instead. Hash is one-way encryption. The hash allows the customer to validate inclusion (by hashing their own known information), while anyone looking at the list of hashes cannot determine the private information of any other user. All other parts of the scheme remain fully intact. A model like this is in use on the exchange CoinFloor in the UK.
A Merkle tree can provide even greater privacy. Instead of a list of balances, the balances are arranged into a binary tree. A customer starts from their node, and works their way to the top of the tree. For example, they know they have 5 BTC, they plus 1 other customer hold 7 BTC, they plus 2-3 other customers hold 17 BTC, etc... until they reach the root where all the BTC are represented. Thus, there is no way to find the balances of other individual customers aside from one unidentified customer in this case.
Proposals such as this had the backing of leaders in the community including Nic Carter, Greg Maxwell, and Zak Wilcox. Substantial and significant effort started back in 2013, with massive popularity in 2014. But what became of that effort? Very little. Exchange operators continue to refuse to give visibility. Despite the fact this information can often be obtained through trivial blockchain analysis, no Canadian platform has ever provided any wallet addresses publicly. As described by the CEO of Newton "For us to implement some kind of realtime Proof of Reserves solution, which I'm not opposed to, it would have to ... Preserve our users' privacy, as well as our own. Some kind of zero-knowledge proof". Kraken describes here in more detail why they haven't implemented such a scheme. According to professor Eli Ben-Sasson, when he spoke with exchanges, none were interested in implementing Proof of Reserves.
And yet, Kraken's places their reasoning on a page called "Proof of Reserves". More recently, both BitBuy and ShakePay have released reports titled "Proof of Reserves and Security Audit". Both reports contain disclaimers against being audits. Both reports trust the customer list provided by the platform, leaving the open possibility that multiple large accounts could have been excluded from the process. Proof of Reserves is a blockchain validation where customers see the wallets on the blockchain. The report from Kraken is 5 years old, but they leave it described as though it was just done a few weeks ago. And look at what they expect customers to do for validation. When firms represent something being "Proof of Reserve" when it's not, this is like a farmer growing fruit with pesticides and selling it in a farmers market as organic produce - except that these are people's hard-earned life savings at risk here. Platforms are misrepresenting the level of visibility in place and deceiving the public by their misuse of this term. They haven't proven anything.
Fraud isn't a problem that is unique to cryptocurrency. Fraud happens all the time. Enron, WorldCom, Nortel, Bear Stearns, Wells Fargo, Moser Baer, Wirecard, Bre-X, and Nicola are just some of the cases where frauds became large enough to become a big deal (and there are so many countless others). These all happened on 100% reversible assets despite regulations being in place. In many of these cases, the problems happened due to the over-complexity of the financial instruments. For example, Enron had "complex financial statements [which] were confusing to shareholders and analysts", creating "off-balance-sheet vehicles, complex financing structures, and deals so bewildering that few people could understand them". In cryptocurrency, we are often combining complex financial products with complex technologies and verification processes. We are naïve if we think problems like this won't happen. It is awkward and uncomfortable for many people to admit that they don't know how something works. If we want "money of the people" to work, the solutions have to be simple enough that "the people" can understand them, not so confusing that financial professionals and technology experts struggle to use or understand them.
For those who question the extent to which an organization can fool their way into a security consultancy role, HB Gary should be a great example to look at. Prior to trying to out anonymous, HB Gary was being actively hired by multiple US government agencies and others in the private sector (with glowing testimonials). The published articles and hosted professional security conferences. One should also look at this list of data breaches from the past 2 years. Many of them are large corporations, government entities, and technology companies. These are the ones we know about. Undoubtedly, there are many more that we do not know about. If HB Gary hadn't been "outted" by anonymous, would we have known they were insecure? If the same breach had happened outside of the public spotlight, would it even have been reported? Or would HB Gary have just deleted the Twitter posts, brought their site back up, done a couple patches, and kept on operating as though nothing had happened?
In the case of Quadriga, the facts are clear. Despite past experience with platforms such as MapleChange in Canada and others around the world, no guidance or even the most basic of a framework was put in place by regulators. By not clarifying any sort of legal framework, regulators enabled a situation where a platform could be run by former criminal Mike Dhanini/Omar Patryn, and where funds could be held fully unchecked by one person. At the same time, the lack of regulation deterred legitimate entities from running competing platforms and Quadriga was granted a money services business license for multiple years of operation, which gave the firm the appearance of legitimacy. Regulators did little to protect Canadians despite Quadriga failing to file taxes from 2016 onward. The entire administrative team had resigned and this was public knowledge. Many people had suspicions of what was going on, including Ryan Mueller, who forwarded complaints to the authorities. These were ignored, giving Gerald Cotten the opportunity to escape without justice.
There are multiple issues with the SOC II model including the prohibitive cost (you have to find a third party accounting firm and the prices are not even listed publicly on any sites), the requirement of operating for a year (impossible for new platforms), and lack of any public visibility (SOC II are private reports that aren't shared outside the people in suits).
Securities frameworks are expensive. Sarbanes-Oxley is estimated to cost $5.1 million USD/yr for the average Fortune 500 company in the United States. Since "Fortune 500" represents the top 500 companies, that means well over $2.55 billion USD (~$3.4 billion CAD) is going to people in suits. Isn't the problem of trust and verification the exact problem that the blockchain is supposed to solve?
To use Quadriga as justification for why custodians or SOC II or other advanced schemes are needed for platforms is rather silly, when any framework or visibility at all, or even the most basic of storage policies, would have prevented the whole thing. It's just an embarrassment.
We are now seeing regulators take strong action. CoinSquare in Canada with multi-million dollar fines. BitMex from the US, criminal charges and arrests. OkEx, with full disregard of withdrawals and no communication. Who's next?
We have a unique window today where we can solve these problems, and not permanently destroy innovation with unreasonable expectations, but we need to act quickly. This is a unique historic time that will never come again.
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The guy is literally using a dummy account that was created 3 months ago and that only ever participated in Tarkov subreddit. His first thread was a misleading thread where he's carefully manipulating you to believe that bots aren't an issue. His new thread from today is just because with the leak of the public bots, they're now in the public light and fear that BSG might do something drastic to end them. I'll post here some of the misconception he tried to implement today in his thread. :
TL:DR-The easier fix is changing how flea market works. Sure, magically getting rid of all bots will enable you to occasionally buy 10k cheaper labs keycards. But I guarantee that those 4.1 inch rail mounts will still be 20k because that's how human greed works.
