What It Would Take for the U.S. Dollar to Collapse

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:
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:

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:
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.
submitted by VodkaHaze to badeconomics [link] [comments]

(Hyper)inflation

I learned a lot reading about Bitcoin and gold, but i was wondering if there is a guarantee that the US Dollar will collapse in value? If not, what prevents it from not going down? I know it is the reserve currency of the world but printing more USD doesn't automatically mean there will be high numbers of inflation (or perhaps hyperinflation)?
What is the difference in regards to the recent tragic events in Turkey, Libanon, Argentine, Venezuela, etc.? Is it all because of money printing that these currencies lost all of their purchasing power? It looks as if other countries will follow?
I find this very interesting but I still can't see the full big picture. Any good sources to keep learning about all this?
Do you guys believe the Euro and Dollar one day will completely dissapear? If they go to a digital Euro/Dollar .. How will that be different from the cash we are using right now?
Do you think the Euro will get the same faith as the USD? I keep reading about money printing in the USA but I hardly read anything about Europe (I live in Europe btw).
I invested a lot of my money into Bitcoin. It's actually the only asset I currently bought as an investment. I am thinking about buying stocks (particularly index funds) since every money book I read recommends this and i also want to diversify a little for if BTC would fail. Now I'm wondering in which index fund I should invest .. I particularly wonder if America will remain the most powerful capitalist country or if China will take over in the next 50 years .. That's the only thing preventing me from investing in stocks. I don't know what to invest in and especially since now all stocks are so high priced ..
I know this is kind of a ramble but I would love to gain new perspectives from everybody. Thanks for all the insights!
submitted by Brainsick001 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Analysis of good and bad advice for investing in Bitcoin

A common advice platitude that is carelessly thrown about in /Bitcoin is something to the effect of "Bitcoin is a speculative asset; no one can know how it will play out and it could go to zero. You should never invest more than you can afford to lose"
I find this to be a particularly meaningless and nonsensical statement. First the assertion that Bitcoin is a speculative asset should immediately disqualify the person from giving advice. Not only does this statement reveal that the person making it does not know if Bitcoin is going to increase in value, it also implies that no one else can know this as well. This is a profoundly arrogant claim and is of no use. Contrast this to this article written by Pierre Rochard back in February of 2013. At the time of this article Bitcoin was worth $22/coin and was widely viewed as toy money and ridiculed as a joke. Pierre's article assesses the monetary policy of this "toy money" and concludes that it has a superior monetary policy to the US Federal Reserve and will therefore necessarily grow to overtake the US dollar and end the fed. Bitcoin has increased in value over 500x since Rochard's article was published.
If you hear someone giving advice and they say that "no one can know if Bitcoin will succeed" they are revealing their profound ignorance of monetary economics and their arrogance that no one else could possibly know something they fail to understand. Conversely we have people who have looked at Bitcoin when it was considered a joke and correctly concluded it would grow to take over the global economy and kill every central bank in the process. It should be obvious who is more qualified to speak on the matter and who should be ignored.
The last part of the advice is rather curious and reveals a glaring and very dangerous status quo bias. What is meant by "Do not invest more than you can afford to lose"? More importantly, if you choose not to invest in Bitcoin you are necessarily invested in something else. The investment in something else--USD perhaps, is dismissed as if that investment cannot lose. No one ever says "Do not invest more in the US Dollar than you can afford to lose", but perhaps they should. Considering the fact that the USD has been rapidly losing market share to a new currency competitor with a monetary policy unlike anything humanity has ever seen, perhaps this would be the best possible advice as it suggest there is a risk most people are unaware of.
My personal advice to people is this- If you do not understand monetary economics you have no business investing in a currency because you have no idea what you are doing. Most people would agree with this if I state this with regard to Bitcoin, but it is also true for holding significant amounts of US Dollars. Currencies can and do fail; currencies perceived as stable and "strong" collapse when they encounter competition from a currency with a superior monetary policy. If you do not understand this, you should educate yourself perhaps starting with people who correctly predicted Bitcoin's rise when it was worth $22/coin.
submitted by ztsmart to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Why we need to think more carefully about what money is and how it works

