Let me give you an idea of the vantage point and perspective I come from. submitted by
I *am a quant, and a trader, and someone well read in law* I hate wallstreet, because I understand how the western economy works, and obviously I understand the technicals of trading and quant work. So I know the angles they play. And I understand regulatory behavior, I have a background in environmental regulatory work ( left because it's corrupt no surprise).
You people obsessed with price at any cost or calling everything FUD have no long term view of things. If we get a economic collapse, a real crash, *the happening*, Bitcoin is going into the hundreds again. At this point, bitcoin is dependent on wallstreet, dependent on the same economy we supposedly disagree with.
They've written the laws in the united state to only benefit the rich and institutions, and banned us off almost all exchanges. The only thing americans can use are basically three major names with piss poor liquidity and catastrophic fees. No one even talks about this. You HAVE to trade on unregulated exchanges to get by. Losing binance was a massive loss. The rich and powerful in united states have plans for bitcoin totally antithetical to cypherpunk.
We don't just need mainstream adoption, we need mainstream adoption of bitcoin WITH mainstream adoption of things like bisq and wasabi. This needs to become the norm, and yet they instead are planning on geofence locking bitcoin on a system of white listed exchanges, institutions, and wallets, trapping and tagging kyced bitcoin.
The thing people have to realize is that the money laundering that is done, is done through Deutsche bank and HSBC and the likes, by the drug cartels, human right violating dictators, war criminals , shell companies for defense companies and spin offs of intelligence agencies. It's all done with cash and the us dollar and banks. The worst people who run the super PAC for election, the worse people who hold trillions offshore and dominate the third world with multinational corporations, Russian oligarchs, all of them use the system and its loop holes to do all the things that they are trying cite as a reason to impose on bitcoin all of these extreme regulations.
They want secrecy for themselves. Period. They want to control and oppress us, and use secrecy for themselves. Most of the reason western governments are broken is because of multinational conglomerate and monopolistic economic cartels buying out regulatory agencies. Period. It's called a inverted totalitarianism. (From Lawerence Lessig's Lost Republic). The economic cartels own the regulatory agencies. No regulatory body in the united states does what it really should do. But more often the opposite, specifically to protect industry, and their trillions offshore. The people who have all this wealth and control these profit entities don't even keep the money in the states or pay taxes. The truly rich live above the law while wrecking democracy.
They want to have the ability to do the worst possible shit with the same level of secrecy that monero implies. So not only do we need encryption and privacy coins and features and anonymous untraceable access to bitcoin just to protect ourselves from them, we need to empower ourselves by having the same level of financial access that they do.
Think about it. What is the effect of the rich institutions making so many loopholes that allow them to move money and participate in functions of the market that the average person is prohibited from? It encourages and enables their ability to subvert democracy secretly with the very financial crimes they accuse of us.
So we need to take very deadly serious interchains and DAPP and DEX and DEFI, the wasabis, the mixers, monero, commerce adoption, and INFRASTRUCTURE that supports it. You people acting like maximalist can be so dense FFS. OPSEC. The world doesn't need bitcoin full node on backdoored windows 10 with zuck and the nsa watching you take a shit. The hardware and ancillary gear and infrastructure that supports bitcoin matters. Linux matters, user interface matters, commerce acceptance matters, server technology and security matters, even the processor matters, there are IBM and RISC V chips now,. The internet and bitcoin along with it needs to be violently dragged into open source models. Corporatization and closed gardening and the mcdonaldification of bitcoin is going to end in tragedy.
Bitcoin really is intended to be an anarchist apparatus. Bullshit to the citadel loving maximalist power tripping on some sort of libertarian randian american centric fantasy. You need to pay attention to why democracy doesn't work, why our political systems are broken, why these aspects of government only seem to empower the worst aspect of wallstreet criminality and financial crisis. Because it's how a late republic behaves, it's inherent in the flaws of republicanism, in electoral politics, in these hierarchical regulatory bodies, which are in no way self governing.
Our regulatory bodies are the literal opposite of Don't trust, Verify
but more Don't verify, Trust.
Note: you can read this on GitHub (link), Medium (link) or old Reddit (link) to see all the links. submitted by
: Version 1.3.0 RC1 (Release Candidate 1) is out! The main features of this release are significant performance improvements, including some that benefit SPV clients. Full release notes and downloads are on GitHub
The default minimum transaction fee rate was reduced from 0.001 to 0.0001 DCkB. Do not try to send such small fee transactions just yet, until the majority of the network upgrades.
Release process was changed
to use release branches and bump version on the master branch at the beginning of a release cycle. Discussed in this chat
The codebase is ready for the new Go 1.11 version. Migration to vgo module system is complete and the 1.4.0 release will be built using modules. The list of versioned modules and a hierarchy diagram are available here
The testnet was reset and bumped to version 3.
Comments are welcome for the proposal
to implement smart fee estimation, which is important for Lightning Network.
@matheusd recorded a code review video
for new Decred developers that explains how tickets are selected for voting. dcrwallet
: Version 1.3.0 RC1
features new SPV sync mode, new ticket buyer, new APIs for Decrediton and a host of bug fixes. On the dev side, dcrwallet also migrated
to the new module system. Decrediton
: Version 1.3.0 RC1
adds the new SPV sync mode that syncs roughly 5x faster. The feature is off by default while it receives more testing from experienced users. Other notable changes include a design polish and experimental Politeia integration. Politeia
: Proposal editing is being developed
and has a short demo
. This will allow proposal owners to edit their proposal in response to community feedback before voting begins. The challenges associated with this feature relate to updating censorship tokens and maintaining a clear history of which version comments were made on. @fernandoabolafio produced this architecture diagram
which may be of interest to developers.
@degeri joined to perform security testing of Politeia and found several issues
: mainnet explorer upgraded to v2.1 with several new features. For users: credit/debit tx filter on address page, showing miner fees on coinbase transaction page, estimate yearly ticket rewards on main page
, cool new hamburger menu and keyboard navigation. For developers: new chain parameters
page, experimental Insight API support, endpoints for coin supply and block rewards, testnet3 support. Lots of minor API changes and frontend tweaks, many bug fixes and robustness improvements.
