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What I see when I see a student with ADHD

I have ADHD.
I was diagnosed at age 12. What happened is I got to middle school, and my life fell apart. It came on like a typhoon. Things seemed alright as I started, but I still remember that October when my family went to sixth-grade check-in.
My twin sister went first. The meeting lasted about four minutes. She and my parents left with smiles all around and talk of getting In N Out on the way home. Then it was my turn.
Every teacher I had stood in a circle. They seemed...different. One by one, they went around and told me that I was shit. Some were nicer than others, but everyone had the same message to convey:
Doesn't complete his homework all the way
Distracts others trying to learn
Unable to follow along in class
Not sure if he can keep up
I then heard my grades: C-, D+, C+, A in PE, C, and an F in Social Studies.
I don't remember being ashamed or embarrassed or anything. I remember being confused. I had gone to school every day and tried hard and thought I was doing what the teacher asked. Nope. Guess I wasn't.
Nobody had much advice for me. They just wanted me to know that I sucked. And that my parents should understand so. I don't know if my parents freaked out or punished me or what. But they weren't happy.
The last to go was my social studies teacher, Sven.
He asked me if I knew how to read.
I politely nodded my head.
But he wasn't sure. He talked about all the symptoms he had seen from me. To counter, I pulled a grad-level book on the Cold War off a shelf and read a page aloud while trying not to cry. People were even more confused.
Some estimate that a child with ADHD will receive 20,000 more negative comments before the age of 12 than a non-ADHD child will. I can't speak to that exactly, but I can say that this was not the only time I've had a room full of people upset with me for reasons I never saw coming. It doesn't get much easier.
Sven caught up to us as we walked to the car. He was cagey with his reasoning, but he told us that there might be something up with my brain. He recommended I get tested by a psychiatrist and see what she had to say. I've since come to my conclusions where he got such an idea.
The testing was fun. I've always liked tests. Didn't mention it, but they also thought I couldn't read in 2nd grade. Lol. That one went away after I took a standardized exam and scored in the 99th percentile of the nation in reading. I thought standardized tests were fun, you see.
I moved a bunch of colored balls into colored holes and tried to remember what color things were after 10 minutes and everything else you might expect. I didn't know what I was even doing, but I felt I could hang.
Three weeks later, I got my results. The only part I remember is that my psychiatrist noted that in her entire career, she had never met someone who scored higher on specific tasks and yet lower on others. My chart looked like OJ Simpson’s polygraph.
I could keep going, and in another article, I will. But this is how I got diagnosed. And the key to all of it was Sven. Everything makes perfect sense after the fact, but only when you realize that a single teacher served as the link that completes the narrative. I do not know where I am today without him.
I got lucky that this story takes place in 2003, and at a private school with teachers who genuinely cared about me. For reasons a lawyer in the comments needs to help me understand better, public school teachers seem loath to alert students of disabilities of any kind. This includes ADHD but also things like autism, dyslexia, and mood disorders. Things that seem apparent to me in a way that makes it seem impossible that no other teacher in the past 13 years hasn’t also picked up on them.
That means many students go through primary schooling while having no idea they have a problem at all. When I mention to a student they might have ADHD, they are first confused, but then some memories come back. The first is that someone, usually a sports or music coach, had once told them the same thing. The other is that they remember a lot of teachers saying weird stuff they didn't understand at the time. Stuff like, "You’re so talented. I just wish you could be better focused. Have you talked to anyone about why you could be having trouble?" To me, those sound like hints from a teacher who has been told by her bosses not to put the school at risk.
I am not a teacher. I'm a private consultant and can pretty much say whatever I want. I am also not a doctor - people would die - but I am a concerned adult who has taken courses in spotting learning disabilities. I'm also someone who will do absolutely anything to make sure his students have the best chance for success now and in the future. I'm also someone who asked both my ADHD-psychiatrist (hi!) and ADHD-therapist (hi!!!!!) if I had the right to tell students if I suspected something; they both went, Ya, dude. Totally.
So I try to be Sven. I try to pay attention to what my students do and say and provide feedback that can help them. I'd like to note what that feedback is here to make sure people don't miss it because my pieces go on for way too long.
If you are a high school student who suspects he or she has ADHD, your best course of action is to talk with your parents and look into being tested by a professional psychiatrist who specializes in the topic. These tests are expensive, and mental health insurance in America sucks balls. But this is the fastest, most straightforward route to getting the help you need.
Option two is to try and work with/through your public high school to get them to pay for it. This site has some good info. My guess is that this method will suck. Public schools don't have a lot of funding and will not want to spend it on you. That's not your problem. You will almost certainly need your parents to back you up on this one and sit through a lot of boring meetings. I assume a lot of people will tell you a lot of reasons why they can't help you. Your response every time should be some version of, "Sure. But I need help with this. And I'm not going to stop until I get the support I need. So what do I do from here?" Then you blankly stare at them and refuse to leave until they get you at least to the next step. I'm not sure how well this will work. If you do attempt or have attempted this method, please DM me or contact my Email with your experience. I want to know if this is even worth my student's time.
If you can not afford traditional testing or do not feel your parents would support such testing, your best option is to wait until the day you turn 18 and then register for a telehealth company specializing in ADHD. The one I use and recommend is HelloAhead.com. They're neat. They do not take traditional insurance, but their rates are much lower than most doctors. They are cheap enough that I feel an average 18-year old who wants help could find a way to afford it on his or her own. The downside with these sites is the waiting times can be long. Took me like five months. Other such sites are popping up, and while I can't vouch for them, they all seem to offer a similar service.
Those paragraphs are what I want every student here to know. I'm much more comfortable having a trained doctor tell you what the deal is than I am trying to do it myself.
But I have to see something if I want to be Sven. The question then is, how do I see it? For spotting ADHD, it's shockingly simple. And I'll get to the real reason at the end. But for now, here is what I see when I see a student with ADHD.
The best way I can describe their lives is "endless chaos"
The chaos isn't always bad! Rarely it's fun chaos, but often it's just chaos chaos. This chaos exists in both physical and mental forms.
Physical: Their shit is such a mess. Everything. Most of the work we do is digital, so I see the Google Doc version of their mind. Folders make no sense. Things are labeled inaccurately or not at all. Schools get combined, or separated, or forgotten altogether. It is not a single type of error, but instead a collection of small mistakes and poor decisions that make the work impossible to corral. I have some kids that are messy or lazy, but this is different. It's like if the original folder system I built for them was an amoeba in a petri dish. Leave that dish out for a weekend and come back. The patterns will be remarkably similar to the organizational gore that they then try to utilize.
Mental: There's always a story. "I was late because my car has a flat tire, and the guy was late, so I had to take an Uber." "I didn't know my music essays were due a month early because the form only mentioned there being a recital." "My friend is mad at me, but it's only because she didn't tell me we were the first group presenting, so I spent more time preparing our project".
These stories make sense at first. But after a few weeks, they start to pile up. Then I become the one hearing a story about why they didn't do what I wanted, and I stop being so forgiving.
ADHD is a neurological disorder. Not a mental illness. It's closer to diabetes than it is bi-polar. "ADHD" is a fairly garbage name for the condition because A) it has a stigma, and B) it isn't even accurate. Both attention deficit and hyperactivity are symptoms of ADHD, but they are not the problem itself. It would be like calling clinical depression "low energy and excessive guilt disorder". ADHD is actually an issue involving improper dopamine regulation in the brain combined with under-activity of the brain's executive function component.
The executive function center is the part of your brain that is in charge of making sure all the other parts of your brain play nice and communicate. When the executive function center breaks down...those other parts don't. The result is a failure to plan or coordinate + a need for impulsive stimulation, thus resulting in endless chaos.
This is what I’ll ask you if you DM me, btw. Is your life endless chaos? Sometimes do you like the chaos? Sometimes do you get bored and create the chaos yourself just to see what might happen? But when that chaos stops being so fun, can you make it stop?
They're very, very intelligent
You've probably heard about the "gifted ADHD genius" thing before. I don't think it exists.
My theory has always been that the "gifted ADHD child" is a victim of survivorship bias.
The research states that ADHD has either no or a negative correlation with intelligence.
There is also a startling overlap with ADHD and incarceration.
This means that students who still manage to succeed despite their disorder tend to have advantages that keep them in the game. Namely that they're smart as hell. The other saving grace is that they come from secure support networks that prevent them from unraveling completely. I've heard from such students that their mom or dad works tirelessly to keep their life in order and to make sure they're getting things done. I do not think it is a coincidence that when ADHD students leave for college, things often fall apart.
The fact that there are ADHD kids that others know and still like makes some think ADHD isn't so bad or comes with natural cognitive advantages. Those same people do not become friends with the ADHD dumb kids who would disprove those perceptions. Do you remember that kid in elementary school who was his own worst enemy? He never had friends, and everyone was kind of afraid to even talk with him? He was kind of a bully but mostly just awful? He invited you to his house one time, but your mom wouldn’t let you go? That is my best guess of what a dumb kid with ADHD is like. It sounds cold writing it, but you know which kid I'm talking about right now. Where do you think that kid is today?
I end up with the smart ones—the ones with parents who care. And God damn are these kids smart. They're brilliant, and funny, and likable, and charming. They have something different about them that makes them undeniable. And it's not just me. I worry I play them up too much in my mind, but then I chat with a teacher or coach of theirs. It's always the same thing: Oh, she's brilliant. She can be so frustrating sometimes, tho.
They can be so frustrating sometimes, tho
The word is frustrating. Now bad. Not nasty. Not unlikeable. Frustrating.
I have some students I just don't like that much (no, not you). What tends to be the common theme with them is that they don't have much interest in my help and display a work ethic to match. On the other spectrum are the world beaters (totally you). These kids kick ass and not only follow my advice but often take that advice to the next level in ways that awe and inspire me.
And then there are the kids I think have ADHD. They don't do stuff all the time. They don't finish an essay, or they forget to spell check like I asked, or they write about something that has nothing to do with the outline we built the week before. That's not necessarily the frustrating part. You kids are 17; you make mistakes. Early on, I try to spot these mistakes and point them out. Even the students who don't like me seem to get my point after enough prodding and the problem goes away.
With these kids, the problem does not go away. Or if it does, another problem pops right back up to replace it. It makes me feel like there's nothing I can do. It would be easier if the student was just a brat. Then I could either become a brat myself or mentally check out because "hey man, your future”.
I need a name for kids I suspect have ADHD…"MaybeHD"?
Ya. That’s super funny. Say it out loud and try not to laugh.
But these MaybeHD kids do like me. And they do want to get into school. And they do feel bad when I get upset with them. I end up in long, drawn-out conversations with them about why this is important and why they need to make specific work a priority to get into the schools they want to go to. Then they nod meekly and head home. Then they come back next week, and it's the same story.
Frustrating.
They are randomly awesome at the weirdest things
I love weird talents. Things that no one offers up immediately, but then you're chatting, and it comes up naturally. "Oh ya, I love animals! I raise baby pigs in my backyard!"
"You do?"
"Ya!"
At some point, the MaybeHD kid read something or watched a Youtube video that he or she liked. Then they wanted to try it. Six months later, they're making 4k a month selling custom bathrobes on Etsy. There's rarely any logic.
"Do you like baths? Or making clothing?
"Not really. I just thought it looked fun, so I bought a sewing kit and started making things."
There is a noted link between ADHD and entrepreneurship. I see it with my MaybeHD students. They have an insatiable drive and passion for following up on curiosities that other students don't possess. Passion is the wrong word. They have obsessions with mastering concepts in a way that feels beyond their control. The obsession itself drives them to be great.
The literature on the subject is cloudy. But there exists a term in ADHD circles called "Hyperfocus". If you know what "flow" is, it's kind of like that. Only more intense and less controllable. I often see the remnants of past hyperfocuses in their stories. They used to run that pig farm. They used to sell bathrobes. They used to be really into getting good grades at school. But then one day, just as quickly as they picked the skill up, they dropped it. They can seldom tell me why.
Their priorities are completely out of whack
The downside of hyperfocus is that it can be so all-encompassing that other priorities fall by the wayside. One of my favorite students ever is named Elleway. We chatted in our first meeting, and I was instantly intrigued by her background. She said she had designed and prototyped a unit that would automatically roll under parked electric cars for hands-free charging. I hear a lot of impressive stuff in my job, and a lot of it ends up being not that impressive. But then Elleway showed me the prototype video she made back when she was a high school freshman and it blew my mind.
https://youtu.be/Y5Ap2uMbWL4
Can you do that? I sure as hell can't. She wasn't even an engineer. She calmly explained that she had partnered with several older male engineers who had helped turn her idea into reality. Then she had done all the promotional and marketing work herself. Then she got second out of 300 students at a young entrepreneur contest held at Columbia University. Shortly after, a tech CEO came up to her and asked if she would like to work with him to file a patent for the invention. She agreed and is now a trademark holder.
That was all in our first 10 minutes. She then went on to share the half dozen corporations she had worked for. And the three businesses she started. And the graphic design work she made for her website. She told me how she was a Nationally ranked fencer until she lost interest. She was now merely a Nationally ranked golfer.
Then I saw she had a 2.9 GPA and thus zero shot at getting into NYU like she hoped.
I did not initially think Elleway had ADHD. I thought she was a pathological liar. It seemed impossible to me that this same girl who had already taken a grip on the world was then unable to keep up her grades in math. That just isn’t how any -any- of my other ultra high-achieving students behave. Then Elleway showed me pictures of her casually hanging out with Andrew Yang. And then her LinkedIn With a lot of people who do not accept your request unless they want to. I had to figure out what the hell led to all this.
Elleway’s patent and ambition to work on it had taken up all her time. She was so singularly focused on doing what she cared about that the world behind her didn't seem to exist. She was hyperfocused on a goal, but once she reached it, she woke up to a reality that punished her for ignoring everything else.
That's the longing writer's version of the story. The more popular one is that she didn't give a shit about school, was warned repeatedly about the consequences, and ignored them. She got what she deserved. That’s the version the rest of the world had for her.
It goes back to frustrating. I've gotten kids into NYU that don't show a fifth the potential that Elleway did. Those kids went to all the camps their parents paid for and entered competitions with a tech doorbell or something lame, and they're just fine. But MaybeHD students are often world-beaters in ways that make them seem so special. They talk endlessly not just about what they're into but how they figured it all out and why it is all so important to them. I believe them, and I want to fight for them. So I give them as much assistance as I possibly can. But then they don't do the increasingly easy tasks I ask for them to complete. Then they suffer the consequences.
Elleway didn't get into NYU. She didn't get in much of anywhere. It eats me up inside, and I feel like I failed her. I don't know how many other people in my position would feel the same way. That's why I have to be Sven.
This is getting long, and I'm getting depressed. Here's the TL: DR of what I see when I see a student with ADHD
...
Me. I see me. And it can hurt really bad knowing what a condition like ADHD does to a young person's life.
My life is endless chaos. I've been out of food for nine days. My house looks like Badger from Breaking Bad bought a loft in Palo Alto. I am still writing this at 3:25 AM when I have to be up for work at nine. My cat has started doing this thing where she sleeps in her food bowl when it gets empty. It's equal parts adorable and humiliating.
I'm smart as shit. I know it. I made up half-ideas. That article is absolute fire. I got published on Cracked.com five times in 2011 when that meant something. I went to Tulane on a half-ride merit scholarship, used to win creative writing contests, and have done a bunch of other writery stuff that made people stand up and go, "Woah".
But I only made it to college because my mom carried me there, kicking and screaming. She packaged my life together, and I held on for the ride. Then I got to school and made it two months before she got an Email alerting her that Tulane was planning to revoke the remaining $70,000 of my $80,000 scholarship due to my grades. I barely scraped by and survived. But the shame and frustration in her voice when she read me that letter over the phone haunts me to this day.
I analyze handwriting. And I turned a Reddit account into a successful business in four months. And I collect college T-shirts from schools my students go to. And I own Bitcoin I bought in 2011 for $4.50 each. And I'm teaching myself piano with a video game. And I'm exercising with a video game. And I'm ranked 42nd in Northern California at Super Smash Bros Ultimate. And I’ve tried the nachos at over 100 Taquerias in the Bay Area. And I own a really cute cat.
But I've spent 15* hours this week writing this instead of a sequel to that Costco piece. I have one coming where I edit my Common App essay from 2009. It's a great idea and a great article. One that will drive significantly more business to my site than this piece will. Hell, I predict this piece is likely to lose me business because I come off like a mess in it. But it's what I want to write, so I feel like I have no choice.
*The 15 hours is a guess. I have no idea how long it takes me to write and edit these things. I start typing and X hours later look up and realize how hungry I am and how much I need to pee. The writing controls me.
I see myself in my MaybeHD students. I see their unfettered curiosity and flair for taking as much good from the world as possible. I see their infectious enthusiasm and ability to quickly forgive others because they know too well how it feels to want forgiveness themselves.
Yet I also see their inattention to detail, their weak excuses, and their general confusion that makes me realize they couldn't fix some problems if their lives depended on it. I see their sadness and shame when those mistakes pile up. I see when the chaos stops being fun, and they want out, but they don't know how. I don't know what I, as their consultant, can do. But as Sven, I can recommend they go talk to someone else...
Hey, so, I was considering hiring you and all...but you seem kind of bad. Why should I trust you?
Because a couple of years ago, I got back on my medication and turned my life around. You aren't reading this if I don't reach out for help and trust a trained psychiatrist to guide me. There are no groups of friends in Delaware or Connecticut comparing their half-ideas lists. There sure as shit isn't a CollegeWithMattie.com.
I still have ADHD. But one of the greatest things about ADHD is that it is -without rival- the most treatable form of mental illness or dysfunction known to man. It is not curable, but there are endless medical and non-medical options available for those willing to reach out and get the help they need. My story is that it was only by getting re-medicated that I then could learn and use coping mechanisms that allow me to achieve the type of life I've always wanted.
Christ, 4,400 words. You know, I'm also submitting this for a class I'm in. That's why all the backlinks are to actual sources instead of links herding you into my website. Hi Amy! That's one more thing. ADHD people are hyper-efficient...Kind of.
Alright. If you're still here reading this, you might be suspecting some things about yourself. My DMs are open if you want to chat, but again, I am not a doctor. I will say that right now, as you prepare to head to college, is a really good time to get this all figured out. College is a giant reset button on your life. Figure these problems out now so that by the time you head off for your next chapter, you will have given yourself the best possible chance to succeed.
Endless chaos.
Here is the bold part again:
If you are a student in high school who suspects he or she has ADHD, your best course of action is to talk with your parents and look into being tested by a professional psychiatrist who specializes in the topic. These tests are expensive, and mental health insurance in America (still) sucks balls. But this is the fastest, most straightforward route to getting the help you need.
Option two is to try and work with/through your public high school to get them to pay for it. This site has some good info. My guess is that this method will kind of suck. Public schools don't have a lot of funding and will not want to spend it on you. That's not your problem. You will almost certainly need your parents to back you up on this one and sit through a lot of boring meetings. I assume a lot of people will tell you a lot of reasons why they can't help you. Your response every time should be some version of, "Sure. But I need help with this. And I'm not going to stop until I get the support I need. So what do I do from here?" Then you blankly stare at them and refuse to leave until they get you at least to the next step. This will suck and I'm not sure how well it will work. If you do attempt or have attempted this method, please DM me or contact my Email with your experience. I want to know if this is even worth my student's time.
If you can not afford traditional testing, or if you do not feel your parents would support such testing, your best option is to wait until the day you turn 18 and then register for a telehealth company that specializes in ADHD. The one I use and recommend is HelloAhead.com. They're neat. They do not take traditional insurance, but their rates are much lower than most doctors. They are cheap enough that I feel an average 18-year old who wants help could find a way to afford it on his or her own. The downside with these sites is the waiting times can be really long. Took me like five months. Other such sites are popping up, and while I can't vouch for them, they all seem to offer a similar service.
Update: The lines aren't that long anymore! Monday was Elleway's 18th birthday. She sent me a screengrab of her upcoming Ahead appointment in early September. She told me she spent the entire day crying because all her friends were going off to great schools and that she was stuck at home. I've told Elleway that I plan to help her reapply to NYU this year. I doubt I will ever want to see another student succeed as much as I will with her.
submitted by CollegeWithMattie to ApplyingToCollege [link] [comments]

