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Epic Cash AMA Recap with CryptoDiffer Community
CryptoDiffer teamHello, everyone!We are glad to meet here:Max Freeman (@maxfreeman4), Project Lead at Epic CashYoga Dude (@Yogadude), PR&Marketing at Epic CashXenolink (@Xenolink), Advisor at Epic Cash Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash Thanks Max, we are excited to be here! Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash Hello Everyone! Thank you for having us here! Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash Thank you to the CryptoDiffer team and CryptoDiffer community for hosting us! CryptoDiffer teamLet`s start from the first introduction question:Q1: Can you introduce yourself to the community? What is your background and how did you join Epic Cash? Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash Hello! My background is Marketing and Business Development, I’ve been in crypto since 2011 started with Bitcoin, then Monero in 2014, Ethereum in 2015 and at some point Doge for fun and profit. I joined Epic Cash team in September 2019 handling PR and Marketing. I saw in Epic Cash what was missing in my previous cryptos — things that were missing in Bitcoin and Monero especially. Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash Hello Cryptodiffer Community, I am not an original co-founder nor am I a developer for the Epic Cash project. I am however a community member that is involved in helping scale this project to higher levels. One of the many beauties of Epic Cash is that every single member in the community has the opportunity to be part of EPIC’s team, it can be from development all the way to content producing. Epic Cash is a community driven project. The true Core Team of Epic Cash is our community. I believe a community that is the Core Team is truly powerful. EPIC Cash has one of the freshest and strongest communities I have seen in quite a while. Which is one of the reasons why I became involved in this project. Epic displayed some of the most self community produced content I have seen in a project. I’m actually a doctor of medicine but in terms of my experience in crypto, I have been involved in the industry since 2012 beginning with mining Litecoin. Since then I have been doing deep dive analysis on different projects, investing, and building a network in crypto that I will utilize to help connect and scale Epic in every way I can. To give some credit to those people in my network that have been a part of helping give Epic exposure, I would like to give a special thanks to u/Tetsugan and u/Saurabhblr. Tetsugan has been doing a lot of work for the Japanese community to penetrate the Japanese market, and Japan has already developed a growing interest in Epic. Daku Sarabh the owner and creator of Crypto Daku Robinhooders, I would like to thank him and his community for giving us one of our first large AMA’s, which he has supported our project early and given us a free AMA. Many more to thank but can’t be disclosed. Also thank you to all the Epic Community leaders, developers, and Content producers! Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash I’m Max Freeman, which stands for “Maximum Freedom for Mankind”. I started working on the ideas that would become Epic in 2018. I fell in love with Bitcoin in 2017 but realized that it needs privacy at the base layer, fungibility, better scalability in order to go to the next level. CryptoDiffer team Really interesting backgrounds I must admit, pleasure to see the team that clearly has one vision of the project by being completely decentralized:) Q2: Can you briefly describe what is Epic Cash in 3–5 sentences? What technology stands behind Epic Cash and why it’s better than the existing one? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash I’d like to highlight the differences between Epic and the two highest-valued privacy coin projects, Monero and Zcash. XMR has always-on privacy like Epic does, but at a cost: Its blockchain is over 20x more data intensive than Epic, which limits its possibilities for scalability. Epic’s blockchain is small and light enough to run a full node on cell phones, something that is in our product road map. ZEC by comparison can’t run on low end devices because of its zero knowledge based approach, and only 1% of transactions are fully private. Epic is simply newer, more advanced technology than prior networks thanks to Mimblewimble We will also add more algorithms to widen the range of hardware that can participate in mining. For example, cell phones and tablets based around ARM chips. Millions of people can mine Epic that can’t mine Bitcoin, and that will help grow the network rapidly. There are some great short videos on our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQBFfksJlM97rgrplLRwNUg/videos that explain why we believe we have created something truly special here. Our core architecture derives from Grin, so we are fortunate to benefit on an ongoing basis from their considerable development efforts. We are focused on making our currency truly usable and widely available, beyond a store of value and becoming a true medium of exchange. Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash Well we all have our views, but in a nutshell, we offer things that were missing in the previous cryptos. We have sound fiscal emission schedule matching Bitcoin, but we are vastly more private and faster. Our blockchain is lighter than Bitcoin or Monero and our tech is more scalable. Also, we are unique in that we are mineable with CPUs and GPUs as well as ASICs, giving the broadest population the ability to mine Epic Cash. Plus, you can’t forget FUNGIBILITY 🙂 we are big on that — since you can’t have true privacy without fungibility. Also, please understand, we have HUGE respect to all the cryptos that came before us, we learned a lot from them, and thanks to their mistakes we evolved. Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash To add on, what also makes Epic Cash unique is the ability to decentralize the mining using a tri-algo model of Random X (CPU), Progpow (GPU), and Cuckoo (ASIC) for an ability to do hybrid mining. I believe this is an issue we can see today in Bitcoin having centralized mining and the average user has a costly barrier of entry. To follow up on this one in my opinion one of the things we adopted that we have seen success for , in example Bitcoin and Monero, is a strong community driven coin. I believe having a community driven coin will provide a more organic atmosphere especially when starting with No ICO, or Premine with a fair distribution model for everyone. CryptoDiffer team Q3: What are the major milestones Epic Cash has achieved so far? Maybe you can share with us some exciting plans for future weeks/months? Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash Since we went live in September of 2019, we attracted a very large community of users, miners, investors and contributors from across the world. Epic Cash is a very international project with white papers translated into over 30 languages. We are very much a community driven project; this is very evident from our content and the amount of translations in our white papers and in our social media content. We are constantly working on improving our usability, security and privacy, as well as getting our message and philosophy out into the world to achieve mass adoption. We have a lot of exciting plans for our project, the plan is to make Epic Cash into something that is More than Money. You can tell I am the Marketing guy since my message is less about the actual tech and more about the usability and use cases for Epic Cash, I think our Team and Community have a great mix of technical, practical, social and fiscal experiences. Since we opened our YouTube channels content for community submissions, we have seen our content translated into Spanish, French, German, Polish, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Russian, and other languages Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash Our future development roadmap will be published soon and includes 4 tracks: Usability Mining Core Protocol Ecosystem Development Core Protocol Epic Server 2.9.0 — this release improves the difficulty adjustment and is aimed at making block emission closer to the target 60 seconds, particularly reducing the incidence of extremely short and long blocks — Status: In Development (Testing) Anticipated Release: June 2020 Epic Server 3.0.0 — this completes the rebase to Grin 3.0.0 and serves as the prerequisite to some important functional building blocks for the future of the ecosystem. Specifically, sending via Tor (which eliminates the need to open ports), proof of payment (useful for certain dex applications e.g. Bisq), and our native mobile app. Status: In Development (Testing) Anticipated Release: Fall 2020 Non-Interactive Transactions — this will enhance usability by enabling “fire and forget” send-to-address functionality that users are accustomed to from most cryptocurrencies. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a Scaling Options — when blocks start becoming full, how will we increase capacity? Two obvious options are increasing the block size, as well as a Lightning Network-style Layer 2 structure. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a Confidential Assets — Similar to Raven, Tari, and Beam, the ability to create independently tradable assets that ride on the Epic Blockchain. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a Usability GUI Wallet 2.0 — Restore from seed words and various usability enhancements — Status: Needs Assessment Anticipated Release: Fall 2020 Mobile App — Native mobile experience for iOS and Android. Status: In Development (Testing) Anticipated Release: Winter 2020 Telegram Integration — Anonymous payments over the Telegram network, bot functionality for groups. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a Mining RandomX on ARM — Our 4th PoW algorithm, this will enable tablets, cell phones, and low power devices such as Raspberry Pi to participate in mining. Status: Needs Assessment Anticipated Release: n/a The economics of mining Epic are extremely compelling for countries that have free or extremely cheap electricity, since anyone with an ordinary PC can mine. Individual people around the world can simply run the miner and earn meaningful money (imagine Venezuela for example), something that has not been possible since the very early days of Bitcoin. Ecosystem Development Atomic Swaps — Connecting Epic to other blockchains in a trustless way, starting with ETH so that Epic can trade on DeFi infrastructure such as Uniswap, Kyber, etc. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash From the Community aspect, we have been further developing our community international reach. We have been seeing an increase in interest from South America, China, Russia, Japan, Italy, and the Philippines. We are working on targeting more countries. We truly aim to be a decentralized project that is open to everyone worldwide. CryptoDiffer team Great, thank you for your answers, we now can move to community questions part! Cryptodiffer Community You have 3 mining algorithms, the question is: how do they not compete with each other? Is there any benefit of mining on the GPU and CPU if someone is mining on the ASIC? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash The block selection is deterministic, so that every 100 blocks, 60% are for RandomX (CPU), 38% for ProgPow (GPU), and 2% for Cuckoo (ASIC) — the policy is flexible so that we can have as many algorithms with any percentages we want. The goal is to make the most decentralized and resilient network possible, and with that in mind we are excited to work on enabling tablets and cell phones to mine, since that opens it up to millions of people that otherwise can’t take part. Cryptodiffer Community To Run a project smoothly, Funding is very important, From where does the Funding/revenue come from? Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash Yes, early on this was realized and in order to scale a project funds are indeed needed. Epic Cash did not start with any funding and no ICO and was organically genesis mined with no pre-mine. Epic cash is also a nonprofit community driven project similar to Monero. There is no profit-driven entity in the picture. To overcome the revenue issue Epic Cash setup a development fund tax that decreases 1% every year until 2028 when Epic Cash reaches singularity with Bitcoin emissions. Currently it is at 7.77%. This will help support the scaling of the project. Cryptodiffer Community Hi! In your experience working also with MONERO can you please clarify which are those identified problems that EPIC CASH aims to develop and resolve? What’s the main advantage that EPIC CASH has over MONERO? Thank you! Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash First, I must admit that I am still a huge fan and HODLer of Monero. That said: ✅ our blockchain is MUCH lighter than Monero’s ✅ our transaction processing speed is much faster ✅ our address-less blockchain is more private ✅ Epic Cash can be mined with CPU (RandomX) GPU (ProgPow) and Cuckoo, whereas Monero migrated to RandomX and currently only mineable with CPU Cryptodiffer Community
the feature ‘Cut Through’ deletes old data, how is it decided which data will be deletes, and what are the consequences of it for the platform and therefore the users?
On your website I see links to download Epic wallet and mining software for Linux,Windows and MacOs, I am a user of android, is there a version for me, or does it have a release date?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
This is one of the most exciting features of Mimblewimble, which is its extraordinary ability to compress blockchain data. In Bitcoin, the entire history of a coin must be replayed every time it is spent, and comprehensive details are permanently stored in the blockchain. Epic discards spent transaction inputs and consolidates outputs, storing neither addresses or amounts, only a tiny kernel to allow sender and receiver to prove their transaction.
The Vitex mobile app is great for today, and we have a native mobile app for iOS and Android in the works as well.
Cryptodiffer Community $EPIC Have total Supply of 21,000,000 EPIC , is there any burning plan? Or Buyback program to maintain $EPIC price in the future? Who is Epic Biggest competitors? And what’s makes epic better than competitors? Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash We respect the older generation coins like Bitcoin. But we have learned that the supply economics of Bitcoin is very sound. Until today we can witness how the Bitcoin is being adopted institutionally and by retail. We match the 21 million BTC supply economics because it is an inelastic fixed model which makes the long-term economics very sound. To have an elastic model of burning tokens or printing tokens will not have a solid economic future. Take for example the USD which is an inflating supply. In terms of competitors we look at everyone in crypto with respect and also learn from everyone. If we had to compare to other Mimblewimble tech coins, Grin is an inelastic forever inflating supply which in the long term is not sound economics. Beam however is an inelastic model but is formed as a corporation. The fair distribution is not there because of the permanent revenue model setup for them. Epic Cash a non-profit development tax fund model for scaling purposes that will disappear by 2028’s singularity. Cryptodiffer Community What your plans in place for global expansion, are you focusing on only market at this time? Or focus on building and developing or getting customers and users, or partnerships? Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash Since we are a community project, we have many developers, in addition to the core team. Our plans for Global expansion are simple — we have advocates in different regions addressing their audiences in their native languages. We are growing organically, by explaining our ideology and usability. The idea is to grow beyond needing a fiat bridge for crypto use, but to rather replace fiat with our borderless, private and fungible crypto so people can use it to get goods and services without using banks. We are not limiting ourselves to one particular demographic — Epic Cash is a valid solution for the gamers, investors, techie and non techie people, and the unbanked. Cryptodiffer Community EPIC confidential coin! Did you have any problems with the regulators? And there will be no problems with listing on centralized exchanges? Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash In terms of structure, we are carefully set up to minimize these concerns. Without a company or investors in the picture, and having raised no funds, there is little scope to attack in terms of securities laws. Bitcoin and Ethereum are widely acknowledged as acceptable, and we follow in their well-established footprints in that respect. Centralized exchanges already trade other privacy coins, so we don’t see this as much of an issue either. In general, decentralized p2p exchange options are more interesting than today’s centralized platforms. They are more censorship resistant, secure, and privacy-protecting. As the technology gets better, they should continue to gain market share and that’s why we’re proud to be partnered with Vitex, whose exchange and mobile app work very well. Cryptodiffer Community What are the main utility and real-life usage of the #EPIC As an investor, why should we invest in the #EPIC project as a long-term investment? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash Because our blockchain is so light (only 1.16gb currently, and grows very slowly) it is naturally well suited to become a decentralized mobile money standard because people can run a full node on their phone, guaranteeing the security of their funds. Scalability in Bitcoin requires complicated and compromised workarounds such as Lightning Network and light clients, and these problems are solved in Epic. With our forthcoming Mobile Mining app, hundreds of millions of cell phones and tablets will be able to easily join the network. People can quickly and cheaply send money to one another, fulfilling the long-envisioned promise of P2P electronic cash. As an investor, it’s important to ask a few key questions. Bitcoin Standard tokenomics of disinflation and a fixed supply are well proven over a decade now. We follow this model exactly, with a permanently synchronized supply from 2028, and 4 emission halvings from now until then, with our first one in about two weeks. Beyond that, we can apply some simple logical tests. What is more valuable, money that can only be used in some cases (censorable Bitcoin based on a lack of fungibility) or money that can be used universally? (fungible Epic based on always-on privacy by default). Epic is also poised to be a more decentralized and therefore resilient network because of wider participation in mining. Epic is designed to be Bitcoin++ Privacy, Fungibility, Scalability Cryptodiffer Community Q1. What are advantages for choosing three mining algorithms RandomX+, ProgPow and CuckAToo31+ ? Q2. Beam and Grin use MimbleWimble protocol, so what are difference for Epic? All of you will be friends for partners or competitors? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash RandomX and ProgPow are designed to use the entirety of a CPU / GPU’s unique processing capabilities in a way that other types of hardware don’t work as well. You can run RandomX on a GPU but it doesn’t work nearly as well as a much cheaper CPU, for example. Cuckoo is a “memory hard” algorithm that widens the range of companies that can produce the hardware. Grin and Beam are great projects and we’ve learned a lot from them. We inherited our first codebase from Grin’s excellent Rust design, which is a better language for community participation than C++ that Beam currently uses. Functionally, Mimblewimble is similar across the 3 coins, with standard Confidential Transactions, CoinJoin, Dandelion++, Schnorr Signatures and other advanced features. Grin is primarily ASIC-targeted, Beam is GPU-targeted, and Epic is multi-hardware. The biggest differences though are in tokenomics and project structure. Grin has permanent inflation of 60 coins per block with no halvings, which means steady erosion of value over time due to new supply pressure. It also lacks a steady funding model, making future development in jeopardy, particularly as the per coin price falls. Beam has a for-profit model with heavy early inflation and a high developer tax. Epic builds on the strengths of these earlier mimblewimble projects and addresses the parts that could be improved. Cryptodiffer Community Some privacy coin has scalability issues! How Epic cash will solve scalability issues? Why you choose randomX consensus algorithem? Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash Fungibility means that you can’t distinguish one unit of currency from another, in example Gold. Fungibility has recently become a hot issue as people have been noticing Bitcoins being locked up by exchanges which may of had a nefarious history which are called Tainted Coins. In example coins that have been involved in a hack, darknet market transactions, or even processing coin through a mixer. Today we can already see freshly mined Bitcoins being sold at a premium price to avoid the fungibility problem Bitcoin carries today. Bitcoin can be tracked by chainalysis and is not a fungible cryptocurrency. One of the features that Epic has is privacy with added fungibility, because of Mimblewimble technology, Epic has no addresses recorded and therefore nothing can be tracked by chainalysis. Below I provide a link of an example of what the lack of fungibility is resulting in today with Bitcoin. One of the reasons why we chose the Random X algo. is because of the easy barrier of entry and also to further decentralize the mining. Random X algo can be mined on old computers or laptops. We also have 2 other algos Progpow (GPU), and Cuckoo (ASIC) to create a wider decentralization of mining methods for Epic. Cryptodiffer Community I’m a newbie in crypto and blockchain so how will Epic Cash team target and educate people who don’t know about blockchain and crypto? What is the uniqueness of Epic Cash that cannot be found in other project that´s been released so far ? Yoga Dude Pr&Marketing at Epic Cash Actually, while we have our white paper translated into over 30 languages, we are more focused on explaining our uses and advantages rather than cold specs. Our tech is solid, but we not get hung up on pure tech talk which most casual users do not need to or care to understand. As long as our fundamentals and tech are secure and user friendly our primary goal is to educate about use cases and market potential. The uniqueness of Epic Cash is its amalgamation of “whats good” in other cryptos. We use Mimblewimble for privacy and anonymity. Our blockchain is much lighter than our competitors. We are the only Mimblewimble crypto to use a unique cocktail of mining algorithms allowing to be mined by casual miners with gaming rigs and laptops, while remaining friendly to GPU and CPU farmers. The “uniqueness” is learning from the mistakes of those who came before us, we evolved and learned, which is why our privacy is better, we are faster, we are fungible, we offer diverse mining and so on. We are the best blend — thats powerful and unique Cryptodiffer Community Can you share EPIC’s vision for decentralized finance (DEFI)? What features do EPIC have to support DEFI? Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash We view Epic as ideally suited to be the decentralized digital reserve asset of the new Private Internet of Money that’s emerging. At a technology level, atomic swaps can be created to build liquidity bridges so that wrapped Epic tokens (like WBTC, WETH) can trade on other networks as ERC20, BEP2, NEP5, VIP180, Algorand and so on. There is more Bitcoin value locked on Ethereum than in Lightning Network, so we will similarly integrate Epic so that it can trade on networks such as Uniswap, Kyber, and so on. Longer term, if there is market demand for it, thanks to Scriptless Script functionality our blockchain has, we can build “Confidential Assets” (which Raven, Tari, and Beam are all also working on) that enable people to create tokenized assets in a private way. Cryptodiffer Community If you could choose one celebrity to promote Epic-cash, who that would be? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash I am a firm believer that the strength of the project lies in allowing community members to become their own celebrities, if their content is good enough the community will propel them to celebrity status. Organic celebrities with small but loyal following are vastly more beneficial than big name professional shills with inflated but non caring audiences. I remember the early days of Apple when an enthusiastic dude named Guy Kawasaki became Apple Evangelist, he was literally going around stores that sold Apple and visited user groups and Evangelized his belief in Apple. This guy became a Legend and helped Apple become what it is today. Epic Cash will have its OWN Celebrities Cryptodiffer Community How does $EPIC solve scalability of transactions? Current blockchains face issues with scalability a lot, how does $EPIC creates a solution to it? Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash Epic Cash is utilizing Mimblewimble technology. Besides the privacy & fungibility aspect of the tech. There is the scalability features of it. It is implemented into Epic by transaction cut-through. Which means it allows nodes to remove all intermediate transactions, thus significantly reducing the blockchain size without affecting its validation. Mimblewimble also does not use addresses like a BTC address, and amount of transactions are also not recorded. One problem Monero and Bitcoin are facing now is scalability. It is evident today that data is getting more expensive and that will be a problem in the long run for those coins. Epic is 90% lighter and more scalable compared to Monero and Bitcoin. Cryptodiffer Community what are the ways that Epic Cash generates profits/revenue to maintain your project and what is its revenue model ? How can it make benefit win-win to both invester and your project ? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash There is a block subsidy of 7.77% that declines 1.11% per year until 0, where it stays after that. As a nonprofit community effort, this extremely modest amount goes much further than in other projects, which often take 20, 30, even 50+ % of the coin supply. We believe that this ongoing funding model best aligns the long term incentives for all participants and balances the compromises between the ends of the centralized/decentralized spectrum of choices that any project must make. Cryptodiffer Community Q1 : What are your major goals to archive in the next 3–4 years? Q2 : What are your plans to expand and gain more adoption? Yoga Dude Pr&Marketing at Epic Cash Max already talked about our technical plans and goals in his roadmap. Allow me to talk more about the non technical 😁 We are aiming for broader reach in the non technical more mainstream community — this is a big challenge but we believe it is doable. By offering simpler ways to mine Epic Cash (with smart phones for example), and by doing more education we will achieve the holy grail of crypto — moving past the fiat bridges and getting Epic Cash to be accepted as means of payment for goods and services. We will accomplish this by working with regional advocacy groups, community interaction, off-line promotional activities and diverse social media targeting. Cryptodiffer Community It seems to me that EpicCash will have its first Halving, right? Why a halving so soon? Is a mobile version feasible? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash Our supply emission catches up to that of Bitcoin’s first 19 years after 8 years in Epic, so that requires more frequent halvings. Today’s block emission is 16, next up are 8, 4, 2, and then finally 0.15625. After that, the supply of Epic and that of BTC stay synchronized until maxing out at 21m coins in 2140. Today we have a mobile wallet through the Vitex app, a native mobile wallet coming, and are working on mobile mining. Cryptodiffer Community What markets will you add after that? Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash Well, we are aiming to have ALL markets Epic Cash in its final iteration will be usable by everyone everywhere regardless of their technical expertise. We are not limiting ourselves to the technocrats, one of our main goals is to help the billions of unbanked. We want everyone to be able to mine, buy, and most of all USE Epic Cash — gamers, farmers, soccer moms, students, retirees, everyone really — even bankers (well once we defeat the banking industry) We will continue building on the multilingual diversity of our global community adding support and advocacy groups in more countries in more languages. Epic Cash is More than Money and its for Everyone. Cryptodiffer Community Almost, all cryptocurrencies are decentralized & no-one knows who owns that cryptocurrencies ! then also, why Privacy is needed? hats the advantages of Private coins? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash With a public transparent blockchain such as Bitcoin, you are permanently posting a detailed history of your money movements open for anyone to see (not just legitimate authorities, either!) — It would be considered crazy to post your credit card or bank statements to Twitter, but that’s what is happening every time you send a transaction that is not private. This excellent video from community contributor Spencer Lambert https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0blbfmvCq\_4 explains better than I can. Privacy is not just for criminals, it’s for everyone. Do you want your landlord to increase the rent when he sees that you get a raise? Your insurance company to raise your healthcare costs because they see you buying too much ice cream? If you’re a business, do you want your employees to see how much money their coworkers make? Do you want your competitors to trace your supplier and customer relationships? Of course not. By privacy being default for everyone, cryptocurrency can be used in a much wider range of situations without unacceptable compromises. Cryptodiffer Community What are the main utility and real-life usage of the #EPIC As an investor, why should we invest in the #EPIC project as a long-term investment? Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash Epic Cash can be used as a Private and Fungible store of value, medium of exchange, and unit of account. As Epic Cash grows and becomes adopted it can be compared to how Bitcoin and Monero is used and adopted as well. As Epic is adopted by the masses, it can be accepted as a medium of exchange for store owners and as fungible payments without the worry of having money that is tainted. Epic Cash as a store of value may be a good long term aspect of investment to consider. Epic Cash carries an inelastic fixed supply economic model of 21 million coins. There will be 5 halvings which this month of June will be our first halving of epic. From a block reward of 16 Epic reduced to 8. If we look at BTC’s price action and history of their halvings it has been proven and show that there has been an increase in value due to the scarcity and from halvings a reduction of # of BTC’s mined per block. An inelastic supply model like Bitcoin provides proof of the circulating supply compared to the total supply by the history of it’s Price action which is evident in long term charts since the birth of Bitcoin. EPIC Plans to have 5 halvings before the year 2028 to match the emissions of Bitcoin which we call the singularity event. Below is a chart displaying our halvings model approaching singularity. Once bitcoin and cryptocurrency becomes adopted mainstream, the fungibility problem will be more noticed by the general public. Privacy coins and the features of fungibility/scalability will most likely be sought over. Right now a majority of people believe that all cryptocurrency is fungible. However, that is not true. We can already see Chainalysis confirming that they can trace and track and even for other well-known privacy coins today such as Z-Cash. Cryptodiffer Community
You aim to reach support from a global community, what are your plans to get spanish speakers involved into Epic Cash? And emerging markets like the african
How am I secure I won’t be affected by receiving tainted money?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash Native speakers from our community are working to raise awareness in key markets such as mining in Argentina and Venezuela for Spanish (Roberto Navarro called Epic “the holy grail of cryptocurrency” and Ethiopia and certain North African countries that have the lowest electricity costs in the world. Remittances between USA and Latin American countries are expensive and slow, so Epic is also perfect for people to send money back home as well. Cryptodiffer Community Do EPICs in 2020 focus more on research and coding, or on sales and implementation? Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash We will definitely continue to work on research and coding, with emphasis on improved accessibility (especially via smartphones) usability, security and privacy. In terms of financial infrastructure will continuing to add exchanges both KYC and non KYC. Big part of our plans is in ongoing Marketing and PR outreach. The idea is to make Epic Cash a viral sensation of sorts. If we can get Epic Cash adopters to spread the word and tell their family, coworkers and friends about Epic Cash — there will be no stopping us and to help that happen we have a growing army of content creators, and supporters. Everyone with skin in the game gets the benefit of advancing the cause. Folks also, this isn’t an answer to the question but an example of a real-world Epic Cash content — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtAVEqKGgqY a challenge from one of our content creators to beat his 21 pull ups and get 100 epics! This has not been claimed yet — people need to step up 🙂 and to help that I will match another 100 Epic Cash to the first person to beat this Cryptodiffer Community I was watching some videos explaining how to send and receive transactions in EpicCash, which consists of ports and sending links, my question is why this is so, which, for now, looks complex? Let’s talk about the economic model, can EpicCash comply with the concept of value reserve? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash In V3, which is coming later this summer, Epic can be sent over Tor, which eliminates this issue of port opening, even though using tools like ngrok.io, it’s not necessarily as painful as directly configuring the router ports. Early Lightning Network had this issue as well and it’s something we have a plan to address via research into non-interactive transactions. “Fire and Forget” payments to an address, as people are used to in Bitcoin, is coming to Epic and we’re excited to develop functionality that other advanced mimblewimble coins don’t yet have. We are committed to constant improvement in usability and utility, to make our money system the ease of use leader. We are involved in the project (anyone can join the Freeman Family) because we believe that simply by choosing to use a form of money that better aligns with our ideals, that we can make a positive change in the world. Some of my thoughts about how I got involved are here: https://medium.com/epic-cash/the-freeman-family-e3b9c3b3f166 Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash Huge thanks to our friends Maks and Vladyslav, we welcome everyone to come say hi at one of our friendly communities. It is extremely early in this journey, our market cap is only 0.5m right now, whereas the 3 other mimblewimble coins are at $20m, $30m and $100m respectively. Epic is a historic opportunity to follow in the footsteps of legends such as Bitcoin and Monero, and we hope to become the first Top 5 privacy coin project. Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash Would like to Thank the Cryptodiffer Team and the Cryptodiffer community for hosting us and also engaging with us to learn more about Epic. If anyone else has more questions and wants to know more about EPIC , can find us at our telegram channel at https://t.me/EpicCash . Yoga Dude Pr&Marketing at Epic Cash Thank you, CryptoDiffer Team, and this wonderful Community!!! Cryptodiffer TEAM Thank you everyone for taking your time and asking great questions Thank you for your time, it was an insightful session Spread the love
An extensive guide for cashing out bitcoin and cryptocurrencies into private banks
Hey guys. Merry Xmas ! I am coming back to you with a follow up post, as I have helped many people cash out this year and I have streamlined the process. After my original post, I received many requests to be more specific and provide more details. I thought that after the amazing rally we have been attending over the last few months, and the volatility of the last few days, it would be interesting to revisit more extensively. The attitude of banks around crypto is changing slowly, but it is still a tough stance. For the first partial cash out I operated around a year ago for a client, it took me months to find a bank. They wouldn’t want to even consider the case and we had to knock at each and every door. Despite all my contacts it was very difficult back in the days. This has changed now, and banks have started to open their doors, but there is a process, a set of best practices and codes one has to follow. I often get requests from crypto guys who are very privacy-oriented, and it takes me months to have them understand that I am bound by Swiss law on banking secrecy, and I am their ally in this onboarding process. It’s funny how I have to convince people that banks are legit, while on the other side, banks ask me to show that crypto millionaires are legit. I have a solid background in both banking and in crypto so I manage to make the bridge, but yeah sometimes it is tough to reconcile the two worlds. I am a crypto enthusiast myself and I can say that after years of work in the banking industry I have grown disillusioned towards banks as well, like many of you. Still an account in a Private bank is convenient and powerful. So let’s get started.
