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Started from the bottom and I finally made it! My tips for new traders starting.

A little background, 23 year old dude from Singapore with IT background (Ethical hacker), friend introduced me to Forex which he eventually quit but I didn't. I love challenges and now I plan on taking up Forex trading as a career apart from my passive income jobs.
When I first started trading, I was frustrated! I had so many unanswered questions, why do I keep getting stopped out? Why are my profits so low? Why was my trades always going opposite only once I opened. Is my broker trading against me? So I paused and walked away from the charts for a few weeks, in that break I took it upon myself to understand more about Forex before opening the charts again and here is what I learned. Mind you, I did not buy any course or Indicators! All I did was read articles on the internet, watch a ton of YouTube videos and tried almost all indicators .

Here we go, my tips. These are based on my views
  1. UNDERSTAND BANKS AND BIG FINANCIALS INSTITUTIONS MOVES THE MARKET - No retail traders will be able to move the market like how the Big Banks move the market. You need to understand how banks move smart money and dumb money.(Will explain more later in the post)
  2. STOP SEARCHING FOR THE HOLY GRAIL - No indicators is going to tell you where is the best entry or best exit. They often lag and are behind time so by the time you enter a trade, the trend has already moved a certain percentage causing you to lose precious pips that you could have gotten as profits. Instead look at the charts to search for "low risk, high probability trades" (Will explain more later in the post)
  3. LOOK OUT FOR NEWS (fundamentals) - Big impact news move the markets with big moves, don't get stopped out because you entered at the wrong time without knowing that there is a high impact news in a few minutes/hours. It might hurt your account badly even through you have a stop-loss. Understand the nature of the news and how it will impact the currency.
  4. DO NOT CHASE PROFITS - Chasing profits will be the number one reason you blow your account because no amount of money will satisfy you, you will always want more. Trust me, I've been there and done that . Instead start looking at percentage earned and loss, because in Forex you need money to make money. Lets say you have a target of 5% a month, with a $1000 account that is only $50 and doesn't seem significant but do that with a $100,000 account and you will get $5000 every month. I think you will get it by now. You can't just open a $1000 account and expect to be a millionaire in 1 month. Greed will take over you and you will blow every account you open.
  5. DO NOT OVER LEVERAGE YOU ACCOUNT - By over leveraging you will be able to open larger lot sizes and you will feel good that you can use less money to earn more profit! Then you will start trading, say you profited your first trade and you feel good about yourself. Profited your second trade and feel even better. So you go bigger in the third trade, and guess what? You lost this trade. And this one loss is enough to wipe out your whole $1000 account.
  6. MORE TRADES DOES NOT GIVE YOU MORE PROFITS - As a trader you should understand not every trade will turn out positive, there will always be negative trades. And at times you can have more negative trade than positive but still end up with profits at the end of the week? This is where quality over quantity trades comes in play. Lets say for example you had 4 losing trades and 2 winning trades, your losing trades are 2% each and your winning trades are 8% each, add them up and you will still have 8% profit. This is also a very important part called risk management. YOU MUST UNDERSTAND RISK MANAGEMENT ELSE YOU WILL ALWAYS FAIL IN FOREX.
  7. NEVER CHASE THE MARKET - Markets move 24/7 from Monday 5 AM to Saturday 5 AM (Singapore time, GMT+8). There will be plenty of opportunity to enter the market. You don't always need to have an open position during this time to feel like a trader. Smart traders look for the best opportunity to enter the market at certain levels. Missed an opportunity, don't worry! There will always be another opportunity, trust me! By chasing the market and always trying to open a position, it will only cause you to blow out your account faster.
  8. PATIENCE PATIENCE PATIENCE - I can't place more emphasis on this point. Once you have analysed the market and placed your trade, be patient and let the market work for you. By you sitting at the screen 24/7, the trade is not going to go by your way magically. Remember Bulls will Profit, Bears will profit, only Pigs will get slaughtered! Don't let greed eat you alive.

Now lets talk about the "low risk, high probability" trades and how I trade. Trading is easy, if you take some time to understand it.

How I trade? That's a simple question. I use supply and demand together with fundamentals. I keep my charts clean off indicators. I know I know as soon as I say supply and demand, some of you are going to be like supply and demand doesn't exist in the currency market. But I hope you understand this are my views.
Supply and Demand
Supply and demand levels are zones that tend to be tested again and again till its broken creating another level for supply and demand. You are basically trading against the trend and I know people will be scared and think I'm dumb for saying. But once I learned this theory and started practicing it, I kicked myself in the bum for being so dumb all this while. This zones are also known for when banks throw large amount of money into the market. Bank traders do not have their screen cluttered with tons of indicators like retail trades who is just in search for the holy grail. They practice supply and demand. Let me put it in a easier context, It is basically buying a currency at wholesale and selling it at a retail price. People always practice this everyday in life like buying more of a certain item just because it is on discount at a supermarket but I don't understand why they neglect it when it comes to Forex. It is no different here in the markets. I am not going to say no more, as I want you to google more about it and understand it yourself, that is the best way you will learn better. Watch YouTube videos, read articles, see how bankers trade, understand why they place the trade.
Also understand that there is no supply and demand in lower time frame like M1 or M5, its just noise. For myself, I use H1/H4/D1.
I make 100-200 pips per week and that is enough for me currently, Remember don't be greedy.
However when there is news events, supply and demand may be ignored due to the nature of how fundamentals affect the market differently. Understand the difference and with that I have came to the end.
Remember to treat yourself once in awhile when you do good each month, You will enjoy trading better. Let me tell you the best part about trading, is that you can work from anywhere in the world, be your own boss and never be pressured by anyone.
If you have made it this far, I thank you for taking your time to read this thread. This may be your first step to success.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND AND HAPPY TRADING

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Which are your Top 5 favourite coins out of the Top 100? An analysis.

I am putting together my investment portfolio for 2018 and made a complete summary of the current Top 100. Interestingly, I noticed that all coins can be categorized into 12 markets. Which markets do you think will play the biggest role in the coming year?
Here is a complete overview of all coins in an excel sheet including name, market, TPS, risk profile, time since launch (negative numbers mean that they are launching that many months in the future) and market cap. You can also sort by all of these fields of course. Coins written in bold are the strongest contenders within their market either due to having the best technology or having a small market cap and still excellent technology and potential. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1s8PHcNvvjuy848q18py_CGcu8elRGQAUIf86EYh4QZo/edit#gid=0
The 12 markets are
  1. Currency 13 coins
  2. Platform 25 coins
  3. Ecosystem 9 coins
  4. Privacy 10 coins
  5. Currency Exchange Tool 8 coins
  6. Gaming & Gambling 5 coins
  7. Misc 15 coins
  8. Social Network 4 coins
  9. Fee Token 3 coins
  10. Decentralized Data Storage 4 coins
  11. Cloud Computing 3 coins
  12. Stable Coin 2 coins
Before we look at the individual markets, we need to take a look of the overall market and its biggest issue scalability first:
Cryptocurrencies aim to be a decentralized currency that can be used worldwide. Its goal is to replace dollar, Euro, Yen, all FIAT currencies worldwide. The coin that will achieve that will be worth several trillion dollars.
Bitcoin can only process 7 transactions per second (TPS). In order to replace all FIAT, it would need to perform at at least VISA levels, which usually processes around 3,000 TPS, up to 25,000 TPS during peak times and a maximum of 64,000 TPS. That means that this cryptocurrency would need to be able to perform at least several thousand TPS. However, a ground breaking technology should not look at current technology to set a goal for its use, i.e. estimating the number of emails sent in 1990 based on the number of faxes sent wasn’t a good estimate.
For that reason, 10,000 TPS is the absolute baseline for a cryptocurrency that wants to replace FIAT. This brings me to IOTA, which wants to connect all 80 billion IoT devices that are expected to exist by 2025, which constantly communicate with each other, creating 80 billion or more transactions per second. This is the benchmark that cryptocurrencies should be aiming for. Currently, 8 billion devices are connected to the Internet.
With its Lightning network recently launched, Bitcoin is realistically looking at 50,000 possible soon. Other notable cryptocurrencies besides IOTA and Bitcoin are Nano with 7,000 TPS already tested, Dash with several billion TPS possible with Masternodes, Neo, LISK and RHOC with 100,000 TPS by 2020, Ripple with 50,000 TPS, Ethereum with 10,000 with Sharding.
However, it needs to be said that scalability usually goes at the cost of decentralization and security. So, it needs to be seen, which of these technologies can prove itself resilient and performant.
Without further ado, here are the coins of the first market

Market 1 - Currency:

  1. Bitcoin: 1st generation blockchain with currently bad scalability currently, though the implementation of the Lightning Network looks promising and could alleviate most scalability concerns, scalability and high energy use.
  2. Ripple: Centralized currency that might become very successful due to tight involvement with banks and cross-border payments for financial institutions; banks and companies like Western Union and Moneygram (who they are currently working with) as customers customers. However, it seems they are aiming for more decentralization now.https://ripple.com/dev-blog/decentralization-strategy-update/. Has high TPS due to Proof of Correctness algorithm.
  3. Bitcoin Cash: Bitcoin fork with the difference of having an 8 times bigger block size, making it 8 times more scalable than Bitcoin currently. Further block size increases are planned. Only significant difference is bigger block size while big blocks lead to further problems that don't seem to do well beyond a few thousand TPS. Opponents to a block size argue that increasing the block size limit is unimaginative, offers only temporary relief, and damages decentralization by increasing costs of participation. In order to preserve decentralization, system requirements to participate should be kept low. To understand this, consider an extreme example: very big blocks (1GB+) would require data center level resources to validate the blockchain. This would preclude all but the wealthiest individuals from participating.Community seems more open than Bitcoin's though.
  4. Litecoin : Little brother of Bitcoin. Bitcoin fork with different mining algorithm but not much else.Copies everything that Bitcoin does pretty much. Lack of real innovation.
  5. Dash: Dash (Digital Cash) is a fork of Bitcoin and focuses on user ease. It has very fast transactions within seconds, low fees and uses Proof of Service from Masternodes for consensus. They are currently building a system called Evolution which will allow users to send money using usernames and merchants will find it easy to integrate Dash using the API. You could say Dash is trying to be a PayPal of cryptocurrencies. Currently, cryptocurrencies must choose between decentralization, speed, scalability and can pick only 2. With Masternodes, Dash picked speed and scalability at some cost of decentralization, since with Masternodes the voting power is shifted towards Masternodes, which are run by Dash users who own the most Dash.
  6. IOTA: 3rd generation blockchain called Tangle, which has a high scalability, no fees and instant transactions. IOTA aims to be the connective layer between all 80 billion IOT devices that are expected to be connected to the Internet in 2025, possibly creating 80 billion transactions per second or 800 billion TPS, who knows. However, it needs to be seen if the Tangle can keep up with this scalability and iron out its security issues that have not yet been completely resolved.
  7. Nano: 3rd generation blockchain called Block Lattice with high scalability, no fees and instant transactions. Unlike IOTA, Nano only wants to be a payment processor and nothing else, for now at least. With Nano, every user has their own blockchain and has to perform a small amount of computing for each transaction, which makes Nano perform at 300 TPS with no problems and 7,000 TPS have also been tested successfully. Very promising 3rd gen technology and strong focus on only being the fastest currency without trying to be everything.
  8. Decred: As mining operations have grown, Bitcoin’s decision-making process has become more centralized, with the largest mining companies holding large amounts of power over the Bitcoin improvement process. Decred focuses heavily on decentralization with their PoW Pos hybrid governance system to become what Bitcoin was set out to be. They will soon implement the Lightning Network to scale up. While there do not seem to be more differences to Bitcoin besides the novel hybrid consensus algorithm, which Ethereum, Aeternity and Bitcoin Atom are also implementing, the welcoming and positive Decred community and professoinal team add another level of potential to the coin.
  9. Aeternity: We’ve seen recently, that it’s difficult to scale the execution of smart contracts on the blockchain. Crypto Kitties is a great example. Something as simple as creating and trading unique assets on Ethereum bogged the network down when transaction volume soared. Ethereum and Zilliqa address this problem with Sharding. Aeternity focuses on increasing the scalability of smart contracts and dapps by moving smart contracts off-chain. Instead of running on the blockchain, smart contracts on Aeternity run in private state channels between the parties involved in the contracts. State channels are lines of communication between parties in a smart contract. They don’t touch the blockchain unless they need to for adjudication or transfer of value. Because they’re off-chain, state channel contracts can operate much more efficiently. They don’t need to pay the network for every time they compute and can also operate with greater privacy. An important aspect of smart contract and dapp development is access to outside data sources. This could mean checking the weather in London, score of a football game, or price of gold. Oracles provide access to data hosted outside the blockchain. In many blockchain projects, oracles represent a security risk and potential point of failure, since they tend to be singular, centralized data streams. Aeternity proposes decentralizing oracles with their oracle machine. Doing so would make outside data immutable and unchangeable once it reaches Aeternity’s blockchain. Of course, the data source could still be hacked, so Aeternity implements a prediction market where users can bet on the accuracy and honesty of incoming data from various oracles.It also uses prediction markets for various voting and verification purposes within the platform. Aeternity’s network runs on on a hybrid of proof of work and proof of stake. Founded by a long-time crypto-enthusiast and early colleague of Vitalik Buterin, Yanislav Malahov. Promising concept though not product yet
  10. Bitcoin Atom: Atomic Swaps and hybrid consenus. This looks like the only Bitcoin clone that actually is looking to innovate next to Bitcoin Cash.
  11. Dogecoin: Litecoin fork, fantastic community, though lagging behind a bit in technology.
  12. Bitcoin Gold: A bit better security than bitcoin through ASIC resistant algorithm, but that's it. Not that interesting.
  13. Digibyte: Digibyte's PoS blockchain is spread over a 100,000+ servers, phones, computers, and nodes across the globe, aiming for the ultimate level of decentralization. DigiByte rebalances the load between the five mining algorithms by adjusting the difficulty of each so one algorithm doesn’t become dominant. The algorithm's asymmetric difficulty has gained notoriety and been deployed in many other blockchains.DigiByte’s adoption over the past four years has been slow. It’s still a relatively obscure currency compared its competitors. The DigiByte website offers a lot of great marketing copy and buzzwords. However, there’s not much technical information about what they have planned for the future. You could say Digibyte is like Bitcoin, but with shorter blocktimes and a multi-algorithm. However, that's not really a difference big enough to truly set themselves apart from Bitcoin, since these technologies could be implemented by any blockchain without much difficulty. Their decentralization is probably their strongest asset, however, this also change quickly if the currency takes off and big miners decide to go into Digibyte.
  14. Bitcoin Diamond Asic resistant Bitcoin and Copycat