The upcoming v3.0 entered beta and is deployed on beta.dcrdata.org
. Check out the new charts
page. Feedback and bug reports are appreciated. Finally, the development version v3.1.0-pre is on alpha.dcrdata.org
: updated to be compatible with the latest SPV code and is syncing, several performance issues are worked on. Details were posted in chat
. Alpha testing has started, to participate please join #dev
and ask for the APK. iOS
: backend is mostly complete, as well as the front end. Support for devices with smaller screens was improved. What works now: creating and recovering wallets, listing of transactions, receiving DCR, displaying and scanning QR codes, browsing account information, SPV connection to peers, downloading headers. Some bugs need fixing before making testable builds. Ticket splitting
: v0.6.0 beta released
with improved fee calculation and multiple bug fixes. docs
section that grouped some old articles as well as the new Politeia
@Richard-Red created a concept repository
sandbox with policy documents, to illustrate the kind of policies that could be approved and amended by Politeia proposals. decred.org
: 8 contributors
added and 4 removed, including 2 advisors (discussion here
Dev activity stats for August: 239 active PRs, 219 commits, 25k added and 11k deleted lines spread across 8 repositories. Contributions came from 2-10 developers per repository. (chart
Hashrate: went from 54 to 76 PH/s, the low was 50 and the new all-time high is 100 PH/s. BeePool share rose to ~50% while F2Pool shrank to 30%, followed by coinmine.pl at 5% and Luxor at 3%.
Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 95.6 DCR (+3.0) as of Sep 3. During the month, ticket price fluctuated between a low of 92.2 and high of 100.5 DCR. Locked DCR represented between 3.8 and 3.9 million or 46.3-46.9% of the supply.
Nodes: there are 217 public listening and 281 normal nodes per dcred.eu
. Version distribution: 2% at v1.4.0(pre) (dev builds), 5% on v1.3.0 (RC1), 62% on v1.2.0 (-5%), 22% on v1.1.2 (-2%), 6% on v1.1.0 (-1%). Almost 69% of nodes are v.1.2.0 and higher and support client filters. Data snapshot of Aug 31.
Obelisk posted 3 email updates
in August. DCR1 units are reportedly
shipping with 1 TH/s hashrate and will be upgraded with firmware to 1.5 TH/s. Batch 1 customers will receive compensation
for missed shipment dates, but only after Batch 5 ships. Batch 2-5 customers will be receiving the updated slim design
the new D9+ DecredMaster
: 2.8 TH/s at 1,230 W priced $1,499. Specified shipping date was Aug 10-15. FFMiner DS19
claims 3.1 TH/s for Blake256R14 at 680 W and simultaneously 1.55 TH/s for Blake2B at 410 W, the price is $1,299
. Shipping Aug 20-25.
Another newly noticed miner offer is this
unit that does 46 TH/s at 2,150 W at the price of $4,720. It is shipping Nov 2018 and the stats look very close to Pangolin Whatsminer DCR
(which has now a page on asicminervalue
joined the list of stakepools
for a total of 16.
Australian CoinTree added
DCR trading. The platform supports fiat, there are some limitations
during the upgrade to a new system but also no fees
in the "Early access mode". On a related note, CoinTree is working
on a feature to pay household bills with cryptocurrencies it supports.
Three new OTC desks were added to exchanges
page at decred.org.
Two mobile wallets integrated Decred:
- Coinomi added Decred to their Android and iOS wallets. In addition to the Apple App Store and Google Play you can download the APK directly. Coinomi features an integrated cryptocurrency exchange and is the first company to offer a mobile Decred wallet.
- BitBill Android and iOS wallet also added Decred.
Reminder: do your best to understand the security and privacy model before using any wallet software. Points to consider: who controls the seed, does the wallet talk to the nodes directly or via middlemen, is it open source or not?
- Bit Dials announced DCR support via GloBee at their bitdials.eu luxury boutique. Their separate supercar and classic car shop bitcars.eu also accepts DCR, either via GloBee or with manual invoicing in case of privacy concerns.
- Sheldon Store re-enabled DCR payments. The shop sells gift cards for Amazon, iTunes, Netflix and many more.
Targeted advertising report for August was posted by @timhebel. Facebook appeal is pending, some Google and Twitter campaigns were paused and some updated. Read more here
Contribution to the @decredproject
Twitter account has evolved over the past few months. A #twitter_ops channel is being used on Matrix to collaboratively draft and execute project account tweets (including retweets). Anyone with an interest in contributing to the Twitter account can ask for an invitation to the channel and can start contributing content and ideas there for evaluation by the Twitter group. As a result, no minority or unilateral veto over tweets is possible. (from GitHub
- Meetup in Puebla City, Mexico, organized by @elian. (photo, slides, missed in July issue)
- @joshuam discussed Decred and decentralized organizations with Craig Laundy, Federal Minister for Small Business, the Workplace, and Deregulation with the Australian Government, at @YBFVentures. (photos)
- Meetup at @TheBlockCafe in Lisbon, Portugal. @mm presented "Decred 101 - Governance with Skin in the Game" and @moo31337 talked about Decred's 2018 roadmap. (photos: 1 2 3)
- Meetup in Taipei, Taiwan. @morphymore made a short intro of Decred and noted: "After the talk, many have approached to tell me that they literally don’t hear of Decred until today, and are interested in finding out more about the merit of a hybrid consensus system.". Longer report here, some photos and a video are here.