A. What is required to open an account in a Private bank when you made your fortune through crypto.
There are two different aspects to your onboarding in a Swiss Private bank, compliance-wise. *The origin of your crypto wealth *Your background (residence, citizenship and probity) These two aspects must be documented in-depth. How to document your crypto wealth. Each new crypto millionaire has a different story. I may detail a few fun stories later in this post, but at the end of the day, most of crypto rich I have met can be categorized within the following profiles: the miner, the early adopter, the trader, the corporate entity, the black market, the libertarian/OTC buyer. The real question is how you prove your wealth is legit. 1. Context around the original amount/investment Generally speaking, your first crypto purchase may not be documented. But the context around this acquisition can be. I have had many cases where the original amount was bought through Mtgox, and no proof of purchase could be provided, nor could be documented any Mtgox claim. That’s perfectly fine. At some point Mtgox amounted 70% of the bitcoin transactions globally, and people who bought there and managed to withdraw and keep hold of their bitcoins do not have any Mtgox claim. This is absolutely fine. However, if you can show me the record of a wire from your bank to Tisbane (Mtgox's parent company) it's a great way to start. Otherwise, what I am trying to document here is the following: I need context. If you made your first purchase by saving from summer jobs, show me a payroll. Even if it was USD 2k. If you acquired your first bitcoins from mining, show me the bills of your mining equipment from 2012 or if it was through a pool mine, give me your slushpool account ref for instance. If you were given bitcoin against a service you charged, show me an invoice. 2. Tracking your wealth until today and making sense of it. What I have been doing over the last few months was basically educating compliance officers. Thanks God, the blockchain is a global digital ledger! I have been telling my auditors and compliance officers they have the best tool at their disposal to lead a proper investigation. Whether you like it or not, your wealth can be tracked, from address to address. You may have thought all along this was a bad feature, but I am telling you, if you want to cash out, in the context of Private Banking onboarding, tracking your wealth through the block explorer is a boon. We can see the inflows, outflows. We can see the age behind an address. An early adopter who bought 1000 BTC in 2010, and let his bitcoin behind one address and held thus far is legit, whether or not he has a proof of purchase to show. That’s just common sense. My job is to explain that to the banks in a language they understand. Let’s have a look at a few examples and how to document the few profiles I mentioned earlier. The trader. I love traders. These are easy cases. I have a ton of respect for them. Being a trader myself in investment banks for a decade earlier in my career has taught me that controlling one’s emotions and having the discipline to impose oneself some proper risk management system is really really hard. Further, being able to avoid the exchange bankruptcy and hacks throughout crypto history is outstanding. It shows real survival instinct, or just plain blissed ignorance. In any cases traders at exchange are easy cases to corroborate since their whole track record is potentially available. Some traders I have met have automated their trading and have shown me more than 500k trades done over the span of 4 years. Obviously in this kind of scenario I don’t show everything to the bank to avoid information overload, and prefer to do some snacking here and there. My strategy is to show the early trades, the most profitable ones, explain the trading strategy and (partially expose) the situation as of now with id pages of the exchanges and current balance. Many traders have become insensitive to the risk of parking their crypto at exchange as they want to be able to trade or to grasp an occasion any minute, so they generally do not secure a substantial portion on the blockchain which tends to make me very nervous. The early adopter. Provided that he has not mixed his coin, the early adopter or “hodler” is not a difficult case either. Who cares how you bought your first 10k btc if you bought them below 3$ ? Even if you do not have a purchase proof, I would generally manage to find ways. We just have to corroborate the original 30’000 USD investment in this case. I mainly focus on three things here: *proof of early adoption I have managed to educate some banks on a few evidences specifically related to crypto markets. For instance with me, an old bitcointalk account can serve as a proof of early adoption. Even an old reddit post from a few years ago where you say how much you despise this Ripple premined scam can prove to be a treasure readily available to show you were early. *story telling Compliance officers like to know when, why and how. They are human being looking for simple answers to simple questions and they don’t want like to be played fool. Telling the truth, even without a proof can do wonders, and even though bluffing might still work because banks don’t fully understand bitcoin yet, it is a risky strategy that is less and less likely to pay off as they are getting more sophisticated by the day. *micro transaction from an old address you control This is the killer feature. Send a $20 worth transaction from an old address to my company wallet and to one of my partner bank’s wallet and you are all set ! This is gold and considered a very solid piece of evidence. You can also do a microtransaction to your own wallet, but banks generally prefer transfer to their own wallet. Patience with them please. they are still learning. *signature message Why do a micro transaction when you can sign a message and avoid potentially tainting your coins ? *ICO millionaire Some clients made their wealth participating in ETH crowdsale or IOTA ICO. They were very easy to deal with obviously and the account opening was very smooth since we could evidence the GENESIS TxHash flow. The miner Not so easy to proof the wealth is legit in that case. Most early miners never took screenshot of the blocks on bitcoin core, nor did they note down the block number of each block they mined. Until the the Slashdot article from August 2010 anyone could mine on his laptop, let his computer run overnight and wake up to a freshly minted block containing 50 bitcoins back in the days. Not many people were structured enough to store and secure these coins, avoid malwares while syncing the blockchain continuously, let alone document the mined blocks in the process. What was 50 BTC worth really for the early miners ? dust of dollars, games and magic cards… Even miners post 2010 are generally difficult to deal with in terms of compliance onboarding. Many pool mining are long dead. Deepbit is down for instance and the founders are MIA. So my strategy to proof mining activity is as follow: *Focusing on IT background whenever possible. An IT background does help a lot to bring some substance to the fact you had the technical ability to operate a mining rig. *Showing mining equipment receipts. If you mined on your own you must have bought the hardware to do so. For instance mining equipment receipts from butterfly lab from 2012-2013 could help document your case. Similarly, high electricity bill from your household on a consistent basis back in the day could help. I have already unlocked a tricky case in the past with such documents when the bank was doubtful. *Wallet.dat files with block mining transactions from 2011 thereafter This obviously is a fantastic piece of evidence for both you and me if you have an old wallet and if you control an address that received original mined blocks, (even if the wallet is now empty). I will make sure compliance officers understand what it means, and as for the early adopter, you can prove your control over these wallet through a microtransaction. With these kind of addresses, I can show on the block explorer the mined block rewards hitting at regular time interval, and I can even spot when difficulty level increased or when halvening process happened. *Poolmining account. Here again I have educated my partner bank to understand that a slush account opened in 2013 or an OnionTip presence was enough to corroborate mining activity. The block explorer then helps me to do the bridge with your current wallet. *Describing your set up and putting it in context In the history of mining we had CPU, GPU, FPG and ASICs mining. I will describe your technical set up and explain why and how your set up was competitive at that time. The corporate entity Remember 2012 when we were all convinced bitcoin would take over the world, and soon everyone would pay his coffee in bitcoin? How naïve we were to think transaction fees would remain low forever. I don’t blame bitcoin cash supporters; I once shared this dream as well. Remember when we thought global adoption was right around the corner and some brick and mortar would soon accept bitcoin transaction as a common mean of payment? Well, some shop actually did accept payment and held. I had a few cases as such of shops holders, who made it to the multi million mark holding and had invoices or receipts to proof the transactions. If you are organized enough to keep a record for these trades and are willing to cooperate for the documentation, you are making your life easy. The digital advertising business is also a big market for the bitcoin industry, and affiliates partner compensated in btc are common. It is good to show an invoice, it is better to show a contract. If you do not have a contract (which is common since all advertising deals are about ticking a check box on the website to accept terms and conditions), there are ways around that. If you are in that case, pm me. The black market Sorry guys, I can’t do much for you officially. Not that I am judging you. I am a libertarian myself. It’s just already very difficult to onboard legit btc adopters, so the black market is a market I cannot afford to consider. My company is regulated so KYC and compliance are key for me if I want to stay in business. Behind each case I push forward I am risking the credibility and reputation I have built over the years. So I am sorry guys I am not risking it to make an extra buck. Your best hope is that crypto will eventually take over the world and you won’t need to cash out anyway. Or go find a Lithuanian bank that is light on compliance and cooperative. The OTC buyer and the libertarian. Generally a very difficult case. If you bought your stack during your journey in Japan 5 years ago to a guy you never met again; or if you accumulated on https://localbitcoins.com/ and kept no record or lost your account, it is going to be difficult. Not impossible but difficult. We will try to build a case with everything else we have, and I may be able to onboard you. However I am risking a lot here so I need to be 100% confident you are legit, before I defend you. Come & see me in Geneva, and we will talk. I will run forensic services like elliptic, chainalysis, or scorechain on an extract of your wallet. If this scan does not raise too many red flags, then maybe we can work together ! If you mixed your coins all along your crypto history, and shredded your seeds because you were paranoid, or if you made your wealth mining professionally monero over the last 3 years but never opened an account at an exchange. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ I am not a magician and don’t get me wrong, I love monero, it’s not the point. Cashing out ICOs Private companies or foundations who have ran an ICO generally have a very hard time opening a bank account. The few banks that accept such projects would generally look at 4 criteria: *Seriousness of the project Extensive study of the whitepaper to limit the reputation risk *AML of the onboarding process ICOs 1.0 have no chance basically if a background check of the investors has not been conducted *Structure of the moral entity List of signatories, certificate of incumbency, work contract, premises... *Fiscal conformity Did the company informed the authorities and seek a fiscal ruling.
B. The tax issue I am not a tax specialist, but I can say that this year I have seen it all. Again I am not judging. You made $100m hodling, and still wouldn’t pay your taxes ? Your decision.I personally advise everyone to pay their taxes, but also to be generous, to give to charities. I mean you eventually made it. Good for you. What about you contribute to make the world a better place now? I will stop patronizing you. It’s just my 2cts, and it’s your money.
For the record, I am not into the tax avoidance business, so people come to me with a set up and I see if I can make it work within the legal framework imposed to me. First, stop thinking Switzerland is a “offshore heaven” Swiss banks have made deals with many governments for the exchange of fiscal information. If you are a French citizen, resident in France and want to open an account in a Private Bank in Switzerland to cash out your bitcoins, you will get slaughtered (>60%). There are ways around that, and I could refer you to good tax specialists for fiscal optimization, but I cannot organize it myself. It would be illegal for me. Swiss private banks makes it easy for you to keep a good your relation with your retail bank and continue paying your bills without headaches. They are integrated to SEPA, provide ebanking and credit cards. For information, these are the kind of set up some of my clients came up with. It’s all legal; obviously I do not onboard clients that are not tax compliant. Further disclaimer: I did not contribute myself to these set up. Do not ask me to organize it for you. I won’t. EU tricks Swiss lump sum taxation Foreign nationals resident in Switzerland can be taxed on a lump-sum basis if they are not gainfully employed in our country. Under the lump-sum tax regime, foreign nationals taking residence in Switzerland may choose to pay an expense-based tax instead of ordinary income and wealth tax. Attractive cantons for the lump sum taxation are Zug, Vaud, Valais, Grisons, Lucerne and Berne. To make it short, you will be paying somewhere between 200 and 400k a year and all expenses will be deductible. Switzerland has adopted a very friendly attitude towards crypto currency in general. There is a whole crypto valley in Zug now. 30% of ICOs are operated in Switzerland. The reason is that Switzerland has thrived for centuries on banking secrecy, and today with FATCA and exchange of fiscal info with EU, banking secrecy is dead. Regulators in Switzerland have understood that digital ledger technologies were a way to roll over this competitive advantage for the generations to come. Switzerland does not tax capital gains on crypto profits. The Finma has a very pragmatic approach. They have issued guidance- updated guidelines here. They let the business get organized and operate their analysis on a case per case basis. Only after getting a deep understanding of the market will they issue a global fintech license in 2019. This approach is much more realistic than legislations which try to regulate everything beforehand. Italy new tax exemption. It’s a brand new fiscal exemption. Go to Aoste, get residency and you could be taxed a 100k/year for 10years. Yes, really. Portugal What’s crazy in Europe is the lack of fiscal harmonization. Even if no one in Brussels dares admit it, every other country is doing fiscal dumping. Portugal is such a country and has proved very friendly fiscally speaking. I personally have a hard time trusting Europe. I have witnessed what happened in Greece over the last few years. Some of our ultra high net worth clients got stuck with capital controls. I mean no way you got out of crypto to have your funds confiscated at the next financial crisis! Anyway. FYI Malta Generally speaking, if you get a residence somewhere you have to live there for a certain period of time. Being stuck in Italy is no big deal with Schengen Agreement, but in Malta it is a different story. In Malta, the ordinary residence scheme is more attractive than the HNWI residence scheme. Being an individual, you can hold a residence permit under this scheme and pay zero income tax in Malta in a completely legal way. Monaco Not suitable for French citizens, but for other Ultra High Net worth individual, Monaco is worth considering. You need an account at a local bank as a proof of fortune, and this account generally has to be seeded with at least EUR500k. You also need a proof of residence. I do mean UHNI because if you don’t cash out minimum 30m it’s not interesting. Everything is expensive in Monaco. Real Estate is EUR 50k per square meter. A breakfast at Monte Carlo Bay hotel is 70 EUR. Monaco is sunny but sometimes it feels like a golden jail. Do you really want that for your kids? Dubaï
Set up a company in Dubaï, get your resident card.
Spend one day every 6 month there
Be tax free
US tricks Some Private banks in Geneva do have the license to manage the assets of US persons and U.S citizens. However, do not think it is a way to avoid paying taxes in the US. Opening an account at an authorized Swiss Private banks is literally the same tax-wise as opening an account at Fidelity or at Bank of America in the US. The only difference is that you will avoid all the horror stories. Horror stories are all real by the way. In Switzerland, if you build a decent case and answer all the questions and corroborate your case in depth, you will manage to convince compliance officers beforehand. When the money eventually hits your account, it is actually available and not frozen. The IRS and FATCA require to file FBAR if an offshore account is open. However FBAR is a reporting requirement and does not have taxes related to holding an account outside the US. The taxes would be the same if the account was in the US. However penalties for non compliance with FBAR are very large. The tax liability management is actually performed through the management of the assets ( for exemple by maximizing long term capital gains and minimizing short term gains). The case for Porto Rico. Full disclaimer here. I am not encouraging this. Have not collaborated on such tax avoidance schemes. if you are interested I strongly encourage you to seek a tax advisor and get a legal opinion. I am not responsible for anything written below. I am not going to say much because I am so afraid of uncle Sam that I prefer to humbly pass the hot potato to pwc From here all it takes is a good advisor and some creativity to be tax free on your crypto wealth if you are a US person apparently. Please, please please don’t ask me more. And read the disclaimer again. Trust tricks Generally speaking I do not accept fringe fiscal situation because it puts me in a difficult situation to the banks I work with, and it is already difficult enough to defend a legit crypto case. Trust might be a way to optimize your fiscal situation. Belize. Bahamas. Seychelles. Panama, You name it. At the end of the day, what matters for Swiss Banks are the beneficial owner and the settlor. Get a legal opinion, get it done, and when you eventually knock at a private bank’s door, don’t say it was for fiscal avoidance you stupid ! You will get the door smashed upon you. Be smarter. It will work. My advice is just to have it done by a great tax specialist lawyer, even if it costs you some money, as the entity itself needs to be structured in a professional way. Remember that with trust you are dispossessing yourself off your wealth. Not something to be taken lightly. “Anonymous” cash out. Right. I think I am not going into this topic, neither expose the ways to get it done. Pm me for details. I already feel a bit uncomfortable with all the info I have provided. I am just going to mention many people fear that crypto exchange might become reporting entities soon, and rightly so. This might happen anyday. You have been warned. FYI, this only works for non-US and large cash out. The difference between traders an investors. Danmark, Holland and Germany all make a huge difference if you are a passive investor or if you are a trader. ICO is considered investing for instance and is not taxed, while trading might be considered as income and charged aggressively. I would try my best to protect you and put a focus on your investor profile whenever possible, so you don't have to pay 52% tax if you do not have to :D
C. The cash out itself So you have accumulated patiently a good amount of wealth. For some of us who have been involved in crypto since 2010, it took years. Remember when BTC was stuck at 200$ for months? I personally feel like it was yesterday. There is no way you screw up your wealth by cashing out in a hurry or with low security standards. Here is how the cash out takes should place.
