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
Buttcoin Foundation ROCKED as founder exposed to be PAID SHILL for Butterfly Labs
My name is borderpatrol. I'm the founder of Buttcoin.org and have been making fun of bitcoiners since 2011. Buttcoin is one of the oldest Bitcoin sites on the internet and just last month celebrated it's 1 millionth visitor. And about 7 months ago I (accidently) became a paid shill for Butterly Labs. In December of 2013, Bitcoin losing steam and after 2 1/2 years of running the site I was getting tired. I had started up school again and work was getting steady so I wasn't updating as much. I was in the middle of a redesign to keep myself busy but I went weeks between updates. But I liked the site so I kept it around. A few months prior killhamster had helped me find new comedy gold to mine and was posting constantly on the twitter. I was approached by someone named Jeff. He emailed me from a domain at a local bar in Chicago. He had asked about buying the site. This wasn't the first offer I had gotten. I have been asked to comment on articles in PC World and speak at John Hopkins University about Bitcoins and the site was somewhat popular, but no one ever put in any serious offers. The site got steady traffic but everyone who knows about bitcoins, knows about computers. And everyone who knows about computers runs AdBlock. So the site made no money but was a fun little hobby of mine. Jeff presented himself as a regular reader of the site who owned bitcoins and had presumably cashed out. He said he liked the writing style, liked the site, and wanted to know if I was interested in a sale. I asked what he was offering. He said he wanted to offer me $XX,XXX dollars (not as high as the $30,000 someone is quoting however). I thought his was a joke. The site had no revenue and was virtually impossible to monetize. The only people willing to advertise on bitcoins sites are BFL, Mt. Gox, BitPay, and they would never advertise on Buttcoin. I asked him a few more questions to gauge his sincerity; what he planned on doing with the site, how the transition would be handled, would he allow me to continue to write for the site. He explained that he wanted to keep the site like "The Onion of Bitcoin", wanted me to keep writing for a minimum of 6 months. He also wanted everything to be in his daughters name because she was just graduating out of journalism school and he wanted her to learn online publishing. The guy was going to buy my site and then let me still have control. I have bought and sold a few domains and sites before and could tell he was serious, so I said fuck yeah and took his money. Signed a contract, completed escrow and We did the site transfer and closed escrow. The day after the transfer occurred my admin account was locked out even though I had an agreement to stay there for 6 months. Since I was already fighting with little site issues because of the transfer I didn't think much of it, I emailed Jeff but got no response. Killhamster still had publishing rights. The next day we noticed that our most popular article on the entire site, the "The $22,484.00 Butterfly Labs Mini Rig bitcoin miner is a huge, broken, unstable piece of shit." had been edited and now read The Butterfly Labs Mini Rig is a sexy Bitcoin mining machine. At this point killhamster emailed Jeff and asked what was up. He stated that there were "going to be some changes to attract new advertisers". He explained that he liked the humor but picking on specific brands was no good. He said that BFL pays $1000/month for every ad on BitcoinTalk and that there's no reason we can't get the same kind of deal. Since my account was now locked out and I was the original author, killhamster could not change the article. At this point I was pretty bummed that what was told to me was no true but whatever, not much I could do about that now. Killhamster was still running the twitter and planning to do some funny stuff with future articles. I wanted to see what was up with this guy though. I checked and see what was edited. The only thing edited was That BFL article and 2 more, one about them faking CE certification and one where Wired tested it and was unimpressed. But there was some much worse stuff on there that wasn't touched. If he was trying to clean up the site for advertisers, why just those BFL articles. Then I remembered that my Google Search Rankings for certain Butterfly Labs related terms were high. Very High. Buttcoin was ranking between 3-4 for the search term "Butterfly Labs" and "Butterfly Labs Review" and was usually #1 for "Butterfly Labs Scam" and "Is Butterfly Labs ligit". It was obvious to me that the purpose of purchasing the site was to simply remove the negative articles that were destroying their search traffic and making them look bad. So I Google "Jeff Butterfly Labs" http://www.butterflylabs.com/management-view/jeff-ownby-2/ Jeff Ownby is the VP of marketing for BFL. I never got his last name and all contracts where under his "daughter's name". So I looked a bit deeper and see Jeff from BFL graduated from Elmhurst College in Illinois and the Jeff that bought Buttcoin emailed me from was a Chicago-area bar domain. I still couldn't get this guy's last name but I finally found an old Facebook post from a press release by the bar the guy owns and it said his name was Jeff Ownby. Could be another guy with the same name but I'm sure now that BFL bought the site simply to remove three negative articles. So that's the whole story. I was tricked into selling Buttcoin.org to BFL and no longer have access to the site so I've set up camp on the subreddit instead so I can shitpost about bitcoins still. Killhamster still can write articles once in a while and does wonderful things on the twitter. And in way, even though I never owned any, I still cashed out because of Bitcoin.