Market 2 - Platform

Most of the cryptos here have smart contracts and allow dapps (Decentralized apps) to be build on their platform and to use their token as an exchange of value between dapp services.
  1. Ethereum: 2nd generation blockchain that allows the use of smart contracts. Bad scalability currently, though this concern could be alleviated by the soon to be implemented Lightning Network aka Plasma and its Sharding concept.
  2. EOS: Promising technology that wants to be able do everything, from smart contracts like Ethereum, scalability similar to Nano with 1000 tx/second + near instant transactions and zero fees, to also wanting to be a platform for dapps. However, EOS doesn't have a product yet and everything is just promises still. Highly overvalued right now. However, there are lots of red flags, have dumped $500 million Ether over the last 2 months and possibly bought back EOS to increase the size of their ICO, which has been going on for over a year and has raised several billion dollars. All in all, their market cap is way too high for that and not even having a product.
  3. Cardano: Similar to Ethereum/EOS, however, only promises made with no delivery yet, highly overrated right now. Interesting concept though. Market cap way too high for not even having a product. Somewhat promising technology.
  4. VeChain: Singapore-based project that’s building a business enterprise platform and inventory tracking system. Examples are verifying genuine luxury goods and food supply chains. Has one of the strongest communities in the crypto world. Most hyped token of all, with merit though.
  5. Neo: Neo is a platform, similar to Eth, but more extensive, allowing dapps and smart contracts, but with a different smart contract gas system, consensus mechanism (PoS vs. dBfT), governance model, fixed vs unfixed supply, expensive contracts vs nearly free contracts, different ideologies for real world adoption. There are currently only 9 nodes, each of which are being run by a company/entity hand selected by the NEO council (most of which are located in china) and are under contract. This means that although the locations of the nodes may differ, ultimately the neo council can bring them down due to their legal contracts. In fact this has been done in the past when the neo council was moving 50 million neo that had been locked up. Also dbft (or neo's implmentation of it) has failed underload causing network outages during major icos. The first step in decentralization is that the NEO Counsel will select trusted nodes (Universities, business partners, etc.) and slowly become less centralized that way. The final step in decentralization will be allowing NEO holders to vote for new nodes, similar to a DPoS system (ARK/EOS/LISK). NEO has a regulation/government friendly ideology. Finally they are trying to work undewith the Chinese government in regards to regulations. If for some reason they wanted it shut down, they could just shut it down.
  6. Stellar: PoS system, similar goals as Ripple, but more of a platform than only a currency. 80% of Stellar are owned by Stellar.org still, making the currency centralized.
  7. Ethereum classic: Original Ethereum that decided not to fork after a hack. The Ethereum that we know is its fork. Uninteresing, because it has a lot of less resources than Ethereum now and a lot less community support.
  8. Ziliqa: Zilliqa is building a new way of sharding. 2400 tpx already tested, 10,000 tps soon possible by being linearly scalable with the number of nodes. That means, the more nodes, the faster the network gets. They are looking at implementing privacy as well.
  9. QTUM: Enables Smart contracts on the Bitcoin blockchain. Useful.
  10. Icon: Korean ethereum. Decentralized application platform that's building communities in partnership with banks, insurance providers, hospitals, and universities. Focused on ID verification and payments. No big differentiators to the other 20 Ethereums, except that is has a product. That is a plus. Maybe cheap alternative to Ethereum.
  11. LISK: Lisk's difference to other BaaS is that side chains are independent to the main chain and have to have their own nodes. Similar to neo whole allows dapps to deploy their blockchain to. However, Lisk is currently somewhat centralized with a small group of members owning more than 50% of the delegated positions. Lisk plans to change the consensus algorithm for that reason in the near future.
  12. Rchain: Similar to Ethereum with smart contract, though much more scalable at an expected 40,000 TPS and possible 100,000 TPS. Not launched yet. No product launched yet, though promising technology. Not overvalued, probably at the right price right now.
  13. ARDR: Similar to Lisk. Ardor is a public blockchain platform that will allow people to utilize the blockchain technology of Nxt through the use of child chains. A child chain, which is a ‘light’ blockchain that can be customized to a certain extent, is designed to allow easy self-deploy for your own blockchain. Nxt claims that users will "not need to worry" about security, as that part is now handled by the main chain (Ardor). This is the chief innovation of Ardor. Ardor was evolved from NXT by the same company. NEM started as a NXT clone.
  14. Ontology: Similar to Neo. Interesting coin
  15. Bytom: Bytom is an interactive protocol of multiple byte assets. Heterogeneous byte-assets (indigenous digital currency, digital assets) that operate in different forms on the Bytom Blockchain and atomic assets (warrants, securities, dividends, bonds, intelligence information, forecasting information and other information that exist in the physical world) can be registered, exchanged, gambled and engaged in other more complicated and contract-based interoperations via Bytom.
  16. Nxt: Similar to Lisk
  17. Stratis: Different to LISK, Stratis will allow businesses and organizations to create their own blockchain according to their own needs, but secured on the parent Stratis chain. Stratis’s simple interface will allow organizations to quickly and easily deploy and/or test blockchain functionality of the Ethereum, BitShares, BitCoin, Lisk and Stratis environements.
  18. Status: Status provides access to all of Ethereum’s decentralized applications (dapps) through an app on your smartphone. It opens the door to mass adoption of Ethereum dapps by targeting the fastest growing computer segment in the world – smartphone users.16. Ark: Fork of Lisk that focuses on a smaller feature set. Ark wallets can only vote for one delegate at a time which forces delegates to compete against each other and makes cartel formations incredibly hard, if not impossible.
  19. Neblio: Similar to Neo, but 30x smaller market cap.
  20. NEM: Is similar to Neo No marketing team, very high market cap for little clarilty what they do.
  21. Bancor: Bancor is a Decentralized Liquidity Network that allows you to hold any Ethereum token and convert it to any other token in the network, with no counter party, at an automatically calculated price, using a simple web wallet.
  22. Dragonchain: The Purpose of DragonChain is to help companies quickly and easily incorporate blockchain into their business applications. Many companies might be interested in making this transition because of the benefits associated with serving clients over a blockchain – increased efficiency and security for transactions, a reduction of costs from eliminating potential fraud and scams, etc.
  23. Skycoin: Transactions with zero fees that take apparently two seconds, unlimited transaction rate, no need for miners and block rewards, low power usage, all of the usual cryptocurrency technical vulnerabilities fixed, a consensus mechanism superior to anything that exists, resistant to all conceivable threats (government censorship, community infighting, cybenucleaconventional warfare, etc). Skycoin has their own consensus algorithm known as Obelisk written and published academically by an early developer of Ethereum. Obelisk is a non-energy intensive consensus algorithm based on a concept called ‘web of trust dynamics’ which is completely different to PoW, PoS, and their derivatives. Skywire, the flagship application of Skycoin, has the ambitious goal of decentralizing the internet at the hardware level and is about to begin the testnet in April. However, this is just one of the many facets of the Skycoin ecosystem. Skywire will not only provide decentralized bandwidth but also storage and computation, completing the holy trinity of commodities essential for the new internet. Skycion a smear campaign launched against it, though they seem legit and reliable. Thus, they are probably undervalued.

Market 3 - Ecosystem

The 3rd market with 11 coins is comprised of ecosystem coins, which aim to strengthen the ease of use within the crypto space through decentralized exchanges, open standards for apps and more
  1. Nebulas: Similar to how Google indexes webpages Nebulas will index blockchain projects, smart contracts & data using the Nebulas rank algorithm that sifts & sorts the data. Developers rewarded NAS to develop & deploy on NAS chain. Nebulas calls this developer incentive protocol – basically rewards are issued based on how often dapp/contract etc. is used, the more the better the rewards and Proof of devotion. Works like DPoS except the best, most economically incentivised developers (Bookkeeppers) get the forging spots. Ensuring brains stay with the project (Cross between PoI & PoS). 2,400 TPS+, DAG used to solve the inter-transaction dependencies in the PEE (Parallel Execution Environment) feature, first crypto Wallet that supports the Lightening Network.
  2. Waves: Decentralized exchange and crowdfunding platform. Let’s companies and projects to issue and manage their own digital coin tokens to raise money.
  3. Salt: Leveraging blockchain assets to secure cash loands. Plans to offer cash loans in traditional currencies, backed by your cryptocurrency assets. Allows lenders worldwide to skip credit checks for easier access to affordable loans.
  4. CHAINLINK: ChainLink is a decentralized oracle service, the first of its kind. Oracles are defined as an ‘agent’ that finds and verifies real-world occurrences and submits this information to a blockchain to be used in smart contracts.With ChainLink, smart contract users can use the network’s oracles to retrieve data from off-chain application program interfaces (APIs), data pools, and other resources and integrate them into the blockchain and smart contracts. Basically, ChainLink takes information that is external to blockchain applications and puts it on-chain. The difference to Aeternity is that Chainlink deploys the smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain while Aeternity has its own chain.
  5. WTC: Combines blockchain with IoT to create a management system for supply chains Interesting
  6. Ethos unifyies all cryptos. Ethos is building a multi-cryptocurrency phone wallet. The team is also building an investment diversification tool and a social network
  7. Aion: Aion is the token that pays for services on the Aeternity platform.
  8. USDT: is no cryptocurrency really, but a replacement for dollar for trading After months of asking for proof of dollar backing, still no response from Tether.

Market 4 - Privacy

The 4th market are privacy coins. As you might know, Bitcoin is not anonymous. If the IRS or any other party asks an exchange who is the identity behind a specific Bitcoin address, they know who you are and can track back almost all of the Bitcoin transactions you have ever made and all your account balances. Privacy coins aim to prevent exactly that through address fungability, which changes addresses constantly, IP obfuscation and more. There are 2 types of privacy coins, one with completely privacy and one with optional privacy. Optional Privacy coins like Dash and Nav have the advantage of more user friendliness over completely privacy coins such as Monero and Enigma.
  1. Monero: Currently most popular privacy coin, though with a very high market cap. Since their privacy is all on chain, all prior transactions would be deanonymized if their protocol is ever cracked. This requires a quantum computing attack though. PIVX is better in that regard.
  2. Zcash: A decentralized and open-source cryptocurrency that hide the sender, recipient, and value of transactions. Offers users the option to make transactions public later for auditing. Decent privacy coin, though no default privacy
  3. Verge: Calls itself privacy coin without providing private transactions, multiple problems over the last weeks has a toxic community, and way too much hype for what they have.
  4. Bytecoin: First privacy-focused cryptocurrency with anonymous transactions. Bytecoin’s code was later adapted to create Monero, the more well-known anonymous cryptocurrency. Has several scam accusations, 80% pre-mine, bad devs, bad tech
  5. Bitcoin Private: A merge fork of Bitcoin and Zclassic with Zclassic being a fork of Zcash with the difference of a lack of a founders fee required to mine a valid block. This promotes a fair distribution, preventing centralized coin ownership and control. Bitcoin private offers the optional ability to keep the sender, receiver, and amount private in a given transaction. However, this is already offered by several good privacy coins (Monero, PIVX) and Bitcoin private doesn't offer much more beyond this.
  6. Komodo: The Komodo blockchain platform uses Komodo’s open-source cryptocurrency for doing transparent, anonymous, private, and fungible transactions. They are then made ultra-secure using Bitcoin’s blockchain via a Delayed Proof of Work (dPoW) protocol and decentralized crowdfunding (ICO) platform to remove middlemen from project funding. Offers services for startups to create and manage their own Blockchains.
  7. PIVX: As a fork of Dash, PIVX uses an advanced implementation of the Zerocoin protocol to provide it’s privacy. This is a form of zeroknowledge proofs, which allow users to spend ‘Zerocoins’ that have no link back to them. Unlike Zcash u have denominations in PIVX, so they can’t track users by their payment amount being equal to the amount of ‘minted’ coins, because everyone uses the same denominations. PIVX is also implementing Bulletproofs, just like Monero, and this will take care of arguably the biggest weakness of zeroknowledge protocols: the trusted setup.
  8. Zcoin: PoW cryptocurrency. Private financial transactions, enabled by the Zerocoin Protocol. Zcoin is the first full implementation of the Zerocoin Protocol, which allows users to have complete privacy via Zero-Knowledge cryptographic proofs.
  9. Enigma: Monero is to Bitcoin what enigma is to Ethereum. Enigma is for making the data used in smart contracts private. More of a platform for dapps than a currency like Monero. Very promising.
  10. Navcoin: Like bitcoin but with added privacy and pos and 1,170 tps, but only because of very short 30 second block times. Though, privacy is optional, but aims to be more user friendly than Monero. However, doesn't really decide if it wants to be a privacy coin or not. Same as Zcash.Strong technology, non-shady team.
  11. Tenx: Raised 80 million, offers cryptocurrency-linked credit cards that let you spend virtual money in real life. Developing a series of payment platforms to make spending cryptocurrency easier. However, the question is if full privacy coins will be hindered in growth through government regulations and optional privacy coins will become more successful through ease of use and no regulatory hindrance.