Full cash out or partial cash out? People who have been sitting on crypto for long have grown an emotional and irrational link with their coins. They come to me and say, look, I have 50m in crypto but I would like to cash out 500k only. So first let me tell you that as a wealth manager my advice to you is to take some off the table. Doing a partial cash out is absolutely fine. The market is bullish. We are witnessing a redistribution of wealth at a global scale. Bitcoin is the real #occupywallstreet, and every one will discuss crypto at Xmas eve which will make the market even more supportive beginning 2018, especially with all hedge funds entering the scene. If you want to stay exposed to bitcoin and altcoins, and believe these techs will change the world, it’s just natural you want to keep some coins. In the meantime, if you have lived off pizzas over the last years, and have the means to now buy yourself an nice house and have an account at a private bank, then f***ing do it mate ! Buy physical gold with this account, buy real estate, have some cash at hands. Even though US dollar is worthless to your eyes, it’s good and convenient to have some. Also remember your wife deserves it ! And if you have no wife yet and you are socially awkward like the rest of us, then maybe cashing out partially will help your situation ;) What the Private Banks expect. Joke aside, it is important you understand something. If you come around in Zurich to open a bank account and partially cash out, just don’t expect Private Banks will make an exception for you if you are small. You can’t ask them to facilitate your cash out, buy a 1m apartment with the proceeds of the sale, and not leave anything on your current account. It won’t work. Sadly, under 5m you are considered small in private banking. The bank is ok to let you open an account, provided that your kyc and compliance file are validated, but they will also want you to become a client and leave some money there to invest. This might me despicable, but I am just explaining you their rules. If you want to cash out, you should sell enough to be comfortable and have some left. Also expect the account opening to last at least 3-4 week if everything goes well. You can't just open an account overnight. The cash out logistics. Cashing out 1m USD a day in bitcoin or more is not so hard. Let me just tell you this: Even if you get a Tier 4 account with Kraken and ask Alejandro there to raise your limit over $100k per day, Even if you have a bitfinex account and you are willing to expose your wealth there, Even if you have managed to pass all the crazy due diligence at Bitstamp, The amount should be fractioned to avoid risking your full wealth on exchange and getting slaughtered on the price by trading big quantities. Cashing out involves significant risks at all time. There is a security risk of compromising your keys, a counterparty risk, a fat finger risk. Let it be done by professionals. It is worth every single penny. Most importantly, there is a major difference between trading on an exchange and trading OTC. Even though it’s not publicly disclosed some exchange like Kraken do have OTC desks. Trading on an exchange for a large amount will weight on the prices. Bitcoin is a thin market. In my opinion over 30% of the coins are lost in translation forever. Selling $10m on an exchange in a day can weight on the prices more than you’d think. And if you trade on a exchange, everything is shown on record, and you might wipe out the prices because on exchanges like bitstamp or kraken ultimately your counterparties are retail investors and the market depth is not huge. It is a bit better on Bitfinex. It is way better to trade OTC. Accessing the institutional OTC market is not easy, and that is also the reason why you should ask a regulated financial intermediary if we are talking about huge amounts. Last point, always chose EUR as opposed to USD. EU correspondent banks won’t generally block institutional amounts. However we had the cases of USD funds frozen or delayed by weeks. Most well-known OTC desks are Cumberlandmining (ask for Lucas), Genesis (ask for Martin), Bitcoin Suisse AG (ask for Niklas), circletrade, B2C2, or Altcoinomy (ask for Olivier) Very very large whales can also set up escrow accounts for massive block trades. This world, where blocks over 30k BTC are exchanged between 2 parties would deserve a reddit thread of its own. Crazyness all around. Your options: DIY or going through a regulated financial intermediary. Execution trading is a job in itself. You have to be patient, be careful not to wipe out the order book and place limit orders, monitor the market intraday for spikes or opportunities. At big levels, for a large cash out that may take weeks, these kind of details will save you hundred thousands of dollars. I understand crypto holders are suspicious and may prefer to do it by themselves, but there are regulated entities who now offer the services. Besides, being a crypto millionaire is not a guarantee you will get institutional daily withdrawal limits at exchange. You might, but it will take you another round of KYC with them, and surprisingly this round might be even more aggressive that the ones at Private banks since exchange have gone under intense scrutiny by regulators lately. The fees for cashing out through a regulated financial intermediary to help you with your cash out should be around 1-2% flat on the nominal, not more. And for this price you should get the full package: execution/monitoring of the trades AND onboarding in a private bank. If you are asked more, you are being abused. Of course, you also have the option to do it yourself. It is a way more tedious and risky process. Compliance with the exchange, compliance with the private bank, trading BTC/fiat, monitoring the transfers…You will save some money but it will take you some time and stress. Further, if you approach a private bank directly, it will trigger a series of red flag to the banks. As I said in my previous post, they call a direct approach a “walk-in”. They will be more suspicious than if you were introduced by someone and won’t hesitate to show you high fees and load your portfolio with in-house products that earn more money to the banks than to you. Remember also most banks still do not understand crypto so you will have a lot of explanations to provide and you will have to start form scratch with them! The paradox of crypto millionaires Most of my clients who made their wealth through crypto all took massive amount of risks to end up where they are. However, most of them want their bank account to be managed with a low volatility fixed income capital preservation risk profile. This is a paradox I have a hard time to explain and I think it is mainly due to the fact that most are distrustful towards banks and financial markets in general. Many clients who have sold their crypto also have a cash-out blues in the first few months. This is a classic situation. The emotions involved in hodling for so long, the relief that everything has eventually gone well, the life-changing dynamics, the difficulties to find a new motivation in life…All these elements may trigger a post cash-out depression. It is another paradox of the crypto rich who has every card in his hand to be happy, but often feel a bit sad and lonely. Sometimes, even though it’s not my job, I had to do some psychological support. A lot of clients have also become my friends, because we have the same age and went through the same “ordeal”. First world problem I know… Remember, cashing out is not the end. It’s actually the beginning. Don’t look back, don’t regret. Cash out partially, because it does not make sense to cash out in full, regret it and want back in. relax. The race to cash out crypto billionaire and the concept of late exiter. The Winklevoss brothers are obviously the first of a series. There will be crypto billionaires. Many of them. At a certain level you can have a whole family office working for you to manage your assets and take care of your needs . However, let me tell you it’s is not because you made it so big that you should think you are a genius and know everything better than anyone. You should hire professionals to help you. Managing assets require some education around the investment vehicles and risk management strategies. Sorry guys but with all the respect I have for wallstreebet, AMD and YOLO stock picking, some discipline is necessary. The investors who have made money through crypto are generally early adopters. However I have started to see another profile popping up. They are not early adopters. They are late exiters. It is another way but just as efficient. Last week I met the first crypto millionaire I know who first bough bitcoin over 1000$. 55k invested at the beginning of this year. Late adopter & late exiter is a route that can lead to the million. Last remarks. I know banks, bankers, and FIAT currencies are so last century. I know some of you despise them and would like to have them burn to the ground. With compliance officers taking over the business, I would like to start the fire myself sometimes. I hope this extensive guide has helped some of you. I am around if you need more details. I love my job despite all my frustration towards the banking industry because it makes me meet interesting people on a daily basis. I am a crypto enthusiast myself, and I do think this tech is here to stay and will change the world. Banks will have to adapt big time. Things have started to change already; they understand the threat is real. I can feel the generational gap in Geneva, with all these old bankers who don’t get what’s going on. They glaze at the bitcoin chart on CNBC in disbelief and they start to get it. This bitcoin thing is not a joke. Deep inside, as an early adopter who also intends to be a late exiter, as a libertarian myself, it makes me smile with satisfaction. Cheers. @swisspb on telegram
Dash Competitive Basket Index for Saturday, 14 December, 2019. The win rates today were so-so, but........
Nothing special today for win rates. But not terrible either. It’s always fun to beat Bitcoin. All three moving averages stayed the same or move up a bit. And check out our all time transaction chart against LiteCoin. Neck and neck I tell you. Why are we not creaming LiteCoin and BitCoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV??? For the previous 7 day time frame:
Dash outperformed 10 of the 23 coins ranked above us (44%). The 30 day SMA* is 42.1%.
Dash outperformed 3 of the 10 coins ranked below us (30%). The 30 day SMA* is 35.0%.
In total, Dash outperformed 13 of the top 33 coins (40%). The 30 day SMA* is 39.8%.
Bitcoin dominance dropped a10th to 66.1%.
25 of the top 33 crypto projects beat Bitcoin (76%)
8 of the top 33 crypto projects were in the green (24%)
Breaking: TaaS team has strong links to suspected Ponzi Scheme
UPDATE: Due to overwhelming community demand, we have decided to release the entirety of the TaaS report for free to further substantiate our findings. You can download it here: https://www.icoalert.com/special-ico-alert-report-taas This is going to be a long post, but the information contained within is of great importance to the cryptocurrency community. My name is Rob, and I'm the Founder of ICO Alert, a comprehensive list of all active and upcoming cryptocurrency Initial Coin Offerings. You may know me from my posts about the launch of ICO Alert, or about that time someone accidentally sent 32 ETH to the ICO Alert donation address. We recently launched an ICO Report feature that provides in-depth analysis of upcoming ICOs so that you can determine which are worth investing in. During our analysis of TaaS, a tokenized closed-end fund, we stumbled upon some shocking connections. We found that many of the TaaS team members are directly linked to Bitup, a suspected ponzi scheme. In addition, we found huge holes in the cryptographic audit TaaS plans to employ that could jeopardize the sustainability and solvency of the entire fund. We usually charge a small fee (0.2 ETH / $10) for our reports, but decided that we cannot in good conscience keep the most shocking revelations from the TaaS Report behind a paywall. We believe it is our obligation to the community to distribute this information since the entire TaaS fund may be a scam. You can still purchase the 32 page detailed report here if you'd like, but many of the main revelations are posted below: The TaaS team and their links to Bitup, a High Yield Investment Platform (aka Ponzi Scheme) Our research has identified deep connections between the four founding members of the TaaS project — Ruslan Gavrilyuk, Konstantin Pysarenko, Maksym Muratov, and Dimitri Chupryna — and the #bitup investment platform. Several aspects of the Bitup platform resemble strongly characteristics and activities of High Yield Investment Platforms, more commonly known Ponzi Schemes. Bitup advertises fixed daily returns that are not dependent on market or investment performance; users are also offered a percentage of the total investment deposited into the fund by new users they refer. These are the typical characteristics of a ponzi scheme. Individuals who have been involved in the cryptocurrency space for any meaningful duration will quickly identify the Bitup platform as one of many HYIP (High Yield Investment Programs) Ponzi Schemes developed to defraud new entrants into unregulated markets. Konstantin Pysarenko Konstantin Pysarenko, the Vice President of the TaaS project, lists experience in founding ‘several startups around the world in food manufacturing, geological oil and gas surveying, and international aviation sales’. Our research struggled to verify these claims as only previously discussed Geo–Earth Resources and Bitup were listed on Mr. Pysarenko’s Linkedin page; deeper inquiry, however, did yield some further information regarding Mr. Pysarenko’s previous work experience. According to both Mr. Pysarenko’s profile on the TaaS Executive Team and Linkedin page, Konstaintin graduated from the University of Buckingham in 2011 with a degree in Entrepreneurship. Leveraging this information, our research uncovered two profiles of Mr. Pysarenko that appear to align with his given educational timeline and stated work experience5, both written in the first person (indicating Mr. Pysarenko himself prepared the profiles) — one while studying at the University of Buckingham, the other subsequent to the completion of his studies. Here Mr. Pysarenko indicates that his experience includes publishing, perishable import/export, printing services, cigarette manufacture, and some involvement with aviation sales via his father’s business. Food manufacturing, as stated in Konstantin’s TaaS bio, appears to consist of flour exports and tea imports to and from Africa; no mention is made of experience in geological oil and gas surveying, and international aviation sales appear to be based on involvement with Mr. Pysarenko’s family business. No verifiable indication is given that any of these positions were held at any point in the past or currently in the capacity of a founder, and in the case of aviation sales we believe there is a strong indication that Mr. Pysarenko was explicitly not a founder in any capacity. Ruslan Gavrilyuk Mr. Gavrilyuk’s bio on the TaaS Executive Team indicates experience ‘found- ing and managing projects in geosciences, mobile money solutions, oil and gas operations, precious metal mining, sports and fashion’. Our research has been unable to verify any of these assertions; Mr. Gavrilyuk’s LinkedIn page indicates (excluding TaaS) only founding involvement with Geo–Earth Resources and Bitup that are not indicated on either organization’s website or anywhere else. We find the total lack of verifiable connections between any of Mr. Gavrilyuk’s stated experience or credentials to be one the most alarming revelations uncovered from our research. Bitup Financial Analysis In July 2016 Bitup began publishing reports outlining their portfolio alloca- tions, trading activities, and general analysis of the cryptocurrency space. These documents list the coins on Bitup traded on the Poloniex market, and some (not all) give the opening and closing dates of particular trades. Documents also list the total monthly portfolio allocation for each coin traded. Our researchers analyzed the daily volume in BTC for those coins on trades where entry or exit dates are provided and identified those dates on which volume was so low that calculations for the total value of the portfolio allocation for a particular coin could be calculated by generously assuming the full 24 hour daily volume17 represented only the trade conducted by Bitup. This calculation does not give an accurate estimate of the actual AUM of the Bitup trading portfolio, but it does enable us to understand (assuming the portfolio allocation statistics are correct) the maximum possible value of the portfolio on a given date. Deeper analysis of the Bitup Financial statements can be found in the full report under Appendix B: Bitup Financial Analysis. This analysis indicates that as late October 9th, 2016, Bitup had no more than $60,000 AUM across their entire trading portfolio. In particular, a trade opened by Bitup traders on Nautiliscoin (NAUT) on October 9th accounted for 20% of the total portfolio allocation for the month of October. Volume on Poloniex for the entire 24 hour period of October 9th was 18.82 BTC, and the Bitcoin closing price was $614.62. Attributing all trading volume for the 24 hours of October 9th to Bitup (a wildly generous assumption), the total daily volume USD equivalent comes to $11,567.15. If this value represents 20% of the Bitup trading portfolio, the total value of the portfolio can be calculated at $57,835.74. Again, this uses a nearly impossible assumption of attributing all of the day’s volume to one trade, so the true AUM is very likely substantially less than what has been calculated here. If the four founding members of the TaaS platform are as deeply involved with the development and operation of the Bitup platform as our research suggests, at the very least questions are raised about the ability of the Bitup, and therefore TaaS, trading team to manage investments and trading strategies involving 1,000 times the AUM they managed at Bitup, as they will be at TaaS. More broadly, any one team member’s involvement with this type of cryptocur- rency HYIP Ponzi scheme should be cause for concern. With four co–founders involved, it is difficult to deny at very least the appearance that TaaS is an extension or evolution of the Bitup project, with remarkably higher AUM and the substantial investment management challenges that entails. Risks of slippage on trades (when acquiring large positions rapidly drive up the price of the asset, limiting potential profitability) and a simple lack of liquidity sufficient to exit positions at profitable prices represent just a few of those challenges. Trading Methodology & Cryptographic Audit Our analysis revealed several inconsistencies and very few indications that the author of the TaaS white paper or the TaaS team at large have an understanding of the challenges associated with successfully investing millions of dollars of AUM. Our analysis leads us to believe that the Cryptographic Audit technology be- ing developed by TaaS is being leveraged to obfuscate and deflect questions regarding the true nature of the TaaS trading methodology, while also representing a grave risk to the profitability of the fund. Nevertheless, we believe the Cryptographic Audit technology is the only software actually in development by the TaaS team and represents the only value investors can realistically expect to gain from the TaaS project. The Cryptographic Audit section of the TaaS whitepaper very strongly appears to have been prepared by a different individual than the rest of the document; the formatting is substantially improved, the charts and diagrams are filled with information (in contrast to the glaring lack of information in the ‘Trading Methodology’ section), the English grammar and vocabulary are substantially improved, and the use of footnotes is liberal and meaningful. We believe the proposed Auditable Exchange Accounts development and implementation represent extraordinary risks to the success of the TaaS trading methodology and the project as a whole. A system that reveals to anyone, at any time, the specific trading actions being performed by any investor or fund with a substantially large portfolio is nothing short of an invitation for every enterprising individual investor, other trading outfits,experienced algorithmic trader, or youngster with a Poloniex bot and copious free time to create trading strategies developed exclusively to siphon money from the TaaS fund as effectively as can possibly be devised. The risks of front running predicted positions, pumps and dumps during accumulation, or any number of other actions competing traders can use to negatively impact the TaaS methodology (whatever it turns out to be) are dangerously and shockingly amplified if every detail of every trade is made available in the way being described in the Auditable Exchange Accounts implementation. Leaving aside any other improprieties identified through our research, this oversight alone indicates to our analysis a risk so great to invested capital and the project as a whole that we could never in good conscious recommend purchasing TaaS tokens or becoming involved with the TaaS project in any capacity. Closing While this is obviously a tremendous amount of information to process and digest, there is a significant amount of information not included here, but included in the full report, that further substantiates these claims and also links the TaaS team members to a mysterious Geo-Earth Resources based in Lagos, Nigeria. The implications of this report are shocking, and one that we do not take lightly. We have completed this report as quickly as possible due to the severity of the matter, and have decided to release this significant portion of the report to the community, as we believe we have an obligation to do so. Relevant Links: https://www.icoalert.com/ https://www.icoalert.com/special-ico-alert-report-taas Sources: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ruslan-gavrilyuk/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/konstantin-pysarenko-b1a40b51/ http://geo-earth.biz/index.html https://bitup.io/ https://www.sec.gov/investoalerts/ia_virtualcurrencies.pdf https://bitup.io/faq https://bitup.io/terms https://www.linkedin.com/in/nixoid/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/andriydubetsky/ http://idcee.org/p/andriy-dubetsky/ http://en.pcg-conference.com.ua/speakers/view/65/