Our blog has a longer post on the subject, but the ultimate answer is that GPU mining is very insecure. For the vast majority of GPU mined coins out there (including Sia), it is the case that there are multiple, if not many, individuals who operate enough GPUs to execute a 51% attack against the coin all by themselves. There are some very large Ethereum GPU farms out there, and they are a threat to all small GPU-mined coins. (our market cap is a factor of 50 smaller than Ethereum - we are a small coin). And it's not just Ethereum farms to be afraid of, there are massive GPU farms dedicated to machine learning as well, and other big-data related use cases. All of those are potential sources for a 51% attack. Even worse, if the price of the coin tanks following such an attack, the attacker has nothing to lose, because the core purpose of their hardware is unrelated to Sia, and unaffected by a change in price. Though it sounds terrible and unintuitive, a single centralized entity running ASICs would be a much more secure situation than this. Because with a single central ASIC entity, you get two huge advantages:
There's only 1 entity capable of performing a 51% attack. This is much better than having multiple entities that are each individually capable of performing a 51% attack.
If the price of the coin falls, the entity that has all of the hardware loses a lot of money. That hardware isn't good for anything besides Sia mining, so that entity is quite invested in propping up the siacoin price.
We chose ASICs over GPUs because even the worst case scenario is more secure and better for the coin than the situation with GPU mining. But we also did not want a single entity owning and operating all of the ASICs. That's when we realized, if we were ASIC manufacturers ourselves, we could guarantee that at least one entity is selling chips to the larger community. The unfortunate fact is that either way, there is going to be a small number of chip manufacturers who have the power to sell chips to the community. Even so, this is a better situation than what you get with GPU mining. We are making ASICs so that we can guarantee the first batch of ASICs will make it to the Sia community. Without that, we have no idea if the first batch of ASICs will be sold to the public or hoarded by some greedy investors who were able to pay the full price of manufacturing up-front.
Why are you doing the presale so early?
We, put simply, don't have enough cash even to do the early development of the chips. We need financing to pay for chip development. Traditionally, we would find some private investors, have them front some millions, and in return promise them a very good deal on some hardware. The private investors would get the first stab at buying ASICs, they'd get a huge chunk, and they'd get them at an exclusive deal for taking on the risk early. We actually had private investors come forward offering this to us, with enough money to fund the full development and manufacture of the first batch of chips - this isn't a hypothetical, it's a real offer that the Sia team received. This didn't seem fair to us. When we finally did get to the point where the miners were ready to be sold to the community, we would have to offer the community a worse deal. Less risky, but ultimately it would mean that the community was excluded from the opportunity of participating early, and the result is a huge chunk of the chips going to some private investors. Such a situation is still better than GPU mining, but it didn't seem like the best that we could do. We felt that we could do better by opening the early presale to everyone.
Why not accept credit cards?