Market 5 - Currency Exchange Tool

Due to the sheer number of different cryptocurrencies, exchanging one currency for the other it still cumbersome. Further, merchants don’t want to deal with overcluttered options of accepting cryptocurrencies. This is where exchange tool like Req come in, which allow easy and simple exchange of currencies.
  1. Cryptonex: Fiat and currency exchange between various blockchain services, similar to REQ.
  2. QASH: Qash is used to fuel its liquid platform which will be an exchange that will distribute their liquidity pool. Its product, the Worldbook is a multi-exchange order book that matches crypto to crypto, and crypto to fiat and the reverse across all currencies. E.g., someone is selling Bitcoin is USD on exchange1 not owned by Quoine and someone is buying Bitcoin in EURO on exchange 2 not owned by Quoine. If the forex conversions and crypto conversions match then the trade will go through and the Worldbook will match it, it'll make the sale and the purchase on either exchange and each user will get what they wanted, which means exchanges with lower liquidity if they join the Worldbook will be able to fill orders and take trade fees they otherwise would miss out on.They turned it on to test it a few months ago for an hour or so and their exchange was the top exchange in the world by 4x volume for the day because all Worldbook trades ran through it. Binance wants BNB to be used on their one exchange. Qash wants their QASH token embedded in all of their partners. More info here https://www.reddit.com/CryptoCurrency/comments/8a8lnwhich_are_your_top_5_favourite_coins_out_of_the/dwyjcbb/?context=3
  3. Kyber: network Exchange between cryptocurrencies, similar to REQ. Features automatic coin conversions for payments. Also offers payment tools for developers and a cryptocurrency wallet.
  4. Achain: Building a boundless blockchain world like Req .
  5. Req: Exchange between cryptocurrencies.
  6. Bitshares: Exchange between cryptocurrencies. Noteworthy are the 1.5 second average block times and throughput potential of 100,000 transactions per second with currently 2,400 TPS having been proven. However, bitshares had several Scam accusations in the past.
  7. Loopring: A protocol that will enable higher liquidity between exchanges and personal wallets.
  8. ZRX: Open standard for dapps. Open, permissionless protocol allowing for ERC20 tokens to be traded on the Ethereum blockchain. In 0x protocol, orders are transported off-chain, massively reducing gas costs and eliminating blockchain bloat. Relayers help broadcast orders and collect a fee each time they facilitate a trade. Anyone can build a relayer.

Market 6 - Gaming

With an industry size of $108B worldwide, Gaming is one of the largest markets in the world. For sure, cryptocurrencies will want to have a share of that pie.
  1. Storm: Mobile game currency on a platform with 9 million players.
  2. Fun: A platform for casino operators to host trustless, provably-fair gambling through the use of smart contracts, as well as creating their own implementation of state channels for scalability.
  3. Electroneum: Mobile game currency They have lots of technical problems, such as several 51% attacks
  4. Wax: Marketplace to trade in-game items

Market 7 - Misc

There are various markets being tapped right now. They are all summed up under misc.
  1. OMG: Omise is designed to enable financial services for people without bank accounts. It works worldwide and with both traditional money and cryptocurrencies.
  2. Power ledger: Australian blockchain-based cryptocurrency and energy trading platform that allows for decentralized selling and buying of renewable energy. Unique market and rather untapped market in the crypto space.
  3. Populous: A platform that connects business owners and invoice buyers without middlemen. Invoice sellers get cash flow to fund their business and invoice buyers earn interest. Similar to OMG, small market.
  4. Monacoin: The first Japanese cryptocurrency. Focused on micro-transactions and based on a popular internet meme of a type-written cat. This makes it similar to Dogecoin. Very niche, tiny market.
  5. Revain: Legitimizing reviews via the blockchain. Interesting concept, though market not as big.
  6. Augur: Platform to forecast and make wagers on the outcome of real-world events (AKA decentralized predictions). Uses predictions for a “wisdom of the crowd” search engine. Not launched yet.
  7. Substratum: Revolutionzing hosting industry via per request billing as a decentralized internet hosting system. Uses a global network of private computers to create the free and open internet of the future. Participants earn cryptocurrency. Interesting concept.
  8. Veritaseum: Is supposed to be a peer to peer gateway, though it looks like very much like a scam.
  9. TRON: Tronix is looking to capitalize on ownership of internet data to content creators. However, they plagiarized their white paper, which is a no go. They apologized, so it needs to be seen how they will conduct themselves in the future. Extremely high market cap for not having a product, nor proof of concept.
  10. Syscoin: A cryptocurrency with a decentralized marketplace that lets people buy and sell products directly without third parties. Trying to remove middlemen like eBay and Amazon.
  11. Hshare: Most likely scam because of no code changes, most likely pump and dump scheme, dead community.
  12. BAT: An Ethereum-based token that can be exchanged between content creators, users, and advertisers. Decentralized ad-network that pays based on engagement and attention.
  13. Dent: Decentralizeed exchange of mobile data, enabling mobile data to be marketed, purchased or distributed, so that users can quickly buy or sell data from any user to another one.
  14. Ncash: End to end encrypted Identification system for retailers to better serve their customers .
  15. Factom Secure record-keeping system that allows companies to store their data directly on the Blockchain. The goal is to make records more transparent and trustworthy .

Market 8 - Social network

Web 2.0 is still going strong and Web 3.0 is not going to ignore it. There are several gaming tokens already out there and a few with decent traction already, such as Steem, which is Reddit with voting through money is a very interesting one.
  1. Mithril: As users create content via social media, they will be rewarded for their contribution, the better the contribution, the more they will earn
  2. Steem: Like Reddit, but voting with money. Already launched product and Alexa rank 1,000 Thumbs up.
  3. Rdd: Reddcoin makes the process of sending and receiving money fun and rewarding for everyone. Reddcoin is dedicated to one thing – tipping on social networks as a way to bring cryptocurrency awareness and experience to the general public.
  4. Kin: Token for the platform Kik. Kik has a massive user base of 400 million people. Replacing paying with FIAT with paying with KIN might get this token to mass adoption very quickly.

Market 9 - Fee token

Popular exchanges realized that they can make a few billion dollars more by launching their own token. Owning these tokens gives you a reduction of trading fees. Very handy and BNB (Binance Coin) has been one of the most resilient tokens, which have withstood most market drops over the last weeks and was among the very few coins that could show growth.
  1. BNB: Fee token for Binance
  2. Gas: Not a Fee token for an exchange, but it is a dividend paid out on Neo and a currency that can be used to purchase services for dapps.
  3. Kucoin: Fee token for Kucoin

Market 10 - Decentralized Data Storage

Currently, data storage happens with large companies or data centers that are prone to failure or losing data. Decentralized data storage makes loss of data almost impossible by distributing your files to numerous clients that hold tiny pieces of your data. Remember Torrents? Torrents use a peer-to-peer network. It is similar to that. Many users maintain copies of the same file, when someone wants a copy of that file, they send a request to the peer-to-peer network., users who have the file, known as seeds, send fragments of the file to the requester., he requester receives many fragments from many different seeds, and the torrent software recompiles these fragments to form the original file.
  1. Gbyte: Byteball data is stored and ordered using directed acyclic graph (DAG) rather than blockchain. This allows all users to secure each other's data by referencing earlier data units created by other users, and also removes scalability limits common for blockchains, such as blocksize issue.
  2. Siacoin: Siacoin is decentralized storage platform. Distributes encrypted files to thousands of private users who get paid for renting out their disk space. Anybody with siacoins can rent storage from hosts on Sia. This is accomplish via "smart" storage contracts stored on the Sia blockchain. The smart contract provides a payment to the host only after the host has kept the file for a given amount of time. If the host loses the file, the host does not get paid.
  3. Maidsafecoin: MaidSafe stands for Massive Array of Internet Disks, Secure Access for Everyone.Instead of working with data centers and servers that are common today and are vulnerable to data theft and monitoring, SAFE’s network uses advanced P2P technology to bring together the spare computing capacity of all SAFE users and create a global network. You can think of SAFE as a crowd-sourced internet. All data and applications reside in this network. It’s an autonomous network that automatically sets prices and distributes data and rents out hard drive disk space with a Blockchain-based storage solutions.When you upload a file to the network, such as a photo, it will be broken into pieces, hashed, and encrypted. The data is then randomly distributed across the network. Redundant copies of the data are created as well so that if someone storing your file turns off their computer, you will still have access to your data. And don’t worry, even with pieces of your data on other people’s computers, they won’t be able to read them. You can earn MadeSafeCoins by participating in storing data pieces from the network on your computer and thus earning a Proof of Resource.
  4. Storj: Storj aims to become a cloud storage platform that can’t be censored or monitored, or have downtime. Your files are encrypted, shredded into little pieces called 'shards', and stored in a decentralized network of computers around the globe. No one but you has a complete copy of your file, not even in an encrypted form.

Market 11 - Cloud computing

Obviously, renting computing power, one of the biggest emerging markets as of recent years, e.g. AWS and Digital Ocean, is also a service, which can be bought and managed via the blockchain.
  1. Golem: Allows easy use of Supercomputer in exchange for tokens. People worldwide can rent out their computers to the network and get paid for that service with Golem tokens.
  2. Elf: Allows easy use of Cloud computing in exchange for tokens.

Market 12 - Stablecoin

Last but not least, there are 2 stablecoins that have established themselves within the market. A stable coin is a coin that wants to be independent of the volatility of the crypto markets. This has worked out pretty well for Maker and DGD, accomplished through a carefully diversified currency fund and backing each token by 1g or real gold respectively. DO NOT CONFUSE DGD AND MAKER with their STABLE COINS DGX and DAI. DGD and MAKER are volatile, because they are the companies of DGX and DAI. DGX and DAI are the stable coins.
  1. DGD: Platform of the Stablecoin DGX. Every DGX coin is backed by 1g of gold and make use proof of asset consensus.
  2. Maker: Platform of the Stablecoin DAI that doesn't vary much in price through widespread and smart diversification of assets.
EDIT: Added a risk factor from 0 to 10. The baseline is 2 for any crypto. Significant scandals, mishaps, shady practices, questionable technology, increase the risk factor. Not having a product yet automatically means a risk factor of 6. Strong adoption and thus strong scrutiny or positive community lower the risk factor.
EDIT2: Added a subjective potential factor from 0 to 10, where its overall potential and a small or big market cap is factored in. Bitcoin with lots of potential only gets a 9, because of its massive market cap, because if Bitcoin goes 10x, smaller coins go 100x, PIVX gets a 10 for being as good as Monero while carrying a 10x smaller market cap, which would make PIVX go 100x if Monero goes 10x.
submitted by galan77 to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Wall Street Week Ahead for the trading week beginning July 22nd, 2019

Good morning and happy Saturday to all of you here on wallstreetbets. I hope everyone on this subreddit made out pretty nicely in the market this past week, and is ready for the new trading week ahead.
Here is everything you need to know to get you ready for the trading week beginning July 22nd, 2019.

Week ahead: Earnings, GDP expected to show sluggish growth as investors await rate cut - (Source)

Sluggish economic and earnings growth will be a theme in markets in the week ahead, as investors await a Fed interest rate cut at the end of the month.
More than a quarter of the S&P 500 companies report earnings in the coming week, the second big week of the second quarter reporting season. FAANG names, like Alphabet and Amazon, and blue chips from McDonald’s to Boeingand United Technologies are among the more than 130 companies reporting.
There is also some key economic data, including Friday’s second quarter GDP, which should show a slowing to 1.8% from the first quarter’s 3.1% pace, according to Refinitiv. On Thursday, durable goods are reported and will include an update on businesses investment. There are also existing home sales Tuesday, new home sales Wednesday and advance economic indicators Thursday.
But there will be no Fed speakers, after a parade of central bank officials in the past week, including Fed Chair Jerome Powell. The most impactful comments, however, came Thursday from New York Fed President John Williams, who set off a debate about how much the Fed could cut rates at its July 30-31 meeting — 25 or 50 basis points.
Even as the New York Fed later said Williams comments were not about current policy, market pros took heed of his words about how central bankers should “act quickly.”
Fed dominates Fed officials do not speak publicly in the days ahead of policy meetings, but market pros will find plenty to debate. Fed funds futures were predicting a 43% chance of a 50 basis point cut in July, after shooting as high as 70% Thursday afternoon.
“For sure, the Fed is going to dominate for next week. I think we’ll get at least a 25 basis point cut. I’m thinking we’re not going to get 50 basis point cut...The Fed has been burned when it’s been bold,” said Tony Roth, chief investment officer at Wilmington Trust.
Roth said he believes the market is already pricing in a quarter-point cut, and he does not see the Fed’s rate cut as much of a longer-term catalyst for stocks. If it trims by a half percentage point, he expects just a short-term pop.
Economists believe the Fed will cut interest rates even though recent data has improved. That’s in part because Powell has stressed the Fed is focused on the global economic slowdown, trade wars and low inflation, and that it will do what it takes to keep the economy expanding.
“The only real catalyst that would really help the market would be if there was a trade deal with China,” Roth said. “I think the likelihood of that is less than > 10%. We’re very pessimistic on the possibility of a real deal with China prior to the [2020 presidential] election.”
So, in the void ahead of the Fed’s meeting, the market will be watching earnings. As earnings rolled out this past week, stocks took a rest from their record-setting streak, as some companies lowered forecasts and most beat earnings and revenue estimates.
As of Friday morning, 77% of the roughly 80 companies reporting had beaten earnings estimates, and 65% topped revenue forecasts, according to Refinitiv. Based on actual reports and forecasts, earnings per share for the S&P companies are expected to be up 1% in the second quarter. That is up from expectations that the profit growth would be slightly negative this quarter.
“If you look at the numbers, we’re above the averages for top and bottom line beats, but at the same time when you look at revisions, every day we’re getting revisions for third and fourth quarter, and they’re coming down.There’s a real worry of an earnings recession, when you get out into the third and fourth quarter and out to next year,” Roth said.
Roth said he’s currently neutral on risk assets, and he sees a slowdown brewing in the smallest U.S. companies that could spread up the food chain.
“We do see those fundamental cracks in the economy in small business and the small business labor market, and on top of that you have these big macro risks out there,” such as trade and the upcoming election, Roth said.
Slower economy As earnings growth was muted in the second quarter, so was the pace of economic gains. If growth comes in as expected, it would be the first quarter where growth was under 2% since the first quarter of 2017. Economists are watching to see how consumer spending fared in the quarter, after a recent pickup and also whether business inventories are declining.
“The data we need is not Q2. What’s at risk is the growth and magnitude of the Fed rate cut. I don’t think Q2 is going to have much impact on the Fed’s thinking,” said Marc Chandler, chief market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex. “It’s really how Q3 is progressing. It seems to me the economy softened in April and May and picked up in June with jobs data, retail sales and manufacturing sector.”
Chandler said investors will also be focused on the European Central Bank, which some economists believe could cut its overnight deposit rate to negative 0.5% from negative 0.4% currently when it meets Thursday. Chandler said odds are about 50% for the rate cut, which many also expect in September.
“While we’re waiting for the Fed to figure out whether it’s 25 or 50 basis points, and we’re waiting for the ECB to get all its forms sorted out ... the emerging markets are pushing ahead,” said Chandler, noting Russia and Turkey could cut rates in the next several days, after similar moves in the past week by South Africa, South Korea and Indonesia.
“It just makes the story more global. You’re seeing the trade numbers from China, Japan, Singapore and South Korea weaken. You’re seeing exports form China suffer. Exports from all of Asia are suffering,” he said. “The big surprise for China and Japan has also been on the import side. The declines in their imports is really someone else’s [drop in] exports.”
Rate cuts and currency wars Dollar strength has been a consequence of the trade war, and Fed action could help turn it around.
“If the Fed fails to move, you’re going to end up with an increasingly stronger dollar,” which impacts corporate earnings, Roth said.
“The dollar is quite strong and is increasingly going to be a headwind for U.S. companies. It hasn’t appreciated that much in 12 months, but if we see a divergence in monetary policy between the U.S. and the rest of the world, you would see a carry trade develop where people would want to buy assets in the U.S.,” he said.
The dollar index was slightly higher on the week, but Wall Street has been focused on President Donald Trump’s negative comments on the currency’s strength. As Trump has criticized the Fed, he also complains that other central banks manipulate their currencies to give them an edge in trade. Trump has said the Fed should already be cutting rates, something it hasn’t done since December 2008.
A number of Wall Street strategists have said they now believe it is possible that the U.S. government could intervene to weaken the dollar, but that would be unlikely.