The Crypto King Report January 15th: A BTC Special (50-Day Moving Avg.), Chart Analysis, Timing Buys and Sells (Sell Walls and Limit Orders)
The Crypto King Report January 15th: A BTC Special (50-Day Moving Avg.), Chart Analysis, Timing Buys and Sells (Sell Walls and Limit Orders) I usually do not speak that much about BTC as my entire investment strategy is to beat the returns of BTC. However, today I am going to do a “Special” on “BTC” and “Strategy.” BTC: Bitcoin yesterday fell below its 50-day moving average. Most start to freak out at this point, but this is the best news I’ve heard in a while. When others are nervous you accumulate, when the population is euphoric you sell. 4x in the prior year BTC fell under its 50-day moving average, and each time within 72hrs a bull run proceeded like nothing I’ve ever seen in “chart world”. The bull run that proceeds exists for the entire crypto market, not solely BTC. Not one prior bull run has ended with BTC gaining less that 50%. Based on the BTC chart for the last year, falling under the 50-day moving avg. 4x, and having a price response gaining between 60%-300%, I am very confident we are on the cusp of a bull market run. Sunday is notoriously the most expensive day to buy BTC (most people’s first crypto purchase) because of issues with FIAT and banking. Friday happens to be the most expensive day on average as it’s the last day prior to the weekend the banking world is functioning. This provides a timeline between Monday and Friday, like Wednesday/Thursday for the bull run to begin. Blockchain conferences start as of Thursday and continue for the next 2 months almost every weekend. Although these conferences are not BTC specific they will provide the publicity and exposure (NOT FUD ATTACKS) that BTC needs to begin its 5th bull run in 400 days. Upcoming Calendar: Jan 16th London Summit Bitcoin Workshop Jan 18th Miami’s Blockchain Conference Jan 19th London’s Blockchain WEEK Jan 25th Manilla Blockchain Event Jan 25th U.S. & China Cohosting an Event Jan 31st DevCon The above conferences provide the perfect opportunity for BTC to begin its bull run. The market is even much greener today as I am writing this. The bull run may have begun (literally today) but it won’t stop until BTC and the entire crypto market have another correction. This past correction was caused by every news agency on my smartphone simultaneously reporting South Korea raided their crypto exchanges. The market plummeted for a short period, recovered, and plummeted again. Only for South Korea to come out this weekend and clarify they didn’t raid exchanges and their biggest concern is taxation and educating young traders. The news agencies around the world sponsored the largest FUD attack I’ve ever witnessed. Whales and those that understand the market collected shares of BTC and most alts for the last 4 days and are prepared for the upcoming bull run. Whether you are in Spain or not the Running of the Bulls, BTC Style, is about the begin. Timing your buys and sells is an equally valuable lesson as learning how to predict BTC price movements. Most people hastily jump onto their exchange looking to purchase at market prices immediately. However, when you look at 90% of graphs they have many fluctuations. At what point in the graph are you purchasing? Let’s look at BTC as an example. It is up 5% on GDAX today which means it is likely most missed their buying opportunity on Sunday, and that the bull rally has begun (great news!). However, let’s look at it from a technical perspective. The price has fluctuated between $13,500 and $14,200. This is almost a 5% fluctuation in the last 12hrs. Most stock and bond investors would be ecstatic to make 5% in a month, yet BTC fluctuates this amount on a “relaxed” day. This is why it is very important to not solely jump in and buy at market, but to look at the chart. Is the current market price in one of the dips? If it is, you may not have jumped on at a bad time to buy. But what if it’s at the peak of a spike? Place a buy order at a lower price, for example $14,010 if you went online and the price was $14,400. How do you know where to place your “lower” price? This is very easy, look for the sell/buy walls. This will be on the order book chart. It will show if there is a huge order (let’s say 20BTC worth) at $14,000 this means when the dip occurs it will likely float down toward $14,000 without getting all the way to the enormous wall. Place your buy order just above this point so hopefully it fills before bouncing back North. Be patient, walk away, go have lunch, and come back to check if your order has processed. If the price has recovered to where you would have purchased, you may have just made yourself a few % based on timing your buy. Remember bank accounts do not make a few % per year, traders and bond investors would happily make a few % a month. You were able to do it timing your buy. A very easy thing to do. So the 2 lessons for today: 1. When attempting to predict the market look at charts, and 2. Always time your buys and sells. Specifically look to BTC’s chart (even if buying other alts) as BTC is the dominant player in the crypto world and is generally the first mover or coin to correct when swings occur. 2-3% on every trade is a huge difference over both the short and long term, always time your buys and sells. This concludes the educational portion of today, if you’d like a topic reported on (as the 2 above were recommendations) please let me know and I’d be happy to add it this week! I usually write a Daily Crypto Report that includes 1. Lessons (similar to above), 2. Safe Picks for January (3 winners during the last 72hrs), 3. Conference Plays (from the above conferences), 4. Moonshot Explanations (multiple coins up over 400% in 2 weeks), and 5. ICOs! Feel free to follow me if you’d like to see today’s full report vs. just the educational lesson portion. If you have any topics you want explored please let me know! The 3 Safe January plays that I’ve been screaming from the rooftops for the last week are NEO, STRAT and ICX. NEO is sponsoring DevCon, has upcoming gas payments and the most impressive calendar for the next month out of any coin. STRAT has their ICO platform and 2 flagship ICOs being announced next week. ICX has a conference in the largest building in Seoul (they are the South Korean EtheLove) on January 25th as they release their mainnet. These 3 coins will do major things this month.
Final version 1.3.0 of the core software was released bringing all the enhancements reported last month to the rest of the community. The groundwork for SPV (simplified payment verification) is complete, another reduction of fees is being deployed, and performance stepped up once again with a 50% reduction in startup time, 20% increased sync speed and more than 3x faster peer delivery of block headers (a key update for SPV). Decrediton's integrations of SPV and Politeia are open for testing by experienced users. Read the full release notes and get the downloads on GitHub. As always, don't forget to verify signatures. dcrd: completed several steps towards multipeer downloads, improved introduction to the software in the main README, continued porting cleanups and refactoring from upstream btcd. Currently in review are initial release of smart fee estimator and a change to UTXO set semantics. The latter is a large and important change that provides simpler handling, and resolves various issues with the previous approach. A lot of testing and careful review is needed so help is welcome. Educational series for new Decred developers by @matheusd added two episodes: 02 Simnet Setup shows how to automate simnet management with tmux and 03 Miner Reward Invalidation explains block validity rules. Finally, a pull request template with a list of checks was added to help guide the contributors to dcrd. dcrwallet: bugfixes and RPC improvements to support desktop and mobile wallets. Developers are welcome to comment on this idea to derive stakepool keys from the HD wallet seed. This would eliminate the need to backup and restore redeem scripts, thus greatly improving wallet UX. (missed in July issue) Decrediton: bugfixes, refactoring to make the sync process more robust, new loading animations, design polishing. Politeia: multiple improvements to the CLI client (security conscious users with more funds at risk might prefer CLI) and security hardening. A feature to deprecate or timeout proposals was identified as necessary for initial release and the work started. A privacy enhancement to not leak metadata of ticket holders was merged. Android: update from @collins: "Second test release for dcrandroid is out. Major bugs have been fixed since last test. Latest code from SPV sync has been integrated. Once again, bug reports are welcome and issues can be opened on GitHub". Ask in #dev room for the APK to join testing. A new security page was added that allows one to validate addresses and to sign/verify messages, similar to Decrediton's Security Center. Work on translations is beginning. Overall the app is quite stable and accepting more testers. Next milestone is getting the test app on the app store. iOS: the app started accepting testers last week. @macsleven: "the test version of Decred Wallet for iOS is available, we have a link for installing the app but the builds currently require your UDID. Contact either @macsleven or @raedah with your UDID if you would like to help test.". Nearest goal is to make the app crash free. Both mobile apps received new design themes. dcrdata: v3.0 was released for mainnet! Highlights: charts, "merged debits" view, agendas page, Insight API support, side chain tracking, Go 1.11 support with module builds, numerous backend improvements. Full release notes here. This release featured 9 contributors and development lead @chappjc noted: "This collaboration with @raedahgroup on our own block explorer and web API for @decredproject has been super productive.". Up next is supporting dynamic page widths site wide and deploying new visual blocks home page. Trezor: proof of concept implementation for Trezor Model T firmware is in the works (previous work was for Model One). Ticket splitting: updated to use Go modules and added simnet support, several fixes. docs: beginner's guide overhaul, multiple fixes and cleanups. decred.org: added 3rd party wallets, removed inactive PoW pools and removed web wallet. @Richard-Red is building a curated list of Decred-related GitHub repositories. Welcome to new people contributing for the first time: @klebe, @s_ben, @victorguedes, and PrimeDominus! Dev activity stats for September: 219 active PRs, 197 commits, 28.7k added and 18.8k deleted lines spread across 6 repositories. Contributions came from 4-10 developers per repository. (chart)
Hashrate: started and ended the month around 75 PH/s, hitting a low of 60.5 and a new high of 110 PH/s. BeePool is again the leader with their share varying between 23-54%, followed by F2Pool 13-30%, Coinmine 4-6% and Luxor 3-5%. As in previous months, there were multiple spikes of unidentified hashrate. Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 98 DCR (+2.4). The price varied between 95.7 and 101.9 DCR. Locked DCR amount was 3.86-3.96 million DCR, or 45.7-46.5% of the supply. Nodes: there are 201 public listening nodes and 325 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 5% are v1.4.0(pre) dev builds (+3%), 30% on v1.3.0 (+25%), 42% on v1.2.0 (-20%), 15% on v1.1.2 (-7%), 6% on v1.1.0. More than 76% of nodes run v1.2.0 and higher and therefore support client filters. Data as of Oct 1.
Obelisk posted two updates on their mailing list. 70% of Batch 1 units are shipped, an extensive user guide is available, Obelisk Scanner application was released that allows one to automatically update firmware. First firmware update was released and bumped SC1 hashrate by 10-20%, added new pools and fixed multiple bugs. Next update will focus on DCR1. It is worth a special mention that the firmware source code is now open! Let us hope more manufacturers will follow this example. A few details about Whatsminer surfaced this month. The manufacturer is MicroBT, also known as Bitwei and commonly misspelled as Bitewei. Pangolinminer is a reseller, and the model name is Whatsminer D1. Bitmain has finally entered Decred ASIC space with their Antminer DR3. Hash rate is 7.8 TH/s while pulling 1410 W, at the price of $673. These specs mean it has the best GH/W and GH/USD of currently sold miners until the Whatsminer or others come out, although its GH/USD of 11.6 already competes with Whatsminer's 10.5. Discussed on Reddit and bitcointalk, unboxing video here.
@matheusd started tests on testnet several months ago. I contacted him so we could integrate with the pool in June this year. We set up the machine in July and bought the first split ticket on mainnet, using the decredbrasil pool, on July 19. It was voted on July 30. After this first vote on mainnet, we opened the tests to selected users (with more technical background) on the pool. In August we opened the tests to everyone, and would call people who want to join to the #ticket_splitting channel, or to our own Slack (in Portuguese, so mostly Brazilian users). We have 28 split tickets already voted, and 16 are live. So little more than 40 split tickets total were bought on decredbrasil pool. (@girino in #pos-voting)
KuCoin exchange listed DCBTC and DCETH pairs. To celebrate their anniversary they had a 99% trading fees discount on DCR pairs for 2 weeks. Three more wallets integrated Decred in September:
Atomic desktop wallet added Decred in version 0.1.31. The team answered many questions on Reddit.
AnyBit wallet added Decred. It features built-in price and news tracking. Notably, the source code is open for their Android and iOS wallets.
Coboadded Decred support into their Android and iOS wallets.
ChangeNow announced Decred addition to their Android app that allows accountless swaps between 150+ assets. Coinbase launched informational asset pages for top 50 coins by market cap, including Decred. First the pages started showing in the Coinbase app for a small group of testers, and later the web price dashboard went live.
The birth of a Brazilian girl was registered on the Decred blockchain using OriginalMy, a blockchain proof of authenticity services provider. Read the full story in Portuguese and in English.
Advertising report for September is ready. Next month the graphics for all the ads will be changing.
Marketing might seem quiet right now, but a ton is actually going on behind the scenes to put the right foundation in place for the future. Discovery data are being analyzed to generate a positioning strategy, as well as a messaging hierarchy that can guide how to talk about Decred. This will all be agreed upon via consensus of the community in the work channels, and materials will be distributed. Next, work is being done to identify the right PR partner to help with media relations, media training, and coordination at events. While all of this is coming up to speed, we believe the website needs a refresher reflecting the soon to be agreed upon messaging, plus a more intuitive architecture to make it easier to navigate. (@Dustorf)
Raedah Group went on the streets of Portland, USA with a pretty blue tent. (photos)
Meetup at Binzantin Cafe in Taipei, Taiwan. @morphymore: "There were 20-ish attendees, and about half of them have joined the Chinese FB group. Most of them don't hear about Decred before, but have expressed the interest in learning more about it after the event. Overall, it's a good exposure for Decred in the Taiwan community.". A report with photos was posted on Facebook, more photos are here and here.
@joshuam made a Decred Jacket appearance at Singapore Grand Prix. (photos)
NewTech PDX meetup in Portland, USA. Raedah Group presented Decred and reported "lots of new converts". (photos)
North Shore Bitcoin & Blockchain in Glenview, USA. @dustorf gave a five minute overview of Decred and noted: "There were only about 25 people, but about 1/3 of them were aware of Decred prior. (...) Our simple presence and explanation of the project moved opinion from 'another shitcoin they sold after mining' to 'an interesting and viable project worthy of further investigation'.". (photos: 12)
Bitcoin Meetup CDMX in Mexico City on Oct 6. @elian will be talking about Decred at the oldest Bitcoin meetup in Mexico.
SF Blockchain Week in San Francisco, USA on Oct 9. @lukebp will discuss DPoS vs PoS on a panel 9:30a-10:15a at the Titans of Tech Stage, Hilton Union Square.
Decred Meetup in Casablanca, Morocco on Oct 27. @butterfly will host the event and talk about Decred in French.
Texas Bitcoin Conference Austin, USA on Oct 27-28. @BAB: "The great thing about this is that it will also be a Decred Summit. We will have half of the conference dedicated to Decred topics, updates, etc."
Websummit in Lisbon, Portugal on Nov 5-8. @moo31337 will be on a panel discussing "2018: A Rollercoaster Year for Cryptocurrencies"
We'll begin shortly reviewing conferences and events planned for the first half of 2019. Highlights are sure to include The North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami (Jan 16-18) and Consensus in NYC (May 14-16). If you have suggestions of events or conferences Decred should attend, please share them in #event_planning. In 2019, we would like to expand our presence in Europe, Asia, and South America, and we're looking for community members to help identify and staff those events. (@Dustorf)
August issue of Decred Journal was translated to Russian. Many thanks to @DZ! Rency cryptocurrency ratings published a report on Decred and incorporated a lot of feedback from the community on Reddit. September issue of Chinese CCID ratings was published (snapshot), Decred is still at the bottom. Videos:
The underbelly of blockchain Governance - fiat licensing and our code with Marco Peerboom and Chris DeRose (youtube, tweet, decred, missed in August issue) Insightful dialogue about men's underwear, licenses, subtleties of GPL, BSD wars, tiling window managers and much more.
Introduction to Decred (Korean, youtube) @Killawhale collected a lot of feedback from the community and produced this video to spread the word in Korea.
Perspectives on Governance from Nathan Wilcox, Jonathan Zeppettini, Vitalik Buterin (z.cash)
Decred - an example of governance (Portuguese, youtube)
Decred, the crypto that wants to compete with Bitcoin (French, youtube)
Exodus.io Live with Marco from Decred! (youtube) Marco joins Exodus.io to discuss what makes DCR an asset that will stand the test of time.