- @eSizeDave introduced Decred to the SILC Undergraduate Program students at @YBFVentures. (photo)
- OKEx Global Meetup Tour in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. @joshuam gave a brief presentation covering the history of Decred, how the project functions, and the importance of governance. Afterwards he joined a panel discussion and spoke about Decred's incentives for long term viability. (video, video, photo)
- Blockchain & Decentralised Governance Panel at @YBFVentures in Melbourne, Australia. @eSizeDave presented Decred, mini-report here. (photos: 1 2)
- Blockchain Futurist Conference in Toronto, Canada. @zubairzia0 noted: "Devs and the community were held in high regard for the people who knew about decred ... one positive thing I remember was someone defending us saying 'Decred does not need a booth', I believe that comment was reflective of the quality of projects being showcased at the conference.". (photo)
- Meetup at @YBFVentures in Melbourne, Australia. @joshuam discussed Decred with Graham Stuart, U.K. Minister for International Trade. (news, photos)
- Small meetup with Jackson Palmer in Melbourne, Australia. (photo)
- Voice of Blockchain in Chicago, USA. @moo31337 talked on Protocol Governance panel, Solving Scalability panel (video) and gave an interview, while @ay-p spoke on Decentralized Exchanges panel. Stakey made an appearance on the slides. (photos: 1 2 3 4 5)
- Hawthorne Street Fair in Portland, USA. Raedah Group was out answering questions about crypto and Decred. (photos)
- Blockchain APAC in Melbourne, Australia. @joshuam joined a panel discussion with reps from banking, university and ISO/TC 307. @eSizeDave reports: "This enterprise conference was indeed a whole lot better than I expected. The presentations were actually full of very worthwhile information from credible people, articulated aptly to a very government, academic, and corporate crowd, who genuinely took on board valuable insights. Good to know some of these key people are Decred holders and stakers as well. I got to use the entire day to speak directly with some of the most pivotal personalities in this particular populace. Ongoing relationships have been built and strengthened.". (photos: 1 2 3)
For those willing to help with the events:
BAB: Hey all, we are gearing up for conference season. I have a list of places we hope to attend but need to know who besides @joshuam and @Haon are willing to do public speaking, willing to work booths, or help out at them? You will need to be well versed on not just what is Decred, but the history of Decred etc... DM me if you are interested. (#event_planning)
The Decred project is looking for ambassadors. If you are looking for a fun cryptocurrency to get involved in send me a DM or come talk to me on Decred slack. (@marco_peereboom, longer version here)
Decred Assembly episode 21 is available
. @jy-p and lead dcrwallet developer @jrick discussed SPV from Satoshi's whitepaper, how it can be improved upon and what's coming in Decred.
Decred Assembly episodes 1-21 are available in audio only format here
New instructional articles on stakey.club
: Decrediton setup
, Deleting the wallet
, Installing Go
, Installing dcrd
, dcrd as a Linux service
. Available in both English and Portuguese
Decred scored #32 in the August issue
of Chinese CCID ratings. The evaluation model was explained in this interview
Satis Group rated Decred highly in their cryptoasset valuation research report
). This was featured by several large media outlets, but some did not link to or omitted
Decred entirely, citing
low market cap.
- Decred Investor Interviews: Ciarán O’Leary, General Partner, BlueYard Capital (medium)
- Decred Update Research Report by Node Blockchain (medium), and the corresponding full 11-page report (Google Drive)
- Is Decred worth my time and money? by Fabien Pelissier (medium), and the full 13-page Decred Analysis (PDF)
- Decred for Custody Providers by @bee (medium)
- The 3 Best-Performing Cryptocurrencies in 2018 (nulltx.com, missed in July issue)
- Decred Review (vivecrypto.com, missed in July issue)
- What is Decred? Everything about Decred, the wallet and the hybrid consensus (Dutch, currentcrypto.nl)
- Decred overview (Japanese, cryptocoinportal.jp, note: Decred's Coco is Amazing, according to Google Translate)
- What is Dark Red (Decred)? (Japanese, billion-coin.jp)
- Decred is the neglected gem among altcoins (captainaltcoin.com)
- What are the characteristics of Decred and where to buy? (Japanese, motto-money.com)
- What is hybrid virtual currency Decred? Explanation of features and future potential (Japanese, investor-a.com)
- What is DCR? Introduction to Decred (cryptobriefing.com)
- Cryptocurrencies in the Top 100 With Working Products That Are In-Use (investinblockchain)
- Top 3 Coins Crushing it in 2018 so Far! - Decred, VeChain, Binance Coin! by Decentralized TV (youtube)
- Decred review by Ultimate Money (youtube, missed in July issue)
- Interview with Marco Peereboom by BitBoy Crypto (youtube)
- Twitter followers 39,592 (+174)
- Reddit subscribers 8,631 (+119)
- Matrix users 163
- Slack users 6,067 (+103)
- YouTube subscribers 3,667
- Facebook 3,048 followers and 2,814 likes
- GitHub 417 (+14) stars and 1,021 (+44) forks of dcrd repository
Comm systems news:
- Interruptions in the chat bridge led to some Slack messages not reaching other platforms, and consequently not being archived in Matrix.
- Several impersonators were detected and banned.
- Inactive Slack channels were archived. If you miss them, let it be known.
- Mastodon was mentioned by several people as a possible alternative for Twitter.
- Two new Reddit rules were added to prevent CAPS flood and duplicate submissions.
After another debate about chat systems more people began testing and using Matrix, leading to some gardening on that platform:
- Decred Matrix community was created: +decred:decred.org, it helps to see all Decred-related rooms and people.
- #privacy and #design are now bridged.
- One private work channel was successfully migrated to Matrix.
- Stylish room avatars were set.
- @Haon has prepared a short guide to help new Matrix users get started and join the Decred rooms.
- A thread was started to discuss changes to Decred jargon with the intent to make it more consistent and accessible to newcomers. The question whether changing "official" terminology requires stakeholder approval was touched in this thread and in #documentation.
- Project fund transparency and constitution were extensively discussed on Reddit and in #general.
- Pre-proposal to use Politeia to approve Politeia as a legitimate decision-making tool for Decred.
Reddit: substantive discussion about Decred cons
; ecosystem fund
; a thread
about voter engagement, Politeia UX and trolling; idea
of a social media system for Decred by @michae2xl; how profitable
is the Obelisk DCR1.