This past week saw the following moves in the S&P:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL S&P TREE MAP FOR THE PAST WEEK!)

Major Indices for this past week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE MAJOR INDICES FOR THE PAST WEEK!)

Major Futures Markets as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE MAJOR FUTURES INDICES AS OF FRIDAY!)

Economic Calendar for the Week Ahead:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ECONOMIC CALENDAR FOR THE WEEK AHEAD!)

Sector Performance WTD, MTD, YTD:

(CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE WEEK-TO-DATE PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE MONTH-TO-DATE PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE 3-MONTH PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE YEAR-TO-DATE PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE 52-WEEK PERFORMANCE!)

Percentage Changes for the Major Indices, WTD, MTD, QTD, YTD as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

S&P Sectors for the Past Week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Major Indices Pullback/Correction Levels as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!

Major Indices Rally Levels as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Most Anticipated Earnings Releases for next month:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Here are the upcoming IPO's for this week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Friday's Stock Analyst Upgrades & Downgrades:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART LINK #2!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART LINK #3!)

Lagging Small-caps: Seasonal and Economic Factors Weigh

Small-caps measured by the performance of the Russell 2000 have been lagging since mid-March with the gap in performance widening in June and continuing into July. At yesterday’s close the Russell 2000 was up 15.35% year-to-date compared to a gain of 19.87% for the Russell 1000. Based upon historical trends this is not unusual for this time of the year nor during times when U.S. economic data is mixed.
In the following chart the one-year seasonal pattern of the Russell 2000/Russell 1000 has been plotted (solid black line with grey fill) along with 2019 year-to-date (blue line). This chart is similar to the chart found on page 110 of the 2019 Stock Trader’s Almanac. When the lines are rising small-caps are outperforming, when the lines are falling small-caps are lagging. Small-caps exhibited typical seasonal strength during the first quarter but have been fading ever since. In some years, small-cap strength can last until mid-June however, that is not the case this year. Going forward, small-cap underperformance is likely to persist until early in the fourth quarter with possible a hint of strength at the end of August.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Robust Summer Rallies Trim Fall Pullbacks

It’s usually about this time of the year, when trading volumes begin to slump and markets meander that we begin to hear talk of the infamous “Summer Rally” featured on page 74 of the Stock Trader’s Almanac 2019. The “Summer Rally” is usually the weakest seasonal rally of them all.
We looked at the current Summer Rally and found it to be above average already, up 10.2% from the Spring low on May 31, and that does portend well for the Summer and Fall Corrections. We lined up the Summer Rallies ranked from weakest to strongest since 1964. Over the past 55 years prior to this year DJIA has rallied and average of 9.1% from its May/June low until its Q3 high. The Fall Rally averages 10.9% and the Summer and Fall Corrections average a loss of just under 9% for a net average gain of a few percentage points over the summer and fall.
As shown in the table below, when the Summer Rally is greater than or equal to the 55-year 9.1% average, the summer and fall correction tend to be bit milder, -6.2% and -8.2%, respectively. Summer Rally gains beyond 12.5% historically had the smallest summer and fall corrections. One prominent exception being 1987.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Earnings (and Guidance) Likely to Make or Break the Rally

Once again today, DJIA, S&P 500 and NASDAQ closed at new all-time highs. With today’s modest gains, DJIA is up 17.3% year-to-date. S&P 500 is even better at 20.2% while NASDAQ is still best at 24.5%. Compared to historical average performance in pre-election years at this time of the year, DJIA and S&P 500 are comfortably above average. NASDAQ’s impressive 24.5% gain is just average (since 1971). NASDAQ’s Midyear Rally delivered again, but officially ended last Friday. The seasonal pattern charts, above and below, along with July’s typical performance over the last 21 years suggest further gains during the balance of July and the third quarter could be limited. For the market to make meaningful gains in the near-term earnings will need to decent and forward guidance will also need to be firm.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

"We Don't Need Your Stinking Data"

Yesterday was another one of those days that makes you scratch your head. In a relatively busy day for economic data, Initial Jobless Claims came in within 25K of a 50-year low, and the Philly Fed Manufacturing report saw its largest m/m increase in a decade. That follows other data last week where Retail Sales were very strong and CPI and PPI both came in ahead of consensus forecasts. The trend of better than expected data since the June employment report on July 5th is reflected in recent moves of the Citi Economic Surprise Index which has rallied from -68.3 up to -41.5. Granted, it’s still negative, but what was looking like a real dismal backdrop for the economy just three weeks ago seems to be showing signs of improvement.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
On top of the economic data, two notable interviews from FOMC officials Williams from New York and Vice Chair Clarida moved markets. Given the strong tone of economic data, one would expect both officials to try and tone down rising market expectations regarding any aggressive policy moves at the July meeting. Well, markets don’t always make sense.
In their respective interviews, both Williams and Clarida not only didn’t tone down expectations, but they added fuel to the fire. Williams noted that “it pays to act quickly to lower rates" and "vaccinate” the economy "against further ills." Clarida was even more direct when he said that “Research shows you act preemptively when you can.” In other words, the data-dependent Fed is casting the data aside and ready to move anyway. In his interview on Fox Business, Clarida almost got a chuckle when asked whether there was any chance the Fed wouldn’t cut rates in July.
The dovish turn from the Fed was immediately reflected in market expectations for rate policy at the July meeting. Back in June, market expectations for a 50 basis points (bps) cut at the next meeting peaked out at under 50%. Then, in the days following the June employment report, expectations dropped all the way down to 3%. In the last ten days, though, the trend has completely reversed, and as of yesterday’s close topped out at 71% versus just a 29% chance for a 25 bps cut. Probabilities for a 50 bps cut came in a bit overnight but are still at about 50/50. Yesterday alone, though, expectations for a 25 bps cut and a 50 bps cut more than completely reversed from the prior day, and remember, that’s after what was a good day of economic data! Can you imagine what expectations would be like if the data was actually bad?
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

US Beats World When It Comes to Stocks

The Bloomberg World index is a cap-weighted index made up of nearly 5,000 stocks from around the world (including US stocks). While the S&P 500 has been hitting new all-time highs over the last week, the Bloomberg World index remains 7% below highs that it last made back in January 2018.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
Below is a chart showing the ratio of the S&P 500 to the Bloomberg World index since the World index's inception back in August 2003. While the World index outperformed the US for five years in the mid-2000s, the US has been outperforming since the end of 2007, which includes both the Financial Crisis and the bull market that has been in place since the 2009 lows.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
Along with the relative strength chart between the two indices above, below we show the price change of the S&P 500 versus the Bloomberg World index since August 2003. Through today, the S&P was up 203% versus a gain of 142% for the Bloomberg World index.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
Since the November 2016 election, the S&P 500 is up 40% versus a gain of 26% for the Bloomberg World index. Notably, the World index kept up with the S&P through early 2018, but weakness for the World index in mid-2018 and a failure to bounce back as much as the US this year has left the World index well behind.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Best Performing Stocks Over the Last 12 Months

The S&P 500 is up over 20% YTD, but over the last 12 months, it is up just under 10% on a total return basis. And within the S&P 1500, there are only 44 stocks that are up more than 50% on a total return basis over the last 12 months. These 44 stocks are listed below.
Innovative Industrials (IIPR) -- a cannabis REIT -- has been the best performing stock in the S&P 1500 over the last year with a total return of 302%. In second place is eHealth (EHTH) with a gain of 269%, followed by Avon Products (AVP) at +174.8% and Coca-Cola Bottling (COKE) at +128.58%. Coca-Cola Bottling is probably one of the last names you would have guessed as a top five performer over the last year! Other notables on the list of biggest winners include Advanced Micro (AMD), LendingTree (TREE), Starbucks (SBUX), AutoZone (AZO), Chipotle (CMG), Hershey (HSY), and Procter & Gamble (PG).
Some names that aren't on the list that you may have expected to see? AMZN, NFLX, MSFT? Nope. None of the mega-cap Tech companies are on the list of biggest winners due to serious weakness from this group in Q4 2018.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

2% Days Few and Far Between

Although the last two trading days have seen exceptionally narrow daily ranges, today we wanted to take a quick look at the S&P 500's frequency of 2% daily moves (either up or down) in the post-WWII period. The chart below breaks out the frequency of 2% days by year, and years with more than 25 one-day moves of 2% are notated accordingly.
Overall, there have been an average of 11 daily 2% moves in a given year. After five straight years from 2007 to 2011 where we saw an above-average number of 2% days, the last seven years have only seen one year with an above-average number of occurrences (2018, 21). Remember, in 2017 there wasn't one single trading day that saw the S&P move up or down 2%!
So far this year, there have only been four 2% days, but with the most volatile part of the year on tap, we are likely to see that number increase in the months ahead. Don't expect the relative calm that we have seen in the last few trading days to last forever. Volatility is unpredictable and usually comes up and surprises you when you least expect it!
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

STOCK MARKET VIDEO: Stock Market Analysis Video for Week Ending July 19th, 2019

([CLICK HERE FOR THE YOUTUBE VIDEO!]())
(VIDEO NOT YET UP!)

STOCK MARKET VIDEO: ShadowTrader Video Weekly 07.21.19

(CLICK HERE FOR THE YOUTUBE VIDEO!)
Here are the most notable companies (tickers) reporting earnings in this upcoming trading week ahead-
  • $FB
  • $AMZN
  • $TSLA
  • $BA
  • $T
  • $SNAP
  • $PIXY
  • $HAL
  • $TWTR
  • $KO
  • $F
  • $V
  • $LMT
  • $GOOGL
  • $INTC
  • $CAT
  • $PYPL
  • $BIIB
  • $UTX
  • $IRBT
  • $XLNX
  • $UPS
  • $ABBV
  • $CNC
  • $NOK
  • $CMG
  • $MMM
  • $RPM
  • $SBUX
  • $JBLU
  • $BMY
  • $GNC
  • $MCD
  • $CDNS
  • $CADE
  • $NOW
  • $AMTD
  • $HAS
  • $HOG
  • $ANTM
  • $WM
  • $CMCSA
  • $FCX
(CLICK HERE FOR NEXT WEEK'S MOST NOTABLE EARNINGS RELEASES!)
(CLICK HERE FOR NEXT WEEK'S HIGHEST VOLATILITY EARNINGS RELEASES!)
(CLICK HERE FOR MOST ANTICIPATED EARNINGS RELEASES FOR THE NEXT 5 WEEKS!)
Below are some of the notable companies coming out with earnings releases this upcoming trading week ahead which includes the date/time of release & consensus estimates courtesy of Earnings Whispers:

Monday 7.22.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR MONDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Monday 7.22.19 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR MONDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Tuesday 7.23.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Tuesday 7.23.19 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Wednesday 7.24.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR WEDNESDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR WEDNESDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #2!)

Wednesday 7.24.19 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR WEDNESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR WEDNESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #2!)

Thursday 7.25.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #2!)

Thursday 7.25.19 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #2!)

Friday 7.26.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Friday 7.26.19 After Market Close:

([CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
NONE.

Amazon.com, Inc. $1,964.52

Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:00 PM ET on Thursday, July 25, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $5.29 per share on revenue of $62.51 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $5.70 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 78% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 4.34% with revenue increasing by 18.20%. Short interest has increased by 14.0% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 1.8% from its open following the earnings release to be 13.0% above its 200 day moving average of $1,737.93. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, July 11, 2019 there was some notable buying of 3,494 contracts of the $2,000.00 call expiring on Friday, August 16, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 4.4% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 4.0% move in recent quarters.

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Facebook Inc. $198.36

Facebook Inc. (FB) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.90 per share on revenue of $16.45 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.01 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 82% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 9.20% with revenue increasing by 24.33%. Short interest has increased by 21.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 0.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 20.8% above its 200 day moving average of $164.17. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Wednesday, July 17, 2019 there was some notable buying of 16,697 contracts of the $290.00 call expiring on Friday, September 20, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 6.5% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.6% move in recent quarters.