First step to collaboration? Don't be so defensive!

For the last few months, I had been actively and deliberately avoiding participating in the ABC/BCHN/BU communication channels. I did that because I find it difficult to separate facts from assumptions/fictions/opinions. I did not want to allow those things to cloud my personal judgment. Please allow me to say a few things that may seem super obvious.
Collaboration is better than conflicts. I highly recommend people to watch this video on the findings from their experiments. https://www.ted.com/talks/jim_tamm_first_step_to_collaboration_don_t_be_so_defensive
There are actually many other studies backing up the same claim. Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/adigaskell/2017/06/22/new-study-finds-that-collaboration-drives-workplace-performance/#3ca44ff03d02
As Michael Jordan, “the greatest basketball player of all time,” once said, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”
I don’t know about you, but I plan to win championships.
I have absolutely no conflicts with Amaury nor Bitcoin ABC. As a matter of fact, I even offered to help Bitcoin ABC build up their goodwill in the ecosystem, and I specifically said I don’t need to be paid. Because the moment I get paid by Bitcoin ABC, it becomes harder to defend one’s position.
This was before the creation of BCHN. Once BCHN happened, I sense that things won’t be pretty. The reason is very simple. There are multiple levels of anger. For a group of people to band together for the same cause, I would argue that level of anger must be pretty high up the charts. And usually it comes with good reasons.
Now, it is not that Amaury is a bad person. It is just that he lacks certain skills to work collaboratively. Yes, Amaury has some flaws, so what? That is part and parcel of being a human being, what’s the shame in admitting some mistakes? In fact, it is important to recognize one’s flaws because if a fish is being asked to run a marathon, it will finish last. We have to play to our strengths and not encourage the fish to keep running marathons. And so I find it puzzling that pro-ABC people keeps on condoning or even encouraging such behaviors, because such actions ultimately harm Bitcoin ABC more than helping.
As studies had shown, collaboration is the better path leading to better outcomes, higher trust, less stress, and many other benefits. And therefore, Amaury’s lack of certain skills should not be an impediment to Bitcoin ABC or Bitcoin Cash. We have some flaws, that’s normal and we should do something about it, we are not immovable trees.
I would like to suggest that both Bitcoin ABC and BCHN limit the rhetoric and discuss individual issues based on their merits. Issue XYZ is good or bad? Here are the facts why it’s good. Here are the evidence why it’s bad. There is no need to be emotional or defensive about it. This is how collaborative people work productively together. It may take some effort, but it’s worth it because the collective intelligence of the community just went up by such constructive discussions.
submitted by MobTwo to btc [link] [comments]

Spicy Trade Setup on MARA (crypto sympathy play)

💵 Hello amigos 💵
Mrs. Mara showed up today. At first I was like nah, then she showed me her bitcoin correlation and I was like, okay maybe.
I have a bro I trade with, whom I met in 3rd grade ‘gifted & talented’ program. I feel like he’s better than me at fundamental analysis. Anyway we were discussing this stock because it showed up on my screener and the chart looked the best out of the five today (amtx was 2nd place.) he told me it’s a bitcoin mining company.
I told him, ‘Bro MARA spiked to $1.40 on June 10th.’
Bro: ‘is that the day that bitcoin ran up to $10,000?’
Turns out, yes it was. Apparently the price of Mara is correlated to the price of bitcoin. Which is great. We won’t discuss bitcoin here, but I’m very bullish on bitcoin.
Here are the charts for MARA: click this bro
It’s a weekly break out pattern at $1, looks like it wants to break out in the medium term. Top of red triangle is $1 level.
On the daily chart, you can see that daily candle that spiked to $1.40. You can also see the price tightening in between the 50 & 200ema (black and white curved lines) indicating a big move coming.
I did see that they filed for an offering on June 29th I believe. Couldn’t really find much more info on it though. Just something to be aware of for sure.
I’m waiting on settled funds in webull. But here’s my plan:
Buy price: $0.91-$0.99
Target 1: $1.34
Target 2: $1.67 (pennant flagpole target)
Stop loss: $0.7647
Gonna risk five percent of my total account on this one.
submitted by trevandezz to pennystocks [link] [comments]

Crypto Banking Wars: Will Coinbase or Binance Become The Bank of The Future?

Crypto Banking Wars: Will Coinbase or Binance Become The Bank of The Future?
Can the early success of major crypto exchanges propel them to winning the broader consumer finance market?
https://reddit.com/link/i48t4q/video/v4eo10gom7f51/player
This is the first part of Crypto Banking Wars — a new series that examines what crypto-native company is most likely to become the bank of the future. Who is best positioned to reach mainstream adoption in consumer finance?
While crypto allows the world to get rid of banks, a bank will still very much be necessary for this powerful technology to reach the masses. We believe a crypto-native company, like Genesis Block, will become the bank of the future.
In an earlier series, Crypto-Powered, we laid out arguments for why crypto-native companies have a huge edge in the market. When you consider both the broad spectrum of financial use-cases and the enormous value unlocked through these DeFi protocols, you can see just how big of an unfair advantage blockchain tech becomes for companies who truly understand and leverage it. Traditional banks and fintech unicorns simply won’t be able to keep up.
The power players of consumer finance in the 21st century will be crypto-native companies who build with blockchain technology at their core.
The crypto landscape is still nascent. We’re still very much in the fragmented, unbundled phase of the industry lifecycle. Beyond what Genesis Block is doing, there are signs of other companies slowly starting to bundle financial services into what could be an all-in-one bank replacement.
So the key question that this series hopes to answer:
Which crypto-native company will successfully become the bank of the future?
We obviously think Genesis Block is well-positioned to win. But we certainly aren’t the only game in town. In this series, we’ll be doing an analysis of who is most capable of thwarting our efforts. We’ll look at categories like crypto exchanges, crypto wallets, centralized lending & borrowing services, and crypto debit card companies. Each category will have its own dedicated post.
Today we’re analyzing big crypto exchanges. The two companies we’ll focus on today are Coinbase (biggest American exchange) and Binance (biggest global exchange). They are the top two exchanges in terms of Bitcoin trading volume. They are in pole position to winning this market — they have a huge existing userbase and strong financial resources.
Will Coinbase or Binance become the bank of the future? Can their early success propel them to winning the broader consumer finance market? Is their growth too far ahead for anyone else to catch up? Let’s dive in.
https://preview.redd.it/lau4hevpm7f51.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=2c5de1ba497199f36aa194e5809bd86e5ab533d8

Binance

The most formidable exchange on the global stage is Binance (Crunchbase). All signs suggest they have significantly more users and a stronger balance sheet than Coinbase. No other exchange is executing as aggressively and relentlessly as Binance is. The cadence at which they are shipping and launching new products is nothing short of impressive. As Tushar Jain from Multicoin argues, Binance is Blitzscaling.
Here are some of the products that they’ve launched in the last 18 months. Only a few are announced but still pre-launch.
Binance is well-positioned to become the crypto-powered, all-in-one, bundled solution for financial services. They already have so many of the pieces. But the key question is:
Can they create a cohesive & united product experience?