Payment processors are not friendly to Bitcoin products. We contacted Stripe and were told point-blank that they would not process payments for cryptocurrency miners. We appreciate everyone who pointed us towards Stripe as a bitcoin-friendly company, but they gave us a direct no. Paypal has a long history of freezing merchant accounts with little warning, and when they do so they freeze your existing money in addition to freezing incoming payments - we would be unable to pay our bills if Paypal did this to us, and it would unquestionably cause delays. Visa and MasterCard are not much better in terms of track record. Losing access to our accounts would unquestionably cause delays. ASIC hardware is already well known to suffer from serious delays, and we need to limit our exposure to delays. We are in an industry that is unfortunately fraught with fraud. With revenue-generated devices such as miners, criminals are much more likely to try to target these devices as a way to cash in on stolen credit cards, stolen identities, hacked bank accounts, etc. The fraud rates are staggering, and as a result most payment processors outright refuse to deal with it. We are aware that Bitmain is partnered with Paypal, though we don't know the details behind how that came to be.
Why not accept Siacoin?
This was a harder decision. We could quite easily choose to accept siacoin, however we fear that Siacoin is not ready to handle such a massive presale. The market cap and daily volume of Bitcoin is a factor of 100 times as large as the Siacoin market cap and volume. Moving millions or tens of millions of dollars through Bitcoin is not likely to make much of a dent. Siacoin on the other hand, a sudden sell order for millions of dollars would likely tank the price. That not only means the ecosystem is unhappy with us, it also means that we might only be able to sell $2499 of siacoin for $2200. A lot of people have accused us of not having confidence in our own coin. Unfortunately, this is true. Even at a $500 million market cap, Sia is not ready to handle a presale of this size. It's a pragmatic decision based on the fact that we don't want to dump our own coin. We know that people will be selling siacoin to buy the miners anyway, but we still feel that this situation is much better than us accepting siacoin directly. This decision was a disappointment for us as well. We would love to accept siacoin, and if we weren't talking about processing millions of dollars in a single day, we absolutely would be accepting siacoin. And, as Sia continues growing up, the concerns above will become less and less.
What about this 5% gains/losses stuff?
Our intention was never to play fishy financial games with our users, and honestly this isn't even something that crossed our minds as a potential problem point. I think a big part of the issue was that people did not realize we will be converting to US dollars as fast as possible - we will be doing the conversion in minutes or hours as long as we can keep up with the order volume. The rationale is very simple. If the price plummets before we are able to convert the Bitcoin, we won't have enough money to create the hardware. We really don't expect this to matter, because we don't expect the price to swing by more than $100 (which is what would be required) in the few hours that we're going to be sitting on the BTC. If it does, we'll need more coins or we can't produce the hardware - our costs are in dollars, which means we need to end up with the right amount of dollars in our account at the end of the day. The original stance on not returning gains was also very simple. There's no transparency into when we sell the coins. If we sell the coins within 60 minutes of receiving them, and then 4 hours later there's a huge surge in the price, we will almost certainly have users emailing us and posting about how we owe them a refund. We won't have that refund, because we'll have sold the coins before the price rise. There's not much we can do to provide transparency into this either. And we're likely to get requests for refunds even if it takes 3 months for Bitcoin to rise by 5%. This promise of returning gains that we've put forward is going to be a massive headache, because we're not expecting to have any gains, even if the price goes up by that much we'll have likely converted to USD faster than that. Our whole goal is to convert to USD as fast as possible. We're sorry that we have to go through this headache at all. If we could get set up with a processor like Stripe, we could accept both Bitcoin and USD and let them deal with the conversion process, slippage risk, and all the other headache associated with using multiple currencies.
Why shipping a full 12 months away?