TL:DR - But at least it would be bought and sold by thousands of players physically ingame instead of a dozens of botters who don't even play this game in reality.
You might laugh, but "computational thinking" is not acquired on a single day. Regular people have a hard time just creating a cat that moves left and right in Scratch
Regular people aren't the problem here though ; you pass a lot of time making that argument that it can be long and difficult to program a bot, but the fact is that the people who program bots move from game to game. They don't wake up one morning deciding to run some bots on a random game, it's a challenge for them. When a new mmo comes out, they test it, by creating cheats and selling them, creating powerleveling services, running bots on multiple games, ect. Some of them have years of practice with certain engines.
Let's do some math. 60~120mil profit a day.
I think that you vastly underestimate how you can make a profit with automatisation when you factor in the item flipping. You use the current Flea market prices in your examples while it's already over inflated due to bots. The real money comes immediatly after a wipe ; because they can then immediatly obtain a vast ammount of money in the first days and completely control the market with it's pyramidal structure. There's just no way for any player to catch up to any bot due to, you know, having to sleep and eat. Also in your examples ; you use specific high frequence trade items, while the goal to real profit is to control as many items as you can, considering that this game contains hundreds of valuable items, which include quest items that can be sold. Again , some of them botters have 2+ years of practice (only in tarkov) by now and you mentioned how far we can get with item price records. With that alone it's very easy to know which items is profitable. They probably easily make 30-40x that amount per day on multiple accounts to spread the wealth. You also misunderstand that there a ways in these games to ''Secure'' your gains. For example in a game like GTAV, people would buy pricey cars to store them and protect their money from being wiped ; they could then resell those car to get the money back. In Tarkov, It's already known that RMT'ers are using high priced items with fixed price like LEDX, Bitcoins and keycards to secure their gains.
100mil is valued at $66 right now.
That's actually very high considering that we're playing a BETA GAME, that late in the market which is already over-inflated and that a wipe was announced in 5 months. The real money is always after a wipe ; AND when the game will be officially released. That's the moment that these guys are practicing for, when the stakes will be real and that the economy will become permanent. And like i said ; it's not like these guys just run some Tarkov bots and expect to live from that only. They are way more ressourcefull, they sell glitches, private cheats, money, on multiple games at the same time. That's how it becomes very, very profitable and moreover ; it's a passive income. You can have a job and run these as a sideline, while coding in your free time. Also you're lying here since there are multiple sites, found one where it's 50$ (CAD) for 10million. price always varies from different providers and depending on the country money current going rate.
Conclusion : Unless you're just doing it for academic curiosity/entertainment, coding bots is a total waste of time.
Off course if you never programmed in your life and just expect to be able to google how to create a bot, you might have a reality check. Again you vastly underestimate the market for cheats and ''gold selling''. Or maybe you just know too much about it and want to keep your incomes.
Even without bots, any person/group with enough capital can control the flea market and exploit the economy in the current system.
But they can't do it all day long, all week long. They have to, you know, sleep and eat. One could also expect the players to play the game here and then and to not sit 24h on 24 on the market while not using any of the gear that they could afford.
Why did BSG help the bots by removing the 60 second timer? They did not help the bots; They attacked bots.
That's not what i heard personally. What i heard is that it started a new race between botters and that some of them were already way more advanced than others and were able to perform better than before. Just like you said ; they never aim for 100% snipe, but when you reach 75% you're already swimming in serious bucks. For me the only way to aleviate bots is to render them useless in-game directly. You limit the amount of transaction per account per hour, you add in-game buy orders and priorize them in the market.
Some market bots slightly flipping the market better than no-lifer players who actually play the market on the game client with mouse and keyboard is not their priority nor it should be.
It should be one of their top priority in a full loot mmorpg with tiered gear that can be bought and sold. When the economy gets broken, it breaks the game completely. Random people can obtain vast amount of money quickly by buying it then they can roll with the best kits for 50 lives in a row if they want. It completely breaks the gameplay and the purpose of the whole game. It's been known that botters start public campaigns to divert the attention from them. I'd take a no lifer who actually play the game all day long over a ducking botter who don't even play and just ruin the whole game for thousands of players to gain personal wealth.
How To End The Cryptocurrency Exchange "Wild West" Without Crippling Innovation
In case you haven't noticed the consultation paper, staff notice, and report on Quadriga, regulators are now clamping down on Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges. The OSC and other regulatory bodies are still interested in industry feedback. They have not put forward any official regulation yet. Below are some ideas/insights and a proposed framework.
Typical securities frameworks will cost Canadians millions of dollars (ie Sarbanes-Oxley estimated at $5m USD/yr per firm). Implementation costs of this proposal are significantly cheaper.
Canadians can maintain a diverse set of exchanges, multiple viable business models are still fully supported, and innovation is encouraged while keeping Canadians safe.
Many of you have limited time to read the full proposal, so here are the highlights:
Effective standards to prevent both internal and external theft. Exchange operators are trained and certified, and have a legal responsibility to users.
Regular Transparent Audits
Provides visibility to Canadians that their funds are fully backed on the exchange, while protecting privacy and sensitive platform information.
Establishment of basic insurance standards/strategy, to expand over time. Removing risk to exchange users of any hot wallet theft.