Binance Weaknesses

Binance is strong, but they do have a few major weaknesses that could slow them down.
  1. Traders & Speculators Binance is currently very geared for speculators, traders, and financial professionals. Their bread-and-butter is trading (spot, margin, options, futures). Their UI is littered with depth charts, order books, candlesticks, and other financial concepts that are beyond the reach of most normal consumers. Their product today is not at all tailored for the broader consumer market. Given Binance’s popularity and strength among the pro audience, it’s unlikely that they will dumb down or simplify their product any time soon. That would jeopardize their core business. Binance will likely need an entirely new product/brand to go beyond the pro user crowd. That will take time (or an acquisition). So the question remains, is Binance even interested in the broader consumer market? Or will they continue to focus on their core product, the one-stop-shop for pro crypto traders?
  2. Controversies & Hot Water Binance has had a number of controversies. No one seems to know where they are based — so what regulatory agencies can hold them accountable? Last year, some sensitive, private user data got leaked. When they announced their debit card program, they had to remove mentions of Visa quickly after. And though the “police raid” story proved to be untrue, there are still a lot of questions about what happened with their Shanghai office shut down (where there is smoke, there is fire). If any company has had a “move fast and break things” attitude, it is Binance. That attitude has served them well so far but as they try to do business in more regulated countries like America, this will make their road much more difficult — especially in the consumer market where trust takes a long time to earn, but can be destroyed in an instant. This is perhaps why the Binance US product is an empty shell when compared to their main global product.
  3. Disjointed Product Experience Because Binance has so many different teams launching so many different services, their core product is increasingly feeling disjointed and disconnected. Many of the new features are sloppily integrated with each other. There’s no cohesive product experience. This is one of the downsides of executing and shipping at their relentless pace. For example, users don’t have a single wallet that shows their balances. Depending on if the user wants to do spot trading, margin, futures, or savings… the user needs to constantly be transferring their assets from one wallet to another. It’s not a unified, frictionless, simple user experience. This is one major downside of the “move fast and break things” approach.
  4. BNB token Binance raised $15M in a 2017 ICO by selling their $BNB token. The current market cap of $BNB is worth more than $2.6B. Financially this token has served them well. However, given how BNB works (for example, their token burn), there are a lot of open questions as to how BNB will be treated with US security laws. Their Binance US product so far is treading very lightly with its use of BNB. Their token could become a liability for Binance as it enters more regulated markets. Whether the crypto community likes it or not, until regulators get caught up and understand the power of decentralized technology, tokens will still be a regulatory burden — especially for anything that touches consumers.
  5. Binance Chain & Smart Contract Platform Binance is launching its own smart contract platform soon. Based on compatibility choices, they have their sights aimed at the Ethereum developer community. It’s unclear how easy it’ll be to convince developers to move to Binance chain. Most of the current developer energy and momentum around smart contracts is with Ethereum. Because Binance now has their own horse in the race, it’s unlikely they will ever decide to leverage Ethereum’s DeFi protocols. This could likely be a major strategic mistake — and hubris that goes a step too far. Binance will be pushing and promoting protocols on their own platform. The major risk of being all-in on their own platform is that they miss having a seat on the Ethereum rocket ship — specifically the growth of DeFi use-cases and the enormous value that can be unlocked. Integrating with Ethereum’s protocols would be either admitting defeat of their own platform or competing directly against themselves.

Binance Wrap Up

I don’t believe Binance is likely to succeed with a homegrown product aimed at the consumer finance market. Their current product — which is focused heavily on professional traders and speculators — is unlikely to become the bank of the future. If they wanted to enter the broader consumer market, I believe it’s much more likely that they will acquire a company that is getting early traction. They are not afraid to make acquisitions (Trust, JEX, WazirX, DappReview, BxB, CoinMarketCap, Swipe).
However, never count CZ out. He is a hustler. Binance is executing so aggressively and relentlessly that they will always be on the shortlist of major contenders.
https://preview.redd.it/mxmlg1zqm7f51.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=2d900dd5ff7f3b00df5fe5a48305d57ebeffaa9a

Coinbase

The crypto-native company that I believe is more likely to become the bank of the future is Coinbase (crunchbase). Their dominance in America could serve as a springboard to winning the West (Binance has a stronger foothold in Asia). Coinbase has more than 30M users. Their exchange business is a money-printing machine. They have a solid reputation as it relates to compliance and working with regulators. Their CEO is a longtime member of the crypto community. They are rumored to be going public soon.

Coinbase Strengths

Let’s look at what makes them strong and a likely contender for winning the broader consumer finance market.
  1. Different Audience, Different Experience Coinbase has been smart to create a unique product experience for each audience — the pro speculator crowd and the common retail user. Their simple consumer version is at Coinbase.com. That’s the default. Their product for the more sophisticated traders and speculators is at Coinbase Pro (formerly GDAX). Unlike Binance, Coinbase can slowly build out the bank of the future for the broad consumer market while still having a home for their hardcore crypto traders. They aren’t afraid to have different experiences for different audiences.
  2. Brand & Design Coinbase has a strong product design team. Their brand is capable of going beyond the male-dominated crypto audience. Their product is clean and simple — much more consumer-friendly than Binance. It’s clear they spend a lot of time thinking about their user experience. Interacting directly with crypto can sometimes be rough and raw (especially for n00bs). When I was at Mainframe we hosted a panel about Crypto UX challenges at the DevCon4 Dapp Awards. Connie Yang (Head of Design at Coinbase) was on the panel. She was impressive. Some of their design philosophies will bode well as they push to reach the broader consumer finance market.
  3. USDC Stablecoin Coinbase (along with Circle) launched USDC. We’ve shared some stats about its impressive growth when we discussed DeFi use-cases. USDC is quickly becoming integrated with most DeFi protocols. As a result, Coinbase is getting a front-row seat at some of the most exciting things happening in decentralized finance. As Coinbase builds its knowledge and networks around these protocols, it could put them in a favorable position to unlock incredible value for their users.
  4. Early Signs of Bundling Though Coinbase has nowhere near as many products & services as Binance, they are slowly starting to add more financial services that may appeal to the broader market. They are now letting depositors earn interest on USDC (also DAI & Tezos). In the UK they are piloting a debit card. Users can now invest in crypto with dollar-cost-averaging. It’s not much, but it’s a start. You can start to see hints of a more bundled solution around financial services.

Coinbase Weaknesses

Let’s now look at some things that could hold them back.
  1. Slow Cadence In the fast-paced world of crypto, and especially when compared to Binance, Coinbase does not ship very many new products very often. This is perhaps their greatest weakness. Smaller, more nimble startups may run circles around them. They were smart to launch Coinbase Ventures where tey invest in early-stage startups. They can now keep an ear to the ground on innovation. Perhaps their cadence is normal for a company of their size — but the Binance pace creates quite the contrast.
  2. Lack of Innovation When you consider the previous point (slow cadence), it’s unclear if Coinbase is capable of building and launching new products that are built internally. Most of their new products have come through acquisitions. Their Earn.com acquisition is what led to their Earn educational product. Their acquisition of Xapo helped bolster their institutional custody offering. They acqui-hired a team to help launch their staking infrastructure. Their acquisition of Cipher Browser became an important part of Coinbase Wallet. And recently, they acquired Tagomi — a crypto prime brokerage. Perhaps most of Coinbase’s team is just focused on improving their golden goose, their exchange business. It’s unclear. But the jury is still out on if they can successfully innovate internally and launch any homegrown products.
  3. Talent Exodus There have been numerous reports of executive turmoil at Coinbase. It raises a lot of questions about company culture and vision. Some of the executives who departed include COO Asiff Hirji, CTO Balaji Srinivasan, VP & GM Adam White, VP Eng Tim Wagner, VP Product Jeremy Henrickson, Sr Dir of Eng Namrata Ganatra, VP of Intl Biz Dan Romero, Dir of Inst Sales Christine Sandler, Head of Trading Hunter Merghart, Dir Data Science Soups Ranjan, Policy Lead Mike Lempres, Sr Compliance Vaishali Mehta. Many of these folks didn’t stay with Coinbase very long. We don’t know exactly why it’s happening —but when you consider a few of my first points (slow cadence, lack of innovation), you have to wonder if it’s all related.
  4. Institutional Focus As a company, we are a Coinbase client. We love their institutional offering. It’s clear they’ve been investing a lot in this area. A recent Coinbase blog post made it clear that this has been a focus: “Over the past 12 months, Coinbase has been laser-focused on building out the types of features and services that our institutional customers need.” Their Tagomi acquisition only re-enforced this focus. Perhaps this is why their consumer product has felt so neglected. They’ve been heavily investing in their institutional services since May 2018. For a company that’s getting very close to an IPO, it makes sense that they’d focus on areas that present strong revenue opportunities — as they do with institutional clients. Even for big companies like Coinbase, it’s hard to have a split focus. If they are “laser-focused” on the institutional audience, it’s unlikely they’ll be launching any major consumer products anytime soon.

Coinbase Wrap Up

At Genesis Block, we‘re proud to be working with Coinbase. They are a fantastic company. However, I don’t believe that they’ll succeed in building their own product for the broader consumer finance market. While they have incredible design, there are no signs that they are focused on or capable of internally building this type of product.
Similar to Binance, I think it’s far more likely that Coinbase acquires a promising young startup with strong growth.

Honorable Mentions

Other US-based exchanges worth mentioning are Kraken, Gemini, and Bittrex. So far we’ve seen very few signs that any of them will aggressively attack broader consumer finance. Most are going in the way of Binance — listing more assets and adding more pro tools like margin and futures trading. And many, like Coinbase, are trying to attract more institutional customers. For example, Gemini with their custody product.

Wrap Up

Coinbase and Binance have huge war chests and massive reach. For that alone, they should always be considered threats to Genesis Block. However, their products are very, very different than the product we’re building. And their approach is very different as well. They are trying to educate and onboard people into crypto. At Genesis Block, we believe the masses shouldn’t need to know or care about it. We did an entire series about this, Spreading Crypto.
Most everyone needs banking — whether it be to borrow, spend, invest, earn interest, etc. Not everyone needs a crypto exchange. For non-crypto consumers (the mass market), the differences between a bank and a crypto exchange are immense. Companies like Binance and Coinbase make a lot of money on their crypto exchange business. It would be really difficult, gutsy, and risky for any of them to completely change their narrative, messaging, and product to focus on the broader consumer market. I don’t believe they would ever risk biting the hand that feeds them.
In summary, as it relates to a digital bank aimed at the mass market, I believe both Coinbase and Binance are much more likely to acquire a startup in this space than they are to build it themselves. And I think they would want to keep the brand/product distinct and separate from their core crypto exchange business.
So back to the original question, is Coinbase and Binance a threat to Genesis Block? Not really. Not today. But they could be, and for that, we want to stay close to them.
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First step to collaboration? Don't be so defensive!

For the last few months, I had been actively and deliberately avoiding participating in the ABC/BCHN/BU communication channels. I did that because I find it difficult to separate facts from assumptions/fictions/opinions. I did not want to allow those things to cloud my personal judgment. Please allow me to say a few things that may seem super obvious.
Collaboration is better than conflicts. I highly recommend people to watch this video on the findings from their experiments. https://www.ted.com/talks/jim_tamm_first_step_to_collaboration_don_t_be_so_defensive
There are actually many other studies backing up the same claim. Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/adigaskell/2017/06/22/new-study-finds-that-collaboration-drives-workplace-performance/#3ca44ff03d02
As Michael Jordan, “the greatest basketball player of all time,” once said, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”
I don’t know about you, but I plan to win championships.
I have absolutely no conflicts with Amaury nor Bitcoin ABC. As a matter of fact, I even offered to help Bitcoin ABC build up their goodwill in the ecosystem, and I specifically said I don’t need to be paid. Because the moment I get paid by Bitcoin ABC, it becomes harder to defend one’s position.
This was before the creation of BCHN. Once BCHN happened, I sense that things won’t be pretty. The reason is very simple. There are multiple levels of anger. For a group of people to band together for the same cause, I would argue that level of anger must be pretty high up the charts. And usually it comes with good reasons.
Now, it is not that Amaury is a bad person. It is just that he lacks certain skills to work collaboratively. Yes, Amaury has some flaws, so what? That is part and parcel of being a human being, what’s the shame in admitting some mistakes? In fact, it is important to recognize one’s flaws because if a fish is being asked to run a marathon, it will finish last. We have to play to our strengths and not encourage the fish to keep running marathons. And so I find it puzzling that pro-ABC people keeps on condoning or even encouraging such behaviors, because such actions ultimately harm Bitcoin ABC more than helping.
As studies had shown, collaboration is the better path leading to better outcomes, higher trust, less stress, and many other benefits. And therefore, Amaury’s lack of certain skills should not be an impediment to Bitcoin ABC or Bitcoin Cash. We have some flaws, that’s normal and we should do something about it, we are not immovable trees.
I would like to suggest that both Bitcoin ABC and BCHN limit the rhetoric and discuss individual issues based on their merits. Issue XYZ is good or bad? Here are the facts why it’s good. Here are the evidence why it’s bad. There is no need to be emotional or defensive about it. This is how collaborative people work productively together. It may take some effort, but it’s worth it because the collective intelligence of the community just went up by such constructive discussions.
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For Trading March 20