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Tesla, Inc. $258.18

Tesla, Inc. (TSLA) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 5:15 PM ET on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.52 per share on revenue of $6.38 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.44) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 33% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 84.80% with revenue increasing by 59.41%. Short interest has increased by 26.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 1.2% from its open following the earnings release to be 8.1% below its 200 day moving average of $280.96. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Tuesday, July 16, 2019 there was some notable buying of 30,445 contracts of the $50.00 put expiring on Friday, August 16, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 7.8% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 7.4% move in recent quarters.

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Boeing Co. $377.36

Boeing Co. (BA) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:30 AM ET on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.89 per share on revenue of $20.27 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.91 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 17% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 43.24% with revenue decreasing by 16.44%. Short interest has increased by 11.2% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 0.1% from its open following the earnings release to be 4.0% above its 200 day moving average of $362.82. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Monday, July 8, 2019 there was some notable buying of 6,176 contracts of the $325.00 put expiring on Friday, August 16, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 3.8% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 3.0% move in recent quarters.

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AT&T Corp. $32.79

AT&T Corp. (T) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:50 AM ET on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.89 per share on revenue of $45.02 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.90 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 66% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 2.20% with revenue increasing by 15.48%. Short interest has increased by 16.4% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 5.5% from its open following the earnings release to be 4.5% above its 200 day moving average of $31.37. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Monday, July 8, 2019 there was some notable buying of 144,398 contracts of the $28.00 call expiring on Friday, January 17, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 4.1% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 4.5% move in recent quarters.

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Snap Inc. $14.02

Snap Inc. (SNAP) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:10 PM ET on Tuesday, July 23, 2019. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.10 per share on revenue of $358.48 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.08) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 61% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for revenue of $335.00 million to $360.00 million. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 9.09% with revenue increasing by 36.69%. Short interest has decreased by 3.8% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 13.5% from its open following the earnings release to be 36.9% above its 200 day moving average of $10.24. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, July 5, 2019 there was some notable buying of 7,449 contracts of the $19.00 call expiring on Friday, July 26, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 13.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 19.1% move in recent quarters.

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ShiftPixy, Inc. $0.63

ShiftPixy, Inc. (PIXY) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:00 AM ET on Monday, July 22, 2019. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.08 per share on revenue of $14.39 million. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 44% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 33.33% with revenue increasing by 53.48%. Short interest has decreased by 8.2% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 50.9% from its open following the earnings release to be 63.8% below its 200 day moving average of $1.74. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. The stock has averaged a 16.9% move on earnings in recent quarters.

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Halliburton Company $21.75

Halliburton Company (HAL) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:45 AM ET on Monday, July 22, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.30 per share on revenue of $5.97 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.29 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 60% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 48.28% with revenue decreasing by 2.88%. Short interest has increased by 39.2% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 31.6% from its open following the earnings release to be 25.7% below its 200 day moving average of $29.27. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Tuesday, July 16, 2019 there was some notable buying of 9,264 contracts of the $20.00 put expiring on Friday, August 16, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 5.3% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 3.5% move in recent quarters.

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Twitter, Inc. $36.77

Twitter, Inc. (TWTR) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:00 AM ET on Friday, July 26, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.19 per share on revenue of $828.49 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.24 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 75% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for revenue of $770.00 million to $830.00 million. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 0.00% with revenue increasing by 16.60%. Short interest has increased by 9.0% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 0.4% from its open following the earnings release to be 10.1% above its 200 day moving average of $33.39. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Monday, July 15, 2019 there was some notable buying of 7,151 contracts of the $60.00 call expiring on Friday, January 15, 2021. Option traders are pricing in a 10.4% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 12.7% move in recent quarters.

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Visa Inc $179.24

Visa Inc (V) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Tuesday, July 23, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.33 per share on revenue of $5.70 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.37 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 79% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 10.83% with revenue increasing by 8.78%. Short interest has decreased by 6.9% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 11.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 19.5% above its 200 day moving average of $150.03. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Tuesday, July 16, 2019 there was some notable buying of 4,839 contracts of the $165.00 put expiring on Friday, August 16, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 3.1% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 2.6% move in recent quarters.

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DISCUSS!

What are you all watching for in this upcoming trading week ahead?
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and a great trading week ahead wallstreetbets!
submitted by bigbear0083 to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

What is Forex?

Forex is the short way of saying “Foreign Exchange”. This means the global market for exchanging international currencies, also known as the FX market. When someone prices or exchanges a currency against another, the exchange rate is best on the particular forex trading pair (i.e., both currencies involved in the pair).
Currency pairs are typically priced out to four decimal places, depending on the currency denomination, where one ten-thousandth of a unit of currency is known as a pip (i.e., 0.0001 unit), which is the smallest price increment (in addition to fractional-pips).
The EUUSD, which is the most widely-traded forex pair, is an example of the Euro (EUR) currency against the US dollars (USD) currency.
When trading one unit of EUUSD, you can calculate the price in USD (i.e., a price of EUUSD 1.3000 indicates $1.30 per euro). Conversely, when exchanging the USD/EUR, each unit of USD (i.e. each dollar) will have the prace of a specific number of euros (i.e., a USD/EUR price of 0.7700 indicates €0.77 per dollar).
A speculator expecting the price of the EUUSD to go up. He will buy the EUUSD pair long (buying a pair to open a trade can be a bullish or long position). Whereas, a speculator anticipating a drop in the price of the EUUSD may sell the pair. (bearish or short position: selling to open a trade).

Largest international market Globally

The forex market is decentralized across the globe. It consists of dealers such as central banks, private and public banks, non-bank intermediaries, brokerages, and large corporations such as insurance giants and other participants engaged in international finance.
The Foreign Exchange market is the largest globally, with nearly $6 trillion in average daily volume traded as of April 2019, according to the latest BIS Triennial Survey of Central Banks.
The FX market suffers the influence mainly by each government’s monetary policy, the supply, and demand of the global economy. As well as international trade agreements, and users and suppliers of currencies (hedgers), in addition to speculators.

Market integrity and progress

While there have been cases of forex market manipulation by the biggest banks and dealers in the past, the amount of influence any one entity can have on the prices of major currencies is negligible. This resistance to serious manipulation risk is due to the enormous amount of trading and resulting liquidity available.
The FX Market itself has high price integrity. Because it is an electronic market, efficient and with a certain size. Participants must still adhere to best practices.
Efforts such as the Global FX code were launched to encourage forex dealers to uphold the best-execution where the best price available is given to traders.
These efforts are why the spreads and trading commissions continued to improve over the years, as the FX market evolved. In addition, regulators have competed to increase local market integrity and efficiency by creating more strict regulations. These come from the top-tier financial centers such as the US, UK, Singapore, Japan, Australia, among other advanced economies.

Investing and trading in the forex market

As an asset class, Forex is well-established and offered by many regulated brokerages from within a margin account.
The use of leverage is what makes forex trading more risky than non-margin investing.
Margin-based trading used by investors as well as self-directed traders and fund managers, thanks to the range of risk-management tools available within forex trading platforms (mobile, web, and desktop software). Wiseinvest provides trading signals with risk-management.

Forex market research and analysis

There are two primary ways for traders to assess and identify trading opportunities in the forex market.

Advanced forex trading strategies and algorithms

The foundation of successful trading in the forex market is having a trading strategy. It’s based on a specific methodology that best suits your trading needs. Strategies could be manual, automated, or a combination of both.
Over the past decade, there has been a proliferation of automated trading strategies made available for retail traders.
And while there are many serious traders with established track records for their trading systems, there are many more low-quality trading systems falsely marketed as high-quality by overly eager affiliates, making it harder for investors to navigate the market for trading signals.
There has also been an increase in the social copy trade. Where an operator can mimic other operators’ businesses in real time.
Whether using a copy-trading platform or an automated trading system, in almost all cases, this type of investing is considered self-directed and doesn’t require a power-of-attorney or another third-party money manager to handle your account.
Unlike other copy and social trading platforms, Wiseinvet’s AI has the ability to execute a huge set of market data. It does by combining technical and fundamental analysis. This strategy can increase the accuracy of trading signals.

Self-directed forex investors

Compared to investing in a managed fund, there is greater responsibility. Traders put it on self-directed traders who use trading systems. A self-directed trader should conduct more detailed due diligence. It can avoid falling for the countless low-quality trading systems that exist on the internet.

There are no guarantees that a strategy will perform well. But conducting proper due diligence can help traders assess various trading systems. They consider using them to aid their trading or investment strategy.
submitted by Wiseinvest-ai to u/Wiseinvest-ai [link] [comments]

Which Are Your Top 5 Platforms Out Of The Top100? An Analysis.

There are currently a lot of platforms, more specifically, there are 35 platforms within the Top100 only and many do very similar things. How is one supposed to know how they differ? That was the question that I asked myself.
So, I decided to compare all platforms within the Top100. I noticed that they can be put into into 5 different categories. Note: A platform is a cryptocurrency that offers smart contracts at least.
  1. Dapps platforms - 12
  2. BaaS - 11
  3. Liquidity - 2
  4. Misc - 7
  5. Behemoths -3
Here are all platforms in an excel spread sheet in their categories with a description: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1s8PHcNvvjuy848q18py_CGcu8elRGQAUIf86EYh4QZo/edit#gid=268170779
In order to find out which one is the best platform in each market currently and made sure to be strict with every platform and point out their flaws.
Let's look at the 5 markets.

1) Dapps platforms

Dapps platforms are definitely a solid bet for the next years. Besides Ethereum, Neo, EOS and Stellar are probably the most known here, however, all 4 are simply extremely centralized and would need to completely change their architecture to become more decentralized. Until that happens, none of these platform can really be considered as a platform with good technology, since everyone can achieve high scalability by letting a few hundred nodes do the consensus algorithm. There is nothing difficult about that. The difficulty is achieving several million TPS with 100,000 nodes deciding consensus.
Cardano, Aeternity are the only ones that seem to be able to maintain excellent decentralization with high scalability, because they scale through side-chains/horizontally.
All platforms considered, Ethereum seems to be on the way there as well with its change to Casper.
  1. Cardano has a great team, has probably the most secure PoS that was peer-reviewed in a scientific approach, has their mainnet launched, has near infinite scalability through sidechains and offers broad usability of Smart contracts in a number of programming languages.
  2. Ethereum is a 2nd generation blockchain that allows the use of smart contracts and dapps on a smaller scope. Ethereum currently has bad scalability, though this concern could be alleviated by the soon to be implemented Sharding concept and its new PoS/PoW consensus algorithm Casper. Still, there are platforms with much more comprehensive dapp ecosystems, and much more scalability. However, Ethereum just closed a partnership with AWS. This is probalby the biggest partnership in the cryptosphere. Though, in order to be better than any of the top 3 platforms, it would need to provide Oracles, a lot more functionality for dapps, partnerships, decentralized data storage, cloud computing.
  3. Neblio is similar to NEO and a good platform, though it has a much smaller market cap.
  4. EOS has high scalability, though is much more centralized than Skycoin, Elastos and Cardano. However, it offers a lot of functionality for Dapps. EOS is overhyped. It is on the same level as Neblio, Neo, Aeternity, but not on the same level as Skycoin, Elastos, IOTA, Cardano.
  5. NEO is a very established platform in this category.However, Neo dapps scale on-chain and can thus clog the network quickly. For that reason, NEO had to pick a very centralized approach to maintain scalability and it looking to rely on hand-picked nodes to maintain scalability in the future, very similar to EOS also very centralized approach of 121 handpicked nodes.
  6. Stellar has similar goals as Ripple, only that it is more a platform than only a currency, so it does offer more functionality. . Stellar uses Byzantine Fault Tolerance in the consensus protocol, which ensures secure consensus can be reached (moving the blockchain forward) even if a large percentage of nodes are disabled or acting dishonestly. It also helps keep nodes distributed. Stellar is a good platform with tight involvement with banks. While it doesn't have as much functionality as all above platforms, it can probably carve out its niche by doing really good business with banks.
  7. Aeternity: We’ve seen recently, that it’s difficult to scale the execution of smart contracts on the blockchain. Crypto Kitties is a great example. Something as simple as creating and trading unique assets on Ethereum bogged the network down when transaction volume soared. Ethereum and Zilliqa address this problem with Sharding. Aeternity focuses on increasing the scalability of smart contracts and dapps by moving smart contracts off-chain. Instead of running on the blockchain, smart contracts on Aeternity run in private state channels between the parties involved in the contracts. State channels are lines of communication between parties in a smart contract. They don’t touch the blockchain unless they need to for adjudication or transfer of value. Because they’re off-chain, state channel contracts can operate much more efficiently. They don’t need to pay the network for every time they compute and can also operate with greater privacy. An important aspect of smart contract and dapp development is access to outside data sources. This could mean checking the weather in London, score of a football game, or price of gold. Oracles provide access to data hosted outside the blockchain. In many blockchain projects, oracles represent a security risk and potential point of failure, since they tend to be singular, centralized data streams. Aeternity proposes decentralizing oracles with their oracle machine. Doing so would make outside data immutable and unchangeable once it reaches Aeternity’s blockchain. Of course, the data source could still be hacked, so Aeternity implements a prediction market where users can bet on the accuracy and honesty of incoming data from various oracles.It also uses prediction markets for various voting and verification purposes within the platform. Aeternity’s network runs on on a hybrid of proof of work and proof of stake. Founded by a long-time crypto-enthusiast and early colleague of Vitalik Buterin, Yanislav Malahov.
  8. IOST: To improve speed and scalability, IOStoken uses a Proof of Believability consensus mechanism eliminating the need for an energy-hungry proof-of-work protocol, which stands as a barrier to blockchain scaling up for widespread adoption. With this system, a node is validated based on its past contributions and behaviors. Moreover, to increase fairness and to most fully embrace the decentralized nature of the blockchain, IOS uses a “fairness” algorithm that randomly distributes data to various nodes. It’s intended to support service-oriented goods and services with large customer bases. Decentralized applications and smart contracts, the hallmarks of blockchain platforms, are a priority for IOS as well.
  9. Request Network: Req payments can be used for online purchases, business to business invoices, escrow, advanced payments and eventually IoT payments between machines. Other than payments, the Request Network is also tackling auditing and budget transparency. Businesses have the ability to track invoices to audit payments as well as record transactions for accounting purposes. Governments, nonprofits, and other organizations can also use Request to bring transparency to their budget and expenditures.
  10. Rchain: Similar to Ethereum with smart contracts, though much more scalable at an expected 40,000 TPS and possible 100,000 TPS. However, Rchain has not launched ye..
  11. Ziliqa: Zilliqa is building a new way of sharding, so that 10,000 tps are soon possible by being linearly scalable with the number of nodes. That means, the more nodes, the faster the network gets. They are looking at implementing privacy as well.Rchain is an ok platform.
  12. Ethereum classic is the original Ethereum that decided not to fork after a hack for philosophical reasons. The Ethereum that we know is its fork.