Chats: cross-chain trading
via LN; plans
for contractor management system, lower-level decision making and contractor privacy vs transparency for stakeholders; measuring
dev activity; what if
the network stalls, multiple implementations of Decred for more resilience, long term vision behind those extensive tests and accurate comments in the codebase; ideas
for process for policy documents, hosting them in Pi and approving with ticket voting; about
SPV wallet disk size, how compact filters work; odds
of a wallet fetching a wrong block in SPV; new module system
in Go; security
of allowing Android app backups; why
PoW algo change proposal must be specified in great detail; thoughts
and SPV; prerequisites
for shipping SPV by default (continued
); Decred vs Dash treasury and marketing expenses
, spending other people's money; why
Decred should not invade a country, DAO and nation states, entangling with nation state is poor resource allocation; how
winning tickets are determined and attack vectors; Politeia
proposal moderation, contractor clearance, the scale of proposals and decision delegation, initial Politeia vote to approve Politeia itself; chat systems
, Matrix/Slack/Discord/RocketChat/Keybase (continued
of Korean exchanges; no breaking changes
in vgo; why
project fund burn rate must keep low; asymptotic
behavior of Decred and other ccs, tail emission; count of full nodes
and incentives to run them; Politeia proposal translations
and multilingual environment.
An unusual event was the chat about double negatives and other oddities in languages in #trading
DCR started the month at USD 56 / BTC 0.0073 and had a two week decline. On Aug 14 the whole market took a huge drop
and briefly went below USD 200 billion. Bitcoin went below USD 6,000 and top 100 cryptos lost 5-30%. The lowest point coincided with Bitcoin dominance peak at 54.5%. On that day Decred dived -17% and reached the bottom of USD 32 / BTC 0.00537. Since then it went sideways in the USD 35-45 / BTC 0.0054-0.0064 range. Around Aug 24, Huobi showed DCR trading volume above USD 5M and this coincided with a minor recovery. @ImacallyouJawdy
posted some creative analysis based on ticket data.
an extensive article "ASIC Resistance is Nothing but a Blockchain Buzzword" that is much in line with Decred's stance on ASICs.
The ongoing debates
about the possible Sia fork
yet again demonstrate the importance of a robust dispute resolution mechanism. Also, we are lucky
to have the treasury.
Mark B Lundeberg, who found
a vulnerability in atomicswap earlier, published
a concept of more private peer-to-peer atomic swaps. (missed in July issue)
Medium took a cautious stance
on cryptocurrencies and triggered at least one project to migrate
to Ghost (that same project previously migrated
away from Slack).
Regulation: Vietnam bans
mining equipment imports, China halts
crypto events and tightens control of crypto chat groups.
Reddit was hacked
by intercepting 2FA codes sent via SMS. The announcement
explains the impact. Yet another data breach
suggests to think twice before sharing any data with any company and shift to more secure authentication systems.
Intel and x86 dumpsterfire keeps burning brighter
. Seek more secure hardware and operating systems for your coins.
Finally, unrelated to Decred but good for a laugh: yetanotherico.com
About This Issue
This is the 5th issue of Decred Journal. It is mirrored on GitHub
. Past issues are available here
Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research.
Feedback is appreciated: please comment on Reddit
or #writers_room on Matrix
Contributions are welcome too. Some areas are collecting content, pre-release review or translations to other languages. Check out @Richard-Red's guide
how to contribute to Decred using GitHub without writing code.
Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, Haon, jazzah, Richard-Red and thedecreddigest.
Alan Booth is the CEO of one of Cryptopia, an exchange regarded as having one of the widest selection of tokens. Founded in 2014, Cryptopia is one of a handful of blockchain-focused companies in New Zealand.
The Cryptopia team is often tasked with researching hundreds of projects to determine their efficacy before any other major exchange has touched them. The exchange lists many projects in their early stages and post-ICO.
As an entrepreneur and business consultant for over 50 years, Alan Booth’s story is fairly atypical of that of many entrepreneurs in the cryptocurrency world. His perspective on the cryptocurrency is grounded in decades of business development experience, and he views the cryptocurrency exchange realm as one of the most exciting opportunities yet.
In the following interview, we dive into everything from cryptocurrency psychology, the coin listing process, and blockchain entrepreneurship. How did you get introduced into the crypto world?
That’s interesting. I was consulting for Cryptopia or consulting to assist them in their development path for several months when it became obvious that they needed some senior leadership to move them from where they are, which was basically a reactive technical focus to a more business global focus on how we develop their business model. We are very conscious of the fact that you need a higher level of thinking. You need a global perspective, particularly from New Zealand because there’s not a lot of us down here.
That probably predicates why we’re a global business grown out of such a small population. We’d known each other for a while, certainly six months or so, and when the opportunity came up, why wouldn’t I move from a very safe, comfortable, fun job that I had previously, which was the chief executive of an international flying school. Nothing really scary goes on there.
I am at the latter end of my working life, somewhat semi-retired and all my colleagues went, “You’re going to do what? Are you kidding?” Of course, the blood pressure went up and I said, “yeah, I’m going to have a go at this.”
So, it’s really about the opportunity when you’ve learned so much over 40 or 50 years of developing business models and floating companies and taking them to the world, which is primarily what I’ve done. To find something that’s new and a full of excitement and fear and trepidation and where is all this going? Then it’s an opportunity you can’t afford to pass up. So, it’s just the daredevil saying let’s go. The risk and the general fervor for the industry have gotten a lot of people very excited. What are the top concerns for exchanges moving forward from your perspective?
They are many fold and they are variable based on feedback from the community and somewhat driven by legislation, driven by corporate requirements. The FinTech world, we’ve got to look at that as well as the coin world. If we want to grow and deliver a product that the average consumer can consume, then we have to deliver all the things that they would typically expect. So, if you went into a retail store to buy a heater, you expect to have a warranty.
You expect to be safe, you expect to be treated well with clarity. And typically, the coin industry to date has not been very good at that because it’s been evolving and mostly evolving from a technical perspective with probably less weight put on the public consumption of the coin. It’s being technically driven as a technical product when you look at it. When you go to the exchange, some of them take a fair bit of thinking about before you can operate.