Background and Justifications
Cold Storage Custody/Management After reviewing close to 100 cases, all thefts tend to break down into more or less the same set of problems: • Funds stored online or in a smart contract, • Access controlled by one person or one system, • 51% attacks (rare), • Funds sent to the wrong address (also rare), or • Some combination of the above. For the first two cases, practical solutions exist and are widely implemented on exchanges already. Offline multi-signature solutions are already industry standard. No cases studied found an external theft or exit scam involving an offline multi-signature wallet implementation. Security can be further improved through minimum numbers of signatories, background checks, providing autonomy and legal protections to each signatory, establishing best practices, and a training/certification program. The last two transaction risks occur more rarely, and have never resulted in a loss affecting the actual users of the exchange. In all cases to date where operators made the mistake, they've been fully covered by the exchange platforms. • 51% attacks generally only occur on blockchains with less security. The most prominent cases have been Bitcoin Gold and Ethereum Classic. The simple solution is to enforce deposit limits and block delays such that a 51% attack is not cost-effective. • The risk of transactions to incorrect addresses can be eliminated by a simple test transaction policy on large transactions. By sending a small amount of funds prior to any large withdrawals/transfers as a standard practice, the accuracy of the wallet address can be validated. The proposal covers all loss cases and goes beyond, while avoiding significant additional costs, risks, and limitations which may be associated with other frameworks like SOC II. On The Subject of Third Party Custodians Many Canadian platforms are currently experimenting with third party custody. From the standpoint of the exchange operator, they can liberate themselves from some responsibility of custody, passing that off to someone else. For regulators, it puts crypto in similar categorization to oil, gold, and other commodities, with some common standards. Platform users would likely feel greater confidence if the custodian was a brand they recognized. If the custodian was knowledgeable and had a decent team that employed multi-sig, they could keep assets safe from internal theft. With the right protections in place, this could be a great solution for many exchanges, particularly those that lack the relevant experience or human resources for their own custody systems. However, this system is vulnerable to anyone able to impersonate the exchange operators. You may have a situation where different employees who don't know each other that well are interacting between different companies (both the custodian and all their customers which presumably isn't just one exchange). A case study of what can go wrong in this type of environment might be Bitpay, where the CEO was tricked out of 5000 bitcoins over 3 separate payments by a series of emails sent legitimately from a breached computer of another company CEO. It's also still vulnerable to the platform being compromised, as in the really large $70M Bitfinex hack, where the third party Bitgo held one key in a multi-sig wallet. The hacker simply authorized the withdrawal using the same credentials as Bitfinex (requesting Bitgo to sign multiple withdrawal transactions). This succeeded even with the use of multi-sig and two heavily security-focused companies, due to the lack of human oversight (basically, hot wallet). Of course, you can learn from these cases and improve the security, but so can hackers improve their deception and at the end of the day, both of these would have been stopped by the much simpler solution of a qualified team who knew each other and employed multi-sig with properly protected keys. It's pretty hard to beat a human being who knows the business and the typical customer behaviour (or even knows their customers personally) at spotting fraud, and the proposed multi-sig means any hacker has to get through the scrutiny of 3 (or more) separate people, all of whom would have proper training including historical case studies. There are strong arguments both for and against using use of third party custodians. The proposal sets mandatory minimum custody standards would apply regardless if the cold wallet signatories are exchange operators, independent custodians, or a mix of both. On The Subject Of Insurance ShakePay has taken the first steps into this new realm (congratulations). There is no question that crypto users could be better protected by the right insurance policies, and it certainly feels better to transact with insured platforms. The steps required to obtain insurance generally place attention in valuable security areas, and in this case included a review from CipherTrace. One of the key solutions in traditional finance comes from insurance from entities such as the CDIC. However, historically, there wasn't found any actual insurance payout to any cryptocurrency exchange, and there are notable cases where insurance has not paid. With Bitpay, for example, the insurance agent refused because the issue happened to the third party CEO's computer instead of anything to do with Bitpay itself. With the Youbit exchange in South Korea, their insurance claim was denied, and the exchange ultimately ended up instead going bankrupt with all user's funds lost. To quote Matt Johnson in the original Lloyd's article: “You can create an insurance policy that protects no one – you know there are so many caveats to the policy that it’s not super protective.” ShakePay's insurance was only reported to cover their cold storage, and “physical theft of the media where the private keys are held”. Physical theft has never, in the history of cryptocurrency exchange cases reviewed, been reported as the cause of loss. From the limited information of the article, ShakePay made it clear their funds are in the hands of a single US custodian, and at least part of their security strategy is to "decline to confirm the custodian’s name on the record". While this prevents scrutiny of the custodian, it's pretty silly to speculate that a reasonably competent hacking group couldn't determine who the custodian is. A far more common infiltration strategy historically would be social engineering, which has succeeded repeatedly. A hacker could trick their way into ShakePay's systems and request a fraudulent withdrawal, impersonate ShakePay and request the custodian to move funds, or socially engineer their way into the custodian to initiate the withdrawal of multiple accounts (a payout much larger than ShakePay) exploiting the standard procedures (for example, fraudulently initiating or override the wallet addresses of a real transfer). In each case, nothing was physically stolen and the loss is therefore not covered by insurance. In order for any insurance to be effective, clear policies have to be established about what needs to be covered. Anything short of that gives Canadians false confidence that they are protected when they aren't in any meaningful way. At this time, the third party insurance market does not appear to provide adequate options or coverage, and effort is necessary to standardize custody standards, which is a likely first step in ultimately setting up an insurance framework. A better solution compared to third party insurance providers might be for Canadian exchange operators to create their own collective insurance fund, or a specific federal organization similar to the CDIC. Such an organization would have a greater interest or obligation in paying out actual cases, and that would be it's purpose rather than maximizing it's own profit. This would be similar to the SAFU which Binance has launched, except it would cover multiple exchanges. There is little question whether the SAFU would pay out given a breach of Binance, and a similar argument could be made for a insurance fund managed by a collective of exchange operators or a government organization. While a third party insurance provider has the strong market incentive to provide the absolute minimum coverage and no market incentive to payout, an entity managed by exchange operators would have incentive to protect the reputation of exchange operators/the industry, and the government should have the interest of protecting Canadians. On The Subject of Fractional Reserve There is a long history of fractional reserve failures, from the first banks in ancient times, through the great depression (where hundreds of fractional reserve banks failed), right through to the 2008 banking collapse referenced in the first bitcoin block. The fractional reserve system allows banks to multiply the money supply far beyond the actual cash (or other assets) in existence, backed only by a system of debt obligations of others. Safely supporting a fractional reserve system is a topic of far greater complexity than can be addressed by a simple policy, and when it comes to cryptocurrency, there is presently no entity reasonably able to bail anyone out in the event of failure. Therefore, this framework is addressed around entities that aim to maintain 100% backing of funds. There may be some firms that desire but have failed to maintain 100% backing. In this case, there are multiple solutions, including outside investment, merging with other exchanges, or enforcing a gradual restoration plan. All of these solutions are typically far better than shutting down the exchange, and there are multiple cases where they've been used successfully in the past. Proof of Reserves/Transparency/Accountability Canadians need to have visibility into the backing on an ongoing basis. The best