For Trading March 20th
Another Range Day
Yields Fall
Oil Rebounds
Yesterday I said that “today’s market was actually not as bad as it seemed.” And today while we had a sharp decline early, we rallied back up toward yesterday’s highs, and when the dust settled we were DJIA +188.27 (.95%), NASDAQ +160.74 (2.3%), S&P 500 +11.29 (.47%), the Russell +67.52 (6.81%) and DJ Transports +107.29 (1.54%). Also, yesterday I said “the obvious culprit was the Oil. After the close, the oil bounced and held most of the gains until it had rallied up about 24% and closed $25.91 +5.08 after trading as high as $28.28. Market internals were better with the A/D on NYSE at 3:1, and about the same on NASDAQ. The DJIA was 17 Up, 13 Down, and for the first time in over a week, there were no triple-digit losers or gainers. The biggest movers were MCD +83 and GS +64 on the upside and JNJ -54 DPs. Strong sectors included Energy and consumer discretionary, while the weak included utilities, consumer stables, health care and real estate. The technology and small caps outperformed. The thought that Mr. Trump has the relationship or talent as an arbitrator to settle a dispute between the Kingdom and Putin the thug is unlikely. I also issued a YouTube video (#151) on today’s closing comments: https://youtu.be/spf45YUFaxc
Our “open forum” on Discord, which allows me to interact with subscribers and others to allow direct questions and chart opinions on just about any stock, continues to grow with more participants every day. It is informative and allows me to share insights as the market is open and moving. The link is: https://discord.gg/ATvC7YZ and I will be there and active from before the open and all day. It’s a great place to share ideas and gain some insights.
SECTORS: Other names in the news: While there is plenty to discuss, I’ll just hit a few high points. All U.S. industries are lining up with their hands out looking for their piece of however many trillions of dollars and favorable legislation they can extract through their state politicians. While I get that nobody in the cruise industry, or the hotel and allied hospitality sectors or any manufacturing business had any fault in COVID-19, at some point in time, they must take responsibility for the cash they squandered on stock buybacks instead retaining earnings for when the business cycle went through a slowdown. I know I’ve railed about this for a while, but Capitalism works because it enforces some degree of fiscal responsibility on the operators of business. And if they fail, they fail. That what the bankruptcy laws are about. If you need a primer on it, just ask the president. If you run a business into the ground, by any means, you lose.
On the rocket to “almost the moon” followed by a crash and burn, we had Blue Apron (APRN) started the week at $2.28 and yesterday it closed $16.25 +9.70, but today after trading $28.84 before collapsing to finish $14.34 -1.91 (11.75%). In case you forgot, this little beauty was reverse split 1:15 last year, so todays close is still under $1.00.
BIOPHARMA: was HIGHER with TEVA the big winner @ $8.10 +1.41 (21.08%) on the news that it is a manufacturer of Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate, a potential treatment for COVID-19 and are donating the tablets to hospitals nationwide. ICPT was +8.80 (18.20%), LABU +2.11 (14.36%) and IBB $99.51 +1.18 (1.2%).
CANNABIS: Even this group had some winners with TLRY +1.16 (46.96%), PYX, yesterday’s biggest loser bounced back to close +.40 (27.59%) and MJ $9.65 +.55 (6.04%).
DEFENSE: was MIXED with LMT -20.14 (6.12%), RTN +6.39, and yesterday’s big loser, TDY +25.06 (12.46%), and ITA $126.19 +2.78 (2.25%).
RETAIL was MIXED with JWN +1.49 (7.54%), DDS +4.78 (12%), and WMT -3.34, RL –3.11, UAA +.94 (10.99%), CPRI +2.40 (31.91%) and XRT $29.27 +1.52 (5.48%).
FAANG and Big Cap: were MOSTLY HIGHER with GOOGL +19.30, AMZN +43.00, AAPL -3.42, FB +3.94, NFLX +18.54, NVDA +7.48, IBM -4.50, TSLA +32.78(9.07%), BABA +1.00, BIDU +5.50, BA -7.08, CAT +1.69, DIS +4.45 and XLK $74.85 +.27 (.36%).
FINANCIALS were MIXED with GS +4.70, JPM -.19, BAC -.04, MS -.14, C +2.57, PNC +4.76, AIG +1.77 (9.42%), TRV +4.38, AXP +1.65, and XLF $19.61 +.42 (2.19%).
OIL, $5.91 +5.08. The stocks were HIGHER with the price of Oil trading as high as 28.28). The oil is slightly higher in extended hours and XLE is $25.61 +1.63 (6.8%).
METALS, GOLD: $1,479.30 +1.40. After the liquidation of the past few day’s gold tried to work higher but gave it up closing barely changed. I still expect a move back toward $1,600 to unfold.
BITCOIN: closed $6240 +900. We broke to the downside overnight and fell to a low of $4390, and for the first time in days did not make a new recent low. Today was a strong move to the upside While I want to add the 350 sold just over a week ago, I want to wait and see some stabilization. We still own 400 GBTC with an average of $8.06. GBTC closed $7.25 +1.24 today.
Tomorrow is another day.
CAM
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KYC is absolutely not acceptable for MakerDAO!

I've heard that founder of MakerDAO is not strictly against KYC. I have a message to whole community and specifically to a founder of MakerDAO Rune Christensen. I will explain using concrete examples why having KYC in MakerDAO is a grave mistake and it will lead to MakerDAO fork.
Many people in the first world never actually understand why financial privacy and financial inclusion is important. Even people (in the first world) who seemingly supportive of such ideas are not able to provide any concrete examples of why it's actually important.
Unfortunately, I was born in a "wrong" country (Uzbekistan) and I experienced first hand what financial exclusion actually means. I know first hand that annoying feeling when you read polite, boilerplate rejection letter from financial institution based in first world. So I had to become practical libertarian. I'm going to give you concrete examples of financial discrimination against me. Then I'm going to explain fundamental reasons why it happens. And finally, I'm going to explain my vision for DAI.
Back in 2005, I lived in Uzbekistan. I had an idea to invest in US stocks. I was very naive and I didn't know anything about investing, compliance, bank transfers, KYC etc. All I knew is nice long term charts of US stocks and what P/E means. I didn't contact any US brokerage but I checked information about account opening and how to transfer money there. I approached local bank in Uzbekistan and asked how to transfer money to Bank of New York. Banker's face was like - WOW, WTF?!?! They asked me to go to private room to talk with senior manager. Senior manager of local bank in Uzbekistan asked me why I wanted to transfer money to US. They told me that it's absolutely impossible to transfer money to US/EU and pretty much anywhere. I approached nearly every local bank in the town and they told me the same.
In 2012, I already lived in Moscow and acquired Russian citizenship. I got back to my old idea - investing in US stocks. I called to many US brokerages and all of them politely rejected me. Usually when I called I asked them if I can open an account with them. They told me to hold on line. After long pause, I was able to speak with "senior" support who politely explain me that Russia in their list of restricted countries and they can't open an account for me. Finally, I was able to open an account with OptionsXpress. Next challenge was to convince local Russian bank to transfer money to US. Back then in 2012, I was able to get permission to do so. So you might say - is this happy end?
Fast forwarding US brokerage story to 2017, OptionsXpress was acquired by Charles Schwab. I was notified that my OptionsXpress account will be migrated to Charles Schwab platform. In 2017, I already lived in the Netherlands (but still having Russian citizenship). I wasn't happy with my stupid job in the Netherlands. I called Charles Schwab and asked if I quit my job in the Netherlands and have to return to Russia, what will happen with my account. Schwab told me that they will restrict my account, so I can't do anything except closing my account. So even if I was long term customer of OptionsXpress, Charles Schwab is not fully okay with me.
Going back to 2013, I still lived in Russia. I had another idea. What if I quit my job and build some SAAS platform (or whatever) and sell my stuff to US customers. So I need some website which accept US credit cards. I contacted my Russian bank (who previously allowed me to transfer money to OptionsXpress) about steps to make in order to accept US credit cards in Russia. I've been told explicitly in email that they won't allow me to accept US credit cards under any circumstances.
Back then I still believed in "the free west". So I thought - no problem, I will just open bank account abroad and do all operations from my foreign account. I planned vacation in Hong Kong. And Hong Kong is freest economy in the world. Looks like it's right place to open bank account. I contacted HSBC Hong Kong via email. Their general support assured me that I can open bank account with them if I'm foreigner. I flew to Hong Kong for vacation and visited HSBC branch. Of course, they rejected me. But they recommended me to visit last floor in their HQ building, they told me that another HSBC branch specializes on opening bank accounts for foreigners. I went there and they said minimum amount to open bank account is 10 mil HKD (1.27 mil USD). Later I learned that it's called private banking.
When I relocated to the Netherlands, I asked ABN Amro staff - what's happen with my bank account if I quit/lose my job in the Netherlands and have to return back to Russia. I've been told that I can't have my dutch bank account if I go back to Russia even if I already used their bank for 2+ years.
I still had idea that I would like to quit my job and do something for myself. The problem is that I'm Russian citizen and I don't have any residency which is independent from my employment. So if I quit my job in the Netherlands, I have to return back to Russia. I wanted to see how I would get payments from US/EU customers. I found Stripe Atlas, it's so exciting, they help you to incorporate in US, and even help with banking, all process of receiving credit card payments is very smooth. But as usual in my case, there is a catch - Russia in their list of restricted countries.
Speaking of centralized compliance-friendly (e.g. KYC) crypto exchanges. This year I live and work in Hong Kong. Earlier this year, I thought it would be nice to have an account at local crypto exchange in Hong Kong so I can quickly transfer money from my bank account in Hong Kong to crypto exchange using FPS (local payment system for fast bank transfers). What could go wrong? After all Hong Kong is freest economy in the world, right? I submitted KYC documents to crypto exchange called Weever including copy of my Hong Kong ID as they requested. They very quickly responded that they need copy of my passport as well. I submitted copy of my Russian passport. This time they got silent. After a few days, they sent me email saying that Russia is on the US Office of Foreign Assets Control sanction list, so they just require me to fill a form about source of the funds. I told them that the source of my funds is salary, my Hong Kong bank can confirm that along with my employment contract. They got very silent after I sent them a filled form. After a week of silence I asked them - when my account get approved? They said that their compliance office will review my application soon. And they got very silent again. I waited for two or three weeks. Then I asked them again. And I immediately got email with title - Rejection for Weever Account Opening. And text of email was:
We are sorry to inform you that Weever may not be able to accept your account opening application at this stage.
Exactly the same situation I had with one crypto exchange in Europe back in 2017. Luckily I have accounts at other crypto exchanges including Gemini, one of most compliance obsessed exchange in the world. Although I don't keep my money there because I can't trust them, who knows what might come into head of their compliance officer one sunny day.
By the way, I'm living and working outside of Russia for quite a few years. The situation with crypto exchanges is much worse for those who still living in Russia.
I give you a few other examples of financial discrimination is not related to troubles with my Russian citizenship.
Back in 2018, I still lived in the Netherlands. I logged in into my brokerage account just to buy US ETFs as I always do - SPY and QQQ. I placed my order and it failed to fill. I thought it's just a technical problem with my brokerage account. After a few failed attempts to send buy orders for SPY and QQQ, I contacted their support. What they told me was shocking and completely unexpected. They said I'm not permitted to buy US ETFs anymore as EU resident because EU passed a law to protect retail investors. So as a EU resident I'm allowed to be exposed to more risk by buying individual US stocks but I'm not allowed to reduce my risk by buying SPY because ... EU wants to protect me. I felt final result of new law. By the way, on paper their law looks fine.
And the final example. It's a known fact that US public market become less attractive in recent decades. Due to heavy regulatory burden companies prefer to go public very late. So if successful unicorn startup grows from its inception/genesis to late adoption, company's valuation would be 3-5 orders of orders of magnitude. For example, if valuation of successful company at inception is 1 Mil USD, then at its very latest stage it's valuation would be 10 Bil USD. So we have 10'000 times of growth. In the best case scenario, company would go public at 1 Bil USD 5-10 years before reaching its peak 10 Bil USD. So investors in private equity could enjoy 1000 fold growth and just leave for public only last 10 fold growth stretched in time. In the worst case scenario, company would go public at 10 Bil USD, i.e. at its historical peak. But there are well known platforms to buy shares of private companies, one of such platforms is Forge Global. You can buy shares of almost all blue chip startups. You can even invest in SpaceX! But as always, there is a catch - US government wants to protect not just US citizens but all people in the world (sounds ridiculous, right?). US law requires you to have 1 Mil USD net worth or 200'000 USD annual income if you want to buy shares of non-public company. So if you are high-net worth individual you can be called "accredited investor". Funny thing is that the law intends to protect US citizens but even if you are not US citizen and never even lived in US, this law is still applies to you in practice. So if you are "poor loser", platforms like Forge Global will reject you.
So high-net worth individuals have access and opportunity to Bitcoin-style multi-magnitude growth every 5-10 years. Contrary to private equity markets, US public markets is low risk/low return type of market. If you have small amount of capital, it's just glorified way to protect yourself from inflation plus some little return on top. It's not bad, US public market is a still great way to store your wealth. But I'm deeply convinced that for small capital you must seek fundamentally different type of market - high risk/high return. It's just historical luck that Bitcoin/Ethereum/etc were available for general public from day one. But in reality, viral/exponential growth is happening quite often. It's just you don't have access to such type of markets due to regulatory reasons.
I intentionally described these examples of financial discrimination in full details as I experienced them because I do feel that vast majority of people in the first world honestly think that current financial system works just fine and only criminals and terrorists are banned. In reality that's not true at all. 99.999% of innocent people are completely cut off from modern financial system in the name of fighting against money laundering.
Here is a big picture why it's happening. There are rich countries (so called western world) and poor countries (so called third world). Financial wall is carefully built by two sides. Authoritarian leaders of poor countries almost always want full control over their population, they don't like market economy, and since market forces don't value their crappy legal system (because it works only for close friends of authoritarian leader) they must implement strict capital control. Otherwise, all capital will run away from their country because nobody really respects their crappy legal system. It only has value under heavy gun of government. Only friends of authoritarian leader can move their money out of country but not you.
Leaders of rich countries want to protect their economy from "dirty money" coming from third world. Since citizens of poor countries never vote for leaders of rich countries nobody really cares if rich country just ban everyone from poor country. It's the most lazy way to fight against money laundering - simply ban everyone from certain country.
Actually if you look deeper you will see that rich countries very rarely directly ban ordinary people from third world. Usually, there is no such law which doesn't allow me to open bank account somewhere in Europe as non-EU resident. What's really happens is that US/EU government implement very harsh penalties for financial institutions if anything ever goes wrong.
So what's actually happens is that financial institutions (banks, brokerages etc) do de-risking. This is the most important word you must know about traditional financial system!
So if you have wrong passport, financial institution (for example) bank from rich country just doesn't want to take any risks dealing with you even if you are willing to provide full documentation about your finances. It's well known fact that banks in Hong Kong, Europe, US like to unexpectedly shutdown accounts of thousands innocent businesses due to de-risking.
So it's actually de-risking is the real reason why I was rejected so many times by financial institutions in the first world!!! It's de-risking actually responsible for banning 99.999% of innocent people. So governments of rich democratic countries formally have clean hands because they are not banning ordinary people from third world directly. All dirty job is done by financial institutions but governments are well aware of that, it's just more convenient way to discriminate. And nobody actually cares! Ordinary citizens in rich countries are never exposed to such problems and they really don't care about people in third world, after all they are not citizens of US/EU/UK/CH/CA/HK/SG/JP/AU/NZ.
And now are you ready for the most hilarious part? If you are big corrupt bureaucrat from Russia you are actually welcome by the first world financial institutions! All Russian's junta keep their stolen money all across Europe and even in US. You might wonder how this is possible if the western financial system is so aggressive in de-risking.
Here is a simple equation which financial institution should solve when they decide whether to open an account for you or not:
Y - R = net profit
Where:
Y - how much profit they can make with you;
R - how much regulatory risk they take while working with you;
That's it! It's very simple equation. So if you are really big junta member from Russia you are actually welcome according to this equation. Banks have special name for serving (ultra) high-net worth individuals, it's called private banking. It's has nothing to do with the fact that bank is private. It's just fancy name for banking for rich.
So what's usually happen in real world. Some Estonian or Danish bank got caught with large scale money laundering from Russia. European leaders are ashamed in front of their voters. They implement new super harsh law against money laundering to keep their voters happy. Voters are ordinary people, they don't care about details of new regulations. So banks get scared and abruptly shutdown ALL accounts of Russian customers. And European voters are happy.
Modern money laundering laws are like shooting mouse in your house using bazooka! It's very efficient to kill mouse, right?
Now imagine world without financial borders. It's hard to do so because we are all get so used to current status quo of traditional financial system. But with additional effort you can start asking questions - if Internet economy is so global and it doesn't really matter where HQ of startup is located, why they are all concentrated in just a few tiny places like Silicon Valley and ... well, that's mostly it if you count the biggest unicorns!
Another question would be - why so many talented russian, indian, chinese programmers just go to the same places like San Francisco, London and make super rich companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple to get even richer? If all you need is laptop and access to internet, why you don't see any trade happening between first and third world?
Well actually there is a trade between first and third world but it's not exactly what I want to see. Usually third world countries sell their natural resources through giant corporations to the first world.
So it's possible to get access to the first world market from third world but this access usually granted only to big and established companies (and usually it means not innovative).
Unicorns are created through massive parallel experiment. Every week bunch of new startups are created in Silicon Valley. Thousands and thousands startups are created in Silicon Valley with almost instant access to global market. Just by law of large numbers you have a very few of them who later become unicorns and dominate the world.
But if you have wrong passport and you are located in "wrong" country where every attempt to access global market is very costly, then you most likely not to start innovative startup in the first place. In the best case scenario, you just create either local business or just local copy-paste startup (copied from the west) oriented on (relatively small) domestic market. Obviously in such setup it's predictable that places like Silicon Valley will have giant advantage and as a result all unicorns get concentrated in just a few tiny places.
In the world without financial barriers there will be much smaller gap between rich and poor countries. With low barrier of entry, it won't be a game when winner takes all.
Whole architecture of decentralized cryptocurrencies is intended to remove middle man and make transactions permissionless. Governments are inherently opposite to that, they are centralized and permissioned. Therefore, decentralized cryptocurrencies are fundamentally incompatible with traditional financial system which is full of middle mans and regulations (i.e. permissions).
Real value of crypto are coming from third world, not the first world. People are buying crypto in rich countries just want to invest. Their financial system and their fiat money are more or less already working for them. So there is no immediate urgency to get rid of fiat money in the first world. So the first world citizens buying crypto on centralized KYCd exchanges are essentially making side bet on the success of crypto in third world.
Real and natural environment of cryptocurrencies is actually dark OTC market in places like Venezuela and China.
But cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have a big limitation to wide adoption in third world - high volatility.
So the real target audience is oppressed (both by their own government and by first world governments) ordinary citizens of third world countries yet they are least who can afford to take burden of high volatility.
Right now, Tether is a big thing for dark markets across the world (by the way, dark market doesn't automatically imply bad!). But Tether soon or later be smashed by US/EU regulators.
The only real and working permissionless stable cryptocurrency (avoiding hyped word - stablecoin) is DAI.
DAI is the currency for post-Tether world to lead dark OTC market around the world and subvert fiat currencies of oppressive third world governments.
Once DAI become de-facto widespread currency in shadow economy in all of third world, then it will be accepted (after many huge push backs from governments) as a new reality. I'm talking about 10-20+ years time horizon.
But if MakerDAO chooses the route of being compliance friendly then DAI will lose its real target audience (i.e. third world).
I can not imagine US/EU calmly tolerate someone buying US stocks and using as a collateral to issue another security (i.e. DAI) which is going to be traded somewhere in Venezuela! You can not be compliance friendly and serve people in Venezuela.
Facebook's Libra was stupidest thing I've seen. It's extremely stupid to ask permission from the first world regulators to serve third world and create borderless economy. Another stupid thing is to please third world governments as well. For example, Libra (if ever run) will not serve Indian, Chinese, Venezuelan people. Who is then going to use stupid Libra? Hipsters in Silicon Valley? Why? US dollars are good enough already.
submitted by omgcoin to MakerDAO [link] [comments]