Most of us have overlooked a fundamental problem that is currently causing an insurmountable obstacle to building a fairer and more sustainable world. We are very familiar with the thing in question, but its problematic nature has been hidden from us by a powerful illusion. We think the problem is capitalism, but capitalism is just the logical outcome of aggregate human decisions about how to manage money. The fundamental problem is money itself, or more specifically general purpose money and the international free market which allows you to sell a chunk of rainforest and use the money to buy a soft drink factory. (You can use the same sort of money to sell anything and buy anything, anywhere in the world, and until recently there was no alternative at all. Bitcoin is now an alternative, but is not quite what we are looking for.) The illusion is that because market prices are free, and nobody is forced into a transaction, those prices must be fair – that the exchange is equitable. The truth is that the way the general money globalised free market system works means that even though the prices are freely determined, there is still an unequal flow of natural resources from poor parts of the world to rich parts. This means the poor parts will always remain poor, and resources will continue to accumulate in the large, unsustainable cities in rich countries. In other words, unless we re-invent money, we cannot overturn capitalism, and that means we can't build a sustainable civilisation.
Why does this matter? What use is it realising that general purpose money is at the root of our problems when we know that the rich and powerful people who run this world will do everything in their power to prevent the existing world system being reformed? They aren't just going to agree to get rid of general purpose money and economic globalisation. It's like asking them to stop pursuing growth: they can't even imagine how to do it, and don't want to. So how does this offer us a way forwards?
Answer: because the two things in question – our monetary system and globalisation – look like being among the first casualties of collapse. Globalisation is already going into reverse (see brexit, Trump's protectionism) and our fiat money system is heading towards a debt/inflation implosion.
It looks highly likely that the scenario going forwards will be of increasing monetary and economic chaos. Fiat money systems have collapsed many times before, but never a global system of fiat currencies floating against each other. But regardless of how may fiat currencies collapse, or how high the price of gold goes in dollars, it is not clear what the system would be replaced with. Can we just go back to the gold standard? It is possible, but people will be desperately looking for other solutions, and the people in power might also be getting desperate.
So what could replace it? What is needed is a new sort of complementary money system which both
(a) addresses the immediate economic problems of people suffering from symptoms of economic and general collapse and
(b) provides a long-term framework around which a new sort of economy can emerge – an economy which is adapted to deglobalisation and degrowth.
I have been searching for answers to this question for some time, and have now found what I was looking for. It is explained in this recently published academic book, and this paper by the same professor of economic anthropology (Alf Hornborg). The answer is the creation of a new sort of money, but it is critically important exactly how this is done. Local currencies like the Bristol Pound do not challenge globalisation. What we need is a new sort of national currency. This currency would be issued as a UBI, but only usable to buy products and services originating within an adjustable radius. This would enable a new economy to emerge. It actually resists globalisation and promotes the growth of a new sort of economy where sustainability is built on local resources and local economic activity. It would also reverse the trend of population moving from poor rural areas and towns, to cities. It would revitalise the “left behind” parts of the western world, and put the brakes on the relentless flow of natural resources and “embodied cheap labour” from the poor parts of the world to the rich parts. It would set the whole system moving towards a more sustainable and fairer state.
This may sound unrealistic, but please give it a chance. I believe it offers a way forwards that can
(a) unite disparate factions trying to provoke systemic change, including eco-marxists, greens, posthumanists and anti-globalist supporters of “populist nationalism”. The only people who really stand to lose are the supporters of global big business and the 1%.
(b) offers a realistic alternative to a money system heading towards collapse, and to which currently no other realistic alternative is being proposed.
In other words, this offers a realistic way forwards not just right now but through much of the early stages of collapse. It is likely to become both politically and economically viable within the forseeable future. It does, though, require some elements of the left to abandon its globalist ideals. It will have to embrace a new sort of nationalism. And it will require various groups who are doing very well out of the current economic system to realise that it is doomed.
Here is an FAQ (from the paper).
What is a complementary currency? It is a form of money that can be used alongside regular money.
What is the fundamental goal of this proposal? The two most fundamental goals motivating this proposal are to insulate local human subsistence and livelihood from the vicissitudes of national and international economic cycles and financial speculation, and to provide tangible and attractive incentives for people to live and consume more sustainably. It also seeks to provide authorities with a means to employ social security expenditures to channel consumption in sustainable directions and encourage economic diversity and community resilience at the local level.
Why should the state administrate the reform? The nation is currently the most encompassing political entity capable of administrating an economic reform of this nature. Ideally it is also subservient to the democratic decisions of its population. The current proposal is envisaged as an option for European nations, but would seem equally advantageous for countries anywhere. If successfully implemented within a particular nation or set of nations, the system can be expected to be emulated by others. Whereas earlier experiments with alternative currencies have generally been local, bottom-up initiatives, a state-supported program offers advantages for long-term success. Rather than an informal, marginal movement connected to particular identities and transient social networks, persisting only as long as the enthusiasm of its founders, the complementary currency advocated here is formalized, efficacious, and lastingly fundamental to everyone's economy.
How is local use defined and monitored? The complementary currency (CC) can only be used to purchase goods and services that are produced within a given geographical radius of the point of purchase. This radius can be defined in terms of kilometers of transport, and it can vary between different nations and regions depending on circumstances. A fairly simple way of distinguishing local from non-local commodities would be to label them according to transport distance, much as is currently done regarding, for instance, organic production methods or "fair trade." Such transport certification would of course imply different labelling in different locales.
How is the complementary currency distributed? A practical way of organizing distribution would be to provide each citizen with a plastic card which is electronically charged each month with the sum of CC allotted to him or her.
Who are included in the category of citizens? A monthly CC is provided to all inhabitants of a nation who have received official residence permits.
What does basic income mean? Basic income is distributed without any requirements or duties to be fulfilled by the recipients. The sum of CC paid to an individual each month can be determined in relation to the currency's purchasing power and to the individual's age. The guiding principle should be that the sum provided to each adult should be sufficient to enable basic existence, and that the sum provided for each child should correspond to the additional household expenses it represents.
Why would people want to use their CC rather than regular money? As the sum of CC provided each month would correspond to purchases representing a claim on his or her regular budget, the basic income would liberate a part of each person's regular income and thus amount to substantial purchasing power, albeit restricted only to local purchases. The basic income in CC would reduce a person's dependence on wage labor and the risks currently associated with unemployment. It would encourage social cooperation and a vitalization of community.
Why would businesses want to accept payment in CC? Business entrepreneurs can be expected to respond rapidly to the radically expanded demand for local products and services, which would provide opportunities for a diverse range of local niche markets. Whether they receive all or only a part of their income in the form of CC, they can choose to use some of it to purchase tax-free local labor or other inputs, and to request to have some of it converted by the authorities to regular currency (see next point).
How is conversion of CC into regular currency organized? Entrepreneurs would be granted the right to convert some of their CC into regular currency at exchange rates set by the authorities.The exchange rate between the two currencies can be calibrated so as to compensate the authorities for loss of tax revenue and to balance the in- and outflows of CC to the state. The rate would thus amount to a tool for determining the extent to which the CC is recirculated in the local economy, or returned to the state. This is important in order to avoid inflation in the CC sector.
Would there be interest on sums of CC owned or loaned? There would be no interest accruing on a sum of CC, whether a surplus accumulating in an account or a loan extended.
How would saving and loaning of CC be organized? The formal granting of credit in CC would be managed by state authorities and follow the principle of full reserve banking, so that quantities of CC loaned would never exceed the quantities saved by the population as a whole.
Would the circulation of CC be subjected to taxation? No.
Why would authorities want to encourage tax-free local economies? Given the beneficial social and ecological consequences of this reform, it is assumed that nation states will represent the general interests of their electorates and thus promote it. Particularly in a situation with rising fiscal deficits, unemployment, health care, and social security expenditures, the proposed reform would alleviate financial pressure on governments. It would also reduce the rising costs of transport infrastructure, environmental protection, carbon offsetting, and climate change adaptation. In short, the rising costs and diminishing returns on current strategies for economic growth can be expected to encourage politicians to consider proposals such as this, as a means of avoiding escalating debt or even bankruptcy.
How would the state's expenditures in CC be financed? As suggested above, much of these expenditures would be balanced by the reduced costs for social security, health care, transport infrastructure, environmental protection, carbon offsetting, and climate change adaptation. As these savings may take time to materialize, however, states can choose to make a proportion of their social security payments (pensions, unemployment insurance, family allowance, etc.) in the form of CC. As between a third and half of some nations' annual budgets are committed to social security, this represents a significant option for financing the reform, requiring no corresponding tax levies.
What are the differences between this CC and the many experiments with local currencies? This proposal should not be confused with the notion, or with the practical operation, of local currencies, as it does not imply different currencies in different locales but one national,complementary currency for local use. Nor is it locally initiated and promoted in opposition to theregular currency, but centrally endorsed and administrated as an accepted complement to it. Most importantly, the alternative currency can only be used to purchase products and services originating from within a given geographical range, a restriction which is not implemented in experiments with Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS). Finally, the CC is provided as a basic income to all residents of a nation, rather than only earned in proportion to the extent to which a person has made him- or herself useful in the local economy.
What would the ecological benefits be? The reform would radically reduce the demand for long-distance transport, the production of greenhouse gas emissions, consumption of energy and materials, and losses of foodstuffs through overproduction, storage, and transport. It would increase recycling of nutrients and packaging materials, which means decreasing leakage of nutrients and less garbage. It would reduce agricultural intensification, increase biodiversity, and decrease ecological degradation and vulnerability.
What would the societal benefits be? The reform would increase local cooperation, decrease social marginalization and addiction problems, provide more physical exercise, improve psycho-social and physical health, and increase food security and general community resilience. It would decrease the number of traffic accidents, provide fresher and healthier food with less preservatives, and improved contact between producers and consumers.
What would the long-term consequences be for the economy? The reform would no doubt generate radical transformations of the economy, as is precisely the intention. There would be a significant shift of dominance from transnational corporations founded on financial speculation and trade in industrially produced foodstuffs, fuels, and other internationally transported goods to locally diverse producers and services geared to sustainable livelihoods. This would be a democratic consequence of consumer power, rather than of legislation. Through a relatively simple transformation of the conditions for market rationality, governments can encourage new and more sustainable patterns of consumer behavior. In contrast to much of the drastic and often traumatic economic change of the past two centuries, these changes would be democratic and sustainable and would improve local and national resilience.
Why should society want to encourage people to refrain from formal employment? It is increasingly recognized that full or high employment cannot be a goal in itself, particularly if it implies escalating environmental degradation and energy and material throughput. Well-founded calls are thus currently made for degrowth, i.e. a reduction in the rate of production of goods and services that are conventionally quantified by economists as constitutive of GDP. Whether formal unemployment is the result of financial decline, technological development, or intentional policy for sustainability, no modern nation can be expected to leave its citizens economically unsupported. To subsist on basic income is undoubtedly more edifying than receiving unemployment insurance; the CC system encourages useful community cooperation and creative activities rather than destructive behavior that may damage a person's health.
Why should people receive an income without working? As observed above, modern nations will provide for their citizens whether they are formally employed or not. The incentive to find employment should ideally not be propelled only by economic imperatives, but more by the desire to maintain a given identity and to contribute creatively to society. Personal liberty would be enhanced by a reform which makes it possible for people to choose to spend (some of) their time on creative activities that are not remunerated on the formal market, and to accept the tradeoff implied by a somewhat lower economic standard. People can also be expected to devote a greater proportion of their time to community cooperation, earning additional CC, which means that they will contribute more to society – and experience less marginalization – than the currently unemployed.
Would savings in CC be inheritable? No.
How would transport distances of products and services be controlled? It is reasonable to expect the authorities to establish a special agency for monitoring and controlling transport distances. It seems unlikely that entrepreneurs would attempt to cheat the system by presenting distantly produced goods as locally produced, as we can expect income in regular currency generally to be preferable to income in CC. Such attempts would also entail transport costs which should make the cargo less competitive in relation to genuinely local produce, suggesting that the logic of local market mechanisms would by and large obviate the problem.
How would differences in local conditions (such as climate, soils, and urbanism) be dealt with?It is unavoidable that there would be significant variation between different locales in terms of the conditions for producing different kinds of goods. This means that relative local prices in CC for agiven product can be expected to vary from place to place. This may in turn mean that consumption patterns will vary somewhat between locales, which is predictable and not necessarily a problem. Generally speaking, a localization of resource flows can be expected to result in a more diverse pattern of calibration to local resource endowments, as in premodern contexts. The proposed system allows for considerable flexibility in terms of the geographical definition of what is categorized as local, depending on such conditions. In a fertile agricultural region, the radius for local produce may be defined, for instance, as 20 km, whereas in a less fertile or urban area, it may be 50 km. People living in urban centers are faced with a particular challenge. The reform would encourage an increased production of foodstuffs within and in the vicinity of urban areas, which in the long run may also affect urban planning. People might also choose to move to the countryside, where the range of subsistence goods that can be purchased with CC will tend to be greater. In the long run, the reform can be expected to encourage a better fit between the distribution of resources (such as agricultural land) and demography. This is fully in line with the intention of reducing long-distance transports of necessities.
What would the consequences be if people converted resources from one currency sphere into products or services sold in another? It seems unfeasible to monitor and regulate the use of distant imports (such as machinery and fuels) in producing produce for local markets, but as production for local markets is remunerated in CC, this should constitute a disincentive to invest regular money in such production processes. Production for local consumption can thus be expected to rely mostly – and increasingly – on local labor and other resource inputs.

submitted by anthropoz to sustainability [link] [comments]

Dissecting the Parasitocracy

Instead of honest democracy or free-market meritocracy, we truly live under rule by parasites. (This term is not meant to be derogatory but to be apt. I suppose many, if not most of us, would opt to be one of the parasites, if given the choice.)
Trying to describe how the financial and political elites receive unearned wealth and power can get complicated very quickly. To find a simple but rigorous theory to cover most major features of the beast requires looking at it the right way.
By and large, how it works is that:
The elites use state power to prop up the values of money, debt, and other financial assets artificially, to benefit those who issue them, i.e. themselves. When some over-valued asset eventually must crash, the entire economy suffers the loss of jobs, business and savings.
 
Example: The Bank Account
Public illusion. A commercial-bank 'deposit' is as good as money. You will get all your money back, any time you want.
Reality. 'Deposits' are really loans to the bank which lends them to borrowers, some of whom may never pay them back. Another danger is that savers may ask for their money at any time, while loans by the bank tend to have longer-term maturities.
How to bridge myth and reality. An truly free-market system would drive banks to communicate expectations openly. A simple example could be having 'depositors' expect to lose money if the bank makes bad loans. The problem with such an honest system, of course, is that top politicians and bankers wouldn't benefit much, since people would likely put much less money in banks.
The confidence trick. The government props up the illusion, while it can. Classic tools over the centuries include allowing banks to collude by rescuing each other in a crisis, bailing banks out with public money, and providing deposit insurance. If this gives bankers the incentives to take too much risk, bankers redeem themselves by being a lender to the government. Since both sets of elites benefit, what problem is there? (In recent decades investment banks and money market funds have formed a shadow banking system which plays an equivalent role. While the last US commercial-bank bust happened in the 1980s' savings-and-loan crisis, the last shadow-bank variety occurred in 2007-8.)
Analysis. While credit is indeed crucial to economic growth, to use government power to prop up the values of loans to banks, and then to rely on bureaucrats and their rules to limit risk-taking by bankers is a distortion of the credit market. It is the driver of much human misery. Central planning, somehow, always benefits the few at the expense of the many, even if it claims to do just the opposite.
 