Before we set out to make Sia miners, we did a study of companies who had previously sold and pre-sold Bitcoin miners. This included talking to both Avalon and Butterfly Labs, and talking to professionals and advisors who have shipped hardware successfully in other industries. The core piece of advice we got was pretty consistent: expect delays. Expect lots of delays, and expect them to come from the most absurd setbacks. (Example: one of the people we talked to had to delay their product because there was a global shortage of power supplies, and they had to wait in line behind billion dollar companies to get some). Our projections indicate that if all goes well, we should be able to ship the miners in 6-8 months. Nothing we are doing is new. Plenty of companies have gone through the process of developing a chip, manufacturing it, putting it in a box, and then shipping it to users. There is almost no innovation risk here. Sia's PoW algorithm is deliberately very ASIC friendly, even more than Bitcoin. We have advisors who have gone through this process before, and the types of challenges facing us are well known. 6-8 months is reasonable, except that every single person we've talked to has told us that unexpected delays is a guarantee, and that by nature of being unexpected, there's not really any way to prevent them by planning around them. Delays are just inherent to shipping hardware. So we chose to set our target at 12 months. We will ship the miners as soon as they are ready. If we are a few months ahead of schedule, and have somehow managed to avoid the foretold delays, we will ship them months ahead of schedule. But we want our users to have a realistic understanding of the expected delays. We've baked a generous amount of time for setbacks into our shipping date. We'll almost certainly need at least some of it.
Making chips is very expensive. We have to sell thousands of units to cover the cost of the chips. A nontrivial percentage of the price is going to go towards chassis, shipping, power supply, control board, fans, etc. Those costs are relatively the same even if we put in fewer chips, which means the total percentage of our budget going towards chips drops significantly. If we cut the price in half, we'll have to sell roughly three times as many units to break even on the cost of the chips. If we cut the price in half again, we'd need to sell a completely unreasonable number of units to break even on the cost of the chips. It's unfortunate, but the fixed costs of chip manufacture means that we really need vast majority of the price of the unit to be spent on chips, otherwise we simply won't be able to sell enough units. There is a second reason as well. As stated in the section above, the industry is plagued by delays an unexpected expenses. We need a healthy budget to plan around potential setbacks, because we've been guaranteed that there will be multiple significant setbacks by those who have gone through this process before. If we bring down the price of the unit, we will also be reducing the amount of wiggle room we have for disaster if suddenly we have to replace parts, re-do designs, or otherwise perform expensive adjustments to our plans.
Are you guys qualified to be working on hardware?
Zach is a mechanical engineer, I've been in the Bitcoin space since before ASICs started shipping, and we have advisors who have successfully shipped hardware before. The team that is designing the chips for the miner has designed chips and shipped chips for Bitcoin miners previously - they are familiar with the whole process, and have done it before. The people in charge of designing the PCB board and other aspects of the miner are also all experienced with their respective tasks. We will be facilitating frequent and strong communications between everyone working on the various components of the miner. The ultimate answer is that the Sia development team is not qualified to be making this type of hardware. However, the Sia development team is not the team working on the hardware. Most of the heavy lifting is being performed by teams with lots of experience in this industry, including experience that is directly related to cryptocurrency miners. What we are doing is not new. Dozens of cryptocurrency miners have been created and shipped in the past, and we are not starting from day zero. We have many advantages over the previous rounds of pre-sale cryptocurrency miners, but the biggest is that it's no longer the wild west of hardware design. There is a standard, and there are tried-and-true methods for making reliable cryptocurrency miners. We get to fall back on the mistakes and successes of the many miners that have been built previously, and we will be leaning heavily on teams and people that have direct experience in this field as opposed to doing everything ourselves.
Does this mean that Sia is getting less attention from the developers?