For Trading March 20th

For Trading March 20th
Another Range Day
Yields Fall
Oil Rebounds
Yesterday I said that “today’s market was actually not as bad as it seemed.” And today while we had a sharp decline early, we rallied back up toward yesterday’s highs, and when the dust settled we were DJIA +188.27 (.95%), NASDAQ +160.74 (2.3%), S&P 500 +11.29 (.47%), the Russell +67.52 (6.81%) and DJ Transports +107.29 (1.54%). Also, yesterday I said “the obvious culprit was the Oil. After the close, the oil bounced and held most of the gains until it had rallied up about 24% and closed $25.91 +5.08 after trading as high as $28.28. Market internals were better with the A/D on NYSE at 3:1, and about the same on NASDAQ. The DJIA was 17 Up, 13 Down, and for the first time in over a week, there were no triple-digit losers or gainers. The biggest movers were MCD +83 and GS +64 on the upside and JNJ -54 DPs. Strong sectors included Energy and consumer discretionary, while the weak included utilities, consumer stables, health care and real estate. The technology and small caps outperformed. The thought that Mr. Trump has the relationship or talent as an arbitrator to settle a dispute between the Kingdom and Putin the thug is unlikely. I also issued a YouTube video (#151) on today’s closing comments: https://youtu.be/spf45YUFaxc
Our “open forum” on Discord, which allows me to interact with subscribers and others to allow direct questions and chart opinions on just about any stock, continues to grow with more participants every day. It is informative and allows me to share insights as the market is open and moving. The link is: https://discord.gg/ATvC7YZ and I will be there and active from before the open and all day. It’s a great place to share ideas and gain some insights.
SECTORS: Other names in the news: While there is plenty to discuss, I’ll just hit a few high points. All U.S. industries are lining up with their hands out looking for their piece of however many trillions of dollars and favorable legislation they can extract through their state politicians. While I get that nobody in the cruise industry, or the hotel and allied hospitality sectors or any manufacturing business had any fault in COVID-19, at some point in time, they must take responsibility for the cash they squandered on stock buybacks instead retaining earnings for when the business cycle went through a slowdown. I know I’ve railed about this for a while, but Capitalism works because it enforces some degree of fiscal responsibility on the operators of business. And if they fail, they fail. That what the bankruptcy laws are about. If you need a primer on it, just ask the president. If you run a business into the ground, by any means, you lose.
On the rocket to “almost the moon” followed by a crash and burn, we had Blue Apron (APRN) started the week at $2.28 and yesterday it closed $16.25 +9.70, but today after trading $28.84 before collapsing to finish $14.34 -1.91 (11.75%). In case you forgot, this little beauty was reverse split 1:15 last year, so todays close is still under $1.00.
BIOPHARMA: was HIGHER with TEVA the big winner @ $8.10 +1.41 (21.08%) on the news that it is a manufacturer of Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate, a potential treatment for COVID-19 and are donating the tablets to hospitals nationwide. ICPT was +8.80 (18.20%), LABU +2.11 (14.36%) and IBB $99.51 +1.18 (1.2%).
CANNABIS: Even this group had some winners with TLRY +1.16 (46.96%), PYX, yesterday’s biggest loser bounced back to close +.40 (27.59%) and MJ $9.65 +.55 (6.04%).
DEFENSE: was MIXED with LMT -20.14 (6.12%), RTN +6.39, and yesterday’s big loser, TDY +25.06 (12.46%), and ITA $126.19 +2.78 (2.25%).
RETAIL was MIXED with JWN +1.49 (7.54%), DDS +4.78 (12%), and WMT -3.34, RL –3.11, UAA +.94 (10.99%), CPRI +2.40 (31.91%) and XRT $29.27 +1.52 (5.48%).
FAANG and Big Cap: were MOSTLY HIGHER with GOOGL +19.30, AMZN +43.00, AAPL -3.42, FB +3.94, NFLX +18.54, NVDA +7.48, IBM -4.50, TSLA +32.78(9.07%), BABA +1.00, BIDU +5.50, BA -7.08, CAT +1.69, DIS +4.45 and XLK $74.85 +.27 (.36%).
FINANCIALS were MIXED with GS +4.70, JPM -.19, BAC -.04, MS -.14, C +2.57, PNC +4.76, AIG +1.77 (9.42%), TRV +4.38, AXP +1.65, and XLF $19.61 +.42 (2.19%).
OIL, $5.91 +5.08. The stocks were HIGHER with the price of Oil trading as high as 28.28). The oil is slightly higher in extended hours and XLE is $25.61 +1.63 (6.8%).
METALS, GOLD: $1,479.30 +1.40. After the liquidation of the past few day’s gold tried to work higher but gave it up closing barely changed. I still expect a move back toward $1,600 to unfold.
BITCOIN: closed $6240 +900. We broke to the downside overnight and fell to a low of $4390, and for the first time in days did not make a new recent low. Today was a strong move to the upside While I want to add the 350 sold just over a week ago, I want to wait and see some stabilization. We still own 400 GBTC with an average of $8.06. GBTC closed $7.25 +1.24 today.
Tomorrow is another day.
CAM
submitted by Dashover to swingtrading [link] [comments]

For Trading March 20th

For Trading March 20th
Another Range Day
Yields Fall
Oil Rebounds
Yesterday I said that “today’s market was actually not as bad as it seemed.” And today while we had a sharp decline early, we rallied back up toward yesterday’s highs, and when the dust settled we were DJIA +188.27 (.95%), NASDAQ +160.74 (2.3%), S&P 500 +11.29 (.47%), the Russell +67.52 (6.81%) and DJ Transports +107.29 (1.54%). Also, yesterday I said “the obvious culprit was the Oil. After the close, the oil bounced and held most of the gains until it had rallied up about 24% and closed $25.91 +5.08 after trading as high as $28.28. Market internals were better with the A/D on NYSE at 3:1, and about the same on NASDAQ. The DJIA was 17 Up, 13 Down, and for the first time in over a week, there were no triple-digit losers or gainers. The biggest movers were MCD +83 and GS +64 on the upside and JNJ -54 DPs. Strong sectors included Energy and consumer discretionary, while the weak included utilities, consumer stables, health care and real estate. The technology and small caps outperformed. The thought that Mr. Trump has the relationship or talent as an arbitrator to settle a dispute between the Kingdom and Putin the thug is unlikely. I also issued a YouTube video (#151) on today’s closing comments: https://youtu.be/spf45YUFaxc
Our “open forum” on Discord, which allows me to interact with subscribers and others to allow direct questions and chart opinions on just about any stock, continues to grow with more participants every day. It is informative and allows me to share insights as the market is open and moving. The link is: https://discord.gg/ATvC7YZ and I will be there and active from before the open and all day. It’s a great place to share ideas and gain some insights.
SECTORS: Other names in the news: While there is plenty to discuss, I’ll just hit a few high points. All U.S. industries are lining up with their hands out looking for their piece of however many trillions of dollars and favorable legislation they can extract through their state politicians. While I get that nobody in the cruise industry, or the hotel and allied hospitality sectors or any manufacturing business had any fault in COVID-19, at some point in time, they must take responsibility for the cash they squandered on stock buybacks instead retaining earnings for when the business cycle went through a slowdown. I know I’ve railed about this for a while, but Capitalism works because it enforces some degree of fiscal responsibility on the operators of business. And if they fail, they fail. That what the bankruptcy laws are about. If you need a primer on it, just ask the president. If you run a business into the ground, by any means, you lose.
On the rocket to “almost the moon” followed by a crash and burn, we had Blue Apron (APRN) started the week at $2.28 and yesterday it closed $16.25 +9.70, but today after trading $28.84 before collapsing to finish $14.34 -1.91 (11.75%). In case you forgot, this little beauty was reverse split 1:15 last year, so todays close is still under $1.00.
BIOPHARMA: was HIGHER with TEVA the big winner @ $8.10 +1.41 (21.08%) on the news that it is a manufacturer of Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate, a potential treatment for COVID-19 and are donating the tablets to hospitals nationwide. ICPT was +8.80 (18.20%), LABU +2.11 (14.36%) and IBB $99.51 +1.18 (1.2%).
CANNABIS: Even this group had some winners with TLRY +1.16 (46.96%), PYX, yesterday’s biggest loser bounced back to close +.40 (27.59%) and MJ $9.65 +.55 (6.04%).
DEFENSE: was MIXED with LMT -20.14 (6.12%), RTN +6.39, and yesterday’s big loser, TDY +25.06 (12.46%), and ITA $126.19 +2.78 (2.25%).
RETAIL was MIXED with JWN +1.49 (7.54%), DDS +4.78 (12%), and WMT -3.34, RL –3.11, UAA +.94 (10.99%), CPRI +2.40 (31.91%) and XRT $29.27 +1.52 (5.48%).
FAANG and Big Cap: were MOSTLY HIGHER with GOOGL +19.30, AMZN +43.00, AAPL -3.42, FB +3.94, NFLX +18.54, NVDA +7.48, IBM -4.50, TSLA +32.78(9.07%), BABA +1.00, BIDU +5.50, BA -7.08, CAT +1.69, DIS +4.45 and XLK $74.85 +.27 (.36%).
FINANCIALS were MIXED with GS +4.70, JPM -.19, BAC -.04, MS -.14, C +2.57, PNC +4.76, AIG +1.77 (9.42%), TRV +4.38, AXP +1.65, and XLF $19.61 +.42 (2.19%).
OIL, $5.91 +5.08. The stocks were HIGHER with the price of Oil trading as high as 28.28). The oil is slightly higher in extended hours and XLE is $25.61 +1.63 (6.8%).
METALS, GOLD: $1,479.30 +1.40. After the liquidation of the past few day’s gold tried to work higher but gave it up closing barely changed. I still expect a move back toward $1,600 to unfold.
BITCOIN: closed $6240 +900. We broke to the downside overnight and fell to a low of $4390, and for the first time in days did not make a new recent low. Today was a strong move to the upside While I want to add the 350 sold just over a week ago, I want to wait and see some stabilization. We still own 400 GBTC with an average of $8.06. GBTC closed $7.25 +1.24 today.
Tomorrow is another day.
CAM
submitted by Dashover to OptionsOnly [link] [comments]

SQ. I compiled information, with sources, so you don't have to.