So, for us, the first thing is trust. If people can’t trust your brand, and that means every part of it, you’re not going to succeed
. So, we are very proactive here in New Zealand, talking to legislators, government agencies in and out of New Zealand. KYC, AML, CML, all of that stuff. We are drafting our own internal rules and then most cases they exceed the requirements of our banking partners. So, they look at us and they go, wow, you’re way ahead of where we thought it would be. So, developing a trust relationship with our consumers and business partners is vital. The next thing is developing a stable and functional platform.
I don’t just mean the coin exchange itself, but all of the underlying technology. Will we be up? Do we have latency? Are we speedy? Have we purchased the right partnership relationships for our equipment and how do we continue to be able to scale at will and not risk failing to deliver a result? That means helping people get an exchange done, their coins on and off. I suspect it’s the same as every other exchange.
Only thing is, down here, we have really focused on three things to move us very quickly forward. One is the public-facing components. That’s the help desk if you get stuck. We want to be able to respond very quickly. And like the other exchanges, we headed enormous influx in the early part of the year and that was debilitating. Nobody was ready for it. We employed teams of people to come in and train as support operators. We’ve since then spent a huge amount of money on a new ticketing system, which actually went live yesterday.
So, this morning when I come in, there’s smiley faces trying to get their head around it going, wow, this is amazing. So, we triage all the tickets on the inbound route now and puts it in a good space for our response team to reply as quickly as possible, I want. At the moment, we’re not there. Instead of being 40 or 50 hours and all these horrible delays, I want people to have a response from us immediately and I mean within seconds saying we’ve got your ticket. I can’t answer it right now, but we’re on you. Then, within hours, get back to those customers and fix their problem. They don’t deserve to wait 24 hours or 48 hours.
People are anxious. Ticketing, we’ve done something about it. Highly trained staff, we’re employing all the time. We’ve developed foreign offices to beat the time zone thing. We now have a support office in the UK that we have had for some time, actually. The next thing is just the stabilizing of our software and hardware.
When you start these things, the enthusiasm and the inexperience of the development team may not know what’s here to them and now we’ve bought in bigger, stronger, international teams. So, that’s great what you’ve got, but let’s do this. So, that’s the phase we’re on now. We’re spending all of our money. In fact, every penny that we generate in this business goes straight back into furthering and developing the products. Nobody’s racing home in Lamborghinis or flying their jets around. They’re just piling into it.
So, that’s how I am in terms of producing a high-quality product. It’s not a decision we just made. It’s always been there, but we are now articulating it internally, that we want to be in the top five of crypto exchanges and digital asset exchanges of some form within the next two years. In the top five, bar none, in every respect. Would you say the number one component of being thought of as one of the top five would be trading volume? Is that the primary metric?
I absolutely agree with you, but you can’t have trading volume unless you provide the other things first, like security, safety, a good trading platform.
If you want trading volume, I have to have a reason for you to trust me, which has to be if I have a failure, will my ticket, be answered? If you do those things, you will get trading volume. I don’t believe you look at it the other way and say, hey, let’s create trading volume because if that comes at you hard and sharp, how are you going to cope with it when something breaks?
It’s technology, things will break. It’s how you address things that go wrong that made you successful, not what you put in place to drive that business in. That will happen if you’re good. The word gets out saying this is a great exchange. They fixed my tickets, they’re fast, they’re responsive, it’s safe. That will create trading volume.
Trading volume for us is income and of course, we want it. We have actually slowed down on coin listings. We’ve slowed down on taking new customers and we’ve slowed down on developing relationships with partners simply to get our platform in better shape so that we can become the most reliable, trusted partner you can have. That will create trading volume, no doubt about it. Although trading volume does bring in a sizable amount of revenue, there comes a point where it just becomes a vanity metric where people are using an exchange simply because there just aren’t any better alternatives out there.. So, if there is an exchange that can offer all the features that you’re talking about and a premium level of service, then the trading volume will trickle down. There’s no real loyalty for exchanges other than preferences.
Absolutely. We wouldn’t ask for that. Why would you say to somebody, hey, you got to be loyal to us? That’s just silly. You will be loyal to us if I offer you a great experience. That means volume of coins, a huge range to trade through. Ease of trading. One click, two clicks. How about some trading tools just like you see in a modern foreign exchange opportunity? Some arbitrage tools, some tools for measurement, some nice desktop tools.
We want to introduce other things. It just means that you’ve got control over your own reporting and your own desktop environment. It can become a very powerful tool to use as long as we listen to the customers and say, hey guys, we can develop that. Give us a couple of months, let’s put it in front of you. What is the coin listing process for you guys? What’s the process for someone who wants to get their coin listed on Cryptopia?
We’re just reviewing that and we’re being very focused on changing the way we list coins and who we list. We’re very conscious to gain trust. We are actually your first port of call for particularly those people who don’t know much about coin, so they have to trust their exchange partner. Therefore, we have to make sure that if we list a coin, it’s a viable trusted, honest coin that’s going to give value.
Not just to us as an exchange but it’s not a scam coin. It’s not something just to raise money, pump and dump thing. We have coin listing teams who are very tough. I have introduced people as the CEO to my coin listing team and I can’t get it through them. I’ve said, but these are great guys and I have a great story and I met them in Vancouver and boy, they’ve convinced me.
My coin listing technical team does all the due diligence. Everything from GitHub, Facebook pages, normal stuff like that. If it doesn’t look like a viable product to us on many levels, then it doesn’t get listed. That’s the end of it.
If [the coin] gets past that, we do further due diligence. We’ll actually interview the company. We’ll ask why do you want to list? Why do you want to list with Cryptopia? What’s your plan for the coin? What do you want us to tell customers because they’re going to be relying on us?
So, we’d like to do more than just have a coin called 21 Million sitting on the exchange. How about if we had a link to that with some of the criteria we use to judge whether that was a good opportunity. Whether it was a good coin. We might have a 10-point plan and we might say, hey, this coin passed at 9.7. This coin is in, but it only got in at 2.4. Whereas the negative coins, the coins that have gotten negative plans, negative equity in our mindset, they just don’t get on the exchange.