Example: Government Bonds
Public illusion. The 'full faith and credit' of the government stands behind the IOU it issues to you. Your IOU is as good as money.
Reality. Since much public debt is almost as trusted as money, incurring this debt is almost as good as printing money. Politicians thus have an incentive to maximize the issuance of debt to receive free political capital, even if this destabilizes their own system in the long run. Public debt all over the world goes only up. Even though powerful governments can keep their debt bubbles going for a century or more, those incentives mean that their IOUs will eventually lose value, one way or another.
How to bridge myth and reality. Even aside from the moral problems of 'money' creation and putting burden on people who can't yet vote, public debt should at least be allowed to sink or swim in the capital markets. If a government incurs too much debt, savers would be incentivized to punish it by demanding a higher yield, and politicians would in turn be incentivized to cut back borrowing.
The confidence trick. When savers get too wary of public debt, the central bank steps in to buy it with freshly printed money, thus propping up the value of these IOUs. This is done in the name of 'monetary policy,' either by buying public debt directly as 'open market' operations, or, more frequently, by supplying banks with cheap new money so they will buy it. Most of the time, savers can't fight city hall, and will thus tend to buy and hold IOUs, further limiting the downside risk of their values. This entire system thus amounts to a bubble.
Analysis. It doesn't matter how powerful a government is -- Public debt always crashes eventually. The dominant global empires of Spain, the Netherlands, and Britain were destroyed by this crash in their days. (In the case of Britain the relevant 'public debt' took the form of paper pound sterling that was officially an IOU for a fixed amount of gold.) No one believes US debt is really payable with anything close to the purchasing power savers and foreign central banks used to buy it, although by the time its value can no longer be propped up, most politicians and voters who have benefited from issuing it will have been gone.
 
Example: Money
Public illusion. Central banks issue and destroy currency to manage economic output for the benefit of the public. At least in the West, proper management has resulted in low and constant inflation that has justified the public's evident trust in currency's value.
Reality. The real job description of the central bank is to safeguard the state-bank alliance. It holds power over the most central asset, money, in order to discourage both politicians and bankers from issuing assets too fast and thus endangering the system. The goal is well-paced harvesting of the fruits of real work. Over the decades, prices only move in one direction: up.
How to bridge myth and reality. Unfortunately, there is no way to remove the incentives to abuse the issuance of money while the state or a banking cartel has any role in the issuance.
The confidence trick. The problem of holding up the public's trust in currency was solved in a simple fashion by the classical gold and silver standards in their day, while the authorities had enough precious metals to back their paper. Today, the central bank needs to keep the return on 'safe' assets (e.g. short-term Treasuries, insured deposits) above the return on non-state-issued assets, i.e. gold, silver and Bitcoin. (Recent books like 'Gold Wars' and 'The Gold Cartel' have come up with good evidence of central-bank suppression of precious metal prices by trading derivatives.) In this it seems to succeed most of the time, but fail spectacularly at other times. It also needs to keep the return on 'safe' assets below the return on risky assets like stocks, over the long term. The goal of both operations is to use state power to force savers to take risks and help prop up the bubble economy. (Ever wonder why financial crisis always seems to come back?) When you hear of 'tightening' or 'loosening' the money supply, this control is what's really going on. So, it's not that the public trusts currency; most feel they have no choice.
Analysis. It's not, as most mainstream economists claim, that state-controlled money is required for modern economic growth. The Italian Renaissance and Scottish 'free-banking' era were counter-examples. It's really the other way round. The real productivity of the modern world gives value to the financial assets issued by the elites, and thus help sustain their financial inflation, at least until the perverse incentives destabilizes the system anyway. In the Middle Ages, money was physical gold and silver -- when there was no wealth to extract, the state couldn't create its financial inflation.
 
Final Thoughts
A key feature of this system is that it doesn't matter if you understand it. You still must gamble, or risk your savings being eaten away by inflation. The gamble by the public as a whole is certain to end in loss, since the elites will always destabilize asset values to the point of collapse. The lose-lose proposition works the same way as literal highway robbery -- you can certainly hold on to your money; you just can't keep your life at the same time.
That said, there are times when the elites are likely to be forced to devalue their money, and with it all other conventional assets, against gold, silver and Bitcoin, in order to hold on to power. This makes it statistically profitable to hold non-state-issued assets at those times. (An analogy would be standing at the front of the line to redeem deposits for cash during a bank run, or to redeem pound sterling for gold at the Bank of England just before Britain was forced off the gold standard.) Necessarily, only a minority will profit from this bet, but its existence is a healthy incentive that pushes the elites to minimize financial inflation.
This devaluation is conceptually the same as 'banana republics' having to devalue their currency against the dollar because they've printed too much. The typical way to do this is to strongly deny any prospect of devaluation until the very moment, devalue as fast as possible (and devalue enough to keep their system stable for a while,) and deny any further devaluations in future. So, it's perhaps no accident that the price movements of gold, silver and Bitcoin have been long and gradual declines most of the time, punctuated by sharp rises over short periods, and rising overall over the long term.
The system is an 'open conspiracy.' Instead of secrecy, it relies on a combination of state power and ignorance by the public. The only sustainable path to achieving a healthy and just system is for the public to wake up. But the devaluation of its issued money against non-state monies shows that, in a subtle but profoundly real sense, the system is a paper tiger. Since the power of the modern imperial system depends necessarily on various alliances of self-interest as well as the perception of its support for classically liberal ideals, if enough people, and people in the right places, refuse to be intimidated, or expose its nature, the system must make concessions, and make the world perhaps a little better.
This possibility of piecewise progress exists in all corners of the system, at most times. Here, then, is where our hope must be for the future. It will be a long battle indeed, and we must be prepared for the entire duration.
submitted by BobK72 to conspiracy_commons [link] [comments]

A realistic way forwards (long, but I believe important)