Building Decred With Systems Development Lead Marco Peereboom - Governance, Politeia, Lightning (youtube) Topics: early days, Politeia, the structure of Decred, dcrtime, Lightning Network, attracting users and developers, future plans (DEX, Schnorr signatures, privacy, DAEs).
Decentralized autonomous funding of blockchain projects by @Richard-Red (medium, discussion on decred and dashpay)
The trouble with infrastructure, "thin" protocols in particular, is that someone has to build them at a cost. e.g. LN takes a ton of work, doesn't necessarily generate value itself, but it magnifies the value of BTC or whatever coin that uses it. I see the DEX in a similar light - whoever creates it is not going to make a bunch of money from it, but it will magnify the value of the underlying asset(s) that end up having a deep order book on the DEX. (@jy-p in #dex)
Twitter: why decentralized governance and funding are necessary for network survival and the power of controlling the narrative; learning about governance more broadly by watching its evolution in cryptocurrency space, importance of community consensus and communications infrastructure. Reddit: yet another strong pitch by @solar; question about buyer protections; dcrtime internals; a proposal to sponsor hoodies in the University of Cape Town; Lightning Network support for altcoins. Chats: skills to operate a stakepool; voting details: 2 of 3 votes can approve a block, what votes really approve are regular tx, etc; scriptless script atomic swaps using Schnorr adaptor signatures; dev dashboard, choosing work, people do best when working on what interests them most; opportunities for governments and enterprise for anchoring legal data to blockchain; terminology: DAO vs DAE; human-friendly payments, sharing xpub vs payment protocols; funding btcsuite development; Politeia vote types: approval vote, sentiment vote and a defund vote, also linking proposals and financial statements; algo trading and programming languages (yes, on #trading!); alternative implementation, C/C++/Go/Rust; HFTs, algo trading, fake volume and slippage; offline wallets, usb/write-only media/optical scanners vs auditing traffic between dcrd and dcrwallet; Proof of Activity did not inspire Decred but spurred Decred to get moving, Wikipedia page hurdles; how stakeholders could veto blocks; how many votes are needed to approve a proposal; why Decrediton uses Electron; CVE-2018-17144 and over-dependence on single Bitcoin implementation, btcsuite, fuzz testing; tracking proposal progress after voting and funding; why the wallet does not store the seed at all; power connectors, electricity, wiring and fire safety; reasonable spendings from project fund; ways to measure sync progress better than block height; using Politeia without email address; concurrency in Go, locks vs channels. #support is not often mentioned, but it must be noted that every day on this channel people get high quality support. (@bee: To my surprise, even those poor souls running Windows 10. My greatest respect to the support team!)
In September DCR was trading in the range of USD 34-45 / BTC 0.0054-0.0063. On Sep 6, DCR revisited the bottom of USD 34 / BTC 0.0054 when BTC quickly dropped from USD 7,300 to 6,400. On Sep 14, a small price rise coincided with both the start of KuCoin trading and hashrate spike to 104 PH/s. Looking at coinmarketcap charts, the trading volume is a bit lower than in July and August. As of Oct 4, Decred is #18 by the number of daily transactions with 3,200 tx, and #9 by the USD value of daily issuance with $230k. (source: onchainfx) Interesting observation by @ImacallyouJawdy: while we sit at 2018 price lows the amount locked in tickets is testing 2018 high.
ASIC for Lyra2REv2 was spotted on the web. Vertcoin team is preparing a new PoW algorithm. This would be the 3rd fork after two previous forks to change the algorithm in 2014 and 2015. A report titled The Positive Externalities of Bitcoin Mining discusses the benefits of PoW mining that are often overlooked by the critics of its energy use. A Brief Study of Cryptonetwork Forks by Alex Evans of Placeholder studies the behavior of users, developers and miners after the fork, and makes the cases that it is hard for child chains to attract users and developers from their parent chains. New research on private atomic swaps: the paper "Anonymous Atomic Swaps Using Homomorphic Hashing" attempts to break the public link between two transactions. (bitcointalk, decred) On Sep 18 Poloniex announced delisting of 8 more assets. That day they took a 12-80% dive showing their dependence on this one exchange. Circle introduced USDC markets on Poloniex: "USDC is a fully collateralized US dollar stablecoin using the ERC-20 standard that provides detailed financial and operational transparency, operates within the regulated framework of US money transmission laws, and is reinforced by established banking partners and auditors.". Coinbase announced new asset listing process and is accepting submissions on their listing portal. (decred) The New York State Office of the Attorney General posted a study of 13 exchanges that contains many insights. A critical vulnerability was discovered and fixed in Bitcoin Core. Few days later a full disclosure was posted revealing the severity of the bug. In a bitcointalk thread btcd was called 'amateur' despite not being vulnerable, and some Core developers voiced their concerns about multiple implementations. The Bitcoin Unlimited developer who found the bug shared his perspective in a blog post. Decred's vision so far is that more full node implementations is a strength, just like for any Internet protocol.
About This Issue
This is the 6th issue of Decred Journal. It is mirrored on GitHub, Medium and Reddit. Past issues are available here. Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research. Feedback is appreciated: please comment on Reddit, GitHub or #writers_room on Matrix or Slack. Contributions are also welcome: some areas are adding content, pre-release review or translations to other languages. Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, Dustorf, jz, Haon, oregonisaac, raedah and Richard-Red.
The Crypto King Report January 15th: A BTC Special (50-Day Moving Avg.), Chart Analysis, Timing Buys and Sells (Sell Walls and Limit Orders)
The Crypto King Report January 15th: A BTC Special (50-Day Moving Avg.), Chart Analysis, Timing Buys and Sells (Sell Walls and Limit Orders) I usually do not speak that much about BTC as my entire investment strategy is to beat the returns of BTC. However, today I am going to do a “Special” on “BTC” and “Strategy.” BTC: Bitcoin yesterday fell below its 50-day moving average. Most start to freak out at this point, but this is the best news I’ve heard in a while. When others are nervous you accumulate, when the population is euphoric you sell. 4x in the prior year BTC fell under its 50-day moving average, and each time within 72hrs a bull run proceeded like nothing I’ve ever seen in “chart world”. The bull run that proceeds exists for the entire crypto market, not solely BTC. Not one prior bull run has ended with BTC gaining less that 50%. Based on the BTC chart for the last year, falling under the 50-day moving avg. 4x, and having a price response gaining between 60%-300%, I am very confident we are on the cusp of a bull market run. Sunday is notoriously the most expensive day to buy BTC (most people’s first crypto purchase) because of issues with FIAT and banking. Friday happens to be the most expensive day on average as it’s the last day prior to the weekend the banking world is functioning. This provides a timeline between Monday and Friday, like Wednesday/Thursday for the bull run to begin. Blockchain conferences start as of Thursday and continue for the next 2 months almost every weekend. Although these conferences are not BTC specific they will provide the publicity and exposure (NOT FUD ATTACKS) that BTC needs to begin its 5th bull run in 400 days. Upcoming Calendar: Jan 16th London Summit Bitcoin Workshop Jan 18th Miami’s Blockchain Conference Jan 19th London’s Blockchain WEEK Jan 25th Manilla Blockchain Event Jan 25th U.S. & China Cohosting an Event Jan 31st DevCon The above conferences provide the perfect opportunity for BTC to begin its bull run. The market is even much greener today as I am writing this. The bull run may have begun (literally today) but it won’t stop until BTC and the entire crypto market have another correction. This past correction was caused by every news agency on my smartphone simultaneously reporting South Korea raided their crypto exchanges. The market plummeted for a short period, recovered, and plummeted again. Only for South Korea to come out this weekend and clarify they didn’t raid exchanges and their biggest concern is taxation and educating young traders. The news agencies around the world sponsored the largest FUD attack I’ve ever witnessed. Whales and those that understand the market collected shares of BTC and most alts for the last 4 days and are prepared for the upcoming bull run. Whether you are in Spain or not the Running of the Bulls, BTC Style, is about the begin. Timing your buys and sells is an equally valuable lesson as learning how to predict BTC price movements. Most people hastily jump onto their exchange looking to purchase at market prices immediately. However, when you look at 90% of graphs they have many fluctuations. At what point in the graph are you purchasing? Let’s look at BTC as an example. It is up 5% on GDAX today which means it is likely most missed their buying opportunity on Sunday, and that the bull rally has begun (great news!). However, let’s look at it from a technical perspective. The price has fluctuated between $13,500 and $14,200. This is almost a 5% fluctuation in the last 12hrs. Most stock and bond investors would be ecstatic to make 5% in a month, yet BTC fluctuates this amount on a “relaxed” day. This is why it is very important to not solely jump in and buy at market, but to look at the chart. Is the current market price in one of the dips? If it is, you may not have jumped on at a bad time to buy. But what if it’s at the peak of a spike? Place a buy order at a lower price, for example $14,010 if you went online and the price was $14,400. How do you know where to place your “lower” price? This is very easy, look for the sell/buy walls. This will be on the order book chart. It will show if there is a huge order (let’s say 20BTC worth) at $14,000 this means when the dip occurs it will likely float down toward $14,000 without getting all the way to the enormous wall. Place your buy order just above this point so hopefully it fills before bouncing back North. Be patient, walk away, go have lunch, and come back to check if your order has processed. If the price has recovered to where you would have purchased, you may have just made yourself a few % based on timing your buy. Remember bank accounts do not make a few % per year, traders and bond investors would happily make a few % a month. You were able to do it timing your buy. A very easy thing to do. So the 2 lessons for today: 1. When attempting to predict the market look at charts, and 2. Always time your buys and sells. Specifically look to BTC’s chart (even if buying other alts) as BTC is the dominant player in the crypto world and is generally the first mover or coin to correct when swings occur. 2-3% on every trade is a huge difference over both the short and long term, always time your buys and sells. This concludes the educational portion of today, if you’d like a topic reported on (as the 2 above were recommendations) please let me know and I’d be happy to add it this week! I usually write a Daily Crypto Report that includes 1. Lessons (similar to above), 2. Safe Picks for January (3 winners during the last 72hrs), 3. Conference Plays (from the above conferences), 4. Moonshot Explanations (multiple coins up over 400% in 2 weeks), and 5. ICOs! Feel free to follow me if you’d like to see today’s full report vs. just the educational lesson portion. If you have any topics you want explored please let me know!
The Crypto King Report January 15th: A BTC Special (50-Day Moving Avg.), Chart Analysis, Timing Buys and Sells (Sell Walls and Limit Orders), NEO, STRAT, ICX, and ICOs
The Crypto King Report January 15th: A BTC Special (50-Day Moving Avg.), Chart Analysis, Timing Buys and Sells (Sell Walls and Limit Orders), NEO, STRAT, ICX, and ICOs I usually do not speak that much about BTC as my entire investment strategy is to beat the returns of BTC. However, today I am going to do a “Special” on “BTC” and “Strategy.” BTC: Bitcoin yesterday fell below its 50-day moving average. Most start to freak out at this point, but this is the best news I’ve heard in a while. When others are nervous you accumulate, when the population is euphoric you sell. 4x in the prior year BTC fell under its 50-day moving average, and each time within 72hrs a bull run proceeded like nothing I’ve ever seen in “chart world”. The bull run that proceeds exists for the entire crypto market, not solely BTC. Not one prior bull run has ended with BTC gaining less that 50%. Based on the BTC chart for the last year, falling under the 50-day moving avg. 4x, and having a price response gaining between 60%-300%, I am very confident we are on the cusp of a bull market run. Sunday is notoriously the most expensive day to buy BTC (most people’s first crypto purchase) because of issues with FIAT and banking. Friday happens to be the most expensive day on average as it’s the last day prior to the weekend the banking world is functioning. This provides a timeline between Monday and Friday, like Wednesday/Thursday for the bull run to begin. Blockchain conferences start as of Thursday and continue for the next 2 months almost every weekend. Although these conferences are not BTC specific they will provide the publicity and exposure (NOT FUD ATTACKS) that BTC needs to begin its 5th bull run in 400 days. Upcoming Calendar: Jan 16th London Summit Bitcoin Workshop Jan 18th Miami’s Blockchain Conference Jan 19th London’s Blockchain WEEK Jan 25th Manilla Blockchain Event Jan 25th U.S. & China Cohosting an Event Jan 31st DevCon The above conferences provide the perfect opportunity for BTC to begin its bull run. The market is even much greener today as I am writing this. The bull run may have begun (literally today) but it won’t stop until BTC and the entire crypto market have another correction. This past correction was caused by every news agency on my smartphone simultaneously reporting South Korea raided their crypto exchanges. The market plummeted for a short period, recovered, and plummeted again. Only for South Korea to come out this weekend and clarify they didn’t raid exchanges and their biggest concern is taxation and educating young traders. The news agencies around the world sponsored the largest FUD attack I’ve ever witnessed. Whales and those that understand the market collected shares of BTC and most alts for the last 4 days and are prepared for the upcoming bull run. Whether you are in Spain or not the Running of the Bulls, BTC Style, is about the begin. Timing your buys and sells is an equally valuable lesson as learning how to predict BTC price movements. Most people hastily jump onto their exchange looking to purchase at market prices immediately. However, when you look at 90% of graphs they have many fluctuations. At what point in the graph are you purchasing? Let’s look at BTC as an example. It is up 5% on GDAX today which means it is likely most missed their buying opportunity on Sunday, and that the bull rally has begun (great news!). However, let’s look at it from a technical perspective. The price has fluctuated between $13,500 and $14,200. This is almost a 5% fluctuation in the last 12hrs. Most stock and bond investors would be ecstatic to make 5% in a month, yet BTC fluctuates this amount on a “relaxed” day. This is why it is very important to not solely jump in and buy at market, but to look at the chart. Is the current market price in one of the dips? If it is, you may not have jumped on at a bad time to buy. But what if it’s at the peak of a spike? Place a buy order at a lower price, for example $14,010 if you went online and the price was $14,400. How do you know where to place your “lower” price? This is very easy, look for the sell/buy walls. This will be on the order book chart. It will show if there is a huge order (let’s say 20BTC worth) at $14,000 this means when the dip occurs it will likely float down toward $14,000 without getting all the way to the enormous wall. Place your buy order just above this point so hopefully it fills before bouncing back North. Be patient, walk away, go have lunch, and come back to check if your order has processed. If the price has recovered to where you would have purchased, you may have just made yourself a few % based on timing your buy. Remember bank accounts do not make a few % per year, traders and bond investors would happily make a few % a month. You were able to do it timing your buy. A very easy thing to do. So the 2 lessons for today: 1. When attempting to predict the market look at charts, and 2. Always time your buys and sells. Specifically look to BTC’s chart (even if buying other alts) as BTC is the dominant player in the crypto world and is generally the first mover or coin to correct when swings occur. 