SQ. I compiled information, with sources, so you don't have to.

Financials

Q1 2019 Shareholder Letter
Q1 2019 Highlights
  • Total net revenue $959 million, +43% YoY.
  • Adjusted revenue $489 million, +59% YoY.
  • Adjusted EBITDA $62 million, +72% YoY.
  • Net income (loss) per share ($0.09), -50% YoY. (Due to investment in Eventbrite, not including Eventbrite net income (loss) per share was ($0.06), 0% YoY)
  • Adjusted net income per share $0.11, +83% improvement YoY.
Q2 2019 Guidance
  • Total net revenue $1.09B to $1.11B
  • Adjusted Revenue $545M to $555M
  • Adjusted EBITDA $90M to $94M
  • Net income (loss) per share $(0.07) to $(0.05)
  • Adjusted EPS (diluted) $0.14 to $0.16
Q4 2018 Shareholder Letter
Q4 2018 Highlights
  • Total net revenue $933 million, +51% YoY.
  • Adjusted revenue $464 million, +64% YoY.
  • Adjusted EBITDA $81 million, +97% YoY.
  • Net loss per share ($0.07), -75% YoY. (Due to investment in Eventbrite, excluding Eventbrite net loss per share was ($0.03), +33% YoY.)
  • Adjusted EPS $0.14, +75% YoY.
Q1 2019 Guidance
  • Total net revenue $918M to $938M
  • Adjusted Revenue $472M to $482M
  • Adjusted EBITDA $47M to $51M
  • Net income (loss) per share $(0.12) to $(0.10)
  • Adjusted EPS (diluted) $0.06 to $0.08

News

Square Quietly Launches Program For CBD Cannabis Company Credit Card Processing | May 22 2019
Companies that sell cannabis products—even those consisting of CBD derived from hemp, which was legalized in the U.S. through the Farm Bill late last year—are continuing to have trouble accessing basic financial services that are available to businesses in other sectors. That includes being able to maintain bank accounts and process their customers' credit cards. “Square is currently conducting an invite-only beta for some CBD products,” a spokesperson for the company said in an email. When asked about the reasons for the launching the new program, which comes after years of refusing to work with CBD companies, the spokesperson said that the company closely watches evolving public policies and strives to create new opportunities for clients.
Square Spends $20 to Acquire Each New Cash App User | May 16, 2019
Square's (NYSE: SQ) Cash App has grown to become a meaningful contributor to the company's top-line growth. The peer-to-peer payments app turned financial multitool is the No. 1 driver of its subscription and services segment, management said at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference. During that conference, CFO Amrita Ahuja noted the company's per-customer acquisition cost for Cash App is about $20. That's actually quite low relative to other financial services, and even compared to other apps.
Square’s AI Platform Could Transform SQ Stock | May 13, 2019
Eloquent Labs is the developer of Elle, which can converse intelligently with a customer through a conventional online-chat platform without any human input from the service provider. While resolving complex customer-service needs remain currently out of reach, Elle can easily handle simpler-but-distracting tasks like returns and product-tracking.
Square teams up with Postmates for delivery partnership | May 9, 2019
Through the arrangement, Square SQ, sellers will be able to use Postmates couriers to get goods to customers who call up to place orders or visit a store. Merchants will be able to integrate Postmates with their existing Square point-of-sale systems.
Square's Bitcoin Platform Remains Surprisingly Profitable | May 7, 2019
Square's bitcoin revenue accounted for 6.8% of its net revenue during the first quarter, compared to 5.1% in the prior year quarter. However, Square's bitcoin profits only accounted for about 0.2% of its gross profit during the quarter, versus less than 0.1% a year earlier. Square's bitcoin business won't move the needle anytime soon, but its top and bottom line growth is impressive, especially since bitcoin shed roughly 40% of its value over the past 12 months. If bitcoin's price rises again and it attracts more buyers, Square's bitcoin revenue and gross profits could surge much higher.
Instead of viewing Square's bitcoin platform as a separate business, investors should see it as part of the company's long-term plan to lock users into its Cash App. Cash is one of the top peer-to-peer payment apps in the U.S. alongside PayPal's (NASDAQ: PYPL) Venmo and the bank-based Zelle, and it's still growing rapidly. Last quarter Square stated that its Cash App payment volume rose nearly 2.5 times annually. For comparison, PayPal stated that Venmo's payment volume rose 73% annually in its most recent quarter.
How Square's Cash App Makes Money (SQ) | May 6, 2019
Square makes money from Cash App by charging businesses transaction fees for using its software. For a 1.5% transaction fee, individual users can expedite deposits to have them transferred immediately into their bank accounts instead of waiting the standard deposit time. They can also send personal payments from credit cards for a 3% transaction fee.
Village Financial Cooperative partners with Square to bring tech and education to the North Side | Apr 18, 2019
Minnesota’s first black-led credit union is partnering with Square to bring financial education and technology to North Minneapolis. Village Financial Cooperative announced the partnership with the San Francisco-based financial technology company on Thursday. In a statement, the credit union made the case that its mission to empower the black community required it to be at the forefront of financial technology, shaping products and practices. Me’lea Connelly, the credit union’s vision and strategy lead, said the partnership, which includes the city of Minneapolis, was a year in the making. It will officially launch April 27 during “Village Squared: A Black Economic Empowerment Symposium,” one of the events closing out Minneapolis Tech Month.
Square (SQ) to Open New Office, Expand Presence in Seattle | April 11, 2019
Square Inc. SQ recently signed a lease to buy a property in Seattle, in view of opening a new office therein. The office is expected to accommodate approximately 100 workers. We believe that the developments will enable it to carry on with new growth initiatives.
Why Square Is Hiring Cryptocurrency Experts | April 3, 2019
Square (SQ) has announced a plan to hire several cryptocurrency experts. Square’s crypto team will work on an open-source initiative as part of the company’s contribution to the development of a cryptocurrency ecosystem. Although Square says the crypto team it’s planning to create won’t focus on its commercial interests, the company still stands to benefit if the team’s efforts lead to the broader uptake of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Square operates a cryptocurrency exchange that allows users of its Cash App to buy and sell Bitcoin. In the fourth quarter, Square’s Bitcoin business generated $52.4 million in revenue, up from $43 million in the third quarter. Square is already making a small profit from its Bitcoin business even though the overall business is still seeing losses.
Where Does Square Rank in the Food Ordering Market? | April 3, 2019
Caviar is among America’s top five food ordering services. Square (SQ) runs an online food ordering and delivery business called Caviar. Through the Caviar app, people can order food from more than 3,000 restaurants across the United States and have food delivered to their doorsteps. According to the latest rankings of on-demand food delivery services, Square’s Caviar is one of America’s top online food ordering and delivery providers, but it’s currently holding on to a tiny share of the market.
Square Partners with Washington Nationals to Enable Order-Ahead and In-Seat Card Payments at D.C.’s Nationals Park | March 27, 2019
Square has partnered with the Nationals to create a concession stand that offers the only skip-the-line, order-ahead experience in the ballpark, powered by Caviar Pickup. Fans who open the Caviar app from their seats will be able to order their concessions in advance – including beer and wine for fans 21 and over – and receive an alert when their food is ready to be picked up. The stand will feature food from exclusive Caviar restaurant partners, featured in a rotating series of pop-ups throughout the season. On Opening Day, fans will be able to enjoy Hong Kong-style Chinese food from Tiger Fork, with future food options including biscuits from Mason Dixie and ramen from Toki Underground. Square Terminal, the handheld, all-in-one payment processing hardware device, will also be piloted by roving concessions hawkers at Nationals Park. Square Terminal will allow fans to pay using credit cards or contactless payments like Apple Pay or Google Pay as they purchase food and beverage items from the comfort of their seats. With Square’s point of sale and employee management software built right into Square Terminal, it’s easy for hawkers to quickly accept payments. Square Terminal will help fans who don’t carry cash, and will speed transaction times as hawkers spend less time counting change and more time making sales.
Square introduces invoice app; brings Stand to Japan | Mar. 26, 2019
App allows sellers to create, manage, and send invoices using mobile devices. “With the Square Invoices app, small business owners are able to get paid remotely and access their funds quickly and securely," says Alyssa Henry, seller lead at Square. Separately, in Japan, Square introduces Stand for iPad and its reader for contactless and chip.
Square Expands Omnichannel Offerings with New Square Online Store and a Revamped Square for Retail | March 20, 2019
The new Square Online Store allows sellers to grow their business in person and online, with a professional eCommerce website and integrated tools including Instagram selling, shipping, in-store pickup, and more. The new product also brings the Square Online Store experience to restaurants, allowing sellers to offer seamless online ordering from their website, customized pickup times across multiple locations, and the option to easily pay ahead for online orders. Square for Retail, the point-of-sale app optimized specifically for retailers, has also been completely redesigned with expanded product features. For the first time, business owners who also want to sell online can easily create a professional website and automatically connect their Square for Retail catalog to their Square Online Store, allowing them to sync their items, inventory, prices, and data instantly across online and offline channels. Sellers that use Square for Retail and Square Online Store can also enable their customers to easily shop online and pick up their purchases in store, a feature typically only available to larger retailers. Finally, the Retail point-of-sale app has been redesigned to make managing online orders alongside a brick-and-mortar store quick and intuitive.

Leadership

Jack Dorsey - CEO - $2.75
Jack is CEO and Chairman of Square, CEO of Twitter, and cofounder of both.
Amrita Ahuja - CFO -
Amrita is Square’s Chief Financial Officer. She was previously CFO of Blizzard Entertainment, a division of Activision Blizzard, and held various leadership positions at Fox Networks Group, the Walt Disney Company, and Morgan Stanley.
Kevin Burke - Marketing and Sales Lead
Kevin oversees Square marketing, sales, and partnerships, as well as international markets. Prior to joining Square, Kevin was CMO at Visa Inc.
Jesse Dorogusker - Hardware Lead
Jesse leads hardware product development at Square, including design, cross-functional engineering, manufacturing, and operations. Prior to Square, Jesse was the Director of Engineering for Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod Accessories business.
Brian Grassadonia - Cash App Lead
Brian leads Cash App, the fastest and easiest way to pay individuals or businesses. Brian has held a number of leadership positions at Square including helping to launch the company’s flagship credit card reader.
Alyssa Henry - Seller Lead - $3,870,481
Alyssa leads product management, design, and engineering for Square’s seller facing products including payments, point of sale, Customer Engagement, and Payroll. She previously served as VP of Amazon Web Services (AWS) Storage Services and Product Unit Manager for Microsoft SQL Server Data Access.
Sam Quigley - Risk and Security Lead
Sam leads engineering, product management, and data science for risk and information security. As an early engineering leader at Square, Sam helped to build and scale many of Square’s products.
Gokul Rajaram - Caviar Lead
Gokul oversees Caviar, Square’s growing food ordering service. Prior to Square, he served as Product Director of Ads at Facebook and Product Management Director for Google AdSense.
Jacqueline Reses - Square Capital Lead - $3,972,968
Jackie leads Square Capital, overseeing credit products that provide sellers with access to the funding they need to grow and consumers with the ability to pay for purchases over time. She previously served as Yahoo’s Chief Development Officer and was on the Board of Directors at Alibaba Group. She also serves on the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Economic Advisory Council.
Sivan Whiteley - General Counsel - $2,796,591
Sivan oversees Square’s legal, regulatory, compliance, and security operations. A longtime leader of Square’s legal team, she previously held positions at Better Place, eBay, and Bingham McCutchen.
Aaron Zamost - Communications, Policy and People Lead
Aaron leads Square’s communications, government relations, and community affairs efforts, as well as human resources and talent. Prior to joining Square, Aaron led business communications at YouTube and managed corporate communications at Google.

Technical analysis

Descending triangle
Daily Chart
Weekly chart

Institutions

May 16 2019 Buckingham reiterated a buy rating with a $100 price target.
May 2 2019 Needham reiterated a buy rating and lowered their price target from $95 to $90.
May 2 2019 Guggenheim reiterated a buy rating and raised their price target from $92 to $94.
April 9 2019 KeyBanc Capital reiterated an outperform rating with a $100 price target.
April 3 2019 Bernstein initiated a market perform rating with an $80 price target.
March 28 2019 Instinet reiterated a buy rating with a $105 price target.
March 27 2019 Macquarie initiated an outperform rating with a $94 price target.
March 25 2019 RBC Capital reiterated an outperform rating with an $88 price target.
February 27 2019 Canaccord Genuity reiterated a buy rating with an $88 price target.
Vanguard, Blackrock, Jennison, Fidelity, Morgan Stanley, State Street, Allianz, and Goldman Sachs are the largest institutional holders of SQ respectively, collectively making up over 25% of ownership.
submitted by nikolabs to RobinHood [link] [comments]

SQ. I compiled information, with sources, so you don't have to!

SQ. I compiled information, with sources, so you don't have to!