Most of us have overlooked a fundamental problem that is currently causing an insurmountable obstacle to building a fairer and more sustainable world. We are very familiar with the thing in question, but its problematic nature has been hidden from us by a powerful illusion. We think the problem is capitalism, but capitalism is just the logical outcome of aggregate human decisions about how to manage money. The fundamental problem is money itself, or more specifically general purpose money and the international free market which allows you to sell a chunk of rainforest and use the money to buy a soft drink factory. (You can use the same sort of money to sell anything and buy anything, anywhere in the world, and until recently there was no alternative at all. Bitcoin is now an alternative, but is not quite what we are looking for.) The illusion is that because market prices are free, and nobody is forced into a transaction, those prices must be fair – that the exchange is equitable. The truth is that the way the general money globalised free market system works means that even though the prices are freely determined, there is still an unequal flow of natural resources from poor parts of the world to rich parts. This means the poor parts will always remain poor, and resources will continue to accumulate in the large, unsustainable cities in rich countries. In other words, unless we re-invent money, we cannot overturn capitalism, and that means we can't build a sustainable civilisation.
Why does this matter? What use is it realising that general purpose money is at the root of our problems when we know that the rich and powerful people who run this world will do everything in their power to prevent the existing world system being reformed? They aren't just going to agree to get rid of general purpose money and economic globalisation. It's like asking them to stop pursuing growth: they can't even imagine how to do it, and don't want to. So how does this offer us a way forwards?
Answer: because the two things in question – our monetary system and globalisation – look like being among the first casualties of collapse. Globalisation is already going into reverse (see brexit, Trump's protectionism) and our fiat money system is heading towards a debt/inflation implosion.
It looks highly likely that the scenario going forwards will be of increasing monetary and economic chaos. Fiat money systems have collapsed many times before, but never a global system of fiat currencies floating against each other. But regardless of how may fiat currencies collapse, or how high the price of gold goes in dollars, it is not clear what the system would be replaced with. Can we just go back to the gold standard? It is possible, but people will be desperately looking for other solutions, and the people in power might also be getting desperate.
So what could replace it? What is needed is a new sort of complementary money system which both
(a) addresses the immediate economic problems of people suffering from symptoms of economic and general collapse and
(b) provides a long-term framework around which a new sort of economy can emerge – an economy which is adapted to deglobalisation and degrowth.
I have been searching for answers to this question for some time, and have now found what I was looking for. It is explained in this recently published academic book, and this paper by the same professor of economic anthropology (Alf Hornborg). The answer is the creation of a new sort of money, but it is critically important exactly how this is done. Local currencies like the Bristol Pound do not challenge globalisation. What we need is a new sort of national currency. This currency would be issued as a UBI, but only usable to buy products and services originating within an adjustable radius. This would enable a new economy to emerge. It actually resists globalisation and promotes the growth of a new sort of economy where sustainability is built on local resources and local economic activity. It would also reverse the trend of population moving from poor rural areas and towns, to cities. It would revitalise the “left behind” parts of the western world, and put the brakes on the relentless flow of natural resources and “embodied cheap labour” from the poor parts of the world to the rich parts. It would set the whole system moving towards a more sustainable and fairer state.
This may sound unrealistic, but please give it a chance. I believe it offers a way forwards that can
(a) unite disparate factions trying to provoke systemic change, including eco-marxists, greens, posthumanists and anti-globalist supporters of “populist nationalism”, as well as large numbers of confused and worried "ordinary" people. The only people who really stand to lose are the supporters of global big business and the 1%.
(b) offers a realistic alternative to a money system heading towards collapse, and to which currently no other realistic alternative is being proposed.
In other words, this offers a realistic way forwards not just right now but through much of the early stages of collapse. It is likely to become both politically and economically viable within the forseeable future. It does, though, require some elements of the left to abandon its globalist ideals. It will have to embrace a new sort of nationalism. And it will require various groups who are doing very well out of the current economic system to realise that it is doomed.
Here is an FAQ (from the paper).
What is a complementary currency? It is a form of money that can be used alongside regular money.
What is the fundamental goal of this proposal? The two most fundamental goals motivating this proposal are to insulate local human subsistence and livelihood from the vicissitudes of national and international economic cycles and financial speculation, and to provide tangible and attractive incentives for people to live and consume more sustainably. It also seeks to provide authorities with a means to employ social security expenditures to channel consumption in sustainable directions and encourage economic diversity and community resilience at the local level.
Why should the state administrate the reform? The nation is currently the most encompassing political entity capable of administrating an economic reform of this nature. Ideally it is also subservient to the democratic decisions of its population. The current proposal is envisaged as an option for European nations, but would seem equally advantageous for countries anywhere. If successfully implemented within a particular nation or set of nations, the system can be expected to be emulated by others. Whereas earlier experiments with alternative currencies have generally been local, bottom-up initiatives, a state-supported program offers advantages for long-term success. Rather than an informal, marginal movement connected to particular identities and transient social networks, persisting only as long as the enthusiasm of its founders, the complementary currency advocated here is formalized, efficacious, and lastingly fundamental to everyone's economy.
How is local use defined and monitored? The complementary currency (CC) can only be used to purchase goods and services that are produced within a given geographical radius of the point of purchase. This radius can be defined in terms of kilometers of transport, and it can vary between different nations and regions depending on circumstances. A fairly simple way of distinguishing local from non-local commodities would be to label them according to transport distance, much as is currently done regarding, for instance, organic production methods or "fair trade." Such transport certification would of course imply different labelling in different locales.
How is the complementary currency distributed? A practical way of organizing distribution would be to provide each citizen with a plastic card which is electronically charged each month with the sum of CC allotted to him or her.
Who are included in the category of citizens? A monthly CC is provided to all inhabitants of a nation who have received official residence permits.
What does basic income mean? Basic income is distributed without any requirements or duties to be fulfilled by the recipients. The sum of CC paid to an individual each month can be determined in relation to the currency's purchasing power and to the individual's age. The guiding principle should be that the sum provided to each adult should be sufficient to enable basic existence, and that the sum provided for each child should correspond to the additional household expenses it represents.
Why would people want to use their CC rather than regular money? As the sum of CC provided each month would correspond to purchases representing a claim on his or her regular budget, the basic income would liberate a part of each person's regular income and thus amount to substantial purchasing power, albeit restricted only to local purchases. The basic income in CC would reduce a person's dependence on wage labor and the risks currently associated with unemployment. It would encourage social cooperation and a vitalization of community.
Why would businesses want to accept payment in CC? Business entrepreneurs can be expected to respond rapidly to the radically expanded demand for local products and services, which would provide opportunities for a diverse range of local niche markets. Whether they receive all or only a part of their income in the form of CC, they can choose to use some of it to purchase tax-free local labor or other inputs, and to request to have some of it converted by the authorities to regular currency (see next point).
How is conversion of CC into regular currency organized? Entrepreneurs would be granted the right to convert some of their CC into regular currency at exchange rates set by the authorities.The exchange rate between the two currencies can be calibrated so as to compensate the authorities for loss of tax revenue and to balance the in- and outflows of CC to the state. The rate would thus amount to a tool for determining the extent to which the CC is recirculated in the local economy, or returned to the state. This is important in order to avoid inflation in the CC sector.
Would there be interest on sums of CC owned or loaned? There would be no interest accruing on a sum of CC, whether a surplus accumulating in an account or a loan extended.
How would saving and loaning of CC be organized? The formal granting of credit in CC would be managed by state authorities and follow the principle of full reserve banking, so that quantities of CC loaned would never exceed the quantities saved by the population as a whole.
Would the circulation of CC be subjected to taxation? No.
Why would authorities want to encourage tax-free local economies? Given the beneficial social and ecological consequences of this reform, it is assumed that nation states will represent the general interests of their electorates and thus promote it. Particularly in a situation with rising fiscal deficits, unemployment, health care, and social security expenditures, the proposed reform would alleviate financial pressure on governments. It would also reduce the rising costs of transport infrastructure, environmental protection, carbon offsetting, and climate change adaptation. In short, the rising costs and diminishing returns on current strategies for economic growth can be expected to encourage politicians to consider proposals such as this, as a means of avoiding escalating debt or even bankruptcy.
How would the state's expenditures in CC be financed? As suggested above, much of these expenditures would be balanced by the reduced costs for social security, health care, transport infrastructure, environmental protection, carbon offsetting, and climate change adaptation. As these savings may take time to materialize, however, states can choose to make a proportion of their social security payments (pensions, unemployment insurance, family allowance, etc.) in the form of CC. As between a third and half of some nations' annual budgets are committed to social security, this represents a significant option for financing the reform, requiring no corresponding tax levies.
What are the differences between this CC and the many experiments with local currencies? This proposal should not be confused with the notion, or with the practical operation, of local currencies, as it does not imply different currencies in different locales but one national,complementary currency for local use. Nor is it locally initiated and promoted in opposition to theregular currency, but centrally endorsed and administrated as an accepted complement to it. Most importantly, the alternative currency can only be used to purchase products and services originating from within a given geographical range, a restriction which is not implemented in experiments with Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS). Finally, the CC is provided as a basic income to all residents of a nation, rather than only earned in proportion to the extent to which a person has made him- or herself useful in the local economy.
What would the ecological benefits be? The reform would radically reduce the demand for long-distance transport, the production of greenhouse gas emissions, consumption of energy and materials, and losses of foodstuffs through overproduction, storage, and transport. It would increase recycling of nutrients and packaging materials, which means decreasing leakage of nutrients and less garbage. It would reduce agricultural intensification, increase biodiversity, and decrease ecological degradation and vulnerability.
What would the societal benefits be? The reform would increase local cooperation, decrease social marginalization and addiction problems, provide more physical exercise, improve psycho-social and physical health, and increase food security and general community resilience. It would decrease the number of traffic accidents, provide fresher and healthier food with less preservatives, and improved contact between producers and consumers.
What would the long-term consequences be for the economy? The reform would no doubt generate radical transformations of the economy, as is precisely the intention. There would be a significant shift of dominance from transnational corporations founded on financial speculation and trade in industrially produced foodstuffs, fuels, and other internationally transported goods to locally diverse producers and services geared to sustainable livelihoods. This would be a democratic consequence of consumer power, rather than of legislation. Through a relatively simple transformation of the conditions for market rationality, governments can encourage new and more sustainable patterns of consumer behavior. In contrast to much of the drastic and often traumatic economic change of the past two centuries, these changes would be democratic and sustainable and would improve local and national resilience.
Why should society want to encourage people to refrain from formal employment? It is increasingly recognized that full or high employment cannot be a goal in itself, particularly if it implies escalating environmental degradation and energy and material throughput. Well-founded calls are thus currently made for degrowth, i.e. a reduction in the rate of production of goods and services that are conventionally quantified by economists as constitutive of GDP. Whether formal unemployment is the result of financial decline, technological development, or intentional policy for sustainability, no modern nation can be expected to leave its citizens economically unsupported. To subsist on basic income is undoubtedly more edifying than receiving unemployment insurance; the CC system encourages useful community cooperation and creative activities rather than destructive behavior that may damage a person's health.
Why should people receive an income without working? As observed above, modern nations will provide for their citizens whether they are formally employed or not. The incentive to find employment should ideally not be propelled only by economic imperatives, but more by the desire to maintain a given identity and to contribute creatively to society. Personal liberty would be enhanced by a reform which makes it possible for people to choose to spend (some of) their time on creative activities that are not remunerated on the formal market, and to accept the tradeoff implied by a somewhat lower economic standard. People can also be expected to devote a greater proportion of their time to community cooperation, earning additional CC, which means that they will contribute more to society – and experience less marginalization – than the currently unemployed.
Would savings in CC be inheritable? No.
How would transport distances of products and services be controlled? It is reasonable to expect the authorities to establish a special agency for monitoring and controlling transport distances. It seems unlikely that entrepreneurs would attempt to cheat the system by presenting distantly produced goods as locally produced, as we can expect income in regular currency generally to be preferable to income in CC. Such attempts would also entail transport costs which should make the cargo less competitive in relation to genuinely local produce, suggesting that the logic of local market mechanisms would by and large obviate the problem.
How would differences in local conditions (such as climate, soils, and urbanism) be dealt with? It is unavoidable that there would be significant variation between different locales in terms of the conditions for producing different kinds of goods. This means that relative local prices in CC for agiven product can be expected to vary from place to place. This may in turn mean that consumption patterns will vary somewhat between locales, which is predictable and not necessarily a problem. Generally speaking, a localization of resource flows can be expected to result in a more diverse pattern of calibration to local resource endowments, as in premodern contexts. The proposed system allows for considerable flexibility in terms of the geographical definition of what is categorized as local, depending on such conditions. In a fertile agricultural region, the radius for local produce may be defined, for instance, as 20 km, whereas in a less fertile or urban area, it may be 50 km. People living in urban centers are faced with a particular challenge. The reform would encourage an increased production of foodstuffs within and in the vicinity of urban areas, which in the long run may also affect urban planning. People might also choose to move to the countryside, where the range of subsistence goods that can be purchased with CC will tend to be greater. In the long run, the reform can be expected to encourage a better fit between the distribution of resources (such as agricultural land) and demography. This is fully in line with the intention of reducing long-distance transports of necessities.
What would the consequences be if people converted resources from one currency sphere into products or services sold in another? It seems unfeasible to monitor and regulate the use of distant imports (such as machinery and fuels) in producing produce for local markets, but as production for local markets is remunerated in CC, this should constitute a disincentive to invest regular money in such production processes. Production for local consumption can thus be expected to rely mostly – and increasingly – on local labor and other resource inputs.
submitted by anthropoz to ExtinctionRebellion [link] [comments]

Flatten the Curve. #18. The current cold war between China and America explained. And how China was behind the 2008 Wall Street financial Crash. World War 3 is coming.