We have a very large number of coins at the moment. We want to remain in that space, be the leader. That means that clearly, we’re not going to get it right all the time because we make mistakes and actually, so do the some of the honest and reliable coin generators. Their plans might not just happen, so they get the benefit of the doubt for a while.
As long as we see that they’re not doing something deliberately to disrupt the market or just to take money, then we’ll support them until they get their business model right. But we’re very focused on a coin listing to us is actually a business partnership. We’re not just going to throw coins up there. I think 2018 is the year of reckoning, wherein 2017, pretty much anything got listed anywhere. It didn’t really matter how functional the coin was or whether it was legitimate or not. So, it’s really cool to see the trend in exchanges making a stance against that because if the ax falls, it doesn’t fall on the anonymous coin team that could be in Switzerland and Ethiopia. It’s falling on the CEOs and the exchange teams that are allowing access.
People come to us and they say, hey, I haven’t got my money. You’re the exchange. I go, well actually, the coin that we listed, I’m afraid the wallet’s faulty or they didn’t do this, or they ran away. People don’t care. They’re relying on us. That’s why Cryptopia has to be a business partner with each and every user, not just a provider of some coin listings. That would be unethical. Absolutely, and it’s good to hear. Speaking of regulations, how do you think that’s going to evolve for exchanges, especially being out of New Zealand?
I welcome a regulatory intervention for many reasons. The primary one is that as soon as the regulators start imposing their will and taking notice, it means that it’s a genuine opportunity. They don’t waste their time on something that’s not going to affect global economies or our economy. For example, the New Zealand regulators, we’re working and we’re working with them because they recognize that somebody has got to work with them to tell them what’s going on.
The other side of the fence, that’s us. We have to work with them to say, you can’t do that because it won’t work in this environment. So, working with regulators is critical, in my opinion, and we’re doing that very well.
Regulation has to come.
It was just announced in New Zealand a few days ago that we’re going to start, this is unrelated to coins, collecting GST, which is our equivalent of your local taxes, on online purchases. So, typically anything up to $400 that you buy online from Amazon, for example, in New Zealand, you wouldn’t pay tax on and they’re changing that. They’re taking the same view with coins. So, the government is saying, how do we tax revenue? When do we tax revenue? What should it look like? How do we make it fair for you, the exchange and how do we make it fair and manageable by the consumers who may have to declare a capital gain if they’re going, for instance, as an equity or a property as pure speculative fun like betting? And if that’s the case, when should we do this? Should we backdate all that stuff?
Every country is going through this and some have jumped in and made decisions that they’ve had to backpedal on. They were a little bit hasty. In New Zealand, in particular, we have a great relationship with the regulators and all the powers that be, right down to the banks, and are all looking at the space saying, you know what? We don’t quite know what to do, but let’s start doing something and I welcome it.
And the more understanding and control we have on these things at this early stage these next few years, the neater and cleaner will be over the next few years. Just as banking has become very stabilized through regulations, so will this crypto business, whatever it ends up looking like. New Zealand has its advantages because a smaller population could make building direct relationships with regulating authorities easier. Tim Draper, for example, is investing in Papua New Guinea to try and make this whole digital citizenship country. The Binance guys just moved over to Malta. The global landscape just opened up, and governments will have to start offering distinct advantages to attract companies that could hypothetically set up virtually anywhere.
That’s great because that’s exactly what online trading is about. It’s online and it’s global. We have to join the global party, but we better start from a position of understanding and strength in our own environment. Make sure we have our own stuff together before we start yelling about what someone else should do. Yeah, absolutely. Shifting gears a little bit, what do you think about decentralized exchanges and how they’re going to affect the whole exchange thing?
The quick and easy answer to that is it will definitely affect the global exchange market. It will definitely affect FinTech because if people who are regular investors and that’s people with mom and pops with a few dollars, right up to institutional investors, if they can see a way of generating revenue and it’s safe, they’re going to move there. They’re not going to discard their other investment opportunities and they’re not going to discard regular exchange-traded equities or working on the stock exchange. But there’s a space here that we haven’t quite worked out who that’s going to work for or how, but the more we regulate, the more we make the tools visible.
The stronger we look to the market and the more professional we look. That doesn’t necessarily mean just wearing a suit into a meeting, but the more gravitas we have behind those discussions demonstrating that we’ve done on the work and that we’ve got smart people here and the technology’s good. We’re ready to come and meet and talk equitably to investors and traditional investment houses. Then there will be a way that they join up. There’s no doubt about it. I mean, it can’t be helped. How about the lightning network and atomic swaps where you could pretty much exchange peer to peer. You could trade Litecoin for Ethereum directly in one single transaction without an exchange. Centralized exchanges have their benefits, like for example, there’s someone you can knock on their door and say where’d my money go? I need customer support. So, there are advantages there, but then the advantages of a decentralized exchange are just the efficiency. I’m wondering how is that viewed for the centralized exchange world?
I don’t want people to take away my income opportunity. We’re building a business. We would argue, and I think it could be demonstrated to date until the blockchain comes up with some technical solutions. We’re building a trust environment and we are taking on, at considerable cost, the responsibility for providing the trust. First, it’s a coin that we like and here are the reasons. We’ve done the due diligence on your behalf. We allow the transactions to take place and here’s how we regulate, manage and deliver that transaction and manage the wallet relationships.
Cryptopia’s Coin Information display
That’s a role we take on. So, if you trade with a centralized exchange, you’ve got a whole lot of advantages that you don’t have by trading peer to peer. It’s fairly obvious what a peer to peer relationship looks like. If that’s on a personal level, that risk is much greater. If it’s on a more corporate structured level, I don’t know what that looks like yet, but I think we’ve got a long way to go before we could move from centralized exchanges to peer to peer simply because there’s going to have to be some regulation around it. How would the regulators engage in that space? Who are they engaging with? Every single person who wants to trade?
At the moment, they can deal with an exchange that has potentially 2,000,000 to 10,000,000 customers. That’s not easy for a regulator or a tax authority. So, there’s the regular regulatory component. That’s got to be there. Then there’s the trust management and then there are just a few more technical issues that I think have yet to evolve. It all comes down to running a business. It takes money and capital to get all these users you want to get. If the technology works, that’s great, but onboarding users take resources. How do these projects plan on doing that? It’s just a missing component of every single white paper that tries to go after that who isn’t trying to build a centralized business to oversee it.