solution for crypto-assets is a Proof of Reserve. Such ideas go back all the way to 2013, before even Mt. Gox. However, no Canadian exchange has yet implemented such a system, and only a few international exchanges (CoinFloor in the UK being an example) have. Many firms like Kraken, BitBuy, and now ShakePay use the Proof of Reserve term to refer to lesser proofs which do not actually cryptographically prove the full backing of all user assets on the blockchain. In order for a Proof of Reserve to be effective, it must actually be a complete proof, and it needs to be understood by the public that is expected to use it. Many firms have expressed reservations about the level of transparency required in a complete Proof of Reserve (for example Kraken here). While a complete Proof of Reserves should be encouraged, and there are some solutions in the works (ie TxQuick), this is unlikely to be suitable universally for all exchange operators and users. Given the limitations, and that firms also manage fiat assets, a more traditional audit process makes more sense. Some Canadian exchanges (CoinSquare, CoinBerry) have already subjected themselves to annual audits. However, these results are not presently shared publicly, and there is no guarantee over the process including all user assets or the integrity and independence of the auditor. The auditor has been typically not known, and in some cases, the identity of the auditor is protected by a NDA. Only in one case (BitBuy) was an actual report generated and publicly shared. There has been no attempt made to validate that user accounts provided during these audits have been complete or accurate. A fraudulent fractional exchange, or one which had suffered a breach they were unwilling to publicly accept (see CoinBene), could easily maintain a second set of books for auditors or simply exclude key accounts to pass an individual audit. The proposed solution would see a reporting standard which includes at a minimum - percentage of backing for each asset relative to account balances and the nature of how those assets are stored, with ownership proven by the auditor. The auditor would also publicly provide a "hash list", which they independently generate from the accounts provided by the exchange. Every exchange user can then check their information against this public "hash list". A hash is a one-way form of encryption, which fully protects the private information, yet allows anyone who knows that information already to validate that it was included. Less experienced users can take advantage of public tools to calculate the hash from their information (provided by the exchange), and thus have certainty that the auditor received their full balance information. Easy instructions can be provided. Auditors should be impartial, their identities and process public, and they should be rotated so that the same auditor is never used twice in a row. Balancing the cost of auditing against the needs for regular updates, a 6 month cycle likely makes the most sense. Hot Wallet Management The best solution for hot wallets is not to use them. CoinBerry reportedly uses multi-sig on all withdrawals, and Bitmex is an international example known for their structure devoid of hot wallets. However, many platforms and customers desire fast withdrawal processes, and human validation has a cost of time and delay in this process. A model of self-insurance or separate funds for hot wallets may be used in these cases. Under this model, a platform still has 100% of their client balance in cold storage and holds additional funds in hot wallets for quick withdrawal. Thus, the risk of those hot wallets is 100% on exchange operators and not affecting the exchange users. Since most platforms typically only have 1%-5% in hot wallets at any given time, it shouldn't be unreasonable to build/maintain these additional reserves over time using exchange fees or additional investment. Larger withdrawals would still be handled at regular intervals from the cold storage. Hot wallet risks have historically posed a large risk and there is no established standard to guarantee secure hot wallets. When the government of South Korea dispatched security inspections to multiple exchanges, the results were still that 3 of them got hacked after the inspections. If standards develop such that an organization in the market is willing to insure the hot wallets, this could provide an acceptable alternative. Another option may be for multiple exchange operators to pool funds aside for a hot wallet insurance fund. Comprehensive coverage standards must be established and maintained for all hot wallet balances to make sure Canadians are adequately protected.
Current Draft Proposal
(1) Proper multi-signature cold wallet storage. (a) Each private key is the personal and legal responsibility of one person - the “signatory”. Signatories have special rights and responsibilities to protect user assets. Signatories are trained and certified through a course covering (1) past hacking and fraud cases, (2) proper and secure key generation, and (3) proper safekeeping of private keys. All private keys must be generated and stored 100% offline by the signatory. If even one private keys is ever breached or suspected to be breached, the wallet must be regenerated and all funds relocated to a new wallet. (b) All signatories must be separate background-checked individuals free of past criminal conviction. Canadians should have a right to know who holds their funds. All signing of transactions must take place with all signatories on Canadian soil or on the soil of a country with a solid legal system which agrees to uphold and support these rules (from an established white-list of countries which expands over time). (c) 3-5 independent signatures are required for any withdrawal. There must be 1-3 spare signatories, and a maximum of 7 total signatories. The following are all valid combinations: 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7. (d) A security audit should be conducted to validate the cold wallet is set up correctly and provide any additional pertinent information. The primary purpose is to ensure that all signatories are acting independently and using best practices for private key storage. A report summarizing all steps taken and who did the audit will be made public. Canadians must be able to validate the right measures are in place to protect their funds. (e) There is a simple approval process if signatories wish to visit any country outside Canada, with a potential whitelist of exempt countries. At most 2 signatories can be outside of aligned jurisdiction at any given time. All exchanges would be required to keep a compliant cold wallet for Canadian funds and have a Canadian office if they wish to serve Canadian customers. (2) Regular and transparent solvency audits. (a) An audit must be conducted at founding, after 3 months of operation, and at least once every 6 months to compare customer balances against all stored cryptocurrency and fiat balances. The auditor must be known, independent, and never the same twice in a row. (b) An audit report will be published featuring the steps conducted in a readable format. This should be made available to all Canadians on the exchange website and on a government website. The report must include what percentage of each customer asset is backed on the exchange, and how those funds are stored. (c) The auditor will independently produce a hash of each customer's identifying information and balance as they perform the audit. This will be made publicly available on the exchange and government website, along with simplified instructions that each customer can use to verify that their balance was included in the audit process. (d) The audit needs to include a proof of ownership for any cryptocurrency wallets included. A satoshi test (spending a small amount) or partially signed transaction both qualify. (e) Any platform without 100% reserves should be assessed on a regular basis by a government or industry watchdog. This entity should work to prevent any further drop, support any private investor to come in, or facilitate a merger so that 100% backing can be obtained as soon as possible. (3) Protections for hot wallets and transactions. (a) A standardized list of approved coins and procedures will be established to constitute valid cold storage wallets. Where a multi-sig process is not natively available, efforts will be undertaken to establish a suitable and stable smart contract standard. This list will be expanded and improved over time. Coins and procedures not on the list are considered hot wallets. (b) Hot wallets can be backed by additional funds in cold storage or an acceptable third-party insurance provider with a comprehensive coverage policy. (c) Exchanges are required to cover the full balance of all user funds as denominated in the same currency, or double the balance as denominated in bitcoin or CAD using an established trading rate. If the balance is ever insufficient due to market movements, the firm must rectify this within 24 hours by moving assets to cold storage or increasing insurance coverage. (d) Any large transactions (above a set threshold) from cold storage to any new wallet addresses (not previously transacted with) must be tested with a smaller transaction first. Deposits of cryptocurrency must be limited to prevent economic 51% attacks. Any issues are to be covered by the exchange. (e) Exchange platforms must provide suitable authentication for users, including making available approved forms of two-factor authentication. SMS-based authentication is not to be supported. Withdrawals must be blocked for 48 hours in the event of any account password change. Disputes on the negligence of exchanges should be governed by case law.