China, the USA, and the Afghanistan war are linked. And in order to get here, we will start there.
9-11 happened. Most of the planet mistakenly understood terrorists had struck a blow against Freedom and Capitalism and Democracy. It was time to invade Afghanistan. Yet all of the terrorists were linked to Saudi Arabia and not Afghanistan, that didn't make sense either. Yet they invaded to find Bin Laden, an ex CIA asset against the Soviet Union and it's subjugation of Afghanistan. The land in the middle of nowhere in relation to North America and the West. It was barren. A backwater without any strategic importance or natural resources.
Or was there?
The survey for rare earth elements was only made possible by the 2001 U.S. invasion, with work beginning in 2004. Mirzad says the Russians had already done significant surveying work during their military occupation of the country in the 1980s. Mirzad also toes the line for U.S. corporations, arguing, “The Afghan government should not touch the mining business. We have to give enough information to potential investors.”
Rare Earth Elements. The elements that make the information age possible. People could understand the First Gulf War and the Geopolitical importance of oil. That was easy, but it still didn't sound morally just to have a war for oil. It was too imperialist and so they fell in line and supported a war for Kuwaiti freedom instead, despite the obvious and public manipulation at the UN by Nayirah.
This is some of her testimony to the Human Rights Council.
While I was there, I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators and left the children to die on the cold floor. It was horrifying. I could not help but think of my nephew who was born premature and might have died that day as well. After I left the hospital, some of my friends and I distributed flyers condemning the Iraqi invasion until we were warned we might be killed if the Iraqis saw us.
The Iraqis have destroyed everything in Kuwait. They stripped the supermarkets of food, the pharmacies of medicine, the factories of medical supplies, ransacked their houses and tortured neighbors and friends.
There was only one problem. She was the daughter of Saud Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States. Furthermore, it was revealed that her testimony was organized as part of the Citizens for a Free Kuwait public relations campaign, which was run by the American public relations firm Hill & Knowlton for the Kuwaiti government (fun fact, Hill & Knowlton also have extensive ties with Bill Gates).
So the public was aghast at her testimony and supported the war against the mainly Soviet backed, but also American supported and Soviet backed Saddam Hussein, in his war against Iran, after the Iranians refused to Ally with American interests after the Islamic Revolution.
But that was oil, this was Rare Earth Elements. There was a reason the war was called, Operation Enduring Freedom. This natural resource was far more important in the long run. You couldn't have a security surveillance apparatus without it. And what was supposed to be a war on terror was in actuality a territorial occupation for resources.
Sleeping Dragon China is next, and where there's smoke, there's fire.
Let's go point form for clarity.
• China entered the rare earth market in the mid-1980s, at a time when the US was the major producer. But China soon caught up and became the production leader for rare earths. Its heavily state-supported strategy was aimed at dominating the global rare earth industry.
• 1989 Beijing’s Tiananmen Square spring. The U.S. government suspends military sales to Beijing and freezes relations.
• 1997. Clinton secures the release of Wei and Tiananmen Square protester Wang Dan. Beijing deports both dissidents to the United States. (If you don't understand these two were CIA assets working in China, you need to accept that not everything will be published. America wouldn't care about two political activists, but why would care about two intelligence operatives).
• March 1996. Taiwan’s First Free Presidential Vote.
• May 1999. America "accidently" bombs the Belgrade Chinese Embassy.
• 2002 Price competitiveness was hard for the USA to achieve due to low to non-existent Chinese environmental standards; as a result, the US finally stopped its rare earth production.
• October 2000. U.S. President Bill Clinton signs the U.S.-China Relations Act. China's take over of the market share in rare earth elements starts to increase.
• October 2001. Afghanistan war Enduring Freedom started to secure rare earth elements (Haven't you ever wondered how they could mobilize and invade so quickly? The military was already prepared).
• 2005. China establishes a monopoly on global production by keeping mineral prices low and then panics markets by introducing export quotas to raise prices by limiting supply.
• Rare Earth Elements. Prices go into the stratosphere (for example, dysprosium prices do a bitcoin, rocketing from $118/kg to $2,262/kg between 2008 and 2011).
• In a September 2005. Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick initiates a strategic dialogue with China. This was presented as dialog to acknowledge China's emergence as a Superpower (which China probably insisted on), but it was about rare earth elements market price.
• October 2006. China allows North Korea to conduct its first nuclear test, China serves as a mediator to bring Pyongyang back to the negotiating table with the USA.
• September 2006. American housing prices start to fall.
(At some point after this, secret negotiations must have become increasingly hostile).
• March 2007. China Increases Military Spending. U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney says China’s military buildup is “not consistent” with the country’s stated goal of a “peaceful rise.”
• Mid-2005 and mid-2006. China bought between $100b and $250 billion of US housing debt between mid-2005 and mid-2006. This debt was bought using the same financial instruments that caused the financial collapse.
• 2006. Housing prices started to fall for the first time in decades.
• Mid-2006 and mid-2007. China likely added another $390b to its reserves. "At the same time, if China stopped buying -- especially now, when the private market is clogged up -- US financial markets would really seize up." Council on Foreign Relations-2007 August
• February 27, 2007. Stock markets in China and the U.S. fell by the most since 2003. Investors leave the money market and flock to Government backed Treasury Bills.
I've never seen it like this before,'' said Jim Galluzzo, who began trading short-maturity Treasuries 20 years ago and now trades bills at RBS Greenwich Capital in Greenwich, Connecticut.Bills right now are trading like dot-coms.''
We had clients asking to be pulled out of money market funds and wanting to get into Treasuries,'' said Henley Smith, fixed-income manager in New York at Castleton Partners, which oversees about $150 million in bonds.People are buying T-bills because you know exactly what's in it.''
• February 13, 2008. The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 was enacted, which included a tax rebate. The total cost of this bill was projected at $152 billion for 2008. A December 2009 study found that only about one-third of the tax rebate was spent, providing only a modest amount of stimulus.
• September 2008. China Becomes Largest U.S. Foreign Creditor at 600 billion dollars.
• 2010. China’s market power peaked in when it reached a market share of around 97% of all rare earth mineral production. Outside of China, there were almost no other producers left.
Outside of China, the US is the second largest consumer of rare earths in the world behind Japan.
About 60% of US rare earth imports are used as catalysts for petroleum refining, making it the country’s major consumer of rare earths.
The US military also depends on rare earths. Many of the most advanced US weapon systems, including smart bombs, unmanned drones, cruise missiles, laser targeting, radar systems and the Joint Strike Fighter programme rely on rare earths. Against this background, the US Department of Defense (DoD) stated that “reliable access to the necessary material is a bedrock requirement for DOD”
• 2010. A trade dispute arose when the Chinese government reduced its export quotas by 40% in 2010, sending the rare earths prices in the markets outside China soaring. The government argued that the quotas were necessary to protect the environment.
• August 2010. China Becomes World’s Second-Largest Economy.
• November 2011. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlines a U.S. “pivot” to Asia. Clinton’s call for “increased investment—diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise—in the Asia-Pacific region” is seen as a move to counter China’s growing clout.
• December 2011. U.S. President Barack Obama announces the United States and eight other nations have reached an agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership later announces plans to deploy 2,500 marines in Australia, prompting criticism from Beijing.
• November 2012. China’s New Leadership. Xi Jinping replaces Hu Jintao as president, Communist Party general secretary, and chairman of the Central Military Commission. Xi delivers a series of speeches on the “rejuvenation” of China.
• June 2013. U.S. President Barack Obama hosts Chinese President Xi Jinping for a “shirt-sleeves summit”
• May 19, 2014. A U.S. court indicts five Chinese hackers, allegedly with ties to China’s People’s Liberation Army, on charges of stealing trade technology from U.S. companies.
• November 12, 2014. Joint Climate Announcement. Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping issue a joint statement on climate change, pledging to reduce carbon emissions. (which very conveniently allows the quotas to fall and save pride for Xi).
• 2015. China drops the export quotas because in 2014, the WTO ruled against China.
• May 30, 2015 U.S. Warns China Over South China Sea. (China is trying to expand it's buffer zone to build a defense for the coming war).
• January 2016. The government to abolish the one-child policy, now allowing all families to have two children.
• February 9, 2017. Trump Affirms One China Policy After Raising Doubts.
• April 6 – 7, 2017. Trump Hosts Xi at Mar-a-Lago. Beijing and Washington to expand trade of products and services like beef, poultry, and electronic payments, though the countries do not address more contentious trade issues including aluminum, car parts, and steel.
• November 2017. President Xi meets with President Trump in another high profile summit.
• March 22, 2018. Trump Tariffs Target China. The White House alleges Chinese theft of U.S. technology and intellectual property. Coming on the heels of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, the measures target goods including clothing, shoes, and electronics and restrict some Chinese investment in the United States.
• July 6, 2018 U.S.-China Trade War Escalates.
• September 2018. Modifications led to the exclusion of rare earths from the final list of products and they consequently were not subject to import tariffs imposed by the US government in September 2018.
• October 4, 2018. Pence Speech Signals Hard-Line Approach. He condemns what he calls growing Chinese military aggression, especially in the South China Sea, criticizes increased censorship and religious persecution by the Chinese government, and accuses China of stealing American intellectual property and interfering in U.S. elections.
• December 1, 2018. Canada Arrests Huawei Executive.
• March 6, 2019. Huawei Sues the United States.
• March 27 2019. India and the US signed an agreement to "strengthen bilateral security and civil nuclear cooperation" including the construction of six American nuclear reactors in India
• May 10, 2019. Trade War Intensifies.
• August 5, 2019. U.S. Labels China a Currency Manipulator.
• November 27, 2019. Trump Signs Bill Supporting Hong Kong Protesters. Chinese officials condemn the move, impose sanctions on several U.S.-based organizations, and suspend U.S. warship visits to Hong Kong.
• January 15, 2020. ‘Phase One’ Trade Deal Signed. But the agreement maintains most tariffs and does not mention the Chinese government’s extensive subsidies. Days before the signing, the United States dropped its designation of China as a currency manipulator.
• January 31, 2020. Tensions Soar Amid Coronavirus Pandemic.
• March 18, 2020. China Expels American Journalists. The Chinese government announces it will expel at least thirteen journalists from three U.S. newspapers—the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post—whose press credentials are set to expire in 2020. Beijing also demands that those outlets, as well as TIME and Voice of America, share information with the government about their operations in China. The Chinese Foreign Ministry says the moves are in response to the U.S. government’s decision earlier in the year to limit the number of Chinese journalists from five state-run media outlets in the United States to 100, down from 160, and designate those outlets as foreign missions.
And here we are. You may have noticed the Rare Earth Elements and the inclusion of Environmental Standards. Yes these are key to understanding the Geopolitical reality and importance of these events. There's a reason the one child policy stopped. Troop additions.
I believe our current political reality started at Tiananmen square. The protests were an American sponsored attempt at regime change after the failure to convince them to leave totalitarian communism and join a greater political framework.
Do I have proof? Yes.
China, as far as I'm concerned, was responsible for the 2008 economic crisis. The Rare Earth Elements were an attempt to weaken the States and strengthen themselves simultaneously. This stranglehold either forced America to trade with China, or the trade was an American Trojan horse to eventually collapse their economy and cause a revolution after Tiananmen Square failed. Does my second proposal sound far fetched? Didn't the economy just shut down in response to the epidemic? Aren't both sides blaming the other? At this POINT, the epidemic seems to be overstated doesn’t it? Don't the casualties tend to the elder demographic and those already weakened by a primary disease?
Exactly the kinds who wouldn't fight in a war.
Does this change some of my views on the possibility of upcoming catastrophes and reasons for certain events? No. This is Chess, and there are obvious moves in chess, hidden moves in chess, but the best moves involve peices which can be utilized in different ways if the board calls for it.
Is all what it seems? No.
I definitely changed a few previously held beliefs prior to today, and I would caution you in advance that you will find some previously held convictions challenged.
After uncovering what I did today, I would also strongly suggest reading information cautiously. This is all merely a culmination of ending the cold war, and once I have events laid out, you will see it as well.
At this moment, the end analysis is a war will start in the near future. This will be mainly for a few reasons, preemptive resource control for water and crops, population reduction can be achieved since we have too many people, not enough jobs, and upcoming resource scarcity.
Did you notice my omission of rare earth elements? This is because of Afghanistan. I would wager China or Russia is somehow supporting the continued resistance through Iran. But events are now accelerating with China because the western collation has already begun to build up their mines and start production.
Do you remember when Trump made a "joke" about buying Greenland? Yeah. It turns out that Greenland has one of the largest rare earth mineral deposits on the planet.
Take care. Be safe. Stay aware and be prepared.
This message not brought to you by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Elon Musk, Blackrock, Vangaurd, the Rockefeller Foundation, Rand Corporation, DARPA, Rothschilds, Agenda 21, Agenda 30, and ID 2020.
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Cryptocurrency Adoption: A Breakthrough?