Financials

Q1 2019 Shareholder Letter
Q1 2019 Highlights - Total net revenue $959 million, +43% YoY. - Adjusted revenue $489 million, +59% YoY. - Adjusted EBITDA $62 million, +72% YoY. - Net income (loss) per share ($0.09), -50% YoY. (Due to investment in Eventbrite, not including Eventbrite net income (loss) per share was ($0.06), 0% YoY) - Adjusted net income per share $0.11, +83% improvement YoY.
Q2 2019 Guidance - Total net revenue $1.09B to $1.11B - Adjusted Revenue $545M to $555M - Adjusted EBITDA $90M to $94M - Net income (loss) per share $(0.07) to $(0.05) - Adjusted EPS (diluted) $0.14 to $0.16
Q4 2018 Shareholder Letter
Q4 2018 Highlights - Total net revenue $933 million, +51% YoY. - Adjusted revenue $464 million, +64% YoY. - Adjusted EBITDA $81 million, +97% YoY. - Net loss per share ($0.07), -75% YoY. (Due to investment in Eventbrite, excluding Eventbrite net loss per share was ($0.03), +33% YoY.) - Adjusted EPS $0.14, +75% YoY.
Q1 2019 Guidance - Total net revenue $918M to $938M - Adjusted Revenue $472M to $482M - Adjusted EBITDA $47M to $51M - Net income (loss) per share $(0.12) to $(0.10) - Adjusted EPS (diluted) $0.06 to $0.08

News

Square Spends $20 to Acquire Each New Cash App User | May 16, 2019
Square's (NYSE: SQ) Cash App has grown to become a meaningful contributor to the company's top-line growth. The peer-to-peer payments app turned financial multitool is the No. 1 driver of its subscription and services segment, management said at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference. During that conference, CFO Amrita Ahuja noted the company's per-customer acquisition cost for Cash App is about $20. That's actually quite low relative to other financial services, and even compared to other apps.
Square’s AI Platform Could Transform SQ Stock | May 13, 2019
Eloquent Labs is the developer of Elle, which can converse intelligently with a customer through a conventional online-chat platform without any human input from the service provider. While resolving complex customer-service needs remain currently out of reach, Elle can easily handle simpler-but-distracting tasks like returns and product-tracking.
Square teams up with Postmates for delivery partnership | May 9, 2019
Through the arrangement, Square SQ, sellers will be able to use Postmates couriers to get goods to customers who call up to place orders or visit a store. Merchants will be able to integrate Postmates with their existing Square point-of-sale systems.
Square's Bitcoin Platform Remains Surprisingly Profitable | May 7, 2019
Square's bitcoin revenue accounted for 6.8% of its net revenue during the first quarter, compared to 5.1% in the prior year quarter. However, Square's bitcoin profits only accounted for about 0.2% of its gross profit during the quarter, versus less than 0.1% a year earlier. Square's bitcoin business won't move the needle anytime soon, but its top and bottom line growth is impressive, especially since bitcoin shed roughly 40% of its value over the past 12 months. If bitcoin's price rises again and it attracts more buyers, Square's bitcoin revenue and gross profits could surge much higher.
Instead of viewing Square's bitcoin platform as a separate business, investors should see it as part of the company's long-term plan to lock users into its Cash App. Cash is one of the top peer-to-peer payment apps in the U.S. alongside PayPal's (NASDAQ: PYPL) Venmo and the bank-based Zelle, and it's still growing rapidly. Last quarter Square stated that its Cash App payment volume rose nearly 2.5 times annually. For comparison, PayPal stated that Venmo's payment volume rose 73% annually in its most recent quarter.
How Square's Cash App Makes Money (SQ) | May 6, 2019
Square makes money from Cash App by charging businesses transaction fees for using its software. For a 1.5% transaction fee, individual users can expedite deposits to have them transferred immediately into their bank accounts instead of waiting the standard deposit time. They can also send personal payments from credit cards for a 3% transaction fee.
Village Financial Cooperative partners with Square to bring tech and education to the North Side | Apr 18, 2019
Minnesota’s first black-led credit union is partnering with Square to bring financial education and technology to North Minneapolis. Village Financial Cooperative announced the partnership with the San Francisco-based financial technology company on Thursday. In a statement, the credit union made the case that its mission to empower the black community required it to be at the forefront of financial technology, shaping products and practices. Me’lea Connelly, the credit union’s vision and strategy lead, said the partnership, which includes the city of Minneapolis, was a year in the making. It will officially launch April 27 during “Village Squared: A Black Economic Empowerment Symposium,” one of the events closing out Minneapolis Tech Month.
Square (SQ) to Open New Office, Expand Presence in Seattle | April 11, 2019
Square Inc. SQ recently signed a lease to buy a property in Seattle, in view of opening a new office therein. The office is expected to accommodate approximately 100 workers. We believe that the developments will enable it to carry on with new growth initiatives.
Why Square Is Hiring Cryptocurrency Experts | April 3, 2019
Square (SQ) has announced a plan to hire several cryptocurrency experts. Square’s crypto team will work on an open-source initiative as part of the company’s contribution to the development of a cryptocurrency ecosystem. Although Square says the crypto team it’s planning to create won’t focus on its commercial interests, the company still stands to benefit if the team’s efforts lead to the broader uptake of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Square operates a cryptocurrency exchange that allows users of its Cash App to buy and sell Bitcoin. In the fourth quarter, Square’s Bitcoin business generated $52.4 million in revenue, up from $43 million in the third quarter. Square is already making a small profit from its Bitcoin business even though the overall business is still seeing losses.
Where Does Square Rank in the Food Ordering Market? | April 3, 2019
Caviar is among America’s top five food ordering services. Square (SQ) runs an online food ordering and delivery business called Caviar. Through the Caviar app, people can order food from more than 3,000 restaurants across the United States and have food delivered to their doorsteps. According to the latest rankings of on-demand food delivery services, Square’s Caviar is one of America’s top online food ordering and delivery providers, but it’s currently holding on to a tiny share of the market.
Square Partners with Washington Nationals to Enable Order-Ahead and In-Seat Card Payments at D.C.’s Nationals Park | March 27, 2019
Square has partnered with the Nationals to create a concession stand that offers the only skip-the-line, order-ahead experience in the ballpark, powered by Caviar Pickup. Fans who open the Caviar app from their seats will be able to order their concessions in advance – including beer and wine for fans 21 and over – and receive an alert when their food is ready to be picked up. The stand will feature food from exclusive Caviar restaurant partners, featured in a rotating series of pop-ups throughout the season. On Opening Day, fans will be able to enjoy Hong Kong-style Chinese food from Tiger Fork, with future food options including biscuits from Mason Dixie and ramen from Toki Underground. Square Terminal, the handheld, all-in-one payment processing hardware device, will also be piloted by roving concessions hawkers at Nationals Park. Square Terminal will allow fans to pay using credit cards or contactless payments like Apple Pay or Google Pay as they purchase food and beverage items from the comfort of their seats. With Square’s point of sale and employee management software built right into Square Terminal, it’s easy for hawkers to quickly accept payments. Square Terminal will help fans who don’t carry cash, and will speed transaction times as hawkers spend less time counting change and more time making sales.
Square introduces invoice app; brings Stand to Japan | Mar. 26, 2019
App allows sellers to create, manage, and send invoices using mobile devices. “With the Square Invoices app, small business owners are able to get paid remotely and access their funds quickly and securely," says Alyssa Henry, seller lead at Square. Separately, in Japan, Square introduces Stand for iPad and its reader for contactless and chip.
Square Expands Omnichannel Offerings with New Square Online Store and a Revamped Square for Retail | March 20, 2019
The new Square Online Store allows sellers to grow their business in person and online, with a professional eCommerce website and integrated tools including Instagram selling, shipping, in-store pickup, and more. The new product also brings the Square Online Store experience to restaurants, allowing sellers to offer seamless online ordering from their website, customized pickup times across multiple locations, and the option to easily pay ahead for online orders. Square for Retail, the point-of-sale app optimized specifically for retailers, has also been completely redesigned with expanded product features. For the first time, business owners who also want to sell online can easily create a professional website and automatically connect their Square for Retail catalog to their Square Online Store, allowing them to sync their items, inventory, prices, and data instantly across online and offline channels. Sellers that use Square for Retail and Square Online Store can also enable their customers to easily shop online and pick up their purchases in store, a feature typically only available to larger retailers. Finally, the Retail point-of-sale app has been redesigned to make managing online orders alongside a brick-and-mortar store quick and intuitive.

Leadership

Jack Dorsey - CEO
Jack is CEO and Chairman of Square, CEO of Twitter, and cofounder of both.
Amrita Ahuja - CFO
Amrita is Square’s Chief Financial Officer. She was previously CFO of Blizzard Entertainment, a division of Activision Blizzard, and held various leadership positions at Fox Networks Group, the Walt Disney Company, and Morgan Stanley.
Kevin Burke - Marketing and Sales Lead
Kevin oversees Square marketing, sales, and partnerships, as well as international markets. Prior to joining Square, Kevin was CMO at Visa Inc.
Jesse Dorogusker - Hardware Lead
Jesse leads hardware product development at Square, including design, cross-functional engineering, manufacturing, and operations. Prior to Square, Jesse was the Director of Engineering for Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod Accessories business.
Brian Grassadonia - Cash App Lead
Brian leads Cash App, the fastest and easiest way to pay individuals or businesses. Brian has held a number of leadership positions at Square including helping to launch the company’s flagship credit card reader.
Alyssa Henry - Seller Lead
Alyssa leads product management, design, and engineering for Square’s seller facing products including payments, point of sale, Customer Engagement, and Payroll. She previously served as VP of Amazon Web Services (AWS) Storage Services and Product Unit Manager for Microsoft SQL Server Data Access.
Sam Quigley - Risk and Security Lead
Sam leads engineering, product management, and data science for risk and information security. As an early engineering leader at Square, Sam helped to build and scale many of Square’s products.
Gokul Rajaram - Caviar Lead
Gokul oversees Caviar, Square’s growing food ordering service. Prior to Square, he served as Product Director of Ads at Facebook and Product Management Director for Google AdSense.
Jacqueline Reses - Square Capital Lead
Jackie leads Square Capital, overseeing credit products that provide sellers with access to the funding they need to grow and consumers with the ability to pay for purchases over time. She previously served as Yahoo’s Chief Development Officer and was on the Board of Directors at Alibaba Group. She also serves on the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Economic Advisory Council.
Sivan Whiteley - General Counsel
Sivan oversees Square’s legal, regulatory, compliance, and security operations. A longtime leader of Square’s legal team, she previously held positions at Better Place, eBay, and Bingham McCutchen.
Aaron Zamost - Communications, Policy and People Lead
Aaron leads Square’s communications, government relations, and community affairs efforts, as well as human resources and talent. Prior to joining Square, Aaron led business communications at YouTube and managed corporate communications at Google.

Technical analysis

Descending triangle
Daily chart
Weekly chart

Institutions

May 16 2019 Buckingham reiterated a buy rating with a $100 price target.
May 2 2019 Needham reiterated a buy rating and lowered their price target from $95 to $90.
May 2 2019 Guggenheim reiterated a buy rating and raised their price target from $92 to $94.
April 9 2019 KeyBanc Capital reiterated an outperform rating with a $100 price target.
April 3 2019 Bernstein initiated a market perform rating with an $80 price target.
March 28 2019 Instinet reiterated a buy rating with a $105 price target.
March 27 2019 Macquarie initiated an outperform rating with a $94 price target.
March 25 2019 RBC Capital reiterated an outperform rating with an $88 price target.
February 27 2019 Canaccord Genuity reiterated a buy rating with an $88 price target.
Vanguard, Blackrock, Jennison, Fidelity, Morgan Stanley, State Street, Allianz, and Goldman Sachs are the largest institutional holders of SQ respectively, collectively making up over 25% of ownership.
submitted by nikolabs to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

Mining for Profitability - Horizen (formerly ZenCash) Thanks Early GPU Miners

Mining for Profitability - Horizen (formerly ZenCash) Thanks Early GPU Miners
Thank you for inviting Horizen to the GPU mining AMA!
ZEN had a great run of GPU mining that lasted well over a year, and brought lots of value to the early Zclassic miners. It is mined using Equihash protocol, and there have been ASIC miners available for the algorithm since about June of 2018. GPU mining is not really profitable for Horizen at this point in time.
We’ve got a lot of miners in the Horizen community, and many GPU miners also buy ASIC miners. Happy to talk about algorithm changes, security, and any other aspect of mining in the questions below. There are also links to the Horizen website, blog post, etc. below.
So, if I’m not here to ask you to mine, hold, and love ZEN, what can I offer? Notes on some of the lessons I’ve learned about maximizing mining profitability. An update on Horizen - there is life after moving on from GPU mining. As well as answering your questions during the next 7 days.
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Mining for Profitability - Horizen (formerly ZenCash) Thanks Early GPU Miners

Author: Rolf Versluis - co-founder of Horizen

In GPU mining, just like in many of the activities involved with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, there is both a cycle and a progression. The Bitcoin price cycle is fairly steady, and by creating a personal handbook of actions to take during the cycle, GPU miners can maximize their profitability.
Maximizing profitability isn't the only aspect of GPU mining that is important, of course, but it is helpful to be able to invest in new hardware, and be able to have enough time to spend on building and maintaining the GPU miners. If it was a constant process that also involved losing money, then it wouldn't be as much fun.