Continued review of existing OSC feedback is still underway. More feedback and opinions on the framework and ideas as presented here are extremely valuable. The above is a draft and not finalized. The process of further developing and bringing a suitable framework to protect Canadians will require the support of exchange operators, legal experts, and many others in the community. The costs of not doing such are tremendous. A large and convoluted framework, one based on flawed ideas or implementation, or one which fails to properly safeguard Canadians is not just extremely expensive and risky for all Canadians, severely limiting to the credibility and reputation of the industry, but an existential risk to many exchanges. The responsibility falls to all of us to provide our insight and make our opinions heard on this critical matter. Please take the time to give your thoughts.
Shakepay BTC Price is substantially different in comparison to several other sources.
New to BTC, so wondering if someone can explain what's happening here to me. Currently I just feel like I am being scalped both on buys/sells by Shakepay. Their prices are always inflated if you want to buy and then largely dropped if you try and sell BTC. For example: At this time 8:21 PM EST. I get the following quotes Yahoo Finance – BTC - $12,613.63 CAD Coindesk – BTC $12,612.16 CAD Google – BTC $12,588.96 CAD ShakePay Exchange To buy BTC $12,760.41 CAD To sell BTC $12,445.07 CAD Anyone know why this is? Edit: So I get that's how they make money. But It still doesnt really make sense when you look at other low commission or no commission platforms. Like Robinhood, or Questrade (etfs). There is no $150-200 added on commission when purchases $15,000 worth of an asset. I'd much rather get a fixed commission fee. This is absolute robbery imo, and has left a poor taste in my mouth for a first bitcoin experience. Think I am going to cash out on the next bump. I feel as though I've been scammed in some way, and I know that sounds a bit dramatic.
I'd like to offload some of my torrents from my PC to a dedicated machine, even just a for a little while, partially because my computer is making my house too damn hot.
Are you OK with direct message offers from vendors? Yes. What are your main reasons for getting a seedbox? I want to build some ratio on a couple private trackers and have a place to store smaller music torrents to seed long term. Do you have any specific requirements? Nothing in particular. Are you looking for a shared or dedicated solution? I don't think I can afford a dedicated box but I could be wrong. Are you looking for managed or unmanaged solution? I think I'd prefer unmanaged but managed isn't a dealbreaker if it's a better deal. Please describe your Seedbox experience: I've rented one for a couple months before but it was a long time ago, don't remember the vendor. Currently with a provider or used one before? Not currently with a provider but I have experience. What is your Linux experience? Fairly experienced, can compile code, make a webserver etc. What is your monthly budget? $20-40 CAD / $10-30 USD / $10-25 EUR Payment preferences or requirements? I can pay with credit card, paypal or bitcoin. Do you need support for public trackers? No. Routing: Tell us your continent: North America. What kind of connection speeds do you need? I'd prefer 1000MBps or so, more couldn't hurt How much monthly bandwidth is needed? 2TB or more should do. How much disk space do you need? At least 1TB, more couldn't hurt though. List some features you are looking for: A robust torrent client with some scripting ability would be a bonus. Anything else you think we should know? Nothing I can think of... Thanks!
NEW ITEMS!!! NEW SALE!! El proof! Hola Amigos! Feliz cinco de mayo! To celebrate, lets drink buy some gold and silver tequila coins. When I drink tequila, I prefer something even better than just regulargold... I drink Reposado (rested). The aging process changes & refines the color & taste of the tequila. That made me think of AGEs & Krugers... aged, colorful, & tasty! mmmmmmm On the other hand, some tequila drinkers prefer silver. Silver tequila is not aged at all, it's bottled the same year it was produced, and this year is 2020. For you, I have the following 2020 premium silver tequila coins, so you may always remember 5 de mayo 2020, no matter how much you drink today. Reposado Gold tequila Coins
Payment: Bitcoin or Crypto get priority! (include "Paying Crypto" in PM title to move to the front of the line). Else I'll accept Venmo, CashApp, or PayPalFF NO COMMENTS! Shipping is $5 for under 5oz, else $8 OLD THREAD HERE..... OLD THREAD HERE!!!OLD THREAD HERE..... OLD THREAD HERE!!!OLD THREAD HERE..... OLD THREAD HERE!!!OLD THREAD HERE..... OLD THREAD HERE!!!OLD THREAD HERE..... OLD THREAD HERE!!!OLD THREAD HERE..... OLD THREAD HERE!!!OLD THREAD HERE..... OLD THREAD HERE!!! PROOF! Hi, I have A LOT more items for sale & trade: The rest of my HUGE sale is here. FOR TRADE. Trade Proof COMPLETE! THANK YOU!!I want to propose an ASE for ASE trade to fill out my missing dates. If yours is a key date, I'm ok in paying extra. All of my ASEs are in perfect, pristine condition, have been in their tube their whole lives. We would exchange pictures of the actual coins we will send and then do the trade so everyone is happy, and everyone pays for their own shipping. to make the trade worth your time, I’ll include a clad Ike dollar to every trade of two or more coins :) I have these dates to give: 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016 I need any date NOT in this list:
I also have still sealed 2020 Philharmonics I could trade for ASE, Libertads, other year Phils, or modern Maples. If you'd like to trade one of my ASE for some of these other coins, hit me up too. FOR SALE Also selling the following: Constitutional Silver
For items where it's not included, shipping is $5 tracked for <5oz or $8 USPS Priority for >5oz PAYMENT: Bitcoin/Crypto is preferred and given priority (mention paying BTC in title of PM to move to the front of the line). Else Venmo, CashApp, PayPal FF NO COMMENTS are also accepted.