I think philanthropy is wonderful and when people are talking about decentralization. It’s a great idea and it’s philanthropic and it would be wonderful if the world could work like that. But there’s never been a business model that has worked without generating revenue. There isn’t one. Everyone’s tried, but you can’t name one that doesn’t have to generate revenue at some point or another.
Even if that revenue is simply generated to make the action happen, the hardware, the software, the bandwidth, someone’s got to pay. So, if you’re decentralizing, how do you get paid? How do you police it? How do you manage it? Why not stick to a model that works? And it’s not just about centralized coin exchanges. It’s not just about front-end institutions. This is a model that’s worked since the first inhabitants of Earth swapped a bean for a stick or can I give you my dinosaur to cook while I bring you a giraffe? I don’t know, but you can’t have a society without an exchange happening of some value in exchange.
Even if I go to a coffee bar with you, here’s the simplest thing. I would say, hey, I’ll meet you for coffee, on me I might pay for the coffee, but guess what? We’ve sat down and exchanged information. I’ve gotten something out of it. How do you do stuff without exchanging value? It’s push and pull between advancing technology and proving the model works but then what’s the incentive to run it and popularize it because you’ve got that whole chicken and egg problem. We need a bunch of users for this to work efficiently, but we’re not going to make any money doing it. Hopefully, we’ll see how things play out in the next couple of months or years or decades.
I’m down for decades and a lot of failures. We’ll be there watching them saying we’ll help you if we can and hey, go and play guys, but come back here when it doesn’t work because we are going to be here. What are your thoughts on Bitcoin dominance in general compared to all the other coins out in 2018? So, what does a cryptocurrency landscape look like if Bitcoin happens to fall down to, let’s say, 15\% or 10\% of the market?
Does Bitcoin really dominate or is it just big? If you look at the exchanges and watch the traffic, can you see as much traffic taking place and as much interest in the CoinCash or 21 Million or Kenya or any of these things? They’re all there and people are trading them for various reasons. Mom and pops are going to be doing this to buy a new car.
Someone else purely looking as a store of wealth and other people are looking to dominate a market. So, I’m not sure that you could say Bitcoin dominates. It might be the largest store of wealth at the moment. Does it dominate people’s thinking? I’m not sure about that. If you’re a coin developer, it’s your coin that’s dominant in your mind and you’ll go after a particular vertical, even a geographic market. So, you have the potential to develop your store or your story within that business scope.
Why does Bitcoin dominate? Simply because it was seen as an opportunity? Is it dominated because the people who trade in Bitcoin put so much faith in it being a store of wealth or an opportunity for capital gain? But a lot of those people have run away. That’s why it’s not $20,000 at the moment. It’s just trading between 8,000 and 10,000 in there. So, it stabilized. So, what if it fell over? Some people will lose money.
It’s not going to change the blockchain, it’s not going to change our thinking about cryptocurrencies. It’s not going to change Cryptopia’s approach to the market. It might dominate in volume. I’m not sure it’s the dominant force supporting cryptocurrencies. I see what you’re saying. It might just be a dominance of user acquisition because there’s a larger chance they heard of Bitcoin instead of Ethereum if they have heard of cryptocurrency at all. So, it’s like the gateway crypto.
Take care that people aren’t saying Bitcoin just like a Hoover, the vacuum cleaner. Every vacuum cleaner for 20 years was called a Hoover. That was the dominant brand. Hey, I’m going to Hoover the floor. What they meant was I’m going to get my vacuum cleaner of which there are 80,000 different makes out there now and they’re going to vacuum the floor, but they just called it a Hoover. So, I trade in Bitcoin.
I’ll bet you someone who says, yeah, I trade Bitcoin, he’s only saying bitcoin because he knows or she knows that people understand that you’re referring to a cryptocurrency. If you say to someone I trade in Clearpoll or CoinMedic3, they have no clue what you’re talking about. They go what is that? Oh, it’s Bitcoin. Oh, I get it. If you went home to your mom and dad and they asked what are you doing? You’d say, oh yeah, I’m trading cryptocurrency. They’d go, oh? What’s what? You’d go, Bitcoin. They go, oh, that thing. Bitcoin Cash is competing to be known as the Bitcoin for a reason. In the next four or five years, there are millions of people that haven’t even heard of crypto that would probably receive a lot of benefits from being onboarded into the cryptocurrency world. I’m not really sure how what they get onboarded to first matters immediately, but I know it plays a substantial role for a lot of people.
It’s an initiator. It’s a keyword that attracts them to the space that we’re in. It’s simply because it’s got brand dominance in the public persona. If you say a Bitcoin, most people know you’re talking about that strange online thing that no one understands and there are a few other coins, but we don’t know what their name is. As soon as they hit an exchange, if they really want to try it, they’re going to look at the next one down and say oh, I didn’t know that existed. They’ll make their way right to the bottom of the 2,000 list.
So, I really don’t think we should worry too much about dominance or anything that’s measured in that way in the space because the variables that change our value perception on any of these products is a mystery to everyone. A rumor can cause change overnight and things like that have happened. Guess what? They also happen in traditional exchanges.
Go to the London stock exchange and you’ll see a piece in the paper tomorrow that prices rocketed or have fallen over the next day because the public is there. The public is there late, remember. If you see it in the news, it has already happened. That’s the same thing for this. So, what are your favorite projects out right now?
It has to be blockchain focused. I mean, coins seem to be a tool that are being used to raise capital, raise awareness, create hysteria over or some fun. Some of them, and I believe it’s very few of them, I wouldn’t like to statistically put a number on that, but I think it’s very, very few have actually got a basis of a typical good investment. Is company strong behind it? Do they have good ethics? Why are they doing this? What’s it for? Or is it just to raise money?
When they’ve got money they can go, oh, look how much money we’ve got. Let’s do something. That’s not the way to grow a business. Somebody has to have a good story that’s technically supported. It has to have social value these days. And that means is it good for mankind? Is it going to save the planet? Will it do something? Create manufacturing? Whatever it is.