2) BaaS (Blockchain-as-a-Service)

BaaS take a different route to adoption than mere Dapps platforms. They are also dapp platforms, but focus on businesses (B2B) instead of end-users (B2C) within the cryptosphere. They sell their blockchain services to companies, who then can build their own customizable blockchain as a side-chain to the BaaS without hassle and worry about technology or blockchain architecture. This is all handled by the BaaS company already and the customer only needs to change a few variables and they have their own blockchain. Side-chains are interesting, because they allow virtually infinite scaling, since there can be an infinite number of side-chains that only communicate with the main-chain occasionally and handle the majority of transactions on their own chain. This is also called horizontal scaling.
The success of a BaaS platform largely depends on its ability to close partnerships to sell to large businesses and having the best usability. The more contracts they can sell to businesses and institutions, the more valuable it will be. For that reason, the BaaS with the best ability to form partnerships and do sales will win this market. Technology isn't as important here. Of course, the platform has to work without bugs, but having a platform with outstanding technology, average usability and average marketing will lose against a platform with average technology, great usability and great marketing.
  1. VeChain is a Singapore-based project that’s building a business enterprise platform and inventory tracking system. . While it is not really competing with the above mentioned platforms, any of them can build supply management tools into their platform and compete with VeChain. However, VeChain has very strong partnerships. This gives them some protection of any of the above mentioned entering the market. Examples are verifying genuine luxury goods and food supply chains. VeChain has one of the strongest communities in the crypto world. If you are looking for something more high risk, high return, have a look into Ambrosus and Devery(Eve). Both also seem to be good at building partnerships, which is the most important characteristic for a supply chain platform required to succeed.
  2. Icon is called the Korean Ethereum. However, it specializes more on building customizable blockchains for banks, insurance providers, hospitals, and universities, since it's a BaaS. Icon has a focus on on ID verification and payments. Icon is ery close behind Vechain, because with Samsung and Line.
  3. WTC is a supply chain management platform, similar to Vechain, however, with fewer partnerships.
  4. Komodo’s open-source platform is for doing transparent, anonymous, private, and fungible transactions. They are then made ultra-secure using Bitcoin’s blockchain via a Delayed Proof of Work (dPoW) protocol and decentralized crowdfunding (ICO) platform to remove middlemen from project funding. Offers services for startups to create and manage their own Blockchains. While it doesn't have as many partnerships as other BaaS, it is the only BaaS that offers privacy so far. However, that's. it such a bug competitive advantage, since it can be replicated rather swiftly.
  5. NEM: The NEM blockchain powers what they call the Smart Asset System. This system is intended to be an open, customizable blockchain solution for any number of use cases built on top of simple, powerful API calls. NEM started as a NXT fork and introduced a new consensus mechanism called Proof of Importance (PoI), designed to reward users’ contribution to the XEM community. It is roughly based on proof-of-stake, but it also reflects how active a user is in transacting with other users. POW rewards powerful computers and also requires excessive amounts of energy. POS gives an unfair advantage to coin hoarders. The more coins they keep in their accounts, the more they earn, meaning that the rich get richer and everyone has an incentive to save coins instead of spending them.
  6. Ark is a fork of Lisk, which is doubling down on a smaller feature set than Lisk. Ark is a good BaaS, though it doesn't have many partnerships. Furthermore, they haven't launched their platform yet.
  7. Dragonchain: The Purpose of DragonChain is to help companies quickly and easily incorporate blockchain into their business applications. Many companies might be interested in making this transition because of the benefits associated with serving clients over a blockchain – increased efficiency and security for transactions, a reduction of costs from eliminating potential fraud and scams, etc. Dragonchain is a good BaaS, though it doesn't have many partnerships. However, it was funded by Disney, so it might be able to get partnerships more easy.
  8. LISK: Lisk's difference to other BaaS is that side chains are independent to the main chain and have to have their own nodes. Similar to neo whole allows dapps to deploy their blockchain too. Lisk is a good BaaS, though it doesn't have many partnerships. Furthermore, they haven't launched their platform yet.
  9. Stratis: Different to LISK, Stratis will allow businesses and organizations to create their own blockchain according to their own needs, but secured on the parent Stratis chain. Stratis’s simple interface will allow organizations to quickly and easily deploy and/or test blockchain functionality of the Ethereum, BitShares, BitCoin, Lisk and Stratis environements.Stratis is similar to Lisk, but also doesn't have many partnerships
  10. ARDR: Ardor is a public blockchain platform that will allow people to utilize the blockchain technology of Nxt through the use of child chains. A child chain, which is a ‘light’ blockchain that can be customized to a certain extent, is designed to allow easy self-deploy for your own blockchain. Nxt claims that users will "not need to worry" about security, as that part is now handled by the main chain (Ardor). This is the chief innovation of Ardor. Ardor was evolved from NXT by the same company. NEM started as a NXT clone.
  11. Bytom: Bytom is an interactive protocol of multiple financial assets ( digital currency, digital assets warrants, securities, dividends, bonds, intelligence information, forecasting information and other information that exist in the physical world) can be registered, exchanged, gambled and engaged in other more complicated and contract-based interoperations via Bytom.

3) Liquidity

There are really only 2 platforms in the Liquidity market, albeit the Liquidity market could be one of the biggest markets with insitutional investors entering the cryptoworld soon, since there is very little liquidity in Bitcoin. For example, say a pension fund wants to buy or sell $10B in Bitcoins. No single exchange has that many Bitcoins available and it would wreak havoc on the market. This wouldn't be a problem with Liquidity platforms, since they pull all order books together and back up market liquidity with FIAT money among other things.
  1. QASH is used to fuel its liquid platform which will be an exchange that will distribute their liquidity pool. Its product, the Worldbook is a multi-exchange order book that matches crypto to crypto, and crypto to fiat and the reverse across all currencies. E.g., someone is selling Bitcoin is USD on exchange1 not owned by Quoine and someone is buying Bitcoin in EURO on exchange 2 not owned by Quoine. If the forex conversions and crypto conversions match then the trade will go through and the Worldbook will match it, it'll make the sale and the purchase on either exchange and each user will get what they wanted, which means exchanges with lower liquidity if they join the Worldbook will be able to fill orders and take trade fees they otherwise would miss out on.They turned it on to test it a few months ago for an hour or so and their exchange was the top exchange in the world by 4x volume for the day because all Worldbook trades ran through it. Binance wants BNB to be used on their one exchange. Qash wants their QASH token embedded in all of their partners. More info here https://www.reddit.com/CryptoCurrency/comments/8a8lnwhich_are_your_top_5_favourite_coins_out_of_the/dwyjcbb/?context=3Qash is doing something completely different as the above mentioned. It offers liquidity in an illiquid market. Sell shovels during a gold rush.
  2. Loopring is similar to Qash, only that it functions as a dezentralized exchange, while QASH is more of an API without a user interface. It is a protocol that will enable higher liquidity between exchanges and personal wallets by pooling all orders sent to its network and fill these orders through the order books of multiple exchanges. When using Loopring, traders never have to deposit funds into an exchange to begin trading. Even with decentralized exchanges like Ether Delta, IDex, or Bitshares, you’d have to deposit your funds onto the platform, usually via an Ethereum smart contract. But with Loopring, funds always remain in user wallets and are never locked by orders. This gives you complete autonomy over your funds while trading, allowing you to cancel, trim, or increase an order before it is executed.

4) Misc

These are platforms that are focused on a specialized functionality
  1. Nebulas: Similar to how google indexes webpages Nebulas will index blockchain projects, smart contracts & data using the Nebulas rank algorithm that sifts & sorts the data. Developers rewarded NAS to develop & deploy on NAS chain. Nebulas calls this developer incentive protocol – basically rewards are issued based on how often dapp/contract etc. is used, the more the better the rewards and Proof of devotion. Works like DPoS except the best, most economically incentivised developers (Bookkeepers) get the forging spots. Ensuring brains stay with the project (Cross between PoI & PoS). 2,400 TPS+, DAG used to solve the inter-transaction dependencies in the PEE (Parallel Execution Environment) feature, first crypto Wallet that supports the Lightening Network.Nebulas is the only one doing what it's doing. This makes them very unique and a good investment.
  2. Centrality is a decentralized market place for dapps that are all connected together on a blockchain-powered system. Centrality aims to allow businesses to work together using blockchain technology. With Centrality, startups can collaborate through shared acquisition of customers, data, merchants, and content. That shared acquisition occurs across the Centrality blockchain, which hosts a number of decentralized apps called Scenes. Companies can use CENTRA tokens to purchase Scenes for their app, then leverage the power of the Centrality ecosystem to quickly scale. Some of Centrality's top dapps are, Skoot, a travel experience marketplace that consists of a virtual companion designed for free independent travelers and inbound visitors, Belong, a marketplace and an employee engagement platform that seems at helping business provide rewards for employees, Merge, a smart travel app that acts as a time management system, Ushare, a transports application that works across rental cars, public transport, taxi services, electric bikes and more. All of these dapps are able to communicate with each other and exchange data through Centrality. Centrality is the only one doing what it's doing. This makes them very unique and a good investment.
  3. Salt: Leveraging blockchain assets to secure cash loans. Plans to offer cash loans in traditional currencies, backed by your cryptocurrency assets. Allows lenders worldwide to skip credit checks for easier access to affordable loans.Salt is a good lending platform. However, there is also Elixir, a better investment with a 30x smaller market cap, but also strong technology. Elixir has such a low market cap, because they didn't have an ICO and they only focused on development and no marketing. As of last week, they started marketing.
  4. Aion: Today, there are hundreds of blockchains. In the coming years, those hundreds will become thousands and—with ,widespread adoption by mainstream business and government—millions. Blockchains don’t talk to each other at all right now, they are like the PCs of the 1980s. The Aion network is able to support custom blockchain architectures while still allowing for cross-chain interoperability by enabling users to exchange data between any Aion-compliant blockchains by making use of an interchain framework that allows for messages to be relayed between blockchains in a completely trust-free manner.
  5. Waves is a decentralized exchange and crowdfunding platform by letting companies and projects to issue and manage their own digital coin tokens to raise money.
  6. ChainLink is a decentralized oracle service, the first of its kind. Oracles are defined as an ‘agent’ that finds and verifies real-world occurrences and submits this information to a blockchain to be used in smart contracts.With ChainLink, smart contract users can use the network’s oracles to retrieve data from off-chain application program interfaces (APIs), data pools, and other resources and integrate them into the blockchain and smart contracts. Basically, ChainLink takes information that is external to blockchain applications and puts it on-chain. The difference to Aeternity is that Chainlink deploys the smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. Chainlink's main functionality is oracles, a functionality also offered by IOTA.
  7. QTUM: Smart Contracts on the Bitcoin blockchain. QTUM is a smart contracts for BTC, a very niche market. Furthermore, BTC might offer smart contracts itself soon and make QTUM obsolete. Hopefully QTUM will expand into more smart contracts functionality to become relevant again.
Nebulas with Indexing the Blockchain world and Salt with Lending are probably the 2 most interesting platforms here. Nebulas doesn't have a single competitor, though there are several competitors to Salt with a much smaller market cap and with similar development progress, ELIX.