Hello all, This post is not intended to solicit political debate. Also if you think the social collapse in the U.S. is far fetched, then please ignore this post. I want to discuss how to prepare for an shtf situation as an American citizen - protecting your family and preserving value of assets as much as possible, more specifically: - How to protect our liquid asset from government in case it turns into fascist and try to confiscate individuals' assets. (this is not about escape taxes) - Hedge against hyper inflation. - Where (which state, or foreign country) to be to keep you family safe. I did read through a couple of past posts on this subject, but some of the specifics were mostly from people in EU and might not be applicable for Americans. For liquid assets -
Bitcoin - Safe from government. cons - it's volatile, but when shtf, this might not be much of a concern (FATCA proof)
Precious metal in physical form, in foreign bank(s). I don't know how viable this is, but seems like huge hassle to manage. Might be an option but I wouldn't put a significant portion of assets in this. (is this FATCA proof?)
Foreign currency - CAD, AUD? it' fairly easy to trade them in the US, but I am not sure how much protection it gives in a shtf situation if your foreign currency is held in a US based institute. It's hard to open a foreign bank account if you are not a resident in these countries. (most likely not FATCA proof)
Purchase properties in other countries. I guess for most people in this subreddit this is not very practical. (most likely not FATCA proof)
Foreign bank accounts (Swiss, Singapore banks?)
For keeping your family safe - where would you hunker down? Sure, a remote area, but where? In the US - Alaska? Mid-west states ? Outside the US - Canada? New Zealand? Australia? Singapore? Also since this is mostly a personal finance sub, I am going to leave AR15 out of this. Your input is much appreciated, thanks.
I'm thinking about buying a condo in Toronto but to be honest, Im terrified...please give me your input
My family is pushing me to sell my apartment abroad for which after taxes I'd get about CAD 100k. Realistically, Id have to spend about 400-450k on a small condo (which im fine with) in Toronto, i want to be in the area where I live now, I like it here, I have friends nearby, decent public ransit, I dont have to drive to work , I can take a streetcasubway etc. Cant see myself moving to the burbs etc as it would make me unhappy. Now, lets say I pay 20% down payment and manage to get a condo for around 420k. My monthly mortgage with tax and bills will come to around 2300 a month (20 years amm. period). Currently, I rent for 1400 a month in a great rent controlled apartment. I recently got a better job and now I manage to save 800-1000k a month, I had very little savings previously. I'm also 36. What would you do in my case? Im scared of such big responsibility, market is fickle, what if I get mortgage and lose my job? What if the housing market tanks, even if a little bit. Prices seem very inflated and dont make sense but at the same time how does one get any security in a midst of a housing crisis. One one hand I feel like I should do it if I can ( you know, if I bought a condo 10 years ago Id be rich now, if I bought bitcoins 20 years ago yada yada). On another I just feel like its a bit scary, I dont have a husband (its always easier when its two of you getting a mortgage) or rich family to help me, Im pretty much on my own. Please give me your personal experiences/opinions etc. Thank you,
Building the infrastructure for the Bitcoin Standard in Canada before the collapse of fiat currencies is the critical mission objective that drives innovation at Bull Bitcoin. We are very excited to announce an important milestone in fulfilling this duty: the public release of Liquid CAD, our newest product designed to accelerate and facilitate the adoption of Bitcoin. Liquid CAD is a non-custodial prepaid payment system denominated in Canadian dollars. Units of Liquid CAD (L-CAD) consist of vouchers issued on the Liquid Network as confidential bearer assets that can be transacted peer-to-peer using a Liquid wallet. Users acquire Liquid CAD by withdrawing their account balance out of Bull Bitcoin, by purchasing Liquid CAD with Bitcoin on Bull Bitcoin, by using the Liquid CAD withdrawal method on other Bitcoin liquidity providers such as Aquanow or by accepting L-CAD as method of payment.
L-CAD assets can only be redeemed for Bitcoin. They cannot be redeemed for a fiat currency payment.
Liquid CAD is a unique project rethinking the concept of fiat-pegged assets, avoiding the banking business model of “fiatcoin” (aka stablecoins) in favor of a prepaid payments model entirely centred around Bitcoin on-ramp and off-ramp. Liquid CAD is not a currency, nor is it a security: it is a prepaid card. Importantly, the business model of Liquid CAD is not to collect interest on funds in our custody, unlike fiatcoins, but rather to drive the sales of Bitcoin from which we derive our revenue and we benefit from Liquid CAD assets being cashed out and thus removed from our balance sheet. Bull Bitcoin does not get any revenue from interest. Every time an L-CAD token is purchased by a user, the amount of dollars deposited on Bull Bitcoin is guaranteed to one day be used by someone to purchase Bitcoin. It’s a one-way street: once a unit of fiat is tokenized as L-CAD, it’s never going back to its off-chain fiat form and will ultimately result in a buy order on a Bitcoin trading platform. The Liquid CAD logo is a drop of blood because our objective is to accelerate “fiat bleed”, a phenomenon best described by Pierre Rochard in his magnificent essay Speculative Attack:
“Bitcoin will not be eagerly adopted by the mainstream, it will be forced upon them. Forced, as in “compelled by economic reality”. People will be forced to pay with bitcoins, not because of ‘the technology’, but because no one will accept their worthless fiat for payments. Contrary to popular belief, good money drives out bad. This “driving out” has started as a small fiat bleed. It will rapidly escalate into Class IV hemorrhaging due to speculative attacks on weak fiat currencies. The end result will be hyperbitcoinization, i.e. “your money is no good here. Bitcoins are not just good money, they are the best money. The Bitcoin network has the best monetary policy and the best brand. We should therefore expect that bitcoins will drive out bad, weak currencies. My own prediction is that slow bleed has been accelerating and is only the first step. The second step will be speculative attacks that use bitcoins as a platform. The third and final step will be hyperbitcoinization.”
Different representations of Canadian dollars compete to be used as payment methods (cash, bank balances, PayPal balances, closed-loop prepaid cards, open-loop prepaid cards, etc.) and that the winner will be the one that has the best Bitcoin saleability, i.e. which can be most easily sold for Bitcoin at a moment’s notice. We’re very proud to provide this alternative payment method to Canadians in a time where the banking system is falling deeper into crisis, especially as the Canadian dollar is demonstrating itself to be one of the most pointless and weakest currencies that nobody really wants to hold. Finally, we’re very happy to be partnering with Aquanow, our recommended institutional liquidity provider for high-volume BTC-CAD trading. They will accept Liquid CAD deposits and withdrawals as being interchangeable with Canadian dollars. We hope that Liquid CAD will become the standard representation of Canadian dollar value among Canadian Bitcoin users.