Sia right now has four full time employees. Myself, Zach, Luke, and Johnathan. Zach was hired in June 2017, less than one month ago. He is not a programmer. Luke and Johnathan will continue with the same responsibilities that they've always had. They helped out a little bit in setting up the website, and in setting up a secure database to process orders + payment information, however the majority of their time has been focused on Sia even as we set up this presale. Going forward, they will be almost entirely uninvolved in Obelisk. I have had to allocate about 25% of my time to Obelisk. Slightly more this week, due to the PR meltdown we had from the initial announcement. But most of my time is still going towards Sia. Most people know I work over 100 hours per week (some weeks will eclipse 120), and that a quarter of my time is not a small amount. Zach is closer to 50% Sia, 50% Obelisk at this point. We're expecting that to tone down once the presale is over - much of this time has been spent with banks, with lawyers, with payment processors, and we won't have to do that beyond the initial setup phase. Zach and myself will still be having weekly conversations with every part of the Obelisk supply chain, including the chip designers, chip manufacturers, control board designers, the miner assembly teams, and the fulfillment centers, so even after the presale there will be effort going towards Obelisk. But nobody on the Sia team is doing chip design, nobody is doing control board design, most of the really heavy work is being done by experienced teams and suppliers that we've found and already spent weeks vetting and verifying. We incorporated Obelisk as a separate company precisely so that Obelisk would eventually have a completely separate team. And finally, as Obelisk is wholly owned by Nebulous, a successful hardware company does mean revenue and income for the Sia team. Cryptocurrency mining tends to be low margin, so tens of millions in revenue for Obelisk does not necessarily millions in funding for the Sia team. But it is something, and it will give us more time to get the storage platform to the next levels of maturity.
I know that a lot of you are concerned about the miner presale that we are conducting. I hope that this post has helped to alleviate those concerns. I hope it makes sense why we are doing a public presale, instead of seeking private investment until we have a full prototype. I hope this post has clarified our decisions around payment methods, and around our price point. I hope you feel more confident that this is something we will be able to pull off. And finally, I hope I've reassured you guys that Sia is still our primary focus, and that we haven't suddenly pivoted into being a hardware company. We are ultimately doing this to provide better security to the Sia network. GPU mined coins are frighteningly insecure, and Sia is now large enough where there is serious money on the line. We are doing this to gain security, and also to ensure as much decentralization as possible when it comes to chip manufacture. We are typically viewed as one of the most reputable teams in cryptocurrency, and I know it's why a lot of you are here. We hope that the Sia ASIC that we are going to be manufacturing and selling strengthens this reputation, but ultimately we will not find out until the miners are actually being shipped. We continue to be excited about this new product. We truly do feel that ASICs are the right direction for Sia, and we also feel that we are doing the right thing by bringing the opportunity to own a Sia ASIC to the broader Sia community. We are sorry for the fallout from our sloppy original announcement, and we hope that we have since made up for it. Finally, we hope that you are interested in buying a miner. Even if we only sell a small batch, ASICs are going to utterly dominate the hashrate of Sia going forward. This is an egalitarian sale where everyone has equal opportunity to buy a miner - there's no cap, and we will ensure that small buyers are not shut out by larger buyers in any way.
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.
Minted our first bitcoin this morning! Took about 18 hours (Butterfly Labs Mini Rig SC 500 GH/s)
http://i.imgur.com/LvDPIjY.png We're using the Butterfly Labs 500 GH/s Mini Rig. Might as well do a small review -- the hardware itself is temperamental. For example, ours showed up with the unresponsive Nexus tablet on the front panel. Dealing with Butterfly is a total shit sandwich given the rip-and-run state of the overall business, so I had to figure out how to bypass the internal routing and have a laptop be the brains of the operation. After a couple of days of messing with usb drivers, which refused to stand up on Windows 7, I finally got the laptop to recognize all 8 modules. However, I could not start mining due to an error starting the bfg miner task from the inside of their Easy Miner application. I tried to force bfg via the command line, and it finally worked, although the hash rate was atrocious. Another day