Hey, I’m not a philanthropist. I’m not saying you’ve got to do something to save the planet. But the youth of today are much more conscious about anything we/they do is about social conscience and social values and responsibility. So, for me, any of those projects, whether they be blockchain based or coin based that do something more than just making money for a bunch of guys, so they can go buy a Lamborghini, gets more of a look and support from us than the others.
There are ways of going and creating wealth for yourself than preying on opportunities that exist simply because exchanges listed them. So, we’re very careful about that. So, I wouldn’t like to say at this stage, we have anyone in particular. We do have some businesses we’re looking at, but they all are very well rounded in terms of their sales pitch. It’s ethical, it’s got a good background.
They have strong management, a history. They’re well-funded already. They’re not just grabbing money to then decide what they’ll do with it. Well said. The one point you made about how these projects need to be ethical and how that impacts those business models because again, you tap into to the same vein of projects that are looking to substantially change industries that had been stifled by inefficiencies or corruption.
It stretches a long way. If you find a solution that bugs business and usually if it bugs a business, it bugs and effects people, consumers, in some way. That might just be, where it’s blockchain related, securities and tracking things to make this whole trust environment that we live in. The point is we say we can trust but we can’t trust.
Everything we do is about trust. We get lawyers to look after our trust issues and we shake hands and we still wonder whether it’s a deal. So, solving trust issues globally is probably one of the biggest benefits to mankind because once we solve the trust issue, you can then be positive or confident that something that you want to happen and agreed to happen is actually going to happen. If it doesn’t happen, it’s not just about the broken trust. It’s then about the finances involved before you got there.
That’s all gone. The future has all gone around that business model. So, trust management in blockchain and around coins and around exchanges, decentralized exchanges, is probably the biggest thing we have to deal with. Which takes me back to my core development program right now, which is developing a trustworthy exchange. Make it clear, unambiguous. Make it reliable, deliver what we said we were going to do. What does a day in the life of Alan Booth look like? What do you do for fun when you’re not doing exchange type things? If there’s even time for fun.
If you’re running an exchange, it’s 26 hours a day to run an exchange. If you can squeeze another hour in, you might find some fun. This is probably my last employment opportunity. I’m in my 60’s. I’ve spent 50 years being an entrepreneur and an arm waver. Wave your arms and see who’s taking notice and make something happen.
So, fun for me is actually the exploitation of a business opportunity. I go to bed hoping that I wake up in the night with an idea to scribble on the pad. I come to work a very early. I’m up at 5 am. I get here at 7 am if I can with the work already done. I don’t want to arrive at work and look at emails. If you’re looking at email and other stuff, it’s other people’s requests on your time. I’m going to arrive here being creative.
I want to arrive every day going, I’ve got nothing to do except be creative and compel all of my employees and partners to support that creativity and bring their own creativity to it. So, you couldn’t have more fun than that, could you? What else is there? Just to make stuff and see people get excited and give them the opportunity.
But when I’m outside of this, hey, I liked to fly light aircrafts. I ride fast motorbikes. I do guy stuff, and when I’m not doing guy stuff, I’m at home helping my wife in the garden. Just an ordinary guy. Most of my daylight waking hours is about being that global entrepreneur with regard to this huge global opportunity which is let’s change the world.
It’s like moving from coal to steam, steam to mechanization, mechanization to electronics, and now we move into the digital age and we’re in it. What a fantastic place to be. So, how exactly do you do that? Do you just wake up earlier and just get everything done at 5:00 AM?
There’s never enough time in the day. What it is, it’s being super critical about what’s actually important. If you open your email when you get to work, I will guarantee that you will sit there procrastinating and jump between emails. Most people don’t work from the top to the bottom or the bottom to the top. You’re a little bit selective, so already you failed to do what people expect you to. Email and inbound inquiry are other people’s expectations of how to use your time.
They’re imposing their requirements on you. So, you’ve already allowed yourself to be managed by outside rules. You’ve got to arrive at your office with nothing that interferes with the creative process of why am I at this office? Why did I come here? I came here to understand what we’ve got. So, that’s a constant job. To work with the clever people that you have employed. I have a major role in employment and myself. Only employ smarter people than yourself, only.
Because if you’re employing people that aren’t smarter than you, you’re going to have to tell them what to do and you don’t have time for that.
Now, employing people smarter than yourself, for me, that sets the bar quite low, that’s easy, so I get really good pickings. But, generally speaking, you need to employ the best people and get them going and then you’ll be so busy running around trying to keep up with him, not them keeping up with you, that you actually have no time for all that outside noise. You’ve got to impose on the world what you want, not the world imposing on you what they want. Turn it around.
Every time I have a conversation with somebody, it’s about what I want, in the nicest possible way. We will listen to inbounds but we already have a path to follow. If you start following other people’s paths, you’re not going to get where you want to go.
Here’s the thing. I’ve been a business mentor for probably 20 years.
Mentoring basically new CEOs. New CEOs, it’s the loneliest job in the world because it might be your first CEO job, so you can’t talk down because those people below you expect you to be the boss, so you can’t ask them. You can’t talk up because you’re the CEO. It’s no good asking the board, they’re looking down at you. You can’t talk sideways because they’re your competitors. So, the first year or two as a new CEO is the loneliest place on the planet.
So, what you have to do is be entirely focused on what you need to get done and that is by changing what you used to do before you became a CEO or a boss. What you used to do is respond to every bit of noise that came at you and it filled your day up until you went nutty. Thank you!
Cryptopia CEO Alan Booth on the Cryptocurrency Exchange Realm
CoinCentral's owners, writers, and/or guest post authors may or may not have a vested interest in any of the above projects and businesses. None of the content on CoinCentral is investment advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified financial planner.
Alex is the Editor-in-Chief of CoinCentral. Alex also advises blockchain startups, enterprise organizations, and ICOs on content strategy, marketing, and business development. He also regrets not buying more Bitcoin back in 2012, just like you.
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