Liquid Bitcoin (L-BTC) integration
In addition to Liquid CAD, Bull Bitcoin is also announcing that Liquid Bitcoin (L-BTC) payments are now supported interchangeably with Bitcoin transactions for all Bull Bitcoin services. This means that our users can buy, sell and spend L-BTC instead of BTC. Canadian Bitcoin traders can purchase L-BTC from BullBitcoin.com and fund their international trading accounts with L-BTC using ultra fast and cheap confidential transactions. They can also cash-out their Bitcoin balance as L-BTC from these platforms and sell those L-BTC for fiat on Bylls.com, avoiding risky and expensive international wire transfers to unknown and untrusted foreign banks. The transactional benefits of L-BTC are very potent:
Transaction amounts are hidden, in compliance with Canada’s strict privacy protection laws
Observers cannot tell whether the transaction is L-BTC or any other asset
Confirmation times are 1 minute
Transaction fees are very low (< 0.05$)
Disclaimer: Liquid Bitcoin (L-BTC) is not the same as Bitcoin (BTC). L-BTC Liquid Network assets are IOUs for Bitcoin held in a multisignature contract by the Liquid Network federation. The custody of the underlying Bitcoin is managed by a decentralized network of 15 members which process transactions and withdrawals from the multisignature contract according to the Liquid Federation protocol rules.
Liquid CAD detailed overview
Peer-to-peer prepaid payments by Bull Bitcoin
Liquid CAD is a non-custodial prepaid payment system denominated in Canadian dollars. Units of Liquid CAD (L-CAD) consist of vouchers issued on the Liquid Network as confidential bearer assets that can be transacted peer-to-peer using a Liquid wallet. Users acquire Liquid CAD by withdrawing their account balance out of the Bull Bitcoin, by purchasing Liquid CAD with Bitcoin on Bull Bitcoin, by using the Liquid CAD withdrawal method on other Bitcoin liquidity providers such as Aquanow or by accepting L-CAD as method of payment.
A new payment method in Canada
Liquid CAD can be used by anyone to send and receive payments denominated in Canadian dollars. Because of the permissionless nature of the Liquid Network, Bull Bitcoin cannot prevent Liquid CAD from being traded on secondary markets. Merchants, individuals and institutions must accept that only Bull Bitcoin can guarantee redemption of the L-CAD and that this redemption will be exclusively paid out in Bitcoin. Accepting Liquid CAD as payment is, in effect, the same as accepting gift cards as payment. However, Bitcoin being the most liquid commodity on the market, it can be transformed into any other currency easily for example using services such a Bylls which allow Canadians to pay all their utility bills, send bank transfers to third parties or sell Bitcoin to their bank account.
Making Canadian dollars bleed into Bitcoin
The purpose of Liquid CAD is to facilitate the transfer fiat in the context of the purchase and sale of Bitcoin and providing innovative new services that help Bitcoin users hedge the value of Canadian dollars against Bitcoin in the context of their commercial transactions. Our goal is to create a payment method that is specifically targeting Bitcoin users that wish to liquidate Canadian dollar payments for Bitcoin. Our mission is to accelerate the phenomenon known as “fiat bleed” whereby Canadians will gradually abandon inferior money (such as the Canadian dollar) for the superior Bitcoin alternative. Every Liquid CAD issued will ultimately be exchanged into Bitcoin. We are excited for the day Liquid CAD will be made obsolete by the inevitable hyperbitcoinization of the Canadian economy.
Like all other closed-loop prepaid instruments, Liquid CAD has counterparty risk. The owners are trusting that they will eventually be able to use Liquid CAD as a payment method on the Bull Bitcoin platform to fund their account and purchase Bitcoin. When a Bull Bitcoin user withdraws his Bull Bitcoin account balance as an L-CAD token, the Canadian dollars he used to fund this balance remains in our possession in the same manner as regular Bull Bitcoin vouchers. These funds are used to execute Bitcoin purchases when L-CAD owners decide to redeem their L-CAD for Bitcoin. In essence, each L-CAD is “backed” by the Canadian dollar deposit of the user that withdraws it from the platform in the first place.
Benefits of using and accepting Liquid CAD for payments
Irreversible, non-custodial and no bank required
Liquid CAD payments cannot be charged back, cancelled, delayed or frozen. There is no intermediary between the sender and the recipient. It is a bearer asset: whoever owns the keys owns the coins. It is a perfect way to accept payments or transact securely without depending on banks and payment processors. Canadians can use Liquid CAD to purchase Bitcoin and then use Bylls.com to pay billers, personal payees or simply sell Bitcoin to their bank account.
Fast transaction and cheap fees
Liquid Network transactions are sent and received instantly and require 1 minute for settlement. Transaction fees paid using Liquid Bitcoin can be as low as 300 satoshis per transaction (a few cents). In order to benefit from these cheap fees, make sure to download the latest version of the Elements software and ensure that the minimum transaction fee is set at 100 satoshis per kilobye. It only takes a few minutes to set up a free Liquid Network wallet, such a Green Wallet by blockstream.
Unlike Bitcoin, transactions between the sender and the recipient are encrypted. It is impossible for third parties observing Liquid CAD transactions on a block explorer to determine the amount of the transaction. In addition, it’s also impossible to even know you are using Liquid CAD, since the data identifying the asset itself is also encrypted!
What are the use-cases of Liquid CAD?
Buying and selling Bitcoin
The primary use-case of Liquid CAD is to make it easier to buy and sell Bitcoin on the Bull Bitcoin platform. By withdrawing their balance from Bull Bitcoin, users are reducing some (but not all) of the custody risk associated with keeping fiat currency on an exchange. For example, use Liquid CAD to create your own non-custodial dollar-cost-averaging schedule!
Onboarding new Bitcoin users
New users can be overwhelmed by the experience of dealing with banks to buy Bitcoin (and the heavier KYC process of account funding). You may be tempted to buy Bitcoin for them, but that will impose a lot of burdens on you. It’s much easier to set them up with a Green wallet, send them Liquid CAD and show them how to use Bull Bitcoin! They decide when is the right time for them to invest, with a lower KYC burden.
Hedging Bitcoin price
You may believe the price of Bitcoin will go down in the short term, but you still want to hold Bitcoin in the long term. Normally you have two options: short the Bitcoin price (very risky!) or sell your Bitcoin and receive Canadian dollars in your bank account (inconvenient!). By selling your Bitcoin for Liquid CAD, you can lock in the value of Bitcoin right now and buy them back later without needing to use your bank account or taking risks with leverage.