or so, and I had the rig mining. The hardware recognition issue was due to me not giving the laptop enough time to kick ALL modules on. It takes a good 2-3 minutes for all usb notifications to stop bleep-blooping. The hash rate was in the 470 GH/s area, which was perfect, but then the modules started to shut themselves off due to overheating at 83 C. The log would show how the unit was taking down hot modules and then kicking them back on non-stop. The ambient temp in the room is around 75. I played with positioning, fan speeds, to no avail. The hash rate at that point dropped into the 400s, and my 15 amp circuit breakers started to get tripped. This went on for a little, and then I permanently blew one of them and had to pick some up at the Home Depot. But hey, it only took a single trip :) So then I got a 5200 BTU A/C unit, mounted it in the window, and positioned the rig in front of it. That seemed to fix the breaker-tripping and overheating issues. It runs at low 70s C during the day and low 60s C at night. I am now making custom funnels out of thermal foam board to vent exhaust heat outside and also connect the 11" AC opening to the 16"x16" intake area of the rig (looks something like this). The unit generates a lot of heat, no joke. I bet when the weather gets colder, it can serve as a furnace for this side of the house. If you're wondering why I'm talking about it still not being cold outside in November, I'm in Texas. It's really beautiful right now, high of 75 and sunny. Also, the noise ... how could I forget about the noise. It sounds like a server room. There's 18 fans, plus PSU fans, and they are quite loud. Don't expect to inconspicuously set this rig in the corner of your living room. It's been on for over 24 hours now, uninterrupted. To the moon! Timestamp,Core Temp,AC ON/OFF,Total Mined (BTC) 11/1/2013 12:00 PM,80 C,OFF,0.00 11/3/2013 3:30 PM,73 C,OFF,1.78 11/4/2013 2:05 PM,75 C,ON,2.28 11/5/2013 11:00 AM,75 C,ON,2.74 11/6/2013 5:00 PM,70 C,OFF,3.18 11/7/2013 12:00 PM,79 C,OFF,3.53 11/8/2013 5:00 PM,70 C,OFF,4.03 11/13/2013 11:00 PM,68 C,OFF,6.01 11/18/2013 5:00 PM,78 C,OFF,7.69 11/23/2013 11:00 AM,66 C,OFF,9.21 11/26/2013 8:00 PM, 62 C,OFF,10.41
one is Butterfly labs bf0050g 003409 asic miner 56gh. No power supply the second is Unit 1, has 3 cards in it, modem, USB hub. Amt128 I have pics of them posted on tumblr here https://privatehosting.tumblr.com/ I cannot find any guides for these and I've never done this before. I want to set them up to mine altcoins like bitcoin cash or peercoin. I would like to know how to setup to mine with a pool as well as on my own. PLEASE DO NOT WASTE TIME TELLING ME IT'S NOT WORTH IT, I KNOW. I'm trying to learn. The profit is irrelevant.
When I decided to write this guide, I was throwing cryptocurrencies around like they were nothing. I was foolish in the fact that I disregarded the exchange fees that are attached with the services that those exchanges provided. I'm in by no means a cryptocurrency genius, and I'm still not extremely seasoned at it, but I've learned enough about cryptocurrencies in the past month that I feel confident to pass on the knowledge I have learned and to help those who are overwhelmed on where to start. So what exactly is a cryptocurrency? According to technopedia (n.d.) a Cryptocurrency is a type of digital currency that is based on cryptography. Cryptocurrency uses cryptography for security, making it difficult to counterfeit. Public and private keys are often used to transfer the currency from one person to another. When mining cryptocurrencies, one important concept needs to be established, and that's hash rate. Hash rate is simply a unit of measurement of processing power. The more your hash rate is, the more profitable mining becomes. This guide uses specific sites and software, chosen by myself, as a great springboard into the cryptocurrency world. These sites and software are extremely flexible, easy to use, and integrate very well together. The mining pools I've chosen are multiple currency pools, designed to consolidate a major of the cryptocurrencies together, and instead of using several mining pools, you use three. These are the things you'll need to get started: MultiMiner Accounts at Coinotron, The Mining Pool Co., and BitMinter Accounts at Cryptsy and Coinbase There are a few different ways to mine for cryptocurrencies, the common of which are using your Central Processing Unit (CPU), Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), and Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) devices. CPU based mining is not profitable any longer, and will cost you money in the end by increasing electricity costs. GPU based mining is still popular, but losing steam against ASIC based mining. If you choose to use your GPU for mining, AMD/ATI based graphics cards (especially the Radeon HD 79xx series of cards), are the most efficient. If you have an nVidia based graphics card, I'm sorry. You can still mine on nVidia cards, but your hash rates are going to be much slower when compared to their