2-3% on every trade is a huge difference over both the short and long term, always time your buys and sells. This concludes the educational portion of today, if you’d like a topic reported on (as the 2 above were recommendations) please let me know and I’d be happy to add it this week! I usually write a Daily Crypto Report that includes 1. Lessons (similar to above), 2. Safe Picks for January (3 winners during the last 72hrs), 3. Conference Plays (from the above conferences), 4. Moonshot Explanations (multiple coins up over 400% in 2 weeks), and 5. ICOs! Feel free to follow me if you’d like to see today’s full report vs. just the educational lesson portion. If you have any topics you want explored please let me know! The 3 Safe January plays that I’ve been screaming from the rooftops for the last week are NEO, STRAT and ICX. NEO is sponsoring DevCon, has upcoming gas payments and the most impressive calendar for the next month out of any coin. STRAT has their ICO platform and 2 flagship ICOs being announced next week. ICX has a conference in the largest building in Seoul (they are the South Korean EtheLove) on January 25th as they release their mainnet. These 3 coins will do major things this month. Moonshots are on KuCoin. Referral link for KuCoin: https://www.kucoin.com/#/?r=1cH1M Safe Plays on Binance. Referral link for Binance: https://www.binance.com/?ref=15316928 Everyone is always asking about which ICOs I’m involved in and recommend. Well here are the current 2! ICO’S : STORIQA: “The Amazon Cryptocurrency Marketplace”. Great team, great platform, easy to sign up for ICO (even for U.S. investors). Well past their soft cap and approaching their hard cap! Discount for bonus coins still available in the short term! This has been on and off of my rec list but because they are approaching their hard cap I figured I’d give everyone one last opportunity to sign up! Referral link : https://tokensale.storiqa.com/?ref=6663944dff31989391d803ce KYC Legal: KYC Legal (please use the referral as I make no $ spending countless hours researching these ICOs and coins ) referral: https://bookbuild.kyc.legal/?ref=23734776ffa2051a83eb8bc1 Know Your Customer (the dreaded KYC form). If you’ve completed an ICO recently you know the form I’m talking about. The form they give you at the end, after you’ve sent your .5eth but before they will release their tokens. Basically stating you understand this market is unregulated, etc. Well a blockchain token has in essence solved this problem. I HATE KYC forms and if the KYC system was set up in a way in which you wouldn’t have to fill out that form repeatedly for every ICO it would be more convenient for all investors and ICO companies. KYC Legal intends to do just that. According to the founder DR, “This is a simple and quick way to complete client identification procedures, which can then be used to verify the client’s identity during various financial operations (so-called KYC (“know your customer”) requirements that financial institutions and companies working with the money of private individuals use to identify and verify counterparties before starting a financial transaction). This niche is completely untapped and I HATE KYC forms enough to think this is a brilliant idea. They are calling it a “Universal alternative to Personal IDs,” on the block chain. Brilliant concept and there are 2 days left to receive the 38% discount from the final price. A 38% gain prior to token sale completion is significant, imagine what will happen when the hard cap is reached and it hits the first exchange. KYC Legal: https://bookbuild.kyc.legal/?ref=23734776ffa2051a83eb8bc1 If you spend the time reading these you understand how long they must take to research and put together. My girlfriend wants to kill me (seriously I may not have one by the end of this post)! So I can provide her with presents while answering all of your questions make sure to show some love! ETH: Address: 0xdef6b4415635d15b0dc50e7039ef73c33e622f22 LTC Address: LiTtwXUMCMmch5oKUXfrXMqXWnG6jLg3qD BTC Address: 1LFLx3cXD1xiqCrupZJKf8p6pR23JRZWtP DASH Address: Xi9637XDyW2Q6wtRyGLsNXbJHj4UZ2M3kN (cheapest way to send!) KCS Address: 0x56d0a5b42a8313c36d8fe7a37ee3ccade7e4e6e1 XMR Deposit Address:44tLjmXrQNrWJ5NBsEj2R77ZBEgDa3fEe9GLpSf2FRmhexPvfYDUAB7EXX1Hdb3aMQ9FLqdJ56yaAhiXoRsceGJCRS3Jxkn XMR Deposit ID: b72e438346259f2828feaec4b04f0a95034b6364853f6f33d2370f57a37a1753
First Reddit Post, my key financial lessons of 2017
I hope this will help some of you out. It's a summary of the most important Canadian Personal Finance lessons from my research for all of 2017. Most of these are key posts from The Greater Fool Blog, which I highly recommend as a daily read. Investing Strategy and Advice Random Advice · Everybody should strive to maximize their TFSAs, then ensure the money stays in there, invested in diversified growth assets like equity ETFs. Remember – a hundred bucks a week invested here for 30 years making 7% will end up being $532,000. That should yield an annual income of $32,000 without depleting the principal and without reducing your CPP or OAS payments by a single penny. So this is job one. · After that, shovel cash into an RRSP, using the refund to contribute to the TFSA. Unless you have a defined-benefit pension (guaranteed, stable employer-funded payments), this is an excellent way to reduce tax, invest for tax-free growth then support you efficiently when some dingdong CEO destroys your employer. · Obviously having a cash reserve for an event like this would be a great idea, but establishing a personal line of credit in advance is almost as good. It costs you nothing to set up at the bank, zero to carry and can be tapped only as you require it. Go, get one now. · The best way to own preferreds is through an ETF, where you can hold a basket of high-qualify assets. An example would be CPD (just an example – this is not a recommendation), which pays investors a dividend yield of 4.3%, which is twice the return of a GIC and it’s still 100% liquid. But there’s more. This exchange-traded fund has increased in value (besides the dividends paid) by 12.7% in 2017 – which far outstrips the 3.8% return of the TSX in general. Since the beginning of last year (when prefs were sooo cheap) the gain in capital value has been 28%. (CPD also went on sale Wednesday after the latest Bank of Canada report. Sweet.) · But all he need do to effectively slash his long-term interest costs is to switch from a monthly-pay to a weekly-pay mortgage. Over the course of 12 months he’ll make the equivalent of one extra payment (no big deal) and it will end up shortening his amortization by years, saving more than a variable-rate loan ever would. He just needs to ensure he gets the right kind of weekly mortgage, since some of them are bank rip-offs. May 2017 – Current Recommended Weightings · cash, 5%; · corporate bond 6%; · provincials 3%; · short-term bond 5%; · high-yield 3%; · preferreds 18%; · Cdn equity 16%; · REITs 5%; · US equity 21% (some hedged); · international equity 18% (some hedged). Investment Portfolio Breakdown - Greater Fool – September 20th 2017 · Start with the TFSA. When that’s full split money between an RRSP (to shift tax into other years) and a non-registered portfolio (to benefit from capital gains and dividends). Stick with it, max the tax-free account with pre-authorized debits from your bank account and never, ever listen to [email protected], eschewing costly mutual funds and brain-dead GICs. · Have a balanced portfolio, with 40% in safe stuff and 60% more growth-oriented. Since rates are rising, keep the bond exposure slim (they pay nothing but reduce volatility) but have lots of rate-reset preferreds which swell along with bond yields. Carefully weight Canadian, US and international assets, taking into consideration that we’re currently on fire, Trump’s a time bomb, the US is expanding, Europe’s in recovery and nobody should bet against China. Never hold individual stocks (unless you have seven figures to invest and can achieve diversification – which requires about 60 positions). · If you have a little money, hold three or four ETFs. If you have a lot, then 17 should be about right. And keep a small cash position, since that’s a defensive asset as well as ammo if an opportunity arises. · So, 2% cash in a HISA, 20% in a mixture of government, corporate, provincial and high-yield bonds plus 18% in preferreds make up the safer stuff. Put 5% in REITs, then hold 16% in Canadian equities, an equal amount in US markets and 23% in internationals, for the growth portion. Rebalance once a year. Put higher-taxed stuff (bonds) in a tax shelter. Reserve the TFSA for fast growers (like emerging markets). Enjoy a 50% tax break on capital gains in your non-registered. And don’t forget about income-splitting with your squeeze, which can be done through a spousal plan or maybe a joint account. Why TFSAs are the #1 Priority The long-term growth, free of tax, is epic. Invest $5,500 this year, then add $100 a week for the next three decades in growth assets making 7%, and you end up with $576,338 of which $414,838 is growth. Besides tax-free compounding of investment returns, the real benefit of this thing is that it will throw off income in retirement (or anytime else) which is not counted as income. So in the example just given, forty grand a year could be earned with zero tax payable on it. Now let’s look at two 40-year-olds who have wisely maxed their TFSAs with $52,000 in each. If they keep their accounts topped up and full of ETFs giving the same return, at 65 they’ll claim $1.26 million, of which almost nine hundred grand is taxless growth. In retirement that amount can provide an annual income of about $90,000, and these guys can still collect their CPP and OAS without having any of it clawed back (assuming no other income source). If they had $1.26 million in RRSPs, the after-tax income would be about $52,000 and they’d have a marginal tax rate of 29.65%. No contest. For anyone with a good company pension plan, and especially for the Aristocracy Among Us with gold-plated, defined-benefit schemes (teachers, cops, retired finance ministers) investing in this vehicle is far better than feeding an RRSP. At age 71 all registered retirement plans must be partially unwound, with the income being added on top of pension payments, often boosting you into a higher tax bracket. But no matter how much is skimmed off a fat TFSA, nothing is taxed or even recorded as income. Of course, TFSAs can be used for income-splitting, too. You can gift your spouse or your adult kids money to invest in one. None of the gains will be attributed back to you. You can withdraw money and, unlike an RRSP, put it back the following calendar year. Unused room can be carried forward indefinitely. And a tax-free account can hold almost any investment asset, so keeping a moribund high-interest savings account or a brain-dead GIC in there is a big fail. Why Mutual Funds Suck: S&P regularly provides its SPIVA Scorecard, which examines the performance of actively managed Canadian mutual funds versus that of their benchmarks and corrects for survivorship bias. Survivorship bias? Yes, mutual fund companies have this habit of discontinuing funds that have poor performance thus, ostensibly, wiping away that unflattering data forever. The SPIVA Scorecard attempts to account for this performance, essentially holding the mutual fund companies’ feet to the fire. The data reveals, unsurprisingly, that the vast majority of mutual funds underperform their benchmarks—with high management fees being the main reason. The table below shows their dismal long-term track record. S&P, by the way, also does a scorecard for US mutual funds with similar results. 📷 📷No doubt, there are financial advisors who have a careful and highly effective system for identifying the 9% or so of equity mutual funds that actually do outperform their benchmarks over the long term. More power to these advisors. However, what I’ve seen more often is a less rigorous due-diligence system of simply selecting the funds that are ranked highest by Morningstar, the industry’s most widely known mutual-fund evaluator. However, as a recent article by The Wall Street Journal has shown, chasing the best star ratings has its drawbacks. The Journal pointed out, after examining the performance of thousands of funds, that only 12% of 5-star-rated funds maintained this rating after five years. Basically, the Journal highlighted that the Morningstar five-star rating is not a good indicator of future outperformance. Source: The Wall Street Journal Here are a few things to remember. First, on mutual funds (since most people own them): fees are significant, and buried in the cost of ownership. The person selling you these animals at the bank will tell you s/he doesn’t charge anything to perform that charitable service. In reality, the funds turn out trailer fees so every month you stay invested, somebody gets paid. To Rob’s point, mutual fund fees aren’t tax-deductible. So if you own a fund with a 2.5% MER and you’re in the 40% tax bracket, that’s actually costing 3.5%. Ouch. The same principle applies to ETFs, all of which have embedded fees which are not deductible. The big difference is the average fee across a portfolio made up of exchange-traded funds might be 0.2% – or one tenth of the cost of owning a mutual. What about other fees and investment costs? Management fees, charged by fee-based advisors, are 100% deductible from taxable income on non-registered accounts. With RRSPs, the money taken to pay an advisor is not counted as taxable income. That means you got a tax break for putting that in, but there’s no tax when it exits – so the government is also subsidizing you. Fees on TFSAs, however, are non-deductible. Somebody in the top tax bracket, then, with accounts run by a professional offering tax advice and portfolio management who charges 1% will end up paying closer to 0.6% – while the poor single Mom with a few grand in the bank’s funds will shell out 2.6%. Unfair? You bet. But that’s the law. So, fees are deductible. Commissions are not. MERs are embedded, invisible and can kill returns. If you remember just those three facts, they’ll serve you well. More on Mutual Funds – Dec 11 2017 What’s a mutual fund? It’s a pot of money made up of contributions from many investors that a manager then uses to buy stuff. Like stocks or corporate and government bonds. Managers charge big money to do this job (they have Porsches, too) which is charged back to the investors, and in return try to add ‘alpha’. That’s financial speak for ‘special sauce’, which means they attempt to get better returns than you’d achieve just buying the same assets and holding them. In doing this job they buy and sell frequently, often generating capital gains taxes, which the unitholders also pay. Trouble is, most of these cowboys fail. Last year, for example, the number of Canadian mutual funds which focus on US stocks and which outperformed the index was… zero. Nada. Donuts. Not one. In the States almost 70% of fund managers investing in large-cap stocks failed to match the index and yet charged big bucks to do so. Over the last 15 years, the failure rate among managers is 90%. Ouch. Makes you wonder what you’re paying for. What also hurts is that the fees these non-alpha dudes charge are buried within the funds themselves, unseen by investors who cannot even deduct them from any gains they might make for tax purposes. Meanwhile the so-called advisors who collect the trailer fees from selling funds do not actually engage in any investing themselves and often collect an extra upfront fee for selling them to folks, or create a seven-year mutual-fund prison that penalizes anyone trying to get out. Difference between Mutual Funds and ETFs Simple. ETFs are like Teslas – they drive themselves. There is no manager, so there’s no fat management fee for investors to pay. They don’t compensate some fancy guy to try and beat the market, then have to explain why he didn’t. They just pace the market itself. What the S&P 500 does this year, for example (up 18.4%), is what an ETF holding those 500 companies does. Plus, they’re traded on the stock market, which means you can buy or sell with the click of a mouse and get instant liquidity. Try doing that with a mutual fund (you can’t). In fact, most funds have the ability to halt redemptions, so if a crisis emerged you might not be able to sell when you wanted (just like Bitcoin). ETFs are not free, however. Across a balanced portfolio you can expect to pay an embedded cost of about 0.2% – which is a hell of a lot cheaper than 2.0%. Now, mutual fund salesguys, for obvious reasons, hate it when they hear such talk. And being in sales, they are daunting adversaries, able to woe naive investors with tales of giant, throbbing Alpha and heaving bosoms. (I may have exaggerated there.) Jane, in fact, encountered exactly this schtick after she told her mutual fund guy she was leaving to embrace ETFs. “I talked to him today for the formal “thank you and best of luck” nicety and needless to say he thinks I’m making a huge mistake. I feel quite defenceless when it comes to talking to financial advisors. My boyfriend tried to do his best to help explain it and then reverted to “Ask Garth.” For ease I will just lay out what was said by mutual fund guy in bullet form and hopefully you can help me out
ETFs are cheaper but that is because they have a much lower rate of return. So if you compared mutual funds to ETFs, Mutual funds are far better.
Fee-based advisors are cheaper because they do not actively manage my account, unlike mutual fund account managers. He said the MER is to pay for someone to manage my account. ETFs don’t charge this because no one is managing anything.
ETFs are for old people in their 50’s that can’t absorb a loss.
In 2008 ETFs took a much harder hit than mutual funds (50% compared to 20%)
Young people should be aggressively investing and diversity is for old people and wusses
“Can you shed some light on this for me? My mutual fund guy did make me feel a touch uneasy. I would appreciate the insight just for building my own knowledge and confidence.” You betcha, Janey. ETFs are cheaper because they don’t come attached to some Bay Street smartie with three kids in private school. They are pure reflections of a transparent market. The rate of return for nine out of ten has been higher than an actively-managed mutual fund, at a fraction of the cost. Fee-based advisors (who should collect a fee of no more than 1%) actually build and manage client portfolios. They all shop at Costco and recycle their socks. ETFs for old people? Did he mention dwarfs? As for the 2008-9 crisis, a balanced ETF portfolio declined 20% while the stock market slid 55%. It recovered all lost ground in a year, then advanced 17%. It’s not the structure of the asset that is owned (active or passive fund), but the weightings between various asset classes that will protect you in declines. You can be as conservative or aggressive as you want with either kind of funds. But if you like paying more for less, mutuals are for you. (He was really zooming you on that one.) The benefit of Bonds in a Portfolio Bonds help reduce volatility One common way to measure volatility is using standard deviation, which measures the variability of returns around the long-term average – the higher the number the higher the volatility. Over the last 10 years, the TSX has exhibited price volatility of 14.1%, meaning that TSX returns have been 14.1% above/below the long-term average return over the last 10 years. Volatility (standard deviation) has been 11.4% for the S&P 500 over this period. And for the average Canadian balanced portfolio, the standard deviation has been much lower at 8.3%. So, we prefer balanced portfolios to an all-equity portfolio since the ride is much smoother and with more consistent yearly returns.