Technology Progression

For a given mining algorithm, there is definitely a technology progression. We can look back on the technology that was used to mine Bitcoin and see how it first started off as Central Processing Unit (CPU) mining, then it moved to Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) mining, then Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), and then Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC).
Throughout this evolution we have witnessed a variety of unsavory business practices that unfortunately still happen on occasion, like ASIC Miner manufacturers taking pre-orders 6 months in advance, GPU manufacturers creating commercial cards for large farms that are difficult for retail customers to secure and ASIC Miner manufacturers mining on gear for months before making it available for sale.
When a new crypto-currency is created, in many cases a new mining algorithm is created also. This is important, because if an existing algorithm was used, the coin would be open to a 51% attack from day one, and may not even be able to build a valid blockchain.
Because there's such a focus on profitable software, developers for GPU mining applications are usually able to write a mining application fairly rapidly, then iterate it to the limit of current GPU technology. If it looks like a promising new cryptocurrency, FPGA stream developers and ASIC Hardware Developers start working on their designs at the same time.
The people who create the hashing algorithms run by the miners are usually not very familiar with the design capabilities of Hardware manufacturers. Building application-specific semiconductors is an industry that's almost 60 years old now, and FPGA’s have been around for almost 35 years. This is an industry that has very experienced engineers using advanced design and modeling tools.
Promising cryptocurrencies are usually ones that are deploying new technology, or going after a big market, and who have at least a team of talented software developers. In the best case, the project has a full-stack business team involving development, project management, systems administration, marketing, sales, and leadership. This is the type of project that attracts early investment from the market, which will drive the price of the coin up significantly in the first year.
For any cryptocurrency that's a worthwhile investment of time, money, and electricity for the hashing, there will be a ASIC miners developed for it. Instead of fighting this technology progression, GPU miners may be better off recognizing it as inevitable, and taking advantage of the cryptocurrency cycle to maximize GPU mining profitability instead.

Cryptocurrency Price Cycle

For quality crypto projects, in addition to the one-way technology progression of CPU -> GPU -> FPGA -> ASIC, there is an upward price progression. More importantly, there is a cryptocurrency price cycle that oscillates around an overall upgrade price progression. Plotted against time, a cycle with an upward progressions looks like a sine wave with an ever increasing average value, which is what we see so far with the Bitcoin price.

Cryptocurrency price cycle and progression for miners
This means mining promising new cryptocurrencies with GPU miners, holding them as the price rises, and being ready to sell a significant portion in the first year. Just about every cryptocurrency is going to have a sharp price rise at some point, whether through institutional investor interest or by being the target of a pump-and-dump operation. It’s especially likely in the first year, while the supply is low and there is not much trading volume or liquidity on exchanges.
Miners need to operate in the world of government money, as well as cryptocurrency. The people who run mining businesses at some point have to start selling their mining proceeds to pay the bills, and to buy new equipment as the existing equipment becomes obsolete. Working to maximize profitability means more than just mining new cryptocurrencies, it also means learning when to sell and how to manage money.

Managing Cash for Miners

The worst thing that can happen to a business is to run out of cash. When that happens, the business usually shuts down and goes into bankruptcy. Sometimes an investor comes in and picks up the pieces, but at the point the former owners become employees.
There are two sides to managing cash - one is earning it, the other is spending it, and the cryptocurrency price cycle can tell the GPU miner when it is the best time to do certain things. A market top and bottom is easy to recognize in hindsight, and harder to see when in the middle of it. Even if a miner is able to recognize the tops and bottoms, it is difficult to act when there is so much hype and positivity at the top of the cycle, and so much gloom and doom at the bottom.
A decent rule of thumb for the last few cycles appears to be that at the top and bottom of the cycle BTC is 10x as expensive compared to USD as the last cycle. Newer crypto projects tend to have bigger price swings than Bitcoin, and during the rising of the pricing cycle there is the possibility that an altcoin will have a rise to 100x its starting price.
Taking profits from selling altcoins during the rise is important, but so is maintaining a reserve. In order to catch a 100x move, it may be worth the risk to put some of the altcoin on an exchange and set a very high limit order. For the larger cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin it is important to set trailing sell stops on the way up, and to not buy back in for at least a month if a sell stop gets triggered. Being able to read price charts, see support and resistance areas for price, and knowing how to set sell orders are an important part of mining profitability.

Actions to Take During the Cycle

As the cycle starts to rise from the bottom, this is a good time to buy mining hardware - it will be inexpensive. Also to mine and buy altcoins, which are usually the first to see a price rise, and will have larger price increases than Bitcoin.
On the rise of the cycle, this is a good time to see which altcoins are doing well from a project fundamentals standpoint, and which ones look like they are undergoing accumulation from investors.
Halfway through the rise of the cycle is the time to start selling altcoins for the larger project cryptos like Bitcoin. Miners will miss some of the profit at the top of the cycle, but will not run out of cash by doing this. This is also the time to stop buying mining hardware. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to pick up that same hardware used for a fraction of the price at the next bottom.
As the price nears the top of the cycle, sell enough Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to meet the following projected costs:
  • Mining electricity costs for the next 12 months
  • Planned investment into new miners for the next cycle
  • Additional funds needed for things like supporting a family or buying a Lambo
  • Taxes on all the capital gains from the sale of cryptocurrencies
It may be worth selling 70-90% of crypto holdings, maintaining a reserve in case there is second upward move caused by government bankruptcies. But selling a large part of the crypto is helpful to maintaining profitability and having enough cash reserves to make it through the bottom part of the next cycle.
As the cycle has peaked and starts to decline, this is a good time to start investing in mining facilities and other infrastructure, brush up on trading skills, count your winnings, and take some vacation.
At the bottom of the cycle, it is time to start buying both used and new mining equipment. The bottom can be hard to recognize.
If you can continue to mine all the way through bottom part of the cryptocurrency pricing cycle, paying with the funds sold near the top, you will have a profitable and enjoyable cryptocurrency mining business. Any cryptocurrency you are able to hold onto will benefit from the price progression in the next higher cycle phase.

An Update on Horizen - formerly ZenCash

The team at Horizen recognizes the important part that GPU miners played in the early success of Zclassic and ZenCash, and there is always a welcoming attitude to any of ZEN miners, past and present. About 1 year after ZenCash launched, ASIC miners became available for the Equihash algorithm. Looking at a chart of mining difficulty over time shows when it was time for GPU miners to move to mining other cryptocurrencies.

Horizen Historical Block Difficulty Graph
Looking at the hashrate chart, it is straightforward to see that ASIC miners were deployed starting June 2018. It appears that there was a jump in mining hashrate in October of 2017. This may have been larger GPU farms switching over to mine Horizen, FPGA’s on the network, or early version of Equihash ASIC miners that were kept private.
The team understands the importance of the cryptocurrency price cycle as it affects the funds from the Horizen treasury and the investments that can be made. 20% of each block mined is sent to the Horizen non-profit foundation for use to improve the project. Just like miners have to manage money, the team has to decide whether to spend funds when the price is high or convert it to another form in preparation for the bottom part of the cycle.
During the rise and upper part of the last price cycle Horizen was working hard to maximize the value of the project through many different ways, including spending on research and development, project management, marketing, business development with exchanges and merchants, and working to create adoption in all the countries of the world.
During the lower half of the cycle Horizen has reduced the team to the essentials, and worked to build a base of users, relationships with investors, exchanges, and merchants, and continue to develop the higher priority software projects. Lower priority software development, going to trade shows, and paying for business partnerships like exchanges and applications have all been completely stopped.
Miners are still a very important part of the Horizen ecosystem, earning 60% of the block reward. 20% goes to node operators, with 20% to the foundation. In the summer of 2018 the consensus algorithm was modified slightly to make it much more difficult for any group of miners to perform a 51% attack on Horizen. This has so far proven effective.
The team is strong, we provide monthly updates on a YouTube live stream on the first Wednesday of each month where all questions asked during the stream are addressed, and our marketing team works to develop awareness of Horizen worldwide. New wallet software was released recently, and it is the foundation application for people to use and manage their ZEN going forward.
Horizen is a Proof of Work cryptocurrency, and there is no plan to change that by the current development team. If there is a security or centralization concern, there may be change to the algorithm, but that appears unlikely at this time, as the hidden chain mining penalty looks like it is effective in stopping 51% attacks.
During 2019 and 2020 the Horizen team plans to release many new software updates:
  • Sidechains modification to main software
  • Sidechain Software Development Kit
  • Governance and Treasury application running on a sidechain
  • Node tracking and payments running on a sidechain
  • Conversion from blockchain to a Proof of Work BlockDAG using Equihash mining algorithm
After these updates are working well, the team will work to transition Horizen over to a governance model where major decisions and the allocation of treasury funds are done through a form of democratic voting. At this point all the software developed by Horizen is expected to be open source.
When the governance is transitioned, the project should be as decentralized as possible. The goal of decentralization is to enable resilience and preventing the capture of the project by regulators, government, criminal organizations, large corporations, or a small group of individuals.
Everyone involved with Horizen can be proud of what we have accomplished together so far. Miners who were there for the early mining and growth of the project played a large part in securing the network, evangelizing to new community members, and helping to create liquidity on new exchanges. Miners are still a very important part of the project and community. Together we can look forward to achieving many new goals in the future.

Here are some links to find out more about Horizen.
Horizen Website – https://horizen.global
Horizen Blog – https://blog.horizen.global
Horizen Reddit - https://www.reddit.com/Horizen/
Horizen Discord – https://discord.gg/SuaMBTb
Horizen Github – https://github.com/ZencashOfficial
Horizen Forum – https://forum.horizen.global/
Horizen Twitter – https://twitter.com/horizenglobal
Horizen Telegram – https://t.me/horizencommunity
Horizen on Bitcointalk – https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2047435.0
Horizen YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/c/Horizen/
Buy or Sell Horizen
Horizen on CoinMarketCap – https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/zencash/

About the Author:

Rolf Versluis is Co-Founder and Executive Advisor of the privacy oriented cryptocurrency Horizen. He also operates multiple private cryptocurrency mining facilities with hundreds of operational systems, and has a blog and YouTube channel on crypto mining called Block Operations.
Rolf applies his engineering background as well as management and leadership experience from running a 60 person IT company in Atlanta and as a US Navy nuclear submarine officer operating out of Hawaii to help grow and improve the businesses in which he is involved.
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Thank you again for the Ask Me Anything - please do. I'll be checking the post and answering questions actively from 28 Feb to 6 Mar 2019 - Rolf
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New frontier for Music on the Blockchain

New frontier for Music on the Blockchain

https://preview.redd.it/8pf697fjcq941.png?width=1280&format=png&auto=webp&s=c6694d4aaa9ad4d921f4bc461115ab117b0c885a
The team at Rondo passionately believes that more education is required in the music industry about blockchain tech, decentralized platforms, and cryptocurrencies. So we constantly look for applications and platforms that can provide opportunities for wealth creation or at the very least new revenue streams to benefit artists as they navigate the waterways of the music industry. If you do not try how can you say something will not work, and if you do not take advantage of available opportunities how can one form an opinion about the use case.
The number one challenge to user adoption of cryptocurrencies in the music industry or in general is the perceived barriers to entry and multiple difficulties associated with the initial first steps, where, what and how do I as an artist get started. What can I as an artist benefit from cryptocurrencies and how do we get our hands on some Bitcoin to save and or spend it.
Traditional methods to support artists with vertical revenue streams rely on centralized platforms such as Banks, Credit Card providers and PayPal with clearance delays from 2 to 7 days as well as high transaction fees for the 3rd party platforms and this translates to less money in the pockets of artists.
Along comes cryptocurrencies that do not rely on banks and ensures custody of the value remains in the hands of the holder as well as 24/7 access and self custodianship. The future of money as we know it already has more than 47 million people in the ecosystem and while this is just a drop in the ocean of 7 billion people, it is a growing ecosystem that is transforming the way we think about money in general.
This post we visit “Viberate” to provide an update and some recent highlights from the world's number 1 service that joins artists, places, events and festivals in the first truly global music network, all using Blockchain tech to manage and verify their massive industry database. With numerous new features available on Viberate.com, thousands of artists have joined in to claim their profiles and check out new gig opportunities at nearby venues. Easy filtering by location, multiple genres, and capacity has proved to be among the most popular features.
As we know some talent needs just a little boost to get noticed, we decided to go the extra mile: they check every single musician who claims their profile and regularly pick 5 aspiring artists who get featured in Viberate Instagram and Facebook Stories. If you’re wondering who made their most recent list, check the Music Friday Highlights.
When it comes to their platform, good word travels fast and by the end of November, they were thrilled to see the result of those travels: as their community grew to 20,000 contributors worldwide. United by a passion for music and armed with loads of music facts, every single contributor is able to share their knowledge and help artists breakthrough on a global platform. If you know your way around the music scene and are curious about joining their community, don’t miss these 3 reasons to become a contributor yourself:
1. Support your local bands?
Help your local community of musicians and make sure they’re represented on a global music platform. Getting exposure is the first step. A lot of artists don’t have the means to create their own website, but on Viberate, they get their own ID with links to all their social media channels and streaming sites, top-performing content, and events. They can also use the ID link as a one-pager for pitching new gigs and getting to a new level.
2. Be a part of your favorite artists’ success
Make sure your favorite artists stand out with a full profile. The more people get to know them, the more likely it is they’ll be noticed by the right people and blow up. And imagine telling your children how you were among the first who recognized the potential of a future superstar.
3. Are you a smartass?
Are you the one in your group of friends who’s always ready to jump in with a music fact? Do you know how to solve a mystery in the realm of: “Which genre is Peggy Gou or Robert Babicz, anyway?” Do people turn to you when they’re looking for fresh music and you’ve got a batch of promising up-and-comers ready to go? Can you assist with top music venues off the cuff? Viberate is the place for you. Whenever your friends and family get fed up with listening to your music wisdom, you can turn to Viberate.
Let’s play
They know how to spice it up. While adding and editing profiles on Viberate.com, you’ll collect points and badges all the way to the “master” level. The best contributors will be rewarded and recognized on a monthly chart of Top 10 contributors.
Going Viral with Carl Cox & Charlotte de Witte
The Good times just kept on rolling and ultimately brought about another reason for the festive season: Carl Cox and Charlotte de Witte, two of the hottest techno artists right now, saw the “Techno Invasion” article and shared it with their fans. Charlotte’s fan community even joked about naming her next album “Techno Invasion” — how cool is that?!
We hope you enjoyed this little update and please do visit their website over the holidays and see all the fantastic work they are doing in the music industry, to support emerging talent across multiple genres, worldwide.
For the Love of Music
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Charting Bitcoin with Elliott Wave

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