Cryptocurrency Adoption: A Breakthrough?
You have probably read dozens of articles dedicated to this subject before, and likely skipped even more. So why write another one, let alone read it? The short answer is times have changed. Well, times always change. Still, the point is that we may be amidst a paradigm shift in the cryptocurrency space right now even if we don’t feel it yet.
by stealthEX
Such a fundamental change is possible due to a confluence of several factors. Some of these factors are external and therefore not related to crypto. Others are internal and represent the value-oriented nature of cryptocurrencies. It just happened that all of them got activated under specific conditions at a certain point in time, which is today, give or take.

Economic woes in a post-Covid-19 World

You wouldn’t be far from the truth if you claimed that we haven’t yet pulled through the pandemic, to begin with. Unfortunately, it only makes matters worse unless you are a cryptocurrency investor and don’t care for the rest of humanity. Anyway, the damage has been done, and nothing can change that. We are now entering the phase that is technically called “competitive devaluations” and colloquially known as currency wars.
You could also argue that if it didn’t happen at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, it is not going to happen now. The sad truth is that we are only starting to feel the real pain. Even the deadly coronavirus doesn’t take over the body instantly, while it takes some time on the scale of a few months up to a couple years for the economic disease to spread through the fabric of society, evolve, and then erupt with inflation rates shooting through the roof, among many other nasty things. Please take your seat.
The world reserve fiat, the American dollar, is sinking like Titanic, slowly but surely. We can’t say the same about less lucky currencies, though. We won’t dwell on the Venezuelan bolivar and Zimbabwean dollar as they are altogether beyond redemption, but fiats like the Brazilian real and Russian ruble are also balancing on the brink of another landslide devaluation, which they have seen many in the past. Sharp minds in the cryptocurrency space have been telling us about this development for ages. It all looked like a remote possibility in some distant future that as we felt deep down wouldn’t have a chance to come up in our lifetime.
As it stands, we were wrong, and the events described are now starting to unfold right before our own eyes. In a strange twist of fate, large-scale cryptocurrency adoption is about to occur along with them, but not through some technical breakthroughs and innovation, or even the much-hyped DeFi, but primarily through the failure of conventional financial systems based on fiat currencies. Rest assured, the top dogs in the cryptocurrency pit are well aware of this dynamic, and they are not going to wait any longer.
Grayscale Investments, a multi-billion dollar company behind a host of cryptocurrency trust funds, started to frenziedly buy up bitcoins a couple weeks ago. All in all, it acquired over 17,000 BTC adding to its already quite impressive stash of Bitcoin, now totalling almost 450,000 coins under its management. Love it or leave it, but it amounts to 2.4% of all bitcoins mined to date, including lost, burned, or left for dead as dust in Bitcoin wallets. In essence, it means that their effective share is way higher.
But while Grayscale definitely sits at the top of the cryptocurrency investment chain, it is not the only company that went on a buying spree lately. MicroStrategy, a company largely unknown to the wider public, suddenly got religion and swapped over $400 million of its capital into 38,250 BTC. Even Barry Silbert, CEO of Grayscale, commented on this feat in his tweet.
Twitter, by StealthEX
So whenever there is a hint at price correction, someone comes out of the shadows and picks up a handful of bitcoins from the market propping up the price.
Why are they doing this? You already know the answer.

Paradigm shift

In different words, all that cryptocurrencies had to do was to last long enough until fiat started to fall apart. It does now, and paradoxically such times are also times of great opportunity, Baron Rothschild’s way. The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has been pushing its cryptocurrency payment card since April when it acquired Swipe, a firm focused on crypto-to-fiat payment cards. At the time of the acquisition Swipe already supported 20 cryptocurrencies and fiat transactions in major currencies.
Binance.com, by StaelthEX
For European users the Binance card was officially made available in August, and the exchange plans to enter the US market soon. Given its dominance in the crypto arena, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect the surge in the cryptocurrency use as a means of payment thanks to this. It is unlikely that people would spend their precious bitcoins, but the packmaster is not the only member of the pack that Binance handles. Cryptos like Litecoin or Bitcoin Cash can easily become currencies of choice to use with Binance debit cards.
But what truly makes it a game-changer is the current turmoil in the global economic affairs which may turn out to be a once-in-a-lifetime chance for crypto to pick up where fiat currencies leave, or fail, to be exact. On the other hand, it may be a natural development after all, set in stone by the very first Bitcoin transaction and cemented for good when it got confirmed. Now things start to arrange themselves to fit their preordained layout. We have taken our time.
As cryptocurrencies are not internally linked to, or tied by, the lunatic policies of monetary authorities, that is to say, no central bank can ask or force miners to mine more bitcoins, we have the first element in place in the layout for the cryptocurrency mass adoption to occur at the most basic level. In fact, it has always been there, so we just had to wait until the two other elements arrived, even though it took longer than most of us were ready to wait.
The second required element in the grand picture of cryptocurrency adoption is the change in attitude toward wealth evaluation. So far the vast majority of people involved in crypto, including its most die-hard supporters, valued their cryptocurrency holdings in fiat terms. Without doubt, it was the US dollar, regardless of your home currency. But when fiat collapses or enters a long period of runaway inflation, people will be ready for a dramatic change in their approaches toward capital assessment as well as spending habits.
And here comes the most important part where Binance hits the nail on the head. If you are unable to effortlessly spend crypto in your everyday life, the first two components cannot trigger this change in attitude on their own. We need this third element to make use of what has existed and take advantage of what has come around. In a way, what Binance did, and what its competitors are no doubt going to do as well if they don’t want to miss out on the opportunity, appears to be the part that snugly snaps into place when we finally get there.
With Binance payment card, you can “buy the things you love with crypto”. So now the ball is in your court to support the full-scale cryptocurrency adoption coming up. Kidding aside, with fiat turning into trash by leaps and bounds all over the globe, this looks like a very enticing payment option for both the crypto purists and the unbanked. We have seen quite a few such cards in the past, but Binance seems to be adamant on making its variety really popular and actually usable. And then you can ride volatility waves to your financial benefit.
If Binance succeeds, that may herald a new era of cryptocurrency adoption, a breakthrough of sorts after so many years of stagnation in this department.

Repercussions and ramifications

It is not like only we, traders and investors alike, see these trends. Governments are also taking notice and paying close attention. They can’t remove cryptocurrencies and they can’t help inflating their national currencies. However, they can still crack down massively on this and similar endeavors, trying to nip them in the bud. We don’t know yet what Uncle Sam is going to say but some muslim countries have been quite vocal in this regard.
For example, Egypt has issued a fetva which prohibits bitcoin transactions as being against Sharia, an Islamic religious law. Another mostly Islamic country, Indonesia, has banned the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. Russia, although not Islamic yet, is hellbent on effectively outlawing most cryptocurrency operations despite passing earlier a law on digital assets which is essentially neutral to crypto.
To conclude, we must be aware that once things get serious and governments see that their monetary supremacy is being threatened, that they can no longer play their favorite game of inflation tax, they will leave no stone unturned to prevent mass use of crypto as an alternative means of payment. And cryptocurrency payment cards are hands down one of the best tools available for this use on a down-to-earth level, groceries and whatnot.
Now you know what their target will be.
And don’t forget if you need to exchange your coins StealthEX is here for you. We provide a selection of more than 300 coins and constantly updating the cryptocurrency list so that our customers will find a suitable option. Our service does not require registration and allows you to remain anonymous. Why don’t you check it out? Just go to StealthEX and follow these easy steps:
✔ Choose the pair and the amount for your exchange. For example BTC to ETH.
✔ Press the “Start exchange” button.
✔ Provide the recipient address to which the coins will be transferred.
✔ Move your cryptocurrency for the exchange.
✔ Receive your coins.
Follow us on Medium, Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit to get StealthEX.io updates and the latest news about the crypto world. For all requests message us via [email protected].
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.
Original article was posted on https://stealthex.io/blog/2020/10/06/cryptocurrency-adoption-a-breakthrough/
submitted by Stealthex_io to StealthEX [link] [comments]

Initial capital in Bitcoin trading: experts have named the minimum amount

Initial capital in Bitcoin trading: experts have named the minimum amount

Initial capital in Bitcoin trading: experts have named the minimum amount
To begin with, one dollar may be enough on the cryptocurrency market, but in the future, experts recommend investing in digital money at least a thousand, and even tens of thousands of dollars.
The popularity of digital money is growing in 2020. More and more people are seeking to enter the blockchain industry through investing, mining or trading. However, first you need to decide how much money can be allocated for a risky attempt to make money on cryptocurrency. Experts told why $1 sometimes may be enough, and in which case it is not worth coming to the market without $50,000 in stock.