As a merchant, you want to receive the settlement of payments in Bitcoin. But this imposes a burden on your customers, which have to deal with the Bitcoin price volatility when they are paying you. Ask your clients to pay you with Liquid CAD, and you can get the settlement with Bitcoin on your own terms.
Payroll and suppliers
What if your staff or suppliers want to get paid in Bitcoin? It can be very difficult, because this means you are effectively buying Bitcoin on their behalf. Instead, you can pay them in Liquid CAD and let them deal with the process of choosing the exchange rate and using their own wallet. Let them deal with the tax burden, exchange rates and Bitcoin wallet security.
List of Bull Bitcoin Liquid Network features
Withdraw account balance as L-CAD
This is conceptually the same as “buying” Liquid CAD with your account balance. We call it “Withdrawing L-CAD” because on the Bull Bitcoin platform, we consider L-CAD and CAD to be interchangeable and fungible.
Fund account balance with L-CAD
To redeem Liquid CAD for Bitcoin, users need to first fund their account by selecting the “Deposit L-CAD” payment method. Bull Bitcoin users must always fund their account first before buying Bitcoin, and then purchase Bitcoin with their account balances. Reminder: account balances cannot be withdraw as fiat payments, but can later be withdrawn again as L-CAD.
Sell Bitcoin for L-CAD
You can sell Bitcoin and receive Liquid CAD payments instead of a bill payment, personal payee payment or bank payment. As soon as the Bitcoin transaction is confirmed, the Liquid CAD transaction is sent to the address you provided.
Liquid Bitcoin (L-BTC) and Bitcoin interchangeability
For every service which involves a Bitcoin payment, the user can substitute traditional Bitcoin payments for Liquid Bitcoin payments. This includes:
During the bear market there was a lot of discussion over whether it would be better to buy coin or invest in mining rigs. Here's my anecdotal example on opting for the mining route. I bought only used parts from people exiting the mining game when bitcoin was <$6k. I bought these taking a risk when mining profits were breakeven or slightly negative, but I live up north so they were used to heat the house which made it a bit more palatable at the time. The bulk of the ETH/ETC I mined was converted straight to BTC and currently I have mined almost 1BTC plus some alts I am speculating in. I had been mining on GPUs since 2013 small-scale and found a bunch of deals on kijiji. I was blown away by SMOS and HIVE OS... compared to mining LTC back in the day this is so much easier! Over the past year I've spent about $25k CAD on rigs, and accumulated 145 RX-series GPUs and 8 Vega 56's plus all the other hardware. My favourite deals were buying pre-built rigs. Currently limited by my 100 amp electrical service and running 115GPUs. I'm running 72GPUs on HIVE OS and the rest on SMOS. I haven't used HashR8 yet, but I'm thinking of splitting my farm up to run free rigs on HIVE and HasR8 and the remainder on SMOS to reduce overhead. The mine based on current profitability brings in about $70CAD/day revenue and the power cost is about $1100/month. The 115GPUs running put out about 3075MH. I estimate that these rigs will sell for significantly more than I originally paid if ETH makes another leg higher in the coming weeks. Right now selling my house and looking for upgraded 200 amp electric with 240V. Going to be setting up a secondary farm at my parent's house with the rigs I don't run at home. HIVE OS Settings for 8 x 8GB RX470 Rigs: Core: 947Mhz, Mem: 1750Mhz, Volt: 750mV, Speed: 26MH/s with these settings on an 8 card rig they are below 100W per card. I can't get quite as good performance with SMOS, it doesn't seem to like setting voltage below 800mv. Any tips on how I can reduce my power consumption and overhead costs further? I'm looking to achieve the best hash/watt possible and not chasing absolute performance. My power rate overnight is half the cost of peak rates, any thoughts on turning off the farm for the 6 hours of peak power costs? What should I mine with my Vegas? Since monero forked I haven't turned them on. Bitcoin halves in 64 days! GLTA.
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and worldwide payment system. It is the first decentralized digital currency, as the system works without a central bank or single administrator. The network is peer-to-peer and transactions take place between users directly, without an intermediary. These transactions are verified by network nodes through the use of cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ... In this page you can find, in the golden box, how much 1 Bitcoin is worth in Canadian Dollar, in real time. Ultimo Aggiornamento: 26/09/2020 1 BTC = 14298.7600 CAD How Much is Bitcoin Worth Today? Bitcoin is currently worth CAD as of the time you loaded this page. Top Bitcoin Exchanges in Canada . bitbuy is a Bitcoin exchange based in Toronto, Ontario. This Canadian exchange supports Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and other popular tokens using a variety of payment methods, including e-Transfer, credit card, and Flexepin bank transfer. Their users enjoy ... Bitcoin - Canadian Dollar Chart (BTC/CAD) Conversion rate for Bitcoin to CAD for today is CA$17,428.21. It has a current circulating supply of 18.5 Million coins and a total volume exchanged of CA$26,717,532,886 BTC [Bitcoin] CAD [Canadian Dollar] 0.01 Bitcoin = 170.500000 Canadian Dollar: 0.1 Bitcoin = 1705.000 Canadian Dollar: 1 Bitcoin = 17050.00 Canadian Dollar: 2 Bitcoin = 34100.00 Canadian Dollar: 3 Bitcoin = 51150.00 Canadian Dollar: 5 Bitcoin = 85250.00 Canadian Dollar: 10 Bitcoin = 170500 Canadian Dollar: 20 Bitcoin = 341000 Canadian Dollar ...
How to Buy Impulse Mod Menu GTAV (EASY) (NO BITCOIN) - YouTube
This is the most simple way to buy impulse as of right now and you don't even need bitcoin. hope you guys found it helpful and make sure to comment any issue... Follow the instructions on how to buy and sell currencies, and sure you can make money with it Some Helpful Links: • Buy Parts for a Mining Rig: http://amzn.to/2jSSsCz • Download NiceHash Miner: https://www.nicehash.com/?p=nhmintro • Choose a Wallet: h... For more information: https://www.bitcoinmining.com and https://www.weusecoins.com What is Bitcoin Mining? Have you ever wondered how Bitcoin is generated? T... A limit order is a buy or sell order executed at a specific price. The advantage of this order is that if the order is executed it will be done at a fixed price. However, the disadvantage to this ...