📷Volatility of Different Investments
The other important reason we like balanced portfolios is because bonds often zig when equities zag. This dynamic is why a balanced portfolio exhibits lower volatility. In good economic times corporate profits rise and investors feel more optimistic about the outlook that they are willing to pay higher multiples (e.g., P/Es) for stocks. This combination of rising corporate profits and valuations pushes stock prices higher. Central banks in turn tighten monetary policy by hiking interest rates. This helps to push bond prices lower (prices move inversely with yields). So stocks go up and bond prices go down, generally, in a strong economy. 📷Conversely, in a weak economy stocks typically decline and central banks lower interest rates to help spur growth which leads to higher bond prices. Again, bonds zig when equities zag. This is perfectly captured in the chart below which shows the relative performance of Canadian bonds and the TSX. Note how bonds will outperform stocks over certain periods (in green) and underperform stocks in other periods (in red). This chart captures the essence of why a solidly constructed and well-managed balanced portfolio works!
Bonds/Equities Out/Underperform Over Time
Finally, how should investors structure their bond holdings in this rising interest rate environment? First is to focus on lower duration bonds. Duration measures a bond’s price sensitivity to changing interest rates. If a bond (or in our case a bond ETF) has a duration of 8, it means the bond will decline approximately 8% for every 1% increase in interest rates, or rise 8% for every 1% decrease in rates; the higher the duration the higher the price sensitivity to rising rates. Given our view that rates are going to continue to slowly rise, we are positioning our balanced portfolio with lower duration bond ETFs so as to minimize the impact of rising rates. Later when interest rates are higher we’ll look to reverse this call and shift into higher duration/yielding bond ETFs. The other key strategy for bonds in a rising rate environment is to overweight corporate bonds versus government bonds. With the Fed and BoC now hiking rates, government bond yields are moving up and prices lower. This of course weighs on all bonds but corporate bonds tend to outperform when rates rise. This happens for a few reasons. First corporate bonds offer higher coupons (yields), which help lower the duration relative to lower yielding government bonds. Second, because investors are feeling more optimistic about the economy and financial markets they are more willing to buy corporate bonds, which pushes up their prices relative to government bonds resulting in compression of the yield spread over government bonds. Below is a chart comparing US investment grade corporate bond yields to comparable US government bond yields. Currently with US corporate bonds yielding 4.25% and US government bonds yielding 2.35%, this results in a “spread” of 190 bps. As the economy picks up this spread compresses which results in corporate bonds outperforming government bonds. We believe this spread could compress a bit further resulting in additional outperformance from corporate bonds. We’ll look to reverse this trade as we start to believe the economy is rolling over.
US Credit Spreads
📷We get it. In a raging bull market like we’ve been in for some years, bonds can be disappointing and cause us to deviate away from a balanced portfolio, focusing more on equities. But as we’ve shown, the benefits of including bonds in a portfolio are to reduce volatility and provide more consistent returns. And we’re not always going to be in a bull market so you’ll need protection against this inevitability. I feel confident that our client will call me up to thank me for our recent portfolio adjustments, likely when that dreaded bear market rears its ugly head. How are you positioned for this eventuality? Well, here are ten of my fav ways to reduce your tax bill thanks to two simple words – income-splitting (as opposed to sprinkling).
If you make more money than your spouse (in a higher tax bracket) take your piteous crumbs and use them to pay the household expenses. Have your spouse devote all of his/her take-home income to investing. Because your squeeze has a lower marginal rate, your family will keep more of the investment gains.
Open a spousal retirement plan for a less-taxed partner. The full deduction comes off your bigger income but the other person gets the money. Wait three years, and it can be withdrawn at the lower spousal rate. Can result in big savings.
Swap stuff. She gives you her departed mother’s irreplaceable jewelry (for God’s sake, don’t lose it) and you give her a bunch of ETFs. Now the financial assets are still in your family, but taxed in her hands at a lower rate (assuming there’s an income disparity between you).
Take the beefy monthly cheque T2 now sends you for having kids and invest it in growth assets in their names. Capital gains made here will not be attributed back to you. If they grow up and become rock stars, you keep it.
If you’re a wrinkly, split your CPP or pension with your spouse.
Give money to your adult children. No, not for a condo down payment, but instead to maximize their TFSAs – on the understanding they give it all back (with gains) when they turn 50 and leave the basement.
Loan your spouse a whack of money to invest. You will need to collect a tiny bit of interest annually on the loan (the rate is just 1%) but all the money the other person makes will not be attributed back to you. So if your partner’s in a lower bracket, it’s a big win. Plus the interest paid is tax-deductible.
Max your RRSP, of course. Not so much for retirement, but for tax-shifting between periods of your life. Layoffs, job losses, mat leaves, sabbaticals – there are many times when regular income drops and tapping into money which grew tax-free can save your marriage.
Stick the max into an RESP for your kids. No deduction for doing so, but the money will grow without tax and the feds will send a grant worth up to 20% of what you contribute annually. Open a family plan, not singles. And beware the hospital-stalking baby vultures with their crappy offerings. Go self-directed.
Hire your spouse or your kids to labour in your small business doing useful things. Yes, this is exactly what Bill Morneau is throwing a hissy-fit over, but you’ll get the immense satisfaction of watching some CRA goon burn up hours of time only to conclude that, yes, your wife is actually a productive, contributing human being worth being paid. Plus, she’s deductible. What a turn on.
You can get free money to educate your children simply by opening an RESP using cash the government sent you because you have children. The guaranteed return on investment is 20%, which beats buying a semi in Toronto. The rules allow you to go back and make up missed contributions (collecting the grant a year at a time), and if your kid becomes a rock legend instead of a dentist most of the tax-free growth can be wrapped inside your RRSP.
If you think income-splitting is kaput, you’re mistaken. You and your lower-income squeeze have a plethora of ways to starve Mr. Socks. If you make more money, pay your spouse’s taxes so s/he can invest at their lower tax rate. Ditto for the household expenses. You can certainly open a spousal RRSP, writing off the contribution against your high taxes but making the money the property of your less-taxed spouse. Open a joint investment account, splitting taxable gains instead of paying them at your fat rate. And lend your spouse money to invest at the CRA’s proscribed and silly rate of 1%. So long as s/he pays you interest (tax-deductible) no money made by the investments will be attributed back to you.
Don’t forget the registered retirement account, either, which is actually more of a tax deferral device than a way to fund your later years. RRSP room jumps with your income, so it’s of greatest benefit to those old, rich, high-earning guys that everyone currently hates. Revenge. Sweet. Having a ton of RRSP room sure helps if you get a retirement package or a pension to commute, so bear that in mind. Meanwhile you can borrow money to invest, then use the refund to pay down the loan, ending up with free equity. Or just transfer assets you already own into an RRSP (called a ‘contribution in kind’) and Justin will send you money for selling yourself something you already owned. There are no words.
Borrowing to invest increases risk, but it sure is tempting. A secured line of credit against your house costs 3.7% and the interest is 100% tax-deductible. Meanwhile a balanced portfolio in 2017 returned 11%. Last year it was 8.5%. Looks like more is coming. So you can keep all that equity sitting in a house doing diddly, or put it to work. Just promise me you will not buy Bitcoin.
10 Ways to Reduce your Tax – Oct 29
Do you and your squeeze both work? If one earns more than the other, have the chief breadwinner pay all of the regular expenses – mortgage, rent, food, daycare, weed, insurance, booze, clothes, rehab. Make the lesser-monied spouse the chief investor in the family, so the returns (capital gains, dividends, interest) will be taxed at a lower rate.
Ditto for registered retirement savings. If you earn considerably more than s/he does, or have a defined-benefit pension, use up all your RRSP room for a spousal plan. You write the contribution off your higher taxed income while your spouse gains control of the money. After three years it can be withdrawn at their lower rate – so you’ve just sprinkled!
Here’s another one, if there’s an income disparity between you: loan your less-taxed spouse a bunch of money for investment purposes. S/he puts it into a nice little non-registered account and starts collecting dividends and earning capital gains in a tax-efficient way. Even though it’s your money, none of that income is attributed back to you – so long as this is set up as a loan at the CRA’s prescribed rate of interest which is, believe it or not, just 1%. Interest must be paid annually by the end of January but all of that is tax-deductible. Yes, your spouse can write it off the investment returns. This works for kids over 18, too. More sprinkling!
Also with income-splitting: if you are a wrinkly collecting CPP (everybody should start taking it at 60, no exceptions), this can also be split with your less-taxed spouse.
If you didn’t listen to the advice on this blog, bought individual equities and were handed your rear end by Mr. Market, sell those dogs before Christmas in order to realize a capital loss which can be used to reduce taxes on capital gains. Losses can be used to neutralize gains not only in the current tax year, but going back three more years. This can help you recover taxes that you paid as far back as 2014.
You can also take crap assets that dropped in value and dump them on your kid. Another great reason to have children! Investments can be transferred to a minor child and that will also trigger a tax loss in your hands which can be used to offset gains. Now your spawn has an asset that, when it recovers in value, will be essentially tax-free with none of the gain attributed back to you.
Fill up your TFSA, obviously. Also that of your spouse. And your kids over the age of 18. Gift money to all of them with no gains TFSAs attributed back to you. Remember, $5,500 a year for 35 years earning 7% will result in $819,000, of which more than six hundred grand is compound growth. So ensure these are not savings accounts, but investment accounts – no GICs, HISAs or other dorky stuff. Also when you retire, a $819,000 TFSA will give you about $50,000 a year in taxless income which will not reduce your CPP or OAS by one cent.
If you’re 71 and have to convert an RRSP to a RRIF, be thankful you robbed the cradle and married a babe younger than you. Your mandatory retirement fund withdrawals can be based on the age of your spouse, keeping them to a minimum and allowing your nest egg to grow larger, longer.
Obviously put money into a RESP for your kids. The feds will give you an automatic grant equal to 20% – so for a $2,500 contribution you receive $500, up to a lifetime total of $7,200. Free money. Duh. Why would you not do this? If your kid grows up to be a rock star or a high-net-worth, Mercedes-driving plumber you can fold much of the RESP money into your RRSP. Remember to buy growth assets. Establish a family plan for multiple kids, not separate ones. And, for God’s sake, avoid the RESP-flogging baby vultures that skulk around hospitals. Go self-directed.
10.And, yes, use RRSPs. They’re still the best tax-shifting vehicle around, allowing you to write off up to $25,000 in taxable income a year. You can borrow money cheap to contribute, then use the refund to pay much of it back. Or open a plan, shift in assets you already own, and get paid money by Bill Morneau for selling yourself stuff you already own. That should make his head all splody. Legal aspects of selling a house If you’re selling a house – with more market declines ahead thanks to the new stress test – make damn sure the deal is solid. No long close. A mother of a deposit (ask for 10%). No buyer visits prior to closing. Deposit held in your lawyer’s trust account, not that of the listing broker. No condition on the buyer finding ‘satisfactory’ financing. And a clause giving you a day or two for legal approval of the offer. Also do something radical – find out who the buyer is before you enter into a contract with them. Job? Circumstances? Background? Can they afford it? After all, you’d never rent your cheapo condo to someone without a credit application, references, credit check and income/employment verification. Why sell a $1.5 million house to a stranger and make huge life changes based on a closing months away that may never happen? HELOC & Risk Investment Strategy – August 7th So he wrote me with an idea and a question: I’m curious to know if you’d recommend pulling out 100k in equity in a house NOT to buy a rental house but to invest in a diversified portfolio and hopefully make a 6% to 8% yearly return only to turn around and put it back down onto the mortgage to pay it off faster? I’ve been contemplating on things to do to pay down the mortgage and create some income, no good having this equity just sitting here when it can be working for us! Seems starting a corporation is out of the question now thanks to T2 and his finance guru. Given that real estate’s fat days are behind us but debt isn’t going anywhere, does this make sense? Maybe. Let’s roll it around. Millions of people have, collectively, billions in real estate equity. When house prices stop going up, this becomes dead money. The only value you can really ascribe is what it might save you in equivalent rent. For example, a $1.5 million house can normally be rented for $3,000 a month. The family with a $500,000 mortgage and $1 million in equity is spending $2,400 (monthly) on the mortgage plus about $600 in property tax, insurance and utilities (water, sewer) that renters never pay. So they ‘own’ a home for the same monthly outlay as the family who rents it. But they have put down $1 million to live there. If that were conservatively invested, and returned 6% annually, it’s $5,000 a month. So the house actually costs $8,000, and could yield a non-deductible capital loss as easily as a non-taxable capital gain. In other words, in a declining, flat, comatose or normal housing market, the cost of ownership when real estate has climbed to these levels is insane. Renters who invest win, ten times out of ten. If interest rates creep up and mortgages renew higher, the economics of owning get worse. In the current environment, a lot of people have to be asking themselves – like Kevin – if there isn’t some way to use that dead equity which is no longer supporting a rising asset. Yes, a HELOC is one way of unleashing equity. It’s a line of credit secured by real estate, which means the debt is registered against the property but also that it comes with a preferential rate of interest. That’s normally prime + 0.5%. These days that equates to 3.45% (and it may rise to 3.7% in October). The line’s rate is almost always variable, so it will increase along with the bank prime. And HELOCs are demand loans. If real estate prices truly collapsed or another credit crisis hit, the bank could ask you for the money back in, oh, 30 days. The good news is all of the interest is deductible from your taxable income if the money is used to generate more money. Yup, that could be real estate paying you rent or (wiser) a balanced and diversified portfolio of financial assets. So, if you earn $120,000 and live in BC, for example, you effectively reduce the loan interest rate by 41%. Now the HELOC costs you just 2%. Given that well-managed, non-cowboy, globally-balanced and diversified ETF portfolios have pumped out an average of 6.5% over the last seven years (two of which were market stinkers), this mean a spread in the 4% range. Last time I checked, that was better than the 0% home equity is currently paying. So to Kev’s question. If he borrowed $100,000 on a HELOC and invested it for a 7% return, then used the cash flow generated ($7,000) to pay down his existing mortgage faster, would it make sense? Well, interest-only payments on the line would cost $3,450, but he’d reduce his income tax by $1,400 (if he earns enough). So he’s up five grand. That’s cool – it can be used as a pre-payment on the amortized mortgage. But wait. Kevin now owes another $100,000. But wait again. He has a $100,000 liquid investment portfolio. By removing equity and borrowing, the Harley dude has (a) diversified his net worth, (b) reduced his income tax bill and (c) accelerated the mortgage payments, saving a whack of interest. This is not a slam-dunk strategy for everyone. If rates rise and the payments get hard to make, you lose. If the world goes to crap and the loan is called, you lose. If your house craters and the bank finds out, you lose. If your job fades, you lose. If you invest in the wrong stuff (like gold, bitcoins, weed stock or junior oil & gas), you lose. If the feds drop the hammer on HELOCs again, you lose. Debt is debt. The world’s soaked in it. Most people would be unwise to shoulder more. The best strategy, history will show, is to trash debt by selling high. This is high. Complex home buying tax strategy, courtesy ofDerek Holt – the chief economist at Scotiabank · Make a $19.2k RRSP contribution just three months in advance of buying a home… • …assuming a 30% tax rate, deposit $6k tax refund back into RRSP… • …then withdraw the allowed $25k maximum under the HomeBuyers’ • …to be repaid to the RRSP in equal installments over 15 years starting 2 years after withdrawal with no interest penalty and the payments are not counted in mortgage serviceability calculations… • …at, say, a 4% rate of interest, this equals $8k in interest savings over 15yrs… • …which means the initial $19.2k RRSP deposit has been parlayed into an effective down payment of about $33k, or an extra 70%+ • No restrictions on the source of the original RRSP deposit (can borrow for it, ‘gift’, etc). • ie: the zero-down mortgage can still theoretically exist • If a couple, and both are first time homebuyers, double all of the math above (ie: turn $38k from liberally allowed sources into a $65k down payment) · If a major bank’s showing clients how to take $38,000 and game it into $65,000 through exploiting the system, it might indicate we’ve all hit a tax wall. And this is even before T2 Hoovers out the savings of small business operators, vets, docs and the local John Deere dealership.
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