$ 1 trading

Vladislav Antonov, analyst at IAC “Alpari”
If a person comes to the market to trade, then he must first learn this craft and only then decide with what amount to start. You can buy a Porsche and tie it in a knot in a few minutes. To get behind the wheel of a car, you need to learn the rules of the road and learn how to manage them, avoiding accidents. After training, pass the exam and get a license. Here the market takes the exam. If you break the rules, he takes money from the deposit through traders who are on the other side of you.
On the Binance market, you can start trading with as little as $1. There is such a cryptocurrency — Stellar (XLM). 10 tokens cost 0.03 USDT, 100 tokens — 0.39 USDT, 1000–3.91 USDT. You can make 100 trades at 1 XLM, and you won’t even get losses by $1. Perfect conditions to hone your skills. The market can also be compared to ultimate fighting. Here it is important not to start with what amount, but to learn how to correctly calculate the trading volume from the protective stop. That is, a trader must first determine how much he is risking in one deal and calculate the risk. It is believed that the risk in one transaction should not exceed 5% of the deposit, and better not more than 2%. First you train, then you enter the ring.
If you take, for example, a $100 deposit, then 5% will be $5. You clearly know that if the market goes against you, you will lose $5. 90% do not do this and, using large shoulders, lose everything. Then, after analyzing the market, you find the entry point and the level where the protective stop will be placed (the level at which the loss will be closed). This is where the main problem of traders’ failures lies. Everyone wants to make a million from $100, only they take big risks.
The trader must find a comfortable amount of losses. Loss is the right to earn like a business expense. When a trader gives up driving on the market with a small amount of the deposit, then he can increase it. It doesn’t matter from what amount you count 2%. If the deposit is $1000, then this is a risk of $20, if the deposit is $10,000 — $200, etc. It is necessary to answer the question: at what amount of loss is it comfortable for me to trade? And if it is possible to reduce the risk per trade by less than 2%, then it is worth doing.

$1000 and diversification

Andrey Podolyan, CEO Cryptorg.Exchange
The average static deposit on crypto exchanges can be considered a deposit of about $1000. In general, for many traders this is already the amount that it is a pity to lose and with which it is interesting to work.
However, it is worth focusing on the income that OTC activities bring to the trader / investor. If a person earns $10,000 and more monthly, then, naturally, he will not be interested in a $1,000 deposit. And if a person earns $500–1000, then a $1000 deposit for him will be even too large an amount.
In my opinion, a trader is successful if he earns a little higher than the average national salary. Example: Average salary is $1000. On average, a trader earns 10% per month on his deposit. Therefore, the working deposit must be at least $10,000.
Valery Petrov, RACIB Vice President for Market Development and Regulation
When determining investments in cryptocurrency, first of all, you need to understand that cryptocurrency cannot be the only asset in an investment portfolio.
It must be diversified according to the risk-return criterion. The point of this approach is as follows: the entire portfolio is structured according to the level of risk that you are willing to take on.
Since cryptocurrency belongs to high-risk assets and, in fact, is a speculative asset, the risks of losses for which are very high, it makes no sense to allocate more than 25–30% of the portfolio to such an asset class. Especially in today’s market, when the classical theory of portfolio investment does not work very well. “Black swans” and other market fluctuations are constantly encountered, which do not fit into the classical theory of investor behavior in the market.
For a person whose main income is wages, the formation of such an investment volume should occur gradually. My recommendation is to transfer to such an investment portfolio about 10% of monthly income, despite the fact that it is at least $1500–2000. Then any loss will not greatly affect the lifestyle.
It makes no sense to start investing in cryptocurrencies from the very first deduction. A third of the conditional $200 is an insignificant amount to go to the digital money market with it. On the crypto market, it is advisable to start operations from an amount of approximately $1000. Then the commissions and market fluctuations that exist there will not lead to quick and negative changes in the portfolio.
From this amount, you can increase investments in the crypto market. At the same time, it is necessary to observe the proportions according to which the volume of investments in cryptocurrencies should not exceed 25–30% of the portfolio, given that other assets are less risky, but they will be able to ensure stability.

Investments from $ 50,000

Victor Pershikov, Lead Analyst at 8848 Invest
When determining the minimum investment amount, you need to take into account the specifics of the cryptocurrency market, which distinguishes this site from classical financial markets. Firstly, the cryptocurrency market is incomparably more volatile than classic financial instruments, which is reflected in both higher incomes and higher risks of losing funds. In this regard, the initial capital must be sufficient in order to receive a decent return on investment, while remaining tolerant of risk. Secondly, price corrections in the cryptocurrency market are more significant than corrections in other markets, and can reach 70–90% of the developing trend movement. This also leaves an imprint on the initial capital requirements, because the investor must understand that he is just facing a deep correction and not sell his assets ahead of time, fearing a trend reversal.
The cryptocurrency market is still very young and there are high risks of various manipulations. In this regard, the investor should distribute his assets into the most diversified portfolio possible so that a collapse or bursting of a bubble in one sector does not lead to significant capital losses. Therefore, an investor must have a higher, by the standards of classical markets, initial capital in order to comfortably invest in digital assets.
I recommend starting investing in digital assets with an amount of at least $50,000, since this amount of funds, on the one hand, allows you to receive income that exceeds income from classical financial markets, and on the other hand, you can be calm and wait out the drawdown or decrease in the crypto market capitalization, which happens quite regularly.
I would also advise focusing not on margin trading, but on investing in digital assets, since on the one hand, intraday trading is statistically successful with a fairly small number of participants, and on the other hand, the bullish nature of digital assets, coupled with a very real opportunity selecting truly worthwhile assets into your portfolio allows even a not too experienced trader to succeed in the CFA market.
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Bitcoin challenged my comprehension of money. and from that, governance too

Social Media hacking jokes aside for today, I thought to share a thought experiment I had on how bitcoin fundamentally challenged the way I view money forever.
I was always told throughout life and even in school that money distributed by the government, managed by the government, but used amount the populus. It wasn't until I was 17 in my senior year where I learned about the in-depth concepts of money with topics such as Federal Reserve Banking (How banks make money), taxes, debt, and fiscal and monetary economy. What's funnier is that when I was 14 I heard about bitcoin, but I thought it was just an idea for some far off technology like Nuclear Fusion or Astro mining. So I'm happy to state I learned more about bitcoin before I learned about my own government monetary system. Unfortunately, It would not be for another 2 years before I learn about cryptocurrency and blockchain entirely and another few months before I can actually buy some.
It was at the moment when I fully understood the concepts of bitcoin where I fell in love with it, the idea that NO government, company, or bank could just step in and take your money. No overdrafts, chargebacks, or no 3-5 days deposits. It is great. I get excited to the point I share all I can to people around me about the concept and yet they are confused like a child learning a new language because the concept of true financial responsibility and digital sovereignty can be complex to comprehend. Many of them refer to the same statements: "Money should be protected and held by the bank so I trust that it will forever be there". As I think of it more I start to think of ways how blockchain technology as a whole can be implemented into fintech (or even become the new fintech). Henry Ford once said that
" It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."
It is merely with the introduction of bitcoin and decentralized finance tools when this quote incubates into fruition. Cryptocurrency as a whole puts the individual in power with the same banking tools as the whole banking collective operates on. I agree that there are many people who are fed up with the banks, and their practices but at the same time those people are even more scared to assume their own financial control due to immense responsibilities the bitcoin introduces (private key, cognitive understanding of the industry and tech). Yes, banks are here to provide a service to the public ease and use, but therein lies the question of how much freedom do people really want when they realize that they are also baring even more responsibilities than they are used to. Great power comes with great responsibility. The more financial freedom (I'm not talking about in dollar amounts, but security and accessibility ) you have over your wealth the more responsibility is needed to maintain it. So then more so this brings furthermore changed my perception that I don't have to be so reliant on centralized parties with my money, but I can own my money on the blockchain and send it anywhere where in the world as I deem fit.
So this brings to my thoughts of how would blockchain systems work in government and laws. The laws are barely adapted to handle the internet as is; now they are further behind to handle blockchain. With coronavirus going around this is a testament to show how we are becoming stronger digital society. I have not been out of my home in the past few days, and most of the older ways of doing things are becoming challenged with the introduction of new technologies. The only thing that defines our governments are the lands in which was founded, discovered, or concurred by winning factions and ideals that ultimately curated most of the cultures we see today. We can speak to anyone we can on the internet in a matter of seconds, make a full-time living, we can buy nearly anything and get it delivered on the same day or week, and be associated with communities that align with our interest all online. So when these apps have more data and international relations than the governments we reside, can governments be more than just "land"?
Finally, this brings into question Facebook and Libra. Facebook is one of the largest public multi-national countries on this planet, and libra in eyes of many just a software update. However, Libra shined a light on so many things I've always wondered. With as powerful as Facebook is that probably knows more about you than your government, and has more international relationships with more countries than your government, if/whenever libra is released, this now puts a corporate entity in charge of your money. And As they say, libra existing on blockchains, really can't be stopped if ever it's released. Sure governments can be banned and sue Facebook all they want, but if there are people using it, the damage is done, they can't shut down Facebook without causing an economic collapse probably one worse than the great depression. Facebook is just too big to fail. Google, Amazon are other companies seeking to challenge governance by cities for their corporate entities and employees. They most likely won't be here in the USA too much regulation, but someone where like Africa or even cities on water .
All in all, as I leave, Everything I knew about finances such as mortgages, paychecks, loans, mediums of exchange, trade, and banking tools are all fundamentally challenged by the introduction of bitcoin. The power lies in those who own the system, and when no one owns the system, but everyone manages it, the real power becomes invested back into the people. With this knowledge, I know that I am truly more powerful than I thought I was, and you should feel empowered as well. Sure the infrastructure may take time before things become convenient enough for wide-scale adoption, but we are the founding fathers and mothers of the first generation in the true power of decentralized tech. We are the ones that decide on how the first implementation of this tech should be used, and that's all by experimentation. I agree that it will be a daunting task and scary for those who are not familiar with this. Like all things that exist it starts with experimentation.
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Why Our Money Is Broken