AMD/ATI counterparts. If you chose to use GPU mining, Black Friday or Cyber Monday are you best bets for upgrading your equipment. ASIC based mining is quickly losing value with the changing difficulty on all networks, but it's the most cost effective way to increase your hash rate, and see a positive return on any equipment purchases. If my math is correct, using the methods in this guide, in order for any ASIC device to yield a positive cash flow, you've got to get a device that has at least a 5Gh/s rate (such as the Butterfly Labs Jalapeno). Now for the fun part, explaining how everything in this well greased machine is going to work. Patience plays a big part in the cryptocurrency world, and when I first started, I had none. I was so eager to see the amount of Bitcoin go up, regardless of how much I was getting penalized in fees from trading. So, that's the first step on your journey. PATIENCE. I CANNOT emphasize this enough. Sometimes, you've just got to hurry up and wait, the effects of waiting things out on the cryptocurrency market WILL PAY OFF. Step one of this machine is signing up for all three pools (BitMinter, Coinotron, and Mining Pool Co.). This is so that you can actually get server addresses to plug into MultiMiner, after signing up for these services though, you've still got a ways to go. Step two is sign up for Cryptsy. I chose Cryptsy because of the features they're going to offer at a later time, as well as support for 60 cryptocurrencies (which covers all but one of which we can mine). When your Cryptsy account is setup, you will need to go into the Balances portion of Cryptsy, and find all of the currencies in which you will be mining from the pools. Once Balances are loaded up, you will need to click on the Actions button next to the currency, and click Deposit / Autosell, and then Generate Address. There's a small clipboard near the address it generated, and that will copy the address for pasting in the mining pool websites. You will want to copy, and paste all of them to a text document, along with which currency it belongs to. Not only does this keep you from juggling back and forth trying to figure out things, but it helps for reference and setting up MultiMiner. Once you have those accounts setup, you'll want to sign up for Coinbase. A WORD OF WARNING FOR THOSE WHO ARE PARANOID... Coinbase will want to link to a bank account, this is mandatory if you want to trade your currencies for cash. If you want to trade currencies, just for the sake of trading, then you can skip Coinbase altogether. You can transfer your Bitcoins from Cryptsy straight into Coinbase, and then sell the Bitcoins from Coinbase, and straight into your designated bank account. MultiMiner, oh how amazing you are. For every cryptocurrency available in all pools, you will need to add these coins, along with server addresses, log-ins and passwords. To do so, click on the drop down next to the Settings button, and click Coins. From there, click on Add Coin, and choose each coin from a pool. This will list it in the box to the left, and give you the ability to add information on the right. You can add multiple servers as well, in case the current server you're mining on goes down. After all your coins are setup, you'll need to setup your Strategies. Click the drop down next to Settings, and chose Strategies. Check the Enable Strategies check box, choosing Straight Profitability from the drop down, and checking the Strategy every five minutes (that way you're not losing money by mining something that has dropped in price). This aggressive price checking makes it to where you're always on top with whatever you're mining. Also make sure you have Mine the Single Most Profitable Coin selected. Stick with CoinChoose as your price source (under Settings), as CoinWarz charges for there services beyond a certain point. Click Start, and take a vacation. Reading the charts on Cryptsy can be a little tricky, and scary if you've never saw those types of graphs before. Those graphs are called Candlestick Charts, and are used primarily in the stock market. I won't go in to great detail on this, however, you can find a nice cheat sheet on the subject here. I hope everyone enjoyed the guide, sorry for being punctual and brief, but there isn't anything too elaborate of complicated about searching for cryptocurrencies. I love mining as a hobby, mining's fun, and if there is any money to be made off of mining from my end, great, if not, I had fun mining. While compiling a spreadsheet of the minable currencies in this guide, if everything is set up correctly (and assuming servers aren't down), you should be able to mine the following:
And while Mining Pool Co. offers ASICcoin and Unobtainium, ASICcoin isn't supported in MultiMiner, and Unobtanium isn't supported in Cryptsy. I still mine for Unobtanium in hopes that Cryptsy will include it one day. References Cryptocurrency. (n.d.). In technopedia. Retrieved from http://www.technopedia.com/
My friend wants to start mining bitcoins and has no idea what he is doing...