5) Behemoths

There are 3 platforms that have not been discussed yet. However, they can do most what the above platforms can do and have the potential to steal the market of all above mentioned platforms. That's why I call them behemoths.
1.) Skycoin :Skycoin is building what Pied Piper is building in the series HBO's Silicon Valley, a completely decentralized internet that is not run by ISPs, but by IoT devices, making telecom providers like Comcast, ISPs who can control bandwith, cost, net neutrality, filters, access etc. obsolete and completely decentralize them. Skycoin offers what 36 coins are offering:
  1. 12 Scalable Currency (Bitcoin, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Dash, Bitcoin Gold, Nano, Bitcoin Diamond, Dogecoin, Digibyte, Decred, Bitcoin Atom)
  2. 10 Smart Contract and Dapps platforms (Cardano, Ethereum, Neblio, EOS, Stellar, Neo, Rchain, IOST, Ziliqa, Eth classic)
  3. 10 BaaS (VeChain, Icon, WTC, Ontology, Komodo, NEM, Ark, Dragonchain, LISK, Stratis).
  4. 4 Decentralized Storage (Siacoin, Maidsafe, Gybte, Storj)
If you think that the decentralized Internet will blow all other markets out of the water and will be the biggest invention of this decade, then Skycoin is your pick, because covers that and what 27 coins do.
2.) IOTA: With the launch of Q 1 week ago, IOTA is about to offer what 27 platforms within the Top 100 are offering (!) and they are probably looking to replace several more.
  1. 12 Scalable Currency (Bitcoin, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Dash, Bitcoin Gold, Nano, Bitcoin Diamond, Dogecoin, Digibyte, Decred, Bitcoin Atom.)
  2. 10 Smart Contract and Dapps platforms (Cardano, Ethereum, Neblio, EOS, Stellar, Neo, Rchain, IOST, Ziliqa, Eth classic)
  3. 2 Oracles (Aeternity, ChainLink)
  4. 3 Outsourced Cloud Computing (DBC, Aelf, Golem)
IOTA is at the same level as Skycoin and Elastos. However, SKY's flagship product is the Decentralized Internet and ELA's is the most comprehensive dapps operating system in the cryptosphere, which IOTA cannot really replicate in the near future, because it takes years of reseach and development. This protects ELA and SKY from IOTA for now.
However, it looks like IOTA can snatch up all the smaller, easier to replicate markets, such as cloud computing, oracles, smart contracts, decentralized storage, currency exchange and soon possibly also supply chain management, BaaS functionality, privacy, security identification since none of those are really hard to build. However, Skycoin and Elastos will probably focus on their flagships and leave IOTA to scoop up all the rest. It will be an interesting year.
3.) Elastos started out as a mobile operating system 18 years ago and has now moved towards a smart contracts platform, operating system and a runtime environment for Dapps. Thanks to side-chains they are near infinitely scalable and is thus also very decentralized. Elastos is offering what 36 coins are offering
  1. 12 Scalable Currency (Bitcoin, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Dash, Bitcoin Gold, Nano, Bitcoin Diamond, Dogecoin, Digibyte, Decred, Bitcoin Atom.)
  2. 10 Smart Contract and Dapps platforms (Cardano, Ethereum, Neblio, EOS, Stellar, Neo, Rchain, IOST, Ziliqa, Eth classic)
  3. 10 BaaS (VeChain, Icon, WTC, Ontology, Komodo, NEM, Ark, Dragonchain, LISK, Stratis).
  4. 4 Decentralized Storage (Siacoin, Maidsafe, Gybte, Storj)
If you are very convinced that BaaS solutions and dapps platforms will be the big winners for 2018, then Elastos is your pick as far as I can see, because it is probably the best BaaS and dapps platform with near infinite scalability and the best decentralization and thus does what 32 coins do.
3 Closing Questions
All of the above findings leave me with those 3 questions. What are your thoughts?
  1. Why invest in any of Dapps platforms (Cardano, Neblio, EOS, Stellar, Neo, Aeternity, Rchain, IOST, Ziliqa, Ethereum, Eth classic) when Elastos and Skycoin do everything they do, are much more decentralized and scalable through side-chain/off-chain/horizontal scaling and offer lots more functionality beyond that?
  2. Why invest in any BaaS (Ontology, Komodo, NEM, Ark ,Dragonchain, LISK, Stratis, ARDR) if ICX and VeChain offer everything what all of the above offer and already have 10x more partnerships than their competitors?
  3. It looks like out of all 35 platforms, only 5 are really strong: IOTA, Skycoin, Elastos, VeChain, ICX. While the first 3 seem to cover already almost half of the top 100, the last 2 really convince in the partnership department. What's the argument for investing in any of the 30 other platforms? Maybe that they can specialise on a specific feature set, however, is this really a convincing argument? The cryptoworld is harsh and if you can't keep up with competition, you'll be moved out of the market quickly.
submitted by galan77 to CryptoMarkets [link] [comments]

Is Karatbit and Karatbars a scam?

On Tuesday 16th July, just a few weeks ago I was invited to attend a Karatbit, Karatbars/Karatbank presentation. The presentation was touting everything including a blockchain mobile phone. Someone had approached me over the weekend to investigate an investment, they had made with Karatbit/Karatbars. I attended the presentation with some research which, to be honest, was not that favourable to the company but nevertheless still went with an open mind.
KaratBank, a Singapore-based financial organization, has propelled another digital currency that it claims is bound to real physical gold. Is this a progressive thought – or a trick?
KaratBank, an organization located in Singapore, has quite recently declared the dispatch of KaratBank Coins (KBC), another digital currency it said is attached to gold. Be that as it may, not just the cost of gold, as different monetary forms — to real bits of gold: they're embedded in plastic cards or banknotes. In any event, that is the way it appears upon first sight.
KaratBank is a sister company of KaratBars International, located in Germany. KaratBars really sells gold in exceptionally small quantities (like 0.1g to 1g bullions), inserted into plastic cards (Karatbars) or money like notes (CashGold). The notes are famously overpriced: back when 1 gram of gold was $40, the 1g CashGold note cost $65.
As per KaratBank whitepaper, 10,000 KBC can be traded for 0.1g CashGold notes.
The initial coin offering kicked off earlier this year and proceeded until March 21, with the ICO starting March 22 (1 KBC = $0.05), Coin Telegraph reports.
Be that as it may, KaratBars International as an organization is emphatically connected with scams. A basic search for KaratBars on Google returns three connections with the word "scam" in them on the first page. KaratBars was prohibited in Canada in 2014 over an Autorité des marchés agents (AMF) with a Scam warning.
The Canadian government found that KaratBars executes some kind of multi-layered marketing (MLM), or "pyramid" scheme organisation that urged individuals to get new recruits and profit from their sales, promising a return of $15,000 to $136,000 every month.
In any case, Is KaratBank is a different story? All things considered, yes and no. Upon a more intensive look at the organization's whitepaper, one finds the following:
"United States of America citizens, residents (tax or otherwise) or green card holders, as well as residents of Canada, the People's Republic of China or the Republic of Singapore, are not qualified to partake in the KaratBank ICO."
As indicated by the Behind MLM site, the explanation behind this may lie in the way that those nations have actualized strict regulation on ICOs, and KaratBank does not have any desire to have anything to do with them.
"ICOs are not unlawful in the US or Canada. In the US, however, ICOs are ordinarily viewed as securities and require registration with the [Securities and Exchange Commission]," the site reads. "Singapore hasn't prohibited ICOs however it is one of the nations KaratBars International works in through the shell companies KaratPay and KaratBars Singapore. Singapore regulators closing those organizations down would cripple KaratBars International. The board most likely figure it's best not to take any risks."
To work lawfully in any purview, KaratBars International would need to register itself with the proper securities regulator in that jurisdiction, which the organization appears to need to abstain from, raising doubts.
From one's point of view what is disheartening is that blockchain is a great new technology and companies like this seem to mix their existing business with cryptocurrencies. Knowing full well that the general public does not really understand cryptocurrencies, let alone blockchain or Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). As a blockchain consultant, one feels obligated to pose some questions anyone thinking of getting involved should be asking.
At the presentation, I heard the presenters say “ Karatbars is giving its members the opportunity to buy gold in small quantities. They also encourage you to save in gold instead of paper money. This can easily be done by buying as little as 0.1 gram of gold or 1 gram - 2.5 gram or 5 grams.”
They said members can keep their gold in Karatbars' vault or ask them to send it to you. Cash gold is the most popular form of buying gold as the gold is embedded in a banknote. 24kt gold 99.9% pure makes it easier for anyone to accumulate wealth.
Karatbars is also involved in cryptocurrency and got their own coins, namely KBC and KCB coins. I'm going to get very deep into this, but the main thing to remember is that they say, “these coins are increasing in value and that it is backed by gold”. whereas and another Cryptocurrency is backed by nothing.
As a self-proclaimed proponent of blockchain and a graduate of Digital Forensics, I feel obligated to say a few words about this presentation on Karatbit or at least as a conscious citizen of this global world of technology users. Blockchain is a magnificent emerging technology that can be harnessed to do so many things. But most importantly it is a technology that provides one single source of truth. If groups are using this single source of truth technology to spread untruths, someone concerned must come out to say something. Blockchain is a technology that can put everyone on an even playing field but it seems very few understand it. The individuals with even the fleeting basic understanding can influence the general public perception of cryptocurrencies. This leads me to ask a great quote from a book called Richest Man in Babylon …. “if you want advice on investing in expensive jewels, why would you go to a butcher?”
The following is what the masses are being manipulated to attach their hopes and dreams. It is that “a further drop in the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has recently left investors nursing heavy losses. Many proponents are holding out for a new breakout “if their digital assets can go mainstream.”
The most important part of that statement is “if their digital assets can go mainstream”. This made me ask some questions about Karatbit and this is what I came up with.
Something is fishy!! Can someone clarify the following?
Claim 1: Gold mine worth $900 million provides security.
Can’t find any official source as proof.
Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyKQIckXyIU
Claim 2: Backed by a gold mine in Africa
Can’t find any official source as proof.
Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5Q3ZvR4b04
Claim 3: Audit report by MM Revisors for a gold mine in Madagascar
Can’t find proof that MM Revisors exists. Not sure if this report was published by Karatbars Int (can’t find it on their official website), but this is being circulated by some investors as if it were.
Reference: https://karatbars-me.webnode.es/\_files/200000070-01d6002d18/audit.pdf
Claim 4: Karatcoin Bank is a fully licensed crypto bank and is situated in Miami
Can’t find proof that they are registered as a licensed financial institute in Miami, Florida.
Can’t find Karatcoin Bank as a registered corporation, but found Karat Coin Corp.
Reference: http://search.sunbiz.org/Inquiry/CorporationSearch/SearchResults?inquiryType=EntityName&searchNameOrder=KARATBANK&searchTerm=Karatbank
Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXip2Fizz5U&t=152s
Claim 5: Not a pyramid scheme
Karatbit describes this as an affiliate program but clearly is a pyramid scheme at best, see links below;
Canada: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/karatbars-quebec-activities-covered-by-prohibition-orders-514201571.html
Namibia: https://economist.com.na/43874/extra/karatbars-international-is-a-scamsays-central-bank/
Netherlands: https://www.afm.nl/en/nieuws/2014/mei/waarschuwing-karatbars
Claim 6: 100KBC = 1g of Gold at $40 per gram (1 KBC = $0.40) (guaranteed)
Total supply = 12,000,000,000 KBC (can’t find figures of circulating, so using supply instead)
Total gold needed to cover buy back of all coins:
12,000,000,000 / 100 = 120 000 000g = 120 tons (South Africa as a whole produced 139.9 tons of Gold in 2017).
Total money needed to buy back all the coins:
120 000 000g x $40 = $4.8 Billion
Can’t find proof that they have 120 tons of gold in storage (or backed up by the mines as claimed) or that they are at least worth $4.8 Billion to buy the gold?
Taking a more conservative approach:
According to icobench.com, they raised $100 000 000 with their ICO from 60% of the total supply.
Let’s assume the 60% of 12,000,000,000 is in circulation. This equals to 7,200,000,000 KBC.
Total gold needed for the buyback of 7,200,000,000 KBC:
7,200,000,000 / 100 = 72 000 000g = 72 tons
Total money needed to buy back all coins:
72 000 000g x $40 = $2.88 Billion
Loss for buying back the KBC that were sold during the ICO:
$100,000,000 - $2,880,000,000 = - $2,780,000,000
A potential loss of $2,78 Billion!!! Or am I taking crazy pills?
Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgeHjhlMfn0
Reference: https://icobench.com/ico/karatgold-coin
Claim 7: This Forbes.com article gives credibility to the KBC coin
This article was written by a Contributor.
Reference: https://www.forbes.com/sites/joresablount/2019/05/31/10-blockchain-companies-to-watch-in-2019/#308b507e543f
There is no traditional editing of contributors’ copy, at least not prior to publishing. If a story gets hot or makes the homepage, a producer will “check it more carefully,” DVorkin said.
Reference: https://www.poynter.org/reporting-editing/2012/what-the-forbes-model-of-contributed-content-means-for-journalism/
“Blogging for Forbes requires being what is commonly referred to as a "self-starter."
So far, nobody has said, "Um, you can't do that," or, "Oh, my God, no!"
Reference: https://www.forbes.com/sites/susannahbreslin/2011/04/06/how-to-become-a-forbes-blogge#231bb9972862
“Warning over 'scammers paradise' as watchdog reveals victims lost £27m to bitcoin, cryptocurrency and forex frauds last year”
• Some 1,850 cases were reported to Action Fraud, a 250% increase on 2017-18
• Victims lost an average of £14,600 - with fewer than 1 in 20 getting money back
• Investors are often initially told they've made a profit
• They are then encouraged to put in more money - at which point the fraudsters run off with their cash
Potential victims have been warned over bogus online 'get rich quick' schemes as it emerged people lost more than £27million to cryptocurrency and foreign exchange scams last year.
Fraudsters promise high returns to those who invest, according to Action Fraud and the Financial Conduct Authority.
Victims lost an average of £14,600 in 2018-19 and stand little chance of getting their money back.
Reports of cryptocurrency and forex investment scams increased by nearly 250 per cent in 2017-18, from 530 to nearly 1,850.
The scams work by criminals promoting get-rich-quick online trading platforms through social media. Posts often use fake celebrity endorsements and images of luxury items like expensive watches and cars.
Beat the scammers:
These then link to professional-looking websites where consumers are persuaded to invest.
Often investors are led to believe their first investment has successfully returned a profit, and are then enticed to invest more money or introduce friends in return for greater profits.
But the returns stop, the customer account is closed, and the scammer disappears with no further contact.
'Anyone handing over their hard-earned cash should make sure they understand what they're getting into, they've checked it's a legitimate investment, and not rely on hype and excitement from friends or social media.
'Investing isn't a get-rich-quick scheme - and anything that uses fear of missing out or requires you to invest before thinking is best to be avoided.'
Those considering an investment to check the following for tips on how to avoid investment fraud at www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart.
Scammers can be very convincing so always do your own research into any firm you are considering investing with, to make sure that they are the real deal.
'It's vital that people carry out the necessary checks to ensure that an investment they're considering is legitimate.
UK consumers are being increasingly targeted by crypto asset-related investment scams.
Certain crypto assets, like Bitcoin and Ether (also known as cryptocurrencies), are not regulated in the UK. This means that buying, selling or transferring these crypto-assets falls outside FCA remit. The same is true for the operation of a cryptocurrency exchange.
However, some types of crypto-asset products may be or may involve regulated investments depending on their nature and how they are structured. For example, firms that sell regulated investments with an underlying crypto asset element may need to be authorised by the FCA to do so.
In recent months, the FCA claims it has received an increasing number of reports about crypto-asset investment scams. Some of them may involve regulated activities, others don’t, but all use similar tactics.
How crypto-asset investment scams work
Cryptoasset fraudsters tend to advertise on social media – often using the images of celebrities or well-known individuals to promote cryptocurrency investments. In this case, laughably they said KaratBit was endorsed by Barak Obama’s sister. Who is she and what does she know about cryptocurrencies and blockchain? The ads then link to professional-looking websites. Consumers are then persuaded to make investments with the firm using cryptocurrencies or traditional currencies.
The firms operating the scams are usually based outside the UK but will claim to have a UK presence, often a prestigious City of London address.
Scam firms can manipulate software to distort prices and investment returns. They may scam people into buying the non-existent crypto asset. They are also known to suddenly close consumers’ online accounts and refuse to transfer the funds to them or ask for more money before the funds can be transferred.
Action Fraud has also issued a warning on cryptocurrency scams.
How to protect yourself
Be wary of adverts online and on social media promising high returns on investments in a crypto asset or crypto asset-related products.
Most firms advertising and selling investments in crypto-assets are not authorised by the FCA. This means that if you invest in certain crypto assets you will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if things go wrong.
The FCA doesn’t regulate crypto assets like Bitcoin or Ether which are vastly the most recognized cryptocurrencies, let alone KBC, they do regulate certain crypto-asset derivatives (such as futures contracts, CFDs and options), as well as those crypto assets I would consider securities. A firm must be authorised by FCA to advertise or sell these products in the UK – check FCA Register to make sure the firm is authorised. You can also check the FCA Warning List of firms to avoid.
You should do further research on the product you are considering and the firm you are considering investing with. Check with Companies House to see if the firm is registered as a UK company and for directors' names. To see if others have posted any concerns, search online for the firm's name, directors' names and the product you are considering.
If you’ve already decided you want to invest in gold, this might not be a bad company to side with. But if you’re just looking for an opportunity to earn a sustainable income and become financially independent, there are better options out there.
submitted by fourfingaz to u/fourfingaz [link] [comments]