I’m writing this because I wish to explain in layman terms why the global economy is broken. Most people intuitively feel that the economy is a mess and bad things are happening. Words like corruption, crony capitalism, money printing and bailouts are being tossed about as explanations why the economy is in trouble. While all these things are problems our economy is facing and deserve attention, they are all consequences of a fundamental problem that needs to be understood first and foremost. That is, money itself is broken.
To understand how fiat money we use is broken, one should view money as a commodity just as you would any other good. Any economist would agree that setting a price for a good or service is a bad idea, but for whatever reason, mainstream economists (Keynesians) believe that money is exempt from the disastrous effects of price fixing. As a quick refresher why price fixing is never a desirable policy let’s take a look at the classic example of rent control. Let’s say the average cost of an apartment in your city/town is $1000. Your politicians say that this is outrageous and make a sweeping policy saying that no apartment can be priced above $100. Suddenly the supply for housing cannot come close to matching the demand at this price. Landlords no longer care about the upkeep of the apartment because even if the apartment turns into a shithole, someone will still take it for $100. People no longer have incentives to build new housing or renovate existing housing because they can no longer charge a market rate. The end result is a city in ruins. Try your logic at why price fixing doesn’t work with any good. The market is distorted. Supply and demand are unable to reach equilibrium and everybody loses.
The price of money is the interest rate. When the Federal Reserve engages in interest rate targeting, this is price setting. The Fed will say that the cost of money is too high! We need to get more money into the hands of more people to stimulate the economy, so let’s set the price of money to zero. Take a minute to think about what this means. In a free market the interest rate is established by the supply of money (savings) and the demand for money (borrowing). The interest rate can never be zero. It can only approach zero if the supply (savings) is reaching infinity and/or the demand (borrowers) for money is reaching zero. When the Fed fixes the price of money, it is sending a false market signal across the whole economy about how much money is saved to properly be used for investment. This is where irrational economic behavior occurs on a macroeconomic scale. Strictly speaking, individuals are operating rationally. If the price of money is zero, it is only rational to borrow money and not save your money. The problem is not the individual but rather the Central Bank has distorted the reality of the most important commodity of them all, money itself.
What are the consequences of setting the price of money so low? Think about how this affects borrowers. The economy is operating under the assumption that there are more savings available for investment then there actually are. This leads to malinvestments. Imagine your buddy says he has a million dollars saved and would be happy to lend you this money free of interest. Maybe you’d build a fancy new house or put down a lot of capital to start a business. Then halfway through building your house, your buddy says, sorry, I only had $100,000, not a million. You began building something you should never have started building had you previously known how much money was actually available. You have to scrap your project and you end up with a worthless half built project.
How does this affect savers? Imagine if I had a million dollars in my savings account. With the interest rate so low, I’m being given very strong signals to not keep that money in the bank to be loaned out. If the price of money is zero, why in the world would I want to sell (loan) my money for no profit? You wouldn’t. Your money is losing value everyday it sits in the bank account because the Fed is pumping out more money and giving it to banks to keep the interest rate at zero. You need to buy something with that money. You end up buying a house, stocks or whatever commodity you think will increase in price because you don’t want to see the value of your cash inflated away.
As investments are undertaken that should never have been started and commodities are purchased that should never have been purchased, asset prices rise and we see bubbles forming all over the economic landscape. By messing with price of money the whole economy has become infected. And unfortunately at this stage, there is no cure. We are in too deep. The financial system will implode and the dollar will collapse. Please protect yourself and buy bitcoin.
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BSoV: The Minable and Deflationary ERC20

The year 2020 exposed many of the negative aspects of the current financial construct which the world relies on. On 4/9/2020, the Federal Reserve announced that they would inject another $2,300,000,000,000 (2.3 Trillion, you read that right) into the U.S. economy. With the threat of Covid-19 essentially shutting down the daily operations of the economy overnight, something HAD to be done, right? Were there any other options? Many people are expecting a $1,200 stimulus check to cushion the pockets of people affected by the mass layoffs and market collapses. I myself asked a simple question, "What are the long term consequences of diluting the market with the USD?"
This question is one that should be asked over, and over, and over by every single person who receives a paycheck from their employer or government regardless of where you reside in the world. The U.S. dollar is the dominant monetary force in the global economy, and it dictates much of the value of all things being bought, sold, and utilized in said economy. It is common and public knowledge that the dollar has been subject to inflation: in 1913, the same $100 you had then would only have the purchasing power of a about $26 today. One could expect, in theory, that this number will diminish even more because of the drastic amount of USD injection occuring because of this pandemic. Most people cant afford basic necessities because of this ridiculous level of inflation caused at the hands of the Fed.
As many of you know, Satoshi Nakamoto had a response to this type of stimulus and bailout system the Federal Reserve has created and enlisted at any opportunity to respond to a crisis. It was called Bitcoin, and today it has become a financial power to be reckoned with. It has brought governments to terms with the fact that their systems are not efficient, along with putting power back into the peoples hands when it comes to controlling and utilizing their own money. There are no restrictions on how much Bitcoin you can send. There are no restrictions on whom you can send it to, and there are no ways to hide whom you've sent it to using blockchain technology and cryptography to secure its network and create a database of all transactions. The creation of Bitcoin was an answer to many of the problems with the financial system.
On June 17th, 2019, a person under the pseudonym "Mundo" also tried to provide an answer to some of these problems with a laser focus on inflation. The solution he proposed (we have not seen the long term benefits, so the solution is not quite yet an answer) is BSoV, or BitcoinSoV (Bitcoin Store of Value). BSoV is an ERC20 token which utilizes the EIP918 protocol first utilized by a similar token called 0xBTC. EIP918 allows both BSoV and 0xBTC to be minable on the Ethereum blockhain via a smart contract. Following the same distribution model, consensus mechanism, and total supply of Bitcoin (Fair Start, meaning no ICO, Premine, or developers fees; Mined using PoW, specifically Solidity SHA3; 21,000,000 total supply, 3.6 million mined thus far, divisible to 8 decimal points, with the same amount of halving eras as BTC) BSoV differs in one very different way: a 1% transaction burn built into its code.
With BSoV, every transaction is subject to a mandatory 1% transaction burn when a transaction is sent and confirmed on the Ethereum blockchain. The deflationary mechanism is the solution that Mundo proposed as an answer to the inflation the peoples money is exposed to because of the negligent actions of the Fed. This inflation is created out of the control of the people, and their purchasing power is diminished. With BSoV, the deflationary aspect is out of there control, but the end result is the opposite; an increase in its value due to scarcity and exchange of resources from its consensus mechanism. (This is a great scholarly article which details how mining provides a bottom value to PoW coins/tokens due to resource exchange, ie. Computing power, electricity, etc. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0736585315301118)
It's important to note that the project has not been around long enough to see its end goal or vision come to fruition. This is precisely why I am writing this article. More is needed to help study and analyze if this is the answer to this problem. What I can say is that this is one of the few real potential answers that have been proposed, created and implemented to try and combat the Fed. With mass adoption, can we have a true store of value solution that protects itself from the self burdening negligence of the powers that be? Do we have to keep loaning our money to banks to invest for free, only for them to need a bailout every 10-20 years due to poor monetary management and investing sprees? An immutable smart contract that cannot be 51% attacked or controlled by those in power might be worth pursuing.
I'd like to end this article on a more transparent note about myself and my involvement with the project to help shed light on any apparent bias or misconceptions that some may have about my intentions here. I am one of 950 current holders and community members. I mined BSoV after I joined the telegram group and got involved on July 4th, 2019. I have never been paid for my work here, and it is strictly something that I believe in and want to help shed light on to those who might be interested in what the project has to offer. Just like many of the cryptocurrency enthusiast on the on P2P mailing list in 2009, many of us are working together tirelessly to bring one of the few tokens with integrity, transparency and ethics to those who want to experiment and see what may happen.
Something that I have also asked my self is "Whats the worst that can happen?" when it comes to my involvement here.
If the worst is a little time wasted on something I believed in, I will sleep fine at night. But if I am so fortunate to be apart of something that could truly change lives and alter the never-ending downtrend of inflation which has made life so difficult for the average human being, I will have a better nights sleep than I could have ever imagined.
Thank you for your time. I wish all of you health, wealth, and safety during this difficult time.
Sincerely,
BSoV_Chris
(You can find out more @ BSoV.io)
submitted by Chrisc9234 to ethtrader [link] [comments]

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.



Many of you have limited time to read the full proposal, so here are the highlights:

Offline Multi-Signature

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.

Insurance Requirements

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.

Steps Forward

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.
submitted by azoundria2 to QuadrigaInitiative [link] [comments]

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