Is there anything I can tell him about what he should realistically expect to make from doing this? He has this idea that he is going to get a $2,500 miner from butterfly labs and make $9,000 a month mining bitcoins. He is trying to sell everything he owns to begin his mining adventure. I think he is setting himself up for major failure. He should do it if he wants, but, he's kind of an idiot. He can't explain what a bitcoin is or how it will be generated. I am hoping the experienced people of /bitcoin can help me give him a realistic idea what what he can expect. Any stories of your own experience with this would be great. He has no plans on joining a mining pool. He is cocksure that he can do this on his own and make a killing at it. Thank you guys so much.
I've been mining on my 6850 for a few months and I've decided that it's pathetic. I understand that "when ASICs arrive" it will change the entire mining ecosystem, but given the perpetual delays in shipping (at least from Butterfly Labs), I want to build my own GPU powered miner. I have about $4k USD to put into a system (or multiple systems if that's a better idea) and I'd like it to hit at least 3.5 Gigahash/s. So here's my questions: 1) To keep the machine viable as long as possible, it needs to be power efficient. The numbers I've seen on the new 7990 put it at about 1.2 Ghash for 375 watts of consumption (https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Mining_hardware_comparison and http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7990-review-benchmark,3486.html) - 3.2 Mhash/watt. Would I see better efficiency numbers from a different card? 2) I understand that mining does not require the card to be in a full speed PCIe slot to get optimal hashing power. If I use a 7990, is the fact that it is a Dual-GPU card going to require more than a 1x PCIe slot? Or, more specifically, how much bandwidth does hashing require per Mhash/s? The answer to that question leads to the last question - 3) If I build a setup with a backplane for additional PCIe slots, how many slots could I realistically add before Windows 7 Ultimate x64 fails to recognize the devices or otherwise derps out? I'm not against setting up with a Linux based system, I just haven't seen appropriate drivers available on that platform. (Side note - do I NEED Catalyst drivers to run an OpenCL miner?) Any advice or information on suggested builds would be appreciated, and I'll tip helpful people. Thanks!
There was skepticism around Butterfly Labs from the beginning. Like most bitcoin companies, the Missouri-based startup sprang up out of nowhere. In late 2011, there were rumors of a leap in the... Butterfly Labs has shipped its first Bitfofce SC 60 bitcoin miner, as reports a Butterfly Labs forum user Bitcoin Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Bitcoin crypto-currency enthusiasts. It only takes a minute to sign up. Sign up to join this community. Anybody can ask a question Anybody can answer The best answers are voted up and rise to the top Bitcoin . Home ; Questions ; Tags ; Users ; Unanswered ; Jobs; How does one set up and configure a Butterfly Jalapeño for mining? Ask ... The M3 has been in the market since late 2017. It is a product os a Chinese firm known as Pangolin Miner. If you are new to Bitcoin mining, you can check on its manufacturer’s website to get more detailed information in regards to mining. In addition, they provide good tutorial video to guide you on getting set-up. Butterfly Labs has a refund policy for customers who are fed up waiting but, nevertheless, the bitcoin forums are buzzing with irritated buyers. The ASIC business had started promisingly for ...