[Not my post] The Structure of Forex Brokers

Originally posted by Darkstar at Forex Factory.
Disclaimer: I did not write this. I found this post on ForexFactory written by a user called DarkStar, which I believe a lot of redditors will benefit from reading.
________________________________________________________________________________________________________
There has been much discussion of late regarding borker spreads and liquidity. Many assumptions are being made about why spreads are widened during news time that are built on an incomplete knowledge of the architecture of the forex market in general. The purpose of this article is to dissect the market and hopefully shed some light on the situation so that a more rational and productive discussion can be undertaken by the Forex Factory members.
We will begin with an explanation of the purpose of the Forex market and how it is utilized by its primary participants, expand into the structure and operation of the market, and conclude with the implications of this information for speculators. With that having been said, let us begin.
Unlike the various bond and equity markets, the Forex market is not generally utilized as an investment medium. While speculation has a critical role in its proper function, the lion’s share of Forex transactions are done as a function of international business.
The guy who buys a shiny new Eclipse more then likely will pay for it with US Dollars. Unfortunately Mitsubishi’s factory workers in Japan need to get their paychecks denominated in Yen, so at some point a conversion needs to be made. When one considers that companies like Exxon, Boeing, Sony, Dell, Honda, and thousands of other international businesses move nearly every dollar, real, yen, rubble, pound, and euro they make in a foreign country through the Forex market, it isn’t hard to understand how insignificant the speculative presence is; even in a $2tril per day market.
By and large, businesses don’t much care about the intricacies of exchange rates, they just want to make and sell their products. As a central repository of a company’s money, it was only natural that the banks would be the facilitators of these transactions. In the old days it was easy enough for a bank to call a foreign bank (or a foreign branch of ones own bank) and swap the stockpiles of currency each had accumulated from their many customers.
Just as any business would, the banks bought the foreign currency at one rate and marked it up before selling it to the customer. With that the foreign exchange spread was born. This was (and still is) a reasonable cost of doing business. Mitsubishi can pay its customers and the banks make a nice little profit for the hassle and risks associated with moving around the currency.
As a byproduct of transacting all this business, bank traders developed the ability to speculate on the future of currency rates. Utilizing a better understanding of the market, a bank could quote a business a spread on the current rate but hold off hedging until a better one came along. This process allowed the banks to expand their net income dramatically. The unfortunate consequence was that liquidity was redistributed in a way that made certain transactions impossible to complete.
It was for this reason and this reason alone that the market was eventually opened up to non-bank participants. The banks wanted more orders in the market so that a) they could profit from the less experienced participants, and b) the less experienced participants could provide a better liquidity distribution for execution of international business hedge orders. Initially only megacap hedge funds (such as Soros’s and others) were permitted, but it has since grown to include the retail brokerages and ECNs.

Market Structure:
Now that we have established why the market exists, let’s take a look at how the transactions are facilitated:
The top tier of the Forex market is transacted on what is collectively known as the Interbank. Contrary to popular belief the Interbank is not an exchange; it is a collection of communication agreements between the world’s largest money center banks.
To understand the structure of the Interbank market, it may be easier to grasp by way of analogy. Consider that in an office (or maybe even someone’s home) there are multiple computers connected via a network cable. Each computer operates independently of the others until it needs a resource that another computer possesses. At that point it will contact the other computer and request access to the necessary resource. If the computer is working properly and its owner has given the requestor authorization to do so, the resource can be accessed and the initiating computers request can be fulfilled. By substituting computers for banks and resources for currency, you can easily grasp the relationships that exist on the Interbank.
Anyone who has ever tried to find resources on a computer network without a server can appreciate how difficult it can be to keep track of who has what resources. The same issue exists on the Interbank market with regard to prices and currency inventory. A bank in Singapore may only rarely transact business with a company that needs to exchange some Brazilian Real and it can be very difficult to establish what a proper exchange rate should be. It is for this purpose that EBS and Reuters (hereafter EBS) established their services.
Layered on top (in a manner of speaking) of the Interbank communication links, the EBS service enables banks to see how much and at what prices all the Interbank members are willing to transact. Pains should be taken to express that EBS is not a market or a market maker; it is an application used to see bids and offers from the various banks.
The second tier of the market exists essential within each bank. By calling your local Bank of America branch you can exchange any foreign currency you would like. More then likely they will just move some excess currency from one branch to another. Since this is a micro-exchange with a single counterparty, you are basically at their mercy as to what exchange rate they will quote you. Your choice is to accept their offer or shop a different bank. Everyone who trades the forex market should visit their bank at least once to get a few quotes. It would be very enlightening to see how lucrative these transactions really are.
Branching off of this second tier is the third tier retail market. When brokers like Oanda, Forex.com, FXCM, etc. desire to establish a retail operation the first thing they need is a liquidity provider. Nine in ten of these brokers will sign an agreement with just one bank. This bank will agree to provide liquidity if and only if they can hedge it on EBS inclusive of their desired spread. Because the volume will be significantly higher a single bank patron will transact, the spreads will be much more competitive. By no means should it be expected these tier 3 providers will be quoted precisely what exists on the Interbank. Remember the bank is in the business of collecting spreads and no agreement is going to suspend that priority.
Retail forex is almost akin to running a casino. The majority of its participants have zero understanding how to trade effectively and as a result are consistent losers. The spread system combined with a standard probability distribution of returns gives the broker a built in house advantage of a few percentage points. As a result, they have all built internal order matching systems that play one loser off against a winner and collect the spread. On the occasions when disequilibrium exists within the internal order book, the broker hedges any exposure with their tier 2 liquidity provider.
As bad as this may sound, there are some significant advantages for speculators that deal with them. Because it is an internal order book, many features can be provided which are otherwise unavailable through other means. Non-standard contract sizes, high leverage on tiny account balances, and the ability to transact in a commission free environment are just a few of them…
An ECN operates similar to a Tier 2 bank, but still exists on the third tier. An ECN will generally establish agreements with several tier 2 banks for liquidity. However instead of matching orders internally, it will just pass through the quotes from the banks, as is, to be traded on. It’s sort of an EBS for little guys. There are many advantages to the model, but it is still not the Interbank. The banks are going to make their spread or their not go to waste their time. Depending on the bank this will take the form of price shading or widened spreads depending on market conditions. The ECN, for its trouble, collects a commission on each transaction.
Aside from the commission factor, there are some other disadvantages a speculator should consider before making the leap to an ECN. Most offer much lower leverage and only allow full lot transactions. During certain market conditions, the banks may also pull their liquidity leaving traders without an opportunity to enter or exit positions at their desired price.

Trade Mechanics:
It is convenient to believe that in a $2tril per day market there is always enough liquidity to do what needs to be done. Unfortunately belief does not negate the reality that for every buyer there MUST be a seller or no transaction can occur. When an order is too large to transact at the current price, the price moves to the point where open interest is abundant enough to cover it. Every time you see price move a single pip, it means that an order was executed that consumed (or otherwise removed) the open interest at the current price. There is no other way that prices can move.
As we covered earlier, each bank lists on EBS how much and at what price they are willing to transact a currency. It is important to note that no Interbank participant is under any obligation to make a transaction if they do not feel it is in their best interest. There are no “market makers” on the Interbank; only speculators and hedgers.
Looking at an ECN platform or Level II data on the stock market, one can get a feel for what the orders on EBS look like. The following is a sample representation:
You’ll notice that there is open interest (Level II Vol figures) of various sizes at different price points. Each one of those units represents existing limit orders and in this example, each unit is $1mil in currency.
Using this information, if a market sell order was placed for 38.4mil, the spread would instantly widen from 2.5 pips to 4.5 pips because there would no longer be any orders between 1.56300 and 1.56345. No broker, market maker, bank, or thief in the night widened the spread; it was the natural byproduct of the order that was placed. If no additional orders entered the market, the spread would remain this large forever. Fortunately, someone somewhere will deem a price point between those 2 figures an appropriate opportunity to do something and place an order. That order will either consume more interest or add to it, depending whether it is a market or limit order respectively.
What would have happened if someone placed a market sell order for 2mil just 1 millisecond after that 38.4 mil order hit? They would have been filled at 1.5630 Why were they “slipped”? Because there was no one to take the other side of the transaction at 1.56320 any longer. Again, nobody was out screwing the trader; it was the natural byproduct of the order flow.
A more interesting question is, what would happen if all the listed orders where suddenly canceled? The spread would widen to a point at which there were existing bids and offers. That may be 5,7,9, or even 100 pips; it is going to widen to whatever the difference between a bid and an offer are. Notice that nobody came in and “set” the spread, they just refused to transact at anything between it.
Nothing can be done to force orders into existence that don’t exist. Regardless what market is being examined or what broker is facilitating transactions, it is impossible to avoid spreads and slippage. They are a fact of life in the realm of trading.

Implications for speculators:
Trading has been characterized as a zero sum game, and rightly so. If trader A sells a security to trader B and the price goes up, trader A lost money that they otherwise could have made. If it goes down, Trader A made money from trader B’s mistake. Even in a huge market like the Forex, each transaction must have a buyer and a seller to make a trade and one of them is going to lose. In the general realm of trading, this is materially irrelevant to each participant. But there are certain situations where it becomes of significant importance. One of those situations is a news event.
Much has been made of late about how it is immoral, illegal, or downright evil for a broker, bank, or other liquidity provider to withdraw their order (increasing the spread) and slip orders (as though it was a conscious decision on their part to do so) more then normal during these events. These things occur for very specific reasons which have nothing to do with screwing anyone. Let us examine why:
Leading up to an economic report for example, certain traders will enter into positions expecting the news to go a certain way. As the event becomes immanent, the banks on the Interbank will remove their speculative orders for fear of taking unnecessary losses. Technical traders will pull their orders as well since it is common practice for them to avoid the news. Hedge funds and other macro traders are either already positioned or waiting until after the news hits to make decisions dependent on the result.
Knowing what we now know, where is the liquidity necessary to maintain a tight spread coming from?
Moving down the food chain to Tier 2; a bank will only provide liquidity to an ECN or retail broker if they can instantly hedge (plus their requisite spread) the positions on Interbank. If the Interbank spreads are widening due to lower liquidity, the bank is going to have to widen the spreads on the downstream players as well.
At tier 3 the ECN’s are simply passing the banks offers on, so spreads widen up to their customers. The retailers that guarantee spreads of 2 to 5 pips have just opened a gaping hole in their risk profile since they can no longer hedge their net exposure (ever wonder why they always seem to shut down or requote until its over?). The variable spread retailers in turn open up their spreads to match what is happening at the bank or they run into the same problems fixed spreads broker are dealing with.
Now think about this situation for a second. What is going to happen when a number misses expectations? How many traders going into the event with positions chose wrong and need to get out ASAP? How many hedge funds are going to instantly drop their macro orders? How many retail traders’ straddle orders just executed? How many of them were waiting to hear a miss and executed market orders?
With the technical traders on the sidelines, who is going to be stupid enough to take the other side of all these orders?
The answer is no one. Between 1 and 5 seconds after the news hits it is a purely a 1 way market. That big long pin bar that occurs is a grand total of 2 prices; the one before the news hit and the one after. The 10, 20, or 30 pips between them is called a gap.
Is it any wonder that slippage is in evidence at this time?

Conclusions:
Each tier of the Forex market has its own inherent advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your priorities you have to make a choice between what restrictions you can live with and those you cant. Unfortunately, you can’t always get what you want.
By focusing on slippage and spreads, which are the natural byproduct of order flow, one is not only pursuing a futile ideal, they are passing up an enormous opportunity to capitalize on true inefficiencies. News events are one of the few times where a large number of players are positioned inappropriately and it is fairly easy to profit from their foolishness. If a trader truly wants to make the leap to the next level of profitability they should be spending their time figuring out how identify these positions and trading with the goal of capturing the price movement they inevitably will cause.
Nobody is going to make the argument that a broker is a trader’s best friend, but they still provide a valuable service and should be compensated for their efforts. By accepting a broker for what it is and learning how to work within the limitations of the relationship, traders have access to a world of opportunity that they otherwise could never dream of capturing. Let us all remember that simple truth.
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